The Lover of Princess Kaguya

Originally appeared in a separate tankoubon, November 1994.
Translated by Kurozuki (manga@kurozuki.com). Version 1.0, 8.96.

Do not link directly to this page. Do not redistribute this translation in any form, such as by posting it on another web site.


"I was lonely. You have gotten the first piece of me. You are my eternal companion."

The small crystal floats down from the sky, into the hand of a blond man.


"I don't like it," Michiru says as she looks into her mirror. "The color of this lipstick."

"It's a wonderful color, Michiru!" says Setsuna. "It's looks good on you. Hurry, hurry."

"A comet," says Michiru. The image of one appears in her mirror.

"It is!" says Setsuna. "An ancient inhabitant of the solar system, returning."

"Sorry to interrupt this," Haruka says. "But..." She holds up a clock.

"Oh no! It's that time already!?"

They leave the building.

"If we're late," Haruka says, "they'll be really mad."

"Hurry! Hurry! Let's catch a taxi!"


"You're late!"

"Haruka-san, Michiru-san, Setsuna-san! You're finally here!"

"Happy birthday, Minako, Makoto," says Haruka.

"We brought wine and champagne," says Setsuna.

"Great!"

"Everyone," says Unazuki. "Since you went to the trouble of reserving the Crown Parlor, eat up!"

"All right!" says Usagi. "Let's toast! A toast!"

"What?" says Chibi-Usa. "I feel something's missing..."

The three cats walk in. "Sorry, we're really late..."

"Luna! Artemis! Diana! You're late!"

"It's Artemis's fault," says Luna. "He was late coming to meet me."

"What!" says Artemis. "I always have to go meet you. I wish you'd come to meet me once in a while."

"Luna! Artemis!" says Minako. "You're bickering like a married couple. You shouldn't show off like that in front of us single people!"

"At any rate," says Mamoru, "so we can hurry and eat Unazuki-chan's cooking and Mako-chan's cake..."

They all raise their glasses.

"A toast! Happy birthday! Mako-chan, Minako-chan!"

Chibi-Usa runs to a window. "Snow! Look, snow!"

"It's early this year."

A spirit floats outside and chuckles. "Heh heh..."


Snow falls on a cool December day.

"Ah, Luna-chan," Usagi's mom says. "Going for a walk by yourself? Watch out for cars."

"Meow."

"Luna's never been to Minako-chan's house," said Usagi.

"Artemis always has the role of going to meet her," said Minako. "Hey... Luna's a queen."

"That's not what I meant..." Luna thinks.

"If Luna went to meet Artemis for once," said Mamoru, "he'd be thrilled."

"Once Mamo-chan said that, there was nothing I could do."

"I'll go too!" said Diana.

"It's a main street, with lots of cars, so it's very dangerous," said Luna. "Next time."

"I don't want to go to Art's place," Luna thinks. "There is a reason. No matter what, I have to go down this main street. Last time I was here, those bratty kids... They covered the crescent moon on my forehead with a bandage."

"A black cat!" a kid calls.

"It's cute!" says another.

"I wanna hold it!"

"Oh no!" Luna thinks. She jumps up onto a wall. "You can't catch me that easily."

The kid grabs onto her tail. "Gotcha!"

"What!?"

"Look! Look! It's weird! It has a crescent moon bald spot!"

"It does!"

"Let's play a little trick! Hey, anyone have a bandage?"

"Oh, I have one!"

"No! No!" Luna thinks. "What are you doing! Please, stop there! If you put a bandage there, my power will..."

The kid fixes two bandages across her forehead. Luna runs away.

"It escaped!"

Luna wanders around. "Oh... I can't use my power..."

She sees a car speeding toward her.

"Oh no..."

"Look out!" a blond man calls.

"Oh..." Luna thinks. "Before I die... For once... If I had gone to meet Art..."


"What...? It smells sweet... I wonder if this is heaven... Somehow... I'm hungry."

She sees the blond man looking down at her.

"Ah, you're awake," he says. "Your stomach growled, black kitty. Want some rice sugar candy?"

"I...!?" Luna thinks. "I was saved? This man saved me?"

"It's good you weren't hit by that car," he says. "But you did scrape your arm a little."

A cloth is tied around her arm.

"But," he says, "this is a strange place for a bandage. Maybe you're hurt there too." He pulls the bandages off her forehead. "Oh, that's a pretty crescent moon bald spot. Did you want me to take it off? Sorry, sorry."

"This person seems nice..." Luna thinks. "Who is he? And, where on earth am I?"

A man bursts into the room. "Hey! Oozora! Hime's coming back."

"Really?" he says. He doubles over and moans.

Luna gasps.

A woman enters the room. "A spaceman has the most physical strength," she says. "You're looking pale as usual, Kakeru."

"I have a miserable duty on Earth," he says.

People gather around as the woman walks through the hall.

"Hime! Long time no see!"

"How did you do? On the final cut for the crew of the Christmas Eve trip to the moon."

"I'm waiting for the results," she says. "After one week. I hope to become an astronaut and work at Kennedy Space Center. Like you. I want to be close to the launch site from the first time mankind went to the moon, Apollo 11."

"You'll be chosen for the crew," Kakeru says. "Soon you'll be the payload specialist on the next space shuttle, Project Luna Frontier, and the youngest woman astronaut at 22."

"Astronaut?" Luna thinks.

"Naturally," she says. "I'll show you I'll be one. With power, strength, and guts, I have confidence."

Two men enter the room. "That's Nayotake Himeko," says one. "Instead of Hime, they call her a samurai."

"And who's that with her?"

