23. The Princess Enchants the Witch (7)
“—sorry for the wait.”
After the calm, a strong, firm voice echoes in the room.
The place is entirely dominated by Harij.
The guards who are on the verge of subduing the ‘mysterious man’ find themselves unable to move a muscle. They can’t even muster a word.
To the dumbfounded guards, Harij asks in a stern, clear tone.
“To which affiliation do you belong? Name?”
“Your lack of courtesy and also aggressiveness makes me suspect whether or not you are real guards. If anything, only villains behave that way, do they not?”
The guards immediately fix their posture.
“—towards your unannounced visit, she tried to respond with civility. You should’ve responded the same—but instead, you frightened the poor thing to the point of being so scared, she’s about to fall.”
Harij utters, while rubbing Roze’s back as she leans against him. She lets out a cat-like murmur, one which Harij has never heard before.
Harij’s mellifluous voice, which is sweeter than any desert he has brought her, pours into her ears like honey.
However, at the same time, a large amount of question marks occupied her head—
—this… he’s treating me like I’m his lover…
Her breathing is gradually relaxes due to no longer lying.
Blushes have returned to her hood-covered face.
She should be alright now—Roze tries to move away, yet, Harij doesn’t let her. …S-shouldn’t I be sitting somewhere else? The production rate of ‘?’ in her head increases.
One question mark, two question marks, three—…
Right now, it’s as if she’s playing a game in her head—one which requires her to arrange row and row of question marks.
“I’m truly sorry, I’ve done some very awful things—my name is Naja Hasara, I’m affiliated to the Arnaf Sulfufa group.”
“I’m Kev Bizel.”
“The Arnaf Sulfufa group—then, your captain must be Sir Philsuf?”
The attitude of the guards is clearly undergoing transformation—
—and Roze can see why. Harij is effortlessly excluding that noble aura of his. In short, they’re all enveloped in his dignified aura.
The guards speak to Harij as if he’s their superior—although it’s unclear if they realize it.
“Once, when he was young, Philsuf was my father’s valet. Because of that, since I was a child, I’ve been acquainted with him.”
Harij speaks like it’s nothing, while continuing to rub Roze’s back.
Roze is unable to do anything—she ends up becoming a figurine seated on top of Harij’s lap.
“—e, excuse us. But, can we have your name, please?”
The guards uttered with a bitter expression. The words ‘death sentence’ hangs in the corner of their eyes.
When he proclaims his real name carelessly like that, Roze stiffens. Which only leads to more gentle strokes from Harij. Roze is truly embarrassed, now.
“—well, this royal knight apologizes if he has the same hair color as that fellow thief.”
The guards immediately stand upright and salute—
“—we absolutely apologize!!!”
“W-w-w-we’re very sorry for not recognizing you sooner, Lord Azm—!!!”
“I don’t care about that. What I care about… you do know what, don’t you?”
The hand rubbing her back stops.
Harij’s aura, which dominates the whole place, stills. Cold air solidifies all three of them.
“Lady Witch, we’re sorry for the trouble we’ve caused!”
“In the future, we’ll be more responsible!”
The guards’ firm bodies bend as they bow their heads to Roze.
Roze wriggles her body, trying to respond to them—however, Harij tightens his embrace and prevents her. Since she can’t go against Harij’s strength, Roze stays still.
The guards must be thinking that they’ve messed up grandly right now. The two of them absolutely can’t stare at Roze and Harij any longer.
“B-but, isn’t this strange? For what reason are you here, Lord Azm?”
“Oi, stupid, stop your mouth!”
“—otherwise, what would we be writing in our report!?”
“Well, you can just make up anything—!!”
It seems that if they’re both ordered to jump into the lake, they would happily do so. From their faces, it can be seen that remaining there is the last thing they want to do.
Harij provides the answer to the guard’s question.
“I’m a man, and she is a woman. If you insist on meddling further in my personal affairs, I’ll be more than happy to report to your captain directly.”
The guards salute before briefly making themselves scarce.
After the guards scramble away like terrified rabbits, Roze finally regains her senses.
As soon as she too, tries to jump off his lap, Harij increases the strength of his embrace.
Trapped, Roze stares begrudgingly at Harij—
“—Mr. Customer, what do you think you’re doing!”
Roze sputters back—to think that Harij would joke like that!
“You can return to calling me Harij again.”
Roze becomes angry.
Until just a second ago, it was too much for Roze. Everything is unexpected, she can’t stay calm!
“W-why!? Why act like we’re a couple? Such a blatant lie! Moreover, why did you give them your name—!?”
“I can ask you the same, Roze, why bother lying for my sake?”
His expression turns serious—he’s no longer the joking person from before.
His sharp, ultramarine blue eyes pierce Roze. His gaze seems to be blaming her.
Instead of thanking her, he criticizes her, instead—?! Roze glares back—
“That’s because I’m sure Mr. Customer wouldn’t want others to know that he visits this kind of place—!”
That’s why she bothered to hide him. She thought that this way, no problem would occur. She never expected them to get into an argument over that.
“—and because of that, you told a lie? You told a lie that almost consumed your life?”
Why would she desperately tell a lie—why would she desperately risk her life for him?
In this world, there is only one reason—
—because I cherish you more than my own life, Harij.
—and yet, she can’t admit that.
“I don’t know the consequence would be that dire—it’s the first time I ever lied, after all…”
“That’s not what I meant…”
“Answer me first—why, why did you appear? Even though I went so far as enduring the pain to cover for you… you even directly told them your name…”
To Roze’s desperate plea, Harij finally relents. He wants Roze to cheer up.
“Ten days from now, the Princess will be married in a distant land. After that, I’ll be relinquished of my position as the Princess’ bodyguard. So, such rumors won’t affect my stature—it won’t even have the time to develop into something drastic.”
“If it won’t cause problem to both you and Ms. Lau, I’m relieved… but, what about your family?”
“My family? It doesn’t matter, I’m not the heir. Also, because of the advanced departure, they won’t have time to deal with reinstatement—if the rumor does cost me my position. It’s a month before I return here, so everything should settle down by then—”
“—then, it actually isn’t a problem at all!?”
Why is he so calm?! Roze is at the point of shouting.
“T, the rumor about us, being lovers…”
“…it’s rare for you to be so upset, show me your face?”
“Don’t toy with my feelings!?”
Roze shouts back at Harij, who tries to lift her chin to take a look at her expression.
However, because she strongly fights back while Harij is loosening his arm, she loses balance.
“—what are you trying to do?”
—but Harij supports her, preventing her from falling—Roze feels utterly dumb.
My pride, love, and everything, can go to hell!!
Even though she immensely wanted to protect him, turns out it doesn’t matter in the end—Roze feels outwardly pathetic…
This increase of dilemma is unbearable for Roze.
After managing to escape from Harij’s grip, she immediately shoves the Love Potion to him—
“—after receiving this, you no longer have any business to be in here, right!? I don’t need your money, so be gone from my sight!! You scummy, shitty, large devil, bug!!”
After pushing Harij out of the house, she furiously slams the door shut.
It’s the first time in Roze’s, Good Witch of the Lake’s life, to let out such colorful curses.
*le translator: … …. ……… …..
…. ….. ……………… …….. //looks down// //found a bloody, gaping hole on her chest in the shape of <3// //cough out blood// //fell down to the floor// //rolls around in pool of blood like fish out of water// //death// //–is revived again–//
*Harij: “You can return to calling me Harij again”
*le translator: //cough out blood again// //fell with a thump// //is tossing around again//… … …
…and the karmic cyrcle of samsara continues…
—I SWEAR TO GOD. AND IM SURE THIS ISN’T EVEN HIS FINAL FORM YET!!!!!!!!