Shadow (kagedreams) wrote,

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Hakushaku to Yousei v17 part 2

Yay! I has truffles! (And caramels... or is that toffee?) ^o^ Matcha works quite well with white choco. I could probably have gotten away with using less matcha (ground 15g of tencha, approx. 2 tbsp powdered tea), but... shall see. As it is, even male parental likes them, so I'd say they're pretty good over all. Male parental usually doesn't like choco very much. :P (Would've been better if I could've nabbed better base choco, but... ^^; )

The dark choco truffles (also matcha) still have to be rolled out tomorrow, so shall see how those turned out next. :P

Sadly the caramels are harder than I like. >.> Will have to adjust the recipe's temperature if my teeth survive for a next time. ^^;

FWIW, I've incorporated the translated snippets more into the summary this time. In any case, onwards! ^o^

Lydia carries a bouquet of lily and olive flowers as she walks up the aisle with her father. Early that morning, she'd received a note from Edgar saying that she had no need to worry. Since the two wouldn't be able to see one another until the ceremony, she didn't know any details, so Lydia could only tell herself that everything would turn out alright.

Lydia's father stops part-way down the aisle, and Lydia looks up. Through her veil, she sees Edgar smile at her. Edgar's dressed in a white morning coat with a light purple Ascot tie that matches his eyes. Flowers matching Lydia's bouquet are in his button hole. Lydia could hear the sighs from the guests at Edgar's appearance and realises that regardless how dressed up she might be, Edgar stood out much more.

Lydia and Edgar face the priest and she can only wonder what Edgar intended to do to stop the fairy as the problem part came up. However, at the key point, the pastor didn't ask if anyone could show just cause for the two not to be wed, and a hymn was sung instead. Lydia looks at Edgar in surprise and he winks at her. The pastor showed no signs of returning to the part that had been skipped, and the fairy remained silent. Lydia can only wonder if the fairy didn't realise what had happened and if she planned to continue waiting for the pastor's words. There were no signs of the fairy putting up a fuss, and Lydia realised that the fae are quite inflexible especially about custom. And as it's custom that the sixth cannot interfere with the earl's wedding ceremony as long as the other five's blessings are on it, it was also custom for her to wait for the pastor to ask for those who opposed the joining.

Since the fairy uses magic, Lydia had only thought about trying to stop her by magical means, and the thought of having the pastor change the ceremony had never occurred to her. For one thing, she never thought that the pastor would consider taking out such an important aspect to the ceremony either. Lydia wonders if Edgar had threatened the pastor or perhaps he'd bought him out in order to have that part removed. After the two exchange vows Lydia tears up relieved that nothing happened at the wedding. Edgar wipes away her tears and carefully kisses her, and Lydia can no longer hold back her tears as she realises that no one can force them apart anymore.

Lota and Paul find Lydia in her work room during the reception. Raven follows the two bringing tea and some light refreshments. Lydia admits to Lota and Paul that she barely got to talk to Edgar at all that day. Lota offers to go tell Edgar that Lydia was feeling lonely, but Lydia stops her; if she did, most likely Edgar would come running over and neglect the guests.

"Raven, I wanted to thank you for today. Although for you it's been extremely busy."

Raven had been about to leave the room when Lydia stopped him with her words and he turned and looked at her steadily. Having him stare coolly at her so long with his usual unreadable expression made it seem like he was glaring at her, but most likely Raven was trying to find the right words to say.

"It's the first time--for a day to be this enjoyable."

Nico then calls Lydia from the window and tells her to show herself a bit more at the fae festivities. The fae had connected the faerie market with her workroom window and a number of the fairies from her home in Scotland had even come. Lydia invites Lota and Paul to come as well, and Nico tells them to go through the window. Lydia drags a chair to the window and steps through much to Paul's surprise--Lydia's workroom was on the second floor, after all. However when he looked through the window, he found an open field at the same height as the window with flowers blooming.

Coblynau introduces Edgar's Arrow to Lydia. While she'd met the previous Merrow's Star, she had yet to meet the current one. Coblynau scolds Arrow for getting so drunk again, but Arrow denies being that drunk. He then kneels before Lydia and congratulates her on her wedding and introduces himself.

Kelpie suddenly shows up and complains that there's nothing great about things.

"......Aw man, with this I can't take you back to Scotland until that earl dies."

"Thank you...... I'm grateful to you that I'm able to see this day."

"Lydia, please, don't die before him."

Nico tells Lydia to tell the earl to show himself a little at the fae gathering as well. Kelpie picks Lydia up and says he'll take her to the earl's residence, and Lydia has Nico take care of Lota and Paul while she and Kelpie go to get Edgar.

Tompkins tells Edgar that a lady has been standing in front of the residence with a serious expression for some time. Edgar tells Tompkins to have her come inside before excusing himself from his guests. With tabloids reporters hanging around outside, she would be seen as one of Edgar's many lovers who'd been cast aside and would be ideal prey if they found her.

Edgar finds Clair waiting in the gallery for him and tells her that if she had business, she should have called. However, Edgar admits he'd also wanted to talk to her; he'd cut her off when they last saw one another at the ruins since she might not feel comfortable speaking in front of Lydia, but she had no need for such reserve now.

Clair tells Edgar that she's afraid for his safety. Apparently, misfortune commonly befalls the residences where she's worked. Shortly before the fire at the Bolton residence, Lord Bolton seemed afraid of something. At another residence she'd worked at, the butler there started to say strange things and ended up throwing himself out the window. Clair denies knowing why these things are happening, but says that it happens to places that her brother suggests she work at. Clair deciding to apply for the job being offered by Edgar and meeting privately with Lydia had been of her own accord, but since finding out that her brother had come hoping to have her hired by the earl, she thought that the earl was being targetted next. Clair becomes uncertain when Edgar points out that what she was saying suggested that her brother did something to Lord Bolton and moves to leave when Edgar stops her and suggests they speak somewhere more private where there was no risk of being overheard.

Edgar charms Clair in order to learn what she might know and she eventually asks him if it weren't possible to keep Lydia away from him. Lydia had gone through extreme measures trying to employ Clair and she also talks of things like fairies. Before the fire, Lord Bolton had also spoken of monsters and demons and making a scene saying that he could see such things.

The day Clair had run into Lydia at the ruins, she'd been to the Bolton residence to leave flowers. But having spotted Lydia, she'd followed Lydia to the ruins and losing sight of Lydia, she suddenly found herself being followed by someone. Clair tells Edgar that the ruins are a strange place and that Lydia was hiding something from him. Lord Bolton, too, sometimes wandered over that way, and there were signs of blood in the underground chapel there.

Clair hesitates when Edgar asks about the underground chapel and wonders if she might have said too much, but Edgar puts a hand on her shoulder and asks her if it's too frightening to speak of. Clair admits that she doesn't think he'd believe her and that if she told anyone they'd end up being cursed. Edgar holds Clair lightly as he asks her about the underground chapel. Clair tells him that there's a passage way to it from the Lord Bolton's garden, and Edgar realises that she'd seen what happened there. However, before Clair could tell Edgar everything she saw there, Kelpie interrupts them.

"Oy, earl! What's the meaning of this?!"

The man with black curly hair jumped in and grabbed Edgar by the collar.

"! Kelpie, wait......"

"Give it a rest already, you womanizer! Getting so cozy with another woman right from the day of your wedding. If you do anything that makes Lydia cry, I'll eat you starting with your head!"

"Don't interfere."

Edgar pulled Kelpie's hand off, but Kelpie forced himself between Edgar and Clair.

"Huh?! You don't think that as long as you marry her, that Lydia can't leave regardless of what you do, do you?!"

"Don't be ridiculous! I have something to talk to her about......"

"Lydia, oy, you get angry with him, too! Eh? Lydia, where are you?"

When Edgar heard that, it was his turn to grab Kelpie by the collar.

"Kelpie, you don't perchance mean that Lydia was here, too?!"

"There's no perchance about it! We came here together to get you."

Edgar rushed to the window and looked outside. He caught a glimpse of Lydia's white dress as she ran towards the garden. Flustered, Edgar jumped through the window like a boy from the slums.

"My lord......"

Clair called out to stop him as though she didn't think he would go after Lydia.

Most likely she felt as though she were waking from a dream. And he still hadn't learned the most important parts yet. But he couldn't afford to hesitate as he chased after Lydia.

