Alice in the Massacre - Chapter 90
Alice and Jack stood up as if they had been played. Then they both went stiff simultaneously for a moment.
“What is… that…?”
Jack immediately drew his Dáinsleif and positioned it at the lower level.
It was a remote location. From here, it was approximately a kilometer or more away. However, the occasional flickering whitish light of “that” was slowly approaching them.
There was a reason why Jack and the others were able to recognize it. It was gigantic. Way too enormous. It was so towering that it hung over the clouds, and it stepped out and stomped down into the desert.
The sound of the earth rumbling swept through the area. As the shelter wobbled, Alice gripped Jack’s armor with one hand. From her remaining left eye, she heard a booming noise and a burst of pale flames shot up.
“Where did they emerge from? The Nightmare!”
Jack’s voice was strained, apparently flustered.
It was a woman. A gigantic woman in a slim black velvet suit was gradually advancing towards them. She was wearing a black hat, from which a veil hung, obscuring her face. Her size was several hundred meters; it was a massive, unprecedented size.
As “that” began to move again, the surroundings shook unsteadily.
Jack said as he grasped the Dáinsleif. “She’s too large… Can she even be cut down…?”
“I think she’s possibly the ‘Duchess’… but I have no clue about her Seventh…” Raffi said, then followed up in a forced tone. “She’s enormous… but I don’t think that’s all there is to it. What shall we do?”
“We’ll have to approach her from here.”
Alice remarked, and once again the Duchess stood, stomping towards the wobbly shelter.
“That one is growing bigger with each successive step she takes.”
“What did you say…?”
When Raffi raised his voice in a strained tone, the vibration occurred yet again. It seemed that the tremor was increasing in volume. The Duchess, who they thought was a long way off, was now so immense that she covered the sky and was slowly inching her way forward once more.
“There’s no time to think about it… If we don’t stop her, she’ll trample us!” Jack said as he readied his Dáinsleif and began to concentrate. “Alice, Raffi, stand back!”
At the same time he yelled, he swung his Dáinsleif into a horizontal motion. The sword sliced through the air, and the impact flooded straight into the Duchess’s right ankle. And then it cut her ankle in two, just as she was about to step forward.
The Duchess lost her balance briefly, but the severed surface of the ankle rustled and extended like a thread to reunite the severed parts. It only took a second for her to regenerate.
“Is that the… Jabberwock’s instant regeneration ability…?” Raffi muttered, dumbfounded.
“Stay here, Raffi. Let’s move, Jack!” Alice said, reaching out and clinging to Jack’s shoulder. Instead of responding, Jack launched himself into the air, stomping on the shelter. Then he parabolically flew into the air and flung himself at the Duchess with Alice on his shoulders.
She was huge. Her head was so far up in the sky that her face could not be seen. Although her black clothes seemed to be dissolving into the darkness, they were barely visible due to the occasional white glow.
“I’m going to slash you so deeply that you won’t be able to regenerate!”
Jack aimed his Dáinsleif in the air. But Alice, who was clinging to his shoulder, shouted at him.
Before Jack realized what was happening, it was too late. With an agility that defied her monstrous physique, the Duchess swung her right hand like a whip. It slammed into Jack and Alice.
The two of them were unable to withstand the overpowering force and were hurled into the desert ground in a straight line. A pillar of sand erupted. In a slow motion, the Duchess directed her body towards the spot where Jack and Alice had fallen.
And then she looked up at the sky with a gurgling sound. She opened her mouth and screamed. The air vibrated, and the entire desert trembled wildly.
A shockwave was generated around the Duchess, sending up a sandstorm. The ground shook, and the shelter shuddered violently. Raffi, who was hanging onto the top of the shelter, cried out the names of the two people on the other side of the sand as the vibration threatened to rupture his eardrums. However, it was drowned out by the Duchess’ screeching.
The Duchess continued to scream, her body swinging like a pendulum. From her back, as if something was crawling out of a pupa, a number of “arms” protruded through her clothes. The moment he thought they swayed unsteadily, the arms twisted and began to swing down like machine gun bullets to the site where Jack and Alice had fallen.
With a roar, the arms successively strike with an explosion followed by vibration. The overwhelming force was too vast. The sand was blown up; the air was torn apart; the ground was gouged out.
The attack lasted for several tens of seconds. Slowly, the Duchess’ scream faded and subsided. Her arms ceased to swing, and they settled on her back.
The Duchess gradually lifted her huge feet through the thick sand. With all her strength, she attempted to bring it down to where Alice and Jack were as if she were squashing a bug…
With a thud, the Duchess’s upraised right leg “disappeared” from the base of her thigh. Black blood spurted out and splattered all around.
A mass of rainbow-colored Bandersnatch passed through the entire space, scraping everything in its path. The cloud of sand slowly dispersed. Alice, who was being held by Jack in the middle of the gouged ground like a nest of ants, thrust out her right hand towards the Duchess, who lost her balance and fell backwards.
All around them, the Bandersnatch membrane had formed. Alice’s outstretched right hand assumed the form of a gun. A beat later, she unleashed a mass of Bandersnatch at the Duchess’ head.
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