When the blade dropped, the Queen’s noble head fell to the ground. Her body was still in the posture of opening the card, even as blood sprayed everywhere, dyeing her grand and pure white skirt into a dazzling bright red.
Even the Queen herself never thought she would die like this.
Though once, she’d caught the former Queen off guard and killed her just like this.
The light coming from the horse chess piece on Wang Que’s chest died out. Cui Zuojing finally looked at Wang Que standing behind the Queen. He had splashes of the Queen’s blood on his face, but not the slightest bit of blood tainted her. There was a kind of unusual tint to her, as if she could not be tarnished.
They… succeeded? !
It was a success!
A surprised smile stretched across Wang Que’s face, but then she saw Cui Zuojing’s horrified expression. He stretched out his hands, as if desperately trying to catch her—
A ray of light shot out from the Queen’s corpse and completely swallowed Wang Que, who was still holding the axe.
Wang Que felt as if her body was wrapped in light in one instant, and in the next instant, she found herself in a dark place. She was standing on an exceptionally wide round table. Thirteen strange and deformed creatures surrounded the table, making her stand out like a tiny toy that could be easily squashed to death.
Wang Que looked up at the creatures that were nearly 100 meters tall, feeling an indescribable terror that seemed to bleed out from the depths of her soul. They were looking down at her silently, and she could see herself reflected on the countless mirrors of their compound eyes.
Countless pieces of flesh and foam fell from them and then returned once more to its original state in a repetitive cycle.
A rumbling voice sounded directly from within her soul. “The Supreme Council, to vote on the appointment of the new queen’s candidate, Wang Que.”
Knowledge entered Wang Que’s mind in an instant, permitting her to realize what was happening. She was in a place called the Chaos Supreme Council, and the thirteen creatures at the table were the thirteen members of the council.
They would vote on her eligibility to become the new queen.
For, in the Pure White Realm, the only one who could truly kill the current Queen was the new Queen.
Wang Que’s face turned pale. The new…Queen?
“████,” one of the members said.
Another council member agreed, “█████, ██████.”
The other council members expressed their attitudes. In the end, the deep voice in Wang Que’s soul sounded once more, “The end vote is 13 against 0, with 0 abstentions. Wang Que will be appointed as the new Queen of the Pure White Realm.”
A bright light rose from her body, and Wang Que instinctively lifted her hand to block her eyes. When the light disappeared, she found herself standing in God’s Back Garden once more.
The black combat uniform she was wearing was gone, replaced by a gorgeous dress. The skirt was woven with numerous diamonds, like sprinkles of stars, and the sharp axe still dripping with blood had become a ring on her index finger.
Adorned with a ruby that gleamed with brilliance, the silver ring was carved into the shape of a garland. She’d once seen this ring in a dream, and it was worn on the Red Queen’s hand.
The axe that had cut off the Queen’s head was made from the Red Queen’s ring.
After the Red Queen was killed, the clown did everything possible to take away the ring on her. He kept it carefully, waiting for the day he could take revenge.
The Queen’s body finally toppled to the ground near her beautiful head. Both of her eyes were still open, still mocking, not noticing the crisis of her death.
Cui Zuojing jumped over and grabbed Wang Que. What happened just now was so thrilling. It was beyond his expectations. When he found out that he couldn’t hurt the Queen at all, he was full of despair. But as she revealed her reversal card, Wang Que materialized and cut off the Queen’s head with an axe.
Then…Wang Que, his teammate, this little girl who just wanted to go home, had become the new Queen.
“Brother Cui, I…”
Wang Que choked, momentarily unable to say the rest of her sentence. To become the new Queen, this meant that even if she was successful, she couldn’t return to the real world, could she?
She couldn’t leave with her companions, couldn’t see her worried parents once more, couldn’t clear her grievances and avenge herself against Tan Qiuyu.
She would stay in the Pure White Realm all of her life, stayed as the supreme ruler here, managing all of its affairs.
Tears fell from her eyes. Dong Zheng and Allen was finally released by the frozen time and forced forward. Faced with a sobbing Wang Que, Dong Zheng was helpless. His heart was pained, and even his eyes were wet. Not knowing what to do, he could only hold her in his arms.
This final outcome wasn’t something they had considered.
Allen patted her back lightly. Like Cui Zuojing and Dong Zheng, he didn’t know how to comfort her. He could only say, “Don’t cry, Que’er. I’ll still be here with you.”
After his death, he was no longer considered a pilgrim. Instead, he’d become an NPC of the Pure White Realm, and so he could no longer leave and return to reality.
Cui Zuojing and Dong Zheng looked at each other, not knowing what to say. Yes, they had tried their best to one day be able to return to reality, to return to their friends and loved ones. Cui Zuojing asked himself, if he was in Wang Que’s shoes, he would also be sad.
For this meant that he would be separated from his favorite person.
All the clues of the past, now engraved in Wang Que’s heart, suddenly became so clear–
“In the past eight years, I’ve been traveling through many dreams, prying into their memories, and I finally found a way to kill the Queen.”
“Just like A’Zuo trusted Dong Zheng, I trust you.”
“Be prepared, and keep an eye out. Don’t miss Mr. Bunny, who will lead you down the rabbit hole.”
The words Luo Yan had said when they met for the first time in her dream now rang in her ears. From the very beginning…From the very beginning, had she already been selected?
The three-month rabbit and the dormouse from the magician’s mouth, Luo Yan’s long-gifted chess horse pendant, and the clown handing her the axe with guilt and apology…These scenes were so clear. They told the story of Alice over and over again, both as a hint and as a prophecy.
Only Alice could kill the Queen.
Thus, in the eight square, Alice became the new Queen.
Victor clung to Midnight’s neck, ruthlessly punching the giant monster in the eye. But it was as if Midnight didn’t feel pain at all. He tossed his head crazily, spiked tail turned toward Victor in an attempt to smack him down.
Victor had no choice but to release his hold. After falling from a height of five meters, he landed and rolled to dispel the impact. Just as he was about to continue his attack, Midnight suddenly screamed in pain. A dazzling light came from him. The shape of the brand flashed once more.
As Victor was raising his spirits to face this second burst coming from Midnight, the light gradually dimmed and the brand completely dissipated.
The enlarged beast rapidly shrunk and then turned into a Siamese cat. It fell to the ground feebly, twitched a few times, and became completely silent.
In the distance, toward the mouth of the maze, a brilliant light bursted out. Victor suddenly realized something and immediately ran toward the light.
It took some time for Wang Que to slowly calm down. She moved away from Dong Zheng’s arms, her tears contained. Taking a deep breath, she smiled and said, “It’s fine. This…this is good too.”
She couldn’t return to reality, but she also had many friends here too. She would continue to live in this fantastic and magnificent world with the company of her friends.
Even more, she could use her own power to change the current Pure White Realm.
Seeming to have sensed Wang Que’s rconcesso., a voice rang in her ears:
[For three minutes, any wishes you make will become reality.]
It was a member of the Supreme Council.
A faint light emerged from Wang Que. She looked at the others with tears in her eyes. Then she closed her eyes, made a fist with both hands, and pressed them to her lips.
“I wish that hope will become the nourishment of this world.”
An invisible light radiated from God’s back garden and quickly spread outward. The rules of countless boxes changed accordingly, destruction turned into construction, and the instigation of despair became the creation of hope.
The gray flocculant flowing down the stream in the forest evaporated. In their places were dots of silvery-whites. Like stars falling from the sky, they were magnificent and beautiful.
“I wish that all evil curses will be lifted, and no more will be imprisoned.”
The three seals on Cui Zuojing, Victor, Fu Zhe, and Luo Yan turned into powder with her words. In the maze, Chang Hui, who was unconscious, slowly opened her eyes. Beside her, the seven-eyed, three-tailed little beast glowed as it’s five extra eyes and two extra tails disappeared. It’s scarlet pupils turned back to blue, and it became the little white dog it once was.
It licked Chang Hui’s face and let out a yelp of joy. Chang Hui hugged it tightly, and finally, tears slipped from her eyes.
The neverending dream was finally shattered. Luo Yan awakened from the endless dream. Her shadow stretched out clearly beside her. Her loose braid hung down her back. Her dark blue skirt dotted with yellow stars made her look just like a little enchantress lost in a dream but now finally returned to the world.
