Paladin of the Dead God - C.157:


Edelred Aldeon

He is the head of the family based in Aldeon, the capital of the kingdom of Elil, and also the king. His predecessor was also infamous as a tyrant, known for dying of hypertension due to excessive drinking and overeating. Tragically, dying from anything other than a sword in the kingdom of Elil was considered a long life.

Fortunately, Edelred learned from this and became a vegetarian who didn’t even drink alcohol, let alone eat meat. However, there was one extremely rare feature about this honorable knight in the Holy Land… he utterly despised knights.

‘It’s not that he lacks devotion to the Elil faith. He just loathes the macho men who only shout about justice, courage, and honor.’

Isaac reflected on the information he had about Edelred.

Despite becoming king at a young age due to his father’s sudden death, Edelred was not a bad king, especially in Isaac’s opinion.

Edelred nervously chewed on his fingernails before asking,

“I heard from Emperor Waltzemer that a message would come. Do you have the letter?”

Isaac pulled out a letter sealed with the emperor’s sigil.

He hadn’t opened it nor planned to, but Isaac roughly knew its contents. It was likely about Elil’s participation in the Dawn Army and appointing Isaac as a plenipotentiary ambassador…

The letter was brief, making it hard to convey secret information.

Edelred read the letter quickly and sighed deeply.

He paced back and forth as he gathered his thoughts and then said,

“So, Emperor Waltzemer has decided to participate in the Dawn Army? I heard that the empire is still not stable.”

“It seems he sees no choice but to join the Dawn Army expedition. Perhaps, he plans to wrest control from the church through it.”

Isaac’s words surprised Edelred slightly.

Unlike the unified church and state of Elil, the Gerthonia Empire was known to be at odds with the Codex of Light, which was common knowledge even to Edelred. It was surprising to hear a Holy Grail Knight seemingly supporting the emperor. But, if he were not a supporter of the emperor, he would not have been appointed as an ambassador.

Trusting the letter’s content, Edelred nodded at Isaac.

“Well, being a holy body, it might be possible for him to take control from the Church… But as you can see, our kingdom has many problems.”

Isaac nodded cautiously.

Elil was even less centralized than the Gerthonia Empire. There were numerous rebel groups and four major factions dividing the kingdom. Even if Edelred wanted to participate in the Dawn Army, it was impossible.

The biggest issue was Edelred’s youth.

“I need to persuade my vassals first, but as you see, even arranging a private meeting was difficult. Everyone treats me like a child on the brink of a cliff.”

“Your Majesty, it is loyalty.”

Isaac spoke sincerely.

Although the previous king was a tyrant known for brutal purges, he effectively removed any corrupt elements. This allowed Edelred to avoid betrayal from capable vassals, as any potential traitors had been eliminated during his father’s reign.

“If that is true, then it is fortunate.”

Edelred seemed to doubt whether Isaac’s statement was out of consideration or a compliment but accepted it positively.

“The problem is with others, especially the Witch Hectali sisters and the traitor Georg. If I could subdue them, then perhaps…”

Edelred muttered bitterly.

“Let’s walk and talk. Honestly, there aren’t many here I can confide in. But I feel I can open up to a Holy Grail Knight like you.”


“This country is insane.”

As they walked through the garden, Edelred lamented to Isaac.

“Everyone is obsessed with sword fights, personal training, arbitrary justice, courage worth a fly’s life, and a shallow honor only they understand. Justice, courage, honor—sure, those are fine words. But what happens when everyone takes up swords? Who will hold the plough, the chisel, the hammer?”

His long-held anger seemed deeply rooted.

It was unclear whether it was because of his father, the knights driving the kingdom into perpetual civil war, or his vassals who still saw him as ‘a knight not knightly enough.’

“Perhaps you’ve seen unpleasant things on your way here.”

“I cannot say there were none, Your Majesty.”

Isaac thought of the chaotic roads, ragged beggars, men obsessed with fighting, and even port workers wearing swords. It was understandable why Edelred was frustrated; without even a single understanding vassal, his outrage was justified.

“The country is in this state because everyone is obsessed with fighting. Indeed, the strong have a duty to protect the weak, as Elil said. But that’s only applicable when there are strong enough individuals to hold the world in their hands!”

The idea that the strong have a duty to protect the weak sounds right, but it implies a condescending view that makes a true partnership difficult. ‘Duty to protect’ can easily become confining rules, regulations, oppression, taxes, and penalties intended to ‘protect the weak.’

Elil might have had romantic knights who adhered to chivalry in his time.

But after about 700 years of distortion and misinterpretation, the current state of the Kingdom of Elil emerged.

“I haven’t been to the Gerthonia Empire, but I’ve heard of its culture and stories. Sure, it has its problems too. But it’s not like here where even farmers and merchants need to carry swords, and all talents and resources are sucked into the military.”

“That is true, Your Majesty.”

“And it’s not even that our military is strong. Why? Because they pour all their talents, lives, and resources into killing each other! No wonder the country is going mad.”

The rules are set by the strong.

