"I'll tell your final love fortune." Kaitou Ace whispered it, slowly, like poison. Her world had flipped enough times in the past few minutes. She begged it stop, anything but this. "The Ace of Hearts." It sounded like a doomsday prophecy. "It is your fate to defeat the ones that you love." She was on the verge of tears. All she wanted was for things to be the way they were before – before any of this. She could not listen anymore. Tears stained the ground as she turned her face away. "What's wrong? You should look happier. Your love will be hopeless for all eternity." The shock was palpable. She shook her head, in fierce denial. It couldn't possibly be. No, no, no, she wouldn't accept it! "Now you can go on living, without having to torture yourself over the ultimate choice – your love or your duty. Your fate is to continue fighting." As her enemies crumbled to dust, something else crumbled to dust. She wasn't sure what it was, but it was inside of her. That much was undeniable. Her heart… her soul… maybe something more. Then the memories. Rushing like the rains of Venus she remembered so well now, the memories. Of her planet, of her kingdom, of her past life. But most of all, of her past friends, her past comrades, her past duty. To protect… that one special person. That was all that really mattered. As long as her princess survived, she was expendable.
From that day forward, Minako's life changed, completely and absolutely. Her fun-loving, childlike self still existed, undeniably so. But the princess of Venus and protector of the Silver Millennium existed, doubly undeniably. Everyone noticed. Even Hikaru-chan, her very best friend, slowly and steadily removed herself from the picture. Rumours started. "She's always so serious." "She never relaxes." "What do you think is wrong with her?" "I think she's got cancer." "No, she's just found out she's not all there, I bet!" Always number 1 popular student, Aino Minako-chan, now the laughing stock of the school. He was right. Her love was doomed forever.
Then the Boss called. "Mina! Minako, come in!" Her pen screamed loudly, louder than before. She responded in kind.
"What is it, boss?"
"The Dark Agency! Their affiliates, the Dark Actors, have sprung to action in England!"
"What? I thought I defeated the Dark Agency!"
"It's time now to explain everything to you properly, Mina. Your defeat of Danburite has proved that. You remember your purpose and your past life, but there is data in the Moon Palace Computer that no-one has known until now. The Dark Agency minions were but mere pawns of a greater organisation – they were the east wing of the Dark Kingdom."
"The Dark… Kingdom?"
"Yes. The Dark Kingdom is an evil organisation that planned to steal the peace of the moon for the Earth. They consist of five sub-sections. The Dark Agency, which was the east wing, the Dark Actors who are the west wing, now active in London, the Dark Destroyers, the south wing, Dark Destiny, the north wing and the Dark Protectors, who guard their base. The Dark Destroyers and Dark Destiny were sealed away in the distant past, never to be seen again. The seal has held, so far. The Dark Actors are seeking for an artefact that was rumoured to have fallen to Earth, with the key to the seal. You must stop them!"
She listened in shocked silence. She thought her fight was over, for long enough to enjoy the rest of the 8th grade, anyway. It wasn't fair! Why did it have to be her! The light sound of a cat jumping broke her reverie. "Artemis! You scared me!"
"We're going, Boss!"
"Good. Farewell, Mina. This is the end of my communications with you. After this, you will not need me. It is time for us to part. Farewell and good luck!"
"Thanks for everything, Boss. I couldn't have taken on the Dark Agency without you!" She had never known anything about Boss. He used a voice modifying machine so she couldn't pick his voice over the pen, and she had never seen him. But still, she had grown close to him, and it was sad to hear his last message.
-End of Chapter 1 - More next week!