Chapter 1

Ancient Love

Other than the Moon's royal families, the Garden at Mare Serenitatis Kingdom was the most praised thing on the hunk of rock that orbited the Earth. The Garden was the only place that was able to sustain plant life. It was huge, nearly the whole of it reserved for fruits, vegetables, and other such greeneries to provide the four small kingdoms-Mare Serenitatis Kingdom, Mare Imbrium Kingdom, Mare Tranquillitatis Kingdom, and Mare Nubium Kingdom-with food. The other small portion not reserved for food was just as its name stated-The Garden. Few of the trees, flowers, and ground cover were native to the Moon. The rest had been brought up as a gift. Yes, up.

Though the highest prince of Earth marveled at the fact that they could grow anything at all, he felt their collection of plant life could be better. From the moment he had been engaged to Serenitatis Kingdom's princess, he brought greenery native to his land as gifts for the allied kingdom. Though the most overjoyed was the Princess. When he was away, she would lay under the welcoming branches and dream of what he would bring next. Each time he would leave, he would kiss her head and promise his next gift would be grander, more beautiful than the last, but nothing as lovely as her.

This was one of those times. The gift he presented this visit? Four dozen large white rose bushes. Of all the roses, he felt the white fit for his princess the most. After an expecting announcement she had made to him, they had chosen a date for their wedding, which would be in exactly one months time, and this rose would be used to decorate the church halls. That it had no hue itself conveyed a sense of innocence, of being untouched. Though they had spent a night in a bed together, she still somehow retained her innocence. Was it the Goddess ability in her that allowed her to do that? Many believed so. The prince carried a personal belief about the white rose as well, that was influenced by his love. The white rose was a symbol of healing. She had healed his broken heart, and took care of the hurt in her own kingdom. The rose for her was, in a word, perfect.

"We'll always be together, won't we Prince Kin?" The woman looked up from their intertwined fingers to the face of her lover. He was a well-built man, if not perfectly built; muscle, but not too much so as to make him unattractive to the average eye. His blue hues reminded her of the depths of the oceans that she could see from her bedroom window, the emotions portrayed by them very similar to the waters as well. His hair was light blonde and commented his fair skin color. A dark red tunic was loose around his chest, with dark brown pants that were just as fitting.

He looked down at her and smiled. "Of course, Diana. Nothing can tear us apart." She was a woman completely void of color. She had the palest skin that many thought she would glow when the candles were blown out. The cloak that covered her back was her own hair, the waves of white trailing down to the ground to spill around her feet. Her eyes held no color either, save for her pupil, which seemed a dark red color on the rim.

She leaned her head against his shoulder and smiled. "You know that father isn't going to be very happy with you up here instead of on the Earth."

"And you know as good as I do that I die a little every second that we're parted."

She sat up and looked him in his eyes. "Milord, you shouldn't say things like that. I can't let you die before me. And if you do, I'll join you soon."

A quiet chuckle came from deep in his throat. "Diana, Diana. . . I can't let you do that. If you decide suicide, then we'll be even farther parted."

"Well then, I guess you shan't die before me?"

"Never, my princess," he said with a laugh as he nuzzled his face to the crook of her neck and shoulder.

A silent giggle escaped her lips as she wrapped her arms around him. "Hey, stop that. That tickles!"

"Lady Diana!" a young woman called as she came running through the castle's garden. Her clad feet pattered loudly over the cobblestone path through the center of the Garden, her plain ivory dress billowing out behind her as she ran. Her pitch black hair was held back in a low pony tail, the rest of the straight locks falling down to her waist. "Lady Diana! You're father calls—" as she made a turn around the largest tree, she had found them sharing a bench under the same tree. "Oh, are you busy milady?" she questioned as she did her best to catch her breath.

She looked over her shoulder, the prince lifting his head from her mass of waves. Diana turned back to him, putting a finger to his lips, letting him know she'd be right back. She got up from his lap and walked over to the dark haired woman. "What is it, Nema?"

The woman bowed her head in respect as she spoke. "Your father, milady, he requests you meet him at the front gate of the castle."

Her eyes widened at the news. "The front gate? Why not his chamber? He's too ill to be out of his room!" She paused a moment to collect herself and took a breath. "Run at your greatest speed and tell my father I'll be there in one moment."

"Yes milady." The woman turned and sprinted from the garden.

Diana turned back to Kin with a look of worry on her face. "I have to see my father. If he's out of his chamber, something must be terribly wrong."

The blonde-haired man got to his feet and walked over to her, placing large, comforting hands on her shoulders. "I'll escort you to him, if that's all right with you."

She shook her head. "No. I have a dark feeling in me. Something's in danger. You should head home milord."

He stood there for a moment, contemplating what her words could mean for them. "All right, Diana." Kin took another step forward and kissed her forehead lightly. "I'll go to the chamber and head home if that's what you wish."

"It's for our own good."

"Diana!" a man's hoarse voice called out from the distance.

She looked over her shoulder to the crystal castle, the beautiful blue curves of the four-story towering walls suddenly seeming menacing and dull, the shine that usually coated the castle no longer there. A shiver ran down her spine before she turned back to her love. "I have to go. I'm sorry I can't join you to the chamber this time." With that, she bowed her head lightly, turned, and ran off to the front gate.

