Post Reply Hakushaku To Yousei Volume 4 Summary
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29 / F / 大好きの美少年共に―
Posted 12/18/08 , edited 12/18/08
Me again.. Kagedream-san summary vol 4 novels which is missing from the anime.. So enjoy, it is very long..

Book 4

His Lover is a Ghost

Lydia sees her father off at the train station as he heads for Paris for a conference. Since he'll be gone for three weeks, he's concerned for his daughter, perhaps especially because of who her employer is. However, just before he leaves, he remembers that his wife had left a small pendant with him to give to Lydia when she's of an age to start thinking of marriage.

After seeing her father off, Lydia takes her time stopping at a park before going to work at Edgar's. At the park, Nico tells Lydia the latest gossip about Edgar. Apparently, the young earl's been getting written up in the tabloids a lot recently including a story of his having gotten involved in a duel on behalf of a widow causing serious injury to the other party, while another story tells of his having seduced a medium at London's paranormal association.

Edgar tells Lydia that they're all lies as he stands behind the bench she's sitting on looking down at her. When she asks Edgar what he's doing there, he tells her that he wanted to see her and that seeing her outside of his place was rather nice since she was always so focussed on work at his residence. Even though they were now engaged, there wasn't the least bit of intimacy between them.

Lydia had no intention of acknowledging being engaged to Edgar, but it was thanks to their 'engagement' that Lydia was able to return to the human realm. Unfortunately for Lydia, since then, Edgar has been treating her as his fiancee and has been constantly hitting on her.

Edgar invites Lydia to go to the sea, but she refuses especially since her father's currently away. While Edgar claims he wants the two of them to spend more time together and become even closer, Lydia realises that Edgar wants to keep Lydia with him not out of love or affection, but because she's useful to him.

However, before Edgar has a chance to make any advances on Lydia, he's interrupted by a police detective who's looking into the death of one Maggie Morris--a seamstress. Edgar doesn't recognise the woman's name, and the investigator explains that her body was found floating in the River Thames the other day. According to her co-workers, she was supposed to meet with the earl when she disappeared. Edgar denies any involvement with the girl and claims he'd been at a picnic at the time. When pressed for names of other people at the 'picnic' Lydia realises that they're the same people that had been mentioned in the tabloid about the widow and the duel.

After the detective leaves, Edgar explains about the widow and the duel to Lydia; the widow was simply a friend of his but the other man refused to leave her alone. However, Edgar's getting involved simply worsened matters to the point of the duel. Lydia reminds Edgar that he had a policy of not being friends with women, but Edgar tells her that that was only at the beginning of a relationship and things may end up that way later. However, Edgar claims he's since broken up with the many ladies he'd been seeing since he was now engaged. Lydia doesn't believe him and assumes that he figures as long as he doesn't get caught there'd be no problem.

Lydia gets annoyed at Edgar's amusement at her questioning his having broken up with his lady friends, only to have him comment on how their having a lover's spat actually felt nice. Lydia suddenly realises that she shouldn't care about Edgar's personal life if she's not acknowledging their engagement, and she suddenly wonders if she's going to survive the next three weeks while her father's away.

At Slade's club, Edgar meets with other members of the Scarlet Moon regarding news that one of the prince's people was in England. When asked about a seance that Edgar had attended the night previous, Edgar mentioned that there was someone there claiming to be him and that Edgar along with three other attendees had been selected as possible husbands for Mrs. Collins' deceased daughter. From what the Scarlet Moon had been able to gather, Ulysses was in England working for the prince. Edgar had often heard Ulysses's name when he'd been held by the prince, but had never actually seen Ulysses's face. The only thing he knew was that he was among the prince's closest of advisors. Unfortunately, the only information any of them had been able to gather about Ulysses was that he'd recently become the patron of the medium Seraphita. At the end of the seance, Edgar caught a glimpse of Seraphita's face and realised that she looked exactly like Ermine.

The next day, Lydia finds the mostrecent tabloid on the table in her work room. The latest headline reads that Earl Ashenbert's latest lover was a ghost. Lydia tells Nico to quit showing her the gossip papers, but Nico figured she might be interested in the story. Lydia finally decides to read the article. Nico tells her that if Edgar marries the female ghost, then Lydia would be free of the guy, and their engagement would become null. Realising that saying that aloud might not be wise, Lydia quickly shuts up and looks around, but Nico tells her that Kelpie is currently away from London. Apparently, London was too hot and festering at the moment.

Lydia realises that with Kelpie away, now was her chance to try and get Edgar to accept that their engagement was null and void. Since Edgar was currently out, Lydia goes to a nearby park to come up with an idea to get Edgar to accept nullifying their engagement. While there, Lydia hears someone call for help; the voice sounded not so much like the wind as that of the waves from the sea. Realising that it was more likely to be one of the fae calling for help than a person, Lydia tries to find where the voice came from only to find a middle-aged woman crouched under a streetlight. She apparently suffered a bout of anemia and was not feeling well. Lydia hires a cab and sees Mrs. Collins back to her hotel which faces Hyde Park. However, when Lydia tries to leave, Mrs. Collins' maid begs Lydia to get Mrs. Collins to realise that her daughter was dead and that she wasn't coming back.

Apparently, Mrs. Collins had gotten involved with a medium who claimed she could bring her daughter back from the dead. However, to Suzie, it sounded like something very frightful that went against God's will. Lydia eventually agrees to speak to Mrs. Collins but doubts she'll be able to do much. While Suzie goes to check on her mistress, Lydia wonders about the voice she'd heard at the park when another maid appears before her. The second maid asks Lydia to help them and tells Lydia she's a selkie. Apparently, a number of selkies have had their skins stolen by an evil person and she asks Lydia to set them free. Before Lydia can do anything however, the maid is suddenly surrounded in white flames--her skin is being burned. The maid tells Lydia that it's too late to save her, and that Lydia must hurry and get away from the hotel. The other selkies are at the country villa, and their skins are also hidden somewhere there. However, as Lydia leaves the room, someone grabs her from behind knocking her out with chloroform. As she loses consciousness, she hears someone comment she was Earl Ashenbert's fairy doctor. They hadn't taken any particular notice of her and that most likely she was a fairy doctor in name only with no real ability...

Back at Edgar's mansion, Edgar can't help thinking that the medium at the seance, while seen through a veil, looked exactly like Ermine. The currents around Manaan Island were very fast and Ermine's body had never been found after she fell into the sea. While unlikely, Edgar did have faint hope that maybe she'd survived the fall, but what he couldn't understand was, if she did survive, why she didn't return to his side. Perhaps it was because she couldn't break her ties with the prince. If that medium really was Ermine, it meant that she was still being used as one of Prince's people.

Raven, however, doesn't believe that his sister could still be alive. Even if the person looked and sounded exactly like his sister, Raven feels that it's unlikely to be her. Were she to have survived, there was no reason for her to continue serving Prince, and if she had been captured, she'd already sought her own death once, so he saw no reason why she would fight to stay alive still. Ermine had been leaking information about their movements to Prince because she wanted to stay by Edgar's side for as long as possible. Ermine felt that were Edgar to gain the rank of Earl, she would no longer be special to him. And when they met Lydia, it suddenly became very possible that Edgar would be able to gain that rank. At that point, Ermine sought her own death in order to end Prince's ability to control Edgar.

Edgar decides that there's an easy way to determine if Seraphita is indeed Ermine and shows Raven an invitation that had been received for the Viscount Middleworth--the alias Edgar used when attending the seance. Edgar decides that he'll go to Mrs. Collins' country manor where he's to meet her daughter's spirit and where Seraphita was.

Raven then hands Edgar a crumpled tabloid which he'd found in Lydia's work room. Since tabloids are mostly read by low class labourers, Edgar hadn't been overly concerned about what had been written in them about him and had therefore been very surprised to discover that Lydia was rather knowledgeable about the stories in them. Much to Edgar's disgust, Raven informs him that Nico reads them every day and that a number of the fae seem to like following silly human gossip. Just then, Nico comes running into Edgar's study telling him that Lydia's disappeared; she'd gone to the park to come up with a plan, but the wee folk at the park said that she'd never made it there.

Edgar asks Nico what Lydia's 'plan' was about, but Nico refuses to tell him. However, Edgar grabs Nico and starts to pet him like a cat causing Nico to panic and give in. Nico admits that Lydia was trying to come up with a way to nullify her engagement with Edgar--something Edgar did not want to have happen.

In a room lit by a lone candle, a girl wakes and is asked how she feels. She's told that her name is Teresa and that she's been reborn and has returned to her family's side. Despite her uncertainty, Teresa discovers that she's apparently the daughter of a wealthy house, and her mother is more than willing to shower her with beautiful dresses and jewelry. Teresa can't help feeling that she's very glad to have returned to the land of the living.

The next morning, Lydia wakes to find herself in an unfamiliar place by the sea and realises she'd been kidnapped. However, whoever her kidnapper was was apparently treating her very well as the room she was in was handsomely furnished. The maid she met the day before, Suzie, shows up in her room carrying a change of clothes for Teresa and is quite surprised when Lydia demands an explanation as to what was going on. Suzie quickly realises that Lydia isn't Teresa and begs Lydia to stay as she would undoubtedly be killed if she were to try to leave at the moment.

Suzie explains that when she returned to the reception area of the suite, she found Lydia on the floor unconscious, and the medium Seraphita decided that she'd be useful as a vessel for Teresa. Lydia was about the same age as Teresa was supposed to be, and they needed a body of similar age for Teresa to occupy. Suzie had no choice but to help the medium and transport Lydia to the country manor near Hastings. If she didn't, they would undoubtedly have killed Lydia. Once at the manor, a seance was held, and Teresa's spirit was supposed to have possessed Lydia's body; certainly that was how things seemed to Suzie the night before. The newly reborn Teresa apparently had no memory of her previous life. Suzie begs Lydia to pretend to be Teresa and stay at the manor until Seraphita leaves. She also warns Lydia to be careful of the other maids and staff as she's seen them talking secretly with Seraphita. Apparently, Mrs. Collins had left the care of the manor to the servants a great deal, and Suzie was unsure as to what sort of folk may have snuck in among the servants.

