Sailor Moon: Legends of the Past
Finally got a break this semester! Fieldwork is murder when you have to get up at 4 in the morning. Anyway, to explain: someone who reviewed one of my stories, "Sailor Moon: Heirs of Tomorrow", had requested that I write up a prequel for the story, giving some more of the past of my Zodiac Senshi, particularly prior to the war they fought. So I decided to give it a try. Hope it came out well; let me know if I should continue or not. :D
Disclaimer: I don't own Sailor Moon or any of its characters; that belongs to Naoko Takeuchi and Toei animation. I do, however, own my versions of the Zodiac Senshi, as well as Ophiucus.
Sailor Moon: Legends of the Past
Prologue – Mare Serenitatis
"It's not fair…"
A pair of tiny, slippered feet shuffled softly against the immaculate floor, hardly making a sound. Outside an enormous, marble door stood, dwarfed and accentuated by its size, a small girl, clad in a snowy white, fluffy gown, long golden hair trailing past her knees, despite the majority being held up in two circular buns. A golden crescent moon rested against her pale forehead, a symbol on this world of her royal blood. The usual sweet, brilliant smile the girl displayed frequently was gone, fearful anxiety now reigning in the place of her effervescent glee. Sighing, the child leaned back against the cool stone. "It's not my fault that history is so boring, so why did my teacher have to get so mad? I shouldn't have to speak to Mother over something like this!" At the words, a pang of agony shot rapidly through the girl's heart, a brief but intense throb of guilt. Her mother, a powerful queen and ruler of her kingdom, was currently busy deciphering some ancient documents that had been unearthed in a far-off corner of the kingdom last week; they had been buried on a small, undiscovered asteroid close to the center of the Milky Way. In fact, the blond child had barely seen her mother for days; the queen spent so many long hours between the library and the meetings she had with other noble families across the galaxy.
These thoughts currently flowing through the petit blond's head resulted in another intense pang, this time of sadness. She was rarely ever apart from her beloved mother for very long. Her absence was felt strongly.
Without warning, the great portal beside the child opened smoothly, causing the girl to skitter like a frightened rabbit back from the wall.
"You may enter, Serenity," a soft, but strong voice echoed from within the chamber. Quaking gently, the young one called Serenity crept quietly within the threshold, as the ivory door closed smoothly behind her.
Inside the enormous room, Serenity stood, mouth frozen in gasp of amazement. Surrounding her were hundreds upon hundreds of tomes and documents, ancient scrolls and illuminated manuscripts. Thick books and papers neatly stood, organized into countless oceans of immaculate marble shelves and glass frames. Each volume and scrap was sorted and filed by year and subject, yet this great collection remained vast; it would take lifetimes to go through every single one. In all, the entire room housed a museum of countless books. The clearest area was a long, carpeted aisle, lined by several pedestals supporting priceless statues, which led to the very heart of the chamber.
This room was the Great Library of the Moon Castle, home to illimitable stores of knowledge from the farthest reaches of the galaxy. Serenity knew of it, yet rarely ever set foot within its walls, as with her mother's Prayer Room (an area into which she was strictly forbidden to venture).
Awe overtook apprehension as the young blond proceeded to the center of the library, gazing quietly at each of the artworks positioned atop each marble pedestal. Nearest to the center, a statuette caught the ocean blue gaze: a figure composed of moonstone crystal, depicting a young woman in a glittering Sailor Senshi uniform, a mantle fluttering gracefully in an imagined wind. The hair of the Sailor Soldier was styled in the manner of the Moon Kingdom's rulers, her carved gaze serene yet piercing. Standing tall, the young girl held a silvery longbow in one hand, slender fingers of the other curled around a keen arrow. Serenity remained transfixed by the brave, stiffened figure for several moments, entranced by its beauty.
"Come forward, Serenity."
The golden head snapped forward, looking into the very center of the library. Several feet away from her, at the very edge of the carpeted aisle, stood a dais of pure, snowy marble, upon which sat a crystalline throne of quartz. Sitting graciously on the throne, her mother, Queen Serenity, reclined, blue-gray gaze resting on the small child before her. The elder woman's face, in spite of its great beauty, showed some faint signs of weariness. It had not been an easy week, considering the lengths it took to translate the new scrolls now within the library's confines, nor did the constant stream of professors and learned men she spoke with regarding the lore of the scrolls make the task less difficult. In her fair hands and trailing into her lap rested one of the brittle, clearly antiquated scrolls. It seemed one good breeze would make it crumble to dust instantly.
Forgetting the reason she had been sent here, Princess Serenity grinned brightly, looking from the queen to the statue before her. "Mother, who is this statue of?"
