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Chapter 14

Chapter 14: Trust Me (2)

Isaac’s answer seemed right, thankfully. Breathing a sigh of relief inwardly, Isaac replied, “Thanks, Abbot Evhar.”

Watching Isaac, Evhar noted his humble demeanor. Whether Isaac was divine or not, he was definitely special. An unlikely thought lingered in Evhar’s mind. Could a sneaky devil have slipped into the monastery?

Evhar always erred on the side of caution. He’d seen heroes hide darkness within. The Immortal Emperor Beshek once served the Codex of Light. Calzen Miller was a hero on track to become a Named Angel. Some even became Named Angels in other faiths after turning away from theirs.

“Forgive me for testing you, Codex of Light,” Evhar whispered, deciding on one final trial.

Slowly, Evhar reached out towards Isaac’s forehead. Isaac, clueless about this move, merely stared ahead.

[The Nameless Chaos is watching you.]
[The Nameless Chaos is cautioning you.]
[The Nameless Chaos is sternly cautioning you.]

“What?!” Isaac jerked in surprise as Evhar grabbed his neck and pressed a finger to his forehead.

In an instant, a blinding light erupted. Visible even beyond the mountains, it eventually faded, leaving Isaac sprawled on the ground. The smell of smoke hung in the air. Touching his forehead, Isaac felt no wound, just a smudge.

“Remarkable, Isaac,” said Evhar wearily, his arm missing below the charred stump. “I wonder if I’m up to the task of teaching you…”

Soon after, Evhar collapsed. Monks and Gebel rushed over to the shocked Isaac.

After escorting Evhar to his room, Isaac filled Gebel in on what had happened. When Gebel heard about the flash from Evhar touching Isaac’s forehead, he let out a sigh.

“Proof of faith?” Gebel asked.

“Yeah, the Abbot wanted to test my faith one last time,” Isaac explained.

Gebel continued, looking serious.

“The proof of faith is a miracle that checks how strong your faith is by kind of sending your body up to heaven. If your faith is weak, you get burned. That’s why only high priests and inquisitors are supposed to use it.”

Isaac gasped, realizing he had dodged a bullet with that whole situation.

“So that’s why the Nameless Chaos warned me,” he thought to himself, grimacing.

“Was the Abbot really trying to take me out?” he asked.

Gebel reassured him, saying, “Abbot Evhar only used that miracle a few times in his life, and he wouldn’t have done it if he thought it would hurt you. He must have believed in you after hearing your answers.”

“But you never know,” Isaac grumbled inwardly.

As they pondered over why Isaac was unharmed while the Abbot lost his wrist, Gebel explained, “It’s because if the believer’s faith is stronger than the caster’s, the caster gets burnt instead. It’s like a fair trade-off.”

Isaac was stunned by this revelation, understanding now why he won the faith face-off against the Abbot.

Inwardly, he felt uneasy about the implications but was relieved that his secret connection with the Nameless Chaos remained hidden. His ‘faith’ had been publicly acknowledged, easing any further suspicions.

Isaac felt like he had won a battle of belief against the Abbot, similar to a novice disciple besting a grandmaster in martial arts.

While it was uncomfortable to think about, Isaac found comfort in being recognized for his faith officially, even if his tentacles were ever uncovered.

The encounter with the Abbot shed light on their differing beliefs. For Isaac, the Codex of Light was the equivalent of modern physics – absolute and unwavering. However, for Evhar, raised in a world of gods and superstitions, doubt lingered despite his devout faith, leading to his injury.

Isaac wondered if the Abbot’s wrist would heal, knowing that some clergy could perform miracles to mend severed limbs. But Gebel doubted it, as the Codex of Light had claimed it.

The relief of being cleared of any wrongdoing clashed with the uncertainty of causing the Abbot’s injury – a bittersweet victory for Isaac.

***

A week later, Isaac faced Evhar once more.

“Hey, Abbot,” Isaac greeted him.

Evhar was waiting in his office, the sunlight obscuring his expression. His right hand remained bandaged, a visible reminder of his injury.

“Sorry about your wrist…” Isaac started.

Evhar waved it off with a smile, “Oh, that? No worries. I knew the risk when I took the plunge.”

He turned to face Isaac, the warmth in his gaze contrasting with his wounded hand.

“No, actually I should be thankful it was only my wrist that got messed up. I see it as a sign from the Codex of Light that I still have stuff to do.” In fact, when Evhar tested Isaac’s faith, he was ready for the chance of getting burnt to a crisp. If Isaac was a messenger from God, that kind of thing wouldn’t have been too shocking. But hey, just losing his wrist felt like a big message to him.