Lydia sees Mrs. Collins who seems to have completely forgotten about Teresa being brought back from the dead. Mrs. Collins comments on how she'd always believed that Teresa'd always been alive somewhere. She then wonders where Teresa had gotten her reddish-brown hair as it used to be a lighter brown; perhaps Teresa'd gotten it from her grandmother. Seeing Mrs. Collins treatment and how she clearly loved and missed her daughter, Lydia can't help wondering if her mother too would've reacted the same way at seeing how her daughter had grown.

Mrs. Collins then tells Teresa that there's something she wants to give her--a cameo that has been passed down through the generations in her family. Lydia remembers the aquamarine pendant her father had given her. She'd been distressed to find it missing when she'd woken up, and like Mrs. Collins cameo, it had been passed down from generation to generation in her mother's family.

Lydia then meets a 15-16 year old boy--Oscar--who is Mrs. Collins nephew and Teresa's cousin. Oscar questions whether it's possible to call people back from the dead and whether Lydia really is Teresa. Lydia however, claims that she remembers nothing. Oscar comments that Lydia might just be acting and was only after the Collins's money. He reminds Lydia that if she has a boyfriend, by staying there, she'd end up marrying another man.

Lydia remembers the tabloid article about the earl and wonders if Edgar would show up at the manor since he was supposed to be one of the candidates for the ghost's husband. If he did and if he really were interested in marrying a ghost, Lydia wonders if rather than saving Lydia Edgar would instead help the medium. She can't help wondering how much she trusts Edgar. While she doesn't trust what he says when he tries to hit on her, she also doesn't think he'd simply abandon her if she were in trouble, but she suspects that's only because she's useful to him as a fairy doctor. Lydia can't help wondering if Edgar considered Lydia the young lady as worth saving.

However, Lydia's thoughts are brought to an rude halt when she discovers that the 'Earl Ashenbert' who came to the manor wasn't Edgar but someone else entirely. Lydia realises that the tabloid article was nothing more than lies and that the famous young earl's name was very popular among the middle class who'd never met him. Lydia lay down on her bed as the sun began to set feeling very silly for having worried over whether the earl would help her in her plight.

Edgar having heard from Nico about Lydia being missing has his staff search for her, and they soon find the driver of the cab Lydia'd used to help Mrs. Collins return to her hotel. From the Scarlet Moon's investigation, Edgar learned about how the Collinses had built a country manor near Hastings shortly after their daughter had been born and that the girl drowned in the sea there at age five. Apparently her body had never been found, and a shoe that washed up on shore was the only sign of what had happened.

Tracing Lydia to the hotel and learning that Mrs. Collins' party had already checked out of the hotel and left for Hastings, Edgar realises that they must've taken Lydia with them. He then takes the first steam train the next morning and heads for Hastings.

When Edgar (as Viscount Middleworth) reaches the manor in Hastings, he finds a very different Mrs. Collins compared to the woman he'd seen at the seances; she seems very happy instead. Edgar apologises for having come so soon but instead learns that another man had arrived before him. When he asks who's already arrived, he learns that it was Earl Ashenbert. Edgar comments how the earl is said to be quite the womaniser at which Raven looks away, but Mrs. Collins tells him that it's only a rumour. Edgar realises that Mrs. Collins views the earl favourably therefore.

Since they still had time before dinner, Edgar decides to meet the earl as they didn't have a chance to speak at the seance. The earl commments that most likely he and Edgar would be the two main competitors for Teresa's hand since the other two candidates were quite a lot older than she. Edgar asks the earl if it were all right for him to abandon the many ladies he was seeing and jumping straight to talk of marriage as he was, but the earl admits that women were all the same, so maybe getting involved with a ghost would bring something fresh and new. Edgar's rather surprised at that comment since he thought they all had their individual charms; he couldn't imagine trying to seduce women if it weren't enjoyable.

From their conversation, Edgar's not sure if the earl were after the Collins's money or if he were one of the prince's people, but if he was working for the prince, Edgar couldn't help feeling that the earl was not entirely suited for his role. However before they could continue their conversation, Raven interrupts and takes Edgar from the room.

Raven tells Edgar that he's found Lydia, but he's unsure if she's okay and thought Edgar should see for himself. Raven takes Edgar to the inner garden where Lydia's supposed to be hiding except the hem of her dress gives away her hiding spot. Raven tells Edgar that apparently the point was to catch her, so the two split up cornering her. Not realising that Raven had brought Edgar into the game, and sensing Edgar approaching from one side, she tries to flee the other way only to run headlong into Raven.

Lydia's surprised at having been tricked and protests at Mr. Crow bringing a friend into the game. Edgar corrects Lydia that it's not Crow but Raven. Edgar realises that, based on appearance, there was no question the person before him was Lydia and that she was uninjured, but at the same time he also realised something was wrong. He introduces himself as Viscount Middleworth to which she replies that he's one of her mother's guests. Edgar realises that the person before him was the resurrected Teresa--Mrs. Collins' daughter.

Edgar asks Teresa how it felt to be brought back from the dead, and she admits that it's wonderful. She's the daughter of a wealthy house, has lots of beautiful clothes and jewelry, and is to marry a nobleman. Edgar realises that Teresa is a simple girl, but more importantly three other men besides himself would also be vying for her favour. For him, who'd taken a liking to calling Lydia his fiancee, regardless of the fact that she had no intention of marrying him, the thought of other men trying to seduce her was more than he could bear. Likewise, he figured Lydia wouldn't like the idea of getting close to someone while possessed by another spirit. Edgar tells Lydia that he's come to save her and that he would protect her.

That night, Raven reports on what he's discovered about the manor and the people currently present. Apparently, the two other candidates for Teresa's husband were both baronets and were to arrive the next day. Edgar is unsure who Ulysses is: whether it's the fake earl, one of the two men set to arrive the next day, or perhaps if he was masquerading as one of the staff. Either way, he was sure that the prince had everything thoroughly planned out and that Ulysses would continue things according to Prince's plan. However, the one thing he wasn't sure of was Lydia's part in everything. There had been no signs that they'd been after Lydia in particular, so Edgar suspected that her kidnapping had been a random event just like Lydia's meeting and helping Mrs. Collins most likely happened by chance. The fake earl and Ermine lookalike was more than enough to ensure Edgar would get involved, so even if they needed a young woman's body to house Teresa's spirit, their using Lydia was most likely not in their original plans.

Edgar realises that Lydia had most likely been outside his enemies' calculations. Her extreme compassion and sense of responsibility and pride in being a fairy doctor made her do things that were normally inconceivable. But it was thanks to Lydia that Edgar had managed to gain the Lord Blue Knight's sword and the rank of earl. Edgar decides to gamble on Lydia's tendency to take events in completely unplanned for directions, and decides that getting her back was first and foremost in their plans. Raven admits that that decision itself was likely beyond their enemy's own expectations.

The next morning, Lydia decides to sneak out of her room and take a look around the manor. Apparently, the time from sunrise to sunset was Lydia's time--she had no memory of the previous night after sunset and according to Suzie, she'd been possessed by Teresa's spirit during that time. With Teresa's spirit possessing her, even given the chance, Lydia couldn't simply up and leave. Likewise, there was still the issue of the selkies and their skins at the manor. Going out to the gardens, she hears a woman's voice and thinking that it's Mrs. Collins, Lydia heads that way only to quickly hide herself behind a tree when she suddenly spots Ermine in a black dress. Listening in on their conversation, Ermine tells the elderly woman with her that whether she wished it or not, most likely she would most likely die there. However, the old woman tells Ermine that that man cannot go so far as to control what they hoped.

Lydia hesitates wondering if she should show herself to the people in the garden when someone grabs her by the arm telling her that she shouldn't go out there right then and instead leads her away from the two people. Much to Lydia's surprise, she realises that Edgar was the one with her. Once the two reach a safe distance, Edgar tells her that he'd been hoping to see her during the day and that they weren't going to be properly introduced until that evening. Since Edgar addressed her as Teresa, Lydia realises that he was hitting on the ghost and loses her temper. Edgar tries to appease Teresa when Lydia tells him that she can't believe he was trying to seduce a ghost and that he had no scruples; if it came to having to marry him, she would rather go and live in the fairy realm. Since there was no fear of having Kelpie overhearing them, Lydia demands that Edgar agree to nullifying their engagement.

Having caught him off-guard, Lydia tells Edgar that Teresa possesses her only during the nights so it was pointless for him to try seducing her, she'd tell Mrs. Collins that he was the absolutely worst. However, much to Lydia's surprise, Edgar looks relieved at her words and suddenly hugs her. As Lydia stares up at the sky over Edgar's shoulder, she suddenly remembers hearing him tell her that he would protect her.

Lydia pushes Edgar away and starts to head back to the manor, when Edgar stops her; she'd been so eager last night, so she didn't have to be so cold towards him in the morning. Edgar asks her if she didn't want to know what happened the night before. When Lydia demands to know what he did, Edgar smiles and tells her that they were engaged and that he'd take responsibility for what happened last night. However, when Lydia turns bright red and looks like she was about to faint, he laughs and tells her he was kidding. Her maid had kept a close eye on them and made sure they were never alone.

Changing the subject back to the medium, Edgar admits to being surprised at how similar she looked to Ermine as well. With the matter of Ermine and the fake earl, Edgar had little choice right now but to face Ulysses, so he wanted Lydia to at least get away some place safe. They could deal with Teresa's spirit afterwards. However, Lydia refuses to leave because there was still the matter of the selkies being held at the manor. Edgar hesitates, but finally gives in to Lydia's desire to save the selkies, and tells Lydia that in that case they needed to work together and act like lovers during the day. Teresa seemed to be quite taken with the idea of marrying one of the men her mother had selected as potential husbands and enjoyed being hit on and that she wasn't likely to refuse a man's attentions. Edgar tells Lydia he'll make sure that Teresa has eyes for no one but him, so Lydia would have to act the same during the day.

That night, unlike the night before, Lydia finds that she's able to at least fight to remain conscious. While Teresa has control of her body, Lydia is at least aware of what's happening. However, much to Lydia's surprise, Edgar virtually ignores Teresa during dinner that night. Getting upset, Teresa begins flirting with the other men and as a result, she ends up promising to spend the next day boating with the fake earl. Lydia feels exhausted from the various happenings at dinner while Teresa is somewhat incensed at having been ignored by Edgar.

