Mona, hopefully I'll get the first part (probably of three) of yours done by tomorrow. I'm not sure tonight's possible since I want to do some baking, too. ^^;
Fugue of Truth and Lies
'Ted', that's what that man called Edgar. The voice he would never forget, even now, tortured him in his sleep.
Ted, you're perfect. All you need to do is stand wrapped in light, looking down contemptuously on the masses. Followers will automatically come thronging at your feet.
I'll teach you; it's easy to manipulate people. And you'll be able to make people do the things you want without their ever realising it.
And then you'll become me. You'll think as I do, control people, and come to command them.
As if it were possible for him to do that--if only because Edgar had fled from that man. Things didn't go as that man wanted.
The man who wore a mask covering half his face; it had became hideously twisted after he'd been injured during the war. He called himself the prince, and he tried to make Edgar his puppet.
Since he couldn't go before people, he wanted a loyal, charming puppet that would move, work, and speak as he wanted in his stead. By stripping away Edgar's personality and will, the prince had tried to make him into a walking shell; it was a devilish experiment that had no chance of success.
However, sometimes Edgar suddenly felt unsure--that maybe his continued struggles might be what that man intended. Because in order to escape, hide, and survive, Edgar ended up having to use the methods that man had pounded into him. He'd place himself above others yet be very indulgent towards others, and as long as he could charm others, he generally succeeded at what he wanted. Delighting others or making them feel insecure, getting them to feel sympathetic or to feel fear, everything was as he intended. By manipulating people's emotions, he shifted things in his favour.
But Edgar realised that people who'd been manipulated in that manner weren't really his allies. Rather than as master to his slave or charismatic leader to his followers, it was only through equality that trust could be born. But that wasn't something that could be built with just anyone, nor was it something that was easy to achieve. And when you stripped away the various reasons people were with him, his only real companions were Raven and Ermine.
Having no other choice, he would used the simplest method to get through situations. Naturally, others couldn't understand the pain Edgar and the others had suffered. So they succeeded simply by using others.
Lydia was supposed to be just another of those people he used, but things didn't go according to plan. He'd thought it would be easy to seduce a young, innocent girl of age like her, however, for some reason, she simply wouldn't believe him. And while having the eldest Gotham son appear as he did was unplanned for, Edgar's injury should be able to win him her sympathy. And that's why he told her about his past. Lydia seemed to waver, but in the end she was unable to believe him. When he saw her put the pill in the cup, Edgar only had one other option open to him--to use force and make her obey.
And yet, for some reason, he couldn't help doing things that would let her get away instead.
'Did you lose all hope in that way?'
Even with a detestable criminal before her, for some reason, she still thought about him even though she was in a situation where her only thought should have been about how to protect herself. Edgar had no idea how her golden-green fairy eyes saw him. Normally, he thought he had a good idea how others saw him. He was supposed to be used to portraying himself in a way that would make others see him as he intended, but with Lydia, it was as though she saw right through the masks he wore when he portrayed himself as a villain.
Even Edgar couldn't believe that the only thing he was able to do was to pour out his feelings and beg her not to leave. Any way he thought about it, his threatening to die was no threat at all. But it all didn't matter anymore. He couldn't help feeling that it would've been better had she poisoned him. But it had only been a sleeping draught--one that slowly released him from sleep, prompting him to wake.
Light shone through his eyelids making him slowly open his eyes. The morning sun shone on him from the holes in the roof and the walls.
Ahh, dawn has already come--a dawn all alone.
Hearing that cry, Edgar sat up and spotted a grey cat with a necktie around its neck by the window sill. It was Lydia's cat. Just as he wondered what the cat was doing there, he spotted the young sleeping girl curled up against the back of the chair by the fireplace hugging his walking stick.
"Honestly, I don't believe this," Nico grumbled as he tossed a scone at the young man who looked stunned as he stared at Lydia.
Edgar turned upon getting hit on the head. It was hard to tell if he still looked confused and cocked his head because he was wondering why Lydia hadn't fled, or if he was having trouble accepting the fact that there was a cat holding a scone with its forepaws. He glanced at the scone lying near him, as though not wanting to believe that a cat had given him food to eat.
