History: A touch of color in the Gray
Book 1: Shade the black.
Date: May 25, 2020
Author: Me -_-'
Beta: Nouilleverte (on tumblr) was kind enough to translate it for us :D
Fandom: D Gray Man
Warning: No, I do not own D Gray Man and I do not make any profit with this story.
Summary: After landing in the nineteenth century, Ennaèl discovers that she started working with the Kamelott family, essentially, the villains of DGM. Taking the name of Eve, she became Tricia Kamelott's handmaid, helping her with her daily tasks. Now that life is a little less chaotic, Eve reflects on her arrival in this world and makes the decision to make her own opinion on the characters— ...people of this new world despite her knowledge of the manga. She gradually becomes aware of the social differences towards women at this time and becomes afraid for the future especially when she is saddled with Road and the twins ... Deciding to visit London, Eve encounters, as if by chance, Allen, then Tyki and they become friends. A few days later, the three go their own ways. However, it was not a long parting between Eve and Tyki. After having a rather awkward first meeting with the Duke, Eve decides to flee him like the plague, her attempts to escape leading her to make a trip to Paris with Tyki, where she meets Victor Hugo who entrusts her with a bunch of information about the holy war before dying a few days after. As a result, Eve was dragged to a ball by Tyki, because he does not want to suffer alone, the sneaky guy, and Eve faints spectacularly because of her too tight corset. Don't ask how, but then she discovers a strange talent for musical instruments and wonders with horror if she could be the 14th. It does not help that the Duke has discovered her talents and seems to be more interested in her. And then of course, Eve is harshly harassed for weeks until an employee is almost killed by Road. And so, everything calms down just in time for the twins to be sent to boarding school while Road believes that Eve has a phobia of storms. Life is fairly quiet after that, the twins and Tyki no longer being there. Eve goes abroad for the Christmas holidays and meets a little street boy and decides to (once again) question her morals and help him.
French version: 45 chapters long :)
English version: A moment of silence for Lyra, AxZi and Koneko our wonderful past-Beta.
Fanart: You can see a draw of Eve and some fanart made by Kazemarune and Arya39 on my Tumblr (Ennael too). Also, Elogane made a canon side-fic but in french, It's "Nuancer les sentiments"
Italic: french, important thought (or both)
Hi guys, Koneko can't continue to béta this story and go in hiatus ! So I need a new great soul to help me so this fic continue to being understandable :,)
If someone want to Béta this story, please PM me !
Anyway, Good Reading ;)
There are times in life, when choices have to be made.
There are important choices, and less important ones, and the important ones that seem not really important at first, and the not that important ones that turn out to be very important. That's just the thing with choices. Most of the time, we don't really know what we choose, and the result often ends up being different than what we expected anyways.
As for example with today. I had hoped for a calm day, enjoying myself and some tranquillity in my bedroom. After coming back from Portugal a few days before, and with all the potential troublemakers being too busy to meddle in my projects, it seemed feasible.
But doing nothing felt incredibly boring nonetheless, so at one point I decided to keep on working on my current project: a new card game. This time, it was a "Timeline", a fun game that consisted in each player putting historical events back in order by turns, but which sometimes became more of a cooperative game, since me and my family were not that gifted when it came to general historical knowledge. Adding to that my terrible memory, this game wan a never-ending fun, especially since the only date that I ever seemed to remember was the release of the first Sherlock Holmes book, an event that had not even happened yet, in that world. Anyways, the twins had complained about their History lessons containing too much dates and numbers to learn, so that card game seemed like a good learning method, especially since previous games had had phenomenal effects on them. Alas, as mentioned, dates weren't really my thing, and not even having the certainty that those same events that I knew would happen here, I had to start making serious research.
Thus, I headed to the library.
"What are you working on?" A curious voice asked from above my shoulder, startling me and causing me to knock the whole inkpot over my notes, my dress and above all: the book I was reading from. I swore, stumbled and caught the book to save it from the mess before realizing that by stepping back, nothing could stop the ink from dripping all over Sheryl's very expensive carpet. I hurried forward, and held a piece of my dress on the desk, preventing the liquid from leaking any further.
