Manga Volume Four
Lady Miya looks with hate at Saint Just...
The next day all the students are talking about Prince Kaoru and Saint Just who are collecting the signatures to ask the abolition of the Sorority. Some say that the association was the cause of the clash between Mariko and Aya, others are completely against the abolition.
Kaoru is talking to her classmates, explaining her reasons and asking for their signatures. She says that every single signature can be important, the most important thing is to be united and things can change. Everybody is reluctant; Nanako gets up firmly and puts her signature on the petition. She exchanges looks with Kaoru, and thanks her. Some other girls decide to sign and, unexpectedly, also Aya stands up and signs. Everyone in the class is surprised, Kaoru smiles lightly.
In the meantime, Saint Just is collecting the signatures too. There are lots of adoring students around her, crowding to sign. Rei sees some older members of the Sorority passing by, and invites them to sign, since they are beautiful also without the price- label decided by the association. Lady Borgia violently throws against Rei the sheets the girl is holding in her hands, and leaves with the others. Rei stays there, slightly angry-annoyed...
All the older members surround Lady Miya and ask her what they can do for this situation, but Fukiko tells them not to worry, because most of the younger students are by their side. The school-managers are worried too about the petition, and decide to report to the administrator and hold a meeting.
In a little garden with swings, Nanako tells Mariko about the petition.
She asks her friend not to leave the Seiran, and to come back to school
when her suspension is over.
Mariko, thoughtful, says she would like to come back, "at least because you're there!", she tells Nanako with a light smile.
She then shows Nanako a little, old book. It's an old novel written by her father. Takashi by chance had it at home, and gave it to Mariko. It was written when her father wasn't a famous writes yet, and couldn't even pay the rent of a flat; a period when he was in love with her mother and they had started living together. Mariko asks Nanako to read it, because it was written with so many efforts. She cries, saying that his father, once, was able to write such a beautiful novel; deep inside he didn't want to become a porno-writer, but write real literary works; but he didn't manage to fulfil the dream of his youth.
But now Mariko feels really, really happy, because she now knows that that wonderful novel was written by her father. Nanako gladly gives her friend a shoulder to cry on... Mariko thanks God, thinking it's the first time she really feels so happy.
In the meantime, Fukiko starts feeling really angry and insecure, because it looks like everyone is now supporting the petition. Some members tell her that even Lady Monna Lisa (Komabayashi) and other important members have signed the petition for the abolition of the Sorority. Fukiko can't believe her ears: her pride, her happines are being destroyed and are disappearing.
Miya-sama approaches to Saint Just, really angry. At first she compliments
her, then she violently slaps her.
"You're only an illegitimate child... how dared you? You know perfectly how it is important for me... that I'd rather die than see my pride hurt! Nevertheless, you wanted to hurt me again!" Fukiko cries in tears and anger. "I'm not the one you should hate! You're only the lover's child!" she yells, slapping Saint Just again.
Rei is in a corner: "The lover's child... yes, I know, but... I love you, Fukiko, since I was a child...I've always loved and admired the beauty and nobility of my step-sister... I adored your being so proud, the fact that you wouldn't survive to your pride hurt... I adore your intensity and fleetingness! I'm an illegitimate child... but... you love me too! You said... that you loved me as your sister... You said that you wanted to die with me! You said you wanted me to attend Seiran with you!", poor Rei reveals and explains.
Fukiko giggles cruelly. "Innocent... no, you're simply stupid!" she says. "Me... love you? Me? Did you really believe it? You make me laugh! How stupid! Did you really believe that I could love you and accept you as my sister?! Did you really believe you were so important?" Fukiko continues. Rei just stands there, speechless and not believing her ears... "Do you want to know the truth? The reason why I wanted you close to me... is that I needed someone who made me feel superior!" Miya-sama shouts. Saint Just is shocked...