In this country, only the strong or those striving to be strong are respected. Yet even a powerful warrior like Bashul would die if he starved. Therefore, one could argue that a farmer is stronger than Bashul, but in the Kingdom of Elil, this was not the accepted view.

To them, tilling the soil and herding cattle were tasks for the defeated. This mindset was why technological and cultural progress in Elil lagged far behind that of the Gerthonia Empire. If there was any advancement in Elil, it was limited to swordsmanship and military tactics.

“Actually, I’ve met the Emperor before.”

“You’ve met Emperor Waltzemer?”

Isaac asked in surprise, having never heard this information before.

“Yes, before I became king. My father and he discussed something, but my father refused. It was probably about the Dawn Army. We had a brief encounter and spoke momentarily. He was an impressive man…”

Edelred murmured as if dreaming.

Isaac thought it was a natural reaction. Any child who met a shining, horned emperor would surely be awestruck, as he would have been himself.

“During my conversation with the Emperor, I realized that this country is insane, and it’s impossible to fix this madness without external intervention.”

Isaac’s face grew stern.

Intervention by foreign powers, in this world, was not just a betrayal, it was akin to handing over the kingdom founded by Elil to the Codex of Light. Accusations of apostasy would not be unwarranted.

“Your Majesty, are you suggesting…”

“Don’t take it too seriously. It wasn’t a serious consideration, just a realization that we need a jolt to self-reflect. But I couldn’t do it alone.”

Edelred said, looking back at Isaac.

Isaac understood why Edelred was sharing such personal thoughts with him. Meeting Emperor Waltzemer was not only a pivotal moment of his youth but also a reason he began to despise knights.

And since Isaac was sent by that very Emperor, Edelred’s complete trust in him was evident.

Isaac looked at Edelred, who was about chest-high, with a complex expression. He knew too well the loneliness of feeling like the only sane person in a world with vastly different values.

Edelred, interpreting Isaac’s expression as perplexity, shook his head.

“Yeah, it’s a tough issue. I know you can’t just follow my will blindly. You’re here to ask for troops for the Dawn Army, not to burden yourself with these troublesome issues.”

“Not at all, Your Majesty.”

Isaac responded calmly.

Though Edelred spoke as if lamenting his own situation, all these concerns were closely tied to Isaac’s mission. Moreover, the issues he pondered were ones Isaac had already faced and resolved.

To normalize the kingdom and join the Dawn Army,these were prerequisites for witnessing the Elil faith’s culmination.

“I am here to restore the kingdom to you, Your Majesty.”

Edelred perked up.

“The kingdom? To me? How?”

Isaac spoke of secrets well-guarded by Elil’s upper echelon and reasons why the Aldeon royal family hadn’t been properly recognized, leading to civil strife across the kingdom.

“Hasn’t Elil been silent for a century?”

Edelred’s pupils dilated sharply. Seeing his eyes flicker, Isaac thought he should learn to control his expressions better.


In the Elil clergy, there isn’t a clear distinction between priests and paladins because all wield swords.

Those who have reached the transcendent level of a Swordmaster could converse with angels and receive oracles from Elil.

However, all communication from Elil had suddenly ceased over a century ago. Even the angels claimed ignorance when asked. This unprecedented situation inevitably plunged the Kingdom of Elil into prolonged civil war.

“I will help you receive Elil’s recognition, Your Majesty.”


Aldeon Palace Hall.

In front of the vacant throne, the vassals discussed the recently visited Holy Grail Knight with serious expressions.

They disliked this foreign Holy Grail Knight. The fact that he was performing well in a tradition even they were losing was a blow to their pride.

Moreover, they particularly despised Isaac’s handsome appearance.

A true warrior should be burly and scarred, not slim and pretty like Isaac.

“Are we sure he’s the right Holy Grail Knight? He doesn’t look the part.”

“Maybe those Codex of Light folks just made up a hero. How could such a hero suddenly appear without Elil’s blood?”

“They must be trying to drag our blood into their futile Dawn Army.”

“Wasn’t there someone in the Elil Knight Order who fought the Holy Grail Knight?”

“Reyna Hilde!”

As the vassals were deeply engrossed in their discussion, they called Reyna, who was standing near the door. Normally, she would guard next to the throne, but her bruised face had relegated her to the corner.

“You fought the Holy Grail Knight? Was he that strong?”

Reyna looked incredulously at the questioner.

“Can’t you see my face?”

“…Well managed nose bridge. But was there nothing more impressive than that?”

Reyna smiled wryly, touching her broken nose.

“He emitted sword energy. And I survived that encounter.”

Amidst the vassals’ mixed reactions of admiration and dismay, they murmured to each other.

“If that’s true, then…”

“If it’s about sword energy, there’s nothing we can do.”

“It seems even the Codex of Light can be useful sometimes.”

“Those petty fellows haven’t forgotten the roots of Emperor Elil after all.”

“He truly deserves to be called the Holy Grail Knight!”

Meanwhile, Isaac was eavesdropping on their conversation through Hesabel. He felt a sense of absurdity as he witnessed how the hostile attitudes towards him were reversed by a single mention of ‘sword energy’. This was typical of Elil, a place where its simplicity was both a strength and a flaw.

–TL Notes–

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