How to Live as a Wandering Knight โ€“ Chapter 193

๐‘๐ž๐ญ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ง (1)

Johan stayed in Vynashchtym until the next year. After the commotion, there wasnโ€™t much bother. Johan recruited and trained new soldiers nearby. He socialized with the nobles of the capital and gave Gaoalkana political education. Even Gaรฏaros, who had no interest in everything, was amazed at what his younger sibling was doing.

Vynashchtym was a prosperous and beautiful place. Johanโ€™s subordinates were also satisfied. There were annoying nobles, but it was not enough for Johan to deal with, and the friendship with the dragon siblings gave more reason to stay longer. This was one of the most luxurious and comfortable times in Johanโ€™s life.

There was a reason why such a Johan had to urgently return to Count territory. It was because the Fire Goblet, exchanged with Caenerna, flared up after a long time and conveyed that message.

โ”๐“๐ก๐ž ๐จ๐ซ๐๐ž๐ซ ๐ข๐ฌ ๐ข๐ง ๐๐š๐ง๐ ๐ž๐ซ. ๐‘๐ž๐ญ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ง ๐ซ๐ž๐ช๐ฎ๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ๐ž๐.

It was a short remark, but the meaning was sufficient.

๐Ÿ”ธ๐Ÿ”ธ๐Ÿ”ธ๐Ÿ”ธ๐Ÿ”ธ๐Ÿ”ธ

โ€œUgh.โ€

As he raced his horse down the path, Johan let out a groan. The surrounding centaurs looked at him with concern.ย 

โ€œWhat is the matter?โ€

โ€œI just realized something, although itโ€™s a bit late. Thereโ€™s no one around I can ask about this.โ€

Johan was smart enough to roughly understand the meaning of Caenernaโ€™s message.ย 

That some of the emperorโ€™s faction are targeting the Order.

. . .But among those around him, there was hardly anyone with the ability to analyze this properly. He wanted to ask the friendly republican nobles, but. . .

โ€˜๐˜›๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜บ ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ๐˜ต ๐˜ต๐˜ณ๐˜ถ๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ธ๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜บ.โ€™

Johan was on good terms with the republicans from Vynashchtym, but he did not completely trust them. Since Caenerna had secretly informed him, it was very likely this information had not spread yet.ย 

If he carelessly asked and it leaked out or the other person suspected the source, it would become troublesome.ย 

Hearing Johanโ€™s words, the centaurs spoke seriously.ย 

โ€œCount. We are thankful that you do not rely on us for such matters. Truly, thank you.โ€

โ€œ. . .Yes, thank you.โ€

The centaurs were grateful that Johan was handling the complex political thoughts alone. They simply wanted to gallop quickly and pierce the enemyโ€™s throat with arrows.ย 

โ€œI have no choice. Jyanina, come here.โ€

โ€œ??โ€

Jyanina, who had been focused on steering her horse, raised her head in surprise at the sudden call.

โ€œI need your abilities.โ€

โ€œ. . .Youโ€™re not joking, are you?โ€

Having repeatedly failed to demonstrate her abilities in Vynashchtym, Jyaninaโ€™s voice contained a hint of irritation. If she had succeeded, she would not have followed Johan back.

โ€œIโ€™m serious. Does the emperor have the leisure to aim for the south of the mountain range now?โ€

โ€œ???โ€

โ€œI mean Cardirian.โ€

โ€œOh.โ€

Jyanina was confused at first about what Johan meant, but understood belatedly and nodded.

โ€œHmm. . .โ€

โ€œ?โ€

โ€œI donโ€™t know.โ€

โ€œ. . . . . .โ€

The centaurs next to her looked at Jyanina incredulously. Their eyes said they could not believe it.

โ€œ. . .I expected too much. I see.โ€

โ€œYour excellency! Your excellency! Hear me out! Itโ€™s been a while since I left, so itโ€™s stranger if I could give a definite answer right away!โ€

Jyanina also felt wronged. She had been one of the emperorโ€™s advisors, occupying a seat in his court. Though unofficial, it was quite a powerful position.ย 

But no matter the position, utilizing it depended on the person. Those without proper training or experience would struggle to see the big picture even if they sat in such a seat.

While Johan was a prodigy in political maneuvering despite his age, that was a special case. As someone of non-noble origin, it was difficult for Jyanina to grasp that broader perspective.ย 

Also, having been away from the scene for a while. . .

Jyanina hurriedly continued.

โ€œI doubt he has the leisure. Cardirian was already struggling with the rebellion that broke out in the southern empire. Some powerful feudal lords in the central region were also showing support. . .โ€

The atmosphere was already tense, but the emperor himself poured fuel on the fire. Harshly executing some nobles had the opposite effect. Considering the heavy price he was paying, it was a rash act done in anger.

With the western region, empire, closely watching for a chance by colluding with Erlans Kingdom and getting distracted by the political situation of the western region, the eastern region not paying attention to the west and focusing on the east, the southern region openly starting a rebellion. . .