"I had fun looking at you... you and your humble origins... did you really think you could be loved like a normal person... I pity you! Every time I looked at you I trembled with joy and pride! A person inferior to me! A person of humble origins! I wanted to keep you close to me all my life!" Then Fukiko turns, "You think you'll defeat me if you manage to abolish the Sorority... don't you? How ridiculous!", she finally says leaving.
Saint Just stands there completely annihilated and shocked.
Nakaya calls her, asking her the sheets for the signatures. Rei gives them to her, lightly smiling. Nakaya and a friend are happy because they obtained the signatures of the majority of students, and they will soon submit them to the Seiran board of management
When they leave, Rei, shaking, takes a box of pills from her pocket,
and swallows one.
Kaoru arrives, worried, and asks her what she took. Saint Just answers she took a tranquillizer, and when her friend points out that Rei had said she had stopped taking medicines, Rei sadly replies that there are moments when she can't do without them...
Nanako and Mariko meet in a tea-room; Takashi arrives with Mariko, who
says she looked for a new house where she will live with her mother. Takashi
helped, taking her around with his car, and Nanako is gladly surprised.
Mariko tells that the house they found is really small, but from now on she wants to be close to her mother, they will live together alone, they want to live in peace. Mariko says she isn't sad anymore, but "Will you help me, Nanako, if I ever feel discouraged?", she asks. "Of course, whenever you want!" Nanako replies with a smile. Takashi says he will take care of them too, visiting Mariko and her mother sometimes. Mariko gets angry, yelling against Takashi that no man will ever enter her home again.Takashi replies that Mariko must surrender.
Nanako giggles, amused by the two. "I'll help you as much as I can," Nanako thinks, "Until, one day, you only need Takashi..."
It's evening. Saint Just rings the bell of Nanako's home. Nanako is
surprised to see her. Rei shyly greets Nanako, who invites her to come
in. Saint Just, instead, invites the younger girl to go with her to the
nearby garden - the one with the swings -. Nanako accepts, always surprised
and a bit embarassed.
Near the swings, Rei comments that the air is warmer now, and summer is approaching. Then, smiling gently, she gives Nanako the doll. It's a present for her, Rei adds she used to always sleep with it. Then she invites Nanako to get up on the swing with her. Rei stands behind Nanako, and the two swing for a while.
Saint Just says that the doll was a present from Fukiko, her real sister. Nanako turns surprised. "Fukiko is really my sister... even if she doesn't know it! We're not step-sisters..." Rei reveals. "After her birth, our father brought her up in his home... We've got the same mother... Before her death, my mother revealed me that Fukiko was really my sister. I was at junior high school... Until that day I hadn't known about it. I admired from a distance the beautiful child who lived in our father's big house... I was happy when I saw she was proud and satisfied, even if she didn't know she had a sister."
Then Rei tells Nanako about an episode of her childhood: "One day, maybe when I was at the 4th year of elementary school, my mother brought me in the big house, so I could meet my father while Fukiko was at a friend's party... I immediately got bored by my father's affectation and my mother's servile compliance." [flashback] Little Rei escapes and jumps on a tree. Then she sees a little girl on her knees, in tears. "It was the child who lived in our father's house. For the first time I had the chance to see her more closely."
Rei is a bit embarassed; Fukiko asks her who she is and what she's doing in her garden. The she guesses she's probably a relative of her servant, and invites Rei to sit close to her. Little Fukiko tells that her friend's party was terrible, because she was given a seat at the end of the table. Fukiko cries bitterly, because she was humiliated and nobody had ever treated her this way. That's why she immediately came back home. Little Rei looks at the crying girl with a sort of sharing look.
"Don't say anything to anyone, to my father, mother, and even to my brother!" Fukiko recommends. A servant calls Fukiko, seeing she's back home. Again, Fukiko tells Rei not to tell anybody about this story. Fukiko meets the old servant and says she left the party because she didn't feel too well.
"In that moment", Rei tells, "I was so struck by her profile that I've never been able to forget it... A little 11 year-old girl who was crying and sobbing until some moments earlier, stood up firmly and proudly pressed her lips together, to hide her tears of humiliation to her servant! Even if I was a child, I was deeply moved by her pride... I think that, for Fukiko, pride is the most important thing... she would be empty without it. When they decided to take me in the big house after my mother's death, I can understand how she could be upset, discovering this truth... His father had another woman beside her mother. And also another child."
