fairytale inspiration: The Wild Swans, The Three Ravens
A/N Again, this is fairytale. So you need to put logic away and just go with the flow. Divided into two parts because of length.
timeline: … let's put it after Season One.
This means this little tale can be considered the fairytale sequel form of Sailor Moon R.
dedicated to - mae-e (She suggested the theme a LONG time ago)
beta reader - lyss-ling
It was a strange sound that roused her from sleep. It seemed to be very close to her. Abruptly, she opened her eyes, and her mouth formed to shape the syllable 'Oh.'
She lay very still, trying to adjust to the colors that suddenly were everywhere. Where did it all come from? She closed her eyes again, and soon her world was black once more. Of course, she did not know it was called black; that sudden loss of perception/ color that came to people when their eyes were shut. Neither did she really know what color was. Truth be told, she did not even know what an eye was or that she had them, or it was because she had eyes could she see shapes, and hues, and light.
All that was clear was that when she closed them, the pretty things disappeared and it was just blackness.
What a confusing way to suddenly be. She tried to make sense of it, opening one eye, and then the other, all the time still lying on the ground, pale and naked. This was another thing she didn't know about herself.
She didn't know she was naked.
She didn't understand what being naked meant.
She would have stayed that way just blinking and staring, except the sound came again. It caused her to unconsciously lift her head and search for the source. Eventually her gaze fell on a strange sight.
It was smaller than her and merged, at least in hue and shade, with whatever it was she was laying down on. The sound maker was standing using two little stalks that was darker than the rest of it, and made strange jerky movement as it made the noise. She looked down at herself and saw she too had two long things sticking out. It was vastly different from what the little sound maker has, but it comforted her to see there were similarities still.
Then she looked to the sides of her body and found she has two more extra limbs. When she involuntarily lifted a hand out towards the thing to check if maybe it has something similar to the two new appendages she found on her person, it became wider and seemed to her to float away.
That startled her, and she blinked fast, and then looked curiously at her hand before holding up the other as well. It was lighter in color than the sound maker, and though she did not know the term, farsmoother as well. But knowing that there were differences did not stop her from holding her arms aloft to her sides and flapping it, mimicking the actions of the creature.
When she did not float as expected, she started making the sound the other made, erroneously thinking that too was a factor. It took her a while to get the sound right and even then knew it was a poor imitation.
"Chirp, chirp!" she said, her tongue warping at the unfamiliar exercise. Her arms she flailed up and down faster and faster. "Chirp! Chirp, chirp, chirp!"
It was a lost cause; she remained on the ground.
A few meters away from her, pecking its wing feathers as it calmly sat on a tree branch, the nightingale watched the strange actions of the girl in earnest, before it got bored and flew away to search for something to eat.
xxx xxxX X Xxxx xxx
They came from far away. At least, this was what the winter tales say. The braver of storytellers would always add underneath their breath that the honest truth was that they came out of nowhere. One moment, the sky was blue and cloudless, and then a flash of light, so bright even the sun looked dim.
After, when the surprise and terror subsided, that was when they came flying, marring the heavens in two perfect V's; twelve swans that rivalled each other in beauty and grace. Four of them have plumage the color of finely polished ebony, while the rest were pristine white. Those that saw them fly overhead that spring morning commented that the black swans were distinctly male, while the aura of the white ones was female.
They flew back and forth for nearly a month over the village and the surrounding areas, obviously in search of something. "Probably roosting grounds," commented an old timer. "Place to lay their eggs."
One fanciful child that managed to get close to the flock while they rested –close enough to see that each swans had different eye colors - also said that the white and the black looked liked enemies of sort. But this claim was laughed at, of course. Not the rivalry of the darker ones with the white, for all men knew already that while they travelled in flock, 'birds of the same colored feathers stick only with each other'. No; they laughed at the account of the colors of the eyes.
For the youngster insisted that some of the birds were blue eyed, and that it ranged from the iciest, all the way to the darkest sapphire. As if this was not bogus enough, the child also said to her smirking audience that a few possessed a green gaze, and that two were a lovely violet.
She was reprimanded when she finished her account by claiming one of the white swans has crimson hued orbs. "Don't lie," her big sister chided. "It's bad to lie."
Nothing she could do or say would make them believe she wasn't making it up.
"What nonsense!" This exclamation was from the grandmother, and she even slapped the girl when she dared to say it was most definitely not nonsense. The shock of being hit by someone she loved finally managed to make the young person stop telling the story.
With the coming of winter, the villagers forgot about the strange flock that now lived, according to some hunters, on a lake found in the mountains located south of their lands. Well, maybe not forgotten, but rather, superstitiously ignored.
Too many tales of their men trying to catch the birds and finding themselves encased in ice, or fire, or even struck by lighting instead made the humble folks fear the swans and gave them wide berth whenever the need to enter the woodlands happened upon them.
One tale, this from another girl who went searching for mushrooms late autumn, even claimed she saw one of the black swans swimming on the surface of the lake with beautiful pink petals falling around it. "I hid, see, behind a banyan tree." Her grubby face was earnest as told her little tale. "I didna know I was near the lake. I just followed the mushrooms an' picked." She turned pleading eyes to her father, hoping she would not get punished for coming so near a place now forbidden to children.
"I wouldna have stayed, truly! But I was afeared the swans would see me an' burn my flesh like they did with Julian, so I hid." She dropped her head, and whispered softly, "An' that was when I saw the petals… and the black swan."
No one called her a liar, like they did the first child, nor was she slapped for what she said she saw. Instead, her mother cradled and called wailed how lucky she was to have gotten away unscathed.
By then, every villager believed that the birds were enchanted. How else to explain the fog, the ice, or the fire? Worse than those were the pillars of water and crystal shards that resembled miniature swords that were sometimes used to attack their huntsmen.
Nevertheless, the mushroom picker remembered the lesson of the first girl; tell anything too fantastic, and there was still a chance she might get hit. This was why she never told the reason why she really stayed to watch.
And when she finally found courage to relate it at last, it was to her pet goat that she said it to. She repeated the whole thing a week later to a new born piglet she was given responsibility to take care for the rest of the year.
This was the gist of the untold part of her little adventure: While the blue eyed black swan 'danced' around swirling columns of cerise petals, the most beautiful young woman with the longest hair the color of spun gold she has ever seen was sitting with the rest of the white ones on the shore, whilst the other three darker ones roosted close by, as if guarding the fair lady but at a distance.
She was naked; only her long tresses modestly covered her nudity.
"She was so lovely, little piggy."
And against all logic, she looked like she was doing her best to teach the swans around her how to 'chirp'.
xxx xxxX X Xxxx xxx
"He is so handsome," one of the court ladies breathlessly said. Around her, the other misses agreed with hardly a qualm. One made a theatrical gesture of fainting and her friends giggled at her antics.
When this died down, one of the older ladies spoke her own observation. "And he looked so good in that black armour. So fitting to call him the Black Knight…"
Again, complete agreement from everyone.
The cooing around him, he ignored completely. Instead, he raised his sword and thrust it at his opponent. When it was blocked, he barely paused to gain equilibrium. Rather, he simply spun around fast, ducking mid spin and with the butt of his blade's hilt hit the back of his opponent's knee.
The other man gave a shout of surprise and pain before collapsing, dragged down by his armour and the heavy shield he was using. By the time he found his breath again, his quillons was kicked away from his reach and the younger knight's blade was pointed at his neck.
The two combatants stared at each other coldly, but when an ecstatic shriek from one of the female audience caused the younger to roll his cobalt eyes, the fallen knight suddenly erupted into fits of laughter, and pushed the blade aside, away from his jugular.
"You'll do," he said, managing to stop laughing long enough to sit. He continued grinning even when his foster child helped him up to stand. "Who'd have thought a drowned rat plucked from the river would ever best the King's sword master?" There was pride in that question; the teacher was pleased at his student's progress.
The young knight flushed in pleasure, but remained quiet. He would never insult his mentor and First Lord of his House by claiming it was dumb luck that made him win. Both knew they sparred using all their skill and strength, and that it had been a good fight.
His master suffered a sigh, and slapped the winner's shoulder in a friendly manner. "Be arrogant, lad. Man like you should be strutting about like a peacock. After all, you already have your clucking hens. I'd say that's another reason to be conceited."
The raven haired knight merely grimaced at the mention of the ladies that followed him around, mumbling something about wanting to be in the thick of a battle than be ogled and tussled for like some plump little prize by the so called noblewomen.
"You're too picky, son," chided the elder. But there was a smile on his lips as he said this. Together, they bowed before their thrilled audience, and went to the safety of their quarters, much to the dismay of the females.
But they told themselves that tomorrow would come soon enough.
And to themselves, they promised that the dark haired knight with the deep blue eyes shall finally notice one of them and choose at last his bride. What mattered to them if he could not remember his true name, much lest the life he led before the sword master adopted him and claimed him son of his House? Neither did it really matter that he came to the palace after being rescued by some fishermen when they saw his then young form clinging to a piece of driftwood.
All that was important was that he was handsome, brave, strong, and that soon, he would be given the title First Knight despite the questions regarding his ancestry. A feat indeed! To be wife to him would be a dream come true…
xxx xxxX –end of Part One – Xxxx xxx
Author's Note: THERE! That's like, a barrage of fairytale drabbles from me! No updates for now for this series until I finish One Day of Serenity and finally send Lyssa the edited version of Hope's Destiny
Well, I will update XD for the Part Two (A week to two weeks wait, please and thank you) of the last drabble but after that, I need to focus on my IPS.
A very lovely reviewer, Ala Verity, noted many grammar mistakes and what nots from some drabbles. Things I still mucked up after my beta reader edited them (Or because no beta reader edited them). I haven't gotten yet to editing, but they have been noted and shall be corrected! MANY THANKS again!
To the others who reviewed and was not replied to yet, I'm truly sorry! I shall reply to them so don't get surprised if you receive a reply from me months after the review! I just want to tell readers reviews are very appreciated and I'm sorry if I'm not able to reply like always these days.
Lastly, if you are Dramione, (Harry Potter fandom) I'll be releasing a series of drabbles for the pairing. Dedicated to my drabble beta reader, Lady Katherine 2. Just nitpicking it but I'll be posting them soon. After she beta it. I'm looking forward to seeing the red notes from her corrected edition already…