shadow: Hmph! (Corti)
[personal profile] shadow
This brings us up to somewhere on pg 129.


Edgar heard that Lydia's deceased grandmother had bought it for her to use when she became of age. While it was quite simple for a lady of the nobility, if she'd imagined her granddaughter marrying a successful man of the same class, it was something that would be appropriate to bring with her to her new home. So to Lydia, it was extremely valuable and on par with any luxury item.

Edgar liked how Lydia carefully used the things she valued so much. Not to mention, the Ashenbert household wasn't a noble family where they would not appear to be nobility if they didn't take care to keep up appearances. Not once has Edgar ever felt embarrassed by Lydia's belongings or her actions. He wondered how to try and explain that to her.

"It's okay. I won't use that anymore," Lydia stated flatly, but tears filled her eyes.

"Why?" Edgar asked noticing that Lydia didn't have that bag with her. She should have had it with her when she went out. "By the way, where is it?"

"I dropped it in the pond...... So..." Lydia said faintly.

Edgar realised what had happened. 'Ahh, I should have concentrated on spending time together with Lydia and not bothered with such unnecessary things, after all. What am I doing? We've only just married. Leaving London, the company is different and unfamiliar. It's not possible for Lydia to suddenly be a countess, so it was up to me to stay with her and protect her.'

Edgar still didn't know about the bruises Lydia may be hiding. Caught up in his own thoughts, he took Lydia's hand. He then turned and quickly left the room.


"......Edgar, where are we going?" Lydia asked at a complete loss. He'd taken her out of the room and down the stairs. Going from the hall to the garden, he headed directly for the gazebo.

"About where did you drop the bag?"

"Somewhere over there, but there are many weeds so it'll be difficult to find."

He let go of Lydia's hand, and just as she realised that he'd taken off his gloves and rolled up his sleeves, he suddenly stepped into the pond.

"Eh, Edgar!"

It was a shallow man-made pond, and Edgar ignored how his shoes and pants became wet as he went further in. Making his way through the reeds and cattails, he felt along the bottom of the murky pond with both hands.

"Edgar, come back. It's okay, already."

"Don't worry. I'm sure I'll find it."

Lydia could only stare after him as she stood shocked on the shore.

"Please, stop it! I'm really happy with your gift. But because I'd been so depressed...... Did I seem like I didn't want it? I didn't mean it that way!" Lydia stepped into the pond unable to contain herself.

"I'm sorry...... I really did want it, but before I could realise how happy I was I could only feel surprised and wonder if it would really suit me. I'm sorry, I was so reserved." She almost slipped on the mud at the bottom of the pond as she struggled to get to where he was. "So I'll try to become more suited to it. And more the way you want me to be......!"

"Found it!" Edgar exclaimed when he found the bag caught in the roots of the reeds. "See, I found it," he said as he turned towards Lydia.

The words caught in his throat and he looked shocked. "Lydia...... of all things. Ah, your dress is all muddy."

"You're the same way."

Lydia felt relieved and smiled when she saw Edgar break into an amused smile.

"They're both your handbags. That works doesn't it? You're the simple girl of the Carltons and the countess of the Ashenberts. They're both you. I'm not wishing for only one part and not the other."

Lydia nodded as she accepted the embroidered handbag. While it was stained from the murky water, it was even more precious now for his having found it for her.

"Thank you, Edgar."

She looked up into his eyes, and he held her tightly.

"Maybe you won't get angry if I tell you now."

"What?"

"Actually, I bought the hat, stole, and gloves, too. Everything that you'd hesitated over but gave up on buying. They should all have arrived by the time we return to London."

Lydia couldn't help looking exasperated.

Edgar looked at her uncertainly. "I know. If I want to make you happy, it won't be through gifts like these. Rather than the rose raised in the greenhouse, you prefer the primrose found by the roadside. For Christmas, a heartfelt card. But I can't help wanting to give you all sorts of things. Because I want to see you looking happy every day."

Lydia held his chilled hand in both her. "Your hand's cold."

Edgar smiled and gripped her hand. He then pulled her to him and kissed her. It was light, just a brushing of the lips. But he seemed like he wanted more and kissed her repeatedly. And the kisses became deeper and more passionate.

"Um, Edgar......"

Her hair started to come undone. Lydia gasped when he nibbled at her.

"Aren't your feet cold?"

"......Yeah," he said and let her go, but he seemed rather unsatisfied. "Sorry, let's go back."

They couldn't simply stay in the middle of the pond like that, so they had no choice. But seeing Edgar looking like he wasn't content made Lydia uncertain. She wondered if Edgar wasn't happy. He still had a variety of issues to face and his situation wasn't so simple that he would be happy just because he got married. Even so, he always accepted her wholly and made her feel safe. He helped her realise that her worries and fears were but the slightest of things. But if she couldn't simply express her pleasure upon receiving a gift, it was only natural that Edgar too wouldn't be content. She wondered what she should do. Perhaps it would have been better not to shy away and to simply accept being kissed.

Next time. Even though she thought that now, when next time came, Lydia still couldn't be more accepting.

But I'm a fairy doctor, so I should be able to become a necessary support for him. Even though she tried to take comfort in that thought, she was only becoming more and more insecure.


Having taken off the muddy dress, Lydia was warmed her feet by the fireplace when Edgar entered the dressing room. Flustered, Lydia couldn't help gripping the front of her dressing gown closed. Even though she realised doing so with her husband was unnatural, her entire body became tense. She was only wearing a chemise and her corset under the gown. She still had ugly bruises on her shoulders and back.

Even though the sun had begun to set, it would still be some time before the room was engulfed in darkness. Lydia felt as though the kiss they'd shared still smouldered within her, and the feeling only became more inflamed when she saw Edgar's face. Since she felt that way, it was possible that he shared that feeling.

What if he wants to continue from where we left off.

If he wanted her, she wanted to comply. However, despite her determination, a part of her still couldn't help hesitating.

Realising Lydia's feelings, Kelly gently tried to get Edgar to leave only to have him tell her to leave the room. Kelly had no choice but to do as she was told.

When it was only the two of them, Edgar drew closer to Lydia and twined the lock of hair that fell on her shoulder through his fingers. Edgar himself had completely changed his clothes, but because he wasn't wearing a necktie or his gloves, his appearance was a little more casual.

"I was wondering if we could talk."

"......Yes."

Talk... I wonder what about.

"Lydia, is there anything you want to talk to me about?"

"Eh? Wh-why?"

"For example...... a problem that's difficult to talk about."

"There's nothing like that."

She couldn't ask if he wasn't content with married life. Lydia got up from her chair and tried to put a little more distance between them in order to calm herself down.

"Why do you ask that all of a sudden? I'll admit I was derided over my social class, but it's not a problem. You said that it was okay for me to be the way I am, so I'm okay now."

He suddenly embraced her from behind.

"I see. …...If that's the case, that's fine," he murmured, but he sounded like he didn't believe her at all.

Lydia blushed at the feel of his breath on the back of her neck. Because her attention was caught by his fingers as they traced her collarbone, she didn't notice when he undid the belt to her gown, so she was startled when he took it off her.

Her gown fell to her feet and dressed only in her underwear, Lydia's back and arms were clearly exposed. The ugly signs of bleeding beneath her white skin was in plain view.

She sensed Edgar's breath catch.

"Um …...this …...well"

She quickly turned but his look was so anguished that she was unable to give any excuse. Anger flashed across his face. He let go of Lydia and silently left the room.

'I wonder if it's that unsightly.' Lydia stood there shocked. '......Well, it's only natural. After all, I can barely stand to look at them myself. But he didn't have to get that angry. They'll disappear over time. But perhaps, for men, if they become disappointed in a woman once, maybe they no longer see her as being attractive. Not to mention I've never been that attractive. That's why I didn't want him to see any more than necessary.'

Depressed, Lydia heard the sound of thunder in the distance.

'Ah, I wonder if there's going to be another shower.' The sky had suddenly turned dark and flashes could occasionally be seen among the clouds. Lydia moved to close the window when she noticed that the distant sea seemed to shine a myriad of colours.

Lydia went out onto the balcony. She didn't like thunder. And even though it was rumbling, she was entranced by the strange yet beautiful surface of the sea. She walked to the railing and she heard gentle singing coming from out of nowhere.

The blissful sound was bewitching and beckoned her. Lydia realised she was leaning over the railing. It almost felt as though if she continued, she could fly. A part of her realised that something was strange. There was magic in that song.

This... a mermaid's singing.

They seduce people dragging them into the sea and drown them.

'I mustn't listen.' Despite what she thought, her body wouldn't listen to her and feeling almost as though she were empty, she tried to climb over the railing.

"Lydia! What are you doing!"

She heard Nico's voice and felt a tug on the sleeve of her gown. But he was weak and couldn't stop her from trying to jump from the balcony.

"Nico...... help me. The mermaid's song..."

"Eh? I don't hear anything!"

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January 2012

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