Bishoujo Senshi Sailormoon: Infinity
Act 19 – Battle Part 2

Uranus and StarLight were standing facing each other, arms folded and glaring. “I still say we need to go down. It’s where everyone else will be going,” StarLight insisted.

“We have to find Neptune first,” Uranus declared stubbornly.

StarLight sighed. “This isn’t getting us anywhere, Uranus,” she said. “How do you know Neptune won’t be heading down there, as well?”

“She could be hurt.”

“She’s a big girl. She’s perfectly capable of taking care of herself, Uranus. Besides, the chances are very high that she has someone with her to help her if she’s hurt.”

“If we found her then you could heal her.”

“You think I could, huh? My powers aren’t very strong most of the time. If she’s so badly hurt that she’s in desperate need of my help, then she’s too far gone and better off where she is.”

Uranus was outraged that this little Guardian was talking about Neptune that way. However, it made sense. She hardly ever used her ability to heal others, and only when the situation called for it. It left her drained for hours afterwards and the healing took a while to take full effect.

She nodded. Let’s go down then. You’re right. It’s better to be down one senshi than two.”

“I’m glad you’ve come to your senses.”

On the way down they, coincidentally, bumped into StarMaker, StarLove, and every one with them. They’d bumped into Moon and Neptune. Neptune and Uranus greeted each other, relieved. Apparently, Neptune and Moon had had the same argument StarLight and Uranus had. Light and Moon found this rather amusing. After they’d finished their hellos, Uranus and Neptune were ready to continue on with the rest of them.

“Capricorn Silence Shatter!” Saturn shouted then kept on running.

“My power is almost useless down here,” StarHealer said as she ran.

“Use your old one,” Venus suggested. “It’ll distract them at least.”

“Star Sensitive Inferno!” The pack of obakes following them howled in pain. Some dropped off and ran back the opposite direction. “Not bad.”

Venus stopped and turned around. “Libra Heart Flash!” Most of the remaining ones turned and ran from the attack. “Not very brave, now are you?” she taunted.

“Venus, that wasn’t such a hot idea,” Saturn said, clutching her glaive to her chest.

She turned to look at her. “Why not?”

Healer pointed. “That’s why.”

The biggest one picked her up in one hairy paw and squeezed slightly. Venus screamed in pain. “Not brave are we?” it growled.

“Fire Blaze! Honou no Ya!” StarFire commanded and a flaming arrow went right through the obake holding Venus. It dropped her. SunArrow caught her before she hit the ground.

“Thanks SunArrow!” she said. He set her on her feet.

“We need to get moving,” StarFire said. “There’s a presence down there, something powerful, familiar.” Her black eyes were unfocused and hollow. Saturn shivered at the expression on her face. Fire was moving like someone had switched on the auto pilot.

SunArrow noted Saturn's reaction to Fire’s face. He leaned down and whispered, “Don’t worry. She’ll be better when we find Seiya.” This seemed to reassure the younger senshi and they continued on, Fire in the lead.

StarSinger turned around, looking everywhere. “Well, it seems we got lucky and landed in the bottom of An’ei Souku’s palace.”

“You sure that’s lucky?” Pluto said, clutching her time staff closer to her.

“It means we just have to wait for everyone else to get here,” KnightHisei said, sitting down on a stone bench.

“Shouldn’t we free Seiya first?” Pluto asked. “We could use his help in the fight.”

“If I remember what I’ve learned about the Joudo Tengoku correctly, he’s probably in no shape to even transform, let alone fight,” StarSinger countered.

“Oh.” Pluto joined KnightHisei on the bench. “Well, we could at least try and find him.”

KnightHisei shook his head. “No. There are too many cells around here. We’d need everybody’s help to do this.”

“You’re sure?” Pluto asked.

He nodded. “We just have to wait. Wait, and hope that they don’t get into too much trouble on the way down.”

It took the rest of the senshi a while to get down to where StarSinger and the others were. They were banged up a bit, but not seriously hurt, much to KnightHisei’s relief. His sister was panting a bit, and had a bleeding cut under one eye, but she was fine otherwise. Her eyes were like smoldering pieces of coal.

