How to Live as a Wandering Knight – Chapter 26.2

𝐊𝐧𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭, 𝐌𝐞𝐫𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐭, 𝐌𝐞𝐫𝐜𝐞𝐧𝐚𝐫𝐲, 𝐒𝐥𝐚𝐯𝐞 (𝟏𝟏)

Johan was amazed. The laws in this world were much stricter than on Earth. If you committed a crime without status or connections, it was best to assume the death penalty.

Jail? It was rare to feed expensive food to criminals. Unless they were valuable hostages. . .

And smuggling was usually a capital offense. Bringing something into the city without paying taxes was a serious crime.

“I had some savings.”

Apparently, he managed to save his life by paying some back money. Johan nodded interestedly.

“You got into smuggling even with wealth? Why?”

“I was enchanted by a demon.”

“How about being honest instead?”

“I need a lot of money. . .”

“Please, Sir Knight. This man is reflecting on his actions now.”

Atanka, perhaps misunderstanding Johan’s question, defended himself. As a knight, he desired obedient and loyal slaves, not merchants caught smuggling.

“We have prepared equipment suitable for Sir Knight. Please accept this and forgive us.”

“. . .!”

Johan was slightly surprised. Weapons suitable for a knight in such a town?

But, surprisingly, they were decent. The longsword was well-balanced, and the sharp, spear-like estoc penetrated deeply. The small crossbow worked perfectly.

However, the armor was terrible. It was so mismatched that it felt like ‘this is what a knight without money wears.’ Even if chainmail was damaged, wearing this was unthinkable. It would change how he was treated.

‘𝘐’𝘭𝘭 𝘵𝘢𝘬𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘦𝘢𝘱𝘰𝘯𝘴, 𝘣𝘶𝘵 𝘐’𝘭𝘭 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘎𝘦𝘰𝘧𝘧𝘳𝘦𝘺 𝘸𝘦𝘢𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘴𝘦 𝘢𝘳𝘮𝘰𝘳𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘤𝘭𝘰𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘴.’

𝐂𝐥𝐚𝐜𝐤━

Something caught in Johan’s rummaging hand. It was a small, round piece of metal. Instinctively pulling and opening the lid, a familiar object appeared.

It was a broken pocket watch.

“. . .?!”

Johan was astonished. He had never seen, nor expected to see, a wind-up clock like this. Such a sophisticated item was difficult even for dwarf artisans to make. Although broken, its potential value was intuitively apparent.

‘𝘛𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘪𝘴 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘵𝘩 𝘨𝘰𝘭𝘥 𝘤𝘰𝘪𝘯𝘴!’

Such an item in this town was surprising. It made sense that the townsfolk, not knowing how to read a clock, failed to recognize its value.

‘𝘞𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘥𝘪𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘦 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮? 𝘈𝘯 𝘢𝘳𝘵𝘪𝘧𝘢𝘤𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘤𝘪𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘌𝘮𝘱𝘪𝘳𝘦?’

Upon closer inspection, faint engraved marks were visible. They were indeed ancient Empire characters, though broken and faded.

Johan tossed and caught the pocket watch, then observed Atanka’s expression. Atanka seemed puzzled, wondering what Johan was doing.

It was clear Atanka didn’t understand the item’s significance.

Johan composed his expression. Showing too much surprise might lead to misunderstandings. He decided to take the weapons and the pocket watch, saying,

“Well, since he’s reflecting, I’ll show mercy.”

At Johan’s words, Atanka’s face lit up. It was a settled matter.

“He’s too shabby and dirty. Wash him and dress him. Even if not in armor, at least to a presentable level.”

“Yes, I will do so.”

Providing a decent shirt and trousers wasn’t difficult. However, Johan didn’t stop there. The pocket watch was unexpected, but he had intended to accept the offer anyway.

“Two horses as well.”

“Yes. . .?”

“My horse was of good breed. Worth four or five Empire gold coins. But even at best, this slave won’t fetch more than a dozen silver coins.”

“But, two horses. . .”

“There must be decent horses in this town. No excuses. I expect two horses that I won’t be ashamed to ride.”

Judging by the town’s size, he could guess the kind of assets it might have. While there might not be well-trained warhorses for knights, sturdy packhorses or swift hunting horses were likely available.

Though they are inferior in price compared to warhorses, these horses are still valuable assets. Moreover, the fact that he has to give away two of them really hurts.

He tried to save some silver, but ended up paying even more.

‘𝘜𝘨𝘩.’

Should I launch a surprise attack?

Atanka thought for a moment about doing just that. If he could appease the knight and catch him off guard, then maybe a surprise attack. . .

Johan stared intently at Atanka with his dark eyes. His gaze seemed to say, ‘𝘐 𝘬𝘯𝘰𝘸 𝘸𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘺𝘰𝘶’𝘳𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘨.’

Atanka felt a sinking feeling in his chest. His hands trembled and his heart pounded. The pressure was different from when he subdued the wanderer with the local militia.

“I want a clear answer right here and now.”

“. . .I will do as you say.”

Atanka, experienced as he was, could only bow his head in silence before the young knight before him.

It was a primal fear.

🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸

“It feels like an arrow might fly at us from behind.”

“Hey. Don’t look back.”

As they left Rutzbeck, the mercenaries felt uneasy about the back of their heads. They could clearly sense the townspeople watching them with certain thoughts in mind.

They must be wishing for our demise as we leave!

“Honestly, I didn’t expect them to give up so easily.”

“We were lucky. They seemed quite frightened. . . Milord Eldans. Will you be alright? We won’t have to come here again, but it might be inconvenient for you in many ways.”

“I don’t mind either. I won’t have to come here for a while anyway.”

The situation in the southern part of the Empire was becoming increasingly chaotic. The trading companies were reluctant to send merchants to places where feudal lords and mercenaries were fiercely competing.

After this journey, I’ll be staying in the city for a while to help with the trading company’s work.

‘𝘐𝘯𝘵𝘳𝘰𝘥𝘶𝘤𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢 𝘨𝘰𝘰𝘥 𝘬𝘯𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵 𝘸𝘰𝘶𝘭𝘥 𝘣𝘦 𝘢 𝘮𝘶𝘤𝘩 𝘣𝘦𝘵𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘥𝘦𝘢𝘭.’

Meanwhile, Johan was having a conversation with Geoffrey.

Johan, in his own way, and Geoffrey, in his, were both trying to understand each other.

But Geoffrey was the one who was desperately wracking his brain even more.

“So, why did you engage in smuggling?”

“It’s like, I was bewitched by something. . .”

“Hmm. Geoffrey. We’ll be moving together in various ways in the future. It’d be better to know about you in advance. Just answer when I ask. Don’t overthink it.”

“. . .I got into some debt because of gambling. . .”

“Ah, I see. What kind of gambling?”

“It was dice gambling. . .”

Geoffrey, who was speaking, was surprised that Johan wasn’t very angry. Normally, a knight would be angry or scold someone who had fallen into gambling and resorted to smuggling. . .

“Hmm. What kind of gambling did you mostly do?”

“I-It was the kind where you throw three dice and guess the sum of the numbers that come up.”

“Was that gambling popular?”

“It was so popular that you had to pay under the table to get in. . .”

Then, Geoffrey realized that this young knight was genuinely interested in his story.

‘𝘕𝘰 𝘸𝘢𝘺. . .?!’


Image description Styled Links Random Banner
Advertisement

Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Options

not work with dark mode
Reset