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 [Advanced] Dance with the Devil

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Eternal Knight
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PostSubject: [Advanced] Dance with the Devil   Tue 18 Aug - 22:12

Storyline Name: Dance with the Devil
Creator(s): Eternal Knight and Sailor Neptune
Forum: Crystal Tokyo
Advanced or Relaxed: Advanced
Plot Summary: During the altercation with the Black Moon Clan that devastated Crystal Tokyo, the Sailor Senshi were lured one by one by Diamond and Wiseman in order to be killed separately, making it easier to get rid of them. King Endymion was then lured by his own daughter and dealt with. Defeated and alone Neo Queen Serenity saw herself forced to rule beside Diamond. Once he was certain of his victory, Diamond removed the black crystal embedded into the Earth's skin and allowed her to purify and heal her people, keeping a tight rein on what she accomplished so to be sure he would not be played.

Years after the Black Moon Clan's victory, Diamond and Serenity rule over a now mortal city that doesn't remember the peace that used to be. Meanwhile, King Endymion is kept prisoner to be used as an insurance token against the Queen's temper, was she to decide to rise against her captor.

Wiseman, still adviser and unable to grasp the power for the Silver Crystal grows tired of the game played by Diamond as Crystal Tokyo's King and decides to stir trouble among their subjects, also plotting on the side a plan to kill the current Queen. When news of his Kingdom's chaos come to Diamond's ear, Wiseman points Neo Queen Serenity as the culprit, stating to the King that she wants their subjects to rebel against him so she can retake the throne.

Can Neo Queen Serenity convince him of the fraud that is Wiseman before it kills them both?

Details on any necessary information: This is an alternate universe where Diamond were able to get the upper hand and became King of Crystal Tokyo. Black Lady was never purified, the Senshi were annihilated and Endymion was kept prisoner as an insurance for the Queen's goodwill. The roleplay starts years after Diamond's victory and starting of reign. The goal will be for Serenity to avoid Wiseman's plan to make her take the fall for every obstacle he tries to throw their way, but also to turn Diamond against Wiseman and restore her Kingdom's peace.
Restrictions: Only Diamond and Neo Queen Serenity are playable, the rest will be NPCed by Sailor Mercury and Eternal Knight.
OOC Thread: Skype
Member to Character List:
Neo Queen Serenity: Sailor Neptune
Diamond & Saphir: Eternal Knight

___________________________

  
Avatar by Sailor Mercury. Graphics by GC's members. GK's mentor.
The Mistah EK to Starry Quinn~ Addelyn husbando. Small Lady Myubando. <3 The Uranus to GK's Neptune



Last edited by Eternal Knight on Sun 6 Nov - 23:35; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Dance with the Devil   Wed 19 Aug - 1:40



Serenity was living in hell.

There was no other way to describe it. Some days, she questioned why she was still living. There were so many days when she just wanted to give up. Surely death was easier than this?

But then she remembered Endymion. And the cats. Luna, Artemis, and Diana. Staying vigilant in the Crystal Palace, protecting it from Black Moon’s touch at all costs. Her last act before she was truly defeated had been to transfer the authority of the palace to the three of them, effectively locking herself out of it as well unless they granted her access, barring it from Diamond forever. One little victory for herself.

The palace was a beacon of hope in the distance that she was looking at longingly through the window now; the only shining crystal in the city that had now become dull in color and lost its luster. Crystal Tokyo used to be the brightest place on earth. Now darkness was permeating it ever so subtly, even when the Black Crystals had been banished from its core.

And she was standing in the darkest and blackest spot in the city—the palace that used to be in Nemesis, where all this nightmare began.

In all her life, Serenity had never imagined she would grow so weak that she would no longer be able to transform or fight, and that the Silver Crystal would not be enough to defeat the enemy that threatened them. Or that her senshi—she tried not to sob as she thought of their faces; Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, and Venus—would be dead. Gone. All of them. Her best friends and her loyal guardians… defeated.

She almost had nothing left. Not her pride, not her throne—for it was a mere formality now since she knew for a fact who was the true ruler of this city—not her friends, not her advisors, not her daughter, and not her husband.

She worried for Endymion every day, rotting in that awful dungeon beneath this very castle, haunted by the darkness in there. They said no one had ever escaped that dungeon with their sanity intact, and it had been years. Years.

Was he still himself? Serenity was only permitted to see him through a live feed in a computer, but how could she tell it was real? Some days, he would not move for a long time, and she was terrified he was gone. But he always did in the end. Sometimes he’d even look at the camera, and she could see a glint of defiance in his eyes, which lifted her heart.

But this had to end soon. He could not survive for much longer. She could not survive for much longer.

She hated feeling this weak, this helpless. She who used to be the strongest soldier and the queen of this city.

She pressed her hands on the window, wishing she could talk more often with the cats. How were they doing? Had they found a way to fight back yet? They must be doing something over there, right? Making plans and…

She couldn’t even fathom how she could find her way out of this. Maybe things had gone beyond fixing.

How much longer could she stand this? How much longer before she fell into despair and seriously contemplated ending it all so they could be reborn to a better future?

It was a question she wrestled with every day.

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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Dance with the Devil   Wed 19 Aug - 13:10


-Prince...
“I am King now, Wiseman.”

Diamond turned away from the screen, the earrings he still wore shaking in the movement. He cast an annoyed glance to the creature who was still his advisor even after all those years. Its very presence was unpleasant, but despite himself, he couldn't get rid of him. Voluntarily he had let him stay in this palace that was now totally his, but often he wished for him to be gone.

Wiseman was nothing more than another source of power in his greedy hands.

“You would do well to remember it. If you live here, it is only by charitable gesture. Do not make me regret my beneficence.”

He walked past him with a swirl of his cape, haughty in front of the one who once tried to subdue him. Wiseman was nothing more now than a form and a voice, something that still plagued his life, but where there was power, Diamond wanted to own it. Luckily for him, the old fool would go nowhere now that the Silver Crystal was so close.

And where the Silver Crystal was, the Queen was...

The beautiful ruler of this beautiful planet - or should he say, the former ruler of this planet...

His victory was still fresh in his mind, visions that were blissfully tainted by his foes' defeat. How it had been satisfying to rid himself of the queen's guardians for there was no one left to save the Queen anymore.

But she didn't need saving now. She was his, finally.

As he walked by his quarters, Diamond discarded his cape - he found it felt domestic not to be clad so formally - and then headed directly to the room in which he knew she would be. In many years, he had noticed a pattern and when this known, she was easier to follow around. He had also discovered how he could never be bored from observing her. No holographic images could express how deep the darkness of his castle had shaken her.

He stopped by the door frame, arms crossed as he studied her from a distance. She was framed by the figure of the Crystal Palace in the background, her hair catching the small light that was still able to reach inside this structure of malice. Serenity's palace, now so dimly lit but still out of his reach, unnerved him, taunting him in his total control of this planet. She had played her last card well, but he wouldn't be beaten so easily.

He knew her powerless. It was the particular trait of his castle, one that rendered her helpless, weak, a simple shell, but what magnificence in her despair.

She had everything of the rose, so elegant, so fragile and with a biting end. She resisted him still, barely, locked in this palace almost as she would in a prison. A bird kept like those forced to sing for their captor. The thing about roses was that they were so easily crushed.

If he could see her crumble, the thorns didn't scare him.

Had she paled since the last time he'd seen her?

___________________________

  
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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Dance with the Devil   Thu 20 Aug - 5:46



She sensed his presence like a chill that permeated the air. After all these years, she still wasn’t used to it. Serenity hugged herself and did not turn; the less she saw him, the better. Every little resistance counted. It reminded her that she was still her, that he had not and never would break her completely.

“Is this truly what makes you happy?” she asked, her voice echoing in the vast chamber.

It was the one thing she could never understand. What was the point of having things by force? Love could not be taken—it needed to be given. What he had was not her love, it was her compliance. Or was that all he wanted to begin with?

“I can’t imagine anyone can be happy in a world like this. Don’t you want real things?” She turned toward him then, the fire flaring back into her eyes, her genuine curiosity driving her to seek for answers. “Real love. Real friends. They’re so much better than… this. This fake dream that you’ve created for yourself. This castle that pales in comparison to the real one.”

She fully faced him now, despite everything still believing that she could appeal to his humanity. Because he was human, too, was he not? Every villain she had faced… even those not from Earth… she could convince to do the right thing.

She harbored hope that eventually he would see the same truth as well.

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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Dance with the Devil   Fri 21 Aug - 0:45


His eyes slowly closed when her voice broke the thick silence usually filling these walls. After all, it was the last weapon left she could use against him. Her voice. Not that she could do much damage, but she was trying. It delighted him to see her struggling against the obvious control he had over everything that was now their lives. It was thrilling to know how her simple existence was dependent of his every whim.

Happiness. Another word for victory. For accomplishment. For domination.
He had, almost single-handedly, conquered an entire civilization.
What was he supposed to want more than the power he already had?

He wanted her total submission, but the years and her helplessness had increased his patience. She would kneel. Whether he had to break her first or not was her own choice.

Upon her facing him, he had to make himself violence not to let anything show. Those eyes. Always those eyes. They weren't as fiery as they were once; not as they were that day when he would almost see the word 'monster' written with fire in the hue of her irises... It didn't matter which expression she wore, it was just there still haunting him. The fire he thought extinguished burned bright still.

It made a shudder ran down his spine.

He tilted his head slightly on the side, a very small grin tugging at the corner of his lips. This had been a better plan than rewriting all of history.

“Fake.” There was a very brief chuckling noise coming from his throat as he repeated the word with amusement. “You might wish this within your heart, but this is reality. The reality as it was before you meddled with the very core of human nature.”

He ignored her speech of friendship and love, the meek ones always the first to die. He then walked to her, no hurry in his movements, confidence in each step. He usually imposed effortlessly on everyone who would face him, but there was something in her that quite matched him. She was impressive. The Queen she could be by his side if she would simply give in.

“This is how it should always have been. Without complacency and with true meaning of life. This is what our kingdom is now.” He said, waving towards another window that showed more of the city and less of the old palace. He leaned against one of the small pillars decorating the whole palace and turned to face her, strangely calm.

“And what would it become if its Queen did not do everything she could to keep it safe?” If there was an underlying threat, it was well hidden behind the coldness of his tone. After all, they both knew who ruled Crystal Tokyo. He looked at the Crystal Palace, his eyes darkening almost imperceptibly. “Soon you will understand this. Everything before was a simple dream that failed you when the end came.”

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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Dance with the Devil   Thu 3 Sep - 11:10



Serenity bristled at the mention of how she’d meddled with human nature. She wasn’t doing that… was she? She’d simply given everyone long lives. Wasn’t that what humans always yearned for? Everyone was always looking for the fountain of youth… well, here she had one thing that could do that… so why couldn’t she give that to everyone? The chance to live longer, to be with their loved ones for decades and centuries more? What was so wrong with that?

