Regressor of the Fallen Family chapter 40

TO ACCESS EXCLUSIVE CONTENT AND SUPPORT THIS NOVEL, CLICK HERE !

Chapter 40

“This is Myeongjeong tea. It’s brewed with medicinal herbs that help clear the mind. It’s a specialty of our Mage Tower. Please, have a taste.”

Ledios offered the teacup, carefully observing the countenance of Amazing — no, the valuable customer who had returned to the Mage Tower after a long absence.

‘He’s definitely young. If I play my cards right… I might be able to reel him in…’

Due to the tight budget for the month — more precisely, the situation was so dire that the owner of the Mage Tower himself had to step forward to eagerly court a mere deal of 1.5 million gold.

No doubt, artifacts were the highest value products produced by the Mage Tower.

But artifacts, which started at a cost of ten million each, were fortunate if they sold even a few units a year due to the lack of interested buyers.

Thus, the main products were relatively affordable(?) scrolls, and in this respect, the Earth Mage Tower that he led was slightly less competitive.

During peacetime, as opposed to war, the practical uses of Earth Magic were mostly in agricultural development, farming, or large-scale civil engineering.

However, very few nobles were willing to use expensive scrolls for such ‘trivial’ tasks.

‘After all, they could just mobilize the peasants of their territory.’

As a result, the Earth Mage Tower always struggled with a tight budget.

It was not true that the Mage Tower had become inept after he became the Tower Master.

It was natural for the Tower Master to use some of the Mage Tower’s budget for personal research. The rumors that this impacted the competitiveness of the entire tower were sheer nonsense.

Of course, the reason the budget was tight this month was because he’d overspent a bit, but with the hope he’d discovered, it wasn’t necessarily a bad thing.

‘If I succeed, the Mage Tower succeeds. Yes, indeed.’

“Hmm. It’s a tea that the Tower Master can be proud of. It has a delightful aroma.”

“Haha, as expected, you have quite the discerning taste. But did you say you wanted to buy 150 Collapse Scrolls?”

Ledios himself regretted speaking as soon as the words left his lips.

He’d foolishly dived straight into the main agenda, reacting immediately to unexpected praise — not the demeanor worthy of a noble. It was a clear mistake.

“Yes, that’s right.”

Fortunately, the gracious customer didn’t seem to react.

Maybe, it wasn’t too late to try and feel it out.

“Hahaha. I’m excited about such a big transaction after a long time. But there’s a bit of a problem, actually.”

“Problem, you say?”

“As you know, a 4th level Circle Scroll can only be produced under the guidance of a 5th Circle mage. And such high-quality manpower is not abundant in our Mage Tower.”

Ledios cautiously baited, watching the buyer’s reaction.

“…So, what is it?”

The buyer’s gaze darkened, and the atmosphere turned chilly in an instant.

It was not the response he’d expected from an easy mark.

‘But I have to try at least once more.’

Gulp.

Ledios swallowed hard and continued cautiously.

“As you may be aware, scrolls are expensive to produce and cannot just be crafted in advance…”

“So, what you’re saying is, you can’t provide the quantity I want?”

But before he could even finish his sentence, the buyer’s voice grew icy cold.

“No, not at all! Definitely not! I just meant that producing 150 scrolls might take a little time… Haha. Ahem.”

Ledios quickly babbled out excuses in shock.

“Well, there’s nothing I can do then. I was planning to purchase 150 scrolls monthly. If you can’t even handle 150, I’m considering looking into the Royal Mage Tower…”

“Wait, please, sir!”

“Yes?”

“Monthly?”

Ledios was stunned, thinking he must have misunderstood.

“Yes. I need a total of 900 scrolls over six months, at a monthly rate of 150.”

But it was neither a delusion nor a misunderstanding.

“Ugh…”

His hand involuntarily shot up, and a cheer almost escaped him.

“Ahem.”

“What are you doing…”

“My apologies. I just needed to stretch a bit due to fatigue…”

He narrowly escaped the crisis with his well-honed acting skills developed over the years, believing he had perfectly managed his expression.

“Well, if even the first 150 scrolls are delayed, then 150 every month for six months is outright impossible. Thanks for the tea.”

But no matter what, the determined steps of the wealthy Party (財神) leaving did not stop.

When the sound of footsteps thundered in his ears like lightning, Ledios had only one choice.

“It can be done! It must be done!”

“Really?”

“Of what I said, that is… unless I intervene personally— Yes, exactly. Indeed.”

“Could it be done?”

