How to Live as a Wandering Knight โ€“ Chapter 187

๐๐จ๐›๐ฅ๐ž๐ฌ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐‚๐š๐ฉ๐ข๐ญ๐š๐ฅ (5)

โ€œWhy are you surprised?โ€

Gaoalkana looked at Johan with a puzzled expression.ย ย 

Vynashchtym was constantly at war with the pagan Easterners, but it wasnโ€™t a war where they cut off all relations and fought until one side was dead.

Vynashchtym had its circumstances and the Eastern Empire had theirs, so envoys and communication openly and privately went back and forth between them.ย ย 

Just as the various petty kingdoms and republics around Vynashchtymโ€™s ports had their own missions, merchant halls, and exclusive zones, so did the Eastern Empire.ย ย 

โ€˜๐˜ž๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ญ, ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฑ๐˜ถ๐˜ฃ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ค๐˜ด ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฐ ๐˜ต๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ฌ ๐˜ต๐˜ณ๐˜ข๐˜ด๐˜ฉ ๐˜ข๐˜ฃ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ต ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜Œ๐˜ข๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ฏ ๐˜Œ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฑ๐˜ช๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ถ๐˜ต ๐˜ฌ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฑ ๐˜ต๐˜ณ๐˜ข๐˜ฅ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ธ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ฉ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฎ ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜บ๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜บ.โ€™ย ย 

It was easy to think that the Sultan ruled the vast Eastern Empire with an iron fist, but even there the power of provincial nobles was considerable. Politically it was unstable, to say the least.ย ย 

Such nobles didnโ€™t care much whether they traded with enemies or demons as long as it served their interests. Even now countless trade ships would be carrying goods along sea routes.ย ย 

โ€œWait. Even if theyโ€™re nobles from the Eastern Empire thatโ€™s one thing, but royalty?โ€

โ€œYeah. Someone in exile.โ€

โ€œAh.โ€ย ย 

Johan immediately grasped the situation. Succession disputes were also quite fierce in the Eastern Empire, and defeat in those battles awaited only death, both in the past and present.ย ย 

In such times the safest place was ironically the enemy nation โ€“ the Sultanโ€™s hand wouldnโ€™t easily reach there.ย ย 

โ€œHer Majesty has arrived. Everyone come out and greet her.โ€

The vampires discovered Gaoalkana and streamed out. While exiled nobles had to be careful around an emperor, their reaction seemed rather familiar.ย ย 

โ€˜๐˜š๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆโ€™๐˜ด ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ข๐˜ญ ๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด.โ€™ย ย 

Johan thought Gaoalkana really got around a lot. As an emperor, was there a need to be so friendly with pagan exiles?

โ€œ. . .Donโ€™t tell me you came by often because you wanted to hear Eastern tales?โ€

โ€œOh! How did you know?โ€

โ€œ. . . . . .โ€

Gaoalkana looked at Johan with genuinely surprised eyes. She felt it every time they talked, but this count from the west was a truly unique man.ย ย 

The people of the west, even those of noble bloodlines, find it hard to shake off the customs of barbarians. Yet this count could converse freely with Vynashchtymโ€™s other nobles, cultured as he was.ย ย 

Whatโ€™s more, he had a sense for art above all else. Even among Vynashchtymโ€™s nobles this was a rare talent. Perhaps that was why their conversations always seemed to flow well.ย ย 

โ€˜๐˜ž๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ ๐˜ฌ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ๐˜ธ๐˜ด ๐˜ธ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ต ๐˜ด๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆโ€™๐˜ด ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ฌ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ. ๐˜š๐˜ถ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜บ ๐˜ด๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ฏโ€™๐˜ต ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ณ๐˜ถ๐˜ด๐˜ฉ ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง๐˜ง ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ด๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ฑ ๐˜ข๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜บ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฒ๐˜ถ๐˜ฆ๐˜ต ๐˜ธ๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฆโ€™๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ฌ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ.โ€™

Johan was suspicious of Gaoalkanaโ€™s gaze. She wasnโ€™t a tyrant or arrogant, just liked to do as she pleased a bit too much.ย ย 

To Johan, who had lived wearing restraint and patience like armor, Gaoalkanaโ€™s debauched hedonism was simply beyond comprehension.

โ€œWhile we talk, stay by my side and donโ€™t wander off anywhere.โ€ย 

โ€œSeeing how youโ€™re relying on me, are you feeling good?โ€

Misunderstanding Johanโ€™s suspicion, Gaoalkana was instead in an even better mood. She would have frowned if she knew his true feelings.

๐Ÿ”ธ๐Ÿ”ธ๐Ÿ”ธ๐Ÿ”ธ๐Ÿ”ธ๐Ÿ”ธ

Barhan, an old and blind vampire of the Eastern imperial family, sniffed and said,ย 

โ€œYour Majesty. Seeing that you have come with a human. . . Could it be Count Yeats?โ€

โ€œThatโ€™s right. I brought him with me.โ€

It was quite amazing to see him identify races by smell. Despite Johan not saying anything, Barhan looked towards Johan and spoke.ย ย 

โ€œWhen you lose your eyesight, other senses become more acute. Itโ€™s not really an amazing talent.โ€

โ€œ. . .I see. People must be quite surprised.โ€

Barhan was surprised at Johanโ€™s words. Usually when people saw a blind man identify races like that, they would be caught off guard.ย ย 

By mentioning it first, as if he already knew, the mystery grew even more. But Johan did not fall for it.

โ€œThank you for coming all this way. Your Excellency Count. You must have already heard the reason, but let me thank you again.โ€ย 

โ€œAh.โ€

Regardless of Barhanโ€™s words, Johan honestly did not remember well what monster they were talking about.ย ย 

He had hunted down so many monsters that day. He felt like he had caught some around here too, but he couldnโ€™t remember which one they were referring to.

โ€œIt was the right thing to do.โ€

Johan did not show an ounce of arrogance in his attitude. The noble attendant escorting Barhan was slightly moved by that attitude.ย ย 

Even if he was a pagan, such a humble attitude deserved respect. Especially since the other party was a Count Knight.

โ€œActually, the people of Vynashchtym donโ€™t really like me or my entourage that much. . . So I thought you might not want to help. . .โ€

Barhanโ€™s voice was sincere. He was resting comfortably in the small palace he had been given, but that was separate from the citizensโ€™ favor.ย ย 

When monsters run amok, the places that must be protected first are where the nobles are, then the merchants, and then. . .

But the newly arrived captain ignored these customs and rushed in to strike down the monsters. From their perspective, they had no choice but to be grateful.

โ€˜๐˜๐˜ต ๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜ด ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ค๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ต๐˜ข๐˜ถ๐˜ณ๐˜ด ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ต ๐˜ธ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ต ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ต ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ค๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ต๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ญ.โ€™

Johan worried to himself. The centaurs had lost control and recklessly chased after wherever the monsters were, but the vampires seemed to think whatever they wanted.ย ย 

In any case, he had no intention of interfering if they wanted to express gratitude.ย 

โ€˜๐˜›๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ฎ๐˜ฐ๐˜ด๐˜ฑ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜จ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฅ, ๐˜ด๐˜ฐ ๐˜ ๐˜ด๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ญ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ข๐˜ด๐˜ฌ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ฎ ๐˜ด๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฒ๐˜ถ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ด ๐˜โ€™๐˜ฎ ๐˜ค๐˜ถ๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ด ๐˜ข๐˜ฃ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ต.โ€™

It was not often that he had the opportunity to hear directly from an Eastern imperial prince. Johan asked him various things.ย ย 

About the envoy he had captured, the family of the commander he had fought against in the previous battle, and the status of the Mulc family, the family of the knight Ahir who had helped Johan.

The old vampire seemed to know much more than Johan had thought, smoothly answering everything.ย ย 

What was most surprising was his status. Barhan was currently the Sultanโ€™s uncle.ย ย 

The Eastern Sultans had children like rabbits, so their bloodline was as numerous as grains of sand. But to meet an uncle-level person here. . .

โ€œYeheyman is an excellent warrior and commander. A warrior who sees beheading enemies and offering their heads to the gods as a virtue. After one defeat, wouldnโ€™t he try to avenge that humiliation by any means?โ€

โ€œ. . .No. I did not want to know that much.โ€ย ย 

Johan had simply asked what kind of guy he was and why he had landed with so many troops, but it just made him feel dirty. Johan frowned.ย ย 

From the sounds of it, he seemed like quite a rough guy. Johan worried that he would be troublesome to deal with later.

