A Saint who was Adopted by the Grand Duke - Chapter 98
Updated: Mar 11
“Not yet. I’m sure she’ll feel burdened since I’m the only one who likes her.”
“Is that true?”
The Empress burst into laughter at the unexpected rebuttal. It was surprising that Noah had a crush on someone, her son who she never imagined would fall in love with anyone.
“Hoho, I’m liking her more and more. I’m very curious about what kind of lady she will be.”
Reina contemplated seriously before she slowly tapped Noah on the shoulder.
“But seeing that she sent you a letter, I think she has feelings for you?”
“Really? Can I look forward to it?”
Noah smiled refreshingly and swept the letter with his fingers.
“Mother, I’m going to write back.”
As soon as Noah received permission from the Empress, he stood up and headed to his room.
He rushed in a hurry to reply to Esther when his feet stopped as he witnessed the bunch of flowers beside him.
‘They resemble her.’
He smiled, got on his knees, and leaned his face towards the flowers.
Among the pink petals, there existed a tulip that resembled Esther’s eyes.
They were all one and the same, but he had a hard time nitpicking one with the prettiest scent.
“Will the scent deliver my feelings?”
He thought of sticking the flower inside the letter.
The pigeon flapped beside the walking Noah. His hand was occupied with a tulip.
A few days later, the maids of the Tersian mansion were busy preparing to welcome an important guest.
The butler, Delbert, also made sure to double check the luncheon and carefully looked over everything.
10 minutes remained after he finished preparing the dining room.
Promptly, the bell connected to the main gates rang. It was a signal that the awaited guest had arrived.
Delbert stopped by the study to inform Darwin of the guest’s arrival.
“They have arrived just now. I will accompany them to the dining room.”
Darwin stood up and rubbed his stiff neck.
The shirt he wore perfectly outlined his solid body. Even now that he was in his 30’s, his figure was so well-managed that no one was able to compare.
He picked up the jacket he had hung on the hanger, adjusted his appearance, and left the study.
‘What kind of trick will he play?’
As he strode through the hallway, Darwin’s eyes narrowed. His expression was filled with distrust towards the guest he was about to meet.
The guest everyone was anticipating in Tersia was the Duke of Brions.
He abruptly sent a letter a few days prior, asking for a meeting.
Darwin and the Duke of Brions maintained a business relationship that was neither good nor bad.
If Darwin was in charge of the military security throughout the Empire, Brions was in charge of the coordination with the Temple.
Personally, he despised Duke Brions, but the two were the household owners who led the four major families of the Empire, so they remained neutral as to not cause any disputes.
They had never been on friendly terms with each other, so it was strange how Brions suddenly reached out to him.
‘It’s better to be wary.’
He was suspicious of his intentions since Brions was not a man to move without absolute benefit.
While Darwin stood by the window in wait, the Duke of Brions arrived at the front of the mansion.
“Thank you for coming. I am Delbert, the butler.”
The Duke left the wagon and sharply scrutinized the mansion as Delbert greeted him.
‘I ended up here.’
Brions felt mixed emotions throughout his trip to Tersia.
The only reason he came here was because of Esther.
There was a mention of Esther in an additional letter sent by Rabienne.
It was strange that Darwin, a cold-blooded man, adopted a child, even more so from the Temple.
In addition, he was even more concerned that she perfectly matched the revelations.
Rabienne added that Esther’s mana was very poor, but he wanted to confirm with his own eyes.
‘She resembles Catherine.’
The biggest reason.
Unless Rabienne was the Saint, the daughter Catherine gave birth to was more likely to be one.
Brions clearly recalled the appearance of the child he encountered several times on different occasions.
He was surprised when he first saw her, but every other time she appeared before him, his mind would flow back to Catherine before he realized.
At the time, he thought they simply looked alike, but after this event, he was highly suspicious of Esther.
‘I pray not, but if she is my daughter and the Saint…’
He wasn’t able to sleep for days because of this haunting thought. There was no way for him to untangle the twisted thread.
“Your Grace? Why don’t you take your time to look around after some refreshments and head inside first?”
Delbert called the absent-minded Brions in a calm tone.
“Ah… I was distracted since it is my first time here. Let us go.”
Brions cleared his throat and followed Delbert into the mansion.
As he entered the living room, Darwin greeted him bluntly.
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“How have you been?”
They shook hands and chatted for a bit. Darwin’s firm hand strongly contrasted with the Duke of Brions’s.
“There is no reason for me to not be well. You seem good too.”
After exchanging formal greetings, Darwin guided the Duke to the restaurant.
As they sat facing each other from the ends of the long table, a series of skillfully prepared plates were presented.
“I prepared it sincerely, so I hope it suits your taste.”
“Yes. It looks very delicious.”
The two began eating in silence. And occasionally, they exchanged stories about the current situation.
Brions had yet to bring up his reason for arrival.
Darwin lifted his glass of wine and congratulated Brions.
“Now that I remember, I’m late to say my congrats. Congratulations on having a Saint.”
“Thank you. It is a family honor.”
Brionns laughed and raised his glass proudly.
“There have been so many Saints in your family since ancient times. It is commendable.”
“It is only because the Goddess looked after us. I still can’t believe my daughter is a Saint.”
Darwin, aware that Rabienne was not the real Saint, was curious regarding Brions’s sincerity.
“I’m curious because we’ve never had a Saint in our family. What do you think of your daughter?”
“Well, she has been different since her childhood. She is praised to be a Saint for her excellent divine powers and kind personality.”
He couldn’t understand Brions’s intentions at all.
Darwin decided to turn the conversation and find out why Brions came here first.
“But, what wind blew all the way here? I’m sure you didn’t visit because you wished to chat with me.”
When the mild atmosphere quickly cooled down, Brions flinched. He tried to take a sip of his glass with a smile.
“I think we were too elegant. I was to pass by here anyhow since there was business for me to tend to nearby.”
It was not bad for a superficial reason, but Darwin knew too well that this wasn’t all there was to it.
“Hmm, is that so?”
Seeing that Brions avoided answering despite Darwin openly stating his question, it was unlikely that he would give in if he insisted.
Brions avoided Darwin’s gaze while naturally putting Esther in his mouth.
“Come to think of it, didn’t the Grand Duke adopt a daughter?”
When Esther suddenly appeared amidst the conversation, Darwin’s eyes sharpened.
“Are you talking about Esther?”
“Yes. You brought that child from the temple, is that right? She happened to be friends with Rabienne.”
It was Darwin who observed from the sidelines just how much Esther suffered while thinking of Rabienne.
A fishy smile formed Darwin’s mouth as he wondered if he could call such a relationship as friendship.
“My daughter didn’t say that. I’ve never heard any mentions of her.”
At that moment, his anger directed towards his grip on the glass and it cracked.
“I’ll have to replace the glass. I can’t seem to control my strength these days.”
“Haha, you’re full of energy.”
Brions felt as if he were the broken glass and bit his lip firmly.
It was difficult to deal with Darwin one-on-one during the war, but he tried to keep his calm nevertheless and asked.
“I heard she was an orphan. Did you find out who her parents were?”
“What kind of parents are they to abandon their child? For Esther, I am enough to be her parent.”
Darwin said so, crossed his legs, and leaned back.
A more dangerous atmosphere emitted from him. Brionns unconsciously swallowed his saliva.
“You seem to be interested in Esther. Is there anything else you’re curious about?”
At that moment, sweat formed Brions forehead as he quickly changed his words; it would be better not to stimulate him more.
“It is simply because I thought it was great that the Grand Duke adopted a child without a title nor status.”
Brions completely altered the subject so that Darwin would not doubt him.
Lunch and the short tea time ended after they exchanged stories regarding the safety of the Empire.
As Brions stood from his chair to leave, he asked.
“I want to say hi to the kids. Where are they?”
“I let them leave since I thought it would interfere with what we were talking about.”
“I see. Then I bid you farewell.”
“See you soon at the Imperial Palace.”
Darwin saw him off at the door, and the meeting between the two ended.
Brions, having escaped Darwin’s gaze, breathed heavily in relief.
He was so nervous that he had to wipe his sweaty palms with a handkerchief.
‘By the way, it’s a shame.’
Albeit strange, Darwin seemed to have adopted a child with pure intention.
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Brions became slightly nervous. Even after coming this far, he wasn’t able to dig anything about Esther.
He moved along and was about to board the wagon when he called Delbert, unable to just leave like this.
“I have a headache and wish to walk in the garden. Will you guide me?”