Wonderland

Escape and War

Chapter Twenty-Four: Escape and War:

At ten o'clock, flares lit up the sky. The hunters all looked up eagerly, as their leader raised his gun in the air.

"Alright, men!" he shouted. "Divide and surround the wall!" The hunters cheered and marched as they began to carry out their attack. Pixies floating in the air took off into the city.

Up to this point, the Queen's plan had worked. Takeru had doubted his own father's plan from the start, which the pixies used to their advantage. Once they had broken the boys up, everything else fell into place. The girls spying around the city pushed their weight in its all against the outer walls. They only had to wait for the attack.

The east fell first. The cat girls waited behind the gates as they counted down to the first siege. The Door Girl soon gave the signal. Smiles erupted on the cats' faces as the first gate came down.

"Hello boys!" they greeted, to the hunters. The hunters tried to ready their guns.

"Tsk, tsk," Kazue's double said. "That won't work, boys!"

"Huh?" the squad leader asked, confused. It didn't take long for them to wipe out the east squadron. Surprisingly, the swords were able to take out the guns. The leaders became desperate and tried to call for back-up.

"Mayday! Mayday!" they cried. "Requesting back-up! They have us outnumbered! Requesting back-up immed-!" One slash ended their cries for help. The east troops fell entirely within an hour.

The north and west also went down in a breeze. The women wouldn't even let them in. At the south and final gate, the lead hunter gritted his teeth.

"They must have figured out our plan!" he shouted. "Damn it!"

"What do we do now?" one of the hunters asked. The leader tried to hide his fears behind a tough look.

"Go forward!" he shouted. The men looked at him, panicking.

"What?!" they all shouted. The leader stood fast on his feet.

"We can't turn back now! We've come too far! We can't give up!" He grabbed tightly onto his gun. "If we die today," their leader added, "Let us die like men!" The hunters followed, rising to their feet.

"Yeah!" they cheered. The Queen and her army waited behind the southern gate. Emiko's double drew out her whip.

"This is it, girls," she said. "Commence attack!" Once the gate opened, the final battle began at sundown.

Meanwhile, Anna and Bunny-tan prepared to leave.

"Ready to go?" Anna asked.

"Yeah," Bunny replied. "What's going on outside?"

"I'm not sure," the other woman answered. "But, it could work to our advantage. Let's get going!"

"Right."

Both headed out the back door of the apartment. Anna glanced over her shoulder.

"You know the way, right?"

Bunny nodded her head. "Yes, I know a shortcut to hidden gate," Tsuzuki's female counterpart said.

"Good," Anna said. "Lead the way!" She moved aside to let Bunny step in front. They began their walk without a single word.

As they headed out of the lusty city, they heard shouting, gunfire, and boots pounding the ground around them. Bunny-tan trembled where she stood.

"What's the matter?" Anna asked.

"The guns," Bunny said in a quaking voice. "They scare me." She whipped around to face Anna. "I don't think I can do this." The other woman grabbed her by the shoulders.

"No!" she snapped. "Don't chicken out now! We can't give up!"

Bunny lowered her eyes. "But, what if I don't have a home to go back to?"

"You won't know unless you try, right?" Anna asked. "Do you want to stay in this book forever?"

Bunny shook her head, her good senses kicking in. "No! I want to go home.""Good, then let's go."

The other woman nodded and picked up the pace. They didn't stop moving until they came to the woods. Bunny froze and listened around them.

"It's quiet," she whispered.

"Yes," Anna said. "We're away from the city now." Bunny cheered up a bit at those words.

"I guess we are," she said.

"Now, how do we get the gate?"

"Follow me!" Bunny said aloud. The women crossed through the thickness of the woods until they came to a flight of stone steps.

"There," Bunny said, pointing. "The exit's all the way up there." She and Anna hurried up the stairs; but at the top, Takeru sat, waiting.

"You finally came," the young ex-hunter said. "I knew you would."

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