Sailormoon Volume 18

Act 49: Stars 7

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

Kakyuu screams the Starlights' names as their bodies fade away, and collapses crying into Usagi's arms. Meanwhile, Sailors Phi and Chi present the captured crystals to Galaxia. They feed them into the giant Garden Crystal; Galaxia says that when the Garden Crystal contains her own Sapphire Crystal of destruction and Sailormoon's Silver Crystal of rebirth, she would be all-powerful. She tells Chaos that the time has come...

Usagi, Kakyuu, and Chibi-chibi come to a graveyard. Surrounded by butterflies, Sailor Heavy Metal Papillon greets them, and shows them their own gravestones. The three of them are suddenly bound to crosses with vines, and the vines tighten painfully; Usagi chokes as a vine digs into her neck. Suddenly, five lights descend from the sky. Chibiusa and the Sailor Quartet appear; they free Usagi and the others, and destroy Sailor Heavy Metal Papillon.

They are introduced to Kakyuu and Chibi-chibi; Chibiusa wonders who Chibi-chibi could be, with power as great as Sailormoon's. Conversation stops as they realize that they're standing at the steps of a huge castle; crystals dot the landscape, and an immense crystal rests at the top. Chi and Phi appear, calling themselves the Star Gardeners; crystals form around them as they raise their staffs. Kakyuu transforms into Sailorkakyuu and destroys the crystals; she also tells Sailormoon that the bracelets are the enemies' weak points, and Sailormoon destroys Phi. Chi runs Kakyuu through with her staff. Kakyuu reaches weakly for Usagi's hand and speaks of sailor crystals, rebirth, and hope...

Usagi gets up as Kakyuu dies, and kills Chi with one blast from her scepter. Kakyuu's body glows and dissolves, leaving her sailor crystal hanging in the air; a gloved hand reaches out and takes it. We see that the hand belongs to Sailorvenus; the eight sailor senshi of Usagi's solar system stand arrayed before their princess, metal bracelets on their arms.

Act 50: Stars 8

Evil Jupiter

Usagi greets the senshi with a teary smile, but they only stare coldly at her. Then Mercury and Mars step aside to reveal a tall, familiar figure, black cloak blowing in the wind and bracelets on his wrists; Usagi leaps forward despite Chibi-chibi's attempts to hold her back, calling Mamoru's name. Tuxedo Kamen smiles, and tells the senshi to take the Silver Crystal. One by one, the senshi attack; Usagi refuses to believe that they mean her harm, and the Quartet, Chibiusa, and finally Chibi-chibi take the attacks for her before they are all struck down. Tuxedo Kamen turns and runs into the palace, and Usagi follows him.

She barely manages to deflect the combined attacks of the four inner soldiers; outside, Chibiusa, Chibi-chibi, and the Quartet lift themselves painfully to their feet. Usagi stares tearfully at the evil smile on Venus' face, seeing Minako's cheerful smile superimposed on it... All eight soldiers attack Usagi at once; her wings are shredded as she's thrown back. As she collapses limply to the floor, her scepter breaks into pieces. Chibiusa wants to help, but Chibi-chibi holds her back, saying that it's Usagi's battle, and she must fight it herself. Usagi stands, saying that she can't give up; her scepter appears in her hands again and she attacks. The senshi's bracelets shatter, their bodies dissolve, and their crystals hang in the air for a moment before they vanish. Usagi looks up and sees the Garden Crystal, with Galaxia standing under it.

Usagi stares defiantly at Galaxia and says that she believes that her future will still happen. Galaxia smiles archly at her and summons forth Tuxedo Kamen; he kisses her and kneels to her, and she kicks him down and places a boot on his hand. "This man and all the power in the galaxy are mine!" she cries vindictively. "If you want it back, you'll fight me!" Usagi raises her scepter, and Galaxia raises her braceleted arms. They summon their power in glowing spheres about them, and charge at each other.

