Dear beloved Lydia,
Yesterday, there was quite the snow that fell in London.
From early morning, there were carriage accidents happening here and there, and it was quite an interesting sight to see all the number of people who were falling over in front of the mansion.
The Thames River has also completely frozen over and it’s filled with people who are enjoying skating.
When I see people who are holding hands and skating so joyfully, I can’t helped but imagine how it would be if you were here.
Since the Christmas season is one where you spend time with family, I can imagine that you are spending your holiday peacefully with your father. As I wonder how you are doing, I sincerely wish that one day I would be able to spend Christmas and the new year with you.
It’s almost the Twelfth Night.
The Christmas season in London society is considered over already but I won’t do the senseless thing and ask when you're coming back.
Since it was a promise that you can spend the holiday as you wish from the start, I don’t want you to see me as an employer who works you too hard.
I will restrain back my feelings of wanting to see you immediately and divert my urge by writing you letters.
But in truth, I can’t rest in peace. I’m sure you are under the misunderstanding about me and went back to Scotland, and so I was wondering if you still had the intention of returning to London once more.
I’m sure it is quite cold over where you are. I am worried if you might catch a cold.
You always say that you can’t trust my words, but I ask if you can believe just one.
Even when apart, I think of you.
Folding the letter back up and putting it away into a small wooden chestnut box, Lydia let out a small sigh.
Ever since she became the fairy doctor of the Earl of Ibrazel, Lord Edgar Ashenbert, it was the first time she was away from him for a long period of time.
She forcibly got a long holiday break and was spending it in Scotland far away from London in her family home near Edinburgh, but Lydia was strangely not able to remain calm.
That must be because there were letters arriving practically every day from Edgar.
He was an earl who didn’t hesitate to treat Lydia as his bride-to-be, and she couldn’t completely believe his sweet words and she ran away, not know what to do from the fear that she might fall in love with him.
Because he was a renown philanderer who schooled himself with numerous relationships with women. Even with this letter, she didn’t how much she could believe it.
But once she read the letter that was sent, Lydia would relax the muscle in her cheeks at just the little happenings in London and feel pain in her chest when she felt Edgar’s loneliness of not having any family members, and her heart was wavered by his unusually serious words.
Edgar in the letter gave the impression of sincereness and honesty. He seemed like a totally different person than the Edgar she normally knew as bold and haughty and like a noble, and according to the person become a beautifully handsome malicious devil.
But Edgar had a delicate and lonesome part about him, and because of that Lydia was dragged into living in London and commuting to his estate there and had let it remained that she was his ‘fiancée.’
On her left hand, she wore the moonstone ‘engagement ring.’
It could only be removed by Edgar and yet she came back home here forgetting she was wearing it.
But still, this moonstone which apparently possessed fae magic was made so that ordinary people wouldn’t be able to see by the mining fairy Coblynau who was its caretaker.
So it was able to go unnoticed by her father and the people in the town.
After Lydia’s father, who was her only family member had attended a party that was held from New Year’s Eve to the New Year, claimed that he wanted to do a geological survey while the university was closed and so was on a trip to Northern Europe.
Lydia, who was left to stay, was in a situation that if she felt like going to London she could leave anytime, but her feelings weren’t decided and so she was spending her time slowly.
She stepped away from her desk and approached the window and whipped the fogged glass with the tip of her fingers.
The sky outside was covered with low gray clouds and it appeared like the afternoon was going to approach daybreak from an earlier start.
The glass window that was out to take the open air was frozen over so cold like ice and when it came in contact with the air of the room that was warmed by the hearth, it didn’t take any time in becoming clouded again.
When she whipped away the fog one more time, she saw the faint reflection of herself with her reddish-brown hair set to flow down.
Her eyes were a golden-green, and could see fairies that ordinary people could not. Her eyes, which were spurned by the townspeople who also called her a witch, were glaring back at her through the mirror like they were ready to pick a fight.
Because she couldn’t believe that it was her that Edgar said he was thinking about in the letter he sent, and so Lydia wasn’t able to easily face him heart-to-heart.
