Enter Lord Cyanite! The Battle for the Dark Kingdom!

(Tears of Crystal - Pt.24)

© 1998/2006 by Stayka deyAvemta & Shavana Rhea


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Even Kunzite couldn't help but stare at the man in the rapidly dissolving pink crystal. The captive was as tall as Kunzite, and shining silvery white hair flowed far down his back. He was clad in nondescript grey clothes, and even in his motionless state, he exuded an air of arrogance and confidence that matched Kunzite's.

"He's not my twin. I was an only child," Kunzite declared in irritation.

"You sure?" Obsidian asked doubtfully and looked from Kunzite to the other man and back. They were rather similarly built with broad shoulders and narrow hips, although the new guy seemed to be even a tad more athletic.

Finally, the last of the pink stone had disappeared, and the ex-prisoner collapsed to the ground.

"Damn!" he groaned and tried to get to his feet. "I hate it," he muttered when he finally stood. Now one could see that he had truly amazing cyan blue eyes.

Kunzite looked at him and frowned. This guy spoke Old-Kesshana, an ancient version of the Crystal Kingdom's main language that was solely used for magickal spells in the later time. Fortunately it had been required for every Mage to learn it to pass the exams in the University of Magickal Sciences, so Kunzite could understand him quite well. The Senshi weren't that fortunate.

"What did he say?" Minako wanted to know.

To Kunzite's surprise, Zoisite managed to translate the exclamation. But then, he had hated the Old-Kesshana lessons so much that curses were the thing he remembered best. Proudly he looked at Kunzite. This was the first time that he could actually use this long-dead language except for reading boring spellbooks.

Obsidian examined the new guy thoughtfully and wondered who would voluntarily use this ancient language today. It was only good to torture students of magickal sciences and make spellbooks as illegible as possible.

"What are ye lookynge at?" The man looked darkly at the bystanders. "Have ye ne'er yseen a passing fair Mage?"

Kunzite didn't believe it.

"Well, canned Mages are rather rare around here," Obsidian replied haltingly in the old tongue.

"Don't ye dare insult me," the man hissed and lifted his hand, then he frowned and uttered another curse when he found that he was still too washed out to conjure a fireball or a similar destructive spell.

Obsidian circled the guy with interest. Fortunately he was still very weak, he thought, otherwise he seemed to be highly dangerous. At least he didn't stand for any nonsense. "Why were you put into this crystal?"

"For some disagreement of politics. Where am I?" He looked around and examined the Senshi with interest. "Who art thou anyway?" His gaze met Kunzite's, and he lifted an eyebrow. "Sholde I knowe thee?"

"Well, I don't know you. Maybe I should introduce myself first. I'm Kunzite."

"Good. Thou mayeth address me as Lord Cyanite, Kunzite," he said haughtily.

The Senshi looked from one to the other. Even though they didn't understand one word, it seemed that the new guy tried to beat Kunzite into second place.

"I should have rather kept the nice pink crystal," Obsidian sulked.

Zoisite couldn't rip his gaze from Cyanite. He was beautiful, he thought enraptured, especially these bright blue eyes. Obsidian shared his opinion. How could anyone have such blue eyes?

"I am ful glad to be free once more. Now I kan finally set my plans in motioun!"

"And what might those plans be?" Kunzite's voice dripped icicles. He didn't like Cyanite. He didn't like him at all.

"That is nat thy concern." Cyanite turned his attention at the Senshi. "Swiche faire maydens... I am most certayn I koude make good usage of ye - in my harem," he grinned and showed two rows of perfect white teeth.

"Eh, they are mine," Obsidian protested. Fortunately he used Old-Kesshana, too, or they might have objected.

"All of hem?" Cyanite chuckled. "Ye do not look lyk ye are the owner of swich a fair harem."

"Why not? In any case, I have the older rights."

Kunzite noticed Zoisite's admiring looks with worry and put a hand on his shoulder to remind him that he was his property.

Cyanite grinned when he saw the motion, but for his taste the girl with the coppery-golden hair was too flat-chested anyway.

"Could someone tell me what's going on?" Makoto asked.

"This guy has some really weird ideas," Obsidian told her.

"What kind of tongue spaketh thou?" Cyanite inquired with a frown. "Where am I?" he repeated.

"This is Tokyo in the Earth Realm," Kunzite told him.

"I don't like this guy," Rei stated. "He seems to be more arrogant and everything than even Kunzite."

"I agree," Obsidian nodded. "Can you imagine that he wanted to have you all for his harem?"

"What?!" Rei exploded. "I think we should teach him some manners!"

"But he looks dangerous," Ami cautioned.

"I think he's a hunk," Minako sighed. "What a body!"

"Well, he's way too impertinent," Obsidian grumbled and eyed Cyanite sullenly.

"Earth Realm?" Cyanite echoed. "Why have ye broght me amidst those barbarians?"

"Hm." Kunzite examined him thoughtfully. "Who was the ruler of the Crystal Kingdom when you were imprisoned?"

"Emperor Pyrite of course. Why asketh thou? And why Crystal Kyngdome?"

Kunzite tried to place the Emperor in the history of the Crystal Kingdom. "Pyrite... Pyrite... Yes! I think it was the Era of the Iron Wars."

"What are ye talkynge about?"

"It seems you were locked in this crystal for about 1400 or 1500 years."

For once Lord Cyanite forgot his arrogant demeanor. "What?!"

"Ts," Obsidian grinned. "Welcome to the twentieth century!"

"Leave me now. I have to ponder the implicatiouns of this." Cyanite made a dismissing gesture.

"Are you nuts or what? This is Makoto's home and if there's someone who leaves, then it's you!" Obsidian exclaimed.

"Insolent wretch! I am Lord Cyanite, and thou hast to obeye!" He straightened and gave a really impressive picture with blazing blue eyes, his athletic build and the flowing white mane. Minako couldn't help but sigh. What a guy!

"Why should I? I don't obey every guy who comes along and calls himself 'lord'."

"I am a lord - and now that I am free once more, I shal finally conquer the Crystal Empire and assume the seat of the Emperor!"

"Have fun," Kunzite muttered under his breath. He wondered what Cyanite would say when he learned of Queens Beryl and Metallia and the Dark Kingdom. Suddenly he grinned and turned to Obsidian. "Would you do me a little favour," he said in Japanese. "Why don't you open a doorway into the Dark Kingdom and give Lord Cyanite the opportunity to meet Queen Beryl?"

"Yeah," Obsidian said cheerfully and opened a gate.

"Would you please follow Obsidian, Lord Cyanite?" Kunzite said sweetly. "He'll show you to your proper quarters."

