A Saint who was Adopted by the Grand Duke - Chapter 38
“Then, we will conduct Rabienne’s education as an official Saint candidate.”
“Yes. Everyone seems to agree.”
“It would be efficient to prepare in advance.”
Becoming the next saint meant that the Duke would soon hold enormous authority. Rabienne would enhance the true power of the temple.
As soon as everyone concluded Rabienne’s selection, a nobleman who was situated next to Duke Brions whispered to his ear.
“Haha. There is nothing to be congratulated for. It is all due to Rabienne’s excellence.”
Although he said so, the Duke couldn’t hide his wide grin. His lips twitched upward.
This was the moment where the efforts of the Duke of Brions ultimately illuminated the temple.
“Well, next is a disciplinary case. Recently, two new priests exchanged one of the female candidates.”
The deputies frowned as Christopher addressed the agenda placed on the table.
“A female candidate? What was the reason for such an action?”
“She was a incompetent junior anyhow. They claimed to have been offered a large donation and ended up accepting.”
“Hmm, what were the candidate’s origins?”
“She was an orphan found in the slums.”
As soon as the word slum resonated, they shook their heads one by one. They didn’t even have to deal with someone like her.
“Isn’t it a valid solution, now that we both received a donation and removed an orphan from the list?”
“That’s right. The Goddess would be pleased if the candidate moved on to a place where she would be most needed.”
Christopher shook his head as if their point of concern held no importance.
“The problem is that the donations received were personally used by the priests. The donations sent from the Grand Duke failed to make their way into the temple.”
“Excuse me? Of course they’ll have to face punishment!”
“Once an individual commits a wrongdoing, it will be difficult to correct their ways.”
Eventually, the disciplinary action directed to the priests who sold the female candidate was decided upon two years of probation and self-reflection.
Their issue was with the embezzlement of donations, and no one took matters against the deprivation of a female candidate.
It was because the victim was an orphan from the slums.
“Yes, then next…”
With the majority of the opinions concurred, Christopher quickly passed over the schedule.
Since it was a meeting primarily held to decide the matter of the upcoming next saint, the remaining subjects were processed quickly.
A while later.
After the meeting came to an end, individuals gathered near the Duke of Brions.
As a family that founded numerous saints, countless nobles supported him.
“Your grace, why don’t you have a cup of tea with us?”
“I’d love to, but I am planning to meet Rabienne. Oh, as you can see, my daughter is waiting.”
As Brions said so, Rabienne stood before the conference room.
The act of being naturally greeted by the priests by the entrance could not be considered as her being a mere candidate.
Rabienne ran towards the Duke of Brions with a wide smile plastered on her face. The duke greeted her with a light hug.
“Shall we take a short stroll?”
“That’d be great.”
The two fell upon an unoccupied garden. As they moved away from the public eye, the atmosphere between the two became noticeably colder.
“Has nothing happened in the meantime?”
“I’m always under the care of the temple.”
The conversation, which had been a casual exchange of regards, quickly reached the point.
When the Duke of Brions confirmed no one was present, he approached Rabienne and asked silently.
“What did you hear about the next saint?”
This was the real reason The Duke of Brions visited the Temple after such a long time.
He was also to attend the conference, however, he had more so wished to meet Rabienne and receive information about the next saint.
Rabienne pondered for a moment.
She did not possess the conditions Saint Cespia had stated. She might not turn out to be the next saint.
However, this was not yet certain. She wouldn’t be able to tell until after she learned more about the next Saint.
“Not yet. It will take a little longer for the revelation to arrive.”
“Yes. Any time is fine, you should contact me as soon as you hear of it.”
“Father, what if the revelation of the saint appears to someone else?”
Rabienne, who had trotted a few steps ahead, turned around and asked worriedly.
Brions looked at Rabienne with a feeling of uneasiness. However, he approached her, concealing his inner thoughts.
“I told you. You are the next saint. Even if another child’s manifestation appears, that doesn’t change the fact.”
The Duke gently soothed Rabienne’s shoulder to appease her.
“If it’s not you, all you have to do is find the child who’s awakened. After that, I’ll take care of it myself.”
The Duke’s fierce gaze was like that of a beast aiming for its prey.
He felt that he had shown too much and quickly presented a friendly smile.
“Don’t worry about anything, Rabienne. Our noble saint.”
“Yes, I’m not worried. I was born to become a saint.”
A saint’s ability was to be determined by god. She didn’t care if she couldn’t obtain that kind of thing.
