How to Live as a Wandering Knight โ€“ Chapter 169

๐˜๐ž๐š๐ซ ๐Ž๐ฅ๐ ๐€๐ซ๐ฆ๐ฒ (3)

Jyanina inadvertently swallowed her saliva. She had often seen hundreds of soldiers come and go, but it was the first time she had seen so many gathered in one place.ย 

The soldiers seemed to fill the horizon from one end to the other. She could not even guess how many enemies there were. The sight of hundreds of fluttering banners made her heart sink.

On the battlefield, each individual was like a speck of dust. The brilliant and precise commander who could control the battlefield was just someone from a story, and the reality was much more chaotic and messy.

During battle, it was impossible to know who would win, and sometimes it was difficult to know who had won even after the fighting ended โ€“ that was the nature of a pitched battle.

While knights would gladly become specks of dust and charge into the dirt and dust, Jyanina was not one of them. She racked her brains for a way to get out of this somehow.

โ€œY-Your Excellency, arenโ€™t the enemyโ€™s numbers too great?โ€

โ€œIt appears so.โ€ย ย 

โ€œIn the city. . .โ€

โ€œThey could have stayed, yet they chose to follow us out. Their loyalty moves me.โ€

Johan preemptively cut off Jyaninaโ€™s attempt to suggest they retreat to the city. Crestfallen, Jyanina withdrew.

Though Jyanina was no wizard like Suetlg or Caenerna, she was still a wizard. There was no telling when Johan might need her skills.ย 

โ€˜๐˜ ๐˜ค๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ญ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ญ๐˜ถ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ด๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ด ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ฃ๐˜บ.โ€™

Johan was casually contemplating thoughts that would alarm any priest.

โ€œAchladda. You must retreat when the retreat signal sounds. You understand?โ€

โ€œ. . .Sir Knight. Thatโ€™s the tenth time youโ€™ve said that.โ€

โ€œThen Iโ€™ll say it an eleventh time. Retreat when the signal sounds.โ€

โ€œWhy only say it to us. . .โ€

โ€œDo you really not know why?โ€

Achladda and Euclyia pouted at Johanโ€™s words, having no real rebuttal. What he said was true.

Right now, gathered on this battlefield were countless nobles and knights flying the banners of their houses. It was the same for both enemy and ally.ย 

Unified, seamless command was of course impossible, and any orders from the supreme commander often took a long time to relay or failed entirely.

In the end, they had to divide the field themselves and fight well on their own.

Johan was responsible for the right flank.

The dwarf mercenaries and slave soldiers were unlikely to act without orders, but the eastern tribes and cavalry led by Iselia were concerning.

Unlike infantry, once cavalry burst out it was hard to order them to fall back.ย 

On top of that, the eastern tribes were known for being aggressive, and Iseliaโ€™s cavalry loved to charge as much as any knight. . .

Johan planned to personally lead Iseliaโ€™s mercenary cavalry to maintain control over them. Heavily armed and armored cavalry could smash through enemy lines with devastating impact once they charged, and had to be committed at the right decisive moment.

But the eastern tribes were more suited to nimbly harassing the enemy and pursuing them. Though relatively lightly equipped, they possessed excellent archery and riding skills.

โ€œNow, when the horns sound?โ€

โ€œWe retreat! Ah, I swear by my sword and bow that I will not let my eyes wander and give chase.โ€

โ€œI swear too.โ€

Hearing the centaursโ€™ oaths, Johan nodded approvingly. That much could be trusted.

Johan called the mercenary captains for final orders. The various human sub-captains looked to Johan with excitement and anticipation in their eyes.ย ย 

โ€œListen well. This battle takes place on anotherโ€™s field. I trust none of you will cause unnecessary trouble or endanger yourselves. Do only as much as you are paid for. Understand?โ€

At Johanโ€™s words, the mercenaries smirked. When he spoke like this, it was hard to tell if this renowned count was really a nobleman or just another mercenary.ย 

But one thing was certain โ€“ such words were far more reassuring than any cheers or battle cries.

๐Ÿ”ธ๐Ÿ”ธ๐Ÿ”ธ๐Ÿ”ธ๐Ÿ”ธ๐Ÿ”ธ

Johanโ€™s move was not because of Leoanosโ€™ envoy. Leoanosโ€™ proposals had no influence on Johan.ย ย 

โ”๐˜๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐„๐ฑ๐œ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ž๐ง๐œ๐ฒ. . . ๐š๐ซ๐ž๐งโ€™๐ญ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐š ๐ฅ๐ข๐ญ๐ญ๐ฅ๐ž ๐ญ๐ž๐ฆ๐ฉ๐ญ๐ž๐ ๐›๐ฒ ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ญ?

