"Usagi, you're going to want to see this." Her mother said, stunned, handing her an envelope a couple of days later. The start of a new school year was fast approaching with the spring semester set to start in a few weeks. So she was expecting to hear from Juuban about her status soon. However, that didn't look like the Juuban logo on the envelope that her Mom was holding out.
"This is from Mugen Gaken." Usagi, surprised, fingered the envelope's seal a bit after she got a better look at it. This was a surprise. Even though they had applied for the program she hadn't expected to actually hear from them after the way the interview had ended.
"Yes, I was surprised we got anything from them but it is approaching the start of a new school year. Why don't you open it? Maybe it will be some good news?" Her Mom encouraged hopefully.
She hesitated, true she wanted the letter to contain some sort of good news. That would be a nice change of pace after the last few weeks, but she didn't exactly share her mother's hopes. She had read the writing on the wall. In all likelihood, she just could see it being an update on her waitlist status at best. At worst... a denial. Things just hadn't been going her way and she just couldn't fathom how things would suddenly change now. Looking once more to her mother's hopeful countenance, she smiled a shaky smile hoping not to see her mother's hopes dashed. Opening the letter reading the opening line, blinked, and then reread it again. It couldn't be! It shouldn't be by what they were told last year and yet. Numb. This couldn't possibly be real. "It says I've been accepted."
"Oh, this is wonderful news! This should solve most of your problems with school!" Her Mom said face lighting up, clearly not sharing her disbelief. It wouldn't solve every single school-related issue. There was still the fact her timing was off and dealing with the medical stuff, but being put into a more self-paced program would help a lot.
Usagi was curious, as the situation began to sink in. It had been pretty clear, during the interview they had at Mugen, that they had no intention of accepting her no matter her place on the waitlist. She knew Haruka and Michiru attended Mugen Gaken and Setsuna's office was located on the outskirts of the triangle. Usagi suspected one of them had a hand in this. Considering back when Michiru had offered to try and get her in and she had turned her down afraid they would learn of her legs, her condition. She was suspicious, though not ungrateful, that Michiru might have made some moves on her own after the events of the last few weeks. She doubted she would be able to confirm either way that they had a hand in her sudden acceptance to the school, well besides asking.
"We're going to have do something about the commute." Usagi muttered to herself. It wasn't that Mugen Gaken was that far it was just with her enlisted in this program she would need to be closer to the school.
"We will figure something out. Maybe we can get the school to agree to a housing allowance as part of the conditions of enrollment." Her mother assured making a face at the thought of the new predicament. Even with Usagi's side job, housing in the Triangle wasn't exactly on the cheap side.
"You're not surprised that I suddenly got admitted to Mugen Gaken." Usagi spoke her thoughts aloud. It was later the same day after finding out she had got the letter she was telling the girls the good news.
"I might have pulled a few strings." Michiru admitted with some hesitation. Well, that made the most sense and confirmed her earlier suspicions. She didn't know much about Michiru's family other than the brief contact they had had with her sister but what she did know made it seem like she had that kind of power to pull off something like this. Plus, Michiru had hinted at it before.
"You don't look too surprised by that comment." Haruka noted.
"I'm not entirely surprised. I suspected. I'm grateful." Usagi admitted with a slight shrug.
"You're taking it better then we thought you would." Haruka admitted. They hadn't really been sure how Usagi would respond to Michiru's mechanisms. They had both agreed that for several reasons moving Usagi to their school made more sense than leaving her at Juuban. That didn't mean they were sure she was going to take it well.
"Before, I was afraid that if I accepted help with it then you would find out about my legs and view me as less for missing mine. Considering how desperate things at school have gotten, I think I really am just grateful to have an out than anything. Plus, there is some positivity to having us all in the same school now." Usagi explained. Truly if things hadn't been so bad with her at Juuban she would probably have been extremely mad at them, making decisions for her and pulling strings this way. Right now, she felt more of a deep relief, which was definitely rooted in the fact that she would only have to set foot on Juuban's campus one more time to retrieve her old school records.
"So what now? Have you already found a place to stay?" Michiru asked.
