AN: Sorry for the super late update. I thought I'd be updating more frequently during the summer, but I guess not! And I've mentioned in the previous chapters that everything will be unraveled by the next chapter or so, along with the significance of a soul name, but I think I'm going to have to push it back a little biiiit - there's just some character and relationship building I want to establish first. Sorry for making you wait.

So here's the Lunar Ball part two! This chapter's more concentrated on Seiya since he's going to disappear after this chapter :)

DelSan 13: Perhaps, perhaps not ;) You'll find out in the near future!

xSapphirexRosesxFanx: The rest is for you to wait and see ;) And yes, there's a reason for her death which will be mentioned within the next five chapters.

valencia petals: She can end up with Endymion, or... it's a thought I have in mind. I haven't made up my mind about the conclusion yet :S

TropicalRemix: Maybe she is ;) And that'll be explained soon enough :)

Summary: Many beautiful women were offered to the Water God in order to please him so he would allow rain to fall from the sky. But when it was Tsukino Usagi's turn to be sacrificed, she discovered things get quite complicated when she falls in love with another.

The Sacrifice

Chapter IX

There was a moment of absolute silence once the words had left Endymion's lips. The two of them just stood there, too stunned to move. The water deity quickly averted his eyes from hers and did not attempt to make a single eye contact. Shortly after, he claimed that his presence should not be apart from his guests for too long and left shortly afterwards.

It was a practical excuse, but they both knew it was an apparent one. He had used it just so he could flee from her presence.

Usagi was unconfident of how she felt from the way he had treated her; she felt either sad or angry, but she could not determine which one of the two had dominated over the other. But not wanting to feel like a fool, she followed Endymion back inside the palace a moment after incase of the occurrence of tripping on the hem of her kimono as she was born with a clumsy pair of feet.

Once she had entered the ballroom, she could feel eyes on her. Their stares were sharp as the guests made it obvious that they were silently observing her, silently questioning among themselves why Endymion had chosen her as his new wife-to-be when they could have chosen someone better, someone who was more worthy of him like his pervious wife, she presumed. The edge of Usagi's lips curled downwards at the thought of being compared to Serenity once more, but this time, it was more painful to think about his first wife than the previous times. Because this time, she was well aware of the sad fate Endymion had encountered because of her, and as well as the fact that they shared the same name.

That last thought drove her mad.

I just wanted this one thing to be mine, Usagi grimaced before quickly replacing her expression with a fake cheery one, trying to give off the impression to the guests that she was immensely enjoying herself at the Lunar Ball. Just this one thing... Something which I didn't have to share with Serenity.

Unlike the beginning of the event, the guests did not freely approach her as they did so when they concealed their identities with their mask. Feeling uncomfortable, Usagi quickly searched around for a familiar face. She did not feel comfortable being alone in a big event such as the Lunar Ball. It had taken awhile, but she managed to spot Luna and Artemis lounging by the tables with a drink in their hand as they chatted amiably with one another.

Usagi hesitated in her spot, unsure of whether she should butt into their company or not. She began to bite down on her lower lip, thinking.

I'm sure Luna will forgive me later, Usagi resolved, tightly crossing her fingers behind her back as she began to make her way towards the pair.

It was Artemis who had spotted her first. He had to look past his company in order to give her a wave of acknowledgement, smiling a bit. Luna turned around as she was curious to see who the advisor was waving to, and immediately brightened when she had spotted the human girl.

"Usagi-san!" Luna greeted as she enveloped the younger girl into a welcoming hug. Once releasing her, she inquired, "Do you find the Lunar Ball to your liking?"

"It has been... interesting so far," the blond answered honestly.

Artemis grinned. "And do not forget the fact that you had danced with Endymion-sama, Usagi-san."

The two Terranians noticed how the blonds' smile faltered slightly from the main host's name. Usagi gave off a shaky laugh, trying to maintain neutrality. "Oh, yes, Artemis. We danced earlier..."