“Lydia, are you perhaps waiting for a letter from him?”
The one who appeared in her doorway was a young girl who had her coffee-colored hair carelessly tied up in a ponytail.
“What, oh goodness, Lota, what are you saying? That’s impossible.”
She rushed to deny it, but Lota still looked apprehensive.
Lota was a former pirate but decided to live in London for a while after meeting her real-life grandfather, but she appeared in Lydia’s town a few days ago by herself, saying she wanted to spend some time with her friend.
“But you know, at the same hour of every day, you go and stand by the windowsill. Right when it’s time for the mail to arrive.”
“Oh, really, I didn’t notice.”
“Look, it’s the postman!”
In a flash, Lydia pushed her cheek against the window, but realized what she was doing when the snickering Lota said “Jus----t kidding.”
Turning red, she pouted her cheeks.
“Sorry, sorry, but it isn’t something you should hide.”
Lota patted Lydia’s shoulder, but she let out another sigh.
“It’s just a letter was arriving every day and lately none arrived, so I was a little worried. He might have gotten sick or injured.”
The letter Lydia had read earlier was a letter that had arrived a while back.
“Edgar? Sick? Injured? No such thing. More like this is sure to be one of his schemes.”
Lota sat herself down on a chair and crossed her legs. Even if she decided to live with her grandfather, she couldn’t get rid of the masculine way she carried herself since she used to be a captain of a pirate crew.
“He knows that if he stops sending letters then you would get worried. Just like how you are now. So he’s trying to lure you to cut your holiday short and return to London.”
That made sense. Lota was an old-time acquaintance of Edgar and knew exactly how criminal and flirtatious he was.
I was about to be tricked.
Lydia tried to collect herself and stepped away from the window thinking she wouldn’t dare wait for anymore letters.
However, as soon as she heard the ring of the bell used by the post man, she went running out of the room.
She dashed out into the garden and shoved the wooden gate open to get to the mailbox. She saw a white envelope poking its head out and tried to pull it out, but a fluffy haired gray-colored cat snatched it away from her.
“It’s finally here, this is for me.”
“Nico, you write letters?”
Seeing Lydia giving him a look of surprise, the fairy cat standing on his hind legs on top of the post box puffed out his chest arrogantly.
“Writing letters is what gentlemen do.”
He was a fairy who liked to wear neckties and groomed his fur with a comb and walked around copying the gestures of a gentleman.
He was Lydia’s childhood friend and partner, but because he spent so much time with humans he could read and write. Out of all the fairies Lydia knew, he was the most human.
However no matter how he tried to copy, he would always be in the body of a longhaired gray cat, and so the more human he acted, the more strange it appeared.
“Miss Carlton, Mister Nico, would you please listen?”
The voice came from the bushes. The one who stepped out from the leaves was Coblynau. He was a small fairy with a snub nose, unkempt beard and dressed like a coal miner who scurried his way up the fence and starting bouncing up and down when he reached the top.
“It’s an emergency!”
Fairies tended to over-exaggerate. That’s why Lydia decided to prioritize with checking the mailbox than listening to his emergency, but it looked like the letter addressed to Nico was the only one, because nothing was inside.
“Miss, this is in regards to your fiancé the Blue Knight Earl.”
Lydia turned to face Coblynau.
“You know that I’m not Edgar’s real fiancée, right?”
Blue Knight Earl was another name for the Lord of Ibrazel.
However Lydia was not officially engaged with Edgar. It was just the result of a troublesome situation that went terribly wrong, and ever since, Edgar had been treating her as his bride-to-be.
She has been correcting this small fairy repeatedly, but as long as she was wearing the moonstone engagement ring, then Coblynau only saw her as the future wife of the Blue Knight Earl.
“It happens to be that the last Ashenbert earl had appeared in England one-hundred years ago.”
A hundred years ago?
According to the official records, an Ashenbert heir hadn’t appeared for three-hundred years.
“Who said that?”
“The white swans at the riverbank. Have you heard that there are small fairies who lives amongst the swans and travel with them?”
Of course she knew there were fairies that travel by riding migrating birds. However, she wouldn’t be able to get near wild, cautious birds.
