Regressor of the Fallen Family chapter 181

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Regressor of the Fallen family

Chapter 181

“Developing mines there?”

“Weren’t those veins exhausted a long time ago?”

“Still, it’s Young Master’s undertaking.”

“When have you ever seen the Young Master be wrong?”

“Well, sometimes…”

“Quiet. If told to dig, you dig. Hurry up!”

The reaction of the MacLaine estate was swift.

Without any of the resistance one might expect from other territories, everyone moved busily.

The recently revived Human Market of Harun welcomed the arrival of this enormous player.

Exactly 152 dwarves, over 5,000 laborers, 3,000 soldiers, and 100 knights with their massive supply of food and construction materials arrived at the abandoned mine area within just a month of Logan sending a message to the estate.

Clank. Clank.

Drumming sounds.

Boom.

“We’re here! Everyone down!”

The small and sturdy dwarves who had been transported in a cage-lined wagon finally lifted their heads at the sound.

Their lifeless eyes darkened further as they viewed the desolate landscape around them.

Countless dwarves disembarked from the 20 wagons.

One might expect them to be glad to see their kin, yet there was hardly any conversation among them.

Over 150 dwarves were simultaneously bought and brought to this bleak environment by a new master.

‘What does he intend to have us do?’

It was a common thought among most dwarves, who could only repeat grim imaginations.

Yet the atmosphere began to change with the appearance of a short-statured fellow dwarf from among the human soldiers.

“Welcome, kin. I am called Hamar, and I will be in charge of overseeing everyone here.”

“A dwarf?”

“Seems even the humans recognize his authority.”

“Could he be a chief?”

Murmurs filled the air.

The sight of a free dwarf with no shackles or handcuffs, moving freely and commanding human soldiers, left a strong impression on the other slave-born dwarves.

And the speech that Hamar began left a significant ripple in their hearts.

“This land is the territory of the Grandia Kingdom’s MacLaine family, and the lord of MacLaine has promised to send us dwarves back to the mountains as free beings after completing 20 years of labor. Of course, throughout that period, housing and food will be provided at the highest quality.”

“Could it be true?”

“Still, how can we trust humans.”

“But looking at that dwarf…”

Murmurs continued.

A familiar déjà vu for the six dwarves remaining in MacLaine town.

However, with more than 150 dwarves this time, the place quickly became noisy like a marketplace.

At that, the dwarf out front struck a soldier’s shield repeatedly with his hammer, regaining control of the atmosphere.

“Everyone, attention!”

Bang. Bang. Bang!

“I confirmed everything with the master of these lands, even writing a magic contract. You can trust his word.”

All dwarf eyes converged at that moment.

“If we show sufficient results, the period may even be shortened. And this place will soon be developed into the kingdom’s largest mining city, forging a path for our safety and freedom.”

“Did you say your name was Hamar, sir? I have a question.”

“Ask anything you want. But who are you?”

“I carry the bloodline of the Red Mountain clan, known as Geommaru.”

“Oh, that’s an unusual name. Indeed, the Red Mountain clan has always been so. Speak your mind.”

“Will more of our kin continue to arrive here?”

“Yes. The lord has already arranged workshops for other dwarves besides me on the mainland, and their treatment is incredibly generous. He has promised to continue to bring our kin here.”

With that, the atmosphere centered around the questioning red-bearded dwarf rapidly changed.

“Good. Then what shall we start with?”

By now, there were almost no doubters among the dwarves.

As a race that values honesty and diligence, they would not speak falsehoods to their kind.

Reading the mood, Hamar welcomed his new subordinates with open arms and a soft smile.

“Let’s begin with constructing workshops and our residential facilities. We have plenty of materials.”

“Understood!”

The previously lifeless eyes of the dwarves lit up as if by magic, and they began to move their short limbs vigorously.

Watching them, Hamar nodded his head repeatedly in satisfaction.

However, unfortunately for them,

‘This is why the master keeps swindling.’

One particular dwarf, who once held honesty and diligence as his creed, had long been corrupted.

In no time, the desolate abandoned mines of the Taren region transformed into a bustling construction site.

“Hey, there! Carry that carefully! Someone’s passing by!”

“Build your homes first! The tunnels come next. You think this is a day or two’s work?!”

“Use the materials freely! More will come! Hey, there, be careful! Ah, darn it! I told you, careful!”

Chatter and clamor.

Thud and hammering.

Dwarves giving orders to human laborers, an unusual sight, reverberated around the hills and old mining areas, all the way down to the ancient foundation below.

Logan, watching this scene with contentment, lifted his crystal orb.

“How is it?”

[It seems you really intend to rebuild the mining city. Was there any vein left?]

His master, whose white hair seemed to have notably increased recently, appeared curious within the communication orb.

“Yes. There is, which is why I’m doing all this. How does His Majesty react?”

[…Isn’t he taking your calls again?]

“…I haven’t felt the need to contact him lately.”

Following his master’s advice, Logan had decided to not concern himself too much with the central authority.

The possibility of an event major enough to deviate from his own will seemed unlikely, especially with a craftsman and master like him around.

Yet, a word from his master’s statement struck Logan’s mind.

“What do you mean by ‘again’?”

[Hem, never mind. It’s nothing for you to worry about. I will handle it. Anyhow, His Majesty seems favorable about it. Still, considering the royal treasury is tight and the MacLaine’s are wealthy, he’s reluctant to provide any aid.]

Logan’s eyes narrowed at those words.

‘The royal treasury is tight despite swallowing Wolves’ funds?’

Though he requested aid externally to give an impression it was a risky and potentially loss-making venture, Wolves’ funds might not have been as plentiful as he thought.

But something felt off.

‘It wouldn’t be right to press the issue with my master, who’s not even the king.’

Sensing the change in Logan’s expression, his master quickly added another point.

[Ah, but he did say he won’t levy taxes on the mines you develop there for the next 10 years. Is that enough?]

Logan’s expression almost broke at that.

His fists clenched involuntarily.

“Ten years?”

[…Yes.]

It was a reality far exceeding his expectations.

‘Hahahaha. Thank you, Your Majesty.’

His unease vanished on the spot.

A tax exemption for 10 years on the mana crystal mines.

He must have assumed they would be regular mines like iron or copper, especially since the gold mine had been thoroughly inspected by the royal palace after its closure and deemed unprofitable.

Barely containing his growing smile, Logan replied with a deliberately neutral tone.

“Hm. Unfortunate, but I’ll be satisfied with that. Could you perhaps document His Majesty’s promise in writing?”

[Of course. It’s good you’re taking this well. I hope the development goes smoothly. Oh, and once you can get some free time, come up to the capital. There are urgent matters to discuss.]

“Is it something we can’t discuss over communication?”

[Yes.]

When Logan casually threw that comment, his master nodded solemnly.

What’s happening in the capital?

‘Well, if it were truly urgent, he would have summoned me immediately regardless of the mining or whatnot.’

Logan calmly responded, accepting the directive.

“Understood. At least within a month or two, I should finish with matters that require my direct supervision.”

[Alright. Let’s meet then.]

After the conversation with his master concluded and the communication ended, Logan punched the air in joy.

“Yes! Ten years!”

He felt again like everything was falling into place.

Unable to contain his excitement, he began to exuberantly punch the air.

During Logan’s display of euphoria,

“It seems you’ve received good news, Young Master.”

“Of course…… Ah, haha. Lord Clayton, it’s an unusual sight to have you here at such a busy time..?”

Clayton chuckled in response and pointed down to the bottom of the hill.

“The golems are doing their job well. But I came to see you as there’s something I wish to discuss with you.”

The 40 combat golems, crafted by Clayton, were busy carrying loads heavy enough to require dozens of men to lift, setting columns, and digging terrain tirelessly – all across the wide scope of the old fortress and hillsides, functioning automatically.

‘Truly a mage…’

Even though they could only follow simple commands, they proved to be incredibly efficient in manual labor.

Clayton had acquired the ‘wind’ attribute upon becoming a transcendent, but whatever sub-attribute of ‘connection’ he mentioned using was beyond Logan’s understanding.

To him, it felt more like…

‘Shouldn’t it be called a golem construction brigade rather than a golem troupe?’

While entertaining this thought, which might have been slightly offensive to Clayton, Logan nodded.

“Speak, please. Seeing such a sight, I’d wish to support you in anything.”

“You flatter me. But I came to ask if part of the mine’s output could be utilized by the Mage Tower following the full activation of the mining operation, presuming our plans succeed.”

Clayton broached the subject carefully, starkly different from his earlier confidence, looking for Logan’s reaction.

But the response he received was unexpected.

“Of course. Whatever’s left after the forge and Mage Tower have been utilized, we’ll discreetly sell off through other channels.”

“…Excuse me?”

Clayton looked baffled, but for Logan, that was the natural response since he had no plans to publicly market the existence of the mana crystal mines.

Even if the royal inspectors pursued the lack of tax support, he intended to deceive or bribe them.

The outside sales would also be anonymized as much as possible through various routes.

He had discussed this plan with Hamar, who had asked if it was really feasible…

‘It’s entirely possible.’

His estate now housed an expert in information control and manipulation, who had once managed a secret organization under the Empire’s nose for more than 20 years in his past life.

‘If Damian sets up the information network as planned, it’ll be manageable.’

All endeavours were to minimize unnecessary Imperial attention because…

‘Even if Damian can’t fully realize his past talent leading to a slight rumor, that alone won’t prompt the Empire to make a move.’

And by then, MacLaine would have risen to overwhelming power with the help of the mana crystals available.

One hand would control the kingdom, and the other could fend off the Empire.

‘Now I have about 6 years… plus or minus any deviation from that time frame.’

The timeline, although not overly generous, no longer felt insufficient, as everything was going according to plan…

“…Young Master?”

Perhaps his mind had wandered too long.

“Ah, um, I will ensure a sufficient supply to the Mage Tower, so don’t worry.”

“Th-ThaThank you!”

It was an overwhelming moment for Clayton.

Mana crystals were a special mineral containing mana within.

Even if he couldn’t replicate the failed experiment involving various rare metals, working with mana crystals meant he could conduct sub-level experiments.

‘I’ve secured the necessary information already, so even with just mana crystals for the subordinate experiments…’

As Clayton was delighting in his thoughts…

Logan, brightly smiling, added more.

“You’re welcome. After all, Mr. Clayton and I, the Mage Tower and MacLaine, as partners, shall grow together, should we not?”

A beautifully wrapped expression indicating he wouldn’t ever be let go, along with another proposal.

“How about moving the Mage Tower here? I am certain this place will soon become the kingdom’s safest and most critical stronghold. Wouldn’t it be much better for the Mage Tower to have immediate access to the mana crystals?”

The value of mana crystals justified their protection, being so rare that they were harvested in only a handful of locations across the vast Empire.

For Clayton, the offering was highly attractive.

“I’ll consider it as positively as I can. Thank you for your consideration!”

“Not at all. We’re each helping the other, after all. Please continue to lend us your strength.”

And may you complete the research left by the Massacre Mage.

‘And do so with utmost haste.’

Logan, hiding his inner greed, warmly shook Clayton’s hand.

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