Chapter 10 Reflection and Resolution
In the end, I went back home in a daze.
The various information and memories I had until now were getting entangled in my head and were in a state where I couldn’t put them in order.
When I returned home, Mother fretted over me saying I looked pale.
I was at a loss about whether to tell her about the matter of the child but I decided I better consult with my husband first. I told Mother that I was going to rest for a while and headed to my room.
I’d usually swing a sword or read philosophical books when I’m trying to calm down.
But right now, I really don’t feel like doing any of those.
I realized I’ve been acting strange since I got married – no, since a little bit before that.
Had I not been like myself…?
Once I indulged myself in thought for a while, I realized I’ve been like this since meeting my husband.
Was it because my pride kept getting hurt with the continuous losses and I was losing my fighting spirit or something? Even though this was about me, I don’t quite understand.
In the first place, why did I care about something like winning or losing? I pressed my past self for answers.
And leaving that aside, I was nothing but cruel to my husband.
Believing the gossips as they were, I didn’t even try to see him for who he really was.
My husband, Eric Von Weimar, praises me lavishly when he opens his mouth and acts overprotective towards me. But he’d maintain a certain level of distance and I never once felt him look at me lewdly or anything.
If I were to say then he was just a harmless con-man.
I’d forced unreasonable demands on such a man and expected those demands to be granted like it was only natural. If the rumours about him were a misunderstanding, then that means I’ve been tremendously impolite.
The worst of the worst, with no consideration for her partner. A selfish, haughty, bad wife.
That… was me right now.
The result of naively thinking that I’ll get pardoned because my husband had a bad reputation.
What should I do? What was the best thing to do? Right now, I don’t know.
In any case, I have to talk with my husband.
Taking into consideration that I had various things to reflect on, I told the maids to avoid going near my room.
As I waited for my husband to return in the evening, I had time to sort out my thoughts.
Three hours later.
Thinking I’d go rest a bit, I fell asleep before I knew it after leaning on the back of the couch.
In my dreams, I saw a memory from the past.
That was… how old was I back then?
It was a memory of the day when the knights assembled and offered to teach us how to use a sword.
Yearning to be like Dorothea-oneesama, who served as a knight for the queen, I’d thought of how I wanted to be able to wield a sword too.
I gladly joined in, but a boy my age went and told me: 「Girls don’t wield swords. Be a good girl and stay at home」.
He wouldn’t believe anything I told him about Dorothea-oneesama so I went to Mother in tears.
—it’s so frustrating! So what if I’m a girl, I can do it if I try!! I mean, look at Dorothea-oneesama, she became a splendid knight respected by everyone!!
I felt an emotion that was as fiery as hell fire. It was quite intense for a child burning in rage.
After that, I…
At that moment, I woke up with a start.
It seems I’d been sleeping with my forehead drenched in sweat while furrowing my eyebrows.
An old memory resurfaced in my dreams so I wound up letting out a large sigh.
I realized why I was particular over winning or losing against the opposite sex.
What happened that day was probably the trigger that led me to beg Dorothea-oneesama to teach me swordsmanship.
That boy… what family had he been from? The only thing I could remember was that he’d been a brown-haired, ill-tempered young boy.
With the chime of the clock, I came back to my senses.
It’s evening now.
It’s about time I get dressed.
The reason I had to look pretty when I appear in front of that man was so that I’m prepped for a fight– no, I mean, so that I’m decent.
It seems my husband returned home without stopping by his workplace so he was still in his uniform.
I sat in front of my husband, who just came back, with a nervous expression in my face.
「……Thanks… for the good work」
「Yes, thank you very much」
When I asked whether he was tired, he replied that he was fine.
「Don’t they say that life’s worth living after you get married? I feel fulfilled now more than ever before」
「Really? If so, then that’s good」
The room went silent as a grave.
Even though I had to quickly tell him about it, no words would come out of my mouth.
Now I understand the meaning as to why Keira Von Plovak kept opening and closing her mouth before.
Even though I was doing it, I wasn’t making any progress.
Preparing myself for the worst, I decided to seek my husband for advice.
「……There’s something I want to talk about」
「That is, Keira Von Plovak has given birth」
I told him the child had black hair and blue eyes.
「Is that so?」
Based on his reaction, it was like I was telling him something trivial like how it’ll rain tomorrow.
His palor remained the same but the smile on his face disappeared.
After that, my husband stared at me, waiting for me to say something.
「T-that is, uhm――」
I gave an apology together with a bow of my head.
I aplogized to him over believing the rumours and misunderstood him.
There were a lot that I had to apologise for aside from that. But I feel like it’s wrong to say it now so I refrained from doing so.
「I’m really sorry. I was rude not asking you for the truth」
Despite what I had done to him, my husband forgave me.
「You don’t have to mind it. Since even if you asked, I couldn’t talk about it due to imperial order after all」
「Is that so……」
With a gentle tone, my husband asked me what we’ll do.
「Eh, what do mean by ‘what’?」
「Please decide how we should proceed, Hermina-sama. I’ll do as you command」
「A-as I command, you say」
No, your sincerity isn’t important right now…
What’s more, I’m surprised you’ll leave a very important decision to me.
「What if we don’t adopt the child?」
「Then it will be arranged that a special facility in the Schneider region will take care of the child」
The Schneider region.
An isolated village surrounded by a tall mountain range that would be difficult to reach by those unfamiliar with its snowy landscape.
「Since ancient times, the royal family’s illegitimate children are sent there. It’s also a place where they isolate blood relatives so that the royal family bloodline will not cease in times of war, widespread diseases or calamities」
The Schneider region.
A place that’s dim nearly all year round and where the sun rarely rises.
Saying that “a facility that protects the royal family bloodline was there” is…
「If in the event we adopt the child, I decided on saying we adopted your sister’s child」
「I have the aproval from the prince and Marquis Synek」
Marquis Synek was Dorothea-oneesama’s husband.
It seems he decided on saying that he adopted a child of onee-sama who supposedly gave birth to triplets recently.
「Were you going to make it so that onee-sama gave birth to quadruplets?」
He says if onee-sama hadn’t given birth, he’d have found a way to reject my demands.
It seems they overlapped by chance so he was able to turn the situation for the better.
「What should we do?」
I told Keira Von Plovak I would adopt the child. Breaking a promise wasn’t good.
Regretting my past actions, I fell into a total slump.
Everything was because of my own unbelievably foolish actions.
The consequence where I troubled onee-sama also landed a critical hit.
Doing something like troubling my beloved sister, which I considered at the top of the things that should never be done, merited certain death.
When I asked my husband whether or not to adopt the child, he told me he was fine with either options.
To oneesama, my brother-in law, my uncle and my husband.
To everyone, who I got involved in my reckless decision, I want to deeply lower my head and apologise.
I wound up doing something that can’t be undone, I thought as I buried my head in my hands.
My nerves ended up coming out as tears. I feel so embarrassed.
While I was in that state, my husband gently cheered me up.
I decided to inform Mother about this incident for once.
I thought she’d be surprised but instead, Mother looked calm.
When I asked if she knew about the truth, she shook her head to the sides.
「If you observe how Eric-san acts everyday, you’ll know he isn’t the man the rumour paints him to be」
It seems Mother had pieced things together.
Looks like I was the only one who fell for the rumours.
「I’m… worrying about what to do, to be honest……」
Should I send the child to the place she should be, or not?
It wasn’t something I can decide lightly.
「I… wonder why it happened this way」
All this time, I’ve been a selfish and ignorant young lady.
I wonder if someone like me could be able to become a parent for the child.
「Hermina, taking care of a child everyday is a priceless thing, you know」
「Parents learn a lot together with a child who doesn’t know a thing too」
「Then, would I be able to become a parent?」
「Yes, of course you can」
If you’re ignorant, you can learn together with the child.
When you hear the child’s selfishness, you can think back on your own selfishness.
That’s what my mother said to me.
After I heard her say that, my heart was set.
With that, I decided to adopt the prince’s child.