Recently, there has been a series of murders taking place in London.
The location where the incidents were occurring was at the London Bridge, one of London's famous places.
Running across the entire city of London, looping into a curve, was the river the bridge sat atop of: the Thames River. The bridge was first built to be a defensive wall, guarding the city since a long time ago.
At the time, not only did it block enemy ships from entering, it was also used for offensive attacks with stones and arrows.
It was once said that the former king at that time, in order to seize the capital taken by Danish pirates, had ordered the bridge to be burned, for it blocked the road. In turn, he was victorious in his battle.
Even now, 1000 years later, this period of time was engraved in people’s memories, turning it into a well-known fairy tale.
But unfortunately, now, at the London Bridge, there were six hanged corpses of victims.
The Earl of Fairies, Edgar Ashenbert, held a grim expression as he read the morning newspaper.
As for the London people, they were in great shock. The victims were not identical in any way, distinct in age and upbringing. The only thing they had in common was being on the London bridge, hanging on the rope that was tied to the railings.
The incident was originally reported as a suicide. One of the witnesses believed they saw someone put the rope around their own neck and jump off the bridge.
However, there were other different statements.
Some witnesses claimed that standing next to the victim was a figure of a shadow. Not another person, but a being that’s almost like a terrifying devil.
“Lord Edgar, the victims do not appear to be English. While Michael Kent is an English name, it is only from his mother's family name, and it appears he was born from a small clan called Ceylon.”
In the study room, a quiet report was given to Edgar by the up-and-coming artist, Paul Ferman.
He was Edgar’s companion and fighting ally who’s a member of the secret organization “Scarlet Moon”. From the group, he received a report regarding the murder investigation, and so he came to notify Edgar.
“Before the colonization of Ceylon, there was a clan who founded the small country named Hadiya. It appears he is the leader of the surviving people.”
“Yes. But the country seems to no longer exist. The confidant said there were no records of the place...”
“Because the colonies soon went separate ways, the lands were divided, and the natives were eventually driven out by others. However, Paul, that was a name I’ve heard before.”
Paul’s eyes widened in surprise. Edgar placed the folded newspaper on the table and stared at the young boy pouring black tea.
“There was once one pair of young siblings who were sold and taken away from their home. They didn’t know where their home was and were forced to travel through several foreign ships, crossing the long sea journey. But they only remembered one thing: that their birthplace, in their native tongue, was called Hadiya.”
Going by the siblings’ memories, Edgar had attempted to find the location of Hadiya. However, the only clue was that it was an English colony, and the supposed area was too broad to determine.
As a result, even the approximate region couldn’t be determined. But he had never even dreamed to hear its name again, especially in the report about this tragic event.
Has the powerful enemy finally revealed its little tail? However, in order to seize it, there was still not enough information.
“Paul, I would like to know more about it.”
“Yes. However, the guards were well-noted to conceal the information. Not to mention, the newspapers and the English court have yet to comment on the incident as well.”
“Then, get in touch with those people, and tell them my name.”
Edgar took a piece of paper and quickly scribbled some words. Picking up the note, Paul asked with an incredulous expression:
“But Lord Earl, is this incident really associated with Prince?”
“I think the chance of it is rising higher and higher. The siblings I've just mentioned were sold to Prince.”
“Eh? ... So.....”
“Hadiya was Raven and Ermine’s home.”
Raven and Ermine were Edgar’s faithful followers, though it was possible that Ermine betrayed Edgar when she continued to listen to Prince’s orders from his home base.
One of the leaders of these native people, one of its descendants in London at the time, was killed in a bizarre way. What is the meaning of this? Edgar wondered.
On a rare day when the sun came out, the grass and trees took the chance to rise up and flourish, filling the fields with shades of light green.
On the outskirts of London, there sat a Church on a gentle hill. Echoing the blessing sound of bells, a wedding had just been held for a couple. The newlyweds and their surrounding guests were filled with smiles.
In the corner among those guests was Lydia, who was unconsciously putting on a brooding expression.
It was a solemn ceremony with pure white dresses, and frankly, Lydia was looking forward to seeing it. But the thought of marriage made Lydia’s mood very complicated.
How did they know they wished to be married? Did they not even have a little bit of hesitation? Lydia was considering every trivial matter.
She knew the groom for he was one of her father’s students. It was only because of that that she was familiar with the wedding, but that was all.
Anyhow, for Lydia, being proposed to just made things confusing for her. Even though this was someone else’s wedding, she unknowingly thought about her own issues with it.
She imagined herself being the one in front of the church as she watched the blissful bride surrounded by fluttering flowers.
If it was another man’s words, would I be happy?
Lydia imagined him standing in fluttering white petals, motionless and looking away. But he was not looking at Lydia, nor was he looking at the guests.
At a distance, he was among the servants, looking for someone.
But that was only her imagination. Even so, could he really give Lydia happiness?
“Oh, Father, how did you propose to mother?”
Anyway, she was already sitting next to her father, so she simply asked him.
“At the time, did she not hesitate to agree?”
Feeling embarrassed, Father began scratching his head. It was originally neatly groomed, but now became strangely disheveled.
“Ah, that.... It was a long time ago.”
He was completely oblivious to how he dressed, has low interest in women, and was so immersed in his work as a naturalist. As their daughter, Lydia always wondered how he was able to convince her mother to marry him.
Even though she asked many times, he never gave an answer.
She was never able to ask her mother since her mother passed away when she was quite young.
“Oh Lydia, the commemoration pictures are about to begin” her father said, immediately trying to avoid the question.
“I’m not going. I will wait for you at the bench in the shade over there.”
Although having to keep posing for photos was already difficult to deal with, her father still nodded and hurriedly went his way in panic.
“Oh, Father, your hair is all messed up.......”
She opened her mouth to speak, but then she thought it was fine if she didn’t say it. Anyway, he always moved a few times during the photos, so they should turn out blurry. His hair should be fine for that.
There was a paved path that went along the church. So, Lydia went to the bench. As she began to sit down, she was able to see the distant prairie with a herd of flocks scattered across.
Being in any quiet place, there will be noisy fairies from underneath the bushes and the roots of the trees, which Lydia could hear clearly.
Watching the sun and peaceful scenery, Lydia relaxed her breathing.
On her knee, she placed some sugar snacks that were wrapped in lace and gave it to everyone. She took one and secretly placed it at her feet.
If you try to watch them, they won’t come. So, she gently closed her eyes. When she opened her eyes again, the sugar snacks vanished like the wind.
Then, she heard the noises of the fairies become cheers of joy. Lydia couldn’t help but laugh.
Whenever she was with fairies, she always felt a little happy.
“You look very happy.”
Hearing the sudden voice, she immediately raised her head.
Just from the voice, she knew who it was. The owner of the voice she knew came from a young blond man.
He was dressed in an elegant suit, with his arm lightly hanging on a cane. He smiled and walked over to her side.
“I have come to see you, my fairy.”
He stopped in front of Lydia and removed his hat with grace. Under spring’s sunlight, his golden blond hair swayed softly.
She was momentarily startled by his beauty as he flashed her a charming smile, as if it was only for her, along with gazing at her with eager eyes.
This was Lydia’s employer who had, on a whim, forced her to marry him - Edgar Ashenbert.
“Edgar... What are you doing here?”
“Because I believe the wedding is about to end.”
“That’s not the problem. How did you know I was here?”
“No matter where you are, I know you well enough to guess.”
Such a smooth-talker.
“I heard you were going back, so I came to pick you up.”
Finally, Lydia sighed. Certainly, it must have been Nico who told him. That unreliable fairy cat will do anything right away if given some delicious food, which has recently been fully bought by Edgar.
“Are there fairies?”
Edgar didn’t care when Lydia sighed, and he looked at her watching the grass and said:
“Hello? This...... May I have some sugar snacks?”
Edgar sat down next to her, picked up a small piece of sugar cookie shaped like a rose, and placed it on top of the stone.
“Are they going to come out and take it?”
“They keep looking over here. Fairies are very shy, so you must close your eyes. Okay? In three seconds, open them.”
Lydia, who closed her eyes, counted to three in her heart. Suddenly, she was kissed on the forehead, and she opened her eyes.
“You, what are you doing!”
“You finally closed your eyes, so it was either now or never.”
“See, your sugar cookies are gone. Fairies sure love to eat them, right?”
After looking at Edgar's innocent smile, Lydia couldn’t get angry anymore.
“…… Yes, they look so happy.”
We’re not lovers, so how can you do this kind of thing?
Well, he allows himself to do it, but it’s too casual. Lydia just couldn’t understand.
However, at the same time, Lydia felt happy.
Trying to get in touch with fairies on his own like this, in fact, she still wanted to see that.
Edgar once told her that he could understand everything about her. But what about her thoughts that she never told anyone? How can he understand them?
Whenever he spoke frivolously on a whim, sometimes he really complied with them. Because of that, Lydia never really felt that she could believe him. Even so, she still wanted to try.
He said he would only think of us now, but is that true? (?)
“By the way, Lydia, did you see a man with long, black hair? Do you know who he is?”
He asked in a serious tone.
This man, who was only interested in women, questioned about another man with obvious hostility. Lydia felt as the air became tense. If she thought to hide it, she would no doubt be misunderstood.
So, she answered honestly:
“Do you mean Ulya? He came to London to study in the university about a month ago. He is Father’s student.”
He gave a natural impression of nobility, but his skin was olive brown and he had long dark hair that hung on his back. Wherever he went, he was a very attractive young man. Apparently, he was Indian.
Living in India, he was an orphan before he went through an English adoption. Therefore, he spoke fluent English. When his father returned, he took him to England. With that, Lydia had told Edgar everything she knew.
“What is his full name?”
“I’ve heard it once, but I’ve forgotten. Everyone just called him Ulya. What’s wrong?”