"I am so terribly sorry, I didn't mean to…" the Earl exclaimed, because yes, of course it was him, before he pulled out a white handkerchief and attempted to soak up some of the ink, but really just managed to make the stain spread further. We stood still for a moment, and looked at the mess we had made, before I let go of my dress, the ink on the desk having stopped leaking. Darn, I was almost certain my petticoat (the underwears of the time) was stained as well…
"Road va me tuer, elle adore cette robe", I mumbled, unaware, while looking at the ruined piece of fabric with a desperate expression on my face.
"Je ne pense pas qu'elle irait jusque là...", the Earl said softly, but he didn't seem that confident in his words. Suddenly, I looked at him, my eyes widening as I processed his words, was that French? Had I spoken in French ? Or worse, did he…
"Do you speak French?" I asked, my brain furiously looking back on one year's worth of memories for any instance of me saying something problematic in my native language in front of him. Now I think about it, he had answered to me in French when I had woken up from my nap on the day I met Lulubelle, but I had still been half asleep and didn't pay much attention.
"Of course, speaking French is a requisite for people of our standing", answered the Earl, visibly surprised.
"Oh, I didn't know, no one except Tri- Lady Kamelott ever speaks French in here". I knew it because I'd had a conversation with Tricia once or twice while she was leafing through one of her fashion magazines written in the French language. But I had never heard Sheryl or Road utter even just one French word, and the least we would mention Tyki's attempts in Paris, and the least likely was I to burst out laughing just from remembering it.
"If there's one similarity between Tyki and his brother, it is, with certainty, their lack of enthusiasm for foreign languages", the Count said with this mischievous smile on his face, as if he was revealing an important secret. "It took them years just to learn English! To be honest with you, I would be happy with them just understanding what they're being told in French, but we can probably give up on them ever being able to converse in that language", the Earl laughed and sat down in a chair close to mine, making me automatically sit back in my own, being too self-conscious about the big stain on my dress that I had forgotten during the conversation. Imagining Sheryl struggling to learn a language was quite amusing, and I smiled meekly at the thought of Sheryl mussing his tidied up hair out of frustration, just like Tyki would do when he was doubtful.
My smile didn't go unnoticed however. A gleeful light sparked in the Earl's eyes, and his whole body language suddenly changed: the playful teenager had now taken over the old and calm Count.
"And what were you doing exactly?", the Earl asked but didn't wait for an answer before grabbing the book I had barely saved from the ink, and looked at its title. "The Life of Alexander the Great" he read, in a surprised tone. I nodded. Come on, I could at least tell him about what I was doing, couldn't I? It wasn't like it was something special or harmful, and he seemed too invested to leave now anyways…
"I'm making a new card game, called the "Timeline", I answered, and showed him the cards' rough drafts. I was suddenly overwhelmed with embarrassment from my drawings, and had to refrain from tearing them back from his hands, when he put his reading glasses on to see better. "The goal is to put the events back in order like with a timeline" I faltered, without knowing why I felt so anxious.
"I have never heard of that game…", the Earl muttered before putting down the drafts, much to my relief. "Now that I remember, the twins and Road played several of those new board games these last months, I see now where they were coming from", he smiled, and I couldn't help but to smile back at him. No! It was the whole piano scene all over again! Is it even possible to have so much charisma? "You've created them all? I've particularly liked the one with the pebbles, what was it again?"
"The Awalé?", I asked, and the Earl irradiated with gleefulness in response. "It's an African game. I haven't created any of the games I have shown to the children, I just learned a bit here and there", I added, clumsily, before moving on to another topic than the complicated subject that was the story of my life. "The twins seem to struggle remembering dates, so I took it upon myself to help them somehow".
