2. 10. 11
Sorry, readers. I didn't realize that it was so choppy in the beginning, so this is not a real update. This is actually just a rewrite of the first chapter. I will most likely post the second chapter tomorrow night. I'm not sure yet because the second chapter needs a bit of work as well. Sad. I wish my writing always came out right the first time. Nevertheless, writers have to go through multiple drafts before coming to a decent piece of writing. This chapter was only revised a third time. Of Seers and Lords is one of my older works that I had left incomplete some years back. Now, that I have a grip on a storyline, I'll definitely see to its completion. Yes, it's on after such a long writer's block. Ideas, Ideas.
Disclaimer: What is mine will always be mine. In the case of Sailor Moon, it will always not be mine.
Of Seers and Lords
Chapter 1: The Return of the Dark Lord
Since the death of her parents, Serenity was only familiar with two customs in her life. Those two customs were praying and hiding. Unlike all the young women who ended up in the nunnery through sudden homelessness, Serenity had no choice but to live a life in recluse. She had a home, but to any man of might and influence this purported home was just the glorious dowry her dear father left behind for her. The memories of home, no matter how glorious they had been, were as vague as the sunlight that trickled through the canopy of the eclipsing trees that dusked the convent.
This lifestyle in the convent was neither one she preferred nor reviled. The nuns and the other young orphans kept her company and this particular convent kept her safeguarded. Any place like this that the heavens guarded was also a place for reflection. When they were alive, her parents rarely brought her out in public for the very reason of the powers she possessed. Because her parents were model citizens and just rulers, they were actually the ones to encourage their infant Serenity, to mature and reflect on her abilities. After all, engraved on the tombstone of her fair parents were the words they lived by; 'With great power comes great responsibility.' Even though they were no longer around to remind her of her duties, Serenity often sought refuge from her visions by living simply. She lived day by day on prayers and on her commoner's meals. For the far greater number of years that Serenity could clearly recall of her life, the sisters of the convent were the ones who verbally reminded her that her ability to see into the future was a blessing from the heavens. If she stepped foot outside the convent she would find her gifts pegged witchcraft, the Devil's magic, or dark arts by people who did not understand her.
Sister Luna warned her of the dangers in the outer world for Serenity was foreign to any part outside the convent. The only bits of her life she could lucidly describe were the day her parents died and the days of her life here at the convent. Though she had not laid eyes on the man who had placed her here over seventeen years ago, she could remember him. If she drew any memory of the man who brought her here, she would see his features with the acuity of a magnify glass. Serenity could always vividly remember those icy blue eyes when she had stared at him. As a three-year-old, she had already seen the numerous sins of this man, which could have outnumbered and dimmed the sins of twenty corrupt men. She knew him as much as he knew himself and that was his reason for throwing a black cloak over her head and banishing her to the most secluded convent in the country. He had kept her here and the sisters had kept her safe from him.
After seventeen whole years, word came that this man was coming back for her on her twentieth birthday. He planned to take her away from her safe haven, condemn her to a marriage union with him, and claim the land that her father once ruled. Although Serenity feared the shadows of all things, she was not afraid of this man. She had every reason to be afraid of him for he threatened her with his dreadful intentions. Yet, she was not afraid of a man who cowered before her at the mere sight of her. She was not afraid of a man who feared her existence and only remembered her when two decades of her life folded over them.
Her twentieth birthday was a rueful one. The Abbess Luna dragged Serenity out of her customary life by simply pulling Serenity, in a sprint, up the highest tower. At that very moment, Serenity's life was taking a spiraling turn to different. She had never had to breathe so hard and pump her scrawny legs so much until today on her twentieth birthday. She also did not remember ever shedding a single tear since her parents died. Now, these gathering tears were like slow streams running on her porcelain cheeks.
When they reached the end of the flight of stairs, Luna pushed the massive stone door of the chamber. Both women stumbled inside with Luna still leading Serenity by the hand. They looked as depleted as they felt from the exercise. However, Luna, as if revived, just spun the exhausted Serenity around and pulled her into a tight embrace. The Abbess spoke softly as she stroked Serenity's blonde head, "The people would be better off with a new lord that the King will appoint. Any other lord is better than him."
Serenity responded her voice muffled by Luna's tunic, "Luna, we shall pray for a lord that is fair and better than my father."
Luna pulled away slightly to look at the young, beautiful woman in virgin white. Serenity had always styled her platinum waves in her outlandish rounded pigtails. No one had ever seen her without her hair up. The first time Luna took her in, she and the other sisters had the impression that Serenity had been born with a whole head of hair naturally tucked in two rolls atop her head. Ironically, Serenity was about to go with her hair the way she always had it.
