Paladin of the Dead God - C.162:


Along with a notification sound, Isaac let out a breath he had been holding back.

His fingertips tingled. It wasn’t surprising considering he had just torn off Hectali’s head at incredible speed. However, his hand quickly returned to normal, surrounded by a sinister fluctuating energy that he had blocked with sword energy in a manner similar to what Bashul had shown.

‘I was supposed to use my sword…’

He had drawn his sword first, but his hand had moved faster. Instinctively, he realized he could perform advanced swordsmanship more easily with his hands than with his sword.

The technique was inspired by Bashul’s sword drawing move, but what Isaac accomplished was entirely different.

If Bashul’s strike was like lightning coming down, Isaac’s was more like the touch of a predator hunting its prey.

It was a surprise attack that the opponent didn’t see coming. Isaac had simply become a massive tentacle that serenely scooped up Hectali’s head.

The action was so fluid and straightforward that even Isaac himself was momentarily taken aback. However, to those around him, it was a bewildering and incomprehensible sight.

‘Was the insight I gained that time… this profound?’

Isaac’s swordsmanship wasn’t originally at this level. However, something had distinctly changed after his awakening during the duel with Yulihida.

This move was also based on Bashul’s technique but modified from the ‘Hand of the Drowned’ technique he had developed on the ship. It was an instant fusion created out of immediate necessity.

‘But can this even be called swordsmanship?’

Martial arts often include movements inspired by animals or natural phenomena, and the Avalanche Knight Order had developed their swordsmanship based on avalanches; perhaps this wasn’t so different.

‘But this feels less like imitating something and more like becoming something.’

Isaac couldn’t quite explain it himself.

After his awakening, he felt as though he had accessed a different realm of existence.

“Holy Grail Knight.”

At someone’s call, Isaac turned around.

Numerous eyes were fixed on him. All the knights and soldiers in the field were staring at him with a mix of astonishment and shock after he had appeared and ripped off the head of the witch they were all struggling to subdue.

Isaac understood their shock, but he also sensed another emotion in their gazes.


Beyond respect and affection, it was the emotion humans feel when they witness a supremely powerful being. Leading them was Mors Gideon.

With blood streaming down his head from where he almost had his skull crushed, Mors approached Isaac.

Naturally, he took off his battered helmet and knelt on one knee before Isaac.

“You truly are a Holy Grail Knight, even from a far land, carrying forth the will of Elil.”

Starting with Mors, other knights also removed their helmets and began to kneel. Edelred approached the uncomfortable Isaac. It was a scene that could be misinterpreted in front of the king, as if someone else was receiving loyalty in his presence.

“Your Majesty, this is…”

“Nothing more than a knight being respected as he deserves. Holy Grail Knight.”

Edelred removed his helmet and placed it before Isaac, bowing his head.

“Today you saved my knights. Accept my respect as well.”


“Don’t worry too much about today’s events. Those knight zealots think it’s only right to kneel before a strong one, disregarding any oaths of loyalty to the king.”

On the ride back to the village after the initial defeat of Hectali, Edelred advised Isaac. For a moment, Isaac wondered if this was a check on him, but as a foreigner from the Gertonia Empire, he posed no political threat. Instead, he realized that Edelred was disconcerted by the knights’ behavior.

“Half of those under Lianne Georg’s command were generals and knights who she bent to her will by her hand. Just 3 or 4 years ago, they were loyal to our father. ‘You defeated me, I acknowledge it! I will serve you!’ It’s absurd.”

It could be seen as a lack of principles or an insane devotion to strength. This tradition had always led to political instability and internal conflicts within the Kingdom of Elil.

It was natural for King Edelred to despise the knights.

“But you didn’t have to do that, Your Majesty.”

“If I had stood there stiffly alone, can you imagine what the knights would have said behind me? They would have criticized me for being a stiff novice. It’s better to act boldly; these guys prefer that.”

Though a hater of knighthood, born in a land of knights, Edelred wasn’t devoid of political acumen. He coughed awkwardly after glancing at Isaac.

With a sigh, Isaac said, “I hope there’s no misunderstanding. Watching you in action… it unexpectedly made my heart race. It seems the blood of Elil truly runs through me. It’s just that my status prevented me from kneeling, but my respect was genuine.”

“Even if I hadn’t appeared, the knights of Elil would have captured the witch.”

This wasn’t just talk. Isaac had been watching the fight from afar. His late arrival was because he was preemptively guarding the path he expected the witch to escape through, intending to ambush her. However, Hectali got entangled in a fight with the Elil knights, which delayed his arrival.

But he could still monitor the fight through his parasites. Initially staggered by the curse and the colossal Root Giant, the Elil knights eventually rallied and charged at Hectali, nearly subduing her. Had Isaac not appeared, either Mors or another knight would have likely decapitated her.

The conflicts between the Hectali sisters and the Kingdom of Elil had always been this way. Hectali would create disturbances on the forest’s edge and flee when confronted by knights; the knightly order had never been defeated. This made Isaac feel as though he had unnecessarily stolen the spotlight.

“If that had happened, many more knights might have died. General Gideon could have been killed. But the knights’ respect for you isn’t just because you decapitated Hectali.”

“It’s not because I beheaded Hectali?”

“That’s just a secondary achievement. The knights respected a worthy strong opponent. You proved your strength, and they simply acknowledged that.”

What mattered wasn’t who had beheaded Hectali, but how it was done. And in doing so, Isaac demonstrated overwhelming strength—enough to earn the knights’ respect.

Yet, Isaac felt a certain reluctance towards this admiration.

“It’s not bad, but it feels like I’m deceiving naive people.”

Honestly, from a moral standpoint, he wasn’t much different from Hectali. Her frenzied attempt to flee during their fight was out of fear of being devoured.

But what could he do? There was no reason to reject their admiration if they insisted.

“The witch hunt isn’t over yet. We’ve only captured one of the Hectali sisters so far.”

The Hectali sisters had survived till now not just because of their curses and summoning skills but due to their twisted vitality. Even if two of the three were killed, the remaining one could resurrect the others, making them whole again.

Of course, it wasn’t easy; they could lie dormant for as short as six months or as long as three years, but they would inevitably resurrect.

Edelred looked troubled.

“However, we only came after one of the Hectali sisters, not all three. It would have been better if all three were here, but they aren’t foolish enough for that.”

Venturing into the witches’ forest wasn’t an option either. The area was dangerous even without the witches, teeming with venomous insects and wild beasts.

Isaac was about to share his thoughts when suddenly, Hectali’s severed head opened its mouth wide, and a viper sprung out, biting his wrist.

It all happened in an instant. Edelred, shocked, quickly drew his sword and slashed the viper’s body.

Isaac stumbled and fell off his horse. The head of Hectali, freed from his grasp, cackled maniacally and shouted.

“Foolish! Foolish, Holy Grail Knight, you will die because of that pride! Where an angel’s blood is spilled, a curse remains! Do you think the witches would let their grudge go? Wherever the Holy Grail Knight’s blood is spilled, plague and drought will follow!”

“That witch!”

Crack! Mors, who had rushed over after hearing the commotion, stomped on Hectali’s head, crushing it completely. The witch’s laughter stopped only when her head was smashed to dust.


Edelred hurriedly approached to check on him, but Isaac reflexively swatted his hand away. Edelred felt a curse so powerful it made his hand throb; touching it further might have caused severe, rotting pain.

The witches’ threat that plague and drought would follow wherever Isaac’s blood was spilled wasn’t just an insult. The curse they had desperately cast was consuming Isaac.

Yet, the expression on Isaac’s face, who had received the powerful curse, was inexplicably serene,except for the feathers that seemed to be sprouting around his face.

“I’m fine, Your Majesty.”


“Rather, please arrange an empty house nearby. My subordinate has already prepared for this curse.”

Everything was unfolding exactly as Isaac had anticipated.

In the northwestern region of the Kingdom of Elil.

Here lay a forest untamed by time, marked by rugged mountains, harsh climate, and the raw power of the wilderness. Despite being repeatedly cut down and burned across the ages during Elil’s reign, it quickly regrew due to fast-growing plants, the stench of decaying swamps, and the ever-present thick fog that made visibility nearly impossible. This forest, impenetrable even to sunlight, was held in awe and fear by the locals.

They called it the Witch’s Forest.

Now, the Witch’s Forest was shaking with unrest.

The swamp spewed foul-smelling bubbles, birds screamed as they flew erratically, and leaves convulsed as if in agony, all in rhythm to the hummed incantations coming from the house of the witch Hectali.

“What is the Holy Grail Knight made of?”

“Dead rats, severed centipedes, and crow’s heads!”

“What does the Holy Grail Knight feed on?”

“Ashes, rotten fish, and his own excrement!”

The Hectali sisters danced around, continuously throwing cursed catalysts into a bubbling cauldron. The ingredients were the stuff of nightmares. The smoke billowing from the pot drifted southeast, heading in Isaac’s direction, carrying a powerful curse of physical transformation.

Throughout their many ordeals of death, the sisters never overlooked the demise of one of their own. Previously, they had killed through plagues or famine as a form of revenge, but they realized that those were too merciful ways to die.

The Hectali sisters wanted their victims to suffer over an extended period. Thus, they chose this curse of physical transformation.

As the curse completed, Isaac would transform into the grotesque form they desired, living on the bizarre diet they had chosen for him.

“What will the Holy Grail Knight say?”

“He will fart through his mouth and speak through his…”

One of the sisters suddenly stopped dancing and gasped for air, her siblings paused to assess her condition.

“What’s wrong? Why do you stop?”

She was drenched in sweat, a common sign among the sisters that the curse was particularly challenging. While it was true that the stronger the victim’s faith, the harder the curse hit, this level of difficulty was unprecedented.

“No, it’s just really tough…”

[Nameless Chaos watches over you.]

As Hectali gasped for air, a bizarre and terrifying scene flashed before her eyes, a sight not even the denizens of the Witch’s Forest had seen before. The moment she saw the writhing, tumultuous scene, her mind slipped away.


Hectali’s neck twisted at an unnatural angle.


The concerned Hectali asked, puzzled. She couldn’t see her sister’s face because of the twisted neck. Hectali touched her sister’s shoulder, and at that moment, her sister turned her head.

From her sister’s eyes, mouth, ears, and nose, countless tentacles writhed out like fingers. Soon, her skull couldn’t withstand the pressure and burst open, filling the room with tentacles.

What was once her ‘sister’ quickly enveloped Hectali.

Hectali screamed.

But screams were all too common in the Witch’s Forest.

[Objective: ‘Witch Hectali Sisters (3/3)’ eliminated.]

–TL Notes–

Hope you enjoyed this chapter. If you want to read up to advance 20 chapters or support me, you can do it at /Akaza156

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