Bishoujo Senshi Sailormoon: Infinity
Act 20 – Battle Part 3

“How many damn stairs does this place have?” StarFire cursed as they turned yet another corner. “If this keeps us, we’ll drop dead of exhaustion before we reach the top.”

“Mercury, do you think that this stairway might be an illusion?” StarMaker asked as they climbed. Her forehead was shiny with sweat. She tried wiping it off with the back of her hand, but the leather glove just moved it around.

Mercury turned her visor on and began scanning the surrounding area. “It looks perfectly normal, although this stone doesn’t look like normal rock.”

“What does it look like?” Aquarius asked, waling up beside her. The athletic young girl had no problem with the stair climbing and considered it a good way to make up for the lack of exercise while she’d been locked up in the cell.

Mercury showed her the readings she was getting on her mini computer. “I’m not entirely sure, Sailoraquarius. Do you recognize it? I’m certain you’d be more familiar with the types of rocks found in your home planets.”

Aquarius took the mini computer into her own hands and stared at the readings. “I think I know, but I must be reading this wrong.”

StarLight went cold, despite the sweat covering her body. “What is it, Aquarius?” she asked, waiting for her to catch up.

Aquarius showed her the readings. “The only thing I can think of that matches this is shadow stone, but that stuff is impossible to get your hands on, let alone make an entire palace out of.” She looked up. “Maybe they just lined the inside of the tower with it?”

StarLight took the computer from her and stared at it, cursing under her breath. “It isn’t shadow stone, Aquarius. Do you remember that old story? The one KnightLeo used to tell us when we were all much younger? Well, this entire place is made out of that stuff.” She turned to the rest of the senshi, who had crowded around. “KnightLeo used to tell us this story about a castle in a far away place that was made out of a magic stone. I forget what it was called as it was a very long time ago that I heard this story, but what it does is distort reality.”

“Like the reality version of a time warp,” Pluto put in.

“Yes, exactly, Pluto. I’m kicking myself for seeing this sooner. StarMaker, I owe you one for suggesting that Mercury do this.”

“If we both survive this, I’ll take you up on that,” Maker grinned. “Dinner and a movie? Your treat?”

StarLove frowned. “Maa! Taiki’s mine, Utano-sempai. Paws off!”

StarLight giggled. “Don’t look at me like that. She suggested it!”

StarMaker hugged StarLove. “Don’t worry, koneko-chan. I was only teasing.”

“Dinner and a movie sounds wonderful right now,” StarFire said wistfully, leaning against the wall, facing away from the other senshi. There was a slight quiver to her voice. Cassiopeia walked up behind her and placed a hand on her shoulder.

“We’ll get him back, sempai, I promise. We won’t loose him this time.”

“Arigato, Cassiopeia, minna.” Fire turned around. “StarLight, I remember the story you’re talking about. Singer, how was it beaten?”

“The warriors combined their strength and willed themselves to the top of the tower. We have enough senshi here that it won’t be as hard as it was when KnightLeo told it to us,” Singer said, coming alive again after the arduous climb. “Everyone, hold hands and think of nothing but reaching the top, getting out of the stair well.”

Nodding, the senshi clasped hands with each other, trusting the water Guardian to know what she was doing. Besides, it was better than climbing. They closed their eyes to concentrate and began to glow in their auras. When they’re eyes opened again, the stairs had vanished. They were, instead, standing in a throne room on a thick red velvet carpet.

“Welcome, sailorsenshi, welcome,” Diamond said, clapping his hands. “So glad you could make it. I doubted you’d remember that old story, StarLight, but it seems I was wrong.”

“You bastard!” StarLight yelled, lunging at him. It took the other three guardians and the remaining Juoukoku senshi to hold her back.

“Damn!” Pegasus swore in a most un-Sailorpegasus-like manner. “I keep forgetting how strong StarLight is.”

“You and me both,” Capricorn grunted with the strain of trying to hold the angry Guardian back.

Diamond laughed. “So, the traitor wants to fight, does she? Let her go, senshi, and we’ll see how well she does against me on her own.”

That seemed to calm her down to the point where they could let go. “You think I’m crazy enough to do that?” StarLight taunted. “They’d kill me for not letting them get a piece of you, too!”