Following her daughter's eyes, Queen Serenity responded, "That was found during the excavation last week, along with the scrolls that are being translated. The natives of that system speak in whispers about it, saying that it is a likeness of a great goddess that once reigned there."
"She looks so beautiful and strong!" The princess exclaimed with excitement. "Someday I want to be just as lovely as her! A proud Sailor Soldier!"
The silvery-violet haired woman sitting on the throne shook her head slowly. "You are not meant for the life of a Sailor Soldier, my child. Your duty is to rule once my time is over, Serenity."
At that response, the memory of the cause of Princess Serenity's presence dawned on her, and the girl gulped audibly. Queen Serenity, noting the change in her daughter's demeanor, kept her gaze on the girl.
"Were you giving your tutors a difficult time again, Serenity?" The queen asked knowingly.
The golden head drooped, stinging guilt welling up deep inside the little body like sorrowful tears.
The queen waited for a moment, then replied, "Please explain your behavior, Serenity."
In agony, bursting into pitiful floods of tears, the princess sobbed out, "I can't get it, Mother! I know in order to be queen one day, I have to learn about history and how the planets came to be and what happened in the past, but it's too hard and it makes me sleepy! Then I do fall asleep and my tutors yell at me because they think I'm lazy!" Collapsing to the floor, Princess Serenity continued to weep, shuddering. She felt torn apart inside by emotions: angry at her tutors for shouting at her and telling on her to the queen, guilty at knowing she'd disturbed her mother and was disappointing her, upset with herself for not being able to enjoy her classes, the way Princess Mercury did, and fearful that her mother was going to be angry with her.
A slender, ivory finger slipped beneath Princess Serenity's soaking chin and tilted her face upwards. Gleaming ocean blue, wet with tears, remained locked with silvery blue-gray. Light sniffles occasionally broke the ongoing silence as Queen Serenity kept her gaze fixed with her daughter's. The blond child heard her mother's voice, in spite of being completely enraptured by the gentle look the blue-gray eyes held, and the kindness and subtle pride that flooded into her through them.
"You should be very proud of yourself, Serenity. Realizing that you have done wrong, and feeling sorrow for your actions, are very excellent qualities to own. You regret putting anyone else in pain. I can see that in your eyes, little one." Unseen, the queen smiled sweetly at the young princess. "Such compassion is necessary to become a great ruler."
At those words, the tears vanished from Princess Serenity's eyes.
The queen then abruptly straightened, removing her fingers from beneath her daughter's face. Unsupported by those gentle hands, the princess, who had been so caught up in that moment, fell face first into the floor.
Ignoring the fresh shouts and ensuing waterworks, the Moon Queen straightened, her gaze now slightly more stern. "All the same, Serenity, you must learn your lessons. It is necessary to know the past, in order to create a better future. You also will gain pride in who you are by knowing your own history as well. The history of your family."
Wiping her eyes, the princess gazed up in wonder. "The history of my family?" Princess Serenity echoed. Queen Serenity, in reply, beckoned to her child with a smile. Awed, her daughter followed.
Raising the scroll delicately, the queen turned her attention to the younger royal. "This scroll, I have been told by many scholars, contains great legends and tales. These legends, it is said, originated several millennia ago, and take place at a time when the universe was still in infancy. They are also highly controversial, as the words written on these pages contain beliefs that many in our kingdom are not prepared to accept." The queen let loose another of her gentle smiles. "Shall I tell you of the past which has been recorded in these tomes?"
Blue eyes glimmering, the princess let out a resounding "YES!", only to cower apologetically when the queen quickly raised a finger to her lips with a rebuking "Shhhh!"
More softly, the princess came closer as her mother resumed her seat, leaning in to peer shortsightedly at the foreign, antique words on the scroll.
The silvery haired queen sighed gently, though not unpleasantly, as she turned to peer at the curious, youthful face close to her own. "Perhaps what you will not hear from your tutors you will be content to hear from me, daughter."
The oceanic gaze sparkled brightly as Princess Serenity eagerly sat down on the alabaster arm of the throne, unconcerned by the slovenly way her pristine gown fell about in all directions. Smiling in spite of herself, Queen Serenity gracefully unrolled the scroll within her hands and commenced reading, this time aloud to her only child.
"'The words upon these scraps are a testament, to a far-flung time and place. The written language of these scrolls, now young and fresh, speak of a time when this universe was at peace, the worlds in harmony with one another and freed from strife and pain. This time of contentment was ruled by twelve great goddesses of virtue and love. Although they have been known for eons by many names and even more countless forms, their truest and most ancient epithet has been this: the Soldiers of Love and Strength, Guardians of Power and the Forces of Good. The Zodiac Senshi.'"
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