Usagi shook her head. "No, we are going to look tomorrow. We want to check out the neighborhood anyway so we thought we would drop off the forms in person at the same time." She admitted. She wasn't sure where they were going to find a decent place to live. Even with the supplemental budgets, Mugen Gaken was in an expensive neighborhood.
"Are your parents moving with you?" Michiru asked frowning slightly.
"No, Dad prefers to stay where he is because of work and I don't think Mom is ready to move quiet yet." Usagi sighed. Maybe if they were moving out of an apartment and back into a house, maybe. They didn't quite have the money to buy a new house, even with the money set aside with the government subsidy from being a Senshi.
"You said you haven't found anywhere you feel is reasonable in the triangle so far right?" Michiru asked. It was a few days later and since things had been kind of quiet on the Dark Kingdom front they were just having a small semi-normal get together at the Crown Arcade. Nephrite hadn't reared his head since the D Kingdom Embassy incident and Luna had nothing new to report. So it was safe to be somewhere more open since there wasn't any real chance they would end up talking about the Dark Kingdom today.
"Yeah, we haven't been able to find one so far." Usagi admitted. She had been hoping they would have found something by this point. So far, no luck. Everything, it seemed, was either too expensive or still too out of the way of the school if it was reasonably priced.
"I mean as long as you have no problem with our relationship there shouldn't be any problems having you around. The place is big enough that we can retreat to other parts of it for more private time without intruding on you or the other way around." Haruka offered up looking off to the side as if caught being a softie would tarnish her reputation. Usagi blinked once. Just how big was there place anyway? She had only been a couple of times, and while it had seemed big she really hadn't seen the entirety of it. They had usually met at Naru's place since it was the easiest and drew the least amount of attention. It also didn't require Luna having to be snuck in. Suddenly Usagi was curious about exactly how big Michiru and Haruka's place really was.
"We talked about this when we were on vacation. I have no problems with you two being together. I just don't want to feel like I'm intruding." Usagi shrugged.
"Usagi I think you know us well enough to know we wouldn't invite most people over for an hour let alone to live with us." Michiru pointed out. Usagi frowned at this slightly. That was true…
"I think its a good idea. Maybe I can finally move out of Naru's house?" Luna decided to put her own two cents in with the question hanging overhead.
"We're not actually sure what the apartment building's pet policy is. We'll see what we can do." Michiru admitted after a moment with a frown. Usagi guessed they had never fully checked it out during the previous visits since she and Luna were visitors and not residents.
Everyone was silent waiting for Usagi. After a moment she seemed to come to a decision. "Mom and dad would like that. I know they worry." Usagi was clearly leaning towards it but not quite committing yet. There was still at least the factor of talking to her parents but the offer was very tempting. The whole not commuting half a city to get to school made it very tempting indeed, but also, she was pretty sure her parents would agree for the points already stated. They worried. Plain and simple.
"Plus with you and Naru getting in trouble, we could at least have a better jump on it if we're all more centrally located." Haruka commented.
"I'm not-" Usagi began before cutting herself off as she realized they actually did have a point kind of. Between the concert, the mall incident arguably, her actions at the clock store, and so on she didn't exactly have the best track record of not getting into trouble. Of course, thinking back... Naru also has a penchant for being exactly where she shouldn't. Shoulders sagged in defeat. Whether she liked it or not, Haruka was right. "I am trying to be better."
Michiru shook her head slightly seeming to be a bit amused by the statement. "Having us all in the same place and not across town certainly isn't a bad idea."
"I still need to run this by my parents." Usagi commented absently lost in thought. While her parents knew the older girls somewhat they had only met each other a few times. With so many of the get together having taken place elsewhere due to the fact Luna wasn't allowed in her apartment building.
"That's fine but the soon as you decide let us know. At the very least we should get you on the lease as soon as possible." Michiru pointed out. Getting Usagi added shouldn't be a problem but the sooner things got done the sooner they could settle into a routine.
