Sailor Moon Aeons.
Book 2: Rebirth.
Act 1: Dark Kingdom.
Episode 22: Divide and conquer.
By Razor Knight
Last update: February 18, 2013
The group was, once again, meeting inside the mansion. Two days had passed since the last battle, and Terry had somewhat recovered.
"I must say I'm really impressed," Luna said, "you're the first Senshi to kill a General."
"Ami and Mako did most of the damage," Terry said dismissively.
Luna looked at the two. "Thanks to Luminite's attack, we now know we can defeat the Generals."
"But what after the Ginzuishou is reformed?" Usagi asked. "We won't be able to use its shards..."
"Each shard is strong, but when fused into one crystal, they become much stronger," Artemis said, "much like the Senshi, one Senshi can do a lot, but as a group you'll always be stronger. Remember what we told you, the Princess can defeat the youma easily."
Brad was looking at the table they were all sitting at. "Sorry, but I just have to ask this. Is this a replica?"
Terry smiled. "No, and dad's got proof to back that claim up."
Usagi didn't understand what the two were talking about. "What's so special about it? It's just a round table."
Ami, however, could guess what Brad was saying. It was large enough to fit more than a dozen people, and it looked old enough to her. "Wait, you mean this is King Arthur's round table?"
Everyone else stared at Terry. "What?"
"I thought you said your family didn't like antiques," Rei noted.
"I used two fifty thousand years old swords to tear Luminite to shreds," Terry countered, "we don't like pointless antiques, like paintings, jewelry or stuff like that. But this table is something else."
Rei looked at Terry as he mentioned Luminite, then sighed. "My grandfather said something to me, and now I realize how right he was. We suck at stealth."
Terry nodded. "Luminite knew who I was, but said she knew about all the others. She was probably planning to attack us one by one."
"But doesn't that mean the other Generals-"
"No," Luna said, interrupting Naru, "if they all knew, then they would have attacked you by now."
"Nephrite knows who I am," Naru said.
She looked at Shade. "He stares at me at school, I know he's followed me a few times, but I played dumb."
"But how can he know you're Nemesis? Aren't those disguises flawless?" Rei asked.
"If you tell someone who you are, the spell is broken," Artemis commented, "but also... There's things which may nullify the spell, or diminish it enough to let someone connect the dots."
"He saw through the disguise," Naru said, "but if Luna's theory is right, then he hasn't told the other Generals."
"Why wouldn't he?"
"I'm not sure. But guys, next time he shows up, I'll ask him. Maybe there's still a spark of good in him."
"What if he doesn't want to switch sides?" Usagi asked.
"If he can't be saved, then I will release him from his curse."
"Naru, you can't-"
"Usagi, don't be naive, we will probably have to kill them all before we get to their queen."
Usagi looked at Naru for a few seconds then shook her head. "I know that. But I don't have to like it."
"We're all in the same boat, Usagi," Terry said.
"That's the difference between a warrior and a murderer. Both kill, but a murderer enjoys it."
"Brad, you can sound wise when you want to," Minako said. "Too bad you never want to."
"It's good to be back home."
Kage looked at Hotaru. Despite his best efforts, she was still pretty much the same, her tone was neutral, except for the few times he had managed to make her laugh. Still, he liked that about her. "We will have to join them soon."
"I don't mind having more allies."
"I was hoping you would say 'friends.'"
"It takes a lot for me to say that, Kage. You should know it."
"In any case, let's keep an eye on them. I don't think the youma will wait too long."
Usagi was, surprisingly, getting to school in time a lot more than she used to. As she walked in, she saw a few of her friends there, and also, two new students. "Weird."
"We're getting a lot of transfers this year," Naru commented.
The pale girl noticed Terry staring at her, and walked to him. "Stop that."
"Sorry, I can't help staring at cute girls."
"Hotaru, don't mind him. As long as he looks but doesn't touch, that is."
Terry turned to look at the new guy, and smiled. "Is she your girlfriend?"
"You could call her that," Kage noted, "although Hotaru is a bit hard to read at times."
"That's a trait, not a flaw," Hotaru said.
Usagi was quite puzzled by this girl. She spoke in a monotone, almost robotic tone, and it was impossible to tell if she was angry, happy, or if she even felt anything right now. There was something else about that girl which made her uncomfortable, but she couldn't quite tell what it was.
As the two new students went back to their seats, Terry smiled at his friend. "You're awfully silent today, Rabbit."
She gave Terry a short, half-hearted glare. "I've just been doing a lot of thinking, about our 'job.' Are you okay?"
"I'm fine, just disappointed. Dealing with that creep didn't bring Hana back."
"You weren't really expecting..."
"A part of me was, and I realized that after the deed was done. That's what I'm disappointed about."
"As long as you remember her, she'll be alive, in you."
Terry sighed as he heard that. "What if I forget her, then, if I decide to move on and fall in love again..."
