Regressor of the Fallen Family chapter 182

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Regressor of the Fallen family

Chapter 182

Not long after Logan extended his offer, Clayton announced the relocation of the Mage Tower.

“Why again?! The design is all done, so why now the Mage Tower again!! Arghhh!”

A dwarf who had been actively directing the construction clutched his head, while Logan stood beside him, patting his shoulder, trying to console him.

“The Magical Workshop. Ah, the name alone sounds splendid. Just think about it. A collaboration between the Mage Tower and the Great Workshop producing artifacts. And you’d be the owner of that Great Workshop.”

Twitch.

Throwing in a tempting offer that even Hamar, who knew a thing or two about Clayton’s experiments, couldn’t resist.

“Aren’t a lot of spells needed even for fortification? If a large number of mages stationed inside, it would be better for security too.”

“Hmm, indeed….”

He also pointed out the practical aspect.

And finally.

“This is all for you, Master of the Great Workshop Hamar, the ruler of a strategic city that also has a Mage Tower. How about that?”

He even flirted with the dwarf’s dark desire for wealth and glory.

“Alright. I’ll give it a shot, Master. Just trust me! Modifying the design is easy. Let’s take this chance to build a sturdy fortified city with the power of magic considered!”

The ambitious dwarf’s eyes began to sparkle again.

However, there were those who became miserable because of this.

“Why are you installing ballistae on the mountain ridge barriers?! Who’s going to bring siege weapons over the mountains?”

The dwarves in charge of setting up the fortifications.

“I told you to build houses, who asked for art pieces?! Just stick to the blueprint and produce efficient houses identical to the original design!”

The dwarves responsible for urban planning.

“The foundation is solid enough as it is. The mud walls will be raised with magic, so leave it to the mages from now on. Artisans should focus on producing fine items. We’re going to be the kingdom’s top mining city, after all, the citizens should use at least iron tools!”

Even the dwarves assigned to the temporary workshops.

Strangely motivated by the head dwarf’s zeal, the dark circles under their eyes grew deeper by the day.

Dwarves who had been prepared to work hard in hopes of gaining their freedom after 20 years were showing an astonishing level of enthusiasm.

Ultimately, complaints filled with dissatisfaction among the new dwarves began to emerge.

“Aren’t we artisans, not tools?”

“At this rate, we’ll die from overwork before we even taste freedom.”

“Why is the workshop leader working so hard?”

During a brief rest.

Three young dwarves were spurting out complaints when a chilling voice came from behind.

“Curious why I’m working so hard?”

“Eek!”

“Gulp!”

“I, I didn’t say anything….”

The three dwarves turned around in shock, but Hamar, the actual source of the voice, was simply smiling and patting their shoulders.

“This city will become a haven for our dwarves. It might not be a grand metropolis like Stormrage, a pride of our ancestors, but it will be a major city where dwarves can live securely. That’s my goal.”

“Isn’t your goal to gain freedom? To be liberated and return to the mountains….”

One of the young dwarves, Geommaru, cautiously broached the subject.

“To follow the path of our ancestors who disappeared beyond the southern mountains?”

Geommaru nodded as if it made perfect sense.

“Yes.”

It was a dream shared by most non-human races who had fallen into slavery on the human-dominated continent.

Even Geommaru, born into human society under enslaved parents, had never once forgotten this other name for hope.

But.

“How do you plan to cross the Southern Mountain Range? What about the monsters within? Even if you’re lucky enough to survive, you’ll meet a fate worse than death at the hands of the legendary monsters rumored to dwell deep in the Southern Range.”

“Weren’t those just rumors?”

“If they were merely rumors, humans would have already conquered the Southern Mountain Range by now.”

The young dwarves, who had lived their whole lives in human society and knew a bit about human history, fell silent at these words.

“When I was younger, I thought merely entering the Southern Range would summon the spirits of our ancestors for guidance, but that’s definitely not the case.”

“Master Hamar, how can you say such a thing….”

Geommaru responded indignantly.

But Hamar continued undeterred, speaking calmly.

“Unless we can wield the power of earth spirits and create spirit artifacts like our ancestors, entering there is just suicide. Or we’ll be hiding in some other mountains, trembling in fear, hoping slavers won’t find us.”

His blunt assertion cast a shadow over the young dwarves’ faces.

It was the harsh truth they had been trying to ignore, now laid bare by an elder of their tribe.

However.

“So, I’ve decided to look for other possibilities.”

From the adult who threw them into despair came a sly smile and more words.

“Yes?”

“I mentioned it during the welcoming ceremony, but the lord of this land is incredibly… hospitable toward us.”

Hamar shuddered a bit as he said this, turning away quickly to cough when he saw the puzzled looks directed his way.

“Oh, it’s just a bit of a cold. Anyway, that’s not what’s important. Hm-hm. Relying on the lord’s kindness, I want to make this city a grand metropolis where our dwarves can comfortably live.”

“…Yes?”

“I couldn’t be honest during the welcoming ceremony, considering there could have been resistance like yours, but a foothold, not a settlement, is what I envision for the city’s future.”

“Master Hamar….”

“But, but is that really possible? Humans only think of us as slaves….”

“If the current lord is friendly, what if his successors overthrow the promise? Then it’s all for nothing, isn’t it?”

“That’s why we need a contract.”

“A contract…?”

“If we can show our worth and prove our value, we could use a magic contract worth 10,000 gold. The contract would stipulate that upon a certain period… Well, by Macline standards, that would be 20 years. After that period, our freedom and rights are guaranteed. A contract with the lord and his heirs, for generations to come.”

“Ah….”

At Hamar’s words, the young dwarves’ expressions changed.

For dwarves with an average lifespan of 300 years, 20 years was not a long time.

Especially if it was the duration required to attain true freedom.

Their understanding of the 20-year promise was now firmly embedded in the hearts of the young dwarves.

“A life of dignity in a big city, using things we created ourselves, provided with fair compensation and enjoying rights. Doesn’t that sound wonderful?”

“That, that’s right.”

“Yes! That’s right.”

“We’ll willingly cooperate!”

“Good to hear. Thank you.”

Hamar embraced each of the young dwarves with a kind smile.

And then.

“Let’s work a little harder to create a city where our kin can live freely. Don’t worry if the work gets tough.”

“Yes! Sorry for complaining, Master Hamar.”

“We’re truly sorry!”

“No, no. You can complain about work anytime. It’s normal to feel stressed. I can understand that. If insulting me helps you relieve stress, feel free to do it.”

“No, no! From now on, we’ll work our hardest without complaints!”

“That’s the spirit. Let’s show our capability until we can secure that contract.”

“Yes. Until we write that contract!”

With determined eyes, the young dwarves made their pledge.

“Keep it up, then.”

After patting their shoulders one more time, Hamar turned away.

He now looked almost like an adult in the eyes of the young dwarves.

They had no idea that Hamar’s grand dream had been hastily conceived just two months ago.

And then.

“Now there are 52 kids who’ve offered to write their own slave contracts. Let’s push through just a bit more. Master of the Great Workshop Hamar, ruler of the mining city of Taren!”

The dwarf’s eyes burned with ambition as he looked around for another unsuspecting victim.

* * *

“Master. Construction of the fort’s outskirts is nearly complete, and homes for the workers are also finished. We’re about ready to start mining operations.”

“Good work. Then we can almost leave the mining side of things, right?”

A light question accompanied by praise.

But Hamar, who had known Logan for a long time, reflexively sensed the hidden agenda (?) and replied.

“No, Master. I should still supervise and check the intermediary processes…”

“It should be enough to just supervise it.”

“…Ahem. Ahem. Well, the urban plan is quite extensive, and the mining paths are deep, so even just supervision means there’s a lot of work to be done.”

Hamar tried desperately to dodge the malice.

“Leave such supervision to someone else. You have other tasks to attend to.”

Grind.

“Huh? Did you just grind your teeth?”

“Ahaha, how could that be, Master. Just an itch on my wisdom tooth.”

“Of course. Our future Great Mage Workshop Master wouldn’t do that.”

“Ahaha. So, what else are you asking me to do…?”

Hamar shakily asked, sensing the ominous reply to come.

“You know that wasteland out front?”

“The wasteland? Oh… the one that seemed endless even after a three-day walk?”

The unpleasant déjà vu setting in.

Retreating several steps back with an ominous foreboding, Hamar asked.

“Yes, it actually stretches a bit longer north to south. The Luther River flows behind the shallow hills to the south, and the Tenon River runs beyond the mountain range to the north, you know?”

“Surely, surely not….”

“Sift through the mountains and report back with suitable dam construction sites. I’ll inform Dwein to provide the labor for the waterway digging, so mobilize as you see fit.”

“I knew it!! Why?! Why must it always be me?!”

Finding a suitable dam construction site alone had cost him sleepless nights for two weeks, and supervising the construction of both the gold mine and the dam, he was ferried by that cursed Kaisolon twin without a day’s rest— memories of that nightmarish experience.

His memories seemed poised to unfold into something even larger now.

“Please, just say it’s a joke, Master. Huh?!”

Despite Hamar’s pleading eyes.

“If not you, then who? You’re the only dwarf that has ever built a dam. I’ve told Clayton too, so the Mage Tower will help as much as they can. It’ll be fine, right?”

“It’s not fine! It’s so not fine!!”

“Exactly like Hamar. That confidence is what I like to hear.”

“Will someone listen to a dwarf for once?!”

“I’ll leave the job entirely to you. Keep the reports coming regularly.”

“Am I really having this conversation….”

“With me?”

“Why do you only hear what’s convenient for you?!”

“I like that spirit. Keep it up.”

“Aaaargh! Seriously!!”

Thud.

Logan closed the door of the temporary office, leaving Hamar’s scream behind.

‘The city of Taren is nearly complete, and once we begin mining magistones, it will be like having an inexhaustible spring of wealth. All that remains now is…’

The research journal of Kraune.

The potential for mass production of low-circle artifacts is probably detailed within.

Depending on Clayton’s achievements, what happens next varies.

‘Worst case scenario: I must consider the possibility of never reproducing it. If so, the development of this wasteland marks the end of the preparations.’

Developing the magistone mine and converting Taren’s wasteland into fields.

If this plan was completed, then Logan’s territorial development strategy to combat the empire would be fully realized.

Abundant food and a vast fortune.

With all this actualized, the only thing left was…

‘The gathering of intelligence on the empire and a system overhaul of the entire kingdom. Especially the military.’

Four years ago, the plan seemed daunting and uncertain.

But now he had surmounted 90 percent of it.

‘Caution, caution. Especially now, I should act more prudently. I can’t repeat the mistakes of Tormod or during the civil war.’

With the future seemingly within reach, Logan tamped down his impatience.

He clenched his fist, determined to carry on more calmly and prudently.

Regaining his composure, Logan sent a magical message to the Macline domain.

“Send Demian Nadal to Taren. Oh, no, it’s better if I go to town. Let me know what the available budget is.”

[Yes, I understand. But what are you planning to do now?]

“I’ll tell you when I return. Just prepare for now.”

As he pieced together the puzzle for his grand mission, a message from his mentor arrived.

[Logan. Come to the capital as fast as you can. A pressing matter has arisen.]

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