Hakushaku to Yousei Volume 20 Chapter 4

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It should be said that what is in the mirror world is only the extent of what is reflected by the mirror. However, even if she was walking around in this mansion, the pathways would be continuous and there were no rooms on the other side of the doors. The mansion existed like an entire building with an identical world on the other side.
“This is because the swamp reflects this house. Only when the moon is out, every nook and cranny of the mansion will be reflected onto the swamp distinctly.”
A teenager sitting on the windowsill said.
He had dark brown hair and eyes, and seemed to be around seventeen to eighteen years old, but his actual age certainly didn’t match with his appearance.
His subtle, stiff tone as well as the large, ruffled collar with his clothing gave off a theatrical feel to Lydia.
This sort of young man was flying when the sun was setting and the surroundings were beginning to grow dark, as he casually folded back his brown wings and took a seat.
“Even if the moonlight can’t illuminate the inside of these walls, will it still reflect?”
“Yes, the moon will reflect anything, even its essence is illuminated. However, it hasn’t appeared for awhile, so time in this world has stopped. This is because there is nothing can reflect the changes of the real world.”
It seemed that the same situation would appear on the other side only in the places that the mirror would reflect, so Phyllis was able to have meals. On the other hand, the reason why there weren’t any signs of the numerous guest rooms being used was because the rooms didn’t have mirrors.
“If you want to live here, then you can use the items in the house as you wish. Although clothing and other items are reflections, your body is the same.”
His name was Owl, an inhabitant of the mirror world. He looked at Lydia and frowned.
“Nevertheless, this is still quite troublesome. Although you said that you’re a fairy doctor, you were too careless to go as far as to be meddled by that red-eared creature.”
What he said was completely true. Lydia felt ashamed.
Although that red eared bogey beast seemed to be the most troublesome fairy within the vicinity, it was like the boss of the Unseelie Courts, but Lydia was completely meddled by it.
“Do not move the mirror. If it isn’t in the same place as the other side, you won’t be able to see the real world from here.”
Only through the mirror could she see Edgar and the rest from the real world.
Lydia stared at the mirror on the wall, but of course no one was there. This was Phyllis’s room, so the chances of Edgar and the others passing through here should be very low.
“Owl, I want to go back to the real world.”
Lydia asked just in case. He was the only resident here that understood this world well.
“It’s impossible. How many years do you think Phyllis stayed here for?”
Lydia could only receive a cold response, so she lowered her shoulders.
“If you’re a fairy doctor, then bring Luna back here, so that the moon will be appear back in the sky. As the long as the moonlight purifies the Unseelie Court magic accumulated in the mirror world, then the power that’s keeping you in here will disappear, and you will be able to return to the real world.”
It was put very simply, but if there was such a way then it wouldn’t be so troublesome.
“Hmph, regardless of the Blue Knight Earl, it ought to be impossible for a mere fairy doctor.”
Owl sneered at Lydia, then turned towards the windowsill.
“Do you know the Blue Knight Earl?”
The young man spread his wings.
“That was something of the past.”
“Wait.”
Just when Lydia wanted to inquire more, the young man ignored her and had already disappeared without a trace.
“I think he’s going on patrol. This is in order to protect the mirror world from bad fairies. It’s his daily routine after all…”
Phyllis looked at Lydia apologetically.
“Will he come back again?”
“I don’t know…...because he is erratic.”
She wished to know more about this world in detail. Currently, Lydia had far too many things that she didn’t understand.
If this went on, she wouldn’t even be able to develop countermeasures, however Owl was unlikely to cooperate.
“If one wanted to find Luna, even having cooperation would sound great and yet…”
She said, and Phyllis suddenly covered her face with her hands and started to cry.
“What’s wrong? Phyllis?”
Lydia rushed over to hold her hands to comfort her, and while she wept, she blurted out:
“Lydia, I’m sorry, the truth is that no matter how hard we try, we might not be able to return. We can’t find Luna...... because she was killed.”
“......Killed…...?”
Phyllis, who gave the impression that she was younger than how she appeared to be, clung to Lydia, as if seeking comfort.
“I can’t talk to Owl...... but he might have vaguely noticed it...... he seems to have already given up.”
“How do you know that she was killed?”
Lydia held her as she asked as if she were soothing a child, and Phyllis slowly started to pour out her thoughts.
“At the time it was six years ago, on a stormy night..... I was sleeping, and someone entered my room. My mouth was suddenly covered, and my neck was grabbed as well. After I desperately struggled to break free, the person’s hands loosened for a moment and I planned to escape. At that time, Luna’s voice came from the mirror.”
“Phyllis, come here quickly.”
“I spoke to Luna several times across the mirror and we had already became friends, so I desperately crawled towards the mirror……”
Phyllis started to tremble, probably because she was recalling painful memories.
