Usagi – Serenity Celestine Demeter VII
Ami – Minerva, Princess of Suisey
Rei – Adamina, Princess of Kasey
Makoto – Domiduca, Princess of Mokusei
Minako – Acidalia, Princess of Kinsey
Setsuna – Averna, Princess of Meousei
Haruka – Austina, Princess of Tenousei
Michiru – Undina, Princess of Keousei
Hotaru – Entoria, Princess of Doesei
There was a legend that long ago my people lived upon the moon. It was the story that my mother told me at night before bed when I was just a child. I, a young girl, would giggle as I fought off slumber as she weaved the tale before my very eyes. Our ancestor was the first Queen to set foot upon this lush and fertile shore. It was her who proclaimed this land to be the greatest and most powerful of all. Who knew what had angered the Gods, perhaps it was her selfish wish to dominate this planet or it may have been the self-indulgence of the population she gave birth to.
Never would we know, for who are we to discern the thoughts and actions of the Gods? Still, it haunts me so and I remember that last day when my boat floated serenely away from the raging inferno that was once my home. This is my story, the story of a young girl haunted by the choices of her mother and her mother’s mother. This is the story of the last Atlantean Princess, .
The Sol had been shining for days, Apollo had granted us the most spectacular weather and I was not fool enough to remain holed up in my quarters. As soon as my tutor Luna had turned her back I snuck out to my private balcony and with the grace of a dozen acrobats I swung down onto the terracotta courtyard. Gathering the layers of my pearl colored dress, I made a dash for it and ran with laughter in my steps as I heard Luna’s cry of outrage.
Joyfully I ran along the courtyards and private gardens of the orichalcum covered palace. Around and around I went, becoming gleefully dizzy as I managed to sneak out of the circular palace grounds. I first made time to run up the steep steps to the
I took a drink from one of the many natural springs, the sweet water moistened my parched mouth and I leaned down to fix the ties of my golden leather sandals. With that in place in I continued going up the side of
The view was stunning, I could see the entire island in one glance and the seats of the eight lesser kingdoms that shared their dominion with my own mother. Atlantis had always been strange in the way of formation, for she was circular and to honor her, the first Queen had arranged the kingdoms similarly. Each realm was separated by a halo canal with large bridges to access each of the landmass. The canals were huge and even now I could see the low bridge of a trireme slicing through the water with ease.
A flock of seagulls flew low in the sky as they flapped furiously to catch the invisible air currents and I let my eyes follow them as they soared overhead the island. They passed through the eight kingdoms; Kinsei, Kasey, Suisei, Mokusei, Meousei, Kaousei, Tenousei and Doesei. Their wings fluttered in the wind as they passed over the threshold of the southern cliffs into cerulean blue skies. Clouds floated by as the sol weaved its drowsy spell on me and I yawned widely into the morning.
My thoughts traveled to the upcoming events and I scowled. My mother, Queen Demeter Serenity, was to throw the grandest ball that the island had ever seen. Even now I could see people as tiny as ants scurrying about, readying the palace for the grand event. No expense was to be spared, entire bull carcasses had been circling the spits for days and my mouth watered as the smell wafted my way. For the people, it would be a celebration but for me it would be a death certificate on an orichalcum platter.
Tonight I would officially take my place as betrothed to the first son of the
I wanted to escape from this entrapment and to find love on my own. My heart was beating wildly in my chest as I envisioned myself fleeing from the palace to make my way among the commoners and to find that special man hiding amongst them. It could never happen, I thought as I rested my chin upon my knees. My duty was to the kingdom as my mother loved to remind that was more important than anything and so I would marry Diamond.
“Princess Serenity!” a voice called from behind and I whipped around in fright, fearing that the palace guards had found me. However my fear was unfounded as the bright red head of Beryl peered through hatch of the circular observatory to my right. I sighed in thanks as I quickly got to my feet and ran over.
