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And when double checking something, I got the weirdest machine translation: A man is dragged and sold wholesale. *blink* I'm *pretty* sure that was supposed to be a/the man was dragged down. *laughs*

I'm having a tough time translating this current scene. I think it's because of all the action in it. :P Currently somewhere on pg 245. Ouch. >.<;

Lydia's wish for the fae and humans to be able to understand one another and for both to find happiness was most likely because those around her were so happy, and it was tied to the joy that spilled over from there. And since she saw things that way, she disagreed with Aeris's ideal.

"You see, Earl Ashenbert, everything would turn out well. I wonder, if there's a role you can carry out as the Blue Knight Earl, if that mightn't be it. You're the Blue Knight Earl who is supposed to eliminate the prince and protect the futures of the fae and England, right?"

"Edgar, no!" Lydia yelled afraid that he might nod. If he agreed with Aeris's words, he would end up forming a contract with the fae.

"We can't be separated. Isn't that right?"

He looked down at Lydia narrowing his eyes slightly. "......Yes, you're absolutely right."

"In that case, you'll both die here then? Lydia, I brought you here because I didn't want to lose you. But I have to protect the city, so I have no choice."

"No, Aeris." Lydia firmed her resolve and faced the princess of the royal capital. "I'll give you your wish and then return safely with everyone."

Aeris frowned at her as though in pity. "Are you saying you understand my feelings?"

"I don't, but I'm just an ordinary fairy doctor. Until recently, I didn't know that I came from a family that had a history of controlling fae magic. I'm a fairy doctor that's helped regular people take care of minor issues. What I have isn't the ability of the MacKeel clan, but my mother's wisdom and honour. That's all. If you, as one of the fae, are saying that there are laws that must be upheld here in this city, it's my job to find a solution!"

Aeris sighed and said something in what seemed to be Breton, and the mermaids tightened their circle around them. Their hair rippled. Was another wave coming? Just when she sensed that was the case, she heard the sound of hooves pounding on the cobblestones approaching.

A grand carriage being drawn by four horses rushed towards them trying to scatter the mermaids. A shot rang out from inside the carriage causing the mermaid's ring to break.

"Found you! Where'd you hide my wife?!"

A heavy large man brandished a pistol. On top of that, he held a girl with braids as a hostage.

"Kelly!" Lydia cried. She spotted Raven and Nico in the driver's seat.

"That man's... Slope? What's he doing here......" Edgar murmured looking surprised.

Just what was going on?

"Your wife is dead. You killed her yourself," Aeris said.

Slope glared at her with his bloodshot eyes. "You...... I see. So you're in cahoots with the Ashenberts."

He kept his finger on the trigger and alternated between pointing the gun at Lydia and Aeris.

"Hurry up and bring me my wife. If you don't......"

Just then, Raven suddenly set the carriage running making Slope, who was still holding Kelly, to fall back into the carriage. Lydia was caught completely off guard when Edgar grabbed hold of her and leapt into the carriage. The carriage went through the mermaid's ring and continued running off. Lydia clung to Edgar desperately as they were jostled about in the carriage. He shifted holding Lydia protectively. Slope was still right before them with pistol in hand. However, he too, had his hands full struggling to hang on to Kelly as the carriage bounced wildly sending them rolling about.

"Raven, where's Francis?"

"I pulled him up over here," Raven said from the driver's seat.

Glancing that way, he could see Francis hanging on desperately trying not to be thrown from his seat, while Nico clung to Raven's waist.

The carriage went faster as it continued racing off. They ran down stone steps and turned sharply in a large square throwing off their pursuers. They exited out onto a road with high walls, and most likely were headed for the corridor that led to the small island.

"Lydia, are you not wearing a corset?" Edgar murmured suddenly in Lydia's ear. His question did not suit the tension of the situation they were in.

"Wh-what a thing to ask!"

"It's been bothering me all this time, but it feels so good to hold you that I'm not quite sure what to do."

Having him say things that way, Lydia became flustered. She suddenly remembered the feel of his hands and the feel of his chest, cheek and hair as they lay on her body without the constrictive corset on while they were taking refuge in of the houses.

"Being able to hold you someplace other than in the bedroom when you're so soft and defenseless is new.

"H-help Kelly!"

She wanted to say, 'Now's not the time for that, right?!' But that was Edgar—joking around at times like this.

"Of course." Edgar smiled suggestively as his arms wrapped around her waist held her firmly against him.

As soon as he did, the carriage suddenly came to a stop. Lydia realised that he held her so firmly to protect her from the impact of the sudden stop, but he kept her body firmly against his even after the carriage came to a full stop.

"......I can't breathe."

"Wait just a little longer." Edgar said.

Slope started to raise his pistol right before Edgar. He was at point blank range. But Edgar was calm almost cold when he said, "Raven, it's about time you freed Kelly."

The door burst open and Slope suddenly found himself being held down by a slender young man who wrenched the pistol from his grasp. Raven wrapped his arm around the big man's neck and dragged him out of the carriage. It took little time before Slope went limp unconscious. Raven let go of the man and turned to look at Edgar.

"I beg your pardon, my lord. This man took Kelly hostage and ordered me to take him with us, and since we didn't have much time, I decided to do so for the time being."

Lydia helped Kelly who'd most likely been left as a hostage and gone through a frightful ordeal because of Raven's deciding something 'for the time being'.

She stared at Lydia with tears in her eyes. "Mrs. Lydia, I'm so glad you're alright."

"I'm sorry to have worried you, too."

"I see. It seems we have little time," Edgar murmured as he looked in the direction Raven pointed.

The carriage was stopped just before a long corridor. The long corridor with high walls on either side was connected to the island with the old castle that was in the human realm. However, a thin layer of water was running down the cobblestone road.

Lydia looked towards the sky. The sun had sunken quite some distance. It looked like it would soon reach the horizon.

"Uwaaa, why?! The sun was still high in the sky until just a moment ago!" Francis stared at the sky holding his head.

"Most likely she used magic hoping we'll get careless......"

Men weren't allowed to return alive. The law of the royal city was most likely also Aeris's firm wish.

(When the sun reaches the horizon, water will come flooding in through the floodgate. Most likely, this place will be completely under water by the time the sun sets,) Arrow said. (In any case, I'll make it such that the mermaid's can't come near here. Please get across before the princess gets here. If the city sinks, her magic will no longer reach the small island either. And most likely, the mermaids won't be able to control the waves.)

"Yes, let's hurry. Since we no longer have the key, we can no longer try to bargain with Aeris. Francis, you'll have to wait for another opportunity to learn about Diana."

Francis nodded disappointed.

"If water's going to start flooding in soon, we might not be able to use the carriage part-way through. We'll go on horseback. Francis, are you good at riding?"

"I can manage...... But it'll be the first time I ride without a saddle."

Raven didn't wait for instructions and started to unhitch the carriage's lead.

"Kelly, you and Nico are to ride with Raven."

Kelly paled when she heard those words. "Um, but, I......"

Most likely a number of things had happened before they finally managed to reach the city. Kelly's distrust of Raven had become even stronger than what Lydia had last seen.

"Do you want to ride with Francis? But Raven's an excellent rider even without a saddle."

"......If both Mr. Nico and I were about to fall, you would choose Mr. Nico, wouldn't you?"

"Yes." Even though there was no need for him to answer, Raven immediately replied to her question seriously.

Kelly turned even paler.

"I-it'll be okay, Kelly. If you're with Raven, there's no chance you'll fall in the first place."

Even though she didn't seem convinced, Kelly finally nodded in resignation.

"Hey...... by key...... Do you mean a really old looking gold key?" Nico suddenly asked as he lay on his back on the driver's seat of the carriage.

"Nico, you know about it?"

"I saw it in the castle. It was on the floor of the hall on the fourth floor, but when I went to pick it up, that guy stole it. He even stepped on my tail!" Nico jumped to his feet angry as he remembered what happened and pointed at *that guy*. It was Slope who'd been beaten up by Raven.

Edgar walked to where Slope lay. Apparently he'd already regained consciousness, and he slowly looked up. Perhaps he'd heard Nico's words. He looked defiant. "You want that key? Lord Ashenbert, if you want to know where it's hidden......"

Edgar kicked him before he could finish his sentence. Slope doubled over coughing hard.

"Wh-what did you do that for......"


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January 2012

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