How to Live as a Wandering Knight – Chapter 78.2

𝐄𝐚𝐬𝐭 𝐨𝐟 𝐄𝐦𝐩𝐢𝐫𝐞 (𝟐)

Johan, who had been questioning Suetlg and Caenerna about various things regarding the werewolf’s body, stepped outside at the mercenaries’ call.

A group of cavalrymen was approaching.

“They don’t seem like a band of rogues. . .”

“That’s the flag of Duke Brduhe. They must be warriors under the Duke.”

Unlike the west or south, the eastern part of the Empire was common with nomadic tribes wandering the vast empty lands. Those who embraced the Empire’s culture and religion became loyal warriors, while those who refused became formidable enemies.

The approaching group was carrying the flag of Duke Brduhe, along with another flag with a unique, unfamiliar pattern. They were clearly warriors serving Duke Brduhe.

“Centaurs. . .!”

“Centaurs are indeed a rare sight in the Empire.”

Centaurs, capable of running on four legs from birth and fighting with their arms, always boasted exceptional combat prowess. While other races raised and trained horses, the centaurs themselves were equivalent to cavalry.

Johan looked at the centaur warriors with great interest. Caenerna asked:

“Doesn’t it creep you out?”

“You’re a bit creepy up close, but I’m trying not to be, considering what Suetlg-nim said. Nothing to worry about.”

“. . .?”

Caenerna was puzzled for a moment, then understood the meaning.

Johan was talking about her!

“. . .I was talking about the centaur warriors.”

“Ah. Sorry about that. Don’t take it to heart.”

“. . . . . .”

When Caenerna fell silent, Johan seemed slightly apologetic and comforted her.

“I tend to be a bit wary of wizards, that’s all. I hope you can understand.”

“Didn’t you converse comfortably with Suetlg? The magic I showed yesterday should be enough reason for respect. I demand the same level of respect you show to the philosopher of the Ipaël River.”

When Caenerna’s indirect words failed to be understood, she spoke more directly. Johan responded in kind.

“Well, such excuses won’t work, I guess. It’s unsettling that you are the Emperor’s advisor. Does that make sense?”

Caenerna was neither angry nor flustered. Being a wizard, she had learned not to be disturbed by such reactions. She tried to probe and shake Johan to persuade him.

“. . .As a wizard, I don’t pledge loyalty to any one person. So, you needn’t worry about that.”

“If you don’t pledge loyalty to someone, the same applies to me, right? As a court wizard and a guest, I will follow the customary hospitality, but I don’t expect more. To earn my respect, one needs corresponding virtues.”

Johan spoke bluntly.

Suetlg suggested that since Caenerna was accompanying them, it was necessary to be a bit more persuasive.

Johan was not as stubborn as other knights, and if he wanted to flatter, he could do so at any time. Winning Caenerna’s favor, a distinguished wizard, couldn’t be a bad thing.

However, Johan thought differently.

Wizards might be accustomed to such dealings, but not Johan. He saw no reason to cozy up and perform tricks with someone hard to trust in a situation that wasn’t even dire.

Caenerna understood Johan’s point. Approaching a knight who had drawn such a clear line would only backfire. She decided to back off.

🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸      

“Did you have a conversation? How was it, did you get closer?”

At Suetlg’s inquiry, Johan replied with a slightly embarrassed voice.

“We agreed to keep the promises we made since we want different things.”

“. . .Well, then there’s nothing we can do.”

There were incompatible people. Trying to force them together was usually fruitless.

Caenerna seemed to have given up on Johan too. It appeared she thought it better to persuade others than to persist with someone like him, who seemed unyielding.

“Are you from the Jarpen family?”

The centaurs spoke in a rough Empire language. The people of the Jarpen family nodded, holding their banners.

“We will serve you. This area is dangerous━be careful.”

“Just yesterday, we encountered werewolves.”

At this, the centaurs looked surprised. The condition of the group was too good for having met a werewolf.

There should have been at least a few bodies.

What was more surprising was that the werewolves’ bodies lay in the camp.

“Who caught these?”

“I caught two of them.”

“No, three. Sir Knight. There was another one dead outside.”

As dawn broke, a werewolf, pierced by an arrow in a vital spot, lay dead, unable to escape. The centaur asked Johan.

“Are you Johan of the Yeats family?”

“Yes.”

“Indeed. Milord has been waiting for you━waiting quite a bit.”

The centaur, not fluent in Empire language, or perhaps due to different concepts, referred to the Duke as the master. This was despite not being a slave.

“Gather the bodies! We must show them to Milord.”

At the centaur warrior’s command, the subordinates collected the bodies. It was their custom to show appropriate trophies when returning from a hunt.

Three werewolves would be enough to adorn the reputation of the knight named Johan.

“You say waiting, what does that mean?”

Johan’s question didn’t upset the centaur, who readily answered. They respected strong warriors and despised the weak.

Johan, having slain three werewolves, was worthy of respect.

“There are knights-warriors waiting for an appointment ceremony. They are prominent young warriors from the east, eager to demonstrate their bravery before Milord.”

“. . .I see. So, it’s that kind of event.”

The appointment ceremony was not just about placing a sword on the shoulder and receiving a knight’s duties.

It was a grand festival and an event to prove the honor and authority of the nobility who supervised it.

People flocked from all sides, and knights were given the opportunity to prove their bravery.

And such opportunities often involved swords and bloodshed.

With such distinguished young warriors from the east present, Johan naturally braced himself.

‘A tournament? Or perhaps something else.’

“Sir Knight is enough. Three werewolves. Not an easy feat.”

“It was possible with the help of the soldiers.”

“You don’t hunt alone. Everyone gets help. With your skills, Sir Knight, it will be remarkable. I want to see.”

In the centaur warriors’ eyes sparkled a mix of competitive spirit and anticipation. Johan nodded.

“If the opportunity arises on our way, I’ll show you.”

The centaurs cheered and roared with laughter. This knight from the west seemed to be quite hearty.


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