A Saint who was Adopted by the Grand Duke - Chapter 59
“Yes. It was a success.”
James applauded vigorously. It was an achievement that sprouted brilliantly after a month of hard work.
“What a relief. I was nervous I’d never complete this step flawlessly.”
“I thought so too. I believe we are now able to progress through the following components.”
Esther suffered much due to her uncooperative body.
Her dancing skills weren’t as achieving as her studies, so she continued rehearsing. She overexerted herself to the point of suffering injuries.
“How many hours have you been practicing? The soles of your shoes are worn out.”
James frowned as he scrutinized the condition of Esther’s shoes.
“Ah… I can’t quite control my body as I please.”
“I warned you, don’t overdo it.”
James apprehensively glanced toward Esther’s feet.
Originally, he was merely concerned the lady would tarnish his flawless reputation. However, all that overwhelmed his mind at this point was Esther exploiting herself.
“I didn’t overdo it much.”
James’ lips formed a smile as Esther dismissed his worries with a playful grin on her face.
Ever since their classes began, James had been more than diligent with his lessons.
Esther sought her best at anything she was required to complete and presented her honesty throughout all elements. She remained proud and meticulous no matter the circumstance, which in turn conveyed her uniqueness.
Today alone, they had assembled three hours of continuous practice, yet she complained not once nor twice.
“You will surely advance into an Imperial talent.”
“It would be all thanks to my teacher.”
Esther laughed as she folded her round eyes prettily. James clutched his chest at her adorable expression.
Since the beginning of their time together, Esther performed to the utmost of her abilities.
She aspired to please James for the unforeseen future.
Cunningly, she acted politely to avoid offending James in any way.
James, in turn, favored Esther the most amongst all the children he tutored.
He praised Esther to the point where his mouth would run dry whenever he met any acquaintances of his.
“Shall we take a short break?”
Esther glistened in delight as she reached for a biscuit from the table.
James smiled as Esther enjoyed her snack.
“Sir Ben notified me in advance what music was to be performed the day of the ceremony, so I made sure to receive them well.”
No matter how much they reciprocated the basics, it would be asking too much for Esther to incorporate tunes she’d apprehend for the first time.
Fortunately, however, the party was to be hosted by Tersia, so he was put at an advantage.
“Now, all you ought to do is rehearse this music for the rest of the year.”
As she had already perfected the basic steps, next month would be sufficient to accustom herself to the plays.
“On that note, have you decided on a partner?”
Esther was taken aback at the unexpected inquiry. She hardened, her teeth cracking the biscuit in half.
“Yes. Of course, you will dance with your partner… Weren’t you aware?”
“I didn’t know.”
She was already anxious about her skills, but to have a partner.
Who should she ask? Esther’s face grimaced.
“Don’t worry. There are the young masters.”
“Can I dance with my brothers?”
“Of course. If you dance with the young masters, it would be recommended to practice with them the next time.”
“I’ll ask them first.”
Esther nodded hesitantly as she finished the other half of her biscuit.
** ━━━━━━━⋅•⋅⊰∙∘☽༓☾∘∙⊱⋅•⋅ ━━━━━━━**
A family meeting was held in the living room.
It was a gathering Darwin called to check up on the twin’s upcoming anniversary.
Esther was relieved with the sudden call as she wished to bring upon her partner matter. She sat on the sofa.
“Then, I will start by reciting the schedule I set arbitrarily.”
Ben proceeded with the briefing after altering looks with Darwin to the rest of the children.
“First and foremost, the party will be held at Louis Hall, like last year.”
After pausing a few seconds for any rebuttals, he continued.
“After the ball begins, the masters may appear on the second floor. Following the congratulatory gifts from other aristocrats, we will introduce Lady Esther.”
Judy raised his hand and commented on Ben’s instruction.
“Can’t we enter while holding Esther’s hands?”
“If that happens, everyone may be distracted, which will then cause the young masters to receive no attention…”
The adoption of a child into the Grand Duke’s family was indeed a tremendous topic. As such, everyone’s attention was already focused on Esther. They were thrilled for her to appear the day of the anniversary.
Ben acknowledged the fact well, so he worried the twins wouldn’t receive proper congratulations.
“I don’t care.”
“Yes, the same applies to me. If we leave first, Esther will be bored.”
However, Judy and Dennis paid no mind to the fact and agreed to accompany Esther.
“Do what the kids want.”
“As you wish, my lord.”
Having Darwin side with the twins, it was decided Esther would arrive along with the twins.
Aside from that, the shape of the extra-large cake and food plating was decided according to the tastes of Judy and Dennis.
“Are there any other suggestions?”
After the main decisions were concluded, Darwin voiced his proposals.
“Why don’t we circle the estate in a wagon before the ceremony begins?”
This would be to officially inform the province that there was now a new family member in Tersia.
“That sounds fun!”
Judy immediately leaped in response.
“How about holding an exhibition with Esther’s paintings during the same week?”
Ben diligently jotted Darwin’s words, pausing at the word ‘exhibition. He raised his head.
“Where exactly are you talking about?”
“Isn’t their space beside Louis Hall?”
“…Yes. That’s right.”
Ben understood Darwin’s resolution on the subject and addressed the word ‘exhibition’ boldly to remind himself.
“Esther, what do you think? There are many drawings piled in the residence. It’d be nice if you displayed the one with me and Dennis.”
Darwin planned to reveal Esther’s outstanding works of art throughout. It would be a waste to admire her talents alone.
“Yes. I also like the idea.”
She was a bit embarrassed by the term ‘exhibition’, but Esther thought of it as a nice idea to present her gift there.
“Then we will proceed with the arrangement. Please select the pictures you’d prefer to be introduced and let me know.”
Esther nodded vigorously as she produced a draft in her mind.
As soon as the family meeting was over, Esther carefully brought up the matter concerning the twins’ partners.
“Have you decided on a partner?”
Judy jumped and sat on the sofa.
“I’m always too lazy to decide, so I just dance with the person in front of me.”
Dennis also agreed with Judy’s reply.
“Earlier, my teacher told me that I should have a selected companion.”
Customarily, if you weren’t an adult, there wasn’t a need to attend with a partner.
However, it was a different matter, now that she was the main character of the ball. It was tradition for the main character to dance before the guests once the first song originated.
“Esther, dance with me! I don’t have a partner either.”
As soon as Esther mentioned her need for one, Judy was reminded of Sebastian. He quickly held her hand.
“What? Then I also want to dance with Esther.”
Even Dennis, who wasn’t interested in the matter, raised a brow and protested.
“Hmm, can’t she dance with her father?”
“Pardon? Look at the difference in physique between the lady and your Grace. Of course not.”
Ben panicked at the sudden topic.
“Lady, you can take turns dancing with the young masters.”
Esther smiled brightly. Her anxiousness ceased thanks to Ben’s help.
Ben proceeded to organize everyone’s suggestions when Darwin abruptly cut in.
“Ah, I almost forgot.”
“Please tell me.”
“Let’s designate the children’s birthdays as a national holiday. We’ll also serve food.”
“Right. Wouldn’t they feel joyful towards the twins and Esther as a result?”
“…I’m afraid after the lady decides on her birthday, you’ll also designate the date as a national holiday.”
“Ah, that’s a considerable idea.”
Ben meant his words as none other than a joke, however, Darwin seemed to take the matter sincerely.
‘He’s becoming worse day after day.’
Ben was already anxious how far Darwin would grow in becoming a daughter fool.
** ━━━━━━━⋅•⋅⊰∙∘☽༓☾∘∙⊱⋅•⋅ ━━━━━━━**
A few days later.
The night sky was pitch dark.
Darwin left the mansion, concealing himself in a black robe. Ben and three of his most trusted knights followed from behind.
Darwin naturally blended within the shadows, his bright green eyes glimmering.
The location he and his party headed towards for two hours was none other than the Harstal estate.
Darwin stood before the walls surrounding the territory and slowly turned his head in wait for the rest of the party.
It took a while for the knights to arrive as the Duke’s speed was supernatural. Ben appeared panting before him.
“I will open the doors.”
“We’ll show them this.”
It was late in the night, thus the gates were tightly sealed. Ben approached the barrier and slammed the bars.
Following the strikes, the window opened. The guard’s voice from the other side manifested irritation. He seemed to have been disturbed from his sweet sleep.
“This isn’t traveling time. Come back in the morning.”
That was what he retorted bluntly before closing the window. Ben hurriedly pushed forth the letter.
“Wait. Take a look at this first.”
“What is this…”
The security guard eyed Ben as he unfolded the letter.
He swallowed his saliva. The precious paper was a type only nobles could possess. What caused the guard’s eyes to widen even more so was the content of the letter, accompanied with the seal engraved at the very end.
The letter was a warrant etched by the lord of Harstal himself.