How to Live as a Wandering Knight – Chapter 47

𝐏𝐞𝐨𝐩𝐥𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐀𝐛𝐧𝐞𝐫 𝐟𝐚𝐦𝐢𝐥𝐲 (𝟏)

𝐏𝐞𝐨𝐩𝐥𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐀𝐛𝐧𝐞𝐫 𝐟𝐚𝐦𝐢𝐥𝐲 (𝟏)

Knight Initiation Ceremony.

It was a ritual every young squire dreamed of.

In fact, there wasn’t much visible difference between a mercenary claiming himself a knight and one who had been trained from a young age to be officially knighted.

But there was a vast difference beyond that.

While the former was alone beyond himself, the latter gained connections with the noble who bestowed the knighthood, knights trained under the same noble, and other nobles related to that noble.

It was a kind of social sacrament and a common tradition.

A tradition that offered an honorable status that couldn’t be easily bought with gold and swords!

Thus, the Knight Initiation Ceremony was not bestowed upon just anyone.

There were certain customary obligations for the noble who bestowed it.

Basically, the noble had to provide the knight with expensive equipment like swords, shields, armor, and war horses, and organize a grand festival fitting for the knighting ceremony on a good day.

It didn’t end there.

The newly knighted young knight would travel around for a few years, participating in jousting tournaments and hunting monsters to elevate his fame, during which it was common for the noble to support his activities financially.

In short. . .

The Knight Initiation Ceremony was not just a gift to a young and brave knight, but a solid investment made with full commitment by the noble.

Through such generosity, the noble gained a young knight who would follow him.

‘𝘐𝘴𝘯’𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘵𝘰𝘰 𝘮𝘶𝘤𝘩?’

Johan was bewildered. He knew he had achieved something, but the knighting ceremony seemed excessive. The custom was to train under a noble as a squire for over ten years, earning one’s place, or performing extraordinary feats on a battlefield.

“Am I the one you mean? It feels too generous.”

“What is too generous for a young knight who broke through enemy lines and captured their commander? No, it’s not.”

‘𝘉𝘶𝘵 𝘪𝘵’𝘴 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘣𝘢𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘢𝘤𝘤𝘦𝘱𝘵.’

For Johan, it was undoubtedly beneficial. He might get entangled in Count Jarpen’s obligations, but nothing comes for free in the world. And he was already somewhat involved.

“Count, if you don’t explain properly, Sir Johan might misunderstand.”

“Ah. Right. The knighting ceremony is not my doing.”

After hearing the knight’s words, Count seemed to remember something.

There were times when a high-ranking bishop was called for such ceremonies, but this time it didn’t seem to be for that purpose.

‘𝘞𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘪𝘴 𝘪𝘵?’

“I could bestow it, but there is someone better suited.”

“. . .?”

“Hmm. I haven’t received a definite answer yet, but I’m sorry for jumping ahead. Anyway, are you willing to accept it?”

“If it’s from a noble as honorable as Count Jarpen, how could I refuse?”

Count Jarpen twisted his stern face into a slight smile.

“I can assure you of that. It’s not my nature to discuss things not yet happened, but I had to ask your opinion in advance in this case. Sorry for the confusion. I will give you a response as soon as possible.”

“No problem. How important can that be in the current situation?”

“What current situation?”

“The castle is under siege.”

“Thanks to your efforts, that will soon change.”

Count spoke with confidence, as if the army outside had already crumbled. Johan was puzzled. Sure, he had captured their commander, but for them to disappear so quickly? They had their pride too.

But the Count was right.

The next day, as the sun rose, not a single soldier occupying the nearby village was left.

🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸

“May I ask a question?”

“Yes! Feel free to ask anything.”

The scribe working at the castle was extremely polite upon hearing the name Johan. After checking the ledger, he brought out a chest mixed with gold and silver coins and handed it to Johan. Feeling the heavy sensation, Johan shuddered.

‘𝘐 𝘯𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩𝘵 𝘐’𝘥 𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘥𝘭𝘦 𝘴𝘶𝘤𝘩 𝘮𝘰𝘯𝘦𝘺 𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘯 𝘐 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘧𝘪𝘦𝘧𝘥𝘰𝘮. . .’

To hold substantial money, one inevitably had to rise higher. As a merchant or mercenary at the lower levels, all you got were a few copper or silver coins.

The life of a knight was a typical high-risk, high-return. Capturing an opponent and getting a ransom brought in enormous sums of money, but failing to do so resulted in rapid financial loss. If one got captured, the losses were even more significant.

“Please check. I have exchanged the villain’s goods for money.”

Of course, Johan didn’t check everything on the spot. Such things had to be done secretly upon returning, not openly.

“With this much money, couldn’t we have hired more mercenaries to fight?”

“It was Countess Abner’s overreach. The enemy was more numerous than expected, so the Count chose to hold out in the castle rather than engage unnecessarily.”

Waiting for the right moment rather than hastily hiring mercenaries as the enemy did was a good strategy and proved successful. Moreover, capturing an unexpected hostage thanks to Johan was an added bonus.

Thanks to this, there were cheerful talks in Count Jarpen’s territory about negotiating a truce after receiving the ransom from Countess Abner. While it was merry in Count Jarpen’s territory, Countess Abner’s land must be filled with a tense, almost suffocating atmosphere.

“How did you find the shield and sword you received?”

“They were good. The horse was well-trained, too.”

“I knew you would be satisfied. Donum is one of the smartest and well-bred horses here. The trainer even joked that it might have a monster lineage, considering its ancestors.”

Receiving the merchant’s wealth was pleasing, but the additional gifts were also quite valuable.

The horse named Donum gifted by the Count was immediately recognized as intelligent upon riding. It moved cleverly, understanding the rider’s intentions, a quality not seen in Fern.

Moreover, the Count gifted not only a sword and shield but also a set of chainmail. The chainmail made in the Count’s territory was much thicker and heavier than what Johan wore, crafted by dwarf experts with double-layered chains. Though heavier, its protective capability was undeniable.

Johan was very happy with these rewards and wanted to try them out right away. . .

But surprisingly, there was no opportunity to use them.

The knights of the castle, possibly following orders from the Count to avoid friction, did not challenge Johan to a duel, and as a guest, Johan was cautious about initiating one.

When with Suetlg, he played board games, but now as an esteemed guest, his activities were limited to training and horseback riding.

Bored, Johan summoned Geoffrey and the mercenaries. Goran and Khan, who had received generous rewards from Johan after entering the castle, went out expecting more and were caught by surprise.

“Ugh. . . Cough. . . Choke. . .”

“Come on. Get up.”

“Please let me rest for a moment, Sir Knight.”

“Sir Knight, how old do you think I am to be doing this. . .”

The mercenaries had undergone some training, but Johan’s method was on a different level. His systematic and relentless approach to training each part of the body wearied the mercenaries.

Even though the mercenaries had been excited when they learned that a knight would personally train them, this was not what they had expected.

“Sir Johan, if you’re feeling bored, why didn’t you just speak to me?”

The scribe rushed over, alarmed when Johan started playing with the mercenaries. To him, it seemed as though Johan was protesting.

“Why not?”

“Sir Johan, I will introduce you to someone suitable for your rank.”

“Oh? Who might that be?”

Upon hearing this from the scribe, Johan was intrigued. He had been feeling bored. He had only taken a few days off after constantly moving around full of vigor.

He would welcome the chance to meet anyone who could help him build connections.

“. . . . . .”

“. . .Are you seriously thinking they’re a good match?”

And the person the scribe introduced was Stephen, who had been taken hostage.

🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸

“Sir Stephen has also been knighted, as has Sir Johan. Wouldn’t it be good for the two of you to have a conversation?”

The scribe was not wrong. If Stephen had been a true knight, accepting his defeat and respecting the victor, it would have been so.

But Stephen was far from such a knight.

“The moment I return to my fiefdom, I will challenge you to a duel.”