As much as she wanted to shrink away as he approached, she stood her ground, trying to hide the slight tremble of her body. She felt so fragile these days, like she could barely hold herself upright anymore. It was tiresome to have to keep fighting every day. And yet. There were still people who needed her, who counted on her. Endymion. And Chibiusa, even if she didn’t know it yet. Luna, Artemis, and Diana. She couldn’t fail them, too.

“You mean to say that this existence of terror and fear is what should have been? What was wrong with happiness and long lives?” she demanded. “You think you have power… you think you have me… but you don’t really. Some things you can’t just take.” She turned away to look at the palace shining outside. “My heart will always belong to Endymion and to my friends. Nothing you could do can ever change that.”

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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Dance with the Devil   Mon 7 Sep - 17:21


"A peaceful society is but a meager illusion. Humans crave for chaos." He spat, the malice worn by his smile earlier now written into his eyes. "They thrive for choices and for death. You enslaved them in a hundred years of stagnation and you made them into docile dogs. You but crippled this world with weakness. A pure goddess followed by a path of utter destruction. You are what was wrong for them."

Most of this he did not care about anymore. It was the speech he used to believe in, before Wiseman came, before he won and before she was right there, exactly where he wanted her to be.

If he did not lose his confidence, he lost his open stance. Something gleamed in his gaze, a somber spark that went deeper than anger. She was still defying him and he would not take kindly to her turning away from him - perhaps should he think about destroying that taunting palace... He pushed himself from the pillar he was leaning on, walking to stop behind her, almost as if he was cornering her between the wall and his body. His eyes barely gave the Crystal Palace any attention. He was looking down at her long hair, having only a glance at her face from this angle.

She was entrancing.

He leaned towards her, his hand lifting a strand from one of her ponytails up. He gave a short press of his lips against it, a thin and mocking smile floating on them. 

"Everything in this castle bends to my will and so will you, in time."

He pointed out with a softer edge to his poisonous tone. His hand rose to her chin, forcing her head to tilt so he could see her eyes. The smile was gone and he was frowning, strands of white smoothing slightly his hardened features. The more she resisted, the more he wanted her to give up.

"I can use my powers on you until you feel it too. Do I have to show you how well I can manipulate your body and mind?" He chuckled. What could she use against him now that her guardians were dead, her palace abandoned, her former husband imprisoned, her daughter under Wiseman's hold? She was his since the moment she had had no choice but to surrender. "I will have you whenever I want and if it has to go on until we both break, then so be it." He breathed out, his fingers tentatively brushing against her cheek.

___________________________

  
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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Dance with the Devil   Tue 8 Sep - 6:39



Despite her faith, the words that she had heard before were beginning to shake her conviction. Was there truth in Diamond’s words? Maybe not that humans craved for chaos, but… choices. She gave them those, right? She always tried to rule as loosely as possible, giving out small punishments rather than severe ones, and had opted to banish those who simply did not want to repent rather than forcefully purify their minds or kill them. But did that make them weak?

Did that make her weak?

Was that why she couldn’t fight back when the Black Moon Clan attacked, and how they had managed to take over Crystal Tokyo so easily? Killed the legendary senshi of the solar system, corrupted her daughter, imprisoned her husband?

Usagi never wanted to be a queen. She never wanted to be Serenity. She didn’t ask to shoulder the weight of the world even after protecting it so many times. Maybe she wasn’t the right person for the job after all. Her heart… it was not strong enough.

She couldn’t help but shrink away from him at his touch, even if it was only on a part of her body that she could not really feel. How long did he intend to keep up this battle of wills?

She stepped back when he touched her face, but found the glass wall behind her. The feeling of being trapped and helpless suffocated her, yet she stared defiantly into his eyes. Her body trembled slightly at his words, wondering why he hadn’t tried to take her like he’d taken everything else. Maybe it would be more satisfying if she gave in willingly. Maybe… deep down he did understand the value of something being given rather than taken, in his own twisted way. Otherwise, why would he choose to be patient with the most important prize of all?

Still, the thought of being held under his spell with that blasted third eye and finally stripped of her will completely made her feel terror and fury. She did not want to push his patience so that he would change his mind about waiting after all, but she could not stand being this close to him any longer.

She slapped away his hand, and as her anger continued to boil, the Silver Crystal within her began to shine, repelling him away. It was not much, and if he pushed back, she didn’t know if she could keep him away, but it was something.

It was a light that signified what remained of her power.

“Then break, both of us shall.”

If she was going down, she was taking him with her.

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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Dance with the Devil   Mon 5 Oct - 14:47


He let her hair slip from his fingers, the caress soft as he watched it fall back against her side.

Of course she would shrink from him... as if he wasn't human enough, worthy enough of walking the same ground, breathing the same air. He remembered that feeling of revolt boiling in his vein and the utter awe as he faced the city's protector for the first time. And he would also read the disgust. Whether or not it was really there didn't matter. He simply saw it, as clearly as he noticed the very slight tremble of her body.
Where she should appear pathetic, her eyes conveyed otherwise. It retained the spark of this Queen he had fallen for, giving him as much of a need to crush her than a desire to have her. Years of her by his sides never changed that. Perhaps someone else would have been consumed by the contradiction, but Diamond craved the overwhelming sensation.

