How to Live as a Wandering Knight – Chapter 44

𝐉𝐨𝐡𝐚𝐧'𝐬 𝐜𝐡𝐨𝐢𝐜𝐞 (𝟓)

𝐉𝐨𝐡𝐚𝐧’𝐬 𝐜𝐡𝐨𝐢𝐜𝐞 (𝟓)

Doris’s face crumpled suddenly. Some crazy mercenary. . .

The purpose of the mercenary’s entrance was obvious. Praise the knight, then covet a few coins, food, and drink. The smell of alcohol wafting here revealed his intentions clearly.

‘𝘏𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘴𝘦𝘦𝘯 𝘴𝘶𝘤𝘩 *𝘴𝘴𝘩𝘰𝘭𝘦-𝘭𝘪𝘬𝘦 𝘱𝘦𝘰𝘱𝘭𝘦? 𝘊𝘢𝘯’𝘵 𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘯 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘭𝘺 𝘨𝘶𝘢𝘳𝘥 𝘢𝘯 𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘯𝘤𝘦.’

Of course, showing mercy to such begging mercenaries was both a noble’s role and pleasure, but Doris didn’t feel like seeing that now, due to his ulterior motives.

The moment Doris heard the name ‘Marcel’s troll slayer,’ he realized.

━𝐓𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐤𝐧𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭 𝐢𝐬 𝐠𝐨𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐨 𝐂𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐭 𝐉𝐚𝐫𝐩𝐞𝐧!

Why else would a young knight like Johan wander in such times? It seemed clear he was heading to Count Jarpen’s territory.

Countess Abner might have called him, but Countess Abner wasn’t the kind of noble to invite a newly famous young knight to meet.

With the greedy intuition of a merchant, Doris was certain Johan was headed to Count Jarpen’s territory.

Then?

━𝐂𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐮𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐡𝐢𝐦 𝐰𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐝𝐞𝐟𝐢𝐧𝐢𝐭𝐞𝐥𝐲 𝐛𝐞 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐟𝐢𝐭𝐚𝐛𝐥𝐞! 𝐉𝐮𝐬𝐭 𝐨𝐟𝐟𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐡𝐢𝐦 𝐭𝐨 Count 𝐀𝐛𝐧𝐞𝐫 𝐰𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐛𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐫𝐞𝐰𝐚𝐫𝐝𝐬. . .

While presenting him to Countess Abner, if one speaks cleverly, it could be made to appear as if a knight who intended to join Count Jarpen was captured, thus earning military credit.

And that’s not all. If a ransom is paid by Johan’s family, there would be another reward to collect.

Doris was a greedy merchant, always on the lookout for opportunities. He operated as a main merchant under Countess Abner’s license, always aiming for big earnings.

In that brief moment, Doris, who managed to intoxicate Johan and make him fall asleep, and also coerced the mercenaries into laying down their arms, was indeed an impressive merchant.

But there’s always a flaw in plans.

The flaw in this plan was Khan.

“Aren’t you Khan?”

“Yes! That’s right! It’s an honor that you recognize me! Sob! Just once we fought together!”

The Khan pretended to cry, relieved. Johan, being perceptive, played along.

“Hearing that Sir Knight arrived, I was so happy that I had to come to see you, even from afar. Huh. I hope my coming here isn’t an intrusion!”

“What nonsense. It’s a joy to give to those below. Why wouldn’t I treat a warrior I fought with? Come. Bring this friend some food and drink.”

Doris grimaced but couldn’t object. Interrupting would spoil the festive mood.

The servants brought abundant food before Khan.

Khan devoured trout cooked in sauce, white bread with cameline sauce, sausages made of various meats and spices, porridge with eggs and meat, and congealed beef fat as if possessed. It was truly convincing acting.

‘𝘏𝘦’𝘴 𝘩𝘢𝘭𝘧𝘸𝘢𝘺 𝘦𝘯𝘫𝘰𝘺𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴.’

Johan was surprised to learn that Khan was here and thought there must be a reason for Khan’s behavior. If so, that appearance must be a disguise. In fact, Doris was merely finding Khan pathetic and annoying, without taking any further action.

Of course, those dishes seemed really delicious as he was eating them. . .

“So, what are you doing here?”

“Ah, yes! I am working for a new employer who is very kind.”

At these words, Doris forced a generous smile. It seemed that the mercenary was at least perceptive from what he was saying.

