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Prologue ( Setsuna has just returned to the Time Gate after the battle with the Scouts and Knights. She is exhausted.) Setsuna slowly lifted her Time Staff, tapped it twice and in a flash she was back at the Time Gates. Reenie saw how pale and haggard she looked. "Puu did you have a good vacation" Reenie asked concernedly? She had never Seen Pluto looking this bad before. Setsuna looked at Reenie and managed a weak smile before replying. "No Small Lady. I didn't.," Setsuna said tiredly. Reenie just looked at her again and shrugged, Setsuna said, with more of her usual calmness, "I am ready to take up my duties again. Thank you for watching the Gate, Small Lady." "Your Welcome Puu." said Reenie cheerfully. "I'd better be going now. Mommy and Daddy witll probably be worried about me.," Reenie said. She turned and waltked to the door that lead to her home. She turned around briefly and waved to Setsuna. "Bye Puu, " Reenie called and disappeared with a flash. "Bye Small Lady," Setsuna called back to the fading image. Setsuna thought to herself. When Reenie got back to the palace, her mother was waiting for her in the palace garden. "Did you have a good time guarding the gates? " Neo-Queen Serenity asked curiously. Reenie looked at her toes. and answered, " Yes, Mommy. I had fun guarding the gates for Puu." "Reenie, look at me." her mother said. Reenie looked up. Catching sight of Reenie's worried expression, Queen Serenity asked, "What's wrong Reenie?" She replied, "Oh Mommy. I'm so worried about Puu. She told me that she didn't have a good vacation and she looked Awful," Reenie wailed worriedly. "Dry your tears little one, I'm sure that she's allright.," Queen Serenity said soothingly. "Mommy, Can you consult the Crystal and see what's wrong with Puu," Reenie asked drying her tears. "I'll do it right now."Queen Serenity promised. "Crystal, What is wrong with our friend Setsuna?" the Queen asked. The Crystal replied, "Do not fret Your Majesty. Someone is coming to help her." She told Reenie and Reenie smiled. "Let's go see Daddy now." They both said, and off they went into the Crystal Palace. A couple of days later, at the gates. Setsuna was walking along the Time Corridor and thinking about Carlyle's words that night at the restaurant. <"Is the timestream really more important than happiness? Is that All you care about?> Carlyle had questioned. Echoing her words of that night outside the restaurant, she unknowingly cried aloud, "Yes it is. It's All it Can be for me." Hearing herself cry aloud startled Setsuna. She continued her walk, pondering Caarlyle's words and turning the question of duty/happiness over in her mind as well. Meanwhile, In the Past, Kevin had just returned from an outing with the other Scouts and Knights. Darien had walked home with him and Kevin had invited him in for a moment. "So Kevin, You and Setsuna still aren't together?" Darien asked. "No we aren't. I want to be with her, but she said the Time Stream is more important to her than I am. While I *CAN* understand her wariness, it doesn't change how I feel about her!" Kevin said frustratedly. "Well I hope it works out for you two." Darien said. "Yeah, me too!" Kevin sighedd sadly. "Listen, I'm sorry, but I have to leave." Darien said apologetically. "I promised I'd meet Serena's family for dinner tonight." Darian stated. Kervin smiled quietly, and wished Darien the best of luck. "Bye Kevin, " Darian said over his shoulder as he walked out the door. "Bye Darian. See you tomorrow!" Kevin called back to the departing figure. After Darian left, Kevin thought to himself, He shook his head, as if to clear his mind, but no relief came. Thinking aloud, Kevin said, "Why is it that Setsuna thinks so much of duty and not happiness?" Finding no answers in the air, he sighed again. Just then a strange light appeared, and a Voice spoke,"Do not despair Young One!" It said. The voice was firm, yet soothing. It seemed so familiar somehow..... "Who are you,"Kevin asked wonderingly. "I am the first Time Guardian." The Voice answered. "My name is Anna, and I can give you some insight into Setsuna and why she is thinking this way. For you see I am her mentor, her teacher, and friend. I know her thoughts even better than you do." The Voice sounded amused. Kevin gasped. How did *IT* know about his bond with her. He had never shared that with ANYONE! There was more to this, so he decided to test it. "How can I be sure you will tell me WHY she thinks this way? "Are you sure you want to hear so sad a tale Young One?" The Voice asked. "Yes I am. I'll do anything to win her, but I fear it impossible!" Kevin said unhappily. "Nonsense." The Voice, or Anna as we must now call her said. "It is perfectly possible, but we must both travel to the Time Gate. Follow in thirty minutes Young One. " Anna instructed firmly. "Never fear, We will win your love." she said soothingly. "Come, I must be off. Remember thirty minutes." Anna said. The light faded and as it faded so did the voice. Kevin looked at the clock. This would be the longest half-hour of his life. Meanwhile at the Time Gates, Setsuna was unsucessfully trying to put Carlyle and his troublesome words out of her mind. She was also getting frustrated with herself for not being able to do so. She was also frustrated with herself for even thinking that happiness was more important than duty, or even thinking about this at all. "I wish I knew why this is so hard for me? "Why can't I have both? Why am I even thinking about this at all? What is wrong with me?" Setsuna questioned aloud. Just then the spirit of her friend and mentor Anna approached her. Setsuna boomed as she always did. "Halt! Who dares to enter the Gates Of Time without permission?" "Hello child." Anna says. "Anna" Setsuna said warmly. "It has been so long. It is good to see you. Why are you here? Surely this is not a social call?" She teased lightly. "I am here to help you with your problem my child." Anna stated. "Your Knight wishes to understand this problem too, I have invited him here to join us so we can solve this problem. In order to do so I must restore some memories that I took away to spare you both pain. This will help you both to understand." Anna said calmly. Any further discussion was interrupted by a new arrival. "Ah, Here he is now." Anna commented. "Hello Setsuna,"Carlyle said nervously. "Greetings Carlyle, "Setsuna sad icily. *Man*, Carlyle thought to himself,*The icicles in her stare and voice could freeze the universe, but I am determined to see this through. I Will win you Setsuna!* The Pursuit of Time 1 Setsuna, Carlyle, and her mentor Anna are at the Gates of Time talking) Anna said" Now that we are all here we can get started. "How are we going to solve this problem?" Setsuna asked curiously. "Tell me also. I would like to know too." Carlyle stated. "In order to solve this dilemma. I must restore some of Setsuna's memories. I took these memories away to spare you both pain. I also wanted to give Setsuna some peace and a measure of happiness. She really didn't have either as a child. That comes first. Second, You must both put on these necklaces. They are very important for what we are doing!" she said firmly Setsuna held the necklace in her hands. It seemed to glow with a similar sort of energy that coursed through the time corridor. She looked at her mentor and friend as she asked: "Anna, just what is this supposed to do?" Anna looked at her and said: "These necklaces will allow us to view the past, without causing any ripples in the time stream. This is *crucial*, because of the extremely fragile nature of the stream. We will be able to see and hear all that occurs, but, we will leave no trace of our visit." Carlyle's ears perked up at that little exchange, as he and Setsuna slipped on the necklaces. He thought to himself: Anna looked at him through the corner of her eye, and smiled to herself, but, said nothing. Anna then asked, "Are you ready to go my children? "Ready" they said in unison. They closed their eyes and in a flash of light, they were gone. When they opened their eyes, they saw that they were standing in front of a beautiful castle. It was made from gray stone with limestone accents on the doorway arch and the columns. It was very beautiful. Setsuna recognized it immediately. "That is Charon Castle," she said indifferently with just a trace of sadness. "I