Cupid Alliance Series 2: To Defy Destiny
Cupid Alliance Series 2: To Defy Destiny
Title: Cupid Alliance Series 2: To Defy Destiny
Show: Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon
Series: Cupid Alliance Series
Timeline: "The Last Sacrifice: The End of the Silver Millennium", "CAS 1: The Trouble with Love is the Lovers", "CAS 2: To Defy Destiny", "Every Cloud", "Crystal Shards", "CAS 3: Unwilling Accomplice", "Our Past 1: The Reason We Fight", "CAS 4: Princess of Light", "Our Past 2: The Reason We Still Fight", "Our Past 3: The Reason We Fought", "CAS 5: One Last Shining Star", "In the Darkest Forest", "Destiny or Duty", "Desperately Searching", "Kazeko", "Chronicles of the Star Senshi"
Time: Season 1
Chapter 4: Mercury
"No, she already found Venus and she promised to send her our way. We have to find the other three Inner Senshi."
"What are you looking at, then?"
Urakaze stared at his mentor, raising one eyebrow. "Huh? I don't get it. How will looking at test scores help you find the senshi?"
"Because Amelia said that Mercury would be a genius, quiet and shy. I'm looking for the smartest person in Juuban."
"Why are you limiting your search to such a small area? Haruka and Michiru are way outside Tokyo. The information I found indicates that the Senshi tend to be far from each other until some great crisis calls them to the princess's side."
"True, but there is a great crisis right now. Beryl is no small fry."
"I think she's the one that destroyed the Silver Millennium."
Asakaze looked up sharply, taking the papers from Urakaze's hand. "It says, 'a spiteful human woman with hair the color of drying blood and eyes the color of madness. We know that the ginzuishou could not kill her, but we pray that she will never be reborn.' What does that prove?"
"We know that we have felt disturbances from Antarctica for some time now, about fifteen years, correct?"
"Fifteen years ago, Usagi was conceived, her soul joining that body from the Silver Millennium. I imagine the other Inner Senshi are about her age. Haruka and Michiru are only a little older, and certainly their souls may have broken free of the magic of the ginzuishou before Usagi's."
"What does any of that mean?"
"If the Senshi were all born fourteen or fifteen years ago, then the evil that destroyed them must have been reborn at the same time. Beryl and her queen have been building up their power in Antarctica for fifteen years, her generals and servants have been gathering strength for fifteen years . . . they have to have come from the crystal."
"But no one knows where the ginzuishou went."
"The author here suggests that the ginzuishou has been known to shatter itself to protect its identity in the past, though only when the Planet Crystals were whole. It could not reform when the planets were slumbering."
"They are not slumbering now, Ura-kun. The gods I spoke to tell me that the planets are becoming anxious as they were when the Silver Millennium fell. Most of them would say no more, but I got Dionysus a little tipsy and he let it slip that the planets can sense great evil and they only call their senshi when evil threatens this solar system. If they are calling, the Planet Crystals will respond and it was those crystals imbedded in the spirits of the dead princesses that let them be reborn. They will gather near the Moon Princess, if we can find her."
"You think that Usagi is here because the princess is here and the other Senshi will be in or gather in Juuban."
"Exactly. Ah, here's one. Mizuno Ami. She tests perfect on every examination, her IQ is through the roof, and she is years ahead of her age. Also, she has an affinity for computer, excels at chess, and could be a professional swimmer if she had a more competitive spirit."
Urakaze glanced at the picture, shrugging his wings. "Doesn't look like much. Are you sure about her?"
"It has to be. She has only just started attending the school Usagi goes to. Soon they will meet, Ami will get into some sort of jam, Sailor Moon will save her, and Luna will awaken her as Sailor Mercury."
"Well, good luck with that. I need to go check on my Senshi. Ta!"
Asakaze placed the bowl of milk on the cloud, letting Luna drink a little as she sipped her own fruit juice. "I am sure of it, Luna. I was able to find one of the Cupids from the Silver Millennium and she gave me a few pointers on how to recognize the Senshi. I think she will be at your next battle, so I hope you have her henshin stick."
The black cat nodded, solemnly cleaning her tiny paws. "Of course. Mercury will be a great asset, and I know that she will help Usagi become a better Senshi. Up until now she has held her own, fighting very well for an untrained, unprepared girl. She doesn't see it that way, of course, and doesn't think that she could win without Tuxedo Kamen's assistance. However, the enemies will become progressively harder as that Jadeite fellow tests her weaknesses and learns to exploit them. If I don't get her some more Senshi soon, she will lose one of her battles. It's not a good thought. Thank you. What about the other Senshi? And the Princess?"
"I have been assured that your Senshi will find the princess as long as you continue to train them well. Make sure Usagi becomes a good leader. As for the rest, the Senshi will come to you. Trust me."
"Thank you for your help, Asakaze-san."
