Shadow (kagedreams) wrote,

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Hakushaku to Yousei v17 part 3

And the last part to book 17. Enjoy! ^_^

After breakfast, Lydia tries to go out quietly only to be found by Raven who insists on accompanying her. Since Raven stayed with her all morning, Lydia realises that Edgar ordered Raven to keep an eye on her, and there was no way for her stop him.

Worried about the sixth fairy, Lydia goes to the church where she got married the day before. Lydia has Raven wait outside as she goes inside to speak to the fairy. She finds the small fairy still waiting for her chance to ruin the wedding.

Lydia tells the fairy that the wedding was over and that she should leave. The sixth is angry at first but quickly becomes dejected when she realises that the current Blue Knight Earl also excluded her. Lydia tells the fairy she wasn't invited because no one knew her name, but if they knew they would have invited her. However, the fairy refuses to tell Lydia her name since it would mean having to use her magic for people.

"I wish you'd stop trying to do mischief against the earl's house. So, if there's anything I can do for you, please tell me."

[I've decided that I'm going to resent the Blue Knight Earl! So there's nothing you can do. I'm going to curse your children and your children's children!]

She was a very contrary and perverse fairy. However, it could also be because she hoped someone would be able to find out her name.

Lydia wonders why the Blue Knight Earl had never been able to figure out the old fairy's name and sits down next to her. To Lydia, either the fairy had been extremely careful, or the earl had been teaching the contrary fairy a lesson and had deliberately ignored her.

The fairy tells Lydia that the Blue Knight Earl was still human and that if the earl didn't marry, the house would die out. And that's why the fairy tries to ruin the earl's wedding.

Lydia tries every fairy name she knows as she tries to figure out the fairy's name, but none of them are correct and the old fairy suddenly disappears. Lydia wonders if she angered the fairy when she suddenly wonders if someone might have come into the chapel instead.

A young boy holds out a letter for Lydia telling her that someone outside asked him to give it to her a moment ago. Opening the envelope, Lydia discovers a note and her missing blue ribbon inside. The writer says that they want to see her in order to apologise and that they'll be waiting at Burnsfield. While there was no name on the note, Lydia realises it must be from Clair. Asking the boy if the person who gave him the letter was still there, the boy tells Lydia that the person had immediately gotten into a carriage after giving it to him.

While Lydia wants to see Clair, she realises that the conversation would likely turn to Edgar and she wasn't keen on having Raven hear them. And while Clair seemed to have some sort of connection to whoever was trying to trap the Scarlet Moon, Lydia also remembers that Edgar had said that they were using Clair but she herself didn't seem to be involved with the group. Lydia decides to slip out the back door and meet with Clair alone.

Arriving at the fairgrounds, Lydia discovers that the area was completely different from when she was last there since the fair was now over. She soon spots Clair standing by one of the brick buildings.

Clair apologises for what had happened the previous day; she figures that Edgar had acted that way towards her in order to keep her from making a scene at the wedding banquet. However, Clair had only wanted to help the earl. Much to Lydia's surprise and confusion, Clair begs Lydia not to betray the earl. Clair then accuses Lydia of being a member of the cult confusing Lydia even more. Clair tells Lydia that nothing good can come of selling her soul to the devil and that she knows that the cult is carrying out their black masses at the ruins of the monastery and that Lord Bolton had had some connection with the cult.

Lydia realises that Edgar had probably wanted to find out about the cult when Clair asks Lydia if she'd called her out to the park wanting to find out what Clair knew about her secret. Realising that something was strange, Lydia asks Clair about the note she'd received. Clair admits she'd written it but didn't have the courage to send it.

Lydia hears the sixth fairy yell at her to run, but it's too late. Several men come out of the shadows and grab hold of both girls. Verifying Lydia's identity, one of the men holds a knife on her and tells her that, while they weren't going to kill her, she would be taking the blame for Clair's murder and that it would look like the two women had gotten into a fight over Edgar.

Much to Lydia's surprise, the man suddenly lets go of her and Lydia ends up falling. She sees Raven taking down a second assailant and, looking towards Clair, she sees that the girl had been knocked out by their assailants.

"Raven, help Clair!"

"Why?" he asked coolly as he turned to look at her.

There was no time to explain. Lydia ran over to where Clair lay and grabbed the man holding a knife from behind.

"Why you......"

The man immediately turned to restrain Lydia. Just as he was about to twist her arm, she heard the man scream.

As the man who'd been holding her fell at her feet, the other man by Clair also collapsed.

"Will this do, my lady?" Raven asked coolly.

Lydia leaned against the brick wall breathing a sigh of relief.

"Thank you, Raven......"

Raven tells Lydia that an unknown old woman had told him where she was and Lydia realises it was most likely the same person who'd yelled a warning at her earlier. Lydia apologises to Raven for having left the church without telling him. Raven then ends up having to carry Clair to one of the Scarlet Moon's safe houses in the area.

"Why?" Raven asked suddenly after laying Clair down. "This woman tried to get close to lord Edgar and ended up hurting you."

It seemed Raven was asking her why Lydia was helping Clair. Apparently, Raven had done as she'd wanted despite thinking it unfair.

"Lord Edgar wouldn't forgive a man for stealing a kiss from you while you were sleeping."

"While sleeping?"

"That's what she did--when lord Edgar had been invited to the Bolton home and been napping."

Lydia asks Raven if Edgar had really been sleeping when that had happened, but he looks away uncomfortably verifying Lydia's suspicion. She knew that Edgar would pretend to be asleep if he realised that a lady, who was attracted to him, was quietly trying to draw closer to him. However, she was also relieved that Edgar hadn't been toying with Clair.

Lydia tells Raven that he doesn't need to worry and that she hadn't been hurt by Clair. She'd only been overwrought. It had been an important day that happens once in a lifetime, so she hadn't wanted Edgar touching another lady. She'd been extremely jealous.

Clair regains consciousness, and Lydia tells her that she was safe but her hand had been injured and she probably wouldn't be able to use it for a while.

Lydia asks Clair if she knew who might have set the two of them up, and Clair admits it must've been her brother. Most likely he'd realised she'd found out about the cult and had been ordered to get rid of her. Even though he was her brother, if he didn't, he would be killed.

Edgar comes running into the room and holds Lydia. He came as soon as he received word that she'd been attacked. Seeing Clair, he demands to know what she intended to do to Lydia. Clair pales at Edgar's cold attitude and Lydia quickly intervenes and explains that they'd both been tricked. Raven verifies that Clair most likely had nothing to do with the cult as the people who'd attacked Clair and Lydia didn't know either woman.

Edgar asks the Scarlet Moon to keep Clair safe for the day and that everything should be taken care of the next day. He then tells Clair that he was doing it because if anything happened to her, most likely Lydia would be upset with him.

Edgar and Lydia ride in silence in the carriage. Lydia realises that Edgar had been worried for her and that she should apologise for what happened the previous night. Even if he didn't forgive her right away, being stubborn wouldn't help matters either. However, contrary to what she was thinking, she asked Edgar why he'd acted so differently towards Clair so suddenly.

Seeing Edgar clearly suppressing his own anger, Lydia becomes even more afraid of apologising. Edgar tells her that there was no need for him to flatter her any more. Since Edgar didn't explain further, Lydia can't help wondering if he was still angry about what had happened the previous night. And she can't help asking Edgar if he'd do the same with her as well since he was acting differently with her compared to before and was being very distant. She then asks him if he couldn't forgive her. Edgar tells her coldly that she's the one who can't forgive him.

Lydia realises that she's been feeling that she and Clair were very similar. Thanks to Lydia's father's profession, she ended up marrying into the nobility. But since Clair's father had passed away, Clair had to work in order to survive. Their reasons for being attracted to Edgar were also similar. Lydia also knew that she was able to manage as part of the upper class thanks to Edgar's efforts, and she couldn't help wondering what would happen if his feelings for her changed.

Edgar suddenly tells Lydia that the cult's mass would be taking place that night at the ruins and that he would be going there to make a deal with them. It was also their chance to help Slade. Lydia realises that what Edgar was planning on doing was dangerous since it was the cult that had tried to kill Clair as well.

