Novel Name : A Saint who was Adopted by the Grand Duke

A Saint who was Adopted by the Grand Duke - Chapter 11

Prev Chapter Next Chapter

“Why me? I don’t want to. There’s a previous meeting I need to attend!”
Darwin turned to Esther, disregarding the misbehaving Judy who was running around in a fit.
“After choosing the room you will be staying in, come to my study.”
“Yes? Yes!”
She was not in a position to refuse.
Esther replied that she would do so.
Soon, after Darwin descended the stairs, only Judy and Esther were left in the hallway of the third floor.
Darwin had removed all the servants and guards from the floor, therefore the noisy corridor was promptly overwhelmed with silence.
‘What should I do?’
Esther turned her head towards the wall, unable to face Judy.
She realized Judy didn’t like her very much from the beginning, so it would be difficult to get along with him well.
“Hey. I have to leave fast.”
Judy’s eyes were filled with dissatisfaction. He was displeased at how his father prevented him from leaving.
He had to hurry and meet Sebastian to press his nose!
Judy grumbled to himself, frowned and proceeded to circle Esther.
Then, while wearing an unpleasant expression, he stood behind the little girl and measured her height.
‘Aren’t we similar in height?’
Esther seemed to be smaller than her peers, but Judy was also relatively short.
Dennis was the only one who grew tall, overwhelming both the twins.
The difference between Judy and Esther was only one span.
Judy didn’t like the fact, so he raised his sharp paws and called for Esther.
“I’m taller.”
Esther widened her eyes as she stood idly. She didn’t respond to his intimidating call and only tilted her head to the side, contemplating as to why he suddenly brought up his height.
Esther’s drooping eyes only then turned noticeable for Judy. As though he had finally realized her worth, Judy quickly strode to Esther and stared into her face.
‘Isn’t she like a puppy?’
Judy owned a dog since he was five years old. Not many people knew of the fact, but he tended to be distracted by cute things.
Therefore, Esther’s round and clear eyes could not be ignored.
Judy groaned impatiently as he strode from her.
“Choose quickly, I have somewhere to go.”
Esther hurriedly walked behind Judy after he ordered her to follow his lead.
The sound of both their shoes clacking against the porcelain floor echoed throughout the empty corridor.
All rooms had their doors wide open.
Esther, scanning each room as they passed by, halted before they could pass the third chamber.
It was a room that held an impeccably large window.
The outside view held an especially clear view, thanks to the window which took up more than half of one wall.
A room bright enough for one to be blinded by the flashing sunlight.
Esther, which had lived in the dark all her life, seemed to be witnessing a place she had visualized in her mind during her grim times.
She unknowingly stepped inside. Her feet seemed to be holding a mind of their own.
“Wow, it’s very pretty.”
Esther stood before the window, completely possessed. She could witness the well-groomed garden outside. There seemed to be the background of mountain peaks far behind the residence.
It was then.
Esther’s arm was pulled backward by an unknown force.
“Hey, you can’t stay here. This is my secret base.”
Judy applied force to the hand clutching her arm, slightly threatening she should never choose to stay in this place.
Esther complied with his order without much resistance.
‘I shouldn’t be greedy.’
The place she stayed in during her days at the temple was a moldy attic located at the furthest corner.
Such a room was too brilliant to suit herself.
“Yes, I’ll take another room.”
Judy turned flustered the moment Esther’s eyes thickened, as she spoke lifelessly.
“Damn it.”
Judy wasn’t intending to be malicious.
This room was just very important to him.
There was a sturdy pipe next to the window which played the role for him to use when secretly escaping the mansion during his prohibition.
So he couldn’t yield… However, seeing Esther’s sad puppy-like appearance scarred his heart.
Judy scratched his head and sighed deeply.
“Ah, I don’t know. Just use it.”
“Can I?”
Esther’s eyes widened as she halted from leaving the room.
She thought her change in mood wasn’t obvious, but the difference in facial expression could be made out by simply anyone.
“Yup. I’ll give you special permission.”
Judy’s shoulders soared to the sky as he replied so casually. He rubbed his nose, overly proud of his kind act.
Nonetheless, he couldn’t just hand her his secret base for free.
Judy placed his hands on each side of his waist, suggesting a fair deal to Esther.
“Come meet Sebastian with me instead.”
“Who is he?”
“He is. A Stupid kid.”
Judy stretched out his hand as he spoke.
His index finger poked Esther’s soft cheek.
Embarrassed by Judy’s sudden behavior, Esther quickly raised her hand and covered her cheek.
She wondered the reason he did so, but nothing was wrong with her face.
“Young master, why…”
Judy abruptly covered the startled Esther’s mouth, causing her to keep quiet.
“What are you saying? Just call me brother.”
Esther caught her breath.
If thought about it, brother was the correct way for Esther to address him. However, she had never called anyone like that before now.
Brother. She felt awkward and nervous just thinking about it.
“Try it.”
Judy lifted his hand from her mouth. Then he pressed Esther with his eyes, urging her to call him quickly.
As Esther hesitated, Judy raised his voice.
“Does it look like I have time?”
Esther intuited Judy’s stubbornness wouldn’t be easily broken.
There was only one way to remove that burdensome gaze from her.
“Judy, brother…”
Eventually, she barely managed to create a shallow voice and lowered her head.
Her cheeks were flushed with shame at the word she had spoken.
Esther shook her head to cool off her hot cheeks. Her hair, which had been tied into a ponytail, fluttered over her shoulders.
‘Sister… It feels good.’
Judy’s mouth widened open.
When he heard the word ‘brother,’ his shoulders rose to the fullest.
He felt like he now had something to protect.
The protective instinct Judy had never felt before arose.
He could see a little now, why Sebastian liked his sibling so much.
“Let’s hurry.”
The thrilled Judy proceeded to drag Esther down the stairs.
However, Ben, which had been waiting for them on the second floor, swiftly caught him from having it his way.
“Are you finished? His Grace is waiting for Lady Esther.”
Judy grumbled as Esther was taken from him.
“It can’t be helped. Instead, I’ll see you tomorrow.”
Then he swept Esther’s palm with his own.
Esther’s eyes filled with anxiousness as she contemplated what to respond with. Judy called for her sharply.
“What are you doing?”
“I stamped my hand. You should’ve returned it.”
Judy frustratedly pointed at the middle of his hand. Then he complained if Esther had ever tried it before and showed his palm again.
Esther flusteredly echoed Judy’s posture.
“L-like this?”
No one had informed Esther this was a hand stamp.
Esther had never done such an intimate action with anyone. She had no one to do it with.
So it was mesmerizing.
It wasn’t much, but when she blankly gazed down at her hand which met with Judy’s, she felt tickled, recalling their promise to meet tomorrow.
“I promised you tomorrow. Bye!”
Judy waved his hand before speeding down the stairs. He disappeared as quickly as when he first arrived.
Esther clutched her slightly warm hand as she followed the footsteps of Ben.
** ━━━━━━━⋅•⋅⊰∙∘☽༓☾∘∙⊱⋅•⋅ ━━━━━━━ **
In the meantime, Darwin was seated on the sofa in his study, tapping his fingers against the armrest.
“Why did I leave the two alone?”
Darwin was hoping for Judy and Esther to become closer, yet he soon came upon the worry Judy might have played a practical joke on Esther.
If looked upon his personality, it was only normal for Judy to do so.
Darwin lost his composure and acted unlike himself. He pressed the table.
‘I’ll have to head there.’
Just as Darwin prepared to stand, a knock could be heard from outside the door.
He quickly straightened his posture and coughed to clear his throat.
After crossing his legs and sitting upwards, not a bit of anxiety could be seen remaining from his appearance.
“Come in.”
The door opened and Esther entered the study.
She nodded to greet him.
“Come and have a seat.”
Esther trotted towards the sofa as Darwin urged her to.
As she approached, it smelled strangely sweet. She couldn’t make out where the alluring scent originated from, as it was covered by Darwin’s large back.
Esther walked to the sofa as she sniffled her nose, soon discovering the cause of the smell.
Various kinds of pastries were set on the table as if put on display.
Esther’s eyes glistened the moment she spotted the sweets.
Darwin, on the other hand, laughed inwardly, delighted by Esther’s raucous response.
As soon as Darwin heard that she held a liking to pastries from the dressing room, it was worthwhile for him to prepare them for her after their arrival.
However, Esther never anticipated these dishes were prepared for herself.
‘Duke, I hope you enjoy these sweets very much.’
She hadn’t thought Darwin favored them to the extent of having the sweets prepared in his study.
Esther concluded not to touch anything he had a liking for, so she quickly changed her view from the enticing plates.
‘You aren’t eating?’
When Esther, whom Darwin anticipated was going to help herself to the plates at once, turned from then, his eyebrows frowned.
“Ahm. Have you decided on your room?”
“Yes, I chose the third.”
“Well done. I will prepare new furniture.”
Esther raised her head as she pressed her hands firmly against the temptation of the sweets.
“There is still a bed and closet in the room for me to use?”
“They’re old. I have already called someone to match the furniture, so it will be fully renovated in a few days.”
Darwin stated for them to be old, yet all were quality, compared to those used by Esther while at the temple.
A mattress that used to exhaust her back every night, a closet that had pretty much broken down, in addition to a desk which she didn’t even fit in.
Nevertheless, Esther nodded calmly to match Darwin’s rhythm.
Darwin then loosened his legs.
As Esther felt the change of atmosphere, she also improved her posture.
A pile of papers was placed next to the sweets, on top of the table positioned between the two.
Darwin gracefully picked up the paper at the very top of the pile.
He pushed the paper in front of Esther in a slow but steady motion.
“This is a document stating for you to become adopted.”
For a moment, Esther speechlessly stared at the document before her.
Along with a few simple lines proving the rightfulness of the document, each held his or her name on the bottom of the document for a signature.
Tersia’s seal already contained Darwin’s stamp.
“You can dip your fingers in the ink and mark your seal under your name.”
A very simple explanation.
A family was something Esther never had, even when she wished for it to the extreme.
The label ‘orphan’ was a shackle never separated from Esther.
It was strange how only one document such as this could easily establish a family relationship.
The thin paper seemed capable of tearing with the tiniest of force applied to it.
“…I’ll sign.”
Though many emotions aroused deep within her, Esther stifled her thumb and slowly pushed it against the ink.
As the ink came in contact with her, a damp and cold sensation spread through her fingertips.
Esther pressed the chilling sensation under her name.
Then, a red mark was engraved over the adoption papers.
** ━━━━━━━⋅•⋅⊰∙∘☽༓☾∘∙⊱⋅•⋅ ━━━━━━━ **
Prev Chapter Next Chapter