“Where’s Seiya?” she demanded, her voice cold and otherworldly.

“We were waiting for everyone to show up,” Singer explained. “Yuki said it best when he said that there were too many for the three of us that were here to search by ourselves.”

Fire looked like she wanted to yell, but she sighed wearily. “He does have a point.”

“Well, then, let’s get to it, shall we?” StarHealer said, impatient. “I want to get Seiya out of here as much as you do, StarFire.”

StarFire shook her head. “I don’t doubt it. Open every cell. Let the prisoners escape. I don’t overly care what happens to them right now. Our priority is finding Seiya and defeating the Joudo Tengoku once and for all. If you find anyone dressed in sailor fukus, get them to help and mention one of our names. That should get their help.”

The senshi nodded and ran off to star opening doors. Some, like Jupiter and Uranus busted the doors open without bothering to see if they were locked.

Behind some of the doors were corpses wearing what StarSinger said was the livery of the Royal Guards of each of their worlds. She looked ill. With each corpse-containing cell, the Guardian’s oddly hard exteriors melted as they identified who was wearing what uniform. StarLight had to hide a few tears in her grey and green gloved hands.

Some cells actually contained the senshi Fire had mentioned. Reunions were brief. Of the dozen or so senshi of the Juoukukou that had gone missing, they’d found seven imprisoned in the cells, with all seven still alive. They were clearly wearing a standard uniform for their star system. From what the sol senshi could see, there were four distinctive shirt styles and two different button and bracer colors, but the rest of their uniform pieces were the same.

They all wore skin tight pants and a wide belt with a solid buckle. Their knee high boots were flared slightly at the top and cut so that they angled downwards from the inside edge. Each boot had a solid colored bracer at the ankle. The gloves were similarly angled, but went from the outside edge inwards and had solid colored cuffs around the wrists. The sailorcollars were all the same style and solid in color. The only standard things about the shirts were the collars. Each one had a colored band at the top, just beneath their chins and one at the shoulders. Flowing down fromt their belts was a transparent skirt that went down to their feet. It didn’t wrap all the way around their bodies, though. In the front it only went as far as the buckle on the belt. In the back, it went to where the buckle would be if there had been a buckle on the backside of the belt. The colorings were all uniform as well. The colored bands on he shirt collars matched the piping on their shirts and the color of their pants. The sailor collars were all the same color as the transparent skirts, but the sailorcollars were all made of regular fabric. The shirts, gloves, belts, and boots were the same color. The bracers and shirt buttons only came in two colors: silver or gold.

Sailorcancer, a slim, short haired brunette with magenta eyes and silver pupils, was the only one with a top like hers. Beneath her solid black sailorcollar was a pink shirt with blue-purple collar edges and shirt piping. She had the same color edging the armholes as well. The piping was pinned to the shirt with gold buttons and the bracers on her wrists and ankles were also gold, as was the belt buckle. The bottom of her shirt curved down around her sides, leaving a chunk of her stomach exposed. Her skin tight pants were the same blue-purple as her shirt piping and collar edges. Her gloves and boots were pink. The transparent skirt was also black. She looked worn out and there were dark circles under her eyes. The pink lipstick she wore was smudged a little.

Sailorpegasus and Sailoraquarius wore the same style of shirt. It was very similar in style to Sailorcancer’s but it had an extra line of piping that angled from the buckle at the bottom of their shirt back upwards to wrap just under their left breast, stopping at the shirt’s side seam. Both Pegasus and Aquarius had dark blue collars and skirts and gold buttons, buckles, and bracers, but otherwise the two senshi couldn’t be more different. Sailorpegasus was very pale with snowy white hair and bronze eyes. Her collar edges, shirt piping, and pants were icy blue and shiny, matching the silver color of her shirt, gloves, and boots. She wore silver lipstick. A long section of her bangs trailed between her eyes. The rest of it was fairly neat and tidy, going not much past her shoulders. Sailoraquarius, on the other hand, had night black skin and bronze hair done into twin buns on the side of her head in a very Chinese style. Her matching eyes watched everything around her carefully. She seemed to be the most alert of the seven. Her teal lipstick matched the collar edges, shirt piping, and pants while her gloves, shirt, and boots were a light creamy brown.