Even more than for Clair, Lydia was worried about Edgar.

"It's dangerous to go and confront them."

Normally Edgar would ask her, 'are you worried for me?' But he didn't this time.

"Actually, it might be better this way. If anything should happen to me, since you're not my wife yet, by law, you can have the marriage annulled. You can go back to being a Carlton and go back home."

Lydia wanted to plug her ears. Fighting back her tears, she clenches her fist in her lap.

"I'll be meeting with the Scarlet Moon to finalise tonight's plans next, so I won't be back until tomorrow......"

"You're the one who can't forgive me, after all." Lydia said raising her voice trying to cut off his cold voice.

"I won't go back to the Carlton household! I want us to truly become husband and wife."

Before she knew it, Lydia leaned towards him and grabbed hold of his jacket. Meeting his surprised gaze, Lydia finally realised what she'd done and retreated back in her seat.


"Don't say it!"

If he said that he didn't feel up to it, it would be too much for her. She would want to jump out of the carriage.

She knew that he was angry with her, so she didn't know why she'd said something to press him like that.

"Forget what I just said. I-if...... you've become disappointed with me, then we can have it annulled or anything else......."

No, this isn't what I want to say.

If only she could tell him how she really felt. What she'd said suddenly a moment ago was how Lydia truly felt.

But her voice caught in her throat and Lydia could no longer say anything.

"I'm a failure of a man. I keep making the worst mistakes when you're before me," Edgar said as he sighed looking down. "Regardless what happens, there's no way I would want to annul our marriage. I know I said some terrible things yesterday. To be honest, I don't know what to do to get you to forgive me, and I've been doing everything I can to restrain myself since I don't want you to hate me."

He buried his fingers in his hair conflicted before looking at Lydia.

"I'm at such a loss that I can't do what I normally would whether apologising earnestly or making up slowly over time. So, did you think that I can't touch you right now because I can't forgive you?"

There was no sign of the cold controlled tone in Edgar's voice as he leaned towards Lydia. He smiled at her longingly as he stared at her passionately.

"I want you now."

Lydia drew back flustered at his sudden change in attitude.

"N-now? ......We're in the carriage."

"No good?"

Lydia started to say, 'of course it's not!' when she realised he was teasing her and wondered if her taking such a firm stance might not be good. Edgar chuckled as though he knew what she was thinking.

"Ah, you're yourself."


"You're no longer angry?"

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

"If you kiss me, you'll know."

The carriage stopped while Lydia wavered over his answer.

Even when Raven opened the door, Edgar didn't move to get out. He seemed to be waiting for Lydia to act, but Lydia couldn't bring herself to kiss him with Raven waiting expressionlessly for Edgar to get out of the carriage.

"......We're home."

Lydia managed to push Edgar back.

Edgar looked a little dissatisfied as he got out of the carriage and silently went into the residence. Lydia wondered if she'd annoyed him again, but after handing his hat and walking stick to Tompkins, who'd come out at their arrival, he suddenly took Lydia into his arms.

"Tompkins, regardless of who comes, you're not to accept any visitors for the next while. Not even if it's Her Majesty the Queen."

"Understood," Tompkins answered as he bowed his understanding.

"Eh, Edgar...... don't you have a meeting with the Scarlet Moon now......"

That's what he'd said a moment ago. But Edgar leaned in and whispered, "The flame's already been lit."


"Raven, take care of finalising tonight's plans and preparations until I get there."

"Yes," Raven nodded immediately and returned the way he came.

Wha-what's going on?

Lydia blushed as she finally understood. Edgar held her close as he headed towards the private rooms.

"Umm...... it's not night yet."

"It can be done even though it's not night."


"B-but, um, the nightwear that the fae made......"

"I'll look forward to that when I get back."

Lydia remembered that he was about to do something dangerous when he said that. She stopped and looked up at him uncertainly, but Edgar smiled at her gently.

"It's alright. Whatever happens, I'll return to you."

The soft afternoon sun shone through the tall windows lighting the room as they entered. The spacious room Lydia'd slept in alone the night before seemed too bright, but the housekeeper closed the curtains while Edgar kissed her teasingly in the doorway.

"Shall I see to the missus?"

"It's okay, I'll take care of it."

Lydia didn't understand what was meant by the quiet exchange.

She wondered about it as she heard the housekeeper close the door and realised they were alone. Edgar looked amused.

"There are some ladies who don't know how to undo a corset."

Lydia hadn't grown up that sheltered.

"You know how?" Lydia asked simply in wonder. Her mind was no longer thinking straight.

"I learned in public school."

I thought Edgar never went to school......

Seeing Edgar's amused gaze as she looked up at him, Lydia realised he was teasing her.

She felt him pick her up easily and lay her down on the bed. She watched mesmerised as he took of his gloves. He then took her own gloves off before twining his fingers with her.

She felt like a lady who'd never undone her own shoelaces as she watched Edgar. She thought desperately as he continued.

She still hasn't told him something very important.

I'm sorry. I didn't mean to hurt you. The only place for me to return to is by your side.

No, something even more important.

You're the only one......

"Lydia, will you always only be mine?"

Lydia could only nod through her nervousness and pounding heart. She didn't have a chance to tell him she loved him before the long kisses began.

Kelpie rouses Lydia from a light sleep asking her if she's caught a cold since she's sleeping before the moon's risen. Seeing that the sky's dark, she spots Kelpie sitting on the balcony rail through a gap in the curtains. She realises that Edgar's no longer there and wished he'd woken her before he'd left. Lydia blushes slightly as she remembers how warm and comforting lying in his arms had felt.

Lydia finally snaps awake as she realises Kelpie's there.

"Wha ......Kelpie! What are you doing there?! I told you not to come to my bedroom anymore!"

"That's why I'm outside."

"The balcony's out, too!"

Lydia turned bright red as she became flustered realising she was only wearing a single chemise before diving under the blanket. She felt for her gown and finally relaxed when her hand found what seemed like what she was searching for. However, Kelpie was apparently still there and called out to her again.

"You're in a bad mood. Haven't you made up with the earl yet?"

They made up. Lydia couldn't help blushing more at that thought.

Kelpie tells Lydia to open the window; he'd brought some old women who needed to see her about something important. Putting on her gown, Lydia goes to the balcony and finds the five thread-spinning fairies there. Lydia can only wonder if the five weren't afraid of a water horse or if they were so old that they didn't realise that her friend was a kelpie.

The five fairies beg Lydia for help as their goddess's statue was in danger of being destroyed. If it's destroyed, the goddess's magic would be lost and they would cease to exist. The fairies tell her that sometimes people go where the statue is and perform a strange ceremony--a ceremony to summon the devil.

Lydia remembers the statue she'd seen of the virgin Mary holding a spindle at the ruins of the monastery and she realises that it was the goddess's statue that the sixth fairy had mentioned. Worried, Lydia asks the fae if the devil would really appear there, and they tell her that bad magic has already gathered in that place and that most likely the devil would be summoned with that night's ceremony. And if that happened, the goddess's magic would be swallowed by the devil destroying the statue and them. However, devils were outside of Lydia's specialty.

The fairies tell Lydia that the devil is a minor one and that it had been imprisoned below the statue of the goddess a long time ago by a monk.

Kelpie tells her it would be foolish for her to get involved. Lydia feels the same way, but at the same time, she can't abandon the five fairies either. Likewise, if a devil really was summoned, the Edgar would be in danger.

The fae tell her that if the statue could be protected, the devil would be unable to maintain its power in the presence of the goddess. Kelpie asks the five how they were supposed to protect the statue. The five can't do it themselves, and Lydia's human and can't use magic. The only one Lydia knew with powerful magic was Kelpie and apparently the five fairies felt that as well. They looked at him hopefully, but Kelpie tells them that he's Unseelie and a water horse and that he has no desire to fight a devil. And even if he did, his own magic would likely destroy their statue.

The five fairies panic at his revelation shocked that the earl's bride's friend was Unseelie. Lydia asks them if there's any other way to protect the statue, and they tell her that if the six fairies worked together they could easily protect the statue, but the sixth was refusing to help. Even though it meant her own death, the sixth fairy was simply that contrary.

