"Excuse me," Iriko of the time said. She bowed instinctively. The only people other than herself to come here were the princess and Queen Serenity.
"No, excuse me," came a response in a deep male voice.
Iriko jumped back in surprise. Her eyes quickly took in the man in front of her. By the sword and armor she knew the man to be from the Earth Kingdom. As she brought her violet eyes to his face they widened. The man before her had to be no other than Prince Endymion.
Iriko swallowed and bowed again. "Good afternoon, your highness."
Endymion smiled and returned the bow. "Good afternoon, to you also, miss?" The curiosity was plain in his eyes. He had not known that anyone else was allowed in this garden.
Iriko blushed and mumbled. "My name is Iriko, your highness. I am the gardener here."
Endymion smiled and took her green tinged fingers, raising them to his lips. "I am pleased to me you, Lady Iriko."
She stood frozen for an endless moment that was broken by Princess Serenity's voice. The Prince let go of Iriko's hand and turned to stride to his love. Iriko watched them for a moment and then made an attempt to slip away. But the Princess spotted her as she slid down the path and called to her.
"Iriko! Don't leave." Serenity smiled her sweet smile.
Iriko stopped and bowed to the Moon Princess. Serenity's laugh drifted out and she walked to Iriko's side. "How many times do I have to tell you not to do that?"
Iriko blushed once again. Serenity smiled and took her hand turning to face the Prince. Endymion, I would like to introduce you to one of the shyer members of my court." She turned back to Iriko. "Her name is Iriko and she is the Princess of the planet Minerva."
Endymion walked over and bowed to her again, causing Iriko to blush even more. "I am pleased to know your true identity, Lady Iriko." he turned to look at his princess. "She told me she was your gardener."
"She is and more. Iriko is much like her people. Shy and quiet. Never one to put herself in the limelight. I have to make her attend court. If left to her own devises she would spend all her time here." Serenity said all this with a smile and a squeeze on her friend's hand. "I must say she has a wonderful touch with the growing things." She reached into Iriko's basket and took out a moon pale rose and sniffed it's fragrance.
She reappeared in front of Kunzite and went to one knee. "You called me, my Lord?"
Kunzite looked down at the woman he felt was his most trusted underling. "How goes the watch?"
Amethyst looked up. "He is still fighting the Queens' will. He protected a group of humans when he should have gained control of the monster." Though her voice was cool, inside her mind was writhing from what she said.
Kunzite turned and paced. "Why has Beryl put so much interest in the prince?"
Amethyst kept silent. Kunzite asked her this question every night. After the first time she answered she knew better than interrupt the general in his musing. Her bones remembered well the lessening he gave her.
He turned back, a decision clear in his face. "I want you to stick with him every moment. Gather all the information you can." She nodded, this she knew was coming. "I also want you to insure he fails. No matter what Beryl thinks, Prince Endymion is not part of the dark kingdom and he shall pay for his part Zoicite's death!"
Amethyst nodded and kept her eyes down. She would follow his orders of course. They perfectly matched her own. Spending more time around Endymion could only help him recover his memories and return to Serenity's side. Together the senshi and Tuxedo Kamen could defeat the dark kingdom and Iriko could finally be herself again. Though a small voice asked her if she really knew who Iriko was anymore.
"Well, go woman. I expect you to report back each night after he goes to sleep." Amethyst nodded again and disappeared in a swirl of lavender smoke.