Chapter 69: Chapter 69 - Competition of Skill
In order to prove that she did not come here with hostile intentions, Messai removed her templar's armor and changed into a church's off-duty nun outfit.
While she had removed her armor and sword, Messai was, in a sense, still ‘fully armed.' She had made an abundant amount of psychological preparations.
She was determined to expose the demons' conspiracy with words! She was going to have these innocent people in the tavern realize the truth about demons!
However, this confident-filled female knight's confidence was immediately shattered by half the instant she entered the tavern.
She was still unable to get used to the tavern's noisy atmosphere. The noise made her recall the blood and fire-filled battlefield.
"You've come much sooner than I expect. But, I must still welcome you to our Hearthstone Tavern. Miss Knight, I believe that you'll come to like this place."
Joshua was planning to set aside the things he was doing to temporarily act as the Hearthstone Tavern's owner.
Due to the disturbance caused by the templars in the afternoon, Hearthstone Tavern ended up attracting the interest of human folks too.
A scene of a group of dwarves all holding weapons with the intention of fighting was not a scene commonly seen in the streets of Norland. The last time such a thing happened was over a hundred years ago. It was a conflict between the dwarves and the early mages of Norland over the selection of the construction sites.
In the recorded history of Norland, that was the only time such a thing happened.
Because of that, to a certain degree, the templars ended up giving publicity to the Hearthstone Tavern.
Messai quietly repeated that word. She was actually restraining her rage already. She had the urge to turn around and leave this noisy place.
The loud shouts from the dwarves caused Messai to have a headache.
Whether it be when she was serving as a templar or when she was still in the chapel, Messai had always lived in a place of absolute quietness and order. The knights of the Ecclesiastical Templars were only allowed to talk with her permission. As for the nuns of the churches, they believed speaking loudly before the Gods was a disrespectful behavior.
This… must be the Lord's test!
Messai repeated those words in her heart. Her hand was tightly grabbing onto the emblem on her chest. The emblem represented her faith. Holding the emblem, Messai was able to gradually calm her mind. She managed to alleviate her anger by a lot.
Finally, she was able to speak to Joshua with a calm attitude.
"Rest assured, I will protect you all while I'm here. That demon's conspiracy will not succeed. Because of that, I also wish for you all to be able to recognize that demon's true appearance."
Messai ran her eyes over the tavern. Soon, she found Ynor who was helping out in the tavern. Ynor also felt Messai's gaze. But, Ynor showed no sign of fear and looked back to Messai.
Joshua had already informed Ynor that he was currently representing the demons. If he was to become afraid, he would be humiliating them, demons… humiliating him, Joshua!
Ynor never knew if he possessed courage. He also does not possess much affection toward his own race and much sense of belonging in being a demon. But, Ynor didn't wish to cause Joshua to lose face because of his own cowardliness.
It was Joshua who gave him his current life. To Ynor, the tavern was a warm and comfortable home. Whether it might be his adoptive mother who showed concern and care for him, the dwarves that looked after him in the tavern or the people that loved his other identity, the fans of Belle, they were all given to him by Joshua. Ynor felt great appreciation for the master he served, the demon prince Joshua.
Thus, no matter how scared Ynor might be, he was unwilling to do things that would end up causing Joshua to lose face!
"Demon's true appearance? My apologies, miss knight, in my eyes right now, there's only a hard-working employee and a new employee."
Joshua pointed to the nun-outfitted female knight.
"Speak away. What sort of job do you want me to do?"
Joshua's words managed to successfully ignite Messai's competitive spirit. As a human, she was unwilling to lose to a demon. She was determined to not lose to Ynor in all aspects.
Even if it was working in a tavern, Messai must still defeat Ynor.
"You merely need to bring liquor to the customers. As for other work, Mrs. Melina will inform you about them."
Joshua discovered that this female knight was quite naive. To speak it simply, she was not a scheming person at all. But, Joshua could understand why that was the case from how she was dressed as a nun.
She had lived her life in either the monastery of the church or in the barracks and battlefield as a member of the templar army. Likely, her experience in the complicated and scheming towns and cities were extremely limited.
An innocent and simple country folk like her was truly a rare find. Very rarely do Joshua encounter such an easily-deceived girl on earth…
While a rare specimen like her should be properly treasured, his position stood opposite of hers. Thus, Joshua had no choice but to disregard his conscience and drag her into the abyss.
"I believe I am up for that task."
Messai immediately walked to the bar counter and began her night-long journey of working in a tavern.
As a templar, she was, without a doubt, outstanding. She joined the templar army five years ago and had beheaded countless demons on the battlefield. During the time, she was promoted from a new recruit that knew nothing to an elite veteran.
But, working in a tavern was completely different from fighting in the battlefield. In a short three hours, Messai made countless mistakes.
She accidently spilled the drink on the serving platter and caused the alcohol to get all over a customer. She had also delivered alcohol to wrong customers.
Even though Hearthstone Tavern had attracted some human guests, the majority of their customers were still dwarves. Thus, when such mistakes were made, the dwarves would smack the table angrily and stand up. When that happened, it was always Ynor who rushed over to pacify the dwarves' anger.
To the dwarves frequenting the tavern, Ynor has long been their little angel of luck. Some dwarves would even go out of their way to ask Ynor to help them open their card packs.
Because of that, Ynor became extremely popular in the tavern. Ynor's popularity was not something that the newcomer Messai could match.
In the end, Joshua had no choice but to have Messai sit at the side of the bar counter. Nominally, he was telling her to rest. But, it was no different from being handed a red card in soccer.
"How are you feeling?"
Joshua had Ciri who stood behind him adjust her expressions. He didn't want her to ridicule this frustrated miss knight. Then, he went to find Messai to ask her about her thoughts.
"Give me some time. I am able to do this job even better than her."
Messai thought about Joshua's question for a long while before replying with a tone of certainty. She had not forgotten her purpose in coming to this place — to convince the people in the tavern.
But, in order for her to persuade them, she must first establish a name for herself in the tavern. Only with prestige would others, including Joshua, be willing to listen to her.
Unfortunately, Messai had, so far, failed her mission. She discovered her status in the tavern was even beneath that demon. Simply no one was willing to listen to her.
If this situation was to continue, punishing the demon of this tavern before Archbishop Desireless's arrival would be practically impossible!
"Miss knight, what do you think about this…"
Joshua could tell that Messai's fighting spirit has been thoroughly ignited.
"Since you wanted to prove yourself to be more outstanding than our Ynor, you should do so using this tavern's special method."
Joshua pointed to ‘Hearthstone' the dwarves were playing.
Truth was, the skill gap between the dwarven hearthstone players was starting to present itself. Whether it be those with multiple legendary cards or those with excellent utilizations of their cards, those dwarves became the dazzling topic of discussion among the dwarves.
Because of that, Hearthstone became the other method besides strength that the dwarves used to prove themselves.
In the future, an outstanding hearthstone player will most definitely receive the respect from the younger dwarves. This holds true for humans too.
"Do you want to give it a try? Use that method to defeat the demon that you spoke of… and prove that you templars are far superior to demons."
Joshua's purpose in luring Messai to the tavern was not so that he could quickly alter her opinion of demons. Messai's belief in the Holy Light was simply too strong. Demons being evil was a fundamental core of her existence.
Changing it in a few short days was practically an impossible task.
Joshua merely wanted to make her realize battles with blood and swords were not the only sort of battle in this world. There were many other battlefields present in this world.
The most well-known of these battlefields on earth, a battlefield that nations could prove their strength in without shedding blood, would most naturally be the Olympic Games.
In this different world, Joshua was planning to introduce another well-known concept - e-sports!