How to Live as a Wandering Knight โ€“ Chapter 174

๐‘๐จ๐š๐ ๐‡๐ฎ๐ง๐ญ๐ข๐ง๐  (1)

Johan remained silent as he was overwhelmed by the wealth, so the emperor misunderstood his attitude and explained further.ย 

โ€œHmm. I hope you donโ€™t find this suspicious. Iโ€™m only trying to pay the price for the countโ€™s abilities.โ€

Sometimes an excessive price makes the other person doubtful. The emperor elaborated so Johan wouldnโ€™t get the wrong idea.

If Johan accepted the offer, he would have to serve as the emperorโ€™s right arm for a while. He couldnโ€™t leave any distrust.

โ€œOf course I have my imperial guards. The captain is loyal. . . But their abilities are. . . somewhat limited. They know how to wield swords and fight on the battlefield, but thatโ€™s not enough for the current situation.โ€

The emperor was young, but he knew well what he lacked.ย 

He was very unpopular.ย 

When he had to meet citizens, merchants, nobles and foreigners around the capital, being cooped up in the barracks was bound to cause that. His younger sister was actively helping on his behalf, but the situation didnโ€™t change easily.

His recent military exploit might raise his popularity a bit, but the fundamentals remained the same. There were still many political enemies, and his position was unstable. A single rebellion could cost him the throne.

At times like this, the captain of the imperial guard at his side needed to be competent in various ways.

Able to deal with discontent among the nobles, well-read and scholarly, with some reputation, able to foil assassination attempts. . .

And such a person was rare. The emperor was willing to pay any price.

โ€˜๐˜•๐˜ฐ, ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ฆ๐˜น๐˜ฑ๐˜ญ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ฎ๐˜ข๐˜ฌ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ ๐˜ง๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ ๐˜ด๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ด๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ.โ€™

Johan grew tense even though it was someone elseโ€™s business. From his words, it seemed there had been several more assassination attempts or rebellions.

In truth, even if assassination or rebellion erupted in the capital, it wouldnโ€™t be too dangerous for Johan. He was an outsider, a count from another fiefdom. There were no idiots who would stir up trouble by provoking a hornetโ€™s nest for no reason.

Even if things really went awry, Johan had his elite troops. He could just slip away to the republicโ€™s territory or elsewhere, borrow a ship and sail off.

But after receiving all the rewards, it would sting if the emperor died.

โ€˜๐˜ˆ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฐ๐˜ท๐˜ฆ ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ญ, ๐˜ฆ๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ช๐˜ง ๐˜ ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ค๐˜ฆ๐˜ช๐˜ท๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜จ๐˜ฐ๐˜ญ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ถ๐˜ฑ๐˜ง๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ต, ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฑ๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ท๐˜ช๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ๐˜จ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด ๐˜ธ๐˜ช๐˜ญ๐˜ญ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ช๐˜ด๐˜ข๐˜ฑ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ณ ๐˜ช๐˜ง ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ช๐˜ฆ๐˜ด.โ€™

โ€œThe privileges at the port, specifically. . .?โ€

Seeing Johan show interest, the emperorโ€™s expression brightened. He nodded and answered.

โ€œPrivileges regarding tariffs, of course, and ports prohibited to foreigners will also be permitted to the count. Not only will lodging be provided, but all of this will be documented with the emperorโ€™s gold seal.โ€


The emperorโ€™s offer was irresistible. In short, he would give Johan top priority on Vynashchtymโ€™s seas.

โ€˜๐˜๐˜ตโ€™๐˜ด ๐˜ด๐˜ฐ ๐˜จ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ด ๐˜โ€™๐˜ฎ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ช๐˜ต ๐˜ฎ๐˜ช๐˜จ๐˜ฉ๐˜ต ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜จ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฑ๐˜ถ๐˜ฃ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ค.โ€™

โ€œVery well. I will do my best even though my abilities are lacking.โ€

โ€ . . .!โ€


Once a decision was made, subsequent actions were quick. Johan organized the spoils and gold and sent the soldiers back to their fiefdoms. Iselia was very disappointed.ย ย 

โ”๐–๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ข๐Ÿ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฉ๐š๐ ๐š๐ง๐ฌ ๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž ๐›๐š๐œ๐ค ๐š๐ ๐š๐ข๐ง?

