Regressor of the Fallen Family chapter 103

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Regressor of the Fallen Family Chapter 103

Chapter 103

“Your excellency Logan and Baron Patrick McLaine have come to visit.”

– Let them in.

Creeeeak.

As the door of the office opened with the sound of age-old friction, a middle-aged man gazing blankly out the sunlit window came into view.

Golden hair that once defied age now bore noticeably increased strands of white, and his taut forehead was claimed by deep wrinkles.

Seeing the appearance of his master, who seemed to have aged a decade in just the few months since they parted, Logan momentarily found himself in a fluster.

“Master?”

“Yes, sit down.”

“What happened to you? Your face…”

“It’s nothing more than an old man finally facing the years he’s evaded. Don’t make a fuss.”

Though he spoke lightly, the Sword Sage’s face was evidently strained with fatigue.

The pallor of an Aura User in such a state…

“You must have overexerted yourself investigating His Majesty’s affairs while under shock…”

“Luis.”

“My apologies, Your Excellency.”

“It’s not a concern, don’t worry about it. Mind your own affairs… Ah! Goodness, show me to our guest. Ah, it must be…”

As the Sword Sage’s gaze shifted to Patrick, who had been silently observing beside Logan, Patrick offered a polite greeting.

“I am Patrick McLaine. I have heard that my unworthy son is indebted to you. It is an honor to meet Your Excellency, whom I’ve always admired.”

“Ah, I see. Baron, I apologize for not being able to welcome you properly given the circumstances…”

“No need for apologies. It is an honor just to be here in these times. I worry we are interrupting your important work.”

“Not at all, not at all. The past week has just been a realization that this old body is less capable than I thought. Now, there are no more pressing matters. Please, sit.”

The Sword Sage, Duke Felix Esperanza, Grandia’s most esteemed knight, spoke with self-reproaching pessimism.

Everyone present found it hard to break the solemn silence.

“Ah, have I dampened the mood again? Hmm, where were we? The McLaine Family…”

“Master, before we discuss my family matters, I would like to know the current situation in the capital. We have just arrived today and know very little.”

“Ah, yes, that would be better. Sigh…”

Clearly, the master was not in his usual state.

He always seemed to be a solid pillar in his place, but his withered appearance felt awkward and was difficult to behold.

“If you are tired, we can discuss this later…”

“No, that’s not necessary. The national assembly will begin soon, we must address immediate concerns. What did you ask? Ah, the capital’s situation. It’s not good. Yordan, Juan, those damned two because of…”

The Sword Sage’s cursing, rare to witness, revealed the gravity of the situation.

What Logan’s group saw upon entering the capital was just the tip of the iceberg.

Even before the official funeral rituals started, factions loyal to the first and second princes had been engaging in power struggles throughout the capital, turning the atmosphere hostile.

Nobles were blatantly aligning with factions, ostracizing the opposition.

They hadn’t drawn swords yet, but it was virtually a prelude to war.

This was the state of Grand as seen by the Sword Sage.

“The nation is on the brink of a split. The two Dukes who should be regulating factions and maintaining balance are only fueling the dispute. Furthermore…”

The Sword Sage paused mid-story, as if recalling something, then clenched his teeth in anger.

“To think they would even pressure me into joining their petty squabbles.”

Crrrack.

The fury in Sword Sage could be felt vividly.

“Master, haven’t you always said you would stay out of the succession fight?”

“Yes, I have. But those damned people are… threatening me with the life of the third prince.”

“What?!”

Patrick reacted with shock, but Logan, already suspecting as much, remained calm.

“So, they find the third prince, who has a claim to the throne, to be a thorn in their side. Moreover, with the prince still a minor, you are the regent…”

“Yes. Those insolent fools threatened me with the prince’s life. If I want him safe, they said, join their faction.”

Logan saw the fire in his master’s eyes.

He was outwardly trying to control his temper, but the air in the room was already tense.