“He’s been watching you.”
“Since when did you start watching me? What a disgusting hobby!”
“I hate it. I just arrived a little early and was merely waiting in the carriage and took a look. Since the beginning, when everyone left the church, his eyes were following you.”
“Maybe my hair was strange?”
“Lydia, you are so lovely. Even if a man likes you, that is normal.”
When Edgar solemnly said this, it made her feel shy.
Basically, Edgar was the only man who said that to her.
“He must be somewhere looking at you now.”
“Do you want to see?”
Edgar suddenly pulled Lydia to his chest and wrapped his arms around her shoulders.
“You -! What are you doing!”
She struggled in panic but was unable to get out of his grip.
“Hey, stop it!”
She felt anxious and scared at the same time. Even when she wanted to push him away, his hands wouldn’t let go.
She clearly rejected him, but by his touch, she honestly wasn’t at all that upset.
She didn’t know why she was acting so strange, so Lydia wanted to cry.
“Hey, let her go!”
Appearing behind Edgar was Ulya, standing straight.
“How can you force a woman like that?”
“Do you have any right to question me?”
Although Lydia wanted to run away from him, he kept holding her hand, while sending a challenging look at Ulya.
“Lydia is my lover.”
Ulya looked doubtfully at Lydia. In order to cover her watery eyes, she lowered her head.
“Are you really, Miss Carlton?”
“That, that is......”
“You seemed to be watching her, just across the trees, peeking at our side. What is the meaning of that?”
“I wasn’t...... I was only there to smoke a cigarette.”
He shifted his line of sight, but that small movement did not escape Edgar’s eyes.
He suddenly stood up, grabbed Ulya’s neck, and pulled him to the side.
“You do not smell of cigarette smoke. You’re not very good at lying.”
Seeing Edgar smoothly grasping Ulya by the throat, Lydia was terrified.
He let go of Ulya, who staggered and fell to the ground, and then raised his face to glare up at Edgar.
“Mr. Ulya, I’m so sorry! Are you injured?”
She was about to run over to check on him, but Edgar pulled her arm to stop her.
“Lydia, leave him be.”
“You, don’t command me.”
Standing up, Ulya smiled as he heard those words.
“I don’t think you’re lovers. It was only you alone who was pestering her, right?”
Oh, this is bad, Lydia thought, feeling Edgar’s killing intent prickle her skin.
“Oh, Father, this way!”
At that moment, the pictures ended for the professor, so Lydia hurriedly called him to come.
Even Edgar wouldn’t use violence in front of Lydia’s father. He withdrew his fists, which made her relax a little.
Ulya, who had also grown a hostile attitude, nodded to the professor as a greeting, and then left.
“Isn’t this Lord Edgar?”
“Hello, Professor. So, you’re going to Cambridge soon. I learnt that there was a research conference being held there.”
Edgar's murderous look had disappeared, and a gracious smile took its place.
Edgar wanted to leave a positive impression on her father, and Lydia understood that. Edgar was particularly interested in Lydia; even her father should have noticed it.
However, because his daughter had been insisting that their relationship was merely between an employer and a fairy doctor, her father had no choice but to believe her.
Her father had always thought that nobles were never truly interested in courting women of lower class.
Thanks to that, if he knew that his daughter was proposed by Edgar, he would surely panic. Lydia was worried that Edgar may speak of sensitive topics, so she anxiously paid close attention to their conversation.
“Why, you are well-informed.”
“I heard that this is the peak of the mineralogy field, a high-leveled meeting. As head of the study of mineralogy, Professor Carlton, of course you will be selected.”
“You're too kind, Earl.”
Her father scratched his head, feeling overwhelmed. However, even if Edgar didn’t mention it, Lydia knew about it as her father’s assistant, Mr. Langley, had already told her.
“I heard you were going to stay there for a month. You must be worried about your daughter being alone in London.”
“Yes, but Lydia is already used to not being by my side.”
That being said, her father had asked Lydia, if she would like to go to Cambridge. Because of the recent unexplained killings that took place in London, her father was worried about her.
But as a fairy doctor, Lydia still had work to do.
As it so happens, Edgar's enemy, whom he had sworn to take revenge on, was likely to come to England. She didn’t know what would happen after, but she knew she didn’t want to leave Edgar’s side.
In any case, the enemy had someone who was a master at fairy magic, and Edgar’s only ally who understood fairies was Lydia.
“In fact, Professor, I am here today because I wished to discuss this matter with you. I hope that Miss Lydia can temporarily stay at my manor. What do you think?”
Eh? Lydia couldn’t help but frown.
Her father was shocked. His mouth fell open, and he propped his glasses back up as they slipped.
“Lately, there have been continuous killings in London. Therefore, I am very much worried for Miss Lydia’s safety. She herself wanted to gain your permission.”
“I - I didn't say that!”
When have I ever spoken of wanting to live in Edgar's manor?