"A childhood friend of hers, Dr. Oozora Kakeru. He's just like Hime."

"He's discovered another comet?"

"He deserves that title of doctor! And besides that, he named the comet Princess Snow Kaguya. I saw it on a TV interview. It's because it seemed like it flew from the moon. Instead of doctor, they call him 'spaceman.'"

"He's famous, but..." Himeko thinks. "If he'd just get angry like a man... He wasn't like that before."

"The pencil rocket has been successfully launched, and it's only some 300 millimeters long. Made by the genius Oozora Kakeru at the early age of 12!"

"In America he earned doctorates in space aviation, engineering, chemistry, physics, biology, and medicine. He was qualified like no one before. Kakeru was supposed to be the first astronaut from the space cadets. But in the final selection for the space shuttle... He wasn't chosen for the crew... I remember it surprised everyone. They all thought it was certain. But even more surprising was that since then, he never took the astronaut recruiting challenge again."

"Oozora!" a man says. "We're having an emergency board meeting. You come too!"

Luna watches as Kakeru leaves with the others. "Oozora-san..." she thinks. "That really is an astronaut's name..."

[Oozora means 'sky' or 'heavens.' Kakeru means 'to soar.']

She walks outside and sees a building labeled, 'Space Development Team.' She goes to it and peers in through a window.

A group of people sit around a conference table.

"This is still top-secret, but several days ago, a member of our space development team, Oozora Kakeru, discovered something. The comet Princess Snow Kaguya suddenly appeared. It's hard to believe, but this time it's been identified as having a collision course for Earth."

"What did he say!?" Luna thinks.

"It has a diameter of 10 kilometers. Clearly, it was a comet the same size that wiped out the dinosaurs when it collided with Earth. An emergency meeting of every country is being called. Unless we can somehow stop it..."

"Oh no!" Luna thinks.


"A comet's heading for Earth!?" Usagi says.

"Could it be...?" Minako says. "The comet Setsuna-san and Michiru-san were talking about at the party!?"

"Colliding with a heavenly body 10 kilometers in diameter..." says Ami. "The probability is one in a million of something like that happening."

-

"A comet is going to collide with Earth?"

"They calculated its orbit," Luna says over the phone. "Since its discovery, its orbit has changed, and now it's heading right for Earth!"

"I see," Haruka says.

Michiru looks into her mirror. "The comet's brilliance..." she says. "It's fading away. I can't see it anymore. Be relieved! It looks like it's gone."

"It's gone!" Luna says. "Just now!"

"Great."

"It must have burned up."

Luna smiles. She looks down and sees the cloth tied around her arm.


"I don't believe it," Kakeru says. "Princess Snow Kaguya suddenly disappeared."

"That's surprising," says the other man. "Very."

"We'll announce that it burned up abruptly when it approached the sun. It happens often. We shouldn't cause a big commotion. I didn't see a meteor shower. Strange... If it burned up, we should have seen one."

"It's too bad you couldn't see the remains of the Princess, Kakeru."

"He's here," thinks Luna as she looks in the window. "Oozora-san. I'll just return the handkerchief I borrowed." She slides it in.

"Hey! A cat!" the man says. "There's a black cat at the window!"

Kakeru goes to the window. "A cat?"

Luna jumps down. "Oh no! He saw me!"

He opens the window. "It's my guest. Hey, you come here often." He takes her inside to his office, Lab A.

"It burned up and disappeared," he says. "That's too bad."

"I'm inside his room again," Luna thinks. She meows.

"What?" Kakeru says. He takes the handkerchief from her mouth. "This... Is this the handkerchief I bandaged your injury with? Amazing. Your master taught you good manners. This is the first time I've met such a lady. Thanks. Would you like some milk with rice sugar candy?"

"He's a gentleman," thinks Luna. "Treating even me this way."

"What's your name?" he asks.

"Lu-"

She covers her mouth. "Oops!" she thinks. "Watch out! I can't talk."

"Kuro? Mike? Tama?"

Luna shakes her head.

"Hmm... I got it! Since you have that crescent-shaped bald spot, Moon!"

"No!" Luna thinks. "That's almost it!" She looks around. "Hmm... Hmm... I wonder if somewhere there's something to give him a hint... Oh!" She sees a book on the moon and points to a picture of the lunar rover.

"Huh? What? The lunar rover?" He snaps his fingers. "Luna! You're called Luna? I see! Luna... The name of the next planned flight's space shuttle is also 'Luna.' That's a good name. My name is Oozora Kakeru. Nice to meet you, Luna."

"Amazing," Luna thinks. "We communicated." She sees a small crystal in a petri dish. "A crystal? It's shaped like the Mystical Silver Crystal."

"Isn't it pretty?" says Kakeru. "I got it the night I found the comet. It looked like the comet and this piece just fell from the moon. It could be a lost article of Princess Kaguya. I believe Princess Kaguya lives on the moon."

"Is that why you named the comet 'Princess Snow Kaguya'?"

He turns around. "Hime!"

"Oh," Luna thinks. "That's his childhood friend, Himeko-san."

"You just talk about things in dreams," says Himeko. "That's why you're called 'spaceman' by everybody. Even though you're almost 30."

"Kakeru! Hime!" a man calls. "The meeting is starting!"

Himeko turns and leaves.

"Hime!" Kakeru calls. A pain strikes him in the chest, and he drops to his knees.

"Oozora-san!" thinks Luna. She runs to him.

"It's all right, Luna," he says. "I get dizzy standing... That ribbon tied to the bag of rice sugar candy. It would suit you. It's the color of the your crescent moon."