Both sailortaurus and Sailorcapricorn wore shirts that went halfway down to their navel, forming a wide v-point with the hem going back upwards and stopping just below their breasts. At the side of their shirts, at the bottom of the arm holes, was a thin band that wrapped around to the back and matched the color of the piping on their shirts. The buttons, buckles, and bracers on their uniforms were silver. Sailortaurus had long pink hair that she kept up in a ponytail wrapped in a dark blue hair elastic at the top of her head. Her long bangs fell into her red eyes, nearly obscuring them from view. Her lipstick was gone now, but it normally would have been bright pink, like her shirt, gloves, belt, and boots. While her sailorcollar and skirt were still dark blue, it was a different shade of dark blue from that worn by Sailorpegasus and Sailoraquarius. The light pink-purple haired and light blue eyed Sailorcapricorn wore her hair short and simple in an easily maintainable style with long chunks over her ears and the longer back section pulled into a short tail at the base of her neck. She wore a light gold sailorcollar and skirt with a light cornflower blue shirt, gloves, belt, and boots. Her piping and collar edges were magenta and quite shiny, as was the strap that went around her arm. Her fading lipstick likely matched the color of her shirt.

The two remaining senshi, Sailorleo and Sailorcasseiopeia had tops similar to Sailorcancer’s but they went nearly straight across their midsections instead of curving down their sides. The buttons, buckles, and bracers on their uniforms were also silver. Sailorleo was another one with different colored skin. It was kind of a dark golden brown color. Her hair wasn’t quite as black as Sailoraquarius’s skin, but it wasn’t too far from it. A very large chunk fell over her left eye, obscuring it from view. Her left eye was free from obstruction and bright blue in color. The rest of her hair was pulled up into a short tail on the left side of her head. The dark blue lipstick looked a little odd with her skin coloring, but it completely matched the light orange color of her shirt, gloves, belt, and boots. Her sailorcollar and skirt were a rusty red color, matching nicely with the gold shirt collar, piping and pants. In contrast to her was Sailorcasseiopeia, who held herself straight and proud despite the tears in her uniform. According to Starfire, she was one of the first to go missing in the war. It clearly showed in the dirt smeared on her face, the slight bloodstains on her uniform, and the strands flying loose from what would normally be a mathematically precise hairstyle. Her hair was a rusty color. One large chunk curled around the right side of her face with a smaller strand from that chunk falling in front of her nose. Most of the rest was still up in three buns near the top of her head. Her eyes were a clear blue. The rusty orange color of her sailor collar and skirt was matched in the color on her lips. Despite the tears and bloodstains, the colors of her uniform still stood out. Her shirt, gloves, belt, and boots were lemon yellow and the shirt collar, piping, and pants were a vibrant red color.

Once things were explained to them, the missing senshi of the Juoukoku joined the search for Seiya.

“Well, only a few more left,” Uranus said wearily.

“StarFire, do you think you four can hold on a bit longer?” Moon asked, concerned. “We’re almost through.”

“Six,” KnightHisei and SunArrow corrected in unison.

“Don’t forget about us,” Sailortaurus joined in, standing up. “We’ll fight no matter what.” The pink haired senshi tightened her top knot, brushing her hands on her light pink pants.

The dark haired Sailorleo nodded and stood. “We’re behind you all the way.”

“Even if we have to get Uranai-chan and Kakyoku to make us invisible,” the white haired Cassiopeia commented, sticking her tongue out.

Capricorn, the girl with the purple hair and odd red eyes who Cassiopeia had addressed as Kakyoku, toyed with her two-colored gloves. “Maa!” was all she said. She was a bit nervous at meeting all these strange people. Her friends laughed a bit at her embarrassment.

“Y’know, Fue-chan,” Uranai, Sailoraquarius, spoke up wearily, addressing Casseiopeia. “I highly doubt either of us could do it even if you helped. “But you do have a point. We have our duty as sailorsenshi to help the Guardians and protect the people from evil.”

