Regressor of the Fallen Family chapter 47

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Chapter 47: Where Am I? Who Is This Place?

An overwhelming stack of documents, enough to obscure one’s vision.

The grand assembly of massive papers was more dizzying to Logan’s mind than any curse could be.

Thud.

The mechanical stamping of his seal on document after document while his gaze aimlessly drifted through the void was a Sisyphean task.

But…

“Are you even checking what you’re stamping? Hey, that document is concerning the castle’s repair issues; we haven’t even discussed that! Young lord! Are you going to keep working carelessly?!”

The demon of paperwork continued to wring him dry with no intention of letting up.

“Ah, I’ve never seen my father work to such an extent?”

Logan protested, albeit belatedly, as he realized the sense of disconnect from what was happening.

“Of course not. Most of it is handled at my level.”

“…What?”

The absurd response provoked a fiery glare from Logan’s reddened eyes.

“Why are you dumping all this on me, then?!”

“Because you’re going to be the heir, you need to know everything about the territory!”

“I’m NOT the heir!”

“Come on, who would acknowledge that?!”

Instead of conceding, Dwayne roared back, and Logan’s mind went blank.

‘Ah, is that how it is? It’s not about recognizing me as the heir; it’s about recognizing that I’m not the heir?’

Just as confusion began to blend into his logic, Dwayne relentlessly pressed on.

“There’s been a lot of backlog due to the aftermath. Some of it also involves properties from Teslon Castle. A number of those managers were in cahoots with Haman Teslon, and given how many there were, we decided to do a complete overhaul…”

As Dwayne grumbled on, Logan felt a throbbing headache threatening to take over.

“And with a shortage of administrators, squeezing as much as we can, it feels like we might survive thanks to you overseeing some of this.”

Familiar words of flattery emerged, following several days of being pushed to the brink.

However, Dwayne’s tactics didn’t work this time.

“It feels like I’m the one dying here.”

“Then, when you become the lord later, please hire more administrators. Or now would be good too. Haha.”

“Ugh…”

“Due to your policies, there’s an influx of paperwork. It has to be on a grand scale, considering we haven’t even finished dealing with the aftermath…”

Dwayne’s insidious chuckle provided a transparent glimpse into his ploy.

Referencing the dam construction, he had keenly assessed that Logan would be unable to intervene further.

“Fine. Do it, but this had better be the end, right? After this, the construction business is done?!”

If not, he was ready to put an end to him.

The threat, laden with the intent to kill, made Dwayne reluctantly nod.

After the harrowing stint of acting lord finished and filled with malicious intent from the chief administrator,

Logan dragged his weary body up to the ancestral burial grounds, taking up his sword against the setting sun.

‘Once the construction finishes, I’ll recruit soldiers…’

His head was packed with strategies to strengthen the family’s military force, but when swinging his sword, he forced himself to concentrate solely on the moment.

‘I must become stronger, too.’

He needed the strength to face the overwhelming foes he had encountered in his past life.

Attracting such caliber of people to his side was another solution, but that was no simple feat.

Not even a single piece of information had surfaced from the requests he left with Nox.

‘I must become more powerful. If only with arcane strength….’

Though the vague hope seemed far-fetched, fortunately, as he focused increasingly on his training, Logan could feel his sword strikes becoming more powerful and his movements more refined.

His Force-augmented senses were so sharp that he could detect even the slightest changes in himself.

To Logan, training was a process wherein faint hope gradually turned into reality.

Thus, the intense training that pushed his physical limits to the brink paradoxically felt like a respite for his mind.

Of course, this was made possible because through the practice of meditative training, he could completely alleviate the fatigue that had accumulated, effectively replacing sleep.

And so, Logan’s days passed by busily.

As the pile of documents to process dwindled, the time he spent as a stand-in lord decreased and his training hours increased. It was around this time that an ill-omened piece of news flew in.

* * *

“An accident?!”

Logan sprang to his feet, jolted by the news that broke in during his work hours.

“Yes. One of the mine shafts collapsed…”

“A sign things were going too smoothly, I suppose.”

“When did we get a mine in our territory?”

“But why? Why did it collapse? How serious is the accident? What’s Hammer doing?”

Although collapse scrolls were used, they were deployed under strict supervision by Hammer, enough to use only what was needed.

If a dwarf was overseeing stability as the priority in mine development, how could an accident occur?

“Well… It’s where Hammer was. But sir, I’ve heard about it, but what kind of mine…”

“Hammer?! Why didn’t you lead with that?!”

Thump!

Logan darted out of the office like the wind. He couldn’t just stand by and give orders from behind when not only workers but a valuable asset like Hammer were trapped.

‘He simply cannot die!’

The cogwheel of his grand plan would be thrown off if they lost Hammer at such a critical moment.

It was an absolutely unforeseeable disaster.

‘A dwarf causing a mine shaft collapse during work? What kind of joke is…?’

Bubbling with rage and struggling to keep his composure, Logan spurred his horse on swiftly.

Back in the office, the finance administrator alone grappled with his thoughts, tormented by the news of an accident at a mine he didn’t even know existed.

“What kind of mine is it?!”

* * *

Thud, thud, thud, thud.

Impelled by urgency with a mix of Force in his whip, Logan’s prized black steed, Firelun, managed to cover a two-hour distance in just half an hour.

Foam at its mouth notwithstanding, Logan did not look back, urging the horse straight to where a crowd had gathered.

Neigh!

“Make way!”

“It’s the young lord!”

“Stand back!”

