How to Live as a Wandering Knight – Chapter 186

𝐍𝐨𝐛𝐥𝐞𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐂𝐚𝐩𝐢𝐭𝐚𝐥 (4)

The spear tore through the air as it flew. Valkalmur’s power twisted the spear’s trajectory, aiming for the vital point of the drake.  

━■!

Despite the drake’s muscular body making it difficult for the spearhead to penetrate, the spear smoothly entered the chest and precisely pierced the heart.

It was thrown with such force that the spearhead exited the other side after piercing the heart. Unlike other monsters that can endure even with their hearts pierced, the drake did not possess such skill. It let out a miserable cry and collapsed with a thud.  

“Excellent!”  

The dwarves shouted with admiration. The scene of taking down the monster with a single spear was heroic like in the ancient epics.

“Its breath may not have stopped yet. Do not let your guard down!”

‘𝘐𝘵 𝘴𝘦𝘦𝘮𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘣𝘦𝘤𝘢𝘶𝘴𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘮𝘰𝘯𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘦𝘹𝘤𝘦𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘺 𝘧𝘢𝘤𝘦𝘥 𝘸𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘢𝘣𝘯𝘰𝘳𝘮𝘢𝘭. . .’  

The experienced dwarf mercenaries thought to themselves. 

It was because Johan had fought many tenaciously strong monsters that he said that. Normal monsters would die instantly with their hearts pierced like this. What skills could the drake have to survive in that condition, it wasn’t even a Hydra.  

Still, the dwarves faithfully followed Johan’s order. Thanks to that, they would not be surprised by the next situation.  

“One more! One more is coming out!”

“. . .I don’t know who manages this arena, but I will snap his neck when he falls into my hands.”  

Johan gritted his teeth and lifted his spear. Fortunately, the drake rushed at him recklessly.  

With another throw, the drake’s breath was cut off.

“Your excellency, your excellency!”  

The centaurs came galloping urgently. Johan asked with an irritated expression.  

“Please tell me you bring good news.”

“Monsters are wandering the streets. We should move quickly.”

It wasn’t only the drake that escaped. It seemed someone, though unknown who, had released all the monsters inside the arena. It was chaotic with incidents continuing one after another.  

“Dwarves, guard the nobles in the mansion. Do not let them come out. Beat them if they try to come out to watch.”

“Thank you, your excellency!”  

“Ride on my back.”

With Euclyia’s help, Johan climbed onto her back. It was faster to subdue the city together with the centaurs than to find a horse.  

“Let’s go! We will dispose of the monsters and hang the arena administrator by his neck!”

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It was easy to imagine countless people fleeing the city in a panic when a monster appeared, but in reality it wasn’t that extreme.  

Most monsters were beasts like wild animals. Even when a monster appeared in a small town, people tried to surround and capture it or drive it away rather than flee.

Moreover, even if a monster appeared somewhere in such a large city, it was unlikely to endanger oneself.   

Rather than fleeing in fear, citizens chatted with excitement.  

“Where did they say the monster appeared?”

“I heard it went towards the Temple of Wisdom.  The goblins were running away in a panic earlier.”  

“What are those arena guys doing? Can’t even catch a single goblin. I could catch that much too.”

“This is all because of the emperor. . . Ahh! It’s a centaur!!”  

“The centaurs escaped too?!”

Citizens who were casually lounging on the street recoiled backwards in surprise as a group of centaurs galloped by.  

Of course centaurs weren’t monsters, but to those unfamiliar there wasn’t much difference. Whether it’s a monster or a barbarian, it’s the same if they want to split your head open.   

However, the centaurs did not threaten the citizens. Galloping swiftly, they shot arrows to hunt and strike down the monsters.  

Especially Johan was formidable. If a monster endured the arrows without dying or tried to flee, he would charge fiercely and slaughter it with his spear and warhammer.   

For monsters like drakes, fighting in such narrow spaces would inevitably lead to damage. They had strong vitality so fights tended to drag on.   

Johan who could take down such monsters with a single spear thrust or hammer blow was a nightmare to them.   

By the time the sun set, the escaped monsters had all been thoroughly handled. Drenched in blood and sweat, Johan and the centaurs returned to the palace while cursing. What a pain all because of some crazy b*stard.  

“I hope the arena administrator didn’t get away.” 

