Regressor of the Fallen Family chapter 65

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Chapter 65

“You wretches will fall into ruin as well! McLaine!”

The wives and daughters of Soto Sylvan, cursing with voices filled with evil, were chased out of the territory with some belongings after the calamity.

Noblewomen, who lived without a drop of water on their hands their entire lives, now faced a future without husbands and fathers, but their plights were not considered.

The focus was to notify the citizens of Sylvan Castle, now part of the new territory, of their new ruler, to reassure the people, and to prepare for the war that lay ahead.

However, a week after the conquest of Sylvan, Logan received magical communication from an unexpected source.

“The Count Bifrost?”

The communication was unforeseen, and its content was essentially a warning—though it came too late.

“The Sylvan and Feretta, McLaine, should cease fighting. As the Lord of the Southwest, I will mediate the war.”

“How dare they claim to be the Lord of the Southwest?!”

Though Patrick’s face reddened with anger at this proclamation, reality was reality.

McLaine’s vassals placated their enraged lord as they responded to the Count’s communication.

“Sylvan has already fallen into McLaine’s hands, and the self-proclaimed Lord Soto Sylvan is dead. It was a rightful retaliation against threats, and McLaine has no intention of escalating the war further.”

Perhaps due to the unexpected turn of events, the Count’s response came only days later.

“The Count’s envoy will visit McLaine and Feretta for assurance there will be no further escalation, and to convey the intentions of the Count Bifrost.”

“The Count’s intentions?”

“Though it’s a bit worrying, the lack of mention of Sylvan probably means they acknowledge our occupation.”

“Well, it seems a bit different than expected, but it looks like it turned out as Logan wanted, barring Feretta’s silence.”

“In our current situation, what else could happen?”

“What about Teslon Castle…?”

“With Clayton there, they could hold, should anything happen.”

“Yes, they can hold…”

The war with Sylvan came to an end quickly, but that was because McLaine used their maximum strength without looking back.

They still had one defeat to conceal at Teslon.

Managing three castles was no longer as simple as before. Previously, with just McLaine and Teslon, they could focus most of the forces in Teslon and use McLaine Castle symbolically.

But now, setting aside the fact that Feretta was considered an enemy, the occupation of Sylvan meant a border with Bifrost, and they couldn’t act as they used to.

“We must move the center of the territory from McLaine Castle to the town. Next to the Mage Tower, we’ve prepared a residence for the lord’s family.”

“Summer is approaching, and the Monster Forest has been completely logged. We can leave but a minimum force in McLaine without any significant issues.”

“We’ll station the knights around McLaine Town and prepare so they can be dispatched to Teslon and Sylvan at any time. I recommend splitting the soldiers for garrison duties.”

“Yes. That’s a good idea.”

Change was inevitable, and since it was a positive change, decisions were made swiftly.

The gains from the war were not only lands.

“We captured 75 knights?”

“Yes. Besides the 42 who died, subtract three deserters, all are confined in Sylvan’s prison. There are eight intermediate knights.”

“Hah, that’s more than our own knights. We’ve certainly become stronger.”

“Indeed.”

Though the team was convincingly stronger, they didn’t dwell on the fact that Soto Sylvan’s complacency led to an county capture.

They simply smiled in harmony with their lord.

“All of them can be persuaded to switch sides, right?”

“Who would be devoted to Soto Sylvan? I believe it’s all possible.”

True loyalty to a tyrant was questionable, and if such a person existed, they weren’t needed anyhow.

Now, with above-average compensation, all under the same king and country, there was ample justification.

Who would refuse a stronger lord while maintaining their honor, position, and wealth?

Logan was confident that nobody would decline.

Perhaps the most surefire method to increase knight numbers was not selecting talented individuals but conquering territorys.

So overwhelming a victory filled Logan with frivolous thoughts.

‘If only Soto Sylvan acted with more caution, there would have been significant casualties. Fewer knights would’ve been captured, and enemy soldiers would’ve perished.’

Soldiers might become future knights; they were relatives, friends, lovers of the current citizens.

Though overshadowed by the capture of over half the knights, the fact that over a thousand soldiers surrendered alive was also an encouraging outcome.

Everything exceeded expectations.

‘It won’t be this way next time.’

War should typically deplete resources, whether people or materials.

And those who face McLaine next will not be as simple and direct as Soto Sylvan.

Having subdued Teslon and now claiming Sylvan, others won’t attribute it to luck.

Logan cautioned himself not to get too intoxicated with victory and emphasized this to his father and the surrounding vassals.

Nonetheless, smiles remained on the faces of McLaine’s leadership for a while.

During the high spirits, when McLaine’s leadership remained in Sylvan to manage the captured knights and soldiers, the envoy of Bifrost arrived not at McLaine Castle but at Sylvan.

* * *

“The Count deeply regrets the wars that McLaine has conducted every year.”

“I too regret them. McLaine has been provoked by those around them, after all.”

“There may have been misunderstandings, and the Count knows this. He wishes to mediate before they worsen.”

“Mediate? The war is over, and McLaine wants no more disputes. Unless Feretta provokes us, we have no reason for hostility.”

“The mediation was requested by Sylvan. Even though things have come to this…”

“Them starting the dispute and now calling for mediation, Soto Sylvan was truly thick-skinned.”

Upon Patrick’s words, everyone in the grand hall nodded except for the envoy, whose next statement shifted the mood.

