50. The Witch That Became a Mannequin
Once upon an early morning.
During the time when the sun has yet to rise, Roze’s scream echoes in the corridor of Azm mansion.
The witch’s robe is fluttering, making noises that have never been heard before.
Roze dashes towards Butler Safina, whom is strolling down the hallway.
Roze’s complexion is deep blue, and she’s sweating profusely. Not even once in her life before had she ever run that desperately.
Despite her desperate action, reality is cruel.
Roze is easily caught by Harij, who’s chasing her from behind. She floats midair, because her collar is held up—exactly like a cat.
Roze sends a desperate plea towards Safina, who is stunned. Then, he sends her a modest glance.
However, it seems that her pleas for help isn’t transmitted to Safina, sadly. Because Safina turns to the document he’s holding and mutters, “Well… next on the schedule is…” and hurriedly walks away.
Harij, carrying Roze over his shoulder, continues through the hallway. She keeps swinging her hands and legs, staring at Safina’s back. She hopes that Safina would turn around—but what a fleeting hope it was! Safina disappears around the corner of the hallway without ever turning around.
—apart from the current situation, after learning that they both feel the same for each other, Harij started treating Roze like a lover.
No, he may have been acting like a proper lover before, it’s just that Roze didn’t quite comprehend it—as Harij has said.
Roze has been loving Harij by default for many years—however, the same doesn’t apply for Harij. Harij naturally didn’t start loving her from the get go.
As such, she hardly realized that Harij had developed the same feelings.
Harij isn’t someone who’s too reserved in doing skinship—but after the ‘sukiyaki incident’, the skinship increased greatly—!?
Albeit his touch is gentle and sweet, like cats playing with each other.
Every time they hold hands, when he touches her feet, when he strokes her neck—even though she feels really embarrassed, she also feels loved.
Of course, Roze doesn’t know that that cozy love game is the result of Harij finally rewarding himself for his patience.
The sound of the door closing ends Roze’s escape from reality. Harij has returned to his room silently, and wildly shuts the door.
Roze is released, thus, she hastily escapes.
However, it seems that the momentum only leads to her feet to get entangled—as such, she quickly falls to the floor.
Nevertheless, Harij doesn’t pick her up. He hunts her down with an intimidating aura.
Roze manages to reach the door by crawling forward, but that’s it. She’s caught. Harij’s hands are on both sides of Roze’s body, with tremendous force, too.
It’s a perfect threat.
…even the leader of bandits would be a little more decent.
Roze can’t see Harij, and that’s when something soft, warm, and cruel caresses her neck. She trembles.
When Roze understands that it’s his lips, she stiffens instantly. Harij’s warm breath enters her ear and Roze cries.
“I’m sorry—!! I’m sorry—!! I’m the one in the wrong—!! Forgive me—!! I’m sorry—!!”
—in the morning, Roze wakes up at the usual time.
Roze, who just had a good dream, feels good and steps down from the bed.
Somehow, she arrives in front of a door.
Yes, that door that connects her room with Harij’s.
Roze may have been given that room in anticipation of their becoming a couple in the future. No words can express how happy she is, knowing her room is connected with Harij.
Roze turns the key on the door and opens it.
She secretly peeks inside Harij’s room through a small opening—
—he’s already awake.
He looks at her, surprised. He’s sitting at his desk, writing.
“What is it? Is something wrong?”
“Did I bother you?”
Roze’s question clearly clarifies the changing in their relationship.
When Harij asked, “Do you want to enter?” back then, Roze felt a little scared, thinking of how it might impact their relationship. Only now does she understand why Harij has never set a foot in her room. That way, Roze can remain a witch—his guest—and him, her patron, instead of her fiancé.
“—yes, put on a jacket, only then you shall enter.” Harij raises the corner of his mouth and gives permission in a gentle voice.
Roze quickly retrieves a shawl from her room and returns to Harij’s room. Even though he’s awake, Roze minds her footsteps—as if that were supposed to be a secret from others.