“Why not do it now? Ah, I see. You couldn’t because you were captured. It would have been the same even if you were free.”

At Johan’s mockery, Stephen’s face turned red.

“Watch your mouth! I am of the Abner lineage. My family’s sanctity is different from the likes of you!”

“Aren’t you unable to even inherit a title? As a knight, you should be earning military honors. . . Oh dear, you’ve messed up this time. It’ll be difficult to get assigned next time.”

Stephen never stood a chance in a verbal duel against Johan, considering the situation and their different backgrounds.

“T-Then, I will take my leave.”

Realizing his mistake, the scribe quickly fled. Johan, looking at Stephen, thought it wouldn’t be bad to gather some information about the Countess Abner family for amusement.

“So, how much do you think your family will pay for your ransom?”

“. . . . . .”

“Not planning to answer?”

Johan picked up a poker from the fireplace as he spoke. The red-hot poker made a threatening sound. At this sight, Stephen’s eyes widened in fear.

“What. . . what are you planning to do?”

“Isn’t the disposition of a hostage at the discretion of the captor?”

“H-Honor your word! Don’t you plan to get a ransom?”

“A few wounds won’t prevent me from getting a ransom. Now, will you answer or keep silent?”

Stephen was terrified at Johan’s actions. As a hostage, there was nothing he could do if his captor decided to disregard the ransom.

“My family will surely bring at least a hundred. . . no, two hundred Empire gold coins!”

“Oh? Is that true?”

Johan tapped near Stephen with the poker, asking.

“I am worth that much!”

A ransom of one hundred to two hundred Empire gold coins was equivalent to a famous knight’s annual income, a considerable sum unreachable for lower nobility without a fiefdom.

Johan was pleased.

I did well to capture this man!

“How convenient for both of us when you answer like this. Now, tell me about Countess Abner.”

“What. . . what about?”

“Anything. Why, need to get a bit closer before you feel like talking?”

As Johan brought the poker close to his face, Stephen shuddered.

He was supposed to be an honorable knight, yet his actions were as cruel as those of a ruthless mercenary.

🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸

Stephen’s mother, Countess Abner, was a noblewoman who loved gold and silver just as much as a merchant.

To her, the silver mine discovered at the border of the two fiefdoms was a mouth-watering prey.

Unfortunately, no matter how much she searched through the documents, the silver mine was located in Count Jarpen’s territory. . .

Countess Abner cleverly demanded the land where the silver mine was located as a dowry.

“What dowry?”

“Marriage, marriage dowry.”

“. . .You and Count Jarpen’s daughter? Isn’t that a shameless demand?”

“What are you talking about?! I’m talking about Ulrike-gong.”

“Gong” is a title given to high-ranking nobles or the successors of high-ranking nobles. Ulrike-gong was Sir Stephen’s sister and Countess Abner’s firstborn, the successor to the Count.

“Oh. You haven’t married yet? Then it’s reasonable.”

However, even if it was a marriage with the successor, it was too much to ask for the silver mine as a dowry, and Count Jarpen naturally refused.

Countess Abner used this as an excuse to raise her soldiers. . .

The two families were surprisingly close. No, in the first place, noble families were all intertwined with each other.

“Countess Abner didn’t even think of breaking off the marriage, so peace will soon be made! Then of course, there will be a ransom, and please remove the shackles from my body!”

“Oh. I’m sorry. I didn’t realize it until I thought about it.”

“I brought some wine.”

As they were talking, a servant came in. Stephen swallowed his saliva when he saw the wine on the silver tray.

‘𝘐𝘴𝘯’𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘪𝘯𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘋𝘰𝘳𝘪𝘴 𝘩𝘢𝘥?’

Things do go around, but I never thought it would go around like this.

Johan looked at the approaching servant with such useless thoughts. The servant bowed his head respectfully, then placed two glasses and retreated.

“Wait.”

Johan called out to the servant. There was no specific reason for it, but it was something instinctive. He realized the reason later.

“Why are you carrying the glasses upright instead of upside down?”

“. . .I’m sorry.”


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