A Saint who was Adopted by the Grand Duke - Chapter 29
As she reached out slowly and grabbed the handle of the door, cold energy filled her hand.
Esther was somewhat hesitant by the intense atmosphere but gathered the courage to turn the doorknob.
The door gradually opened, and the scenery inside the room caught her eye.
She could see someone was resting in an overly fancy bed, out of harmony with the shelter.
“I… Hello. I’m here to draw.”
Esther waited. However, there was no answer, so she crept closer to the area.
A boy who would be found resting, neither moving and silently breathing. Noah.
Esther halted moving the moment she caught a glimpse of his face.
“He’s really pretty.”
He appeared pure and amiable.
Distinct features that did not normally suit a young face. A sharp nose, straight forehead, and deep eyes. Even his dark eyebrows were very assertive.
He was definitely about the same age as Esther, aside from the boy’s impression which reflected both maturity and tenderness. His thick, red lips contrasted with his clear, white skin.
The word ‘pretty’ and ‘beautiful’ were more appropriate for the statue-like appearance that God had created.
Esther was startled upon realizing she had reached out her hand.
“Crazy. Why is my purity decreasing?”
Esther did not know of many males because she had been locked in the temple till now.
Khalid, Darwin, Judy, and Dennis were the ones with whom she had spoken.
Otherwise, Esther was not at all interested in them. But Noah was too pretty for her to remove her eyes from.
Esther pinched her cheeks to focus and recover her act.
“Let’s hurry and draw.”
As soon as Esther commenced sketching, her eyes changed color.
She didn’t realize it herself, but it was a change that occurred whenever she accumulated her divine power.
The mana that leaked from Esther slowly flowed into Noah’s body.
The stronger the concentration on the drawing, the longer the drawing time, leading to more usage of divine power.
“Why is it so hard?”
After a considerable amount of time, Esther had almost completed the painting. She was sweating. All that, but she wasn’t as satisfied with the painting as before.
No matter how hard she tried, he always appeared to be lying down.
And one more point.
The most important element in a portrait, his eyes, were empty. She didn’t want to fill them with his eyes closed, so she ended up intentionally leaving it empty.
“I can draw them once he wakes up.”
Esther glanced at the clock, in awe of what to do. There was still about half an hour left.
At that time, Esther peered at Noah, her chin perked.
She felt melancholy, seeing him sleeping so lifelessly in a sanctuary far from the world. He was trapped in a corner, just like she used to be.
At that moment, the same bluebird from before entered through an open window.
He circled and lay gently on Noah’s lap. Esther only then noticed his left hand had slipped from the bed cover.
She unintentionally grabbed his palm to place it back underneath the blanket. However, Esther was soon distracted at how large his hands were.
“Wow, it’s really big.”
Noah’s hands were more than twice as large as Esther’s.
After a while, Esther felt the boy’s hand heating up. She looked back and forth, worrying over the condition of the unconscious person.
She felt apologetic, so she closed her eyes, thinking to grant him a blessing.
Esther held Noah’s hand lightly and murmured.
“I don’t know who you are, but I wish for you to be healthy.”
At the beginning of the prayer, a bright light appeared; one that was incomparable to when she was painting.
It was a healing power that could only be used by a high priest. It was also the first power Esther managed to use properly after becoming a saint.
“Will he be okay?”
Esther was startled by the powerful force.
She quickly stopped praying and glanced at Noah’s face.
It was fortunate that nothing seemed to have changed, but if the divine power was too strong, it could have a negative impact.
Esther, relieved that nothing occurred, quickly placed Noah’s hand beneath the blanket.
And while trying to part her hand from his,
Noah, who had contained no strength before now and resembled more of a doll than a human being gripped Esther’s palm tightly. It was a strong and obstinate force.
Esther freaked out and sought to pull her hand out. She glanced at Noah’s face to check if something was wrong, but nothing changed.
However, he held Esther’s hand tightly and did not let go.
“Hey, are you awake?”
Esther flusteredly waved her other hand before Noah’s eyes. There was no response.
‘Are you pretending to be asleep?’
Esther, aroused in suspicion, brought her head close to Noah’s in an alert manner. The moment she continued observing Noah’s subtle reactions right before his nose.
Flash, Noah opened his eyes.
His attractive black eyes seemed capable of absorbing anything in a second. She couldn’t turn away the moment their eyes met.
Esther and Noah’s distance was fairly close. Esther’s nervous face was well discerned in front of Noah’s clear eyes.
Her face burned brightly as they could even feel each other’s breath.
