13.1 To be a Witch (2)
“Sorry, but am I in the wrong house?”
First time in a while, Tien stops by to visit. He checks his surrounding to confirm his words.
Roze receives him with an amazed face.
“No, it’s your one and only witch’s dwelling in this area. Don’t tell me you’ve forgotten one of your regular’s house’s?”
“What’s with the change?”
“I’m very welcome towards it and all, but it’s still surprising, you know? The day is finally here—the day where another can finally sit in your house.”
Tien, who still remembers the days when her grandma was still alive, is completely overtaken by the inside of the house. Everything is cluttered as always—everything, except the table.
The table shows signs of having been used.
The moment the bell rang, Roze—whom was sure it was Harij—immediately spread a tablecloth on over the table.
…now, how is she going to explain this?
“I just thought that it’s nice and all—by the way, hurry up and come inside.”
The breeze is getting cold, after all, autumn is going to arrive. When she opens the door, the wind causes Roze to tremble. She urges Tien to come inside so she can close it immediately.
“The Fall is about to come~!”
True to Tien’s words, the forest is turning red. It’s the season when animals step on bushes and fallen leaves to find hidden nuts and berries in the forest.
Harij’s first visit was at the beginning of summer.
She’s surprised at the fact that since then, one season is about to pass.
“It’s been a while. I hope the summer heat didn’t take too much out of you?” While saying that, Tien sits down—
“Huh? What is it?”
It’s utterly ridiculous of her… to feel sad about the fact that Tien had just sat on that chair.
The table spread with tablecloth.
She always sat there with Harij, and only Harij.
Harij probably thought nothing about it …but still, it’s a special thing for Roze.
“Nothing for you to worry about.”
“Did you bump into something?” Tien laughs when she shrugs. “I’ve always told you to clean up, haven’t I?”
…Well, since he’s already seated, why not serve him with tea while at it?
Although he might also ridicule her for picking up said new hobby…
While picking up the pot, Roze sighs.
Fresh bread in the right hand. In the left are some baked apples.
Harij walks through the forest, conscious that he hasn’t completely changed out of his knight attire.
The baked apple was made by cutting a whole apple, it’s a well-known delicacy. Everyone can see it deliciousness with their very first glance.
Harij’s too, finds the apples baked in the furnace and sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar to be appetizing.
Two baked apples are lined up in the basket. The gaps are filled with biscuits to fix the baked apples in place. He bought the biscuits at the same store too—in short, Harij was being a great customer.
Soon, he’s going to arrive at the Witch’s house. He has also become familiar with the path he’s taking. Upon reaching the pier, Harij notices an eye-catching kite.
For some reason, the Witch always knew of his arrival before-hand. She knows even without him knocking—or even rideing the boat.
But, today, upon arriving at the pier, her curtains are still closed.
Did she not notice me yet?
That’s when he realizes the boat that’s usually docked on the pier isn’t there…
As he had never seen another customer besides himself, he sometimes forgets that fact.
The fact that there’s another customer brings him but a little relief—he’s aware that the attire he’s currently wearing might get him into trouble.
But at the very least, his knight’s profession isn’t that obvious.
For feeling said relief, Harij reprimands himself—today, I should urge her for the Love Potion—whether it could be finished sooner or not.
He had started carrying meals for her merely because he didn’t want any hindrances towards the potion-making.
Apples are nutritious, the fact that they are also the Witch’s favorite is beside the point. Other than that, there’s nothing more.
“…Nevertheless, I wonder if she will be happy when she receives this…”
It’s impossible for these two non-sentient baked apples to answer my question, isn’t it? He’s being unreasonable. Harij ponders while he waits for the boat.
At the sound of the door opening, Harij lifts his face—
—the Witch emerges from inside the house, and together with her, a young exotic man.
The Witch walks the man to the pier.
Harij is very surprised. Whenever he returns, the Witch never send him off.
That’s also the moment he notices that the color of the Witch’s robe—which he thought is black this entire time—is exactly same as the forest on a bright sunny day..
Since leaving the dwelling, the Witch and the man have talked endlessly. If it’s only a gesture of farewell, it’s too long.
He mustn’t be narrow-minded; Harij tells himself.
He’s irritated because the boat is taking too long to reach him—yes, that must be it.
However, he can’t stop watching the couple. The uncomfortable feeling, too, keeps bubbling.
—suddenly, the man extends his hand.
He’s patting her head, and at the same time, touching her hood—which she always wears deeply.
—Harij goes still, for a moment, he forgets to breath.
The hood falls down, just like that.
It’s too shocking. The now hoodless Witch is exposed to the brilliant sunlight.
He can’t figure her expression because the man’s back is obscuring his view.
That face of her, which is usually hidden deep beneath her hood, is exposed to the wind.
She dismisses the man’s hand. Yet, the gesture contain no rejection whatsoever—but peacefulness. Like a daughter of age being bothered by her overprotective mother.
The Witch pulls her hood back again. Then, she waves away the man, like shooing a wild dog.
The man boards on the boat before giving his farewell gesture.
After reaching the forest, the man gets off the boat and greets Harij, whom has been waiting the whole time.
“Hi, sorry for the wait. Never thought my visit would overlap with another customer.”
“Understandable. So long.” Hiding his identity, Harij gives a curt reply. He then passes the man and while taking the oar, steps onto the boat.
Harij is confused—he’s nervous of the man, but it isn’t because he’s wary of being scrutinized by him.
He thought seeing the Witch’s face was a privilege only granted to him.
After all, he knows her secrets. That’s why she allows him—because he’s special.
He’s even more surprised at himself—to care so much about being special and whatnot.
That man from earlier, he doesn’t know any of her secrets, yet he can see her face that easily, with such cheap trick.
“—You.” The man suddenly calls out to Harij, who is about to row the boat.
When he turns towards the man, Harij finds that he’s gazing at him with eyes like hawk’s.
The man’s gaze contain hostility, as he sizes Harij from top to bottom.
Even though he finds it unpleasant, Harij still waits for the man’s next words.
That’s when the man suddenly laughs, and says—
***T/N : Ufufufu… somebody’s jealous. I know you’re there for a reason, Tien (LOL)! Sorry to cut this spicy jealous part here, but expect more jealousy on the next part~