“Head Mage,” I said as I bowed slightly in respect. Beryl’s green eyes twinkled with laughter as she waggled a finger at me.
“How many times do I have to tell you that just Beryl would do, Princess,” she said with amusement and I retorted in the same manor.
“Oh often enough Mage but as I have said before, I will call you so informally when I receive the same courtesy.”
Beryl laughed and said my station deserved such respect but I waved it off. I sat upon the ledge of the hatch and watched her finish her work. She jotted down a few more flowing figures on the parchment paper that held the map of the heavens and sighed with satisfaction as she placed her feathered quill on the wooden table next to it. She exited the observatory and stretched with pleasure as I jumped down.
“Tonight is the night Princess,” she said carefully as she led me to a spring. We each scooped up a handful of water and drank. I shot her a look of annoyance.
“Yes,” I groaned. “Do not remind me.”
“My my Princess,” she laughed. “You will make the most surely of wives I swear! Prince Diamond is a handsome match I think.”
“Handsome yes,” I agreed, envisioning the white haired eighteen-year-old. He towered over me by at least a foot and was masterfully built. “But he is also boorish and arrogant, not the type of man I would wish for a husband.”
“Not everyone can marry for love Princess.”
“No, not everyone but rumors say that there is one in the palace who is,” I said teasingly as a blush stained her cheeks.
“You know as well as I do that this marriage was also arranged, I am lucky enough to have sowed this feeling of love since I was a child,” she said softly. I gave her a peculiar look.
“Does your intended not feel the same?”
“I do not know, he treats me with kindness and respect but if he loves me…” she trailed off as she glanced at the sky. “Hopefully with the blessing of Hera he will come to feel the same.”
“Come come,” I said lightly, placing a hand upon her arm. “I am sure he will.”
“Thank you Princess,” Beryl said in relief as she shed her doubts. We glanced down into the fields below the observatory and spied the royal sheep, their wool fluffy like clouds and Beryl was happy to see that the man of our discussion was making his way towards us.
I followed my friends gaze and was startled to see the form of a young man climbing the steep hill towards us. He was still too far for me to see him properly but I could make out that he was quite tall with shiny black locks. I shot a quick look to Beryl and she found the older woman blushing a rosy pink. Ah, I thought. This must him.
I giggled slightly under my breath and returned my eyes to the newly affianced man. He lifted his hand in greeting and I felt something stir within me. It was when he raised his clear blue eyes towards us that my heart roused. Our eyes locked and his cheeks flushed for a moment before Beryl pushed passed me. The red haired woman offered her hand and the man took it in thanks as she helped him over some tricky rocks.
“Endymion,” she said as she guided him towards me. “May I present her Royal Princess, Serenity Celestine Demeter VII.”
“Princess!” he exclaimed as he went to one knee and bowed his head. “Forgive me, I had no idea!”
“Think nothing of it, Endymion,” I said softly even though my heart was pounding loudly in my ears. He raised his head and offered me a dazzling smile. I felt my face stretch as I matched him with one of my own and we looked deep into each others eyes. Neither one of us noticed when Beryl began speaking again.
“What do you think Princess.... Princess?”
“Eh?” I said, startled as I finally broke the eye contact and turned them to Beryl. “Forgive me Mage, my mind was elsewhere.”
“There is nothing to forgive, Princess,” she replied with a smile and eyes glistening with love. “Would you care to join us for the meal?”
“Ah no, I shall have to pass this time,” I apologized, my cheeks stinging with heat. “I must return to the palace, I am sure Luna must be quite angry that she cannot find me.”
“Very well, I shall see you at the ball,” Beryl said as she gave me a slight bow.
“Yes, the ball,” I replied with a sigh and turned to Endymion once more. “It was a pleasure meeting you Endymion.”
“The pleasure is mine, Princess,” he said as he took my hand and bowed over it. Beryl nodded her head in approval and turned to take her leave. She did not see Endymion press his lips to my soft skin. I blushed and breathlessly raised my other hand to just above my heart, clenching my pale fingers into a tight ball.
Endymion reluctantly let go at the call of his fiancée and we shared one last intense gaze. He turned to follow Beryl as I went to make my way down the other side of the mountain. My steps were light with joy and I felt my skin heat up. I looked over my shoulder at the retreating form of the sheppard.
“Pho, where is my dress?” I hollered from the deep recesses of my closet. “Mother will flay me alive if I do not wear in it tonight!”
“Patience Princess,” the red haired girl said dryly as she walked in behind me. She had the dress in question draped over one tanned arm. “I have it here.”
“Oh thank Apollo,” I sighed as I snatched it to my heaving bosom. “You know how Mother gets.”
“Yes yes,” Pho said with a roll of her eyes. She gingerly took the dress back. “Now sit still and let me dress you.”
Pho managed to drag the simple white cotton dress from my form and had me raise my arms. She slid the silky material over me and stepped back in satisfaction as the dress curled around my trim body. The satin garb flowed out around my legs, layers upon layers of silk and gauze material. They met at the bodice just under my breasts, re-splendid with pearls and other fine jewels. Pho completed the look with seashell shoulder pads that almost instantly slid down to my mid arm.
“Stubborn things,” the servant muttered as she fixed them only to have them slip down again.
Pho shrugged her shoulders and slipped a pale yellow bracelet over my right wrist. Returning to the bedroom she fished out two pearl hair clips from my jewelry box along with a yellow ring set with a small ocean pearl. She dragged me out and had me sit before the vanity mirror. She parted the sea of my silver hair in the middle and twisted each chunk into a small bun. She reached over to grab a fistful of orichalcum pins and pinned the bun securely to my head. Pho repeated the same process with the other side and stepped back to view her work. I had twin buns perched on either side of my head while the rest of the hair flowed gently down my back in twin rivers.
“There Princess, you look beautiful,” she murmured in my ear. “Your husband-to-be will be taken breathless.”
“Breathless…” I repeated sadly as I ran my fingers in my soft hair. I sighed and pinched on dangly pearl and orichalcum earrings, one for each ear. I took the pearl clips from Pho, setting one on each side just above my wavy bangs and slipped the ring onto the fourth finger of my right hand.
“And to think there will be a diamond on the other,” I said glumly as I held my left hand aloft. Pho looked at me oddly before going back into the closet for a pair of silver sandals. She slid them onto my feet and stood.
“Oh Princess, your mother will be so proud,” she exclaimed, gazing at me with excitement in her green eyes. She went over to the stool in the corner and retrieved her simple servant bag. “Now I must be off, the street events will be starting soon.”
“Street events,” I said softly and turned to her. “Oh Pho, how I wish I was going with you.”
“Nonsense Princess,” she replied. “I wish I could be going with you. Promise me you’ll tell me all about it later on.”
“Promise me,” she said giddily as she began to tickle me. I squealed in delightful rage and swatted her away.
“Fine fine,” I sputtered. “Come to my quarters tonight and I will tell you everything.”
“Thank you Princess,” she said as she bowed playfully to me. “Good luck!”
Pho turned and ran from the room, her eyes ablaze with excitement. Good luck, I thought. I shall definitely need it tonight. I glanced at myself in the mirror one last time and I saw a tiny single tear make its way down my cheek. I wiped it away furiously as I stood and walked from the room, my mouth set in a hard frown.
The ball had been underway for a quarter of an hour when I felt the rumbling. It was a slow beginning, at first a gentle vibration under my feet but intensified almost immediately. Gaia, I prayed feverishly as the people around me began to scream. Please spare your humble children. As if she heard my call, the trembling suddenly ceased and everyone stood uncertainly. Two sets of sandals came barreling towards me as I open my eyes and let loose the breath I had been unknowingly holding.