"Well then," Luna cleared her throat as she tried to change the subject. "How are you planning to spend the remainder of the Lunar Ball, Usagi-san? Perhaps you would dance some more, or enjoy the finest delicacies of this year?"

Usagi replied, "I would like to have your company for awhile, Luna, if you would have me. Afterwards, I might possibly go and feast some more."

"You are more than welcomed to keep us company," the navy haired woman turned to her companion. "Is that not correct, Artemis?"

"Of course."

For awhile, Usagi remained by their side. But despite the fact that she had friends with her this time, the feeling she felt inside was indifferent when she was surrounded by strangers; she felt lonely, exposed. It was a given that Luna and Artemis would mainly talk to one another. They tried to include her in their conversations, but naive as she was, even she could notice how they would prefer to be alone with one another.

Perhaps it's because she reasoned with her selfish side of her personality, or she was pained from Endymion's story, that she did not want to be alone. At least, not for a little while. Usagi gave them plenty of space as she would look away from them as her eyes were fixed on the centre of the ballroom where pairs were dancing with one another. A feeling of nostalgia crept on her as she reflected back to the moment where it was she and Endymion who had been dancing on the exact same floor a little while ago.

No, stop it, Usagi, she silently scolded herself, her fist tightly clenching by her side. The blond squeezed her eyes shut, trying to block out the image of them dancing from earlier... How he had stared right at her in the eyes after he had just finished his speech, unfazed of how the rest of the guests' eyes were on him at the time. How he had only looked at her, as if she was the only one in the room other than himself. How he had offered his hand to dance with her like a gentleman would. How he had intimately took off her mask before leading her to the dance floor, making her feel like a princess. It was the worst when he made a small conversation with her in a friendly matter, then making her blush and make her feel as if he had actually cared about her.

Coincidently, she managed to spot out the man she had been just thinking of on the dance floor. Usagi watched as the Water God dance with one of his female guests, who appeared to be having the time of her life. She observed how the guest's hands which were loosely looped around his neck sneakily travel down to his back, intimately rubbing them as she did so. Endymion appeared to not notice them as his expression did not change, continuing their silent conversation, unheard by all.

The blonds' eyes narrowed as she bitterly thought, The man tells me not go around and associate with other men while he's allowed to freely dance with other women? Sighing, Usagi remembered how angry Endymion was when he noticed how the Kinmokusei guardian had presented her a small souvenir after their outing. The nerve of him...

Usagi's appetite for food was lost as she stood there, silently staring at Endymion's back with unreadable eyes. She watched him as he changed partners several of times as the females instantly came right at him once the song that was played by mystical creatures in front of the room was over. She didn't know what attracted the ladies to Endymion in the first place. Sure, he's a very attractive man, but at the same time, he can be aloof, harsh, straightforward, random, and caring...

She shook her head quickly, trying to shake her thoughts out.

"Usagi-san? Are you alright?" Luna questioned, suddenly breaking her train of thoughts. Snapping out of her reverie, Usagi turned her head to face the other woman. "You seemed to be out of it. Do you need anything? Just tell me, and I will fetch it for you."

"No, no. I'm alright," Usagi quickly said. "Thank you, Luna."

The older woman looked unconvinced from the younger girl's words, but she managed to change the direction of their small conversation. Gesturing to the tables where small plates of desserts were being placed, she suggested, "Would you care to have some dessert with me, Usagi-san?"

"Eh?" Usagi was caught off-guard. She blinked several of times before mumbling, "Oh, um, no. I'm fine, Luna, but you can go right ahead." She failed to notice how her response surprised Luna since she was known to never decline to desserts as she considered them to be the best part of a meal.

"Oh..." Luna's voice gradually faded as she noticed that the blond no longer held her attention; she was too occupied with staring at the main host of the Lunar Ball.

Usagi was unsure of the reason why she continued to stare at the Water God. It was not because she wanted to: it was just that her eyes always ended up on him after staring at everywhere. In a way, she did not want to admit that she was captivated by the man. She did not know what it was about him, but there was something about Endymion that drew her eyes towards him.

