shadow: (chibi Edgar)
[personal profile] shadow
Wow, the first time things break at a break. :P This brings us to the scene break on pg 94.

Ah, those two. ^o^

"But" Edgar looked down at her uncertainly as she tried to push him away with both hands. "Lydia, don't you think it's about time to take this off?"

The elegant lacy and frilly French nightwear got caught on Lydia's shoulder after the ribbon became undone. Edgar stretched a hand out towards it, but Lydia quickly held the collar closed as she sat up trying to get away.

"......There's no need to do that, right?"

"It's normally done that way."

"You're kidding!"

She'd never learned about taking everything off. Even getting down to one piece of underwear took a lot of courage. It was natural for a lady to keep as much skin from being seen as possible, and she'd thought men would take that into consideration. No, perhaps she'd been mistaken in thinking that?

"But all this time...... you never said anything about it."

"You were so self-conscious about it, so I thought it would be okay for the first while."

"B-but the naked body's so unsightly!"

"Really? Do you think I'm unsightly?"

He held her face in both hands. She stared at him desperately. He'd long since taken off his nightclothes, so she had no choice but to look him in the eye.

"......I'm talking about me."

"Why do you think that?"

"But you've probably embellished your image of me."

Lydia thought that the linen gathers and lace softly enhanced her poor figure. If she had nothing on, she was sure he wouldn't like how it felt to hold her.

"It's alright. It's not like I know nothing after all."

Lydia blushed startled. She then remembered that Edgar had been the one to remove an object that had become embedded in her back.

"B-but......that time, Kelly......"

"Ah, yeah. True. Kelly's the one who took your clothes off. Not to mention that wasn't the time for such things, so I don't remember too much," he said hastily.

Lydia was almost in tears.

"But it's something you can tell when embrace someone. You're pretty much exactly as I imagined."

He smiled, but for some reason she didn't like that thought. Not to mention she had bruises on her arm and back at the moment. If she took off her nightwear, he'd end up noticing them.

"It's better not to have anything keeping us apart, right?"

But undoubtedly the deep purple bruises on her skin were unsightly. What if he became disillusioned? Even without the bruises, he might end up disillusioned. After all, Edgar's known so many women much sexier than her...... Ahh, she...... couldn't do it!

Panicking, Lydia turned desperately as she pulled away from Edgar.

"I can't do that! …...I never thought you were that sort of person!" she cried out. Completely flustered, Lydia fled from the bedroom.

"Mrs. Lydia, any way you look at it, I think the master was wrong." Kelly said. She lay her hand on Lydia's shoulder as Lydia lay face down on the sofa. Kelly had shown up in Lydia's dressing room shortly after she'd locked herself away in it. No doubt Edgar had asked Kelly to try to calm Lydia down.

"It's wrong to force someone even if it's your own wife."

"Y-you're right."

Lydia looked up not having expected Kelly's indignation.

"There's no way for a lady to know what people normally do. It hasn't even been a month since you married. The master is being too impatient."

"Kelly, is that really normally done?" Lydia asked surprised.

Kelly held Lydia's hand trying not to confuse her. "It doesn't matter whether it's commonplace or not. Mrs. Lydia, would a proper gentleman refuse to consider what his beloved wife wanted even if it is somewhat unreasonable? Even though the master is young, I thought he was wonderful and took pride in being an honourable nobleman."

I wonder if I said something unreasonable.

Lydia began to feel more and more uncertain.

"But...... he's never tried to force me knowing I was feeling embarrassed."

"Still, that doesn't mean you have to do what he says. Even if you ignore that, you're going through a lot of hardship and suffering for the master's sake."

Lydia felt that the two issues were not the same.

"......It was just so sudden, I was surprised by it. If he absolutely insists...... I'm not completely against......" Lydia was taken aback at what she said. "But Kelly, it's just not possible right now! You understand, don't you? I still have all these bruises on my arms and back. So, I...... got scared. Please, don't misunderstand. Edgar's done nothing wrong."

Lydia gripped Kelly's hand as she pleaded with her. Kelly smiled. "I understand completely. If you're not upset with the master, will you not return to the bedroom?"

Lydia finally realised that even though her lady's maid was a year younger, Kelly was much better at dealing with things than Lydia. On top of taking Lydia's side, Kelly advised her well. Thinking about things calmly, Lydia realised what had happened wasn't something to run fleeing from the bedroom over.

"Edgar's not angry?"

"He was disconcerted. Mrs. Lydia, to be honest, the master doesn't stand a chance when it comes to lovers quarrels in the Ashenbert household," Kelly said amused as she retied the ribbon on Lydia's nightgown.

Edgar stood leaning against the wall when Lydia hesitantly returned to the bedroom.

"Lydia, let's rest for tonight. You will at least sleep with me, won't you?"

He walked towards her as she nodded. Surprisingly, his gown was neatly closed, most likely to keep Lydia from becoming distressed. It's possible Kelly had said something to him.

"I... managed to become acquainted with the fae here, right? I think I should be able to learn what ties may exist between Ibrazel and Bretagne from them."

Perhaps what she said was too sudden as Edgar had a strange expression on his face. "Lydia?"

"I'll be of use to you." Lydia couldn't look up, and she struggled to tell him how she felt. "Edgar, I still have a lot to learn, but I want to become the sort of fairy doctor you're hoping for."

"Yeah, I know."

He slowly embraced her. Lydia could feel his gentleness and love and it was enough to to content her. However, his kisses became more and more passionate, and Lydia found herself lying on the bed.

"......Weren't we going to sleep?"

"Umm...... would you prefer that?"

"You're the one who said it."

"......I still want you."

