The Venusian Masquerade - Chapter 5

© 1998 by Cresent Star

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Disclaimer: All characters are property of Naoko Takeuchi, Kodansha, 1992. Any infringement of copyrights is regretted... Don't sue...

Author's Note: Please send mail! Even flames are better than nothing...

Princess Serenity wandered about the empty hallways of the palace, totally unaware of her mother's plight. She thought on this. Why were the halls and corridors empty of servants and life? It was so depressing. Currently, she was on the run from her nurse maid (though she often claimed that she didn't need one.) Just then, she came upon an upset girl quite by chance. She looked at her, then wondered if anyone could look so angry.

Makoto was still fuming over her recent encounter with Oliveiro. How dare he stand there and smile at her so arrogantly! Who did he think he was? She realized how stupid she had been actually falling for royal scum like him. The fact that she still liked him angered her even more. She glared at the floor. Only when she looked up she met the curious gaze of the princess of the Moon.

"Is there... something wrong?" she asked, a little shyly. Makoto dropped a curtsy. She was the princess after all, even if she did hate having to do what she regarded as silly acts of formality. "Nothing but the usual woes over a teenage infatuation Princess, unworthy of your attention."

The princess made a face, an action unexpected by Makoto. "Oh, please! How can I assume the rule when I don't even understand the little aches and pains in the lives of my subjects? Come now, tell me what is troubling you."

Makoto raised her head, ashamed now, as she thought of her irrational behavior. Her stomping about must have been quite a sight to the princess. She spoke in a low voice, as if to an old friend, "I hope for love that can never be, Princess."

"Don't call me princess, " she said, shaking her head at Makoto's form of address. "Why don't you call me... Usagi? 'Princess' is too formal for my liking. What's your name?"

"I am... Kino Makoto. Call me Mako-chan, " she seemed almost as shy as the princess had been. "Usagi chan.."

The princess smiled, a smile that lit the place like a golden sun beam. "That sounds nice. I like it. Now, Mako-chan, you were saying? Do go on, I'm most interested."

Makoto bit back a bitter smile. How would the princess feel when she found out the betrayal of her own prince? Instead, she looked at the princess pleasantly, "He is of great status and I am not worthy of him."

Again the princess shook her head decisively, "Mako-chan, that is where you are wrong. It doesn't matter who you are. So long as you love him and he returns your love." She took her hand, leading her to a small white painted bench. She sat down, motioning for Makoto to join her.

Makoto knitted her brow, "That's it, Usagi-chan. I know how I feel about him. I just don't know if he feels the same." She jumped, startled as the princess touched her jaw suddenly, letting her fingers fall along the curves.

"There is something special about you Mako-chan, " she said, still fingering her jaw. "I feel a very great power hidden within you..." Makoto blinked. Why had the princess changed the topic of conversation so abruptly? The princess noticed her expression immediately and drew back, embarassed.

"I did not mean any harm," she said gently. Her tone was so genteel that Makoto felt unable to tear her gaze away from the princess' angelic heart shaped face and deep aquamarine eyes. She held the prefect picture of sweet, innocent beauty. The sight of her took Makoto's breath away. What would she do to men? Makoto thought. She hastened a reply to her lips before she made the princess believe she was offended, "I don't mind Prin- I mean, Usagi-chan."

"Nearly slipped up there, Mako-chan."

There was a bit of an awkward moment. Neither party knew quite what to say. Makoto faced her as the princess began to speak again.

"Would you like to come to the ball next week? The princes and princesses of the planets will be there, " Serenity frowned a little, "I am to be married to that conceited young Prince of Earth, Endymion. The ball is being held in its so called 'honour'."

Makoto raised her eyebrows in surprise at the fact that no matter how mild the princess appeared to be, she was capable of such sarcasm.

As if reading her thoughts, the princess smiled more bitterly than Makoto herself had been intending to. "Did you really think I was pleased about the engagement? You are wrong again, Makoto. Endymion is not the one for me. My nurse maid is looking for me and I don't want her to succeed. Do come to the ball. Bring a friend. I'll be waiting for you."

Makoto, rendered speechless for a while, slowly nodded her head, "I'll be seeing you, Usagi-chan," she said softly.

"Good bye for now, Mako-chan."

* * *

The creature that held Queen Serenity securely in a death like grip snarled. She had nearly let the royal one go when the raven haired girl burst in, startling her. "Stay back, or say good night to your Queen."

Rei hovered in uncertainty. What could she do? The Queen's life hung in the balance. "What do you want exactly? Let the Queen go and we may consider your request," she readied an ofuda behind her back. She could whip it out at any moment.

It gave the most disgusting grin and spat out,"Ill take her life anyway." the presence of Metallia hissed impatiently at the delay. *What are you waiting for? Finish her!* The youma nodded absently to itself, then drew back its arm quickly, bringing it down slowly for the maximum pain.

Rei screamed and her ofuda went flying as someone tackled the youma from the side.

* * *

The first thing Marianna expected to see when she awakened were Makoto's green eyes looking down at her, not the warm grey ones of the Healer that attended to her. "Where is--" she started, but was caught. Her mouth was as dry as parchment, making speech difficult.

"Shush," the kindly woman said, placing a finger over he chapped lips. "It would actually be good if you got some fresh air, but, seeing that it was exactly what got you in this mess in the first place, I wouldn't recommend it." She helped her up on a pillow, then poured a glass of water for her. After a few sips, she found it easier to speak. "Where is that girl? The tall brunette?"

"Oh, your friend was here a while go. She left because you were still asleep. I guess she didn't want to wake you."

"I see," Marianna said. She was a little disappointed that she wasn't there. "By the way, who was the person who locked us in and more importantly, who saved us?" That had been bugging her a little. Who was sadistic enough to lock two people in such a cold place?

The Healer looked grim. "As to who is responsible, you can look out of the window. Yes, there it is. The green planet. Prince Endymion strikes again. You were lucky that Princess Rei and her prince were able to find you in time. Otherwise -" She smiled to herself. "There I go again. My mouth always runs away with me. Take some rest. I'll check on you later."

Marianna nodded, then settled back into the covers.

* * *

The youma shrieked, writhing on the floor in agony. It was trying to scratch off the ofuda that was stuck firmly to it's forehead. The slip of yellow paper, on the contrary, refused to budge.

Rei gasped, having the wind knocked out of her when her fiancee landed on top of her. The Queen crawled across the floor to grope under the bed for the Crescent Wand. When her fingers finally found the pink wand, she raised it and shouted the incantation that would eliminate the youma.

"Silver Crystal Power, Illuminate!"

Metallia's reaction was fast. Just as the rays of energy hit the youma, she teleported it back before real damage could be done. The youma were now precious and few, but she would gather more later. In the mean time, this youma was important and had to be salvaged.

Serenity breathed a sigh of relief. "That was a close call." She inclined her head towards her rescuers thankfully. "Ah, who might you be?"

"Domenico and Rei of Mars, your majesty.."

"Thank you for your help. Without it, I would have been dead by now."

"No need, my queen... It is our duty to protect the wielder of the Silver Crystal," Rei said. Then she began to giggle. She turned to her love. "It looks like we're saving plenty of people of late." She giggled some more.

The queen could only stare in confusion as to the source of her mirth.

* * *

Queen Metallia hissed angrily at the failed assassination attempt. However, as she scanned the youma's mind, she found interesting scraps of information that made her think twice about the mission being a complete failiure after all. There was corruption about the palace. Infidelity tainted the energy waves.

"Beryl..." she snarled. "Who is this Beryl? She is one of the most corrupt about them..."

The End of Chapter 5

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