“Their flock had apparently been rescued by the Blue Knight Earl before.”
“Was it really the earl? It could be an imposter from another bloodline,” interrupted Nico.
That could also be true, even if it was believed no living member of the Ashenbert family, an illegitimate bloodline existed. The boy from that illegitimate line was currently at odds with Edgar who had inherited the family title.
“It must be real because they claimed that the Ibrazel army and family banshee were also brought along. Even if that man was born from the earl, someone from the minor bloodline wouldn’t be able to do such a thing.”
Lord Blue Knight was a human who governed the fairy kingdom and pledged his loyalty to the King of England who granted him the title of earl.
His descendants came to be known as Blue Knight Earl and possessed estates within England but Ibrazel, a great island believed to be a myth was the earl’s main residence and it wouldn’t be any surprise if an army existed.
There was a chance for the fairies living with the swans to coincidently meet the real earl during their travels.
But that would mean the real earl’s descendants might be alive somewhere. Or was the earl who appeared one hundred years ago the very last heir?
Then why didn’t that individual go and retrieve the sword that was entrusted to the merfolk by the previous earl?
“Coblynau, I would like to meet those fairies.”
“Uhh, it seems like they have already departed. They said they would like to meet the earl and his wife, but circumstances did not permit them to wait….”
Like I said I’m not his wife.
She couldn’t help but frown into a frustrated look. Instead of Lydia, Nico asked a question.
“What was that circumstance?”
“Well, that was, uh….”
The coblynau looked like it was torture to say.
“Hey, Lydia, I found something great.”
Just then, a good-looking young man hopped over the bushes in one leap and landed right in front of Lydia.
“Wh-what do you want, Kelpie?!”
Kelpie combed back his ruffled black wavy hair with his hand and made a childish smile and released bird feathers to fall down around Lydia.
The sight of the white wing-feathers floating down like gifts from an angel was so romantic that it one couldn’t take eyes off it…..
But romance couldn’t possibly be staged by this barbaric water horse standing in front of her.
“You ate a swan!”
“I made sure to keep the feathers. Just for you. I remembered how happy you looked when you picked up a feather the other day during your stroll.”
That was because the white feather was marvelous.
However there was no mistake that Kelpie ripped these off before he devoured the creature, so she couldn’t enjoy such a gift.
The swans would have never guessed that a water-horse lived in the highlands so near Edinburgh. Lydia pitied the birds that lost a dear member of their flock and sighed at the thought of how they were surely miles away in the sky from here as she brushed away the wing feathers stuck on her dress.
Kelpie cheerfully peered down to Lydia with his mouth stuffed with feathers.
“Lydia, wouldn’t you agree that life in Scotland is great. There are so many things to eat and the water is so clean and delicious. Don’t you feel you want to live here forever?”
“You mustn’t Miss, you should not listen to what that unseelie court is saying,” protested Coblynau as he tugged a lock of wavy hair of Kelpie who was leaning down towards Lydia.
“That earl could never make you happy. Just when you arrived here, don’t you remember how tired you were? It was his fault, wasn’t it? You were hurt by his philandering, weren’t you?”
“Who did you hear that from?”
When Lydia glanced at Nico, he averted his eyes away.
He can’t keep his mouth shut.
But what Kelpie said maybe true.
She wasn’t sure if she wanted to change the close and distant relationship she had with Edgar. She returned to Scotland in fear of that happening but as time passed by in Scotland, Lydia was gradually able to regain her old self.
The townspeople didn’t believe in fairies as they always have been and gossiped about oddball Lydia from afar, but even though people talked badly about her behind her back and no one understood her feelings, she realized she would never be alone as long as she had her fairies.
When she had just left London, she was feeling lonely, tired and confused even though she had fairies to keep her company.
During the time Lydia was with Edgar, she must have been under his influence believing she was pretty like a normal girl or more.
If the noble, handsome Edgar, who was sought-after from women throughout London society, seriously claimed that he was only interested in her, then she wouldn’t mind considering it…… But after she came to her senses now and recalled how she had desired so much from him for even a second, she realized how vain and dreaming she was.
Every person is born with what they could and could not do. We should all live within our own capacity. Living quietly with fairies was the best life for Lydia.
“No Miss, a married man’s philandering is like a disease. As long as you treat him with deep love, his sickness will be cured and he will come to love only his wife…..” said Coblynau as he continued to pull Kelpie’s hair.
Something like that could only happen in a million years. Besides, why do I have to be the generous one?
“If you are worried about his adultery, then it is best that you return to the earl. Miss shouldn’t be the one cheating with a kelpie.”
“Hold on, that’s a good idea. Lydia, if you want to get back at the earl then I’ll help,” offered Kelpie.
“You don’t have to!”
“Then please return to London,” argued the coblynau.
“Hey, shortie, don’t stick your nose into other’s affairs. Lydia isn’t going back to London ever again.”
Kelpie picked up the coblynau. The mine fairy must have feared he would be eaten. The blood rushed out of his face and he fainted.
“Oh Kelpie, don’t be mean to him.”
“Hey everyone, tea is ready!” yelled Lota.
Nico was the first one to jump down from the mailbox and ran to the door. Small fairies came bustling out from some bushes.
Even Coblynau awoke and jumped out of Kelpie’s hand to escape to tea.
“Human food isn’t really that filling,” murmured Kelpie as he also entered the house.
My goodness, fairies sure say and do as they please.
But Lydia still didn’t hate them for their selfishness and innocence.
If you knew how to get along with them, they treated you well.
For one thing, no one in the town dared to approach this Carlton house which was occupied with fairies. So the only one left to take care of cleaning the house was the hobgoblins.
The family’s house was built on the best location of the area, and her father was an university professor and well-respected by the townspeople, so she was able to hire a housekeeper to come clean and cook every day while her father was here. However, since his only daughter was seen as a freak no housekeeper was hired was she was here alone.
In such a house, it was wonderful to have a human guest who would sit down and have tea with Lydia.
The tea, prepared by the resident hobgoblin, suddenly appeared on the table out-of-nowhere, but Lota apparently didn’t bothered by it.
Lydia’s fairy friends surrounded to inspect Lota as this was a rare chance to see Lydia’s human friend. What a peaceful afternoon this was.
Lydia could see that this was the best life for herself.
If she remained here, she wouldn’t be messed or rattled around by Edgar….as much.
If she didn’t return to London, what would he think?
“Lydia, what are you doing?” asked Lota.
When Lydia was fumbling around in the study late at night with the light on, which caught Lota’s attention and she poked her head in.
“You aren’t going to sleep?”
“I just wanted to research something.”
Lydia was searching for her mother’s diary.
In the diary of her mother who was a fairydoctor, there were records and useful notes written down about fairies.
She read all the volumes of her mother’s diary collection repeatedly to see if anything was written about the Blue Knight Earl, but found nothing.
Since the earldom was an England peerage, there might not be any information about it in Scotland.
Perhaps her mother only knew what was published in the popular novel about the earl.
Lota placed her candlestick onto the table, and glanced down at what Lydia had scribbled down.
“Is it about the Blue Knight Earl?” she asked.
“Um, well you know how I’m the Earl’s private fairy doctor? Edgar doesn’t know anything about fairies, but he needs to how to communicate with fairies, or he will be in trouble in the future.”
Lydia knew how Edgar wanted to become like the first earl. If he didn’t, then he wouldn’t be able to win against the man who inherited the earl’s magical powers.
She was bothered by what the coblynau said and decided to use this opportunity to go through with earl’s family history with a fine tooth comb, but that wasn’t because she was worried for Edgar, it was her duty.
After Lydia repeated that same excuse to herself in her head, Lota tilted her head in confusion.
“Hey Lydia, in all honesty, you really do love Edgar, don’t you?”
Lydia was ready to laugh at Lota’s remark, but she was gazing at her with such a serious face that wouldn’t allow any humor so Lydia remained silent .
“If you realized that you do care for him after being apart so long, then I’ll go beat the hell of out him so that it’ll straighten him out.”
I wonder if he could ever become a proper man.
As she worried about that, she closed the diary.
“I can’t tell if I have feelings for him or not. He was the first man who was so charming and nice to me, and there are times when he’s serious which makes me want to believe in him, but when I’m here, alone, without Edgar, I am happy with that.”
“But you would stay up all night looking up something for him.”
“This doesn’t really feel like it’s for him, more like for my satisfaction. The duty of a fairy doctor is very important to me. If I didn’t have fairies, then could never be happy.”
“I understand. Since the fairies here seem like they really do care about you.”
Lota grinned. Lydia smiled back at her, and an idea popped up in her head.
She heard that her fairy doctor mother had left the place she was born and eloped with her father.
She brought only Nico along, parted with her childhood fairy friends and came to live in an unknown land with only one man she could trust.
Why was she able to make such a sacrifice?
Lydia could understand how easy it would be to trust a serious, honest person like her father. But she also knew making such a big decision didn’t depend if your partner was honest or not.
The reason she untied the string around her mother’s diary to open it might have been because she wanted to know the reason behind that decision, but the only thing that was written in the diary was about fairies.
Her mother had very close fairy friends and knew how much time was remained in her life.
That’s why she must have written all that she knew about fairies for her daughter who could also see fairies like her.
“Lota, I’m thinking about going to Mannon Island.”
“Where’s Mannon Island?”
“It’s one of Edgar’s island estates. Merfold who has known the earl family for generations lives in those waters. Edgar and I don’t know all that well about the earldom, so we must learn more about it.”
It was Lydia who helped Edgar become the Blue Knight Earl. However, the true powers of the Blue Knight Earl were so powerful and that he could rule a whole country in the fairy world.
Even if she called herself the earl’s private fairy doctor, Lydia had no magical powers of her own, she could only research what was written by others.
“That’s why you’re going to Mannon Island? But Lydia, it’s not important that you don’t have any powers, but your feelings towards Edgar.”
In regards to feelings, Lydia was scared about coming to the truth.
That’s why she tried to turn her focus on something else.
Going to Mannon Island might be the only way to delay her return to London.
When he woke up in the morning, Paul Foreman saw a young man with brilliant golden hair standing before him.
“Good morning, Paul,” said the visitor.
If this man didn’t speak, people would think he was a sculpture.
He stood with his back straight and held a top hat and walking stick in his hand. He was a perfect example of beauty. His soft, gentle smile enhanced his perfectly carved face and there wasn’t a crease or wrinkle in his high-end slick suit.
But the background behind him was terrible. Why was he was standing in such a cluttered room?
Paul was a painter so his artistic sense couldn’t allow such a beautiful specimen to stand in such a filthy room.
Why is a noble like him in such a horrible place like this? No, maybe I’m still asleep. So Paul closed his eyes tightly, but when he opened to glance up to see the man’s mesmerizing ash-mauve eyes staring back at him, he finally realized that this man was the real life Lord Ashenbert.
“M-My Lord…., why are you…., no, I mean, forgive me for being dressed like this,”
Paul jumped out of his bed covers.
Even if he stood up on his mattress, his naturally wavy hair was in a straggly mess and since he slept in the clothes he wore from the previous night out with his drunkard friends, he was in complete disorder.
“Since I didn’t get a reply at the door, I took the liberty and came inside. You didn’t lock the door so I was worried that you might be dead.”
Dead?! That opened up his eyes.
“Uhh, I’m terribly sorry to make you worry. I had a little too much to drink, and I returned at day-break and had been asleep all this time.”
“I see. You saved yourself by not being home last night. I heard there are some violent robbers breaking into homes recently, and there was a chance they were targeting you.”
As Paul fixed his shirt buttons that were buttoned wrong, he tilted his head in confusion at the earl’s comment about his life being saved and then finally noticed that everything in his bed chamber including the studio he could see through the doorway was completely a mess.
His living quarters and studio was a bit disorganized from the beginning but its currently poor state was far beyond that.
“Whoooahh! Wh-what happened? Who did this?”
