How to Live as a Wandering Knight – Chapter 109.2

𝐖𝐢𝐥𝐝 𝐃𝐨𝐠𝐬 𝐇𝐮𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐅𝐨𝐫 𝐅𝐨𝐨𝐝 (1)

Thanks to spreading the estate’s wealth at the mansion, the bishop’s popularity was skyrocketing when Horamric arrived in the city.

“Sir! Congratulations indeed! I always believed in your abilities.”

Having heard the rumors on his way, Horamric incessantly praised Johan’s achievements. From Horamric’s perspective, he felt he had grasped the right opportunity.

“But why have you called me?”

“Ah, I wanted to introduce you to Sir Gareld, a council member. He owns a fiefdom in the Ulcana Peninsula and will be of great help to you.”

“Such a noble for me. . .? Thank you. Sir, you’re the only one who thinks of me.”

“Haha. That’s high praise. Come, this way.”

Horamric and Gareld heartily boosted each other’s morale. Horamric praised Gareld’s bravery and loyalty, while Gareld lauded Horamric’s noble character and lineage.

The conversation was possible because each was under a misconception about the other. Despite having nothing substantial left, both were highly satisfied. Gareld even teared up.

It was true that Johan had not lied.

“If it weren’t for you, sir, I would still be deceived, doing menial tasks for others.”

“You recognized the value of a sir, didn’t you?”

“Now, in the council, no one dares speak ill of the bishop. Everyone is cautious and watchful.”

Johan nodded. Gareld had been steadily doing well in his role as a spy.

“And. . .”

“?”

As Gareld hesitated, Johan was puzzled.

“The magistrate wants to see you quietly.”

“The magistrate?”

In the republic, once elected, a magistrate remained in position until death. Although power was more dispersed, the position was no less significant than that of a feudal lord or king.

“Having met once and being summoned again. What could it be?”

“I don’t know. But, sir.”

Gareld, holding Johan’s hand, spoke earnestly.

“Whatever the magistrate says, you must not forget our friendship!”

Gareld feared Johan might completely fall for the magistrate.

The elected magistrate, a council member, came from a historic noble family in the city and had strong connections with others. In comparison, Gareld, of Empire origin, was no match.

If such a magistrate tempted Johan with various rights and persuasive words, Gareld would be left hanging.

“Aren’t you worrying too much?”

“No! You don’t know how dirty the nobles’ tactics can be here. They bribe and draw people in as naturally as breathing.”

“Would I, of Empire origin, not know honor? You can trust me.”

However important socializing was, pacifying Horamric and Gareld was quite a hassle.

Before long, Johan found himself looking down on Gareld, who was oblivious to it. . .

🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸

Contrary to Gareld’s worries, the magistrate’s intention was not to separate them. Also, the magistrate had no particular intention of making Johan one of his own.

If it had been an ordinary knight, or an ordinary mercenary captain, he might have tried to grill them. After all, having many swords was never a bad thing.

But Johan was too outstanding.

At such a young age, having attained the honor of being a duke’s equerry and hunting monsters, it was unlikely that he would be satisfied with the life of a city guard captain.

‘𝘉𝘳𝘪𝘣𝘦𝘳𝘺 𝘸𝘰𝘶𝘭𝘥𝘯’𝘵 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘬.’

The magistrate called him for a secret agreement.

“If you wish to reconcile with His Excellency the Bishop, you should speak with him, not me. . .”

“No, no. Sir. It’s not about Bishop Biagione. Of course, given the situation, we should reconcile with Bishop Biagione and not fight anymore, but I wouldn’t have called you for that.”

Just sending the appropriate amount of gold to the bishop’s family could have ended things amicably.

“Do you know if the order has sent someone?”

“Did they?”

Johan feigned ignorance. The magistrate nodded in satisfaction.

“I heard through my connections. Do you know why they are coming?”

“Because Bishop His Excellency showed a miracle, so they’re coming to verify. . .?”

“Of course, that’s the purpose. They will come and verify. But their main objective is you.”

“?!”

Johan tensed up.

Had he been caught doing something suspicious?

Caught using a malevolent spirit, or using an assassin’s skills. . .

“They plan to use your strength to attack the fiefdom of Cardirian in the south. I’m almost certain of it.”

“. . .!”

Johan was surprised by the unexpected statement.

In the current Catalian Peninsula, the northern and central parts were filled with city-states and the order’s fiefdoms. But in the south, there were territories belonging to the Cardirian family and their vassals.

The Empire was not on good terms with the peninsula. It periodically claimed rights over the territories of the peninsula, and several times it had invaded directly.

In such a situation, the fiefdom in the far south served as a dagger thrust at their throat. It was natural for the order and city-states to consider it a thorn in their side.

But an attack?

‘𝘞𝘩𝘺 𝘮𝘦?’

Johan was deep in thought. The force Johan commanded was less than a thousand strong. Of course, if he had enough gold, he could hire mercenaries as many as he wanted, but Johan was not that kind of lord.

There must be dozens of mercenary captains like Johan on the peninsula.

‘𝘐 𝘴𝘦𝘦. 𝘛𝘩𝘦𝘺 𝘯𝘦𝘦𝘥 𝘴𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘸𝘩𝘰 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘭𝘪𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘯 𝘵𝘰 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘰𝘳𝘥𝘦𝘳.’

The order could not directly raise an army and attack. Inevitably, there had to be an intermediary, and this intermediary had to be trustworthy and capable, meeting several criteria.

Firstly, they needed to be excellent in military strength and tactical skill.

And since they had to side with the order and not the Empire, someone from a major family of the Empire would not do. Such a person could betray and side with their family. It had to be someone from a humble and weak family, who could not betray.

Moreover, it couldn’t be someone too brutal and barbaric. Supporting such a person could bring shame to the order.

‘. . .𝘐𝘵’𝘴 𝘥𝘦𝘧𝘪𝘯𝘪𝘵𝘦𝘭𝘺 𝘮𝘦.’

Johan suddenly realized how attractive he was to the religious order. His family was humble, but his reputation was high and he was faithful, making him a tantalizing prospect for the order.

The magistrate was puzzled by Johan’s silence. He didn’t think that Johan had figured out what had happened in such a short time.

“What’s the matter?”

“No, I was thinking about how to attack Cardirian’s fiefdom. On what grounds could we do that?”

“Ha-ha. Thinking about that, were you? It’s very simple. The order will pick one of the feudal lords there, make up a suitable excuse, and strip him of his title. Then, His Holiness the Pope will personally bestow the title upon you.”

Of course, nothing had actually changed. Going there didn’t mean the feudal lord would just say, ‘𝘈𝘩, 𝘸𝘦𝘭𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘦’ and step aside.

Naturally, there would be fierce resistance, and in the end, the fiefdom would have to be taken by force.

But that pretext was important.

Who could deny the legitimacy of a title publicly proclaimed and bestowed by the Pope of the order?

“Won’t Cardirian be angry?”

“That guy is too busy with Empire affairs to care. He won’t even come down, he’ll just have to look from afar. Anyway. . . they say they’re going to bestow a title upon you, and they’ll also provide various supports. At that time, don’t forget to mention our name too. We definitely want to be involved in it.”

The magistrate did not hide his desire-filled attitude.

In his prime, he had wielded iron power with the strength of his family. Now, it was time to confront the enemies he had made then.

Once formed, the grudges did not disappear, and those who showed weakness once could not be safe.


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