So I've noticed something. In 2-3 stories of mine, I've either tried to kill Mamoru, had him terribly injured, and now inflicted him with a death eating stone. And he's my favorite!
Wow, poor guy. Can we imagine what I'd do to him if I didn't like him? Lol.
**And I have a beta reader now! Yay! The awesome Secluded Sapphire helped me edit this! She's so nice and amazingly helpful! I'm probably going to thank her like ten million times... thank you! :D
Anywayyys, here's the next chapter!
Rabbits Through the Ages
The sun was setting once again, and it was casting long shadows across the Azubu Apartments, dipping low behind the tall trees and hiding. Two men, invisible to the naked eye, stood on the railing of the apartment belonging to Chiba Mamoru, both pairs of their incredibly light eyes staring inside at the man sleeping on the sofa inside.
"How are your plans proceeding, Demando?" asked the dark haired man. He hissed when a beam of sunlight hit his face, and he turned up the collar of his dark cape to hide himself from it. "When will that damn sun set?"
"In a few minutes more," murmured Demando. "It is almost gone." He looked at his companion, who was slightly taller and broader than himself with ebony hair that was slicked back from his face, even lighter skin than his own, and bright, pale eyes. "I realize you are not accustomed to the Japanese summers. The sun does not set until very late. I am sorry for it." He glanced inside to the sleeping man again. "He seems to be fighting the stone."
"You are not using its capabilities, Demando," the taller man murmured, and he leaped down lightly from the railing to stand in the stone enclosure of the balcony. "When I made that stone for you, I expected you to test its capabilities to the fullest." His eyes flashed upwards to the light haired man. "Shall we test it now?"
"Of course," Demando's face contorted into a very pleased sneer, and he floated down to join the other man. He stretched his arm out and flicked his wrist. From inside the apartment, Mamoru's face contracted with intense pain and even in sleep, his hands reached for his chest, pulling at the fabric of his shirt. Demando watched for a long, drawn out moment before pulling his wrist away. The man inside dropped his arms limply, yet his face continued to twitch slightly.
"Very good results," the taller man noted with satisfaction in his deep voice. "It is controlling him completely."
"Yes, Dracul. Just as we planned," Demando noted.
A single black eyebrow raised on the other man. "And the darkness?"
"Moving steadily." Demando glanced away to where the sun was now hidden beneath the horizon. Darkness was rising in a deep wave across the city. "Our powers grow with every passing night. Soon, the senshi will be unable to ignore the night creatures."
Dracul glanced in the same direction as his companion. "Soon we will be able to act." The light eyes flashed to Demando. "You must accomplish your part within the next few days."
Demando nodded his head once, curtly. "I will be prepared. I will need great powers to take them on, Count."
"Our force will be large enough by then. I have made sure of my part," the ebony-haired man replied assuredly. He glanced once more to the man inside. "Are you sure you will be powerful enough to do this, Demando? You are still very young."
Demando's light eyes flickered to the sleeping Mamoru. "I will be strong enough."
"You are asking so much of yourself," Dracul murmured. "His offspring will not be an easy capture, especially as she is part of that detestable woman."
Demando turned to Dracul with a harsh, determined stare. "I will have them both."
Dracul let out a patient sigh, flexing his long, thin fingers as the comforting darkness fell upon them. "Bringing one of the light into our realm is unheard of. I cannot believe I am allowing you to do this, no matter how brilliant you have already proven. This task is near impossible."
"You are the first of our kind to have ever married a human," Demando spat out harshly. "You should not judge me for wanting to achieve the impossible."
"Le Fay was a mistake," Dracul's white eyes flared, his outstretched fingers closing into a fist. "Her humanity brought the King of Earth straight to Transylvania and destroyed my home! I was very lucky to have escaped, or our race would not have survived! He used my own daughter to have our race practically exterminated!"
"But you loved Le Fay, didn't you?" Demando accused.
Dracul winced and looked away into the spreading darkness. "It was my mistake, but you should not make this mistake. It could have dire consequences for you. You are my prized creation, and it took much of my energy to bring your powers into our family. I would hate to lose you."