[flashback to that period] Fukiko is yelling, in tears: "I don't want her. If you took her at home... if I had to consider her my sister, I'd rather die..." Image of Rei on her knees, looking surprised at Fukiko... Then they meet, and Fukiko looks at her sister in anger. "No, I couldn't tell her the truth..." Rei tells, "I hadn't the courage to tell her that she was the lover's child, like me... her pride would have been destroyed, if she had known about it... so I swore to myself that I would never tell her the truth..." Nanako looks in tears at Rei. "It's not possible; it's not fair that you're suffering alone!", she says.
"Later, Fukiko told me she wanted to die with me... blindly believing in her, I gave her my hand..." Rei continues, while Nanako cries, saying it's terrible.
"When I woke up, I was in bed in a hospital... Fukiko was next to me, with an embarassed look on her face. She told me she wanted to give me a bracelet and a doll; she also said she couldn't live under the same roof with me, but that she would try to love me as a sister... moreover, she wanted me to attend Seiran with her... I was already happy... those words were enough for me to live alone, far from all my relatives..." Rei tells.
"You're only cheating your heart; otherwise you wouldn't fill yourself with pills... you're not facing life..." Nanako says in tears to Rei. Rei looks intensely at Nanako; they gaze at each other for a while... then Rei gets up on the swing again, and bows her head close to Nanako's. "Maybe you're right... That's why I'm very happy to know you... I needed your help" Rei says, with closed eyes. Nanako is moved, thinking that these are the words of someone who wants to react, maybe this will be a new beginning for Saint Just...
At Seiran, Kaoru tells her class that two thirds of the students have
signed and all the members of their class agree on the dissolution of the
Sorority. In the following days a meeting of the school-managers will take
place to solve the problem.
All the girls are glad. At the end of the hour Kaoru asks Nanako if she knows where Rei is. Nanako says she doesn't know; Kaoru reveals that Rei stayed home also today... Nanako didn't know Rei missed school, Kaoru says that yesterday too she wasn't there; then she leaves, saying she will go to Rei's flat the next morning before school; after all, Nanako too wants to know how Saint Just is, Kaoru adds. Nanako looks at the older girl with a glad look.
The next day, at school, Nanako sees a group of students reading a board. Tomoko is there too, and turns towards her friend. She says that a meeting of the school-managers will take place the next day to discuss the Sorority's dissolution. Nanako is really happy at the news, also because, after a long time, she has found again Tomoko's friendship...
A telephone rings at school...the teachers and some students start being
troubled, the headmaster's car arrives, everybody wonders what's happening.
A teacher calls Nanako in her class, telling her to go to the teachers'
room, because there's a call for her. It's Kaoru, who tells the girl that
Saint Just killed herself!
Nanako remains speechless, the phone slips from her hand, while images and memories of Rei run in her head. "Why... why... why? That evening... didn't she tell me she needed me? Didn't she tell me she was happy to know me?", poor Nanako thinks in despair...
All the students are still wondering what's happening, the teachers try to calm them down, then the terrible news spreads: Saint Just suicided with barbiturics, some say, others wonder why, some others say it was not a suicide, but an accidental death... Miya-sama is on her knees, completely upset. "Rei, this is your way... how cruel! But... but I loved you!", she screams in tears.
Nanako runs in tears in the corridors, and finds Kaoru's arms. She holds
the older girl, crying that she hoped Rei loved her, she hoped she had
a place in her heart, but it wasn't so...Rei left her without giving her
the time to tell her anything...
Kaoru is crying too, and says to Nanako that she's sorry, but she cannot listen to her, she cannot tell her anything. The older girl is completely upset, she says she doesn't know what to do, she's afraid of herself, she's only afraid... Nanako tries to understand what's happening to her friend, Kaoru turns and tells her she is not enough confident in herself to live alone. She can't comfort Nanako. Then Kaoru runs away, leaving the worried Nanako behind.
