How to Live as a Wandering Knight – Chapter 54

𝐏𝐞𝐨𝐩𝐥𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐀𝐛𝐧𝐞𝐫 𝐟𝐚𝐦𝐢𝐥𝐲 (𝟖)

𝐏𝐞𝐨𝐩𝐥𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐀𝐛𝐧𝐞𝐫 𝐟𝐚𝐦𝐢𝐥𝐲 (𝟖)

Usually, it’s basic for the experienced soldiers to stand at the front unless it’s a special case.

Well-armed and experienced senior soldiers could hold their ground in a fight, but newcomers often just collapsed.

If the front line collapses, even the skilled fighters in the back line get affected.

In that regard, it wasn’t surprising that Johan and Gerdolf were leading at the front.

Because they were the best armed and the best fighters.

It was surprising that the knights weren’t leading in a cave fight against goblins. . .

The mercenaries who entered the cave were curious to see how well the two knights fought.

The knights, skilled in horsemanship, were invincible on horseback.

But what about on foot?

Could they be just as invincible in a muddy, close-quarters fight in a dark, narrow cave?

Turns out, the knights were indeed invincible on foot as well.

“T-The goblins. . .”

“The goblins? Did they cast some wicked magic or something?”

“It was the first time I felt sorry for the goblin scum.”

“. . . . . .”

“. . . . . .”

A mercenary briefly and simply shared his impression. Everyone was shocked by his words.

What in the world. . .?

It was like hearing a soft, inexperienced newcomer talking, not a seasoned mercenary.

“As the goblins were rushing forward, not stopping, just trampling everything in their path, and we were about to help from behind, but they were swept away like boulders. . . I was just stunned. . .”

“So you did nothing but watch? What kind of *sshole are you? Worthless?”

“I, I took down a few that jumped out from the side.”

“Because of guys like you, Sir Knight can’t work properly. They’re not going to fire us for that, right?”

“M-Maybe not. . .”

The mercenaries swallowed hard. Even mercenaries have their own pride.

Being fired for incompetence was a disgrace. Especially if the opposite party was not some insignificant noble, but a respected warrior.

Without the mercenaries realizing, Johan had already earned their respect.

Gaining respect among tough warriors wasn’t difficult.

Just don’t shy away like a coward, lead the fight, be generous with gold, and respect the mercenaries.

Though, it was actually hard to do.

🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸      

“Stephen.”

“Yes?”

“I hope you haven’t been saying unnecessary things to the mercenaries.”

“What? No, why would I. . .”

Stephen, who had been sitting quietly as instructed, was taken aback by Johan’s question.

What a baseless accusation.

“I really did nothing! Ask the servants around!”

“The mercenaries started fighting fiercely, so I wondered.”

Johan suspected that Stephen might have made some unnecessary threats or promises of rewards to the mercenaries, considering how aggressively they attacked.

It seems that was not the case.

‘𝘈𝘧𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘢𝘭𝘭, 𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘰𝘶𝘭𝘥𝘯’𝘵 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘮𝘰𝘯𝘦𝘺 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵.’

“So, how did the subjugation go?”

“So far, it’s successful. Seems like we’ve caught about a thousand.”

“A thousand. . . A thousand?! Are you serious?!”

Stephen was astounded. How could he speak so calmly about such an achievement?

“That’s a great success! A grand success! I must write a report to the Countess right away!”

Until now, the mercenaries who came here for subjugation had only managed to catch a few dozen at best.

After that, the goblins would disappear and not show up again, and the mercenaries would spend their time idly around the town, eventually giving up and returning.

This was indeed a success, no, a grand success.

Suetlg opened his mouth in admiration of the quick victory.

“We’ve indeed benefitted greatly from the wolf.”

“Certainly, it was good to actively pursue the subjugation rather than wait.”

“Yes. It would have been harder if we waited, scared by someone.”

“. . . . . .”

“But did the goblins not counterattack?”

“The mercenaries said the same, but no. They just holed up in their caves.”

Karamaf, encouraged by Johan’s praise, energetically found every goblin cave.

In each cave, there were dozens, even hundreds of goblins, and Johan and the mercenaries thoroughly annihilated them.

The mercenaries expected that even the fleeing ones would gather and attack desperately, but there was no sign of it.

“Aren’t the goblin creatures plotting something? Like an ambush. . .”

“Normally, I would’ve dismissed it as nonsense, but there are many suspicious instances this time. It’s better to be cautious.”

“Anyway, the initial search is over. Now we’ll stay in the town, persuade the escaped serfs to return, and look for any remaining caves.”

