Title: Kingdom of Treason
Disclaimer: I don't own anything about Sailor Moon
Authors Notes: For those of you still reading Dark Deceiver, don't worry, I am still working on it. But this story came to me and I simply had to write it. So here it is, my newest story. I think that I write period pieces better than modern pieces, so I might focus on them from now one. Any thoughts? Let me know what you think of this one. I'm really excited about it and I hope you like it.
The long procession of the newly returned prince made it's way steady through the gathered crowd. The sun beat down on them beautifully, warming the city with bright rays of golden sunshine. Deep red rose petals floated down from the highest buildings, honoring the returning prince. The escort of horses and guards were all garbed in their finest war attire, glittering gold in the sunlight.
The people cheered when they saw him, lifting their voices into a thunderous roar of celebration. He sat in the center of it all, high up on his gleaming black stallion. His black armor gleamed like a mirror, reflecting the sparkling world around him. He sat tall and proud with his long lean frame straight and regal. His deep blue eyes gazed at those around him, happy to be home as his glossy black hair moved in the slight wind.
The smell of roses was everywhere.
Serenity leaned out over the railings of the small balcony, watching the procession of horses with childlike excitement. Her light blue eyes flickered and swirled as she tried to take in everything at once, and a smile graced her face.
"Why roses?" She asked reaching out and trying to catch them.
Mina giggled beside her, trying to keep her from falling over the railing. "They're his favorite," she answered happily. "The story says that his mother put fresh roses beside his bed every morning when he was a child, and they remind him of her."
Serenity glanced at the prince briefly, but he didn't capture her attention. She was much more absorbed with all the things around her happening all at once. It was like a circus, colors and people laughing and dancing, swirling around in front of her and below her.
The balcony where they stood was crowded with other girls, all wearing the same pure white silky dresses that Serena and Mina wore. They were all the same age, and all had different types of beauty. But they were all beautiful.
It was a rare gift indeed that they were allowed to stop their studies and go outside like this to be apart of a rare occurrence in the city. But none of them questioned it. Instead they just enjoyed the warmth of the sunshine, and reveled in the joyous cries that swirled all around them.
"He really is handsome," Mina gushed with her eyes glued to the prince.
"Which one?" Serenity said looking around.
Mina rolled her eyes. "The prince!"
"Oh," she said looking at the prince again. "Yeah, I suppose he is. But look at the guards Mina, they're all gold. They almost look like statues, moving so smoothly along the sides of the horses. It's like a parade."
Mina giggled again.
"Oh, and look at those people over there. They're dancing."
Sure enough a crowd of people had filled in the street behind the returning prince and started dancing. Beautiful colored clothes were being swirled in the air, and the soft clanging of little bells that decorated their skits drifted up to them.
All Serenity could think about was how beautiful it was, and how much she wanted to be down there, dancing with them.
"Alright ladies, that's enough."
All the girls stood at attention to look at the very tall, stern looking woman who stood in the doorway behind them. Her dark brown eyes showed little emotion and her black hair was pulled back almost cruelly from her face. She wore a long, plain black dress that showed no definition to her curves.
"It's time to get back to work."
And they all filled in behind her, a line of beautiful women dressed in pure white gowns.
Serenity was not first in line, nor was she last. She stood behind Mina, lost in the middle. The lady liked to line them up according to what price she though she might get for them. In a way it was humiliating, but that was life. Their purpose was to be sold to a man for as high a sum as possible, to be their mistress. That was what was in their future.
They all sat on the floor, kneeling on soft cushions. If their backs were not completely straight, the lady would curtly slap them with a long stick until it was. They had to sit here, sometimes for hours, listening and learning. If they were not willing and full of knowledge, the price they were sold for would be low and they would be a disgrace.
But today was not like any other. Serenity could hear the crowd still outside, celebration the return of one man. Her mind drifted back to it and she could still smell the rose petals all around her and feel that warmth of the sun on her face. All through the lessons, she hardly concentrated.
Serenity yawned loudly as she pulled her blankets up to her chin, smiling as the warmth started moving over her. It was late. Because of their little adventure in the sun today, classes had gone later then expected.
"I still think the prince is extremely handsome," Mina said giggling.
Serenity just smiled.
"It's not realistic to dream of the prince," a brown haired girl said.
Mina just sneered at her as she crawled into the small bed beside Serena. "Dreams don't have to be realistic. If I think that one day I will find a prince to love and be with, then it might happen. It's the only thing that keeps me going when we all know our lives could turn out worse then we could ever imagine."
"My dream man doesn't smell," another girls said. "As long as he doesn't smell, I think I'll be the happiest person alive."
"You sure aim high," Serenity laughed.
"And what about you?" Mina asked. "Don't you hope to get a prince one day?"
"A prince? No, not a prince," she said honestly. "But I hope that the man who spends his money to own me will be kind and thoughtful, and treat me with respect. I wouldn't mind at all if he were ugly, as long as I might love him regardless."
Mina sighed romantically. "I would love to fall in love."
"Well we'll all be sold to fat old men with to much money and no talent with pleasure. The only upside is that he probably will be to old to have much energy for us, and we will be mostly left alone."
Serenity nodded, although she didn't agree. "Some of us might get lucky."
"We're slaves Serenity, we were born unlucky."
"Don't listen to her," Mina said. "Our lives could have been a lot worse."
"True, we could have been left at a whore house," another girls said crudely. "By now we'd be used and sick and probably worn to the end of our life. We'd be old women in mine and haggard in body."
The room of girls at started to settle in, and that comment left them a little quiet.
"Well, then we're lucky," Serenity said. "And some of us could be luckier still."
"Lucky is to be born into wealthy families so that we might not have been sold into the situation."
Mina huffed her shoulders. "I will dream about the prince tonight," she said seriously. "And nothing any of you might say could change that."
With that she rolled over and snuggled deeply into her pillows, not allowing the other girls to change her mind.
Serenity smiled at her friend and rested gently back with her hands behind her head. Mina was right of course, there was nothing wrong with dreaming. They all had men in their future. Some were old, few were young and most were not able to find happiness themselves. It was their job not just to pleasure them in the bedroom, but to help them find a sort of happiness in their lives. That's why they sold for so high a price, because they knew how to please a man.
Despite herself, she pictured the prince. She hadn't paid much attention to him when he was walking by, but the idea that one person could cause such celebration in the city was exciting. Even when the King himself came home after a journey there wasn't so much joy. The Prince was loved by everyone no matter what their position, and yet he left for huge periods of times to fight wars and lead the army and hardly spent any time with the people. The King simply kept him to busy.
Someone blew out the candles at the end of the room, shadowing them in sudden darkness. The girls around her settled in for the night, preparing for sleep. Serenity knew that more then one of them would dream of that prince tonight. They would dream of his long lean body and his strong shoulders. They would dream of his deep blue eyes and glossy black hair. But mostly they would dream of being safe, and probably in love. No matter what they thought was realistic, they were all hoping to fall in love.
Endymion sighed as he rubbed his eyes tiredly in the dimming light. He leaned back in the over sized chair, letting his long legs rest casually in front of him. His armor sat beside him, only recently removed.
"Do you require anything your highness," a servant said bowing deeply.
"Thank you, no," he answered softly. "Please inform the rest of the servants that I no longer need assistance tonight and wish to be left alone until morning."
"Of course your highness," the servant said while leaving quickly.
The candlelight flickered harshly as the door closed, and Endymion watched the shadows move across the tall, carved walls in a wicked looking dance. He closed his eyes and rested his head back, feeling the long day behind him settle over him like a blanket. He was tired. Every muscle seemed stiff from sitting for so long on his horse and holding up his armor. He breathed in and out deeply, calming himself.
The door crashed open loudly.
"Welcome home brother!"
Endymion sighed before standing up and allowing the King, his brother, to embrace him in a tight hug.
"It is good to see you again Diamond," Endymion said with a tired smile.
"You are looking well," Diamond said roughly holding him at arms length and looking him over. "War seems to agree with you."
There were so many things wrong with that statement that Endymion wouldn't know where to start even if he were going to correct him. Instead he just nodded and allowed his brother to start talking quickly and loudly, commanding attention.
"I have arranged for a party tomorrow," Diamond said happily. "In your honor."
Endymion couldn't help but sneer.
"Come now brother, a party is a cause for celebration."
