Queen's Gate:Volume 1 Epilogue
|This text is a machine translation (MTL).
Be warned that the degree of translation error may be higher than usual.
This page was created before the updated (July 19, 2015) MTL guidelines and has not been reviewed.
Epilogue: Journey to a Different World
"Do you need help?"
Alice was of course suspicious of the Tentacle King's unexpected words.
It'd be weird for this not to be a trap. But, if the situation doesn't change, it's obvious I'll be made into a puppet like Dorothy.
Feeling as if she was digging her own grave, Alice looked up at the Tentacle King and nodded.
"Yue Ying, your turn."
In response to the Tentacle King's command, the arena, partly destroyed by the Black Rabbit's incursion, began to move again. The floor broke up, and a huge slate rose from underground with a roaring sound, until it surrounded Alice and Dorothy.
<Profeshor! It's the Gate! That slate is giving off a Gate-like reaction!>
March Hare screamed with a detector in her hand. Taking in her words, Alice observed the slate that surrounded her.
The total number of slates was 12. Also, each slate had an exquisite sculpture reminiscent of a door.
"Looks like Rodin's "The Gates of Hell"."
Alice suddenly was reminded of the work of the famous artist behind the sculpture known as "The Thinker."
"Indeed. Or, maybe they are the very gates to hell."
The Tentacle King spoke in a quiet voice.
"But, whether they lead to hell or to paradise, it depends on you, Alice."
She had noticed that Irukinuf, still controlling Dorothy, had stopped the movements of all its tentacles when the slate had appeared.
Thanks to that, Alice could escape from the posture it was keeping her in, with the legs wide open. After hiding away the wet hem of her micro-mini skirt, she went on to ask the king:
"Mom used this Gate too?"
The Tentacle King nodded silently.
He probably isn't lying.
Alice decided to believe her intuition.
<Now, you shall open the Gate as wellll.>
Irukinuf's voice echoed inside Alice's head.
He says to open it, but how?!
Although the slate imitated a door, she couldn't see any kind of hinge. No matter how one looked at it, it was one seamless piece. She didn't think it'd open even if hit with a hammer.
Are they asking me this to test my wit?
<Touch it. Will it strongly to opennnn.>
Irukinuf told her the answer, as if to dispel Alice's doubts.
With a sigh, the girl put her twin guns away inside their holsters, and held up her hands toward the slate at once.
A cold feeling ran through her fingertips. But, that wasn't all.
Like a pebble dropped into the water, ripples of light spread throughout, and the lithographs started vibrating one after another.
The whole slate surrounding Alice began rumbling, and before soon, streaks of light appeared in the central piece, gradually getting larger and larger.
"What kind of technology is this?"
Although it seemed like each slate cracked into two and slid left and right, there was no change in the outside look of the slates, so maybe they were sliding towards a different space.
<Ooh, open, open upppp.>
Irukinuf began wriggling again, letting out a voice of joy as it clung to Dorothy.
<This time for sure, I shall defeat my deadly enemy Arukinuf, now that I've become a perfect bodyyyy.>
A square light overflowed from the slate, that had become but a framework now, the 12 pieces becoming a band of continuous, dazzling light.
At the same time, the air all around began to flow towards the light.
Are we being sucked in?
Alice lowered her body, grabbed for the floor with hands and legs and endured it.
The other side of that light was a different world. Alice's intuition told her: "Don't go!"
"But, on the other side, Mom..."
Despite Alice's conflict, Irukinuf slowly approached the slate, with Dorothy's body still in tow. Apparently, it did intend to dive into the gate.
The Gate Opener clicked her tongue, and loaded Aeshma with a new bullet. This was a tailor-made bullet against the tentacle users.
"Irukinuf! If you want to cross the Gate, I'll have you leave Dorothy behind!"
Alice pointed the muzzle at Irukinuf, and put strength into the Aeshma's trigger.
The light overflowing from the 12 sheets shone brighter and became a circle of light.
Swodar watched that shine; back when the Gate Toucher Lewis disappeared inside it, the slate was only one piece.
