Chapter 99 “The First Step to Testing and Mastery”
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After confirming that Alice did not respond to all the “keywords” and was completely unaware of the information about the ability to “decapitate”, Duncan decided to tell the confused cursed doll what he came across from that little spying venture.
Because he already had a faint speculation at this time: maybe the key to the anomaly of the abnormal 099-puppet coffin wasn’t the doll Alice herself… but rather it’s her “coffin”.
Gently swaying with the waves of the Boundless Sea, Duncan went over the various details he had learned from the document with Alice.
The poor lady was so scared that she had squirmed into a corner by the end of the bed.
“Do you have to be scared like this”
“But… it’s really so scary!” Alice’s whimpering voice sounded like she’s ready to cry after listening to some horror story, “What indiscriminate beheading, what range of death will stop, what continues to expand the scope of territory… this, this, this… I don’t know any of that!”
“I believe now that you really don’t know,” Duncan glanced at the frightened shivering lady who kept squirming, “but this is indeed information about the Anomaly 099-puppet coffin.”
Alice held her head and stared at Duncan like she’s ready to pop that neck: “Then…”
“So I now have two theories.
First, the above ‘decapitation’ may be your unconscious ability.
You are in essence, an anomaly after all, so your power is most likely a passive range effect.
Even if you were asleep before, it didn’t change the occurrence and remained active without your knowledge.”
Duncan said, slowly getting up from his chair and came over to the ornate wooden box.
Touching it with the tip of his longsword.
“Second, the ‘decapitation’ power of the puppet’s coffin may not come from you as a puppet, but from your ‘coffin’ instead.”
“The coffin… You mean my box” Alice’s eyes slowly widened, and her gaze subconsciously fell on the wooden box next to the bed with Duncan’s movements.
“The full name of Anomaly 099 is ‘Puppet Coffin’… In other words, you and your wooden box add up to the complete ‘anomaly 099’.
When I first met you, I subconsciously thought that you were the ‘dominant part’ because I didn’t know the full name,” Duncan rubbed his chin and said while thinking.
“Now that I think about it, the main focus of the name actually lied with the second half”
Alice blinked, her head grinding with thought until she facepalmed: “Oh! That’s because I came with this box!”
Duncan eyed this silly and careless puppet with an exhausted face: “… You didn’t have to say it so proudly.”
Alice didn’t seem to hear the ridicule in Duncan’s tone and glanced down at her wooden box.
With a slightly worried voice: “If this is true… does that mean my box has been beheading others But I’ve lived inside it for so long.
How come I never felt any sense of danger or evil I don’t feel any special power while sleeping in it either….”
You are part of the entire anomaly 099 package.
How are you supposed to reference your own condition with others” Duncan frowned, “And check your neck.
I suspect the reason your head keeps popping off is because of you constantly sleeping inside that box!”
Alice suddenly felt that the captain was right.
With a complicated expression: “But if what you say is true, why hasn’t my coffin affected anyone aboard the ship yet Wouldn’t my ability have activated by now”
As soon as she said this, the lady met Duncan’s gaze and promptly realized she had messed up.
Thankfully the doll lived on the ship long enough to know the ghost captain wouldn’t hold it against her, otherwise she might start panicking at this moment.
Duncan stared at the doll silently, waiting for Alice to shrink into a smaller mass before faintly saying, “The only humanoid creature on this ship besides you is me.
Do you mean…”
“Of course not!” Alice almost jumped and quickly flailed her hand while saying, “Ignore my quibbles, I mean this box….”
“I didn’t say what I was going to do with you.” Duncan looked at her helplessly, “You’re now the Vanished’s crew, so I’m your protector on the Boundless Sea.
You don’t have to be so afraid.
Can you sit properly first It looks like I’ve done something to you with the way you’re acting.”
While Alice obeyed and came out of the corner, Duncan, on the other hand, got filled with other thoughts because of the doll’s questions – like why doesn’t her ability activate after staying on the ship Considering the amount of time she spent on the Vanished, the cycle of beheading should’ve begun by now, yet the ability appears missing.
What was suppressing the doll’s power, the Vanished or the captain himself
Duncan looked down at his hands.
He knows that he has a very incredible power, which not only allows him to completely occupy the life of a cultist named “Ron”, but even enough to make Alice, an anomaly in the upper rank, to tremble at first glance.
Such a magnificent flame yet he still doesn’t fully understand it.
On the other hand, the Vanished was the fifth highest vision in the Boundless Sea—a “vision,” not an anomaly.
This means that as long as something was within the scope of the ghost ship, there would be a “field” that’s in effect 24 hours a day, constantly exerting its influence on all targets within the range.
With the suppression of the captain ship, Anomaly 099 would naturally become harmless.
However, what if he took Alice to Pland according to plans….
What then Will the situation spiral out of control
With such a risk, he must figure out a series of things – is the subject of the effect Alice the doll or her wooden coffin box Is it the captain himself who’s providing the suppression effect, or is it the ghost ship Vanished who’s causing it Will the coffin and doll go berserk if separated, or will it absolve the beheading effect entirely
Duncan had a large list of questions in his mind as he contemplated what’s plausible and what’s not.
Gradually, various schemes began to formulate in the man’s mind, but at the end of things, he found one thing that frustrated him: he lacked many of the necessary conditions for testing.
The Vanished wasn’t a qualified testing ground because the power of the ghost ship interferes with the accuracy of the results.
He doesn’t have a suitable test target either aboard.
Duncan raised his head and looked at Alice, who was sitting obediently on the edge of the bed—the doll lady was looking at her beloved wooden box with some sadness.
It didn’t take much to guess what she thought since all her tangled emotions were printed on that face.
As if noticing the captain’s gaze, Alice suddenly broke the silence and whispered, “From the day I was conscious… I’ve been living in this box.
It’s my bed, it’s my home, it’s my shelter, and I feel safe when I sleep in it.”
Duncan didn’t speak and quietly observed the doll in front of him.
“I now know why those humans are so afraid,” Alice reached out and gently stroked her wooden box, “They’re afraid of us.”
“I was planning to take you to the city state of Pland the next time I walked in the spirit world,” Duncan said in a deep voice, “I need a helper over there.”
Alice’s eyes seemed to light up for a moment, but then they darkened: “Ah, this might not work…”
“I’ve postponed the plan, but not canceled.” Duncan’s expression and tone didn’t change much, “We just need more time to confirm… ‘your’ power and master the conditions for this ‘decapitation’ effect.
Know that the city-states have the knowledge and means to seal a variety of anomalies through various tricks.
If they can do it, we here on the Vanished most certainly can do more.”
Alice glanced at Duncan suspiciously.
From the captain’s calm and deep gaze, she soon realized that this was not an empty word of comfort.
“You have a plan”
Duncan thought for a moment, raised his fingertips, and lit a cluster of faint flames.
“First of all, we may need a little fire.”