Chapter 73: Chapter 73 – Scammed
About to win!
In all the matches against the damned demon, Messai finally saw victory within her reach for the very first time.
Like the remains of a candle fluttering in the wind, the life of the character Ynor was controlling, Gul’dan, was about to die out at any moment. Messai only needed two more turns to defeat this damn demon!
She would be able to prove to everyone in the tavern how powerful the Paladin class was!
But, the cheers of the upcoming victory did not make Messai forget about her surroundings. She heard an aged yet familiar voice.
“Messai, it’s time to leave this place.”
Hearing that voice, Messai immediately stood up and turned around. She quickly found the thin and haggard figure standing among the specating dwarves.
Desireless was simply too eye-catching standing among a bunch of robust yet short dwarves. It was like a half bamboo suddenly appeared in a pile of water buckets.
Messai does not dare to show any contempt toward this scrawny old man. The reason for that was because he was her greatly respected teacher and one of the Nation of the Holy Church’s few Archbishops… Desireless.
What Messai respected the most about this Archbishop was how he had participated in multiple wars against demons. The names of the Templars he had saved in his life could fill a monument of martyrs that’s nearly three meters tall.
Messai immediately placed her right hand across her left shoulder and paid her respect toward this legendary archbishop.
“Do not bother with unnecessary etiquettes. We should leave this place now.”
Desireless repeated himself. He doesn’t know if that demon possesses the patience to allow them to leave.
According to the Nation of the Holy Church’s study toward demons, all powerful demons were beings that possessed an extremely strong territorial sense. The appearance of a clergy on their territory would undoubtedly be an act of provocation to them.
If that Chaos Demon was to lose patience… Desireless believed that a calamity, an enormous calamity, would befall the citizens of Norland.
“This… but… Lord Archbishop…”
As Messai said those words, she took a glance at the Hearthstone table behind her. It was her turn to play. She had held absolute dominance in this match. As long as they continue playing, she will definitely be able to kill that damned demon!
She had prepared so long all for the sake of the Paladin’s victory. She had spared neither time or effort to achieve this victory. But, when the victory was within her reach, she was told to leave and abandon it?
Messai was extremely unwilling. But, when that sense of unwillingness appeared, Messai suddenly realized… What was she doing?
For the sake of a card gambe, she was planning to disobey her master.
“Messai, can you tell me what you’re doing?”
Desireless did not expect for the knight with the most resolute faith among the Templars to be in a tavern. Not only she, she was in so much pleasure that she was unwilling to leave.
Based on Messai’s personality, she should be someone who wouldn’t be able to adapt to a noisy environment like a tavern.
Because of this, Desireless’s curiosity, something that had already disappeared for over a dozen years, was ignited again.
“Fight… fighting to achieve glory for the Ecclesiastical Templars.”
That was not a lie! Messai repeated those words in her heart countless times. With her life on the line, everything that she did was to achieve glory for the Ecclesiastical Templars.
The reward from this victory was not only a tenth of a card pack fragment, it would also make those dwarves have a whole new realization and respect for the Paladin class. Moreover, that demon will also be killed by her sword!
“Lord Archbishop, please give me some time. I… am about to defeat that demon!”
Messai took a glance at the table. The ‘rope’ was already burning for her character. A player would only have a single minute to think about their turn. When the rope started burning, it meant that the player only had fifteen seconds left!
If Messai doesn’t make her turn right now, it would be that demon’s turn. At that time, she would once again be defeated.
“While I do not know why you’re acting so anxious, I’ll give you time.”
Desireless took a glance at Messai’s opponent. Sure enough, that was a demon. But, that was only the lowest tier Succubus. A demon that weak would not even be seen on the battlefield.
He doesn’t understand what exactly was so powerful about that demon to give his proud disciple such headache. But, Desireless still accepted Messai’s request. The reason for that… was because the arcanotech device had successfully caught his attention.
“Thank you Lord Archbishop.”
Having received permission, Messai immediately sat down and completed a series of operations. Then, she pressed on the ‘End Turn’ tab.
Ynor became cautious. He was able to feel danger from that old man. It was a similar sensation to the time when he was under the presence of the Duke of Bones. Like the Duke of Bones, Ynor felt that the old man would be able to kill him with a mere thought.
“Ynor, after you finish that match, you should go and finish the assignment given by your university’s teachers.”
With the arrival of Messai’s parent, Ynor’s parent Melina also arrived behind Ynor. Melina placed her hand on Ynor’s back. That gave Ynor some courage.
Since the arrival of the Ecclesiastical Templars, Melina learned Ynor’s true identity to be… a demon.
But, even after learning that, Melina continued to manage the tavern and all kinds of bills like normal. She continued to help Joshua manage his funds, spending and income.
Perhaps to this old merchant lady, as long as she could continue with her current life, even if it was something given by the demons, it would not matter to her.
With the arrival of the parents, Messai and Ynor began their final showdown.
In the end, Messai’s character Uther shouted, ‘Justice demands retribution!’ Then, using her hero, Messai beheaded her vile demon opponent!
When Messai saw her opponent’s hero shatter into fragments, she had the urge to shout ‘The Ecclesiastical Templars are ever victorious!’
But, after considering that her esteemed teacher was standing behind her, she suppressed her urge and maintained the seriousness that the templars should uphold.
“Lord Archbishop, we can go now,” Messai stood up and said to Desireless who stood behind her.
She was preparing to squeeze her way out from the surrounding dwarves when she discovered that the Archbishop was still standing there like he had entered deep contemplation.
Messai called for his name in a probing manner. He hoped to bring him back.
“Messai… what is this arcanotech device? No… the principle behind this thing, it’s a reflection of the runes? No, that’s not it either… There’s no reason for the pictures to move on their own. Furthermore, there’s those crystal symbols that continue to grow.” 
Using his boney hand, Desireless moved to touch the old bandage on his head. He was using his ‘third eye’ to perceive the surroundings.
While he no longer possessed vision, the information Desireless received was much more detailed than those with vision. Take the arcanotech device before him. The images portrayed by it as well as the vast amount of runes working behind the scenes to create those images, were enough to make Desireless feel like his head was spinning.
But, what truly caught his interest was how those images were capable of being manipulated and moved.
“Regarding this… it’s called Hearthstone, Lord Archbishop.”
Messai felt the scene before her to be slightly familiar.
Having lived for so long, the only desire Desireless had left was likely his desire for knowledge. Like the mages, he was eternally interested in novel things.
Of everything in the world, the most novel thing would be Norland’s arcanotech devices. But now, Desireless seemed to have seen something over a hundred times more complicated than the arcanotech devices. No, it was something countless times more complicated.
“Hearthstone? Is that the name of this arcanotech device?”
Desireless repeated the name Hearthstone. Soon, he remembered their situation.
“Let’s leave this place. Your comrade-in-arms are still waiting for you outside.”
Not being dominated by his curiosity, Desireless leaned himself on his crutch and quickly walked toward the tavern’s exit. As this place was the demon’s territory, it was unsuitable for clergies like themselves to linger here.
It was destined from the moment they left the tavern that a silent war would begin in Norland.
Joshua watched as Desireless and Messai left the tavern. Then, he walked over to the arcanotech device that they were by earlier and removed a seemingly decorative originium crystal.
“What’s this?” Ciri saw Joshua’s expression. She knew from his expression that he was scheming something.
“Video recording of the match.”
Joshua poured some of his magic power into the originum crystal. In an instant, the match between Messai and Ynor appeared on the crystal.
“Why are you recording that? You should have those female demons go to the church to record the templar’s disgraceful behavior instead. They will definitely tarnish your tavern’s name all around Norland. It’s better that we strike first and gain the upper hand!”
When Ciri was ‘backpacking,’ she had witnessed the disgraceful behaviors of the Ecclesiastical Templars. Once they knew that Joshua was a demon, they would definitely proclaim his identity to the entire city of Norland.
“Calm yourself. I will think of a way to handle the propagandas and public opinions. But, before we can do that, don’t we need some opposing materials?”
Joshua looked to the female mage. He felt that Ciri was more angry about him being vilified by the Ecclesiastical Templars than he was.
That said, Joshua had made preparations to take on the Ecclesiastical Templars. At least, he was prepared in a battle of public opinion. What remains now was selecting a suitable candidate.