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 [HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon

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[HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon  - Page 4 Empty
PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon    [HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon  - Page 4 I_icon_minitime18th September 2016, 6:54 am

[HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon  - Page 4 FaNHv96

"Chibiusa-chan..." she whispered softly and nodded, placing her other hand on top of her friend's.

She would try. This would have to do. She did not expect to magically take away all of her worries, but she simply wanted to remind her that everyone was there for her. She would try, and with their help, with her help, Saturn knew that she would eventually overcome her fears and insecurities and become a magnificent queen, just like her mother.

It would all work out in the end. She was sure of it.

Saturn glanced at the clock hanging on the wall. There wasn't much time left.

"Has Helios arrived? I haven't seen him yet," she inquired. Saturn knew that there was one person that her best friend needed the most right now, even more than her.

And this totally did not make her jealous at all.

But she understood all the same. She needs him now. And he'd better not be late if he knows what's good for him.

___________________________

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[HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon  - Page 4 Empty
PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon    [HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon  - Page 4 I_icon_minitime18th September 2016, 2:05 pm

[HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon  - Page 4 Fq6Xhqi

Artemis smiled at his daughter's very formal acceptance of her new duties -- quite typical of her. In a way, it was as if they had their own little ceremony too, at that moment. It made him a little emotional too.

"I-- I thought you would be ready," he replied, his voice slightly wavering, but he hoped Diana wouldn't notice. "You're going to do great, Diana."

"Alright then!" he exclaimed, trying to brighten the atmosphere before any sneaky tears made their appearance. "The ceremony is almost due to start, so I'll leave you to it. I need to find your mother too. I'm glad we discussed this before the coronation -- we'll talk again later."

With that settled, he hurried off.

___________________________

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[HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon  - Page 4 Empty
PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon    [HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon  - Page 4 I_icon_minitime18th September 2016, 3:31 pm

[HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon  - Page 4 Zh90GLM
Days turned into weeks as the event was quickly approaching, and finally... it had arrived. Hours of preparation all culminated in today's ceremony; after today, he and Serenity would no longer be in power, their time as rulers of Earth, the Moon, and this Solar System at an end. He fiddled with his medals, with his tie, with his mask; honestly, despite the hours he had been afforded to work through his complicated feelings on the subject, he hadn't gotten very far on the matter: Retirement meant so many different things... one of which he tried to focus on and the other he tried not to think about, but sometimes they went so hand in hand he couldn't think of the one without the other, and so he thought of neither, living as much in the moment as he could; though, admittedly, he had never been good at that. 

He looked at himself in the mirror to check the angle of his tie, and his eyes traveled immediately to the reflection of the back of her hair as she busied herself in her own mirror. He paused, just watching her, feeling calmer and more at ease...but that lasted for just a moment as she started to disappear. Panic gripped him, and he gripped his dressing table, staring at her reflection until it returned to normal, forcing it to come back, for his eyes to stop playing tricks on him. He hadn't been sleeping well - memories of dreams, memories of nightmares, and memories of actual experiences plagued his sleeping hours as time after time he experienced losing her as he had lost her before: watching her body fade before him, as it was now; reliving dreams of destruction with her at their heart; watching her smile as she jumped into some great abyss without him; seeing her body start to decay; seeing her encased in crystal, away from his touch. The visions had started to leak into his waking consciousness, and after half a dozen instances of reaching out to find her right there, or calling out anxiously only to worry her, he had managed to realize that he wasn't seeing the truth and weathered through the visions as best he could, mostly without her noticing. 

He blinked, screwing up his eyes to force them to wake up, and opened to see her whole again, unable to see the vanity through her, and released his hold on his dressing table. She turned to him then, and he quickly looked down, as though preoccupied with another ornament or something of lesser consequence on the surface, taking deep breaths to calm himself down before facing her; he glanced up one as she spoke, and the smile he received, for once, did not remind him of the one Super Sailor Moon had given him, and he took comfort in that, his heart calming quickly. He looked at her reflection fully, smiling back at her, fighting back the stubborn thought that he needed to cherish this while he had the chance, and trying to remain smiling as he realized what she had asked, and how disappointed he was in the reality of his own situation.

He felt fine.

He felt strong, he felt vibrant - he felt just as he always had, since their coronation day, all those years ago. He was not fading, he was not feeling weaker, his joints did not bother him. She was dying, and he was fine. He held his arms open for her and embraced her, pulling her close, keeping his arms around her as tightly as he dared, breathing in the scent of her hair and closing his eyes, loosing himself in her. In this feeling. In their togetherness. The rest of the world could fall away...

But Lady... Their daughter's coronation was today, and that meant less stress and less pressure for Serenity, but that may not affect her decline in any measurable way. It would allow them to spend more time together, but how much longer would she stay, and how much longer after would he? He didn't want to go a moment without her, but at the same time, Lady may still need him. He would want to be there for her, to help her as he could, to give her away when she married... but doing these things without Serenity... that Serenity may not be there for Lady's wedding was one regret he had for her - for them - but rushing them would not help anything in the end. When the time felt right, they would make their plans, and he... well, he would be there for her. 

His gloved hand raised from the small of Serenity's back up to her bare shoulders, keeping her close as moisture gathered at the corners of his eyes. Opening them, he looked across the room, gathering himself, taking deep, even breaths to help hold his breaking heart together. "Neither could I," he replied, his voice rumbling in his chest and staying remarkably even. "She'll make a wonderful Queen; you've done an excellent job training her."

___________________________


[HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon  - Page 4 ThMyae[HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon  - Page 4 4jsq88
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[HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon  - Page 4 Empty
PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon    [HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon  - Page 4 I_icon_minitime19th September 2016, 7:33 am

[HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon  - Page 4 EMmE3xC

Questions about Helios were probably the second-to-very last thing Lady wanted to be asked right now. The primary topic barred from discussion was definitely Mama and her health and retirement. The second would have been the priest of Elysion... but a certain someone, who Lady absolutely never could have denied information to, had just broached it. She had been hoping, although she knew the chances of this were slight, that it wouldn't be brought up.

