Chapter 58 :A Puppet’s Story (1)
My name is Sbasser. Miss Donna was the one who gave me that name, even though my master didn’t really like it.
He felt that a puppet didn’t need to have a name.
Master said that once a puppet was given a name, it would develop an ego, and puppets were not supposed to have egos.
Oh, right. My master’s name was Christobel Lanceford Easenbrook Hamilton Roger. I called him Master Roger, and Miss Donna was his daughter.
Master Roger was a businessman specializing in the business of puppets. At the same time, he was a talented puppet inventor.
Yes, a puppet inventor, not an Arcana Master.
People had referred to him as a Puppet Arcana Master in the past, but he had angrily refused that title. He said that Arcana Masters sought a deep understanding of the truth, the profound secrets contained in nature, and valued knowledge more than money. Businessmen sought after riches, and knowledge was merely acquired for the sake of making money. Calling him an Arcana Master was equivalent to telling him to give up on money, which was a humiliation to his status as a businessman. Because he, the great Christobel Lanceford Easenbrook Hamilton Roger, had made his goal to become one of the most successful businessmen across all of the Arcana Kingdom.
So Master Roger was a businessman before he was an Arcana Master, and the latter was merely a tool he used to accomplish this grand goal of his.
Master Roger’s grand goal brought him no end of troubles, and many Arcana Masters didn’t like him. However, Master Roger’s puppet-creating talent was very impressive, and Arcana Masters were forced to buy from him.
I was created to be sold, but became a receiver of Miss Donna’s kindness by accident.
At that point in time, Master Roger was already the most talented puppet businessman in all of Eternal City, making him quite rich. One day, a customer commissioned him to make some defensive puppets. The requirements for these puppets were very high, and Master Roger needed to spend all his time and energy on building them. Just as he was finishing up the last defensive puppet, a disaster befell his workshop. A Spirit-Devouring Demon had appeared from out of nowhere and made trouble in Master’s workshop.
Even though the Spirit-Devouring Demon had been wiped out, Master’s workshop was badly damaged. Twelve of the fifty puppets had been damaged, causing Master no shortage of heartache. I was also destroyed during that process - the Spirit-Devouring Demon had attempted to take refuge inside my metal shell. I was blasted to pieces in order to kill it.
I should have been tossed in the trash after that, but Miss Donna gave me new life. Miss Donna was learning how to construct puppets, and she felt that I was a good opportunity for her to get some practice. As such, she pulled me out of the garbage heap and began to rebuild me. Master Roger scorned her for this, believing that her efforts would come to naught. Yes, he was always that caustic, even to his own daughter. However, Miss Donna succeeded in resurrecting me. Master Roger stole me away from her with delight, believing that he could use me to make back some of the losses he had sustained.
I could sense the pain in Miss Donna’s heart when he took me away.
Yes, I became aware at that point. It wasn’t something Miss Donna had told me afterwards, but something that I was able to perceive then. Even though I didn’t know what I meant, I remembered all of it, even if I was just a pile of scrap at that point.
These were memories, not records.
Ever since that Spirit-Devouring Demon snuck into my body, I could feel that something new had entered my life.
Even if I wouldn’t know what that new thing was until much later.
Not long after I was taken away by Master Roger, I was sold to the person who had commissioned the defensive puppets from my Master back then. Then, after transferring owners a few times, I eventually fell in the hands of an Arcana Master known as Inigo and became his bodyguard.
Inigo was an explorer. He liked to look for hidden treasure. I was brought all over the continent with him as he thoroughly scoured any and all opportunities so that I could protect him.
I have visited many different places in my lifetime because of this. I have been through vast, endless deserts; frothing, stormy seas; and frozen wastelands that turned my metallic skin brittle. I was destroyed twice but recovered both times. One day, my master sent me to a chaotic place in order to investigate the situation there. Once I arrived, I discovered that a Snow Demon was fighting with an extremely violent spirit in order to protect its child.
The Snow Demon was unable to defeat the violent spirit, but its ferocious counterattack badly wounded the violent spirit and forced it away.
My master, who had hidden himself away long before this, immediately ordered me to kill the Snow Demon and take away its child when he saw this. He said that the child would be worth lots of money. However, I saw the pleading expression in the Snow Demon’s eyes. I could sense that it was not pleading for itself but for its child.
I refused the order.
I don’t know why I did. As a puppet, I should have been completely loyal to my master’s orders, but in that moment I suddenly chose to ignore the order.
I didn’t kill it. Instead, I turned around and left.
My master was infuriated.
I was sent back to Master Roger because my “core controller had been damaged, making it impossible for it to obey its master’s orders.”
Yes, I was sent back to Master Roer as a defective product.
Master Roger opened up my head and rearranged some components before selling me again.
This time, I was sold to a slaver named Ison. Master Ison had over thirty thousand slaves, including humans, Ravagers, Oceanids, Harpies, Craftsmen, Metalskins, Stoneskins, Moonkin, etc. His job was to organize these slaves, train them how to work, and then sell them to different Arcana Masters.
Three months later, I was returned again because my core controller was defective yet again. I had set free 1,200 captives without a direct order, including one Gu Shuangshan. I heard that he later commandeered Death’s Mountain and became the leader of the human resistance.
I went back and forth from Master Roger to other clients four times. Each time, it was because my core controller was defective and I had done something that wasn’t beneficial to my masters.
After the fourth time I was returned, Master Roger lost his faith in me.
He cursed at me angrily, believing that I would never be fixed, and decided to have me disassembled.
Miss Donna appeared yet again and took me away. I still remember what she said to me. “I don’t care that it ignores its owner’s commands. I like it. It is my first creation, and I like what it did. I think what it did was right.”
Like that, I was returned to Miss Donna’s side.
Those days were the happiest days of my life.
I think the emotion I felt then was “joy.”
I stayed by Miss Donna’s side for four years.
What a wonderful four years.
I never disobeyed my Master’s commands even once.
Miss Donna was a kind Arcanist. Her heart was always good, and she was willing to take care of others. When she saw tragic things happen, she would cry.
I would feel sad when Miss Donna cried as well.
If that feeling can even be described as sadness.
I wished for Miss Donna to be happy, but most of the time she seemed unhappy.
She would often hide in a dark corner and cry. Sometimes, she would hug me as she talked to me about what was on her heart.
Her sorrow was because she was always being ignored, and she was being ignored because she wasn’t pretty enough.
Yes, she wasn’t pretty enough. To this day I still do not understand what the word “pretty” means.
I have no way of understanding this word. I am an inanimate object. This is something I realized only later on, and my inanimate tendencies made it very difficult for me to understand the actions of the Intelligent Races.
Miss Donna told me that “pretty” was a beautiful word. Pretty Intelligent Race individuals would receive the care and affection of other Intelligent Race Individuals.
I thought that Miss Donna was the prettiest of all. I liked her the most.
However, Miss Donna never cared for my love.
She loved Major.
Major was a young Arcanist with a slender figure and very pale skin. He spoke softly and gracefully. Yes, these were the words Miss Donna used to describe hi.
She used every beautiful word she knew to try and describe Major’s appearance, but it seemed that Major didn’t really like Miss Donna. He never paid attention to Miss Donna, greatly disappointing her.
To this day, I still remember when she came back one evening from the Institute all alone.
She sat in the corner and cried bitterly.
She hugged me tightly and told me everything she was sad about. That was when I found out that Miss Donna had dressed herself up beautifully and asked Major to dance, but he had rejected her.
He had done it in front of all her classmates. He had mocked her and ridiculed her for her delusional thinking.
This deeply wounded Miss Donna.
She talked with me for a long time. Even though I was not a recording puppet, I still remember everything that Miss Donna told me that evening.
She drank a lot of wine that night until she passed out.
I watched over her the whole night.
Finally, dawn came.
A long time after that, Miss Donna awoke with a melancholic expression. From that day onwards, I never saw her smile.
This lasted for about a year until one day, that smile suddenly reappeared on Miss Donna’s face.
A smile I had not seen for a long time.
She hummed to herself happily as she skipped along, her face shining like the sun.
I hadn’t seen that smile for a long time. As soon as I aw it, I immediately knew that something had happened.
Soon, I found my answer - Miss Donna never hid anything from me.
Miss Donna was in love.
Yes, in love.
She was in love with Major, the man who had brought her such humiliation and sorrow in the past.
He had suddenly accepted her, causing her life to be filled with happiness.
I was happy for Miss Donna, even though I felt strangely uncomfortable about the whole situation. But as long as Miss Donna was happy, I was happy.
I never imagined that that would be the start of the nightmare.
She had fallen in love with the devil!