Bishoujo Senshi Sailormoon: Cosmic, Episode 3: "Converging Paths, Part One"

By: Sokai

Disclaimer: It is sad, but very true. I, Sokai, do not claim ownership to the wonderfully great Takeuchi Naoko's Bishoujo Senshi Sailormoon series, or any of her brilliant characters. However, I DO own the plot, storyline, and the original characters as well as attacks that I'll put in here (though OBVIOUSLY they were inspired by Takeuchi-sama's series).

Note: Hmm. I wonder if I could continue on with this one even though the one before it isn't yet finished. I'm confident I could since this is its own story and completely different from "Goddess;" however, it's just one part in this story will reflect on what will happen in the other. Meh. LoL Anyway, glad some people like this installment too -- so do I. LoL

P.S. Before you ask, I know "Mercurian" isn't a word or exists, nor does the other things I'll write in here that relates to the planet. So obviously I've created that, so relax. LoL

Enjoy!

This episode was created/written in August 2003 and revised in May 2006.

-- Within one of the many royal halls inside the Mercurian Palace --

"Whoa!" exclaimed a very irritated and desperate Neo Princess Mercury II, commonly known as Urawa Issui in frustration. The bright blue-eyed, habitually mischievous sixteen year old had been taking up various areas as temporary hiding places all morning, within the vast Mariner Castle upon her home, frigid planet of Mercury.

Currently, it was one of the many decorative potted plants that were strategically lined up along the walls within the royal halls that was acting as her safe haven.

So far, luck had been on Issui's side, as she had yet to have been caught, and was now a mere few feet away from the main entrance to the castle.

Her escape.

However, a potential obstacle had reared its ugly head her way just then, as a few Mercurian guards were standing in front the entrance. This was of no surprise as it was a particular nuisance to the young princess, as that was their job and she had been able to get past them many times before.

No. Her main concern at the moment was figuring out how to bypass the several other guards that were curiously present and moving about, as though looking for something . . . or someone.

"Have you found her yet?" murmured one of the guards standing by the main entrance to one of his fellow men passing by.

"Iie, not yet. But someone always does eventually, ne? And besides, she couldn't have gotten very far -- after all, she is just a little girl," the other shielder replied with a smirk before continuing on in his search.

At this, Issui frowned with great indignation, almost revealing her hiding spot to the guards in the process.

Oh, I'll show you who's "just a little girl," you baka! she thought with a resentful fire swelling within her stomach, while the debate whether or not to leave her place to throttle the male offender still swirled within her head at the same time.

With perhaps perfect timing, however, the wandering guards had at last turned their backs to her, and without hesitation Issui quickly began to sprint down the hallway as fast as she could (which was thankfully possible, due to her natural athletic ability, coupled with her current attire of a blue tank top and white shorts that always bestowed upon her far less restrictions than that of her dreaded gowns).

"There you are, Issui-chan!"

"Eep!" the startled Mercurian Princess squealed as she felt a strong hand suddenly tugging at the back of her tank top and nearly lifting her from off of the ground, successfully prohibiting her from remaining mobile.

Craning her ice blue colored head around, causing her shoulder length, non-braided pigtails to gently caress her tawny tinted cheeks in the process, Issui grinned sheepishly at the person whose voice she'd recognized to be that of her father and king, Urawa Ryo, or King Mercury's.

"Ohh, um . . . Were looking for me, otou-san? I-I was actually just about to go look for you, a-and oka-san! Heh heh . . . yeah . . ." she said in a feeble attempt to be convincing, all the while watching her father's anything but amused facial expression being conveyed as his only response. "I'm in trouble again, aren't I?"

Releasing his only child from his grasp, the profound and kind King Mercury folded his arms across his amply toned chest, while beginning to tap his foot with slight impatience (even though, by then, he'd begun to faintly smirk).

"Issui-chan, I have no idea what your mother and I are going to do with you! Every day, you try the same thing: 'escape the terrible castle and its horrible royal obligations' that you might have scheduled that day, to go romping around the city, undetected. And every time, what happens?"

Sighing, Issui kicked at the ground as she stuffed her hands into the pockets of her shorts and began to respond as though reciting something very familiar,

". . . I get caught, sent back to the castle if I manage to escape, and then resume my royal duties for that day . . ."

Amused by his daughter's tremendous disdain, King Mercury chuckled lightly while wrapping a tender arm around her shoulder and practically dragging her down the hall in the other direction from where she was headed in the process.

"Exxxxactly! So what is the lesson in all of this, young lady?"

". . . I should be allowed to move?" asked Issui hopefully as the two royals continued down the hall, causing her father to lightly ruffle her hair in playful affection.

The young tomboyish princess always marveled at how different her father could be with the right kinds of people. She supposed she had inherited more of his frolicsome nature than she had both his and her mother's natural desire for knowledge -- given that the Ice Princess preferred practical jokes and goofing off to studying. For, whenever with Issui, he would always come off more as her best friend than her father, the way he was sometimes more prone to encourage her sense of play than he did her usually foreign serious nature.

And then there was his loyal subjects. With them, King Mercury was highly understanding, patient and sympathetic, reinforcing his vast intellect with that of his lovely and prodigal wife. Then finally, in regards to the love of his life, the king seemed to lose the maturity earned to him over the years, as he would then relapse into his more youthful self of the days when he'd first known her.

While it made Issui happy to see her parents to continuously be in so much love with one another, it also, admittedly, made her sick to her stomach to bear witness to it at times. Besides being a princess by birth, stereotypical concerns accompanied to being one -- such as love and finding it -- continued to be at the bottom of her list.

The way she figured, Issui had the rest of her life to worry about that. Right now, however, she had to deal with trying to earn more freedom to do as she pleased from her parents, before the rest of her life suddenly passed her by.

"No, Issui-chan, that is not the lesson. The lesson, my dear, rambunctious teenager, is to stop trying to escape and simply just . . . grin and bear whatever duty you have to attend to each day," said King Mercury with a smirk, interrupting Issui's thoughts as they rounded the corner and came closer to her bedchamber. "Like, for instance, your presence is required near the grand crystal fountain in the royal garden for lunch with your mother and I . . . So let's get a move on and not keep her waiting any longer, shall we?"

Grumbling bitterly to herself, Issui allowed her father to bring her to her lavish bedchamber, where her personal assistant and friend, Yuki, stood waiting for her. The mid-twenty-something Mercury-native woman cocked her long, snow-white colored head to the side as an amused expression crept upon her pale face while holding a familiar light blue gown within her arms.

"So, I see they found you again, ne? Your highness, when will you stop this? It'd certainly make our jobs a lot easier, you know . . ." she said, bowing in respect as she let both her princess and king pass and enter the room.

"That's what I told her, Yuki-san. But you know Issui-chan: she's as stubborn as her old man can be at times . . ." said King Mercury, kissing the teenager upon her cheek before waving goodbye to the two young women and heading further down the hall.

"Let's just get this over with," sighed Issui, collapsing onto her deluxe, ice blue colored bed while Yuki quietly closed the bedchamber's door for better privacy.

"'Over with?' You mean you don't like having lunch with your parents?" she asked in confusion, turning to face the wry faced princess.

Shaking her head, Issui waved a hand in dismissal of the thought.

"No, no -- never, Yuki-chan; that's not it. I mean, come on, now! You've known me since my

birth, I believe, right? And ever since I've had control of my motor skills, I've never been one to take 'kindly' to my gowns and the whole 'royal scene . . .'"

Standing before her, Yuki softly giggled as she handed over the very thing that the young, future queen was brooding over.

"Now, that's not entirely true, Princess. Even though I was pretty young, myself, at the time, I can vaguely remember that 'once upon a time' you truly were your mother and father's 'little princess' in every sense of the word, the way you used to love going to balls and wearing gowns," she revealed with a grin, gently pulling Issui to her feet to begin helping her get dressed for her family luncheon. "It just wasn't until you'd reached the age of thirteen that you started to 'branch out' and become more . . . 'rugged,' if you will . . ."

Wrinkling her nose as she began to change, Issui blushed in embarrassment in reflection of her supposedly former self.

"Yeah well, I guess I had the right idea for 'reforming' then . . . ugh! Can't . . . even . . . breathe!"

Giggling, Yuki expertly tied the back of the young girls' corset as she had many a time during the past several years.

"You're certainly a handful, your highness -- but a fun handful . . . some of the time, anyway. Now, then! Let's hurry and get you completely dressed so you don't keep your parents waiting any longer, ne? I hear that they have some very exciting news to tell you!"

Grunting and groaning as Yuki continued to tie the corset a bit tighter and steadily pushed the air right out of her lungs as a result, Issui closed her clear blue eyes tightly.

". . . Oh . . . yeah . . . I'll bet it's . . . another . . . ball to attend . . . Or . . . another . . . gown to add . . . to the . . . already huge collection -- ow! . . . Let's just . . . get this over with . . . Geez, Yuki! Easy, there!"

-- Later, in the Royal Garden and in the middle of lunch --

"Issui-chan, dear, stop sighing like that and just finish your salad -- I do believe that there is enough carbon dioxide within the air floating about, courtesy of you at the moment . . ." the refined, beautiful and apt Neo Queen Mercury, formerly known as simply Mizuno Ami, said lightly to her child, smiling warmly at her.

The entire Mercurian family sat within the royal garden (that was actually quite cold, thanks to the planet's naturally arctic quality, however hadn't any effect upon them or any other Mercury resident, as they'd acquired the innate immunity to the climate's conditions) for the past hour, having a makeshift sort of picnic while continuing to eat their broad lunch.

Sighing once more (and a bit louder on purpose, despite her mother's wishes), Issui continued to pick at the salad before her, wrinkling her nose in disgust.

"Well, couldn't I at least put this in one of those 'Mercury Zangzin' patties that you don't like me eating a lot of, if you insist on my eating this? You know how much I hate salads," she said, continuing to shuffle the vibrant green salad leaves with her fork around her plate with great disinterest. "And besides, I need to keep sighing like this, otherwise I'll die from the lack of oxygen this stupid gown is providing me, oka-san . . ."

Wiping his mouth upon the soft blue, embroidered napkin with the Royal Mercurian seal, King Mercury couldn't help but grin at the spectacle between his wife and daughter that was unfolding.

"Come now, Issui-chan! You know that salad is very good for you, and so that's why we 'make you' eat it," he contributed, watching with amusement as his wife's smile broadened at the added support to her claim, while his daughter's face scrunched into a dour expression at the same time.

"Your father is right about that, Issui, my love. Besides, everyone within the entire kingdom is greatly aware of how much you enjoy to spoil your appetite by eating all of the cakes and pastries that are sold within the marketplace everyday . . ."

Pouting like a little child, Issui began to violently stab at her meal with a vengeance.

"Yeah, well, if they didn't taste so durn good --"

"-- Hey! What have we said about using that kind of language at the table, or at all, young lady? You are a princess, and --"

"-- Oh, come on, otou-san! You sound like a broken 'Trans Chip' or something! Besides, that wasn't even a curse, just --" started Issui, before immediately cutting herself off the moment she'd caught both of her parents' now austere demeanors practically boring a hole into her head.

Deciding it best to simply concede the point as well as conversation, the young Mercurian Princess regrettably shoveled several pieces of her salad into her mouth. After taking several, long drawn out moments to bitterly swallow it, she set her fork down before gently tossing a few strands of her light blue tresses over her shoulder.

". . . So, uh . . . We've been out here, having lunch for about an hour now, and you have yet to tell me about the 'exciting, big news.' What's up?" asked Issui slowly, not wishing to step upon her parents' toes anymore than she had already.

Thankfully, however, Neo Queen Mercury's formerly sore visage instantly dissipated as she began to exchange far more pleasant looks with her husband.

"Well, as you know, we have experienced a lot of royal gatherings in the past," the queen began after placing her own fork down, the increasingly cool water steadily trickling from the fountain erected within the center of the garden adding a soothing background to her voice. "And while they were all as important as the last and just as entertaining, a very special and unique ball is fast approaching . . . which will be held upon the moon . . ."

At this, Issui immediately perked up, relieved to hear that yet another ball she would have to unfortunately attend wouldn't be held in her honor for once . . . and moreover, that it would be held somewhere she had never been.

"Really? The moon, huh? What's the 'special' occasion? I mean, we've . . . well, I've never been there before -- not that I can remember anyhow."

Folding her cloth napkin before placing it onto her empty plate, Neo Queen Mercury smiled warmly at her daughter.

"Hai, the moon, Issui-chan. The Queen's granddaughter, Princess Elysian, is to have her 'Coming of Age Ball,' much like you had your own in a similar manner when you turned fourteen . . ."

". . . Oh, wow -- poor kid . . . Oh! Uh, I-I mean, how splendid, indeed, minna! It sounds to be a most joyous and gay event!" smirked Issui, the entire family beginning to rise from the table at the same time to allow the nearby kitchen attendants to come and clear their places.

Walking towards the comforting fountain, Neo Queen Mercury continued on softly,

"The point, Issui, is that this is a very important occasion -- for the Tsukino line especially. And because it is, our attendance has been greatly requested upon . . . alongside the other royal families of the other nine planets within this galaxy . . ." she finished, sighing lightly as she daintily dipped one of her small hands into the fountain and enjoyed its soothing sensation.

Sitting down himself, and wrapping a strong but gentle arm around his wife, King Mercury laid a loving kiss upon her creamy visage before redirecting his attention to the product of their ongoing love.

"Your mother and I are both aware of how much you despise such festivities, and tend to . . . 'cause an uproar,' if you will, to lighten the mood . . . So we are simply warning -- no, suggesting ahead of time that you --"

"-- Otou-san! Cut me some slack, ne? I mean, place a few baby 'Mercurian Snapping Turtles' upon the Ambassador of Zodden X's seat, and you're branded for life as a troublemaker!" grumbled Issui, folding her arms across her chest in indignation.

King Mercury sighed heavily in frustration.

"Issui, the Ambassador almost lost his entire arm because of those 'babies!'"

"Yeah, but they would've let go . . . eventually . . ." defended Issui, before Neo Queen Mercury gently seized both of her arms to silence her.

"Please, Issui . . . This is greatly important to the Queen that everything goes off without a hitch for the young Princess," urged the desperate Mercurian ruler, stroking her child's cheek with one hand, while maintaining her hold upon her person with the other. "I know that it will be boring for you, but please . . . please try to contain yourself, ne?"

Sighing in defeat, Issui slowly nodded her head as she gazed into her mother's loving eyes that looked so much like her own, yet held far much more wisdom and insight that she herself had yet to possess.

And suddenly, as a result of looking into them, Issui felt largely inadequate . . .

". . . All right, oka-san; otou-san. I won't do anything to embarrass either you or our kingdom. Besides, it isn't my ball, so I'm good," she relented, smiling softly at both of her parents.

Watching them both rise from their places upon the fountain before mysteriously and hurriedly leaving the garden without her, Issui soon learned why the moment King Mercury opened his mouth to verbally deliver:

"True enough, Issui-chan . . . although you will be the center of attention for a little while, since your mother and I both volunteered you to be the guest musician of the palace's royal orchestra."

Eyes nearly bulging out of her head at this, Issui hadn't a chance to object, as the shock of the newfound and calamitous news had caused her to blindly fall backwards into the frosty fountain.

-- End of Part One

(A.N. Before you ask, here's the small list of phrases I'd used that will probably have some people "complain" that I'd done so at all: Iie is no; ne is right or ok; baka is stupid or silly; otou-san is dad; oka-san is mom; minna is everyone.

As for the other junk, like the weird names of planets or food or mechanisms, that was MY doing and creation. So yeah.

Anyway, personally, Issui's my favorite Cosmic Senshi, but I guess it's because I've inserted a good portion of my own personality into her. LoL But yeah! I'd divided this episode up because Issui's part became longer than it was originally before I'd revised it. And since the rest of the episode is long in itself, I thought I'd divide it since I always get a lot of "complaints" that the stuff I write is always too long. But . . . yeah. Hope you enjoyed, and stay tuned for part two.

One more thing: I know some of you are familiar of the character, Urawa Ryo, as well as his personality. But while I am at least keeping his intellectual side in tact and later, his "premonition ability," for the most part, he's pretty much OOC in here. So yeah. Don't bother leaving reviews about that. Yay! LoL)