Rotting Flowers (Lilith + Open?)

The very first rays of sunlight started to be reflected upon the big display window of Rosa Linda as the owner of the shop was inside, swiping the floor rapidly. She couldn't allow for a single leaf to be laid on the floor, out of place; that would make her little piece of heaven look untidy, and what would the costumers think of that?

At the thought, the blonde couldn't help but pause for a moment, look at her dim reflection shown on the display window. It was pale and unclear, almost as if she had seen a ghost, but it was there nonetheless. Rosalind could see a young woman in her 20s looking back at her, her golden tresses bound in a French braid that was short in size, yet thick in volume, reaching about an inch below her left shoulder. Her upper part was covered in a peach hued tunic, while her athletic legs were worn in a pair of crimson leggings. Not much of her outfit could be seen in the reflection, though, because above these cloths she wore a long apron, reaching below her knees, colored in a calm shade of mint green, with the store's name embroidered in bright pink cursive writing - Rosalind stitched it herself. Her feet were shod in a pair of high heeled sandals, colored in a shade similar to that of the tunic. An expression of worry darkened her otherwise bright facial features.

Opening and running the shop sure has been taking its lot from her, that Rosalind knew too well. Even a past circus artist such as her couldn't help but get her back hurt every now and then as a result of having to make sure the shelves are always filled with fresh, new stocks of flowers of all kinds. Funny, only a year ago if anyone would've asked her if she'd imagine herself as the owner of a flower shop, Rosalind would probably laugh at them at the spot. Loving flowers is one thing, but actually working for them? A completely different thing. And yet, here she was, and not only was the shop not losing, she seemed to actually enjoy it, for the most part. Who would've thought she'd get used to it so quickly? Once again, she had witnessed the adaptability of human life, which to her was nothing short of amazing.

Though, it could've been nice if she had more helping hands around here. Those sisters of hers. . . If only she could get them to help her a little instead of slacking around' or doing whatever it is they do all day long! Even if flowers are not their thing, surely there's something they could help with around here!. . . 

The train of her thoughts was interrupted at once at the sound of a little delicate bell above the entrance door. Rosalind picked it precisely because of this sound, thinking it would prevent her from growing annoyed after hearing it for so many times, but alas, that didn't quite work out. Nevertheless, the golden haired amazon wore her most inviting, warm smile, as she knew she should.

"Welcome to Rosa Linda, how can I help you?", the florist asked in the most charming tone she knew, turning elegantly towards the costumer, in a way that made it seem as if she was almost dancing with the broomstick.

(This post was last modified: 15 Jun 2019, 02:54 AM by Rosalind Forrest.)

Ever since Lilith had awakened as Queen Metaria, she’d been focusing on redecorating her office. Leaving small little hints here and there were fun little tidbits to mess around with, particularly to see whether anyone took a hint.

By now, Lilith wondered what the students were learning about their ancient past. Did the Queen openly reveal the truth to them? Or was the government keeping things under wraps just like they always had until they uncovered the truth for themselves? Lilith knew that they were learning somethings, but not the entirety.

There was, after all, the ruins of the ancient kingdom of Elysion rediscovered. No one could hide that any longer with the Crystal Palace standing tall.

It disgusted Lilith each time she looked at it, each time she wanted to simply launch an attack on the palace but she’d known she wasn’t powerful enough to do so yet. So, for now, Lilith decided that she could at least have a little interior decorating fun with her office—starting with the flowers she chose.

Entering the shop Rosa Linda, Lilith walked towards some orange lilies on display. After having done her own research on what flowers to choose, Lilith had felt that this particular one meaning hatred was sufficient. But was her research accurate? Could she get into trouble for displaying inappropriate flowers?

“Yes, actually,” Lilith responded, lowering her head to sniff the flowers scent. “I’m looking to buy some flowers for someone, a dozen—but I do not like them. How would you deliver that message?”

As the golden haired Amazon turned around, she was surprised to see that the first costumer of the day was a rather well-known one.

"Mrs. Mayor!", she called, in complete shock, the broom falling off her hand without noticing it. "What a surprise!"

And at such an early morning hour, too! Too bad she didn't know about this visit in advanced, Rosalind thought to herself. Had she known, surely she'd insist that one of her sisters be there today, in order to take a picture of the acclaimed visitor. She'd probably take a picture of the two of them shaking hands and make a poster out of it, which could increase the profits by at least 20% - after all, having the mayor as a costumer was a stamp of quality that her modest store could surely boast in. 