She only wanted to be the center of power- the seat of the saint who would be in charge of everything.
Rabienne’s values were solely in becoming a saint.
‘Nobody can take my place.’
If she couldn’t become a saint, she would be denied all her life.
Rabienne smiled brightly. Her eyes flashed with enthusiasm.
** ━━━━━━━⋅•⋅⊰∙∘☽༓☾∘∙⊱⋅•⋅ ━━━━━━━**
Esther departed the carriage using Palen’s escort.
The sanctuary where Noah was resting. It was only her second time here, but she wasn’t completely nervous.
“I… Young Lady.”
Esther turned around at Palen’s call.
“Thank you for coming back.”
“It was at my will. It’s not something to be thanked for.”
“Still. Thank you very much.”
Palen was very polite as if he were a servant working for Esther. She, embarrassed by his attitude, fiddled shyly with her hair.
She smiled awkwardly and attempted to enter, but soon turned around and asked.
“Is the person inside still unconscious?”
“Yes, they’re not in a condition to arise. They are not feeling very well.”
It was a relief, but she was somewhat disappointed.
‘I missed you a bit.’
During her last visit, she recalled Noah’s eyes as they gazed at her continuously.
“Then, I’ll be back in two hours.”
Esther shouted vigorously before entering the sanctuary. The clear energy of the shrine relieved her tension.
She walked slowly and entered the cabin.
Esther knocked on the door before she entered carefully.
Her clear voice faded silently. However, there was no response.
Noah was asleep atop his bed like a doll, just as she first witnessed him.
The coachman said he wouldn’t wake up, but somehow, it seemed like he would arise any moment and say hello.
“I’m here to draw.”
Esther continued to talk to herself to relieve the sense of secretly trespassing another’s territory.
While trying to find the painting she began last time, Esther first sat down on a chair and glanced at Noah’s face.
She even waved her hand in front of his face to see if he was pretending to be asleep.
Then, suddenly, his previous words came to mind.
‘Hands… he asked me to hold them.’
Esther recalled the time he asked so desperately.
It wasn’t difficult.
She slipped her hand over Noah’s, which was laid down by his side.
At that moment, a considerable amount of energy drained from Esther’s body at once.
Esther lost her balance and stumbled. The power she contained on her palms disappeared in an instant.
Esther widened her eyes and hurriedly removed her hand from Noah’s. She didn’t know why the force had suddenly been used.
While she held her breath in embarrassment, Esther harked Noah’s low voice beside her.
Her name, which he called so affectionately, was enough to embarrass Esther even more.
“He said you wouldn’t wake up. Why… how did you?”
“That’s thanks to you.”
Noah pointed at Esther.
“I didn’t do anything.”
Esther glanced down at her hand, puzzled. She wondered if it was just her ability undergoing a sudden effect.
“Esther listened to my favor. That’s why I woke up.”
Noah presented a bright smile just as he did when they’d met for the first time. For a moment, there was the illusion of warm sunlight shining throughout the room.
Esther rubbed her eyes with surprise at his gaze. Then she became flustered and quickly turned away.
Meanwhile, Noah’s eyes were completely fixed on Esther.
“Ah, I slept well.”
Noah stretched out with a brazen face. He seemed very natural and refreshed.
‘What is this? Does he know I have mana? How?’
Esther slightly frowned to present her doubts.
Noah tapped the table with his fingers to divert Esther’s attention.
“You’re here to paint, aren’t you?”
Noah took out the drawing he had placed on the side table beside him. It was exactly what Esther had left behind.
“Here you are.”
“Yes, then… I’ll draw right away.”
She immediately proceeded to draw. She wanted to do anything to attempt to bypass the awkward moment.
However, Noah’s gaze would not shake.
Why was he staring at people like that? Esther was constantly embarrassed by his mournful expression.
Noah never looked elsewhere. It was easier to draw his eyes now that he kept gazing at Esther.
“How old are you?”
No sooner had Esther finished replying that Noah began to make a fuss.
“Uwah! We’re the same age.”
Her answers shifted to a shorter length as time passed. Esther glanced at him, flustered about what to do.
“Shall we be friends then?”
Esther refused bluntly, not bothering to even raise her head.
She didn’t consider having a friend, nor did she even feel the need to try.
Noah’s expression suddenly darkened.
“I’m stuck here, without any companions. I wanted to be friends with Esther… this was too much on my end, right? I’m sorry.”
He looked pitiful as if he had been sentenced to something formidable.