“Luna reached out to me, and as I grabbed her hand, I was pulled into the mirror. At the same time, I heard a violent sound and the mirror was broken…… I turned around, and saw Luna collapse from the mirror’s fragments...... it was Luna, who changed her appearance into mine.”
Did Luna use herself as a substitute in order to save Phyllis?
“Luna substituted for you, and as a result was killed by the intruders?”
Phyllis nodded weakly.
“......I saw a man carrying out Luna, who was motionless, but she immediately disappeared in front of me.”
Phyllis was exchanged with an inhabitant of the mirror world; in other words, she and Lydia were different, as her real body was here. Lydia tried hard to think about the meaning in this.
“Even if the Blue Knight Earl is here, nothing can be done..... because the situation isn’t the same as before and Luna is already dead.”
“Phyllis, even if Luna is really dead, we need to find another way. There must be something we can do.”
Although Lydia said it as such, she felt that resolving this had become increasingly difficult.
The reason why she turned out like this was due to the mischief of the bogey beast. Moreover, she felt that she was unable to return to the real world because she was detained by the accumulated malicious magic in the mirror world. The worst case scenario was not being able to find Luna, but as long as there was a way to purify this world to weaken the magical power of the shadows, they should be able to return to the real world.
However, Phyllis’ situation was different. If she wanted to return to the real world, perhaps she could only switch places with Luna once again.
Nevertheless, there was still hope. Lydia said that to herself.
Was there a simple way for humans to kill fairies?
Even if the fairy’s ability was lost, it should be able to be recovered as long as it doesn’t disappear completely.
What kind of person was Luna?
There were many fairies that used the moon as their name, but they weren’t actually the moon. Those fairies would have other, different relations with the moon.
However, Luna’s existence was to the extent that her disappearance even made the real moon not rise again.
“Phyllis, stand up.”
“Lydia, where are you going?”
Lydia took her hand and gave an encouraging smile.
“We have to find out Luna’s true identity first. She is a fairy of this land, so a clue must exist somewhere here.”
Lydia took a lit candle and walked down the hallway with Phyllis.
Although she was filled with worry, as long as she thought of Phyllis depending on her, she was able to pluck up the courage and tell herself to keep going.
Nico and Edgar weren’t here. Perhaps this was Lydia’s first time confronting a fairy case by herself.
Although Nico was unreliable, he was a fairy and Lydia’s most important partner.
Despite Edgar not having the knowledge of fairies, he was a man who dared to create a path to his destiny. Even if he faced fairies, he would merely rely on lip service to confuse them. In a sense, this was the cunning knowledge of humans and fairies socializing smoothly, but Edgar truly possessed that sort of ability.
Although Lydia was an inexperienced fairy doctor, the reason why she was able to go on was because there were companions by her side that could provide assistance.
But now, could she find a way to solve the problem alone like this?
She clasped onto Phyllis’ hands tightly, as if to shake away the uneasiness.
The light of the candle shone in the darkness.
The corridor ahead of them, in the direction of the grand staircase, was somehow bright. Indeed, it was because that area possessed many mirrors.
The brightly lit chandelier and oil lamp in the real world must have been reflected by the mirrors hanging on the wall that were lined up with it.
In order for the guests participating in the auction to assess the paintings, they will definitely be walking all around the mansion.
Lydia and Phyllis were attracted to light as well, and so they sped up.
After walking towards the the grand staircase, the chandelier on their side of the mirror was illuminated. The mirrors arranged on the wall reflected the chandelier as well as the numerous paintings.
“Here…… grandfather placed mirrors where I often passed by.”
As long as there was a mirror, perhaps the old man could see the figure of his granddaughter.
“Whether it was the dining room, the elegant living rooms or even grandfather’s study, he placed mirrors to know where I was.”
“He loved you very much.”
Phyllis smiled and nodded silently.
In spite of this, Mr. Darnley who passed away was unable to embrace his beloved granddaughter. Lydia’s heart ached at the sorrow of it. Phyllis must have wanted to hold her grandfather’s hands one more time.
Lydia began to miss Edgar. Maybe she wouldn’t be able to touch him again.
Even if Lydia could only stay in the mirror from now on, would Edgar still love her and be willing to live with her? However, Lydia felt that she shouldn’t really look forward to that.
Because he may need a woman that truly exists beside him.
While Lydia was contemplating, she stopped before a large mirror.
The identical scenery that the mirror reflected included a large portrait, but the mirror was also reflecting something that wasn’t on this side.
“Edgar......”
Edgar and Paul stood before the paintings that were arranged side by side. Although they were discussing something, she couldn’t hear.
The blonde hair that was more dazzling than the chandelier, and the handsome face was here. The distance between the two was so close that she could touch his hand if she moved a little closer, but the hand that Lydia extended to was blocked off by the ice-cold mirror.
Please look, I’m over here.
If she made a sound, he might be able to hear her. Lydia was different from Phyllis, as her voice probably wasn’t sealed here.
But if Edgar saw her like this, what would he think? How should she explain the slap from last night?
As Lydia hesitated, Edgar looked over at another place. It seemed that Raven appeared from the staircase.
Raven was with a woman. After she slowly walked over, Edgar extended his arms to embrace her.
“Lydia, isn’t that person...... you?”
Like Phyllis said, the person who leaned against Edgar was Lydia. That was probably Lydia’s body.
The reason why she was acting slow and her eyes were misty was probably because her consciousness was separated from her body and entered the mirror.
“Yeah, that’s right.”
The Lydia on the other end of the mirror leaned against Edgar without the slightest hesitation even though she was in front of others. This was probably because the usually shy, not straightforward, and very stubborn Lydia wasn’t there.
“Who is that blonde man? Is he a family member?”
“......He’s my husband.”
“Lydia, you’re married?”
“Yes. ”
Would Edgar find it strange that Lydia was behaving like a different person? Or would he feel happy that the troublesome Lydia had disappeared?
Once Lydia’s resistance disappeared, Edgar didn’t restrain himself from clinging to her.
Although she couldn’t imagine acting like that in front of Paul, that docile and obedient Lydia was indeed herself.
She was clear of it. She did not hate any of Edgar’s actions at all.
She liked the way Edgar combed his hands through her hair. Whether it was his fingertips touching her cheek, the arms around her waist, or the hands that were embracing her tightly, she liked it.
She also liked his lips that formed into a smile and kissed her like a naughty child.
However, the usual Lydia always minded the gazes of other people. Although she thought that it was an etiquette that should be expected, perhaps if she conceded a little and accepted Edgar’s love, the two may not have quarreled. As Lydia looked through the mirror, Edgar was increasingly getting carried away.
Taken aback, Lydia quickly stood up before the mirror.
“Hey, Phyllis. Shall we go over there?”
“You don’t need to hide it, I am not that young.”
Phyllis said that as she turned her back to the mirror, probably unwilling see it.
“But when I was eight years old, I didn’t understand anything about the opposite sex. Hey, what does falling in love feel like?”
Even though she was gradually coming of age, at this rate, Phyllis would really be unable to even experience love.
“About that....I also didn’t know anything about it before, but he taught me.”
It was gentle yet painful, as well as warm and gentle feelings that would wrap you up. Be pain or sorrow, they could overcome anything if it was for the person they loved.
There's no way it'd be alright for this young girl to remain the way she is, ignorant of love.
“Is the taste of a kiss truly sweet?”
Lydia embraced Phyllis’s shoulders.
“You will know one day.”
Perhaps that wasn’t what she was thinking as Phyllis looked uneasily at Lydia, but tried to smile.
“It’ll be alright.”
Lydia encouraged her.
“Yeah, because you’ve came here, Lydia.”
Lydia said to herself that even now, she wasn’t alone.
Phyllis was with her.
Although Edgar and Nico weren’t here, she was going to try her best.
Lydia glanced at her and Edgar’s back through the mirror in the other side, and tried to leave with the situation as it was. At that moment, the flame of the candle in her hands swayed violently and went out.
“Ahh!”
Phyllis let out a scream, as the bogey beast pulled her hair.
“What are you doing? Let go!”
Lydia grabbed the bogey beast and pulled it, and in result another bogey beast kicked her feet.
Lydia fell to the ground. Her shoulders hit the hand railings of the staircase.
The Unseelie Court, whose bodies were covered in fur and were about the same size as a baby, attacked Phyllis and Lydia and mischievously kept pinching and hitting them.
“What’s up with this? Why are they so persistent!”
She pulled the fairy away from Phyllis, who bursted into tears, and the fairy exposed its sharp teeth.
“What’s the matter Lydia? You got caught up in a fight?”
Suddenly there was a voice that came from the direction of the hall’s skylights.
Why is he here?
Without any time to think, the tiled glass shattered and rained down.
A dark horse stepped on the bogey beast and kicked it away.
The little fairies were no match for the fierce evil-natured Kelpie, so they immediately disappeared, and then the dark Kelpie turned into a handsome and mysterious young man who stood before Lydia.
“What happened to your talisman?”
He looked at Lydia’s left hand. He meant was the moonstone wedding ring.
“It’s a fairy gemstone, so it’s not here because it can’t be reflected by the mirror.”
“Oh, that’s right! This place is inside the mirror, isn’t it…? So, why are you here?”