The workers quickly cleared a path upon recognizing Logan.

“Where’s the collapsed mine shaft?”

“If you go inside, it’s the middle one of the three forks. The deepest one….”

Not waiting to hear the full response, Logan dashed forward.

Scarcely lit by dim lanterns, the ambience grew even darker due to the accident, making the feeble lights near the shaft invisible.

However, Logan’s golden eyes penetrated the shadows, and he raced through the darkness unimpeded.

Before long, he found miners tapping on a rock wall in the glow of their lanterns, trying to break through.

“How did this happen…?”

“Shush, any more noise could cause another collapse.”

It was Pale, one of the mining experts rescued from Teslon Castle.

“What’s going on?”

At his caution, Logan inquired in a softer tone.

“We don’t know for sure. Hammer went down into the shaft like usual…”

“He seemed a bit off. He’s been overworked lately.”

“Maybe a mistake with the collapse scroll?”

Hammer, more proficient in reading ground conditions than a 5th-circle earth mage, making a mistake?

Unbelievable, yet the rock pile in front of him was a harsh reality.

“So what’s the current situation? How much of it collapsed?”

“Could be more than 50 meters. It seems the magic scrolls caused the support beams to fall too. Luckily, the chain reaction stopped, but the other supports need checking. If we leave things as they are, the rescue operation alone could take days…”

’50 meters?’

The rest of his words barely registered.

Logan knew he might be able to do something about that distance.

“Move aside.”

“Huh? If you’re planning to use a scroll right now…”

“I’m not stupid. Move.”

After they heeded the assertive tone in his low voice, Logan placed his hand on the rock pile and concentrated.

A subtle Force surged forth, weaving between the rock debris.

With his amplified senses fully heightened, Logan reached out with tendrils of Force, searching for a familiar aura.

After what seemed both a brief and interminably long moment, he let out a sigh of relief.

Deep within the crumbled rock, he certainly felt Hammer’s presence, along with about a dozen workers sharing a similar warmth.

“They’re all alive.”

Realizing the worst-case scenario was avoided, Logan allowed himself a moment of relief.

“But a lot of them are injured. Hammer included. He’s unconscious and seems to be bleeding too. Damn it.”

“What, young lord? How could you…”

“How long will it take to clear this and get Hammer out?”

“At least a week, no, three days at best. And that’s if everything goes smoothly. Without Hammer, it’s unlikely.”

The miners all nodded in agreement at Logan’s gaze, forcing him to grind his teeth.

Even for a robust dwarf like Hammer, being trapped under a rock pile and bleeding for more than three days wasn’t promising.

The biggest issue remained, though.

‘Is there enough air, can they breathe…?’

Delaying meant he couldn’t guarantee the survival of Hammer or the workers.

‘What to do…’

A clear course of action sprung to mind—he had the most suitable personnel in his employ, an “earth magician.”

Yet, he faced a fierce internal struggle.

‘What if the secret leaks while mobilizing the mages?’

The mine’s existence was not yet meant to be revealed to the outside world.

Could he trust these mages, mere short-term hires?

Perhaps it would be better to direct his knights under the guidance of the miners.

But hastiness might trigger a secondary collapse, presenting an even worse scenario.

There was no better option than calling on the earth mages.

‘Either way, I have to save Hammer.’

At that moment, that was paramount.

There was no one to replace Hammer in sight.

‘I must take some risks.’

And beyond all plausible reasons.

A lesson from his previous life etched in his mind was clear.

– If you can’t protect those closest to you, you’ll end up alone.

“Right… That’s the way…”

The turmoil within quickly dissipated.

Logan bit his lip resolutely and hurried out the mine shaft.

* * *

“The great young lord!”

“Young lord Logan!”

Thud, thud, thud, thud.

Even as he sped by on horseback, the workers greeted him, but there was no time to respond.

“Oh, Logan, it’s been a while…”

“Clayton! Could I have a word with you in private?”

His urgent request cut the pleasantries short, compelling Clayton to step away momentarily from the construction site.

“A mine… and an accident?”

Hearing Logan’s brief explanation, Clayton shook visibly, taken aback.

But there was no time to dwell.

“Yes. Clayton, please, save Hammer and the workers! I will make sure you are richly rewarded. I implore you.”

“Ah, so the dwarf was running to and fro between here and there… I see. Haha, understood. It’s urgent if lives are at stake. I’ll help.”

“Thank you… your compensation will be certain…”

Clayton looked anew at Logan, who was bowing his head.

‘A mine…’

It struck him as odd they hadn’t used collapse scrolls at all.

There was something more to it, and if developing a mine was the case, it all made sense.

‘The mine must be no ordinary copper mine to keep it so secretive.’

Even if it were copper, revealing such a guarded secret to save a slave and some workers, going to the lengths of promising compensation and bowing to a mere hired mage, was no mean feat.

‘He’s not your typical noble.’

Clayton had been aware of Logan’s abilities since joining him in the territory.

The breadth of spirit he showed, ensuring contracted workers were fed instead of forced, had already earned his respect.

Moreover, the young man’s actions in this crisis impressed him further.

‘Impressive!’

He was the most exceptional youth Clayton had encountered recently.

‘With his wealth, even if the dam construction fails, this territory will continue to prosper.’

Seeing such a youth filled him with a pleasant feeling he sometimes feared was a sign of age, but it was not unwelcome.

“Greck! Signal the others. We all go together.”

Clayton acted swiftly, proof of his experience.

Editor’s musings:

Sisyphean Task – neverending task

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