The Darkest Road
by Notre-Dame-des-Fleurs

Episode Eight: Fly Me to the Moon

* * * * * * * *

Placing my hands against her naked shoulders, I pushed the clinging girl away from me, defeating flimsy resistance with brute strength and longer arms. The little tramp was sweet to look at, no doubt, with butter-colored curls falling over a generous bosom, but unfortunately her skills were considerably lacking when it came to conversation. Luckily, my experience of counselors and nobility had long since taught me the blessings of selective deafness.

"Look, Sandy-chan," I said irritably. "I said goodbye-kiss, singular - at least in my vocabulary, there's quite a difference between that and a dozen."

She giggled. Oh gods, I hated that inane sound. Though I did not find the sight of her cleavage, clearly displayed by the scandalously low cut of her dress, quite so disturbing. And after all, it was I who'd chosen to seek her out. Whatever she lacked in subtly and intelligence, Sandy was a fairly sweet girl, and even though I'd made a lot of more profitable and pleasurable acquaintances since then, mainly at court, she had been the first girl I'd followed before I ran into Kunzite at the library. I'd cut my last ties with her after this.

"Oh," she said, trying a seductive smile. It was almost as bad as the giggle, but that nice figure of hers, as shown by the almost-transparent dress, somewhat made up for that. "Then would you mind buttoning this up for me?" Her chest leaned towards me. Apparently, the fabric between her breasts was held together by a row of delicate, almost-invisible buttons that I was surprised she could afford.

Groaning, I closed my eyes a moment. Did not lift my hands. "If you need help getting into your clothes, you'd better get a servant."

"Oh, come on. You showed such talent getting me out of them."

Which just happened to be accurate.

"Sandy, I'm a fucking god."

"Well, the part about fucking is certainly true." Again came that mindless, airy laugh. At least it appeared she'd worked on her wittiness a little.

Still, it seemed it had been a mistake to conceal my superhuman aura so absolutely. On the other hand, it was nice to be able to walk around in the city without being recognized as anything out of the ordinarily. There were lots of people simply crazy about us, loving or hating or not knowing which, whom I preferred to avoid. Fortunately, the elements of my disputable divinity could be hidden to practically whatever level I wanted - as for now, it was only the rich color and expensive fabric of my clothes that marked me as a nobleman.

Sighing impatiently, I dropped a layer of power-disguising spells and had the doubtable pleasure of witnessing the girl's eyes widen as she suddenly shrank back from me. It was nothing much, not even close to my full aura, but more than enough to lend me an air of authority and - laughable as that might be in the circumstances - dignity.

"Goodbye, Sandy-san," I said, smiling wryly as I walked away, back towards the palace. Now that the air of power that clung to me had been made noticeable, the crowds let me through easily. Teleportation was an option, of course, or using one of the latent doorways, but due to the increasing terrorism as of late, I'd set the mages in a frenzy if I broke through their wards.

No, I had better just walk back. It wasn't that far, after all, and if it made me a little late - well, they ought to be used to that by now. The notorious second Tennou, forever the dandy. Since my beginning to spend some time with the Court while partly shielding my powers, they appeared to think of me as slightly more human. I wasn't sure if that was a good thing, but at least one of us had to make some efforts getting closer to the humans. Kunzite and Jadeite had the wrong personality, and Zoisite was too young. It had to be me. Besides, it wasn't as though it was completely torturous.

There were really two Nephrites - one who fooled around merrily and somewhat enjoyed the laid-back decadence of dabbling in politics while drinking and sleeping around, and one who was clear and cold, honest and stark.

The man and the Tennou, or perhaps just the man and the mask.

Throwing a stressed glance down the street, I realized that I really was going to be late. The court officials would only hum for themselves about it, and even Luna and Relisiana would probably keep their peace, but Kunzite was a different matter. Ever since the funeral, the first Tennou had been acting strange and depressed, but it couldn't very well be just about Isila, since the two of them had never been close enough for that kind of reaction. No, this must certainly be something worse - and not only for Kunzite himself, since it wasn't him who was thrown out of windows three stores up when he lost it.

Well, I might die tomorrow anyway. Since nobody actually knew how successful this experiment would be, it was quite true. If everything worked according to plan, I could very well have millennia to live, but it was just as likely that the magical stress of being a Tennou would in the end prove to great for a human body.

