A Saint who was Adopted by the Grand Duke - Chapter 22
As Esther expected, Dennis did not return for a long period.
“It’s about time for him to come back.”
Esther leaned against the wall and muttered to herself absent-mindedly. It had already been two hours since she waited for Dennis.
Her mind was troubled at the thought that she might have been truly abandoned.
Still, he told her to wait, so for now, she remained in her spot.
At that time, she felt a sudden gaze from the distance.
Esther observed the group of people that were eying her. At a glance, they seemed like mobsters who came and pulled other people’s backs.
It seemed like she was caught at the wrong time. Esther had been dressed in aristocratic clothing ever since she left the residence.
The rascals slowly circled Esther after whispering amongst themselves.
“Is the little lady lost?”
Among them, a man who seemed to be the leader spoke with his arms crossed.
Esther stared at them, slightly annoyed.
“If we take a look at your clothing, you seem to be a lady from a noble house… We’ll deliver you home.”
To put it nicely, they were trying to kidnap a noble to obtain a bigger profit.
Esther looked at them alternately, then leaning against the wall. Other than that, she didn’t open her lips.
“Hey, do you know who we are?”
The skinniest man in the group attempted to touch Esther. The leader abruptly freaked out and blocked his hand.
“Don’t touch her. Which house do you think you’ll be laying your finger on?”
“What’s wrong with you? She isn’t the Grand Duke’s kid for me not to touch anyway.”
“That’s right. There are only twin sons in the house.”
As Esther silently listened to their conversation, she imagined how she would look if she were the Grand Duke’s real daughter.
“Hey, we’re not bad people. We just want to take you home.”
The man spoke to Esther again. Then he placed his hand over her shoulder.
Esther shook off the man’s palm in excessive shock.
“Don’t touch me.”
The abusive memories made her extremely sensitive to anyone who touched her.
Esther’s fierce, menacing eyes embarrassed the gangsters.
“Woo… Take it easy. I didn’t harm you. We’ll take you home safely. Where do you live?”
Only then was she troubled by the persistent men.
As long as she was preyed on, they were unlikely to let her go.
People glanced past even her even when she looked for help. There seemed to be no one to aid her in this situation.
‘I can’t help it.’
Esther sighed and pulled the little knife she had always carried from her pocket. It was a small but sharp blade.
“Do you see this?”
The hoodlums mocked Esther at the sight of the minuscule knife that didn’t seem to fit well with her noble appearence.
“You don’t want to deal with us with that… Huh? Hey! What’re you doing?!!”
However, Esther herself was not a person to use such a fine blade against others.
“If you keep bothering me, I’ll stab myself.”
“Oh, no. What’s wrong with you? You have to cherish your body, alright? Put that away, will you?”
The men who were conversely threatened broke out in cold sweat.
For them, commoners at best, if they hurt the body of an aristocrat, that would be the end of their precious lives.
“Do you think I’m lying?”
Esther, with her abnormally expressionless face, drew the back of her hand with the blade. Although lightly drawn, fresh blood formed and spread across the area.
“Hey! Don’t do that!”
“Won’t you please put that knife down?!”
Esther stared down at the back of her hand. The bleeding didn’t hurt. It would stop soon anyway.
“Or could you kill me here?”
After seeing the blood, all her thoughts dispersed. She never thought about this kind of end, but what if she would finally be able to rest in peace?
“Here. The knife.”
The gangsters, surprised by the little girl who reached out bravely asking them to kill herself, stepped back while cursing agitatedly.
“What kind of kid is this strong-minded?”
“I can’t. Let’s just leave.”
They exchanged glances at each other and ran away without looking back once.
People who were passing by gathered to observe the commotion. Those who couldn’t help but willingly watched.
‘It’s the same everywhere.’
It reminded Esther of the priests who knew of her existence but were always sitting on the sidelines. She sighed, frustration tightening her chest.
“Was that an opportunity?”
Esther seemed confused as she looked at the back of her hand, where her wound existed.
Her desire the moment she left the temple was to meet death, so she had never been afraid to end her life. She could do anything to die.
Nevertheless, when it occurred to her that she was about to disappear from this world, Esther hesitated for the first time.
Darwin and Judy’s faces emerged one after another. Just a few more days for the warmth they embraced her with… That’s what she thought.
If she’d just set the knife on their hands, maybe she could’ve done it.
“Why did I do that?”
Was she already attached to them?
Esther gazed up into the sky, her mind complicated. Dennis still hasn’t arrived.
** ━━━━━━━⋅•⋅⊰∙∘☽༓☾∘∙⊱⋅•⋅ ━━━━━━━**
The group of gangsters who disappeared, ran to a nearby alley as if they had previously agreed to.
Dennis was waiting for them, an angry expression written on his face.
