How to Live as a Wandering Knight โ€“ Chapter 185

๐๐จ๐›๐ฅ๐ž๐ฌ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐‚๐š๐ฉ๐ข๐ญ๐š๐ฅ (3)

Of course, such nonsensical excuses were not accepted. The nobles came over and started talking.

Like an excellent prosecutor casually throwing out attacks to gauge the opponentโ€™s skills, the nobles here also lightly tossed out questions to get a sense of Johan.ย ย 

Those hired from outside Vynashchtym may be good at battles but are often greedy and ambitious or ignorant of politics.

Not all virtues desired by the nobles. But if there was one among them that could be tolerated. . .

โ€˜๐˜ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏโ€™๐˜ต ๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ช๐˜ง ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆโ€™๐˜ด ๐˜จ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ๐˜บ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ ๐˜ข๐˜ฎ๐˜ฃ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ด, ๐˜ข๐˜ด ๐˜ญ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ข๐˜ด ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆโ€™๐˜ด ๐˜ด๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ ๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ฏ ๐˜ต๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ฌ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ.โ€™

โ€˜๐˜โ€™๐˜ฎ ๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ธ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ฉ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ฃ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ด.โ€™ย ย 

I wish he was at least politically conversant!

Not all elders, nobles, or wealthy commoner representatives wanted to tear down the emperor. Just a few ambitious ones had such dangerous thoughts. Most only wanted to maximize their own interests as long as Vynashchtym was running smoothly.

For that, the emperor had to lend an ear to the words of various groups in the capital and govern beautifully. And for this to be possible, the emperor had to get out more and actively socialize. . .

Gaรฏaros did not.ย 

โ”๐๐ฅ๐ž๐š๐ฌ๐ž, ๐ฃ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ญ ๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž ๐จ๐ฎ๐ญ!

As an army general, not an emperor, he was only training his own troops in the barracks.

At least his younger sister Gaoalkana was sociable and charming, but had no interest in politics. She simply passed on any petition to his older brother.

It was enough to drive the people she interacted with crazy. It was like talking to a wall.

The only option was to persuade the emperorโ€™s aides to prod him out. . . But so far most had failed.ย 

In the case of the Draconian Guards and other barbarian groups, language itself was a barrier. . .ย 

โ€˜๐˜–๐˜ฉ ๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜ช๐˜ต. ๐˜๐˜ฆ ๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ฏ ๐˜ด๐˜ฑ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ฌ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฑ๐˜ช๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜จ๐˜ถ๐˜ฆ.โ€™ย ย 

โ€˜๐˜Š๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ต๐˜ณ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜บ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ต ๐˜ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ฅ, ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ฒ๐˜ถ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ฆ ๐˜ค๐˜ถ๐˜ญ๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ท๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ. . .โ€™?

In that sense, Johan earned points just for knowing the ancient imperial language. Any Vynashchtym noble should know ancient imperial.

And contrary to rumors, he was quite learned in theology and academics. They thought heโ€™d be a typical battle commander noble, but he can actually hold a conversation! The noblesโ€™ faces brightened a bit.

โ€˜๐˜ž๐˜ฉ๐˜บ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฐ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜บ ๐˜ญ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฌ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ฑ๐˜ฑ๐˜บ?โ€™

Johan noticed the change in the peopleโ€™s expressions and felt uncomfortable. It was awkward to have strangers strike up a conversation then get happy among themselves.ย 

โ€œItโ€™s nice to meet you, Count Yeats.โ€

โ€œBy the way, Iโ€™m hosting a banquet at my estate tomorrow. Wonโ€™t you come? I dare say my chef is among the best in the capital.โ€

โ€œA banquet is nice, but for someone newly arrived, thereโ€™s no place more fun than the Colosseum. What do you enjoy? Chariot races? No. You must like fights. Do you want to see battles against monsters? Or fights among warriors?โ€

The Vynashchtym people indulged in pleasures and amusements on a scale unimaginable in the west like the Holy Empire. Pitting monsters and gladiators against each other in a massive circular arena for people to spectate.ย ย 