Alas, all three of her sisters insisted on staying late in bed, and this morning the eldest sister had neither will nor energy to fight with them. She could always take a selfie with the mayor - after all, everyone carried a cell phone at this day and age - but a selfie could hardly make for a respectable poster. . . Such a shame she didn't bother to let her know beforehand! But perhaps there was a reason behind it all. Perhaps Mrs. Mayor didn't want to be followed here. Maybe she wanted her privacy. 

But as exciting as the mayor's visit to Rosa Linda was, a certain detail about her presence there bothered the young florist. It was the flowers she was interested in, the ones she bent down to sniff. Sure they were beautiful, but as someone who was fluent in the language of flowers, Rosalind knew their meaning well enough to feel repelled by them. Orange Lilies. Hatred. Even though she knew the language of flowers was used in order to transfer all kinds of messages from one person to another - especially during the ancient 19th century - the golden haired girl could never understand why anyone would like to use such beautiful flowers to convey such horrible messages.

Well, maybe Mrs. Mayor wasn't exactly fluent in the language of flowers as she was, and didn't really know what she was doing. It was a reasonable enough scenario. Most people were oblivious to the hidden meaning of flowers. That was Rosalind's special talent, which made people come back time after time.

. . . Or she knew exactly what she was looking for, as soon enough the older woman explained that she was looking for flowers that expressed a strong dislike of a person. But why would she like to send such a message? To whom? A political opponent in the City Hall, perhaps?

Well, whatever her reasoning may be, my role is to assist and advice, not to judge, Rosalind reminded herself as she wore the most believable fake smile she could ever imagine on her face, one that revealed two shining roles of white teeth. And if this is the message Mrs. Mayor is going for, she might as well get what she wants.

"Well, the flowers you were sniffing earlier, the orange lilies, are the flowers that signify hatred, so you can use them", Rosalind started. "But if you'd like to convey a more specific message, you can combine them with different types of flowers that mean different things. For example, peonies that mean shame, nuts that mean stupidity, narcissus that can mean egoism or pine that can mean pity. It all depends on what you'd like to say to that person".

(This post was last modified: 15 Jun 2019, 02:57 AM by Rosalind Forrest.)

Of course.

Lilith wasn’t surprised to be recognized. It wasn’t uncommon at all when you were a well-known face. Although Lilith wouldn’t say that she was famous, she was a politician and it came with the territory. In contrast though, some could have gone their entire lives without knowing the face of their Mayor—it wasn’t entirely unheard of if you didn’t follow closely with politics or the local news.

That told Lilith just how knowledgeable Rosalind was. If she recognized her face she followed the news. Whether she was a supporter of hers was still yet to be undetermined, as anyone would have been pleased to have someone important in their store.

Fixing her posture in order to properly talk with Rosalind, Lilith didn’t motion to shake her hand like most would have. Instead, she kept her hands at her side, her nonchalance visible on her features even when Rosalind dropped the broom.

Her positive energy makes me sick. Lilith internally thought. Metaria was a gift in Lilith’s perspective, but as it would turn out, being the embodiment of an ancient evil meant there was a degree of sensitivity when detecting someone’s energies. Someone with Rosalind’s energy would have pleased Metaria to have as it meant that she had an abundance of it.

Focus. This wasn’t the time to be thinking about energy.

“I did a little research before coming here and I was attracted to the lily. I’m pleased that it at least has a pleasant scent.” After all, she didn’t want something being on display in her office with a smell she couldn’t tolerate. The knowledge that Rosalind possessed of flowers was welcomed. “Is there a flower with a meaning of purity? Love?”

The first few moments Rosalind was in utter surprise due to the Mayor's presence in her little store, that she didn't even notice the broom fell to the floor. Only after a minute or so she realized that it was no longer held in her hands.

"I-I'm sorry", she said in an unusually hesitant tone as she bent to raise the broom from the floor, praying that the mayor did not see how rosy her cheeks have become along the process. If there was one thing that Rosalind found important, it was her reputation, the way she was viewed by other people. What would Mrs. Mayor think of her, seeing her dropping her broom like that? She'd think this business is run by an incompetent klutz! After all, if she can't hold a broom properly, how would she get a hold of an entire business? Oh, Rosalind hoped her new costumer wouldn't think that way about her, and that she'll come back to Rosa Linda - the sooner, the better.

The mayor of Orlando seemed to do her best to appear at ease in front of Rosalind, which the golden haired girl appreciated. At one moment she appeared a little too much at ease, as her eyes seemed to be out of focus, as if she had forgotten to eat breakfast before coming here today. . . Not like Rosalind would judge if she had, she couldn't possibly imagine what a busy schedule a person in such a position could have. 

"Umm. . . Excuse me, Mrs.? Is everything okay?", she asked, trying to sound as soft and tender as she could. "Would you like to sit down? A glass of water, maybe?".

In all honesty, Rosalind didn't know what to think about Lilith Rey's remark regarding the supposed research she made before picking the orange lily as the flower she wants. She couldn't help but wonder - who does the mayor hate so much that not only she wanted to give them a flower that means hatred, she also went to the lengths of researching the subject, especially for them? Well, whoever it was, Rosalind was not envious at them, for Mrs. Mayor did not seem like a person you'd like to mess with. It did not mean that her request didn't puzzle her enough to think about it, though.

"As a matter of fact, there are", she replied when her costumer asked about flowers that mean either love or purity. Now, these were requests she was more used to get! Even though, coming to think about it, there was still something odd about her request, wanting to combine flowers that mean both hatred and love. Who does that? Perhaps she's been dumped by a boyfriend, and is full of mixed emotions?

"Daisies usually mean purity. But as for love, there are many flowers that can indicate that, each and every one of them having its own unique nuances. Maybe if you tell me a little about the person you're giving the flowers to, I'd be able to find the perfect match? Only if it is fine by you, of course", she suggested, and quickly added the last remark, not wanting to annoy her client.

(This post was last modified: 15 Jun 2019, 03:00 AM by Rosalind Forrest.)

Lilith shrugged her shoulders at Rosalind’s apology. “What are you apologizing for?” Lilith asked, uncaring about the fact that she dropped her broom. It was something silly, really, and if Rosalind hadn’t apologized, she was certain she wouldn’t have given it much thought.

That was until she apologized.

In fact, her own apology only confirmed Lilith’s original thought that she had purity within her. Someone who leaned more towards the darkness wouldn’t have apologized for something so silly. Although Lilith may have been a bit more forgiving towards such matters when she wasn’t possessed by Metaria, it made a big difference to her now.

She was caught off-guard when Rosalind asked about her wellbeing, enough to offer her a drink. Her brown eyes fluttered slightly in surprise, wondering what was going on in Rosalind’s mind. Was her awareness of her purity that visible on her features? Lilith may have hadn’t paid much attention to her body language at that point, but she’d do her best to hide her dislike.

“No, I’m fine. You can be sure of it.” Lilith replied sternly, shrugging her shoulders once more. “I’ll take a dozen of those flowers then if they’re available. Or you can deliver them to my office.”

Lilith didn’t care much for the scent of those. The ones that meant hatred she did, as it was her own negative energies being symbolized in a flower. But purity and love were something that Lilith had a strong dislike towards it.

Rosalind's big azure eyes got fixated on her client, wide open in confusion. What she was apologizing for? Had Lilith Rey not heard the hit of the wooden broomstick on the shop's floor? Or maybe she just didn't make such a big deal out of it? If the later was the case, then Rosalind had made a complete fool out of herself, in front of the Major of Crystal Orlando! Quick, quick she had to think of a way to get out of this situation and still retain a minimal level of appreciation from the other woman!

"Never mind, it's nothing", she said eventually, trying to sound as carefree and light as possible, patting her thick braid as she did. There, she thought, pleased of herself. She was saved.

The florist took a few steps back from Mrs. Mayor as she replied to her little offer of help in a rather aggressive manner. That reply alone could provide Rosalind a great deal of information as for Lilith's personality - but the main thing the blonde could take from it was one conclusion: as a woman in a position of power, Lilith Rey did not want to show weakness. It only made sense, Rosalind figured, as even though they currently have a Queen on the throne, inequality between men and women was still very much an issue - one that was slowly getting repaired with the presence of the Planetary Senshi, but still exists. And judging according to her physical age, Lilith Rey was a person who had existed before Her Majesty took power.

