Emilia in Wonderland
“And then at the end he said, ‘It’s your heart’!” Subaru said with a toothy grin and a snap of his fingers.
“Woa, that’s amazing!” Emilia exclaimed, laughing as she clapped her hands.
The two of them were chatting in the courtyard of Roswaal Manor in the shade of a tree, basking in the breeze and getting hyped up by stories from Subaru’s home world.
As Subaru told stories while making gestures, being very skillful with the way he delivered them, Emilia got sucked into the worlds of the stories without noticing it. She was honestly impressed by his ability to change his voice and act as both men and women.
“But you really know a lot of stories, don’t you? And they are all ones I haven’t heard of. I’m reaaally impressed.”
“I’m also thankful for my memory and the fact that I was born on Earth. I guess impressing Emilia-tan a little was the mission assigned to me by Andersen.”
“It’s the name of the spaceship I lived on and the famous author of fairytales who lived there.”
Subaru winked at Emilia, who was tilting her head, but it seemed like she didn’t really get it, so she gave a vague smile and pretended to get it since it was probably something she didn’t need to understand.
Two weeks had passed since Subaru solved the witchbeast incident after moving into Roswaal Manor. His wounds from the incident now healed, he was back to working as a servant, and he sometimes made time to talk about various things with Emilia during his breaks.
Emilia, who was exhausted from her unfamiliar studies, was grateful for Subaru’s consideration. And on top of that, his stories were interesting as well, so she couldn’t be blamed for asking for more and more.
“Alright then…now that the story is over, I don’t really want to, but I have to get back to work. How about you, Emilia-tan?” Subaru asked Emilia as he stood up, dusting off his butt.
Emilia leaned against the tree, her silver hair swaying in the wind, and pondered for a while. “I’ll stay here for a while longer,” she ultimately decided.
“Alright. See you later. I might get my head chopped off if Ram finds me here.”
After Subaru jokingly said that, Emilia watched as he headed back towards the manor and yawned. “Hmmmm.”
Last night, she couldn’t find a good place to stop, so she’d stayed up all night reading. That was why she instantly started to feel drowsy like this while enjoying the gentle breeze by herself.
“Maybe I should have gone back with Subaru…” Emilia whispered in a faint voice while slumped over.
She closed her eyes thinking that she shouldn’t do it, and then a pleasant drowsiness slowly came over her.
And like that, Emilia’s consciousness…
“Oh my, no, no! I won’t make it if I don’t hurry up!”
Emilia, who was on the verge of falling asleep, was seemingly jolted awake by that sudden voice. “Huh, what?”
“I’m in trouble! It’s a grave deal! I don’t know why, but I need to hurry up!”
Emilia looked around and spotted the source of that voice, then widened her eyes in surprise. As she leaned against the tree, a grey cat walking on two legs—someone she was used to seeing; a kitten spirit who was her family—ran past her.
“Puck? Why have you materialized…oh, wait!”
For some reason, Puck, who was normally palm-sized, was now the size of a human infant. He could essentially change his size at his will, but he rarely did so.
Emilia hurriedly stood up at his easy-going impatient voice, thinking something might have happened. But Puck didn’t even pay attention to her, and…
“I’m going to choose the bottomless hole now!” Puck ran and went around Emilia, his footsteps making adorable sounds, to the back of the tree. And then… “Haiya!”
She heard an energetic voice and felt Puck’s presence moving away.
“Hey! Puck, why are you ignoring me? Sheesh.”
Emilia also hurriedly moved behind the tree after getting shocked by her family’s unusual behavior. But then, Puck was nowhere to be seen, and instead there was a gaping hole in the ground. She wondered if this was where Puck jumped in after shouting.
“Why is there a hole here? …Could it be that Subaru has hidden treasure here…?” She decided who the culprit was based on her bias and then hesitantly looked into the hole.
The dark hole was so deep that she couldn’t see the bottom, and when she started feeling like she was going to be sucked into it, she gasped.
“Pu-Puuuck! Can you hear me? If you can hear me then please answer me!” she shouted into the hole, but her voice echoed in vain.
Not knowing what to do, she turned back to call someone from the manor for now. And then…
“—It would affect how the story proceeds, so anyway, dooown youuu goo.”
The moment Emilia’s body got pulled from behind, she thought she heard yet another voice. She was startled when she felt her shoulder get pulled, but that surprise was soon replaced by the shock of her body falling.
“Wait, no! I’m going to get flattened!”
While falling into the hole headfirst, Emilia was horrified at the thought of going splat. She immediately kicked the wall and fixed her perception of up and down, then grabbed the hem of her skirt that was being pushed upwards by the wind and immediately started thinking of countermeasures—but before she could think of any, she got stopped by something soft.
Emilia, feeling like she had been enveloped by a bundle of paper, struggled with it, and then crawled out.
She brushed the things that clung to her clothes and hair off and realized that they were dried leaves. It seemed like the dead leaves that had accumulated at the bottom of the hole had protected her from the impact of the fall.
“Haaa… I was so surprised.”
Emilia was relieved, but it didn’t last long, and she looked around restlessly.
It looks like the inside of a hollowed-out tree, so am I inside a tree that’s hundreds of years old? But then again, I fell into a hole in the ground.
As she frowned at her doubt, Emilia caught sight of a kitten that was peeking at the passageway at the far end of this space. Puck jumped on the spot when Emilia spoke.
“Oh my, I will be late if I don’t hurry up. I’m in trouble,” he said audaciously after glancing repeatedly at his wrist, which had nothing on it.
“You don’t have anything there! Stop playing weird pranks, I’m mad at you. Stop right there.”
As Emilia kicked back the dead leaves and started running, Puck started running away from her in a hurry. She was surprised at how fast he could run, and even though it wasn’t the right situation for it, she was impressed and thought he was amazing.
Puck, who was running as fast as he could, disappeared from her sight into the corridor that seemingly had no end. Even so, Emilia ran hard, somehow managing to get through the passage, and jumped into a bright room.
“Umm… What is this place? And where’s Puck?”
Emilia silently gasped for breath and was stunned by the scenery that had changed again. It was a cute room filled with brightly colored things. It had flowers she hadn’t seen before on the table, above the fireplace, and on the windowsill.
“I wonder if it’s someone’s room… What if they get angry at me if I enter without permission?”
Although Emilia was in a mysterious situation, she had realistic worries. She searched around the room for Puck and its owner. However, she couldn’t look around for long due to the room being on the smaller side, causing her to quickly slump her shoulders since she couldn’t find Puck. That wasn’t the only reason she did that, either.
“There is a door that looks like it might lead outside, but my body is too big to fit through.”
Even Emilia couldn’t hide her shock at that. She wasn’t aware that she was much bigger than others. It was true that the girls in the manor, Rem, Ram, and Beatrice were smaller than Emilia and were cute, but…
“No, no. Even Beatrice can’t walk through a door of this size. So, the person who made this must have been really careless.”
Emilia, who was on the verge of feeling depressed, snapped out of it with a sudden flash of thought and looked around to see if there was anything else. The only thing she found was a key and a strange medicine bottle.
The key is probably the key to that poorly constructed door.
And the bottle containing the medicine had a label on it which said, ‘To Emily, with love.’
She recalled that the only person who referred to her that way was one of Roswaal’s relatives and a much younger friend of hers she had briefly become acquainted with.
I don’t know why a gift from her is in this room, but there’s no way Annerose would do anything bad to me. Emilia believed that much right away.
“I’ll take this.”
So, Emilia gulped down the potion without doubting it. After drinking it all, she noticed her carelessness. “What if it was a type of medicine meant to be applied on the body?” But the change that occurred immediately denied her concern.
“Oh, wah, whah.”
The size of the room kept changing every passing second. The table that had only reached her waist quickly became large enough for her to look up at. The windowsill and the vase were also miles away.
“No…this is, my body has become smaller.”
