After the duel, Utena and Anthy returned to the East Dorm and went straight to bed. But Utena couldn't sleep. The events of the duel earlier were still on her mind.

"Anthy, are you asleep?" she called quietly to the bed next to her.

"No, Utena-sama," Anthy responded, clearly. Utena felt a small feeling of solidarity that she wasn't able to sleep, either.

"Why does 'The Ends of the World' want us to duel, anyway?"

Anthy did not respond to Utena's murmured question. So Utena just keep talking.

"And why does everyone duel at all? Because they want the Power to Revolutionize the World? Or because they want you, the Rose Bride?"

Utena stole a glance at the neighboring bed. But in the dim moonlight, she couldn't read anything on Anthy's face.

"Everyone fights for something important to them."

"Something important to them?"


Something important to them. The words echoed once more in Utena's heart. But in her case, she wasn't quite sure what that thing was.

"What's my important thing...?"

"If it's for something important to them, a person can do anything. So I think that if you could do anything for it, then that's what's most important to you."

"For instance, if I was willing to duel for it...?"

She remembered the look of concern for Kozue on Miki's face. And Saionji's face when he'd tried to reconcile with Anthy.

"Something important, huh...?" she mumbled. But her words didn't carry much weight.

***   ***


The cue struck the white ball, which scattered the carefully-placed other nine. The three-ball and seven-ball fell into pockets.

"Not bad... Tenjou Utena, that is. First she beat Saionji, and now Miki." Juri sounded somehow amused. Although she'd presumably have to face Tenjou Utena herself sooner or later, she showed no trace of nervousness. She would win. She had no doubt about that.

"Mickey lost that duel before he even began," Touga said from across the billiard table, taking aim at the one-ball.


One and five were both pocketed. Touga slowly shifted his position to aim for the two-ball. Juri didn't watch him, but just leaned against a wall.

"What do you mean?"

Touga vs Juri


Number two and number eight. Smoothly and precisely, Touga was removing all the balls from the table.

"Mickey said he wouldn't duel someone he loved. But he dueled Tenjou Utena in the end. Why was that?"

"Because his sister was important to him," Juri replied, sounding bored.

"Exactly. Mickey chose his sister over the girl he loved."



Four and six fell in pockets. All that were left were the white ball, and number nine.

"In other words, Mickey is still a child."


Finally, the nine-ball fell. And this time, the white ball didn't follow it into a pocket.

***   ***

In the south-west corner of the Ohtori Academy grounds, there were special cottages reserved for the Student Council's use. They were two-story affairs, with small gardens and weathervanes. Kaoru Miki and Kaoru Kozue lived in one of these.

Going up a half-spiral staircase, you would find a room directly in front of you. This was their bedroom. In the middle of the room were two beds, lined up right next to each other.

Their pajamas differed only in color. And both their bodies were curled up... like the fetal position, you might say... sleeping.

Their faces, their clothes, and their way of sleeping - they were almost as alike as reflections in a mirror. Looking at them made you feel like the phrase "two hearts beating as one" was more than just a figure of speech.

If you said that being an adult meant recognizing the difference between yourself and others, then maybe Miki and Kozue were still children. They still hadn't abandoned the fantasy that they were as one.

A strong wind blew against the window, rattling it menacingly.

At the same time, they both reached out their hands towards the other.

And clasped them together.



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.