"As you wish, Mrs. Mayor", Rosalind eventually replied, not without a tone that indicated she got just a little bit hurt by the harsh language. However, she did not want to lose a costumer, and thus said nothing about it. Whether Lilith would get the hint or not, she couldn't tell.

At the request to take a dozen orange lilies, Rosalind went to the bucket were they were kept, took a dozen flowers and brought them back to her desk. There, she cut their stems and wrapped them in a transparent Cellophane paper, and tied with a matching orange ribbon. As a matter of fact she had ribbons in pretty much every existing color, just in case someone would request a certain flower to which it fits, but since the store was opened the orange one has never been used. Until now.

"There you go", Rosalind said and handed her costumer the rather big bouquet of orange lilies - the biggest one Rosalind has ever seen. So much hatred in one place, she couldn't help but think, why would anyone want that much?

"And what about flowers that mean purity or love? Do you want anything, or only the lilies would do?".

Lilith was unamused by the florist’s expression. Lilith didn’t even take into consideration that as the Mayor, her visible disappointment could have been taken into many different directions of criticism. Fortunately, it seemed that the florist was more focused on her own behaviors than that of the Mayor’s own.

When Lilith was just, well, Lilith Rey, Lilith wasn’t nearly as critical of others. While she was stern and focused on the task at hand, Lilith was able to perform her job well as Mayor enough to please the people that she’d served. But ever since Lilith became Metaria, she was unable to continue that. It was perhaps the biggest flaw since her soul and Metaria’s became one.

Lilith hadn’t even considered that as it was her own flaw, Lilith may have been jeopardizing her own reputation as Mayor. Metaria focused well on winning the people over, while also being careful enough to ensure them that she approved of Neo Queen Serenity. It was all a lie, but just how long would it take for people notice the contradictions?

There were moments that Lilith wondered just how much others had taken into consideration that she’d changed, but it appeared that with the florist, not many had. She was grateful in that regard, as she was able to continue her everyday business without issue. She just wasn’t expecting her visit to the florist’s shop to turn into such an issue.

“Right.” Lilith replied coolly, her brown eyes carefully observing the florist as she worked and cared for the plants. To see that many flowers symbolizing hatred, Lilith internally smiled. As the language of flowers wasn’t nearly well-known, Lilith wondered just how many people would come into her office and take note of the dozens of orange lilies that were on display.

“Anything will do,” Lilith shrugged, taking hold of the bouquet. “I’m not picky, but I’d like them in less quantity. By the way, I didn’t get your name?”

Although Lilith doubted that she’d return to the florist’s shop, Lilith wanted to take a personal note on the identity of the florist. If she was sensing the purity from within her, it would be best to send one of the knights after her to collect her energy. It was just a matter of whom.

Rosalind nodded as the Mayor of Crystal Orlando gave her pretty much a free hand regarding the flowers that meant purity, as long as they were lesser in quantity than the ones that meant hatred, the ones she already held in her hand and looked quite pleased with. The blonde florist was not used to this kind of request. In the short while the shop has been open, it usually worked the other way around - people got really excited about a certain type of flower and wanted to include it in their bouquet, and Rosalind gently tried to consult them to pick differently due to the flower's meaning. She didn't like having to do it, and at times people could remain pretty stubborn, but Rosalind saw it as a part of the job. She just couldn't bear the thought that even a single flower that was bought at her store would carry out the wrong meaning. As the language of flowers wasn't as common as it used to be - especially during the ancient 19th century - it was to be expected that people wouldn't have a clue regarding the meaning of the flowers they're eager to buy; as a matter of fact, Rosalind saw it as her role - to guide the people towards the true meaning that suits them best.

And then there was Lilith Rey, who did everything the other way around - she didn't care what flower it would be, as long as it conveyed a certain meaning that she wanted it to convey. Rosalind knew she will remember her visit to the store, and not only because of the older woman's highly ranked position; she will also be remembered for knowing exactly what type of meaning she wanted a flower to have. Rosalind couldn't remember a previous costumer who requested a flower like that - could it be that Lilith Rey was the first?

