Paladin of the Dead God

Chapter 7:



Chapter 7:

Chapter 7. Bigger Prey (2)

“Hey, didn’t you hear me? I told you to bring the dried meat from the kitchen.”

“Th-The monk is guarding the door…”

“Should’ve climbed through a window or begged earnestly to get it, you dumb kid.”

Thud, thud.

The sound of beating continued.

Isaac knew that intervening in this violence would only lead to another victim. The lack of resources and the closed environment were inciting violence among the children.

It was, in essence, an unsolvable situation.

“You damned brat, want to die? Do you wish to die?”

Thud, smack! Hans’s beating became increasingly brutal. It was clearly going too far. Isaac sensed a hint of desperation in Hans’s behavior. He seemed anxious.

“I’ll kill you…”

Just as Hans was about to kick the collapsed Johan, Isaac appeared. He didn’t block the way, just showed himself from around the corner. Yet, the moment he did, Hans and his gang’s attention snapped towards him.

“…What!”

Hans stuttered in confusion and shouted. Isaac looked at him emotionlessly. Hans seemed about to burst out in anger but ultimately did nothing.

Hans’s cronies, confused, eventually followed him as he retreated. Isaac, observing his behavior, had a thought.

‘Is it because of my charisma?’

While charisma often implies seduction, it actually encompasses seduction, trust, respect, favor, and presence.

But Isaac saw charisma as the ability to ‘persuade’ others.

People with high charisma are more persuasive, whether in seduction, intimidation, or deceit. This seemed especially true for children, where instinct often overrules reason.

‘But why are they afraid when I haven’t said anything?’

The kids, particularly Hans, clearly looked scared.

Isaac had never threatened or intimidated them before. Of course, his look might have been intentional.

However, Nephilim’s naturally high charisma endowed Isaac with a significant presence, stirring guilt and fear in the children.

Thus, Hans couldn’t bear the pressure and fled.

‘Well, that guy has either luck or good instincts.’

Isaac fiddled with the hoe he was hiding. He had no desire to fight but wouldn’t just take a beating if Hans attacked with his size.

“Ah, Isaac.”

Johan hurried over. Thankfully, he didn’t seem seriously injured.

“Are you okay? What happened?”

“Th-They sometimes asked me to bring potatoes, but recently they’ve been asking for more, and the monk started guarding strictly…”

Johan rambled. Isaac listened and tilted his head. The amount of food Johan stole was clearly more than enough for Hans and his gang.

‘So where are they using all that?’

***

Finding the answer wasn’t hard.

That evening, Hans’s gang started to move. Seeing four of them sneak out late at night, Isaac also got up.

They slipped out of the monastery walls barefoot to avoid noise. They opened a pre-determined back door and headed into the still dark forest.

Isaac quietly approached the back door.

“…So, we just need to get to the village…”

“…But it’s too dangerous… should tell the monk…”

Though only fragments were heard, it was as expected.

‘They’re planning to escape.’

The food they made Johan steal was mostly long-lasting. There must have been many other things they needed to prepare, but considering their dimwitted brains, it was obvious.

Escape.

‘Honestly, I’ve thought about it too.’

No, he had already decided to leave the monastery when his bones were strong enough, and he could stand as an adult without inferiority.

Or if his tentacles were discovered.

“If you don’t want to come, don’t! We need to escape before the monks notice!”

Hans, having seemingly forgotten the secrecy of their escape, was shouting at the frightened kids, trying to assert his opinion. Yet he also seemed afraid to escape alone.

‘At least he’s not dumb about that… everything else, though.’

More people increased the chances of survival, but in a world where even adults flee society’s tyranny to monasteries, running away without skills meant either starving or becoming a beggar.

It was none of Isaac’s concern. But he couldn’t let the four kids willingly starve to death. He sighed and walked outside.

“Stop fooling around and go to bed.”

The moment Isaac spoke, the kids were silently shocked. Hans, frozen, glared at him belatedly.

“You little…”

“What are you going to do after running away? At least grow up a bit and then ask the monks to recommend you to the workshop or study harder. You can at least learn to read at the monastery.”

Hans quickly looked around. He was checking if a monk or Gebel had come. Finding none, his tension didn’t ease.

Isaac wondered why Hans, much taller than him, was so tense. Isaac took a step forward, testing the waters. Hans flinched and stepped back.

‘See? Even scared of a small kid like me?’

It was more than just high charisma. It was odd.

He expected the kids to gang up on him, given their numbers and age.

Seeing their fear, he even thought of scaring them back inside.

‘Calm down, they’re just kids. It’s an adult’s duty to reason with them.’

Isaac exhaled and said,

“Hans, where will you go after running away?”

“To the village…”

“The villagers respect the monks. This is the only orphanage around that doesn’t starve kids, so they’ll recognize you. What do you think the adults will do to you, Hans?”

In reality, most of the kids who tried to escape ended up being caught. This probably explained why Gebel didn’t rush over and why the monks’ vigilance was lax.Alll 𝒍𝒂test nov𝒆l𝒔 on novelb𝒊n/(.)c𝒐m

If caught by a monster or a criminal, they would be dead.