They had been close once. The two of them were only a couple years apart and they had been friends growing up. But now it seemed clear that Diamond had become the King and was no longer his brother except when keeping up pretenses. He knew nothing about him at all.
"I am sure it will be very pleasant," Endymion said emotionlessly.
Diamond smiled. His straight, light hair was brushed back so that every piece was in perfect place. His eyes glittered like diamonds and Endymion could tell that in his mind everything was right with the world.
"You don't fool me you know," Diamond said crossing his arms. "You've never liked parties. But this one I'm afraid you'll have to suffer through. I'm holding it for you, but I've invited some important people."
Endymion nodded, understanding. This party wasn't about him at all. He had been back for not even half a day, and in his brothers' presence for seconds, and already he was of no consequence.
"I will play my part," Endymion said.
King Diamond looked at his brother quizzically but then nodded. "Good, I'm glad to hear it. You should get some rest. You've been gone a long time and I'm sure you've been missing some of life's pleasures."
He didn't say anything.
"Well, I shall make sure there are woman for you choosing tomorrow at the party." Diamond slapped him on the arm roughly. It was his way of dismissing him.
"Goodnight your majesty," Endymion said with a little bow.
Diamond walked out of the room almost as loudly and as suddenly as he'd come in. The room was left feeling empty and unusually quiet. Endymion looked around, feeling uncomfortable even though this was his home. He had wanted to come home for months, and now that he was here he realized that he wanted nothing more than to be out in the trenches with his men again.
He sighed as he sat back down, but his attempts at relaxing had all but vanished.
Serenity and Mina sat diligently side by side as a servant did their hair. Each lock of beautiful blonde hair was brushed until it shone, and then curled in large tight curls. Then golden hoops and clips were used to pull parts of their hair up while the rest was left to cascade down their backs and over their shoulders. They were dressed in pure white silk dresses that looked more like toga's then the usual style the people wore.
"Why do you think we're getting dressed today?" Mina asked.
The other girls that sat in front of mirrors around them all looked gently at them, waiting for the answer. They all sat there, letting the servants spend hours making them look perfect.
Serenity knew what they were all thinking. "There must be someone here interested in buying."
She could fell the buzz of excitement as the words left her lips.
"I wonder who it is," Mina said in awe. Then she giggled. "Maybe it's the prince."
When they were finally done they walked in their usual line out into the greeting room. Here the stood a few feet apart, straight and poise, waiting to be observed. They didn't move and they didn't speak. They stood totally obedient.
When the lady came in, looking as strict and grim as usual, they all held their breath.
She walked up and down the line, snapping her long stick against the leg of her dress. But nobody else came into the room. No rich old lord looking for fun or young ugly son unable to get a wife. It was just her.
Serenity felt her heart beat noisily in her chest. She knew all the girls around her would be feeling the same thing. Anticipation and fear. It was always like this. They hoped it was their turn to be sold and yet part of them wanted to stay here, where it was safe. Here nobody could touch them or hurt them. They were not forced to do anything suddenly and without warning. Here the rules were very clear.
Waiting to be sold was like torture.
"The King has requested that five of our ladies be recruited to be pleasing to a few guests arriving in the palace today to celebrate the prince's safe return."
And with those words the floor seemed to drop away and Serenity felt everything around her both spin and stop at the same time.
To be chosen now was a death sentence.
The King wanted them to be whores and be available to please any and all his guests.
The lady seemed to smile at their obvious fear.
Serenity had never hated her until this moment.
"Justine, Torrence, Amelia, Rachel and Serenity."
If Mina had not grabbed her just then, she might have fainted.
"You five will leave immediately."
She strutted out of the room, heals clicking dully on the wooden floors. And as soon as the door closed and the air returned to the room, Mina had her in her arms, holding her for dear life.
Serenity was in shock.
"Serenity…." Mina breathed. But what could she say? What could anyone say right now? In an instant, Serenity knew that she had just been sold under the worst possible circumstances. She wouldn't be one of the lucky ones.
But if she wasn't lucky, then that could mean that perhaps Mina would be lucky.
She pulled back to look at her friend.
Mina had tears in her beautiful blue eyes and her pale skin was slightly flushed. They had been taken in together, as babies. The lady's mother had run the house then, and both of them had the same blue eyes that were desirable at the time. As they grew up, they had been trained as partners, hoping that they might fetch a higher price to be sold together.
