the stars are crumbling tonight
Tag: Kesatria // Feb 1st, 2031

Cynthia felt choked.

Everything that had happened within the past few hours was unbelievable. From the moment that she confronted Jeremiah, right down to when she tried to purify Saariyah, only for her to be taken by their enemy…

Cynthia felt like she couldn’t express herself in words. She’d spent the past half an hour in her office sobbing, feeling no other emotion besides the fact that she felt like a failure. She might have had her powers back, but Cynthia felt as though they were still gone. That she wasn’t ready to even be in a real fight yet. How could she not be able to track their enemy when she was normally able? It was as if he’d vanished from existence with Saariyah in tow, leaving them helpless and unable to prevent it all from becoming worse.

Cynthia might’ve not always gotten along with Saariyah, not even from all of those years ago when she was disguised as a member of the Three Lights, but she was still under the Crystal Empire’s protection. Cynthia was grateful that she was able to convince Violet to handle Liuxing, knowing fully well that she couldn’t keep her emotions in check long enough to handle another intergalactic Queen.

She, at least, would have been more comfortable informing Kes of the news, and that was…a very low level of comfort. How could she inform her friend that they’d lost one of her comrades?

As Cynthia was attempting to muster the energy to leave her office, Cynthia pulled out a tissue box from her desk drawer and wiped her own tears. She had to look presentable, even during the late hour, to even appear before Kes. Most hadn’t known that she returned to the palace after her impromptu departure, but Cynthia knew that Kes knew her well enough to know when something was amiss.

She didn’t need to know how dire it was off the bat.

So, after fixing her appearance a little bit, Cynthia finally left her office and headed towards Kes’s bedchambers. Her pacing was slow, thinking of everything that she could possibly say to Kes to inform her of the situation at hand.

She didn’t have much time left to think about it when she arrived at her bedchambers. Her small frame stood only a few inches away from the door before gently knocking and raising her voice, “Kes? It’s me, Cynthia…I know it’s late but I really have to talk to you. Are you awake?”

@Kesatria Bintang

Kesatria was exhausted.

A few weeks ago, when she suggested taking Saariyah's position as a senior Lady in Waiting to Liuxing on top of her own duties as an ambassador, she did it out of good intention. It wasn't that she ever wanted or planned to suggest, but given the state in which her comrade was, Kesatria felt like she had to do something to help her - and that's what came to mind. Given that Kesatria, herself, has gone through the training of a Lady in Waiting - at least some of it, until it was cut short - she thought she could more or less do the job. How difficult could it possibly be?

Soon it was to be figured that Saariyah's job was far more demanding than Kesatria had ever imagined. She was to be in charge of every little detail of the Queen's schedule, and it was up to her to decide who gets to meet her and who doesn't. On top of that, as the Mistress of Robes, she had to take care of the Queen's wardrobe and jewels, and make sure everything is clean, organized and ready to use. The only advantage of the job that she could think of was that it required her to constantly be by Liuxing's side - a fact that forced her to distance herself from a certain, other Queen. Sure, it hurt, but it was better that way. For everyone.

As much as Kesatria hated to admit it, there was a lot more to Saariyah's duties than she had initially thought. She was willing to tell her that, but ever since the silver haired Kinmokuseian announced her break, Kesatria was unable to reach her. While she knew that Saari had the need to distance herself from everything that had to do with the palace, and she wanted to respect that, it was rather odd for her to not communicate at all like this. Coming to think about it, this was probably the longest time the two of them had not spoken, since the very first time they were introduced to one another. Was Saariyah having a good time on her own? Could that time be spent with that new friend of hers, Jeremiah? Did Saariyah, by any chance, prefer his own company over hers?

Kesatria's train of thoughts was stopped at once, as she heard a knock on her chamber's door. For a moment, she was wondering who it might be at such a belated hour, but soon enough a most familiar voice could be heard from behind the door. Cynthia? What was she doing there? Perhaps she had noticed that Kesatria was attempting to distance herself from her, and wanted to confront her about it? But if so - why did she have to do it now? Couldn't she have waited until the morning?

The dark haired woman sighed. She couldn't possibly ignore the other woman, no matter how much she tried. Whatever the reason may be, she had promised to always be there when Cynthia needs her, no matter what. Kesatria was a woman of her word, and it seemed that now was the time to fulfill her old promise.

"Yes, I'm awake. I'll be there in a minute", she answered from her bedroom as she got out of her bed and dressed up with the first clothes she could lay her hands on - a navy blue T shirt with elongated sleeves and a black pair of jeans. It was rather casual, but better than opening the door in her pajamas, she figured. Even after so long, she still had the urge to look her best when in the presence of Cynthia.