Emilia immediately noticed the cause of the change and widened her eyes at the world that had become large. And then she touched her body here and there and was relieved that her clothes had shrunk too.
“People would think that I’m weird if I walk around naked. But I can get through that door now.”
I knew all along that Annerose is amazing.
Emilia completely forgot about solving that little mystery and clenched her fist in triumph. Then she enthusiastically put her hand on the door.
“Ah,” she said in disappointment when she realized that the door was locked. She had left the key on the table, so she couldn’t reach it now.
“There’s no point in being disappointed. Alright, I will do my best to climb it.”
It was by Emilia’s virtue that she didn’t get discouraged, but she looked brave and reckless at the same time when she rolled up her sleeves to challenge the table leg. Suddenly, her amethyst eyes caught sight of something placed next to it. There was a white plate with a pastry placed gently on top of it. There was also a letter leaning gently against the plate’s edge, and when she lifted it up, she saw: ‘For the time you get into trouble due to my lady’s gift. Insurance.’ written on it.
Emilia could only think of one person that wrote in such a distinctive manner.
“Oh my, my? Did the clumsy person forget the key?”
As Emilia was thinking about what to do after picking up the pastry, she looked up when she heard a voice coming from above. The one looking down at her from the table was Puck, wagging his long tail with a key in his hand.
Puck looked down at her with his big, round eyes with a smile that looked strangely human-like. “You aren’t good at all. It’s basic to save before you choose between things, you know. Life isn’t a sweet thing. Like that pastry!”
“Sorry. I don’t understand what you are saying. And I don’t think you said anything witty,” Emilia responded to Puck, who had a smug look on his face, with her usual tone.
But she felt like she was having a conversation with Subaru and tilted her head.
Puck is acting like Subaru today.
“Leaving that aside, stop playing around and give me the key. And if we don’t get back to the manor soon, then everyone will get worried.”
“You should worry about yourself rather than worrying about yourself. When you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you, you know…”
Emilia didn’t like Puck’s attitude, as he seemed full of himself, so she ordered her lesser spirits and blew him away with a blast of wind. Getting swept up by it, Puck collided with the window and dropped the key, which Emilia caught by sliding across the floor. She then unlocked the door right away.
“Alright, Puck. Stop messing around, we’re going back. Hurry up and get into your crystal… Puck?”
Emilia looked back while talking to him as if she was scolding a child, but her face turned gloomy when she realized that Puck wasn’t by the window anymore. It seemed like he had gone into hiding again.
“Geez. You are causing me a lot of trouble today.”
Emilia angrily stepped out of the door. She was welcomed by a meadow and a large forest that could be seen beyond that. Though surprised by the scenery that she had never seen before, she started walking towards the forest, nonetheless. But…
“No matter how much I walk, I can’t get near the forest at all…”
The forest was right in front of her eyes, but no matter how hard she walked, the distance between her and the forest didn’t seem to shrink. The distance she could walk was smaller now that her body had shrunk.
“I’m getting hungry too…oh, wait.”
Emilia, who looked worried, remembered that she had wrapped up the pastry and brought it with her. The thing she took out stimulated her appetite with its sweet aroma and instantly made her its prisoner.
“I’ll be having this, Mister Clind.”
She thanked the young man who wrote the letter who also served as Annerose’s butler. The pastry was fluffy, as if it was freshly baked, and she couldn’t help but squirm at the taste that danced on her tongue. She reluctantly ate it all in one bite.
When Emilia looked around after enjoying the sweetness, she noticed that the scenery had changed—she realized that her body had gotten bigger and returned to its former size. She finally understood what ‘For the time you get into trouble due to my lady’s gift. Insurance’ meant.
That convinced her that Clind was amazing.
“Just as I thought, Mister Clind is really amazing…and the forest is right around the corner thanks to it!”
The forest was within her reach as soon as she got bigger. The forest was still big even after she had grown bigger, but she was feeling far less intimidated than before.
Emilia clenched her fist triumphantly and looked at the forest.
“Alright, my adventure starts from here.”