"I can't believe I won't have to wear this stupid uniform anymore." Usagi enthused to Naru. She was holding up the uniform to Naru that she had worn for what had felt like the longest year of her life. It was a few days after Haruka and Michiru had offered to let her move in and she was beginning the process of packing up everything she wanted there. It was a bit slow going because they kept getting distracted by various things.
"Hey don't go dissing it too much. I still have another year there." Naru said frowning slightly. Well, that might be changing also but she was still waiting to hear and Usagi wasn't aware of her own pending application. She wasn't going to mention it unless the application went through. No reason to get Usagi's hopes up if she didn't know for sure she would be accepted.
"I know, I know." Usagi soothed her friend before playfully continuing "But then, soon you'll be done with it too." Well done with Juuban Middle at least.
"I'm not sure why you dislike it so much. It's not too bad of a uniform compared to some schools." Naru said turning back to the dress drawer they had been going through and pulling out a shirt and handing it to Usagi who took one look at it and tossed it in the growing donate bin.
"No. But its just another reminder of just how much trouble I've dealt with the last several months. As soon as I get the new uniform for Mugen Gaken, this is going in the trash where it belongs." Usagi's voice, while softer held a bit of determination. The Juuban uniform wasn't even coming with her to Haruka and Michiru's place. No reason to take it. Usagi wasn't planning on wearing it ever again. She had just pulled it out of the closet for old time sakes while packing her own stuff.
"Still, can't believe you actually managed to get into Mugen Gaken." Naru said picking up one of their old textbooks. Even knowing what Michiru had been up to before Usagi had found out. It still was a bit of a surprise that she had pulled it off and a relief. No more having to worry about Yuki.
"Yeah I can't even begin to express how thankful I am towards Michiru for managing to get me in the program. Even if it still feels weird that I got in that way I think I am going to be happier there then I ever as at Juuban." Usagi admitted frowning slightly. Now that she had more time to process the situation she was a bit embarrassed at how she had gotten in but she still felt that the overwhelming feeling towards it was that she was grateful. Grateful she didn't have to deal with Yuki for another year, grateful that she should have a better teacher, and just grateful to have those two as friends.
"You're not worried about bullying at Mugen Gaken?" Naru asked shifting the subject slightly. She had a feeling Haruka and Michiru would scare most Yuki types off but they wouldn't be around constantly either. Different classes and all that. Naru was deeply worried for her friend. At Mugen, she wouldn't be there either. Usagi would not know most of the people at Mugen at all. She hoped for Usagi's sake her new classmates were a lot better people then her Juuban classmates had been.
"I have a feeling if someone tries to do it at Mugen Gaken there going to end up regretting it. Maybe its because they are my Senshi but I have this feeling with them like I am safe and they would keep me that way no matter what." Usagi confessed in a voice so soft Naru almost had to strain to hear the last part. Both girls could be scary in their own ways when they wanted to be but she had a feeling just being friends with them alone would scare off most prospective bullies. Still, that didn't explain that feeling nor how deep it went. Warm, safe, and even a little stronger herself.
"I know that the two are in a relationship. Aren't you a little bit worried about seeing something you would rather not see?" Naru asked.
Usagi's cheeks turned red at the sudden image of Harka and Michiru kissing before she shook it off. "Not really. I didn't see anything at the beach house and I don't think that will change. The way they usually behave, I don't think it will be a problem." Usagi said with a shrug of her shoulders. Plus the penthouse was large enough that they could probably get up to stuff without her being the wiser. "That is true." Naru said with a shrug of her shoulders before she continued with an impish expression. "So are you curious Usagi-chan?" Usagi just blinked looking lost. Naru seemed to take this as a go ahead. "How Michiru and Haruka make love as two women. I heard someone say that a woman knows a woman's body best you know. I bet it's so romantic. It's too bad two women can't have kids. I bet they would make adorable babies together." Naru stopped. "Usagi?" Usagi's face was beat red from her shoulders to the tips of her ears and the roots of her hair. Suddenly, Usagi breathed. "NARU!"
Naru just laughed, her plan to fluster Usagi having worked, before changing the subject entirely. "So what was it about Masato that you were hesitating to tell me at the ball?"
