A Saint who was Adopted by the Grand Duke - Chapter 81
Just as this daily life was precious to Esther, it was also valuable to Darwin.
His everyday life with the twins and Esther. He wouldn’t forgive anything that would dare to break this peace.
‘I can’t send you away. No, I won’t send you away.’
Though, for a kid like Damon to ask for Esther. Darwin fumed and ground his teeth.
Meanwhile, Esther’s head stirred. She recalled the discussion Darwin brought up before they were interrupted.
Darwin, being himself, would uncover her relation with Rabienne one way or the other. Trying to hide her secrets from him would be futile.
She resolved to convey the truth to Darwin, the person who both accepted her as she was and healed her wounds.
Esther called Darwin with a shaky voice. Then she pulled herself from him and created distance between them.
“I have something to say.”
She always thought she would tell him someday, but for it to be now.
“I hid something from father.”
Esther’s voice softened.
As a matter of fact, he should have been aware of the fact the moment she was adopted. Although at that time Esther didn’t think much about telling him as she would have died soon anyhow.
She didn’t feel comfortable, now that she had unintentionally deceived him.
Darwin, still unaware of what she was to tell him, firmly held Esther’s hand to stop her from trembling.
Esther regained her courage as she acknowledged the hand that held hers.
“I… I have the power of a Saint.”
Darwin rarely blinked, but he was so taken aback, that his brows wriggled.
“The power of a Saint?”
“Yes. I am the next Saint.”
Esther’s tone was not poised.
Because of her rememberings where not one person believed her, she was scared to see Darwin react the same way.
‘A Saint… Is that why?’
However, Darwin was very generous to his people. He would believe anything Esther, his precious daughter, would say. Even if she was to say that the sky were to split in two.
It was true he was a bit startled, but nothing of his agitation remained in front of the child shaking before him.
“Thank you for telling me. You must have had a hard time keeping such a big secret.”
Esther lifted her head as she listened to Darwin’s calm, soothing voice.
“Do you believe me?”
“Is there a reason I shouldn’t?”
There was no distrust existing in Darwin’s mysterious green eyes as he faced Esther.
Esther choked up in front of his absolute trust in her.
“No one… No one believed me.”
Tears dropped from her eyes as she blurred her words. Her tears continuously spilled, despite her desire to stop them, she pressed her eyes shut.
The only individuals who acknowledged Esther being a Saint were her twin brothers who witnessed her power themselves.
During her past regressions, not a single person attended to Esther.
Even if Rabienne was the fake, all that came back to her was an expression filled with ridicule.
So many wounds were inflicted on her, that even she refused to mention her claims any longer.
“Everyone thought I was lying… How can someone like me be a Saint…? That’s how it was.”
Esther’s emotions overflowed when despairing memories came surging her way.
The tears that had already filled Esther’s eyes dripped on her knees.
Darwin was flustered at her sudden tears. He blamed himself for making her cry.
“D-don’t cry. Who said that? Those bad guys!”
Extreme swearings emanated from his heart, but Darwin refrained and only gently soothed Esther.
Darwin was troubled. He carefully wiped Esther’s tears with his fingers.
It was heartbreaking to see her hold back her tears, rather than cry and burst forth her feelings and emotions.
Although he wanted to soothe and comfort Esther, he didn’t know how to, so Darwin only hugged her tightly.
Esther’s small body, held between Darwin’s reliable arms, quivered slightly at the warmth which engulfed her.
“I’ll scold all the people who made you sad. So you don’t have to try to handle everything by yourself.”
Esther snuggled her face deep into Darwin’s shoulder and closed her eyes. His warmth was much more comforting than a hundred words.
“I will never let go of the people who made you cry.”
“How dare they make my daughter cry?”
The huffing voice of DeHorn was dimly locked.
Darwin’s voice contained a submerged flare.
Esther’s tears welled at the sudden atrocity.
“W-will you kill them?”
“There’s nothing I can’t do if you wish for it.”
His green eyes glistened dangerously.
She was sure he was joking, but his serious tone was perplexing.
Darwin chuckled as he observed the flustered Esther.
“Of course, what you don’t want will never happen. Don’t worry.”
Darwin tucked Esther’s hair behind her ear and looked at her sadly.
