How to Live as a Wandering Knight – Chapter 176

𝐑𝐨𝐚𝐝 𝐇𝐮𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 (3)

I wondered why the other party was not afraid at all, but now was not the time for that. I had to run away first.  

Fortunately, unlike the other knight, I knew this area well. I was confident I could easily lose him.

The man grabbed a low stone wall and jumped over it. Going over the low wall in front of the inner castle and jumping down to the exit on the other side was faster than going out the main entrance.  

𝐂𝐫𝐚𝐬𝐡!

“??!!”

When he heard the loud noise from behind, the man unconsciously turned his head. Johan had kicked over the stones and was running towards him.  

Even though it was a low wall, he kicked it down with his foot?!

‘𝘛𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘤𝘳𝘢𝘻𝘺 𝘣*𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘳𝘥!!’

In desperation, the man gave the horse next to him a hard kick on the butt. The horse screamed and ran forward. The road was too narrow to dodge easily.   

𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐜𝐤!  

Johan grabbed the galloping horse firmly and forced it down hard. Frightened by his fierce momentum, the horse trembled and became docile.

‘𝘐𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘨𝘶𝘺 𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘺 𝘩𝘶𝘮𝘢𝘯?!’

He heard that he was a nobleman from the Holy Empire hired by the emperor, but his actions seemed to be mixed with blood other than human blood, no matter how you looked at him.

The man was so desperate that he threw himself into the moat outside the castle. It was a dangerous act that could have been seriously injured if there was anything inside, but the opponent was bold.

“What are you doing?”

“Euclyia!”

Johan smiled when he met Euclyia and the other centaurs. He said that he was chasing someone right now. Euclyia didn’t listen anymore and immediately put Johan on her back.

“But what kind of guy are you chasing?”

“It’s a kind of doppelganger.”

“. . .?”

Euclyia didn’t stop, but he made a very subtle expression. Johan, who was riding behind her, could feel the emotions rising through Euclyia’s muscles.

If you saw a doppelganger-like guy, why would you chase him instead of running away or finding a priest?

“Um, the legend says that if you meet someone who is exactly like you, you will die.”

“One of the two will die, so the opponent will die.”

“. . . . . .”

That was certainly true. Euclyia didn’t refute and increased her speed.

🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸  

Chasing was easy. The hard part was controlling his strength. He couldn’t kill it by mistake.  

Euclyia looked at him tensely. She was afraid that if Johan became two and both claimed to be Johan, she wouldn’t know what to do.  

“I’m sorry! I’m sorry!”  

“The monster speaks well.”  

“I’m not a monster! I’m sorry!”  

But the man was not a doppelganger. He was just a person disguised quite similarly to Johan. His disguise skills were convincing enough that he could be mistaken for Johan from a distance.   

“I’ll tell you everything! Please! Please!”  

“You’ve already tortured him. . .?”  

“I didn’t.”  

Seeing the man trembling without Johan touching him at all, Euclyia tilted her head. He was trembling terribly without even being tortured. . .  

“That guy is a slave of the Castellan family. I’ve seen him before.”  

“!”  

The man glanced around and nodded his head.  

In fact, the doppelganger was just a groundless rumor spread by the Castellan’s wife. She had ordered a nimble and skilled slave to create the rumor.  

When people see false things a few times, rumors naturally spread, expand and grow on their own.  

“What crazy nonsense. . . The monsters outside too?”  

“Ah, no. The monsters outside are real monsters.”  

“I need to see the Castellan. Guide me.”   

“The Castellan. . . has already passed away.”  

“?!”  

The Castellan had died not because of the doppelganger, but while hunting monsters outside. It was inevitable that the accompanying soldiers were annihilated, so the Castellan could not have survived either.  

Under normal circumstances, his death should have been announced and aftermath handled properly, but the Castellan’s wife did not do so.  

‘𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘧𝘢𝘮𝘪𝘭𝘺 𝘵𝘪𝘦𝘴 𝘴𝘦𝘦𝘮 𝘲𝘶𝘪𝘵𝘦 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘱𝘭𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘥.’   

A marriage is between two people, but in reality it is a matter between two families. If one dies, the assets should originally be inherited by their children, but worldly matters are not so simple.  

Hadn’t Iselia herself also been threatened by ambitious relatives? From what I heard, the wife’s situation seemed even worse.  

Just hiding it until the child becomes an adult would have greatly improved the situation. The doppelganger rumor was a clever rumor – diverting people’s attention and making them accept the Castellan’s absence outside.

Euclyia drew her sword. Surprised, Johan asked.  

“Why take it out?”

“Shouldn’t he be killed for deceiving you?”

“No. This isn’t even my land, and even if it was, I wouldn’t just behead someone.”  

“Then cutting off only the tongue and ears?”

With every word Euclyia spoke, the man trembled more and more in fear. Johan shook his head.   

“Report it above first.”  

Now that capturing just one of the two monsters was sufficient, in a way the situation had become simpler, but having stumbled into unexpected events left a complicated feeling.

🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸

After hearing the story, the emperor quietly called the wife over. Seeing the captured slave, the wife immediately confessed and bowed her head, saying she would accept the punishment. The emperor frowned and spoke.  

“I never thought Zertao would die. . .”

“But let’s be thankful the doppelganger isn’t here.”

“What do you think is the best thing to do?”  

“I’m a guard, so. . .?”

“Just give me your opinion freely. I’m only listening.”

“If you forgive her, she and his whole family including her children will be completely loyal. Anyway, no matter who fills the position, it will just be thick-headed, ruthless ambition-seekers.”

The emperor nodded his head satisfactorily. He definitely liked Johan’s opinion.  

Aside from him being young and a knight, Johan’s political senses were astonishing at times. This was despite not having been born and raised in the Vynashchtym imperial palace but rather coming in as an outsider.  

“Even if we leave them alone they probably won’t get caught, but if we add just one more word that His Majesty met the castellan, they definitely won’t get caught for several years. Her child will soon come of age and inherit the position.”

In the first place, it was not common for a commoner to see the face of a feudal lord. If a feudal lord wanted to, he could seclude himself as much as he wished.  

The problem was the nobles, but if he used the excuse of being injured or because of the doppelganger they would probably accept it. Moreover, if the emperor adds that he met him, who would doubt it?

“However, leaving that monster outside the fiefdom just because of that crime is a great sin. They should have requested support.” 

“The request for support was. . . sent. . .?”

“?!”

Since the castellan had died and the doppelganger was fake, he had thought a request for support had obviously not been sent. But the castellan’s wife was not the sort of person to lack a sense of responsibility to that extent.  

Even if it risked exposure, she had at least called for support first.  

“. . .That was well done. But given that still no one has come, they were clearly ambushed along the way. We will send out soldiers at first light tomorrow to search.”

Since it was known the doppelganger did not exist, there was nothing to fear. The emperor was determined that he had to hunt the outside beast.  

Not only stabilizing the surroundings but also a great military achievement would be established.  

Moreover, there was the dependable count by his side.

“Your majesty, I have received word that the support troops have just arrived now.”  

“. . .Are you joking right now??”

🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸

Despite the emperor’s anger, the arriving support could not be avoided. The ones from the St. Guntsalva Knight Order spread their flags and took their places near the castle. 

“Are they from a monastery?”

“They’re from a monastery but not the kind of devout people you’re thinking of.”

The emperor’s words seemed to be true. It was a monastery knight order but their clothes were flashy, wearing lots of accessories. No matter how you looked at them, they were just nobles.

Vynashchtym had a slightly different sect of the religion that shared its roots with the Vynashchtym religion. Still, even they emphasized poverty and humility. Monks openly wearing stuff like that. . .

They were monks in name only.  

‘𝘛𝘩𝘦𝘺 𝘭𝘰𝘰𝘬 𝘸𝘦𝘢𝘭𝘵𝘩𝘺.’  

“Your Majesty. I sincerely wish God’s glory be with this meeting!”

When they came across the emperor’s flag, they were surprised but hurried over to pay their respects. The emperor nodded.

“I heard the castellan’s request as I was passing by the capital. Are you here to catch the monster?”

“Yes, Your Majesty. You know our Order’s capabilities well, no?”

“How would I not know the St. Guntsalva Order’s capabilities? I commend you for coming out of your faith.”