From the very beginning, Luo Yan had always been with them and had never left.
“I wish that the rest of our lives will be smooth, peaceful and happy.
Fragments of light fell and a dizzy, light-headed Lin Hangzhi climbed up from the ground, instinctively pressing his hand to his chest. It was intact, and his heart was still beating vigorously in his chest.
The moment he looked up, he found that he was in the garden, and before he could react, Cui Zuojing was hugging him excitedly.
Feeling warm tears dripping onto his neck, Lin Hangzhi’s face showed puzzlement. He could only wrap both hands around Cui Zuojing’s back, unable to help but ask, “What’s wrong? What’s wrong?”
The sapphire necklace slipped out from his pocket and fell to the ground. Power gathered in the void, condensing from all directions, and materialized into Xia Qiongyun.
The girl who had disappeared due to the power of speech, under the influence of another power of speech, came back into the world.
A door appeared out of thin air, and Fu Zhe and Cerberus walked through it. Fu Zhe held his black flute, and Cerberus carried a black trash bag. When he threw it down, one corner of the bag fell open, and two severed hands and a book dropped out.
Cerberus thought that he only had to cut off the two hands carrying Worm of Mystery. But after several tries, he realized that those two hands could not be cut off. Just as the book had prophesied, the white-robe man’s body had become indestructible, and so therefore, his hands could not be separated at all.
But Cerberus still persevered. No matter what, he would not allow this book a chance to harm his master.
As a result, he tried repeatedly and managed to finally succeed. It seemed that whatever had been sustaining Worm of Mystery had dissipated at that moment, allowing him to chop off that pair of hands without hesitation and then throw the book into a trash bag without touching it.
Meanwhile, Victor finally left the maze and entered the back garden. On the other side, Dong Linhai ran through the forest and around the castle. He saw the girl making a wish, wearing a pure white dress with a multitude of stars revolving around her.
Dong Linhai suddenly became aware of what was going on. He rushed toward Wang Que, shouting hoarsely, “Wang Que——!!!”
Wang Que’s eyes snapped open, and she turned to look at Dong Linhai. The young man’s face was full of incredible horror. She smiled at him, and used the last ten seconds to whisper, “I hope you can forget me.”
The lights ignored the boy’s roar and scattered over his face. Dong Linhai’s face became blank for a moment, then his eyes closed and he fainted. Dong Zheng hurried forward and caught his younger brother before he could fall to the ground.
Despite the fact that Dong Linhai was unconscious, Dong Zheng still clearly saw anguished tears spelling out from his closed eyes.
Now that Wang Que’s wishes had been realized, the door appeared in the garden, and the milky white lights circulated around the door. It was the entrance to the real world.
They had gone through all kinds of difficulties and dangers, and finally at this moment, they could go home.
This ought to be a moment of great excitement, but no one moved.
“Que’er…” Lin Hangzhi began but didn’t know what to say. He looked at the young girl who’d been crowned Queen and had no words.
Wang Que smiled and shook her head, saying, “I’m fine. Go ahead. The door will only exist for five minutes.”
They could say words of leaving. They could only hug Wang Que one after another. Xia Qiongyun kissed her cheek and gave the sapphire necklace to her. In a choked voice, she said, “This was a birthday gift from my father. I hope…that one day, we can meet again.”
Wang Que took it, feeling Xia Qiongyun’s body temperature still warm on it. She solemnly said, “Yes.”
Lin Hangzhi gave Wang Que that tarot card that had never left his body. Each of them gave her something that they usually kept on them. In the end, they couldn’t delay for too long. Xia Qiongyun took one last look at this world that had given her countless memories, and then she walked through the door. Before leaving, she told them, “See you later.”
They all remembered what time period they were in, where they lived, and when they died. After returning, she would look for them so that they could meet again.
Lin Hangzhi followed after her and left. Cui Zuojing turned to Allen and said, “Brother Len, I’ll give you something.”
“Huh?” Allen was puzzled. He walked in front of Cui Zuojing, who reached out to hold him. An orange light drilled out from Cui Zuojing’s chest and sank into Allen’s body.
“This is…” Allen’s eyes widened. In an instant, countless mysterious laws flooded his mind. He saw the River of Time, with hourglasses and clocks flowing through it. It was divided into three branches like the world tree, where the past, present, and future flowed, respectively.