"This is a good idea, and it can only be good for Road as well", the Earl laughed. "And you make illustrations and descriptions for each of them? That must be a lot of work."
"Well, I have a lot of free time…." I answered, and I could feel the conversation dying. But instead of him leaving as I thought he would do, the Earl just changed to a more comfortable position in his chair and he grabbed a sheet of the writing paper I used to take notes.
"Me too !", he said, "I might as well help you by reducing the amount of research to make, did you know that I have some kind of a gift with History ?"
No, I didn't know, and I wasn't sure it was a piece of information that I should know about the destroyer of humanity either… Once again, not that I've been asked to give my opinion… But, it turned out the Millenium Earl was actually quite good with History. Really, really good, in the sense that, he was able to discuss of a key moment of every possible major event to have happened by supporting his claims with precise details, dates and funny anecdotes. To hear him talk was like watching a pop-science video on Youtube in live, but with the added bonus of being able to ask him questions on the subject.
It was so interesting that I barely noticed I was writing it all down, at least until I ran out of paper and had to grab the sheets the Earl had taken earlier, but didn't use. And it was… amusing too, I suppose. It was easy to talk to Duke Campbell, he was always attentive, understanding and had a great sense of humour. If I had not known that he was the Millenium Earl, I would never have avoided him like I did. Actually, I'm certain I would have been the one to follow him around to have other interesting conversations.
As I started writing on my seventh piece of paper about the Hundred Years War, wondering if I would even be able to read my notes because of how fast I was taking them, I told myself it was time for me to stop running away from him. It wasn't like it was particularly useful, was it? Spending time with him would actually even be in accordance to my own principles since he would have less time to make Akumas.
And, I would feel less lonely too.
The disadvantages however? Self-inflicted psychological torture because I was spending time with the destroyer of humanity? Well, it was on old friend now, I could feel it with the other Noahs.
So I shouldn't really hesitate anymore, should I?
Taking a deep breath as I made my decision, I started actively participating to the conversation. It was like taking a weight off my shoulders, the more the conversation lasted, the more I smiled and was able to interact. My shoulders relaxed, and my fingers were not tense around my pencil anymore. It was great finally being able to talk with him without a thousand alarms ringing in my head, screaming that I should be careful about each of my words and movements.
In fact, I got so relaxed that I laughed heartily when the Earl told me an unexpected anecdote about King Clovis at the point of asking myself for a moment if it was something he remembered thanks to his Noah memory. It was probably the case. Obviously, it was at this moment that Road decided to kick the door open, always without any regard for others' intimacy. Ugh, I'll give her a taste of her own medicine one day… or so I hope.
I turned my head, still shaking from laughing and with a joyous smile on my face, and I laid down my eyes on Road and Tyki, standing still in the doorframe, their eyes and mouths wide open. It wasn't surprising, you may say, since it had been now a whole year that I had been avoiding the Earl like the plague, and those two had graciously been my way of escaping on several occasions. It must have been very weird to them, to see me laugh with the Earl as if it was no big deal.
I didn't have a chance to hear their feelings about this however, because it was then that Road recorded the disaster that had become my dress and she wasted no time screaming like she was being murder with a rusty knife. Or rather as if I was being murdered with a rusty knife. I wasn't too sure it would do her a lot after all…
But let me tell you that the rest of the afternoon was least than enjoyable for all the involved parties. I'm still annoyed at Tyki for having run away without supporting me. What a traitor.
Luckily for me, it didn't take me too long to find an opportunity to take revenge: the Kamelott were organizing another bal.
To be completely honest with you, I had a moment of genuine fear when Tricia announced it one evening when the whole family had gathered in the small living room (the twins included, but without Lulubell or the Earl. Otherwise I wouldn't be here, Sheryl would've discarded me the second the Earl had arrived. But since he wasn't there, Tricia got what she wanted: meaning my presence). The idea of being involved in the whole ordeal almost made me throw my cards at Tyki as a diversion and escape through the window as a strategic retreat when Sheryl reassured me.