“Didn't you? You didn’t want to leave my side, and because of the incidents and your father not being home, you were scared.”
“I did not want to stay by your side. I only said that because there was work I needed to do, I didn’t intend to leave London!”
Then, Lydia remembered when he said had those words to her father once. He used to joke about the idea: what if she lived in the Earl’s manor. However, how could she face her father with this kind of thing?
It may just be simple for him to reject Edgar.
“I believe for an unmarried daughter to speak with her father about this, such as living a month outside of home, she would be quite troubled. As an employer, it is my responsibility to take good care of my employees. Professor, what are your thoughts on it?”
He deliberately took her words out of context, just as she expected.
“Your father would have invited you to join him on his trip to Cambridge, but you rejected him for me. For that, I am very grateful. Therefore, when the professor is away, it is my duty to protect you, correct?”
He even knew that her father invited her to Cambridge.
He made it sound as if Lydia made it no secret at all and openly consulted Edgar about it.
It must have been Nico.
She was filled with a strong sense of resentment for her fairy friend.
“Professor, your home also appears to be quite close to one of the victims that were murdered. She was a fine girl, around the same age as Miss Lydia. But she shouldn’t have gone out at night, for the next morning, she was murdered. Her body appeared in such a bad posture on the London Bridge. After hearing of it, I was not at ease to find that you were going to be away as Lydia remained home alone.”
Edgar didn’t give her a chance to deny and defend herself because then, Edgar followed up shortly after.
By recalling the cases of continuous murders and the degree of gruesome severity, her father began to feel unsettled and shaken up.
“In that case, Earl, your proposal is based on your identity as an employer?”
“Yes. Because of her sense of duty, Lydia had offered to stay in London. So, you can rest assured that protecting her life is my obligation.”
“My daughter hasn’t yet spoken of marriage. That is, if anything went wrong......”
“Nothing will happen.”
You’re what’s going to happen.
Edgar had attacked Lydia before. Although at the time, it was because he was drunk, but living under the same roof couldn’t be taken lightly.
“I can take care of myself!”
“Lydia, although you always try to be brave, but don’t force yourself to endure it alone in the future.”
As he elegantly said those words, he gazed at her with gentle eyes.
“Didn’t you say that no matter what happens, you’d be okay as long you’re with me? I just simply really wanted to propose to your father ......”
“No, no Father! In short, I... Living alone is indeed a bit unsettling.”
If Edgar said words, such as marriage, this will certainly affect Father in his important research conference.
You despicable man! In her heart, Lydia was scolding him, but her lips could only say so much.
“I’m going home. Please excuse me.”
“Since you trust him, then I won’t stop you from him like before. ”
Her father put his hands on Lydia’s shoulders. He turned around to Edgar and said:
“Earl, please take good care of her.”
“You can rest assured.”
Things went exactly as he wanted. Therefore, Edgar was in a good mood and had a huge smile on his face.
After having dinner with the bride and groom, her father had to prepare to leave soon for Cambridge. So afterwards, Lydia could only greet Edgar and return to London with him.
She reminded her father to tidy his hair and gave a hug as goodbye. Despairingly, she and Edgar walked together.
Then, Edgar suddenly said, “What do you really want to do?”
As they rode in the carriage, Lydia felt very displeased.
“I didn’t get a chance to ask you beforehand.”
“Regardless, I’m not going to your manor.”
“That’s not possible. With permission from the professor, I must bring you there.”
Lydia frowned and grimly looked at him. It didn’t look like Edgar was teasing her. In fact, it was as though he truly intended to do so.
“Those events may be related to Prince.”
The one known as Prince was the one who took everything away from Edgar, who had been the heir of a Duke, since he was a child.
Prince, who had inherited the royal English blood, was seemingly involved with evil fey magic, and it seems that he had once attempted to use that power to trigger a rebellion in England. That was why he wanted Edgar, who also had royal blood flowing in his veins.
However, since escaping Prince and upholding the fairy Earl title of the country, they were now mortal enemies. Edgar had come to realize that, as the mysterious Blue Knight Earl’s heir, he shouldered the responsibility to eradicate Prince.
“Prince is the cause for that string of murders?”
“On the surface, it appears unrelated, but it’s actually hard to say. The meaning of it may be some sort of magic ritual. Moreover, one of the victims was of a native race similar to Raven. He was from the same foreign country.”
Raven was Edgar’s entourage. He was a young boy with exotic brown skin. He was a little bit special in that he lacked the emotions of a human being, with a natural murdering intent, due to the presence of a sprite in his body.
While Lydia could see evil fairies, she had never faced one like Raven’s. Even so, he gave a unique impression. His presence felt almost non-human.
From the co-existence of fairies in this mysterious country, people were getting killed in London. It brought attention to people and really made Lydia more worried. (It originally said : “It really made people want to care.” ?)