In her room, Teresa learns from Suzie that Seraphita had been inquiring about Viscount Middleworth. At Suzie's comment, Teresa realises that Seraphita was in fact quite young and beautiful. Angry, she decides to go to the viscount's room and kick him out of the manor for making advances towards another woman. However, just as she's about to leave her room with Suzie, she runs into Edgar. Angry at having been ignored at dinner, Teresa is rather curt with Edgar not realising that it had all been a trick. Edgar traps Teresa in her room forcing the door closed behind him leaving Suzie outside in the hall. He pulls Teresa to him, and a flustered Lydia struggles to do anything to hold him at bay and discovers that she can just move her left hand.

Lydia realises that as long as Edgar's advances are mild, he leaves open the possibility of escape and is not concerned about being rejected. However, when he's being assertive, it's as though he's chosen his prey and allows no escape.

Lydia can only watch helplessly as Teresa falls under Edgar's spell. However, as Lydia apologises mentally to her father, Edgar backs down. Teresa promises to spend the next day with Edgar and as proof of their promise she gives him a silk handkerchief that she'd embroidered. Teresa presses herself to Edgar again when a loud noise and scream can be heard elsewhere in the manor.

Edgar decides to take a look and goes out into the hall when a shadow suddenly comes at him. Another shadow intercepts the first taking it down to which Edgar finds the fake earl being held down by Raven. Apparently, the earl had been trying to find Edgar and claims a ghost had appeared and killed Lord Stanley. Going to Lord Stanley's room, they find blood everywhere, but no Lord Stanley.

Edgar and the fake earl hesitate over informing Mrs. Collins about the state of Lord Stanley's room, when they remember that there is another member of the household present--Oscar. The earl is reluctant to get the nephew involved since he's still a child, but Edgar figures he's old enough to decide what the family will do.

Oscar tells the others that he'll send someone to town to inform the police of what happened and that anyone not wanting to meet with the police should leave. Anyone who stays, while a guest, would be responsible for their own safety. As Oscar turns to leave Lord Stanley's room, Teresa suddenly feels ill. Edgar figures it's because she'd seen the bloody mess in Lord Stanley's room, and he helps her back to her room.

After seeing Teresa back to her room, Edgar returns to his own room and examines the handkerchief Teresa had given him. Any way he looks at the embroidery, it looks like the initial beside the four-leaf clover is an 'M' and not a 'T' as one would expect. Likewise, Edgar couldn't see someone who'd died at five years of age as being able of doing such perfect embroidery. Asking Raven about news from Paul, Raven gives him a letter that had arrived for Edgar at the post office before sunset that day.

According to Paul, they still didn't know who the fake earl was, and that the two baronets were also using aliases, so it was impossible to tell whether any of them might be Ulysses or if they were after the Collins's fortune. More importantly, tracing Prince's money, the Scarlet Moon was able to determine that Ulysses arrived in England a month earlier aboard the Venus--the same ship Oscar Collins had been aboard. Mr. Collins' younger brother had gone to America to expand the family business and Oscar was to study in England starting that fall.

Edgar wonders if more than Ulysses meeting Oscar aboard ship and deciding to use the boy, if there hadn't been some other reason for Ulysses to get acquainted with Oscar, and he'd therefore chosen that ship specifically for that purpose--that the prince intended to involve the Collinses from the very beginning. According to Paul's letter, there was still more information and that one of the Scarlet Moon would arrive the next day.

Lydia gets up at dawn the next morning. While she'd always considered Edgar to be a womaniser, seeing how he seduced Teresa both depressed and annoyed her. She is determined that she won't marry him, but at the same time she realises that Edgar had been going easy on her and that most likely, if he really wanted her, Edgar figured he could make her his easily. And since he figured that he could easily get her not only to acknowledge their engagement but also get her to the altar, that he was currently half fooling around in hitting on her and having fun with her instead.

Realising that the manor was decidedly quiet after the events the previous night, Lydia wonders if the police had come yet only to have Nico suddenly appear and tell her that they can't come. Apparently the tides were currently tricky and even though the roads are open, the waves are threatening the road making it very dangerous to pass. Likewise, travel by boat was impossible. Lydia wonders if the selkies are responsible for the rough seas, and Nico agrees since the person working for the prince had captured some selkies not to mention the seas being in their current state worked too well in the prince's favour. At the moment, people could neither get in or out of the manor.

Lydia wonders how the prince's person could kill selkies without fearing the repercussions. When the selkies worked together, they could be a terrible force to be reckoned with, yet Ulysses didn't seem concerned in the least. Nico however, figures that perhaps at some point in the past, Ulysses had done something for the selkies earning their trust and favour. In the past, when someone did a major favour for a selkie and earned their trust, at the end of their long life the selkie were known to entrust their heart to that person. It was a promise of eternal friendship. And the selkies would do nothing against a person who carried a heart.

However, it was extremely rare for the selkies to give a heart to a person since it meant that not only did they trust the person but trusted that person's descendants with their fate throughout the ages. It would take much more than some minor favour to earn a person a selkie's heart. Nico points out that the person with the heart may not have been the one to originally receive it. But since Lydia didn't even know who Ulysses was, there was nothing she could do at the moment.

Lydia asks Nico to help her search for the selkies' skins; during the day, she needs to pretend to be Teresa, and she was unable to act freely during the nights. Before Nico can protest, Suzie knocks on Lydia's door and gives her a letter from Edgar. Lydia reads through what can only be described as a love letter and discovers that he intended to formally seek Mrs. Collins' permission to court her daughter that morning after breakfast.

At breakfast, Lydia tells Mrs. Collins that she wanted to continue relations with the viscount and that, after talking with him, she felt that fate had brought them together. As Lydia works on convincing Mrs. Collins, she realises that she was saying the same things as Edgar had written in his letter that morning. After finally receiving Mrs. Collins's blessing, Edgar and Lydia leave the room together.

Lydia can't help wondering at how Mrs. Collins seemed really happy at the thought of her daughter's marriage whereas her father didn't seem to want to consider the idea at all. Edgar asks Lydia if maybe he could finally talk her father about their engagement, but Lydia refuses. She then feels guilty about having tricked Mrs. Collins, but Edgar tells her that the spirit possessing Lydia wasn't Teresa, so either way, Mrs. Collins wishes wouldn't be realised. The best they could do was to stop the prince from getting his way and return things to the way they should be: the dead back in the land of the dead, and Lydia back at Edgar's side.

Lydia denies being Edgar's, but he states that she's his fiancee and he'll keep saying it until she believes it. Lydia tells him that she doesn't want a loveless marriage. Lydia lets slip that she'd seen how Edgar seduced Teresa the night before. The two argue over how Edgar had acted so familiarly with Lydia. At first Edgar claims that if Teresa's hugging him wasn't Lydia's actions, then he hadn't been touching Lydia the previous night... but he retracts that and admits that he'd done it with Lydia in mind and that he'd been happy because she hadn't tried to run away from him. Lydia tells him that had it been her, she would've punched him. Edgar agrees and figures it was a good thing he stopped himself before he did anything that would make her want to hit him even though he'd wanted to go further. But on the other hand, if he'd let things run their course, Lydia might've agreed to marry him because she'd have had no other choice.

Given how Lydia was conscious when Teresa was in control of her body, Edgar wonders if they'd spent the night together, Lydia might physically understand Edgar's feelings for her even though she didn't mentally. Edgar argues that Lydia doesn't think he's serious about her because he doesn't match her preconceptions of what love is and that she really is special to him. He then suggests that they test his theory. Surprised, Lydia finds herself trapped in Edgar's gaze unable to move, and she can't help wondering if perhaps she really did want him to kiss her and that perhaps she was shameless.

Edgar tells her that he does love her, but Lydia tells him it's a lie. He tells her more than his words she should believe his kiss, but Lydia tells him that even now, he wasn't trying to understand her feelings. However, while Edgar hesitates he suddenly senses another presence in amongst the trees and demands to know who's there, but the person flees. Lydia and Edgar catch a glimpse of Ermine's face and Edgar tells Lydia to go back to the manor before he runs after the person who looks like Ermine.

Ermine stops at the top of a slope facing the sea and greets Edgar. She admits that at the moment, she was Ulysses's servant and that she couldn't disobey him. Ermine admits that she was relieved to learn that Lydia was well and that she still helping him. She wonders if Lydia forgave her for what she'd done, and Edgar tells her that Lydia had even forgiven him despite what he'd done. Ermine admits that she'd felt things were changing when Edgar came back with Lydia without having hurt her. And that if anyone could help Edgar, perhaps it would take someone like Lydia to do so. Edgar tells Ermine that she didn't have to serve Ulysses and that she should come back to him; he knows that in her heart, she hadn't betrayed him. However, regardless of Ermine's own feelings, she'd been ordered to kill Edgar.

Edgar had become too well known since becoming an earl that he was no longer usable by the prince. As a result, the prince intended for Edgar to suffer before being killed. Ermine pulls out a pistol but Edgar senses Ermine has no desire to kill him and easily wrests the gun from her hand before knocking her to the ground. He then apologises before opening her shirt only to discover the slave brand that Ermine bore wasn't there. Realising that the person before him wasn't Ermine, Edgar demands to know who she is, only to have her go at him with a knife.

Raven intervenes between the two, but when Edgar tries to stop Raven, she strikes out at Raven instead. If she knew Ermine, she must've known that attacking Raven was suicidal. Raven avoids the woman's blade and stabs her in the shoulder with his own knife. Retreating as far as she can along the slope, she tries to remove the knife from her shoulder while Edgar tries to stop Raven. However, Raven no longer heard Edgar's orders. Avoiding Edgar, Raven reached towards the woman when he suddenly stops. Lydia had grabbed Raven from behind.

However, beyond being able to identify his master, Raven often lost the ability to distinguish between friend and foe when in full fighting mode. It was difficult for Edgar to stop Raven in such circumstances, so it would be impossible for Lydia to be able to stop him. Raven doesn't hold back as he throws Lydia off himself knocking her towards the sharp slope. The woman who looked exactly like Ermine, tries to grab Lydia, but unable to support Lydia the two fall down the slope. She protects Lydia from the rocks as the two tumble down the slope and they finally come to a stop about halfway down the slope. The woman staggers to her feet and continues running down the slope disappearing into the woods at the bottom while Edgar runs to Lydia's side.

Back at the manor, Raven apologises to Lydia, but she tells him not to worry about what had happened and that it was her own fault. However, Raven isn't satisfied as he'd caused injury to the person who was to become the wife of his master. Lydia's surprised that Edgar had said such a thing to Raven, but Edgar tells her it was only natural that he tell Raven since he was Edgar's most trusted servant.

Lydia was unharmed from the fall thanks to Ermine and figures that most likely Ermine had been more seriously injured. Raven however, denies that the woman had been his sister because she'd tried to kill Edgar. From what the woman had said however, Edgar figures that most likely she intended, not to kill Edgar, but to get herself killed.

Edgar admits that the slave brand that Ermine bore wasn't on the woman surprising Lydia. She'd thought that Edgar had tried so hard to stop Raven because the woman had been Ermine, but even though it couldn't be her, Edgar couldn't help feeling that the woman was Ermine. Everything about her except for the missing brand was Ermine.

Edgar's own brand had been taken away by the merrow, so he asks Lydia if there were any way something similarly unusual could have happened to Ermine causing her to lose her brand. As Lydia considers how Ermine fell into the sea on Manaan Island, she notices the clear particles in her hair and her clothes. Even though Ermine had been injured by Raven and had his knife in her shoulder, there was no blood on Lydia and she realises that the glass-like particles was Ermine's blood. Selkies were said to be embodiments of people who died at sea, so it was quite possible that Ermine had become a selkie.

While Lydia didn't have the ability to cause a person who died at sea to become a selkie, she realised it was possible that Ulysses might be powerful enough to do so. Newly born selkies might still have the memories from when they were human but eventually they forget their human memories and return to the sea. However, Lydia explains to Edgar that the selkies in the manor had had their skins stolen, and they had no choice but to do as Ulysses told them.

As the three discuss whether Ermine was herself or still the prince's tool, Lydia suddenly feels ill. As Raven silently moves to the door, Lydia realises that it was just as the night before and that Teresa was starting to remember her death. Raven suddenly throws open the door, but no one was there. Before passing out, Lydia hears Raven tell Edgar that it was possible someone had been listening in on their conversation.

Raven leaves to meet the person from Scarlet Moon and warns Edgar to be careful as he won't be able to return until the next day. At night Nico frets as Lydia hasn't woken since passing out, but since it was night time, it would be Teresa who would wake. Edgar tells Nico that Teresa was starting to remember her death and that her fear from that was apparently hard on Lydia as well. Edgar realises that Teresa might have been killed by Ulysses and her spirit used as a stand in for the real Teresa. If Teresa were to remember her own death, they might be able to act first.

Nico blocks Edgar's path. Since it was likely Lydia would be awake when Teresa was awake, by having Teresa remember her death, Edgar would make Lydia live through that experience. Nico tells Edgar that he's not thinking about Lydia and that just keeping Lydia alive wasn't the point. However, to Edgar keeping Lydia alive was first and foremost; without one's life there was no feelings or anything else to consider. Edgar forces Nico out of the way and heads to Teresa's room.

Lydia dreams of being in a dark place unable to breathe and the more she struggles the more muddy water enters her mouth and nose. Losing what little air remained in her lungs, she ends up swallowing large amounts of water and just as she feels her body's about to burst, she suddenly wakes.

Suzie quickly comes to her side, but still suffering from the remnants of the dream, Teresa murmurs 'help me'. Suzie tells her that Teresa'd been sleeping for some time and that it was now late at night. She also tells Teresa that the viscount was worried about her, and Teresa finds Edgar in the room with her as well. Frightened and unsure of what was going on, Teresa asks Edgar to stay with her. Despite the time and that it wasn't appropriate, and given that the incident from the previous night remained unsolved, Edgar readily agrees to stay. Much to Lydia's horror, Suzie has since come to trust Edgar and believes him to be a true gentleman, and given how he and Lydia were a couple, she retires for the evening leaving the two alone.

Lydia fears that Edgar might try doing something that would make it impossible for her to nullify their engagement as he'd suggested during the afternoon, but counter to her fears, Edgar instead asks Teresa what she'd been dreaming about. Just having Teresa remember the dream made it difficult for Lydia to breathe. Teresa wonders why Edgar wanted to know about her death, but readily answers his questions. She remembers how someone watched her as she drowned--a man with a small gem behind one of his ears.

Edgar asks Teresa if she's okay, but Teresa says she's fine. Even though her body was struggling with the memories, she herself didn't feel very much. Teresa wonders if it's because she'd only recently come back from the dead and that she hadn't become fully adjusted to her body yet. Lydia, however, realises that it's because the body is her own, and that as a result, she bore the full brunt of the effects of Teresa's memories. Edgar asks Teresa to try to remember more about her death unaware of Lydia's suffering. Teresa remembers that she'd been staring at the river from a bridge when someone suddenly pushed her over the rail. As she fell, the person said that she was a sacrifice for his highness.

Lydia's unaware that her left hand is resting on Edgar's arm as she puts all her strength into that hand as she fights against Teresa's memory of drowning. Edgar frowns slightly in pain as Lydia's left hand clenches his arm, but Teresa seems unaware of anything--while she was shaking, her voice showed no signs of discomfort. Edgar suddenly realises that Lydia's left hand was tied to Lydia's consciousness and calls a stop to things. Teresa protests saying that she's fine and wants him to know everything about her, but Edgar tells her that her remembering of what had happened was a lot harder on her body than she was aware of. Edgar can only apologise to Lydia as he holds her left hand.

Teresa comments on how kind Edgar has been to her, and tells him that even if he were after her settlement money, she hoped that he would continue to pretend to be so kind and in love--enough for her to continue being in love with him. Lydia realises that Teresa is the opposite to her; Teresa was aware of her own feelings, but in Lydia's case, more than caring how she felt about Edgar, Lydia was maintaining her distance because he wasn't serious about her. Edgar asks Teresa why she thinks he's not serious about her, and she tells him it's because he hasn't tried to kiss her. Edgar tells Teresa that she shouldn't trust men who would kiss a lady so easily, so Teresa asks him to give her a not so simple kiss. However, Edgar surprises Lydia when he tells her that even if he were to put his heart in it, he doubted she would believe him right now. Until then, rather than taking Lydia's feelings into account, Edgar had concentrated on furthering the concrete reality between them whether it was their engagement or kissing her in order to keep her by his side. But now, he was deliberately refusing Teresa essentially stating that if he wasn't kissing Lydia, then he wouldn't do it.

Edgar stayed on the couch in Teresa's room overnight unsleeping. He was certain that the one who killed Teresa--the one with the gem behind his ear--was Ulysses. Even among his advisors, there were few who so pompously referred to the prince as 'your highness'. While he was able to gather some key information, Edgar realises that knowing he'd made Lydia suffer in the process was a lot harder on him than he expected. As the room grows lighter with dawn, Edgar checks his arm and finds Lydia had ended up leaving some bruises where her fingers had lain. While he'd known making Teresa remember what had happened would likely cause some discomfort, the force with which Lydia had grasped his arm was beyond all expectation. He'd made her suffer that much. Edgar realises that it didn't matter how much he might tell her he cared about her, given what had happened, it would be difficult for her to believe him, and he finally starts to understand what Lydia meant when she said he didn't try to understand how she felt. But at the same time, Edgar meant no lie with his words either. Regardless of her value to him as a fairy doctor, he did think she was cute, wanted her to himself, and wanted to keep her by his side--all feelings normally felt when in love. However, Edgar felt the same way towards a lot of women and was aware that it was easy for him to feel that way towards women. Even so, he didn't intend his proposal to Lydia to be a mere whimsy. While it had been done on the spur of the moment, he was attracted to her, he thought it advantageous for both of them, and he didn't think it a bad idea.

Suzie knocks on Teresa's door early in the morning 'waking' Edgar. Apparently the earl was making a major fuss trying to find the viscount. Remembering recent events, Lydia and Edgar go to the salon together and learn that Lord Clark's room was in a similar state as Lord Stanley's, and that Lord Clark was nowhere to be found. The earl begs Edgar for help as he figures that either he or Edgar will be next and that he'd only come because he'd been asked to by the medium Seraphita. The fake earl explains that his name was Palmer and that he was a gigolo. Edgar's rather indignant at the idea of using a gigolo for the fake earl, but Lydia couldn't help thinking that it was a rather fitting choice. Edgar checks Palmer's to see if he might be Ulysses in disguise but discovers that he doesn't have a gem behind his ear.

Palmer suggests that they should go looking for Seraphita and find out what's going on since he thought a ghost had killed the other two lords, but Oscar suddenly appears in the door to the salon and tells them that Seraphita was missing. He'd wanted to ask her something as well, but couldn't find her. However, given the high waves at the moment, he didn't think they could have gotten away and could be hiding somewhere instead. Edgar leans against a display case and accidentally knocks something off it but makes no move to pick up the item. Having no choice, Oscar bends down to pick up the item, while Edgar watches.

Edgar states that he doesn't trust anyone in the manor and that everyone should protects themselves on their own. Oscar readily agrees, but when Edgar moves to take Lydia from the room, Oscar stops him. Teresa was his cousin and even though she and Edgar were now engaged, he couldn't leave her in Edgar's care. Lydia protests saying she didn't trust anyone but the viscount, but Oscar tells Lydia not to be so childish. Edgar immediately tries to protect Lydia, but Ulysses holds a gun to Lydia's head stopping him. He then tells Edgar to throw away his own weapon, but Edgar asks him what he'd do if he refused. Lydia's surprised at Edgar's question, but Ulysses seems unfazed and tells him that he'll kill Lydia. However, Edgar still doesn't comply and tells Ulysses to go ahead and try it--he'd be dead the next instant. The two continue their stand-off when Ulysses suddenly laughs and backs down slightly and calls Edgar 'Ted'. Edgar clearly hates being called by that name and Lydia realises that it must've been what the prince called him. Edgar tells Ulysses that since they're after him they should quit going at things in such a roundabout manner. Ulysses tells Edgar that the finale was next to come and that he should struggle as much as he could, and that he'd be keeping Lydia for the time being.

At that time, Raven's on his way back to the manor after having met with the person from the Scarlet Moon. As he hurried along the road on horse back, he thought he saw a person's head among the waves only to realise that it was a seal. As he looked out over the water, he saw many seals among the waves and realised that they were no ordinary seals. Sensing the spirit inside himself becoming irritated, he realised that they were fae spirits. He remembered what Lydia said about selkies, and realised that most likely the fairies power would not come out on land. However, the selkies all suddenly dive into the water creating a massive wave that washes over Raven dragging him into the sea. The selkies attack Raven trying to drown him when a voice tells the selkies to stop and that he was different. Someone then grabs him by the arm from behind pulling him to the surface. However, Raven grabbed the person's wrist before they could get away. Giving up on getting away, Ermine suggests they go to a nearby hill before the rough waves return.

Sitting in a small hollow on the hill, Raven asks what was different about him. Ermine explains that the selkies in the sea are angry because of the way their brethren are being treated at the manor but can't do anything against the person responsible. So they attacked Raven thinking that he was working for Ulysses. Ermine explains that the servants at the manor are selkies trapped in their human form having had their skins stolen from them, and by treating them the way he is, Ulysses is getting the selkies in the sea to do as he wants as well.

Ermine still has Raven's knife in her shoulder and her wound is still bleeding. As Raven watches, her blood changes from red to a clear liquid before falling to the ground as small glass-like particles. She was no longer human which meant she was not his sister and was just an enemy. Raven asks Ermine if Ulysses had had Ermine save him, but she denies it. Since she's been injured, Ulysses has ordered her to remain hidden, but she expects Ulysses will use her to try to hurt Edgar more later on.

Edgar wasn't the type to let his feelings get the better of him, but he would risk himself in order to protect those who he saw as needing to be protected. And for him, Ermine was someone who needed to be protected. Edgar had trusted Ermine so much that, even though she'd betrayed him, he felt responsible for not having been able to prevent her from doing so. And because of that, their enemy saw her as Edgar's weakness. Annoyed, Raven asks Ermine why she went so far as becoming something non-human in order to came back. Ermine admits that she didn't wish it herself, only to take that back; perhaps she'd wished for it deep down. And if possible, she wanted to serve Edgar again.

Raven tells Ermine that Edgar has a fiancee now, but Ermine no longer cares about that. Her original first wish was simply to serve Edgar. By the time she'd betrayed Edgar, she'd forgotten her original wish and did have feelings for Edgar that were stronger than her feelings of allegiance and that Prince took advantage of that. Ermine then asks Raven to kill her such that she can never be brought back. She no longer wishes to be used to hurt Edgar. Raven asks her if she can die since she was already dead. However, Ermine tells him that since she's in human form, she can be killed like one would kill a person and that selkies are very similar to living creatures.

As Raven reaches for Ermine's neck, a voice interrupts him and asks him to forgive her. The old woman tells Raven that she'd had her skin stolen by Ulysses for a long time now and that she'd been ordered to find his sister's soul and turn her into a selkie. To the selkie, Ermine was but a baby, and the old woman was akin to her mother. The woman tells Raven that even more than herself or her master, the one Ermine most wanted to protect was Raven because they were family. Raven removes his knife from Ermine's shoulder but is unable to decide what to do about her. Instead he decides to have Edgar determine her fate.

Raven takes Ermine back to Edgar's room at the manor. Edgar's relieved to see Raven has returned safely, but before he can welcome Raven back, Raven kneels before Edgar and asks him to forgive his sister. Even though she may still be under the prince's brainwashing and try to hurt Edgar, Raven tells Edgar that he would take responsibility for Ermine and keep an eye on her, and that if necessary he was prepared to kill her. Edgar welcomes Ermine back as well as Raven, but Raven realises from Edgar's expression that something was wrong. Edgar then tells him that Lydia had be taken by Ulysses.

Since Oscar turned out to be Ulysses, it was to be expected that the real Oscar was dead. Most likely Ulysses had killed Oscar during the long trip from America to England and assumed his identity then. Given how long the trip was, deaths aboard ship were not uncommon, nor was it uncommon for people to disappear overboard. The Collinses had never met their nephew, so Ulysses had no trouble becoming part of their household. The package Raven brought back from town held a hint as to why the prince originally targetted the Collinses in the first place. In the package was a small copper plate with a sailing vessel and an angel on it.

According to the Scarlet Moon, the Blue Knight earl had constructed a ward against evil at Hastings and the Collinses happened to construct their manor on the same land as the ward; Hastings was apparently one of the keystones to England. They'd only recently learned that the prince had seen to the eradication of anyone from the Blue Knight Earl's bloodline and that the prince seemed to fear the Blue Knight Earl's return.

Edgar and Raven puzzle over the construction of a ward at Hastings by the Blue Knight Earl and what the prince intended to do with it when Ermine tells them that the prince intends to destroy the ward. Raven asks Edgar if he knows where the ward might be and Edgar points to the slope Lydia had fallen down the previous day. When Lydia had fallen down the hill, Edgar had been afraid that Lydia would hit her head on one of the many boulders protruding from the hill. More to the point now, however, was that the boulders in the hill weren't present anywhere else on the land and had most likely been brought from elsewhere.

At the thought of Lydia, Edgar realises that she'd gone through a number of trying experiences this time around. While he didn't think it right to get Lydia caught up in his troubles with the prince, he couldn't help thinking about her usefulness for him in his fight. If the prince hated the Blue Knight Earl's abilities, then Lydia's abilities as a fairy doctor were extremely important to him. With Raven and Ermine, while he tried to limit the dangers they were exposed to, he expected them to cope with the dangers and hardships they faced. And he'd been expecting the same of Lydia. However, in Lydia's case, Edgar just happened to hire her for a job, and she just happened to help him out. If Edgar really wanted to keep Lydia by his side, even going so far as to use their engagement to do so, then Lydia wasn't part of his fighting strength. She was a young lady that he was supposed to do whatever he could to keep safe. Edgar finally realised that an engagement wasn't just a means to keep someone at his side. Parents entrusted their daughters lives and futures to their daughter's betrothed, and by marrying, it meant accepting that responsibility from her parents. For Edgar, that meant he was supposed to protect Lydia's cheerful and generous nature, her extreme caring, as well as that part of her that was just a bit strict. Whatever happened, he was supposed to keep her from danger, but instead he's been exposing her to danger and frightful experiences. Even though he called himself her fiance, he did not give her what was expected of him as her fiance, so it was only natural that she didn't have any faith in him and most likely was currently feeling betrayed by him.

Edgar can't help wondering if Lydia might be thoroughly disgusted with him and decides that he would have to take care of things such that she would be unable to escape from him. Raven asks if getting Lydia back safely shouldn't be first, but Edgar tells him that when it comes to women, one has to make sure to stay at least two steps ahead of them.

Locked up in a basement storage room with only a single candle to keep her company, Lydia pounds at and kicks the door until she hurts her hand. Upset with Edgar, she blames the pain in her hand and her fear of the dark on him. Ulysses had told her that for Edgar, having his people getting caught was a common occurrence but that there were no guarantees he'd be able to get whoever had been caught out safely. So when necessary, Edgar would give up on trying to get his comrades back safely.

Regardless of how much Edgar had hit on Lydia, from his attitude, she couldn't believe he had any romantic interest in her and that he'd only been interested in her ability as a fairy doctor. And even though he might worry about her or try to save her, it didn't necessarily mean that he seriously cared about her. Lydia realised that if Edgar decided to give up on her, she was of no value to Ulysses and that he would kill her.

Hearing a noise from further in the room, Lydia discovers a weak Nico. Nico laments the lack of luster in his coast and tells Lydia that he can't move--he's starving. While looking around the manor, Nico had discovered a room that the fae can't enter. However, he'd been caught by Oscar who'd immediately recognised that Nico was fae and not a cat. Lydia realises that it was highly likely that the room Nico had discovered was where the selkies skins were being kept.

A voice from the other side of the door calls Lydia and tells her to move by the wall and a large wave hits the door breaking it down. Lydia immediately recognises the old woman that had been with Ermine. The woman apologises for having asked for Lydia's help while being unable to do anything to help her. Since Ulysses had stolen their skins, they couldn't disobey him. He'd ordered her to have the dead spirit possess Lydia, but the old woman had managed to at least ensure that Lydia would be free during the day. Even so, Lydia suspected that Ulysses had made an example of one of the selkies when he discovered what had happened. The selkies had risked their lives putting their hope in Lydia that she would be able to find their skins and set them free. Lydia worries that it was clear the selkies had broken down the door, but the woman tells her that Ulysses was planning on killing all of them anyway. She then hands Lydia the pendant she thought she'd lost. The old woman had hidden it before Ulysses could take it. She then explains that Ulysses has a jewel on his ear and that Lydia must be careful because it's a selkie's heart.

Lydia asks Nico where the room he'd discovered was, but Nico tells her he can't move. Annoyed Lydia abandons Nico and the other selkies tell her that they know where the room is and lead her to it. The room on the second floor is covered with pink wallpaper, had frilly curtains, a rocking horse, various dolls and picture books in it. Any way she looked at it, it looked like a child's room. Inside the closet, Lydia finds numerous dresses meant for a child. Lydia looks around the room and wonders where so many seal skins could be hidden when she realises that a selkie's heart was a small gem, so perhaps their skins were something equally unusual.

Just then, Mrs. Collins enters the room with some flowers and asks Teresa what she's doing there. Mrs. Collins tells Lydia that this used to be her room when she was a child, and asks her if she remembers coming here to spend the summers. Mrs. Collins admits that she'd been afraid of opening the door to this room for a long time because, if she saw the empty room, she felt that she'd have no choice but to acknowledge that her daughter was dead. Since Mrs. Collins herself hadn't entered the room since Teresa's death and had only opened it moments earlier in order to put flowers in it, it was extremely probable that Ulysses had hidden the skins there. Mrs. Collins apologises for how dusty the room is, and Lydia realises that only one part of the room is not covered in dust--a small make-up kit on a shelf is very neatly dust-free. Lydia opens the box and discovers what appears to be walnut-sized glass beads inside. Mrs. Collins remembers how Teresa loved that box even though she was only a small child and tells Lydia that if she liked, she should take the box. It was just about right for someone her age.

Mrs. Collins admits that she'd thought she would want to die if she saw the room, but in fact she was feeling rather relieved. She'd felt like she'd been lost in the dark since her child had died, but felt like she could now see a faint light in that darkness. Lydia realises that Mrs. Collins was talking as though she was aware of everything that had been happening around her and that Teresa the ghost wasn't the real Teresa. However, the next instant, Mrs. Collins slips back into her own world. Just then Suzie enters the room having been looking for Mrs. Collins and Lydia suggests that they leave the dusty room and go to the garden when the selkies who'd been watching over her warns her that Ulysses has come.

The door suddenly closes and is locked from the outside. Lydia tells Suzie that Oscar had been behind everything and that he was planning on killing everyone at the manor. Suzie realises that Oscar had only arrived a month earlier and that none of the family had met him before he'd arrived. Suddenly the smell of something burning as well as smoke comes from under the door. Lydia listens at the door and along with the sound of something burning, the door becomes hot to the touch and she realises that someone had started a fire. Lydia moves towards the window when someone suddenly throws a bottle through the glass. The bottle breaks spraying liquid in the room and the room is suddenly engulfed in flames. Lydia tries to get away from the flames but trips over something and the bird cage in the room suddenly falls on top of her hitting her on the head. Stunned, she hears Mrs. Collins scream Suzie's name. Mrs. Collins beats the flames from Suzie's skirt out and drags her to the corner of the room where flames have yet to reach.

Lydia finally manages to get back to her feet and realises that in her fall, she'd dropped the cosmetics box and the selkies skins had been scattered throughout the room. She quickly tries to gather the skins She realises that Ulysses intends to burn the manor down and with it the selkies skins killing all those inside. Spotting a couple of skins on the other side of the fire, Lydia tries to reach them only to have the wind from the window whip up the flames even more. Lydia can only close her eyes against the fire when she feels someone grab hold of her protecting her from the fire and is dragged off somewhere.
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29 / F / 大好きの美少年共に―
Posted 12/18/08
Lydia suddenly finds herself in a dark area and realises she's in the passageway used by servants. Edgar pulls her to her feet and starts to pull her down the passageway. Lydia asks him about Mrs. Collins and Suzie and Edgar tells her that Raven should've gotten them out. Lydia tells Edgar that the selkies skins are in the room and that she needs to go back and get them, but Edgar tells her it's impossible. Lydia refuses to give up and Edgar tells her it can't be helped. Upset, and remembering how she'd felt at the thought of Edgar abandoning her, Lydia asks him what he meant by that--that it was a common occurrence, so he would give up trying to save people in that way? Lydia tells Edgar that he should just give up on her and that he didn't need to come save her. She wasn't his. She would do things the way she wanted. Edgar clasps her shoulder firmly, and Lydia wonders if she'd angered him. But Edgar shocks her when he calmly tells her that he'll go. He tells Lydia to get out of the manor before running back down the passageway, and Lydia can only stand there shocked at his actions.

Lydia tries to go back down the hall after Edgar but only manages to get a few steps before the smoke becomes too much for her. Unable to figure out what to do, Lydia's on the verge of falling to her knees when Edgar comes back and grabs her by the arm. Edgar sounds a little angry as he tells Lydia he told her to get out of the manor and hurries her out away from the fire. The two of them come out in the back garden, and Lydia realises that Ulysses had set fire to the manor in a number of places.

Outside, Edgar tells Lydia he was only able to find one more skin and gives it to her. He asks her how many she had, and she admits they only had about half of them. Edgar tells her that they'd managed to save half the selkies, but perhaps she felt he shouldn't say something as simple as that. Lydia realises that it's easy to say something like that and that it was likewise easy to blame him in that way, but Edgar really did go back into the fire. The one that was all talk was herself.

Lydia asks Edgar why he came to save her, and he tells her he'd told her when Ulysses took her that he would save her. Lydia tells her she held no expectations of his coming to save her and that she didn't believe a word that he told her, so why did he go back into the fire when it was so dangerous? Edgar tells her that even though she had no expectation of him, he'd go anywhere for her sake. While he said it easily, Lydia realised that being able to do so took a lot of courage and nerve and was no easy thing to actually do. She'd been badly surprised at what he'd done and very moved by it, and hated that she couldn't bring herself to thank him for what he'd done.

Lydia tells Edgar that it was okay for him to get angry with her because she was saying some very harsh things to him, but Edgar just sighs and smiles sadly. He tells her that he realises that even though she sometimes worried for him and would be on the verge of relying on him, her pulling back was his own fault. He'd done some very insensitive things to her and put her through a number of hard experiences, so it was his own fault that she didn't trust what he said. Edgar admits that he's often told the same thing as what Teresa told him the night before; that even though her weren't serious, that if they could be lovers when they were together that was enough. No doubt they thought that he didn't want serious relationships, but he'd always thought that as long as they both enjoyed themselves, that was fine. He admits that Lydia was the first person to ever tell him not to come near her if he wasn't serious. And that since she was that way, if she were to come to love him, that he too would be able to change.

Lydia tells him it's impossible; the two of them were too different from each other. Edgar realises that but refuses to give up. However, Lydia tells him it's impossible--she's useless. She'd been unable to become Teresa, and Mrs. Collins had realised that she wasn't her dead daughter, and that she had been unable to learn anything from her mother and was just calling herself a fairy doctor. Even though she tried to do things on her own, she was useless. Lydia realises she'd been on the verge of despair when the fire broke out and doubts she'd have been able to save any of the selkie had Edgar not come to save her. She had neither the knowledge nor experience necessary to be a fairy doctor and only had her pride of being one. Unlike her mother, she had no one to support her. Since she had so little ability, she expected Edgar would abandon her, so it made her very happy that he did actually come to save her. But she didn't feel she had the ability to meet his expectations of her.

Lydia realises that even though she'd been brought to that place by some unknown person and a spirit was now possessing her, she'd decided to stay and try to help the selkies because Edgar was there. If she were with him when facing the enemy, she felt that something could be done--she had the courage to do things because she wasn't alone. She hadn't realised she'd been relying on Edgar and so, when she thought she'd been abandoned by him, she suddenly became afraid and fell into despair.

Edgar apologises to Lydia and promises to stay with her. Since meeting her, the road to freedom was opened to him. So he'd really like it if she stayed with him, and hoped that she'd rely on him more as well. While he didn't understand anything about fairies, he could at least support her.

Even though it's still early, Lydia feels very tired and senses that Teresa is about to wake, so she leans against Edgar's shoulder. When Teresa wakes, Edgar tells her that the manor had caught fire.

With the entire manor in flames, Teresa and Edgar end up going to the hill with Edgar carrying the cosmetics box. To Lydia, there seemed to be even more selkies in the sea than before. Lydia's sure that Ulysses' goal hadn't been merely to set fire to the manor and that he was still up to something. If Ulysses was using the knowledge of a fairy doctor for evil, then most likely it wasn't up to Edgar but for Lydia to face him.

Teresa tells Edgar she's scared and asks him how things ended up the way they did. She then asks him why there are gaps in her memory. Edgar and Lydia know that Teresa's soul is only able to stay in Lydia for one week, but that would probably be very difficult for Teresa to accept. Even though she wasn't the real Teresa, she'd accepted Teresa's life and fallen in love with Edgar, so how would she feel having to lose everything all over again. Teresa then asks Edgar who Lydia is. Edgar feigns having no knowledge of what Teresa was talking about. His reaction seemed so natural that Lydia was sure he was very used to being asked such things.

However, Teresa tells Edgar that he'd called her that when she'd been asleep the night before. Edgar suggests she'd been dreaming, but she says he'd looked to be in pain, asked for forgiveness and held her left hand for a very long time. And Teresa felt that it would be wrong for her to say anything to him. Since Lydia didn't remember that happening, she realised she must've fallen asleep at some point.

Teresa tells Edgar that there are times when things don't seem quite right to her. The length of her arms, whether her hands and nails had always been so neat, the colour of her hair, none of it seemed quite right to her. Until then, she'd been trying not to think about those things, but since hearing Lydia's name, she has more and more questions. She asks Edgar if he was so nice to her because the body she was in was so important to him. Teresa had thought that if Edgar stayed by her side and pretended to be her lover that that would be enough, but she realises that even when he was with her, his words and embraces were still not meant for her.

Edgar gives in and tells Teresa that Lydia is his fiancee and that she'd disappeared from London. When he'd come there to get her back, Teresa was inside her. Teresa asks him why he hadn't told her the truth before she'd fallen in love with him. But before Edgar could answer her, another voice interrupts them and tells her that it's because Edgar wanted to keep her from running away and hurting the body she was in.

Ulysses tells Teresa to come over to where he was and tells her he can make her human; he could make the body she was in completely hers. Edgar tells her that if Ulysses were able to do that, he would've done so from the very beginning and that Ulysses was the one who'd killed her and made her a ghost in the first place. But Ulysses tells Edgar that he doubted Teresa cared about that now and offers to keep her in the real world if she did as he said; she was still young after all, undoubtedly wanted to live again, and should've been able to have a lot of fun in life from there on. Her alternative was to disappear from the world without anyone having ever taken notice of her.

Edgar asks her not to go as she would only end up being tricked by Ulysses, but Teresa hesitantly approaches Ulysses and asks him if it were true she didn't have to die. Edgar yells that Ulysses was the one who'd killed her, but Ulysses counters by telling her that Edgar was wanting her death as well so they were equal.

Ulysses tosses a knife at Teresa's feet and tells her to pick it up. He then tells her to get the cosmetics box from Edgar and to bring it to him. Edgar refuses to hand over the box; the selkies had believed in the fairy doctor leaving their lives in Lydia's hands, so he had to protect the box. However, Ulysses tells Teresa to use the knife and try poking herself in the arm with it. She, herself, shouldn't feel much pain, and if she ends up ruining the body she's in, he'd give her a new one. Teresa, curious about whether that were actually true pushes the knife against her arm but Edgar yells at her to please stop. Ulysses laughs at how readily Edgar gave in.

He then orders Teresa to hold the knife to her own throat while she gets the box from Edgar. Teresa's unsure what to do. She loves Edgar but feels betrayed by him and is jealous of Lydia, and while she wants to live, she doesn't know if she can really trust the man who'd killed her in the first place.

