How to Live as a Wandering Knight – Chapter 12

𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐄𝐧𝐝 𝐨𝐟 𝐂𝐡𝐢𝐥𝐝𝐡𝐨𝐨𝐝 (𝟏𝟐)

𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐄𝐧𝐝 𝐨𝐟 𝐂𝐡𝐢𝐥𝐝𝐡𝐨𝐨𝐝 (𝟏𝟐)

The mercenaries, after killing the servant who had accompanied Mrs. Aitz, took their positions near the door and windows. The nobles inside the feudal lord’s mansion were poorly trained, likely to foolishly rush out.

“Why aren’t they coming out yet?”

“Could there be an underground passage?”

“Stop talking nonsense. We already checked, there’s nothing like that.”

“Should we go in before the main force arrives and finish this?”

The earlier trumpet signal was meant for the mercenaries camping at a distance. Karamaf preferred certainty. He had prepared dozens of men separately, just in case.

These men would completely seize control of the fiefdom and become the pursuit team if any situation arose.

“Hey. Sir Karamaf ordered us to surround them and prevent their escape.”

“Who said we’re not surrounding them? Let’s just go in and kill a couple. It’s better than waiting for those inside to arm themselves and come to their senses.”

This suggestion from one of the mercenaries intrigued the others. They had already been paid, but killing more of the Aitz family would earn them a bonus.

If they went in before the main force arrived, they could monopolize the reward, instead of sharing it with the others.

The mercenaries sought permission from Yein, Karamaf’s offspring.

“Yein-nim, may we go in?”

“Wouldn’t it be better to enter with the main force? If we go in with a small group and get ambushed, it would be troublesome.”

“Ha, don’t worry! If we get beaten by those nobodies, I’ll cut off my own wrist.”

The mercenaries boasted confidently. They were battle-hardened, unlikely to be defeated by those who were hardly knights of the Aitz family.

‘𝘉𝘶𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘈𝘪𝘵𝘻 𝘪𝘴 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘵𝘰 𝘣𝘦 𝘶𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘥.’

Yein frowned, thinking of Johan. Even without experience, his innate strength and size were formidable weapons. The mercenaries could be caught off guard.

However, as the mercenaries suggested, killing the family members before they could arm themselves seemed like a good idea. If they started arming themselves with the armory inside, the casualties would only increase.

After all, the death of one or two mercenaries wouldn’t change the situation. Dozens more were on their way.

To Yein, the lives of these mercenaries were as insignificant as those of the feudal lord’s servants. That was the way of the nobility. These weren’t soldiers he had personally raised but hired with money. Whether they succeeded quickly or died trying, it didn’t matter. That’s what they were paid for.

Yein nodded.

“Three. I permit only three. The rest must hold their positions.”

“Thank you!”

The mercenaries excitedly decided who would go. For the three chosen, additional silver was almost guaranteed.

🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸

‘𝘐𝘧 𝘐 𝘥𝘰𝘯’𝘵 𝘧𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘤𝘩 𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘯 𝘐 𝘴𝘦𝘦 𝘢 𝘣𝘭𝘢𝘤𝘬 𝘸𝘰𝘭𝘧 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘧𝘶𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘦, 𝘐’𝘮 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘢 𝘩𝘶𝘮𝘢𝘯. .’

Johan sighed and closed the wooden window. Gessen didn’t come in but kept talking outside, so curious, Johan secretly went upstairs and slightly opened the window, only to find the worst situation unfolding.

Sir Karamaf killed Gessen and Mrs. Aitz, then ordered to kill everyone. The reason behind this was unknown, but one thing was certain.

If you stay still, you die!

‘𝘏𝘰𝘸 𝘨𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘵 𝘪𝘵 𝘸𝘰𝘶𝘭𝘥 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘣𝘦𝘦𝘯 𝘪𝘧 𝘐 𝘩𝘢𝘥 𝘧𝘭𝘦𝘥 𝘫𝘶𝘴𝘵 𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘥𝘢𝘺 𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘭𝘪𝘦𝘳.’ Johan shook his head and let go of his regrets, focusing on the current situation.

