~Oz the B-Rabbit~
Chapter 01: Humpty Dumpty's Toy Box.
"Oh my Will of Abyss!" The girl in the middle in the room almost dropped her tea. "Oz?" She exclaimed in question. After all, the black-haired and red-eyed boy wasn't one she expected to pay her humble toy box a visit. "Wha…?" The bloodstained black rabbit looked confused. "OZ!" The girl ran to him and gave him a hug. "OH MY WILL! WHY ARE YOU IN ABYSS? DID YOU DIE? DID SOMEONE CAST YOU BACK TO ABYSS? I THOUGHT YOU'RE CONTRACTED BY SOMEONE!"
Oz cringed at the girl's loud voice, but for some reason, he felt utterly familiar to this hug. "Why don't you let him go, Humpty? You're crushing him." A boy with pitch-black eyes said to his other half. The boy wasn't like the girl, who looked like a human girl with long white hair in pigtails and pitch-black eyes. The boy was disfigured, and didn't look human, even in his 'energy-saving' form. That was why he wore a long black robe and wore bandages to cover his face. His white hair wasn't spotless like the girl, it was bloodstained.
"But… I admit that you're not the chain I expected to see in our toy box, Oz." The boy said calmly. Oz was confused. He looked around, and he felt an unexplainable nostalgia towards the place. "You're right, Dumpty." Humpty sighed. The girl went back to her seat, leaving Oz standing, confused. "I-I'm…" Oz began, but didn't know what to say. "I seriously think that you're contracted by someone, Oz." Dumpty said calmly.
"We saw you at the human world, yea. But… you didn't look like our best friend Oz. So… well, yeah." Humpty looked remorseful, but she didn't look at Oz's eyes. Dumpty smiled calmly. "Why don't you take a seat, Oz? After all, this toy box is also your home. Why do you think we have three beds, three chairs, and three cup of teas?" Dumpty took a sip at his own tea. Humpty nodded in agreement.
Even though he was unsure, Oz took a seat at the remaining empty seat. He felt nostalgic, like he was home. But… home wasn't here. Home is where Ada and Uncle Oscar were. But… why? "I'm sorry for hurting you back then, Oz." The girl said to him shyly as she peeked from her cup. "You looked… different. I mean, it's you, but with emerald eyes and golden hair. It was seriously weird. And… you didn't feel like you're you." Humpty said regretfully.
"Who… are you guys?" Oz asked. The boy and girl looked confused, but they smiled to each other. "We're Humpty Dumpty, of course," The girl said as she hit her chest proudly. "This is our energy conserving form. We split so we can recover energy efficiently." Dumpty explained calmly. "But, you wouldn't know that, would you Oz? Since this would be the first time you were thrown back to Abyss." Humpty nodded at Dumpty's explanation.
"Huh? Thrown back to Abyss?" Oz asked, still utterly confused. "You know, chains that weren't destroyed by the Will of Abyss will be thrown back here in their energy conserving form. Those like Bug and Grim, or Mad Baby, they were weak, and that's why they died when they're thrown back. We're different. For example, after…" Humpty stopped her chattering and looked solemnly to the ground. Dumpty petted her head and continued.
"After Elliot Nightray, our core contractor, rejected us; we were thrown back here into Abyss. Humpty was the first one to wake, and then she searched for me. And then after we met each other, we found the toy box we used to live in and wait until we can open the portal into the real world," Dumpty took a sip of his own tea. "What we don't expect is your return, Oz." The boy finished. "True true!" Humpty chided.
Oz reached his own temple. He was so confused by everything that was happening now. He was sure that he was conversing with Jack, trying to convince him not to kill Leo. But then Jack pushed him deeper and deeper within their consciousness, there was no Abyss involved…
But, how did he end up in Abyss?
"Um, Oz…?" Humpty asked him as she twirled the spoon in her cup of tea. "Do you have a mirror? He asked. Humpty nodded. "We do. Wait I'll take it for you." She stood up and disappeared behind the veiled door. Oz took a better look of his surroundings.
The place was warm and cozy. It was kind of Alice's tower he'd seen in the past memories of Tragedy of Sablier, only that this placed was square instead of round. The furniture was color-coordinated and every utensil came in sets of three. Three cups, three chairs, three dolls, and more. Dumpty didn't say anything as Oz looked curiously around the toy box.
"Here it is! And I brought some photographs we took when Dormouse-san brought a camera from the human world." Humpty was pushing a full-stand mirror with her right hand and some wooden photo frames.
Oz rushed in front of the mirror and looked at himself furiously.