He takes the yellow ribbon off the bag and ties it around Luna's neck.

"Come see me again, Luna."


"Luna's looked strange lately?" Usagi asks.

"She only talks half-heartedly," says Diana. "Everyday she goes somewhere by herself."

"And now all she eats is rice sugar candy," says Chibi-Usa.

-

"Luna," Ami says. "You rarely go home and you're carefully reading those books?"

Luna looks at the book. "Well now," she thinks. "Princess Kaguya. A princess that comes from the moon, and then returns to the moon."

-

"I saw her near the house the other day," Minako says. "A cat like Luna. Hey, Artemis, are you just going to sit around again today?"

"She wasn't coming to meet me at all," thinks Artemis. "Just where was she going? That Luna. And plus, that ribbon..."

"What's with that ribbon?" Artemis asked.

"Er- Well... Nothing," said Luna.


"The crystal's growing...!" says Kakeru. "I don't believe it. I can't make a conclusion, but if this crystal came flying from the core of the comet, it could be a link to unraveling the mystery of the birth of the solar system. It's a good thing I got a sample returned from the comet before it disappeared, but it's still unfortunate."

Luna looks up from her bowl of rice sugar candy and sees Kakeru asleep at his desk. She smiles. She takes a blanket and pulls it over him.


As Luna approaches home that night, she sees Usagi and Mamoru outside.

"Mamo-chan," Usagi says. "Thanks for taking me home."

"See you later."

Luna stares at them as they kiss.

-

Usagi enters her room, drying her hair. "Ah, nice and clean. That smells good. Huh? Luna, you're back? Do you want to take one too? Tonight it's a citron bath."

"That smells good," says Luna. "It's not citron. What's that smell?"

"Potpourri," says Usagi. "Since I put it in my drawer, the scent is in my pajamas. Hehe, look, look. These pajamas are the same cloth as Mamo-chan's and Chibi-Usa's."

"Usagi-chan... When you're with Mamo-chan, what do you usually talk about?"

Usagi pauses. She sits down. "Mamo-chan always reads these hard books, so I can't match him. I'm the only one who talks. Then I have to sleep on the sofa."

"That's just like Kakeru-san," Luna thinks.

"But still," says Usagi. "It's going at my pace like that, and I let it, so I love him anyway."

"Really?" Luna thinks. "Really..."

"The way Mamo-chan looks when he's asleep, it's like a child! It's so cute!"

"Oh, I know!" Luna says. "Doesn't it? Doesn't it?"

"Luna..." says Usagi. "Who are you talking about? Artemis?"

"N- No! It's nobody."

"Hmph."

"Say, Usagi-chan... What does ki-... kissing taste like?"

Usagi's eyes widen. "Err! Well, it tastes... sweet."

Luna holds the bag of potpourri. "It tastes sweet..."


Luna sits in the office with Kakeru.

"It tastes sweet," she thinks. "I wonder if it tastes like rice sugar candy..."

"You're eating that stuff again! You'll become a diabetic, Kakeru!"

"Hime," he says. "I like it. It's like eating bits of stars."

"It's 11 o'clock already," says Himeko. "Hurry and finish up, and go home. It's bothering me."

"What?" Luna thinks. "That time already!?"

Himeko picks her up. "You brought the cat to your room again."

As she walks away, she trips over a book on the ground.

"Look out!" Kakeru says.

A pain strikes him in the head, and they both fall to the floor.

"Kakeru!?" says Himeko. "What's wrong!?"

"Nothing... Just a little dizziness..."

"Have you been taking care of yourself? That's why it was impossible for you to be an astronaut."

"My duty was to go look at it too. At space. Are you going back to America?"

"I don't know of that duty," says Himeko. "No one's looking after me either."

Himeko turns on the television.

"Now that the four members of the crew for the 24-day flight of the space shuttle Luna have been decided..." The screen shows a picture of four men. "The goal of this mission is to make a moon base..."

"I was dropped," Himeko says. "From the final cut. I'll go back to America and start over. The chief and the director didn't say it. That girls should just be wives."

"You have all the chances you want," says Kakeru.

"Of course! I'm serious about it. Just because I was dropped once, I won't give up. I'm not like you. I don't forget my dreams!"

She turns and runs away.

"Hime!"

Luna meows. "What should I do?" she thinks.

Kakeru picks her up. "Are you hungry, Luna? Let's go home."

"Oozora-san..."


"Powdery snow," says Kakeru. "This year is cold. I think I have milk in the refrigerator..."

A pain strikes him and he drops to his knees.

"Oozora-san!?" Luna thinks.

"It's okay, Luna," he says. "My medicine..."

She looks at the coffee table, which is covered with packages of medicine. "So much medicine...!" she thinks. She takes a few to Kakeru. "Oozora-san!?"

He takes one. "Thanks, Luna."

"What kind of medicine is it," Luna thinks. "Oh, if Mamo-chan and Ami-chan were here, they could tell what the proper measures are."

She watches as Kakeru lies down on the couch and falls asleep. She sees a picture on the wall. "That's pretty," she thinks. "The moment the sun rises."

-

Kakeru opens his eyes. "Luna? You stayed with me until I woke up?"

"Meow."

They look out the window.

"The snow has stopped," he says. "It's already dawn. Look at that, a beautiful Earth morning. Luna, the view of dawn from space is amazing. Much more than this. It's beautiful. I want to show it to you, too, Luna. It would be nice if we could see it together." He yawns. "You smell good," he says. "Is that the scent of flowers? It's the smell of potpourri. Is it your master's? When I'm with you, I feel at ease. It seems like you understand everything."

