Regressor of the Fallen Family chapter 43

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Chapter 43

“Yes. Visiting the capital has been quite enlightening.”

“…Good. Then that settles it. Anything else you wish to discuss?”

Even in that brief exchange, Logan could sense that his father’s perception of him had changed significantly.

Trust. It meant his father didn’t question or scrutinize him.

But for the sake of the future, he still had to speak his mind.

‘Before getting to the main point…’

Logan swallowed down his dry saliva.

“I did some business in the capital and earned a bit of money. Revenue should keep coming in for a while.”

“…Money? No, before that. Business? What kind of business?”

“The medicine I gave you as a gift, Father. I started trading with it. Luckily, it went well so I made some money.”

“What, what did you say?”

His father’s initially casual expression suddenly became rigid.

Then, as if realizing the full implication, his face turned beet red.

“You, you’re telling me you went to the capital to sell libido enhancers?!”

His voice, startled and flustered, trembled ever so slightly.

“Don’t tell me… You had a representative?”

“I sold it directly to the nobles. It had to be me who did it for a high price.”

“You, yourself sold it?”

“Yes.”

“While revealing you’re a McLaine?”

“Yes.”

“Kuhum. Huh. Grng. Hooo….”

Patrick’s shock quickly gave way to deep sighs and groans.

“Uhm, I have no face to see our ancestors…”

Through the hands covering his face, came his muffled groans.

When he looked up at Logan again, Logan braced himself for a blast of fury.

“Sigh. Logan, I’ve decided not to interfere in your actions, but…”

Contrary to his expectations, a sincere and grave voice followed his father’s deep sigh.

“The next time you do something, could you at least consider the honor and dignity of the family to some degree?”

Despite the complicated look his father gave him, Logan wore a smile.

‘I thought I’d have to convince him with a whole spiel.’

It seemed that his reputation had improved more than he guessed.

‘This might make things easier.’

Thus, Logan could answer boldly.

“Yes!”

“…Are you thinking before answering?”

“Of course!”

“Krnng…”

Logan’s too readily given answer didn’t instill much confidence, and Patrick, out of words again, buried his face in his hands.

But Logan was earnest and resolute in his heart.

He believed he was already acting with ‘maximum’ consideration for the family’s honor and dignity.

It was just that, in his mind, honor and dignity came after survival and profit.

Patrick would have wrapped his head again if he knew, and Logan barely concealed a smirk.

After causing such a headache, it was time to share some good news.

“Actually, I happened to meet a Sword Sage in the capital, and it’s proved to be a fortuitous connection.”

Fortunately, this time Logan’s news received an immediate reaction as anticipated.

“A Sword Sage? You mean Duke Felix Esperanza?”

Patrick’s eyes sparkled with sudden interest, as if all his concerns had vanished.

“Yes.”

“How did you meet him?”

“I sold him the medicine. And it turns out that he was quite…”

“What?!”

As if something burst inside him, Patrick abruptly shouted out with flushed cheeks.

His son had not only sold libido enhancers under the family name, but he also peddled them to the most respected sword hero of the kingdom.

For Patrick, it was an unimaginable blow to his dignity.

“How could you smear so much filth on the face of our family…!”

“That’s why I acquired quite a formidable intermediate-grade sword skill.”

“…What?”

Caught between anger and bewilderment, Patrick’s eyes fixed on a book that Logan had pulled out.

“Ironblood Sword. It’s a proper intermediate-grade sword technique, endorsed by the Sword Sage himself. Plus, it includes a secret technique that’s quite a trick…”

Patrick darted in front of Logan like a flash of lightning.

“Is this for real?! How? No, that’s not the question. Let me see it first.”

Patrick had longed for a proper Force Sword Technique, or intermediate-grade swordsmanship, all his life.

He had been considering the limitations of his swordsmanship as a possible reason for his lack of progress for over a decade.

To him, a intermediate-grade swordplay manual endorsed by a Sword Sage was like rain after a long drought.

Whoosh. Whoosh.

“That’s right. If I do this…. Huh.”

As Patrick flipped through the pages quickly, his eyes devoured every word as if ready to draw his sword there and then.

Seeing this, Logan quickly brought up his prepared suggestion.

“This should be a significant help to the family, don’t you think?”

At that moment, Patrick looked at Logan with a vacant expression.

“It’s genuine, indeed. And it seems to be among the better intermediate-grade techniques. How can we ever repay the Sword Sage’s kindness… No, first. Logan, you’ve done well. Really well!”

Where had the fiery anger gone?

Patrick grinned even brighter than when they had resolved the family’s debt and patted Logan’s shoulder.

Riding that enthusiasm, Logan brought the conversation back on track.

“Would this be enough to train our knights with?”

“Of course! If they master it properly, our knights’ power could increase by at least 30 percent! You can count on that!”

“Good to hear. So I’ll propose…”

“Yes. But first, I must master this myself.”

“What? No, I intend to…”

Before Logan could say more, Patrick, seemingly thrilled, became absorbed in the book again.

“This is really… It’s not the time for me to be here. Logan!”

“Yes?”

“I must concentrate on learning this as fast as I can. So please, I’ll leave things to you for a while.”

“What do you mean?”

Caught up in the whirlwind of events, Logan felt confused.

Thud.

Patrick placed a heavy, fist-sized object on the desk.

“Here. This is the seal of the head.”

“What?”

“Assist Dwayne with household matters for the time being. I will concentrate on this sword technique.”

“What? That’s not what I planned…”

“Discuss it with Dwayne and resolve it well. Logan, I truly appreciate it!”

“But Father, I have something to tell you…”

Bang!

The study’s door slammed shut as Patrick vanished like the wind.

Logan’s voice only bounced off an invisible wall.

“What just happened…?”

Patrick’s impassioned reaction trampled over all of Logan’s expectations.

On the desk, a large seal lay forlorn, with its blazing flame design, the McLaine family’s insignia, appearing particularly pathetic that day.

“I didn’t even get to mention the main topic.”

The frustration was palpable, but another thought offered some consolation.

‘It’s as if I have the right to do it now, after all.’

Thinking that way, the flaming insignia in his hand suddenly seemed friendlier.

“Alright. I’ll set it all in motion before Father finishes his training.”

While Logan was affirming himself with a murmur, suddenly, the door burst open.

“Sir! I heard you’ve arrived! You’re here!”

Dwayne rushed in eagerly, greeting him with unusual fervor.

“Welcome back! Good to see you!”

After a brief, formal greeting, Dwayne wasted no time getting to the point.

“I’ve heard about what you did in the capital! Please contribute some money to the family funds! It’s urgent.”

The desperate plea sounded almost pathetic.

“What’s so urgent? Aren’t there funds from the war?”

“That money is barely enough to sustain two castles! And this year’s harvest is expected to plummet. It looks like the taxes will be in deficit…”

The depleted labor force due to war casualties in Teslon’s Castle, the already poor financial situation of McLaine Castle, the abruptly halted support from Kyros—along with a litany of other issues that Dwayne rattled on about—all led to one conclusion.

“Please, give us money! Money! I know you’ve made a fortune! Don’t look away!”

However.

“I’m sorry.”

“Sorry? Why are you apologizing? No, no, you shouldn’t be sorry. What are you saying? Instead of apologizing, just give us money. Money!”

“I’ve spent it all.”

“…What? Hey, this isn’t funny. You made millions of gold, didn’t you? What have you done in such a short time to spend it all? The territory’s really in trouble, this isn’t a time for jokes!”

“It’s not a joke.”

“Come on, this isn’t funny. Seriously, it’s not.”

“…I’ve really spent it all.”

“….”

Dwayne stared into Logan’s eyes momentarily, then collapsed limply to the floor.

“What, what did you spend it on?”

“120 million on magic scrolls and mages. Bought food, and various materials for construction, so there’s nothing left.”

Indeed, after those purchases, nearly two million gold was left, but the minimal expenditure for the next six months was already estimated at 2.2 million gold.

Considering the possible sales decline of the Impo-Rick, he could not spend the remaining money.

And there was another reason.

“120 million gold? For magic scrolls? What on earth are you planning to use them for?!”

Those bulging eyes somehow seemed amusing to tease.

“Collapse. I plan to take on a major project. Lots of territory people will have to be mobilized too.”

“How many? Just about how many people?”

“Let’s see. At least a few thousand…”

“A few thousand? Have you lost your mind?! Now is not the time for that!”

‘I know it’s harvest season, my man.’