“Princess!” exclaimed my blond haired companion, the red ribbon in her mane swirling anxiously around me. Another set of cold blue eyes settled on me with interest. “Are you alright?”
“Yes, Acidalia,” I said irritable, waving her away.
“Praise Aphrodite,” she said, ignoring my pained look and she took my hand. “Diamond and I were so worried about you.”
“Quite,” Diamond said with a slight sneer. “My throne is still safe, I thank you my dear.”
“Hmph,” I replied, sticking my nose in the air as he left without so much of a bow. “That brother of yours Dalia….”
“Don’t mind him,” she said lightly, giggling. “He really does care, he just has a hard time showing it.”
I rolled my eyes at naivety but allowed her to grasp my hand tighter and drag me across the dance floor. We stopped behind Minerva, Princess of Suisei, and Acidalia snuck around to snatch the thick book from the pale blue haired girl. She gave a cry of surprise and whipped around with a slight frown on her pale face.
“Oh Princess!” she exclaimed but then fixed her gaze on the Kinsey Princess. “Dalia, please return my book at once.”
“Nay Minerva, you shouldn’t be sticking your nose in a book tonight of all nights,” she exclaimed, throwing the offending object the hands of her servant. He promptly took off and Minerva scowled as Acidalia threw her arms around her shoulder. “There are hundreds of bachelors here today! All of whom would kiss the ground you walk on if you gave them the opportunity.”
“I have no interest in men,” Minerva replied as she gestured for another book from her own servant. I glanced at Acidalia with mirth and she frowned, ready to open her mouth to disagree with the Suiseian Princess when a large hand grabbed Minerva’s second book.
“Herbs of Atlantis hm?” came a rather low voice from behind her and I glanced up at the tall Amazonian beauty as she scanned the author’s name. “This writer knows nothing. When you visit next I will give you a better book written by a reputable Mokuseian herbologist.”
“Honestly Domi!” Minerva said crossly as Domiduca handed the book back to her servant who took it with a bow. I laughed as Minerva glared at me but hugged her fiercely.
“I say, are we on the third book already?” a husky voice asked as Minerva took out yet another book. I glanced at the Kaseian princess Adamina and her brother Sapphire. Adamina took the book from Minerva and handed it to him.
“Sapphire, I see Diamond over in the corner with the other men of the realm,” she said, shooing him away. “Please take this offending object with you as well.”
“Now that that’s out of the way,” murmured Acidalia. “Ladies, take a look at all of these men!”
“Oh Dalia, you think of nothing else!” exclaimed Adamina, shooting her a glare.
“Hmph, you do not think of it enough,” she shot back as she murmured ‘hag’ under her breath.
“What was that?”
“Nothing!” Acidalia said sweetly. I opened my mouth to silence them before an all out war broke loose but soft twin laughter stopped me. I turned with a smile at Undina, Princess of Kaiousei and Austina, Princess of Tenousei, who stood behind me. In the aqua haired Princess’ arm was the infant Entoria, Princess of Dosei.
“My lady,” they murmured together, curtsying before me. I rolled my eyes and warmly welcomed to them to our close nit group. Undina’s sister Emerald and Austina’s sister Avery glared at us with a huff and stalked away, joining Minerva’s sister Penni and Domiduca’s sister Prisma in the far corner.
“Don’t mind them,” Undina said softly as Austina reached over to push a stray teal lock from her eyes. “They’re upset because they were not chosen for your court highness.”
“Oh,” I said worriedly as I chewed the inside of my mouth. I glanced over at the small group and they bowed to me, despite the look of spite in their eyes. Austina put a comforting hand on my shoulder and I gave her a look of thanks. However movements in the corner of my eyes made me glance over and I gasped quietly.