“So, what do you plan to do?”

“What can I do? Would they dare act on their threats? If they corner me with force, it would only benefit their rival.”

It seemed an obvious response, yet Logan thought differently.

“The third prince is in danger.”

“What did you say?!”

“Master, they might not dare to act against you, but the prince remains a legitimate heir to the throne, soon to become of age.”

“Even I’ve heard rumors in the countryside that the late king was fond of the third prince.”

Patrick, standing by Logan’s side, added with a grave face.

“Your bond with the late king and your role as regent… From the perspective of the first and second princes, the third prince would be an obstacle.”

“If I continue to refuse their demands…”

“They will try to eliminate the third prince, one way or another.”

Logan’s statement made the Sword Sage’s expression turn grim.

The inference was plausible, but with a fatal flaw.

Could another royal family member die suddenly at this time, right after the king’s abrupt death?

That would certainly attract the kingdom’s attention.

And if any evidence linking to a faction surfaces, whichever side it is would suffer a fatal blow, which meant both would normally be cautious.

But…

‘This is actually happening.’

Logan recalled a foiled assassination attempt on the third prince in his previous life and his face hardened.

There was no need to repeat the past; it was more important to prevent the unnecessary turn of events and save time for future endeavors.

That was the topic he intended to discuss with the master, who, fortunately, was considering his words carefully.

“That’s a very possible scenario. Ah… this is troubling.”

The Sword Sage began pacing restlessly.

The McLaine could not interrupt until he spoke again, after quite some time.

“Luis.”

“Yes?”

“Bring the third prince to the mansion. He should stay with me for some time.”

“I understand, Your Excellency.”

“That’s a poor solution, Master.”

“Hmm?”

“Even if you keep the prince close, you can’t always be together.”

“When I’m not there, my knights will be. Surely that is safer than staying in the palace now…”

“Change your thinking.”

“What?”

“It’s not the third prince that the first and second prince factions are watching, it’s you, Master. They fear you might become a backdrop for a third faction with the powerless third prince.”

“Indeed… So…”

“Declare that you will not be involved in any faction disputes. You have always said you would stay out of the succession struggle; just expand that commitment.”

The Sword Sage had lived a life where his word, once given, was kept as surely as his life.

The weight of his lived principles lent gravity to his vow, and one word from him would dispel any doubts.

That was exactly what Logan wanted.

‘Master should not intervene in the faction struggles.’

Civil war was inevitable, and if it cannot be prevented, it should happen sooner rather than later.

“But if the factions’ quarrels erupt into a civil war…”

“It would be regrettable if such an unfortunate event occurred, but even then, Master, you would not be able to stop it. Think of it as merely a word from you saving the prince’s life.”

It was Logan who had confidently cut through the conversation, not Patrick, who worried about Bifrost’s revenge after the national assembly.

Still, Patrick firmly responded,

“If that’s what you believe, then it must be so. Your Excellency, I am sorry for the embarrassing display we’ve shown.”

Suddenly, Patrick stood up and bowed to the Sword Sage.

The Sage sighed and shook his head.

“Not at all. I was stubborn and blinded to the bigger picture. Thank you, Logan. If a single word can fulfill my duty, I could not ask for more. The fate of the nation is ultimately in the hands of the heavens.”

A deeper shadow fell across the Sword Sage’s already gaunt face.

But at that answer, Logan silently clenched his fist.

The master was not reluctantly declaring neutrality under ugly pressure like in his previous life; he was taking an active stance.

This wasn’t just an emotional victory; it would yield practical benefits.

After the national assembly, Grand noblesse would commence.

They would advance that period much earlier than in his previous life.

There was also an unexpected additional gain.

“After the national assembly, I will stay in the capital for a while. I will speak directly to Yordan. He wouldn’t want to concern himself with your matters for now…”

“Thank you, Your Excellency!”

