How to Live as a Wandering Knight – Chapter 120.2

𝐓𝐡𝐨𝐬𝐞 𝐥𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐝 𝐛𝐲 𝐆𝐨𝐝 (3)

There were mainly two reasons for the vassals who did not attend the wedding ceremony.

One was the substantial congratulatory money they would have to give if they attended, and the other was a feeling of unease.

It took some courage to attend the wedding ceremony of the acting count after having refused her orders.

There were quite a few who decided to save their gold rather than risking it on a dangerous endeavor.

Of course, they also had something to believe in.

“Don’t worry. That knight, or should I say Count Yeats now. How long has it been since he became the count of coolia?”

The marriage of Iselia of the Bluea family, the acting count, was a shock to all the vassals.

Did Iselia have that kind of ability?

He was a knight who came with an army with the support of the church. He could have just taken over the fiefdom of the Bluea family’s elves or the remaining elves of the Asada family by tying them up in a trial.

The fact that he went through with the marriage suggests that he was really in love with her.

In any case, the wedding has already happened, and. . .

Now it was time to think about what comes next.

No matter how much the church blesses Count Yeats and declares him count, the reality is that Johan has not been count for very long.

It will take him some time just to figure out the situation!

This situation was like a blessing for the vassals. A count who came from outside with no experience in governing? He would have no choice but to rely on the vassals for many things.

“But master. . . You didn’t respond to the previous summons, and you didn’t respond to this summons either. That’s the excuse. . .”

“What a stupid fool. There were more than a few who didn’t respond to the previous summons, right? They won’t punish them for that. Rather, the count will be wary of his vassals.”

Johan was underestimated, didn’t fully understand the situation, or tried to show off his guts by not responding to the summons with various excuses.

Fortunately, those vassals were few in number. Most of the vassals responded to the summons.

“I don’t think the count will ask for my sins. I just followed the church’s orders.”

“Yeah. I’m following the summons. . .”

But just in case, you never know what the world will bring, do you?

Even if the new count is young and inexperienced, he can still attack a fiefdom with his army.

I hope he won’t do that, though.

🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸

𝐚ᴡ𝕖ḃ̇𝘴𝘵𝔬ʀ𝘪𝕖𝕤.ᴄ𝕠𝕞

“My dear. May I say something?”

“Anything.”

Johan kissed Iselia on both cheeks and then stood up. Iselia blushed. She was still not used to such expressions of affection.

“T-There’s no need to do that with the servants around.”

Iselia thought Johan was naturally spreading rumors by showing this to the servants or slaves. The deeper their relationship, the more it would help in governing the fiefdom.

“I do it because I want to.”

“T-That. . . No. . .”

“What do you want to say?”

“The fiefdom’s silver reserves are not that plentiful. It will not be enough to entertain the summoned guests, so are you planning to raise taxes?”

Iselia asked carefully. She was even more careful because she did not want to seem like she was overstepping her bounds as Johan’s wife. However, Johan did not seem to mind.

“No. I’ve only been granted a title for a short time. Would it be wise to raise taxes and risk being cursed? I plan to use someone else’s money.”

“???”

Johan then made it clear what he meant by “someone else’s money.”

━𝐓𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐮𝐫𝐞𝐫. 𝐈’𝐯𝐞 𝐫𝐞𝐯𝐢𝐞𝐰𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐟𝐢𝐞𝐟𝐝𝐨𝐦 𝐥𝐞𝐝𝐠𝐞𝐫 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐧𝐨𝐭𝐢𝐜𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐢𝐥𝐯𝐞𝐫 𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐞𝐫𝐯𝐞𝐬 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐧𝐨𝐭 𝐚𝐜𝐜𝐮𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐞. 𝐃𝐢𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐚𝐝𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐨𝐫 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐦𝐢𝐭 𝐟𝐫𝐚𝐮𝐝, 𝐝𝐢𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐜𝐫𝐢𝐛𝐞 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐦𝐢𝐭 𝐟𝐫𝐚𝐮𝐝, 𝐨𝐫 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐭𝐫𝐲𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐨 𝐦𝐚𝐤𝐞 𝐚 𝐟𝐨𝐨𝐥 𝐨𝐟 𝐦𝐞?”

━𝐍𝐨, 𝐬𝐢𝐫! 𝐈’𝐥𝐥 𝐥𝐨𝐨𝐤 𝐢𝐧𝐭𝐨 𝐢𝐭 𝐢𝐦𝐦𝐞𝐝𝐢𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐥𝐲, 𝐘𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐄𝐱𝐜𝐞𝐥𝐥𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐲!”

