A Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon fan fiction story
Chronicled by Dro'gan NiteFlier
Disclaimer: Some characters copyrighted by Naoko Takeuchi, Toei Animation, and Kodansha. I'm still not idiot enough to claim them. Some elements were taken from the game Lords of Magic, copyright © Sierra Games and Impressions Studios.
Part One of Three
At a time when humans of the third planet had just discovered banging rocks together to make fire, the civilization of my home planet was at its peak. Towers jutted toward the sky in the capitol of D'kay, the land grew more than enough food for our people before the harvest reaper came, and the people that made up this kingdom were joyous, happy to take up the burden of sacrifice.
That was my beginning.
I was raised in a crèche with my thirty siblings. Brothers and sisters not by heritage, but by rite and home. The crèche was one of thousands, each one ruled over by a Priest and his servants. They told us what to do during the day and how to sleep during the night. They taught us of what we were destined to become when we were old enough. There were many things we had to sacrifice to advance in this tiny world. Each yenda, one three-hundredth of a year, we gave up one thing most special to us, and were blessed by the Priest. He taught us the Religion, the Way of Death.
There had been thirty-two of us on the day we were born, but one had been sacrificed, and her blood spread over our brows to bless us in our life. When the time came, and we were tannom — one-fiftieth of a year old — another would surrender their life for us, and it would be then that we received our name and occupation for the rest of our lives from Her. The order of Death was our lives, and we adhered to the teachings that were our life.
When I was five yenda, the Priest came to each of us like he had done in previous years, and asked us what our most favorite thing was. Usually we would tell him, and fetch it, and it would be destroyed, to show us that all things must perish, and then he would bless us.
But that time, I found I could not tell him, and so pointed out another thing of less value to me. The aged man looked at me calmly, and asked me if this was truly what mattered most in the world to me. I broke down, and cried and begged his forgiveness, for it had not been what was most special to me. He calmed me, and told me that all would be forgiven, and asked me again what it was that I could not let go.
I took his hand, and led him to a red-haired girl that was my best friend, and told him, this is my most special thing. The red-haired girl smiled and hugged me, and presented herself to the Priest. He in turn asked her what it was she would sacrifice, and she pointed to me. He smiled, and took both of our hands, and led us back to the Sanctuary, where the sacrifices took place. He told us that it was not his place to take life without Her consent, but for now, a measure of blood from both of us would do.
He took down the Blade, a replica of Her mighty Talisman, and cut both of our wrists, and drained some of our blood into a vessel, which he put upon the altar and burned. He then took us back to the infirmary, and bound our wounds himself, and laid a blessing upon us.
It was not all ritual, our childhood; there were rough-and-tumble games, thinking skills and puzzle boxes, and schooling and friendships. After our fifth yenda, the red-haired girl and I became even faster friends, and rarely would you see one of us without the other close by. We studied and played and pulled pranks on the boys, especially that one with the silver hair, whom it was agreed among the girls was universally disliked.
It was between our sixth yenda and our seventh that we were taken to see a tannom take place. We had been out in the city before, but none of us had been to the Citadel, where She resided. After entering the great gates, we were sent up a stairwell to the upper gallery. I, and many others from my crèche, gasped as we looked upon the Great Sanctuary, where She made sacrifices up to the Great One, Golgotha. Below us in the Sanctuary were thirty-one children like us, standing in a semicircle around the Altar.
Then, She entered.
She was beautiful, poise and grace flowed from her. She was dressed in black, her form-hugging clothes leaving nothing to the imagination. There was a great jewel on her chest, but at this distance, I could not make it out. By Her side, there was a long dagger, and I knew this to be Her Talisman. She walked down the line of children inspecting each closely, sometimes telling something to Her attendants behind Her.
Finally, She stopped at a boy, one who was rather pudgy in the middle. She smiled at him and laid Her hand on his head and told him something. She then drew Her dagger, and plunged it into his chest. As the boy fell to the ground, Her attendants were organizing the children, forming them into a line and presenting them to Her. She reached down into the boy's chest, and for each of his siblings, drew a line of his blood across their foreheads.
The blessing complete, the children left the Sanctuary led by their Priest, and we followed ours out as well.
When we returned to our crèche, my friend and I talked for quite some time on what we had seen, and neither one of us could quite figure out if it was more honor to be the one sacrificed, or the one blessed by their sibling's blood. We looked upon our own tannom with anticipation, for neither one of us knew what occupations would be given us, or what names we would hold.
Our Priest caught us in one of these conversations, and asked us what we would like, for both occupation and name. We could neither think of something that we were truly worthy of, nor what name we would have if we could choose our own.
It was a few days later that I asked Priest how She had been chosen for Her position. He had smiled, and told me that to be Her was a great honor, and required the blood of an entire crèche and the previous holder to satisfy the Great One. The new holder is always chosen by the old, excepting only the impossibility of Her death on the battlefield. I asked him what name She had, and he frowned. I had thought that I had gone too far, but he reassured me and told me that while She had a title, he was not sure if She had a name. That was why, if not referring to Her by Her title, one always used the most respectful form of pronoun one could use.
It occurred to me later that he had never told me what Her title was.
There came, at long last, the day of our own tannom.
We were taken from our crèche following our Priest, and guided to the Citadel once more. At the door to the Great Sanctuary, our Priest knelt by each of us, and embraced each of us gently. After the doors had closed behind us, I never saw him again.
We were formed into a semicircle like we had seen before, and waited. I looked at the red-haired girl out of the corner of my eye, and we both smiled slightly. Even if we never met after today, I knew that she would always be in my heart.
I heard a door creak open, and I saw Her enter. She was dressed the same as before, black knee-high boots stepping carefully over the carved stone beneath us. Her elbow-length gloves had seemingly random slashes taken out of them, but each palm and wrist was bare. Wide ribbons crossed down from her shoulders and from behind her back, covering her chest and hips, but leaving much still showing. A circlet of black gold wrapped around her head, with a strange symbol in the center of her forehead. Earrings of the same materiel and showing the same symbol dangled from her lobes. The jewel that rested between her breasts was a giant garnet, carved to look like a gaping skull.
She looked over us, gazing at each of us in turn, and began to glide down the line, carefully observing each of us in turn. As she approached me, my thoughts turned to the sacrifice of life one of us had to make. I started to recall all the times my friend and I talked of the tannom, and which would be more honor; to be blessed, or to be used as the blessing? I had reached a conclusion. It was infinitely more honorable to be used as a sacrifice, especially for one's family.
She swept past me, continuing on, but I was not yet disappointed, for at the end of the line, She paused, and then came back. Each of the others that She passed looked up at Her in awe; hoping perhaps, as I was, that She would pick them?
She slowed, then stopped. I looked up into Her dark eyes, and was puzzled. What was this feeling of great loneliness, this exhaustion that is overwhelming me?
Her hand goes down to Her hip, and She draws her dagger. My eyes light up and joy overcomes the feelings that are so strange to me. It was me! I was the one chosen!
She looks me over very closely, studying every detail. A part of my mind not rejoicing notices the priests behind Her are frowning and whispering among themselves. She holds the dagger in front of me, examining something in the blade and comparing it to me. Finally, She smiles, a satisfied but dark expression. I blink and find the hilt of the dagger facing me, Her hand gripping the blade tightly, staining the metal with red.
The priests observing the tannom gasp in shock, and the others from my crèche look at me in wonder. I reach out and take the hilt in my hand, and in the instant I do, several Truths became known to me.
This dagger was the Talisman of the Senshi of the planet, Sailor Surnuro, the Senshi of Death.
Only females could become Surnuro, and only one Surnuro could be in existence at one time.
Surnuro, because she was the Senshi of Death, could not be killed in all but the most extreme of circumstances.
There were other Senshi, for other planets, but it was rare that they left their homeworlds.
There was a Word of Power required to become the Sailor, but only for the initial transformation.
These Truths I took in, my head reeling from the knowledge forced into my mind. I focused, and took the Talisman from Her, Surnuro. I looked up at Her, and She whispered, "Illhara…."
She stepped back, and spread her arms wide, the smile still on Her face. The same analytical part of my brain noted the priests were hurrying over, and that they did not look happy. My arm rose of its accord, and drove the Talisman deep into Surnuro's belly. I slice upwards, scarlet runneling down to the floor, the blade parting flesh roughly, and grinding to a halt against Her ribs. I push harder, and start to rock the weapon, sawing against the bones, and finally stopping in the middle of Her sternum.