Sailorpegasus stood, looking at StarFire. “You need our help. Even if this fight is the one that kills us all, we will willingly help you. While most of us are still new to our callings, we’re all senshi and we’ll do our best.”

“Just one question,” Sailorcancer asked shyly. “Does he really look exactly like Akai-sama?” StarFire nodded. Cancer pretended to swoon. “Sugoi!”

Casseiopeia shook her head and leaned over to Venus. “Boy crazy,” was all she said.

“Am not!” Cancer pouted.

StarLove laughed. “The more things change…”

“The more they stay the same,” Singer finished. “Well, if you’re so insistent on helping, you can. You’ve all been well trained and can keep yourselves out of trouble.”

“Well, be that as it may, I’m still not entirely sure about Capricorn,” StarLight added.

“Daijobu, Utano-sama,” Capricorn smiled. “I’m fine now. I have an illness that keeps me from going very fast or using a lot of my powers,” she explained to the other senshi. “It’s very rare among senshi.”

“I’ll stick with you then,” Saturn said smiling. “I can heal people. It’s not a senshi power, but something I can do in or out of my fuku.”

Capricorn smiled. “Arrigato, Saturn.”

“Are we quite finished yet?” StarFire grumbled impatiently. “I would very much like to get this done with before I collapse of fatigue.”

“For once I agree with you,” StarHealer said, pacing. “There’s no telling what they’ve done to him by now.”

At her words, Cancer snapped to attention. “Hai!” she said, determined not to let her beloved sempai’s look-alike get any more hurt than he already was.

Silently, they proceeded through the sparsely lit hallway, opening doors as they found them. The Juoukoku senshi trailed behind them, talking softly and inaudibly with KnightHisei and SunArrow, sometimes venturing forward to ask one of the Guardians a question, then falling back behind them.

By this time, they’d been inside the palace of the Joudo Tengoku for many hours. Pluto and StarSinger both confessed at having lost track of time. Casseiopeia simply nodded and explained that, according to someone by the name of Shizuka Shinzo, nothing was as it seemed inside this place, that time and space were distorted and that only those who belonged here, on the side of darkness, knew what was what.

The senshi took this in stride as being one of the several various bizarre things they’d encountered ion their battles over the last few years and kept going.

StarFire stopped in front of the last door in the hallway, taking a deep breath. “This is it guys. He’s in here. He has to be.”

“Wouldn’t you be able to sense him?” Mars asked.

“No. Not here. Healer, Maker, you two can’t sense him either can you?” the two Starlights shook their heads. “I didn’t think so. Our senses are distorted, like everything else.” She pushed on the door. It refused to budge and inch. It felt like she was pushing on a thick wall. “Umm, can I get some help with this?”

Jupiter and Uranus immediately leaped forward to try and move the door. They even went so far as to use their powers. They were quickly stopped by Sailor Moon, who explained that not only would use of their powers attract the enemy, but would weaken them for the battle. StarLight pointed out that, if the enemy didn’t know they were here yet, they would now.

StarLight walked up to the door and pushed. She stepped back, frowning, and then tried again. “I don’t think this is a door, Fire,” she said, stepping back a bit further this time, and then aiming a kick towards the middle of the door. Her foot encountered not door, but wall. The door had vanished, leaving only a stone wall.

The sound of clapping followed her pronouncement. “Very perceptive of you, my little traitor.”

They spun in time to see a woman with black skin, her face hidden by a long white hooded cloak, and a man step out of the wall on the other side of the hallway. “Diamond,” StarFire said, bitter hatred creeping into her voice. StarLove growled softly beside her, but said nothing, knowing full well that anything she uttered at that moment would be some sort of profanity unfit for the ears of her fellow senshi.

“What is the meaning of this?” StarFire demanded. “Where’s StarFighter?”