Not that that was very likely anymore - or a subject that I liked to occupy myself with. Still, it did provide a more-or-less needed excuse to live for the moment. The memory of Sandy struck me, a lingering sensation of moving warmth underneath me on the slender bed - and all the while, even as the pleasure crested in my body, there was something in my mind that screamed.

No, not in my mind, but in my heart - a petit girl, born of sunlight and sea, watching over me sadly.

"Darkness damn it," I muttered. "She isn't real."

So how come her image stuck her tongue out at me when I voiced those words that I could not force myself to believe in? How come I even found that comforting?

I slowed my stride upon entering the palace grounds, hoping to give a reasonably dignified impression. Judging by the looks I received, I probably succeeded. Then again, perhaps that was simply because it was female servants ogling me - I was male enough to want a rump or two, rich enough that they might earn well on it, and young and handsome enough that they might wish to find out. For some reason, the thought disgusted me immensely.

The warp we were to use was located in what had once been a grove some miles from the Palace but that was now part of one of the Royal Gardens. Fortunately, no ceremonies or traditions like the ones that had forced us to pick up Luna restricted the visiting of the Moon Kingdom by Earthlings. Despite that, there was rather a crowd gathered in the tiny space left free from luxurious flowerbeds. Some of the outer blossoms had already been trampled, and although she said nothing to indicate such a mood, it was quite obvious that the queen was mad because of it. I'd heard this was a favorite place of hers.

The Sacred Gate had been opened by one of the Court Mages, a dark-robed woman standing with one hand upraised towards the portal. This was not one of the new, energy-expensive warps that took the traveler from one place to the other as fast and easily as a teleportation, but of the older model, that weft a path through Shadow Space, considerably shorter than the real distance, yet a dark and boring passage.

"My apologies for making you wait," I said, indicating a bow. Luna, standing just outside of the doorway, nodded tightly, and Kunzite, towering over her, raised an eyebrow. Speaking of the first Tennou, where was Zoisite? Well, I hardly missed him. No, dammit, that's gotta be the best thing with this entire trip - being away from that infuriating weasel.

"Then I propose we enter Shadow Space now," Luna said rather coldly. Apparently the speeches were already done, so I filed in shoulder to shoulder with Kunzite. It would have been classier with horses, but the queen had explicitly forbidden any such creatures in her garden. We walked.

Shadow Space was exactly like the name implied - foggy, grey, dull. Previously I'd only caught glimpses of it when teleporting or storing something or other in it, but I hadn't missed much. The real dimension really was a lot nicer than its reflection. It felt weird, and not particularly comfortable, to be in this unworld. Fortunately, the soft glow of our torches was soon dwarfed by the light from the opening at the other end of the warp and we escaped to a land the absolute opposite of Shadow Space.

Amaterasu, it was gorgeous. It was serene perfection, a fairy tale come true. No other place in the universe could ever compare to this, the celestial body that hosted the heart of the Player himself. There simply was no evil. Not the slightest trace. The war seemed never to have touched this place, a planet forgotten by time and reality alike. Only Elysion could possibly match the overwhelming feeling of being in a dream come true. I found myself wondering if there was such a thing as night here, never mind the position in regards to the sun.

"The horses are here," Luna said behind me. "Shall we?"

Looking past her, I could see the Tsukikagemati, perhaps half a mile away.

"Naturally, Lady Luna." I thought it best to reply that way - Luna-san would have been insufficient, and I was not about to call her sama. We mounted up and rode lazily towards the Town of Moonlight, capital of the Lunarian Empire. To be honest, I still thought it would have been more convenient to teleport, but someone had decided that we should continue riding, and so we did in astonished silence.

It was a good thing that the first view of that flower field had given me some idea of what to expect, because otherwise I might have wept at the sight of the Tsukikagemati. The town was made purely of crystallized moonlight, dominated by a high tower of what appeared to be enchanted silver. I could see it in the distance, beyond the actual royal castle, and thought for sure that it was a bridge up to the Harp itself.

People lined the avenues we passed in thick masses. Some of them only stared coldly at us, but most of them were cheering - a few even throwing flowers. Ironically, a cherry blossom landed on Kunzite's thigh. It was too much of a coincidence for me to keep my silence. After all, I needed something to break the air of content morality that resided here.

"Where was Zoisite? I was sure he'd be weeping all over you."

"That would have been sorely inconvenient, now wouldn't it?" Kunzite's voice was even when at length he replied. He seemed not to have noticed the flower that now slipped off of him and fell down to the ground. "We talked yesterday."

There was really only one answer to that. "You need to get yourself a girlfriend."

