32. The Witch Sets Off
—kopopo. The water makes noise.
In the glass jar, the swirling light leaps for one last time before vanishing.
The green pupils closely distort into slits.
The crescent moon-like eyes are convinced of their success.
She folds the robe then stuffs it into a bag. Her toe hits the floorboard twice—tonton.
A bag packed with the bare minimum amount of luggage is light enough for Roze to carry with ease. The interior of the house is draped with thick curtains—even though it’s still noon, the surrounding is as dark as night.
This is but a momentary parting—but she still feels a little sad.
“…well, then. See you.”
Sweeping her gaze over the room, Roze bows her head slightly.
Of course, there’s no response.
However, the serene, calm, air that doesn’t give any response also doesn’t blame Roze for anything.
When she opens the door, the fresh spring air greets her.
Roze inhales and after sticking a piece of paper on the door, leaves the lake.
Today is the beginning of a new day—the day where Roze will start living together with Harij in his estate.
Roze, who has been harboring an unrequited love for many years, was able to meet Harij again because of the Love Potion he requested.
Roze didn’t answer to his marriage proposal right away. However, Harij was truly concerned about leaving Roze to stay at such a dilapidated place—not to mention it was once ransacked by a thief. He was also kind enough to not only feed her, but also let her stay as a guest every night.
The sun is still high, nevertheless, Roze can’t help but be anxious.
She never thought that someday, she’d be moving away. Thinking about the new world—a world she has never met before—fills her with unease.
She feels unconfident. Leaving for the first time, she wonders if she has made the right choice—if leaving is the correct decision.
In the end, she decides that she’ll believe in Harij.
Starting today, she’ll be staying in his mansion.
Harij has told her of its approximate location during their visit together to the town before.
Apparently, the Azm mansion isn’t located in a residential area, but a little away from the hustle and bustle. In short, it isn’t really that far away from the forest where Roze lives.
He also has taught her where to go. With the help of a carriage, Roze can probably reach that place by herself. Safina is supposed to pick her up in the afternoon, but Roze chooses to go alone because she doesn’t want to burden him. After all, he also has work in the mansion.
If she gets there by the afternoon, there should be no problem. Thinking so, she immediately leave her dwellings after watering the field in the early morning.
As of now—a little past the cattle hut, rushing through the bushes—she is almost at Harij’s mansion, and safely, too. Moreover, it’s still way before noon.
“…it’s very tall…!”
Roze whispers while wiping off the leaves clinging onto her hair.
“That’s right, he mentioned a black roof…”
Looking around, none of the mansions have black roof except for that one.
Although it’s as she expected, she’s still amazed by the mansion towering before her. It’s certainly larger than what she imagined—the enormous size could probably fit many of Roze’s hut.
It’s apparent that the mansion was built by skilled craftsmen. It’s as elaborate as a piece of art. It’s incredibly tall and consists of amazing number of windows.
None of customers she has been in touch with until now have ever invited her to their residences. Because of that, Roze could only imagine to the sort of houses the aristocrats have been living in.
In the mansion, precisely at the back of its large garden, is a chicken coop and a stable. When her grandmother was still alive, they used to keep chickens in a cage. Roze feels excited.
She gently approaches the wired fence. The chickens spread their wings, as if welcoming Roze. The nostalgic smell of livestock, mixed with soil, dirt, and food wafts. As she inhales the aroma, she decides she’ll also show him this later.
Next to the weathercock spinning on the roof is a splendid chimney. Smoke billows—lunch is probably being prepared.
Roze’s nose is tickled—she wonders what kind of meal is being prepared today.
As Roze watches the rising smoke in leisure, she recalls the tasty rice Harij had brought as a souvenir.
Suddenly, the mansion’s door opens.
From the inside, an elderly woman comes out bringing luggage in her hand. She wears a plain dress, draped with an apron, and a white kerchief on her head.
When her line of sight lands on Roze, she appears puzzled, but also suspicious.
“You, why are you standing there? …is there anything you need?”
“Umm, does this mansion belong to Azm?”
“Yes, that is certainly correct.”
“Good afternoon, starting from today, I shall be in your care…”
The woman interjects before Roze can finish her sentence.
“Why—! Aren’t you late—!?”
Roze is shocked by her loud voice.
The woman doesn’t sound angry, but she doesn’t sound welcoming, either.
The woman suddenly beckons with a big gesture. “Come here—!”
Roze stands firm and quickly begins to match the woman’s pace.
“You dare come late when it’s only your first day. You should be grateful that our Lord is generous.”
Roze is baffled—she thought she had arrived early, however, it turned out she was actually late.
The woman, not paying attention to Roze, keeps muttering while putting the garbage she was carrying within a wooden box in the garden.
“My name is Tara. You can call me Tara.”
“Geez, and look at you! I’ve never saw someone this tiny, before! Moreover, there is dirt everywhere! Get moving, hurry!”
Roze rushes towards Tara.
As soon as she enters the mansion, she sees the kitchen. There’s a container for clean water; a table with a lot of cooking utensils lined on top of it; and a large, stone, kiln for cooking.
But, first and foremost, there’s a sweet, good, aroma wafting around.
As she picks up the smell with her nose, Tara, who had stepped out of the kitchen, stares back from the door.
After mentally saying goodbye to the apple compote that had enthralled her nose, she obediently follows Tara.
The inside is as large as what can be seen outside, and yet, she’s still surprised. As she walks through the corridor together with Tara, Roze doesn’t miss the chance to look around.
The sun shines through the windows, illuminating the mansion. A wide selection of furniture lines the walls. The ceiling—which she thought was just painted with pure white plaster—was actually carved with artistic patterns.
As Roze’s mouth goes agape, Tara again beckons to her.
Going up using the stair which was polished to perfection, they both chat with extremely low voices.
“I didn’t quite catch your name.”
Tara whispers in understanding.
—could it be, that she’s going to live there as a servant?
Well, maybe it’s a misunderstanding on her part.
Maybe this is what ‘staying at his mansion only at night’ actually entails.
Then, she stares at Tara’s white hair and thinks that she has no choice but to do her best.
***T/N: LMAO, ROZE KNOWS HOW TO ACCEPT A PROPOSAL, BUT HARIJ, SHAME ON YOU. YOU PROBABLY DOESN’T EXPECT SHE DOESNT PROPERLY KNOWS WHAT BEING A WIFE MEANS (lmao look at how readily our adorable Roze assumes the role of a maid)
…and, umm…, ROZE??? DON’T JUST START THE ENTIRE MAID X KNIGHT SUBPLOT BY YOURSELF? OTHERWISE, I DON’T KNOW WHICH TAG(S) SHOULD I USE TO SORT THIS STORY–“umm, a semi-witch semi-maid adorable girl is stealing the knight’s heart…” OR HOW MANY MORE BOXES OF INSULINS I NEED TO ORDER.
and please please please check out my new project! A battle hardened maiden as a prota!!!!!