Lydia hides in the garden as she tries to make sense of what she'd witnessed. While she wasn't able to make out their conversation, much to her shock it looked like Edgar had pulled Clair into an embrace. She figured that there must have been a reason for it and that perhaps he'd only been trying to cheer her up. Lydia could think of no reason for Clair to be at the residence after Edgar's cold attitude towards her earlier, she probably didn't think there was any chance of being employed as Lydia's lady's maid, and Lydia could think of no reason why Clair would come to congratulate them on their wedding either. Lydia wonders if Clair and Edgar knew one another from before and that while Clair wanted to become her lady's maid so much in order to be close to Edgar, that was also why Edgar had avoided Clair.

While Lydia knew that if she spoke to Edgar, he would explain everything to her she wasn't sure she could accept his explanation. And she couldn't help wondering, if she couldn't accept it, whether she'd be able to spend the night with him. Thinking about what she'd seen, Lydia realises that it would be impossible for her to be able to spend the night with Edgar.

The five fairies asks Lydia what's wrong but are relieved that the wedding ceremony ended safely. They tell Lydia that the sixth fairy was still at the church awaiting her chance. Lydia asks if someone shouldn't tell the sixth fairy that the wedding was over, but they tell her that she'll figure it out sooner or later and that that's how things always went. Lydia thanks the five fairies as they're about to leave when one of them asks her if she really didn't want the magic for her first night. Lydia starts to refuse when she suddenly stops and asks if it would keep her from wanting to run away, and the fairy tells her the spell was for such innocent girls and would make them want to jump into their husband's arms.

Lydia didn't want to fight with Edgar on the day of their wedding, and she realised that most likely Edgar wouldn't take kindly to her refusing him tonight since they were now married. Lydia asks them to cast the magic on her, and the fairies tell her that the magic will last until the following morning.

Lydia wonders if the magic is working as she feels no different from before and makes her way to her work room. However, when she enters the room, she realises someone's standing by the window there and realises it's Edgar. Edgar asks Lydia not to run and tells her that Slade has been accused of murder and arrested by the police. Surprised, Lydia listens to what Edgar has to say, and he explains that if things continue, there was a chance that the police would learn about the Scarlet Moon. Apparently, whoever was behind everything was also tied to Lord Bolton whose family had recently been killed and where Clair had been working until recently. While Clair didn't seem to know anything, she knew something important about the other organisation and was afraid of them. Edgar admits that he'd met Clair before but that was it. When Lydia asks Edgar if he'd just been cheering Clair up, he eventually admits that wasn't the case and that the other organisation was trying to get Clair closer to him most likely because they knew he was close to Slade and the Scarlet Moon and they wanted to find out more about them. So Edgar was trying to use Clair to find out more about them instead. Lydia can't help feeling disappointed and upset with Edgar for always acting that way.

"Lydia, I wasn't serious in seducing her."

"That's even worse! Making her feel good in order to use her, but you're still going to hurt her."

The magic wasn't working after all. With this much suspicion built up against him, it might be that the magic that had been cast had disappeared.

"Behind her are the ones who killed Lord Bolton's wife and child. It'd be too late if anything happened to you."

He quickly strode over to Lydia and gazed into her eyes.

"Lydia, I'll do anything I have to to keep you safe."

Lydia felt her head spin the instant his hand touched her cheek. For a brief instant everything went dark, and when she regained her senses, Lydia found that she'd wrapped her arms around Edgar's neck.

"You love me that much?"

Eh? W-wait, what am I saying?!

Lydia was surprised and confused at what she herself had just said when she then proceeded to press herself more against Edgar.

"Lydia...... You're no longer angry?"

No, it was because Edgar was embracing her even more firmly. What's going on? She tried to struggle, but it seemed as though Edgar didn't feel any resistance.

"Of course, I love you very much."

Lydia shrieked mentally when he nibbled her ear gently. But she couldn't get her arms which were clinging to him to let go.

"N...... no!"

Lydia finally managed to push him away with all her strength. Lydia panted as she struggled to figure out what was happening. But Edgar reached out for her again.

"You're angry, after all? But I'm always only thinking of you. It's impossible for me to be moved by another woman, so don't be angry."

The instant he touched her, she could no longer control herself.

"......Okay. Put me in a better mood."

By the time she realised she'd embraced him again, she raised her face towards him and closed her eyes. Surprised at what she was doing, Lydia started to panic.

What is this? ......Is it because of the magic?

