A Saint who was Adopted by the Grand Duke - Chapter 79
“How long will it be until the ceremony begins?”
“We have about an hour to spare.”
“Then let’s go for a walk.”
Esther turned for the garden rather than heading towards the temple where the funeral would be held.
The panoramic view of the temple was still beautiful.
Esther’s footsteps slowed as she coldly glanced at her surroundings. She wondered what would happen had this place become a ruin.
The Priest approaching from the other side was familiar to Esther. He was the same person who escorted her the day she left the temple.
There was only one road, so she was forced to run into him. The Priest was already eyeing Esther from afar.
‘Will he remember me?’
The Priest stood before Esther as her heart continued pounding.
“You seem to be a visitor. Are you looking for the temple?”
He seemed to have mistaken her for a lost person. He smiled kindly.
An expression he would have never presented to the candidate Diana. His bizarre appearance made her laugh.
“No. I’m on my way to the garden.”
“Ah, I see. Then, may you be safe.”
The day he coldly kicked her out remained vivid in Esther’s mind. It was amazing how there was such a sweet side to him.
Victor tilted his head as Esther continued staring at the Priest’s back.
“Did you know him?”
“…He is someone I do not know.”
Esther’s voice was cold.
After calming herself down by observing the garden, she headed to the temple to attend the funeral.
Esther quickened her feet in order to arrive on time before coming to a standstill after rounding a corner.
Her widened eyes spotted Rabienne standing alongside the High Priests.
Rabienne also seemed to have noticed Esther as she approached her in surprise.
She anticipated their encounter, but facing the reality caused her mind to go blank.
Rabienne swiftly recognized Esther, whom even the Priests hadn’t identified.
More than that, she seemed happy, like she’d met a distant friend.
Esther was flustered at her reaction. However, she did not forget to nod.
“Long time no see, Lady Rabienne.”
“I know. The last day you left the temple… Has it been over a year? It’s so nice to see you again.”
“I feel the same way.”
What did she mean to do by pretending to know her? Esther’s eyes narrowed.
“You are here to attend the funeral, aren’t you? I can’t chat with you now as the ceremony will proceed soon. Would you like to meet up later?”
Rabienne asked with the same sweet smile that Esther had been deceived by.
Esther, curious as to the reason for her behavior, readily accepted her request.
“Yes, let’s do that.”
“Then, I will see you later.”
Rabienne wrapped up the friendly conversation and ran back to the High Priests who were waiting for her.
Esther stared blankly as they disappeared into the temple and clutched the hem of her robe.
‘You know that I was adopted by the Grand Duke.’
Rabienne recognized her at a glance and was not surprised by her appearance.
It was clear, seeing how she pretended to be close.
She wondered how Rabienne would react when she realized Esther was adopted, but Rabienne turned to be more up to date than she thought.
She never showed her true nature and acted kindly in front of anyone who would benefit her.
Since she didn’t have a plan, it wouldn’t be a terrible idea to match her pace for now.
“Victor, I’ll be back.”
“Will you be alright?”
She smiled reassuringly at Victor and presented her identification card to the Priest guarding the building entrance.
He guided Esther, his tone polite.
“As soon as you enter, turn left and walk straight. His Grace the Grand Duke will be waiting for you there.”
For the temple, an orphan candidate wouldn’t have been allowed entry, but it was more than easy for the daughter of the Grand Duke.
A while ago.
Rabienne put on a sad expression for the people as she entered the temple.
But inside, she was thinking of Esther, rather than Saint Cespia.
‘I wouldn’t have recognized her had I not searched in advance. How can a person change that much? She’s a completely different person.’
Comparing her former self to now was like the difference between heaven and earth.
Even the atmosphere around her has transformed. She now seemed like a full-fledged aristocrat.
Even so, the fact that she was an orphan was not to be overlooked. With all that in mind, Rabienne could not ignore Esther, now the daughter of the Grand Duke.
‘If I’m a little nice to you, you’ll become like before. It’s obvious.’
In the past, all she had to do was a little talking before the kid fully complied with her.
Even now, Rabienne thought that if she pretended to take care of her a bit, Esther would follow her as she did then.
‘I can’t believe she’s the daughter of the Grand Duke. She’ll be good to use.’
Rabienne was overtaken by shock upon the fact that the Grand Duke took her as his daughter.
She would have scarcely passed the matter over had she not realized Esther changed her name.
Rabienne still wondered why in the world the Duke would adopt such an insignificant child, but on one hand, it was still of good use to her.
She wished to meet her, but things were unexpectedly going well.
Rabienne sat along with the High Priests near Cespia’s coffin.
Her head raised high as she proudly looked over the people who were present during the funeral.
In the midst of the funeral, Rabienne stood on the podium. It was to deliver her speech dedicated to the Saint.
“The Saint has always been a benevolent and warm person. She was the person I respected the most. The person I aspired to be. It is a pity, and I am saddened to have her return to the Goddess so soon.”
It was a pathetic voice mixed with occasional sobs.
Esther couldn’t take her gaze away from Rabienne as she continued her speech. Various emotions erupted deep inside her heart.
Darwin observed Esther as he sat beside her.
‘Is something wrong? The child relaying the speech is the daughter of Duke Brions…’
Darwin felt uneasy when he recalled the name Esther spoke on that rainy day.
‘Was the Rabienne she mentioned the daughter of Duke Brions?’
Darwin assumed something was related between the two and decided to ask Esther himself.
After a while.
A 30-minute break was provided. Darwin turned to Esther as the environment around them became more noisy.
“I wasn’t able to ask properly because the ceremony started the moment you arrived. Did everything go well on your way here?”
“Of course. I came comfortably.”
Esther nodded and smiled brightly. Although she was in the temple, having Darwin by her side was enough to bring a smile to her face.
“I gave you permission just because you wanted to come, but I actually didn’t wish to have you here. It reminds me of the time I first met you at the temple.”
Darwin’s calm eyes subdued.
“I know you didn’t have any good memories in the temple, right?”
“I had a relationship with the Saint since my last visit to the temple. I wished to see her off.”
Darwin nodded in accordance.
In the midst of their conversation, Esther’s eyes unconsciously followed Rabienne. Darwin noticed this and asked.
“When you first came home, you hated rainy days. I remember the name you said then.”
Esther flinched and glanced at Darwin. His eyes were infinitely deep.
“Is it her? The daughter of the Duke of Brions?”
Esther nervously kept quiet, and in time, a noble approached Darwin.
“Grand Duke, can you spare me a moment. Everyone is gathered in wait to speak with you.”
He wanted to speak to Esther but now was not the right time. There were too many eyes.
He was to carry out his greetings for the official meeting. Darwin regretfully stroked Esther’s head.
“Let’s finish the story when we get home. I have to leave for a bit. Is it alright for you to be alone?”
“Don’t worry, go ahead.”
Esther quickly sent Darwin away. She was relieved.
She observed the area to find the hall completely occupied with guests.
More than half of them were people who endeavored to somehow build a connection with the temple.
She stared at those who crawled pathetically before making eye contact with Rabienne as she stood in the corner.
Rabienne beckoned as if she had been waiting and quietly exited the building.
‘Was she meaning me?’
Esther tilted her head for a while and headed for the place Rabienne disappeared to.
She discovered a door leading towards the terrace and garden. A fairly large space appeared as she continued walking.
As she looked in search of Rabienne, a long hand protruding from behind the pillar snatched Esther’s wrist.
Rabienne faced Esther’s rabbit eyes and smiled.
“There were many eyes earlier, so I couldn’t ask properly. Diana, what happened? How surprised I was to hear that you were adopted.”
As Esther had guessed, Rabienne was already aware of everything.
“Ah, look at me. You’re no longer Diana. I heard you changed your name…”
“Right, Esther. Say something.”
“I was just lucky. I must have caught the eye of the Great Duke.”
Rabienne was flustered at Esther’s sudden cold tone. Still, she didn’t lose her smile and acted friendly.
“Hmm. Anyway, that’s really good. This is an opportunity that you, an orphan, will never have again.”
Although she pretended to be caring, Rabienne’s implicit shallow heart was conveyed to Esther.
“I think we’ll see each other often in the future, so let’s get along well. I look forward to your kind cooperation.”
Rabienne smiled broadly and reached her flawless hand to Esther.