Of course, it was a literal gamble with their lives. The more warriors killed, the more the excitement and thrill multiplied.ย ย 

โ€˜๐˜ž๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜โ€™๐˜ฎ ๐˜ง๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ, ๐˜ฆ๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ฌ๐˜ฏ๐˜ช๐˜จ๐˜ฉ๐˜ต๐˜ด ๐˜ค๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฆ๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ๐˜ฃ๐˜ข๐˜ค๐˜ฌ ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ข๐˜ด ๐˜จ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ต๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฎ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ญ๐˜บ.โ€™

In the Holy Empire, when knights gathered to compete on horseback, countless people would come to watch. With so few entertainments in this world, such equestrian events were a rare spectacle.ย ย 

Even such non-lethal competitions saw many knights killed and injured. So fights with real swords. . .

โ€œBut what does the Order say about this in Vynashchtym?โ€ย ย 

At Johanโ€™s words, the nobles made awkward expressions. The mainlandโ€™s unified church and Vynashchtymโ€™s imperial church did not get along but had no major doctrinal differences.ย ย 

Gluttony, debauchery and killing could hardly be condoned.ย ย ย 

โ€œWorry not, Johan. I know a good method.โ€

โ€œ?โ€

โ€œAfter enjoying pleasures, I always go to the temple the next day to pay penance money.โ€

โ€œ. . . . . .โ€

โ€œAs expected of Her Majesty!โ€ย 

โ€œHahaha!โ€

โ€˜๐˜๐˜ฎ๐˜ฎ. ๐˜Ž๐˜ถ๐˜บ๐˜ด ๐˜ ๐˜ง๐˜ถ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ๐˜ข๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ต๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ญ๐˜บ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ช๐˜ด๐˜ข๐˜จ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ธ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ฉ.โ€™ย ย 

Seeing the nobles laugh happily, Johan could understand why the emperor had withdrawn.ย ย 

Surely talking to them would cause headaches!

๐Ÿ”ธ๐Ÿ”ธ๐Ÿ”ธ๐Ÿ”ธ๐Ÿ”ธ๐Ÿ”ธ

At first meeting, work was work. Johan gathered the centaurs and dwarves to distribute roles. They were certainly skilled enough not to fail at work.ย 

โ€œJohan. Why do we need more guards?โ€

โ€œIsnโ€™t it strange to have that level of guard originally escorting someone of high status?โ€

โ€œI told you to speak comfortably. I allow it. Was it dangerous even with that escort before?โ€

โ€œThereโ€™s no guarantee itโ€™ll stay safe in the future.โ€ย ย 

โ€œHaha. . . What foolish person would target me first? Theyโ€™d target Gaรฏaros first.โ€

โ€œ!โ€

Johan was slightly surprised at Gaoalkanaโ€™s words. He thought she lived without much thought, but her insight was unexpectedly accurate.ย ย 

It was true. Even for an assassination, theyโ€™d target Gaรฏaros who held the military and handled politics rather than the powerless Gaoalkana.

โ€œThe opponent might be a madman.โ€ย ย 

โ€œAh, certainly thatโ€™s true.โ€

Gaoalkana nodded convincingly.

โ€œThen why are they all dwarves? What about the centaurs?โ€

โ€œCentaurs arenโ€™t suitable to escort and guard.โ€

Truthfully, the centaurs didnโ€™t seem to want to associate much with Gaoalkana either.

โ€œUgh. . . I was trying to talk. Nevermind. Follow me.โ€ย ย 

โ€œ?โ€

Gaoalkana started walking towards the kitchen of the mansion. Johan was puzzled about what could be in the kitchen.

โ€œOf course the excellent knight Johan wouldโ€™ve known as soon as he saw her, but this one is a great artist.โ€

โ€œUh. . .โ€

One of the dwarves was seen tightly stroking his beard. Facial management was also the role of a guard.

โ€œI also sponsor city artists and help them out.โ€ย 

โ€œTruly admirable.โ€ย ย 

โ€œYou donโ€™t have to compliment. Anyway, preparing the banquet is also where an artist can show their genius. . .โ€

Gaoalkana looked at Johan testingly. Sheโ€™d heard he was an amazing noble knight, but for her, the important thing was his skill in this area.

โ€œI didnโ€™t come as a cook though, Iโ€™m a guard.โ€ย ย 

โ€œShouldnโ€™t a noble naturally have an aesthetic sense?โ€

Johan was about to say that western nobles and knights, unlike the royals who grew up inside the imperial palace, were rather roughly raised, but held his tongue. She probably wouldnโ€™t be interested anyway. . .

Seeing Johan disinterested, Gaoalkana coaxed,ย ย 

โ€œIf you do well, I will listen attentively to what Johan says. Okay?โ€

โ€œAnd if I donโ€™t do well?โ€

โ€œIf you donโ€™t do well, Johan has to listen attentively to what I say.โ€ย ย 

โ€œIโ€™m already listening attentively though. . .?โ€

Since he had to keep accompanying Gaoalkana, Johan decided to at least ask first.

โ€œWhat do I have to do?โ€

โ€œThink of something more to add to this perfect banquet I have prepared. If you share a good opinion, I will give you a prize.โ€

Seeing Johan remain seated and fall deep in thought, Gaoalkana grinned gleefully.ย 

If he was another barbarian captain of the imperial guards, he mightโ€™ve yelled โ€˜๐˜ž๐˜ฉ๐˜บ ๐˜ฎ๐˜ข๐˜ฌ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ข ๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฐ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ถ๐˜ง๐˜ง!โ€™ and stormed off, but Johan was seriously pondering it quite unexpectedly. That alone deserved quite high praise.ย ย 

He certainly had at least a little of an artistโ€™s heart.

โ€œItโ€™s not like some kind of god-given inspiration. . .โ€ย ย 

โ€œWhatโ€™s that?โ€

โ€œItโ€™s a legend from my hometown. A story where a duke boastfully promised a thousand gold coins if anyone could remove or add even one letter from a book he wrote. . .โ€ย 

Though it was a legend not from the Holy Empire but Johanโ€™s actual homeland, there was no one who would know that.

Gaoalkana seemed to really like that vigor.ย ย 

โ€œGreat story! I will remember it! If I write a book in the future, I must include it.โ€

โ€˜๐˜–๐˜ฉ ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ. . . ๐˜ž๐˜ฉ๐˜บ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ช๐˜ฅ ๐˜ ๐˜ด๐˜ข๐˜บ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ต?โ€™

While Johan had tried improving the barren Holy Empire cuisine in his spare time, he doubted it would be of use for such a lavish banquet.

โ€œIs this cream? Thereโ€™s no sweet taste.โ€ย 

โ€œThatโ€™s not for eating, itโ€™s meant to be spread to enjoy. . .โ€

โ€œ. . .โ€

Johan, who was sampling the cream, quieted and glared at Gaoalkana. His gaze was so fierce that Gaoalkana explained without realizing.ย ย 

โ€œI-It hasnโ€™t been used yet! Okay?โ€

Johan found some nearby sugar and started vigorously whipping it into the cream.

Cream was often used as a sauce in Vynashchtym but not whipped with sugar like this, so Gaoalkana was puzzled.ย ย 

โ€œHmm. Itโ€™s pretty good. As expected, taste improves when ingredients are used extravagantly.โ€ย 

โ€œWha. . . Really not bad, right?โ€

Not expecting Johan to instantly make something, Gaoalkana was very surprised.ย ย ย 

โ€œJohan. Think of more!โ€ย 

โ€œ. . . . . .โ€

โ€œIf you think of one more thing, I promise to never make you do this again! I promise!โ€ย ย 

โ€œ. . . . . .โ€

โ€œStop glaring at me! Itโ€™s scary!โ€

๐Ÿ”ธ๐Ÿ”ธ๐Ÿ”ธ๐Ÿ”ธ๐Ÿ”ธ๐Ÿ”ธ

Digging through faint memories, Gaoalkana was very satisfied to take out several luxurious dishes that existed in history. She insisted that Johan was clearly born for art.ย ย 

Not only that, she shouted loudly that she would introduce him as an artist in front of people, so Johan had to keep a straight face.