The grin faded from Diamond’s face. What reply he would have made died with the arrival of a shadowy presence. The Queen of the Joudo Tengoku, An’ei Souku, had arrived. “My Queen, it seems you were right about StarLight’s memory.”

“I did tell you, didn’t I?” the cat like voice said from the shadows. “Diamond, we have guests. How rude of you to not entertain them. Show them proper hospitality, if you please.”

“As my Queen wishes of me,” he said, bowing to one corner of the room. Straightening, he launched himself at the senshi, shouting, “Ice Mist Encase!”

Some managed to dodge the solidifying mist, others got trapped. The senshi with powers dealing with Fire had to get them out while the rest distracted him. Not an easy task.

“Sagittarius Silver Arrow Flash!” Jupiter shouted, dashing to one corner then attacking.

“Virgo Aquatic Swirl!” Mercury said, going the opposite direction of Jupiter. Venus, who had gone with her sent her Pegasus Heart Flash at the same time.

“Life Force Encircle!” StarMaker pointed, her voice angry and deeper than normal. “This is for Seiya!”

“This is for StarFighter. Life Force Revive!” StarHealer shouted, joining StarMaker in front of Diamond.

Something unexpected happened. Following Healer’s attack, Diamond dropped to one knee, screaming in pain in reaction to the attack.

They all stared, puzzled. “What’s with him?” Saturn asked. She’d been trapped in the ice mist and had just been freed, along with Moon, Mars, StarLove, and Neptune.

“I dunno,” Healer said, staring, her green eyes wide. “I attacked, and he collapsed.”

“What’s your attack again?” StarLight asked. “You new one I mean.”

“Life Force Revive.”

“That’s it!” StarLove snapped her fingers, still moist from melted ice. “He’s not a natural follower of An’ei Souku, not like the Triplets and Quartzite. He’s like Obsidian, a forced convert to her cause.”

“The attack must be bringing back his old self,” Pluto said in amazement.

Diamond managed to get up. “That was a nasty little trick, sailor girl,” he sneered. “One you’ll live to regret. Blizzard Ice Rage!”

Healer tried to fend off the shards of ice with her hands, but it did her no good. She shrieked as the ice pierced her skin.

“Aries Spirit Ball!”

“Cassiopeia Heavenly Storm!” Mars and Cassiopeia attacked together, and managed to counteract some of the ice blizzard, but StarHealer was still being hit.

StarSinger threw herself in front of her and shouted something in the gibberish language she’d used months ago, before Jen’s disappearance. The blizzard stopped.

“How did she do that?” Neptune asked StarLight.

Capricorn, who was nearest to her, shrugged. “I’ve known her for a long time, but I don’t quite understand how she does anything, let alone know what it is.”

“She used a water power you idiot,” Cassiopeia said. “Water melts ice as well as fire. Diamond wasn’t counting on that.”

“Oh.”

“All she did was say, ‘Pisces Water Dragon’ in her own language,” Pegasus told her. “No need to get snarky about it Cassiopeia-chan.”

“Don’t call me chan!” Cassiopeia shouted at her, causing Pegasus, Neptune and Capricorn to giggle under their breath.

“Very impressive, StarSinger. What else can you do?”

“Water Wall Surround!” she said, gesturing. A 10-foot high wall of water surrounded Diamond. He started to sue his powers to freeze it as I swirled around. She nodded to StarFire.

“Flaming Circle Rise!” The ice melted, keeping him trapped inside. He could be heard cursing from inside.

He teleported out. “Very impressive, but that won’t keep me trapped for long.”

“Eternal Moon Angel Kiss!”

Sailor Moon’s attack hit him square in the back. He screamed in agony. StarFire and StarLight picked up on that and used their healing attacks on him, too.

“Eternal Fire Cleansing!”

“Earth Healing Light!”

An’ei Souku watched as Diamond writhed in agony as the three combined attacks tore through his body. His long silvery hair gained a blondish tint as Diamond returned to his normal self. She frowned and used her powers to block Sailormoon’s attack as well as StarFire and StarLight’s. She stood and gestured with her left hand, skin as black as a moonless, starless night sky. “Darkness Shield!”

The powers backlashed to their casters, causing them almost the same pain Diamond had been going through.

“Water Wall Surround!” StarSinger shouted, aiming at An’ei Souku in an attempt to block her shield. She managed to succeed long enough for the three besieged senshi to move so they could defend themselves.

