Regressor of the Fallen Family chapter 167

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Regressor of the Fallen family

Chapter 167: “Today, huh… The formal training of the knight order…”

Jorge stepped out of his room, breathing in the cool dawn air.

The buildings of Maclaine Town still felt unfamiliar to his eyes.

Among them, he caught sight of people already busily moving about since dawn.

“Hey, Jim! Come with me!”

“What’s with the early bird act today? You’re a bit late, aren’t you?”

“Had to deal with my wife’s nagging and I lost sleep…”

A smile crept onto his face at the sight of farmers who started their mornings earlier than anyone else.

“A good place.”

It was a stark contrast to the fallen Kallia territory where he was branded a culprit behind civil strife.

– Maclaine, huh. Ha, perhaps it’s for the better. Go, go and find your freedom. Don’t live trapped in a cage without bars, following a useless Lord.

Even as Jorge felt pity for his former Lord’s rueful laughter, he couldn’t bring himself to refuse the suggestion.

At the age of forty, he was at the peak age for an elite knight.

He did not want to waste his years under surveillance and restrictions that might last for decades.

Cowardly?

It was not cowardice; he simply chose one of the two options given by the king’s command.

He had followed the orders of the true sovereign of this land’s knights—the king. This was not a failure to uphold a knight’s duty.

…At least, that’s what he tried to tell himself.

Not as disgraceful as surrendering to an enemy nation.

“A knight who has changed his banner. Yes, that’s me. As such, I will make sure I find my place here.”

An elite knight’s skills were valued and esteemed in any territory, in any country.

And in the rising power that was the Maclaine territory, there were only two elite knights—the Lord and his son, Logan Maclaine.

To someday repay the kindness of his former Lord.

To not bring shame to the name of the former Captain of the Kallia Knights.

Jorge reaffirmed his determination to become integral to Maclaine.

“The beginning starts now.”

It was only the third day since he moved from Kallia territory to Maclaine Town.

Today, he would meet the real masters of this place.

The Maclaine Knights.

“Brother, aren’t you worried?”

Old subordinates like Denmil, who had unexpectedly joined him, voiced their timid concerns that belied their substantial figures.

Jorge replied with a wry smile.

“Of course there will be territorial disputes. But what can we do in our merged state? We just have to endure.”

“It’s not just a simple merger. We were enemies slashing at each other’s throats until recently. It might be more than just a little territorial dispute.”

“Nevertheless, we must endure. Don’t even think about causing trouble.”

“But you have your dignity, Brother. If it gets too intolerable, I’ll take responsibility and make a move.”

“…And what will you do?”

“I’ll… I’ll just cause a scene and get kicked out, but anyone who dares disrespect you…”

“Aaagh! Sorry!”

“Stop your nonsense and just. Endure. It. You got that?”

“Yes, yes, just… could you please let go…”

Finally, Jorge released Denmil, who he’d grasped by the ear for spouting rubbish.

Mental fortitude was what was needed most now.

“I have no pride. I’m a knight who changed his banner. I have no pride…”

He muttered to himself repeatedly like a prayer as he took a deep breath and entered the training ground of the knights.

Whack.

The moment he set foot inside, one knight bumped into his shoulder.

“Ah shit, what are you doing standing at the entrance…”

Was this the beginning?

As he inwardly sighed, Jorge saw Denmil’s twisted face flush with anger.

“Hold back. It’s just the start.”

As Jorge’s hand moved to hold Denmil back.

“Look us in the eyes when… Oh? That armor…? Gasp! You must be the new arrivals! My apologies, I’ve been very rude. I’m sorry.”

The knight before them bowed deeply at a ninety-degree angle, apologizing profusely.

“Uh…?”

“…”

“Really sorry. I was in a rush and didn’t see where I was going.”

He looked genuinely apologetic and clueless.

‘What’s going on?’

Jorge and Denmil were momentarily confused by the unexpected situation.