So focused that he was, eyes dwelling on her face and fingers lingering too long against fair skin, it came as a surprise when she slapped his hand away. Something flashed in his eyes, but before he could come closer again, the remaining light of her crystal pushed him back. He tilted his head to the side, his lips slowly stretching into a thin smile. He didn't try to force a passage through the light. Instead, he faced her fully, the skin on his forehead stretching to give way to his third eye. If she needed to be reminded of her position here, he would gladly oblige.

A loud bang startled him then and the floor on which they stood trembled under their feet. Rendered unfocused, his third eye closed almost immediately, the pressure it was exercising against Serenity's will fading away. He could see smoke from the window behind Serenity, not so far away from the Crystal Palace. His frown faded for something unreadable as he whirled around, his shoes abruptly clicking against the floor.

"Wiseman!"

He called firmly, a hint of annoyance in his voice. When the hooded figure appeared, there was an uncomfortable shiver crawling under his skin, one fist closing and opening visibly under his discomfort.

"What happened? Explain, and now!"

He didn't wait for any answer before walking to another window, Serenity not forgotten, but a secondary matter at the moment. It didn't take him long to find a good angle from which to see that the real damage hadn't touched the Palace. He listened absently to his demanded answer: apparently, a group had charged against the fortified walls Diamond had asked were built around the Palace and now, a sixth of this wall was gone in flames. Revolutionaries wearing the forbidden white moon's symbol. It brought a chuckle to his lips.

"Revolutionaries? No one would be as foolish as to..."

Wiseman's head turned towards Serenity and Diamond's smile fell.

"Out! Fix this. I will deal with the rest."

When Wiseman disappeared, Diamond's eyes went from Serenity to the smoke outside. Would she dare? The doubt annoyed him. Most of the feeble agreement there was between them depended on her good behavior, surely she was smarter than that.

"You are forbidden to leave the walls of this Palace until this crisis is dealt with. We wouldn't want you to get caught in the crossfire, would we?" He commented, his tone dry. He looked at her, a conversation with Wiseman coming back to mind. He had warned him about this, but Diamond hadn't listened. Had he made a mistake then? "You shouldn't have done that..."

___________________________

  
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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Dance with the Devil   Mon 26 Oct - 10:03



Serenity recognized the all-too familiar appearance of his third eye by now, and she averted her gaze, hoping she would be able to escape it if she just did not look at it.

But then something else happened. What sounded like an explosion made her jump, and she grabbed onto the glass wall as the ground trembled. As she did, she saw the smoke outside, coming from near the Crystal Palace. Her heart seized with worry and dread. Was the palace being attacked? Were the cats okay? Please god don’t let anything happen to them.

She flinched as Diamond called for Wiseman, and wanted to shrink away even more when the manipulative so-called fortune teller appeared. He was the one who had poisoned the minds of the Black Moon clan members… the one who’d turned Chibiusa against her own family. He was her true enemy. If only she could defeat him… Even his mere presence made her skin crawl.

Serenity listened in confusion when Wiseman said that a group of people had attacked the wall—not the palace—so… were they trying to break in? Either way, the target of their attack seemed to be something Diamond made, not something of hers. Revolutionaries? The white moon symbol?

Hope and dread warred within her. Were her people rising up? Revolting against this new rule? It made her feel hopeful that they weren’t all controlled by fear after all, but that was incredibly dangerous. What if they were found? Surely their actions would be punishable by death. And she would never want that—more deaths for her people.

And then their eyes turned toward her. Serenity tried to stand up straighter in defiance. She felt relieved when Wiseman was gone, but clearly that wasn’t going to be the end of it. She almost laughed bitterly when Diamond forbade her to leave the palace—she hardly got to get out as it was to begin with, so this was not much of a change. She just dismissed his fake concern, knowing better than to think he actually cared.

But then his last sentence caught her attention. “Me?” she asked, disbelief and surprise clear on her voice. “You think I did this? I had no hand in this. If the people decided to rebel against you, it’s because you’re oppressing them. That’s what happens when you rule by fear. They fight back.”

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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Dance with the Devil   Wed 6 Jan - 14:16


He realized he shouldn't have uttered a word about it as of yet. A silent snort shook his shoulders as he looked back outside, the frown no less annoyed than it was mere seconds earlier. He touched the glass of the window with his fingertips, as if deeply in thought. He could punish her himself, show her that she was walking on a very thin thread right now, that she was dependent of his every whim...

"Revolt is not something you, among all, can teach me anything about. Our subjects don't see this new world as you do, I made sure of this years ago. You are the only one resisting me still."

He almost laughed this time. Smoke was still visible outside and he tilted his head. Who but her could pull off something like this? And why would she lie? Her subjects wouldn't rise for something they didn't know could be bad for them. But if Wiseman was right and she really... his eyes flickered in doubts. It wasn't that he believed she couldn't outsmart him - he admired her for a reason despite the obvious hatred - but she was the disgusting personification of naive hope; rousing the crowd would go against the martyr image she gave off for years. Why waiting so long? She was the only one who could do such thing, but also the only one who would never put both her subjects and loved ones at risk. She used to know what was at risk...

"These men and women will be shown as an example, accused of high treason for trying to bring down the Queen's toy palace. Fortunately, the walls were there to protect it and the revolutionaries were apprehended before they could do more damage to the palace's fading glory."

Of course, they were aiming at the wall itself and not the palace, but who knew really? Controlling information was but a small detail in the grand scheme. And he was more playing with her than seriously considering this situation. He was all powerful on this planet. He feared no one. What could they do against him? What could she do against him?

"Now tell me, who should I punish for this foolish attack? Our people, or you?"