know child" Anna soothed gently. Carlyle had recognized it too, but he decided not to say anything after hearing Setsuna's reaction to being home. He thought to himself, Carlyle was shocked when Anna responded to his thought. "Young One, that is part of the reason we are here now." she said. Carlyle was shocked, he asked himself in disbelief. Anna looked at him, grinned widely, and nodded, before continuing on. Carlyle figured that the best thing to do would be to let her lead the way and see what unfolded. "Smart boy." Anna muttered quietly to herself. They started to walk toward the castle, but instead of going in the front door, they went around the side to the palace gardens instead. Upon entering the gardens, they came upon a group of five children and their parents. The parents were sitting on several stone benches and smiling at their children. When they decided to take an even closer look, they saw that four of the children were playing, while the fifth child was sitting and staring at the wall. The little girl, who was about five or six years old, looked wistfully at the others, wanting to join in, but knowing that she wasn't welcome in the group. As they watched the group of children, Setsuna gasped. "What is it Setsuna?" Carlyle asked frantically. "I'm all right. I just recognized that girl. That's me," she said in shock and sadness. "Yes child it is" Anna crooned soothingly. "Why is she alone and unhappy? Carlyle asked curiously. "Do you remember now child?" Anna inquired. "Yes I do" Setsuna replied sadly. "Will someone tell me what is going on here?" Carlyle asked firmly. "I will" Setsuna answered. "That child is me. I am alone, because of my visions. The visions that I get of things happening to time are mainly because I'm the time guardian. I never really learned how to handle the visions and I'd just blurt out what I'd seen, not realizing that no one believed me." Setsuna said sadly. Just then a shout from the children startled the group. "Look, you guys. If it isn't Setsuna the weirdo" One child taunted. "Yeah, Weird Setsuna having visions again," another child said nastily. "Yeah look at her with that green hair. Only someone with green hair could be so weird." Another child laughed. The other child, a boy, hadn't said anything at all. "Hey Carlyle, the first one said, " Why haven't you said anything?" another child asked. Both scout and knight *gasped* in surprise at hearing the one child call out Carlyle's name. Setsuna, because she hadn't believed *HOW* long he had been watching her. Carlyle, because apparently, Anna had blocked out some of *his* memories, as well. The young Carlyle still said nothing. He got up and slowly turned and walked away into the castle. The others were confused and wondering why Carlyle hadn't said anything. they wondered thoughtfully for a minute or two. But, soon they forgot and went back to their game of taunting Setsuna. As the group watched a crying Setsuna ran past them. The other children cheered, as the adults looked on smiling. The children had succeeded in making Setsuna cry. The grown-up Setsuna turned to Carlyle. "Why didn't you say anything?" She demanded tearfully. Carlyle replied, "I couldn't. I loved you and I didn't want to hurt your feelings any more, by saying something myself. I left as soon as I could so that I didn't have to hear anymore taunts. I have *always* regretted not being able to say anything in your defense. I know that you probably won't believe me, but I loved you then and I love you now." Setsuna merely turned her head away, at which point Anna then spoke up. "Alright now my children, let's go into the palace and check on Setsuna to see what is happening to her." she said, and off they went in search of the young Setsuna. They came into a large hallway, and were about to leave it, when Setsuna spoke up. "I remember where my room was. Follow me!" Anna and Carlyle followed her to a rather small room on the far side of the palace. When they entered Setsuna's room, they found the younger Setsuna crying alone on her bed. "What kind of parents would let their daughter cry all alone?" Carlyle demanded. "Hush, Young One, You are about to see" Anna said sadly. "Setsuna!" her mother called. "In here mother, the younger one answered. A woman walked in the room. She wore a gown of greens and blues, that flashed with the light. The crown upon her head appeared to have been polished brightly, so that you could see your reflection in the crown. Her black-green her was wound tightly in a bun, and supported the crown. She wore a scowl upon her face, as she addressed the crying child in front of her. "Setsuna, if you'd stop having those silly visions and start acting like a princess, the other children would like you more. " Her mother said. "You are a disappointment to me. I wish you could be more like your sister Rialla." She sighed. "You have embarrassed me beyond belief. You will stay here with no food at all until our guests leave. Is that understood?" her mother demanded. "Yes, mother" Setsuna said sadly. "Good" her mother said cheerfully. "You know, she continued," You have only yourself to blame for having those silly visions that don't exist." her mother commented. After her mother left, the young Setsuna cried herself to sleep. Carlyle shook his head in disbelief at the way Setsuna's own mother had treated her. He wasn't sure *WHICH* had been more cruel, though he was beginning to get an idea of what growing up was like for the youngest member of the royal house of Pluto. Setsuna stared at the child for a short time-reliving the pain of that moment, before turning away from both of her traveling companions. "Is this all you have to show us here?" she asked in a tight voice. Anna nodded. "I think that it's time we left this experience." She said, and in a flash of light they were gone. The characters in this story do not belong to me. They belong to DIC and the creator of Sailor Moon. Except for Pluto Knight, he belongs to Lord Talon who has generously given me his permission to use him. Thanks to Lord Talon and Lady Jupiter for all help and support. Now on to the story....... Part 2 As Anna and her charges arrive at the next experience in Setsuna's life, Anna notices that Setsuna is a little pale. "Are you alright, my friend?" Anna asked concernedly. "Yes, Anna. I'm fine." Setsuna replied. Carlyle was worried also. He thought to himself "Setsuna, Are you okay?" Carlyle asked worriedly. Setsuna looked at him. She could see the worry and the caring in his eyes. She thought to herself She let that thought trail off, and smiled. "Thank you for your concern, Carlyle, but, I am fine. How are you holding up? " She asked. "Well, outside of finding out most of what I thought was my past wasn't true, and I spent most of my time during childhood watching *you* getting mistreated by Renea and Rialla. Add on to that, I am not certain what of my past is true and made up, I'm doing just fine!" He looked at her, and immediately regretted his words. "Sorry, Setsuna. Didn't mean to dump on you. I'm o.k. Really, I'm fine...beloved" Carlyle said quickly. He wanted to get the endearment out before Setsuna caught it. He succeeded. Then Setsuna looked into his blue eyes and smiled at him for the very first time. Carlyle was so stunned that it took him a minute to understand that Anna was saying something to the two of them. "Now children, we are here. This experience will be just as sad as the other one was. Are you ready to see this experience?" Anna asked them. "Yes we are." They said together. Setsuna could see Charon Castle in front of her once more. By this time, Setsuna had stopped mentioning her visions to anyone but Anna. She also saw Carlyle or rather his younger self as he was practicing his sword skills in the courtyard of the castle. Soon, Carlyle and Anna joined her to watch the events unfold. As Carlyle was practicing, he heard a terrible commotion, with a lot of shouting and carrying on. He looked up to see what it was, and spied the three Royal women of Pluto. The Queen Mother Renea, The elder Princess Rialla, and trailing behind, with her eyes to the ground, the youngest Princess: Setsuna. He smiled to himself when he looked at her. He thought. He looked again at the approaching Royalty. Although Rialla was the *FLOWER* of the court, she was too much like a flower, too fragile and surreal to suit him. Someone with more exotic looks like Setsuna suited him much better. He looked up again. This time eyeing the approaching Royalty with humor. "Ah, I wonder what has got the collective Royalty upset. Too bad I missed whatever it was. (Looks at them getting closer) Guess I'll find out soon." he said, and grinned again. Quickly he ceased his routine, spun around and bowed before the three approaching women."Good Afternoon, Queen Renea, Princess Rialla, Princess Setsuna. What brings you out here today?" he asked. Queen Renea gave Carlyle her most imperious stare before demanding. "Squire Carlyle, Is this rumor true?" "What rumor might that be?" he asked calmly. "You will address me as Your Queen." She said Imperiously. "Did I not just do so, Queen Renea?" Carlyle asked. "NO, YOU DID NOT! YOU, Oh never mind!" She threw up her hands in frustration. If she didn't know better, she could *SWEAR* that he did this *just* to annoy her. Carlyle just shrugged. "As you say, Queen Renea." Renea glared at him again, before continuing. "The rumor that I am referring to is the rumor that when you are done with Knight training, You will be SETSUNA'S protector, not Rialla's." She stated. His face took on a surprised look. "Is that what has dragged Your Majesties' from court? Yes, Queen Renea, It is true. Since you and Princess Rialla are off visiting other kingdoms, this leaves a huge gap in security for Princess Setsuna. Since she *IS* A royal Princess of Pluto, she will need a KNIGHT to protect her and I was given the job." he said calmly. "But why not be *my* knight?" Complained Rialla. Carlyle looked at her as if she were speaking nonsense. *YOU* will be ruling Pluto, yes?" he asked. "Yes!" shouted both Rialla and Renea. "Well, you will have the whole palace guard to protect you, Princess Rialla. You do not *need* me. Setsuna *WILL* need protection when she leaves the castle. Therefore I was given the job. Will that be all, Queen Renea?" Carlyle asked. The Queen looked at him with narrowed eyes, "Who gave you this job?" She asked dangerously. "The King and the Academy Council. In fact, they insisted that I take this job. Will that be all Your Majesties?" He asked again. Inwardly he was laughing at being able to cause some frustration for the two most selfish and frustrating people on Pluto. "Go! We will discuss this later" The queen commanded. He bowed again and walked away, still laughing to himself. "Girls, entertain yourselves. I'm going to have a talk with your father." So saying, the queen left the courtyard. Rialla then turned to Setsuna. She stopped for a moment to wonder to herself She then focused her attention on her favorite pastime: Lecturing Setsuna. "Now Setsuna. You know that Princess Serenity of the Moon Kingdom is to visit. Keep those stupid visions to yourself. The Princess won't want to hear your nonsense. In fact, keep your distance from her altogether. Don't show your face unless you have to. I must talk to mother about arranging a dinner tray for you during her visit so you won't embarrass us during dinner. I want you to promise that you will stay away from the princess. I do not want her to see you at all, you will just humiliate Mother and I. Now promise!" She demanded. "I promise." Setsuna said wearily. Rialla nodded and continued "Also, There is a ball coming up. You do not have to show your face at this function either. Mother and I expect you to remain in your room for the evening. Why you aren't like me is a mystery. She continued, You will not get any food until the ball is over, because Cook will be too busy to bother with you. Go to your room and stay there. I will talk to Mother about the arrangements." Rialla stated in an imperious tone, similar to their mother. "Yes Rialla." Setsuna said, and off she went dragging her steps. Elsewhere an argument could be heard taking place between the King and Queen. King Timelon and Queen Renea were arguing about the issue of Carlyle being Setsuna's Knight. It was apparent that Renea wasn't too happy about the arrangement. "Why have you chosen Carlyle to be SETSUNA'S Knight? She's a freak. She doesn't deserve a Knight. She never goes anywhere. She never *will* go anywhere. So why does she need a Knight at all?" The Queen demanded furiously. "Our daughter is *not* a freak. She is also a Princess, and as such needs a protector. Carlyle is the only person besides cook who hasn't belittled or teased or hurt her in any way. She needs a friend. That is why I've chosen Carlyle. He shall remain her Knight Protector. You will not change my mind and you will cease calling our daughter a freak and a humiliation. Do I make my self *CLEAR*?" the King shouted. Renea opened her mouth to say something more, but Timelon silenced her with a look that said "End of Discussion". There was only one thing for the Queen to say: "Yes, your Majesty." She bowed, and went off thinking to herself< This is not over, yet. > She promised herself. She has a certain status to uphold as the queen of Pluto and she refused to let this slight to her daughter's honor go. As she made her way through the halls, she heard Rialla calling out to her. She thought annoyingly. Rialla caught up to her, and told her what she had told Setsuna would happen. The Queen approved the arrangements for Setsuna's confinement during Princess Serenity's stay. After seeing these events, Carlyle asked, "Is that all they do around here, belittling and scolding Setsuna" He shook his head in disbelief as to the rotten treatment she received. "Yes it is. I spent most of my days either being scolded by my mother or sister on how to be a princess and not to have visions. Anna clucked her tongue sympathetically at her friend. She then said," Are you ready to move on and see more of this experience my children?" "Yes." they said as one, and off they went to the dining room to see what happened there. They had guessed that Setsuna would be crying in her room. They were right. They thought they'd be able to understand more of what had happened. That night at dinner, Princess Serenity said curiously, "Don't you have two daughters? Where is...Setsuna? That is her name, correct? " "Yes," the King asked, "Where is Setsuna tonight? I thought that she'd be joining us for dinner?" The Queen replied, "Setsuna has already eaten. I never know how she'll react, so, I have forbidden her to associate with polite company. Besides she is being punished for not being a proper Princess." Rialla then said to the Princess, "Setsuna isn't much to look at and she has no charm or grace like you have." She said in her most flattering voice. "I see." The princess commented dryly, and, nothing more was said. The conversation moved away from Setsuna to other topics through dinner. Soon the princes excused herself to go to bed. The king decided that he and the Queen would have this out on the morrow. And off to bed they all went. On they way to her bedchamber, Princess Serenity heard crying coming from one of the bedrooms. The Princess stopped walking. She heard a strident voice coming from that same room. The voice whispered loudly, "Be quiet Setsuna! Do you want the princess to hear you? Now shut up, you stupid girl. What are you crying for anyway?" The voice demanded Setsuna stopped crying and answered, "I never received my dinner tray." She lamented. "Well its too late now." the voice continued. The group watched as they saw Rialla come out of Setsuna's room and go to her own. Someone else saw her too, Princess Serenity. The next morning, Setsuna crept quietly out of bed, dressed and went down to the kitchen. Cook, who liked Setsuna, realized what had happened as soon as she heard Setsuna's stomach growl. "Now child, you just sit down and Cook will fix you some nice hot breakfast." she said lovingly. Cook just shook her head in frustration. She could not understand why the Queen mother and Elder princess were so cruel to her. As Setsuna sat down, Serenity walked in the kitchen. The Princess said. "Good Morning. I smelled something good and came down to investigate." "Good Morning, Your Highness." Setsuna said as she curtsied. She sat down again and resumed eating as fast as possible so that she could get away from the princess before her mother and sister came down for Breakfast. She succeeded, and she ran away from the table and outside as fast as she could. The Princess, who had never seen anyone do that before and was a little hurt asked the Cook, "Was it me she wanted to get away from?" The Cook replied," No child. It wasn't you, really. It was her mother and sister she wanted to get away from. She was forbidden all contact with you by her mother and sister. If she had gotten caught it would have meant no food the rest of the day." Cook just shook her head again. "Oh dear. I want to make friends with her." The princess said. "Then, you'll have to make sure that her mother and sister aren't around when you try to do so." Cook told her and resumed her work. At this point, Younger Carlyle accidentally overheard the conversation between the Cook and Princess Serenity. Upon learning that Setsuna had had no food at all the night before, he became incensed. The Queen had lied. He ran off to tell the King who would be absolutely furious at the news. He was forced to wait until later, because he was in audience. Unnoticed by everyone, Carlyle's eyes began to change to a light shade of violet, from their normal crystal blue. Meanwhile, The Queen and Princess Rialla had a feeling that Princess Serenity would try to see Setsuna so they just pretended to go on a visit and instead hid in the rose bushes to watch what would take place. "Setsuna *MUST* not be allowed contact with the Moon Princess. Her weird visions will *RUIN* any chance of an alliance between our houses!" Queen Renea hissed. Rialla only nodded in agreement, and they continued to watch. Serenity approached Setsuna slowly and carefully. "Your mother and sister are gone for a visit, surely we can walk a bit." She suggested. Setsuna reluctantly followed, and they went on a walk. Suddenly, and without warning Serenity jumped on Setsuna and tickled her. Setsuna laughed and began to respond in kind. Unbeknownst to the laughing girls, Rialla and Queen Renea were watching this scene with growing anger. However, King Timelon and Carlyle were also watching. The King was happy to see his daughter laughing and smiling. Carlyle was simply entranced. Wanting to leave them to their fun they quietly crept away. On the other side of the garden, Rialla and her mother were not so happy to see this. They decided to destroy Setsuna's fun. So they proceeded to walk back in the castle like they had just come back from their trip, and caught Setsuna disobeying. The Queen yelled, " Setsuna, You have disobeyed me. Go to your room. You are forbidden *ANY* contact with Anyone again. You will not receive food for the rest of the day. In a little while I will come up there to lock you in." She then turned to her other daughter and said "Rialla, make certain she gets there." "Yes, mother." Rialla replied, and she marched Setsuna off to her room. Renea then turned to Princess Serenity "Now, Princess." Renea continued in a calmer tone. "Are you sure that you want to associate with my freak of a daughter? I did warn you about her. Because you encouraged her to this foolishness, I'm afraid I have to switch your room to the other wing. I must ask that for the rest of your stay that you have absolutely no contact with her at all. She is not a good person for someone of your grace and beauty to be around." She said in her sweetest smile. Serenity looked at it, and felt she might be sick! The queen then left the garden and went up to lock Setsuna in. After she had left, Princess Serenity went in search of the King. The King was in the throne room hearing audience. Serenity respectfully waited for her turn. Since she was the last person, the King took her to his office. "Now child, What is the matter? Last time I looked I saw you and Setsuna were having a good time in the garden. So, tell me what happened child?" Serenity told the King everything that had happened. When she finished the King was furious. The King called Carlyle in and told him what had taken place. "Your Majesty," Carlyle said, "I have a hunch, that this is mild in comparison to what has happened to your youngest daughter thus far!" "Exactly what do you mean by that, Young squire?" The king asked. Carlyle then told the king everything that he had overheard that morning. The king then became even more furious. He'd have them locked in their own rooms, and see how they would like it. Younger Carlyle, with a supreme effort managed to calm the king down, as he needed him to be rational for what he *knew* could possibly send the king over the edge. He then suggested that they talk to Cook, to see what plans had been made about the ball. The king agreed, and they went in search of Cook. The Cook told them what Setsuna had told her about the Ball. How she wasn't supposed to be there at all, that she wasn't supposed to have any food until the ball is over and that the Queen had locked Setsuna in her room for the night and the duration of Princess Serenity's stay. After hearing this, the king was stunned. He had had no idea that Renea and Rialla had taken it to this level. The group followed Setsuna upstairs and watched as she got locked into her room. As she was locked in, Setsuna was treated to another scolding from her mother. "You selfish girl. This wouldn't have happened if you'd kept your distance. You've forced us to take these measures." The Queen said furiously. "Now you will never see Daylight or food again. You have brought this on yourself. Come Rialla. Let us leave. We have a ball to prepare for and Carlyle to snag before the night is over." Queen Renea said cheerfully. The two went out the door and locked Setsuna in. Setsuna threw herself onto her bed and cried for a bit. She then got a determined look in her eyes. Aloud, she shouted, "This is the last straw. I can't take any more pain. There is only one option left to me and I must take it to ease the pain." Setsuna then climbed out the window and ran for the cliffs as fast as she could. As the group was watching this, Carlyle commented to Setsuna, "So this is this was the first time you met Serenity, right?" "Yes." Setsuna replied sadly. As Setsuna turned away to keep her eye on her younger self, Anna sadly told Carlyle, " It's such a shame. Those ten minutes were the only happy moment she had here as a child." "Are you serious? This can't be the only one?" Carlyle asked in disbelief. "Yes child, I'm sure." Anna said sadly. Setsuna turned back to Anna and Carlyle and asked, "Shouldn't we follow my younger self to the cliffs?" Carlyle asked himself< What did Setsuna mean by ending all the pain? She couldn't have meant Suicide, Could she? > Anna responded to his thoughts again. "Yes Young One she could and she did. We better get over to the cliffs to see what happens." So they ran and caught up with Setsuna before she got to the cliffs. As they were running they saw two others join the chase. Princess Serenity and Younger Carlyle had noticed Setsuna headed for the cliffs with a determined look on her face. Both were wondering what she was doing. They soon got their wish. They gasped in horror as they saw her prepare to throw herself over the edge of the cliffs. "SETSUNA! NO! DON'T!" Serenity shouted. "SETSUNA! STAY AWAY FROM THE EDGE!" Carlyle shouted. He quickly turned to Serenity and said "Your Highness, Run for the castle! Get the King at once! Hurry!" Serenity ran for the castle as fast as she could, thankful that Rialla and the Queen were busy elsewhere and couldn't make things worse. As soon as she reached the throne room, the guards saw her and opened the throne room doors for her. As soon as the king saw her, he cleared the throne room so that she could tell her news in private. "What is it child?" the king asked soothingly. "Take a couple of deep breaths so you can speak." the king said. By this time, Serenity had calmed down enough to speak. "Your Majesty, Setsuna's trying kill herself at the cliffs. We need you! Hurry!" The king called for a couple of guards and the four of them ran for the cliffs as fast as possible. Meanwhile, at the cliffside, The younger Carlyle was trying to talk Setsuna away from the cliffs. "Princess, Can you tell me what has happened to make you do this?" he crooned gently. "No one is mad at you. No one will hurt you I promise. We'll just talk okay." "Yes." Setsuna replied. The younger Carlyle thought to himself "When you're ready Princess, I am here to listen." She tells all about what's gone on with her and why she wasn't at dinner last night. She talked about the fact that her last meal was that morning. That her mother and Rialla punish her by depriving her of food. How they broke