Beryl had entered on the arm of Endymion. She was splendid in deep purple robes befitting of her station and her dark red hair gleamed in the setting sun. Her red eyes were sparkling as she laughed at something Endymion said. I tore my eyes from her and stared love struck at the dark haired man. He wore dark blue robes and tightly laced sandals. He said something again to his fiancé who looked over at me with a welcoming smile. I returned it but my eyes lingered on Endymion. Behind me, one of the girls cleared her throat and I turned around, my face blood red.
“What was that all about Serenity?” asked Austina playfully and I blushed even more.
“N-Nothing,” I stammered and the group laughed. Thankfully Domiduca reopened the subject of Acidalia’s huge appetite for men who then shrieked in indignation and retorted with the same accusation of the Princess of Mokusei. I laughed as Adamina joined in and I forgot about Endymion for the time being.
I begged off another dance with Diamond, feigning exhaustion and sore feet. Diamond gave me a look of distaste but nevertheless complied, bowing slightly and then retreating to the corner with the other men. I rolled my eyes as Sapphire gave him a hearty slap on the back and quietly made my way outside. I sighed in appreciation as the cold wind chilled my heated skin and I raised my arms to cool off my underarms. If Diamond could see me know, I thought with smirk.
Sufficiently cooled down, I sat upon a white marble bench and gazed up at Selene’s domain. The moon shone a white translucent light and I bathed in her glow. I sat silently for a few moments but was startled when I felt the rumbling beneath my feet. It wasn’t as strong as the previous trembling but it was worrisome nonetheless. It was becoming more the norm during these past few days yet whenever I broached the subject with my mother she dismissed them immediately.
The Gods would not let anything befall their favorite and most powerful children she would say. Usually I was inclined to agree but I had begun to question her reasoning. I shook the thought from my head, I had enough to worry about right now with my upcoming nuptials. I stood quickly and went to make my way back into the ballroom when I tripped over a brick that had become dislodged during the earlier quake and I cried out as I began to fall. Before I could hit the ground a pair of strong arms captured me.
“Oomph!” I exclaimed and clutched the robes desperately. I turned my eyes upwards, expecting Diamond but instead I fell into the deep blue eyes of the sheppard Endymion. “Endymion!”
“Princess my apologies!” he said, letting me go immediately and backing away. “I could not bear to let you fall.”
“Think nothing of it,” I said, slightly amused as my cheeks burned desire. “You were merely being kind, I would never berate you for that.”
“My Princess is most benevolent,” he said as he finally met my eyes. We shared a heated gaze and his face slowly flushed and I placed a hand on his arm.
“Endymion please…. Serenity,” I said softly. His body seemed to move even closer as we stared deep into each others eyes.
“Serenity” he sighed as he instinctively leaned down and our lips came so close that they brushed nearly together. My heart became lodged in my throat as my mind screamed out at me to stop. I froze and opened my eyes.
“I can’t,” I murmured. Endymion looked at me sadly. Neither of us moved. “Beryl is my friend.”
“How dare you,” came a low voice from behind and we both jumped apart in guilt. Beryl stood with both her hands clenched together and her brows furrowed with rage.
“I can explain,” Endymion said weakly but was silenced with the glare his fiancé shot him.
“You knew,” she said to me, turning angry eyes in my direction. I swallowed audibly under gaze. “You knew that I loved him… Why would you do this to me?”
“Beryl…” I said quietly as tears poured from her eyes.
“Has everything you ever told me been a lie?” she cried out. “You are my Princess! I am supposed to trust you!”
I stepped forward to explain what had really happened but she backed away. I glanced at Endymion who was staring at his intended with such sadness in his eyes that I pitied them both. Beryl for loving him and Endymion because he did not. Almost immediately his eyes returned to mine and Beryl shrieked in rage.
“By Poseidon’s wrath, he is mine!” she screeched, grabbing Endymions arm and dragging him towards her. She shot me a look laced with daggers.
“Please Beryl, it’s not what it seemed,” I said softly, tears pooling in the corner of my eyes. “You are my friend.”