She said a line that could’ve been the last line of dialogue in an anime, then ran towards the forest.
—Obviously, her adventure didn’t end there.
It didn’t end, but her feet had stopped. It happened when she was walking in the dimly lit forest with the help of the light provided by the lesser spirits.
“Stop right there. I don’t want someone like you to move ahead, I suppose.”
Once again, a voice came from above and Emilia looked around, searching for the source. Then she spotted a figure lying on a branch and involuntarily covered her mouth with her hand.
The one lying on the branch glaring at Emilia with sleepy eyes was Beatrice. The girl shook her fancy dress and vertical rolls, then puffed out smoke using the pipe in her mouth and sneered. “Quite the undisciplined girl you are, to come to Betty’s place with dirty feet. Betty wants to see your parents’ faces, I suppose.”
“Hmph. It’s too late for you now even if you’ve noticed who you are up against and who you’ve been rude to. Well, if you are willing to repent then Betty may forgive…”
“You shouldn’t be smoking a pipe since you are little! You shouldn’t be doing that until you become an adult! Subaru said that it stops people from growing!”
Emilia hit Beatrice with her rational opinion after she had witnessed the young girl smoke. Beatrice got surprised and dropped the pipe from her mouth. And then glared angrily at her. “Wha-What an insult, I suppose! You must be out of your mind to be treating Betty like a child! Betty is a respectable lady! A pipe is a lady’s and a grown-up’s privilege!”
“It’s kind of childish to be obsessed with being like an adult…”
“Grrrr! I suppose!”
Beatrice, whose face had turned completely red and was stomping on the branch, was having a temper tantrum.
But as a sensible adult, Emilia couldn’t overlook Beatrice’s misconduct. In addition to that, Emilia was in a position where she was going to ascend to the country’s throne.
I will never back off.
“—Oh, you two. That’s enough. Or else the flowers of the forest will get frightened.”
A mysterious person suddenly intervened as they were about to continue their argument. It was a black-haired man who had put his hand in front of Emilia and was looking up at Beatrice on the branch.
And though it was obvious, Emilia recognized him from behind.
“No, that’s not right, lady. I’m not Subaru, I’m Cheshirebaru!”
Cheshirebaru turned back and gave a thumbs up while flashing his teeth. No matter how you looked at him, he was Subaru. But if you looked carefully, then you’d notice that his head had cat ears on it. He had ears where they were normally supposed to be, too, so it looked like he had four ears. It was kind of creepy.
“Argh…someone Betty doesn’t like has appeared, I suppose.”
“If that’s what you think, then back off from here, Beako. This Cheshirebaru appears in unexpected places and at unexpected moments. I can stare at your life from good morning to good morning, you know?”
“Being watched all day is too uncomfortable! Argh, don’t think that you’ve won, I supposeee!”
“I supposeeee, I supposeee” Her sharp parting remarks echoed as she dexterously flew above the branches and disappeared.
After seeing that, Cheshirebaru looked back at Emilia and said, “Once again, I’ve bullied a worthless loli. I want to know what defeat feels like.”
“I wasn’t done scolding Beatrice yet. And those ears, you are all teasing me, aren’t you? I’m going to get angry.”
“An angry face is cute too…ouh, ouh, you’ll rip them off if you pull that hard!”
Emilia turned her anger on Cheshirebaru and pulled his cat ears, but the thing she thought was a fake was warm and properly attached to his head.
Cheshirebaru squatted down with teary eyes in front of the surprised Emilia. “I don’t know what you’re mad about, but if you keep getting angry like that then everyone will be scared of you. You need to enjoy being invincible and use the strongest weapon a girl has: her smile.”
“I don’t know what you are saying but…yeah. You’re right.”
Emilia was told that others would get scared if she kept getting angry, which made her feel despondent and lower her posture.
At the sight of Emilia feeling down, Cheshirebaru looked up and scowled. “Alright. You need to party and have fun when you are feeling down. I’ll invite you to a tea party!”
“A tea party?”
“Yeah. A lively, noisy, and crazy tea party deep in the woods!”