“Eh? The elite knight Jorge of Kallia?”

Renden, the common knight who had first bumped into Jorge, now stood there with his face as white as a sheet.

He was remorseful for having inadvertently misstepped with such a high-ranking knight.

Their platoon leader, Henderson, emerged, his words were still fresh in Renden’s mind.

– It’s tough, isn’t it? But do you know when our knight order had the hardest time? It was right after we integrated the Teslon Knight Order. The mood was pretty bad at the beginning due to territorial disputes and resistance.

– You think that’s normal? We nearly died at the hands of our own Lord for that ‘normal’ behavior, not even the enemy!

– Have you ever had hallucinations during training?! The training we’re doing right now is like gymnastics compared to back then, gymnastics!

– And now, the higher-ups even had a meeting about ‘discrimination’ and ‘equality’ within our knight order. Do you understand what that means?

– If we show any territorial behavior to the transferred knights, we’re all screwed. Absolutely! We can’t have any talk of territorial disputes or resistance! Even when we didn’t have meetings like the one we had with the Lord, the Lord seemed like a demon to us.

– If this goes wrong, not only will the Lord punish us, but the Duke’s son will grind us as well. You know why we ended up with that hellish mounted training? If the Lord and his son turn into demons, we could actually die during training.

– If the transferred knights say they felt a hint of territorial behavior, and if it’s because of you, prepare for your life to be wrecked. Got it?

Such a terrifying threat.

Having already experienced Henderson’s brutality, members of the 4th platoon internalized that threat deep in their bones.

And now, Henderson’s eyes flicking toward him suggested this could truly become a life-or-death matter if he didn’t act.

At that thought, Renden moved closer to the gathered knights.

“Woah! An elite knight! I’m sorry I didn’t recognize you. Please teach me a lot in the future. I look forward to working with you!”

‘We were slashing at each other not long ago.’

‘Have you already forgotten all that?’

The inexplicable kindness from both sides left Jorge and Denmil feeling like their souls had been snatched away.

And that strange hospitality continued even afterwards.

“My goodness, to meet Sir Jorge, what an honor.”

Faces clearly remembering cutting each other down in war spoke of honor.

“Do you like the food here? I know a tavern with great barbecue…”

A knight who had ruthlessly cut down his men recommended a restaurant.

In the face of such unexpected, reversed expectations, Jorge and his men returned to their lodgings, their initial resolve shaken by cultural shock.

But they were not the only ones to have such an experience.

“There must be some ulterior motive!”

“That’s right. This is too strange, isn’t it!”

“It’s definitely a trap. The moment we let our guard down and relax, that’s when they’ll spring it on us.”

“What are they planning?”

Voices were raised, but quieted at Jorge’s words.

Why would their superiors, who could dominate them at will, kneel down to them instead?

They could never know the answer to that question.

All that they could guess was…

– There aren’t many pure Maclaine Knight Order members here including myself and that Digrom fellow—barely 30. It would be strange to show territorial behavior to other knight orders now.

Only the words of the large knight, Henderson, who was particularly kind.

“Perhaps this is why the Maclaine Knight Order is strong.”

The former enemies of Maclaine nodded together to that proposition.

* * *

“Any troublemakers?”

“I’m most worried about you, Henderson.”

“Ah, don’t worry about it. I have everything under control.”

Digrom, the upper-class knight, snorted at Henderson’s words.

As he threatened his platoon members while passing down the conference’s decision, they were moving as if to serve the transferred knights.

Nodding, Digrom looked around at the other platoon leaders.

Most of the conspiracy made excluding the genius young men from 1st, 2nd, and 3rd platoons, who were close to the Grand Duke, was about controlling (or rather, manipulating) public opinion within the knight order.

All for their survival.

Remembering the past, Digrom shivered once before continuing.

“Well, it’s a relief that everyone seems to be getting along. But don’t let your guard down. We need to maintain this atmosphere until the regular training.”