Kunzite favored me with an incredulous look. "Have you lost your mind? Zoisite would rip her to shreds."

"I sincerely hope that you're aware of how sick that is."

His face was uncomprehendingly blank for an instant, and he still looked faintly surprised as he answered, "I suppose. Anyway, am I to assume that that's the reason for your tardiness? You were saying goodbye to one of your...female human acquaintances?" I guessed he thought it inappropriate to call them whores, even though that was what he seemed to regard them as.

"Affirmative," I shrugged.

"Whatever. I just don't see what you get from associating yourself with that filthy breed. Maintaining a tool is one thing, sleeping with it quite another."

"So glad you noticed. And I guess your furniture must be as well."

Normally, I would have expected him to give me a nasty reply, but he looked so down that I doubted he would have even if we hadn't reached the palace grounds by then.

* * * * * * * *

I rose from the bed slowly, languidly slipping into a silken dressing gown and straightening my hair as best I could with my hands. Only then did I ring the little bell that would alert the maid in honor who slept in the little chamber connected to my bedroom. What the girl herself saw didn't much matter, but there might just be other visitors that I needed to give a calm, beautiful impression.

"My lady?" the girl called, entering timidly with a tray. "Your breakfast, m'lady."

"Thank you," I replied absently. "Put it down on the table over there. I'll call for you later."

"As you say, m'lady."

I watched her leave with more pity than interest. Despite the elegant lines of the dress and the fine quality of the material - a lady in my position couldn't have her servants less than perfectly equipped, after all - it was achingly apparent that she had no experience with court. That wasn't surprising, really, since she was just a relative that I had been convinced to hire, not a maid I'd wanted for her competence. I wondered now if that had actually been such a good decision, despite that I'd always had soft spot for this particular girl.

Well, no matter. I'll give her a week or two and see if she improves.

Sitting down on the bedside, I examined the tray and its artfully arranged bowls of soap, fruit and sweet berries. I was never very hungry in the mornings, but it was several hours until lunch, so I had better eat something.

Today, though, I was more distracted than normal. I wonder if I should go down there and say goodbye to him after all...?

I shook my head, using my chopsticks to pick up a cherry and deposit it in my mouth. I'd already decided, yesterday evening when he failed to come to our appointment, that I wouldn't go. It was not a silly revenge, but simple business - there could only be two reasons for Nephrite's missing our rendezvous, and I was confident that he hadn't tired of me after just two nights. Obviously, then, he didn't want our affair to become too official, hence naturally he wouldn't take kindly to my seeing him off. That had to be it. It did.

I meant, of course he still wanted me. I usually only needed a quick glance in the mirror to reassure myself of that, but for some reason I found myself examining my reflection with particular care today.

Oh yes, I was beautiful. It's hard to sleep your way up, otherwise. I'd come to court as a nobody - five years later, I was one of the ladies. One of those who mattered, who decided what was wrong and what was right. Very little of that was because of my own acheivements when it came to politics - in my circles, you were important if you slept with important people. The trick was to spot the right ones, to select the most desirable and successful people. Catching their interest was the easy part.

My present wealth was all thanks to my beauty. Long, raven strands fell over my back in perfect disarray, framing a pale golden face with the required small mouth and big, heavy-lidded dark eyes. I was the ultimate classical beauty. That was all I was, true, but it sufficed.

I'd always used it with a calm head, always went to bed with the right people. Practically every important male at court had graced my bed one time or the other, and the majority was more or less in love with me. A few females were too, for that matter. I was practically showered in confidences and priceless presents. The only one I hadn't tried my luck with was the king himself, and that was mainly because however much I rose, I would never be secure enough to arise the queen's wrath. Relisiana was sharp and hard and would never forgive me if I seduced her husband, thus doing so would be the end of me. It wasn't because she loved him, since she didn't have that kind of feelings for him. No, if she destroyed me, it would be for the sake of her stubborn Martian pride - far more dangerous than any jealousy could ever hope to be.

I'd been smart.

And then I met Nephrite. It should have been just an ordinary encounter, a greeting like any other, but it wasn't. We run across each other in a deserted corridor, and about three minutes later he held me up against the wall with my skirts lifted over my hips. It had been such it, an urge to be intimate with him that I didn't normally experience when I gave myself to someone.

He was gorgeous. I think that I honestly fell in love with him at once I saw him, even though of course I would never let him know that. He was a Tennou, after all - just an inch more of released power in his aura, and I would have fallen to my knees crying to worship him.

