And after all that, I decided to do the next scene for Hakushaku. Not that there's much to it. :P Oh well, I'll be shifting to JLPT studies now, so we'll see how much translating I can do in the next ~1.5 weeks. Might not be much considering. JLPT studies are a whole different beast compared to NaNo, although it seems silly to cram for a language proficiency test seeing how I haven't studied or done anything since last year's test. ^^;
Sir John's Cross
After that, every time Lydia left her cabin, Ermine would accompany her. Since Ermine would cheerfully speak with Lydia, she didn't have the same enigmatic air as Raven. But that might just be an act. She was one of Edgar's servants, after all.
"Miss Lydia, the sun's strong today," Ermine said as she held a parasol over Lydia who'd come out on deck alone.
While there were passengers who looked at the maid dressed in men's clothing curiously, Ermine completely ignored them. While Lydia wasn't so delicate a young lady so as to be afraid of becoming tanned, she couldn't help feeling envious of Ermine's white skin.
"It's surprisingly good weather for this country."
The look on Ermine's face seemed as though she were feeling nostalgic of the sun in another country as she said that.
"Miss Ermine, have you been to another country?"
"Please, call me Ermine. Yes, I'm not English."
"Come to think of it, Edgar had said he'd been living abroad all this time...... So that was true."
"Do you not trust Lord Edgar?"
"But what with everything...... The way we met even, he grabbed me suddenly from behind. Not to mention it's hard to tell if he's nice or scary, or if he's a gentlemen or not... Is he really even an earl?!"
Ermine just smiled softly and said nothing of her master.
"Not to mention that Raven. He's young, but it's as though he has no expression. Has Edgar told him not to smile or something? If he were so ordered, he seems like the type who would follow the order to a t."
"Raven's just that sort of child. I assure you he hasn't been ordered to be that way. Ah, but if Lord Edgar did so order it, he would likely follow that order utterly."
Ermine saying 'that sort of child' spoke of a certain closeness between them--one which gave the impression she was gently watching over him.
Ermine must have sensed Lydia's question as she added, "Raven's my younger brother."
"Our skin colour's different because we have different fathers. Miss Lydia, I understand you know a lot about the Fae. Have you ever been to their world?"
"......Well, yes, while you may not believe it, paths to their world is everywhere. The border between sun and shade, places where the wind suddenly changes direction, thickets of hawthorn or elderberry, or the shadow of a shamrock.
"In my country, we believed in spirits, although they are of a more terrible nature. Every now and then, children said to carry the blood of such spirits are born. Raven is one of them."
"Eh? Really? So he can also see spirits and speak to them?"
"I'm not sure. He doesn't like speaking about spirits with others."
Lydia could understand why he wouldn't like speaking with others about spirits. If Lydia were the type to keep quiet, she probably would've been the same way. Although in her case, she'd also focussed more on the mysterious world in order to not forget her mother.
But in Lydia's case too, there'd been rumours when she was small that she was a changeling. She didn't resemble either her mother or her father, her eyes were of a most unusual colour, her gaze would follow after something that wasn't there when she was in her cradle, she'd burst out laughing suddenly, and when she got a bit bigger, she'd speak to some unseen presence and would constantly play on her own, so her babysitters always found her to be creepy.
While she could ignore being called strange, being called a changeling was very hard on her. It was as though people were denying her relationship with and memories of her mother.
"He must've gone through some bad things because of it. It's difficult for people to understand, after all."
"True. Not to mention, in Raven's case, he's the incarnation of an evil spirit. His existence was seen as detestable, and it was his fate to be distanced from the world. So even though I'm his sister, I can't understand everything about him. ......We abandoned our home as though we were being chased, but we finally found a place where we belonged at Lord Edgar's side."
"......Because he's an earl from fairy lands?"
"Regardless of whether he's an earl or not, he's a very tragic person."
Tragic? To Lydia, he was arrogant, forceful, treating others as well as herself as pawns in a game, and having fun making dangerous bargains or hunting after treasure.
Lydia cocked her head to one side. Ermine's red lips softened at that sight; it was hard to say if she were smiling or if her expression were sad.
"His kindness and his strictness are but a part of his pain. That's why he can understand our pain. Although it would be nice if the Fairy Realms would be able to give him true peace."
What did she mean by true peace?
Whether Ermine meant because it was where a descendant of the Lord Blue Knight should eventually return to, or if she hoped for it because he wasn't the real thing, Lydia had no way of telling.
Edgar, Raven, and Ermine. Being shown so many different sides to them, caused the image Lydia had of what sort of people they were waver even more.
A warning whistle blew. The low sound reverberated before being swept away into the light blue sky.
A group of people on deck who'd been chatting looked out over the sea and pointed at something. Lydia too looked around.
It was a military patrol boat. The large black shadow was approaching them. Just as Lydia realised that, the ship she was own gradually slowed.
"I wonder if something happened."
Ermine frowned uncertainly. "Let's return to the cabin, Miss Lydia."
Ermine led Lydia back to Edgar's cabin. Edgar stood by the window and seemed almost angry as he stared at the patrol boat. He suddenly grinned as though something were funny and turned towards Lydia.
"Perhaps Huskley is looking for us."
"Eh, you must be mistaken. Using the navy?"
"Well, we'll find out soon enough."
Edgar didn't seem particularly worried even though they might soon be in Huskley's grasp.
As Edgar'd said, soon thereafter, the ship's captain came to their cabin. According to the captain, there was a possibility that a dangerous individual may have stowed away on board and the patrol boat had come to search their ship.
Perhaps Huskley managed to convince someone in a position of authority that such was the case. It was very possible that someone had seen Lydia and Edgar run onto this ship.
The naval officer that appeared had a several men with him and identified himself as a Lieutenant Commander. "I'm very sorry, my lord, but we'd like to get your permission to search your cabin," he said politely.
"Certainly. We wouldn't want any dangerous individuals hiding out in here. Not all of the rooms are in use, so please be thorough in your search," Edgar said calmly as he sat on the sofa.
As his men searched, the Lieutenant Commander verified Raven's and Ermine's identity and asked Lydia some simple questions before asking permission to search her cabin.
"Um, who is this dangerous person you're searching for?" Lydia asked curious to find out what Huskley had reported if he was indeed behind the search.
"It's supposed to be the person who was responsible for a theft in London. Since it's also been reported that he may have a hostage, it's become a most urgent matter."
"Yes, Miss. He may have threatened a young lady and forced her to go with him. A lady about your age."
"Lieutenant Commander, please don't frighten her. It's a frightening subject as is. Rumour has it that said London robber is also the one who's said to have killed a hundred people in America, right?"
Lydia finally remembered the newspaper article after hearing Edgar's comment.
Could it be that Huskley was using the villain on the run from an actual crime? And by adding the report of a hostage, he was getting them to search for Lydia at the same time?
Most likely, Huskley didn't expect Edgar and Lydia would have tickets and were having the navy search for people who weren't on the ship's passenger list.
Ah, I beg your pardon. But my lord, the rumour of his being the American mass murderer is simply because they have similar distinguishing features. The murderer was executed."
The officer's men reported that there was nothing out of the ordinary when one of the Lt. Commander's men who'd been taking notes behind him suddenly spoke.
"Come to think of it, said robber is supposed to be a young man with blond hair, his eyes were purple and......"
The Lt. Commander visibly frowned.
"Mr. Rowen, that's enough."
"I see, they're rather common distinguishing features. One such individual is right here, too," Edgar said smoothly.
Lydia couldn't help staring at him. Come to think of it, he did have those same features. But just from that, maybe there were many people with those features.
Lydia felt a strange sense of unease and couldn't take her eyes off Edgar.
"You're very right. Well, we'll be leaving. Thank you very much for your cooperation."
After the Lt. Commander and his men left, Edgar turned toward Lydia as though sensing her gaze.
Lydia quickly averted her gaze, but her actions were so unnatural that she was sure Edgar realised her suspicions and Lydia couldn't help but feel annoyed with herself.
"We'll be arriving in Scarborough in two hours. Please get ready to leave the ship."
Edgar didn't ask anything and just gave her his usual unshakeable smile.
Hopefully that makes sense. For some reason, I was losing part of a paragraph when pasting this thing into my doc file. >.> Hopefully that hasn't been happening elsewhere since it was pure chance that I even noticed it. *sigh*
Good luck to everyone still writing NaNo! ^o^
(And is it me, or is LJ being a royal pain ever since the server move? I'm often timing out over here...)