How to Live as a Wandering Knight – Chapter 58

𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐒𝐢𝐞𝐠𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐒𝐚𝐧𝐝𝐚𝐫𝐣𝐮 (𝟐)

𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐒𝐢𝐞𝐠𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐒𝐚𝐧𝐝𝐚𝐫𝐣𝐮 (𝟐)

The delegation was not even wearing proper armor. This was to lower Ulrike’s guard.

Moreover, there were only about a dozen of them. They would easily be crushed if Ulrike’s fiercely positioned army attacked.

However, all of that would change if they captured Ulrike.

Ulrike, coming forward to receive the surrender delegation!

All they needed to do was capture Ulrike somehow. Only a few knights and scribes, who were off their guard, were around Ulrike.

They could capture her with a surprise attack!

𝐓𝐡𝐮𝐝!

“Damn it!”

The man leading the delegation as the envoy gritted his teeth. He was a low-ranking noble without a fiefdom, taking on this mission for a chance at advancement.

He just had to reach out and grab Ulrike, who was close. . .

But Ulrike dodged just as a crazed knight dastard yelled out behind him. His hand, reaching out, pathetically swiped through the air.

But it didn’t matter. Ulrike’s army was far behind, and they were right in front of her.

“Block, block it!”

As Ulrike hastily retreated, the knights and scribes beside her finally realized the situation and moved, desperately throwing themselves into the fray.

𝐒𝐰𝐨𝐨𝐬𝐡!

But the delegation’s swordsmanship was extraordinary. They targeted the exposed weak spots of the armored knights, striking from all sides. They were clearly swordsmen who had properly learned short sword techniques from the swordsmanship guild.

No matter how well armored, one cannot be completely protected. When four of them stabbed with short swords from all sides, the knight fell with a scream.

The scribes, too, were no different from the knights. They fell at once.

In an instant, those blocking the way were gone. Even Ulrike had to sweat in such a situation.

And then Johan arrived.

“Huh?”

𝐓𝐡𝐮𝐦𝐩!

As the sound of a sword piercing flesh came from somewhere, one of the raiders looked down at his body in surprise.

A longsword was embedded in him.

Johan had thrown it as he charged. The raider at the front immediately fell, breathless.

“You son of a b*tch!”

Another raider cursed and lunged at Johan. Johan, who had thrown his longsword, was unarmed. Despite wearing thick chainmail, he would have been no swordsman if he couldn’t handle such an opponent.

𝐓𝐡𝐮𝐦𝐩!

Johan blocked the raider’s short sword with the armored part of his arm, then struck with all his might. The raider’s skull shattered, and he died instantly.

Ulrike, watching from behind, widened her eyes.

‘𝘔𝘢𝘳𝘤𝘦𝘭’𝘴 𝘵𝘳𝘰𝘭𝘭 𝘴𝘭𝘢𝘺𝘦𝘳!’

She somehow felt she knew how he got that title.

“Get behind me! They can’t kill you!”

“!”

Understanding Johan’s words, Ulrike clung behind him. It would be pointless if she was captured and used as a hostage.

“Kill them! Capture them!”

The raiders screamed frantically. They knew their situation too well.

If they failed to capture Ulrike before the approaching soldiers arrived, they would suffer a fate worse than death!

Johan looked around as the raiders attacked from all directions.

Fighting and holding them off was one thing, but it meant nothing if Ulrike was taken.

“. . .!”

Johan kicked a tent pole. It was a temporary, open tent, but the pole wasn’t shallowly planted enough to be pulled out by a kick. . .

𝐂𝐫𝐚𝐜𝐤!

The tent collapsed forward, obstructing the raiders.

“!!!”

Johan then picked up the pole and started swinging it at the approaching raiders. The long and massive pole was a weapon in itself. The raiders, armed only with short swords, couldn’t penetrate inside.

“Cursed by the devil, the lot of them. . .!”

One of the raiders muttered this.

To him, Johan seemed like someone who had made a pact with the devil. How else could such supernatural strength be possible?

🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸      

The castle had more than just a main gate; there was also a secret door.

This concealed door, not easily visible from the outside, was a crucial strategic point, used for the clandestine departure of messengers or as an escape route for the feudal lord.

One of the roles of this secret door was to serve as a pathway for raiding parties.

No one was foolish enough to launch an attack right through the main gate.

The cavalry inside the castle cautiously emerged through this secret door.

Their objective was straightforward.

If the delegation managed to ambush and capture Ulrike, they were to swoop in and drag them into the castle, creating a diversion.

But then. . .

“. . .?”

“!”

The cavalry, turning a corner, were shocked. The situation was undeniably odd.

There was no sign of the delegation, and Ulrike’s army was ominously close to the castle walls, exuding a threatening aura.

“To the Raan gate! Escape through the Raan gate!”

“Divert! Divert!”

Thanks to the leader’s quick thinking, they didn’t charge but instead turned their horses around.

Returning from an ambush via a different secret door was the norm. They quickly veered towards the opposite secret door.

“Gerdolf-nim. Command!”

“Kill them all. Every last one.”

Gerdolf growled fiercely, realizing why Johan had led the mercenaries here.

It must be to kill them!

Gerdolf charged with a savage laugh, relishing the sight of the enemy’s faces turning pale in surprise.

🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸

“Ugh.”

“Why would you fight so recklessly?!”

Suetlg checked Johan’s arm, relieved to find no broken muscles or bones.

It was a miracle that he was unscathed after such madness.

“I needed a long weapon, but there was nothing at hand.”

“The most foolish reason I’ve ever heard. Relying on brute strength is foolish.”

“I’m just a bit tired, otherwise fine. No need to worry.”

Suetlg looked exasperated.

Even the strongest man should be hurt after such an ordeal.

