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A Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon story
by Elsa Bibat

A story set in "A Dance Set to the Music of Time" sequence.

Disclaimer: Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon belongs to Takeuchi Naoko, Koudansha, TV Asahi, and Toei Douga, and DIC. This is used without permission.

This disclaimer also applies to several intellectual properties referred to in the text. Please be guided accordingly.


1992:

An amber teardrop, the dollop of honey fell into the cup of dark tea. A spoon dipped into the brew to stir it.

A delicate hand held the spoon, and its companion held the tea plate that the cup was set on. Perfect balance and serene perfection could be the only description of the image of those two hands holding the plate and the spoon as the tea was stirred. No wasted motion, and not a drop was spilled.

"Good day, great-grandmother." The words were in Mandarin, though the voice hinted at the accent of another dialect.

The hands stopped and their owner looked up at the one who had addressed her.

A perfect face, as if carved from ivory, peered down at the one she had spoken to, a delicate smile playing on the full lips. A waterfall of black hair that reached to her waist completed the image. The only thing that was wrong was the eyes. Old eyes that had seen much, set into a face that seemed to have seen only two or three decades.

"It is good to see you are alright, great-granddaughter." The response was also in Mandarin, but this time there was no accent. "Take a seat."

The woman who had been addressed as 'great-grandmother' was dressed in a conservative business suit, but it did not detract from her beauty. She had an elegant face framed by hair that reached to her waist. Reddish eyes looked over the new arrival as she sat across her.

"I see you have kept the traditional white, little dragon girl." Her well-manicured hands set the teacup on the table as she continued her appraisal. Her comment referred to the fact that the woman she was talking to was dressed in an all-white ensemble: a silvery jacket over a long dress of white that almost reached the floor, with the tips of lily-white leather shoes peeking from beneath the hem of the skirt. An ivory hat and a pair of platinum gloves completed the look.

"I have always like the color, great-grandmother."

"Tea?"

"Thank you." The white woman nodded her thanks, as the one she called 'great-grandmother' gestured to a waiter for a cup.

"How is your husband?"

"Oh, he is all right. He and I are finally getting settled down. This age is so different, you know."

"That is what you get for sleeping a hundred or so years."

"We are not like you, great-grandmother. We must conserve our youth, you know."

Her conversation partner just arched an eyebrow. They were both silent for a while as the waiter finally arrived with a teacup. Thanking him, the white-clad woman proceeded to pour herself a cup of tea.

"Now, Honorable Great-grandmother, I would like to know what you are doing here?"

"Is not visiting you enough? I was about to start pestering you about having great-great-grandchildren, my little dragon." Amusement tinged the woman's voice as she gave the woman before her a wry smile.

"Very funny." The white-clad beauty said dryly. "I would believe that if it weren't for the recent… news reports."

"And why is that?"

"A masked hero, doing incredible feats of derring-do, fighting evil, etcetera, etcetera. Great-grandmother, this 'Blackmask' fellow has your mark all over him. The same sort of thing you convinced my husband to do."

"Louis didn't mention that in the novel."

"You threatened to do rather bad things to him if your name or Grand-uncle Ying Ko was ever mentioned."

"I couldn't exactly have my name bandied willy-nilly, dear. Some people have long memories." Setting aside the teaspoon, the woman with reddish eyes raised the teacup for a sip.

"Well, I have long memories too, great-grandmother, and I'm not exactly thrilled that you asked me for a meeting—"

It was over in a flash. No human eye could see the swiftness of the strike. The only sign that the one called 'great-grandmother' had ever moved was the position of the tea plate held in one hand. A split second ago, it was several inches below the teacup. Now it supported the cup in midair, the hand that had held it reaching for a strike that would have hit the white-clad woman in the area near her collarbone, had it not stopped a centimeter away. There was no ripple in the teacup, indicating superb balance and preternatural speed.

"You, young girl, are over — I don't care to count how many — millennia too young to challenge me." Retracting her hand, she smiled. "Besides, I will not be dragging you or your husband into any of more adventures. I'm just here to ask favors of you."

"What favors?"

"Oh, a bit of teaching here and there. You and your husband are some of the few remaining masters of the Art. With the destruction of the Jade Cliffs and several other places where the old knowledge of the Art were stored, we only have the pale reflections of what once was."

The white-clad woman nodded in understanding. "I agree, though knowing you, I am betting that you already have a student in mind."

"Yes, a relative of an old acquaintance of yours. Her mother is a descendant of the house of Guo. She rather reminds me of Guo Fu, but without the harder edges."

"And when will you be sending her?"

"Oh, when she's ready for it. Her skill in the control of her internal energies is quite good, but still a bit lacking."

The white-clad woman just shook her head as she stood up. "Well, great-grandmother, it seems you have managed to drag us back again."

"Was there any doubt?"

The two women shared a smile as they bid each other farewell.

 


Author's notes: Wuxia epics, especially those by Louis Cha, entered my life when I started watching those cool Chinese dramas that often got shown on Sunday mornings here in my country. And I just ate them up. State of Divinity, Demi-gods and Semi-Devils and quite a few others became favorites. I added to this martial arts epic fever by being lucky enough to watch old Shaw Brothers films that were being shown way back when. '70s martial arts hoo-hah! ^_^

Anyway, this vignette brings Louis Cha's Condor Heroes cycle (The Condor Heroes, The Return of the Condor Heroes (my favorite ^_^!!) and Heaven Sword, Dragon Saber) into the Dance sequence. Yes, that is Xiao Long Nu (little dragon girl), heroine of Shendiao Xialu, calling the Guardian of Time Great-grandmother. 'Louis' is Louis Cha, or Jin Yong as he is better known in most places here in the East.

Anyway, Xiao Long Nu, her husband, and quite a few other 'immortals' are going to show up in the Dance sequence. So keep on watching! ^_^

By the way, if you're interested in learning about Jin Yong's works, there's no place better than at http://www.jin-yong.net

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