Act 51: Stars 9

Usagi and Galaxia As they fight, Galaxia mocks Usagi's need for friends, and says that power is the only goal; Usagi cries back that love carries its own power. The battle of powers and ideals takes them to a cliff overlooking a huge glowing cylinder. Galaxia says it's the Galaxy Cauldron, the source of life, where stars are born. She summons the giant Garden Crystal, and lets it fall into the Cauldron. "Be alone, Sailormoon," she taunts - and tips Tuxedo Kamen into the Cauldron. As he sinks into the Cauldron's surface, Chibiusa gasps and fades away.

Galaxia attacks Usagi; Chibi-chibi repels the attack. A sudden blast of energy leaps up from the cauldron, and Galaxia is knocked off the cliff. Usagi catches her hand, pulling her back to solid ground. Energy and smoke gathers before them; it's Chaos. Galaxia rouses, and asks Usagi why she saved her; Usagi replies that she didn't want to lose any more friends. She says that the whole time, she hadn't really been fighting for peace and justice; she'd been fighting for the ones she loved, and for her friends... if they no longer exist, why should she fight? Galaxia says that this must then be the end of war...

Chibi-chibi shakes her head, and says that the wars will continue - that the only way to stop them for good is for Usagi to eliminate the Cauldron, and Chaos with it. Usagi protests that if she does, the galaxy will have no future. Chibi-chibi responds stonily that wars and suffering will go on forever, and Usagi will have cause to regret this moment. Usagi says steadily that there will always be a new future, and that everything - war and peace alike - will exist again. Galaxia stares at her with new realization and understanding; she reaches out towards Usagi, and her bracelets crack. Her body disappears, even as she finally speaks words of hope. Usagi turns to Chibi-chibi and urges her always to believe; the little girl nods, then transforms into an adult and kisses Usagi softly, tears in her eyes and a small smile on her face.

Usagi faces Chaos, the heart on her brooch blazing. "I understand why you seek my power," she says. "It's the reason why I seek for those I love. We want to be one. Now I will also seek you. Inside the Cauldron, for the sake of the universe." She leaps, and flings herself into the Cauldron.

Act 52: Stars 10

Eternal Sailormoon

Usagi falls into the cauldron; as she does, she remembers her friends' words of hope and support. Her suit bursts away from her in a cloud of feathers as she falls; she pleads to her friends across the galaxy to give her strength... The Quartet rouse, and run to the cliff. They send their sailor crystals to aid Usagi; glowing with power, she rises out of the Cauldron. Glowing crystals envelop Chaos, who screams. Usagi feels the power of everyone across the galaxy humming inside her; she dives into the Cauldron once more, and her body dissolves away.

The Quartet watch with astonishment as lights burst out of the Cauldron, scattering across the sky. A winged woman with heart-shaped odangos says that the stolen sailor crystals are returning to their own forms and places; the Quartet recognizes her as Chibi-chibi. This rebirth, she continues, is the Cosmos Crystal's Lambda Power. She introduces herself as Sailor Cosmos, the ultimate form of Sailormoon. She'd faced Sailor Chaos in the future and was frightened, and had run away to the past. For if she could make Sailormoon destroy everything, she would never have to face Chaos. But Sailormoon's pure hope and great courage strengthened her. Now, like Sailormoon, she had the courage to stand alone and accept the good with the bad, and she could be true to herself. Raising a hand in the air, Cosmos sends the Quartet away as well.

Usagi opens her eyes and sits up amid a cloud of light. Mamoru reaches for her, and she hugs him tightly. Looking around, she sees all her friends; they greet each other with glad tears. A small figure appears, calling itself Guardian Cosmos. She asks Usagi if she wants to live in this form; Usagi replies positively that she and her friends want to live their lives, however hard the future might be. The Guardian smiles with approval, and sends them away in a burst of life.

Sailormoon and Usagi Morning; the sun's rays glimmer off the spires of the Crystal Palace. Mamoru wakes Usagi with a kiss; she catches his face and begs him to say the words one more time. He smiles tolerantly, and leans closer. "Marry me, Usa," he whispers. At their wedding, he promises to stay with her forever; she thinks that she will always protect him, and all of her friends. She runs outside, the sunlight haloing her body.

Mamoru gazes after her. There will be a time when we'll all be gone, he thinks. New sailor crystals will be born. But Sailormoon, you will be forever immortal. For all of eternity, you will be the brightest, most beautiful light.

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