"Miss Campbell will not be required to participate this time, obviously, Tyki can't be shown twice accompanied by the same person, or rumours might start", he declared, authoritative, and I could see Tricia wither a little. She seemed saddened but understanding and just for that look on her face I could've gone up against Sheryl… if the solution to the issue hadn't been me attending the next bal.
Participating once already had been enough for me, and I was not looking forward to reiterate the experience, at all.
Tyki however, turned pale, "But, brother…", he started, and I knew he'd be begging Sheryl: Tyki would only mention their fraternal bond whenever he wanted something. "You've just become a minister, I will be even more of a political target than before", he whined and I could see Road snicker next to me.
Tyki now definitely looked sick and spaced out as if he was imagining something terrible. Usually, I would roll my eyes and tease him about being so dramatic, but I had seen his many suitressess rush at him last year and they were really frightening. Sheryl didn't give him the time to object however, and he turned to the twins who had stayed as quiet and discreet as possible since Sheryl had started speaking. Unfortunately for them, they had not escaped the attention of the master of the house.
"The twins will be attending the bal as well, which will be their first. Since you two have now reached your fourteenth birthday, it is only appropriate", Sheryl said harshly. Devit frowned, and started loudly complaining, followed by his brother. "Duke Campbell has decided so", he cut short, and to my great surprise, the twin stopped immediately and sat down on the ground, sulking.
I could probably learn from that method.
Oh, right. It was once again a bal held for Road's birthday, which meant I had to find a gift for her… Last year, I was able to buy it with the other house employees, but I doubt it would appreciated a second time, and I had now gotten to know her for a whole year, and it only seemed, a personalized gift would much more appreciated. But what? Oh, I could give her the Timeline game! I still have a lot of work to do, but it should be finished by that time. Road is as terrible in History than the twins anyways, and it is a game, so it should be alright.
Satisfied by my choice, I spent the next couple of weeks working on my card game with the notes I had taken during my conversation with the Earl. Fortunately, the illustrations weren't that difficult to make. The hardest part was the writing, as my XXIth century scribbling did not fit the diligent calligraphy of that time. But at least Road could not say I didn't try! I had even asked help from Tyki who, to my surprise, had a beautiful handwriting. This could only be explained by the fact that he practiced daily: I had seen him on several occasions with a notebook in his hands, and I was almost certain that it was a diary. It was fun to imagine, but I did not dare mentioning the subject, it this was his secret place, then I wouldn't want to interfere and ruin it.
On Road's birthday, I woke up early to give her my gift. Or it would be more fitting to say that she woke me up early to have me do it. It was not even five in the morning yet, and she had already slipped in my bed, immobilized me under the sheets and started whispering in my ear.
"Come on, Eve! I'm alone in my room, dying of boredom, and you're the only one awake!", she moaned and laid on my back as I was tightly gripping my pillow, refusing to leave my bed even though she had already taken the blanket off of me.
"Who's fault is it?", I grumbled, "What's wrong with you? Waking me up at five in the morning?", I turned to face her, offended.
"Tyki's not at the manor, the twins are at their sister's place, and I would certainly not wake up Dad, since Mom is with him, and she needs some rest", she stated, raising a brow as if it was only logical and I just made a fool of myself for asking such a question.
"So you made the choice to come and bother me, specifically? That's very mean, and thus it deserves… a punishment!" I exclaimed, jumping on her with a grin, as I tickled her mercilessly. She yelled, and barely attempted to push me back. She was the one to let me do so, I would never have been able to, had she not wanted it.
"Hush!", I whispered, putting my hand on her mouth, listening carefully and making sure she had not woken up the two masters of the house. Not catching any sound coming from the rest of the house, I let go of her and wiped down on the bed sheets the drool that she had smeared all over my palm. I laid next to her, and pulled the blanket on us. "Maybe you don't need it, but if you want me to have enough energy to play with you for the rest of the day, you need to let me sleep for a few more hours", I explained and as she frowned, I added hastily, "What if you told me a story to help fall back asleep? We can swap roles for once."