Yet, Johan seemed unharmed except for slight fatigue.

If not divine blessing, then what?

“What about Ulrike-gong?”

“Furious to the core, preparing for retaliation. She’s been looking for you.”

“Let’s go together.”

“No. I’ll stay here.”

“She won’t harm you, just wants to thank you.”

“I’d rather not. You go ahead.”

Suetlg did not want to meet Ulrike.

While Johan had much to gain politically, Suetlg had little interest in Ulrike.

Rather, Ulrike might demand too much from Suetlg.

“Ulrike-gong wishes to see you.”

“Wait. Let me persuade Suetlg-nim.”

“She only wishes to see you, though. . .?”

“. . . . . .”

Suetlg’s expression was complex. Not wanting to meet, yet feeling oddly about not being invited.

“Then, I shall go alone.”

“Just be careful not to get devoured.”

🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸      

Near Ulrike’s tent, surviving raiders were tied to pillars.

They were soon to be executed in the most brutal manner in front of the castle.

“Sir, welcome.”

“I am sincerely grateful for your achievements.”

The furious knights ceased their swearing and respectfully greeted Johan, indicating the significance of his recent heroics.

Had Johan not alone confronted and defeated the raiders, Ulrike might have truly been taken hostage. The mere thought sent a chill down one’s spine.

“?”

Johan looked at the knights in puzzlement. He had not disarmed before entering.

“Shouldn’t I surrender my weapon?”

“You have been permitted to enter as is.”

Johan entered, perplexed. Inside the tent, only Ulrike was present. She looked up from her map and scribblings as Johan entered.

“You must have something you want, right?”

“?”

“Something you desire. Did you set out without even thinking about it?”

In response to Ulrike’s words, Johan replied with an indifferent expression.

“I don’t particularly have anything I want. . . I just want to finish what I came here for.”

Johan had no ulterior motives in going after Ulrike, and he didn’t bother thinking about what to aim for in that situation. Johan wasn’t that clever.

Ulrike’s expression became uncomfortable upon hearing his words.

People who are meticulous in their cost-benefit analysis tend to feel uneasy if the other party doesn’t align with their expectations.

From Ulrike’s perspective, she didn’t appreciate Johan not demanding something in return first. The feeling of being in debt hadn’t disappeared.

“You can speak freely.”

“It’s okay. Unlike last time, this is a public occasion, so I will uphold propriety.”

Ulrike’s discomfort grew even more from Johan’s words. Johan was puzzled.

Wasn’t his response supposed to satisfy Ulrike just now?

“. . .Go ahead and tell me.”

“Actually, I have the tax rights in Heincut Town.”

“. . . . . .”

Ulrike pondered silently, then spoke after 10 seconds.

“Tell Stephen. Not gonna happen.”

“Actually, I came to negotiate about that.”

“Damn it! I wondered why you joined the expedition. . .”

Ulrike realized her misjudgment.

She should have known when her foolish brother spent all his money on mercenaries.

It wasn’t for military glory, but to sell his fiefdom rights profitably.

“Sir Stephen agreed. I intend to sell these tax rights back to you.”

“To me?”

“Yes. Aren’t you the rightful owner of this fiefdom?”

“Skip the formalities. I’m not fooled. What if I don’t want to buy?”

“If you refuse, I’ll have to find others. Bishop Mohsho, or maybe a trade guild. . . Many desire these tax rights. I hope you understand this is a gesture of goodwill to return your rightful authority.”

Johan’s relaxed tone was irritatingly effective.

But Johan was right.

Letting the tax rights fall into others’ hands out of spite would be a loss.

“And one more thing.”

“?”

“If you buy the tax rights, I ask that you spare Stephen’s life.”

“Did that guy present his ass to you?! And that b*tch too, why can’t she take care of these as*holes without causing a fuss?!”

Ulrike finally exploded.

Johan’s coddling of Stephen was infuriatingly incomprehensible to her.

She fumed until she realized.

She was jealous. Her insignificant brother had a knight she lacked.

“He didn’t present any ass. . . I’m just trying to keep a promise.”

“Fine! Say I buy the tax rights. I will give you some money. Then what? What if I kill Stephen afterward?”

“Then that can’t be helped.”

Johan responded calmly, surprising Ulrike.

“What. . . what?”

“I’m not Stephen’s father, nor can I protect him forever. If he is to be killed, so be it.”

“. . . . . .”

“If Your Highness wishes to break the promise, feel free. I won’t interfere. My promise with Stephen didn’t extend that far.”

Ulrike felt an inexplicable sense of defeat at Johan’s words.

Though she held the decision, she couldn’t counter Johan’s argument.

She couldn’t bring herself to say, ‘𝘐 𝘥𝘰𝘯’𝘵 𝘤𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘮𝘪𝘴𝘦𝘴; 𝘐’𝘭𝘭 𝘬𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘚𝘵𝘦𝘱𝘩𝘦𝘯.’

“. . .Alright. I’ll spare him. He was supposed to die long ago anyway. Tell him not to loiter in my sight again.”

“He must have learned a lot even without my saying.”

“Ha! If I thought that guy could learn, I wouldn’t have tried to kill him.”

Ulrike took several deep breaths and spoke.

“Now that we’ve discussed your matters, let’s talk about mine. Weren’t you curious why I called you?”

“Ah yes, I was very curious.”

‘𝘛𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘨𝘶𝘺 𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘺. . .’

Johan had a polite way of being irritating. Ulrike said, holding back her annoyance.

“Are you interested in receiving a fiefdom?”

“. . .!”

“Wait. Before you get too interested, listen. I don’t like to lie to those who receive my land. You won’t just receive it. You’ll have to fight for it a few times.”

“Like attacking that castle?”

“Yes.”


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