Persephone hummed as she arranged her flowers, making a stunning display for the party that night. For a change, Hades was hosting the gathering, and she was making sure the Elysian Fields were at their brightest and most colorful. Smiling, she stood to return to her castle and find a dress, stopping dead still at the sight that met her eyes.
A tall woman with long, silky dark green hair stood before her, garnet eyes piercing and full of a god-like power, a key-shaped staff topped by a red orb in one hand, the other hanging limp at her side. She wore a simple black dress, beads of garnets and opals adorning her arms and waist, a simple silver crown with a black opal in the center on her head. She stood in the sun but radiated darkness, mystery, and a fierce power Persephone had always attributed to her husband. Around her neck hung a silver chain with a round garnet on the end, the stone pulsing with the life force of a planet Persephone knew all too well. Pluto.
"Se," she whispered, unable to move. Her daughter, returned after so long . . .
"I've come back, Mother," Se whispered, trepidation in a voice that rarely exhibited strong emotion. "I've come home."
"Oh my baby!" The goddess leapt forward and embraced her daughter, most often called Setsuna by mortals, tears in her eyes. "I thought you would never return. We had no idea what happened to you!"
"I've been very busy guarding the Time Gate, waiting for the Senshi to be reborn. My daughter has finally come into her power."
"That princess? The one you had with the last Queen Serenity of the Silver Millennium? But I thought she could only return with the evil that wiped out that great kingdom."
"The evil is back, too, but Usagi will win. I have faith in her. That's why I came back."
"I'm so happy, Se! Are you here to see everybody, or just me and your father?"
"Everyone. Has Tranquility resurfaced yet?"
"No. He swore that he wouldn't until Serenity was reborn. I'm sorry, sweetie. I know how close the three of you were. I'm sure it won't be long now."
"Hey, let's surprise the others and present you at the party tonight. The Cupids are even invited this time around."
"Sounds like fun."
"How long will it be until you are called on as Sailor Pluto again?"
"Not until Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune discover their talismans. They do not know that what they seek has been inside them all this time. When they die to release the Sword and the Mirror, I will be there with the Orb to create the Grail and call forth Sailor Moon's second form. But that is a long time from now."
"Good. You have been gone for a long time, my child."
"Time is my specialty."
Asakaze smiled as she watched Sailor Mercury transform for the first time, helping Sailor Moon defeat yet another youma. She had already discovered the identity of Sailor Mars and was planning to lead her young Senshi to Hino Rei's Hikawa Jinja in a few days so that she could join them. Sailor Jupiter was proving more difficult, but she had learned that Sailor Venus would soon leave England and join her fellows in Japan. Everything was coming together.
"It is a deadly game you play."
Asakaze spun around, eyes wide, shocked to find another godling seated on the cloud beside her. The other woman was taller, her eyes red and sad, her green hair reaching the ground, some part of her dark and ominous. She wore a black dress covered in precious stones and a circlet holding a black opal on her head. She also wore a necklace that pulsed with planet-power, the kind of power that the Senshi had shattered centuries earlier when they separated the Key Stones from their Planet Crystals. "Who are you?"
"I have been gone far too long," the other woman whispered. "My own mother barely knew my face. I suppose my time among the mortals has dulled me, aged me in a way I could never have anticipated. I have lived in the Void for so long that I forgot the colors a setting sun could paint on the sky. But I am being called back to this mortal world by powers that I lost the ability to control ten thousand years ago. Who are you, young Cupid, to so daringly play with a Senshi's heart?"
"I . . . 374 Omicron, Asakaze. Who are you?"
"I am the daughter of one of the First Gods, my powers too great for a mortal to bear, my curse to love my Senshi and to lose them time and again. I lost my best friends and my lover when the Silver Millennium was but an infant, and I wonder if I will ever find them again. That girl, that small blonde, is precious to me, Asakaze, though I cannot tell you why. If you tell Luna the truth now, they will lose their battle with Queen Beryl and this world will fall into darkness again. I cannot allow that. But I will tell you that none of the Senshi can find their Soulmates yet, save one. When you recognize the princess, you must give her back the memories she lost, help her recreate the ginzuishou, and reunite her with her prince if any of us are to survive this war."
"How will I recognize her? Even Luna does not remember."
The dark woman turned, facing Asakaze for the first time, and the Cupid shivered from the pain in those garnet orbs. "If she remembered, she would never have done some of the things that she has done and we would repeat the tragedy of the Silver Millennium. As things stand, one who never fought before will save us now, because she does not know who she is. But Usagi is precious to me, Cupid, and you must protect her at all costs. If she dies, we will all perish."
"How can I protect her if she must look for the Princess? Maybe if you told me who the Princess is I could protect them all a little better."
The dark goddess shook her head. "You have in your hands all of the pieces in this game. You must figure out where to place them." With that, she vanished, leaving one very confused Omicron Cupid behind.
Asakaze looked at her hands. "All of the pieces . . ." she whispered.