Regressor of the Fallen Family chapter 173

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Regressor of the Fallen family

Chapter 173: The Recruitment of Female Soldiers in the Maclaine Territory

For a full three weeks, the recruitment of female soldiers in the Maclaine territory continued. However, at some point, the number of applicants ceased to increase, inciting anxiety among those who had signed up earlier. Each applicant, having their own circumstances, eagerly gathered to discuss the situation in detail.

“The food is good, but… surely they’re not going to end it like this, right?” Cassandra voiced her unease, and all around her glared as if to silence her unwanted opinion. However, no one dared to speak up.

Throughout the three weeks of training and barracks life, most of the recruits had learned of Cassandra’s surprising strength, contrary to her delicate appearance. No one wished to provoke the muscular woman capable of effortlessly hefting a rock half her own size.

Yet, the only one clinging to Cassandra’s side—a girl with round features and a cute appearance—nagged her with stomping feet. “Sister, you shouldn’t say things like that! What if it really happens? I already received my monthly salary in advance!”

“Ah, Evelyn, sorry. It’s just that I’m nervous…”

“Anyhow, I won’t leave even if they tell me to. I’m going to hold out here no matter what. The food is good and… eek, don’t pull on my cheeks! I’m telling you, I’m not a child!”

Seeing Evelyn cross her arms and pout amused Cassandra so much that she couldn’t help but smile. This girl reminded her of her younger sister back home, which made the wait slightly less tedious.

“…Well, they are nobles after all; they should keep their word. Especially if they are famous.” As Cassandra consoled herself with this thought, another announcement filled the air.

“Everyone to the training field! Sir Ailen Floyd has arrived.”

* * *

“Nice to meet you all. I am Ailen Floyd, your future supervisor and chief instructor.”

As soon as Ailen finished speaking, whispers of disbelief erupted among the recruits.

“Wow, how can someone so pretty be a knight?”

“Is that even possible?”

“No way!”

While the general applicants murmured among themselves, Cassandra felt a chilling intuition about this petite and pretty woman. She felt more tense than when she had encountered a hungry bear behind the mountains—it was clear. A true knight.

Years ago, the knights who visited her village didn’t project such an aura of authority. As tension filled her, Ailen continued.

“It seems many of you don’t know me or have only heard vague rumors and are feeling anxious. So I’ll show you directly.”

With a swish, Ailen unsheathed a blue-bladed sword that emanated an extraordinary flame.

Forcefire.

A dazzling and powerful display of martial prowess that went beyond merely enhancing weapons with force, it showed off the overflowing power to onlookers. It was a technique rarely used in battle due to its inefficiency but perfectly suited for demonstrating one’s capabilities. It was a skill known only to high-ranking knights, though none present recognized it as such.

“Wow…”

Cassandra, like the rest, was left in awe.

“I believe any anxiety has been dispelled at this moment. If you don’t know what this is then…”

With a single swing, Ailen sliced through the solid stone dais easily.

“Woah!”

“Trust what you have seen with your own eyes—that I am the person who will make you strong. Do any of you doubt this?”

“No!”

“Good, then let’s begin the first training immediately. Instructors, front and center.”

“Onward!”

“Run!”

With quick commands, the instructors at the foot of the stage began to run, followed by the scrambling recruits. Uncoordinated and chaotic, this marked the beginning of what would become the prestigious Maclaine female troops.

* * *

“Huff…”

For Cassandra, following the instructors at a run wasn’t overly challenging due to her superior strength and stamina. Even as she ran, her thoughts were elsewhere.

‘What if I had been a noble, trained properly in swordsmanship—could I have done that?’

She couldn’t help but envy the female knight who had seemingly achieved the ideal life at a similar age. And she wanted the same for herself.

‘I can do it too!’

That was why she was here. Watching the knight demonstrate her prowess reassured Cassandra she had made the right choice. She should not be far behind in talent if she has come so far purely through hard labor.

‘You just need to work hard. That’s all it takes.’

With a renewed resolve, she kept running when suddenly she’s approached by the knight.

“Did you have any special training?”

“Wha?!”

“Sorry for scaring you. Just breathe slowly. Yes, exactly like that.”

Gasping, Cassandra looked at the knight who had come up beside her.

“Training?”

“Yes. Your physique and muscles suggest you’ve had proper training. You seem talented.”

“No, I haven’t. Just… farming. Huff…”

Embarrassed, Cassandra blushed at the knight’s sincere compliment. Her 180cm frame, broad shoulders, and defined muscles, usually a subject of mockery…

“Do I really have talent?”

“Certainly! If you’ve attained this physique without special training, you indeed have incredible potential. I’m looking forward to seeing how you develop. What’s your name?”

“Cassandra. Huff…”

“Alright, Cassandra. Soon our territory will gain another knight. Keep working hard.”

“Yes!”

Cassandra couldn’t contain her enthusiasm, breathing harder at the exchange. The knight gave her a supportive pat on the shoulder and moved on, her breath steady even while dashing around in full armor—a true mark of an advanced knight.

