Chapter 8: Jealousy
Title: The Noble Slave
A/N: I do not own sailor moon or the characters
The days seemed to pass by quickly enough; the girls fell into somewhat of a routine with their generals. Some of their relationships were easing while others stayed tense. Serenity was left in the care of Trista and Artemis while Endymion prepared for Beryl's arrival. It only proved to sour his mood the more he was away from her.
Amy felt content for the first time in forever it seemed. She felt Zoisite respected her and loved how he asked for her opinion on his research. It made the other girls smile when they spotted the two together, usually in close contact whispering closely and often smiling softly at one another.
Lita and Nephrite had fallen into a competitive rivalry almost, they played more than anything. There was obvious flirting with them but they would not go past their need to better the other. If she wasn't with the girls she was with Nephrite in the training grounds, he had gained a lot of her respect when he asked her to help train the soldiers.
Raye was still ignoring Jedeite's charming ways, though the girls suspected it was merely a ploy, she liked to play hard to get. She wouldn't stop speaking about him however in their presence but only in private. Raye had always been good at giving men the cold shoulder, only Jedeite was not backing down. It intrigued her and made her feel that perhaps he might one day be worthy of her.
Mina and Kunzite were not often found together. He was usually holed up in his study or checking up on matters to do with the kingdom where Endymion could not be bothered with at the moment. Mina found him boring no matter how handsome and challenging, so she often found a better source of entertainment. No matter how irritating it secretly made Kunzite.
"Lady Mina, how lovely you look this evening." The deep drawl of a man stopped Mina in her tracks as she walked through the gardens. If there was one thing that could distract her it was the attention of a good looking man.
Standing before her was one of the many guards she often flirted with on a daily basis to pass the time. This one however had proven to be more forward than most, it excited her. He was quite handsome, not as good looking as Lord Kunzite but he made up for it with his charming personality.
A light blush spread across her cheeks, something she had perfected on demand when called for. Mina smiled as brightly as possible and twirled in her new dress, well one of Raye's new dresses. She took it upon herself to raid the girl's wardrobes as Kunzite hadn't bothered much with hers. She would have to bring that up to him the next time they crossed paths. As much as she loved her friend's new dresses, she needed something more her style.
Raye usually wore red or darker tones, Lita was too tall, Amy too modest and Endymion had only gifted Serenity with white and barely there clothing. Mina wore more of a summery look; she loved bright colors and a mix between modest and sensual.
"What do you think of my dress today William?" Twirling once more she stopped and curtsied with a hooded look up at the handsome guard, who broke out in a smile at her playfulness.
"It is a very pretty dress, but you make it beautiful My Lady." William followed her lead and mock bowed. This only caused Mina to giggle and wrap her arm around his. William was very pleased with her actions, it was not every day a beautiful Lady of the Court bestowed their affections on him, and he had grown fond of Lady Mina.
"You are such a flirt William. I know my day will be a good one after I have a run in with you." Mina knew she would never be allowed to have a relationship with William or any other man she flirted with, it was merely a way for her to pass the time. She quite liked William but knew without Kunzite's and the King's approval she would never be allowed to marry.
The two walked arm and arm through the garden for a bit, talking and laughing about gossip before they were interrupted.
"Sir William, Lady Mina."
William immediately dropped Mina's arm when he heard his commander call his name. He turned and bowed, while Mina stayed where she was not bothering to turn towards the man. Her irritation was evident on her face and she had to calm herself, she would school her features to show he did not affect her in the least.
"Report to Nephrite in the training room." The baritone of his voice sent shivers throughout her body, but she had learned to ignore it and pretend he didn't affect her.
William nodded before giving Mina one last look as he took off. He knew Kunzite was in charge of Lady Mina, but they all had thought he cared little for her as she was often alone without a guard or never in Kunzite's presence. However one look at his commander's face told him that may not be completely true.
"You should not be alone without an escort with another male, especially one of my soldiers." Kunzite's voice was strained; he was trying very much to keep his emotions in control. Something he learned was harder to do while in Mina's presence.
"You are my escort, unless you assign another to me." Twirling around Mina put on an air of indifference, a pouty smile on her face.
