In any case, the next bit sans checks of course. Hopefully, I didn't forget to at least go back for only partly finished lines. ^^;;
Sir John's Cross pg 72-88
"Mr. Rowen, just what was the meaning of that. Did you intend to treat the earl like a criminal?"
"No, um... Lt. Commander, I was just thinking they were similar."
"They're not at all alike. The sketch of the person's likeness was decidedly that of a villain."
"That's true, but you can't trust sketches. Not to mention...... hair and eye colour aside, there's a key distinguishing feature. If you checked that, it would make things very clear."
The officer who'd been striding importantly down the corridor suddenly stopped and turned towards his crewmember.
"So, you were intending to ask the earl to stick out his tongue?"
Nico, who'd been taking an afternoon nap on the marble slab of a passageway lamp stand, twitched his ears at having his nap interrupted.
"Do you honestly think nothing would come of asking him to do something as humiliating as that? Not only would he refuse, he'd naturally complain to higher ups. Not to mention, it's the American murderer who's supposed to have the tattoo of a cross on his tongue. Leave the mixing of him with the London robber to the tabloids."
"......I'm sorry. But, umm, was he really executed in America? The murdering thief known as Sir John was said to be a very noble charismatic person, but rumour has it that the body of the one hanged wasn't at all like that......"
The Lt. Commander shrugged clearly at his subordinate.
"Do hanged bodies have any air of nobility or charisma? Not to mention you're mistaken on one other basic issue. We're not looking for the occupants of special class cabins, we're looking for thugs hiding out somewhere."
"Hmm." Nico preened his whiskers and watched as the two military men went by before trotting off on two legs to Lydia's cabin. "I wonder..." he muttered to himself.
After disembarking at the port in Scarborough, Lydia and the others headed westward by train. The scene from the train window was flat and monotonous. Lydia still felt uneasy and having to sit uneasily opposite Edgar in the compartment was very trying. As a result, from time to time, Lydia would get up from her seat for no reason.
"Oy oy, if you're acting too nervous, they'll get suspicious." Nico showed himself standing on two legs in the corridor.
"Hey, Nico, about what you told me earlier, you don't really think......"
"The officer said it's not him, so maybe it's not."
"True, I can't see a murdering thief being able to speak such perfect King's English."
Even though she thought that, she still couldn't help be suspicious. No doubt because of the shadiness she felt surrounding Edgar since they met.
"Like I said, just check out his tongue."
Lydia heard about the tattoo of a cross from Nico who'd overheard the Lt. Commander's conversation. Lydia couldn't fathom how insane a person would have to be not only to come up with the idea of tattooing their tongue, but to actually go through with doing so. But that information was very valuable. Ever since hearing about it on board the ship from Nico, Lydia'd been struggling to figure out how she could check it out.
"But the tongue's not something you can normally see. And it's the one in America that's supposed to have a tattoo. Even if there's nothing there, it won't be proof he's not the London robber."
"Well, for starter's, you'll feel safer if he's not a murderer, right? The London victim at least is still alive."
That could have just been by chance. But perhaps it was as Nico said. If possible, she wanted to know for sure. But ultimately, Lydia had no idea what to do and ended up going back to the compartment.
Glancing at Edgar, she saw that his cane was in his lap as he leaned against the window with his eyes closed. Perhaps he was napping.
I have to do something while I have the chance......
Lydia crept closer to him. He showed no signs of waking.
Even his napping there with his chin propped in his hand was very refined. All that was needed was a gorgeous frame, and the scene would make a beautiful picture.
His golden hair dropped a faint shadow on his pale cheek.
Lydia's attention went to his lips, but regardless of how muc she stared at his mouth, naturally there was no way for her to see his tongue.
Any was she thought of things, there was no way he wouldn't wake up if she stuck her finger in his mouth. Lydia crouched before him, her gaze drawn to his lips. She was completely unable to bring herself to move away.
(Aren't men usually more rugged?)
He had long lashes, well-shaped lips, and fine jawline.
