Regressor of the Fallen Family chapter 42

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Chapter 42

In front of the west gate of Grandia, at noon the next day.

“Have you arrived, young lord Logan?”

“Ah. You seem less tired than yesterday. Haha, I look forward to working with you.”

“My apologies for showing you such an embarrassing side yesterday…”

“Why should you be sorry for that? It’s the damn tower master’s problem, not yours.”

Greck, with a bitter smile on his face, was interrupted by Clayton, who towered a full head taller than him, suddenly appearing behind him.

“Your Highness, let’s not waste time with pleasantries and get going quickly. Wouldn’t you agree it’s best to wrap up the work as soon as possible?”

“Master! Kuh-hem. My apologies, young lord Logan. Our master tends to be rather straightforward with words.”

“What! What now? Did I speak wrongly?”

As Greck gestured with his hand, the previously quiet disciples rushed over and pulled at Clayton’s robe, dragging him back.

Clayton’s thick eyebrows wriggled as if he was about to explode with anger, but…

“Kuhng. Alright, you brats. Let go! I won’t say another word.”

Greck sighed lightly as he heard Clayton grumble.

“Our master isn’t one to fuss over courtesies… His expression may be rough, but his heart is warm. Your understanding would be appreciated.”

“Hmm…”

Usually, magicians, being rarer than knights, tended to have stronger pride. Even commoners who were chosen believed they were above rural nobles, and that attitude was rather common.

The receptionist at the magic tower yesterday had been one such example, but Greck and his companions lacked that arrogance.

They seemed to have laid down most burdens after enduring many hardships.

For their employer, Logan, meeting such people was a welcome occasion. High-class talents like Clayton who had come for free—what could be wrong with his blunt manner of speaking?

“It is an honor to have the elder of the magic tower with us.”

Logan washed away Greck’s worries with a bright smile.

Logan had prepared three carriages for Clayton and his disciples.

These were six-seater carriages, spacious enough to accommodate several people comfortably, affording the room for everyone to travel divided if needed.

Moreover, he had invested a hefty 5,000 gold to hire experienced coachmen from the Grandia transport guild and prepared provisions and tents necessary for camping out.

It was a showcase of Logan’s care towards the magicians, with the setup indicating his intent to travel continuously, except for the essential breaks for eating and sleeping.

And in this luxurious setting, the gruff-looking Clayton was continuously nagging his disciples to ‘train since the conditions are comfortable.’

From Logan’s perspective, it seemed like senseless coercion, but the disciples accepted Clayton’s orders with smiles.

‘They’re like underlings flattering a murderous leader to survive.’

Although it appeared precisely so, genuine sincerity was felt in the smiles of those disciples.

Logan shook his head after a brief moment of observation.

‘It’s not for me to know. I need to focus on my affairs.’

The campfire flickered.

Watching the fire burn, Logan cast aside his stray thoughts and once again contemplated the image of the Sword Sage in his mind.

More precisely, the image of his swordplay.

Though he had occasionally thought about it while writing his swordplay manual, the image now came to him more clearly than before.

The calm starry night, as he prepared to camp out, was the best time for concentration.

‘To stimulate such swordplay here…’

That day, the Sword Sage had shown Logan more than just the Overbearing Sword Technique.

Golden light erupted from Logan’s sword, which he held loosely, forming a tangible blade.

The golden blade, a fusion of external momentum and force, though blurry, had a definite form.

There were no more irregular flashes of golden light.

“A blade made tangible by force…”

If the Sword Sage had seen this, he would have been extremely surprised.

Aura is the transformation of concentrated, compressed force into a new power.

Although the technique shown by the Sword Sage was just a weakened stage of this aura, Logan was not supposed to be able to imitate that technique at his level.

But now, with the evolved power of force, he had managed to do so with his still insufficient skills.

Crackle. Sizzle.

Of course, the shape could not be maintained for long, but the mere fact of its existence was already a tremendous achievement.

“I’ve done it…”

He couldn’t openly express his joy, considering those around him, but his fists clenched out of happiness.

He had managed to briefly imitate the Force Blade, reputed to only be achievable by the topmost knights.

Furthermore…

Whoosh.

‘The amplifier, focus, dispersal…’

The force emanating from the sword teased the flames of the campfire, coiling into a round shape, stretching out and demanding various changes.

The pressure of the momentum, fundamental to the feeling of oppression.

This seemed to be truly useful, just as the Sword Sage had claimed.

Unlike the secret techniques of the divine sword, it didn’t consume much energy.

‘It looks like I could use this in real combat.’

Overbearing Sword.

Logan had focused on this vision for days, setting aside his complicated thoughts about the future.

Because of this focus, his achievement came quickly, and he felt an immediate urge to test it.

‘I’m not a child…’

It was a childish eagerness to swing the new weapon in his hand.

Recently, he felt his mentality rejuvenating as much as his physically younger body.

‘Well, it can’t be helped.’

The idea of an unshakable mind despite changes in situation or environment was something only the most powerful or superhumans would claim proverbially.

Above all, he was satisfied with his current life, which was cleansing the regret from his previous life, so it was natural for Logan McLaine, the eldest son of the McLaine family, to remain over the aging mercenary and separatist he once was.

‘The important things must not be forgotten. The imperial war. And the civil strife.’

Despite the nighttime, the temperature didn’t feel too cold, hinting at the approaching summer, but Logan’s heart was growing colder.

‘Only a year and a half left.’

The death of the king. And the beginning of the civil war.

He had to thoroughly prepare by then to seize the opportunity.

‘To soar in an instant. When no one can spare us any thought… To do that…’

His worries deepened as much as the enveloping darkness grew deeper.

“Cough. A mighty achievement, my lord.”

Just then, a voice that broke Logan’s train of thought rang in his ears.

“Clayton?”

“I happen to witness a splendid sight.”

“Oh, no. It’s just a simple skill of mine, nothing more.”

“I may not know much about Force users, but I am aware that the feat my lord has just performed is not something possible at your age.”

“…Your praise is too much.”

Clayton and the other magicians were still not fully allies.

Realizing he had inadvertently shown his hand without consideration for the surroundings made Logan inwardly reproach himself.

“Ahem. I was somewhat uneasy because of yesterday’s incident, my manners may have been lacking. I’m not well-versed in etiquette, having lived a rough life, so I hope the distinguished young lord could understand me.”

Giving a seemingly excuse-ridden apology, Clayton then dropped an unexpected line.

“Those kids have been through hardship simply because of their unfortunate encounter with me as their mentor. I wish to teach them as much as possible while I can. Even after we start working on the estate, I hope to give each of my disciples time to rest and train. I’ll work more myself, so may I ask for your understanding?”

His tone was straightforward yet sincere.

For Logan, it seemed to be a proposal with no disadvantages, so he nodded in agreement.

‘Hm?’

A foreign sensation suddenly emanated around Clayton.

Whoosh.

As a faint disturbance touched his senses, his heart’s core vibrated, and soon faint flows of mana became visible.

A khaki-colored mana from Clayton seeped into the ground and then smoothly enveloped only the area around the tents where his disciples slept.

‘Magic… this secretly?’

He couldn’t tell what the magic was for, but the discreet nature surprised him, and the warm feelings contained within the mana surprised him again.

Although the exact effects were unknown, it was clear Clayton’s mana was infusing each tent with a good aura.

Only then did Logan notice the small beads of sweat continuously streaming down Clayton’s forehead.

And Clayton’s face looked even more tired than in the morning.

It appeared that Clayton’s efforts for his disciples were not trivial.

Logan couldn’t help but voice his admiration, which he had tried to hold back.

“You seem to care greatly for your disciples.”

“Ha. It’s the least I could do as their mentor.”

“Eh. Didn’t you even go as far as to argue with the tower master for them?”

“Cough! More importantly, it was the tower master’s conduct that…”

Clayton’s justification was stiff, entirely different from the warm feeling of the mana showering the disciples’ tents.

