How to Live as a Wandering Knight – Chapter 29.2

𝐈𝐭 𝐖𝐚𝐬 𝐖𝐚𝐫𝐦 𝐢𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐂𝐢𝐭𝐲 𝐓𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐘𝐞𝐚𝐫 (𝟑)

‘𝘐 𝘤𝘢𝘮𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘳𝘰𝘯𝘨 𝘱𝘭𝘢𝘤𝘦.’

Johan regretted it. There was a reason why Eldans said, ‘𝘐𝘧 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘺 𝘢𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘪𝘯𝘯, 𝘐 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘴𝘦𝘯𝘥 𝘴𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘤𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘺𝘰𝘶.’

It was uncomfortable for Johan to wait at the guild building.

Even though they heard from Eldans, the employees were not bold enough to approach Johan first, and since the other side was reluctant, Johan also hesitated to initiate conversation. He didn’t want to bother busy people needlessly.

Coming here to see and hear things firsthand only led to this awkwardness.

Geoffrey, being a former merchant, skillfully conversed with the guild staff, discussing various matters. The staff also seemed at ease talking with Geoffrey, sharing laughs. Johan wished someone would talk to him, but the cautious employees preferred speaking to a slave.

‘𝘋𝘢𝘮𝘯.’

All Johan could do was to sit stiffly and solemnly.

As time passed in awkward silence, a commotion was heard outside. Soon, the door opened and an elderly human wrapped in robes entered.

‘𝘏𝘦’𝘴 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘢𝘯 𝘢𝘴𝘴𝘢𝘴𝘴𝘪𝘯.’

Johan thought this pointless thought as he looked at the old man. Certainly not a body trained for combat. His back was straight, and his eyes were sharp, but that was all.

The old man was accompanied by two slaves. The slaves were in plain clothes but had robust physiques, suggesting they could handle a fight.

“Welcome, Suetlg-nim. What brings you here?”

One of the employees, familiar with the old man, spoke with a flustered voice. It was customary to make an appointment before meeting a branch manager. Making someone of higher status wait was inconvenient for both parties. One such person was already enough.

“I came to see the branch manager. Why, is it a problem if this old man visits?”

“Not at all. . . I’ll inform them immediately.”

“Never mind. He’s busy, so I’ll wait.”

“Well then. . .”

“Don’t make me repeat myself.”

As the old man waved his hand for them to leave, the staff hesitated but eventually backed away, knowing all too well his irritable nature.

The old man glanced around and, upon seeing Johan, his face lit up with interest. Johan, equally intrigued, locked eyes with him.

They both seemed out of place and awkward here.

“Are you a knight, milord?”

Johan nodded. The old man grinned wickedly, his smile twisted with multiple meanings, expressing both amusement at finding an interesting counterpart and confidence that he was indifferent to Johan’s status.

‘𝘞𝘦𝘭𝘭, 𝘮𝘺 𝘬𝘯𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵𝘭𝘺 𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘵𝘶𝘴 𝘥𝘰𝘦𝘴 𝘵𝘦𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘮𝘪𝘥𝘢𝘵𝘦 𝘰𝘯𝘭𝘺 𝘵𝘩𝘰𝘴𝘦 𝘸𝘩𝘰 𝘥𝘰𝘯’𝘵 𝘬𝘯𝘰𝘸 𝘢𝘯𝘺 𝘣𝘦𝘵𝘵𝘦𝘳.’

Nobility could make commoners bow their heads, but that was it. The power of nobility came from their background. A noble without a family or fiefdom had little power in a city like this.

Johan’s treatment in this guild was due to the guarantee of the Eldans and his equipped gear, not his noble status alone. Without these, the city’s merchants would have called the guards if he’d demanded respect just for being a noble.

“And who might you be?”

“You don’t know me? I am Suetlg, the sage of the Ipaël River.”

“. . .?”

The old man chuckled again and said, 

“Need a simpler explanation? I’m a wizard.”

“Oh. . .!”

“. . .Is that all you have to say?”

Suetlg was surprised. Most young knights, unlike the obtuse nobles, were not thrilled to hear of wizards.

The virtues of knights were bravery, justice, and loyalty, values far from wizards, who were associated with suspicion, ambiguity, and inscrutable malevolence.

Yet, Johan seemed genuinely pleased.

‘. . .𝘞𝘩𝘢𝘵’𝘴 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘨𝘶𝘺?’

“Pleased to meet you, Suetlg-nim. A wizard, that’s fascinating. I’ve always wanted to meet one.”

“. . .R-Really?”

“Would you mind telling me about magic?”

In Johan’s rural fiefdom, magic was almost a legend or a rumor. Seeing a real wizard was astonishing.

‘𝘐’𝘭𝘭 𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘯 𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘺𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘮𝘢𝘨𝘪𝘤 𝘯𝘰𝘸!’

‘𝘞𝘩𝘢𝘵’𝘴 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘨𝘶𝘺, 𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘺??’

Unbeknownst to Johan, he was being considered an oddity by Suetlg.

🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸

Suetlg regained his composure and nodded.

“Since we’ve met, I don’t see why I shouldn’t tell you.”

“Oh. . . .”

“But it’s no fun just telling you, so if you beat me in a game, I’ll answer any question you want.”

“Oh. . .”

This ‘Oh’ was one of disappointment. Johan cursed inwardly.

‘𝘋𝘢𝘮𝘯. 𝘐 𝘴𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘭𝘥’𝘷𝘦 𝘱𝘳𝘢𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘤𝘦𝘥 𝘮𝘰𝘳𝘦.’

Even if knights didn’t learn to read, they were taught culture, including poetry and chess, the pastimes of nobility.

Being bad or unfamiliar with these activities made it hard to fit in with their circles. Hence, Johan had learned chess from Priest Valberga back in his fiefdom, believing it would come in handy someday.

Although Priest Valberga was an excellent chess player. . .

Johan was not a good student.

Even when viewed in the best light, the skill level was only average. It was natural not to improve much in chess, as there was little interest in it.

“Can’t we bet on something other than chess? Like dice gambling?”

Or maybe arm wrestling.

“You’re quite the joker. And I wasn’t talking about chess. The game of kings is fun, but it’s nothing compared to the game of gods.”

“??” 

What is the game of gods? A duel?

As Johan looked puzzled, Suetlg clicked his tongue.

“Seems you don’t know. Are you from the north? This is a game favored by the sultans of the East. Merchants who caught the sultan’s eye learned it and spread it here. The pagans of the East call it the game of gods.”

With those words, Suetlg snapped his fingers. Then a slave came and set up a board.

It was a Go board.

“. . . . . .”

Johan wore a stunned expression. Suetlg misunderstood it.

“You might be wondering why there are so many khans. Let me explain it to you simply. Don’t worry too much. Considering it’s your first time, I’ll give you a handicap.”

“. . .Ah, yes.”

Johan clenched his teeth. It was to hold back laughter.


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