Chapter 5


The sounds of sharp steps and metal clanging against metal resounded around the gym. The Fencing Club was having an after-school practice.

One member stood out from the rest. She was wearing a striking white mask, and had already beaten seven other members.

“Next!” she called out.

Her seventh opponent moved aside, and a new one stepped forward from among the players lined up by the side of the wall. The white-masked player didn’t relax her stance.

“Excuse me,” her opponent bowed, before bringing up his saber. But...


In an instant, the white-masked player closed the distance, and scored a hit on the left side of her opponent’s chest.


Her opponent left, and a new challenger stepped forward. This process repeated itself another ten-odd times, until finally there were no players left waiting along the wall.


“Captain, it’s over.”

Hearing that, the white-masked player finally let down her guard.

“Amazing as always, Captain. This time only took you eight minutes.”

The younger player, who was holding a towel, came up to her. Handing the captain a towel after she'd beaten twenty opponents was quite an honor. The boy's face was flush.

The captain took off her mask. As she did, long ringlets of hair spilled out - it was Arisugawa Juri.

"I don't see Kaoru Miki here today," she commented, taking the towel and wiping the light sweat from her face. In the whole club, the only one who could even begin to stand up to her any more was Miki. Without him, even taking on twenty opponents in a row wasn't much of a challenge.

"We received notice that he's absent."


"Yes. According to the members in his class, it doesn't seem like he's sick... Should I bring you the report of absence? It should have a line for 'reason.'"

"No, that's fine," said Juri, her expression cloudy.

       Absent...? So has he been investigating Touga all day, since after morning practice? Then perhaps he's looking into something quite unusual...

The entire gym had suddenly fallen silent. The club members had all stopped practicing and were staring at Juri. She didn't seem like her usual firm and frank self.

Although deep in thought, Juri noticed the eyes of the fencing club members on her.

"What? Keep practicing!" She whipped her saber once through the air with a sharp swish, a signal to resume practice.

Passing through the training club members, Juri walked to the window. From there, you could see Touga's residence - the White House.

       It's too soon for you to go up against Touga. Your power is still...

As if reflecting Juri's uneasy mood, black clouds were gathering in the sky above Ohtori Academy.

***   ***

"A fitting sky for the climax of this little game."

Touga raised his glass to the wide, darkening sky above. A pale purple liquid splashed inside it.

He was in his house - the same room that Utena and Miki had broken into the day before. The phone had been properly put back in its globe, and the rifled bookcases straightened. But the right-hand door that had been locked before was now wide open. Inside was a single king-sized bed. No trace of other desks or furniture could be seen.

       He’s a little… late.

Touga’s gaze wandered around the room, eventually stopping over the bed. Just then, the door opened.

“Hey. You’re late,” he said, not looking towards the door. He sounded completely certain of who had arrived. On the table beside him, another glass just like the one Touga was raising was set out for the visitor.

“We need to talk.” The visitor’s voice was firm. He did not seem inclined to join Touga in a drink. 

“I’ve been waiting for you, Miki-kun,” Touga responded, still not looking at the boy standing stiffly by the door.

Miki’s blue eyes seemed cloudy, just like the troubled sky.


Utena strolled absently through the school. For once, her constant companion, Anthy, wasn’t by her side.

Since the phone call incident yesterday, Utena had felt uncomfortable around Anthy. Anthy herself had hardly seemed to notice, but Utena was angry at herself for having suspected her, even briefly.

Speaking of things she was upset at herself over, Touga was another. If she’d just asked him directly, she could have easily cleared up the question of whether he was her prince, but somehow she hadn’t been able to bring herself to.

       Man, I really haven’t been myself lately. Doubting my friends, not saying what’s on my mind…

It had been half a year since Utena had transferred to the academy to find her prince. And until just recently, she hadn’t found any clues at all.

But now, she was sure she was getting close. Of course, it might or might not be Touga. But she had a hunch that the Dueling Game and Himemiya Anthy would lead her to him. She was quite certain of it. Even if he wasn’t nearby in person, she had the strange feeling that she was working towards him. Call it a sixth sense.