Feeling almost as though she were admiring a piece of art, Lydia was suddenly struck by the desire to touch him. But when she reached out with a finger, his lips moved slightly into a faint smile. Edgar opened his eyes, and Lydia suddenly found herself looking at him eye-to-eye.
"May I help you?"
Lydia froze, her finger still right before his very nose.
"I thought you were going to kiss me and figured I'd continue pretending to be asleep, but I didn't expect you'd try poking me"
"Uh...... umm...... this......"
"You can touch me, if you like."
"Uh, that's not......"
Lydia hastily withdrew her hand. But when she tried to pull away, Edgar grasped her by the shoulder.
"Ah, I'm sorry. I mustn't embarrass the lady. If that's youｒ wish, then I'd be more than happy to oblige."
Lydia became flustered when his face drew nearer to hers,.
"N-not that! Your tongue......"
"Tongue? I didn't expect you to prefer deep kissing."
"Just what are you thinking?!"
Lydia desperately tried to push Edgar away when, over his shoulder, she saw Raven enter the compartment bringing tea. But he completely ignored Lydia's plight as Edgar tried pushing her down on the seat. Raven expressionlessly left the tea on the table before moving to leave the room.
"Hey! You there! Help me!"
"Raven wouldn't stop me even if I were about to snap your thin neck right now."
That was an unbelievable degree of loyalty. Were they all fellow thieves?
Lydia suddenly lost her temper. For an instant she forgot herself, and losing the reserve she'd maintained in dealing with an earl, she raised her hand against him firmly as though against a villain. Edgar finally let go of Lydia when she struck him solidly. However, that wasn't enough to satisfy Lydia, and seeing a teacup, she grabbed it and threw it at Edgar.
Lydia finally returned to her senses at the sound of Raven's voice. But by that time, Raven had already intervened between the two, and the hot tea splashed all over his arm.
"I......I'm sorry. You need to go cool your arm right away."
"No need to worry. I'm fine. I'll go make some new tea."
"Never mind that, and have Ermine take care of you."
Lydia sighed when Raven nodded obediently at Edgar's words and left the room.
"Well, don't worry about it so much," Edgar said calmly.
"I-it's all your fault! Forcing...... Not to mention saying something as frightful as snapping my neck."
"That was just used as an example."
"If only I'd gotten you with the tea! I had no intention of injuring Raven!"
"Huh, so I take it you're not at all concerned for me despite having hit me?"
"Of course not!" Lydia snapped back before fleeing from the compartment.
Lydia spotted Raven's dark figure by the sink.
"Don't bother, Lydia. No doubt he'll even kill a woman if she tried hurting his earl," Nico murmured when Lydia moved to approach Raven.
Lydia was struck with uncertainty at Nico's comment but didn't feel comfortable at pretending nothing had happened despite having thrown tea on Raven.
Even though Raven most likely heard her, he didn't turn as she approached.
"Umm, were you burnt?" Lydia asked hesitantly.
"It's nothing serious. Rather than that......"
Raven finally turned around. As always, he didn't smile but neither did he seem to be angry.
"As you'd said, I should have stopped his lord that time."
"You mean because I wouldn't have tried throwing tea at him?"
"I never thought you would do something like that, miss."
Lydia felt a little annoyed and her guilt at having caused Raven any harm partially vanished.
"I'll have you know, not every lady out there would enjoy Edgar's advances."
"Yes, so I've learned."
His earnest reply made it clear he was neither teasing nor blaming Lydia. Given his plain manner of speech and despite his lack of expression, Lydia couldn't help feeling that he was easier to understand than Edgar.
"How old are you?"
Since they were already talking, Lydia decided to try asking him something she'd been wondering about.
"I see. You're one year older than me."
"I look young for my age."
Even that, he said very seriously.
Perhaps it was because of his large eyes, but he certainly did look much younger than his actual age--which is why Lydia felt that if he smiled he would give the impression of being very friendly.
"Hey, would you really not stop Edgar if he was trying to kill someone?"
"Never mind stopping him, most likely I would be the one doing the killing."
Raven's calm reply gave Lydia the chills. Unlike Edgar, when Raven said something, it didn't sound the least bit like a joke.
"You'll dirty your hands for the sake of your lord? Don't you think you're mistaking what loyalty is in going that far?"
"If I were to commit a crime, it would only be for Lord Edgar's sake. He taught me that killing others for reasons other than that isn't necessary. It took time for me to understand that."
Lydia was unable to understand exactly what he meant. However, she couldn't help feeling like she were standing in the depths of some dark bottomless abyss.
Seen up close, Lydia realised that Raven's dark eyes, which she'd thought were the same colour as his black hair, were in fact shaded a deep green.
Could it be that he was thought ot carry a spirit's blood because of the colour of his eyes? She felt herself drawn into his eyes at that thought. Raven too, stared back into her eyes.
"Ah, I'm sorry. I couldn't help noticing te colour of your eyes since I have green eyes too. Over here, green is a fairy colour, and in my case, I'm actually able to see fairies too. They tend to get tied together with various other images of fairies and people started calling me a changeling. Um, a changeling is a fairy child left behind to be raised by people after a fairy steals away a human child." Though their staring at one another had been unintentional, Lydia rambled on trying to disguise her discomfit.
Raven waited for her to pause.
"Spirits live in the forests. The forests in England are light and bathed in sunlight much like the colour of your eyes. Where I'm from, the forests are dense and heavily overgrown such that the sun can't shine through, and they are a very dark green. To me, this country's fairies are very bright, and I can't see them well. So most likely, you cannot see my spirit either."
Raven seemed to smile ever so slightly. It was such a dark and lonely smile that, even though they both had abilities tying them to spirits, it felt like she was being told they were completely different types of people.
The embodiment of a foreign spirit.
The Lord Blue Knight was said to like travelling and is said to have even excited the courts with his stories of distant lands. At that time, the far east was even further away in the minds of the English than were fairy lands, and those distant lands were filled with mystery.
The tale of the earl who, along with his mysterious followers, came from the fairy realm. Lydia couldn't help suddenly feeling like she'd become caught up in one of the Lord Blue Knight's adventures from long ago.
The ones who once again came to the human world. Were they Blue Knight Earl and his followers?
Or were they murdering thieves?
By the time they reached the final stop and got off the steam train, night had fallen shrouding the area in darkness.
since most stations were outside the bustle of the city centre, there was only the one quiet street for carriages outside the station building. With few passengers disembarking, most of whom hurried off elsewhere, soon there was no one else to be seen besides Lydia and the others.
Raven left for the road to hire a coach. There was supposed to be a place behind the station building for carriages to wait.
"Master, are you looking for a coach to hire? Where are you headed?" a man asked as he stepped out of the building's shadow.
"No, thank you. My man has gone to hire a coach," Edgar replied coolly.
"Come now, I'll give you a discount," the man said as he drew closer. Suddenly, he grabbed Lydia by the arm.
Before Lydia could make a sound a knife was pressed to her throat.
Edgar and Ermine both tensed, and before they knew it, several figures stepped out from the shadows and surrounded them.
"Don't move, sir," a voice said. A lone figure stepped forward flashing the pistol he hid under his frock coat. It was Huskley.
"Ah, if it isn't Mr. Huskley. I didn't realise that was your name," Edgar said as though making fun of his foe.
Huskley glared so venomously at Edgar that Lydia felt he was a completely different person from the gentleman who'd spoken so kindly to her.
"Quit being so pretentious. I can't believe you're masquerading as a nobleman."
"It's not an act. And it's not 'sir' but 'lord'. Kindly make no mistake."
"As if! Living in grandeur off my father's money, are you?!"
"I'm afraid the money your father gave as compensation was but a pittance. While it was completely inadequate, it's of no consequence. It's not like I'm in need of money."
