39. A Confused Witch (4)
“If you’re that worried, I’ll be the one to relay it to her. Do as you see fit.”
Beneath her robe, Roze’s radiant face can be seen.
Seeing such a joyful Roze, Harij wants to share with her happiness but…
…his eyes soon land on the wriggling earthworms again. He frowns.
“It won’t be good for them to eat that many at once.”
Roze decides to abide by Harij’s advice.
She feeds the chickens a few earthworms—picking them up solely by fingers. Some of the chicken peck her soil covered fingers.
Afterwards, she covers the opening using a handkerchief given by Harij and ties it with a hemp string. Some air will pass through, so it should be fine for a while.
“…where are you taking them?”
“To the room you’ve provided me.”
If she leaves them there, Roze fears that they’ll be used by the gardener instead.
“…aren’t you concerned for others that’ll enter the room?”
“I’ll hide it under the bed, then.”
Roze carefully slides the bottle into her robe.
Harij stares at Roze’s abdomen—to be precise, at the bottle hidden beneath that robe. His eyes are full of retorts, however, he doesn’t say anything and heads towards the mansion.
Harij opens the main entrance door. He can do it singlehandedly, that sturdy door, while Roze needs to exert her utmost power to push it. Such strong arms he possess…
She too, approaches the entrance. However, because her eyes are glued to Harij, she stumbles upon something.
Roze realizes it too late and can’t prevent the fall.
“—are you alright—!?”
Harij rushes towards Roze.
“Be careful! What if something serious were to happen!?”
She stares at Harij’s face. His face is splendid, but at the same time, he’s being splendidly noisy too, Roze thinks.
But, Harij doesn’t appear to return her gaze. He’s instead, staring at Roze’s abdomen—the bottle of worms.
“Right now, you aren’t the only one at risk here!”
If Roze falls and the bottle breaks, the gorgeous entrance will be full of squirming worms.
When Harij notices Roze staring at him with half-deadpan eyes, his face turns unusually guilty.
“My bad. Take my hand. Can you stand?”
After being helped by Harij to stand, Roze conceals the bottle beneath her robe again and heads for the door.
Harij, who opened the door with one hand, suddenly stops moving.
When she looks inside—there’s Tara. An angry Tara, to be precise. With both hands on her hips, the aura she exudes looks utterly demonic.
Roze lets out a ‘—hyi’. She drops her head with all her might.
“….Tara, what’s wrong—“
“—How can this be…!? Why did this happen…!? Now this Tara can no longer face Milady without feeling shame…!!”
Harij goes agape and makes a silly voice.
Tara’s anger seems to be directed at Harij, not Roze.
“Botchan, it seems that this Tara has misjudged you—!! How, how could you lay your fingers on a woman before a wedding—!?”
Roze also jumps a little at that.
“You have such a good example that is your parents’ marriage—but now you dare try to cheat our Lady into marriage—!?”
“Tara, please, calm down a little…”
“How can I calm down—?! I’ve been serving you, Botchan, since you were but a kid—!! The day I was this disappointed in you was that day you used Our Master’s—your father’s—horse without permission on the day of the typhoon—!!”
“I already asked you to stop calling me ‘Botchan’… besides, that wasn’t me, but my brother! I was just keeping watch over the horses in front of the stables—“
“—of course you would say that! Before, you said that there’s this woman living alone that you wanted to treasure. I didn’t say a word to that because I knew—or I thought I knew—you would value her. Now, the reason you suddenly brought her into the house has come to light! Just before, Botchan became affectionate, like a different person altogether, and everyone was relieved, because they thought you’re finally going to settle down—…big mistake—!!”
Gan gan gan… and Tara keeps going.
From how the situation develops, Roze concludes that Harij probably hasn’t been able to stand up to her since his early age.
No one seems to be brave enough to stop Tara. Several people are watching the scene with a pale face from the corner of the hallway.
“—let me affirm one thing. I haven’t done anything that Tara has accused me of.”
“You were secretly talking to her in the chicken coop! If that isn’t a tryst, I don’t know what else it is called! You thought I wouldn’t notice! You even dare try to keep it a secret from this me! You said it yourself!”
“Just now, you even said to her; ‘—you aren’t the only one at risk, here’. Botchan clearly confirmed that she’s pregnant!”
Harij suffers under Tara’s onslaught. Not even Roze is given a chance to speak.
“I’ve been taking care of Our Lady for over a month, now! I’m anxious because everything seems to be going too smoothly—and look, as expected! You’ve committed such deplorable infidelity…!”
All the coincidences that happened have led to such an intricate misunderstanding…
When Roze hears Tara’s claims, she also can’t blame her for reaching said conclusion. After all, it indeed sounds reasonable.
However—why did it became this extreme, I wonder…?
“Botchama! Are you listening!?”
“I am! But first, please listen to my explanation—“
“Well, well! As soon as his position worsens, the man tries to silence the woman! This Tara won’t forgive your dishonesty!”
Tara is in tears. Low sobs can be heard from her. She’s probably disheartened, thinking that Harij had swayed Roze with a relationship full of jam-packed lies. Harij is even more taken aback.
Roze stifles her bafflement and disturbance under her expressionless façade, and sticks her hand out of her robe.
“…M-Milady? What, how…”
In her hand is the bottle containing the earthworms. Tara gasps.
“Tara, this is what I’ve been trying to keep a secret from you. This is also what Tara thinks is in my belly…”
Inside the bottle the earthworms wriggle.
Silence falls on spot. The other servants who watched the entire scene from a distant place also feel restless.
“I want to feed them… to the chicken…”
Only then does Tara realize she has misunderstood. Her eyes flutter open as she exclaims, “Oh!”
“My, My Lord, I’m so sorry!”
“I already said that it isn’t like what you think, right?”
Harij doesn’t seem to care at all. Rather, he sounds intent to end it all quickly.
“I, to accuse you of such things, I’ve been disgracing you, Milady!”
“No, it’s fine. It’s better than being accused of being a Man-Eating Witch…”
Tara smiles widely, putting a lid on the misunderstanding incident.
Harij, who recalls the talk about what everyone else thought about him, frowns.
Roze then asks of Tara.
“By the way, I would like to—“
—Zui! One of the earthworms pokes out of the bottle, inciting Tara’s scream.
“—keep this in my room…”
“I, if Our Lord gives you his permission…”
Tara says faintly, her voice suggesting she’s hoping that Harij would refuse instead.
Roze glances at Harij. Harij nods with a sour face.
Tara breathes a sigh of disappointment and the servants watching from over the corner of the hallway collapse.
***T/N: Ya, if Tara stays like this forever it’s just heart and panic attacks waiting to happen for Roze.