Being with him was an impossible idea, a doomed try, but it was a merit, and I had...wanted to. I hadn't wanted anything so much for years as I wanted now to go down and give him a goodbye kiss. But I wouldn't, and I knew it, because it was obvious, what with the distant look in his eyes as we made love, that he was in love with someone. Someone else, not me. I didn't even have the energy to wonder whom it might be.

He'd never loved me, and he never would.

* * * * * * * *

The suite of rooms that I had been assigned in one of the lofty palace buildings was remarkable, which said a lot about the standard one would probably find the Imperial Tower itself. The walls were of the same white color that grazed the outside of the buildings, the stone giving way every here and there to windows and glass-doors leading out to the miracle of a garden that I was planning to pay a thorough visit.

All this considered, it was odd how Kunzite blended in, looking almost as though this was his natural environment. If not for the way he had his eyebrows raised as he gave the delicate interior a skeptical glance-over, one might even have taken him for a well-built Lunarian, what with his peacefully cross-legged position and the soft fall of pale hair.

"Well," I said, slumping down on a chair with much-practiced, seemingly-causal elegance. The swordplay that all the others found so pointless grew grace as well as muscle. "Luna appeared happy to be rid of us."

"Very," Kunzite agreed. After a few moments of silence, he asked, "What the hell do you figure we're here for exactly, anyway?"

I was the more perceptive of us, as well as the one who'd spent most time with humans, yet I was forced to admit that I didn't know. "It seems a bit much to be just a friendly gesture of attendance, even for such an important matter as reinforcing parts of the Night Walls. Even considering that our beloved monarchs surely enjoy showing us off as their obedient and very useful tools, the two of us plus the ambassadors is something of an overstatement. And they would never trust us to speak for the Golden Kingdom."

Kunzite frowned. "If I didn't know better, I'd think they expected something to go wrong, and quite badly at that."

"We don't know better," I replied. "You remember that I consulted the stars, not that long before we departed? Well, I mentioned it to the Court Astromancer. Even though he's low in the queen's favor, both she and Endymion ought to have heard it from him by now."

"Heard what, more precisely?"

Hadn't we talked about this? I could've sworn we had, but perhaps I'd been to upset about my continued failure to find Naru. "That this isn't going to work," I explained. "Look Kunzite, being Tennou and all, we're about as closely connected to this universe as is possible, right? We've both analyzed the structure of the Night Walls and the comprehensible parts of the ginzuishou - don't you have this nagging feeling that this is wrongly calculated and will backlash?"

"Actually, I don't, but I'll rather take your word for it than trust those Lunarian pansies."

"How very flattering," I replied dryly. "Just make sure not to say anything at the lines of that in front of them - or Zoisite."

Kunzite's face tightened for an instant, then froze calmly into place. "It's your attitude towards him that's problematic, not Zoisite, and you really ought to do something about it. Anyhow, we have several more pressing issues to attend to."

My shrug was rather expressive, but it just wasn't worth it to get into an argument about the blonde brat now that I was finally rid of him for a while. It was best to change the subject. "The stars are in different places when seen from here, obviously. Maybe it'll give us a lead."

The expression on Kunzite's face was politely doubtful. "Strictly speaking, Nephrite, stars are nothing but balls of light-emitting gas." No matter how carefully he kept his mouth shut, words such as insane, idiotic and irrational hung in the air.

"They are balls of energy - moreover, energy that manifests itself in curious forms and wave-patterns. When connecting that to certain parts of your own mind and knowledge, they are most useful for divinations," I corrected him lightly. I mean, I wasn't hurt that he didn't take it for granted that I knew what I was doing. We didn't have that kind of relationship.

"If you say so." Disinterested as it might appear, his calm answer made it clear that he accepted my explanation and trusted me to handle it. Good to hear. "I am to suppose, however, that we are in possession of no clearer indications of what might eventually happen, or what this something might be?"

"I think you can safely presuppose that I would already have told you if we were."

"I'm sorry." He gave a little grin. "But it depends on your mood, I guess. And, of course, on just how much alcoholic beverage that little human slut of yours saw fit to serve you."

"Sandy-chan's a nice girl," I defended her half-heartedly.

"I might have bought that if you'd said it before she slept with you."

Shaking my head, I said, "Well, I certainly hope that at least the Silver Queen will be able to meet your hypocritical standards."

"I rather doubt it," he said amusedly. "From what I've gathered, she wears the same flimsy dresses as her little daughter is bedecked in. Anyway, if you don't mind, I think I could use a bath." He rose from the coach, giving a nod in my general direction as he left.