It was Yue Ying who had prepared the 12 sheets to improve its reliability, and adjusted them to transfer towards the same destination.
"You have my gratitude, Yue Ying."
The Tentacle King spoke to the woman who appeared beside him, then rested his back on the throne and exhaled a deep breath.
He had just now accomplished the role he had placed on himself long, long ago, that he had pursued to the point of exhaustion.
With that, the expected destruction at 2012 wouldn't be happening. They had avoided the extinction of the human race.
"What will happen from now on?"
In contrast with the king exuding a sense of accomplishment, the woman asked so in an uneasy tone.
"What do you mean by that?"
"Lord Irukinuf, who gave us power, is about to go beyond the Gate. What will become of us in the future?"
The Tentacle King continued in a calm voice.
"Our God will acquire new power and fulfill his return. It's a fate that will never ever change."
It was quite the powerful declaration. As if he knew what would be unfolding from then on.
In response to his words, Yue Ying bowed in agreement and pointed to the opposite side of the arena.
"So, did your plan include that child being released?"
The person Yue Ying was pointing at was Lynn, Irukinuf's Songstress, who was dashing towards the slate of light. Her tentacles fluttered in the wind, she didn't bother to hid them as they extended from her waist.
Surprise dyed the king's eyes: that Songstress shouldn't get close to the Gate. Her making contact with the Gate wasn't part of his plans.
"Don't! Stop her!"
When they heard their king's scream, all the Apostles but Yue Ying noticed Lynn at once. But, no one could stop her.
Before the Tentacle King could clench his fist, Lynn jumped over the slate and disappeared inside the light.
Why was the Tentacle King so upset? Yue Ying couldn't understand the reason, but an unspeakable uneasiness now permeated all.
"It should be Lynn who obtains this poweer!"
Along with her well-projected high-pitched cry, Lynn jumped towards the space of light divided by the slates.
Just like a pole-vaulter athlete, she used her tentacles to jump up into the sky, then rotated in the air, and turned her tiptoes towards Dorothy.
Lynn's flying kick made Dorothy lose her balance, and she staggered into the band of light together with Irukinuf.
Before Alice could reach them, Lynn landed beside Dorothy and tackled her to make sure she got inside.
As she was thrown into the band of light, Dorothy smiled, still manipulated by Irukinuf. As if it had been longing for that moment.
Then, Lynn also disappeared into the light.
There's no time to hesitate.
Alice, guns in hand, jumped into the light and followed Dorothy and Lynn.
In a corner of the Tentacle God's Island, a woman could be seen, standing on the top of a pyramid, as she gazed upon the Gate's halo.
A one-armed woman wearing a crimson suit which fit her sexy body perfectly. Her identity was that of the librarian from the St. Label's Academy's Book Building, known as Teacher Faye, the advisor of the Literature Club.
"Yes, that'll be fine. Only you, the Songstress, can harness the power of Irukinuf and Arukinuf."
The one-armed teacher softly muttered, with a complacent smile.
"Just like you wished, I succeeded in making the Songstress slip into the Gate."
A voice sounded under her feet, where the face of a bearded man appeared next.
"Good gracious, we were indeed stalling for time, but wasn't that Tentacle Initiation Tournament amusing..."
The unshaven man rose from the shadows as he laughed.
The woman interrupted his talk with a well-projected voice.
"Did you succeed in splitting up the 12 Apostles?"
"Yue Ying and Rama remain neutral. I didn't bother approaching Leonidas. He's a follower of a Tentacle King to his very core."
"Is that so? And the other Apostles?"
Rasputin didn't reply.
"That just won't do, will it now, Rasputin?"
His body stiffened when he looked at the woman's icy pupils.
"I'll praise you for getting Rama to remain neutral. But just having you as my pawn isn't enough to negotiate with them."
"Your Majesty the Queen, spare me!"
The female teacher made a mocking smile.
"I won't spare you."
As she said so, her left arm, that shouldn't exist, appeared.