He gets into bed and closes his eyes.

"I feel that way too..." Luna thinks. She looks at him. She slowly walks over to his face and kisses his lips.

She covers her mouth. She runs out of the room, out of the building.

"Oh..." she thinks. "The world is so... beautiful... I kissed him. I... love... him... Kakeru-san..."


Kakeru sits up. "Luna? Guess she went home."

He walks to the picture on the wall and takes it down. He looks at the other side. It's a postcard.

Kakeru, how are you? I thought you'd like the picture on this postcard, so I sent it to you. The training is intense, but to go to the moon, I'll do it. Until next time. From Himeko.

"From Himeko... If I remember correctly, I still have vacation time left." He picks up the phone. "Hello? Space development team?"

-

"I wonder if Kakeru-san is already at work," Luna thinks. She goes to the space development building.

"Hello?" says the man inside. "Oozora? A vacation until the day after tomorrow? I understand. It's fine. Where are you going? Kennedy Space Center?"


The airplane flies through the sky. The wind whips at Luna as she sits on the plane's wing.

"Mom!" a girl calls. "Look! Look! A cat's riding on the wing of the plane!"

"Come on, don't say such stupid things. Please, be quiet."

Kakeru stares out the window on the other side of the plane.

"Kakeru-san...?"


"Kakeru!?" a man says. "It is Kakeru! When did you get here? Do you finally feel like being an astronaut again? Hime just got here too! Should I call her?"

"No..." says Kakeru. "I'm on vacation, just came to look around a bit. I'll be going home soon."

He stares up as a rocket soars into the sky over the lake.

Luna looks at him from behind a bush. "He just left..." she thinks. "Why did he suddenly come to Kennedy Space Center?"

"Meow."

Kakeru turns around. "Luna!? It can't be." He picks her up. "But this crescent moon bald spot. Could your master work at NASA!? I don't believe it. It really is Luna. Meeting you here... Did you follow me?"

"How did he know...?" Luna thinks. "Yes, I followed him. To America..."

"I'm attached too..." he says. "Now that I've come to this place... Besides, I'm a bad person. When Hime wasn't chosen for the crew, I was actually relieved."

"Oh! A meteor shower!" says the young Himeko.

"It is!" says the young Kakeru. "I'd like to be an astronaut."

"Me too, me too. I'd like to be one."

"What? You want to be an astronaut too, Himeko?"

"Yes. I want to see for myself, whether or not Princess Kaguya really is on the moon."

"Well, let's become astronauts together!" says Kakeru.

"Really?"

"We'll find out together if Princess Kaguya is there."

"It's a promise! Together, we'll become astronauts, and go to the moon!"

Kakeru stares into the sky.

"It's become a time when lots of people can go to space that easily."

"I'm not like you. I don't forget my dreams!"

"He hasn't forgotten his dream," Luna thinks. "You want to be an astronaut, don't you, Kakeru-san..."

He doubles over and groans.

"Kakeru-san!?" Luna thinks. "What should I do? I have to call someone!" She starts to run. "Kakeru-san! Kakeru-san!"

Himeko turns around. "What!? The black kitty!? It can't be!"

Luna runs away.

"Wait! Where are you going!"

She follows her.

"Kakeru!?"


"A problem with heart dilation?"

"He has arrhythmia," the doctor says. "That's why he can't be an astronaut. There's no operation for his illness. He mustn't overwork himself. Return to Japan and have him hospitalized quickly."


Himeko and Kakeru get off the plane.

"I'm sorry, Hime. That you had to come to Japan..."

"I guess it's only natural," says Himeko. "There's no need to worry about it. You'll be in the hospital. I'll stay in Japan for a while until you get all better."


"This medicine is digitalis," Ami says. "It's a diuretic that increases the flow of blood. This is verapamil. It's heart medicine. I wonder if he has a heart disease."

"A heart disease..." thinks Luna. "His heart is ill!? Kakeru-san..."


"Hey, Luna!!" Usagi says. "Where on earth have you been!? You didn't call for three days!"

"I'd rather not say..."


"It's love," says Minako. "Luna's in love."

Artemis collapses in shock.

"Lu- Luna's in love!?" he says. "With who!?"

"It's not you, that's for sure," says Minako.

"She blushes a lot, she can't do anything, and she dresses fancily," says Michiru.

"And she seems like she's interested in me and Mamo-chan now," says Usagi. "It can only be love! Right?"

"But don't skimp on your job, Artemis," Minako says. "Even though in the 30th century you get married and have a kid, Diana-chan, don't just sit there! The future can always change!"

Artemis walks off, hanging his head.

"So, where is Luna?" Minako asks.

"Relaxing at home," says Usagi.

"Luna..." Ami thinks.


"So Luna's in love..." Makoto says. "I know what that's like. Wanting to be with a wonderful man on a cold night... Senpai..."

"Yeah," says Rei. "Especially in this season, I remember old loves."

"My first love..." says Minako. "The volleyball player, Higashi-senpai..."

"Wh- what's with you all of a sudden?" Usagi says.

"You don't understand," says Minako. "The feelings we have."

"Before Christmas," says Makoto. "I want to fall in love with someone. Being by myself on Christmas Eve is so lonely."

"Oh, I know..." says Michiru.

"Being alone is so bad," says Setsuna.

"Hey, it's snowing again. It'll be cold tonight too. Definitely."

A spirit floats outside. "Heh heh... That's right. Being alone is bad."

"Yeah, it's almost Christmas," says Chibi-Usa. "Dad... Mom..."

"What? What?" says Mamoru. "Chibi-Usa too?"