An’ei Souku clapped her hands. “Very impressive, StarSinger. However, that won’t be enough to save all of your friends.” She smiled, and stepped out of the shadows. “Not even StarFire’s precious Seiya.”

The Guardians felt a cold spot grow inside their stomachs. This was their feared and hated enemies, the destroyer of many of the Juoukoku, some of them their home worlds, like StarLight’s Morisei. StarLove’s Kinsei and StarFire’s Hisei weren’t as bad, whereas StarSinger’s Umisei was no longer the same as it was before the war, and it would take many years and a lot of toil and sweat to return it to its former state.

An’ei Souku herself was, as StarLight figured, a human shaped black cat. Her hair was, oddly enough, a dark brown with dyed streaks in her bangs and at the top of the long ponytail that hung past her knees, tied at the top and bottom with a red ribbon. She wore a white dress with a single strap over her right shoulder. It slit on both sides at her hip, revealing her long, slender legs. Her feet were bare, but there were short purple gloves on her hands and a matching ribbon flowing from where it tied the colored sections of bangs at the back of her head. The tip of a long thin tail could be seen waving lazily at her side. Her eerie pure white eyes gazed down at them as she walked forward. In her hands was what, at first glance, appeared to be a weapon similar in structure to Sailorsaturn’s Silence Glaive. The staff part of it was similar, but that’s where the similarities ended. The blade of hers was dark purple in color with a red orb nestled between the two twining sections of the blade. The blade looked as if someone had taken the lower blade of the silence glaive and twisted it downwards.

She stopped a foot from her throne and stared at them, almost daring them to come closer. “Well, you’ve done better for yourselves than I would have thought, StarFire. You’ve managed to heal Obsidian.” She smiled mockingly at KnightHisei. “You’ve also retrieved several of the Juoukoku senshi, thought to be lost forever and healed Sailorsagittarius.” She sighed then. “I shall miss her, you know. She was such wonderful entertainment. I do dearly love to be entertained, you know.”

“Yes, well, we won’t be entertaining you today,” StarLight said, inspecting her left glove for specks of dust, a gesture meant to insult.

“Give Seiya back!” StarFire and the two remaining Starlights demanded.

“Is that what you want?” An’ei frowned. “A pity. I figured you’d come to try and destroy me.” She shrugged and sat down in her throne. Sitting on the dais beside her was Seiya, his deep blue eyes, normally so full of expression, were blank, empty, hollow blue circles. An’ei caressed his face and he sighed contentedly. “I can’t let you have him, you realize, StarFire. He’s mine now and no one else’s. I never could forgive you for taking Seikou-sama away from me like that, so now Seiya, his double, is mine, for all that he was originally female. Did you know about that? Hmm. I’d thought to scare you off with that, but oh well.”

StarFire felt sick. “Damn you! You were the one who instructed Diamond to kill him, weren’t you?”

An’ei looked at her, surprise and amusement crossing her face. “Of course. You don’t honestly think I’d be able to kill my love personally just to keep you from having him?” She snorted in disgust. “Could you do it if you were in the same position?” Fire turned a peculiar shade of green. “I thought not.”

“That’s beside the point,” StarMaker said, stepping forward. “Seiya is part of our team. You can’t take him from us!” StarHealer nodded in agreement.

“I can do whatever I please,” she said uncrossing then recrossing her legs the opposite way. “This is my domain and I am the law here.”

“What you do in your domain is none of our business,” StarLove said, walking towards the throne, going past her fellow senshi. “However, it’s when you interfere with the domains of others that we have problems. You didn’t have to destroy several of our worlds. Couldn’t we all just be friends?”

An’ei started to laugh. “Friends? How typical. If I’d ever had any doubts about whether of not you were your mother’s daughter they’d be gone now. I remember her being as idealistic as you’re being right now. Be friends with the bitches who rule the Juoukoku? That’s the funniest thing I’ve ever heard!”

“Can you answer a question?” StarSinger asked, being as polite as possible. “Why? Why did you attack us? We didn’t do anything to you or your people.”

“You want to know why?” An’ei asked, her tone dangerously low.

“While you’re at it, explain why our power Talismans are so important to you, why you want them so badly,” Light added, crossing her arms across her chest.

