Paladin of the Dead God

Chapter 197:



“Predation of souls? What on earth…?”

Before Isaac could grasp the full meaning, he noticed his sword aura blazing even more fiercely. Instead of the tentacles, it was now the aura that was absorbing the surrounding souls.

[You have preyed upon ‘Villon Georg the Corrupt.’]

[The efficiency of your consumption has increased thanks to the ‘Intestines of the Dead God’ perk.]

[You have acquired the temporary perk ‘Immortal Will.’]

[Even when sustaining a near-fatal injury, this perk will keep your soul tethered to your body for a short period.]

[The temporary perk will be maintained until it is fully digested.]

It was quite a beneficial perk.

It seemed more like a perk granted due to the tenacity of Villon’s prolonged life rather than one obtained by preying on an undead soul. With this perk, even if Isaac sustained a fatal injury, he would have time to endure or escape.

‘So now I can prey with my sword aura as well? No, it even works on souls?’

Direct predation using the tentacles was highly risky, but using the sword aura posed no such danger. However, it seemed that only souls could be preyed upon with the aura, and its efficiency was lower. Rather than consuming the entire soul, it was more like extracting a portion of its power. To properly consume, devouring the physical body remained the best method.

“Isaac.”

At that moment, Yulihida approached Isaac, deftly dodging the spears and swords obstructing her path. Isaac hoped to see a hint of triumph on her face, but all he saw was a trace of urgency.

“We should hurry. The Lady and the Wizard have begun to move.”

Without paying any attention to the undead knights, Yulihida strode confidently toward Elion. Edelred, bewildered by the situation, followed Isaac, trusting he knew what was happening. However, Isaac was just as clueless.

“Your Majesty!”

Rosalind’s voice, filled with confusion, called out. She demanded an explanation. But neither Isaac nor Edelred had the time to provide one.

“I’ll explain later, Lady Rosalind! For now, hold your ground!”

An angel’s intervention was like a natural disaster. Trying to discern the cause and effect was futile for ordinary humans; it was part of a grand scheme beyond their comprehension.

Though it was unsettling and infuriating, there was nothing they could do.

This world was just that kind of place.

The undead knights were left behind.

Without their souls, their bodies would remain there forever unless dealt with, like statues guarding the Holy Land.

***

As they approached the Holy Land of Elion, the mist grew denser, making it impossible to see ahead. Despite feeling they should have arrived by now, they kept walking until Yulihida grumbled irritably.

“When is this damned thing going to show up?”

Isaac then spoke to Edelred.

“Your Majesty, please raise Kaldbruch.”

When Edelred raised Kaldbruch as instructed, a path opened up through the thick mist. Only then did the stairs leading up to Elil’s cemetery become visible, stairs that had been completely hidden just moments before.

Without waiting, Yulihida strode up the stairs.

Isaac watched her and sensed her anxiety. She was so anxious that she, who usually refrained from intervening in human affairs, had struck down a priest of the Immortal Order.

Even though angels were overwhelming and unilateral beings in this world, such an event was rare.

‘What could be making the Archangel so anxious?’

Isaac sensed that the time for him to carry out the mission given by the Sword of May was approaching.

He decided to ask the question that could no longer be postponed.

“Sword of May, we have now reached the Holy Land of Elion. Please tell me what I must do.”

Edelred, standing nearby, was astonished at the mention of the Sword of May. Yulihida glanced at Edelred and then looked back at Isaac.

“Hm, yes. The King of Elil should hear this too. It’s not unrelated.”

She spoke as she walked up the stairs.

“Isaac, you must go to the Crystal Battlefield.”

“…Elil’s Urbansus? How?”

Usually, being told to go to the afterlife meant to die. Isaac had crossed such boundaries before, but that was thanks to the miracles of the Salt Council, which allowed traversal between life and the afterlife.

However, he was unaware of any similar miracles in Elil’s faith. Fortunately, it didn’t seem like he was being asked to sacrifice his life for the mission.

“It can be done in the Holy Land. The boundary between Urbansus and the real world is thin there…”

Yulihida paused and looked back at Isaac. Her gaze was complex.

“There, you must eliminate the Archangel Calurien.”

Archangel Calurien.

Though known as the ‘Wizard,’ the name Calurien was so famous during his lifetime that he was often referred to as the Wizard Calurien even now. He was akin to a figure like Luadin in Elil’s faith, the first to be named by Elil.

“…Eliminate Calurien?”

This task was of an entirely different magnitude than subduing a wicked bandit on the mountain. Isaac was shocked that such a mission, one suitable for an angel, was entrusted to him.

If the first Archangel Calurien were attacked, would the other angels remain idle? Angels, devotees, perhaps even Elil might intervene. Was this not a declaration to confront the entire faith of Elil?

‘Is this a way to get rid of me? Sending me to Elil’s battlefield to die?’

But if that were the case, the Sword of May could have just taken him out directly. Why go through such a complicated and time-consuming process to approach Elil’s Urbansus?

Edelred, who had been listening, also shouted in disbelief.

“Sword of May! As an Archangel of the Codex of Light, how can you speak of eliminating Calurien? What do you mean by this? Although Elil has separated from the Codex of Light, Elil still follows its values and order!”

Edelred’s words were true.

Elil had established the foundation of the great empire that solidified the Codex of Light’s presence on the continent but simultaneously created a schism that split the empire in half. Despite this, Elil never waged an invasion war or committed massacres against the Codex of Light.

Even after attaining divinity, Elil claimed to follow the values of the Codex of Light and insisted that he had only parted ways with the orders distorting its principles. Hence, he was still part of the vast order of the White Empire’s alliance.

Yulihida calmly gazed at Edelred and spoke.

“King of Elil, did I say to cut down Elil? I said Calurien.”

Edelred’s eyes wavered.

Isaac quickly understood and responded.

“So, the objective is not to oppose the faith of Elil but to remove Calurien specifically.”

Though the objective remained daunting, the initial difficulty had made it seem relatively easier in comparison. However, Edelred was still puzzled.

“Did Calurien do something wrong against the Codex of Light?”

“No. Not to the Codex of Light.”

Yulihida answered calmly.

“But he wronged Elil. Calurien has imprisoned Elil and silenced him. Other angels are passively assisting in this.”

Edelred was left speechless by Yulihida’s startling revelation.

Could it be that the reason for Elil’s silence all this time was because of Calurien?

Isaac was equally shocked. He knew that returning the Ritual of Division allowed one to face Elil, but the impression that Elil was confined never came through in the game.

“We should move quickly. We need to strike before Calurien intervenes in reality.”

***

At the top of the stairs, a sudden autumn landscape appeared.

Rustling crimson leaves and a gentle breeze swirled within the enormous stone walls. The scent of a tranquil garden wafted through the air. At the garden’s center, a tall oak tree stood, surrounded by sporadically blooming camellias, all gazing up at the oak.

Isaac held his breath as he looked beneath the oak tree.

A man, with a tall stature, a pale face, neatly braided hair, and long ears that revealed his elven heritage, now vanished from this world, leaned against the tree as if asleep, clutching an empty scabbard.

This man, with an impression like a willow drenched in rain, was Elil.

He didn’t seem to fit the titles of ‘Conqueror’ or ‘Great General,’ but the scar on his chest and the empty void it revealed identified him as Elil. Most importantly, the sacred energy that filled this space, despite the absence of a proper temple or priest, declared his identity.

“This is where Elil ascended… When he took his last breath, the surrounding season froze, and the flora ceased to age or die. It was said that when Elil returns, he wouldn’t be startled by the changes but would feel as if he had just woken from a brief nap.”

Edelred muttered, his voice choked with emotion at being in this holy land.

“That’s a bit strange.”

Suddenly, Hesabel’s voice broke in. Only Edelred, who hadn’t noticed her following, was startled. Isaac and Yulihida remained unfazed, as Hesabel had been brought along for the ritual to be conducted here.

“From what His Majesty said, it seems Elil ascended in autumn, yet these camellias are not in season. Camellias bloom in spring.”

“T-That’s because it’s spring outside…”

“Then what about the story that time stopped?”

“Hesabel, don’t trouble His Majesty.”

Although she had once been a devotee of the Red Chalice, and her skepticism toward Elil’s legend was understandable, now was not the time. The meaning of this scenery could be deciphered later.

At that moment, Yulihida stepped forward. Edelred looked anxious, worried that bringing an angel of a different faith into Elil’s sacred burial ground might result in some inappropriate action.

‘Now that I think about it, Edelred is the only true follower of Elil here.’

Even the overlapping faiths were absent. Although Hesabel had converted, she didn’t count.

Isaac, unable to ignore Edelred’s pleading eyes, reluctantly tried to restrain Yulihida.

“Sword of May, why exactly is Calurien silencing Elil?”

Yulihida stared intently at Isaac. She seemed to contemplate whether to force compliance, but fortunately, she was reasonable.

She turned her gaze to Edelred and asked.

“King of Elil. What do you know about Calurien?”

“That… Calurien was Elil’s greatest mentor and helper, advising him on his path to becoming a Conqueror, and ultimately, guiding him to become a deity. He always assisted Elil with prophetic insights and magic.”

“You’re well informed. But it seems you don’t know what Calurien originally was?”

“The hermit living in the Tower of Wintercall, wasn’t he?”

In the far north of Elil’s kingdom, beyond the rough seas and rocky shores, stood a tall tower. It was now a ruin, but it was once famous as Calurien’s hideout.

“Calurien was originally a dragon named Bacalurien. He was a dragon worshiped in Elil’s kingdom. After being defeated by Elil, Bacalurien swore fealty to him and offered his assistance.”

Isaac let out a dry laugh.

Defeating a dragon and making it a subordinate? It sounded like a fantasy novel dream. If he thought about it, Elil’s journey itself resembled that of a fantasy novel protagonist.

“Like most dragons, Bacalurien was once revered as an ancient god. Naturally, he knew the ways to become a deity. In exchange for revealing those secrets, he became an angel.”

Yulihida smirked as she spoke. As she said, dragons were powerful enough to attract worship solely because of their strength and appearance. They held significant power wherever they went, but most disappeared with the fall of the ancient gods.

However, there are always the cunning ones.

Some dragons chose to become subordinates of divine beings rather than becoming gods themselves. Their secrets, power, and abilities were enough to achieve great feats as angels. Calurien was one of them.

“Then… are you saying that Calurien covets Elil’s power and seeks to suppress him and take his place?” Edelred asked, struggling to believe it.CH𝒆Ck for 𝒏ew st𝒐ries on no/v/el/bin(.)c0m

If Elil symbolized strength, courage, and honor, Calurien symbolized wisdom and knowledge. Hearing that the first Archangel might betray the god was shocking.

Yulihida’s response was simple.

“I don’t know.”

“Pardon?”

–TL Notes–

Hope you enjoyed this chapter. If you want to read more than 25 advance chapters or support me, you can do it at /Akaza156


Tip: You can use left, right, A and D keyboard keys to browse between chapters.