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

A Saint who was Adopted by the Grand Duke - Chapter 21

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The next morning,
Esther opened her eyes, struggling with the stuffy humidification.
Somehow, when she lowered her head to catch a glimpse of her stomach, Judy’s legs were sticking right above.
Esther dumbfoundedly moved Judy’s leg. Surprisingly, his thigh was effortlessly tossed and his body twisted to the other side.
Nevertheless, her bewilderness had not yet been resolved. Something was wrong. It was only then that she realized her left hand was locked in a much bigger one.
Darwin was asleep on the chair. Although he was in a very uncomfortable position, it seemed he held onto her hand throughout the night.
Darwin’s face was like a statue constructed by a craftsman.
Esther admired Darwin as she gawked his way. Such an appearance of the duke seemed much gentler than usual.
When Esther finally came to her senses, she stealthily moved her left hand.
She tried to sneak it out, but as soon as she budged, Darwin’s eyes sprang open.
“Ah, did you wake up?”
His eyes were so clear, she wondered if he were the same person who had been dozing off until now.
Esther bowed her head after remembering what had happened last night, recalling how absurd it must have been.
“I’m sorry, because of me…”
“At times like this, you shouldn’t apologize. Instead, say thank you.”
Darwin spoke casually and patted Esther on the head as if nothing happened.
Esther’s posture was uncomfortable all night, so when she stretched, several cracking sounds could be heard from her shoulders.
“Judy, wake up and walk to your room.”
Darwin shook Judy’s shoulders to wake him up. The boy was fast asleep.
“Ugh. Leave me alone. I’m going to sleep more!”
Nevertheless, Judy only whined and covered his ears with a pillow. He didn’t intend to head back to his room.
“If you don’t wake up, I’ll hold you upside down…”
“Duke, it’s alright. He couldn’t sleep because of me, so I want to let him rest more.”
Darwin was really going to hang Judy upside down and wake him up, but looking at Esther’s face, he decided to hold himself from doing so.
“Alright. It’s still early, so get some rest and come down for breakfast.”
“Yes, thank you.”
Esther nodded.
She bowed, her heart filled with so much sincerity that her head scarcely touched the ground. Darwin raised her head once more and left the room.
‘I think it stopped raining.’
Esther trotted to the window. The curtain was drawn wide open and the morning sunshine poured through the room.
As she watched the brightened outside world, she remembered what Darwin had said last night.
The very words that darkness is nowhere near where the light has driven it out.
“Is it true?”
Until now, she had never escaped the darkness. It was always darkness following darkness. Despair was only beginning again.
So she didn’t know that she could see such a clear sky the next day after the thunderstorm.
“Can I, too?”
Will the day come when she pushes the past away and becomes familiar with this life?
Esther pulled herself from the window and closed her eyes. It was good to feel the warm sunshine and light breeze.
“Uh, it’s cold! Close the door.”
However, Judy seemed to be the opposite. He frowned and dug into the blanket, complaining it was cold.
Esther smiled back at the sight and closed the window again.
She liked the sky. But she liked Judy a lot better.
“Shall we go back to bed again?”
It was still more comfortable to sleep on the floor than in bed, but she thought that habit could be fixed as the time went by, little by little.
** ━━━━━━━⋅•⋅⊰∙∘☽༓☾∘∙⊱⋅•⋅ ━━━━━━━**
After the rain stopped, her routine remained the same.
Esther acted as if nothing had happened, and Darwin also did not mention what happened that night.
As soon as she finished breakfast, Esther headed back to her room and sat there eating the pie that Dorothy provided.
“Are there any places you want to visit?”
“Is there any place for me to go to?”
“Of course! There is a castle next to here. There is also a lake. In addition to that, there are countless gardens you haven’t been to. I’ll take my lady there if she wishes for it.”
Esther’s ears rang at the word lake. She was bored residing in her room every day, so it didn’t sound like a bad idea to roam around the mansion.
But the moment Esther opened her mouth to agree, a knock resounded from the door.
“Who’s there?”
Dorothy wore a look of surprise as she greeted Dennis.
“Y, young master?”
“Yes, may I enter?”
“Of course.”
Dennis headed straight for Esther. He was dressed in plain attire.
“What were you doing?”
“I was just resting.”
Esther was the most uncomfortable with Dennis in the mansion. It was because his eyes seemed to be openly observing herself.
She’d rather have him show his dislike, but he was the type whom you wouldn’t know what he was thinking.
As he stared at Esther for a while, Dennis asked with a smile.
“Then will you come out with me for a while?”
Esther’s eyes widened at the unexpected remark. Even Dorothy turned anxious and exchanged glances at the two.
“I just want to speak to you, so let’s go to the Havel Garden together.”
Dennis’s tone was amiable and courteous. But his eyes were not smiling at all. Esther could feel the pretentiousness coming from them.
