Chapter 66: Chapter 66 - Confrontation
The demon managed to escape from Messai's field of vision.
In this street filled with people, trying to pursue a petite little girl was not an easy task.
Moreover, the templars would always do things openly. Because of that, they were truly amateurs in tailing people.
"The shackles failed? From the aura emitted by that demon, she shouldn't possess the power enough to rid the shackles."
Messai was rapidly walking on the street. Even though that demon had escaped from her field of vision, she could still attempt to find it using her innate sensitivity toward demons.
That sensity that she was born with, her sixth sense for demons, was Messai's strongest weapon. Messai was completely confident in her ‘third eye.'
"Lady Messai, it seemed like someone had helped that demon."
The radiance of the adjutant's staff had grown much dimmer. He was the one who utilized that restrictive magic from a long distance.
Unleashing an offensive magic unprovoked on the streets of Norland was a behavior against the law. However, magics that do not possess any destructive nature like the restrictive spell the adjutant used were permitted.
"Sure enough, she has accomplices."
For a demon to be able to openly appear on Norland, Messai was convinced that it was most definitely being aided in the shadows.
There were simply too many filthy organizations going against the Nation of the Holy Church in this world. The most famous among them were the Necromancy Association and the Society of Summoners.
Those necromancers were a bunch of madmen carrying around corpses attempting taboo magic research. As for those summoners, they're a bunch of lunatics who would gather together to attempt to summon forth monsters to bring chaos upon the world.
Most unimaginable of all, the Necromancy Association held a foothold in Norland, this nation with the motto of everyone being equal.
Because of that, Messai immediately thought of those bunch of madmen that refused to show respect toward the dead. She believed that they could very possibly be the ones helping the demons.
"This place… is that demon's hideout?"
Following the scent left behind by the demon, Messai arrived at a side street. This street was much colder and cheerless when compared to the bustling street she was in earlier.
She stood before a tavern called ‘Hearthstone.' The remnant scent of the demon disappeared before the tavern's entrance.
The answer had clearly presented itself to Messai. The tavern was that demon's hiding place.
Sure enough, demons were fond of chaotic and noisy places like taverns.
Messai immediately pushed open the tavern's entrance and entered it. The three templars and her adjutant also followed her in.
Unsurprisingly, this tavern was filled with dwarves. But, different from the tavern Messai was in several days ago, this tavern was much more orderly.
At the very least, the dwarves were all sitting around tables drinking and not lifting tables and brawling with one another…
As for the ‘tables' of this tavern, they seemed somewhat special?
Unfortunately, Messai was in no mood to concern herself with the tavern's layout. She caught sight of Ynor the instant she entered the tavern. Ynor had only arrived a bit earlier and had yet to hide himself.
"I've got you!"
Messai's hand moved the dagger on her waist. With overwhelming pressure unbearable for common folks, she walked toward Ynor.
When she extended her hand to grab the demon and bestow the rightful punishment upon it, her wrist was grabbed by someone.
"My apologies, miss knight. This tavern does not allow rough behaviors; especially not toward our tavern's… employee."
With his left hand imprinted with the Duke of Bones' soul placed behind his back, Joshua extended his right hand and grabbed onto this miss templar's wrist.
The strength a Chaos Demon possesses was double or triple that of a human. But, Messai was a veteran templar. Her strength far surpassed that of ordinary people too.
She flicked her wrist and effortlessly threw off Joshua's hand. All the while, she began to carefully examine Joshua.
None… there's no demonic aura?
Messai kept feeling that there's something strange about Joshua. Yet, she was unable to detect any demonic aura from him.
She moved her wrist that was grabbed by Joshua earlier. As Joshua had used a very small amount of his strength to grab her wrist, he gave her the impression that he was an ordinary person.
A human was protecting a demon?
"That thing behind you is a demon, a cunning and vile demon! Do not be deceived by her outward appearance!"
Messai mistook Joshua to be a kind-hearted human that ended up being deceived by that demon and allowed it to hide itself in his place.
While Messai possessed bone-deep hatred for demons, it was the duty of the Ecclesiastical Templars to protect ordinary humans from the harm of demons. That has always been Messai's pride.
"A cunning demon? My employee?"
Pretending to be surprised, Joshua turned around to look at Ynor. Ynor currently had his head lowered and was tightly grabbing onto the corner of his clothes. His petite body was shivering nonstop.
Ynor felt that, for someone like Joshua, he was something inferior to even dust. He believed that Joshua could end up abandoning him at any moment.
There was no reason for him to provoke the Ecclesiastical Templars all for his sake.
"I'm afraid that your intelligence source was mistaken, miss knight."
Joshua shook his head and denied Messai's proclamation.
"Please trust me! I am able to make her reveal her demonic appearance to you right now!"
Golden runes appeared on her hand. It seemed like she was planning to unleash some sort of destructive magic. Before she could do anything, Joshua extended his hand and placed himself between Messai and Ynor.
"What I meant to say is that I knew he's a demon from the very start. Furthermore, I am not shielding him. He is merely living in Norland as an ordinary citizen! There is no such thing as shielding or protecting a demon."
"You… are you implying that you're planning to associate with demons?"
Messai didn't dare believe how brazen Joshua was. She was not fond of attacking ordinary humans.
"This place is Norland and not your Nation of the Holy Church, Messai. There exists a law in Norland — all the citizens of Norland, regardless of their race, have the right to live in the city. Miss knight, if you insist on continuing to threaten my employee… I'm afraid that I will have to settle this issue according to the laws of Norland."
That was the reason why Joshua dared to send Ynor to study in the university. It was very difficult to obtain citizenship in Norland. Of the many troublesome ways to obtain citizenship, buying real estate in the city was one of them.
Nominally, as Melina's adopted son, Ynor had received Norland's citizenship rights the moment he entered university.
"This matter had nothing to do with the laws! Demons will bring chaos upon this city! We templars of the Holy Church will not let any demon get away!"
Unfortunately, the Nation of the Holy Church was not a parliamentary nation. Instead, it was a theocracy. To them, faith lies above the law.
The noisiness of the tavern caused Messai to become incapable of thinking in a cool-headed manner.
"You mean to say that you're determined to arrest my employee in my tavern?" asked Joshua.
"Of course. Believe me… demons will only bring threat upon you."
Messai doesn't desire for an ordinary human to involve himself in this matter. She was trying to persuade Joshua to hand Ynor over to her without conflict.
"That's quite scary indeed. But, I think we will resist till the end. But, before that, could we have my guests leave this place first? They're uninvolved in this matter."
Joshua was diligently playing the role of a tavern owner that was being threatened. At the same time, he was playing a tavern owner who cared a lot about his customers. As he spoke, he pointed to the dwarves playing Hearthstone.