How to Live as a Wandering Knight – Chapter 3

𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐄𝐧𝐝 𝐨𝐟 𝐂𝐡𝐢𝐥𝐝𝐡𝐨𝐨𝐝 (𝟑)

𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐄𝐧𝐝 𝐨𝐟 𝐂𝐡𝐢𝐥𝐝𝐡𝐨𝐨𝐝 (𝟑)

“How did he know I was from the Aitz family. . . Oh well.”

“. . .Could you tell what I was thinking?”

“Who else would be hanging around here with a longsword at this time?”

Now Johan was wearing casual clothes and there was no family crest anywhere, but that longsword was enough.

“May I ask your name?”

“Johan. I’m Johan Aitz.”

“I can’t believe you’re Sir Gessen’s son. . .”

“?”

Johan looked at the old man with a puzzled look.

“What brings you here?”

“What brings me here. . . I always come here.”

“Ah, I apologize. I was rude. . .”

“No. It’s fine. Do as you please.”

Johan waved his hand and was about to move on. Then the old man spoke again.

“May I ask one more thing?”

“. . .I don’t mind, but who are you?”

Johan looked the old man up and down. One eye seemed to be blind, it was gray. Other than that, he was dressed normally.

‘He’s a pretty well-kept old man for his age.’

Johan realized that the old man had a straight back and a sturdy physique. Such old men were rare in the town.

“I’m Kaegal, a wanderer roaming the Empire.”

“I see. Kaegal. What brings you to this uninteresting town?”

“As I said, Johan-nim. Wanderers just wander. There’s no reason. Besides, an uninteresting town? This warm and well-kept town is rare in the Empire.”

Kaegal exaggerated, but Johan didn’t think it was sincere. In the first place, the Aitz family’s territory wasn’t that great.

Johan decided not to argue. It wasn’t a big deal, and he didn’t feel bad about the territory being laughed at.

“I see. What do you want to ask?”

“If you’re Sir Gessen’s son, are you currently training as a squire?”

“Are you mocking me right now?”

“No. Why would I?”

“If I were training as a squire, I would be under another knight.”

When they were young, they entered under another knight as a page, gained experience and became a squire, and later became a knight by making a contribution.

This was the usual case.

Of course, even if they didn’t go that far, the children of noble knight families could say ‘I’m a knight’ and get away with it, but the son of a lower-class noble without any skills would only end up being laughed at.

“That’s true, but there could be other cases. Sir Gessen calls another knight to the territory to teach. . .”

“So that’s what you meant. That’s what John is getting.”

Mrs. Aitz had called a retired knight to the mansion to teach her youngest son, John. The old man nodded and said.

“The youngest. . . So you’re not really training?”

“I’m not training. Why do you keep bothering me?”

“I’m sorry. You don’t look like you haven’t trained. . .”

Johan realized why the old man was acting that way upon hearing his words. For someone untrained, Johan’s appearance was too plausible.

‘𝘉𝘶𝘵 𝘪𝘴𝘯’𝘵 𝘩𝘦 𝘵𝘰𝘰 𝘬𝘯𝘰𝘸𝘭𝘦𝘥𝘨𝘦𝘢𝘣𝘭𝘦?’

Even for a wanderer, he seemed to know too much about the lives of knights. Of course, he could have picked it up while working in another knight’s family. . .

“Oh my. . . Then I’ll be on my way. Ah. Johan-nim. Is there a place in the town where I can sleep for the night?”

“Go down the hill and look for a house with a long and wide door. There’s no second floor, but there’s a back room for occasional travelers.”

If it had been a larger town, there would have been a separate inn doing business, but there was none in this town. There was only a pub that also served as an inn. Of course, it was enough for wanderers to drink, sleep, and go for a night.

This pub was owned by the feudal lord, Sir Gessen. Like other facilities such as the mill, it was a place where people who had received permission from the lord operated and raised income.

‘𝘐𝘵’𝘴 𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘯𝘨𝘦𝘭𝘺 𝘣𝘰𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘮𝘦. 𝘐𝘧 𝘩𝘦’𝘴 𝘢 𝘴𝘶𝘴𝘱𝘪𝘤𝘪𝘰𝘶𝘴 𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘰𝘯. . . 𝘕𝘰. 𝘛𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘤𝘢𝘯’𝘵 𝘣𝘦.’

Spies or suspicious people wouldn’t bother coming to Aitz’s feudatory. There was no value in doing so.

And even if they did, Johan had no intention of stepping forward.

If it was related to the Aitz family, shouldn’t the well-off half brothers or Mrs. Aitz step forward?

🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸

Kaegal quickly became friends with the people in the town. It wasn’t hard to get along. All it took was a bit of skill and some empire’s silver coins.

When a harmless wanderer praises their town and even offers drinks, the usually bored farmers would flock to him and start asking questions.