"You left me alone... in this terrible loneliness... Rei! How could you?", Prince Kaoru thinks to herself, "Did you think I was so strong?! You're too cold!", the girl thinks in tears while running.
Nanako writes to Takehiko: "Dear Brother, Fukiko Ichinomiya herself
asked the abolition of the Sorority; with the deliberation of the
board of managers the Sorority will disappear forever from Seiran. If I
better consider it, the Sorority allowed me to know the evil side of people...
their love and hate... the beauty, the meanness of spirit and sadness
of women... a sadness that freezes the heart... all this thanks to the
Sorority", Nanako confesses, while images of the Sorority members, of Mariko,
Aya and others appear in her mind.
"I cannot convince myself of Saint Just's death yet" she continues. "I'm asking myself, why can't I completely abandon myself to sadness? I feel so powerless..." she writes in tears. "She never accepted love from anyone... nobody could get into her life! My brother... I want to see you... can I visit you? I would like to talk to you..."
Takehiko reads Nanako's letter, and stubs out his sigarette. "Nanako... only six months have passed... but you grew up a lot...Father, why can't I tell her who I really am? I would really like to talk to her like a real brother...", the boy thinks, really saddened by Nanako's sorrow.
Someone knocks at his door. Henmi opens it and is really surprised when
he sees it's... Kaoru! He's very surprised to see her again. The girl says
she's sorry to be there, she was the one who decided to end their relationship.
Takehiko wants to say something, but Kaoru adds that she only wanted to see him once again, to find again the strength to live alone. "This is the last time we see each other, now I feel relieved! Thanks! Yes, I'll do it, I'll live alone!" she says, turning to go away. Takehiko tries to stop her, takes her wrist and tells her to wait, while Kaoru in tears says she will survive without Rei, and again apologizes to Takehiko. Just then Nanako arrives and sees the two. She is very surprised to discover this truth...
At Seiran, Nanako and Kaoru meet in the clock tower.
"I didn't mean to hide you the truth... about Takehiko and me... As far as I'm concerned, it's all over..." Kaoru explains. She then looks out of the window. "You know... looking down from this clock tower, everything seems different, " she says, "The strange thing, if you think about it, is that all those people we observe from here have their way of living... everyone is different from the other... I wonder what Rei thought when she looked at that world from here...
Rei and me met when we were at junior high-school; she was a strange girl, she came from another school... she wore a golden bracelet, her eyes seemed lost into emptiness... I was attracted by her aura, so different from the others'. I was very curious to know what she saw with those eyes, and what happened inside her soul..." Kaoru tells. "Now I understand what she looked at... it was the world of death... she was interested only in death... Sometimes Takashi Ichinomiya, her brother, came to visit her... Takashi introduced his friend Takehiko to us... So, thanks to Takashi, I met him", Kaoru continues.
Nanako notices that telling these words Kaoru seems to shine, and understands
that her love with Takehiko started since the moment they met.
Nanako asks Kaoru why they left each other, if she still loves him.
"Because I love him..." the girl answers. Nanako says she doesn't understand. "This is the only way to show him all my love... the only way to keep loving him... for me, love means to care more about his life than mine." Kaoru explains.
"If you really think so, why aren't you by your beloved's side?" Nanako asks.
Kaoru replies: "Rei... could have lived, if she had only wanted! But she preferred to believe only in death... but I want to believe only in life, even if only death is awaiting me... that's why I can't forgive her! Even if she knew my pain, she left, leaving me alone... Rei, I'll never forgive you!" To Nanako's surprise, Kaoru unbuttons her shirt and turns, telling Nanako to look.
Nanako thus discovers Kaoru's terrible secret: one of her breasts has been removed. Kaoru closes her shirt, while Nanako is shocked. "A breast cancer." the older girl explains. "They could only remove it... that's why I had to stop studying for a year. If it didn't appear again in the next 5 years I'd be safe. But, if it appeared again in this moment... this would be the end for me!"