“Please let me skin that b*stard alive.”

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“What did the new captain of the imperial guard do??”

The nobles had looks of shock on their faces. Those who were lying sideways also got up in surprise.  

Those with the dragon’s bloodline who harbored enemies within the imperial court were more like adversaries and rivals of the emperor’s supporters rather than allies. When a rebellion breaks out in Vynashchtym, who will take the empty seat?

Although the Head Chamberlain’s head is flying around so they are being careful, they still harbored some discontent and jealousy deep down.  

When the foreign noble became the new captain this time, they jeered.

“Even though he is a mercenary, why do we keep accepting these foreign b*stards? Do they not care about Vynashchtym’s traditions? I’m already sick of seeing the republicans and the Eastern Empire fellows roaming around here. . .”

“He is a noble from the Holy Empire, isn’t he? Someone with a completely different religion?”

“What would that young count know? He probably cavorts with the republican fellows.”

Regardless of their displeasure, they thought the young count from a foreign land would not assimilate so quickly.  

Like other captains of the imperial guard and mercenary leaders in the past, outsiders had a hard time adapting to Vynashchtym. Starting from the culture and customs to refinement, it was not easy to deal with people who were so different.

Moreover, people who had only swung swords on battlefields all their lives could seem barbaric to Vynashchtym’s people with long traditions, even if they were knights.

But then the report came in that the accident in the arena from yesterday was resolved in less than a day. By the newly arrived captain of the imperial guard.   

“Didn’t you say a lot of monsters got loose? It should have taken days, no weeks!”

The city was big and complex. It was common for monsters to hide in alleys and undergrounds. This was not something that could be wrapped up in a day.  

“Isn’t it a bluff?”

“I don’t know if it’s a bluff or not, but the citizens are chanting his name. It seems his feats were quite remarkable.”

“These fools. . .! They don’t even know if all the monsters have been caught or not!”  

Someone burst out angrily. The citizens were absurdly celebrating without even knowing if all the monsters were really caught.  

But the citizens’ reactions were also natural. What they personally saw and heard was the young count swiftly slaying the monsters’ lives with his sword.

It would have been stranger not to react after seeing and hearing that. In this situation, no one cared if every last monster was caught or not. Everyone was frenzied with excitement over the new captain’s might.

“We might as well call out the count to persuade him instead.”

“Persuade him. . . How can we trust a foreigner? They are not trustworthy people.”

It was an overstatement, but there was reason behind the nobles’ words. In Vynashchtym’s history, there had been many nobles who were backstabbed after joining hands with foreign nobles.

It wasn’t just one or two people or one or two occasions. This was distrust built up over a long history.  

It would have been better if he was just a mercenary captain. They could easily employ and control him. But foreign nobles were different. They could grow their power as much as they liked with external backing.

“But the count’s territory is across the sea and he does not have any fiefs around here. He did not bring many soldiers either. What trouble could holding his hand a little cause? The emperor summoned him knowing that.”  

“That’s right. Now that he’s suddenly gained such popularity, he’ll strut around for a while. Poking around and containing him for no reason will only garner backlash. He must have gotten quite arrogant so he won’t be easy to placate either, will he?”

“And isn’t Count Johan much more trustworthy than the republican fellows? I gathered some rumors that say he has strong faith and guards his honor like his life as a knight.”  

“Hmm.”

Some people’s words were persuasive.  

Certainly, Johan felt oddly sincere compared to the republican fellows.

“Let’s call him out and see.”

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“After locking the outermost prison door, locking the inside door, locking the small door inside, he came out saying he came out? Is that what you call words?”

The judge shouted angrily and then glanced at Johan. He heard that the new imperial guard captain had suffered.  

The colosseum manager was a rather powerful job.

Scheduling the games and receiving kickbacks from the gladiators’ masters was lucrative. As such, the bribes given to other high officials were also considerable.

However, with Johan next to him being so intimidating, even the lighter punishment of a huge fine and imprisonment for failing to prevent what someone else did seemed too grave in this situation.  

The judge happened to personally witness Johan smashing a monster’s skull with a warhammer in front of his mansion.

