Regressor of the Fallen Family chapter 102

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Regressor of the Fallen Family Chapter 102

Chapter 102

“Me? Just me, the family head, and the young lord? Only the three of us? Without even a single servant?”

Dwayne, who had come to support us with provisions, asked with an incredulous face.

No matter how we have been advised to bring only the essential personnel during the mourning period, wasn’t this too few?

Despite the question, Logan’s expression remained calm.

“The days have already passed. We’re at the very southwestern tip, and we need to hurry to the capital from now on just to barely make it on the day the mourning starts, right?”

“You two go ahead, but why me?!”

“You said it yourself. Aren’t we lacking a servant?”

“What? Don’t tell me…”

“You’ll have to work while you’re here.”

The moment came when the 40-year-old finance officer was assigned the unexpected role of servant to the young lord.

* * *

“Do, do, young lord. This schedule is too harsh, ack!”

“No time to talk, Dwayne—lift your rear and lean forward. Keep it up, or you might not sit later!”

“Ugh, damn it! Why did it have to be me?!”

The giant finance officer screamed as he was forced into an unwelcome horseback ride, but his traveling companions were merciless.

The group’s continuous gallop over two days finally halted only when they met a splendid carriage on the well-maintained road.

A carriage adorned with the flag of a rose blooming amidst flames.

“Really now. They say even misfortune is a form of connection, but this kind of bond sure is persistent. It’s comical.”

From the carriage disembarked a blue-eyed, blond middle-aged man, whose voice could be clearly heard even from a distance.

“Exactly. Count, there’s no need for you to stop and wait for us. Could’ve just continued on your way?”

“I wanted to see those lucky faces one more time. Who knows? Maybe some of that luck will rub off on me.”

“If you could kindly continue on your path straight to the afterlife without blocking ours, that would be lovely.”

“Patrick McLaine. You may have saved your life by luck, but that’s only until the mourning ends. Haven’t you thought that provoking me might end more miserably for you?”

“It seems unlikely we’ll see that miserable end. If you have no intention to step aside, we’ll make our move first, shall we?”

To the sides of Roger Bifrost stood Franz and Aslan, and behind them were three high-grade knights they had seen in Tomodo.

Patrick’s words contained no hesitation, despite the outright disadvantage in the battle that could break out at any moment.

“Hah… What makes you so confident? You think if anything happens to McLaine before the mourning, it will be pinned on me. But so what?”

As Roger Bifrost finished speaking, a murderous intent surged from his party.

Clang!

Bifrost’s knights drew their weapons, stepping forward.

Patrick’s face tensed slightly and Dwayne turned pale, but…

“Tch, posturing. If you weren’t concerned, you’d have attacked already. Enough with the meaningless chatter, let’s go our separate ways. You’re running a bit late too, aren’t you?”

Logan spoke with composure, fixing his eyes on the count.

“Ha. Ha ha ha. When you think about it, you’re the root of this, Logan McLaine. Alright, enjoy what little life you have left. I’m already looking forward to seeing how your expression changes when McLaine bursts into flames.”

At Roger Bifrost’s signal, the knights stepped back.

Logan then casually rode past them.

Patrick followed suit, expression unmoved.

“Keep my sword safe for me, Baron. I’ll be back for it soon enough.”

Although Aslan, whose cheeks were rather gaunt, left a sharp remark, the McLaine simply smiled wryly as they rode on.

But the middle-aged finance officer, wholly unaccustomed to such a dangerous tension, trembled uncontrollably as he forced himself to follow.

Seeing his expression, Roger Bifrost smirked and added one last comment.

“When you go up to the capital, I recommend you don’t come back down if possible. Whether you cling to the swordmaster or that old man Dylan, hide as best you can. The life of a noble who’s lost his territory is at least better than losing your life.”

Although Patrick didn’t look back, his grip on the reins tightened momentarily.

Logan did not bother to reply, and the three riders gradually increased their pace, leaving the unwanted company behind.

And leading them was Dwayne, who had been complaining of fatigue for two days and wished to rest.

“young lord. My Lord. Faster! The mourning is just around the corner; why are you taking it so leisurely!”

The excessive fuss was laughable, and it somewhat diluted their worries for the future.

* * *

“So, what’s going to happen?”

“How would I know? That’s the problem.”

“The funeral…”

“It’s only significant for the nobles. For us…”

“What do you think, my friend?”

Chatter filled the air.

The atmosphere in the capital Grandia, which they had returned to after a long time, was even more tumultuous than before.

People crowding the western gate talked about the king’s death whenever they gathered.

And it wasn’t just that.

Thump.

“Make way.”

“You should.”

Two knights on the street, instead of taking the spacious path on either side, deliberately came close to each other, engaging in a confrontation.

But no one was willing to draw their sword first.

“There they go again.”

“The Davis family and the Cret…”

“Why are these low-ranking knights fraternizing when they’re not even first or second princes?”

Overt factional strife, usually unseen, was becoming apparent even to the common eye, happening frequently all over the place.

Only because the use of force had been prohibited since the declaration of mourning was there no sword fighting yet, but the atmosphere was such that it wouldn’t be surprising if it broke out anywhere.

No wonder the faces of the commoners passing by on the streets had a dark cloud hanging over them.

“The mood seems worse than I thought.”

“It can’t be helped.”

“What is becoming of the world…”

“My Lord, is it the world that’s the problem now? We got issues right now. What are we going to do about those guys?!”

Dwayne, once chuckling about knowing everything would be alright before heading to Tomodo, was nowhere to be found.

Since running into Roger Bifrost on their way to the capital and being incessantly worried about the power difference between Bifrost and McLaine, he had been like this for three days.

Even if he was the most trusted retainer, it was about time to ease up.

“Enough! Dwayne. That’s something our—no, Logan has to handle, so stop fussing about it. Right?”

“Of course, father.”

“…I just wish you would discuss things with me in advance this time.”

Logan could only offer an awkward smile at his father’s anxious addition.

What he intended to do could only happen after the mourning, and not something to be discussed.

‘Well, Philip hasn’t arrived yet, either.’

It seemed like he’d be observing the factions’ moods until then.

However…

“If that’s the case, I’ll join you. To meet the renowned swordmaster, I’m embarrassingly excited in my old age.”

An unexpected concern had tagged along.

* * *

“Welcome, young lord.”

“It’s been a while, Sir Luis.”

After greeting the knight guarding the swordsman’s mansion, Luis, the ever-consistent adjutant, followed Logan inside.

“You didn’t have to come out for me.”

“As the only disciple of his excellency, it’s a natural courtesy. Please don’t feel burdened.”

Although Luis spoke as if it was nothing special…

‘Rather, seeing your face can still stress me…’

Logan wasn’t yet accustomed to being escorted by his former general.

So he awkwardly changed the topic.

“Is my master doing well?”

“Understandably, he took the king’s passing quite hard. No one expected such an event to occur.”

“Hmm?”

A puzzled sound came from behind, expressing some sort of strangeness.

Realizing his slip-up, Logan hurriedly made another inquiry.

“Oh. Do you know how His Majesty passed away?”

It was a question he knew the answer to but asked anyway to divert the conversation.

“His Majesty collapsed suddenly during state affairs. The temple stated it was due to overwork leading to cerebral hemorrhage. By the time the priests arrived, it was too late…”

“What?”

Logan was genuinely surprised by the unexpected answer.

The nature of the king’s death was different from what he knew.

In his past life, it was known that the king had died in his sleep without any particular incident.

The cause publicly announced by the temple was acute myocardial infarction due to old age; hence the surprise when he saw the king looking healthy.

‘One would think that even a healthy-looking old king could pass away like that. But…’

Overwork? Cerebral hemorrhage?

A king collapsing during state affairs?

‘It sort of resonated with old age but… something feels uneasy.’

Why had history changed? He couldn’t guess.

Maybe…

“Although it’s an irreverent thought, is there a possibility that it wasn’t an accident…?”

“There were many witnesses. His excellency even conducted an investigation but found no particular discrepancies.”

“…”

With the event already transpired, now wasn’t the time to delve into the king’s death.

Logan quietly tucked away his suspicions and followed Luis obediently.

Or at least he intended to.

“Logan. Your account seems a bit different from the situation…”

If not for his father’s chilling words from behind, he might have managed.

“His excellency was very close with the late king, so it’s natural he’d be affected. Isn’t that right, Luis?”

“Yes, indeed. They’ve spent a long time together since their youth.”

“His excellency always worried about His Majesty’s health but seemed unable to prevent this eventually.”

“His excellency… Yes. These things cannot be stopped by humans, after all.”

It was a common concern spoken by elders with some acquaintanceship about each other’s health.

Why would he say such trite words all of a sudden?

Bemused, Luis looked at Logan. However, the trite words seemed to pacify the slight suspicion that had arisen in Patrick’s heart.

Having calmed his father’s suspicions, Logan breathed a sigh of relief and finally resumed walking.

* * *

“So, what’s the plan now?”

Unpacking after the brief journey, Patrick’s question was consistent.

Even though he didn’t fuss as much as Dwayne, he too felt uneasy about what their plan was after the mourning.

“I intend to meet with my master first.”

“Of course. So the Sword Sage is your contemplated plan?”

“…Eh? No, it’s not that. I just wanted to pay my respects since I’ve come to the capital.”

‘If he knew what I am planning, he might just cut off my head.’

Concealing his thoughts, Logan offered only a clumsy smile to his father.

The official mourning was starting the day after.

Logan’s intentions could only be executed after the mourning period was over.

‘Besides, Philip isn’t here yet.’

Until then, he would probably have to observe the factional atmospheres.

But…

“Is that so? Then I’ll come along. My heart flutters at the thought of seeing the admired sword sage despite my age.”

An unexpected concern had tagged along.

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