There was a time, like now, where people were able to travel from France to Bulgaria and even further on the silk road to china.
Those people were kings of birth, but also from own stature and strength of character. In short, they had something sometimes called Baraka, Mana, Big Chi, Luck, whatever. They were free to do whatever they wanted out of their own life.
Freely those times were not quite peaceful.
They had to rely on their own strength, and power to get unharmed to their goals.
This is where a sword came to play a very important role.
The sword was a sign of distinction, the symbol of their status, and power.
Nothing if they were not prepared to fight for, but no reason to search a fight either.
Their life depended upon their ability to use the sword, when needed, and to judge, when not to use it, when needed.