Regressor of the Fallen Family chapter 180

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Regressor of the Fallen family

Chapter 180: Logan, Clayton, Hamar.

The modest trio of Logan, Clayton, and Hamar arrived in the Taren region on the seventh day since departing from Maclaine Town.

Whoooosh.

“There’s literally nothing here.”

As Hamar pointed out, all they could see around them was barren land.

“Master, why have we come here?”

“You’ll see soon enough. The wealth and honor you desire await us just beyond there.”

“You can’t possibly be thinking of building a royal workshop in this wasteland… can you?”

The royal workshop was the foundation of the promised wealth and honor Logan had vowed to Hamar. It was a promise to gather hundreds, if not thousands, of craftsmen to produce goods and make Hamar head of the operation.

“Of course not. Past this wasteland lies a mining area, and that’s where we’ll build the real workshop.”

Hamar’s face lit up with expectation at Logan’s response. However, it didn’t take long for disappointment to crease his features.

“What are we going to do in a place like this?”

“I told you. It’s all abandoned mines now, but it was once the seat of the kingdom’s greatest mining city.”

“Damn it… all that’s left is a trace of it.”

Hamar’s gaze passed over the remnants of what could have been the site of a castle beneath the mountain range and moved to a crest where the forest itself seemed sheared off, revealing the deep innards of the cliffside.

The mining area of the ‘abandoned’ Taren region.

Paths of stone trailing from the place of the once-standing castle were barely visible thanks to the weeds sprawling sporadically along the path.

Up to two hundred years ago, this place was a mining city, accounting for over half of the royal treasury, but now it lay in ruins.

“If these mines have been abandoned, then they must have been unprofitable and deserted. Are you saying you’ve found something the kingdom has not, Master?”

“I’ve not found it, but I suspect there’s a high probability that it’s there. Like the Maclaine gold mine.”

Just as Hamar, who remembered the hardships from that time, was about to scowl, Clayton interjected with a curious expression.

“But how do you come to think that it might still be there, my lord?”

Before Logan could answer, Hamar cut in with a shout.

“If you’re going to dig just because it’s there, like before, without any plan, I truly won’t partake in it! Digging the veins of an abandoned mine after others have thoroughly investigated it—it’s a fool’s errand!”

“If I intended to dig on the mere chance, I’d have brought the miners and Pale along with us again.”

Reassured by Logan’s prompt reply, Hamar let out a sigh of relief, but it only heralded more hardships to come.

“This time I couldn’t pinpoint the exact location. We’ll have to search thoroughly before we dig.”

“I won’t do it! I mean, I can’t! How can you expect me to investigate every single abandoned vein beneath the workings?! It’s impossible!!”

“Not at all, what I mean is…”

“With the shafts barely intact, it’d be a miracle, let alone—according to you—there’s not just one or two abandoned mines but more?!”

To be precise, it was the site of a major vein with five iron mines, two gold mines, and three copper mines.

What Hamar was truly realizing was that even if each mine had just ten shafts, this meant investigating one hundred shafts from mines that were dug for at least thirty years.

And that was after others had already deemed those shafts fruitless.

However, Logan had no intention of ordering them to undertake such grueling, blind labor.

“I’ll say this again—there’s no need for such hardship. If that were the case, I would have brought a significant workforce, not just us.”

Fortunately, Logan had an ace up his sleeve.

“We have among us the kingdom’s only remaining magician, specially one from the ‘earth’ class—Clayton.”

With a flourish, as if revealing a hidden gift, Logan spread his arms behind Clayton, who could only offer a wry smile in response.

“So, instead of bringing in hordes of miners and laborers, you’re planning to use this magician?”

“That’s right.”

“And what crime did he commit to deserve such fate? Huh? Let’s hear it.”

“Let’s see. About ten million gold worth of crime?”

“What?! He actually did commit a crime? Magician, sir?!”

Hamar’s eyes widened in shock at the revelation, and Clayton could only respond with a forced smile, bearing the consequence of his ‘crime.’

