Does Obfuscate's penalty carry over until it applies?

We were testing Duel of Wits again tonight and ran into this situation. The Evil Wizard obfuscated and won, imposing a +1 Ob penalty to the Idealistic Young Priest’s next action. In the next volley, we had scripted actions that don’t interact (Rebuttal/Avoid if I recall correctly). No test. Is that +1 Ob penalty wasted, or does it apply to the next action with a test?

If the penalty is wasted, and you Obfuscate at the end of an exchange, aren’t you inviting your opponent to start the next exchange with something that has high chances of no test?

The +1 penalty is wasted.

The second answer is “Yes”, but that might be part of your strategy.

It’s next action, and yes that means sometimes the penalty is wasted.