โ”๐๐จ๐ญ ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ฒ. ๐ƒ๐ข๐๐งโ€™๐ญ ๐ˆ ๐ฌ๐š๐ฒ ๐ˆ ๐ก๐š๐ฏ๐ž ๐ง๐จ ๐ข๐ง๐ญ๐ž๐ซ๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ ๐ข๐ง ๐•๐ฒ๐ง๐š๐ฌ๐ก๐œ๐ก๐ญ๐ฒ๐ฆ? ๐€๐ง๐ ๐๐จ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ง๐ค ๐ก๐ž ๐ฐ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐ค๐ž๐ž๐ฉ ๐ก๐ข๐ฌ ๐ฉ๐ซ๐จ๐ฆ๐ข๐ฌ๐ž?

โ”๐„๐ฏ๐ž๐ง ๐ข๐Ÿ ๐ก๐ž ๐จ๐ง๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐ค๐ž๐ž๐ฉ๐ฌ ๐ฌ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ข๐ญ, ๐ข๐ญ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐ฌ๐ญ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐›๐ž ๐š ๐ ๐จ๐จ๐ ๐๐ž๐š๐ฅ.

โ”๐“๐ก๐ž๐ง ๐ก๐ž ๐ฆ๐š๐ฒ ๐ง๐จ๐ญ ๐ค๐ž๐ž๐ฉ ๐š๐ง๐ฒ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ข๐ญ.โ€

โ”๐’๐ฎ๐ซ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฒ. . . ๐ฌ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐ก๐ž ๐ฐ๐จ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐๐งโ€™๐ญ ๐๐จ ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ญ?

โ”๐€๐ง๐ฒ๐ฐ๐š๐ฒ, ๐ˆ ๐ก๐š๐ฏ๐ž ๐ง๐จ ๐ข๐ง๐ญ๐ž๐ง๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ฆ๐จ๐ฏ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐›๐ž๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ๐ž ๐ซ๐ž๐œ๐ž๐ข๐ฏ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐š๐ง ๐š๐๐ฏ๐š๐ง๐œ๐ž ๐ฉ๐š๐ฒ๐ฆ๐ž๐ง๐ญ. ๐Ž๐ง๐œ๐ž ๐›๐ข๐ญ๐ญ๐ž๐ง, ๐ญ๐ฐ๐ข๐œ๐ž ๐ฌ๐ก๐ฒ. ๐’๐ž๐ง๐ ๐›๐š๐œ๐ค ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ž๐ง๐ฏ๐จ๐ฒ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ญ๐ก ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ ๐จ๐ฅ๐.

Giada was frustrated, but Johan cut him off like a knife and sent the envoys back.ย ย 

It was others who changed Johanโ€™s mind.

โ€œI am Jusvan from the republic of Beneto. Please take good care of me, Your Excellency.โ€ย ย 

Captain Jusvan of the republic mercenary corps came down south with his army.

โ”๐‰๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ฏ๐š๐ง ๐ข๐ฌ ๐Ÿ๐ซ๐จ๐ฆ ๐š ๐ฉ๐ซ๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ๐ข๐ ๐ข๐จ๐ฎ๐ฌ ๐ฆ๐ข๐ฅ๐ข๐ญ๐š๐ซ๐ฒ ๐Ÿ๐š๐ฆ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐ข๐ง ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ซ๐ž๐ฉ๐ฎ๐›๐ฅ๐ข๐œ. ๐‡๐ž ๐ฆ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ญ ๐ก๐š๐ฏ๐ž ๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž ๐ฐ๐ข๐ญ๐ก ๐ฌ๐ฎ๐ฉ๐ฉ๐จ๐ซ๐ญ ๐Ÿ๐ซ๐จ๐ฆ ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ก๐จ๐ฆ๐ž๐ฅ๐š๐ง๐.

The republicโ€™s territory was not far north. They had no intention of just watching the pagansโ€™ raids.

But still, to hire an army and come down so swiftly. . .

โ”๐‰๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ฏ๐š๐ง ๐ข๐ฌ ๐ญ๐ซ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ญ๐ž๐ ๐ž๐ง๐จ๐ฎ๐ ๐ก ๐ข๐ง ๐•๐ฒ๐ง๐š๐ฌ๐ก๐œ๐ก๐ญ๐ฒ๐ฆ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ก๐จ๐ฅ๐ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฉ๐จ๐ฌ๐ข๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ญ๐ซ๐ข๐›๐ฎ๐ง๐ž. ๐’๐ž๐ž๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ฌ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž๐จ๐ง๐ž ๐ฅ๐ข๐ค๐ž ๐ก๐ข๐ฆ ๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž ๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ž, ๐ก๐ž ๐ฆ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ญ ๐ก๐š๐ฏ๐ž ๐ญ๐š๐ฅ๐ค๐ž๐ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ญ๐ก ๐•๐ฒ๐ง๐š๐ฌ๐ก๐œ๐ก๐ญ๐ฒ๐ฆ. . .