“Friend? FRIEND?” she screamed, crying maniacally as she pulled at the roots of her hair. “How can you say such a thing when here you two stand? I will make you pay for this, Princess! I invoke the wrath of Nemesis, Goddess of Revenge! All you have ever known ever loved… All will die because of you and what you have done to me!”
I watched her tow a helpless Endymion behind her. I cried out in defiance, meaning to follow and fix this problem. My soul wept as Endymion gazed back at me, his eyes begging me to stay away and I stilled, my heart tightening with sadness. Oh my love! I thought and I gasped, clenching my fist. Sobbing I slipped to the floor as the realization hit me. Not only had I lost my one true friend but the only man I had ever loved.
“Serenity,” came soft low voice and a gentle hand placed itself on my shoulder.
Sniffling I looked up and was surprised to find the figure of Diamond squatting down beside me. He took my hand, helped me up and led me back into the ball room. Never had Diamond been so gentle with me as he swept me into his arms, swaying with the slow waltz. We danced passed Undina who was strumming a golden lyre, rumored to be a gift from Apollo Himself. At her feet was Austina who gazed up at her in complete adoration.
“You will never see him again.”
“Diamond?” I asked in shock but then grimaced in pain as he gripped my hand hard.
“You are mine Serenity, from this night on I own you,” he whispered through clenched teeth, his anger seething just below the surface. I whimpered as he gripped me harder.
“Diamond, you’re hurting me,” I cried out. He ignored my pain and pressed his lips against mine. Ruthlessly he pried them apart and his tongue raped the inside of my mouth. I squirmed in protest and angrily screamed into his mouth. I stomped down hard on his foot and he let go with a cry. I raised my hand and slapped him across the face.
“When we are married, you’ll be mine to do with as I wish and I’ll make you pay for that Serenity,” he growled, pressing his hand against the red print of my own smaller one.
“How DARE Y-” I started to say furiously but was cut off by a scream from across the dance floor.
Leaving Diamond to stew in his own anger I crossed the floor quickly to the source of the noise. I pushed through the throngs of people to find Horatia, Queen of Meousei, lying limply on the floor. Her head was propped up on the lap of her daughter Averna who looked up at me with fright in her eyes. I fell to my knees and took a jeweled hand into my own. My mother appeared on the opposite side and looked down at the Meouseian Queen with a slight frown of disgust.
“Horatia,” I murmured into her ear and she jerked in response, her deep maroon eyes bulging from their sockets.
“They’re all dead,” she whispered, her pupils dilated and her breaths coming in short gasps. “Everyone… Everything… All dead!”
“Who Horatia?” I asked as her wail pierced the night. Her body began to shake uncontrollably.
“The Gods are angry,” she said between the chattering of her teeth. She pointed up at my mother who blanched. “You have angered Them!”
“I dare say not,” she sneered and I looked up at her in surprise. Never had I seen my mother so cold, so unyielding but my attention was quickly brought back to the Queen of Meousei.
“Mother!” Averna cried out, a sob caught in her throat as she desperately tried to stop the thrashing of her mother’s limbs.
“Two days,” she said, foam trickling from her gaping mouth. “Death will be all around us… Two days… TWO DAYS!”
Horatia screamed out as she tried frantically filling her lungs with oxygen. Her eyes looked fit to burst as she clawed at her neck and then with a final cry she fell back, her eyes rolling back into their sockets. Carmentia, Queen of Suisei, pushed herself forward and fell to the ground. She groped for the pulse only to find none and she sighed with sadness. She closed Hotaria’s eyelids as she looked up at my mother.
“She’s dead,” she said unnecessarily.
“Nooooo!” Averna shrieked, throwing her wailing body over her mothers. I tried to pry her off but she pushed me away and sobbed onto her mother’s breasts.
“Remove the child,” my mother said coldly. “We must move the body.”
