16.3 The Witch and the Promised Love Potion (2)
What did he just say? Roze tilts her petite neck in confusion.
With wrinkles on his forehead, Harij answers.
“—a Love Potion.”
Instantly, she forgets all her previous emotions as surprise takes hold of her.
With her eyes, mouth, and nose gaping as wide as possible, Roze stares at Harij.
Harij turns his head away, as if trying to escape Roze’s gaze.
“…this time, is it for yourself?”
“It’s unbecoming of a witch to pry into their customer’s private matters, isn’t it, Roze?”
To conceal how bothered she is due to being called by him, Roze shuts her mouth.
—indeed. Witches don’t pry into their customer’s life. This time, it’s entirely her fault.
But, after seeing the potion’s effect on Roze, how can he order for another? If this is a joke, it’s in bad taste…
At the same time, as a witch, Roze can freely uses the witch’s secret potions.
There’s only one reason why Roze doesn’t use the Love Potion for her own benefit—
—once the spell is broken, only despair remains.
“I understand. I accept your request.” Roze also reminds him, a bit reluctantly. “It’ll take some time again, you are aware?”
For some reason, Harij laughs brilliantly.
“It doesn’t matter.”
That’s the name of the witch whom Harij isn’t allowed to call.
He never thought of the significance behind calling women by their names. Granted, for him to even have an interest towards a woman other than the Princess is unusual enough already.
However, when he was told that he’s not allowed to call her name—to him, it felt like a slap.
Harij is baffled—how am I supposed to address her, then? It feels like they’re back to being strangers again.
It doesn’t escape his mind how easily the witch under the effect of the love potion allowed him to call her name.
The name that the usual her won’t allow him to say—lovingly, she begged him to say her name.
…Saying her name once won’t be enough for me—
—it never will.
Yet, at this very moment, he finds himself unable to rebuke Roze, who is trembling like kitten.
He also realizes that’s not the way to do it—
—this girl, growing while being pampered by tender love, should be coaxed instead of anything.
Harij remembers that after she drank the Love Potion, the ‘love’ she felt made her embarrassed, thus hiding beneath her hood.
He also remembers the way she did as she pleased to him.
The way her fingertips tease him was obscenely skillful, yet her smile was as innocent as a flower blooming in the sun.
The current, cold her post the effect reminds him of the usual Witch he knows—expressionless, but loves to stuff her mouth with apple sweets.
Gradually, all his thoughts regarding the ‘unusual’ Roze during the Love Potion incident shift to the one and only Roze who is in front of him. She’s all he can think about.
Roze accepts Harij’s request.
The love Roze had showed him before was passionate, but also fake. After all, it was a feeling induced by a potion—
—and yet, ‘it was all just a mere imitation of love, induced by a potion’—somehow, telling himself that feels too unbearable. In the end, he can’t do it.
Although the effect only lasted a brief moment, for him, it was so much more—it was something that was impossible to recover from.
She probably thought and felt nothing about this, since she was the one under the potion’s effect.
That day, after the potion’s effect vanished, Roze became frigid.
After she finished wrapping up the pills and potions, Roze hurriedly demanded payment from the still dazed Harij. He handed her the cash. When he was about to leave, they exchanged their farewell greetings.
While still confused, Harij returned to his mansion.
—the hammering in his chest felt like it would never stop.
Ironically, it was as if he was the one who took the Love Potion.
Since then, he couldn’t forget the voice of Roze; her warmth; or her moist eyes—
—that was all he could think about since his wake.
Towards the disturbed Harij, Roze declared that the potion has no lasting effect on her whatsoever.
From the second the last grain in the hourglass fell, no trace of Roze’s previous affection towards Harij was left. It has vanished entirely.
Shouldn’t he be relieved, then?
Yet, remembering Roze’s cold attitude, loneliness lurks inside him.
He thought that by visiting her again, he could clear it up—thus, he visited her without any hesitation.
As usual, he wants to have snack with her.
—only to discover not a trace of him remained within her dwelling.
It was all done by her own accord. She wants to completely erase all traces of him—be it from her place, and also her past.
What awaited Harij once he arrived was utter rejection.
Harij was very surprised. He believed the bond they had nurtured together was worthy to be called ‘friendship’.
He was very sure she would welcome him again—just like usual.
His past time, which consisted of drinking warm tea near the small, sunlit window—he thought it would last for a long time. Never once did he doubt that.
The petite Witch in front of him thought that returning his tablecloth would solve all the problems.
Towards this heartless Witch—he wants revenge.
Thus, he called her that—fully aware she wasn’t under the potion’s effect.
Her expression was a mix of shock and regret.
—serves you right!
It’s as if his heart is being pierced by a multitude of invisible spears.
He’s rejected, after all.
Turns out those feelings she had showed him the other day were purely potion-induced—they didn’t reflect her true heart at all.
Harij’s predicament continues—
—Roze, in a roundabout way, tells him that he’s no longer welcome since he’s not a customer anymore.
Harij replies with, “I want to request for another Love Potion.”
The Witch’s secret potion, that he thought was too shady, that he shunned because it distorts person’s mind—he wants it, he said.
To him, it’s a clever idea.
He has experienced firsthand, how tedious the making process was. He knows the enormous amount of time it took.
If he spends that much time with her again, Roze probably won’t reject him anymore.
Still not knowing why the Witch rejects him so, Harij is greatly satisfied with his own plan.
O Harij, thou rarest of the rare pokemon tier 5… such a roundabout way to inform us that you just wanna spend more time with Roze XD