Bad Dates

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A/N: Thank you so much for your patience! Tried something a little different for this one, blame all the adventure stories I've been reading and watching haha. I hope you enjoy it~! Also, I added a new illustration to the end of the last chapter!

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On a sleepy street in the heart of Edinburgh, there lies a tea house that has been in business for over 100 years, despite the sign on the door always proclaiming it closed. It provides a haven for a specific type of traveler: one who journeys, not from place to place, but through time.

Aoto watched with amusement as Lills paced back and forth, firing off questions almost as fast as Ken could answer. The museum curator kept up surprisingly well, considering that he had been in a painkiller-induced slumber only a few hours ago.

"Hold on- let me make sure I have all this straight," Lills said, readjusting her glasses. "So your father invented time travel and then formed a secret society. And when he died, he wrote a book of all his secrets, and some other bloke joined the society?"

"Yep."

"And that man was utterly mad and created the thief of time, and then paid a bounty hunter to steal the book of secrets from you. And now you want us to help you get the book back?"

Ken glanced at the bandages that marked where his hand had once been. "Well, hopefully, you can direct me to a good cybernetic doctor too, but the journal is our top priority. And the letter."

"What's this letter you keep mentioning?" Aoto asked, sipping his tea. "And why did you have Shoma, Darcy, and Rubén leave to get clothes for 1890s Thailand?"

"My father wrote me a letter inside his journal before he died," Ken explained. "I didn't think anything of it, but it's strange that my father wrote it inside the journal instead of separate; Brisby would never mix work and personal life, not even in his writing. Also, he used my Thai name, Khunsoek. Brisby only called me Khunsoek in public to maintain an air of professionalism, and so that no one would suspect my true relation to him. But in private, I was always Ken."

"So what do you think it means?" Lills asked, taking a seat. Her cat-like eyes shone with curiosity, and Aoto found it difficult to take his attention off of her as Ken continued, "I think it was a message. My father had many secrets, and he spread those secrets a throughout time so that no one person could have them. He only told me about the location of his notebook when he died, and I assumed that meant he wanted the other secrets to die with him. But maybe... just maybe... he wants me to find them."

The curator leaned forward in his chair, and both Aoto and Lills instinctively leaned closer as well. "My father had a secret library hidden in the jungle in Thailand, not far from where I was born. I don't know the exact coordinates, but if I see the temple, I'll know it. I think that by using my Thai name, Brisby was trying to direct me to it, and more importantly, to whatever lies inside." He sighed. "It's a long shot, I know, but—"

"We're in," Lills said quickly, a massive smile already on her face.

"What she said," Aoto replied.

Ken smiled and nodded gratefully. "Thank you," he said. "Your friends should be back soon with the clothes and supplies. In the meantime, where's Imlach? I haven't had his tea in ages."

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Krabi, Siam (now Thailand)

June 1895

Rubén had been slack-jawed for the last twenty minutes. He'd heard tales of Siam back in Victorian London, but such stories usually painted it as an uncivilized place full of strange people and strange customs (come to think of it, that was how they described every place that wasn't England). Never once had they spoken of the absolute awe-inspiring beauty.

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