The little girl followed behind the long legs of her big brother as he glided through the halls of Magellan Castle. Golden light fell through the windows, dyed by sulfur clouds. The women in beautiful dresses looked at her brother with painted eyes, hidden behind fans. The men gave smiles at him as a valued comrade that they all strived to surpass without any hard feelings either way. Her big green eyes constantly peaked out at the elegantly carved buttresses and the lights covered with bejeweled glass.
They came to the golden doors. On the other side was the throne room of Princess Amoretta, the crowned princess and sole sovereign of Venus. The doors had the symbol of the royal family, a circle on top of a cross, set in either side in a different color of gold. The doors slowly opened out toward the two of them.
Sitting on the throne was a young woman with long blonde hair, held partially back with a red bow. Her blue eyes danced with a private joke that only she knew. Her dress flowed down her body in waves of orange and yellow.
The long legged man entered and knelt before the throne. “Anthy, don’t forget your manners.”
“Oh, um, sorry,” Anthy said as she curtsied to the princess.
“Rise, Dios, my champion does not need to bow before me and neither does his adorable little sister.”
“You summoned me, your majesty,” Dios said as he stood to his full height.
“I did. Princess Klotilda of Jupiter has invited myself, as a guest, to the Rose Duels and she has also said I could bring a warrior from Venus to participate in it. I have chosen you to be that man.”
“I am most honored my princess, thank you.”
“And I would like your sister to travel with me as my assistant.”
“Can I, Dios?”
Dios nodded down to his sister with a smile.
“Thank you, princess. I’ll be your best assistant ever!”
The arena that the Rose Duels were fought on was specially made for the task. The audience sat in a row after row of benches, made from ancient logs. The seats were on a raised level so that they could look down at the fighting grounds in some degree of safety. The two duelists would fight on the lowered grassy field. Rose bushes surrounded the field, fencing in the fighters completely. Roses of every color and hue bloomed on them. Above a crystal dome allowed the lights and sounds of Jupiter’s eternal storms to be appreciated by all.
Anthy followed Princess Amoretta through the seating area. She carried a basket that looked too big in her little, gloved hands.
“Let’s sit here. We will have a good view.” Amoretta sat down.
Anthy set the basket on the ground and climbed onto the bench next to the princess. She looked around at the arena with large eyes.
“It is so green in here. I didn’t think it would look like this.”
“Jupiter is known for its plants. When they spar and fight they try to do it surrounded by nature. They love plants so much that they created a special type of duel called Rose Duels.”
“Is that why the arena is surrounded by flowers?”
“Yes, those are rose bushes. Each duelist wears one. The goal isn’t to hurt your opponent; it is to knock the rose from their breast.”
“But they could still get hurt if they aren’t careful?”
“That is why only the best duelists participate,” Amoretta said.
Coming out onto the benches was a young woman. She wore a long green dress with a slit showing off her long legs. Her brown hair was like the bark of a tree and was held up into a high ponytail with a rose shaped ornament. She had the body of an athlete.
“Princess, who is that?” Anthy asked as she turned to Amoretta.
“That is Princess Klotilda.”
“She is like you, right?”
“Yes, except she is the princess of Jupiter.”
Anthy turned her face back toward her princess, only to find her gaze still locked on the princess of Jupiter. Anthy could not decipher the expression on her face. It was not a bad expression or anything like that.
Her brother and another man entered the arena. She forgot her previous thoughts and turned her attention to the field of combat. A woman in a long dress pinned a rose to their clothing over their hearts. The two men saluted each other and the duel began.
Amoretta sat at the desk in the guestroom she was using. Her quill was flying across her parchment as she wrote line after line of flowery text, punctuated with little hearts every so often. Every so often she would dip the quill into a bottle of perfumed ink. She pulled her quill away and placed the pink feather to her lips. She contemplated the contents of her letter.
Did she want to add more?
Should she not have written so much?
Was she too direct?
Not direct enough?