Of course, that didn’t mean he was going to be forgiven. Once everything was settled, the mercenary and the one standing at the entrance would be punished with whipping.

“The employer is such a good person. . . Do you remember Gamson-nim? The employer is even more benevolent, generous, and faithful than Gamson-nim.”

“Oh.”

Johan’s eyes sparkled coldly as he feigned admiration. Doris, not noticing, laughed awkwardly. It was awkward to respond to such blatant flattery.

“The mercenary is acting like this because he’s drunk.”

“But he’s doing this because you treated him well. It’s rare for an employer to hear such words from a mercenary.”

“Hahaha. . . Thank you. Although I am a merchant who seeks gold, I try to live devoutly. Did you know? There’s a priest behind me. But who is Mr. Gamson?”

“A priest. A good man indeed.”

“Ah. . .!”

Pleased with the flattery, Doris decided to lighten the punishment. Instead of whipping, he would assign guard duty.

“Sir Knight. Do you remember what Gamson-nim did back then?”

“How could I forget? Such a person is rare.”

“This person will treat you even better than Mr. Gamson. You can trust me! He is that remarkable!”

“. . . . . .”

Upon hearing this, Johan made up his mind.

🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸

After Khan finished eating and drinking everything, Johan coughed and said.

“I have something to discuss with Doris, can you leave us alone for a moment?”

“Of course, I should!”

“Take this silver coin. Meeting like this is also a blessing.”

When Johan put a silver coin in Khan’s hand, envy swirled on the faces of the surrounding servants. Such generous spending.

And Doris was also pleased.

This spending suggests the family must have some money!

“Thank you! Thank you!”

“Yes. You may leave now.”

Khan was confident that Johan had understood everything. He stepped back carefully, feeling proud of himself.

“What do you want to talk about?”

“Hmm. . . It’s a really important story. Step aside for a moment.”

At Johan’s words, the servants and slaves also stepped back. Doris involuntarily swallowed. The way Johan was acting, it somehow smelled like money.

“This is something I’m only telling you. After receiving such treatment.”

“. . .Yes!”

Doris’s heart pounded so loudly. Doris leaned in close to Johan.

“Actually, the name Gamson is a son of a b*tch.”

“Yes?”

Johan didn’t say anything more and wrapped his strong arms around Doris’s neck. Feeling suffocated, Doris let out a gasp.

𝐒𝐰𝐨𝐨𝐬𝐡━

At the same time, a longsword was drawn. Johan held the longsword in one hand, aiming it forward, and said,

“Shut your mouth. Anyone who opens their mouth will see their own tongue rolling on the ground!”

━𝐆𝐫𝐨𝐰𝐥!

At his shout, the servants and slaves froze. The sudden situation was one thing, but Johan’s murderous aura bound them tightly.

“Cough. . . Sir Knight, why are you doing this?!”

“Why? You prepare mercenaries to ambush me outside and dare to say that?”

“Cough, cough. There’s a misunderstanding. . .”

“Misunderstanding? You merchant. Who are you underestimating? If you don’t speak now, I’ll rip out your tongue and twist your neck. Speak!”

Johan glared at Doris with blazing eyes, growling. Doris felt his limbs go weak. Knights were not the kind to accept that their thoughts were wrong.

The fear of being broken by the enraged Johan surged in him.

“Sir Knight, please. . . please spare me. I’ll compensate you! It’s my fault!”

“You prepared the mercenaries, didn’t you?”

Realizing that mercenaries were indeed prepared, Johan’s eyes grew cold.

“Yes! Yes. . .! But I never intended to harm Sir Knight! I just wanted to host you as a guest until the war ends! Truly! I swear to God!”

“Whom did you intend to host as a guest?”

“C-Countess Abner. . . Aren’t you going to Count Jarpen’s territory. . .? Oh, if not, I must have been mistaken, please forgive me. . . I’ll give you gold.”

“!”

Johan was honestly surprised. That this greedy merchant had so quickly figured out where he was going.

‘𝘐 𝘴𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘭𝘥𝘯’𝘵 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘶𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘩𝘪𝘮.’

Just as a caterpillar can roll, merchants have an excellent sense for opportunities. Had it not been for Khan’s warning, he would have waited until the opponent attacked first.

“Call my mercenaries here.”

