Regressor of the Fallen Family chapter 161

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Regressor of the Fallen family

Regressor of the Fallen Family Chapter 161

Chapter 161

The half of the territory that was returned from the previous Callian Marquess, and the half of the territory returned from the Kaihl Marquess, will all be granted to the McLaine family. The McLaine family’s historical rank as border counts at the time of the founding of the nation was restored and elevated to a dukedom, conferring upon them the title of duke.

“Wow!”

“Such a thing…!”

The nobility present expressed their astonishment with exclamations at such an unprecedented reward. From this moment, the McLaine family had transformed into a major territory with more than 20 castles expanding from the west to the south, becoming the Kingdom’s sole ducal house situated directly below the rank of Grand Duke.

But that was not all.

“Additionally, to Logan McLaine personally, separate from the McLaine family, the title of count will be bestowed, along with the estate closest to the palace in the capital. His presence has made me what I am today, and henceforth all the citizens and nobles of this land will honor him as they honor me!”

“Cries of wonder!”

The eyes of all the nobles in the hall, and even those of the knights on guard, turned in unison towards Logan.

A direct decree from the king to treat a noble as one of their own, showing just how highly the king esteemed Logan.

Even Logan’s eyes widened, and the Sword Sage also turned to look at him.

‘I never intended for it to go this far.’

When Logan slightly shook his head, indicating that this was not prearranged, the Sword Sage let out a small sigh and looked toward the new king.

Yet, it was not over.

“If the royal circumstances were more abundant, I would like to provide more, but I regret that I cannot; however, young lord Logan. Do you personally desire anything from me?”

They would give even more?

Sounds of gasps could be heard from everywhere.

Logan let out a small sigh and spoke.

“There is, indeed, a humble request that I have.”

“Hmm? Haha. Indeed, feel free to speak what’s on your mind.”

“If our McLaine family receives the lands of two ducal territories, which can be regarded as prime properties in the west and south parts of the kingdom, it would be too much for just a duke. I’m concerned that this might set a bad precedent in the history of our kingdom.”

Hearing this, the king smiled again but did not retreat easily.

“To bestow only a title upon the greatest contributor would be an even worse precedent. I hope you would not decline my will.”

“If it must be so, then I would prefer to accept the Taren region of the royal centrally administered territories in the east-central part.”

“The Taren region?”

To the southeast, based on the capital Gran, lied the Taren region.

That was a mining district known for producing vast amounts of iron, copper, and gold, once called the center of the kingdom’s mining industry.

Two hundred years ago, roads were constructed to supply the bountiful resources to the entire kingdom, making it a valuable territory that supported a large part of the royal finances.

Up to two hundred years ago.

“You want that land full of abandoned mines and wastelands? The McLaine territory isn’t even adjacent to it.”

“Yes, that’s correct. There is precedent for a house ruling disconnected regions.”

There was such a precedent indeed.

In the past, the king had divided a land to keep that retainer in check.

Naturally, the king’s expression became ambiguous.

The Taren region, which stretched a long mountain range from the eastern mountains down to the center of the kingdom.

The vast area between the northern plains, a part of the capital Gran’s territory, and the central plains, territory of the southwest Harun Castle, was divided into two geographical categories.

Abandoned mining districts along the ridge and the wastelands below them.

In other words, it was a big land, but utterly useless.

A place where taxes were not collected, and maintenance costs were higher.

“Do you intend to make me look like an incompetent ruler? To bestow such useless land on the highest contributor—how would the people think of me?”

“I’m merely concerned that too generous a reward may damage Your Majesty’s authority.”

In truth, the land had a clear purpose to Logan, but cloaked in modesty, he sought the king’s favor.

“I understand your heart well. But I cannot be at ease with that, so the McLaine family shall also be granted the northern territories of the Callian Marquess, to bridge between McLaine and the Taren region.”

An additional source of income had been secured.

With a definitive expression, the king offered the extra reward, and Logan did not delay in bowing his head.

“I am grateful for Your Majesty’s grace.”

There was no wavering.

Bang. Bang. Bang.

Logan inwardly and the king outwardly shared smiles in a beautiful exchange, concluding the discussion of Logan’s reward.

“Ahahaha! To have a loyal man like you brings peace to my heart. With this, let’s conclude the rewards to the McLaine family. Just like the Duchy of Esperanza, I entrust the awards for the McLaine family’s merits to you.”

“Thank you, Your Majesty.”

Afterward, rewards proceeded for the neutral nobles who, although not having taken any action, decided to follow McLaine’s lead.

With the disappearance of the original border counts, a new force was needed to fill the gap with plausible excuses.