So, where was Helios?

She fidgeted nervously, trying not to muss up her dress or makeup. After all, Lady had to be as close to perfect as possible for the upcoming ceremony.

"I'm sure he'll be here," she said, not convincingly.

Lady wasn't ready to admit that maybe she hadn't been in close contact with him recently. And that maybe she hadn't been forthright about how important today was. And maybe she was worried about what she might say to him whenever he did arrive. After all, how much could this sort of thing really matter to a probably-eternal guardian of the world of dreams? A certain pink-haired someone conveniently left out that this "sort of thing" involved someone he claimed to care about, which usually would make it matter.

She couldn't even imagine how she would feel when she saw him. Right now, those kinds of thoughts were not a welcome distraction.
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[HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon  - Page 4 Empty
PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon    [HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon  - Page 4 I_icon_minitime19th September 2016, 8:06 am

[HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon  - Page 4 OOPBN40

As the end of the hour drew near, she and her husband moved toward the throne room, where the ceremony was about to be held. Serenity could see the sadness in Endymion’s eyes, the way he seemed positively scared that she might abruptly disappear at any given moment, the way he seemed haunted by something she could not see. It broke her heart to see him like this, and she wanted to reassure him that he never needed to be scared; had they not found each other again and again, across time and space? No, the separation was never easy, and she supposed she didn’t feel troubled by it this time because she knew she would be going first, but he was strong. He was strong and steadfast and their daughter needed him. She hoped she didn’t have to wait too long for him to come, but at the same time… it would be cruel to Lady for both of them to leave at once.

A part of that was happening today, regardless. She was finally going to turn in her queen’s tiara and end her reign.

She entered the beautifully decorated room; colors of white and soft pink dominating the place, noting how everyone had truly given their best and not skimp on anything for this grand celebration. The rows of chairs, filled with everyone from high-ranking officials to dignitaries to regular civilians—since the whole city had been invited to witness this moment—were overflowing, some were standing at the back and anywhere that didn’t impede traffic.

Serenity took a deep breath and moved to the front of the room, feeling everyone’s gaze on her, wondering what they felt. She hoped with all her heart that everyone would embrace Lady the way they had embraced her, perhaps even more so.

She spotted Luna, in her human form, coming from the other end as the room fell into a quiet hush. The young woman stood with confidence, and Serenity saw her true age for the first time in forever, her wisdom and her self-reassurance that must have existed from time immemorial—since she advised Serenity’s own mother in the Moon Kingdom all those millenniums ago.

“Ladies and gentlemen, beloved citizens of Crystal Tokyo, thank you for joining us here today for this very important ceremony. We are happy you are able to join us,” Luna’s clear voice rang out in the room. “Before we welcome our new queen, I would like to ask us to offer our gratitude to our reigning monarchs. May they be blessed with happiness, peace, and success in their future endeavors. Let us wish them a wonderful and long life as thanks for everything they have done for us for centuries upon centuries.”

Her voice shook a little, but her gaze remained steadfast. “Your Royal Majesties, Neo Queen Serenity and King Endymion.”

Serenity smiled and tried not to cry as Luna approached her, warmly embracing her as the room was filled with applause and cheers. As she disentangled herself from her advisor, Serenity carefully touched the tiara upon her head with both hands, momentarily just holding it there, as if needing to savor the importance of this moment.

Then, she raised it above her head, separating it from herself, and put it upon the small pillow Luna had procured. She stared at the glistening tiara, so familiar and so filled with its own burdens, and bid her goodbye to it.

From this moment on, she was no longer Neo Queen Serenity.

She was free, and her head and heart felt light.

___________________________

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[HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon  - Page 4 Empty
PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon    [HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon  - Page 4 I_icon_minitime20th September 2016, 5:20 am

[HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon  - Page 4 Fq6Xhqi

Also in his human form, he stood by Luna's side, not saying anything, his gaze fixed on the crowd in general as Luna gave her small speech. Considering her special relationship with the queen, it seemed to be more fitting for her to do so.

He could tell that emotion threatened to overwhelm her, and he wanted to reach out for her hand in support and consolation at that moment, but that would have to wait for later. They were in the middle of the ceremony after all, and Luna was doing her best to remain professional as the occasion required.

"Your Royal Majesties, Neo Queen Serenity and King Endymion," he only spoke in unison with Luna. He moved towards the King, respectfully bowing, and extended his arms, presenting the pillow that he was holding for the king's emblem.

His mind momentarily drifted towards their queen-to-be and Priest Helios, and he wondered how long it would be before the emblem would be put to use again. Come think of it, he really wasn't sure where those two were standing at right now.

___________________________

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[HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon  - Page 4 Empty
PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon    [HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon  - Page 4 I_icon_minitime20th September 2016, 5:16 pm

[HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon  - Page 4 Nqeh0j12

Makoto walked the palace halls in almost a nostalgic way. She had many fond memories of the palace. She felt that even though an era was ending and the thought of losing Serenity in the near future tore her to pieces, she would gladly serve Lady if needed. It felt very eerie. Makoto knew Lady would one day take over her mother's rule, but she never imagined it would happen so soon.

Moments later she found her way tot he ceremony and took her seat. She could feel many things from the crowd. Her own heartbeat increased as Luna spoke for the citizens to honor Serenity and Endymion. Makoto tried to hold onto her tears, but she failed as she stood applauding Serenity. Her eyes filled with tears of happiness at all Serenity had accomplished, and with Endymion by her side she had radiated even more. Her tears also held sadness, for she like the other senshi knew the true reason of this ceremony.

