How to Live as a Wandering Knight – Chapter 74

𝐓𝐡𝐫𝐞𝐞 𝐖𝐢𝐳𝐚𝐫𝐝𝐬 (𝟓)

𝐓𝐡𝐫𝐞𝐞 𝐖𝐢𝐳𝐚𝐫𝐝𝐬  (𝟓)

The atmosphere was so menacing it felt like someone could be killed at any moment. Johan immediately drew his sword.

“Thinking of saving [her]?”

“Is there a better way?”

“No. . . it’s a good idea.”

Suetlg nodded. It was a good idea to save [her]. It was customary for a wizard to return a favor.

Only, it was Johan who had tried to kill Caenerna three times just recently!

“Gerdolf, follow me!”

Without waiting for a response, Johan spurred his horse. Gerdolf, without asking, drew his weapon and followed Johan.

🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸      

Traditionally, a wizard was a profession that received respect and courtesy from others. However, when things went awry, the wizard was often the first to be bound and sacrificed.

Just like now!

Dealing with magic inevitably invited fear. Nothing was more frightening than what one could not understand.

“Such rotten luck.”

Caenerna thought this, sighing. There was a saying, ‘𝘢 𝘸𝘪𝘻𝘢𝘳𝘥 𝘤𝘢𝘯𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘴𝘦𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘪𝘳 𝘰𝘸𝘯 𝘧𝘶𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘦,’ but who would have thought it would apply to themselves?

Looking at the current situation, it seemed advising the Emperor was out of the question; taking care of oneself was priority.

An uncertain misfortune, with no clear starting point.

Losing the knights brought along was tolerable. She could leave the city with a few servants and slaves.

The preparations were a bit naive given the dire circumstances, but Caenerna had a plan. The idea was to discreetly join a nearby trading caravan. With Caenerna’s abilities, winning the merchants’ favor was more than possible.

The problem was encountering crazed mercenaries spouting things like ‘𝘛𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘣𝘳𝘪𝘥𝘨𝘦 𝘪𝘴 𝘰𝘧𝘧-𝘭𝘪𝘮𝘪𝘵𝘴’ and ‘𝘐𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦’𝘴 𝘢 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘤𝘩, 𝘸𝘦 𝘮𝘶𝘴𝘵 𝘤𝘢𝘱𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘦 𝘩𝘦𝘳.’

There were fanatics in the world, so devoted that not even a needle could penetrate their belief. The mercenaries Caenerna met were of this sort.

Caenerna knew that mercenaries were superstitious, but not to this extent.

Their ears were so closed that not even Caenerna’s powerful words could penetrate.

“I said I am not a witch.”

“Don’t lie, witch! The merchants said they saw you using magic!”

“That was pure magic, not evil sorcery. I am an advisor to the Emperor, a court wizard. . .”

“Cover your ears! This witch is trying to bewitch us!”

“Block it! The captain said to cover our ears!”

“. . . . . .”

There are times in life when one is trapped in a dilemma. Caenerna intuitively knew this was one of those moments.

A wizard, even in desperate situations, did not resort to meaningless struggle.

“Give me a chance, and I will prove I am a wizard.”

“Ha! As if we’d believe that!”

“You’re going to execute me anyway, right? Throw me into the fire. Then, I’ll show you magic.”

Some of the mercenaries seemed intrigued by these confident words.

“No! The captain said to throw the witch into water.”

“Indeed. . . anticipating witchcraft, he said that.”

“But how can a witch play tricks if thrown into fire?”

“Don’t know. Maybe escape.”

“Then isn’t it the same with water?”

“Go tell that to the captain.”

“Throw the witch into water! Throw the witch into water!”

Caenerna looked up at the sky, sighing.

If she survived this, she vowed to burn that captain!

‘𝘞𝘩𝘺 𝘸𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘰𝘧 𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘴?’

𝐂𝐥𝐚𝐭𝐭𝐞𝐫-𝐜𝐥𝐚𝐭𝐭𝐞𝐫━

From the other side of the bridge, two knights rushed forward at full speed. The mercenaries screamed and threw themselves out of the way.

Normally, those who should have blocked the way, but if they were loyal enough to throw themselves in front of charging knights, they wouldn’t be working as mercenaries.

“What. . . what are you doing, you fuc━”

“Idiot! They are nobles!”

“. . .Honorable ones!”

Even though the mercenaries almost got hit by the horses, they couldn’t curse and just glanced around. Johan looked at the mercenaries and spoke.

“What’s the difference between a wizard and a witch?”

“. . . . . .”

“. . . . . .”

“Do we really need to ask that question now?”

Even while bound, Caenerna spoke out of disbelief.

🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸      

There really wasn’t much difference between a wizard and a witch. A wizard that needed to be hung for being evil was simply called a witch.

With such limited knowledge, the mercenaries couldn’t respond.

“Isn’t she a witch since she uses magic and crossed the bridge? The leader said she’s a witch.”

“How do you prove someone is a witch?”

“If you throw them under the bridge and they float, doesn’t that make them a witch?”

“And if they sink?”

“Then she’s not a witch. . .?”

“Huh. Chillingly logical.”

Realizing that Johan was toying with the mercenaries, Caenerna opened her mouth.

“. . .Wouldn’t you help me since you’re here?”

“You prayed for a future filled with pain and glory for myself, but it seems your future is also full of pain and glory.”

Caenerna’s face reddened slightly at Johan’s mockery. Normally, such petty taunts wouldn’t shake her, but the situation was different now.

A situation truly embarrassing for a wizard!

“Sorry, but that person is not a witch. A wizard. . . albeit a bit sloppy, which is odd, but still a wizard. A noble guaranteed by the Emperor himself.”

Despite Johan’s words, the mercenaries were not easily swayed. Once they believed something, they stuck to it. In the mercenaries’ eyes, Johan looked like a knight bewitched by a witch.

𝐒𝐡𝐡━

When the mercenaries blocked the way and refused to move, Johan chuckled.

“Are you refusing to listen?”

“Right now, Sir Knight, you’re under a witch’s spell.”

“Hmm. So it is.”

“?”

The mercenaries were taken aback when Johan agreed so easily. What did he mean?

They soon found out. Gerdolf charged and punched the jaw of a mercenary standing in front, knocking him down instantly.

He was quite burly, but upon taking a direct hit from Gerdolf’s fist, he collapsed.

“What. . .?”

Johan strode forward and grabbed the collar of a nearby mercenary, then threw him.

He threw him effortlessly, not exerting much strength, yet the mercenary flew over the bridge and splashed into the river.

A terrifying display of strength.

The mercenaries couldn’t even muster the courage to draw their weapons, stunned.

“Will you move aside?”

“But the witch. . .”

“Right. Don’t move aside.”

“Aaaagh!”

Another mercenary flew off the bridge.

Those watching from behind were astonished by the bizarre scene.

Mercenaries flew over the bridge like birds and started splashing into the river.

“Ugh! Urgh!”

Though they weren’t tied up and could swim, the river was cold. The mercenaries trembled and desperately swam towards the shore.

“If you want to draw your weapons, go ahead.”

Johan said so, but the mercenaries dared not. They knew. Johan and Gerdolf were deliberately not drawing their weapons.

If this fight turned bloody, they would be the ones at a loss.

The mercenaries looked into Johan’s eyes.

His steady gaze held the power of a strong spirit. Facing his gaze, the mercenaries involuntarily succumbed to a sense of defeat, losing their will to fight.

Slowly but surely━

Eventually, the mercenaries surrounding Caenerna stepped aside. Johan had subdued the mercenaries on the bridge without swinging his sword even once.

Johan stood in front of the fallen Caenerna. Caenerna, saying nothing, looked up at Johan. A strong will to not lose her dignity as a wizard was evident.

There’s no need to mock a weak opponent. Johan reached out his hand to Caenerna. . .

“!!”

When Gerdolf tried to lash out at Caenerna, Johan, alarmed, grabbed his arm.

“Why do you do this?”

“This wizard is not an enemy.”

“Ah. I am sorry.”

Caenerna breathed a sigh of relief. She felt unlucky to be involved with this knight, Johan.

“I’m sorry about this. Get up.”

“. . .I am grateful for your kindness.”

“Gerdolf. Take this wizard and protect her well. Don’t lay a hand on her.”

“Yes. I will remember that. I will not hit.”

“Even if she looks suspicious, don’t throw her into the river.”

“Yes. I will not throw her.”

“And. . . yes. Don’t whip her.”

“Yes. I will not whip her.”

Caenerna took Johan’s hand. She spoke in a tired and earnest voice, devoid of any leisure.

“. . .I would be grateful if you just let me walk on my own feet.”

🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸      

Mercenaries may be reluctant to confront nobles, but that doesn’t mean they just say ‘yes, yes’ and do nothing when faced with a noble.

A good example was when a noble arrogantly tried to enter the mercenaries’ encampment without permission.

They kept silent when blocking the bridge, as it could be excused for a band of rogues, but uninvited visits to the encampment were a different matter.

In terms of principle and custom, the mercenaries held the upper hand.

Even nobles risked being killed by sword if they tried to enter forcibly. After all, not all of the nearly hundred mercenaries were fools.

That’s why Mahreet thought he was still dreaming when he heard that a knight was outside his tent.

“. . .Who did you say is here? What do you mean by that?”

“Sir Knight is waiting outside.”

“And what did you guys do?”

“. . . . . .”

“Motherf*cking idiots!”

Mahreet abruptly stood up.

Could it be that despite there being at least dozens of mercenaries awake, no one stopped the knight from coming here?

It was so unbelievable that it felt unreal. It’s not like the mercenaries collectively turned foolish, nor did the knight use magic. . .

Suddenly, remembering the prophecy, fear surged through him. To think that this would happen even though he acted according to the prophecy. Could this situation be what the prophecy warned about?

“Bring me my sword and armor!”

Slaves hurriedly brought the armor and sword. Mahreet, with a stern face, pushed open the tent’s door and stepped out.

Indeed, there was a knight waiting.

Standing proudly on his horse, gazing this way.

“. . .???”

The surrounding mercenaries were just staring blankly, as if this knight was the leader of their mercenary band.

Mahreet felt a chill as those who should naturally try to stop him, stood aside, making way as if acknowledging the knight.

The dominance he had built over the years leading the mercenaries.

It seemed as if the knight had snatched away that dominance just by riding and walking over here.

“Are you the leader of the mercenaries?”

“. . .Yes, I am.”

‘𝘚𝘦𝘦𝘮𝘴 𝘭𝘪𝘬𝘦 𝘢 𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘵𝘶𝘯𝘦 𝘵𝘦𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘳.’

It was natural for Johan to think so. Mahreet was excessively adorned for a mercenary leader.

“Even for a knight, isn’t it too much to enter the mercenary land so arrogantly?”

To Mahreet’s protest, Johan nodded.

“Yes. You are right.”

“. . .?”

“I’ll give you a chance for revenge. Will you fight?”

“!”

Mahreet realized he had underestimated the opposing knight.

‘𝘕𝘰. . .?!’

A typical knight would never offer a chance for revenge against mercenaries.

They would oppress and insult, but why would they do such a thing against mercenaries?

That was exactly what Mahreet had counted on.

If Johan insulted the leader in front of the mercenaries, even those who stepped aside as if mesmerized would be enraged!

The mercenary leader is the face and pride of the group. Insulting the leader was akin to insulting all the mercenaries.

The mercenaries were selfish and self-centered sons of b*tches, but even sons of bitches have their own pride.

However, Johan was giving him an opportunity as a warrior, rather than insult or persecution.

“Oh. . .!”

“Captain! Accept it! When else will you get to face a knight like this!”

As expected, cheers erupted among the mercenaries. They were admiring Johan’s generosity and magnanimity.

The opponent was a knight who came alone to the heart of the enemy and generously offered an opportunity.

Mahreet sensed it. If he avoided this offer, he would be a coward.

Mahreet subtly evaded the proposal and asked.

“I must first hear why you, a knight, are here. What brings you here?”

“I came because I heard that some wicked people were blocking the bridge.”

“. . .Alone?”

“Why, did you expect me to bring my soldiers?”

Mahreet flinched at Johan’s words. There was confidence in Johan’s voice. It was clear that he led an elite force.

Johan looked around at the mercenaries and said,

“I could have brought my soldiers, but that would not have been respectful to the warriors here. Right?”

Laughter full of agreement erupted. Johan was capturing the mercenaries with every word and gesture, masterfully and to his own surprise.

“It’s hard to say, but I have a request from a noble person. . . We are not rogues. You might have heard of our mercenary group. . .”

“I’m not sure. Prove it.”

Johan didn’t give his opponent a chance to escape or play any tricks. He planned to seize the dazed Mahreet and finish the job.

“Prove it. If you’re not a coward.”

“. . . . . .”

The cheers grew louder. Mahreet, as if mesmerized, reached for his weapon.


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