"Serenity is worth it," Demando murmured. "As I'm sure you thought Le Fay was worth it." Dracul winced again but did not reply. Demando walked toward the glass door of the balcony and peered inside. "Endymion and his offspring stand in my way, but the offspring's powers are too vast to cast her aside as I will her father."
"You are tampering with very dangerous lines of time, Demando," Dracul said sourly. "One wrong move and you could lose that power, and if you are to succeed, you need it."
"I must achieve my plan before his death," Demando murmured. "But it must be close, or she will not be weak enough."
"It is precariously risky, and you are not even sure if it will be enough to save her when he does die."
"Giving her immortality should stave the effects of her father's death. She will still exist," he murmured once again. "I am fairly certain of it, Dracul. I have much experience in the voids of time; trust me. I have been the Rabbit's master before, and I shall be so again. And this time, I will have her mother." He stepped away from the glass and peered down into the street. Below, he noticed three girls walking toward the building. "It's Mercury and Venus with the Rabbit."
Dracul peered down at the group. "Venus is quite lovely. She looks very much like your Serenity." He looked at his comrade. "And she is not of the Moon. She would be a much easier conquest."
"She's yours if you want her," Demando scoffed. "I have told you; it is Serenity I love."
"You are mad, and yet I still do not stop you," Dracul sighed and looked down once again at the group of three as they entered the building. "We should leave. We have much to do, and I really would prefer not to be near when the Moon child becomes close. It is an uncomfortable feeling being near one of the light."
"She is not a full Moon child," Demando drawled lazily. "It is a very numbing sensation. She's very unique, the Rabbit."
"Numbing, you say?" Dracul muttered. "In any case, we have much to do." The darker haired man leaped up onto the railing and jumped down from it, disappearing into the night. Demando watched as he did so, but his eyes soon turned to peer inside the room as suddenly the Rabbit appeared. His eyes narrowed at the sight of the tall, willowy girl shaking her past father awake. He knew he had many pressing matters, but he couldn't tear himself away from the scene.
It was so dark. As the deep blackness pressed down on him, he felt himself trying to push through it to escape. But it seemed that no matter what way he turned, it was impossible to move. It kept choking him instead. Thin, bone-like fingers were wrapping around his neck, choking him, squeezing out whatever breath he had left. A face appeared in front of him, but it wasn't really a face. It was a hollow image of what a human should be; with alabaster skin hanging loosely around a skull. No eyes stared back at him; he stared deep in the darkness of the missing eyes, feeling another bone crushing hand reaching for his neck as breath left, and his eyes slipped away. He felt that he was going to join the darkness of the creatures surrounding him. The pain would leave if he just joined them...
He opened his eyes in a start, feeling someone shaking him. It had been a nightmare again. Just another nightmare. His head was reclined back on the sofa, and his neck ached when he turned his head and looked to see a pink-haired teenager with wide, ruby red eyes staring down at him in worry. He tried to smile. "Chibiusa," he whispered, terrified to find that the name came out as a whimper.
"What's going on with you?" The girl asked worriedly, her hand squeezing his. "You left the door unlocked; did you even lock it when Usagi and I left this morning? It's near nine at night now!"
"I..." He frowned. "No, I don't suppose I did. I've been asleep."
"All day?" She blinked.
He sighed and sat up, forcing Chibiusa to scoot away from him to give him room. He leaned over and put his head in his hands. "I guess so." He opened his eyes. "At least I didn't have work."
"Uh, yeah, at least," Chibiusa said sarcastically. "You missed the art exhibition, and it seemed like it was big deal to both you and Usagi, considering the wedding present and all."
"Please stop snapping, Chibiusa," he sighed. His head throbbed.
The girl jumped up and glared down at him, crossing her arms over her chest. "Mamo-chan, start talking, damn it! Something is way wrong here! From what Haruka-san and Michiru-san said, you had really wanted to be with Usagi when she saw that painting tonight! So what in the hell would make you miss it?"
"Chibiusa, would you please watch your tongue?" Mamoru glanced up at her tiredly. The red eyed girl pursed her lips together but continued to glare back at him. He sighed and tore his eyes away from her. "I did want to be there, but I... couldn't."