“You do mean Seiya don’t you?” Diamond said calmly. He smiled. “You poor thing,” he said in a mock sympathetic tone. “You’ve lost your precious koibito. How sad. You simply can’t live without him, can you?” Diamond went on as Fire’s rage got hotter and hotter. “You see, dearest Kasei, he was introduced to our great Queen and simply didn’t survive the experience intact, as it were. Even if you had been able to find him, you wouldn’t have recognized him. Face it StarFire. You’ve lost and we’ve won. Why don’t you just give up now? Surrender your Talismans to the great Queen of the Joudo Tengoku, An’ei Souku.”

KnightHisei stepped forward. “I think not. We’ll never give up!”

Diamond smiled evilly. “Brave words for someone who used to work for the Queen,” he said, his tone dangerous. “Yoake Yuki.” He shook his head. “How pathetic you’ve become. I’ll take yours first. Talisman Reveal!”

Sailoraquarius brought her arms above her head. “Aquarius Razor Wind!” she shouted at the same time Leo shouted, “Leo Solar Flare!”

The two attacks managed to divert Diamond’s attempt at taking KnightHisei’s Talisman. He merely smiled at them. “Ah, Leo, Aquarius. How good of you to join in on the destruction of your fellow senshi.”

Leo growled. “In the name of the great sun Sheratan, we will not stand by and let you destroy us. I, Sailorleo, vow this!”

Aquarius nodded. “By the stars of Aquarius, I, Sailoraquarius, refuse to let scum like you have their way.”

“The fortunes of the constellation Casseiopeia are against you, Diamond. I, Sailorcasseiopeia, am the chosen avatar of justice. Meet your fate with little fuss, please.”

Diamond yawned with boredom as the Juoukuku senshi went through their various challenge phrases. “Are you girls quite done?” he asked after the last one, Capricorn, had gone through hers. “Thank you. I forgot how entertainingly boring those speeches could be.”

Casseiopeia blinked and leaned over to whisper, “Is it possible for something to be entertainingly boring?” in Cancer’s ear. The girls giggled. StarFire gave them a stern look.

“Get to the point, Diamond,” StarLove said, folding her arms across her chest.

“You won’t find Seiya here.” He grinned wickedly. “At least, not the Seiya you knew.” He raised his left hand and snapped his fingers.

A shadow emerged from the wall and knelt at his feet. “What is your command, Diamond-sama?” he asked.

“Destroy the Guardians and their Sailor friends. I demand to be entertained. You may choose your own form.” The shadow bowed as Diamond and the mysterious woman vanished back into the wall just as Aquarius aimed an attack at them. She cursed under her breath and looked towards the shadowy figure.

It bowed politely to the senshi. “I have my orders, ladies and gentlemen. I am Kage Gen (Shadow Illusions) and I am going to destroy you now.”

StarLight and StarSinger looked at each other and exchanged a look, then burst out laughing. “What? What’s so funny?” The obake sweat dropped.

“Shadow obakes are the most pathetically useless creations An’ei Souku has ever made,” StarLight said, howling with laughter.

The shadow sniffed. “Those were the earlier models. Trust me, traitor, we’ve improved since then. In our normal state, we’re weak, but altered…” It bowed. “I will destroy you, have no fear of that.”

Its form began to glow. Singer and Light ceased their fits of laughter and watched. Its shape began to distort and take on coloring and a more distinctive appearance. A part of it separated from the rest and floated behind, like hair. Once it had finished, it looked up at the senshi. “Meet your doom, senshi-tachi,” it said, in Seiya/StarFighter’s voice.

They stared. The thing had taken on StarFighter’s appearance, though it would remain to be seen if it acted like her. The Juoukoku senshi looked from the two remaining Starlights and the transformed obake. Pegasus walked over to Sailor Mars. “Umm, who’s that?”

“That’s Sailorstarfighter, Seiya’s other form. She’s one of the Starlights, like StarMaker and StarHealer over there,” Mars explained. “StarFire isn’t going to enjoy this.”

Pegasus thought about that for a minute, her fingerless gloved hands tapping on her thighs. Finally she ran a hand through the red streak in her long blue hair, putting the two facts together. “No, she won’t be enjoying it, if she’s willing to fight this shadow at all.