In effect, many considered the Cardirian family line to be finished. The republic people he met in Vynashchtym said similar things.ย 

โ”๐Œ๐จ๐ฌ๐ญ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฏ๐š๐ฌ๐ฌ๐š๐ฅ๐ฌ ๐ข๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฉ๐ž๐ง๐ข๐ง๐ฌ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐š ๐ก๐š๐ฏ๐ž ๐š๐ฅ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐๐ฒ ๐›๐ž๐ž๐ง ๐ฅ๐จ๐ฌ๐ญ, ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐๐ž๐›๐ญ ๐š๐œ๐œ๐ฎ๐ฆ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐š๐ญ๐ž๐ ๐›๐ฒ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐Ÿ๐š๐ฆ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐ข๐ฌ ๐ž๐ง๐จ๐ซ๐ฆ๐จ๐ฎ๐ฌ. ๐‚๐š๐ซ๐๐ข๐ซ๐ข๐š๐ง ๐ข๐ฌ ๐š๐ฅ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐๐ฒ ๐Ÿ๐ข๐ง๐ข๐ฌ๐ก๐ž๐. ๐–๐ก๐ž๐ง ๐ก๐ž ๐๐ข๐ž๐ฌ, ๐ก๐ข๐ฌ ๐ฉ๐จ๐ฐ๐ž๐ซ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐œ๐จ๐ฅ๐ฅ๐š๐ฉ๐ฌ๐ž ๐š๐ฌ ๐ฐ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฅ.

โ€˜๐˜›๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ตโ€™๐˜ด ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ๐˜ต ๐˜ธ๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ด๐˜ข๐˜บ.โ€™ย 

Jyaninaโ€™s opinion was the common opinion. However, the message sent by Caenerna was the complete opposite.

โ€˜๐˜‹๐˜ช๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ด๐˜ถ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฑ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ด ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ด๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ? ๐˜–๐˜ณ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ช๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ด๐˜ถ๐˜ข๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฃ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด?โ€™

However it went, what he had to do now was clear. He had to return as quickly as possible and lead the army up.

If the Order was threatened, it would not bode well for Johan either. It was akin to losing an immediate partner.ย ย 

Fortunately, the highways of Vynashchtym allowed Johanโ€™s army to move as light as a feather. They dashed ahead at a speed that surprised even themselves.

โ€œWhere are those pilgrims going?โ€

โ€œThe pilgrims? They must be going east.โ€

Seeing the procession of knights that seemed to have come from the west, the centaurs were curious. To them, who were still in the realm of whether to accept the monoreligion or not, such religious pilgrimage was just novel.

โ€œWhat do you think, Count?โ€

โ€œWould I go crazy and head east like that? Come on! Letโ€™s move! We have a long way to go!โ€

๐Ÿ”ธ๐Ÿ”ธ๐Ÿ”ธ๐Ÿ”ธ๐Ÿ”ธ๐Ÿ”ธ

Johanโ€™s return surprised his allies first. He arrived faster than the advance notifications from Vynashchtymโ€™s port to Cooliaโ€™s port.ย ย 

Iselia came running with the spear she was holding. She came running with a bright expression. For some reason, Johan thought of a puppy.

โ€œI donโ€™t know why you came back, but Iโ€™m glad youโ€™re back!โ€

โ€œI heard you were governing the fiefdom well? Thank you. You worked hard.โ€ย 

โ€œI didnโ€™t do much.โ€

Thatโ€™s what Iselia said, but from the fleeting expression, it seemed to have been quite a hard labor to govern.

Itโ€™s natural for people to suffer without knowing anything, but once you know there are other ways, you tend to feel miserable in vain.

From Iseliaโ€™s perspective, who realized how convenient it was when Johan took over the duties of a feudal lord, she could only miss those times.

โ€œNow you will govern directly, so donโ€™t worry.โ€

โ€œ. . .Iโ€™m sorry. Iโ€™m planning to go on an expedition right away.โ€

โ€œ. . . . . .โ€

โ€œCome with me on the expedition instead.โ€

โ€œIโ€™ll go get my armor!โ€

โ€˜๐˜š๐˜ถ๐˜ฆ๐˜ต๐˜ญ๐˜จ-๐˜ฏ๐˜ช๐˜ฎ ๐˜ธ๐˜ช๐˜ญ๐˜ญ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜จ๐˜ณ๐˜บ.โ€™

However, unexpectedly, Suetlg was not angry.

โ€œWhether Iโ€™m here or not, the annoying stuff was being done by the people below anyway.โ€

โ€œ. . . . . .โ€

โ€œBy the way, did Caenerna really send that message?โ€

โ€œYes. I will leave tomorrow.โ€ย ย 

The fiefdom had changed a lot, and he felt regret that he didnโ€™t have time to waste scattering the treasures brought from Vynashchtym. He wanted to arrive as soon as possible.

โ€œCaenerna is also great. To be honest, I thought she would betray.โ€

โ€œThatโ€™s too harsh. . .โ€

โ€œArenโ€™t those wizard guys all like that?โ€

โ€œAnyway, I need your help with this, Suetlg-nim. Can you leave the fiefdom?โ€

โ€œThe scribes have settled in quite a bit, so it shouldnโ€™t matter much. There were no signs of a rebellion nearby either. If you need a wizardโ€™s help that snake charmer. . . Oh. I guess she wasnโ€™t much help.โ€

โ€œItโ€™s not that she wasnโ€™t helpful, but arenโ€™t experience and wisdom needed?โ€

โ€œExperience and wisdom are. . .โ€

As Suetlg said that, he looked pleased.ย 

โ€œHow about Ardolata?โ€

โ€œSheโ€™s quite talented. Iโ€™m worried because sheโ€™s ambitious as well. . .โ€

โ€œDid she cause any problems?โ€

โ€œNo. She secretly tried to get me to bequeath her the things the viscount owned. It would be fortunate if it was just a childish wish, but such desires are bound to ruin oneself.โ€

Johan looked at Suetlg with a slightly touched look. That humane gesture of worrying about his disciple was touching.

โ€œ. . .Why are you looking at me like that?โ€

โ€œI was a little touched by your thoughtfulness.โ€

โ€œDonโ€™t act like itโ€™s someone elseโ€™s business. Ardolata has become very close with Amien. It will affect you if she causes trouble.โ€

โ€œ. . .!โ€

Johan was taken aback by the unexpected blow. Certainly such a friendship was not something that could be easily severed.

โ€œ. . .Sheโ€™s still young, so thereโ€™s plenty of time. Iโ€™ll think about it again after finishing this matter.โ€

โ€œDo that. But isnโ€™t the age difference between you and her not that big?โ€

๐Ÿ”ธ๐Ÿ”ธ๐Ÿ”ธ๐Ÿ”ธ๐Ÿ”ธ๐Ÿ”ธ

Due to the wars in the southern part of the peninsula, Johan had a terrifying number of mercenaries, but he did not keep all of them in peacetime.ย 

It was the same with the mercenary groups. In normal times, only veterans and elites were kept. When a contract was made, they would go around towns with conscription permits to recruit people.

Nevertheless, the number of people Johan kept on permanent hire was tremendous. From centaurs to dwarves, some mercenary groups, and slave soldiers.ย ย 

His mind was urgent and the situation was confusing, but Johan did not lose his composure. Bringing everyone in a hurry would cause problems in itself.

โ€œOnly bring those who can move quickly. The rest, recruit soldiers while waiting for the call.โ€

The prosecutors brought from Vynashchtym wanted to prove their skills, but Johan attached them to the slave soldiers. The escort was sufficient anyway.

Johanโ€™s sudden return and march stirred up the surroundings. The vassals did not understand Johanโ€™s intentions and were confused. And some of them tried to join with greedy faces.

โ€œMy lords do not necessarily have to come out, right?โ€

The vassal contract was literally a mutual contract, so Johan could not arbitrarily summon them as needed. Fiefdoms could not be attacked, or they had to serve a limited number of days per year, or more complicated combinations like that.

But when knights who had not even been requested tried to join the procession with innocent faces, it could only be puzzling.ย 

โ€œThey want gold.โ€ย 

Suetlg murmured next to him. Johan also nodded. It was easy to understand because it was so blatant.

Poor knights were always starving. Not just knights, but impoverished lords starved just the same. To them, Johan, who returned from Vynashchtym filled with gold, was a lord radiating glory.

โ€œIf you serve under me, there will be nothing more reassuring.โ€

The knightsโ€™ faces brightened at Johanโ€™s words. They joined with smiles.

โ€œHowโ€™s my boy doing?โ€

โ€œI heard his horsemanship is as good as the centaurs, and his spear skills surpass even elves. He will make a great knight.โ€

Suetlg, who was listening, tilted his head. They were the children of knights trained in Johanโ€™s fiefdom, but Johan had barely met them.

How did he recognize them?

โ€œ. . .Are you pretending to know them?โ€

โ€œI guessed roughly.โ€

โ€œ. . . . . .โ€

๐Ÿ”ธ๐Ÿ”ธ๐Ÿ”ธ๐Ÿ”ธ๐Ÿ”ธ๐Ÿ”ธ

They moved while sending envoys, but still the movement was too fast. The Holy See was so surprised and flustered.ย 

Just by carefully asking what had happened without the visiting envoy giving a warning, it was possible to know the trust the Holy See had in Johan.

โ€œWhat on earth has happened?! Your Excellency?!โ€

โ€œI heard a sacred voice in my dream. It told me. The Holy See is in danger.โ€

โ€œ. . .!โ€

The envoy had a bewildered expression. It was a face that did not know whether to believe those words.

Johan was not the kind of person to lie with something like this, but there is never an absolute in worldly affairs. There was no one who could comfortably receive a nobleman who suddenly led an army and marched north.

โ€œThat is. . . I mean. . .โ€ย 

โ€œI know what you are worried about. Do not worry. I will stop here in Ajalka and will not go any further.โ€

Ajalka was a town under the fiefdom of the Holy See. Stopping there proved Johanโ€™s sincerity.ย 

So did this count really come this long distance with nothing but pure faith?

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