Apparently, 700 years ago, it was because of the sixth fairy's attitude that the monastery ended up being built there. Fortunately for them, their statue hadn't been destroyed at that time. Lydia realises that the fairy wouldn't help the others if she asked, and the other five ask her to discover the sixth's name. If she does that, everything could be taken care of.

Lydia asks if interrupting the ceremony would take care of things, but if that happens, the devil's magic would go out of control and kill everyone present instead. Lydia realises that most likely Edgar intended to confront the cult once they began their ceremony. Lydia asks Kelpie to take her to the Scarlet Moon's hideout.

Edgar leaves the Scarlet Moon's hideout and heads for the ruins. He'd been surprised at how many people had been at the meeting as it wasn't only the young members who'd been at the meeting but also long-time members who knew that Edgar wasn't of the earl's bloodline. Edgar's stepping down as the Scarlet Moon's leader had been completely one-sided, and he suspected that Slade might not be particularly grateful at Edgar's help. Of all the members, Slade was the only one who didn't lose sight of the fact that Edgar wasn't of the earl's bloodline and that they'd joined forces only because they'd shared a common goal. Edgar starts to wonder if they manage to save Slade that he should tell the Scarlet Moon the truth. Of the members, the only one who knew he carried the prince's memories was Paul. But if Edgar couldn't completely cut his ties with the Scarlet Moon and he continued to hide that truth, he would be betraying them.

Edgar already knew that the Scarlet Moon had discovered the passageway Clair had mentioned. From the underground chapel, the door to the passageway wasn't obvious and since Clair's brother hadn't known about the tunnel, the cult itself didn't know about it and therefore hadn't sealed it off. Most likely Lord Bolton had had Orwen draw what he'd seen peeking in from the passageway and hadn't been involved with the cult itself.

Edgar has Raven insinuate himself among the cult members at the ruins. When the Scarlet Moon found the door to the underground chapel, it had been frozen shut from rust, but it had since been fixed and could be pushed open. Edgar watches the underground chapel through a small peep hole in the door.

Edgar tells the others that he's learned the name of the bishop and that if he should fail, he's arranged for the picture to be delivered to a certain nobleman. However, there was no guarantee that the nobleman would do anything. Their adversary was quite powerful and it was only natural for a person to would want to protect themself. While it would make helping Slade more difficult, with the evidence in someone's hands, the cult would be unable to act rashly against the Scarlet Moon. And for that reason, Edgar couldn't tell them who the bishop was.

By the time Lydia reaches the Scarlet Moon's hideout, everyone has already left. She immediately has Kelpie head for the ruins along with a very unhappy Nico. Nico had been napping happily when he was forced to accompany them. With the cult members at the ruins, Lydia needed Nico to lead her through fae routes in order to avoid being seen. Also, going through Faerie might make it easier to find the sixth fairy's home.

As far as Lydia knew, the fairy lived somewhere where the statue of the goddess could be seen. Lydia looks for the goddess's statue on the fae side but can't find it when the five fairies call her from on top of a hill. They tell her that the sixth fairy still refuses to help.

Lydia tells the fairies that she's been trying to find the statue of the goddess but can't find it, and the five point to the ground Lydia's standing on. Nico jumps in surprise and climbs on top of Lydia, and Lydia realises that what she thought was a hill was in fact the statue. What had been a child-sized statue in the human realm was a huge stone statue in Faerie.

Despite the size of the statue, Kelpie sees that it has little magic remaining in it. But the five fairies look at Lydia expectantly and tell her that if they combine all their power, they can still protect the statue. However, even the five fairies don't know where the sixth fairy lives. Worse, the sixth refuses to answer their calls anymore.

Lydia knows that the key to learning the sixth fairy's name was in finding her home. While she'd originally thought that the fairy lived near the statue of the goddess, in Faerie, the goddess was so large that that would encompass a huge area. As she thinks over what the sixth fairy had said about her home, a dark blot appears on the horizon and begins spreading drawing closer to where she was.

The five fairies scatter at the approaching devil and determine to try to protect their own homes. Lydia's at a loss as to what to do, but Kelpie tells her that what they were seeing was the devil's shadow and not the devil itself. Lydia realises that it meant the ceremony at the ruins must have begun.