They were exchanging pleasantries but for some reason, the emperor’s expression seemed displeased. Johan immediately understood why.

“Your Majesty. Hunting monsters is very dangerous work. Please leave it to us instead of going out yourself.”

“. . . I have experience commanding armies and fighting many battles. Are you looking down on me?”

“How dare we? But isn’t fighting battles very different from hunting monsters? Please understand.”

Johan looked at them curiously. Weren’t these people that the emperor could destroy with one word? 

Yet they spoke so brazenly. Anyone would think this was the Holy Empire.

“Are those knights particularly disloyal?”

“No. Just average.”  

Ideals and reality were always different things. Long ago, the Vynashchtym Empire’s efficient bureaucracy only moved at the emperor’s command but that was no longer the case.

With enemies attacking from all sides, the Vynashchtym army alone was not enough.

They had to hire mercenaries and give local nobles real hereditary positions and feudal lands in exchange for raising troops. . .

This was almost customary so even if the emperor wanted change, it would immediately spur a rebellion. His authority was nominal at best.   

“It’s just the Holy Empire.”

“I have nothing more to say.”

“So what’s that St. Guntsalva Knight Order?”

“They’re from a monastery but enjoy both the privileges of monasteries and nobles.”

Monasteries originally received some privileges. When such a monastery grew larger and became more secular but kept its monastery name, that was the St. Guntsalva Knight Order.

It’s an educational institution and social club for local noble youths!

‘𝘖𝘩, 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘵𝘳𝘪𝘤𝘬?’  

Johan was slightly impressed by their trick. If he wasn’t a feudal lord, he would’ve used that trick when he returned to the Holy Empire.

In any case, their skills were assured. 

The skills of nobles who did nothing but train in their spare time couldn’t be matched by serfs. Some famous monsters had fallen to the St. Guntsalva Order’s swords.

“Can’t you just hold your sword to their necks and give orders?”

When Euclyia asked, Johan kindly explained.

“It’s better not to force them to do more than what we’re gaining. I probably don’t want the hostility of the local nobles either.”

“Then can’t you just kill them all?”

“I’ll be sure to pass on that advice to His Majesty.”

Euclyia nodded enthusiastically, not understanding Johan’s joke. She sincerely believed that was the answer.

Johan approached the grumbling emperor.  

“If you’re that dissatisfied, catching it first might not be bad.”

“Catch it first?”

“Yes.”

“But. . . my soldiers aren’t skilled at hunting monsters.”

“You haven’t heard that I’ve caught trolls and various monsters starting from the bottom. And those centaurs behind you are also hunting experts.”

The emperor asked in great surprise.

“You caught a troll? How?”

“Anyway, if you permit it, I’d like to show some Holy Empire-style hunting.”

“Then I can ask for nothing better. But how did you catch that troll?”

“Alright, it’s a hunt! I believe we won’t lose to those Vynashchtym guys!”

The centaurs were very excited by Johan’s words and cheered. Wherever they wandered, hunting was the most thrilling and fulfilling thing for them. It was like a farmer sowing seeds and tilling the soil. Hunting game was in a centaur’s nature.

‘𝘐’𝘭𝘭 𝘣𝘦 𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘺𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘪𝘯 𝘝𝘺𝘯𝘢𝘴𝘩𝘤𝘩𝘵𝘺𝘮 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘢 𝘸𝘩𝘪𝘭𝘦 𝘴𝘰 𝘣𝘶𝘪𝘭𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘶𝘱 𝘢 𝘳𝘦𝘱𝘶𝘵𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘪𝘴𝘯’𝘵 𝘣𝘢𝘥.’  

Johan had personally experienced how powerful fame was in the Holy Empire and the peninsula.

Wasn’t it the power of his reputation that enabled Johan, who had nothing as a lowly noble, to grow so quickly? 

Giving grace to the castellan’s wife’s family this time and hunting the monsters disturbing this area would also come back to Johan’s glory.

While Johan and the centaurs prepared to hunt, the knight order knights passing by were greatly surprised to see Jyanina.

“Miss over there, are you descended from dragons?”

“Could it be. . . the emperor’s distant relative?”

Advanced Chapters

Leave a Comment

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