Johan instructed a servant to call the mercenaries into the tent. Doris didn’t know what to do and fumbled.

“. . .!!!”

The experienced mercenaries, fittingly, did not make much noise even after seeing the situation inside the tent.

“What’s going on. . .?”

“For now, make noise eating and drinking. So no one suspects anything outside.”

“Ah, yes.”

The mercenaries began eating the food brought by the servants and slaves, sitting around various parts of the tent. If not for the situation, the food would have been really tasty.

“This merchant was trying to capture me and hand me over to Countess Abner.”

“What. . .! Sir Knight, you haven’t even joined Count Jarpen’s forces yet! It’s impossible to take you hostage!”

“I, I misunderstood. . .”

“Shut your mouth.”

Johan silenced Doris and then said, 

“The sequence doesn’t matter; they must have planned to catch him and then link him up.”

“How dare this damned merchant?”

“What will you do? Will you escape right now?”

“If we take him and escape, what about these mercenaries?”

The mercenaries responded to Johan’s question with various opinions. ‘𝘚𝘪𝘯𝘤𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘦𝘮𝘱𝘭𝘰𝘺𝘦𝘳 𝘩𝘢𝘴 𝘥𝘪𝘴𝘢𝘱𝘱𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘦𝘥, 𝘸𝘦 𝘴𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘭𝘥 𝘵𝘢𝘬𝘦 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘴𝘩𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘴𝘤𝘢𝘵𝘵𝘦𝘳,’ ‘𝘕𝘰, 𝘪𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘮𝘦𝘳𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘵 𝘩𝘢𝘴 𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘰𝘯𝘨 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘯𝘦𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘴, 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘺 𝘮𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵 𝘧𝘰𝘭𝘭𝘰𝘸 𝘶𝘴 𝘣𝘦𝘤𝘢𝘶𝘴𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘺’𝘳𝘦 𝘸𝘢𝘳𝘺,’ ‘𝘞𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘰𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘮𝘦𝘳𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘵𝘴 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘤𝘦𝘴𝘴𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘸𝘩𝘰 𝘢𝘤𝘵 𝘢𝘴 𝘰𝘧𝘧𝘪𝘤𝘦𝘳𝘴? 𝘞𝘦 𝘤𝘰𝘶𝘭𝘥 𝘤𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘮 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘩𝘰𝘭𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘮 𝘵𝘰𝘰,’ and so on.

Johan, who was listening, then asked Doris.

“Listen carefully. If you want to save your life, you must be able to do what I tell you from now on.”

𝐆𝐮𝐥𝐩━

The sound of Doris swallowing was unusually loud.

“Who is in charge of this trade caravan?”

“I. . . I am in charge.”

“What about the other merchants?”

“T-There are others I’ve taken money from to join the caravan, but they’re not the leaders.”

“If you change the direction of the caravan, will the others obediently follow?”

“. . .They will follow. B-But if you go somewhere too strange, they have eyes too. . .”

“Don’t worry. I don’t plan to make it impossible to do business.”

Johan, holding Doris’s head with one hand, spoke to the mercenaries.

“I have no intention of running away with this guy. If things get complicated, you might end up dying with this trash.”

“Then. . .?”

“We’ll make him lead this procession. Let’s go to Count Jarpen’s territory as planned.”

Since it was a trade caravan authorized by Countess Abner, there was no trouble even if they encountered the Count’s mercenaries.

Moreover, the various merchants in the caravan were only interested in making money, whether they sold to Countess Abner or Count Jarpen. The problem was with Doris, the leader.

Once they reached the Count’s territory, Johan and the mercenaries could safely secure Doris’s assets and ransom, and the people in the caravan could continue their business, though with a different client. It was a good deal for everyone except Doris.

“But, if I go to Count Jarpen’s territory with a permit from Countess Abner and do business there, I’ll be in big trouble!”

“Yes, I know. But Doris. Countess Abner is a problem for later, but I am the problem now. If you can’t manage it, I’ll just cut your throat and then escape from this procession.”

“. . .!!!”

“I might suffer a bit, but you’ll lose your life. So, it’s best for you to do your utmost. Whether your mercenaries attack or the merchants express dissatisfaction and leave, if anything goes wrong, your head will definitely be gone.”

Doris felt a dizzying sensation along with the overwhelming shock as if the sky was falling.

How did it come to this?


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