How to Live as a Wandering Knight – Chapter 19.1

𝐊𝐧𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭, 𝐌𝐞𝐫𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐭, 𝐌𝐞𝐫𝐜𝐞𝐧𝐚𝐫𝐲, 𝐒𝐥𝐚𝐯𝐞 (𝟒)

𝐊𝐧𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭, 𝐌𝐞𝐫𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐭, 𝐌𝐞𝐫𝐜𝐞𝐧𝐚𝐫𝐲, 𝐒𝐥𝐚𝐯𝐞 (𝟒)

‘𝘐𝘵’𝘴 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘞𝘰𝘭𝘷𝘦𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘈𝘳𝘬𝘵𝘦𝘯!’

Johan realized this immediately upon seeing them. They were dressed too differently from those in the fiefdom. For one, none of them wielded longswords.

A longsword is essentially a two-handed weapon. Its use makes defense difficult due to the challenge of handling a shield, and it’s complex to master. Unless trained professionally in a fencing school or a swordsmanship guild, there was no particular reason to use a longsword. If a long weapon was desired, a spear was better, and if a sword was preferred, a short sword with a shield was more convenient. Except for spears, mercenaries typically preferred to carry a weapon with a shield.

There were a few mercenaries in the Wolves of Arkten who used longswords, indicating their high skill level. But the mercenaries before him were definitely not the Wolves of Arkten.

Of course, that didn’t mean he could stop.

Johan charged at the closest one. The darkness and the focus on the hilltop meant his approach went unnoticed until he was right upon them.

“Uh, uh?!”

The man tried to defend himself with his shield, putting force into it. The large round shield was effective in blocking the direction of an attack just by holding it.

. . .Unless the opponent was Johan.

Johan responded simply and effectively.

𝐁𝐚𝐧𝐠!

When Johan kicked the shield, it splintered and flew backwards. Despite being sturdily made of thickly layered wood, it was powerless against his immense strength.

“Huh?”

Johan was slightly surprised; he hadn’t expected the shield to fly away like that. However, his body moved naturally. He aimed for the neck of his off-balance opponent and stabbed. Blood spurted with a ‘gurgle.’

“W-What the heck is this guy?!”

The fallen opponent was holding a messer, a type of thick single-edged sword. Rusty and with a barely sharp edge, it was still useful for throwing. Johan quickly threw it at another advancing enemy, who recoiled in shock, raising his shield.

One step.

Johan closed the distance with a simple forward step, not a special maneuver from the Kaegal school, but combined with his strength, it was formidable.

The opponent swung a mace in panic. Johan deflected its trajectory with his sword, then struck off the man’s hand and delivered a fatal blow, splitting his body in one stroke.

‘?’

Johan sensed something odd. The longsword. . . was too easily wielded.

While the longsword wasn’t blunt, it wasn’t usually honed to such sharpness, as over-sharpening could damage it. It was sharp enough to cut a person, but not to split someone like cutting butter.

‘𝘐 𝘵𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩𝘵 𝘪𝘵 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘢 𝘮𝘢𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘴𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘥 𝘣𝘦𝘤𝘢𝘶𝘴𝘦 𝘒𝘢𝘳𝘢𝘮𝘢𝘧 𝘶𝘴𝘦𝘥 𝘪𝘵, 𝘣𝘶𝘵. . .’

In the dim light, the dark blade seemed to absorb the blood, revealing inscriptions in an ancient imperial language: <𝐈 𝐚𝐦 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐫𝐞𝐜𝐥𝐚𝐢𝐦𝐞𝐫 𝐨𝐟 𝐬𝐞𝐚𝐥𝐬>

‘𝘙𝘦𝘤𝘭𝘢𝘪𝘮𝘦𝘳 𝘰𝘧 𝘚𝘦𝘢𝘭𝘴?’

It was a fitting sword for Karamaf, known for destroying noble houses and taking their seal rings. Johan clicked his tongue. He knew it was a master sword, but this made it even more awkward to use.

Johan picked up the opponent’s shield and mace. After the surprise attack killed two, the enemies rushed to kill Johan.

𝐓𝐡𝐮𝐝!

An arrow flew from a distance. Johan, without blinking, blocked it with the shield. It was too dark to see, but he sensed it.

“There was never talk of such a guy existing!”

“?”

Upon hearing those words, Johan became certain.

These guys weren’t here to target me after all!

‘𝘋𝘢𝘮𝘯. 𝘍𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩𝘵 𝘩𝘢𝘳𝘥 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘯𝘰𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨.’

It was he who felt the sting. Indeed, there was no reason for them to have pursued Johan in that situation.

Neither was reconciliation possible in these circumstances. And Johan was not so kind as to let someone who was trying to kill him go.

“Come at me!”

Johan let out a short battle cry and charged. The light revealed Johan’s equipment. His stature and gear made the mercenaries flinch.

The first to die was the one wielding a spear. The long weapon was troublesome. Johan charged foolishly, parried the spear with his shield, and swung his mace.

𝐓𝐡𝐮𝐦𝐩!

‘𝘖𝘩. . . 𝘢 𝘮𝘢𝘤𝘦 𝘴𝘦𝘦𝘮𝘴 𝘮𝘰𝘳𝘦 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘷𝘦𝘯𝘪𝘦𝘯𝘵.’

Had Kaegal seen it, he would have lamented, ‘𝘐 𝘵𝘢𝘶𝘨𝘩𝘵 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘴𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘥𝘴𝘮𝘢𝘯𝘴𝘩𝘪𝘱, 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘵𝘰 𝘶𝘴𝘦 𝘢 𝘤𝘭𝘶𝘣, 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘰𝘨𝘳𝘦!’ But Johan and the mace were excessively well-matched. The shorter range and fewer variations made it easier to handle. Given Johan’s physical abilities, there was no need to resort to swordplay.

“You monster!”

A shortsword swung at his waist, but Johan preemptively collided to defend. The opponent’s arm broke, positioning his head for an easy strike.

Once more.

With a dull sound, the opponent fell. The enemies panicked as a madman broke their formation. Only four had died, but the momentum was terrifying. None of the mercenaries were prepared to die for their mission.

“Attack!”

Goran quickly shouted. Now was the time to strike, as the enemy was recoiling. Goran’s mercenaries charged with battle cries.

Even though Johan was difficult to surround, he found it easier now. He inhaled briefly and charged. One arrow was easily blocked with his shield.

𝐓𝐡𝐮𝐝, 𝐭𝐡𝐮𝐝, 𝐭𝐡𝐮𝐝.


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