"No one will ever be better than you or your father, my dearest. Let us pray, then." Luna kneeled and Serenity followed at her side. They both prayed for a minute, allowing their tears to dry and leave trails of salt on their faces.
Serenity pulled her shawl tighter around her shoulders, as she stood first.
Luna, who stood more slowly beside Serenity, also stepped forward, so that she faced the young woman. "The heavens will forgive you this and protect you from the horrors of this world. That man can't threaten you or your people… If there was another way we will turn back without a moment's hesitation."
"But, Luna, there isn't. I'm better off without marrying my cousin and lawfully rendering my land to him." Serenity's shoulders sagged as her dismayed gaze fell on Luna. "Don't think ill of him anymore."
Luna's frown disappeared as she listened to Serenity's final words. "Hate only breeds premature death and more sins."
Luna kissed Serenity on the forehead at the same time she slid a dagger into Serenity's overturned palm. Serenity's eyes fell downcast, but she was neither staring at the dagger in her hand nor at the stone floor. She merely closed her eyes and accepted her fate. Let the Abbess, the sisters, and the other orphans relinquish their protection over her. Let the heavens take care of her now.
"Do what you must, Serenity. Remember, I will remember you and love you for as long as I'm on this earth." Luna knelt on a knee as she kissed Serenity's knuckles. Serenity could barely recall the last time anyone showed her affection. She had blurred memories of her mother holding her and hazy memories of sitting in her father's lap, so the attention that Luna poured over her shocked her to silence. "Good bye, my dearest," Luna rasped over her hand. The woman, who had been like a second mother to her and a dearer friend than life itself, exited the chamber in haste.
Serenity sat with her legs folded under her as she firmly grasped the dagger in both her hands. For all the complacency that her quality life had brought her, she could not still the tremors of her hands that were slowly turning the knife around to bring the tip closer to her body. She deeply marveled at there being something she was more afraid of than darkness itself.
In contrast to such darkness, Serenity was the picture of purity with her virgin white dress pooling in a rippled and round puddle around her. With her eyes squeezed shut, she became in tuned with everything surrounding her. She could even hear the sound of hooves beating the earth a country mile away. The dagger came closer to her heart. Just as the tip grazed the white material of her dress, a vision came to her. Her last vision was of a man with hair as black as midnight and eyes as deep blue as the ocean. The tremors of her hands on the dagger multiplied with intensity as the picture of this man became a real life portrait of the future.
Serenity gasped as she witnessed a scene of this man standing face to face with her cousin. This stranger was to be her savior.
"Where is the witch?" The leader of the troop demanded.
Luna stood out from the rest of the sisters. She curtsied and kept her head bowed. "Serenity died of a fever a few hours before you came by, My Lord Diamond."
"I don't believe you, Sister," he sneered. "I'll have my men search the premises inside and out." He snapped his fingers and the men dismounted and started to hunt. Luna's composure completely drained at the sound of the scattered female cries through the inner halls.
She stepped forward until she was nose-to-nose with the Lord's horse. Her anger flaring, she shouted at him, "You leave the girls alone, Diamond!"
Diamond polished his nails against his silver breastplate and brought those fingers to his lips to blow on them. His ice-blue eyes lazily drooped to rake a demonic look at Luna, "I only control these men's actions in war, Sister. When it comes to raids, they do as they wish."
Luna's eyes widened with horror. "You monster…"
He smiled. "Don't worry, Sister. As soon as I find her, the rest will be left alone."
"If this is what it takes to give you a heart I'll bring you to her room to prove to you she is no longer with us."
"The sooner the better for all of you," he replied, smoothly. He dismounted his horse and spread his arms out in a gesture for her to lead the way.
Luna hurried up the tower with Diamond and two of his escorts in tow. By the time they reached the top, Luna was out of breath. She had not the energy to get the stone door open, so the escorts stepped forward to take the task.
Luna gasped when she entered the room first. Fresh tears filled her eyes. "Heavens," she murmured as she fell to her knees at the sight.
Diamond came up behind her. He growled as his eyes scanned the room. He went livid at the sight; the rage burned in his face and reached his tongue. "Cover up the body," he ordered, scathingly to the two men behind him.
The escorts moved forward at his command and draped Serenity in the same black cloak that Diamond had put over her head seventeen years ago. He knew what this girl had feared the most in life was darkness, so he would forever keep her in darkness.
"Call off the search," Diamond said under his breath as he took on the burden of a human load. He carried Serenity's limp body to the carriage.