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"Hurry up and get on."
"What's wrong? Hurry up already. Or would you like it if I destroy this entire castle?"
The Dragon repeatedly urged Fahren-sama until he could no longer refuse her.
After some hesitation, he slowly approached the Dragon’s back and positioned himself over her before sitting down. He straddled her body with his legs on either side of her. This is a strange feeling.
When he sat on her, her stomach was pushed into the ground and it seemed a little painful.
"Sophie, when you see him, can you…no, be sure to ask him about me."
Ester-sama's eyes were lost in love and she was deciding things without even asking me if I’m okay with it.
I quickly glanced around at our surroundings to see every maid and guard intently staring at us. They were all whispering to each other.
I’m embarrassed. Why do I have to do something so embarrassing?
"W-Waitress! Hurry up!"
Following Fahren-sama's urging, I approached the back of the Dragon. The noble mage also appears to be uncomfortable sitting on the back of a girl. It seems that he's actually begun squatting over her, making sure not to actually touch her.
Once I sat down, a soft feeling was pressed against my butt.
It's warm. The Dragon is so warm.
"Are you both on? Then, let's get going."
The Dragon began to suddenly take flight.
I let a high-pitched scream escape my mouth as I began to lose my balance.
I clung to Fahren-sama's back to avoid falling off.
"I-I-I-I'm v-v-v-very sorry!
"Ah, be quiet! You’re screaming right into my ear!"
"Y-Yes, I-I'm very sorrryyyy!"
I'm afraid I might be killed for doing this. No, I'm sure I'll die. I'm clinging to the back of a great nobleman. This is serious; a great offence. But if I let go I'll fall to my death. I'll fall and be crushed flat. We're already so high and the Dragon is still climbing.
While flying over the now distant castle, I could feel my heart about to break.
I don't know anything anymore. I don't even know who I am.
That's right. I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry.
We were now in the same great hall we were in a few days ago.
Mercedes-chan and I were kneeling on the red carpet. Next to us, the empty throne sat on its raised platform with the familiar balding man with a terrible comb over standing next to it. The crowd of nobles were still gathered here as if they never left.
It's a similar situation to a few days ago.
I wonder if Ester-chan is still out.
"Imperial Knight of the Great Penny Empire, member of the Order, Ser Mercedes. In the few short days since you were dispatched from the capital, you have managed to single-handedly cause the retreat of the enemy's armies from Sapele Forest. For this great achievement, I award you the title of Senior Imperial Knight."
"Yes! Thank you very much!"
"In addition to this, this is certainly a rather informal ceremony, but a much greater reward from Her Highness, the Princess, shall be waiting for you upon your return to the capital."
"I'm very grateful. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule for this."
Apparently, this lesbian knight actually accomplished something before we found her.
The general herself was involved in the battle so there's no doubt it was a great achievement.
However perverted her actions may be, or how depraved her goals are, there's no doubt that she's actually a talented knight. Her abilities combined with her perverted motivation actually makes her a formidable opponent.
This lesbian knight is more of an elite than I expected.
I guess I shouldn't have doubted her being the imperial knight we were searching for.
From what I know, the imperial knights are even more skilled than the Order of the Knights that Allen belongs to.
Moreover, I feel like Mercedes-chan has continued improving herself ever since we first met.
By the way, I wonder if it's actually possible for an official in Tricklis to further promote an imperial knight. I'm not sure if there's something like the National Personnel Authority in this world, but, based on what Comb Over has said, I'm guessing he was able to use magic to confer with someone in the capital before deciding Mercedes-chan's reward.
"We've already made preparations for you to leave for the capital tomorrow."
Mercedes-chan's eyes opened wide in astonishment.
Ah, I know that look.
Those are the eyes of a predator that's failed to recapture her meat toilet.
"P-Please, wait a moment! I still have my mission to fight on the frontlines!"
"Your duty right now is to return to the capital and receive your reward from the Crown Princess."
"But, even now, not far from this very city, the enemy's armies are marching forward! I don't care about my rank! Not as long as the people of this great empire suffer at the hands of our merciless enemy! Right now, my most important duty as a knight is to defend the innocent people of our great country!"
An emotional appeal by the lesbian knight.
If I didn't know her, I'd actually believe she's a saintly knight.
However, her true personality is the exact opposite.
Comb Over was still standing on the platform. He seemed to agree with Mercedes-chan's words.
"I understand. What you say is true."
"Then, please, order me to the frontlines once more! I don't care what battlefield you send me to, as long as there are enemy combatants there, I will fight to the end! You can send me to another forest, a meadow, or a mountain in an icy storm!"
"As a member of the ruling monarchy, I can appreciate the passion you hold for this country."
"If so, then there's no need to worry about my title! That's not necessary to me!"
"But I can't grant you your request. Your duty is to report back to the capital. Crown Princess Angelica has heard stories of your great accomplishments here from Countess FitzClarence and she has grown anxious for your safety. An imperial knight's first duty is to report their well-being to their superiors."
"…this can't be."
Mercedes-chan looked defeated. It was as if her entire world had been destroyed.
A few tears fell from her face and stained the red carpet.
She's seriously crying.
As I witnessed her fall into despair, a few surrounding voices could be heard coming from the nobility. Both men and women, young and old, looked at her with deep respect.
But, of course….
Her tears are real.
This is in no way an act.
Obviously, she isn't mourning the fact that she can't fight valiantly on the frontlines.
She's lamenting the fact that she'll be separated from her near endless supply of meat toilets until she's able to return to Tricklis.
"Are you okay, Senior Imperial Knight Mercedes?"
Mercedes-chan looked despondent.
And I couldn't help but feel like this was partially my fault.
If I hadn't let her meat toilet escape, she wouldn't be like this.
"Now then, adventurer."
"To honour your efforts in rescuing Ser Mercedes, I grant you the title of Warrant Officer."
"Yes! Thank you very much!"
I guess my status has increased as well.
But, what exactly is a 'Warrant Officer?'
And can this guy really raise my rank so easily?
I can't really ask that right now, so I just nodded and thanked him. I'll have to ask Mercedes-chan about it later.
This is a large country. I should probably know what benefits my rank and status allow me.
"May you continue working hard for your country."
We each bowed our head.
This audience ended in a similar way to our previous meeting here.
"This audience is now over."
I don't know where I stand compared to Mercedes-chan. I'm sure that a person of my rank should behave a certain way around someone of her rank, but if I keep close to her, I can benefit from her status.
For now, I'll aim to stay close with that knight.
Maybe I can improve our relationship a bit.
"Furthermore, with each of you receiving a new rank, Countess FitzClarence expects continued success. We expect both of you to continue fighting for the glory of the Penny Empire."
"Thank you…very much."
I followed the lesbian knight’s actions and hung my head low in despair.
Like this, our award ceremony was over.
We were now in the waiting room after leaving the great hall.
"Damn it. How did this happen…."
Mercedes-chan was at her wit’s end.
The Dark Elf looked perplexed as she watched Mercedes-chan wallow in despair. By the way, the Dark Elf wasn't present in the great hall because of her position as a slave. It seems that she isn't allowed to be promoted any further.
I'm not sure if her race has anything to do with it, but I'm sure they didn't want to promote her to a rank above those who own her.
"What's wrong with that woman?"
"She found out that she won't be able to return to the frontlines to take any more prisoners."
"…that's what I thought."
The Dark Elf got off of the sofa and moved to the opposite side of the room. I'm sure she hasn't forgotten having her arm forcibly held in between Mercedes-chan's chest. It seems that with only a brief exchange the Dark Elf has already figured out Mercedes-chan's true nature.
If I look closely, I can see goosebumps forming on her arms.
"I worked so hard to get here…."
On the other side of the room, Mercedes-chan was distraught.
She's gritting her teeth and gripping her hand so strong that her nails are digging into her palm, causing blood to slowly flow down her arm.
Isn't that a bit extreme of a reaction?
Or is it? I have never experienced the rare opportunity of capturing my own personal slave during wartime.
I haven't felt that pain. I'm sorry for judging you, Mercedes-chan.
"Mercedes-san…. I'm sorry. This is my fault."
"I don't need your apology."
"I can't ignore an order from the Crown Princess. I have to return to Kalis."
"I-Is that so?"
"But my will shall never crumble!"
"…and what is that supposed to mean?"
"I have something to ask of you, the only person that can truly understand my interests!"
I really don't want to hear it. Mercedes-chan seems like the type of person to act like your friend when she wants to borrow your game. But when the time comes for you to ask for it back she'll tell you she's never even heard of that game.
Wait a minute.
If it's this girl, could she be planning on laying her hands on the Princess? Does her request involve me breaking her out of prison? The Princess' figure when we first met was amazing. Just that image in my mind is enough to turn me on. I'm sure Mercedes-chan is no different. The normal party members we have may have got used to Mercedes-chan's s.e.xual harassment, but that doesn't mean Mercedes-chan can do something like that to the Princess.
The Princess is a dangerous opponent to someone as perverted as Mercedes-chan.
"That's why, please, please, the dream I was so close to achieving on the battlefield…I want you to do it."
"No, you should be working to achieve your own dreams….."
Even if I managed to do it, what does this lesbian gain from it?
I could have a threesome with the prisoners I capture five days a week and she wouldn't get anything out of it.
"This is my request. Will you accept? I wholeheartedly believe the man that defeated a dragon can accomplish this. Then, one night, we can speak with each other. You can tell me about each of your conquests on the battlefield."
Today's Mercedes-chan is especially passionate.
Her eyes are shining.
It's the look of a middle-aged man that's fallen in love with a young girl.
"Thank you. I appreciate it more than you can imagine."
Even if she's thankful, I'm not happy at all.
The official returned shortly after our conversation ended.
I can't tell if he's happy or annoyed that he's been tasked with dealing with us again.
"Mercedes-sama, you'll have a room in the castle to stay in for the night. If you'd be so kind as to accompany me to your room. I'm sure your body is quite tired after fighting for so long."
Mercedes-chan followed after the official.
The Dark Elf and I were left standing alone in the waiting room.
"The world must really be rotten if that woman is considered to be a great knight."
"Y-Yeah, well, some people think that fruit is more delicious once it's no longer ripe."
"That woman makes me sick to my stomach."
And I've been tasked with achieving that perverted lesbian's dream. I'm sure the Dark Elf's opinion of me has got even worse. If that's even possible.
Yet, Mercedes-chan is closer in status to the noble mage or Ester-chan than either of us.