โ€œI may be old and sick, but I do not forget the grace I must repay. If not for this situation, I would have properly repaid you. . .โ€

By seeking asylum, their lives were safe but the power they had was gone. As Barhan vaguely trailed off in regret, Johan shrugged and said,

โ€œI did not do this seeking compensation, so do not worry about repaying me.โ€ย ย 

Johan was not so destitute that he would forcibly wring repayment from an exiled imperial prince. In the first place, he had not even considered it. Simply hearing various things about the Eastern Empire was satisfying enough. At least it was much more constructive than being dragged to Gaoalkanaโ€™s banquets.

โ€œBarhan-nim, what do you think about calling over Sir Lumahr and introducing the count to him? Would Sir Lumahr not be sufficiently helpful?โ€

Sir Lumahr was an Eastern nobleman residing in Vynashchtym. He himself was also an excellent diplomat, and his familyโ€™s assets were considerable. Thanks to a past connection, Barhan was quite close with Lumahr.ย ย 

However, acquainting a newly arrived captain with an Eastern noble was not a good idea.ย ย 

More than caring about public opinion, the proud noble count himself might find it offensive. No matter how wide his connections or vast his assets, he was decidedly still a pagan.ย ย 

โ€œDonโ€™t speak nonsense. Would you insult His Excellency the Count? His coming here alone is enough.โ€

โ€œI-Iโ€™m sorry.โ€ย ย 

โ€œWho is Sir Lumahr?โ€

Johan, who had been listening, asked curiously. Gaoalkana explained next to him who it was. Hearing that, Johan immediately replied,ย ย 

โ€œI donโ€™t mind meeting him.โ€

โ€œWill it really be alright?โ€

โ€œIf he is your friend, there should be no dishonor in befriending him.โ€

Of course, Johan was saying this after hearing that he was wealthy with many connections back home. Such a person would be good to get close to.ย ย 

As it was, Johan was already shamelessly securing interests however he could to increase trade routes in his fief. If he could get special privileges in the Eastern Empire like he did in Vynashchtym, it would be perfect.

โ€œThen I will call for him. Your Excellency.โ€ย ย 

The vampires there looked at Johan with newfound eyes. While there were rampant rumors about the newly arrived captain, seeing him in person made the feeling different.ย ย 

What stood out the most was his modesty and how he respected Barhan. Such an attitude among pagans was rare.

๐Ÿ”ธ๐Ÿ”ธ๐Ÿ”ธ๐Ÿ”ธ๐Ÿ”ธ๐Ÿ”ธ

โ€œThe new personal guard captain? Ah, Count Yeats?โ€ย 

โ€œYes.โ€

โ€œIs he really an okay person? I heard something a bit different.โ€

Lumahr moved his steps in wonder after receiving the vampire attendantโ€™s message.

Unlike Barhan, who was semi-retired, Lumahr was still active and energetic. He was in contact with the nobles of Vynashchtym, sending envoys to the emperor, reporting to the sultan, occasionally negotiating with the republicans. . .

As such, he heard a lot. Generous and magnanimous were not words that suited Count Yeats.ย ย 

โ€œA knight who participated in the battle told me. . .โ€

โ€œWhat did he say to make you say that?โ€

โ€œHe said it was like a warrior born from the demon mating with a monster.โ€

โ”๐‡๐ž ๐ฐ๐š๐ฌ ๐š๐ญ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐ฒ ๐Ÿ๐ซ๐จ๐ง๐ญ ๐ฐ๐ก๐ž๐ง ๐š๐๐ฏ๐š๐ง๐œ๐ข๐ง๐ , ๐š๐ญ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐ฒ ๐›๐š๐œ๐ค ๐ฐ๐ก๐ž๐ง ๐ซ๐ž๐ญ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ญ๐ข๐ง๐ , ๐ฐ๐ข๐ž๐ฅ๐๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ฌ๐ก๐š๐ซ๐ฉ ๐ฐ๐ž๐š๐ฉ๐จ๐ง๐ฌ ๐ฅ๐ข๐ค๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ฒ ๐ฐ๐ž๐ซ๐ž ๐ก๐ข๐ฌ ๐จ๐ฐ๐ง ๐ก๐š๐ง๐๐ฌ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐Ÿ๐ž๐ž๐ญ, ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ค๐ง๐ข๐ ๐ก๐ญ๐ฌ ๐ฐ๐ก๐จ ๐Ÿ๐š๐œ๐ž๐ ๐ก๐ข๐ฆ ๐Ÿ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐ฅ๐ข๐ค๐ž ๐ฆ๐ฎ๐. ๐๐จ ๐จ๐ฎ๐ญ๐ฌ๐ญ๐š๐ง๐๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ค๐ง๐ข๐ ๐ก๐ญ ๐œ๐จ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐ ๐š๐ฏ๐จ๐ข๐ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐œ๐จ๐ฎ๐ง๐ญโ€™๐ฌ ๐ฌ๐ฐ๐จ๐ซ๐.ย 