I shot a glare at my mother and finally dragged Averna away. She cried into my hair as four royal guards placed the dead Queen on wide wooden plank and bore her away. I hugged Averna close as her knees gave out and she sagged against me. The other Princess’ of my court circled us and murmured soft words to the orphaned princess who said nothing but the faintest whispers of a sob.
It wasn’t till the next day that the large pyre was built. Atop the wooden structure was Horatia, Queen of Meousei, dressed in all of her splendors with her arms crossed over her bosom. Averna stood beside my mother and the Priestess Queen of Kasei, Discordia, as they performed the last rights. Averna’s eyes were swollen from her night of wailing, in honor of the fallen queen and she tiredly placed two coins on her mothers closed eyes to assure her safe passage on the river
They climbed down awkwardly and Averna stumbled into my arms. I grasped her tightly and embraced her yet again, my own eyes filling with tears as she cried into my silver hair. Mother nodded to Queen Sylanna of Mokusei who raised her long bow, gift of the Goddess Artemis and pulled the flaming arrow back on the string. She closed her eyes and with a prayer she let the arrow fly high into the air. It climbed steeply and then fell immediately down as gravity pulled it towards the wooden tower.
There was nothing at first but soon the faintest flicker of fire rose up. The straw and wood crackled loudly as the fire spread around the corpse. The flames roared to life as the oils caught and the sky was filled with scented smoke. Averna hugged me closer as the inferno shone in her eyes and I placed a soft kiss on her forehead. We led the procession away from the blaze back down into the city where the people were lined along the roads, wailing and moaning for the deceased Queen.
I left Averna on my bed, fast asleep to hold council with my mother. I found her not in the throne room but in her chambers, sitting in the plush recesses of a feather filled chair. Her shoulders were hunched over and she seemed to be shaking. Could my mother be crying? I thought in wonder as I circled around her. She looked up at me, her eyes dry as she jotted down the final few words on the parchment spread out before her.
“What are you writing Mother?” I asked, sitting across from her. She handed me the papyrus with a shrug.
“An address to the people,” she said quietly as she looked beyond me and out her balcony doors. I scanned the elegant figures quickly, my mouth hanging open in shock.
“You cannot be seriously considering telling the people this,” I said, looking at my mother with a new found disgust. “Horatia is one of the most powerful seers that Atlantis has ever known!”
“I will not have my people thrown into a panic due to this nonsense,” she replied distractedly.
“Not only will you dishonor her but her ancestors and predecessors as well!” I cried out. “Mother, please reconsider!”
“Nay Serenity,” she spat, turning her cold eyes towards me. “A Queen must see to the welfare of her people.”
“How can you say such a thing when I hold this lie in my hands?” I said angrily, waving the decree in her face. “Mother something is happening, what only the Gods know and it is your duty as the High Queen to protect the people.”
“Serenity I have said this time and time again, why would the Gods be angered at us, their favored children?” she asked rhetorically. “Atlantis is a beacon of civilization, a manifestation of the Gods themselves. Why would they destroy what they worked so hard to create?”
“Mother…” I whispered, surprised at her delusions. The ground trembled with another aftershock. “Do you not feel the rumbling at your feet? The Gods are speaking to us and you are turning a deaf ear to Them.”
“My daughter,” she said, taking me into her arms and tipping my head back so I could look into her clear blue eyes. “One day when you are Queen you will understand why I have done this.”
She left me then, bereft of her embrace and with the decree in her hand she went out to her balcony where below thousands upon thousands of people awaited her. The crowd roared as they viewed their High Queen and she held up her hands for silence. With a strong voice that carried on the wind she read her decree and with a single breath she debunked the House of Meousei.
I closed my eyes in regret as I imagined the still form of Horatia’s daughter. She would not know of her mothers disgrace until much later and a tear slipped from my closed eye. I walked from the room in defiance of my mothers lies and made my way down towards my room. Only one day left, I thought as I slipped under the covers next to Averna. One day until the end of the world.