Sweet Dreams

Chapter 14: It Is Not What I Fear

© 2006 by Pyrite aka Jessi Duffour

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Walking back into the room with a careful quiet tread, I handed the letters to Kunzite and the Queen with a touch of apprehension. I was still very much hurting from my Liege's earlier blast: I wasn't particularly eager to taste her power again. Taking a deep breath and steeling my nerves I quietly glanced around a bit warily, testing the general emotional air in the room. She silently read her note with cool indifference...then smiled slyly...nodded approvingly then glanced at me. With such a look I didn't know if I should have been thrilled or terrified. I decided to feel both...an interesting mix of emotions to say the least!

"Excellent, Pyrite. You had gained great favor in the Prince!" I sighed in relief in her compliment. "Hmmm...interesting...." She riffled through the papers quietly. I tensed, hoping beyond hope that she wouldn't be displeased. I might not survive it again. I let out a held breath as she beamed in crafty delight, her devilishly pointed features pulled in a near terrifying smile. I could feel her pleased mood almost thrumming in the air. I mentally tallied another Thankyou to the Prince. Obviously he said something that pushed the right button. Maybe if I was lucky, she would utterly forget her earlier cause of ill temperament.

"He gives your battle skills high praise...and thinks you would be 'an excellent and loyal general'. Very good Pyrite...very good." I blushed slightly at her praise, but remained at attention and bowed politely. I regretted it as I silently hid a grimace of pain.

"I thank you, My Queen." She nodded absently to me, then glanced at my mentor. The moment she looked away, I straightened gingerly, crossing my arms over my chest.

"Well, Kunzite...it may well seem you are doing far better with this student. Keep up the good work." He silently bowed; his face carefully neutral...but I knew the compliment double edged had cut him. I glanced at my liege and bowed apologetically, carefully.

"My Queen, might I be excused to clean up a bit? It seems...recent occurrences had left me in a state of appearance a bit less then presentable..." She nodded and waved me offhandedly, rereading the letter, more alertly this time.

"Thank you, my Queen." I murmured softly and bowed. Slipping into the bathroom, I closed the door and leaned against it and drew a deep breath, wincing slightly in pain. I had a feeling that it was going to be a long few days in the Dark Moon Kingdom...

* * *

Cleaning up proved a therapeutic boon:somehow, I felt a bit better when I was cleaner. I was surprised when I stripped off the uniform and untied the sash from my chest to see a large unhealthy dark bruise the size of a dinnerplate stark against my pale skin. I was lucky I wasn't blasted clear through. I was glad, after a bit of painfully tender poking and prodding, to discover that all my ribs were whole and undamaged. The last thing I needed was a broken bone or two. Maybe I AM getting a bit stronger. Now I was VERY glad for those painful training sessions with Kunzite. The constant pain and injury had toughened me up considerably. A blast like that, only about a month before would have easily killed me. I reminded myself to thank my mentor later.

After stepping out of the elegant bathing area, I walked quietly into the main living area, clean dress jacket over my shoulder, brushing out my still damp hair. Sitting lightly on the edge of the couch armrest, I paused...setting the jacket down and sighed, looking at the brush. I wasn't in any particular mood to go to this party now...I had no doubt that Rubeus wasn't going to let a disgracing defeat go unrevenged.

I started slightly, feeling a light touch on my shoulder. Pausing, I glanced up and relaxed slightly, seeing my cold demeanored mentor. I hopped of the couch nimbly and stood straight, embarrassed to be caught in a moment of weakness.

"Forgive me, Lord Kunzite...I was just taking a moment to collect my thoughts..." Which was more or less true. However, his cool eyed gaze settled on me, unnervingly intense. He shook his head, murmuring something softly in Japanese again then he held up the note to him from the prince. I paused and held my breath, mentally crossing my fingers that he was not displeased.