…but it wasn't him. He knew that he has blond hair and emerald eyes. His clothes were that of casual mix of a white long-sleeved shirt, red tie, black vest with golden trim, green square-motive shorts and brown boots. But now he didn't look like a Vessalius—golden hair with emerald eyes—at all. His hairstyle was like the previous one, only it was black instead of blond. His eyes were red instead of green. His clothes were similar to Alice, only it was red-and-white robe and black shorts, with white boots instead of the tight skirt Alice had.
He snatched the photograph from Humpty as well. It was definitely him, grinning as he pinched the girl's—Humpty's cheek and his other hand were trying to pull the boy—Dumpty closer. The other photo was of him, Humpty, Dumpty, Cheshire and… the White Alice.
"Oh that one was taken when the Will of Abyss and Cheshire suddenly appeared and said that she wanted a photograph taken as well." Humpty said as she sat down and took another sip of her tea. "I… had a life here?" Oz asked quietly. "Of course you have," Dumpty answered calmly. "Sit down Oz! We'll spell out about our best friend Oz to you!"
Oz took a seat and started to listen to the chain duo's story.
"Duuuuuuuuuuuumpty! Any luck in finding the door today?" Humpty asked cheerily as she opened the toy box's door for her counterpart. "I didn't find the door. But… I found this." Humpty gasped a little as she saw Dumpty hoisted up a human girl by her waist. "Is this our dinner?" She asked with utterly serious tone. "No. She's a child of misfortune." Dumpty sighed.
"Eughhh I hate them. What do we do now? Kill her? Let her die?" Humpty asked as she took off Dumpty's wet robes and shoes. "Hmm, she seemed to have something within her, and the core of Abyss seemed to have merged with that something. And she's also contracted a chain. I couldn't care less about her, but I do care about the core of Abyss and the chain within her." Dumpty said calmly. "Okay then, let's take care of this… human girl." Humpty sighed at Dumpty's kindness.
"Hmm I'll go and change my clothes. Can you look after her? I'll make us some tea." Humpty nodded, displeased with Dumpty's kindness, but smiled at the tea offer. After all, the teas Dumpty made were better than her own.
Suddenly, the human girl groaned and woke up. She rubbed her eyes tiredly. "OH MY CORE! DUMPTYYYYYYYYY! SHE'S AWAKE! OH DARN WHAT DO I DO?" Humpty panicked. The girl looked at her with curious red eyes. "Who are you?" She asked. Humpty looked at her red eyes, but didn't say anything. She stood up and fidgeted nervously. When Dumpty appeared with their tea, she ran and hid behind him.
"I'm sorry if we startled you, human girl," Dumpty apologized humbly. He petted Humpty's white hair, soothing her. "You know of chains, yes? We're Humpty Dumpty, a high chain that the previous head of Baskerville morphed into. Since we are still looking for a contractor, we think that it's the best interest to split and gather energy separately. For now, you may call me Dumpty and this girl is-"
"Humpty." She chided. "Yes. Humpty. Are there questions you wish to ask?" Dumpty asked calmly. Humpty was pouting and trembling behind him. After all, this was the first time she saw a human in Abyss or human in general besides Glen. When they contracted Celia, Dumpty was the one who did all the work while she just slept within their Chain form.
"We're in Abyss, right?" The girl asked. "Yes, we are." Dumpty answered. "How come I'm still alive?" She asked another question. "Abyss is not hell you know? Ugh I hate it when you humans think like that. Abyss is a broken toy box that once belonged to the core of Abyss. It's the birthplace of chains." Humpty explained with a pouty tone. "What's the core of Abyss?" The human girl asked again. Gee she does nothing but asking questions.
"The core of Abyss is a mysterious being that is the core of Abyss' existence. We don't know any more than that." Dumpty shook his head. "Ah, another answer of 'why I'm still alive' question is because Dumpty saved you from the low-class chains before they can eat you." Humpty added. The girl looked confused, but she didn't say anything. She merely looked around their toy box and smiled.
"Um, I will probably die after I give birth to my child. So… I'm in your care for now?" She looked hesitantly to Humpty Dumpty's direction. Dumpty merely looked at Humpty with a smile, since if they're going to take care of this human girl, Humpty will be the one who meet her face to face every day. The white-haired girl looked at the human from hair to toe and approached her. "I'll let you stay if you answer my question." She said while pouting, clearly defeated by Dumpty's pleading smile. "Yes?" The girl asked. "What's your name?" Humpty asked.
The red-eyed human girl merely smiled. "My name is Lacie. Lacie Baskerville."
After some time passed in Abyss, Lacie had been a lovely addition to the Humpty Dumpty's toy box. She also learned how to make tea, and it always came out better than Humpty's tea. She even got praised by Mad Hatter-san, who found the door to the real world and was stocking up in Abyss before finding himself a contractor.
Humpty often got jealous of her, but she liked Lacie a lot as well, that was why she put up with her. Honestly, the time the three of them spent over tea was the favorite time of Humpty Dumpty's life. But… it didn't last very long.
