37. A Confused Witch (2)
A magnificent wall clock, which is enshrined within the hall of the Azm Mansion, ticks.
“…are you done?”
Harij asks the Witch, who is ready to assimilate with the wall.
“—yes. What is it that you require of me?”
“…It feels as if you truly don’t care about me.”
…as if I can NOT care about you!
Oh, how wonderful it would be if I could just ignore how good looking he is…
Roze turns a confused look at Harij. What he just said doesn’t make any sense.
…Like, how with her heart already thundering that loud, yet still, he doesn’t understand.
“I was asking if that’s how she always act around you.”
“I guess? But even though she’s aware I’m a witch, she doesn’t run away. I think she’s truly dedicated to her job…”
On the other hand, Tara and the others’ attitudes had changed greatly upon learning she’s the true ‘Lady’ of the house.
The more she gets to know Tara, the more nervous Roze gets—her heart is ridden with anxiety.
For Roze, who hasn’t been in contact with people for a long time, controlling her words is a very exhausting thing to do. Especially when her constitution doesn’t allow her to lie.
“I’ll speak to her.”
“You needn’t go to such an extent.”
“It’s important for you, right? Going to such an extent means nothing for me.”
Roze feels unsure. She doesn’t grasp the situation completely, however, she feels like she’s being taken very seriously. Again, she’s being taken care of. Roze furrows her eyebrows tightly and squeezes her voice while keeping a close eye to her words.
“Just… just make sure you aren’t being harsh on her. Please be moderate.”
She isn’t familiar with how noble society works, however, she does know one or two things regarding servants. Only a small amount of nobles have actually visited her dwellings in person. Most of the time, it’s those so called ‘lower-class’ servants who represent the nobles in their requests for the Witch’s secret potions.
If a servant fails to gain the trust of his or her Lord, that servant will be kicked out almost immediately.
The fact that her own judgment and casual opinion could affect other’s life is too heavy of a burden for Roze.
As she relaxes, she feels her collar slips off—
—it’s a common occurrence for Roze, whose body is so thin, to experience wardrobe malfunctions.
She puts her hand inside her robe and pulls up the collar—
—however, since the collar isn’t fastened, it slips off again.
“What are you doing?”
Harij eyes Roze’s behavior suspiciously.
“No, it’s nothing, just—“
Both the dress and the room were prepared by Harij.
Wouldn’t telling him the truth make it sound like she’s complaining about what he has kindly provided her?
Roze is surprised at how suffocated she feels—
—so this is how it feels when you are greatly indebted to someone.
The more she spends time there while being aware of the fact that she’s being taken care of, the harder it becomes for her to interact with everyone. After all, to interact normally with them, she would require the ability to lie.
The funny thing, however, is the fact that she actually doesn’t mind it—despite how troublesome it feels.
Eventually, a bitter laugh spills from Roze. Harij, who looks doubtful, raises an eyebrow.
“…It’s the button.”
Harij glances at Roze, who avoids his eyes—
“—could it be… it’s unfastened?”
Hearing her small reply, Harij draws Roze’s arm.
In no way it could be called a gentlemanly, classy, pull, however, Roze obeys without question. She feels like she mustn’t go against it.
Harij opens a door and enters the room. It appears to be the linen room.
…But, just before, they were right in front of Roze’s room.
If he wants to avoid the public eye, he should’ve just taken her there, so why here?
She tries to casually return her gaze to Harij, however, Roze shuts up immediately when she sees that he appears to be in a bad temper—
—silence is money.
After pondering and trying to find the perfect words, Harij speaks in a bitter expression as if he has been punched.
“Take off your robe.”
At that point in life, Roze regrets the fact that back then, she had commanded him to get naked.
There must be nothing behind his words.
He’s telling her to ‘remove her robe’ and not ‘disrobe’. He’s just trying to help her with the button—there’s no doubt about it…
…nevertheless, hearing Harij’s order, Roze becomes frozen solid from head to toe. Not even a single hair on her head could afford to move.
She gently turns herself from him before gently lowering her robe.
Her back is exposed—her bare skin… I’ve been taking proper self-care, right? As such, there shouldn’t be…
…is, there isn’t too much skin getting exposed, right?!
The more she is aware of his gaze on her bare skin, the more flushed she feels. Heat starts to gather on her skin.
Harij reaches out to her—she can vaguely feel him touching the button…
It seems that by not fastening the collar button properly, the dress itself becomes loose. Other buttons have come off.
…now that’s unexpected. There’s nothing I can do about that if that’s the case…
Nothing can come out of Roze’s mouth, no matter how impatient she feels.
She can only keep her eyes open and keep her mouth shut as her senses follow the sensation of Harij’s touch one after another.
Harij grabs the fabric of her dress. Whether or not he knows of Roze’s embarrassment, Harij approaches her in a cautious manner. His touch is delicate—even gentler than peeling ripe peaches…
…as he lifts her clothes, the buttons are being fastened one by one.
It seems that when Roze tried to fix her dress a while ago, she had mistakenly fastened a button to the wrong hole.
At dawn, in the linen room, only the sound of their breathing and the rustling of the clothes can be heard.
Somehow, it’s as if the air in the room itself has become thinner. The more conscious she is of Harij’s hand, the more difficult it gets for her to breath.
After fastening the button on Roze’s collar, Harij’s movement stops.
…is it over?
She wants to inquire, however, her mouth feels dry. She is unable to speak—nor can she move, because she’s afraid she’s going to touch Harij’s fingertips.
Roze stays solidified for a good few seconds.
It isn’t supposed to feel this long.
The entire thing probably lasted for around ten to fifteen seconds, however, Roze feels tired already.
Then—what on earth were you staring at?
…well, he might have also be checking if all the buttons were fastened properly.
“Thank you very much. I wouldn’t have be able to do it without your help.”
She isn’t really inconvenienced. But, if Harij is fine with doing it, that’s also fine.
Yes—alright, it matters not, all that’s important is how Roze wants to leave that place right there and then.
It feels like something invisible is trapped in the air of the room.
When the back of her hand brushes with her cheek—it feels hot.
Her neck must be red—how embarrassing. She lowers her head.
It’s Harij who said it’s over, however, he doesn’t respond to her bow. He stands right in front of the door, which is a bad move since Roze is trying to leave.
She needs courage to tell him to move away.
She doesn’t know why, but Roze feels pressured to do so.
As the time flows, serenity doesn’t return to her. The room feels stuffy.
“…um. Are you… angry?”
Gathering all her courage, Roze asks Harij. She stands in front of him.
“…no, not at all.”
—‘but’? Roze tilts her head.
Harij’s voice is certainly not angry—but what’s with his tone? What’s with the entire atmosphere?
Harij must’ve noticed her confusion—he moves slightly.
—Harij suddenly slides his finger into the gap between Roze’s collar and touches her nape.
As she feels his finger tracing her neck, Roze’s knees immediately give out, it’s a miracle she can still stand.
“I’m not mad. But I’m keeping my patience in check because I want to do things—do you understand?”
Roze covers her neck with both hands as she jumps back.
They are engulfed in silence almost immediately. Probably because Harij keeps staring down at her neck—Roze’s face reddens considerably.
In retrospect, certainly, Harij’s fingertips never rubbed against her skin—not even once—when he was fastening her buttons.
She herself, has never pressed a human button before—however, if she isn’t careful from now on, then she might experience the outcome.
***T/N : My Christmas present for all my beloved readersss….!! I know, I know, y’all feel like you want to kneel down/ kow-tow in gratitude towards me, but don’t worry, all I ask for is just some Merry Christmas wish from y’all–
–Merry Christmas everyone!!!!!