โ”๐ˆ ๐๐จ๐งโ€™๐ญ ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ง๐ค ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐ก๐š๐ฉ๐ฉ๐ž๐ง.

โ”๐๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ฐ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ข๐Ÿ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฉ๐š๐ ๐š๐ง๐ฌ ๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž ๐›๐š๐œ๐ค. . .

โ”๐“๐ก๐ž๐ง ๐ž๐ฏ๐ž๐ง ๐ข๐Ÿ ๐ˆ ๐๐จ๐งโ€™๐ญ ๐ฅ๐ข๐ค๐ž ๐ข๐ญ, ๐ˆโ€™๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐ก๐š๐ฏ๐ž ๐ญ๐จ ๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž ๐›๐š๐œ๐ค ๐ฐ๐ข๐ญ๐ก ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐š๐ซ๐ฆ๐ฒ. ๐†๐จ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ซ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐ž ๐จ๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐Ÿ๐ข๐ž๐Ÿ๐๐จ๐ฆ. ๐ˆโ€™๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐›๐ž ๐›๐š๐œ๐ค ๐ฐ๐ก๐ž๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฉ๐ซ๐จ๐ฆ๐ข๐ฌ๐ž๐ ๐ฉ๐ž๐ซ๐ข๐จ๐ ๐ž๐ง๐๐ฌ.

โ”๐๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ ๐จ๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐ง๐ข๐ง๐  ๐š ๐Ÿ๐ข๐ž๐Ÿ๐๐จ๐ฆ ๐ญ๐š๐ค๐ž๐ฌ ๐š ๐ฅ๐จ๐ญ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ž๐Ÿ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ๐ญ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ญ๐ก ๐ฅ๐ข๐ญ๐ญ๐ฅ๐ž ๐ก๐จ๐ง๐จ๐ซ ๐จ๐ซ ๐ ๐ฅ๐จ๐ซ๐ฒ, ๐ฆ๐ฒ ๐๐ž๐š๐ซ. . .

โ”๐–๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ฐ๐š๐ฌ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐š๐œ๐ญ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐œ๐จ๐ฎ๐ง๐ญ ๐๐จ๐ข๐ง๐ ?

Johan did not intend to take Iselia with him. Although Suetlg is there, he was still a foreigner within the fiefdom. It would not be good to leave Iselia empty for too long either.ย ย 

Besides, despite her looks, Iselia was an elven knight from the Erlans Kingdom. She had sufficient combat power to deal with any incidents arising in the fiefdom.

โ€œIโ€™m worried the citizens might be terrified when they see you guys. . .โ€

โ€œWhat are you saying, Sir Knight? We asked around already. No one has been scared of centaurs in a thousand years. They say people donโ€™t even bat an eye these days.โ€

Johanโ€™s elite escort consisted of dwarves and centaurs. The dwarves were chosen not only for their combat power, but also for their unique talents, while the centaurs were chosen simply for being centaurs.

โ€œAre the preparations complete?โ€

โ€œYes, just give the order.โ€

While waiting, Johan was able to get quite close with the emperor. The emperor was not a miser who skimped on people to guard his side. He provided Johan with various privileges to win him over.ย ย 

And contrary to the viceroyโ€™s evaluation that he was frugal and difficult to deal with, Johan got along well with the emperor.ย ย 

Fundamentally, they were both rational, hated unnecessary etiquette. . .

Seeing the viceroy bidding them farewell, Johan remarked as if recalling:

โ€œHey, didnโ€™t the viceroy say you were frugal?โ€

โ€œ. . . . . .โ€

The emperor stiffened and glanced at the viceroy. The viceroy, who was far away, kept waving goodbye with a bright smile, oblivious.