up the only happy moment she'd ever had and sent her only friend away. "I just can't take their nagging and lecturing anymore. Do you know what I mean?" She asked tearfully. "Yes Princess I do." he said soothingly. Meanwhile, Serenity, The King, and the group had come up behind her. The King, having heard everything was absolutely livid with anger. He knew he had to calm down or he'd scare his own daughter. "Sweetie, its Daddy. I know everything. We can fix this together okay? Please, come away from the edge. Give Daddy and Carlyle your hands, and we'll pull you back. I'm not mad at you sweetie. I love you! Please come back from the edge, okay? " Reluctantly, Setsuna gave Carlyle and her father her hands and they pulled her away from the edge and into a hug. Though no one could see it, Carlyle's eyes briefly flashed from crystal blue, to a fiery maroon, as he contemplated what he thought of the Queen and her precious *flower*! "Sweetie, Why didn't you come to me with your problems?" Setsuna's father questioned gently. He couldn't believe that things were so bad for his youngest daughter. "Because I didn't know that I could." She replied hesitantly. "Who implied that you couldn't?" "Mother and Rialla." she replied. "I didn't even know that you loved me." Setsuna said tearfully. The King was shocked. He could not believe that things had been this bad for her. "Who or what implied or told you that I didn't?" He asked. She replied, hesitantly " I never thought you did, because you didn't stop the nagging, and the hurt. I needed you to hold me and tell me I was special and I wasn't a freak or a disappointment to you, and you weren't there." With that, she collapsed in young Carlyle's arms, sobbing uncontrollably. His face was a mix of disbelief and fear, but, he held the crying princess, murmuring words of comfort to the girl. After hearing Setsuna's answers to his gentle questions, Setsuna's father was an absolute ball of sheer rage on the inside. Outside however, he remained calm and gentle as he reassured his daughter of his love for her. "Next time, Come to me if you have a problem. Okay sweetheart?" He asked, and she nodded, with tears still streaming down her face. The king collected his thoughts for a moment, and then asked "Is there anyone that you've confided in about this?" "Yes Daddy. Anna the Time Guardian," she said. "Anna's my friend. She doesn't think that my visions are nonsense. She says that I get them because I'm supposed to be the new Time Guardian." Setsuna smiled at her father, and at Carlyle, happy in the knowledge that she was not unloved. "Now Setsuna, Are you sure that's what she said." he asked. "Yes Daddy, I'm sure." Setsuna confirmed. The king was silent at this response. Anna, was supposed to be the guiding force behind many successful kings on many planets, but, her existence had never been proven. Suddenly, a column of silver light appeared in front of the small group. When the light subsided, a woman stepped forth. She was garbed in A similar fashion to the priestesses of ancient Pluto. There could only be one woman who matched her appearance. Anna, the guardian of time. "Hello everyone, Your Majesty." She curtsied to King Timelon. The king asked "Begging your pardon, Guardian, but, I need to know something. Is what my daughter telling me true?" "Yes your Majesty it is. It was I, who suggested Carlyle to be Setsuna's Knight. Because of all the pain she's been through, I wanted her to have someone of her very own, who cares for her. I have succeeded, but I warn you both that it will be a long road that will take centuries before the two of you will be together. Do you accept this role?" Anna asked Carlyle. Carlyle answered without a moment's hesitation. "Yes I do." he said firmly. "That is, assuming the princess *wants* me as her knight Protector!" He added. Her answer was a small blush that rose to her cheeks, as she nodded in affirmation. The king smiled at this scene. His youngest daughter would be safe. He suddenly remembered *why* his youngest was out here. "If you will all excuse me. I'm going to have this out with Renea. I've heard enough and it is high time that things changed around here." So saying, the king started to leave but before he left he asked his daughter one more question. "My dear one, Did your mother and sister say where they were headed?" "Yes father, they said they had to prepare for the ball tonight and to also snag Carlyle for Rialla" Setsuna said. "Thank you my dear. Oh, Do you have a dress for the ball tonight?" "No Father, I don't." Setsuna answered. He then turned to Princess Serenity who was watching this scene with great interest, unsure of what she should do to help. "Remedy that at once. Princess, You and Serenity choose a gown for this evening. My daughter's first ball gown must be special." The king commanded. He then turned to the young man, who *still* had his arms around the youngest princess. He chuckled quietly to himself, as he saw the *she* wasn't letting go, either. "Carlyle, You will provide escort." The King ordered. "Yes Your Majesty," They all said. Then, the King departed. The others went off to search for a ball gown for Setsuna. All but Anna. She went to prepare the memory-erasing spell that would be needed later this night. ****** Anna looked at the two before her. Setsuna's eyes were moist at this scene, while Carlyle's eyes had a haunted look to them. She then asked, "Should we follow Setsuna or the King?" Setsuna and Carlyle decided to follow the King. "I want to see this." Setsuna said. "I too would like to see this." Carlyle said. ***** Rialla and her mother were in Rialla's room finishing up preparations for the ball. " That dress looks beautiful on you. Carlyle's sure to notice you. He really doesn't have a choice with Setsuna out of the way, not that she was ever really in the way to begin with." The queen laughed. Rialla joined in the laughter they shared. "That stupid girl! Thinking she'd ever have a chance at such a handsome man as Carlyle. She's a freak. She's nothing and I intend to make him see that Tonight. It should be relatively easy..." Her voice suddenly trailed off, as something caught her eye. "What is it dear?" The queen asked. She turned to look. There, in the doorway stood the King. But, it was a King that neither had ever seen before. His face was a study in pure rage. It was so terrifying that both women cowered before him. And when he spoke, it seemed the entire room shook. The King asked furiously, "If what were relatively easy? I expect an answer RIALLA! NOW! IF WHAT WERE RELATIVELY EASY?" He roared at the two of them. Hesitantly, Rialla replied, "Stealing Carlyle away from that freak Setsuna." "YOUR SISTER IS NOT A FREAK! " the King roared. The Queen protested weakly, "But she is of no use to us at all. She is nothing like Rialla and is a terrible princess. She cannot converse with polite company, mix socially. She knows nothing about clothes or parties or entertaining. All she does is mope around the castle, embarassing the family. She really shouldn't go, as she just does not fit in!" The queen insisted. "AND WHO'S FAULT IS THAT?" The King boomed. In a quieter tone, He ordered Renea "Tell me, whose fault is it that she knows nothing of these trivialities? Or do you even know? Do you even understand or are You under some misguided notion that you are helping to ensure the survival of the Royal family by trying to force Carlyle to be Rialla's Knight or is it even about that? You want him to marry her, don't you? Do you even *KNOW* him?" He demanded. The queen looked shocked "Of course I do. He is among the top 5% of the class for this year. He has most of the proper court manners, and he is from a very *noble* family. What more is there to know?" She commented, disbelief evident in her eyes. "WELL I WON'T STAND FOR IT!" Timelon roared again. I"... "Excuse me, Your Majesty, but Carlyle awaits you outside." A page interrupted. "Thank you. You may go now." Timelon commanded. The page bowed his head, and left the room. The king then turned back around to his wife and irksome daughter, and favored them with a dark look "Wait here! Don't move!" the King ordered. He then went outside where the young Carlyle was standing. "Yes Carlyle, what news do you bring me?" Timelon asked. Carlyle replied, " We found Setsuna a ball gown." "How does she look in it?" "I don't know. Serenity wouldn't let me see