Regressor of the Fallen Family chapter 19

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Chapter 19: A Month and a Half of Persistence

One and a half months after tirelessly pushing the elderly dwarf, Hammer completed the work two weeks ahead of schedule, producing not only the ordered crossbows but even a surplus of a hundred extra pieces. Exhausted by his effort, he lay sprawled out, declaring a temporary strike. Of course, Logan received this news with satisfaction.

The very next day, Logan immediately went to find the mercenary troop. The mercenaries, initially perplexed by the sight of the small crossbows, were left speechless after witnessing a demonstration.

“Wow, that’s amazing!”

“They shoot surprisingly far.”

“And they can shoot rapidly. What an intriguing crossbow.”

But the general sentiment among the mercenaries was just that—casual appreciation.

However, there was someone who recognized the weapon’s true value at once.

“Whoa…”

Kai shuddered at the thought of his 300-strong cavalry armed with these repeating crossbows, envisioning the devastation they could bring upon the battlefield. This was a weapon that could endanger even those at a knight’s level if not adequately prepared for.

With that realization, Kai couldn’t help but applaud. “Impressive. This must be what you had in mind when you spoke of a crossbow-armed cavalry unit.” The incongruity he had felt when he was asked to demand rigorous training for a unit that seemed to lack practical efficiency had now completely dissipated.

“And don’t even think about trying to pry open the crossbow’s cartridge or magazine; they’re designed to break if forced,” Logan instructed, ensuring their design remained secure.

“Of course, a weapon capable of such power must have complicated mechanics.”

Ironically, it was quite the opposite. The crossbow was surprisingly simple, hence the additional security measures.

‘Sooner or later, the design will spread, but leaks can’t be tolerated yet.’ At least, not until they overcame the upcoming territory wars and expanded their power.

To this end, even the craftsmen enlisted to aid Hammer were only assigned to create parts in their own workshops, and there were no plans to produce more crossbows than the mercenary reserve.

‘Just the mercenaries alone would suffice to overcome the territory wars.’

Even if more weapons were to be supplied, they would only extend to the level of the knight order.

‘Of course, whether the knights will choose to use the crossbow is another matter,’ Logan mused with a half-smile, as he set limitations on who would receive the weapons.

While providing all regular soldiers with the new weapons was impractical due to time and budget constraints, even if possible, the risk of information leakage was a greater concern.

‘Once the mercenary training is complete…’

Logan’s material preparations for the territory war would be nearly finished.

‘Yes, nearly…’

Only the final phase remained.

“We’ll need to verify its effectiveness.”

“Pardon?”

“Prepare the mercenaries, arm them with the crossbows, and prepare to march out. We’ll clean out every monster we encounter up to the foot of the southern mountains.”

“What? But that’s…”

“Does it seem impossible, even after what you’ve seen?”

“Hmm…”

While most monsters lurking below the mountain were low-tier and not worth mentioning,

“Perhaps it might be possible.”

“It’s not about possibility; we have to do it. Otherwise, there’s no point.”

Kai, who didn’t grasp Logan’s intent, was met with silence instead of an explanation. Shortly after,

“Let’s go!”

Heeeeeing!

The mercenaries, armed with the new weapons, left through the gates to test their firepower.

* * * Doo-doo-doo-doo.

As the mercenary troop charged across the plains with the rough sound of horse hooves, a horde of about a hundred crawlers spotted them and scattered in fright.

Just a few months prior, it took ages to clear out such a group of low-tier monsters. Kai, spotting the horde, shone with excitement, raised his fist high and then spread his palm wide.

Simultaneously, the mercenaries, previously in three rows, dispersed horizontally.

“Fire!”

Shushushush.

The arrows launched by the mercenaries, now in a two-line formation, descended upon the fleeing crawlers with much less noise than the old crossbows. Keeeeeack!

With just one volley, the majority of the crawler horde that reached about a hundred had been decimated. The few lucky survivors soon fell as porcupines under the ensuing second barrage.

Despite their numbers being a mere third of the mercenary force, they annihilated the swarm of monsters in barely ten seconds. Even an encounter with a knight’s order would have taken longer to resolve.

Heartened by the outcome, the furthest back, Logan, brightened noticeably. However, those most astounded were the mercenaries who wielded the weapons themselves.

“Almost no recoil!”

“The range is farther than I thought too!”

“Mine went through one creature and lodged in the head of a second.”

Yet their achievement wasn’t over with that one instance. Under their persistent employer, the mercenaries swept through every subsequent monster horde they encountered as they galloped southward.

Cries of monsters echoed across the fields, and eventually, they started to recede like waves to avoid the mercenaries’ approach. The group of 300 created a reverse monster wave that shook the wilderness of the McLaine territory’s south.

“The heir’s mercenaries! Open the gates!”

“What on earth are they doing at this hour?”

“Right. The south is barren because of the monsters; there’s not even a pioneering village.”

“Shh, even the heir is with them.”

As the day gave way to twilight, the soldiers at the McLaine outer wall hurried to open the gate for the returning mercenary troop, though they complained under their breath. Of course, with the territory’s heir at the forefront, they dared not voice their gripes openly, but the sentiment was not lost on the mercenaries.

Yet the mercenaries paid no mind to the soldiers’ reactions.

“Ha, this thing…”

“From now on, you’re my prized possession number one.”

“If you break it, the captain will break us. Handle with care!”

“Like I would treat it any differently!”

They fondled their crossbows, faces dazed with bliss. While the hunt was only half a day’s work and mainly against low-tier monsters with no valuable by-products, these 300 had returned from a one-sided massacre of over a thousand monsters.

For ordinary C-rank mercenaries, to wield such power was unfathomable; their excitement was justified.

“So the heir created this?”

