How to Live as a Wandering Knight – Chapter 160

𝐒𝐮𝐬𝐩𝐢𝐜𝐢𝐨𝐮𝐬 𝐏𝐫𝐨𝐩𝐨𝐬𝐚𝐥 (1)

Suetlg was not particularly rude.

By default, an outstanding wizard would naturally have a reputation. From that perspective, it was hard not to doubt the skills of a wizard that Suetlg had never even heard of.  

Besides, there were more frauds that impersonated wizards than actual wizards. People who were not wizards could not distinguish real magic from tricks well.

Of course, regardless of that, hearing someone openly say your skills are meager right to your face is very humiliating for a wizard. Even if you don’t pursue fame, you wouldn’t expect to hear such things said about you.  

“Her skills are not meager, they are quite decent.”

Johan explained who Jyanina was to Suetlg. That she was skilled enough to work unofficially in the Emperor’s court, and that she excelled at controlling monsters.

Fortunately, Suetlg seemed interested in what he said.  

“Being able to control monsters. It’s a skill that’s hard to boast about openly, but it will earn you respect wherever you go.”

Jyanina was happy with Suetlg’s words. After all, only fellow wizards could properly appreciate a wizard’s skills.

“Then why did she come here?”

“As you know, there was a whole mess in the fiefdom that the viscount is governing on the Emperor’s behalf. If she went back there. . .”

“Ah. I see.”  

Johan stroked his throat and Suetlg nodded in understanding. Jyanina made a disgusted expression. Should a mere count speak so crudely?

“So once things settle down you plan on leaving?”

Suetlg asked casually. He didn’t expect that kind of loyalty from a wizard to begin with. Suetlg was by Johan’s side out of friendship, not because of his status.  

But Jyanina became flustered and glanced around nervously.  

‘𝘞𝘰𝘶𝘭𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘺 𝘤𝘩𝘰𝘱 𝘮𝘺 𝘩𝘦𝘢𝘥 𝘰𝘧𝘧 𝘪𝘧 𝘐 𝘴𝘢𝘪𝘥 𝘐 𝘸𝘢𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘷𝘦. . .?’

“Why wouldn’t she leave when the time comes? The Emperor isn’t the only one looking for skilled wizards.”

Johan didn’t have high expectations for Jyanina either. Once Jyanina fulfilled the value she promised, he planned to let her go wherever she wanted.   

“. . . . . .”

The refreshing response was different from what she expected, leaving her somewhat deflated instead. Jyanina made a subtle expression.   

While the expectation for absolute loyalty like with the Emperor was burdensome, being told outright ‘𝘐 𝘥𝘰𝘯’𝘵 𝘦𝘹𝘱𝘦𝘤𝘵 𝘮𝘶𝘤𝘩 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘺𝘰𝘶’ was still a bit. . .

Johan spoke to Jyanina with a generous and compassionate face.  

“Isn’t this generous terms already?”

“Ah, yes. . . you’re very right. . .”

“Help Suetlg-nim while you’re here. There will be plenty for you to do.” 

“That works out well!”  

Suetlg was happy about it. Jyanina didn’t notice the sense of discomfort in his reaction.  

She assumed helping with work meant assisting with making potions or elixirs. He would probably ask her about useful monster parts.  

That wouldn’t be too difficult. Jyanina felt relieved. Contrary to her worries, it seemed she would be able to live comfortably in the count’s estate.  

Just being able to relax and rest comfortably, receiving the treatment of slaves and servants, was extremely satisfying to her.

“Now, point out any documents that stand out as needing my personal attention.” 

“Uh, why are you. . . shouldn’t the scribes, administrators and servants be. . .”

“They’re doing it too. Those who can read are working on the lower levels. These have already been filtered once. Your job is to pick out what needs a wizard’s touch.”

For reports and requests coming in from all over, if there was something Suetlg felt he really needed to handle personally, he would head out with Gerdolf as an escort.  

They were usually matters related to monsters or curses, things Suetlg could resolve easily.  

While Johan was down south swinging his sword, Suetlg and his administrative staff were governing the fiefdom like this.  

Jyanina was starting to get a bad feeling. Besides, why was it so difficult to govern this fiefdom? Shouldn’t taxes come in easily by sending administrators or merchants with tax collection rights. . .?

“Is all this really necessary? The lower people don’t even comprehend your grace, they just crawl their way up. . .” 