"I do not have time for your games; starting tomorrow I will have a maid assigned to you. You will not go anywhere without her and I do not want to hear about you flirting with my soldiers anymore." He had unfortunately passed by a group of soldiers talking the other day about Lady Mina. The little minx had half his squadron in a love sick delusion. He had to force himself to walk away after hearing the things they spoke about. Just thinking about it made him clench his hands…he was not used to this sort of thing and it bothered him immensely.
Mina narrowed her sky blue eyes. He pretended she didn't exist for weeks and now he was here demanding things of her? She was getting tired of playing games with him, especially when she knew they didn't work on him, so she dropped the innocent girl act.
"I'll have you know that I gain a lot of information from your soldiers while doing so. You would be surprised at how much information a man gives forth when a woman smiles sweetly in their direction." It was a tactic she learned early on, her father taught her that a woman was a very a powerful weapon in combat. She used it to strengthen their own soldiers. If they could ignore her ministrations then they could ignore another's when it came time for it.
Kunzite watched the sweet look of a child be replaced with that of a manipulative seductress. He watched her swish her dress around and slowly make her way towards him. For some reason he found he was unable to move away as she approached. His muscles tensed when her fingers trailed up his arm and down his chest armor.
Mina smiled when she saw even Kunzite was not immune to her ways. She leaned forward so that her lips were a breath away from his ear, his silver strands tickling her face.
"I know their weaknesses, their strengths. I know where you keep your reserves, your border check points. If I were anyone else I could crush your army with one word from my lips." A shiver ran down Kunzite's body, his eyes angry and wide.
Spinning around he trapped Mina against the nearest pillar, he shoved her hard but her face did not give away her discomfort. He was surprised at how turned on he was by her at this moment. She was obviously a seductress but she was so much more as well. He had supremely underestimated this woman. She was not merely a spoiled brat but a trained assassin.
"You will tell me all you have learned." Mina smiled up at the beautiful man before her, loving the feel of his hands on her, the nearness of his warmth. His body called to hers and seeing the intensity in his eyes only awakened her desire for him that she tried so hard to ignore.
"For a price."
She would get the wardrobe she wanted and possibly if she played her cards right, the man as well.
Endymion paced the throne room, agitation apparent all over his face. He hadn't seen Serenity in days and while he had more pressing matters to deal with, it was the only thing bothering him. They were expecting Beryl soon and his advisor Artemis along with Trista both felt it was best for all involved if Serenity was with Trista during her stay in the Palace. Beryl was known for her jealous rages and it would not go over well when he declared their betrothal void.
In the meantime Serenity was being dressed and trained in the temple ways. Trista was over joyed and had over exceeded what was expected of her. He was not allowed to see her until her short term training was done. Artemis had explained she was being cleansed and in a state of meditation, a way to connect with her priestesses and the Goddess. She was allowed no visitors outside the Temple and no contact aside from the head priestess Luna.
A reminder from Trista that Serenity was a Goddess herself and should not be touched by any mortal…a reminder he would ignore to the fullest.
"Your Majesty." Falling short of his next step, Endymion turned towards the voice recognizing it immediately.
"Artemis, come! Tell me news of Serenity." It was all he had lately; his obsession with Serenity was starting to bother him. He hadn't expected to become so enamored with her so fast, or at all in fact, he thought he was stronger than that.
Artemis saw how agitated his King was, knowing the lack of Serenity's presence along with Beryl's arrival being the main source for it. It was no surprise to see how quickly Endymion had fallen under Serenity's spell. They spent little time together but he could sense the difference in Endymion when she was around. She calmed him and nullified his anger, only when she wasn't around it seemed to come back full force.
"She has finished her meditation and will accompany Priestess Luna to the prayer circle. I have news also My King that Princess Beryl will arrive tonight. A messenger was sent ahead of her party to announce her wishes to see Serenity at the prayer circle tonight. It would appear she had planned to arrive on the full moon just for this purpose." Nervousness settled in when the room became quite. Artemis had expected some sort of rage or at least some sort of anger by Beryl's demand and close presence, but the silence almost felt worse, seeing the calculated look in his King's eyes.
