Episode 154

The End Of The War (3)
1 week ago
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Upon seeing Hilde, I bowed my head to greet her and asked as politely as possible.

“Madam Bauman, are you feeling unwell anywhere?”

She stood there blankly for a moment after hearing my words, then spoke.

“…Ah, thanks to your care, there is nothing wrong. Despite being sold into slavery, I have not been harassed or bullied by other mercenaries.”

“Whether the world calls you a slave or whatever else, to my eyes, Hilde Bauman is still a noble and honorable knight. Please do not call yourself a slave.”

“I’ve paid all my wealth to buy you, yet not touching even a hair and preserving your honor and pride, it would also be an insult to belittle yourself before someone who did this. I sincerely apologize.”

She bowed her head and apologized to me.

Though she is virtually my sex slave, or has become one, she continues to maintain her dignified and proud demeanor, which is truly beautiful.

Should I say she is like a white lily blooming in the mud?

Her style is completely different from Lucia and Karin, driving me mad and obsessive.

‘To the extent that I staked all my wealth.’

“Before hearing your final answer to my offer, please accept this first.”

“What is this leather pouch? It’s quite heavy.”

“25 gold coins. This amount is enough to start anew as a mercenary anywhere. With your skills, you’ll soon find a better master under better conditions.”

25 gold coins, this is roughly equivalent to 120 million won in Korean currency.

However, the reason I handed it to Hilde was solely as a lure to make her truly mine, now that her heart had already shifted my way.

‘Since her heart has already shifted, she should now willingly put on a collar that proves she belongs to me.’

Hilde was moved by my attempt to keep a promise I made in the past.

“Martin Meyer, you are truly striving to keep your promise to me, a fallen, merely a slave purchased with all your wealth. No one in this mercenary group, or in this world, including myself, would blame you if you took my virginity.”

To win the heart of someone who is hopelessly loyal, demonstrating that you keep your promises under any circumstances is the best approach.

‘This will really foster a sense of commonality, right?’

But what if I add one point?

I collapsed to the ground, exhaling deeply as if the earth itself were caving in.

“Yes, no one would blame me. And I could covet the untouched purity and body of the noble knight Hilde Bauman for life. But tell me this.”

I paused and asked again.

“Could I truly earn your genuine loyalty and devotion if I did so? My purchasing you was not merely because Hilde Bauman is beautiful, or because I wanted to take your purity and body.”

I have desires to ask for positions from Lucia and Karin that are difficult to request…

Hilde Bauman is not a sex slave but shines brightest as a noble knight, like a single lily.

If I cannot receive that loyalty and devotion, then I should let her go… No, actually, I don’t really want to let her go.

But when dating a girl and she asks, ‘Why are you dating me?’ I definitely can’t answer, ‘Because your breasts are really big and pretty, bitch.’

Now, I must respond like a celibate clergyman.

“I staked everything to prove that I am worthy of your loyalty and devotion. Even if you leave me, I will have no regrets.”

Hilde’s eyes widened, and she shed a tear.

“If I had a lord like you, Martin Meyer, I wouldn’t have been abandoned.”

“Is that so?”

“I am truly envious of the mercenaries under your command. Having a commander worth risking their lives for is the greatest fortune in the world.”

“Since you say that, I feel very fulfilled by the path I have walked so far. So, what will you do now? Will you leave immediately? If you decide to leave, I will return your original armor, some food and weapons, and the 25 gold coins.”

“I have one last question.”

Hearing this, I was terribly anxious.

‘Everything will be decided here.’

“Martin Meyer, what is your goal? Why have you repeatedly declined opportunities to change your status, which other mercenaries wouldn’t even dare dream of?”

Hilde’s eyes already showed the resolve of someone determined to pledge loyalty to me.

Therefore, as long as I don’t utter any nonsense here, her sincere loyalty will be mine.

‘The reason I have been striving towards my goal is precisely.’

“As a fighter wielding a sword, it is my duty to fight for the lives of the mercenaries under me.”

“Duty?”

“To challenge what is called impossible, to gain fame through it, and to endure the endless suffering that accompanies it.”

Those who have only observed me from a distance might assess me, Martin Meyer, as a lucky and exceptionally smart human rapidly advancing among mercenaries…

But Lucia, Karin, and people like Baker, who have known me since I was a squad leader, describe me as:

‘A mercenary who constantly challenges the impossible and achieves what is considered unachievable.’

It is proven by the fact that what geniuses, called upon their Aura awakening, usually take 5–6 years to achieve at the novice expert level, I broke through in just two years.

And what is said to take at least five years from novice to intermediate expert, I also surpassed in just two years.

Not to mention the various accolades I’ve earned in battles.

“To die for one’s convictions, to struggle towards one’s ideals and dreams, and ultimately seize glory.”

Having said that, I reached my hand towards the Milky Way in the sky.

“And someday, like those twinkling stars, to be revered and admired as an honorable person by all is my goal. But I cannot be confined to a mere knighthood or the title of a border count. That’s why I declined, Madam Bauman.”

At these words, Hilde began to laugh suddenly.

“Ha-ha, what a supremely arrogant statement. Utterly arrogant. But, depending on who makes that statement, it’s either mere nonsense or a declaration of a man’s true ambitions.”

With that, Hilde took steps towards me.

“If these words are from Martin Meyer, my lord, then it is an ambition. It is a dream worth risking our lives and souls for, along with your many subordinates.”

A smile was on Hilde’s face, and her clear eyes looked straight at me.

“There were no such ambitions with Baron Custer, whom I served before. Even though he was my lord, I tried my best to earn recognition by risking my life, but it was futile.”

When Hilde reached me, she knelt on one knee, grasped the sword I had placed on the ground with both hands, and handed it to me.

“So now, I wish to serve you, Martin Meyer, as my lord entirely of my own will. Will you accept me, Hilde Bauman?”

The woman I had desperately gambled all my wealth to make mine was declaring she would be mine, and I began to grin broadly.

But I couldn’t ruin the mood here, so I gritted my teeth and regained my composure.

“I will gladly accept that loyalty.”

Then, to match her resolute determination, I spoke in a formal tone.

“Hilde Bauman, do you swear to pledge loyalty to me, Martin Meyer?”

After finishing my speech, I pressed the back of the sword near Hilde’s neck.

“I swear to Deus, who overlooks this world, that I will cherish and serve my lord Martin Meyer more than my own life. I will love what you love and dislike what you dislike. Lastly, my body and mind, even my soul, are yours to use as you wish.”

The weight of Hilde’s loyalty is indeed different from that of other knights.

Because usually, the phrases used during loyalty oaths vary slightly based on each knight’s character, but they always include, “If my lord treats me rightly, I will give him corresponding loyalty.”

Hilde’s oath had no such condition attached.

If I don’t cut her off first, it means I can exploit her with “passion pay” as much as I want.

“Custer, why on earth did you sell such a loyal knight for a scrap of paper…?”

Baron Custer is truly a damned man deserving of his downfall.

Then, I ceremonially presented my sword back to Hilde.

It’s a very expensive one, mixed with mithril, but now I can just buy a better one.

“Hilde, I look forward to working with you.”

“Yes, my lord.”

After completing all vows, I joked.

“A loyalty oath pledging body and mind. That’s quite rare, isn’t it?”

This is the furthest I can joke without disrespecting the oath.

Maybe because Hilde has never experienced love before?

She blushed and briefly glanced toward my lower body.

With her fingers fidgeting but her voice tinged with anticipation, she responded.

“If it is your wish, my lord, I will provide any service. Because that is my joy.”

…She’s almost completely won over, but I should not touch her just yet.

I could, but it might be better to wait a bit longer to stir her eagerness as a more impressive lord.

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