Regressor of the Fallen Family chapter 10

TO ACCESS EXCLUSIVE CONTENT AND SUPPORT THIS NOVEL, CLICK HERE !

Chapter 10: Nothing Left but Debt

He would not bother to throw bait like this just to deceive someone who had nothing but debt.

“This one must be undoubtedly mad.”

And there was nothing more foolish than engaging in lengthy conversations with a madman.

But still.

“…How much do you plan to invest?”

Because there was always a chance, however slight.

With the thought of preparing for the unexpected, Philip tossed the question nonchalantly.

“Perhaps a rich young lord can’t handle his excessive wealth and splurges foolishly.”

Understanding it was a pitiful hope, Philip couldn’t help but cling on to it. After all, in his desperate state, he couldn’t afford to ignore even a rotten lifeline.

“How much debt do you have? And what about your plans for the next venture?”

To Philip’s surprise, the madman’s answer had some logic to it.

A faint hope began to rise in Philip’s heart.

“…Would you really invest in a trading company that has already failed once?”

“Well, it’s fine. I believe in Sir Philip’s talent. I want to invest and see.”

‘When have you ever seen me…’

Yet despite his constant ranting, the madman’s gaze never wavered.

Such consistent reactions were not characteristic of a madman.

Putting aside his prejudices, Philip felt a sense of familiarity in the intense gaze of the young man before him.

The eyes of someone missed.

‘Father…’

It was the gaze of a person confident in their judgement, someone who knew exactly the path they must take and had the belief to walk it to the end.

It was then that Philip allowed the hope he had been forcibly ignoring to raise its head again.

“Are you serious about investing?”

His heart fluttered.

It was like seeing a ray of light in a pool of despair, as his slim hope grew stronger.

“Yes. How much would you need to pay off your debts and make a fresh start? I’ll support you fully.”

Just as these sweet words made Philip’s mood soar.

Tap.

An insignificant noise caused him to reflexively turn his head.

Dust fell off from the self-proclaimed investor’s armor, revealing an emblem.

The moment Philip saw the emblem, the enthusiasm bubbling inside him turned ice cold in an instant.

‘Of course, it figures.’

The bitter feeling was all the more miserable because of the high expectations he had held.

“I’ll meet your conditions as best as I can. Just let me know.”

All excitement had faded when he came face-to-face with the swindler’s grinning face.

“Ha, really… Such a despicable young lad. I was about to let you off lightly, thinking I misunderstood something.”

Cold words naturally spilled out.

‘What? What did he say?’

Logan was taken aback. Everything was going well when suddenly he couldn’t conceal his bewilderment from Philip’s abrupt words.

“You. If you’re going to scam someone, at least prepare properly. Like those bastards who scammed me before.”

“…What?”

Philip’s dramatically changed expression was met with an unexpected retort.

“Ha…”

It seemed he was spitefully picking a fight with someone who might have saved him.

Had he not known the boy’s future, he would’ve thought of him as a fool.

No, even with that knowledge, it seemed like an act of utter stupidity.

“You, what are you saying…?”

“You’re not an investor, are you?”

“What?”

Is this guy crazy? Why the sudden change?

Having failed once in business, is he now like a mad dog eager to bite anyone?

These questions and more were reflected in Philip’s eyes as he answered with a snort.

“You haven’t been in Kaihl long enough to even shake the dirt off your shoes. And you come straight to the merchants’ district to talk about investing? You know who I am?”

Philip pointed to his shoes, which, just as he claimed, still had some dirt on them.

That finger soon pointed to Logan’s chest.

“Plus, I’ve memorized every noble family crest in this country. That crest on your armor is from the McLaine baronial house of the Southwest. So what’s the problem? Dear noble-man-cum-swindler?”

Though the claims were untrue, Philip felt a pang in his chest as he seemed to know what would come next.

“The McLaine house is a family of leeches living off their in-laws. And they’re talking about investing? A family that can’t even pay off their own debts?”

‘Ugh…’

It was painful to admit these irrefutable facts.

“I’m truly sorry that I have to advise you, but impersonating a noble and getting caught will get you executed, you know? They’re rather strict here, understood?”

Philip gestured cutting across his neck, his face a mix of cynicism and irritation.

“No, but that’s actually true…”

“And more crucially, your attitude!”

“What’s wrong with it…”

“An investor is an absolute superior to a desperate merchant. Yet you’re behaving as if you’re anxious to invest in me. Even the target of your deceit is wrong. You rookie scammer. I’m truly dirt-poor, got it?! You bastard!!”

His voice became increasingly forceful, the last of his words almost a scream.

“I’m so broke that I don’t even have money to buy food for myself, you son of a…”

Philip’s voice filled the dust-coated shop, brimming with emotion.

Seeing a grown man cry is as uncomfortable as having to console a weeping woman.

Feeling this anew, Logan still hesitated to make a move.

Despite Philip’s accusations containing many inaccuracies, they could have been reasonable doubts had Logan not been through his own experiences.

‘And that’s the problem.’

Despite such talent, the young man had been scammed. If it were the same renowned merchant he had known in his previous life, things would be different.

‘He’s not that capable person yet.’

Perhaps the trials and tribulations he had yet to face would create the man he would one day become.

Actually, it must have been exactly that which crafted his future self.

‘Time must have crafted the merchant.’

But Logan didn’t have time to wait for the Gold Bug to awaken the abilities he had in his previous life and go through all that hardship.

‘What to do…’

Logan’s trail of thoughts suddenly reached a fundamental question.

‘Wait, why do I need to invest in the trading company at all?’

The future imperial merchant was considering abandoning the path of a merchant entirely.

‘This might be the chance to make the future empire’s top ten merchant my own!’

His confused thoughts seemed to align suddenly.

Even if the man didn’t grow to where he was in the previous life, it would still weaken the power of the Ares Empire on its own.

Having organized his thoughts, Logan spoke with a bright smile.

“If I were to pay off all your debts and hire you for life, how much would it cost?”

That was enough to stop Philip’s wailing.

“What are you saying?! Are you still trying to scam…”

About to shout again, Philip was silenced upon seeing the golden aura bursting from Logan’s hand.

Could a young genius capable of using Force actually be a noble impostor running scams?

It would be idiotic to throw a promising future into the gutter like that.

And that realization proved every speculation Philip had made so far was wrong.

“Ah… Ahaha, really?”

Seeing a stunned Philip, Logan reminded himself, ‘He is the future merchant. One of the empire’s top ten.’

With a composed expression, Logan gathered his thoughts.

After an awkward silence, a resigned voice spoke up.

“Ah… so you were really a young lord. Eeek. But what did you say…?”

Trying to convert his derogatory speech to respect, Philip ended up sounding extremely awkward.

“I said, how much would it be to hire you for life if I paid off your debt?” Logan clarified.

“…You’re willing to hire me? For life?”

“Yes. Name your price for the contract. Consider paying off your debt as a gift.”

Logan thought it would be clear-cut at this point.

However, Philip’s expression grew more twisted upon hearing this.

“…I must first apologize for the disrespect I showed due to my misjudgment.”

A sense of foreboding washed over Logan at the ominous prelude.

“But! Unless there’s been a tremendous change I’m unaware of, the McLaine household wouldn’t have the means, would they?”

“Ah…”

“Are you suggesting we both sink together with my debts on top of yours? I’m sorry, but I’m not interested in a suicide pact.”

Philip firmly expressed his refusal. He might’ve misjudged the person, but one thing was clear to him.

‘The McLaine baronial house is a beggar’s family. What would they have to offer!’

It wasn’t a scam, then either the noble-young-master was mocking him, or the young lord was too naive to understand the harsh realities of the world.

‘Being born noble makes the world seem like an easy place, huh?’

Philip decided to teach this young nobleman a lesson in reality.

“The existing debt alone is 250,000 gold, and my person is worth that much too. The only certainty for a merchant is a contract. Can we sign it right away, or should I wait?”

Throughout his exceedingly sarcastic tone, the young lord’s expression hardened.

‘That figures.’

Seeing that look, Philip was about to extinguish the last bit of hope he had held when suddenly…

“500,000… Seems like odd math to me. How can someone in 250,000 debt claim a personal value of another 250,000? Unless you mean a negative 250,000.”

Struck out of nowhere by a forcible fact, Philip felt a deep blow to his heart.

“Urgh. It’s… it’s that…”

“Fine. I’ll add another 50,000 for your pride. So, how about 300,000 total?”

“Wha…? No, what did you say? Three, three hundred thousand?”

“Would you rather not?”

As Logan’s words grew more brief, Philip seemed too shocked to even notice.

“Then shall we leave it as is?”

Utterly bewildered by the unexpected sum, Philip collapsed at that one sentence.

“300,000 gold! Yes! Absolutely yes!”

To Philip, it was as if salvation had unexpectedly arrived in response to a casual remark. There was no reason for him to refuse.

“Shall we make a contract right now?”

“…Excuse me?”

Logan nonchalantly put down his traveler’s sack as if it were nothing significant.

Thud.

The sack sounded unusually heavy, echoing weightily in Philip’s chest.

A golden glow peeked out from the opened top, revealing a bag full of gold coins.

The money Logan had withdrawn earlier that day from the Coppers Kaihl branch.

Any merchant would go mad at the sight of that pile of gold.

“Thankfully, it seems I have enough for the upfront payment.”

Philip thought he saw a halo around the smiling owner of the backpack.

‘…What is this man? An angel?’

Feeling somewhat detached from reality, Philip remained speechless for a while.

“It, this, for real?”

Gazing at the gold coin sack as if in a dream, Philip soon held Logan’s hand with tears welling up in his eyes.

“Th-thank you. I really, truly thank you. I considered resigning myself to a life of slavery…”

‘And now I find myself kneeling… Ah, I already was, indeed.’

Sinking to the floor was one thing, but now his posture resembled a worshiper praying to a god, an admittedly overwhelming sight.

“So, why do you wish to employ me, to go to such monetary lengths?”

“Didn’t I say? I believe in potential for the future.”

“Do you really think so? That I may bloom late and help increase your wealth?”

‘No, it must happen. For my own purpose, it must.’

Logan’s determined gaze seemed to move Philip once again.

“…Nobody has ever shown me such trust. Not even my late father did so much…”

Overcome with emotion, Philip took a moment to compose himself while Logan looked on with a faint smile.

“Let’s go make that contract.”

“Where to…?”

“We can’t write a contract here, can we?”

“Really?”

Regardless of where the contract is written, what does it matter?

Logan took the befuddled Philip to one of the rare magic shops in Kaihl.

* * *

“There. Contract complete!”

As a drop of blood from Philip’s finger fell onto the contract, the bluish mana inscribed upon it glowed brightly, ensnaring his body.

It was an expensive magical contract worth 10,000 gold.

From now on, if Philip intentionally committed an act harmful to Logan, he would experience soul-rending agony.

Unless he wanted to suffer, he’d need to awaken his own Force to become a superior knight or pay a mage of at least the 4th circle hundreds of times the sum to lift the curse.

In essence, the contract exchanged Philip’s life for 300,000 gold, a contract for all intents and purposes akin to buying a slave.

Thus, it was understandable that Philip’s face soured, despite just moments ago being filled with emotion.

“A scum, using an exorbitant contract worth the price of 30 slaves just to make one slave out of me. And with 300,000 gold on top of that?”

Philip’s continued grumbling fell on seemingly deaf ears, as Logan’s face was brimming with smiles.

“How else would we trust each other at first meeting? If you invest a fortune, there ought to be a guarantee.”

Though Logan spoke casually, Philip was clearly agitated but sighed in acquiescence.

‘Better than being dragged off by those other scoundrels.’

Being treated similarly to a slave was better than being officially branded and treated as one.

That was what he told himself to feel better, but his spirits irresistibly dampened due to the previously high expectations.

As Philip’s gloom was starting to set in again, Logan casually remarked.

“We can always get rid of the contract once we build mutual trust. So, let’s do our best from here on.”

A vague promise, without any specified period or conditions.

Yet, that simple statement was enough to kindle a small flame in Philip’s dead-looking eyes.

TO ACCESS EXCLUSIVE CONTENT AND SUPPORT THIS NOVEL, CLICK HERE !



One response to “Regressor of the Fallen Family chapter 10”

  1. Thanks for the chapter!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *