How to Live as a Wandering Knight – Chapter 132.1

𝐄𝐧𝐞𝐦𝐲 𝐨𝐟 𝐄𝐧𝐞𝐦𝐲 (1)

However, Johan was cold. Unshaken. He could have had it in his hands at once but he held back and spoke instead. 

“No. We will capture Marquis Crucho and put him on trial. We need to confirm before God whether he conspired with the pagans or not.”

“Your Excellency!”  

“The charges against the Marquis are already clear and there are so many witnesses here, there is no need to show such mercy. Did not even his servant take the stand to testify!”

If Marquis Crucho had seen this, he would have shed tears of rage. It was the work of his vassals conspiring together to fabricate false charges against him.

The vassals were embellishing things that did or did not happen, painting the Marquis as a depraved man who conspired with pagans. It hurts more when those who were once your allies stab you in the back.  

However, Johan had no intention of hastily declaring the title. 

‘𝘐𝘧 𝘐 𝘥𝘦𝘤𝘭𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘪𝘵 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘔𝘢𝘳𝘲𝘶𝘪𝘴 𝘮𝘢𝘯𝘢𝘨𝘦𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘦𝘴𝘤𝘢𝘱𝘦 𝘴𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘩𝘰𝘸, 𝘪𝘵 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘣𝘦𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘦 𝘵𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘣𝘭𝘦𝘴𝘰𝘮𝘦.’

By now, the south could be considered to be almost completely under Johan’s control. It was a blessing of heaven that a foreigner who just arrived was able to wield such influence over the vassals in such a short period of time.

However, the Emperor’s fief still remained like a thorn, and he did not know which of the vassals harbored disloyal feelings. Johan did not have high expectations for people’s loyalty.  

They may be blinded by the valor and miracles Johan has shown now, but can that impression last forever?

If the Marquis flees to the Empire, and steadily bribes vassals in an attempt to return, it will lead to a tedious war of attrition.  

In any case, the de facto authority of the fief already lies with Johan now. There was no need to rush. 

‘𝘐 𝘤𝘢𝘯 𝘥𝘦𝘤𝘪𝘥𝘦 𝘢𝘧𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘤𝘢𝘱𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘔𝘢𝘳𝘲𝘶𝘪𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘥𝘦𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘩𝘪𝘮.’

“Here, Sir Marco of the Algato family is of Marquis Crucho’s lineage. He will take over as steward and castellan and rule over the Marquis’ territory until the Marquis returns.”

“Eh. . .???”

Marco, who was sitting in his seat, was taken aback and raised his head in surprise. It was like lightning struck him out of nowhere when he was just sitting there minding his own business.  

“Ah. . . no, Your Highness. That position is too much for me.”

He was a b*stard son of Marquis Crucho after all. If he took over as the acting feudal lord, he would become a laughing stock. How would the vassals look down on him?

But that was exactly what Johan wanted. He had the qualifications to rule over the fief, but lacked the ability to betray. Marco was a perfect fit.   

‘𝘞𝘩𝘢𝘵. . .!’

Baron Ginobansi was horrified. Not only Baron, but some clever vassals were also surprised upon hearing Marco’s name. 

To think that the knight who followed Johan was the b*stard son of the marquis!  

In that case, it meant that Johan had been eyeing and preparing to take over the Marquis’ territory from the very beginning!

There was no way of knowing just how long he had been preparing. Cold sweat poured down the backs of the vassals.   

“Today is a joyous day. Let us raise our glasses and give thanks to God!”

Hearing Johan’s words, the vassals enthusiastically echoed after him. Whether afraid or not, now was the time to get on Johan’s good side.  

They all tried their best to heap more praises. So much so that even Marco the nobody b*stard was receiving warm words.

🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸

𝙖𝙬𝚎𝐛ṡ̇𝕥𝙤𝚛ɪ𝘦𝙨.𝙘𝕠𝐦

Despite having occupied the castle, the vassals did not rest.

To eradicate the remnants of pirates who had plundered the area in the name of faith. . . was of course not the reason.

“Search! Find the marquis!”

“Tell the soldiers! Whoever finds the marquis will be given gold coins!!”

“Can’t we also quickly pass the order to the surrounding serfs?”

The vassals of the marquis, with bloodshot eyes, fiercely shouted. The vassals of the count of Coolia could afford to be leisurely, but the marquis’ vassals could not.

Johan could return to the count’s domain after leaving Marco, but the vassals had to deal with the aftermath. They definitely did not want the Empire’s mercenaries to land and come after them.

“Haha. Everyone is diligently loyal.”

“My dear, it would be better not to laugh like that.”

When Johan laughed wickedly, Iselia, paying attention to the surroundings, spoke. Iselia wanted Johan to be revered by those around, not feared.

“How did I laugh?”

“You laughed as if you had some sneaky plan. Like. . .”

Iselia, about to speak, blushed. Johan was puzzled.

“Don’t tell me you were going to say I laughed like I did before embracing you?”

“W-What nonsense are you talking about. . .”

‘𝘐 𝘨𝘶𝘦𝘴𝘴𝘦𝘥 𝘳𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵.’

As Iselia trembled in embarrassment, Johan considerately changed the topic. Holding a beautiful bracelet found in the marquis’ castle, he said.

“I was thinking of giving this to Amien. What do you think?”

“My dear, there’s no need for that. If Amien starts indulging in luxury so early. . .”

“That would be the case if she were a knight, but I don’t think Amien will live as one. Besides, as a noble, she should know and enjoy the value of treasures.”

Iselia couldn’t outtalk Johan and simply nodded her head in defeat.

“And after returning from a victorious expedition, it would be disappointing not to give anything as a present.”

“. . . . . .”

Iselia, who hadn’t thought of giving a gift, fidgeted with her fingers, feeling embarrassed.

The bond between blood relatives in this world shouldn’t be judged by modern standards. It was much colder and drier. Ulrike’s attempt to kill Stephen was not even considered exceptional.

Of course, there were parents who cherished their children with affection, but that was the exception. Typically, the relationship between noble parents and children was more like a rivalry between current powerholders and competitors.

It was inevitable.

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