Alice in the Massacre - Chapter 91
However, right there, the figure of the Duchess disappeared. The Bandersnatch that had been shot out rotated with screams, ripping a parabolic path several hundred meters in front of her.
Disappeared…? That was the moment Jack was about to say, when a shock like some kind of heavy machinery, much swifter than he could react, blasted away a piece of his armor.
The impact was horrendous. Jack’s left arm cracked and shattered as if it had been struck by an object of many tons of mass. In that same way, he was flung up into the air.
“… Alice!” He shouted, yet it proved too late. Before he could even prepare his Dáinsleif, a human-sized “something” stood in front of the stranded Alice. That was the Duchess.
She was tall and slender and sported a velvet dress that highlighted her curves. Her legs, which had been gouged out by Alice’s Bandersnatch, had been regenerated along with her clothes.
“Greetings to you.” She grinned wickedly, her mouth gaping open as if it would split apart. “And farewell.”
At nearly the precise moment that Alice brought her right arm in the form of a gun towards her, the Duchess swung her raised arm and shot it down upon Alice’s crown of the head. Although it was a mass of Bandersnatch that was released with screeches, it was stopped by the Duchess’ solidified fist.
Alice clenched her teeth tightly and pressed her wobbling right hand with her left.
What extraordinary force.
No, this wasn’t any force at all.
“Weight”, it was… a mass.
The Bandersnatch against the Duchess’ hand was spinning as rapidly as it could. With the same amount of force, she was thrusting her arm into it.
It was heavy.
Once Alice felt this, the ground of the desert began to vibrate unsteadily, due to the hundreds of tons of… “weight” that was being exerted. The desert was distorted into a conical shape with Alice at the center.
With an inaudible cry, Alice poured all her concentration into the Bandersnatch. The Duchess floated up into the air.
“Oh dear…?” She said astonishingly and giggled as she seized Alice’s Bandersnatch with her left arm. “Silly! You’re not going to be able to compete with my overwhelming mass with your ‘mass’!”
This Nightmare’s Seventh has evolved.
It was presumably tampered with by Lewis.
Having the instant regeneration ability that the Jabberwock possessed was likely part of it.
But her Seventh was an anomaly. Supposedly, the Duchess could alter the size of her body at will, leaving only her mass intact. And she could even manipulate her own mass freely.
The space around Alice began to distort with a jerking sound. This was like something out of a joke. Since the space was being compressed by such a vast mass, the space itself was experiencing an error.
The data that constituted the desert surrounding Alice began to creak and collapse.
It was an all-out attack. The pale blue flames rising from Alice’s right eye had now spread to envelop her entire body. Her gritted teeth chattered and shook. And blood was beginning to flow from her nose.
“You’re doing unexpectedly well…”
The Duchess laughed again as she spat out the words in disbelief and threw her full weight on Alice from the air.
“I’m going to plunge this entire space into a void!”
Jack, who had lost his left arm, rushed across the desert to approach them. Then, with a yell, he used his right arm to launch his Dáinsleif upwards. It was a slash that was supposed to have bisected the Duchess’ head… but it halted after piercing halfway through her head.
“W-What… is this…! It’s not moving…!”
Jack pressed forward with all his might to thrust the Dáinsleif, but the Duchess whirled around to face him, clutching Alice’s Bandersnatch. She then grinned with the sword sunk into her head.
“Such a small mass is useless…” She said softly as if whispering. Her back was torn open and several arms sprouted again. One of them made a fist and struck Jack in the abdomen.
Jack, whose physique was evidently large, was blasted away again. The torso part of the armor cracked and shattered. Within were a black, muscle-like object and a… blue ball. His “core” was revealed.
The Duchess attempted to stretch out her back arm towards it…
“Your opponent is me.”
She ceased her movement at the sound of an oddly blurred, mechanical voice that did not resemble that of a girl. For an instant, she failed to recognize it as the voice produced by Alice.
In the following moment, a part of the Bandersnatch that Alice had been releasing changed its shape into a spear. As it spun at high speed, it pierced the Duchess’ ear with a screeching noise. It then passed through to the other side.
With her head being gouged out by the Dáinsleif and the Bandersnatch, the Duchess still sought to exert her “mass” on Alice… The screeching cry raised by the Bandersnatch invading her head caused her to refrain from moving.
The Duchess began to wobble and twitch. The mass on Alice’s body disappeared in a flash. The surrounding space, which was on the verge of collapsing, strained to a halt.
With the intrusion of the Bandersnatch upon the Duchess’s head, the “sound” was amplified as it reverberated. The Nightmare’s head began to swell, little by little, as if it was boiling and burbling.
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