___________________________

  
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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Dance with the Devil   Fri 15 Jan - 6:32



Serenity narrowed her eyes at Diamond’s words, wondering what he meant by ‘making sure their subjects didn’t see this new world as she did’. What exactly had he done to them? She felt like she knew so little about what was going on outside the palace anymore, which made it all the more ironic that he was simultaneously suspecting her as the perpetrator behind this and not believing that she could inspire anyone to revolt. But indeed, it was not a subject he needed teaching about, given how he was one of the only people who had ever rebelled against Crystal Tokyo’s peaceful reign. That didn’t make it any easier for Serenity to understand, though.

“I’m not the only one still fighting. Endymion is too,” she whispered, more to herself than to him. And the cats. She still had people to fight for. Otherwise she would have given up long ago.

She turned to him in surprise when he started talking about punishment. They’d been caught already? Then surely… Coldness gripped her heart as she realized the only fate that could await them. Death.

And he would make it sound like they were punished for trying to bring down her palace, as if this was all for her sake. Serenity’s body trembled as she realized with horror the kind of cruelty he would unleash upon these people. If there were any hope for a revolt, it would surely be squashed the moment these people were killed. Not that that was even her biggest worry. She didn’t want any deaths. At all.

And he knew this.

“You can’t…” Despite her helplessness and her fear, her anger also contributed in making her voice shake—indignation and disbelief at the utter heartlessness that could reside in a person. Maybe she was wrong about him. Maybe he was unsalvageable. There was no changing that blackened heart. Not in five, ten, or twenty years.

She was never going to change him.

“You can’t kill anyone,” she managed to finish, her tone shifting into pleading. Averting her gaze, hating every second of it but knowing that it was still her duty as their queen, as their protector, the only person left on their side… she gritted her teeth and ground out the words, “If you must punish anyone, I will bear their judgment so that you might spare their lives.”

He would never kill her. That much she knew was true.

Of course, there were worse things than death.

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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Dance with the Devil   Thu 31 Mar - 22:37


He had turned from the window, eyes taking her in with a feral satisfaction at what were first only hints of the discomfort he knew - or hoped - the situation would cause. Here she was again, the Queen who cared, the Queen who loved the people she should be ruling, not coddling. Diamond was well aware that if she was to lose this side of herself, he wouldn't have the same power over her entire life. He needed not to break her. No matter what he did, she needed to keep a part of this heart that made it so easy to puppet her around. She needed to still hope. Diamond could play with that side of her, but every moves had to be carefully planned, calculated. One mistake and she could break or break free. None of both options were one he cared for.

"Can't I?"

It was rhetorical. A question that didn't ask for any answers. Simple words with an amused promise behind. He was capable of anything if it meant keeping his kingdom and queen. She already knew what to say to make him listen. She gave herself for the sake of her people. Though he could take there an invitation that hadn't been voiced but could be used against her, he simply smiled.

"Well... it will have to do, doesn't it?"

He sighed, as if Serenity was a particularly slow student, stopping beside her, fingers finding her chin as if they belonged there.

"I will return something of yours before this castle eats his very core completely. We had a truce here, do not destroy it for something as petty as the stunt you pulled at the Palace. Those last years were good, our kingdom thrives as it should."

There was that feral gleam again, in the back of his eyes, as if he wanted more than he said, a hunger, dark, hidden there. The Queen was his. Nor her little plans or Wiseman's interruption would change that. And now that Endymion was taken care of...

His lips stretched in a thin line and his resolve was strong. He believed in every words he said, no matter how really they made him sound mad.

"I shall let you find him and perhaps, when you find me again, will you see this was meant to be. We were meant to be. Your future is here, with me. You needn't no one else, my Queen. Maybe once you admit where you should stand will I show benevolence."

He let her go, his breath shaking under his motion as if he was containing an unnamed fury inside, then stepped aside, his eyes showing a boredom he didn't feel.

"Go."

OOC:
 

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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Dance with the Devil   Tue 10 May - 11:19



She wished he would just kill her, some days.

She flinched as he touched her one more time, wondering if she could get away with a slap or another burst of the Silver Crystal’s powers. But she had just submitted to him completely, hadn’t she? In order to save her people. Would she regret it? What would the cost be? Horrifying thoughts crossed her mind and her chest felt as if it might burst in one long scream of anger, frustration, and fear.

But then his words burrowed into her mind and a tiny sliver of hope flared within her.

Something of yours? His very core? Was he talking about…

She wanted to argue about his idea in regards to a ‘thriving kingdom’, but decided not to because thoughts of Endymion filled her mind. Was Diamond really going to release him? If so, she mustn’t change his mind. She mustn’t do anything to provoke him… she would do anything to get her true King back.

She looked into his eyes and the dark hunger she saw there made her feel cold all over. How could there exist such a man who was more monster than human? What could have happened to him? Was this truly all Wiseman’s doing, or were some people just born evil? She never used to believe that, but she had not spent years with such a man before either.

Serenity didn’t understand his words; why would finding Enydmion again make her believe she belonged with someone else, let alone Diamond? Maybe he was deluding himself again. She pressed her lips together to keep the retort she wanted to say, and no sooner did he tell her to go did she run.

If Enydmion was truly released, she needed to find him. She longed to be in his embrace again, to feel his warmth, to…

Even as she ran, Serenity knew something wasn’t right. This wasn’t punishment. This was reward. Unless…

What had he done? What had he done to Endymion?

Her feet quickened, heading toward the dungeons.

And it was as she turned the last corridor did she see him.

Standing tall. Healthy. His face shining. Looking thin, perhaps, but that could be fixed easily.

He turned to look at her. Her Endymion.

She stopped, trembling. Tears clouded her eyes as she looked at the figure she had missed the most for all these years, trapped in this godforsaken hell. The figure she thought she would never see in person, let alone touch again.

He looked at her too, and smiled. Walked toward her. His arms stretched to reach her.

Serenity almost fell to her knees in relief. Her arms spread out to embrace him. Her mouth opened to call his name. “Endy—”

And he walked right past her just as they were about to collide.

Her upturned lips drooped, her expression turning from joy to confusion as she stood there alone, frozen.

Then a familiar giggle of a woman behind her. “Endymion. It’s so good to see you out and about again. I have missed you so.”

Serenity trembled. Part of her didn’t want to turn around. If she never did, she would never have to see it. And if she never saw it, she would never have to believe it.

This all could be a dream. A nightmare, perhaps. A hallucination. She misheard, she didn’t really see Endymion here, she should continue on her way and forget this.

But she couldn’t. She had to know.

So she turned, and saw the sight that she knew she would find yet still crushed her.

Her whole world came crushing down as she saw her beloved in the arms of another—Black Lady, no less. He looked at her the way he used to look at Serenity, yet Serenity was not the one embracing him.

Black Lady’s hand was on his cheek as she smiled up at him. “Have you missed me?” she asked with a teasing tone, as if Serenity wasn’t even there.

As if she didn’t even exist.

Endymion looked at her with love and returned the smile. Said the words that crushed Serenity’s heart.

“Of course, my queen. I have missed you every day we were apart.”

The two of them began to walk away, and Serenity still stood there long after they were gone.

Then, after the shock finally passed, she fell to the ground with a heart-wrenching cry, and sobbed on the floor.

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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Dance with the Devil   Fri 13 May - 0:35


Diamond watched her run.

He stood there, unblinking, unmoving, eyes following her form and then staying on the threshold of the room even after she disappeared. There was an anger burning inside of him, a fire that couldn't be quenched, something that threatened to consume him radically, painfully. He finally opened fists he never noticed he held furiously clenched, then flexed his fingers slowly.

Well this was done. No doubt this would be enough for now.

He walked out of the room, going back to his own quarters for now. He had certain things to fix and he needed his cape before returning to the throne room. He knew where Serenity was going, he knew what she would find and if he didn't trust Black Lady, he knew she would go along. After all, she was obsessed with the imprisoned man. It hadn't taken him too long to convince her. For once, perhaps would the rabbit even be useful to their plans. He needed to bring order, but he didn't need to see his own Queen devastated. The simple knowledge that the punishment would shake her to her core was enough.

He smiled to himself.


How many years? One? Ten? Fifty? How long since Diamond had abandoned him here? Saphir couldn't quite say, couldn't quite be sure, but he waited a long time here, in this darkness, waiting for something to happen, for someone to come, for Diamond to see reason, for this pathetic woman to be killed and his brother given back to him. He could have gone crazy in all the years he was left in the dungeon, but didn't, his will stronger than that, but something protecting him as well, he was almost sure of that.

He never cried. Never screamed to be let go. Never panicked, not even while Endymion grew more and more affected by the dungeon, not too many cells away, unnerving pawn that he was. Of course, Saphir knew why he was in there and the contempt he felt was not even for him, but for her. She was responsible for all of this. She was to blame for his brother's obsession, his sudden shift in plan.

What he would give to have been able to get rid of her the time he had her at his mercy.

The cold patience that was his gave way to annoyance, to sadness. Then the sadness morphed into rage before resignation came about and another sort of cold patience took hold of him, replacing everything else. His time would come, he knew it. Who could be sure however as to what would leave this cell when the door finally opened?

Maybe Diamond was dead, finally killed by Wiseman's hands and the thought brought dread to his heart.

Then he heard her.
He heard her cry.
And maybe, if he had any empathy left for her, would it have moved him.
But there wasn't.

"So that's why he was released." Came his voice, strong, though faint in a way that even if it was still clear enough to ring about the corridors, it felt exhausted, drained. A somber chuckle followed his words, one a tad crazier than it was meant to be, broken at the edge and yet bare of gentleness in its mocking. It was quickly gone as Saphir mocked quite differently than Diamond. He mocked with his voice rather than his face. Smiled not so often and laughed even less so. It was a quiet sort of impending doom. "How original."

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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Dance with the Devil   Sun 22 May - 7:45



If she had lost Endymion for good, then that was it.

Beside the cats, she had had nothing left. She might as well end it.

And as she contemplated this, for the umpteenth time wondering if her death would be so bad, she heard a new voice.

At first it was unfamiliar; it startled her and made her turn to look for the source. Expecting another of Diamond’s lackeys to stand over her, mocking her misery.

But then she realized whose it was and where it came from.

She slowly stood up, gathering her strength. She turned the corner towards the prison cell just outside the dungeon, the one Diamond reserved for his own beloved brother for daring to rise against him. For daring to question his words.

She should have known that there was no hope for him when he had imprisoned Saphir, the one person he truly, genuinely loved.

Serenity stood facing the other brother now, not quite broken and still as condescending as she remembered him. Two peas in a pod, these brothers were.

Yet Saphir was the sane one of the two. She supposed that was worth something.

Maybe more than she ever considered.