Usagi hesitated for a moment. She needed to tell Naru but she wished Luna was here to back her up since she wasn't sure how well Naru was going to take the possible revelation. Naru frowned after a moment. "Usagi-"
"I just don't want to get you too worried if we turn out wrong." Usagi said with some hesitance. They had talked about the possibility of Masato and Nephrite being the same person but she guessed Naru was so enamored by him that she had forgotten that little bit of conversation in the last few weeks.
"Usagi, I appreciate the concern but I would rather know whatever it is." Naru confessed.
Usagi sighed for a moment before speaking as if something would break if she spoke too loudly or insisted at all. "Okay Luna thinks, and I kind of agree with her, that there is possibility Masato Sanjouin might be Nephrite."
Naru frowned at that. "You can't be serious. He's such a sweet guy I can't imagine someone like that working for someone like them. "
"I am, we are." Usagi corrected after a second. "Look it may be nothing but his timing and the timing with the youma plots are a bit too coincidental."
"Just because he was at the Embassy the night of the attempted theft doesn't mean he's a general. There were a lot of guys there." Naru pointed out frowning.
Usagi hardened at this, clearly, Naru had forgotten. "Naru, he sponsored the photo contest. I brought up the possibility of them being the same person, to you, at that time. He owned the wedding shop and he is a backer of the anime studio making the anime about the senshi. The animator that got possessed was approached by him before the youma showed up. Her friend confirmed that. There's just too many little things that point to it being something more to ignore the possibility of him not being Nephrite, or at the very least, involved." Usagi listed off the things he had been tied to that were actually Dark Kingdom plots that she could remember. She could understand a bit why Naru wanted to maybe stay in denial but that didn't change the fact that there were a lot of suspiciously timed events involving him and the youma. "The only time since he took over from Jadeite that I didn't see him involved with something that turned out to be a youma fight was the night at the mall and you told me yourself that the first time you met him was at the mall the night of the incident."
Naru chewed on her lip for a moment before finally saying, "What if it's all a misunderstanding?" She genuinely liked Masato and there was something about him that she was naturally drawn to though she wasn't sure what. She couldn't deny it was a bit suspicious how many times the two of them showed up at the same place at nearly the same times. That didn't stop her from hoping that they weren't the same person though.
"Naru just please be careful. I'm not going to ask you to break it off with him. I am not going to even question why you're so interested in him. Just be careful. He may not be Nephrite. It might be a wild coincidence. I'm just asking you to be careful Naru. Please be careful." Usagi stated. To be quiet honest she would prefer Naru broke it off and be safe about it, but she just couldn't bring herself to demand that of her friend.
"I appreciate your honesty but I hope you're wrong." Naru confessed. That was a huge secret to be keeping in a relationship, even if there's wasn't that formal. Yeah, she was intrigued why something had always felt familiar about him but enough to continue after finding out he might work for the enemy of her best friend? Not really.
It was a few nights later when everything got turned on its head. Luna had been quietly training Sailor Moon in an empty corner of the park on the healing spells when Nephrite had seemed to come out of the blue. Sailor Moon tensed a bit, hitting a button on her communicator to tell the others that she had run into trouble before turning her full attention to Nephrite. The only good thing that she could see was he was alone, no youma in sight. Interesting…
"Easy. I come in peace." Nephrite said holding his hands up defensively before dropping the general guise and reverting to his civilian self. Well, Naru wasn't going to be pleased to know that Masato Sanjouin was, undeniably, Nephrite. Though... Good chance he couldn't use whatever powers he had in civilian form. "I just want a chance to talk. You know how to use healing spells yes?" Masato entreated.
"I'm training in them, yes." Sailor Moon agreed. She hadn't had much chance to use them really but she did have training. Even if there wasn't a ton of it so far.
"I would like to officially desert from the Dark Kingdom." Nephrite stated.
Sailor Moon felt Luna tense in surprise next to her leg. She guessed not many people decided to leave the Dark Kingdom in Luna's experience. She frowned slightly she wasn't opposed to the idea far from it. Making Beryl lose someone under her without having to do harm to them sounded like the best idea she had heard in a long time. Sailor Moon worried though if the needed spell might be beyond her current capability at the moment. Still, she needed to know. "Why?"