"Hmmm", she acted like she was seriously considering the proposition, "if you give me my gift now, I will let you sleep and even tell you a story!", she offered, and I flicked her nose in response.
"You had it all planned ! You sly devil !" I laughed and leaned on my elbow to reach for her gift on the bedside table behind her.
"As long as I'm the cutest of all devils…", she said in a cute tone before taking the small package from my hands, "a card game?", she took a guess, curious. She untied the ribbon and threw it away before taking a look inside.
"You're too good at this, I should make it more difficult to guess next year", I smiled nervously. I was almost sure she wouldn't do anything to me even if the gift didn't please her, but not a 100% certain, and I started panicking a bit, wondering if I shouldn't have made her another gift from scratch.
"No! I like your board games, you always have good ideas, the Jungle Speed was particularly fun, I'm sure this one will be as well", she reassured me gently, as she skimmed through the cards, chuckling at some of the illustrations. "I can't find what the rules are… those are dates, do we have to guess the historical events associated with them?", she asked, and for the fourth time and I gave her my small presentation about the game, and offered to tell more about it later in the morning, when the twins would be there. She nodded reluctantly, and offered her small story. I was however too exhausted to listen to it so I suggested she'd tell it next time.
As soon as my eyes closed, I fell asleep and didn't wake up until at least three hours later. Eight in the morning might still seem early, but since we were so used to wake up everyday at seven o'clock, I was surprised not to have gotten up earlier. And I probably would have slept in, had the twins not bursted into my bedroom like two bulls in a china shop. Mark my words.
They nearly destroyed the small round table where I would usually play cards with Tyki, as they had been fighting getting in my bedroom. Fortunately, it only suffered a few scratches. However, Tricia's probably very expensive vase that had been sitting on it for two weeks did not survive the brawl, and had crashed down on the carpet. I couldn't feel any anger though: that vase was hideous, and if it wouldn't caused Tricia to be sad, I'd probably have thrown it off the window the very moment I discovered it in my room. I had an alibi and two very guilty looking suspects, to defend myself. I only started glumbing because my sleep had been disturbed once again.
"Sorry, Eve", Jasdero apologized promptly with his puppy eyes, and made me want to just give him a hug and pardon all his sins. But at this point I was almost sure he was doing it on purpose… his twin mumbled a similar apology with a rebellious look on his face and I sighed, and sat up on my mattress.
Or attempted to, at least, since it turned out Road had fallen asleep next to me and she didn't seem like she wanted to wake up, considering how she hanged onto me like a barnacle to a rock.
"Good Lord, David, Jaspere ? What are you two doing in Eve's bedroom, come out immediately! Don't you two have any decency?, Tricia yelled from the doorframe. I looked up, and saw her shocked expression, and Tyki and the Earl peeking at the scene not so far behind. I just sat there, perplexed, having never heard Tricia lose her temper like this. The boys visibly had the same reaction because it took them a good thirty seconds to step outside. Unfortunately for them, Tricia noticed the small knocked over table, and the broken pieces of her regretted ugly vase all over the carpet, and hurried in the room, stopping the boys from leaving. Then followed a weird scene, with Tricia lamenting on her lost vase and the twins withering a little, me and Road still in our nightgowns, and Tyki and the Earl standing in the doorframe, indecisive as to what to do. In any case, you can bet I was glad having tidied up my room the day before.
"Millenie !", Road exclaimed suddenly, throwing her arms open in this universal motion asking to be carried, and efficiently breaking the uneasy atmosphere.
"Road, no!", Tricia scolded, her hands on her hips. "You're still in your nightgown, you can't…", she started, but the Earl had already obliged, and effortlessly took the little girl in his arms.