"Why don't we all throw a Christmas party?" says Ami. "It'll be fun."

"Really!?" says Chibi-Usa. "Hey! Every year for Christmas we pick a star!"

"A star?"

"Right. Then at the party, everyone gives the star what she most wants as a present."

"Small Lady," says Neo-Queen Selenity. "This year, the Christmas star is you. Now, open your eyes. Here's your present from everyone."

She sees a gray kitten in a basket. "Hello, Small Lady. I'm Diana. Nice to meet you."

"Wow!" Chibi-Usa says. "How did you know what I wanted? Dad, Mom, thank you!"

"That was fun," she says. "Everyone did it at the Christmas party. I wonder who the star should be this year. Dad... Mom..."


"I've completed the procedure to get you in the hospital," Himeko says. "I'll go visit you there. Do you need anything?"

"Thanks, Hime, I'm all right. After I stop by the lab, I'll head for the hospital."

-

Kakeru enters his office and gasps. The petri dish lies broken on the floor. A large crystal sits beside it, with a figure inside.

"The crystal... It's growing this huge!? But how? It looks just like the form of a person...! What on earth..."

He moans and doubles over.

"It hurts... The number of fits is increasing... Am I starting to lose it...?"


Kakeru lies in a hospital bed.

The spirit floats outside the window. "I was lonely..."

Kakeru sits up. "Who's there? The window's opening?"

She floats out of the crystal she was closed in. "You have gotten the first piece of me," she says. "I am Snow Kaguya. I was named by you."

"You came to meet me...?" says Kakeru. "I'll probably die soon. I see. I don't worry. My parents died so long ago, and there's no one else who will grieve... I can die in peace. You can take me at any time."

"Lonely... I can somewhat understand your loneliness. I was also alone. All alone for four and a half billion years..."

-

Luna sits outside the hospital in the falling snow. "Kakeru-san..." she thinks. "Being a cat, there's nothing I can do for you. But I want to see you..."

-

A nurse enters the room. "Oozora-san? How are you feeling? If anything's changed..."

She sees the spirit over Kakeru's unconscious body. She screams.

Luna runs into the room and sees the nurse frozen in crystal by the spirit.

"That thing!? That form... Oh no! An enemy!?"


"Usagi-chan!!"

Usagi jumps up in bed. "Luna!?"

"Come! Quickly!"

"Wait a minute, Luna! What's the matter!?"

"An enemy!! An enemy's appeared at the hospital!"

"An enemy!?"


"What do you want!" the nurse says. "Visiting hours were over long ago!" She kicks them outside.

"Luna, where is the place!?" Usagi says.

"The fourth floor medical ward CCU!"

"Let's go! Moon Power! Turn me into the director of the science board! The highest member of the space development team!"

Luna groans as she sees the flashy skirt and blouse Usagi wears.

Usagi runs through the hall. "If I'm the director, I have a free pass for visiting!"

She sees the nurse frozen in crystal.

"Moon Cosmic Power! Make Up!"

She runs into the room. "I carry the protection of the planet of love and justice, the moon! I am the soldier of mystery, the pretty soldier Sailor Moon!!"

"Who the hell!?" the spirit says.

"Moon Spiral Heart Attack!"

The spirit cries out. "I'll retreat for now!" She leaves.

Himeko rushes into the room. "Kakeru!?" She runs to him. She looks up at Usagi. "What's wrong? What happened? Who are you!?"

"I'm Sailor Moon. Kakeru-san was attacked."

"Sailor Moon!?"

Kakeru opens his eyes. "Hime?"

"Kakeru!?"

"That crystal..."

"The crystal!?"

"It suddenly appeared from there... Snow Kaguya..."

"Snow Kaguya!?"

-

Himeko sits outside the coronary care unit with Usagi and Luna.

"The crystal Kakeru was talking about..." she says. "It fell from the sky the day he found the comet. The crystal grew with amazing speed. It was clearly an unknown crystal. The unknown crystal's elements caused Kakeru to see hallucinations. That crystal is dangerous."

"Snow Kaguya..." Luna thinks. "The comet's name... Oh my..."

She crawls onto the couch. "It wasn't a hallucination, Himeko-san," she says.

"Lu- Luna!?" says Himeko. "You just ta- talked!!"

"You might not be able to believe this," says Luna, "but it's an invader. And it's from that comet."

"An invader... Could it be that unknown life form?"

"The crystal could be a part of it as well. Kakeru-san might have been targeted... He might be attacked again. We should deal with that crystal."

"That can't be..." Himeko says. "Kakeru is being targeted by the unknown life form?"

"It's not just Kakeru-san," thinks Usagi. "This planet could be being targeted too. Himeko-san... Luna..." She thinks of Kakeru. "Oh my god. Is Luna's lover...?"


Michiru holds out her mirror.

"The coordinates?"

"The point where the comet Princess Snow Kaguya vanished."

She holds onto the mirror with Haruka and Setsuna.

They fade away and reappear in space, where they see the comet flying before them.

"The comet!?"

"Who's there!?" says the spirit. "You people are standing in the way of my path!"

"The three soldiers of the outer solar system! Sailor Uranus!"

"Sailor Neptune!"

"Sailor Pluto!"

"You made it appear that it vanished," Haruka says, "and you've been hiding it! What do you want!? Invader! Get out of here now! World Shaking!"

"Deep Submerge!"

"Dead Scream!"

"Hahaha!" the spirit says. "You fools are like babies! What can you do!" She knocks the three soldiers back. "Hahaha!"

They disappear.

"I thought that I'd slowly hide this planet," she says. "Now with the energy of my four and a half billion years alone, I will cover this planet. This planet is mine."

Haruka, Michiru, and Setsuna reappear on the floor of the Crown Game Center. Usagi and the others rush in. "Uranus! Neptune! Pluto!"

"The comet hasn't vanished!" says Haruka. "Snow Kaguya is aimed at this planet! If it continues on that course, it'll collide with Earth! The planet is in danger!"


Himeko walks to the space development building. "The invader... I can't believe it's an alien... That it attacked Kakeru..." She goes inside.

"Hime!" a man calls. "There's a message from the director at NASA! The goal of the 24-day flight of the space shuttle Luna has been changed! You've been chosen for the crew, Hime!"

The television shows a picture of the flight's crew, which now includes Himeko. "This will be the first flight for the new member of the crew, the Japanese astronaut, Miss Nayotake Himeko," the reporter says.

-

"She will be the youngest Japanese woman to be an astronaut..."

"Himeko-san..." Usagi thinks as she watches the newscast with Luna.

-

Kakeru stares at the picture of the crew on TV.


Kakeru lies asleep in bed at the hospital.

He runs through space.

"Hime! Luna!" he says. "You're all leaving me. Don't leave. I'm alone..."

He sees a faint figure staring down at him.

"Who is that? Princess Kaguya...?"

He opens his eyes and sees Himeko looking over him.

"Hime! You're an astronaut. Why are you here? By now you should be in America..."

"I'm going," she says. "I just wanted to see how you were doing."

"Hurry... and return from space," Kakeru says. "You don't yet have a body that will let you act this freely. I have to say congratulations..." He starts to cough.

"Kakeru!"

"It's already too late for me," he says.

"Kakeru."

"I don't have long. I know it."

"When I come back from this flight," says Himeko, "no matter what anyone says, I'll be with you. I'll stay with you, and fix your heart, and once more... Next time, we'll go to space together. Then together, we'll find out if Princess Kaguya is on the moon."

"Hime...!"

"Don't worry yourself. Whatever you say, I won't give up on you. Since we were little, we decided that we would definitely become astronauts." She hugs him. "Wasn't that our dream?"

"Hime...!" he says. "I want to go to space. Can I go like this..."

"Of course," says Himeko. "I'll take you."

He kisses her.

Luna watches through the open doorway. She turns and runs away.

"I thought it was my destiny to be together with him," she thinks. "But the one you picked, that wasn't me." Tears streak from her eyes. "I want to be human. If I was human..." She goes the game center. "I shouldn't think too hastily, but... It hurts. Having these painful feelings..."

"Luna?" says Artemis.

"Art?" She wipes her eyes. "Aren't you here late?"

"The comet," he says. "I was working on some plans."

"Something's the matter with me..." Luna thinks. "In this time of emergency... Art is working so hard..."

"Say, Luna, are you hungry? I have some rice sugar candy. You like it, right? Chibi-Usa and Diana, we went to a lot of trouble to get it for you."

Luna looks down at the saucer. "Rice sugar candy... It's so bitter." Her eyes water.

"Luna's in love."

"Well!" Artemis says. "I've been doing all I can to think of countermeasures, but of everyone, your opinion is most important. Without you, we can't have a council of war! If we don't do something... Earth... Everyone... We have to save them."

Mamoru, Usagi, and Chibi-Usa watch them from the entrance. "Artemis! Luna...!"


December 22nd.

"This is a special bulletin," the TV reporter says. "Yesterday, the Department of Defense reached an emergency resolution with NASA and international leaders. Space Shuttle Luna, scheduled to launch December 24th, has been loaded with ballistic missiles. The formal announcement states that it will rendezvous with Comet Princess Snow Kaguya and blow it up, avoiding a collision."

"Blow it up!?" the girls think.

"The effect of the explosion on Earth will not destroy the planet..."

"Space Shuttle Luna," Luna thinks. "Himeko-san!"

"Heh heh..." says the spirit.


Himeko enters the space development building.

"Hime," Kakeru said. "Would you bring me that crystal?"

"Kakeru!?"

"I want to keep it near me. I'm concerned about what will happen to it there. I want to investigate it myself."

She enters his office and sees the crystal mass on his desk.

"That's the crystal!? It's seducing Kakeru. Just like the snow queen..." She picks it up. "I'll protect him! A bewitcher haunts that comet. I'll break it to pieces!"

She throws the crystal down and it shatters on the floor.


Himeko walks through New Tokyo International Airport. She sees Usagi standing behind a corner.

"Sailor Moon!?" she says. "Luna!"

"Himeko-san."

"I'm leaving. I have to commemorate this, my first flight. Blowing up a comet is a really big job, but I'll persevere and perform my duty."

"Princess Snow Kaguya is formidable," says Usagi. "But leave it to us."

"Sailor Moon...!"


Wind blows through the room with the shattered crystal.

"Oh..." says the spirit. "I can't allow this. Breaking my body into pieces! Now is the time for the realization of my eternal dream!"

Tokyo Bay freezes over, and a tower of ice raises from it. More spirits appear.

"Heh heh! Now, snow dancers! Show them your blizzard dance!"


"Art! This is serious!" Luna says. "The people on the street!" The monitor shows people falling, and being closed in ice.

"Ehehe," says a snow dancer. "Sleep."

"Heh heh," says another. "Sleep."

"Luna! Look!" Artemis says. "The sea!"

"That tower!?"

"Everyone! It's an emergency! Enemies!"


Kakeru coughs. "It's just like my heart's on fire," he thinks. "It's painful..."

The spirit floats into his room.

"You..." he says.

She carries him outside. "I came to meet you. You have a beautiful heart, like glass. You will dominate the world of ice together with me. Soon this world will be ice. This planet, and space, eternally--"

"Stop right there!"

"Mercury Planet Power!"

"Mars Planet Power!"

"Jupiter Planet Power!"

"Venus Planet Power!"

"Neptune Planet Power!"

"Uranus Planet Power!"

"Pluto Planet Power!"

"Moon Cosmic Power!"

"Make Up!!"

"Princess Snow Kaguya!" Usagi shouts. "We are the sailor soldiers. In the name of the moon and the planets, we'll punish you!"

"Hahaha!" says the spirit. "You foolish children know nothing!" She blows cold wind at them. "This solar system was mine from the beginning! My other self! Four and a half billion years ago! I was supposed to dominate this star system. But the solar system considered me a heretic, and expelled me. I was supposed to raise it. It was a blue jewel."

"Four and a half billion years ago!" says Setsuna. "The ugly remains of the nebula the solar system was born from!"

"It's been a long time," she says. "I have finished my long, long wandering of four and a half billion years. I can finally return. To my beautifully raised planet!"

"Take Kakeru-san to the hospital!" Usagi says.

"Right!"

Michiru, Haruka, and Setsuna disappear with him.

The spirit blows, and ice forms around the soldiers. "Now, my pretty snow dancers! Take care of them!"

"Heh heh..."

The soldiers fall to the ground in the ice.

"Mako-chan, let's go to the Christmas party together."

"Senpai..."

"Rei," her parents say. "For Christmas, let's go to a restaurant as a family."

"Dad, Mom..."

"Minako-chan," says Higashi. "Merry Christmas."

"Senpai..."

"Isn't dying alone unpleasant?" says the snow dancer. "We'll show you sweet dreams forever. You won't be alone anymore."

"Mamo-chan..." thinks Usagi.

"It's only a merry Christmas if we're together, Usa," he says.

-

"That's an amazing blizzard outside," says one of the hospital nurses. She goes into Kakeru's room. "Oozora-san? How are you doing?"

She sees him lying unconscious on the bed, the window open.

"Oozora-san!?"


"Today is December 22nd," says the TV reporter. "Due to magnetic storms and heavy blizzards over Earth, for now the countdown for the scheduled flight of Space Shuttle Luna has been called off..."

"It's already December 22nd," thinks Luna. "It's almost the scheduled time for Himeko-san's space shuttle flight. If it launches like this, it'll be caught in the fight..."

The yellow ribbon around her neck loosens and falls to the ground.

"Huh?" she thinks. "The ribbon... The ribbon that Kakeru-san tied...!? I feel uneasy."

"Luna?" calls Artemis.

"Kakeru-san!?" she thinks.

"Luna," Artemis says. "Why don't you go outside and see how it's going on the street?"

"Art?"

"Hurry, go," he says.

"Art..."

"Go! Be careful!"

She runs outside, past Mamoru and Chibi-Usa.

"We'll go too, Chibi-Usa," says Mamoru.

"Okay!"


"Doctor!" the nurse calls. "Come here! Oozora-san's condition...!"


Himeko sits inside the shuttle.

"Kakeru!?"

"Hime?" another crew member asks.

"Oh, no, it's nothing."

"Capcom, can't we resume the countdown yet!?"

"The magnetic storms that suddenly appeared won't calm down at all. Their cause is unknown. Besides that, the blizzard keeps getting worse. The flight might be canceled."

"Haven't you dealt with magnetic storms and blizzards before?" says Himeko. "Apollo 12 took off inside a thundercloud! Let's get going!!"

"You're brave, Hime. Aren't you scared?"

"I am scared," she says.

"I am scared," she thinks. "But, Kakeru, I want to show you this flight. I want to make you get better. Fly! Please. I feel that I have to go now. For Kakeru. I want to go into space! Kakeru!"


Luna runs to the hospital, carrying the ribbon. She looks in the window at Kakeru. The doctor and nurse are watching him.

"Kakeru-san!?" she thinks. She presses against the glass. "Kakeru-san, Kakeru-san..."

"A cat!" the nurse says. "A cat at the window!"

"Luna...?" says Kakeru. "Luna!"

"Kakeru-san...!"

"Doctor," he says. "Please let that cat inside. She's a dear friend."

The nurse opens the window, and Luna walks to him. "Kakeru-san!"

An oxygen mask covers his mouth and nose.

"It looks like the flight of Space Shuttle Luna is about to be canceled," the TV reporter says. "The comet's collision with Earth can't be avoided. It's a hopeless situation."

"Sailor Moon will destroy the comet," Luna thinks. "Then if Himeko's space shuttle can fly safely, and he hears it on the news, the pain in his heart will surely be gone. He'll get better. That's right. Kakeru-san! Everyone, everyone is fighting, so you can do it too, Kakeru-san. You can do it!"


"Submarine Reflection!"

"Cronos Typhoon!"

"Space Sword Blaster!"

The ice breaks apart, freeing the others.

"Everyone! Sailor Moon!"

-

Snow dancers swirl around Mamoru and Chibi-Usa.

"Everyone! Hold on!"

"Chibi-Moon!" Mamoru says. They both grab onto her moon rod.

"Pink Sugar Tuxedo Attack!"

The snow dancers are destroyed, and the people on the street are freed.

Mamoru looks up at the sky. "The blizzard has ended."

-

"Sailor Moon!" Makoto says. "The clouds!"

"They've cleared! It's a full moon!!"

"Hmph!" says the spirit. She flies into the air.

"Snow Kaguya!" Usagi calls.

"Sailor Moon! We'll follow her!"

Usagi joins the others. The form a circle, putting their hands together.

"Gather your power! At Snow Kaguya!"

The holy chalice appears before Usagi.

"Crisis! Make Up!"

"Super Sailor Moon!" Haruka says. "Let's go! To space!!"

The spirit turns around. "You followed me! All the way here! Damn!"

"You've distorted disgustingly!" Usagi says. "Ice wanderer! Princess Snow Kaguya!" She lifts up the heart moon rod. "Return to the original dust of space!"

"That white light! Four and a half billion years ago. Then, too, this planet was veiled in a white light that expelled me. It can't be..."

"Rainbow Moon Heartache!"

"It can't be! The strongest light in the galaxy, the Mystical Silver Crystal!?"

The spirit is destroyed in a burst of light.


Himeko looks up. "What is that light!?"

Mamoru holds Chibi-Usa.

Luna stares into the sky at the huge light.

"The comet just vanished in an instant!!"

"Amazing energy!"

"What happened!? Did it burn up!?"

"It couldn't be..." Himeko thinks.

"Leave it to us."

"Sailor Moon...? You...!?"

"The magnetic storm is gone! The blizzard has stopped too! It's all clear!"

"Take off the missiles! Quickly! Continue the countdown! Change to the original plan, Project Luna Frontier! Space Shuttle Luna will go to the moon base! To the moon!"


"A meteor shower!" Mamoru says.

"It's falling just like rice sugar candy," says Chibi-Usa.


Luna watches the television as the shuttle takes off.

"Kakeru-san," she thinks. "Now the space shuttle Himeko-san is on is headed for the moon. It took off."

The doctor pats her head. "You were his only relative, kitty. We did a drip-feed and an IAPB, but his heartbeat won't come back. We've done all we can. He turned the corner tonight."

Luna looks at him. "Kakeru-san...! What... should I do? I can't do anything in this body. If I was human... It would be nice if I was human... Kakeru-san..." She wipes away a tear.

Mamoru and Chibi-Usa watch from outside. The others appear.

"Tuxedo Kamen! Chibi-Moon!" Usagi says. "How's Kakeru-san?"

"Luna's caring for him," says Mamoru.

"This year, the star of Christmas is Luna," says Chibi-Usa. "Let's all give Luna a Christmas present! Super Sailor Moon, make Luna human. With the power of the Mystical Silver Crystal and the legendary holy chalice, tonight, for just one night, turn Luna into a human girl."

Usagi holds up the chalice.

"With Super Sailor Moon's holy chalice and the Mystical Silver Crystal, grant Luna's greatest wish...!"

Luna looks up. She covers her eyes. "It's blinding. What's this light!?" The crescent moon on her forehead glows.

"Luna. Open your eyes."

"What!?"

"Merry Christmas, Luna."

She gasps as she sees herself. A human girl in a yellow dress, with long, black hair.

"Super Sailor Moon!" she says. She looks at herself. "Who? Who is this? Me...? A human girl...?"

Artemis stares at her longingly.

"Artemis..." says Minako.

"Luna," Usagi says. "This is your Christmas present from us. Go to Kakeru-san."

"Super Sailor Moon...!"


"-san... Kakeru-san..."

"Who's there?" he says. He opens his eyes. "Princess Kaguya?"

"Yes," says the human Luna. "That's right, Kakeru-san. Open your eyes, and look."

He sees space all around him.

"This is... It can't be. Am I... in space now?" He looks around. "The stars look like rice sugar candy."

They hold their hands over their eyes as the sun shines at them.

"Amazing. Dawn. Seeing a view like this... Now I can die in peace."

"Kakeru-san..." Luna thinks. "It's like stars are falling inside my chest. I wonder if all human girls experience this kind of sorrow. I brought you..."

"Like this," she says, "we can pass away anywhere, together. But, you have to live. When your real Princess Kaguya returns to Earth from the moon, you must meet her at the light of your home. Then again, this is your dream. To come to this beautiful space. Next time you come, surely you'll be together with Himeko-san, and watch the dawn..."

"You..." Kakeru says. "That crescent moon on your forehead. It can't be... Lu-"

She presses her finger to his lips. She holds his face and kisses him deeply.

She pulls away from him. "You came to see whether or not I was on the moon. I love you, my spaceman... Promise me that you'll come again."

"I promise!" he says.

"Live, and come here again. To watch the beautiful dawn."


"His heartbeat is back!" the doctor says.

"EKG is normal too!"

"We did it, Oozora-kun!"

Kakeru opens his eyes. "Then to the moon. To search for Princess Kaguya..." Tears fall from his eyes. "Luna...!"

-

"Kakeru..." Himeko thinks as she floats in space. "Can he see it? This beautiful dawn. Soon Space Shuttle Luna will land on the moon. The moon is already before my eyes, Kakeru." She holds her stomach. "Next time, the three of us will come here. And then, we'll go to the moon, Kakeru. For sure."


Luna watches the sunrise as the snow gently falls, a cat once again.

"I have to go home," she says, carrying her ribbon. "I guess this form suits me better. It's close to the ground." She looks up as she reaches the house. "Art!"

"Welcome back, Luna," he says.

"How long have you been standing here? You're covered with snow!"

"Just a little while," he says. "I thought you'd be getting back soon."

"You were waiting for me?"

He smiles. "Of course. Well! Let's go inside."

"Artemis...!"

"The Christmas party is today. This time, we won't be late."

"All right."

The End


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The Manga of Takeuchi Naoko | Sailor Moon Manga | Volume 11