‘𝘛𝘩𝘢𝘵’𝘴 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘢 𝘩𝘶𝘮𝘢𝘯’𝘴 𝘣𝘭𝘰𝘰𝘥𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘦, 𝘪𝘵 𝘮𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵 𝘣𝘦 𝘮𝘪𝘹𝘦𝘥 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘣𝘭𝘰𝘰𝘥𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘨𝘰𝘥𝘴. . .!’

“Please, spare me! Believe me! Anything but death!”  

Whether it was opened intentionally or by mistake, the punishment was death; even if it was accepted that someone else did it, there would still be responsibility for failing to stop it, warranting a huge fine and imprisonment.  

But given the current circumstances, even the latter was fortunate. The manager pleaded and pleaded.

“He doesn’t seem to be lying about what he’s saying.”

“. . .What?”

“I don’t feel any sincerity. We will show mercy.”  

“S-Since your excellency says so. . .”

The judge was trembling but nodded. The manager shed tears of gratitude. His fortune was gone but he could earn money again. Wasn’t life most important?

‘𝘛𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘬 𝘺𝘰𝘶, 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘬 𝘺𝘰𝘶!’  

He was saved by this foreign count he had never met before. The manager cursed the judge and thanked Johan.

‘𝘏𝘦 𝘥𝘰𝘦𝘴𝘯’𝘵 𝘴𝘦𝘦𝘮 𝘵𝘰 𝘣𝘦 𝘭𝘺𝘪𝘯𝘨. . . 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘯 𝘸𝘩𝘰 𝘰𝘱𝘦𝘯𝘦𝘥 𝘪𝘵?’

Johan’s reason for helping the manager was simple. He really didn’t seem to be lying. His account was convincing.

‘𝘛𝘩𝘰𝘴𝘦 𝘥𝘪𝘴𝘴𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘴𝘧𝘪𝘦𝘥 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘌𝘮𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘰𝘳 𝘤𝘰𝘶𝘭𝘥 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘪𝘯𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘨𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴. 𝘎𝘪𝘷𝘦𝘴 𝘮𝘦 𝘤𝘩𝘪𝘭𝘭𝘴.’

“Count, the sun is still harsh, it may hurt your throat. It would be my honor if you would drink this, paltry as it is.” 

“Ah, thanks.”

Seeing Johan walking down the street, a merchant took out cold water in a jug mixed with vinegar, herbs and salt, a kind of beverage.  

“Count, thanks to you I was able to save my life! Thank you. This is a cape made from Gaboro, please take it if it suits you. . .”

“Count, Count. . .”  

The following dwarves were surprised at the citizens who kept greeting Johan. Of course Johan was a good employer, good noble, good knight. 

But they had heard the Vynashchtym were usually rude and arrogant. . .

“Johan, come here.”

Hearing the voice, Gaoalkana, who was lying down, pushed away the servant giving her a massage and got up. Above her eyes were black and blue bruises.

“. . .What is this? Who did you get it from?”

“Huh? This? I got drunk and fell over. I was trying to watch and bumped into others and fell over.”

“. . . . . .”  

Johan was beginning to understand the Emperor. No matter how much family, how do you keep taking care of someone like this?

“Right. Those dwarves! I was trying to go out but they blocked me. Can you believe it?”

“Why were you trying to go out?”

“To look around?”

Johan didn’t reply and ignored her. Gaoalkana wasn’t bothered and continued talking.  

“In any case, it was a truly great banquet. Johan. Everyone was satisfied. The hunt as well.”

“No plans today?”

“No. There’s someone who wants to meet Johan and say thanks for not getting hurt this time.”

Johan made a very unpleasant expression. Whoever Gaoalkana introduced was a noble, and a low ranking one at that, who played around wildly.   

Young nobles absorbed in theater and banquets were usually either nobles without inheritance rights or from not very high ranking families. They were of no help and always drunk.

“For what purpose?”

“They said they want to thank Johan for not getting hurt this time.”  

“I see. . .”

He could accept a thanks at least.  

‘𝘛𝘩𝘦𝘺 𝘤𝘢𝘯’𝘵 𝘣𝘦 𝘥𝘳𝘶𝘯𝘬 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦.’

Johan followed Gaoalkana to a small palace outside. Being dimly lit and shaded, it looked more like a monastery than a palace.

‘. . .?’

“Not a noble?”

“Huh? Strictly speaking, imperial family right?”

Along with her words, vampires in Eastern Empire attire appeared beyond the gate. Johan was quite surprised.

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