“Gee, it’s still a long ways to London .”
He was tired from all the running and slumped down to lie on the grass near the riverbank and mumbled with a sigh. It had been three days since he left Scotland , London was far away even with his speed which was his pride and specialty. “ Lydia , what was she thinking in going off without telling me?”
“ Lydia , what was she thinking in going off without telling me?”
And he heard that she was even hired as a fairy doctor in London and it would be quite some time before she was going to return, but he could only reply that she had to be joking.
He was told that the one who was holding Lydia back, was the Blue Knight Earl who was a human yet had an estate in the fairylands. Even he had heard of that name.
However, if it was the earl who had the power to have fairies yield to him, then there shouldn’t be any need to hire a fairy doctor.
At any rate, he was determined to get back Lydia , and so he galloped out of Scotland . That’s why he came all this way to England , where no one in his clan had stepped foot.
“I will definitely find her.”
Just then, he heard a singing voice from high up in the sky.
“A white moon, the queen’s white moon, a moon for the dear bridegroom….”
Curious, he lifted up his body and transformed into a beautifully handsome young man.
He called out to the small fairy who flew, fluttering from branch to branch
“Hey, young lady, you sure are in a good mood.”
“Good evening, Mr. Black Hair.”
“I’m trying to head to London , do you know if this is the right way?”
“Yes, you’re almost there. I’m also heading to London . To welcome our majesty the queen’s bridegroom.”
“I’m happy for you all. So, what kind of moon were you talking about in that song you were just singing?”
“It is the real moon.”
“Don’t be kidding. There is no way you can get the real moon.”
“We did obtain it. It even waxes and wanes.”
“Wow, how rare. Let me take a look.”
“Now, only just a peek.”
Since the tiny fairy was in such a good mood, it didn’t pay extra caution and pulled out a ring that had a milky, white shinning ‘moon’ attached to it and handed it to him.
“Does it really wax and wane?”
“I see. You let me see such a wonderful thing. Thank you.”
He smiled back at her as he handed back the ring.
“You’re welcome. Now, I have to hurry on my way.”
“Uh-huh, take care.”
After he saw off the fluttering fae disappear beyond the top of the trees, he lolled out his tongue.
“What a dull-headed fairy.”
He opened the palm of his hand and there was the ‘moon’ ring resting in his hand.
The place that Paul Foreman, who was wearing the best clothes he could rent, was stepping inside a place for the first time was a salon that was open to the fashionable social circles.
There were many remarkable individuals who were attending this exhibition held in this high-class club which was a common place for the upper-class society members to attend.
The numerous paintings that were being hanged up on display in the spacious hall were in the currently popular styles and were selected one after another by the Royal Academy . All shared a central theme on being based on a romantic story, and the design of the early period of the Renaissance was delicate and graceful with a fragile beauty and was hailed as befitting to the reign of England ’s beautiful Majesty the Queen.
However, there were also paintings from young painters who were unheard of. If one of their works was able to catch the eye of any of the ladies or gentlemen, then they could have a chance to step out into the world of art. So, because of that, Paul and his works that were just starting out were put in a brilliant frame prepared by the art dealer and was hanged out with the rest of them under the grand chandelier.
However, as of the moment, there wasn’t any gentlemen who stopped to stand in front of his painting.
He was told that it was a little too simple and nondescript. He was well aware of the taste of the upper-class, but he wasn’t able to change his style that easily. That’s why he wasn’t expecting all that much from this display.
More than that, Paul’s attention was hooked onto something else inside the salon.
There was a young blond-haired man who stood out in the center of a crowd who were currently in a lively conversation.
He had the picturesque beauty that could blur over the beautiful men and women in the paintings. When he moved, the air around that area also moved. It was like the light was following where he was going, making the shadows move as well.
But it wasn’t that that Paul had his attention on.
He reminded him of someone. It was like he was the future grown-up image of a young boy from his memories.
A young boy who had supposedly died.
“Paul, what are you daydreaming about. This is your chance.”
The young painter snapped back into reality and finally realized that the young man his eyes were following was standing in front of his own painting.
The art dealer quickly pulled him. When the two of them came up to the young man, the art dealer spoke up in a deferential gesture like an art dealer would.
“How about it, my lord. Don’t you think it is a marvelous painting?”
The name of the young earl, who was the hot subject of the ton’s gossip, was Edgar Ashenbert. He was said to have returned from overseas just this spring.
“Indeed. Is this Titania?”
“Yes. The motif is the fairy queen from ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’.”
From the shadows of a primrose, the moon fairy was lying asleep. The earl’s eyes that were glued onto the painting looked as if he had fallen in love with her.
It wasn’t the power of the painting. Paul was surprised to learn that just having the earl gaze at it, it made the painting seem like it was starting to radiate a glowing light.
Just like how the earl’s softly fitting goatskin gloves, or the knot of his necktie, and even the sheen of his fine evening coat appeared like it was a piece of art.
It even gave the illusion like there was the faint aroma of a flower that was drifting out from the painting.
That aroma was from a noblewoman who had approached them, but it was long before any of them could realize that it was so.
“Isn’t this theme a perfect match for my lord?” said the noblewoman wearing a blue dress.
The art dealer didn’t waste the opportunity to sell.
“Why, of course, the lord earl would know more about fairies than anyone in the ton. Even I, myself had chosen the best piece of work from the numerous paintings of fairies.”
And then, the art dealer turned around to look at Paul. He hurried to introduce him as the one who created this painting.
The earl who was said to run an estate in the world of fairies looked over to Paul and gave him a pleasant smile.
He was told that the young earl was only just past twenty. He was younger than Paul and yet those eyes of his that concentrated onto the fledgling painter appeared like that of a generous patronage.
He worried if it was the foolish attempt to try to win the favor of the earl. Though feeling a bit of diffidence, Paul was nudged by the art dealer’s elbow and so he managed to give his greetings as best as he could.
“It is a pleasure to meet you. Lord Ashenbert.”
“Do you frequently do fairy paintings?”
“Ah, yes. I really like imaginative literature on fairies such as Drayton and Spencer.”
“Have you seen one?”
He was being asked if he ever witnessed a fairy before. However, Paul was taken aback and confused if that question was a joke or serious.
His name, Earl of Ibrazel (Fairy world) was indeed romantic that it roused the interest of people, but Paul thought it was just a name. There were other peers who had titles to estates that didn’t exist.
“My lord, it isn’t nice of you to play fun with an innocent artist,” said the noblewoman.
“Why, my lady. Do you not believe in the existence of fairies?”
“If you saw you can see them, then I’ll will say I’ll believe them.”
“Yes, I’ve witnessed one. A fairy that possess ethereal beauty that no woman on this earthly plain can match that could cast a spell on anyone to captivate them. I wonder if I’m seeing a dream to be able to talk to someone like you?”
If the conversation of the two of them went on a roll, it seemed like they would forget that Paul and the art dealer were even standing right there next to them.
The art dealer badgered him on from behind to hurry up and appeal his art more, but Paul was born an inarticulate man.
He wasn’t able to find a moment to remark and was feeling lost but the earl turned his attention back to him like he suddenly remembered something.
“I would like to see some of your other works, Mr. Foreman.”
“Have you taken a liking to it?” Pushing aside Paul who had gone frozen at the unexpected turn of events, the art dealer clambered forward.
“Yes…., this Titania here, reminds me of a woman I fancy.”
“Oh, my, that sure is inexcusable. Is she your lover?”
“No, it’s my one-sided feelings.”
“Impossible, I couldn’t believe it.”
“It seems I’m not able to understand a woman’s feelings, so I quickly anger her.”
“There is no way you wouldn’t be able to understand a woman’s feelings?”
“It’s true, my lady. So much that I would be grateful if you would teach me.”
“If you are all right with me, then I would be more than happy to.”
Paul couldn’t guess if he really did take a liking to his art or that he was just using it as an expense to woo the noblewoman, but he remained standing still as he saw the two of them walk off.
Paul thought that he reminded him of that boy. But, once he talked to him, his impression was completely different.
Of course he would be, there was no way that he could be that boy.
If you sleep under a grafted apple tree, or imp tree, fairies will capture and take you away.
If it was a beautiful young man or woman, then they have to be particularly careful when they pass under a tree. A fairy’s magic can make anyone fall asleep. If they suddenly felt drowsy and sat down by the tree trunk to take a nap, then most likely, they wouldn’t be able to wake up ever again.
And like that, those who disappeared are said to become the bride or bridegroom of a fairy.
“Long ago, there even was an ancestor of the Blue Knight Earl who had unthinkingly taken a nap under a granted apple tree,” said Tomkins.
This butler of the Earl family was sitting behind a desk in one of the rooms of the earl residence and sealing one invitation after another that were stacked up on his desk.
When he said Blue Knight Earl, he meant the master of this house, the one the fairies called Earl Ashenbert. The name came after an ancestral figure who was called Lord Blue Knight.
For the present-day Britons, that name was only a figurative character from a fantasy novel that was written in the 16th century, but those who knew, knew that figure was modeled after the earl family ancestor.
“And what happened after that?”
Lydia was also helping out with sealing the envelopes as she was enjoying a conversation about fairies with Tomkins.
“It was said that he was taken away to the beautiful fairy queen.”
The bloodline of Lord Blue Knight, who was said to possess magical powers as the lord of the fairy lands long ago, had perished. However, in Tomkin’s family who had served the Blue Knight Earl, generation after generation, they were episodes of the earl relating to fairies that were also passed down.
“Did the earl marry the fairy queen/”
“It seemed like he nearly had to make his vows. But the earl knew of a magical spell. Using that, he managed to be released and returned safely back to the human realm.”
“I know what that magical spell is.”
“Oh, is that true? Just what one can expect from a fairy doctor.”
Lydia was a young girl who was hired as a fairy doctor to this earl family.
A fairy doctor is a specialist in fairies and was able to see and talk with fairies. They even knew the traditional and proper way to socialize and deal with fairies that was nearly forgotten in the present-day 19th century.
From the very start, a fairy doctor’s job was to lend their knowledge of how humans and fairies should properly coexist and undertake the task of trading and bargaining with fairies.
Taking over after her deceased mother, Lydia had just started this job, and she was still an inexperienced fledgling, but she thought she had the motivation and pride of an expert.
“So, Miss Carlton, what kind of spell is it?”
“Oh, Mr. Tomkins, you don’t know it?”
“Yes, that part wasn’t pasted down in the story. And so, I have always been curious to what it was.”
“I’m also curious. Tell me too, Lydia.”
The voice that jumped in was Edgar, the current Blue Knight Earl. He strutted into the room and placed a piece of paper on the table.
“Tomkins, this is list of additional guests, all right.”
“Will this be everyone?”
“Most likely. Will the food preparations make it in time?”
“I will have it taken care of.”
Tomkins took the unreasonable challenge that was thrown at him by Edgar like he was picking up the gauntlet. Well, undertook, really. It seemed like he thought saying ‘I can’t do it’ would be like waving a white flag as a butler.
The Season had started and so every day in London there was a banquet party or ball held somewhere. It was natural that Edgar would come up with saying that he would be hosing a soiree, but the date he chose was much too soon.
But, Tomkins preparation was even more faster than that, so Lydia was surprised in awe.
“Oh, and yes, Lydia, you’re also one of my guests. There should be an invitation arriving to your father soon, so make sure not to forget.”
What, gasped Lydia, stopping to pause in her task of sealing the invitations.
“No, a ball is much too impossible for me!”
“Don’t worry, it isn’t just peers that will be attending.”
Even if he said that, if a middle-class member of society was going to attend a ball, then they were surely some wealthy family.
“And, besides, there isn’t going to be a need for acting formal. This isn’t a royal ball. Oh, yes, Duchess Masefield, you remember meeting her at the Opera house, right? The duchess said she wished to talk to you about fairies again. Now that I think about it, did you know that her husband, the duke was cousins of your father’s teacher?”
She didn’t know that. But when she realized it, a wall had been built up around her, not letting her the choice to refuse.
Even if her father was renowned as a scholar and accepted for his peculiarities, his daughter shouldn’t be allowed to act improperly in front of a peer member that was connected to him.
It was the usual ploy of Edgar.
“But, I don’t know how to dance.”
“Tomkins, when will the dance teacher be arriving?”
“In the afternoon, today.”
“And, so, Lydia, there shouldn’t be any problems.”
There is a major problem!
Was what she really wanted to scream out, but with Edgar in front of her smiling like that, Lydia was left with her mouth open and lost the will to speak.
“For the mean time, it will be all right as long as you got the form. Because the only one who you are going to dance with is me. Oh, yes, you must not dance with any one other than me. Understood?”
“Because I’ll get jealous.”
He said it a matter of factedly, looking straight into her eyes, but Lydia could only feel like he was joking around with her.
Edgar was always like this any time of the day.
Of course, Edgar didn’t have any knowledge in regards to fairies even though he obtained the title of earl of the fairy world and there was a certain background to that matter.
That was why Lydia was forcingly hired as the private fairy doctor of the earl family.
The seventeen-year-old girl who lived in the outskirts of Scotland, couldn’t possibly refuse it after she received the official stamp of approval by her Majesty the Queen, and so, she finally had gotten used to having an office in a nobleman’s grand house and living in the great city of London in these past three months.
However, she still couldn’t understand what this earl was thinking what so ever.
He would speak sweet, heart-melting words to every single woman he met. He was a man who use his gifted looks and with his calculative mind to play himself up to appear as appealing as he could.
Lydia was well aware that she couldn’t seriously take in those kinds of words of his.
She also knew that those words of Edgar that sounds so appealing to the ears was only just his means to get what he desired from people.
But, what she couldn’t understand was where was the fun in pulling out a country bum like Lydia to a grand party.
If it was his wish to simply want to take around and show off a rare girl who was a fairy doctor, then it should be good time that he would grow tired of it.
“I wish that the moon spell would also work on you,” mumbled Lydia under a sigh.
“That’s right, it’s a spell that wards off persistent fairies.”
“Miss. Carlton, it that the magical spell that was said to be used by the Blue Knight Earl?”
“Yes. To refuse the proposal of a fairy, you have to say ‘Only if you would grant me the moon that continuously phases.’ Since it is absolutely impossible, the fairies are left with giving up and going away.”
“I see, since fairies are known for being loyal to the promises they make. So, our lord was also set free from captivity thanks to that.”
Watching Tomkins nod in a deeply moved manner, she watched Edgar walk over to Lydia’s side and leaned up against the desk. He gazed down to her and gave her a meaningful sly smirk.
“I’m persistent, so I won’t give up that easily. I’ll do anything I have to in order to present you with the moon.”
It looked like he was a little annoyed at Lydia calling him ‘persistent.’
“…..I meant that you should only say that to your main love interest.”
“You are my main.”
You mean the woman who is in front of you at the time.
“That’s why I’m a little curious, that would mean you had used that moon spell on someone before, correct?”
Her heart skipped a beat at his clever intuition.
“You said you wished it would work on me as well. Who did you ward off?”
“A, a fairy.”
“So, you were proposed by a fairy.”
“It wasn’t a real…..”
“I feel like I was beaten ahead. So there was another man besides me who fell in love with you that much.”
“Yo-you’re wrong! It wasn’t like that, he was just a little strange fairy, you see, it wasn’t like he fell in love because of being a fairy, but more like he wanted to get his hands on a human.”
“Then, were there others?”
“Men who fell in love with you.”
“Of course there wasn’t! They were all creeped out by me because I was always hanging around with fairies. I received something near a love letter from a boy only once. And that was only a dare that was going on in his group of friends!”
After she realized what she had blurted out, she became terribly embarrassed for honestly coming out with something like that.
There was no need to say what actually happened to him.
“Boys are inept at displaying their feelings. The only way they are able to approach the girl they like is by extending beyond a practical joke.”
Sure, there could be cases like that, but she couldn’t believe that it was the same in her case. Only, Lydia was amazed that Edgar didn’t laugh at her story.
She never spoke of it to anyone before as she thought it was a happening that people would find humorous. To those boys, it was just a light prank.
But, she was confused at herself for being relieved at not being laughed.
Edgar’s ash mauve eyes looked straight at her gently but at the same time, lasciviously.
When their eyes met, she didn’t know what to do and was perturbed. And yet, in the calm part of her mind, she reminded herself that he would use this same trick on anyone to deceive them.
Most likely, the reason why Lydia was able to remain calm was because she knew that he was originally a former criminal thief.
She imagined that he really knew that Lydia wouldn’t be drawn to him however smooth he could talk.
That’s why she felt there were times when there was something like a friendship that was bridged between them.
Or, was that just Lydia’s imagination?
She realized that the butler had mysteriously left the room before she knew it, and he placed his hand to hold hers on top of the desk so naturally that she couldn’t react in time to avoid it.
“But, you know, I actually want to thank the fact that there were only clumsy boys around you.”
She tried to pull away her hand, but it was tightly gripped. But, it wasn’t so tight that it was forceful, just barely gentle enough that it wrapped around hers.
Perhaps that could have been why Lydia couldn’t really build up the strength to fight it.
“Lord Edgar, a package arrived from Mr. Slade.”
The voice that interrupted was Raven’s.
This brown-skinned young man worked as a servant to the earl family and was the servant that Edgar put his trust in more than anyone. From the time they were both in the underground life in America, he was loyal to the point that he would do anything if it was to protect his master.
Left with no choice, Edgar let his hands go of Lydia to turn over towards Raven.
“Raven, wasn’t the first thing I taught you was to take the hint and play it smart?”
Is that really something that should be the first thing to teach?
“Yes. However, the other day, you also said to help Miss Carlton whenever she was in trouble.”
I see, said Edgar as he furrowed his eyebrows. For one thing, Raven wasn’t telling a joke. Before he met Edgar, he was trained not to have any emotion and was said to be treated like a tool, so it must be difficult for him to take a hint.
“Which should I prioritize?”
“That depends on the time and situation. You have to adapt to the circumstances…. Oh, no, it’s all right, since you were able to decide that Lydia was troubled just now.”
Raven normally lacked facial expression, but the small blink he did appeared like he was relieved that he wasn’t reproached by Edgar.
“So, Slade you say….., ahh, that art dealer. Open it. It’s good timing. I was wanting to show it to Lydia.”
The thing that Raven placed onto the table was a faintly-colored fairy painting roughly about one foot 4 inches.
Despite herself, Lydia leaned it to look at it closer.
“My, how beautiful.”
“It was done by a young painter, but I took a liking to it.”
“Was the painter a woman?”
“Now, I didn’t mean the artist but the painting. I thought this fairy queen looked like you, so I wanted to keep it by my hand it at all costs.”
He turned to look at Lydia intensely again.
“There’s nothing about her that looks like me.”
“She does. She’s adorable and mystical, and if she were to open her closed eyes, I thought she was sure to have the same colored golden-green eyes as you. The beautiful Titania, she’s the splitting image that I have of you.”