‘Being alive probably means helping Isaac get stronger.’ Not realizing what Evhar was thinking, Isaac glanced at him nervously.

“We chatted about prayers before.”

“Oh yeah, I’ve memorized more the past week. And…”

“No need. You don’t have to cram it all in your head.”

“Say what?”

Evhar kept his cool, like he just found the answers to life.

“People who lack faith go hunting for God’s words, searching for their purpose in the world. But you, you’re already speaking on behalf of God just by being you. Your words will be prayers, and your tunes will be hymns. Who needs to memorize all those books?”

Isaac was floored. Why is he suddenly treating me like a big deal? Is it because of the ‘proof of faith’? But Evhar, feeling no need to explain, pulled out a few books. The reason he called on Isaac after a week was for this exact thing.

“I heard from Gebel that you wanna be a Paladin.”

“Oh, yeah.”

“These books have all the miracles and prayers you need to be a Paladin. They’ll be handy. And if you struggle, I’ll give you a hand.”

Isaac gaped at the books in surprise. Unlike the usual books in the library, these hardcovers told of the miracles the Order of the Codex of Light used and where they came from. When he touched the books, a message window popped up near his eyes.

[Book: Prayer Book of Ash and Ember (Rare)]

[Miracle: Can create flames, from a small candle to a fiery sword.]

[Sheet Music: Hymn of Saint Arte (Rare)]

[Hymn: Brave Hymn that calms you and boosts your power. Stronger when sung by many.]

[Sheet Music: Hymn of the Moth and Lantern (Rare)]

[Hymn: Lantern creates light to counter darkness. Weakens foes hiding in the dark. Stronger when sung by many.]

There were other minor prayer books too. Not high-tier, but practical, perfect for Paladins. Isaac noticed the description windows only appeared on items with miracles or magic.

“You’re not in a fancy role yet, so can’t show you the big miracles. We don’t have tons of books here…”

“No, this is amazing!”

Isaac was truly grateful. Evhar’s trust was awesome, and learning miracles was unexpected. The order’s hymns were top secret, so this was a major win for him. Even if someone somehow got these, without a position, explaining how and why they kept them would be tough, making these items nearly impossible for outsiders to get.

Evhar grinned, happy with Isaac’s humble reaction.

“Your faith is rock solid, but it’s gonna take some time before you start pulling off miracles. Don’t rush it, dive into those tales of the saints, and you’ll start seeing some magic real soon.” Isaac gave a nod.

***

Gebel’s workout plan was pretty straightforward: lug heavy stuff and just keep running. Knowing most of the strength came from cardio, Isaac went along without a fuss. The heavy lifting part involved moving hefty oak logs from the yard to the storehouse, a clear sign of Gebel’s no-nonsense approach.

But Gebel wasn’t satisfied with just that; he kept chatting with Isaac as they jogged.

“Did the abbot hand you some books?”

*Huff, huff* “Yeah.”

The books from Evhar were safely kept in the library, away from the other kids. Brother Alex had made some space, securing them on a shelf that no one else could touch.

“What were the books about?”

“Hymns, *huff*, and prayers. *Huff, huff.*”

Isaac replied honestly between heavy breaths. The backyard wasn’t huge, but running with logs was enough to leave him panting after just a few rounds. He had never cursed the weak physical traits of the Nephilim as much as he did at that moment. Not even his tentacles could help him now.

Upon hearing the book list, Gebel let out a brief chuckle.

“The abbot is dead set on making you a Paladin, huh?”

“Is that so?”

“Absolutely. Even the rookies of the Paladin Order don’t usually get this much backing. It’s the kind of treatment a rich noble’s second son might get…”

In the Paladin circle, eldest sons were rare. The second and third sons, not poised to inherit, often took up the life of wandering knights or pledged themselves to the order. There were even families that neglected their other sons, so Isaac, an orphan, receiving such support was a huge privilege.

“All thanks to you, Gebel sir, speaking so highly of me. *Huff, puff*!”

“That’s plenty.”

Isaac took a few more unsteady steps before dropping the logs. He thought he was in good shape, but the oak logs, nearly half his weight, left his slender limbs shaking. Exhausted but satisfied, Isaac welcomed the physical strain.

‘Finally, real exercise,’ he thought.


Paladin of the Dead God

Paladin of the Dead God

죽은 신의 성기사
Score 8.2
Status: Ongoing Type: Author: Released: 2023 Native Language: Korean
The only Paladin of the forgotten god, Nameless Chaos, and also the only Pope, Priest, and Worshipper.

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