Alice in the Massacre - Chapter 46
She vaguely grasped the concept that they were “created beings” based on the existence of “Alice”. Nevertheless, the truth that was revealed to her was too cruel to be accommodated in such a way.
Even this world was created as a “non-existent” virtual reality. They were merely data with no physical entity.
Those trapped in this world were forced to wait for death as the system collapsed. Nobody can stop it.
“That’s…” Alice said as she strained to speak. “The demise of Apocrypha…”
Raffi was silent for a while, then answered.
“… That’s right. The demise will certainly be upon us. This world, built on the Labyrinth System, has already begun to destroy itself. Even if we exterminate Nightmare, nothing we can do will stop it.”
“One day it will disappear. Whether it’s in the near future or the distant future, I don’t know. Me, and even you. The humans that exist in this world, even… Nightmare themselves. No one can escape the demise.”
Alice pondered and kept her mouth shut. And after a pause, she asked Raffi in a small voice, “… That’s weird… Raffi.”
“You’ve helped me. If everything is going to disappear eventually, you wouldn’t have done that. You saved me… because there is hope there. Didn’t you?”
Alice’s words were met with silence, this time from Raffi. The girl lifted her face and looked straight at Raffi.
“You’re still hiding something from me. There are things you haven’t… told me, no, there are things you can’t tell me.”
“If the demise of Apocrypha… was ’caused’ by our Original…” Alice clutched the blanket tighter. “As we are the duplicates… we are the only ones who can stop it. Isn’t that right?”
“Answer me… Raffi!” Alice yelled at Raffi as she hung on to him. She then covered her face with her hands, tears falling down her face.
“… Please… answer me…”
“Please tell me it’s like… how I said…”
Raffi did not answer. His eyes remained open and he simply glanced up at Alice with a somewhat pained expression. Eventually, after a long time, he spoke up.
“I can speak… no… let me put it this way. ‘That’s all I’m authorized to say’. The rest, Alice, is for you to see with your own eyes, hear with your own ears, think with your own head, and determine for yourself. I’ll be there for you, no matter how it ends.”
Alice gritted her teeth and glared at Raffi.
“… It’s not a lie.”
“No, you’re lying! You’re lying to me. You’re trying to trick me and exploit me!” The girl shouted hysterically and tore her gaze away from Raffi. Then she plucked the IV from her arm and pushed the IV stand over in exasperation. A violent noise was produced and the IV was scattered on the floor.
“What are you doing? Stop it!”
“Get out of here! You’re no more than a Nightmare yourself! You’re evil! I don’t even want to look at you anymore!”
“What’s wrong? Quit your desperation!”
“Get out of here!” Alice screamed, restraining her ears. Her voice reverberated across the room, and Raffi stiffened for a while with the anguish clinging to his face. Alice squirmed and lay down on the bed with the blanket over her head and turned her back to Raffi.
“… I understand. I’m leaving.” Raffi muttered and got off the bed. “It seems I’ve hurt you badly. I’m sorry. I knew this would happen.”
“But you have to believe me on one thing.” As he walked towards the exit, Raffi said. “You have the right to act on your will and decide what to do. Your soul does not belong to anyone. It belongs to you. Take good care of it.”
“And that goes for me, too.”
It was a very lonely murmur; it was full of despair and sorrow.
As she felt Raffi’s presence vanish behind her, Alice hugged herself in the blanket and let the tears flow. She couldn’t speak back, couldn’t even move.
I can’t trust anyone anymore. I was afraid of everything, and everything was hopeless.
Not even the world would tolerate me.
I am, we must be.
I shouldn’t be here…
… Can’t stay here.
“What do you mean? Alice is awake, isn’t she?”
In the bishop’s room, Jack opened his mouth after regaining consciousness. The pillar had been repaired and the bishop was floating in that green liquid.
Philrain has yet to awaken. Iberis, in her wheelchair, was resting on her cheekbones with an unusually strained expression. In her lap, Raffi spoke up.
“I suggest we avoid approaching her for now. At least until Philrain regains consciousness, leave her alone.”
“But there is no time to lose, that’s for sure. We don’t have enough time to hesitate.”
The bishop said, and Iberis continued with a sigh.
“The Twins are Original Nightmares too… There is a possibility that other Nightmares will storm into this shelter after the elimination of the White Knight and the White Queen to retrieve their cores. At that time, not receiving her support will result in our ‘death’…”
“I’ll go talk to her.”
Jack interjected, but Iberis shook her head.
“You can’t heal the girl’s profound despair.”
“You won’t know that until you have… tried!”
Glancing up at Jack, who had yelled out loud, Iberis remarked quietly.
“I can tell. I am ‘created’ from the same material as her.”
Iberis sighed again, but not as strongly as before when she saw Jack gasping for breath.
“She has to overcome it on her own… If not, everything will lead to defeat for her. It may sound cruel, but I doubt there is anything we can do to help.”
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