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How to Live as a Wandering Knight – Chapter 225

𝐀𝐥𝐥𝐢𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐍𝐨𝐛𝐥𝐞𝐬 (7)

The orcs were perplexed. 

Usually the nobles were only kind to the orcs when they needed to borrow money.

The nobles who usually mocked them as arrogant and soulless b*stards also always sought out the orc nouveau riches whenever they needed funds. They were much easier to borrow large sums from than the various guilds and merchants.  

However, Johan did not really need financial assistance.  

He had accumulated some gold from several campaigns, and the nobles participating in this campaign were paying for the expedition costs out of their own fortunes.

“Is that really true?”

“Yes. Why would I lie about something like this?”

The orcs nodded nervously with mixed feelings of relief and disappointment. 

Lending money meant being able to influence that person. They didn’t have to put up the money anymore but that was still a bit disappointing.   

“Part of why I called you in was that I wanted to meet my wisest and most brilliant friends and exchange greetings, but I also wanted to hear more details about what’s going on around here.”

“Ah. . . Was that what you meant, Your Excellency?”

The orcs understood Johan’s intention and laughed awkwardly. When the count summoned them, they came with various thoughts and steeled themselves, but it turned out to be a trivial summon.  

“Then I’m glad you found us. Where else would you find ones as sensitive to rumors as us?”

Even nobles found it difficult to properly obtain information from distant places in this era. Good information was valuable in itself.

There were more of those who were sensitive to such rumors and knew how to handle information on the other side rather than nobles. Merchants and orcs were exactly like that. 

Orcs, who gathered in families, outwardly resembled dwarves at a glance, but they were much more active in external activities. While dwarves usually settle within mountain ranges, orcs settle in cities or towns. Isolationism was impossible from the start.

With an old vision handed down over generations, there was a rumor that news was delivered even between distant families, so the orcs’ information gathering ability had some outstanding parts. 

“The current situation. . . to be honest, I’d say we’re in the fog.”

The orcs trailed off as if it was difficult. 

“While the Emperor secured an unexpected victory that no one anticipated, that didn’t end or resolve the situation. In fact, several feudal lords escaped unharmed and are reorganizing like this as we speak. There is a high possibility that a long, tedious battle will continue.”

“With morale likely high, wouldn’t the Emperor’s troops advance west?”

“Haha. The weather still isn’t completely cleared up yet. . . More than anything, the Emperor’s situation isn’t exactly affluent. The mercenaries below must be very dissatisfied. Their wages have been delayed quite a bit, you see.”

Mercenaries who indiscriminately plunder the area after a battle ended. This wasn’t because the commander failed to command. It was impossible to stop that. 

This was included in customary rights, so if it was stopped, it could lead to desertion at first and even riots or rebellions at worst.

After giving them about a few weeks to plunder, they would want to depart immediately but unfortunately that wasn’t possible.  

The Emperor had many debts, so he had to repay some of them to be able to borrow anew again, replenish the troops lost while subjugating the south, consider how to dispose of the fiefs of rebel nobles. . .

The Emperor had been running on a very precarious line, so once he won, there were many places where he had to rest his hands. The Emperor was now catching his breath and reorganizing.

“Also, there is a plague around central and southern nearby.”  

“A plague?”

“Yes. With many people dying, it’s only natural for a plague to spread.”

The plague here meant something slightly different. It meant that evil energy that summoned undead monsters everywhere. 

The hordes of undead rampaging here and there were a headache for many feudal lords.

“If something like that happens in the central region, it would definitely be impossible to lead the army and go up. . . Are they going to stop the subjugation of the south as well?”

Johan asked with expectation. It would be good news for Johan if the subjugation of the south stops. Would it not harm the emperor? 

“I don’t think it will stop.”

“Why?”

“Well, if the emperor was the kind of person to stop because of something like that, the situation wouldn’t have become like this in the first place, right?”

“. . .That’s true.”

