Regressor of the Fallen Family chapter 162

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Regressor of the Fallen family

Chapter 162 – Ahahahaha!

The sound of my brother’s laughter echoes from deep within the communications room. It’s the first time I’ve heard such hearty laughter since the war, and Ronian let out a sigh of relief. He had been really uneasy when his sister-in-law stormed out earlier.

“…Thank goodness.”

“Didn’t I tell you? Our master is strong. Do you feel a bit more at ease now?”

“Even so, it’s hard not to worry about family… But Viktor, when it’s just the two of us, speak informally, remember?”

“…It’s not so easy to do.”

The odd-eyed friend avoided Ronian’s gaze as he cracked a slightly awkward smile. His response was progress, if you can call it that. Ronian couldn’t help but laugh and clap the friend he considered a rival on the shoulder.

“Then let’s go and enjoy the festival.”

“Go on, then…”

“Seriously, informal! And I said let’s go together, right?”

“…I’ll pass. I’ll stay to guard the mansion.”

“Weren’t you the one who told me not to worry about big brother?”

“It’s not that I’m worried about the master… ugh, no. There’s nothing for me to do there anyway.”

Ronian well knew his friend’s lack of interest in such festive occasions. But he also knew exactly how to crumble that disinterest.

“I heard decorations from the war-surplus stores are out in abundance. Stuff that young ladies would adore.”

His friend twitched.

“Well, if you’re not coming, at least give me some tips on Victoria’s tastes. I’ll get her a present when I return.”

“…I’m in.”

Was that twitch of the eyebrow an expression of anticipation or anger? Ronian inwardly chuckled as he pulled his friend along, though he still felt a bit concerned about what was happening inside.

‘Big brother seems to be doing better. He and my sister-in-law will have a good time, right?’

Thinking back, his sister-in-law’s expression when leaving the communications room hadn’t been bad either. Although he wasn’t too familiar with affairs of the heart, maybe his brother’s stress had already lessened by then.

‘If only I had more ability, I could’ve taken more of my brother’s burdens.’

Ronian mulled over these self-reproachful thoughts as he slowly walked away.

* * *

During the festival, I can’t get much done anyway. So, for at least a few days, let’s put aside future plans and worries, and bask in the success we’ve achieved.

Logan had made up his mind, but the environment wasn’t cooperating. A mountain of party invitations was the least of his troubles.

“Count Logan! Please meet with me just once!”

“Hey, do you even know who I am? How dare a soldier block my way when nobles want to get acquainted!”

“Ha, Sir Knight. Peace is best after all. If you’d just step aside for Count Logan…. Heh, such an innocent knight. Now, let’s…”

The bustling crowd at the mansion’s entrance made it impossible for Logan to even consider going out.

‘I could just tell them all to leave…’

With the ominous moniker “Earl of Blood” pinned to his name following the events at the palace, it was about time to manage his reputation.

All Logan could do was sigh quietly.

Eileen’s sigh followed closely by his side.

“This is indeed worse.”

“Hardly a sanctuary, isn’t it?”

At Logan’s words, Eileen smiled awkwardly. Having recently become the head of the Floyd family, he couldn’t last a day at the family home and had come back. Well, that’s the excuse he gave, but in reality…

“Hmm. Given the current situation, it’s impossible. Even off-duty knights cover up their family crests while wandering the capital.”

Of course, that comment was more like a joke, but the fact remained that the McLain family was drawing a lot of attention.

“If I tried to meet my father-in-law separately, it would be even more chaotic. Seems like I won’t be keeping my appointment. I’d best go down right after the festival ends. Did he have any other message for me?”

“…No, none.”

– And when are you two going to have the wedding?

Father’s words had brushed through Eileen’s mind, but he answered neutrally, although a resentful glance inevitably fell on Logan.

‘After all the trouble of a proposal.’

The cold chill from the sword at his waist felt suddenly icy.

But pride prevented him from voicing his thoughts aloud. Could that be why?

“Then rest a bit more, Sir Eileen. It’s not mandatory for you to stand by my side, especially now — you can take a separate break….”

The honorific ‘Sir’ seemed particularly grating in Eileen’s ears.

“My duty is my duty. Don’t worry about me.”

“…”

“…”

The atmosphere cooled rapidly.

Logan could feel something was very wrong from the overly emphasized words.

“Did I say something wrong…?”

“Not. At. All.”

There was definitely something.

Logan sensed it and kept stammering without finding the right words. After a long pause, he finally said,

“People close to each other should open up and share their feelings. If there’s something bothering you, you ought to say it. Hoping the other person will understand without words is a bit…”

“Yes, I understand.”