Maybe that feeling that she was getting close to her prince was why she’d been so off recently. And perhaps that was also the thing that was actually getting under her skin.

That’s what was going through Utena’s head when the sound of distant piano music slipped into her consciousness.

       Hey, that song… She remembered it. That’s the one I was playing with Miki… Yeah, 'The Sunlit Garden.'

Perking up her ears, Utena determined that the sound was coming from the west side of the school – from the Student Council music room.

Come to think of it, she hadn’t seen Miki since they’d parted in Touga’s room – or more accurately, since Utena had dashed out of it.

As if beckoned by the music, Utena headed towards the music room,.


The room had no lights, and no windows. Inside, there was nothing but a large bed – that’s just how Kiryuu Touga’s bedroom was.

The only noises were small, sighing breaths.

“Sempai? Are you serious about Utena-san?” someone asked with a sigh. A boy soprano’s voice. Miki’s. “If you just trying to play with her like you do with me, then…”

“Then, what? You’re saying you wouldn’t forgive me?”


Miki’s breathing became rougher. It seemed that he wasn’t able to talk any more.


Naked flesh.


Hand in hand.


Touga Slut

       Darkness. Sheets. Hands and feet.


Hands and feet.


The two slowly shifted their positions.

“Mickey, have you heard this before? When they're just born, babies have no distinction between themselves and others.”

Miki didn't answer. He just kept letting out long breaths.

“As they start to explore things around them with their hands and feet, they gradually come to understand that there are things other than themselves. But to begin with, they think that they and their mothers are the same thing.”

“What... are you trying to say?” Miki's voice wasn't strong. He was still breathing heavily.

“In other words, the process of growth, of becoming an adult, is understanding the difference between yourself and others – breaking yourself free from the world, you might say. Starting to be interested in the opposite sex, starting to hate your parents... it's all to separate yourself from the world of your family. That's the most important step to becoming an adult.”

“I don't understand why you're telling me this.”

“You just don't want to understand. You're bright enough to figure it out.”

In the darkness, Touga's lips curled upward.

***   ***

Utena opened the door slowly, not wanting to disturb the piano performance. As she did, the sound enveloped her. But the timbre of the music seemed somehow lonelier than last time.


The one at the grand piano wasn't Miki. Their face was similar, but...


Kozue finally noticed her visitor. But seeing that it was Utena and not Miki, her expression darkened.

“Oh. Looking for Miki, I suppose? Too bad.” Her voice had suddenly become cold. Normally she was a brighter, more carefree girl, but when it came to Miki she became very emotional.

“Wow. So both of you can play the piano? Triangles and cymbals are about my limit, so I'm totally impressed,” Utena put out, attempting to lighten the atmosphere. But Kozue's curt attitude remained unchanged.

“Miki's the one who's good at it. I can only play this song.”

“...'The Sunlit Garden?'”

“Yeah. Miki wrote it when he was six.”

“Six!? Woah, Miki-kun really is a genius.”

Utena was clearly impressed. But for some reason, that struck a strange nerve with Kozue. It was alright for her to praise Miki, but she didn't like Utena doing it.

“Tenjou Utena. Do you like Miki?” she asked suddenly, cutting to the point like a katana.

“Huh? Miki-kun and I aren't like that...”

“Hmph. I'm not convinced. You may dress like that, but you're still a girl. There must be someone you're in love with.”

       Someone I'm in love with...?

With those words to herself, the imagine of a certain long-haired playboy sprang to Utena's mind.

       Kiryuu Touga!? Why did I think of him!?

“Who do you love, Tenjou Utena?” Kozue asked again. Her eyes, just like Miki's, stared Utena down. Utena found herself unable to tear herself away from them.

“I'm in love with...”


“ Prince,” Utena said. It had suddenly come to her.

“Prince?” Kozue still looked hostile. She suspected she was being put on.

“A prince saved me eight years ago. I want to meet him. That's why I came to this school.”

