Author's Note:

I love you all. All the readers out there, you guys rock.

A little introduction to the story: it is a blend of Arthurian Legend, Sailor Moon, and my own imagination. I have just revised the first chapter (01/18/07) because I reread it a couple of days ago and could not believe the horrible mistakes and horrible adjective usage, etc, that I found in it! I revised it a little, but I tried not spending too much time on it. So for the most part, please bear with me, because this chapter was written when I had just turned 14 years old – almost 7 years ago! I experienced a writer's block that lasted about 3 years, lol, after Chapter 5. So I promise, that as the story advances, so do my writing skills!

Before we start, I have a HUGE request to ask of you: Although I cannot verbally express how much I appreciate and NEED your reviews, I beg you not to continuously attempt convincing me to end my story happily. I do love happy endings, but I'm sure you all know that sorrow and grief are often essential in a dramatic story, are what gives the story a feel of reality.

Another thing that I must ask of you is that you keep an open mind.

This story will be long. I have approximately twenty chapters outlined. So please bear with me! I have gotten better at updating, and will try to do so every couple of months, sometimes every couple of weeks. Depends on the time I have. I am now a full-time university student studying international law… so you can imagine!

Again, I appreciate you all and I muuuuuust insist that you pleaaaaaaase review. :D Thanks so much, guys. Enjoy!

Disclaimer: This story has been influenced by Nancy Mckenzie's Queen of Camelot as well as all other Arthurian legends and Sailor Moon.

Short summary:

Serenity is the freespirited great beauty of Luna, entranced by tales
of Endymion, the new warrior High King who seems to her no mere man,
but a legend. Then, she finds herself betrothed to that same famous
King, a hero who commands her willing devotion. But in an era of fierce war
and religious confrontation, of conquest and of strife, their marriage is not exactly
blissful. Shall they last, shall they
live, as shadows of betrayal, death, and scandal
descend upon the great Ten Kingdoms?

Note :: IMPORTANT ::

- A.S.M. - Ante Silver Millennium (Or Before Silver Millennium.)

- - -

My Lady Queen
Introduction and Chapter One - The New High King
Author: Moon Sparkle
Contact: Sparklecutey (AIM)
Rated: Teen-Adult




Selene's prophecy had been correct.

A great shadow covered the fertile lands of ten mighty kingdoms in the year 40 Ante Silver Millennium. And as thirst for supremacy and power slowly, but surely, infected them all, a great war erupted. The kingdoms quarreled and warred against each other fiercely, incessantly. Men and armies defeated one another or formed alliances, each battle producing new hope, more hunger for all-encompassing control. As the years of violent conquest painfully dragged on, it became apparent that the war was naught but a game of power, for all rulers shared one common goal: to prove that they were strong and wise enough to rule the Ten Kingdoms. Not surprisingly, each man bestowed that title upon himself.

There was one kingdom however, that of Terra, ruled by a charismatic and powerful king named Gladius Torregon. He was the most brilliant of them all and his skill with the sword was renowned throughout the kingdoms. He loved his wife, Lyonette, but she died in the year 21 A.S.M, giving birth to the one and only son of Gladius: Endymion Torregon of the Terran Kingdom.

In 6 A.S.M., Gladius Torregon won the High Throne and thus became the High King. But not all kingdoms were contented with this outcome of the devastating war. Thus, the Ten Kingdoms split in two side: Led by Celgrin of Uranus, the Glauders refused to accept Gladius Torregon's power and excellent leadership, and they continued to wage war against the Ferrals, the legitimate High King's own kingdoms and his loyal followers.

And so, our story begins...


Chapter One

The New High King

Year: 1 A.S.M.

Location: Lunar Kingdom

- - -

Silver goblets were raised and loud, thrilled cheers echoed in the Great Hall of the Lunar Palace. Noblemen and women rose from their chairs, wide smiles upon their flushed faces and brimming wine cups in their hands. King Guston of Luna and his Queen Selenity stood up from their royal seats, and their eyes met. They grinned at each other and they both glanced toward the herald with a nod. The young man moved to the center of the Hall eagerly, his dark silver tunic glimmering in the dancing light of torch flames.

"My lords and ladies! His Lordship, King Guston, speaks!" he trumpeted over the laughter and ovation. People quieted and turned their heads to face the tall, old King. Strands of rebellious silver hair fell into his equally light-colored eyes, and Guston blew them out of the way impatiently. Then his hands traveled up to secure the jeweled crown upon his head, and he grinned at the crowd. The King's audience watched him closely, all wondering how, after twenty-five years of marriage, a soft glance from his wife could still make him chuckle boyishly.

"Thank you, Roson!" the King exclaimed in a baritone voice, and the young herald flushed scarlet. "As you all know," Guston began, "King Gladius Torregon of Terra breathed his last a week past at Tur Gaer in the Terran Kingdom. May the gods allow his soul in Edengale." A moment of meaningful silence followed his first words. "Tonight, we honor and celebrate his life and memorable accomplishments. He was the first sovereign in all the Ten Kingdoms to attain the High Throne, and although the Glauders, our enemies, did not accept him, he successfully united the kingdoms of Terra, Luna, Venusia, Mercurian, and Jupitar. In this brilliant, hard-earned alliance, we have achieved prosperity and new friendships, despite the war that the Glauders continue to wage upon us. It is due to the great High King Gladius that we have come to experience the old adage, that 'security lies in numbers'. It is due to Gladius that we are now no longer alone in this never-ending power struggle."

Another moment of silence followed Guston's declaration of Gladius' achievements, though it was polluted by drunken murmurs and colorful giggles. The Lunar King grinned and raised his goblet once more, wine splashing out unceremoniously.

"As we feast in the memory of King Gladius, however, we must also drink, eat, dance, and sing to celebrate the crowning of the new High King, Endymion Torregon!" The room exploded into a new wave of deafening cheers and King Guston laughed. A raise of his hand caused the clamor to die. "Young King Endymion has already proved to be a wiser, sturdier, and more loved leader than even his late father. I don't believe any of you thought that possible. Prince Kunzite, my son, has been in the company of the new High King these six years past as a Knight of Crystal Terra and as one of Endymion's loyal Companions. He shall visit us in three weeks, and we shall hold a feast in his honor. But until then, my noble lords and ladies, let us rejoice and honor High King Endymion!" His speech having ended, the Lunar King sat back down in his elegant chair.

Approximately thirty-five feet away, a young lady situated herself on a great, cushioned chair at a separate regal table. Rich, Silky golden-white hair hung on her slim shoulders and a small, pearly tiara rested upon her head obediently. Fair eyebrows puckered slightly over her great blue eyes and her full lips formed an 'O' as if to speak in protest, but she said nothing. Attired in a lustrous white dress together with equally elegant white gloves, Princess Serenity of the Lunar Kingdom glared at her friend, who, from across the table, was drinking in King Guston's speech, her eyes widened in admiration.

"Rei, you are worse than Minako," Serenity accused quietly. She reached for her watered wine and sipped a small measure of it before turning her gaze back upon her four most loyal and closest friends. All young, beautiful, trustworthy, and of high birth, they looked at her steadily. More correctly, the raven-haired Rei of Martia glared at the princess with incredulity.

"Worse than Minako?" she repeated before narrowing her dark eyes at the princess. "Ren, what is this grudge you hold against King Endymion? He is the most excellent High King. Even the Glauders have begun to retreat since he came into full power!"

Serenity studied her friend bemusedly. The fierce lady of Martia, with dark long raven hair and violet suspicious eyes, was infatuated with a man she had never met! Never seen! She wondered how the Glauder-born lady of Martia could be so taken with Endymion, when her parents' death had been ordered by Endymion's own father. Yes, it was true that Rei had been brought to the Lunar court at a very young age, for her Martian parents had betrayed Gladius Torregon, had turned their loyalties to the Glauder Celgrin of Uranus. Gladius had ordered their surrender, upon pain of death. And when Rei's family, a proud and ruthless one, had adamantly refused to yield, they were executed. Yet despite Gladius' systematic destruction of his enemies, he was a just man, and thus sent the Martian innocents – the children, and the women who had not decided to die by their husbands' sides – to Ferral courts, where they would be raised by Ferral royal families, would be taught to respect the Ferral banner. Rei's mother had died with her husband, but Rei had been fortunate enough to be sent to Luna, where she had found a comfortable and welcoming home.

"Well," Serenity began quietly, "I believe that Celgrin is raising a new army, gathering troops to make a last attack on the new King. I have a feeling that he is trying to deceive Endymion by showing cowardice and retreating." Makoto and Minako were not listening, were silently watching King Guston and his guests. Only Ami, a lady of Mercurian with the mind of a diplomat, was paying attention, and she gave Serenity a curt nod..