It was disheartening to see Esther’s appearance when they first met overlap with her expression now.
“Does Rabienne also know of this? Did she bully you and threaten to kill you if you told anyone?”
Esther’s past had always bothered him. Darwin investigated to no avail, but it somehow felt as if he was advancing towards an unknown origin.
He gnawed his teeth. He wouldn’t forgive the Duke of Brion if he had harmed Esther.
“No. Rabienne doesn’t know yet.”
Esther shook her head and asked playfully.
“Will you really scold everyone?”
“Of course. It is a challenge for Tersia if someone dared to make you cry.”
“What… if it’s the temple?”
The entire temple will become his enemy if he were to turn against them.
“My Order is the best in the Empire. Destroying the temple is nothing to me. I didn’t like them before anyway, so it’s better to demolish them now.”
His talk was ridiculous, but Esther’s lips crept upwards when he sided with her so confidently.
“So did the temple do something terrible to you? Turn the wagon right now…!”
“No! No one knows yet.”
Esther flusteredly grabbed Darwin’s arm as he stood up to stop the carriage.
At that moment, the back of Esther’s hand glowed in response to her reaction.
The light contradicted those who didn’t believe her fidelity.
Darwin would have sensed something off about the whole conversation, but he stood blankly and in shock before the phenomenon.
Esther, who had yet to confess her regressions, turned her eyes to the back of her hand in relief.
The marking appeared more evident after Cespia’s death.
“Is that the mark of the Saint?”
“Yes, that’s right.”
“I’ve only ever heard of it appearing on the back of the hand. This is my first time seeing it.”
As the awareness did not disappear but gradually illuminated, Esther flusteredly hid the mark behind her back.
Darwin observed her actions and gently stroked Esther’s head. He covered the back of her hand with his.
“It’s not a crime, there’s no need to hide it. You can present yourself proudly.”
“What? But if it turns out that I’m a Saint, Father will be in trouble…”
Esther’s eyes widened.
“Trouble? I am not that weak.”
A reassuring voice permeated her ears.
“You have the freedom of choice. If you want to live as a Saint, I will respect that decision. However, if not, I will protect you until the end.”
“I told you before. I want to keep living with Father.”
Darwin’s lips twitched, and a delightful smile spread openly.
His usual blunt appearance was nowhere to be seen.
Esther remained in Darwin’s wide arms throughout their way back. His embrace was so warm that she forgot all her worries and fell into a deep sleep.
A week later, all of Cespia’s funeral procedures ended.
The visitors who filled the temple also left. The temple closed its doors to mourn the remaining week.
Rabienne skimmed through the tranquil temple and headed for the Saint’s Palace.
Beside her was High Priest Lucas. He held the second-highest status after the Saint.
“Don’t you think it’d be better to rest today and carry everything out tomorrow?”
“No. I’ve been waiting for this day throughout the funeral.”
“Yes. Well, yesterday, Prince Damon asked to come and meet him for a tour.”
Rabienne’s ears pricked as the Priest mentioned Damon.
“What did he say that?”
“He requested hosting a Crown Prince selection meeting the next month. It had been delayed due to this event.”
It wasn’t difficult to realize that Damon entered and left the temple to gather supporters.
Although aware, the temple decided to push him into the position of the Crown Prince. That way, they could use him politically.
“My appointment ceremony is next month, so he can schedule it after that.”
“Yes, of course. I feel great things are to happen after Damon becomes the Crown Prince.”
During their exchange of conversation, the two arrived in front of an iron door with five layers of locks.
The key to the locked room had been passed from Saint to Saint, from generation to generation.
Lucas kept custody of it for a while after Cespia’s death, but it was now delivered to Rabienne.
“The day I receive this is finally here.”
“It is later than I thought.”
Rabienne draped her long eyelashes and reached for the set of keys.
She unlocked the tightly sealed doors one after the other and pushed the door vigorously.
As she reached the end, a light illuminated the humid and dark passage. Another door appeared.
Being unable to hide her excitement, Rabienne blushed.
As soon as she opened the door, a colorful glow radiated. It was bright and blinding.
Excited, Rabienne entered the door without hesitation.
All the lights leaked from a large crystal ball placed in the middle of the space.