Chapter 12 Soul Purification?
For the first time in our married life, I’m having breakfast with my husband in the estate. He told me today was his day off.
With that, my husband asked me what my plans were for today.
「I’m thinking of going to the river for baptism」
Baptism is a ceremony where you purify your sins by pouring holy water over your head. It’s done when you reflect on your actions and think, “this won’t do”.
Believing a rumour I wasn’t certain was true or false, I wound up arbitrarily deciding that my husband was a scoundrel.
That was a grave sin.
During the time I’d remained ignorant, my soul may have been corrupted.
‘I must hold a baptism and cleanse the evil within me’, I thought.
Once the baptism is over, I’m planning to ask my husband for fogiveness again.
「You don’t have to baptise at a cold season like this」
「I’m told that the colder the water, the holier it is」
「Oh, is that so?」
I had to finish the baptism before the sun rises to the sky and the weather gets warm.
I thought our discussion was over with this, but my husband posed an unexpected question at me.
「Hermina-sama, would you mind if I joined as well?」
「I’d like to try removing an evil spirit, myself」
「Is that so? It’s going to be pretty far, will you be alright?」
「I think it’ll be fine」
「If that’s the case, then let’s go together」
After breakfast, I rode a carriage with my husband and several maids and headed off to the entrance of a nearby forest.
Getting off the carriage, I turned back to look at my husband.
「It’s going to take about three hours from here to get there by foot」
「……I guess it’s quite the location then」
「It’s because the lower section of the river is conscpicious」
We’ll be going into the forest so I came here wearing not a dress but a stand-up collared tunic and pants. The maids were also similarly dressed.
My husband put on an attire that was completely for strolling around town.
Well, it does seem easy to walk in, so I don’t think there’s any problem with it.
I roamed around this forest with Alexia-oneesama since I was young. I’m also familiar with where the river was.
As a precaution, I wore a bell in my belt to ward off wild animals. They’re pretty timid so they won’t show up when I have this out. I did sort of have a sword in my waist just in case, though.
We proceeded into the forest smoothly before sunrise.
Since the two maids originally served under Alexia-oneesama, they were used to walking in the forest.
It seems my husband followed along without a problem too.
Midway, we took a break.
Taking off his coat and laid it on the ground, my husband offered it to me to sit on.
「It’s my pleasure」
Since he went to the trouble to do it, I decided to gratefully sit down. My husband sat beside me as well.
The maids built a fire there and prepared to brew us some tea.
「They’re quite amazing, aren’t they? Those girls」
「Yes, they’re the maids I pride myself with」
I’m sure glad I brought you guys along when I got married.
The estate was brand new but the familiar servants were there so I was able to feel at ease even when I return home.
I had to express my gratitude to my husband who answered my request.
「Because of that, uhm……」
Being stared hard at, I became at a loss for words.
It’s just one word of thanks yet I couldn’t say it right.
I plucked a grass near my hand and pointlessly played with it.
「Hermina-sama, that grass… may I know what it is?」
The one I’d been holding was a violet leaf. A poisonous plant.
There’s no problem with simply touching it, but if ingested, a person will suffer from numbing for three days and three nights.
「I see. You seem to know quite a bit, don’t you?」
「I learned it from Alexia-oneesama. She said if you dried it up and boiled it, it turns odorless and tastless so you can use it for a lot of things」
「Of course, I’ve never used it for anything so far, though」
「That’s good to hear」
Alexia-oneesama taught me a lot about plants in this forest like how they can be used for medicine or as spices. It seems he’d enjoyed himself the most when I was telling him about the poisonous plants.
「Come to think of it… was it alright that I asked about poisonous plant?」
I ended up explaining when he asked but… I had been told not to reveal the virtues of poisonous plants.
「I.. wasn’t supposed to talk about it」
「I guessed as much」
「Please… don’t tell anyone!」
Had I always been this much of a loose lip?
Or was it because my husband’s way of asking too good?
No, no, I can’t lay the blame on someone else.
My soul really is corrupt.
I’ve got to baptize and purify myself fast.
