Sailormoon Volume 16

Okay, I know that the Starlights are female. But they look male, and I refer to them as such because it's less confusing to me. Just keep in mind that Takeuchi-sensei always meant them to be female; it's not my fault that their disguises are so convincing, now is it? <grin> Oh, and the "osmanthus" is a sweet-smelling flower, also known as the "fragrant olive."

Act 43: Stars 1

Cover of manga vol. 18, supplied by Manga Style!

Glimpses of the senshi... Haruka and Michiru are going to Juuban High... Setsuna is working as a school nurse... Chibiusa and Hotaru are best friends... Minako's current craze is the singing group The Three Lights... and Usagi is at the airport saying goodbye to Mamoru. He slides a ring onto her finger, murmuring that he loves her; they kiss tenderly. Suddenly, he starts upright, wide-eyed; his body glows. The Golden Crystal becomes visible at his chest; it unfolds to reveal a diamond-shaped crystal. Mamoru's body dissolves as Galaxia closes her hand around the crystal.

Usagi stares at Galaxia uncomprehendingly, and then she faints. Seiya catches her; he, Taiki, and Yaten shove through a crowd of admirers to put her gently in a taxi. In their wake, the crowd yells, "Three Lights!"... Usagi awakens, still somewhat dazed, and notes the scent of osmanthus; the three men take her to the outskirts of the Juuban district. The next day, the girls notice the ring; Usagi tells them (and herself) that Mamoru had gotten safely on the plane. Chibiusa goes back to the future. Unseen by anyone, a small redheaded girl with heart-shaped odangos floats down from the sky. That night, the Three Lights perform with Haruka and Michiru.

At the closing of the performance, Sailor Iron Mouse attacks, shouting that she will get the sailor crystals they carry. The senshi protect the audience and retaliate, but their attacks are all absorbed by Iron Mouse's bracelet. Suddenly, a voice calls out, "Star Sensitive Inferno!" Light glows around Iron Mouse, and she dissolves. Usagi and the others look up, wide-eyed, to see three figures in the spotlights - they are wearing tight, skimpy leather outfits, and have long ponytails. The three leap into the air and vanish.

Act 44: Stars 2

Three Lights

The tiny girl with heart-shaped odangos has been taken in by Usagi's mother; they call her Chibi-chibi. The girls speculate about who she could be, but she is uninformative. They also conclude that the new enemies must be from outer space; the outer senshi believe that the Three Lights are from another star as well.

That night, the little girl brings an urn into Usagi's room. The fragrance of the osmanthus flower floats from the urn and soothes Usagi to sleep. The next morning, she receives an airmail envelope; she opens it and finds only a card with the night sky on it, and theorizes that it's from Mamoru. The Three Lights have transferred to Juuban High; Seiya takes a seat next to Usagi.

Later, the Three Lights ask Usagi about her sweetheart, and suddenly she is struck by dizzing pain. Haruka catches her, and warns off the three young men. Over the course of the day, Taiki beats Ami on a test, Yaten insults Michiru's makeup, and Seiya outshines Haruka in football. The girls are pretty much split between whether the Three Lights are enemies or not. That night, at their concert, Seiya calls for his princess to answer him... Usagi stares at him, entranced.

Time passes. Usagi checks the mail, and finds a card with a single star on it. That evening, she's standing on the roof of the school; Seiya joins her, and begins to sing. An aura like the light of stars surrounds him; Yaten and Taiki stop him, saying that the enemy will find them. Sailor Aluminum Siren appears and strikes out; Makoto and Ami arrive, transform, and protect Usagi. Aluminum Siren's hair winds around Makoto's and Ami's throats and chokes them; Haruka attacks, but it's ineffective. The hair tightens, and the two girls' bodies dissolve. Two sailor crystals remain, shining brightly; Aluminum Siren grabs them. The Three Lights transform, and Seiya and Taiki kill Aluminum Siren. They turn to the remaining senshi and introduce themselves as the Sailor Starlights.

Act 45: Stars 3

The Starlights warn the senshi against Galaxia, and then disappear. The senshi confer, and Rei and Minako decide to confront the Three Lights. It's been almost a month since Mamoru was supposed to be in America; Usagi asks Motoki if he knows how to reach Mamoru; Motoki admits that Mamoru hasn't contacted him either.

Seiya and Usagi She's on the school roof again, thinking of Mamoru; Seiya grabs her as she leans precariously over the railing. Haruka and Michiru approach, but Taiki and Yaten block them at the top of the stairs. Taiki holds out a card, and they stare at it; it shows Mamoru at the airport. The image of Mamoru glows, and then dissolves. Meanwhile, Seiya tells Usagi urgently to remember what happened to Jupiter, to Mercury... and to Mamoru. Usagi screams denial, and Seiya leans closer, his face very close to hers... "Gomen," he whispers. "I never wanted to hurt you..." On Taiki's card, Galaxia closes her fist around Mamoru's crystal. Usagi jerks free from Seiya's hold and runs away down the stairs.

The next day, Sailor Lead Crow takes Phobos and Deimos' crystals, and then threatens Rei; Usagi appears and destroys her. Rei and Minako turn to Usagi, but Galaxia appears and takes their star seeds. Usagi stares as Rei's and Minako's bodies are torn apart before her eyes. She remembers Mamoru's body glowing... Seiya, Yaten, and Taiki visit Usagi's house; Usagi greets them and says that she remembers what happened to Mamoru, and to the inner senshi. They tell her about Galaxia and sailor crystals - how the crystals hold the essence of the senshi, and how Galaxia is stealing them.

A girl named Suzu Nyanko transfers to Juuban High; she tells Usagi not to trust the Three lights. Meanwhile, the three outer senshi go to their respective castles and prepare to put up a shield; however, Galaxia comes out of nowhere and takes Pluto's sailor crystal... At school, Luna and Artemis come up and warn Nyanko away from Usagi...

The Three Lights go to Usagi's house and confront Chibi-chibi, telling her to give them the urn. She vehemently denies, but the urn glows. Smoke flows out of it, coalescing into the form of a woman all in flowing red and silver. The Starlights stare, open-mouthed, and call her Princess.

To volume 17
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