The two looked over to where StarFire was frozen in place, staring at StarFighter. She was ignoring StarLove’s plea to back away from her, as she was walking slowly and purposefully towards StarFire. She had eyes only for the obake.

“So nice to see you again, my little Kitsune,” she said in StarFighter’s voice. “Perhaps you would prefer me in this form.” The obake glowed again and assumed Seiya’s male form.

StarFire gave a little cry of relief and sank into Seiya’s embrace. “Seiya. I was so worried about you. I thought I’d never see you again.”

He stroked her long red-black hair. “Don’t worry. I’ll never leave you again.”

The senshi watched, puzzled. Singer groaned. “She’s fallen under its spell. There’s no telling what it can make her do now.”

“Is there a way to snap her out of it?” Moon asked anxiously. “We need her help here. All of us are needed if we’re to win this fight.”

Light nodded. “There’s a way. She won’t like it, but we have to do it. Yu-chan, you with me?”

The Juoukokus blinked at the casual use of StarLove’s familial nickname.

StarLove nodded. “Yoake-sempai, please forgive us for what we’re about to do.”

Fire turned around. “Nani?”

“Earth Rumble!” StarLight said, invoking her rarely used power over the earth element. The earth at Seiya’s feet surged and surrounded him up to his waist as he watched, surprised.

StarFire, tried to keep it back, but to no avail. She turned on StarLight, sparks flying from her black eyes. “What have you done to him?”

“We’re trying to get you to see the truth,” StarLove said gently.

“What truth?” she demanded, tears forming in her eyes. “This is Seiya you’re attacking!”

Moon shook her head, catching on. “No. This is an obake designed to make you think that.”

“Fight it, Yoake-sama,” Pegasus and Leo encouraged. The other Juoukokus added their support.

“You’re strong enough, StarFire,” Maker added. “We’ve seen you deal with worse situations.”

“We know you can do it,” Mercury added.

“Let us help,” Saturn said, lowering the point of her Glaive so it was level with Seiya’s throat.

“No! Aries Flaming Disk!” she shouted, aiming for Saturn.

“Aquarius Razor Wind!” Aquarius shouted, knocking the attack away and extinguishing the flames.

“How dare you protect her, Tenou’sei-san. I thought you knew better than that. Your teacher was delinquent in that part of your training, I see.”

Aquarius backed away from StarFire’s fury, wincing at the mention of a lack in her training. StarLove’s reaction was one of barely controlled rage. It was her job to train the air senshi, and Aquarius was one of her students. The normally hyperactive and happy Guardian of Air turned crimson and walked up to StarFire, slapping her as hard as she could across the face. “Don’t you ever speak of my training techniques that way again, sempai or not. Guardian I may be, but I’m also your princess. Never forget that.”

“Umm, Yumeko-sama,” Casseiopeia chimed in. “Don’t your Okaa-sama and Einno-sama always say that ‘a princess who has to remind others of her rank isn’t much of a princess at all’?”

“In this case, Fue-chan, I think she’s in need of a reminder of who has more power around here,” Taurus chimed in.

“Jinsei-san has a point,” Leo added.

Seiya, seeing the injustice inflicted on StarFire, managed somehow to free himself from the earth prison StarLight placed him in and transformed himself into StarFighter, leaping to her rescue.

She knocked StarLove down, glaring at her. “How dare you hit her?”

“I don’t remember StarFighter being that overprotective,” Healer muttered to Pluto.

“If I recall correctly, these things have to have a model to work from. Seiya’s still intact,” Singer said casually. “Otherwise this thing wouldn’t be able to sustain this. He’s feeding off Seiya.”

“But Diamond said…” Venus said, puzzled.

“A bluff, Venus-chan,” Capricorn said. “A very large, very powerful; bluff. I can’t believe what I’m seeing. StarFire falling prey to a common illusion spell. No one back home would believe this.”

“If you won’t believe us, StarFire, then I’ll have to prove to you that this isn’t what it seems to be,” StarLove said. A long sword appeared in her right hand. “You know the Truth powers of my sword. Will you let me test it? If it’s really Seiya, then you have nothing to fear. However, if it is, indeed, an obake, then my sword will tell the truth. Will you let me?”

