How to Live as a Wandering Knight – Chapter 63.1

𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐒𝐢𝐞𝐠𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐒𝐚𝐧𝐝𝐚𝐫𝐣𝐮 (𝟕)

𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐒𝐢𝐞𝐠𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐒𝐚𝐧𝐝𝐚𝐫𝐣𝐮 (𝟕)

If the enemy is not foolish, they will retreat. The area near Sangdarju Castle is not a good place for the attackers to hold out for long.

Marquis Crucho intended to quickly drive the enemy back. The Marquis himself was also short on time. The soldiers led by the Marquis needed to be redirected to the south immediately.

‘𝘐𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘪𝘴 𝘥𝘦𝘭𝘢𝘺𝘦𝘥, 𝘐 𝘵𝘰𝘰 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘦 𝘶𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘳 𝘴𝘶𝘴𝘱𝘪𝘤𝘪𝘰𝘯.’

Recently, the Emperor has been suspecting all the surrounding vassals. The already unfavorable war situation was critically impacted by the disappearance of Karamaf.

Although everyone kept silent, it was impossible to hide the truth even from the high nobles around the Emperor. There were already rumors among the nobles that Karamaf had fled due to disappointment with the Emperor.

━𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐟𝐚𝐜𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐊𝐚𝐫𝐚𝐦𝐚𝐟, 𝐰𝐡𝐨 𝐡𝐚𝐝 𝐭𝐚𝐤𝐞𝐧 𝐨𝐧 𝐚𝐥𝐥 𝐬𝐨𝐫𝐭𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐞𝐯𝐢𝐥 𝐝𝐞𝐞𝐝𝐬, 𝐡𝐚𝐝 𝐟𝐥𝐞𝐝, 𝐜𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐢𝐭 𝐧𝐨𝐭 𝐦𝐞𝐚𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐢𝐭𝐮𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐰𝐚𝐬 𝐬𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐨𝐮𝐬𝐥𝐲 𝐝𝐢𝐫𝐞?

This rumor further deepened the Emperor’s suspicions.

“It had to be ended quickly.”

‘𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘈𝘣𝘯𝘦𝘳 𝘧𝘢𝘮𝘪𝘭𝘺’𝘴 𝘫𝘶𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘧𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘪𝘴 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘰𝘯𝘨. 𝘐𝘧 𝘨𝘪𝘷𝘦𝘯 𝘦𝘯𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩 𝘧𝘢𝘤𝘦, 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘺 𝘤𝘢𝘯 𝘣𝘦 𝘴𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘣𝘢𝘤𝘬.’

However, the Marquis did not yet know.

That Sangdarju Castle had already fallen.

🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸      

“We were lucky.”

Everyone in the room nodded at Ulrike’s words. However, the thoughts of the Sangdarju Castle were somewhat different.

“A few more days late, and it would have been dangerous.”

“Exactly. If we had been attacked with the castle behind us. . .”

It was fortunate to attack aggressively. Otherwise, they would have spent money and gained nothing. The knights and mercenary captains looked at Johan with respect.

Anyone who could scale the walls and capture a castle barehanded would inevitably be respected among those who live by the sword.

“The commander?”

“It’s Marquis Crucho.”

“Why would that creature, belonging among the beast-folk, climb all the way up here?”

Ulrike looked disdainful but was not reassured. Marquis Crucho was quite a name among the Emperor’s vassals, famous as a commander in the southern Catalian Peninsula.

“How do you think they’ll come out?”

“They might try to negotiate. Of course, it will be greatly disadvantageous.”

Laughter appeared on the knights’ faces. They knew they were in a favorable position.

If they hadn’t captured the castle, they would have been negotiating from a disadvantage. But not now. The other side was in need.

“What does the castellan think?”

“. . .If you show mercy, His Majesty will reward you.”

“Really?”

Ulrike stood up. In her hand was a longsword.

“But I don’t need the mercy of Cardirian, what should I do? No, actually, I’m not even sure if that person is capable of showing mercy. Having slashed the necks of nobles like that, wouldn’t he cut mine too?”

