Chapter 1: Village Debts
Title: The Noble Slave
Disclaimer! I do NOT own Sailor Moon or any of its characters
A/N: This was a challenge/request given by t-rex989, thank them for the idea behind this story.
The girls huddled together in the caged wagon; having grown up together they kept close to keep warm. There was a mixture of feelings passing through each of their heads. Just days before, they were care free, learning how to be women, future wives and mothers; now they were being sold to help pay their village's debts to the kingdom. There were five of them total, the only comfort was that they were together; this would have been so much harder if they had been separated.
The oldest and tallest of the girls wrapped her arms tightly around the others, her brown wavy hair coming out of her pony tail. The anger was transparent in her forest green eyes, she was by far the most protective and because of it she actually volunteered for the auction. Having three older brothers her family didn't mind losing their daughter; in fact it was a prideful moment for her father when she stood up.
"Keep them safe Lita, you are strong and I have faith in you." Those were her father's last words to her because she was hauled away. She would not let him down.
The raven head resting against the cage bars was full of fantasies; she had always wanted to get out of the village. She prayed and prayed to escape and be something great one day, maybe this was her out. Her mother always told her she was meant for far better things, as beautiful as she was, a great Lord was bound to bid for her.
"Never lower your head for anyone my love, you're too fierce to be looked down upon." Her mother always told her such things; probably because she wished her to never end up with a man like her father. After her mother died, Raye promised to never lower her head to anyone, she demanded respect.
Amy felt panicked, she never expected her parents to sell her off, granted they never gave her much attention but this was absurd. Her younger sister was her mother's pride and joy and would have never parted with her, choosing Anya over her first born. Amy always believed if she had been a boy she would have been loved more, she was highly intelligent and wanted to read books rather than play dress up and learn to cook like her sister. She looked up to her father who was the village healer, but in this day and time, women were nothing but property and expected to stay in the kitchen, not work.
"Who will marry a woman who keeps her nose in a book at all times? You will never be a healer like your father; you are only good to us by helping pay our debts in the auction." To hear such words from your mother was a harsh reality, but Amy swore whoever bought her, she would make them see her for who she truly was…a bright and intelligent woman.
While Lita and Raye volunteered for the auction, and Amy was sold to pay her own families' debts, it was the two lighter haired girls huddled together that would pay off the village's debts. The two were cousins and from the highest ranked family in the village. Mina was slightly older than her younger cousin Serenity by a few months and took to protecting the girl whenever possible. Mina's father was head to Serenity's father's guard, and made sure Mina knew how to protect herself and her younger cousin.
Having been raised by the Captain of the Leader's guard, after her mother died so young, meant she was raised in the art of fighting. Her father never looked down on her for being a female and chose to teach her in the ways of strategy and weaponry, she and Lita became friends that way; Lita was often in attendance to her lessons.
Both girls were beautiful, Mina with her sun glossed golden hair and light blue eyes; she drove the men wild with her flirty ways. Then there was Serenity, her hair spun from the moon itself it seemed, naturally silvery white that fit perfectly with her sapphire blue eyes. While Mina was flirty and outspoken, Serenity was quiet and sheltered. Her mother and father hardly let her out in fear due to her beauty. This was why Mina and the rest of the girls felt an over whelming need to protect her at all times. She was the youngest and at times she seemed matured and wise but at other moments it was obvious how sheltered and sweet she was.
Serenity's father was the village leader and both he and her mother spent much of their time traveling between the palace and other villages. The King and Serenity's father were old friends and while the village was in debt, the King always let it slide by.
That was until the King died and Prince Endymion was announced as the new King. He unlike his father did not approve of debts to the capital and sent his guards to the village to demand payment. An older gentleman named Artemis, though kind, showed documents declaring that King Endymion would allow the village to be debt free if they sold five of their women including the Leader's own daughter to the Capital Auction. The village was outraged at first, but Orion, Serenity's father was able to calm them.
"Our new King has given our village a new start without debts; we must obey him, for he is our King." Orion loved his daughter very much but his loyalty to the crown was deep and he felt she would be in good hands, he had faith that once the new King saw Serenity, he would buy her himself.
It was then decided that Mina would be sold as well, to protect her cousin, she vowed to not let Serenity come to any harm. The terms on which girls were to be taken were agreed upon, though Orion declared he would only allow this if the girls were sold together and stayed together.
"I promise My Lord, the young girls will not part ways." Artemis was one of King Endymion's advisors and would accompany the girls all the way the capital, he treated them with kindness and showed sympathy towards their situation. However it did not ease the fact that once free and wealthy women of their village were now slaves at the disposal of a young and selfish King.
Raising her silvery head, Serenity glanced at her closest friends, noticing how strong they were, always protecting her and by her side. She felt guilty that they were here because of her, volunteering themselves to slavery for her.
"Thank you, all of you." It was all that needed to be said, they each knew why she said it but chose to simply nod and smile, they knew she would never accept their words for why.
In the Capital known as Elysian, where the palace resided, four handsome armor clad men stood in the throne room surrounding their new King and longtime friend Endymion. Having all grown up together in court, the four noblemen were trained to be Endymion's generals and guards when he became king. The five of them were all very close and would die and kill for each other, especially their King.
Each man stood close together and watched their closest friend go over the preparations for tomorrow's Capital Auction, a huge slave auction the capital held every year to give money back to the villages. However this year, there would be five noble women for sell and it was causing a huge stir in the capital. Every Lord within the capital perimeter had made their way to town for the event, just to catch a glimpse of the girls. The rumors going around that Lord Orion's own daughter would be one of them sparked much interest.
"They say Lord Orion and his wife kept her under lock and key once she first bled. Rumors are she's gorgeous and they feared she would be ruined before marrying." Jadeite spoke up, knowing it was on everyone's mind. He was clearly the most out spoken out of the bunch. He was a ladies man with his sandy blonde hair and blue eyes, and cocky attitude. He glanced around the room at his fellow guards, noticing their frowns at his words.
Zoisite merely shook his head and decided to go back to his documents, his light brown hair falling over his shoulder from its ponytail, his pale green eyes scanning through word and after behind his glasses. He honestly felt this whole situation was unnecessary and felt bad for the women. He would keep his thoughts to himself however; Endymion had a nasty temper these days.
"Why exactly did you tell Lord Orion he had to give up his only daughter? I still don't see how that helps anything; in fact it could cause issues with him in the future." Nephrite was one of the tallest and stood leaning against one of the throne pillars, playing with a crystal in his palm. He bent his head, his rich auburn hair a contrast against his dark armor. Nephrite liked answers, and questions for that matter, always wondering what played behind another's mind.
"Nephrite, you should not question Endymion's orders." The stoic white haired man standing closest to the King gave his friend a frown. He often wondered what happened to Endymion as they all did, once the prince was a loving and gentle person but a few years before his father's death when his training to become King intensified, he changed. He was harder and often brutal in training; he spoke harshly and demanded respect. It became rare that he even smiled in front of his closest and most loyal of friends.
Endymion was often described as gorgeous and sinfully beautiful by many women in the kingdom. He had dark smoldering eyes that could freeze you in your steps with a glare, or make you fall into bed instantly. His ebony hair a trademark to the royal line, dark as ebony, and silk to the touch, women all over would kill to brush it out of his eyes. Ever since he hit puberty, Endymion had a way with women, they loved him, and he knew it, he was cocky and arrogant.
"Orion owes the Kingdom a lot of money, money he does not have. My father knew this and because of their friendship he let it slide. However I am not my father and if Orion does not have the money to give then from the rumors he has something else just as valuable." Endymion stood from his chair and looked at his generals for the first time since they stepped foot in his throne room.
"If she is as pretty as they say, she will bring in a good coin for the Kingdom, and in return I will eliminate the debt Orion owes." Endymion felt he was being plenty fair in the situation.
"They say the other women volunteered so they could stay together. She must be pretty special for them to volunteer themselves into slavery." This comment caught everyone's attention; Jadeite looked up to and caught all the shocked looks.
"What do you mean they volunteered, are you telling me four noble women volunteered to be sold at a slave auction to stay with Orion's daughter? I was shocked to hear that all four were noble but I had believed they were forced." Kunzite had never heard of noble women doing such a thing, these were not ordinary women.
"Well apparently they were all childhood friends, grew up together like we all did. A villager from there passed by this morning and was telling me a bit about it. He said only one was forced but she would have volunteered given the chance. That the women were all very close and extremely protective of the Lord's daughter." Each man looked at one another, trying to understand the situation better. This complicated things a bit more.
"The villager said they were among the most beautiful women he had ever seen, which is why I will be checking in on the auction myself. Might even purchase a rare beauty myself if they are as he says."
Endymion narrowed his eyes; it was very odd that four high born noble women would volunteer themselves into slavery. He wondered how true the rumors were about the beauty of these women, Lord Orion's daughter specifically.
"Perhaps we should all be in attendance, I am curious about these women." They all looked at Zoisite in surprise, it was clear he did not approve of the auction and he often kept things to himself, but to show interest and to announce they should all be there was new.
"Yes, Zoi is correct, I am interested now too." Endymion sat back down, and for the first time in a while, let the excitement build.