Unlike Esther, who was completely frosted, Noah smiled brightly as soon as he regained focus.
Esther was more mesmerized by the beauty of his smile. It was entirely out of place in this situation.
Noah greeted in a bright voice.
At the same time, Esther’s eyes, which seemed to have frozen, passed his gaze.
Having greeted her so naturally, Esther awkwardly returned the greeting.
Noah didn’t ask Esther who she was. He must’ve felt embarrassed the moment he saw her in his bedroom. Weirdly enough, he remained calm and composed.
Rather, he couldn’t take his eyes off Esther as if he had met someone he missed dearly.
His eyes were so sorrowful that Esther’s lips shriveled.
Embarrassed Esther’s mind went blank.
She opened her mouth and blabbed whatever came to her mind, thinking she must remove the gloomy situation.
“So, I’m Esther, and here’s your drawing… I came here to do that. Look at this.”
“Woah, that’s a really good painting.”
“Thank you… Why don’t you let go of my hand so we can talk?”
That was one thing Esther didn’t fail to realize while trying to show her drawing.
Noah still held her hand tight. As if it would be a big deal if he let it go.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t know. I was afraid I’d lose it.”
Esther couldn’t understand what Noah was speaking at all.
‘I guess he’s a strange person.’
Why was it so hot? The room, which used to feel cold until a while ago, was now scorching with heat.
“Ahm, now I’ll draw your eyes and finish.”
When Esther grabbed the pencil again, Noah suddenly closed his eyes tightly.
“Oh no. I can’t open my eyes right now. Can you come again later and draw me?”
“You’ve been doing fine though?”
“I’m not feeling very well. I think I’m going to lose consciousness right now… Cough, Cough!”
Noah, who was in impeccable condition, began to once again cough violently.
It was a bit uncomfortable, but Esther worried that he really couldn’t open his eyes due to his sickness.
“Hey, does it hurt a lot?”
“Yes, so please come back. By all means.”
“And when you come, hold my hand. Like today.”
At the end of his words, Noah fell asleep again as if he were dead.
He didn’t move when Esther shook him. The sound of his breathing was still and she couldn’t feel any energy he previously had.
Rather than playing around, Noah was truly unconscious.
“What is all this about?”
Esther stood bewildered as she heard someone running.
Her eyes widened. She thought no one would come other than her.
The loud footsteps stopped right before the door. The person banged against the door as she held her breath.
“Lady! You’ll have to come out right away.”
It was the horseman who brought Esther.
He didn’t enter but shouted outside urgently.
“Do we still have time? I haven’t finished the painting.”
“Come out for now. We have to leave here as soon as possible.”
His tone seemed so urgent that Esther hurriedly packed her luggage.
Before she knew it, Noah’s grip loosened from her.
Esther glanced at Noah one more time just before leaving the room. When she saw him lying down, everything that happened a while ago seemed like a dream.
Esther left the cabin in a different direction from when she first came.
The horseman seemed very wary of his surroundings, so she just walked along quietly.
A moment later, after arriving at the carriage, The horseman apologized to Esther with a look filled with relief.
“I’m sorry to have gotten you in such a hurry. I was notified in a hurry that someone was visiting.”
Esther glanced at the horseman and asked,
“But does he wake up often?”
“What? That isn’t possible. He’s been unconscious for over three months.”
Huh. So what happened a little while ago?
Something was wrong here.
“You haven’t finished drawing yet. What should I do?”
“I’ll drop by again next week.”
‘Because the picture has to be completed.’
She tried hard to deny that it was not because he asked her to come back. However, Noah’s eyes continued popping up in Esther’s head.
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After Esther left, Noah’s eyes slowly opened.
He wasn’t unconscious, it was just an act made to deceive Esther.
Noah rose after his surroundings quieted. He checked the calendar on the table.
“It was rather long this time.”
It had been three months and ten days since he fell asleep.
Noah’s disease was an incurable one, often called the curse of God. A restraining order was imposed as he was ‘abandoned by God’.
It wasn’t that there was no cure, but he had to be regularly supplied with divine power.
The cycle was irregular and the amount of mana needed increased within age. It was difficult to handle, so most of those who had the disease died before reaching adulthood.
Although Noah was being treated without worrying over the cost, his condition was deteriorating to the point that it was difficult to maintain consciousness with only the treatment of the new tube.
“It was Esther.”
Noah grinned at the painting Esther had left behind. His eyes folded in half, his bewitching smile instantly brightening his surroundings.
It was Esther’s strength that enabled Noah to regain his consciousness. Her power was greater than that of the priest.
It was then that he heard the outside door open.