Regressor of the Fallen Family chapter 197

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Regressor of the Fallen family

Chapter 197

“You may rest in this detached palace.”

“When can we see His Majesty?”

“Since you have been personally invited by His Majesty, he will probably summon you soon.”

…No matter how much the common language may differ between regions, the words ‘probably soon’ wouldn’t equate to an entire week.

Day 7 since entering the imperial palace.

The expressions of the party who had been eating exquisite meals inside the luxurious detached palace were firm, unbecoming of those receiving such precious hospitality.

“How much longer must we stay here?”

Luther Kyle growled as he gazed upon the mountainous stack of dishes as large as his own body.

The serving boy, who was delivering food nearby, involuntarily stepped back a pace, but Logan only replied with a soft sigh.

“Do you think I would know?”

“So there’s no word to you either.”

“That’s correct.”

Although Logan answered calmly, he was feeling increasingly anxious on the inside, knowing it was a custom of the Imperial House to deflate the spirit of envoys like this.

‘This is a waste of time.’

Since their entrance into the imperial palace, they had been completely cut off from any news outside.

Despite having anticipated this, the feeling of unease grew with each passing day.

‘It’s only been a week. Just one week. There’s no need to be anxious.’

A war wouldn’t break out in this time, nor would their family or kingdom crumble.

Trying to console himself was of little use; the mind wasn’t so easily controlled.

‘I must be a bit obsessive.’

Acknowledging that his anxiousness was abnormal, Logan managed to forcibly calm himself enough to pretend he was alright.

“Just wait a little longer. It won’t be much long now.”

It was merely an educated guess based on common knowledge and a flicker of hope.

Fortunately, Logan’s words became reality that very afternoon.

“His Majesty has commanded your presence. Oh, only you, Logan, and you, Luther, are granted an audience. The others are to remain in the detached palace.”

Upon hearing the chamberlain’s message, Logan dressed in the ceremonial garb prepared by the palace servants and headed for the main palace.

Even Luther Kyle, known as the giant, looked small beneath the majestically high ceilings adorned with elaborate frescoes that seemed unfathomable in their detail. If one lowered their gaze slightly, they would see tall pillars of an unknown material intricately carved, supporting the lofty ceiling.

The path towards the Grand Hall, including every pillar, floor, and wall, appeared astoundingly ornate, as if they were part of an art piece.

However, the chamberlain leading them stepped towards the outside of this dazzling palace instead.

“Hasn’t His Majesty said he is waiting for us?”

“Yes. Today His Majesty has summoned the assembly of nobles and bureaucrats in the courtyard at the entrance to the main palace, not in the imperial hall. We are on our way there now.”

“The courtyard at the entrance of the palace?”

As Luther Kyle expressed his confusion, the chamberlain added further explanation.

“It’s a place normally used for major Imperial events. His Majesty is showing such hospitality as to invite you there.”

It was a culture distinct indeed from Grandia, where hosts would welcome guests inside their homes. Taken aback by this foreign practice, Logan nodded and silently followed the chamberlain.

Exiting the detached palace, they circumvented the inner castle walls and passed through three gates before finally approaching the entrance to the main palace.

“Guests from the Kingdom of Grandia, enter!”

– Let them through!

As the knights opened the last of the three gates, a magnificent palace that seemed to house a golden dragon within its structure came into view.

The soaring spires resembled the head of a dragon, and the ornate, golden eaves and decorations that hung below were reminiscent of a dragon’s grand body and scales.

The entire palace felt like a monumental piece of art.

“Wow…!”

It was hardly surprising that even Luther Kyle, who had been repeatedly warned to stay focused, let out an exclamation of awe.

In the wide courtyard spread out in front of the grand palace stood knights arrayed tightly in formation on guard duty. And within the stern atmosphere one could sense from afar, lay a long procession of empire bureaucrats, standing motionless and ranked to either side.

At the end of the expansive pathway, under the dragon that coiled around the entrance to the palace, sat someone upon a grand throne adorned with gold dragons.

Despite being at least 200 to 300 meters away from where Logan’s party stood, the presence of the figure captivated his gaze so intensely that all those around seemed to vanish from view.