“Since I’m leaving, the power of time would be useless with me.” The transfer of the original power wasn’t done only through death, but could also be done voluntarily. Cui Zuojing chose to hand over his power to Allen. He smiled and said, “I’ve known you from the beginning, and before I leave, I’ll give you this gift.”
Wang Que stared at Dong Linhai’s sleeping face on Dong Zheng’s back. After he leaves, Dong Linhai will lose all memories of her. With no memory came no pain.
Now that things had come to this, let only her face the sorrow of parting for a lifetime.
“You guys also leave quickly, Brother Dong.”
Dong Zheng nodded. He gave Wang Que one last hug and said in a low voice, “Take care.”
Just before stepping through the door, Dong Zheng looked at Cui Zuojing. The young man understood him, and with a sly smile, told him, “I want to save this kiss for the next time we meet.”
Dong Zheng smiled. “Okay, then I’ll wait.”
He carried Linhai on his back, walked through the door, and disappeared from sight. With the door about to close, Cui Zuojing urged Victor so that they could leave.
Victor and Cui Zuojing walked toward the door overflowing with light. On the other side of the door was reality. As long as he walked through it, he could return to his original world and see the Siberians plains once more. He could walk through the pine forest and see his children.
Just as he was about to step through, Victor turned his head and saw Wang Que, watching them leave with a smile. In those dark eyes, there were tears of forbearance.
After Allen’s death, the Wonton Insurgency reorganized. But now, she was the only one left.
Even though she was urging everyone to leave and return to their normal life, ceaseless tears hid behind her smile.
Victor’s footsteps paused.
He’d been dead for so many years. He’d seen his own grave, had seen his children grow up and start their own lives…Did they really need him?
Perceiving Victor’s pause, Cui Zuojing turned his head back. He already had on foot through the door. His eyes widened slightly. “…Uncle?”
“I’ve been dead for so long, A’Zuo.” Victor smiled and took a step back. He said, “In that world, I was already long dead, and Wang Que needs me more than a world that was no longer mine.”
Wang Que’s tears of forbearance broke out at this moment. Cui Zuojing understood Victor’s thoughts. He turned to Victor and solemnly said, “Okay, then goodbye, Uncle.”
Eleven years ago, he held Victor and walked through the door. But now Victor had chosen to stay behind.
He respected Victor’s decision.
Cui Zuojing’s figure disappeared from sight, and the door slowly closed, blocking the passage between the Pure White Realm and reality.
The young man he trusted most, who had been with him for over ten years, had fulfilled his long-cherished wish, left an immortal legend, and returned to his own world.
Victor felt sad, but the corners of his lips also couldn’t help but smile with relief. He turned to Wang Que, gently wiped away the tears on the cheeks of his new Queen, and whispered, “Don’t cry, my child.”
Wang Que nodded. She looked around and saw that there were still many friends with her.
The five forces had finally gathered, staying on the side of the new Queen, and were no longer at odds with one another.
Time Allen, Space Fu Zhe, Body Victor, Dream Luo Yan, and Chaos Chang Hui. Cerberus followed Fu Zhe, and the clown had just gotten rid of the papermen and left the garden.
Wang Que held Victor’s hand tightly and looked out into the distance. In the God’s Back Garden, the Queen’s castle stood forever. Entropy flowed upward, and an endless sea fog permeated, hiding everything. Within the rumble of the steam engine hid the distorted entrance to dreamland, while the collapsed information superhighway waited for its reawakening.
Further out, the boundless snowfields brought to life flowers and fires, and whales were borned from the afterglow of ten thousand lightning bolts. The winding train tracks passed through the clouds, winding up the giant tree connecting the sky and the ground.
And in the far distance, an endless train passed by the front of a circus, where there was an executioner responsible for welcoming people and guiding them in how to live in this post-death world.
This was her Pure White Realm.
—Final Volume: God’s Back Garden [Ends]—
Xixi: There is one more final ending, followed by one extra volume of about 21 chapters detailing what happens to our team. I particularly liked the development of Fu Zhe and Cerberu’s relationship, which went in a direction I did not expect. And then we are done. Whoop whoop!