Lydia asked, as she looked up at Kelpie strangely.
“Kelpie, how did you get in here?”
“You’re asking me? Because when I was passing through the swamp I saw you coming over to this side.”
The swamp water was a passage for Kelpie and was also a mirror that reflected the landscape, so Kelpie could see Lydia.
Moreover, the Unseelie Court magic in the area had strengthened now, so it was understandable as to why Kelpie could enter in easily.
“Kelpie, we want to get out of here. With your magic……”
Lydia asked that whilst thinking that this might be very difficult. The reason why Kelpie was able to go in out freely was because his magic was more powerful than the magic built up in here.
The problem was that Lydia didn’t have the strength to evade the magic’s influence. Even if Kelpie possessed great strength, he could only pull a human into this side of the mirror, because the magic stored here and his strength were the same as Unseelie Court magic. Bringing a human out ought to be impossible.
“Who are you!”
At that moment, the sound of enormous flapping wings came in with the wind.
“This place is my castle, what are you doing here, you evil being!”
Owl landed on the railings of the staircase and glared.
“What’s up with this guy......”
“Kelpie, wait. Owl! He is my friend.”
“Fairy doctor, those who are able to use Kelpies are indecent, could it be that you planned to deceive me? Do you intend to win over Phyllis, then seize control of this place?”
“N-no!”
However, Owl was furious, and while his hair stood on end, he flew towards Lydia, and used his sharp claws to close in on her.
“Lydia!”
The moment Phyllis cried out, Kelpie held onto Lydia.
As the brown feathers and the black mane spiraled in the wind, Phyllis pleaded:
“Owl, please stop! Lydia isn’t that sort of person.”
However, Owl changed directions in the air and flew towards them again.
“Lydia, hold on!”
After Kelpie briefly said that, he transformed in a horse and broke into a run.
“Kelpie, you can’t! I can’t leave Phyllis on her own.....”
Kelpie threw the door open and rushed out. He ignored Lydia’s words and galloped, as Owl no longer pursued them.

                                                                                                                                                 *

By the landing of the grand staircase where Edgar stood, was a framed portrait of a man and woman.
This painting that hung by the landing of the wall together along with paintings of various sizes, depicted clothes of around the sixteenth century. Perhaps this was painted by someone of the Ashenbert family, the painting that Edgar was searching for.
But something was strange, as this painting was not hung here last night. As a matter of fact, Edgar, along with Paul remembered it quite clearly as well.
Last night, there was a landscape painting here. The painting portrayed a mansion and it’s surrounding scenery illuminated by the moonlight.
“No, the painting wasn’t replaced.”
Edgar found Mr. Chambers and asked, but his response didn’t seem like he was playing dumb.
“Perhaps you remembered it incorrectly? There are numerous paintings here, and this isn’t the only corridor that connects to the staircase.”
As he said that, Edgar lost his confidence as well. Since the landscape painting wasn’t the goal of this trip, perhaps he didn’t remember quite clearly.
“This mansion doesn’t have oil lamps, and there aren’t many windows, so it’s dark during the day as well. Furthermore, the corridors are tangled and complicated, I feel that it’s quite easy for illusions to develop. After all, the so-called ghost was likely brought about this way.”
It seemed that Mr. Chambers also didn’t believe that there was a ghost.
Regardless of this for the time being, Paul insisted that it was impossible for him to remember incorrectly, which was rare.
“Earl, the frame is still the same. In that era, frames were custom made together with the painting. I really can’t imagine going as far as to make a frame for one painting the same as another painting.”
“Is that so? Wouldn’t they all seem similar?”
Mr. Chambers laughed as his round belly shook.
“Can I take it down and have a look?”
“Please help yourself.”
He spoke while aiming a glance at Lydia, who was taking hold of Edgar’s hand and leaning against him.
“The harmonious relationship of the couple portrait is quite popular with women.”
He then smiled meaningfully and left.
He probably thought that it was Lydia who wanted to purchase it.
“Paul, I think you ought to escort Lydia.”
Edgar said, worried.
“If this goes on, she will seem like my mistress.”
Yesterday, Lydia expressed that she was unwilling to be regarded as an indecent woman. She didn’t seem to feel this way now, but for her reputation, Edgar thought that this had to be done.
Paul nodded in distress, perhaps he realised already that the passing guests looked at Lydia with profound implications.
“You’re right, it’s fine as long as Madam Lydia agrees as well.”
It wasn’t known whether or not Lydia understood that they were discussing about her currently,  as she looked up at Edgar, who was talking to Paul, with innocent, childlike eyes.
Because Lydia had been acting in such a state since this morning, Edgar kept her in her room while giving others the excuse that she appeared to have caught a cold.
Although it still wasn’t clear what caused her to become like that, he thought that letting Lydia recuperate might be better.
But when evening came, she blankly left her room, and so Raven recently brought her to Edgar’s side.
Then, she stuck to Edgar, like a chick following its mother.
Edgar really wished for Lydia be this way, but if it was his own insensitivity that made her act in this manner, then perhaps he should avoid actions lacking in thought.
“Lydia, please listen carefully.”
He turned towards Lydia as he gently stroked her hair.
“When Paul is here, you must let him escort you. Don’t hold my hand, you have to hold his hand.”
After Lydia slowly blinked, she finally smiled, gently left Edgar, and leaned against Paul.
Should he be happy at Lydia’s obedient attitude?
However, Lydia wasn’t the type of girl who would obey Edgar’s every word. She chose to stay by Edgar willingly and that willingness supported the fragile part of Edgar’s heart.
Lydia’s core heart was just like that, however it was not here now.
Was it because of her own will that she became this way? Edgar felt a pain inside his chest, and  would frown even if he looked at Lydia, but she merely smiled at him.
“Earl, the person in this painting is the fifth Baron of Rochester, but I don’t know if the woman is the Baroness.”
Paul said that after confirming the writing engraved on the frame when Raven took down the painting and turned it upside down.
Edgar came to his senses, and then stared at the painting.
“The fifth? If I recall, wasn’t the fifth Baron unmarried all along, and then passed the title to his younger brother?”
He was in the library investigating the Rochester’s family tree during the day, so there was no mistaking it.
“That being said, this is his lover.”
“She really is a beautiful woman.”
The woman had blonde hair with golden eyes, and the gold thread embroidered on the dress was also quite dazzling, as if her whole body was shining.
However, Edgar felt that the painting was somewhat peculiar. He thought about what kind of feeling it was while examining the painting carefully.
“As for the signature…… if you don’t take apart the frame, you can’t read it. What do you think, Earl? In regards to the portrait and decade, they do match.”
“Yeah, I think this is the painting.”
“What! Are you sure?”
The bearded, robust Baron was holding a small book. Although the cover was practically covered up by his sturdy plump thumb, parts of the title still could be seen, and the English letters were reversed.
“Paul, this is a mirrored painting. It’s the appearance of the two reflected in the mirror.”
“Reflected…… it really is. How did this painting…...”
“Yesterday the landscape painting was like this as well. Originally, I felt that there was something odd about it and I realized it after looking at the mansion outside today. This painting is mirrored as well, it’s probably the scenery reflected from the room’s surrounding swamps.”
“Really? If that’s the case, then where on earth did the painting disappear to?”
“Well...... I think that this should be the landscape painting from last night.”
“What! Is that possible?”
That shouldn’t be possible. However this time, Edgar had a feeling about it.
A painting whose contents would change in a day, with the common factor being mirrors. A person who would be able to create paintings full of riddles must be someone that possesses the lineage of the Blue Knight Earl.

Hey Raven, after the auction is over, what will the Earl do? Is he going to return to London?”
Nico, who was sitting on the roof, said this while overlooking the pitch-black swamp. Raven was sitting beside Nico, hugging his knees.
“I’m not too sure, but he is likely going to return.”
“And take Lydia with him with the state that she’s in? If Lydia becoming like this has something to do with this place, then wouldn’t that be a problem if we leave?”
“If it isn’t a problem with magic, it would be better to have London’s renown doctor examine it.”
Nico sighed as that was probably what Raven let slip on what the Earl said.
Maybe this ought to be done. But still, that didn’t mean it could be determined that it was an illness.
“There’s a chance that it’s the bogey beast. But the presence of their magic has disappeared from Lydia now. However, it could be that a part of Lydia’s heart that was separated from her is imprisoned.”
“Is that possible?”
“I don’t know. If that’s the case, there must be something that Lydia’s presence has come close with, but there isn’t anything. However, this place is filled with various problems and perhaps there will be things we don’t know about happening. We should investigate this more carefully.”
Then, Nico was at his wits’ end as he groaned:
“With the way she is now, that’s not Lydia….”
Nico who scratched his hair carelessly, perked his head up, seemingly wanting to lean forward and complain about something to Raven.
“You tried to rub my face!”
“I think that anyone would want to try.”

Raven quietly looked at Nico. His characteristic feature that were his big eyes were like a bird predator that has decided on its target. The fur on Nico’s back began to stand on end.
“Yo--you wanted to try?”
Raven eyes met Nico for awhile, then suddenly blinked and looked away.
“......Excuse me. I cannot do that to a gentleman.”
Nico wiped away his sweat and tidied his messy fur.
“I--I see. Yeah, the usual Lydia wouldn’t do things that I don’t like either.”
“Then perhaps it’s because the Madam Lydia’s self-control is running low now, so she is quite loyal.”
“Then is the reason why she sticks to the Earl is because of loyalty?”
Nico propped up his face with his paws, looking down at the swamp once more.
It wasn’t known whether or not Lydia had any opinions towards herself, who was in this state. She was always smiling happily when seen, so was this really not a bad situation with regards to Lydia?
No, Lydia ought to have wanted to be a capable fairy doctor and assist the Earl, and she couldn’t tolerate herself being like a doll in the palm of someone’s hand.
“Then is the Earl fine with that?”
Nico felt that the Earl seemed to have been completely charmed by Lydia who looked angelic, obedient and had a smiling face. Could it be that he thought it wasn’t bad to continue on like this, and wanted to bring Lydia back with him immediately?
“Lord Edgar is quite dismayed.”
“Is that so? However wasn’t he staying in Lydia’s room up until now? Plus, even if Paul was in front of them, he wasn’t the least bit concerned and was happily intimate with Lydia.”
Normally it wouldn’t even take five minutes for Lydia to get angry, but now that she was silent there was no way that the Earl would not be carried away by this.
Even so, he still didn’t ask Lydia to stay in his room, which Nico felt was a little unexpected.
“Lord Edgar is a person who will optimistically pursue happiness no matter how painful the situation is.”
He had an attractive manner of speaking at first glance, however, wouldn’t it be merely considered to be within his nature as a philanderer given the Earl’s case?
“It’s not good if this continues on at this rate. She simply won’t be able to support the Earl household, don’t you think?”
“Yes, Madam Lydia is the only one who can slap Lord Edgar.”
Nico thought to himself that Lydia slapped someone again. He was a little sympathetic towards Edgar and felt that it was understandable if he wanted to have a docile wife.
“Because it seems to me that only Madam Lydia’s palm can protect Lord Edgar from the hands of Prince.”
I see. Nico laughed, hoping that it would be good if it was like that.
“If that’s the case then, would the Earl try to recover usual Lydia who acts against his wishes?”
“Mr. Nico, please believe in Lord Edgar.”
Raven treated his master as if he was a god. There was no mistake that he believed in him without any basis.
Nevertheless, when Raven cast that unwavering gaze, Nico’s distrust towards Edgar was somewhat alleviated.
Edgar was the most worried about Lydia’s safety compared to everyone else. If he didn’t trust Edgar, then he would feel sorry for Lydia as well.
“Okay, I’ll do that. Please tell the Earl that it’s best to stay here for the time being.”
Looking below, Nico noticed the light swaying inside Lydia’s room and a figure walking out of the room. As he looked, he added “We can talk tomorrow.”
Did Lydia want to go to the Earl? Rather than saying that it was bold of her, perhaps it would better to say that her mindset now is only of being a couple.
But if the usual Lydia knew of this, she would certainly faint.

Without the sound of a knock, the door opened. Lydia opened the door and entered Edgar’s bedroom as if it was her own.
Then she walked in, more innocent and guiltless than usual, and went towards Edgar’s side.
Although it was already late at night,  but he was still skimming the documents and letters that were piled onto the table.
During the course of the Blue Knight Earl handing that painting over to the Baron, the situation at that time, and with what intentions the painting was created; there were many things that he wanted to know.
We’re only staying here until tomorrow.
Moreover, Edgar was also considering for her whether or not it’s best to stay here for long.
Since he didn’t know the cause, he was going to take her back to London first and have her stay in her original environment and perhaps the situation would be better that way.
After a day had passed, Edgar didn’t think that she was deliberately putting up a different attitude than usual. If this place brought her a bad influence, then shouldn’t she be kept far from here?
Lydia seemed to have forgotten about last night’s affairs and looked at Edgar with a happy smile. Maybe as a matter of fact, she had actually forgotten, but Edgar must have merely thought that he had already obtained her forgiveness.
“What is it? Did you want to see me?”
Lydia sat beside him and nodded without the least bit of embarrassment.
Just by that Edgar’s fiery desires were aroused, so he kissed Lydia. He moved away slightly after kissing her without restraint, and she uncomfortably gasped for breath, blushing like the usual Lydia.
What was different than usual was that she didn’t look away.
“Do you want to sleep here?”
She nodded again.
She expressed that she was unwilling yesterday, but she wanted to stay here today; of course Edgar was quite welcoming of this.
“Lydia, I am really sorry for yesterday, I won’t be rough with you again. You won’t be upset will you?”
Although it wasn’t known whether or not Lydia understood, she still smiled.
“Wait for me and I’ll finish reading these documents.”
Edgar looked back to the documents in his hands and Lydia got up, heading towards the bed.