One last look in the mirror and a hand passed through her hair before she finally opened the door, wearing a smile that was supposed to hide her exhaustion. "Good evening", she greeted Cynthia, trying to sound as casual as possible. "What is it that you need to talk to me about? Whatever it is, fire away".

(This post was last modified: 24 Sep 2020, 02:58 AM by Kesatria Bintang.)

It had to be at least one in the morning now, Cynthia realized when she caught the attention of Kes. Cynthia had been fidgeting with her fingers as she waited, albeit impatiently – the more that she waited the more tension she felt surging from within and it was uncomfortable. When Kes finally opened the door, though, Cynthia was quick to drag Kes back into her chambers with whatever strength she could muster.

It was uncharacteristic of her to do this, yes – but Cynthia couldn’t get herself to say what she had to say in the middle of the hallway. How could she?

“I’m sorry, Kes,” Cynthia’s voice was choked once more, tears began to fall on her cheeks. She couldn’t hide it – the emotions that she felt from feeling not only like a failure, but the fact that they’d even conducted a search for Saariyah and came back empty-handed…

It was more than just feeling like a failure. She felt completely, utterly useless.

“Something happened just now and I…I can’t tell you like that. After the mandatory meeting that we had…” Cynthia’s voice broke then, sniffling. “Jeremiah took me to Saariyah’s after he told me what happened to her. Someone tried to corrupt her and he managed to help her, he took me back there to help finish off the purification since it was too much but…”

Cynthia was rambling, her words were barely making any sense in her mind as she took bits and pieces of what had happened and tried to make it comprehensible. There were reasons she couldn't handle telling Liuxing herself and this was it.

“The Dark Alliance took Saariyah, Kes. We just got back from a search and we couldn’t find her even with the tracker Jeremiah had. I tried purifying her, I tried – the Silver Crystal didn’t react quick enough!”

@Kesatria Bintang

Before Kesatria was able to realize what's going on, Cynthia pushed her, in a rather abrupt manner, back into her own chambers. Seemingly, as the tall Kinmokuseian was the stronger and more athletic of the two, she shouldn't have had a problem resisting the other woman's movements, but she was so shocked by the deed that she was caught off guard.

Needless to say, Cynthia's rather odd actions caught Kesatria by surprise. This was not the Cynthia that she has grown to care about and love so much. Something was wrong, there was no doubt about that. She appeared scatter-minded, agitated. The dark haired woman was unable to understand what had caused such an uncharacteristic shift in Cynthia's mood. Was she upset at her, by any means? No; Cynthia has been angry with her in the past, and never before was hesitant about expressing it. What was this all about, then?

Attempting to catch her breath once the two of them were back inside the room, Kesatria listened carefully when Cynthia started to speak, trying to make a coherent statement out of her words. It was no easy task, though, because Cynthia mumbled phrases that made little sense to the leader of the Starlights. "Cynthia, slow down. I can't understand a word you're saying", she said and placed a hand on each side of the other woman.

Trying to put all the pieces of Cynthia's scattered words together, Kesatria started to understand that her initial feeling was right: something was, indeed, very wrong, and Saariyah seemed to have been involved in it somehow.

"Corrupt her? How?", Kesatria asked, her hands clenched into two tight fists as thoughts of the worst kind went through her mind. Saariyah was a beautiful woman, everyone knew that - and while beauty could be considered a blessing, it sometimes could be a curse, as well. Especially when an undesired creep thinks they can treat you like a piece of raw meat, rather than an individual with emotions, desires and needs of their own. The pervert who dared to lay a finger on Saari will pay for it, she couldn't help but think to herself bitterly, blood boiling with rage in her veins.

Only then, a coherent sentence came out of Cynthia's mouth, one that changed Kesatria's understanding of the situation completely. Contrary to what she had initially thought, Saariyah being corrupted was not Cynthia's subtle way of referring to a sexual assault.

Oh, no. The words that came out of Cynthia's mouth were much, much more frightening than that.

"The Dark Alliance took Saariyah, Kes."

Six words. Six simple words that stung her heart like a dagger. These six words were all that was needed to shatter Kesatria completely. Cynthia may have continued speaking, but at that given moment, the overwhelmed Kinmokuseian couldn't possibly listen. All she could hear were the same six words, echoing over and over in her head as her deep blue eyes fixated on a distant, unclear point in the horizon.

"No. You're lying. Cynthia, tell me you're lying. Tell me you're lying! Tell me this isn't so!", Kesatria eventually said, an undesired shiver in her tone as she spoke, a single tear that she couldn't control flowing down one of her eyes. What started as a single tear soon became a flood as the Kinmokuseian continued speaking. "Please! I'm begging you, Cynthia! TELL ME YOU'RE LYING!"