"It's okay," Serenity said in a wavering voice.
Mina shook her head.
"Yes, it's okay Mina," she tried again. "I'm sure that it won't be as bad as it seems right now."
"You'll be passes around," Mina said. "You'll never settle with one person."
She nodded. "I know, but you still might."
Mina looked at her confused.
"Don't loose your dreams Mina. This might still turn out well for you."
"How can you think of that now? You're being sent to…."
"A knew life," she cut her off. "One that has an uncertain future, but that doesn't mean it's going to be a bad future."
Mina just looked at her with wide eyes.
"I believe that we'll see each other again," Serenity said smiling. "And on that day, we will both be well and happy."
"You really think so?" Mina asked sadly.
The door crashed back open and a few servants quickly scurried in to collect them. Serenity smiled and hugged Mina tightly, breathing in her soft scent, willing herself to remember everything about her friend.
"I love you," Serenity said as she was pulled away from her.
"I love you too," Mina said through a sob.
And then she was gone and Serenity was being pushed through the long hallways of the cold dark house that had been her home since her earliest memories. The other four girls were in different states of shock and anger, crying and screaming around her. But she just walked as steadily as possible, letting the servants lead her into the blazing sun of day.
Any other day she would have been excited about stepping foot in the sun, but today it glared at her in hatred.
She was pushed into a carriage.
And then the door was closed and she was jerked back into her seat.
It had only taken a few minutes to completely change her life.
Endymion allowed the servant to help him put his silk black shirt on, but then waved him away when he started adjusting it. He had been dressing himself since he was a child, he didn't need help with it now.
"You don't always have to wear black," Kunzite said from behind him.
Endymion just smiled into the mirror, not looking at his friend who would be dressed in bright colors contrasting perfectly with his long nearly white hair. Kunzite always wore bright colors.
"I like black," Endymion said softly. "It suits me."
He heard Kunzite sigh and it just made him smile again.
"I hate parties like this," Kunzite said walking up to him. He was wearing beautiful orange and red silk clothes that looked both elegant and eccentric. "We have to pretend to be happy to see you while also going out of our way to spoil the secretly honored guests. It's exhausting."
"Well, if it makes it easier for you I won't expect you to pretend to be happy to see me."
Kunzite rolled his eyes. "You're a little bit of a brat."
"Yeah well, at least I only have one job in all of this."
"What's that? To show up?"
Endymion nodded. "I appear, I bow, I thank everyone for coming, and then I leave."
"And you will find a way to take me with you right?"
"That might seem a little odd," Endymion laughed.
"We'll take a few girls with us then, so it doesn't seem 'odd'."
Another servant came by with the royal jewelry. Endymion took the thick large gold rings and slid them up his arms so the rested midway up to his shoulder, over his black shirt. The servant looped a chained gold belt embedded with diamonds around his waist. It hung loosely, but it was not meant to actually serve as a belt.
"You actually look good," Kunzite said after a moment.
"You say that like it's a surprise."
Kunzite grinned. "Well, it's a little strange to see you when you're not completely covered in mud, or half dressed or dripping wet because you decided to swim in the lake without changing."
"As long as I win the battles, nobody cares what I look like."
"And yet this time you've been gone for a few years. Perhaps you've finally come back a man."
"And men dress well?" Endymion asked.
"Well I dressed exquisitely," Kunzite said admiring himself.
Endymion just laughed.
"Your highness, the King is ready."
Endymion watched the servant leave the room.
"We do all live on his schedule," Kunzite said softly. He didn't miss the tired look that crossed Endymions' face. "I guess I'll see you at the party then."
Endymion nodded, but he didn't say anything before following the servant out of the room.
The palace was beautiful, no matter what mood you were in. Endymion walked swiftly through the long smooth hallways, marveling the gleaming reflective surface of the highly polished marble floors. The sun shone in brilliant slants through the massive windows that were draped with a very soft sheer fabric in an array of colors. Everything was so colorful.
It was a shame that the palace didn't see more use. The only people the King allowed to stay here were family, which was nearly no one, and honored guests during the party. And yet hundreds could easily be housed within the expansive walls.
He heard his brothers' voice well before he saw him. Diamond had figured out at a young age that when you were loud, people could hear you. The King would be sitting up in his royal throne, greeting each guest that came in swiftly and without real care.