Giyadaโ€™s prediction was correct. The day after Jusvan arrived with his army, Vynashchtymโ€™s emperor himself came with his imperial guard.ย ย 

Though they came down the northern highway, their speed was unbelievable. The emperor headed directly to join with Jusvan instead of the pass.

Together with Jusvan, they came to Johan and pleaded their case.

โ”๐“๐ก๐ž ๐ž๐ง๐ž๐ฆ๐ฒโ€™๐ฌ ๐ง๐ฎ๐ฆ๐›๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ ๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐ ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ญ๐ž๐ซ ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ง ๐ฐ๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐จ๐ฎ๐ ๐ก๐ญ. ๐ˆ ๐š๐ฌ๐ค ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ฉ๐š๐ซ๐ญ๐ข๐œ๐ข๐ฉ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง.

โ”๐€๐ฌ ๐›๐ซ๐จ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฌ๐š๐ฆ๐ž ๐Ÿ๐š๐ข๐ญ๐ก, ๐ˆ ๐ข๐ฆ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐จ๐ซ๐ž ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ. ๐…๐ข๐ ๐ก๐ญ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ญ๐ก ๐ฎ๐ฌ ๐š๐ ๐š๐ข๐ง๐ฌ๐ญ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ฌ๐ž ๐ฉ๐š๐ ๐š๐ง๐ฌ.

Even combined, their armies were only four to five thousand. Still too insecure compared to the enemyโ€™s scale. They desperately wanted Johanโ€™s soldiers to join.

โ”๐ˆ ๐ฐ๐จ๐ง๐๐ž๐ซ ๐ฐ๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ ๐จ๐ฅ๐ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ฉ๐ซ๐จ๐ฆ๐ข๐ฌ๐ž๐ ๐ข๐ฌ?

โ”๐ˆ ๐ก๐š๐ฏ๐ž ๐›๐ซ๐จ๐ฎ๐ ๐ก๐ญ ๐ญ๐ก๐ซ๐ž๐ž ๐ญ๐ข๐ฆ๐ž๐ฌ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฉ๐ซ๐จ๐ฆ๐ข๐ฌ๐ž๐ ๐ ๐จ๐ฅ๐.โ€

โ”๐ˆ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐Ÿ๐ข๐ ๐ก๐ญ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ญ๐ก ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ. ๐€๐ฌ ๐›๐ซ๐จ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฌ๐š๐ฆ๐ž ๐Ÿ๐š๐ข๐ญ๐ก.

Vynashchtym really did have a lot of gold. Johan responded explosively to their fiery offer.

Seeing Johan respond immediately, the emperor made a puzzled expression, but Johan paid it no mind. In that regretful position, the emperor and Jusvan had no choice but to offer thanks and withdraw.

And so the army of the republic, the count, and the emperor was completed. They headed grandly for the pass.

๐Ÿ”ธ๐Ÿ”ธ๐Ÿ”ธ๐Ÿ”ธ๐Ÿ”ธ๐Ÿ”ธ

โ€œCan he really be trusted?โ€

โ€œTrust me, Your Majesty. Count Yeats will not disappoint you.โ€

At Jusvanโ€™s confident words, the emperor nodded. Johanโ€™s first impression wasnโ€™t very good.

First of all, he was too young. The emperor had imagined a veteran in his forties from Johanโ€™s reputation. But the emperor wasnโ€™t much older himself, was he?

Jusvan returned to lead the left wing.

Though the emperor was supreme commander, he couldnโ€™t issue orders directly to the left or right wings. If Jusvan didnโ€™t issue orders himself, the mercenaries wouldnโ€™t obey.

โ€œJusvan isnโ€™t deceiving me, is he?โ€

Jusvan was a pro-Vynashchtym noble, but he wasnโ€™t the type to sacrifice the republic to help Vynashchtym.

Betrayal could happen at any time.

An old eunuch attending the emperor cautiously asked.

โ€œWhy do you think so?โ€

โ€œDespite the rumors, isnโ€™t he too young? Yet he has that reputation. I suspect the republic is deceiving me.โ€

Having lived in the military since childhood, the emperor knew well how difficult command was. He found it hard to believe someone as young as Johan had that much achievement.

โ€œThe republic has no reason to deceive Your Majesty.โ€

โ€œPerhaps so. But there is no such thing as absolute.โ€

โ€œIf he does anything suspicious, I will take Jusvanโ€™s head myself.โ€

At the eunuchโ€™s words, the emperor finally relaxed his expression. It was the eunuchs and officials supporting the still inexperienced emperor. Their seasoned experience reassured the emperor.

โ€œAnyway, the wings are just there to fill space. Trust the soldiers Your Majesty has personally trained. They will take care of it.โ€

โ€œI understand.โ€ย ย 

The emperor nodded. He hadnโ€™t expected much from Jusvan or Count Yeats from the beginning.

It would be none other than him and his imperial guard who would trample and crush the enemyโ€™s center.

If Johan heard this, he would have been happy they were of the same mind.

๐Ÿ”ธ๐Ÿ”ธ๐Ÿ”ธ๐Ÿ”ธ๐Ÿ”ธ๐Ÿ”ธ

Both sides suddenly went into battle formation. There were no greetings, no pre-battle duels, no scouting.ย ย 

Seeing the enemies approaching from behind, the nobles of the Eastern Empire shouted fiercely and charged into battle. Cavalry and infantry units burst out from the left and right wings, and the battle commenced.

โ€œDwarves forward! His Excellency watches over us. Do not retreat!โ€

โ€œThink of your master who owns your lives! Itโ€™s time to repay the grace!โ€

Though their robes were different, their weapons and armor were much the same. Enemy knights wearing chainmail charged to trample the ranks, brandishing longswords.ย ย 

But the dwarves did not flinch, stubbornly holding their ground. Crossbow bolts and arrows rained down relentlessly on the knights. Pitiful screams rang out as some fell.

Then Johan stepped up. Soldiers parted behind him, and Johan and Iselia burst out fiercely leading the cavalry.ย ย 

โ€œThe count! The count! Get him!โ€

Recognizing Johanโ€™s banner, the pagan knights shouted and rushed at him. But before they could reach Johan, their heads were lopped off by Iselia.

โ€œDie! Die! Die!โ€ย ย 

โ€œ. . .โ€

Johan pulled up alongside the berserk Iselia with a look of bewilderment.

โ€œIselia. Calm down.โ€

โ€œAm I not calm?โ€

โ€œAh. . .I see. . .โ€

Surprisingly, Iseliaโ€™s blood-spattered face looked very serene. It was merely the elven war cry.

Once more the enemies charged. This time Johan stepped up first. As the Giantslayer swung around, flesh and blood sprayed everywhere, quickly opening up space.

โ€œโ– โ– โ– ! Demon โ– โ– โ– !โ€

Unable to make out their gibberish in the eastern dialect, he could guess the gist of their shrieks.

Johan industriously harvested heads with the Warhammer. After charging in and pulling back five times, the enemies around him were routed and retreating.

โ€œThe enemies retreat!โ€

โ€œReform ranks! Reform ranks!โ€ย ย 

โ€œWounded fall back!โ€

โ€œYour Excellency, we will lure them out.โ€

โ€œAchladda, donโ€™t forget what I promised.โ€

โ€œYes!โ€

The eastern tribesmen burst out in clouds of dust. Making full use of the battlefield, they rushed forth. Arrows pierced the backs of the retreating men, and the heads of those still inside the enemy camp.

Those who had recklessly charged out in anger became easy prey. About six enemy banners fell and groups became scattered. For a while, a lull settled on the right wing.

โ€œThe enemies arenโ€™t coming.โ€

โ€œThey must be realigning their ranks.โ€

Unbeknownst to Johan, the enemies were too frightened to approach.

โ€œShall we advance?โ€

โ€œNo, letโ€™s align timing.โ€

If he advanced alone and another ally happened to lose, even Johan would be unable to retreat from that situation.

โ€˜๐˜๐˜ฐ๐˜ธ ๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜น๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ. ๐˜ˆ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ธ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ฏ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ด๐˜ช๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ?โ€™

Johan frowned, surveying the dusty battlefield. No matter how good his eyes, there were limits to what he could discern from here.

The only fight he could vaguely make out was the one nearby in the center.

What would have been invisible to others, Johanโ€™s blessed vision pierced through the swirling grit to grasp the situation. Enemy banners were desperately converging on the center. It was a distress signal.

โ€œI will reinforce the center! Follow me!โ€

Johan selected the freshest, swiftest cavalry and raced forth. He planned to harass the enemiesโ€™ flanks while their attention was diverted.

๐Ÿ”ธ๐Ÿ”ธ๐Ÿ”ธ๐Ÿ”ธ๐Ÿ”ธ๐Ÿ”ธ

โ€œCapturing the emperor here will bring all glory in this world to you nobles!โ€

Even without Yehemanโ€™s shouts, all the nobles with swords and spears were blind with bloodlust as they swarmed in.

The loyal imperial guards resisted fiercely with their weapons, but the enemiesโ€™ momentum was alarming.

The finest warriors gathered on this battlefield were all charging in to capture the emperor.

โ€œStorm and shatter their ranks! Storm and shatter their. . .โ€

The shouting noble felt a chill amidst the battlefieldโ€™s sweltering heat.

Whatโ€™s this?

Advanced Chapters

Leave a Comment

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