"Verray well," Cyanite said graciously and stepped through the doorway.

* * *

Cyanite and Obsidian materialized in a remote corridor of the Dark Kingdom, for Obsidian thought it was a wiser choice than immediately barging into the audience chamber.

"Where are we here?" Cyanite looked around in disgust. "Time hath nat dealt favourably with the Crystal Empire. I shal rebuild it to its former glory!"

"Whatever you say. I think it's pretty boring here."

"Obviously thou hast never experienced the true glory of the Crystal Empire - when we went out and conquered all the other nations of the Hollow Earth to create one glorious realm under the most venerable Emperor Cattierite."

"Hm. This must have been a bit before my time."

"Thou meaneth, thou hast ne'er heard about the glorious battles in which I, the mighty Lord Cyanite, triumphed over the myriads of enemies whom I slew all on my own? I, who singlehandedly struck down whole armies with my powerful magick?"

Obsidian shook his head. "No, never heard about it."

"Thou art an ignorant fool," the ancient Mage growled.

"Only because I don't remember what happened 1500 or so years ago?" Obsidian retorted angrily.

"My deeds were supposed to shyne through the millennia!" Cyanite struck a pose and looked down at the younger man. Obsidian watched him with admiration. This guy certainly spent some time working out. "Although it seemeth that about 1500 years were probably some centuries too many," Cyanite conceded wryly. "This tyme I shal do better."

"Where do you wish to go today, Lord Cyanite?" Obsidian asked with a slightly ironical undertone.

"Hm. Is there a place where I can obtain a decent meal?"

"Sure. If you like canteen fodder..."

"Wouldst thou happen to know a better place to eat?"

"Sure. And what do I get in exchange?"

"I shal spare thy lyf when I will have conquered the Crystal Empire."

"No, that's not good enough for me. There are lots of people who want to kill me, so you would have to queue up anyway."

"I shal have the first claim to thy lyf!" Cyanite's eyes started to glow in an angry cyan blue. He seemed to regain his strength faster than Obsidian would have liked.

"This is a wonderful kind of blue," Obsidian admired him. "I'd love to have this, too."

Cyanite was totally taken aback by Obsidian's reaction, and the shimmer disappeared. "Huh?!"

"The colour when your eyes glow. They even look prettier than Lord Kunzite's."

"Ah." Cyanite smiled self-satisfiedly. "So it is Lord Kunzite?! He did nat appear verray noble to me. By the way, who is that fair damosel of his? She's beautiful even though she is awfully flat-chested."

"Which damsel? Oh, you mean Zoisite? But that's a he!"

"That explains a lot. - It is a pitee, though. There are few maydens that faire."

"True," Obsidian agreed. "Zoisite is very pretty - but he's also really dangerous. And he is Kunzite's property."

"His property?!" Cyanite laughed. "Indeed, it looketh that way. But he dooth nat need to be worried - I do nat take interest in boys."

"That's a pity," Obsidian sighed. It would have been too much fun to watch Kunzite and Cyanite battle for Zoisite.

"But then, I never tried it," Cyanite mused with an impish glint in his incredible blue eyes, and Obsidian shook his head in amusement.

"What about the food?" he asked.

"Ah, yes. Ye are to take me to a place where I will get a decent - no, make that magnificent - meal," Cyanite ordered.

"We didn't agree on the price."

"But we did. Thou wilt take me there and I shal spare thy lyf." Without further comment, Cyanite conjured a dangerously looking ball of bluish white fire that he balanced on the palm of his hand, before he gave Obsidian a deadly smile.

"I hate threats," Obsidian moaned and conjured a doorway back to the Earth Realm. "Well, just wait until I have exercised some more!"

Cyanite followed the violet-haired boy through the black energy gateway. "Exercised what?"

"Magick spells."

"Indeed." Cyanite grinned and stretched a bit. 1500 or so years in the prison crystal. He still couldn't believe it.

"Unfortunately I'm still just a beginner in the magick department," Obsidian sighed. He would have loved to fry the arrogant Mage with a nice big fireball. Wishful thinking. For now he led Cyanite to a good restaurant.

The silver-haired man looked down on himself. He still wore the grey outfit he was put in when they had tried and convicted him for high treason against the Emperor. It was an embarassment that this silly twit Pyrite had managed to lure him into such a trap that he couldn't blast himself out of it. With a thought, he turned the prisoner's outfit into the proper dress uniform of a Battle Mage of the Crystal Empire.

Pic
of Lord Cyanite by Stayka

"I didn't know we have carnival already," Obsidian commented. Cyanite wore an armour of copper and silver over a blue tunic with hems embroidered in copper and silver and black trousers. The outfit was completed by a black cape that was lined in silvery white.

"What? Carnival? Is this another glorious battle?"

"Er, not quite. It's a time where people run around in costumes. And yours looks pretty ridiculous."

"It is nat a costume. It is the dress uniform of a Battle Mage of the Crystal Empire," Cyanite told him in a huff.

"I hate to disappoint you, but it's hopelessly out of fashion today. Moreover, Mages don't exist anymore for about 1000 years now."

"What? No more Mages? But what of Kunzite and thou?"

"Well, we're not exactly from this time either."

"Hm. And who dooth the battles, the healing and the conjuring in this tyme?"

"The mundanes of course."

"What?! But they kan nat employ magick! How kan they do all the magickal stuff?"

"They don't use magick anymore. They employ science and technology."

"Technology?!" Cyanite spat. "They actually use the Black Arts! I shal teach them to walk the wikked ways of science! I will conquer the Earth Realm as soon as I have conquered the Crystal Empire and bring the true magickal arts back to the Earth!"

"Ah," Obsidian said. "I like magick better, too. But still you can't walk into the restaurant like this."

"Well. Thou hast lived in this tyme for a while, so I shal abide to thy judgement. Clothe me in an appropriate attire."

Obsidian grimaced. Conjuring a greater amount of matter was still beyond his abilities, but he should rather not tell Cyanite what he could or couldn't do. "I can show you some outfits, but you should better conjure them yourself."

"Verray well." Cyanite preferred not to be worked upon magically anyway. One never knew if someone didn't manage to apply a concealed spell trap or something similarly unhealthy. After having reviewed some of the current fashion as projected by Obsidian, he settled on an outfit similar to the young man's with skin-tight black trousers, a white shirt that he left partially unbuttoned (Obsidian grinned at the sight - this guy resembled Kunzite even more than he'd thought) and a black blazer.

"Good. Now we can go."

"I already miss my cape," Cyanite sighed and didn't realize that he almost sounded like Kunzite in this respect.

"I really wonder what you like so much about such an impractical piece of clothing!" When Obsidian had tried to wear a cape once, he had only managed to stumble over the seams or he'd gotten caught up with it.

"It looketh more imposing." With a fleeting thought, Cyanite added a long black cape with blue lining to his outfit and flourished it elegantly. "Seyeth thou?"

Obsidian grumbled something. It was so mean that this guy obviously didn't even need to concentrate to conjure something.

They entered the restaurant, and Cyanite had a truly grand entrance. Obsidian sighed and trailed him. About all the women gazed raptly at the magnificent silver-haired Mage, while most of the male customers gave him angry stares.

"Somehow I did suspect something like this," Obsidian muttered and took place at the table that Cyanite had chosen for himself.

"Juste as it sholde be," Cyanite stated smugly. "All the men cower in fear and the women are myn for the takynge."

"I thought you were starving."

"Exactly." Cyanite gazed hungrily at a pretty young woman with long, black hair.

"For this we didn't need to go into a restaurant."

"Ah well, thou hast a point. First things first. I shal have a Gadeleam u Veriana."

"Hm." Obsidian frowned. Whatever it was had probably died out with the Crystal Empire of Cyanite's. When the waitress came, he ignored Cyanite's wish and ordered something he liked.

"Now thou wilt tell me what happened during the tyme of my imprisonment," Cyanite demanded.

"But I don't know much about ancient history. You see, about a thousand years ago Queen Beryl built the Dark Kingdom from the ruins of the Crystal Kingdom and she has been in charge ever since."

"A queene for a thousand years? It is tyme that a real man cometh to power once more."

"Well, until now she has managed to emerge victorious every time whenever someone tried to dethrone her."

"Now I am here." Cyanite ran a hand through his thick, silvery mane and smiled nonchalantly.

'I hope they'll kill each other', Obsidian thought and admired the luxurious hair of his vis-à-vis.

Finally the food arrived, and Cyanite frowned. "No Gadeleam u Veriana? Telleth me nat that it dooth nat exist anymore!"

"How did you guess?"

"Well, I am nat only passingly handsome, but also highly intelligent."

"Undoubtedly."

Cyanite grinned at him and tried the Châteaubriand Obsidian had ordered. "At least it is delicious. I commend thee."

Listlessly, Obsidian picked at his food. He preferred either fast food or Makoto's cooking. Cyanite finished his portion off almost in no time.

"Liketh thou thine nat?"

"I'm not really hungry."

"Fine. Thou mayeth give it to me then."

Obsidian shrugged and exchanged the plates. Cyanite wolfed down this portion as well. After 1500 years, he needed some decent food.

"And now I wolde lyk to have a little dessert." He eyed the black-haired woman again.

"I don't think you'll find her on the menu."

"A pitee. Although I sholde ask hir anyway."

"Unless you can suddenly speak modern Japanese, you might have a problem with that." Obsidian yawned. It was becoming boring to play the tourist guide.

"Indeed. I shal postpone it until I will have conquered the Crys- er, Dark Kyngdome." He had to learn this Japanese as fast as possible. He had to take the time to extract the knowledge from some native of this area.

"As you wish." Obsidian had discovered his mirror image in a window and began to order his hair.

"We shal return to the Dark Kyngdome now so that I kan devyse a plan to dethrone this queene."

"Just a moment." Obsidian continued to work on his hair.

"Now."

"I'm sure you can open a doorway yourself."

"I assumeth it is thy duty to open the portals for men of nobler birth."

"Indeed? I'm still not even sure if you're truly a lord."

"On what reasons doest thou base your doute?" Cyanite asked with a raised eyebrow.

"I've never read of a Lord Cyanite in any of the genealogy books Antimony forced me to learn by rote." Obsidian grumbled. Whenever he had done something Antimony didn't like, she had given him another family tree to learn. By the time he became Nephrite's pupil, he was through the books for at least two times.

"Well." Cyanite made a face."That may verray well be the case - Cyanite is nat my given name."

"Indeed? So who was your father?"

"Lord Jervisite."

"Oh, you mean this guy who was married to Lady Pyroxene and gave his children the absolute ridiculous names 'Pidgeonite', 'Hypersthene' and 'Hiddenite'?"

Cyanite growled something. "Exactly that is the point. At least it was my brother who was punished with the name Pidgeonite. But if thou ever addresseth me as 'Hiddenite', thou shalt be deade."

"Don't panic," Obsidian grinned. "But this means you are an ancestor of Kunzite's! No wonder you look so much like him."

"I wolde seye it is more the other way around. He looketh lyk me. Did he at least inherit some of my family's powers?"

"He calls himself a Master Mage."

"I am nat sure whether this degree is similar to the one in my tyme, but it sholde suffyse. Kunzite seemeth a bit shy to me."

"Well, 'shy' isn't exactly what I would call him."

"Mayhap he was overwhelmed by my dazzling personalitee."

"Undoubtedly." Obsidian shook his head and studied Lord Cyanite who grinned back smugly. "And what are you going to do now?" He had to visit the others and tell them Cyanite's real name.

"I shal go to the Dark Kyngdome and plan to seize the power."

"I'd love to hear what Beryl thinks of your plan."

"I do not mind. If she is ful fair I mighte add hir to my harem."

"Well, if you like strange thorny things and orange eyes. But at the moment she'll be celebrating the return of her dear boytoy."

"So there is a kyng here as well, but he is not in charge? That's outrely disgusting."

"But he isn't a king! Endymion is just a prince. And I can't stand him at all."

"I might kepe him to clean my boots and do other lackey's work."

"Oh yes," Obsidian said contently. "Are you going to give Celestine and Phonolite similarly fitting jobs?"

"It dooth depend. Who art those tweyn?"

"Two more of Beryl's commanders."

"I see. I shal put them to good usage, methinketh. Is nat Celestine a wommen's name? Then she will become another additioun to my harem - depending on hir looks, that is." Cyanite grinned and stretched lascivously while he watched the reaction of the female observers with satisfaction.

"You'll cause an uproar this way," Obsidian sighed. "We'd better go."

"Well, I might take one or two of them with me for the begynnynge," Cyanite mused. He still found the black-haired woman highly attractive.

"Didn't you want to take over the Dark Kingdom?"

"Well, thou hast a point. It is of no use to carry around unnecessary weight. Let us go." He got up and put on a particularly seductive smile that he directed at the prettiest women.

Obsidian was glad when he had managed to usher Cyanite back into the Dark Kingdom via a doorway he conjured in some deserted corner. When he continued to behave like he did in the Earth Realm, something bad was sure to happen.

Cyanite grinned smugly. So the boy had performed his duty and opened him a gate after all.

"Where do you wish me to lead you now?"

"I am in need of an overview over the cavernous system as it is now. Furthermore I need to knowe where Beryl keepeth hir guards and soldiers. And lastly, I wolde lyk to get in contact with others who art nat content with Beryl's reign."

"Anything else?" Obsidian inquired ironically.

"Yes. A chart of the power structure in the Dark Kyngdome wolde be of greate usage. Is it soothely Beryl who is in charge or are ther counsellors or military officers who have the verray power?"

"And of course you need all of this yesterday." Obsidian looked annoyed - did Cyanite consider him his lackey?

"How didst thou guess?" the Mage chuckled.

"I'm not stupid," the young man sighed.

"Fyne. Then it sholde be no major problem for thou to procure the informatioun."

"It isn't. I already know most of it anyway."

"Verray well. Then telle me."

"The chart of the caverns lies somewhere in my quarters, and you have already met the guys who oppose Beryl - Kunzite and his colleagues. About the power structure - Beryl is in charge, but she gets her orders from Queen Metallia who seems to be a highly powerful demon."

"When she is a demon I shal seal hir into the abyss - or wherever it is she cometh from!" Cyanite examined Obsidian thoughtfully. "When thou already knowest all those thynges, why is it that thou hast nat tryed to seize the power thyself?"

"Unfortunately I'm not strong enough."

The Mage narrowed his fantastic blue eyes to slits and probed the youth thoroughly. "Thou only hast nat trained ynaf," he finally stated. "But then, I prefer to be the strongest, most powerful, fair and intelligent Mage in the worlds anyway."

"Who would have guessed" Obsidian sighed. "I've heard something similar before."

"You mean there is someone else who claimeth to be as greate as I?"

"Yeah. Kunzite thinks he is the greatest."

"Kunzite, huh? I shal teche the younge upstart wher his place is."

"Make it so."

"But first telle me some more about that Metallia-demon."

"She needs lots and lots of energy to wake up."

"So she is still in some kynde of stasis or sleep? Fyne. Then I shal put hir on diet until she's sufficiently weak so that I kan seal her into a human body, thus lymityng hir powers to a human level."

Obsidian looked at the tall Mage in fascination. He had the impression this guy knew what he wanted and intended to to put it into action.

"Maybe I shal use thee as my aide when I have assumeth the throne. Thou seemeth to be a bright boy."

"So?"

Cyanite smiled self-satisfiedly. "Indeed. - Now I shal meditate upon this confinement spell. Is there some hideaway in this desolate place where I kan staye and devyse my plans?"

"There are lots of empty quarters."

"Showe me a suitable place."

"I hate being ordered around," Obsidian muttered, but went along anyway.

"I am a lord and thou art a servant. It is all as it is supposed to be."

"I'm no servant," Obsidian protested.

"You're weaker than I am - that suffyseth for me."

"That's so mean," Obsidian sulked. "Everyone takes advantage of my lack of power."

"Poor little one!" Cyanite grinned and tousled his blue-violet hair.

Obsidian growled angrily and his eyes began to glow dangerously red. Cyanite threw back his head and laughed.

"Thou actually hast some spirit within thee. Now I know thou shalt make the parfit aide."

Obsidian sulked openly. He wasn't 'little'.

"Show me these quarters thou mentioned." Cyanite gave him a slap on the backside.

Obsidian hung his head. What had he done to deserve this?

"What waitest thou for?"

Obsidian trotted along and Cyanite followed him as if he already owned the Dark Kingdom.

* * *

I hope this guy and Beryl will destroy each other," Kunzite said. "Then I can take over the Dark Kingdom without any problems."

"That would be great, my Lord," Zoisite beamed and nestled against his beloved.

The Senshi watched them closely and wondered whether Kunzite's rulership would be better than Beryl's. At least he seemed to be mostly on their side at the moment which was better than having to fight him directly.

"Well, girls - what about the next session in magickal sciences? Now that we're here altogether, we could spend the time to do something useful, don't you think?"

"But Jadeite wants to meet me at the Shrine," Rei began and blushed when Minako giggled.

"It's absolutely obvious that you can't stand Jadeite," she teased.

"Can't a girl change her opinion?" Rei said defensively. "And he's a fabulous cook."

"The way to a woman's heart is through her stomach, hm?"

"You still should buy that dictionary of proverbs," Ami sighed.

"Talking of food and cooking," Zoisite mentioned and let go of Kunzite. "I'm hungry."

"I could cook something," Makoto offered.

"Can I help you? I'm really hungry."

"If you insist. What would you like me to make?"

"Well, currently I only know how to cook spaghetti or lasagne. I'm sorry."

"Hm. I don't have any Italian noodles - but what about some tenpura and a collection of sushi for starters? The we can go on to prepare some rice dishes and touhu to koebi itame."

"But doesn't it take so long until the rice is done?"

"Of course it will take a while, but I will taste accordingly."

"Good. Then let's do it."

Kunzite looked at Zoisite in amazement. "You really start to like cooking, do you?"

"Well, Jadeite convinced me that it isn't unmanly." And as Kunzite loved Japanese food as much as he did, it would be nice to learn how to prepare this, too.

Makoto and Zoisite disappeared into the kitchen where they spent full two hours.

In the meantime, Kunzite called Jadeite who came over, too, and Kunzite began to teach the Senshi some more in magickal sciences.

Finally Makoto and Zoisite served the meal, and everybody ate with great appetite.

"You really are a great cook," Jadeite said approvingly.

"Thanks." Makoto blushed. "Although I must admit, Zoisite had his part in preparing the food, too."

"Zoisite?! It seems you've learned a bit after all."

"Thanks a lot."

"Are you going to continue your exercises now or do you allow me to spirit Rei away?" Jadeite asked Kunzite.

The silver-haired Mage shrugged. "We can postpone the training session. I still have to ponder what to do with this 'Lord' Cyanite." And of course he had to turn his attention a bit more at Zoisite so that the little rat wouldn't get any weird ideas concerning this annoying new guy.

"Great! Rei, would you like to visit the kabuki theatre?" Jadeite had done some inquiries and found out that she seemed to be interested a lot in traditional Japanese topics, thus he decided to score some points by suggesting this form of entertainment.

The raven-haired girl smiled. "That would be wonderful. I haven't been to a kabuki play for quite a while, even though I love to watch it."

"Well, if you'd like we could also take the time to visit a Noh play at some weekend."

"You would actually do that? I've never found someone who sat with me through the whole seven hours of a proper Noh entertainment!"

"Well, I will make the arrangements then." Jadeite smiled at her. 'Strike!' he thought in satisfaction.

"You're sweet." Rei cast down her eyes and blushed once more.

"If you'll excuse us now?" Jadeite stood up and pulled Rei to her feet as well.

Pic
of Rei and Jadeite by Stayka

"Have fun," the other girls grinned. Kunzite and Zoisite left, too, while Minako, Makoto and Ami stayed behind.

* * *

In her rooms, Queen Beryl was amusing herself with Endymion when suddenly she felt a powerful new aura coming into existence.

The prince saw the frown on her face and froze. "Did I do something wrong, my Queen?"

"No, no," she said absently. "I feel a disturbance in the energy patterns of the Dark Kingdom."

Endymion concentrated until he could make out the strange aura as well. "Indeed. But what can this be?"

"It's powerful and it's evil," Beryl mused, "but as I am supposed to be the most powerful and evil entity in the Dark Kingdom - after Queen Metallia, that is - the carrier of this aura has to be destroyed. See to it!"

"As you wish, my Queen." Endymion got up and conjured his usual uniform. He didn't like the task at all - if he was right with his assessment of the intruder's power, he might not be able to win.

"You are dismissed." Beryl idly waved her hand while she was still lying decoratively on her diwan and Endymion teleported away to carry out her orders.

Queen Beryl sighed and commanded a couple of youma servants to attend. The were to bath and dress and style her properly so that she would make the perfect royal impression when the intruder would be led to her for punishment.

* * *

Celestine stood in front of the brainwashing device and grinned evilly at the auburn-haired man inside. The black energy was pouring into him for more than a day now, and soon he should be completely reprogrammed to be a loyal servant of Queen Beryl's.

She would try to convince the queen to give him to her as a servant for the annoying menial tasks such as cleaning the room, polishing the boots and the like.

The red-haired commander threw back her head and laughed gleefully at the prospect. It was a truly satisfying idea.

* * *

'I need some cannon fodder', Endymion thought. The aura he had detected felt really dangerous. 'Someone who takes a look and finds out what kind of adversary we're dealing with - and if that someone's untimely demise would make my position safer, it would be even better.'

Mentally, he went through the list of the persons in question. Ah yes.

*Celestine, Phonolite - attend!* he ordered telepathically.

Immediately, Celestine materialized in a blood red energy spiral that she had adopted as her personal trademark.

"Prince Endymion, you called?" It sounded more like 'You actually dared to call me? - I'll pay you back for ordering me around!', but then at least the wording was polite enough to be proper to address the queen's favourite pet.

"I did. But I also called your colleague Phonolite. We will wait for her and then I will tell you what you're supposed to do."

"Very well." Celestine leaned against the wall. "It might take some time until Phonolite will arrive, though."

Some minutes later, Phonolite stormed through the door, a piece of chewed-on bread still in her hand. "Am I late?" she panted.

"Yes, you are," Endymion greeted her darkly.

"Have you forgotten how to teleport?" Celestine asked acidly. "You're so dumb that you immediately forget a thing that you don't train every ten minutes."

Phonolite immediately burst into tears, and Celestine laughed derisively.

"Would you please stop your petty bickering? A powerful enemy has invaded the Dark Kingdom and you are chosen to find and destroy him."

"Are you so afraid of this enemy that you think only I am able to destroy him?" Celestine played idly with a ball of scarlet fire.

"Of course not. I want to give you a chance to prove your worth." Endymion telepathically sent her the signature and location of the enemy.

"Fine. Then I'll get all the honours of defeating a powerful enemy," Celestine said cheerfully, even though she didn't feel that way. But she could always shove Phonolite into the line of fire and ~ attack the enemy while he was occupied with her.

"Of course. - You're dismissed."

"Whatever you say." Celestine shrugged. 'Coward', she added in thought and teleported into the direction Endymion had given her.

Phonolite followed her on foot. This gave her the time to finish the bread, and when she arrived later it was still early enough.

Celestine appeared in the vicinity of the officers' quarters and looked around. Everything seemed to be considerably peaceful, although the evil aura had become stronger.

The psychic emanation was more evil than she would have liked, she thought with a frown, and the power level was beyond anything she had encountered so far except for Queen Beryl. Maybe it wasn't such a good idea to face this guy alone.

Several minutes later, Phonolite arrived. "I'm here. Is it already over?"

"No. But why don't you go to challenge the enemy? Then he might laugh hard enough that I don't have any problems to surprise him and finish him off," Celestine sighed.

"You are so mean," Phonolite whined. "Why don't you play the decoy and I'll hit him with the night sceptre?" She brandished the black staff.

"It might even work." And she could still teleport away when it became to dangerous.

"I told you it's a great plan." Phonolite stuck out her tongue at the other girl, but Celestine merely shrugged and went to the door of the quarter in which the source of the evil aura sat.

The door was locked and warded, of course, but she still managed to blast it open and teleported through. She didn't know that Cyanite had set the wards so that they would adjust their strength to the opponent to test his or her limits. Celestine wasn't much of a challenge according to his findings.

Cyanite had his arms folded behind his head and lay on the uncomfortable bed when Celestine stormed into the room, followed by Phonolite.

"Doest thou nat thynke it is impolite to knock at a door with a fireball?" he asked and assessed hir appearance with a really forbidden glance.

"What?" Celestine had barely understood the guy as he spoke the language that Obsidian had tried to drill into her so that she could read the old spellbooks. "Kunzite?"

She looked a bit more closely. He resembled Kunzite a bit, but his eyes were of a bright cyan blue and his silvery hair was at least twice as long as Kunzite's. "No, you're not Kunzite - but who are you?"

Cyanite frowned. He really should learn the modern language of the Dark Kingdom as soon as possible. Well, probably she had asked for his name. He sat up and looked at her with an impertinent grin. "I am Lord Cyanite, and thou shalt become oon of my wommen."

Celestine frowned while she tried to process the rapid flow of unfamiliar words. No, she must have misunderstood something. But on the other hand, she might have understood him correctly. She looked at him in fury. "Most certainly not!" she spat.

From behind Celestine, Phonolite looked irritated at Kunzite. Was he there to help them? But if he was, why did he talk in such an unintelligible language?

"Oh, thou hast spirit," Cyanite said. "I lyk this. And what is thyne name, or doest thou prefer to be cleped 'mayden'?"

Celestine understood something that involved 'name' and 'maiden'. Obviously he wanted to know her name. "I'm Celestine, commander of Queen Beryl's troops!" she said proudly.

Cyanite only understood 'Celestine' and 'Beryl'. This was getting tedious, he thought. "So thou art Celestine," he stated. The queen of the Dark Kingdom probably wouldn't look like a teenage girl and barge into the quarters of her officers. "Then this dumb blonde hath to be Phonolite."

Celestine was slightly frustrated. She wanted to hurl some insults at the intruder, but when he wasn't able to understand them it was no fun at all. Cyanite stood up and looked down at the two girls. The blonde looked frightened and not very bright.

"No, thou shalt nat have the honour to be added to my harem," he declared. "I demand at least a certayn standard of intelligence." Both looked at him out of big eyes. Cyanite stretched lascivously, and the impression wasn't lost on Celestine. 'What a guy!' she thought.

"What's going on here?" Obsidian wanted to know after he had materialized. He threw a heap of papers onto the table, the charts and maps Cyanite had requested.

"The little maydens thoght they were a match for me," Cyanite explained and gave Celestine a dazzling smile. Probably he wouldn't even need to brainwash her to draw her onto his side. "I shal kepe the red-haired oon. The blonde may serve in the kichene."

"I don't think that's a good idea. She's much too dangerous in the kitchen."

"Oh, thou doest nat worry, I am immune to moost poysouns."

"I don't think she's able to poison you - but I think she's as incapable of cooking anything resembling something edible."

"She kan alwey become a decoratioun of my throne room."

"At least she doesn't need any skills or intelligence for that."

"Indeed. She will be put into a sufficiently scanty apparel so that she will be pretty to look at." A sudden grin appeared on his face and with a wave of his hand, Phonolite was clad in some kind of bronze bikini with only some transparent veils attached. "Yes, somthynge lyk this."

Both girls looked scandalized at him. "You lecher!" Celestine shouted furiously. "How dare you?"

"Quit the shouting, fair mayden. I am thy lord and ye shal obey my wishes," Cyanite declared, well aware that most likely she didn't understand him anyway. To emphasize his point, he conjured a similarly scanty outfit for her.

Celestine exploded. "You arrogant sexist macho lecher!" she hissed and tried to hit him, but Cyanite caught her hands easily.

"Ye wish to seye somthynge?" he grinned. He waved his hand and activated the wards he had prepared for this room that prevented teleporting out, before he placed the girls telekinetically on the bed. "Is this nat a fair sight?" he asked Obsidian who nodded eagerly.

Cyanite sighed. "This was almoost too easy. How many commanders doeth Beryl have left? And are they lykwyse cute?"

"There's only Prince Endymion left, and I don't think he'll qualify as 'cute'."

"Well, the trap is set, we only have to lure him here."

"I'm sure he'll arrive in short time as he certainly sent Celestine and Phonolite as cannon fodder."

"Verray well. But it might be wyse to wait outsyde, I wolde nat want the maydens to be damaged in the fight." Cyanite collected the maps and charts and put them into a freshly conjured bag. "Take hem until I have finished off Endymion."

Cyanite left the room through the door as the wards he had set up prevented any teleport or the opening of a doorway. Obsidian followed him and looked for a corner from which he could watch everything without being seen. He hated being treated like a servant, he grumbled quietly.

It didn't take long, and Endymion materialized. "So thou art the last of Queen Beryl's commanders?" Cyanite asked him amused.

Endymion looked at Cyanite and frowned. "Pardon?" he asked.

Obsidian couldn't suppress a snicker. Obviously Endymion had never deemed it necessary to learn Old-Kesshana either, as he thought throwing roses was the best and only way to attack.

"I am Lord Cyanite," the silver-haired Mage announced, but refrained from adding further comments, insults or pretty speeches. Why wasting breath when the recipient didn't understand anything anyway. He really had to learn the current language of the Dark Kingdom.

Without further ado, Cyanite shot some fireballs at Endymion. The prince jumped out of the way and conjured a couple of roses that he threw at his enemy.

They continued their fight in silence, until Cyanite uttered a last derisive remark and teleported into his prepared quarters. Endymion followed him without thought and suddenly realized that he had gone into a simple trap.

Cyanite couldn't help but laugh at Endymion's stupid face when he became aware of the fact. With another blast of energy, he rendered him unconscious and left the room through the door once more. The girls were so surprised that they didn't manage to do anything, and Cyanite added some more wards from the outside that would turn these quarters into an unbreakable prison.

Obsidian came out of his observation post.

"Is ther anyoon else I have to take care of bifore I kan take on Queene Beryl?" Cyanite wanted to know and checked his outfit in a freshly conjured mirror.

"Well, I can't think of anyone else of importance," Obsidian shrugged and peered into the mirror as well. His hair was dishevelled, he noticed and conjured a brush to remedy the problem.

"Good. Now I only have to assess Beryl's strengths so that I kan stryke where she is weakest." Cyanite flourished his cape and was back in his Battle Mage outfit. When he went against a serious enemy, he wanted to do it in style.

Obsidian admired Cyanite. He looked really imposing in this armour - at least when he didn't intend to go into a restaurant this way.

The Mage closed his eyes and tried to make out the most important power concentrations. One was considerably weak - at least compared to the powerful, dark entity that resided somewhere. It was uncomfortably evil, he thought with a frown and opened the eyes again.

"So this hath to be Metallia," he mused. "But I am to be the most wikked person here," he declared in a huff. He gazed at Obsidian who gave him a questioning look. "Metallia koude prove to be a worthy enemy. Next to hir Beryl kan be neglected."

"And what are you going to do now?"

"Let me see. Beryl's so-called 'commanders' are shut away - now she is the logical target. Hath she any weaknesses thou wist of?"

"Well, there's her infatuation with Endymion, and she is getting angry real fast. And she seems to need this strange crystal ball of hers as amplifier for her magickal powers."

"So it might be wyse to catch hir unawares when she dooth nat have this amplifier with hir? Is there any way to get near hir inconspicously? I wolde lyk to watch hir first until I will decyde how to stryke hir down. - Where is she right now anyway?" Cyanite sent Obsidian the coordinates where he had located the queen.

"That's somewhere in her quarters," Obsidian remarked. "Then it's no problem to watch her secretly. Follow me!" He led him to some remote corner where he opened a hidden door. "If I may ask you to enter this corridor. It belongs to a system of secret corridors that lead to almost every room of Beryl's palace."

"Parfit. Thou wilt give me a map of hem as soon as possible."

Obsidian sighed. "There's no chart of them available. They are only mentioned in some books and I explored them myself."

"Well, then thou wilt draw a map for me."

"As you wish."

When his cape brushed the narrow, damp stone walls, Cyanite frowned in disgust. "How muchel farther is it?"

"Don't panic, we're just there." Obsidian went to a peephole and peered into the room. "Hm. She isn't in her living room." They tried some other peepholes until they found her in the bathroom.

"She's taking a bath," Obsidian told Cyanite.

"She dooth? Let me take a look! If she be comely ynaf I might add hir to my collectioun." He peered through the hole. "Pardee, she hath quite some dangerous curves."

"Indeed? I never noticed."

"Thou didst nat? Just look!"

"Beryl doesn't interest me. She's dangerous and a real bitch."

"That kan be amended. I shal put hir under my control, and she will be as meek as a kitten."

"Furthermore she's my cousin."

"So what?" Cyanite watched Beryl with interest while she was being washed and massaged by her youma servants. "She hath more power than my first probe showed," he remarked.

"Otherwise she wouldn't be our queen."

"True. But I shal put hir to hir rightful place." He continued his scrutiny of Beryl, but then he sighed. "What a pitee. Now she is being wrapped in a towel."

Obsidian played with a strand of blue-violet hair. It was boring to watch Beryl while she was bathing. He knew a lot of things he'd rather do, such as watching Makoto when she cooked.

"Well, I shal subjugate Beryl and force hir to tell hir underlings that she gives all of hir power over to me."

By now Obsidian wondered if Cyanite wouldn't be an even worse ruler than Beryl if he actually managed to defeat her.

"And as last step I will take on Metallia and imprisoun hir in a human body." He tried to flourish his cape, but he only managed to hit the lever that opened the secret door. Suddenly he faced the equally surprised towel-wrapped Queen of the Dark Kingdom and her four youma handmaids.

Immediately Beryl screamed enraged and demanded that the intruder be destroyed at once. Cyanite sighed and blasted the youma without much ado. He was a Battle Mage after all.

"Now thou art myne," he said cheerfully and tugged at Beryl's towel. The colour of Beryl's face matched her haircolour when she desperately clung to the towel.

"How dare you!?" she hissed and hit him squarely in the face. Unfortunately this meant that she had to dive for her towel in a rather un-queenly manner.

Cyanite ignored the hit and laughed, before he summoned vast energies to engage her in a battle of wills.

Beryl was furious, especially as this intruder had managed to catch her without her crystal ball. When she tried to summon more youma telepathically, she became aware that she was being blocked, a fact that didn't improve her mood either.

With all of her stength she tried to smash the impertinent stranger. Cyanite frowned. She was stronger than he would have liked, but he surely wouldn't admit it.

They stared at each other for long minutes - Beryl's eyes glowing an angry red, Cyanite's sparking cold deep blue fire - while the fierce battle raged on in silence.

Obsidian hid in a corner and watched them from his secure observation post, as the energies of the battle devastated the bathroom. He wouldn't want to cross either of them, he thought.

Just when the young man began to get bored after another couple of minutes, Beryl couldn't take the assault anymore and broke down.

For a moment, Cyanite wondered if he should obliterate her with a thought, but then he realized how close he had come to be defeated himself. There was almost no magickal power left that he could use, but he didn't dare show any weakness, lest Beryl might turn the tables in the last second, and so he put on his most arrogant smile.

Obsidian cursed silently. This had gone utterly wrong. He had hoped they both would kill each other off, but now it seemed as if Cyanite was the ruler of the Dark Kingdom - not counting Metallia, that is.

Cyanite looked at the red-haired woman who had bowed her head in submission. "Thou wilt address me as Emp-- no, make that Lord Cyanite. 'Emperor' soundeth so decadent. Then thou wilt address thy former miniouns and tell them that they now have to answer to me."

Beryl complied meekly. Unfortunately this Lord Cyanite - who by the Dark Powers was he anyway? He bore quite a resemblance to Kunzite - had beaten her in the magickal department, she thought seethingly. Well, she would act as if she was defeated and later on show him the depth of his mistake once she had regained her power and her crystal ball.

The silver-haired Mage grinned at her, and with a wave of his hand he dressed the former queen in a scanty outfit that would have befit some unfree servant girl of his time. For things like this he had always some energy left.

"Now make the announcement!" he demanded and ushered Beryl and Obsidian towards the throne room.

When they had entered the audience chamber, Cyanite looked around and shook his head. Such a gloomy, boring design didn't befit him in the least. As soon as his power was restored, he would redecorate.

Under the horrified looks of the court, he strode to the throne and sat down, the vanquished Beryl trailing along.

"Seyeth it." He told her, and Beryl announced her abdication. The murmuring of thousand youma reverberated through the hall, until Cyanite said: "Silence!"

His voice wasn't loud, but imperious enough to silence the court immediately. They were still stunned that Beryl had turned over her rulership to a stranger, and of course they wanted to learn some more about him.

"I shal rebuild the Dark Kyngdome to its former glory! Prepare a feast and sende in faire maydens - I wish to celebrate."

The youma who had not had the obligation to learn the old tongue looked at him in puzzlement.

Obsidian sighed. 'Wine, women, song?' - In that case he prefered Beryl's rulership.

"Obsidian, translate! - Ah no, I wist a better thynge." Cyanite said. This was the last straw, he thought. He waved a youma to attend, and the female creature who had fragile butterfly wings glided to him and landed next to the throne.

"Open thyne mind to me," he demanded. The youma sank down on one knee and made the gesture of obeisance that formerly only was due to Beryl. Cyanite stood up and put the tips of his fingers to her temples and opened a mental connection to take in the language of the Dark Kingdom. He was only glad that the sound formation still was rather similar, for this was the biggest problem when absorbing a language that way.

When he was finished, Cyanite grinned smugly. It paid that he had devised a spell like this. Especially when he had helped to conquer all the nations of the Hollow Earth in the past it came real handy.

The youma collapsed from the strain and Cyanite had her removed from his vicinity.

"And now bring on food and girls," he said for the first time in the current language of the Dark Kingdom. "I want to celebrate!"

"I'm bored," Obsidian sulked.

"You're bored? What kind of diversion would you consider worthwhile other than feasting and having fun with beautiful girls? Well, conquering other realms might be an option." Cyanite wondered what kind of hobbies the youth of today had. He was always willing to try out new ways of having fun.

"Well, what more can I do than hanging around and looking decorative?"

"As my aide you are entitled to join the fun of course. Just wait for the feast to be prepared!" He motioned Beryl closer to him, and she decoratively took place at his feet.

Inwardly she fumed. He would pay for this a thousandfold! Probably Cyanite hadn't discovered Nephrite yet. She would try to hide him and use him as an ally in crushing Cyanite. It was too bad that most of the youma would welcome this change of rulership as she hadn't treated them overly well.