“…”

“…”

Logan could tell the mood had soured even more.

‘It feels so awkward. Why? I don’t get it. If there’s a problem, say it! I’m not a mind reader, for goodness’ sake.’

He couldn’t voice his frustration aloud. Swallowing it, Logan kept silent.

* * * [If you don’t know what you did wrong, just wait. Things will settle down in time. If you pester them to find out why, it’ll only make things worse. Trust the words of a man who has been married twice.]

Even to the casual listener, this advice felt a bit off.

‘Moreover, father, you only had arranged marriages.’

With no help from such hollow advice and a sigh brewing, Logan turned off the communicator as laughter came from the device.

“…?”

[Ha-ha-ha. You did tell her to rest, and the maiden ran straight to her quarters. It looks like it’s time for you to…]

Click.

Wanting to avoid listening to more useless chatter, Logan turned off the communicator. With a long sigh, he left the communications room and quickened his pace in silence.

‘Rest? What rest? That’s why I keep having these strange thoughts. I’d better finish up the work that’s been piling up.’

Logan decided to attend to several days’ worth of neglected duties.

‘And maybe take a walk while I’m at it.’

Even if that meant sneaking around at night with a mask.

Tap-tap-tap.

It felt strangely familiar now, entering the mansion through a window rather than the main entrance, though this time the sole purpose was to avoid being noticed by outsiders. Logan, who slipped through the study window like a ghost, confidently opened the door and strode down the mansion’s corridor.

“Ah! Finally, you’re here. Congratulations on your ascension, Lord Logan. Should I call you Your Grace now?”

“Ha-ha. Please, speak freely. How can I accept such formalities from the right hand of the Grand Duke, Lord Lewis?”

Logan exchanged pleasant greetings with his past life’s captain, now his mentor’s aide-de-camp, and…

“The Grand Duke has been waiting for you for days. Why have you only just arrived?”

He paused, belatedly realizing why he hadn’t visited despite his own need.

“Ha-ha… I’ve been caught up with some… issues. Master will understand, I’m sure.”

“He seemed a bit angry. Ha-ha, but surely not at you, Lord Logan. Let me take you to him.”

I have a feeling it’s about me, though.

But after coming all this way, Logan couldn’t turn back. He forced a grim smile and waved his hand.

“I know the way, and it’s not like I don’t know where to go. Don’t let me hold you up from your duties.”

“If you insist.”

Smiling, Logan watched Louis Highon’s retreating figure before reluctantly making his way to the underground training ground.

Grumbling.

“…You’re finally here.”

As he pushed open the heavy stone door, a low voice greeted him. During training, the voice was especially severe, but today it sounded like it was laced with murderous intent… probably just his imagination.

“You made me wait three days after asking me to help you climb over the wall? Do you think I’ve got all the time in the world?”

…Not an illusion.

Had the mentor really spent three nights waiting here? Without so much as a word from him?

Feeling uncomfortable, Logan pressed on.

“I’m sorry, Master.”

“For what?”

“What?”

“What are you apologizing for?”

Logan, about to offer up the excuse of being busy, realized his master wasn’t looking for something agreeable to hear.

Gulp.

“…I wanted someone I trust by the Emperor’s side, with the many tasks ahead.”

“And so you shoehorned your over-seventy-year-old master into this role without any discussion?”

Despite the chiding remark, the murderous aura lessened noticeably.

“At least it’s better than the unacceptable excuses you had a few weeks ago.”

Seeing a faint smile on his mentor’s face, Logan smiled naturally.

“That’s why I made it an advisory position, not full-time. I considered offering the position of Prime Minister, but…”

“How dare you utter such horror! If you had, I would have lashed you at the coronation myself!”

“That’s why I changed it. Starting a new era wouldn’t have worked well if you had to whip your own merit at my coronation.”

“Heh. So you predicted all of this?”

“Of course.”

“…Impudent, but a change from the excuses you once made. Alright, draw your sword.”

“Yes, sir!”

As his master’s smiling face brightened, Logan drew his sword with enthusiasm.

But then…

“Just because you’ve peeked over the wall doesn’t mean you’re ready to climb it. You think you can handle aura? I’ll work you to death before you can turn back.”

A rolling, red aura began menacingly to press on the soul.

Afterward, Logan developed a keen awareness that his mentor could be quite vindictive.

And amidst pushing his exceptionally talented pupil, the mentor harbored one single hope.

‘Keep fighting to stay righteous. Just keep it up. I hope you really will not change….’

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