___________________________

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[HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon  - Page 4 Empty
PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon    [HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon  - Page 4 I_icon_minitime20th September 2016, 7:07 pm

[HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon  - Page 4 Zh90GLM
That moment, when Serenity held her crown and hesitated in its removal, Endymion knew what she was feeling. In his heart he knew that she was not regretting relinquishing her rule in that maneuver, but savoring the goodbye. So much growth, so much hardship, and yet so much good had come from realizing their past and moving forward through the future. In their rule, Earth had been unified. Wars were over. The people were joined together, their cultures their own and yet united together in common, human goals. There was no poverty, and without poverty there was no crime; every child grew to become an educated citizen, embraced by their communities and welcomed to the workforce when they were of age. The climb was hard, the road rocky, but they were there, and they had been maintaining the new status quo admirably. Her crown, his badge - they were symbols of that often arduous endeavor: the long nights, the endless diplomacy, the passionate arguments that somehow fell on deaf ears one moment, and stirred hearts and minds the next. They stood for the failures as much as the successes, and while they were but material trinkets, what they represented was ever so much more. 

The moment Serenity's crown was deposited on her pillow, he could all but feel the relief emanating from her: that last stress, finally falling away. As Artemis moved forward, offering the lavendar pillow that would hold his own, he carefully unpinned the emblem from his his jacket and placed it neatly, the weight from his chest both figurative and literal as the golden badge retired from his person. 

They had done a good job. They had cared for Earth and it had flourished under their stewardship, and it was ready for the next generation to take their place. 

His hand fell back to his side and, no longer King of Earth, moved smoothly to hold Serenity's hand.

___________________________


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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon    [HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon  - Page 4 I_icon_minitime21st September 2016, 6:38 am

[HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon  - Page 4 GfYeDYH

Silent and unobtrusive, a lithe form had joined Luna and Artemis on the dais almost without the notice of anyone present in the hall. The young woman stood very still, her kind scarlet eyes carefully watching the Queen and King present their symbols of power to her strong and steadfast parents. Her heart thrummed with the joy of participating in such a momentous occasion. Diana loved everyone here—loyal devotion for the retiring monarchs, filial respect for her dear parents, deep admiration for the sailor soldiers and others who represented Neo Queen Serenity's court...

Those eyes moved only slightly, even though the head did not turn, and looked outward, towards where she knew Small Lady waited. The advisor smiled ever-so-slightly when she caught a wisp of undeniably recognizable pink hair.

She felt the change in the atmosphere, her feline senses not dampened by her temporary human form, and knew that her duties now officially began. Her nerves buzzed with trepidation, nagging fears trying to erode her sense of self-confidence, but she easily brushed it aside. She knew that she was ready for this. She embraced these responsibilities fully. Even now, Diana wanted to make her family proud. She knew that they would cherish this memory just as she would.

Diana stepped forward, the bells on her skirt and collar jingling softly. The hum of the crowd swallowed up the faint noise, rather than permitting it to echo in the room. She kept her posture poised and steps steady as she approached, her arms lifted to receive the golden diadem from its silk cushion.

The weight of the crown now securely in her hands, the smile clearly visible on her face, Diana turned towards the aisle. This was Small Lady's cue.
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Professor Tomoe
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[HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon  - Page 4 Empty
PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon    [HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon  - Page 4 I_icon_minitime21st September 2016, 6:39 am

[HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon  - Page 4 EMmE3xC

Helios... She still hadn't seen him. Maybe Lady wouldn't have been thinking about it, if Saturn hadn't mentioned him earlier. The time she spent outside the throne room seemed to last forever. Even as she peeked in, watching the events unfolding with a lead heart, she couldn't stop looking for him. Every flash in her peripheral vision seemed to imply that Helios was near. That he would step close with some kind word to sooth her or warm congratulations.

Maybe he's somewhere in the back... Maybe he doesn't know where to look for you...

Besides, she needed to stay focused. She had a job to do. It was almost paralyzing to think that this was her first official duty. Whatever she could do to keep her thoughts straight, she had to do it. She couldn't let this very first and oh-so-important thing be an immediate disaster. In some ways, it would be a relief, but not in enough. Not in nearly enough...

She wanted to look away when Mama reached up, delicate fingers touching the gold filigree of her crown, and removed that seemingly-eternal symbol from her regal head. Lady forced herself to watch, swallowing the suffocating bitterness. There was no use lying to herself. It was over.

In a whirlwind, it was time. She hesitated for less than a millisecond, the familiar childhood urge to run singing in every nerve of her body.

No.

Lady took a deep breath, stepping out into the room. It was almost blindingly bright with lights and decorations, and the hall overflowed with observers that she felt the presence of rather than saw. Faces blurred together, indistinct, and the voices merged into something like a background wave of oscillating static. Lady knew that her hair and dress gave the impression of a young woman with beauty and grace. She was thankful now for a lifetime of public appearances, the sweetly smiling mask easy to apply over her internal turmoil.

The second step required less determination than the first. She looked up and saw Diana, faithful Diana, standing and waiting for her. Those deep ruby eyes, so like her own, became the anchor for her in this sea of turbulence.

She reached the front of the room in what seemed like almost no time, having virtually no memory of the journey forward.

This was it.
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Professor Tomoe
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Professor Tomoe

Inner Senshi Admin Activities Director

Title : Formerly Aurae; The Galaxy Cauldron Forums' Official Professor Tomoe
Posts : 6250
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Location : Chicago


[HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon  - Page 4 Empty
PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon    [HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon  - Page 4 I_icon_minitime21st September 2016, 6:39 am

[HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon  - Page 4 GfYeDYH

Diana could not hide her joy. It emanated from her, almost a glow, like a faint halo around the young woman's form. Her smile was more than just an upturned mouth; it shone from her eyes and carried in every movement of her slender frame.

This was the moment Small Lady had trained her entire life for. Her skills and training would not abandon her now, and she would find herself well-suited for the tasks at hand. More than that, her own sensitivity and generosity would assist her with societal improvements and connections. She would be recognized and loved by her people. Her reign would be filled with peace and harmony.

These were all the things Diana wished for her dear, dear friend and princess.

The pink pigtails curled on the floor like ribbons as the young woman knelt, her head bowed respectfully, just like they had rehearsed so many times. Diana's high voice rang out clearly to all corners of the great hall as she spoke.

"Princess Lady Serenity, for centuries you have served your people of Crystal Tokyo as heir and agent. You fought for us as a sailor soldier and guarded us as Princess. Today, we ask you to accept the role of leadership, promising to love and protect all those who call this beautiful world our home."

Diana could feel the tears in her eyes, but her voice never wavered.

She saw the slightest nod of the rose-coloured head and raised the golden crown to the light, watching the jewels sparkle and glimmer. Her steady hands lowered it carefully, placing the circlet atop those tresses, balanced perfectly on Small Lady's head as she had so often balanced herself as a kitten.

"Please rise."

As the new queen stood and turned to face the audience, a collective gasp ran through the crowd. The crown on her head—the golden coronet that all had seen time after time on the pale hair of their beloved Neo Queen Serenity—visibly glittered, then glowed. It was changing! The shape and the jewels carefully reordered themselves with that mysterious magic, shimmering with power. Diana could tell by Small Lady's restrained shock that this was not her conscious doing. It was a new tiara, the perfect symbol of a new queen.

Diana knew this had to be a sign of good fortune.

"Ladies and gentlemen, sailor soldiers and civilians, all people of our radiant Crystal Tokyo, I am honored to present to you our new queen—long live Queen Lady Serenity!"

Oh, Small Lady! How marvelous for us all!
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[HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon  - Page 4 Empty
PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon    [HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon  - Page 4 I_icon_minitime21st September 2016, 7:12 am

[HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon  - Page 4 OOPBN40

As Endymion turned in his emblem and moved to stand beside her, Serenity grasped his warm and comforting hand, the hand that had always lent her strength, her anchor and her lifeline. She felt so much better about this with him by her side, knowing that she had his support. As they stepped to the side, she watched as Diana, then Lady take center stage, claiming her birthright at last. Serenity could already feel the emotions overwhelming her as she watched her only daughter, now so grown up, beautiful, strong, and capable, face the people that she would govern from now on.

The tears slipped out as Diana spoke, asking for Lady to receive her new duty, and a part of her, though immensely proud, also felt guilty about leaving this task to her. It was not an easy task, and though she knew Lady did want it, it was still tough to know that from now on she would never be as free as she used to be anymore. Lady had never been a normal girl, not like her once upon a time, but being a princess was still vastly different than being a queen. And from now on she would have a burden that she didn’t have before.

Serenity had been able to weather the thousand years of it because of Endymion. Would Lady have to do it alone? She always felt worried whenever she thought about her daughter’s relationship. She didn’t understand what the hold up was with Helios… didn’t those two love each other? Why weren’t they married yet? Was he worried becoming king would mean abandoning his job in Elysion? Surely they could find a way to make it work.

It was the only thing left she needed to resolve before her time was up.

As the crown was put on Lady’s head, Serenity tightened her grasp on Endymion’s hand and tried not to sob openly—even if she wasn’t queen anymore, it was still unladylike. Still, though a thousand years had passed, today she felt like the old crybaby Usagi all over again, unable to keep her emotions in check.

And then the crown morphed into an entirely new one. Serenity’s eyes widened in surprise, but she also felt gratefulness and joy in her heart. Of course Lady should have her own crown, just like she had her own Sailor Crystal. She was not going to be Neo Queen Serenity II. She was going to be her own kind of queen, whatever that might be. A different, yet equally successful ruler.

She wiped the tears from her cheek as Diana presented Queen Lady Serenity, and stared proudly at her daughter through the haze clouding her vision.

“Long live the queen!” she joined the cheers filling the room; full with joy and triumph.

A new era had officially begun.

___________________________

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[HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon  - Page 4 Empty
PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon    [HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon  - Page 4 I_icon_minitime21st September 2016, 11:36 am

[HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon  - Page 4 WrGekha

Mars shifted in her seat as the ceremony was about to begin. She glanced to the blonde beside her - it had taken far longer to find Minako than Mars would have liked, but she was glad they were here, together, to watch the proceedings. It felt fitting, somehow.

It was strange to be sitting apart from the ceremony, sitting in a chair as if a guest, rather than standing at attention, eyes trained and scanning for any attempt of foul play against her best friend and her queen. But that was the point of all this, right? She hadn't been needed in that way for a long time now, having giving the reigns over to those younger and more fit than she. But still, Mars couldn't help but to skim the exits and check the guards positioning, just in case.

Luna commanded attention as she began, and Endymion was a steady presence, but Mars only had eyes for Serenity, watching her every move. As Luna's words echoed around the room, Mars saw that Serenity was trying to keep her tears in check, and then, finally, the tiara was gone. Instead of upon Serenity's head, it rested on a pillow, shimmering and beautiful, waiting to weigh down another.

So. That was that. Mars didn't quite know how she felt, seeing this all play out in front of her. A part of her still didn't quite believe it - didn't want to believe it. But another part, a quieter part, was relieved. Maybe now Serenity could live a more normal life, like she had wanted since she was a teenager.

The world owed her that much.

Unthinking, Mars sought out Venus's hand, a kind of comfort that she normally wouldn't have allowed herself in public. But she desired the physical presence of the other woman in a way she didn't attempt to stop. This once would be okay.

The ceremony continued. Mars felt a swell of pride as she watched the new queen-to-be take center stage. Wasn't it only yesterday she had been a young upstart, barreling her way into their lives, full of dark secrets and pained anger? A young girl blushing at a new crush, unexperienced in most things. An untrained senshi wishing to prove herself? Mars could picture it all so clearly. How had so much time passed?

And now young girl was a woman, a Queen. As cheers rang throughout the room, Mars didn't join in, but she did say the phrase once, and with as much conviction as she could, as if saying the words so strongly would simply make them true.

"Long live the queen."

It didn't pass her notice that in saying so, she wished it for both the new, and the old.

___________________________

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Light
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Light

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[HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon  - Page 4 Empty
PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon    [HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon  - Page 4 I_icon_minitime22nd September 2016, 9:53 am

[HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon  - Page 4 FaNHv96

Saturn took her place along the Quartet near the front corner of the room, close to the throne area. As the new queen's court, after all, it was their duty to ensure the security of everyone during the coronation. The world was mostly at peace and she did not particularly expect anyone to try something stupid, but that didn't mean they should be at complete ease.

As Luna embraced their queen, Saturn joined the crowd in applauding. A long era coming to an end. For a little while, she caught herself reminiscing the past - her battles alongside Sailor Moon, their young princess that the soldier of death and rebirth had always complete faith on. Her journey towards establishing Crystal Tokyo, the way she matured from a young girl to an elegant and graceful queen.

A long era had ended. And a new era was about to begin. An equally worthy person was about to take the spotlight.

Saturn observed as her friend entered the scene. She looked... perfectly fine. She looked ready. Saturn knew what she was feeling inside, only because she knew her. Outside, she exhibited no signs of stress, of uncertainty, of fear. Which would only go to show how truly prepared she was for her new role, even if she did not feel so yet. As a queen, it is important to maintain her composure and not lose control no matter what, for the sake of the people. And that was essentially what she was doing right now.

She could almost see the pink-haired child that befriended her so long ago, as a transparent figure standing next to the fully grown lady before her. That most important person in her life that never gave up on her, even when their 'happy ending' seemed impossible to reach. And even so, she succeeded.

As Diana announced the new queen, Saturn again joined in applauding. "Long live the queen," she said once, loud but calmly. Her instinct was to run straight to her friend and embrace her. But she, too, had to maintain her composure in front of the public, after all.

___________________________

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[HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon  - Page 4 Empty
PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon    [HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon  - Page 4 I_icon_minitime22nd September 2016, 6:52 pm

[HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon  - Page 4 Zh90GLM
Lady was beautiful, poised, strong, and sure, and Endymion could not have been prouder of her. He stood taller as Diana spoke, his eyes on his daughter, somehow now able to see clearer than he had in years the little girl he had met so long ago, who had been so lost and afraid and lonely, running from her past to save their future with a burden so heavy it threatened to overwhelm her, and yet she continued on regardless. The little girl who wrapped him so thoroughly around her finger, and proved over and over to everyone apparently but herself how unique and incredible she was, changing the course of events with her ability to make friends with the most unlikely of people, and believe so strongly in the goodness inside of others that it might very well have changed the fate of the world. The young lady who refused to take for granted what others would have coveted, but worked tirelessly to earn what she wanted. Here she was, having not only become a beautiful lady like her mother, but an inspiration for anyone who felt they had shoes too big to possibly fill. As she knelt to receive the crown he watched on, a proud father, his heart overfilling with emotion. When Diana lowered the crown onto her head, Endymion moved his thumb to rub the back of Serenity's hand, feeling fulfilled in that they could witness this moment together, but the second he twitched his digit out of place, Serenity's grip on his hand tightened, and his heart backflipped in a rush of panic -- 

But she was alright. 

The relief flooded through him just as he realized the grasp was not out of pain, but rather for extra support in how hard she was trying not to openly sob. He could not help the smile that struggled past his facade of calm, cool collection - they may have thousands of years behind them, but she was still Usako, and he loved every inch of her, crybaby or not. The rush of emotion steadied him, but when he looked back to the ceremony just in time to see Serenity's crown transform on Lady's head, morphing into something completely different, completely her own, the surprise nearly overwhelmed him. It was perfect. The perfect symbol for the people, but more importantly the perfect symbol for her. She was her mother's daughter, not her shadow, not her replacement - she was her own person, and she had struggled long and hard to come to terms with being who she was and for earning what she wanted, and this was the perfect symbol to show that, in the end, she was not Serenity's second, but her heir, capable of surpassing them in her rule as she forged her own path.

"Long Live the Queen!"

Long live Chibi-Usa, Small Lady Serenity. Long live his little girl.

___________________________


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JupiterThunderCrash
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[HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon  - Page 4 Empty
PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon    [HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon  - Page 4 I_icon_minitime23rd September 2016, 10:58 am

[HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon  - Page 4 QTecmB9

She had agreed to Venus' plan of waiting until after the ceremony, and for the first time in a while, focused entirely on the present in front of her. The entire ceremony was an odd experience, watching it from a chair in the audience instead of being at Serenity's side. But it was not her job to guard this time, and it would never be again. It didn't quite sink in until she saw Diana place Serenity crown on Lady's head, and then she blinked in surprise as she realized she was tearing up.

It was over. Mercury wiped her cheek off with her gloved hand, and clapped with the rest of the cheering crowd. This might have been the ending of one age, but it began another. The new queen's crown was a sign of that, hopefully a good one. 

"Long live the Queen," she said, smiling even with her mixed emotions.
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Hikari-chan
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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon    [HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon  - Page 4 I_icon_minitime23rd September 2016, 7:05 pm

[HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon  - Page 4 Nqeh0j12

Makoto sat watching as Diana placed the crown on Lady's head. Suddenly it hit her. She realized that with Lady's reign, her role as a senshi was ending. She would not be required to guard Lady. Lady had her senshi. Makoto wondered what the future would hold for her and the others. 