𝐓𝐡𝐮𝐦𝐩━

There was a hearth in the middle of the dirt floor. A stew that seemed to have been boiling for quite a while was bubbling on the hearth dug into a pit. It wasn’t cooked with a particular dish in mind. Even the tavern owner probably didn’t know exactly what was in the stew. It was always boiled with whatever ingredients were available.

But the town of Aitz was not lacking in salt or spices, so the taste was decent. Thanks to its location on the ancient Empire’s trade route, merchants always brought goods, which was a boon.

Thanks to this, Kaegal was somewhat satisfied. He had eaten much worse dishes before. For a wanderer, this was a feast.

“But. . . about Sir Gessen’s son. . .”

“Which son?”

“The tall, well-built one.”

“Ah, Johan-nim.”

“I saw him for the first time, and his presence is no joke. Is he the successor?”

“What? No. No. The successor is Philip-nim.”

“But I can understand why you’d be confused. At first glance, Johan looks much more like a knight, doesn’t he?”

“You fool. Can you become a successor just by looking the part? Don’t say such nonsense.”

‘𝘐𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨.’

Kaegal listened to the farmers’ conversation with interest. He poured them a light beer and asked a question, and they started talking on their own. They usually didn’t have a chance to relax and chat like this, so they couldn’t stop talking.

‘𝘋𝘪𝘥 𝘩𝘦 𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘺 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘳𝘦𝘤𝘦𝘪𝘷𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘺 𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘪𝘯𝘪𝘯𝘨? 𝘐𝘵 𝘴𝘦𝘦𝘮𝘦𝘥 𝘭𝘪𝘬𝘦 𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘪𝘯𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘩𝘪𝘮𝘴𝘦𝘭𝘧. . .’

To Kaegal’s eyes, Johan was a young man born with a body given by the gods. Elastic and strong muscles, quick reflexes. He was the very embodiment of a warrior’s physique.

What was surprising was that he was trained enough to fight at any moment.

Could a young man who had not received any instruction be capable of such training on his own?

Kaegal became interested. He didn’t believe in the prophecy of the witch of Asman, but now that he saw Johan, he began to trust the witch’s prophecy.

━𝐎𝐡, 𝐊𝐚𝐞𝐠𝐚𝐥, 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐞𝐫𝐯𝐚𝐧𝐭 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐧𝐚𝐤𝐞. 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐰𝐡𝐨 𝐠𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐬 𝐝𝐞𝐚𝐭𝐡 𝐞𝐪𝐮𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐲 𝐭𝐨 𝐚𝐥𝐥. . . 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐮𝐜𝐜𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐨𝐫 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐥𝐨𝐨𝐤𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐢𝐬 𝐢𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐨𝐮𝐭𝐡𝐰𝐞𝐬𝐭 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐄𝐦𝐩𝐢𝐫𝐞. . . 𝐈𝐧 𝐚 𝐬𝐦𝐚𝐥𝐥 𝐜𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐭𝐫𝐲𝐬𝐢𝐝𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐧𝐨 𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐜𝐚𝐫𝐞𝐬 𝐚𝐛𝐨𝐮𝐭. . . 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐥𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐨𝐟 𝐚 𝐝𝐫𝐮𝐧𝐤𝐞𝐧, 𝐥𝐮𝐬𝐭𝐟𝐮𝐥 𝐥𝐨𝐫𝐝. . .

━𝐂𝐚𝐧’𝐭 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐛𝐞 𝐦𝐨𝐫𝐞 𝐬𝐩𝐞𝐜𝐢𝐟𝐢𝐜? 𝐈 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐭𝐨 𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐯𝐞𝐥 𝐚𝐥𝐥 𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐫 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐨𝐮𝐭𝐡𝐰𝐞𝐬𝐭 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐨𝐥𝐝 𝐛𝐨𝐝𝐲.

━𝐈𝐟 𝐢𝐭’𝐬 𝐟𝐚𝐭𝐞, 𝐲𝐨𝐮’𝐥𝐥 𝐟𝐢𝐧𝐝 𝐢𝐭.

━𝐃𝐚𝐦𝐧 𝐢𝐭. 𝐘𝐨𝐮’𝐫𝐞 𝐭𝐨𝐨 𝐦𝐮𝐜𝐡 𝐭𝐨 𝐭𝐚𝐤𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐠𝐨𝐥𝐝 𝐜𝐨𝐢𝐧 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐢𝐭 𝐥𝐢𝐤𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬.

━𝐈𝐟 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐝𝐨𝐧’𝐭 𝐰𝐚𝐧𝐭 𝐭𝐨 𝐠𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐢𝐭, 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐝𝐨𝐧’𝐭 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐭𝐨.

The witch laughed softly. The scent spread in the tent made Kaegal’s old body feel heavier. Kaegal shook his head.

━𝐈 𝐝𝐨𝐧’𝐭 𝐰𝐚𝐧𝐭 𝐭𝐨 𝐛𝐞 𝐜𝐮𝐫𝐬𝐞𝐝 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐬𝐚𝐯𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐚 𝐠𝐨𝐥𝐝 𝐜𝐨𝐢𝐧.

With one Empire gold coin, you could play and eat for several months even in a city with high prices. There were plenty of serfs who had never seen a gold coin in their lives. But he didn’t think about saving it.

Only a fool would break a promise with a witch.

Kaegal didn’t believe in gods, but he was an old assassin who believed in superstitions.

Even this witch was not a witch from the Asman Empire, far to the east of the Holy Empire. It was rumored that the witches of the Asman Empire were even called upon by the Sultan to predict the future.

━𝐈 𝐡𝐨𝐩𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐟𝐢𝐧𝐝 𝐰𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐲𝐨𝐮’𝐫𝐞 𝐥𝐨𝐨𝐤𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐟𝐨𝐫, 𝐊𝐚𝐞𝐠𝐚𝐥.

━𝐓𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐤 𝐲𝐨𝐮. 𝐈 𝐡𝐨𝐩𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐝𝐨𝐧’𝐭 𝐠𝐞𝐭 𝐜𝐚𝐮𝐠𝐡𝐭 𝐛𝐲 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐝𝐚𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐫𝐝𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐄𝐦𝐩𝐢𝐫𝐞 𝐂𝐡𝐮𝐫𝐜𝐡.

━𝐈𝐬𝐧’𝐭 𝐢𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐚𝐦𝐞 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐛𝐨𝐭𝐡 𝐨𝐟 𝐮𝐬? 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐨𝐧𝐥𝐲 𝐝𝐢𝐟𝐟𝐞𝐫𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐢𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐈 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐞𝐲𝐞𝐬 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐲𝐨𝐮, 𝐊𝐚𝐞𝐠𝐚𝐥, 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐚 𝐬𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐝.

Neither Kaegal nor the witch had a respectable status.

The witch was a heretic who believed in a different god than the Holy Empire’s church, and Kaegal was an assassin.

The unofficial swordsmanship guild of the Holy Empire, <𝐕𝐞𝐧𝐨𝐦 𝐨𝐟 𝐍𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐮𝐬>!

Kaegal was one of the masters of that guild.

In the Empire, there were official swordsmanship guilds that purely honed their swordsmanship and pledged loyalty to the feudal lord of the city, and there were illegal guilds that hid in the shadows of the city and took illegal requests.

A guild where delinquents, thieves, and murderers gathered.

Not all swordsmen who learned swordsmanship were righteous. The underground swordsmanship guilds flourished as much as the aboveground swordsmanship guilds. And <𝐕𝐞𝐧𝐨𝐦 𝐨𝐟 𝐍𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐮𝐬> was one of the most prosperous among the underground swordsmanship guilds.

Kaegal, who had lived without regrets all his life, had one regret as his death approached.

That was the fact that his skills would disappear as they were.

Unlike the official guilds, the unofficial guilds were far from the concept of master and disciple, and the transmission of swordsmanship. They had to learn on their own and steal swordsmanship on their own. If they couldn’t, they would die.

Kaegal was proud to have mastered the secret techniques of swordsmanship handed down in <𝐕𝐞𝐧𝐨𝐦 𝐨𝐟 𝐍𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐮𝐬>. He melted what he had experienced and felt into it and created a new swordsmanship.

But. . .

There was no one to teach.

The young men who newly joined <𝐕𝐞𝐧𝐨𝐦 𝐨𝐟 𝐍𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐮𝐬> were trash, just like the people who joined <𝐕𝐞𝐧𝐨𝐦 𝐨𝐟 𝐍𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐮𝐬>. Even if they tolerated their dog-like and vulgar character and temperament, their skills and talents did not please him.

Was he supposed to take as disciples those clumsily evil guys who might use the swordsmanship he taught to kill him right away?

Kaegal didn’t want to do that. He suddenly realized why the official guilds were strong. They would naturally be strong because they received systematic instruction and transmission.

In the end, Kaegal went to the witch. He tried to get a prophecy with the feeling of grabbing at straws.

And now.

Kaegal was happy that the prophecy was unexpectedly not wrong.

🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸

‘𝘐’𝘷𝘦 𝘭𝘪𝘷𝘦𝘥 𝘢𝘯𝘰𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘥𝘢𝘺 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘶𝘵𝘮𝘰𝘴𝘵 𝘥𝘪𝘭𝘪𝘨𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘦.’

“May the blessing of the divine be with you.”

“May the blessing of the divine be upon you.”

Valberga, a clergyman in charge of the church in the feudal territory, bowed before Johan. He spent the afternoon assisting with church duties alongside Valberga.

Most of Sir Gessen’s sons were far from devout. Amidst this, Valberga was delighted to see Johan frequently visiting the church, demonstrating his faith.

“Johan-nim. The divine is surely watching over your dedication.”


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