A Saint who was Adopted by the Grand Duke - Chapter 68
“You danced well earlier.”
“The dress suits you well too.”
Throughout today’s party, many noble children approached Esther with similar means.
She roughly matched the boy’s tone of speech. He was just one of those many people.
However, even as she hinted for him to leave, the boy persistently remained.
“I visited the exhibition hall, and I thought you were very talented.”
It was odd how he resumed familiar speech. She turned to stare at him.
“Do you know me?”
“…You don’t recognize me?”
Sebastian’s face contorted in shock as Esther feigned ignorance.
“It’s me! Sebastian!”
Esther pondered for a while upon hearing the familiar name.
Sebastian had lost a significantly large amount of weight. It wasn’t surprising she wasn’t able to discern him till now.
“What? Brother Sebastian? When did you lose so much weight…?”
“I worked out diligently. Because you hate fat people.”
“Me? I never said that.”
Esther tilted her head. Even if she did say something similar, it was a mystery why he’d go through such odds for that reason.
“I worked hard to lose weight while thinking about you. If it’s alright, would you like to dance with me?”
Sebastian’s face turned bright pink as he fidgeted shyly. His great anticipation could not be concealed.
“That’s a little…”
Esther stared at Sebastian’s hand, a perplexed expression on her face.
It wouldn’t be difficult for her to dance now. She wouldn’t be in a vacant space like before, and the hall was currently filled with other people doing the same.
However, what stopped her from answering was Noah, whom she wished to be her first partner.
“I’m sorry. Perhaps I’m not feeling well as I overworked myself today.”
“…I see. There is nothing I can do. Then, let’s dance the next time.”
Tears welled on the corners of Sebastian’s eyes as he turned around and ran like the main protagonist of a tragedy. He instantly reached the opposite side of the hall.
“It seemed like he was crying. Maybe not?”
It was almost as if tears were flowing down his face as he rushed out, but there was no reason for him to act that way.
“But, I was really surprised to hear he was Brother Sebastian.”
Esther fiddled with her necklace, amazed by the fact that a person could change in such a way during two months.
As Esther entered the banquet hall, she happened to stumble upon an empty balcony.
The subtle moonlight radiating about the balcony drew her attention.
Esther entered the balcony and wiggled her small hands as she grabbed onto the railing.
Due to her short height, the rail reached Esther’s eye level. She went on her tiptoes and caught sight of a vast garden.
Esther, unaware of its existence until now, continued observing the greenery until a sudden rustling resonated from beside her.
‘Is it an animal?’
She narrowed her eyes to check whether the cause of the disturbance was a cat when a familiar figure appeared instead.
Esther stood dumbfoundedly as Noah grinned and waved his arm.
She flusteredly pulled herself from the railing.
Noah was dressed the neatest she’d ever seen him.
His suit wasn’t appropriate enough for him to attend the prom, but it was obvious he put care into his choosing.
“What were you doing there? And since when? No, why are you even here?”
Esther’s voice grew louder by the second. Noah panicked and signaled with his finger for her to quiet down.
“Shh! It won’t be good if someone comes out now.”
Then he stretched forth his left arm, which lingered behind his back. A large bouquet occupied his hand.
Noah strode to the balcony. As he neared enough to face her, the bouquet flew upward.
“I came to give this to you.”
Esther’s eyelashes fluttered as she witnessed the yellow blooms.
“To celebrate your first party?”
Noah chatted delightedly and waved the bouquet.
“My arm hurts from holding it. Can’t you see my shoulders shaking?”
Esther couldn’t help but smile at his words. As she accepted the bouquet, a sweet scent emanated to her nose.
“Were you waiting for me?”
“Yep. I can’t run into anyone like this.”
“What if I didn’t come out?”
“I knew you were going to come out.”
Noah smiled mischievously.
“I saw you in my dream.”
“Tch, what are you saying.”
Esther sighed and shook her head. Noah’s every word was a joke.
Noah laughed. His eyes moved further down Esther’s face.
“Where did you buy that necklace? It suits you very well. This is the first time I’ve ever seen such a pretty pendant.”
Noah was gazing at her necklace. He spared no admiration and praise.
Esther’s eyes widened. It was ridiculous how he acted ignorantly when he was the one to send it.
“I know you were the one to deliver it.”
“Did you? Phew, that’s a relief. I regretted it so much when I didn’t write my name. I was afraid you’d think someone else gave it to you.”
Noah smiled softly as he placed his hand over his chest in relief.
“Who else would send me something like this?”
“I’m going to send a lot from now on. You’re really pretty today.”
Esther’s eyes dilated in response to Noah’s sudden compliment. She embarrassedly pursed her lips and said quietly.
Noah wiped his nose and shifted his gaze to the side.
“How was the party? Fun?”
“It was better than I thought.”
Esther glanced elsewhere. It was almost as if the moonlight dimmed in brilliance since her conversation with Noah.
Unlike the noisy venue, which was only a few steps away, this peaceful area derived the feeling of being in a completely different world.
Having two of them stand under the moonlight gave off an atmospheric air, which caused Esther’s heart to pound.
“H-How are you?”
The subtle feeling also reached Noah. He seemed unable to look Esther in the eyes.
As he earnestly searched for what to say next, the balcony door creaked. Noah, startled, quickly hid behind a tree.
Although his swift movements prevented any complications, the two would now have to part without saying goodbye.
It was Dennis who entered the terrace.
“Esther, what are you doing here?”
He tilted his head and approached Esther.
“It was a little stuffy inside.”
Esther quickly turned and stood with her back against the garden. She was trying to convert Dennis’s attention to her.
“I see. I noticed you were gone, so I went looking for you.”
Dennis’s eyes bent affectionately as he reached for Esther’s shoulder.
As the wind blew, Esther’s revealed shoulders trembled.
“It’s good to catch some fresh air, but you’ll catch a cold.”
Dennis removed his jacket and adjusted it around Esther’s shoulders.
Due to their difference in size, the tunic was large enough to cover Esther’s upper body to her hips.
“It’s not cold.”
Esther smiled clumsily as she pulled the jacket with both hands.
“What about the bouquet? Who gave it to you?”
“I don’t remember their name…”
Esther hid the bouquet behind her back as she hesitantly responded. She was a bad liar.
Dennis’s eyes sharpened as he scrutinized the empty balcony.
There was the tree in which Noah was concealing himself behind. Dennis’s green eyes flashed at that very area. It was fortunate he didn’t notice him.
“Really? Anyway, let’s head inside. Father is looking for you.”
Esther hesitated as she wished to stay a while longer. However, she soon nodded.
Noah was undergoing difficult circumstances because of her, so she couldn’t raise any suspicions.
Just before she left, Esther glanced at the tree, her gaze filled with regret.
The door leading to the banquet hall closed. The balcony returned to its empty state.
After confirming their leave, Noah slowly walked to the side.
Noah appeared isolated and tangled with his emotions as he stood under the shadow of the tree. His current appearance was unlike the time he spent with Esther.
Like Esther, Noah continued staring at the space where she previously stood. It was now empty.
His mood converted as he compared the bright lights leaking from the hall to himself as he hid in the shade.
“I promised to be with you at all times whenever I was with you.”
Now Noah could neither enter the party nor stand proudly beside Esther.
Rather, others always stood by Esther. Her brothers, father, even the escorts and maids.
“But I’m glad. You don’t seem lonely anymore.”
It was both fortunate and heartbreaking that Esther now had people by her side.
He desired to be closest to her, but it was upsetting that he couldn’t.
“I’m going to work harder, too.”
Noah clenched his fists tightly enough so that his fingernails stuck to his palms. He swore an oath and left.
Judy wandered about the venue, thrilled with the events that unfolded until now. Then, his eyes flashed like an animal that located its prey.
A seat in the very corner of the banquet hall.
There existed a person crouching like a lump in the corner.
“Isn’t that Sebastian?”
Judy rushed and screamed into Sebastian’s earlobes.
Sebastian, who would have normally shrieked or responded in the same tone, strangely remained silent.
He only raised his head like a lifeless soul.
His eyes seemed red, and there were tear tracks on his face.
“Shi-, That scared me. What’s wrong with you?”
His complexion was severe to the point it stimulated Judy’s rare compassion.
“Why’re you like this? Say something. Hey!”
Sebastian only shook his head like a madman.
Judy waved his hand in front of Sebastian’s face, but Sebastian only sniffled.
“What, was your heart broken?”
Judy joked around. His words didn’t contain any purpose.
However, Sebastian’s eyes widened in response to the comment. He bit his lips, tears threatening to spill.
“…Esther never said she didn’t like fat people.”
“Why are you talking about that now?”
“It was very important to me! That’s why I worked out really hard.”
Sebastian turned to glare at Judy.
When the arrow suddenly turned to him,
*TL/N: ‘Arrow’ as in he’s now the one who’s being attacked.
Judy, annoyed, flicked Sebastian on the forehead.
“Why’re you mad at me?”
“Hick. I’m done for. It’s all useless.”
However, as soon as Judy’s flick was delivered to Sebastian, a tear flowed down his cheek.
“Hey… Are you crying? You’re really crying? Wha- I didn’t even hit you that hard! This is cray, really.”
Judy, who supposedly caused Sebastian to cry, crouched next to him, baffled.
LMAO, I love the relationship between Judy and Sebastian, and poor Sebastian…