Sailor Chibi Moon was beginning to feel tired. She'd been following the little gold ball of light for a while, and she could see no end in sight. "Aren't we almost there yet?" she complained. The little ball made no response, just continued floating on. Chibi Moon sighed and trudged after it, growing more and more frustrated.
Suddenly, Chibi Moon saw an outline against the darkness. She quickened her pace as the ball of light sped up. Soon she could see that it was a cave. When she reached the mouth of it, she cautiously peered inside. It wasn't a large cave. It was completely empty aside from a mirror as tall as the ceiling which stood in the very center of the room. Chibi Moon moved closer to the mirror and placed her gloved hand on its smooth glass.
"What's the point of it?" she asked and, looking to her companion, she was surprised to find that the ball of light had disappeared. She looked around the mirror and outside the cave, but she couldn't find it. Great, now I'm all alone again, she thought despairingly.
Chibi Moon re-entered the cave and returned her attention to the mirror. "How odd," she mused. "It doesn't show my reflection." Indeed, there was nothing reflected on the mirror except blackness. "But this must be the key to getting inside the castle. I have to make this thing work!" Mustering up all the focus she could manage, she placed her hands on either side of the mirror and commanded, "Show me how to get into the fortress!"
She tried again.
Again nothing happened.
Chibi Moon growled in frustration. "Stupid mirror! I hate you and all your friends!" she snarled, kicking the base of the mirror in anger. Unfortunately, the action only hurt her foot. Tears stung her eyes, and she sniffled. She dropped to her hands and knees, trembling with rage and misery. "It's not fair! I thought I could do this by myself but I can't even get to the fortress to try! I wish Helios were with me, but I'll probably never even see him again because I can't get it together!"
"Silly maiden, you're not going to give up just like that, are you?"
Chibi Moon started and looked around wildly for the source of the voice. "Helios? Helios, is that you?" She stood up shakily. "Please, if you're there, show yourself! I need you!"
But she received no answer. She was completely alone. She shuddered. "Of course he's not here! He's in the fortress with…her…" She couldn't bring herself to say that accursed name, the name of the witch who'd taken Helios away. She clenched her fists, suddenly filled with determination. "But not for long! I'm going to get him back!"
She turned back to the mirror and gasped. The mirror no longer showed only blackness; now pictured on its smooth glass was a dimly lit hallway. Chibi Moon cautiously reached out to touch it, but jerked her hand back when it went right through the glass. "It must be a portal," she reasoned. "All right, Helios…I'm coming!" She took a steadying breath, then ran through the mirror.
Meanwhile, in front of the fortress, there was another flash of light. With a cry, four girls landed in a heap on the hard stone.
"Ouch!" cried Sailor Vesta. "Sailor Pallas, get your elbow out of my back!"
"Sailor Pallas is sorry!" squeaked the blue-haired Senshi, hurriedly scrambling off of her annoyed sister.
"Where are we anyway?" asked Sailor Juno, standing up and looking around.
"I'm not sure, but it sure is gloomy here," said Sailor Ceres.
"That's for sure," agreed Vesta. "I guess it's fitting for an evil witch, though."
Pallas shuddered. "Sailor Pallas doesn't like it here," she whispered. Ceres put a comforting hand on her shoulder, which she returned with a grateful smile. "It's okay, sister," reassured the pink-haired senshi. "As soon as we meet up with the princess and rescue Helios, we can get out of here!"
"Speaking of the princess, where is she?" asked Juno.
Nehelenia paced in front of her crystal, her eyes locked onto its pulsing core. "I don't understand," she said. "How does he continue to defy me? This crystal should have given me more than enough power. He should be putty in my hands!" She clenched her hand into a fist, her long nails scraping against the crystal yet doing no damage.
She turned to face the mirror, within which Helios was sleeping. She stared longingly at his peaceful face, then approached the mirror. Suddenly an idea struck her. She placed her hand on the glass and closed her eyes, detaching herself from her own body and willing her consciousness into Helios'.
Even as he slept, Helios could feel Nehelenia attempting to enter his mind. He subconsciously put up a mental wall against her, but she was undeterred by his resistance. His power had drained quite a bit since Nehelenia had invaded Elysion, while the evil queen's powers had only grown stronger; thus, she easily broke through his mental defense.
She found herself within a dream. She stood beside a garden, in the center of which stood two figures. One was Helios; the other was a young woman with pink hair. It's that girl from the moon kingdom! thought Nehelenia angrily. She watched the way Helios looked at the princess, so longingly, and jealousy raged within her.
"I won't tolerate this!"
Helios and the princess turned to her in shock. "What are you doing here?" demanded Helios.
"What I should have done from the beginning!" Nehelenia retorted. She send a bolt of dark energy at dream-Chibi Usa. With a piercing scream, the princess vanished into dust. Helios watched, horror-stricken, then turned to Nehelenia in anger. "How dare you!" he growled.
"Silence!" hissed Nehelenia. She lifted her hand and silken webs appeared out of nowhere, forcing Helios to his knees and holding him there. She moved toward him, and was pleased to see a flicker of fear in his eyes. "You thought that hiding a glimmer of your dear princess away in your own dreams would give you enough strength to defy me? Foolish! Did you not learn the last time that hiding away in dreams won't save you forever?"
Nehelenia sneered, then raised her hand skyward, and evil energy formed over her palm. "I must thank you, however, as you've given me quite the inspiration. Now your refuge shall become your downfall!" The energy crackled and spread, consuming the light and tainting everything it touched.
Time for a cliffy! I'm so sorry for the long wait! I've been working a lot, and I haven't had a chance to update. I hope this chapter is interesting enough to make up for it! But don't think I've given up on this story! It may take a while but I fully intend to finish it! Once again, so sorry for the late update, and as always thank you for reading, reviews are welcomed and appreciated! God bless!