her in it." Carlyle replied. "Personally, I think it will be a lovely gown, but, one is the same as another to me." He shrugged before continuing "It's probably better that I don't, as I'm sure Princess Serenity wants Setsuna to look her best, and, Setsuna deserves all the happiness she can get, after dealing with the Queen and her elder sister" Carlyle indicated the couple just inside the room. "Have you heard what's been going on here?" Timelon queried. "Yes, Your Majesty. I've heard everything." Carlyle said. "Majesty, I have an idea. Let's expose them at the ball. Remember Anna said that Setsuna's powers as Sailor Pluto should surface sometime tonight. She also said that my battle mage powers should emerge as well. It will be interesting to see how those two take the fact that Rialla will not be Sailor Pluto or the Time Guardian. Also, I think a little embarrassment and humiliation should be good for them. What do you think?" Carlyle asked. Timelon laughed, as he pictured the faces of his prideful Queen and Princess. "I think it's a marvelous idea. Let's do it!" Timelon agreed enthusiastically. "It just might serve as a humbling experience for those two" He finished as a broad smile remained on his face. The Younger Carlyle looked at the king and then asked, "May I have permission to tell Rialla off right now? Imagine me wanting anything to do with someone so selfish." Carlyle requested, and the king nodded his permission. Carlyle then went into the room, and at the sight of Rialla, he became quite angry. "How dare you call *my* Setsuna a freak. You are the one I want nothing to do with. I could never marry someone as selfish and Self-centered as you." Carlyle thundered. Rialla started "But, Carlyle!" she protested lamely "I said NEVER. Now if you'll excuse me, I'd better go and change into my tux." He said calmly. "Now, As for you two. I'm putting a guard on this door. You will remain here until it's time for the ball. Is that clear?" the King asked. "Yes Your Majesty. It is!" They said together. The King placed the Guard and left the chamber. As the group was watching this, Carlyle had noticed the opulence of Rialla's room compared to the smallness and plainness of Setsuna's. He was going to comment but decided not to when he saw Setsuna's dismissive glance at the room. He thought to himself Once more Anna responded to his thoughts saying "Yes Young One, I think that you have got it. We must finish this now for Setsuna's sake. She needs to understand herself and she has not yet. Also there are more things she must know and understand. Our journey isn't over yet. Now we must go to the ballroom where this experience will climax." Anna stated, and with a flash they were gone. The ballroom was beautiful. It was made of white marble inlaid with green jadeite. Large table were set up with food and there was an orchestra playing in the corner of the room. The Queen and Rialla were introduced first. Then the King and Carlyle appeared. Princess Serenity was next. Everyone thought that was all of the introductions for the evening. Boy, were they ever wrong. Suddenly there was a burst of fanfare, and Setsuna was announced. Her mother's and sister's face held classic shock, and then envy. Setsuna's dress was strapless, showing off her lovely shoulders. The bodice was low cut to show her cleavage. It had a long black skirt, with a green sash at the waist. She had green ivy in her hair and green on her high heels. She looked stunning. Carlyle was absolutely speechless. His jaw dropped, his palms were sweaty, and he couldn't catch his breath. He thought to himself< Oh Man! Wow! I was so right; she's beautiful, And she's all mine. > Carlyle went to meet Setsuna at the bottom of the staircase. He turned to the King who nodded with a smile. Carlyle then led Setsuna out for the first dance of the evening. He also made sure that she'd be able to dance with him all night by throwing away her dance card. He smiled as he thought again< Now, I've taken care of all the other men here tonight. Now she truly is mine. No one else will be dancing with her tonight but me! > They continued moving through the dance. "You know, you dance very well for someone that never learned how." Carlyle commented casually. "Thanks." Setsuna replied shyly. They danced every dance and even had supper together. Midway through the ball, the King called everyone to a halt to make an announcement. Speculation was rife as to what the announcement was. All stared in disbelief as His Majesty announced his planned divorce from Queen Renea and his removal of his oldest daughter as the heir of the throne. He then installed Setsuna as the new heir. The looks on Queen Renea and Rialla's faces were priceless. Their mouths were agape and they couldn't speak a word. Their confusion and disbelief rose even more when Anna appeared and commanded Setsuna to Henshin yo! Setsuna did so shouting 'Pluto Planet Power" In a flash, Setsuna was gone and A new Sailor Pluto had taken her place. At almost the same time, Carlyle's tux began to change into the uniform he wore as Pluto Knight. Both of them were quite shocked and upset at these changes. They griped a bit, but what could they do? As Setsuna and Carlyle turned from the throne and powered down, Soon-to-be former Queen Renea and the now former heir Rialla tried to get a quick word in private with Setsuna, but the King saw this and interrupted forcefully. "You will behave for the rest of this evening, Or the punishment could be worse. Do you *BOTH* understand?" He asked, with the hint of danger, present in his voice. "Yes Your Majesty" they said and curtsied. As they moved off, Renea muttered under her breath" This is *NOT* over. I'll get the wand from that no-good freak and give it to it's rightful owner." She and Rialla took their places on the dais for they knew they'd get rid of Setsuna and sit there again or so they thought. They had no idea that It'd be the last time they sat there. *EVER! * Meanwhile, Carlyle and Setsuna had stopped dancing and walked outside to look at the stars. "They're beautiful. Look you can see the constellations from here. Aren't they amazing and lovely?" Setsuna exclaimed with a smile on her lovely face. Looking at her, Carlyle was again struck by her beauty, and not just the beauty of her face and form, but the beauty of her soul. As he looked into her lovely violet eyes, he whispered," No, You're beautiful, my sweet Princess." "Call me Setsuna" She said almost inaudibly as she looked into his clear violet-blue eyes. Carlyle nervously asked "Will you swear an Oath with me, my Setsuna?" "Yes, Carlyle. I will. Why don't you go first?" she replied. Carlyle started the oath with the words," Even though we're just starting out. I know that this is meant to be. We'll be together for all eternity. So swear I" Setsuna took over with" I know this to be true. I can always count on you. So swear I." Together they finished the oath " This we swear by all that we hold Holy. So swear we both." They heard some strains of music coming from the ballroom. Carlyle asked" My Princess, Shall we go inside?" Setsuna replied "Yes, my gentle Knight. Let's" They moved back inside the ballroom to the sweet strains of a song. As they entered they ballroom, they began an intricate dance. The words of the ballad, like a vow between two lost loves, touched both of their hearts, as they sang to one another: Well here we are again. I guess it must be fate We've tried it on our own But deep inside we've known We'd be back to set things straight I still remember when your kiss was so brand new Every memory repeats Every step I take retreats Every journey always brings me back to you After all the stops and starts We keep coming back to these two hearts Two angels who've been rescued from the fall And after all that we've been through it all comes down to me and you I guess it's meant to be Forever you and me After all They exchanged a brief smile with each other and continued: When love is truly right (This time, it's truly right) It lives from year to year It changes as it goes And on the way it grows But it never disappears (Chorus) After all the stops and starts We keep coming back to these two hearts Two angels who've been rescued from the fall And after all that we've been through it all comes down to me and you I guess it's meant to be Forever you and me After all (Bridge) Always just beyond my touch Though