Alice in the Massacre - Chapter 72
“To fight a Nightmare means to anticipate various scenarios. This won’t kill the Nightmare, but…”
Iberis swam away from the wall with an indifferent expression on her face.
“It can kill humans.”
“You don’t even know… their exact location even if you say you can subdue them. Besides, she has that much destructive power. Wouldn’t it be a bad idea to get too close?”
“I don’t think so.”
Iberis halted swimming when she was far enough away from the wall to turn her light around. The explosion that had been coming from overhead had ceased.
“She has stopped her indiscriminate attacks…”
“They’re most likely heading down to the ground. They’ll find us here too in no time.”
“Have you done something?”
“I opened the manhole lid. I left it open.” As if it was nothing serious, Iberis said, producing a small switch from her pocket and lay her finger on it. “They should be passing over here soon. The attack will commence shortly.”
“What about the timing?”
“We’ll be fine. I’ve got it.”
With those simple words, she stared out over the dark sewer. Her fluctuating feet stirred, and a thread-like tentacle extended and spread around her. It swiftly shrouded the wall and then proceeded to crawl through the sewer and other places.
Raffi stopped his words, muttering softly. Iberis can precisely manipulate the Bandersnatch. She was probably trying to extend it to the ground to test how the other party would react.
Saying this briefly, she flipped the switch instantly. In the following second, she caught Raffi in the murky water and plunged her own head into it. Torrential flames and smoke erupted as if to sweep over her head. The impact of the explosion was such that it shot into the water.
Iberis, powerless against the current, reached out with her right leg and wrapped it around the drainpipe as she pulled the Bandersnatch back to her feet. She then dragged herself away from the current. Raffi, who was hanging on to her clothes, shouted over the deafening noise from the explosion as he was faced with the water droplets splattering in disarray.
“… Did you finish her!”
The sewer had been thoroughly devastated about ten meters square. Concrete fragments were flying around, and there was a cloud of smoke and hot air rising. Slightly later, the muddy water began to flow into the gouged hole.
The ceiling of the sewer, which struck the ground, was shattered, and the inside of the shelter could be seen through it. The sound of sirens resounded across the place. Iberis glanced sideways up at the hole, then grasped the drainpipe and lifted her thin body up.
Then she stepped out of the crushed hole onto the ground. A corner of the building had been reduced to pieces. After sitting down on the edge of the rubble, once again she drew a box of explosives from her pocket.
Then she attempted to place it on the ground. There, from a short distance away, a voice called out.
“… Iberis… that’s that your name, right? The doppelganger child. Are you listening to this?”
It was Stelcis’ voice. Iberis stopped her hands from setting the bomb and thrust her body into the rubble. Afterwards, she dug out her hand mirror and brought it to the side of her face.
At the back, a short distance of a dozen meters… In the middle of that cracked road, Stelcis stood alone. Her skirt had holes in it from being burned in places, and was flapping in the wind and you could see her eyes glowing a somewhat strange red.
She seemed to be oblivious to their whereabouts. There was no sign of the Mock Turtle. Either she was concealed by her ability, or she had split up. That much was unknown to them.
“Let’s have a discussion.”
The only thing that was not smiling was her eyes… and Stelcis stated this with a gentle expression that was somewhat encompassed in madness.
“Why don’t we stop fighting each other for nothing? In the first place, we are the ‘same person’… and there is no reason to be fighting.”
Iberis forced Raffi to refrain from saying anything, and she held her breath. Glancing around at the unresponsive surroundings, Stelcis took a step forward.
“Shall I offer a… concession plan?” Stelcis suggested softly. The sound of her walking around the rubble reverberated heavily in the surroundings.
“Let’s see… If you are willing to surrender openly, I will guarantee the life of your companion, the girl named Philrain. And I promise you that I will not take your life either.”
While looking around, her eyes glowing red and her long, ruffled hair fluttering, Stelcis carried on.
“If you don’t accept this offer, I will destroy this ‘system’ that I have in my hands.”
Iberis, who was watching the hand mirror, gritted her teeth lightly. What Stelcis was unceremoniously holding was a human brain… in a glass-like case, the bishop who managed Iberis’ shelter. It was not clear if the speakers were not on or if she was no longer alive, but she could only see her brain floating in the green liquid and could not confirm it any further.
“I’ll give you thirty seconds. But I have a short temper. I will not wait any longer than that. That’s all from me.”
The count began, and Stelcis halted in her tracks. People’s screams and exclamations resounded in the echoing noise of the sirens. Iberis put her hand mirror away in her pocket and grinned.
Raffi looked up at that face. Withdrawing her hand from his mouth, Iberis concentrated on her legs. Tentacle-like fluctuation reached out and enveloped the small bomb she was in possession of.
Then it crept across the rubble ground, bypassing the alleyway at a terrific rate and disappearing behind her. With the switch in her hand again, she settled down in the shadow of the collapsed building. After a while, Stelcis sighed and held up the case containing the bishop.
“I have accepted your reply. I shall now kill you all with all my strength.”
Her voice was indifferent. And the moment she raised the case… Iberis switched it on without hesitation.
Perhaps unnoticed, right behind Stelcis, an explosion of the same scale as before occurred. Torrential fire and wind storm; a storm of shattered asphalt, smoke, and hot air. Pillars of fire billowed up, blasting away the ground and buildings, and for a moment her vision turned red.
While protecting her head with her hands, Iberis curled her body. The aftermath of the explosion lasted for several seconds, and then dissipated, leaving behind a foul-smelling wind. There were flames all over the place, probably igniting gas pipes.
The sprinklers on the ceiling were activated, and murky water began to pour down like rain. The Bandersnatch returned and formed the girl’s legs. Iberis stood up, stomping on the ground, and pressed her back against the wall of the building, gazing across the alley.
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