Chapter 13 “Bed Neck”
This Translation is hosted on https://bcatranslation.com/
The deep sea was something to be feared.
Despite being a doll, Alice could still express her emotions through the face by means that are difficult to explain.
So, Duncan had no doubt about detecting the fears in the doll’s eyes and the truth of the matter – there has to be something far more dangerous than himself lurking under the water.
In retrospect, this also made him more curious about what’s out there.
What’s the land like Or what was considered normal
However, the doll in front of him didn’t have the answer.
From what he suspects, the groggy state of her memory must’ve been mostly due to the seal placed on the coffin.
Following that clue, the “cursed doll” must be deeply feared by civilized society.
“Again, you don’t remember where you came from, and you can’t remember what you’ve been through in the past, right” He asks again to confirm.
“I don’t remember,” Alice replied very seriously, “I’ve been lying in this big box for as long as I can remember.
Though I don’t know why there is always a group of nervous people around me like I would come out, but honestly speaking, your act of putting nails on my box to seal it is quite nice in comparison.
Although you did place eight cannonballs afterward, at least you didn’t pour lead into it.”
This time, Duncan did not care about Alice’s useless remark and continued to ask, “Where did your name come from Who gave you that name If you really never left the box and never had contact with anyone else, why did you have a name Could it be that you gave it to yourself”
Alice was suddenly stunned.
She seemed lost, remaining in a daze for over ten seconds to the point that Duncan got worried there was a self-destruct setting inside the doll.
Thankfully Alice eventually came back to her senses: “I… I don’t remember.
I know my name is Alice, but the name wasn’t coined by me.
She muttered in confusion and subconsciously supported her head with those hands, which made Duncan freak out in the face.
Quickly shouting before it’s too late: “Alright, if you don’t remember then that’s fine, just don’t pull your head off….”
After this, Duncan asked many more questions, but unfortunately, most of them were fruitless.
As Miss Doll herself has said, she spent most of her conscious time in that “coffin,” maintaining a state of alternating sleep and partial awareness of her surroundings.
In the end, her knowledge of trivial matters could hardly piece together the outline of the world.
But even so, Duncan wasn’t without gain—in his conversation with Alice, he identified at least a few things:
There’s a power structure in this world called the “city-state.” A word that repeatedly appears in the narration of the doll lady and constitutes almost the entirety of her journey was a place called Pland.
It seemed to be a thriving place, and sailors said that it “held importance on many shipping routes” through their conversations.
Secondly, Alice also has the name “Anomaly 099”, which seems to be an “official” title given to her by the civilized world.
As for “Alice,” there doesn’t seem to be anyone else who knows this name aside from these two.
Lastly, Alice had been being transferred from one city-state to another, and from how things looked, she doesn’t seem to be the only “abnormal” being moved in such a manner.
Apparently, the guards had mentioned other “seals” on occasion, which Duncan could confirm by the other storage rooms that had similar runes etched along the walls on that steamship.
Going by all these clues, Duncan could boldly speculate such transfers are a necessity in this world.
As to why it’s required, he doesn’t know.
But one thing’s clear – the civilized world doesn’t want things like Alice to escape and run amok.
I wonder what’s so terrible about Alice that they have to go through such lengths.
She’s most certainly a cursed doll, but what is so dangerous about her If anything, she’s a total coward.
Frankly, Duncan was quite disappointed by not getting more from this discussion.
He thought he had finally found a channel to help him understand the world, but he did not expect the lady lying in the coffin to be as confused as he was.
But when his gaze swept over Alice again, who was still sitting quietly on the wooden box, the disappointment faded a little.
At least, he now had one more person to converse with on the Vanished—though she seemed to be a doll and would occasionally drop her head off in a horrified manner, plus she has more secrets than even she herself knows.
Still, it’s leagues ahead of conversing with the annoying goat head sitting on the mapping table.
And speaking of spooky dangers… which part of the Boundless Sea and Vanished hinted at safety
Even from the perspective of others, his own identity of “Captain Duncan” seemed more dangerous than the average spooks.
Duncan exhaled and unconsciously soothed his stern expression to a more homely one: “I want to know what you will do if I throw you off the ship again.”
Alice blinked, “Are you still going to stuff cannonballs into my box again”
“What about the nails”
“Then what about lead”
“No… oomph, I mean, if I refuse you permission to stay aboard…”
“Then I’ll row back on my own,” Alice said as she sat demurely with a calm face, “I don’t want to be swallowed up by the sea, and there’s at least a place to stand on with this ship.”
Duncan was so shocked by the doll’s frankness that he didn’t know whether to say she was honest or thick-skinned.
After much deliberation, he came up with a reply: “You can be a little vaguer next time…”
“You already know the answer anyway, don’t you” Alice smiled and said, “But if I do come back, I might instead find a way to hide somewhere in the cabins from you, and I won’t run to the deck foolishly.
I’ve been awake for a bit of time now so I’ve got experience…”
Duncan interrupted her: “My senses span across the ship, right down to the waves hitting its hull.
I can tell where you are at any moment.”
Alice’s words were suddenly stumped: “Uhhh…”
Duncan continued with a calm face, “And I can also choose to destroy you directly and use a more thorough way to avoid you from continuing to pester my Vanished and me.”
Miss Doll here didn’t seem to have thought about this possibility and started to widen her eyes until her neck made a snapping noise….
The headless doll frantically caught her head in mid-drop, then with an irritable face, Alice popped it back on before Duncan continued.
“However, I suddenly find it’s not bad to have an extra crew member on this ship.
I can arrange a place for you here.”
“You should’ve said so earlier! I was so scared that my head popped off again!”
Duncan finally couldn’t stop the twitching: “So what the hell is going on with your neck”
Alice made an innocent face: “I don’t know! I usually don’t have so many opportunities to ‘come out and move about.’ I didn’t know my body had such problems…”
Duncan stared at Alice for several silent seconds before confirming there was no falsehood in her words: “It seems lying down in a bed for so long isn’t good for your spine and neck.”
Duncan’s mood suddenly improved at seeing his ability to leave the doll speechless.
“Well, all in all, we now have a new crewmember on the Vanished.
Come with me, I’ll give arrange a resting quarter for you.”