Yet, there was a strangely endearing power in his manner.

Logan felt as if the trip back home might not be quite so dull after all.

* * *

“Distinguished young lord!”

“Ah, greetings!”

“Good to see you! You should bow too!”

Upon their arrival at the estate, the changed demeanor of the estate residents welcomed Logan.

The cheers immediately after the war were gone, but at the mere sight of him, no residents were shaking in fear or running away from a distance, which was enough for Logan to distinctly sense his improved reputation.

However, what worried him was that many of those who greeted him didn’t seem to be in good shape.

“Mommy… I’m hungry.”

“Wait a bit. Mommy will go to the fields and bring back some potatoes.”

“Daddy?”

“Daddy… *sobs* Daddy said he would come once after a hundred nights, right? Son, how many nights have you slept?”

“I don’t know. I hate daddy. I’m hungry…”

The gaunt figures of the mother and child, and the plaintive whining of the child, weighed heavily on Logan’s heart.

The wounds of war had not yet healed, and now they were compounded by destitution.

The fleeting glance of a worried woman bowing as he passed and the puzzled look on a child’s face left a heavy burden in Logan’s heart.

‘As expected…’

Logan felt his expression harden.

Lowering the tax rate, considering the barren McLaine estate, was one thing, but even the 30% tax rate inevitably made the already difficult situation of the residents harder.

The timing as the most food-scarce period became apparent to him.

That’s why he brought measures to solve these problems fundamentally, but there were still many obstacles to overcome.

‘Will father agree?’

He was confident in his solution.

After all, in his past life, he had seen the results that it produced on several occasions.

However, presenting that idea as is wasn’t possible, so convincing others, including his father, was the issue.

‘I need to mobilize the residents to work on the construction…’

While contemplating as he entered the castle, he unexpectedly encountered another person he needed to convince.

“Splendidly enjoyed your time away, young lord? I’ve had quite a rough time myself.”

Rick, still with wads of cotton in his nose, greeted with a haggard face and a tone that almost sounded like provocation.

“Ah… Haha. Rick, you guy. Yeah, I’m back. These people behind me are…”

“This stench doesn’t leave my body. The maids run away, holding their noses at my sight. Young lord, I think I’ll never be able to marry because of this.”

The fiery look in Rick’s eyes showed that he didn’t care what Logan was saying; he kept pouring out his grievances.

Logan sweated coldly upon hearing Rick’s almost monologue filled with sharp sincerity.

“How will you compensate for this! Hm?! Ever since that Karok… Ugh?!”

Logan swiftly covered Rick’s mouth and whispered in his ear.

“An addition of 50 gold per week. Deal?”

Head shake.

Eyes wide.

“100 gold more. That’s the last offer.”

Only then did Rick quietly close his mouth.

Logan breathed a sigh of relief and removed his hand from Rick’s mouth.

“Ptui. Spit.”

The attitude of the young man, though roguish and still filled with resentment, somehow brought a smile to Logan’s face.

“Rick. First, guide our guests. I shall see my father and organize accommodation. After that, we’ll decide where you’ll be staying.”

“Yes, yes. I must follow orders, of course. Some enjoy themselves freely while others endure a foul-smelling place…”

“Be sensible. I won’t tolerate more.”

“Kuh-hem. Dear guests, please follow me. I will guide you.”

Amused by the sudden shift in the fellow’s demeanor, Logan felt the presence of home in an unexpectedly peculiar way.

His countier concerns suddenly seemed trivial.

‘Yes. When did I ever persuade with logic? If it doesn’t work, I’ll force it.’

With lighter spirits and a smile, Logan turned and looked back.

“Master Clayton. Please wait here for a moment. After seeing my father, I will arrange your accommodations.”

“Shouldn’t we accompany you? Considering the significant expenses involved in the task…”

“No, you are still my guests for the time being. I will inform you after my return.”

Leaving the perplexed company of magicians behind, Logan headed inside the castle with a somewhat lighter gait.

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