The further up the three of them went, each step of the winding stairs gradually transformed from its firm solid ice-like form into pools of reflective water, which ultimately ended as thin misty air ...Peering over the furry head of their galloping unicorn, Alice was able to notice this and very soon, their destination atop the Tower of Springs was reached, immediately bathing them and their sight in showers of rainbow rays and glistening light. In enveloping them, the seven-coloured rays joined end to end into the shape of a spherical bubble, floating and taking them up like a nature elevator, with a pair of flapping cotton wings appearing and projecting out of its opposite sides to fly itself higher and higher...Alice and Dinah were stunned and thoroughly amazed by their magical flight...Then, in just one blink of an eye to verify the experience to their senses, the contrast between the dark and dim wall-like interior in the background and the radiant light of the rainbow sphere they were in now switched into a surrounding scene of towering waterfall along with the bridge which Alice and Dinah were earlier taken to by their unicorn friend. At this moment, they were still inside the weightless sphere hovering above the familiar structure of the bridge...Sounds of descending many waters refreshed their ears and they could smell dews sweeter than honeycombs throughout the air...Alice cuddled Dinah comfortably in her arms, and for once thought she saw the unicorn horse smiling at them...Alas, it vanished just as fast into the pendant of her locket again, saddening Alice...

"No, unicorn, please don't leave us here like before...We don't want to stay without you...Please, come back," Alice spun round and round, totally unaware of where their new friend had gone to, much less has any idea that it had morphed into the engraving of her pendant surface. Even Dinah scratched its head wondering...One thing Alice came to discover was that she could stretch her hand through to the outside of the misty rainbow sphere, but she could not understand how she was able to stand so firmly on its base, as though it was firm solid. She stooped down and tried to reach her full arm beyond the coloured rays through the sphere's bottom. True indeed, she could push it through...


The voice resounded in her ears again, and Alice became momentarily wobbly due to her posture and fell backwards to end up sitting flat on the base of the sphere, startling Dinah.

The curious girl looked and gazed all around...Intriguingly, the sphere right away morphed into its new shape of a recliner that immediately shifted Alice and Dinah into a much more comfortable sitting and leaning position, though it was still hovering midair.

"Wow! Did you see and feel this, Dinah?!" Alice marvelled, hugging and squeezing her little sweetie tight.

"Would you like to descend back down onto the bridge?"

Alice was surprised to be hearing it again and bolted upright, "Wh-What is that,...errr...Madam?"

Dinah was quick-witted to realise that the 'rainbow ray' recliner was beginning to descend, to which she was extremely overjoyed. Just before it landed on the floor of the bridge, Dinah leapt over and down for landing, causing Alice to grip hold of it in time to take herself along with the kitty and touch down with her feet on the bridge.

"Alice...Thank you so much for coming to meet me..."

Now, the voice could be heard over in the place, as opposed to reaching Alice internally and then her ears during the times before.

Alice was glancing around, "Oh, yes! I heard you, Madam...You are mysterious, so can I see you too?"

A soft laughter which sounded like the chiming of church bells followed, bringing a smile to Alice's wondering face.

"Anything you can behold here, I am a part of it...So you have already seen the parts and pieces of my face...Do let me apologise for not introducing myself earlier...I am, the Guardian of Time, the headkeeper of this Wonderland..."

Alice gasped with pleasure and curtseyed before the waterfall fountain, "It is an honour to meet with you, Madam Guardian...I should apologise for not observing my manners earlier...I am sorry..."

The Lady Guardian chuckled again, "It is also my greatest pleasure to meet with you, Alice. There will never be a demand for formal manners between us, and just between us, Alice, so please do not be mindful of apologies. You have won my heart with just the way you are, Alice, and you have the fullness of my favour."

Both Alice and Dinah exchanged glances before replying, "Have I indeed, Madam Guardian? Is there something you require of me and that's why we were taken here?"

The Lady Guardian answered in a pensive tone, "Yes, Alice...You are and will always be our most welcomed visitor to Wonderland...However, the state in which this once frutiful paradise used to be, is becoming harder to preserve...And that is why I need your help, Alice...You are the most trusted girl I can rely on to save this land, before its beauty vanishes."

Alice was not expecting this mission to be assigned to her, "My Madam Guardian, is time of the essence? Why is this Wonderland changing?"

A sigh likened to a thousand breezes seemed to tell of the desperation of the situation. The Guardian of Time continued to say, "Time is not time at all to me, and I have bestowed this privilege of time as your servant to you, my dearest Alice...Redeem it, before the Queen of Hearts overturns and devastates this Wonderland, which once upon a time, I have designated her as my loyal steward to oversee it on in my authority. Please, Alice, you are well able to accomplish it all...Thank you..."