"Endymion..." She cried out in a cautionary tone, taking a step back, realizing her son still held much of his mortal weaknesses. That unintentionally her powerful aura was casting a spell of rapture upon him. He was unable as of yet to handle her true form with out becoming entranced by it.
"Mother?" Mamoru questioned, his voice shaking in a fragile near childish tone of fear. His heart clenching as the most beautiful thing he had ever witnessed began to pull away from him. He was worried the had unconsciously displeased her some how. That he had been perhaps breathing wrong, or misspoken even smelled in a way she did not like. That there was something dreadfully wrong with him...and there was. He was demonic and she was the Holiest creation of all. He fell to his knees, overwhelmed by self loathing. Tears trailed down his face, the soul shattering feelings of being so impure were so much more horrible. Then what he had felt when traveling through Eden. Unable to handle the pain he drew his sword, prepared to end his life and the crushing agony of worthlessness he now felt in her pressence.
As she began to pull back some of her powers, her blinding aura of purity dimmed around her perfect nude body. Mamoru released his sword, pressing the tip of the blade to his gut preparing to run himself through. When she cried out dashing to him and grabbing the hilt of the sword. Her silver eyes wide and pleading for him to stay his hand. A blinding flash of gold irrupted from the blade, just as her finger's touched it, tossing her away as if caught in an explosion.
Mamoru felt his mind clear of the euphoric haze of rapture, the guilt, loathing and pain faded from his soul. His eyes glowed gold, his inner radiance bathing his body cleansing it from Selene's spell.
Rising back to his feet, sword now held firmly at his side he scrutinized his Goddess mother with clear eyes. The dream magic raced through him, hummed upon his skin creating a golden barrier that protected him from her great powers.
"I am sorry, my son. I never realized how mortal you still are." She bowed her head in apology, floating down from the enshrouding fog were the sword had discarded her.
Her silver hair glowing faintly as it settled around her shoulder's. Falling demurely over her breasts, and down her back twisting into a curl at the very cusp of her butt.
"I am ascending slowly into my godhood." Mamoru answered soberly. Keeping his grip upon his sword as if an anchor to keep him coherent in her still quite overwhelming pressence.
Selene merely nodded, then waved her arm behind her, parting the fog. "I have much to tell you, to teach you and our time is limited." turning on her heel she began to walk through a corridor of mist similar to the one he had used to escape this cage before.
"So Eden never really let me go, did she?" He commented bitterly, his fingers now gripping white knuckled over his hilt in his surging anger.
"She did in a way, but the Thrall of Fate remained inside you." Selene stopped in the corridor of mist, tapping a finger against his breast plate over his heart. "Her thrall remained hidden, covering your heart in crystal. If at any point she felt you were to dangerous to allow to live. She would have crushed your heart." Selene pulled her finger's away from his armour, a flowing silver shard of crystal now attached to her fingertips. Mamoru was amazed he had felt nothing when her drew the crystal thrall from his body. She stood before him holding the crystal shard tenderly in her palms, reforming it back into the small jewelled bead that Micah had placed around his neck.
"So it was all just a test to see if I was..." Mamrou growled, his anger rising at being given false hope that he was free only to find out Eden could have killed him anytime if he ever failed in her eyes.
"Evil." Selene nodded, raising her palm up that held the crystal as it flashed away in silver light.
Mamoru was seething by this point, so hating being lied to and shackled by some unseen power. Eden had always been in control, she was his judge, jury and would be executioner if needs be. He would have never even known what was going on, would have never been given the chance to defend his actions if Eden felt them at all threatening to her views of what made a good soul. Mamoru started to open his mouth to vent his rage and frustration, but Selene put a finger to his lips. Her firm nude body pressing up gently against him, with a sweet smile that reminded him of Usako she spoke soothingly.
"Eden is a piece of my pure soul, her judgment is absolute and unprejudiced." Selene began, smirking knowingly as she caught her sons disbelieving look. "Unlike her mistress I am afraid." She finished bitterly, returning to their walk through the mists.
Mamoru strode forward to walk beside her, as they moved together to another time and place. The mists billowed on either side of them, the whisper's of the reality beyond hidden just out of sight.
When Mamoru turned to confront her with the question that had festered in his heart for most of his childhood. "Why did you leave me, what was so wrong with me that you never wanted to be in my life?" His voice was controlled and deathly calm. The pain he felt at her abandonment long since buried. The fantasies of his childhood of her coming to him, begging his forgiveness. For being so late in claiming him, and transforming his loneliness into a loving family. Long forgotten, as he matured and learned to count on himself for the support he needed to get through the tough times.
Selene regarded him soberly. "I will answer all that you ask of me. But for now you must understand who you are, what your true purpose is in this tapestry of fates. Many hardships are ahead of you, many decisions you will not be able to make if, you do not understand who you are, what you came from." Selene began. "There is a very dangerous lore unlocking within you head. You my son, will be our saviour or our executioner."
Mamoru swallowed hard, but didn't give voice to his growing fears.
Slowly the mists lifted, leaving them in a shadowed glade. Just ahead lay a grove of ancient trees, their shadows dancing merrily upon the narrow wooded path. That led away into a lush forest, the sunlight filtering warm and comforting through the canopy as the sound of rushing water was heard nearby. They moved together into the trees in a companionable silence for a long time.
"Were are we?" Mamoru questioned, staring in awe around him. The sweet smell of spring wafted in the air, along with the damp air of the stream that flanked them just beyond the curtain of bushes and tree trunks.
"Do you not recognize the trails of your childhood?" She paid him a small smile. The sunlight seemed to make her skin and hair sparkle, even with her powers held in check her beauty far surpassed that of anything he had ever seen. He couldn't help but admire her, their relationship so far removed that he found himself oddly attracted her.
"My memories of this time are very unclear. For the longest time I had no memory of anything past waking up on Earth when I was eight." Mamoru shrugged.
"As Morpheus had planned. " She nodded, receiving an odd look of confusion from Mamoru.
"He and my siblings sealed the lore the Keeper buried in you within your memories of Elysian. Then they sought to lock those memories away forever. They sought to do the very same to Serenity. Sealing the Lore the Keeper buried in her soul away with those very same memories.." She stated, pulling several stray silver strands of hair that fallen over her nose, tucking them tenderly behind an ear. Only to have her long bangs fall forward against as she moved her her gaze demurely to the pat, a smile crossing her full lips as she caught his stare.
"But her pleas stayed his hand in completing the seals properly." Mamoru finished, clearing his throat and turning away himself. His appreciation of her great beauty, unsettled him. She was his mother for goodness sakes, he should not feel this way for her. He hoped it was just the residual effects of the rapture he had been trapped in, because it was freaking him out! Drawing his thoughts away he focused on remembering the shared dream memory he had experienced with Usagi months ago. When she was little girl, chained to the pillar of prayer forced to endure humiliation and supplication before the Elder Gods. When they had sealed her memories away.
"Yes, he saw a power within her that could surpass even the Keeper's taint." Selene nodded, "So he convinced our sister Gaia to harbour you in her realm until the time was right for you two to meet once more." She gave him a meaningful smile.
"I must admit, your love for each other is so strong and pure it makes me jealous that I was never given the chance to experience something so wonderful." She cast her head away, suddenly ashamed of sharing such personal bitterness with him.
"Do you know what the Lore is within us?" Mamoru frowned, drawing her back to the conversation. As they moved further into the dark woods, a dull breeze playing across them. Tossing her long silver hair and his dark cloak about.
"No, I only understand the foundation's of your prophecy that has played out so far. " She admitted.
"Prophecy?" He whispered, his mind now scanning backward with what he knew of his past. Trying futilely to piece anything together.
"You have been written about for eon's my dear, so has Serenity. You two are destiny fulfilled, an accumulation of fates, part of a grander plan to take us forward into light or drag us down forever into the endless silence." She passed him a weak smile.
"Why have you taken me to this fake Elysian?" He commented bitterly, able to feel the vibrations of Eden with the fabric of his surroundings. He knew she was guiding him within a Heavenly Thrall.
"I felt it might make the severity of our talk, and grim warnings I have to reveal easier to handle. Amid the splendour and unrivalled beauty that was once the garden's of the Golden Kingdom." She looked up to him mournfully, questioning if this had been a good idea. She could feel the hatred and resentment coming off of him in waves, his golden eyes gone cold at the very mention of Thrall.
"I wish no more illusion's or fantasies in my life." Mamoru sighed, "I already understand and have experienced great hardships all ready. I am tired of them, but I accept that I have a long ways to go to find the peace and happiness I crave." He gave her a grim smile, sheathing his sword and crossing his arms over his chest waiting for her to recall her fantasy. He will was feeling stronger now, he could withstand her goddess allure with out safety net of his swords energy.
Selene merely nodded and as she did the forest faded back into the mists of Eden's Thrall.
"Please explain my prophecy. " He settled himself upon the cool crystal floor of his cage. As Selene sat before him, curling her slender legs at her side. Drawing a finger upon the crystal between them. The sparkling surface that looked so much like ice began to glow. As an image of a very handsome man, appeared beneath the clear surface as if trapped beneath a layer of smooth ice. He looked very much like him. With full, unruly dark hair that fell over his deep blue eyes and over his ears. With strong regal features, yet his eyes lacked soul. They seemed to shine with an arrogance and charisma of his own self worth. He treated life as a great game, savouring every aspect his wealth and nobility granted him. Thinking no further then sating his ever increasing pleasures.
Mamoru watched mildly, as the man paraded about an elegant palace carved of soft grey stone. Dressed in the fine deep purple suit of a king. With a long deep crimson cloak the colour of red roses. He wore a graceful gold crown of twisting vines with a central golden jewel embedded in the middle.
"My father." Mamoru whispered, while Selene nodded.
"We never knew Ruin was tainting our creations with his evil." She began. "We were blind to it. To arrogant and self absorbed in our latest victory over him. We had banished him for good from our plane, sealed him in his own Realm, his cage created by the One God." Selene began;
"Because he tried to take your Box of Light and use it's powers." Mamoru interrupted.
"He wished to use our very gifts against our creator, to destroy everything and recreate it to his liking." Selene nodded; "We were free of him, or so we thought." She took a breath before continuing, Mamoru watching the image of his father avidly.
"Within the Deep Dreaming, the darkest rose preens." Selene gave voice to the first of the prophecy.
"The Keeper created a single human creation. Veiled in the powers of Morpheus, that lay within the vile depths of the Deep Dreaming. A beautiful, charming dream who he then sent forth to propagate his seed throughout our realms, the only plane safe from his taint was Earth. Gaia had sealed herself and her plane away from all of us by that point. We were always a sorry, bickering lot. Never able to get along well for long." Selene sighed sadly.
"So I am a spawn of the Keeper?" Mamoru growled, his hopes that the Demon within was just due to the curse now gone completely.
"To some extent, yes. He tainted the royal lines of Elysian, and the White Moon, as well as the Dark Realms. " Selene gave him a grim smile. "But you my son control your own fate, as you always have." She grinned proudly. "I may not have been present in your life, but I have been watching you." She finished her eyes flashing for emphasis.
Mamoru nodded, sharing her smile. Serenity had told him something quite wise, one time when they were talking about her own absent mother. Her voice floated in his minds eye as he gazed upon Selene with the very beginnings of fondness. (Hugging and kissing isn't the only proof of love, there's another type of love. Where one just quietly watches over you from afar. That was the kind of love I felt from my mother.) Usagi had given him such a bitter sweet smile then, her eyes brimming with unshed tears. He had just held her silently agreeing never to talk down about Queen Serenity or his own mystery mother ever again. The girl comprehended and gave love on so many levels he had yet to truly understand. One day he hoped to love as deeply and as truly as she did.
"No stain yet on the Moon was seen," She continued. "I fell in love for the first time with him." She lightly brushed her fingertips down the side of the Elysian's kings strong cheek. Her silver eyes moist with tears of loss and betrayal. "Yet my heart was just a game of conquest to him, as was the heart of my Senshi or so I believed. He cared nothing of us or the pain he caused." Selene slammed her palm against the crystal surface banishing the man's image in a fit of rage.
"I killed her..." Selene, then swirled her fingers upon the crystal. A new image rising from the depths.
Mamoru gasped, his heart leaping as a face so much like his beloved's rippled to the surface. Her face was more slender, but with the same gentle features as Serenity. She was many year's older then the current Senshi, her features matured into her full womanhood. Long honey blonde tresses, that curled down from a top her head. The softer tone of her hair was very similar to Mina's. Her bangs longer yet in the same heart shaped cascade on either side of her forehead, wide innocent cerulean eyes. That mirrored Serenity in so many ways. Dressed in the white leather tunic and skirts of Moon's Guardian, with the same silver disc and Crescent moon sword at her hip.
"Her name was Surai." She began, her voice wavering with regret. As images of the King romancing her behind Selene's back began to emerge. The visions degrading into months of hurtful confrontations between the Goddess and her Senshi. Resulting in a bitter argument before the Main Gates to the Majestic Palace of Elysian. In which Selene had ripped her powers out of Surai's soul, taking her life along with them.
The poor defenceless angel had crumpled lifeless to the ground, once more dressed in the flowing white gauze like silk gown of a Crown Princess of the Celestial Moon.
Mamoru's eyes went wide again, shooting up to stare in shock at the now bitter crying of the Goddess. She sat silently, tears flooding down her face as she took in the last few horrible moments of that time. Her heart breaking all over again as she killed in a fit of rage, whom she loved most. Unable to find the strength to comfort her, his feelings towards her still uncertain and awkward. He drew his gaze back to the floor in shame.
Within the images she was nude in her purest most powerful form, cradling the dead princess to her breast. Wailing in anguish, rocking within the shadow's of the Palace gates. When the king arrived with a contingent of soldier's. She bolted to her feet, glaring at him with such wrath, raising an arm and pointing an accusing finger towards him. Before spewing the foulest of words of blame his way.
(Arrogant king, who thinks he is wiser and mightier then the creator's. You shall rue the day you thought to play such cruel games with an Elder Goddess. All that you prize shall be stripped away, as you have striped me of all that I truly cherish. You will die alone and betrayed, pinning for a chance to repent for your trespassing against me.) Her words rang with the power of destiny, before she flashed away in a pillar of silver light. Leaving the king, alarmed and frightened. Standing frozen and pale amid his soldier's unable to speak, as he then fell to his knees giving into the anguish of losing Surai as well.
Mamoru forced himself to speak, cautious of the answer.
"She looks like Serenity?"
"She was the Queen's little sister." Selene raised her face from the memory, cheeks shimmering with her tears. "I realized to late, that I loved her more then anyone else. " The goddess swiped a hand across the clear floor wiping the image of the deceased princess away.
"I found out a few months later I was pregnant...there is no way the seed of a mere lesser god could get me with child." Selene absently rubbed her belly, "But the deed was done. As you grew I began to feel the force's of my brother's gathering within your soul as well as my own. You truly are the double sided coin made flesh." She cast him a rueful smile. "You hold both Holy and Evil within yourself, as well as Dream. Gaia has blessed you with her powers as well. The essence of all four realms resides with you." Selene locked her eyes with him, needing him to understand how truly powerful he was.
"I am the Elysian Thorne, the Harbinger of Silence, Bringer of the Eternal Death." Mamoru started.
"As it is written in the Elder Scrolls, as it is also written. The Shepard of Light who holds the eternal scales of balance, Angel who shall bring forth the Age of Peace." She finished, with a hopeful look cupping his cheek with a tender hand willing him find strength in who he could become and not give into the darkness that raged inside.
"I was ashamed of my weakness, and truthfully at the time terrorfied of you and all that you represented. My failures, my jealousy, and my unrequited love. So I left you in your native kingdom and hid away in the Dark Realms to wallow in my selfish bitterness. Until fate thrust you in my path, forcing me to confront what I had done and face my own destiny."
"Your destiny?" Mamoru jumped in raising a quizzical eyebrow.
"That is of no consequence, it is your Destiny we are focusing on." She grinned playfully, her mood brightening just a little. As she lightly slapped his cheek, her hand then retreating back to the crystal floor.
Mamoru shared her smile once more, nodding as he drew his attention back to the shimmering ground.
"The next part of the prophecy merely talks of you" Selene again brushed her hand across the crystal, showing him images of his childhood as a squire with his friends.
"No realms yet to be sown into stone. When the Thorne woke and walked the dreaming alone, he was the nameless one, he was the bastard son, He stooped and pondered the mirror." Selene fell quiet as an image of him as an eight year old boy appeared moving slowly within an ice filled cave, little Serenity's hand clasped tightly in his own. He was dressed in his common clothes of tan pants and white shirt, while she was in her princess gown with the golden crescents upon her chest.
The two of them were moving slowly, his face was grim and set in stone as he pulled her along. She was frightened beyond all reason as he dragged her into the darkness of the cave.
Mamoru held his breath, suddenly positive he had been a puppet for the Keeper at that time. The younger version of himself began to stare unseeing into the layer's of ice that covered the walls of the cave.
"And a crown of stars appeared, as gems upon a silver thread." As her voice rang out the image shifted to the Celestial Realms, the planets moving within their eternal round. All tied to one another by the silver power that lead back to the Moon. All except Earth, which hovered behind the moon as a translucent phantom of emerald and blue.
"A shadow sown from within his head." Her voice echoed, as once more the image of him as a child appeared his eyes glowing a fierce ice blue. Dragging poor little Serenity ever deeper into the bowels of the cave, screaming and crying for her mother.
"The realm was fair, the mountains tall, in the Elder days before the fall. Of the mighty realm of Elysian." Her voice fell quiet at this part, as the image shifted of an eight year old Endymion now in his Elysian armour. Unbridled rage twisting his innocent face as he raised his sword screaming in fury. With a resounding clang the image shifted as Mamoru found his younger self in mortal combat with his father in the grande throne room of the Castle. His eyes glowing gold as he struck blow after blow towards the older man, with a strength and cunning far beyond his years. Finally landing a killing blow, as he drove his sword into a chink between his father's dark blue girdle and chest plate of his armour. Sliding the weapon deep into the man's guts, taking the King to his knees. As the man fell before his son. Young Endymion smirked with satisfaction, plucking the twisting gold crown off his head and placing it upon his own.
"Why did I kill my own father like that!" Mamoru questioned, his face a mirror of how appalled he was at the sight of his childhood self being so cold and unfeeling as to slaughter his own parent.
"I can't answer that, the memory will unravel with the Keeper's Lore." She gave a heavy sigh before continuing.
"And Selene, whose power sleeps, her heir gone astray." An image of Serenity a few years older parading about in white dress, within the white marble halls of the Moon Palace. Smiling and happy, her memories wiped clean of Endymion. Her four Senshi in training, trailing behind her in small silk dresses of their various planetary colours. Giggling and gossiping in the way of young girls, they faded away down the corridor.
"Since the Deep Dreaming have slipped away." The image changed to him of about ten years of age, on earth. Brawling with other boys on the street, at the very beginnings of his career with the Bosozuko. Dressed in torn jeans and a dirty black t-shirt, his worn out sneaker's nearly falling off his feet. A filthy, and starving boy on so many levels, who was accountable to no one by himself. Running brown paper sacks of drugs up and down the neon glow of the Ginza strip at night. It was the start of many dark years to come. He and Serenity had led completely different lives during those years.
"The realm once bloomed, with roses at play." Selene's voice softened, as smile crept upon her somber face. Mamoru smiled as well, as bright innocent images of him and Serenity playing games in their secret garden flooded the crystal between them.
"A king he shall be upon a carven throne, in many pillared halls of stone. With a golden ground and silver sky." She kept on, as he now saw himself upon a white throne, with another smaller yet just as elegant throne set beside him. He was dressed in a lavender suit of state, that sparkled with diamonds upon the vest. A long slightly darker lavender cloak was draped over one arm. As he sat strong and regal, regarding whom ever was watching him with a stoic air of wisdom. While pure white pillars were seen stretching out on either side of the throne room, an odd silver shimmer to the marble floor before the thrones dais.
The throne room slowly panned out, showing him a wondrous palace made of pure crystal, surrounded by lush gardens and a modern city stretching out to the horizon.
Mamoru swallowed, understanding this was a possible future. A fragile dream he would have to fight very hard to achieve.
"And runes of power to never let the dreaming die." Four intricate runes upon a metal blade appeared, making Mamoru instantly grip his own sword. Pulling it free to lay it down before the fleeting image within the crystal. He quickly glanced down at his sword with the dark leather grip and golden arm guards, finding the very same runes etched upon it's blade. He had called the powers of the Dreaming within the blade before when he had communicated with the dozens of little shadows back on the grasslands of the Dark Realms. What more powerful magic could her conjure with this weapon?
