A Saint who was Adopted by the Grand Duke - Chapter 61
‘They’re very pretty.’
The dress she had purchased beforehand was indeed elegant, but the current selections stood on a different level.
The large jewels adorning the gowns prompted all apparel to seem all the more charming.
“Since my lady will attend as the host of the ceremony, I assembled unities that would attract the most attention.”
Each time Dolores introduced a frock, she explained in detail the certain characteristics they coated.
In an instant, nearly ten dresses stood before the young girl. Esther’s jaw loosened.
“What do you think?”
“All of them are very beautiful.”
Esther, mesmerized by the number of garments, quickly rose to her senses.
“Which do you prefer?”
It was an extremely difficult inquiry, asking her to select only one from the unbelievably gorgeous gowns.
Esther earnestly contemplated her many choices. Dolores smiled in turn and called for the maids.
“Then, why don’t you try one at a time?”
“All of these?”
Dolores replied with an expression that conveyed the procedure to be a natural outcome.
There weren’t merely a few nobles who tried on the garments to finalize their decision.
However, Esther felt her test tighten by the mere thought.
“Wait a minute.”
To omit the cumbersome process, she unfurled her eyes and quickly pointed her finger towards her preferred options.
There were three of her preferences. A vibrant yellow, a sky-blue cast, and a striking red dress. She couldn’t choose between the three.
“Oh, my. I have also been thinking those three would suit you the most!”
Dolores burst into excitement towards Esther’s options. She then called for an attendant.
“Perceiving with your eyes and wearing the attire present different conceptions. It would be recommended to try on the dresses yourself and be the judge of your final selection.”
Esther nodded. She reasoned tackling them wouldn’t be a big of a hassle.
Four maids stepped forward and assisted her throughout the procedure. It didn’t take much time for Esther to remove and switch to another with the accumulating support.
Eventually, she resolved her speculations and selected the sky-blue dress that was mostly encouraged by Dolores and the maids.
“But, it truly is a shame the lady seems so beautiful in this one.”
Dolores’s eyes remained stuck to the scarlet frock, which had lost the vote by a narrow margin.
“Anyhow, isn’t the promenade a three-part event?”
“I heard so.”
“There are many cases where young ladies change their attire amidst the ball. Why don’t we prepare both?”
Dolores was overcome with regret at the loss.
“My Lady, you should do the same. You seem beautiful and elegant in both.”
Even Dorothy stepped into the argument and encouraged her lady. In turn, Esther faltered.
The lengths and designs of both dresses differed from the other, so she assumed it would be alright to proceed with Dolores’ recommendation.
“Then I’ll do both.”
There wouldn’t be much of a complication as she scarcely spent money elsewhere and the diamonds constantly accumulated.
Esther smiled as she recalled her father. He would’ve aspired to purchase the whole salon.
“But lady, did you grow tall in the meantime? You seem to have lost a bit of weight…”
Esther tilted her head. She scanned her body reflection against the mirror.
“Yes. Perhaps we should retake the measurements.”
The maids lined before Esther with tape measures.
A table filled with desserts and a cup of cocoa was prepared as they recorded Esther’s lengths.
Soon after the session adjourned, Esther rested against the sofa while enjoying the sweets.
Dolores scribbled in her notepad as she stood beside Esther.
“Now that I recall, the red dress was also purchased by the Princess.”
She spoke with a sense of pride as she indicated her close relationship to the Princess.
Esther attentively listened to the naturally flowing conversation.
She recalled the time Dolores mentioned the Princess when they first met.
“Do you meet the Princess often?”
“Yes. She is so considerably captivated with her attire that she orders new products every week.”
Dolores reacted enthusiastically to Esther’s meek curiosity.
“But these days, she’s very melancholy that I’m worried.”
Esther blinked in wonder. Dolores glanced to the sides before lowering her voice so only Esther could heed her words.
“Of course, it is because of her younger brother. The Princess’s younger brother, whom she cherished so dearly, happened to obtain that disease…”
“Oh, my. Don’t you know? It is described as the curse of God! The Seventh Prince, more so the younger brother of the Princess, acquired the illness, causing turmoil amidst the social community for quite a while.”
How could she be ignorant of the fact? Dolores remained astonished.
Esther flinched. She rested her hand that held a biscuit.
‘He’s the same as Noah.’
Esther, unaware the same Prince Dolores informed her of was Noah, remained dumbfounded. How could such coincidences transpire?
It was only then that she recalled the time when the temple completely overturned. Such an incident took place because the Emperor’s beloved son procured the disease.
“Is the Seventh Prince adored by His Majesty?”
“Yes, that’s right. Recently, his condition was rumored to have worsened. The priests were informing everyone to prepare mentally.”
Noah’s story was notorious to the extent Dolores paid little mind to Esther and continued.
“The Princess must be very sad.”
Esther raised her head in response to Dolores.
‘What if I heal the prince?’
It would be worth the try if he was the Emperor’s precious son. It would be a bonus to win over the Princess’s favor.
Thanks to Noah, she obtained knowledge on how to treat his illness successfully. Even if she wasn’t able to fully heal the child, she would support him to the point where he wouldn’t pass away.
It had been a while since she contemplated a method to accomplish a strong relationship with the Imperial family. This was perfect.
“Will I be able to meet the Princess?”
Esther gazed at Dolores, her eyes glistening with hope.
Dolores tilted his head for a moment, then smiled cheerfully.
It was common for aristocratic children to meet during young age and build close friendships.
Moreover, as the daughter of the Grand Duke, it was only right they formed a connection.
“Of course, I can arrange a rendezvous for the both of you. However, it would be more convenient if the lady could enter the Imperial Palace along with the Grand Duke.”
Esther didn’t have to ask for more.
She settled on her agenda to follow Darwin any time he would leave for the Imperial Palace. In addition, she kept in mind the Seventh Prince’s illness.
“By the way, the name of the Seventh Prince…”
As Esther intended to ask for the child’s name, Dolores appeared to have finished her investment.
“We have achieved all our purposes. I will make sure to send the dresses as soon as we finish adjusting the measures.”
“Yes, I look forward to your kind cooperation.”
As the topic altered, the Seventh Prince’s image faded into thin air.
Esther focused on the paper.
The following day.
Esther resided within the study room and focused solely on her work. A week had passed since such a routine emerged into her daily life.
The current canvas was the largest among the remaining paintings. It was several times the size of Esther, large enough to occupy a whole wall.
The canvas was immense and therefore required more time and focus to create just one stroke.
Esther trudged diligently with her brush. Her eyes shone gold as she focused on her artwork.
Esther halted the moment she sensed something mushy slithering underneath her feet.
It was BamBam. She had followed Esther into the study room. Recently, the snake continuously left her resting place and accompanied the girl around.
“You! You can’t keep moving around like this.”
Esther pretended to be furious as she stroked BamBam’s head. BamBam slithered slightly, conveying her delight.
Esther rested BamBam in a safe location and continued with her performance. She was nearly done with the sketch.
She backed a few steps to observe the overall appearance and search whether there was any room for improvement. It was then that the door lashed open.
Esther was overtaken by Judy’s sudden appearance.
Judy’s feet halted at the unusual response reverberating from Esther.
Judy seemed quite flustered by his sister’s reaction. This was the first time she raised her voice to such an extent.
In the meantime, Esther hurriedly covered the canvas with a white cloth set beside her. The size of the painting was so large she couldn’t help but complain.
“What are you hiding?”
“You can’t see it yet.”
The more Esther endeavored to conceal the object, the greater Judy’s curiosity grew. He playfully reached his hand.
The fabric slightly uncovered the canvas as Judy pulled.
Esther clung over Judy’s arm to prevent him from proceeding.
“Brother! You really can’t!!”
“I’ll just look at it once. I won’t tell anyone!”
As Esther bickered Judy to leave, the door once again creaked.
“Why is it so loud?”
It was Dennis. He entered as a result of Esther’s loud shriek that emerged within the halls.
As soon as he entered the room, Esther was close to tears as she struggled to block Judy.
“What are you doing? Esther wants you to stop.”
Dennis immediately pulled Judy’s collar. Thanks to this, his hand fell far from the canvas.
“Look at this. Esther’s always here secretly and never shows me what she’s doing.”
“I don’t know what she’s hiding. I’m curious.”
Dennis knew well that Esther had locked herself in the study room for the past few days.
His curiosity also grew, now that he noticed the large cloth.
As Dennis indicated signs of understanding of Judy’s accusations, Esther’s nervous eyes shook wildly.
‘What do I do?’
The painting Esther was immersed in so deeply was a birthday gift meant for Judy and Dennis.
She brought a simple gift, but also received Noah’s advice and aspired to create a gift filled with her sincerity. It was a decision she resolved a while ago.
However, if she were to be exposed of her intentions, her hard work would remain meaningless.
Esther didn’t wish for her brothers to discover the painting until the day of their anniversary.
Esther forced strength into her gaze and directed it towards Dennis.
Currently, Dennis was the only person who could stop Judy.