"Compensation?! On top of stealing everything, you're also going to steal the jewel my father's been searching for all this time?! Thanks to you, my father's......"
"Your father's in the hospital fighting for his life right now because you unthinkingly fired your weapon. Given your marksmanship, it should have been obvious that if you shot at me, you could hit your father who was behind me at the time. And yet, you reported things as though I'm the one who shot him."
"Shut up, damn it! I'm going to silence that arrogant mouth of yours!"
Lydia listened to their conversation dumbfounded. Just what was going on?! Edgar took Huskley's father's money and jewel? Huskley fired his weapon and ended up hitting his father?
"Understand this, the Carlton girl wll be helping us out. Hey! Tie them up! We'll hand them over to the police and see to it they're executed."
"Indeed, and in doing so, your father's, as well as your own, crimes will come out into the open. Shall we go to the gallows together? Or perhaps you will be the first to go?"
As Edgar spoke a dark shadow moved right beside Lydia. With the faintest sound of wings flapping in the wind, the shadow moved brushing Lydia's cheek.
The man pinning Lydia crumpled wordlessly, his neck twisted at an unnatural angle. He was already dead.
The shadow flew again.
He landed in front of his lord as though to protect Edgar from Huskley's gun and swiftly drew his knife.
Huskley's men all move at once trying to take Raven down. Not only were the people from the ship there, but there was also locally hired muscle mixed in among them.
Raven seemed to be vastly outnumbered when another whirlwind suddenly appeared. Ermine took down the man nearest her with one blow. Wielding a knife in one hand, she moved to help Raven.
Lydia realised that Ermine dressed in men's clothing because they were easier to move in and was taken aback.
The Blue Knight Earl and his mysterious followers were a raven and an ermine? That more than anything seemed to be the stuff of fairy tales.
At some point during the scuffle, Edgar had moved to Lydia's side. Just as he pulled her by the arm a shot rang out and a hole appeared by her feet.
Raven swiftly turned and with a high kick, he kicked the pistol from Huskley's hand. Continuing with his motion, Raven turned and kept Edgar at his back protecting him. Raven then proceded to take down the men that came at him.
"My lord, there's a coach at the corner ahead."
"Can I leave this place to you?"
After that terse conversation, Edgar turned back, grabbed Lydia by the arm, and started running. The light from the coach shone dimly in the distance. Lydia stumbled on the hem of her skirt and tripped. When she tried to get up a saber was suddenly thrust before her.
"I said we'll be taking her, John. Regardless how much you struggle, you're just a ne'er do well that deserves to die in some slum."
Who is John?
Huskley grabbed Lydia.
Lydia suddenly grew angry. 'Why?! Anyone and everyone's been lying to me, threatening me...... Why do I have to do what they say?!'
Losing her temper, Lydia couldn't care less that Huskley had a weapon and struggled madly.
"Gotham, stop!" Edgar yelled.
Lydia had bitten Huskley's finger making him lose his temper in return. Huskley raised his saber against Lydia.
Edgar shoved Lydia out of the way and Lydia saw Huskley's blade clip Edgar tearing through the shoulder of his jacket. Edgar winced in pain.
Huskley moved in to attack again, and despite his injury, Edgar swung his walking stick. Drawing a rapier from his cane, Edgar and Huskley exchanged blows. Then, catching Huskley's blade with his own, Edgar sent Huskley's blade flying from his hands. Edgar's blade tore through Huskley's cuff forcing Huskley to retreat hurriedly from Edgar.
Edgar grabbed Lydia's arm again and continued running down the street. When he finally reached the coach, he shoved Lydia inside and quickly climbed in behind her.
"Wh-who are you?! Who's John? And Gotham......"
Edgar covered Lydia's mouth forcefully with his hand silencing her when she started shouting.
"Drive on. Hurry."
Upon having several bills pressed upon him, the driver asked no questions despite Edgar's obvious injury and his restraining a young lady whom he was clearly in the midst of stealing away.
And final translation word count for Nov. is... 26 025. ^^;; Oh dear. *laughs*