Although the realms of the two dukes and seven border counts were divided and distributed in dozens of smaller parts.

The neutral nobles who had sworn allegiance to the new royalty could not help but beam, having struck luck without any effort.

‘It seems like a prepayment for the work to come.’

Logan looked each of the rewarded nobles in the eye, reminding them of the warning he had given them beforehand.

Of course, their smiles did not dim.

“With this, I declare the launch of the new national council!”

The protagonists leading the newly inaugurated national council.

After all the inauguration ceremonies of the new ministers had ended.

“To have been allowed to enter the palace once more… Your Majesty, your forgiveness is boundless.”

Palman Terih, the representative of the old bureaucrats ousted by factions and now returned, shed tears of joy having been honored by the righteous king.

“Everyone, raise your cups. And bless the beginning of the new Grandia!”

A festival began with the king’s lead.

* * *

The festival celebrating the new king’s accession to the throne was scheduled to continue for a week just in the capital.

As it was also meant to firmly signal to the people that the war had ended, it was decided that at least that much was necessary.

The royal treasury was opened, and food was distributed even to the slums outside the outer walls, filling both the inside and outskirts of Gran with voices praising the newly ascended king.

Logan ordered the knights and soldiers—who had not rested for several weeks due to their duty to occupy the palace after the war—to take a holiday.

Of course, this came after announcing the rewards for their post-war achievements, presenting the knights with dazzling gems and the soldiers with more gold coins than they could hold in one hand.

These treasures were obtained during the confiscation and search of the traitor border counts and dukes’ mansions.

From Logan’s perspective, it was little more than showing off with other people’s money, but the response was inevitably good.

“Long live the young lord!”

“It’s not ‘lord’ anymore, you guys! Long live the count!”

“His Grace, long live!!”

Thus, McLaine’s troops left behind only the minimum necessary to guard the newly acquired grand estate and all dispersed to enjoy the festival in the capital.

There were a few issues among them.

“Lord… your grace. Are you not going to rest?”

“Just call me as usual, Knight Eileen.”

“……Yes, young lord Logan. Are you not going to rest?”

Seeing the worried expression, Logan seemed to know what it meant, so he tried to smile gently.

“I need to inform the territory of the results of the coronation ceremony. It’s better to deliver such news in person.”

Despite the response to Eileen, Ronian suddenly interrupted.

“Brother, then I will be with brother too… Uh? What, why are you doing this? Victor… Ah? Ahaha. Right, right. Brother, sister-in-law. Have a good time… Ah, I got it! I’m going, I’m going!”

Watching his younger brother being dragged away by Victor, Logan let out a small sigh.

While looking at Logan, Eileen, still with a concerned look, asked.

“You’ve been pushing yourself too hard since you arrived in the capital. Wouldn’t it be better to rest, even for a moment?”

“Wha? I don’t think I’ve overdone anything. I’m fine.”

“That’s… ever since that incident at the palace, your expression hasn’t been quite right…”

When Eileen mentioned that, images of the dying ‘young’ royal children floated in Logan’s mind.

Hesitant knights at that time were replaced by his hand, and the memory of that day came rushing back vividly, causing Logan’s eyes to close tightly.

‘It was necessary. Absolutely necessary. Yes, it was unavoidable.’

Although he pretended composure at that time, he had never killed young children during his 10 years as a mercenary in his previous life.

Then throughout the 20-plus years, he served with the resistance.

As a proud and noble mercenary, he held on to the belief that he could not let himself fall completely.

During the resistance, since his revenge was on the imperial soldiers—who were all adults—he avoided that ‘dirty’ work.

– These kids will all grow up to become imperial soldiers and knights! Are you just pretending to be pure?!

Hearing the extreme voice of a fellow soldier ringing in his mind.

‘Right. Now I’ve become tainted too. And I’ll be even more so in the future. If that can change the future… then so be it.’

It might have been a cowardly justification, but thinking this way helped calm his mind.

“Are you really okay?”

“…I’m really fine. Thank you for the concern. However, Knight Eileen should visit home, shouldn’t you? If I don’t let you go, I think I’d be severely scolded by your father.”

With the mention of ‘father-in-law,’ Eileen’s cheeks turned slightly rosy.

“That, that’s… maybe later… together…”

“Of course, I’ll have to stop by as well. Once I’ve completed everything.”

“…Yes.”

After sending Eileen away, Logan finally had a moment to connect with his territory in peace.

* * *

“That’s the situation.”

[Ha… Hahaha. Hahahaha! A dukedom?! They’ve granted us a dukedom! Hahahaha! Yes, that’s great! Truly great!]

Cheers from his father and glimpses of Dwayne and other retainers, and even his stepmother appeared behind him.

The communication room, which usually had only one or two people, was bustling today, and fortunately, everyone was cheering. A smile naturally formed on Logan’s face.

Seeing his unexpectedly brighter smile, Logan cautiously asked a question he had been holding back.

“Has Knight Heinckel awakened?”

[Ah… That’s right, I hadn’t told you. Fortunately, he regained consciousness a few days ago. However, he’s so severely wounded that he might not be able to serve as a knight any longer. He himself has requested to retire. He says he’d like to become an instructor for the soldiers.]

“…An instructor?”

[He wants to help the family in any way he can. The poor guy. I wanted to let him rest, but I suppose it’s time to bestow a title on him.]

Among the rights he’d obtained was the authority to grant noble titles for rewarding the family’s contributors.

There were three baronets and nine baronies. It sounded like he intended to use one of those.

“Seems like a fitting compensation. It’s fortunate that he hasn’t lost his resolve.”

[Yes, very fortunate. I’m considering giving him an instructor’s position. Although with Kai Solon around, maybe just advisory duties would be better.]

Not you, I meant your words, father.

Heinckel was seriously injured, and many of the middle-aged knights who had been with them for a long time had lost their lives in the McLaine battle.

Logan had worried that maybe his father had fallen into despair, but fortunately, it had been an unfounded concern so far.

“Well… Surely you’ll handle it properly, but make sure to compensate them well. Not just Heinckel, but the families of the knights and soldiers who died too. Even if they are grieving, resentment… Well. There’s bound to be some, but ensure it’s as little as possible, even if you have to drain the remaining budget to compensate them.”

[Of course! If we don’t take care of those who have sacrificed for our territory, who else would be loyal to us?]

“You should include the defense brigades too. Treat them the same as the soldiers.”

[The same as the soldiers… Is that what you mean?]

As I thought….

Father hadn’t completely shed his old nobleic mindset; he had merely expanded his perspective to include soldiers.

It was a result of explaining the relationships between public sentiment and national power to him time and again.

So the explanations had to align with that.

“Yes. Future battles won’t be wars of only knights and magicians. You’ve seen their value with your own eyes. It’s only right to treat them that way.”

[Hmm. Indeed, let it be so. But what do you mean by future battles? Don’t tell me you’re going to…?]

“Absolutely not! It’s just a metaphor. Do not make such alarming remarks, Duke. Others might hear.”

[Hoo, you scared me. Alright, I’ll arrange the defense brigades as you say. Harvest season is approaching, so I can squeeze out the remaining budget. Um, what? Logan, Dwayne has something to say… Eugh?!]

Suddenly, Dwayne’s face popped into the view of the communication device.

[Lord! If you throw around that compensation, what about the remaining knights?! How do you intend to distribute the rewards? Even just giving to the families of fallen soldiers and defense brigades will shatter the budget! Don’t tell me you’re not giving rewards because they survived?]

“I’ve already taken care of it.”

[Yes?]

“There’s a fair amount of wealth left from the capital. Enough to give the knights and soldiers in the territory their reward, so don’t worry.”

[Wow, really?! Truly, truly?!]

As Dwayne’s face beamed with relief, Logan inadvertently smiled and answered.

“Yes. It’s true.”

[Wow, we’re saved! Phew, then that’s settled…]

“What is it? If you’ve got something to say, say it quickly.”

[I… Well, since I didn’t go into battle… I mean, we did a lot, with budgeting and executing… Our administration also struggled a bit, and… you know…]

Chuckling.

Watching Dwayne beat around the bush unsurely, Logan couldn’t help but let out a laugh.

“Of course, I’ll give as much to the knights. Don’t worry and keep working!”

[Whoo-hahaha! I knew you would do so! Lord, long live! No, you’re now an count now, right? His Excellency the Count, long live!]

“Father. I’ll return and speak again, but regarding the new territories we’ve received…”

[Take your time. You’ve worked hard enough, haven’t you? At least enjoy this moment. The rest can be dealt with when you return to the territory.]

“What?… That’s…”

[You should also afford yourself some leisure. You’ve achieved so much already. Take pride and enjoy reality for a while.]

Lost in his father’s words, it felt as if his mind had fogged over.

Then, other voices followed.

[Please rest, Lord! They say there’s a festival in the capital, spend some time with Lady Eileen too!]

[That’s right! Rest well and return at your leisure!]

[We’ll take care of the rest here!]

“Ah… haha.”

The familiar bustle warmed his tired heart.

The heavy load in his heart seemed slightly lightened.

That’s the end of the translated passage.

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