After blowing the horn, torches flickered in the distance from the darkness. It was clear that the others waiting in ambush were approaching. At a glance, there seemed to be dozens of them.

At that moment, Johan gave up on fighting here. Meeting Kaegal had boosted his confidence, but he wasn’t up to fighting dozens of experienced mercenaries alone. That would be foolhardy.

‘𝘐𝘧 𝘐 𝘧𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵 𝘴𝘶𝘳𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘥, 𝘐 𝘮𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵 𝘵𝘢𝘬𝘦 𝘥𝘰𝘸𝘯 𝘢 𝘧𝘦𝘸, 𝘣𝘶𝘵 𝘪𝘧 𝘐 𝘨𝘦𝘵 𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘣𝘣𝘦𝘥 𝘰𝘳 𝘴𝘭𝘢𝘴𝘩𝘦𝘥, 𝘐’𝘭𝘭 𝘣𝘦 𝘪𝘮𝘮𝘰𝘣𝘪𝘭𝘪𝘻𝘦𝘥 𝘪𝘯 𝘯𝘰 𝘵𝘪𝘮𝘦. . .’

Johan remembered Kaegal’s teachings. Fleeing when you can’t win wasn’t shameful.

The problem was how and where to escape.

The mercenaries looked relaxed but were strategically positioned around the feudal lord’s manor, their grip on their weapons showing no complacency.

“I have to break through after all.”

Avoiding a fight wasn’t an option. Johan needed to find a relatively weaker one, kill them in one strike, and break through. He quickly formed a plan in his mind.

“S-Don’t come here!”

“Oh dear. My lord. Your legs are shaking.”

“Can you even swing a sword properly like that? Put some strength into it and swing. alright?”

The mercenaries laughed mockingly at Fern and John. The half-brothers, too, had awoken to the commotion outside. Unlike Johan, they foolishly rushed towards the stairs and encountered the mercenaries.

𝘏𝘶𝘩? 𝘞𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘯’𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘺 𝘫𝘶𝘴𝘵 𝘨𝘶𝘢𝘳𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘰𝘶𝘵𝘴𝘪𝘥𝘦?’

Maybe they got bored of waiting? That was possible. Johan walked through the corridor towards the stairs.

𝐓𝐡𝐮𝐝━

Fern and John collapsed, their legs giving out. A foul smell wafted as their pants got soaked, possibly with urine. The mercenaries climbing the stairs laughed at them, wielding their weapons. For them, nothing was more enjoyable than killing arrogant nobles.

“Noble sir, beg for your life. Maybe I’ll spare you.”

“Please. . . I have hidden money! I’ll give it to you if you spare me!”

“Oh? Where is it?”

The mercenary seemed intrigued. Hidden noble silver could be worth a lot.

“It’s. . .”

Fern rolled his eyes. Even without experience, he wasn’t a fool. Revealing the location without any promise was idiotic.

“Smart kid.”

“Aaaah!”

With a ‘thud’, blood splattered from Fern’s leg. The mercenary had stabbed him with the tip of his weapon.

“Enough, kid. Even if you don’t tell us, we can find it. Do you think we haven’t robbed nobles’ houses before? It’s probably hidden behind a wall or under a bed.”

The mercenary kicked Fern. Fern crawled, trying to escape. The mercenary followed Fern with his eyes and then noticed someone standing in the corridor.

“Huh?”

One strike.

It took only one slash to sever the mercenary’s neck.

Swoosh!

Johan’s monstrous strength instantly decapitated an unsuspecting mercenary. A fountain of blood sprayed, drenching Fern’s face.

“Wha, what? What?”

A mercenary behind him swung his sword in panic. It wasn’t a thoughtful action, but one borne of experience.

Johan charged fiercely. Before the mercenary could fully swing, his sword was struck out of the air.