"Because I want a chance to start living without attachments to the Dark Kingdom. A few weeks ago I started remembering a life before I was Beryl's general. I want to understand what I'm remembering. Talk about life before the Dark Kingdom for its inhabitants is prohibited. I'll never be able to seek the answers I desire there. For me since as long as I can remember my life has been the Dark Kingdom. That's all my life has been, serving Queen Beryl. I won't say it's the greatest thing but it's all I've known. Then I met someone and I started to remember a life before the Dark Kingdom. A lost love, a prince I served, a life a lot better than the one I currently have or can under Beryl's regime. I don't understand some of what I've remembered but I am clear on one thing. I can't do what I desire while serving under Beryl." Nephrite explained.
Before Sailor Moon could question any further about the semi cryptic answers Uranus and Neptune arrived coming to stand on either side of her. Uranus eyed her for a second. "Are you all right?"
"I'm fine, we've just been talking. I hit the emergency button because I wasn't sure why Nephrite had shown up at first. He wants to leave. He wants me to heal him." Moon reassured Uranus. It was the truth.
"So you are Nephrite then?" Neptune asked turning to her full attention to the now civilian general. "Why the change in plans? We certainly never interacted much but you never indicated prior that you were interested in leaving the Dark Kingdom."
"It was something I only decided recently. I want to find my prince. I know enough now to know I had one and he's supposed to be my one true commander. I may not be able to undo what I have done but I would like a chance to try." Nephrite explained. He had been on the fence about leaving for a while, after a few meetings with Naru he had been intrigued by the past he had forgotten. It hadn't been until the incident at the ball where he had seen more than just a lost love life that he had begun to question just how much he had forgotten. Maybe life was better outside of the Dark Kingdom, however one couldn't just up and desert the Dark Kingdom. Beryl would use her connection with him to send youma after him no matter where he went if he tried that. Thus was precisely why he had reached out to the one person he thought might be able to break his connection with Beryl, Sailor Moon.
"Give us a moment." Uranus said before pulling Moon and Neptune off to the side and away from where he should be able to over hear them.
"I think we should do it. If he truly wants to be rid of his connections with the Dark Kingdom who are we to deny him." Sailor Moon argued. He seemed to be sincere on the matter of leaving the Dark Kingdom. "Plus it would rid Beryl of one of her generals without anyone getting hurt."
"It's just kind of weird Moon. Neither he or Jadeite ever showed any inclinations of being anything more then a Beryl crony before now." Uranus argued. Ultimately it was Moon's decision to perform the spell since she was the one doing the casting but that didn't mean she didn't want to throw her two cents in about how she felt about the situation.
"Maybe Jadeite didn't have a trigger for whatever memories Nephrite is referring too?" Sailor Moon suggested. She was kind of curious what had made Nephrite start remembering his pre Dark Kingdom past but now wasn't the time to find that out. She did have a suspicion that the key was a certain girl with wine red hair and jade green eyes. Or at least that she was one of them. If she was right, yeah there was no surprise there, that Jadeite hadn't started remembering his real memories. From what little she had known about the general he sounded very ornery and probably hadn't gotten close enough to anyone to trigger his true memories. This also held the possibility of Naru being part of things... but in what capacity?
"Still you think we would have noticed something considering how much we run into the generals." Neptune said frowning glancing back in the direction of where Masato was standing.
"Yes, like we have so much time to get to know them." Moon said with her voice dripping sarcasm before going serious again. "Look if one of us were in a reverse of this situation wouldn't you want them to be granted this same chance?" She had to admit she was really digging the idea of ridding themselves of an enemy without causing harm. She knew that she wouldn't be able to get to everyone that was being controlled by Beryl and save them but if she could get to some of them that made things so much better.
Neptune let out a sigh at that, "That is a solid point but you have to understand our hesitations on the matter. Even if we do rid him of the bonds with the Dark Kingdom whats not to keep him from going back for some reason?"