He didn’t have any memory after coming home completely drunk and falling onto his welcoming bed.
It seemed like he was so drunk he hadn’t realized what state his bed chamber was in when he came home.
Paul stumbled and rolled off his bed and managed to get back on his feet to dash into his studio.
“You should check if anything was stolen.”
“B-But, but, I don’t have anything worth stealing…”
He was a fairy painter who just barely started. Currently, his only patron was Lord Ashenbert who bought most of his work.
To prove his statement all his painting were left behind, lying on the floor.
However, they were all important to Paul. He quickly went to pick them up and check to see if there were any smudges or paint scrapped off.
“Yesterday Slade’s club was also broken into. Apparently all his servants were tied up and left in the basement.”
Mr. Slade was the art dealer who had been struggling to sell Paul’s paintings and the owner of a high-class club that served the high-class society.
But more importantly he was also the head of a secret organization called the ‘Scarlet Moon’, which Paul was also a member and it seemed like that position might have something to do with this break-in.
It originally was an organization made by a group of painters and sculptors but the leading artists were killed by a man named “Prince”.
Prince also killed the family of Lord Edgar Ashenbert, the man standing before Paul, when he was only a child and had him shipped to America and made him his slave.
The earl later escaped from Prince’s organization and became the leader of the Scarlet Moon, promising to seek revenge, but one of Prince’s subordinates who came to England might have made the next big move.
“Then this, ……might be done by Prince?”
Prince’s subordinate happened to be a 15, 16 year old-looking boy named Ulysses who Paul also met before.
"I’m guessing that they were looking for something. For example Paul, your father was killed by the orders of Prince. You said you didn’t know the reason why he was targeted. What if he had something or kept a secret that Prince needed to know?”
“Do you suppose they thought that I would have that?”
“Do you have any ideas what it may be?”
“Not at all.”
“Slade also said O’neil knew nothing, but the other problem is that you are the son of the murdered painter O’neil and that we don’t know why they uncovered O’neil’s secret connection with Scarlet Moon.
I see, thought Paul. Paul was there when his father was killed and he nearly died but was miraculously saved, and became Foreman’s adopted son who was his father’s friend and a fellow Scarlet Moon member.
However there were only a few people who knew that Paul’s wasn’t Foreman’s real son.
Of course the earl knew and that was why he was worried about where that information had leaked out from.
“But it doesn’t look like anything was stolen, so they might have realized that I don’t have anything important.”
“I’m not sure about that, if O’neil’s son turns out to be alive, then they wouldn’t allow it. Even more if that son might be hiding some important information,” said the earl like that was nothing.
“…..What should I do?”
Paul shivered. He didn’t like the idea of being killed for an unknown reason.
“You should take refuge at my manor.”
Paul nodded in gratitude. He had complete trust in this young earl and believed there couldn’t be a more trusting man than him.
This handsome, elegant aristocrat was gifted with undeniable charisma that was rare to find in the peerage these days.
He was calm, self-possessed intelligent man who never cowered in any dangerous situation. Not only that his sociable personality allowed him to get along with anyone, which helped him win the favors of the young members of the Scarlet Moon, including Paul.
His habit of having numerous relationships with women wasn’t a very ideal trait for a leader but it seemed like he was refusing all offers for the sake of one woman he was interested in, but regardless of that he was an amazing man.
“I would be ideal if we could find whatever they were after before they do.”
“The articles left by my father are only sketches and drawings. Would you like to take a look?”
Those were scattered out on the floor as well.
“At least it doesn’t seem like they were looking for a painting,” noted the earl.
If they were after a painting or letter that might have something important written on it, then they must have taken all the papers with them.
“By the way Paul, I underestimated you. It seems I’ve interrupted the both of you.”
Paul was in the middle of picking up his paintings and turned around tilting his head like he didn’t understand what the earl was talking about.
The earl was standing next to the open doorway leading into the bed chamber. In the direction his eyes were pointing, there was something moving underneath Paul’s bed covers.
In the next moment, the creature stood up and stripped off the covers and peered back at the two men.
It was a young girl with long hair. Her age seemed somewhere around 14 or 15. She had pale, white skin and wore a thin, plain dress that nearly looked like undergarments.
Paul froze, unable to speak as the earl walked over to the girl.
“Excuse me, miss. Would you be Paul’s lover?”
It was his forte in breaking down a girl’s barrier towards strangers with one glance at his smile. The girl’s tight cheeks softened up and she looked like she was about to nod to Edgar’s question which snapped Paul back to reality.
“My lord! That isn’t true! I have never seen her before. ….Um, pardon me, young lady, but why were you in my room?”
At Paul’s sudden interruption, the girl’s face quickly wrinkled into an expression like she was about to cry.
“Oh, please do not cry. It’s all right, I’ll make sure to teach him later. Paul is an honest man. He wouldn’t do any wrong to you,” said the earl soothingly.
As he eased the girl, the earl picked up a green hooded cloak that was lying under the bed and wrapped it around her shoulders. Since it didn’t seem to be Paul’s, it must have been hers.
From there, the earl dragged the still-dazed Paul into the next room.
“Um, I really do not have any recollection of how this happened,” whimpered Paul. He was the one who felt like crying.
“But in reality, there she is.”
“Uhh, I was terribly drunk yesterday and don’t remember a thing….”
“I see. That happens sometimes. But in this kind of situation, you must remain calm. It will only cause trouble if the woman starts to make a fuss. First things first, in order to keep her calm you must never say that you don’t remember anything. Your only option is to have the girl peacefully accept the fact that nothing happened between the two of you.”
Paul noticed this was one of those moments when the earl lowered his voice and spoke like the devil.
“My lord, you told her that we wouldn’t do her any wrong.”
“It means that there are different ways to manage these sorts of things. And there won’t be any future trouble if you manage to couple her to another man.”
“….Do you always do that?”
“I’ve never taken a girl to bed while I was drunk and forget about it. Besides, what fun is a tumble if you can’t even remember it, it’s much more fun to invite a miss and not cause mistakes which lead to trouble down the road.”
Paul couldn’t find comfort in this lecture of what was natural behavior…..and his shoulders slumped down.
“Excuse me…., does that gentleman not recognize who I am?” asked the girl nervously as she slowly peered out of the doorway.
“I don’t remember who I am, this gentleman came and spoke to me like he knew me last night, so I was convinced that we were acquaintances and so I followed him here.”
“Paul, it looks like you did invite her.”
“What, no, I, I didn’t intent on inviting her to my place,” exclaimed Paul. But he was finally starting to remember things.
His young girl was sitting down on the ground in the corner of an alleyway and was crying. Paul passed by and decided to help her. It was a mystery why all the other people were passing by her like they didn’t see her. It was like she was invisible to them.
Paul was desperately trying to recall his memory as the earl asked the girl another question.
“So, young lady, did you come here with him and spent the night?”
The earl asked her like audience enjoying a show.
“Yes, when I’m by his side, I feel like I’ve known him from before, like nostalgia…..”
“Which means this could be a meeting chosen by fate,” said the earl teasingly.
If Paul left the conversation in the hands of someone who was seeking entertainment, then the result was going to be horrible. Paul decided to ask the girl himself.
“Uhh, so did I do anything to you?”
Trying to be considerate of her feelings, he decided to be a gentleman and stood ready to take any responsibility.
“What do you mean did anything?” she responded.
However Paul was only returned with a face utterly confused.
“In other words, what happened after Paul and you arrived here last night,” urged the earl.
Aren’t you being a little too blunt, my lord?
“He went inside and fell down asleep on the bed. So I decided that I should go to sleep as well.”
“What? How boring,” uttered the earl.
Opposite of the earl, Paul breathed out in relief and slumped down onto a chair.
“So, young miss, are you saying you don’t remember your own family or name?”
“Yes. …. However I do remember that I served a peer and what my master’s name was."
“I guess you could have been employed by a peerage. What was your master’s name?”
“Lady Gladys. She was extremely beautiful, a brave and noble woman…”
As the girl explained, her eyes suddenly filled with tears that came pouring down her cheeks.
“I’m sorry, for some reason, when I think of my master I can’t stop crying.”
“Did something happen to her?”
Having his innocence proven, Paul switched his focus on solving the girl’s dilemma.
“I don’t know…”
Her tears wouldn’t stop and she covered her face with her hands.
“If she’s such a lovely woman, I would love to meet her. If we don’t know her family name, then I can’t think of anyone off the top of my head, but I shall investigate who she might be.”
“Thank you so much, sir,” said the girl between a sniffle.
Just then, Paul happened to lower his gaze to the floor and bent himself down towards the girl’s feet.
Lying on the floor boards were several yellow-colored round stones. Furthermore, there were more dropping from above.
They were the girl’s tears.
Her tears trilled down her cheeks and rattled when they hit the floor.
Even the earl noticed and bent down to pick one up.
“Wha-what could this mean?” asked Paul.
The two men both glanced up at the girl who was still crying.
Her tears soaked her eyelashes and trickled down her cheeks like natural droplets but as soon as they dropped into the air they instantly hardened into amber and made a hard thud as they hit the floor.
No matter how one saw it, she wasn’t human.
“A fairy? Are you a fairy?.....”
The girl didn’t stop crying as she nodded back to the earl’s question.
“Then would that mean your master is also a fairy?”
She shook her head, but it was unclear if she meant no or she couldn’t remember.
“My lord, I think it’s best to ask for Miss Carlton’s help.”
Paul didn’t become surprised when he’d see a real fairy now-a-days, but even if he was a painter who specialized on fairies, he wasn’t an expert about them.
He knew that the fairy doctor Lydia was taking a long holiday to enjoy Christmas in Scotland, but the end of the holiday was approaching.
“Are you saying that I call her back to work? Then no.”
“Huh, but why?”
“If its work, then the responsible Lydia would gladly return, but I don’t want that, I want her to return because she misses me.”
“But she hasn’t shown any signs of coming b…”
Paul nearly finished his sentence but clamped his mouth shut.
This was a man could have any woman he beckoned for, any girl would be dazzled if they spent a minute with him, but for some reason Lydia was the only girl who he couldn’t win over.
The earl was going around exclaiming that she was his lover, but they were anything but that.
Paul wasn’t aware why the earl permitted her return to Scotland, but he wasn't using his usual forceful approach like go getting her himself but seemed to be planning his next move extremely carefully.
Paul felt cold sweat after remembering what happened when people pointed that out to him this past month. What followed was a ticked-off, bitter man.
He would fool everyone with a friendly smile at first but when he opened his mouth he unleashed cold, stinging remarks.
However at the moment, it didn’t look like his temper was sullen. He overlooked Paul’s comment.
“Anyway I’m on my way to meet Lydia. But I don’t want to talk about work.”
“So you finally decided to go and see her?”
Paul wanted to jump from joy.
“I received a report from my investigator that Lydia is heading to Mannor Island. Since it's one of my estates, she’s practically saying to me she wants to see me.”
He hired an investigator. That means he’s having someone report to him what she’s doing.
If she wasn’t the one who told him, then she must have no idea that the earl was planning to greet her.
In contrast, she might have not told him because she didn’t want to see him….
Paul didn’t have the courage to say that out loud.
“Then could you take along this young lady and have Miss Carlton talk to her?”
“I said I wasn’t going to take about work, didn’t I? Besides, what if Lydia misunderstands me bringing along another woman?”
“Uh, then I will accompany you,” offered Paul.
“No. I’m going to spend some time alone with Lydia. I have to use this opportunity and make amends.”
It seemed like he could only become brave when he was walking on his own territory.
“Paul, until Lydia returns it’s your responsibility to look after this girl.”
“What, bu-but, she’s a fairy. How am I supposed to take care of a fairy?”
“I’ll leave that to you to figure out. Oh, it’s almost time for my train.”
The earl took out his pocket watch and checked the time with the happiest smile no one had seen for a month.
“Now then, make sure to take caution just in case Ulysses is still after you. You must hurry and pack your things. If you need anything, go to my head-maid Harriet, she will take care of the rest.”