"Being near Usagi is causing you pain." Chibiusa nodded. "We've figured that out." Mamoru looked up at the girl and his eyes widened. He said nothing, but she saw the look in his eyes. She sat next to him again. "I'm somehow numbing that pain, though, right? We've been trying to figure that out, too. We think it's probably because my life energy is connected to yours, or, whatever the hell Minako-chan said earlier."
"Chibiusa," Mamoru reprimanded.
"Right, the cursing, sorry." She paused. "But you have to tell us what exactly is wrong, or we can't help, Mamo-chan."
He leaned back into the couch again and rubbed his aching temple. He'd had the headache ever since Demando had stuck that hideous stone in his chest. It seemed to be easing at the moment, but who knew how long that would last. Chibiusa was watching him warily. He didn't say anything. She sighed and turned to face the television with him. She reached on the coffee table and grabbed the remote, turning it on and flipping through the channels. "It's been forever since I've watched television." She remarked absently.
He glanced down at the girl sitting beside him. "You don't have television? That seems rather odd."
"Oh, we have it," she said, wrinkling her nose. "It's a bit different now. I don't really enjoy it. I prefer it this way."
"How's it different?" he said lightly, trying to attempt to keep her thoughts away from their previous discussion.
She pursed her lips together as she flipped through the many channels, ending on a channel where a singing competition show was playing. "I've already said way too much about my home today. I'm going to get myself in some serious trouble if I don't shut up."
"You never used to talk about the future much."
"I didn't know much then. I was only a kid, Mamo-chan."
"You're still a kid," he teased.
She rolled her red eyes and glanced at him out of the corner of her eye. "Thanks a lot."
"I hate to tell you this, but I think I'm always going to see the little girl that I used to make pancakes for and give piggy back rides," he paused. "...while Usako glowered."
"That was way too much fun," Chibiusa giggled. "Man, pissing Usagi off used to be so easy!"
"You were very talented at it," Mamoru said wryly.
"It's okay, though, I guess... if you still think I'm a kid," she said, and she paused. "But only you can, okay?"
"Why are you so intent on being an adult so fast?" he laughed and shook his head. He found himself surprised that the movement didn't cause him intense pain.
She sighed. "Look, if Usagi and the others still look at me like I'm the little 'chibi' girl who threw pink sugar hearts as a defense, they'll never take me seriously as an equal, as a senshi." She frowned. "Even Mama gives me this... look sometimes. She doesn't like that I'm a leader of my own senshi now, and she doesn't think I know, but I do."
"Have you talked to your mother about this? I'm sure she doesn't think that," Mamoru frowned. "You should talk to her about it, not just sit and worry about it."
She shrugged, and her voice lowered into a mumble. "Papa said the same thing." She glanced at him. "He listens to me, but he doesn't ever get involved." She paused. "Papa's not directly involved in any stuff involving the senshi. He's always preferred to stay back from it," she started to explain, but then she rolled her eyes. "Wait, I have to remember who I'm talking to." Mamoru chuckled, and she shook her head, smiling. "You guys look more like them now, but still, it's different with you and Usagi."
"Of course." he nodded. "It has to be weird."
"Definitely," she agreed. "Anyways, Papa listens to me, and he knows I hate the way a lot of things are done with the senshi. Like the older senshi still having supreme command when they should really retire like Mama. They're thousands of years old now! I can understand them being in supreme command of delegation issues, because they are our elders and they have experience, but if anything involving any direct action occurs, like with this Demando thing, it should be my senshi in charge while Mama's senshi remain behind. They don't get that I'm trying to ease their load!" She sighed. "Papa agrees that, logically, I have a point, but I know he doesn't really want me to be in command just yet, either. Plus I think he sides with Mama about how the older senshi are still more powerful. I agree that Uranus and Neptune are, but come on, those two are probably going to fight till they can't hold up anything but a cane anymore," she snorted, and Mamoru raised an eyebrow. "Especially Uranus. She likes nothing better than to slash something with that sword of hers. Mama's had to have the curtains in the ballroom replaced twice because of her showing off." She clapped a hand over her mouth. "Oh, my God! I shouldn't have said all that!" She groaned and smacked her face with her hand repeatedly. "Man, Pluto is seriously going to kill me when I get home. I'm doomed!"
