Chapter 161 “Another Connection”
In the eyes of the owner of this doll house, the world’s most outstanding puppeteer was a human named Lucretia Abnomar, the daughter of the famous “Captain Duncan”.
As soon as the old lady uttered these words, the entire store had fallen quiet for several seconds. It wasn’t until Duncan issued an earth-shattering cough did it break: “Oomph, oomph…”
“Customer, are you okay?” This reaction took the shopkeeper by surprise. Just like every elf who has been dealing with short-lived races for a long time, her face instantly showed an expression of worrying about the sudden death of the human in front, “Do you need me to ask for a doctor?”
“Ahem… I… oomph, I’m fine,” Duncan finally stopped coughing, but it took a while before he could finish the sentence. “I accidentally choked on my own saliva. What did you just say? Lucretia…”
“Lucretia Abnomar, the mistress of the Bright Star, one of Captain Duncan’s children,” the shopkeeper said with an expression of someone not understanding the big fuss. “The world’s most outstanding puppeteer…”
It was very hard for Duncan to regain his breath, but after this second burst from the old lady, he choked hard to the point that his face went red.
At the same time on the deck of the Vanished, Alice, who had just been frightened by Duncan’s violent coughing, was now startled by the other party’s sudden and chaotic cursing.
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“Are you okay, Captain?” Miss Doll asks with a worried face.
“I’m fine,” Duncan gasped, trying hard to calm his swirling mood that’s been flipped upside down. Managing two bodies at once was not a simple thing. If he suddenly gets hit with a shock, it does affect his ability to control their bodily functions. “Go to the cabin first with the grocery. I have something to deal with.”
“Are you really sure you’re alright?” Alice still looked skeptical and didn’t feel right to leave the captain alone, “Do you want me to check your body or massage your back or something?”
“Do you know how?”
“No, I don’t.”
“Then go, go, go, go!”
Finally sending away the unreliable puppet away, Duncan quickly refocused his mind back to the city where he was facing an incredible adversary of innocent ignorance. “You mean that famous Captain Duncan…. The legendary captain of the Vanished?”
“Shh, don’t just say the name!” The store owner quickly interrupted Duncan’s words, “Ordinary people like you don’t know, but just pronouncing the name of that great horror will bring a curse upon yourself! You better be careful, otherwise that ship might just visit you in your dreams!”
“…… You’re right,” Duncan choked again, trying to endure the strange feeling in his heart, “That captain… not only does he have a daughter named Lucretia, but also a son.”
“Yes, I met them a hundred years ago. The son is called Tyrian Abnomar and later became a general under the Frost Queen. Sadly, it wasn’t long before the Frostbite rebellion took place and pulled that kid into piracy. The daughter did better though. Lucretia Abnomar eventually became known as the most outstanding puppeteer back then…”
The old lady chattered and finally paused to sigh again: “But this is some old story now. Many humans wouldn’t even remember such a thing. Few in Pland like to discuss affairs related to that ship, let alone the children of that captain. But in my opinion, that’s just wrong. Those two kids are doing fine and living a life of the sea as their own ship captain.”
“Wait a minute!” Duncan immediately widened his eyes, “You said they are still alive?!”
“Alive, yes, alive…. It is said that they were cursed by subspace and became immortals,” the old lady heaved another sigh, “It is estimated that they can live longer than me…”
“Are you really all right?” The old lady of the shop finally couldn’t help but ask again, “I see that your face has not been quite right since I brought up the topic. Maybe I should drop the matter and talk about something else?”
“NO! Please go on. I love to hear more.” Duncan immediately cut in and pushed himself to regain his composure with burning heat in his eyes, “Tell me more about those siblings. You said you met them before?”
“A century ago,” the old woman said slowly with a tone of reminiscence, “I had only just opened shop on this street back then when the brother and sister came in. Lucretia bought a three-point doll from me, and Tyrian paid for it when they were young. Their father at the time was still normal too. Oh my bad, we mustn’t mention him, no, no, no….”
“Then more than ten years later, I met Lucretia alone again on my way to Lansa to communicate with my colleagues. By that time, she had already become an outstanding puppeteer and mechanic… Her clockwork-driven puppet is something that even I can’t make…”
The shopkeeper chattered again, talking about life stories that were history to most of humanity.
It seems that regardless of race, older people have the habit of reminiscing the past like it’s some fond memory.
Duncan’s choppy mind still hadn’t calmed down, but his expression had flattened out to avoid giving the wrong impression.
“Tyrian Abnomar was loyal to the Frost Queen. About half a century ago, not too far back. Some of the older humans still remember the event you know,” the shopkeeper said casually, “but it is only hearsay at most. Back then, the northern states were relatively closed off so the information we got down in Pland is limited…”
Duncan felt his heart pounding. Of course he knew who the Frost Queen was, and he even had a one-to-one Frost Queen doll jumping up and down on his ship. Still, he never could’ve imagined that the queen who had been executed by the rebels half a century ago would make another connection with him in such a way – through a “firstborn” who even he had just learned of their existence.
“The Frostbite Rebellion half a century ago…” he pondered, trying to appear like an ordinary gossip-loving guest, “I’ve seen it in the history books, but it’s not clear…”
“That incident is a mystery to begin with,” the shopkeeper waved her hand, “It is said that it is related to ‘that ship’. Who would dare record it clearly?”
“Tyrian Abnomar went on to become a pirate after the Frostbite Rebellion?” Duncan asked again, “He’s still active on the other side of the Cold Sea?”
“It seems to be,” the shopkeeper recalled, “anyway, I only heard this saying from a peer twenty years ago after they conducted business in the north.”
“Then… are the siblings still speaking?”
“How do I know?” The shopkeeper waved her hand, “I’m just an ordinary old lady who opened a shop on the streets of Pland. At most, my connection with those two is that I met them earlier in my years.”
“This… you’re right,” Duncan grumbled at his own silliness. He’s clearly assuming too much.
“Ah, by the way, speaking of Lucretia, I suddenly remembered something. It has been here for many years. Maybe you’re interested?” The old woman says after getting a lightbulb.
Without waiting for the man to speak, she promptly walked behind the stairs and rummaged inside the storage room. From it, she pulled out a half-meter-long box from the deepest parts and placed it on the counter.
“This is…” Duncan looked warily at the old dusty box.
“A doll,” the old woman kindly answered as she carefully opened the lid, “her name is Nilu. Remember what I just said? Many years ago, Lucretia and her brother bought a doll from my shop during their teen years. The doll actually came in a pair, and this is that one’s sister.”