“It absolutely must! 150 per month. 1.5 million per month. That’s 9 million over six months. Haha. Such a splendid sum.”

Unaware of the words spouting from his mouth, Ledios reached for the teacup to hide his expression.

“Hot!”

But the shaking hand couldn’t preserve even a shred of dignity.

“Are you okay, Mage?”

“Cough. Yes! Yes, I am. My apologies. Please, just give me a moment!”

Right now, pride was not the issue.

If the deal went through, he could silence all criticism from the elders for his excessive experimental expenses in one stroke.

Ledios dashed out the door filled with hope.

* * *

“150 scrolls of 4th Circle every month? You will need to involve other elders in production. Will they follow along willingly?”

“We have no choice! It’s not just a month. Six months’ worth! 9 million gold! Even with a third of that, we could resume the halted research!”

“If you want to persuade the elders, you have to share the profits.”

“That’s unavoidable. I’ll have to make concessions and squeeze the lower-ranking workers as much as possible! This is a clue to becoming a superior being that I’ve found for the first time in 20 years!”

“But there is other work…”

“No buts about it! Cancel all other orders! Pay the penalties! We don’t have any big deals happening right now!”

“Ahem. Understood. But…”

“And maybe those guys…”

“Sorry? Ah…”

The last few words faded, but Logan understood enough.

‘Ah, that’s why someone of the stature of a Mage Tower owner is acting like this…’

With superhuman hearing strengthened by Force, he accidentally overheard their conversation and grasped their situation.

Creak.

Shortly after, the door opened again, and Ledios entered the room with a middle-aged man bearing a somewhat stern expression.

“Ahaha. Young lord, this is the elder of our Mage Tower, Romerun Iyo. He is in charge of producing the scrolls.”

“Pleasure to meet you, Romerun.”

Compared to the Mage Tower owner Ledios, Romerun’s slight bow somehow seemed to carry more weight.

‘4th Circle?’

But Logan found it odd that Romerun’s cultivation seemed to fall short of being considered an elder.

An influential mage like that should have been hard to come by in the Grandia Kingdom, renowned for its scarcity of high-grade mages.

‘Well, it’s not my problem.’

Ledios had held his position as Mage Tower owner since before rumors began circulating a decade ago about the decline in the tower’s capabilities under this duplicitous-looking man — nothing new.

‘I just need to purchase what I need.’

Fortunately, from their conversation, it seemed quite likely.

But then, the Mage Tower owner made an unexpected suggestion.

“But, what if, instead of scrolls, we directly employ mages?”

“What?”

The proposal was startling.

Mages, who often came with an excess of pride and dignity, refused to be directly contracted for mundane tasks, especially those as ignoble as a construction site during peacetime.

Thus, Logan hadn’t even entertained the notion of employing mages in a direct contract.

‘Are things different here? Impossible.’

His understanding was shaken, but his response was clear.

‘We must.’

Why else would single-use scrolls be so costly?

While production costs played a part, the more significant reason for the high prices was that the majority of oh-so-proud mages refused to soil their hands with manual labor, preferring the insulation of their laboratories.

Employing a 4th Circle mage could have the effect of 300 scrolls at less than half the cost.

“Are there 4th Circle mages willing to come to a provincial construction site?”

He didn’t hide the excitement in his voice, but considering the magnitude of the proposition, there was no reason for self-reproach.

However…

“Ah, haha. It seems there’s been a bit of a misunderstanding. My apologies.”

“What?”

“4th Circle mages are hard to order around, even for me. They’re the tower’s valuable talents.”

“Huh…”

The disappointment was natural. 4th Circle mages were considered a critical asset in any Mage Tower.

It would be a loss for the tower to forcefully involve them in unpleasant work, potentially leading to defections.

“Then why did you make such a suggestion to me…?”

“Well, it was to see if there was a better offer I could propose to our esteemed guest.”

By now, Logan no longer saw Ledios as a mage, but more as a tradesman.

“Instead of all the scrolls, how about I send some of our 2nd and 3rd Circle apprentices?”

This better offer was what Logan had been willing to hear. Nevertheless, he almost laughed at the absurdity.

It boiled down to sending a few low-ranking mages to put up a front, while still pocketing the money.

“I’m sorry, but…”

“Ten of them!”

As Logan was ready to refuse bluntly, the Tower Master preempted him.

“…Sorry?”

“Nine 2nd Circle mages and one 3rd Circle mage. I have apprentices who are experienced working together on various construction sites. I will send them to you.”

