“Tonight won’t to be a peaceful night.”
I stood at the door and looked at the torches in the town that were lit up once again. I knew what the townsfolk were thinking. They returned for the meantime during the chaos, but they’d definitely come back in droves. Moreover, they looked as though they intended to dial up the intensity, because they carried a corpse with them.
Standing at the door, I looked at the mass of torches and angry faces. However, I also saw fear in them. Their rage was no longer as its peak as it was during the first round. After a massive failure, nobody dared to be as audacious. That said, they didn’t want their friends to die in vain.
Somewhat tired at looking at townsfolk, I pinched the corner of my eye: “What else do you want?”
“Hand over the succubus…”
“I know what you’re getting at. I understand it. Next, you’re going to tell me about your deep-seated hatred for the demon race, correct?”
The man in front of me was the leader of the pack, yet he didn’t suffer any injuries during the previous scuffle, so it was evident how sly he was. He was the instigator type of person. He’d never be present when the situation erupted. He was the most sickening type you could come across. That being said, they were also the simplest to deal with. While the townsfolk were gathered at our door again, they probably weren’t as tough as before. I was confident I could settle Leah’s issue with some pep talk.
“Let me ask you all a few questions. One, you said the demons killed your brothers and sisters, brothers, father, children, husbands, but was Leah the one who killed them? I understand you want revenge, but revenge isn’t venting your anger on an innocent child. Don’t assume I don’t know who ordered you. The war is over; regardless of what happened, problems that arose during the war shouldn’t be shouldered by innocent children. Just as you can take revenge for your family, I, too, can.”
I looked at the crowd with a cold gaze: “The demon race’s soldiers killed your family, which is why you now don’t care about hanging a child. By the same token, I’m in the same boat. From my perspective, your current behaviour and actions are no different to what the demon race did. The demon race’s soldiers killed your children, so you want to strangle Leah. Leah is my child. Should you dare to hurt her, I’ll do what you do, and strangle your children. Oh, and you’ll be first.”
I pointed at the man at the forefront. He shuddered: “You…”
He lowered his head after an attempt to speak. Then, a young girl in the crowd spoke out. She gently tugged on a man’s arm and softly said, “Dad, we shouldn’t get involved with this. Leah hasn’t done anything bad during her time here. Had those people not said anything, I don’t think there would’ve been any issue.”
I looked over in the direction of the voice. It was the daughter of the tavern. I gave her a nod: “Be it demons or humans, I don’t care either way. I think humans and demons are sometimes the same. What you’re doing now is something that only demons would do. Therefore, you’re the most detestable demons from my perspective. You’re doing the exact same things they did!”
The crowd was swayed. As I previously said, they already began questioning themselves. They were no longer audacious enough to riot in front of me again after Lucia and Angelina drove them back. Furthermore, most of them had some sort of odd sense of justice. It was undeniable that the demon race ran the town down before; however, the townsfolk didn’t truly believe killing a little girl was justice, either. Leah hadn’t done anything wrong during her time in the town; reasoning wasn’t required. I just needed to be able keep them on a leash.
The young girl in the crowd tested the waters: “Everyone, Leah hasn’t done anything wrong. She’s just a child. She has never hurt us. To the contrary, we were the ones who hurt her. Our lord is correct. Leah didn’t do anything wrong. We… we don’t hate Leah. The war has ended. Lord Veirya has slain the Demon King. If she can adopt Leah as her daughter, we shouldn’t be trying to argue otherwise.”
Reasoning is for those who can fathom it in the first place. The townsfolk didn’t need it. They just need to be ruled. They were merely an enraged group of rioters that want to blow off some steam. Besides, they no longer even had the right to be violent citizens. I pulled open the door to the house: “I’ll be asking the record keeper for the records of all those hurt and dead in the scuffle to provide you with compensation. This ends here. I won’t pursue any responsibilities.”
The crowd didn’t comment. Instead, they all looked at me with mixed emotions. I looked back at them with my own serious gaze but didn’t take any action. The crowd gradually began to disperse one after another. Nobody wanted to continue with the fiasco. The chapel had basically packed up and were ready to leave as soon as possible. Consequently, the townsfolk lacked a backer. However, they were going to be ruled by Veirya and me in the future. We could kill them if they started, so nobody wanted to continue with it.
The man I specifically went after before awkwardly looked at me one last time then spun around and left. He left very quickly, which I presumed was because he was afraid I’d change my mind and kill him to deter the others. I had no such intent, though. I wasn’t interested in minor characters. What was on my mind was my meeting with the Queen when I arrived in the Imperial City, what the Queen wanted to say and what exactly the chapel needed.
The young girl watched the crowd disperse then gave me a shy smile and bowed before departing with her father. I didn’t comment. Nonetheless, I erased their debt at that moment. The debt I referred to was their food loan from us a while back. It was fine with me to erase the debt. Not everyone has the courage to take a stand. The courage to do so is much more valuable than money.
I let out a breath of relief. Nights in spring were no longer so long. I wasn’t sure if it was my delusion or not, but I could seemingly see the sun coming up already. The sky was no longer so dark. I peered into the distance but didn’t spot the sun. In saying that, I think it was a sign the sun was coming up.
So much happened that night. I felt as though lots of things around me changed in the one night. Veirya, Angelina and Leah’s relationship probably completely changed on that night. I didn’t know if my decision was correct or not. When faced with my enemy, I chose to ally with an even more frightening opponent. While I could drive off the chapel, Queen Sisi held my reins. Thus, I was in a situation that was risky as the chapel was except that the Queen was likely to be even more dangerous than the chapel.
“Will this alliance be the beginning of annihilation? What I do know, though, is that I’m scared,” I admitted to myself.
I gently pressed my hand on the door handle. My hand and legs shook. I knew I was scared, genuinely scared. I was afraid I’d fail. I was afraid Queen Sisi would drag me into something more troublesome. I was worried about Veirya and Leah. I was afraid I’d lose everything I currently had.
I asked myself, “I was never scared in the past. Why am I so afraid now?”