Makoto quickly pushed those thoughts aside and rose to her feet cheering at the announcement of Lady as the new queen of Crystal Tokyo. She felt herself smiling from ear to ear as she cheered for Lady. She was proud of how far Lady had come from all those years ago when she crashed into their world and shook things up.

Makoto cheered with the crowd, "Long live the queen!"

___________________________

[HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon  - Page 4 HikariDemand
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Sailor Neptune
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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon    [HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon  - Page 4 I_icon_minitime24th September 2016, 4:57 am

FAST FORWARD

The celebration after the coronation lasted for a few days. Every day, parties were held for the rotating stream of dignitaries from other parts of the world and even from neighboring inhabited planets. Festivities and joyfulness were in the air, and everything had gone smoothly for the most part.

With them officially retiring, Neo Queen Serenity’s court had finally stopped assuming their senshi form and returned to their old selves. It was a strange adjustment after being a senshi officially for countless years, but also a nice change. None of them had any official duties anymore, and any research or work they did from now on would be strictly on a voluntary basis.

ooc:
 

___________________________

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JupiterThunderCrash
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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon    [HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon  - Page 4 I_icon_minitime24th September 2016, 10:21 am

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It had been a long time since she was just "Ami", and she'd been adjusting to her new, total freedom over the last few days of celebrations. She was certainly happy to spend some more time with Ryo, not that she hadn't been before, but there wasn't as strong of a need to be on high alert all the time.

But now that everyone had been given the chance to enjoy the aftermath of the coronation ceremony, it was time to bring up the last pressing issue. 

Ami had called the rest of Serenity's former court and King to meet in a private room of the Crystal Palace, hand gripping the folder that held all the notes she'd been taking as of recent. It was the proof of their own dimming Sailor Crystals. There was a large table and a group of chairs to use, but Ami didn't feel like sitting, so she opted to stand instead, waiting for the others to arrive.
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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon    [HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon  - Page 4 I_icon_minitime25th September 2016, 10:07 am

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Makoto had been up early. She had wanted to make a special breakfast for her family. She finally had time to sit down and eat with Motoki and her children. It seemed like forever since she had been able to give all of her time to her family. She was thankful that Motoki supported her though everything.

She had just laid out the French Toast, eggs, potatoes, and meat on the table when everyone came down to eat. Makoto thought back to a time where things were this simple. It had been a millennia ago. She was grateful for her life's experiences as Serenity's senshi, but also happy to finally just be Makoto again.

As she was cleaning up breakfast, she saw the message from Ami. Luckily she was just about finished with the dishes. She quickly cleaned up and made her way to meet up with the others. She walked in and took a seat. 

She greeted Ami with a smile.

"Good Morning Ami-chan."

___________________________

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon    [HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon  - Page 4 I_icon_minitime26th September 2016, 6:17 am

[HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon  - Page 4 EMmE3xC

He hadn't come.

Or had he? She hadn't seen him, but maybe that didn't mean he wasn't there. He was so quiet and reserved, after all. Maybe he had been giving her space, so she didn't feel overwhelmed by one more thing during such an important ceremony. Or perhaps she had been so busy that she had overlooked him. Maybe he had stood out there, waiting for the right moment, and she had failed to provide an opportunity.

The new queen mulled over these things as she paced in her recently-appointed private study. So far, being the queen hadn't been much different from being the princess and heir. The difference was mainly the absence of her mother's court. No one asked for her input and then sought her mother's final approval. And then there was her new name. She still wasn't sure they were talking to her, sometimes, when she heard "Queen".

"Lady?" called a familiar voice—Ceres, of course. The rose-haired young woman peered around the corner, the sunshine yellow bow on her head bobbing faintly with the motion. "We'll be leaving soon for the checkpoint inspection. Did you need anything, before we go?"

The young woman's voice was so soft and gentle, the rose-coloured eyes reflecting concern. Lady mustered as much of a smile as she could, not wanting to worry her guardian.

"I'm alright. Thank you, Ceres. Come back safe."

When the door had closed and she was alone again, she tapped her fingers against the desk. Her mind was still racing, but she didn't know what to do with any of these thoughts. With a sigh, Queen Lady Serenity took a seat and began reviewing some of the documents Diana had left. They had a few meetings later today, and she'd be briefed by the Quartet when they returned from their overview. If she was looking for a distraction, she might as well find one in her official duties.
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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon    [HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon  - Page 4 I_icon_minitime26th September 2016, 7:41 am

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She felt vulnerable without her senshi form. Naked.

Minako walked to the room Ami had indicated, her brain still readjusting their senshi names and their original names after a millennia of being set a certain way. Despite her age, and the irony of her dying from said old age, she felt like a child again as Minako Aino right now.

She already knew what Ami was going to tell them, but she knew that wasn’t an excuse not to come. So she did, and after this meeting, she hoped to have a real good, long overdue talk with Rei.

When she stepped into the meeting room, Ami and Mako were already there, and she gave them both a polite smile. “Good morning, ladies.”

___________________________

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon    [HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon  - Page 4 I_icon_minitime26th September 2016, 7:47 am

[HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon  - Page 4 OOPBN40

Serenity didn’t quite know who she was anymore. They didn’t exactly plan for her to be around still while Lady had become queen, so her official title for now was… well, uncertain. ‘Queen Mother’ wasn’t technically correct, but that was what some of them had gone with.

Honestly, she wanted to just be Usagi again.

She hadn’t had a proper talk with Lady since before all this, and she was afraid she had put an unwanted burden on her daughter’s shoulders. Now that she had more time without her duties, and before Lady got too busy with her new ones, she figured it was as good a time as any to have the talk. Besides, she also wanted to know what was going on with her and Helios. Serenity hadn’t seen him at the coronation, and that didn’t feel right.

She walked to Lady’s new study, and knocked softly on the door.

___________________________

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[HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon  - Page 4 Empty
PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon    [HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon  - Page 4 I_icon_minitime26th September 2016, 8:05 am

[HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon  - Page 4 EMmE3xC

Her mind was somewhere else, somewhere in the middle of the trade dispute between a few distant countries. Crystal Tokyo had expanded, little by little, governing more of the Earth as other ruling bodies requested to join the burgeoning power. They wanted an alliance to strengthen their own ties and secure their position. As time continued, the queen was treated as a mediator for disputes on a regular basis. She didn't rule these other places in the same way that she did for her home country, but they now brought themselves under her protection—and her responsibilities continued to increase. Now, as for most strained conflicts, they sought her input. It was better than war, at least.

The ruby eyes poured over the documentation, not even pausing in her perusal when the knock eventually reached her ears.

"Hmm? Come in," she replied automatically, wondering if it was one of her soldiers already returned.
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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon    [HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon  - Page 4 I_icon_minitime26th September 2016, 8:49 am

[HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon  - Page 4 OOPBN40

Serenity opened the door carefully and stepped inside, smiling at her daughter. Since stepping down, she had switched to wearing more casual clothes, less elaborate gowns. Today she was wearing a simple white dress that only reached to her knees, and she felt so much better about moving around. She felt lighter, younger even, especially without the constant presence of the tiara. The only difference between her and her younger self was her hair color, which had remained silver.

“Your Majesty,” she called out playfully, before closing the door behind her. Then she paused, taking in the new sight, momentarily overwhelmed. Her little Chibiusa looked so… adult, and regal. It almost brought tears to her eyes.

“Being the queen suits you. I’m so happy everyone is in your capable hands.” She moved toward Lady’s desk and smiled. “Are you busy? I wanted to talk, but I didn’t want to disturb you. Are you feeling overwhelmed at all with your new job, by the way? You know you can always ask me for advice, right?”

___________________________

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon    [HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon  - Page 4 I_icon_minitime26th September 2016, 9:07 am

[HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon  - Page 4 EMmE3xC

The words didn't really attract her attention, but the teasing tone and the oh-so-familiar voice moments later drew her from the work at hand. Lady looked up, surprised to see her mother looking so... different. Now that the ageless woman had handed over her title as Neo Queen Serenity, everything that had been "normal" for her daughter to see had changed. She didn't wear the same formal dresses. She didn't wear the crown. She no longer carried a sceptre. Seeing her mother like this felt jarring... but the face was still Mama. The same kind blue eyes conveyed her loving heart.

The congratulatory compliment felt bittersweet to hear. Of course she wanted her parents to be proud of her, and she was glad to hear that her mother approved of her hard work. But she also still felt ill at ease in her new role, one she both loathed to take and had waited her entire life for. Lady straddled that conflict somehow, as at war with herself as always. As she smiled up at her mother, she hoped it didn't show on her face.

"I have time," she said, carefully marking her place in the various documents and setting them aside on the desk. Neat and orderly. She always had time for her Mama. Especially now, when that time might be limited...

"The job is fine, Mama. It's not different from what I was doing before."

She hoped her words could convince the former queen, always the worrywart, to set those concerns aside. The things that overwhelmed her were not her duties. Those were the most reliable parts of her life. At least she knew what she was doing—understood that she had the right skills and experience—when she was asked to oversee negotiations between opposing powers or make a plan for recovery of a damaged area. Lady could immerse herself in the tasks at hand, forgetting her own confused thoughts, and find brief relief there.

Lady stood up from the desk, brushing out one long pigtail with her fingertips. She didn't want to have her mother sit down on the other side, like royal business. It felt too impersonal... and wrong. She wanted to show more respect than that.

Instead, she led her mother to the low sofa near the window. On her way, Lady touched one of the computer terminals, requesting that one of the staff members bring tea and snacks. It would be like what her mother used to do, when she was a very young child. The nostalgia thrummed something in her heart.

"Please, have a seat. What's on your mind, Mama?"

Please... not... those things I fear so much. Her prayer was silent, and she didn't even know what kind of a response she could hope for.
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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon    [HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon  - Page 4 I_icon_minitime26th September 2016, 9:21 am

[HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon  - Page 4 OOPBN40

Serenity smiled, glad to hear that her daughter wasn’t having any trouble with her job. She followed Lady to the sofa, already feeling more relaxed and comfortable at the thought of not having to sit on the desk where normally official business was conducted. This felt like the good old days again, when they used to talk more openly, before this whole dying business started.

But was not talking about it really the solution?

She sat down and thought about the question, not really knowing why she’d come here. She wanted to talk about the elephant in the room, but she couldn’t bear to see her daughter so sad. She was afraid to be the one to break her heart.

There was one other thing she needed to know, though.

“I was curious… how is your relationship with Helios these days? I don’t think I saw him at the coronation, and… he was invited, right?” For a moment she wondered with horror if it had been an administrative error, that somehow the invitation never reached Elysion, but then again… it was a huge event broadcast all over the country. It would be literally impossible to miss.

The only possible reason for his absence, to her, was that he was physically incapable of attending.

“Do you think he’s alright? Perhaps we ought to pay him a visit?”

What if Helios was sick? Or had gotten into trouble? When was the last time they checked on him? Thinking about this made her feel panicked; why didn’t they check on him sooner?

___________________________

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon    [HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon  - Page 4 I_icon_minitime26th September 2016, 9:34 am

[HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon  - Page 4 Fq6Xhqi

Artemis was lying on Mina's bed, stretching and rolling around, enjoying the beams of sunlight that fell on him through the window. It's not as if his job had ever been that pressing, but he still did enjoy that lack of responsibilities for the first time in forever, which allowed him to simply be as lazy as he pleased for once. He looked so carefree.

But that wasn't really true. Once again, he was concerned - which somehow seemed to be the norm for mostly everyone these days.

Ami had summoned the girls and the king as she wanted to talk to them about something, but she did not say what. Or at least, that's what Mina told him. But Artemis wasn't liking this either way. No longer carrying the responsibilities of the planetary guardians, he could not possibly imagine the reason behind such a gathering. Or, at least, he could not think of any good reasons. He did not quite think that she was simply gathering everyone for a cup of tea.

On top of that, there was just something about Mina recently. Well, putting aside her concern over the queen's health. It looked as if she was hiding something, as if she knew something that she wasn't telling him. After being her guardian and partner for millennia, he could tell when something was wrong. He could see the subtle shifts in Mina's behavior.

Nonetheless, if she wanted to hide something, she was good at it. He might be able to sense that something was up but he would never be able to figure out what, not before she was ready to share.

Artemis kept rolling around, enjoying the sun's warmth on his fur. It was a pleasant distraction from all this. In any case, he would have to talk to Mina when she returned. This time he would make sure to find out what was the matter.

___________________________

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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon    [HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon  - Page 4 I_icon_minitime26th September 2016, 10:06 am

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Somehow, this topic was not one she had expected. Lady felt instantly out of her depth, as though she had been tossed into cold water without realizing such a thing would happen. She felt as though her mother had gained sudden telepathic abilities, so easily pinpointing some of her current core worries. Her hands clenched reflexively. The arrival of the tea service provided only a moment of interruption, but it was enough for Lady to gather her thoughts and regain her footing.

The young woman bowed and left quickly, but the new queen did not speak until she was sure they were alone again. Sharing her private concerns with every last person in the palace was absolutely something she wanted to avoid. She reached for the smooth china teapot, familiar from so many uses alongside delicacies from Sailor Jupiter in her own childhood, and poured a cup for her mother first before serving herself. The small assortment of bite-sized cakes and pastries were certainly from Makoto's own recipes, possibly even made by her now that she had "retired".

She stared at her hands for a moment, wondering even where to begin. And then she sighed, wrapping those same hands instead around the now-warm porcelain of her teacup, eyes still fixated on the tabletop.

"He was invited. You don't have to worry about that..." She trailed off as she picked up a small silver spoon and stirred it in the tea, even though she had added no sugar or cream.

How was their relationship these days? Was that even something she understood herself?

"There's nothing wrong."

Is that true?

"I just..." A pause. "We haven't... " Another pause. "I mean, there's so much going on." And a sigh. "He's busy. I'm busy." This felt like the echo of another conversation she had only too recently.

Lady let go of the spoon, watching the tea in her cup continue to swirl.

"I think... he's alright..."

Would he tell me if he was? Would he tell me if he wasn't?

She felt the tears in her eyes, the reflection in her teacup blurring as she stared at it. She coughed slightly and blinked a few times, trying to force the tears back.

Does he even think of me?
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PostSubject: Re: [HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon    [HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon  - Page 4 I_icon_minitime26th September 2016, 4:55 pm

[HC Event] The Lunar Chronicles: Phase V - Waning Moon  - Page 4 Zh90GLM

There had been a constant "joke" throughout all of the parties that went something like: 'Who knew it'd be so tiring to retire!'; consistently made in jest by one of the visiting big wig towards the end of a night as a broad commentary on all of the events that had followed their stepping down and Lady's coronation, usually uttered moments before or after the visiting dignitary would elbow him - figuratively more often than physically - and inquire as to the circumstances of their abdication. Why would they give up the throne so willingly while still in such good health? His assurances that their daughter deserved her time and that they were looking forward to retirement was typically met with either "knowing glances" made towards Serenity, or - rather more aggravating - thoughtful glances made towards Lady. It had been obvious that Lady had gone unaccompanied to the various parties and galas and the suitors that had usually stayed at the periphery were starting to twitch forward in anticipation, their minds focused on what his daughter represented, rather than the person she was. He was annoyed, but while he knew Lady could take care of herself, still he could not help but wonder, with growing frustration, where the Hell Helios was. 

When he had not seen him at the coronation he had intended to look for him, but had repeatedly been pushed in other directions, towards the next gathering, and so held off. And held off. And held off more, thinking that his Elysion-priest would have good reason for missing everything, for standing up his daughter, whom Helios had professed to care greatly for, repeatedly throughout the celebration. There'd be good reason. 

But now the ceremonies were over, and there had been no hide or hair of that priest, nor, when he had checked, any crossing between the Earth-Elysion barrier throughout the celebrations. He had intended to make the jump over that day and have a chat about what was going on, but had been called by Mercury to -- by Ami to meet about something, and his caution for more news on Serenity's condition trumped getting answers from Helios.


And so, having seen Serenity off to the Queen's new study, Endymion strode down hallways towards the intended meeting place with a slight chip on his shoulder to make up for the missing weight of his cape. Since stepping down, he had matched Serenity in avoiding the more extravagant wardrobe choices, which precluded any tuxedo, cape, or mask from his everyday attire, and he was missing the accessories more than he'd like to admit. The heaviness of a cape on his shoulders was comforting, the view through his mask reassuring, and the effortless style of his tuxedos guaranteeing he was never under-dressed or to be underestimated. As he strode through crystalline passageways, he could not help but feel off, even within his own palace, just wearing pressed dark grey pants with a matching vest over top a light grey dress shirt and black tie. He had been assured that the jacket was just too much and so had to leave it behind, and had been requested to roll the sleeves up, despite not doing any paperwork, in an attempt to look more casual. He half-smiled, remembering the exchange that followed, his mood lightening noticeably. Retirement wasn't bad. 

Entering the room he found himself not to be the last to arrive - Ami, Makoto, and Minako were there already, and he nodded to them before taking a seat, resting his hands on the table easily.

___________________________


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