Taisho x Alice epilogue: Alice

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Lastly, we have Taisho x Alice epilogue! This is Alice‘s route (CV: Matsuoka Yoshitsugu). A mysterious boy who will always appear in every story. He has no interest in anything, and is always apathetic. In other words, a shut-in. Despite that, he is a glib talker, has a sharp tongue, and quibbles over every little thing. He often says statements which could make an enemy out of everyone. As the word “epilogue” suggests, going through this route means that you should have been through the first six already, and are aware of all the previous spoilers. Also, this route contains elements which might be triggering.

Alistair’s POV

Where……is this……no matter how far I walk, I can’t even find an exit. I can’t see anything in this darkness. Since just now, I don’t know how far I’ve walked, or how much time has passed…… Why……am I in such a place? I can’t remember……anything……someone……is anyone there–? If you are, please answe–r! ……………………no one. Was there no one from the start, or have I become all alone……I don’t know……nothing……I………………uwaah!? What is this……I’m disappearing……no……! Stop……I don’t want to disappear! Someone……! Someone……me………………

When I woke up, “I” was in darkness. So dark that I couldn’t see anything, yet I could see myself clearly. Is this world a dream? Am I “Alice”? If I am here, where is “Alistair”? From the start, I had the confidence that I was myself. That was the difference between me and him, and proof that I was myself. As I walked in the darkness, I came across a large crystal mirror. Cinderella, Shirayuki, Akazukin, Kaguya, Gretel. They are reflected in each side. If Alistair is asleep, it means that they should be asleep too. There should be one more person, but he is nowhere to be seen in the other mirrors. Rather, the crystal mirror is clouded and I can’t even see my own reflection. I can’t see that world (the real world)……

Alice: ……Alistair. As always you’re selfish, weak, hopeless, and can’t do anything without anyone’s help. Not only did you cut off your memories and gave birth to them, you even mean for me to lend a helping hand in your dream.

Golden hair that reminds one of sunshine, and blue eyes like the deep sea. A young boy overflowing with self-confidence is reflected in the mirror.

Young Alistair sighs while looking at the mirror, causing Alice to point out that his sullen face will only get more sullen. The former says that they have the same face. Alice agrees – fair skin, golden hair, blue eyes. A handsome appearance which everyone admires.

Alistair: ……not a target for teasing?
Alice: I’m different from everyone. My hair and eyes, are a far cry from a Japanese. That being said, from the perspective of other foreigners, I don’t look like I’m from any country. No matter where I am, I’m a “foreigner”.
Alistair: Then, who exactly am I?
Alice: ……I wonder. There’s no way I would know when you yourself don’t know.
Alistair: That’s right……

Alice asks if he will participate in the usual party, to which Alistair replies that he won’t. He doesn’t do well with shiny places, and it’s boring since it’s all unfamiliar adults. Alice says that he isn’t honest, as always. He actually likes shiny places. Dressed in gorgeous clothes, toasting glasses, dancing when the music plays – it’s like a world from a picture book which he had always admired.

Alistair: That’s not…………
Alice: You’re always like that. A negative, cowardly, selfish, weak, hopeless fool who can’t do anything without anyone’s help.
Alistair: Aren’t you dishonest, insolent, and self-centred.

His mother enters the room, asking why he’s looking at the mirror. Alistair looks away from the mirror, saying that it’s nothing. Because he keeps “him” a secret from everyone. His mother asks if he will come to the party. His father’s friend is bringing his daughter who is around her age, moreover her name is– Alistair says that he doesn’t want to go. Anyway, he can’t make any friends. He’ll only be called a foreigner, and get bullied. She says that it must be because they envy him, because he’s cute. He looks away. But his mother doesn’t force him, and will bring him dinner later. She prepared all of his favourite food. She and his father will be in the hall, so he can join them whenever he feels like it. After she leaves the room, he turns to the mirror.

Alistair: ……said that I’m “cute”
Alice: There’s no way a boy can be really happy to be called cute.
Alistair: Right.

Alice adds that the parties are only for his parents’ own self-satisfaction, so there’s no problem if he’s absent. His mother is a good person, but she’s rather childish – though it is one of her charms. Alistair agrees. He loves his mother, she’s beautiful and kind. Lush black hair and a pair of mysterious black eyes. The mother he’s proud of. Alistair feels that he doesn’t resemble her at all. Alice thinks that they’re similar in how they like to dream. Alistair smiles at this, thinking that it would be nice if it were true.

Alistair: ……Alice. I’m envious of you. You’re a glib talker, and can talk back no matter what is said, and are strong-willed enough to not be affected by anything. The complete opposite of me.
Alice: …………
Alistair: I want to become like you.
Alice: ……you’re a fool. I’m you.
Alistair: ……that’s right. You’re another me.

Later, Alistair goes down to the hall. However, he doesn’t feel like mixing around and plans to leave soon after. Just as he’s about to return, he hears someone’s voice. He follows the sound, till he discovers a girl in the garden. With a teary face, she flees the moment she sees him. Instinctively, he chases after her. He doesn’t know why. But he feels as if he needs to catch her. Alistair finally grabs her hand, as they arrive at the lake. As he catches his breath, he remarks that she’s fast. As she turns around, he sees her fluffy hair and teary blue-red eyes. He finds her very cute. But she immediately covers her eyes, telling him not to look. He apologises, but he’s confused and asks why she’s covering her face.

The girl explains that her eyes aren’t normal, and everyone finds it disgusting. She isn’t ill, yet she appears to be. Moreover, her hair is weird. Alistair understands her all too well. Due to his appearance and name, people have said all sorts of things to him too. She tells him to let go, but he refuses for she will run away. Troubled, she remains quiet. He too, would usually remain quiet. Yet this time, he did not and the words he spoke were “Alice’s” and not “Alistair’s”. He orders her to put down her hand, and she does so while looking puzzled.

Alistair: Am I weird? I have golden hair and blue eyes, but my nationality is Japanese. The blood of my Japanese mother and foreigner father runs in me. But I can only speak Japanese. I can’t even speak a micron of foreign language, and I have no intentions of learning it either. I don’t look like a Japanese. But that being said, from the perspective of other foreigners, I don’t look like I’m from any country. Am I weird? Strange? Abnormal?
Girl: N-no……you’re not strange. Nor weird.
Alistair: That’s right.

She asks if he isn’t scared of her, that she is ill due to the colour of her eyes. He doesn’t. He finds her sparkling eyes beautiful.

Alistair: I like it. Your jewel-like eyes, and your soft and fluffy hair. Everything is proof that you are you.
Girl: Proof that I am me?
Alistair: Aah, that’s right. You can call it “individuality” too.

He removes one of her blue ribbons from her hair and tying it on his. It’s weird for a boy to wear a ribbon. So he will stand out more than her. Everyone will focus their attention on him, and no one will pay any mind to her appearance. But this is also his individuality. It’s fine if people call him strange, weird, or ridicule him. That’s how they think. But surely there will be at least be someone in this world who likes this appearance and approves of him.

Girl: ……like me?
Alistair: Aah, that’s right. Like you……so, what is your name?
Yurika: I’m Arisu……Arisu Yurika. Seven years old.
Alistair: Arisu……hmm. What a coincidence. I’m of the same age, and have the same name as you.
Yurika: Then you’re Alice-kun?
Alistair: Aah, that’s right. So you know me after all.
Yurika: I met your mother.
Alistair: I see……we’re not alike right?
Yurika: ……no. I think you’re very alike.
Alistair: Is that so? You’re the first one to say that.

He wonders what they should do now, having come out this far. She expresses that she doesn’t wish to return just yet. He feels the same way, and arrogantly offers to accompany her, even though he doesn’t usually do so with ignorant masses. Yurika smiles in approval. They met as the summer moonlight gently shone down on them. And so, a story began.

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After that, they played together everyday. He would always act as “Alice” and not “Alistair” in front of her, because he wanted to look cool. One day, she asks if he likes picture books. He smirks and pretends to have no interest in such childish books, and would prefers philosophy books. But when she clarifies if he means books on Plato or Descartes. He mishears it as plankton, and goes quiet when she points out that it’s different. Alistair clears his throat, dismissing it as a joke. As he tries to continue, Yurika declares that she heard about it from his mother. Unable to deny it, he coolly reasons that it’s beneficial to read it during childhood.

Yurika: In other words, you like it right?
Alistair: …………
Yurika: I love it too. That’s why I thought that it would be nice to read with Alice-kun but……

She looks towards him uneasily. He observes that she always has no self-confidence, even though she’s smart and good at anything. Alistair agrees to do her a service of reading together, and she thanks him with a bright smile. He’s happy when she smiles. He loves her smile. After he finishes reading, Yurika finds the princesses in stories amazing. No matter how difficult the circumstances, she will always grab hold of her own happiness in the end.

Yurika: I wish to become a wonderful person like a storybook princess.
Alistair: You’re already……
Yurika:?
Alistair: It’s nothing…………does Arisu want to become a princess?
Yurika: I do!
Alistair: ……I see. Then shall we try pretend play?
Yurika: Pretend play……

He explains that you act as someone. For example, girls would often play house. She says that she’s never played it before, for she had no friends. He looks down, but insists that he has played it before when she asks him. After that, it became a routine for them to pretend play. In reality, he’s already doing “pretend play” before her. But he didn’t have the courage to confess. He didn’t want her to be disappointed, and to hate him.

One afternoon, they hold a tea party in the garden with chamomile tea and apple pie. She pretends to be a waitress, serving him. He complains that she was slow, but orders her to sit down anyway for their tea party to commence. Seeing Yurika blow on the hot tea, he pretends to act cool and claims that he’s nothing. However, the hot tea scalds his tongue. She is unable to suppress a giggle, causing him to forget about what happened. When she apologises for laughing, Alistair remarks that it’s better for her to laugh. It suits her much more than crying. So he’ll do anything in return, and readily so.

Alistair: Because I like your smile……as much as I like my afternoon snacks.
Yurika: ……that means you love it right?
Alistair: …………
Yurika: Hey, Alice-kun!
Alistair: Ah-ah-ah-I can’t hear you–?
Yurika: Hey! Say it one more time! I said hey!

Happy summer days. He believed that these days would continue forever. One day, Yurika approaches Alistair with a black cat she found. His face turns pale, and he tells her to back away. He unwittingly admits that he doesn’t deal well with cats. Alistair lets out a sigh of relief when she lets it go, and an awkward silence follows. He feels extremely embarrassed. He had been acting cool in front of her this whole time, yet for him to be scared by a cat. Has she realised his true nature? She asks why he can’t deal with them, and he recalls how he was surrounded by cats when he tried to feed them once. He tells her to keep it a secret, since it’s not cool.

Yurika: That’s not true. Alice-kun is cool!
Alistair: I-is that so?
Yurika: Yes!
Alistair: ……but, even so! This is a promise between us!
Yurika: Okay! I got it!

In the end, she didn’t realise his true nature. And this was their first promise. Without realising that the sparkling summer was slowly fading away—- summer came to an end. Standing by the lake, Alistair notices that she’s looking down which is unusual for her.

Yurika: A lake is like a sea.
Alistair: Hah?
Yurika: Are you stupid? A sea and a lake are totally different. The sea is wide, big and fun right?
Yurika: Yes……say, has Alice-kun ever been to the sea?
Alistair: ……no.

In fact, he has never even left this town before. When she remarks that summer has ended, and Alistair finally realised it – when summer ends, he can no longer play with her. He recalls that she lives in the city, and tries to highlight the great sides of living in the country-side. When Yurika admits that she likes it here too, he tries to persuade her to keep coming here, to even live with him. Or she could keep visiting every summer. But only he thought that. She explains that she’s going overseas, beyond the sea. That’s why it won’t be easy to meet up.

Yurika tears up, confessing that she doesn’t want to go and be separated from him. She’ll end up all alone again. He had finally made her smile, and everything would’ve gone to waste now. What would “he” do? Alistair tells her not to cry, taking her hand. He reassures her that they can still meet up, it’s not like they’re in different dimensions. He doesn’t even mind sending her letters. Moreover, he hasn’t returned her the favour for giving him the ribbon.

Alistair: It’ll be alright. I won’t let go of this hand. No matter how far you are, as long as our hearts call to each other, we’ll definitely meet……in other words, I mean. Even if we part ways now, if you want to meet me, you can.
Yurika: ……really?
Alistair: Do you doubt me?
Yurika: ……no! I believe you!! Because Alice-kun is my prince!
Alistair: P-prince?
Yurika: Yes. Prince. Umm, I’m glad to have met Alice-kun. Before I met Alice-kun, I was all alone in a dark world. But Alice-kun found me, and reached your hand out to me. When you did that, a seven-coloured rainbow was built in the dark world.
Alistair: Seven-coloured rainbow…………hmph, of course. Who do you think I am? I’m a prince. Building a rainbow is as easy as lying around for me. That’s why, it’s also easy to cross the rainbow to meet you.

Back to Yurika’s POV

Before she realises it, she’s wandering in a pitch black world.  She wonders where this is, as she keeps walking, unable to find any exit. She has lost track of time. If she stops breathing and walking, perhaps all she’ll hear is the sound of your heart beating. She has no memory of who she is, or what she’s doing here. She doesn’t even know her own name. She can’t recall anything.

Someone……is anyone there–? If you are, please answe–r! ……………………no one. Was there no one from the start, or have I become all alone……I don’t know……nothing……I……

She decides to keep walking in hopes of an answer. Suddenly, it feels as if darkness grabs her feet. She struggles so as not to be swallowed up.

Yurika: No……! Someone……someone save me!!
Boy: Arisu!
Yurika: !
Boy: Here! Grab my hand!
Yurika: You are……
Boy: Your hand!
Yurika: ……okay!
Boy: Let’s run!

Both of you run away, and after a while the blonde boy stops to catch his breath. She asks what’s wrong, and suddenly he starts running again. When he asks why she’s chasing, she asks why he’s running away in return. Yurika leaps at him, and they both crash down. She proudly brags that she’s good at chase, and he retorts that it’s more like rugby. He adds that she’s heavy and he’s on the verge of dying and throwing up stuff he shouldn’t. She apologises and quickly gets off, while he coughs and stands up too.

Boy: ……thank you for getting off……if you were late by 3 minutes from getting off me, something which will need a mosaic will be flowing out of my mouth……
Yurika: You want to throw up?
Boy: …………
Yurika: Are you alright? How about lying down to rest if you feel unwell? Ah, how about lying on my lap?
Boy: ……no, it’s fine. Your knee is high, and not suitable for the delicate me……
Yurika: Do you mean that my legs are long like an antelope, and worth $100?
Boy: You’re taking it too positively. Moreover isn’t it like saying that I’m poor, have short legs and a shrimp?
Yurika: Fufu. I didn’t say that.
Boy: What is “fufu”. “Fufu”. If you transcribe it, is it “I didn’t say that (lol)”? Or is it (scoff)? No matter which it is, it doesn’t change the fact that you’re ridiculing people!
Yurika: You’re an interesting person aren’t you?

He angrily denies this, calling out on her looking down at him, despite him saving her. She looks puzzled, observing that their eye level is the same – or perhaps his is a bit lower. The boy calls out on her arrogant attitude, commanding her to grovel at his feet. Yurika immediately replies respectfully, to which he plays along. But he’s getting tired of this. She giggles, finding him interesting indeed. She thanks him again for saving her, asking for his name. He sighs, pointing out how awful she is. It’s only polite to introduce yourself before asking. Or has she forgotten? Yurika doesn’t think there is a need, since he knows her. He called her name just now.

Boy: Didn’t you mishear? Like “Arisuda-san”.
Yurika: You definitely said “Alice”!
Boy: Then show me proof that I said it. What hour what minute what second what day what number of rotation was the earth spinning when I said it–?
Yurika: ……you’re like a kid.
Boy: You’re a kid too. Or are you trying to act like an adult?
Yurika: That not what I……then let’s start again! I’m “Alice”. What’s your name?
Boy: …………
Yurika: Eh? What did you say?

He retorts that he didn’t say anything, warning her not to try and dupe him with a typical line usually spoken by a dull-headed heroine. He doesn’t wish to say his name, it’s that simple. As for the reason, he tells her to use her head. Or is her head just for decoration? Yurika reasons that she doesn’t know herself well. So she asks if he knows anything, and why he knows her. The boy remarks that just because he happened to know her name, doesn’t mean that he knows her. Perhaps like her, he doesn’t know himself either.

Yurika: Is that so? You knowing that “Alice” is my name, does that mean that we’re acquainted with each other? But I’m sorry……I can’t recall who you are. Even though it feels very important……
Boy: …………do you wish to know about me?
Yurika: I do!
Boy: Then……………………ah! There is a stomiiformes, viperfish, chauliodontidae!
Yurika: Eh
Boy: Hmph!
Yurika: Ah!
Boy: Hahahaha–!! Idioooot!! You fell right for it–!! You’re a kid too for falling for such a classic kid’s trick!
Yurika: Wait!
Boy: Who will wait when told to! ……you said that you wish to know about me. Then try and catch me!
Yurika: If I catch you, will you tell me!? ……hey! I said hey! Wait!! ……kyaa!

She loses sight of him, as she stumbles upon large crystals. She calls out to him, but there’s no answer. She’s alone once more, despite having met him. He told her to catch him. In that case, he should be somewhere in this world. Looking closely, she sees her reflection in the crystals. Mirrors? Moreover, they’re glowing in the dark. Speaking of which, her figure is visible in the dark too. And the boy mentioned chauliodontidae, a word she knows despite having no memories. In any case, perhaps she can pass through the mirrors into another world – just like a fairytale. Yurika stretches out her hand, and it glows brightly. She dives through, determined to find him.

A voice calls out to her. But she can’t quite wake up yet. The voice wonders if she’s feeling unwell, and decides to let her rest for today. A hand gently strokes her head. The voice tells her to continue sleeping, while he conveys the message to Gretel and Shirayuki. The person leaves, and Yurika soon wakes up to find herself in a lovely-looking room. She went through the mirror to find the boy, so what is she doing here? When she heads downstairs, all eyes turn towards her. Is this a dream or reality? The pitch black world she was in just now, seems like a lie now. Or was that world a dream?

Gretel: Ah, she’s here. Good morning, Arisu-san. Are you al–
Yurika: “Arisu”!? Hey!! Just now, did you, call me “Arisu”!? You did right!? Do you know me!?
Gretel: H-haah? ……Arisu-san. Is your head, alright? I thought that you were a crazy person since before, but you’re a lot more weirder today.
Yurika: That sarcastic way of speaking, resembles him. Looking closely, your aura also resembles him……are you his brother?
Shirayuki: …………
Yurika: ……who is he?
Gretel: ……Brother Cinderella. This person seems to be half-asleep, so is it fine if I hit her once?
Cinderella: Stop it. Despite this, she is my fiance and your future sister-in-law.
Yurika: You’re from just now……
Gretel: Hah! That’s right! Sister-in-law and my sister……! What a delicious ring to it……! I can’t do something as cruel as hitting my sister……!
Shirayuki: If she wasn’t your sister, you’d hit her without hesitation.
Gretel: Of course!
Yurika: You all are…………

Cinderella asks if she’s feeling well already, and she tilts her head at the name “Yurika”. She confirms if she’s “Yurika” and not “Arisu”. Everyone else furrows their eyebrows at her comment. Cinderella checks if he has a temperature, but there isn’t. In any case, she checks if he’s her fiance, and that his name is Cinderella.

Yurika: Could you hit me once?
Cinderella: Haah?
Gretel: See! See!! As expected she’s crazy!! If brother Cinderella can’t do it, I’ll do it?
Shirayuki: ……I can do it too.
Cinderella: Stop it. You won’t hold back and she’ll die! But really, what’s wrong? Are you dreaming?
Yurika: A dream………………somehow everything is so sudden I don’t get anything……I don’t know if I’m dreaming or if this is reality.
Cinderella: Haah……?
Yurika: I don’t know who I am, where is this place, or who you all are.
Cinderella: Haah…………
Yurika: …………
Cinderella: ……hah?
Shirayuki: He’s only been saying “hah”.
Gretel: Three levels of usage of “hah”?
Yurika: I have amnesia.
Cinderella: Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!?

He laughs nervously, asking if she’s teasing him like she always does. Or perhaps she’s still mad about last night? He adds how they went through a lot, or did she forget all of about their romance? He’s dealt the blow when she honestly admits that she forgot everything. Gretel is impressed by how she beat his brother down with words, when she was just asking for a beating. Cinderella looks up again, telling her to bear with the pain for a moment – he heard that memories will return with a strong impact. Yurika frantically replies that it’s all fiction. Moreover, she only intended for them to flick her forehead or something. She shuts her eyes, waiting for the impact. When it doesn’t come, she slowly opens her eyes and Cinderella grins. There’s no way he could hit the woman he loves. He flicks her forehead, and the two younger brothers suggest eating breakfast first. In exchange of her response, her stomach growls loudly.

After they sit down at the table, Yurika helps herself to the omu rice and is impressed with the taste. She learns that Cinderella made it, and comments that he must be skillful. Wrapping the omelette around the rice is difficult work after all. He looks at her in surprise, before remarking that she must have really forgotten. He checks if she can cook, and she admits that she wouldn’t know unless she tries. However, when she takes a bit, she is able to name all the ingredients. He reckons that she has the knowledge, even though she has forgotten how to cook. So she may still be able to cook.

He looks at her meaningfully, before introducing himself and his brothers. And she is Arisu Yurika, from a wealthy family and his fiance. And this is her cafe, for she had bought over this place. Hearing this, she feels that this “Arisu Yurika” was truly daring. Cinderella adds that they live on the second floor, and they’re living together. She glances around, but unfortunately the surroundings don’t look familiar to her. She asks if he doesn’t suspect her, and really believes that she has amnesia. He smiles, confidently saying that he believes her. Because they know her well enough. They’ve been living together for over a month after all.

Yurika confirms that she and the brothers are working here. Gretel and Shirayuki grouch that it’s tiring as she keeps working them to death. She is certain that it’s a lie. Cinderella shares that he helps out from time to time, but his real job is a glass craftsman. She’s impressed, but he averts his gaze and clarifies that he’s still an apprentice. Gretel observes that his brother is hurt, and Shirayuki agrees that it doesn’t sound as cool. She attempts to comfort him, to no avail.

Yurika: No, Even an apprentice is wonderful! A profession! You won’t be worried about money for life if you have a “marketable skill”!
Cinderella: Ugh!!
Gretel: Amazing. You pinpointed and hit where it hurts……! I need to learn too……
Shirayuki: ……she’s still herself even without any memories.
Yurika: ?

