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The Divine Hunter

Reaper Scans


Chapter 384: Our Home


[TL: Asuka]

[PR: Ash]


"Orloff, Bedlam, Cleaver, and witchers. Why are you gathered here? Trying to hold another tournament? Or are you going for another Wiley's manor?"

Nobody said a thing. They were still in the dark about the whole situation.

"I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but your activities must come to an early end." Chappelle turned his attention to the witchers and said sternly, "Witchers, someone told us you and Orloff are conducting inhumane experiments in this orphanage, torturing innocent orphans."

Gawain paled a little. A hint of fear appeared in his eyes, and he hid behind the witchers. It had been two years since he saw Chappelle in person, but he was still as stern and cold as Gawain remembered. Just the sight of him alone reminded Gawain of the stench of blood and the howls of non-humans. But something was off. The silver item Chappelle always brought along with him was nowhere to be seen, and Gawain fell into his own thoughts.

The witchers stared at all the soldiers surrounding them, and they curled up a little while they reached for their weapons. If need be, they could fight at a moment's notice, but then Serrit gave them a look. "Calm down, people. This is not what we expected, so let's see what happens first. For the children."

The witchers tensed up.

"Chappelle, this is a misunderstanding." Bedlam stepped forth and explained, "Like you, Cleaver and I were duped by the very same letter. The letter that accused the witchers of inhumane conduct. Believing it to be true, we came and demanded an explanation."

"And?" Chappelle asked.

"And we found it to be horseshit. We've checked the whole place, but there's no hint of any experiment being conducted here. This is slander. A prank. Someone's playing us like a fiddle."

A long silence later, Chappelle cocked his eyebrows. With three soldiers and a priestess by his side, he entered the orphanage. Most of the soldiers remained beyond the fence, on guard against the gang lords' men. "May I have a look at your letter, gentlemen?"

Chappelle held the letters and went through it, then he took out the letter he received to compare the three. Moments later, an unpleasant smile curled his lips. "Francis, Cleaver, you know no good will come from deceiving the church." Chappelle threatened, "Even if you're the rulers of the underground, that is no excuse for deception."

"On my name, I swear I am telling the truth and nothing but the truth," Bedlam answered without missing a beat.

Cleaver roared furiously, "I swear I am telling the truth. If I told even one lie, I'd cut my tongue off!"

Chappelle nodded and shook his head. "Evil can hide themselves far deeper than you can imagine. You're not professionals, so you might have missed something."

He swung his hand down, and the remaining guards swarmed the yard.

The witchers exchanged a look, and Chappelle said, "Witchers, if you wish to prove your innocence, then you will allow my men to search every inch of this orphanage. And summon the children. All of them. We'll have to ask them questions and check for any signs of abuse."

"Keep your men in check. They're not allowed to destroy any facilities we have here," Letho growled like an angry lion. "And don't scare the kids. Oh, and we have two would-be kidnappers held captive in the toilet. You can deal with them later."


The sun had risen to its zenith. On most days, the kids would be having lunch, but now they were silent. There were a lot of people in the yard, and it looked like a huge group of ants were gathering for work. Every inch of the orphanage was taken up by people, including the flowerbeds and fields outside. They were doing their best to dig up everything they thought was suspicious, and they wouldn't stop until they found some secret chamber or corpse.

The chicks were chirping loudly, while the children were told to line up beside the classroom's wall, and Vesemir made sure they didn't step out of line.

The children were staring at the people who were going around their home, and they were keeping a nervous eye on their pets, but none of them were afraid.

Chappelle went through the throng and approached the children. "Are they all here, witchers?"

"All twenty of them. One is a witcher apprentice," the Collector answered. "We've told the town hall about this. It's all registered."

"Very well." Chappelle gave his best attempt at a warm smile, and he clapped. "Children, I am Chappelle, the church's Chancellor of Security. One of my duties is to keep children away from harm. I'm only going to ask you some questions, so don't be afraid. Do please tell me the truth, for your future's sake."

"We're not scared!" one of the taller boys shouted. "The teachers will protect us!"

"One at a time now. Answer the gentleman's questions, and we can all go back to class." Vesemir smiled.

Chappelle looked at the boy who answered his question and noticed his pointy ears. A part-elf. "What is your name, boy?"


Chappelle turned to the witchers. "May I have a second with the boy, witchers? I won't harm him, don't worry."


Chappelle and the boy were standing in the corner of the yard, away from everyone. The man hunkered down and forced another smile, though it looked tortured. "Acamuthorm, I understand you've been here for two months. How is life for you? What do you think of your friends and teachers?"

"Life has never been better," the boy blurted. "This is probably what heaven feels like."

Chappelle froze in shock. "Can you elaborate? Why do you like this palace so much?"

"We have great food, a roof over our heads, nice teachers, and caring friends."

"Are you sure?" Chappelle's lips twitched. "The teachers… I mean the witchers, they never abused you before?"

The boy stared at Chappelle's face and shouted, "Of course not!"

"We have time. Think it through," Chappelle lowered his voice and pointed at all the guards around. "Don't worry about your teachers hearing us. Look, these soldiers are here to keep you safe. Even if you tell me the truth, the witchers won't lay a finger on you."

"They didn't abuse me!" Acamuthorm answered with adamance in his voice.

Chappelle poked his temples and stared at the boy. He didn't look like an orphan or a part-elf who would get picked on easily. He was more like a cult member. Look at him. He's healthy and full of energy. The boy probably eats better than my soldiers. "Did the witchers tell you to take any weird potions or food like mice and bugs?"

Acamuthorm shot Chappelle a look of disdain that said, 'What are you, a pervert?'

"You're strong, boy. Next."

The next child was a girl with pigtails and missing teeth called Renee. She stared at him, and her cheeks started to quiver.

"Now, Renee, if you tell me how the orphanage abuses you, I'll take you to the church. We'll raise you into a noble priestess. You shall be the center of everyone's attention," Chappelle goaded her gently. "Everyone will respect you. You will be loved. All you have to do is tell me the truth."

"Huh?" The girl grabbed her pigtails, and she frowned. She stammered, "But I can't make things up."

"Just tell me the truth."

"I can't make stories up. We've never been abused," she answered stubbornly as she clenched her fists.

Chappelle went on with the next one, and the next, and the next, all the way until the last child. Surprisingly, none of the children had anything bad to say. Some of the rowdiers boys even rolled their eyes at Chappelle.

This was the first time Chappelle encountered something like this. All orphanages were corrupt in some areas. All of them abused children to some degree. Some would yell at them or ration the food, while some went even further.

Having a filling meal was a tall order in this era, and feeding so many mouths would cause problems eventually. If the showrunner had a bad temper, the kids would be on the receiving end of abuse. Even in the church's orphanage, the priests were stern and heartless. The food they provided was only enough for the children to fill their bellies.

All of them had complaints, but that was not the case with the House of Gawain. The children didn't look like orphans. They were more like kids who grew up in a happy family.


The questioning came back with no results, but the priestess who checked the children found something.

"Witchers, you claim there's no abuse here, so how do you explain these bruises?" Chappelle demanded.

"Chappelle, that's normal. Some kids are rowdier than most, and you're telling them they can't whip those kids into shape? Do you expect the witchers to treat them like royalty?"

"Cleaver is right." Bedlam rubbed his ring and nodded. "Parents have the right to discipline their children, and the witchers are the kids' guardians now. They too have the right to guide them onto the right path. And these bruises aren't even that serious." Bedlam glanced at Carl, who was reluctantly letting the priestess check on him.

There were bruises on his back and thighs. And Bedlam also saw some old wounds on him. He scoffed. "Even if you bring this to the court and hire a professional lawyer to defend your case, the witchers will still win, hands down."

Chappelle rubbed his chin and fell into silence.

Serrit stepped forth and explained, "Chappelle, these bruises aren't caused by any abuse. The kids often fall from the stakes or get hit by practice swords during training. If you look closely, only five of them are bruised. They need to learn a skill or two. If they master some swordplay, at least they can be mercenaries when they grow up."

Chappelle looked at the priestess, and she nodded. But the answer wasn't what he wanted. He looked at the children coldly, and the stubborn man said, "This is inconclusive. Further investigation required."

"Chancellor!" one of the children piped up. A beautiful girl with golden braid came forth and stood in front of the witchers, much to everyone's surprise. She spread her arms like a chicken protecting her chicks.

He lips were pursed, and her eyes were filled with terror, but it was soon replaced by resolve. "I will not allow any slander against the teachers to continue. They have never abused me. Nobody is kinder and nicer to me than they are." Vicki's face was red with anger. She pointed a beautiful finger at the gaunt Chancellor of Security and roared, "They're my family, and this is my home. I won't let you ruin it!"

Monti and the reserve apprentices came forth to defend the witchers. Carl broke free of the priestess and gathered around his friends. They glared at Chappelle and bared their teeth like angry lion cubs, but they weren't convincing.

And then the boys came forth. Then the girls. All twenty children held hands and formed a wall in front of their teachers. They were small and frail, but still they defended their teachers from Chappelle and his fully armed guards. Despite their young age, the children were brave, and they shouted, "Leave!"

"You can't destroy our home!"

"We won't let you hurt our family"

"I don't wanna go back to living on the streets!"

The children protested, and their hearts thumped furiously.

Chappelle was dumbfounded, and the adults were at a loss for words. A long moment later, Vesemir heaved a sigh and turned around to rub the corner of his eye.

Aiden heaved a few long sighs, his heart racing as well. Never did he expect the day would come where he needed a bunch of children to protect him. It was a weird feeling. So this is the brotherhood. Even the children are different.

"You wanna get an ass-whooping again, you brats? Get back here. I don't need your protection!" Lambert was touched, but he growled at the children and tried to take them back, but he kept his force at a minimum.

"No, we won't!" The kids refuted him for the first time.

The Vipers exchanged a look and were about to say something, but Chappelle suddenly shouted, "Silence!"

The guard behind him unsheathed his blade, and it glinted under the sun.

Cleaver held his hammer with both hands, and the witchers held the children in their arms. The air was fraught with tension for a moment, but Chappelle shot his soldier an angry glare. "Tuck that away, you bastard. You're blessed with a weapon to protect the citizens, not hurt them!"

His gleaming eyes scanned the witchers, Gawain, and the terrified, shivering children who were still adamantly protecting their teachers.

"Witchers, I know you have a Sign that can control people's minds." He wiped the sweat off his forehead and sighed. "But this time, I'll believe that you're innocent. No demon or animal could have raised children as brave and as loyal as them, nor would they gain any child’s love and respect."

"You're finally seeing sense, Chancellor," Cleaver blurted loudly. He was spewing his drool everywhere as he said, "We told you everything in the letter is a lie. It's a slander against the witchers. Someone wants to see us fight. Someone wants to see the witchers isolated, alone, and demeaned."

"Well, who is it?" Chappelle asked.

"You might have to ask a certain fatso for that."



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