Chapter 37 – Wild Horse (1)
The mercenary group left the mountain path and arrived at the plains.
Their expressions finally relaxed after escaping the mountainous region.
“Duke Harmati is currently ruling the Forlcana Kingdom as the regent,” said Phillion to Urich.
“So, Duke Harmati is the king’s younger brother and is ruling the kingdom as ‘the regent’ or whatever that is.
Then isn’t he basically the king?”
“But Varca anu Forlcana, our prince, has priority in succeeding the crown.
Duke Harmati can only become the king if the prince disappears.”
As Phillion finished his words, Fahel spoke while swallowing his anger.
I am this kingdom’s rightful heir.
If I come of age, Duke Harmati will have no other choice but to hand over the crown to me.”
Fahel ground his teeth.
He was filled with animosity towards his uncle.
“You’re using difficult words like ‘rightful’.
Wouldn’t it be simpler if the strongest person became king?”
Urich couldn’t understand it.
In his tribe, the strongest warrior became the chieftain.
Even if they were the chieftain’s son, if a stronger warrior requested to be the chief, they would be forced to hand the seat over.
‘That was also the reason why I often fought with the chieftain’s son.
Even if I didn’t want to be the chief, the strongest warrior was bound to become it…’
If he had stayed in his motherland, he probably would have become the chief.
Urich also knew what his fate was.
He was a warrior who was bound to be the chief.
‘My fate changed at the Sky Mountain Range.’
Urich believed that he had changed his own destiny.
“Think what it would be like if the throne goes to the strongest person every time there is a gap in power.
It would be horrible!”
Phillion shuddered as he talked.
“Why would it be horrible?”
“In that scenario, the kingdom would be split up every time the king dies! Powerful lords would all insist that they’re the next king and start a bloody civil war.
That is why kings need a rightful heir.
A suitable blood kin which no one can deny!”
Urich laughed after hearing that.
“Then those lords could fight each other with swords in a one versus one and whoever wins would be king.
What’s the problem?”
The mercenaries who were next to them snickered.
“Only uncivilized barbarians would act in such a manner! Also, swordsmanship isn’t a necessary skill for a king! A king needs to have a noble mind to rule the kingdom.”
Phillion shouted as if he were starting to get frustrated.
Urich glanced at Fahel.
“That young master who pissed himself has a noble mind? HAHA.”
“I-Impudent! Mercenary Leader Urich! I-I—!” shouted Fahel with his face red from embarrassment.
“You were about to say ‘I am of noble status!’ or something like that, right?”
Urich teased the prince by acting like him.
“I-If it weren’t for the vow, I would have killed you right this instant for the crime of insulting royalty!” Fahel yelled.
“Urich, don’t tease His Royal Highness too much.”
Bakman spoke while tapping his spear on his own shoulder.
The mercenary group was much more relaxed now.
Their expressions all turned bright after coming into the plains.
“Even if a pursuit party comes again, it will take a while.
Especially since Duke Harmati wouldn’t expect that his pursuit party would be defeated.
We might be able to safely travel all the way to the imperial capital if it’s like this.”
Phillion spoke while checking the rear.
“Donovan, how much left until we cross Forlcana Kingdom’s border?”
Donovan was in charge of navigation.
He unfurled his map and estimated the distance.
“About two days.”
“Then let’s enter a city once we escape the border.
It would be fine there, right?” Urich asked Phillion.
Since they couldn’t enter cities in the Forlcana Kingdom, the mercenaries had to keep marching without resupplying.
They ran out of alcohol to soothe their exhausted bodies, and there were a lot of complaints about missing women.
“Duke Harmati’s influence only reaches within the kingdom.
If we are able to leave its borders, half of the job would be over.
However, I am worried about His Royal Highness’s stamina.
While you mercenaries might mock him for it, His Royal Highness is doing the best he can right now.
Prince Varca, who had never walked like that in his life, is clenching his teeth hard to keep up with you men.”
Phillion looked at Fahel who lagged behind.
“Your young master has more guts than I thought.”
“Those aspects resemble His Royal Majesty.
But His Royal Highness’s twin sister, Princess Damia, has such a strong temper that Prince Varca—who grew up with her—has some soft spots to him.”
“He left his sister behind and is escaping the kingdom by himself? Isn’t that dangerous?”
“Women can’t inherit the throne.
And there is nothing for Duke Harmati to gain if he lays his hands on Princess Damia.”
They have finally completely left the mountains and arrived at the plains where the grass was short.
A mercenary in the front shouted.
They have discovered a herd of horses.
“Those are wild horses.”
They saw horses leisurely grazing on the grass.
They were wild animals that were free from the touches of man.
“It might be good to catch a horse.”
Phillion signaled the guard knights after finishing his words.
The knights took off their armor and prepared ropes.
They planned to capture a wild horse.
“What are those guys doing? It’s a wild horse.
Even if they catch it, they wouldn’t be able to ride it,” said a few of the mercenaries.
The guard knights lowered their stances and approached the herd of wild horses.
“Let’s just watch them.”
Urich watched with interest.
He had never ridden a horse before.
In fact, he had never even thought about riding a horse until he crossed over the mountain range.
One of the knights was able to throw a lasso around a horse’s neck.
The caught horse jumped around in a panic, but the knights were able to pull on the rope from both sides.
The other horses quickly split up and ran away.
The guard knights started to wrestle with the horse to tire it out.
The black horse was flaring its nose and blowing air out while violently thrashing its body.
“Great job, Sir Reupin.”
Fahel praised the guard knight and prepared the reins.
“Is he planning on taming the horse and riding it? Prince Varca, you’re going to fall off the horse like that,” said a watching mercenary.
The young prince scoffed and stepped forward.
“100,000 cil on him not being able to ride it.”
“He’s probably doing that because he’s confident in something.
50,000 cil on him riding it.”
Before anyone knew it, the mercenaries were sitting in the grass, opening bets.
Urich looked at Phillion then at Fahel.
He noticed the strange air of confidence between them.
“300,000 cil on the young master riding it.”
He put in money as well.
Bakman, who received it, laughed.
“Urich, you’re not allowed to take it back just because you’re the leader, okay? Are you really going to bet 300,000 cil?”
Urich crossed his arms while answering Bakman.
He turned to Fahel who was approaching the horse.
Fahel walked toward it.
The exhausted horse puffed air out of its nostrils while looking at the boy.
The guard knights were still holding onto the ropes so that the horse couldn’t jump around.
“Your Royal Highness, please be careful,” said one of the knights.
“I’ll be alright.”
Fahel’s blue eyes shone.
He slowly brushed the wild horse’s mane.
It might be called a wild horse, but its true nature is one that had already been domesticated by humans.
Because it wasn’t a real wild horse, its nature of obeying humans still remained.
Taming, in essence, was the act of bringing that nature out.
Fahel spoke softly, as if whispering.
The horse blinked then stared at him.
We can become friends.”
The young prince kept staring into its eyes.
Its wildness disappeared, and there was a gentle glow to it now.
“You can let go of the ropes.”
Fahel ordered the guard knights, and they released the ropes.
“As expected from Prince Varca.”
The guard knights spoke as if they foresaw it.
They knew him well.
“He’s on the verge of success?”
The mercenaries clamored to each other from afar.
“His Royal Highness is a distinguished horse lover within the kingdom.
He even created his own dedicated horse stable filled with horses of a variety of colors—from pure white to pitch black.
From his horse taming skills to his horse riding skills, all of it is phenomenal.”
Phillion bragged like a proud parent.
Urich was in awe.
Fahel looked completely different to him now after witnessing him tame a wild horse.
“Your name is Kilios.”
Fahel whispered into the horse’s ear.
He slowly put the reins on its head and placed the saddle on its back.
First, the horse started slowly walking until it gradually trotted a lap around the surroundings.
Soon, it galloped briskly, as if the two became one.
“Even stablemasters who have spent their lives with horses wouldn’t be able to do that!”
Phillion went to greet Fahel who had returned from riding the horse.
“Wow, you’re so cool, young master.”
“I can’t believe he was able to tame a wild horse like that so easily.
Even if he doesn’t become king, he won’t starve with a talent like that.”
The mercenaries spoke while receiving their betting money.
Urich, take your money… What are you doing?”
Bakman tapped on Urich’s shoulder and extended the gold coins towards him.
However, Urich couldn’t hear him at all.
‘I didn’t know riding horses was that cool!’
Urich blankly stared at Fahel as he dismounted his horse.
It felt like something inside his chest was about to burst out.
Horses weren’t simply a method of transportation.
Urich saw the process of man and horse becoming one through communion.
Urich stood in front of the prince.
“Wh-What is it? Y-You don’t plan on killing my horse again… do you?”
The terrified Fahel trembled as he spoke.
It seemed like that incident lingered deep in his head.
“I apologize for that.
I have a request.”
“Teach me how to ride a horse.
When it comes to horse riding, your skills are the best.”
Fahel didn’t know how to respond to his sincere compliment.
He faced Urich with a surprised look.
‘This is an opportunity.
An opportunity to teach this damned barbarian who I really am!’
Fahel’s round eyes closed halfway and covered his mouth as he snickered.
“Of course, I’ll teach you.
However, my teachings are very strict.
* * *
Translator – goguma
Proofreader – yukitokata
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* * *
“Why are you so slow? Are you really a warrior that uses their body? HUH?!” shouted Fahel.
He set time apart before dinner to teach Urich how to ride a horse.
“I’m not slow.
That stupid horse keeps pushing me off.”
Urich, who had fallen to the ground, stared at the horse.
“Don’t call him ‘horse’.
His name is ‘Kilios’.
Horses have ears too.”
Fahel folded his arms as he pointed it out.
He couldn’t stop smiling.
‘There’s no way someone like you can easily ride a horse.’
He thought that Urich wouldn’t easily learn how to ride horses.
‘Your aura is too violent.’
Urich was someone who made people uncomfortable with just his existence.
The sharp aura that he emitted was unparalleled.
‘While it might be a unique power when it comes to fighting, it definitely isn’t for horse riding.’
Horses were sensitive creatures.
They were also intelligent.
‘If he is unable to soften that… it might be possible for him to ride a horse that had been thoroughly tamed by humans.
But it would be impossible for him to ride Kilios.’
Fahel calmed Kilios and looked at Urich.
“It might be best to give up.
You’re too slow to ride a horse.”
“You’re kidding, right? I’m slow?!”
Urich scoffed and looked at Kilios.
‘You stupid beast.
You’re letting someone like that young master ride on you but not me?’
Urich’s pride was stepped on.
His competitive nature was rising.
You just have to carefully climb up and tap them like such.
You’re doing great, Kilios.”
Fahel skillfully mounted the horse.
He ran his fingers through its dark mane and poured love to it.
Kilios raked the ground with its front legs, as if to say that it felt good.
It was hard to believe that it had only been a day since the two communed.
This was Fahel’s natural talent.
‘Why? Why is it so obedient towards him?’
Urich couldn’t understand it.
“Let’s finish it here for today, Urich.
Who knows, maybe if I am able to tame Kilios more, he’ll let someone slow like you ride him.”
Urich boiled with rage.
Fahel laughed at his drooping shoulders.
It wasn’t just satisfying; it was as if all of his stress flew away.
That damned beast!”
Urich returned to the other mercenaries and started jumping around in anger.
He didn’t get what he wanted.
“There’s no way a beginner can ride a wild horse that was just tamed today.
That’s normal, Urich.”
Sven spoke while preparing a seat for him.
“But that young master is riding it.
There’s no way I shouldn’t be able to do it.”
Urich had never fallen behind anyone in anything.
His body was practically blessed by a god.
He was always better than the others in anything.
“You are strong and have good reflexes.
A natural warrior.
But do other people say ‘I can do it like Urich!’ after watching you fight? Every person has a different talent that they were born with.
And being envious of others’ talents is a waste of time.”
Sven spoke calmly.
He was holding onto a hot piece of meat with one hand while slicing off more pieces with the other.
“But I also want to be good at horse riding,” Urich whined like a little kid.
“You can’t become skilled after a day.
You should know that as well.
Do warriors become skilled over a single afternoon? They become more skilled the more people they slay.”
Urich closed his mouth.
There was nothing he could say.
‘Was I too rushed?’
He inwardly looked down on Fahel.
He thought the prince was someone worse than him.
‘I never thought he would be able to do something I couldn’t.’
Looking back on it calmly, he realized it was an arrogant thought.
‘Was Gotval a worse person than me because he didn’t know how to fight?’
Urich thought while looking at the campfire.
‘Sven has a lot of experience.
Each and every word of his carries weight.
But as a warrior, he’s more fierce and blazing than anyone else.
He’s a warrior that has both coolness and hotness.
‘Bakman is skilled with his words.
He’s quick to understand the situation and knows how to lead the mood.
His fighting is whatever, though.
‘Donovan has a nasty personality, but he’s really good at taking care of his people.
He has military experience, so he’s good at commanding too.
He’s helpful in fights.’
Urich then looked at Fahel, who finished tying up the horse to the tree before sitting down.
‘Fahel is bad at fighting, has a bad personality, has no experience, and isn’t cautious at all… But he’s good at horse riding.’
Fahel felt his gaze and had a smug look on his face.
“Why? Are you already going to give up on learning?”
As Fahel finished his words, Urich laughed and then shook his head.
“No, I’m going to keep learning.
But you really are an amazing person.
You ride horses so well.
As expected from someone of high status.”
Fahel didn’t know why, but even after hearing the compliment, he felt offended.
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