"It's not like I'm an expert in romance," Usagi said, "but I don't think you will forget her, if you don't want to."
"Uh, I suppose you're right."
"And I don't think she would like seeing you hold back on your feelings."
Terry let out a long, theatrical sigh. "After this whole Dark Kingdom mess is over, I'll tell her."
"What if-" Usagi started, then shook her head. "No, we will win."
"You defeated a mighty, awesome dragon, so yeah."
Usagi giggled at that. "Maybe I can beat up a silly ice dragon and knock him back to his senses."
"Eh, thought you didn't like to fight."
"I don't, but I will do it if I must."
And that, Terry thought, sounded quite like a princess.
"This war will end soon. We will be able to revive our goddess in due time, but we must make sure the Senshi can't awaken their princess. You must go and get the remaining shards."
Kunzite bowed and then looked around. "We lost a General, Luminite knew her plan could go wrong, but still tried. My spies told me she knew who the Senshi were, their civilian names, but chose not to share that knowledge with us."
Beryl wasn't happy to hear that, and her tone reflected her thoughts. "One of my trusted Generals, acting on her own like that, hiding information which could have won this war to herself? I thought I could trust those around me, but now I know better. If I hear of any of you behaving in a suspicious way, I will deal with you myself."
Aurite stepped forwards. "I am sure Luminite's actions were due to her character, she was always trying to prove herself as better than the other Generals. There was no betrayal there, just lack of foresight."
"I see... You may be right, Aurite. And her death, whichever the cause, won't matter once we defeat the Senshi."
Kunzite smiled. "I know what to do. Senshi are stronger when fighting together, so each of us will attack a different part of their city. They will not be able to help each other."
"And so won't we," Nephrite noted.
"That's true, but each of us can deal with a couple of those Senshi. And we can bring youma along."
"We can't waste much energy," Beryl said.
"As soon as we get there, we will drain any human in the area, and send the energy before the Senshi arrive. That will, as the human saying goes, kill two with one stone."
"I actually like that plan, for once," Beryl mused. "Bring me back those shards, and a few Senshi corpses."
Usagi picked herself off the ground and winced. "You're not a soft hitter."
Mako smiled. "I know. But you're rather good at dodging."
"It's the only thing I'm good at," Usagi said.
Terry chuckled and tossed a small disc at her. "Not really, you could use that to fight."
Mako frowned. "She wouldn't stick to close range if she did."
"No sane person would when fighting the kind of enemy we're fighting."
Naru looked at Terry. "You do it all the time."
Mira appeared near them, making Minako jump in surprise. "Good, you're all here."
"Since you're wearing that, we must assume there's trouble out there," Terry said.
"Youma appeared in the city a minute ago."
"Where are they?"
"All around the city," Mira explained, "Five different areas, spread through dozens of miles."
Terry whistled at that. "Shit, they finally found their brains."
"What do you mean?"
"It's simple," Terry said, "they must have noticed that we fight better as a group. We'll have to split to face them all."
Ami frowned. "Moon, take the shards."
"But some of you may need-"
"Whoever faces you will be screwed," Terry said, "and you can come help the rest of us afterwards."
"My group will help," Mira said, "and I know from a very good source that we will have extra help."
"Good to hear, we'll need all the help we can get."
After they were done transforming, Dragon Venus smiled mischievously. "Hey Emi, I think this is the perfect time to show you a spell I've created."
"Sounds interesting, but we don't have time for-"
"When I say it's the perfect time, I mean it. Tell me where the youma are."
"Well, one of them is in Shibuya. I think it's the one called Jadeite."
Moon frowned. "I thought he had learnt his lesson last time."
Mars smiled. "It would be fun to beat him around again."
"Wisp Portal," Dragon Venus said, and Moon and Mars vanished.
"What the fuck?"
Mercury had her visor down by the time Terry was done asking that. "They are... In Shibuya."
Mira's eyes widened. "You can teleport others without tagging along... I read about some ancient Hunters being able to do that."
"Okay, so he can take us there," Dragon Mercury said. "Let's decide who goes where."
Moon looked around confusedly. "What happened?"
"He teleported us to Shibuya," Mars said. "Could have warned us about it."
"Shouting at him can wait, we have to take care of the youma."
Mars looked to the north. "Whoever it is, it's that way."
The two Senshi run for a couple blocks before they saw a familiar figure floating in mid-air, looking down at them almost dismissively. "Jadeite."
Jadeite looked at Moon. "I had hoped you were the one I would face."
"What's the matter, have a crush on me?"
"No, I want to kill you and your two friends for ridiculing me before."
"A pity Mercury will miss this," Mars noted.
Jadeite smiled. "I've drained all the civilians in several blocks, I'm using part of that energy myself. The Queen wants you dead, and I'm happy to comply."
Moon glared at him. "Draining so many innocents for your evil goals... I will not forgive you."