"I suppose you are correct, Serenity. But don't speak so loudly; you know very well that women, especially we maidens, are not supposed to worry of such matters!" Ami scolded softly, her dark cobalt hair glimmering gently in the crystalline light. Serenity scoffed vaguely, although a charming grin lightened her face.

Makoto and Minako suddenly turned around, their faces alight with excitement.

"Oh, Ren, what do you suppose he looks like? I wonder, is he dark? Is he fair?" Makoto questioned, a giggle in her smooth voice. Minako, Rei and Ami chuckled softly and Serenity shrugged, somewhat inelegantly, although her gaze slid to the ceiling as if she were seeing the new High King upon the elegantly-carved wood.

"Well…" she replied gently, "I have heard rumors that he is very tall and very well built. Hmm…but since he is a Torregon, I assume he has to have dark hair and dark eyes. Perhaps…the color of the Terran oceans? Oh girls, don't ask me these things! I am not at all interested in this. I accept the fact that he is our new King, but that is all."

Rei grinned as she listened to Serenity's speculative description, and she leaned forward into a conspiratorial position, her eyes beckoning the girls to come closer so that they would not be overheard.

"Maybe so, Ren. But do you know what I overheard your mother, Queen Selenity, say to her women yesterday?" Sighing, Serenity shook her head. "King Endymion's Council, the Ten Companions, have decided that he needs a Queen very soon. He must have an heir. We all very well know that Endymion is said to be the most handsome man in the Terran Kingdom! We also know that he has been with…many women. Therefore, the problem here is that he does not want to marry. I believe that he does not think himself ready for a commitment. However, the Council is forcing him to do it, so a search through the Ferral Kingdoms is starting tomorrow. A woman asked your mother if she was going to present you to the King…but your mother knows you well, Ren. She said that she is not certain, that she must speak to you first. I suppose she will do so tonight. But, oh! How I would love to be Endymion's wife! Imagine, being High Queen! And, I've heard he is capable of pleasing women…very well." A mischievous grin crept up to Rei's red lips and the girls laughed. But Serenity's laughter soon stopped and she turned a slight shade of pink.

"Yes, I have heard the rumors of the 'bride pursuit; myself," she said. "But Rei, you would only be a…a broodmare to him," Serenity pointed out gently. The brunette gasped. "That would be your foremost obligation: Bear his children as fast as you could and see that they are all handsome little sons! Do not count upon having a companion, for he would never be at home, would be traveling to his castles to check upon them, or traveling to secure treaties and alliances. Even my mother only sees my father six months of the year, and he is a homebody compared to the High King! Endymion must always travel about the Kingdoms, or fight. You would never really know him, because there would be no time. You, my dear Rei, would be miserable. How could you wish such a thing? Oh, it would be terrible. You would be imprisoned in Crystal Terra for all the years of your life. I would hate to be High Queen. The woman who shall marry King Endymion has my deepest, most sincere sympathy."

Ami nodded, but Rei scoffed before leaning back in her chair, her eyes scanning her surroundings distractedly. Serenity glanced toward her mother briefly before taking another sip of her wine. The ambiance in the Hall was becoming extremely exhausting and the young princess felt her eyelids begin to droop lazily. She sighed and her small hand journeyed to her mouth to cover a quiet yawn. She felt utterly uncomfortable, and although her eyes threatened to give in to sleep, her strongest will at the moment was to ride Eala, her beloved mare.

Serenity smiled and she closed her eyes as her thoughts wandered rebelliously through the green Lunar forests, thick with game and sanctified sparkling springs. She could almost feel and hear her horse's animated breath and the warm wind against her sweet skin…

"My lady Serenity." The deep male voice dragged Serenity out of her daydream and she frowned, annoyed, as she turned around. But the grimace immediately disappeared, and Serenity smiled at the silver uniformed sentry whose chocolate colored eyes sparkled as he gazed at her.

"Yes, Roson?"

The young man bowed before leaning in, close to her ear.

"The Queen, your mother, wishes to see you in her chambers as soon as…" he grinned, "as soon as you sing for the guests." Roson straightened, a smile still touching his lips and unmasked admiration glimmering in his young eyes as he watched Serenity. The princess blushed slightly pink before standing and nodding to him.

"Lords and ladies!" Roson bellowed and the commotion immediately died. "The Nightingale of the Moon shall now entertain us with a song for the new High King!"

Queen Selenity smiled beautifully at her blushing daughter, her own cheeks flushed from heat and wine. King Guston beamed proudly as he gazed at Serenity lovingly, ready to snap at anybody or anything that would make the slightest noise to disturb the forthcoming melody.