๐‹๐š๐ญ๐ž๐ซ, ๐ž๐ฏ๐ž๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐›๐ซ๐š๐ฏ๐ž ๐ฐ๐š๐ซ๐ซ๐ข๐จ๐ซ๐ฌ ๐›๐ž๐œ๐š๐ฆ๐ž ๐œ๐จ๐ฐ๐š๐ซ๐๐ฌ ๐ฐ๐ก๐จ ๐๐ข๐ ๐ง๐จ๐ญ ๐๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐ญ๐จ ๐Ÿ๐š๐œ๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐œ๐จ๐ฎ๐ง๐ญ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐Ÿ๐ฅ๐ž๐, ๐š๐ฌ ๐ข๐Ÿ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐๐ž๐ฆ๐จ๐ง ๐ก๐š๐ ๐ฆ๐š๐ญ๐ž๐ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ญ๐ก ๐š ๐ฆ๐จ๐ง๐ฌ๐ญ๐ž๐ซ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ ๐ข๐ฏ๐ž ๐›๐ข๐ซ๐ญ๐ก ๐ญ๐จ ๐š ๐ฐ๐š๐ซ๐ซ๐ข๐จ๐ซ. . .

โ€œWhat! He is not that kind of person.โ€ย ย 

Seeing the attendant take his side, Lumahr became even more puzzled. No matter how many monsters he defeated and saved lives, can he really react like this?

โ€œAnyway, Barhan-nim saved me, I guess I have to repay that debt.โ€

Lumahr owed Barhan a debt when he was young. He took it for granted to at least pay him back.ย ย 

โ€œA decent sword and shield might work.โ€

โ€œHow is the matter you told me about last time?โ€

โ€œThe petty kingdoms? The atmosphere was not good. Those guys have nothing yet want so freaking much. The republicans are better.โ€

The duchies and kingdoms near Vynashchtym always greedily coveted Vynashchtym. Rather than land, the privileges and gold that Vynashchtym possessed were the main goals.ย ย 

โ€œThe emperor clenched his purse of coins so they got frustrated. They asked me if I was going to get up with them.โ€ย 

โ€œDo you have to say things like that?โ€

โ€œThen it would be treason, wouldnโ€™t it? Iโ€™m not even a vassal of Vynashchtym.โ€

He wouldnโ€™t participate but had no intention of reporting it either. The duchies were still cooperative partners of a sort, so he couldnโ€™t ruin the relationship like that.ย ย 

โ€œJust refusing is enough loyalty. Come to think of it, the monster outbreak is also pretty suspicious. Was it those guys?โ€

With those words, Lumahr arrived and opened the door. Inside, there was a familiar old vampire and an unfamiliar human facing each other across a low table.ย ย 

โ€˜๐˜๐˜ฆ ๐˜ญ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฌ๐˜ด ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ญ๐˜บ ๐˜ถ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ?โ€™

Of course, he felt strong and sturdy, but it was a bit different from the expressions of the knights who had participated in the battle. No light or fire spilled from his eyes and mouth either.

โ€œ?!โ€โ€ย ย 

Lumahr was surprised in succession. It was good to play baduk. It was Barhanโ€™s hobby and Lumahr also enjoyed playing it.

However, when he looked at the low table, Barhan was being crushed into a mess.ย ย 

โ€˜๐˜•๐˜ฐ. . . ๐˜๐˜ด๐˜ฏโ€™๐˜ต ๐˜‰๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ-๐˜ฏ๐˜ช๐˜ฎ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ๐˜ญ๐˜ฅ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ญ๐˜ข๐˜ค๐˜ฌ?โ€™ย 

He wondered if he had laid down a few stones and passed, but that was not the case either. Barhan hesitated while placing stones.

โ€œYour excellency. Since Sir Lumahr has arrived, I think it would be best to stop this game here.โ€

โ€˜๐˜›๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜จ๐˜ข๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ฅ๐˜บ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ฆ๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜บ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ฅ. . .โ€™

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