“I feel the same way, but the Count does not see it that way. His orders are to accurately grasp the circumstances of each fiefdom as if having a picture drawn right before his eyes, so you’ll have to follow as well.”

Before Jyanina could react with huh, what, she was handed a thick stack of papers. Reading through some, she felt awkward.  

“. . .Suetlg-nim. I’m sorry, but I can’t read ancient imperial characters. . .”

“You don’t know the ancient imperial language. . .? That’s unfortunate. Just read the others then.”  

While Suetlg didn’t say anything out loud, his gaze clearly showed his evaluation of her dropping another level. Jyanina felt humiliation coursing through her veins.  

‘𝘍𝘶𝘤𝘬, 𝘰𝘯𝘭𝘺 𝘥𝘢𝘮𝘯 𝘮𝘰𝘯𝘬𝘴 𝘶𝘴𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘤𝘪𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘪𝘮𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘢𝘭 𝘴𝘩𝘪𝘵. . .’

“Did you just curse?”

“What? No way?”

Jyanina clicked her tongue, surprised at Suetlg’s sharp hearing catching the disturbance in the air currents.

🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸

“My dear. It is truly a great achievement.”

“I was thinking the same thing.”

The piles of spoils brought from the hundred kingdoms were ostentatiously displayed for the people of the fiefdom to see as they were moved.  

Among the merchants who were in the fiefdom, the quick-witted ones were already sniffing out opportunities. They were looking for ways to gain early access by offering bribes.

Exotic objects from the East sold for high prices in the Empire and cities of the Peninsula. Moreover, if it was a treasure used by the lord of the hundred kingdoms, it would be even more so. They could ask however much they wanted.  

“Iselia. I heard that gilded book lavishly decorated in gold leaf originally belonged to the count. Isn’t the cover decorated with those unique Eastern patterns beautiful?”

“Indeed it is, my dear.”

“Next to it is a bottle made of porcelain. I heard even the skilled craftsmen of the East would have difficulty making something like this.”  

“This is beautiful too, my dear.”

The geometric patterns reminiscent of arabesque designs, the beautifully glazed porcelain bottles. . . The fabrics adorning the walls, the gold foil, the jewel-encrusted goblets. . .

Although Johan was not a particularly avaricious man, the treasures brought from the hundred kingdoms were splendid enough to boast about. And there were few opportunities to show them off to someone.  

If he bragged about them to the centaurs, they would likely just blankly go ‘𝘞𝘩𝘢𝘵’𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴?’ And Gerdolf would probably just go “???”.

‘𝘉𝘶𝘵 𝘸𝘩𝘢𝘵’𝘴 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘐𝘴𝘦𝘭𝘪𝘢’𝘴 𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯. . .?’

Johan glanced at Iselia’s face. Behind that sculpted, beautiful face hid very faint discomfort. Iselia was poor at hiding her emotions. Johan asked in disbelief.

“. . .Iselia. Do you see those eastern swords and armor over there?”

“Ah. . .! Truly dazzling armaments! Even if there are many skilled artisans, there would only be a handful in the East who could make such pieces. The count who owned these armaments must have had astounding luck. My dear, do you see the wave pattern on that longsword? That pattern can only be found in the unique steel of the East. . . Swords with that pattern have sharp yet resilient characteristics, so. . .”

“. . . . . .”

Seeing Iselia enthusiastically prattling on, Johan felt conflicted. She didn’t feel anything when looking at those works of art, but had so much to say about the sword and armor.  

‘𝘚𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘢𝘯 𝘦𝘭𝘧, 𝘢𝘧𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘢𝘭𝘭.’

Johan decided to just call over the orcs in the fiefdom. They would probably know quite well just how amazing these masterpieces were.  

“My dear. My dear. Are you listening?”

“Yes. Yes, I’m listening.”

It was nice to see Iselia, who usually looked at Johan with an unusually suspicious eye, being so proactive. Johan nodded and said.

“Iselia. If you want, I’ll give you those swords and weapons as a gift.”

“I, I, I, I can’t do that. It’s too much of a gift, my dear.”

Unlike her stuttering and waving her hands to refuse, Iselia was glancing at the weapons. She seemed to be really impressed.

‘𝘐 𝘥𝘰𝘯’𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘬 𝘐’𝘷𝘦 𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘴𝘦𝘦𝘯 𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘨𝘪𝘷𝘦 𝘮𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘭𝘰𝘰𝘬 𝘪𝘯 𝘣𝘦𝘥 𝘣𝘦𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘦. . .’

“I thought of you when I looted. . . no, I collected those things, so I hope you’ll accept them.”

“My dear. I, I have never received such a beautiful gift in my life.”

‘𝘊𝘳𝘺?!’

Iselia really cried. Johan was amazed by the sight of Iselia wiping her eyes with a sob.

He couldn’t believe that the actions he had taken to tame Iselia were worse than those weapons.

‘𝘐𝘯𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘢𝘥 𝘰𝘧 𝘫𝘶𝘴𝘵 𝘢𝘴𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘰 𝘣𝘦 𝘯𝘪𝘤𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘈𝘮𝘪𝘦𝘯, 𝘐 𝘴𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘭𝘥 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘨𝘪𝘷𝘦𝘯 𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘢𝘳𝘮𝘰𝘳.’

Johan hugged Iselia and consoled her. Then, jokingly, he said,

“I hope you don’t come into the bedroom wearing that armor.”  

“. . .W-Wha, what are you implying, my dear?”

“. . . . . .”

Johan felt a chill down his spine at Iselia’s tastes.

🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸

Ardolata was cleverly getting along with Amien. Admiring her quick wit, Johan called Amien.

“It’s a gift for you.”  

The astronomical observatory made of gold looked like a precious item at first glance. Amien let out a scream of joy and hugged Johan.

“Ardolata. There is also a gift here for you. You’ve erected great achievements in Carquilano.”  

“Y-Your Excellency. I haven’t done anything great enough to receive something like this.”

“It’s not you who gets to judge that, it’s me.”  

“I’m sorry.”

Ardolata bowed his head and accepted the dagger.

“There are descendants of other families who have come to become knights at the palace. Are you interested in joining them?”

“. . . . . .”

“I’m just asking, so feel free to answer comfortably.”  

“I, I don’t have much interest in becoming a knight, Your Excellency.”

“Is that so? Then I can’t help it.”

“Can I possibly learn under wizard-nim?”

“What? Under Jyanina? Why would you do that?”  

“N-No. Not her. . .someone else.”

Flustered, Ardolata’s words quickened. Only then did Johan nod his head as if he understood.

“I see, you meant Suetlg-nim. Hmm. I can ask, but if Suetlg-nim refuses then I cannot allow it.”

“That’s enough for me! Thank you!”

🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸

“There’s nothing wrong with that, but I wonder if she’ll last long.”

Suetlg showed no particular reluctance unexpectedly.

The second or third child of a noble had to find their own path, and magic was a very old discipline comparable to theology or law.

Even if their social status was lacking, once they built up a reputation even a monarch would not ignore them, and above all the charm magic itself possessed seduced countless young people.  

“It looks like you’ve taught before?”

“I’ve taught a few times. And they all ran away. Magic cannot be learned unless you devote everything to the mysteries you’re interested in. With a frivolous mind. . .” 

As Suetlg was speaking, he looked at Johan. Come to think of it, before him was a knight who had subdued a malevolent spirit and attained magical enlightenment. 

“. . .Well, it can work with a frivolous mind too, but those are extremely rare cases.”

“Why are you suddenly changing what you say?”

“Anyway, I don’t care if you’re a noble. All I can teach is the method of approaching mysteries, and even if you fail to master magic after that, it won’t be my fault.”

“Since you know that well yourself, you don’t need to worry about that.”  

“Hmm. . . Learning from Jyanina-gong doesn’t seem so bad either. That might be more comfortable.”

“Hey, what kind of nonsense is that?”

“Of course Jyanina-gong isn’t of noble birth but. . . I’m an old man and Jyanina-gong is young. I’m a man but Jyanina-gong is a woman. Wouldn’t it be more comfortable?”

“He’s sharp enough as it is, I don’t want him getting strange influences. Rather than that, why don’t you just chase Jyanina away?”  

“That she’s not of noble birth, what do you mean?”

“Ah. It’s not certain but. . . Judging by her actions, she doesn’t seem to be of noble birth.”  

Johan also agreed with Suetlg’s words. It certainly seemed plausible. While she definitely had the proper etiquette, Jyanina’s actions often gave off the smell of a street ruffian.

“Is that so. Anyway, don’t leave it to Jyanina, you might as well just chase her away instead.”

“I know well how you evaluate things.”

“Well of course. . .”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *