Chapter 101 “Open-minded Alice”
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Duncan looked at Alice expressionlessly as if he were staring at a retard.
The striking calm gaze of the Frost Queen from half a century ago was still entrenched in his mind, but the afterimage that should have been confusing was now attacked by Alice, a mentally disabled puppet.
Forget the silliness.
The mere fact that she was plucking on and unplugging her head from the neck was enough to drive anyone mad.
Eventually, Duncan’s sanity snapped: “… What are you doing”
“Ah! Captain!” Alice reacted later than she should.
Quickly plopping her head back on, “Oh, I think there are a few hairs caught in my neck join, so…”
Duncan’s face turned deadpan: “If you keep pulling your head off like that then you better start thinking up new names for your hair.”
“I already came up with some! If they fall, they’ll be called Williams and…”
It took Duncan a lot of effort to control his urge to yell and refrain from throwing the doll out of the cabin.
After a few seconds, he let out a long sigh and gradually calmed down.
To be fair, Alice’s appearance does bring a bit of joy to the lifeless ghost ship, but sometimes it’s just too much silliness… Even the goat head couldn’t keep up with the puppet’s rhythm sometimes, so forget about Duncan, who could barely make the ins and outs of this one’s brain.
Who knows, the doll’s head might be solid wood inside….
Duncan’s gaze swept over Alice, recalling back to the echo he saw in the past.
He could be sure that it was the legendary Frost Queen Ray Nora that he saw, and the source of the lapse came from the puppet coffin.
But what is the essence of those pictures
Is the “coffin” consciously telling me something
Are they passively recorded “images”
Or is it the memory of Anomaly 099
Is it a real fragment of history, or is there an “illusion” that’s been distorted and corrected to a certain extent
He thought about the calm gaze the young queen made when facing him, then recalled the plea as well..
“Whoever you are, please don’t pollute history…”
To whom is this phrase addressed
Is it really me
Do her words cross over space and time itself
Or is it just a part of the illusionary echo that reacted when I tapped into it
And that voice asking the queen who she is talking to, who is that
This succession of reactions was so real that it would give shivers to anyone who experienced it.
As for the end of the “echo”, those sounds coming from the darkness also made Duncan particularly wary.
Queen Frost was executed by the rebels, and one of her “crimes” turned out to be the “vain attempt of trying to let the Vanished reenter the real world” and “building a second Vanished”.
There was also a “hidden abyss” plan, which seemed to be the reason for the rebellion… But these things, he had never heard the goat head mention before!
That statue on the mapping table would often recite some “great deeds of the Vanished” to him.
Such as how many ships were swallowed on which route or how much commotion it caused in which city-state – although eight out of ten of his words were unreliable.
If a city-state ruler did “collude” with the Vanished, then there’s no way the goat head would have omitted that story.
That blabbermouth wouldn’t be able to hold it in if something that big did occur!
Unless…… the incident is false, a crime made up by the rebels to the queen.
“Captain Are you all right, Captain”
Alice’s voice suddenly came from the side, interrupting Duncan’s cranky thoughts.
Duncan exhaled softly, forcing down the chaotic thoughts in his mind before turning to face the doll.
He couldn’t ignore how similar Alice and the Frost Queen looked, but the air and temperament were nothing alike.
I just saw a little ‘record’ saved by the coffin.” He shook his head to dispel the strange emotion.
“Record” Alice’s eyes widened in curiosity, “What kind of record is it”
“The scene relating to the decapitation of the Frost Queen half a century ago,” Duncan said lightly, “I met her—she’s exactly like you.”
Alice immediately subconsciously touched her neck over that remark.
The puppet lady didn’t know whether to feel nervous or not.
After a long struggle, she finally spoke without holding back: “Could it be that I am really the Frost Queen After being beheaded, I did not die, but was affected by supernatural powers and became what I am now”
Duncan thought for a while and replied truthfully: “If you don’t speak, don’t move, and just lie quietly in this box, I would agree with your theory.
Alice was quick to pick up on the sentence and raised a brow.
However, she quickly put this doubt behind her and turned to face the coffin.
“Then did anything change after you burned it with fire Did you manage to control it”
Duncan shoots a sideway glance at the wooden box and confirms the deep connection has faded, but the traces of his flame does remain.
It’s similar to what he has with the sun talisman, more complex and subtle though.
Simply said, he had no idea how to control Alice’s wooden box.
In fact, he doubts there’s even an option to control this thing.
Nevertheless, one thing’s certain: this coffin was very stable and….
“tamed” now that it’s a part of the Vanished.
“I’m not sure.
Maybe we need further testing to know if it’s safe.
More testing is needed to determine if the ‘decapitation’ effect comes from the coffin or from you.” Duncan shook his head, “But for now, I feel it’s ‘fit’ to leave it alone and assume its like the other items on the ship.”
As he spoke, he turned his head to look at the puppet beside him.
“The key now is you.
Do you feel any different”
Alice pointed to herself in bewilderment: “Me I don’t.
Why do you ask that”
“You and your wooden box are one.
Both together adds up to make Anomaly 099.
Now that I usurped the authority of the coffin with my flames, I may have affected you to a certain extent.” Duncan looked at Alice very seriously.
He knew that the doll was slow to react, so he gradually got used to telling her the words needed, “Move your body, tell me if something is wrong.”
Alice reacted consciously and quickly got up to check herself.
Ran around the room twice, doing some jumping jacks, and finally hooked her finger in a summoning manner at her wooden box.
The box did not move.
“It… It’s not obeying!” Alice was shocked and finally found the big problem, “I normally only need to flick my finger to make it float!”
Duncan’s heart jolted at this discovery—he did seem to feel some response from the coffin when Alice flicked her finger, but…
The coffin was awaiting his orders then.
Raising his eyebrow, Duncan suddenly felt a little embarrassed: “Maybe… it is due to being in contact with my flame.
The coffin has already regarded me as a higher ‘master’.
Alice jerked around to make a dumbfounded face at the captain, then her expression visibly turned aggrieved like a child that had its precious toy ripped from her.
“But it’s okay.
I can lift my restrictions on it.” Duncan found it more awkward when he saw the pitiful face of the doll and quickly waved his hand.
“It will still obey your orders.”
Alice was stunned, then turned her head to hook her finger at the wooden box again.
This time, she finally got the response she desired.
The puppet lady immediately smiled and allowed her precious coffin to fall back to the ground before throwing herself into a hug with the lid: “Great! I thought you wouldn’t obey me in the future anymore!”
Duncan almost couldn’t control his expression at the swift change in emotions.
“Sometimes… I really envy your open-minded attitude to life.”
Alice looked up, confused by the captain’s sentence.
“Forget it, just be happy.” Duncan sighed, “Are you sure there’s nothing wrong with you”
“No,” Alice examined herself, “there was nothing uncomfortable at all, and… it feels like it’s better than before”
“Better than before”
“I can’t quite say what, but I think… my body is relaxed Peace of mind” Alice thought for a moment, trying to find words to describe her feelings.
“It’s a bit like the feeling of reassurance when I used to lie in the box, but now I feel just as reassured standing outside the box…”
The puppet thought while talking and then flailed her hands up before the man could analyze the issue.
“It doesn’t matter.
It’s not a bad thing anyway!”