Alice in the Massacre - Chapter 52
“But…” Jack hesitatingly continued. “… But someone has to do it.”
“That girl can’t even smile, let alone be happy.”
Iberis rose from the bench and stared up at the ceiling. Her hair rustled and began to flutter, even though there was no wind blowing.
“You’re right… Yeah, you’re right. No one can be saved without sacrificing someone else. You’re hitting the nail on the head.”
Jack inserted the handgun into the holster on his hip and held the Dáinsleif with both hands. Then he looked up at the ceiling.
“Forget it. It’s just doppelganger nonsense.”
At the moment Iberis remarked this, the ceiling slightly farther away from them began to “melt”. The ceiling, which had melted in a circular shape, grew into a soggy, boiling, black sludge that started to drip down to the floor with a squashing sound. The part of the floor that was affected also boiled, and gradually a swamp-like scene was formed.
“It has been breached… You are to fall back. Whenever possible, do not use your Dáinsleif.”
“Okay. What about you?”
“I’ll engage the enemy.”
After a brief exchange, the two retreated.
Eventually, the Red Queen dropped into the swamp with a squash, smothered in sludge. Then she surfaced, dripping melted building materials all over her body, and grinned. Then she pointed at them and looked at them with eyes that threatened to burst out and giggle.
“… There’s no sign of humans… I can only hear the heartbeats of… the two of you… She escaped, right? The other Alice and… the many meat bags that lived here.”
Cackling, the Red Queen scratched the swamp with her cane in amusement.
“I shall leave that to Humpty and the Jabberwock.”
Jack raised his voice and exchanged a glance with Iberis.
… Has the plan been exposed?
She said Humpty and the Jabberwock.
What if the other Nightmares are tracking the train that Alice and the others are on…
Jack gritted his teeth and stood in line beside Iberis with his Dáinsleif poised.
“… Calm down. That’s a leading question. Stay calm.”
Iberis whispered, stomping the ground with her fluctuating feet and then raising her voice.
“… It doesn’t really matter, does it? Vile Nightmare.”
When called upon, the Red Queen snapped her neck bones, spinning her eyeballs.
“Hey. Is it you, little girl…? The one who killed the Hatter.”
Iberis smirked and shrugged. “Who knows?”
Hearing the mocking voice, the Red Queen’s movement came to a halt. She pointed a wrinkled finger at Iberis and said in a low, intimidating voice.
“… It’s not you. Spit out the destination of the Alice who killed the Hatter. That’s who I’m here for.”
“What if I said, ‘No’…?”
Laughing foolishly, Iberis said as if to provoke her. The Red Queen frowned slightly and pointed at Jack.
“Would you rather I tore off that man’s limbs in front of you?”
Iberis’ smile stopped at the mention of it. The Red Queen snorted and narrowed her eyes at Jack, who gnashed his teeth. Then she waved her cane lightly.
“Did I hit the mark? You are the same Alice that ‘White’ ripped off your legs, aren’t you? I’ve heard of you… Your legs were extraordinarily ‘tasty’…”
Iberis widened her eyes and gritted her teeth as if they were about to shatter. Her clenched fists were trembling slightly.
“Well, well, well. Are you pissed off? Or are you in despair? You’re miserable with tears in your eyes… Oops…”
Smirking, the Red Queen reached her hand into the swamp. She then pulled out the half-whitened ossified remains of a human from inside. Grabbing the head, she gave it a lazy shake.
“Was it this ‘one’?”
“… What is that…?” Jack muttered quietly. Iberis was clenching her fists desperately as if to restrain herself. Her nails were digging into the palm of her hand, and blood was trickling down.
“… I… be.. ri… s…”
In front of the two stunned people, the white-boned corpse gave a small shudder. Then it opened its ragged mouth and reached for Iberis, wobbling and swaying.
Iberis stiffened when she heard the “voice”. Then she placed a hand over her mouth and gasped. Her face paled rapidly, and then she retreated a few steps.
“Cold… I… can… not… see… any… thing…”
A faint voice reverberated through the hall.
“Lies… This is a lie…”
Shivering, Iberis clutched her head in her hands.
“No… no way…”
“What happened! Iberis!”
As if not hearing Jack’s voice, Iberis screamed at the bleached white bone corpse.
Cackling, the Red Queen waved the moaning corpse that Iberis had called ‘Albert’.
“So it is him! It’s him! Haha! It’s a good thing I got the ‘food scraps’ from ‘White’!” The Red Queen yelled, laughing in a raspy tone. “Oh, dear ‘Albert’… you’ve ended up looking like this…!”
After pulling the white corpse out of the swamp, the Red Queen flung it forward as if she were dumping trash. The limbless, daruma-like corpse turned his protruding eye sockets around, shuddering and moaning.
“Ibe… ris… where… are… you… ahh… gaga… gogo…”
“‘Food scraps’…? From ‘White’…? L-Lies… n-no way… ahh…” Iberis staggered to her feet and screamed. “… It’s a lie…!”
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