In this way, she stood still beside the bed. Edgar turned around to see what she was doing and saw she was undoing the buttons one by one on the lapels of her dress.
Once she sensed Edgar’s gaze, she immediately stopped. Perhaps Lydia was troubled by it, as she stood still for a moment then suddenly turned around.
Loosely open lapels, caramel-colored hair that swung out gently, and her exposed pale shoulders.
Because she had never taken the initiative to reveal her skin, Edgar couldn’t help but stare in awe. At the same time, Lydia stopped again.
She trembled slightly, probably feeling resistance with taking off her clothes.
Could it be that compared to her willpower, the Lydia now merely wanted to do something that would make Edgar happy?
This basically wasn’t Lydia at all.
However, the Edgar from last night wanted her to do this much.
He snapped out of it and hurried towards Lydia.
“No need….you don’t need to do that.”
Lydia’s hands firmly clutched the lapels of her dress. Edgar hugged her from behind and held her hands.
“There’s no need to take it off.”
He pulled away Lydia’s fingers that weren’t willing to loosen up since the beginning, then fastened the buttons by her chest one by one.
Lydia suddenly loosened her strength, seemingly relieved and let Edgar help with putting her clothes on like a child, and at the same time looked up at him slowly.
Her eyes were somewhat moist with tears.
When the Lydia from yesterday said that she didn’t want to do it, her eyes were the same as now, containing tears.
Although it was Edgar’s mischievous words that made her feel uncomfortable, but at that time, she really wanted to resist.
Additionally, she desperately tried to escape from him.
But the Lydia now…...
She had never taken the initiative to do such a thing, and yet she tried her hardest.
She isn’t the usual Lydia, and yet she was the genuine Lydia. The point of trying hard to express love, as well as feeling strong shame were both the true Lydia.
Even yesterday, Lydia was merely puzzled at Edgar’s casual attitude and didn’t try to refuse him at all.
Recently, as long as Edgar embraced her, she would naturally wrap her arms around him.
The smile that was completely at ease no longer had a tense or scared look.
“I don’t want to lose you, which is why I couldn’t calm down. Because of that, I went too far.”
He shortened the distance between them bit by bit, barely managing to get together, but last night, it was possible that he destroyed something that had been accumulating for a long time.
Lydia smiled, as if to say that she didn’t mind. The only person that didn’t exist here was the Lydia who was hurt by Edgar.
“I want to retrieve the you from yesterday. Until you forgive me with a smile and wish to have me again, I can’t live happily with you…… right, Lydia?”
After embracing her tightly, Lydia firmly grasped him in return, and leaned her face into his chest.

                                                                                                                                                *

Kelpie carried Lydia on his back as he rushed out of the mansion and passed through the surface of the swamp’s water, heading straight for the opposite bank, and then rushed up towards the top of the hill in one go and stopped there.
Ahead of here is surrounded by complete darkness, and nothing can be seen. No, perhaps there isn’t anything.
“This world is really confined.”
“It’s because the area here is only the extent of what the swamp reflects, that was what Owl said.”
“Owl, huh. It seems that there isn’t any extraordinary magic, but if he is the owner here, then it doesn’t seem wise to fight him seriously.”
“That’s right, you were so impulsive and because of that, even I was misunderstood.That way, we can’t return to the mansion.”
“What an obstinate owl.”
Kelpie let Lydia off of his back, then he transformed into a young man and looked toward the mansion.
“At any rate, it seems like he isn’t pursuing us. What are you planning to do?”
If possible, Lydia wanted to go back to the mansion, but it seemed best to wait until dawn, after Owl wasn’t in the house.
“You’ve been pinched badly, there are marks all around your cheeks.”
Kelpie narrowed his thin black pearl-like eyes as he stared at Lydia.
The moonless night was very dark, and within Lydia’s view, only Kelpie seemed to emerge from the darkness. Because he was a fairy, even when he would sway his black hair, which possessed the same colour as the darkness, she could see it clearly.
Kelpie reached out towards Lydia and stroked her cheeks that were pinched by the bogey beast, the feeling of cold water made the pain vanish gradually.
Kelpie who was a close fairy, was in front of Lydia, making her tense mood slowly dissolve.
She suddenly lost her strength, and couldn’t help but sit down.
“Hey! What’s wrong?”
Kelpie quickly crouched down and put his hand on Lydia’s head.
Lydia hugged her knees, buried her face in it and said:
“Thank you, Kelpie...... I’m glad you’re here.”
“What’s going on, weren’t you annoyed at me just then?”
“I clearly am a fairy doctor, but I don’t what to do and I can’t even drive away bogey beasts. It truly is humiliating.”
“Don’t cry.”
“I am not crying.”
“Then lift up your face.”