But nothing's been settled to my satisfaction yet. While in Edgar's mind, seducing Clair for his own purposes might have been natural, as a girl, Lydia couldn't help wondering. Clair's expression clearly showed she was attracted to Edgar. And yet, despite having no such feelings, Edgar was readily able to act very sweetly towards her.

Lydia was aware of how Edgar did things, and it seemed like he was facing a dangerous situation. And since he'd had everything stolen from him once, he was very careful to be certain in protecting what was important to him from here on. For him, Slade and the Scarlet Moon were people that he couldn't abandon. Lydia understood Edgar's feelings about that. But for Lydia, she wanted him to be a gentleman as much as possible before having to be a cold-blooded schemer.

Just as it seemed that he was about to kiss her, Lydia managed to turn away, but Edgar still had his arms wrapped around her waist. And Lydia had to fight the urge to cling to him. But when she concentrated on fighting against that, she couldn't stop herself from speaking.

"......It's hot in here."

"You're right. Shall I undo your buttons?" Edgar asked in his usual half-joking manner.

But Lydia said yes as she sighed.

Edgar looked a little surprised before smiling and kissing her brow.

"Shall we go to the bedroom?"

Lydia panicked.

Why do things go that way?

No, any way she thought about things, she was the one who'd initiated things. Feeling warmer still, and losing all calm thought, Lydia nodded.

"Ah, umm...... wait......"

Lydia finally managed to get the words she wanted to say out, but there was an eagerness in her voice which might have served only to entice Edgar more.

"It's okay. There's nothing to be afraid of."

Edgar smiled at her meaningfully.

"I-it's not that......"

As Lydia tried to get the right words out, her arms then clung to Edgar. But when she hurriedly tried to move her arms away...

"Here's fine," her mouth blurted out.


Even Edgar must have thought that strange. But his manner as he lay Lydia down on the sofa was all too practised.

"Were you holding back that much, as well?"

A-as if that were the case!

"So, I'm not the only one who was in such a hurry to become one. In that case, we should have gotten the reception over with much sooner."

It's not like that!

'I don't want it this way.' Even though Lydia felt that way, she couldn't do anything. Her body wouldn't listen to her as she stared at him passionately.

However, Edgar's expression suddenly became serious.

"Lydia, are you drunk?" He frowned as he looked down at her. "You're not your usual self."

For a brief moment his hand left Lydia, and Lydia was free. She hurriedly sat up and scurried back to the other end of the couch putting some space between them.

"I-it's because of the spell!"


"Please, don't touch me right now. It seems like the magic takes effect when you touch me."

Edgar looked confused as he stared at Lydia. He sighed as he ran his fingers through his hair.

"Why that sort of spell?"

"That's...... the thread-spinning fairies said it was a spell for brides. Um, so that I wouldn't want to run away tonight......"

"Meaning that without magic, you'd want to run away?"

Edgar sounded offended.

"But what with you and Clair...! And I got confused and sought the fairies help!"

"You have that little faith in me?"

"I saw you embrace her. ......Can I help it if I don't know what to think?"

"Instead of hiding, you should've just listened to what I had to say."

"Even if I listened, I can't accept it."


Just as Edgar started to speak they realised the window opened, and Kelpie stood before them as they sat on opposite ends of the sofa.

"So this where the two of you were. Aren't you going to the Faerie Market?"

Lydia looked away from Edgar silently. Kelpie stared at the two exasperated.

"What, are the two of you fighting? Do you want to quit marrying him, Lydia?" Kelpie asked as he put his hand on Lydia's shoulder. The instant he touched her, Lydia felt her head spin.

Before she knew it, she was hugging Kelpie.


"Kelpie, what are you doing? Let go of Lydia!" Edgar said sharply.

"It's not me, Lydia's clinging to me and won't let go."

"Don't be ridiculous."

Edgar reached out to grab Lydia, but even with Lydia clinging to him, Kelpie deftly avoided Edgar.

"I see, Lydia, you've finally realised you prefer me over him?"

"Raven, get Lydia away from him!" Edgar ordered. Raven had just opened the door at that moment.

Raven quickly moved in front of Kelpie, and following Edgar's order, tried to pull Lydia away by the arm. Lydia instantly hugged Raven.

Raven stumbled surprised at what had suddenly happened. He managed to steady Lydia and froze trapped in her hot embrace.

"Lydia...... why are you hugging him?" Kelpie asked confused.