Ulysses tells Edgar to put the box on the ground and to back away unless he wanted to see more blood. Lydia has no desire to see any blood spilled but decides that she could deal with a little pain only to get annoyed at Edgar when he immediately puts the box down as he's told, especially considering what he'd already put her through.

Edgar makes no move to step away from the box and suddenly says the name 'Maggie'. Teresa looks at him strangely but Edgar tells her that her name isn't Teresa but Maggie and asks her if it was alright for her to not know the truth. Edgar tells her that she's Maggie the seamstress and shows her the handkerchief she'd embroidered with the initial M on it. Lydia remembers the girl--Maggie Morris--who'd gone to see a man who'd said he was Earl Ashenbert and was found the next morning floating in the River Thames. Edgar tells Maggie that she'd had people important to her as well and asks her to remember them.

Maggie remembers that it was her mother who taught her how to embroider the four-leaf clover that she'd done on the handkerchief and that it was a good-luck charm. Edgar asks her if it were okay for her to forget the people she'd known and loved and live another person's life. He's sure the people she'd known in life would never forget her, and while their grief would never disappear, they could take comfort in the thought she was out there somewhere watching over them. Ulysses tells Teresa not to listen to Edgar and that as Teresa she'd be able to to live the life she'd wanted--she wouldn't have to work and could live as the wife of a nobleman.

Maggie admits that she really liked all the attention she'd received as Teresa and that she'd ignored things even though they didn't seem quite right. But she's glad that Edgar had made it clear to her that the body she was in wasn't hers and that he wasn't in love with her. Even though she lived a normal life, there were still things in her life that had been invaluable to her.

Maggie decides she wants to go home and wonders if she'd be able to fly there. She hugs Edgar and tells him to hold her firmly so that Lydia wouldn't fall; when she leaves Lydia's body, Lydia would undoubtedly shove him away from her. When Maggie leaves her body, Lydia doesn't fall thanks to Edgar holding her, but neither does she have the strength to push him away.

Annoyed, Ulysses pulls out his pistol but Edgar just holds Lydia and tells her everything was all right. Raven attacks Ulysses from the brush kicking the pistol from Ulysses' hand. Ulysses had been trying to avoid the walking weapon but at his mark two men come out from the trees. Ulysses orders them to attack Raven then takes out a bluish bead from his pocket and toys with it. Seeing the selkie skin in Ulysses's hand, Lydia realises that the skins in the box weren't all of the ones that Ulysses had and that the two men were selkies. Lydia yells at Raven that the men are selkies just as water suddenly washes over her sweeping her away.

When she finally opens her eyes again, Lydia finds herself in a hard, dark place. Beneath her feet is a stone floor and right beside her is a massive pillar and she seemed to be inside some sort of building.

Edgar calls out asking if Lydia were there, and she tries moving towards where she thought his voice was coming from only to bump into a wall. Edgar suspects that the selkies had washed them away to their current location and Lydia realises they were defying Ulysses much as the old woman had defied him by giving Lydia her freedom from Teresa during the day. Edgar tells Lydia that if both of them move around, they'd never find one another and has her stay still while he finds his way to her.

Lydia wonders why the selkie brought her to that place, and Edgar tells her that they're probably under the hill and that the Blue Knight Earl had built a ward against evil there--it was a fort to protect London against outside enemies and that Ulysses was there to destroy it on the prince's orders. Lydia remembers all the selkies she'd seen among the waves when Maggie had had control of her body and realises that given how strong their ties were to one another, a great many of them were grieving and angry at the loss of their brethren in the fire. She realises that Ulysses is deliberately causing a large number of selkies to gather in anger and that he planned to use them to destroy the ward.

Lydia tells Edgar that Ulysses has a selkies heart and that it's the gem in his ear. While it's supposed to be a sign of the selkies trust and friendship, Ulysses was using it for evil purposes. While he can't get them to do what he wants like he can to those selkies whose skins he has, the selkies have to respect those who carry a heart. Lydia can't help feeling herself pathetic--she's supposed to be a fairy doctor, but her lack of knowledge was all too apparent when it was needed most. But if Ulysses intended to use the selkies, then their only hope was for Lydia to do something; Edgar could do nothing to stop the selkies. Lydia feels ill as she realises the heavy burden on herself; if she can't do anything about the selkies, everyone on the island--Edgar, Raven, Mrs. Collins, and Suzie--would all be killed when the island was washed away. As she stumbles her hand brushes against something and she realises it's the cosmetics case with the skins in it. While relieved that it was washed there with them, Lydia realises that if she can't get the skins to the selkies, they'd be trapped in human form unable to return to the sea forever.

Lydia realises that, if Ulysses was planning on destroying the place they were in at the moment, most likely he was nearby. Much to Lydia's consternation, Edgar doesn't answer. Lydia starts to worry that something might have happened to Edgar and calls out to him again, but he still doesn't answer. Just as she's about to try walking along the wall however, she senses someone directly in front of her. Edgar's found her. Lydia asks if it's really him so he gives her the secret word--I love you, my fairy. Despite her annoyance at his fooling around, Lydia's on the verge of tears overwhelmed with relief. When asked, Edgar tells her he didn't answer her because he was concentrating on her voice; if he answered, he would lose track of where her voice was coming from. Feeling that words alone weren't enough and overcome with the desire to feel for herself that he really would stay with her, Lydia quickly backs away and asks Edgar not to come near her right then. Confused, Edgar asks what she meant, so she explains that she's not herself--even though Maggie's no longer possessing her, she feels like she would do something shameless. Edgar tells her that it was okay for her to hug him, but Lydia refuses.

Lydia realises that it was rather unbecoming of her to act that way and that anyone would find girls like Maggie who were able to seek comfort when they wanted it were cute. It may be that through such contact that they were able to nurture their love further. If so, considering how Lydia was always rejecting Edgar, it was only natural that he not love her. It made no sense for Lydia to want true love from Edgar if she made no effort to love him as well. It was unlikely that they would come to love one another the way things were between them. But at the same time, Lydia couldn't suddenly change and become like Maggie.

Lydia felt Edgar touch her shoulder and follow her arm before holding her hand. Lydia protests, but Edgar promises that's all he would do. Edgar comments that holding hands like that wasn't all that bad; even though he couldn't see anything he could feel that she was there even more strongly. Even though she couldn't see him, Lydia starts to realise that they might be dangerously close to one another. Edgar holds Lydia's fingers in the palm of his hand as though to warm them, and when he feels them finally relax he laces his fingers with Lydia's and holds her hand firmly.

Edgar tells Lydia that there was nothing inappropriate about relying on one's fiance and that if she allowed him to kiss her, she would quickly come to think of herself as his fiancee. If she felt comfort in holding hands as they were, then it was okay to want to seek even more comfort. Lydia accidentally lets slip that his saying things like that makes her wonder if she weren't in fact shameless. Edgar asks Lydia if that means that she also wants to kiss, but she quickly denies what she'd said.

Lydia had heard the girls in her town talking about the things that had happened between them and their boyfriends when they were alone, but she'd never thought the girls as wanton because they truly did love their partners. However, had they acted that way for fun, she doubted she would have felt the same way about them.

Lydia tells Edgar that she couldn't. Even if she didn't mind right now, she was sure she would regret it later. Edgar starts to tell her he wouldn't let her regret it but stops suddenly. Instead he gives in and suggests that they go back to where he'd been. He'd seen a faint light from where he'd been at first.

Slowly making their way towards the light, Edgar and Lydia find themselves in a candle-lit cavern reminiscent of a catacomb. In the middle were the selkies who'd had their skins stolen by Ulysses. The old woman who'd helped Lydia had been whipped and lay there on the floor. Lydia immediately ran out to the woman much to Edgar's consternation as they didn't know where Ulysses was.

Lydia realises that the selkies are trapped, held in by a rope braided from mistletoe and tries to untie the rope but it's tied too tightly. Edgar cuts the rope for her and Lydia opens the cosmetics box she'd been carrying and tells the selkies to take their skins. However, she soon realises that Ermine wasn't among the selkies there and that there were no more skins to be claimed. The old lady tells Lydia that Ulysses had Ermine's skin on him.

Edgar stands unusually close behind Lydia and suddenly tells her not to turn around, but she unthinkingly turns to look at him when she sees something bloody tied to one of the columns. Edgar tells her that they're most likely Lords Stanley and Clark. Lydia asks Edgar if they're dead, and he admits that they couldn't get much deader when Ulysses suddenly speaks up and tells them that everyone was going to die anyway. Ulysses tells them that the two lords were sacrifices to defile that place. Coming down a set of stone stairs along with Ulysses were the two selkies that were with him earlier as well as Ermine.

Ulysses tells Edgar that if she weren't injured he would've liked to have had Ermine fight Edgar again, but that it didn't seem to be possible. Edgar tells Ulysses to let Ermine go and to fight him directly, but as much as Ulysses would like to do that, he has an important task to carry out and can't just do what he wants. Ulysses stops half-way down the stairs and puts a gun in Ermine's hand and orders her to shoot herself.

Ermine silently starts to point the gun towards herself when she suddenly embraces Ulysses and points the gun at the back of his neck. Ulysses is shocked at the thought that she could defy him. Ermine tells him she'll obey his order and pull the trigger shooting him through the neck in the process of shooting herself. However, before she can pull the trigger, Edgar yells for Raven to stop her.

A shot rings out, and Lydia spots Ermine on the stairs. However, Ulysses was standing blocking Raven's knife with his sabre, so Lydia realises that Ermine was most likely all right as well. The two other selkies with Ulysses move to attack Raven giving Ulysses the chance to try to escape, but Edgar yells at Raven to get the gem from Ulysses' ear. Raven throws his knife cutting through Ulysses' ear and Lydia sees the gem fall. It was the colour of the blue sea. Lydia realises the stone might be an aquamarine and remembers the pendant she was now wearing; her mother had gotten it from her mother and it was passed down from mother to mother through countless generations. And since a long time ago, fairy doctors were common in her mother's family.

Lydia realises that she needed to get the gem, but is too late. She figures she wouldn't have hesitated so much if his ear hadn't been attached to it, but Ulysses got to it faster than she did. Realising how close she was to Ulysses, Lydia tries to pull back, but Ulysses grabs her by the arm and drags her along as he flees further into the underground.

