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How to Live as a Wandering Knight – Chapter 156

𝐃𝐚𝐧𝐠𝐞𝐫𝐨𝐮𝐬 𝐆𝐮𝐞𝐬𝐭 (5)

Whether you hated or liked wizards, one thing was certain. If you were going to borrow the power of wizards, you might as well get an excellent one.  

Johan or Jyanina who knew magic well would have said ‘𝘮𝘢𝘨𝘪𝘤 𝘪𝘴 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘢𝘭𝘮𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵𝘺,’ but to nobles, magic was like a fairy that conveniently granted wishes.

🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸

“I will serve you well. . .”  

“I pledge my loyalty. . .”

The viscount kept his promise. Before the end of the agreed period, the first donation came with the envoys. The second and third sons of the viscount looked at Johan with a mix of fear and respect.

‘𝘛𝘩𝘦𝘪𝘳 𝘢𝘵𝘵𝘪𝘵𝘶𝘥𝘦 𝘪𝘴 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘢𝘴 𝘣𝘢𝘥 𝘢𝘴 𝘐 𝘵𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩𝘵.’  

He had expected them to show more disgust or hatred. No matter how high Johan’s reputation was and how much mercy he had shown during the negotiations, Johan was still an invader after all. 

It was only natural for them to be emotionally shaken to go and serve in the court of the count they were born in.

But the viscount’s children did not look very disturbed.  

They had received good education as nobles, and they understood well what kind of situation this was. They were not stupid enough to recklessly reveal their emotions in such a situation.

And excluding that, staying in Johan’s court was not the worst thing for nobles anyway.

Since they were born as nobles, it was more uncommon for them to keep staying where they were born. It was common for various reasons to wander around.

If they were going to become priests, they would go to the city with the university or head for the parish, if they had intentions for merchants or similar, they would also head to the city where the commercial association was located, and if they were knights, they would leave for their lord’s court.

‘𝘊𝘰𝘮𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘬 𝘰𝘧 𝘪𝘵, 𝘐 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘢𝘤𝘤𝘦𝘱𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘨 𝘬𝘯𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘷𝘢𝘴𝘴𝘢𝘭𝘴 𝘢𝘴 𝘸𝘦𝘭𝘭.’

Now that the shock of the change of the counts had subsided and they had sworn allegiance, it was time for customs to gradually return. 

Those among the vassals who had sworn allegiance to Johan who were trying to raise their children as knights wanted to send them under Johan as much as possible to teach them. This was also a kind of opportunity.  

Raising one knight was not an easy task. It was much better for them to serve together with the children of other knight families in the court of nobility and learn, rather than a poor knight wandering around teaching them one by one.

Not only could they learn knightly virtues from excellent teachers – swordsmanship, archery, horsemanship, hunting, chess games, etc. – but they could also learn other studies such as tactics, theology, and law. 

And most of all, the good thing was that it was an opportunity to network. Not only get to know other knights, but also build relationships with their lord.

For poor knights, their lord’s favor was the most important thing above all else. Because the lord would hold an appointment ceremony for them, provide them with armor and equipment, and make their new life as knights more abundant.

Johan had to take such a long way back after not even receiving such an introduction at first.

‘𝘐𝘵 𝘧𝘦𝘦𝘭𝘴 𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘯𝘨𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘬 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘐’𝘮 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘱𝘰𝘴𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘵𝘰 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘷𝘪𝘥𝘦 𝘯𝘰𝘸.’

Of course these things were expensive, but it was not a loss for Johan in the long run. On the contrary, it was beneficial.

The children of each family were a kind of hostage, while being trained under the court, they nurtured their loyalty to their lord.

After sweating and fighting elsewhere since childhood, loyalty to the lord became stronger than affection for relatives. 

That’s why it was natural that incidents where a parent and child waved swords at each other demanding the other’s fief were frequent.

“March along the east coast, then head to Coolia. Be careful as there is a lot of loot to carry.”

“Yes!!!”  

The mercenaries roared loudly. They had swept everything they could get from the hundred kingdoms to the Emperor’s fief. Seeing their employer recover from his injuries, their morale was extremely high.

Giada and the other captains finished preparing to lead the republic fleet out. While the vanguard moved in turns, Johan waited at the very back.

In the meantime, Johan discovered a group of cavalry moving from afar.

“What’s that?”

“?”  

The mercenaries next to him didn’t have eyes as good as Johan’s. They tilted their heads, not knowing what he was talking about. Johan asked the viscount’s relatives next to him.

“Can’t you see it?”

“I-I’m sorry, Your Excellency. I don’t know what you mean.”

The viscount’s second child said with a flustered expression, thinking Johan was testing him.

However, Johan was not particularly trying to test him. He was just curious.  

It was strange to see nearly a hundred cavalry coming from the west to the viscount’s castle.

‘𝘈𝘳𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘺 𝘯𝘦𝘸 𝘮𝘦𝘳𝘤𝘦𝘯𝘢𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘴 𝘳𝘦𝘤𝘳𝘶𝘪𝘵𝘦𝘥? 𝘐 𝘥𝘰𝘶𝘣𝘵 𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘰𝘶𝘭𝘥 𝘳𝘦𝘤𝘳𝘶𝘪𝘵 𝘮𝘰𝘳𝘦 𝘮𝘦𝘳𝘤𝘦𝘯𝘢𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘴 𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘯 𝘩𝘦’𝘴 𝘢𝘭𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘥𝘺 𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘭𝘮𝘦𝘥 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘮𝘰𝘯𝘦𝘺.’

The viscount had collapsed, and had given away a fortune to compensate for that mad knight’s riot, so he should be lying low and enduring for a while.  

And yet he called such expensive mercenaries. It didn’t make sense.  

“Could it be they’re trying to attack Your Excellency?”

After the arrow sniping incident, the guards showed a slightly obsessive reaction. It was natural, as they had let their guard down and their master who they were protecting got hit by an arrow.   

“Attack here with those cavalry?”

“Oh. . .right.”

Combined with the fleet on the coast, they could mobilize an army of thousands. No sane person would charge in with a hundred cavalry unless they were crazy.   

Even though the army was scattered at the moment due to the march, they could send signals to gather again if necessary.  

‘𝘈𝘳𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘺 𝘨𝘰𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘰 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘤𝘢𝘴𝘵𝘭𝘦?’

Judging by the movement, the purpose of the cavalry seemed to be the viscount’s castle. Johan was so puzzled why he was so worried.   

He had gotten everything he wanted, and even if the other party had any suspicious intentions, a surprise attack was absolutely impossible, so he could just relax and retreat. . .

‘𝘈𝘩.’  

Johan realized why he was worried.  

Right now, wasn’t this situation exactly the same as his household’s fief!  

Of course, tthe viscount and Sir Gessen were completely different people, but there were definitely similarities in this situation.  

‘𝘞𝘢𝘪𝘵. . . 𝘈𝘮 𝘐 𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴?’  

The conclusion informed by instinct was so bewildering that Johan was lost in thought again. Was there any reason for the Emperor to kill the viscount like he did to Sir Gessen?  

Even in this situation, the viscount continued to serve the Emperor loyally without betraying him to the end. He kept sending gold to the Empire even while being overwhelmed. If his loyalty was lacking even a little, he would have completely joined Johan.  

No matter how unscrupulous the Emperor was, he wouldn’t kill the viscount. It was different from Sir Gessen.  

‘𝘈𝘩. . .𝘳𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵.’  

Johan bit his tongue. One situation had changed.  

Hadn’t the viscount just sworn peace with Johan and offered his relatives as hostages!  

Of course, from the viscount’s perspective, it must have been negotiation results desperately squeezed out with all his might, but he couldn’t have known how that might look to the other party. There was enough possibility that it could be seen as betrayal.   

‘𝘈𝘯𝘥 𝘪𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘨𝘶𝘺 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘌𝘮𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘰𝘳 𝘴𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘥 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘩𝘢𝘴 𝘢 𝘯𝘢𝘴𝘵𝘺 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘨𝘳𝘦𝘦𝘥𝘺 𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘵𝘺. . .’

Then such a guy might fabricate treason that did not exist!

🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸

“I heard the count’s army passed by.”  

“Damn. Good thing we didn’t run into them.”

“You’re right, sir.”

𝐒𝐥𝐚𝐩!  

The man backhanded his subordinate with a gauntlet. The subordinate looked at him in confusion.  

“You son of a b*tch!”  

“I’m sorry, Baron.”

‘𝘛𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘴𝘰𝘯 𝘰𝘧 𝘢 𝘣*𝘵𝘤𝘩 𝘮𝘦𝘳𝘤𝘦𝘯𝘢𝘳𝘺 𝘴𝘤𝘶𝘮. . .’

Baron Gartner was a warrior of mercenary origins who had received both a knighthood and a barony. The fact that someone of such lowly birth and boorish manners had become a baron was proof of the blood he had spilled.  

Despite being a violent mercenary, he had pledged steadfast loyalty to the Emperor. Even a hound needs to recognize its master if it hopes to live long. And so he had been given this mission.  

The baron had two orders.  

One was to confirm the Viscount’s loyalty.  

The chaotic situation in the southern peninsula had reached the Emperor’s ears. Naturally, wild rumors had also spread. Although the viscount stood firm, the Emperor had started to doubt whether he could betray them.  

━𝐆𝐨 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐟𝐢𝐫𝐦 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐕𝐢𝐬𝐜𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐭’𝐬 𝐥𝐨𝐲𝐚𝐥𝐭𝐲.  

Even this much was special treatment. If it had been anyone other than the Viscount, the Emperor would have acted without checking.  

And the second order was. . .  

If the Viscount showed signs of wavering, to arrest him and his family and bring them to the Empire. To prevent any potential betrayal.  

Up to this point, it was understandable. But the choice of envoy had been a mistake.  

While it was good to choose someone who would not be swayed by the Viscount’s connections or eloquence, he should at least be willing and able to talk.  

Baron Gartner had no such intentions. His eyes and hands trembled with greed. The baron intended to manufacture a crime whether one existed or not.  

‘𝘐𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘝𝘪𝘴𝘤𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘵 𝘪𝘴 𝘵𝘢𝘬𝘦𝘯 𝘢𝘸𝘢𝘺, 𝘐 𝘤𝘢𝘯 𝘳𝘶𝘭𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘧𝘪𝘦𝘧𝘥𝘰𝘮 𝘪𝘯𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘢𝘥!’

Of course the Emperor would not give a hound that kind of authority. But there was no one to tell that to Baron Gartner. He was lost in his pipe dream.  

“And damn it, are you afraid of the count’s army? Cowardly b*stards.”   

“I’m sorry, sir.”

“Enough. Go around and gather some news! We need to know what the count did and where he went!”

Baron Gartner was cruel but no fool. He had no intention of fighting Johan’s army.  

It wasn’t just the numbers, but the rumors were too vicious. While believing all rumors was foolish, there were no mercenaries who completely ignored them either.  

Even if only half the rumors were true, it was a monster he did not want to oppose.  

In front of others, Gartner shouted that he would stab Johan to death if they met, but in his heart he felt the opposite. Why court such danger needlessly?   

“But Baron, sir.”

“What?”  

“If you really end up ruling this place, we’d get a position too, right?”

“You dare doubt my word?”

“Ah. . . no, sir. It’s just, if the Viscount gets captured, his children will still be around. . .”

“Capture them too!”  

“If we send them to the capital but they get released later, what then?”

“!”  

Surprisingly, his subordinate had hit the crux of the matter. The baron froze at those words.  

“You’re right. . .”

“Oh, I don’t need an position, sir. Just give me a nice fat purse. . .”

“Can’t you shut up?! Are you saying I won’t get anything?!”

“T-That’s not what I meant. . .”

Gartner nodded repeatedly. His subordinate’s words had sparked a new idea.  

Then shouldn’t he just kill them?

“Sir! Sir! Sir! Big trouble! The count’s army is headed this way!”

“What the f*ck?! Has some idiot gone around blabbing about who we are and where we came from?! Waving banners around?!”   

With most of the south fallen, even the Emperor’s men had to move carefully.  

The baron and his mercenaries had prepared entirely new banners, and their permits were forged to be from a noble unrelated to the Emperor. It was fine once they entered the Viscount’s territory, but outside it was dangerous.  

But secrets always find a tiny hole to slip out from. If loose lips spread rumors. . .

“Ah, sorry. It was a false alarm! They left a while ago!”  

“. . .string up that son of a b*tch this instant!”

“Mercy, sir knight! Spare me this once!”

Gartner waved his hand, seeing no need to hear more. The mercenary was strung up on the gallows for the crime of speaking without thinking.

🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸

“No… Count, is there a problem?”

The viscount’s second and third sons looked puzzled. Johan had suddenly stopped the army and picked only a few elite soldiers to disguise and move.

Of course, the two, who knew the viscount’s territory well, were also included. When things turned out this way, all kinds of thoughts came to mind.

“There is no problem. I just need your help.”

“W-What?”

“?”

“Are you… trying to attack the castle?”

“…With this number of people, you think you can attack the castle?”

Johan asked in disbelief. At most, there were only dozens of people. Besides, they were disguised, so there was not a single proper siege weapon. If they could conquer the castle with this, they were not human.

“But you, Count, have conquered a castle alone, haven’t you?”

At the third son’s words, the mercenaries had to bite their lips to keep the laughter from bursting out. Johan had been perfectly refuted.

“…That’s a rumor. Isn’t it embarrassing to be a knight and believe such a rumor?”

“Oh… so that’s the case. I apologize, Count. My brother and I are still young… Then, what exactly happened? I’m curious.”

“How do we get into the castle quietly?”

Johan changed the subject.

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Translation-(COMPLETED) – How to Live as a Wandering Knight

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