No, it wasn't a left arm. Instead, what appeared was a blue tentacle with dark red veins.
Rasputin's voice trembled in fear.
"Oh, this would be the first time I show you. This is precisely the source of my power, the God of Mad Flame Arukinuf."
The tip of the blue tentacle gave off bright red flames.
Arukinuf, the existence loathed by Irukinuf. Seeing this legendary being appearing, Rasputin screamed and escaped into the shadows.
Chasing him, the blue tentacle reached into the shadows.
Following her murmur, a flame bubbled up from the shadows.
"I guess I'll need to procure underlings myself after all, right...?"
Pulling back the tentacles that turned Rasputin to ashes in an instant, the female teacher gazed at the throne in the distance.
"There should be no mention of my revival in your prophetic writings, Swodar."
Inside the dazzling shine, Alice and Dorothy advanced at a breakneck speed.
It was a similar feeling as if they were swaying by a waterslide that radically assaulted their senses. When it looked like one was going forward, it'd shake suddenly to the side and drop right below. As the only thing they felt was the weight of their own bodies, it was impossible to determine which direction they were going towards.
I wished I could have had time to prepare myself for this.
Since she had ended up having to jump into the Gate, she had none of her good equipment.
Not knowing where the Gate was or where it was connected to, she had no choice but to make do with the equipment in hand for now.
In fact, right now there's only one problem to settle.
"Irukinuf! Let Dorothy go!"
Alice pointed at Irukinuf the muzzle of the Aeshma, loaded with Spatial Rupture Bullets.
"This time the bullet will be no laughing matter."
<Ooh, did you make the precious Hyperborea Crystal into a bulletttt?>
"That's right. If you're hit with this, even you will return to nothing."
The Spatial Rupture Bullet was a bullet that used the Hyperborea Crystal, not only the Twister's but the Vimana's source of power as well, to attack.
Although it had been researched and developed by the Dodgson Foundation, it was too precious a bullet, so she had been hesitating to put it to practical use.
<But, your beloved friend will also get caught up in itttt.>
"What was that?"
<The only ones who can exist in this brightness are you, the "Gate Opener," and my kin. If I release her, this child will disappear and get burned by the lightttt.>
Her finger loosened around the trigger.
Although there was the possibility of Irukinuf being lying, she couldn't possibly risk killing Dorothy by her own hands.
If it comes to this, no choice but to steel myself.
"Irukinuf, let's settle this outside the Gate!"
The moment Alice decided so, her throat was suddenly bound tight. Tentacles in pink and red stripes came and bit into her throat.
"It will be Lynn who obtains this poweer! I won't let you damage Irukinuuf!"
A well-projected voice echoed inside the light. The Irukinuf's Songstress used the tentacles growing from her waist to try and strangle Alice.
Without hesitation, Alice pointed her gun's muzzle backwards, and pulled the Aeshma's trigger.
Dorothy might be my friend, but Lynn is my enemy. I won't fret over defeating these monsters.
Exposed to the Spatial Rupture Bullet, the left side of Lynn's body disappeared, and Alice regained her freedom.
But, the impact shook the space itself violently.
The weight applied to her body accelerated, like a waterslide where the amount of water had suddenly risen.
In the frightful, muddy stream of light, Alice reached out to Dorothy, who was getting further away.
"I won't forgive you... I'll never forgive youu!!"
Lynn, after losing half of her body, moved freely inside the muddy stream by using her tentacles. Apparently, one did need tentacles to move around this space.
"As for you, I'll make you fall into a different space-!"
Lynn's tentacles started pulling Alice and Dorothy apart. Although Alice tried cutting the tentacles with the Aeshma's dagger, there wasn't much she could do when she couldn't even maintain her posture, and quickly got separated from Dorothy.
"Gaah--! It's me who won't forgive youuu----!!"
Alice shouted angrily as Lynn and the others flowed in another direction.
The Gate's light had disappeared, and silence had returned to the arena. Alice, Dorothy and Irukinuf couldn't be seen anymore.
