How to Live as a Wandering Knight – Chapter 66.2

𝐖𝐢𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐊𝐧𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭𝐬 (𝟑)

“It’s done.”

“Really?! It seems that Ulrike-gong also has a broad perspective. To yield like this for a young knight. . .!”

The people of Count Jarpen’s house said so, but Suetlg shook his head no.

Being still young, his view of the world was soft and malleable. Could it be?

“That’s good. Can we now depart for the Duke’s territory?”

“Hmm. . .”

Johan nodded his head. If he could receive the appointment, there was no need to wait long. It was enough to depart immediately with a few people from Count Jarpen’s house and the letters.

“Wait. Don’t we have to pass through the southern part of the Empire? Should we hire more soldiers?”

From what he’s heard, the southern part of the Empire was a fierce situation between the Emperor’s faction and a coalition of rebellious feudal lords.

For Johan, there was no choice but to be vigilant.

“No need to worry about that. They won’t fight much in this winter, and if there’s an army, just avoid it. You can go by visiting cities unrelated to the Emperor. And honestly, it’s unlikely they’ll come after you alone.”

At Suetlg’s words, Johan felt slightly embarrassed.

It was certainly true. To the nobles of the Emperor’s faction, Johan was just a knight not worth paying attention to.

They won’t chase him even if he passes through the south. He just had to pass quietly.

“If there are many, it will draw more attention. About a few dozen skilled and loyal people will be enough.”

The mercenary captains had already somewhat discussed this. When Johan expressed his intention to become the new employer, the mercenaries were overjoyed. They had to find a new master by next year.

For them, a knight like Johan was a welcome change, not an incompetent employer. It was already a legend among them that he had demolished the enemy camp with just a dozen knights.

“I’ll prepare by selecting well-armed riders. Will you come with us, Suetlg-nim?”

“That was my plan.”

“Oh.”

“What’s with that reaction. . . I owe a debt, so I should do at least that much.”

“I thought it was all over with the magical fog.”

“If it ends just because you think so, how easy would that be. That’s why promises are scary. In return, move along the Ipaël River when we go along the south. I need to recover some secrets.”

Even for a wizard like Suetlg, summoning fog was no easy task. He needed to recover his strength near the river for a while.

“And it would be good to take Stephen with us.”

“Yes?”

“He’s from the Abner family. It’s a convenient name to use wherever you go.”

“Ah. . .”

Johan nodded his head. Indeed, the lineage Stephen possessed would serve as a convenient proof of identity wherever they went.

🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸      

I thought all the problems were resolved, but an unexpected issue caught Johan by the ankle.

It was Marco and the four knights he had caught before.

“I understand the family can’t pay the ransom. I’ll release the knights since we’ve taken their weapons.”

When a knight is defeated, their equipment becomes the property of the victor, and they must pay a customary ransom to be released.

However, Marco and the four knights stated that their families were too humble to afford the ransom.

Johan wanted to release them as punishing them seemed unnecessary and there was no reason to keep them captive, but. . .

“That’s not possible.”

“Then what do you propose?”

“I will follow you and earn the ransom. Please wait until then.”

“. . . . . .”

Johan thought this was some *bullsh*t talk, but the others around didn’t seem surprised.

It was a decision that made sense, considering a knight’s honor and dignity.

If the captor releases a knight without a ransom, how would the knight maintain their dignity?

Paying the ransom proudly was the way to uphold a knight’s honor.

“You want to work while following me?”

“Yes.”

It wasn’t a bad idea. Five knights would be good in a fight. The problem was. . .

‘𝘈𝘳𝘦𝘯’𝘵 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘶𝘯𝘦𝘢𝘴𝘺 𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘣𝘦𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘔𝘢𝘳𝘲𝘶𝘪𝘴’𝘴 𝘪𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘨𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘦 𝘴𝘰𝘯?’

Cautious by nature, Johan was a bit uneasy about having the Marquis’s illegitimate son in the group, not knowing what he might do.

“Sir Marco, you honor your name.”

“Sir Johan. It sounds like a fair proposition.”

But the others showed no concern. The fact that he was the Marquis’s illegitimate son seemed to bother no one.

Johan felt a gap in this regard.

‘𝘞𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘪𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘺 𝘵𝘳𝘺 𝘵𝘰 𝘴𝘭𝘪𝘵 𝘮𝘺 𝘵𝘩𝘳𝘰𝘢𝘵 𝘢𝘵 𝘯𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵 𝘶𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘨𝘶𝘪𝘴𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘩𝘰𝘯𝘰𝘳?’

But Johan already knew.

Saying this would only lead others to respond, ‘𝘋𝘰𝘦𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘯 𝘮𝘢𝘬𝘦 𝘴𝘦𝘯𝘴𝘦?’ or ‘𝘠𝘰𝘶 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘳𝘺 𝘵𝘰𝘰 𝘮𝘶𝘤𝘩.’

“Then, I will accept your loyalty until the ransom is gathered.”

“We will follow your orders until then.”

And so, the group was formed.

Dozens of mercenaries escorting a member of Countess Abner’s family and the Marquis Crucho’s illegitimate son, a strange mix in the group.

And Gerdolf too.

━𝐒𝐢𝐫. 𝐈 𝐰𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐥𝐢𝐤𝐞 𝐭𝐨 𝐟𝐨𝐥𝐥𝐨𝐰.

━𝐇𝐦𝐦. . . 𝐇𝐦𝐦?

Gerdolf, stark naked, suddenly appeared before the group departed, stating his wish to join. Johan was slightly surprised but nodded.

Gerdolf seemed more trustworthy than the other questionable knights.

“But did you tell Sir Inno?”

“It’s fine.”

“. . .You did tell him, right?”

“It’s fine.”

“??”

🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸      

When Johan heard that Marco was an illegitimate son of the Marquis family, he expected a character like Stephen.

However, Marco was polite and cautious. He asked for permission when going on reconnaissance and took the lead with other knights in establishing the fiefdom.

Johan was very surprised by this behavior. He asked Suetlg,

“That knight, he’s more polite than I thought?”

“. . .Let me ask the opposite, what kind of personality did you expect?”

“Arrogant and impudent. . .”

“Sometimes you say really strange things. How would he have survived so far if an illegitimate child had such a character?”

Indeed.

Illegitimate children had to live humbly. Those who were arrogant and unruly did not live long.

‘𝘐𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘦𝘥, 𝘐 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘮𝘪𝘴𝘨𝘶𝘪𝘥𝘦𝘥 𝘣𝘦𝘤𝘢𝘶𝘴𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘚𝘵𝘦𝘱𝘩𝘦𝘯.’

Stephen, unaware that Johan was cursing him, was mingling and chatting among the mercenaries and slaves. Surprisingly, he fit in well in such settings.

“Sir, thank you for returning the weapon.”

“How can a knight fight without a weapon?”

Johan responded simply to Marco’s gratitude.

He had taken the knights’ equipment, but Johan was not cruel enough to make them fight unarmed.

“You handle the bow, do they often use it in the south?”

“We use it more often than Empire knights, but not that frequently.”

Marco spoke modestly. The bow was a good weapon, but not highly preferred among knights.

A knight should charge into enemy lines on horseback, not just stand back and shoot arrows.

“Actually, I continue to use it because I’m accustomed to it from my youth, but I frequently use other weapons as well.”

Marco explained, not wanting to be misunderstood as someone who only knew how to use a bow.

However, Johan was not the type to fuss over such things.

“Could you teach me a bit about the bow?”

“Really?”

Johan had learned from hunter Joseph, but he saw no harm in learning more, especially since their styles would differ.

Marco seemed pleased at a knight like Johan asking him to teach archery, showing a slightly excited expression.

‘𝘐𝘴 𝘩𝘦 𝘩𝘢𝘱𝘱𝘺 𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴?’

Johan suddenly felt sorry for Marco.

People who had similar childhoods could recognize each other. Marco, like Johan, must have been very observant and grown up significantly.

Probably even more so than Johan. . .

“Your stance is good. You’ve practiced a lot. I thought you would handle the bow well, given your strength. You could use a stronger bow. . . oh, I don’t have one to offer. . .”

‘𝘞𝘩𝘦𝘯 𝘩𝘦 𝘵𝘢𝘭𝘬𝘴 𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘴𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘩𝘦 𝘭𝘪𝘬𝘦𝘴, 𝘩𝘦 𝘣𝘦𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘴 𝘵𝘢𝘭𝘬𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘷𝘦.’

Johan lightly released the bowstring. The arrow flew heavily and embedded in a tree. It wasn’t bad, considering he hadn’t shot in a while.

“It wouldn’t hurt to train the others as well.”

“The mercenaries should have crossbows, right?”

“A crossbow is a crossbow, and a bow is a bow.”


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