How to Live as a Wandering Knight – Chapter 62.1

𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐒𝐢𝐞𝐠𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐒𝐚𝐧𝐝𝐚𝐫𝐣𝐮 (𝟔)

𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐒𝐢𝐞𝐠𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐒𝐚𝐧𝐝𝐚𝐫𝐣𝐮 (𝟔)

“A serious illness?”

The swordsmen hastily added, perhaps misunderstanding Johan’s reaction of incredulity as something else.

“Of course, it’s unbelievable that a knight like Sir Karamaf would fall seriously ill. It’s a ridiculous rumor, but we are not lying.”

“That’s right. Moreover, it is said that Sir Karamaf is cursed. . .”

“Madman. What are you talking about, curses?”

“It’s a real curse, I tell you. Why else would a perfectly healthy knight collapse?”

The rumor that Karamaf had collapsed due to a curse suggested that he had accumulated significant enmity over the years.

Indeed, when suppressing the rebellion in the western Empire, he never considered reconciliation, ruthlessly killing nobles indiscriminately. . .

Usually, nobles involved in rebellions weren’t easily executed. Even if defeated, they would lose their fiefdoms or pay reparations as a compromise.

However, the Emperor, relying solely on his might, chose a hardline approach, and Karamaf acted in accordance with his wishes.

Now, the feudal lords in the western Empire were openly targeting the Emperor.

“What are you doing! How dare. . .!”

A servant working there exclaimed in shock. It was natural to be surprised seeing dozens of armed men ascending to the second floor.

“Show your loyalty if you want to live.”

“. . .Yes.”

Led by Gasro, the swordsmen, following Johan’s words, stepped forward with somber expressions, holding their returned weapons.

Having switched sides during the war, they had to prove themselves. Otherwise, they risked facing blades from both sides.

“Is the castellan upstairs?”

“You traitors! Do you think you’ll be safe after bringing outsiders in here?! You and others will be held responsi━. . .”

“Chwaag!”

Even with a roughened temperament, slicing down a servant was nothing challenging. The swordsmen, having splattered blood, pointed their swords at another servant and asked,

“Is he upstairs?”

“He. . . He is.”

“He’s there.”

“Good. Let’s go up.”

Screams echoed throughout the tower. Realizing the situation, the servants and slaves began to flee. Those who realized that dangerous enemies had entered tried to escape outside first.

The mercenaries didn’t bother to capture them. They had no time to waste in frivolity.

“Wait.”

“?”

“Bring them back here.”

Confused by Johan’s command, the mercenaries moved as instructed. They vividly remembered how Gerdolf had fiercely grabbed someone by the neck earlier.

“Why, why are you doing this! Please, don’t do this!”

“Don’t struggle. Unless you want something broken.”

The mercenaries caught the fleeing servants, dressed in shabby, ragged clothes with dirty faces━nothing unusual at first glance.

‘𝘋𝘪𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘺 𝘩𝘪𝘥𝘦 𝘴𝘰𝘮𝘦 𝘵𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘴𝘶𝘳𝘦?’

But that didn’t seem to be the case. . .

Johan stood in front of them. A vague intuition had made them stop. It was time to find out why.

“. . .Only one of them has intact hands.”

“!”

At Johan’s words, one of the servants turned deathly pale.

“Clean his face.”

“Run away! Milord, ru━”

The mercenary swiftly cut down the struggling servant, then roughly wiped the face of another. The swordsmen verified the face.

“It’s the castellan.”

A crafty-looking middle-aged man urgently spoke to Johan.

“If you let me go like this, I will speak directly to His Majesty the Emperor! I could even grant a fiefdom to everyone here!”

Mercenaries could become feudal lords. It was a story of great luck, indeed. Even owning a small town would make a mercenary a legend among their peers.

However, everyone just smirked. None were foolish enough to believe that promise.

Johan, without changing his expression, called Gerdolf.

“Gerdolf. Shut him up.”

“Guah!”

Gerdolf silenced the castellan. The castellan had heard of the butcher’s reputation. Gerdolf, as if proving the rumors true, swung his fist. Blood splattered, and the castellan fell silent.

“Stop there. Don’t kill him. We need to check outside. Are the guards surrounding the keep? Maybe we’ll have to hold out in the tower.”

“I can’t see them.”

“Still on the ramparts? Good. Let’s go through the secret passage.”

The fog was starting to clear. Johan felt the urgency to move quickly.

“. . .?”

But when they emerged outside, they saw a courtyard completely devoid of any signs of life. No soldiers were in sight.

“Hmm. . . a trap?”

“Let’s ask the castellan what he’s plotting!”

“Seems like they really ran away. . .?”

Johan checked not the secret passage, but the main gate. No soldiers were visible there either. Even for a trap, it was unusual to leave this area unguarded.

“Open the main gate first.”

“Yes. Together now. . .”

“No. I will open the gate. Keep watch.”

Normally, hoisting the gate’s winch wasn’t a one-person job. About a dozen soldiers were needed to lift it. The mercenaries thought to help but then stopped themselves.

‘𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘚𝘪𝘳 𝘒𝘯𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘥𝘭𝘦 𝘪𝘵.’

And Johan did exactly that.

As he alone opened the gate, the mercenaries, no longer surprised, rushed through. Only the swordsmen looked on as if seeing a madman.

🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸      

“You’ve bravely come to help. Braver than I thought, huh?”

“O-Of course, that’s me.”

Upon hearing Johan’s words, Stephen hurriedly nodded his head. Fortunately, it seemed he wouldn’t be hit by an arrow.

“Thanks to you, it went well. Send the soldiers inside to take over the walls. Stay alert. We don’t know how many are still inside. And call for reinforcements. We’ve captured the castellan.”

“Captured the castellan?!”

“Isn’t that what you’re holding now?”

“. . . . . .”

Stephen wore a sickened expression.

He couldn’t believe that was the castellan. . .

For Stephen, who had only experienced treating nobility with a certain level of respect, it was shocking. He couldn’t even lift his head properly.

‘𝘐𝘴𝘯’𝘵 𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘥 𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘸𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘴 𝘯𝘦𝘹𝘵?’

“Mobilize the cavalry and capture all the servants or slaves among those escaping. We don’t need the soldiers, but we must capture all of them.”

“Understood.”

Seeing the castellan, it seemed likely others might disguise themselves as servants or slaves to escape. Even though they had captured the castellan, Johan was thorough in such matters.

The castellan twitched upon hearing this. Johan was surprised, thinking the man had been knocked out.

‘𝘞𝘩𝘢𝘵’𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴?’

The messenger soon arrived at Ulrike’s camp.

Ulrike was at a loss for words upon hearing the request for reinforcements, given that they had opened the gates, taken over the walls, and captured the castellan.

“. . .Isn’t that like having already conquered the castle?”

The knights seemed to agree.

They had thought that when they said they’d cross the walls with just a few mercenaries, they’d quietly open a secret door and call the soldiers.

The late arrival of the messenger was thought to be due to complications, but they never imagined it was because they had taken the gate, the walls, and the castellan.

“Issue the order. We can’t be late in cleaning up after taking over the castle by ourselves.”

The fog was already lifting completely.


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