Hearing the Sword Sage’s intention to help by talking to Yordan Valdermaine, Duke of the Second Prince’s faction to which Bifrost belonged, Patrick broke into a smile and quickly bowed.

“It is a generous offer, but as I said, Master, we can handle it ourselves.”

“Huh? Logan, too much confidence can be harmful.”

“It’s not excessive. It’s entirely possible.”

The Sword Sage stared at his confident disciple, and then let out a bitter laugh.

“Alright. If things seem to go wrong, come to me. My doors will always be open for you.”

“Ha, are you saying you would grant any favor I ask?”

Logan’s attempt to lighten the mood inadvertently brought forth a serious offer.

“What? Sure, do that. I owe you a favor, so if you ever think of anything, let me know anytime. If it’s possible, I’ll honor any request.”

With a somewhat hollow and detached expression, the Sword Sage uttered words he would never have said under normal circumstances.

It was an unexpected boon, but too large a boon for the current situation to simply accept readily.

“Hmm… No matter how I think of it, there is nothing I need at the moment. However, if there comes a time when I need a favor, I hope you’ll seriously consider it.”

Instead of swallowing the large cake, Logan chose to prepare it for easier consumption later.

While the Sage nodded weakly, a sudden commotion erupted outside the door.

“Your Excellency! Two superhumans have visited the mansion!”

An astounding announcement came from the other side of the door.

“Supremes?”

“The Counts Wicken Calliannn and Luther Kaihl, sir. It seems urgent given the tension between the two, so you should see them quickly!”

The urgent voice of the servant broke the heavy air, prompting action from everyone in the room.

* * *

“Never thought to meet you here, lump.”

“Feeling’s mutual, bonehead.”

“Were you seeking another beatdown from the Sword Sage? He wouldn’t care for faction squabbles.”

“Humph. Mind your own business.”

“Hmm. So it’s McLaine you’re here for then?”

“Ha… You too?”

Crackle.

As the two enormous figures with an imposing presence – one nearly 3 meters tall and the other lean and wiry – glared at each other, sparks seemed to fly, even warping the space between their seats with an eerie static.

The servants of the Sword Sage’s house were shivering, but forced themselves to keep their places.

When the door to the parlor finally opened after what felt like an eternity, the master of the house made his entrance.

Boom.

“You’re stirring up trouble under my roof, Wicken, Luther? That must mean you want a challenge. Shall we go a round?”

The sharp aura that burst in with the entrance of the master filled the parlor in an instant.

The two men stood from their chairs, bowing instantly.

“Ah! Your Excellency. It has been a while since we last met.”

“It has indeed been quite some time.”

“… So much for respecting boundaries. Even if you don’t go picking sides, at least have the decency not to do it in front of me. Have you anything left to do with me?”

“Your Excellency, I have not forgotten the lesson you taught me last time, despite my dullness.”

“Then?”

“I am here not for Your Excellency, but to meet with the McLaine Family, who are staying here. I came in person as I couldn’t send a subordinate.”

“For Logan?”

“I came for his father, actually. I never intended to cause any discomfort to Your Excellency.”

Rivaling whirlwind blademaster Wicken Calliannn and semi-giant Luther Kaihl, despite their imposing visages, assured the sharp-eyed Sword Sage of their non-threatening intentions.

Naturally, the Sage’s demeanor softened slightly.

“Is that so? Apprentice, do you wish to speak with them directly?”

“If possible, it would be my honor.”

Logan stepped out from behind the Sage with eager readiness.

“Logan McLaine at your service. It is an honor to meet both of you, whom I’ve long admired.”

“But we’ve heard much about the Sword Sage’s disciple, however…”

“As have I, about the talented young man. It’s a pleasure to meet you, but…”

“I am here to talk to the head of the McLaine family.”

“I came to speak with your father.”

As the Supremes simultaneously directed similar statements at Patrick McLaine, who followed behind Logan, they shared another contemptuous snort.

Caught off guard by this development, the corners of Logan’s lips trembled slightly.

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