"Miss Lydia, please let go of me," Raven said as he glanced at Edgar for help. However, Edgar also looked stunned.

"Raven, don't move. Don't let Kelpie touch Lydia."

Raven stiffly edged backwards trying to keep Lydia away from Kelpie.

Kelpie angrily turned towards Edgar.

"What's going on? What did you do to Lydia?"

"Never mind, you go away. Don't interfere in our affairs."

"It doesn't make sense! Even though Lydia got married, she's hugging me and that boy instead of you!"

"She hugs me, too." Edgar shot back annoyed, but that was beside the point.

'Things can't continue this way.' Lydia desperately struggles to peel herself away from Raven. Finally managing to succeed, she then stumbles to one corner of the room and crouches there.

"Don't anyone come near me. Leave me alone until tomorrow morning!"

"It seems that's the only option."

Edgar drew closer to Lydia and stopped maintaining a bit of space. He sighed as he muttered, "It seems like any man will do for you, right now."

His utterly contemptuous words stabbed Lydia through the heart.

"Any man will do...... that's terrible! It's because of the spell, it's not what I want!"

"For one thing, what were you thinking relying on magic?"

Edgar bent down and stared at Lydia but was careful not to touch her.

"I wanted you to want this with all your heart. That's why I waited until the wedding. And now that we've finally had the ceremony, for you to want to run away...... Did you intend to put up with things through magic now that you can no longer refuse? Making love to you when you feel that way doesn't make me happy."

Lydia bit her lip as she struggled to hold back her tears.

"It's your fault!"

"And even though your so upset with me, you'll still embrace me regardless of how you feel, right?"

Edgar deliberately took Lydia's hand.

No doubt, if she hugged him, he would have been quite contemptuous as he said, 'you see?'

The tears Lydia had been holding back ran down her cheeks the moment she thought that. And at the same time, she slapped his hand away. She didn't know if Edgar was surprised that she didn't hug him, or if he was surprised at her tears.

"......You're the only person, I absolutely will not embrace!"

Lydia climbed to her feet and fled from the room.

Edgar immediately goes after Lydia and grabs her by the arm, but the spell no longer works for him. Both Edgar and Lydia are confused, and Edgar asks Lydia if she no longer wanted to hug him so much as all that.

Edgar tells Lydia that what happened between him and Clair in no way betrayed Lydia. To him, sweet-talking someone for the sole purpose of using them wasn't something that he thought Lydia would become jealous of and consider cheating.

But for Lydia, not only did she want Edgar to remain a gentleman, she also couldn't help remembering how she'd been before, when she didn't believe Edgar regardless of how he might sweet-talk her. While now, she no longer thought his words were meant in jest, she couldn't help feeling pained at seeing him sweet-talk another girl that way. She could have ended up being hurt the way Clair had been.

Lydia asks Edgar if he would trick her the same way as he'd done to Clair. Feeling Edgar's grip on her arm loosen, Lydia runs again, and seeing Lota coming down the hall, she quickly runs to her friend.

Lota had come back since Lydia and Edgar were taking so long, but she quickly realises that Lydia and Edgar had been fighting. Lota glares at Edgar and demands to know what he'd done. Edgar denies having attacked Lydia and tells Lota that he'd suggested they go to the bedroom. Edgar finally asks Lota to take care of Lydia and not to let any men near her.

When the banquet finally winds down, Edgar sits alone in his study.

"Oh boy, you must've said something extremely terrible for fae magic to no longer work."

Edgar looked towards the voice and saw Nico come in through the window. He stood on two legs by Edgar's feet. His arms were crossed as he stared up at Edgar accusingly.

Most likely he'd heard about what had happened from Lydia.

"How's Lydia doing?"

"Paul came a short while ago and it seemed like she'd end up embracing him, but between Lota and me, we somehow managed to escape disaster."

"I see."

It seems that Edgar was the only one the magic no longer worked for after all.

When he thought about it, Lydia had asked for the magic of her own accord. Even though she had mixed feelings after what had happened with Clair, she didn't doubt consummating her marriage with Edgar, and that's why she chose the magic. Edgar regretted that he'd been so caught up in his own disappointment that she'd chosen to use magic that he'd been unable to consider Lydia's feelings.

"When it comes to Lydia, I'm like a simple boy of about ten years of age."

"Oy, you were simple only until you were ten?"

