Regressor of the Fallen Family chapter 71

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Chapter 71

“An artifact that not only conceals one’s level but even surpasses it in movement. Huh, young lord Logan, you’ve been hiding some remarkable artifact.” The voice wasn’t strained or disfigured but crisp and baritone.

Moonlit Knight, Franz, had given up on hiding his identity.

Hadn’t he initially refrained from taking the lead because of his unique Force? There was no need for denial now that the silver force blade had been revealed.

“That artifact can serve as the tuition fee. Is it inside your armor?”

“Huh? Tuition fee?”

“A lesson on the fearsome ways of the world. Teaching a lesson to a noble young lord who, with no fear, travels alone only to be robbed on his way home.”

“Are you not ashamed of tarnishing the name of Moonlit Knight?”

“……I was so ashamed that I wanted the lesson to be harsh, but thankfully you’ve come to me from afar.”

A murderous intent vibrated in Franz’s voice, unlike before.

“Surround him, so he cannot escape.”

With a low command to his subordinates, Franz immediately moved.

Swish.

An attack that seemed to claim the previous was mere courtesy, filled with the force to bisect the world at a diagonal.

Using his enhanced physical ability, Logan narrowly dodged the blow.

Just as he tried to retaliate by diving in.

Logan rolled backward, feeling a chilling murderous intent.

Swoosh.

The space where he had been was cleaved by a chilling sound and the silver glow that vanished.

Logan, having narrowly avoided it, broke out in a cold sweat.

‘A whip?’

Though it passed by in an instant, the elongated silver force blade seemed to have been whipped in a direction unrelated to the swing of the sword.

As if to confirm that it wasn’t an illusion.

The whip-like silver glow occupied the space from all sides, targeting Logan’s whole body.

Crack.

Swoosh.

Boom!

“Kugh!”

To fend off the relentless strikes was burdensome; moreover, the blade of Force extending over 2 meters from the tip of the sword unpredictably lashed like a whip.

The swirled motions of the sword and Force sped up, soon creating a phantom-like silver wave that enveloped the surroundings.

A festival of silver from the sword rained down from the sky.

One of the other masked individuals muttered in awe.

“Moonlight…….”

Of course, Logan, at the center of the silver wave, was having a harrowing time.

His Overbearing Sword had been useless so far.

Gritting his teeth, Logan decided to draw upon all his techniques.

“Ha!”

Golden light flickered on Logan’s sword, and soon eight layers of golden waves crashed against the silver waves.

“Whoa!”

Roar!

The golden wave, although not as intricate as the silver, engulfed the space with a force that pushed everything away.

When the gold and silver forces collided making a thunderous sound, dust scattered in all directions.

Flash!

Through the cloudy dust, a golden line momentarily flashed across the space.

“What, what was that!”

“Wait. Lord Franz’s Force is unyielding.”

Even without the enemies’ voices, Logan also felt it.

Hidden within the dust, Logan’s face paled with despair.

‘Damn it! I can’t feel anything. It’s a failure.’

Using the first and second forms of the Divine Sword Techniques, Wave Cutter and Iron Cutter, Logan had exhausted himself.

Because of that, he couldn’t clearly sense the direction of the killing intent pouring from the front.

“Ugh!”

Instinctively, he thrust his sword forward and threw his body back, the best improvisation he could muster at the moment.

Bang!

“Ugh!”

But that wasn’t enough to completely block the attack, and Logan, overwhelmed by the impact, rolled on the ground before barely getting up.

Then, among the settling dust, the mask flew off revealing Franz, his hair, irises, and even his skin flushing slightly red.

It seemed that this rush wasn’t due to injury, given his emanating presence.

“That was thrilling. If I had been careless, I would have been killed. Impressive. How did you manage that? Surely, that is not an artifact as well. Could it be the secret technique of the Sword Sage…”

‘He talks more than I thought.’

Huff.

Cough.

He took deep breaths and tried to compose himself with difficulty.

Had he not had the boosted abilities from the Boots of Pegasus, the previous attack would have certainly spilled his blood.

‘As expected, I’m still not a match for him.’

Knight of Moonlight, Franz, had already been a top-grade knight for over a decade.

Even though Logan had only recently reached the high-grade knight and did fairly well, it wasn’t time to be satisfied…

“……as if that would happen!”

“What’d you say?”

Spit, ptui.

Spitting out the blood that had risen to his throat provided brief relief.

“Will you wait for one more secret technique of the Sword Sage? I’m still inexperienced, you see.”

His body exhausted, his Force nearly depleted, and facing a more powerful enemy.

He could only rely on bluster and luck.

Fortunately.

“Oho! Is that so? Very well, I’ll indulge you. Show me, young lord.”

The excited enemy displayed complacency or the height of arrogance.

‘Good!’

The moment those words were uttered, Logan gathered all the strength in the tip of his sword.

There was only one thing left on which to depend.

The third form of the Divine Sword Technique.

Barely directing the newly learned mysterious form while reaching the high-grade, now he thought,

‘I can do this.’

Woong.

As his muscles weakened and his Force wavered, the formidable opponent gleamed in his eyes.

It was the worst possible condition to concentrate.

But he forcibly fixed his trembling arms and legs with Force, drawing upon his last remnants of energy to follow the Force pattern of the new technique.

