𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐄𝐧𝐝 𝐨𝐟 𝐂𝐡𝐢𝐥𝐝𝐡𝐨𝐨𝐝 (𝟔)
There was a scent of blood in Kaegal’s voice. The <𝐕𝐞𝐧𝐨𝐦 𝐨𝐟 𝐍𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐮𝐬> was a guild of assassins. And assassins were those who only showed their skills when they were about to kill their opponent.
“If you’re not in a hurry, you won’t need things like arcane techniques. You won’t have any enemies with just ordinary swordsmanship.”
A lion didn’t need techniques. Johan, who learned from Kaegal, had already become a person who knew how to swing a sword, how to fight. That was enough.
A simple vertical slash became a cutting strike that tore space, and a horizontal slash became a claw that tore plate armor. What was the point of complex techniques?
Those who didn’t know much about swordsmanship worshipped complex techniques and pursued such techniques, but originally, when it reached the extreme, it became simple.
The simplest thing is the most efficient!
And Johan already knew that well. He seemed to not know, but his body was showing it.
What Kaegal showed was the way of fighting of an assassin, but Johan did not follow it exactly. He melted it down and used it to suit himself.
If Kaegal’s fight was a swallow, Johan’s fight was closer to a rock. He was originally a born knight. Even if he showed the sword of an assassin, he melted it into the swordsmanship of a knight.
So it was a pity.
‘𝘐 𝘸𝘰𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘳 𝘪𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘨𝘶𝘺, 𝘸𝘩𝘰 𝘩𝘢𝘴 𝘯𝘰𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘰 𝘳𝘦𝘨𝘳𝘦𝘵, 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘶𝘴𝘦 𝘮𝘺 𝘵𝘦𝘤𝘩𝘯𝘪𝘲𝘶𝘦.’
“And next. . . let’s see. You might meet a guild member of <𝐕𝐞𝐧𝐨𝐦 𝐨𝐟 𝐍𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐮𝐬> while you’re alive.”
“Are you saying I should show mercy then?”
“Why do you keep talking nonsense? If you meet them, kill them right away. Don’t listen to what they say.”
“. . . . . .”
Johan made a bewildered expression.
“You said there was a master there. . .”
“If there are ten, five are trash and four are murderers. There’s nothing good about getting involved. You won’t lose, but if you get caught up in an assassin’s fight, it’s annoying. You don’t want to be addicted and groaning.”
“But one person is fine.”
“One person is a weirdo like me, but even that won’t be good for you. If you don’t get along, it will be a scarier opponent than the previous nine.”
Kaegal rolled up his sleeve. A snake with nine heads was drawn as a tattoo. It was a tattoo drawn with a special drug, and it was a tattoo that did not appear unless the body temperature rose.
“Remember. Be careful if you meet someone with this tattoo. Be more careful if there are many heads.”
The more heads the snake had, the higher the position in the guild, and it meant that it was a skilled assassin.
“I guess I’ll have to go to use traps.”
“That’s a good idea. Of course, the other party wouldn’t easily fall for that trick.”
Kaegal started to fold his fingers.
“What else should I tell you. . . Ah. That’s right. Get a sword. One that’s sturdy enough for you to use. The one you’re using now isn’t unusable, but it’s like a twig for you. If you use all your strength, it will break.”
“I’m thinking of something like a sword made of Danus steel.”
“Give up. It’s impossible.”
It was a rare steel that could only be made in the ancient Empire that covered countries like the Holy Empire or Erlans Kingdom, which had long since perished. Since the ancient Empire perished and the technology disappeared, no new items were coming out.
The weapon made of that steel was light and unbreakable. It was truly magical steel.
“All the swords with known materials are all owned by famous nobles, and if you steal them, you’ll be chased until you die. Unless you run away to the Asman Empire with it, there’s too much to give up just to get a sword. Just go find the dwarf tribe of the Empire. The dwarves are stubborn and closed-minded, but they are excellent figures in the Empire. If you can persuade them well, they will make you a sturdy sword.”
The majority of the Holy Empire was occupied by humans. Both the serfs and the nobles were humans.
However, there were dwarves who formed tribes and lived here and there, and the feudal lords valued them very much. The dwarves with excellent metallurgy were just like geese that lay golden eggs.
Of course, this did not apply to the Aitz family. If it was a fiefdom with dwarves, the Aitz family would not have been able to acquire it.
“I think I’ve told you everything. Hide the techniques, don’t deal with assassins, get a sword, what else is there?”
“I think you’ve told me everything.”
“Ah. I forgot to talk about this. Have you seen a black wolf?”
The black wolf of the forest that Johan saw when he went hunting with Joseph. Since then, Johan had not been able to go hunting.
“Be careful. It’s a bad omen. It’s a symbol of death.”
“Didn’t it foresee the master’s coming?”
Even to Johan’s joke, Kaegal answered seriously.
“If I had killed someone, it would have been a prediction of me, but since I didn’t kill anyone, it would have been a prediction of something else. Remember. The black wolf is a sign of death. You should always be afraid when death is approaching.”
“I should be afraid, but it sounds like a superstition. . .”
“Those who believe in superstitions are fools, but those who don’t believe are even more foolish. I also had a time when I was young when I didn’t believe in superstitions. But Johan. There’s a reason for superstitions. It’s like magic. It’s better to believe than not to believe.”
Johan nodded his head. If Kaegal said so, it might be true.
“Fear death. Johan. Even if you are blessed by God, death will not care.”
“I will remember and be afraid.”
“That’s a good attitude.”
Suddenly, Kaegal got up and started walking away.
“Are you leaving?”
“Yes. Don’t follow me. I hate someone following me from behind.”