Kelpie asks Lydia if she wanted to drag the fairy in the hole at his feet out. Realising that the five fairies homes were at the two hands, two feet, and the chest of the statue, Lydia wonders if the sixth fairy lived in the head of the statue therefore. Lydia checks the eyes of the statue and finds a hole, but the tunnel soon turns and she can't see inside. Nico agrees to go inside, but Kelpie tells Lydia he can't enter a goddess's domain and instead ties a hair from his mane onto Lydia's finger; if she gets into trouble, he'll pull her out with it.

Nico and Lydia follow the winding tunnel to the sixth fairy's home where the sixth fairy is sitting quietly. Lydia waits hoping the fairy will talk to herself and end up revealing her name, but she only sits there. Having no time, Lydia decides to speak directly to the fairy instead. Nico argues that if Lydia did that, she wouldn't be able to find out the fairy's name, but Lydia figures that the sixth really does want to have someone learn her name. Likewise, most likely, she was the one to tell Raven about Lydia being in danger, so perhaps deceiving her or catching her off-guard in order to learn her name wasn't the way to go about things with the sixth fairy.

Lydia talks to the sixth fairy hoping to get the fairy to tell her her name, but the fairy refuses. The room suddenly shakes and both Nico and the fairy grab hold of Lydia. Lydia tries to convince the fairy to help her and the Blue Knight Earl who is also nearby when the floor suddenly collapses beneath her. Lydia and Nico both manage to jump to safety, but the hole in the floor connects the fairy's home to the human realm.

Directly below is a magic circle surrounded by many people dressed in black. The sixth fairy tells Lydia that it was too late, that everyone would cease to exist and it was because they excluded her. Lydia looks for Edgar among the people below when Nico points out Raven.

Raven attacks the people protecting the one who seemed to be the priest, and Edgar and the Scarlet Moon storm in from the door hidden in the mosaic. Lydia tries to warn Edgar not to break the magic circle, but he doesn't hear her. Lydia sees the shadow held inside the circle fill circle as though trying to break through the wards holding it in, and the room she's in shakes again. The ground shakes in the chapel below as well surprising everyone.

The floor in the fairy's home collapses more, and Lydia grabs hold of the fairy's leg but the floor beneath her collapses as well, and they both go tumbling into the chapel below. While it seemed like she was quite high up, Lydia feels like she only fell about 2-3 steps on a staircase, most likely because she'd fallen from Faerie into the human realm.

Lydia finds herself facing the priest, but not only is he hooded, he's wearing a mask as well, so she can't see his face. The priest had been hiding behind the altar as though to escape the intruders when Lydia fell in front of him. Just as the priest reached to grab Lydia, a grey ball suddenly hits him on the head.

Nico yells at Lydia to use Kelpie's mane and to get out, but Lydia refuses since Edgar was still somewhere in the chapel. The priest blocks Lydia's way before she can escape, and behind him, what had seemed to be a smokey shape had turned into solid black mass. Since so much of the ceiling had collapsed, the fae world and the human realm had become intertwined in that area, and Lydia realises that most likely everyone in the room can now see the devil.

Lydia starts to back away from the priest when the sixth fairy who'd been hiding behind her suddenly yells at the priest angry at what they'd done to her goddess. At first, the priest backs away slightly from the child-sized old fairy, but regaining his nerve, he raises his bishop's staff against the fairy. Lydia protects the fairy from the staff before it can touch the fairy who would be turned to stone if it were real. Raven grabs the man's arm stopping him before throwing him into the wall.

Edgar grabs Lydia and supports her before she falls to the floor. Lydia tells Edgar she'd wanted to warn him about the devil and that, since the ceremony had been interrupted, it would kill everyone in the chapel. Edgar tells Raven to have the Scarlet Moon withdraw when the rope marking the magic circle breaks. Raven tries to get back to Edgar, but the wall collapses between the two. Edgar pulls Lydia under the altar, but while they're protected from the falling debris, they're unable to move from there.