A single swift twist, a loud crack in the silence of the Sanctuary, and Surnuro's chest is split open. She winces, and falls to her knees, streams of her blood running down her legs, and pooling beneath us on the floor. The cold, analytical part of me again notices that the priests have left, and that the others of my crèche are gathered around Surnuro and me. The two sides of Her chest are hanging loosely, Her heart and lungs visible. I reach up and grasp her heart, feeling it beat beneath my hand. A single, swift stroke and it is released from its prison of flesh.
Surnuro's eyes finally close, and she topples back, dead at long last.
I bring Her heart up to my head and smear her blood onto my brow. My sight is clouded with red, but I blink it away, and see the others, faces lit up, coming closer to me. I reach out and hug my friend and she smiles and kisses me. The blade slips easily into her, with none of the resistance that Surnuro provided, and her blood soon adorns me as well.
Thirty-one die by my hand that night, and their blood is spread onto my head, blessing me, and giving me a new life.
The priests come later, and take their bodies away. They lead me to a tower, the Spire, where I shall live from now on. They do not call me Surnuro, for one day must pass before I may wash the blood from my soaked clothes and take up the mantle that was passed to me.
The time comes, and I stand in the Great Sanctuary once again. There are three priests in front of me, standing in front of the Altar where they have placed the Talisman. Last night these three drilled the coming ceremony into my head, and each warned me of dire consequences if I bungle it. Behind me on the floor of the Sanctuary, and in the galleries were other priests, of all different ranks.
One of the priests in front of me makes a small motion, and I advance to the Altar, until the first is blocking my path. I stop and he asks, "Who are you to take up the path of birth?"
I hold out my hands to the white-robed priest and answer, "I am one who has been christened by the blood of my siblings." He nods and steps to the side.
I step up another stair, and am confronted by a priest in red. "Who are you to command those who live?"
"I am one who lives without fear of the After," I reply. He too, nods and moves away.
One more step, and I am halted by a priest in black. He booms, "Who are you to take up the Weapon forged by the Great One, Golgotha?"
"I am blessed by the blood of She who wielded it once, and only I know how to do so again." I move forward as he goes to the side.
Before me now is the Altar, and on it, the Talisman. I reach out and pick it up, noting that there is still blood on it, as there is me. A slight tingle goes up my arm now, and I can feel the people behind me, expectant and waiting.
I examine the talisman now, seeing the same strange symbol on its crossbar as was on Surnuro's circlet and earrings. There is also a skull on the pommel similar in materiel and design as the one that had been on Her chest. The hilt feels large for my small hands, and the blade stretches as long as my forearm.
I turn in place, and hold the Talisman high; I look out into the sea of faces and note not one woman among them. For a moment, that small analytical part notes that I had seen no females ever besides my sisters.
The priest in black who challenged me is frowning, wanting me to say the Word.
I close my eyes, and murmur so softly, that I can barely hear myself, "Illhara…."
Light swells around me, rods of white, ruby and ebony cascading against my form. I feel my feet leave the marble floor, and my arms lifted to my sides. The weight of the Talisman has left my hand, but I feel no worry for it as I am placed upon the ground, lights fading, and more Truths awakening in my mind.
My Talisman, the Light Blade, was mine to call as I wilt, and would be reformed to match me as I changed, as with my uniform.
I need only have the correct mindset to activate my transformation now, and the same applied to returning to a "normal" state.
I would not age while transformed, but would not have full access to my powers while not in that state.
Then as I opened my eyes, I heard a small voice, almost drowned out in the cacophony of my mind say, "…do not trust any but a Senshi…."
I looked out over my audience, and lifted my hand. They watched in silence as I formed the Light Blade. It was now smaller, sized to fit perfectly into my grasp. I saw that the three priests were before me, the one in red holding up a mirror.
My eyes widened as I saw myself. I was clean, my skin and hair rid of stain, and wearing a uniform somewhat like my predecessor, but with the same amount of cloth on me as was on Her.
The priest in black stepped forward, "Greetings, Surnuro. May you keep us on the path that the Great One ordains."
