Rutger proposed a solution, Captain Stevan offered terms, and Caiden delivered the finishing blow. Marcus was free to breathe a sigh of relief as the Templars agreed to speak with Kye, and promised not to harm him without provocation. It was much, much better than how he had imagined the situation going, in its various horrifying iterations. The thought creeped into his head that perhaps he would have been less nervous and been able to craft a better strategy if he had stopped worrying about how it could have gone wrong, but such thinking had helped him avoid numerous scrapes before and, thank the gods, it had turned out well this time.
Slowly, Stevan rose to his feet. "Very well," he said. "Bring this demon-kin to us, and we'll see if what you say is true. If it is, I give you my word that they won't be hurt... But I can't promise we won't take them with us to Templaria when this mission is over. An Inquisitor and a Venator should know best of all that demon-kin, wronged or not, are still monsters with the capability to use demonic magic. Even if this demon-kin somehow managed to never give in and hurt others, that doesn't prevent those who don't understand them from hurting them instead. So if it is as you say, we'll keep a watch over it while we're in Artorius, but no harm will come to it from us."
"Yes, let us see him" Sarael said, reflexively parroting Stevan in support of her commander.
Hephaestus’ steaming bellows, I knew I was going to miss a pronoun. Bloody stupid gender-neutral tip-toeing… Marcus seethed to himself
"But, if it is true, what should we tell the others?" she added a moment later, her question directed principally at Stevan and Captain Ritter.
The flustered Inquisitor was glad for the diversion. Raising his hand to get their attention, Marcus offered “I would be honored to help you come up with some kind of explanation for the crew. They have been marvelous so far, but Captain Ritter would know better than I how...understanding...they would be about this solution. As for our other companions, I remember some who already know of this matter, but cannot speak for the reactions...or character...of those I haven’t met yet. Perhaps we should table that matter until after you’ve met our friend.”
The Inquisitor clasped his fist over his heart, inclining his head in gratitude to Captain Ritter and each of the Templars. “I gladly accept your terms, and thank you for your merciful leniency. We Inquisitors know full well of the need to protect people from those who do not understand them, and I am glad we could reach an accord.”
With that, Marcus looked at the female Templar to whom he’d given his halberd [Sarael], saying with a grateful smile, “We’ll go get our friend. You can keep holding that, as a guarantee of my return. I’ll get it back once you’ve had a chance to meet him.”
Upon exiting the cabin, Marcus closed the door behind him and Caiden, before leaning his back against it, breathing as deeply as if he’d emerged from the sea floor, rather than the captain’s cabin. “Gods be praised, that went better than I was expecting...though I’d rather not do that again any time soon.”
As his heart reached a more sensible rate, he looked at his Venator friend and asked, “Now, umm...did Neitha happen to mention where she was hiding him?”
After finding Kye and Neitha’s refuge, Marcus walked up to them with a smile that was equal parts glee and relief.
“We did it!,” he exclaimed, “It took no small amount of convincing, but when Caiden brought up Cae’s celestial judgment and your resisting that control rune, they were sold! The Templars agreed not to harm you, and, in fact, they want to meet you!”