He sighed and wrapped an arm around the girl's shoulders, pulling her hand away from her face. "Watch your TV and stop worrying so much." He kissed her temple. "And when you get home, talk to your mother. If you continue to leave it, you'll just make yourself more miserable about it. Now you've had both of your fathers tell you," he grinned, and she couldn't refrain from rolling her eyes. "Maybe you should listen?"
She frowned but nodded, turning back to the television. She watched the tacky singers file across the stage one by one and she felt herself finally relaxing. It felt nice not to be sucked into the screen for once. She had never admitted it to anyone back home, but she personally hated that she couldn't sit far away from the things on the screen that happened, instead of being transported directly into the virtual world of things blowing up so close to her that it felt real. She had had too much of that in her real life to want to experience it as entertainment.
"So there are new senshi in the future?"
"Shut up, Mamo-chan! I'm not saying another word!" Her face began to turn pink, matching the shade of her hair. He chuckled. He couldn't tell if it was because Chibiusa was there or because he had finally woken up from the nightmares, but his pain was finally easing, and the darkness seemed far away now. He glanced down at the girl. She had definitely grown up quite a lot, as she'd probably had to, considering all that she'd already been through as a child. But she was still very much just a kid who didn't know when to shut up and fought with her mother when things weren't going her way.
Demando stared inside at the bright interior of the room, watching as the two on the couch laughed at something on the television. He turned away, his nostrils flaring and his eyes turning blood red with fury. He gripped the concrete of the balcony ledge, and it began to grind beneath his fingers.
"The Rabbit is protecting him," he hissed. He turned back to the room and stared back inside. They were still watching whatever ridiculous thing was on the screen. He flicked his wrist toward Mamoru, but no twinge seemed to appear on the man's face. "No!" He hissed loudly, backing away and hitting the concrete railing once again.
"I'm just going to check something," he heard the Rabbit saying inside. "I could have sworn I heard something." He hissed once again and dived off the balcony and into the night. Now that night had descended, he could no longer appear invisible as in daylight. Though it was only meant to protect him from death by the sunlight, it had become a useful tool. He had forgotten that it disappeared with the night. The darkness and their complete obliviousness had protected him from being sighted, but he would have to learn to be more careful.
Chibiusa slid open the balcony doors and stepped outside. She looked around the small space and furrowed her brow in confusion, wondering what that loud hissing noise had been. Stepping fully onto the balcony, she placed her hands on the railing and leaned over to look, but nothing was there.
Then she blinked and looked down at the railing. Her hands were fitted into what seemed like the molds of two hands much longer and larger than her own. "Mamo-chan!" She called, her voice becoming nervous.
"What is it?" The man stepped out on the balcony. "Chibiusa, what's wrong?"
She stepped back and pointed to the engravings in the stone. "What's that? You didn't do that, did you?"
"Uh, sadly, I'm not quite that strong," he smirked before stepping closer and looking at the concrete. "They're hand prints."
"Yeah!" Chibiusa shivered.
Mamoru felt an icy chill spread through him when he touched the engraving. He winced and took a step back. "Let's go inside, Chibiusa." He turned and started to push her back through the door.
"But Mamo-chan, what is that? Mamo-chan!"
"Don't worry about it, Chibiusa; you should probably start heading to bed, it's getting late..." He turned and slid the glass door shut, locking it and pulling the curtains closed. He turned to see the girl staring at him with her nose scrunched up, her face red, and her cheeks puffed out. He grinned. "What in the world is that face for?"
"Nobody ever tells me anything," she said, turning away and heading toward the guest room. "Good night, Mamo-chan!" She said defiantly, slamming her door behind her.
He sighed and shook his head, wincing when he felt the headache a little stronger. Why did the women in his life have to have such strong, demanding personalities?