An’ei leaned back in her throne. “So, you want to know why, do you? You want to know the answer to everything? Well, if it will grant you any peace in death, I might as well tell you, as you’ll be dead soon anyways. The dead, after all, tell no tales.

“You might not be aware of it, but you do deserve all that you’ve gotten. Your precious queens refused to admit that my people exist. We were originally from the Juoukoku, but ten centuries ago, just as the oldest of your queens, Namida Taikai, was reaching her teens our ancestors were exiled for reasons that have been lost to your people and almost lost to ours. The then Queen of Kinsei, Kiyoshi Sei exiled our ancestors because of what she perceived to be evil magic being worked in our groups.”

“But that’s not right!” StarLove protested. “Great Grandmother Sei’s mother was the one to institute the law saying that there was no one true way to practice religion. The things your ancestors did weren’t bad at all! I know. I’ve studied that part of our history.”

“Have you now? Well, your ancestor did exile us with the aid of the other nine Queens, including your mother, StarSinger, and your precious Guardian StarInfinity. They believed that my ancestors were practicing dark arts, long forbidden by the first queens back when the Juoukoku were founded and allied under the Kinzuishou. They went to the farthest corner of the galaxy to hide from further punishment, settling on a planet orbiting the star known as Kocab in the constellation Ursa Minor. Some were able to make it back in as small children, but were exiled again for the crimes of their parents. Centuries passed and still we were denied entrance back into our ancestral homes. The elders declared war and we were raised as warriors from the day of our birth until the day we died.”

She stopped and looked down at them. “Do you have any idea what that’s like? Being trained as a warrior your entire life, not knowing anything else but war?” there was the faintest trace of tears in her empty white eyes. “It’s horrible! I remember wanting to be a singer, but I wasn’t allowed. Like my classmates I grew to hate you and your peoples for what they’d done to mine in the past. Somehow, I was smuggled back in under many powerful, undetectable spells to hide my true nature. My purpose was to find followers, either sympathetic to our cause or to make them follow me against their will. I was the Queen and had the power to do that if the need arose.

“I’d heard the legend of the Juoukoku senshi and the Guardians, but never really believed it. The four talismans brought together granted immortality and complete power to the one who possessed them, or so we were told. After some poking around, I discovered this to be not legend or rumor but the truth. This would be the perfect revenge for the injustices inflicted on my ancestors. Take the Talismans of the Guardians and gain this power for myself and destroy the Juoukoku. I reported back to my people in secret and told them of my invasion plan.”

“Where does Seikou fit into this?” StarFire asked impatiently.

“I was just getting to that,” she growled. “Have some patience. Anyways, while I was searching for followers, I went to the senshi academy on Kinsei and looked there. There are always those who are dissatisfied with the rate at which they progress through the ranks. Those kinds of people make perfect candidates. Then I met Seikou.” She sighed at the memory. “He was perfect in every way imaginable. Tall, dark haired and blue eyed, everything I pictured my ideal man to be. It was only natural that I fall in love with him on sight. Then I saw you, Kasei, clinging to his arm, laughing at his jokes, receiving his praises and smiles. He had eyes only for you and never saw me watching, never realizing I had eyes only for him. I thought that if I could rid myself of you that he could love me as I loved him. Imagine my joy when I discovered that your older sister was Hihana, Sailorhinote. It was a simple matter to arrange for her death and you to be put in her place as the next candidate for fire guardian. That would make it easier to get to you to kill you. I was even happier when it was you that became the new Fire Guardian. When it came time to extract your Talismans, you would watch your companions suffer first, and then it would be your turn, having it taken out slowly over several days, as I did to StarLight when I finally got my hands on her during the war.” She looked at StarLight, the evil gleam back in her eyes. “Oh yes, StarLight, I remember that still. Don’t you?” She laughed as StarLight’s green eyes flashed in rage and remembered pain. She growled softly as An’ei continued.

“Once I’d found enough followers, I returned to my people, who waited just beyond where Mugensei’s orbit is supposed to be. We would have attacked there first, but, as you’re well aware, that planet is impossible to find half the time. So we started on Morisei. It was a simple matter to collide its only moon with the planet. Yes, so very easy.” She was deliberately antagonizing StarLight now. “You were also pathetically easy to subdue. It was unfortunate that StarLove saved you, but that gave another Guardian to practice my techniques on, refining it for when I finally had StarFire in my grasp. Yoake Yuki was my easiest conquest though, matched only by the ease of capturing Utano Ryoushi, your precious Ototo-chan, ne, StarLight?”