“Huu, young master, have you seen it too?”
“We couldn’t help it.”
They weren’t gangsters. They were merely workers completing their daily wage-earning job, performed at the request of Dennis.
“I told you to never hurt her. She has a scar on the back of her hand!”
That was the reason why Dennis was furious.
He was just making this scene up to observe how Esther would act, but the fact that she hurt herself was very shocking.
“We couldn’t deal with her.”
“I was quite startled at her actions.”
“Weren’t the color of her eyes completely dark?”
Dennis’s green eyes, which had always presented a gentle gleam, were now filled with rage.
His usual appearance was nowhere to be found, and he bore eyes that would cause even the adults to shiver.
“We’ll, we’ll be going now.”
“Find us again at any time!”
The gang hurriedly ran out of fear of the sudden flame.
Dennis didn’t bother to hold them any longer. He wrapped his hand around his forehead.
Esther’s attitude earlier was beyond his comprehension.
“Why? Why did you go so far?”
It was too bizarre of an action to be done.
No matter how much she wanted to get away from the gang, no one would do anything to hurt themselves or give a knife asking to be killed.
However, Esther’s eyes were not shaken at all. Everything she did seemed sincere.
Dennis was most emotional about the fact that she wasn’t afraid to die. He was angry at the way she was careless with her body.
He returned to the area where Esther was waiting, calming himself from the burst of anger.
Esther waved after she witnessed Dennis from a distance.
As if nothing had occurred, Dennis faced Esther and asked.
“Is everything alright?”
“Yes. Nothing happened.”
How can that be nothing? Dennis sighed exasperatedly.
Even though it was something he had done, he couldn’t let this go.
“I witnessed it all.”
“You, you’ve seen it?”
Only then did Esther blink her eyes in embarrassment. She seemed to have been making excuses even though she had done nothing wrong.
“But they left right away without causing any trouble. Nothing happened.”
“They were sent by me.”
“I wanted to see how you would behave.”
Esther stared at Dennis for a moment, as if speechless. But she soon nodded her head and understood immediately.
Dennis didn’t understand how Esther could easily convince herself of his confession. He couldn’t figure out what kind of thoughts she underwent.
“Why do you carry a knife?”
“It’s for self-defense.”
“What were you going to do if they attacked you?”
“What I would do…”
Esther thought carefully.
Dennis was likely to get angry if she said she had intended to die.
“Isn’t your body precious?”
Dennis’s voice rose. Esther was puzzled by his serious tone.
“Don’t do that again. Don’t hurt yourself under any circumstances. Do you understand?”
Esther flinched while replying.
“If you die, what about us?”
Esther’s eyes grew round like a rabbit. Dennis’s meaning of ‘us’ was not interpreted.
“We’re family now. Have you ever thought about your family?”
Esther thought about why she was being scolded and found a contradiction in Dennis’s words.
“You said you weren’t my brother earlier.”
“Ha, I don’t know. I don’t know anymore.”
Dennis was very confused himself.
He wasn’t going to accept Esther as his sister until he found a convincing reason.
But when he saw Esther hurt herself casually, he became angry… and felt sorry for her again.
It was only belatedly that he realized that he had already been inclined to Esther. He had never felt this way before to anyone else.
‘What is this… How can I change my mind so quickly?’
Dennis was busy questioning his thoughts and actions when a crying child and their mother passed in front of them.
Perhaps the child was lost, as the mother was grasping his small hand tightly while scolding him.
Esther couldn’t take her eyes off them until they disappeared. She didn’t even realize she was distracted looking at them.
“What? Are you envious?” (Dennis)
“I don’t remember that either because I don’t have a mother.” (Dennis)
Dennis brought up his story, claiming it to be insignificant. When he was young,
He was often envious.
“I’m not your mother, but I’ll hold your hand.”
“What? I’m not envious!”
Esther’s face turned red as Dennis abruptly grabbed her hand.
Nevertheless, Dennis held Esther’s hand tightly. Esther also didn’t make an effort to shake it off.
“And I’ll take back what I said earlier, that you’re not my sister.”
This time Esther asked back, seeming surprised. She thought it would take time, but this speedy progress.
“Yes. But don’t say you’re going to die so easily.”
Before they knew it, the two had arrived in front of the small hole that they had secretly exited from.
Like when they came out, Dennis entered the hole first, and from inside, beckoned Esther to do the same.
“Come on, we’re late.”
Esther was at odds over whether to enter or not.
While previously waiting for Dennis, she thought it didn’t matter if he left her or not. That way it would be easier for her to die.
But it was nice to see him come back. She was happy to hold his hand and to be able to head back home.
‘I’ve been here for less than a month. We still have a lot of time.’
Esther crawled inside the residence. It was too unfair for her to leave without fully enjoying this place.