Life after that followed a simple program. I went about mostly without my uniform, but always with my Talisman. I learned from Bel'soth, a white robe, about the beginnings of our culture, about birth and babies, and of what politics were being played with the agricultural products. From Thu'chur the red robe, I received knowledge of the ceremony of day-to-day life of the priesthood, of marriage and sex, and how the priesthood affected the secular side of the government. Larchnon was my last teacher, the black-robed priest, the highest in the hierarchy of the Citadel, taught me of the rituals that were used but sparingly, of secret elixirs and potions, and of how the king danced to the puppeteers in the order of Death.
None of them suspected that I learned as much as that, however. I gave them no more than what they expected, and they seemed pleased enough to have another puppet, as all of their preceding Surnuro had been. On the surface, at least.
Within the Spire, my home, my suite is stacked one room on top of the next. The highest floor is my bedroom, with balconies facing in every direction, showing that the Spire was the tallest structure in the city. The next floor down was my study, in which resided the journals of my predecessors. If one of the priests were to take a peek here or there in the books, they would seem to be naught but ramblings. But if they read them through, like I did, they would have seen a wonderful connection arcing through each of them.
The priests thought they knew spells and magic. The least of the castings that I learned from the writings of the Surnuro before me would crumble all that they knew. But that, and the other knowledge that I gained from their journals, kept me more than suspicious of the priests.
And there was that small voice, which I still heard in the twilight between waking and sleep: "…do not trust any but a Senshi…."
As I grew, I used my uniform more and more, until I at last settled at a stable age and kept the transformation working at all times. It was an odd thing, growing up. Every day I transformed, and I was able to see how the uniform changed as I grew. One thing stayed constant; the amount of fabric. As I grew, however, the amount of me that fabric covered grew less and less.
Why this happened was obviously one of great mysteries of life, for I could not, with all my effort, create an outfit with more decency. Although, I will admit it was very distracting for the priests, and thus I used it to slip things by them that they would have noticed if not for my embarrassing outfit.
Too, as I became able, I took part in ceremonies in the Citadel, including those of tannom. I found that the priests arranged for names and jobs for the children, and gave them to me to tell the children after they had been blessed by the blood of their sibling.
My routine shifted as well when I grew of age. By my second tannom, Bel'soth admitted that he had no more to teach me. Soon after, Thu'chur had to stop his lessons, for he said that I had outstripped even his knowledge. Only Larchnon did I still learn from, and he had gone to giving me tidbits of information, a Word here, a formulae there.
The potions that he taught me were interesting, but what really drew me was his vocabulary of Words of Power. A Word was a dangerous thing, and knowing many words made Larchnon a dangerous person. No matter how powerful the spellcaster, a Word can always be used, and most times, it is with dire effect.
Time passed, and I learned now from the actions of the priest that surrounded me instead of their words. The men of the white robe were the caretakers for the children of our world, keeping the upbringing of the next generation in line with what was expected. The red robes were the ones to take over after the children had reached their first tannom, and directed them in their new occupations and brought male and female together in marriage. Those of the black robes, however, were prevalent in the governing of our world. They were also the most common around the Citadel and the palace of the king.
There came a time where Larchnon noticed that I was paying a bit more attention to the novices at exercise than was entirely proper. He took me aside and asked what it was I wanted by looking at them. I in turn told him that I did not know what had attracted me to them. He just smiled and nodded, and left it at that.
A few days later, Thu'chur came up to my rooms in the Spire. I looked up from the book I had been reading and saw that the man was very nervous.
"Something the matter, Thu'chur?" I asked him.
He shuffled in place for a second. "Larchnon requested that I… inquire into something for him."
I place the book down and fold my arms over my chest. "This is new. If Larchnon wishes to ask me something, he usually goes right ahead and asks. What is it that he wants you to ask for him?"
Thu'chur shuffled his feet again. "Larchnon felt that since it relates to part of what I taught you, I should be the one to bring it up." My eyebrows raise, and I wave at him to continue. "Er. I told you of marriage and the rituals involved in making two…" He trailed off at the frown on my face. "Ah, that is… Larchnon wanted to know if he should find a… suitable male for you."