Cinderella sees the time, and announces that he has to leave for work. After he leaves, Yurika wonders if she made him angry. Gretel only shrugs his shoulders. She stands up as she recalls Cinderella’s expression. Just then, he returns, admitting that he forgot something important as a lot of things happened at once. He hugs her without any hesitation, explaining that they always do this before he leaves for work. She can only think that this is like a honeymoon couple.

Yurika: Ha-hah……?
Cinderella: Don’t say “hah”. This is when you should keep quiet and blush.
Yurika: …………
Cinderella: ……that’s right. That’s fine.

As she buries her face into his chest, he strokes her head gently. He apologises for not being able to stay by her side, despite how she must  be feeling uneasy and scared. He wished he could take the day off work. Yurika reassures him that she’s alright, to which he smiles as he’d expected that reply. Her heart beats faster. Cinderella pats her head once more, promising to think of a solution when he returns. But he’ll come over at once if anything happens. After which, he orders his younger brothers to look after her. Gretel agrees while shooing him away, and Shirayuki answers without looking over. After he leaves, she can feel their gaze upon her.

Yurika: ……Cinderella-san really loves me.
Gretel: Are you bragging?
Yurika: ……if only that were the case.
Gretel: …………

She can tell that Cinderella is a good person. He’s very kind, and cherishes “Arisu Yurika”. That’s why this situation pains her greatly. Yurika turns to the other two, confirming that the cafe is closed. Gretel replies that it’s because she’s gone mad. She recalls that she often made use of them, so would like for them to listen to her request. Both of them frown, sensing where the conversation is headed for. She winks at them, wishing for them to tell her more about herself.

They go out to the main shopping street of the mirror world, which Gretel introduces. He adds that there’s a lake with many villas nearby, and agrees to show her there later. He sighs at how he has to use his day off for sightseeing, as he eyes wander to a sign with the words “Lavender soft serve”. Yurika is willing to treat him, and he beams widely, saying that he’ll claim the money from her later. Afterwards, they enter a small street and walk pass a building named “Nayotake no Ie“. Gretel observes that it’s a children’s home, dismissing it as he walks towards the next destination. When they arrive, Yurika sees that it’s a large mansion. He tells her that it’s her home, pointing to the nameplate. A black-haired man appears, recognising her immediately. She turns to Gretel, who recalls that he’s her servant who speaks kansai dialect.

Gretel: His name……what was it again? A host-like name, Ka-Ka……Ka……Kaede-san?
Yurika: I see, Kaede-san! Kaede-san!
Kaguya: Who!?

He brings her inside, showing her around the house. Much to Kaguya’s disappointment, she doesn’t recall anything. He tells her not to apologise, though he wonders why she has amnesia. Was it bad after all for her to marry a hetare, simpleton son of the debt king? Yurika doesn’t think that he’s like that. While she doesn’t remember him, she can tell that he is a serious and hard worker now.

Kaguya: Princess…………that’s true. Princess fell for him because Cinderella-san was such a person right?
Yurika: That’s right! ……probably.
Gretel: That last word ruined everything.
Yurika: Ahaha……

She looks around the extravagant surroundings which remind her of a castle. It truly doesn’t feel real that she lives here. There’s even a dance hall, where balls can be held. She pauses at this, before wondering why only Kaguya is at home. The latter looks away nervously, explaining that her parents are busy with work and hardly at home. She asks if he refers to a hunter by “ryoushi“, to which he nods.

However, she may be able to meet her brother. Yurika eagerly takes up his offer to bring her, so he guides them to the hospital where her brother works. As Kaguya goes to call for her brother, she feels Gretel’s intent stare from behind. He wonders if he’s needed here, but it reluctant to leave her alone with Kaguya. He mutters that if she doesn’t marry Cinderella, he won’t have a sister. Eventually, he looks at her with a smile and says that it can’t be helped. He’ll bear with it and accompany her. Yurika bobs her head and thanks him. Just then, Kaguya returns and informs them that her brother isn’t here, as he’s off duty today.

So Gretel brings them to the next destination. They pass through the forest, encountering a small cottage on the way. The wall is covered with cracks and ivy vines, with no presence of anyone living there. They wonder if this counts as one of the villas, and agree that it’s more like a hangout for a delinquent. Gretel is thankful that Cinderella married a rich girl, so now they have no financial worries – and he has a sister. As Yurika observes how well they get along, they head towards the lake. She realises something, as she listens to the waves – that a lake a similar to the sea. Gretel points out that you can’t see the opposite shore of a sea, but Kaguya says that there are lakes in which also can’t see the opposite shore. She recalls that there are explanations that refer to the water depth, but there’s no clear distinction. Yurika surprises herself with her own words which came out naturally. Kaguya is impressed by her knowledge, and Gretel notes that she still has her knowledge even if she has forgotten about them.

After they tour the town some more, they return to the cafe when the sun was setting. She thanks both of them for accompanying her. Cinderella spots them, and rushes over. He questions what Kaguya is doing here, and the latter approaches Yurika with a villain-like face. Gretel hits Kaguya, advising him to stop there. The eldest brother is touched, but the youngest brother merely stretches out a hand to ask for 3000 yen for the soft serve, sherbet and gelato he ate. Cinderella hands him the money with a reluctant expression. Gretel thanks him, offering to take Kaguya back as extra service. As the two of them leave, Yurika sees Cinderella still staring at his wallet.

Cinderella: 3000 yen……no, but, it’s nothing if Yurika is safe with 3000 yen……
Yurika: Um, I’m sorry. I also ate some……
Cinderella: Ah-aah, don’t worry! 3000 yen is nothing! It’s no……
Yurika: …………

He changes the topic, as he heard from Shirayuki that she went around town. Unfortunately, she hasn’t recalled anything yet. He pats her head, comforting her. Later, Yurika offers to cook dinner. She ends up serving stew, a choice which really touches Cinderella.

Cinderella: It’s Yurika’s taste……
Gretel: When brother Cinderella says it, it really has an unpleasant sound to it.
Shirayuki: ……it’s because of his daily conduct.
Cinderella: Oi!! You’ve been so noisy since just now!! This is a touching scene, so read the atmosphere a bit more before speaking!!
Yurika: Ahaha……

After dinner, both Cinderella and Gretel thank her while she asks if Shirayuki really doesn’t need to eat. Cinderella explains that he’s always like this so it’s fine. However, there’s quite a lot of stew leftover as she prepared for the four of them. Her fiance remarks that it’s fine since food like stew and curry can be eaten over the next few days. The youngest brother comments that he’s totally grown accustomed to being poor. Speaking of which, they forgot to give dinner to Alice. Yurika perks up at the mention of the name.

Cinderella: Alice has an extremely twisted personality……
Gretel: And rebuts with 10 times the amount you say. In any case he’s an impertinent, sarcastic, and stubborn person.
Yurika: ……it feels like I’ve seen him before.
Shirayuki: ……Gretel?
Gretel: Alright. I’ll hit you.
Yurika: That’s not what I mean! ……is he a boy around the same age as me with blonde hair and blue eyes?
Cinderella: Let me see. I don’t know if it’s natural or not, but his hair is curly……
Shirayuki: ……as expected, it’s Gretel?
Gretel: No I don’t have blonde hair. Brother Shirayuki, are you dissing me just because you have straight hair?
Yurika: Shorter than me?
Cinderella: Well, I guess so. There’s not much different is there?
Shirayuki: …………
Gretel: I’m 173cm as of now! I’m still growing! Please don’t lump me together with that shrimp!!
Shirayuki: I didn’t say anything though.

She’s pretty sure that he’s the Alice she’s looking for, and eagerly asks Cinderella to let her meet him. Upstairs, Cinderella knocks on his door while the rest hide and watch from afar. But there’s no answer at all, even when the eldest brother bangs on the door loudly. Shirayuki remarks that he’s like a loanshark, unwittingly rubbing salt on his old wound. Gretel says that there’s only one option left. Cinderella nods, taking a few steps back and breathing in deeply. He then shouts and scolds him for being as a freeloader and to pay up. Immediately, the door opens.

Alice: You debt king with a leg fetish who’s not even worth mentioning!! Pay your debt–!! You good-for-nothing–!! You call me a damn NEET, but you’re exactly the same in that you’re also being fed! The only difference between us, is that one of us is working that’s all!
Cinderella: No, isn’t that quite a huge difference?
Yurika: You are……
Alice: Ah.

He dashes off at the sight of her, but she leaps at him and they both end up crashing on the floor. Cinderella worriedly asks if she’s alright. She nods, as she opens her eyes and realises that she’s on top of Alice. She quickly lifts herself up, only to see that their situation is like a typical scene from a shoujo manga of the guy pushing the girl down.

Yurika: You are……
Alice: Ah……
Yurika: The moment their eyes met, his heart leapt.
Alice: Gyaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!
Yurika: Fufufu……I won’t let you escape? Kitty-chan.
Alice: Is there anyone now who would say such a cliche and old line! You read too much romance manga you light-headed romance-filled brain! Hurry up and get off! Get off now! Disappear from my sight immediately!
Yurika: No. I definitely won’t get off.

She has much to ask him – if he was the one in the dark world and why do they have the same name. What is this world and her current situation. He retorts that he can’t answer so much at one go. In any case, he confirms that he’s Alice. But Yurika refuses to move till he answers everything. He calls her out for sexual harassment, for making use of her position to fulfill her own desires. She points out that she isn’t touching him at all. In fact, it’s more like the other way.

Alice: I’ll get sued for being a pervert if I touch just because I see breasts! I’m not an idiot whose instinct wins over reason!
Yurika: Then, you do have the desire to touch……pervert.
Alice: Don’t get carried away. It’s an illusion that all men like big breasts. There are many different preferences in this world like leg fetish, face fetish, attribute fetish!
Gretel: I like big breasts though.
Shirayuki: ……then what is your sister was flat-chested?
Gretel: ……hmm. The capacity would be lost……the attractiveness will be halved…… but the “sister” bond is more important than big breasts. I will choose the one that’s flat.
Alice: See!
Yurika: Then what sort of person does Alice-kun like?
Alice: I……
Yurika: I?
Alice: ……a meek, crybaby, dull, ignorant girl with no friends and doesn’t even know how to pretend play.
Yurika: What.
Alice: Well you wouldn’t know. Because it’s the complete opposite of you.
Yurika: Are you praising me……?

She wonders if he sees her as a bright, strong, knowledgeable girl with many friends then. Just then, Alice points out that there’s someone freezing up from shock behind her, as if he chanced upon someone cheating on him. Yurika turns around to see Cinderella looking at her sadly. The two younger brothers fan the flames, advising him to take evidence so that they can win in court. She tries to explain, and stands up to express her sincerity. Alice laughs out loud, taking the chance to escape.

She chases after him, but loses sight of him when she arrives at the lake. Yurika catches her breath, collapsing to her knees. It’s nighttime, and the lake is extremely calm. Perhaps that’s why the lake seems to reflect an upside-down world. It’s like a mirror, and it feels like she could pass through if she reaches out her hand. Cinderella stops her just in time as he grabs her arm. He had chased after her, despite that situation just now. She feels sorry, muttering that she felt like she had to go after Alice. He remarks that she seems to remember Alice clearly. But she explains that she met him in a pitch black world. He frowns at her confusing words. All Yurika can add is that they both seem to know each other, but she seems to have forgotten. Why did she forget? Even though it must have been very important.

However, Cinderella doesn’t get it at all. A heavy silence falls between them. Soon, he remarks that it doesn’t feel like her. With a kind smile, he says that it feels like they’re meeting for the first time, due to her memory loss. He stands beside her, and asks if she remembers that they had their first date at this lake. Though back then, he had insisted that it wasn’t a date. Thinking about it, he was pretty hard on her back then. He finds it nostalgic, even though it was just several months ago. Cinderella asks if she has really forgotten him, and if her feelings for him and her words back then were all an illusion. The breeze causes ripples in the lake and where his reflection is, and Yurika gasps and looks up.

>> I remember: She replies that she remembers her feelings for him, the words from then and their promise – everything. She stops herself, wondering why she spoke such strange words. Cinderella asks if she has recalled. After some contemplation, she says that she can’t and apologises to him.

>> I don’t remember: She apologises, looking down again.

He comforts her, saying that she will remember one day. It must be more painful to be forgotten, than to forget. Yet he’s thinking for her. Even she can tell how much he loves “her”. Cinderella says that she can take her time, but she questions what will happen if she doesn’t remember. He replies that they will forget about the engagement. He adds that he loves her, and would love to marry her now. But she doesn’t love him. Losing her memories, means that everything that had happened – is gone. He’s a romanticist. He wants to marry the person he loves the most, and vice versa. There’s no need to force a marriage, just because it’s been decided. He’s fine if she wants to live separately too.

Yurika: To break up even though you love me?
Cinderella: If that is for your happiness.
Yurika: …………

He looks embarrassed, and admits that he still does want her to remember. If things continue like this, we wishes to have her wear a glass shoe one more time. Because he wants to be her destined prince. Yurika honestly says that she’s blessed, to be loved by someone like him. Cinderella chuckles, and observes that it’s getting cold so they should head back. He offers his hand. When she’s about to take it, her legs wobble and her world flips around. He calls out her name, as she splashes into the lake.

Alistair’s POV

It’s been one month since Arisu left. He met her two months ago, so the time they spent together and away is exactly the same now. Even so, the memories with her haven’t faded away and still remain in his heart. Soon, the time they are apart catches up, and meanly whispers in his ear to forget her. But surely he can never forget her. Even so, his depressed look grows more depressing, and recently he no longer talks with “him”. Because when he talks to “him”, his chest tightens up and it gets painful.

Alistair looks up at his father with similar hair and eyes . It’s been a long time since the family came to have a picnic together. He says that there are other countries beyond the sea. Then what about beyond the lake? Why are they so different, even though their waves are the same. His father answers that it is like the wind is blowing the the waves further away and spreading it wider. It reminds one of the sea. Still, a lake is a lake, and not a sea. It is unlike the sea which connects to the world, and you are unable to go to a far away country. Alistair wonders if he can meet her again. They had promised to write letters. Both of his parents can tell that he likes her. He is unable to deny, and blushes. His mother remarks that she likes Alice too, for she’s a wonderful girl. Alistair agrees. He thought that she was a princess the first time he saw her.

Two months since Arisu left. He still remembers her. One night, his father returns with an extremely rare, one-of-a-kind item made by a Venetian glass maestro. The beauty of it captures Alistair’s heart, as he comments that it’s just like her eyes. His father tells him that it’s a pair of wagtails. The couple is always together, in other words husband and wife. This country’s name used to be Koioshiedori. It came from a mythology that the gods learned the way of being husband and wife by watching these birds. These birds are always together, so he tells Alistair to treasure both of them. The son earnestly promises to do so. His father pats his head, telling him to give one bird to his important person later on – that way they will never be separated. It would be good if he could pass it to that child. Alistair holds the glass pieces tightly, thanking his father and promising to treasure it.

Some more time passed, and it’s been almost a year since Arisu left. Recently, his mother has been sighing a lot. Perhaps his father is busy with work, so he’s hardly at home. The atmosphere at home seems to be gradually changing. When Alistair asks his father, she replies with a nervous smile that he’s busy with work. She recalls that a letter from Arisu came, and passes it to him with a smile. Alistair dashes to his room to read it, and is impressed to see it written in English too. From her letters, he can tell that she’s growing accustomed to her new life. Nonetheless, it is impressive progress for one year.

Alice-kun. How are you? I’m fine. Things have finally settled down recently, and now I have more chances to write to Alice-kun. I have grown used to the environment here (I also tried to write in English)! I only felt uneasiness at first, but it was thanks to Alice-kun that I somehow managed to overcome it. I’m not exaggerating you know? I’m very happy to receive Alice-kun’s letters! There are many painful and sad things, but seeing Alice-kun’s letters make me want to work hard. Don’t cry, Arisu! I still haven’t forgotten every single word which you’ve said to me. It’s thanks to Alice-kun that I’m here. I’m really thankful. That’s right! You know, I’ve started to learn how to cook! Auntie often cooked for us when we played together right? Everything was delicious, and I admired her! I want to eat her apple pie again. I’m still far from Auntie’s skills, but I want Alice-kun to eat my cooking too. I will practice lots and lots till that time comes!

Alistair is impressed by her life overseas, and confident that she will do well since she’s smart and cute. He wonders how he should reply. Her letters are overflowing with positive words. Yet he’s stuck at the same place. At this rate, he will get left behind. What can he do? He looks at the mirror, asking how would he reply. The boy in the mirror doesn’t answer.

Alistair: ……Which of me was the prince whom she referred to?

Alice? Or Alistair? Once again, his chest grows tight. Just then, an idea strikes him. He runs to the living-room and grabs a chair. He plans to take the glass bird figurine. He had wanted to pass it to Arisu when she came over to play the next time, but he thinks he might as well send it to her with his letter. If she has this, they won’t get separated anymore. He stretches out his hand, his fingers brushing past the glass. However he loses his balance, and causes it to fall and shatter. Alistair’s head is filled with endless thoughts. It was said to be expensive, and his father bought it for him, surely he will be sad to see that it’s broken now. Perhaps he will be disappointed in him. After all, anyone could easily take down the figurine from the shelf. He’s a defective for not being able to even do that. Moreover, the glass figurine was a pair. If he gave one to her, they would no longer be apart. Yet he broke one. His chest hurts, and his breathing grows unsteady. Someone’s figure is reflected in the broken glass shards.

……no. It isn’t my fault. I didn’t break it.

One day, his mother realises that a piece is missing. Alistair hesitates, before looking away and replying that he doesn’t know anything. He unwittingly lied. But half of it is true. After he broke it, before he realised it the floor was clean. He thought it was a dream, and was relieved that he didn’t break it. But when he looked up at the shelf, he noticed that one bird was gone. Wasn’t it a dream? He desperately tried to recall, but he couldn’t recall anything. And he was startled when he looked down at his hands. Because his hands were full of scratches. His mother asks him to be honest, for she hates children who lie. Those words make his chest hurt. He was lying, but he was also telling the truth. But he doesn’t know how else to explain. Alistair apologises, saying that he broke it. After that day, he slowly didn’t know what he was doing sometimes.

After some time passed, they were chased out of the house they were living in, and his mother brought him to a small cottage. He never asked for the details, but he could guess from the way people acted towards him and his mother. When he asks about his father, his mother answers that he’s probably not coming back anymore. But she reassures him, for she’s here. She hugs him, telling him not to worry for she will protect him. Alistair knows that it must be hard on her, and that she’s desperately protecting him.

A knock on the door startles the both of them. A man in black enters, having heard that she moved over here. He’s here to chase for her husband’s debt. His attention turns to Alistair, commenting that she has a cute child. His mother tells him to go the other side, and she will talk to the man. He nods. He’s always being protected by his mother. He knew that the situation isn’t good, but his legs were trembling and he couldn’t budge. He’s a failure as a prince.

Back to Yurika’s POV

She shuts her eyes, her breathing stops. She can’t find anything to grab onto. Will she sink to the bottom of the dark waters at this rate? Yurika screams for help, and she wakes up. Strangely, it doesn’t feel painful anymore. She sees that she is no longer in the lake, but in her own room. She wonders where Cinderella is. At that moment, Akazukin bursts in, questioning if it’s the wolf. Yurika screams at the sight of him, but he ignores her and checks the window. He notes that the wolf has escaped already. He checks if she’s safe, while she’s still confused by the sudden situation.

But above all, she’s curious about his ears. He asks what’s the matter with them, and his ears perk up at the same time. Yurika is unable to resist anymore, lunging towards him and starts to stroke them despite his protests. As she touches to her heart’s content, his face reddens and his body trembles. Soon, she notices his tail and starts to stroke it too. She ignores his pleas for her to stop, grinning as she continues. Akazukin is unable to hold back his laughter anymore. She feels refreshed after the session, but he ends up hiding behind the door.

She beckons him to come closer, apologising for getting carried away. She promises not to do it anymore, but he remains distrustful. Yurika notes that to him, “Arisu Yurika” seems to be a liar. She insists that she won’t do anything, offering her hands up like a criminal for him to tie if he wants to. She did it to express her sincerity, but he blushes and raises his voice.

Akazukin: Tie you!? T-there’s no way I could do such a shameless act!!
Yurika: S-shameless?
Akazukin: ……hah! I-I’m sorry. I got too flustered……
Yurika: Haah……

He approaches her, asking if the wolf appeared since she shouted for help. She denies this, distracted once more by his twitching ears. Noticing this, Akazukin quickly backs away and brings his hood up. It seems that he doesn’t trust her at all. So she tries to divert the topic.

Yurika: In any case, it’s really intricately-made. Is it cosplay?
Akazukin: Cosplay!? Cos-cosplay……costume play……ugh! E-erotic……!
Yurika: …………

The conversation isn’t moving at all with his peculiar adolescent imagination. She asks if he’s alright, for his nose is bleeding. He replies unconvincingly that he’s fine.

Yurika: Where is the tissue……
Akazukin: Tissue!?
Yurika: Wah!!
Akazukin: …………
Yurika: ………………um, are you really alright?
Akazukin: I-I’m fine……
Yurika: You don’t look fine at all……

She tries to think of a solution. She recalls that it would be better to loosen your clothes, and to sit or lie down. So Yurika spreads her arms wide apart, prompting him to strip and come over to her side. Akazukin loses it, and collapses. Several minutes after, he calms down. So she takes this chance to ask who he is.

Akazukin: ……hah?
Yurika: Eh?
Akazukin: …………
Yurika: ………………ah, I know! Since this is my bedroom in my house, could it be that you’re my brother?
Akazukin: Hah?
Yurika: Eh?
Akazukin: …………
Yurika: …………

Eventually, he gets up to offer his place to her. He thinks that she’s not feeling well, and should rest. She tries to explain by directly saying that she has amnesia. But he blinks and stares at her in confusion. She says that she only knows her name, because Cinderella told her. They were at the lake just a while ago, and she fell inside. Yet she’s here now.

Yurika: Do you know Cinderella-san?
Akazukin: …………
Yurika: ……are you listening?
Akazukin: …………
Yurika: He hardened……
Akazukin: Buhaa!!

His nose starts bleeding again. Yurika notes to herself that she has to be careful with her choice of words. She knows that it’s hard to believe, but she doesn’t remember and asks who he is once more. He hesitates, glancing at her with a red face. Akazukin stutters in his answer, saying that they’re going out and introduces himself as Akazukin.

Yurika: Wow, what a bitch–
Akazukin: Bitchbitch!!

He collapses to the floor. Yurika is confused as she’s engaged to Cinderella, yet she’s going out with Akazukin. She recalls that Alice insulted her about being lewd and a bitch. Could it be the truth? She shakes her head, not wanting to think that she would deceive a good person like Cinderella, and a pure person like Akazukin.  But she can’t, for she has no memories. She calls out to Akazukin, wanting to confirm something – only to find him unconscious.

Later, she tours around the town with Akazukin. It looks the same. Perhaps it’s the same world, yet different. Perhaps she’s dreaming, she wouldn’t be surprised if that were the case. Akazukin accepts her comment seriously, and sinks into his own thoughts. They continue to walk in silence, till he abruptly stops and points to a florist, commenting that the flowers are pretty.

>> Do you like flowers?: She agrees and asks this with a smile, and he looks shocked. He acknowledges this, adding that flowers don’t suit a person like him. She quickly denies this, saying that he suits flowers as much as a flower field. Akazukin says that it sounds as if his head is a flower field, to which she comments that he’s being too convoluted.

>> Yes they are: A red flower catches her eye, a carnation. She comments that she loves this, it’s brilliant but cute and friendlier. Blushing, Akazukin says that he loves it a lot too. When she smiles at him, he pulls down his hood and looks away. He asks if she knows the flower language of carnations. >> I do: She replies that it means “a mother’s love”, “to believe in love” and “passionate love”. Akazukin happily affirms this. But Yurika wonders why she knows this. She doesn’t remember, but “she” appears to know.

Soon, they encounter the cafe. She rushes up to it, only to discover that it’s closed. Akazukin recalls that he visited this place before, when she was kidnapped. Having no memories of this, Yurika acts as though he’s talking about someone else. In fact, she’s unable to comprehend just what sort of like “Arisu Yurika” led. He remains quiet. Yurika peers inside, asking if Cinderella, Gretel or Shirayuki are in. But there’s no response. Akazukin says that Cinderella is probably not here. She asks if he knows Cinderella, and he blinks in response with a surprised look. He says that he does know him, as well as Gretel and Shirayuki. They’re not friends, rather……

Before he can continue, Ookami interrupts and pretends to eat Yurika as he hugs her. Confused, she smiles sheepishly, and he wonders why she isn’t playing along as per usual. Akazukin immediately separates them, and Ookami pouts and complains that a little bit is fine. After all, Akazukin is always hugging her. The latter blushes, insisting that they’re not doing anything lewd and are purely going out.

Ookami: By going out do you mean otsukiai?
Akazukin: Baah!! Pervert Ookami!! What are you saying in front of her!! I’ll hand you over to the police for offending public order and morals!!
Ookami: Eeh–I only said otsukiai didn’t I? You were the one who misunderstood on your own accord! Pervert wolf!!
Akazukin: Wha!?
Yurika: …………

(Note: Otsukiai おつきあい can be interpreted in two ways. お付き合い means going out, dating. お突き合い is well, the physical act.) As Yurika watches their middle-school-like exchange with a cold gaze, Ryoushi appears behind them with a sigh. He asks what they’re doing in front of his house. He lets them inside the cafe, where she explains the situation. She also learns that he’s her actual brother. Ookami asks if she hit her head, but Ryoushi says that that’s hardly the cause of amnesia. The main cause is often psychogenic – when a person is unable to endure a huge pain and wishes to escape and forget by burying the past. In other words, it’s a self-defence mechanism by the body to protect the heart, so that you wouldn’t break down.

taialiepi-3

Ookami jokes that she must be dissatisfied with her life with Akazukin, and the latter’s face turns pale as he takes this seriously. Yurika denies this, pointing out that he’s interesting, handsome, cute, cute, and fluffy. Sensing her true intentions, he pulls his hood further down. Both Ookami and Ryoushi agree that their interaction is the same as before though. Akazukin says that it’s obvious, for she’s still Yurika. However, the reason for her amnesia is still unknown. Akazukin points out that she was aware of her brother’s existence. She explains that she only heard about him from Cinderella. She finds it odd how they’re here now, when just yesterday it was Cinderella, Gretel and Shirayuki who were here. According to Ryoushi, this place was bought by her family but it isn’t being run as a cafe. In that case, what exactly is going on?

Yurika asks if they know Cinderella and his brothers, to which they all acknowledge this. However, they remain silent when she asks if she was supposed to know the brothers. Why did she forget? It was supposed to be something very important. Just then, she looks up and asks if they know Alice – a boy with blonde hair, beautiful blue eyes, a foul mouth, big attitude, impudent, arrogant and no delicacy in his words. Ryoushi replies that he might know, leading them to the room at the very end on the second floor. She never thought that it would be the same place. There’s no answer when she knocks, but she can sense that someone is inside. Yurika turns to her brother, asking if she can break open the door. He tells her to fix it later. So she takes a step back, and charges into the door.

Right at that moment, Alice opens the door, commanding her to stop. He scolds her for having no sense of modesty or delicacy like a girl should, telling her to up her feminine power more. Yurika demonstrates her power, by showing a karate move. He shouts that that’s masculinity, wondering if she was born the wrong gender. She replies that she’s a carnivorous (aggressive) woman who won’t let her prey go, and leaps at him. He lets out a scream, and she points out that he can’t escape this time with Akazukin and Ookami barring the way.

Yurika: Now, you’ll explain everything as promised right? Say, why do you escape from me? Where is this place? Who are you?
Alice: That is…………
Yurika: That is?
Alice: …………ah!! There’s is an approximately E cup swimsuit girl jumping over there!!
Yurika: ……Alice-kun. That won’t work on me. In the first place, you should at least say a handsome man if you want to deceive me……
Ookami: Where!? Where!? E!? How big is E!? As expected it bounces!?
Akazukin: A, B, C, D, E…………E!? E!? Five!!
Yurika: They totally fell for it!!

As the two of them are glued to the window Alice pointed at, the latter laughs and remarks that she still has a long way to go in understanding a man’s heart. He takes the chance to escape, and Akazukin and Ookami snap out of it and chase after him. Yurika can’t believe that she lost him again over such a ridiculous reason. However, she wonders why he was in the same room as before. She peeks inside, seeing a simple room with a chess board. Just then, Akazukin calls her and she unwittingly responds like an underling. She follows him downstairs, where he unfolds a pink handkerchief to reveal a strand of blonde hair.

Akazukin: Yes. Be it the colour, thinness, and above all this strange curliness……without a doubt it belongs to him.
Ookami: That is……
Yurika: I see! So where was it found?
Akazukin: In front of the bathroom on the first floor.
Ookami: As expected, that is……
Ryoushi: It’s fine so you just shut up.
Ookami: ……yes.

As Ryoushi drags Ookami away by the collar, the remaining two of them head to the bathroom. They quietly surround the bathroom, before opening the door at Akazukin’s cue. However, Alice is nowhere to be seen. He finds it odd since he did escape here. Yurika’s attention is caught by the mirror. She brushes her fingers against it, and it ripples like water. She believes that she can pass through it into another world. He looks confused, so she explains that she came into Cinderella’s world through a crystal mirror. And she fell into the lake, appearing in this world. In other words, she can go to a different world with mirrors. She knows that her words are unbelievable, but she chased after Alice to come this far.

Akazukin: ……I’m an idiot and don’t really understand what you’re saying……in other words, you came from another world? Just like what happens in manga.
Yurika: Yes. Just like what happens in manga.
Akazukin: ………………if you came from another world, is the you whom I met before and the you now different people?
Yurika: I……don’t know either. Perhaps it’s me, perhaps it isn’t me. I want to catch Alice-kun, so as to confirm that.

His question makes her heart ache. She explains that Alice was the one who reached out to her when she was alone in that dark world. He called her “Arisu”, so surely he knows something about her. She doesn’t know why he escapes from her, but he probably has his own reason. Before she leaves, Akazukin stops her. He wishes to go with her. Even if she has amnesia and may have come from another world, and isn’t the person he knew from before, he can’t abandon a person in trouble. He can’t let her go alone all the more so if she is “Arisu Yurika”.

Yurika: Akazukin-san…………I understand. Then let’s hold hands.
Akazukin: Eh! Hand! Hands!? No, that is……

She ignores his blushing face and loud screaming as she forcefully grabs his hand, and dives into the mirror.

Alistair’s POV

He never liked school since before. He stood out due to his foreign looks, and was often teased about it. But recently, the people around him seem to be treating him differently. One day, a boy tells him to stop lying. He puzzled, but the boy insists that he promised to give him a toy he didn’t need anymore, yet he didn’t. A girl says that he promised to give her a ring too. Alistair is unaware of all of this. Another boy says that Alistair’s family is actually really poor, yet he lies that he’s rich. The boy points out that he’s wearing a ribbon like a girl. He really wanted to angrily tell the boy off, for this ribbon is his only connection to Arisu. But he couldn’t say anything.

The next day, his mother is about to go off to work. She notices that he looks off, and he lies that his stomach hurts. He doesn’t want to go to school, where the others would blame him and ridicule him for stuff he doesn’t know. But he couldn’t honestly confess that to his mother, who was working hard everyday. She worries about him, asking if he has a fever or if he should go to the hospital. Alistair remarks that it’s fine, and says that he can stay at home to watch the house. His mother gently pats his head, telling him to rest while she tells the school about it.

Mother: Listen well? You can’t play outside. Everyone around you is a wolf. There’s no telling what bad things wolves will do, so ignore them even if they approach you. When mother is not around, you have to properly watch the house. If anyone comes to this house, you should never let them in.
Alistair: I understand.

It was the first time he stayed at home alone, and to lie to take the day off school. He was nervous, feeling that he had done something bad. Perhaps that’s why it feels that someone is watching him. He asks if there is someone there, but there’s no response. Perhaps it’s just his imagination. After that, Alistair frequently did not go to school. His mother is on the phone with the school. After the call ends, she looks at him sadly. That look pains him. She asks why he doesn’t want to go to school, if he’s being bullied.

Alistair: ……it’s nothing.
Mother: Really?
Alistair: Really…………!
Mother: What’s wrong?
Alistair: Again……the shadow……
Mother: Shadow?
Alistair: Mother……

He was about to confess everything. About what happened at school, about someone peeking at him from the shadows. She may believe him. But he hesitates, and says that it’s nothing. Some time after that, he would sometimes dream that he’s playing with a boy around his age. Alistair didn’t know the boy’s name, but the boy seemed to know him well.

???: Acchan! Over here over here!
Alistair: …………
???: Acchan?
Alistair: ……you are……
???: Seriously, what are you doing! Here!
Alistair: Wah……

When he realised it, his mother was crying. He asks why she’s crying, and she turns to him, questioning if he’s really Alice. He didn’t know why she would ask him that.

Yurika’s POV

She screams as she leaps through the mirror, and falls down in the darkness. When it gets bright, she lands on the floor on her bottom. Now what would this world be like? A familiar figure comes rushing to her side, asking if she’s hurt. It’s Kaguya. He decides to bring her to the room to check if she’s injured. He catches her by surprise as he carries her like a princess, even more so when he kisses her on her temple. Yurika almost lets out a scream.

Yurika: Um!! Where are……
Kaguya: Nn? I thought of checking in Yurika-chan’s room. As you might expect, I can’t possibly strip you in the corridor can I? I would hate for someone else to see Yurika-chan naked.
Yurika: Strip!? Naked!?

He presses his forehead against her, hushing her. She’s brought into her room, which she recognises from Cinderella’s world. Kaguya gently places her down, before cornering her on the bed and leaving no room for her to escape. He closes in on her, saying a shocking line.

Kaguya: ……Yurika-chan. Show me your stomach.
Yurika: Eh?
Kaguya: Your stomach, show me.
Yurika: Why!?
Kaguya: If Yurika-chan won’t show me, I’ll forcefully do so……
Yurika: No! Please stop!! No matter how handsome Kaguya-san is, I can’t give my body when we’re not dating!
Kaguya: Eh?
Yurika: Eh?

After a short silence, he backs away from her and asks what she means. Yurika is unable to read his expression, which scares her. She’s feeling a different kind of pressure this time. Kaguya desperately asks if she’s come to hate him. He grabs her by her shoulder, promising to do everything he can to make up to her if he did something wrong. At the moment it’s about to enter the R-18 zone, Cinderella and Shirayuki burst in asking what’s wrong.

Cinderella: ……I see that you’re currently busy. Sorry.
Yurika: Cinderella-san! Please don’t go!
Cinderella: Hah?
Yurika: I’ve been worried this whole time! After falling into the lake together, we were separated……I was wondering where you were, but it looks like you came back home!
Cinderella: ……haah? ……I don’t really get it, but is that something you say in that position? You know.

As he points that out, the couple quickly gather themselves. After which, she asks if Cinderella remembers her. He says that he knows her, but what about it?

Yurika: Yes, that’s right! I’m Arisu Yurika, your fiance!
Cinderella: Haah?
Kaguya: ……hah?

The former turns pale at the sight of the latter, who gets up from the bed and slowly approaches him. Cinderella slowly backs away in return. Kaguya says that he’s thankful to him for everything – from taking him in, giving him a job, and pairing him up with Yurika. But he never expected Cinderella to betray him. Of course, he’s well-aware of how handsome and popular Cinderella is among girls. The older man desperately denies this, seeking help from Yurika to brush this off as a joke. But she keeps quiet, thinking that she isn’t lying. Kaguya drives him to a corner, asking how he should deal with him as he grabs Cinderella’s collar.

Cinderella: I’m not her fiance or boyfriend or anything–!! Isn’t her boyfriend Kaguya!!
Yurika: Ehh!! ……is that so?
Kaguya: …………
Shirayuki: ……that was what I thought, but was I wrong?
Yurika: …………umm……please let me sort my thoughts a bit.

She checks with them, confirming that she’s dating Kaguya and is nothing but an employee in Cinderella’s cafe. It doesn’t seem like they’re joking. Rather, this Cinderella seems different from the one she knew. Has there been a change in the setting? So Kaguya is her lover in this world? It appears like before, her relationship with all of them changes each time she passes through the mirror. Moreover, where is Akazukin? Has he disappeared? The rest of them look at her in silence.

Yurika attempts to dispel the misunderstanding, explaining that she has amnesia and was in a dark world where she chased after Alice and passed through a crystal mirror to arrive in mirror world. Cinderella was her fiance there, and again she chased after Alice to arrive in another world where Akazukin was her lover. Everyone looks at her, perplexed. Yurika also eventually goes quiet, unable to explain any further.

Kaguya: …………
Cinderella: Say……could it be that you, hit your head……?
Shirayuki: It seems like a severe injury.
Yurika: It’s not a lie! It’s not a lie! Please believe me!!
Kaguya: ……I believe you.

taialiepi-5

It’s true that it seems like a dream-like story. But he doesn’t think of her as the type to joke about amnesia. Both Cinderella and Shirayuki quietly agree with him. She observes that everyone really trusts “Arisu Yurika” in this world. However, Cinderella wonders what happened to the Yurika they knew then. Could there be two of them? Kaguya widens his eyes and dashes out of the room to look for her. But there is no one else in sight. The rest follow him to the first floor. Kaguya recalls that Yurika had gone up to the second floor to get something. Cinderella concludes that she must be Yurika, just that her memory is messed up. They look at her again, and she remarks that she isn’t sure either. All she knows is that Alice knows her, and she needs to catch him. The rest of them know him, for he lives here.

For the third time, she arrives in front of the same door. She can’t hear anything inside, and strangely the door is unlocked. Yurika finds no one inside. She crosses her arms, unsure of what to do now. Kaguya smiles reassuringly at her, and goes out to tell the other two that they’re going to look for Alice. So the two of them will have to handle the cafe by themselves. Cinderella tells them to do so when it’s nighttime, and not now. All of a sudden, Kaguya clutches his face in pain, claiming that it’s suddenly painful from the time Cinderella punched him.

Shirayuki: ……you punched him?
Cinderella: I di……no, I did……
Shirayuki: So you did.
Cinderella: No, but, that time was a misunderstanding–……
Kaguya: A misunderstanding……you punched me with all of your might over a misunderstanding……and after that your only apology was “my bad”……if I take this to the labour standards inspection office……
Cinderella: I get it! I get it already!! Kaguya! Bring her and find Alice at once! This is an order from the manager!
Kaguya: Really!? As expected, Cinderella-san is so reliable–!

He springs up and hugs Cinderella, who reluctantly acknowledges. Yurika notes that rather than a black company, the employee himself is black. The couple go outside to search for Alice, but it isn’t that easy. In the first place, they don’t have any clue on where he might be.

Yurika: ……does Kaguya-san know Alice-kun?
Kaguya: Nn, I do–
Yurika: What sort of person is Alice-kun?
Kaguya: Nn–let me see……he talks a lot, and I’m always moved by how he can always sprout such words–
Yurika: Ahaha……no matter which world it is, Alice-kun doesn’t change……
Kaguya: …………

>> I think my impression of Kaguya is a bit different: Yurika thinks that the him in this world feels very human. Somehow he feels prideful, shrewd, proud, overbearing, arrogant. She stops herself, apologising for her rudeness. Kaguya smiles wryly, for it’s just like she said. He’s actually very arrogant and greedy. That’s why it hurts to hear her speak another man’s name.

>> I don’t really think so: (Note: nothing happens)

Kaguya remarks that it’s nice to have an afternoon date too, asking if she’s hungry. He points out a nearby kushiyaki store, leading her there. After which, they have a late lunch by the lake. He lays his clothing out for her to sit on, and she thanks him. Following that, he even takes out each piece off the stick with the chopsticks, telling her to wait while he prepares it.

>> What do you mean by “Hii-san“?: The Kaguya in this world calls her by her name, but somehow along the way he started to call her that. He widens his eyes at her, before explaining that it means “princess”.

>> Feed Kaguya: She offers to do it instead, taking the plate and chopsticks from him. She separates the food, saying that it’s easier to eat this way. Kaguya looks at her, startled. Yurika feeds him, and he comments that it’s delicious.

Yurika observes that he’s really pampers her and is gentlemanly. He replies that it’s because she’s his girlfriend. She resists the urge to ask if it’s because she’s “Arisu Yurika”. Kaguya softly remarks that she may different from the one he knows though. He recalls that they ate the same thing here before. Yurika remembers that Cinderella made a similar comment. She knows that Kaguya is being caring to her because she’s “Arisu Yurika”, not because she’s “herself”. She questions if they’re lovers, to which he acknowledges.

Yurika: ……does Kaguya-san think of “me” as “Arisu Yurika”? I don’t even know if I’m the real “Arisu Yurika” because I lost my memories. Rather, I seem to have different memories. Even so, am I “Arisu Yurika” to you?
Kaguya: ………………I see your look and voice as “Arisu Yurika”. But you may be different from the “Arisu Yurika” I know.
Yurika: Why is that?
Kaguya: Because you have no memories of being with me. You may not remember but……it’s all because of her that I can remain myself you know? She exposed the me who was wearing a mask, and saved my heart with everything she had. The “Arisu Yurika” whom I know, is a girl with a cute smile, is bright, and very smart. And she fell in love with me, and saved me.
Yurika: ……then the me who doesn’t remember you, and isn’t in love with you, is not “Arisu Yurika”?
Kaguya: ………………it’s difficult isn’t it?

She nods and returns his smile. Kaguya remarks that the people on the capital of the moon are brilliant and beautiful, and never age. They have no worries either. Perhaps she’s one of them. She wonders if she has to somewhere else to return to then. He says that perhaps she does, and later mentions that there is a way to check if she is the real Yurika. She immediately replies that she’s willing to try. He asks her to show her stomach then. Her jaw drops down, but his expression is serious. Yurika points out that they’re outdoors, and he acknowledges this. But he remains serious, and repeats that he will know if she is the real one.

Yurika hesitates since they’re in broad daylight, and others will see this as some sort of outdoor play. She checks her surroundings and reaches for her corset. Just then, she catches sight of an unnatural golden colour among the bushes. Her eyes meets Alice’s. She quickly fixes her corset, calling him a pervert for keeping quiet.

Alice: Not once but twice……don’t compare me to the red guy or green guy who is always in heat!
Yurika: But you being there, means that you were watching me all this time right? If I didn’t notice Alice-kun, at this rate my naked……
Alice: There’s a limit to your victim mentality! Do you think that you’re such an attractive person? Are you a typical overly self-conscious girl!
Yurika: Then why were you silent this whole time? Why did you follow me? Explain it such that I understand!
Alice: That is……
Yurika: ……just kidding.

She takes the chance to catch him. She asks where he was all this time, and he proudly brags that he had been following her so that she wouldn’t catch him.

Yurika: Hence the lucky perverted development……
Alice: I wasn’t looking so it wasn’t lucky or perverted at all!! And you, what were you doing all along with a guy outdoors in broad daylight!
Yurika: That’s because Kaguya-san said that he had a way to confirm if I’m “Arisu Yurika”……
Alice: Even so, do you show your stomach to a guy that easily! There’s a limit to how easy you can be! Even light novel or eroge heroines are more chaste! You lewd shameless bitch!!
Yurika: Then couldn’t you call out to me?
Kaguya: ……somehow
Alice: Hah!
Yurika: Hah!
Kaguya: It’s like children’s quarrel?

Both of them turn silent, and cool their heads down. They distance themselves from each other, but of course she doesn’t let go of his hand. She clears her throat, noting that he’s deliberately avoiding her after all. He has the memories from previous worlds, which means he isn’t from this world either. Alice pretends that it isn’t his business. But she’s confused by the situation. Is she “Arisu Yurika”? Then why is there an “Arisu  Yurika” in each world? She demands for him to tell her everything he knows, but he refuses. Yurika is determined, and he backs away when she takes a step closer towards him.

Alice: As always you’re stubborn and don’t know when to give up. Well, I don’t dislike how positive you are. If you can only move forward, then look ahead of yourself properly!

He shakes her hand away and runs away. Before she can chase after him, Kaguya grabs her.

Yurika: Kaguya-san……! I need to chase after him. I think he probably intends to pass through a mirror again, and to go to a different world!
Kaguya: Don’t go! Please don’t go. Even if you are from the capital of the moon, I love you! So please don’t go! ……even if I say that, princess will go right?
Yurika: ……yes.
Kaguya: Then I’ll go too.
Yurika: ……I think that even if we go together, we’ll probably get separated. Before I came to this world, there was someone with me through the mirror world, but he disappeared in the next world. I don’t know what will happen to you either?
Kaguya: That doesn’t matter! I’d hate it more if we got separated like this!
Yurika: …………
Kaguya: ……you know, princess. I don’t know if you are the princess whom I know. But I know this. I don’t want to hand you over to anyone else. Even if it is the people from the capital of the moon.
Yurika: ……I understand. In that case, please come with me.
Kaguya: Yes!

After that, they find a nearby mirror. They hold each other’s hands tightly, and leap through.