"The light of star and moon, In crystal shard hewn." Her voice vibrated with power, as eight crystals of various colours spun within an endless round, surround by an eternity of star scape. Then three more crystals formed before them. One of gold, one of silver, and one as black at pitch.
"Undimmed by cloud or shade of night. There shown forever far and bright." She finished, taking a breath.
"There forged was bladed, and bound was hilt; In gold and silver pale. The runes of gods burned bright hale," The image of the crystals dimming showing the twin swords of Elysian, and the Crescent Blade of the Moon. His sword and Serenity's were imbued with powers that might hold the key to defeating the Keeper for good.
"The boxes played,the Keeper forged sword shall return to destroy the shades horde." As she continued, he saw the images of the two boxes one of light and one of darkness. Then the mass of the Keeper's Demon's surging forth only to be consumed by a glorious and all powerful light that shone and expanded as if the sun itself had crashed into the earth.
"Glorious was Thorne's folk, beneath the dream music woke. The harper's harped, the minstrel's sang, at the gates the trumpets rang. Now the realm is grey, the dreams are old. The forge is dark and cold,No sound is heard, no voice calls:And darkness dwells in Thorne's halls. The endless shadow lies upon his land. In Elysian, within the garden's tomb. But still stars appear, in dark and windless Elysian." Mamoru was shown images of what Elysian was now, a barren wasteland of stone. The trees and gardens forever frozen into stone, with crater's marring the silent lonely landscape and ruins of his castle and the Shrine of Dreams. Lost and forgotten amid a lake of stone. Mamoru felt his heart twist at the sight of his once beautiful kingdom now reduced to an endless silence. But within the darkness of the sky above, was a faint light of the phantom Moon. The Dead Moon that hung still in the sky of Dark Realms, and an endless dusting of sparkling stars. Seeing the heaven's still watching over the lost and forgotten Kingdom of Elysian gave him hope, that one day he might bring it back to life.
"There lies his crown in shadows deep. Till Thorne wakes again from sleep." The last image was that of the golden twisting vine covered crown, the golden jewel that once adorned the center now lost. Leaving only the broken clasp, casting odd shadows along the tarnished remains of the crown. The crown lay alone upon the barren ground, useless and with out light or life. It was a chilling sight, but what worried him more was the loss of the golden jewel at it's center. It was just like the gold crystal he had been shown earlier.
The afternoon found the clouds heavy and overcast, blocking what meager warmth the sun could still lay claim to when approaching mid October. Usagi had huddled in her lime pea coat, as she marched up the wide sidewalk toward the Wisman's Mansion. The air was thick with moisture, her jeans now clinging to her legs cold and clammy. Her cheeks and ears were pink and stinging from the long walk in the cold, the navy scarf she had wrapped around her neck did nothing to keep her face warm. Seiya had given her the scarf before heading out. She had at first refused, resulting in a playful scuffle in which Seiya had stubbornly demanded that she wear it. Wrapping it around her neck and face so tightly she could do nothing but mumbled disgruntled comments as he then rudely shoved her out of the door. Raving about her being a pain in the ass, and knowing damn well how easily she got cold and that she would end up getting sick again.
Rei had watched the playful argument, seeing the restrained affection between them, with a jaded scrutiny. Her princess was falling in love with the man, at least on some level. Even if she was avidly denying it. The genuine feelings were growing between them. Rei barely knew this Seiya, but she didn't like him one bit. She had yet to get the details of how Seiya managed to become Usagi's roommate and what had been truly going on between them. But she didn't need the details to assess the precarious situation her princess now found herself in. Rei had unofficially found herself once more in the position of watchdog, but this time it's wasn't her princess's virtue she was protecting. Now it was her honour to Mamoru.
Rei walked briskly beside her, shivering and hiding in her thick red cotton hoody. The hood pulled up over her head, hands tucked into her armpits. A pair of dark jean's clinging moist and uncomfortable around her long slender legs. Her cheeks pink from the cold, stray strands of dark hair plastered over the sides of her face. Seiya had managed to get a few boxes of her clothes out of storage yesterday, and promised to get the rest of her smaller belongings delivered today. The effort he had put in to promptly retrieving her stuff. Did not result in appeasing her unjust hatred any, she still flashed him silent glares behind Usagi's back. Speaking to him in a clipped snide way, that alluded to how distasteful she found him.
Seiya took it in stride, she had stumbled in on Usagi and him in a very compromising position and got the wrong impression of their relationship. He would be persistent and charming, Rei was going to be a tough one to win over. But he always succeeded when he set his mind to something. He had been about to offer her a scarf too, but the cold fury in her eyes as he had reached for one on the hooks by the front door, had quickly killed that idea. He merely nodded and took his leave, still feeling an uncomfortable heat directed at his back from her death glare.
Yuichiro on the other hand wasn't so lucky, he had no choice but to wear his thin cotton pants and loose shirt from the Celestial Realms. The only part of him that was warm was his feet, sheathed in his leather hunters boots. The dampness in the air had soaked his shirt and pants, chilling him to the bone. His skin was now pink and stiff, covered with goose flesh. With his teeth chattering, he pranced and hopped behind the two girls as they made there way down the street. Valiantly trying to maintain the blood flow as his limbs were now starting to tingle.