He, too, had heard from Logan prior and was intent on at least trying, though he had some doubts about the truthfulness of the venture.

“My lord. Why do you believe that a mana crystal vein lies beneath these abandoned mines? And with high probability?”

Clayton asked, lowering his voice even though they were alone.

It was a question loaded with importance—as the mana crystal vein was a matter of great significance.

“Ma, mana crystals?!”

Hamar gasped unintentionally loud and quickly looked around nervously.

Mana crystals were an essential component used by mages for casting spells, creating artifacts, scrolls, or communications crystals.

That’s why, even the once-mighty Empire handled its mana crystal mines as a state secret, and the economic value alone was dozens of times that of a similar-sized gold mine.

“A mana crystal vein buried here? In this place?”

Hamar was momentarily shocked, but he quickly scowled.

“Is it possible that the nation overlooked the existence of a mana crystal vein underneath the mined vein they exploited?”

It was a logical presumption.

That’s why everyone was shocked when they heard that the Empire had started developing a mana crystal mine right here in their previous lives.

“They missed it.”

Logan shrugged, but that only deepened the looks of skepticism.

Nevertheless, he couldn’t confess, ‘I heard about it in my previous life. They constructed a fortress and carefully monitored the entire mining area. Although I don’t know the exact location.’

So instead, he brought out a prepared excuse—based on investigations and deductions from the previous life’s Grandia Liberation Front.

“It seems like two hundred years ago, the deposed crown prince manipulated the documents. Maybe he wanted to screw over his siblings who would step over him to become King.”

“How could you possibly know that, my lord?”

“I happened to find it during my time at the royal court.”

“…”

“…”

It sounded like such a lie, but what could they say against finding it in the royal court? They had no opportunity to verify it themselves.

Besides, Logan added more trustworthy information.

“There are about 120 shafts here, and it seems that one of them has shown a magical response. It was discovered late because the response came from more than 100 meters below the dead end.”

Seeing the doubtful looks on their faces still, Logan continued.

“However, the royals were overturned before they could start development, and since they were discussing closing down the mines at that time, they simply collapsed that shaft and destroyed the records. I found those discarded records by chance. So all we need to do is find the collapsed shaft. It should be easy, right?”

Logan’s explanation gave more credibility, but Hamar identified a significant problem.

“Master. Did you not say it has been two hundred years already…?”

“Yes.”

“Then, would there even be a shaft that has survived until now, especially with the technology of those times?!”

“…Eh, is that so?”

As Logan opened his eyes wide, Hamar was irate.

“You’re basically asking us to find a needle in a haystack! You unspeakable…! You didn’t bring people just to make me suffer, did you?! What wealth and honor? I knew it would come to this!”

Whoooosh.

As if acknowledging the rising anger of his companions, suddenly a cold wind swept through.

“Bloody hell…”

Even the well-mannered Clayton could not help but let a curse slip.

Logan spent a good while coaxing them.

“So, how about we confirm the existence of the vein among ourselves first and then decide on the mining and reconstruction direction based on that vein?”

“And then we’ll bring in a large workforce to start the mining, begin fortification and urbanization while recruiting displaced people from Maclaine as residents, and then build a grand workshop centered on the mine? Have we understood your plan correctly, my lord?”

Inside a temporary hut on the old castle grounds, the discussion between the dwarf and the magician was serious as they pondered over Logan’s topic.

“Exactly. We can simply say we’re reviving the abandoned mines to the royal court, and maybe we could even get development support. Though it’s not necessary.”

“The plan sounds plausible enough. However…”

“Excluding the part where this magician and I will need to suffer for a while.”

As they spoke, sparks flew from Hamar and Clayton’s eyes.

“It would have been better to employ a large team from the start…”

“How many people can detect a vein 100 meters below a dead end? And what would it cost to rent or create such equipment? Wouldn’t everyone just guess there’s something there?”

“The one with so much money…”

“Enough! Keeping this a secret is the absolute priority. At least until development begins and if possible, for as long as we can after!”

While Logan’s latter statement was virtually fanciful, his words indicated the high expectations he had for this mana crystal mine.

If the gold mine had brought prosperity to Maclaine, a mana crystal mine had the potential to improve the entire kingdom’s financial state considerably.

Should the existence of the mana crystal mine be revealed, it would spark wars, as had often happened in history.

‘It might accelerate the Empire’s invasion, but the potential benefits are worth the risk.’

War, after all, costs money.

The economic benefits from this development could strengthen not only Maclaine’s armies but also the entire kingdom’s military power.

Moreover, if the research that Logan had requested of Clayton were to be successfully completed, this mana crystal mine could become a critical production base that would enhance the kingdom’s overall military might beyond simply generating profit.

It would be a vital step in fending off and possibly winning the war against the Empire.

Thus, he made his stand.

“We will locate the mana crystal vein no matter what, and begin development in secret. Our current motions will appear as mere investigations into an abandoned territory. We must succeed now.”

Logan made it clear that there was no room for argument.

If Clayton had not been with them, they would have prepared to draw attention by mobilizing a large number of people, but there was no need for that now.

“Sigh…”

“Damn…”

And so, with the combined sighs of a dwarf and a magician behind him, the operation commenced.

Fortunately, Clayton’s magic significantly increased the efficiency of the survey work, which they had expected to be excruciating.

His now-famous magic, the Golem Army, had already expanded to 40 golems, each burrowing into the collapsed shafts with frightening speed.

In just three days, 120 shafts were temporarily restored to their former state.

When Clayton cast magic to solidify the ground, temporary shafts appeared, allowing a few people to reach the end—the dead end—for at least a week.

“Really, truly magnificent, Clayton!”

Logan repeatedly gave thumbs up to Clayton.

It was a performance that far exceeded expectations.

‘The best workman becomes a wizard, and he’s turned into a workman that will go down in history…’

Logan kept that thought to himself, which would likely have shocked Clayton had he heard it.

However, Hamar expressed that thought aloud.

“This is unbelievable! A single man doing the work of ten thousand! Wizard, sir, won’t you consider being under contract with me? As a head at the royal workshop… ugh! Ugh!”

Hamar’s eyes widened as Logan clamped him shut, thrashing around in protest.

Fortunately, Clayton didn’t seem to take much offense to the suggestion.

In fact, he appeared rather proud, smiling.

“That’s right. I did it…”

Clayton’s face, smeared with dirt unlike any mage, made Logan slightly guilt-ridden for transforming the highest-tier human resource into a full-fledged laborer.

To avert his conscience, Logan decided to proceed with the work as quickly as possible.

“Alright, let’s start checking them one by one.”

“Woah! Wait! If we’re going to do this, why am I…?!”

Taking the lead, Logan slung Hamar over his shoulder, and the weary magician followed as they began exploring the veins.

Just four days later, at the end of a certain mine shaft that used to produce iron two hundred years ago, Hamar was half-dozing on the ground, doodling in the dirt.

“Let’s take a rest. Finding a mine route is easy. Why not try it before asking me… damn it…”

His mumbling echoed through the quiet shaft, but the others showed no reaction.

This was the 82nd shaft explored in their mission.

As a tired and bored Clayton employed his detection magic, the feeling was slightly different from before.

At least to Logan and Clayton the mage, it felt distinctly different.

Then that intuition turned into reality.

Mmmmm.

“Yes! Mana crystals! I can feel the vein!”

Boom! Crash! Roar!

Clayton’s shout echoed along with the trembling of the shaft, startling Hamar, but Clayton’s face, dirty as it was, kept breaking into cheers.

Next to him, a similarly disheveled Logan flashed a bright smile.

The next day.

[Buy all the dwarfs you can from Harun. Even pay a bit extra if needed. Then, send them all to the abandoned mine area. Recruit workers as well, and dispatch a third of the military force here!]

An urgent command to implement the previously delayed orders came through magical communication and threw the Maclaine Town administrative office into chaos.

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