“The Count regrets neglecting the duty of a Lord and not pursuing unity in the region, which led to these frequent clashes.”

As if it was some nonsensical talk, confusion filled the eyes of everyone.

“In light of this, on the upcoming fiftieth birthday of Lord Roger Bifrost, the Count, as Lord of the Southwest, wishes to meet the heirs of each family to discuss the future…”

Bang!

“Nonsense! Send heirs? Discuss the future? Does McLaine look like it would bow to Bifrost?”

The growl erupted with ferocity, and Sylvan’s finely crafted armrest shattered under the burst of murderous intent.

But the envoy, despite sweating profusely and staggering, did not avoid Patrick’s gaze.

“If, if the Count wishes, those who prefer not to attend may abstain. However…”

Gulp.

Swallowing nervously, the envoy clenched his teeth and continued.

“Bifrost will only aid families who recognize Bifrost as Lord of the Southwest, and those who don’t will have no part in discussing the future.”

“Hmph. A sophisticated way to threaten, indeed. But McLaine will not yield to threats…”

As Patrick’s anger manifested into a formidable atmosphere pressing down on the envoy, Logan stepped forward with a smile.

“It might be entertaining to attend. Father.”

“…do, what?”

* * *

“I’ve sent the envoy off, respecting your wishes. However…”

Patrick recalled the last moment in the great hall, his face flushing red.

– ‘The Prince is indeed astute.’

It was a sneer, viewing him as someone who couldn’t grasp reality.

“No matter the excuse, it is impermissible for us to bow our heads to Bifrost! I’d rather die than let that happen!”

The unintentional surge of intensity heavy in the office.

“Even after I die, I won’t allow it!”

But, of course, his opponent was Logan.

“Shall I bury you now?”

“…What?!”

While scooping up a handful of dirt from a plant pot, Logan looked at his father, who could only stare back in astonishment.

“Let’s hear what you were thinking, then?”

With a sigh, Logan’s response followed.

“We couldn’t beat Bifrost no matter what we did right now.”

With two top-tier knights, fifteen high-grade knights, and over 300 knights spread across two knight orders, the publicly known power of the Count’s family, owning five castles and vast Bifrost plains, was overwhelming.

The sheer difference in strength meant they couldn’t win.

“Moreover, our situation may appear to be improving, but it’s precarious.”

Far from the kingdom’s center, previously uninteresting McLaine was now different.

Having devoured Teslon and Sylvan successively, the current McLaine would undoubtedly have caught Bifrost’ attention.

With their lands bordering each other, any misstep out of pride could lead to being trampled.

‘We need time.’

Time to integrate Sylvan’s knights, to decisively subjugate Feretta, and to reorganize their forces.

Time for him to master the Three Forms of the Divine Sword according to his growth, and for the knights to advance as well.

The father would know this as well, yet…

“The situation is different from other borderlords in the region. If Bifrost uses their position as Lord, others will resist.”

The state of affairs in Southwest had been quite complicated when McLaine’s ancestor committed misdeeds four generations ago.

Despite quelling the rebellion, Bifrost failed to eliminate the old master’s blood, and the royal family protected McLaine, conserving the lineage.

Since then, unlike other borderlords or Lords, Bifrost couldn’t demand subservience from southwestern nobles.

It was unclear what tangled circumstances led to this reality, but Patrick’s view held its own logic.

Nonetheless, unbeknownst to him, the situation had slightly changed.

“Bifrost’ northern neighbors, Percival and Luffman, have long been under Bifrost. This was confirmed during my visit to the capital.”

Though the confirmation came not from the capital but rather from his past life, it was convincing enough to change his father’s perspective.

“What?!”

“If there’s backlash, it would mainly be Feretta, which, as you know, is currently…”

“How can that be?”

“If we resist now, we might be crushed as an example.”

“…When did matters deteriorate to this point…? I’m truly ashamed. I neglected the encroaching threat.”

Patrick slumped as if he lost all his strength, prompting Logan to gently assuage him.

“You needn’t blame yourself. I only learned by chance at the capital.”

“…Our family’s weakness has caused you to suffer. I’m sorry, my son.”

Essentially, it was acceptance of Logan’s intent.

“Considering my skill, there will be no issue. Let’s see how lands once owned by our ancestors have changed.”

‘And there’s certainly something I must verify.’

As he watched his father’s bitter expression, Logan withheld his final words and simply swallowed them down.

* * *

“Master! Is it true we’re being sold off to enemy lands?!”

It seemed the tale from Sylvan’s grand hall had been distorted as it spread.

Not long after returning to McLaine Town, Logan encountered Hammer, whose face was full of sweat and urgency, as if he had hastily rushed over.

“What kind of nonsense is spreading…”

“If the master dies! What about our promise? My freedom?!”

“I’m not dying! And I’m not being sold. Disregard such baseless rumors, would you!”

“But most of the ridiculous rumors about the master have actually been true!”

Unable to refute the point, Logan was speechless.

“Anyway, take this with you wherever you go.”

“What is this?”

“I couldn’t properly finish the scabbard decoration due to urgency, but it’s yours, master. I assure you it’s functional.”

After placing the sword in his care, Hammer quickly turned and left.

“What is this…”

“Be sure to come back alive!”

Bang!

Without hearing a full response, Hammer stormed out the door and disappeared.

“Sheesh. I’m not marching to my death…”

Amidst exasperation and involuntary laughter, Logan’s gaze naturally settled on the sword left behind by the dwarf craftsman.

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