StarLight stared. “Iada! He’s dead. I saw him die!”

An’ei clapped her hands and giggled in delight like a schoolgirl. “That’s the best part. That was one of my minions, disguised as him. It was so much fun to pull that trick on you. It made you so much easier to take.

“And as for Seikou…Well, he quite simply had to die. I couldn’t let you have him, StarFire. You didn’t deserve to have him, not after the crimes your family committed against my people. I tried to bring him over to my side, but it didn’t work, so I instructed Diamond to destroy him.”

StarFire collapsed to her knees, unable to stand and listen to An’ei Souku casually describe, in detail, how Seikou was killed. Sailormoon, Mars, StarMaker, and StarHealer, knelt beside her. She shook her head, not entirely wanting to accept what she was hearing, but knowing she had to listen, needed to hear this.

An’ei went on to describe some of the greater atrocities her people had committed in the name of revenge, including the capture of several Juoukoku senshi. Several of the Knights had been taken and killed just for fun, their starseeds taken as macabre trophies.

StarLove, bravely fighting the urge to be violently ill, stepped closer to the throne. “I really do feel for you. I don’t understand why Queen Sei exiled your ancestors. Now that I know why you attacked us, I don’t hate you as much anymore. You will, of course, understand that I will still feel anger at what you did to us, but I can’t hate you as a person or a people.” She extended her hand. “Please, can’t we be friends? As a Guardian, I can make a formal request that you’re people be allowed back to your homes so long ago abandoned and as Heir to the throne of Kinsei, I can add extra weight, pulling on those queens and heirs that aren’t senshi. The four of us can convince the Queens that you aren’t your ancestors. Children should not be punished for the crimes of their parents.”

“A nice sentiment, but hollow,” An’ei sneered.

“Chigau!” StarSinger said with an emphatic shake of her head. “We wouldn’t lie about something like that. It’s one of the laws that children aren’t to be held accountable for what their parents have done. The same law would apply to you if you wanted to ask for it.”

“You really expect me to believe that?” An’ei sneered, stroking Seiya’s hair. “You must think me to be a fool, StarSinger.”

“Not a fool,” StarSinger said calmly. “Just lonely and deprived of a normal life.”

“Silence!” She stood, accidentally knocking Seiya over. He still smiled at her adoringly. “I’ve heard enough of your chatter. Diamond, get rid of them!” she commanded.”

Diamond, whose hair was still blond as a result of the triple attack, stood and nodded. “As you command, my queen.”

The senshi braced themselves and, sure enough, another Ice Mist Encase assaulted them. Only two got trapped this time: Mercury and Pluto. While Mars and Cassiopeia worked to free them, the rest attacked Diamond. Venus, Uranus and Pegasus managed to score on his left arm, which only served to irritate him further. He sent an ice blizzard to attack them, while the two Starlights and sailor Moon snuck up behind him.

“Life Force Encircle!”

“Life Force Revive!”

“Eternal Moon Angel Kiss!”

The combined attacks knocked Diamond to his knees, clutching his sides. His hair got more blond and lengthened a little. The color in his left eye changed slightly, too, from blue to a blue-green. His right eye was almost completely green.

“What’s going on?” An’ei demanded. “What’s wrong Diamond?”

“I don’t know my Queen,” he said, hissing in pain.

“Well, get up you fool and attack them!”

Diamond somehow managed to stagger to his feet, but a swift kick from Cassiopeia sent him flying into a wall. He grunted as the impact knocked the breath from his body.

StarHealer, StarFire, Starlight, Sailormoon, and StarLove immediately surrounded him, backing him into the corner when he tried to move out.

He glared at them. “How dare you! Blizzard Ice Rage!”

“Fire Blaze!” StarFire countered, melting the ice before it could hit them. “Try again, Diamond,” she sneered.

He paled and backed into the corner. “Tasukete, An’ei-sama!” he begged.

An’ei Souku turned her cold eyes on him, stroking Seiya’s hair and face. “Surely you can’t be afraid of a sailorsenshi and three Guardians, now can you?” she asked coldly. “You are my most powerful general for a reason Diamond. You killed Akai Seikou, the most powerful of the Juoukoku Knights, so I’m certain you can deal with these pests. They are, after all, only girls.”