And Kaegal left. He really didn’t look back.
Three days have passed since Kaegal left.
Johan slumped down, biting his tongue.
It was fun when he was learning swordsmanship from Kaegal and sparring. He felt like he was doing something.
But when Kaegal left, he felt empty again.
A life of just baking bread without any goal!
What’s the point of being an excellent swordsman?
‘𝘚𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘭𝘥 𝘐 𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘧𝘪𝘳𝘴𝘵?’
Kaegal gave Johan confidence. Before meeting Kaegal, Johan didn’t know he was a lion. But now he knew who he was.
The only reason he didn’t leave first was because he couldn’t get anything unless his father, Gessen Aitz, was around.
His stepmother and half-brothers wouldn’t wish him luck and give him a hefty amount of money. They would just tell him to get lost.
To get at least something, he had to speak up when Gessen Aitz was there.
‘It doesn’t seem like he’ll give me anything. . .’
There were too many children, so the chances seemed a bit low. Johan considered just leaving several times.
‘Damn. If master saw this, he would say I’m living miserably.’
Kaegal would have just robbed the feudatory and run away, but that wasn’t Johan’s style. He didn’t want to create resentment for a few silver coins.
He heard the sound of horse hooves with dust from afar. At first, he thought Gessen Aitz was coming back. There was no one in this manor who could make such a heavy sound of horse hooves.
But it wasn’t. Knights he had never seen before were riding horses from afar. There were only about ten people, but Johan felt an ominous feeling for some reason.
Sir Karamaf was a renowned elf knight, so famous that even Johan would have heard of him. Elves, with their superior looks and twice the lifespan of humans, occupied noble positions all over the continent.
Especially in the western kingdom of the Empire, the Erlans Kingdom, most of the nobles were elves. Sir Karamaf was also a knight from the Erlans Kingdom.
Although he was from the Erlans Kingdom, Sir Karamaf was a knight trusted by the Emperor to the extent that he was entrusted with soldiers.
He played a heroic role in the rebellion in the west and was a knight who won duels against numerous knights!
Nobles who held a grudge against Sir Karamaf called him the <𝐍𝐨𝐛𝐥𝐞 𝐄𝐱𝐞𝐜𝐮𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐞𝐫>. This was because Sir Karamaf had killed many nobles.
And such a Sir Karamaf visited the main house of the Aitz family.
“It’s. . . it’s an honor! Sir Karamaf! To meet you like this!”
The youngest, John Aitz, spoke desperately. His eyes sparkled with admiration. The eldest son, Philip Aitz, who was standing behind him, looked at John as if he was displeased.
However, he was also shrinking in front of Sir Karamaf.
“Welcome to the fiefdom, Sir Karamaf. The meal is modest, but I hope you eat a lot and relieve your fatigue.”
Philip spoke as if he was the owner. At this, Mrs. Aitz frowned. She couldn’t stand her eldest stepson stepping forward and ignoring the youngest.
“Isn’t it my role to entertain guests when Sir Aitz is not here?”
“Alas, Mrs. Aitz. I did it for you, fearing you might make a mistake in unfamiliar work. It’s something I’ve been doing even before Mrs. Aitz arrived.”
Though Philip is a son and stepmother to Mrs. Aitz, he was over thirty. There wasn’t much age difference between him and Mrs. Aitz. The two glared at each other, refusing to back down.
Philip, who had earned the trust of the Aitz family’s vassals by working with them for a long time.
Mrs. Aitz, who could sway Sir Aitz with pillow talk.
Their confrontation was so intense that even the serfs of the fiefdom knew about it.
And the one who interrupted their conversation was Sir Karamaf.
“Where is he?”
“What? Sir Aitz is currently in another fiefdom.”
Karamaf’s voice had lost its honorifics and turned cold and metallic. However, everyone present was so overpowered by Karamaf that they didn’t notice.
“That far. . . Sir Aitz often travels abroad.”
“List all the places he could be.”
“That, that far. . . What’s the matter?”
“It’s none of your concern.”
Everyone from the Aitz family stiffened. Even so, this was too rude.
How rude it was for a guest invited into someone else’s manor to behave this way. Even if it was Sir Karamaf, they couldn’t tolerate it.
“Sir Karamaf! That’s too rude! Apologize for your rudeness!”
Karamaf turned his head. His piercing gaze fixed on Philip, making him feel as if his heart had frozen.
Those cold, metallic eyes!
“C-Coming here and. . .”
“Ho ho ho. It seems Philip is nervous and misspoke. Sir Karamaf, why don’t you talk to my son John?”
Philip gritted his teeth. Using such a situation where the Aitz family was insulted for a fight.
Dishes prepared for Karamaf came out. Lamb in bean soup, robust cock meat grilled with herbs, soft white bread. Sir Karamaf pushed them away without eating.
It was a harsh world for gourmets. Although it was easier to obtain spices than in the real world’s Middle Ages, it wasn’t possible to eat as much as desired.
Dishes like bean soup boiled with lamb finely chopped and marinated in beef broth with onions, then cooked with wine and spices, or whole grilled plump cock meat were something Johan could only occasionally enjoy.
When Johan did, he would sit at the table and eat, even if he received glares like ‘𝘪𝘵’𝘴 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘴𝘦𝘵 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘵𝘰 𝘦𝘢𝘵’.
But Karamaf pushed away all the food as if he had no interest in it.
“Having a conversation isn’t bad. When you find out where Sir Aitz is, come and tell me.”
“It’s an honor to meet you like this. Could you please teach my son John a thing or two?”
Karamaf said no more and left the hall. The insult was so severe that even Mrs. Aitz hardened her face.