I needed you so much After all, what else is living for? As they sang the chorus, a final time, the crowd erupted with a loud cheer. Meanwhile, on the dais, The King was watching his youngest daughter with pride and satisfaction, thinking to himself He thought with small amount of satisfaction, and gave a soft chuckle at the expression on the boy's face. Next to the King, the Soon-to-be former queen and Rialla weren't as happy. They looked at the happy couple with bitterness and anger. The King saw the look and smiled. Setsuna and Carlyle kept dancing and enjoying themselves until it was time for supper. Carlyle and Setsuna ate supper together and danced every dance until the ball was over. Carlyle kissed her hand, and then left to see the King and to get some air before bed. They parted with Carlyle going to see the King and Setsuna going to her room. As they parted, Rialla and Renea gave each other a look, and quickly departed after the young couple. *** Later, after the ball was over, the observing Trio watched a very happy Setsuna walk to her room, for once, happily. As Setsuna walked into her room, she felt that she could literally float on air. First, her mother and sister had been denounced in front of the whole court. Then, Father had made *her* the heir! Finally, Carlyle had been made her protector officially! *Her* Knight of Pluto. She smiled and a small blush rose to her cheeks. Sometimes, when her mother had locked her into her room, she would just look out the window to lose herself in the clouds, and then, her gaze would fall to the courtyard where HE was practicing. She still did not understand the feeling he evoked in her, but, she welcomed them nonetheless! As she began to get ready for bed, her bedroom door was flung open, and in strode a VERY ANGRY soon to be former Queen of Pluto. "WHAT did you think you were doing, Setsuna? You stole your sister's birthright AND her throne! How could you?" she demanded. At first, when the queen strode in, Setsuna became panicked, as old feelings rushed to the surface. But, in mid rant, the Queen's words began to stir a long dormant fire within the second princess of Pluto. "How could I? Mother, you and Rialla have been shaming and punishing me for things that are part of my destiny! The question is: How could YOU? Those visions were all part of being the Sailor Scout of Pluto! It was *MY* birthright to inherit this title. As for the crown, *I* don't want it! However, since father has given it to me, I can hardly resist!" She said with a smile. She was clearly enjoying herself. "NEVER! Rialla was the firstborn. She should receive the power of the throne AND the protector. Rialla should be the one to lead Pluto into the next mansion of glory. My daughter and Pluto *DERSREVE* the best!" Reena declared hotly. "What of me, mother? AM I not deserving of any of this?" Setsuna asked quietly. "Certainly not! *YOU* are nothing but a contemptible misfit, who I had the misfortune of bearing! Now, hand over the wand, so that it's *TRUE* wielder can receive it's power!" Reena demanded, and extended her hand. "No." Setsuna said quietly. "I SAID, HAND IT OVER! NOW!" Reena yelled, and she backhanded Setsuna. AS Setsuna was sent sprawling, the last bond of empathy she had for her mother snapped! Reena was no longer her mother, or, even the Queen of the planet she was sworn to protect. She was an *ENEMY*, and there was only one way of dealing with an enemy. Setsuna reached into subspace, and bid her mother a final, quiet farewell, as she removed the wand. "Good. Now, give me the wand, so that Rialla will receive it's power. Do it quickly and I might let you have dinner tonight." she ordered. Setsuna rose to her feet, and extended the wand in her mother's direction, only to use it, as the queen reached for the wand. "PLUTO PLANET POWER!" As the forces coalesced around Setsuna, the energy pinned the startled queen against the wall. As the transformation finished, an object appeared in Setsuna's hand. It was as tall as her, and shaped like a giant key. The Time Staff. Setsuna glanced at it for a moment, and then pointed it directly at the queen. "Dead Scream" she whispered softly, and the blast shot out of the staff, as she made the attack. Fortunately, for the queen, she leapt out of the way, before the attack destroyed most of the wall where she had been standing. Setsuna pointed the staff at the now cowering queen on the floor "You have always made fun of my predictions. You called me a freak and a disappointment. You did things to punish me that I did not deserve. I should just *KILL* you for all the misery you have put me through, but, I see that you are too important to the weave to eliminate at this time. IF I decided to in the near future, I could eliminate you OR Rialla, and *no one" would ever know. However, for this day, that is *NOT* your fate. Instead, like Rialla, you shall be driven from Pluto, never to see home again. You will *never* again wear the finery of nobles, and each planet you visit will shun you, until you end up on a Backwater planet, that is too far away to have any impact on what we will do here. You will serve as a nursemaid to Rialla's whining brats, and you will die on that world, just as Rialla does, wearing servant's rags" With that last statement, Reena picks herself up, and bolts through the door, her face a mask of terror. Setsuna nodded to herself. *One problem down, several more to go! * She thought. Her eyes suddenly went wide, as she felt a burst of power. "Carlyle" She whispered fearfully, and rushed from the room. Meanwhile, Carlyle was very pleased with himself. Not only had he helped his king change princess Setsuna's life for the better, the king had declared in front of witnesses, that HE would become her Knight. He wasn't sure at what point the princess had captured his heart, and he really didn't care. She was a little young, but there would be time for all things. He would finish training, and become a *True* knight, and perhaps... he shook his head, and let hat thought trail off as he reminded himself that to attempt to rise above yourself, only caused you to be light-headed, and rash. That never accomplished anything! Suddenly, he a noise to his side. He looked around, and found his feet had led him to the royal gardens. The noise became more clear, as he focused in on it! What he saw, shocked him beyond belief. Leaning against a tree was Rialla, Setsuna's sister. She was calling to him. Carlyle shook his head and walked over. "What do you want, Rialla? You have already lost your claim on the throne? What possible reason do you have for talking to me?" he demanded. "Come now," She purred "Surely you can understand this?" she posed suggestively. "Don't bother. The only thing *you* could get from me, outside of Nausea, is a good laugh!" he snorted. Her eyes went flint hard at that. "How *DARE* you speak to me in that fashion! I may not be the heir, as is my right, but, I am *STILL* a princess of the Royal house of Pluto. You will give me the respect my position is due!" She demanded. "HA! The only thing you *DESERVE* is a long vacation on a barren moon, trying to hunt for your food. A serving woman deserves more respect than you." He said. Her hand lashed out and slapped him across the face at that remark. "You DARE insult Royalty? I shall have your head for this." She screeched. He looked at her, and began to laugh "What will you take my head with? A nail file? Perhaps, a hairbrush? No, wait. I know! You'll take it with your eyebrow pencil" He laughed again. Again, her hand lashed out, but this time, Carlyle caught it. He looked at her, his blue eyes cold. "Have a care, Rialla. Know that I do not respond, only because you are my future Queen's sister and it would cause her great displeasure were I to do anything to you!" He warned her. Then her eyes took on a crafty look, as she smiled at Carlyle. "It is you who should have a care, Carlyle. Do you think that simply because I no longer have a right to the throne, that I will not have an influence in the court? I will be my sister's Royal Advisor. I will advise sister to many misfortunes. I also have many supporters among the Nobles. When the time is right, I shall resume my rightful place, and lead Pluto on to greater glories. My first act will be to strip Setsuna of her title, and then, in front of the populace, I shall have her beheaded!" She said with a