Alistair’s POV

A woman clad in black remarks that things have become troublesome. Alistair wakes up to find himself in an unfamiliar house. His legs are numb, and he finds himself among unfamiliar adults all dressed in black. He knows that look – seeing him as “foreign”. His attention is caught by a small altar, and his mother’s photo. He has a bad feeling. He hesitantly asks where this place is, and why his mother’s photo is there. A man finds his question strange, and informs him that this is his mother’s family’s house and they’re in the middle of a funeral. The woman remarks that he’s strange, and another says that the incident must have been a shock.

Alistair: That time……? What do you mean by that? Please tell me!! Mother!! Where is mother!?
Man: Please calm down! Your mother is dead!!
Alistair: ……mother is dead? That’s a lie!!

He couldn’t believe it, he didn’t want to. His mother who was pretty, kind, good at cooking, and always protected him. He loved her so much. But the last time he recalled seeing her, was her crying face then. After that, he was taken in by his mother’s relatives. He learnt later that his mother had died at home in the middle of winter. And that he lived with his mother’s corpse. Strangely, he doesn’t remember a thing. When he went to the hospital, they said it was psychogenic amnesia. He didn’t really understand the meaning. After that, he didn’t remember much either. When he realised it, he would be in a stranger’s house. He found that terrifying, and would run away. But no matter how far he ran, he would end up in a stranger’s house when he realises it.

Woman: Why do you always trouble us!!
Man: Enough! This child is so pitiful. Isn’t it fine to look after him for a bit.
Woman: But even if we look after him, this child is always lying!
Alistair: …………

Each time he went to another relative, he would change schools. But he felt that he belonged neither in the house nor school, and he could never feel at ease. He hardly has any memories of this period. When he came to, he found himself on a hospital bed. A lady kindly asks how he feels. Again, he has no idea who this person might be. She tells him that he fell in the lake. She was shocked to see him gone in the morning, and was searching for him when the hospital called her. Fortunately, nothing seems to be wrong with him.

What is good about that. If I’m going to be treated as abnormal, I’d rather be sick.

Without anywhere else to go, he returns with the lady to a facility called Nayotake no Ie. But he is treated like a nuisance. Suddenly, a book is thrown at him. A boy claims to know that he left with the girl that day – that he killed her. Alistair has no idea what he’s talking about. A staff stops the boy, but the boy protests.

Alistair: I don’t know……
Boy: Murderer!!
Alistair: Murderer……

His mother comes to mind. He didn’t know how she died. But she’s dead. He couldn’t remember, but apparently he had been living with her corpse. He always found it odd. And tried not to think about it. Could it be that he killed his mother? He feels nauseous, and throws up.

Worried about his condition, the staff brings him to the hospital on another day. He doesn’t deal well with hospitals. He’s especially nervous, knowing that this time it’s the psychiatry department. Alistair enters the room when he’s called. There’s a bespectacled man in his 50s inside. The doctor asks what’s wrong, but he’s unable to answer. He apologises, giving the excuse he’s feeling nervous. He tries to smile, but doesn’t know if he’s smiling properly. When the doctor asks for the reason, his mind goes blank. He struggles to find an answer, but can’t. He feels like escaping from the cold gaze.

He changes the question. He notes from the sheet that he’s been in a daze rather often, and will realise later that time has passed. Alistair acknowledges this in a trembling voice. The doctor asks when did this start. He doesn’t know. But since before he should always be inside his home, yet somehow he finds herself standing outside and a stranger is talking to him. But the stranger knows him. The doctor tells him to continue, and he relaxes. It’s alright, this person is a doctor. He will allow some failure. Alistair describes that it feels like he’s dreaming. He’s awake, yet sometimes he experiences fantasies which appear real. Even though it’s not real, he feels like crying and his chest tightens up. It feels like he’s looking at his memories, but perspectives of someone else’s are mixed in too. He’s looking at himself in a dream.

The doctor confirms that he will find herself in unfamiliar places before he realises it, and that he’s hurt too. The doctor asks for his hand, hitting it lightly. He confirms that he feels the pain. The doctor continues to ask how other people see him. Has he been told that he’s like a different person? In a dark doorway or in a place where he can’t reach, is there someone peeking at him? Is there a black shadow behind him? Alistair wonders why he knows this, and acknowledges it.

After the consultation, the doctor concludes that he has dissociative identity disorder. It’s a type of dissociative disorder, in which the feelings and memories that are cut off mature and develop another personality. The doctor refers to how multiple personality disorder is often depicted in TV shows or novels. He can’t be sure since he hasn’t seen the dissociative state, but it’s pretty much confirmed. Alistair is unable to digest the information. The doctor asks if he has talked to anyone in his head before, and he lies that he hasn’t on the spur of the moment. He doesn’t know why he did that. The doctor asks if his parents did anything bad to him – was he beaten for example. He frowns and denies this. The doctor probably thinks that he was abused.

The doctor explains that when this occurs during childhood, the cause is often a huge stress on the mentality. Such as being abused, or witnessing someone important to you dying in front of you. Of course, that isn’t the only reason. Alistair isn’t sure. When asked for the reason, he feels as though he’s being blamed and his throat grows painful. When he realises it, he would have no memories of what occurred. He didn’t notice this at first – except from 2 years ago. When he came to, he was in an unfamiliar place with strangers. His mother was gone, and an unfamiliar man told him that his mother was dead. The doctor says that he can stop now, and decides to prescribe him anti-anxiety drugs for now. At the very least, he needs it now. He would also like for Alistair to come back for several check-ups, such as blood test, MRI, CT, EEG scan. However, the doctor won’t force him if he dislikes it. He can wait for him to calm down, and take it slow.

After the consultation, Alistair goes outside to the garden for a breather while the staff settles the bill. He still can’t quite digest the news. But a lot of things do make sense now. A unfamiliar man in a white coat calls out to him by an unfamiliar name “Shirayuki”. The man has silver hair and blue eyes, is tall and speaks Japanese fluently despite his foreigner-like appearance. There’s no way Alistair would forget him if they’d met before. The man speaks in a friendly tone, expressing his concern and patting his head. There have been numerous similar incidents. And each time it would end sourly. But it will be different from now on, since he now knows that he has multiple personalities. Alistair firmly says that he doesn’t know him, and thinks he is mistaken. The taller man looks surprised. The staff calls for Alistair, and so he quickly excuses himself. He never though that he would meet the man again, even in his wildest dreams.

Through a later examination, it’s been confirmed that he has dissociative identity disorder. The doctor asks if his life so far is uncomfortable, including his stay at the facility. Alistair hesitates. Aside from the adults, he’s completely shunned by the children. They all see him as a liar, or having an unfavourable illness. The doctor asks if he has any friends, to which he replies that he has none. So the doctor proposes for him to be hospitalised, and promises to lend him his strength. So with this, Alistair started living in the hospital.

Doctor: You are now in a very dark place. It’s pitch black and you cannot see anything.  Since just now, you are unsure of how long you have walked, or how much time has passed. It is the same scenery no matter how far you walk, and perhaps you have lost all sense of direction, time, and everything. Surely if you stop breathing and walking, perhaps all you’ll hear is the sound of your heart beating. But for some reason. You can see yourself in the darkness. You continue to move forward……so, what do you see in front of you?
Alistair: …………nothing……it’s still dark.

The doctor notes that the alternating personalities are able to contact each other, but it seems difficult for Alistair, the main personality, to converse with them. Alistair apologises, and the doctor says that he need not. The doctor treats him kindly. His initial impression of the doctor was that he was cold, but that changed as he got to know him better. Above all, the doctor understands him the most. That’s why Alistair thinks that he just needs to listen to him. The doctor explains that in most cases of dissociative identity disorder, you don’t remember about your other personalities. So it seems difficult for Alistair to meet the others.

Doctor: Why do you think that people know that they are themselves?
Alistair: ……?
Doctor: It’s because your own consciousness is continuous. Your own consciousness……simply put, your memories. Dissociative identity disorder occurs because that system has turned strange. Of course, you only have one body, and your brain still functions when your alternate personality surfaces. That’s precisely why there is also a sharing of memories among alternate personalities. From what I heard from the other personalities, they each have their own room in your heart, and they usually spend their time there when they are not surfaced. They seem to gather in a pitch black world during conversations.
Alistair: Pitch black world?
Doctor: The place which I tried to lead you to.

The other personalities don’t know that they are multiple personalities. Each of them has their own problem. There’s no telling what will happen if they learn that they are actually a part of Alistair. The personalities who operate when Alistair isn’t aware, appear to be independent, but they are actually feelings and memories cut off from him. That night, Alistair looked in the mirror after not doing so for a long time. The reflection shows a boy with blonde hair and a blue ribbon.

Alistair: ……all of you are a part of me. All of you use my body, use my mind, use my life. All of you are really……………………

Inside of himself, there are parts of himself whom he doesn’t know. They do not have a self. But he has no self-confidence. Is he really himself? (Note: There is a play on words. They do not have a “self 自身”, and he has no “self-confidence 自信”. These two terms have the same pronunciation “jishin“.)

Back to Yurika’s POV

Having learnt from past experience, Yurika manages to land on her feet this time. However, she loses balance and ends up on all fours. From the looks of it, she ended up in the same place she came from. However, Kaguya is nowhere to be seen. In other words, it’s a different world this time. Just then, a voice from behind calls out to her. It’s Gretel. He wonders what she’s doing on all fours – is she looking for something? “Yes yes. Since Alice-kun is so small!” – though it isn’t the time for her to joke like that. Yurika asks if they are lovers, and he hits her on the head.

Gretel: What sleep-talk are you sprouting.
Yurika: I’m sorry, if it was a mistake……
Gretel: It’s obvious isn’t it. We’re lovers approved by our family.
Yurika: As expected—-!!!!
Gretel: What do you mean?
Yurika: ……it looks like I’ve moved to a different world again. I see, this time Gretel-kun is my lover……
Gretel: ……Yurika?

As he looks at her suspiciously, she decides to prioritise catching Alice first. She asks if he knows Alice, for she’s currently searching for him.

Gretel: Haah……I see. That’s why you were on all fours. He’s small after all.
Yurika: No, no matter how small he is, he isn’t that miniature……

He doesn’t know where Alice is, but he will search together with her. As they continue walking, she keeps looking back. There’s no knowing if he’s following them, just like in Kaguya’s world. Gretel agrees that he’s the type who would do that. She asks what is their relationship, and Gretel replies that they’re just acquaintances. Before he realises it, Alice is there and strangely seems to know him well, and would keep touching on his sensitive topics. From his point of view, Alice is arrogant despite his height and is insolent despite his small frame. Yurika unwittingly laughs – as expected, Alice is still the same no matter where he goes. Annoyed, he pokes at her grinning face. While he knows that she’s searching for Alice, it isn’t all that polite to keep talking about another man before her lover. When he points this out, she quickly apologises. She recognises that anyone will be hurt if that happens, even “Arisu Yurika”.

Yurika observes that he’s different from when he was in Cinderella’s world. His basic personality isn’t all that different, but perhaps the change in their relationship changes the perception. Or perhaps it’s different depending on the person, or different based on whose world this is. As they’re unable to find Alice, she suggests returning home first. As expected, they arrive at the same cafe. She asks if they work here, and Gretel hits her head once more. He corrects her, for they’re students and this was formerly a cafe.

>> I want to bake sweets with Gretel: Yurika finds it regretful, as it would be interesting to run a cafe with him. He replies that he’d probably be in-charge of sweets. She nods with a smile, but then wonders why she was so sure of this.

>> Be lost in thoughts: Gretel admits that it would be interesting to run a cafe with her. He’d probably be in-charge of sweets. She smiles in return.

Inside, Ryoushi welcomes them. Yurika happily calls out to him, to which he widens his eyes in surprise. Gretel asks with a frown what he’s doing here. Ryoushi came here to check on them, and observes that everything seems well. Gretel agrees that it’s peaceful enough to draw out a yawn, and beckons him to go back. However, the older brother asks either of them to prepare some coffee. Despite complaining, Gretel goes to do so while telling Yurika to sit down first.

Left alone, Ryoushi stares at her, causing her to look down. He observes that she’s meeker than usual and wonders if something happened. Just as she’s about to confess everything, Gretel returns and expresses the same sentiment. He questions if she’s really his sister, for she seems to not know things she should already know. It’s as if she has amnesia. When Yurika brightly agrees that she does, they coldly stare at her in silence. Gretel quickly asks Ryoushi to treat her, to which the latter agrees. When she insists that it’s true, they question why she knows them. She attempts to explain that she met them in previous worlds, though Gretel wasn’t her lover then. However, both of them still agree that it looks severe.

Attempting to change the subject, she asks what is their relationship. Ryoushi answers that he’s her brother. She recalls that it’s the same setting as Akazukin’s world. Gretel replies that he’s her adopted brother – though if he marries her, they’ll become family. An awkward silence follows, till Gretel asks her to properly explain herself. Yurika does so, concluding at the end that she may not be this world’s Yurika. The two men exchange glances, and Gretel asks if she’s lying. Ryoushi doesn’t think so, but it’s also impossible to move between worlds. Perhaps it’s schizophrenia. Yurika observes that Ryoushi is familiar with medical terms in this world.

Gretel: ……sister. No, Yurika-san. Aah……that’s not it. Arisu-san. You came here by chasing after Alice-san right?
Yurika: Y-yes.
Gretel: Let’s find Alice-san at once.
Yurika: Eh?
Gretel: He may know everything about why Arisu-san is like this right? Then let’s leave no stone unturned and find him.

He takes her hand, and tells Ryoushi that they’re heading out again. Outside, Yurika thanks him but he replies that it was the obvious thing to do. Gretel turns to her, and says that he doesn’t think that she’s weird. It’s true that she may be crazy, but never mad. She’s always serious. That’s why he believes that she’s telling the truth. Yurika sees that he’s the same as the rest. They cherish the “Arisu Yurika” whom she doesn’t know, and believe her. Perhaps that’s why they were able to see that she was “fake”.

Just then, she spots Alice behind Gretel, and dashes after him. However, she loses sight of Alice in the forest. Gretel catches up, telling her not to suddenly run off as he’ll get worried. She apologises, and he looks around the forest. She asks what’s wrong, but he dismisses it. As they’ve lost sight of Alice, Gretel suggests leaving as it’s dangerous when it gets dark. At that moment, there’s a rustling sound from a nearby bush. Both of them turn towards the source of the sound.

>> Rely on Gretel: She hides behind him, and Gretel reassures her that he will protect her no matter what.

>> Don’t rely on Gretel: Yurika say that she will investigate. She approaches it slowly, ignoring Gretel’s protests.

A man clad in black pops up, looking troubled. Gretel frowns at the sight of him, and the man looks at Yurika in surprise. The man swipes Gretel’s hand away, and starts to ruffle Yurika’s hair all of a sudden. Gretel pushes him away, calling him a pervert.

???: ……it looks like you’re not her.
Yurika: Umm……?
???: Ah, sorry sorry. I got separated from the one who’s always with me.
Gretel: So why did you need to touch her!
???: The one I’m looking for looks exactly like her.
Gretel: Yet you were crawling on the floor? She isn’t that small is she, in more ways than one.
Yurika: What is she like?
???: Hmm. Black and small, and her ears and whiskers go like this……
Gretel: She isn’t even 1 micron similar to sister……

Yurika wonders if that is even human. The man belatedly greets Gretel, having not seen him in a long time. Gretel reluctantly returns the greeting, and beckons Yurika to leave. However, she asks who the man is. Gretel vaguely replies that he was in the man’s care before, and assures her that he already properly thanked the man. As they’re about to leave, the man remarks that things seem to be going well. Despite the initial imprisonment setting. Gretel freezes, and the man asks if he no longer needs the candy. Yurika turns to Gretel, who is unable to respond. The man realises that she doesn’t remember him, and approaches her closely once more.

???: ……I see. You are…………

His amber eyes show her reflection. Perhaps he also sees something in her eyes. Is it the real her he is looking at? Or another her? He introduces himself as Wizard, and would love to have tea – but it doesn’t look like Gretel would allow it. Wizard backs away, as Gretel glares at him. The latter reminds him that he was searching for someone. But Wizard answers that it’s already resolved. Moreover, he has another matter to attend to, and excuses himself. But Yurika stops him, asking if he’s seen a blonde-haired boy. Wizard recognises the boy as Alice, and grins at the realisation that Alice is running away from her. He remarks that it’s only natural.

Yurika: ……do you know me?
Wizard: I do. Whichever world you are in.
Yurika: !
Wizard: You came through a mirror right?
Yurika: Why do you know that! Please! Please tell me everything you know!
Wizard: I don’t think there’s anything for me to tell you though. Let me ask you instead, what do you think this world is? When you pass through a mirror, it’s a different world……don’t you think that it’s like a fairy tale?
Yurika: …………
Wizard: Heroine-chan. You actually have realised the truth about this world right? But you act like you don’t, because you don’t want to. Because if you realise it, if you know about it, there’s no turning back. Perhaps that’s the reason why he’s running away.
Yurika: ……because he doesn’t want me to know the truth?
Wizard: It’s a bit different. Perhaps he’s just scared.
Yurika: Scared?
Wizard: Which dreamed it? You, or me? The one who doesn’t wake up will disappear.
Yurika: …………
Wizard: Then I’ll take my leave first. See you, Heroine-chan.

He leaves, and Gretel is left confused. He never really understood Wizard, but all the more so now. Yurika knows that it’s just like Wizard said. She actually realised it. That this world is someone’s dream, and they are all residents of that dream. But if this is a dream, then who is she, who has her own will? Perhaps she’s scared too. Just then, a nearby bush rustles again. Gretel tells her that it’s dangerous, when she approaches it. She reassures him, perhaps it’s the one Wizard is looking for. She parts the bushes, and Alice meows in response. Alice sprints off, and Gretel chases after him at her command. She runs after them with all of her might. It’s like a game of chase. Who will win this match?

Yurika trips and falls. When she gets up, she sees that she’s alone. It’s gotten dark already, just like that time. The forest is dark and quiet. It’s so dark that she cannot even see herself. She kneels down, crying for help as she calls out Alice’s name. Not Cinderella, Akazukin, Kaguya, Gretel, Shirayuki or Wizard. But the name of the person who she first met, and first recognised her as “Arisu”. Alice sighs as he shows up before her, wondering why she called for him. He asks if she’s alright, and helps to pull her to her feet. She thanks him, and a brief silence follows.

Alice: ……what. It’s fine already isn’t it. Hurry up and let go of my hand.
Yurika: ……it’s alright. I won’t let go of this hand.
Alice: Don’t say such an oddly meaningful line in this situation!! What is alright!! It’s not alright at all!! If you’re Japanese, at least understand the meaning of the language correctly when you use it!! Or did I mishear “daijoufu“? Am I a fine man?
Yurika: …………
Alice: ……what’s wrong? It’s unlike you. You’re not going to rebut like you always do?
Yurika: …………
Alice: ……fuu. Your ribbon is loose. Sit there. I’ll fix it.

taialiepi-4

(Note: The usual reading of 大丈夫 is “daijoubu” which means “are you fine/alright”. But another reading may be “daijoufu” which literally means “a fine man”.) As he reties her ribbon, Yurika asks why he came back when he was running away from her.  He replies that he was. But Gretel is physically fit, after Akazukin and Wizard. So he hid in a bush, before turning back and found her. He comments that she really needs to train her stamina, for a clumsy heroine is no longer in trend. He could have ignored her, but she cried out his name in such a hopeless voice, he couldn’t help but show himself. Yurika wonders if it’s better to not know anything. Alice points out that it’s opposite from her previous behaviour, when she was so persistent in knowing the truth. She admits that she sort of figured out what this world is, and what her existence is.

Yurika: Say, why does Alice-kun know that you are “Alice”?
Alice: That is…………
Yurika: Alice-kun didn’t introduce yourself when we first met. I only knew your name in Cinderella’s world, when Cinderella said that you were “Alice”. You live as “Alice” no matter which world it is. Just like me……and “Arisu Yurika”. Say, do you really remember about yourself? Are you really “Alice”? Do you really think that you are “Alice”?
Alice: …………
Yurika: ……if you ask why I’m saying this, it’s because I think that this world is a dream. I think that I’m probably right. Because it isn’t normally possible to pass through a mirror into a different world. But if this is a dream……

He acknowledges that if this is a lucid dream and you recognise this, you can change your dream as you wish. Yurika wonders what she is, as well as who the kind people are, if this is a dream. Alice replies that a dream is pieced together by fragments of your memory. The people and places in your dream, is usually from your memories. So it’s possible for the mind to create it based on past experiences.

Yurika: Then why do I have no memories? ……who is seeing this dream? Alice-kun. I’m scared……
Alice: Why do you need to be scared?
Yurika: Because……
Alice: You don’t know who you are? Of course you’re “Arisu”. Do you doubt me?
Yurika: Eh……
Alice: With the mirror, people first gained a way of looking at themselves objectively. It seems that the first step to self-awareness is knowing your own reflection in the mirror. Arisu. I am your mirror.
Yurika: ………………Alice-kun. Thank goodness you are here. I don’t have any memories of myself, so I don’t know if this is me. But because Alice-kun is here. Because you recognise my reflection, I have confidence (my own self) that I am me.
Alice: ……rather than looking down, it suits you more to look ahead and smile. Here, it’s done.
Yurika: Thank you.

She realises that he has the same ribbon as her. He smiles at her.

Alice: Arisu. I remember. Your jewel-like eyes, and your soft and fluffy hair. Everything is proof that you are you.

In that moment, the pitch black world changes into a warm light like the summer sunshine. Perhaps it is because the moonlight is casting upon them, and his blonde hair is reflecting it. But that’s more than enough for her. Alice goes quiet, before abruptly darted away. Yurika chases after him, till she arrives at the lake. He may have disappeared to another world, for he is nowhere to be seen. Gretel calls out to her, thankful that he found her. He apologises for having left her behind. He wonders about her ribbon, but she says that she has to go to another world. He sighs, and says that he will accompany her. She asks why he is kind to her, since she may not be the Arisu Yurika whom he knows. Gretel confidently replies that it may be so, however he has no choice but to lend a helping hand to someone who looks exactly like the person he loves. She thanks him, and they hold hands and dive into the lake.

Alistair’s POV

Some time passes by, and he has matured a bit. Alistair calls out to the doctor, who asks to talk later as he has other patients. Recently, the doctor has been avoiding him. He always looks tired, and the previously long counselling sessions now end so briefly. After some time, the doctor no longer showed up before him. Instead, Arisu Ryoushi takes over as his attending doctor. It was the silver-haired man he had met in the garden. Hearing the name “Arisu”, Alistair recalls her. He hasn’t met her in years. The exchange of letters came to an end after he moved. He’s sure that she no longer remembers him.