"It's nothing really, Tricia. And with those glass shards all over the ground, I'd rather carry her back to her room", he declared, holding the girl in such a way that she would rest on his hip. It felt as if Tricia was about to object, but she suddenly turned her attention to me, as I was about to put a foot to the ground. Suddenly, her eyes lit up in this particular way they did whenever she was caught in her romantic frenzy, I was not even slightly surprised when she asked me not to stand up and risk walking on the shards of glass. We can take note that my lack of a respectable outfit seemed all of a sudden less important, when in a situation where she could potentially marry me off.
I could already see the problems coming, when I asked Tyki to hand me my shoes, which he did swiftly, and also gave me my dressing gown, taking care of turning his face away to let me put it all on. Always a gentleman… Tricia pouted, and I suddenly I could clearly catch sight of the resemblance between her and her adopted daughter.
After defusing one of Tricia's umpteenth matchmaking attempts, I was left alone to dress before joining Road and the twins to play their new card game together. They weren't warmed up in the beginning, historical dates really weren't their thing, but eventually the cooperation method worked pretty well and everyone started participating. Even Tyki joined in, in between helping Tricia with something, and a meeting with Sheryl, and played and played a few cards with a smirk (Tyki was pretty good at History. Surprisingly good actually, I've always wondered if he had found a way to cheat…) before escaping swiftly through the window when he heard Sheryl grumble in the corridor.
After that, things happened one after the other: Tricia lost her temper after the children for having been playing when it was lunchtime. They spent the whole afternoon preparing for the evening while I just watched them running around, with a good cup of tea. I was infinitely grateful not to be part of the whole ordeal, especially when Road threw a tantrum in the middle of her third hairstyle change: I would never have put up with that for that long.
Visibly, I was enjoying myself too much because it all came back to bite me in the ass when the Earl joined in for tea. Although I had made up my mind a few days ago, a whole year of being used to avoid him just didn't disappear like that, so I found myself looking for an escape. Stepping in what was (or so I hoped) the right direction, I striked up a conversation. As long as we avoided any music-related subjects, it would be alright. The mood would be the same as a few days ago, when he acted his age (and not like an excited teenage boy), it was nice.
We were discussing the fascinating topic of how many sugar cubes is enough for one cup of tea, depending on the circumstances (he was always aiming too high to my taste), while Tyki was struggling with tying his shoelaces again after Road had messed with them, and Tricia was attempting to fix the twins' ties in a hurry when a cute little cat jumped on the Earl's shoulder.
"Oh, you're here too?", the Earl smiled and scratched its head, receiving a happy purr in response. The cat rubbed against his hand before jumping on the table (much to Tricia's dismay before she go out of the room to answer to a maid) and getting closer to my fingers to smell them.
"Hi, Lulu", I smiled, stroking her, but she froze hearing my words and I looked back at the Earl to see if he had done the same. Realizing my mistake (no one had named the cat before ! I was lucky I hadn't called her Lulubelle at least…), I was however relieved that the other Noahs in the room didn't pay attention to us. But it had still piqued the curiosity of the Earl, and of Lulubell herself…
"Lulu?", the Earl asked, his voice was so calm it was almost suspect.
With a straight face that I never expected myself to be able to do, I calmly answered "Oh, sorry, I don't know her name but she reminds me of the twins' sister, so…", I let the sentence pending before wondering if had been a good idea to imply that I had seen a resemblance between the cat and Lulubelle… No, not really, but it was too late anyways, and the Earl opened his mouth to answer.
"It's true, the name does fit her well", he said, finally turning to the cat and looking at it instead. "What do you think? Lulu's a cute name, isn't it?"
The cat didn't seem to agree that much, but she meowed in such a manner that it did sound like agreement, although reluctant. It did shoot me a dirty look however before swaying towards the Earl, its tail held high and with all its palpable disdain.
And another screw up to add to my list, another one…
Hope you liked this chapter ! Eve can finally talk with the earl without running the other side X) Next chapter, she is going to have some... hmmm... trouble with Tyki :3 Wait and see !
Have a good day, think about leaving a review and see you next month :3