How to Live as a Wandering Knight – Chapter 93.2

𝐆𝐨𝐨𝐝 𝐂𝐡𝐢𝐥𝐝𝐫𝐞𝐧 (𝟓)

“There are a few guys up ahead.”

“Is it a surprise attack?”

“No. The people from the town came to pay tribute.”

At Achladda’s words, Johan had a grim expression.

“Did the mercenaries attack?”

“No sign of them. Sir Knight. I don’t trust the Empire, but I don’t think they’ll attack.”

“Good. I worried for nothing. Is that it?”

“Ha ha. I didn’t say that to hear that. But I’m in a good mood anyway.”

Johan scoffed as he received the money from the village chief. Rumors had spread, and the village was sending people over to him first.

They probably planned to appease him first in case the army came close and caused unnecessary damage.

━𝐁𝐮𝐭, 𝐒𝐢𝐫 𝐊𝐧𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭, 𝐈 𝐡𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐝 𝐚 𝐫𝐮𝐦𝐨𝐫 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐰𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐛𝐮𝐲 𝐠𝐫𝐚𝐢𝐧. . .

━𝐘𝐞𝐬. 𝐁𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐚𝐧𝐲𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐜𝐚𝐧 𝐬𝐞𝐥𝐥, 𝐥𝐢𝐤𝐞 𝐥𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐨𝐜𝐤, 𝐠𝐫𝐚𝐢𝐧, 𝐚𝐥𝐜𝐨𝐡𝐨𝐥, 𝐨𝐫 𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐛𝐬. 𝐈’𝐥𝐥 𝐩𝐚𝐲 𝐚 𝐟𝐚𝐢𝐫 𝐩𝐫𝐢𝐜𝐞.

━𝐁𝐮𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐰𝐡𝐞𝐚𝐭 𝐩𝐫𝐢𝐜𝐞𝐬 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐚 𝐛𝐢𝐭 𝐡𝐢𝐠𝐡 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐭𝐢𝐦𝐞. . .

━𝐀𝐫𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐲 𝐥𝐨𝐨𝐤𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐨 𝐝𝐢𝐞, 𝐛𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐠𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐮𝐩 𝐧𝐞𝐠𝐨𝐭𝐢𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬 𝐥𝐢𝐤𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬? 𝐃𝐨 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐤 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐜𝐚𝐧 𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐛𝐚𝐛𝐛𝐥𝐞 𝐚𝐟𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝐦𝐲 𝐚𝐫𝐫𝐨𝐰 𝐩𝐢𝐞𝐫𝐜𝐞𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐫𝐨𝐮𝐠𝐡 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐦𝐨𝐮𝐭𝐡?

━𝐒-𝐒𝐨𝐫𝐫𝐲! 𝐈’𝐥𝐥 𝐠𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐢𝐭 𝐚𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐨𝐫𝐢𝐠𝐢𝐧𝐚𝐥 𝐩𝐫𝐢𝐜𝐞! 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐨𝐫𝐢𝐠𝐢𝐧𝐚𝐥 𝐩𝐫𝐢𝐜𝐞!

After sending the town village chief away, Johan checked the map.

‘𝘏𝘮𝘮? 𝘋𝘪𝘥 𝘸𝘦 𝘢𝘳𝘳𝘪𝘷𝘦 𝘴𝘰𝘰𝘯𝘦𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘯 𝘦𝘹𝘱𝘦𝘤𝘵𝘦𝘥?’

The map was rudimentary for Johan’s standards, but he knew they could reach Umdim in a day or two.

Count Ganolwood’s vanguard had left first, followed by the mercenaries. . .

“Didn’t see the vanguard nearby?”

“Yes.”

“Could it be we’re the first to arrive?”

“It’s possible.”

Marco, who had been on several campaigns, agreed. Johan’s march was notably fast. Usually, they would slow down due to looting and resupplying.

“Huh. . . Didn’t expect this, but we arrived first. Might receive some praise.”

The first to arrive, the first to scale the walls, the first to breach the gates. . . all were rewarded. Johan wasn’t particularly eager, but it wasn’t bad to receive.

“Let’s stop here for today. Let’s prepare for camp.”

“Are you going out again?”

“It’s fine if you come with me, but do you want to?”

“No. To be honest, I was really bored.”

Johan laughed at Achladda’s honest answer.

“I’ll just take Sir Gerdolf with me. Please prepare for camp.”

It was only natural that Achladda was bored. Johan was drawing a new map every time they stopped.

For centaurs, who mostly record things orally, paper and ink were unfamiliar objects.

‘𝘐 𝘸𝘰𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘳 𝘪𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘮𝘦𝘵𝘩𝘰𝘥 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘣𝘦 𝘥𝘪𝘧𝘧𝘪𝘤𝘶𝘭𝘵 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘰𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘤𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘢𝘶𝘳𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘶𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘯𝘥, 𝘴𝘪𝘯𝘤𝘦 𝘪𝘵’𝘴 𝘴𝘰 𝘥𝘪𝘧𝘧𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘵.’

“Gerdolf. Are you bored?”

“Yes.”

“. . .I’m sorry I brought you along.”

Gerdolf was loyal, but he was also honest.

Boredom is boredom!

🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸      

“D-Damn it, those s-son of a b*tches. . .”

“I will issue a warning.”

“I-It’s no use, i-it’s counterproductive.”

Count Ganolwood said while sweating. The town they had just passed through was completely destroyed.

Count also understood the need for supplies and self-sufficiency. But it was clear that the mercenary b*stards were being greedy.

Once they had taken the supplies, they should have restrained themselves, but they had taken everything down to the roots. Even though they were blinded by money, it was a bit too much.

But he couldn’t warn them either. This was one of the customary rights of mercenaries. If he prohibited it, there would be discontent.

If he had to choose between serfs and soldiers, he had to take care of the soldiers.

“T-Tell them that those who arrive late will be severely punished. I-I think that will get their attention. H-Have you found the enemy?”

“No, but. . . they may be surrendering or holding out in the city.”

The Count thought it was quite likely that Umdim City would surrender before fighting, begging for mercy.

The nearby cities and small kingdoms all lacked the ability to intervene. In such a situation, it was not strange to surrender to such a large army.

“T-That may be the case. B-But we need to be careful.”

“I will remember that. Just leave it to me.”

“Sir! We’ve been ambushed! The Barba mercenary group in the east has been ambushed!”

“!”

Sir Karpati was surprised. He didn’t think the Barba mercenary groups were so sloppy that they could be ambushed, but there were always those who made mistakes or were careless.

“What is the scale?”

“About a hundred barbarian raiders, a mix of cavalry and centaurs, had attacked the merchant caravan! They focused on the merchants and supplies rather than the mercenaries.”

Count Ganolwood, who was listening, forgot about the situation and was amazed. How could they use those barbarian raiders so effectively?

If they fought properly, they would be crushed, but they were enough to slow down the army. The speed was slowed down not only because of the supplies but also because of the fear of being attacked.

“They managed to hire those barbarian raiders.”

“N-No, they probably didn’t hire them. I-It must be the work of the s-small kingdom. T-They could do it. T-Tell them to close the gaps between the troops and s-slow down the speed. Tell them to double the n-number of scouts.”

The Count responded immediately.

It was better to arrive a little late than to be played with. Fortunately, the Count had a reputation that would not be tarnished even if rumors spread that he was afraid.

“I understand.”

“A-And, Sir Karpati. I-I would like you to protect R-Repiata-gong.”

Sir Karpati nodded. Repiata-gong was also leading the army, but he was honestly worried. He would feel much more at ease if he protected him personally.

“The duke said I could do whatever I wanted, but I can’t do that. I’ll be responsible for it later.”

Even if the duke was serious, a vassal could not do that.

As Sir Karpati was leaving, he said,

“Oh, we should also warn the vanguard.”

“Yes, I will do that.”

🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸      

Upon arriving at Umdim, Johan was certain he was the first to reach. People who saw the army were screaming and running into the city.

Achladda asked with an expression that suggested itching for action, 

“Shall we pursue?”

“What’s the use in catching them? We’d barely make anything. Let’s focus on what needs to be done.”

After setting up a camp outside the city’s shooting range, they controlled those trying to enter and exit the city. It was a basic siege tactic.

Siege warfare wasn’t just about storming the walls. Most sieges were, in fact, quite tedious.

‘𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘴 𝘥𝘰𝘯’𝘵 𝘴𝘦𝘦𝘮 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘩𝘪𝘨𝘩, 𝘣𝘶𝘵. . .’

Regardless of the wall’s height, attempting to breach it with this force was madness, especially without siege engines.

Johan decided to do only what he could.

However, Johan’s arrival caused a greater stir than expected.

Unaware of the happenings within the city walls, Johan didn’t know that the people of Umdim were imagining the worst.

“Defense captain! What in the world is happening?!”

“Calm down. It’s just the vanguard that has arrived. They’re not that many.”

“Not many? They fill the horizon! And didn’t you hear what those who fled here said? There are barbarians from the east too!”

Inside Umdim, they barely scraped together a thousand soldiers. Even after hastily hiring more mercenaries, that was all they had.

The mercenaries, sensing the tide, were reluctant to join a losing battle.

The only reliable figure was a defense captain from a distant small kingdom. He was of lower nobility and had connections to request reinforcements.

“Ah. . . You must have seen the cavalry wrong. Barbarians are not so easy to deal with. Unless the duke himself is here, their heavy bodies. . . Oh sh*t.”

“?”

The defense captain looked down from the wall in horror. Centaurs were visible. Clearly, the eastern barbarian tribes had arrived.

‘𝘕𝘰? 𝘏𝘰𝘸 𝘪𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘱𝘰𝘴𝘴𝘪𝘣𝘭𝘦?!’

While the small kingdoms that had previously mingled with the tribes had somewhat assimilated with the barbarians, the Empire had not. Even if the duke had pursued a policy of appeasement, participating in the war was unexpected.


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