Cardirian was not the kind of person to give up just because some undead are swarming. No matter how much damage occurs, he will slowly conquer the cities and towns of the south one by one.

“When there’s one lunatic, it tires out many others.”

“But Your Excellency, I’ve heard rumors that the Elf King is in a similar situation. . .”

“?”

The Elf King needed a replenishment as much as the emperor. The probability of him leading the army back down south after preparations are complete is high. 

With dozens of castles in the south between them, he intends to have a stubborn skirmish with the emperor.

“Is no one dissatisfied?”

He was worried because there were also talks of traitors amidst all this.

“It’s complicated. They don’t like having to keep leading soldiers into battle but they also don’t want to abandon the emperor.”

The psychology of the nobles on both sides would be similar.

In a situation like this where the end is uncertain, they don’t want to keep leading armies but still, they can’t lose to the opponent!

In fact, if the emperor and the elf king compromise with each other and negotiate, the surrounding nobles might be even more delighted.

“It’s a muddy fight.” 

“Indeed. I wonder when this war will end. . .”

To the orcs, it looked like the war would last at least a few more years.

It was very rare for the emperor’s grand army to clash with the allied grand army, and they usually just wasted time pushing each other back and forth over land.

“If Your Excellency has no more questions, may we take out the gift we brought?”

“You brought a gift?”

“Of course. Come in!”

As two elves who looked quite old entered, Suetlg murmured.

“They’re from the White Tower.”

“If it’s the White Tower. . .”

At the westernmost end of the elves’ kingdom, there was a white tower situated on an island. It was a structure that existed since the days of the ancient empire.

The tower itself did not hold any special power but various talented individuals who took this building as their symbol gathered there, settling on the island for generations and forming something like a university.

“It’s like the elves’ university. More meticulous and mystical.”

Like those who graduated in law or theology from the universities in the Free Cities having insignia on their bodies as they walk about, the elves from the White Tower also had markings on their white clothes.

“These two Arnoos are skilled wizards and painters. They will vividly capture Your Excellency’s visage on a painting.”

“. . . . . .”

Because of the completely unexpected gift, Johan had to make an effort to manage his expression.

“Really. . .thank you so much.” 

“The orcs put quite a bit of thought into this. Painters of such caliber would cost quite a lot.”

Suetlg nodded as if genuinely impressed. The orcs gave a thoughtful gift.

The majestic portrait to be painted with expensive materials symbolized the dignity of nobility. Anyone who sees it would bow their heads at Johan’s dignity.

‘𝘚𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘭𝘥’𝘷𝘦 𝘫𝘶𝘴𝘵 𝘨𝘪𝘷𝘦𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘮𝘰𝘯𝘦𝘺 𝘷𝘢𝘭𝘶𝘦 𝘪𝘯 𝘨𝘰𝘭𝘥 𝘤𝘰𝘪𝘯𝘴.’

🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸

He thought it was a useless gift, but the two elves were surprisingly skillful.  

When they heard Johan had hunted an ogre, they opened their mouths.

“We heard Your Excellency hunted an ogre.”

“If you don’t mind, we will show you magic later.”

Johan became curious at their words and asked.  

“What kind of magic?”

“Please let us use the ogre’s intestines.”

“We can tell fortunes to answer any questions you have or the future.”

Telling fortunes by looking at animal intestines was quite an old form of magic.  Suetlg asked with interest.

“I can’t say I really want my fortune told, are you that confident?”

“It’s not the intestines of other monsters, but an ogre’s.” 

“Yes. That’s right.”

If they couldn’t properly tell fortunes using the intestines of the king of the forest and monster, they weren’t qualified as wizards. The Arnoos spoke firmly.

“Very well. Shall we try telling fortunes then?”

“The preparations aren’t finished yet. . .?”

“Do it later. I want to see the fortunes first.”

The Arnoos got up with a reluctant look.  On the way to where the ogre corpse was, Johan asked a question.

“I heard you have a variety of talents, do you have any other skills?”

“We are skilled in alchemy and witchcraft.” 

“In magic, we are good at telling fortunes and we also have talent in drawing.”

‘𝘏𝘰𝘸 𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘭𝘦.’  

Johan was impressed. Not only the way they chatted as if they were one person, but there seemed to be few areas they hadn’t learned from the White Tower.

“We also know how to tan hides.”

“If any moderate ogre leather remains we could even make armor out of it for you.”

“What? You can do that?”

Ogre leather was said to be tougher than troll skin, but actually catching one and making armor out of it was nearly an impossible pipe dream.  

It was difficult to tan the hides and craft them into armor because the leather was so tough and sturdy. 

‘𝘖𝘨𝘳𝘦 𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘩𝘶𝘩. . .’

The armor Johan was wearing wasn’t bad either.  The brigandine style armor woven with the leather of hunted monsters and rare metals was so fancy even the makers nicknamed it dragon scale.  

The greatcoat given by Gulrak also wasn’t like a normal greatcoat with its magical enhancements.

However, he wanted to wear better armor if he could.  Monster leather armor was flexible, lightweight and possessed traits of the monster, which were advantages. With ogre leather, additional metal backing plates wouldn’t be needed to have sufficient defense.

“You two really are exceptionally talented.”

““Thank you, Your Excellency.””

“Then rather than fortunes, I’d prefer if you make the armor first since quite a bit of leather remains.” 

“?”

The Arnoos was puzzled.  Ogre hunts often turned into long drawn out battles, so it was rare for the ogre corpses to remain intact after the hunt ended.  

But from the count’s words, it sounded as if its body was quite preserved. They couldn’t imagine how that was possible.

“!!”  

That puzzlement was resolved after seeing it themselves.  At the ogre corpse caught with practically no damage, the Arnoos were so amazed they couldn’t close their mouths. The two drew the ogre as if spellbound.

“But Your Excellency. We still have a lot of fortune telling and portraits left to draw, if we start on the armor first. . .”

“Ah, then we need to set priorities.”

Arnoos was relieved. If they finished the painting first, they could easily focus on their work. 

“Make the armor first.”

“. . .Your Excellency. You don’t happen to dislike our painting, do you?”

Arnoos asked just in case. Johan didn’t know, but among the extravagant nobles, the Arnoos’s name was quite well known. The portraits the two had painted were said to be as vivid and vibrant as if they were alive.

Thanks to the reputation they had built up, they now had so many commissions piled up that even nobles who wanted their portraits painted had to be turned down. But the Count in front of them seemed strangely indifferent. 

Was it his mood?

“I just want to see the most perfect and beautiful one last. Now, make the armor first.”

With an awkward feeling, the Arnoos started on the work. Of course, making armor and appraising gems were also among their talents, but their proudest skill was painting.

As they skinned the ogre leather, they thought to themselves. They should avoid boasting about their other talents if possible.

🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸

“Ulrike-gong isn’t here?”

“Yes. She went on an expedition to defeat the undead.”  

“Phew. . .”

Stephen openly showed his relief. His instinct was somehow telling him for some reason that it wouldn’t be good to meet Ulrike.

In fact, he didn’t even need to use his instinct to know.  

“If I’m lucky, won’t I be able to avoid seeing her face until she returns?”

“That’s too much to hope for. . . Besides, an expedition to defeat the undead? What a nice excuse. Makes me want to go along.”

“. . .What? Why? Why would you go? Why?”  

Stephen was startled by Johan’s words. Thanks to God’s favor towards Johan, they had avoided meeting each other, so why would he willingly walk into his own grave?

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𝐇𝐎𝐌𝐄

Translation-(COMPLETED) – How to Live as a Wandering Knight

𝐒𝐮𝐩𝐩𝐨𝐫𝐭 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐑𝐚𝐭𝐞 𝐓𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐍𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐥《⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐》!!

『𝐍𝐔 𝐋𝐈𝐍𝐊』


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