Mizue tani. earl and fairy. 1.4 a night by the sea

After taking a series of steam trains and carriages, Lydia and Edgar finally reached a quiet town on the coast. The Irish Sea was right before them, and standing by the window, Lydia had a clear view of the moonlit sea.

And looking the other way into the room, she could see Edgar's refined lines as he sat on a chair drinking a glass of wine with the owner of the mansion. The owner of the mansion, and member of this town's gentry, had come to completely trust Edgar who called himself an earl.

Edgar was in his element spinning a tale of how he'd been injured when they were attacked by thieves and they ended up becoming separated from his servants. He had the gentleman have a doctor summoned for him as well as have new clothes prepared, and on top of that, he let it be known that he'd met a certain noble family with whom the gentleman was acquainted thus securing them an invitation to spend the night at his residence.

The gentleman was greatly impressed by the honor of being able to host an earl.

"By the way, my lord, are you headed for Manaan Island? There really is nothing there though."

"Still, it is my island. Apparently, my father didn't visit it, but since I've succeeded him, I thought I'd see the various holdings with my own eyes. After all, my house's holdings are scattered throughout the various regions."

Perhaps his injury no longer hurt very much after the doctor had tended to it. Despite being told not to drink alcohol for the next while, he was drinking.

Even in the abandoned house, Edgar's dazzling blond hair didn't lose its shine, and under the light of the chandelier, it glowed even more. Lydia glanced down at her own hair in comparison. The lighting in the room made her drab reddish-brown hair look even darker, which is why she didn't like it. Feeling envious of Edgar's blond hair, she couldn't help wondering why she hadn't been born with lighter coloured hair like her parents. Even being born with smart black hair would've been better; dull reddish-brown was simply too average.

'More to the point though, even if I were blonde, I don't have that sort of pretentious, refined air.'

Lydia couldn't help feeling a bit disgusted that even the expensive furnishings in the rural landowner's mansion, which normally had no one to show off to, seemed to have been waiting for a visitor like Edgar.

"I see. I beg your pardon. Come to think of it, there's an old castle on the island. Rumour has it that only mermaids live there, but is that also yours?"

Lydia reacted to the word 'mermaid' and listened to what they were talking about.

"Most likely that castle was built in the 16th century. I've heard that the head of the house at that time was most taken with the island's quiet scenery and built a manor there, but…… Mermaids live there? It's the first time I've heard that."

"Well, it's just a rumour. After all, that island is like a treasure trove of legends about mermaids."

"Like what? What sorts of legends are there?" Lydia couldn't help butting in on their conversation.

The gentleman was taken aback by her keen interest. "W-well……"

"She's unusually interested in the fae. Also, if it has to do with the island, I'd like to hear about it, too."

"Yes, well… it's not like I'm very knowledgeable about it, but the story's much like anything you might hear when it comes to mermaids. Things like people who hear them sing end up being captivated by their song and are dragged into the sea.