Lydia and her good friend Lota went out together, and when they returned home, it was already dusk. Father had also returned to the house early, which was rare.
Apparently there were guests that came to visit Father. The housekeeper said that they were talking in the living room, so Lydia asked to housekeeper to bring tea to her room on the second floor afterwards, and then went up the stairs with Lota.
“Lota, will you be staying for dinner?”
“Is that okay? There are guests here.”
“It seems the guests unexpectedly paid a visit, and should be leaving very soon. Besides, I also dragged you everywhere with me to go shopping.”
“I had a good time. Luckily Edgar lent us the carriage, it made our trip smooth.”
Lota entered Lydia’s room, took off her hat, she relaxed and stretched.
“Well, I went through all the trouble to come here, so I’ll treat myself with a meal.”
“Ah, do you need to contact your house? We can ask someone to help you send a letter.”
“It’s all right, I already spoke to Grandfather. He said that even if I haven’t returned in two weeks, he doesn’t mind.”
Lota was the granddaughter of the exiled aristocrat, the Grand Duke of Cremona. Because she was brought up by pirates, she was incapable of resembling the usual quiet, ordinary young lady, but the Grand Duke had also been turning a blind eye.
Because Lota’s personality was straightforward, even if Lydia was a different kind of girl who was very close to fairies, Lota still wanted to be her friend.
For Lydia, Lota was a precious human friend.
While she sat, she and Lota looked at each other and laughed.
“Fortunately, the hat was made according to your wishes.”
“Yes, but I didn’t buy the other thing that I wanted.”
Lydia recalled this and sighed at the same time.
In fact, today she went out in order to select a gift for her fiancé.
“Choosing a gift for men is really difficult. Father is someone who would be happy no matter what he received, so I didn’t think it mattered, but Edgar only uses things that he likes.”
“Actually, I feel that as long as you choose it, he’ll be happy regardless of what it is.”
Is that right? Lydia recalled Edgar in his everyday life. Not only was he dressed in high-quality goods, all his tastes were also outstanding. If Lydia chose a gift within her affordable range, would he feel happy?
Because of this, Lydia once considered wanting to buy an item that wouldn’t be used frequently in front of people, yet even if she tried to think, she couldn’t understand what men would want.
All in all, accepting the proposal and waiting until now to give a gift, wouldn’t the lapse in time be too great?
Although Lydia also knew that a woman who had received an engagement ring would give some sort of commemorative gift to the man, but because her ring was the fairies’ special Moonstone ring, rather than saying it was given by Edgar, it would be better to say that it was received due to a fantastic opportunity. Thus, she accidentally forgot about the human traditions.
Lydia remembered it after engagement had been publicly announced.
She had received a gift from Edgar before, it was a necklace that used the English initials of the jewel names to spell out “Dearest”. At the same time, she received compliments from everyone, also noticing that the necklace represented Edgar unable to pour his feelings into the ring; that was purely due to him giving this item as evidence of the engagement.
“Really, in spite of everything, I can’t even think of one gift that would make Edgar happy, I should be a failure of a fiancée, right?”
“Don’t worry too much about it. That guy is gaining a lot just from you having agreed to marry him. It’ll be fine as long as you smile sweetly after receiving many gifts.”
“I--is that so?”
“Let me know if he complains, I’ll ruthlessly punch him.”
Although Lota was very reliable, she was a little too extreme. Despite her never showing the disposition of a lord’s daughter, Lydia liked her carefree personality and sincerely considered her as a close friend.
They laughed together again, and Lydia’s mood seemed to get better.
“Is the tea still not ready? I’ll go and take a look.”
Lydia stood up and walked out of the room.
Just when she wanted to go down the stairs, Nico suddenly appeared and said:
“Hey, it’s best if you don’t go down right now. ”
This fairy, whose appearance turned into that of a hairy grey cat with a stance of standing on two feet, looked up at Lydia.
“What’s the matter?”
“Troublesome guys have come.”
“Are you talking about Father’s guests?”
“In short, it’s best that you don’t show your face. ”
Although Nico pulled Lydia’s skirt, urging her to return to her room, she was increasingly concerned about how Father’s guests had something to do with her.
“Hey, who are they?”
At that time, a sound came through the open door of the living room downstairs. She peered down from the corner of the staircase, as a result she glimpsed upon her father showing a solemn expression, which he’s never had before.