Endymion walked in, not waiting to be announced.
Diamond's eyes lit up when he saw him, and he stood up, startling those around.
"Endymion! You're finally here."
Endymion watched his brother walk in all his glory off the throne and pretended to be glad to see him. It was always pretend between them. Once there had been true enjoyment, but inside they knew they were strangers.
"Come, I have people who you'd wish to meet I'm sure."
He followed his brother steadily, not being distracted by the many faces watching him. The King was supposed to great all the guests, but Diamond had simply stopped and was now on to something more interesting to him. He could feel the confusion of the people behind him and wished they would just continue on quickly, but of course they would stand their clueless for the first couple of minutes.
Diamond introduced Endymion to a series of people, all foreign and all potential enemies that needed to be destroyed. He could see in his brothers' eyes that he was testing them. They would either fall to their army, or they would give themselves over. His newest conquest.
It took hours. Endymion played his part perfectly. He stood when the King honored him with a toast and smiled politely when people introduced their daughters. He shook hands with nobles and dignitaries, and listened to lords who thought their menial concerns meant something. Really it was all a lie. Nothing meant anything. Diamond would choose what he wanted, and then he would order them all do get it for him. That was simply the way it went.
But then Endymion truly did smile as a woman walked towards him with long flowing black hair and beautiful violet eyes. He reached out and took her hand, and kissed it gently.
"It is a pleasure to see you again, my Queen."
"Please Endymion, do not be so formal with me," Raye said smiling.
Endymion smiled. "I truly believe that you are the only person I am unconditionally happy to see."
"And I you," she said kindly.
"Are there any new developments in your world since your last letter?"
"Nothing of note," Raye said taking his arm and walking with him away from the crowd. "Your brother is determined to have a son, but it seems I am not the woman able to give him one."
"I always hear you refer to him as my brother, but never as your husband."
"In what way has he ever been a husband to me?" Raye asked. Any other woman might seem sad and lonely, but Endymion could see the fire still in her eyes, fighting for those around her. "Besides, I hardly know him."
"The King is a busy man," Endymion said.
"Yes he is," Raye laughed. "He has been planning this party for you for months. He was beginning to get angry that you were taking so long to return and was about to order that the war be put on hold so that you may come home. All so that you would enjoy the party even though you hate celebrations of almost every kind."
"Yes, but it was never about what I liked," Endymion said. "The King wanted a party, so he found a way to hold one. If I had not been due home, he would have found another way."
"Are you at all glad to be home?"
"Honestly, I'm not sure," he answered seriously. "I was so excited to be back. I longed to sit in my own rooms and for a moment be done with war. It's been nearly four years since I've been home. But now that I'm here, I feel as if I don't belong."
Raye nodded. "Every man has to find his place in life."
"Where were you when the party started?" Endymion asked. "I haven't seen you at all tonight. I had thought maybe you were ill."
"I am very well," she smiled. "Your brother has arranged entertainment for his guests and I was given the task of making sure they were accounted for."
Endymion rolled his eyes. "He will distract them with gifts while he robs them blind."
"That is the way he works," Raye nodded.
The Kings voice seemed to echo over to him.
"He calls," Raye said softly.
"Yes he does," Endymion kissed her hand once again, smiling up at her. "When he has accomplished what he wants, I will find you again."
"I will personally make sure that you feel at home again."
Endymion left her gently, walking towards his brother who was now well into the wine and laughing loudly with some foreign guest that he did not recognize. But as he neared the scene, he felt apprehensions. His brother was known to throw things out in the open and see how people reacted, and Endymion had been his personal target before.
"This, gentleman, is my only brother."
Endymion stood still as Diamond draped his arms around him. He was drunk.
"Isn't he rigid."
The group laughed, but Endymion just resisted the urge to roll his eyes. He stood still, allowing his brother to have his fun. This had happened so many times before that he could not longer be embraced by it.
"What shall we do for you Endymion?" Diamond said with mischievous eyes. "What does my brother want for his homecoming gift to make him more easy in his own home."
"I do not want for anything your majesty," he answered.
Diamond laughed. The drunken men behind him also laughed.
"How about a girl!" A man yelled.
That sent them into another round of loud and obnoxious laughter.