They all had crossed the Gate and gone to another world.
Where had they gone? And, what kind of actions would that cause?
The Tentacle King, Swodar Nyarmain, knew the answers to those questions. That was why he had allowed Alice to open the Gate.
"So history can't be changed?"
The Tentacle King closed his eyes as exhaustion washed over him.
"Save me... save the world, Alice..."
He muttered, as he thought about the past. That might have reminded him of what he should be doing now, because he opened his eyes again.
"Yue Ying, are you still here?"
"Then, destroy the slate... destroy the Gate."
Yue Ying stared in wonder at his words.
"The Gate fulfilled its role. I won't have its power abused."
For the first time in a while, the king dazzlingly stood up without relying on a cane, and then turned his gaze to the submachine-gun-wielding bunny girl who had been shooting exhaustively all around the arena.
"Now, what will you do, servant of the "Gate Opener"?"
March Hare made a confused look before the king's question.
"Your mistress is on the other side of the Gate. Will you stay here and fight, or withdraw obediently?"
"Err... Yeah, what to do...? This is troubling, pyon."
March Hare had no say in this situation. The one who did was Hatter, on board of the Vimana.
"Um... I'll try asking Hatter, pyon."
March Hare smiled with a grin, and switched on her communication equipment.
Alice woke up to a cold that threatened to freeze the very core of her body. The breath she exhaled turned white as well.
Where is this? As far as I remember, I was engulfed by the Gate's muddy stream of light.
What about Dorothy, Irukinuf and Lynn?
As Alice laid on the bed, she relentlessly looked all around her.
It seems like I'm alone in there.
Though the stone-made room had no sort of lighting, the ceiling and the walls gave off a dim light overall. As for the contents of the room, there was only the bed she was lying on.
It was a simple room, like a prison or some religious institution.
I don't have my equipment, and I'm not...
From the feeling of the blanket covering her body, Alice just realized she was stark-naked.
Well, I can't help getting impatient. Granted, it's hard for me to calm down as long as I don't even have underwear on, but there's something I have to do first of all.
The top priority for now was knowing if she could get her body to function properly. Alice stood up and moved various parts of her whole body for a while to make sure it all worked as it should: her fingertips, her toes, and so on.
"Did you wake up, Gate Opener?"
Suddenly, someone spoke from outside the room, and Alice tugged on the blanket to cover herself.
A young boy, who had gentle pupils to him, came into the doom carrying a basket with Alice's tools of the trade inside it.
"My name is, Swodar Nyarmain. I'm a priest who serves Irukinuf."
Hearing the youth's name made Alice perplexed. He had the same name as the Tentacle King, the same golden pupils, the same white hair.
" I've been expecting your arrival, according to the predictions left by the Gate Toucher."
The youth explained while disregarding her obvious embarrassment, and put the basket he was holding beside the bed.
"All the equipment you were wearing should be in there. As for the clothes, since they were wet and you could have frozen to death, I had them all processed here."
"With a temperature-resistant treatment. You should be able to keep your body temperature in a comfortable range every time you wear them from now on."
"Although I won't know until I wear them, I'll appreciate it for the time being. Thank you."
Making sure her body didn't slip out of the blanket, Alice reached out for the basket.
In there, there was her (neatly folded) uniform, her boots, her gun belt poaches, her Angra Mainyu and Aeshma, pants, and the rest of her personal effects.
"Where are we?"
Alice asked, still hiding her body with the blanket.
"It'll be faster if you see for yourself."
Saying so, the youth opened the blinds.
A bright light shone into the room. Alice squinted, and looked outside of the window. The familiar blue sky was nowhere to be seen there.
There was neither a blue sky nor a starry sky above her head. As if it was reflected into a mirror, the sky was covered with the same stone-made city as the ground.
"Welcome to the underground world, Hyperborea. A world in the verge of perishing."
As she heard Swodar's voice, Alice looked at that world with a confused look.
To be continued!
Translator's Notes and References
- The original expression is "feeling as if grabbing a spider's thread"