Suddenly, after approximately nine months in human world time, Lacie convulsed and fell. Humpty brought her outside the toy box and called for Dumpty. The two of them watched as cold-metal chains shot out from Lacie's big stomach. "LACIE!" Humpty shouted. The red-eyed girl gasped from the pain, but she eventually smiled. "Thank you, Humpty… Dumpty… I was happy…" She muttered. "Lacie…!" Humpty cried.
"But… but… this is it. As a child of misfortune, I was given a second chance to be happy in Abyss. But, this is my punishment. C-can you name my baby… Alice?" Lacie shouted frantically after she uttered the name 'Alice'. Humpty Dumpty was stunned. "Goodbye and thank you… Hump…ty… Dum…pty." Lacie dispersed into bloody pieces, but a chain with two human babies appeared in her place.
Humpty cried and wailed as loud as she can. Dumpty looked stricken, but he kept on strong as he held his crying sister. He looked at the chain and babies curiously. "The core…" He whispered. "The core is split between them, isn't it?" Dumpty walked to Lacie's chain and children. "I-it's split between t-the chain a-and the white-haired child…" She stuttered.
"The black-haired child looked so much like Lacie. But… I don't think she'll remain in Abyss for long." Dumpty took the human children in his arms, and Humpty took the black-rabbit chain instead. "So… we're supposed to name Lacie's baby Alice. But there are two of them. What should we do?" Dumpty asked. "Just name both of them Alice." Humpty answered. "And this one…"
Humpty looked at the still sleeping chain with a smile. "Its name will be B-Rabbit! The Baskerville-Rabbit!" She smiled to herself. "I thought the B stands for 'Black' since its fur is black or 'Bloodstained' since he came out of Lacie bloodstained." Dumpty replied. "Well, the B can stand for that too. But… this B can stand as a reminder to this child. That he's also a remnant of Lacie Baskerville…" Humpty explained.
"But… B-Rabbit doesn't sound like a name. It doesn't sound like 'Alice' you know? A proper name." Dumpty argued. "Hmmm what about Oz? It's practical." Humpty smiled. "Oz, eh? Fine. Let that one be Oz."
"Nice to meet you, Alice, Alice, Oz!"
"So… Alice disappeared?" Dumpty asked. Humpty nodded. "The White Alice suddenly disappeared, and the Black Alice was suddenly pulled to the human world…" Humpty explained. Dumpty nodded with understanding. "How about Oz?" The boy asked. "Oz suddenly remembered about his time as Lacie's chain. And then he disappeared."
Humpty looked sad, but she knew that there was nothing she could do. "Well, if the time is right, I'm sure we'll get to see them again, right?" Dumpty asked, trying to cheer Humpty up. The white-haired girl smiled. "Yep!"
"And then we didn't know what happened to the Black Alice, but we do know that the White Alice now existed as the Will of Abyss, and you... well, you're complicated. You eventually returned to our toy box, seemingly forgetting that you were once our charge. But, you completely remembered the time when you were Lacie's chain. We didn't care though; you're still our Lacie's legacy. But eventually, you become our best of friend by your own, Oz!" Humpty smiled, and Dumpty nodded.
Oz didn't feel like they were lying. And he could actually familiarize himself without any effort; like it really was the truth that was hidden for so long. But it still didn't answer his question. "I need to return to the human world…" Oz muttered. "Eh? Why?" Humpty furrowed her eyebrows. "Even though… even though I really am Oz the Baskerville-Rabbit. I still want to know why I'm cast into Abyss this time. Why am I a chain? How did I become Oz Vessalius? I want to know!"
Humpty Dumpty looked astounded, but Dumpty put his cup of tea back to the saucer. "We'll help you!" Humpty said as she looked to Dumpty who nodded. "Eh?" Oz looked puzzled. "I'm sorry to burst your bubble, Oz. But, there's no way you'll be able to defeat Jabberwock, Dodo and the others by yourself." Dumpty shook his head. "And besides, you're our best friend. There's no way we'll leave you alone!" Humpty grinned.
"But… well, we need you to do something." Dumpty said solemnly. Humpty gasped but eventually calmed down. "We need you to find our contractor." Oz cocked his head. "Your contractor? Is it Leo? Or… no way." Oz widened his eyes. "He's here, somewhere in the Abyss. We—no, I asked the Will of Abyss to bring him back. And now he's here, wondering by himself." Humpty answered.
"Elliot… is alive?" Oz asked in awe. "Yes, he's alive." Dumpty stood up and hugged the guilty-looking Humpty. He turned his face to Oz and ruffled his own bloodstained-white hair.
"If you find our contractor, Elliot Nightray, for us… We will help you find the answers to your questions, Oz."