However, the more Kesatria was trying to think about it, the more sense Cynthia's horrible story made. It would explain why Saariyah had not contacted her in so long, which was such an uncharacteristic move, even for her. As much as she feared to admit it, even to herself, there was no way to escape from the awful truth.

Saariyah was taken by the Dark Alliance.

How does she even begin to cope with that?

"You know, it happened because of me", the dark haired woman said as she smiled bitterly at the Lunar Queen. "I shouldn't have let her go off like that. I shouldn't have allowed her to leave the palace, to be exposed to such atrocities outside. Had Saari remained in the Crystal Palace, none of this would have happened. I am a shame of a leader, and I deserve a punishment for my short comings. And this is it. This is my punishment".

(This post was last modified: 24 Sep 2020, 05:00 PM by Kesatria Bintang.)

No matter how much Kes asked, Cynthia couldn’t get herself to calm down. She wasn’t particularly good at situations like this, especially when her friend was from a different affiliation that could come with so many different consequences for what had just occurred.

The hands that were placed against Cynthia’s shoulders made her relax a bit more, though. More than she’d expected because of its firmness. It didn’t stop the tears from falling onto her cheeks – the tears that just screamed failure.

Corrupt? How?

Cynthia cringed, briefly reflecting on how Jeremiah explained things to her and she felt like she couldn’t do it similar justice to Kes without breaking her heart. She was not good with situations where she was the bearer of bad news, not at all – perhaps that was why Mason mostly handled it when it came to it.

The most she could muster was a shake of her head, the grimace on her face confirming her statement before she could speak once more. It took her minutes to calm down, to be able to speak calmly.

“I’m not,” Cynthia shook her head. “When I…got there to purify her Sailor Crystal, in the middle of the purification the corruption within…summoned the person who corrupted her and he took her before we could do anything further, Kes.”

Cynthia’s gaze was downcast then. “She didn’t want any of you there or to know about it.” At least that was her understanding of it all.

“We…Jeremiah, Violet and I,” Cynthia was trying her hardest to keep herself calm, but she was failing miserably as tears were still streaming down her cheeks. “Went out to search, but it’s as if she vanished from existence. My own detection abilities and Jeremiah’s tracker didn’t work.”

As Kes began to speak, though, Cynthia shook her head rapidly. “No,” Cynthia urged in disagreement, wiping away her own tears with her arm. “Jeremiah was telling me something about her getting headaches. I…don’t think that anyone would have really seen it coming. It’s not your fault though, Kes. My powers didn’t finish the job quick enough – I’m sorry.”

How could it be? When something like this happened, how could anyone assume it was their fault? It was her fault because her purification didn’t react quick enough. It wasn’t as if Kes had the ability to purify and prevent it.

“Jeremiah and Violet know a bit more of what happened, Kes.” Cynthia informed her, moving to latch onto her arm a little as a comforting gesture. “Violet is…going to tell Liuxing, but…Jeremiah is resting. He used up all of his powers to purify her when it happened despite knowing the risks.”

@Kesatria Bintang

Still struck by shock and grief, all Kesatria could do was watch aimlessly as Cynthia gently moved her head from one side to another, in order to indicate that indeed, she was not lying to her. She tried her best to focus when Cynthia described what had happened, how she tried to use the power of the Silver Crystal to purify Saari, but the process was interrupted when the person who darkened Saari's soul kidnapped her and disappeared.

Kesatria could feel the blood in her veins boiling with anger at the mention of him. "Who is it? Did you manage to see anything from him, at all?", she eventually asked, after several minutes of silence.

She wanted to know, even though admittedly it didn't matter all that much. No matter what faction of the Dark Alliance this person was from, or what was his name, Kesatria will not let his crimes remain uncalled for. She will find him, she will confront him, she will make him pay for what he did to Saari, as much she was certain. It was only a matter of time. It will happen sooner or later - with sooner being the preferred option.

What frustrated Kesatria even more was Cynthia's next statement, about how Saariyah refrained from telling anyone about what happened, because she didn't want anyone to know. The dark haired Kinmokuseian sighed at the sound of these words. Why was Saariyah so stubborn? Had she told Kesatria, she surely would've been able to help - or so, at least, she had hoped.