โ€œWhat do you think about the Vynashchtymyu still not perishing?โ€ย ย 

The dwarf next to him whispered. Johan chuckled. The nobles of Vynashchtym ate and drank like crazy, to the point that the dwarf said that.

At the banquet Gaoalkana hosted at her villa, the nobles were completely absorbed in making loud noises.ย ย 

โ€œWell, if they want to do that, thereโ€™s no need to stop them. . . Wait.โ€

โ€œ?โ€ย ย 

The dwarf was puzzled as Johan frowned.

โ€œDo you not hear any sound?โ€

โ€œAll I hear are big drunks vomiting. . .?โ€

โ€œNo. Monster sound.โ€ย ย 

โ€œ!โ€

The dwarf had great faith in his employerโ€™s abilities. If Johan said there was one, there was one.

โ€œGrab your weapons!โ€

The physical abilities of the dwarves were one of the best among their race. They picked up their shields and battle axes and tensed their nerves. Their eyes seemed to radiate a fierce light.ย ย 

โ€˜๐˜‰๐˜ถ๐˜ต ๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ฏ ๐˜ข ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ข๐˜ฑ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ณ ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ ๐˜ข ๐˜ฃ๐˜ช๐˜จ ๐˜ค๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜บ ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ฌ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ด?โ€™

As if answering the dwarfโ€™s question, noisy sounds gradually started to be heard. Screams of people, sounds of things colliding and collapsing were heard.ย 

โ€œDrake! Drake!โ€

โ€œA drake escaped from us!โ€

โ€œ. . .Donโ€™t tell me these crazy guys had a drake locked up?!โ€

The dwarves shouted in disbelief, but now was not the time to worry about that. First we had to assess and handle the situation.

โ€œCheck which way itโ€™s coming and stop it from rampaging once it gets here.โ€

โ€œDonโ€™t we need siege weapons for a drake?โ€

Drakes, which look like two-legged dinosaurs, have low intelligence but strong vitality. Siege weapons were needed to kill them in one blow.

โ€œYour excellency will kill it in one shot.โ€ย 

โ€œWell, his excellency is. . .โ€

โ€œ. . .Itโ€™s not my place, but donโ€™t you think youโ€™re being too casual towards your master?โ€

Even as he spoke like that, Johan took out several spears and staked them into the ground. He figured one spear would be enough to kill something centaur sized.ย 

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

Appeasing the dissatisfaction of the capital was one of the emperorโ€™s greatest roles. If dissatisfaction grew, riots could happen and the emperor could lose his position.ย 

Thatโ€™s why so many feasts and victory parades were held.

And now an accident like this happened. My luck is the worst for things like this to occur.

โ€œWhatโ€™s with the noise?โ€ย 

โ€œYeah, whatโ€™s going on?โ€

The loud noises seemed to reach the ears of the drunk nobles as well, as people came out from the villa into the courtyard. Johan shouted angrily.

โ€œWhat are you doing? Get them back inside!โ€

โ€œWeโ€™re sorry!โ€

The dwarves tried to push the nobles back in. The drunk nobles resisted tipsily.

โ€œWhy are you pushing, you midgets!โ€

โ€œ. . .โ€

โ€œWhat? Want a beating?!โ€ย 

โ€œWhy didnโ€™t you say so earlier!โ€

The dwarves immediately swung their axe handles to hit and knock down the nobles. The nobles shrieked โ€˜Ow ow!โ€™ and scrambled hastily back inside.ย 

Just then the drake appeared from the road below. Fortunately it wasnโ€™t very big. Johan threw his spear down like lightning.

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