Sweet Dreams

Chapter 23: Courage Alone to Tell Truth From Lie

© 2006 by Pyrite aka Jessi Duffour


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Prince Demando was an intelligent and influential being with a vast amount of power. His innate abilities with the mind and his existence in a kingdom just outside of normal time granted him a special precognition that rare few possessed. It was easy to say that he was not easily tricked...hardly surprised.

However, his jaw nearly hit the crimson carpet as he saw his much sought after celestial vision veritably draped sprawled over the arms of his throne...the shimmering white of the elegant dress gleaming brilliant amidst the glorious crystal of the chamber.

Of course, he never expected his beloved to be engrossed a book on Tactical Military History of the Dark Kingdom. At the sound of the doors closing behind the prince, the figure glanced up from the book...face save for those sharp eyes veiled by the tome's pages. Eyes that apparently struck his mind to recognize...and yet, he seemed to have not yet made the connection.

Then, I dropped the book.

"There you are! Good news is...I've found your princess..."

I watched as the expressions raced across his features; surprise...shock...dawning recognition....aghast apallment .

"PYRITE?!"

"Unfortunately...yeah. Wait! Before you jump to any conclusions...let me explain everything. Here..." As I spoke, I closed the book and hopped out of the seat...stumbling slightly over the hem of dress before catching my balance, gesturing to the chair with a grandiose wave. "Sorry about my unorthodox situiation...but I think you'll need to get good and settled before I explain."

"You had BETTER have a GOOD explanation."

Those sharp violet eyes clouded into something utterly deadly and unforgiving as he stalked to the throne...sitting with a furious glare at me. I had to swallow hard to maintain my gutsy inertia and daring...then continued on.

"What happened is plain and simple. A rather surprising prank on the night of the ball. It's partially my fault for having drunk so much. Otherwise, this wouldn't have happened. All I recalled was waking up in this embarrassing getup. Trust me when I say...I would NEVER be caught dead in this attire. I WAS planning on finding out what happened to me...but then you showed up...and, well....one of the worst cases of mistaken identities I guess you could say."

As I continued to explain the whole scenario the anger began to seep from the Prince...releivingly replaced with a thoughtful demeanor. He nodded slowly recalling the encounter.

"So THAT is why you ran."

"You bet. Wouldn't you have done the same?"

A slow nod was his only response.

"Then why hadn't you told me earlier? A lot of trouble could have been avoided."

"I know...and I really regret that. But..I wanted to find out who did this to me."

"Why are you dressed up like this now ?"

I couldn't help but feel a mischievous grin steal across my lips. And...just as if on cue...a knock came from the door. I nodded, gesturing to the door, whispering softly.

"I think you might want to let them in."

The Prince stared at me long and hard for a moment before coolly admitting them to enter. When the doors swung open the looks of surprise on Rubeus and Esmeraud could not have been any more priceless. I lightly leaned back against throne's side, my arms crossed over my chest as I endeared the pair with a sweet angelic smile.

"So kind of you both to join us. Why look so surprised? Heavens, Rubeus...you look like you've seen a ghost. Oh...and Esmeraud...I believe you forgot something." Reaching up to the back of the dress, I plucked one of the buttons free and threw it to the greenhaired woman with a casual underhand toss. Something small and emerald gleamed like a precious jewel as it soared in the air...only to be snatched from the air by the Prince himself. Inspecting the button himself with a grim cool scrutiny, he tossed the article back to the woman...his words cold, dispassionate.

"You two had better explain. NOW."

* * *

I could tell you every dull detail word for word of the hours long brain wracking session...but, I find summarizing much better. Mercifully, the prince was FAR less upset with me...but it took some pleading on my part not to have the pair flayed alive for this little incident. Rather...he took a shine to my idea.

* * *

A beautiful morning it was...sitting under the tree with the Weird Sisters, the Prince, Kunzite and the Queen. It was the Prince's idea to have a breakfast picnic within the royal garden. Curiously enough...neither the Queen nor Lord Kunzite ate much of anything...save drinking their red wine...however I wouldn't let this wonderful feast go to waste! I was merrily delighting in a bagel topped with a crown of light whipped creamcheese and strawberries that was so VERY much better than the mystery gruel that passes for sustenance in the Dark Kingdom.

It was in the midst of sipping a light mixed juice (mercifully devoid of liquor) when I heard an assortment of gasps...a distinct gurgling gulp and coughing of a choke on a drink as the last two invited to the picnic arrived. Oh yes..the party was going to become ALL the more exciting. Casually, I finished my sip and set down the glass before raising my gaze to the approaching pair.

One was a rather distraught Rubeus clad in that damnable white dress...his hair added to by a wig of flaming red pulled into those two silly meatballs and along side him was a sullen Esmeraud clad in the same dress...but in a most hideous shade of garish orange.

Ah yes.

Revenge was MOST sweet.

* * *

Who was it that said "Parting is such sweet sorrow?" I may have known once upon a time...but for now, I must resign myself to simply accept it as yet another thing my memory had lost. Philosophy aside, it best explained the situation as we stood at the brink of the gates, preparing to head back. It seemed like years we had been there, but it had been mere days...maybe two weeks.

I had grown to enjoy the company of these eccentric vain people of the Dark Moon Kingdom...and I secretly hoped to attend the next trip. I supposed I'd been spoiled by the sociality. My mentor acted as if nothing had happened the other night...and neither did I. In fact...Beruche seemed to have forgotten as well: it might have never happened at all...save for the bruise nearly all faded from my cheek.

It earned a round of laughter when Beruche bounded up to latch her arms about my waist, planting a sudden kiss on my lips and I...startled and blushing like a schoolgirl...or boy... I fell flat on my rump with a look of innocent surprise. Kunzite reached out and grabbed me by the scruff of my collar, hauling me to my feet with a bemused glance at the Queen who only chuckled in response...head shaking slow.

"I would order you to break him of this incessant shyness, Kunzite...but I still find it amusing."

"Quite." Demando smirked slightly, shaking his head slowly, he then stepped forward, holding a folded parchment to the Queen whom took it almost greedily into her clawed hands.

"Here is the list of items we would be interested in trading for. If there is anything you desire...perhapse you can send Pyrite with your needs and we can work things out. Until next time...safe journey."

A slow devious smile slinked across my matron royalty's visage as she nodded.

"A most enjoyable prospect...thank you. And now...it is time for us to return to our Kingdom."

On that cue Kunzite and I stood on each side of her, I taking that eerie cold leathery hand in mine with a slight shiver. The Gate glowed brilliantly admidst the crystalline hall...the power teasing against my skin with an electrified tingle. As we turned to step into the gate...I couldn't help but submit to temptation. As my foot stepped into the brink of the warp, I turned my head to glance behind to Rubeus and in a manner most mischievous, I stuck my toungue out at the dress clad man before continuing through the rend in time and space.

"Why you little sonova...!!! "

Mercifully, what else he had to say was lost amidst the roaring cacocophony of silence within the gate.

* * *

We then stepped out of the gate back within that dark sinisterly creepy Kingdom we call home. Well...they walked with grace and dignity. I stumbled forward, tripped over the daise and fell into a tumble down the steps to land with a cough sprawled on my back. Apparently, this 'gating' technique was going to take some getting used to.

I heard a sigh of my mentor...and the rustle of cloth as the Queen proceeded to her throne...sinking to sit.

"PYRITE!"

Feeling my heart lurch into my throat, I scrabbled to my feet and stumbled back up the daise to fall to one knee before the dangerous Sovereign...head bowed and staring with a slight fearful tremble to the polished stone floor.

"Y...yes My Queen?"

"Excellent work!"

"Eh?"

Momentarily taken aback by the sudden praise, I mentally fumbled to switch gears and bring some sembelance of intelligence back. I glanced up through my bangs to the Queen cautiously...she whom was sitting with an ultimately pleased expression...much akin to a snake basking in the sun after a lovely meal. I drew a deep breath then nodded meekly, not risking to incure her ire again.

"T..thank you My Queen...I...uhm...think....."

"Do you realize how many years I had been attempting to open trade between our Kingdoms?" I could only shake my head blankly. "Centuries!!! And now Demando is all too willing because of you. You had proven your worth indeed...despite the silly blunders you seem to drop yourself into . In fact, I think now would be a good time to step up your training. Kunzite."

My eyes strayed up to my Mentor who approached to stand beside me in a rustle of cloth, a regal tall commanding figure. Powerful. A soft breath escaped in a rueful sigh. Will I ever be General material? Sometimes, I'm a little envious of his visage. I wish I could be cool and in control like that.

"Yes, My Queen?"

"Double his Magic training and prepare him for a practice squad. It is time he learned the responsibilities of command. Oh, and one more thing."

"Yes, My Queen?"

"For the love of Metallia, DO something about his grace. He might have decent fighting skills and booksmarts...but I doubt he will inspire terror in the Senshi if he stumbles over them coming out of a gate."

I blew my foppish long bangs out of my eyes at these words...feeling my cheeks redden unbidden. A slight smirk tugged at my mentor's lips as he bowed low, solemnly.

"As you wish, My Queen."

"Good, now you are both dismissed."

Rising...I straightened before we both bowed solemnly before the Royal throned figure. I self conciously descended the steps one by one...acute attention forced to keep as smooth a movement as I could. As we exited out through the large doors, I dropped my hand down to my side where I had felt something dig into my ribs through the fabric of my jacket. And there, tucked under my belt, I found a small object wrapped in a light blue fabric. Beruche.

Canting my head aside slightly, I unwrapped it to reveal a small crystalline bottle filled with a viscuous clear substance and a folded piece of perfume scented parchment. Blinking...I unfolded the small note as I continued to follow my Mentor.

Pyrite,

It was so pleasant to have you visit! The girls and I will miss you...and I think the Prince will too. None of us recall seeing him smile and laugh so much in a long time. Here's a little gift from us...moondragon musk oil. it's pretty rare, but should be just what you need to feel better! Take care of yourself, Darling, and come back to visit soon!

Love,
Beruche

P.S. Watch out for the Big Bad Wolf!

I blinked slowly as I perused the letter...feeling heat climb to my cheeks. Coughing slightly at my mentor's inquiring glance, I wrapped everything back into the cloth before slipping it away inside my jacket lapel. He shook his head slowly then entered the door to his own abode as we neared...closing it firmly behind him. Sighing, I entered my own room...hesitating just within to peer into the darkness after I closed the door, leaning back against it.

Was this home?


The End of Chapter 23 - Goto Chapter 24


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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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