"Lord Hyperion, please, you should get to your chamber," a man plead, tugging slightly at his lord's shoulders.

The old man, the greatly powerful and immensely ill king known as Lord Hyperion, brought an arm to his mouth and wheezed into the thick robes. With his other arm, he pushed his servant away. "Where's my daughter?"

"Milord, she's on her way," said the dark-haired Nema as she grabbed the lord's arm when he started to fall.

Diana pushed her way through the plethora of guards. She found her father by following his hacking cough and his gray-haired head falling and rising, as his knees would give out and the servants would lift him to his feet again. "Father!"

His failing gaze came up just enough to see her white hair in the crowd. "Diana. . ." he mustered before he started coughing again.

"Lord Hyperion!" Nema almost fell to her knees as she attempted to hold him up. "You should really be to your bed."

Diana came to her knees when she arrived to her father. "What's going on? Why are you even—" she quieted down as she felt her father's hand on her shoulder.

He tried to pull himself to, at the very least, his knees and he fell again. Diana quickly reached out, one arm finding itself under his arm, and her other hand found his. Almost the very instant that their fleshes touched, Hyperion found strength enough to stand.

She had a strange ability, that no one is even sure where she had gotten it. Not only was she a guardian of the Moon, but her touch, if she willed it so, could bring missing energy back to any being. But the power wasn't strong enough to bring life back to those that are dying. She would always attempt to go to her father's room late at night and trying to give him the energy needed to live. But all of her attempts would fail. She would wake in the morning, completely exhausted, and by the end of the day, he was back to normal, if not worse than he was before.

Diana got back to her feet and looked into her father's gray eyes. "Why are you out of the castle?"

"Dark forces are gathering just outside the kingdom." His weak gaze quickly turned serious as he spoke. "I need you to call upon your sister and brother."

She found herself in shock and had to close her jaw from the news. "But father, what can they do?" A gasp escaped her lips as she caught a glance at a large boulder sailing over her head and into the crystal walls. Diana immediately, without a second thought of the danger she could be putting herself into, spread herself over her father's body to protect him from falling debris, but found that even she was covered as three guards moved over her and the lord as well, some grunting as rubble fell upon their backs.

The soldiers around them began to bark out orders. The men ran from their waiting posts, readying their bows, and leaned over the walls to prepare fire upon the enemy. As their leader called out an order to fire at will, Hyperion took his daughter and pulled her away from the scene.

"Please. I need your sister to bring the dawn to our backs. Your brother will hold it there when needed."

"But what about me?"

"There's nothing you can do now!" he roared. Some passing guards jumped at the sudden intensity of his voice; especially since he was ill.

"But father, I—"

"Do it now! We don't have much time." The anger on his face started to fade and become soft as he reached out and grabbed her shoulders. "Please. Grant an old man his last wish."

Diana felt a sudden sting of tears in her eyes. "Father, don't talk like that."

He let out a heavy sigh and shook his head. "Diana. . ." he paused a moment then looked up into her colorless eyes, "Diana, you know as well as I do, as well as anyone else in the kingdom, that this could very well be my last day." He reached up his hand and gently touched her cheek. She shivered at the striking coldness of his fingers. "You're the last hope. Selene couldn't become the link, and neither could Artemis. They didn't have the right power. You, on the other hand, have the ability to bring them all together, the Moon and the Earth."

Selene was the princess of the Mare Imbrium Kingdom, and was quite the stubborn woman, looking down upon those that weren't "perfect and a beauty" like herself. Artemis was of Mare Tranquilitatis Kingdom, and was far too laid back for the Earth Prince's liking, and also far too submissive. The Prince wanted someone who wasn't afraid to take risks, and saw people for who they were. Of the Princesses of the Moon Kingdoms, Diana had caught his eye instantly.

"Once you have called your siblings," he continued, "please, secure yourself in your room."

She swallowed back hard on her tears. This could be it. I might actually lose my father. Unless. . . Diana could always talk her brother into talking sense into their father. And if he couldn't do it, all hope would be lost. Already there was much weight on her shoulders. She already juggled care-taker of her sickly people, the Moon's final guardian, and the only link left to unite the Moon and Earth, but if her father had gone, she would have to rule the Moon kingdom on the edge of Mare Serenitatis all alone and wouldn't have anymore time for peaceful walks in the garden, or to even see her love again.

Kin. The thought struck her hard. The one good thing in her life that her father agreed to. For the link to work, the two of them would have to marry. If her father could survive this war, she could live on the Earth with him.

The Earth. Did he get home all right? He would always tell her of the beautiful oceans, wondrous green trees, and colorful flowers in the fields. Oh Gods, how bad she wanted to see it all.

But this new war had to end first. Yes, they would have to come out as victor with no casualties on their part. She was determined to make it happen. She would call her brother and sister, yes, but stay in her room would be like asking the seasons to never cease. Diana smiled as the thoughts came to her. She would turn it all around. If there were some injuries, her powers would fix it, no problem. Yes, it was time to put it into action. She looked up into her father's eyes with her confident smile. "Of course father. I shall do as you wish."