“We understand, Sir Digrom.”

“But any order regarding the next Knight Captain?”

“No word on that yet.”

“We would prefer if Sir Digrom became the Captain…”

The platoon leaders nodded, but Digrom shook his head.

“It’s unlikely, given the Grand Duke’s nature. If we secure even a minimum of trust, he will only care about skill.”

“But you were the first pure Maclaine-born to reach the higher realm.”

“Lucky is all it was. You’d survive too, if you got lucky and escaped death ten times in a row.”

“On average, we die before that.”

“That’s why it was just luck. I almost died in that Aegis fight… ah, just thinking about it… Anyway, those three geniuses will reach it soon enough, and Henderson over there isn’t far behind.”

As the rest looked at Henderson in surprise, he gave a nonchalant shrug.

The excellence of the maclaine-steel blades and the successive wars had certainly raised the overall level of Maclaine knights.

“Still, I would prefer Sir Digrom to be…”

“Enough nonsense. It’s up to our Lord and the Grand Duke.”

Dismissing the few voices of support, Digrom proclaimed:

“All for the Maclaine family!”

“For the family!”

Just as they were about to conclude their meeting.

“Crikey, we’re in big trouble!”

Bang!

“The Grand Duke himself will lead this regular training! With the Lord overseeing!”

The disastrous news was brought by a knight who burst in frantically.

In that instant, the leading knights of Maclaine started directing murderous glares at their peers.

“Who’s responsible?!”

“It wasn’t me, definitely not!”

“Drag out whoever screwed up!”

“Which bastard…”

The knights’ coalition, formed for survival, became tumultuous once more.

* * *

“Many new faces, I see. Welcome. I am Logan Maclaine. Surely there is no one here who does not know me?”

“Yes!”

After delivering a short introduction from the stage, Logan captivated the attention of the 300-plus knights before him.

‘Definitely a large number.’

About 200 knights had transferred over from the newly acquired Kallia territory.

With Maclaine’s growing fame, several freelance knights had approached to join in the past few weeks.

Most were lords who had lost their territories during the civil war. Originally, freelance knights often got driven away due to misconduct, so verification was needed.

Even though his father had excluded more than a dozen who had serious disqualifications through interviews and the Knox information guild, a total of twenty-two freelance knights had joined Maclaine.

The sense of Maclaine’s increasingly dignified stature seemed palpable, judging by the expressions of the knights gazing at Logan, filling him again with pride.

However, the extra tense atmosphere of the existing knight order lingered on his mind, but it was something a short announcement could solve right now.

“Let’s start! This is the regular training for the newly reborn Maclaine Knight Order. Considering the many new faces, we’ll have a slightly different format than usual.”

“…?”

Curious glances turned toward Logan.

With a smile, he announced the decision made at the meeting.

“Our knight order’s training is famously hard. Therefore, the original Maclaine knights will act as instructors to help the new faces adapt to our training.”

Upon hearing this, the knight order began to buzz.

Most visibly shaken seemed to be the original Maclaine knights, stiff with anxiety.

“What? So we’re not rolling?”

“We’re the rollers…?”

“Did nobody mess up?”

The confused feelings eventually converged into one thought.

‘This is a test.’

At once, the same idea popped into the minds of the Maclaine knights.

“Feeling nervous?”

“Yeah. Me too.”

“If we’re too harsh as instructors…”

“…Then we’ll be the ones rolling.”

“Alright. With equality. Keep it equal. Exactly the same.”

As they tentatively kept each other in check amid their excitement.

The transferred knights felt dark clouds looming overhead.

“They’re set on giving us a hard time.”

“That explains the warm welcome.”

“It’ll be even tougher then.”

“But we have to withstand it.”

“Of course.”

Amidst these mutual misunderstandings.

The first regular training of the reborn Maclaine Knight Order began.

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