She could hardly bear how hot his hand felt through the fabric as he touched her, so she wondered how it would be if he touched her bare skin. But right now, she felt that he was more attentive than usual as he caressed her. She slowly closed her eyes.

From the very first time, Lydia had had no misgivings and accepted what he did. In a way, what happened seemed almost familiar. And she felt happiness in their joining. So, in order to get to know one another more, no doubt it was only natural to do what he wanted. Although Lydia felt that way, she was also a little afraid. Even while doing this, he was very carefully holding himself back. Lydia had thrown a fit over something like wearing nightwear, so it might not be possible for her to give him everything he was wanting. And she wondered if Edgar himself might also have sensed that.

Edgar started to put more force into his embrace, but took a deep breath as though to stop himself. Lydia wasn't giving him what he wanted.

Sense of an Impending Storm

"They had me pretty worried yesterday."

Kelly glanced furtively at the cat as he gracefully picked up the teacup and saucer. Since he was a gentleman, it would be impolite to stare. While she knew that, she couldn't help wanting to watch him.

Kelly took a bite of her breakfast bun and glanced around casually. She was in the dining area reserved for the hotel's guests' attendants. The guests had split into different groups based on nationality, social class, or wealth, and the attendants, too, had their own similar gatherings. Kelly hadn't joined any of the groups, and she found sharing a table with the unusual cat to be much more enjoyable.

It may be that no one noticed Nico because most of them didn't have the wherewithal to spare for the unusual scene unfolding right before their eyes. Ever since she was a child, Kelly had often heard stories about the fae. Even though they and their world were always so close, those who didn't try to see them simply never would. Not to mention, even though one might want to see them, unless the fae wished it, the average person would be unable to see them. Lydia was special.

"We won't have to worry for a while since the two have made up."

Learning that he could get English-style fried fish in that dining room, Nico joined Kelly for the meal. He looked content as he ate. Complaining that French cuisine was overrated, Nico settled in in the attendant's dining hall.

"It's thanks to you. Instead of being able to calm Lydia down, no doubt Raven or I would only have ended up making her become even more stubborn."

"This rain might be just the thing for those two. They put off going out, and are relaxing together." Kelly looked out the window and smiled.

While it had been raining hard this morning, it gave a good opportunity for them to talk.

"Excuse me."

Someone sat in the seat in front of Kelly. It was Raven. Kelly tensed when she realised that. Even though he was a fellow attendant working for the same Ashenbert residence, unless there was need, Raven wouldn't speak to Kelly, and normally, he would eat at a separate table. So she couldn't help feeling confused as to what was going on today.

She couldn't just ignore him since he was right there, but they had nothing in common to talk about.

"Hey, Raven. I thought if those two got married things would settle down more, but things are even more shaky instead. It must be pretty stressful for you."


Raven's expression as he looked at Nico sitting next to her seemed much softer than any she'd ever seen on him.

"But this stress isn't necessarily bad."

"Well, that's true. Not to mention until recently, they weren't in any position to fight."

The two looked at one another and nodded emphatically.

"Umm, Mr. Raven, you get along well with Mr. Nico, don't you?"

Raven looked at her surprised at her comment. "Miss Kelly, when did you come here?"

He didn't see me? Raven had sat at that table because Nico was sitting there. He hadn't sat there to get to know his co-worker more. Kelly was overcome with exhaustion when she realised that.

He really is a strange person.

"Raven, Kelly's a good lady's maid. Still, Kelly, you must've been pretty surprised when you started working, right? Were you thinking they were on better terms with one another?"

She'd been surprised by some things. She'd had the vague impression that Edgar was intelligent with a strong sense of responsibility and justice and Lydia was a devoted nd kind wife who supported him. When they'd been on the island in the highlands, the trust the two had for one another gave the impression of that sort of couple. But in reality, the earl usually acted like a cheerful mischievous boy who liked to put Lydia on the spot while Lydia firmly rebuffed his unrestrained affection and teasing. But...

"I think they're an extremely close couple."

"So why do things like last night end up happening?"

Raven looked at Kelly seriously.

While he was a strange person, he carried out his duties as an attendant flawlessly, and Kelly felt she could learn something from how he served his master now that things had changed and the earl was married. On that point, Kelly conceded he was the superior.

"Mrs. Lydia is still young. But I don't think there's any cause for concern. Some innocent young ladies end up crying or running away at night after they marry, and it's not unusual to spend days persuading them to carry out their duty as a wife. But the missus doesn't consider it to be a burden."

"That's the only thing Lord Edgar's good at."

He sad that looking very serious.

Nico started laughing, and Kelly fought back her laughter.

"In other words, they're getting along extremely well." Kelly stated proudly.

As a lady's maid, she thought it a natural part of her job to watch over the couple's relationship. If the most important duty of the wife of a distinguished house is to bear an heir, it's also very important for the lady's maid. In the supposedly common cases of unwilling marriages, it was necessary to convince the wife to do her duty. And as a lady's maid, she considered it a source of pride that there was no need for her to do that.

"Miss Kelly, do you look young for your age?"

Kelly's eyes widened in surprise at Raven's sudden question.

"Eh? Why?"

"I was wondering if maybe you were really around 30 years old."

"By that...... do you mean I sound old for my age?"


Kelly was shocked and her hand shook as she clenched it in her lap. She was often told that she was very mature for her age. Since she'd always worked for ladies older than herself, her tastes and things she talked about weren't like those of other girls her age.And even though she's never been in love, she couldn't help wondering if she knew a little too much about relationships. But for someone to say such a thing right to her face.

This person is definitely strange!

Perhaps he sensed the tension in the air, but by the time she realised it, Nico had disappeared.



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January 2012

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