Sailor Moon Fan Fiction ❯ All's Fair in Love and War ❯ Welcome, Lady Aminiha ( Chapter 9 )
[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Chapter 9It was the morning of their third day in Kino's kingdom, and the group was once again enjoying breakfast in the clean, sun-filled breakfast room. "Your cooks should be complimented Lord Takahashi," Hera commented as soon as breakfast was over. "I don't believe that I have ever tasted some of the spices used in your kitchen."
~~ Welcome, Lady Aminiha ~~
~~ Welcome, Lady Aminiha ~~
Lord Takahashi smiled at Hera and inclined his head in acceptance of the compliment. He then looked over at Kino. "You had planned to take everyone on a tour of the new gardens, correct?"
Kino nodded his head. "Yes, those were my plans. Unless you have some objections."
Lord Takahashi shook his head. "No, not at all. I just wanted to tell you to be back at least an hour before lunch. I received word that a friend you met while away is going to arrive today for a visit."
Kino straitened in his chair a little, obviously intrigued. "Who is it?" he asked.
Lord Takahashi smiled fondly at his son. "A lady that you apparently became well acquainted with. Queen Aminiha will be arriving around lunch, and I have invited her to stay with us along with all of your friends."
Everyone's curiosity was peaked, and Kino smiled broadly. "That's wonderful," he exclaimed, and then turned to look at everyone else. "I'm glad that you will be able to meet her. She and I met at court while I was away, and I was hoping that you would be able to meet some of the people that I became acquainted with." He then looked back at his father. "I'll make sure that we are back before she arrives so that we can greet her." Lord Takahashi nodded his head in approval.
After breakfast ended, the group headed into the gardens. Kino led them down well manicured pathways through various sections, stopping every so often to explain the design of the gardens or talk about the flowers themselves. Eventually their tour became a casual stroll. The girls walked together in a group talking, while Mars and Paris were talking apart from Jupiter and Kino.
"You still have not told me much about this woman Kino," Jupiter commented to Kino.
Kino smiled as he looked ahead onto the path. "Well, there really isn't much that I can tell that you won't see when you meet her today. She is a kind woman and a powerful ruler." Jupiter nodded his head as Kino spoke. "I honestly don't know too much about her. Whenever we spoke together, she was usually asking me questions, or we spoke of the politics of our hosts. I do know that her husband died not long after we first met, and she had a daughter with him. I suppose that she would be about eight or nine now. When I saw her after her husband's death, she had changed. She became more confident and respected. She is a very strong leader, I admit I admire her for that," Kino said.
Jupiter nudged his friend playfully. "So is there a possibility that our Kinotsu has his eye on this mystery woman?"
Kino laughed. "No Jupiter, I can assure you that my heart is set on somebody completely different." Jupiter's step faltered and Kino's eyes widened as he blushed.
"Somebody….different?" There was a sly and mischievous tone to Jupiter's voice as he spoke.
Kino slumped his head between his shoulders. "Hush Jupiter…I-I didn't say that out loud so you could not have heard it." Kino's voice was in an urgent whisper as Jupiter began to laugh.
"So, who is she?" Jupiter asked in a hushed tone. He was amused to see Kino glance around and blush.
"It-I don't really want to say right now," Kino replied, and looked at his feet. Jupiter started to laugh.
Hera, Helen and Selenity who had been walking in front of the two, turned around. "Is there something amusing that we missed?" Helen asked.
Jupiter tried to hold back a chuckle as Kino turned a bright pink. "No, nothing at all. I don't know what's gotten into him," Kino said to the three women standing in front of him. His gaze lingered on Selenity. Tenshi….
"It seems that our Kino has a special lady on I his mind..." Jupiter announced.
Kino turned to glare at him. "Jupiter!" he hissed, clamping his hand over his friend's mouth.
Hera raised her eyebrows. "Is my husband letting his mouth run away on him again?" she asked sweetly. Kino kept his glare fixed on Jupiter as Jupiter trembled with laughter that was still being blocked.
Helen giggled. "Jupiter, you shouldn't embarrass Kino like that, especially when we're his guests. Honestly, you haven't changed."
Kino looked at her as he took his hand off Jupiter's mouth slowly. "I-I uh…I'm not embarrassed," he stuttered out.
Hera laughed. "Come, let's not torture the poor man. He doesn't have to tell us anything if he doesn't want to." With those words she linked arms with the other two women and they continued their walk. Kino watched Selenity as they walked down the path, still frozen in place. He quickly looked away when he saw her turn her head to look at him, just as Jupiter slapped him on the shoulder.
"I'll get you for that Jupiter," Kino hissed to Jupiter, who was laughing again. They started to walk, and soon caught up with Paris and Mars who had stopped to wait for the rest of them. Kino sighed as he observed Selenity standing there, chatting with Helen and Mars. He knew that she could never love him back. Right?
"My Lady, it is a pleasure to see you once again." Kino had his head bowed over the hand that he clasped in his own.
The women before him smiled at him. Her violet eyes seemed to dance with some sort of inward fire, and her very presence commanded respect and awe. "The pleasure, Prince Kinotsu, is all mine," she said, and everyone shook inwardly at the power of her voice. It wasn't that it was particularly loud or deep, quite the opposite, but it made everyone listen and focus all their attention on the woman.
"I was very pleased to hear that you would be honouring us with a visit Queen Aminiha," Lord Takahashi said from his position beside his son.
She flicked her gaze to him. "I apologize for not giving more advanced notice of my arrival. I was not planning on it at first, but business brought me to a galaxy close to the one your Lordship rules in," she paused as her gaze returned to Kino. "I was hopefing that I would be able to see an old friend again, and perhaps begin the prospects of some treaties." Lord Takahashi and Kino both smiled at the lady.
Selenity and everyone else stood to the side, watching. They had all been introduced when the woman had entered the room, and now watched politely with the rest of the court. Selenity noticed a small girl standing behind the Queen next to one of the attendants. She had been introduced as the Queen's daughter, and Selenity could see the obvious resemblance. Both women had wavy red hair and the same violet eyes, although the daughter lacked some of her mother's gentle features. She focused her attention back on the Queen. She was lovely, and Selenity could see that she was well acquainted with court life. Her speech was politically correct, but dripped with honey to make her seem sweet and kind, although everyone could see how powerful she was.
Eventually the formalities were finished. Kino held out his arm for the Queen, and the group followed Lord Takahashi into one of the adjoining rooms, a sort of parlour.
Lord Takahashi looked at the Queen. "You must be tired after such a long journey. I will have someone escort you to your room so that you and your daughter can rest before dinner."
The Queen gently inclined her head. "I would be very grateful my lord." Lord Takahashi called two servants over and instructed them to take Aminiha and her attendants to their quarters.
Kino bowed gently to Aminiha. "Would the Lady allow me to escort her as well?" he asked.
Aminiha have him a soft smile, her eyes glittering. "I would be honoured Prince," she replied, and took his outstretched arm again. The door closed behind them and all the attendants with a soft click.
Lord Takahashi turned to the small group in front of him. "I fear that my son has forgotten that he has more than one guest, you will have to excuse him. Please, you may do whatever you like, the palace and kingdom are yours to explore. I imagine you all still remember how to find your way around." Everyone except Hera nodded their heads, since they had been there many times before. "You will have to excuse me now though," Lord Takahashi said, and with that, he exited the room. Hera brought her hand up to her mouth as she yawned.
"Are you tired my dear?" Jupiter asked, laying his hand gently on his wife's shoulder.
Hera smiled at him and rested her head on his shoulder. "A little. Perhaps we should rest for a little while so that we can survive dinner tonight." Jupiter nodded his head and escorted Hera to the same doors through which Kino and Aminiha had exited earlier.
"We will see you all at dinner," Jupiter said, and walked with Hera through the doors.
Helen took Paris' hand. "Would you mind if we went back to the gardens? There were a few areas we missed, and I would like to see them."
Paris looked down into her eyes and smiled. "Of course. Come," then he looked to Selenity and Mars. "Will you two be joining us?" he asked.
Selenity shook her head. "No, I think that I want to go and rest a little while too. We stayed up late last night, and I too would like to endure through dinner tonight." Paris nodded his head and turned his gaze to Mars.
Mars shook his head. "I think that I'll pass too. I have an old friend here who works in the armoury that I have not seen in years. I promised him that I would come and see him sometime." Paris nodded. Mars looked at Selenity. "I can escort you to your room if you like before I go."
Selenity smiled at him. "That's alright. I'll manage."
He chuckled. "At least let me walk you part of the way, since I'm heading in the same direction as you at first anyway." Selenity nodded her head in acceptance, and the two couples parted.
"So, what do you think of the Queen?" Mars asked Selenity once they were walking down the hallways.
"I don't know, I have not talked to her yet. She seems very…intimidating to me I suppose." She turned to look at Mars as he chuckled at the comment.
"Why do you feel intimidated by her?" he asked.
"Didn't you get the feeling that she is not a woman to anger or get on her bad side? She struck me as being very powerful and dominant, although she looks delicate."
"I did sense that she was powerful. I just didn't feel that it was a threatening power."
"I don't know, it's not that it was threatening or anything. I suppose it's just the fact that it could be threatening. She did seem very poised and gentle though, in her bearing."
Mars nodded his head thoughtfully as they reached the hallway where they were to part ways. "Don't feel intimidated by her Selenity," he said as they stopped walking. "She had no reason to not like you, and besides," he paused, and turned to go, keeping his gaze fixed over his shoulder at her, "you are more beautiful than her." With that he turned his head and disappeared around the corner.
Selenity stood there for a moment, dumbfounded. A small smile tugged on the corners of her lips as she shook her head and turned to walk down the hallway to toward her room. As she turned the corner, she collided with someone. She stepped back but maintained her balance.
"Oh, I'm so sorry, I should have been watching where I was going!" she exclaimed, and looked down at the figure who was also regaining her balance. She was rather surprised to see a shimmer of red wavy hair and a pair of violet eyes staring up at her. "Oh, you're Queen Aminiha's daughter, aren't you?" she asked the girl.
She nodded her head. "My name is Princess Beryl," she said quietly.
Selenity smiled down at her. "It's very nice to meet you Princess."
The two violet eyes stared up at her. "You're the Moon Princess, right?" the girl asked.
Selenity nodded. "Yes, I am Princess Selenity," she then paused. "Were you looking for something?"
The little princess nodded her head. "I wanted to walk around a little and left mama when she was talking to the Prince, but now I want to go back and...." she let the sentence trail as she looked around her.
"Oh, it's easy to get lost in these hallways," Selenity commented, and was surprised with the girl glared at her.
"I am NOT lost," she said rather forcefully. "I-I don't want to walk back alone though."
Selenity smiled as she held out her hand. "Well, would you like to walk back with me?" Beryl stared at Selenity's outstretched hand for a moment before accepting it. Selenity led the girl down a series of hallways before they reached the hall where she Kino had told her Aminiha would be staying. Two attendants were standing outside the door. As she reached them, the door swung open and Aminiha walked out.
"Beryl, where are…." she paused when she saw Selenity walking up to her holding Beryl's hand. "There you are, where were you?" she asked sternly. Beryl brought her gaze down to the floor.
Selenity took pity on her. "I apologize your Majesty. I took her for a small walk when you and Kin-uh-Prince Kinotsu were talking. I thought it best if no one disturbed you," she said as she gave Beryl's hand a squeeze, which was returned.
Aminiha turned her gaze from her daughter to Selenity. "Oh, that was very kind of you. Thank you, although I was a little worried," she gave Selenity a smile and held her hand out to her daughter. Beryl dropped Selenity's hand and took her mothers.
"I am sorry my Lady. I did not want to disturb you. It won't happen again" Selenity said, and gave Beryl a smile.
Aminiha smiled sweetly at Selenity. "No harm was done, and I do thank you for bringing her back," she gazed down at her daughter lovingly, then looked at Selenity again. "I suppose we will see you later in the evening."
Selenity nodded her head and the two women parted. Selenity reached her room, and shut the door behind her. She leaned against the smooth wood, and slowly slid down to the floor. She wrapped her arms around her knees and stared at the ceiling.
There's something odd about those two…their eyes, they have fire…but they're cold…She sighed as she closed her eyes and leaned her forehead on her knees. I'm just imagining things.
"The meal was wonderful Lord Takahashi. I am very grateful for the hospitality that you have shown both my daughter and myself." Aminiha sat in the comfortable chair before the fire, facing the King. She held a cup of tea, and rolled it in her hands gently, sipping from it every so often.
"I must admit, my Lady, I was rather intrigued by the message that you sent me," he replied. They were in the library, alone. Everyone else had either gone to bed or simply retired to their rooms. The servants had been ordered not to disturb them.
Aminiha's lips curled into a smile. "I believe that it is time that our two kingdoms were allied. It was only a matter of taking the first step, and I am confident that things will then fall into place nicely."
Lord Takahashi studied the woman sitting before him. "I won't deny that a peace treaty is something that I desire. After all, allies are worth their weight in gold, and I would hate to be on bad terms at any time with a Lady as powerful as you. Why the sudden interest though, I must ask. Our planet is small and insignificant in comparison to your vast planets and armies."
Aiminiha's eyes glittered. "I became acquainted with your son about five years ago, and he has intrigued me. Since the death of my husband four and a half years ago, I have been busy putting together a kingdom that was starting to fall apart the way he left it. I have succeeded in that, and I am now looking for ways to expand. However, I am a mere woman," she paused and both adults chuckled, "and I do get lonely sometimes. Friends are something that I never had many of, and I don't need many now. I am, however, looking for someone to take my husbands place." She stopped talking and watched Lord Takahashi. He gazed at her and then looked into the dancing flames beside them. He rubbed his chin thoughtfully.
"Unless I miss my guess, you would like to ally our kingdoms in more ways than just a signature on a piece of paper, am I correct?" Lord Takahashi asked as he brought his gaze back up to meet Aminiha's
She smiled. "You are very wise, my Lord. I have grown…fond of certain people on this planet in the past five years. It would be a pity to let such an opportunity pass by," she said smoothly, the words gliding over her tongue like silk on ice.
Lord Takahashi looked back into the flames. "Yes….a pity."