━𝐆𝐫𝐨𝐰𝐥.

“Right, right. Well done.”

Johan playfully tickled Karamaf’s chin. Suetlg found the giant wolf acting coquettishly quite fascinating.

Where did Johan find this creature?

Taming monsters is quite a special skill, after all. . .

🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸      

“Have the goblins gone mad? Why won’t they listen?!”

“Quiet! There’s just a temporary issue, they’ll soon follow my commands again.”

“Can’t you see those mercenaries swarming below? We can’t even get out like this! You might have nothing to lose with your lowly status, but I have a lot at stake!”

“Didn’t I tell you to shut up?”

The wizard, cloaked in robes, threatened the young nobleman with a fierce voice. Startled by the tone, the nobleman hesitated.

“Expeditions have come and gone before. Left alone, they’ll eventually leave. It doesn’t matter if the goblins don’t attack.”

The wizard was using the nearby goblins as his minions, orchestrating attacks on the town and fending off the expeditions, all under his command.

But this time, the expedition was different.

Not only did they capture the carefully raised monstrous boar, but the goblins also began to flee in fear. . .

The most astonishing thing was that the goblins, usually frenzied by drugs offered as rewards or by special scents that enhanced their wildness, started hiding in their dens, refusing to move.

At this point, the wizard realized something.

The knight leading this expedition was clearly not to be underestimated!

‘𝘞𝘩𝘺 𝘸𝘰𝘶𝘭𝘥 𝘴𝘶𝘤𝘩 𝘢 𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘮𝘪𝘥𝘢𝘣𝘭𝘦 𝘬𝘯𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵 𝘥𝘢𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘳𝘥 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘴𝘶𝘤𝘩 𝘢𝘯 𝘪𝘯𝘴𝘪𝘨𝘯𝘪𝘧𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘯𝘵 𝘣𝘢𝘤𝘬𝘸𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘳?’

It was frustrating, but nothing changed that reality. The wizard, true to his nature, had to accept it and start scheming.

“If the goblins don’t attack, it might take longer, but those guys will eventually be satisfied and retreat. Would such a powerful knight dastard stay here long?”

“Can you stay calm even after the goblins have been annihilated?”

“Goblins will repopulate over time! The ones I directly raised are still fine. Leave them be!”

“But if things stay this way, we can’t go outside. . .”

“Didn’t I tell you to stay put and endure? Don’t you have any patience? What’s lacking here, water or food?”

The wizard’s clear, aged voice sparkled with a killing intent, sending chills down the nobleman’s skin.

“Al. . . Alright, I’ll wait inside.”

“If you try any foolish tricks to go outside, I won’t let you off easy. Just pray quietly!”

“Y-Yes.”

🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸      

While cleaning up the corpses and gathering the loot, nothing happened in the town as they searched for the scattered serfs.

Not even a single raid.

Among the mercenaries, mundane talks circulated: ‘𝘐𝘴𝘯’𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘦𝘹𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘮𝘪𝘯𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘳?’ ‘𝘈𝘳𝘦𝘯’𝘵 𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘨𝘰𝘣𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘴 𝘥𝘦𝘢𝘥?’

However, Suetlg and Johan felt uneasy. Of course, they had caught a tremendous number of goblins, but. . .

“We haven’t encountered those wearing metal armor.”

“Right. That’s the problem. Isn’t it strange? And what about that boar? There must be a place where it’s being raised.”

“Milord. The monks have arrived.”

Johan’s face twisted at Geoffrey’s report. Suetlg struggled to suppress a laugh.

“Another prayer?”

“No. The monks say they have something to report.”

“?”

🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸      

After the massive subjugation ended, the monks scoured the mountains, wandering around.

It was because of records mentioning a forgotten temple nearby. It was part of their duty to search for such temples based on the information recorded in the monastery.

“You found it? Isn’t that good? It’s great news for the people of the town.”

“Well. . . um. . .”

“??”

“It seems to be a temple of a different faith. . .”

The monks hesitated as they spoke, feeling it blasphemous even to discuss such a matter.

“What?!”

Suetlg showed even more interest. A temple of a different faith? In such a place, something precious?

“Suetlg-nim.”

“Ah. My apologies.”

Suetlg cleared his throat. There was no need to act like a heretic in front of the monks. They were not ordinary fools.

“It definitely looks like a temple of a different faith, but it feels too blasphemous for us to examine it further. . . we are sorry.”

“Haha. Don’t worry. God will understan━. . . forgive us.”

‘𝘞𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘯𝘰𝘯𝘴𝘦𝘯𝘴𝘦. . .’