I closed my eyes, and waited for a moment. "Krjnn!" I opened my eyes and saw that Thu'chur had frozen in place, just as the Word should have done. I stood up and stalked to the spellbound priest. "He wanted to know that, hmm?" I paused, and searched my memory. "Shlukk!" There was no noticeable change in him. "Why does he wish to know?" Thu'chur opened his mouth and closed it. I looked at him and said the word again, "Shlukk!"
"He needs to know so that he might procure a lover for you…!" The man's words were strained from the two Words commanding him to both be still, and to speak the truth.
I tilted my head. "Why did he send you?"
"So that he would be rid of me…!" the words were gasped out.
I paused and thought for a moment. "Llayris."
Thu'chur slumped to the floor, taking deep labored breaths. I knelt beside him, watching him. "You're dead, you know. If Larchnon wants you dead, he needn't have sent you to me. A simple "vision", which he is so fond of, and you would have been sacrificed faster than an eyeblink. It would not be painless either, you know." I put my hand under his chin and lifted his eyes to meet mine. "So. Since you are already dead, do you wish a long, excruciating death, or a relatively quick and painless one?"
His breathing had shadowed and he looked me in the eye. "You want my knowledge," he accused.
I smiled at him. "Of course. I get what you know, and you get peace."
He grimaced and nodded. I rose and brought a chalice over, still half full with wine. He sat up and took the chalice, drinking down the rest of the liquid. I called the Light Dagger to my hand and took the cup back from him.
"Suu kkal tann," I whisper as I cut his throat. I catch the blood in the chalice, and it fills to the brim with his life. "Kaad!" I say, and the blood stops. The cup is full, and I drink it down with the murmur of, "Thu'chur, kee'andros." As the hot liquid passes my lips, I can feel the knowledge entering my mind. Not memories, but information.
I drain the chalice dry, and slump, my mind reeling from the information overload. Thu'chur is dead; the gash that crosses his neck is cauterized, but only to save the floor. I slowly gain my feet and stumble to my desk. I pour more wine into the chalice and drink, but still taste the iron tang of his blood.
I sit down at the desk, and hold my head in my hands. I try to sort through what Thu'chur has given me. Slowly, taking more than an hour, I reconcile the new from the old, and get rid of what I already know. Surprisingly, he did know of a few Words that I did not, and strangely, they all had something to do with a woman's body.
I file that away for later, and pull a rope beside my chair. Within a minute, a novice comes up the stairway, and his eyes widen as he sees Thu'chur upon the floor.
"Take him away, and prepare him for his last rites." I tell the young black robe. He gulps, nods, and picks up Thu'chur with strain and begins dragging him down the stair. When he is out of sight, I whisper, "Daak."
The novice will have a demon of a time getting the smell of blood out of his robe now, but perhaps Larchnon will not notice that I took something from my former teacher.
It is a week later before I see Larchnon again, and surprisingly, I find him at the base of my Spire.
"Ah, Surnuro, I have obtained something for you." He smiles as he says this.
I know that he is planning something, and my mind drifts back Thu'chur's death. "And what is it that you wish to give me?"
His smile takes on the qualities of a snake's. "Why, there is need for balance in everyone, and I have been sorely lacking in helping your own balance." He gestures up the stairway. "What you will find at the top of these steps will be of assistance to you." He moved off to the side, waving grandly up the stair.
I stalk up the curling stair until I am out of sight from the bottom, then sprint up to my study. From there I stealthily slip up to my bedroom, and peek in.
There, in the middle of the floor, is a man. He is facing away from me, and he is naked, his back showing lashmarks, and by his shoulder, the tattoo of a slave. I come silently into the room, and slowly walk along the edges to face him. His hands and feet are in manacles, with a chain between. I would not think it likely that he could climb up or down stairs very well.
As soon as I walk into his field of vision, his eyes lock onto me, but show no recognition of who I am. Interesting. Do the slaves not go through similar rites as those born free?
I pace up to him, and ask, "Do you have a name?" He nods, but does not say it. "Will you tell me?"
He parts his lips, but hesitates. I wait patiently. "I am called Harra." He looked worried for a second. "What is yours?"
I look at him oddly. I know for sure that he does not know who I am. He cringes when I do not answer. Perhaps there is a punishment for asking names of those not slaves? "Do you know why you are here?"
