A Saint who was Adopted by the Grand Duke - Chapter 13
Early the next morning.
Esther woke up the next morning to find the bright sunlight peeking through the large windows.
She stretched, then rubbed her half-asleep eyes.
Esther stared blankly as she faced the window. The bright room brimming with sunshine seemed unfamiliar to her.
Was it because she had left the temple? Esther wondered how long it had been since she last had such a refreshing morning. She also didn’t dream any nightmares the night before.
As Esther stretched her limbs, the blanket rustled against the floor.
The place Esther rested wasn’t the bed.
She unreservedly dozed on the floor; perhaps due to her custom habit while at the temple.
After she crouched down with her body against the wall, she realized she was not in a prison.
She could only fall asleep after undergoing the recognition.
‘It’s been a long time since I had a good night’s sleep.’
Esther absent-mindedly pulled her hand towards the beaming sun.
She stared at the transparent, warm light permeating her palm.
This very peaceful moment felt foreign to her.
How long had it been?
A knock could be heard from behind the door.
A maid had arrived to dress Esther for breakfast.
“My Lady! Are you awake?”
Esther rose from the floor, swiped her blanket, and ran to bed.
Leaving the bed and sleeping on the floor, she never wanted to be seen like that by others.
She knew better than anyone else if she presented any weaknesses, she would be attacked mercilessly.
Esther opened the door only after she completed tidying the room.
Dorothy, who had been waiting before the entrance, smiled gently as she faced Esther.
“Did you have a good night’s sleep, my lady?”
“Yes, I slept well.” (“네. 잘 잤어요.”)
*TL/N: The 요 used at the end indicates one using polite speech while addressing the person in question. Just thought you’d be curious!! (I won’t mention this in upcoming chapters, to not disturb your reading time!)
Dorothy frowned, shaking her head severely as she heard Esther’s respectful response.
“My Lady, again. You said you’d speak to me comfortably.”
“Ah, sorry. It’s still awkward for me.”
Esther flusteredly opened then closed her mouth. She had never addressed someone casually, therefore unconsciously uttering honorifics was only typical for her.
“You will soon become accustomed.”
Dorothy was a bright, fresh, quick-witted maid whom Darwin had attached to Esther.
She didn’t mention useless comments and was thoroughly polite to Esther.
Even so, Esther was uncomfortable with her presence, as she had been accustomed to being alone all her life till now.
She was only following her, assisting with things Esther could do herself.
Nonetheless, Esther would soon become habituated to this, as she couldn’t be left alone while staying here at any rate.
Esther washed her face and dressed with the help of Dorothy.
She seemed very clean as she had bathed the day before.
After Esther removed her nightgown to change into a dress, Dorothy clapped her hands, a brilliant thought crossing her mind.
She accompanied Esther to the dressing table.
“My Lady, why don’t you sit here for a second?”
Esther seated into the chair with the help of Dorothy. Dorothy proceeded to comb her lady’s wavy, rich hair, slowly but affectionately.
“May I style your hair?”
Dorothy’s hand then proceeded to turn multiple strands several times, before Esther’s hair began taking shape.
The tail of her half-bonded hair positioned over her loose strands shook gently.
Dorothy completed the hairdo after she strapped the ribbon with a red cloth.
Esther exclaimed in admiration as she touched the decoration.
“Dorothy’s very dexterous with her hands.”
“I have three younger siblings. They tell me to do their hair like this, do it like that. It’s such a fuss. I just tie their hair up using this method to make them feel better.”
Dorothy smiled as she oiled Esther’s hair.
Esther didn’t dislike her hair positioned this way.
After Dorothy completed her preparation, Esther headed straight down the spiral stairs, arriving at the first floor.
As she strolled along the corridor and turned a few times, she could see a dining room positioned on the right.
Esther abruptly halted arriving before the entrance.
She found her way easily thanks to Dorothy’s guidance, yet her feet could not proceed any further.
‘My place is missing.’
Only three people’s tableware was set on the empty table; everyone had yet to arrive.
Esther couldn’t bring herself to enter after being aware of the fact.
Her feelings of excitement somehow subsided in an instant as she stood blankly and stared.
She felt miserable, reminded of her situation very well.
‘Will I stay here for more than a month? I didn’t come here to enjoy time with my family anyway.’
Esther forced herself to turn away from her threatening emotions.
What was certain was that she had to die before being recognized as a saint.
She abruptly felt nauseous and dizzy.
Esther squeezed her shoulders and clenched her hand, holding herself from collapsing due to her prompt lightheadedness.
“What are you doing standing here?”
It was Judy who came across Esther first, sneaking up to surprise her.
However, Esther was wearing a grave impression, which caused him to pause.
Judy stood beside Esther and stared at their front, wondering if she was gazing at the moon. Since the room was overly familiar for him, the field of view didn’t differ much for him.
What caught his eye was the three-person tableware positioned on the table.
“Idiot. We haven’t been able to set up your seat yet.”
Judy lightly pushed Esther’s back, realizing she had been like this due to her empty seat.
Esther thrust into the dining room in response to his sudden force.
“Oh, my! You’re here already?”
“Welcome, Master. Come on in, my lady.”