"Go on, eat," Nico said in a deliberately haughty tone.
"Umm, Nico, was it? Thank you, but I'll pass. Just as you insist on having hot tea, it's against my policy to accept food out of charity."
"Huh, so you do understand what I say."
"......I"m not sure why, but you're creepy."
"Oh, I see. You're the type that isn't aware they can hear. Every now and again, there are people who aren't completely one way or the other. Well, it doesn't matter as long as you can understand what I say. Listen here, you villain. If you do anything to Lydia, you'll regret it." Nico opened his mouth wide and bared his fangs at Edgar. Nico's hostility got through to Edgar.
"So, you're worried about Lydia." Edgar looked at Lydia again.
"Why didn't she run?"
"I don't know." It was something Nico was very unhappy about. He'd told Lydia that if a villain decided he's going to kill himself, it was better for the whole world. And yet, she still didn't leave.
Ultimately, perhaps it was Lydia's compassion for Edgar who'd ended up being injured because of her that had won out, and she'd thought that if he really did end up dying, she would have felt bad about how things ended. Nico thought that Lydia might be the type that simply couldn't leave a person when they were depending on her. Even though she'd gone through a lot of pain being called a changeling and being treated like a freak, she'd never come to resent people. Instead, she believed that someday, someone would come to need her whose abilities could act as a bridge between people and the fae. Right now, even though the townsfolk viewed her with ridicule at having put up a sign in town advertising herself as a fairy doctor, because she was so caring, if anyone ever was in trouble and needed her help, undoubtedly she would take care of that person.
That's why she was unable to hate Edgar so much as to abandon him to his fate.
"I don't suppose she's fallen in love with me."
The sun's rays made Lydia's reddish-brown hair shine.
Edgar climbed to his feet and slowly drew closer to Lydia, but Nico quickly leapt into Lydia's lap.
"Are you telling me to stay away? I just want to touch her a little, so give me a break."
"I don't think so."
Edgar ignored Nico and reached out touching the fine hair that had fallen against her cheek. Lydia opened her eyes slightly and light shone into her golden-green eyes that could see the fae.
"Good morning, Lydia."
Much to Nico's chagrin, Edgar took advantage of Nico's lowered guard, and kissed Lydia on the hand.
"Huh......what are you doing, you pervert?!" Lydia jumped back from Edgar in surprise.
"I haven't done anything. Not to mention your cat was keeping watch."
Nico sighed wondering if he really should've had any compassion for this sort of frivolous man.
"Hey, Lydia. I managed to get us some scones. Let's have breakfast."
Lydia caught the scone Nico tossed at her in both hands as she continued to look at Edgar suspiciously.
"I thought maybe you hated me now, so I'm really glad to see you again."
"......I do hate you. I hate liars. So I hate you, too."
"Even so, you didn't leave me."
"That's because I'm a fairy doctor and I accepted your commission. But that doesn't mean I'll get you the Lord Blue Knight's great sword. If the merrow are protecting it, then I need to make you understand that it's something that you can't obtain. The merrow aren't evil fairies, but they do have dangerous powers. And teaching that to a helpless thief like you who doesn't believe in fairies is also part of my job as a fairy doctor.
"Can I take that to mean that you're concerned about me?"
"......It's more an issue of my own policy."
"If we join forces, I'm sure we'll be able to get the sword."
"Edgar, are you listening to me?"
"Ahh, so you'll still call me by that name."
"......But it's your real name, right?"
"I'm so happy, Lydia."
Everything was going at Edgar's pace. Lydia drew back as he held her hand.
"You really had no intention of dying, did you......?"
'Of course he didn't,' Nico thought.
"Thanks to you, I'm alive. You're my savior."
"Enough already, let go of me!"
Nico couldn't help worrying thinking that this man might be even more troublesome than the dangerous merrow.
One last section to this part (similar to the anime where Huskley and the officer visit Prof. Carlton.)