As they closed in to the dark iron gates, they found a yellow convertible, it's dark soft top drawn up over the cab protecting the occupants from the cold wind and freezing mist. Usagi paid the car an odd look, a sense of deja vu flitting through her mind, so soft and rapid like the wings of a butterfly. She blinked clearing the feelings away. Then buzzed herself into the front gates with the button on the front speaker. That was mounted on the stone barrier fence. She paid the car one more strange look over her shoulder, as she passed through the opening gates, Rei and Yuichiro on her heels.
"Michi are you sure about this?" Haruka hunched over the black leather steering wheel, watching her princess and her friends disappear onto the Mansion's front grounds. The rattle of the gates rolling closed, only enhancing her nervous feelings. Her stomach was clenching, her fingers tapping on the wheel. As her sky blue eyes sought to bore through the obstacles in the yard, that hindered her princess from her protection. She was dressed for the weather in a black leather biker's jacket, with a fuzzy white turtleneck underneath and a pair of worn boot cut jeans. Her feet heavy in pair of tan steel toe boots she had reserved mostly for when she was on her bike. But with the news they had just received she was feeling reckless, as if her breath from now on would be counted. As soon as their meeting with Serenity was over, she planned go on a long and very fast ride on her bike. Trying a chase away all the anxious unsettled feelings that had been churning in her gut all day.
"Ruka, It's time. " Michiru sighed, rolling her head on the back of the head rest, watching Serenity move out of view behind the barren cherry blossom tree that grew in the middle of the driveway. She had decided on a black long sleeve shirt with a white blouse layered underneath. With a sharp folded down collar and cuffs accenting the darker sleeves. In a pair of black dress pants, and leather boots with chunky square heels.
"There can be no more secrets between us any longer. She is a Senshi...and our only hope of saving this realm. Her guardian's are not coming back..." Michiru bowed her head, they had just gotten the news that the Dark Realms had succumb to the Abyss. They had know idea if the Queen or anyone at all was alive anymore. They might be all that was left of the White Moon's forces. The last line of defence against the Keeper taking this Realm as well.
"She needs to know... She is our responsibility now. She needs to be trained to handle her powers. To survive that house long enough to get us inside. If she losses control of the Lore inside her head, she'll destroy's us all." Michiru flanked her hands across the sides of her head, her aqua tinted hair flowing through her fingers. She was feeling so over whelmed right now, the Silver Millennium was going to slowly unravel without the White Moon kingdom to govern the planets. Everything was going to fall back into civil war between planets, the thousand year peace was coming to an end.
"What about the throne?" Haruka rolled her now very heated forehead over the top of the wheel, reaching out and gripping Michiru's shoulder comfortingly with a hand.
Michiru smiled bitterly, clasping her hand tightly with hers. "One hurdle at a time." She sighed.
Rei was scowling at the hopping Yuichiro, who was huffing his hot breath upon his frozen hands. As they waited in the relative shelter of the cement covered front patio out front. The large oak double doors to the Mansion, with the flanking rectangular windows glowing warmly towards them.
In a few minutes one door was pulled inward, Sapphir appeared in a pair of black sweats and white muscles shirt the showed off his well muscled chest. Giving Usagi a smile of greeting, that faded quickly upon seeing she had brought company with her.
"Look...Usagi-chan. I can't let your friends in. Last time it was unexpected, so Grandfather didn't make a big deal about it. But he doesn't want a bunch of your friends hanging out in his house while you work. " Sapphir sighed nervously, giving Rei and Yuichiro a small smile of apology.
"Well, we don't know your family or your grandfather. I am her sister, if I am to trust you with her on a weekly basis. I demand to know what kind of people she will be dealing with, and her employer. " Rei moved in front of Usagi taking the reigns of the confrontation. Glowering down at Sapphir, even though they were basicly the same height.
Sapphir being less aggressive in nature, took a step back. Usagi cast her head down wanting to hide the smile spreading over her face. Rei cowed to no one, taking the control from others so easily.
"ah, well..." Sapphir stuttered as Rei stared him down.
"Look, if she wants to keep her job. Then she has to respect our grandfather's rules!" Koan brushed past Sapphir, standing tall and arrogantly before Rei. Her slender, well muscled form sheathed in tight black leather pants and a bright red bodice with dark long silk sleeves. Looking like she was ready to go clubbing yet again.
Usagi swallowed her bile, her heart skipping as she fought to maintain her calm. So wanting to just transform and fight. These girls were so cruel and callous, she just could not understand how they could kill so indiscriminately. It was true she had killed Diamonde and felt no guilt over it. But he was not an innocent, he had been a monster through and through.
Koan and Rei had a brief standoff for a few moments, before another sister broke them up.
"Com'on we got better things to do." Calaveras, pushed between them bumping Rei aside from the doorway with her shoulder. The brunette was dressed in a similar outfit of a yellow bodice with white silk sleeves, a short flowing orange skirt and white tights. With long knee high leather boots with a what looked like four inch heels. Usagi moved aside quickly, to avoid her toes getting stomped on by the girls powerful stride.
Rei glared darkly at both girls, as they dashed over to a parked limo, waiting for them at the side of the circular drive.