The maids in the dining room greeted them warmly.
It was a much more sincere entrance than Esther had initially expected.
She anticipated they would reject herself, but after entering this place, she realized that wasn’t the case.
There was no contempt held in their eyes as they faced Esther. Neither was it a look of disrespect.
They were simply eyes that welcomed her.
‘Is this the power of wealth?’
She was adopted as the daughter of the Grand Duke only in name.
She had been living in denial and neglect all her life, only to be welcomed here.
It was cumbersome, this was all due to the difference in identity.
But on the other hand… This warmth felt nice.
“This is my seat; father’s seat is right in front of me. Whatever you do, sit next to me.”
Judy tapped the chair next to him after he had settled in his seat.
Esther sat down next to Judy. She didn’t have a set seat in any case.
“You’re really thin. There’s nothing but bones, right? Didn’t you ever eat?”
Judy joked as he giggled.
Esther only responded with a grin; she couldn’t respond to the question.
The temple only presented a very small amount of food to a candidate in training.
While in prison, she had only digested porridge.
She had only filled herself to the point where she wouldn’t die, so there were no memories of drinking the full portion.
As Esther shook her head to remove the painful memories, she could sense the energy of an unfamiliar person.
Esther’s gaze unconsciously turned to the door.
A boy happened to be entering the dining room.
She could recognize with one glance that he was Dennis, the twin brother with a face that exactly resembled Judy’s.
Esther rose from her seat in a fit of surprise.
It was the first time she had met Dennis here.
Esther lowered her head. Dennis nodded lightly.
It was a very calm reaction for someone encountering their sudden sibling.
‘Their atmosphere’s are completely different.’
Esther took a moment to recap her impression of Dennis.
First off, Dennis was much larger than Judy.
His sharp eyes and nose shape were the same, yet their aura completely differed.
Unlike Judy, whose hair was cut short, Dennis’s was much longer and richer.
He wore thin silver-rimmed glasses, which emitted an intellectual aura unbefitting of his age.
“Yes. Please wait a minute.”
Esther nervously greeted him, while on the other hand, Dennis walked straight to his seat, not caring to glance at her.
“I must drink water in the morning.”
He lifted the cup positioned on the table as he lightly spoke in a monotonous manner.
It was a delicate and careful move, equivalent to that of a person holding an important task ahead of them.
As Dennis lifted the cup, the maid filled his cup with water from the kettle.
Finishing the touch with rosemary leaves.
Dennis then proceeded to gulp down the water, as if he were accustomed to it.
Although the maid poured quite an amount, he swiftly gulped down the cup, thoroughly emptying it.
It was Dennis’s first and foremost routine every morning to head to the dining room and drink a glass of water.
It was very important for him. He was a person who always advanced according to his daily routine.
Dennis wiped his mouth with a napkin.
And then he spoke naturally, gently sweeping the bangs which covered his eyes.
“You have to drink water in the morning for your body to circulate well. Why don’t you also become accustomed? Judy won’t listen to me no matter how much I tell him.”
Esther nodded her head as she glanced at him.
Dennis stared for a while before offering Esther a new glass of water.
“Oh, come on, she’s panicked! Esther, you don’t have to drink that.”
“Don’t stop her. Why don’t you drink water in the morning?”
Judy and Dennis’s voices significantly raised as they began their quarrel.
Esther pondered for a moment before surrendering as she drank the water Dennis handed her.
Drinking liquid wasn’t difficult for her, even if she didn’t know of its contents.
Meanwhile, Dennis stared at Esther with both his hands clasped together.
‘My father brought home a sister.’
Darwin was willing to do whatever the twins wished for, but it was truly beyond Dennis’ expectations that he brought in a sister so quickly.
Dennis’s eyes glistened with curiosity as he gazed at the little girl.
‘Where is she special?’
A child brought in by his father could not be ordinary.
His desire to explore grew so quickly that he quickly turned his head and opened his moist lips.
Esther responded immediately to Dennis’s call.
“What are you talented in doing?”
Something she was talented in doing?
Esther raised her head as she thought. In her past lives, she wasn’t talented in anything enough to receive something like praise.
Although she was a temple candidate, she also worked as a servant in the temple due to her inferiority.
One of them was sewing fabric and mending clothes.
Though weak in her divine powers, she was confident in stitching as her hands were quite skilled.
“I sew clothes well.”
“Really? Then will you teach me how to do it the next time?”
“How to mend clothes?”
Esther’s lips widened, confused by Dennis’s somewhat thrilled speech.
“Why do that? Why don’t you have a sword fight with me?”
Judy spoke irritably, not able to understand Dennis’s train of thoughts.
“I dislike childish activities.”
There have been frequent arguments between the hot-tempered Judy and Dennis, who always calmly ignored him.
There were always misunderstandings during their fights, but this was one of the many ways the two got along with each other well.
The two were both best friends and brothers. Their quarrels weren’t heart-to-heart battles.
‘Do I have to stop them?’
Esther, not knowing of the fact, nervously caught up in their argument.
Fortunately, the two boy’s puns were soon over.
That was because of Darwin’s presence as he entered the dining room.
Darwin, appearing in his stunning attire early in the morning, approached his three children as he made eye contact with them.