Edgar wonders if he should have let nature take its course with the spell. Even though Lydia wasn't her normal self, most likely the matter with Clair would no longer have mattered.

Nico admits to being surprised that, given the way Lydia was, nothing had happened between the two of them. Nico scolds Edgar for what he'd said to Lydia, and Edgar admits that he must've been shocked that he would have to restrain himself that night as well and ended up taking his frustration out on Lydia.

Talking to Nico, Edgar realises that that day was special and that he'd gained some very precious things. Not only did he have Lydia, but he also gained what she had--her ties with the fae, the sense of finding happiness, a peaceful everyday life, and hope for the future.

Nico tells Edgar that Lydia's quite stubborn so things will be quite difficult for him, but at the same time, even though they were married, he couldn't take any chances. Apparently, Kelpie was in a good mood at the moment.

Nico tells Edgar that as long as Kelpie's in horse form, nothing happens, so he's been staying with Lydia and saying bad things about Edgar. Hoping that Lydia's calmed down as well, Edgar decides to try and talk to her again.

Lydia tells Kelpie and Lota that they should go since it was late. Harriet and Tompkins were both watching out for her, so she figured that as long as she's careful, she should be safe.

After Lota leaves, Lydia's surprised to find Kelpie in human form again. Lydia tries to back away from him but he grabs her roughly and tells her that he'd thought her marriage was something unavoidable if it meant she would be happy.

Kelpie suggests that she spend the night running through the moonlit night with him. Under the influence of the spell, Lydia readily agrees.

Lydia realises that the magic stopped working for Edgar because she loved him more than anyone else. And even more strongly than the magic, she'd been able to hang on to her own will. However, neither could she allow herself to go with Kelpie because of the spell.

Lydia manages to slap Kelpie making him let go of her. Lydia tells Kelpie not to bend her will in that manner, but Kelpie tells Lydia that Edgar had said something about kissing Clair. Lydia had told Kelpie that people only kiss people that are special to them, which to Kelpie meant that Edgar had cheated on Lydia.

Lydia yells at Kelpie to stop and that she didn't want to hear that then runs out of the room. Confused and flustered again, she can only wonder about the kiss. She then wonders if there was more between Edgar and Clair than being acquainted and if he'd meant more in hitting on Clair than just to use her. No longer sure how much she could believe of what Edgar'd said Lydia become more and more confused making her want to go home.

Harriet then tells Lydia that her father was about to leave.


When she ran down into the entrance hall, her father smiled at her happily drunk.

"Lydia, I thought I'd leave so had someone call for you."

"Yes, father, I too want to go......"

"Professor Carlton."

Edgar's voice drowned out Lydia's words. Lydia looked surprised as she fell silent. From the stern glance he gave Lydia, most likely Edgar realised what Lydia had been about to say.

Edgar corrects himself and asks Lydia's father if he might address him as 'father' now that he and Lydia were married, and he thanks him for staying so long at the banquet. Lydia's father admits that despite thinking he'd been prepared for it, things would be lonely for him from that night onwards.

Lydia realises that something like her wanting to go home wasn't something to be said. Not even to her father. Unable to say anything anymore, Lydia can only look down. She felt like if she tried to look up, she would cry.

Edgar wraps his arm around Lydia's shoulder as though to comfort her as they see her father off. And as soon as her father leaves, Edgar lets go of her.

"......What were you going to say to the professor?" he asked carefully.


"Lydia, your home is here. It's also where you're to return to."

"......I know that."

Edgar grabbed her by the arm when she tried to go back the way she'd come.

"And your room is this way."

"Wait, Edgar."

He pulled her along ignoring her protests and went up the stairs leading to the private rooms. He opened the door to the dressing room leading to the master bedroom and dragged Lydia inside before leaning against the door holding it shut. His grip on Lydia was firm and he made no move to let go of her. He grimaced almost as though in pain at the frightened look on Lydia's face, but she was completely unaware of that and was unable to look away from his ash-mauve eyes.

She knew what Edgar wanted. Supposedly she wanted the same thing. But right now, with her heart in so much turmoil, she didn't feel like she could give herself fully to him.

"Let go of me...... you're hurting me."

It took a long time before Edgar was finally able to let go of her, as though it were something very difficult to do.

Even so, Edgar still held the door closed. Not knowing what to do, she directed her anger at him.

"Did you court Clair?"

He looked at her as though surprised, but Lydia couldn't stop the words she threw at him.