Dejected, my shoulders sagged.
For some reason, I’m not myself when in front of my husband. I don’t understand the reason, though.
‘Hahh’, I let out a large sigh.
「And I’ve never told anyone about the poisonous plants up till now…」
「It’s alright. I’ll pretend like I never asked, so please don’t worry」
With an earnest expression, my husband told me, 「I’ll swear on my sword」.
「Then, I’ll take your word for it」
「Thank you very much」
We took a break from our conversation here and had a light meal as we drank the tea the maids brewed for us.
Like this, it felt as if the tea and food I usually enjoy in nature was tastier than usual.
…but I don’t have the time to be lazing around, though.
After taking a breather, we began to move again.
An hour and a half later since we our break, we arrived at the river.
There, in the place that was designed as a waterfall lake, cold water was streaming in.
When my husband dipped his hand in the water’s surface, an sublime expression crossed his face.
「It’s quite cold」
「Yes, if it wasn’t cold, my corrupt soul won’t get purified after all」
「……Is that so」
Mimicking my husband, I touched the water with my fingertips as well.
I retracted my hand in a panic.
It was a lot colder than I imagined so a strange cry came out, I’m so embarrassed.
Timidly, I looked back at my husband who was behind me.
「Ah, pardon me」
With a hand on his mouth, my husband laughed.
–T-this is so embarrassing!
I decided to pretend like I hadn’t seen him laughing.
「Anna Maria, the bucket please」
Let’s finish this so we can quickly go home, I thought as I scooped the river water with the bucket.
「What is it?」
「Wouldn’t it be fine not to go that far?」
「Your soul isn’t corrupt」
「I’ve never seen any other lady who’s pure as you, inside and out, Hermina-sama」
「T-that… I bet you say that to all the ladies don’t you?」
「No, just to you」
His eyes didn’t appear like he was telling a lie.
Again, I ended up doubting him.
I fell into a pit of self-loathing.
「In the first place, why did you want to do a baptism?」
Because I spoke and did terrible things when I doubted you. That was inexcusable so I confessed it all without hiding a thing.
「So you’d been worried about something like that」
「”S-something like that”, you say…」
「I’m fine with just my important person knowing that the rumours are a lie」
「Who knows, I don’t quite understand myself」
“I may have nerves of steel”, my husband said. I don’t believe that’s it.
When I asked whether he was really alright with that, he nodded with a smile.
「I was so happy and relieved that you realized that the rumours weren’t true as well, Hermina-sama」
“That’s why, you don’t have to do the baptism”, my husband said.
「Then, for what reason did we even come here for……」
「For a picnic?」
「……This is quite the extreme picnic, isn’t it?」
We climbed a decent-looking cliff before we arrived here, and descended down a slope that looked as if we could tumble down from it
“It was surprisingly fun”, my husband said.
「Besides, I learned how soothing it is to be in nature」
「Really? You think so too?」
「Yes. Coming into contact with the abundant greenery of the forest, I wonder whether I was cleansed both mentally and physically」
Although I’d been discussing the splendor of excursions at tea parties and similar events up till now, maybe because they weren’t interested, they all just listened to me with an uncomfortable look on their faces.
My husband told me he’d like come to the forest and have fun again.
「Then, I’ll make a boxed lunches when we do」
「I’m looking forward to it」
We made a promise inside the forest.
After that, we spent another three hours walking around inside.
After we returned home, we entertained my husband’s relatives who came to visit and had our evening meal together.
It appears that today had been a productive day.
Tomorrow, when I go to Dorothea-oneesama, I have to talk about various things and ask her for help.
Although I was worried about what to do if I trouble her or if I end up getting hated, thinking it was for the child, I thought of being brave.
When I told this to my husband, he came back with a surprising response.
「Then, let’s go together」
「I think it’s better if we go together, both husband and wife」
「That would be reassuring, but what about work?」
「I’ll slip out」
「Is that so?」
Hearing that my husband would be coming along, I felt completely relieved.
Firi: Σ (ﾟДﾟ;）
Hey wait! Hermina, you should tell him not to skip work!!