Return to Mu
By Jenny DeVic
Originally written for SESA 2012
A young woman and her son slowly approached the outside of a small house. The woman turned to the tree that had collapsed on top of the roof before her eyes gazed to the aluminum siding. All of it up to the black wavering line was covered in sewer filth and sand giving her a sick feeling. She looked down to her son and gave one last prayer to God that everything won't be so bad inside, and unlocked the door. She gave it a light push as usual, with the hinge being a bit sticky, but this time, it almost felt like something was blockading it. She pushed as hard as she could, and with every bit the door gave, revealed a sloppy combination of mud and sand.
Halfway through, the woman stopped, exhausted by the amount of effort. She hears her child's cry before looking up to see the horrific scene in front of them. All of their items that were kept high on their shelves were all mixed into the brown sludge with white film left by the salt water. The stench of unlucky fish rotting inside the screen of their recently purchased tv. It was all too much. She rushed back outside, away from it derelict and threw her hands on her face.
The boy watched as heaved hard into them, just like the day when Daddy left for his Stepmother. "Mommy! Please don't cry!"He begged, his eyes becoming twice as wet as hers.
She gritted so hard that her teeth grinded painfully against each other until a sweet melody of a flute filled the air causing the tension to ease inside of her troubled soul. A large gentle hand touched her shoulder.
"Don't be so sad. This is a very difficult time, and you must be strong for your child's sake."
The woman turned around to spot a handsome man with long aqua locks, and a light blue business suit. The blues in his eyes seemed as if they were illuminating like a set of stars, as if he was an angel or some other higher being. She swallowed hard. "It's hard when the flood took everything. I don't even know how I will be able to afford all of this. The Sewing Plant that I work at is gone too," she muttered bitterly. She hated working there, but at least it kept her son fed.
She turned her attention toward a violet haired teen, leaning against a snapped oak tree, playing a golden flute. She had always had a terrible habit of crying endlessly for hours over an electric bill, but now, she felt so calm, listening to the lovely melody. She turned to her son and wrapped her arms around him. "I'm sorry for snapping, but thank you for your concern."
The man shook his head. "Don't apologize. Throughout my walk here, your words are shared by thousands, and that is why I am here." He reached into his pocket and pulled out a card. "Go farther down the road and you will see a large campsite. They will provide food, water and temporary shelter, and a form for you to fill out to allow us to rebuild your house and provide a modest compensation for your lost items."
She took the card and couldn't believe the name upon it. "Julian Solo?" She thought he was just another government agent, but instead, she was speaking with the world's richest bachelor. "Thank you, thank you so much!" She gasped as she clutched the card tightly.
Julian gave an easy nod, quietly walking down the path broken road, to the next victim who had the fortune of encountering him with Sorrento pulling away from the tree and walking beside him, playing his song. Julian paused and turned his head. "Oh, don't worry about your work. I bought the remains and will have it reconstructed in a month, with improvements. Nothing stains a man's reputation than owning a place that treats its employees like a sweatshop." He watched her smile without the need of Sorrento's song and returned back to his path. He turned his eyes as he felt a familiar cosmos. His eyes wandered over toward the top of a hill where a familiar violet haired beauty and her butler stood.
Sorrento came to his side and the two quickened their pace as Athena stood there, dressed in her long white gown with her silk hair flowing in the wind like she was a dream.
Julian came up to her, feeling his blood warm from the sweet scent of flowers that came naturally from her skin. "Miss- Saori." He spoke as he resisted calling her by the name that Zeus bestowed upon her. "I would never expect you to take a beach stroll in such a dilapidated place. What brings you here?"
She smiled sweetly, "to see you of course. When I heard you wanted to help the world recover from such a terrible flood, I thought I would check to see how you were doing."
"With only your butler?" Julian smirked mischievously.
Athena giggled a bit before she shook her head, "only with great friends." She smiled before she clasped her hands and slyly raised an index figure toward the field where three figures, shining like the sun, stood in the flowers far enough to allow their Goddess to move freely without notice but close enough to step in when necessary. She turned to the road. "How did you think the paths to these places were cleared overnight before the government could come in?" She winked.
"I see, my gratitude for your Saints and the woman who commands them," Julian spoke as he took her hand and kissed it with her producing a gentle chuckle.