After Emilia got invited by Cheshirebaru with a somewhat unsettling invitation, he led her out of the forest. After walking for a while, she saw an open space and a small house in the forest. The house that blended into the forest had a huge table in the garden so that many people could sit together and enjoy themselves.
And at the table were the tea party guests—
“…Oh, it’s you, Cheshirebaru. So you came.”
“So now there won’t just be two men. I’m glad that it won’t feel like a funeral anymore…”
An extremely gloomy-looking pair…more like two gloomy-looking Subarus were sitting there. That surreal sight caught Emilia off guard, making her forget about the gloominess.
“Th-Three Subaru’s? Cheshirebaru, what’s happening?”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about. The ones over there are Hatter Subaru and March Subaru. The first one’s wearing a hat and the other has hare ears. It’s easy to distinguish between them, right?”
Prompted by Cheshirebaru’s explanation, Emilia checked, and the two who had their heads down each had their own quirks: a hat and hare ears. And everything got confusing when the Subaru with cat ears joined them. Leaving Emilia, whose eyes were spinning, Cheshirebaru sat on a seat as if it was only the natural thing to do and shrugged his shoulders at the two Subarus who had dead fish eyes.
“Hey, come on,” said Cheshirebaru. “Don’t be so gloomy. Nobody coming after we send out invitations is nothing new for us.”
“But isn’t it normal for people to hope that today might be different?” Hatter Subaru replied. “Maybe the signals were bad, and they couldn’t call us and inform us about them being late.”
“Well, it began yesterday and a whole night has passed,” March Subaru added. “But even if someone comes, I, March Subaru, am a nice guy who’d say that he wasn’t made to wait long.”
“Don’t do that, I might fall for you,” said Cheshirebaru.
“Fall for you, fall for you,” parroted Hatter Subaru.
“My era might come. A new tide for me,” replied March Subaru.
The three Subarus, who had lifted their heads up, started exchanging some nonsense with each other at a rapid speed. The funeral atmosphere disappeared immediately, and a strange, disorganized, noisy mood replaced it.
He was right. This is a lively, noisy, and crazy tea party.
“Oh yeah! For you two who are sad, shabby, and helpless, I’ve properly invited a guest for you today. You can applaud me for my fine play.”
“Who’s the guest?” Hatter Subaru asked. “I’m sure you’ll hype us up only to bring Beako, who’s doing nothing in the forest, right? I know quite well how useless you truly are.”
“Well, even having Beako is better than having no one,” March Subaru added. “Alright then, let’s put a lot of sugar into just Beako’s tea and bet on how long she’ll be able to endure it! I’ll go with five minutes!”
“That’s tempting, but that’s not it. It’s not Beako today, but a different girl. And she’s super pretty. A walking oasis I found in the forest that can heal our dried-up hearts—her name is Emilia-tan!”
Just as the excitement had reached its peak, Cheshirebaru pointed towards the forest. Their eyes shining with expectation, Hatter Subaru and March Subaru looked in that direction. But…
“““—There’s no one there!!””” the three of them shouted.
Emilia, who had feared getting involved, had run away from there a long time ago.
“I’m reaaally tired…”
Emilia thought that she was used to talking with Subaru, but it was no surprise that dealing with three Subarus was still a tad too much for her. She felt bad about it, but she had given up on the tea party quickly and exited the forest alone. Fortunately, it was only a short walk from the venue of Subarus’ Mad Tea Party to the exit of the forest, and when she bathed in the sunlight for the first time in several hours, her body and mind felt refreshed.
“And there’s a much more reassuring landmark than before.”
The thing that Emilia headed for without hesitation after exiting the forest was a tall building in front of her—as far as she knew, it was identical to the royal castle she’d seen in the royal capital, Lugunica.
It’s a castle. So someone reliable must be in there.
Emilia was no longer thinking about how she fell into a hole and how odd it was for there to be a castle here anymore. All she had on her mind was a desire to do something she couldn’t quite put her finger on and a motherly instinct to spank Puck.
