I pat Aoi's head as I walk past her. She stores her book and the gold coin she was chewing in her [Item Box] and follows me, Alissa trailing close behind us.
I have a short conversation with Yunia about what we have to do, and she feels a bit sad and disappointed about what I want to say, then immediately feels guilty and starts flustering about silently, trying to get her feelings under control. She's still not completely used to [Bind], which leads to her oversharing occasionally.
None of the commoners know what's going through her mind as she watches the selection with an impassive gaze, her beautiful face stern as always. Her [Acting] is enough to keep this small disturbance of her concentration from being revealed in her expression.
I take an [Eternal Gate] to the main hall and exit the castle, then I feel the desire to rest in one of the private, secluded gardens, but that'll have to wait.
We walk towards the outer gates at a leisurely pace to give Yunia time, gazing up at the Island Winch along the way, its massive size giving me delightful tingles of megalophobia down my spine.
The duels come to an end one-by-one, but Yunia doesn't give the order for more to start, and soon, the sounds of battle die down completely, replaced with the murmuring of the confused recruits.
Hana wipes her brow and conjures water directly on her face to cool herself off. The droplets run along her skin, making her white shirt stick to her skin and allowing her nipples to poke out through the fabric.
She's been helping in the selection, testing the stronger men in single combat, and also showing off our power to the commoners so that they come to respect us.
Yunia stands up, her tight, light blue dress sparkling in the high sun, making Hana salivate. Yunia presses her [Project Voice] magic tool against her throat and asks with a booming and imperious tone, "Enlistees of the Lordsguard, answer me this: who are pledging your loyalty to?"
The men grumble, confused about her intentions.
"Answer me!" She shouts, her voice like thunder.
"Lord Yulania!" Some of them respond with both fear and pride.
"I didn't hear you!"
"Lord Yulania!" More join in, and their voices resound through the open air.
Yunia grips the railing of the balcony in anger and demands, "Louder!"
"LORD YULANIA!" They clamor and cheer, but that quickly dies down when they notice her face warping with anger.
What she's about to say hurts her pride, a lot, but it must be done.
"We're in this together," I reassure Yunia and mount Aoi, then she spreads her wings wide apart and starts to flap.
"WROOONG!" Yunia roars, anger and disappointment igniting into fury.
Aoi flies over the dark wall, then I press a [Project Voice] gem against her neck, and she lets out a deep, guttural roar that activates the fight, flight, and freeze instincts of the crowd. They point at her and cry in fear, but to their credit, nobody runs away.
Aoi makes a tight, banked turn, then pitches down, aiming to crash onto the crowd.
A few of the men panic and a few others raise their shields, but a good number simply stands still. They should've already heard that one of the new Lords has an Azurite dragon, and at least some of them should've understood that the dragon is also a Lord.
Aoi pitches up just in time to shoot over their heads, then I leap off of her and float in the air, waiting in place while she makes a u-turn.
She comes back and stops in mid-air, floating right behind me and blocking Yunia from their sight with her large wings.
I press the gem against my neck and roar, "I AM YOUR LORD!"
The men stiffen, and many of them cringe as they come to understand what they'd just shouted so proudly.
I pause dramatically for a moment and scan through the crowd, searching for the women to see their reaction to me. I find a few cultured women, seemingly knowledgeable about the superiority of draconic cock, and I also notice that there's a surprising amount of non-elves among the crowd, about 30% of the recruits.
"YOU WILL NOT SERVE YULANIA, YOU WILL SERVE ME AND MY HAREM!" I add with a scowl.
To enlist, they first need to name who they wish to serve, and the overwhelming majority of recruits wrote Lord Yulania, not the Ryder family. While it made her very happy to see that there are so many people wishing to serve her, this isn't right. They're simping for her, and that type of person would make for a terrible Lordsguard.
I'm offended that many of them don't even seem to know my name.
"CAN YOU DO IT? CAN YOU BOW TO A NON-ELF? CAN YOU SERVE SOMEONE WITHOUT A SINGLE DROP OF ELVEN BLOOD…?" -I cool down my boiling rage and let my tone become grim- "Can you give your lives for me and my harem…?!"
The crowd is stunned into silence, and I notice that most of the elves have become crestfallen while the non-elves still stand proudly.
Alissa appears on the balcony with Gify on her shoulder and sits down beside Yunia, then Aoi and I slowly descend in the middle of the crowd.
They make room for us, then we touch the ground. Aoi's tail sways about, giving us even more room as the crowd backs off to avoid getting hit.
I draw my elven shortsword and get into a fighting posture.
"DEFEAT ME AND YOU SHALL BECOME YULANIA'S PERSONAL KNIGHT!" I shout, then I remove the magic gem from my neck and put my off-hand behind my back.
There's an unspoken belief that a personal knight is someone with a more intimate relationship with their charge, but that's just an urban myth, though it has the desired effect as Yunia's simps all suddenly become very hopeful.
With a mental nod from me, Roxanne gets up and gathers the healers of our Court.
It's time to do some weeding.
I hold myself back from chopping limbs off, but many throats are sliced open. With 30 points in [Sword Use], [Rush], and my unorthodox [Ekrano Style], I'm unstoppable.
I don't have time for a drawn-out fight, so I just quickly rush in and finish them off after a few blows.
I enjoy hurting Hana and Alissa quite a lot, even going so far as drawing blood, but not with strangers, and not without a sexual undertone.
I manage to keep my claws padded so that I don't ruin the handle of my sword. This small amount of [Soul Manipulation] is very easy for me to keep up even while in battle, so I can at least preserve this ancient elven sword Arreira gifted to us.
A few of the men observing me make me feel a bit wary. They seem to have a calm and confident air about them, and I'd bet that they're former officers or knights. If any of them challenge me, I'll have to change my tactics.
The number of healers belonging to our court quickly increases as they volunteer to heal the challengers, serving as a practical test of their abilities.
Then a familiar-looking old elf steps into the challenge area, and I smile subtly as I use [Sense Soul] on him.
|Name||Sandoro Irme||Race||Golden Elf|
|Level||61||HP||100/100||MP||1,130 | Magic Power|
The officer I fought when we deposed Mavel. I remember that he showed me a small degree of respect after our fight, so I don't think he's here for revenge.
He looks younger than Salbotica, and now that he's not wearing any armor, I can clearly see his athletic build. His eyes are cold, but his new puffy beard softens his look a bit.
Sandoro lowers his head in respect and confesses, "Forgive me, Lord Ryder, but my only wish is to duel with you."
"That's fine. Let's fight," I tersely respond.
He lifts his head and draws his bastard sword, then he pulls a kite shield out of his [Item Box] with a *poof*.
I [Equip] my shield and shift my stance. My tail stops waving about and tenses up, revealing my emotions.
Sandoro lifts an eyebrow at the unknown spell I just cast but remains quiet, then the chatter dies down as the crowd realizes that things are getting serious.
I cover my neck with my shield and rest my sword on it, and he mirrors my posture, then we cautiously advance towards each other.
Our eyes lock together, and we share fearless looks with a touch of sportsmanship.
We reach stabbing range and stop, then we start circling each other to keep our feet moving. A stationary warrior is slow to react.
[Battlefield Perception] triggers, and he [Blink]s forward, so I slide backward with [Telekinesis] and [Block], trusting that the skill will handle it.
The brim of his wide shield comes towards me like a punch, and I let it slide along my scales as I duck, then I slash, and he [Blink]s away.
A small cut opens a hole in his thin shirt, and a red line appears on his chest, but I've only nicked him.
We reform our postures and get into stabbing range again.
This time, we poke and probe each other with cautious attacks. His bastard sword and superior height give him a longer reach, which is a great advantage in this kind of fight.
I need to quickly enter his reach, so I cast [Rush].
I hit his shield with mine right on the brim between his handle and his sword, protecting me from his counterattack while also twisting his shield. It isn't strapped to his arm, so he can't properly control where it's facing if I hit it parallel to the handle's axis.
My sword sinks a centimetri into his gut, and he disappears, so I give chase.
He [Blink]s repeatedly to escape me, having to desperately defend himself between each teleport, then he suddenly [Blink]s forward instead of retreating, appearing right in front of me.
I use [Muscle Explosion] to dodge to the side just as his sword sinks into my shoulder, exactly where my throat was a mere split second ago.
I drop my sword, and my draconic hand grips his wrist, my claws sinking into his flesh and drawing blood.
He twists the sword, and I growl, for the pain only angers me.
He bashes my face with the brim of his shield, then I grip his arm with my other draconic hand.
He has higher "Strength," but I have [Shocking Touch], so I easily win the resulting struggle.
I force his arms apart and headbutt him, then I draw a dagger with my tail and stab it into his throat.
I use Roxanne to stop the healers from rushing in just yet. I'm sorry, Sandoro, but theatrics call for this.
I remove the dagger and release his arms, then I grab his bleeding neck and lift him, using [Telekinesis] to float upwards until his feet leave the ground.
"YOU FOUGHT WELL, BUT I'M MADE OF HARDER MATERIAL THAN YOU!" I bellow, then I [Heal] him entirely and drop him.
He falls onto his feet a bit unsteadily, then he starts patting his completely healed neck.
I pull his sword out of my shoulder and [Heal] myself, then I offer him his weapon with [Telekinesis].
I look around for a second to let him recover, almost grinning at the awed crowd, then I stare down at him and imperiously ask, "Sandoro Irme, will you join my Lordsguard?"
He immediately falls on one knee and lowers his head. "If you'll allow me, my Lord. Let my old sword aid you in any way I can," he pleads, his tone eager and sincere.
"I know you will… Now, be welcomed into my retinue! We'll find a position worthy of you soon enough, but for now, help organize the recruits."
"Yes, my Lord!" He stands up and salutes in the imperial way before walking towards the growing group of veterans from Mavel's retinue.
Yunia gets up from her chair and heads down the gate to join them.
Now that my job here is done, I remount Aoi, and we fly back over the bark wall. We pick up Alissa in the outer layer, then we return to the castle… for more paperwork.
When we get back to the office, Mimi jerks her head towards us, an odd expression on her face. She seems a bit amused and embarrassed.
The golems turn to us and bow respectfully.
"They're… interesting…" Mimi comments reticently.
I raise an eyebrow at her and return to my seat.
"I believe they can be helpful as secretaries," she adds a little awkwardly.
This kind of behavior coming from someone as beautiful as her fits her just as well as Hana being shy. It's rather refreshing, though.
"Then they shall," I laconically respond, then I change shirts in front of her to show off my toned muscles, and we resume our work.
After my stunt, Mavel's former knights hiding among the crowd start to appear, asking to be permitted to serve our family.
Yunia and Hana test them to make sure that they didn't grow lazy while we were away. None of them are deemed unfit, for it'd be utterly shameful if they had let themselves go.
We hand them all the appropriate missives that declare them our unofficial knights, which gives them the power to act in our name, and the number of reliable people around us starts to reach acceptable levels.
The Lordsguard recruits and veterans defer to Sandoro, and he unofficially becomes the Commander of the Lordsguard. Above him, there are only Generals, but those are desk officers, so he'd only be fit for that position when he's become too old to fight.
Most of the new recruits are non-elves since Yunia's simps were basically NTR'd by me. Their jealousy from seeing their goddess submitting to the cocky alpha dragon will fuel our depraved sexual fantasies for years to come.
And just before lunch, a small, cranky fly starts to annoy Lady Osaria, so I get my flyswatter and head out to give her a hand.
We don't have an official Lord's transport, but flying on Aoi's back might as well be since few things are flashier than riding in on a blue dragon mount with sharp, shiny scales that could easily squash a man with its huge body.
Alissa shifts into her fox form to become lighter, and she curls up on my lap, her nose on my crotch because she just really loves my smell.
I pad my hands with a thin layer of sensitive skin, making them feel almost as if they were human again. I'm becoming more adept at padding my hands, so perhaps by using [Mana Body] to its full extent, I can make my condition manageable. I don't want to remove these hands, but by the Gods are they inconvenient.
I caress Alissa's therapeutically fluffy fur as I try to stop myself from whining about it all the time. Something about the touch of her fur is just so delightful and enthralling.
She wags her tail and twitches her nose adorably, making my heart melt in awe. These little moments are truly soul-healing.
We fly across town and land at one of the gates, then Alissa shifts back so that the guards can memorize her face.
They all stiffen at the sight of us and give us wary looks. They know who we are, the town criers have made sure of that, but everyone's nervous about how they should treat us since we aren't elves.
"Lords Wolf, Alissa, and Aoi intend to leave town," I state, not feeling that patient with the Townsguard. They don't maintain anywhere near the same degree of security as the Lordsguard, so this sort of thing should never take long.
An armored elf with a more composed air hurries out of the gatehouse and bows before us. "Lords! We'll open the gate right away!" He shouts, then straightens his posture and glares at his hesitating subordinates like a devil.
The men immediately scatter, and the gates open for us. A dozen commoners gather on the street a fair distance away to gawk and gossip, but I don't have the patience to give them a show right now, so I just remount Aoi and make for one of the disk farms.
We fly over the lake, which is lit up by a few scintillating crystal lights that are as bright as disco globes. The light penetrates deep into the water, revealing an active aquatic environment, but the lake is so deep that there's plenty of room for many things to lurk in the darkness.
We see multiple disks surrounding the tree-pillars that sustain the town, and we fly towards the one that currently hosts Osaria.
We reach the top disk, which is the smallest one and also where a dozen houses and a few warehouse-looking buildings are located. They seem to be where Eia pills are made, a very important farm that makes a lot of money for the Lordship.
Osaria and her bodyguard, one of Confiel's men for now, are waiting near the road, and she waves excitedly when she notices us, making her assets shake about heavily. As usual, she's barely considered dressed by imperial standards, but still provocatively dressed for the elves. My cute, little bird is snuggled between her breasts, its usual throne, allowing me to feel her mountains whenever I want.
We land before her, and I immediately pull her in for a tongued kiss while groping her ass.
I quickly finish my greeting, for a certain naughty elf needs a spanking, then I coolly whisper while hugging her waist, "So, can you tell me what the problem is?"
She massages the base of my horns, making me close my eyes in delight as she reports, "I came to meet Signeur Caruso, and while he offered all the respect we deserve, he refused to recognize you as the new Lord and hand over a copy of his finances."
Her tone is absolutely dripping with frustration. She didn't want to ask for help and give us even more work, but Caruso is as stubborn as an orc.
"Stalling to hide embezzlement?" Alissa suggests.
"That'd be very unwise of him," Yunia comments sternly through [Bind].
"No, just another simp…" I growl back and focus on Osaria again. I give her a confident look and nod as I state, "He just needs to wake up to reality."
She raises her eyebrows in slight amusement and runs her hand through my hair. "And how are you going to wake him up?" Her tone sounding just slightly concerned.
I smirk mischievously and let my tail wag. "Don't worry, we'll just give him plenty of time to think things through."
A Lord being mischievous is never a good thing, though.
The wooden road ends at the biggest mansion on the disk. It's carved from large trees in the usual elven way, but the bark is dark, and the leaves up at the crown are white and semi-transparent, giving it a rather spooky air. There's not much light under the town, so I guess that's probably why the tree-house looks like this.
A few elves slightly more muscular than average glare at us as we pass the warehouses. They all keep a hand on their clubs and shortswords, but I feel more threatened by Gatuns than them.
Aoi sends a few glares their way and chuckles when their composure cracks. They're just grunts paid to look mean, not trained soldiers.
"Whatever you do, don't face the Eia plants. They'll sacrifice themselves to protect the farm if you threaten someone," Yunia's advice echoes inside my mind.
"We don't see any plants around here, though," I respond confusedly.
"Then someone with a measure of common sense must've taken them off the disk."
Lina says that Eia plants are kind of a middle point between plants and animals, but they're very aggressive and territorial, so what I intend to do wouldn't work if we were surrounded by a swarm of them.
We reach the mansion, and two lightly armored elves block us from entering.
"Lord Wolf and Alissa demand a meeting with Signeur Caruso," I impatiently state with a glare.
They seem unfazed, not even twitching from Aoi's glare, showing a modicum of training.
"He was expecting you. Follow me," one of the guards flatly responds, then he turns around and opens the double doors while the other steps aside.
I normally wouldn't care about etiquette, but they're being deliberately disrespectful by not addressing us as Lords.
The guard leads us down a corridor and out into a fairly lavish large hall. A set of sofas await us in the middle, and a chubby elf sitting on a large and comfortable armchair stares at us as we approach.
