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Tonight, there happened to be a certain young man who entered this restaurant.
The customers of this restaurant were normally accustomed to acting like they didn’t see anything, even if one of the customers was the Prince of Wales, so he shouldn’t have been that rare of a guest.
“h.e.l.lo everyone, sorry to make you wait.”
The gathering tonight didn’t have any particular purpose. The familiar faces he would see at clubs had just seemed to gather together and the topic of their conversation tonight was quite direct.
Edgar settled himself down in the chair that the waiter pulled out for him and set his eyes on a good-natured looking young man who was staring back at everyone with a confused expression.
Paul was one of Edgar’s friends and a newly-fledged painter and was explaining to him like he wanted his help.
However, most men and women knew the true meaning behind that rumor.
Seeing Paul - who had no idea whatsoever about it - Edgar murmured ‘Oh, he’s in a critical state.’
Edgar had that thought and so he beckoned him with his finger and quietly decided to give him a word of warning.
“What!…B-but, then why is there the story that a bird sings from inside the painting…”
Yes, yes, nodded everyone else in agreement.
Their friends all individually went on with the conversation.
“A nightingale is a bird that sings a love song. From the past, number poets have written about that dull-looking bird singing about love. It isn’t bad as a metaphor to help spend a romantic night with a gal though.”
“Edgar, haven’t you seen it before?”
“My, my, I thought I’ve seen you a number of times going up the stairs into the back….”
“However, my lord, even your tardiness today means you were caught by some woman again, weren’t you?”
“There is no way you could cut ties with women.”
“You didn’t even have to invite her to the inn above, did you?”
He had remained quiet and eventually drooped his head, so it seems like he had become completely depressed.
words, indirect rejections and the behaviors or manner that made one give hopes all ended out as silly misunderstandings.
It was like the deity was secretly getting entertainment at how all the male and female lovers in the world were made upset and thrown into confusion from love.
Around that same time, the girl who was being brought up in Edgar and the men’s conversation: Lydia Carlton was just relaxing by herself in the drawing room of her house after Edgar had finally left.
Unluckily, her father wasn’t home and although her housekeeper was supposed to keep her eye on any visiting bachelors, Lydia ended up being stuck with him and had to keep him company.
“Did you know that it gives me such bliss by your eyes gazing at me like that?”
“It is so charming and adorable how you become so red so quickly.”
“If you say that you want me to stay a little longer, then I will forget about today’s scheduled meeting.”
“Well, then, how about if you kiss me, I’ll leave.”
Only- when he was about to leave he still didn’t forget to place a kiss on Lydia’s hand.
However, from Lydia’s point of view, his open affections and how he treated her like his every day, only made her feel flurried and confused.
Even though she was asked for her hand in marriage, Lydia thought it would be terrifying to take a rake’s proposal seriously and the more his att.i.tude appeared more serious, then she wasn’t able to refuse him steadily like she previously could.
Lydia decided to go to her room and so left the drawing room and climbed up the stairs.
When she opened the door, she saw that there were small little fairies who wore green-colored clothing and were all gathered in a circle and dancing in front of the hearth.
“Nico, what are you doing!”
His appearance was that of a long-haired gray cat, but he could speak like a human and was twirling around in circles on his hind feet. He was wearing a necktie and liked to act like he was a gentleman, but his drunkenness and his staggering, swaying gait made him look just like an old man.
Thanks to it, there was an immensely strong smell of spirits in her room that could make one feel nauseous.
Even when Lydia came stamping into her bed chamber, the hobgoblins continued to joyfully dance. They were a kind that hated to be seen by humans, but it seemed like they were fine since they knew that Lydia was a Fairy Doctor.
From the past, in this country of England there were humans who were able to get close to fairies and their secrets by gaining the trust of fairies, and lent their knowledge so that human and fairies could live in harmony. However, coming into the middle of the 19th century now, perhaps due to society not believing in the existence of fairies no longer, the task of a fairy doctor had become difficult for people to understand.
Because she had been spending all her youth with fairies, she was constantly labeled as an oddball, but Edgar was one of the rare people who properly understand her.
“But, the thing was, Lydia, a nightingale kept on saying it wanted to meet you.”
Nico fixed his eyes towards the barrel of scotch, but Lydia couldn’t see anything. She got closed up to it and squinted her eyes to look closer.
She heard a fair, beautiful voice that rang out like a bell. When she pushed her face closer to the corner of the barrel, she saw something like a three-inch clear, gla.s.s sculpture figure faintly move.
Even if it was Lydia, who was able to see fairies clearly, this visitor was tiny and on top of that half-transparent, so she couldn’t see very well. Because of that, they were called “Nightingales” as in figure-less fairies from the past by fairy doctors.
Since they possessed beautiful voices, nightingales were sang in poems; and it was a rare sight for people to see them as they only chirped and twittered in the night. That was why it wasn’t a surprise that most people didn’t believe that it was a figure-less fairy that was actually singing.
There might have been some poets from the old ages who could have heard the songs of the figure-less fairies singing as they mingled in the singing of the nightingale birds.
“How, what a rare fairy, where did you come from?” asked Lydia.
“Did you know? If one is sung a song by a nightingale, their drinks become especially delicious!”
(In exchange for singing at this banquet, Nico said that he would introduce me to you.)
Lydia was starting to feel something bad coming on.
In the first place, even though he claimed he was Lydia’s partner, he was immediately wired in by food and was a boneless cat and disappeared when danger was before them.
(Oh, no, I just wanted to come and be of use for a girl like you. What a poor little girl, who doesn’t know the feelings of falling in love!)
(Why, yes, you seem like the type who is worth the trouble of teaching. I’m able to tell with just one look at that person. I can tell just how small of a little child your love for another is. But, everything will be all right; time isn’t needed for one’s love to grow. As long as you come across a wonderful meeting!)
“Um, excuse me, Nightingale, I’m actually quite fine at how things…..”
(No, you can’t! I will swear on my faith on this mission that I can grant you your love!) bursted out the
The nightingale bird sings the song of love.
She left the next day to go to work to the Ashenbert mansion as usual, but the calamity had already begun.
Edgar’s valet made his usual morning greeting to her.
Even when Lydia had greeted him back, he wouldn’t even faint a smile but that didn’t mean he was in a bad mood but normal for him. This dark brown-skinned young boy of a man would do anything if it was for his master, but he was so emotionless to the point that it would be difficult for him to smile even when he was told to do so.
So to Lydia, who Edgar treated as his ‘fiancée,’ he treated her with considerable respect and paid attention to her needs.
However, when Lydia was about to enter the room, she unexpectedly tripped where there was obviously nothing.
Lydia had nothing to grab ahold to so she went falling flat onto the carpet.
Thanks to the soft cushion of the Ashenbert mansion’s carpet, she didn’t feel any pain or got hurt, but she made a sour smile at Raven’s instant decision in evading the situation of being grabbed onto by Lydia and the sight of her clumsy, ungraceful position as she got herself up.
Yes, Raven’s consideration was only for Edgar and didn’t always come out in Lydia’s favor.
“Please watch your footsteps.”
(Oh, my goodness, what a horrible man! If a woman were to nearly fall, wouldn’t it be normal to steady her up?)
“Excuse me, but was it you that made me fall just now?”
“Raven isn’t like that!”
“Please, would you listen to what I’m saying?”
Lydia didn’t know if she should feel relieved or not - that it wasn’t that flirtatious Earl who undoubtedly was the worst suitor, but quickly put on a smile.
This painter, who Edgar had closely acquainted with, had been spending some nights here in order to paint a picture that was going to be hung in this palace’s grand hall.
As he said that, he looked around the inside of the room curiously as he must be searching for who Lydia had been talking to.
“Could I have you take a look at my painting? The earl had said that he wanted me to consider Lydia’s opinion as well. As you know, it is a fairy painting.”
Lydia made a pleased smile at Paul and tried to be careful of the nightingale that she had no idea was and left the room.
The wall-painting in the grand hall was one that portrayed a fairy’s banquet. A number of beautiful, elegant fairies with wings like thin silk were sprinkling about sparkling fairy dust as they danced.
Lydia let out a sigh in admiration.
“Oh, no, there isn’t anything wrong.”
However, out of the blue her hair was tugged very strongly.
Her attention was distracted and when she tried to turn around, her elbow struck a plate of oil paint that was laying on the table near them.
“Oh, no, what have I done…!”
“Ahh, you can’t, please don’t touch it.”
If she were to touch it even the slightest, it would have turned out into a even more terrible disaster.
As Lydia kept her hands to herself, she was in complete dismay. She had ruined the painting that Paul had put so much work into.
There was only a tiny bit of paint that had gotten onto the painting. Paul examined it carefully and made a smile to try to relax Lydia.
“This wasn’t your fault. I was the one who left out the paint.”
However, if it was the nightingale’s fault, then she couldn’t let herself get in Paul’s way anymore. She wouldn’t be able to help, but just cause more trouble.
(What was that? Even he was completely hopeless. I thought he was kind, but how could he not show any consideration when a lady’s dress had gotten dirty?)
Didn’t the fairy understand that it wasn’t the dress they had to worry about?
Normally, he would have arrived to the Ashenbert mansion much earlier than Lydia and should be relaxing as he enjoyed a cup of tea poured by the butler, but he was nowhere in sight.
It was Nico who brought the nightingale. He should have realized what kind of situations Lydia had been going through. Which means-
She needed to bring him back and get it in his brain that he must returned this troublesome fairy to where she came from.
He shouldn’t have gone that far off. As she was thinking that as she walked down the street, she didn’t even reach a block until she realized that coming outdoors was a mistake.
From the carriage that stopped, a young man came rushed to come out and dash over to Lydia.
“Yes…..I’m fine, no worries!”
She made sure to take caution as she walk far from the carriage road, but a vase came falling down from a window high-up on the building. It nearly came crashing down on top of her head.
A man leaned himself out from the window on the second floor, but Lydia turned her heels around before he had the chance to come down and was left with the option of running off.
“Nightingale, your idea of a meeting is much too dangerous!”
“Don’t be ridiculous!”
However, that didn’t mean that her problem was solved.
As she heard the cry of the nightingale, Lydia crashed herself down to sit on the chair that was set near her desk.
From a drawer, she took out an ash-tree branch and started to wave it around. It was a sacred tree that had the power to ward off evil spirits and was also useful in evading the tricks and pranks of fairies.
(You are so short-tempered. It’s because you are like that, that you can’t fall in love. Oh, well, it’s best for you to cool yourself down.)
“Oh, my goodness, what should I do.”
It was Nico’s voice. He came slinking in through the window and stood up on the floor on his hind legs.
“When is that time going to come? I’m sure to get hurt before she grows bored.”
“Ahh, then for the time being, why don’t you pick someone to court? If you let the nightingale achieve her love counseling with that man then she might go home.”
“I wouldn’t know that. It should be some kind of sure-proof method on how to capture the heart of the man you fancy. But, it’s something that a fairy came up with. I can guess that her aim would be off.”
“…..I can’t let myself do something so troublesome like that. Nico, you have to convince her to go home.”
“If you knew that, then why did you bring her!”
Lydia quickly cleared her throat, but she was sure the knocker heard her.
“Who did Nico bring?” asked Edgar.
The earl himself who was the lord of this grand mansion was carrying a teacup and cup like a servant.
“This is unusual, are you having a fight with Nico?”
“It seems like the maids had caught a cold all at once; they said they couldn’t stop sneezing. But, it seems like they were told they aren’t allowed to have any male servants approach your room, so I signed up for the job. It would be a problem if the maid’s cold were caught by you.”
Of course, it wasn’t possible for the servants to be able to stop the lord of the house, but how could she have thought up the possibility that the earl himself would take away the job of his servants.
“I’m sorry. To have you do something like this…. I’ll do the rest myself.”
Edgar smiled cheerfully and made her set down the tea set on a table and made Lydia sit down in a near-by chair.
“What happened? It looks like there was powdered sugar sprinkled onto your caramel-colored hair.”
“Oh, no, this is oil paint. I went to go see Paul’s painting this morning so….”
“Ahh, you must not touch it so easily. Hold on just a bit.”