No, it was perfect as it was. She was a romantic princess filled with big dreams and ideals about love. Sending a letter that was anything but that would be a lie. She would send it the way it was now.
“Anthy, can you come in here, please,” Amoretta called out.
The little girl came running in, her dress was clutched in her hands to keep from tripping over it. She was smiling.
“Did you call?”
“Yes, Anthy, can you deliver this letter to Klotilda?” She held out the letter.
“I’ll take it right away,” Anthy said as she took the letter.
She held the letter close, eyes shining with the responsibility she had been given. She curtseyed to the princess of Venus before rushing out, eager to do the job she had been given.
Amoretta waited patiently for her return. It was an hour later that she could hear little feet running down the hallway. The door opened and revealed Anthy. She held a new letter in her hands. There were cake crumbs on her cheek.
“She sent a letter back for you.”
“Thank you, Anthy. Did you enjoy the cake?”
“H-How did you know she gave me a cake?”
Amoretta laughed, “There are crumbs on your cheek.”
“Oops,” she reached her hand into her pocket and pulled out her handkerchief and wiped away the evidence.
Anthy held out the letter. The princess took it from her and almost ripped it in her excitement. She brought the letter into the light. Her blue eyes danced back and forth as she read line after line of text. It was not as poetic as her own, but the thoughts and feelings were the same. She held the letter close to her heart.
Klotilda loved her.
The two princesses met in the garden. It was in a small, often forgotten corner. It was not tended as well as the rest of the garden. Instead of that making it look rundown and forgotten it gave it that certain little wild edge.
Amoretta entered first. She was wearing a fancier dress than she normally wore. It worked well to highlight her best features and hide her, certainly very few, flaws. She waited on a stone chair.
Klotilda came later. She was wearing a plainer, more practical outfit. She could almost be mistaken for a gardener with the flat boots and pants with tunic.
Amoretta stood when she saw her. The two came together. Amoretta wrapped her arms around the neck of the taller girl. They had encountered each other many times in their duties as Sailor Soldiers.
Their lips met.
This was the first time they could meet together as people.
Anthy hid under the bed as the soldiers for the Dark Kingdom ransacked the bedroom. She tried to scrunch herself up even more. It was only a matter of time before they found her. Anthy closed her eyes tight. She was not going to cry or make a sound.
“Rolling Heart Vibration!”
“Anthy! Anthy, are you in here?” a desperate male voice cried out.
“I’m here,” she said in a little voice as she crawled out from under the bed.
There was her brother, Sailor Venus and Sailor Jupiter. Jupiter held a green spear, Venus had a two handed sword reserved for the leader of Princess Serenity’s guards. Her brother also had his sword, it was covered in blood.
“You’re alright!” He fell to his knees, dropping his sword and he wrapped his arms around her. “I was so worried about you. If anything happened-“
“Dios, I’m alright. Y-You can stop crying, big brother.”
“What are you going to do?” Sailor Venus asked him.
Dios wiped away his tears, picked up his sword and stood up, facing his princess. “I’m taking Anthy to Earth. Even if Queen Beryl is stopped most of the planets won’t be able to support human life anymore. I’ll find an out of the way place she can stay. I will do what I can from there to help protect the people. And you?”
“We’re going to the Moon, where else?” Venus said.
“Mars and Mercury are already there. We need to go support them and protect the princess,” Jupiter said.
“Good luck,” Dios said as he took his little sister’s hand. “I hope we can meet again.”
He turned and lead his sister away from the two warriors that he knew he was never going to see again.
Anthy wore simple red clothing. She cradled her dying brother’s head in her arms.
When they had come to Earth he found a simple log cabin to live in. With that as his base he would often venture out. Before it fell, he would help the Moon Kingdom’s forces from the Earth. After it fell he still went out and helped the various people of the planet. It was not his nature to leave people suffering, but with all the heroes and heroines of the planets gone from the world of the living it left him as the sole knight to save everyone.
The Earth’s prince charming.
