On our way back now. The last letter was getting a bit long, so I didn't mention this odd thing that happened in one of the towns Breda and I were visiting. We found another hot spring, near a little wrecked shrine. Just before supper one night, we decided to strip down to our shorts, and have a good soak. My back did start bothering me near the end, after all that sleeping on hard ground.
It wasn't built up like the pool at the other place. It was a natural pool, but someone had carved shelves to sit on, out of the rock around the edges. When we sat on them, the water came up to our armpits. Well, it came up to about mid-chest on me, since I'm taller. But we kept our weapons loaded and right beside our shoulders, in case we had to grab them quick.
I was kind of dozing, but then I heard Breda say, “What are you doing here?” In a couple of seconds we both had our guns, pointing at this young woman who was standing near the edge of the pool. She said, “You could be killed for violating a sacred spring, you know.” She almost sounded like she'd like to do it to us herself. And she started spouting Ishvallan sacred texts at us.
Well, I've been reading up. And when we were at the other springs, we had a good talk with one of the elders. So I gave her a good earful, about how nonbelievers weren't defiling anything if the pool hasn't been reconsecrated to Ishvala, and how we knew this one wasn't because we'd asked the elders when we got here. She didn't like that, one little bit. Eventually she stomped off, and we went back to soaking.
I didn't think anything more about it, until I got back to the main camp and reported to Mustang and Hawkeye. But then when we were all packing up to make the trip back north, I found out that this same young lady has gotten herself attached to the elders who are travelling with us. Any time I see her around the camp, she gets this superior look on her face, like she's somehow pulled something over on us.
I'm not looking forward to this. I have a feeling she's going to be real irritating on the trip home.