"I don't think you'll like the food that the cooks of the Dark Kingdom concoct."

"So? If I have cause to complain, I will punish the ones responsible accordingly. So they'd better not fail me," Cyanite purred dangerously calmly.

"If you say so." Obsidian was sure that noone could top Makoto's cuisine.

"You don't believe me?" Cyanite clapped his hands. "Where's the food? I hate to be kept waiting", he shouted angrily.

'Oh no, this will certainly end in a disaster', Obsidian thought and teleported a heap of cushions from his quarters so that he could sit down comfortably. Maybe it would be best if he began to draw the map of the secret passages - conveniently omitting some of the corridors for his own further use.

Suddenly the air in the throne room shimmered and four youma appeared, between them a large table with an exquisite buffet that they had lifted from a medical congress.

Cyanite nodded approvingly and held out his arm. Immediately two youma grabbed some platters and ran to him. He picked some of the tidbits and tasted them.

"Very good. I'm pleased. - You may feast as well!"

The youma sighed in relief. The new lord was content.

Cyanite waved Beryl to his side and ordered her to feed him some fruits. This was perfect, he thought. So he could regain his full power, devise a plan how to confine Metallia and have a good time altogether.

Obsidian couldn't believe what he saw. Beryl actually fed this guy grapes - it looked like a scene from some cheap sandal movie. He couldn't bear to watch it anymore and so he turned his attention back at the sheets and went on drawing the requested map.

The youma devoured the buffet in haste. Who knew when they got something this good again? But then, the new Lord had style - although he certainly wasn't less dangerous than Beryl. No one who was able to enslave the former queen could be weak.

"And how long do you intend to celebrate?" Obsidian nagged when he had finished the map.

"Are you bored again?" Cyanite asked amused.

"Not again --- still."

"I'd still like to know what exactly you would find interesting." The silver-haired Mage chewed on another grape and gave Beryl a dazzling smile.

"Well, it depends. At the moment I would like to try out one of the magickal spells I tried to learn in the last time."

"And what kind of spell would that be?" Cyanite asked with a frown.

"Well, it's something with lots of blossoms," Obsidian said hesitantly.

"I don't mind a little decoration here."

"Good." Obsidian touched the amethyst pendant hanging around his neck and it turned into a large black tome that floated suspended in the air in front of him.

When Beryl discovered that it was Obsidian who owned Amethyst's spellbook all along, she hissed angrily and vowed to punish him adequately as soon as she got the chance.

"So this is your spellbook?" Cyanite stood up and closed the distance in two fast steps and grabbed for the book.

Obsidian looked at him in shook. "No!" - But it was already too late. When Cyanite touched the book, a blue flash hit him and threw him back so that he crashed into his throne, his long hair flying around like a halo.

"Damn," he groaned and staggered to his feet. "Why haven't you told me that it is keyed to you?"

"I've tried. And before you get any weird ideas, my father made sure that it is keyed so thoroughly to my life-force that it will be destroyed when I'm killed."

Cyanite gave him an evil stare. "That's too bad." He added something unintelligible, but probably it was better that no one could understand it.

Obsidian tried to stifle a grin when Cyanite fought to smooth down his hair that still crackled from the magickal energy charge.

"Well, then show me the book!" Cyanite demanded with a slight pout. He wasn't used to things that defied him.

"Why should I?"

"Because I want to see it."

Obsidian shrugged, turned the floating volume around and let the Mage peer into it.

Cyanite took care not to touch it again and scanned the text of the open pages. "Spellbook? That's a magickal scrapbook," he complained. "And moreover, the author had a horrible handwriting."

"So what? I didn't say it's the printed edition of the A to Z of Magickal Spell Design."

"Indeed. But where did you get it from? It looks like some pretty high class magickal work. Or did you research the stuff yourself?"

"No. It belonged to my father Amethyst."

"I see. Is he still alive?" Cyanite needed to know how many Mages were still around so that he could take precautions.

"No. He's dead for more than a thousand years now."

"Good." One potential problem less. This Amethyst would have been a worthy opponent. The formulas he had seen showed the hand of a true Master of the Art.

Obsidian turned the book back to himself and leafed through the book until he found the spell he wanted to try. Cyanite checked it and deemed it harmless, so he was allowed to continue.

The youth read the spell and closed the book which became an amethyst pendant again. Soon after, it started to rain blossom petals of various colours and fragrances. "Fine," he said with satisfaction.

"That's nice," Cyanite acknowledged. "You may do this more often."

"I agree. It's so dull and grey here."

"I told you that I want redecorate the Dark Kingdom as soon as possible." He looked around. "And I absolutely need some more pretty girls to decorate my throne."

Immediately, three youma turned into the seeming of beautiful young women and placed themselves next to Cyanite. They thought it might advance their status greatly when they did as he wished - and moreover, he was a gorgeous hunk of a man.

Obsidian examined them with a condescending glance. They were pretty fast insinuating themselves into Cyanite's favour.

Cyanite grinned pleased and tousled the feathery blue hair of the girl to his right while Beryl still fed him grapes from the other side. Perfect. This was a good life here.

"May I go now?"

"Yes, you may go. I shall spend the rest of the day with some highly relaxing things." He looked seductively at the green-haired girl to his feet who smiled back in anticipation.

"Fine. Until somewhen."

"Until tomorrow," Cyanite corrected. "You are my aide after all."

"But I think it's way too boring. And what for do you need me anyway?"

"It pleases me to have an aide. And if you don't do what I want, you're of no need to me anymore and I will kill you." *So you're well advised to obey my wishes*, he added telepathically.

*I don't think you have much energy left. Even if you manage to kill me, then you'd be so washed out that you're easy prey for Beryl and her youma.*

*They're welcome to try.* Cyanite grinned evilly. Obsidian was lucky that they held this conversation in private, or he would have had to kill him for questioning his power, whether he was already exhausted or not. *You should rather obey me*, he warned him.

*I won't be treated this way!*

*Neither do I. You have 3 seconds left to give in.*

*Okay. But only because I don't have any other appointments today.*

*Fine. Until tomorrow then.*

*Why do you have to order me around this way?*

*Because it pleases me. Now say that you'll attend tomorrow or I'll fry you. I can't have you undermining my authority.*

*Well, now I don't want to go anyway.* Obsidian complied and promised to present himself at the following day.

"Fine," Cyanite grinned. "And now we only need a good containment spell for Metallia. Do you happen to have one in this large book of yours?"

"No," Obsidian sulked and threw himself into his heap of cushions.

"Very well. Then I shall devise one myself."

The End of Pt.24 - Goto Pt.25


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