“What kind of preparation is this for an escape? A few potatoes and dried sausages? I get you’re hungry, but winter is coming soon. If you don’t want to freeze, should have stolen some boots and fur too. And sacred texts – they’re valuable, so why not steal a few of those?”

Hans’s face turned red, unable to respond. He knew his preparation was inadequate.

“Just wait until you’re 17. The monastery gives you a choice then.”

“I’m 16!”

“Not yet 17. Then you can choose to leave or become a monk. Monks are respected and don’t starve.”

In a world where even adults struggle for food, being an orphan makes it even harder.

“If Hans really makes you all run away, there’ll be less mouths to feed here. Not like you’re much help around the monastery anyway. But why am I stopping you? If you dumb mouths run away, maybe there will be more potatoes for my mouth.”

Realizing he was getting heated, Isaac added a taunt. Hans, understanding but flustered, glared at Isaac.

In contrast, the expressions of the other children turned pale.

“You little…”

Hans, enraged, charged at Isaac. A head taller, his size was an overwhelming advantage. But his movements were painfully slow compared to a swift rat.

Isaac couldn’t dodge in time and got grabbed by the collar. Had he been better fed and grown a bit more, maybe things would have been different.

In Isaac’s hand, though, was an item he had brought just in case. He didn’t plan to use it yet.

“What do you know!”

But Hans, even while overpowering Isaac, seemed more frightened. It was the look of someone doing something beyond their control.

“If you hadn’t shown up all of a sudden…”

“Please grow up, kid.”

Isaac, irritated, growled in response.

At that moment, everyone except Isaac felt something chilling and slimy.

Hans suddenly gasped for air, releasing his grip on Isaac’s collar. He stumbled backwards, collapsing. Isaac thought Hans looked like a scared rat.

[A nameless chaos watches you.]

Upon hearing this message, Isaac snapped back to reality. Tentacles squirmed out of his hand but quickly retreated. Though not enough to be noticed, Isaac realized what he was about to do and slapped his own cheek.

‘Am I crazy?’

He had almost thought of Hans as prey.

The ‘bigger prey’ that the nameless chaos sought.

Isaac noticed a dead silence among the kids.

‘Surely they didn’t see?’

No, the tentacles hadn’t fully emerged. But there was a sticky, unpleasant sensation, as if his palm had been licked.

Despite this, all the children looked terrified. Hans had even wet his pants in sheer panic, as if facing an unstoppable murderous intent.

Isaac then realized why Hans feared him. The presence of the nameless chaos was seeping through his high charisma. It was natural for Hans to feel fear before respect.

Feeling guilty for unintentionally displaying such an aura, Isaac took advantage of the kids’ calmed state to continue persuading them.

“I’m stopping you because you might run into a pedophile, slave trader, or wild animal.”

The kids remained silent, either understanding or simply too scared to process anything. The fear effect from Isaac’s charisma seemed overly strong.

Isaac sighed and approached Hans, who tried to flee but stopped upon hitting a tree. Isaac extended his hand.

“I won’t scare you, okay? Let’s try to do better from now on. Don’t disappoint me.”

Hans eventually nodded and shook Isaac’s hand, whether accepting the reconciliation or too scared to refuse.

‘I didn’t plan to be friends anyway. This is fine.’

If Isaac established a clear hierarchy now, he might be able to control the kids. If they behaved more humanely, it wouldn’t prick his conscience. At their age, hierarchy seems to be everything.

“We should go back before the monks start looking…”

Isaac stopped mid-sentence.

The kids followed his gaze and gasped, retreating in horror.

Yellow eyes glinted in the darkness. A rotting smell became overpowering, unnoticed earlier due to the excitement and fear.

A massive boar, nearly as tall as Isaac’s chest, approached aggressively. Its rotting stench was unmistakable.

‘A boar? But wild animals don’t usually approach groups of people…’

Isaac realized it wasn’t normal. The stench of decay and buzzing flies were overwhelming.

“Stay calm, let’s slowly move back…”

“Ah!”

The kids, panic-stricken, scrambled away. The boar charged as soon as it saw them running. It was clear the boar

wasn’t normal, attacking upon seeing their backs.

“Uh, ah!”

Hans, paralyzed with fear, fell without managing a few steps. Isaac cursed under his breath and yanked Hans back. A tentacle, unconsciously extended, wrapped around Hans’s clothing. With an unbelievable strength, Isaac hurled Hans backwards.

Bang! Isaac, hit by the boar instead of Hans, flew backward.

Isaac, shocked by the new use of his tentacle, had no time to check on Hans or recover.

“Come on, you pig!”

He ran, intentionally showing his back to lure the boar away from the monastery. The boar, seeing Isaac as an isolated prey, chased him ferociously.

Isaac knew he had to act, despite the risk.

“Over here, you piglet!”

Isaac hurriedly got up and ran away from the boar, pretending to be a straggler. He ran in the direction opposite the monastery. The boar saw Isaac, who seemed to be “falling behind” the other fleeing children, as prey.


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