Diamond straightened. “I will do my best, my queen.”

“Take your best shot,” StarLight said casually.

He lunged at her, giving a mighty battle cry. She smiled and dogged. He tried to recover, but failed miserably. He turned and charged again. This time she connected her left hand with the back of his neck, not hard enough to knock him out, but hard enough to cause pain.

He winced. “I’ve about had enough of you.”

“Really now?” StarLove said, raising a blond eyebrow. “What are you going to do about it?”

“You’ll regret that, little girl.”

“I doubt that very much,” StarHealer said. “You talk big Diamond, but can you really do what you say?”

“I can and more,” he said, puffing up with pride. Whether or not he was bluffing was up for some debate.

“Well?” StarFire taunted. “We’re waiting.”

Moon tugged on her glove. “Is that such a good idea?” she asked, a small sweat drop forming on the side of her head.

“Trust us.” StarFire said to her. “We know what we’re doing. If he really is Ryoushi, then there’s just one way to deal with him, something that not even the amount of brainwashing he’s been though can change.”

The other senshi looked on, wondering how this fight was going to end. Some were rather nervous, namely the Juoukoku senshi, who’d seen first hand the kind of horrors Diamond was capable of. The outer senshi looked on with apprehension. If the three Guardians, Sailormoon, and StarHealer couldn’t beat this one, then it was up to them and everyone else to do it. The inners were mainly concerned for their friends’ safety.

Diamond kept flinging attack after attack at them, most blocked or deflected. Some scored. Likewise for his opponents. Most of theirs were sent to meet his, but the odd one got through. It was an even battle, and neither side would admit it.

Finally, StarFire decided that she’d had enough of this. “That’s it! I’ve had it!” she said, startling the others into stopping. “Let’s get this over with, shall we?”

“What?” StarHealer asked, blinking her wide green eyes.

“On my count, use your healing attack.”

Diamond paled even more and tried to vanish into the corner

“Eternal Fire…” Fire started.

“Eternal Moon Angel…”

“Life Force…”

“Earth Healing…”

“Justice Truth…”

“Cleansing!”

“Kiss!”

“Revive!”

“Light!”

“Reflection!”

The four attacks converged into one giant ball of multi-colored light and hit Diamond square on. It grew to envelop him completely. They could hear his scream of pain. They had to shield their eyes from the fierce brightness of the light. When it cleared and everyone could see clearly, Diamond had vanished, leaving a strange young boy that looked identical to StarLight, but for three things: his hair was a bit more towards the blond color, his eyes were a darker green, and his hair style was slightly different, but they were otherwise similar.

“Stars!” StarLight groaned. “Ototo-chan!”

“That’s your ototo-chan?” Sailormoon asked quietly. “The one An’ei Souku was talking about earlier?”

StarLight knelt beside her older brother, nodding numbly. “Ryoushi? Can you hear me? It’s me, Okami, your sister. Wake up, Ryoushi. Onegai!” Tears were forming in her eyes. “Onegai!”

“So, you’ve found him at last, ne, StarLight?” An’ei Souku sneered. “Well, now the Morisei twins can die together, just like the Hisei twins. Aren’t families wonderful.” She grinned evilly.

“We won’t loose to you,” StarMaker said defiantly.

“You invaded out home world,” Neptune added, straightening.

“We won’t forgive you for that,” Saturn said, swinging her glaive around and pointing it at An’ei Souku.

“For all the dead back home, we will punish you!” the Juoukokus said together, posing.

“For the love of StarFreedom, we will defeat you,” The Guardians, minus StarLight, who was still with her brother, said, also in unison.

“We will get Seiya back from you,” StarMaker said.

“No matter who he happens to look like, he’s still our friend and team mate,” said StarHealer.

“Oh, so you plan on fighting me?” An’ei asked.

“No, not fight you.” StarLove told her. “Heal you of all the pain you’re feeling, of all the rage, all the anger, all the negativity that has ruled your life. Haven’t you ever wanted a friend?”

“A friend?” An’ei asked, her eyes going wide with longing. “How I’ve longed…” her eyes narrowed again. “You’re trying to trick me!”

“Chigau!” StarLove cried. “Please, let us help you!”