“Seriously...?” Kozue asked dubiously. But Utena didn't look like she was lying.

“Huh. How stupid.” Kozue turned away from Utena. The unexpectedly childish response had made her lose control of herself for a moment.

       Is she serious? Talking about a prince as a second-year middle school student? How stupid. There's no way someone like that exists...

She looked out the window, many thoughts flitting through her mind.

       What could Miki possibly see in her? Or is there really nothing between them after all? Yeah. It'd be weird if Miki liked someone I didn't. Miki and I are like one person. There's no way he'd be serious about this man-girl.

Kozue turned back to face Utena. Her expression had softened a bit.

“By the way, what did you want with Miki?”

“Oh, I just wanted to apologize to him about yesterday.”


Kozue looked hostile once again at Utena's guileless words.

       Miki was with her yesterday? And he lied to me to hide it...? Why would he do that? What the heck did those two do yesterday...?

“T, that's right... you two were together yesterday.” Even Kozue herself could hear the quivering in her voice. “What did you want to apologize to him about? I'll tell him for you.”

“Uh, no, it's...” Utena replied, hesitating. She couldn't exactly say they'd broken into the White House. But she wasn't the sort who was good at thinking up convenient lies.

Staring at the silent Utena, Kozue clenched her hands into fists. Her nails dug harshly into her palms. 

       Miki and this girl... they've both been keeping me in the cold.

       We've always been together... Always just the two of us...

       Miki's leaving me. He's going off by himself.

       Miki, you idiot!


Kozue slammed her hand down on the keys in front of her. The despairing sound echoed across the music room.

“Get out, get out! This room is for Miki and me!”

Daaan                      Daaan
Daaan    Daaan     Daaan
DaaanDaaan      Daaan       Daaan
Daaan        Daaandaaan

Kozue madly pounded the keys. She wasn't looking at Utena anymore. She kept playing, her head shaking violently.


“Get out, get out, get out, get out!” Kozue sobbed, her hair shaken loose, not waiting to hear what Utena had to say.

***   ***

The dark clouds that had been gathering in the sky above Ohtori Academy now covered it completely. With no light reaching it, the campus was robbed of color, and it seemed as if a chill air rose up from the ground.

“What bad weather.”

Behind the rose garden, Saionji stopped practising with his shinai to look up in the sky. It looked to him like the dark clouds seemed to be centered above the Dueling Arena. He could feel barely any wind, and they gave no indication of moving soon.

       Is a duel going to start...?

The thought drifted through Saionji's mind. But he spoke to himself, dismissing the idea.

“Absurd. The next challenger will be me. I won't let a travesty of a victor like Tenjou Utena defile her position any longer.”

Saionji began swinging his shinai again. Wait for me, Anthy. I'll free you from Tenjou Utena soon. Sweat flew each time he swung his sword.

He didn't notice Utena pass along behind him.

***   ***

There were several possible routes back to the East Dorm from the building with the music room. One of the more roundabout ways led past the White House. After fleeing from the music room, Utena unconsciously found herself heading that way.

        “Who do you love, Tenjou Utena?” Kozue's earlier words still rung in her ears.

What did it mean to be in love with someone? She still wasn't clear on that.

Her first love had been “the Prince.” Besides that, she had never fallen in love. Not that there hadn't been anyone she was fond of, but she didn't think you could call any of it “love.”

       Someone I love...

When Kozue had asked, Touga's face had risen to her mind.

       Do I like Kiryuu Touga? Because I think he might be my Prince? Her thoughts started swirling around in her head. Then, what if he isn't? I love my Prince, but that's...

       What does it mean to love a boy, anyway? It's gotta be different than feelings towards a friend. Or family...

       Wakaba said once that when you have a crush on someone, your heart starts to pound when you're near them, and all you can think of is them...

"Let it go a little further, and before you know it, you find yourself doing stuff like standing outside of their house."

"In other words, you turn into a stalker?"

       We laughed about it at the time, but... Utena stood for a moment, thinking about her silly conversation with Wakaba.