“No, no!”

“Above all, it’s you who should be seeking mercy now, not me. How dare you break the customs of surrender and attack by surprise, and now ask for mercy? Let’s see Cardirian’s mercy!”

“Your. . . Your━”

With those words, Ulrike beheaded the castellan. Blood splattered on Ulrike’s face. She spoke in a rough voice.

“Clean this up. Give the head to the Marquis when he comes. Tell him what he has done.”

“Yes.”

Johan took out a handkerchief and handed it to Ulrike. Ulrike looked at Johan with mixed emotions and then wiped her cheek.

“So. . . now there’s no castellan. Do you think they’ll try to negotiate?”

“The castellan’s relatives are still here, so they might try to use them to get the castle back. They will try to regain the castle by paying a proper compensation.”

“Just ignore it. There’s no reason to listen to such nonsense.”

“But we can’t completely ignore it. It will tarnish the honor of the Abner family.”

Although fights among nobles are common, killing the castellan and occupying the castle to make it a fiefdom will cast a wary eye from other nobles nearby.

As the Abner family from the west, there’s no rule saying they wouldn’t do the same to the central or northern nobles.

“So you’re saying we should return the hard-won castle? Madness! This castle must stay in the hands of the Abner family. It’s a strategic point.”

“How about stalling for time? No matter who comes to negotiate, demand an absurd amount of compensation. Meanwhile, we can use the castle as much as we want.”

Returning the castle is an impossible task, and swallowing it without a word creates a subtly uncomfortable situation.

Ulrike’s retainers heatedly debated various opinions. In this regard, Johan had little to say and just sipped his drink.

“?”

Johan turned his head. Suetlg was gesturing for him to come out from the doorway.

“I saw Ulrike-gong beheading someone. Knew it would happen.”

“Isn’t it self-inflicted?”

“Exactly. Deserved to die. But where did that handkerchief come from? It doesn’t match.”

“Ivelka gave it to me.”

“Who’s Ivelka?”

“I told you before. A maid who served in the mansion.”

“. . .Never mention that name in front of Ulrike-gong!”

Suetlg was horrified. What madness is this knight getting into?

“It’s not cheap, is it? I bought the handkerchief with my own money.”

“That’s not the issue. . . Anyway, didn’t you order to capture all the servants and slaves?”

“I did.”

“So, while checking, I found one peculiar fellow and called him.”

“?”

“You’ll know when you see. Follow me.”

Johan followed Suetlg outside. The captured servants and slaves were trembling in the courtyard.

Although the castellan was the one who committed the crime, usually after such conflicts, there was no distinction in who was executed. If Ulrike was in a foul mood, they would all be punished together.

Fortunately, Ulrike had no intention of shedding anyone else’s blood, except for the castellan’s.

“What do you think?”

“About what?”

“That young one. Doesn’t he resemble the castellan?”

“I’m not sure?”

Johan looked at a young servant with a puzzled expression. The servant had a rather noble face for a servant, but that didn’t necessarily prove nobility.

The accent was common, and the movements were unrefined. He was not someone raised as a noble from a young age.

“Don’t remember the castellan’s face?”

“I remember it faintly. . .”

“. . .I remember him from his youth. That one indeed resembles the castellan.”

“But his actions are not of a noble, are they?”

“Could be an unacknowledged illegitimate child. Heard he oddly received the castellan’s favor.”

The fate of unrecognized illegitimate children was often miserable.

If parents took care of them, they were very fortunate. Usually, they had to fend for themselves. Worse, they might be targeted by assassins. Infidelity might be tolerated, but producing a child was a different matter.

In this respect, it was not unusual for the castellan to keep his illegitimate child as a servant. Being a noble’s servant was better than living as a serf or freeman.

The problem was. . .

“Maybe he’s just a clever servant.”

“That’s possible. So, will you just kill him? No more trouble then.”

“Not necessary to go that far. . . Ah.”

Johan suddenly had a thought.

If there were no legitimate heirs, couldn’t an illegitimate child inherit the fiefdom?


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