A Saint who was Adopted by the Grand Duke - Chapter 19
After Esther’s incident, she was treated with burdensome hospitality.
Every morning and evening, a doctor would provide her treatment, and a special meal would be prepared separately.
The doctor stated she shouldn’t take long strolls until her body recuperated. Because of that, Esther remained in her room for a few days.
Esther fidgeted with the rabbit her brother Judy had left behind, a sudden noise pricking her ears.
Raindrops were falling swiftly through the open window. Esther’s face turned noticeably dark when she perceived the scene.
“Oh, my. It must be raining.”
Concluded Dorothy, as she glanced at Esther who stood by the window.
Esther’s eyes turned anxious.
After a while,
Thunder and lightning began to strike. The raindrops, which dropped to the ground, also became increasingly thicker.
Esther jumped from her bed to the floor in fright of the thunder.
“My lady, are you alright?”
Dorothy came running from the other side of the room.
Esther clasped her ears shut with both hands and shook her head wildly.
“Are you afraid of thunder?”
Dorothy felt remorseful for Esther, but on the other hand, she thought it was somewhat cute of her to act that way.
It was common for children of Esther’s age to be scared of lighting, so she didn’t think of it as strange.
“It will pass soon. I believe the goddess is angry today.”
“Dorothy, window… Please close the window.”
“Yes! I’ll close it right away.”
Dorothy shut all the windows in the room and locked them tightly so they wouldn’t shake. In addition, she double-capped the curtains.
Only then did Esther open her eyes.
‘This isn’t a prison.’
Recalling the fact, she carefully removed her hands from her ears. She felt relieved of the calmness that once again surrounded her.
But that was only for a while.
Choosing a room with large windows turned out to have a poisonous countereffect.
Esther didn’t hold the power to stop the growing rain and thunder that ripped the sky every few minutes.
“It seems a bit violent. It looks like we’re going to expect heavy rain all night…”
Dorothy gazed worriedly at Esther. She seemed disoriented after the rain began to fall.
“Are you scared?”
“No. It’s okay.”
She was clutching the blanket so fiercely that her hands turned white. Nevertheless, Esther struggled to remain calm.
“Many kids would be scared. It’s happened to me too. Doesn’t it sound like a monster?”
“But it’s really nothing. The rain will soon pass away.”
Dorothy, unaware of Esther’s condition, took the matter insignificantly and raised Esther to bed.
“Shall I stay with you tonight?”
Dorothy glanced at her watch and asked. It was already past her work hours, but she was deeply worried about the abnormally agitated Esther.
“There’s no need to do that. It’s alright.”
Esther shook her head with a forced smile. She didn’t want to show Dorothy her weaknesses.
“But if you’re having a hard time, you should call me anytime. Definitely.”
Dorothy gently patted Esther’s hair and made her way out of the room.
Her hand seemed to have regained Esther’s stability for a moment, but as soon as Dorothy left, the little girl’s face turned pale.
In an instant, the sun had set, and the darkness only deepened her fear.
“It’s alright. This isn’t a prison. It doesn’t matter. It’s okay.”
Esther restlessly instilled in herself that everything would be alright as if memorizing a spell.
She shut her eyes tightly and tried not to think of anything. But in the face of the thunder and heavy rain, it was useless.
Esther jumped out of bed the moment she heard the sound of lightning thundering nearby.
She dragged her blanket and ran to the very corner of the room.
A place where the surroundings were tight. She needed a place to protect herself.
“Sorry. It’s my fault.”
She repeated her daily memorized words as her body crouched in the corner.
“Please don’t leave me alone. I’m scared here…”
When she was in prison, Esther detested rainy days the most.
She was so frightened to hear the sound of thunder in prison, where she couldn’t see anything in the existing darkness.
However, the larger reason was that Rabienne always visited on rainy days.
Once again, the thunder struck violently. Then, as if something had been touched, all the lights in the room went out.
Esther, engulfed in the darkness, finally began to weep.
“Someone get me… Please, someone, get me out. I haven’t done anything wrong. It’s dark here.”
Dark memories of the past came to mind and started eating Esther.
“I’m feeling unpleasant today due to the rain. Could I release my unpleasantness to you?”
“Please. It’s my fault. I’ll do whatever you ask me to do… Huh? Rabienne, we’re friends. Please don’t do this. I’m so scared.”
“Friend? How many times do I have to tell you to understand? I can’t be friends with someone like you.”
The past Rabienne was clearly reflected before Esther’s blurred vision.
“Don’t! Don’t! Don’t do this. Please, please.”
Even as Esther cried, Rabienne only smiled as she beat her using a whip.
“You’re not leaving this place. Live as my slave until you die.”
Esther screamed, sensing the same pain of the whip that Rabienne had wielded.
‘Huu. I hate it. I want to get out of here.’
Esther’s eyes gradually lost their vitality. She witnessed her most hated visions and heard hallucinations as if enchanted.
“I… Can’t escape.”
She denied it endlessly, but she knew deep in her heart. Everything she had tried so far had failed.
The darkness that Esther had forcibly buried inside spilled out. What fell into Esther’s eyes was endless despair.
“Kill me. Anyone is fine… Get me out… No, kill me. Please…”
Esther sobbed and began to scratch herself. She scratched her hands and legs violently, her body shivering.
The trauma of her past was too deeply rooted to escape by simply leaving the temple.
** ━━━━━━━⋅•⋅⊰∙∘☽༓☾∘∙⊱⋅•⋅ ━━━━━━━**
Darwin was reviewing the papers in his study as usual.
He was often called a workaholic, as he was never interested in the weather outside.
However, Ben, who did not disturb him at work, wandered around for a few hours, unable to restrain himself.
“What the hell is wrong with you?”
Darwin spoke condescendingly, his expression representing his hostility.
“Well… It is raining severely outside.”
“Since when did you care so much about the weather?”
When Darwin stared at him pathetically, Ben flinched and added.
“Not only is the rain still proceeding, but also with the thunder.”
“What do you want to say?”
Darwin eventually placed down his pen and pressed on his temples. His head was pounding from overwork.
“Actually… A maid visited previously, and it seemed that Lady Esther was afraid of the thunder.”
Darwin raised his head at the remark, a clear look of surprise presented on his face.
“Esther? Why tell me that now?”
“No… Your Grace ordered never to be disturbed during work… I apologize.”
Ben, who had been falsely accused, raised his voice slightly to prove his innocence. However, he hurriedly shut his mouth after perceiving Darwin’s glare.
“Is work more important?”
“You are my secretary, so you should take care of your priorities. My family comes much before this job.”
“I will keep that in mind.”
Darwin stood up and left the study. It was still too early to finish the day, but he was worried regarding Esther’s fear of the rain.
The mansion must still be unfamiliar for her. His heart sank at the thought that she might have been afraid to sleep alone.
“It’ll be alright.”
“I don’t have a good feeling.”
As Darwin rushed unlike himself, Ben tried to reassure him gently.
However, Darwin ran up the stairs, unknown anxiety overwhelming him.
It was when they arrived on the third floor where Esther’s room was located. Darwin and Ben paused and stared at each other.
“Just now, this sound…”
Darwin took a deep breath and began to run to Ether’s room.
Ben only halted with a shocked look on his face and covered his head with his palm.
‘Oh, my God.’
It was Esther’s scream that they heard.
As soon as the lightning struck loudly, a grim scream was heard from inside. Then sobbing broke out.
While Ben blamed himself for not speaking sooner, Darwin quickly opened Esther’s door and entered.
Despite the sound, Esther was still trapped in her own world.
Darwin, who perceived the darkness in the room, ordered immediately.
“Ben, go bring a candle right now.”
“Alright, I see.”
After Ben left, Darwin stood in the dark and looked around.
Due to the weeping, he was able to find Esther without difficulty.
“Esther, it’s me.”
He moved from the bed and walked slowly towards the crouching figure in the corner of the room. The blanket covering her was trembling endlessly.
Were you scared? Darwin slowly removed the blanket while in despair.
Esther was scratching herself wildly, her hair all tangled.
Darwin was bewildered and called Esther. He held her hands tightly so that she could no longer scratch herself.
Esther’s small, tightly grasped hand was so cold that even Darwin’s warmth left as soon as they made contact.
Even Darwin’s voice slightly trembled. Esther’s tightly closed eyes slowly opened.
He bit his lips in agony after seeing her swollen eyes and red lips.
Esther blinked blankly after waking at the voice calling for herself.
“Yes, it’s me. I’m here.”
But the remnants of the past were too deep for her escape immediately. Esther asked Darwin with an empty voice.
“Duke… Here… Is it the temple?”
Her eyes and voice seemed to have returned to the day they first met. No, her impression was even more devastating than then.
As soon as he witnessed the dark emotions deeply rooted in Esther’s eyes, Darwin felt his heart torn.
“No. This is your house. This is not the temple.”
Darwin forced Esther’s eyes to keep in contact with him.
He tried to reverse the focus of Esther from whatever she was thinking to him.
After so much effort, Esther barely managed to face Darwin.
“Yes. I’m here, in front of you.”
As soon as Darwin felt relieved and rested his hands, tears began to drip from Esther’s eyes.
“Please kill me.”