“Your brother is insane,” she stated matter-of-factly, her voice no longer shaky. “But I think you already know that. Wiseman… he’s been influencing his mind too much. Surely this can’t be what you want for him. Surely you’re not content to just sit and rot forever in this prison cell. He needs to be stopped.”

Was she trying to make a deal with one devil to take down another?

Desperate times called for desperate measures.

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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Dance with the Devil   Sun 22 May - 23:54


He wasn't surprised when he saw the woman's figure approaching his cell, after all, he did taunt her, but he never thought that she would actually show up and face him. He expected her to cry without stopping, but she wasn't the crybaby they had faced now was she? She was the Queen, though broken, who Diamond fell for. Serious eyes searched her face. She looked terrible. And desperate.

He wanted to get his hands around her neck.

"And whose fault is that." He countered bitterly, a calm tone contrasting with his inner thoughts.

There was no denying it. Diamond was crazy. Insane. Deeply misguided. Blind. Utterly alone. Saphir knew Diamond was fighting on his own against everything. Black Lady, Wiseman, his people, the Queen. Despite what had been done to him, the youngest still felt strongly about his brother being so lost. 

An eyebrow slowly went up.

"Do you really think I will help you in defeating him?"

He asked as if she was the only crazy person in this castle. Even if Diamond had imprisoned him, he was still his brother. What was she asking of him?

He finally closed his fingers around the bars, his eyes not leaving hers.

She was right, however.

Wiseman's influence never was what Saphir wished for him, wanted for him. For either of them. For their clan. He gritted his teeth. What devious plot would this woman come up with next? Then again, she too was desperate. Desperate enough to come to him while he had tried to kill her once already...

He clenched his fingers around the bars until his joints whitened but his gaze never wavered.

"Let me out of here."

He hissed through his teeth.

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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Dance with the Devil   Tue 31 May - 5:58



“It’s Wiseman’s and his own fault,” she pointed out. “It’s certainly not mine that he’s obsessed with me. I never did anything to encourage it.”

Saphir’s righteous attitude was testing her patience, mostly because he was wrong. He blamed her for everything going on with his brother instead of blaming Diamond himself.

She didn’t answer his next question, just waited and stared at him with a challenge in her gaze, daring him to say no.

And then he said yes, in a way. Serenity suppressed the urge to smile—it was not attractive to gloat, neither was it kind. Hope dared to appear in her once more. Of course, she wouldn’t trust Saphir as far as she could throw him—which wasn’t very far at all, these days. In releasing him, she was risking having him join forces with his brother and making things worse.

But they were at odds. Diamond imprisoned him for a reason. And Saphir was smart. And sane. That was one thing she could always count on. Sure, he thought it was best to kill her, but at the moment, their objectives aligned and they were more valuable alive to each other than dead. She figured he must have seen that.

Serenity didn’t want to think what other punishment he’d inflict upon her if he knew she’d released him—she’d cross that bridge when she came to it.

“Any ideas on how to open this door?” she eyed the bars between them.

As far as she knew, only Diamond could open the cells.

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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Dance with the Devil   Tue 31 May - 6:20


Better not to answer that and risk his own temper flaring to the surface. He always had been the most collected of the two of them, now was not the moment to lose it in the face of her. Perhaps his stomach would be churning just at the sight of this ungodly woman if his mind wasn't so practical, logical. He hated her with all his might and nothing Diamond could do to him would change that fact.

He regretted agreeing with her as soon as he did.

It had been silent maybe, but clear enough for both of them to understand. He needed her to get out, she needed him to control Diamond. He didn't want control, however, he only wanted his brother back. He would need to keep an eye on her so she wouldn't stab them in the back.

Seemed like a popular trend nowadays.

He made a noise from the back of his throat, one that sounded amused, mocking, maybe a little bit cruel. A curve of his lips accompanied it, small that it was. That was interesting. So naive. So stupid. How easy it must have been for Diamond to take control of this kingdom if this Queen was so blind.

"He didn't tell you?" There was a short moment where realization came and he sighed. "Of course not... Oh brother..."

The gleam in his eyes was almost fond before it hardened again.

"It's your castle too."

He stated in an even tone, finally letting the bars go and stepping back. Everything that seemed restless about him disappeared as he stood with his back straightened and his eyes not leaving hers.

"Open the door."

His gloved hand made a short gesture towards the door, before he let his arms fall back against his sides.

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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Dance with the Devil   Tue 31 May - 6:45



Serenity narrowed her eyes at him as something seemed to amuse him. She wanted to ask what was so funny, but bit her tongue. She probably wouldn’t want to hear the answer.

She frowned at his question. Didn’t tell me… what?

She wanted to shake the answer out of him. Guess they had that desire for violence in common.

Serenity didn’t like the look in his eyes when he spoke again. It’s… my castle… too?

It took her a minute to understand what he was implying. When the realization dawned on her, she was so shocked that she actually stepped back. “No,” she whispered, more to herself than to him. He couldn’t… he wouldn’t. Would he?

Of course he would.

Of course Diamond would be that cruel. Of course he would hurt her even when she didn’t realize she was being hurt.

Serenity tried not think about it, but it was too late. The words had echoed in her mind, each one stabbing her heart and twisting into her guilt.

I could have freed Endymion. I could have saved him. All these years… I could have saved him.

To blatantly put the key in her hand, so to speak, simply by banking on the fact that such an obvious thing was impossible so that she would never try turning the key.

Cruelty at its finest. Diamond’s exact style. Twisted to its core.

Serenity trembled as she stood. Every time she thought Diamond couldn’t possibly sink lower, couldn’t possibly hurt her more or be an even worse person than he already was, he stooped to another level.

As Saphir told her to open the door, her hand hovered above the keyhole, part of her wanting to turn back.

If she didn’t prove this—if she didn’t know for sure—she wouldn’t be weighed down by the guilt for not saving Endymion.

But if she didn’t do this… he might be lost to her forever.

She waved her hand, and the latch unlocked, the clicking sound sealing the fact that fell upon her like an executioner’s guillotine.

The door swung open with her touch, and Serenity stared at Saphir with fire in her eyes.

She understood why Diamond never told her, but Saphir had never told her either.

And for that, she might never forgive him.

“Let’s go. Find us a safe place to talk; you know this blasted castle better than I do.”

Her anger was seeping through her words—she was close to losing the tightly placed lid on it. “And if you stabbed me in the back, I swear next time I will be the one to put you back there myself.”

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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Dance with the Devil   Tue 12 Jul - 15:36


It was... inspiring to see her react. Like time slowed down just to show how much anguish one simple and short sentence could cause.

No.

Oh yes. His brother was that cruel. Or possessive. Saphir knew there wasn't just a desire to hurt - though for Diamond love was control and so suffering was a part of it, he guessed - but also a desire to keep. It was frustrating. Diamond was worth more than anything she could offer. Even if he did want to punch his own brother as well. Serenity could get in line. He had the right to be the first...

Why?

Just why did everything happen?

He saw the fire in her eyes and perhaps, in that very moment in time did Saphir understand what Diamond had seen there. He knew his brother, probably better than Diamond knew himself and that fire, that flame, that energy, this was something his brother was fond of. Power behind eyes that others would probably deem beautiful. It probably was enough to stir something in the pit of Diamond's blindness.

Her anger brought disgust to his features, but it soon changed to something colder and less expressive.

He owed her absolutely nothing.

"Come."

He simply said, throwing her a look before walking by her. He knew where to go. They just had to make it without Black Lady noticing, but considering how she seemed obnubilated with the former King, they might just make it. As long as Wiseman didn't cross their path either.

His voice was dry when he spoke again.

"You cannot beat him without me, so keep your rage for yourself or go back to your cell."

He stopped talking when they finally left the dungeons, swiftly guiding her through random corridors, seemingly not following any pattern until he finally arrived at what seemed like a dead end before he passed his hand in front of the wall and a hidden door slid aside for them to pass.

"After you."

He stepped aside, looking behind them and waiting for her to go inside.

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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Dance with the Devil   Sat 16 Jul - 23:07



She followed him silently, fury still simmering beneath the surface, trying to restrain every urge of violence that came to mind. If she were strong enough… she would bring this entire cursed palace to the ground. Why wasn’t she strong enough? Where was the legendary guardian of old, Sailor Moon, the one who could perform miracles? Now there was only the shell of a broken queen left from that myth, and she hated it. Hated herself most of all—even more than her enemies—for being weak.

She swallowed her retort for Saphir’s remark, not wanting to admit that he was right. To resort to fraternizing with the enemy… she didn’t like what she was doing, even if it was the only choice.

She also tried not to ask him in impatience where exactly he was going when it seemed they were going in circles. When they arrived at a dead end, Serenity half considered that Saphir was tricking her—that he was leading her into a trap—when he waved his hand and the hidden door was revealed.

Serenity did not relax, especially when he told her to go first. She doubted it was him being a gentleman if anything.

But the worst had already happened. What else did she have to lose?

Steeling herself, Serenity stepped inside, half waiting for the floor to open up and swallow her.

At this point, death would just be a reprieve.

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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Dance with the Devil   Wed 21 Sep - 11:05


Something in him relaxed in relief when he closed the door behind them after Serenity finally entered. He wouldn't admit it in front of her, but being in that dungeon hadn't been easy, even for him who had been given mercy by his own brother.
Mercy.
What a joke.

He closed his eyes and took a deep but silent breath, steeling himself in another way. Despite wanting to feel her neck between his hands again, he was aware of the fact they could be stronger if they worked together - given that Serenity could keep her end of the bargain.
She somewhat seemed unhinged. Enough to be worrying for both of their future.

Being there, however, made him feel safer than out there, where they would have been so easily found. He wondered how long before Diamond noticed anything, or if his brother would even notice. He had been enthralled by that woman since the first day and he wasn't sure which of her or Wiseman had more power over his brother.

"Wiseman is the first that has to go if you want any hope at changing anything around here."

He said, not willing to turn round and round for her sake.

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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Dance with the Devil   Fri 4 Nov - 6:30



“I agree,” Serenity answered shortly. She wasn’t looking at him, either. She was trying not to feel for the first time in her life. To just turn off all the emotions. She used to be the girl who felt everything; all the beauty the world had to offer, all the love everyone had for her. But now they were all gone and the world was destroyed. Now there was only pain and suffering and she was tired of them.

Perhaps it was better, for once, not to feel anything at all. That way she couldn’t be hurt.

“There was supposedly a revolt today; the people damaged the walls around my palace. Wiseman would blame me for this, but it wasn’t me. For all I know he orchestrated it.”

She thought about the strange fortune-teller, always hovering with his crystal ball, never showing his face. How could anyone trust someone who wasn’t even willing to show their true self?

“Do you know who he is? Where he came from? How did your brother come to know him?”

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[Advanced] Dance with the Devil

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The Galaxy Cauldron :: The Silver Millennium :: RPG Forums :: Crystal Tokyo-