He nods slowly. "I… I am a Sheran, Lady."
I cant my head to the side, and look at him puzzled. "A Sheran?"
Now it is his turn to be confused. "I am one who pleasures ladies of the nobility."
I nod now. "Then why are the marks on your back fresh? Surely the women that you… pleasure… do not want one that is marked?"
He bows his head. "No, Lady. But my last mistress became wroth at me, and requested of her husband to send me to the laborers for a day. I… did not do well there, and when I returned to my former mistress, she rejected me, and sent me to those of the Order to be sacrificed."
My eyes narrow and my breath hisses in. Harra looks up in worry before dropping his head again. "Larchnon, I place another to your debt. I am not your personal excuse to the Great One."
Harra is shaking slightly, and I place my hand on his head. "Be calm." I command, and he stills. "I think that I shan't take you down to the Sanctuary, but you shall have to recompense me for it." His head comes up and he looks me in the eye. "I have never had the touch of a male before. All I ask is nothing more than what you have done before." I touch the manacles, and with a small spell, unlock them.
Harra nods again, and picks me up gently, brining me to my bed, and laying me on it. "As you will, Lady."
Wonderful, beautiful, overwhelming.
I spent an entire yenda under the veil of arousal. Larchnon supplied me with the participants, and I drank my fill of them. Some of them did not give me the feeling that I wished, and found themselves sacrificed to the Great One, but others exceeded my expectations, and were rewarded in small ways.
Harra spent most of his first night pleasing me, but the two subsequent ones were partly spent by me asking questions of his life.
It had occurred to me then, that I had not been outside the Citadel since my arrival on my first tannom. It took me awhile to find a way to sneak out, but I found an interesting fact: When I was not transformed into Surnuro, no one recognized me!
I leaned that from the point of the outside viewer, my two states were completely different people. When I talked with shopkeepers in the morning, they did not identify me as Surnuro at the evening ceremonies. It was thus that I was able to learn even more about life outside the Citadel.
But for that first yenda after Harra, I cared not for those discoveries. My mind was driven by the need for sex, and Larchnon gladly provided the means to satisfy that need. I trusted him to bring me what I needed, and he learned quickly that I did not limit myself to ordinary pleasures. Men, women, even a few of the novices, barely pubescent, became my toys. But I trusted him.
And had it not been for my forays outside of the Citadel, I would have never have found out his lie.
For an entire week I treated myself to the same man. He was quite expert, and fulfilled my needs perfectly. He was not a slave, but not all of my toys had the tattoo either. I learned little from him, as he kept my far too busy. It had become my habit to learn a bit about my playthings, to broaden my view of the world under BrightStar.
I used this knowledge to visit them under daylight, but this man, Perchar, had told me nothing of his life. I learned some from his body, how his hands had calluses in certain spots, and how he had the slight scent of dough clinging to him. I had checked all the bakeries in D'kay, but still not found him, when I learned of a new shop, one that the likes of which had never been seen.
It sold sweets. Candy, they called it. It was mostly sold at the shop, but a few crèches sampled the treat. Rumor had it that the demand for it was so vast, that the shopkeeper and his wife stayed up late nights to make enough for the day.
The fact that the shop was owned by a husband and wife would have told me that it was not my current pet. I had told Larchnon never to send me someone bound by marriage, and he had sworn never to do so. However, the chance to see something new convinced me to go to the shop.
I was within a block of it before the road became crowded beyond the extreme. Were all these people trying to sample the candy? A quiet spell created a bit of room for me, and another made a path for me to the storefront. I quickly went down the path, and ended up facing someone I knew very intimately.
Perchar looked straight at me, and did not know me for the Surnuro. He tended the customer to my left, and then turned to me. "What would you like? An order, or just a single piece?"
My brain stopped for a moment, and my eyes tracked down to the display. A little to his left, almost hidden behind a model of the Palace, was a candy replica of the Light Dagger. I wordlessly pointed to it, and he nodded and pouched it, I dug out a few coins that I had earned from various tasks around the city, and paid him.
Just before he went on to the next customer he said to me, "You know, I think that's the only one of those I've ever made. I hope you enjoy it, young one."
I almost ran, but the crowd prevented much outward movement. I slipped along the side of the shop and into an alley, where I held the packaged treat, and swore that there would be a new sacrifice to the Great One tonight!
