Oh dear, I'm a day late! I apologize. But here it is, enjoy!
I was dreaming again. How strange… my dreams were never this vivid. Everything seemed to be so real, yet I couldn't stay focused on any of it for more than a few seconds. There were lots of colors… lots of people.
A long dress adorned my body, some shade between blue and green. My pale pink hair was long; it reached the floor and then had a few more inches to it, and was tied up in a strange hairstyle. I moved and interacted with others quickly and quietly, without my mind's consent. Whenever I saw anyone along the way, they would bow their head in respect. Each time I would give them a small smile of acknowledgement, nothing more.
Two girls stayed just behind me, at my sides the entire time. I was aware of their presence, but never actually turned to look at them or talk to them. When no one else was around, it was a strange, obligation-filled silence, as though they were escorting me rather than walking with me. Yet at the same time I could tell that I cared very much for the girls who stayed with me, though I had no idea who they were.
We kept going through the maze of hallways at a quick pace, as though we were late. There was something very structured about what I was doing; it all seemed to go by schedule.
The building around me was grand, with high ceilings and plenty of simple décor. Each wall was a pearly, marble white with many windows that looked out to a floral landscape. Beyond that was a small city, all white as well.
Someone made a noise behind me, and I knew that they were trying to get my attention. As I turn to greet the male voice, the world spins around me and everything is black once again.
There was rustling and giggling all around me. The sounds were the only things telling me that I was awake, but after that dream I wasn't even sure if I was.
Slowly, I opened my eyes to the bright yellow sky, allowing my pupils to adjust to the drastic change in scenery. A puffy white cloud floated through the peaceful skies.
I tensed each of my muscles individually, checking for pain or stiffness, and was relieved to find that I was completely fine.
By the time I finished assessing myself for injury, I'd noticed that the giggling had stopped. It was soon replaced by light shuffling and suddenly big blue eyes appeared in my line of sight. I took in a sharp breath, startled at first, but then let it out once recognition set in.
Sitting up, I realized that we had landed in a field of orange, clover-shaped flowers with waxy petals. Chibi Chibi handed me a bouquet of the freshly picked flowers, and I inhaled their spicy scent. The child, satisfied with my reaction, went to gather more.
Looking around, I saw that the small field we were in was surrounded by tall, teal trees with narrow branches that sprouted at the top and hung down to the ground, swaying in even the slightest of breezes. Chibi Chibi's head of bright pink hair bounced through the field, dipping below the bushes every once in a while to pick some flowers.
"Chibi Chibi," I called out to her. She bounded towards me with a smile and handed me another bunch of the orange blossoms. "Thanks… but, where are we?"
"Chibi!" She responded, as usual. I opened my mouth to say something else when her eyes suddenly went wide, staring off to the left of us. Before I could say anything, she sprinted in that direction, through the trees and out of my sight.
"Dammit, wait!" I hissed, springing to my feet and chasing after her. Pushing through the soft teal leaves that lined the field, I felt a shock of panic at not being able to see her. Who knew what planet we were on? She could get herself in a lot of trouble!
Once I was through the trees, intuition pushed me onto a cobblestone path that led away from the field, with still no sign of her. The path in front of me twisted around nicely kept shrubs and bushes, and I caught sight of a tan, royal-looking building in the distance.
Just before I could start calling her name a faint aroma of olives passed by me, stopping me in my tracks. The scent was warm and inviting… almost calming. Footsteps alerted me to someone else's presence, and I turned to see a striking young woman with fiery red hair turning the corner towards me. Her hair was tied up in two large loops, with the rest spilling down her shoulders. She wore an ornate dress in shades of mahogany and light blue, with a deep red train sliding across the ground behind her. Atop her head was a navy tiara, adorned with gold jewels.
I felt my jaw drop at the sight of her. Royalty, no doubt, but was she the Queen? A princess?
Behind her, another female with dark, raven hair tied in a low ponytail came into view. She was clad in black leather shorts and sparse top, with knee high boots and long gloves.
"What's, wrong Princess?" The second girl asked upon her sudden stop. Her sapphire eyes flashed to me, and immediately a look of confusion crossed her face. For a moment she stared at me, her eyes filled with recognition, before she shook herself from her trance and protectively stepped in front of the princess, body tensed and ready to spring towards me. "Who are you?" She asked, her voice coated in ice.
Disappointment filled me. I had almost hoped that she knew who I was, but it turned out I was mistaken.
When I didn't answer, she pulled out a star-shaped object and raised it in my direction. "I suggest you talk."
I blinked, my mind finally putting together the obvious. This girl was a warrior of some type, here protecting the princess.
Flustered, I held my hands up in hopes of showing that I meant no harm. "I'm so sorry! I… I'm looking for someone; a small girl with pink hair! We didn't mean to land here, I didn't even know where we were going and I just trusted her…"
At this, the two girls in front of me seemed taken aback, and the one in front lowered her star. "Why are you here?" Her voice was still cold.