Closing my eyes wearily, I buried my face in my hands. This was all fucked up, it was going to screw up so badly, but the stars weren't talking to me, I knew they wouldn't, because they only spoke to me because of her - and she was lost to me and I was lost without her.

I needed, very badly, a drink.

* * * * * * * *

I was lying on my stomach, my head hanging over the edge of the bed and granting me a stunning display of the surprising amount of dust under it. Evidently the palace staff wasn't very effective, and I wondered if it was really so smart to let my hair fall freely and brush the floor. Not that it mattered much now. I sighed, trying to keep from whining - whining sounded awful, and moreover, it made beautiful facial expressions an absolute impossibility. But I was vain in vain, so to speak, and I knew it. It was Jadeite's room that I sulked in, after all, and the blond Tennou had seen me whine away far too often for me to care now. Besides, I had good reason to do a lot more than just whine a little - reason to cry, scream and feel miserable, for example.

Kunzite-sama had left for the Moon along with the others two days ago. I was...uncertain...about how I felt about it - on the one hand, my live was fairly much the same, with training and Jadeite and everything. On the other hand, it was just so empty everywhere. It was all right during most of the day, but every night I wanted nothing so much as to curl up and cry my heart out.

And I still couldn't quite puzzle out our last encounter.

I was sitting cross-legged on my bed, bedecked in my pajama and with a towel wrapped around my head, because my hair hadn't dried after my bath yet, and I was just too lazy to fix it with magic. Kunzite-sama had just come in for our usual goodnight ritual and was now perched on the edge of the bed, still clothed and alert. Previously, he'd stayed much longer in my room, sometimes even falling asleep in it for a while, but he didn't do that anymore. I didn't know why it had changed, but he was always fully dressed and somewhat...careful not to touch me. Not that he avoided it, exactly, but the spontaneity of it was gone. That was bad enough in its own right, and now, on top of it, he was going away and leaving me all alone and I just didn't know what to do. Quite naturally, I felt terrible.

"Do you really have to go?" I said it with downcast eyes, in a very small and pleading voice. It wouldn't have been my tone of choice, perhaps, but if I'd spoken any less softly, my voice would have cracked. I blinked.

"Yes, little one, I need to."

I sniffed, and a warm reassuring hand caressed my face, pushing the towel away and burying its fingers in my almost-dry hair. "It's no big deal," he murmured. "I'll be back in just a few days, I promise." Releasing me, he put two fingers under my chin and tilted my face upward, offering me a lopsided smile as he said, "And at least you'll be rid of Nephrite for a couple of days."

That was when I started to cry again after all. How could he ever think that Nephrite's absence would make up for his going away? Kunzite-sama simply gathered me in his arms again, and finally there were secure warmth around me and familiar hands stroking my back and a shoulder to bury my face in. I needed him. I always had.

"Daijoubu," came his soft, dark voice. "I'll be right back. I couldn't manage without you all that long anyway, now could I?"

Slightly heartened, I raised my head, blinking a few stray tears away and trying for a smile.

"Oh." The sound he made was a peculiar combination of a sigh and a moan. "Please, Zoisite, don't do that."

"Do what?" I felt a bit better, and my smile was getting more genuine, slowly turning into one of my usual sparkling grins.

"Zoisite..." His voice was strained, and my name sounded almost like a plea, although I was at a loss as to what he was asking me to do - or rather, not do.

"What is it?" I reached forward tentatively as I asked. He closed his eyes, cursing softly - then one arm wrapped around my shoulders, the other hand cupping the back of my head as his lips moved over my face, pressing ardently over eyelid and cheek and lips. He did not usually kiss me full on the mouth. Something warm and wet that had to be his tongue tasted my lower lip for barely a moment before he abruptly pulled away, releasing me completely. His breathing was heavy, heaving his chest, as he regarded me with an apprehensive expression I failed to decipher.

"I'm sorry, Zoisite, I really have to go."

I didn't even try to fight the fresh tears that leaked down my cheeks. I just didn't understand anything anymore. "What is it, Kunzite-sama? Don't me anymore?" I would die if he said no, or at least I would wish to.

His expression was akin to how Jadeite looked just before starting to cry as he grabbed me again, crushing me against him hard enough to leave bruises. That didn't matter. "Of course I like you," he said very sadly, an edge of desperation in his voice. "I could never stop liking you. In fact, I like you far too much. That's why I have to go away."

Admittedly, that didn't make much sense to me, but Kunzite-sama would only hold me, rocking and stroking and not saying a word more until eventually I fell asleep. I woke up the next morning to a castle that was suddenly very empty and the nagging question as to what the hell was going on here.

A violent sneeze wracked my body, probably caused by my inhaling a bit much of the dust I'd been looking at previously. The sound made Jadeite, seated in a padded chair, look up from the thick volume he was evidently trying to read.

"Aren't you getting bored just lying there?" he asked.

"Dreadfully," I admitted, dragging myself up in a sitting position. "I was just thinking."

"Anything you'd like to share?"

I shrugged - I couldn't say yes, because I didn't want to tell him, but naturally I couldn't say no either. Shrugging had to do.

Jadeite gave no hint of being hurt, but he obviously got the point, because he put the book down and changed the subject. "Mamoru's coming over fairly soon. Maybe the three of us could do something."

Putting myself through a hard struggle, I managed to refrain from rolling my eyes at the terrible idea. It was odd, but during the days after Sosaya's death, our roles had changed somewhat - I'd always been the little one, shielded and taken care of by the others. Now, I was suddenly conscious of how I should and should not behave in order to protect Jadeite. I wasn't sure I quite liked that.

"Look," he said now, "I know that you and Mamoru don't like each other much, but it would be convenient if you could get along with him for a while because he is going to show up. Besides, it's not as though there's a whole lot of other things to do now that they've cancelled our lessons during the Four Days of Utsume."

"I guess," I sad.

"Excellent." He smiled, and I tried not to sigh to loudly.

The device Jadeite had arranged on his door gave its usual pling, and my comrade called out to the knocker to enter. I remained sitting on the bed as Mamoru did so, disinclined to bow or even nod, whereas Jadeite's face lit up. Not as brightly as it sometimes did when he looked at me, but without the pain that used to accompany the expression then.

"Hello, Jadeite. Zoisite."

I murmured an appropriate greeting in return, rather listless - then felt a startle run through my body, focusing my attention on Mamoru with bright eyes at his next unexpected words; "How would you like to go to the Moon?"

"What?" Jadeite breathed. "Why would we...?"

Mamoru flashed us a proud grin, blue eyes alight. "I just talked to Mother. The ceremonial military company which is at the permanent Earthen ambassador's command on the Moon has been there for half a year now, so it's time to replace them. Mother said that the three of us may accompany them."

I realized that I'd been wrong all these years - Mamoru was not a boring fool. He was a brilliant genius.

"That's wonderful," Jadeite exclaimed. I personally thought that he sounded pretty fake and only said it to make the prince happy, but Mamoru seemed not to notice.

"Wonderful," I agreed impatiently. "When are we going?"

"In a few days. Tomorrow at the earliest."

"What? Why? It's not as though it takes all that long to open the warp." Teleportation would have been even faster, but I was not about to try transporting a hundred non-magic humans that way.

"We won't be using the warp gate," Mamoru said. "Unfortunately, it is located in Mother's garden, and she says she absolutely refuses to have all those soldiers ruining it, so we'll try out one of those space ships instead."

"Space ships," Jadeite nodded, not sounding half as confused as I felt. "I see."

"What's that?" I demanded. True, I could vaguely recall hearing of such an invention, but that was pretty much it.

Fortunately - or unfortunately, as the lecture soon became quite sickeningly boring and reminded me of why I hadn't listened in the first place - the other two had paid a lot more attention and promptly informed me that space ships were the latest news from the Outer Rim. On those planets, Warp Gates were frequently disturbed by negative energy, so they had used the lull in the war to create this type of vehicle. It was unclear how well they really worked, but the Golden Kingdom had purchased one none the less.

I, for one, didn't really see the point in that - but on the other hand, I for one didn't much care about it. The only important thing was that we were going to the Moon, possibly to some explanation regarding Kunzite-sama's strange behavior, but most especially to Kunzite-sama himself.

* * * * * * * *

Author's note:
It has recently come to my attention that I've made a rather embarrassing error in chapter one. That is, I wrote the last line of conversation between Setsuna and Chronos in the belief that "setsuna" meant "alone". As it turned out, the proper translation of her name is "one moment". I suppose that makes more sense, what with her being Guardian of Time and all, but unfortunately it does make Chronos' last reply a bit odd.

* * * * * * * *

return to Index / go to Chapter 9

The Nephrite and Naru Treasury