Serenity curtsied gracefully and moved toward the center of the Hall with light steps. The fact that she was well known for her serene and cherubic voice scuffed at her nerves, but she valiantly decided to ignore her shyness. Taking in a deep, shaky breath, the young princess began to sing.

Her audience was utterly quiet, watching in amazement as Serenity's ethereal voice filled the Hall. The guests hardly took notice of the lyrics that praised their new High King as the animated atmosphere defused into one of mystifying calmness. Serenity's voice, high and angelic, seemed to resemble the soft sprinkle of brook waters, journeying upon pebbles glistening in spring's sunlight. And the crystalline sound of goblets colliding softly, along with the rhythmical tapping of rain against the fortress walls, served as suitable accompaniment to Serenity's ballad.

The song ended and Serenity curtsied nervously once more before moving back into her chair, relieved. The guests applauded politely, although their thoughts were still dancing to the song. Minako stared at Serenity in awe, her light blue eyes almost filled with tears and her golden hair flowing about her.

"Oh, Serenity! That was wonderful! When in Selene's name did you find time to write it?" the lady of Venusia, attired in a flowing dress of gold, questioned animatedly. Serenity blushed again, then giggled quietly.

"Oh, I took Eala to Dreamer's Meadow yesterday and thought about it there. Mother literally ordered me to write a song in Endymion's honor, and although I had no desire of my own to do so, I complied. It's a rather simple song, I daresay, for such a great King." A hint of sarcasm flowed smoothly in Serenity's voice, and Roson, ready to escort her to the queen's chambers, made a startled noise beside her.

"Oh, no, my lady!" Roson exclaimed. "The song was perfect, beautiful. But I beg you, my lady, do not speak so derisively of the High King! Should King Guston hear you, he shall be dreadfully distressed. He is very fond of King Endymion."

Serenity raised an eyebrow as she stood from her seat, straightening her shoulders unconsciously.

"Is he, indeed?" she asked unfeelingly. "It seems as though everybody is absolutely bewitched by our new King, Roson. Do you feel the same way?" Having given a look of goodbye to her friends, the princess and her escort were now traveling through the majestic hallways of the Lunar palace. The sentries that lined the walls stood unmoving, their gazes fixed on nothing in particular, their fatal swords sheathed, and their spears resting tightly in their hands.

"Yes, my lady," Roson replied quietly. "I have heard excellent things about King Endymion."

"But he has just taken the throne!" Serenity's incredulous exclamation echoed through the halls and she soon flushed with embarrassment. "I beg your pardon, Roson, I did not mean to shout," she mumbled. Roson grinned.

"Ahhh, but he has performed wise deeds even before he became High King, my lady. Although Sir Jadeite is Endymion's Master of the Horse, the King himself was the man who ordered the breeding of his Companions' war-stallions, and everybody knows that they are the finest in all the kingdoms: swift and deadly when ridden by Endymion's Companion. And in a week, just a week, mind you, he has also succeeded in compelling the Glauders to retreat - at least for the present time. He is a man of grandeur, my lady." Respect glistened in Roson's eyes as he spoke, and Serenity gazed at him evenly. How could somebody that did not even personally know Endymion have such admiration and love for him?

Gladius Torregon, she'd admired; he had been a man of grandeur. He had fought wisely and courageously to keep the Glauders from crossing the Red River, the deadly body of water that separated all the kingdoms, and had therefore kept Luna safe. He had loved and cherished the kingdoms that he ruled and had respected kings of lower rank than his own, such as Serenity's father. When the messenger from Crystal Terra had ridden in on his exhausted horse with the message of the High King's death, Serenity and her mother had been in the Council Room with King Guston. They'd been discussing the probability of a betrothal between Serenity and king Diamond of Black Luna, one of the sub-kingdoms of Luna. A foreboding had nagged at her that morning, Serenity remembered, but she'd found it explained by her father's marriage plans for her. However, it had not been so. The High King Gladius Torregon had been proclaimed dead.

A week passed, and now Serenity found herself aggravated by the people's forgetfulness of Gladius' recent death and perpetual praising of Endymion. What had Endymion done to deserve such love and respect, more reverence than even his father had received, other than merely frighten the Glauders for a short time?

"My lady?" Roson's voice yanked Serenity out of her angered thoughts and back into the cool hallways of the palace. She blinked, realizing that they had arrived at the silver-gilded doors of Queen Selenity's bedchamber.

"Yes, Roson. Thank you."