"Well, I…" I paused. Surely I couldn't tell them the truth; what if they had heard of the Suta Kasai? They would immediately label me as an enemy. I bit my lip. There really wasn't anything else I could go off of, especially since the last time I wasn't a part of the Suta Kasai was over 600 years ago. "I don't really know." I whispered, shaking my head.
The girl with the red hair, the Princess, offered me a tentative smile. "You seem lost," she stated.
My eyes flew to her amber ones. How in the world would she know?
"Please, try to explain."
A frown crossed my lips as I thought about what I could say. "I was just so… trapped." I started, hoping they wouldn't press for more information. "I wanted to escape when that girl just appeared and helped me. She… I don't know how she got there or got us off but she did."
The Princess nodded slowly, as though she understood.
I continued. "I'd been trapped for years. I don't even know who I was before that, they gave me my name. They forced my hand to work for them. I can't remember anything before that." On instinct, I glanced down at my forearm, where my black "birthmark" was partly visible.
There was a small gasp, presumably from the Princess, whose hand had flown to her mouth. Her eyes were fixed on my arm.
My heart dropped. There was no way I was getting out of this now.
"What? What is it?" The soldier positioned herself between us again, arm raised in a fighting position.
A pale hand fell on the guard's shoulder. "Fighter…" The princess said softly. "Don't." With her eyes still fixed on my arm, she crossed the distance between us.
"But, princess! You don't even know who she is!" The girl, presumably called 'Fighter' protested, following her princess as she approached me.
I made no move to stop the princess as she gingerly lifted my arm, pushing back my thin sleeve and examining the mark. Her finger traced the elaborate swirl embedded into my skin, and then her eyes flashed to my face.
"You are… from the Suta Kasai, yes?" The princess inquired.
My shocked expression must have answered her, for she continued.
"Sailor Star Fighter,"
"Yes?" The girl next to us stood straight at the acknowledgement.
"What is your name?" The princess asked me softly.
"…Kemyna." I answered after a moment's pause.
The red haired woman nodded, turning to Sailor Star Fighter. "Kemyna is our guest. She has had a rough few years and will need time to remember who she is. Until then, I would like her to be comfortable in the palace."
"Are you sure you can trust her so easily?" Fighter asked in a low voice.
The princess opened her mouth to speak, and then shut it in thought. "Yes," She answered finally. "I can sense the truth in her spirit."
They turned to look at me, the Princess smiling and Fighter regarding me with a wary expression.
"Thank you," I said, bowing slightly for the princess. "For allowing me refuge on your planet."
She smiled. "I am Princess Kakyuu, and this is my planet Kinmoku. This is one of my guardians, Sailor Star Fighter." Fighter tilted her head at the mention of her name. "Please follow us; we will settle you in to the palace." She walked past me, in the direction of the tan building I had seen earlier.
I was about to follow her when I remembered what had brought me to this path in the first place. "Wait, I still need to find Chibi Chibi!"
They both froze, Fighter whirling to face me with a wildly unbelieving expression while Princess Kakyuu's lips turned to a smug grin.
"Did you say…?"
"Chibi Chibi?" Another new voice interrupted her. She looked over my shoulder at the newcomer, and I turned as well. The girl behind us was dressed just like Sailor Star Fighter, except she had long, silvery hair and bright green eyes. Cradled on her hip was Chibi Chibi, carrying a new batch of pink and purple flowers.
"Yes." I let out a breath I hadn't realized I'd been holding.
"She's the child you were talking about?" Fighter asked, her voice full of shock. She and Princess Kakyuu exchanged an odd glance, but said nothing.
At the sight of Sailor Star Fighter, Chibi Chibi began squirming in the silver haired girl's arms, begging to be put down. As soon as she was on the ground, she sprinted over to Fighter and held the flowers up to her.
"Chi-Chibi!" She giggled.
"What are you doing here, Chibi Chibi?" Fighter asked, squatting down to accept the bouquet.
The girl looked up to me wordlessly and smiled.
"You're here with Kemyna?" Kakyuu asked.
"Kemyna!" Chibi Chibi repeated, reaching up to take my hand.
A warm smile lit Kakyuu's features. "So, this is the friend you were with." She murmured. "Oh! I almost forgot…" She jumped up, her eyes moving to the newer girl. "Kemyna, this is another one of my senshi, Sailor Star Healer. Healer, this is a new guest of ours. She will be staying in the palace."
Healer gave me a nod, her expression never changing.
With that, the five of us made our way into the palace. The entire way, I couldn't shake the question that had been plaguing my thoughts: how did Kakyuu know about the Suta Kasai? I glanced down at my arm and frowned. I was going to find out.