‘I’ll rob you of the Boots of the Wind God and Lux without killing you. Be prepared!’

He fueled his malice by imagining what the Count of Bifrost would do, and that tactic luckily worked.

Woong.

It took some time, but his Force followed his will.

The image he had built in his mind slowly gained substance.

“It’s ready…”

The moment Logan gritted his teeth to swing his sword.

He opened his eyes wide to see Franz had already closed in.

“Die!”

The sword precisely aimed for his heart.

‘Damn it…’

As his heightened senses from the brush with death made him feel as though time slowed drastically, he finally saw a hole the size of a coin on Franz’s right chest.

A trace surely left by the recent Iron-Cleaving Cut.

And a trace of blood at his mouth.

It brought more disappointment than a sense of achievement.

‘This man…’

Logan realized that the flushed complexion and excited tone were in fact Franz’s bluff, at that very moment.

His senses dulled, his grip weakened, his vision narrowed.

Moreover, he took too long to respond to Logan’s own bluff.

The one fooled wasn’t him but…

‘Me.’

As the adversary closed in, Logan’s anger fueled the incomplete technique.

Woong.

A 10-meter-high golden pillar suddenly arose above Logan’s head.

The moment a giant sword emerged with a width of over 1 meter.

Within the momentarily heightened senses, in the slowed time.

He alone moved at normal speed.

And Logan brought down that sword vertically.

“Die!”

“Go to hell yourself!”

Roar!

At the site struck by the colossal sword.

Rumble.

The ground shook as if an earthquake had struck, and the twilight of the waning moon was covered entirely by the rising dust.

“Sir Franz!”

“Captain!”

Whiiing!

“Our horses?!”

“Fi-fi-find the captain first!”

As the senior knights babbled amidst the chaos, it took a bit of time for the dust to settle before they could find their captain.

He sat helplessly next to the lengthy, gaping fissure in the ground.

Cough.

“……I’ve, I’ve dodged it. We should have died together.”

Despite coughing up blood, the top-grade knight kept muttering the same words, unable to look away from the fissure, haunted by the vague terror that one feels when confronted with the unknown.

* * *

Cough.

Thud thud thud.

Atop a galloping horse, Logan continued to spit blood.

Although he managed to flee by stealing the horses of his enemies, following the conclusion of battle, nothing else could ease his regret.

‘I could have killed him…’

Franz. He could have finished the enemy’s top-tier knight.

If it weren’t for the last sword strike that left his insides shaken.

He couldn’t help feeling the remnants of regret, but in a different perspective, that too was greed.

‘If not for the Boots of the Wind God, I would have died.’

Plus, because of his injury, Franz’s strength had substantially waned.

That’s why it resulted only in internal turmoil.

Nonetheless.

‘Next time… I will win.’

Even as a high-grade knight, he could defeat a top-tier knight.

Considering the exponential difference in power as one ascends the tiers, this was an impossible feat.

Yet, his techniques and treasures were powerful enough to make the impossible happen.

Just having that assurance was of immense value.

Feeling relieved by this thought, perhaps,

Logan couldn’t hold onto his fading consciousness any longer.

Whiiing.

Thump.

A shadow tumbled amidst the dust raised by the horse running without its rider.

What would have been a severe accident for an ordinary person, for the fallen rider, only a smile lingered on his lips.

* * *

The McLaine territory was thrown into chaos.

The Lord’s heir, who had departed for Bifrost, returned after two weeks without any message, and in the guise of a beggar, no less.

“Falling asleep on the horse and tumbling down. Hahaha.”

While the young lord laughed off the absurd excuse, no one dared to question him,

excluding one person.

“You’ve abandoned the horse but at least brought back the sword.”

“Could I have just brought back the sword? I took it from them…”

“Is this really Bifrost’s doing?”

Attempting to explain his acquisition of the Boots of Pegasus and to brag, his father interrupted with a somber expression.

“Yes. I was prepared, but it was dangerous. They seem to hold me in high regard.”

“…Having eyes and ears would make it natural. Anyway, I’m relieved you’re back safe.”

‘Probably because of Master Sword Sage rather than me.’

Logan felt a slightly inflated sense of his father’s pride, but that wasn’t important for now.

“We can’t lodge a formal complaint against Bifrost… right?”

“That’s right. Just endure it for now.”

Logan had been attacked by Knight of Moonlight, Franz, and three senior knights on his way back.

If McLaine claimed as much, Bifrost would simply dismiss it.

Where’s the proof?

How could Logan, barely 21, survive an attack by such a formidable force unscathed?

Then they’d claim defamation and start an argument.

Now was not the time for that.

“For now, I’ve attended the Count’s birthday and left with a gift, so it would be difficult for them to pick a fight.”

“…Our family lacks strength, and you suffer humiliation. As your father, I’m ashamed to face you.”

“There will come a day when I can repay that humiliation. Just do as you have been for me.”

“Very well. I shall. I will not forget this matter.”

Watching his father grit his teeth and rally himself, Logan smiled inwardly.

‘Yes, this is enough for now.’

Before the civil war started, while the family continued to build strength, he had more things to do.

‘I’ll settle things with those guys first, and next…’

Logan’s gaze turned toward the northeastern sky, where the capital, Grandia, was located.

Editor’s musing:

This is the second time Logan returned home looking like a beggar. This might become a running gag.

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