6. The Good Witch of the Lake (4)
Harij’s next visit falls on twilight.
The moon rising in the sky is the spitting image of a cat’s claw. In contrast to the faint moonlight, the starlight shines brightest. The streams of thin clouds create a Yin Yang over the forest.
Harij quickly moves through the woods in order to avoid total darkness.
The bell rings—Chirin—announcing the visitor. Roze quietly peeks across the window and spots a silent lantern glowing on the pier.
Seeing the silhouette of the man waiting for her, Roze’s chest throbs.
The light from the lantern inches nearer—swaying like spirit fire.
To describe her current state; she’s as calm as an invaded hen who’s eggs are about to be snatched away. She opens the wardrobe—among them, is a viridian blue robe gifted by Tien the other day.
Although the petal-like texture can’t currently be seen, the tailoring is still exquisitely. The silk thread embroidery along the hem displays impressive details. Truly, she’s grateful to Tien.
This is going to be her first time wearing the robe before another
At the same time, she also doesn’t want to create the impression she dress-up just for him.
Hesitant, Roze stows the robe back at where it belongs—the back of her closet. Although not before feeling the smoothness of the fabric with her hand.
I’m sorry, Tien… I still don’t have the courage to put it on…
I do want Harij to remember me, yes.
But not as a try-hard witch who doesn’t know the slightest about fashion yet pretend she does…
—Chatan, Roze hears another sound—that must be his boat docking at the pier.
Roze dusts off her shabby, old robe with a few pats. That’s all she needs to do. She then looks in to the water jar—at her own reflection. Noting that her cheeks and complexion are fine, she walks to the front door.
Nervousness assaults her almost immediately. She starts counting in her mind to calm herself, but once she reaches six, feels a presence at the door.
Seven, eight, nine…
Whether she is counting numbers or her own heartbeat, she isn’t sure anymore. Then, someone knocks on the door.
Roze slowly inhales and open the door. It makes a scraping noise.
“Welcome. Have you arrived with everything I’ve asked for?”
Is my voice trembling? Am I smiling properly? Roze faces her guest while taking note of herself.
Harij is tall, so to actually face him, Roze has to look up for a long time. Thankfully, he has astounding features she’ll never tire of.
She takes the lantern and hangs it near the fireplace as usual—besides some other lanterns.
“Indeed, I have. Let’s confirm them, shall we?”
Roze receives the items while Harij pulls out the chair and sits down. She appreciates that—some customer won’t even bother doing that. Instead, she’s the one who has to do it. That or they simply don’t bother sitting with a witch.
Harij sighs, seemingly frustrated. Towards that, Roze inquires softly. “Tired? There’re some potions you can take—“
Even in the dimly-lit room, she can see Harij’s caution. His skepticism towards a witch’s medicines is obvious—why bother requesting a Love Potion, then?
However, Roze pretends to be oblivious towards the contradiction. Maybe even he finds it detestable to resort to such method, but she doesn’t want to be presumptuous.
While pondering, Roze walks towards her workspace, right across the cauldron. However, when she tries to open the cabinet—it appears to be stuck. When she tries to pull it open with all her strength, her elbow accidentally knocks over the materials from Harij. They fall down and a loud noise can be heard—she definitely broke something.
Feeling someone’s gaze directed at her back, Roze turns around only to be met with Harij’s disbelieving stare.
“Just now… did, did something brake?”
Roze doesn’t answer—she can’t answer, because the words she’s going to say will definitely be a lie.
“…Can’t you, clean up a bit?”
“Unfortunately, there’s no magic that can automatically clean a room.”
“You have hands, right…”
At Harij who’s looking at her incredulously, Roze only shrugs her shoulders.
Her two hands can cast magic, yes, but they can’t clean the room. If someone asks why, ‘Because I’m a witch’—is what she’s going repeat as an answer, indefinitely.
Thinking that the conversation is over, she proceeds to confirm what Harij has brought. Okay, it seems that everything I asked for is here. When she starts to work, the conversation ensues.
“Oi. What’s this?”
“Oh, that’s a lettuce from a few days ago.”
Harij is obviously disgusted by the plate of wilted lettuce in front of him.
She snacks on them in-between all her potion mixing sequences. She seems to have forgotten about that one. It’s tip is already discolored, the whole thing is obviously no longer edible.
“…Witch-dono always and only eats lettuce. Is there something particular about it?”
“Not really. The only vegetable in my garden is lettuce. Also, it can be eaten without any preparation.”
“Wha—” He’s dumbfounded again. “Other than lettuce, you eat nothing else?”
I wonder why he’s asking all these questions. Is he, perhaps, curious about a witch’s diet?
“I do. When I go to the Capital, I usually try out different foods …but basically, yeah…” Roze nods.
Suddenly, Harij stands up and approaches her—
—and grabs her wrist. Roze is greatly taken a back. She starts having double-vision. Moreover, his movement when doing this is so fast, befitting of an S-class Elite Soldier.
“Even chicken legs haves more meat than this—!”
“Uh, uhm, you…”
Their distance is really close. Roze feels like she’s going to break in sweat from every single pore on her body at any moment. And his face is too handsome!—wait, how many times have I said this already? Doesn’t matter—his face is too handsome!
Not only that, the thickness and length of his eyelashes are four times her own!
Once Roze can no longer endure that closeness, she turns away.
That’s when Harij realizes what he has been doing is uncouth. He says “I’m sorry,” as he releases her hand.
“…No problem.” After some time, she can finally squeaks out those words. She presses her hand against her chest, and indeed, her heart is pounding like crazy.
After regaining her composure, she speaks in a dignified tone. “From now on, we shall proceed with the available materials. It’ll take some time, so please come back in a month.”
“I have to wait again, huh…” Harij complains, not caring whether she’ll overhear him or not. Towards this, Roze only lowers her head.
***T/N : HOOHOOHOHOHOHO IT STARTED, IT STARTED!!!
-the translator who suffers from fluff deprivation.