MoonDragon: I thought this chapter would be longer when I planned it... guess not, ha ha. The others will be longer... hopefully. I got this up pretty quick compared to usual, huh? Lately I've been seeing this story as more of a chore than a pleasure, but all of a sudden I just remembered how fun it was creating this. Thinking about how I'm going to end it makes me all excited and junk, how geeky am I? Ha ha! Well, now you guys will learn what happened to make Nokomono hate Usagi so much in detail.
Someone asked me about the story book Chibiusa is writing. I'll go into more detail about it later; it's pretty important. Last chapter was just supposed to introduce it and give it a mystery feel. It'll get clearer later on.
Oh, I put when they say 'outcast' in bold just because I thought it'd be cool. I made a note a looong time ago (first few chapters) that Nokemono means 'outcast.' That's why their group is called that. Okay, enough of my blabbering, please read and thanks for sticking with the story!!
Haruka coughed into her gloved hand as she waited outside the Moon Kingdom's throne room along with Michiru and Hotaru. Her fingers repeatedly clenched and unclenched as she nervously paced out in the hall fretting about the outcome of this meeting. She had never met the royal family of the Silver Millennium, and if she made just one mistake they might refuse to help their kingdoms in such a time of despair.
Michiru calmly leaned against the wall with closed eyes taking in deep, calming breaths. Her face was flushed red and as she opened her eyes they were hazy and on the brink of becoming unfocused. She, too, knew the severity of how the outcome of their conversation would affect their lives. Poverty had plagued all of their planets; the Moon Kingdom was the last place they could turn to in their hour of need.
Not only was their economy dropping faster than a boulder off a cliff on earth, but a horrible plague was spreading which was the causing their downfall. Some unknown, foul chemical had been released into the atmosphere which made their oxygen toxic and it was slowly chipping away at their health. Haruka once again let out a rash cough into her hand and cursed at her condition. She did not want to offend the royal family with her illness.
"Hotaru!" Haruka said more roughly than intended which made the little princess jump. "You're the only one of us who has actually met the princess. What is she like? Will she really help us?"
Hotaru managed a nod and the sandy haired woman's eyes softened looking upon her friend's frail form. The girl was weak from birth to begin with, and this disease only made her worse. Her eyes carried deep, dark bags under them and her skin was now a shade of pale which death would embrace. Her breaths were ragged even from doing nothing more than standing as she was. Her knees seemed like they would give out under her, but she did not collapse. Despite having a fragile body her spirit was strong and she would not let the toxic in her system keep her from missing out on this important meeting.
It was because of the small, dark haired girl that the three of them were gathered on the moon to beg for assistance. She had assured them that Princess Serenity would help them countless times before they made the journey to where they now were, but Haruka was still overwhelmed with doubt. They had nothing to offer in return; what ruler would agree to help without anything to be gained?
"She's very kind," she whispered as she smiled warmly, her voice straining against being used. Michiru went to her side to help her stand and gazed upon her worriedly. "Kinder than anyone I've ever met. She's very quiet… and always seems to have her guard up around her emotions, but if anyone will help us… it's her. She's always helping others to a point where it sometimes even incontinences herself. A very selfless person."
"But what if she isn't present during our talk?!" Haruka asked running a hand through her hair. She breathed in deep which caused a pain in her chest and then exhaled trying to calm herself. "I've heard rumors that she's always hanging around down there on earth nowadays. Even if she's as willing to help as you claim her to be, none of that will matter if she's not even here."
"Please calm yourself, Haruka," Michiru requested. "Kindness runs in the Lunaranian bloodstream; the mother is no doubt the same as her daughter. The queen is said to be a fair, benevolent leader. They won't just leave us to suffer. They will do something." Despite the strength the aqua haired woman tried to display in her words her eyes showed that she wasn't fully convinced as well.
They waited in silence after that. Each too wrapped up in their own thoughts to speak of the subject further. Haruka thought of her mother and father who had been infected too critically to leave the palace and ask the Moon Kingdom themselves for assistance. It was the same for her friend's as well. The old were having the worst time since their immunities couldn't fare well against the toxin.
Hey brow furrowed as she remembered the streets of her kingdom on Uranus. Trash was spewed along every surface… blood coated walls as if they were half-finished layers of paint. Children bawled and fought amongst each other for morsels of sparse food. Adults shamed themselves by stealing anything they could grab a hold of and openly killing when someone got in their way…
How could her once proud planet be reduced to such disgrace because on this unknown disease?
"… The halls…" Hotaru whispered in the deserted area.
"What was that?" Michiru questioned before succumbing to multiple coughs. Once she stopped the dark eyes girl continued.
"There are no guards… in sight. This is the Moon Kingdom's palace and main hallway… How can there be no security…?"
"There were soldiers at the front gate," the aqua haired woman pointed out. Hotaru softly shook her head.
"The outside is guarded… but the inside is not. Something's is… strange."
"I've heard that there's trouble between the earth and the moon. There's been talk about an all-out war. Maybe a battle is taking place and all soldiers were called to action," Michiru commented. Despite what was happening on her plant she managed to keep track of the news in the galaxy.
"But this is the palace! It should never be without guards… Especially near the throne room!"
"It must be some fight…" Haruka said. "But the guards said to wait out here until the queen returns… let's just pray this so called 'kind' princess will be with her when we start talking."
"She is kind," Hotaru whispered.
Suddenly there was an echo of footsteps resounding throughout the walls of the hallway. Each princess stood erect and turned to the direction the noise was coming from. Coming towards them was the leader of the Silver Millennium, Queen Selenity. By her side was the princess that Hotaru mentioned. 'Thank God, we might actually have a chance to survive!' Haruka thought in delight.
Once the two royal figures stood before them Hotaru, Michiru, and Haruka bowed low. The sandy haired woman looking up through her bangs to take in their appearances since this was the first time she had seen them. They looked identical, though the princess was just a tad shorter in height, and the queen held sharper facial features making her look wise beyond her young image. She held her breath at awe of the power they held over them.
Their survival depended on these two.
When they rose Haruka was able to look into Princess Serenity's eyes and was struck speechless. Kindness? That was what Hotaru had said the princess was like, but these eyes held no such thing.
Black orbs with a touch of blue stared back into her azure ones and she broke out into a cold, spine tingling sweat. She almost forgot to breath. It was like looking into an empty abyss with no hope of ever getting out. She immediately turned her head to avoid getting trapped.
Those eyes knew no kindness… they only knew hatred and how to evoke fear in another. They were definitely not kind.
"What is it you want, I'm very busy!" the queen's harsh voice clawed the tense atmosphere. Gulping, Haruka was spared to speak as Michiru took over.
"Your highness…" She stopped and as a fit of coughing rocked her. The princess scoffed and glared.
"The guards informed us that this was to be important; stop that coughing and get on with the subject!"
Haruka glowered as she spoke that way to her closest friend and was about to do something about it before receiving a stern look from Michiru. She bit her tongue. 'I can't speak out of term. I can't mess this opportunity up!'
"Please excuse me." She bowed. "It's about the matter of our planets. As you know, there's some sort of plague fouling the air and it's causing a riot in our kingdoms. People are acting barbaric amongst each other and because of the chaos our economy is dying. We… we can't rely on ourselves any longer; the problem is beyond us. Please… without your help I fear none of our planets will survive.
"I have heard of your healing abilities. I'm sure that with the Silver Crystal you could lift this horrible curse from our kingdoms. Please, I know you can help us!"
Queen Selenity didn't even pause before she asked, "And what are you willing to offer for our services?"
Haruka looked into her eyes and noticed they were the same shade and color as her daughters. The princess of Uranus gritted her teeth and spoke in despair.
"We can't really offer anything at the moment. We have nothing to give due to our situations… But once we recover I'm sure there's something we could do in return! I've spoken to my father, and all of the remaining royal families agree to join the Silver Millennium and recognize you as the overall leader of the galaxy. So please…" Haruka disregarded her pride and kneeled on the floor for the lowest bow she could manage. Michiru and Hotaru followed her actions. "Please help us!!"
This was their only hope. This was the last place they had to turn to. This was the moment which would decide the fate of their planets.
A feeling of hope dared entered Haruka's chest and it grew as the silence prevailed. They were in such dire need. Surely, even though they seemed rather rude and snobbish, they could not refuse such a plea. No one was that heartless.
No one could possibly be that heartless.
"… Did you think we would agree to that?" Serenity asked gliding closer toward them. Haruka looked at her startled and felt that bundle of hope deflate. "That's not nearly a good enough offer. You'd join the Silver Millennium? Ha, don't make me laugh. Your planet is already decaying due to your poor leadership. I think that disease is a sign that this is where you stop progressing. If you joined you'd only bring misfortune upon us."
Haruka could no longer contain her anger. She slammed her hands down upon the marble floor and let the full release of her irritation come through.
"We are falling due to this disease, not because of how we rule!! We have done nothing wrong! You have the power to help us; will you just shrug us off like that? So easily?! We are here groveling beneath your feet; will you just disregard us so blatantly?!" She bit her lip so hard that it drew blood. Michiru tried to hold her down, but even she could do nothing for her unstoppable rampage. "You have the Silver Crystal! You can do anything! Are you just going to pretend and forget about our situation?!"
"Be silent!" Queen Selenity ordered, her voice thundering off the walls. "You will bring nothing but calamity to our people. Deal with the problem with your own power. I have no reason to help such a worthless race!"
"Please help us!"
"Why should we help you?! You're not even a part of our kingdom!" Serenity roared. "You're just outcasts!"
"We said we'd join if you just help us!!" Michiru countered. The moon princess sneered.
"Too little too late."
Hotaru, up till this point, had remained silent. All she did throughout the short conversation was stare at Princess Serenity with doubt and fear. Struggling to keep from coughing she stood up and walked forward to her friend who she had said was so kind and caring.
"Serenity-chan…" she mumbled. "You look different… your eyes…" Her eyes widened in disbelief as if realizing something. The dark eyed girl brought her hand up to her mouth covering it as she gasped. "You… you're not-"
"Do not call me 'chan' like we are so close!" she demanded slapping the child across the face. Hotaru held her cheek and Haruka saw a blaze in her friend's eyes like no other time she's seen them. She looked furious and ready to pounce.
"Who are you?! You can't possibly be Serenity-chan!! What are-"
Serenity immediately silenced Hotaru with a wave of her hand and a mumbled spell. She was engulfed in a black light and her image was fading rapidly. The princess had casted a transportation magic and it was teleporting Haruka's small friend elsewhere. Hotaru desperately tried to relay a message towards her friends and shouted as loud as she could in her condition.
"Don't be fooled! That's not…" Her voice dropped off there as she faded from their sight. Haruka and Michiru bolted from the ground but stood their ground.
"Where did you send her?!" Michiru questioned venomously.
"Back to Saturn where she belongs. We're through with this conversation. You asked for help, and we're not giving any." The silver haired, black eyed princess smirked and it made Haruka even more blazed than she already was.
Serenity raised her hand and the same dark light was now enveloping Haruka and Michiru. The sandy haired princess tried to fight against the transportation, but there was nothing she could do. Selenity and her daughter started chuckling at their attempts.
"Looks like this is the end of Saturn… Neptune… and Uranus… huh?" the princess mocked laughing louder as tears began streaming down Haruka's and Michiru's face.
"It's can't be…" Michiru cried; her pain and sorrow trying to escape through her tears. "She was our last hope…"
Haruka's heart was thrown into chaos and despair at their last attempt for the people of her planet. 'I… I've never hated anyone so much!!' she thought as her vision of the two laughing royalty started to fade to black.
'They could help. They have the power to save us! We groveled and begged liked common folk shaming our rank and kingdoms… They have nothing to lose and yet they do nothing! We even agreed to join the Silver Millennium!! '
In her eyes they were disgraceful. People like that didn't deserve to be in charge of the Silver Millennium and had no right whatsoever with positions of power. They only looked out for themselves and treated other's problems as if they were unimportant. Even though thousands would die and they could prevent it, they chose to snicker and do nothing.
They didn't deserve to even live.
"We'll… I'll never forgive you! Even if I may die, my hatred will live on!! You will not go unpunished for your cruelty!" Serenity merely smirked and waved good-bye letting out a laugh. "You'll regret this! You hear me?! You'll regret this!!"
Haruka woke up breathing harshly and covered in a sheet of skin-chilling sweat. Her face was buried in her folded arms on a school desk. Several students stared at her as she finally awoke, but nobody snickered at her falling asleep during class. They were too frightened. When her eyes opened they were burning in hatred so deep that it almost scalded them as they looked directly at her. Her azure eyes were still set in the death glare she had in her dream.
No, not a dream; a memory was a better word for it.
Abruptly, Haruka rose from her desk, hands placed firmly on the wood of the desk pushing her up. The teacher sent her a raised eyebrow wondering what it was she was doing. Apparently she had not noticed her student dreaming during her lecture.
"Tenoh-san, is everything all right?" she inquired with worry evident in her aged eyes. Haruka was a diligent student and rarely interrupted class in such a way.
"No… not really," she admitted wiping some sweat from her brow. She didn't feel well. That dream… that memory… she hated it. Each night she would go back to that moment in the past where they had begged Princess Serenity for help. And each time she cruelly casted them away like she had 1000 years ago. She could still hear that horrid laughing… "May I go to the nurse?"
"Not feeling well?" the teacher asked clucking her tongue. "Sure, go right ahead. If you don't come back I'll have someone send you your things. You look so pale, dear. Hurry, now."
"Thanks," she mumbled quickly escaping the row she was seated in and stepping out of the classroom. She walked through the halls as if she were on a mission and brushed by students in her way as they scampered about to wherever it was they were going. Haruka made her way towards a door leading outside which was devoid of an adult's notice and exited the school.
She needed some air.
Once outside she found a bench and sat down on it. Haruka leaned her elbows on her knees and placed her forehead on her hands which were interlocked with each other.
She just didn't understand. Why would the queen and princess refuse to help them? After they were transported back to their planets they found that the condition in the air had worsened. Many people had dropped dead in the streets as the toxin grew thicker in the air. When she had forcibly arrived back she was brought to her knees by the impact it had on her lungs. After a few days of trying to survive…
Well… that was the end of her life as the princess of Uranus. A pitiful downfall for all life on Uranus, Neptune, and Saturn; planets which were once so prosperous.
"That damn plague!" she cursed in a whispered feeling her eyes water over. "It ruined everything!" Her hands clenched together tighter making her knuckles turn white. "And the Moon Brat…! This reincarnated life is fate! We'll be able to get revenge on how she deserted us. I'll make her suffer so much!! As much as everybody on our planets combined! After she's exhausted to her limit, I'll take away everything precious from her! She'll regret abandoning us… us outcasts."
As she vowed a picture of Sailor moon's eyes replayed in her head. They were nothing like they were in the past. Those dark black orbs which could stop someone from breathing were replaced by kind, silver blue orbs which gave hope and warmth. Haruka was almost stricken with the fear that that may not have been the same person and that she was terrorizing an innocent girl.
"No, she looked exactly like her… except for the eyes…" She growled as anguished tears escaped her. "No! It was just a trick! Possibly an illusion made by magic. There's no way her eyes could be so caring and kind. Impossible." Haruka wasn't going to be fooled. The Moon Brat must've been deceiving her. That was it. Just a trick. An act.
The hot trails of tears rolled down her cheeks harder and faster as she wept in her fury and sorrow. Despite her wrath and rage she couldn't help but wonder…
"Why wouldn't they help us…? How could they abandon us like that…?"