"He wouldn't be able to. The spell I would have Sailor Moon use would rid him of any connection to the dark kingdom. He may reclaim abilities from before it but nothing from his time with them.. It is doubtful he could return anyway." Luna said putting her two cents in for the first time. Truth be told, the only hesitation she had was she wasn't sure Usagi was really ready for that level of healing spell but there were ways around the matter. She agreed with Moon. The idea of being able to rid Beryl of a general without harming them was too good of an opportunity to pass up.
"Okay let's say we do go through with this. Can it be done tonight or do we have to wait until Moon has better training in healing spells?" Neptune asked frowning. She knew Moon was training in healing spells but considering she had just gotten the compact she had little experience with them. The spell Luna was describing sounded quite powerful. So that brought up the concern if she could even manage a spell of that magnitude at this point.
"Luna?" Moon asked turning to Luna again. She had no clue how much power would be needed to power the kind of spell they were talking about.
"You would have to draw energy off the others to power it. Then yes we can do it tonight but even then, it will probably leave you wiped out Moon for a couple of days." Luna explained. The other two would probably have a bit of exhaustion but since Usagi was the one mainly powering the spell she would be the one that felt the effects of it the most.
"Not us?" Neptune asked quirking an eyebrow. That was an odd designation Luna had made.
Luna shook her head. "While you will be sharing energy, Moon will still be the main power source behind the spell. You two might be a bit tired from it but you'll probably won't even feel it tomorrow. Moon on the other hand will be feeling it a few days."
"It is safe?" Uranus asked frowning.
"Yes. If Moon was solo powering it she would be out for longer but would still be okay. It's just the energy sharing should allow her to bounce back quicker. Considering the circumstances, we don't know how quickly Beryl will act to replace Nephrite. It is best not for her to not be out of commission for very long." Luna explained. She wouldn't have okayed the idea of using the spell at all if she thought it might endanger Moon's life with or without assistance from the others.
"I don't want to be a nuisance." Moon muttered after a moment. For some reason having to burrow the other's energy made her feel like she was being a literal and figurative drain on the others.
Luna let out an annoyed huff. "Moon, this isn't a matter of being a nuisance at this point if you want to perform the spell tonight your going to need the other's help. I normally wouldn't clear you for using this spell this soon but I am concerned if we let Nephrite go we may not get this chance again."
"How do we do this?" Neptune asked tilting her head slightly. And why hadn't it been brought up before. This could have come in handy in other situations, like Dreamland.
"Physical contact for now between the three of you. You know how you draw on your magical cores when you're looking to power your attacks?" Luna asked.
"Never really thought about it." Uranus commented frankly. Now that Luna was bringing it up the feeling sounded right but there had never been really any thought put into what or how they constructed their attacks.
"You probably don't think about it unless your looking to put more effort into your attacks then normal. If you've ever purposely drawn to more power into your attacks, you would have felt the sensation of tapping into the core even if you weren't aware of it at the time. We are going to use the same technique here but instead of powering an attack you'll be using the core to push energy through the physical link with Moon." Luna explained. Well that wouldn't help Neptune but Uranus did kind of know what Luna was talking about from that time she had one shotted the wedding shop youma.
"Do we have to have physical contact when we do this every time?" Neptune asked frowning slightly thinking ahead. Sending energy to one another could be a really useful tool in certain situations. It would have come in handy at Dreamland with helping Usagi after the youma. But if they had to maintain physical contact every time to transfer energy that would eliminate a bit of its usefulness.
"No, eventually you'll be able to use your senshi bonds to do this. It's just that takes more training than any of you currently have right now." Luna explained shaking her head.
Neptune frowned for a moment. That was something that hadn't been brought up before by Luna. "Senshi bonds?"
"The bond that exists between senshi teams as part of the contract you all invoke to become Senshi from what I understand. I don't quite remember all the semantics about them. I'm not even sure if I would be able to explain it all that well if I did." Luna confessed. Her job during the Silver Alliance's time was more as an advisor to the queen, to be honest. The senshi were fairly self-run back in those days. She had enough passing knowledge to help train Moon and help the others but there were times she had more knowledge then what she could remember.
Uranus and Neptune exchanged a glance for a moment frowning. That was the first they had heard mention of a senshi based bond. But it made sense to a respect they had a bond of sorts with Moon and a different one with Pluto from what they could tell. Still, the bond they shared felt different somehow from the one they shared with Pluto, as well it still didn't explain their own hesitations when it came to talking about the bond. If these were senshi bonds that were commonplace from the way Luna talked, then why did they feel uneasy when they tried to talk about it?
"Is something the matter?" Luna asked looking between the two of them with a frown. That hadn't been exactly the reaction, if any, she had been anticipating to the talk about the Senshi bonds.
"It's nothing." Neptune said turning her attention back to Luna. They couldn't afford to have the conversation about their bonds at the moment. It would be way too long and complicated and they didn't have all evening. Luna raised an eyebrow for a moment before deciding to drop it. Now wasn't the time to bother them over whatever it was that had bothered them about her comment about the bonds. A conversation for another time.
"Just how much physical contact are we talking here?" Uranus decided to move the subject back to how they were actually going to power the spell. They were going to have own up and talk to Luna about it eventually but that didn't make the idea of doing so any more easier to her or Neptune.
"A simple hand on one arm each should suffice." Luna said. "Most of the task is mental so you two will have to concentrate on drawing your energy from your core. your energy should naturally flow into Moon."
"Same command as usual or am I using something else?" Moon asked seeming to have accepted the situation.
"No, the Moon Healing Escalation should work. Just put more power behind it." Luna answered. Technically there wasn't much above the Healing Escalation spell if any that she was aware of. After this, you crossed over into the territory of healing involving the Ginzishou which Moon wouldn't be capable of. How powerful and how well the healing spell worked depended truly on how much power was put behind it. For Moon, it wasn't a matter of being able to perform the spell but being able to perform it at the level that would be required to heal Nephrite.
"If it matters at all, I am willing to share whatever might be useful to fighting the Dark Kingdom." Masato offered as they returned to the clearing they had been talking in earlier. He had thought about it and decided that there was nothing for him to lose from offering what he knew about the Dark Kingdom. Luna perked up at that. It was definitely a benefit to get some insider knowledge on how the Dark Kingdom ran. Might be the only chance they would get unless they could somehow get to the other Dark Kingdom generals.
"You're really putting it all out there." Uranus said whistling slightly. The offer was appreciated if a bit unexpected.
"No reason not to. With me becoming a civilian they become a danger to me as much as other people." Masato pointed out. He was willing to trade his powers, for now, to get out of Beryl's thumb and to recall his true past. But that didn't put him in any less danger from the Dark Kingdom especially as a soon to be labeled traitor. If he could aid in the takedown of the Dark Kingdom and in his own safety then he was definitely going to try and be helpful.
"It is appreciated and I'll definitely take you up on that. We can take care of your connection to the Dark Kingdom right here, right now. Unless you have some last minute business to take care of the Dark Kingdom?" Luna asked quirking an eyebrow.
"No, it is best to be done tonight. If I delay too long I risk discovery." Masato said shaking his head. He had been able to use Beryl's lack of interest in non-Dark Kingdom matters to his advantage so far. Still, it was probably only a matter of time before she discovered his intentions. Best to get out from under her thumb now.
"You ready Sailor Moon?" Luna asked turning to her.
"As ready as I'll ever be." Moon said more to herself than to anyone else as Uranus and Neptune took positions on opposite sides of her to help power the spell. Uranus taking a hold of her right arm and Neptune her left. Usagi let out a nervous breath before opening the compact.
"Moon Healing Escalation!" Moon said officially activating the spell putting as much energy and effort behind it as she could muster. She could sort of register the energy flowing from the others over the bond but she didn't pay it much mind. Her concentration was better spent on keeping the spell at full power. It didn't take long for her to start feeling a tiredness beginning to creep over her, nothing really bad at this point but still there though she suspected it would increase the longer she powered the spell. She could see a dark mist starting to form above Masato, hopefully, that meant it wouldn't be much longer before he was rid of the Dark Kingdom's bonds. "Almost got it Moon. Just a bit more." Luna encouraged as the dark mist rose further above Masato growing in size. As soon as the mist stopped growing and dissipated her job would be done.