His eyes hold the same faintly contemptuous glare that many elves show when they see us, but his unfit body makes him look like a spoiled, petulant child. Not even the elven diet can withstand the extremes of laziness that the merchant class so often revels in.
Over two dozen lightly armored men stand ready at the walls, an implicit threat in case we intend to try anything, but Caruso is underestimating us. Aoi's size makes some of them nervous, and I believe they know that they'll have a hard time containing her.
We silently sit down on the sofas facing Caruso, and Osaria gives him the stink eye, but he only has eyes for me, which is a bit weird.
Aoi sits on the sofa, too, then the elf standing beside Caruso shoots her a brief glare, and she responds with a toothy grin that partially looks like a snarl, frightening him so much that he instantly looks away.
There's tea set out for us, but I have zero patience for that right now, so I go straight for the jugular, "Signeur Caruso, you don't recognize us as Lords?"
He wrinkles his nose in contempt and spews his words hatefully, "Slavers… I won't recognize your kind until I see Dame Yulania well and sound! She is the rightful Lord, not you!" Spittle flies out of his mouth, and he pulls out a handkerchief to dry his lips. Fortunately for us, his chair is too far for his filthy fluids to reach us.
Osaria already argued with him until her throat hurt, so I won't waste any more time with him.
"So, you're disobeying my order?" I calmly ask, an obvious undercurrent of anger in my tone.
"I serve the Lord, and I don't recognize your authority!" He spews back.
A part of me is angry, while another part of me is so very tired. They unite together for one simple reason: to make this fool learn something very important.
I'm not gentle.
I turn to the very nervous elf beside him, a younger version of Caruso, though they don't look like father and son. "You're in charge, now," I flatly state, then hell breaks loose.
Gify pops out of existence; Aoi stands tall and spews fire in a circle around our position to keep the guards from swarming us; Confiel's man draws his sword and leaps in front of Osaria to protect her; and Alissa casts [Ghost Lights] repeatedly to keep everyone blind. I summon a nature elemental that immediately snatches Caruso with her vines, which I follow up with five earth and two wind elementals to knock everyone else out.
The soldiers all get thrown away and slammed into the walls before they can defend themselves, then even more of them burst into the room, but [Discharge] is enough to leave them defenseless while the elementals continue their pummeling.
Before a full minute can pass, the room clears, then Aoi summons her ball of water and extinguishes the flames from our surroundings.
One of the elementals barrels through a wooden wall, opening a way out for us, so we stand up and calmly leave the building.
The grunts try to attack us in a swarm, but one roar from Aoi is enough to make them stop, and now that they've lost their momentum, none of them have the guts to lead them into a suicidal attack again.
They get out of our way, so we continue on. I make sure that Caruso's mouth is firmly sealed so that he can't spew out any orders. He even tries to eat through the vine gagging him in his struggles, but the elemental just hardens it until he stops.
Caruso's assistant watches us walk away, stunned into speechlessness. Osaria will come here again, with a larger escort, and if they still don't obey, I'll keep arresting them until someone finally does.
We hear the rustling of leaves coming up from below, and I have a hunch that it's the Eia coming for us. We hasten our pace and leave the farm before our income tries to strangle us.
The guards at the gate have looks of utter confusion when we appear, but they silently obey, not wanting to get kidnapped, too.
We have a [Gate] mage teleport us to the outer castle walls, on the opposite side to the selection area, then we enter a Lordsguard barracks, which has an [Eternal Gate] to the dungeon.
We reactivate our underground hotel and check in our first guest for one night, or for however long it takes for his sanity to return.
Hall of Fame of Patrons
The patrons who support Rupegia shall have their names sung by the bards for they deserve the glory and honor. Their names are:
Prince Creamy Spinach.
Lord Andrew Meyers.
Lord Samuel Lim.
Lord Michale Erwin.
Lord Nathan Vanbrunt.
Lord Mattirro Draca.
Lord Joshua Tal.
Lord Joxsan Herrera.
Lord Sean Drake.
Lord Brody Haugan.
Lord Mike Bartter.
Lord Cardinal Steiner.
Noble Salty Panda.
Noble Mild Fracas.
Noble Shawn Plumley.
Noble War God.