The words Alice said…… Quicker than I could react to that, Alice continued speaking.
That should mean that she’s asking me not to mention her earlier statement just yet.
[I’ve said it before, didn’t I That the name Shalltear meant “a fragment of illusion” in the world I lived in.]
[……An illusion…… huh.]
When my heart was shattered and I became a nobody, what was left of me…… was a wish that I hadn’t been able to fulfill after living so many years.
That’s because that was only the meaning of my life, nothing but an illusion.]
Illusion huh…… I think Alice spent a mind-boggling time until she came to this world.
That’s why, for her, she can’t imagine a future where her best friend’s wish can come true.
It was certainly like she’s chasing after an illusion huh
[When I first came to this world, I had great expectations.
There are many people in this world, including Kuro-san, who are immortal like me.
I thought I could fulfill my best friend’s last wish here……]
[But you weren’t able to make it come true]
Thinking about it now, I guess it’s natural that happened.
I was trying to force myself to fall in love because I had a strong desire to fulfill my best friend’s wish…… And now, I understand that I couldn’t fall in love with anyone when I have such thoughts in my heart.]
[At some point, I was called the Phantasmal King, No Face…… the King without a face.
That’s certainly on point, isn’t it I’ve been empty ever since I lost everyone.
I’ve been shifting appearances, dancing around in the dark, playing the role of a nobody…… I don’t have any definite form that I could call my own.
I was such a being.]
[……Ummm, I’ll be honest with you.
This being named “Alice”, at that time…… I planned for this being to “disappear” after kidnapping Kaito-san.]
Saying that, I was looking at Alice’s blue eyes that were also staring straight at me, and I could tell that those words weren’t a lie.
Alice was going to disappear after kidnapping me What the heck does that mean
Seeing me tilting my head while thinking about what she said, Alice wryly smiled.
[I never approached Kaito-san because I wanted to fall in love with you, but because I wanted to repay Kuro-san for her kindness and ascertain what kind of person you are…… I guess it’s great that I wasn’t strangely aware of it.
Past me, that’s a fine play!]
[……Well, all jokes aside…… In fact, I was going to make our connection something shallow.
At least, I wasn’t planning on going to Archlesia Empire together with Kaito-san.]
[Does that mean you changed your plans]
[No, it was more like…… something unexpected, I think I guess I have to apologize to Kaito-san for that.
[Eh N- No, why are you suddenly……]
Telling me that she has to apologize, Alice deeply bows her head to me, but I don’t even know why she’s apologizing.
Alice then continues to bow for a few moment, before slowly looking up and explained the reason for her apology.
[……It was the second time we met, wasn’t it When Kaito-san scolded me…… It feels as if “I could see my best friend overlapping with you”.]
[Alice’s best friend…..
Are you talking about the person you mentioned earlier]
The standard flow of our conversation would often be about how I would do something stupid and my best friend would scold me, getting angry at me…… And then, after she was done being angry, she would have a small smile while astounding looking at me…… She would then warmly chuckle, as if to say that it can’t be helped if it’s me…….
I liked those times a lot.]
[After finishing your sermon, Kaito-san would let out a sigh before wryly smiling…… It really resembles the times I had with my best friend, making me feel as if I went back in time…… I felt really happy then.]
After saying that with a nostalgic expression on her face, Alice moves her gaze several times, some kind of anxiety can be seen in her face.
Then, after searching for the words to say for a while, her face slightly lowered, she spoke.
[……I pictured Kaito-san as my best friend.
I would say stupid things on purpose, just to get scolded by Kaito-san…… I’ve always treated Kaito-san as a replacement for my best friend.]
[Ahh, I- I’ve thought differently now! I’m not thinking of Kaito-san as a replacement for my best friend.]
You don’t need to be so quick to deny it.]
Hearing my words, I don’t know if she thought she hurt my feelings or not, but Alice hurriedly explained herself.
However, I’m not particularly worried about Alice’s words, as I’m more worried about her earlier words about how she was going to disappear.
When I explained this to Alice, she let out a sigh of relief and continued with her story.
[……As I said, at first, I treated Kaito-san as a substitute for my best friend.
However, as I exchanged words with Kaito-san many times, the image of my best friend overlapping with Kaito-san’s image began to blur…… it’s more of a good way though.
I was having fun being together with Kaito-san, not because Kaito-san is a replacement for my friend, but because the one I’m together with is Kaito-san…… Yes, I began to think like that.]
[However, this “Alice” character is a persona who would betray Kaito-san in the end and disappear.
I was wondering if Kaito-san will lose your faith in others…… That was my fourth trial.
Of course, I had my subordinates lurking in that place of abduction to prevent Kaito-san from being injured.
And once Kaito-san had survived that trial, I had planned on having our connection remain as being your subordinate, not as Alice, but as the Phantasmal King, No Face.]
[……However, Alice saved me at that time.]
That was the biggest miscalculation I made…… and a miracle that I’m really happy about.]
Alice’s expression when she said that somehow looked gentle, and with a wry smile…… It seemed to show her trust in me, and it kinda makes me feel warm.
It’s almost as if Alice was saying that what she was looking for was someone laughable like this……
[At that time, I betrayed you as planned, and as I said goodbye…… Kaito-san smiled at me, right You understand that I betrayed you, but still, you thought it couldn’t be helped…… When I saw that smile, my best friend and Kaito-san became completely separate entities in my mind.
I thought that this person was the only one who couldn’t be replaced by anyone else……]
[Before I knew it, I found myself breaking down the door that I was supposed to have closed.
I advanced on the stage that I once got off.
Not as Shalltear, not as No Face, but as “Alice” who was supposed to have disappeared…… From that moment on, Alice isn’t just a character I play…… but a new name for me.]
From a girl to a hero, from a hero to a piece of illusion, from a piece of illusion to a faceless king, and from a faceless king…… she changed to this girl in front of me, to Alice I know well.
Hearing that…… I wonder why I felt relieved.
Now, I understand that the Alice in front of me isn’t an illusion, but Alice herself……
[……And that’s why I fell in love with you, Kaito-san…… but shameful it may sound, I suddenly felt scared.]
I thought that if Kaito-san knew about how I’ve been treating you as a replacement for my best friend, you would hate me…… No, more than that thought, this affection I feel for Kaito-san…… I began to wonder, “Did I really love Kaito-san” Perhaps, was this feelings of mine just because I found the right person to fulfill my best friend’s wish…… I’ve been wondering, what my true wish is……]
I see, within Alice’s mind was her best friend’s wish to fall in love.
Whether it was because she fell in love with me, that her wish will come true…… or was it because she was trying to make her best friend’s wish come true, and that’s why she fell in love with me…… Perhaps, that was what she was worried about.
That’s why she would joke about how much she loved me, and then run away when I ride along with it……
[……The moment that God appeared, and thought that Kaito-san might die…… I was helplessly terrified.
If Kaito-san died, I don’t think I would ever be able to stand up again, I don’t think I would be able to laugh again…… Because I understood that myself, ummm…… That’s why I acted a bit strange at that time.]
[I’m sorry that I got off on a tangent.
I was afraid that you might just feel indebted.
I was afraid that our relationship that fills me with happiness will change.
I’ve made various excuses.
But in the end, I was just a coward…… I couldn’t tell Kaito-san about myself.]
Breaking her words and closing her eyes once…… Alice looks straight at me and finishes her words.
[……That’s the end of my story.
No matter how Kaito-san receives it…… I’m ready for it.
It’s okay if you think I’m pathetic or cruel.
If you were to hate me, it can’t be hel…… Eh]
Why would I do that I’m not really sure but…… I found myself getting up from my seat and holding Alice’s small body in my embrace.
I still haven’t finished sorting through everything I’ve just heard in my head.
I don’t think I can properly say what I’m feeling either.
But even so, I had an overflowing desire to tell her something.
[……Thank you, Alice.
Even though talking about it may be difficult…… but you still told me everything.]
[I don’t know if I could say it well…… Can you stay a little bit longer and listen to me too]
[……Yes…… No matter what it is…… To be honest, I’m about to cry already though……]
Dear Mom, Dad——– The thoughts and pain that Alice was carrying with her small body…… The words I would reply after hearing these.
There is no need to adorn it with unnecessary words, the most important thing is that budding within me————- is the desire to receive her feelings.