“Don’t you remember?” Sailormoon asked her. “What it was like to dream? Didn’t you want to be a singer when you were little?”

An’ei collapsed to the floor, sobbing. “Damn you!” was all she could say.

There was a gentle hand placed on her shoulder. She looked up to see Sailormoon leaning over her, a friendly smile on her face. “It’s all right. I’ll be your friend if you’ll let me. We all will. Just open your heart, remember what it was like when you were younger, what it felt like to dream, and we can help you.”

“An’ei-sama,” a weak voice said from where the man formerly known as Diamond and starlight were. He stood, dressed in a suit like KnightHisei’s, but in the colors of silver and green instead of red and black. “Trust in them. They can help you. You don’t know this, but you never could have won. In order for the four Talismans to grant you what you desired, you needed the Kinzuishou, which only the heiress to Kinsei possesses. When Yumeko-chan went missing, her mother kept it safe. They were locked behind my barrier, but, because my powers have been shattered, they’re free now. An’ei-sama, let them help you. I joined your side of my own free will, let you capture me. I wanted to help you, ease your pain in any way possible. In becoming Diamond, my purpose was lost. Now, as KnightMorisei, I remember why. I’ve wanted to be your friend, An’ei-sama.”

An’ei’s eyes went wide as he walked forward and kissed her gently. “Imouto-chan, minna-san, help her. I think she’s ready.” He reached for her hand. “Daijobu. It only hurts if you resist it, if you aren’t ready.”

She nodded and agreed to let them do this. “I’m ready,” was all she said.

“I’m glad to hear that,” a new voice said and StarInfinity walked in, Sailors StarDancer and StarDreamer in tow. “Sailorsenshi, Guardians, Knights, join me in healing her. She needs all your help now. We senshi with healing powers can’t do it alone.” She turned her violet eyes to the newly healed Utano Ryoushi, KnightMorisei. “Welcome back, Ryo-chan.”

He bowed elegantly. “Arigato, StarInfinity-sama.”

“Infinity Spirit Power!” Guardian StarInfinity shouted, and began to glow in her dark purple aura.

“Fire Cosmic Power!” Guardian StarFire shouted, and began to glow in her scarlet aura.

“Justice Cosmic Power!” Guardian StarLove shouted, and began to glow in her light teal aura.

“Water Cosmic Power!” Guardian StarSinger shouted, and began to glow in her dark cyan aura.

“Earth Cosmic Power!” Guardian StarLight shouted, and began to glow in her leaf green aura.

“Hisei Star Power!” KnightHisei shouted, and began to glow in his blood red aura.

“Morisei Star Power!” KnightMorisei shouted, and began to glow in his silver aura.

“Moon Eternal Power!” Eternalsailormoon said, and glowed in her pink aura.

“Mercury Eternal Power!” Eternalsailormercury said, and glowed in her pale blue aura.

“Mars Eternal Power!” Eternalsailormars said, and glowed in her red aura.

“Jupiter Eternal Power!” Eternalsailorjupiter said, and glowed in her green aura.

“Venus Eternal Power!” Eternalsailorvenus said, and glowed in her orange aura.

“Uranus Eternal Power!” Eternalsailoruranus said, and glowed in her dark blue aura.

“Neptune Eternal Power!” Eternalsailorneptune said, and glowed in her aqua green aura.

“Pluto Eternal Power!” Eternalsailorpluto said, and glowed in her dark red aura.

“Saturn Eternal Power!” Eternalsailorsaturn said, and glowed in her purple aura.

“Healer Star Power!” Sailorstahealer said, and glowed in her green aura.

“Maker Star Power!” Sailorstarmaker said, and glowed in her dark purple aura.

“Capricorn Star Power!” Sailorcapricorn said, and glowed in her gray aura.

“Cassiopeia Eternal Power!” Sailorcassiopeia said, and glowed in her light yellow aura.

“Pegasus Crystal Power!” Sailorpegasus said, and glowed in her icy blue aura.

“Cancer Star Power!” Sailorcancer said, and glowed in her pale yellow aura.

“Aquarius Prism Power!” Sailoraquarius said, and glowed in her orangey-yellow aura.

“Air Power!” Sailorstardancer said, and glowed in her bright pink aura.

“Wind Power!” Sailorstardreamer said, and then glowed in her bright yellow aura.

“Senshi Power Unite!” they all shouted as one.