Usagi leaned in close to Rei, balancing up on her toes to whisper into the curtain of ebony hair towards her ear.
"Follow them...they are going to kill more people tonight."
Rei cast her an uncertain look not wanting to leave her alone in this den of evil. All her instincts of long years as her Guardian...her sword. Were screaming at her to stay at her princess's side at all costs.
"I will be fine. I am not weak anymore. I can take care of myself." Usagi stared hard up at her, willing her to leave. Needing her to believe in her for once.
Rei nodded reluctantly, walking away nonchalantly with Yuichiro at her heels.
"I will see you at home then in a couple hours?" Rei commanded, lieing smoothly for Sapphir's benefit.
She would actually be hunting Dark Moon Sister's for most of the night.
Usagi nodded, then disappeared into the house with Sapphir.
As soon as they left the front gates and got about a block away, Rei called down her powers. In a flash of red light, she became Mars. Her body now protected by her red leather armour, with the black accents along the tunic. Dark sharp angled shoulder guards, and cloak. With black leather boots and long hunter's gloves. Her hand on her fiery bird of prey sword hilt, long bow bouncing against the back of her cloak, gleaming a ruby red in the faint light. She sped away, reaching out with her soul tracking leaving Yuichiro yelling in frustration, his stiff muscles taxed once more as he was left trailing far behind once more.
"That was Mars." Haruka watched stunned from the steering wheel, having just witnessed Rei transforming a few blocks away up the street. Not as out of sight from the car as the dark haired girl had thought.
Michiru merely nodded, a small smile of hope spreading upon her face. One of the inner Senshi had escaped the Keeper grasp. She hoped that the rest of them had as well.
"You have got to be kidding me?" Usagi cringed, looking at the maids uniform Sapphir was presenting her.
"uhm, well all the staff wears them." He commented nervously, as Usagi paid him a withering glare. Taking the little black dress with the filly white apron bitterly. Now wondering if his grandfather might actually be a dirty old man...this job was suddenly starting to feel like some corny hentai already.
"Anyway it's only for a couple hours while you clean, so...yeah." He sighed, turning on his heel and leaving her before the bathroom door on the second floor. Heading down the hall, disappearing out of sight down the stairs as he headed back towards the living room to finish his book.
Usagi groaned, heading through the door with a resigned sigh. Her purpose today was to clean and observe. There was a whole other half of this mansion she was never shown, that must be were the demon's were being held she needed to find out how to get in there. There had to be clues, runes or keys or something.
She then spent the next few hours, uncomfortably dressed in her maids uniform, unconsciously pulling at the short dark skirt that barely hid her ass. Her white tights soon becoming itchy and riding up her butt, almost constantly as she dusted, washed floors and snooped. Finding with expected frustration the door to the old man's third floor chamber's was locked. But she had to memorize the families routings if they had any first. She so did not want to get caught, snooping up in Wisman-san's rooms.
She was strangely left alone as she cleaned, not a sign of anyone the whole the time she moved through the house. Even Sapphir seemed to have disappeared?
Misery sat glum and forgotten her hands tied behind the back of the wooden chair. With one of the little girls shawls. Left in the dark, in the middle of Hotaru's room, the only light streaming in from the crack of the partially open door. Hotaru had taken off hours ago, in the middle of their 'game'. The five year old loved to play in the realm of fantasy and this time poor Misery had been a captured agent, being interrogated by the Empress of Silence. Or so Hotaru had called herself, strutting about in a long black gown, that was far to big and adult for her small body to handle. It might have been a dress her mother might have worn. The neckline had plunged nearly to her stomach, the skirt dusting the floor. Misery had found out just yesterday that the girl stole small things from everyone, hiding her pilfered items in her room.
A motley of sorts, of the oddest things ranging from harmless barrettes, items of clothes, books, papers, to cups and utensils, to her ever lethal pair of scissors.
Lost to her thoughts, Misery's head had bowed to her chest, sagging tiredly in her chair overcome with utter boredom and hopelessness. It was her sweet scent that got her attention first, her head shooting up, suddenly alert. Then her hopes once lost, sprang forth with new vigour as her lithe form darted past the crack in the door. Crawling on all fours, in a servants dress pushing a large wet rag on the floor.
Misery chirped as loud as she could, her little eyes misting with happiness to see her princess...her would be queen just beyond her prison.
A few minutes past, her chest constricting with anxiety as again she saw the young woman zip past, her golden tails flapping like ribbons behind her. Misery cried out again, mewling like a lost kitten.
Usagi stopped half way down the hall, eyebrows furrowed in question. As a frantic chirp erupted from a doorway she had just past. It sounded again, urgent and desperate.
Usagi rose and moved tentatively down the hall, pressing a palm against the doorframe of partially open door. Peering nervously into the dark recesses of the bedroom. She could just make out a small black shape bent forward in a toy chair.
Then a small, faint and wavering mewling call was directed towards her, issuing softly from the darkness. Usagi eye widened in alarm, pushing the door wide with a small squeak. The light from the hall cascading over the pathetic form of Misery tied to a wooden chair.
"Oh...sweetie! What are you doing here!" Usagi cried, dashing to the shadows side. She quickly untied the creatures hands, as Misery felt her freedom she clutched tightly to Usagi for salvation. Wrapping her arms around the young woman's neck, nuzzling her neck in appreciation. She had never been so scared, these last couple days trapped in the house had the been the most gruelling hours of her afterlife.