‘What is he thinking?’
Esther found it strange that Dennis proposed such an offer to her.
“Why? No?”
“No. I’ll come.”
However, she accepted his offer, concluding it wasn’t too bad to follow along.
“I’ll come with you.”
Dorothy snuck behind them, sensing a foreboding feeling. As Esther’s personal maid, it wasn’t unusual to accompany her.
However, Dennis refused at once in a scolding tone.
“I have something to tell her.”
“Well, then I’ll stay a far enough distance. I was ordered to assist the young lady during the day.”
“What are you so worried about when she’s going to stay in the residence?”
Dorothy alternated looks between Dennis and Esther with a puzzled expression on her face.
“I’ll be back. It’s okay.”
Esther winked at Dorothy to reassure her.
She didn’t want to make Dorothy uncomfortable. Dorothy had helped her get used to this place in many ways.
Eventually, Esther and Dennis left for a walk alone.
But Dennis, who claimed to be going to Havel Garden, headed to the other side of the garden. Esther had never before been on this road.
‘Why are we going here?’
Esther contemplated suspiciously, but silently continued walking alongside Dennis.
The place they arrived after walking for a long time was none other than outside the mansion. In front of the outer wall, bushes were sprawling.
Dennis cleared the bushes. Then, a dog hole that a person could easily fit through appeared.
“We’re going out here.”
“I’m going to town.”
Dennis entered the hole first, leaving the embarrassed Esther behind.
“Come quickly.”
She considered for a moment whether she should just head back, but once more chose to follow Dennis with the notion that it wouldn’t be harmful to stick with him.
As Esther entered the hole without much hesitation, Dennis observed her, his expression peculiar.
“I thought you wouldn’t come.”
“You asked me to leave, didn’t you?”
“I did.”
Dennis smiled and held Esther’s hand.
The two successfully escaped the residence.
“How did you meet father?”
“By chance at the temple.”
It was a story shared between only Darwin and Esther. Only these two people will know the details.
“But why did he take you?”
Esther was also curious about the reason. She didn’t answer; she herself was oblivious.
“I wanted to make this clear, but I haven’t accepted you as my sister yet.”
Dennis worded his thoughts without distress, not because he disliked Esther, but because he didn’t feel any like towards her.
It was neither hate nor like.
Dennis, whom everyone thought of as decent and polite, was in fact more brazen than Judy.
Rather than being kind to anyone, Esther held a clear distinction about who he really was.
“I won’t think of you as a sister if you aren’t one.”
“It’s alright.”
Esther also returned with a simply plain answer.
It was better to be honest. It was natural he didn’t favor her. She did appear as his younger sister so suddenly.
“But both father and Judy are crazy about you.”
The reason Dennis went to adopt a younger sister was because he was bored. Like bringing a puppy, that was what he lightly perceived.
Of course, he thought Judy would feel the same way, but for him to fall for her so much, it was peculiar.
‘What’s so special?’
Dennis was curious about the fact, so he took Esther himself out to town. He wanted to observe her carefully.
Of course, there was actually something he went to check out while in the village. There was a day every month when the embargo arrived. That was today.
“There are many places to stop by.”
Dennis skillfully searched the bookstores. There were bookshops all over the village selling the books he had needed.
Of course, he didn’t take care of Esther while he was going from place to place. Esther only silently followed Dennis on her own.
‘It’s about time she gets tired.’
Dennis glanced at Esther, who managed to keep up with his pace better than he anticipated.
To begin with, her patience and perseverance passed.
After collecting his needed books for a long time, Dennis checked the time, abruptly halting as he did.
At this rate, he earned all the books he was looking for. He now had to return within three hours, as it would be discouraged to leave the residence for any longer.
‘Well, let’s get started.’
As the time came, Dennis proceeded to act, in order to execute the real reason for taking Esther along with him.
“Ah, look at this. I must have forgotten to drop by one more place.”
“Let’s go together.”
“No. I’ll run by myself since it’s far away. You wait here.”
Esther glanced around carefully.
They were in the middle of the most crowded street. A sea of marketplaces where you wouldn’t ever find someone if they disappeared.
‘Is it because you don’t like me?’
Esther was suspicious of him leaving her here alone.
However, considering the original purpose of coming here, there was nothing she could do.
On the contrary, it was a great opportunity to leave the Grand Duke’s residence.
But when she thought it was over, the Grand Duke and Judy, who stood by her when the lighting and thunder took over her sanity, passed by her mind.
‘It was very warm.’
Esther nodded, working her best to push away her lingering regret.
“I will.”
“Then I’ll go find the book.”
At the same time she answered, Dennis immediately left.
‘Will he come back?’
Esther stood still and stared at the spot where Dennis had disappeared.
He, mixed within the crowd in no time, seemed unlikely to ever return.
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