โ€œHe didnโ€™t say anything else?โ€

โ€œWas there anything else to say?โ€

โ€œLike I dress shabbily. . .โ€

โ€œHmm. . .โ€

The same outfit could look peculiarly sloppy depending on who wore it and how. In Johanโ€™s eyes, that was precisely the emperorโ€™s case.ย ย 

It was an amusing story, but these things mattered too. Wasnโ€™t fashion one of the virtues knights learned?

Even a wandering poor knight could look dignified with skill and an eye for style.

โ€œWell, I donโ€™t think he said things like that. But do buy and wear some expensive clothes if it bothers you.โ€

โ€œExpensive clothes weaken and tear easily.โ€

โ€œThen bring multiple sets.โ€

The emperor let out a rather annoyed groan. He seemed quite displeased.

But to Johan, it was a necessary thing. Perhaps due to Johan riding beside him now, the emperor looked particularly shabby.ย ย 

Johan had the talent to capture the gazes around him whether on or off a horse. Not only was he tall and well-built, his armor and overcoat were imbued with magical power.ย ย 

In contrast, the emperor looked just like a sub-captain.

โ€œIs it true that there is so much silk in the imperial palace?โ€


During a break, Jyanina carefully asked. Fortunately, the emperor did not take offense and kindly answered. She must have thought him as Johanโ€™s subordinate.ย ย 

Rumors about Vynashchtymโ€™s imperial palace spread around like legends, and little of them could be confirmed. Catching a chance to ask someone who was born and raised there now, Jyanina did not miss it.

โ€œSo the stories about its outer walls covered in gold and corridors lined with silk to dampen footsteps. . .โ€

โ€œWhat nonsense is that?โ€

Johan scolded Jyanina. It was nonsense indeed.ย ย ย 

โ€œItโ€™s not nonsense. Itโ€™s true.โ€ย ย 


โ€œThere is such an imperial palace. Thatโ€™s probably where those rumors came from.โ€

โ€œ. . .!โ€

Johan thought he should not tell this story to the centaurs. If they heard it, it might spawn a whole new legend among them.

โ€œAnd gold and silk are not important. The key here is the brick.โ€ย 

โ€œYou speak correctly. Yes. His Majestyโ€™s words are true. Jyanina.โ€ย ย 

โ€˜๐˜–๐˜ฉ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ๐˜บ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ถ๐˜ฎ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ด.โ€™

Jyanina complained internally about getting accused of greed when she only asked about a rumor. Johan and the emperor sat side by side, chattering on about how magnificent these roads dating back to the ancient empire were.ย ย 

โ€œIs there no way to recreate them?โ€

โ€œI think itโ€™s beyond us. Even the best wizards in the imperial palace donโ€™t know the secret methods.โ€

Structures built with the lost ancient empireโ€™s construction secrets remained unbroken over time, proudly displaying their majesty.ย ย 

Despite countless wars and turmoil, they connected different parts of the nation like a spider web.ย ย 

โ€˜๐˜š๐˜ถ๐˜ฆ๐˜ต๐˜ญ๐˜จ-๐˜ฏ๐˜ช๐˜ฎ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ญ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ซ๐˜ฐ๐˜บ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ ๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ฆ๐˜ด.โ€™ย ย 

Perhaps because it was a place where many ancient empire traditions and customs survived, every story was fascinating.ย ย 

The emperor also seemed quite excited to have such an appreciative audience for this boring topic, chattering lively.

โ€œIn Vynashchtym, the elite forces learn how to build fortifications before learning how to fight. The pioneers secure land first, then the later arrivals dig into the ground and erect walls. . .โ€

โ€œOh. Shoveling ability is definitely a key ability.โ€



Walking along the path was pleasant and fast, but not without danger. The centaurs galloping ahead found the soldiers lying by the roadside and signaled.ย 

โ€œThereโ€™s a monster, Your Majesty! And itโ€™s quite a big one.โ€

The soldiers seemed to be out on a raid or reconnaissance. They were already dead, and nearby was an overturned cart.ย ย 

โ€œLetโ€™s move to the nearest castle. Guard His Majesty.โ€ย ย 

Johan made the judgement right away. Protecting the emperor took priority over chasing the monster. The imperial guards also looked relieved at Johanโ€™s decision.

โ€œWhoโ€™s the castellan?โ€

โ€œZertao. A loyal one.โ€

โ€œThen we can stay there comfortably.โ€

The emperor didnโ€™t mind camping at all, which suited Johan as well, but it was customary to be welcomed and accommodated at a nearby nobleโ€™s castle or fiefdom.

Preferring to sleep outside like this was unusual. . .

The centaurs took the emperorโ€™s message and raced to the nearby castle. And before long they returned with embarrassed expressions.ย ย 

โ€œThey wonโ€™t open the door. . .?โ€

โ€œ. . .โ€

Perhaps noticing Johanโ€™s gaze, the emperor hastily spoke.

โ€œIt must be because theyโ€™re centaurs.โ€

โ€œThat may be it. . .โ€ย ย 

โ€œWhat? What did we do wrong?โ€

โ€œYou guys look scary. Step aside. Let the normal looking imperial guards try.โ€

Handsome, noble-looking imperial guards raced out. Soon they too returned with the same embarrassed faces.

โ€œY-Your Majesty. They wonโ€™t open the door.โ€

โ€œThose insolent fools!โ€

Even if one didnโ€™t care much for honor, this was an insult. And having received this insult in front of the outsider Johan, the emperor was furious.ย ย 

โ€œShall we attack??โ€ย ย 

โ€œShh. Donโ€™t spout nonsense.โ€ย ย 

The dwarves whispered, and Johan whispered back. Seeing the emperorโ€™s expression, he seemed ready to attempt an attack.

โ€œYour Majesty. As much as I understand, itโ€™s not wise to waste your power here. . .โ€

โ€œI cannot let such an insult slide! I donโ€™t even need your troops. I will attack with my imperial guards alone.โ€

โ€œJust in case, letโ€™s send one last notice.โ€

This time Johan stepped up himself, along with the centaurs. The castle was neither big nor small, but it was still a castle. It looked difficult to hastily attack.

โ€˜๐˜Š๐˜ข๐˜ฏ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ค๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ฎ๐˜ฃ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ญ๐˜ด ๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ฌ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฐ๐˜ธ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜จ๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ฆ?โ€™

โ€œWhy do you look around so, Your Excellency?โ€ย ย 

โ€œI was looking for weaknesses.โ€

โ€œ. . .You arenโ€™t thinking of going yourself, are you??โ€

Not all centaurs were as fearless as Achladda. Any centaur in their right mind had to stop him.ย ย 

โ€œNo. I was just looking around. What nonsense are you spouting?โ€

โ€œS-Sorry, Your Excellency would never do that. Haha. Hahaha.โ€ย ย 

โ€˜๐˜ž๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ต ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฐ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฑ๐˜ถ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฌ๐˜ด ๐˜ต๐˜ข๐˜ฌ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ง๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ?โ€™

While their mouths said no, their eyes still shone with suspicion.

โ€œListen, people inside the castle! His Majesty Gaรฏaros with the righteous dragonโ€™s blood has arrived. If you open the gates now, he will graciously forgive the previous disrespect, but if not, the dragonโ€™s wrath will befall you. Open the gates!โ€

โ€œWe. . . We canโ€™t believe it.โ€ย ย 

โ€œWhat? Does this flag look fake to you?โ€

โ€œW-We have no choice! Please understand!โ€ย ย 

Desperate cries came from inside the castle. Sensing something amiss, Johan looked around. Though there should have been some sign of people near the tightly shut castle, there was not a soul in sight.ย ย 

It did seem a bit strange.

โ€œExplain yourselves. If you donโ€™t, we attack!โ€

โ€œA-A monster disguised as one of us might enter the castle!โ€

โ€œ. . .!โ€

Leave a Comment

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