“Good morning. Would it be a problem for you if I get closer?”
Roze approaches Harij, who’s sitting on a chair.
Roze is careful to not get too close—after all, Harij might want some privacy regarding what he’s currently writing. However, Harij moves away slightly, letting Roze sees what he’s writing.
“I’m writing a letter to announce our marriage.”
“Sure is hard if you have many acquaintances… do you still have a lot left to write?”
“Yes, but I’m fine.”
Silence flows, nevertheless, Roze doesn’t hate that silence.
“I thought I’d tell you later, but a guest is coming tonight.”
“Then I better leave—“
“—no, stay here.”
Harij stops Roze, who thought that her witch’s presence would only displease the guests.
Safina manages everything in the mansion, including entertaining guests.
As such, Roze—who isn’t Mrs. Azm—never thought that she would also entertain guests.
“…I, am to attend too?”
She’s naturally unfamiliar with human customs. Moreover, it’s already well-known how socially withdrawn she is.
If he had at least given her ten days, then Roze might’ve been able to prepare herself properly.
“Don’t worry, you’ve already met them before.”
Roze frowns, but Harij says nothing more.
He seems to think that like a typical young lady, Roze would be pleased with visitors.
Well, yes, if I’m visited by a customer that has loads of money, I would… Roze ponders in her mind. She twirls her light crimson hair in her finger—speaking of which, she hasn’t yet combed her hair.
Only recalling that now, Roze purposefully sneaks behind Harij.
The moment she sees Harij’s broad back, however, it’s as if she’s drawn to it. Her body moves unconsciously to lean on his back.
Harij’s back, which touches her shoulder, is as warm as she dreamed.
While Roze is lost in thought, Harij opens his mouth.
If he were to turn around, Roze would fall—as such, he doesn’t dare to take even the slightest of movements. Harij’s voice sounds puzzled, with a touch of embarrassment. Finding it funny, Roze starts laughing, shaking her shoulders.
“—you seem to be in good mood.”
“I had a good dream.”
“What was the dream about?”
“In that dream, you were carrying me on your back, Harij-san.”
It happened during the first time Roze went to the city with Harij.
After she got tired and fell asleep in the carriage, Harij took Roze back to her dwelling.
That day, she met people of the city. They called him “Harij-san.” That was when she probably decided once and for all, she would come to that mansion.
“I was really happy at that time. It’s been so long since someone had carried me on their back like that.”
“—someone has carried you on their back before? Who?”
To Harij who, for some reason, becomes tense, Roze leans her head and answers.
The voice sounds a little relieved, albeit weak. Roze doesn’t stop leaning on him.
After having such a good dream, his back feels preciously warm, nostalgic—and most of all, within Roze’s reach. Roze feels blessed. She truly feels happy.
Roze turns around and hugs Harij’s neck head-on.
Without noticing how stiff Harij has become, Roze whispers with a dreamy, mellow, voice as she breathes onto Harij’s ear.
“…Can I touch you more?”
As soon as she has finished saying that—which is the equivalent of courting death, her back is suddenly pressed to the floor, while Harij is on top of her.
***T/N: …T-THAT’S JUST A MERE DREAM, GUYS!!!!!!!!!!! ///emerges from behind the toppled over insulin truck/// WE ARE SAFE!!!! WE CAN SURVIVE THIS ORDEAL!!!!!!!! NEXT WAVE OF TRUCKS SHALL ARRIVE BEFORE THE NEXT DIABETES ONSLAUGHT WOULD HAPP–
“…Can I touch you more?”
—ROZE–!??!?!?! B-B-B-B-B-BUT WHY–!?!?!??!?! WHO ARE YOU!?!?!?!? WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO MY ROZE-!??!!?!?!?! HOW FURTHER HAVE YOU EVOLVED, YOU MAKE POKEHARIJ RETREAT BACK INSIDE HIS POKEBALL!!!!!