Perchar stepped heavily up the stair. I realize how hard it must be for him, to get so little sleep at night, and still have to work all day. Difficult too, for his wife, who even now must be making preparations for tomorrow.
His wife. When I had told Larchnon, and he swore that there had been none and would not be any that were married.
Perchar must be wondering where I am. I can hear him moving around in my bedroom below. I lay here on the slanted roof, looking up at the stars, and hoping that he sees the table outside.
He does, for his footsteps move onto the balcony, and I can see his back. He looks at the table and I can hear him choke when he sees the two items on it.
One is my dagger. The other, is the imitation made by him.
"An exact copy," I tell him. He turns around and gasps again as he sees me. I am without my transformation, and he sees the girl he sold a piece of candy to. "Very few have been able to duplicate that symbol, even as simple as it is." I look down at him, and still see the shock on his face. I jump down from the roof, and land in front of him.
"You— You're—" Perchar stammers out.
I nod, and my clothes shift to the uniform of the Surnuro. His eyes widen even more, and his legs give out on him, dropping him down on the floor. "I am two people. One, the Surnuro, and the other, a harmless girl." I clench my fist and my dagger materializes in it. "But I was lied to. My trust was broken. You were his pawn. Tell me what he threatened."
Perchar gulps audibly. "He… he said that he would destroy my shop. Make sacrifices out of me and my wife if I told you anything about myself."
I kneel beside him and cup his face. "I'm sorry, Perchar. There were signs. I ignored them. I wanted to ignore them. Trust that was given was destroyed. I shall make sure that you and your wife will be safe." I sheathed my dagger and gave him my hand to help him up. He took it, and stood shakily.
I hold his face for a moment, and take one last kiss. I sigh, and close my eyes. There will be debts paid.
I take him down to the Citadel, and tell one of the priests watching the door to my Spire to escort him home. The priest is confused, but he obeys. I turn to the other priest there and tell him to fetch Larchnon, and bring him to the Sanctuary.
Larchnon is rumpled when he enters the great room. I stand behind the Altar, and gesture for the priest with him to leave. Larchnon frowns, and stalks toward me.
"What is the meaning of this? I have things to get done and I cannot do them if I am being pestered." He is arrogant. He has every right to be, for I have let him run over my prerogatives. But he is also suspicious, for he knows I should be busy with my lover right now.
I smile calmly at him. "Come now, Larchnon, can you not spare a few seconds to talk with an old comrade?"
His eyes narrow and he leans over the Altar. "What. Do. You. Want."
I lean back slightly. "Did you hear about that new shop down near the Grotto? That one with the amazing new sweet? I hear that the shopkeeper's wife has to work all night to make enough for the day. I wonder what the shopkeeper is doing?"
His face slowly pales. "I— I can explain!"
"Oh, really, Larchnon, there is nothing to explain," I say playfully. "I know exactly what you were doing."
His jaw stiffens. "Oh, you do? Well then, you have no need for me to be here!" He turns and strides to the door.
Larchnon is frozen in midstep. He slowly topples over, and crashes to the ground. I walk to him and look in his face. I can see that he is trying to throw the effects of the Word off, but to no avail. My will here is stronger.
I grasp his robe and drag him back to the Altar, throwing him upon it. He is gasping for breath now, and probably seeing spots before his eyes.
"Well, Larchnon. You broke my trust. For that, a punishment is required." I rip open his robe and cut through the rest of his clothes. His breath is short and he is close to blacking out. "Llayris." I say and his struggles stop and he takes a deep breath. The point of the Light Dagger stops him from expanding his chest too far.
"You can't sacrifice me! Think of all I've done for you!" he pleads in vain.
"I know what you have done. And so does Golgotha. Give your excuses to him!"
The blade is thrust with such force I can feel that it has penetrated the top of the Altar. Larchnon shivers once, and is still.
"May your blood turn to dust in the mouth of any who drink of it." I spit into his dead eyes, and exit the Sanctuary.
No one will ever abuse my trust again, for I shall never give it again.
And almost unheard in my anger, is a small voice that I have drowned out for the past yenda in pleasure: "…trust no one but a Senshi…."
To be continued.
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