Alistair: ……doctor Ryoushi. Why did the doctor disappear from my sight? Not just the doctor. My father, and my mother too……everyone, everyone disappeared……is it because I’m like this?
Ryoushi: Alistair. It’s true that people may have disappeared from your sight, but that is certainly not your fault. Don’t worry. I won’t abandon you.
Alistair: …………

Despite his scary looks, Ryoushi is unexpectedly serious and a hard worker. He treats everyone equally, and doesn’t overstep the boundaries unnecessarily. As such, patients and their families gradually start to trust him. One day, Ryoushi made an unexpected proposal to Alistair – to move into his house. His family is a family of doctors. Though the specialty is different, they can understand. Moreover, there’s no financial worries. As he is his attending doctor, he cannot become his family. But his family may be able to become Alistair’s family.

Ryoushi: Alistair. You need someone who understands you to support you.

Someone who understands him. His mother. The doctor. They all disappeared. Even they did not understand him completely. To be honest, he doesn’t understand himself. Can he hope for someone who understands him to show up?

In the streets, a hooded boy excitedly calls out to him. Alistair flinches. There’s no mistake that “someone” used his body without him knowing again. The boy introduces himself as Ookami, and recalls that they often played together when they were young. His grandmother even made Akazukin a hood too. Alistair looks fearfully at him, for he has no such memories. He claims that isn’t “him”, and runs away.

After that, he went to meet Ryoushi’s family. Ryoushi’s father welcomes him in, and a girl with fluffy hair leaps at him. A beautiful pair of teary blue-red eyes look at him. He couldn’t believe it. He never thought that he would see her again – Arisu Yurika. He realises that Ryoushi must be her brother. After all, not many people have such a surname. Why didn’t he realise it earlier? Yurika apologises for not keeping in touch. She had sent numerous letters, but didn’t know that things were this difficult. The small girl had grown taller than himself, and matured into a beautiful lady. Alistair lies that he doesn’t remember her. She looks shocked, but quickly smiles and admits that 10 years is a long time. His chest hurts. Why did he lie to her? Even though he had wanted to see her all this time. Yurika sees that he’s still wearing the ribbon, and cries out of happiness. She introduces herself as Arisu Yurika.

After that, he’s led to the living-room where her parents and brother are waiting. Her father recalls having met him when he was still young, but Alistair only apologises. The father takes out a cigarette, only to keep it again when Yurika glares at him. Her father offers to adopt him, and promises to support him with all he has. Alistair glances around for an answer. Yurika is grinning, while Ryoushi looks expressionless. What should he do? He doesn’t have any memories after this. In the end, he was taken in by her family. They lived in a reformed building from the Taisho era. However, her doctor parents were busy with work and hardly at home. Ryoushi lived in a separate house, with the reason that he didn’t want to destroy their doctor-patient relationship.

Yurika always prepared the meals, which were all delicious. She asks what is his favourite dish. Alistair looks away. She believed that he had forgotten about her. Perhaps she thinks that the Alistair who had met her when they were young, wasn’t him. After all, he was acting as “Alice”. He replies that anything is fine. All of a sudden, she pinches his cheeks claiming that it’s a massage to relieve the tension. She says that he’s a wonderful person, and should have more self-confidence and look ahead. He can relax here, since this is his home. However, he stops eating and stands up, replying that he’s only being let to live here. A heavy silence follows. Their conversations always end up like this. Neither of them know how to respond. Alistair soon excuses himself and heads upstairs. For some reason, he has a hard time dealing with her. The crybaby Yurika has changed. She no longer needs him.

Upon her parents’ suggestion, he starts to attend middle school. She hands him his lunchbox in the morning, before requesting to go to school together that day. Yurika looks very happy walking beside him. She asks if they can go home together too, and is delighted when he agrees. There’s no way he could reject her when she asks like that. The middle school he goes to has a special class, attended by children with different problems. And he is one of them. By right, he should be going to the same high school as her. So he feels embarrassed.

After school, Alistair waits by the school gate as promised. Yurika soon shows up, but there is a boy beside her. Ookami keeps asking for her number, but she replies that she already has someone she likes. He is aware, and says that they can remain as friends. When she agrees and he’s about to get her number, she greets Alistair loudly. Ookami and Alistair see each other, both looking surprised. Back at Yurika’s house, everything is explained to Ookami. Alistair thinks that perhaps Ookami the friend he saw in his dream. Ookami sees that he doesn’t remember him, and asks if Akazukin can come out. Yurika explains that dissociative identity disorder is where the feelings and memories that are cut off mature and develop another personality. While there is one body, he doesn’t have any memories of when the alternate personalities surface. The alternate personalities seem to be able to converse with each other, but Alistair can’t.

Ookami introduces himself since this is their first meeting, and Alistair hesitantly shakes his hand. The latter asks if he believes that he has multiple personalities. Ookami says that he doesn’t doubt friends. While it does sound like something out of a manga, he doesn’t see Yurika or Alistair as the type to lie. Moreover, he has met him when he was Akazukin before. He thinks that the two of them are different. In any case, since Akazukin is his friend, so is Alistair. The three of them ate dinner together that day. Alistair discovers that Ookami is spontaneous and easy to talk to. Alistair watches with a smile as Ookami leaves. It’s the first time he was called a friend. He accidentally speaks to Yurika casually, and switches back to polite manner. Despite her saying that he doesn’t need to as they are the same age, he refuses and heads back inside the house.

With Ookami’s appearance, Alistair’s life grew livelier. Ookami wonders why Akazukin won’t appear before him, and Ryoushi points out that he may have become Akazukin’s trauma. From what he heard from Cinderella, both Shirayuki and Akazukin were born due to his mother. His mother probably realised that her own son had another personality. That’s why she desperately told him not to go out, and shut him inside. However, that caused a new personality to be born – Akazukin. Akazukin sneaked outside, and met Ookami. From Ookami’s side of the story, a lot happened and Akazukin probably thinks it’s all his fault.

Akazukin is trapped by guilt, though he himself doesn’t realise it. Or perhaps he doesn’t want to. That’s why he unconsciously rejects Ryoushi and Ookami. Ryoushi thought that he first met Shirayuki, but he realises something from Ookami’s story. When he first saw Alistair, it was when he saved a boy from drowning in the lake – Ookami. The latter widens his eyes in surprise, and excitedly laughs at the realisation that Ryoushi is his life saviour. Ryoushi is tempted to hit him. While everyone else is talking happily, Alistair is left feeling complicated.

That night, Alistair offers to wash the dishes instead. She asks him to wipe the dishes for her, and he’s unable to refuse when she stares at him. Her eyes have special magical powers. As they’re cleaning the dishes, Yurika says that she thinks that his mother did want to understand him. He looks at her in surprise. She has noticed that he felt bad, since it seemed as if they were speaking poorly about his mother. He smiles and agrees with her.

Back to Yurika’s POV

Yurika wakes up to find herself in a mansion. It was her house when she was in Akazukin’s world. She’s startled as a beautiful lady calls her name, asking which style they should go for today – innocent, nostalgic or lolita. Yurika is confused, after all only handsome men appeared before her till now. Moreover, this lady was holding up dresses against her. Behind the lady, Shirayuki appears and calls her “mother”.

Shirayuki: She isn’t innocent, nostalgic, gothic lolita, sweet lolita, antique, mori girl, conservative, or mode style, I think that she suits funny style.
Mother: Funny–!
Yurika: Funny?
Mother: In that case, there is a kigurumi here!
Shirayuki: Yes. That’s nice.

He nods with a serious expression as she reveals a cat kigurumi. As she’s about to be pushed to another room to change, Yurika tells them to wait. His mother wonders if she prefers a rabbit costume instead, and Shirayuki points out that she’d rather a giant isopod. His mother apologises for not realising, but wonders if there’s such a costume. Yurika denies this, and asks Shirayuki if Alice came by. The boy pauses, before asking his mother to leave them alone for some time. She eventually gives into his request, and goes out to do some shopping, promising to bake an apple pie when she’s back. Shirayuki sees her off with a smile, before telling Yurika to sit while he prepares some tea. Later, he serves chamomile tea, before sitting opposite her. Yurika observes that he hardly talks and changes expression. However, he showed a gentle face when speaking to his mother. Perhaps that is his real self.

>> Express your thoughts on the tea: Yurika compliments that it’s delicious, and Shirayuki smiles, looking relieved. >> Praise his efforts: She is sure that he must have practiced a lot, if not it wouldn’t be this delicious. He smiles widely, agreeing in return. She thinks to herself that he is her angel.

>> Ask about the woman from before: She asks if that beautiful lady is his mother, adding that she looks kind. Moreover, she looks very young. He replies that it’s only natural since she is 31 years old. Yurika expresses her surprise. He smiles sadly, commenting that the mother he knew was when she was young and beautiful.

Shirayuki changes the topic to the main subject, noting that she isn’t the “Arisu Yurika” he knows. This takes her by surprise. He confirms without any hesitation that he knows who she is, and that this world is a dream. In other words, he has resolved himself. Yurika asks how much he knows, and if he’s different from the Shirayuki she met before. Before she came here, she encountered worlds where Gretel was her lover, and before that was Kaguya, Akazukin, Cinderella. She met Shirayuki in Kaguya and Cinderella’s worlds. Each time she passed through a mirror, she crossed into a different world. And now it’s his world.

He mulls over this, before answering that he has no recollection of meeting her before. In other words, that was him, but also not him. This is a dream. And depending on the dream, the scene or subjective view can change abruptly. That’s why the setting can differ. The Shirayuki she met has the same overall appearance and personality. It’s only natural because the memory is the same. He admits that he pretty much knows everything, because he peered inside the mirror of truth. Shirayuki looks at her with his clear eyes.

Shirayuki: ……do you wish to know the truth?
Yurika: ……yes.
Shirayuki: Even if it isn’t good for you?
Yurika: ……yes.
Shirayuki: ……I understand. Then follow me.

He brings her to the lake, a place she has visited numerous times. While “she” has no memories, this is the most memorable place for her. He tells her that this lake is like a mirror, which reflects everything symmetrically. Yurika is aware, for she got lost in another world by passing through it. Shirayuki notes that it’s highly possible.

Shirayuki: Through the looking-glass. Alice went through the mirror and got lost in wonderland. Because you are Arisu.
Yurika: …………
Shirayuki: And I am Snow White. I guess I am connected to Alice through the mirror……you have already more or less realised it right? Cinderella, Akazukin, Kaguya, Gretel. Everyone are heroines of famous stories. Surely, there are stories there in which they are the protagonists.
Yurika: …………

Stories in which they are the protagonists. The heroine’s name is “Arisu Yurika”. That is her, but also not her. A princess who appears to save the prince, a princess there for the prince.

Shirayuki: And now it’s time for my story. Mirror mirror on the wall. Let me see what I want to see. Let me hear the words I want to hear……I was aware that this place was a dream. That’s why I could change the dream according to how I like. I chose a setting as I liked, saw what I wished to see, and heard words I wished to hear. If this was a dream, I thought that I could do as I pleased. But there is only one mind for one body……surely, he is still in pain even in a dream.
Yurika: He?
Shirayuki: The real person seeing this dream.
Yurika: …………

He peers into the lake, saying that his reflection in the lake is substituted by someone else. He can maintain this appearance, because this is a dream. When he wakes up from the dream, he will have a different face and voice. He asks Yurika if she understands the implications. She answers correctly that they are multiple personalities. Shirayuki confirms that this world is a dream by each of the personalities. That’s also why the world keeps changing. By the way, hardly anyone else realises this. Yurika questions why she has her own will, if this is someone else’s dream. He explains that it’s because she is the story’s heroine.

Shirayuki: There will always be the existence of a heroine in all the stories you’ve seen so far right?
Yurika: ……that’s right. All of them seem to treasure her a lot.
Shirayuki: I suppose so.

He smiles at this, before adding that the person who made this story is in the real world. She is controlling Yurika. He doesn’t know exactly how so. For Shirayuki is a part of him, and not her. That’s all he knows. It’s up to Yurika to ask other people, or to find the answer for herself. She stares at her own palm. Her body and heart are all illusions, what could she do? Seeing her remain quiet, Shirayuki asks what she intends to do when she finds Alice. She admits that she chased after him for he seemed to know something. But the more she did so and got lost in wonderland, she gradually noticed the truth. And she grew scared. If this was a dream, then what is her existence? However, he told her firmly that she’s “Arisu”. He recognised her, and saved her. She doesn’t know why he’s running away from her. But he took her hand when she was lost, and guided her all the way here. That’s why she will find him.

Yurika: And I don’t have my most important memory yet right?
Shirayuki: ……I see. As expected, you are different from her.
Yurika: Eh?
Shirayuki: The heroine in my story with the same face, voice, and personality as you. Before she appeared, I have never even prepared tea by myself. Her existence changed me.
Yurika: Shirayuki-kun really loves her.
Shirayuki: Yes. I do. That’s why I want to save you. I want to show my gratitude for saving me from the nightmare.

He offers his hand to her. He knows that she isn’t her, but she is an existence connected to her. Shirayuki prompts her to take his hand, knowing that she’s going to the next world. Yurika does so, and they both jump into the lake.

Alistair’s POV

Several months after he met Yurika, Alistair encounters her on the way home from school. She reveals a cat, much to his horror. He admits that he cannot handle cats well, and she giggles. She apologises for laughing, but he doesn’t mind since it’s uncool of him to be scared of cats. Yurika denies this, and says that he’s really cool. He blushes, and she observes that he’s embarrassed. She giggles again. Alistair has gotten used to his new lifestyle, but the distance between them is still very wide.

At the hospital, Ryoushi asks if he’s grown accustomed to his new life. It’s alright to be honest, since he isn’t his family, but his attending doctor. Alistair answers that they treat him well. Both parents are very kind and he knows they care a lot for him. Ryoushi guesses that it’s Yurika. He flinches, admitting that he doesn’t hate her but he doesn’t deal well with her. When he looks at her, strangely his chest feels painful. It’s probably because she’s different from himself. She has everything, can do anything, is so bright that he almost wants to avert his gaze.

Ryoushi: Do you hate being with her?
Alistair: ………………no.
Ryoushi: I see. Well, I won’t tell you to force yourself to get along with her. It’s fine to ignore if you don’t like it.
Alistair: Yes……

He doesn’t hate her. But when he’s with her, it’s painful as he will feel that he’s being compared with. She isn’t looking at him – but “Alice”. On the way home from the hospital, Alistair overhears a group of girls talking bad about a half-Japanese. They speak ill about her appearance, as well as her way of speaking. It did catch his attention, but he didn’t realise it then.

When he’s together with Yurika and Ookami, the latter wonders why she speaks that way – such as the English. He seeks for Alistair’s agreement, but he only replies vaguely. Yurika replies that she was raised overseas, and it’s difficult to switch over in an instant. Moreover, this is her “individuality”. Alistair mulls over this, to which she nods and smiles. On the way home, Yurika stops by a fruit stall. The owner compliments her look today too, and that her Japanese is really good. At this moment, a thought dawns on Alistair. Could she be deliberately mixing English in her speech? Because of his foreign-like appearance, she deliberately acts like a foreigner so that he won’t stand out in the crowd. If so, the girl whom the group of girls were talking about is……

Alistair decides to ask Ryoushi, since he should know his own sister well. He asks if she spoke that way since before. He thought that she was pretty normal when they first met. Ryoushi remarks that he hasn’t met her in a while too since she was living overseas with their mother. His response was unexpected. Alistair thought that he would know everything since they are blood-related family. The younger boy remarks that it’s amazing to live apart from your family. Ryoushi replies that both parents were busy. His mother was working in an overseas research facility, and his father was always moving. Speaking of which, this is the first time all of them are together. Alistair learns that Yurika was always alone. It was the first time he knew about her dark shadow despite her bright disposition. He came to understand her slowly. When she comes to meet him after school, he stares at her. Her blue-red eyes sparkle in the light.

Alistair: I like it. Your jewel-like eyes, and your soft and fluffy hair……everything is proof that you are you.
Yurika: Eh……
Alistair: Ah, I’m sorry. I just thought of that but……
Yurika: ……thank you.

She smiles at him after a brief silence. The more he knew about her, the more he wished to know about her. Alistair wondered how she interacted with his other personalities. So one day, he thought of laying a trap for her. He pretended to be Cinderella, and visited her room. He chose Cinderella as he has the most easily distinguishable feature. However, Yurika saw through him. She says that she knows, for he’s himself. After that, the mood around them changed.

Alistair finishes cleaning, and notes that this used to be a cafe. She says that her parents always loved unique things, so they bought this place and made it their villa. The furniture is new, but everything else is the same as before. Alistair recalls that Taisho democracy was covered in his class. It was the period when clothes and food were westernised, women spoke up more, and liberalism and freedom was respected. Yurika adds that cafes also appeared in Japan then. Alistair compliments her food, and is sure that there will be many customers if she opens a cafe. She happily thanks him. It appears that she didn’t notice, even though he plucked up the courage. He awkwardly looks away.

Yurika: Wait, eh……just now……
Alice: I’m sorry. I was at a loss as to how to call you……but I could only think of this. I’m sorry if I offended you.
Yurika: No!! One more time! Say it one more time!!
Alistair: Eh……
Yurika: My name!
Alistair: Arisu……
Yurika: Eheheh……what is it? Alistair-kun?

She smiled embarrassingly. He thought that that look hasn’t changed since before. After that, a turning point came. Her parents were returning to the city. Yurika reassured them that she can do the household chores, and she has no problems with studies. Moreover, Ryoushi will be here. That being said, since her parents were hardly at home, the situation isn’t that different. She asks if he feels lonely. He isn’t sure since they are not his real parents, and redirects the question back at her. Yurika smiles and answers that she isn’t, for he’s here. Alistair returns to his room that night, pondering over her words.

Alistair: She isn’t lonely because I’m here……what does that mean……is it lively because I have multiple personalities. Or is it…………

Does she like him? He dismisses the thought. There’s no reason for her to like “him”. After much deliberation, he decides to ask her directly what she meant. He says that he’s entering, and opens her door to find her in her underwear. Alistair hurriedly closes the door, apologising. His heart pounds wildly, and her immodest appearance won’t leave his mind. Soon, the door opens and he apologises once more. Yurika asks if he saw, and he’s unable to answer.

Yurika: Will you take responsibility?
Alistair: Responsibility……
Yurika: Fufu. It’s a joke! It’s fine. I don’t mind it at all.
Alistair: ……ah, yes……

He interprets her words such that she doesn’t see him as a potential romance partner, that’s why she doesn’t mind it. When she asks what he wanted, he answers that he forgot. After that, the season gradually turned to autumn. Ookami happily greets them that morning, and asks for his lunchbox. Yurika now also makes his share too. Alistair watches their lively exchange, and hesitantly answers when she invites him into the conversation. She asks what’s wrong, but he says that it’s nothing. Soon, they part ways. He waves goodbye, telling himself that it can’t be helped. Even if they’re the same age, he’s in middle school and they’re in high school. They cannot always be together. Alistair images a morning where he retorts back at Ookami, asking him what he is doing here, since there’s no direct path from his house to this school. The latter replies that he heard about it from Yurika, so he takes a roundabout every morning so as to disturb them. Alistair even hands Ookami his lunchbox but pretends to drops his share. (Note: If you notice, this scene actually happens in Gretel’s route.)

Alistair laughs at his own fantasy, before glumly telling himself that it is impossible. No matter how envious he is, it’s difficult to shorten the wide gap between them. It would’ve been easier to accept if he had actually been younger than them.  Some time later, Ryoushi informs him that he has a new personality – Gretel. The fifth, or perhaps the sixth personality. The name is another fairy tale character, and Ryoushi notes that fairy tales must have a strong impression on him. Alistair reckons it’s because his mother often read them to him, as she loved fairy tales. However, he wonders why another personality was born, since things have been rather stable.

Ryoushi says that it isn’t totally Yurika’s fault, but she was the trigger. He asks if Alistair feels anything when he’s with her. The younger boy averts his gaze, for the doctor seems to see right through his thoughts. Ryoushi raises the possibility of feeling inferior to her. Alistair hesitates in answering. He isn’t wrong, for he does envy Yurika. The older man reassures him that it’s normal to have these feelings. Though it would be destructive to be overly-trapped in these feelings. She has what he doesn’t have. It would be stranger if he didn’t feel anything, being with her 24/7. Alistair quickly says that it isn’t her fault. It’s because he’s hopeless, and can’t help but compare himself to her and feel jealous. He asks if it’s better to stay away from her. But Ryoushi says that it’s the opposite – she needs him.

Ryoushi: You……no, everyone else says that she’s outstanding, but from my point of view she is a huge idiot. She basically only thinks of the boy she likes. To her, everyone else are like chess pieces for her to make use of. Me, our parents, and friends.
Alistair: Please wait a second. The person who Arisu likes is……
Ryoushi: ……what. You haven’t noticed? Yurika likes you.
Alistair: ………………I can’t believe it. There’s no reason for her to like me.
Ryoushi: Then, you probably just forgot about it.
Alistair: …………
Ryoushi: Only you can understand her.

taialiepi-6

That night, Alistair ponders over this. Does she really like him? Or does she like “someone” inside him? The more he thinks about her, the more he cannot understand her. When he wakes up the next morning, he’s shocked to see Yurika sleeping beside him as he realises the severity of the situation. She wakes up, explaining that she let Gretel lie on her lap and ended up sleeping. Alistair apologises and dashes out of the room. He questions himself why he came outside. He lied on her lap – though it wasn’t him. The memory of her in her underwear surfaces in his mind.

Yurika: Alice-kun?
Alistair: Uwaah! What!?
Yurika: ……I’m sorry. Did you hate it?
Alistair: No……not really……it wasn’t me anyway…………didn’t Arisu hate it? If you do, you can reject……
Yurika: I didn’t hate it at all.
Alistair: I-I see……

He feels relieved. At the very least, he didn’t seem to have done something to offend her. Yurika soon heads down the prepare breakfast, leaving him in his own thoughts. Did she not hate it because it was him, or Gretel? Which is it?

Back to Yurika’s POV

When she realises it, she’s walking in darkness. It’s a world totally different from the rest. She plucks up the courage to keep walking forward despite trembling, calling out for Alice. Out of the blue, someone covers her eyes and greets her. She yells in surprise, spinning around to find Wizard. He had been expecting her. Yurika reckons that this is his world then. It’s a strange feeling to see a black existence in a black world. Usually his figure would blend in, yet she can see him clearly. Wizard notes that she knows most of the truth, allowing her to realise that he also knows the truth. He confirms that he is also one of the personalities, but he is slightly different from the rest. He is a perfect existence who has all the personalities’ memories.

>> You’re really confident: She seems to get a glimpse of his inner personality, and chuckles at how he’s really confident. Wizard winks in return, admitting that he often gets told that.

>> A perfect existence?: He acknowledges this, adding that it was said that he would have no problems in terms of intelligence or sociability. He should be the most suitable as the original personality. A dark shadow is cast upon his amber eyes brimming with confidence for a split second. Wizard says that he wasn’t chosen in the end though. He is at most, a queen who can move around freely on the board.

Yurika asks why is he world different from the others. She looks around, observing that there is nothing here. It is exactly like the place where she started from. Her impression of the pitch black world is……

>> A lonely place: (Note: Nothing happens)

>> A warm place: But strangely, it doesn’t feel lonely in this dark world.

He whispers that it’s because this is his world. When their eyes meet, Wizard is grinning like when they first met. He announces that it’s finally end game for chess. She should know what she has to do. She is to catch Alice, and head to the mirror room. It is the place where all of them were born, and the place which connects the real world to the mirror world. It was the place she was first at. Everyone else is waiting for her there. After they got separated from her, they gathered there. Everything is for the sake of the king and queen. They have all retrieved their original memories, and recalled their own roles and what they’re supposed to do. Wizard confirms that he knows too. Because he is receiving orders directly from the queen – Arisu Yurika. He is a role which can turn the story around. Sometimes a supporter, and sometimes an enemy, an existence who can use mysterious powers. He has appeared numerous times before her, who kept moving forward (pawn).

Yurika: I see……then is Alice-kun the king?
Wizard: No, he is just a pawn.
Yurika: Eh?
Wizard: Alice was in the red king’s dream.
Yurika: …………
Wizard: …………say, Heroine-chan. Who does the queen really love, Alice or Alistair? You would know right. Because half of you is her.
Yurika: …………
Wizard: ……well, either one is fine though. Everything is for Alistair. A stepping stone for his sake.

Yurika feels pity for him, asking if he’s fine with this. Without any hesitation, he replies that if it’s what the queen wishes for. He loves her. So he will gladly become her pawn. Wizard says that he will go ahead first, and believes that Alice is somewhere up ahead. She calls out to him, asking if he won’t pass through the mirror with her. He turns around and sighs with a troubled smile, noting that either one of her is selfish. Yurika takes his hand, when Wizard offers to bring her to his side.

Alistair’s POV

Alistair wakes up to find himself in a white room. He thought that he was dreaming at first. Come to think of it, she was wearing a white dress when they first met. But after some time, he realises that this is not a dream. No one else is in sight. Only he is left alone in this white space. No, he was locked in. Alistair bangs on the door, shouting for Ryoushi and insisting that he is Alistair. Fortunately, the older man comes immediately. He explains that Gretel punched a classmate, hospitalising him. Among his personalities, Gretel and Kaguya are particularly dangerous. Gretel is hardly interested in anyone else besides Yurika, and it’s feared that Kaguya wounds himself. His personalities are not always on his side.

The next day, Alistair is brought back home. Looking at the calendar, he can tell that some time has passed since he can last remember. Yurika is speaking on the phone, while smiling. He wonders why she is at home when it is a weekday afternoon. She expresses her relief that he doesn’t have to leave school. He’s unable to answer, and she remarks that it’s better for him not to be too concerned. She knows that it wasn’t his fault, and she doesn’t think that it’s Gretel’s fault either.

Alistair: You always……………………

He swallows his words, for it won’t help to blame her. He asks if she need not go to school, questioning the reason. Yurika hesitates, and doesn’t answer him in the end. The incident happened one morning after he started to grow suspicious of Yurika. He woke up to find her sleeping next to him again. Alistair thinks that she must have been spoiling Gretel again. He sees that she must be tired, for she doesn’t notice him and remains sleeping. However, he senses something off when he adjusts the blanket.

Alistair: It can’t be……
Yurika: Nn……
Alistair: !

He covers his mouth with both hands, as an extreme sense of discomfort wells up from his gut. He quietly leaves the room, and throws up whatever he can in the washroom. After that and washing his underwear, he stares into the mirror in front of him.

Alistair: Who is it……Gretel? No, it can’t be……it’s not Gretel……he thinks that she’s his sister……then is it Kaguya? Or Cinderella……who did it with her……!!

He is unable to say the exact word aloud. A mix of anger, disappointment, grief and jealously stirs inside of him, driving him mad. No, he’s already mad since a long time ago.

Alistair: …………all of you……do you like her? That’s why you slept with her? She too……why did she do this…………Arisu……does she like all of you……?

At that moment, Yurika knocks on the door, asking if he’s alright. He opens the door, and the thought that he had sex with her surfaces in his mind. It’s not as if that idea never crossed his thought. But he felt that he wasn’t allowed to look at her like that, and always pretended not to notice. Alistair reassures her that he’s fine. He had sex with her. But that wasn’t him. After that, he blatantly avoids her. She also probably notices it. Even though he doesn’t want to do this. One night, he’s dreaming. In his dream, he and Yurika are wandering in the forest.

Alistair: ……where should we go?
Yurika: I don’t know. But don’t worry. I will protect you.
Alistair: Sister………………
Yurika: ……Gretel-kun?
Alistair: Arisu……?
Yurika: …………
Alistair: Why am I…………

He’s shocked to see her face injured, and covered with gauze. Suddenly, pain runs through his body. He falls into despair when he sees his bloody hand, and screams. Yurika tries to calm him down, but he asks if he hurt her. She firmly denies this, begging him to believe her. She insists that he didn’t do anything. Instead, Alistair asks if someone else hurt her then. Was it Gretel’s fault? Or Kaguya’s? She insists otherwise, but he’s had enough. He soon learnt the truth, when Ryoushi came to fetch them. Apparently, Gretel went to exact revenge on the people who assaulted Yurika. He was relieved that he didn’t directly hurt her, but it doesn’t change the fact that he was the reason that she got hurt.

At the hospital, Ryoushi says that while it isn’t his hurt, following this and the previous incident, he may have to be prepared to leave school. However, he promises to protect Alistair with everything he has – so will Yurika and their parents. Alistair remains quiet. How many times has it been? He doesn’t wish to trouble these kind people any further.

Alistair: ……Ryoushi-san
Ryoushi: Hm?
Alistair: ……why do you treat me so well?
Ryoushi: That’s because I’m ryoushi.
Alistair: ……?
Ryoushi: A person who gives medical treatment, just a simple play on words.
Alistair: I see…………
Ryoushi: ……it was because of a certain someone’s words, that I aimed for this path.

He shares that despite how he looks, he’s afraid of blood. He didn’t tell his parents, but yet it became more difficult. It was as if they weren’t expecting anything of him. That’s why he actually didn’t want to become a doctor. But that someone said that he was suited to be a doctor, and that looking at blood isn’t the only thing a doctor does. Honestly, he still doesn’t think that he’s suited, but he quite likes this job now. Basically what Ryoushi wants to say, is that he wants to save him. On the way home, Alistair thinks about his words. He knows that Ryoushi is referring to Shirayuki. Does Ryoushi wish to save him, or Shirayuki? And Ookami said that he would be his friend, because he was Akazukin’s friend. He is only receiving a small part of what is “theirs”.

He stops before the front door, and Yurika welcomes him back. What about her? She is his childhood friend. Then does she alone, desire him? She asks what’s wrong, and Alistair asks to be alone. She doesn’t know. That the him she met when they were young, was actually the him in the mirror. Alistair returns to his room.

“Alice”. His other self in the mirror. It was just a pretend play. He hated himself for being weak, cowardly, having no self-confidence and friends. But the him in the mirror was different. His reflection would say what he wanted, and was full of confidence – the complete opposite of himself. He saw such a dream, and spoke to the mirror as if someone was really there. Despite knowing that his reflection is no one other than himself. At that moment, Alistair feels as though someone is watching him. He realises that someone inside of him wishes to speak. He nervously looks in the mirror. A blonde-haired boy with a ribbon is reflected.

Alistair: ……who are you? Cinderella? Or Shirayuki? If not, Akazukin? ……Kaguya? Gretel? Anyone is fine……it’s about time you stop using my body as you please. I’m extremely troubled. Because of you all, I’ve been called a liar, treated as abnormal, and went through a hard time. Because of you I’m unhappy……no, it would be fine if it were just me. They went to the trouble to treat me well, stop getting them involved…………Arisu is kind, and I think she probably treats you all well……what…… do you all think of Arisu?
Alistair: “I like her.”
Alistair: Eh?
Alistair: “She remembered me. When we first met, she hugged me and cried. She said that she sent me numerous letters. She looked at my ribbon with nostalgia.”
Alistair: That is……
Alistair: “Will you finally stop pretending not to notice? She isn’t looking at me. But another me inside of me.”
Alistair: You’re wrong……
Alistair: “Isn’t it because she likes me, that she treats me well. Who does she really like? You……or me?”

Alistair screams and shatters the glass. Yurika  bursts in, asking what’s wrong. His hand is throbbing with pain, and blood is dripping on the floor. There are glass shards on the floor. He realises that he had broken the mirror. Yurika wishes to treat his injury at once.

Alistair: Arisu……who exactly am I?
Yurika: Eh?
Alistair: Right now, there’s someone who isn’t me inside the mirror……I was myself at first. But when I realise it, I have changed into someone who isn’t me. My face doesn’t reflect in the mirror. There is someone who is similar but also not similar to me there. Someone who isn’t me told me this. That he likes you. That was when I realised. Surely someone who isn’t me, wants me to leave. And after I’m gone, he wants to live as me and become happy with you.
Yurika: …………
Alistair: I’m scared…………I’m scared. Someone who isn’t me exists, and sometimes uses my body to pretend to be me. And when I’m myself, he would peek at me from the darkness. Arisu……am I myself? I have no confidence……after all, isn’t that right? Who can prove that right now I’m the real me? Someone who thinks that I’m not me, may be the real me instead.
Yurika: ……I’m on your side. Even if you deny yourself, I’ll approve of you. I love you.
Alistair: Arisu………………I’m sorry. I don’t even know if those words are really directed at me. I……can’t even believe in your love…………
Yurika: …………even so, it is fine.
Alistair: Eh……?

Yurika gently hugs him.

Yurika: I don’t mind even if my love is denied. I’m fine as long as you can be saved. Because it doesn’t change the fact that you are my prince.

>> BAD ENDBack to Yurika’s POV

When she realises it, she’s falling down. Because she falling in the darkness, she cannot tell the distance nor time. But there is plenty of time for her to think. All the world’s a stage. This is a story created in order to save the prince. She is merely one of the roles. Step by step. A white pawn being manipulated. That is her role. But she wonders how far should she move ahead? How far should she fall?

???: …………su. ……risu.
Yurika: …………nn.
???: ……Arisu.
Yurika: Ah…………
???: ……Arisu.
Yurika: Alistair-kun!
Alistair: Arisu……where is……? What happened…………

Yurika explains that this is the hospital. He had taken medicine and fallen into the lake, and was unconscious this whole time. She’s thankful that he’s finally awake, and can’t hold back her tears. Alistair apologises for worrying her. She apologises instead, and is about to call the doctor when he calls out to her. He soon grimaces in pain, and she rushes to his side. However, he suddenly stabs her.

Alistair: ……I’m sorry.
Yurika: ……Alistair-kun?
Arisu Yurika: You’re wrong. I’m Arisu Yurika.
Yurika: Me……why……
Arisu Yurika: You ask why, didn’t you create me?
Yurika: …………
Arisu Yurika: I’m your pawn. My role is to become the story’s “heroine”, and save the prince. I will resort to any means. Even if I were to be sacrificed, I wish for his happiness. That’s how the me who isn’t me saved the princes, and had a happy end. And this time it’s my turn. My role is to save Alistair-kun. That’s why I killed you.
Yurika: ………………ahaha.
Arisu Yurika: ……why do you laugh?
Yurika: ……why……because……I thought that this might happen one day……I made use of you……I will have to face that retribution one day……
Arisu Yurika: ……I don’t hate you. This was just the conclusion I came to, as to how to save him.
Yurika: He will no longer be in pain, if I’m gone……?
Arisu Yurika: ……that’s right. I’m you, but I’m also Alistair. I peered into his heart in the dream……Arisu Yurika. Your existence is a burden to him. Your existence torments him.
Yurika: I see…………haa……haa……
Arisu Yurika: Does it hurt? Is it painful? Of course, because this isn’t a dream.

The item is offered to her, to stab her own stomach.

Arisu Yurika: You can die for the sake of the one you love right? Or, can you not do it?
Yurika: ………………even if I die, the world won’t be kind to him.
Arisu Yurika: ……yes. I know. But you can be rest assured. I will handle it well from here on. I will cut open his path of thorns.
Yurika: ……I see…………please……save him…………
Arisu Yurika: Don’t worry, I know. You are me.
Yurika: ……that’s right. This is what I caused by being despaired in a world in which the person I loved wouldn’t wake up……I am responsible…………
???: Wait!! Wait!!
Arisu Yurika: You are…………
???: Aah……damn it! I was careless! I never imagined that this would happen……! It’s alright! This is a hospital. If I call for a doctor immediately……!
Arisu Yurika: Wizard-san, please don’t interfere.

Wizard tells her not to interfere instead. If she’s gone, Alistair will only be further tormented. Arisu Yurika says that it’s fine, for he can just forget all about her. Her mind is Alistair’s mind. So she can simply manipulate it such that he conveniently forgets about her. She will resort to any means to fulfill the wish, and use other people like pawns. It’s true that she herself is a pawn. But there’s a limit to that too. If this game continues, Alistair’s heart may be crushed and he may never wake up again. So she thought of ending things before that happens. Hasn’t he taken care of her so many times, whenever she made a mistake in choice?

Wizard: All of you are different from her!
Arisu Yurika: It’s fine to kill me, since I have no body? Then aren’t all of you the same as me.
Wizard: That is…………
Arisu Yurika: I’m not the heroine of your story. If you intend to interfere, I will kill you.
Wizard: ……are you really Arisu Yurika?
Arisu Yurika: ……yes, I’m Arisu Yurika. Though strictly speaking, I’m the Arisu Yurika in Alistair-kun’s memories. You know her very well too right?
Wizard: No……you’re not her. You are mad.
Arisu Yurika: I am sane. Always……

Wizard tries to suppress Arisu Yurika, telling Yurika to escape. However, Yurika weakly laughs. She apologises. She’s already tired of this, and stabs herself. Wizard cries out her name, only to be taken over by Arisu Yurika. The latter personality apologises to Arisu Yurika. (BAD END)

>> Back to the common route

Alistair can’t sleep that night, and steps outside of his room. He hears someone crying when he goes downstairs, and finds Yurika crying in the kitchen. Fluffy hair and blue-red eyes. His princess was crying. On morning he decided to carry it out, he greets her. She answered with her usual smile. He pauses, and says that it’s nothing. He knew the truth behind her smile. Later, he pretended to go to school but went to the lake alone. He takes out the sleeping pills he had secretly prepared for this day. If he swallows this much, surely he wouldn’t wake up easily.

A dream is pieced together by fragments of your memory. The people and places in your dream, is usually from your memories. If you are aware that you are dreaming, you can change your dream as you wish. If it’s inside his dream, he may be able to talk to them. Will she be sad if he doesn’t wake up? Will she cry a lot again? Alistair doesn’t want to make her sad anymore. That’s why he needs to settle this story. For Arisu, the one he loves. He swallows the pills.

And so the story connects to the beginning. Alistair, who got lost in the dream world, was swallowed up by the darkness, leaving me behind, “Alice”.

Wizard: ……it’s useless. I just can’t wake up. What a worrisome king……no, a prince?

After some time, I noticed another existence. He wasn’t Cinderella, Shirayuki, Akazukin, Kaguya or Gretel. But another hidden personality.

Wizard: I thought that I was a mere pawn.
Yurika: ……say, can you hear me?

I could hear her voice from afar.

Wizard: This voice is……
Yurika: Can you hear my voice?
Wizard: I can. Your voice reaches me.
Yurika: Why……

She was crying.

Wizard: And why are you crying?
Yurika: Please……wake up……! Alistair-kun!
Wizard: …………

In that moment, I knew painfully well how much his heart hurt. She was always calling out to Alistair. From trivial subjects, to an earnest plea for him to wake up quickly. In any case, she kept talking to Alistair. But that day was different.

Yurika: ……hey, can you hear me?
Wizard: …………
Yurika: Does my voice reach you?
Wizard: …………I can hear you.
Yurika: I have a request of you……it is something only you can fulfill. Let’s pretend! Shall we play princess? The roles have already been decided. I’m the princess, and you’re the wizard.

She did not call out to Alistair, but to the hidden personality.

Wizard: Not the king and queen?
Yurika: ……will you forgive me that it’s not the main role? But it’s a necessary existence for a story.
Wizard: I suppose so. It would be troubling for an author if the most convenient existence isn’t present.
Yurika: The stage is also decided. The stage is the mirror world……a world where everything is reversed. Fairytale characters with reverse gender will welcome me as the “heroine” in the mirror world. As the “heroine” of each fairy tale in the mirror world, I will spin a slightly curious and distorted fairytale with slightly twisted fairytale characters. What exactly will be the outcome of this story? ……there is no script, so even I don’t know what kind of story this will be. But the ending to aim for is already decided, so it’s fine. You know right? I like happy ends.
Wizard: It’s the first time I heard this.
Yurika: Wizard, sometimes a supporter, and sometimes an enemy, you are someone who can use mysterious powers……an extremely important position.
Wizard: In other words, you wish to make use of me as a chess piece.
Yurika: I wish for you to become a chess piece I can manipulate, a role which can turn the story around. And I wish for you to kill me if I’m wrong. A single story doesn’t need multiple heroines (princesses). If not, the story will turn weird.
Wizard: To erase the story?
Yurika: You can do it right?
Wizard: If you tell me to do it.
Yurika: After all, you’re my wizard.
Wizard: Aah, that’s right. I’m your wizard. My queen. If you wish, I will become any chess piece be it queen, rook, bishop, knight. Now, let’s start the story!

I sympathised with Wizard a bit. He was being ordered by the one he loved, to be made used of for the sake of another man.

Wizard sees Alice later, introducing himself. He asks if Alice is the king. The latter denies this, correcting him. He is a pawn, and his name is Alice, not Alistair. Wizard seems to understand everything once he says that, noting that the king must be asleep then. He laments at how troubling their king of the mirror world is – slow in advancing, always needing to be protected, and he always stay in his safety zone. Alice points out that it will be game over if the king is checkmated, so it can’t be helped. The king is the most valuable and important chess piece, the player’s avatar – unlike them. Wizard agrees.

Wizard: Do you know everything?
Alice: ……no. I’m not omnipotent like you (queen). Though I do seem to have memories from Alistair’s point of view.
Wizard: Hmm……then you do at least understand the situation.
Alice: It appears so.
Wizard: She is crying.
Alice: …………
Wizard: It’s obvious since the person she loves isn’t waking up. But I’m afraid that she probably won’t obediently wait. She seems intend on saving him even in this dream. In order to save the prince, it looks like she will present us with stories. She probably thought that it was the only way. In order to save Alistair, there is a need to save us who reside in his heart. She plans to achieve what originally would require more time, in just several days. Honestly, her method is absurd. There is no way her brother (doctor) would allow such a dangerous thing.
Alice: But there is no time.
Wizard: That’s right. Time is passing by even as we are talking. We can’t afford to stay still. Soon, she will arrive in this world.

But that isn’t the real one. She looks like the one in their memories, and is an ideal heroine created by the king and queen. But she is also the weakest pawn. If no one helps her, she may be swallowed up by the darkness even before reaching the mirror world. Someone need to tell her that she is “Arisu Yurika” then. Alice asks if Wizard implies that he will save her then. Wizard thought that Alice will do it. Alice remarks that he hates to do as told. Wizard only laughs at how he’s dishonest as always.

Wizard: If you are “Alice”, you were the one who saved her right? I like it. Your jewel-like eyes, and your soft and fluffy hair. Everything is proof that you are you.
Alice: …………
Wizard: But she didn’t choose you, but “Alistair”. Each time she saves them, Alistair will regain himself. And upon reaching the end point, you will no longer be yourself.
Alice: …………
Wizard: Well, I can’t speak as if it were someone else’s problem either. After I fulfill my role, I will be killed by her. And, all of them who were saved too……we are chess pieces meant to save Alistair.

And so she arrived in this pitch black world. Soon she is being attacked by the darkness, and crying out for help. Of course, it’s because she has no self (confidence).

Alice: Who?
Yurika: You are……
Alice: No way. I don’t want to help. A selfish, weak, hopeless, fool who can’t do anything without anyone’s help. Why do I have to lend a helping hand to someone ungraceful, unrefreshing, petty, miserable and spoiled.

He wasn’t speaking to her, but to Alistair who was also swallowed up by the darkness. It shouldn’t be his role to save her, but Alistair’s.

Yurika: Ah……!
Alice: You are about to be swallowed up by darkness. Do you know why? Because there is no you. You don’t know who you are right?
Yurika: I am…………
Alice: Who are you?
Yurika: I am…………
Alice: What’s wrong? You can’t recall anything? About yourself.
Yurika: Ah………………I am…………I am myself!

He had always wanted to hear that line. Alice mutters that she’s a handful. He offers his hand and both of them run away. After a while they stop thinking that it’s safe. He catches his breath and looks pale. She asks if he’s alright.

Alice: ……there’s no way that I’m alright! On top of the person you saved running past with a relaxed face, you pulled me along forcibly. What a thick-skinned and insensitive woman! How about learning to respect a man a little bit more!
Yurika: I see! Wo–w! That’s great!
Alice: No, not at all……that’s flattering a man you idiot! I can see right through you making fun of men by thinking that I would be happy and get carried away with a praise you black-hearted woman! In the first place that line had no context at all and wasn’t flattering at all!
Yurika: Ahaha. I’m sorry. You are a very spontaneous person!
Alice: ……hmph. You are an unbelievably detestable person.
Yurika: Thank you for saving me! Umm……
Alice: It’s Alice.

She thanks Alice, commenting on his lovely name too. She doesn’t remember him. But that’s obvious. She is the girl he knows, but she isn’t her. There is no need for unnecessary information, in a newly-woven story. She asks if he knows her, and he flatly denies this. He questions her excessive ego, asking if she reckon that she’s a celebrity. Of course he wouldn’t know her. But Yurika recalls that he called her a selfish, weak, hopeless, fool who can’t do anything without anyone’s help just now. Wasn’t he referring to her? He shrugs at her question. She adds that he seems to know her better than herself. At the very least he knew that she had no memories. He confirms this. As expected, her cleverness takes after her.

Yurika is delighted, but Alice frowns at how carefree she is laughing away, when she was just in danger. Even if she avoided it just now, there’s a saying that one will follow soon after. She points out that it hasn’t come yet, moreover Alice is with you now. He asks if it’s because she thinks he will save her, if she is one of those typical women who shout for gender equality but insist that she’s a woman when it’s inconvenient. She says that it’s because she isn’t afraid since he’s here. And she will help him if he’s in trouble. But of course, she will be happy if he helps her when she’s in trouble. She laughs at his retort, after which he goes quiet.