"Hey, welcome," a voice came suddenly, from above. Utena snapped out of her reverie and looked up. "Looks like our positions are reversed from last time." Touga winked down at her from a balcony. Utena had found herself standing in front of the White House.

       No way... I don't like him or anything. I just happened to be heading home...

"What's up? Did you come to ask me on a date, by chance?" Touga asked, lightly. He was his usual breezy playboy self. But Utena had seen a different face of his, that night when he stood staring up staring at the castle in the sky. The image was still burned into her memory.

"Wait for a moment. I'll come down." Touga vanished from the balcony. Utena didn't have a chance to stop him.

***   ***

Kozue was still slumped over the piano, crying.

Miki and Kozue - they'd been together since they were born. Playing, eating, taking baths - they always did everything together. Even when they'd split apart from their parents, they themselves had stayed together.

"I thought we'd be together forever..."

Between sobs, words poured out from her heart.

Eventually, her tears ran dry. At that time, Kozue felt the presence of someone behind her. She turned.

"Who's there!?"

"Poor, poor Kozue..."

A thin hand stroked Kozue's cheek. It resembled that of the prince who had saved Utena eight years ago.

***   ***

"Welcome in."

Touga opened the front door. His Student Council uniform was open in the front, and he wasn't wearing anything underneath, exposing his bare chest.

"You're looking a little disheveled there, Mr. President." Utena turned her head away. Seeing Touga's skin right now made her feel extremely embarrassed.

"How rude of me. And in front of a lady, no less." He spoke jokingly as usual. Utena watched from the side as he slowly buttoned up his jacket.

"Won't you come in?"

"No way. I still haven't forgiven you for what you did in the Student Council room."

"Oh? But you came in yesterday."


Touga grinned. It felt to Utena like he was seeing straight through her.

       ...well, looks like I've been caught.

"A word of apology might be in order, don't you think? Illegal entry, invasion of privacy, perjury..."

"Yeah, about yesterday, uh... Sorry. I shouldn't have done that. But you..."


Touga's hand hit the wall behind Utena. He leaned over her, backing her up against the wall.

"Unforgivable." In sharp contrast to usual, Touga looked completely serious.


"No. I demand compensation."

Touga moved his body in closer. He stared at Utena with piercing, intelligent eyes.

"So, what should I ask for, I wonder...?"

His face slowly leaned closer to Utena's. They could feel each others' breath.

       This is just like that other time...

Utena and Touga

Touga's lips drew closer.

       He's going to kiss me... Utena found herself closing her eyes.

"Kiryuu-sempai!" a boy soprano cried out.

Utena opened her eyes in surprise, and saw Miki standing in front of the stairs. Unusual for someone as precise as him, but his sleeves and collar were open. And only one of his front buttons was fastened.

"Well, well," Touga smiled, still poised as if to kiss Utena. "You're a little late, Mickey."

"Kiryuu-sempai, what are you doing!?"

"Just what it looks like. I was going to steal a kiss from this maiden," he answered, undisturbed. Then he turned back to Utena as if nothing had happened. Apparently he intended to resume.

"Stop it, sempai!" Miki almost shouted. At this, the atmosphere suddenly changed. A goosebump-raising tension spread out between the three of them.

Utena was in complete confusion over the sudden appearance of Miki - just when Touga had been trying to kiss her, no less. As usual, it was impossible to tell what Touga was thinking. He had a slight smile, though, like he was enjoying the situation.

And Miki...

"What are your intentions towards Utena-san, sempai?" he asked suddenly. He glared straight at Touga, challengingly.

       His intentions...? Utena also turned to look at Touga. She had been wondering that herself.

"Nobody would want anyone they're fond of to participate in something as dangerous as a duel. That's how I feel, at the very least. I would never make Utena-san duel. I want to protect those I love."

       Miki-kun, are you saying...?

Miki turned his clear, crystal-like eyes to Utena. She could see her own confused expression reflected back in them.

       Miki-kun, you... His words had been as good as a confession. Man, what should I do... I like Miki too, but not like that... like a friend. I had no idea Miki was thinking of me like that. I had no idea...

Utena looked toward Touga for some reason, looking for help.

"How sweet, Mickey," Touga said, catching Utena's eyes. "But Tenjou Utena isn't a woman who needs to be protected."

"That's no reason to make her duel."

"Why, it's up to her whether or not she duels. In other words, nobody else can stop her from dueling."

"That's..." That was correct. Miki found himself faltering. "Sempai. Do what you want with me. But stop dragging Utena-san into all this. She shouldn't have to duel..."

"Really? But perhaps she's more qualified to duel than I am."


"She beat Saionji. And drew down the Power of Dios. Undoubtedly, Tenjou Utena is the one closest to attaining the power to revolutionize the world."

"Does that power truly exist? Nobody's seen it. Nobody's confirmed its reality. It's..."

"No," a girl's voice answered, full of confidence. "The power to revolutionize the world is real."

Anthy stood there, wearing her white dress.

"Anthy, what are you doing here? And why are you wearing that!?"

It was the dress Anthy had worn when serving as the Rose Bride during the duel. The top part slightly resembled the special Student Council uniforms. Tassels hung from epaulettes on the shoulders, and there was gold lace on the chest. But in place of pants below, she wore a wide skirt. She had earrings, and a gold circlet atop her head. As the Rose Bride, she looked almost like a princess.

She didn't respond to Utena's question, but instead handed Utena and Miki each an envelope.

"Here are letters, marked with the Rose Seal..."

"Letters from 'The Ends of the World?'" "No way!" the two spoke over each other.

Anthy's white dress.

Letters from 'Ends of the World.'

It could only mean one thing.

Utena opened the letter in confusion. Inside was a single message card - and written on it was exactly what Utena had expected.


That was all. 'The Ends of the World' was telling Utena to duel again.

To her side, Miki's card fell out of his hands. It read:


"What? But I just saw her in the music room..."

"Kozue... why...?" Miki turned to Anthy demandingly. But as usual, her face revealed nothing. "Kozue doesn't have anything to do with this. She isn't on the Student Council, and she doesn't have a Rose Seal. So why..."

"What will you do, Mickey? Will you duel Tenjou Utena? Or...?"

The sound of Touga's voice made Miki jittery.

"Touga-sempai! Did you... is this one if your plots!?"

"I don't know anything about it. It's 'The Ends of the World's doing."

"You liar. You've known about this from the start. That Utena and I were to duel, that Kozue would be snatched away... you're 'The Ends of the World,' aren't you!?"

Touga fell silent. But Miki stared straight at him, demanding an answer.

       Is he really 'The Ends of the World?' And also my prince...?

"Unfortunately..." Touga slowly brushed his hair aside. "I'm not 'The Ends of the World.'" He spoke clearly and definitively.

"Honestly." Seeing Miki's unconvinced look, Touga gave a slightly bitter smile. "It is true that I know a little more about 'The Ends of the World' than the rest of you. So I can assure you that those letters are the real thing. If you don't have a duel, 'The Ends of the World' really will..."

He left the last part unsaid. But it was still enough to leave Miki in shock.


Miki dropped to his knees and looked at the fallen card again. "At midnight tonight... you must duel..." he read again, as if confirming the message.

"What will you do, Mickey?"

"Miki-kun, we're seriously going to duel...?"

Miki didn't move. Time seemed to stop as he stared at the message card. Utena couldn't bring herself to say anything to him. Touga looked on, awaiting Miki's decision. And Anthy was the same as always, standing expressionless. She wasn't even looking towards Miki.

At last, Miki stood.


Utena looked into Miki's crystalline eyes. But they weren't the same as they usually were.

"I challenge you to a duel."

They were the sharp eyes of a Duelist.



Cover & Translation Notes
Chapter 1 * Chapter 2 * Chapter 3 * Chapter 4 * Chapter 5 * Chapter 6



Translated by Dallbun, coded by Giovanna, and hosted on Empty Movement.