StarFighter looked at the two carefully. “Don’t let her,” Fighter murmured in her ear. “It’s a trick.”

“Are you afraid?” Fire challenged her. “If you are Fighter and Seiya, then you have no reason to fear the test of the Justice Blade.” She turned to StarLove. “Do it.”

“No!” Burning Star Shine!”

“Capricorn Silence Vibration!” Capricorn shouted. Her attack forced it back onto StarFighter, who, feeling the effect of her own attack, shrieked in agony. “Do it now, StarLove.”

“Libra Truth Reflection!” The blue gem glowed and shone a light at StarFighter, who tried in vain to avoid it. The light wrapped around her and revealed a black obake that cast no shadow in the light. It was vaguely human shaped and held an arm over where its eyes should be. “There. You see? It’s not really Seiya or Sailorstarfighter at all. It’s just one of An’ei Souku’s minions.”

StarFire looked from the cowering obake to StarLove and back again. “Wha? What just happened here? Where’d Diamond go?”

“You honestly don’t know?” Jupiter asked, amazed. “He vanished just before that thing turned into StarFighter the first time.

“I…don’t..remember,” she said, rubbing her head. “Explain it to me later when we don’t have to fight anything anymore for a good, long time.”

Uranus’s eyes gleamed wickedly. “Will do,” she promised, winking. Neptune elbowed her in the side.

The senshi walked forward, surrounding the now cowering obake. “Please, don’t hurt me,” it whimpered pathetically. “I’ll do anything you ask, just don’t hurt me.”

“We won’t hurt you,” StarLove promised, kneeling beside it, still holding the sword. “If you tell us where Diamond, An’ei Souku, and Seiya are we’ll help you, heal you, return you to your previous state. What were you before An’ei Souku corrupted you?”

It shook its head. “I don’t remember.”

“Fine. Just tell us where they are and we’ll help you, and then leave you alone.” KnightHisei said, getting irritated.

It nodded. “If you go up to the top, you should be able to find An’ei’s throne room, as well as the chambers of her higher ranking minions. The other ones like me shouldn’t bother you. Before I came down with them, they left orders that you were to pass unmolested should you, by some fluke, defeat me.” It hung its head in shame.

“There now. You’ll be all better in a minute,” Starlight said calmly. She stepped back. “Earth Healing Light!” she said softly. A green and silver light surrounded the shadowy obake. When the light cleared, a feminine figure slumped to the ground. She had long green hair and was wearing a sailor fuku with a red scarf, red front and back bows, a green tiara stone, blue boots similar to those Sailorjupiter once wore, and blue glove ends. There was a blue belt with a golden star shaped clasp over her green unpleated skirt. She moaned and rolled over, opening a pair of emerald green eyes. The two fire senshi, Leo and Pegasus, and SunArrow exclaimed and rushed forward, followed by StarFire.

“Who is that?” Mars asked Cancer.

“That’s Sailorsagittarius, Kajino Ryuu, who we’ve thought was lost to us,” was the reply.

StarFire left Leo and Pegasus to tend to the wounded senshi. “She’s weak,” she said to answer their unasked questions. “Too weak to travel on with us. SunArrow?” He looked over. “I’d like you to stay with her. You, Cancer, Leo, and Taurus, just in case an obake should show up, despite what she told us before we healed her.”

Cancer, Leo, and Taurus, despite wanting to be with their Guardians in the Final Battle against the Joudo Tengoku, they obeyed StarFire’s wishes, especially as their own Guardians told them that they should listen and stay, even though Leo and SunArrow were, technically, the only ones they could be ordered by her.

“So, we head off now?” Pegasus asked, spoiling for a good fight.

“The sooner the better,” StarSinger said, nodding. “They were expecting this to kill us, so we might have the element of surprise in dealing with them. If we hurry, we can catch them off guard.”

The senshi nodded, and, minus those with Sagittarius, they headed up the way she’d instructed, hurrying to the battle that would decide the fate of Earth and the homes of the Guardians.