–Third Person POV–
「Please wait here.」
「Hmph, I expected to listen to the delightful sound of the waves with this being a port city, instead I get confined in a bas.e.m.e.nt with four walls around me.」
The room which Sekrit and the man entered was a secret s.p.a.ce under the inn.
A st.u.r.dy metal door without a keyhole protected the room, creating a completely sealed environment once closed.
「My apologies. This is just a precaution to prevent unwanted guests from intruding.」
Sekrit plops herself on a chair in front of the man who gives an honest explanation, then waves her hand as if to brush him off, before making a comment herself.
「Don't address my complaints so seriously. Your d.a.m.n serious personality hasn't changed at all――Rehercles.」
Rehercles―― the man whose name was called, lowers his head slightly.
「Your Excellency Sekrit hasn't changed either. This seriousness is because I am fearful of Your Excellency's fury, I hope you can understand.」
「What an impudent guy. More importantly, I'm intrigued by the package in the corner.」
Rehercles bows politely, then lines up a bottle and gla.s.s on the table.
「This is Your Excellency's favorite brandy from Koruha. Please use this to pa.s.s the time.」
Sekrit snickers, acknowledging the fine liquor prepared by the man, then takes a whiff of the poured liquid before putting her lips to the gla.s.s.
「How long has it been since you poured my drink? Right before the great battle?」
Sekrit fills the emptied gla.s.s back up and slides it across the table.
「Unfortunately, I was dismissed from my position as Your Excellency's staff officer during the restructuring prior to the battle…… thank you.」
「The lot in headquarters were a bunch of idiots. I thought things would be better if you joined. Anyways, you should be thankful. If you were with me on the Leviathan, you'd be blown to pieces by now.」
Rehercles smiles sheepishly as he re-fills the gla.s.s, then slides it back across the table.
「I was certain of our defeat in the great battle when the report of the Leviathan sinking came in, although it's a bit late to bring it up now.」
「Kuku, I sank it several months ago, so it's already a tattered mess.」
Sekrit reaches for the sliding gla.s.s with her prosthetic arm, but fails to catch it and switches to her right hand instead.
「……your arm, was it from the s.h.i.+p sinking?」
「That's from something different. Wouldn't you say it's well-made?」
Sekrit grabs the gla.s.s with her left arm.
「It's the most elaborate artificial arm I've ever seen. It's surprising to know such a skilled craftsman exists here in the remote Central plains.」
Rehercles admires the workmans.h.i.+p of the arm with an expression of awe.
Sekrit humors herself with how uncomfortable the man seemed to find the atmosphere, then picks up the gla.s.s with her right hand again.
「So, what are you doing and where――」
「He's acting as my staff officer.」
The door was somewhat violently opened and a giant lumbered forward.
It was Zaphnes, who appeared to be wearing plain clothes that an affluent merchant would wear.
Rehercles immediately stands at attention, while Sekrit's smiling face transforms into a bored, uninterested expression.
「It's been a while, Sekrit.」
Zaphnes jerks his chin to ask for the alcohol and gla.s.s to be cleaned up.
He doesn't notice Sekrit clicking her tongue softly.
「That's quite the sorry state you're in. Without one arm, you probably can't walk properly.」
「Is that how it looks?」
Sekrit gives a half-hearted reply, not feeling in the mood to argue.
「I investigated your present circ.u.mstances. It seems you're being kept around by Goldonia and dragged from battle to battle by Goldonia.」
Zaphnes doesn't notice the growing annoyance in the woman's tone.
「Moreover, your owner is some feudal lord on the border…… whom I haven't heard any good rumors about. This is quite the deep valley for a commander-in-chief of the Federation to have fallen into. It's worse than a feudal lord becoming a beggar.」
Sekrit gives a terse reply, devoid of any emotion.
Zaphnes grins and then boldly slaps his own lap.
「On that point, I still have better standing. I'm the supreme commander of the South Yuguria Empire gradually taking over the Central plains!」
Zaphnes puffs out his chest proudly.
Having improved his mood, he requests some alcohol from Rehercles.
「Not this. Give me wine of better quality.」
After rejecting the brandy, Zaphnes uncorks a bottle of wine, drinking directly from the bottle before offering some to Sekrit, which she doesn't touch.
「As the supreme commander, I am one who succeeds the Emperor…… no, you can say that I wield power exceeding that of the Emperor/ I can order the entire army of South Yuguria――」
Sekrit interjects the boasting of the talkative Zaphnes.
「Well, isn't South Yuguria in quite the predicament?」
That one statement stopped Zaphnes from continuing his fervent speech and froze the air.
Sekrit paused briefly to enjoy the air that became several degrees cooler, then went on.
「You probably wanted to do the large scale surround you're so proud of, but the frontal battlefield is stalled out from the repeated draws, the east's offensive has collapsed, and the destruction of the navy has turned the western army into a useless bunch of soldiers. With such heavy losses, you're forced to learn the hard way and supplement your army with a mishmash of amateurs. Fortunately for you, there is no risk of freezing to death in the Central plains.」
Zaphnes pounds the table and glares at Sekrit, but takes a deep breath and adjusts himself in his chair.
「Although the battle is at a stalemate, it doesn't change the fact we're the ones pus.h.i.+ng forward. We're already at the doorstep of Goldonia's capital. I acknowledge the defeat in the east hurts, but that was only strategic insurance. We can manage without it. I'll also withdraw the western army when I get the chance…… and you were the one who helped with the navy's annihilation!」
Zaphnes started softly and gradually increased in volume as anger built up.
On the other hand, Sekrit seemed satisfied with his att.i.tude.
「Kukuku, I'm merely a pathetic pet dog right now. If my owner orders it, I can only listen.」
Sekrit rises from her seat, walks over to the corner of the room where the bottle of brandy was moved and drinks directly from it.
Rehercles became terribly troubled.
Zaphnes stomps his foot in irritation, but calms himself down and clasps his hands together on top of the table.
「……let's stop the idle chatter and move on to the real issue. When will you come over to my side?」
The atmosphere becomes tense.
Zaphnes stared straight at Sekrit, meanwhile she quietly put the bottle of brandy back on the table.
「What do you mean?」
「I told you. I have essentially obtained the highest standing in South Yuguria. The Empress is also under my control. 」
Zaphnes might have been exaggerating a little, yet it doesn't stop Sekrit from sidestepping.
Zaphnes leans his body over the table and grabs Sekrit's right hand.
Her face scrunches in disgust, though she found it too bothersome to shake him off.
「I know you have nowhere to go after drifting away from the Empire. Moreover, you probably can't get a decent job with only one arm. Weren't you taken advantage of because of that and forced to work hard?」
「If that's what you think, then maybe.」
Zaphnes tightens his grip.
「If you come to South Yuguria…… to my side, you won't need to worry anymore. I know, more than anyone, about your talents. I'll make you my immediate staff officer or adjutant. You don't have to be the dog of some feudal lord.」
「That's appreciated. So, what will you have me do in return?」
Zaphnes rubs the hand of the emotionless Sekrit.
「You'll work as my subordinate during in the day…… and be my lover at night.」
Zaphnes continues in spite of Sekrit's small sigh.
「Of course, I'll be saving you, so you'll treat me as your master. I'll ask for your obedience, service, and you may be required to do acts that are humiliating to you. Every nook and cranny of your body will belong to me.」
Zaphnes's face relaxed after he was done speaking in a serious tone.
「Considering the relations.h.i.+p we have, it's plausible that when the battle is over, you'll bear my child.」
Sekrit acts like she's contemplating the request.
Zaphnes leans further forward, his eyes s.h.i.+ning with hope.
A soft exhale of breath could be heard.
Zaphnes's huge body shakes, his expression clearly showing genuine shock.
「Why!? You'll be guaranteed a life without any discomfort! There's no way you're a virgin, I mean, there are rumors of you using that dark-skinned body on those old fools to rise up in ranks during your days in the Empire――」
Before he could finish, Sekrit rests her feet on the table and smiles.
The alcohol bottle gets knocked to the floor. It was an att.i.tude that said she will no longer be polite.
A malicious smile forms on her beautiful face.
「You know my owner, Hardlett, don't you?」
「Know him!? He's a barbaric feudal lord who my army calls a demon. There are no good rumors about him!」
Sekrit nods contently before continuing.
「After the Leviathan sunk, I was captured by him. Since then, he kept violating me for months on end, day and night. My body and heart submitted to him…… then I was taken to Goldonia.」
Zaphnes's eyes widen. His lips tremble and he can't hide his agitation.
「His d.i.c.k is over 1 m long too. The first time, he tore my hole to shreds. After that, he would f.u.c.k me at least ten times every day and have me drink all the fluids I excreted without leaving a single drop.」
Sekrit licks her lips.
Zaphnes was speechless and could only stare blankly.
「He put a collar and chain on me, walked me around town and had me lift up one leg to pee. When I couldn't take the insults and ran――」
She shows off her prosthetic arm.
