A Saint who was Adopted by the Grand Duke - Chapter 58
“You’re supposed to be in the sanctuary, aren’t you?”
Noah gestured for Esther to come closer.
As Esther neared herself to him, the boy whispered, “You gave me a lot of strength last time. It doesn’t matter whether or not I’m in the sanctuary if it’s for a short while.”
“Why’re you whispering so close to my ear!”
He seemed to be thrusting his face against hers more than necessary. Esther flushed and pulled her face back.
“The closer I am, the better you’ll be able to hear me.”
Noah grinned sheepishly as he shrugged.
“But I’m not the reason you moved here, right?”
“Come on, of course not. My relative’s house is by the river.”
Why did she feel so uncomfortable after he denied her statement? Esther’s face darkened.
‘I didn’t want us to continue meeting in fear of this…’
She recalled Noah at times, but visiting him wasn’t possible on account of her studies and constant worries over the temple.
Hence, she couldn’t help but feel guilty whenever she made eye contact with him.
“I’m sorry I couldn’t come sooner.”
“It’s okay. We’ve met here, haven’t we? Although we’re both residing in the same territory, It’s amazing that we bumped into each other like this. Right?”
On the other hand, Noah was not upset in any way. Rather, he seemed to be at a loss for joy in having met Esther.
“Are you feeling well though? Should you return?”
“Not yet? But it seems I’m a bit dizzy.”
Noah positioned a hand against his forehead in a feeble manner. Then, he frowned and pretended to feel queasy.
“So, can I hold your hand?”
“…Okay. Hold it for now.”
She could tell it was a made-up story, but Esther sympathized with him.
Noah stretched forth his long thin arm the moment he took note of her consent.
Esther nervously blinked several times as she accepted his hand.
“Oh my God!”
Victor and Dorothy shrieked at the unforeseen sight.
“Shh. Wait a minute.”
Esther beckoned the two to quiet down as she focused on the palm of her hand.
Her energy slowly flowed to her fingers and entered Noah’s.
“That’ll be enough.”
However, Noah quickly blocked her from concluding the transfer. Esther tilted her head in perplexity.
“Is that enough?”
“If I take in a large amount, I won’t be able to see you for a while.”
Guilt strained Esther’s heart as she bowed slightly to avoid Noah’s eyes.
Silence flowed. Victor was the first to open his mouth.
“My lady, is this boy more than a friend to you?”
“It’s not like that!”
Esther shook her head in surprise. She violently retorted to his suspicions.
“Then why are your hands…”
No matter how close they were to each other, Victor recognized there would be nothing good developing from this relationship. He remained vigilant of the unidentified person.
Noah, on the other hand, returned Victor’s stare fearlessly.
The knight flinched at the coolness of the boy’s eyes. They seemed oh-so gentle when directed at Esther, but the moment they turned to Victor, he couldn’t help but freeze on the spot.
“Are you certain of your friend’s identity?”
Esther tilted her head. She wasn’t truly aware of his status, but then again, it wasn’t other than her father who introduced them both to each other.
“But Esther, what were you doing here?”
Noah cut in the conversation. He skillfully returned Esther’s attention to himself.
“My brothers will have their anniversary next month. I’m here to buy them something nice.”
On second thought, Noah was of the same age as her siblings. Esther’s eyes glimmered in delight.
“If it were you, what would you want?”
“A letter from you.”
Noah answered in less than a second.
“Not like that.”
“It’s true! I don’t think there would be any greater approach.”
Esther relentlessly shook her head. She aspired to surprise them with brilliant impressions.
“Or how about a picture? You’re a great artist.”
“I’ve already drawn them.”
“Why don’t you draw them once more? I’d be much happier to accept a present filled with sincerity than one that was bought on a whim.”
As a prince, Noah received countless offerings during every single anniversary of his.
No matter the amount, he was never truly delighted. Things accumulated in the residence, and no matter how long he stared at the piled objects, no emotions evoked.
“Hmm. I’ll have to consider a little more.”
Esther pondered solemnly as she set foot inside a shop in front of her. The place marketed mirrors.
Noah followed Esther as he observed the different sizes reflecting them.
“Esther, will you worry about my birthday gift later on?”
“Didn’t you say you wanted a letter?”
Esther deliberately replied coldly. She needed to keep her distance from Noah.
“Right, but imagining you thinking about my gift like this… It’s very nice. In the meantime, you’ll keep thinking of me.”
Noah’s expression could be seen upon a mirror nailed to the wall. He was smiling so foolishly.
Esther stared blankly at the figure. It was then that their eyes met.
Noah smiled again.
“…How can you smile like that continuously?”
“You make me smile.”
Noah wiped his nose sheepishly. Esther flusteredly dodged her eyes, flipping her head to the other side.
“You’re good at smiling, aren’t you?”
“What? No. In the past, people used to tell me how cold I was… Well, I don’t laugh much. Even now.”
In the past, Noah’s nickname was the ‘Cold Prince’.
The boy gained support from everyone at a young age. For that reason, he scarcely found anything entertaining. His arrogance pierced the sky.
During his stay at the Imperial palace, Noah was a boy who thought the world was circulating him and him only.
However, much changed during his stay at the sanctuary. Esther, on the other hand, had no conception of Noah’s true appearance.
“Let’s go with that for now.”
“I’m telling you the truth.”
Noah folded his arms sulkily.
“I have to return.”
Esther looked up to see that the sun had begun to set. She was to return home before dinner.
“Sure. But this is my address. Come and see me anytime.”
Noah hurriedly scribbled down his address and delivered it to Esther, fearing she would leave.
“See you in a few days. Sorry, I’ll make holy water and bring it to you.”
Esther grinned at Noah’s pretty smile before turning around.
It was at that moment that she recalled Ben offering to send an invite to her acquaintances for the upcoming ball.
“That’s right. Do you want to come to the party, too?”
Although involuntarily from her part, Noah was the only person who sincerely befriended Esther. It would be pleasant if Noah were to appear at the promenade.
However, to Esther’s surprise, Noah shook his head flusteredly.
Esther felt blunt disappointment at Noah’s refusal. Such feelings were unfamiliar to her, so she deliberately pretended to act casual. She didn’t want anyone discerning her melancholy.
“It’s fine. I just recalled the fact and wanted to ask.”
“Do you feel sad?”
“W-why would I? I don’t care.”
Esther rapidly left in embarrassment.
The young girl believed she thoroughly concealed her emotions, thus she remained oblivious of the fact her lips stuck out since the moment Noah delivered his answer.
Inside the carriage.
“Lady, I didn’t know you had such a close friend.”
Dorothy’s eyes flickered with curiosity.
“Noah and I? We’re not too close.”
“Really? You seemed exceptionally friendly.”
Dorothy’s smile deepened as she recalled Esther and Noah.
From the moment Esther entered the duchy, she acted too mature for her good.
This was the first time Esther resembled a child of her age.
Dorothy was surprised and touched by the fact that her lady knew how to produce such expressions while enjoying time with her peers.
“No matter how close you may be, holding hands is a bit… What if he has a different heart for the lady?”
However, Victor’s opinion seemed to slightly differ from Dorothy’s.
“What about it? Our lady is very beautiful. We can’t help it if he falls for our lovely child.”
Esther giggled in response to Victor and Dorothy’s daily bickering. She then carefully opened the paper crumpled between her hands.
The wrinkled document contained the location of Noah’s home.
During the same time.
Noah wandered the place for a while after Esther’s leave.
The boy smiled brightly. His eyes remained glued to his hand.
“You finally met her. Are you that delighted?”
Palen shook his head before Noah’s hopeless appearance. He had discreetly kept watch the whole evening.
The Seventh Prince, Noah, whom Palen served, had never been the same personality as he was now.
It was insane how much his character deteriorated during Esther’s presence.
“You seem to say this meeting was a coincidence.”
“It’s a coincidence.”
Noah glared at Palen, warning him to cease his nonsense.
“How could such a deliberate coincidence… but it’s a relief. This will terminate the ending of your daily spying near the Grand Duke’s residence.”
Promptly after settling in the territory, Noah constantly wandered the Tersia mansion in wait for Esther.
It wasn’t a coincidence that they met today, but more an opportunity Noah had prepared for.
“Huh? I will continue to do the same.”
“Yes? But didn’t the young lady say she would visit in person?”
“Still, I’d rather spend my time waiting.”
Noah’s expression filled with bright laughter at the mention of Esther.
Palen followed, a stunned expression displayed on his helpless face.
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“Yes! Turn back there!”
James chased Esther’s every more, his eyes wide in anticipation.
“Stretch your right hand a bit more to the side… you have demonstrated an excellent performance.”
James was assisting Esther’s dancing skills today as well.
It had already been a month.
It was still dizzying whenever he recalled the first day of their dance class, which began around two months prior to the anniversary ball.
‘She is good at everything else, excluding dancing.’
Esther mastered a subject astonishingly quick when it came to her studies, but remained stiff with her movements.
However, thanks to the basic teaching steps she rehearsed for a month now, the young girl improved very much compared to the first day.
“Teacher, I didn’t make any mistakes, did I?”
Esther rushed to James, a big smile forming her lips.
“My lady, is he more than a friend to you?”
“It’s not like that!”
Esther be like: