Regressor of the Fallen Family chapter 23

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Chapter 23 “The Lord Has Been Blocked!”

Beside Patrick, the knight Heinckel, who was charging forward, widened his eyes in surprise at the unexpected sight.

It was not important that his charge had seriously injured one of the enemy knights.

To penetrate the enemy lines, which were twice their number, the presence of the head of the family was essential.

To advance in this situation would be nothing but a suicide mission.

He gritted his teeth, turned his horse around, and attacked another knight, but even that was not easy.

Clang!

The moment his attack was blocked, he saw two enemy knights closing in on him from both sides.

The rest of the knights were in a similar situation.

“Shift to defensive stance! Stay close together! The opportunity will come!”

There were no knights among the enemies who could block their lord. They would definitely find a breakthrough.

It was a command based on that sole expectation, but soon after, an unbelievable scene unfolded before his eyes as five of the enemy knights pressured their lord.

The worst possible future he didn’t even want to think about appeared before Heinckel’s eyes.

‘Are we losing… in this war?’

With a sense of impending defeat clouding his mind, the aged knight Heinckel had to battle his own despair first.

* * *

The process of the knights being pushed back was clearly visible to the infantrymen following behind.

Even if they could not see each individual knight’s movements, it was clear that their side’s charge was blocked and the entire formation was being pushed back.

The steps of the soldiers grew heavy without them realizing.

Gradually, the madness of the battlefield died down, only to be replaced by creeping fear.

And Patrick was falling behind the most.

‘Ugh…’

Working within the manor as much as he did, he knew the situation of the war better than the average soldier.

And the more he realized, the more terrifying it got.

‘If the head of the family gets blocked, we will definitely lose…’

Naturally, his footsteps grew even heavier, and that’s when something happened that chilled him to the bone.

Patapatapat.

“Aaaahhhh!”

“Arrggh!”

“Gurk!”

Suddenly, the soldiers marching in front of Rick collapsed in unison.

A surprise shower of arrows.

An arrow fell right in front of Rick’s nose.

He felt a shiver run down his spine thinking about how, if he had taken just one more step, that arrow would have pierced his head.

‘Uh!’

Frozen by fear that seized his whole body, Rick was pushed forward involitarily by the movement of his allies from behind.

“Ah, no…”

His tongue was paralyzed with fear, and even if it moved, there was nothing he could do.

Looking around, he saw soldiers walking with steps as heavy as his, their faces pale with fear.

Probably, his own face was not much different from theirs.

‘No, no, no!’

Despite Rick’s panicked mind, the infantrymen steadily advanced with fear clearly written on their faces.

Moments later, they inevitably collided with the enemy at the front line.

Clang! Clang! Boom!

Amidst the cacophony of metallic sounds filling the battlefield, soldiers swung their weapons at each other in desperate combat.

“Die!”

“You die first, you bastard!”

It was only for a moment that the front line forces clashed fiercely, soon the McLaine camp began to be pushed back gradually.

Lowered morale, insufficient numbers of troops.

It was a natural outcome given the unfavorable circumstances.

And it wasn’t long before this difference resulted in a massacre.

The first line to break was, unfortunately, directly in front of Rick.

“Aaaahhhh!”

“My arm, my arm!”

“S-Save me!”

The son of the baker, young John’s arm was sliced off, and the shepherd Derek’s heart was pierced through.

Phelps, a tenant farmer, had his throat cleanly cut, though his expression was too contorted in pain to call it a peaceful death.

Faces all too familiar to Rick fell to the ground, drenched in blood.

And there were other familiar faces falling one after the other.

“Aaaahhhh!”

As the front line collapsed and the sudden chaos ensued, Rick felt as if death was right before his eyes.

Even as he screamed, his body froze in place; but then suddenly, a spear thrust towards him.

“Ah!”

In a moment of survival instinct overpowering fear, he narrowly managed to evade.

A spear cut through the air where his head had been just a moment ago.

As he brushed the chills from his chest, the shaft of the spear had already struck Rick’s head.

“Die!”

Thud.

“Urk!”