The wind was ripping past them at such a high speed that the chill in the air became more prominent. Michiru pulled her soft blue wrap more tightly around her shoulders. The light blue dress she wore wasn't meant for chilly weather. "Should we not put the top up, Haruka?" she glanced at her partner, whose eyes were focused on the dark road in front of her. The woman didn't reply. Michiru raised one slender eyebrow and reached her hand out. She placed her hand lightly on Haruka's forearm.
The ash blonde woman flinched and looked at her. Her hair was blowing straight up in the wind and her white, button up shirt was billowing around her. She let a smile cover her face as she relaxed. "Gomen, Michiru."
"In your own world, Haruka?" Michiru teased lightly. "I asked if we should put the top up. It's rather chilly tonight."
"It is, isn't it?" Haruka murmured, and she reached down to press a button. Michiru inclined her head back and watched as a black top began to cover their heads.
"Much better," Michiru said liltingly. "Haruka, what are you thinking?"
"It's strange, isn't it?" Haruka leaned back in her seat and rested one of her hands on her hip, letting the other control the wheel. Her cobalt eyes steeled as she looked out at the stretch of road ahead of her. "It's deep summer, yet the night has a very prominent chill to it. It's usually very hot."
"You think it has something to do with our enemy as well?" Michiru murmured.
"I think there's a lot that has to do with them. It's too dark for five in the morning, Michiru," Haruka's eyes glanced away from the road and over to the woman beside her. "It's still inky black. It's like the darkness is trying to fight the sun."
Michiru turned and gazed out her window. "The sun usually rises around six." She said softly. "The sky should be a little lighter, should it not?"
"Yes," Haruka said firmly.
Michiru's lashes grazed her cheekbones as she closed her eyes softly and leaned back in her seat. "Haruka, would you think of me as weak if I admit that I am afraid? Not for myself." She paused. "I am afraid for them. Usagi-chan, Usa-chan, and now Mamoru-san."
"I am, too." Haruka said in a subdued tone. "Whatever is going on, it's becoming really powerful. I can feel it, can't you? Even the wind seems to hide. The night is too still. I cannot sense the wind."
Michiru reached down into her handbag that was at her feet and pulled out her Aqua Mirror. She gazed into it for a long time, and it was quiet as Haruka drove and she watched the mirror. Finally, as time went on, Michiru pulled her eyes away from the mirror to see that dawn was finally approaching. She visibly relaxed when the sun began to peek beyond the horizon. She glanced at Haruka, who was also glancing at her out of the corner of her eye. "I see nothing," she said in answer to Haruka's unspoken question. "Do you think if we become close to Demando, we will sense it?"
"I wish I knew," Haruka said grimly. It became quiet for a moment, and suddenly a low growling noise erupted through the car. Michiru blinked her eyes several times, and she turned to look at Haruka with an amused expression. Haruka looked at Michiru sheepishly out of the corner of her eye, and a small sweat bead began to fall on her head. "Ah... you heard that."
"Hungry, Haruka?" she purred, fluffing her hair back.
Haruka grinned. "Shall we stop for breakfast at the next town?"
"Of course," Michiru said with a teasing tone. "Let me see if I can tell what you are craving?" She cupped a hand over her ear and leaned closer to Haruka. "French toast, perhaps? Or something else French?"
The woman smirked. "It's too early in the morning to speak of my cravings, Michiru." She paused. "Though the French are a very imaginative people."
Michiru laughed musically. "They have taught us much, haven't they?"
"Mmm, and I believe we have been good students," Haruka nodded, a grin spreading over her face. Her stomach grumbled again. Her upper lip twitched, and Michiru put her hand over her mouth as she giggled.
"Only you would find an American diner in the middle of nowhere." Michiru complained lightly as she surveyed the American, retro-style diner the couple had entered. Haruka turned to wink at Michiru as their waitress showed them to a slick, sparkling red booth.
"You said French toast," she grinned. "I believe the Americans enjoy it. It put me in the mood for some."
Michiru simply gave her a knowing grin. She slid into the booth and winced. It wasn't the most comfortable seat. Haruka grabbed the two menus the waitress was offering her. Michiru smiled at the young girl, who was openly gaping at the two. Michiru raised an eyebrow at her. The black haired, prominently Japanese girl walked away toward one of her co-workers and motioned to the couple. Michiru turned to look down at her menu, sighing. She and Haruka were often given attention they didn't ask for. They were both used to it. Apart, they were seen as talented, attractive, aloof, and mysterious. Together, they were even more mysterious to the outside eye.
A buzzing sounded in Haruka's jean pocket, and she reached down and pulled her cell phone out. Michiru looked up from perusing her menu to see Haruka glance down at a text message. "It's Mako-chan."
Michiru raised an eyebrow. "Is everything alright?"
"She says to look at this morning's newspaper," the tall woman murmured in a slightly confused tone. "I'll be right back." She stood and left the booth, leaving Michiru to watch her leave. The waitress came back while she was gone, and Michiru smiled graciously at the girl, ordering two coffees, French toast for Haruka, and an omelet for herself. Just as the girl was walking away, Haruka was sliding into the booth again.
Michiru tilted her head to the side. "Haruka? Where did you go?"
The blonde nodded her head toward the window. "A newspaper stand is over there." Michiru didn't care to look, as she focused on the newspaper Haruka was spreading out over the table. "Mako-chan didn't say what to look for."
"Surely it would be important news we'd notice?" Michiru leaned over to see what Haruka might find on the front page.
"Well, I do believe this might be what she would think we'd find interesting," Haruka pointed to a column on the side of the front page. It wasn't the headline news for the day, but it was on the first page. "'The people of Kyuketsuki have reported several more disappearances in the past twenty-four hours.'" She read, but then she paused and frowned. "This is insane."
"What is it?"
"It's not reporting human disappearances."
"It's dogs." Haruka looked up at Michiru in alarm, her face paling slightly. "Forty seven dogs have been reported as missing from people's homes in this city in the past few days. And that's not counting the strays they don't know how to count."
"Where is Kyuketsuki? And where are we now?"
Haruka opened her mouth to speak, but then she frowned. "I bought the Tokyo newspaper, but let me go buy a local one."
Michiru rolled her aqua eyes and swatted her hand to make the woman stop from leaving. "I'll check the GPS, Haruka."
Haruka coughed. "Right."
Michiru grinned and grabbed her phone out of her handbag.
"Finally, a use for that ridiculously expensive phone of yours," Haruka drawled with a grin before looking down at the newspaper again.
"It was a birthday gift and it would have been rude to return it," Michiru retorted playfully. "I know you don't appreciate my father's taste in gifts, but he was rather proud of it."
Haruka snorted. "A better gift would have been to, oh, I don't know, make an appearance at his only daughter's showing at one of the most prominent art galleries in Tokyo."
Michiru frowned and looked away as she turned the GPS application on. "We're apparently somewhere in Tsukuba. Kyuketsuki is..." She tapped a few buttons on her phone. "About thirty miles west of here. It's not really a big city," She noted. "There are only small roads leading to it. It can't be a very large place."
"It sounds like something very strange is going on there," Haruka said, avoiding the topic they had previously touched on, as Michiru obviously wanted to evade it. "We did think he would get away from Tokyo but would still stay relatively near."
"So in essence," Michiru was peering down at the GPS. "He's roughly an hour away by a fast car to the heart of Tokyo. We're out of the way; we went in the wrong direction."
Haruka shook her head and picked her phone up again just as the waitress approached with their tray of food and coffee. "Mako-chan is quite possibly my favorite person right now." She began typing into the phone.
Michiru swept the newspaper away from the table as the waitress began putting the food down on the table. "And I thought I was your favorite person." She pouted effectively.
Haruka looked up with a grin, and the waitress's jaw dropped as she fumbled with a bottle of syrup, knocking it over on the table. She mumbled a quick apology and wiped up the mess before scuttling away. Haruka snorted with a laugh as she watched the beet red waitress retreat into the kitchen. "You did that on purpose, Michiru." She accused playfully.
Michiru sniffed. "Why, yes, I did, Haruka. Public displays don't bother me. And she needed a small dose of reality, don't you agree?" She took a bite of her omelet. "Enjoy your French toast."
"Why, thank you. I will." Haruka began lathering the stack with syrup by turning the bottle upside down. "You know I haven't had these since I was a kid? Usagi-chan would be so jealous right now."
Michiru laughed. "Yes, she would."
"I'll make them extra syrupy just for her." She reached for her phone and Michiru blinked when she snapped a picture of her food.
"Oh, never mind," Michiru shook her head in bewilderment, but she couldn't help but love Haruka's impulsive moment. She watched as Haruka surveyed her masterpiece. "By the way," she said softly. The blonde looked up from her mound of syrup-drowned toast to see Michiru giving her a loving smile. "Thank you for caring. About my father. I know you don't approve of his ways, but he does try. He just doesn't understand me. You're the only person that has ever completely understood me."
Haruka raised her eyebrow and lowered her fork. "Michiru, I care about everything about you. I always have and I always will." She paused and grinned. "And you are my favorite person."
Michiru smiled secretively and leaned her head on her folded hands, her eyes dancing. "Oh, I always know that. I just like to hear you say it." Haruka grinned and shook her head, digging back into her French toast once again.
Demando was in a vile mood as he stormed through Dracul's palace. What was he to do now? The offspring was helping to protect Endymion, and that meant he wasn't weakening.
"And she isn't weakening!" He hissed to no one in particular as he entered the grand parlor, pushing both of the wide doors open with brute force. Dracul was standing within the chamber, and he watched calmly as the heavy, oak doors nearly fell off their hinges.
"Demando, please. Those doors are several thousand years old," he sighed. "Take your temper out elsewhere."
"The offspring is protecting him!" Demando roared, picking up a dark wood, round table and slinging it across the room. It flew through the air and smashed into an opposite, black stone wall.
Dracul took a sip of something from a teacup. He held a saucer in his hand. "Protecting him?"
"The little demon has strange powers that are blocking me from taking his life," he hissed, striding close to Dracul. "She's not weakening, either."
Dracul raised an eyebrow. "That is very interesting."
"Interesting!" Demando screeched, and his eyes turned to a blood red color once again.
"Calm down, Demando," Dracul sighed and walked away. "You just smashed one of my favorite tables, and I have not laid a hand on you. It is only because I know how young your emotions still are." He placed his saucer and teacup on a table similar to the one Demando had shattered. Inside, a dark red liquid sloshed around in the cup. He turned to look at Demando once again. "Do not be discouraged by small inconveniences. There is a simple remedy to this."
"What?" Demando spit out.
"Separate them as well, of course," Dracul said lightly. "It seems we have to remove Serenity and the Rabbit from Endymion completely."
"How?" Demando raked both of his hands through his white hair. "I am so angry right now I cannot think, Dracul!"
Dracul smiled in a placating way. "I believe we may have to intervene and use their weak emotions," he strode toward a large, plush chair and sat down. "What do Serenity and the Rabbit want? To cure Endymion, of course. So we lead them away from him. We shall make them believe that they will find a cure by doing so."
Demando's white eyebrows were raised and he stared across at the other man in disbelief. "How are you going to do that?"
Dracul flashed a wide, terrifying grin, displaying his pearly white, knife splitting fangs. "You shall leave this little detour to me, Demando. Watch how I play the game."
"Listen to this, Haruka," Michiru said as she read through a pamphlet she had picked up as the couple had entered the small city of Kyuketsuki*. "'Kyuketsuki is known as the Transylvania of Japan, though the origin of the title is unknown. It is suspected to have been given the title because of the unusual name of the city or because of a legend dating back thousands of years. The city holds annual Halloween festivals that are famous throughout the entire country of Japan in honor of the vampires of Transylvania. During the festival, many flock to the city in order to give their gifts of death. On the west side of the city, an ancient, abandoned structure holds a mysterious legend that is known to many but spoken by none. It is here that the festival is said to have begun, though the origins of the ruins are unknown.'" She looked up at the taller woman. "The Transylvania of Japan? A legend known by many but spoken by none? How very odd."