“Idiot, it was the dwarf.”

“But that dwarf is the heir’s slave.”

“I heard he did the designs himself.”

“Come on, that can’t be right.”

Thanks to that, the peculiar and infamously rich employer, who had largely been regarded in a negative light, saw his reputation among the mercenaries soar.

At the forefront, a middle-aged mercenary smiled proudly and turned to his employer.

“Are you satisfied?”

“To some extent.”

“Pardon?”

Kai, who had been thoroughly content, wore a puzzled look in response to Logan’s less than enthusiastic reply.

“You’re still stuck on old crossbow tactics. Why replace the rank after every shot? Wouldn’t it be good to improve reload speed as well?”

Presented with a new list of demands, Kai made a reluctant face.

‘With such firepower and he’s still not content? What exactly does he plan to do?’

While the thought that he was merely indulging in a noble’s eccentric hobby was long gone, Kai’s skepticism surged at his employer’s excessive ambition. Nonetheless, he did not voice his doubts.

“…I shall readjust the training to match the new weapons.”

“Good. I’ll check again soon.”

Despite listing his grievances to Kai, Logan was actually quite pleased. The crossbows crafted by the dwarf Hammer were beyond his expectations, and the firepower demonstrated by the mercenaries already exceeded his initial estimates.

Making more crossbows was unnecessary at this point, especially since calling soldiers to train with this new weapon amidst the looming threat of war was beyond consideration.

‘The focus should be on my growth.’

If he could win the core knights of his house over in the process, all the better. Even amidst the positive progress, Logan could not completely shake off his worries and refocused his attention.

* * * As the chill of winter came to a close, warm breezes heralded the arrival of a new season. The tales of the mad heir and the genius second son, which stirred controversy throughout the household, had quieted down, especially since the heir had stopped creating new issues.

However, the opinion that the talented second son would eventually take over the territory started circulating publicly, though it was unclear where the rumors originated.

Yet there was an exception.

Within the knights’ circle, a different story unfolded.

“Wow, seriously, his stamina is unmatched.”

“No kidding. Such unreal physical abilities must be hereditary.”

“It’s a pity that with such monstrous stamina he isn’t more proficient with the sword.”

“Then again, considering Dominen’s case…”

“That’s hardly a reference; the old man’s skills…”

“But still…”

“Arthur, even you lost to the second son before his awakening, and you saw it with your own eyes.”

“It’s truly strange… How can he be perfectly fit in just that one aspect?”

“Would’ve been something had he spent the time he uses for mischief on practicing the sword instead.”

There was still skepticism, but at least within the inner circle of the knights, no one spoke of the heir as mad anymore. For months, he joined their training, displaying nothing but consistency.

Furthermore, the punishing excise he initially crafted to dispel the heir, sprinting on horseback through the mountains, had now become a new symbol of the knight order. At first, it was a matter of pride that pushed them through this grueling exercise, but they found unexpected benefits beyond motivation for the junior knights.

Speaking softly, “Right, right. Ray, grow a bit more. It’ll be over soon.”

Knight Henderson gently comforted his drowsy steed, a similar scene unfolding all around. Initially, the forced tranquilization led to chaos as horses woke amid training. But as they adapted, they grew more bonded with their riders, the knights.

Knight—which in another sense means cavalryman. A horse is but another weapon that enhances a knight’s combat prowess.

Indeed, as the bond grew and communication flowed more freely, the knights’ abilities improved—not just sentimentally. The higher-ranked knights employed Force to empower their horses, increasing speed and endurance with mounted combat skills.

The closer the bond with their horse, the more efficient the skills.

Post-exercise, even the junior knights seemed to imitate this unconsciously through their strengthened connections, unwittingly training for higher proficiency.

‘It’s not all thanks to the heir…’

Heinckel gazed upon Logan with a newfound warmth—like observing an unexpected blessing. It wasn’t precisely the recognition Logan desired, but it was undoubtedly a positive shift.

* * *

‘It may just work this time.’

Under the bright moon, seated cross-legged on his bed, anticipation gleamed in Logan’s eyes. The hard regiment of the knight order combined with the mental provocation of meditation bolstered each other, pushing him steadily forward.

Every introspection brought a sensed growth in his Force core. And recently, he felt stirrings of change whenever his core throbbed.

Logan calmed his mind, recollecting the knowledge inscribed within, reminding himself, ‘Especially now, don’t rush, don’t fret…’

Nevertheless, the anticipation of advancing another step occasionally unsettled him, an unavoidable reaction given the circumstances.

From the outset, this was natural since elevating personal strength was as crucial as the fate of the house itself, should he fulfill his aspirations.

Assuming everything progressed as hoped, his newfound might would be the critical variable to sway an otherwise perilous future.

‘Those monsters…’

Logan recalled the superhumans of his former life—Aura Masters and Archmages—who alone could turn the tide of battle.

Among those he eventually had to overcome, such fiends were included.

‘I must become stronger, surpass even the limits of my talent and efforts.’

Fortunately, he had knowledge of an arcane method, the Sword of the Spirit, and there remained time.

‘With my next step in growth, even the odds of the territory war could shift.’

It was a pivotal moment even concerning the impending crisis.

Contemplating the daunting future allowed him to regain his composure momentarily. Whispering the meditation incantation, Logan’s mind focused inwards toward the Force core within his heart.

Wuuuung.

Physically, it might be invisible to the bare eye, but in Logan’s consciousness, the Force core felt larger than his body, especially today. Instinctively, he sensed the right moment had come.

Flash!

With his consciousness merging, a brilliant light burst from near his heart. A golden Force core expelled a tiny secondary core.

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One response to “Regressor of the Fallen Family chapter 19”

  1. Thanks for the chapter!

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