"I can't believe this. She's letting him kiss her hand!" bemoaned Aiolia as he and his two comrades sat watching and listening to the whole conversation from a distance.
Mu looked down. Defending Poseidon did not sit well with him, but he should think of it more as standing up for Athena's actions. "Are you suggesting we should point a sword to a man going around helping the less fortunate?"
Aiolia shook his head. "Of course not, but think about it. First he tried to marry her, then he kidnapped her when she refused, then attempted to rape her, then tries to make her into a grand sacrifice for the destruction of the world and yet she converses like no other ."
Aldebaran, gazing at the flower he received from a grateful little girl looked up. "She's Athena."
The Saint of Leo sighed. "Okay, yeah she is. But sometimes she just feels a bit too forgiving. Twenty kegs of the best ale in Rodario if either of you can name anyone kinder and more forgiving than…"
"Shun," the two other Saints spoke unanimously.
Aiolia lowered his head. "Dammit," he mumbled.
Mu leaned over to Aiolia's ear. "I think its best you hold your tongue. Your attempts to parley have set you back at least a month in wages." The Lemurian smiled as Aldebaran gave a hearty pat on the back to the embarrassed Leo who simply blushed at his failed attempt at arguing. However it was refreshing to hear Aiolia in a tone that was neither brooding nor depressed, but one that reflected the one when he was younger and his brother was still praised for his strength and honor.
In fact, many of the Saints, or at least what was left of them, had been lightening up in an attempt to repair the divisions that Saga had created from his deception. Mu had a feeling that even though Dohko told them that they couldn't retrieve their Goddess during Poseidon's brief assault due to fears of the other God attacking; he wondered if perhaps the Gold Saints unity afterwards was still too fragile to risk in battle. This was especially true after the ruckus on whether or not to bury the other fallen Gold Saints in their great Cemetery. On one hand, they are the highest ranking of all the Saints and by Athena's Law stated all Gold Saints shall be buried with their comrades. However, those that died were the ones that treated Aiolos like a traitor and casted his body dishonorably over a cliff for the jackals to feed upon. To this day, they have yet to recover any of his remains. Even Shion's body was left exposed for several years and just recently, finally was put to rest.
But unlike the Golds, Seiya and his bronze Saints proved that their victory of the Twelve Houses was no fluke. Despite their lower ranked Cloths and cosmos, with nothing but willpower and their unbreakable bonds of friendship, they managed to defeat one of the greatest enemies of Athena. Such companionship was something that they, the Cloths of the highest rank, should inspire to posses but will take time.
Aiolia leaned over and narrowed his eyes. "Sorrento is down there. Do you think that one of us should be there instead of Tatsumi?" he asked as he scratched his chin.
"Nonsense! Tatsumi is perfect! If Julian attempts to kidnap the two of them, we'll just follow the trail of pee left behind him!" retorted Aldebaran before all three Gold Saints busted out laughing.
The two Gods turned their heads at the outburst at the hill, Athena smiling at her Saints finding their sense of humor that had been lost for several years while Julian simply turned to his watch. "It's almost lunch time. Would you care to join me at my campsite? My cooks can create a finer meal than that black bean and cream corn platters that they slop down at those government feeding stations."
Athena nodded, "that sounds lovely. May I permit my Saints to join us?"
Julian thought for a moment. "Well, their efforts last night allowed more emergency vehicles and my Maserati to come closer to ground zero. Sure, I see no harm from it." With whomever the three Saints she chose, acting like laughing baboons, he would simply embarrass himself to show any fear from them. He waited patiently for Athena to invite the trio over. He turned to his cuff links, cursing that he accidently put on last year's model when he noticed that Sorrento seemed a bit more agitated than normal.
"Aiolia, stop worrying, I'll be fine!" Athena spoke as she led her Gold Saint trio over. "Peace and diplomacy cannot happen without the enemy at the table." She loudly whispered, emphasizing the importance of such invitations.
As they came down closer to the wreckage below, Mu turned toward the broken houses all around them. His heart began to beat a little faster as he saw the devastation up close in the sunlight, the horrid stench of rot and sewage starting to pungent his nose after growing used to it from clearing the roads. His eyes shifted toward a set of medics carrying a set of four body bags, as if recovering an entire family, sadly a common sight in their travels with Athena. Mu gasped as Sorrento suddenly appeared in front of him and clutching his flute dangerously close to his lips.
"Athena, you didn't mention that you had a Lemurian in the company of your Saints," Sorrento protested as he narrowed his eyes on them as Poseidon moved next to him, with equal concern.
Now it was time for Aldebaran to lose his temper as the Mariner General raised his weapon to his friend, "do you have a problem with Lemurians?" he growled taking great care not to crush the flower between his fingers.
Poseidon calmly took a strand of his hair and brushed it from his face. "More like, they have always had a problem with me. I did sink their homeland for their traitorous actions."
"The Lemurians remained neutral during the First Holy War. It wasn't until your first vessel attacked our continent first that we sided with Athena," Mu spoke murmuring a line that his Master had passed on to him about the Great Tragedy.
The Prince raised a brow, "neutrality? My Generals received seven Scale Cloths and Athena received twelve, a tremendous disadvantage in such an important war. Lemurians are supposed to be mathematical geniuses and yet you say seven equals twelve?"
Mu felt the unfamiliar sense of anger filling his blood from the insult. His mind told him to let the issue go, apologize and allow Athena to continue with diplomatic peace but his heart could not. "Your hundreds of lower ranked soldiers were given Scales that were as strong as the forty-eight Cloths of Bronze. You were properly compensated with having all of your Army with proper equipment while most of Athena's soldiers went in cured leather and steel if lucky."
"You know as I know that a thousand Bronze-level soldiers still would stand no chance against one Gold Saint or one Mariner Scale," Sorrento spoke as he waved his flute.
"Don't you mean one Mariner Scale doesn't stand against five Bronze leveled children?" smirked Aldebaran.
Sorrento passed a dirty look before Athena stepped in between. "Please, stop this. We're about to have a simple lunch. Let us speak of the good that we are bringing to these places and not of a past that none of us were even alive to remember!" She spoke turning to her Saints, and watching them drop their heads in obedience before turning back to Poseidon.
Poseidon turned his attention to Mu, stepping past Athena in order to deliver one last test of the Lemurian's will power. "Perhaps he does have a lot to be angry at. The Lemurian, high in their intelligence, great in their understanding of how the world function developing concepts that humans of today have just now declared as theory. They studied the weather so much, that there were formulas on how to predict storms based on a single gust of wind. Their grand belief is to create things that would last forever including their cities and homes. Yet neither skill was useful when it came to me. There was no wind or rain, the water just- rose. Many thought it was a stronger than normal high tide but it just kept- rising, never realizing that a whirlpool was forming. By the time it reached their knees, the current suddenly strengthened into those equal to whirlpool, and the indestructible architecture was reduced to nothing. "Poseidon looked Mu straight into the eyes and smiled wickedly. "But that's all in the past,isn't it? Athena is right. Neither this vessel nor you were alive back then. We can put all of this history behind us and share some lovely salads, sandwiches and baklava, yes?"
Sorrento gripped his flute and feeling his body tense up at the sight of the Lemurian, anxious at the slightest of attempt at a punch or a slight hint of telekinesis. His Scale still resided at the bottom of the ocean still repairing itself from Shun's devastating Nebula Storm that left it barely intact. However, if he must kill all three of the Gold Saints with his bare hands, he will do so. He looked up to Julian's confidence, neither bothered by the fact that they were outnumbered, two to four.
Mu felt his mind twisting with every word Poseidon spoke like a sword being shoved up the back of his neck. He turned to Athena, seeing her desires to keep things peaceful. He thought back at what Aiolia said about the many things that Julian had done, and yet now she shields him from his potential anger. Killing Poseidon would only fan the flames for a future Holy War, but the chance to sit and speak diplomatically would prevent it just as it had now, if Kanon hadn't created the false awakening. "You are right, it was long ago. Let's go and eat." He spoke, feeling the spirits of his people weighing in heavily in his soul as if cursing him for allowing himself to kneel, when he should have stood up for them.
To Be Continued
In the Next Chapter: The three Gold Saints return to Sanctuary where Shaka awaits them. Shaka notices Mu is not acting like his usual self and reminisces on old childhood memories of the two to figure out what is going on.