He dabbed that into a cloth and whipped out the oil paint that was stuck on Lydia’s hair.
“It would be difficult to look from your side, wouldn’t it? Don’t move.”
“All done. That should do it.”
“Lydia, it’s not like I am going to take a bite out of you, so it would be nice if you would relax a little more.”
Honestly, she didn’t trust Edgar. If she let him see an opening in her, then she thought he would try to take advantage of her.
He had just said that he wouldn’t bite, and look at him now.
You skirt-chasing flirt!
(My, my, my, what a charming man! To go through the trouble to take out the paint, why, he’s a true gentleman!)
“Now listen here, would you stop what it is you’re doing?”
“He’s the type of man who doesn’t mind if it’s any woman.”
It seemed like that only got her more rallied up, as the little gla.s.s-sculpture fae happily danced in the air around Lydia.
She wondered if she should give up and let the spirit go through with her lesson of love or whatever.
(There is no way I wouldn’t succeed!)
(Well, yes, since that’s as far as I can go in teaching about love.)
After quite a while to think it over, she finally lifted her head.
(You have to have a man kiss the tip of your eyelash. That way your feelings will reach him. And the feelings of love will also awaken in his heart as well.)
(Because the feelings of loving someone are born from the tip of one’s lashes. Don’t people grow their feelings of love deep in their hearts as they gaze at that person? And when you sleep, you see that person’s dream, and when you awake you search for them, that’s why love dwells on a person’s lashes.)
He slovenly made a yawn, which showed how disinterested he was.
“Excuse me, Nightingale, but couldn’t you make your counseling a little simpler?”
Lydia joined her hands together and tried to appear like she was pleading with the fairy, which made Nico mumble “Can’t believe you call yourself a Fairy Doctor”but she couldn’t pay him any attention.
That sounded easier compared to a kiss.
She couldn’t possibly do something as impudent as that. However, the nightingale continued explaining her plan to the nervous Lydia.
There is no way that was true.
When it turned to evening and it closed up to the time when Lydia had to go home, she finally made up her mind and called for Raven and asked him to deliver a message to Edgar.
However, in that moment, it seemed like there was a visitor in the mansion’s salon. Raven, who was asked to deliver this message had told her that but still said that he would go and ask his master.
After a while, Edgar came to Lydia’s office.
“Eh! What about the guest?”
“It’s just someone who gathers at someone else’s house for no particular reason. They aren’t worth being treated as a guest. They’ve gone ahead and started a card game.”
“If it’s a favor asked by you, I’d be happy if it was every day. There’s no need to be modest.”
As Lydia continued to mull things over in her head, they headed to a shopping area in Oxford Street.
She was taken out to all sorts of places by Edgar and made to accompany him in his entertainment, but he was right about it being the first time to go shopping together.
“So, weren’t we going to look for something that could be a good present for Professor Carlton?”
“Then, there’s a good shop just ahead.”
She secretly made a sigh as she looked at the crowd around them. Even under chilling sky that was quickly growing dark, the main street which cut through the eastern and western part of London was filled with people and carriages and it was so crowded that it was causing a commotion.
At the end of Lydia’s sight of vision, there was a male and female pair walking closely to each other and went straight into a jewelry shop.
He might have noticed that she was following that couple - who obviously looked like it was right before their wedding - with her eyes. Then came such a jesting remark from Edgar’s mouth.
She quickly denied him, but wondered if she were to nod here, then that might win her a present, but then she realized what she was imaging, and was shocked at how improper and vulgar she was thinking.
“I’m joking. I was just thinking how nice it would be if that kind of day would come,” he said as he smiled and took Lydia’s hand and made it wrap around his arm.
“The desire I have right now is I want you to allow yourself to be coddled by me more.”
And yet, for now, because she was the one who made this invitation to him, she thought it might be considered rude if she were to walk too far away from him and so left her hand on his arm and walk alongside him.
Was it because Edgar was so good at escorting her?
And then she drifted off in a train of thought. If she were to accept his proposal, then spending time like this together would become a daily routine. Surprisingly, it didn’t feel unnatural.
She turned her face toward a show-window where music came streaming out so that she could take her attention away from that uncomfortable fantasy.
“It looks like a mechanical music doll.”
“Yes, it is a music doll. How adorable… I wonder how something as small as that could move like that.”
“Eh,….No, that’s all right.”
Once she bought her father a present, the two of them should go choose a letter paper. And she could say something like a little pretty postcard as something to commemorate today….
“Since we came here, let’s go take a look. If there is something you like, I would love to give you that as a present. In memory of today.”
“You don’t have to be that surprised.”
However, Lydia suddenly felt timid. The unnecessary worry filled her mind that she might have made a greedy look on her face.
At the same time she felt pressed, Lydia responded with her usual closed mind att.i.tude and although she realized that she was the one who ruined her own plan, it was too late.
I’m such an unendearing girl.
First of all, it was impossible for Lydia to try and pretend to coddle up like a girl in love.
Even when an oddball girl, who had been spending all her time with fairies from her childhood, had reached her marriageable age, she had never received the affection of a man.
Edgar was a natural rake who didn’t chose or distinguish who it was he flirted, and so he would treat her as a lady, but even if she did as the nightingale said, there was no way that she would be able to win the heart of a man.
(Oh heavens, and everything was going perfectly, yet what are you doing?) exclaimed the nightingale, as she wailed about how the shopping outing turned out as a failure.
“I would never be able to do this. I won’t be able to ever fall in love. I think that no matter how hard you try, it’s impossible. Would you please just give up?” begged Lydia.
(Don’t be stupid. If your love does not end well, I will perish and disappear!)
Even that was a real bolt out of the blue for Lydia.
“What are you talking about? Is that a particular condition that comes with your kind?”
(I made a promise with the Lord of the Forest. He was the one who made me into a nightingale. I am not able to leave his forest, in exchange, he promised to give me a lovely singing voice.)
(I was a young girl in love. My health was frail and weak and my life ended very early, but the heat of my love born from my eyelashes didn’t disappear, and so I became a nightingale in his forest.)
(But a nightingale’s mission is to fulfill the love of a young girl. There is only the Lord in the Forest. That’s why he gave me one condition. If I were to leave the forest, then I needed to fulfill the love of the young girl who I meet first. If I cannot complete that, then I won’t be able to return to the forest and will perish.)
The one called the Lord of the Forest, gripped this Nightingale’s life in his hand and was making it so that this fairy wouldn’t be able to leave his side.
Her beautiful singing voice was to stage his forest.
That was because Lydia was completely useless. She didn’t know that this fairy was under such desperate circ.u.mstances.
(Ohh, but, I just became a nightingale and don’t know anything. I won’t be able to fulfill Lydia’s love and melt into the air and die!)
A Fairy Doctor was one who lent their helping hand for humans and fairies. Lydia thought to herself, I must do something.
[A kiss on my eyelash] It seemed like that was the only thing that was going to save this fae.
(Really? Oh, thank goodness!)
“But……,it’s too difficult for me to say something like a kiss. Ohh, isn’t there any other good idea?”
The nightingale finally let go of Lydia’s hair and as she furiously beat her wings and came fluttering up right in front of her eyes.
A kiss on an eyelash. She couldn’t think that just that would be able to change someone’s feelings in an instant. However, to the nightingale, it seemed like that was the most important thing.
Edgar was in his office. When Lydia came dashing in, he raised his eyes from his book and immediately made a delighted smile.
“Um, Edgar, thank you very much for yesterday.”
Standing up, he came walking over towards Lydia.
“Eh, oh, n-…..”
She came to give him an invitation, so what was she doing by coming out refusing it.
“Yes, um, so, it isn’t like I could thank you, but would you like to go listen to the nightingale’s song tonight?”
“It’s quite an interesting nightingale. I hear it’s a beautiful song.”
“At the Nightingale Forest. In Piccadilly.”
“……Do you mean the Nightingale House?”
The magic forest where the nightingale lived. It seemed like the entrance to there was located somewhere in Piccadilly. At this point, it was Lydia’s duty to invite Edgar there.
All was left was to make sure she didn’t try to escape from the embarra.s.sing situation, or not to say anything that would ruin the atmosp