After successfully peeling her eyes completely off of her future husband, Usagi breathed audibly as she waved her hand in front of her face, looking dehydrated. "Luna, I am going to take leave and drink something. I will see you later," she notified the navy haired woman of her departure, briskly walking away as she did so. Usagi did not have to look very far to find something to drink as a waiter whom resembled a silver seahorse was going around, carrying drinks, had approached her. Placing the tray he was carrying in front of her, he gave her a wide selection of drinks to choose from; they were in small glasses, giving them a fancy appearance.

Usagi took the cup which contained a red colored liquid and thanked the waiter as he continued to make his way around the guests. She stared down at the contents of her glass, swirling it around several of times as she was clueless of what she was even holding in her hand. Sighing, she closed her eyes before she began to raise the glass upwards towards her lips. It was when her lips made contact with the cool glass that her drink was swiftly plucked from her hands. Confused, she opened her eyes only to meet Seiya's cobalt blue ones.


The Kinmokusei guardian held her drink in front of her face before giving her a disapproving look. "Hm, I was not aware of the fact that you are the kind of girl who consumes alcohol, Odango."

"I'm not," Usagi answered honestly.

Seiya lightly waved her cup, grinning. "Are you sure about that? Then what were you doing with this?"

Pouting, Usagi held out her hand towards her friend. "Give me my drink back, Seiya-kun. I'm dying of thirst over here!"

"I believe you have just claimed that you do not consume alcohol, Odango," Seiya playfully chided her before grinning wider, holding the blonds' glass even more out of her reach. "And besides, alcohol tends to make one even more dehydrated." Usagi did not say anything, which worried the Kinmokusei guardian. His goofy expression instantly slipped from his face, changing into a troubled one. After placing her glass down on a table, he placed his hand on her shoulder, causing her to look up at his face. "Are you feeling fine, Odango? You look sort of distressed."

"Are my expressions really that apparent?" Usagi asked softly, closing her eyes for a brief moment before re-opening them. "I... I am..."

Seiya intercepted, "You are not in your best mood, am I correct?"

Nodding, the blond agreed.

Grabbing both of her hands, Seiya suggested, "Then why don't we dance, Odango? I have not danced with you yet anyways." He gently pulled her towards the dance floor, where she allowed herself to be dragged along. Already knowing what to expect from the dance, Usagi automatically placed her hands around her friend's neck as he placed his hands on her waist before guiding her feet.

"This is your first Lunar Ball, is it not?" asked Seiya, starting a conversation.

"Yes, it is," Usagi answered. "What about you, Seiya-kun?"

The Kinmokusei guardian responded, "This would be my fifth since my rank back at my planet rose after proving myself worthy of obtaining the position I have now."

"Is it a good position?"

Seiya pretended to scoff before boasting with pride. "Of course it is," he answered. "With my current position, I am permitted to travel outside of my planet beside Kakyuu-hime's side, granted the honor that I am to protect her."

Usagi smiled at his enthusiasm, glad to see how another, unlike herself, was immensely enjoying tonight's celebration.

"What about you, Odango?"

"What about me?" the human girl presented a question of her own, completely clueless of what her friend was inquiring of her.

"Are you happy with your current position?" Seiya stared intently down at her eyes, not wanting to miss a spec of unrevealed expression down underneath the facade the blond had put up. He elaborated more on the subject by adding, "You are to marry Endymion, after all, and rule over Terra by his side."

Usagi looked away, breaking their eye-contact in the process. "Ah, that..."

The Kinmokusei guardian grabbed all of her attention when he tenderly lifted the girl's chin with his fingertips, causing her to look up at him once more. He leaned in close until his head was right beside hers, only to mention about her husband-to-be, surprising her. "Do not stare, but Endymion-sama does not look pleased of the fact that I am currently dancing with you, Odango."


"Yeah, in fact, he looks pretty peeved," Seiya added, grinning. The blond sighed softly, feeling confused. She assumed her friend would lean back after notifying her of the Water God, but he did not. Instead, he remained there and questioned, "Say, are you not on good terms with him, Odango? You appear to be experiencing a stiff back ever since I have mentioned his name."

She frowned once more, disliking how obvious she could be before tossing the thought away. "We were alright earlier, I guess, since we danced and all. But after that..."

Seiya leaned away from her in order to twirl the girl in his arms around as the rest of the pairs on the floor did so at that time. He then drew her back in, chuckling. "You do not need to continue, I understand what you are trying to say."

"You do?"

"Of course," he answered, increasing the space between them as he leaned backwards. Then, it was as if the Kinmokusei guardian intended to anger the main host of the event with his upcoming invitation. "Would you like to get some air, Odango? I was aware of spotting a balcony that has a magnificent view of the Mizu Kingdom while I have been temporarily residing here."

From the corner of her eye, Usagi noticed how Endymion's frown had deepened. Strange. It was as if he could hear their conversation. Resting her eyes back on her dancing partner's face, she replied, "Yes, I would like that very much."

Smoothly, the male of the pair halted their dance in a gradual matter. Placing an arm behind her shoulders, Seiya led his petite friend out of the room. They walked in comfortable silence for a moment as the balcony he had spoken of was not very far from the ballroom at all. From there, a magnificent view of the Terranian lands was exposed. The village, a bit of a distance walk from the palace, was sparkling with candles and lanterns in the dark. But that was not why it made the view worthwhile - it was the ocean. The vast ocean stretched far and wide across the land, taking up majority of the lands. Tonight, strangely, it did not look like any other ocean as it had a mystifying silver glow to it as its surface was reflecting the moonlight which was shone right over it.

Usagi softly gasped in awe, never seeing anything so beautiful in her life.

"It is a breathtaking sight, is it not?" The blond turned to her side, only to notice that her friend was taken away by the sight of image in front of them as well. His eyes did not leave the view in front of him. "It almost makes me want to prolong my stay in Terra for a bit longer..."

Blinking in confusion, she asked, "Are you leaving soon, Seiya-kun?"

"Tonight is my last night in Terra, Odango," the Kinmokusei guardian informed her with a poignant smile, turning to face her. Cupping her cheek with his hand, he wistfully said, "I honestly do wish I could have stayed longer. This visit had been too short."

"W-why are you leaving?" Usagi asked, feeling immediately saddened. A part of her felt even lonelier at the thought of her friend leaving her behind. She noticed how her friend had been affected by her change of mood as he seemed to have difficulty maintaining his neutral composure, trying to remain calm.

Seiya's smile had gotten smaller. "It is not only I, Odango; every single guest outside of Terra are to leave once the sun arises. It is only right that they do so, myself included. Our purpose for the visit was to attend the Lunar Ball, so it is expected that we take leave once it ends."

The human girl returned her stare back at the view in front of her, staring up at the moon this time. The moon hung high up in the dark sky, but she was able to determine that the sun was going to rise soon. How soon, she was not able to determine as she was never good with those kinds of stuff in the first place.

"So, a sun rise signifies the end of the Lunar Ball, then?"

"That is correct."

A soft sigh was released before a confession followed afterwards. "I am going to miss you when you leave, Seiya-kun."

Another confession followed afterwards. "As will I, Odango."

Turning slightly, Usagi lightly punched her friend in the arm. "Who am I going to turn to whenever I need someone to cheer me up?" she joked, although what she had said was the truth. Seiya's enthusiastic yet optimistic personality had never failed to brighten her mood whenever she needed it. So when he leaves, who was she going to turn to? Minako? Possibly. But still. The thought of losing a friend frightened her, something precious being taken away from her.

Seiya grimaced. "I apologize, Odango."

"For what?" She tried to sound chipper, but noticed that she was failing miserably. "You have nothing to apologize for, Seiya-kun. It is not your fault. I... I will be fine, really. I am just cheerless of how this is all so sudden for me, you know? Losing a good friend... it is not the greatest feeling in the world."

Both of his hands cupped her face as he stared wistfully down into her eyes. "Odango, I..." the man heaved a big sigh before he continued. "Perhaps this is not the best time to tell you this, but I cannot help myself: I wish we had met sooner, before you were bound to marry Endymion."

"Seiya-kun... what are you saying?"

The Kinmokusei guardian tightened his hold on the girl's face, careful not to harm her in the process. "If possible, I would have wanted us to become more than what we are now. But that can only be a dream, never a reality."

With great difficulty, Usagi managed to cut their eye contact by tilting her head to the side when she boldly changed the course of their conversation. "Then that comb from the village market..."

"Ah, that..." Usagi cocked her head to the side, uncertain of the reason why her friend suddenly had gone quiet. He appeared to be in a deep thought for a quick moment before he resumed with what he was saying. "It was unintentional, of course. I had only purchased it for you because I assumed you would enjoy it. But later on, during a stroll, Maker and I came across a couple proposing and... the man had given the woman a comb. Afterwards, Maker had explained to me how a comb carries a significant meaning which I had not known before since I had never developed a love interest. I apologize if I had made you feel uncomfortable."


"However," Seiya continued. "If I had known that earlier, I would have given the comb to you with honest intentions, Odango. But because you are to marry Endymion... it is for the best that I had not."

The girl frowned. "What do you mean, Seiya-kun?"

"Odango - no, Usagi," Seiya said, choosing to use her actual name for the first time. Suddenly, his demeanor changed as he turned serious. "Because of your current position, Terra's lands will be in your hands soon the moment you marry Endymion. And because of that, I would not dare to oppose any threats to your relationship with him which would be considered offensive, sparking a war between here and Kinmoku. I would be disgracing my planet's name, people, and you. That is something I would never want to do."

There was a long moment of silence between them, both unsure of what to say to one another. Seiya appeared to be baffled from unleashing his confession while Usagi was surprised, momentarily too shocked to move. It was Usagi, however, who had broken the silence first by clearing up her throat.

"Well," she began awkwardly, becoming fretful. "What if... I had feelings for you too, Seiya-kun?"

Seiya shook his head. "No, Odango. I highly doubt that your feelings are similar to mine," he said, his voice firm.

Usagi gave him a challenging stare as she stepped back from his hold on her, crossing her arms across her chest in the process. "How would you know that, Seiya-kun? I know my feelings better than anyone."

"You certainly do have the right to say that," Seiya responded softly. "However, despite the fact that I had never developed a love interest before I had met you, Odango, I know for a certain fact that you do not return my feelings; you are confused as your feelings have misled you to believe that it is love that you are feeling for me when it should be otherwise known as friendship."

His words made her mouth dry, leaving her speechless and in her thoughts. Usagi silently pondered whether what Seiya had just said was the truth as they clouded her head with doubts of what she truly felt for him. She had always seen him as a great friend who was always there to comfort her, cheer her up. However, she had constantly longed to see him at the most random times, making her wonder if it was because she needed a friend or she was developing feelings for him.

A part of her wondered whether it was because the thought of liking Seiya was considered to be a seditious behavior since she was sent from her village to marry Endymion and the thought of defying her fate excited her. He was seen as her escape as she possibly wanted to fall in love with anyone other than the Water God as she saw him to be bounded by his side until the day she dies.

"I... I am sorry, Seiya-kun. I guess my feelings at the moment must look like a big clump of a mess," Usagi bowed her head in shame. "I must look like a fool to you."

"Lift your head up, Odango," Seiya commanded gently, which sounded more of a request. When the girl obeyed, he continued. "No, do not feel ashamed - you have no reason to. What you are going through is perfectly normal, Odango. Many people tend to mistake friendship for feelings for love."

Desiring to return their casual atmosphere, Usagi grinned when she inquired, "Does that theory include you, too, Seiya-kun?"

Seiya grinned cockily. "Perhaps not."


"I am only joking!" the man laughed heartily before messing up his companion's neat hair, earning himself a high-pitched shriek. Once Seiya had calmed down, he said, "Gods, I am going to miss you so much."

"Ah, Seiya-kun-"

"So this is where you were," a new voice butted in impolitely. The pair turned to meet with Kakyuu and her two Kinmokusei guardian. Yaten stepped up and expressed his complaint. "We have been looking for you for quite awhile, Fighter; you just suddenly disappeared on us!"

The black haired man gave his friend a sheepish grin. "I apologize, Healer." His friend scoffed in reply.

Kakyuu said with a soft voice as she took several of steps forward towards her remaining guardian. "Fighter, the time has come for us to leave. The sun will peak up any moment now," she turned to the blond girl next to him. "I am grateful that our paths had crossed, Usagi-san. It was a pleasure to meet you."

"The same goes for me as well, Kakyuu-hime," Usagi replied, sharing mutual feelings with the Kinmokusei ruler. "I hope we will see each other again real soon."

The older woman nodded in agreement. "Yes, perhaps at the next Lunar Ball. Or, you could always visit Kinmoku with Endymion-sama if you would like. The two of you are welcomed to visit anytime."

Usagi's face faltered slightly at the mention of her husband-to-be's name. "Ah, yes..." She was grateful how Kakyuu had not noticed the change of her mood along with Yaten and Taiki, whereas Seiya had. "I wish you a safe trip home, all of you."

"Perhaps the next time we meet, you will be ruling this land beside Endymion-sama's side, Usagi-san," Kakyuu commented politely, sounding practical. "I am certain that you will be a good ruler for Terra."

Feeling overwhelmed at the mention of her possible future, the human girl stuttered. "Oh... um, thank you..."

"Kakyuu-hime," Taiki called to receive his princess' attention. He motioned to the hills near the palace, which was aligned to mark the area of the Mizu Kingdom. There, a faint orange light was beginning to peek through between the hills. "The sun is beginning to rise."

"I understand, Maker," The Kinmokusei ruler turned to the blond and bowed her head. Her remaining guardian took his place beside her with her other guardians. "This is where we take our leave. Farewell and take care, Usagi-san."

"Good bye, Usagi-san," Yaten and Taiki chorused while Seiya did not say anything. This earned him an odd stare from his friends and princess.


"I... I will never forget you, Odango," Seiya finally said, a small grin tugging at the corner of his lips.

"As will I, Seiya-kun. You have been an amazing friend and I cannot express my thanks of the wonderful things you have done for me."

With a solemn wave of farewell, the four figures in front of her disappeared as their light shot up towards the sky, heading towards their planet. Turning around, Usagi noticed other bright lights as well, all coming from the palace as its guests were returning home. A few moments later, when there was not even a speck of bright colored light up in the sky, the sun made its entrance into the sky.

Uncontrollably, Usagi's body began to shake as she swore she could feel her tears making their way to her eyes. But before she could even shed a tear, however, she felt something light and cold on her cheek. She raised her hand to it, only to discover that she had easily wiped the liquid away. Staring down at her hand, she discovered it was rain as it was clear and did not carry any scent.

"Rain...?" She looked up at the sky, only to be welcomed with more raindrops. She blinked several of times, wondering whether she was dreaming of this or not. Looking down at the Mizu Kingdom, Usagi saw rain falling down all over it. "But why?" The question was more to herself which she had unnoticeably spoken out loud, but she received her answer nonetheless.

"Because it was bound to rain sometime soon," Endymion explained, stepping from a nearby pillar. He began to take steps towards her as he spoke. "If rain had not fallen by around this time, then the villagers would have starved soon and might have resorted into a rebellion. I am responsible for the peace among the citizens of my kingdom."