"A girl?! Yes of course. That's what you need brother, a sweet little maid to pleasure this tension out of you."
"In fact, we have some."
Endymion saw that Raye had come over to see what was happening, and he saw the frustration in her eyes. She had tried before to get Diamond to stop doing this kind thing, but he was stubborn.
"Bring in the girls!"
The men around them roared the approval, and by now they had received the attention of everyone else at the party.
Five girls were nearly dragged into the room, looking startled and afraid. They stood in line, all very different and all very beautiful. Endymion looked for a way out of this, but he couldn't see one. He only hoped his brother might pass out before he continued with this game.
"I have purchased these five ladies for our guests," the King said proudly even though to do so was no respectable. "I will give to you whichever one you wish. She will be my present to you."
Endymion looked at Raye who looked at him helplessly. There was nothing to be done.
"Quick brother, choose."
He hated his brother in that moment.
Endymion studied the five girls in front of him. They were all beautiful. He was sure that it didn't matter which one he chose. They would all be the same. Trained to please, but not allowed to live enough to form a personality. They all watched him with the same fear in their eyes and shrank back from the crowd.
Endymion looked at the small girl with the purest blue eyes he had ever seen. She had pale white skin, and beautiful cascading blonde hair that shone like the sun. She was beautiful, but that was not why he noticed her. She wasn't afraid.
He walked up to her, seeing her eyes follow him. She didn't bow and she didn't look away. She stayed completely still and seemingly calm while the other lookec ready to faint.
"What's you name?" He asked slowly.
She blinked. "Serenity."
"A very beautiful name!" The King bellowed. "And it seems my brother has made his choice."
Endymion was once again grabbed by his brother and pulled into the crowd of laughing men.
"Take her to his rooms. She will be waiting there for him tonight."
Endymion looked back at the girl who was now walking softly behind a servant back out of the room. She was graceful and smooth in her movements, and she never once looked back at him. The other four girls were being dragged and he felt a twinge of pity for them. By tomorrow they would be ruined.
And then Kunzite was there to rescue him.
"Where were you before," Endymion nearly snarled at him as they quickly walked away.
"What did you expect me to do? He's the King."
Endymion looked back into the crowd, seeing that his brother had already forgotten him. If he was going to leave, this was the time to do it. He quickly made excuses to a few people close by, and then dragged Kunzite with him into the long hallways leading back to his room.
Kunzite didn't seem at all phased by it. He walked lightly with a smile on his face.
"So what are you going to do with her?" He asked after a few minutes.
"Who?" Endymion asked.
"That girl that's now in your room."
Endymion stopped and looked at him.
"Are you dense?" Kunzite asked with a laugh. "The King made you pick her and when you did you sealed her fate. What did you think he was expecting you to do with her?"
"I don't want her," Endymion said.
"Then give her back."
"You know I can't do that." Endymion growled in frustration. "This is great."
"Come on, let's at least meet her."
"What do you mean meet her?"
"She told you her name, what was it?"
Endymion saw the door to his room. "Serenity."
"And she was beautiful." It was a statement, not a question.
"Yes, she was beautiful."
"Then I guess you're just going to have to suck it up and have sex with her."
They stopped outside the doors leading to his rooms. Endymion stared at the handle, unwilling to open it.
"My god Endymion, you're acting like this is your first time."
He shook his head.
"Then what's the problem?"
"Sometimes I hate him," he said so softly it was almost a whisper.
Kunzite looked at him wide eyed. Of course he knew it, but he had never expected Endymion to admit it. In that moment Kunzite completely sobered up and looked at his friend as seriously as possible.
"He's your brother."
"He always does this. He always has to make me the center of attention so he can show everyone around us that he can control even me. I wish he would just ignore me. He'll start another war and soon I'll be sent away, and then I'll be happy again."
Kunzite looked a little worried. "Endymion, he is the King."
Endymion laughed softly. "Yes he is. He is the King, and also my brother. And yet I wish he was neither to me."
"Will you give back the girl?"
"Of course not," he said sighing. "That would be a slight to him. One punishable by death if he chooses."
Endymion opened the doors to his room and stepped in, leaving Kunzite in the hallway.
End of Chapter One!
Please review! I really want to know what you think about this one. Any sort of critic is appreciated. Thanks!