Logan couldn’t resist being interested by such conditions.

Employing ten mages, even for lower circles, might even be better than a single 4th Circle mage for a long-term construction project.

Especially remarkable was the claim of specialized mages in construction work — a notion Logan could scarcely imagine.

“Hmm. If I can employ mages affordably, that suits me just fine. I came here wanting to expedite construction.”

At Logan’s positive response, Ledios seized the moment to suggest.

“How about we compromise at 120 scrolls, and I send those friends for the duration of the construction?”

“120 scrolls?”

Effectively trading 30 4th Circle magic scrolls for ten mages.

No matter how he looked at it, it was a fair deal.

“Well, that seems fine.”

As Logan nodded, smiles bloomed on the faces of both the watching Mage Tower owner and the elder.

Each thought they had woven a perfect deal where both sides gained.

“But since this is such a large and long-term deal, you might be able to offer some discount? How far can you go?”

Yet Ledios’ expression contorted once more with Logan’s follow-up question.

The Tower Master had played his hand too soon.

‘What will the outcome be?’

Logan smiled inwardly, waiting for the reaction.

They must have surmised that his visit related to ground construction work.

Despite the presence of the Royal Mage Tower, which taught classes in multielemental magery, it couldn’t match the Earth Mage Tower, which held a unique position in this field.

Furthermore, mages hated the word ‘discount’ attaching to their precious ‘magic’ products, considering it an insult to their pride.

But Logan was confident this strategy would work.

From the conversation outside, and based on…

“Haha. You need this urgently, don’t you?”

“Not particularly urgent. I just want to finish the construction county. Money is no concern.”

“Haha, you are indeed generous. After all, employing peasants in your territory would suffice.”

This was the common belief among Grandia’s nobility at the time.

Spending a lot on territorial development was an option chosen only in urgent cases.

Otherwise, the ‘cheap’ solution was to grind the peasants of the territory.

‘That’s why the Empire easily conquered us.’

– Every law of the Empire is intended for the people’s welfare. To promote the welfare of the people is to serve the nation.

– Ensuring the people’s prosperity is the foundation for strengthening the nation.

These were the opening phrases of the imperial laws later proclaimed by the Emperor of Ares Empire.

Logan, in his previous life, was also shocked by these words. At that time, they were notions he had never considered.

What significance was there in treating peasants well just to boost one’s reputation within the territory?

‘At least, that’s what I thought.’

But this notion vanished in an instant when faced with the Empire’s war.

When Grandia’s military forces crumbled, its soldiers were quick to flee. In contrast, Imperial troops fought to hinder the enemy’s advance, even after a defeat.

This difference in mindset always led to outcomes far exceeding the direct difference in military strength.

And only after everything ended did he realize that this stemmed from how the monarch treated the people.

Many other nobles likely came to the same realization.

‘The country becomes stronger when its people are prosperous.’

This simple truth dawned on them only after the kingdom had fallen.

It was necessary now to cater to their perspective.

“If the price doesn’t suit me, I might just take longer to mobilize the peasant workforce and handle it that way.”

Logan had no intention of forced peasant labor without proper compensation, but others couldn’t know his thoughts.

“Haha. I see. Naturally. But a discount from the Mage Tower… Hahaha.”

Only a baffled voice and hollow laughter followed.

Unable to make a decision, they kept looking for a sign, so Logan decided to prod them further.

“Is it too much? Then I’ll just consult the Royal Mage Tower…”

“Wait! Please just a moment…”

Although not translated into action, there was almost a desperate momentum, as if clinging to the hem of a robe.

The anxious licking of lips made the impression look even more sinister.

Added to that was Logan’s internal encouragement (?).

“You caught a clue leading to the path of the extraordinary? You can’t give up, can you?”

A crossroads leading to the arrival of a top-tier knight.

A crossroads leading a 5th Circle Mage to become a 6th Circle Mage.

To most people, the warning of causing frustration was symbolized by the ‘Wall of Magic’, dividing the extraordinary from the ordinary.

And those who most wanted to overcome that wall were not those who couldn’t even approach it, but rather those who had reached the level of starting to peek beyond it.

“Hehe. Scrolls have their regulations, but… cough. I guess there’s no other way.”

In the end, the Master of the Mage Tower surrendered to desire and broke his pride.

TO ACCESS EXCLUSIVE CONTENT AND SUPPORT THIS NOVEL, CLICK HERE !



One response to “Regressor of the Fallen Family chapter 40”

  1. Thanks for the chapter!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *