How to Live as a Wandering Knight – Chapter 196

𝐑𝐞𝐭𝐮𝐫𝐧 (4)

As the civil war dragged on, it became common to see knights from the Empire outside of it as well, for various reasons.

While the elves of Erlans boasted that only they were true knights, the knights of the Empire were no slackers either. They were especially well-regarded in this conflict-ridden peninsula.  

Suetlg frowned and said,

“We must be cautious. If they are nobles from a fallen house, they may be concealing their talents.”

“I’ll bear that in mind.”  

Johan nodded. Not only the guilds passed down techniques – the noble households did as well. It would be no surprise if a knight from a fallen noble house possessed some visions.

And from what he heard, this opponent had a style of taking action right away without bothering about honor or anything once he judged the situation unfavorable.

Johan persistently grilled the messenger, one thing at a time, to the point where the messenger grew tired of answering first.  

It was an improper thought, but the messenger felt like the count was intentionally beating around the bush.

From the count’s position, it was just a band of thieves, not even a handful. Wasn’t he asking too much while dealing with them?


Sir Zeraman was a knight from the Empire and a mercenary captain who was relatively well-regarded for his clean work and abilities. Thanks to his noble bloodline as a knight, he was easily able to catch Adviko’s attention for this task.  

“Push forward quickly. We need to conquer it before sunset!”

At Zeraman’s shout, his subordinates roared out a battlecry as they charged towards the town entrance. The makeshift battering ram struck the front gate. It was a crude and ugly weapon, but it was effective enough.  


But Oragon’s subordinates who had retreated into the town were no pushovers either. Arrows came flying out immediately. Zeraman raised his shield to block them, then looked ahead.

“Knight dastard’s men are not to be trifled with.” 

“Why is knight dastard even at a town?”

Zeraman spat out. This should have been a much easier job originally. They should have quickly pillaged the town and set fire to it. . .

He couldn’t help but feel irritated that knight dastard had shown up out of nowhere with his men. Their abilities were better than he had anticipated, forcing them to launch a surprise attack.

While his mercenary subordinates didn’t care much for honor, if word spread, it would ultimately be Zeraman’s loss. Nobles didn’t like associating with dishonorable people, whether they were allies or enemies.  

As someone aspiring to rise up in status, Zeraman had no choice but to find this situation vexing.

“Could it be that the magistrate was deceiving us. . .?”

At his subordinate’s words, Zeraman flushed with anger.

“Nonsense. Why would the magistrate do that? You know how many troops he prepared! The gathered mercenaries number in the thousands, and the knights from the empire are as numerous as grains of wheat. Wizards have come as well!”

“Y-You’re right.”  

As someone who had personally seen the forces gathering in Mairene City, Zeraman was certain of Adviko’s sincerity. The knights sent by the emperor, and even the wizards.

By achieving great merits here, he would be introduced by Adviko to meet the emperor! This was what he had decided.

“Captain! Captain! Enemies behind us!”

At the sudden report, the mercenaries tensed up. A scout came rushing over the hill behind them, urging them to surrender.  

Zeraman laughed derisively and rejected him, saying: 

“I don’t know who leads you all, but if he has any honor as a warrior, he should fight me one-on-one to decide the victor! Don’t retreat like a coward!”

“I will convey your message.”

As the scout left, Zeraman whistled. He didn’t know their numbers, but the enemy likely thought of them as just a gang of rogues and would be caught unprepared.  

It would be great if they let their guard down.

“Captain. Should I shoot him when he comes out?”

“Hm? . . .Yeah. If by some chance he puts up a decent fight, just shoot him down.”


He felt somewhat uneasy about it, but there was no law saying you couldn’t resort to the same tactic twice.  

Among his subordinates was one who was skilled with the bow. Zeraman gave the order, then rode his horse forward. The enemy was also approaching with their men.

‘𝘐𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘺 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦? 𝘞𝘦 𝘤𝘢𝘯 𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘥𝘭𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘮𝘶𝘤𝘩. . .’

They were well-equipped, but not too great in number. If their leader fell, they would likely fall into great chaos.  

Their leader was also well-armed, but looked rather young. He was clearly an inexperienced knight. An easy opponent to toy with.

Zeraman leapt down from his horse, then held up his sword and shield. He called out:

“I am Zeraman from Drelux! Who are you?”