Acts of affection were so out of character for the Shadow Thrall, Misery didn't know what had come over her. She had been feeling strange ever since meeting Usagi, but she had been so relieved she could not help but hug her tight never wanting to let go.
"It's going to be alright...Ok." Usagi giggled, as Misery kept nuzzling her snout under her chin, purring affectionately. Usagi rose holding Misery close. "Lets get you home then. "
Usagi carried Misery to the large luxurious bathroom, undressing and returning to her jeans and pink sweater. Hanging the uniform up on it's hanger and placing it on the wooden towel rack. Misery had sat on the black porcelain edge of the tub knocking her knees together and twiddling her fingers in her lap. Eager to get away with her sovereign, she just wasn't brave enough to stay here, the Keeper's energy was everywhere. It was like being in the Deep Dreaming all over again, the Abyss had been tainting that pocket of the Dreaming like a slow bleed for thousands of years. Her fellow thrall had manage to escape the cage of the Abyss only to be pulled into the Dark Realms to serve one of the Keeper's minions. Only her and her five brothers had managed to stay free by pledging their loyalty to Endymion and Serenity. It was by Selene's grace and power that they were able to escape to the the Mortal plane and hide from Ruin. If the Keeper ever found their little band of traitors he would absorb them, as they were nothing but the fragments of damned souls anyway. They would find no salvation then, just oblivion. She needed to get out of here, it was just to scary for her. She felt so shamed for being so weak. She knew that there were pure demon's lurking just beyond the blank wall of that empty room. Which took up most of the of the bottom level of the mansion, just past the gaming area. Knew that if she stayed, she could help her queen, she was a Senshi and her job was to protect this Realm. That must be why she had come here. Misery swallowed hard, ducking her head down as Usagi lifted her up. Cradling her lovingly to her breast, she heading out of the bathroom and down the empty hall.
Usagi stepped down the stairs into the large gaming room, sensing the aura of Heart Snatcher's at the far end of the mansion. She had been sensing the dark energies through out the house, like a foul smell for the last few hours.
Stopping for a second, she crossed the vast room. Passing the pool table that sat before the wall of windows and crossed into the empty back section of the mansion. Misery squirmed in her grasp, dashing over to the bare wall and pressing her hands up against it's cool surface growling threateningly.
"I know Misery...they are just behind there. But how do I get through that wall?" Usagi whispered, moving to crouch down beside her.
Misery shrugged, swallowing her fear. Then formed a fist thrusting it towards the unassuming wood paneling. As the meager force of her hand struck a crackling boom exploded from the wall. Sending Misery into the air, she soared over the room landing as a smoking heap on her back in the middle of the room.
"Misery!" Usagi scrambled to the little shadow's side, worried but not surprised.
As she drew close, the little shadow lifted her little hands giving her a twin thumbs up that she was still alive so to speak.
Chuckling, Usagi gathered her up in her arms once more. Passing threw the games room, Usagi glanced out the windows at the barren trees and gardens of the backyard. The heavy clouds hid the moon, so the sky was barren and dark. The utter void it represented gave her the shivers, she held Misery just a little closer for comfort. Misery thrummed her purr seeking to calm her queen, eager to get out of the house.
Usagi released a held breath then continued through the large back archway into the living room. A haunting sad melody floated around the room, Usagi turned to find a little girl with shoulder length dark hair. Dressed in a over sized dark gown, the long sleeves bunched up and hanging in flowing waves off her elbows. Sitting primely upon a dark leather bench before the grande piano at the front of the room. Lost in her song, her violet eyes focus on the ivory keys her small finger's were dancing upon. Her slow swaying reflection echoing upon the darkened glass of the huge windows behind the dais, mirrored the sadness of the melody she played.
Usagi sniffed becoming overwhelmed by the melancholy vibrating through out the room.
Misery moaned, blinking her beady eyes in regret. Feeling pity for the little girl, who had no one.
This is so stupid...Misery thought. Wiggling out of Usagi's grasp, hopping to the wood flooring and with her head bowed in resignation she trudged across the room.
Stupid...stupid...stupid...She muttered bitterly in her mind.
Usagi watched in confusion, as Misery mounted the dais and climbed up onto the bench beside the lonely little girl.
It took only a moment for Usagi to realize that Misery had formed an odd, yet strong friendship with this little girl. The shadow knew that this girl needed her more then Usagi did.
She paid Misery a curt nod, the little girl wasn't mortal so a magical creature like Misery wouldn't alarm her. Usagi moved unnoticed across the room, mouthing (See you next week) before passing through the archway on the other side of the room. Making soft footfalls, as she headed down the wide entry hall to her coat before the front door. Misery sat glumly once more listening to Hotaru play, glancing towards the massive wall of windows that showed the front yard. Finding Usagi in her coat,waving goodbye, she waved weakly back. Then turned her gaze up to Hotaru who had stopped playing finding her only friend sitting beside her. With a fond smile she patted Misery tenderly upon her bald head.
Misery sighed heavily, holding her fear in check this is were she needed to be. This girl was a little monster, but so was she, and sometimes little monster's need to stick together.