Looking hopeful, Usagi questioned, "Then, if it is raining here, is it raining back at home then?" She noticed how the Water God did not look pleased how she had referred to her village outside of Terra as her home rather than where she was currently residing.

"Yes," he answered curtly.

"I'm so happy! Thank you, Endymion!" Usagi beamed as she hugged him by the waist, caught up in the moment.

Uncertain of how he should respond to the sudden hug, Endymion awkwardly patted her back in response. "You are welcome," he said.

Usagi pulled back from the water deity and let out a small giggle. "You are terrible at this, Endymion," she commented, poking at his chest with her index finger. For some reason, she felt comfortable with him at the moment as she normally did with Seiya, if not more. The awkward moment which was there between them during the duration of the Lunar Ball seemed to mysteriously disappear as if it had never occurred in the first place. However, she did not forget it.

But for now, I want to enjoy this moment with him, Usagi decided, wanting to give Endymion a fair chance if he was willing to do the same with her.

"I am glad to see that you are happy, Usako."

The blond suddenly froze. With dubious eyes, she stared up at the Water God's face and asked, appearing as if she had not heard in the first place. "What did you just call me?"

"Usako," Endymion answered, smiling faintly. "It seems to suit you well; I have been thinking of what I should call you for a long time now."

"So that's why you had never addressed me by my name..." she mumbled. "Were you aware of the fact that I shared the same name with Serenity for awhile now or just tonight?"

"Unconsciously, I have been aware of it for some time now as Luna would mention you to me several of times per day," Endymion responded, looking at the girl's eyes in front of him as he selected his words carefully. "But I had not once made the connection between the two of you until tonight."

"It must have been a shock for you since you left so suddenly afterwards," Usagi commented, trying to look as if she had not been affected by his realization as he did.

"I want to apologize for that incident. It was childish of me to leave you alone so suddenly. I am sorry, Usako," Endymion gently brought up one of her hands to his face only to kiss the back of her palm in an apologetic manner. "Forgive me."

Usagi felt her face going hot as she betted it was turning beet red at the moment. "I-I forgive you, Endymion," she said softly. She stared down at the ground, hoping her bangs were effectively hiding her scarlet colored cheeks. "And once again, thank you for the rain."

The Water God shifted in his stance. "It was nothing. I did it for the village, and I did not want to see you cry as well."

What...? Usagi stared up at his face once more. She wanted to ask whether it was because he did not want to see her cry in general or it was because of the fact that Seiya had left.

As if he could read her mind, Endymion elaborated more on the subject as he answered her question in the process. His voice was quiet when he confessed, "I would not have wanted to witness you shedding your tears for him, Usako. The thought drives me mad."

So it was because of jealousy after all, although he danced with so many women tonight... Usagi concluded, inwardly sighing. Not wanting to get into another argument with the man in front of her, she gave him a sincere smile. "The only thing that matters to me is that you have bestowed rain upon us all, Endymion." He returned a small smile of his own, a rare thing she had ever seen him do.

"I am glad, then." Instinctively, he brought her into his arms, embracing her tightly.

Usagi found that she liked her husband-to-be a lot better whenever a smile managed to escape from him. Silently, she hoped that there were more to come in their near future as she wrapped arms of her own around him, returning his embrace.

Now that Seiya has left, there were two paths remaining which her future could take, as the Mystic had once predicted. She knew one of them was with Endymion, but she could not determine who the third important figure in her life could be. But whoever he is, she resolved to decide who she will spend the remainder of her life based on her feelings, which she trusted wholly with her entire heart and mind. Usagi could only hope that her feelings will lead her to a path of happiness, that is all.

One down, the remaining two are still up there, waiting for her.

AN: Finally. This took me way too long for me to write. Procrastination is a nasty habit - I'm sorry! But I hope you enjoyed this chapter as I'm sure it has answered some of the questions regarding the comb and all. Thanks for reading and feedbacks and reviews are always appreciated :]