"Even with my current power, I would be foolish if I just tried to fight you on my own."
Mars sensed something and dove aside just in time to dodge an energy blast. As she turned to the source, she saw five youma there. "As if one ugly youma wasn't enough. Fire Soul Bird!"
The construct killed three of the five youma, but the other two rushed at Mars before she could summon another attack. However, a strong gust of wind knocked both youma into a building, just as a familiar figure floated to them. "Moon, Mars, take care of the ugly, I'll deal with his two underlings."
Moon nodded at Calisto, and turned to glare at Jadeite. If there was no way to end their war than killing the Generals, then she would rather be the one doing all the killing. "Moon Tiara Action!"
Jadeite smirked and caught the Tiara with his bare hand... Or at least tried to. The tiara kept going, hitting him square in the chest and knocking him off the air. "What?"
Mars turned to look at Moon, and saw she had a thin aura of light around her. "Moon, be careful."
"I can handle this, Mars."
"Yes, but it may be too much energy for you to-"
Moon looked at her right in the eyes. "Trust me."
Jadeite laughed. "I see, you kids finally figured out how to use the shards." His mocking tone hid his true feelings, however. He was awed at the power Moon was leaking out, and also knew it would take most of his energy to deal with her.
"Fire Soul Bird!"
The two attacks took Jadeite out of his brooding. And he had to admit they also had hurt a bit. "Hmph, enough of you!" He shot an energy wave, knocking his three targets back. Moon and Mars only staggered back, but Calisto was knocked out by it.
"Mars, check on her."
"I'll deal with him."
Mars nodded and went to check on Calisto as Moon prepared to attack. "She seems to be okay, but..." She trailed off as she looked at her friend again. She could have sworn she saw light wings behind her back for a second. No, that was just her mind playing tricks on her. Or was it?
Moon was staring at Jadeite, but her face was calm. "I remember when this mess started. I was scared of you, I was scared of even the weakest youma you sent. But I can't let that fear stop me from doing what's right. Moon Tiara Flight!"
Jadeite chuckled as the tiara flew at him. "Fool." He phased out of the way, but the tiara made a turn, heading his way. Jadeite kept on phasing around, all he needed now was patience, once Moon tired down, he would kill her and take the shards. His plan was perfect.
Except it was not. Someone had been looking at the battle, someone who knew he had to wait for the right time to attack. And the chance came as Jadeite phased close to his hiding spot.
Moon blinked in confusion. It had all happened too fast. Jadeite had been phasing around, but suddenly stopped and screamed in pain. The tiara had caught up with him before he could recover, and it had punched right through his chest. As Jadeite fell a good ten meters down, she could see several red roses stuck on his back. "Tuxedo Kamen..."
The man leapt off a nearby rooftop, landing besides her, as the General's body started vanishing. "I couldn't let him get those shards."
"Why, you want to get them yourself?" Mars snapped. She had dealt with the two youma while Moon took care of Jadeite, but she still had more than enough energy to beat Tuxedo up if he tried anything funny.
"As a matter of fact, I need them, but... I can't fight you for them."
"Can't or won't?"
"Both. It's strange, but something draws me to where you're fighting, something in my mind tells me I have to protect you all. And yet, I must get all the shards."
Moon stared at him. "Why do you need them?"
"I..." He looked at the girl. She seemed honestly worried about his dilemma. "I've been having the same dream almost every night, ever since you first showed up. A woman tells me I must gather all the shards of the Ginzuishou and give them to the Moon Princess, if I do I will be able to remember my past."
The man frowned. "I've said too much, Sailor Moon."
She smiled. "I can help you. I'm the Moon Princess."
Tuxedo looked at her, and for a second he could see a girl wearing a royal white gown. He flinched and then shook his head. "I can't just trust your words."
"She is the Princess," Mars started, but Moon shook her head. "Moon?"
"Mars, it's fine. We just need to get the other shards."
Mars nodded, then produced her communicator. "Huh, Shade, what's..."
"Everyone, the attacks on all areas are over, except for one. Aurite is far stronger than we thought, and Kunzite's just joined her. The two Mercuries need help."
"We'll get there as soon as possible," Moon said.
"I'll help you," Tuxedo said, "if you're telling the truth, then my destiny is to protect you."
"Thanks," Moon said, and noticed Calisto was standing up. "Good timing, Calisto. We need to get somewhere, quick."
"Okay," Calisto said, "I'll get you wherever you want, but I'll be drained if I take so many passengers."
"Don't worry, we'll deal with the enemy. Know where Aurite is?"
"Yes. Mass Teleport!"
A/N: At least Jadeite didn't get stuck in a crystal for all eternity. I suppose that's a good thing. Except for the fact he's dead now. Oh well, can't win them all (or in Jadeite's case, can't win any of them.)
This arc is reaching its conclusion, but the real fun's only starting.