"I couldn't say anything... I didn't know what to say... before the loneliness and terrible pain Kaoru hid inside her soul..." Nanako thinks. "Oh, my brother! Now Kaoru needs your love!", she continues.
"Five years... for me time is a torment...but... in this moment... disgnity
is the most important thing, for the both of us!" Kaoru says to Nanako.
Nanako is touched by her words, then she starts crying. "Why are you crying?..." Kaoru asks her quietly. "I'm sorry... you didn't want to show it to anybody, did you?" Nanako replies.
"But... I'm still scared... I'm very scared, " Kaoru admits, "and... I wanted to ask somebody's help!" she says, clenching a fist. "But, since you are Takehiko Misonoo's sister, even if you aren't blood-relatives... I managed to talk to you about it!" Kaoru reveals. Nanako looks at her, astonished.
"Takehiko Misonoo..." is her only thought, while she runs to her parents.
She faces them, asking about her brother.
Prof. Misonoo tells Nanako his story. [flashback] Prof. Misonoo used
to go often with universitary students to a small restaurant near
university. He is sleeping, completely drunk, with his head dropped on
Nanako's mother and another woman working there comment that also that evening prof. Misonoo is there alone, and is drinking a lot. The woman says: "I can understand... nobody would like to go back home, if things weren't going well with his wife...". Nanako's mother is surprised at this news. She tells her little daughter to bring a glass of water to that sir. Little Nanako puts the glass on the table where prof. Misonoo is almost sleeping, and calls him, telling him to drink his water.
Prof. Misonoo lifts his head, puts on his glasses and looks at the child, while Nanako's mother looks smiling at the scene. "My wife left me with her lover, taking away my son and leaving me alone... I remember that day as if it were yesterday... her (Nanako's) innocent, dark eyes... the small hands holding the glass..." prof. Misonoo recalls.
"Your mum had been left by the man she had lived with for a long time, and she started working as a waitress in the restaurant... the following year, I asked her to marry me...". Nanako has finally discovered the truth.
In the following days, she meets Takehiko. They look at each other in
silence, then the boy tells Nanako that she grew up a lot. "Don't you remember?
When you played with earth... the kid you saw once on the other side of
that edge... I missed my father, my home... led by this longing, I went
secretly to my old home twice..." Takehiko tells.
Nanako says that so he has known about it all since the beginning, and thanks him. "Now I'm very happy to know you're really my brother... I really had a brother..." She then asks him not to hate her mother, but Takehiko stops her, smiling, saying that she doesn't have to worry about it. "My brother... even if we're not blood-relatives, do you accept me as your real sister?" Nanako asks. "Of course!" it's Takehiko's reply. "Then, I've got something to ask you... as your sister", Nanako says, smiling in tears. "Really?" the boy asks.
"If there's a person you love... please, make her happy! Because now, this person needs your love! Kaoru needs it!", the girl says. Her brother opens his eyes wide.
"Even if she's very afraid, Kaoru decided to live alone... this is her way of loving you... please... don't leave such an important love behind... please..." Nanako continues, crying. Takehiko looks silently at her. Then he calmly says: "Nanako, do you think I'm so stupid and I'll leave her without doing anything? Do you think I'm not able to share her pain... or to get into her life? Is that what you think of me?". Then he thanks Nanako, saying that her words gave him again the courage, and he makes his promise (to fight for Kaoru). Nanako is very happy.
At university, an assistant tells prof. Misonoo that an universitary
student, Takehiko Henmi, is waiting for him in his office. The man is surprised.
He enters the room and exchanges looks with his son, in silence. Takehiko
asks him to write a letter of introduction vouching for him, because he's
going to give an exam for a scholarship in Germany.
Prof. Misonoo is surprised, then tells the boy that, if he decided so, he will write the letter for him. He warns him that living alone in Germany will be hard, but Takehiko says that he's going there with his wife.
Prof. Misonoo is surprised, he didn't know that Takehiko got married. The boy explains that he's going to get married, and he'll take his wife with him. Another long, silent look between father and son...
Prof. Misonoo says that when the letter is ready he'll call him. Takehiko thanks him and smiles, calling him "prof. Misonoo". His father looks at him, and while the boy is leaving he says "Takehiko... thank you about Nanako..." Again, the two look at each other. Mr. Misonoo wishes him good luck and invites his son to call him if he needs his help. Takehiko says yes, and, on the door, he says: "Goodbye, da... dad!". Mr. Misonoo nods, smiling.
"My son", he thinks when the boy has left, "you'll become a researcher too... I wonder when you started following your father's steps... My son!" he thinks, and a tear escapes from his eye.
Takehiko walks in the corridor. "Dad... dad!", he thinks, satisfied, and tears are running down his cheeks...
Some time passes... Nanako writes to Takehiko: "My dear brother... autumn
has silently arrived, even if there's still an intense trace of summer...
today she'll arrive too! Mariko Shinobu will be back to our school! Finally,
her suspension is over!".
Nanako runs to the school gates and says "Good morning" to Mariko. But her friend is hiding behind Takashi's shoulders. The boy explains that, even if Mariko has come all the way to school, she is afraid of crossing the school gates. Mariko protests in tears that Takashi isn't able to understand her feelings. Takashi tries to give her courage, saying that her classmates are waiting for her. He tells her to go, he'll wait outside until she is in her class... he'll stand there, "even if I feel guilty because I wasn't able to do anything for you..." Takashi says. Mariko keeps crying.
Just then, Fukiko arrives and tells them to hurry. Takashi greets her smiling, and his sister says she's happy she discovered his weak-point... She then tells Mariko not to be afraid, her suspension is over. Nanako notices that Fukiko is beautiful, as always. She's always proud, and she seems even more beautiful after the sad events... Fukiko tells smiling to Nanako to "escort" Mariko to their class. Then she giggles, telling Mariko that nobody had ever been able to "involve" her brother so much, except her. Mariko is surprised.
In the meantime, Nanako thinks that Fukiko is the person Saint Just
loved above everything... "So much that my love and Kaoru's friendship
couldn't even compare to it... The only person Saint Just loved to a point
that she showed her her faithfulness with death! I... wasn't able to get
into their world..."
Kaoru is training, and sees Mariko. She greets her with a smile, Mariko seems a bit embarassed. Kaoru says she's happy she's back at school. Mariko nods, a bit sad.
All of Mariko's classmates welcome her with smiles. They are all happy they are all together again, some say the older students always asked about her; they call her by her family name, but Mariko points out that her name is not "Shinobu" anymore, but she has now her mother's family name, "Sekiya". "Who cares? We missed you so much!" are her friends' replies.
"But maybe, in the future, her name will become "Mariko Ichinomiya"... my heart is full of happiness!" Nanako thinks, looking at her friend smiling with the others...
At home, Nanako receives some news: Prof. Misonoo is officially going to become a teacher at university from the following spring, even if has only a few classes. Nanako asks him if he's going to teach to her brother, but prof. Misonoo reveals that Takehiko is going to Germany. Nanako is very surprised.
She meets her brother, and seems very angry. Takehiko explains that, even if he's only a university student, he'll receive family allowance because he'll be married. Nanako is surprised. Takehiko explains he will take Kaoru with him to Germany. The girl is a bit sad beccause their "Prince Kaoru" will leave...
Kaoru is training the basketball team hard, she doesn't want to lose
again at the first round next year... her players protest, but then Kaoru
leaves, because she must meet Nanako.
The younger girl is waiting for her under the elm, Kaoru arrives and apologizes smiling for being late. She asks Nanako what she wanted to tell her.
Nanako says that her brother will leave for Germany the following autumn. The older girl looks surprised. She says she imagined that. "And then... he said he'll take his wife with him!" Nanako continues.