There he goes again.
Lydia looked over to Raven helpingly. However, it looked like he decided that he was going to ‘take the hint’ this time. He avoided her eyes.
“I know, let’s have the painter make a painting with you as the model. It would be the most fitting to hang in this house.”
“That’s impossible, no modeling.”
“You just have to sit in a relaxing position. It’s a great idea. If it was you in a painting, then you wouldn’t be angered if I kiss you, right?”
Edgar leaned his lips up against the sleeping Titania. Even if she didn’t think they looked alike, Lydia still became restless.
She couldn’t hold back her plea.
“Stop saying things like we look alike and doing things like that. It makes me get weird ideas. And I don’t like the idea of having you do as you please to a painting of me!”
“It’s not like I was going to use it for an obscene reason.”
“Hu….., I-I never said something like that!”
“Were you imagining something more than a kiss?”
He was sure an absolute flirt for amusingly watching Lydia’s face turn bright red.
“Oh, I’m not your toy. Making me to learn how to dance and telling me to be a model, if you can’t give me the moon, then it’s all impossible!”
If the moon spell would really work, she wished that it would seal this man from spewing such nonsense. Oh, then, what a happy life she could lead.
However, it would never work on Edgar, as he was looking at her amusingly as he could be.
“Then, for the time being, let’s have you concentrate on dancing. Raven, you will be her practice partner.”
“What, I’m going to practice with him?”
“Since it was sudden, the teacher isn’t able to bring along an assistant. That’s why, Raven, you mustn’t get angry just by getting your foot stepped on.”
Lydia timidly looked at Raven who replied humbly.
You have to be joking.
Raven was perfectly loyal towards Edgar, but he was merciless towards his enemies. She was filled with unfathomable fear of practicing dancing with Raven after she was told that he was trained as a hardened killer.
It wasn’t like he hated him as a person, but anyone would want to stay away from any possibilities that might spark the blood-thirsty killer in him that he said was difficult to control himself.
“Oh, Lydia, you’ll soon understand that with human suitors, you’ll be more happy by just giving up then try to drive away the persistent man.”
It looked like the moon spell had the opposite affect on Edgar.
He’s a little more mean than usual, mumbled Lydia as she sighed a breath.
Quadrille, Waltz and Gallop. Lydia was completely confused and struggling hard with the first steps of the dances she was learning for the first time.
Raven was like a wind-up mechanical toy in his precise steps, which made it all the more troublesome when she would just make one little mistake, that would throw her off-balance and nearly made them fall, hence she would naturally step and kick him an endless number of times.
He never uttered a word of pain, and he didn’t show it in his expression, but in that small moment of breath, Lydia was sure he was angry.
But still, she wondered when and from whom Raven learned how to dance.
And, because she was thinking of something unrelated, she made another mistake.
“Oh, young lady, that’s not right. The right foot goes first, and then turn.”
The dance teacher who guided them as he played with a violin was a thin man. He spoke with an excessively high-pitched voice.
“Why don’t we take a break. We can’t have you get yourselves injured from getting hyped-up on your first day.”
The one who was relieved at the teacher’s suggestion was probably Raven more than Lydia.
Leading the teacher to the next room where drinks were prepared, Raven and him left the room, leaving Lydia to herself and she slumped down onto a chair next to the windowsill. A gray-haired cat appeared in front of her.
“Whoa, now, Lydia, what are you doing?”
He was a fairy cat and Lydia’s partner. He acted like a gentleman by wearing a necktie and stood on his hind legs on the spigot by the window and rested his hands on his hips, but he only looked like a cat from top to bottom.
“Can’t you guess by looking, I was dancing.”
“Hmm, I thought that you were taking a toll on that Mr. Raven.”
Instead of being angered at Nico’s wry comments, she grew depressed by thinking he was right.
“Nico, was I that horrible?”
“It was more like a lethal weapon than a dance.”
“……Do you think Raven is angry?”
“Don’t be bothered. If it was a task ordered by the Lord Earl, then he would take it on even if it was torture.”
Isn’t it a little harsh to call it torture. Lydia glumly clamped her lips together.
“Uh….., excuse me.”
She thought she heard a small voice like the faint sound of a bell. She looked around to search for the source, but there was no one.
“Ah, I’d forgotten. Lydia, is the earl here?”
“I think he is, but what is it?”
“This young lady says she has business with the earl.”
Nico lifted up his fluffy tail to reveal there was a tiny fairy atop it. The fairy wore a sunny-yellow dress made of flower petals and combed her way through Nico’s gray-haired fur to come forward and bobbed a little curtsy to Lydia.
“It is my pleasure to meet you, Fairy doctor.”
“You’re a field flower fairy?”
“Yes, please call me Marygold.”
I get it, so she’s a spirit of a marigold.
“What kind of business do you have with the earl?”
“I was entrusted of a present by my master for the Blue Knight Earl. Could I please speak to the earl?”
From her polite attitude and the relief of hearing that she was a harmless fae species, Lydia nodded without giving it much deep thought.
“It may be best to ask the butler who is in the entrance hall. But, I don’t think you will be able to be seen by Edgar. Would you be able to transform to human form?”
“I am not very good at it.”
Even though she said that, Marygold’s body disappeared in a wink of an eye. Instead, there stood a small, young child who wore a flower-petal colored dress.
“Unfortunately, I’m not able to transform into an adult.”
With a five-year-old appearance, it seemed quite strange for her to be speak in such a courteous manner, but it couldn’t be helped since she was a fairy.
“I think that should be all right. Ah, I still have dance practice, so, Nico, you lead the way.”
The teacher and Raven came back into the room.
The fairy instantly turned back to her small form and grabbed onto Nico’s tail.
“Now, young lady, let’s continue the practice.”
Pressed on by the teacher, Lydia once again stood in front of Raven.
“Let’s first begin with a step of waltz.”
The teacher started to clap to a beat. Mixed by that rhythm, the tiny fairy’s voice reached her ears as she was about to leave with Nico.
“Ahh, finally, we will be able to welcome the Blue Knight Earl as our majesty the queen’s groom.”
Long ago, there was a fairy queen who tried to marry the Blue Knight Earl.
Could that fairy be the messenger of that queen?
There was no way, but did they really be able to bring the moon as promised?
If so, and Edgar ends up accepting that, then it means he would have to marry a fairy.
Coming to that conclusion, Lydia panicked and her feet got entangled.
“Miss. Carlton, watch out.”
Raven grabbed ahold of her arm to try to steady her, but Lydia’s mind was preoccupied with thinking, so she instinctively got caught off guard.
She tried to push him away, but stepped on the hem of her skirt and went falling forward.
She crashed into Raven and the both of them toppled over, making her completely squash him under her.
For one thing, since he was of Asian descent, he was much more smaller and slender than the average English man. The both of them masterfully fell down together.
“Oww….., ah, s-s-s, I’m so sorry, Raven. Clumsy me….”
She attempted to move off of him, but wearing a crinoline skirt and trying to get up was more complicated than it seems.
“Ahh, are the two of you all right?”
The teacher finally came up to them, but he apparantely wasn’t the dense type and didn’t offer his hand to help her up.
Just then, Raven’s emotionless face that was right in front of Lydia as she was fumbling around slightly changed with a lift in his brow.
She sensed the sharp sting of malice and in an instant there were goose bumps all over her.
Uh-oh, he finally lost his patience?
But, just when she thought that, Lydia’s shoulder was pinned down.
She saw a flashing image of Raven whipping his hand into his pocket and pulling out a knife. At that moment, she heard the railing voice of the teacher.
“Say your prayers, you dog of Prince…..!”
What? Why does the dance teacher know about Prince?
However, without given any moment to react, Raven forcefully shoved Lydia aside. He lunged towards the teacher and took a swift strike with his knife.
What she heard next was the teacher’s scream.
More than the heated noise that came after that, the scream that Lydia let out from seeing what had dropped in front of her eyes could have been louder.
Momentarily, Edgar came running in with the butler, but at that point, the teacher was gone.
It looked like the teacher escaped from the window leaving his finger behind that was cut off by Raven.
I can’t take it anymore, mumbled Lydia.
Ever since she came into the picture with Edgar, she was constantly fearing for her own safety.
If it was danger related to fairies, then her frame of mind could be prepared for that, but she didn’t want to be involved with blood-running incidents.
To begin with, Edgar was in a position of escaping from a mysterious organization that had a man called Prince as its leader and it seemed like he was planning on starting a war with them.
As long as she was hired by the earl family, she wondered if things like this was going to happen over and over again.
The thought that, maybe, I should resign, crossed her mind, but this was a decent job as a fairy doctor.
Even if Edgar wasn’t a real blood-related member of the Ashenbert family, there existed lands that were inherited by this earl family that still coexisted with fairies, so there was still some use for a fledgling fairy doctor like Lydia.
If she were to return to Scotland, she would be called a freak just like she had always been and would be waiting for job offers that may or may not come.
“Raven, so the teacher was targeting you.”
“Yes, he called me, Prince’s dog.”
As he was thinking of something, Edgar crossed in front of Lydia back and forth again.
“What is the meaning of this?”
“They’re most likely a group that are opposing Prince. They knew that Raven was with Prince in the past and thought it was part of his plan for Raven to come to England.”
“Then, why don’t you tell them that the two of you are also against Prince?”
“Could there be a chance to explain to people who would suddenly attack us? But, well, since they’re a kind of group that’s being left untouched by Prince, so they must not be that much of a threat.”
“But, Lord Edgar, if they knew about me, then wouldn’t they know about Lord Edgar as well?”
He stopped and turned things over in his mind.
“Yes, that could be so. Let’s take precautions, just in case.”
The headquarters of Prince and his organization who robed everything from Edgar and captured him and turned him into a slave was America. More than anything, it was beyond the great Atlantic. It should take quite some time before they could determine Edgar’s location, and during that time, he obtained the title of Earl and established a steady social position in the social societies of England and made it so that no one could get their hands on him that easily.
Not only that, she sensed the hint that he was planning his revenge against those who had their hand in tormenting him, but for the time being, he was in a joie de vivre, enjoying the new life that he won.
Lydia hoped that they would keep that up and just forget their terrible past and revenge, but perhaps that was a difficult thing to ask for.
It was outrageous to have to be targeted by the enemies of their enemy.
Even if she was involved in a bloody confrontation, the reason Lydia didn’t bail out of here was probably because she was worried about their time ahead.
She wasn’t sure what else she could do to help besides her job as a fairy doctor, but since she was involved in making Edgar become the earl, she hoped that he would contribute and nurture the earl family line.
That would also be for the sake of the fairies who live on his estates, so she wanted to be of help to him.
As she was running that through her mind, Lydia realized that Raven had his hand bandaged.
“Raven, did you get injured?”
“I was just grazed.”
“Un, I’m sorry. It was my fault for weighing on top of you.”
If it was Raven, normally, he wouldn’t get himself injured when he was going against just one man.
Edgar gave her a glance.
“Weigh on top? Well, now….. I think I’d like be the practice partner starting tomorrow.”
Lydia imagined if she were to topple down onto Edgar, but that felt like something terribly ridiculous would happen and that made her hurry to reply.
“If-if it was you, then I wouldn’t be able to practice calmly.”
“Does that mean you’re conscious of me?”
“Huh….? That’s impossible! I hate how you have ulterior motives!”
“But, you know, I think that even Raven would have ulterior motives. Isn’t that right?”
Raven, who was requested for a reply, thought for a moment, and earnestly responded with “Probably.”
“So, how was she?”
“Ahh, jeez! What are you asking! Stop it already!”
Lydia turned red and rushed to interrupt them. Edgar snickered to himself and Raven was his usual emotionless self.
“Since it would be embarrassing for Lydia, tell me later in secret.”
“Don’t yes to that!”
They had just found out that they were being targeted and it should have been a serious situation, yet why are these people so care-free and upbeat?
Her mind was filled with disbelief.
Lydia again became confused as to why she was being hired by someone like him.
At that moment, the butler appeared with a message.
“My lord, I have news that the real dance instructor had been shoved down the stairs of his residence when he was about to leave and sprained his leg and sent word that it would difficult for dance lessons for quite some time. The messenger arrived with that message just now.”
Ahh. Edgar let out a voice similar to a sigh of breath.
“So, it was deliberately calculated. Tomkins, choose a new dance instructor carefully and as soon as you can.”
“Certainly. Another thing, there is a small, young lady who is asking if the earl is not available to see her yet.”
“Oh, yes, I’d forgotten.”
Lydia remembered and raised her chin up. When she remembered her responsibility as a fairy doctor, her feelings of Edgar being unreasonable completely flew out of her mind.
“Marygold! I’d forgotten about her too. Edgar, have you met her already?”
“Oh, so she’s your acquaintance? I haven’t met her yet. Just when Tomkins came to notify me, we heard your scream.”
“Thank goodness! It was before you met her. Edgar, she’s a fairy. It seems like it’s going to be something troublesome, so I’ll go with you to see what she wants. And, one more thing, you must not, by all means, accept the thing it is she brought for you.”
He gave her a questioning look, but he still nodded. After he sat down onto the sofa, he told the butler.
“Bring the young lady here.”
Miss Marygold had completely lost her energy from when she first came in with high spirits, appearing in quite a depressed manner.
“Is she really a fairy?” whispered Edgar to Lydia.
“She said she couldn’t change to an older form than this.”
“Too bad. Unless she had ten more years on her, even I would be hesitant to court her.”
She doubted that. He seemed like the type to put on a good face even to an infant.
Just as she thought, he treated her fervent behavior as she politely greeted him like she was a lady and took her hand and sat her down on a chair.
“My lord, I was entrusted from my lady to bring you the promised gift. It was the thing you desired when my lady had asked for your hand in marriage in the past.”
Edgar couldn’t catch what she meant and so Lydia explained.
“She doesn’t mean you, but made the marriage proposal to one of the ancestor of the Blue Knight Earl.”
“Ahh, that story you were talking about with Tomkins. ….So it was true. Which means, Miss Marygold, is your good lady a fairy queen?”
“Yes. Her majesty is queen of the moon fields.”
“Is she pretty?”
“Oh, my, yes….”
What are you getting enthusiastic about.
Of course, if Edgar was indeed eager about it, then there wouldn’t be a reason for Lydia to stop this marriage proposal at all.
“But, is the queen as small as you too? Then, that’s difficult for me to get aroused.”
“Nothing to worry. There will be no need for that.”
“What, so your kind doesn’t have that kind of thing? Then, there’d be nothing for me to enjoy…..”
“That’s not the issue here!”
If she let the two of them talk, then things were going to get off-track. Lydia pinched his arm and interrupted the two of them.
“Marygold, when the promise was made with the queen, the earl should have asked for the ‘moon.” Are you saying that you’ve brought the moon with you?”
“Yes. ……But it has….., been stolen!”
She burst out into wailing tears.
“Stolen you say? There sure are such evil miscreants. Young lady, would you please tell us of what happened? We may be able to be of some help….”
“Edgar, you keep quiet.”
Lydia snapped at him and turned towards the small girl.
“Return home to your queen. The gift that was stolen couldn’t have been the moon. Because, the moon hangs in the night sky even now. That’s why the earl will not marry your queen.”
“Oh, no. We really did obtain the moon. Are you certain to say that the moon hanging in the sky is the real one? Because the moon that our majesty had found truly does changes its phases.”
“How amazing. I would have liked to see it.”
Lydia was desperately trying to evade this and send her back and yet Edgar was carelessly opening his mouth.
“Yes, I would have loved to present it. We all believed that you would instantly take a liking to it and accepted our majesty’s proposal. But….., before I knew it, it had been exchanged with something like this. Just now, I was going to take it out to make sure of it as I was waiting to meet the earl.”
What Marygold took out, looked like an ordinary rock from any side of the road.
“I’m sure that he had stolen it. That awful fairy….”
“It was stolen by a fairy? Then, it would be impossible for us humans to get it back.”
As her shoulders slumped down in dejection, the small fairy nodded. Even if it was a fairy doctor who was an expert in fairy business, they couldn’t create the opportunity to intervene in a trouble that was unrelated with humans.
“I was stopped and talked to as I was heading on my way. Ahh, it was my fault to show the ‘moon’ at that time.”
It was a pity, but there was nothing she could do.
“Oh, Marygold, isn’t there any way you can return back to your kind?”
“I will be punished by her majesty.”
“But, there is nothing you can do if it was stolen. I’m sure she would forgive you.”
“Is there any way you can create another ‘moon’ like the one before?”
“Create? That was something extremely rare, made by the miraculous power of mother nature….”
She nearly spilled everything, but caught herself and quickly shook her head.
“No, the moon is the moon, there exists only one moon on this earth.”
“Hmm, but aren’t fairy queens known throughout the world under the names of moon goddess like Diana and Titania? If it was a fairy of the moon, then I thought that it would be easy for her to create a small little moon.”
“Her queen isn’t a fairy of the moon, but more close to a fairy of the moon shine. A group of small fairies like her kind are embodiments of the near-by field flowers or bugs or small animals and are personifications of something in the landscape. The highest among those fairies are usually a queen that represents the moon.”
“Oh, I see. How marvelous. So you are a lovely marigold, which means there are shamrocks and daisys as well? Or crickets and grasshoppers?”
Edgar went on and on in a terribly good mood.
“It might be difficult for you to return immediately, so why don’t you stay here for a while? Lydia, wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a fairy guest. She could make the excuse that she tried everything she could to try and retrieve the ‘moon’.”
Marygold lifted her tearful face up like she was a little relieved. She was a good-natured field fairy. Lydia decided that if it was something like that, then there shouldn’t be a problem.
It was worrisome of how low Edgar’s standards was against the dangers of fairies, but as long as he didn’t accept the ‘moon’ then he shouldn’t be taken away to the fairy land.
Since there isn’t the ‘moon’ to be worried about.
Out of nowhere, Nico plumped down onto the table near-by. Nico twitched his whiskers and then rubbed his nose.
“I feel something bad.”
After he said that, he looked over to the small rock that was placed on top of the table.
“What is it? Is it about the fairy that tricked Marygold?”
“I’m not sure, but I have a bad feeling. And, besides, this rock has mold on it.”
Mold, a rock that was in water.
Lydia also had a slightly bad feeling.
It couldn’t be, she said to herself.
“My lord, what shall we do about the forgotten item of the instructor.”
At the words of the butler who appeared, her mood went down even more.
What he left behind: four fingers. The sight of that which was burnt into Lydia’s eyes, that unbearable memory flashed back into her mind.
“I’m sure he wouldn’t come back to get it. Why don’t we feed it to some stray dogs?”
Lydia saw the heartless side of Edgar in that instant, and in that moment, she had the dreadful feeling that everything was going to tumble to a bad direction, and she shook her head fiercely to shake that thought away.