“......Wait a little longer, I’ll do it later.”
Hmph. Kelpie smiled, then casually stroked Lydia’s head.
“That’s right, what about the Earl? I found out about his whereabouts from Coblynau in London, it turned out that you guys weren’t together?”
Lydia nodded.
“I want to go back Edgar’s side. But if the moon doesn’t appear in the sky... and if Luna doesn’t return, then I won’t be able to get out of here.”
“Why are you the only one that became a reflection?”
“...... I was pushed into the mirror by the red-eared bogey beast.”
Hmph. Kelpie reacted like it had nothing to do with him, but he brought his nose closer to Lydia.
“Their magic has already vanished and there is probably only one cause. The dark magic in the mirrored swamp is accumulated, so it captured you.”
“Like I thought, that’s what happened……”
Just because she could see fairies and understand their magic, she was more vulnerable to the fairies’ magic. She obviously should have paid attention, but she was careless.
She simply didn’t expect that the mirror world actually had an area with so much accumulated magic.
“Do you want to go and see the Earl?”
Lydia couldn’t help but look up.
“Can I see him?”
“The mansion’s window is reflected in the swamp. Look, the Earl’s over there.”
It was too far so Lydia couldn’t see him, but Kelpie pulled her hand. The next moment she was sitting on the back of Kelpie, who transformed into a horse and galloped on the water surface as if he was skating.
The sky was dark and the house’s outline wasn’t clearly presented, and only a window lit with a lamp illuminated in the swamp. That image wasn’t the uninhabited house of this side, but rather the mansion of the real world, where Edgar and numerous guests were staying in.
Kelpie slowed down and approached one of the many windows.
Edgar was by the windows with half-drawn curtains. He was casually dressed, only wearing a shirt and a vest. Lydia felt her heart racing while staring at the side of his gentle face.
At the same time, the curtains suddenly fluttered, and Lydia’s figure appeared in front of him.
Edgar hugged her.
“No! Don’t look, Kelpie!”
Lydia felt very embarrassed, as she covered Kelpie’s eyes.
“Whoa, this is really dangerous!”
“Sorry…… ah! Wait,, if you go there I won’t be able to see it.”
“So, you want to see it.”
Kelpie tried to return but...
“No, please turn around.”
“What? What on earth do you want me to do?!”
“Kelpie, I’m sorry, but......”
Although Kelpie found it slightly unbearable, he still turned his head around and casually picked a place to stop.
“Can you see from here?”
“Yes, thank you.”
It was like when she was looking at the grand hall’s mirror with Phyllis a moment ago, but she had a strange feeling seeing herself like that.
Even so, she still couldn’t look away. Did she always look so reassured in Edgar’s embrace?
Perhaps it was usually like this. But she couldn’t do it yesterday.
Why did I slap him?
As Edgar said, the reality was that there wasn’t a relationship of dishonor between them, so perhaps it wouldn’t hurt to not care about it.
But his attitude was completely different from his usual self, thus Lydia felt afraid.
Now that Lydia thought about it, it seemed that Edgar was only in a slightly bad mood. Lydia also felt that she was being manipulated by Edgar, and so she was irritated. Moreover, she didn’t find Edgar’s anger simply due to his desires not being satisfied, and heard him saying that it was a kind of punishment, which made her feel confused.
Edgar wouldn’t do anything that would make Lydia feel considerably disgusted, so it could only be a bad joke, and if Lydia accepted it, he would probably express his love tenderly in his usual way.
Edgar, who was reflected by the swamp, embraced ‘Lydia’ for a long time.
Finally the curtains were pulled, and the two figures left the window side.
It was to be expected that ‘Lydia’ would surely sleep in his room.
That was something that the Lydia from yesterday couldn’t do.
If Edgar cast his love towards Lydia, who didn’t have a willful unconsciousness, would she become an unwanted existence?
The lights were out, and the darkness of the water no longer reflected anything, but Lydia was still staring at it.
“You’ll be able to return to normal.”
Kelpie gently spat. He pretended that he didn’t see it, when in reality he did.
“When I go back to normal, I will become the uncharming Lydia again.”
“Then, do you want to maintain the mirror situation and go to the fairy realm with me?”
Would Edgar think it is best that way?
“No matter what I say, there’s no way you would go. You seem inseparable from the Earl anyway.”
“Me? ……I was just thinking about unnecessary things, I can’t huddle against him like that.”
“That’s you as well. Although it’s the unconsciousness that’s acting, it’s your true nature.”
That was likely the case. Unexpectedly, Lydia frankly pondered over this.
Occasionally, she thought like a child; regardless of the time and occasion, she acts spoiled towards the person she likes.
On the other hand, she knew very well that the usual her couldn’t do something like that.
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