They arrive before the crystal mirrors. The first prince’s story has been decided. She observes that it looks like she can pass through. Alice asks what she plans to do, and she immediately answers that she wants to leave this world. He points out that everything will be meaningless, since this is a dream. However, she replies that you can change the dream if you are aware that it is a dream. She would like to make this lonely dream even a bit more fun. He sighs at her selfishness, for the person dreaming this may not wish for that at all. If they see a fun dream, waking up from it will only be more painful.

Yurika: So, you’d try to escape?
Alice: Perhaps it will be happiness for the person to never wake up.
Yurika: ………………I am a selfish and flighty girl as Alice-kun says. But I still wish for a fun dream filled with bliss, when woken up. And……if this is a dream, perhaps the person also has the same thought as me. Right? If this is a dream, you and me are of the same existence.
Alice: ……that’s right. Arisu, if it’s you, you can do it.
Yurika: I think so too!

He will save her. That’s what he promised. But he isn’t her prince. He is merely a sub-character meant to brighten up the story, who appears when she arrives in the pitch black world, and sometimes appears in the mirror world. In the mirror world, Yurika is screaming behind the door and Alice can only wonder what she’s up to.

Alice: You mad woman!
Yurika: Eh……?
Alice: Are you stupid? Or is your head messed up? Gone mad? Crazy? Have several screws in your head dropped off just like that? You’ve been going ah-ah-uh-uh since yesterday, how noisy! Or are you like that. Perhaps a zombie? If so I can see why. That your brain has rotted and your Broca’s area is no longer functioning!

The setting changes depending on the story in the mirror world. She would forget about having met in the pitch black world. He didn’t mind that. He would just watch over the moment when the princess and prince end up together in each world. When she makes a wrong choice, she would be cruelly killed. And each time, a new her would be born.

Alice: ……Alistair. How about finally waking up? She will keep restarting till you appear…………

The voice cannot reach yet. But it is getting closer. Each time she saves someone sleeping inside of Alistair, he can feel that Alistair is regaining self-confidence. In exchange, he loses himself.

Alice: Where……is this……no matter how far I walk, I can’t even find an exit. I can’t see anything in this darkness. Since just now, I don’t know how far I’ve walked, or how much time has passed……why……am I in such a place? …………was there no one from the start, or have I become all alone………………
Yurika: I finally met……!
Alice: Uwah!
Yurika: Say, who are you? Why are we here? Do you know where this is?
Alice: ……as if I would know. Just when you suddenly appeared, you push me down and steal my line. In fact, who are you? That aside, it’s painful and you’re heavy. Won’t you hurry up and move?
Yurika: Hey, what is your name?
Alice: ……Umm, were you listening to me? Are you the type who doesn’t listen to others? Or are you the self-centred and abnormal type who acts without any consideration for others, and insists on your own opinion to the point of deliberately ignoring me? Besides, don’t you know that you’re supposed to introduce yourself first before asking others for their name? Ahh, it’s suffocating!
Yurika: I’m sorry! I was so happy to see you that I just……
Alice: ……haaa. Thank you for getting out of the way. It’s good to see that no matter how stupid and selfish you are, you don’t completely ignore others. Thanks to that I wasn’t crushed to death.

She explains that she doesn’t recall anything, that her existence feels so vague. He notes this with disinterest – to be honest he couldn’t care less. She accepts this, before asking more about him and where she is.

Alice: You really aren’t discouraged. People call that optimistic, insensitive, or being unable to read between the lines.
Yurika: You aren’t that honest yourself.
Alice: I don’t think there are that many people who are as honest and kind as me. After all, I’m purposely spending my time with such a rude and impudent person like you. If you don’t like it, you don’t need to talk to me.
Yurika: I don’t hate it, that’s why I’m talking to you.
Alice: ………………are you a masochist?

As they converse some more, she comes up with the bright idea of having him give her a name. It would be killing two birds with one stone – she will have a name, and he will know her name.

Alice: Each time she saves them, I return to “Alistair”. Promotion. If I advance to the very back line of the opponent, I (pawn) will no longer be me (pawn).

Back to Yurika’s POV

When she realises it, she’s falling down. Because she falling in the darkness, she cannot tell the distance nor time. But there is plenty of time for her to think. All the world’s a stage. This is a story created in order to save the prince. She is merely one of the roles. Step by step. A white pawn being manipulated. That is her……

Yurika: ……I know. Arisu Yurika. You have been manipulating me, and always telling the story. Probably……your voice will no longer reach me from here on. The more I fall, the further your voice gets. No, I can no longer hear your voice. Worried? Don’t worry. I will act out my given role splendidly. But that isn’t for your sake. I wish to save the princes lost in the mirror world. Because I am a princess.

Alice waits in the dark world.

Alice: ……it is always so dark here. Has your heart still not cleared up? Alistair. She has come all the way here to look for you. Where else will you find a prince who makes his princess come for him. How about waking up now, and making her smile. Smiling suits her much more than crying. That’s why……I’ll do anything if she can smile. I will readily lend my helping hand if needed. Even if, I am no longer myself…………the same goes for you right? Because you are me.
Yurika: Kyaaaaaaaaaaaah!!!!
Alice: Eh?

She lands right on top of Alice, and the two of them collapse to the ground. Yurika gets up and apologises, begging him not to die for her sake. Alice shouts at her to stop shaking him, unless she wishes to deal the finishing blow.

Yurika: Ah, you’re awake. What a relief……
Alice: There’s no way that is the case! Just when I put on my handsome face and was being serious you came falling down from the sky, there’s a limit to harassment! Thanks to that it was all for nothing! I’m not a gag character unlike the rest!
Yurika: I’m sorry.
Alice: There’s no retort……? For you who always insists on having the last word and has no affinity with being docile or honest? How creepy.
Yurika: …………

He complains that she was slow, that he almost fell asleep. The tea party cannot commence without her. Alice notes that she knows everything, and that he knew everything – that she was his childhood friend, that this world is a dream, that he is Alistair. Yurika asks why he didn’t tell her everything when they first met. He remarks that she has a duty to fulfill. She has become the heroine of curious and distorted fairytales with twisted protagonists. Cinderella, Shirayuki, Akazukin, Kaguya, Wizard, Gretel – all of them have their own individualities and stories. She guided all the stories to a happy end with her best efforts. And now it’s Alistair’s turn. She remains silent, and she wonders why she isn’t smiling as usual. Wasn’t this her goal?

Yurika: ……Alice-kun brought me all the way here to meet Alistair-kun?
Alice: That’s right. Didn’t you want to meet (him/me)?

>> I wanted to see Alice: She replies that he’s right, she had always been looking for Alice. He replies that he’s right here. And Alistair is inside of him.

>> I wanted to see Alistair: She replies that he’s right, she had always been looking for Alistair. She asks where he is, Alice replies that he’s inside of himself.

When Alistair got lost in the dream world, his consciousness was temporarily swallowed up by the darkness. Different emotions are mixed together in this darkness – happiness, sadness, anger. Other than that, superiority, inferiority, jealously, guilt, pain, regret, fear. Of course, there are positive emotions too. But Alistair is unable to become aware of that. Because this is the deepest depths. The depth of his heart. Much much deeper than the bottom of his consciousness. An area in the heart which normal humans are unable to notice – you may call it the subconscious.

Yurika observes that Alistair had been carrying such a feeling in the depths of his heart – a dark, lonely place with nothing. Alice explains that’s why you will be swallowed up, if you don’t have a strong sense of who you are. Not knowing this, Alistair got lost in this world and lose sight of himself (self-confidence). And Alice was left behind. He is another self in the depths of Alistair’s subconsciousness. She is puzzled, wondering how he different from the rest. Alice seems like a different person from Alistair to her. Isn’t he also one of Alistair’s personalities? He remarks that it’s a bit different. It is merely pretend play. He had always been playing the prince.

He hated himself for being weak, cowardly, having no self-confidence and friends. But the him in the mirror was different. His reflection would say what he wanted, and was full of confidence – the complete opposite of himself. He admired that self, and would speak to the mirror as if someone was really there. Despite knowing that his reflection is no one other than himself. Yurika realises that it was Alice she met when she was young. He confirms this, for Alistair acted like Alice without thinking first, as he wanted to save her. It was the first time Alice surfaced. Before that he was only in the mirror.

Yurika: I was saved by you……that’s why you saved me countless times?
Alice: ……because I promised. It’ll be alright. I won’t let go of this hand. No matter how far you are, as long as our hearts call to each other, we’ll definitely meet. So we meet again, Arisu.
Yurika: …………
Alice: ……now, you understand right. Hurry up and wake Alistair up.

Thanks to her guiding the other personalities to a happy end, the situation is now pretty stable. There should be no problem waking up Alistair now, who is sleeping inside of him. Yurika asks what will happen to Alice then. He replies that he’s different from the rest. So he will probably sleep inside of Alistair, just like Alistair did. She asks if he will disappear. He doesn’t think so, for he is Alistair. They were once the same, but merely got separated due to reasons.

Alice: And if Alistair wakes up, a happy end……this isn’t such a simple story. The story will still continue. Even if Alistair regains his consciousness as himself, his body has yet to wake up. Alistair himself will need to act, in order for Alistair to truly wake up.
Yurika: That’s right……
Alice: Well, I’m sure that you’re uneasy, but it’ll be alright. For Arisu, you’re here too. You have saved all of them. With incomprehensible and forceful developments.
Yurika: You watched over me all this time……
Alice: Reluctantly.
Yurika: …………Alice-kun isn’t scared?
Alice: ……I’m not scared. As long as you don’t let go of this hand.
Yurika: ……yes. I won’t let go of this hand.
Alice: …………as expected.

She asks how she should wake Alistair up, and Alice stutters in his reply.

Alice: …………is
Yurika: Eh?
Alice: ……it often happens in fairy tales right. You know in order to wake up the princess, you do that, that.
Yurika: Kiss?
Alice: …………
Yurika: Huh, was I wrong?
Alice: Aah, that’s right!! You’re not wrong!! Bingo bingo absolutely correct!! So, now you know! Hurry up with it!!  End it quickly,swiftly, speedily!!
Yurika: ……Alice-kun is not going to initiate it?
Alice: Why do I need to initiate it!?
Yurika: Because you’re a boy.
Alice: I……isn’t it sexual discrimination to think that should be the way just because I’m a boy? Are you one of those typical women who call for gender equality but insist that she’s a woman when it’s inconvenient! In the first place, I’m not used to it like Wizard or Kaguya, nor am I as coveting like Cinderella or Gretel! That being said, I’m not as cold as Shirayuki……if I were to pick one……I am inclined to Akazukin!! And the mirror world is symmetrical! There’s no problem at all if you initiate it! No, rather you should be the one to initiate it!! This is truly ladies first (lol)!!
Yurika: ……I understand. Then I’ll do it.
Alice: How obedient!! Hesitate more!!
Yurika: Alice-kun. Zip it.
Alice: Yes.
Yurika: Alice-kun. Close your eyes.
Alice: Aah……

He waits nervously with his eyes closed, but suddenly screams for her to stop when she draws herself close to his face. He complains that he could feel her breath, moreover her face is too close. Yurika points out that their faces have to be close, to which Alice tells her to end it quickly then. She blurts out that she’s embarrassed too. He’s taken aback, for he reckoned that kissing is a mere greeting overseas. She remarks that it isn’t done so often, moreover Alice is her first love and her prince. She can’t do it so casually. An awkward silence follows.

Alice: ……ah! There is a stomiiformes, viperfish, chauliodontidae!!
Yurika: Eh?

taialiepi-7

He steals the chance to kiss her, and laughs at how foolish she was to fall for that. He’s shocked to see her crying though, asking if she hated it that much. She denies this, and it’s because of something else. Alice tells her not to cry, lamenting at how troublesome she is. He reminds her that smiling suits her way more than crying, so he will do anything for that and readily so. He as likes it as much as his afternoon snacks.

Yurika: ……that means you love it a lot right?
Alice: …………
Yurika: Alice-kun?
Alice: ……aah, that’s right! More than my afternoon snacks, more than reading, more that sleeping, I love your smile so so so so much!!
Yurika: …………
Alice: Don’t stare into space! This is where you act shy! Read the atmosphere! You’re lacking in romanticism!
Yurika: ……fufu! Alice-kun is saying that?
Alice: ……you finally smiled.
Yurika: Ah……
Alice: Arisu. Even though I’m really selfish, weak, hopeless to the point that I made my princess cry, do you still see me as your prince?
Yurika: ……yes. Now and in the past, Alistair-kun is my prince.
Alice: ……thank you. Arisu.

He closes his eyes, and when he opens them again he’s Alistair. Alistair asks why she’s crying. She replies that it’s because she’s happy to have finally met him. He finds this strange, since they see each other everyday. He observes that it’s dark and nothing can be seen. Yurika asks where he thinks this place might be.

Alistair: I see……I don’t know where this is, but at the very least I think that this isn’t reality. If it’s not reality, then the most realistic thought may be “inside a dream”.
Yurika: It’s a pun.
Alistair: ……indeed it is. But if this is a dream, then you are my…………
Yurika: Alistair-kun. Give me your hand.

She’s bringing him to where everyone else is. She reassures him that she won’t let go. He nods and takes her hand. They arrive at the place with many crystal mirrors, where the six personalities are waiting. It is where they were born, and connects the real world and mirror world. It was merely a room at first, but the world changed a lot after they were given stories. Though Shirayuki adds that his case was a little different. Wizard explains that by passing through the crystal they can gain consciousness. Across the crystal is the real world, and the depths of his inner personalities. This is the space of the unconsciousness. That’s why those without a consciousness will get swallowed up the unconsciousness – just like what happened to him at first.

They soon realise that Alistair looks lost, asking Yurika if she explained it to him. She says that she isn’t all that clear either. The other personalities admit that they only just knew the truth. So Wizard steps in to get everyone to introduce themselves. Their names ring a familiar chord in him for he knows them very well, but he questions about their appearance. They explain that this is their ideal look. They have no bodies, but can maintain it in this world – in the real world, they become his body. In other words, this is a dream. Confused, he turns to Yurika, who explains that she is his 7th personality. To be accurate, she is Arisu Yurika’s shadow. A heroine created in his heart by her to save the prince of the mirror world. She is created based on the her in his memories, and by Arisu Yurika who is speaking from the real world. Her prince took too long to wake up, that’s why she couldn’t wait anymore.

Alistair looks shocked, which prompts Cinderella and Akazukin to tell Wizard to explain everything like he did for them. He sighs at this, and Gretel points out that it’s obvious as he has everyone’s memories. Wizard mutters that he didn’t ask for it, but proceeds to explain anyway. He’s sure that Alistair must be surprised at his existence, just like the rest. After all, no one knew of his existence. However, this isn’t their first encounter. He had always been peering at Alistair from his heart. The gaze which Alistair felt sometimes, was none other than Wizard. He is special in that, he has everyone’s memories unlike the rest. That’s why he knows everything about Alistair. He recalls that the children’s home’s staff brought him to the hospital, where he first learnt that he had dissociative identity disorder.

Wizard was only born after that, by the doctor. It was expected of him to live as “Alistair”. Honestly, Wizard thinks that he is the most suitable for he is the most capable and talented. But he couldn’t become “Alistair”. Because he is himself. The same goes for the other personalities. None of them think of themselves as “Alistair”. That’s why they couldn’t answer to the doctor’s words. No one noticed him – except for one person. After that, they were abandoned by the doctor and taken in by the Arisu family. It’s just as Alistair knows. While the days weren’t exactly peaceful, it was definitely calmer. They understood and sympathised with him. Moreover they had no financial worries. It’s ironic how strangers treated them kindly, yet those who were blood-related treated them coldly. Though after her parents left, it was only him and Yurika.

As they interacted with Yurika, they all grew attracted to her. Alistair is aware of this, and not as many problems occurred. However, Wizard highlights that nothing was solved for they all have unforgettable pains. As long as that isn’t healed, they will remain in his heart. It isn’t an easy task.  And as time passed without any healing, Gretel was born. It is just as Ryoushi had explained to him then. Only her brother noticed her abnormality. She basically only thinks of the boy she likes. To her, everyone else are like chess pieces for her to make use of. Her family, friends, and even herself. After that, the incident occurred. Gretel expresses his regret.

After seeing how Yurika got herself suspended too, Alistair caught a glimpse of her abnormality for the first time. And he started to doubt her – who did she actually love. Wizard concludes that he was in despair, and went to the lake. Alistair recalls that he swallowed the drugs at the lake. Kaguya confronts him, asking why he wanted to die, and how sad she would be. Alistair replies that he didn’t mean to die. Akazukin speaks up for him, since they did do as they liked with his body and drove him to a corner. However, Kaguya states that they carry their own burdens too, since he couldn’t endure it. Cinderella agrees that it’s why they were born. Shirayuki remarks that they are all weak.

Akazukin questions Alistair’s motives, for their wounds could have healed with time. But Alistair firmly answers that there was no time. He did it so as to talk to them. He always wondered why he couldn’t go to where they were, in the dark world. But then again, it’s obvious. Because this is the unconscious world. He can’t easily come here. There is a term called traumdeutung (Interpretation of Dreams), a dream is to consciously have a firm grasp of the unconscious. A dream is pieced together by fragments of your memory. The people and places in your dream, is usually from your memories. He thought that he could meet them in a dream. Wizard questions if he wasn’t in despair, for he was troubled by his condition and feared them. That’s why he couldn’t believe in her love and rejected her.

Alistair: You’re wrong……I……
Wizard: It’s not wrong! I have all the memories! I remember what happened that day very well too!
Cinderella: Wizard has snapped……
Wizard: That day, you asked the mirror. “What do you all think of Arisu?” and I answered your question with “I like her.” You went mad at my words, and said this to her when she rushed over. That you can’t believe in her love…………
Alistair: …………
Wizard: ……even so, she didn’t give up on you.

She created another personality in his heart so as to save him, and told stories to him who was asleep. They all have unforgettable pains, and they will remain in his heart as long as it isn’t healed. That’s why she gave them stories filled with love, so as to give them blissful dreams. A story in which they were the princes and ended up with Arisu Yurika, the princess. Of course, it didn’t always go well. And he had to kill her off when she made a mistake. That was the role she had desired from Wizard. Each time she saved them, he would regain himself. And it is Alistair’s story this turn. Alistair understands what happened now. He apologises for troubling them, and knows that he won’t be forgiven. Everything was caused by his own weakness.

What he wanted to talk about, was that Yurika doesn’t have much time left. She is strong, smart, capable, courageous and has many things. She treated them kindly, and perhaps their wounds would have healed with time. But what about her? Just as her brother said, she only thinks of the boy she likes. He didn’t notice at first, but he realised after seeing what she did after the incident with Gretel. She would disregard even herself for their sake. There’s no telling what she would do. She may even lose what she has, such as the truth from her friends and family. Surely, she will keep sacrificing herself for their sake.

Alistair: Besides that, she also…………
Wizard: …………
Alistair: And……I saw. Her crying figure. While she remains by our side, she’s in pain too. At this rate, one day she will end up unhappy because of us. That’s why I decided. To come all the way into a dream to meet all of you, so as to save her.
Wizard: For her sake……haha. What’s this……isn’t it mutual in the end…………it was me who misunderstood, felt jealous and hurt on my own accord……well, I knew it……

They all agree to discuss what to do for Yurika’s happiness. Kaguya suggests the most obvious – for them to disappear. For it’s not normal for one body to have multiple personalities. So they will become one with Alistair. Shirayuki and Gretel agree. But Yurika questions if they’re really okay with that. Wizard suggests setting rules on taking turns to use his body then. Gretel, Kaguya and Akazukin express their objection to the idea of sharing her with others. Shirayuki doesn’t mind, and Cinderella admits that he won’t if it’s for her happiness – though he can’t really make up his mind. Wizard turns down this suggestion then, since it’s not unanimous. He asks if Alistair is fine since they may end up deciding on something unfavourable for him. After all, his opinion should be respected the most since he is the owner of the body. Alistair ponders over this, before answering that he wishes to respect their “individuality”. Wizard is glad to hear that.

So Gretel asks if they are fine with just disappearing like that. No one responds, and Cinderella points out that it’s obvious. But Kaguya and Shirayuki admit that they wouldn’t have minded if it were their past selves. Wizard notes that they have the most painful memories after all. However, Shirayuki says that she changed his nightmare into a dream. Kaguya remarks that he no longer wants to return to the moon. She has changed them. Gretel wonders if the one she loves is really Alistair, since the way she interacted with them also seemed that they might have liked them. Alistair admits that he doesn’t know either. Wizard firmly insists so.

Wizard: She does like Alistair. Once when I pushed her down and pretended to be Alistair, I was rejected.
Gretel: Haah!? What do you mean pushed her down!
Akazukin: P-pushed do……ugh!
Kaguya: ……Arisu-chan. Is it true?
Yurika: Eh? M-me? I have no memories of being pushed down! Rather, that was Arisu Yurika and not me!
Kaguya: That’s not it. No, I’m really curious about that too but……I mean do you like Alistair-kun?
Gretel: ……that’s right! You’re Arisu Yurika’s shadow, so you should also know sister’s feelings right?
Yurika: I……don’t really know. Because I’m Arisu Yurika, but I’m not Arisu Yurika……

But just like Shirayuki said, they have all been saved by her. It may have just been a dream, but she wanted to give them a happy dream. Yurika reckons that she probably likes everyone. But there is only one Arisu Yurika, and she cannot divide her love. That’s why she gave them stories filled with love, a happy dream. Cinderella mulls over this. While he does love both of them, he thinks that perhaps he really loves the Arisu Yurika who appeared in the dream to save him. Akazukin says that he’s been pondering over this too, as he felt something different when this Yurika appeared. Shirayuki points out that it’s because she doesn’t have the memories. That’s what made them fall for Yurika. Kaguya wonders if Yurika in the real world felt the same way. Having the same face, voice and basic personality – but it is a different person. Is it her, or another person?

Wizard asks who they would choose then – the Arisu Yurika in the real world, or in the dream Shirayuki recalls his promise to her that he would fall in love with Arisu Yurika when he wakes up. But he knows now that the one he loves, is the one who appeared in his dream. Cinderella, Gretel, Kaguya, and Akazukin all agree with him. Shirayuki thinks that they first fell in love with her, when she gave them her love in their stories. They each have their own princess. The question is turned to Wizard. He replies unlike them, he loves the Arisu Yurika in the real world.

Wizard: ……Alistair-kun, who do you love?
Alistair: Eh?
Wizard: You rejected her love. Yet why do you want to save her? Do you like her?
Alistair: ………………it’s true that I did reject her love at that time……my story was full of holes, and I was always suffering because of that. Strangers showing concern, showing doubt. I was here, yet I was elsewhere too……it was a vague and unrealistic feeling. I was controlled by fear and hatred. In any case, I was so afraid of my surroundings, I wanted to run away from it. She reached out her hand to me. But I was also afraid of her. Because I didn’t know what she was thinking. That perhaps the reason she was kind to me, was because she likes someone inside of me, and not me. But it occurred to me when I saw her crying that day. That I want to save her. The princess in my story is the “Arisu Yurika” in the real world.
Wizard: ………………as expected this is what it comes down to. It’s fine, even if I disappear. I was rejected by her anyway. I have no attachments or whatsoever to the real world.

Gretel asks if it’s really fine, and Cinderella points out that he was different from them who became happy. Wizard mutters something inaudible. (Note: Probably along the lines of – I wasn’t not happy.) In any case, he was supposed to be killed off by her. He asks if they have no lingering attachments to the real world. Kaguya, Gretel and Cinderella say that they don’t. However, they point out that Shirayuki and Akazukin have their friends – Ryoushi and Ookami. Alistair says that they can use their body from time to time to see them then. Kaguya and Gretel wonder if he’s afraid of all of his memories returning to him. He doesn’t deny this, but Alistair knows this after hearing from them – that she wouldn’t be happy if they all disappeared. She probably wanted to make all of them happy.

She loved them, that’s why she wanted to make them happy and save them. However, she is only one person and cannot divide her love. Then he got lost in his dream. Then she probably thought of this. To wake him up, and to present them with stories that have cut out her love for each of them. That way, the problem is solved. She has divided her love. Her stories of love have saved them, just as she had planned. Gretel chuckles at the foolish plan, but it sounds just like her. Cinderella isn’t sure if she’s being philanthropic or greedy to guide everyone to a happy end. Akazukin reckons that it’s both.

Alistair: So I want to grand her wish in order to save her. There’s no need for all of you to disappear. You can continue to reside in my heart.
Shirayuki: ……that means we will keep dreaming inside of your heart?
Alistair: ……I suppose so. Even so, I believe that you will be troubled. Even though all of you have your own “individuality” as a person, you have to abandon reality and live in a dream. That everything up till now was a dream……
Shirayuki: …………it may have been a dream, it may not have been real, but she wished for us to see a happy dream for our sake. That is true right?
Alistair: ……yes. That’s right.
Akazukin: And it’s true that we were saved.
Alistair: ……how about it? My proposal.

Cinderella, Kaguya, Gretel, and Akazukin agree. So does Shirayuki, though he admits that he will be breaking his promise to her. Wizard remarks that he will obey the queen. Now that things have been decided, Gretel mutters that it’s like a democracy – them discussing and decided what to do. Kaguya steals the limelight, commenting that it’s “taisho democracy”. (Note: “Taisho 対称” meaning symmetry, and is the second “Taisho” used in the game title.)

Alistair explains that the former word means to be in correspondence with each other while maintaining the balance/harmony. Shirayuki explains that the latter is to be democratic. Akazukin notes that it’s their politics by them and for them. Yurika adds that the original meaning of “Taisho” is that “the heavens accept the people’s words with pleasure, the government will practise rightly.” (Note: “Taisho 大正“, also used in “Taisho” era, and the first “Taisho” used in the game title.)  Cinderella remarks it feels curious that they all gathered together for Yurika’s sake, despite being apart at first.

Yurika wonders if they’ve all met before. Cinderella notes that it isn’t the case for everyone. For example, both Akazukin and Kaguya have never met Wizard before. The latter says that he never intended to get along with them, finding them too depressing by only dwelling on the past which cannot be changed. Kaguya retorts that it’s unbearable being the first-hand witness so it isn’t easy. Wizard admits that he understands it now. Cinderella wonders how much time has passed in the real world, and Shirayuki reckons that Arisu Yurika must still be waiting for Alistair to wake up. He asks Yurika to escort Alistair back since they’ve finished. Akazukin warns him not to stray off the path, prompting Shirayuki to tease him. Gretel remarks that they will each return to their own worlds, where the people thinking and worrying for them are waiting.

Alistair: Everyone……thank you. I’m glad I could talk to all of you.
Cinderella: Alistair. Dreams are meant to be seen. Your destined princess came all the way here to find you. So don’t let go of her again alright?
Alistair: ……yes. Thank you. Cinderella.
Shirayuki: ……Alistair. I was envious of you for being loved by mother. But I think now. That in truth……that perhaps mother tried to accept me too. That’s why, she baked my favourite apple pie in the end……
Alistair: Yes……I think so too.
Shirayuki: ……thank you. Take care.
Alistair: Thank you too. Shirayuki.
Akazukin: Alistair. I’m sorry for having caused you trouble.
Alistair: I’m sorry for causing all of you trouble too.
Akazukin: No, that’s not……that’s not it. Alistair, I forgive you.
Alistair: ……thank you, Akazukin. I forgive you too.
Kaguya: Alistair-kun. Sorry for shouting at you just now.
Alistair: I’m not bothered.
Kaguya: The earth is corrupted and overflowing with things you don’t want to see or hear. But we are all greedy human beings. That’s why, you shouldn’t think of wanting to return to the moon alright?
Alistair: Yes, I know. Thank you, Kaguya.
Wizard: …………
Alistair: Wizard……you love her a lot.
Wizard: Aah, that’s right. More than you. That’s why, I will quietly accept her wish.
Alistair: ……thank you. Wizard.
Wizard: Alistair. In order to remain there, you need to keep running with all of your might. The moment you stop evolving, I may come and kill you.
Gretel: ……how frightening.
Akazukin: A murder threat……!
Kaguya: A yandere……
Wizard: I don’t want to be told that by all of you.
Gretel: Alistair-san. Take care not to take too much candy. And please be careful of the way you handle sister. Because you might end up being dragged into her pace without knowing. A lot happened but……I’m glad that I met you.
Alistair: Thank you, Gretel. I will take care. I’m also glad that I met you……no, all of you.
Yurika: Now, let’s go. Alistair-kun.
Alistair: Yes.

On their way to the mirror which connects to the real world, Alistair remarks that them holding hands and walking together is nostalgic – though he used to hold her hand and lead her. He admits that he never forgot about her. He recognised her jewel-like eyes and fluffy hair which he loved instantly. However he lied, for he was no longer the same as before. She became a more wonderful girl, but he became dark and pessimistic. He isn’t suitable for her. Yurika firmly denies this, that he is indeed wonderful. Alistair thanks her, but it was true that he wasn’t the same. He was afraid of being compared, and that she would abandon him. Despite knowing that she isn’t the type to do so. He’s a weak person, so much so that he gave birth to them. That’s why he fled from her. But she took his hand and approached him as Alistair, not Alice. Moreover she came to save him, so he’s grateful.

Yurika advises him to say those words to her when he’s awake. For this is a dream. She is also the Yurika in his memories, but she does know her feelings. Surely his words will save her. He asks what will happen to her. She contemplates this, guessing that she will remain in his heart and watch over him. She will become the first reader of his story. He needs to live on in the real world, and will surely encounter both good and bad things. But she believes that he can overcome them. Alistair asks if she will be all alone in the dark, if she isn’t afraid. She denies this, but he sees through her lie.

Alistair: Arisu. You are a strong girl. You’re cheerful, optimistic and courageous. Almost like a princess from a storybook. But there’s no need to endure anymore. It’s fine to say that you’re lonely if you are.
Yurika: …………
Alistair: Are you lonely?
Yurika: ………………I can’t say that. Because I’m an existence in your dream, one of your personalities. The reason I’m here, is all for the sake of waking you up……the story of her and you after you return…………huh……why, am I crying……I’m sorry……
Alistair: …………
Yurika: Alistair-kun. I don’t want you to go……even though I finally met you, I don’t want us to part……(sniff)……I’ll, be all alone again……
Alistair: …………don’t cry. Arisu.
Yurika: ……Alistair-kun?
Alistair: Don’t worry. I won’t let you be alone. Actually I have someone whom I want to take care of you.
Alice: Alistair……
Alistair: Alice……long time no see.
Yurika: Alice-kun!? Why……
Alistair: Arisu. This is the last present I can give you.
Alice: ……why. Alistair. If I exist, it means that you acknowledge my existence right?
Alistair: ……yes. I acknowledge “Alice”, your existence, your individuality.
Alice: Are you an idiot! If you acknowledge me, your memories as me will disappear from you!! Return me back to you immediately!!
Alistair: I can’t do that. If I do, she will become all alone.
Alice: Arisu……

Alistair admits that he had always been envious of Alice, who was glib, confident, the complete opposite of him. He had always wanted to be like him. That’s why he acted like Alice, when he first saw Yurika crying. He wanted to look cool, to be an ideal. He was childish. And she recognised him as her prince. But that wasn’t truly him. Alice denies this, insisting that he is Alistair. It was merely a child’s pretend play. Alistair asks Yurika then, if she fell for Alice and not Alistair. After a short pause, Yurika admits this. Alistair had always been doubtful, over who she fell for at that time. But now they know. He had always been afraid of admitting that. But he can’t leave her here all alone – that reason alone is important to him.

Alice: You’ll lose your memories you know?
Alistair: My time as you was short. It won’t disrupt my life.
Alice: ……but that was your most important memory.
Alistair: That’s right……but it’s fine. I have my own important memories. Alice. I’m glad that I could talk to you once more. Because you took “Arisu’s” hand, we have this story. And happy ends are a must for stories.
Alice: ! The world……changed. Why…………
Yurika: Ah! Look! A rainbow!

Alice notes that this is Alistair’s feeling now. A bright, colourful world with a rainbow. Alistair says that he has to go. His princess will cry if he takes too long. Alice calls him an idiot, since he has already made her cry lots. Alistair sees that it may be true, for she is unexpectedly a crybaby despite her strong appearance. He wonders if he can be her prince. Alice is confident that he can, for he has not only saved her – but all of them too. Both of them thank each other, and are glad to have met each other.

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Cinderella’s world: Thrilled to see Yurika, Cinderella hugs her, wondering if this is a dream. She asks if he will give up on her if that is the case. He pauses, before chuckling. He apologises for being stupid. Despite the huge fuss and vowing on the glass shoe, he didn’t notice such an important thing. He carries her, stating that his dream is having her by his side. So right now, his dream is already fulfilled. Yurika agrees with him. He sighs, wishing to marry her soon. To be husband and wife who are like lovers, always going on dates on their rest days, and definitely celebrating their anniversaries. She remembers that it’s what he said during their second kiss, because it’s her important memory. He agrees with a grin that it’s his important memory too.

Akazukin’s world: Yurika finds Akazukin by the lake, and hands him the carnations which she had just bought. He’s delighted when he confirms that she’s Yurika, asking if he can touch her. She’s startled, but agrees. Unexpectedly, he starts to touch her soft hair. She’s perplexed, but also glad (?) that he seems to enjoy it. It’s a big improvement for him to initiate it anyway. She tells him that there’s something softer to touch though. He wonders if she’s referring to a marshmallow, making her speechless.

Kaguya’s world: Kaguya enters her room, and immediately checks her scar. He notes that it seems like it won’t ever disappear, and kisses it. Yurika is startled, commenting that it tickles. He’s glad to hear that it no longer hurts, kissing it again. While she’s embarrassed, he feels happy. He remarks that even if a Yurika without any scars appears before him, he will still choose her. His words confuse her, and he admits that he really understand either. Perhaps what he wants to say is that the current her shines much more beautifully than ever before. He made this scar, and he will make amends for it for the rest of his life.

Gretel’s world: In the forest, Yurika covers his eyes and asks him to guess who it is. He guesses correctly, and turns around to stare at her. Gretel requests for her to hit him as hard as possible. She’s taken aback, asking if he’s changed from a sadist to a masochist. It isn’t like him at all. He retorts that he might as well be since he’s been pretending to be her brother all this time. He’s an extreme masochistic with high endurance since hadn’t eaten her all this time. Yurika acknowledges this, and tells him to close his eyes. He’s shaken, but obediently does so as he prepares for the impact. However, she ties a ribbon around his neck, just as they had promised. A ribbon to tie them together forever. He tears up, for he’s happy that she chose him and remained by his side. Gretel wishes for their happiness to continue always, and he will work hard to fulfill that dream and to protect his treasure.

Shirayuki’s world: Shirayuki returns home, where Yurika and his mother welcome him back. His mother was worried, and he apologises. But his mother says that it’s fine. Yurika told her that it’ll be fine, and she was reminded that he is a boy after all. She shows them the many desserts they made, from apple pie to hot fruit punch to baked apple to crepe. She asks Shirayuki to prepare the tea. Just then, the doorbell rings. It’s Ryoushi. Shirayuki asks why he’s here, and his mother says that he’s Shirayuki’s important friend. She bought a lot of apples, so she wanted everyone to have a tea party together. She had called other people over too. Shirayuki calls out to Yurika in a sad voice. Observing the situation, his mother and Ryoushi head off first.

Shirayuki apologises to Yurika for breaking their promise – he chose her. He explains that another Yurika appeared. She was exactly the same – except for their memories. It made him realise that he loves the Yurika here after all. He will still probably fall for her if he wakes up, even if he isn’t her number one. But he probably can’t forget about her and will compare – he will still love her the most, for she saved him. He is abandoning reality, and Yurika asks if he doesn’t want to go outside, to meet her brother. Shirayuki says that Alistair did offer for him to use his body, but he doesn’t want to act selfishly having known the truth now. It’s fine for him to remain inside Alistair’s heart. But unlike before where they were a part of his heart, they are now his dreams. Everyone decided on this. He’s happy to be with her like this, and asks her to always remain with him. She agrees. They return to where the rest are, for he has to prepare the tea.

Wizard’s world: Yurika asks if he’s really fine with this end. He replies that it’s the happy end everyone decided on, a democracy. She isn’t convinced for unlike them, the one he loves is the Yurika in the real world. She cries at how kind he is, to keep sacrificing himself for her happiness. To see the person she loves in pain. Wizard recalls how he was willing to die for her, as she was the first one to acknowledge him. It may be simple-minded, but he felt saved and fell in love with her. Despite knowing that someone else had saved her. Even so, he wanted to at least be the last person to save her, if he couldn’t be the first. So as to remain in her heart. That’s why he didn’t mind dying. But Alistair thought otherwise. For her happiness, Alistair acknowledged their existences and presented them his memories. It was the complete opposite of what he had thought. But Wizard reckoned that Alistair’s way was her true wish. In the end, he couldn’t save her. He neither became the first, nor the last to save her.

But he isn’t as hurt as he had imagined. Perhaps because he was prepared to die at the end of everything. Or perhaps……he whispers her name, but she doesn’t catch it. Wizard wonders what he should do know, since Alistair is already awake. Yurika asks if he isn’t going to kill her. If he’s given up, she no longer has to support his love which she thought was his happiness. He calls her foolish. His happiness isn’t her death. Moreover, who will be his chess partner? They still haven’t settled their score. She agrees, and will have him fulfill her wish when she wins. Wizard looks forward to that day.

Back to Yurika’s POV

???: …………su. ……risu.
Yurika: …………nn.
???: ……Arisu.
Yurika: Ah…………
???: ……Good morning, Arisu.
Yurika: ……!
???: This is a hospital……why am I here……

He recalls that he was at the lake and ate the drugs. Yurika asks if he’s Alistair, and tears up when he acknowledges it. Alistair recalls that she was crying when they first met too. One and a half years ago, she jumped at him when the door opened. He saw a weird dream. He was in a pitch black world, and there was nothing. He could not even see himself. He couldn’t find an exit no matter how far he walked. He was so afraid, that he would no longer be himself is the darkness swallowed him. That was when she appeared and took his hand. He was reluctant, but she dragged him until they were before a large crystal mirror.

They passed through it, and got lost in the mirror world (dream world) where everything was reverse. The town there didn’t look any different, but it was a bit strange. There were fairy tale characters, who were the complete opposite, living there. Each fairy tale protagonist had their own individuality, and pitiful stories. His chest hurt when he saw them. They needed someone’s help, being trapped in their pasts and suffering over their current situation. It was then that a princess appeared before each of them. Like a fairy tale princess, she was cute and kind, but also courageous, curious and smart. She approached their hearts, and solved all kinds of problems. Yurika remarks that it’s just like the prince. He agrees that it needed strong determination. And so the princess saved the prince’s heart, and they lived happily ever after in the mirror world. A happy end for a fairy tale. And after it would be the next story.

He was filled with happiness, each time he saw a story end. And when all 7 stories had a happy end, a rainbow was built in the dark world he was in. It was a strange dream, but he felt very happy. Almost to the point that he wanted to keep dreaming. Yurika asks why he woke up then. Alistair admits that he would have to return to the boring reality when he’s awake. But he had to. Because she is in the world across the mirror. He has to have his own happy end too. He says that he loves her. She sobs and hugs him, saying that she loves him too.

Alice’s world: Alice notes that he has woken up. He calls Alistair stupid for dividing his own memories with the other personalities. No matter how painful the memories were, those are still his feelings and memories which he had cut off. While they appear to be independent people, they are all Alistair. The memories won’t return, and Alistair won’t become one, unless they disappear. A single personality for a single body. That should be the way things are. He would then live on as a healthy person, and that may be happiness. Yurika points out that happiness is dependent on the person. Alice tells her not to misunderstand. They don’t care about Alistair’s happiness – it’s Yurika’s. Because they love her, they don’t mind disappearing.

However, Alistair did the opposite. Nothing has changed, they still reside in his heart. He laments, wondering why they risked so much. Yurika doesn’t think that nothing has changed. Alistair risked his life to come here to take to them. If he didn’t, this story wouldn’t even have existed. And their hearts may not have been saved. She’s certain that Arisu Yurika wanted to save all of them, as she loved them all. Alice insults her for being lewd and a bitch, that she’s so greedy to play it all ways. Yurika suggests that he calls it a grand finale instead.

Alice points out that it’s fine for the rest who have painful memories. He is merely born from a child’s fantasies, who pretended there was someone opposite of him in the mirror. Unlike the rest, he’s well-aware that he is Alistair. When Alistair met Yurika that summer day and pretended to be Alice, he was Alistair. After coming to the mirror world, he only recognised himself as “Alice” when Alistair’s conscious was swallowed up, leaving him behind.

Yurika: And you saved me numerous times.
Alice: ……because I remember you well. Your jewel-like eyes, your soft and fluffy hair, your shining smile like the sun, everything. That’s why I needed to disappear. If not, he wouldn’t be able to recall the memory of meeting Arisu. It was his most important treasure, yet he himself let it go.
Yurika: But thanks to that, you can continue to stay in his heart.
Alice: I should have disappeared.
Yurika: But Alistair didn’t think that way.
Alice: ……perhaps at that point, I was myself and he was himself. Alistair was confident. Even if he gives me an important memory and forgets about “Arisu”, he would still fall in love with her. Because in a story it’s a form of beauty for a prince to fall in love at first sight with a princess.
Yurika: A happy end!
Alice: Aah, that’s right. That’s why Alistair presented us with what was important to him. While it is painful and sad, that is not all. It is also fun, happy and blissful.
Yurika: And Arisu Yurika gave them a feeling of love and happy stories.
Alice: Aah, that’s right. Now that all the stories have happy ends, a rainbow was built in the pitch black world.

Yurika asks if he’s really fine with her. For she isn’t the real Yurika, but a part of Alistair’s dreams and his personality. Moreover the one he loved was her as a child. She has changed a lot as an adult. Alice admits that she has grown bigger in many ways. She comforts him, that he will grow taller very soon. He reprimands her for digging at his concern, moreover she just wasted the previous heart-to-heart scene. She giggles, and he mutters that he did like her as a child. She pretends not to hear, begging him to repeat himself again. Alice sighs, saying that this is extra service and better bow in gratitude.

Alice: ……I like it. Your jewel-like eyes, and your soft and fluffy hair. Everything is proof that you are you.
Yurika: Thank you!
Alice: ……hmph.

She asks what they shall do now. She suggests him chasing after her now, since she has caught him. He remarks that he won’t do something that troublesome. He proposes to cross the rainbow. He did say before that it’s easy for him to cross a rainbow to meet her. This is the mirror world. Such as task can be easily achieved. Alice offers his hand, and she pauses. Yurika comments that it’s rare for him to be so honest. He points out that she’s blatantly rude rather than being overly-honest. Moreover, it isn’t that rare for him to offer his hand to her.

Yurika: That’s right. You always saved me.
Alice: Because I’m your prince. Arisu. I won’t let go of this hand. So, let’s go together.
Yurika: Yes!

And so the prince and princess lived happily ever after. (Note: The only difference between GRAND END and HAPPY END is: the last few lines are played as a movie for the grand end.)

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Overall thoughts

I thought that this would be my last post for Taisho x Alice……but there is actually another story which basically tells everything from Yurika’s POV. It has some interesting parallels to the previous routes allowing you to see for sure what took place. So I’ll post it in a separate post with my concluding thoughts, as this post is already way too long. So for now, my overall thoughts on Alice’s route which is basically like an epilogue route.

I guessed right once more. Alice is my favourite. And it’s not just because of his twisted insults. To be honest, nothing much happened – I mean that Yurika had to go through a lot in previous routes in order to save the prince. Not so much here. In a sense, this route is basically a huge recap route. But it helped to see everything in sequence and in parallel, plus you add in Alice’s story. So shucks, it really hurt at certain scenes. It also confirmed what I had guessed about the order of Wizard’s route. And I need to applaud his CV as he handled the nuances so well. I can’t say anything else without spoiling it except……fantastic job.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from the ending. Because gosh, I was so ready for the worst. But I guess, it’s a happy end right for everyone?

Like I said, I will save my concluding thoughts for the next post which contain’s Yurika’s POV. A lot of it is gonna be copy-paste though so haha. Hope I can get it out soon. :’D Till then~

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2 thoughts on “Taisho x Alice epilogue: Alice

  1. Alicia says:

    I really liked this game, I mean I haven’t played it, but reading everything made me want to play as well. Thank you for sharing that 😀
    I just have one question if I may. to play would I have to buy a PSvita or is it available to play as a PC game? Thank you.

    Like

    • Yume says:

      Hi, thanks for your comment! I’m glad to hear that you’re interested in it 😀

      It was originally for PC – but as 4 separate releases. I played the PC version, hence that’s why my posts are separated into: episode 1, episode 2, episode 3, and epilogue. The Vita version is an all-in-one version, that’s why money-wise it’s more worth it. But if you don’t have a Vita, you can get the PC releases instead!

      Like

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