A Saint who was Adopted by the Grand Duke - Chapter 73
Esther flusteredly soothed Reina. She didn’t expect for her to burst into tears at the mention of Noah.
“I’ll let his Highness know when I meet him again. But, I’m not sure if that’ll happen again…”
She wanted to assure Reina but stopped in fear that Noah would be put into more trouble.
“Noah probably thinks he’s been abandoned by his family… It’s not like that, I want to tell him that. Hic.”
Reina’s feelings for Noah were elaborate.
She missed him dearly, but at the same time was apologetic towards him. All this was a roundabout of her guilt.
Reina’s fondness was conveyed clearly. It was difficult for her to hold back her tears.
“I can’t promise you, but I’ll make sure to tell his Highness if I have the chance. So don’t cry.”
Although Esther continuously reassured Reina, her tears did not stop flowing.
As Reina, a person currently older than herself continued sobbing, Esther rolled her toes nervously.
Victor approached and handed Esther a handkerchief before returning to his original post.
Esther blinked and thanked him. She handed Reina the handkerchief.
“Hic. I’m probably really ugly.”
Reina sniffed, her eyes widening upon detecting the handkerchief. Perhaps she had come to her senses. Fortunately, her tears stopped as well.
“No. I fully understand.”
Reina’s eyes softened as she faced Esther. It wasn’t only her eyes, but also her friendly attitude.
“It can’t be like this. Let’s head inside for a cup of tea.”
“Didn’t your Highness leave because you were suffocated?”
“Thanks to you, I am feeling much better. It puts me at ease hearing Noah is doing well.”
Reina grabbed Esther’s hand and dragged her inside the Imperial Palace.
Reina, the person who appeared dejected just a while ago, now presented a much brighter personality. It seemed to be something related to the family lineage.
Thanks to Reina’s skills in entertaining others, Esther was able to chat with her comfortably.
“Dolores? Ah, right! Most of my wardrobe is Dolores’s work. It’s fascinating.”
Having ordered clothes from the same costume designer emerged forth another topic.
Esther and Reina united at once. Esther unexpectedly enjoyed her time with Reina.
Time flew by as they chatted for a while. Esther stood first as she recalled Darwin. He must be searching for her by now.
“It was nice meeting you today, Your Highness.”
“Me too. The only thing I’ve done is cry, but the young lady made me laugh for the first time in a while. Let us be friends in the future.”
“I’d be glad.”
The two smiled and said goodbye after agreeing to meet again.
Esther left the Imperial Palace with a pleasant smile and light steps.
Her purpose of coming to the Imperial Palace today had been achieved. Growing closer to the Princess was a particularly great harvest.
‘I’ll have to go and tell this to Noah.’
Originally, she was only planning on only mentioning how she met her, but Esther thought to deliver Reina’s message.
She would meet Noah after her return to Tersia.
As Esther reached the reception room, she was informed the conversation between the Emperor and Darwin had yet to end.
“I’m afraid it will take a while longer.”
‘Had I known this was to happen, I would have stayed longer with Reina.’
Esther turned around remorsefully. There was nothing to gain by staying here, so she decided to wander the Imperial Palace.
There were several knights of the Imperial Palace, but Esther only chose Victor to be her escort.
“This is also Victor’s first time coming to the Imperial Palace, right?”
“Yes, I’m very nervous right now.”
The way he observed the passing Imperial knights were full of envy.
“Victor, do you want to join the Imperial Order?”
“No, I like where I am right now.”
Even with that said, Victor couldn’t take his eyes from the Imperial knights.
Esther teased Victor and continued walking.
“This place is like a maze. Right?”
“Yes. A person will have a hard time leaving.”
She contemplated a while whether or not to enter before stepping into the garden, unable to overcome the temptation.
As there were many gardens throughout the Imperial Palace, this one seemed free of people.
She ventured inside, finding the area a perfect resting place.
“All the trees are huge.”
One might even call it a forest rather than a garden, seeing its significant amount of thick trees.
A sleeping sound could be heard from somewhere. Esther doubted her eyes for a moment as the person seemed overly familiar.
Esther rubbed her eyes in shock. Noah couldn’t have been in the Imperial Palace, and although the two held a significant resemblance, this person completely differed in size.
‘I was surprised.’
She was confused for a moment due to the black hair and similar aura.
Esther stopped moving near the man.
She motioned Victor to remain quiet.
‘Let’s go back.’
‘Yes, I understand.’
The two lip-synced while carefully retreating. Everything was thought to end well… Until she stepped on a branch.
It was a very slight sound, but somehow she had an ominous feeling. She looked back, and as expected.
The person who had been lying down stretched lazily.
“Ugh, I’m sleepy.”
What should she do? While Esther hesitated, the man called for her and Victor.
“Who are you? What brought you here?”
A person who speaks familiarly with someone they encountered for the first time.
Just by observing those arrogant eyes that looked down upon others, she could guess this person was a high-ranking aristocrat.
“I selected the wrong path while walking.”
Esther sighed and walked towards him. She just wished to leave quietly.
“Is something wrong?”
At a closer view, Esther could understand why she mistook this man for Noah.
Although his age count was similar to Victor’s, pretty much everything about him was identical to Noah, keep his red eyes.
As he spoke his name, Victor whispered in a voice that was only audible to Esther.
“He is the Third Prince.”
Esther flinched and put her hands together.
“I was rude. It is a great pleasure to meet you. I’m Esther of Tersia.”
It was an impeccably clean and official greeting. There seemed to be no regrets on Esther’s face as she carried out what she learned from James.
“Tersia? Then, the adopted child?”
The way he spoke showed he didn’t care in the least. Esther’s forehead wrinkled.
“Did you come with Duke Darwin?”
“Yes. My father is currently speaking to his Majesty.”
“Then let me ask you something.”
Damon held his chin and gazed at Esther.
“How did you get adopted into that family?”
It was a rude question to the point that even Victor sighed.
However, Esther calmly replied without any change in expression.
“Am I obligated to answer your Highness?”
“That’s right, though. Aren’t you a brave one? Trying to ignore my question.”
Damon smirked and raised his chin. It was an indication that he had found something interesting.
“It’s not that I am ignoring your Highness, it is simply a question in which I am unable to answer.”
She truly yearned to pay him no mind but couldn’t, considering her goal to grow closer with the Imperial family.
Instead, Esther smiled and tactfully passed Damon’s questions.
“When I know the answer someday, I will be sure to let you know.”
“…Alright. Stop it.”
It was a question he deliberately asked to provoke her anger, but when Esther easily avoided his attack, Damon lost interest.
Esther immediately left the garden. Damon, having been left alone, collapsed on the ground once again.
He was curious as to why Darwin adopted a child, but meeting them in person was enough to answer his questions.
“Well, it’s fun.”
The day after they left the Imperial Palace.
Esther visited Noah’s house.
She planned on telling him what Reina had asked for. She also brought a few flasks of holy water.
“Isn’t he coming?”
He would normally rush outside just by hearing the sound of the carriage approaching, but there stood no sign of him, even as she waited.
Esther tilted her head and walked towards the door with Victor as he held the flasks.
Knock knock. She waited, and at that time, a bang resounded inside the place. After a while, Noah appeared panting.
“Esther? What’s up?”
“I have something to tell you.”
Esther glanced around the house through the open door. The place was a complete mess.
“Right. I was surprised since it wasn’t time for you to arrive yet.”
Noah smiled awkwardly and opened the door. He’d been caught.
“It’s a little chaotic right now, but come on in.”
It was the first time she had entered his house. It was a small but cozy cabin.
“Why are you packing? Are you going somewhere?”
“Yeah. I’m going somewhere.”
Esther’s cheeks swelled at the thought that he would’ve left without a word.
However, it wasn’t something he had to let her know of, so she hid her disappointment.
“What did you want to tell me?”
“I went to the Imperial Palace yesterday.”
Noah’s busily moving hands flinched before halting.
“The Imperial Palace?”
“Yeah. I went with my father and met Princess Reina too.”
Reina and Noah seemed to be each other’s *sore thumb. Noah immediately turned downcast upon her mention.
*TL/N: They care for each other a lot
“She was really worried about you. She cries every day thinking about you.”
“Why is she crying? Silly.”
Noah’s heart ached as he sat on a chair.
“She said that any news of you was cut off, so I assured her you were doing well.”
“And what she wanted to tell you is…”
Esther took a moment to look at Noah.
It was heartbreaking to see Noah’s always bright eyes seem dim.
“I didn’t abandon you. I was always thinking about you, so you have to be healthy… That’s it.”
Before Esther’s words finished, Noah covered his eyes with his hands.
“There’s no way I don’t know that.”
Noah’s eyes turned red as he rubbed them with his hands.