"Have Priestess Luna prepare Serenity. She will be the one to provide the prayer in Luna's place." Shocked eyes followed the King as he made his way to leave; Artemis was unsure what this action would do. Sure they knew Serenity was the daughter of the Goddess but could she perform the prayer without proper training? Or was it Endymion's way of showing Beryl he had control over someone powerful as Serenity, yet how powerful none of them were sure of.
Rushing out of the throne room, he made his way towards the Temple of Selene. He needed to speak with Trista and Luna immediately. There was only hours before the ritual was to be done.
Serenity sat with her eyes closed on the cushion she kneeled on, she could feel the auras of her priestesses, their love and wisdom flowing through her. The past few weeks had been hard on her body, but peaceful for her mind. The training Trista and Luna put her through was something she never knew she was missing. She felt connected to her mother and the moon when before she just knew of their presence was not in tune with them.
Opening her crystal blue eyes she scanned the room, settling on her new friend and mentor Luna. She was a beautiful woman with dark long wavy hair and blue eyes. She was the Head Priestess of the Temple of Selene; there was something mysterious about Luna though. She seemed so young and vibrant but you could tell from how she spoke and her eyes that she was much older than she appeared.
"Serenity we must prepare for tonight." Pulled from her thoughts, Serenity looked up at her other new friend Trista. The two of them had helped her so much in the past few weeks that she felt she could never repay them for their kindness.
"Artemis is coming."
Both Serenity and Trista looked over at Luna who was still in meditation; she had an uncanny ability to know when someone was approaching the shrine, especially when it was Artemis. Serenity and Trista shared a secretive smile, they knew Luna and Artemis had secret feelings for each other but because of their stations would never act on them.
The three women stood together in the room looking stunning when Artemis entered. He was the only male allowed within the central walls of the Temple but by this point they were used to his random visits.
"What do we owe the pleasure of your visit Lord Artemis?" Luna smiled sweetly in his direction, making his heart stop for a second. Bowing respectively to the women before him he tried to think how he should word his King's request.
"His Majesty King Endymion has decided that he wishes for Lady Serenity to lead the prayer in tonight's ritual." Eyes closed Artemis awaiting the backlash of the request; he figured Trista would start with the ranting first.
"Tell King Endymion it shall be done." Luna's soft voice filled the room surprising him; he had not expected them to agree so quickly. Trista nodded in Luna's direction as she must have given her some sort of order as Trista then took her leave quickly.
"Is she ready for such a task Luna?" Dropping formalities Artemis approached the two women, letting his concern for Serenity speak out.
Luna watched as the man she had come to give her heart to approached them, she knew he cared about Serenity and it warmed her heart. His heart was so big and it was what made her love him so much, but her position was that of chastity and so she knew they could never be. It saddened her, but she loved her Goddess and this temple so she would choose them.
"She is very powerful Artemis; she is more in tuned with the Goddess than we are so yes I believe she will do just fine." Serenity blushed at the comment, she watched the two talked about her and felt herself feel lighter. It was like watching her parents worry about her, only instead of hiding her away in fear they were letting her out and knew she was strong enough to handle what may come.
"I will not let anyone down Artemis, especially the King." Something about pleasing the King made her want to do her best tonight even more.
"Princess Beryl will be arriving tonight, so please be careful Serenity, keep out of sight while she is present."
The warning was not light for both Artemis and Luna knew much about Princess Beryl and her jealous rages. It would not do well for Serenity to be caught up in such a situation, she was much too naïve to the world and did not know what implications Endmyion's broken betrothal will mean. It was becoming clear to everyone that Serenity was having a strong influence on Endymion and they had all hoped it was in a good direction.
"I promise to not be alone with King Endymion at any time while Princess Beryl is present. Please tell him I would like to stay at the temple until after she has left." Serenity spoke softly with a saddened look on her face.
Artemis nodded in agreement to both women before taking his leave, he was certain Endymion would not be too pleased with Serenity's request but knew it would be best until after Beryl was no longer in the palace.
Across town a beautifully buxom red head looked out her carriage window towards the approaching palace walls.
"Finally my dear Endymion, we shall be together once again."