“Johan of the Yeats Family.”  

Johan gave a curt reply, then slowly walked forward while holding his warhammer. He seemed more like an executioner than a knight about to duel.  

Zeraman felt Johan’s words echo strangely in his ears, refusing to fade away. 

What was this feeling. . .?

“C-Count Yeats?!”

Zeraman called out in alarm as he stared at Johan, finally realizing the meaning of those words that now rang in his head like temple bells.

“Wait, Count Yeats! Wait a moment! There’s been a misunderstanding. . .”

Despite being active in the empire, even Zeraman had heard of Johan’s fame. Rumors told of the young count borrowing the power of God to achieve victory in many battles, slaying over ten monsters. 

While Zeraman was a cunning knight, he was no fool who would willingly fight an unwinnable battle. He had no intentions of facing one-on-one a knight who could be considered one of the finest in the empire. 

But Johan paid no heed to Zeraman’s words. Zeraman had to pay the price for his underhanded surprise arrow attack.  

The warhammer swung around and a guarding Zeraman was smashed sideways from the shattering impact.


In the past, when a giant had appeared, he had wondered ‘𝘐 𝘸𝘰𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘳 𝘩𝘰𝘸 𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘰𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘪𝘴?’.  

Zeraman felt he now understood indirectly. His whole body went limp, unable to breath.

Behind him, his shocked subordinate scrambled to ready his bow. 


But it wasn’t an arrow shot by Zeraman’s subordinate. 

It was an arrow shot by a centaur.

At some point, centaurs who had been hiding behind the hill revealed themselves, drawing their bows. Zeraman’s subordinate grabbed his throat and collapsed.  


Johan didn’t even listen to Zeraman’s words, immediately cutting off his breath. There was a dull sound as blood spurted out. Only then did Johan look towards the scout and complain:

“Despite your dramatic report, his skills weren’t that great, were they? I got worried over nothing.”

Due to the scout’s exaggerated report, Johan had also been quite nervous.  

“. . .S-Sorry.”

The scout cursed himself for even having such impious thoughts for a moment. If his true feelings were revealed, he would probably end up a corpse.


After that, Johan kept uprooting enemies one by one as he surveyed the area. It was to prepare for the enemy’s attack, but to others it just looked like an honorable deed.  

Some feudal lords harbored slight discontent, but not many people could openly express their displeasure to Johan, who was permitted by the Order and commanded a formidable army.

While mercenaries and rogues were being suppressed and executed before they could do anything across the land, the main force led by Adviko departed from the city and started heading south.

“. . .What did you just say?”  

Adviko couldn’t believe the unbelievable report. But no matter what, nothing changed. The soldier repeated in a frightened voice,

“The Order has finished preparations to fight by hiring mercenaries. I asked merchants several times and they all gave the same answer. . .”

The Order properly heeded Johan’s warning. They hired mercenaries, summoned feudal lords within their sphere of influence, and requested support from other free cities. 

Of course they didn’t all gather at once, but even with some gathered it was enough force. Adviko was flabbergasted at the report that nearly a thousand troops had gathered in front of Mount Cyrandel.

Even though I was so careful. . .!

“No need to worry too much, Adviko-gong. It seems the enemy hastily prepared, but even so, we have the advantage.”

“Those knight dastards won’t be able to withstand my spear.”

Adviko was somewhat reassured by the words of the knights sent by the emperor from the Empire. 

Usually they arrogantly look down on these mainlanders as being from the Holy Empire, but when it came to fighting, they were tremendously reliable.

The knights of the Holy Empire were known to be as good at fighting as the elves of Erlans. So much so that they were even called barbaric. 

Moreover, these knights were famished. 

“Give me and my men the vanguard.”

“No. Shouldn’t we still look at the situation? It’s too early to split up. . .”

“Are you ordering me now?”

“Of course not! I respect you, but the situation is still unclear so let’s be cautious.”

Neither did the Emperor trust Adviko to send his trusted knights, nor did the knights come down this far with overflowing loyalty.

The reason the Emperor sent them was because he himself could no longer control them.

Fighting so much in the southern Empire but with no decent gains, coins owed kept piling up. . .

The vassal contract was not some absolute loyalty pledge. If one side couldn’t keep their promise, the other side could betray them without argument.

The emperor, driven to desperation, sent many of his knights south in large numbers.

It was a desperate measure, but the effect was unexpectedly good. Because the knights had their eyes wide open to plunder the abundant peninsula. 

. . .From Adviko’s position though, the difficulty of command had gone up quite a bit.

The knights were commanders of their own troops, each bringing their own men. In times like these considerable rights were customarily permitted.

Charging recklessly, ignoring orders and going out to scout alone. . .

It was common for them to refuse orders and act independently even when commanded by their liege lord in a vassal contract, let alone equal-standing Adviko. 

“If not you lords, who can I trust? Mercenaries? Wizards? I only trust you lords.”

“Hahahaha! Yes, just keep trusting only us, Adviko-gong.”

Adviko barely placated the knights to prevent them from acting separately. Though they didn’t listen to words, they were one of the most powerful forces. He had to keep them there until he grasped the situation. 

‘𝘐𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘮𝘦𝘳𝘤𝘦𝘯𝘢𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘴 𝘐 𝘴𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘧𝘪𝘳𝘴𝘵 𝘥𝘪𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘪𝘳 𝘫𝘰𝘣 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘭𝘺, 𝘴𝘰𝘮𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘧𝘦𝘶𝘥𝘢𝘭 𝘭𝘰𝘳𝘥𝘴 𝘴𝘶𝘮𝘮𝘰𝘯𝘦𝘥 𝘣𝘺 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘖𝘳𝘥𝘦𝘳 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘥𝘦𝘧𝘦𝘤𝘵.’  

It was rare for nobles to obediently follow orders when their own fiefs were burning. Quite a large number would likely defect.


Bishops, nobles from the city, and greater and lesser feudal lords. . .

They received reports that an enemy army was coming down, but those present did not look too worried.  

If they had heard this news by surprise, half of them would have fled and the other half would have hidden in the mountains.

But now there was confidence. The confidence of knowing in advance and being prepared.

It didn’t matter that the enemy had slightly greater numbers. Isn’t the defensive side always at an advantage? Just as those from the empire looked down on them, they looked down on the imperials as well.

When you gain the confidence that you can win, it naturally leads to further thoughts. The nobles present glanced at each other, subtly taking stock.

“The honorable vanguard position. . .”

“Since I’m participating anyway, I should distinguish myself properly.” 

“The problem is Count Yeats.”

They had also heard the rumors about Count Yeats.

He had received a revelation in a dream, passed it on to the people of the denomination, and summoned the armies in this vicinity.

Who wouldn’t have brought their own troops to participate? But the accomplishments and words of Count Yeats carried different weight.

If such a count offered to take the vanguard, who could step forward to stop him?

“Your Excellency Count, will you take the vanguard?”

“I appreciate the honorable offer, but my subordinates are tired and need some rest.”



Johan’s unexpected refusal surprised the nobles.

“With the other lords gathered here, I think it should be sufficient.” 

“You make an excellent point, Count!”

“I agree with that!”

Fearing Johan might change his mind, the nobles hurriedly concurred. Nodding repeatedly, they shouted.

‘𝘐𝘧 𝘐 𝘮𝘢𝘬𝘦 𝘶𝘯𝘯𝘦𝘤𝘦𝘴𝘴𝘢𝘳𝘺 𝘮𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘰𝘳𝘥𝘦𝘳 𝘨𝘦𝘵𝘴 𝘢𝘵𝘵𝘢𝘤𝘬𝘦𝘥, 𝘪𝘵’𝘭𝘭 𝘣𝘦 𝘵𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘣𝘭𝘦𝘴𝘰𝘮𝘦.’

Those without fame or accomplishments would covet the honor of the vanguard, but Johan had no need.

Even just sitting still, he could hear the praises around him. Why would he covet such trivial things?  

More important were the interests of the order. If Johan went out to fight and in the meantime the order was attacked and the Pope kidnapped and replaced. . .

The worst case scenario!

‘𝘐𝘧 𝘴𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘩𝘢𝘱𝘱𝘦𝘯𝘴, 𝘐’𝘭𝘭 𝘵𝘢𝘬𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘗𝘰𝘱𝘦 𝘴𝘰𝘶𝘵𝘩 𝘣𝘺 𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘤𝘦.’

The bishop didn’t notice Johan’s ulterior motives at all, and was impressed by his humility.

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