How to Live as a Wandering Knight – Chapter 22.2

𝐊𝐧𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭, 𝐌𝐞𝐫𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐭, 𝐌𝐞𝐫𝐜𝐞𝐧𝐚𝐫𝐲, 𝐒𝐥𝐚𝐯𝐞 (𝟕)

Johan opened his eyes.

Burren was just about to touch the door with his hand.

A beast-like intuition!

That intuition instinctively forewarned of danger.

‘𝘞𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘪𝘴 𝘪𝘵?’

Johan, who had woken up, struggled to grasp the situation. He woke up due to an ominous feeling, but it wasn’t immediately clear what the situation was.

𝐃𝐚𝐥𝐤𝐚𝐝𝐚𝐤━

Someone was trying to slide a thin hook through the gap in the door to push the latch open. This was possible because the inn’s door was rather flimsy.

‘𝘈𝘯 𝘢𝘴𝘴𝘢𝘴𝘴𝘪𝘯? 𝘕𝘰. 𝘍𝘰𝘳 𝘴𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘭𝘪𝘬𝘦 𝘮𝘦? 𝘐𝘵’𝘴 𝘪𝘮𝘱𝘰𝘴𝘴𝘪𝘣𝘭𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘺 𝘧𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘥 𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘐 𝘬𝘪𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘥 𝘒𝘢𝘳𝘢𝘮𝘢𝘧.’

Johan tensed his body as he quickly ran through thoughts in his mind. He was ready to overpower whoever was entering.

𝐃𝐚𝐥𝐤𝐚𝐝𝐚𝐤━

The latch slid open, and the door opened. Someone tiptoed in through the darkness, and Johan pounced.

“!!!”

The reason the other person couldn’t scream was that Johan had hit his solar plexus and grabbed his throat. Burren’s face turned pale blue from the suffocating pain, feeling as though his entire body was breaking.

𝐓𝐡𝐮𝐝!

Johan quickly threw the man to the ground and firmly subdued him. Then he raised his arm. He could feel the man’s joints screaming.

“Answer me if you don’t want to die.”

“Uh-huh. . . Uh-huh. . . I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe. . . you b*stard. . .”

“Who are you?”

Johan felt relieved. Seeing the other person, he knew it wasn’t an assassin. It couldn’t have been this sloppy. But he didn’t let his guard down. Being careless just because the other person was struggling would disappoint Kaegal.

“Answer me.”

Johan applied more pressure with his arm as Burren gasped for air and spewed curses. The man, in agonizing pain as if his arm was being torn apart, finally spoke.

“I-Im. . . Bouln!”

“What’s your purpose for coming?”

“W-What purpose. . . I just mistook the room, damn it! You thought you’d get away after this. . . Aaah!”

Johan dislocated the shoulder joint of the other person. Burren screamed in pain he had never experienced before. Johan stuffed a dirty cloth into Burden’s mouth to prevent his screams from leaking out.

“I can tell you’re underestimating me. A guy who mistook the room and brought tools to pick the lock. Now, I’m going to break your fingers one by one. It would be wise to answer before all ten are broken. Otherwise, it will be your neck that’s breaking.”

“Ugh!”

𝐂𝐫𝐚𝐜𝐤━

Johan didn’t wait for an answer and broke a finger. Then he removed the cloth. The arrogant attitude was gone, and Burren was now a mess of tears and snot, sobbing.

“Answer me. If you don’t want to die.”

“P-Please. . . If you kill me, my family won’t stay quiet. We run a mill.”

“Is your father a Count? Are you a b*stard or something?”

“What does that. . .?”

“Guess not. Save your miller talk for the people of your town. You haven’t tasted enough yet.”

Johan stuffed the cloth back in and broke another finger. And then one more.

Mills, gristmills, inns, and such facilities in the town often belonged to the feudal lord. This meant that the townspeople had to pay a separate fee to the lord every time they used these facilities.

Such facility owners were naturally appointed with the lord’s permission, and the townspeople feared them, even though they resented them.

No matter how menial the job, being connected to the lord was a big deal.

However, Johan was not deceived.

Only the serfs would be fooled by such pretense; in reality, these facility owners never met the nobility.

A scribe under the Count, a manager under that scribe. That was the limit of whom the serfs could ever see. The manager was just a low-level bureaucrat who came to collect taxes for the fiefdom, but when the manager came, from the village chief to the elders, they fawned over him. Even the loud mill owners or millers trembled before the manager.

Of course, Johan, originally a modern man reborn as a noble, wouldn’t be frightened by such threats. If the manager came, it was clear whose side he would take.

No matter if it was their own town or their own serfs, from a noble’s perspective, serfs were not the same as themselves. On the other hand, Johan was a fellow noble.

“So, are you ready to talk?”

“Y-Yes. . . Yes! I was trying to steal a sword. . .”

“A sword?”

“That sword, it looked expensive. . .”

‘𝘏𝘰𝘸?!’

Johan was shocked. The sword must be expensive, but it had never been drawn in the town. That meant. . .

“How did you find out?!”

“That mercenary egged me on! The one named Gamson!”

“!”

Johan realized the situation had gotten complicated. He had thought it was just a scared thief who had come in alone, but if there was a group, it was a different story. Johan lifted the bellows with one hand and then kicked open the door and ran out.

“W-What’s this?”

The drowsy innkeeper uttered in a panicked voice. Suddenly, there was a loud noise, and the knight who had stayed upstairs came down with Burren. Apparently, Burren had lost his mind and was sobbing with tears.

“What happened. . .”

“Did you help?”

“No!”

When Johan asked threateningly, the innkeeper quickly responded. Living as an innkeeper in the town, the only thing that had grown was his intuition. Realizing the severity of Johan’s question, the innkeeper understood that a wrong answer now could really lead to death.

Despite the darkness, the innkeeper could see the murderous look in Johan’s eyes. He realized his pants were slightly wet.

‘𝘊-𝘊𝘳𝘢𝘻𝘺 𝘣𝘢𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘳𝘥. . . 𝘞𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘰𝘯 𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘵𝘩 𝘥𝘪𝘥 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘥𝘰?’

The innkeeper stared at Burren. He couldn’t imagine what the hell he’d gotten himself into.

“Trust me. Turn on the fire and bring out a torch!”

“Yes. . . yes!”

The kind demeanor Johan showed was merely like a lion briefly wearing a sheep’s skin. The innkeeper painfully realized this. Knights were fundamentally predators meant for slaughter.


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