“Moreover, he was a descendant leader of a small clan, which could even be considered royalty. Raven has a living sprite in his body, with his clan belonging to the royal family, so his fairy may also be of royalty? Or perhaps it is part of Prince’s research. It probably has something to do with magic. Anyway, he is interested in Raven’s sprite. Therefore, he is searching for the rest of his surviving royal families. He plans to obtain their fairy magic and secrets, and then kill them after.”
“Or perhaps this all happened by chance.”
“Yes, but I am still a little concerned. Prince is intent in prolonging my torture. First, starting at the place of slavery I escaped from, now looking for the last surviving descendants... The next one to be targeted should be Raven.”
As he knew Prince very well, Edgar’s inexplicable hunch might be right.
He turned his face to the window, revealing a hint of a smile. This was a resolute determination to fight. Anyone who saw him would’ve thought he was a leader with no weakness.
Watching his face, Lydia felt a little lonely.
It had to be very painful to try to be brave. I really hope that if no one’s around, he can let himself breathe.
Now, since there was no one else there but Lydia, he clearly didn’t have to be so brave.
“Yes now, you mentioned a young woman earlier, what really happened? She had nothing to do with Prince, right?”
Although it was a small hint, maybe it would allow Edgar to relax and rest assured, so Lydia changed the subject.
“Oh, it was just something I made up.”
“With the Professor, it ended up quite well, yes?”
“You - you!”
Looking back at him, he suddenly held a strong grip on her hand.
“I am always deceitful, so you can’t believe in me. I know you think so. Although I’ve always wanted to work hard for you to trust me, but it always seems to not go so well.”
As usual, he placed her hand to his lips, and then he pressed his warm lips to her skin.
Lydia couldn’t help but become flushed, and her whole body went stiff. At the moment, she was filled in self-loathing for feeling this way.
Why is it that he allows himself to do this when they’re not even married?
Edgar’s little joke needed to be flatly refused. This kind of joke, she couldn’t accept. It’s too abnormal for her.
He could easily do this with others. At the thought of that, Lydia felt a sharp pain.
I want to disappear.
“You, no matter what time it is, you’re always unreasonable. Earlier, it was that trick, and then doing things like that to Ulya......”
“I was not unreasonable. It was in order for him to look away from you at the reception. Also, I just wanted to lightly touch you.”
“Don't touch me. Please stop the carriage.”
Disguised as a gentleman, he finally moved back and released her hand, as she tried to reject him.
“I can't do that.”
“..... Or I, I’ll jump.”
As if to appease a disobedient child, Edgar smiled and joked:
“I’m not a kidnapper. You don’t need to be afraid.”
In fact, you are one.
“Then, I will concede with you. When you’re at my manor, I will never touch you.”
“You really won’t touch me?”
“Well, for the time being.”
“Then, I’ll stay in my room all the time!”
Edgar then showed a distressed look. But it seems he gave up, as he muttered that he understood.
“Lydia, I have made up my mind. Though, I don’t know if you will fall in love with me, but there is one thing I know for sure. That is, from now on, I will never let you escape from me.”
Willful with his unreasonable threat, his face appeared so lonely. So, Lydia felt that she must have been too harsh on him.
“In order to protect you, I will do whatever it takes to have you stay by my side.”
He softly whispered, nearly bumping into her.
Recently, since Edgar had appeared, a few notable figures have also been seen with him. They were his guards.
The need to strengthen his security was insisted by the Scarlet Moon. The leader thought that the Earl’s home was understaffed. Edgar had always believed the Scarlet Moon was a headache, but in this case, they compromised on the matter.
Members of the Scarlet Moon, while on high alert for unexpected enemy attacks, seemed to have secretly assembled.
Even Lydia was required to have a guard with her as well.
Inadvertently looking out the window, she was touring around the building as she was being guarded by two tall young twins. She didn’t feel too different being heavily-guarded compared to before.
The twins were responsible for the Earl’s security work. However, they were introduced to Lydia as sculptors. Their names were Jack and Louis, but she couldn’t tell who was who.
Edgar probably wasn’t so sure as well.
Anyway, he said that since they were the sculptors, he just had to let them repair the roof decor. So, the two men may not have come to tour the building, but to inspect the roof.
Edgar’s attitude was always like that. She really didn’t know where his priorities lied. With this approach, it was to confuse the ally and the enemy.
But with that, it wasn’t possible to guess Edgar’s true thoughts.
At the Earl’s mansion, she spent the whole night in her room, reluctantly lost in these thoughts.
“Oh, you live here now.”
The gray, hairy fairy cat didn’t know where to go back to play, so he quickly and cleverly climbed through the window.
Lydia had plenty of things to tell Nico, but she was feeling a little bit impatient because he hadn’t show up at all the night before. This morning, he finally appeared.
He did not face Lydia’s direction, but he gracefully walked slowly in her room with two feet. With his eyes on the leather chair, he gently jumped to confirm the feeling of the seat and sat down.
“Well, it’s quite high. For tonight, I will use this as my bed.”
Lydia walked to Nico who was feeling fairly good. She appeared displeased, and with her hands on her hips, she looked down at him.