The leader of the Starlights continued listening when Cynthia described how she, Violet and Jeremiah went to look for her silver haired comrade, but returned empty-handed. Kesatria was somewhat surprised at that little bit of information, namely about the presence of Jeremiah. She knew that Violet was an honorable person, but thus far she didn't think too highly about the Heavenly King, mostly due to her own brief interaction with him going downhill the other day. But the fact he was there, aiding to look for Saariyah, made Kesatria question her thus far firm opinion about him.

"He's a really good guy, after all, isn't he? This Jeremiah", she eventually said, smiling bitterly at Cynthia as she did. "I knew he had befriended Saari not too long ago, but I didn't think he truly cared about her - about us".

Another shake of the head, this time a more vigorous one, could be seen performed by Cynthia, to which Kesatria reacted by petting the other woman's arm. "Your powers are still fragile", she said, remembering the meeting they had in the other day - a day that seemed so distant now - where she transformed once again into Eternal Sailor Moon. "It is understandable that the purification would not be swift enough by now. Besides, Saariyah is not under your realm of influence, but mine. Taking care of her was first and foremost my responsibility. And I failed. I failed miserably, Cynthia."

Kesatria lowered her eyes to the ground at the mention of Liuxing, a shiver going down her spine. Thus far, she didn't think about the effect these horrible news would have on the Kinmokuseian Queen. "Lixuing will be devastated", she eventually said, rising her eyes again, looking at Cynthia with salty tears flowing down her cheeks. "How will I be able to face her? How will I be able to look her in the eyes, after failing her so horribly? Will she ever forgive me?". Will Kesatria ever forgive herself?

A sigh slipped Kesatria's lips as Cynthia made yet another mention of Jeremiah, who apparently used up all of his powers in attempt to save Saariyah and by now was resting. "When he wakes up, I should probably go and thank him for his efforts", Kesatria concluded in a heavy tone. She would also have to apologize for thinking so badly of him, but that was not something she wanted to share with anyone, not even Cynthia. Kesatria did not like being wrong, but even someone as stubborn as her had to admit her mistakes, sometimes.

Cynthia could only shake her head once more in a no fashion.

“All I saw was that he was wearing a skull mask.” Cynthia informed her, clasping her palms in the center of her abdomen. “I didn’t see anything else; we weren’t even able to sense him when he arrived, he came in so suddenly…and left so suddenly…”

She had never experienced much like it before. How could someone make themselves so undetectable? It made a shiver crawl down her spine. The only thing that was for certain, was that she detected a touch of destruction upon her Sailor Crystal – the mark of Saturn.

Cynthia cringed at the thought.

“It’s worse,” Cynthia informed Kes, grimacing as she reflected when her healing powers touched Saariyah’s Sailor Crystal for that moment. “I…I couldn’t tell Jeremiah, but…I think there was a crack on her Sailor Crystal from the destructive elements that surrounded it… I could feel it when I was trying to purify her. I know he sensed it from looking at her Sailor Crystal card… but…”

Cynthia grimaced once more.

“I didn’t want to confirm it to him…” How could she when she saw just how much that Jeremiah cared for Saariyah’s wellbeing? She’d never seen him like this before. Cynthia was surprised to hear Kes’s next remark, though. Baby blues fluttered, gazing upward at the Starlight leader. A gentle nod of her head, Cynthia smiled.

“Jeremiah means well,” Cynthia confirmed. “I think they’re really close, it’s a bit weird…but everything I think hit him really hard. He was corrupted once too, you know – and he’s a healer – he’ll know what she’s going through.”

It, after all, wasn’t a secret as far as the kings’ past was concerned, but Cynthia wondered just how much time Kes had spent getting to know them.

The pat that she received from Kes was met with a frown. Were they fragile? Cynthia wanted to believe otherwise, but perhaps the older woman was right in that regard. She hadn’t transformed in twelve years, she was very rarely ever able to tap into the powers of the Silver Crystal even while she was Neo Queen Serenity…

..but it still hurt.

“She’s still our responsibility too,” Cynthia shook her head. “ She’s under the Crystal Empire’s protection. All of you are. Jeremiah told me that…she made him promise not to tell you, something about voices and visions… I don’t know what was going on but…Jeremiah didn’t seem to like that she asked him to kill her if she was corrupted, and we were both afraid of her reactions if we got you both.”

Cynthia did not like keeping secrets, but based on what she was told from Jeremiah, Cynthia felt obligated to.

“I…” Cynthia cringed, albeit embarrassed for the remark. “I’m afraid of telling Liuxing.” Cynthia confessed, barely mustering the courage to even tell Kes about what had happened. “I don’t think that she’ll be upset at you, I feel like…I failed her more.”

“I don’t think he’ll be up for a while,” Cynthia informed. “But I think he’ll need your support a lot too.”

@Kesatria Bintang

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