Regressor of the Fallen Family chapter 112

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Chapter 112:

It hadn’t been two weeks since the dwarves settled in Macline Town when hundreds of crossbows were produced each day. Consequently, the training of the voluntary patrol, as advocated by Logan, commenced in earnest.

“But looking at all this training, aren’t we going to be mobilized for war?”

“Ah, what are you talking about? Our domain is neutral, remember? Neutral! Don’t you know what that means?”

“Still, I can’t help feeling a bit uneasy.”

“It’s a voluntary patrol.”

“What’s the big deal? The important thing is that they pay us even for just practicing archery.”

“Indeed, there’s nothing much to do in winter anyway. It’s a good thing.”

The gathered men huddled together here and there, sheltering from the biting wind as they chatted away.

Before them appeared a knight with five soldiers, dragging a wagon behind them.

“Are you the men from Tanli Village?”

“Yes!”

“Good. Then we’ll begin the training now.”

It was a day when the cold wind cut to the skin. The knight didn’t seem to have much to say and quickly brought out crossbows from the wagon.

“This is the rapid-fire crossbow used by the soldiers of our Macline. There are five training crossbows allocated to Tanli Village. From today, we will train with these.”

For all the men gathered for training, it was their first time seeing a rapid-fire crossbow in person. However, the story that the soldiers’ crossbows greatly contributed to Macline’s explosive growth was already well-known among the domain’s inhabitants.

Eyes filled with wonder converged on the crossbows all at once.

“And even if they break down, which seldom happens, replacements will be provided right away, so there’s no need to be overly cautious with them. Thorough training is prioritized over the well-being of the equipment, according to orders from above. So follow the training faithfully. Understood?”

“Yes!”

While most of the men agreed without much thought, one particular person’s eyes sparkled unusually at the statement that replacements would be promptly provided if they broke down.

* * *

“Reports indicate that both the patrol training and the soldiers’ exercises are progressing smoothly. However, there have been some issues in certain areas.”

“Problems?”

“The training crossbows supplied to Tanli Village near Teslon Castle were reported broken and attempts to smuggle and sell them were uncovered.”

“…They tried to sell rapid-fire crossbows? For how much?”

“Sir? Is the price the issue here?”

Logan chuckled lightly at Dwayne’s reaction.

“Why? If the price is high, maybe we could consider selling them too… Just kidding, just kidding! Sigh!”

“…The knight who suspected the third resupply, he apprehended both the sellers and the potential buyers. How should we proceed?”

“Capital punishment.”

“What?”

“Make sure there’s an example set, so nothing like this ever happens again.”

“But surely times have changed? Crossbows are now spread even among the factions in the civil war. It won’t be long before they appear on the battlefield…”

“We need to make an example on this occasion. It’s not just about one crossbow. It’s about the act of attempting to smuggle out the weapon of the house that’s the problem.”

“….”

Dwayne fell silent at Logan’s firm and stern words.

“Dwayne. We’re going to start developing a new weapon soon. It’s more important than the crossbow, and it absolutely must not be leaked. Think of this as a warning punishment for that purpose.”

“A new… weapon?”

“Yes, a new weapon. The rapid-fire crossbow’s structure is actually quite simple. It’s a miracle it hasn’t been replicated elsewhere so far. Someone will inevitably copy it someday.”

The Empire was likely already in the process of making it.

“So, we’ll have to create a new weapon.”

One that the Empire doesn’t know about, our own secret weapon.

Dwayne wanted to say it wasn’t an easy task, but he swallowed the words down.

Above all, the great heir before him had already accomplished the seemingly impossible once.

There was nothing strange about him doing it again.

Logan’s baseless confidence stirred Dwayne’s imagination.

Soon, he began wondering about the details of the new weapon.

However, since then, Logan no longer mentioned the new weapon to anyone other than the responsible parties.

– For the crime of trying to smuggle out the secrets of the domain, Peterson of Tanli Village shall be executed.

The news of the execution for simply attempting to smuggle out one item caused a stir throughout the domain for a while.

It was the first harsh response shown by the Archduke who had revitalized the domain.

