How to Live as a Wandering Knight – Chapter 17.2

𝐊𝐧𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭, 𝐌𝐞𝐫𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐭, 𝐌𝐞𝐫𝐜𝐞𝐧𝐚𝐫𝐲, 𝐒𝐥𝐚𝐯𝐞 (𝟐)

Khan shrugged his shoulders and closed his mouth. The mercenaries did the same. It was better to remain silent in front of Johan.

Johan naturally rode beside Eldans. None of the mercenaries were on horseback. Even if they were, they wouldn’t have dared to join him.

‘𝘉𝘶𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘪𝘳 𝘦𝘲𝘶𝘪𝘱𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘪𝘴 𝘢𝘭𝘭. . .’

Johan was surprised at the mercenaries’ gear. It was much more rudimentary than he thought.

None wore metal armor. All had shabby cloth armor. Even with padding, it had its limits. The best-equipped had a steel plate over their chest and chainmail on their arms.

The weapons were even worse. Setting aside spears and bows, there were axes fit for lumberjacks, and even some with clubs. He knew the wood here was as hard and heavy as metal, but clubs were still inadequate.

‘𝘚𝘰 𝘥𝘪𝘧𝘧𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘞𝘰𝘭𝘷𝘦𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘈𝘳𝘬𝘵𝘦𝘯?’

Johan was mistaken. The Wolves of Arkten were among the most renowned mercenaries on the continent. The fact that their fame reached Johan’s fiefdom spoke volumes.

In this era, standing armies were rare. Raising, training, and maintaining soldiers was expensive. It was common to train a few slaves or capable commoners or servants for protection.

Most nobles preferred hiring mercenaries as needed. And a feudal lord of high rank always had mercenaries on hire. The Wolves of Arkten were elite, even employed by the Emperor. Their equipment and weapons were far superior to those of ordinary knights.

Among the mercenaries available, Goran’s group was decent. Except for the novices, all had combat experience. Captain Goran was competent, and each had at least some armor and a shield.

‘𝘘𝘶𝘪𝘵𝘦 𝘱𝘰𝘰𝘳 𝘮𝘦𝘳𝘤𝘦𝘯𝘢𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘴. . . 𝘞𝘦𝘭𝘭, 𝘮𝘦𝘳𝘤𝘦𝘯𝘢𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘴 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘳𝘵 𝘱𝘰𝘰𝘳.’

Goran’s group was under a ridiculous misconception.

🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸

Johan was essentially a great person to become friendly with. Despite being of noble status, where he could act arrogantly, humble and kind Johan was bound to be liked.

“Are you affiliated with a guild?”

“Yes, that’s correct.”

“They say guilds make a lot of money, is that true?”

“Haha. . . While guilds do earn a lot, a roaming merchant like me doesn’t make that much.”

Guilds of merchants.

In the medieval era, people closely bonded with those in their profession to protect their interests and rights. Merchants were no exception. Large guilds established branches in cities, generating immense profits through their affiliated merchants.

Of course, this was the general story, and it was unlikely that a roaming merchant like Eldans had much wealth.

The Katana Merchant Guild, to which Eldans belonged, was active mainly in the southern cities of the Holy Empire and the free cities of the Catalian Peninsula, beyond the Dwarf Mountains.

“I also wanted to join a guild.”

“Haha! I appreciate even the thought.”

Mistaking Johan’s jest for an attempt to praise him, Eldans laughed. It was rare for a noble to wish to become a merchant, especially a knight.

Still, it wasn’t unpleasant. Eldans felt a sense of friendliness towards this young knight.

‘𝘈𝘩, 𝘐 𝘮𝘶𝘴𝘵 𝘣𝘦 𝘮𝘰𝘳𝘦 𝘤𝘢𝘳𝘦𝘧𝘶𝘭 𝘪𝘯 𝘴𝘶𝘤𝘩 𝘵𝘪𝘮𝘦𝘴.’

The other seemed to be around twenty years old but caution was more important at such times.

“As a child, my dream was to become a knight. Of course, it was an unrealistic dream. How could I fight in a battlefield? I’m still trembling as I wander around. It’s fortunate to meet a knight.”

It was half sincere.

In an era full of dangers on the roads, any addition to the force, especially a knight, was welcome.

“Isn’t this area relatively safe?”

Count Jarpen was known to be a decent noble, attentive to law and order. This was commendable, considering many nobles cared only about tolls and neglected their duties.

“That’s a thing of the past. I heard Count Jarpen’s estate suffered a defeat, leading to delayed payments to the mercenaries. Consequently, many of them deserted. . .”

Eldans shrugged his shoulders.

Mercenaries were greedy and rough. There weren’t many mercenaries who would endure without getting paid. They either went somewhere else, or roamed around and acted as rogues. It was hard to tell the difference between mercenaries and bandits.

“The situation is very tense around here. I wish those mercenary b*stards would go somewhere else soon.”

The continent was constantly overflowing with blood and iron. War was almost a daily routine. The Holy Empire fought with the nobles inside and with the nobles of the Erlans Kingdom and the city-states on the southern peninsula of the Dwarf Mountains outside. The Erlans Kingdom fought with the elf nobles inside and with the Holy Empire and the nobles of the Fingland Kingdom outside.

It was not a war where countries pulled out their full strength and fought until one fell, but a war where feudal lords competed and compromised for a piece of land, a line of honor. Mercenaries always played the most active role in such wars.

Most of the mercenaries who were now running away and acting as bandits would flow to that side if a big fight broke out nearby.

“Is it okay with this number of people in such a situation?”

“It’s okay. We move along the Empire highway, and even if they are mercenaries, they won’t openly run wild on the highway.”

Bandits aimed for weaker and easier targets.


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