Chapter 1: A Plea From the Past
Kiyoko sat alone in her study. It was the one place in the castle that no one else was allowed to enter, not even her fiancée Seiya. She was reading it again… Reading the letter that she'd found sealed in the ancient spell book her father, the late King Endymion, had entrusted her with before passing. She'd read it so many times over the last three months that Kiyoko had lost track. It'd been six months since she, Seiya, and their children had visited Earth.
So much had happened on their trip to Earth. Kiyoko had been able to reconnect with the family she'd had to leave behind in order to protect Estara a little over ten years ago. Kiyoko had also been able to meet and help awaken the powers of her niece, Usa-chan, the daughter of her sister Queen Serenity and King Helios, though she never used royal titles with them in person. But possibly most importantly and most surprisingly, her beloved Seiya had asked for her hand in marriage.
Since returning to Estara Taiki, one of the Sailor Starlights had worked in conjunction with Sailor Pluto and Sailor Mercury to improve their long range communication systems so that regular communication would be a reality. It made beginning wedding preparations so much simpler. But her wedding wasn't what was on Kiyoko's mind this afternoon. It was this letter…. It'd been written on a page of the text, by her father, and sealed with a spell that would only allow her to see or read it. And so she found herself reading it again:
My dearest Kiyoko,
If you are reading this letter it means that I am gone and this book now belongs to you. You can't imagine how it pains me to know I am not with you anymore. I love you and your sister very much. I hope your mother is well. I've always worried about leaving her, though I knew it would happen one day…
But back to the matter at hand… On the page opposite this you will find a spell… A very powerful spell, one that was certainly beyond my abilities to perform…. But you may be able to successfully do this…. It is a spell that would resurrect the Shitenou…. The generals that served under me in ancient times, before they were corrupted by the dark kingdom. Their hearts and memories were cleansed before they died. And their spirits, along with their star seeds, have been trapped in the four stones that I kept since the 20th century…..
I know there are some that would not agree with me, but I feel like they deserve another chance at the lives the dark kingdom stole so long ago. And since I am gone, they would serve you should you choose it. But regardless, they deserve life…. I hope you will consider this my Kiyo-chan. I have faith in your power and in both the crystal's power to do this…. I love you…. Never forget that….
In addition to reading this letter over and over again, Kiyoko had studied the spell relentlessly. It was VERY complex, even more so then the untethering spell she'd done that had allowed her to leave Earth's solar system in the first place. And her father was right, it would take the power of both crystals. Kiyoko wanted to help these men that had served her father… these men that had been the loves of the inner Senshi's lives…. But it was so risky. She didn't dare bring it up to Seiya. She knew her beloved wouldn't want her to take that kind of risk. But how could she not? Luckily she was able to bury any thoughts and information related to this topic in the few places in her mind Seiya could never reach. It troubled Kiyoko greatly to keep anything from Seiya, but she felt like she had no other choice.
She didn't know how her sister would feel about this, but she didn't feel it was something that could or should be discuss over the telecommunication system. This was something she had to see her in person about. So that meant a trip to Earth, however there was no way she could tell Seiya the truth of her visit and that also meant the two couldn't go together. Unfortunately, Kiyoko was just as sure that Seiya would object to her going alone.
Her thoughts were disturbed by a knock at her door. It was Yaten, Kiyoko could sense it. She stood, closing the book, and went to the door. When she opened it she saw Yaten standing there, looking a bit uncertain about something. She smiled, though she was churning in her own thoughts, and said, "What can I do for you Yaten? Is there a problem?"
Again Yaten looked a bit uncomfortable and when she spoke Kiyoko understood why, "Minako is on the viewer and wishes to speak to you." This was the nightmare part of having agreed to marry Seiya. Minako had become obsessed with her wedding, which was still eight months away. Although Kiyoko didn't understand why Yaten hadn't simply sent one of the castle staff to fetch her.
She nodded, "I see. I suppose I should go and speak with her. She won't give up until I do." Yaten agreed with her and the two of them set off to the room that had become Estara's planetary surveillance and interstellar communications center. She sat down at the console that was dedicated to communication with Earth. On the screen she saw Minako, smiling and looking inpatient at the same time. "Hello Minako. How are you today?" Kiyoko began.
Minako perked up a bit, "I am good. I wanted to discuss something with you though. Well, two things actually. First, I am concerned that the colors you chose for the wedding are too dark… I mean black and maroon? I know white is in there too, but still." She looked at Kiyoko like she should say something. It wasn't the first time this had come up.
Kiyoko put on her best diplomatic smile, "Minako, we've been over this. Those are the colors that Seiya and I decided on. I am not going to change my mind. But no one who isn't in the immediate wedding party will have to wear those colors. So it is nothing to stress over. Now, what is the second matter?" She was hoping to get away from this insistence Minako had that her colors should be brighter. Besides, there would be silver and gold laced among everything so it shouldn't be such an issue. It certainly wasn't for anyone else.
Mianko didn't quite seem satisfied with Kiyoko's response, but she continued, "Second, you need to choose a maid of honor." Of course this was her other concern, and the one the others actually shared. Kiyoko had refused to choose a maid of honor thus far…. Mostly because the person she wanted to be her maid of honor couldn't stand her fiancée.
Kiyoko exhaled, "I know Minako." In that instant Kiyoko was stuck with an idea, a way to go to Earth without Seiya and without her being suspicious. She continued her response to Minako, "This has been such a difficult decision for me. I don't think it's one I can make here on Estara. Perhaps I should come there. Yes, I think that would be best. Would you let everyone know that I will be visiting soon?" Minako was overjoyed and more than happy to pass along the message. Kiyoko was able to end the conversation saying that she needed to make preparations here on Estara.
So now that Kiyoko had a reason to go to Earth, it was simply a matter of convincing Seiya to stay behind and hope that she would forgive her when all of this was over. Once the communication was terminated Yaten looked at Kiyoko, "So you will be going to Earth? Will you be taking Seiya and the children with you again?"
Kiyoko just smiled at her, "No. I don't think that's necessary this time. I don't intend to be gone long." She stood and faced Yaten, her expression serene.
Yaten nodded, "I understand Queen Kiyoko. But I am not sure Seiya will." Yaten and Taiki knew their comrade well. The two of them walked together down the hall. "Don't forget you have a council meeting shortly. You should probably talk to Seiya first so that you can announce your trip to them as soon as possible." Yaten was so wise. Kiyoko nodded and they parted ways, Kiyoko letting her magic lead her to her beloved fiancée.