「T-that perverted demon…… how dare he…… how dare he do that to my……」
Sekrit chuckles and stands up.
「Through violence and shame, he dominated me all the way down to my heart, and I yielded. I can't think of any other man except for him.」
「W-wait! I've loved you for a long――」
Sekrit gives a sad smile as she places her hand on the door.
「The Sekrit you love has died. Right now, if that man orders it, I would happily kill you. ……farewell, Zaphnes.」
Sekrit exits the underground room with Zaphnes standing stock still and climbs up the stairs.
She takes one step, then another, and as she gets closer to the surface, her sad face warps into a mischievous smile.
A dull thud and a groan comes out from the bas.e.m.e.nt.
No sound was supposed to leak from the room, so it must have come from a very drastic action like the hurling of a table across the room and a b.e.s.t.i.a.l growl.
「Kufu…… kuku…… did I go too far? However, this way Zaphnes won't compromise and will come at full force. He will fight hard without making strategic decisions…… it'll be fun.」
Sekrit strokes her artificial arm in a trance-like state.
A Few Hours Later. A Certain Bar.
I drink my alcohol single-mindedly in disappointment.
「……what am I doing?」
I couldn't resist when the city guards captured me because I was fearful of causing a fuss.
I obediently let myself be placed in prison and when the guards left, I pulled apart the rusted iron bars and escaped, but by that time, Sekrit and the handsome man had already disappeared into the inn for several hours.
I couldn't barge in myself, so I gave some gold to a young man to go ask for me, and when he came back, he told me all the rooms were empty.
「In other words, it was already over……and I don't know where they could have gone.」
A few hours of chaos is plenty of time for the good-looking guy to pour his seed into Sekrit's womb.
And once seed enters the woman's womb, she'll gradually lower her guard.
「Maybe they're back in the inn…… or perhaps they're enjoying the thrill of the outdoors.」
Jealousy is welling up, but I can't do anything if their whereabouts are unknown.
The pathetic man who was stolen from can only trust in the woman to return and drown his cares with drinks.
I take the strongest alcohol and gulp it down undiluted.
As the burning sensation in my stomach takes over my mind, I feel a hand rest on my shoulder.
Is that a guard who followed me? I have no reason to stay quiet now so I'm going to punch him.
It wasn't a guard who appeared.
It was a tall man close to 2 m in height who was wearing high-quality casual clothes like a merchant would, but I could smell blood.
I'm really not in the mood to be questioned.
The giant pushes me and forces himself into a seat.
Annoyed, I thought about raising a complaint……
「Give me your strongest drink. Don't use this cheap gla.s.s, give me a stein.」
He chugs from the stein after it was filled to the brim.
「d.a.m.n, that woman!!」
In a few seconds, he empties the stein and slams it down onto the counter.
It was quite clear from how he drank that he was not in a cheerful mood.
「Sounds like you're having a rough time. What's wrong?」
Instead of complaining, I ask him to explain his circ.u.mstances.
「……the d.a.m.n woman who should have been in love with me has lost her mind. I even offered her a wonderful life, yet she can't get away from the savage man ruling over her!」
The man requests for his drink to be refilled. I do the same.
Wow, this guy is in a similar situation as me.
「I'm experiencing something like that myself. Some pretty boy s.n.a.t.c.hed away my lover…… it's uncool to criticise the woman though.」
He scowls at me.
In the midst of the blood scent, I sense a blackness that Leopolt emits occasionally.
I knew he didn't resemble a merchant…… well, whatever.
「Hmph. I don't want to be consoled by a miserable man like you.」
「Tch, I can't deny that, but you're not one to talk either.」
Although he bares his canines and a.s.saults me with fearsome blood l.u.s.t, I'm not soft enough to be scared of that.
「……you're tough, huh? I like you. Drink.」
The giant places the store's highest grade of alcohol in front of me.
「I'm not penniless. I can pay for my own drinks.」
I have no reason to let a pa.s.sing man treat me.
「No need to hold back. I may not look it, but I have quite the standing. I can easily buy this kind of alcohol by the barrel.」
「Is that so…… well, so can I. I'm a n.o.ble with a vast domain.」
We stare at each other for a few seconds, then burst out laughing.
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「How many n.o.bles, ministers and commanders does that make it today? Here, I'm in a good mood.」
Although it was made with buckwheat chaff, I was able to block the knife easily with a full-powered hit.
The cloth tears and the pillow's contents spray the man's face, obstructing his view.
「You're going to return Sekrit to me.」
I swing my fist, not at his unguarded solar plexus…… but I deliberately sink my fist into his cheek.
The man bounces into a small table, crashes into a wall and breaks the wooden boards, his head hanging over to the adjacent room.
That wasn't enough to kill him, but at least his proud face will swell up and become less attractive.
Sekrit will be disillusioned and she should return to my side.
「There are more of them.」
Sekrit equips her prosthetic arm, her clothes still a mess.
What does she mean 'more'?
My question was answered before it was asked as guests entered from the neighboring room.
I thought they were going to complain about all the noise, however everyone simply approached silently, drawing the swords at their hips in one continuous motion.
「Their intention was to not let me return alive if I refused.」
Sekrit mutters, and I quickly comprehend the reason for such a situation.
「I see, that's how it is.」
I positioned my back to Sekrit's back so I could cover her rear.
「So the pretty boy was used as bait to lure you here where all his friends could gang rape you? Vile sc.u.m.」
Someone let out an incredulous shout behind me, but I have no time to worry.
This isn't an affair, Sekrit was deceived.
「This means no mercy. I'll send you all to h.e.l.l.」
I'm up against five opponents and I'm unarmed, still, I can't back down.
Fortunately, the room is small enough that only two people can attack together at most.
One of them attacks first.
When I crossed my arms over my head to guard, the man lunged forward, aiming at my heart.
I don't know if he underestimates me because I'm weaponless, but his movements are monotonous.
Although his thrust is powerful, it's easy to avoid.
I twist my body right before the sword touches me, causing it to slip off the surface of my clothes.
If he stumbles after his attack missed, it would definitely be fatal for him.
「That's one down.」
I lift up the man by his arm and belt, then slam his head against the hardest thing in the room…… against the bricks of the fireplace. It makes a splat sound as his head cracks open.
「We're not done yet!」
A second enemy comes at me.
He's smarter than the first guy and goes for a downward slash.
It is certainly difficult for a barehanded opponent to deal with a running slash.
His mistake was that he didn't see what I was holding in my left hand behind my back.
「Here, it's tasty.」
I wind up and throw the apple at him hard.
The fruit lands on his face with a thud. It explodes on contact and pieces scatter everywhere.
I picked a green one which looked the most unripe so I'm sure it packed a punch.
It seems I didn't have to finish him off.
The man's nose caved into his face and he fell down with blood dripping out from his ears and mouth.
「Let's do it together!!」
Two of them attack at once this time.
I move backwards while evading their slashes, then put my hand on the bed.
Thinking they have me cornered, they smile, but those smiles quickly froze over in the next moment.
It was because I lifted up the entire bed.
The beds in this inn were good quality and felt like they weighed at least 100 kgs.
I throw the bed at the two men standing with their mouths open.
They failed to catch it and were both sent flying into the wall, letting out a croak before getting pinned tightly by the bed and rendered immobile.
「I-I have to report――」
The last man rushes out of the room.
I don't leave the room, instead I focus on the wall facing the corridor.
With a grunt, I push my hands out through the wall, opening two holes in the wooden panel.
My hands precisely grab the fleeing man and snap his neck.
「Fuu…… all cleaned up.」
I look over and see Sekrit say something to the unconscious man lying partially in the adjacent room.
「I've really gotten lax. I let my guard down because you were a former subordinate. This is most likely your own decision, right? You're serious after all. You must have wanted to save face for Zaphnes.」
Sekrit raises the knife she's holding.
However, I interrupt her with my lips.
「Gmmu! What are you doing!?」
I ignore her resistance and continue kissing her, touching her body as well.
I'm going to appeal to Sekrit with my manliness and revive her feelings for me
「You didn't say anything and ran off because I was lacking charm! Knowing he was such a weak man, you're better off with me though. If he's this weak, his d.i.c.k must also be small, right? His proud face is also beaten up. I'm more handsome than he is now.」
「What are you babbling about?」
I notice Sekrit start looking fed up and I hear someone climbing up the stairs of the inn.
Those steel shoes are unmistakably the city guards.
Having broken out from prison, it isn't good for me to meet them.
I hug Sekrit and jump out the window.
「We're going back to Patena. Before that, once we get away from this city, I'm going to take you into a bush and f.u.c.k you. I'll change your body back to my shape.」
「Nothing went inside me, but do as you want.」
Sekrit mumbles something in my arms.
「Farewell, Empire…… and half of my life.」
I pretend I didn't hear anything.
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