Chapter 3:

The Lie


My first thought was that I could take her. If she tried to handcuff me or arrest me or run away to look for help, I could easily tackle her to the ground. Bookmark here

She was shorter than me and looked like a wimp, so whatever she was going to say next about the corpse behind me didn’t matter. Bookmark here

I know that was a shitty thing to think about, but I can’t help that my mind went there immediately. Bookmark here

Still, if I could avoid confronting her altogether...well, I’d rather do that.Bookmark here

“Uh—”Bookmark here

I was starting to come up with some bullshit excuse, but she interrupted me promptly, still pointing to my side. Her hand was trembling a little.Bookmark here

“Why...Why do you have the Alice Spade pendant?”Bookmark here

……..Bookmark here

“....Huh?”Bookmark here

I followed the exact spot her finger was pointing to with my eyes, slowly tilting my head downwards. Bookmark here

The gaudy pendant I took from my sister and quickly stuffed into my pocket was hanging out from it carelessly, shining with the sunlight.Bookmark here

I don’t even remember when I put it there. Must have been after this girl called out to me and scared the shit out of me. Even so, now that my head was looking down at my pocket, I took the chance to take a quick glance behind me to where Alice’s corpse was.Bookmark here

I don’t know why I did it, but something compelled me to. And what I saw scared me more than when I first saw her unmoving body on the kitchen floor.Bookmark here

“What the—”Bookmark here

…..Bookmark here

….Gone.Bookmark here

Alice was gone.Bookmark here

Her body wasn’t there anymore. Bookmark here

“Please answer me, Allen!”Bookmark here

The rabbit girl was going through something of her own, but I couldn’t let her see me sweat over my own distress.Bookmark here

I turned to her again, clutching my fist to keep myself from freaking out. I forced myself to take out the pendant from my pocket, showing it to her.Bookmark here

She quickly approached me and took it from me, examining it from every angle.Bookmark here

“It’s...It’s the real thing! B-But that makes no sense…I gave it to Alice. I told her she shouldn’t let anyone else see it or give it to anyone…She promised...”Bookmark here

While she looked at that thing and talked to herself, I turned around to face the ground where Alice had been, kneeling down and patting it all over. The plants she landed on had traces of being pressed, so it definitely wasn’t my imagination. Bookmark here

She was here. That pendant was proof, too.Bookmark here

My frantic reaction finally caught the girl’s attention, who lowered the pendant and looked at me with concern.Bookmark here

“What...are you doing?”Bookmark here

I stopped in my tracks.Bookmark here

I turned around to look up at her and frowned, shaking my head.Bookmark here

“Uh, I lost…”Bookmark here

That was the best I could come up with at that moment. She didn’t like it.Bookmark here

I could see she was struggling to stay calm, too.Bookmark here

“Allen, please, I know this means nothing to you, but it’s very important to me and everyone in Wonderland. The Alice Spade has to have this.”Bookmark here

“...And that Alice Spade…is definitely my sister.”Bookmark here

The girl nodded. I sighed and stood up, rubbing the back of my neck.Bookmark here

“Well, listen, unfortunately, my sister—”Bookmark here

The girl’s big eyes pierced at me through her glasses. Bookmark here

I was determined to tell her the truth, but...that hopeful look on her face disarmed me more than I thought.Bookmark here

I felt like a villain. Bookmark here

And, to be fair, I was a villain. But she didn’t need to know. Bookmark here

Instead, I averted my eyes, and took a pause before continuing.Bookmark here

“...My sister is gone.”Bookmark here

“.........Gone?” She repeated in a soft voice.Bookmark here

“...Yeah. I…have no idea where she is.”Bookmark here

The girl looked at me with confusion—or at least, I think she did. Bookmark here

I was still not able to look at her.Bookmark here

I felt guilty over my words, even though technically I wasn’t lying. My sister was gone, and I had no idea what the hell had happened to her.Bookmark here

There was a brief moment of silence before she finally spoke.Bookmark here

“What do you mean?”Bookmark here

I looked at her, and I thought of that last argument I had with my sister. Bookmark here

I tried to think of the exact moment when I killed her, but nothing came to mind. Something wasn’t right. It feels like that’s something every killer must think about. I must have locked it in my memories somewhere. Bookmark here

Because I knew deep down that Alice didn’t deserve to die.Bookmark here

I knew it, but my petty sibling rivalry with her and my pride would never let me admit it. Bookmark here

She was a bad sister to me, but to this girl she was clearly a friend. Bookmark here

“...What’s your name?”Bookmark here

The girl was startled at my question. I guess because I didn’t show much interest in her at first. Bookmark here

I still felt like this wasn’t real, but I had been an asshole to her long enough. Bookmark here

I gave her a moment to compose herself and answer.Bookmark here

“I’m...Zuria. Zuria Blanche.”Bookmark here

“Zuria, do you like my sister?”Bookmark here

“EH!?!?”Bookmark here

Her face immediately went beet red. She almost dropped the pendant, juggling it to keep it from slipping down her nervous, jittery hands. Bookmark here

“W-W-What are you asking? Huh!?”Bookmark here

“Relax. I just want to know if you’re friends.”Bookmark here

“O-Of course we are! Alice called me her friend many times! That’s why I can’t believe she’d just disappear! She...She promised to meet me here when she was ready and she’d never break her promise!”Bookmark here

Her earnest reply confirmed that it wouldn’t be easy to just tell her the whole truth. Bookmark here

I took a deep breath.Bookmark here

“...Alice…came here with me.”Bookmark here

“...!?”Bookmark here

I averted my eyes away from her once more as I gathered my thoughts and weaved my words carefully.Bookmark here

“I...followed her into the woods, then we both fell into a hole on the ground, and next thing I know, I woke up here.”Bookmark here

“Oh...You followed Alice…?”Bookmark here

I nodded.Bookmark here

She brought a hand to her lips, blinking those big eyes at me. Bookmark here

“And you’re sure she fell in with you? She didn’t stay up there?”Bookmark here

I shook my head.Bookmark here

“...Then...she has to be here somewhere!”Bookmark here

“Yeah,” I replied quickly. “That’s what I think, too.”Bookmark here

Zuria looked lost in thought, and a little concerned.Bookmark here

“...Allen. Listen to me. No one can know Alice is missing. If the other Spades find out—no, if anyone in Wonderland finds out that our hero from another world is missing, it’ll be utter chaos!Bookmark here

“Yeah, yeah. I know. I ain’t telling anyone. Hell, I haven’t even seen another person around at all. Just tell me how to go back to my world and I’ll be out of your sight before I accidentally spill the beans to the next bunny I meet, yeah?”Bookmark here

She looked at me with something I can only describe as...pity.Bookmark here

“I’m afraid there’s been a misunderstanding, Allen.”Bookmark here

“Huh?”Bookmark here

“.........You can’t go back home.”Bookmark here

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