How to Live as a Wandering Knight – Chapter 62.2

𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐒𝐢𝐞𝐠𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐒𝐚𝐧𝐝𝐚𝐫𝐣𝐮 (𝟔)

The situation within the fortress was quickly grasped. Ulrike chuckled at the fact that more than half of the defenders had fled. Then she immediately composed her expression.

She pretended to be calm to maintain dignity in front of her subordinates, but the satisfaction on her face was undeniable. Johan felt a hint of humanity in Ulrike’s statue-like face for the first time.

“That’s quite adorable.”

“What. . . What?? Are you insane???”

Stephen, who was standing nearby, was startled. Was he talking about Ulrike?

“People have many facets, don’t they?”

“Even if Ulrike has a hundred aspects, none of them would be cute!”

“Just shut up, especially if you value your life. You should be trying to impress Ulrike-gong, not messing around like this.”

Johan’s rebuke snapped Stephen back to reality. He was right. His life was spared not because of his own charm, but because he had impressed Johan.

“I-I know.”

“If you want to live long, keep your head down and be observant. Breathe carefully until you can collect your money and leave.”

“. . .Understood.”

“What were you discussing so earnestly?”

Ulrike asked with curiosity.

“We were discussing how the capture of the fortress was possible thanks to Ulrike-gong’s leadership.”

“. . . . . .”

“. . . . . .”

The two from the Abner family looked at Johan incredulously. Ulrike regained her composure first and spoke.

“Such jokes don’t suit a knight like you. Wasn’t it a bit too harsh how you treated the castellan after bringing him out?”

“He’s a man whose death would be insignificant anyway.”

“If that’s the case, why didn’t you just kill him? It must have been troublesome to bring him out.”

“I thought you might want to do it yourself.”

At Johan’s question, Ulrike smiled.

“Don’t just stand there, come to my side, knight. I want you to guard me while we inspect the fortress.”

“I shall do so.”

Watching Johan ride up to stand beside Ulrike, Stephen realized he should’ve been more alert and joined them as well.

‘𝘐 𝘯𝘦𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘬𝘦𝘦𝘱 𝘮𝘺 𝘩𝘦𝘢𝘥 𝘥𝘰𝘸𝘯 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘱𝘭𝘢𝘺 𝘪𝘵 𝘥𝘪𝘳𝘵𝘺 𝘶𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘭 𝘐’𝘮 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘱𝘭𝘦𝘵𝘦𝘭𝘺 𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴.’

“You, get lost.”

“. . . . . .”

Stephen obediently left, cursing Ulrike internally.

Ulrike instructed her knights to keep their distance, wanting to speak privately with Johan.

“But why did you order the soldiers to catch the servants and slaves, instead of just the castellan?”

“Seeing the castellan in disguise and hiding made me think his relatives might do the same.”

“You wasted your time. The castellan’s relatives aren’t here in this fortress.”

‘?’

Johan, who had thought the castellan’s flinch was due to his relatives hiding, was puzzled when told otherwise.

Then what was that reaction about?

“You did much better than I expected, knight. I doubt anyone would complain about you receiving a fiefdom.”

“When does the army return?”

“As soon as the clean-up is complete. There’s no reason to stay here in this place during winter. We will leave a few to garrison and return to my fiefdom. Once we return, I’ll take care of your fiefdom first.”

Seeing how the fortress was captured, it seemed unnecessary to wait any longer. No one would likely express dissatisfaction.

“It seems we must prepare for the Emperor’s counterattack. . .”

“Even so, not right now. It’s still a long way off, so it’s better to focus on your town first. Hmm. Even for you, it’s difficult to manage the town directly. When I return, I’ll introduce you to some capable people who can serve as administrators.”

The administrators who collected taxes and managed the town were usually selected from among the educated, either free citizens or lower nobility.

Frankly, neither knights nor nobles had the capability or reason to handle such detailed governance.

“Thank you.”

“You can be informal with me. Like you are with Stephen.”

“. . .?”

Does that mean to swear and scold?

That would likely result in an immediate sword fight. . .

“No.”

“. . .Alright.”

At that moment, a knight who had gone out for reconnaissance hurriedly rode into the castle gates.

“Ulrike-gong! Ulrike-gong!”

“What is it?”

“The Emperor’s army is in Lebuten!”

Ulrike’s expression changed.

Lebuten was a city not far from Sangdarju Castle, reachable in three to four days northeast along the Empire’s highway.

Given Sangdarju Castle’s location surrounded by mountains, there was only one path to approach from this side, making the intention clear.

🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸      

“Karamaf, you damn b*stard.”

“What did you say?”

“Nothing.”

Marquis Crucho waved his hand at the lieutenant. It was a signal to leave.

Even though Marquis Crucho was one of the Emperor’s commanders, the current situation was not good. Being a commander, he was all too aware of this.

Enemies on all sides.

When his house was overflowing with gold and he had many soldiers, he could wield iron fists, but now, with debts and mercenaries deserting, he had to endure.

However, the Emperor did not. He tried to suppress the rebelling feudal lords with force.

‘𝘛𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘴𝘪𝘵𝘶𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘪𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘴𝘦𝘲𝘶𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵. . .’

Marquis Crucho sighed. It was ironic for him to blame now, after he had not dissuaded the Emperor and had instead ridden the wave.

When the call for help from Sangdarju Castle came, Marquis Crucho strongly advocated for support.

━𝐖𝐞 𝐦𝐮𝐬𝐭 𝐬𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐒𝐚𝐧𝐠𝐝𝐚𝐫𝐣𝐮 𝐂𝐚𝐬𝐭𝐥𝐞 𝐟𝐢𝐫𝐬𝐭!

If Sangdarju Castle fell, the western feudal lords would openly traverse the central Empire. It was strategically different from the southern rebellion.

The Emperor, out of pride, wanted to subdue the south first, but Marquis Crucho strongly argued and barely managed to secure troops.

‘𝘚𝘢𝘯𝘨𝘥𝘢𝘳𝘫𝘶 𝘊𝘢𝘴𝘵𝘭𝘦 𝘪𝘴 𝘢 𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘵𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘴 𝘪𝘯 𝘢 𝘥𝘪𝘧𝘧𝘪𝘤𝘶𝘭𝘵 𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘳𝘢𝘪𝘯, 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘪𝘵𝘴 𝘤𝘢𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘭𝘭𝘢𝘯 𝘪𝘴 𝘢 𝘤𝘭𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘰𝘯. 𝘐𝘵 𝘸𝘰𝘯’𝘵 𝘧𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘦𝘢𝘴𝘪𝘭𝘺, 𝘴𝘰 𝘪𝘧 𝘸𝘦 𝘢𝘱𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘢𝘤𝘩, 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘦𝘯𝘦𝘮𝘺 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘭𝘪𝘬𝘦𝘭𝘺 𝘳𝘦𝘵𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘵 𝘪𝘮𝘮𝘦𝘥𝘪𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘭𝘺.’


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