The devil batters the chapel as though trying to bury it and Edgar apologises to Lydia for getting her caught up in things, but Lydia admits that even though there'd been a way to defeat the devil, she'd been unable to find it.

"It's okay. Whatever happens, I'll keep you safe."

Despite the falling rocks and that they were unable to move from where they were, Edgar said that as though to give her courage.

"It's okay. As long as you're holding me, I'm not afraid."

"No, it's not. We have to get home safely. What we did earlier wasn't anywhere near enough. I don't want to die with you thinking that's all there is."

Wh-what's he talking about......?

Edgar notices the fairy Lydia's holding, and Lydia tells him that the fairy is a friend of the earl's family. Indignant, the fairy tells her that she hates the earl's family and that there was no way that she--Titan Tate Tot--would be their friend. The old fairy then charges at the devil, but Lydia summons the six fairies by name and commands them to use the goddess's power and protect that place.

As the sixth fairy's body begins to glow lightly five balls of light appear and as the sixth joins the five, the area is bathed in a bright white light. When Lydia can see again, the area is silent and there's no sign of the devil anywhere anymore.

Raven hears Nico's voice and comes to to find himself lying on grass. He remembers that a pillar had fallen hitting him in the back, but remembers nothing after that. While in pain, he can still move and looks around trying to figure out how to get back to the chapel and Edgar. However, Nico tells him that most likely things were okay and that the devil seems to have disappeared as well.

Kelpie shows up annoyed that the only two to come out were Nico and Raven. He'd lent the hair from his mane to Lydia after all. Nico hides behind Raven and tells Kelpie that it came free from Lydia and that it was a matter of life and death, so he and Raven grabbed hold of it.

Kelpie asks where Lydia is and Raven tells him that she's most likely with Edgar annoying Kelpie even further. Kelpie turns and vanishes, and Raven wonders if Kelpie went to look for Lydia when he realises that Nico has also disappeared. Raven doesn't realise that Nico had still been hanging onto the hair from Kelpie's mane and ended up being dragged off with Kelpie. Thinking that the fae were prone to disappear on a whim, Raven climbs to his feet and decides to look for a way out.

Raven hears someone moving in the underbrush and spots a man wearing a mask and someone who seemed to be his guard. He takes down the masked man and the other person tries to escape. Raven ignores the other person and holds the masked man down when he hears Edgar yells for him to stop the other man. Raven immediately pulls out his knife and throws it at the other man pinning his robe to a tree trapping him.

Edgar appears from among the trees and stops in front of the man Raven pinned to the tree. Edgar tells Bishop Chamberlain that he has Orwen's sketches identifying the bishop but has no desire to waste time arguing over the man's identity. Edgar instead tells the bishop that he wants Slade freed and for the bishop's organisation to stop investigating the Scarlet Moon. It was in both their best interests not to interfere with one another. Edgar tells the bishop that he's the only one who knows the man's identity, so as long as the bishop kept his side of the agreement he didn't need to worry about his secret being revealed. Edgar goes on to warn the bishop against thinking about having Edgar killed as Edgar wasn't scrupulous and would show the man what hell was.

Even though the bishop had tried summoning a devil, he stared at Edgar's smile frightened. Perhaps he thought that Edgar had been the one to banish the devil instead.

In the morning, Bishop Chamberlain finds his carriage trapped in traffic unable to continue. He notices the carriage next to his likewise unable to move when the man comments that it seems he failed to be able to get a devil to do his bidding and the bishop realises that Ulysses is in the next carriage. Ulysses comments that instead the bishop had his identity discovered by the earl and was forced to do as the earl wanted. Ulysses tells the bishop he'd warned him that it might not be wise to move against the Scarlet Moon.

Annoyed, the bishop asks Ulysses if he'd shown up just to tell him that, but Ulysses tells him he was there to tell him something more important. Annoyed the bishop tells Ulysses to quit beating around the bush and just tell him. Ulysses tells him that the earl was their new prince, but the bishop doesn't understand.

The bishop is confused since the prince was dead, and Ulysses tells him that the earl had gained everything of the previous prince's. While Edgar may be the prince's successor, to the bishop, the earl seemed more interested in the weak organisation of artists rather than fighting against the monarch. However, he then remembers the unknown pressure he'd sensed when Edgar had confronted him and can't help wondering again if Edgar really was the one to banish the devil.

Ulysses tells the bishop that while he may have been on good terms with the previous prince, he might have gained the current prince's enmity. Ulysses goes on to tell Chamberlain that he still had a chance to make amends but that the earl had no awareness of being the prince. Instead, if anyone tried taking away the earl's toys, the earl would fight with all his might, so it was best to let him have his way for the time being.

The bishop asks Ulysses if he thinks he'll be able to control the prince eventually, but Ulysses tells him not to even think that way. Even though the prince was like a baby at the moment, instinctively, he knows that he's meant to be at the very top.

It's the next day when Slade visits Earl Ashenbert's residence. Lydia, Lota, Paul and Nico are in the salon having tea and Lydia asks Slade if he'd like to join them but he refuses. He apologises to Lydia for the trouble he caused and for not being able to give her congratulations on her at her wedding, but Lydia tells him not to worry about it.

After the devil disappeared from the chapel, Edgar left Lydia with the other Scarlet Moon members and went after the cult members who'd escaped. When he and Raven returned, Edgar only said that he succeeded in making a deal and Slade was released the next day.

Edgar comes into the salon from the terrace and greets Slade before sitting down next to Lydia. Slade tells Edgar that he heard about things from Paul. Edgar had asked Paul to tell the Scarlet Moon about what had happened to him and why he'd stepped down as their leader as Edgar felt that it was wrong to hide the truth from them. Given what had happened, Edgar suggests that the two parties stay away from one another, but Slade tells him that none of the Scarlet Moon would agree to that anymore. When Edgar asks Slade if he would kill him instead, Slade looks disgusted as he admits that none of them were able to leave the earl. While they could find many patrons, Edgar was the only one to protect them when they were in trouble.

Edgar tells Slade that he might have just been using them in his fight against the prince, but Slade tells Edgar that everyone believes that Edgar sees the Scarlet Moon, which carries the same name as the first earl's child, as part of his family and that it was therefore his duty to protect them. And now that the Scarlet Moon knew the truth about what happened to Edgar, it was up to them to protect him.

Having taken care of what he'd come to do, Slade leaves. Paul moves to leave as well prompting Lota to put her teacup down as well. Lydia protests suggesting Lota take her time, but she doesn't want to get in the way of the newlyweds. Edgar tells Lota she's being surprisingly considerate and that she shouldn't bother visiting for some time.

Lydia asks Paul if Clair was still at the Scarlet Moon's safehouse, and he tells her that Clair would be leaving in the afternoon by steamtrain to go live with some distant relatives. Lydia give Paul the blue ribbon that Clair had stolen and asks him to give it to her.

After the others leave, Lydia admits that she doesn't know if she really needs a lady's maid anymore. She doubted there'd be any end to women who fell in love with Edgar after all.

Edgar reminds Lydia that he doesn't go after servants, but Lydia tells him he's not above pretending to be asleep. Edgar shrugs and asks how Lydia would feel about a lady who liked her far more than she liked Edgar. He pulls a letter from his jacket pocket and tells Lydia that she finally agreed. Lydia reads the letter and is surprised to learn that Kelly* would be coming to be her lady's maid.

* Kelly's the daughter of the head of the Connaught clan. She's introduced in book 14 and spends a great deal of time with Lydia in book 16.

*laughs* FWIW, a couple of (J) fanfics have since popped up trying to fill in the gaps around Edgar and Lydia's scene and what exactly happened there. Certainly, it can be interpreted differently... :P
Tags: hakushaku, snippet

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  • Not Much

    Quick post. Hakushaku to Yousei is about to enter the final arc with the next vol (to be released Mar 30). The afterword a couple vols ago did…

  • Another (anime)...

    *headdesk* Finally got around to watching ep 5 and once again I'm sorely tempted to read the novel(s). Whereupon the the question becomes do I buy…

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    Why not? I'm no longer following the series, and I have to admit, I'm not sure I'm interested in knowing how it ends(/ended), but... ^^; I noticed…