Climbing up some stairs, the two come out on top of the hill near a small fire and Lydia can see the seas are rougher still from the selkies anger. Ulysses laughs at the sight as he looks forward to having the island washed away. Lydia asks him if that's because it's the prince's order and wonders if Ulysses has no pride in being a fairy doctor. However, she changes her mind and says that Ulysses is not a fairy doctor--fairy doctors are friends of the fae and that's why even though they're human, they have powers that are akin to the fae's magic. Lydia says she won't forgive Ulysses what he's done and won't let him get his way. However, Ulysses just laughs at Lydia; her only real ability is to be able to see the fae, so there's little she can do.

Ulysses pulls out three semi-transparent beads from his pocket and as he's about to throw them into the fire, Edgar jumps his from behind. As the two struggle, Edgar tries to get the skins from Ulysses and they end up falling from his hand; one of the skins falls into the fire. Edgar punches Ulysses, and right before a shocked Lydia, he kicks the fire scattering the wood then grabs the skin from the smouldering ashes. Ulysses sneers at Edgar for trying to save the selkies, saying that it wasn't like him to waste his energy doing something meaningless. However, Edgar tells Ulysses that he's the earl of fairy and it was only natural that he protect what his fairy doctor tries to protect.

Ulysses tells Edgar that the Blue Knight Earl no longer exists and that there are no fairy doctors of any worth in England anymore. Then showing his aquamarine to the sea, Ulysses tells the selkies to come. Lydia turns to look at the sea and watches as the waves rise. Telling herself that her mother was with her as was Edgar, who acknowledged her as a fairy doctor, was with her, and even though she may not be a proper fairy doctor, if the aquamarine she had was also a selkie's heart, then right now, she had equal power as Ulysses did. If it were merely an aquamarine, however, it was the end.

And displaying her mother's pendant to the sea, she begs the selkies not to destroy the Blue Knight Earl's fort. And by the heart she carried, she would share their pain. Ulysses is shocked that Lydia has a selkie heart, but the waves don't subside as they aim for the hill. Lydia hears Edgar yell her name but before she can grab his hand, Ulysses grabs her by the hair and they're both caught in the massive wave. Dragged out to sea by the water, Ulysses tries to grab Lydia's pendant from her, but Lydia fights back refusing to let go of it. However, just when she thought she couldn't resist anymore, something hits Ulysses, and Lydia realises that even though she's in the water, she could breathe again--she'd slipped into the fairy realm.

Seals swim around Lydia keeping Ulysses away from her and Lydia realises that they're the selkies whose skins Lydia had protected. Ulysses is angry with the selkies, but they no longer have a reason to obey him. And even though he has a selkie heart and can give them eternal torment, the old woman tells him that Lydia too carries a selkie heart. Likewise, there's a new Blue Knight Earl. And as their friends, they would no doubt share in their pain.

Ulysses tells the selkies that that Blue Knight Earl wasn't the real thing, but Lydia tells them he is the real thing and that the merrow have acknowledged him.

The selkies had thought that they were no more--the Blue Knight Earl as well as the many fairy doctors that they had once been able to trust. Ulysses tells the selkies that Lydia didn't have the power that fairy doctors once did and that even though she carried a selkie heart, she would not be able to help them. The selkies ask Lydia if they could trust the new Blue Knight Earl. Lydia can't help wondering that herself, but asks them that if they had any hopes for them, to please not destroy the Blue Knight Earl's ward. Both she and the earl were on their side and that even though they didn't have the same power as before, she could promise them that much.

The selkies tell Lydia that they need a human friend and since she'd done everything she could to help them, they would put their hope in her. Ulysses tells the selkies they'll regret things before disappearing. Even though Ulysses had the ability to come and go at will from the fairy realms, the selkies had angered him, putting their hope in someone as inexperienced as Lydia and called her friend. The selkies warn Lydia that the Blue Knight Earl's fort had been defiled and may no longer be of any use then tell her to go; her guide was there to take her back.

Lydia gets annoyed at seeing Nico acting so nonchalant, but since the paths in fairy were so complex, she didn't think she could get back to the human realm on her own and decides to forgive him. Nico tells her that he'd been so hungry he really did feel like he would die, and in apology tells Lydia she can rub his tummy when they get back. At first, Lydia's confused by Nico's offer, when she remembers that, as a child, she used to love rubbing her face against his tummy and that after her mother died, Nico often lent her his tummy to cry on.

Even though Lydia no longer considered herself a child, she couldn't help thinking that she might still be a child--she couldn't manage anything on her own. But since there were fairies and people supporting her, she felt that she could keep trying still. As Nico pulls her upwards, she sees a lone selkie approach. The old woman selkie gives her a bluish bead, and Lydia realises that it's Ermine's skin. The old woman tells Lydia that Ermine isn't fully aware of her selkie self yet, but may come to want her skin and to return to the sea one day. Until then, she would leave Ermine in their care. Looking down at the selkies swimming below, Lydia sees a small selkie playing with the cosmetics box that had held the skins and wonders if that was Teresa. While she may no longer have her memories from when she was human, it may be that important memories never disappear and that they were etched deep into one's soul.

Lydia walks along the white beaches in Hastings. Even though only a few days had passed, the heat of summer was over and fewer people were there. Even though the sun was still strong, sunset was getting earlier and the orange colours held a hint of autumn in them. Lydia walks along the beach alone as she considers recent events. The hill on the island had partially collapsed such that no one could enter the Blue Knight Earl's fort anymore. But Edgar figures that since it had been Ulysses aim to destroy it, whether the ward was still working or not, Ulysses had failed in his task. The island and the people on it had all survived. Since Lydia'd had lots of help and support she'd been able to make the most of her chance. And just knowing that, Lydia felt that she might have grown a little as a fairy doctor.

Lydia sees Edgar smiling as he walks towards her and braces herself. She had to be careful of him when he was in a good mood. While she had to be careful of him normally, since his smile could make her lose her guard, Lydia needed to be extra careful.

Edgar tells Lydia she should have told him she was going out for a walk, but she tells him he'd been busy at the time--she'd spotted him making advances towards a noble lady on her way out of the hotel. Lydia increases her pace and Edgar protests at her cold treatment of him. She'd been gone for three days and he'd wandered the beaches day and night worried about her. Since Raven had told her the same thing, most likely it was the truth. However, Nico had told them that he'd bring her back, so there's been no need for Edgar to worry. Even so, Edgar tells her he was able to relax until she'd come back. Relenting, Lydia slows her pace and Edgar takes her parasol from her. By the time Lydia realises that the two of them walking together, while he holds such a feminine parasol, makes them appear to be very much a couple, it's too late. She realises that Edgar wouldn't return the parasol to her, and she gives up on trying to reclaim it.

Lydia asks Edgar if he's got Ermine's skin, and he tells her he does. If Ermine were to lay hands on it she might lose her memories of when she was human and would become a true selkie.

Edgar asks Lydia if she wouldn't take his arm as they walked, but Lydia refuses and tells him if he wanted to do that, he should've asked the woman he'd been with earlier to go for a walk. Edgar tells Lydia that he'd only kissed her lightly as one would one's cousin. Lydia's surprised that he'd kissed the woman and in turn surprises Edgar who'd thought that that was why Lydia had been upset with him.

Edgar asks Lydia to slow down and enjoy the sound of the waves and the light breeze, but Lydia tells him that she was enjoying her walk on her own. Edgar spots Mr. Palmer coming towards them and Lydia stops at the sight of him as well. Palmer tells Edgar that he'd heard back from the newspapers in London and that thanks to Edgar, he'd be earning a bit of money. And once he returned to London, Palmer intended to get himself a proper job.

Palmer tells Lydia that there'd be no more foolish rumours about the earl in the gossip papers. Once it becomes known that there's a lady the earl is in love with, uncouth people using his name to gain a woman's attentions will soon disappear. Lydia suddenly has a bad feeling at Palmer's words and demands an explanation from Edgar. Edgar tells Palmer not to talk so much at which Palmer excuses himself and leaves. Lydia presses Edgar for an explanation about Palmer's comment about it becoming known that the earl was in love with a woman. Edgar tells Lydia that Palmer had been in need of money, so Edgar had told him that he could tell the tabloids about the two of them--the romance between the Earl of Ibrazel and his fairy doctor. It was the stuff poems were made from.

Edgar tells Lydia that since Londoners are so fickle, most likely all the hype will have died down by the time her father returns from Paris. He'd also told Lydia's housekeeper that she was away on business, so they still had time to spend together. Edgar figured it would be best if they not return to London while the rumour was going around. While Lydia had intended to try to get Edgar to annul their engagement, she felt like he was slowly cutting off her avenues of escape.

While the idea of marriage didn't seem real, and she certainly didn't see Edgar as her fiance, she did feel that he had something she didn't and was able to give that something to her. And she was starting to feel that she wanted to get to know the real him a little more. Although that too might be according to his plan.

Lydia tells Edgar that she likes the sea because it reminds her of her mother and walks towards the tide's edge. Edgar remembers how Lydia had refused him saying she was sure she would regret things afterwards. At that time, he'd suddenly lost his confidence and was unable to tell her that he wouldn't let her regret things. He realised words or even kisses wouldn't get Lydia to accept him, and wondered what it would take. Edgar slowly walks towards Lydia twirling the parasol in his hands. Reaching her side, he shows her a light pink seashell. Handing her the seashell, he awkwardly takes her hand almost as though touching her for the first time, and he can't help lamenting that this was the best he could think of.

Lydia can no longer deny that she likes being with Edgar like that and that she didn't dislike holding hands with him, but can't help feeling a little guilty. She wonders if it were okay for her to do something like that while her father was away, and while apologising to her father Lydia can't help feeling that at the same time, her mother was smiling as she watched over her.

Summarised by Kagedream-san....
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40 / F
Posted 2/8/09
Wow thank you thank you... you're awesome
Did you write the summary for the first 3 volumes too?
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29 / F / 大好きの美少年共に―
Posted 2/15/09

Rosichan wrote:

Wow thank you thank you... you're awesome
Did you write the summary for the first 3 volumes too?

Let me check her livejournal.. she has volume 1 translation which i post it here.. volume 2 summary.. volume 3 snippets..
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