Logan held back the laughter trying to escape.

“What project are you planning? No, no matter what it is, this is not the time for construction! The head will never allow it! Just get a refund!”

“Nope. Besides, I’m the head now.”

Logan teasingly waved the fiery seal in front of Dwayne’s eyes.

“This seal? Where is the head?”

“Training.”

“This man, again!”

Dwayne jumped up as if he had never been disheartened.

“Head of the house!!”

A boar with flames in its eyes went charging back into the manor.

* * *

– There’s nothing more important than this right now! Sort out the rest through discussion!

– Head of the house?! Head… Hey, man!

Charging into the training hall, Dwayne, who went in full of vigor, ended up only getting rebuked by Patrick, who had just begun to concentrate.

The dejected Dwayne looked at Logan with a face full of resentment, but Logan stood his ground.

“Do you really have to do this?”

“It’s necessary.”

“It’s the peak season when the territorials have to work. What on Earth are you trying to build during this time!”

Even in this barren territory, there were crops to be harvested.

Predictably, the yield was small, but the people managed to survive by hunting or gathering herbs.

And summer, this season, offered nature’s most bountiful harvest.

In other words, it was the busiest time for the territorials.

“The mood’s already sour post-war, it could lead to a disaster. Please rethink this! Please!”

“Don’t worry, no one’s working for free.”

“…What are you planning to do?”

“Feed them. There are a lot of starving people in our territory, aren’t there?”

“Yes?”

“I’ll distribute food. Provide enough for those who are starving and even more for those who will contribute to the construction work.”

That idealistic talk made Dwayne’s expression sour.

“If you do that, within a month you won’t even have soup to eat.”

“It’s fine. I have some.”

“What do you mean ‘It’s fine’?! We have nothing! Don’t you get it?!”

“You didn’t really listen to me countier, did you? I said I bought food, didn’t I?”

“Yes? But countier you said magical scrolls for construction…”

“Tsk tsk. You need to listen properly when someone’s talking. I said I have that and food. Does that settle it?”

“Even if you bought a little food, distributing it to the territorials would…”

“One million gold.”

“What?”

“Every month, until next year this time.”

Dwayne stared at Logan with a dumbfounded expression for a moment, then started fiddling with his ears.

“Cough. I’ve been working so hard lately I must be hearing things. Sir, what did you say again?”

“I’ll spend 1 million gold every month for a year to buy food and distribute it among the territorials.”

“Goodness. It—it wasn’t a hallucination… Sir?”

“Yes, I will.”

“Did you eat something wrong?”

Dwayne’s incredulous gaze made Logan smirk wryly.

‘This is the natural reaction, I guess.’

So far, Logan hadn’t shown any concern for the living conditions of the territorials.

Even though his reputation might have improved after becoming a war hero, it was unlikely anyone would expect such a change in his worldview.

But for the sake of the future, this was a job that needed to be done right away.

“I’m fine. Is that enough?”

“There are 30 thousand in McLaine Castle and 50 thousand in Teslon Castle. We may not be able to feed everyone lavishly, but it should be enough for modest provision…”

“If we minimize it and give twice as much to those involved in the construction?”

“Well, it should be sufficiently feasible. But Sir. Do you really need to do this?”

“What?”

“Opposing the construction aside, why do you want to spend that money on food for the territorials? You don’t have to; they will manage. Rather, use the money for something else. There are so many other places that need it…”

‘Hmm. Right. Everyone still thinks that way.’

It wasn’t that Dwayne lacked compassion.

It was just the accepted standard—a misguided belief that skimmed the territorials’ vitality while keeping them barely afloat to pay taxes.

‘We need to correct this mistaken notion.’

So Logan had to set things straight.

“It’s my money, anyway. What’s the problem with spending it as I please?”

“Sir!”

“I have the authority as the acting lord. And the source of funds is also my money. There’s no reason to object, right?”

Logan’s argument was undeniably sound, and as Dwayne tried to furiously come up with a rebuttal, he eventually collapsed with a grimace.

“Sigh… The head will oppose it.”

“He’s not here now.”

“If we must do it, making sure no one dies of hunger would be best…”

“No. That’s not good enough. This is all ultimately for the welfare of the family.”

Therefore, it was imperative to succeed. Absolutely.

Logan’s firm expression left Dwayne speechless in the end.

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