Dark-haired, with an angular face and the unmistakable yellow skin of the Imperial lineage and bearing a majestic stature, the middle-aged man slouched against one armrest and gazed downward from his elevated position.

Curiosity filled his face, and more than anything, his black eyes, glittering with a peculiar light, seemed to catch and hold Logan’s gaze.

‘…What is this?’

Before Logan could speculate further, he felt as though his eyes had locked with the emperor’s, reaching across the vast distance.

‘Is that even possible?’

At such a distance, where it would be difficult for an ordinary person to even discern facial features, let alone expressions, maintaining eye contact should have been impossible – yet it seemed to happen again. Recognizing this, the emperor subtlety smiled, confirming that Logan’s impression was no illusion and then beckoned him forward.

“Come closer, young hero of Grandia.”

With a voice imbued with subtle power that reverberated across the distance to Logan’s ears, it was enough to make his chest stir weirdly and he snapped back to attention.

‘Magic…? No, a presence? What is this?’

There was no time to ponder deeply.

Although the imposing Luther Kyle was right beside him, the emperor had singled Logan out alone.

Under numerous watchful eyes, he had no choice but to move forward.

At this moment, even Luther could do nothing more than silently follow Logan into the grand hall.

“What is the meaning of that size?”

“He doesn’t look young.”

“The young man in front must be it, you fool.”

“The other one has no impact, though.”

“Still, His Majesty must see something in him…”

“Where is Grandia, anyway?”

Murmurs echoed around them, yet Logan’s gaze remained fixed solely on the emperor ahead.

‘Why? Why am I drawn to his gaze?’

He struggled to understand why the emperor’s gaze effortlessly captivated him.

Perhaps having stared for too long, he was taken aback.

‘What?!’

Suddenly, a crushing pressure overwhelmed Logan, snapping him out of his trance.

The core of his heart roared to life, repelling the presence around him, allowing Logan to realize he had reached within 50 meters of the emperor’s throne.

In that moment, he could tell that the source of this intensity originated from the ten knights standing on either side of the emperor.

Realizing this, Logan was shocked.

‘All of them are superhumans?’

Clench.

From then on, each step became an ordeal.

The murmurs of the crowd and even the closeness of the following Luther Kyle meant nothing, as the intensities all but crushed him.

– You are to stop 30 meters from the throne, at the shallowly depressed spot, and pay your respects.

As he struggled toward the place the chamberlain had indicated, the remaining ten meters seemed dauntingly far under the immense pressure.

Nevertheless, Logan clenched his teeth and forced his way toward it, step by step, the oppression gradually lessening.

For Logan, with all his training, facing this level of pressure even from a distance was indicative of the extraordinary capabilities of those superhumans.

The weaker amongst them gradually began to retract their presence.

Yet upon reaching the 30-meter mark as instructed, he could still feel the restraining intensities from five remaining sources.

Which meant,

‘At least five of them are on par with Master. Damn it.’

A painful realization.

Upon this understanding, the psychological weight became an overwhelming burden, crushing his spirit.

‘So great is the difference…’

The confidence he felt in his thorough preparations seemed to vanish to a place far beyond his reach, replaced by a pulsing anxiety.

The Imperial House already had ten superhumans. Coupled with the seven Tower Lords who undoubtedly were magicians of the seven great magical towers of Aserian.

And if the commanders of the eight Western and seven Eastern legions were also considered superhuman, a straightforward tally would count thirty-two superhumans.

Not to mention the hidden powerhouses that may exist outside of those numbers.

The mere thought was dizzying, the sheer magnitude of their might carving a deep-seated fear into his heart.

‘How am I to overcome this? How on earth?’

His diligent, purposeful preparations felt woefully inadequate.

But perhaps he pondered for too long,

“How rude!”

One of the younger-looking superhumans, the same one who had a familiar face, shouted, snapping Logan out of his reverie.

He promptly knelt on one knee.

“Thank you for the invitation. I, Logan of Grandia, greet the ruler of the Empire.”

Luther Kyle also knelt in kind behind Logan, but the emperor’s gaze rested solely on Logan.

Once the emperor saw the knights nodding in approval, his face was full of smiles.