Johan had a reason for checking the fiefdom ledger as soon as he arrived. After the wedding ceremony, he had been spending all of his time investigating the state of the fiefdom.

With the help of merchants, a new ledger written in Eastern numerals was completed, and it revealed individuals who had been skimming off the top.

Johan generously forgave them all. As long as they paid several times the value.

They wept tears of gratitude for Johan’s mercy. It was a bit odd that they wet their lower halves, but it was probably tears of joy.

‘𝘐𝘵’𝘴 𝘥𝘪𝘧𝘧𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘯 𝘪𝘵 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘫𝘶𝘴𝘵 𝘢 𝘵𝘰𝘸𝘯.’

In Johan’s view, the count-led system operating with the count and his subordinate nobles was the epitome of backwardness. It was a complete mess.

Johan placed trustworthy people as treasurer and scribe and had the fiefdom’s accounts and ledgers rewritten. He quietly threatened and extorted wealth from greedy priests who had accumulated riches. Bishop Biagione’s help was significant. He had a knack for recognizing his own kind.

Once this work was almost completed, the vassal summoning was also finished. It seemed that everyone expected had arrived.

🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸

𝔞𝘸ᴇḃ̇𝔰ṫ̇𝕠𝐫𝕚ė̇𝙨.𝕔𝔬𝔪

“How dare you not respond to the summons?”

The vassals, who had brought between ten and dozens of men each, were awestruck by the array of what seemed to be thousands of troops.

The numbers were impressive, but the quality was even more so. They were well-armed heavy infantry, not conscripts or slave soldiers, and there were also many cavalry. They hadn’t realized it when they saw the army swiftly marching through their territory, but now that they saw it with their own eyes, they broke out in a cold sweat.

“Those eastern barbarians too. . .”

“Sir. Are you deaf? Why did you not respond to the summons?”

But the most terrifying thing was the young count who had just taken office. The vassals, who had never faced Johan before, were shocked to the core.

The giant wolf at his feet, the retainers glaring at him from all sides, and above all, the overwhelming presence he exuded!

There is a saying that the eyes show the strength of the soul. Johan’s eyes subdued the souls of the vassals with their fierce and powerful strength. Once they met his gaze, the vassals could not raise their heads.

“I am. . . I am ashamed and embarrassed because I was sick. . . Please punish me!”

“Raise your head. I will forgive you. Win glory in this battle to wash away your shame.”

Johan treated his vassals differently.

He treated those who attended his wedding the most warmly, and those who came quickly and presented gifts of congratulations the next most warmly. Those who arrived late had to listen to more rebuke.

Of course, he did not take back their fiefs if they responded to his summons. He made them pay some gold, but it was a cheap price compared to the fief.

The vassals, who were frozen in fear, sighed in relief. This was the best possible outcome.

Now, their duty as vassals was fulfilled if they remained in their place during the summons period. Vassals were free if they served under their lord’s banner for the specified number of days each year.

‘𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘱𝘢𝘨𝘢𝘯𝘴 𝘸𝘰𝘯’𝘵 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘸𝘢𝘺, 𝘴𝘰. . .’

‘𝘛𝘩𝘦𝘺 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘣𝘢𝘣𝘭𝘺 𝘥𝘪𝘴𝘣𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘢𝘧𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘢 𝘭𝘢𝘳𝘨𝘦-𝘴𝘤𝘢𝘭𝘦 𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘪𝘯𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘩𝘶𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨, 𝘳𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵?’

They did not always fight when they were summoned. The summons was the lord’s right, and lords sometimes summoned their vassals even when there was no fighting to show who was the master.

“Gerdolf. Take eight banners and go to recover the fiefdom of Lord Eduwal.”

“Achladda. Take six banners and go to recover the fiefdom of Lord Beresi.”

“Gurelic. . .”

However, Johan broke everyone’s expectations and took the initiative. His opponent was not the pagans, but the vassals.

Those who dared not respond to the summons!

“Those who swore allegiance to me before God have broken their promise and insulted my honor. If the lords are loyal, let them show me their loyalty.”

The vassals looked at each other with dismay. They felt Johan’s intention. Anyone could see it.

This was a loyalty test.

Those who were called out with banners were all those who were late to the summons, weren’t they!


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