Novel Name : A Saint who was Adopted by the Grand Duke

A Saint who was Adopted by the Grand Duke - Chapter 103

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Updated: Mar 28
“No, I definitely brought money, but it’s gone. I guess I lost it.”
 
Judy’s face heated red from embarrassment. His previous boastful expression was nowhere to be found.
 
Esther giggled as she witnessed the flustered Judy trying his best to seem unfazed.
 
She then pulled out a diamond she always carried in case of emergencies.
 
‘I should’ve converted it to money.’
 
The diamond was much lighter and more convenient to carry than countless hefty coins, so she didn’t feel the need to do so.
 
However, she was worried the bakery wouldn’t accept the diamond as payment.
 
She approached the solemn-looking person waiting at the register and pulled out the diamond.
 
“Can I pay with this?”
 
The keeper, who had been observing the kids since a while ago, couldn’t help but be surprised at the sight of the diamond. They shoved their face closer as if in disbelief.
 
“Is… this real?”
 
“Yes, you can also check whether it is legit. I really want to buy this dessert.”
 
Esther eagerly gazed at the keeper with her big puppy eyes.
 
The keeper almost fell for that adorable gaze, but abruptly came to their senses while in embarrassment.
 
“What should I do? That would be a bit difficult… I am unable to hand back the change right this instant.”
 
“I don’t need any change.”
 
Esther reassured them and pushed the diamond forward.
 
“Then I’ll take it… Ahm, I apologize. The difference in the amount is too vast… I think that will be hard.”
 
They almost accepted the offer for a second, but managed to regain their composure. It simply wasn’t right.
 
The keeper was carrying out their job with honesty. They would not receive pay without an appropriate exchange.
 
Esther lowered her head sullenly as she realized there would be no desserts for her.
 
The pretty macarons continued to catch her eye, but she quickly smiled and turned around in case Judy felt guilty.
 
“Let’s just go.”
 
“Esther, I’m really sorry. Instead, I’ll definitely get it for you tomorrow. Or let’s send some servants as soon as we get home, mh?”
 
Meanwhile, Judy restlessly engraved the dessert Esther had chosen into her memory.
 
“There’s no need for that.”
 
Dennis woke from his contemplations and struck Judy’s forehead on his way to the counter.
 
“Now that we have given you the payment, why not send the dessert to our house instead? On a daily basis.”
 
“…!”
 
Esther’s eyes shone brightly at the solution Dennis suggested.
 
She quickly pulled out the diamond from her pocket and placed it on the checkout counter.
 
“Would that be alright?”
 
“Well, I would be grateful if you could trust our store, but could you tell me where your house is located?”
 
“It is the Tersia duchy.”
 
The keeper went blank as the children’s identities were revealed. They certainly did not expect this turn of events.
 
The keeper hurriedly glanced outside to confirm their doubts. They skimmed the letters engraved on the carriage the children arrived in.
 
“…Goodness. You did not tell me in advance. It is an honor just for you to stop by our store. I will do as you wish.”
 
Conducting a pact with the Grand Duke would result in a positive outcome. It’d be a windfall since the keeper would receive a vast amount of advance payment.
 
“Then we’ll leave this behind, so please send us dessert once a week.”
 
Esther’s complexion noticeably brightened. She patted the diamond and turned around with a big smile plastered on her face.
 
Then, she jumped to hug Dennis.
 
A few years ago, this would have been unthinkable, but Esther was frequently embraced by the twins, so she was no longer uncomfortable.
 
“Thank you, brother.”
 
“Uh… Well, this is nothing.”
 
Dennis’s eyes widened. It was very rare for Esther to approach a person first. The corners of his lips twitched.
 
“Ha, I was going to buy it for you.”
 
Judy was relieved that Esther was happy, but it upset him that she only showed affection to Dennis.
 
In the meantime, multiple desserts were organized into one large basket.
 
Esther smiled merrily and held the basket preciously while boarding the wagon.
 
The carriage picked up the three kids and continued back to the mansion.
 
Esther gazed earnestly at the basket before giving in and pulling out a vanilla macaron straight into her mouth. She stomped her feet at the delicious aftertaste.
 
Judy sat across from Esther, so he was able to obtain a good view of her euphoria. He smacked his lips and slowly reached out.
 
“Me too, just one…”
 
“You surely didn’t trick Esther into buying the snacks so you could steal them, right?”
 
Dennis slapped the back of Judy’s hand. Judy’s eyes widened in betrayal at his words.
 
“Whatever! I can’t help myself!”
 
As he slipped his hand into the basket, Esther quickly swiped the box sideways.
 
“Ack! You can’t touch it.”
 
“Woah. Did Esther just say no to me? Did I hear correctly?”
 
“Yes, that’s right.”
 
Dennis mocked Judy, a corner of his mouth lifting in ridicule.
 
“That’s too much. Is it because I didn’t pay for the snacks? Is that it?”
 
Judy opened his mouth, a hurt expression on his face.
 
“It’s not that. This is father’s…”
 
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The Cassata Judy reached for was the one she intended to give to her father.
 
“What about this instead?” This also looks good.”
 
“No. I’m not going to take any.”
 
Esther presented him with other alternatives, but the upset Judy puffed his cheeks and swore to never touch any of the desserts.
 
***
 
In the meantime. Khalid sat beside the well, absent-minded. Esther had rejected him just a while ago.
 
“Why is she so cold?”
 
He felt it last time, but the way she looked at him was too heartless. The saying that people change on a whim was true after all.
 
He was frustrated that she was angry with him and wanted to demand why she had changed so much.
 
“There’s no way I can know if she can’t even give me some of her time.”
 
The exasperated Khalid brought out 2 small vials from his pocket.
 
One was an empty container which he had to bring the blood in, and the other consisted of a liquid.
 
‘Take it as you might need it. The effect depends on the amount consumed, but just one spoonful is powerful enough to make an adult man lose consciousness for 30 minutes.’
 
The sleeping potion he received from Rabienne before he left for Tersia. Even when he refused to accept it, she remained adamant.
 
“Haah.”
 
Khalid shook his head violently. The current situation was very discombobulating to him.
 
Since Khalid entered the Temple at the young age of 6, his only goal was to train and venture with the aim of becoming a Knight.
 
The Temple was everything to Khalid, and the Saint was his master, whom he would devote everything to throughout his life.
 
“But why…”
 
No matter how much faith and trust he had in the Temple, his mission to gather blood was rather strange. His suspicions kept resurfacing no matter how hard he tried to remain indifferent.
 
He vowed to follow Rabienne’s words as they would only mean good for the Temple, but his heart shook before Esther.
 
His responsibilities as a paladin and his feelings for Esther collided and tormented him endlessly.
 
In the end, nothing came to mind. His head was pounding, and he felt an unbearable thirst.
 
“…I should drink some water.”
 
Khalid abandoned his worries and scooped water from the well beside him.
 
He clasped his eyes shut and gulped the water in his hands. At that moment, his eyes widened.
 
“What is this? Why does the water taste so good?”
 
Perhaps it was just his feeling. As soon as the water flowed down Khalid’s throat, his body became clear and energized.
 
Khalid, unconsciously, continued drinking from the well. He soon reached his ultimate decision.
 
“Alright. I believe in the Saint. It was just that I haven’t seen Esther for a long time. Let’s be honest and get the blood.”
 
No matter how long he thought about it, it was impossible for him to use harmful means to gather Esther’s blood.
 
He would meet Esther and confess the truth to her. He continued bringing water to his craving mouth.
 
***
 
Dinner time this evening.
 
The four, Esther, Judy, Dennis, and Darwin, gathered together at the dining room and commended their meal.
 
Judy blabbed on about everything that had happened at the slums throughout dinnertime. He seemed very proud as he shared his accomplishments.
 
“Everyone was very grateful when we handed out the food. We took more than four bags, but everything ran out in half an hour.”
 
“Not half an hour, but an hour.”
 
Dennis corrected Judy’s exaggerated seasoning.
 
“Ah, there’s something else. We didn’t only give food and line everyone neatly, but we even fixed a dry well.”
 
“It seems you haven’t done any of those things?”
 
“Oh, come on!”
 
Darwin stopped eating and rested his chin on his hand while observing the talkative children.
 
He was already aware of what happened at the slums from the report.
 
It wouldn’t be Darwin to send his children to potentially dangerous areas without protection. Thus, there were many invisible knights attached.
 
However, he pretended this was something he didn’t know and listened intently.
 
He raised the corners of his lips, looking happier and more relaxed than ever.
 
“You must have had fun.”
 
“Yeah! It was fun to help, but it’s better to play with Esther.”
 
“Dennis didn’t like going outside very much, did he?”
 
“Well… It wasn’t bad. I think doing this was more beneficial than reading a book, so I’ll head out with them next time.”
 
Darwin’s eyes curved gently. You couldn’t find a speck of the maddening eyes that swept the battlefield in him now.
 
‘Lucky charm.’
 
His friendly eyes, which was something only his family could see, naturally flowed from the twins to Esther.
 
Esther had changed a lot since coming to the Grand Duchy. However, the twins also developed positively.
 
He was happy that the children, who were not interested in people, shared food and became concerned about others.
 
However, Esther was too concerned over Khalid to notice Darwin’s gaze.
 
‘Should I tell father?’
 
She was pondering over Khalid’s intentions and whether he would come or not.
 
Everyone’s eyes gathered towards the silent Esther, starting from Darwin, to Judy, and Dennis.
 
Judy poked Esther on the side to remind her of the gift.
 
“Give it now.”
 
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“Ah, right.”
 
Esther was jolted back to reality. She placed the cassata on a plate beautifully and held it for her father.
 
“I bought this at the bakery we stopped by on our way home. I thought father would like it, so here it is.”
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