Even the tone of voice didn’t seem like Father’s usual gentle manner of treating people kindly.
“Could you please let me have a chat with your daughter directly?”
It was a young man’s voice.
“That is not necessary.”
“She should wish to know of matters that she is related to, right?”
An approximately twenty-year old red-headed youth, was by the door with Father, neither refusing to give in. He was wearing a Tartan kilt, the traditional Scotland clothing.
“The matter you speak of was from a long time ago, and does not concern us.”
“Now is not the case, Mr. Carlton, many people have died in your wife’s home village.”
What relationship did this man have with her mother’s home? Besides, many people have died?
Even if Nico constantly pestered her, Lydia was rooted in place.
Lydia knew very little about her mother's maternal relatives. She only knew that her mother was from the Northern islands and had eloped with her father. In addition, she was also both able to communicate with fairies and possessed an abundance of knowledge, and was relied on by the villagers as a fairy doctor.
But that young man seemed to understand everything. He probably came from Mother’s homeland.
When Lydia leaned on the handrails, the stairs made a creaking sound.
The other person standing behind the red-headed young man raised his eyes. He wasn’t in traditional clothing, but rather he was in a brown frock coat.
He was a thin, inconspicuous man approximately in his late twenties, yet his line of sight that darted over was frighteningly sharp.
Lydia seemed to be fixed to the floor by his gaze and unable to move, and at that time, the red-haired man also discovered her.
He immediately approached. Like an agile stag, he swiftly galloped up the staircase and in the blink of an eye, he stood before Lydia, who was at the corner of the staircase.
“You are Lydia?”
“I am Fergus McKeel, and was born from the same clan as your mother. I am the McKeel clan head’s son.”
The young man named Fergus had somewhat curious eyes, which had remnants of innocence, and looked at Lydia. He then said to his male companion:
“Hey Patrick, my expectations were pretty good, although she’s not blonde, she’s quite cute.”
“That’s too impolite, Fergus.”
“Lydia, go back to your room.”
Lydia was about to act in accordance to her father’s words, but the young man called Fergus grabbed her arm and stopped her.
“Although you don’t know, before you were born, it was already decided that you would become my fiancée.”
“Hey, you asshole, don’t joke around!”
Lota stood in front of Lydia.
“Lydia already has a decent fiancé... No, he isn’t considered very decent, at any rate she has a fiancé!”
“However, they haven’t gotten married. If it’s cancelled, then there’s no problem. Besides, when it truly comes to the order of priority, it’s me who is first. That womanizing Earl casually decided on the engagement with my fiancée without permission.”
“The engagement is not in accordance with sequential orders, rather it depends on each sides’ feelings to be concluded and I wonder if you weren’t even aware of this point?”
Suddenly a voice with a sarcastic was heard and the person who would use this kind of tone was unmistakably Edgar.
The flustered housekeeper stepped back. He entered the house from the main entrance afterwards, glaring at Fergus from below the staircase.
He merely stood there, and the surrounding mood changed. Fergus watched Edgar slowly walk up the stairs, and as if overwhelmed, he gulped.
“Don’t touch my fiancee with your hand so casually, boy.”
Until Edgar stood in front of him, Fergus seemed to blankly gaze at him as if he were fascinated, and after hearing this sentence, he recovered, tightly clenching his fist saying:
“Calling me a boy? We are around the same age.”
“Before my wife, Aurora, eloped with me, she also had a fiancé.”
Lydia’s father began to talk.
"Her hometown apparently has a very close blood relationship with the fairies, and shouldered some responsibilities in the McKeel clan. Her fiancé was the prophet, who lies dormant all year round in the fairy clan’s sacred land. According to legends, the prophet will one day awaken and save the clan from disaster.”
“Despite clearly not knowing when he will awaken, Mother was still his fiancée?”
Father nodded and then closed his eyes, as if to search for the old memories.
“If I can recall, if the prophet still hadn’t woken up, and she surpassed twenty years of age, then they would have to assign another maiden as his fiancée...”
“Professor, the clan’s tradition has something to do with the matter of the two people visiting here right?”
Edgar asked. He originally paid a visit to Lydia’s home on a whim, but now, he remained in the Carlton family’s living room in order to grasp the situation, completely disregarding the matters that need to be handled in a little while.