Some whispered cautiously that the temperamental nature of the Archduke, who had expanded his domain by fighting four battles in three years, was finally being revealed.

But the rumors that arose in the recently conquered territory of Bifrost were quickly quashed and didn’t spread beyond that region.

There were more residents relieved by Macline’s reduced tax rates following its declaration of neutrality and escaping the chaos of the civil war than there were those angry about being conquered.

Thanks to this, Logan’s intention to instill the notion that leaking domain secrets would lead to execution became more naturally ingrained in the minds of the domain inhabitants than expected.

– In times like these, where else is safer and better to live than our domain?

As various wild rumors about the civil war began to spread, the external threat quietly united the domain inhabitants, who had spent their whole lives under different affiliations.

The Archduke, supported by the majority, was busy in the Golem Tower situated in the heart of the town, developing ‘war machines’ without pause.

“No, no, that’s not what it felt like. It should react to a certain level of impact with vibration, and after a certain time has passed, boom! Is that so difficult?!”

Extremely difficult. You lunatic.

Hammar forcefully swallowed the curse that almost instantly leaped out of his mouth.

Who knows what sort of absurd fantasy had taken hold of his master, demanding the creation of such an impossible weapon.

The one silver lining was that he wasn’t bearing the brunt of this task alone this time.

“You’re saying it should have an effect exceeding a second-circle spell while costing only one-tenth of a first-circle scroll? How is that even…”

Clayton looked at Logan with an expression that suggested, ‘Are you talking nonsense?’

“That’s everything I’ve told you about the ingredients going into it. Is it still difficult?”

“Didn’t you say even that isn’t 100% certain? Additionally, the properties of a compound can vary dramatically depending on the mixing ratio, and that’s without any magical intervention.”

Clayton held back his thoughts, considering Logan’s pride: Was there really a need to explain this?

But Logan’s unreasonable demands showed no signs of receding.

“I’ve tried it myself. It’s definitely possible!”

Hammar shuddered upon hearing that.

Ah, I feel like I’ve heard this before.

This does not feel good.

As Hammar’s uneasiness grew stronger.

“I’m sure of it. I saw it. We absolutely can make it happen!”

Logan gave the exact response Hammar had an inkling he would.

“Ah… really…”

“What the…”

Forced to pursue an unrealistic development, both a mage and a dwarf simultaneously clutched their heads in distress.

Their conversation, which clearly highlighted the gap between the one who had experienced the weapon and the ones tasked with developing it, continued even several days later.

“So, you’re saying that it’s designed to change color to red with just the pressure from a grip, and then explode about five seconds later?”

“Yes. It seemed there was some magical manipulation, but it was very limited, just enough to detect the impact from the surface. The counter mana was just that strong.”

“…”

“Why?”

“If you’re mentioning it to this extent, it seems you indeed must have used it. But that’s so strange…”

Used it, in a past life.

Logan again grinned bitterly at the memories that resurfaced.

The weapon he was trying to create with Clayton and Hammar’s help was Liberatio.

Named after the Latin word for liberation, this bomb appeared as a weapon for the Grandia Liberation Front ten years after the imperial war began, plaguing the Empire with a terrible problem.

‘I couldn’t free the country, but sure freed some imperial souls.’

Its effectiveness was proven in his past life.

The only issue was…

‘I’ve been on procurement for the materials and used the finished product extensively, but I never found out who made it or how.’

Even in the Liberation Front, only a very few knew the creator of Liberatio.

Regrettably, Logan had not been among that few.

He even tried asking Lewis Hayon, the current Sword Master’s adjutant and the Liberation Front’s commander in his past life.

– Someone who could make an intriguing item like that? Are you referring to a mage? Oh… I don’t have any close ties with mages.

That was a futile effort.

But he couldn’t readily give up.

The estimated production cost of Liberatio was 50 gold.

Expensive for a single-use consumable but incredibly cheap considering its effectiveness.

It had been a cherished item by Lewis Hayon in his past life, who often lamented, ‘If only we could have mass-produced this bomb when the nation was still intact….’

Now Macline had more than enough funds to invest at that level.

‘I know the materials and characteristics. It should be possible with this information.’

Logan was no fool.

He knew that even replicating a recipe could yield entirely different outcomes in cooking, let alone manufacturing such a dangerous weapon by simply knowing the raw materials.

But he also had something else he believed in.

‘The origin of Liberatio definitely derives from an idea based on ancient dwarven weaponry.’

Logan’s eyes moved from Hammar to Clayton.

‘Even though I don’t know who it is, it’s certain the creator was a mage of earth.’

And the most skilled earth mage he knew was none other than Clayton standing before him.

He believed this combination could succeed, even if it took time.

‘If not, I will have to continue strengthening the power of the domain for longer.’

Nevertheless, Logan was convinced it would be possible.

Above all, he vividly remembered the sensations and transformations when using the bomb in his past life.

Unnaturally vivid.

‘Well, considering how I died at the end last time, it’s not so odd, is it?’

Despite recalling an unpleasant memory, Logan communicated the sensations and details to Clayton and Hammar as accurately as possible to facilitate the development.

It was now a time to trust and wait.

* * * While Logan was busily strengthening the domain’s might.

The civil war in the east and west had been intensifying gradually.

The battlefront, which had spread from the north to the center, soon reached the southern regions, with scattered battles erupting everywhere.

Especially the elite forces of both factions in the center faced off, with the Harun Castle, directly administered by the king, caught in between.

An all-out, decisive battle in which everything was on the line seemed unlikely to happen anytime soon.

Although it was anticipated to be fierce, the actual opening moves showed the peculiarly even strength between the two factions.

The leaders on both sides, not wishing for mutual destruction, keenly sought gaps in their opposition while repeating short local battles.

Consequently, those who suffered were not the nobles with vast domains, but rather the smaller nobles and domains under them.

And precisely because of the current timing, what Logan planned to do was even more significant.

“Many talents lost their masters and are now out on the streets.”

“So, are you considering recruiting them?”

“Oh? How did you know?”

“I’ve been by your side, Your Highness; it’s quite obvious. But even if they are talents, would they want to come here? Wouldn’t they go to other nobles of the faction they belonged to?”

Rick replied to Logan’s impressed question with a slight swagger, but Logan shook his head.

“Those with lingering resentments might go.”

“Uh?”

“There are plenty who don’t really have any attachment to their families. Those people would naturally go to whoever offers better conditions.”

“And since we’ve even taken Bifrost, our family is now one of the richest in the kingdom. We’re not at war at the moment either. So the conditions are certainly attractive.”

As Rick responded nonchalantly, Logan stared pointedly at the lad.

“Why are you looking at me like that?”

“It’s just surprising to hear you say such things.”

“Humph. I have to master basics like these if I’m to become the steward who assists the lord in the future. Especially when it involves overseeing a grand house that rules over nine castles.”

Logan inwardly smirked at Rick’s smug grin.

‘The dreams are quite vivid.’

Of course, as the head servant of the Archduke, Rick would naturally become the steward once Logan took over as lord.

Within Macline, the steward’s role was more akin to a head butler overseeing all servants and maids of different castles. However, as the domain expanded, at least a minimum level of competency was needed to handle so many people.

Obviously, Rick was bereft of such skills, so another would have to be assigned to teach him.

Currently, the steward, Victor, was instructing Rick.

But,

‘You see, kid. I have no intention of becoming a lord.’

Having accepted the positions of heir and acting lord due to the necessity of proactive management, Logan was looking to a far more distant future.

Even now, upon closing his eyes, he vividly remembered his brother, who single-handedly revived the ruined family and desperately tried to protect both the family and the nation, only to be captured in the end.

‘That’s not my place. It belongs to Lonian.’

Logan still felt that taking over the title of family head was akin to stealing his brother’s spot.

Furthermore, he had no intention of simply ‘settling’ with the Macline family.

‘To aid, establish, and expand Macline. And then, using that as a foothold, I will…’

It was still a secret ambition he could not voice aloud to anyone.

Logan quietly suppressed this newfound desire within his heart and smiled at Rick.

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