𝐂𝐫𝐚𝐜𝐤━

The impact twisted the mercenary’s arm backwards, exposing his torso.

And then, a deadly strike to the exposed torso.

The mercenary who was attacked was the most experienced and well-armored mercenary among the mercenaries who followed Karamaf. He wore a full chainmail and even added a separate metal plate on top of it for a mercenary.

However, against Johan’s strength, it was meaningless.

From the shoulder to the side, the body was nearly split in half, spewing blood and entrails. The mercenary died without a sound. The last remaining mercenary panicked and tried to call for help outside.

“Damn it! There’s a monster here. . .”

Once Johan saw blood, he didn’t stop. His longsword gleamed as it pierced the mercenary’s neck. The mercenary gasped for air and then knelt.

‘𝘈𝘯𝘺 𝘮𝘰𝘳𝘦?’

Johan looked at his old longsword, now filthy with blood and entrails, worrying more about its durability than the dirt. He felt he had used too much strength in his last swing.

‘𝘍𝘪𝘳𝘴𝘵, 𝘭𝘦𝘵’𝘴 𝘵𝘢𝘬𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘨𝘶𝘺’𝘴 𝘸𝘦𝘢𝘱𝘰𝘯.’

“You. . . You. . . You. . .!”

John and Fern pointed at Johan, speechless from shock at what had just happened.

“You killed Sir Karamaf’s men. How will you handle the aftermath?!”

“. . .You’re talking nonsense at a time like this? Idiots. Look outside. Karamaf has unleashed mercenaries to kill us.”

Only then did they come to their senses.

“Where’s your brother?”

“Waiting in the bedroom. . . But why did you save us?”

Fern asked, puzzled. They never thought Johan would save them. They always mocked Johan, and he beat them when the time came.

“So you wished to be left to die?”

“No. . . it’s not that. . .”

“I don’t like you, but I don’t hate you enough to leave you to die. That’s all.”

“. . .Thank you.”

Fern and Johm nodded in gratitude. Seeing Johan fully armed, they said,

“We’ll bring weapons too! Let’s fight together until father arrives!”

“Sir Gessen is dead. Karamaf killed him. By now, every armed man near the lord’s manor is probably dead, and no serfs will come to our aid. Stop talking nonsense and think about escaping.”

Johan’s words froze them. They were overwhelmed by the flood of information.

“Father is. . .”

𝐒𝐥𝐚𝐩!

Johan slapped Fern. Fern, stunned, asked,

“Wha. . .?”

“Snap out of it.”

“You. . . You could have just said it, no need to hit!”

“I don’t have time to coddle you. I’m planning to break out now.”

“Wait! Me too!”

“No, it can’t be. John.”

As Fern tried to stop him, John looked at him as if asking why.

“We. . . it’s too much for us.”

“Oh, because you got stabbed in the leg? Don’t worry! I’ll carry you and run. . .”

“You fool. It’s too much for your skills.”

Johan scolded John. It was literal. How could he think of breaking through with skills that couldn’t even handle a single mercenary? John couldn’t retort and just blushed.

“But brother, if we keep staying here, really. . .”

“That’s true. . .”

Fern licked his dry lips with his tongue, unsure of what to do. Johan picked up a longsword from the mercenaries and said.

“There is one way.”

“What, what is it?”

“Set a fire.”

“. . .!!”

🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸

The mercenaries initially thought they were seeing things wrong. Flames began to burst from the windows of the feudal lord’s residence.

“T-This is crazy. . .!”

“Which b*stard set the fire?! Are they insane?!”

Karamaf had strictly forbidden setting fires for the purpose of identification. Moreover, there were things to loot inside, so no mercenary would be foolish enough to start a fire.

“It’s definitely the guys who went in! These idiots must have messed up something and started the fire during the fight!”

“These b*stards. . . if they come out, I’ll kill them!”

The mercenaries cursed their colleagues who had entered first. They never imagined that the Aitz family would set the fire. What kind of madmen would set fire to their own location?


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