Regressor of the Fallen Family chapter 39

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Chapter 39

“…Yes?”

“Purchase food supplies with one million gold each month and send them to Teslon and McLaine castles.”

“Really? One million gold every month?”

“Yes.”

“What on earth… Are you planning to feed the territory’s people all by yourself, young lord Logan?”

“Enough, at least for one year, I will buy continuously, so find out where to source it from.”

“Aha, you’re serious. I had no idea you cared so much for the people of your territory.”

Upon hearing Philip’s words, Logan chuckled lightly.

‘Caring for the people of my territory…’

Well, truthfully, it was simply out of necessity.

The chronic food shortage in McLaine castle was not going to be resolved until next year at least.

Even though we now have the Teslon Plains, Teslon Castle has only ever produced just a bit more than what was required for self-sufficiency.

Add to that the barrenness of McLaine, and it ultimately still ends up in deficit.

Moreover, it’s county summer now.

Food supplies stored over winter are depleting, and there is still a long way to go until the next harvest season.

It’s precisely the time just after the spring famine.

It wouldn’t be strange if there were people in McLaine Castle dying from hunger.

The labor of the territory’s people was absolutely necessary for the work Logan planned to undertake in the future, so it was critical to preserve their strength as much as possible.

‘But buying food is only a temporary measure.’

For the future, a more fundamental solution was necessary.

“Stop the chatter and go buy it. Is there a problem?”

“No, there’s no problem. With a long-term contract of more than a year, there would be many suppliers willing to provide. Besides, if we’re buying in bulk, we might get it for even cheaper.”

“Then proceed with that, and as soon as Impo-Rick arrives, send him off. Prepare for business until he arrives. I will send a mercenary troop for transport escort, so make sure to get acquainted with their captain…”

After giving Philip the detailed instructions, Logan set out once more to find Nox for another request.

* * *

“…You want me to find these people?”

“Yes.”

“With only a name and one or two features of their appearance? And we aren’t even sure about their real names. Plus, we don’t know where they live. Are you asking me to search the entire continent? This is… tough.”

“Can you do it? Just tell me that.”

“Hmm. I’d have to ask for a down payment of one hundred thousand gold. And I can’t give you any guarantee about when they could be found.”

“As soon as even one person is identified, contact me. I’ll be in McLaine territory.”

“But may I ask why you want to find these people?”

“That’s none of your concern.”

“…”

“For each person found, I’ll pay the same amount as the down payment again, but only if that information is reliable. So find them as quickly as you can.”

“Understood…”

Bang.

“Jeez, what a temper.”

Nox’s informant uttered in disbelief as the sound echoed in front of the empty doorway.

Already having left the place, Logan was running towards the western gate.

And his mind was racing amid the movement.

‘The independents of the future. I have to recruit them.’

But as Nox said, they wouldn’t be easy to find.

The fact that they were wandering around unaffiliated even after reaching the level of superhumans meant each of them had a significant story.

Maybe even the names Logan knew might be aliases.

‘But there’s no other way. I have to wait.’

He had to focus on growing his family’s strength.

If necessary, he should be ready to wage imperial wars without those talents and even consider extreme measures if, once found, they reject his scouting offer.

‘Especially the one who has mainly been active as a mercenary for the empire…’

While engrossed in these complicated thoughts, Logan even felt slightly desperate despite things going well currently.

Why am I in such a hurry?

“Slow down. There is still time. It’s all right.”

Logan calmed his breathing with a soft murmur, steadying himself.

Feeling anxious even after everything went better than expected in the capital was an issue.

‘It’s a compulsion. I need to clear my head for a while.’

As he acknowledged that fact, his pace noticeably slowed.

Now was the time to engage in a more important transaction.

He lifted his head, watching the sky in the distance, trying to regain some piece of mind.

Just then, in the distance, he saw a massive tower.

“Ah… Damn.”

He had resolved to take things slowly, but seeing his destination reminded him of all the things he still had to do.

‘The Magic Tower…’

The Magic Tower (魔塔) originated from magicians living together pursuing the same path and became an influence synonymous with magicians.

They built high and giant towers, proclaiming their magic and power.

Although the existence of magicians was rare, the group kept a formidable force equivalent to an army, despite their number being no more than a few hundred at most.

Most magicians were dedicated to developing and researching their magic rather than engaging in conflict, and thus they would rarely be found outside the laboratories of the magic towers.

Especially the lower-ranking magicians, in desperate need of mentors and learning, often belonged to a tower, staying close to their masters.

Therefore, in a remote territory like McLaine, it was a reality that the existence of magicians was hardly noticed.

‘Not only are they hard to find, but they’re also picky about the work.’

This was the main reason why you would hardly see magicians in wars unless it was a conflict on the scale of a nation or in grand territories that maintained their own magic towers and magicians.

And there were as many as five such towers in the capital of Grandia, Grand.

Now Logan was heading to one of them, the Earth Tower, to the west of the capital.

Ding-a-ling.

Inside the massive seven-story magic tower painted in the hue of loess, the first floor was so empty it felt desolate.

The vast first-floor space, easily surpassing 300 square meters (pyeong), appeared lonely with no one around, and the reception desk closest to the entrance required quite a walk to reach.

At the reception, a young man donning an earthy loess-colored robe, emblazoned with a stone symbol showing his affiliation with the Earth Tower, was nodding off asleep.

“Hmm. Excuse me.”

Tap tap.

“Huh!”

The dozing apprentice magician of the Earth Tower, Roy, jerked awake at the sudden voice.

“I’m sorry, guest!”

He quickly stood up, bowing profusely and apologizing, but on the inside, he was still screaming.

‘This is bad. Dammit.’

Visitors to the tower were mostly nobles coming to purchase artifacts produced by the tower or to place orders, and the money they lavishly spent was the main source of income for the tower.

Considering the cost that high-grade magicians would pour into a single magic experiment, the tower was constantly in need of funds despite the substantial income.

And with the tower’s financial situation being as precarious as it was now, crossing a noble visitor’s path could lead to disaster.

‘Wait?’

***

As Roy lifted his head, what he saw vastly differed from his expectations.

Sturdy boots and greaves, though worn, and similarly conditioned armor.

The flame emblem etched onto the half-plate mail was also unfamiliar.

To cap it off, the face looked even younger than his brother’s.

In that instant, Roy’s intuition kicked in.

‘This guy’s broke.’

That realization lightened the weight of his blunder and put him at ease.

“What brings you here?”

He assumed the man before him was a greenhorn noble who had just come from the countryside.

‘With that kind of attire, there’s no way he has a meeting scheduled with high-grade magicians.’

They probably thought the magic tower, being renowned, would have artifacts on display like any exhibition—fools not knowing any better.

And these greenhorns typically had the same excuse.

“I came to see some magic scrolls…”

Sure enough, his prediction hit the mark, and Roy discounted the guest as a greenhorn.

‘Facial control. Must keep a neutral face.’

Roy carefully tried to hide his ridicule as he quietly responded.

“Magic scrolls start at one thousand gold for the 1st circle scrolls. Two thousand for the 2nd circle. Five thousand for the 3rd circle. Ten thousand for the 4th circle. Do you have a particular type of scroll in mind?”

Disposable magic scrolls allowed anyone, even non-magicians, to use magic.

Given the miracles they performed, the scrolls were not only difficult to produce but also costly.

Roy was sure the greenhorn would make awkward excuses as they turned away, overwhelmed by the price.

But the stranger’s reaction completely defied his expectations.

“Huh…”

The guy who just woke up, scanning him up and down, then his lips slightly curled up.

It was clear what he was thinking.

Logan did not want to argue with this pitiful fellow, so he briefly stated his business.

“Collapse Magic Scrolls, 150 of them.”

“…Excuse me?”

That took the man aback, his eyes widening.

Collapse Magic was a 4th circle earth attribute area spell which, depending on the capacity of the caster, could crumble dozens of square meters of rock formations at once. Although it was a formidable spell, it had certain drawbacks: prolonged casting time, obvious signs pre-cast, and it was ineffectual against living beings or other materials than soil and rock, making it practically useless in warfare.

However, in other applications, the story was different.

‘They’re perfect for construction.’

Logan planned to use them to accelerate the development of the mines and to resolve additional issues in other territories.

“…As I mentioned, Collapse Magic is part of the 4th circle scrolls, and as such, each scroll costs ten thousand gold. And you intend to purchase 150 of them?”

“Yes.”

“…You do realize that if you simply make the request and fail to pay, it could create a very embarrassing situation for you, guest.”

The man frowned slightly and scanned him from head to toe once more.

A sigh was involuntary at the ridiculous threat, but Logan had no intention of dealing with this fool any longer.

“It’s Collapse Scrolls. If you cannot fulfill that, summon someone who can.”

“…Excuse me?”

“Can you handle the sale? If so, let’s make the transaction right away.”

Logan took out an account verification issued by Coopers from his pocket.

Even this document was protected against forgery through magical means.

“Uh!”

The man was startled upon seeing the listed 4 million gold.

“Collapse Scrolls, 150 of them, that makes it 1.5 million gold. It’s a substantial amount; I wonder if you can handle it…”

Following Logan’s words, the man’s complexion turned pale.

“I-I’m sorry. Such a transaction is beyond what I can handle…”

The man’s snide demeanor had vanished completely.

Looking at his trembling hands, Logan smirked.

“Then bring someone who can take responsibility, right?”

“Yes? Oh, yes! Please wait for a moment. I-I will return immediately!”

***

The receptionist magician scrambled away, and soon after…

Thud thud.

From the stairs where the man had hurriedly ascended, an elderly magician nearly tumbled down as he descended with haste.

“Who is it? Oh, you?”

Amid the clamor, the magician, staggering to maintain his balance, approached with a grin that was strange for his years.

The beard sprouting beneath his chin was half white, yet despite the age it implied, his shifty eyes and lips gave off a deceitful impression.

“Oh, what a precious guest. I apologize for the late welcome. I am Ledios Grate, the tower master of the Earth Tower. I’m sorry, but may I ask which family you are from?”

This introduction was enough to surprise Logan.

‘Head of a Magic Tower?’

Even though 1.5 million gold was a considerable sum, it was essentially only half a year’s budget of a barony.

He had heard that the Earth Tower was not doing well financially, but…

‘The head of one of the five major towers rushes out for this amount?’

Yet, the strong magical presence he discerned, the heartbeat of a magician, revealed an undisputed five magic circles.

A 5th circle magician—no matter where in the tower, this was a master capable of holding an elder position or higher.

‘The situation of this tower might be more serious than I thought.’

Even amidst the unexpected situation, Logan took note of this information as he bowed his head in response.

“I am Logan McLaine.”

“…McLaine?”

As he heard the name, the tower master’s expression was a mix of confusion and realization, but he quickly regained composure and spoke with a forced laugh.

“Ahahaha. I apologize. My lack of exposure led to my mistake. Please, allow me to guide you. Follow me, I would much prefer we have this conversation in my office.”

The Earth Tower, one of the five prominent towers, and its master’s submissive attitude was hard to get used to but not without its advantages.

‘A weakness in a trading partner is my benefit.’

Logan smiled and nodded.

“I’m just from a small territory in the southwest. You don’t need to concern yourself. However, I have more than enough ability to make the purchase, unlike that friend there who doubted me.”

“Ah… Ha, haha. It seems our apprentice made a mistake. My apologies. I will give him a stern talking-to.”

“No, it’s nothing to worry about. It’s a trivial matter.”

Saying otherwise, but his steely glare briefly directed at the pale-faced apprentice was undeniably sharp. Observing this interaction hinted at the smug tower master’s unpleasant nature, but Logan had no reason to care.

‘Tsk. He brought this on himself.’

For now, completing this trade successfully was of utmost importance.

‘Let’s see if the Earth Tower can meet my demand. Hmm.’

The more effective spell for his purpose would have been the 4th circle Explosion Scrolls from the Magic Tower of Fire.

However, as Explosion was classified as a combat spell, it was much more expensive compared to equivalent magic, and purchasing a large quantity of military-grade scrolls would attract unnecessary attention.

Therefore, Logan chose the Collapse Magic and the Earth Tower instead.

‘Well, it’s not like there’s only one magic tower.’

Magicians of the Royal Tower who specialized in one attribute were more skilled, but the class magicians of the Royal Tower could produce similar items as well.

‘If needed, I can split the order.’

Judging by the flow of the conversation, it seemed he would be able to close the deal on even better terms than expected.

Logan followed Ledios with a faint smile.

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