Kaoru is shocked. Nanako tries to go on, but Kaoru is trembling, she turns and runs away, apologizing. Nanako calls her, and understands that Kaoru misunderstood her words.
Kaoru is sitting near a small lake, throwing stones at the water, crying.
"Why am I crying? I should be happy for him..." she thinks. She throws
another stone, sobbing.
She suddenly turns, and Takehiko is there. He says that he was at her parents' home to talk to them... then he says he needs a civil status certificate, then they have to publish the banns at the town hall if they want to get married before autumn. Kaoru is speechless. "So, the wife you're taking with you...", she says.
"How fool... did you really think I could be in love with another?" Takehiko asks, smiling.
Kaoru looks at him surprised and embarassed, then she turns , saying she can't. She doesn't want to leave school. Takehiko says there are high schools in Germany too, and he is a good teacher of German.
Kaoru tells hims not to joke, she wants to choose her destiny herself, not following someone else's way. "Even if we walk this way together?" Takehiko protests. "Don't you really want to come with me?" he asks, looking into the girl's eyes.
Kaoru starts crying. "I felt so relieved when I knew you hadn't another girl, but... I can't tell you... you know well... what else do you want from me? Don't torment me!" she says in tears.
Takehiko looks at her, very serious. "Who wants to torment the person he loves? Is this your way of loving a person? Not sharing you suffering with the person you love? Do you refuse the hand of a person who loves you? If you were doing this for me, I could never accept your love!"
"But... I can only give you sadness and fear!" Kaoru shouts. Takehiko grabs her wrist: "And I would gladly accept them! If this would make you happy even if only for a moment!"
"No! How could I be happy to burden your shoulders with my sufferings?!" Kaoru replies.
"Why not? There's only one person you can rely on, in this world... Nobody can blame you because you showed your weakness to the one you love! Kaoru... try to love yourself and your life more... If you really love me, try to think only to your happiness, and then I'll accept everything... I'll take care of you..." Takehiko says in tears, caressing Kaoru's cheek.
Then he holds her in his arms, saying he'll always be close to her. Kaoru is in tears, her feelings are struggling inside herself. But she finally surrenders, falling on her knees, and crying out she's afraid of waiting death alone. She can't live alone. Takehiko holds her tight, saying she'll like Germany, he'll teach her German, she'll never be alone, they'll go together... Kaoru says "Yes!" to everything the boy is saying.
Hidden behind a tree, Nanako looks at the scene, and cries and smiles for happiness...
At the airport, several students are saying goodbye to Prince Kaoru,
now a beautiful, shining, married woman. A light make-up on her face, Kaoru
has a special beauty, that Nanako can't describe with words.
Nanako tells her to take care of herself and be happy. Kaoru thanks her. "She had a deep and calm look... a sweet look, but also full of suffering and fear to die!", Nanako remembers.
The flight to Germany is called. Takehiko and Nanako say each other goodbye. The boy puts his hand on his sister's shoulder, thanking her from the deep of his heart. At that moment, Nanako smells again Saint Just's scent and remembers about her. "I thought it was the scent all men have... but maybe it was the scent of the cigarettes... the same she used to smoke! This scent will always remind me of Saint Just." Nanako thinks.
Kaoru waves goodbye to all her friends.
"In this moment... dignity is the most important thing, for the both of us!" Nanako remembers Kaoru's words, looking at the plane taking off, Mariko and other girls next to her.
"The letters I wrote to my brother... flew beyond the ocean, across the sky..." [image of Fukiko smiling in tears looking up at the plane] "... these letters are testimonies of my youth, because I wrote them sincerely!"
Nanako is walking with her friends; she sees a leaf falling and thinks of Rei...
Two years later, a short letter arrives from Germany, saying only that
"I cried for two nights... then I took a pen in my hand, and I wrote to my brother..." an older Nanako tells.
"I wrote... to my dear brother..."
If you are curious to see images of particular moments of the manga, write me and I'll try to add the images to the "Manga Scans" Page.
Back to Manga Synopsis main page
Back to Part Two
Back to Part Three
Back to the main page