Chapter 5

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"I can't believe the nerve of that butler. Leaving his master without permission. He noticed me, and then simply ignored me. What happened to the butler ascetic he likes to talk about so bloody much?" Ciel ranted as we walked through the forest. I could tell he was talking to himself.

"Turn right here," I told him. I hung on as he took a sharp turn. "If you don't mind me asking, why is it so surprising to you? Rabbit doesn't stay in one place very long. He's always busy. He was bound to leave you sooner or later, yeah?"

"That's not how it works for us. He isn't allowed to leave when he wants," he explained, but it was still vague.

"Why ever not? Everyone deserves a break every once in a while. Granted he's a butler, but even he can't work every day all day long," I pushed.

"It's difficult to explain, and you don't really need to know. Our relationship is just special," Ciel said.

My eyes widened and I looked away from him, "Oh."

He blushed, "Not anything like that! Get your head out of the gutter!"

I shrugged, "You said it, not me." I giggled at his reaction, which only made his blush darken.

He accused, "You're the one who knows everything about Wonderland! Why can't you just tell me where he is?"

"Doesn't work that way, mate. I know everything about the person, or from what you've told me about Rabbit, everything about them when they are in Wonderland, even where he lives, but not where he is at that exact moment in time. Trust me, if it was different, I would have brought you to him by now," I assured him. He nodded and grew quiet once more.

I wasn't done, though. "How did you know Cheshire?" I asked.

"I know him from my world. His name is Grell. He's a homosexual who often flirts with my butler," Ciel told me.

"Two people you know are here?" I asked.

"More than that. I know almost everyone here by a different name. And some a different species. Like my four other servants. They're animals here, but they are human in England," he revealed.

I coughed. "Rather curious.... The Duchess and her cook?"

"The Duchess is Prince Soma, and the cook is his butler, Agni." And a gender change? That really was strange.

"Mock Turtle?"

"Viscount Druitt. I would rather not speak of him. He's a rather distasteful person."

"If you haven't noticed, he isn't any different here. What about the Lizzie person you spoke of earlier? Who is she?"

"I think her servant, Paula, called her Lady Mouse."

I frowned, "You know Lady Mouse?"

Ciel nodded, "Yes, she's my fiancée."

I pitied him, "Oh, was it an arranged marriage?"

He looked flustered, "Well, yes... but I don't see what that has to do with anything. Do you not like her?"

I rested my face against the palm of my right hand. "I'm not particularly fond of her, no. Don't get me wrong, I don't hate her, and she hasn't done anything bad to me, but she's quite annoying and a bit happy for my taste. And emotional. And loud. And her voice really grates my nerves."

"Have you ever met her?" he asked.

"No, but I don't have to. I told you. I know everything about everyone. All her traits are locked in my brain," I dismissed.

There was a moment of silence between us before he said, "She's my cousin, and I love her like so. I'm honoring the marriage for my departed parents." I hid my shock. He was an orphan? That explained why he was such a young earl. I wanted to ask about it but felt like it wasn't the time to pry, though. He would clam up again, and that would be dreadfully boring.

My eyebrows came together, "I did not question your love for her, nor is it my place to ask about so."

"I know, but I felt it was strange to leave it at that." That was one way to make things awkward. Maybe that was why he hadn't talked much at first. Social skills weren't really existent in him.

I asked after a few minutes, "Who am I, then? In your world, I mean. If you know everyone, you'd know me, yeah?"

"That's what I meant by almost. You're the only I've encountered here that I don't know. Sorry," he apologized.

I hid my disappointment with a smile, "It's fine."

"You are familiar, though. I know you from somewhere else. Perhaps I've only seen you once or twice," he suggested.

"Maybe. As I told you when we first met, you are familiar to me, as well. Or it could just be a coincidence. I wouldn't be surprised if I'm the only one truly from this world," I theorized.

"Would that be a bad thing?" he wondered.

I shook my head, "Of course not! I love Wonderland. It's all I know, after all."

He commented, "Yet, I sense you yearn to know more."

I smiled softly, "I would be a liar if I denied that." I looked out into the horizon in front of us. The sun was beginning to set. If we didn't hurry, he'd have to stay like that for the night.

"Keep going straight. We'll be there in about ten minutes," I calculated.

"Where is 'there?'" Ciel asked.

"A freshwater lake. If you drink the water, you'll go back to normal. Once the sun has disappeared, we'll need to set up camp. There's no way we can travel then."

He raised an eyebrow, "Why not?"

I asked, "Remember when I said this isn't a safe place?" He nodded. "It's worse at night. That's when the murderers and robbers come out to play. Rabid creatures. Blooming poisonous plants. Wonderland has a dark side, you know."


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