Above the tumbling Rick, an enemy soldier with a contorted face like a demon raised his spear.

“Ah!”

Thunk.

Rick screamed and rolled aside just as the spear plunged into the ground.

He managed to dodge once, but the onslaught didn’t end there.

“Die! Die! Die!”

Thump. Thump. Thump.

Rick had no choice but to roll desperately to avoid death.

“Aaaahhhh!”

Although he was sure he had never seen that face before, the man frenziedly drove down his spear as if they were sworn enemies, which made him feel resentful.

Thunk.

Just then, the enemy’s spear stopped abruptly due to a slightly odd sound.

“Get up quickly! Take up your spear!”

An ally helped him up.

The face looked somewhat familiar, but Rick’s dazed mind couldn’t recall who it was.

One thing was certain: this person had saved him.

He was the benefactor who had dealt with the madman.

“Th-Thank you…”

Thunk.

But before he could even finish his gratitude, the benefactor was pierced through the neck.

“Euk. Euk.”

The benefactor collapsed with a grotesque cry, clutching the arrow that had penetrated his neck, reaching out to Rick as if to blame him, which sent shivers down his spine.

“Heeek!”

Rick let out a bizarre sound and collapsed to the ground.

“I must, I must run. I have to escape…”

Overwhelmed by that one thought, he stumbled back and then suddenly took off running.

But his flight didn’t last long.

“Whaaa!”

“Aaaahhhh!”

Screams and shouts filled the area; Rick, who had just come to his senses, stood still as if spellbound and looked around with vacant eyes.

Before he knew it, enemy soldiers had filled his field of vision.

‘Surrounded? We’re, we’re losing? Is this how I die? All of us?’

Even to his unstrategic eye, it looked like there was no chance of winning.

“No, no. I’m going to live. I’ll survive!”

Despite the fear, Rick dove back into the ranks, looking perhaps for some respite toward the rear.

But then.

“Whaaa!”

“Charge!”

Behind Rick, cavalrymen who had circled around the battlefield were already slaughtering the rear soldiers.

“Aaaahhhh!”

“Behind, behind!”

“It’s the enemy!”

The charge from above the horses cut down both spear and man, shattering bodies like toys.

“Oh, oh? No, that’s not supposed to happen…”

Cornered and without an escape, Rick’s legs shook like quivering aspen.

* * *

Roaaaar!

The sound of two great swords colliding was too deafening to believe it came from mere metal.

Of the two who caused this roar, one staggered while the other immediately lunged at his foe.

However, Patrick, the victor of this clash, did not look pleased because he foresaw what would come next, a sequence he had grown all too familiar with.

Indeed, as soon the staggering enemy began to recover, a spear and a longsword leapt out from either side.

Then, attacks from two more came from his rear, aiming at him with a longsword and a short spear, forcing Patrick to give up the chance he had almost secured.

“Damn you! Have you no pride as knights!”

Patrick screamed, but he knew all too well that what he was saying was pointless.

The enemy’s response was nothing but ridicule.

“What are you blabbering about?”

“Ignore him. It’s just a desperate struggle before death.”

“You bastards! Even so, against an experienced high-grade kni…Ack!”

As Patrick brandished his sword with desperate rage in his bloodshot eyes, he aimed for an opening.

Kwaang!

But while his sword strike was intercepted by one of the skilled men, the others lunged at him from all sides.

Sssk.

Another superficial wound was added to his collection.

It was the same pattern repeated yet Patrick had no way out.

Clash! Clash! Boom!

The relentless assault turned like gears in an endless cycle.

It was clear these men had trained together intensively to coordinate against a stronger foe.

No, they had been trained from the start to capture Patrick.

“Persistent bastards…”

As he muttered with a growling voice, a way out from this trap seemed non-existent.

‘Even if I escape… it’s already too late.’

The knights of McLaine, though vastly outnumbered, were just managing to hold their ground, but the regular infantry were overwhelmingly outmatched.

The cavalry in the rear attempted to outflank the enemy, but the enemy cavalry had not only done the same but were already on the attack.

“Aaaahhhh.”