Cassandra’s eyes shone brighter than before at the prospect of achieving such mastery.

‘I will become just like that.’

While Cassandra eagerly pursued the instructors at the front of the column, not everyone could keep up with the demanding pace. Evelyn, near the back, was forcing her legs to move with great difficulty, feeling like she’d reached her limit within minutes, but she wouldn’t stop.

‘I can’t fall. I’ve been able to eat well these past weeks, my body can handle it.’

They had already advanced her salary—failing and returning it was not an option.

‘I’m the hope for our home.’

Evelyn hadn’t joined to become a soldier or a knight but to grab the sole chance to provide for herself and her family. With even greater resolve, she thought, ‘I won’t fall!’

She kept running, learning to pace herself from the instructors, but she felt weaker with each step until suddenly she found her rhythm.

‘You see, I knew I could do it.’

Then, the knight approached.

“Oh no, already struggling? Breathe in deeply, and exhale slowly. Move your arms and legs in rhythm.”

Startled, Evelyn noticed it was the same female knight.

“Don’t look at me; focus on breathing! If you want to continue training, listen to me!”

Although she didn’t quite understand, Evelyn instinctively followed the knight’s advice. Regulating her breathing and movements, she kept up with the formation better.

“We will be doing endurance training. Remember these instructions to avoid after-effects and finish your training.”

Evelyn couldn’t thank the knight outwardly as she was still gasping, but she memorized the advice and the knight’s caring back.

‘This person looks after me, believes in me. I can’t betray that trust.’

Motivated by this reaffirming thought, she continued running—faith answered with faith.

Evelyn promised herself to live up to her father’s teachings, looking forward to buying him medicine with her next salary. She pushed the creeping melancholy away and smiled, as always, feeling a bit stronger.

* * *

Meanwhile, news reached the lord’s castle.

“We have filled twelve apprentice slots from the tower,” reported to Lord Clayton.

“Only twelve? With such a bustling crowd, could there be a problem with the talent-testing magic circle? All the investment…” Logan wondered, reflecting on the packed tower.

Dwayne shook his head, “Perhaps the individuals with magical talents are just that scarce. Furthermore, Lord Clayton is scrutinizing their character, even dismissing some qualified candidates.”

“I suppose that makes sense. Will they continue recruiting?”

“Yes, they will.”

“Good. The quantity might be disappointing for now, but that’s not for me to worry about. Any other reports?”

Logan’s subtle anticipation did not go unnoticed by Dwayne, who promptly realized what his lord was inquiring.

“Ah, regarding that experiment? No word from them yet.”

“Hm… I’ll have to visit them then. And the trade guild preparations?”

“It’s in progress as you instructed, but are you truly intending to establish it?”

“Of course. That’s why I told you to prepare for it.”

Logan was decisive, though Dwayne’s apprehension lingered.

“Philip is talented, but to handle such capital…”

“I’ve planned for contingencies; don’t worry too much.”

“Contingencies?”

“Yes.”

Logan’s meaningful smile suggested hidden assurances, but no further explanation was provided. Just then, the door burst open without a knock.

“Logan, I just had a thought I must discuss with you…”

Sir Padric, the previous lord, appeared unexpectedly.

“Father?”

“Your Grace? What brings you here? Trouble with the knights’ training?”

“No, they’re handling themselves well now. Something more pressing has come up.”

“More pressing than the training?”

The gravity in this statement caused both Logan and Dwayne’s faces to harden.

“Dwayne, would you leave us? This is a matter for father and son.”

“Of course, Your Grace. Lord Logan…”

“Just go. Father, what’s the matter?”

“Well, it’s just…”

Before Sir Padric could continue, Dwayne, lingering in the doorway with evident reluctance, was noticed, prompting a wry smile from Sir Padric.

“Dwayne. Not busy yet?”

“Leaving right now. Though, if it’s that critical, I should—if it has nothing to do with me, I get it. I’ll make myself scarce.”

As Dwayne stepped out and closed the door, another voice called out.

“Lord Logan!”

Lady Ailen, the esteemed knight, entered the room.

“Father is here too, I see.”

Noticing Padric, Ailen’s respectful tone brought a subtle smile to his face.

“I have a progress report regarding the training, but I can wait.”

“No need. Come in. I meant to speak with both of you.”

Both Logan and Ailen looked puzzled at this but Padric gestured them forward, giving up his place by the door.

“Actually, I just want to report that there’s no training issue. Everybody either has talent or an overflow of will power. Their stamina might be lacking, but not their determination. In a few months, we’ll be ready to initiate formal military training.”

“That’s good to hear.”

“Absolutely!”

Energized by Ailen’s report, Logan felt uplifted.

‘Her advancement in such a short time was astonishing.’

Despite starting from a humble place, the initiative and drive displayed by Ailen comforted Logan, dissipating any concerns.

“If this continues, we’ll have a tremendous asset added to our family’s strength.”

“Definitely, you have my full confidence.”

Their exchanged gaze carried the weight of their conviction, and everything seemed to fall into place.

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