Outside of the cabin she could hear them. They were coming. All of them were expecting him to save them. It was not fair. He had given so much to protecting so many.
She gently laid his head down and went to the door. Anthy was not going to let them do this to her brother any more. It was selfish and she knew it. She wanted him safe with her, not adventuring for them.
She could feel something stirring inside her.
Amoretta and Klotilda had both been princesses and warriors. They had failed to protect anything. They were both dead, the Moon Kingdom was fallen, their planets were barren wastelands. No, a princess was useless.
She would rather be a witch like Queen Beryl and actually be able to do something.
Anthy went outside to face the mob.
“Mako, we need one of these too!” Minako enthusiastically told her girlfriend.
“I don’t think we need a full service tea set.”
“But once I am a famous singer I might have really famous and important guests over all the time.”
“Like who?” Makoto said with a smile.
“I don’t know, maybe the Queen of England, or something?”
“How about this, we can get this tea set instead. It is cheaper, nice and has enough pieces for when the others come over and when the Queen of England does come over we can get the fancier one then.”
Minako crossed her arms and considered it before giving her patented Sailor V smile. “Alright, that sounds like a plan.”
Glass hit the floor and shattered. Both young women turned their head. Crouching next to the shattered teapot was a dark skinned woman with long wavy hair. She was trying to pick up the pieces of the broken teapot. Without even hesitating the Japanese women walked over to her side and began to help clean up the mess.
“Are you okay?” Makoto asked.
“Yes, I’m fine. I just thought I saw someone I knew.”
“Well, you shouldn’t daydream so much. You could get hurt.”
“Minako, coming from you that doesn’t mean very much.”
The three stood up when the mess was cleaned.
“Thank you. Just one thing, what are your names?”
“I’m Aino Minako and this is Kino Makoto.”
“Minako… Makoto…” Anthy whispered their names to herself as she waved goodbye to them.
She smiled as she watched them walk off together hand in hand. Maybe she did have a chance of finding Utena in the large world outside of Ohtori. After all, Amoretta and Klotilda found each other again despite being completely reincarnated.
Anthy scrubbed the floors of the dirty building. She never was much of a cook, but cleaning was second nature to her. She wiped the sweet off of her brow. It was hard work getting this run down building cleaned up. She was enjoying every minute of it.
The fact that this was HERS made all the difference in the world. This was her building and it was going to become her business. Nothing was going to stop her.
On the television set was a news story about the Serenity royal family. Of course Anthy knew they were the descendants of the reincarnated Princess Serenity.
She started scrubbing even harder than before as she brainstormed names for her business.
Mami sat down the ordered tea in front of the two patrons and walked back to the counter. The owner of the Lamp House was standing there, preparing the order of shaved ice for table five.
Mami sighed as she rested her tray on the counter.
“Is something wrong?” Anthy asked.
“Seeing couples here on dates makes me wish I had a boyfriend,” Mami said with another sigh.
“You just miss Marika. She’ll be back from outer space soon.”
“Even when she is back she is spending all of her time with Chiaki. It wouldn’t be that bad if they would just admit they were dating. But they try to act like they are just friends and are hanging out. So it gets really awkward for me.”
“You have no choice but to revolutionize the world,” Anthy said softly.
“What was that?” Mami asked.
“Oh, it was nothing. Someone very important to me turned my world upside down.”
“Did she do something special? Oh, did she save you from gangsters and evil space pirates?”
Anthy laughed, “She would have loved to do something like that. But no, she changed my world by showing me I have the strength to leave at any time.”
“Wow. So maybe I can help Marika by showing her how much she loves Chiaki?”
“Maybe you will cause a revolution for them,” Anthy said with a smile.
“Thank you,” Mami took the shaved ice out to table five.
The Lamp House was closed for the day. Mami had gone home with a new found conviction. The front door opened with the ringing of a small bell.
Anthy smiled and said, “Welcome home, Utena,” to the pink haired woman that had the groceries for their dinner.