A Saint who was Adopted by the Grand Duke - Chapter 24
2 weeks later,
Esther sat by the window and clenched her hands firmly.
Both her cheeks were flushed, as to how focused she was.
“I can’t believe I can use this expensive paper as much as I like. This is an amazing place.”
Esther murmured her praises as she laid down the paper she had finished drawing on.
A paper that can ‘record’.
The white ‘recording’ paper was quite expensive.
She never imagined using such high-quality paper in the temple.
A lower candidate like Esther was given only the leftover scraps of senior candidates.
“What to draw next.”
Esther stretched her hand out and picked a doughnut.
It was not only bite-sized but also delicious.
Snacks were provided over the past two weeks, so Esther was able to consume as many sweets as she wished for.
Before she knew it, both her face and body were gaining weight.
Esther glanced around, her mouth stuffed.
She happened to catch a butterfly flying above a vase.
Esther’s eyes glistened. Target detected.
She twirled her pencil and settled into drawing right away.
Knock, knock, knock.
At the sound, the startled Esther swung her head.
As soon as the door opened, Dennis entered the room. He brought a book along with him.
Esther briefly rubbed her eyes in astonishment at Dennis’s halo.
His surroundings were flashing and radiating a bright light.
Esther hurried down from her chair, then placed her hands together to greet him.
Dennis, who had entered in a relaxed spirit, soon hardened.
“I don’t like it.”
Dennis walked straight to Esther and folded his arms profoundly.
‘Did I make a mistake?’
Esther’s face turned pale at Dennis’s blunt remark.
Dennis expressed his intent so Esther wouldn’t be confused.
“I was going to tell you the other day. Why am I Sir? You call Judy Brother.”
The bewildered Esther blinked rapidly.
She never imagined that Dennis, who was always serious and mature, would come to say this.
‘You’re indeed twins.’
On the first day they met, Dennis seemed disgusted by Judy when he insisted on Esther calling him Brother.
She thought they weren’t alike in any way. However, in this aspect, Dennis was just like his twin.
The second time wasn’t that challenging for Esther, as she had done it before.
Dennis’s face eased once again at the word ‘brother,’ and his smile deepened.
“Alright. That’s what you should call me in the future.”
Dennis wasn’t very interested in being called brother.
It wasn’t because he wanted to hear that, Dennis just thought it was unreasonable for only Judy to be addressed that way.
He thought that… but it was an opinion that he wasn’t sure of.
The moment Esther called him ‘Brother!’ and moved her tiny mouth, Dennis’s eyes relaxed.
Her smiling face was so sweet that *honey seemed to be dripping from his eyes.
*A phrase used to describe one’s eyes looking at someone else’s eyes in a very lovely way.
Dennis’s hand reached out with the urge to stroke her head.
If Esther had looked up at him a little further, he might have even hugged her.
“But what’s the matter?”
However, thanks to the question, he regained his reason.
“Oh, I thought I’d read you a book, assuming you’d be bored.”
Dennis sat down before the table, clutching his hand tightly.
Naturally, his gaze turned to the scattered papers.
“Ah! Don’t look!”
Surprised Esther popped out like a sharp arrow.
She quickly gathered the papers that she had not cleaned up and covered them with both her hands.
“Is that a drawing?”
Esther halted, feeling abashed.
“It’s just a scribble.”
“Do you like drawing?”
Dennis’s eyes sparkled with curiosity.
“No, not much.”
Esther hesitated and clenched her lips. Her face was burning as if she had been caught in a bad act.
“Can you draw me, too? Is it difficult?”
It was a simple request, yet Esther’s eyes didn’t fail to shake uncontrollably.
Memories of the past came to mind.
The candidates who viewed Esther’s painting laughed. They mocked her, advising that she shouldn’t even think about drawing again.
They didn’t know how much she was hurt by those remarks and how significant her self-esteem plummeted.
Esther was afraid she’d also earn such ridicule from Dennis.
She parted her lips to refuse but was speechless for the moment.
‘This isn’t the temple.’
She had decided not to shrink anymore, but to change.
Esther hesitated for a moment before sighing.
“I’m really bad at drawing.”
“It isn’t necessary for you to be good.”
“Then… I’ll try to draw you.”
Dennis nodded and smiled brightly.
His bright smile shook off Esther’s hesitation.
She straightened herself.
Only one pencil was to be used for this.
It would only be a rough sketch on a piece of paper, but it would remain as important.
Dennis crossed his legs and held up his position. His elevated bridge nose would require more focus when drawing.
Esther drew Dennis without delay.
Dennis was more surprised by her clear strokes.
It was astounding how the drawing was outlined in an instant.
‘So you know how to make that face.’
Dennis observed Esther, deeply immersed in her work.
Usually, he couldn’t see any potential or appearance from her, but now she seemed entirely different.
Her eyes were glistening.
He wanted her to present her beauty and talent proudly.
Esther’s eyes seemed a different color.
Dennis tilted his head, wondering if he had perceived it wrong.
Esther’s usually pink eyes were shining golden.
He studied Esther again.
‘It’s because she’s my sister.’
Dennis was now a little aware of the meaning of having a younger sister.
Although still incomplete, Esther’s appearance was beginning to seem lovely.
Esther exhaled deeply.
She had been so focused that sweat formed on her forehead.
“Already? That was fast.”
Dennis, who had been occupied observing Esther, stretched out in regret.
Until then, Dennis received the paper without much expectation.
But as soon as he examined the drawing, he hardened.
“Is it strange…?”
Esther questioned carefully.
Dennis’s silent response bothered her.
‘I guess I drew it for no purpose.’
Dennis’s stiff face caused Esther to drown in sorrow.
Esther’s heart throbbed painfully.
She shouldn’t have drawn it either.
On the other hand, Dennis hesitated for a completely different reason.
“Esther. You draw considerably. This is great!”
“Did you draw this? No, I watched you. Woah… No way!”
The exclamations that burst from Dennis didn’t seem to ever end.
Her eyes rounded like a rabbit’s, and even more following the endless praise.
It was the first time Dennis seemed so excited.
“There are many people who can do this.”
“Where are they? I’ve never seen them before.”
Esther’s cheeks, unaccustomed to praise, gradually flushed.
“Esther, this is God’s blessing.”
Dennis had an excellent artistic sense, as he grew up collecting art education from an early age.
He had viewed numerous works of art, and even within the Tersia family, there were many artwork treasures.
In the eyes of Dennis, Esther’s paintings were not shameful.
It was a picture of his face that made him seem strangely holy. He felt like he was being purified.
Dennis was genuinely admiring Esther’s ability.
Esther, however, was just puzzled by the situation.
‘I’m good at drawing?’
Her eyes were filled with question marks in response to the unexpected reaction.
“Did you learn drawing at the temple?”
“No… We always ran out of paper to even think of it.”
“So you’re born with the talent.”
Dennis lifted his thumb.
Esther’s heart fluttered by the sudden praise.
“Am I good at drawing?”
“Yes. I should inform father. It’s too wasteful to rot your talent like this.”
“Everyone said I couldn’t draw.”
Esther replied with a sullen expression.
Dennis’s expression stiffened.
“The people at the temple.”
Esther’s countless abusive remarks came to mind.
‘Why aren’t you good at anything?’
‘Leave it. She’s an orphan, of course, she wouldn’t.’
‘Don’t tell me you’re going somewhere else to paint. You’re inside a temple.’
They tore Esther’s drawings each time they saw them.
So Esther ceased painting in front of people.
“They’re bad people. They were only jealous of your talent.”
Dennis didn’t fancy Esther’s darkened impression.
Her glistening eyes disappeared from when she was drawing. He disliked how her eyes exhibited no hope for the world.
“Esther, look at me.”
Dennis spoke in a friendly tone and thrust his face before Esther.
Esther, who had been lost in thought, had no choice but to face Dennis.
“From now on, don’t look at anyone and do whatever you want.”
At that moment, Esther gawked at him in awe. Dennis felt like he was now acting like an older brother.
He was also surprised by his sudden actions, causing him hiccups.
Dennis reached out his long, soft hand and stroked Esther’s head.
“Oh, my head…”
Esther, unfamiliar with human hands, crouched for a moment but did not shake off Dennis’s hand.
After a while.
Esther felt unclear as she stood alone in her room.
After hearing a series of excessive words, it was hard to determine whether this was a dream or a reality.
Esther stared blankly at the pictures lying on the table.
“…I’m good at something, too.”
She thought she was unnecessary in the world.
Her divine power was immutable and there was nothing good about it.
Perhaps that’s why she felt relieved by Dennis’s praise. It was like saying she existed in this world for a reason.
Esther had longed to disappear. She now possessed a change of heart that was yet to be determined.
In Esther’s subconsciousness, the idea of not desiring to die began to form.
“I want to be praised again.”
Esther murmured in a small voice and fidgeted with her hair.
Her glistening eyes returned to their original light pink.