"I am surprised by this...why have you not before shown such fire and fighting skill in training? I am also well pleased to see that you are becoming more proficient with your pathos...however...I think that you need a bit more training in control." I silently nodded, my cheeks flushing slightly at his astute criticism.

"Lord Kunzite, I...I don't understand why, but fighting Rubeus was different than fighting you." I paused...thinking carefully, trying to find the right words, feeling his intense gaze, but looking at the floor, half in respect, but mostly so as to not meet his gaze.

"What do you mean?"

"I know I can trust you more than I can trust him...your life depends on my success. But...Rubeus only craved to fight, and it came to a point I knew he would try to kill me..." I coughed slightly as my voice cracked. My morals were sorely tested; I could still feel the crystalline blades in my hands...the feel of them touching Rubeus' neck...then a flashback memory of when Jade had her throat against my knife. All it would have taken in either case was a swift sure jerk of my hand to cut in deep. All too easy. I shivered and hugged myself, shaking my head, banishing the phantom memories. No, I wasn't a killer. Thank the gods, I had my soul, and I'd be damned if I would lose it.

I jumped slightly in surprise as I felt a cool strong hand on my shoulder, shaking me insistently. I grit my teeth and closed my eyes, refusing to show weakness. But I longed badly for...something. Something unexplainable. Comfort? Solace? Warmth and friendship. What I could only guess would be my family...but then, I couldn't bring up any clarient memories. All I could remember...was that one month. A month that is now my life.

"Pyrite." His cool calm voice cut through my depressed thoughts like one of his gleaming blades. Pausing I glanced up at him, feeling too late a warm wetness trickle down a cheek. Appalled, I brushed it away and tensed, then turned away, slipping on the jacket wordlessly.

"That is it, isn't it." His voice was cool, calm, introspective. "You did not spare Rubeus' life...you could not take it away." I only wordlessly fastened the clasps and smoothed out the crisp smooth fabric. Consciously, I was aware as I felt him take a step nearer. Softly, I spoke over my shoulder as I clasped the belt about my waist, tugging the dress uniform neatly.

"It was the human thing to do."

"I will give you a sound piece of advice, and if you wish to survive, heed it well." I listened intently to his soft cool voice, paying careful attention to his words. "You are not human. You forsake your mortality and humanity the day you swore your oath to the Queen." I blinked and turned to stare at him.

"What on Earth do you mean? Of course I'm human! I may not remember much of life before, but I am very certain I am Homo Sapiens." He shook his head, his normally expressionless face showing faint consternation.

"You WERE human. Coming to the Dark Kingdom, however, tends to change that. You are, since the day you made your oath, in a changing state. Eventually, you will become as I am...if you survive that long." I blinked. He looked at me intently and spoke softly, taking a step nearer.

"But..." He held up a hand in a gesture of silence.

"Accept what you are, accept what you will become." Biting my lip, a shiver crept through my body...an eerie feeling at play. I murmured soft words.

"Did you when you first came?" He blinked in surprise at my question, then silently shook his head.

"No. And that is why I am giving you this advice." Sighing, I nodded reluctantly.

"Thank you for the words of wisdom." He nodded silently. He then, much to my vast surprise, smiled slightly.

"I was pleased by what I saw of the battle. I see you have finally mastered the Porst Finde blade maneuver...and with both swords. Excellent. The prince gave you high praise on your fighting technique and skill." I felt my cheeks flush with pride and I couldn't help but smile.

"Well, as the Queen always says 'Desperation is the best motivation'."

The End of Chapter 14 - Goto Chapter 15

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Disclaimer: Sailormoon is the property of Takeuchi Naoko, Kodansha and Toei Animation. All characters, settings etc. are used without permission. This is an amateur fiction, and I definitely won't make any money of it.

This page belongs to Stayka's Dark Kingdom Home at http://www.dark-kingdom.de

© by Pyrite aka Jessi Duffour - Email: duffour@gmail.com

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