The pained cries of soldiers, or rather, of his fief’s people, pierced Patrick’s heart like daggers.

A lump formed in his throat.

No matter how much he racked his brain, he could not think of a viable solution.

The feeble willpower that he managed to muster amidst despair was quickly undeterred by his increasing injuries and the groans of his comrades engulfing the battlefield.

His wavering heart ushered cowardly thoughts.

‘That’s right. Logan, you fled well. At least preserve the lineage of our family.’

Sssk.

“Argh!”

“The baron’s getting tired!”

“Let’s finish him!”

A fleeting thought had brought about injury.

“These fiends…”

Crunch.

As the feeling of despair invaded his mind, what was left was stubborn defiance.

Patrick grasped his sword for perhaps the last time as he ignited his vestige of fighting spirit…

But then, a sound threatening to break even that slender hope reached his ears.

Thud-thud-thud-thud.

‘Cavalry?’

The sound of horse hooves from the enemy forces’ tail end charging towards him resounded through the earth.

Though not numerous, the sound was enough to dampen his final spirit of resistance.

‘Did they have more forces?’

But then, a sight he could hardly believe made Patrick doubt his eyes.

Patapatapat.

“Aaaahhhh!”

The enemy’s rear was thrown into disarray by the cavalry that recklessly tore through it, along with the horses that toppled.

‘Our allies?’

As Patrick saw a young man with red hair fluttering in the lead of the cavalry brigade, similar to his own.

“Logan?!”

In Patrick’s wavering vision, an unbelievable scene was unfolding.

* * *

In the forest behind the battlefield.

Shortly after Teslon’s army had passed, a few hundred cavalrymen who had followed the mountain path to the enemy’s rear had been hiding with perfect timing.

Despite being silent as death, concealed in the wood, the start of the battle had them whisper softly.

“Not yet, wait.”

Watching his father Patrick McLaine’s attack being blocked and grimacing in frustration, Logan still firmly commanded.

‘Like this… did he fall to those wretches.’

Information from his past life surfaced, stirring his emotions, but it was still not the time.

Logan remained coldly focused, controlling himself as he kept a close eye on the situation.

Even as the knights were pushed back, quickly surrounded and outnumbered, he maintained his composure.

“Hmm.”

“Sir Logan? Should we attack now?”

“No, not yet.”

While a small number of knights were unable to hold as they should, this was apparent when a lower rank knight had his charging lance miss and was hit from both sides by two spears.

“That grub! Damn it!”

He had been one of the few knights who had recently begun to cozy up to him.

The image of the man giving him a water bottle with a smile was still fresh in Logan’s mind.

“Sir Logan, are you alright?”

“…Yes, I’m fine.”

Despite his voice seething with suppressed fury sounding anything but fine, Kai remained silent, his trust in his young employer’s tactical sense solidified by their successful ambush.

But as the infantry clashed and the lines broke, he had to speak up once more.

“Sir Logan, even now… Isn’t it the time?”

“Not yet, not yet.”

Blood dribbled down from Logan’s tightly clenched lips.

He too was filled with desire to charge at any moment, maintaining his sanity with such grueling self-control.

Even if it were faces of strangers, the sight would have been painful, but many of the falling soldiers were familiar.

The gardener Cob, who helped them maintain at least a modicum of noble dignity in their barren fiefdom, fell with an arrow through his eye.

Lio, the servant who had just begun to greet him with a smile, saw Cob fall and dodged in alarm, only to have his throat cut by an enemy blade and collapsed.

The perspective granted by his Posthaste ability made the sight all the more piercing and agonizing.

Logan forcibly averted his gaze from the hellscape, concentrating on the movements of the targets he had identified.

‘Not yet, is it still not time?’

Waiting any longer risked the possibility that, even if they won the war, his house’s power would be far from intact.

As Logan’s dilemma deepened, his awaited target, the enemy’s cavalry, finally reached the location he had anticipated.

The screams from the rear of their troops acted as the signal.

“Now!”

Unleashing the fury he had contained, Logan spurred his horse forward.

Finally, over three hundred cavalrymen thundered from the forest, surging toward the battlefield.

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