The walk to the palace had been in awkward silence, with the three of them exchanging meaningful looks to each other and in my direction. I had, on more than one occasion, tried to figure out what about me they kept staring at. As far as I could tell there wasn't anything on my face, but without a mirror it was hard for me to tell for sure…
"Whatever…" I breathed, dipping my head below the sudsy water of the bath. The room I had been provided was plenty big for myself and Chibi Chibi, whom had opted to stay with me.
With no belongings to unpack, I headed straight for the luxurious washroom with a long, warm bath in mind. Chibi Chibi didn't seem to upset at spending a little time with the princess and her two soldiers, who I had learned were called the "Starlights".
It had struck me as rather odd that they knew her, but the small child had already proven quite out of the ordinary, brushing the thoughts aside. She was a mystery in herself.
My mind wandered back to this morning, when the pink-haired wonder had somehow appeared on my bed. It was amazing that she had even found her way onto the ship, let alone gotten us out of there after we escaped.
I suddenly sat up straight, splashing water over the edges of the tub. 'My sword!'
My mind backtracked, trying to figure out where I'd had it last. It was on my back when we transported off of Yonula… but I didn't have it when I first met Princess Kakyuu and Sailor Star Fighter.
Which meant it was either lost in transport or was still in the orange field I had woken up in.
By this point I'd already jumped out of the bath, a towel wrapped around my body, and was wrestling with my hair to get it to dry. I gave up after a while and settled with ripping a brush through it for now.
Out on my bed, there were several sets of clothes laid out for me to choose from, since I had brought none of my own. I selected the simple, short yellow kimono, complete with pink and white flowers on the bottom and trim on the sleeves. It was a similar style to the garb I had seen on some of the palace workers, save for the color scheme.
As soon as I figured out how to fasten the clasps on the dress, I pulled a pair of thin, black pants on underneath (what did that maid call them; leggings?) and hurried out the door.
'If someone finds my sword before I do, I'll never see it again!' My mind reminded me as I attempted to find the field.
Finally I pushed through familiar teal trees and burst into a field of waxy orange blossoms, where several paths of crushed flowers were visible from when Chibi Chibi and I walked over them earlier.
With a deep sigh of relief I spotted a brown strap tangled in the orange plants, and as I picked it up was glad to see that the sword was still in it.
"You know, weapons are not permitted on royal grounds." Someone behind me said, startling me.
Flustered, I whirled to face a third starlight, with long brown hair and purple accents on her fuku.
Her eyes widened slightly when she saw me. "You must be Kemyna." She murmured.
"I… I am." I replied, confused.
The starlight chuckled. "Fighter was right. You do look a lot like her."
I recalled the recognition that had flashed through Fighter's eyes earlier, when I had first met her. "A lot like who?"
She pointedly ignored my question, glancing back at my sword. "I suggest you put that in your room and keep it there. Many people here don't take well to weapons."
With a scowl, I nodded. "Thanks." Obviously I wasn't getting any answers out of her. Again I was lead back to my room in the palace, and we walked by a set of ornate, double doors right at the back of the foyer. I idly wondered how I hadn't noticed it before.
Just as we passed it, someone from the inside pushed open the door and shuffled by us. I peeked in the large room and got a glimpse of the princess, along with Sailor Star Fighter and another starlight I hadn't met yet; one with reddish-blonde hair.
"How many of you are there?" I asked, somewhat rhetorically.
"Three." Maker answered quickly, automatically. I could see a pause in her features for a moment before she corrected herself. "Well, six. But three of them are still in training."
I opened my mouth in an 'oh' sort of shape, but didn't answer her. Up ahead I could see Sailor Star Healer and a little bundle of pink hair coming our way.
Chibi Chibi's face lit up when she saw us, and the strangest warmth spread through me. She skipped up to me and placed her hand in mine. A ghost of a hand brushed my shoulder, and when I turned towards the source I saw that Maker had left me in Healer's care, and had retreated back down the hall.
Healer gave an exasperated sigh. "Always leaving me with the work…" She grumbled, glancing at me before storming down the hall.
"I'm sure I could find it from here," I offered, though she didn't hear me. I let it be, knowing that my room wasn't too far away.
Sure enough, only two more doors went by before the silver-haired senshi stopped and motioned me towards one. I opened it and let Chibi Chibi scamper through, and went to thank Healer when I noticed that she was staring at me again, with that same faraway look I had grown accustomed to.
"Okay," I crossed my arms over my chest. "What is it you Starlights keep staring at? Who do I look like to you?"
Healer frowned, but her emerald eyes softened. "You look like Sailor Moon." She said simply. Before I could question her further, she continued. "Dinner is at 6:30, but Princess Kakyuu may wish to speak with you before then. If she does, someone will come by to get you."
I quickly nodded a thanks and she disappeared down the hall.
Yay! I'm excited! Thanks for reading!