As she was given a free choice, Rosalind decided to not over complicate things and go with the first type of flower that came to her mind when thinking of purity and love - a white lily. She did not choose it only because Lilith had already requested for lilies beforehand, no; there was another reason for it. When looked at from above, the white lily seems to have the appearance of a six pointed star - the same form of Her Majesty's Silver Crystal. And if there was one person in the entire universe who was the embodiment of purity and love in Rosalind's eyes, it was Neo-Queen Serenity herself. Even though it seemed so long ago since then, the Amazonian leader could still remember the pleasant, warm light that surrounded her when the Lunar queen purified her from Nehelenia's evil doings. . . She figured one couldn't possibly be embraced by such a holy light and not think about it immediately when thinking of purity.

Rosalind prepared the white lilies in a similar manner to the orange ones - cutting their stem, enveloping them in Cellophane paper and finishing with a ribbon (this time a white ribbon, which she noted to herself she needed to buy more of, as it was running low fast - understandably so, with all the weddings happening around town). The image of her beloved Queen appeared in her mind as she did. While Queen Cynthia was very much alive and well in the 30th century - at least at this point in time, thank goodness - she felt very distant, unreachable. There were times Rosalind wanted to somehow break into the palace, find Her Majesty wherever she's at and just tell her everything; but she knew that by doing that she'd put not only herself, but also her mistress and three sisters in danger. And thus, even though she had known her, the Queen to her was as distant a figure just as she was to any other citizen.

For how long, though? How long will the five of them have to pretend to be regular girls, when in reality they were so much more than that? Rosalind did not know the answer to this question.

"There. I hope six of them are alright with you", Rosalind said and handed the smaller bouquet of six white lilies to the waiting costumer. There was something about even numbers that could be divided one by the other that gave her satisfaction she couldn't express in words.

The golden haired girl was just about to ask Mrs. Mayor if there was anything else she could do to help her, when she asked for her name. Her cheeks turned rosy once again, but this time it was not out of shame - but flattery. Why, if the mayor herself was interested in knowing her name, she must've done something right today, she figured. Who knows, she might be requested to provide flowers to the city hall sometime soon following this encounter. . . A blithe smile illuminated her face at the thought.

"My name is Rosalind", she replied simply, trying her very best to act cool and hide the excitement in her voice. Now Lilith will probably guess that the shop was named after its owner, but Rosalind didn't mind - not like her being the owner was something to be ashamed of, nor was her name. Her sisters might've opt for a different name, one that was more inclusive and represented them as well, but if they wanted to be represented they might as well actually attend and help around, rather than sleeping in like they usually did. . .

"It's been a pleasure to meet you today, Mrs. Mayor, it really has. Is there anything else I can do to help you?".

Six flowers was plentiful, dividing itself nicely into the former dozen of orange lilies. Lilith couldn’t complain, even though she had completely missed the hidden meaning of the number six. Lilith wasn’t interested in the language of flowers or number symbology by even a little. It just so happened that in order to make her time at the shop a little less, she Googled the language of flowers to discover the orange lily.

From there, Lilith hadn’t done much research after that. She just didn’t have the time or interest to do so, and when this was just for décor for her office, Lilith couldn’t care less. Her mood tended to swing often, and it’d done so a lot more recently when she rediscovered the Dark Kingdom. Her kingdom of darkness hadn’t made a proper name for itself in this world, but Lilith wondered if that was due to her own absence.

That was destined to change, and perhaps it’d start with this girl. Rosalind.


It only then clicked in Lilith’s mind that the name of the shop was named after this girl. “Oh, so you’re the store owner I assume?” Lilith asked, tilting her head as she’d turn towards her slightly. “You’re rather young to maintain a shop like this. Do you have any help?”

It was an honest question, as she hadn’t seen anyone else at the shop aside from Rosalind. But it seemed that Rosalind was capable of managing the shop herself, but if there were others like her….others with her level of purity that were hired by her, then perhaps it would be best to observe the shop and  strike when it was most active. Yet Lilith also hadn’t considered that looks could be just as deceiving, as she hadn’t registered into her mind Rosalind’s true age or dared to ask.

Yes. That sounded like the perfect opportunity to gather an abundance of energy. A mental smirk formed.

“No, I think that’s all.” Lilith replied nonchalantly, holding the many flowers in her hand. At this point, Lilith was only attempting to get to know the girl’s personality a little more, to get a better idea of what her knights were up against if she was to send them their way. “But a little advice….if you are the shop owner, do not ever show a customer your weakness. As nice of a girl that you seem, you could be taken advantage of.”

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