42. The Witch and the Mysterious Visitor (2)
Fortunately, Roze needn’t worry about a thing.
The girl lifts her chin and closes her eyelids—the next second, she opens her eyes and not a trace of tears can be seen.
“I’m going to reschedule my appointment.”
Although her regret is still apparent, the girl says determinedly. The girl manages to peel off her gaze from the hole and stares at Roze.
“I’ve troubled you. I have to thank you. What is your name?”
“I’m the Good Witch of the Lake.”
When Roze gives her name, however, the eyes of the girl who’s about to thank her pop open.
The girl’s face is dyed with astonishment.
Even if they exchanged fluent greetings before, anyone would be surprised if the foreign woman they’ve just talked to is revealed to be a Witch. It doesn’t matter even if the person is an aristocrat. Roze expected the girl’s reaction.
“W, w, wi, wi, witch—!!”
From the girl’s hands, the bundle falls, however, she doesn’t seem to notice. She covers her mouth with her hands, and she starts being teary-eyed again.
Roze is a bit taken aback by her reaction—
—just because Harij has accepted her doesn’t mean other in the world will, too.
Roze is proud to be a witch, but she also mustn’t forget that her race is a threat to humanity. She makes a mental note to remember it properly.
Roze pulls away. That’s when the girl says, “Ah—!”
Roze tilts her head, unsure of what happened, but the girl only lets out incoherent noises.
I’ve helped you out of the hole, so I guess I’m done here.
Roze, who feels that there’s nothing left to do there, picks up her soiled robe and brushes off the dirt.
When she puts on her robe and tries to leave, she hears an unintelligible voice saying, “Oh, uh, wai—“
Roze, wondering why she was stopped, asks in wonder.
“Do you need something?”
“Ah, uh, no way, Witch, like, the real thing—? In such a place…? But…”
“Ah, uhm, I’m, I’m a fan—!!”
Roze repeats in her heart.
She knows the meaning of the word, but she isn’t confident that’s what the girl really meant. Fan is a quite a word to be using on someone she just met.
“Uhm, I never expect to meet you here and not in the dwelling! How unthinkable that this would happen!”
In front of Roze, the girl takes out her handkerchief and begins to carefully wipe her hands. Then, the girl’s face flushes red as she tries to spin words.
“Ever since I was a kid, I’ve longed to meet one…”
“Ye, yes, a real witch, the actual thing!”
“A real witch…”
“Ah, since it’s turned like this, I would like to start over again. I even brought souvenirs, you see…”
“B, but, first, let me shake hands with you—!”
The girl offers both of her hands vigorously.
The girl’s hand is trembling. Roze, baffled, holds said hands.
“I, I’ll never wash my hands again!”
—tears spill from the girl’s yellowish-green eyes. Upon so, the girl seems to lose control. The dam brakes, and the girl’s shoulders tremble greatly.
Just now, Roze worried about what she should do if the girl actually cried—but now, she can’t even think properly.
Roze is more confused than the girl who’s currently being overcome by her emotions.
During Roze’s entire life, never has she been admired, asked for a handshake, nor told by someone that they’ll never wash their hands again.
Something that is beyond her imagination is currently happening.
Roze embraces an unknown sensation.
“…Do you need something from me?”
At first, Roze thought she was a guest, coming all the way there to look for her. However, there’s more to the situation…
When Roze inquires for the reason, the girl suddenly stands firm on her toes—
“—to, to be honest, the reason I came…”
The girl places her hand on her chest, as if to calm the raging waves. The girl takes a deep breath—all the while the trees shake, creating rustling noises.
“…m, make me your disciple, please!”
The birds are surprised by her loud exclamation and fly away. Lifting her face, Roze says—
“—no can do.”
“Yeah, I can understand your reason… I suddenly appear out of nowhere, looking like this, lost the souvenirs… The potion I painstakingly made by imitating the great Witch to prove that I can be your disciple—I dropped it in the hole, there’s no way I would qualify…”
“No, that’s not the reason. It’s because you aren’t a witch. I can’t just appoint you to be my disciple. That’s the basic requirement.”
Witch is a status inherited through birth.
Human gives birth to human, Witches gives birth to Witches.
While saying so, Roze suddenly stops—there’s a chance the girl might be a witch.
If so, then the girl is the first witch Roze has seen after her grandmother.
Roze asks, keeping her face straight. She’s excited.
“Might you be a witch?”
“No, actually, I…”
The girl is at lost for words. She looks sad, it’s apparent that if she admits the truth, Roze’s hope would be dashed.
It seems that she isn’t a witch…
Roze pretends to not be disappointed and heartbroken.
The girl also mentioned something about her own crafted potion falling into the hole. It can’t possibly contain the real Witch’s secret, however, bringing it to prove her capability was a good idea.
Roze really wishes the girl could be her disciple, but that’s now how it works. It doesn’t have anything to do with Roze’s wish. It also doesn’t seem to be what the girl wants to be, knowing what it fully entails. After all, witches are vague entities that drift in the world.
“How did you manage to come this far?”
“Through the help of my attendant…”
“Where is that person?”
“Waiting at the forest entrance…”
“I see. You can return by yourself, right?”
When asked, the girl nods slightly.
“Well, this is it, then. If you have any business with the Witch, I suggest that you first consult with your parents. After all, it involves the Witch’s secret potion.”
Roze pulls her hood deeply. Then she bows and walks away.
***T/N: Met a fan deep in the forest, y’know, the usual!