After a moment the dark mist stopped climbing just seeming to circle over Masato for a moment seeming to shimmer in the air before dissipating into thin air signifying that the spell had done its job so Moon was able to end it. Only to nearly hit the ground as the side effects from powering the spell hit full force. One of them reached out and grabbed her before she hit the ground thankfully. "Moon!" Came a worried chorus of voices.
"I'm fine." Sailor Moon reassured them. "Just tired." It took a few minutes but she was eventually to get mostly on her own feet again, though she still found herself slightly leaning against Uranus for support. Luna hadn't been kidding when she said the spell would leave her drained. She was probably going to end up sleeping for days after she got home. Or at least close to it. Seeing the skeptical looks both girls were giving her she emphasized. "I'll be fine. Really. I just need a good night's sleep."
"Right, can't do that anymore." Masato said rubbing the back of his head drawing their attention back to him. He had just tried to teleport out forgetting for a moment that since he was now 100 percent civilian he would be able to do that. Old habits died hard. This would take some getting used to. His ticket out of unwanted situations for years had been either to teleport or to open a portal. Now he could do neither of those.
That earned a light snicker from Haruka and Moon found herself tiredly giggling as well. She got why Masato had tried to do it, old habit. It was still kind of funny to see him look momentarily confused on why it hadn't worked.
"You do have a way to get home don't you?" Moon asked mildly concerned after a moment. Masato almost certainly had a way to get around if he had built up such a civilian persona, but the question was, did he have it with him since he seemed to be used to both using civilian and Dark Kingdom modes of transport.
"Of course, I do. It's just the teleport is an old habit that I have to kick now." Masato shrugged. He kind of wondered if once more of his non-Dark Kingdom based powers if he couldn't pick up teleporting again. Something to wonder about for another time he decided. He knew very little about his abilities under the prince's guards. He was hoping as his memories started coming back he would remember that and regain those abilities.
"If you're okay we should get going. It's late and we all need some sleep." Neptune interjected. More so Moon then them at this point. Luna had been right in the fact it had left her slightly tired but Moon had definitely born the brunt of it judging by the collapse.
"Yes, though there's still the matter of getting together." Masato said frowning slightly. Best to share what Intel he had while it was still fresh and accurate.
Sailor Moon slightly snorted at that. The solution was simple though it showed the fact Masato hadn't apparently hadn't been over to Naru's house yet. "You can meet at Naru's. Luna's still residing there for at least a few more days (they still had a few things to move into the penthouse and had to double check with the landlord before moving Luna in, there shouldn't be an issue but it was a still a couple of days off from when Usagi and Luna were going to move in) and you have to explain to Naru anyway about you being a Dark Kingdom general."
Masato frowned at that, "Why would I need to tell her?" Technically the girl shouldn't even know the Dark Kingdom really existed. Luna residing with her did raise a few questions though.
"Naru knows I'm Sailor Moon. Known since day one actually. We've already talked about the fact that you and Nephrite might be the same person. I would just get it over with and tell her. She's going to be mad at first but it will probably only be worse if you keep hiding it from her." Moon pointed out. Though she doubted Naru would stay mad at him very long. She had a feeling that Naru was one of the keys behind him abandoning his Dark Kingdom post. If that was true and Naru believed him she might be angry at first but would probably forgive in time.
Masato grumbled slightly under his breath. That was a conversation he was already dreading. He guessed her already knowing about him possibly being a Dark Kingdom general simplified things a little at least. Moon spoke up after a moment. "Look, she might not take it great at first but she seems to have it hard for you. It's probably something you can work past with time, especially if you mention the fact that you partly deserted the Dark Kingdom for her." His desertion due to Naru was still a theory at this point but she had a feeling that the two were connected in some form. The look on his face after her words, however, said all she'd ever really need to know. He didn't expect anyone to pick up on it and therefore, there was something to that 'theory'. She smiled.
End Chapter 15