"Is it true...... that you kissed, and that you had that sort of relationship?"

"What are you talking about? There's nothing between her and......"

"Tell me the truth! Did you? Or didn't you? Don't lie to me!"

Lydia felt like it was the first time she'd seen him look so conflicted. That look was enough for Lydia to realise what the answer was.

"For me, there was no feeling behind it."

He didn't lie to her. Despite her relief at that, the truth of it weighed heavily on her.

"I... see."


"......Edgar, I'll sleep in one of the guest rooms today."

"Please stay here," he said as he sighed. "Lydia, it's not the same. When I touch you, the things I'm thinking and feeling are extremely special."

In truth, Lydia understood that as well. She, too, felt that being with Edgar, talking to him, and having meals with him was different from with other people and felt very special.

Her asking him if he would do the same to her as he did to Clair was most likely because she'd been mortified. She knew that it wasn't the same.

But she needed more time to get over what she'd witnessed, and she couldn't look at him directly right now.

"I'll go out, so please stay here."

Lydia looked up a bit, surprised at what he said.

"This place was meant for you, so I want you to stay here. If you don't intend to hurt me, then don't think about returning anywhere else."


"Good night," he said before disappearing out the door.

It wasn't like she wanted to hurt him.

"Aah. ......I'm such an idiot......" Lydia murmured.

But she'd already hurt him. She'd done a terrible thing.

She'd finally become part of Edgar's family, and this was now her only home, yet she'd wanted to go back with her father. While she regretted it, she couldn't bring herself to go after him and could only stand there in the middle of the room.

With Slade currently in custody, the high-class club that doubles as his art gallery was currently closed. Edgar goes to the club with Raven where the Scarlet Moon are going through what's left of Orwen's estate. Paul's concerned at Edgar's presence at the club rather than being at home with Lydia, but Edgar just smiles at him. The other members are surprised to see Edgar but are happy to have him there, and seeing them, Edgar can't help wishing if he'd had a little more confidence in himself--that even though he'd ended up taking on the prince's memories, he would not betray the Scarlet Moon. But there was still too much he didn't know before he could do that.

Jack tells Edgar that they'd found some letters from Lord Bolton. Apparently, the lord had commissioned a number of works from the artist, but he'd kept that secret from everyone else. There are times when, depending on the type of painting, the person ordering the work doesn't don't want their name to be known. In Orwen's case, the theme of the works wanted was the devil or hell and were quite grotesque, but apparently Lord Bolton seemed quite taken with them. However, in his excitement, Orwen had apparently said he wanted to see the real thing with his own eyes. And one of his friends had said that Orwen was supposed to be able to do so soon except he ended up dying after saying so. Orwen's death had been so creepy that his friend had stayed silent about what he'd heard.

Paul tries to ask Edgar if it was okay for him to be there and leave Lydia alone, but Edgar tells him that he's putting Slade before his beloved bride and asks Paul if he has a problem with that. Unfortunately, Paul's terrible at understanding relationship issues and asks Edgar if Lydia mightn't be angry later. Everyone at the club except Paul understands that Edgar's presence there on his wedding night was something that was not to be touched upon.

One of the members pushes Paul aside as he hands Edgar a sheaf of papers. From the dates on the papers, they were sketches Orwen had made for Lord Bolton's latest request. Apparently, Orwen had a habit of drawing the things he saw or felt on scraps of paper rather than in a sketchbook. Pictures were drawn on scrap writing paper or wrapping paper, flyers, and pages torn from books.

All of the drawings were based around religion including sketches of an old chapel and altar, the crumbling statue of an angel, and a bible that seemed to be enveloped in flames. Seeing what appeared to be a magic circle on one of the pages, he realises that the picture that had been commissioned might have been of a black mass--a picture of a ritual meant to summon the devil.

Edgar finds a sketch of a long dark tunnel ending at a door with a cross on it. Clair had mentioned that there was an underground path from Lord Bolton's garden. If that sketch was of that place, it was possible that Lord Bolton and Orwen had been peeking in on the underground chapel. Since the people carrying out the black masses didn't want what was drawn in the pictures to be leaked to the general public, Edgar realises that it was possible that something had been caught in the pictures that someone wanted kept secret. There was only one sketch of a person among the various pictures and unlike the other images, that one image was partially done in colour. Examining the person's garb, Edgar realises that the person conducting the black mass is one of the state church's bishops.

Edgar decides to try and figure out who the bishop is as, most likely, the bishop is the group's ringleader. In the meantime, he has Raven go to Bloomsbury to get Clair Flory's brother.

It was well after dawn by the time Edgar returned to his residence. Climbing the stairs leading to the private rooms, he quietly opened the door to the master bedroom. The spacious room was richly furnished, and Edgar caught a glimpse of Lydia's caramel-coloured hair as she lay wrapped in the blanket on the window-side of the bed.

A grey bundle moved slowly on the sofa near him. Nico shook his fluffy tail as he got up and looked at Edgar reproachfully.

"May I come in?" Edgar asked in a whisper.

Nico sniffed. "I thought I wouldn't have to watch over Lydia now that she's married."

"Sorry. I take it you stayed with her."

"I hope it's only for today."

"I hope so, too."

Edgar approached the bed careful not to make any noise. Lydia lay sleeping on one end of the spacious bed.

Careful not to wake her, Edgar stroked her hair with his fingertips.

"I'm sorry......"

He looked dismayed and his heart ached at the traces of tears on her cheeks. He wanted to stay with her until she woke, talk things over, and make up. But there was the issue of the Scarlet Moon and Slade. And now that it was clear that someone much more important than expected was behind the situation, he needed to act quickly. He needed to attack before before they realised what he knew about their devil-worship.

Kissing her lightly on the head, he left Lydia. Raven was waiting for him outside the room.

Edgar learns that Raven had caught up with Mr. Flory at a brothel and that they've already paid off the prostitute. Edgar tells Raven that he was going to visit a nobleman who had ties with the church in order to determine the identity of the bishop in the picture and that Raven should leave Mr. Flory to the Scarlet Moon. And just in case, Raven was to keep a close eye on Lydia.

Lydia had gone to the ruins where the cult was practising. So if the one who'd been following Clair that day was a member of the cult, it was possible that they were also suspicious of Lydia who'd gone there on her own. And given his ties to the Scarlet Moon and the fact that she was his wife, it was highly probable that they'd taken notice of her. With Raven there, most likely, she'd be alright.

Nico's in a good mood as he and Lydia have breakfast together. Nico asks Lydia if she's still angry about what had happened and suggests that she forgive Edgar. After all, she'd long known about his womanizing. Lydia admits she's not angry and that she's aware she'd said some terrible things as well. Nico suggests that she apologise for what she'd said but Lydia's not sure Edgar would forgive her so easily. It's not easy to change how one feels.

Regardless of the circumstances, she didn't want to see him hitting on Clair on the day of her wedding. Not only that, he and Clair had kissed before then even though it hadn't meant anything to him. Even though it had happened in the past, Lydia couldn't understand how he could do that sort of thing and as a result was unable to put things behind her yet.

And it was possible that Edgar felt the same way, too. Regardless of the reason why, it would only be natural that he not be able to forgive seeing his bride embrace any and every man right before his very eyes.

Nico sighed. "And here I thought I'd be able to eat as much butter omelet as I wanted to...... I'd like some more, Raven," he said almost as though to say he'd best eat it while he had the chance. Nico waved at Raven who had just entered the morning room.

"Would you also like some more, Miss Lydia?" Raven asked seriously as he suddenly came closer.

"I'm fine......"

"In that case, is there something else you'd like to have?"

"No, thank you."

"I'll have anything you like prepared for you."

For some reason, he was very insistent.

"There's also fried fish, scotch, and liqueur-filled chocolates."

"Raven, those are all my favourite things," Nico said laughing.

"......Raven, I wasn't enticed into marrying Edgar because of the food."

Perhaps he was confused; Raven thought things over for a moment.

"In that case, what enticed you?"

Nico held his stomach as he laughed.

Despite her confusion, Lydia could see that Raven was trying his best thinking of how to ensure that Lydia stayed as part of the residence. She didn't mean to cause Raven to worry. Thinking things over, she smiled at him.

"Um, don't worry, Raven. ......This isn't that serious. It's a minor argument like many we've had until now." Even as she said that, Lydia couldn't help feeling depressed at the thought that she might be the only one to think that it was minor.

One more part until I finish this book. :P

Mona, I should be able to finish yours off before finishing the last part to this book. :P
Tags: hakushaku, snippet

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