How to Live as a Wandering Knight – Chapter 17.1

𝐊𝐧𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭, 𝐌𝐞𝐫𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐭, 𝐌𝐞𝐫𝐜𝐞𝐧𝐚𝐫𝐲, 𝐒𝐥𝐚𝐯𝐞 (𝟐)

𝐊𝐧𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭, 𝐌𝐞𝐫𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐭, 𝐌𝐞𝐫𝐜𝐞𝐧𝐚𝐫𝐲, 𝐒𝐥𝐚𝐯𝐞 (𝟐)

Additionally, Eldans is a merchant affiliated with the Katana Merchant Guild. If he violates the rules, it becomes difficult to get hired anywhere the Katana Merchant Guild has influence.

‘𝘋𝘢𝘮𝘯. . . 𝘊𝘢𝘯’𝘵 𝘐 𝘫𝘶𝘴𝘵 𝘳𝘶𝘯 𝘢𝘸𝘢𝘺?’

‘𝘚𝘩𝘪𝘵. 𝘋𝘰 𝘐 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘳𝘪𝘴𝘬 𝘮𝘺 𝘭𝘪𝘧𝘦 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘢 𝘧𝘦𝘸 𝘤𝘰𝘪𝘯𝘴?’

The mercenaries watched their conversation with clenched teeth. They didn’t run away, mainly because of their Captain, Goran.

“I agree. I don’t want to fight with a knight.”

Eldans frowned in thought.

“Haven’t we checked the owner of the territory around here?”

“Of course, we checked!”

Eldans, a middle-aged cat beastman, racked his brain. They had surely confirmed the owner of the nearby territory. They even paid the taxes. . .

So, were they really robbers?

Eldans glanced at the forest. It would be hard to be pursued if he ran into the forest, but entering it was akin to suicide. And if the opponent had really come to rob, there could be an ambush in the forest.

While he pondered, Johan arrived in front of the group. The mercenaries gripped their weapons tightly, ready to flee in all directions if the situation escalated, money and reputation be damned.

🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸

“May the divine’s blessing be with you. From which noble family do you hail, Sir?”

“May the divine’s blessing be upon us. I am Johan of the Yeats family.”

Johan changed the name of his family. He altered the spelling of Aitz to Yeats. After all, there were many small and insignificant families on the continent, so no one would know if he claimed a fake family name.

“Ah! I see!”

‘𝘈 𝘵𝘳𝘶𝘦 𝘬𝘯𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵!’

There were two types of knights.

One was a commoner-born mercenary who, by good fortune, acquired equipment and a horse and wandered around claiming to be a knight. If really lucky, they might catch the eye of a noble in a battle or tournament and be granted a fiefdom, becoming a true noble.

Of course, such individuals were mocked behind their backs. They were seen as mercenaries who didn’t understand their place.

The other was a knight born from a noble family, like Johan’s half-brothers. Some were not properly trained, but that was an exception. Knights who had undergone rigorous training since childhood were incomparably different from commoner-born mercenaries.

A noble knight, systematically trained in various weapons, horsemanship, handling armor and shields, hunting, chess, tactics, etc., and a local old mercenary who learned a few tricks in childhood and barely survived on the battlefield.

The story of a low-born rising to knighthood through valor was something out of a minstrel’s song. Reality was much harsher and more brutal.

Naturally, noble-born knights despised and shunned the self-proclaimed knights of common birth. One might think that just having the equipment was enough to blend in, but it wasn’t. It was nearly impossible for a commoner to imitate a noble’s accent, demeanor, culture, general knowledge, attitude, etc.

In this respect, Johan’s accent was perfectly that of the nobility. Even though it was the same Empire language, the accent used by the nobility was different from that of the commoners.

Eldans rolled his eyes. He knew this man wasn’t just a mercenary pretending to be a knight, but that didn’t improve the situation. If he was an enemy, it was even more dangerous. A mere mercenary would have been better.

“Sir Johan, what brings you. . .?”

“Where are you headed?”

“We are heading to Rutzbeck, planning to pass through there to Marcel city. We’ve paid the toll to the great Count Jarpen. . .”

Mentioning Count Jarpen, the current lord of the territory, was meant to intimidate Johan a bit. By saying they had paid taxes to Count Jarpen, they were implying they were under the Count’s protection.

Of course, if the other party didn’t care and attacked, the absent Count wouldn’t be able to protect them, but it was still better than not mentioning it at all. Names can sometimes be stronger than swords.

Johan understood their intent and smiled wryly. He wondered why they were so guarded. . .

‘𝘞𝘦𝘭𝘭, 𝘐 𝘴𝘶𝘱𝘱𝘰𝘴𝘦 𝘪𝘵’𝘴 𝘯𝘢𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘢𝘭 𝘵𝘰 𝘣𝘦 𝘤𝘢𝘶𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘶𝘴 𝘧𝘪𝘳𝘴𝘵.’

“I had no intention of harming you. It seems our paths are converging, so I wondered if we could travel together.”

“Ah. . .! That would be an honor!”

Eldans’s face noticeably brightened. It was a relief that he was not a bandit, and even better to have a companion for the journey.

It was an offer that couldn’t be refused, and there was no reason to refuse. Eldans readily accepted.

“Why would a knight seek companionship on the road? Isn’t that suspicious?”

“What will you do if you’re suspicious, *sshole? Shut up and stay quiet. If you don’t want to die.”

“Seems like a wandering knight. . . must have aged a decade.”

Khan, the oldest mercenary in the mercenary group, muttered. Khan was experienced and knowledgeable, befitting his age.

“A wandering knight?”

“A knight without a fiefdom. Probably the third or fourth son of some family.”

The eldest inherits the fiefdom, but the rest get nothing. Each must find their own way to survive. Still, it’s better than being a commoner. They have connections and some inheritance. If lucky, they might find a new lord and gain a fiefdom. A much more likely story than that of a commoner-turned-knight.

“Don’t they usually have servants or slaves? Why would such a person wander alone?”

“How would I know the affairs of noble families. There are poor nobles too, you know.”


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