“I’ve arrived. Alright, I need to talk to someone…”
Emilia reached the castle and looked around, searching for people, without noticing how strange it was for the castle to be surrounded by a garden of blooming flowers. And then…
“The trial! The trial is going to begin!”
She bumped into a cat who was crossing the flowerbed, shouting loudly. Puck, who had been missing since he hit the window, had appeared. And just like that, he ran into the castle without noticing her.
“You did it again, Puck! And a trial…geez, this is no time to be playing around!”
Emilia puffed her cheeks at Puck for ignoring her, then entered the castle as well. The white light that spread out in front of her made her shield her eyes as soon as she went inside. She timidly removed her hand from her face, and the sight in front of her eyes was…
“So is this…the court?”
It was a huge place. The ceiling was so high that it couldn’t be seen, and it was surrounded by grandstands. The seats were all filled with the audience and the surroundings were dominated by a noisy buzz.
“—Off with her head.”
At the far end of the court was a pink-haired girl who passed down a cruel verdict.
She was dressed as a maid as usual, but the hair ornament on her head had been replaced with a crown—it was Ram.
Ram looked down at the witness stand with a cool face. And in front of her gaze was Beatrice, who had been tied up and thrown on the ground for some reason, screaming with a red face.
“B-Betty demands a retrial, in fact! This is tyranny of the state, I suppose! Betty has been framed!”
“Off with her head.”
“Is that all you can say, I suppose!? Gimme a break!”
Though Beatrice pleaded that she had been wrongly convicted, Ram didn’t listen and was determined to execute her. A blue-haired girl was gently snuggled up next to Ram.
The younger sister, Rem, touched her elder sister’s shoulder and said, “Hey, Sister. Maybe you should hear Miss Beatrice out a little…and if it’s just about the pastry, then Rem will bake it again.”
“What about Ram’s feelings of looking forward to the pastry Rem baked but it got snatched away from Ram. There will be no end to this humiliation until the culprit’s head is publicly displayed and her skull is made into a cup.”
“What a treacherous thing to do just for a pastry!” Beatrice screamed. “You Oni! Devil! The Demon King of the Sixth Heaven!”
The more abuses she hurled, the more her crimes accumulated. Lèse-majesté got added on top of it all, and the court’s atmosphere made it seem like everyone had accepted that she’d be executed.
Startled by the tension in the air, Emilia called out to wait. “Wait! I think that’s really cruel no matter what!”
“Oh, so you are going to protect Betty, are you? You really are ignorant of your social standing, child, for you to be defying Queen Ram. Ha-ha-ha.”
It was Puck who responded to Emilia’s plea as if she were just some lightweight.
Puck, a gavel in hand that made it seem like he was overseeing the trial, ordered Emilia to stand in the witness stand.
“I don’t know what is being talked about, but Beatrice is not that much of a bad girl. It’s too much to behead her. And what has happened to you, Ram?”
“How dare this girl talk to Ram in such a familiar manner. But if what you are saying is true, then who else could have eaten Ram’s pastry?”
“Betty doesn’t know who ate it…but Betty can smell a faint aroma of sweets coming from this girl, I suppose. Betty can sense such things.”
Beatrice, laying all tied up on the floor, sold Emilia, standing in the witness stand in her defense, out. And in reality, Emilia was aware that she had eaten a pastry. She wanted to plead that it was the one that Clind had made, but she instantly felt a hostile shift in the court’s atmosphere.
“Wait, wait! I feel like I’m getting a reaaally bad vibe here!”
“…Well, if this girl really is the culprit, then she would have just watched Miss Beatrice get beheaded,” said Rem. “But she came forward, which means that…her conscience couldn’t take it?”
“Aren’t you going to look at it like I’m not the culprit!?”
Emilia turned pale, thinking that she would be presumed guilty at this rate. But once again, it was the gentle younger sister who stood by her ruthless elder sister’s side who extended a helping hand to the miserable defendant.
“Sister, Sister. There’s no way she could be the culprit no matter what…”
“Is that so. If Rem says so, then it may be right.”
Ram seemed like she was ready to admit that she had been out of line with Rem’s intervention. Emilia calmed her heart somehow, thinking that she had gotten out of trouble. And then…
“That’s right!” Cheshirebaru exclaimed. “Saying that Emilia-tan is the culprit is a false accusation no matter what!”
“Cute is justice!” shouted Hatter Subaru. “Pretty girls are a treasure! Emilia-tan is my waifu!”
“Let’s scare Beako to tears while we’re at it!” March Subaru added. “We need to push her to the brink of despair!”
A series of noisy voices came from the grandstands and everyone’s gaze turned in that direction. As expected, the ones being noisy were the three consecutive stars: cat ear, hare ear, and hat Subaru. It seemed like the tea party had ended.
“Subarus, are you acquainted with the lady here?” Ram said to the three Subarus, who were next to each other.
The three of them flashed their teeth and spoke:
“Yeah, we know her!” said Cheshirebaru.
“We had a tea party together!” said Hatter Subaru.
“I’d say we have a deep relationship!” said March Subaru.
“I see,” Rem said, nodding in satisfaction after hearing the three Subarus’ replies. She then gazed at Emilia and smiled in an enchanting, adoring manner. “Let’s behead her.”
“Alright. Off with her head.”
“Wait! Wait a second! Hey, isn’t this strange!? What happened all of a sudden!?”
Emilia panicked and pleaded, but neither Queen Ram nor Minister Rem had any intention of listening. The door to the court opened with a loud bang, and in came a large group of Pucks—dressed as soldiers, a lot of Pucks came rushing in. To her left, right, and every such direction, were Pucks.
Emilia felt happiness and fear at the same time as she was surrounded by Pucks dressed in armor, or as gardeners, or in a weird card outfit.
“Why did it turn out like this?” Cheshirebaru wondered. “Someone please get to the bottom of this. That’s our only wish.”
“Gosh, Subaru, you idiooot!”
“““Tee-hee,””” the three Subarus giggled.
Emilia helplessly got engulfed by a group of Pucks charging into her while watching the three Subarus stick out their tongues.
“—Emilia-tan, earth to Emilia-tan.”
Emilia’s consciousness was awakened by the sensation of someone shaking her shoulder and calling her name.
Her long eyelashes quivered, then she opened her eyes and blinked a couple of times. She then looked up and realized that a familiar face was right in front of her.
“Yeah, it’s me. I was shocked, you know. You weren’t in the room when I went there to call you. I didn’t expect you to take a nap just like that. You must have been tired.”
Subaru smiled for a split second, and then Emilia snapped out of her stupor. She hastily looked around and confirmed that it was the courtyard of Roswaal Manor, then sighed.
“Hmm? What happened? Did you have a scary dream by any chance? Alright, if that’s the case, then you can come jump into my chest. I’ll cleverly cradle you in my arms for as long as you need.”
“Sorry, I don’t get what you are talking about.”
Subaru, who had his arms spread out, dropped his shoulders, and Emilia tilted her head as she looked at him.
I think I was dreaming, but I can’t remember what I was dreaming about. But I feel like it was a really noisy dream. So noisy that I’m relieved that I was able to return.
“Anyway, I’m glad I found you. It’s almost time for dinner, so let’s head back. I’ll keep the fact that you skipped your afternoon studies a secret between us.”
“Well… Sure, thank you. I’ll be careful next time.”
Emilia stood up with the help of Subaru’s hand, then brushed the grass off and straightened her back. And while doing so, she felt like there was something she needed to tell him.
“Yeah, what is it?”
Emilia pondered for a while after looking at Subaru’s face after he’d turned towards her. And then… “If you hold a tea party, I’ll participate even if no one comes.”
“Why did you make such a sad assumption about a hypothetical situation!?”
Emilia burst into laughter after looking at the screaming Subaru.
If she was asked why, then all she could say was:
—I felt like I saw Subaru feeling lonely in Wonderland.