Twin Saplings


"O, noble castle..."

As the words left Himemiya Anthy's lips, a small light flickered to life beneath her breast.

"Power of Dios that sleeps within me..."

The light within her chest grew brighter.

"Heed your master, and reveal..."

Slowly, it continued to grow. Before long, the light took the shape of some kind of rod. Saionji Kyouichi's hand closed around it.

"The power to revolutionize the world!"

His voice was full of confidence, as if he was jeering at his opponent. He drew the object from Himemiya Anthy's chest.

A sword. What Saionji drew forth was a sword, formed from the noble light. Among him and his colleagues, it was called the 'Sword of Dios.'

Across from him, the girl wearing a boys' school uniform - Tenjou Utena - drew back in surprise at the strange sight of a sword emerging from a girl's chest.

"What... is that...?" she murmured in disbelief.

An understandable reaction.

Right now, an upside-down castle was floating above her like a chandelier, and the girl from whom the sword had been drawn - Anthy - was apparently a prize awarded to the winner of the duel.

"You're a Duelist, but you don't even know about the Sword of Dios?"

"Duelist? Sword of Dios? What the heck are you talking about?" The words were unfamiliar to Utena. And that wasn't all. The Dueling Arena, the castle floating overhead, Himemiya Anthy... Utena didn't understand any of it.

"What's wrong, Tenjou Utena? If you won't come at me, I'll just have to come to you!"

Saionji lunged towards Utena with the Sword of Dios.

Utena quickly raised her shinai, as Saionji's sword closed in on her. Bringing it up in front of her, she blocked the blow! However, in the next instant, her shinai was sundered in half.

       No way...

Utena stared at the cleanly-cut end of her shinai.

"You're kidding! That sword is real!?"

Saionji wasn't laughing. He merely adjusted his stance, his scornful eyes still locked on Utena.


She shivered. She felt like she had goosebumps over her whole body.

       He's not joking... How the heck did I get into this...?

Gripping her half-length shinai, Utena slowly backed away.

"What's wrong, prince? Weren't you going to take revenge for your friend?"


Hearing his words, Utena stopped in her tracks.

It had all started with a love letter tacked to the bulletin board. Utena's friend, Shinohara Wakaba, had sent it to Saionji. He hadn't posted it on the board himself, but Wakaba's feelings were still deeply hurt. Utena had seen the tears pouring from her eyes herself.

       Taking Wakaba's heartfelt feelings... and just tossing them in the trash!

That's what Utena found unpardonable. Saionji had trampled on her friend's heart.

So she'd challenged him to a duel.

       That's right... for Wakaba's sake, I can't forgive Saionji. That's why I've ended up here. Why I'm standing here. So... I won't lose. I can't lose!

Utena raised her head.

"...It's not over yet."


"You only lose if your rose gets knocked off your chest, right? So I'm not out yet."

"Oh? You intend to keep fighting with that shinai?"

"That's right!"

As she shouted out her answer, Utena sprang towards Saionji. Her target: his breast pocket.

"Let's see if you can!"

Saionji swept out with his sword. Utena avoided it by a hair's breadth. But she couldn't relax yet. Saionji slashed his sword back up, so fast he was almost cutting the air.

Like a leaf dancing on the wind, Utena deflected the strike, and braced herself against the storm of blows, aiming for the rose on his chest.

Cutting through the wind.

Dancing on the wind.

Holding steady against the wind.

The breathtaking swordplay continued.

Before long, Utena's shinai knocked the hilt of Saionji's sword from his hand.


The Sword of Dios was sent flying through the air. Saionji was still off balance - here was her chance.

Utena raced towards the spot where the sword would come down. Spinning, the sword arced through the air.

Utena stretched out her hand.

The sword fell.

Just a little more...


The Sword of Dios fell into Utena's hand almost as if it had been drawn there.

       This scent...

The moment she gripped the Sword of Dios, Utena was engulfed in the scent of roses.

       It's just like... that time...

That time - when a prince had saved Utena, as a child. She had smelled roses then, too...

       It's the same... the smell of my prince... the scent of roses... it's entering me.

Silently, Utena closed her eyes.

       The scent of roses... is moving me.

From the floating castle descended the specter of a boy. A beautiful boy, with a dignified air. Somehow, he resembled Anthy... The boy descended straight towards Utena, and overlapped her body, as if melting into her.


Anthy's countenance, thus-far expressionless, changed drastically. Her formerly downcast eyes now widened, and visibly brimmed with tears. But neither Utena and Saionji noticed the change in her.

"I won't let you win!"

With a cry, Saionji dashed towards Utena, gripping the shinai she had dropped. For her part, Utena was still standing in a daze.

       The scent of roses is engulfing me... my body is filled with it....

Saionji's shinai drew near. Towards Utena's rose.

Five more meters.

Three meters... two... one.

Utena's eyes snapped open.

With inhuman speed, Utena leapt forward. The Sword of Dios was aimed straight for Saionji's rose.

The two met.

There was a moment of stillness.

Somewhere, bells began to peal deafeningly.

"This... can't be..."

"I won... that's great, Wakaba..."

Still smelling roses, Utena's consciousness slowly began to drift away.

       I won... Wakaba...

       I... won...





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.