smirk. Carlyle gasped at that statement "You can't be serious!" He asked her, incredulously. "I am *deadly* serious, and you will join her on the headsman's block, *IF* you do not agree to come with me." She stated. "But, she's your sister!" He said. "That *FREAK* is not *MY* sister!" She said with a sniff of disdain. "Freak" he said softly. "Freak" he repeated again, the word was spoken louder. "FREAK" A shout this time. "FREAK!" he yelled. "YOU CALLED HER A *FREAK*" His voice was contorted with rage. "Yes, I did, and I..." The words died in her throat. Carlyle's hair had gone from a rich blonde, to an ashen white, and it was glowing. His normally clear, blue eyes, had turned into angry violet discs of energy. They were also glowing. In fact, Carlyle himself was glowing, as the mystic energy coursed through his body, making him appear twice as big as he normally was. Random bolts of energy split of from the mass buildup, striking trees, rocks, and assorted material. Each bolt that struck something instantly turned the offending item into charred ash. Rialla had never been more scared in her life. "You presume too much Rialla!" He said in a hollow voice "You are assuming that I will let you *LIVE* that long. You have been waving your presumed power around like your perfumed hair or a fancy gown. I am now going to *FIX* that problem" He stated and the violet orbs narrowed. "DRAIN" He commanded, and her luxurious dark hair quickly lost all of its luxurious color. The orbs narrowed again. "CHANGE" He again called out, and her elegant party gown was turned into a dirty, grime stained, scullery uniform, that was torn in a myriad of places. The orbs narrowed a third time. "You called your sister weird for having visions of the future. She is *NOT* the only one, Rialla. Shall I tell you yours? You and the sow that spawned you will be driven from here and every other civilized planet. Hated and shunned, you will marry a drunken fop, who will squander most of his possessions in tavern after tavern. The three of you will eventually end up on a backwater mud ball, where survival will be a daily concern. You will *DIE* in the rags you now wear, only after giving birth to a monster, who will be as selfish and as despised as you. You will *NEVER* know happiness again, and if you even *THINK* of returning here in an attempt to usurp the throne from your sister *I* will personally take you to the gate of time, and throw you in, where you will spend an eternity in madness and pain! Now, leave and never darken this planet with your presence again!" He thundered at her. At the last pronouncement, she turned and ran screaming into the night, hoping to avoid the fate he foretold. As the last vestiges of mystical energy dissipated, Carlyle slumped to the ground, breathing heavy. For a long time, he did not move, save only for the rise and fall of his chest. When he finally regained enough strength, he got up, and walked towards the king's chamber's, knowing himself, that he had just cost his future queen the support she would need in the time of crisis. "Forgive me, Setsuna. I must now atone for my actions!" He whispered quietly, and walked slowly back to the castle. Carlyle watched as Rialla faded from sight. He knew that he *HAD* to tell the King what had happened. So he slowly walked inside the castle to the throne room where he found Setsuna telling her father all about the confrontation with her mother and how her powers had surfaced. Upon hearing this, Carlyle slowly approached the throne. Feeling his presence Setsuna turned around to see his dejected and sad face. "Why Carlyle, Whatever is the matter?" the King asked gently. "Sire. I have done a great wrong. Rialla came to me outside to try and get me to be *Her* Knight again. She said that she still had enough influence in the court that she'd one day regain her position and behead Setsuna. I got angry and my powers surfaced. I told her that she'd never wear the clothes of Nobles again. I changed her dress into rags and her hair color from black to white. I'm sorry Your Majesty." Carlyle lamented. "Oh lad, I really hate having to do this to you both, and after you've found each other too. However, have hope for Anna did say that someday you two would be together. Here is thy punishment Carlyle, Tomorrow, You will go to Hades to study with Anselm, the old battle mage. He can teach you much that you should know. " The King ordered. In a kinder tone, the King continued," Now, You two. You have the rest of the night to spend together with one Exception. My daughter had still better be untouched come morning." The King commanded. "Now be off with you now." King Timelon said gently. They both bowed, and quietly left the throne room, where the king was still seated He thought to himself, as a small tear, quietly ran down his cheek. Carlyle and Setsuna moved into the garden. They stopped, took each other's hand then continued walking. They walked in the garden looking at the stars and sharing their love for each other. *********** Meanwhile, The group watching this, was also extremely moved by it. For the first time, Carlyle made an attempt to try and close the distance Between the two of them. Queitly, he slipped his arms around her, and held her. She tensed briefly, but, relaxed into his embrace, as silent tears ran down Her face. Anna smiled at this, and she thought to herself< It's about time! Those two are *finally* starting to click. Isn't it wonderful! > They all turned back to watch the young lovers spend their last moments together. The younger Setsuna and Carlyle had stopped under a tree. They were kissing for the first time. Toward dawn, the young lovers parted. "I must pack, my princess." Carlyle quietly stated his heart heavy with sadness. "I wish that you didn't have to go!" Setsuna lamented. "Know always that I love you" They said together. They kissed once more and then parted. As Carlyle left to pack, Setsuna quietly stared at the garden, her heart breaking again! Lost as she was in her despair, she did not notice ANNA, the guardian of time, slipping up behind her. While Setsuna's back was turned, Anna quietly cast a spell on the young princess, who slumped to the ground. "Forgive me, my young friend. But, I can not allow you to retain this memory. You must forget all you ever knew about the young knight. Perhaps, in the future, You may be re-united. But, for now, you must retain no knowledge of his existence" She whispered to the unconscious princess. She then picked up the young Princess, and carried her back to her bedroom. Carlyle looked at Anna, his blue eyes beginning to shift. "Why did you do that To her? I *Thought* you were her friend?" He stated She ignored his question and asked "Are you ready to see the next experience, my children?" They looked at each other and Carlyle answered for them both" Yes We are." In a flash of light they were gone. Chapter Three Part One Our trio arrived at the next event in Setsuna's life that they must relive. Again Anna warns her charges that this event too will be like the previous ones extremely painful to watch. With that said, our travelers proceed to Charon Castle as they have before. Both Carlyle and Setsuna guess that Setsuna' s Younger Self will be in the Palace Gardens. By the time they finished this statement they are in the Gardens and have proven themselves right. They could see that although her life was better than it was and even though she was surrounded by the beauty of the Gardens; she was still sad. They noticed that she had her head down looking at the ground. With her head down, the Young Setsuna didn't notice Anna's arrival. When Anna placed her hand on Setsuna's shoulder, she startled her. " Anna why did you do that? Why are you here?" She asked. "My child, the time has come for you to start your training as Sailor Pluto and the Time Guardian. We will go to the axis of time. There we will start your training. We must work fast because important things will soon begin to happen my child. We must be ready for them. Go and bid your father and Cook farewell. Hurry now!" Anna instructed. Setsuna raced off to do as she'd said. Cook who had some precognitive abilities felt that it was time. She had lovingly prepared a big basket with Setsuna's favorites in it. Cook kissed her goodbye. She then hurried to the throne room to bid her father farewell. She did so quickly and returned to Anna................