Suetlg looked at Johan with a horrified expression. Did he almost say ‘𝘶𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘯𝘥’ just now?

Such words were not fitting for a devout believer.

Of course, the thoroughly smitten monks did not notice.

“You came to ask to report to the bishop, right?”

“Yes. It doesn’t seem like something we should verify. . .”

Suetlg desperately nudged Johan’s back. It was a signal to show him first, before the Bishop of Mohsho saw it. Johan nodded.

“Understood. But I can’t report directly to the bishop easily, so I will verify and report after seeing it myself.”

“Oh. . .! To give Sir Johan such trouble. . .”

“It’s obviously my duty.”

The monks, moved, made the sign of the cross and then withdrew. Their faces were filled with trust, believing Johan was reliable.

Hearing this, Suetlg said,

“If there’s a trial later, it’s better to be judged by the church. That would be very reassuring.”

🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸      

Johan selected the strongest and most discreet among the mercenaries. While scouting was important, for Suetlg’s sake, tight-lipped mercenaries would be better.

That was all well and good.

Suetlg was grateful for Johan’s thoughtfulness. Indeed, friendship is felt in such moments.

However. . .

“Why did you bring that foolish knight dastard?!”

“. . .I had no choice, he kept following.”

Behind them, ‘The butcher’ Gerdolf and the mercenaries were walking.

For Suetlg, it was an astonishing situation.

━𝐈 𝐰𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐟𝐨𝐥𝐥𝐨𝐰.

━𝐍𝐨. 𝐈𝐭’𝐬 𝐧𝐨𝐭 𝐧𝐞𝐜𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐚𝐫𝐲.

━𝐈 𝐰𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐟𝐨𝐥𝐥𝐨𝐰 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐦𝐞𝐫𝐜𝐞𝐧𝐚𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐬. 𝐈 𝐚𝐦 𝐬𝐭𝐫𝐨𝐧𝐠𝐞𝐫 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐦𝐞𝐫𝐜𝐞𝐧𝐚𝐫𝐲. 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐦𝐞𝐫𝐜𝐞𝐧𝐚𝐫𝐲 𝐰𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐛𝐞 𝐦𝐢𝐬𝐬𝐢𝐧𝐠. 𝐈𝐭’𝐬 𝐨𝐛𝐯𝐢𝐨𝐮𝐬.

━. . .𝐘𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐥𝐨𝐠𝐢𝐜 𝐢𝐬 𝐬𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐝; 𝐡𝐚𝐫𝐝 𝐭𝐨 𝐚𝐫𝐠𝐮𝐞 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭.

“We need people to guard outside too, so having Gerdolf isn’t bad. He’s a loyal friend.”

“I think you have a knack for befriending strange people, huff huff. . .”

‘𝘋𝘰𝘦𝘴𝘯’𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘪𝘯𝘤𝘭𝘶𝘥𝘦 𝘺𝘰𝘶, 𝘚𝘶𝘦𝘵𝘭𝘨-𝘯𝘪𝘮?’

Johan thought so but didn’t say it aloud.

“So, why do you want to see that temple?”

“Don’t you know? They say it’s a heretical temple, but it’s surely from the ancient Empire era!”

“. . .!”

“Of course, it could be a new temple secretly built by heretics, but considering it’s mentioned in monastery records, it’s unlikely. It must be an artifact from long ago. Huff huff. . . Imagine the mysteries and secrets it holds.”

Suetlg, out of breath, was glad they reached the reported location without getting lost.

“What do you think?”

“We’ll see. . .”

Suetlg looked around mesmerized. The small temple perched on a cliff looked very ordinary, almost like a church.

Suetlg touched and licked the walls, pacing back and forth. The mercenaries had to restrain their expressions at this bizarre sight.

Wizards are indeed a bit crazy. . .

“Is there anything valuable?”

“Nothing. It’s all gone.”

There were no silverware or unused sacrificial implements that Johan wanted. Most of the valuable items had been made of gold or silver.

Suetlg, wandering inside, stopped in front of a wall for a while.

“?”

“This is. . . a door. A barrier against intruders. During the Empire’s chaotic times, various looters roamed. A church was prime prey, so such a door is not surprising.”

“Can you open it?”

“Well. It might take days to figure out how. We can stay and investigate.”

“That’s a bit. . .”

“Why not?”

“How can we leave everything to Stephen alone?”

“Then leave me behind.”

“How can I leave Suetlg-nim alone? If it’s really a door, I’ll try to open it.”

“What are you talking about? If it’s something that can be opened with strength. . . Oh.”


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