The sentry bowed and Serenity opened the heavy doors slowly. A wave of sweet smelling perfume overcame her as she stepped into the room, and the comfort of her early youth suddenly overwhelmed her. She had always loved her mother's chambers. The sugary aroma that now greeted her had never failed to instill in her a sense of security, of home. Furthermore, her mother's elegant four-poster bed, big and soft and blanketed by silk, had always looked inviting. The walls were of a soft light blue color, adorned with wonderful portraits of the beautiful Selenity in her young and present years, and the imported furniture was forever clean and dust-free.

The Queen was seated on the silk-covered bed, her back to the door, her gaze wondering outside through the glazed window. Three women stood near her, one of them brushing her long, silvery hair. The youngest of the ladies, a girl of fourteen named Anna, caught sight of Serenity and immediately dropped into a low curtsy.

"My lady Serenity!"

Serenity smiled and the Queen turned around, her face alight with joy, her long hair streaming around her face like a waterfall. She quickly waved her women away, and as soon as the two were left alone, she moved to pull Serenity into a hug.

"My lovely one!"

"Mama." Serenity returned the embrace gently. "You wished to see me?"

Selenity had already changed into the white nightgown that Guston had given her on that year's Festival of Selene.

"You look stunning tonight," the Queen said with a smile. "The song, my dearest, was extraordinarily beautiful. I thank you from the heart for writing it. Your father was pleased as punch!"

"Thank you, Mama," Serenity replied shyly. "But I am certain it was the imported wine that pleased him so!"

Queen Selenity laughed and her daughter smiled as she sat on the yielding bed. A short silence followed, and Serenity was suddenly very aware that her mother was watching her closely, head tilted in appraisal. Then her slim figure approached Serenity and she sat next to her, gently taking her daughter's small hands into her own.

Serenity turned her face to meet her mother's gaze, and gasped when she realized that fresh tears lingered in the Queen's soft, mauve-blue eyes.

"Mother! Is something amiss?"

The Queen shook her head and smiled, though a hint of sadness touched her lips.

"No, darling," she replied softly. "It—it is just…oh how you have grown! You are a flower among weeds, my sweet! Such beauty, I have never seen. The witch's prophecy is beginning to prove itself true."

Serenity suddenly felt the urge to scream. That wretched witch! That wretched prophecy! Unwillingly, she recalled the occasion when she had first heard about the famous witch's visit.

It had been the night of her birth. Her father and his nobles were feasting and drinking to Selenity's health, waiting anxiously for word from the Queen's birthing chamber. Then, without warning, the ugliest woman in all of Luna had entered the Great Hall, had limped forward through the crowd of guests until she stood before King Guston's throne. Every word in the Hall died, and the witch immediately had everybody's undivided attention.

"King Guston!" she'd shouted in a guttural, trembling voice. "Hear me speak!"

"Witch!" Guston had replied, eyes ablaze. "What reason do you give for such an interruption? You come at a time of celebration, and we would not be disrupted. Know you not my young Queen gives birth this night?" Guston roared. His face was flushed with the influence of wine and his eyes, always laughing, were cold.

The witch laughed a revolting laugh..

"Oh, King Guston, I know. I know! Indeed, 'tis the reason of my coming!" she'd yelled. Her face contorted revoltingly as she seemed to struggle for control. "Tonight, Queen Selenity shall give birth to a daughter. The maiden will be the fairest beauty the world has known and the highest lady in all the kingdoms. Her name, my lord, shall live on in the minds of men for years, generations, eras, to come. But she will bring pain, King Guston. She shall betray a king and be herself betrayed! Her fate," the witch had paused, casting the gaze of her hideous eyes upon her terrified audience. "Her fate will be one that no one shall envy." The words had been icy and dangerous, for no person could be allowed to speak such ominous things in the presence of the King. Yet there had been no time for penal action, for the witch, Fadelna, had curtsied awkwardly and disappeared.

Murmurs had begun to swim through the Great Hall and angry protests were shouted to the woman as she exited the great hall. Each man asked his neighbor what she had meant. Each man thought he knew what the prophecy foretold. All of them took it as wonderful news for Guston, but he had not shared in their optimism, had sat pensively in his great chair.

Rapidly, the story of the witch's prophecy spread through all villages, towns and cities in Luna, and Serenity had grown to hate it vehemently.

"Thank you, Mama," Serenity whispered at last. The Queen smiled and rose from the bed, her beautiful eyes no longer filled with tears, but radiant with excitement.

"Now!" she exclaimed, and Serenity looked at her. She smiled sweetly at her mother, but squirmed nervously on the bed, for she knew what was coming. "Serenity, my darling, a great bride pursuit for the High King shall begin tomorrow. I am certain that if I present you to him, you will be the one chosen." The Queen chose her words carefully.

Serenity rose.

"But mother! He - he is old!" she exclaimed, furiously trying to think of a good justification to save her, though she knew her parents would not be happy. She had already refused countless suitors, even the rich King Diamond, and her father had not been pleased. Her mother, however, had understood. Would she do so again?

The Queen laughed.

"He is but twenty, my dear, and not to mention, breathtakingly handsome. I had the pleasure of meeting him when he was a lad of fourteen. He was gorgeous then, Serenity… And darling, you are sixteen. Four years is nothing!" Selenity's voice was smooth and laughter played in her lovely eyes as she gazed at her daughter before adding, "Besides, Ren, it is your fate."

Feeling shame, Serenity suspected that her mother thought her as bewitched by the new King as everybody else. She was, most likely, absolutely convinced that Serenity would not refuse such an opportunity.

"When did you meet him, Mama? You did not tell me." Serenity spoke softly, her eyes downcast.

"Oh, darling, it was when you had the summer chills. I believe you had just turned ten. Your father and I went to present Kunzite to the Crystal Terra court. Six years ago, it was. Even then, Endymion looked like a king! He was young, but already he had led troops into battle at his father's side! He is meant for his role as High King, my dearest Ren. You could see it in his eyes, his manner, and his confidence. He is—" Selenity paused, searching for the words to describe the fourteen year old Endymion she saw in her mind's eye. "He is tall, with dark blue eyes and the darkest hair you have ever seen. His complexion is much darker than ours, for he Terran after all, and he has a look of Gladius about him - but not his temper, Selene be praised!" She stopped, and Serenity listened intently as she gazed at her mother. Even Selenity was bewitched by him!

"No." Serenity said at last, heart pounding in her breast. "Mother, I do not want to marry! Not now, at least. I would be miserable."

The princess' tone was resolute, and Queen Selenity frowned, a trace of pity shadowing her face. She sat quietly in thought for several moments. Serenity dared not move.

Finally, the Queen sighed.

"Very well," she said gently, resignedly. "I shall tell your father. He will not be pleased, I assure you." The Queen's eyes found her daughter's, and Serenity almost winced when she saw the concern that rested in their ocean-colored depths. She braced herself. "And Serenity, I am not going to promise that he will not compel you into presenting yourself to the King. His power is stronger than your will, my sweet. You are now a woman and most maidens of your age are already betrothed, if not married. Even your own ladies – yes, Rei included - will be presented to Endymion. Oh, my love! You cannot ride horses as freely as you do and wander through forests forever! I believe you know as well as I that women's main purpose in our world is to… contribute to making it grow. Men bear the power, sweetheart. Women bear children."

The words came as knives to Serenity's heart and hot tears sprang to her eyes. But she fought them desperately, kept them from spilling. She inhaled shakily.

"I understand, Mama. Thank you."

Serenity curtsied low, avoiding her mother's eyes, and exited the room before the control over her tears vanished.

Five minutes later found her in her own bedchamber. She had immediately dismissed her nurse, Laista, and extinguished the lamps hastily. A blanket of darkness fell upon the large room and at long last, Serenity allowed the tears to fall. Angry thoughts flew through her troubled mind and she cursed the world for its underestimation of women, its cruel laws that forced them into unwanted marriages.

And as she sought comfort in the welcoming softness of her pillows, one question leapt to her mind.


She bit the pout of her lip unmercifully, tasting the metallic blood that it released.

Why could she not be free?

She knew that once her life would be bound to a man's, she would thrown into a state of perpetual duty and boredom, would be forced to stitch and bear children until age would deny her even that.

She also knew that her days of liberty were coming to an end.

Serenity sobbed brokenly, covering her face with delicate hands, cursing Endymion's bridal pursuit furiously.

If Edengale was Heaven, then the world itself was Hell, she thought miserably.

But suddenly, soft words came to life upon her lips, and although having not the slightest idea from where, she whispered them through broken sobs.

"Take what comes and live without complaint. Life is a woman's gift; death is a god's. What will be, will be."

- - -

End Part 1.

- - -


I hope this revised version is slightly better than the original. -- I could not believe the horrible grammar that I found in it when I re-read it yesterday! It is still no completely to my liking, of course, but I must be easy on myself; This was written, after all, almost seven years ago!