47. The Clear Lake, Thinness, Sukiyaki, and the Witch’s Carelessness (3)
In the witch’s dwelling, surrounded by the lake, she keeps turning her pestle—around and around it goes.
The mortar firmly held by her feet conveys a slight vibration to Roze.
“—oh no, I ground it too much…”
The ingredient to make a Witch’s secret potion became smaller than the desired size.
Facing such an apparent failure, Roze throws herself on the floor. The dust dances.
“…to cause such a misstep, how many years have I been making potion?”
When she had just inherited the title ‘Good Witch of the Lake’, she experienced countless failures. Recently, she was able to produce results that she could be satisfied with.
Roze knows exactly what went wrong.
“Once I, get married…”
She’s completely dominated by the words she overheard from Harij that morning.
The field that she has always taken care of, the preparation of the potion that she’s already accustomed to—just because her mind is a bit tumultuous, she making many basic mistakes. It’s the first time such has ever happened to Roze. Roze is puzzled at herself.
“I want you to marry me.”
When Harij said that, he denied Roze’s claim that he was still under the potion’s influence.
…thinking about it now, perhaps those words really were caused by the Love Potion.
Why doesn’t she consider the possibility at all?
Roze, who has lived without being in contact with people, may have been aware that deep down, he didn’t mean it.
In short, the one that led her feeling astray, is herself.
Because Harij looked really serious and natural when he proposed, Roze accepted.
Never once did she consider that it might be the jest of an aristocrat. Perhaps being on the receiving end of Harij’s kindness until now has made her gullible.
She naturally believed in Harij’s words, just like that. Even though such words themselves, coming from him, are truly unbelievable.
When she thinks of herself, who shamelessly accepted Harij’s words—“Shortsighted.” She mutters to herself.
To keep believing blindly until that second—is she a fool?
She let it get to her head. She just wants to return to the past, then stand in front of her past self, and laugh at that Roze who foolishly believed in Harij.
Roze trusted Harij. I want to believe him—certainly, that was her own decision.
Now, it’s time for her to lay in the bed she made.
Whether to doubt or to believe, which is right, which is wrong—Roze’s confidence has shattered.
“…let’s go home for today.”
Because no matter how long she spends her time there, she’ll only waste material.
Powerlessly standing up, dust swirls up from the floor. Roze leaves the dwelling, not even minding the dust that has dyed her robe’s hem gray.
Outside, the sun is about to fall behind the edge of the mountain. She hasn’t accomplished much today.
Roze alternately looks at the crimson-colored lake, and the room that is messier than usual, and shrugs her shoulders.
She closes the door and turns over the sign. With the key hanging from her neck, Roze picks up the oar and is surprised—her eyes go round.
At the border between the pier and the forest, there stands Harij.
She’s shocked he’s there. Because even though they often go to the dwelling together, she has never been picked up.
The fact that he has to pick her up like this, mayhap something happened in the mansion. Roze mindlessly paddles the boat.
“Did something happen?”
Although her expression is cool, her tone is impatient. Harij realizes Roze’s impatience, then shakes his head.
“Since I’m off-duty today, I’ve come to pick you up.”
He especially came to pick her up—Roze is astonished for a moment.
To hear that most terrific line from someone she loved—
—as amazing as it might sound, there shouldn’t be such an event in the future Roze has vaguely envisioned…
Forgetting her doubts towards him, in order to hide her embarrassment, she opens her mouth.
“Even though you’re currently on holiday, your work has increased—it must be because of him.”
Harij shakes his head towards Roze, who thinks he had to escort him home. There’s no way that guy would return all by himself, after all.
“No. I’m not worried about him because there’s a knight waiting around the mansion.”
It seems that that man, who was covered in bird droppings, still realizes he’s a prince. Then, after chatting with his friend, Harij probably left him to the escort. As such, Harij can take it easy.
Realizing that Harij is staring at Roze’s feet, Roze also turns down. Apparently, he’s staring at her dirty hem.
Roze pretends it’s nothing and casually wipes the dirt off by hand.
“—was today alright?”
“‘Alright’, as in?”
“Are you going home?”
“Yes. Even if I stay there—“
—I can’t accomplish much work. Roze shuts her mouth. She isn’t confident enough to continue answering. Harij’s face distorts, pondering the reason why Roze stopped talking.
“As I thought, did Yashm say anything more to you?”
Roze is surprised that he’s still concerned about it. She wants to reassure him so he won’t worry anymore.
“No, he said nothing…”
“Then, is it because of me?”
Roze can’t give an immediate answer.
***T/N: A- a crack in the marital armor when they haven’t married yet?!