"This place just sounds lovelier and lovelier, doesn't it?" Haruka muttered. "The west side of the city is where those ruins are, yes? I have a feeling we might find something there."
"This place feels very dark," Michiru noted as she looked out her window. They were driving down a wide street, and there were few cars. The sky was not overcast, but as Michiru watched, she saw shadows float across the road. "There is definitely evil here, Haruka."
"I feel it too," Haruka's dark blue eyes narrowed as she stared ahead of her. "And it seems the people can tell as well. There's barely anyone out."
"Mmm," Michiru looked down at the pamphlet again. "There's a map of the city here. If you turn to the left up here, it should lead us toward the ruins." Haruka nodded and switched on her signal. Michiru shivered involuntarily. "I can't feel the sea. It's as if this place is blocked from everything on the outside."
"There is no wind, either." Haruka murmured. "I know we said we wouldn't contact Pluto until we found something concrete, but I have such a strong feeling that you may want to go ahead. She may be able to see something now that we're here."
Michiru nodded and reached for her mirror. She closed her eyes for a long moment and opened them again, gazing in the mirror and thinking of her dear friend. "Setsuna."
A watery image of a dark green-haired woman appeared in the reflection. "Michiru, Haruka. I am so glad to see you are well."
"We're fine." Michiru assured her. The car suddenly stopped, but Michiru didn't look up. "We believe we may have found the city in which Demando is hiding, but we just aren't sure exactly where yet. We have a theory and we're heading there now."
"I will try to find you in the center of time," Pluto said distractedly. "But there is a more pressing matter."
"We know Usa is missing in the future," Haruka said as she leaned closer to Michiru to peer into the mirror. "She's here."
"That's not it; we know about that," Pluto hurried on. "But she's not there anymore."
"What?" Haruka raised an eyebrow.
"She and Usagi have both disappeared and I can't find them. Plus Mars, Jupiter, Mercury, and Venus are all injured, and..." The wavering image of Pluto paused. Haruka and Michiru began to feel a very deep sense of dread.
"What, Pluto? What is it?" Michiru prompted, gripping her graceful thin fingers around the mirror so tightly that she felt her knuckles pinching.
"Sailor Saturn is awake in Hotaru once again." Pluto said gravely, and even through the wavering of the aqua mirror, the two could see the woman's severe frown and hollow eyes.
End Chapter Six
Okay, I have lots of notes on this chapter... lol.
First and foremost... Dracul. If you have watched the SeraMyu Dracul arc of the SeraMyu musicals, you will know who this character is. You would have also recognized the name Le Fay. I also mentioned Dracul's daughter but haven't told you her name yet (though maybe some of you know! Lol). You don't have to watch any of the musicals, because they have absolutely, 100 percent nothing to do with this story. This Dracul is NOT the one from the musical. Well, he is, but he isn't. He's getting a brand new, revamped story of my own. The only similarity is that he married a human named Le Fay and they had a daughter. Er, and that he looks as he does in the musicals. Everything else is my own alteration or addition.
Although... I would recommend the musicals as they are really fantastic, especially if you're a die hard Sailor Moon fan. The Dracul arc of musicals are some of my favorites (though not my favorite Moon). Count Dracul is like... kick ass though. My favorite Myu actor plays him. (Mochizuki Yuuta, lol... who also played Chiba Mamoru in earlier musicals and King Endymion in others.) Oh, and if you want to watch a really awesome Demando, watch one of the musicals where Ono Hikari plays him. She is AMAZING. And yes, a woman plays Demando. But seriously... she rocks. You'll just have to see to believe!
*Did you guess? Kyuketsuki means "vampire" in Japanese. Heh heh heh. The city, btw, does not exist. There are also not very many "vampire" myths in Japan... just one about a vampire cat, which kinda sounds lame (well, in comparison to everything else Japanese, it really DOES sound lame, no joke)... oh, the city of Tsukuba, however, does exist. It's to the northeast of Tokyo.
Hope you all enjoyed this chapter! Please review and tell me what you think. ARIGATOU GOZAIMASU! :)