“Nico, you’ve been really talkative with Edgar, haven’t you?”
“Ah, isn’t it fine though? Not only is the lady safe and sound at the manor, the meals are delicious, and even the bed is quite comfortable.”
“You must feel very comfortable, but I find it hard to accept, oh, I don’t feel comfortable at all.”
“Ah but, my lady, last night you slept very well.”
Another voice emerged. A hobgoblin with a cocked hat sat in the cupboard above.
“That was because... I had just attended a wedding full of guests, so I was a little bit tired.”
“Even so, my lady has finally begun to live with the Earl in his home... Oh, that is wonderful.”
Coblynau, with deep emotion, touched his knotted beard as he nodded his head.
“In this case, you deserve to be the Blue Knight Earl’s wife.”
“None of that is true! I am only staying here as a guest.”
Impatient, she loudly refuted. Coblynau didn’t know what to do, so he nonchalantly smoked a pipe.
He was a fairy that wanted to bring Edgar and Lydia together.
Known as the mine goblin of precious gems, for generations they managed to hide the magic of the moonstone. This was all because the first Blue Knight Earl’s wife, Diana’s daughter (?), kept the gem close to her.
Now that moonstone was used as Edgar’s engagement ring, which was worn on Lydia’s finger, it was the fairies’ great masterpiece.
Completely oblivious to Lydia’s troubled expression, Coblynau began calling the Moonstone’s name as if it was his own child:
“Bow, let me worry about it. Your holder would soon become his wife. Anyway, it was finally decided that they start their early life living under the same roof.”
“Either way, stop it, you’re making me feel embarrassed!”
Lydia was furious, but the goblin continued. He leisurely smoked, and Nico yawned in the chair.
“Hey, I say, Kelpie hasn’t appeared in a while.”
In other words, they haven’t seen Kelpie. But he was a capricious water horse. He had strong magic and was a man-eating monster. It was difficult to imagine encountering something that dangerous.
Despite being a fierce fairy, Lydia had a good impression of him, even though he was a strange water horse. They didn’t have any sort of relationship, so even if he hadn’t appeared, Lydia wasn’t bothered.
“To be honest, it is good that the water horse is gone. That way, he cannot interrupt my lady’s wedding...”
As Coblynau spoke, he looked anxiously out the window. Normally, after they spoke badly of him, there was an inevitable roar coming from the emerging dark water horse.
“Yes, I also don’t care enough to worry about that guy. He’s a demon.”
“You mean Kelpie? Where is he?”
“How can I possibly know where that water horse may be. Well, anyway, after dinner I may want to go for a walk?”
“Nico, did you eat breakfast already?”
“I was hungry, so I ate first.”
Even though this was clearly someone else’s home, this cat had no manners.
“Good bye, Lydia. If that earl does anything to you, you can call me for help.”
“If I called, would you actually come?”
Although he was a long childhood friend, every time Lydia faced a crisis, did he not always run away?
“But I’ll hear it.”
Nico said that and immediately disappeared. At the same moment, there came a knocking at the door. The one calling her to breakfast was Ermine.
“Breakfast is ready. Please head to the dining hall.”
Her combed hair reached her shoulders. Wearing a black-tie, dressed in a black coat and men’s clothing, she should be Edgar’s most cherished woman.
He loved to play around, but because he knew and understood Ermine’s feelings, he could never touch her that way. Lydia could see just how important Ermine was to Edgar by his attention to this.
They have been supporting each other through hard times, fighting alongside each other. Though Lydia couldn’t understand, she knew they had a strong, irreplaceable bond.
However, Lydia’s mood could not help but grow heavy at the thought of Ermine's possible betrayal to Edgar. Lydia then thought that maybe it was for his own sake.
In order to help Edgar become the Earl, she, as a fairy doctor, has been staying by his side.
During his plan to escape, for Edgar was a special person to Ermine, she didn’t expect her wish was Lydia on the rest. (?)
“That... Is Edgar also in the dining hall?”
Even though she wore plain and simple men’s clothing, it couldn’t mask her beauty and charm, which was always so compelling.
Whenever the both of them were together, anyone could feel that they were a well-matched couple.
“Do you mind if I request to have my meals here?”
Thinking of these things, Lydia was starting to feel more and more depressed.
Edgar had recently become more assertive than before. However, on Lydia’s side, she didn’t outright reject him like she normally did, instead she tried avoiding him.
With a puzzled expression, Ermine muttered an “understood”, and then left.
After a while, Raven appeared at her door, and Lydia breathed a sigh of relief.
“Miss Lydia, please head to the dining hall.”
He almost sounded frustrated for he spoke in a curt tone, but he had a blank face. Perhaps this was a sincere plea from him.
“Ah...... That, however, Raven...”
“Edgar is not drunk and has not taken any pills now. It is no longer dangerous to be near him.”
That isn’t the problem.
Plus, he was still dangerous, even when he was sober.
Even so, Raven persisted. Perhaps he felt responsible for Lydia gradually avoiding Edgar, as he had led Lydia to Edgar’s room when he was drunk.
“You really are thinking of your master. Isn’t Edgar going to order you to take me there anyway?”
“No. Lord Edgar said that if Miss Lydia chooses to have her breakfast in her room, he will join her here. I believe that is more dangerous, is it not?”
Lydia looked around the room.
Nothing noteworthy but a room meant to be relaxed in. Though it was said to be Lydia’s private room, it had a calming atmosphere meant for amiable friends to be able to stay together here.
On the other hand, the dining room was a public room meant for social gatherings. Even in their own homes, nobles tended to distinguish between the public and private rooms. Taking that into account, if Edgar came here, it would pose a problem.
Resigning to her fate, Lydia finally took heavy footsteps toward the dining hall.
When she entered the room, Edgar was already sitting at the table. To welcome her, he immediately stood up and happily smiled at her.
“Did you sleep well last night?”
“Ah, yes I did.”
“If you can feel as if it’s your own home and just relax a little here, then I will be very happy.”
If she did as he said, that would be bad.
Lydia was immediately tense, but Edgar unceremoniously lightly held a lock of her hair and kissed it.
“Your room maid wasn’t unskillful, was she? All of you, your caramel-coloured hair and mysterious golden-green eyes, are my treasure, so it should be treated with extra care. I’ve talked to the maids beforehand, after all. ”
“Did you really say such embarrassing things?”
“Oh, I didn’t feel embarrassed to say them.”
But I would feel embarrassed!
“Even so, you are welcomed to stay here. If there is anything you want, you can request it.”
Then, in that case, I want this man to stop talking.
Lydia showed a displeased face until she noticed that there was a stranger, a middle-aged man, in the room. She panicked and hurriedly replaced her expression with a smile and moved away from Edgar.
“Edgar... is there not a guest here?”
“Oh, I was just about to introduce you.”
To be so close in front of others, Lydia felt ashamed, though Edgar did not mind.
“This is Gordon, the London police officer.”
With a neat mustache and groomed hair, he looked a bit nervous. It appears that he had been standing at the table from the very beginning. When he met Lydia’s eyes, he officially gave a formal bow.
“He came early in the morning to discuss the incident at the London Bridge.”
Edgar held Lydia’s hand and brought her to the table. Raven pulled out her chair for her, and once Lydia was seated, Gordon, the police officer, also sat down.
Perhaps because she was the guest of a noble, he assumed that she was a noble as well.
He also didn’t show any confusion towards Edgar’s overly sweet manners. Maybe Edgar had casually mentioned that she was his fiancée a while ago.
However, Lydia had no chance to correct him. The officer shifted his attention away from her. He must not care about what kind of guests the Earl had. At such a thought, her feeling of shame slightly eased a bit.
Lydia then began to properly pay attention to them and guessed the police officer’s intentions.
One of Raven’s people was killed, so maybe that was why he’s here.
“Since you rarely come, officer, would you like to join us for breakfast?”
Edgar was still in a good mood, so he didn’t feel anything wrong with the police officer’s visit.
“No, I must go soon. Please don’t worry about hospitality.”
“All right, then please begin asking.”
As the words spilled out, Raven opened up the napkin and began serving their breakfast.
Thanks to the officer’s sudden visit, she was not alone with Edgar. As she settled down, she began to prepare her cup of tea with milk and plenty of sugar.
“The case of the London Bridge, in fact, held very few clues. Fairies aside, there are only two strong evidence we found.”
Then, Officer Gordon calmly expressed their thoughts.
“One clue was a testimony that there was a suspicious man who kept looking down at the hung victim. It was said that once he was called out, he hurriedly fled. Witnesses have heard regarding this same case, that he was a suspected prisoner who was half-excited and outraged. He was even slightly amused as we gave chase. Unfortunately, in the end, he escaped.”
“Did you know the person’s appearance and body shape?”
“It was much too dark to see him clearly. However, there were those who thought that it was a woman in men’s clothing.”
Lydia, who was surprised, nearly spilled her tea. On the contrary, Edgar remained calm and composed.
“Because there was a struggle during the encounter, did you know if that was a woman?”
“It was. She was afraid of being seen, so she disguised herself as a man. In this case, whether she is the prisoner or involved with the prisoner, this case involves a woman.”
Even if that was the case, it should still be abnormal for a girl to dress as a man. Lydia, in order to relieve her doubts of Ermine, took a deep breath and secretly took a glance at Raven.
He placed hot food in front of her, indifferent to the current conversation.
“What then? What was the second clue?”
What happened? Edgar seemed to be asking the same thing. Nonetheless, Lydia, who was worried about the slip of tongue, didn’t say anything. So, with her knife, she cut the meat and eggs in smaller portions and welcomed them into her mouth.
“A few days ago, the latest victim was similar in that he had grass-green remnants in his mouth.”
“It must’ve been Michael who came from Ceylon.”
“His wife had said that the green stone was originally the size of an almond with symbols engraved on the surface. Mr. Kent always cherished it and kept it with him at all times. Therefore, we were investigating it. After inspecting the remnants that were found, it turns out that it was a mineral called a diopside (Fai stone?)”
“I have never heard of this mineral.”
“It was rarely used as a gem in the market because it is difficult to process, and it is very fragile.”
“Why were they in his mouth?”
“Maybe in order for it not to be stolen, he attempted to swallow it.”
“But they were rough criminals for they snatched it away, and they left bits and pieces of the stone behind.”
“So, the stone must be with the prisoner now?”
“I believe so.”
Then suddenly, a loud clashing of tableware was heard, as Raven put down the jam jar with the glass beside it.
Edgar immediately turned his attention to Raven, who whispered his apologies.
“Do the rest of the police officers know so much of this?”
Edgar returned his attention to the police officer. Even though Raven rarely made mistakes, Lydia still felt it was better not to focus on him anyway.
“I really don’t understand. Clearly there was no reason to hide the information, but the newspapers received a mandatory order to keep it concealed.”
“This is for the sake of your reputation. Do you wish to be under suspicion?”
“I suppose so.”
The bearded officer sighed and stood up.
Then, Edgar called for his butler, Tompkins. He immediately appeared, as though he had been waiting outside the door for the whole time.
“Then, officer, do you not want to continue investigating? Don't you have to return to it?”
Lydia felt that it was strange, so she had to ask.
“The investigation? I don’t plan to since it is not my field of work.”
Tompkins took out an envelope from the desk and placed it in front of the officer. The police officer picked it up and shoved it in his breast pocket. Staring at the whole exchange, Lydia was completely confused.
“Well, Lord, I’ll take my leave now.”
“Work hard, and inform me if anything happens, please.”
After she watched the officer leave, she looked at Edgar. Lydia stared as he casually ate, until she finally understood what had just happened.
“Edgar! You just bribed the officer!”
Edgar turned to Lydia, putting down his knife and fork, and with an uncharacteristically mild tone, he said:
“Lydia, the things that I really desire cannot be obtained using money, no matter how much, like the things I’ve lost... That's why, I would never be stingy with my money. This wealth of mine was accumulated for this purpose, after all.”
“But... but you just made an officer do something bad.”
“Bad ...? Indeed, it was a breach of discipline, but was the officer actually hurt from it? This incident was their responsibility.”
“I understand your intentions. Although you may do whatever it takes to retrieve information, but whether or not there was physical harm, it is still bad.”
Lydia flatly said. With an unexpected nod, Edgar frankly said “Yes.”
“I’m not going to blame you. Just ......”
She couldn’t seem to express herself well.
“Perhaps my sins are one of the reasons why you avoid me, but it is also my strength. In order to protect those I value, I cannot give it up.”
Edgar had a ruthless side in order to come this far. He couldn’t afford to lower his guard even now. While this was nearly a crime, if he was a little hesitant, it could mean the loss of Raven and Ermine’s life.
“I’m different from you, and I feel different. But the reason that I’m attracted to you is because of what you have. So, why don’t you feel the same way?”
If it was only because of his sins, lies, callousness and contempt for him, she would have already left him.
But she couldn’t despise him. He, who with a detached smile, had to fight a battle that caused him pain and sorrow.
If it was this, was she only there with him to sympathize?
If it was only sympathy, she wouldn’t have helped him all the time, coping through his entire crisis.
As she thought, she was so upset that she couldn’t say anything.
“Don’t answer. I believe that one day you would be able to answer all of my questions.”
Suddenly, Edgar stopped and shifted his attention to Raven, who had finished working and was preparing to leave.
“Raven, did you hear the words that were spoken earlier?”
“Do you have any thoughts about it?”
It was as if Edgar had deliberately greeted the officer when Raven came in to serve, in order for Raven to be able to hear their conversation.
Edgar stopped for a while. After some thought, he said:
“The person who was murdered was the leader you were originally supposed to serve.”
“I have never seen that man before.”
“It is your clan’s lineage, which hosted the sprites. Do you not feel anything?”
“My only master is Lord Edgar. If there’s anything, I would tell you. Please believe me.”
Although he looked as calm as ever, barely showing emotion, Raven seemed to be a little angry.
“Oh, I have no doubts in you.”
When Edgar spoke, he seemed relieved.
“What do you think, Lydia?”
Edgar asked her as he watched Raven leave the hall.
“What do I think? About what?”
“About that thing he's hiding.”
“Eh? He is? But just now, he just said that his only master is you.”
“That is true, but he only said that because he is trying to hide something.”
“I can't believe it.”
To Raven, Edgar's command was the same as the voice of God. If he knew anything, he wouldn’t hide it from him.
“Well, I don’t believe it is a bad thing. Above me, his master should be himself.”
Edgar finished his breakfast and stood up.
“But I cannot leave him alone yet. Raven is still unable to bear on his own.”