Chapter 12 “Ghost Captain and Cursed Doll”
This Translation is hosted on https://bcatranslation.com/
As the two supernatural beings sat across from each other with the large mapping table at the middle, the atmosphere between them (though neither of them may be human) was arguably harmonious.
The puppet lady who called herself “Alice” still looked slightly nervous. Although the ghost captain in front of her had promised temporary safety, it didn’t change the fact that the cursed doll was obviously uneasy in front of Duncan’s naturally +10 threatening face. Also, the uncomfortable pinching of fingers and grasping of the skirt exposed her.
On the other hand, Duncan remained momentarily silent and only observed the “lady” in front of him.
A doll driven by an unknown force, a “supernatural individual” who was not of flesh and blood but could walk and speak like an average person. If placed in his hometown, Alice would surely be kidnapped by some mad scientist and dissected for knowledge.
Duncan didn’t know what kind of category a doll-like Alice belonged to in this world, but in the process of exploring this world in the past few days, he’s gotten enough information to make a guess. On this side, there are indeed “supernatural existences,” and there are things that science couldn’t explain. As for the doll sitting in front of him….
Duncan guessed that she likely belonged to a unique category of existences that’s considered strange even in this already freaky world.
His guess didn’t come without supported facts, like that mechanical steamship that collided with the Vanished. From what he saw, those sailors were well trained and experienced. Even amidst great fear, many of them didn’t leave their posts. Also, he didn’t miss the strange rune markings inside the other ship, which were styled similar to the ones on Alice’s coffin.
In other words, the purpose of such a cutting-edge ship was most likely meant to be used as an escort… or “escort” for Alice the cursed doll.
Duncan adjusted his posture and stared deeply at the uncomfortable Alice with his serious face—there was no doubt that he had an incredible “guest” on his ship.
But from another point of view, this puppet doll lady did not seem to be a terrible character, and her courage was lacking. After all, he didn’t even utter a word, and the lady had already dropped her head in fright. If that’s not a scaredy cat then what is?
“Excuse me…” Probably because the extended silence and gaze brought too much pressure, but Alice finally couldn’t take it and broke the silence, “And…”
“Where are you from?” Duncan withdrew his oppressive gaze and asked in a calmer tone.
Alice was visibly stunned. As if reflecting on the meaning of Duncan’s question, she took several seconds to respond by tapping her finger on the coffin: “From here.”
Duncan’s expression instantly froze from being dumbfounded: “…”
“Of course I know you’ve been lying in this box before,” he coughed awkwardly, “but what I’m asking is where you’re coming from—the location, understand? Do you have a hometown? Or something that can be called a place of departure?”
Alice thought about it again and shook her head calmly, “I can’t remember exactly.”
“Where do you believe a doll comes from?” Alice folded her arms around the chest to speak earnestly: “Most of my memories were me lying in that box when I’m being transported. Occasionally I can sense the vague presence of people walking around or guarding the box…. Ah, I also remember overhearing some whispering conversations of the men guarding my box. From what I gathered, they all sounded fearful and nervous about the topic…”
Duncan cocked an eyebrow, “Talking about something? What are they talking about around you?”
“It’s just boring trivial stuff.”
“But I am curious,” Duncan said seriously—he believed that it might really be nothing more than bland, trivial things, but that’s exactly the stuff he needs. Anything to help him gain a better picture of this world.
“…… Fine then. The most commonly heard name is Anomaly 099—they seem to use this name when referring to me and my wooden box. But I’m not fond of it. I have a name called Alice. Besides the occasional conversation about seals and curses or something, most of their words are a blur to me. I’m always asleep in my box, so I didn’t bother to pay attention to what’s happening outside.”
The doll spoke unhurriedly, and then, as if suddenly remembering something, added: “But what I have heard recently is still clear in my head. It must have been before I came to your ship, and the voices of those talking outside the box frequently mentioned a place, the city-state of Pland, which seemed to be their destination… perhaps my destination too?”
“The City-State of Pland?” Duncan’s eyes lowered in thought and silently wrote down this name in his heart.
He finally learned something useful again. However, he did not know when this useful information would come in handy.
Then he lifted his head and stared at the puppet lady in front of him again: “What else?”
“Besides this, I spent most of my time sleeping, Mr. Captain,” said Miss Puppet with a serious and pruned face. “When you are locked in a large coffin-like box, surrounded by groggy whispers, what else can you do aside from sleeping? Am I supposed to do sit-ups or something?”
The corners of Duncan’s mouth twitched.
He couldn’t deny the doll gave off an air of dignity and elegance when her head was screwed on right, but the stuff she said was more in line with her image of a surfer riding the waves – brunt and forceful.
He needs to quickly build a new image of Miss Alice in his mind less he gets surprised some more by her manner of speaking.
But on the surface, he still maintained the image of the calm and majestic Captain Duncan: “So, apart from being groggy in the wooden box, you know nothing about the outside world? Not the changes in today’s times, nor where the port city is?”
“I’m afraid so, Captain,” miss puppet doll nodded solemnly, and then her eyes widened slightly as if she had thought of something scary. Then, acting all nervous in the face, “So… are you going to throw me off the ship again? Because I don’t have much value anymore?”
Before Duncan could speak, he heard Alice talk again, “Fine, I understand this is your ship after all, but can you please stop stuffing cannonballs into the box this time? Seriously… Eight iron balls are too much…”
It could be seen that the doll lady wasn’t in a very good mood and was actively suppressing her displeasure at the manner in which she’s been treated.
Duncan was also very embarrassed by the last remark. Mainly regarding the fact that he presumed Alice to be those cursed items from the horror movies. If he had known she could converse like a normal person, Duncan swears he would never do something so rude as stuffing eight cannonballs in that box.
However, Duncan had been known to have thick skins, and being the shameless asshole that he was, he ignored the blaming words and continued the conversation. “I still haven’t decided on tossing you overboard or not yet; after all, you always seem to have a way of returning aboard. I am curious though, why do you insist on returning to the Vanished? I can tell you’re afraid of me, and you’re afraid of the ship. If so, why not stay away from the danger?”
“Is this ship called the Vanished? Alright, you caught me. I am indeed a little afraid of you and the ship. But compared to this, isn’t the depths of the open sea more dangerous?” Alice silently met the ghost captain’s gaze.
From her field of vision, the tall and imposing man was shrouded by an endless murky darkness, which overlapped with the real image of the cabin and created a seemingly twisted picture of two overlapping realities. However, compared to the horrors lurking within the “depths” of the Boundless Sea, she would much rather pick the former instead of the latter.
“In this world, is there anything more frightening than the deep sea?”