“So, Logan MacLaine. I’ve heard much about you. Pleased to meet you. You appear even more admirable in person than I’ve heard.”

“…Thank you, Your Majesty.”

Logan was uncertain as to the emperor’s intentions with those words, but the remark changed the observers’ perceptions once more.

“Such high praise from His Majesty…”

“Who is that man?”

“If it’s Grandia, isn’t that a small kingdom in the east…?”

Mutterings finally reached Logan’s ears as he stood there when,

“No, indeed. He’s better than the rumors told. The Aura User Slayer, the man who slays superhumans. I have just confirmed that his fame is no falsehood.”

It was a test, as expected.

Though it was unpleasant, Logan couldn’t show it.

Taking some solace in gaining some insight into the Imperial superhuman forces, he calmly responded.

“Please withdraw your high praise, Your Majesty. I’ve simply been fortunate.”

“Oh? Well, that can be easily proven. Jerome!”

“Yes, Your Majesty!”

At the emperor’s call, a certain young-faced superhuman instantly knelt to one side.

The same person who had previously rebuked Logan.

Although unfamiliar, Logan remembered that face and name simultaneously,

‘Jerome? Could it be Jerome Decaird?’

Logan’s face inevitably stiffened as the emperor continued with a smile,

“Compete against the young hero of Grandia. I wish to see firsthand which of the two – our Empire’s Saint or Grandia’s hero – is superior.”

“I shall carry out your will, Your Majesty.”

To invite someone from another country and, without consulting them, suddenly suggest a duel.

‘So this was the intention behind arranging this meeting.’

The whole situation was so preposterous, yet not a single soul protested.

Except for one.

“Your Imperial Majesty. Logan of Grandia is a representative of our kingdom here to meet you. Such sudden events are not seen as fitting, even by customs…”

Luther Kyle spoke eloquently contrary to his usual demeanor when the emperor cut him off with a sly chuckle.

“Oh? I invited not the envoy but Logan MacLaine himself. Where in that shall we discuss conventions? Luther Kyle, the kingdom’s superhuman, are you objecting to my decisions?”

At the abrupt stiffening of Luther’s large face,

Logan stood up.

“If Your Majesty wishes it, then it is only right to comply. Nevertheless, I trust you won’t blame me should anything unfortunate happen.”

With a determined gaze, Logan faced the emperor squarely.

And amidst this, Jerome’s brows narrowed while suddenly, the Emperor’s laughter boomed.

“Unfortunate occurrences? Hahaha! Are you serious? This is truly entertaining, indeed. No, my dear foreign talent, I just wished for the young talents to measure each other’s capabilities. Did you really plan to go through with it in earnest?”

Caught off guard by the emperor’s words, Logan was briefly taken aback, soon nodding with firm resolve,

“If that’s the case, clashing with our full might would seem most favorable, even to Your Majesty.”

Once more, the emperor’s laughter filled the air.

After chuckling for a while, the emperor surveyed the grand hall, where everyone but himself remained silent, then glanced at his loyal knight knelt before him.

“This young hero from Grandia seems confident of victory. Jerome, what do you think?”

“There’s no one outside of the Empire’s masters capable of besting me. I pay no heed to some unheard-of talent from a small country.”

Full of self-assurance, the Empire’s celebrated holy one, Jerome Decaird, barely thirty years old but already three years into his status as a superhuman, his eyes glinted with the same fiery resolve as Logan’s.

‘Jerome, Jerome Decaird…’

Though he is now hailed as the saint of the Empire, in twenty years, he would carry a different moniker—Continental Greatest Sword.

Known as the strongest Aura User and as the grim reaper to the Grandian liberation front – the formidable foe.

And this was the greatest reason why Logan stepped forward so proactively.

According to Logan’s transcendent insight, Jerome still appeared quite unpolished compared to other superhumans.

Thus, his chances were more than favorable.

‘At the very least, I’ll inflict an irreparable grievous injury.’

Opportunity to strip any potential from a future adversary.

Or, a chance to reduce the Imperial superhuman forces.

The whimsical diversion concocted by the emperor took on such meaning for Logan.

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