“I heard that their land is faced with an unprecedented crisis. Diseases are spreading, land is deserted by storms even quite a few villagers have been left homeless.”
“Just now, they seemed to mention the balance between the human and fairy world being broken and so on. If the cause bringing about these disastrous changes really isn’t nature but perhaps a human element, or rather it’s some kind of evil magic accumulated in the area, that really is a big problem.”
Edgar anxiously looked at Lydia, who was somewhat expressing sympathy.
“That is, those guys need Lydia’s fairy doctor abilities? But that black-haired man said that he himself was a fairy doctor.”
Lota looked solemn and crossed her arms on her chest.
“Men seem useless. In order to protect the clan, they can only depend on the legend of the prophet. But they also said, there already isn’t a girl within the clan that’s a suitable fiancée for the prophet, so they came here seeking the daughter of Aurora, who left home twenty years ago.”
“Their purpose.... Is wanting to make Lydia that man’s fiancée?”
Edgar’s calm tone of voice had a mixture of intense anger.
“But Professor, so long as Lydia becomes the prophet’s fiancée, then she’ll be able to make that person, who hasn’t woken up to this day, regain consciousness?”
“I’m not sure, but my wife was only a person among the edge of hierarchy of the clan, the clan head’s direct relatives ought to understand more about the prophet and the details of the clan’s crisis. Perhaps there certainly is a way to truly wake up the prophet.”
“However that person named Fergus wanted me to marry him.”
They obviously needed the prophet’s fiancée, so why did the clan head’s son rush over here and interrupt?
“That is... Lydia, your mother still had another fiancé to marry, under the circumstances that the prophet hasn’t awoken after she surpassed twenty years of age. I think that this time’s state of affairs is the same. According to their statements, after the prophet finishes his mission, that man named Fergus will… um, will take Lydia as his wife, so there’s no need to worry.”
Edgar silently clenched his fists. While Lydia looked at him, she was glad that Patrick and Fergus had left a long time ago, otherwise if he heard these words from their mouths directly, it’s possible that it’ll give rise to a bloody event.
“In short, Earl, these matters are already unrelated with Lydia. My wife should have already severed off all relationships with her homeland, so I ask that you don’t worry.”
After Father finished speaking resolutely, he shifted his line of sight towards Lydia.
“Lydia, you are already officially engaged. So you cannot be like before, making arbitrary decisions just because you are a fairy doctor, understand?”
This was a warning for Lydia to not contact them. Although Father rarely ordered Lydia, she also realized as a result that after her engagement, she would no longer be the ordinary Lydia Carlton.
For society, she was already a member of the Ashenbert family, so she could no longer approach other men.
Probably feeling relieved at Lydia’s answer, the corners of Edgar’s mouth relaxed.
However, was this a problem that could be settled as long as they were driven away? Uneasiness still remained in Edgar’s heart.
Despite no one mentioning it, Patrick had previously mentioned that something dangerous will also happen to Lydia.
As long as she inherited that clan’s bloodline, Lydia will be destined to get involved?
“It will be alright, Lydia, because no matter what happens, you have me to protect you.”
Edgar sensed Lydia’s unease, standing up as he spoke.
“I apologize for the sudden visit, Professor, I still have appointments with other people.”
“Ah, no, keeping you here when you’re busy, I’m really sorry. ”
“Edgar, you have me by Lydia’s side, so you don’t have to worry.”
Lota waved her hands, seemingly wanting to quickly drive Edgar out. After Edgar glared at her, he headed towards the entrance with Lydia, who got up to send him off.
When they walked up to the side of the carriage, which had stopped by the curbside waiting, he turned towards Lydia. Not knowing whether or not it was because they became alone, he suddenly didn’t want to separate, seemingly gazing at Lydia. Not knowing whether or not it was because they became alone, or that it suddenly became hard to leave, he gazed at Lydia.
“I just wanted to see your face anyhow, I’m glad I stopped by.”
“...You really love to worry.”
When she was alone with Edgar, Lydia often thought of one matter.
Doesn’t the distance between the both of them seem too close?
In any case, if Lydia didn’t raise her head high, then Edgar’s face wouldn’t be seen. But because he stared at her from a close distance, if she lifted her face, then both of them would be close enough to practically kiss, thus she couldn’t help but lower her line of sight to the area around Edgar’s necktie.
Do the earth’s lovers snuggle up to each other completely without reason?
Lydia imagined the distance between lovers, and how it was unlike Edgar’s ideas from the beginning. Although she believed that she expressed comparatively more intimacy than before, was Edgar not satisfied at all?
“Having a cute fiancée, it’s only natural that there will be many things to worry about.”
“That’s your bias.”
“You’re both unaware and not vigilant, it’s truly vexing.”
Edgar chuckled, then lightly embraced Lydia like encircling air.
Lydia liked this kind of tender touch, making her feel at ease. She wouldn’t be tense and as a result, felt Edgar’s tenderness.
These days, he probably tried to want to create the lovers atmosphere that was appropriate for Lydia. Even if this way of communication for him seemed like a child playing house, he still tried to compromise a little with Lydia.
“It's truly amazing. As long as I do this, even if I’m closing my eyes, I very well know that the person I am embracing is you. I seem to have unconsciously remembered the feeling of this embrace. ”
Do we embrace like this often?
“What about you? Will you know that it’s me?”
“Eh, I d--don’t know...”
Lydia still couldn’t keep her composure, thus she could only feel shy when asked. He seemingly found this this kind of reaction amusing and laughed, loosened her arms and changed the subject.
“Were you happy shopping together with Lota?
The distance between both of them increased slightly, Lydia was finally able to raise her head and smile.
“She... well, although she has many problems, she’s a girl who makes you feel at ease as long as she’s by your side. I think you had better not go out alone for the time being. ”
While Lydia nodded, she recalled that she still hadn’t decided on what gift to give.
She might as well ask the person himself.
“Um, Edgar, is there anything that you want at the moment?”
“There is. ”
He immediately replied.
“What is it?”
“Your love. ”
“Th--that’s not what I meant….”
“I wonder, when I will be able to hear you say “I love you”? I’ve always been waiting.”
Come to think of it, I seem to have never said it before.
“Will I hear it soon?”
Suddenly asking me to say it, I can’t say it out loud.
“Do you like me?”
Lydia became flushed, her mind in disorder. Edgar was always capable of naturally speaking out, and would say it several times regardless. But Lydia absolutely didn’t expect him to want her to say these words.
In order to respond to Edgar’s affection, she desperately tried to become used to the intimacy between them, she also believed that there was a way to convey her mood to him. However, she had never thought that she needed to take this mood and convert it into words.
Compared with kissing, she now felt more shy when by saying these words. Because Lydia discovered this point, she was endlessly astonished.
Although she tried to speak….
“What? I couldn’t hear you.”
Ah, it’s impossible.
Lydia hurriedly changed the subject.
“Well, you know, Edgar, I still haven’t given you an engagement gift, right? I wanted to buy something that can be regarded as commemorative, but I didn’t know what would be good.”
“Like I said, I want your…”
Lydia half-seriously blocked Edgar from returning to the subject.
He shrugged his shoulders slightly, then showed a mischievous sort of smile.
“Making you worry for me also isn’t bad. I will wait and look forward to your chosen gift. ”
Perhaps I shouldn’t have asked, isn’t it even more difficult to choose this time?
When she noticed, she realized that Edgar had already boaded onto the carriage.
“Can you come over tomorrow? I have something I want to show you.”
“Yes after finishing my etiquette lessons I’ll go.”
“I’ll be waiting for you. I love you, my fairy.”
Despite him being the same, both unhesitantly and boldly revealing his feelings, Lydia could only nod in response.
Not only was she incapable smoothly conveying her feelings, she was also unable to put her feelings into words. When they were alone, their behaviour would merely be childlike. Moreover she couldn’t even think of anything he would want.
I certainly must be a failure of a fiancée.
While Lydia sighed, she watched the carriage leave.
Countless bodies lied flat in the wilderness.
Edgar walked on the blood-soaked earth, alone.
Despite him noticing that he was in the same dream again, he was still unable to escape.
He didn’t know whether or not it was because of the light of the setting sun, even the sky was blood red.
The torn battle flag seemed to be the same as the soldiers, who were no longer moving, illustrating a tragic appearance.
This was the Stuart Royal family’s flag.
The Battle of Culloden was here. The grandson of James II who was exiled from the United Kingdom, Prince Charles Edward, attempted to reclaim the throne and ultimately suffered defeat to the very end.
Edgar stood on the land that had reportedly underwent fierce decisive battles around a century ago.
Nothing was alive. However, there were two birds fluttering in the red sky. They were hooded crows.
The incarnations of the ancient war goddesses called out to Edgar.
After that, the setting suddenly changed.
A baby immersed in its first bath could be seen. A bright red first bath.... it seemed like a baptism of blood.
Surrounding the baby’s body were either departed spirits or monstrous ghosts, sinister creatures which dwelled in the gloomy darkness.
Edgar realized that this dream was another of the Prince’s stories.
Losing the war a century ago, people who were identified as rebels were persecuted and cursed the British royal family, and prince’s existence, called the Prince of Calamity, was born among that reason.
They set up a dark organization, planning to use evil forces to seize the country.
In order to replace the prince who was defeated in the war, they depended on the Stuart royal family’s weak bloodline, which should have been severed earlier, wanting to start a war again.
This battle began a long time ago.
The dark organization abducted Edgar, the Duke’s eldest son, attempting to reincarnate him as the new “Prince”, and snatched away Edgar’s family, original status, as well as everything he had.
He somehow managed to escape from the organization, vowed vengeance towards Prince, and afterwards smoothly obtained the Blue Knight Earl’s status.
He originally thought that as long as Prince was dead, he would be able to obtain freedom.
Edgar let out a groan while having the nightmare and tossed about in bed.
Within the darkness, countless spirits and the unseelie court unwittingly surrounded Edgar. Even if he tried to escape, they would follow him no matter where he went.
He knew the reason clearly. Because, Edgar is their Prince now.
Although the man who tortured Edgar before was dead, the one called “Prince” with his memories of unknown existence, entered into his mind.
No, he muttered.
I am the Blue Knight Earl. The heir of the Earl family, who incessantly struggled in order to bury Prince.
By the time Edgar realized, he was already holding the Merrow’s treasured sword, the heirloom of Earl family.
He waved the sword, in order to drive away the unseelie court.
Blue light radiated within the darkness.
The evil creatures simultaneously retreated backward, as they were unable to approach the sword.
Surrounding him at a distance, they still followed Edgar. But this sword, apart from preventing them from approaching closer, it couldn’t do anything.
This sword possessed fairy powers yet it was unable to kill fairies. The reason was with Edgar and not having the ability to communicate with fairies.
So, for no matter how long, I cannot become the genuine Earl?
Ah~~ it would be good if I can even use the sword’s true powers...
Just when Edgar hoped for this, the monstrous fairies before him, suddenly scattered and flew.
Who is it? When the fairies were fleeing simultaneously, he gazed at his surroundings.
Someone was here. Someone was holding a sword within their hand.
It was dusky all over, making Edgar unable to see their face clearly, but he noticed and gazed at the person’s figure holding the sword.
That sword was just like the Merrow’s sword, likewise it seemed to be decorated with a large gem. However, that sword was clearly distinct from the Merrow’s sword.
A scarlet gem was decorated on the sword.
Was that a ruby?
In the instant that the figure picked up the sword again, he could see a brilliant radiance from within the gem. It was the Star Ruby.
Edgar held the sword with the Star Sapphire, which momentarily flashed and shined as if it were attracted to the Ruby.
The unknown man turned to Edgar, silently raising his red sword.
Although Edgar wanted to dodge, his body couldn’t move at all.
The moment the edge of the blade approached his eyes, the setting changed once more.
He was in his own bedroom.
Even so, he knew he was still in a dream. His body was unable to move, as if he were paralyzed, moreover he closed his eyes, but he was able to grasp the condition of every corner of the room, thus it was surely a dream.
(You had a terrible dream didn’t you?)
He didn’t know where the sound came from.
“....Who is it?”
(I am your servant, my lord.)
There was a silver silhouette dimly floating in the dark room, just before dawn.
That figure had the appearance of a small young boy, reminiscent of Cupid; his short hair, skin as well as the clothes on his body, all appeared bluish silver. Edgar had already seen a similar existence of his, it’s just only at that time, he had the appearance of an adult.
He dwelled within the sword, that is, in the starlight of the Star Sapphire. After Edgar mumbled this fairy’s name, the boy nodded.
“Why are you here?”
(Because you called for me.)
Did I call him? Either that or I cried for help towards him.
“Anyway, if you came to help me, why didn’t you kill those group of guys by tearing apart?”
(My Lord, the things you can’t do, I also cannot do.)
“Without Bow, it useless? In other words….Although you possess the figure of the sword, you’re only an arrow.”
(I’m a fairy who was just born not long ago, Arrow is my name and my essence. Although the sword’s power is an innate ability that I have, I still need your willpower to bring it out. In the future, this sword should grow according to your wishes. Therefore, I ask that you be careful because the influence that you bring out from the sword will control your fate.)
Having a childish appearance yet speaking pretentious words, Edgar couldn’t help but laugh bitterly.
“Am I able to bring out effects from the sword? Don’t you know? I don’t have proficient fairy magic abilities, as I am merely an ordinary human.”
(Let’s hope that is the case, because if it’s like this, even now I can protect you sufficiently.)
While Arrow within the Star Sapphire spoke profoundly, his presence faded away.
And so, Edgar slowly opened his eyes and saw the Merrow’s sword, which should have been hidden in the other room, emitting a faint light.
The so-called guardian referred to as Arrow, who will protect Edgar and hunt the “Prince’s” unseelie court as much as possible, driving them away from him?
The unpleasant presence in the dream dissipated, whether or not it was because of this, Edgar regained his calm.
Perhaps it wasn’t merely a dream, rather it’s something that will turn up every night.
Or, was it something causing a disturbance within his body?
Was it Arrow within the sword suppressing this thing for him?
Edgar slightly expected Arrow to be able to prevent “Prince” whose memories dwelled inside him, from awakening. He hoped to not know what would happen if the memories awakened, what he would become afterwards.
“Lord Edgar, are you up?”
A voice came from outside the door. It was Raven.
Edgar responded, his trusted attendant entered the room, holding a candle.
“There was a voice inside the room, so I came to take a look.”
“Raven, after I get married, you don’t have to run in just because there are voices in the room.”
Although Edgar was poking fun at him, he understood that Raven was concerned as he would frequently have nightmares.
Recently, Raven had probably been unable to sleep soundly.
“Can you bring the candle here?”
Edgar picked up the sword that was beside the bedside table, approaching the flame.
He himself, just didn’t understand these matters. Even if it was just the sword, he also didn’t understand it well.
Arrow said, the direction of his fate will be seen depending on what kind of power guides the sword.
If there was a way to win against the “Prince” in his body, this sword will certainly be crucial.
But the more he thought, the more he felt that killing himself was the only way.
He was fully aware that he couldn’t do it.
Edgar he couldn’t do it no matter what, taking the initiative to separate himself from Lydia.
As a result, he went and seized the Prince’s memories, and while bearing unimaginable things, he tried to find a way to live.
Edgar believed that as long as she was by his side, then he would have hope.
It’s just that he still hadn’t explained everything to Lydia.
“Raven, if Lydia knew what was happening in my body, what would she think?”
Raven blinked. Edgar asked a question that even he would have difficulties answering.
“Then how about you? How would you feel towards this hateful enemy living within your Master’s body?”
Only Raven knew about the matters occurring within Edgar’s body, but regardless of what happened, he was Edgar’s faithful soldier.
“I will only follow Lord Edgar. ”
Edgar knew that he would reply in this way.
It was obvious as to why there would be that kind of answer, because they had a inseparable soul bond between them.
Yet, was Lydia willing to sacrifice everything to that extent for Edgar?
Edgar knew that she tried strenuously to display the appearance of a fiancée. Although she was innocent and sweet, if it seemed that Edgar will act too intimately, she will prepare to run away.
No, before I worry about that, he should there was a more important matter to consider -- the fact that I haven't told Lydia about this yet. The reason lies with him urgently preparing the marriage, and not speaking out this important matter concerning the future about himself.
“I’m afraid. Although I encountered various kinds of crises with you, up till now, this is the first time I’ve felt this afraid.”
Merely telling the truth, in spite of everything, I absolutely cannot do.
The candle’s flame flickered. The blue star-sapphire reflected the burning flame, making him think of the flickering red light of the ruby that he seemed to have seen in his dream.