Regressor of the Fallen Family chapter 78

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Chapter 78

“Phuahaha!”

“Young lord! Is this really the time to laugh?! Have you lost your mind? No matter how peculiar your tastes, this is just strange. An engagement without even informing the family!”

Rick ranted, his chest puffed up with fervor. However…

“If there’s no engagement, someone must take responsibility for the injuries of Lady Eileen, right? You perhaps…?”

“Why, why would you mention me! You were the one who hit her!”

Rick took a step back with a sense of injustice on his face.

“It’s inevitable. When you see a treasure right before your eyes, of course, you have to claim it.”

“What are you even talking about? If you propose an engagement with that… that brilliant lady, even the lord will jump in shock! They’ll say the Sword Sage was just making a joke!”

“No, that’s not it.”

“No, that lady too… Why, why did she nod her head. What exactly did you tell her in that moment? Someone who has never properly interacted with a woman in his life, how could he suddenly…”

“You’re curious about that, aren’t you?”

“Well, I am a bit curious… No! Young lord! I am just speaking from utter loyalty!”

“So, you don’t want me to tell you?”

“Hem-hem. Well, it would be nice to know…”

“I’m not going to tell you.”

“Oh, come on!”

Logan smirked, ignoring Rick’s commotion, and quietly closed his eyes. Days had passed, but the thrilling experience was still vivid in his mind. Rick’s assumptions were somewhat different from the reality.

‘Her swordsmanship sense was not inferior to Ronian’s.’

She had immediately corrected her swordsmanship right there after being pointed out a few flaws.

Upon witnessing that, Logan instantly changed his mind. He decided that he must secure her by any means necessary. She had the potential to become a superhuman in the future, but that was not the only reason.

‘A potential superwoman knight from Grandia?’

Even if Eileen didn’t become well-known for her skills as a knight, her fame would eradicate one of the worst social diseases in the country.

‘She could be a driving force to develop female military forces.’

The neighboring Ares Empire valued talent over gender, and this policy extended to the military. Whoever had talent, regardless of gender, could receive advanced education and training. This applied to both martial and magical pursuits.

Thus, sorceresses and female knights were another formidable weapon in the empire, a strength Grandia did not yet possess.

And he would have to face such an empire in the future.

‘The more cards we can play, the better.’

A mindset deeply ingrained in the thousand-year-old foundation of the Grandian kingdom.

Changing this wasn’t just about expanding the influence of one’s family. But if things went as planned…

‘If the price of that potential is an engagement, even marriage, it’s a bargain at twice the price.’

Whispers that weren’t romantic per se but a ‘proposal’ he thought she would appreciate given the rumors, her situation, and her abilities.

“You have remarkable talent. Let’s work together. Come to McLaine, not as a woman, but as a knight. I promise you free training, sparring, and a battleground where you can make a name for yourself. Of course, we’ll have to get engaged for formality’s sake.”

The moment Eileen’s flushed face lightly nodded in agreement.

The deal between two nobles was struck.

An unexpected gain that naturally excited him. After all, it wasn’t every day that you stumbled upon such a treasure. Furthermore, Eileen’s bright smile, lit with the pure joy of unbridled sparring…

Snip!

“Augh! I’ll have a handprint! What are you doing, young lord?! Have you really gone mad?!”

“No, just trying to come back to my senses.”

“Why resort to self-harm to regain your senses? You’re bleeding! Blood!”

While Rick was in a panic, Logan suppressed the flutter of his heart.

“Indeed, it is blood. Sigh.”

Logan berated himself for letting blood flow so carelessly.

‘Have I already become this lax?! Pull yourself together, Logan! Women, it’s like you want to perish in the arms of one!’

Eileen would get a chance to showcase her talents.

And he would gain another talent to oppose the empire.

Yes. This was just a mutually beneficial transaction.

‘The agreement itself is sufficient.’

As the excited emotions settled down, his heart grew calmer.

And then…

“I’m going to see the master.”

“What should I take from that after you’ve spilled blood…?”

“It’s okay, really. It’s nothing.”

“It doesn’t seem like nothing.”

Logan didn’t bother to convince Rick, whose mind was cluttered with doubts.

His own mind had cleared up, so he was curious about what was to come.

* * *

“Why Eileen?”

“Yes. It doesn’t seem like you simply wanted to arrange a marriage for me.”

“Ha-ha. Boy, it seems that lady has quite caught your fancy!”

“Master!”

“Ahem. I was in a bit of a rush to tell you. Well, there are two reasons I chose that family.”

“Two reasons?”

“Yes. First, the Countess Floyd is not part of any faction but holds significant influence in the capital. They can represent McLaine, which lacks central political connections.”

“…It gives Bifrost even more reasons to tolerate.”

With the internal conflict on the horizon, Logan himself hadn’t been all that bothered by this reason. But to the oblivious Sword Sage, it was a sound justification.

“Yes. And the others…?”

“There’s an even more important reason…”

Logan leaned in to hear the Sword Sage, who spoke with deliberate seriousness.

“I was curious to see what would happen if you put a schemer with a wild maiden. To think you’d actually take to her this much! Phuahaha!”

“Uh…”

Logan’s clenched fists trembled on his knees.

The master was often whimsical, yet stern in training matters, which only shattered the grand image of the Sword Sage the world knew.

This was playing with personal matters of duty.

Perhaps there was another reason, but Logan couldn’t help feeling defeated.

‘Well, it worked out anyway.’

Trying to forget his master’s prank, he found solace in justifying the outcome.

“Just like that, give an old man no regrets. Go and make some children.”

“Master!!”

“Phuahaha!”

* * *

After the incident with Eileen, Logan’s life had become quite monotonous. He didn’t leave the Sword Sage’s residence, dedicating his time to relentless training.

Despite the strange looks from those who learned of the engagement, Logan focused solely on training.

This included sparring with the 18 knights that followed him as guards.

As autumn deepened and three weeks since his arrival in the capital passed, a turning point came for those who accompanied Logan.

Swish!

Cold water was poured on Henderson’s face as he lay defeated.

“Blah! Ptooey! Who dares…?”

“It’s me.”

“…Thank you for waking me up, young lord.”

Although Logan was the one who knocked him out, Henderson quickly voiced his gratitude, his eyes sincere, making Logan feel a twinge of guilt inside.

And this reaction wasn’t unique to Henderson; most of the 18 knights seemed to have grown even more loyal since coming to the dukedom.

Uncertain why this loyalty intensified, Logan found it challenging to address them with his prepared remarks.

“Ahem. Have you all improved at least a little since arrival?”

“Yes, we have!”

“Do you feel it’s been worthwhile coming to the capital?”

“Yes!”

Considering the chaos they had caused at the city gate, Logan thought it wouldn’t be surprising if they wished to dash out to the streets every day.

Yet, contrary to expectations, these knights didn’t take a step outside the estate, seeming almost as addicted to training as Logan himself.

Feeling more confident in their commitment, Logan decided it was time to delegate an important task to them.

“In truth, I have a personal favor to ask.”

“Yes?”

“Will you help me?”

“We’ll do anything you command, young lord!”

The knights shone with loyalty. However, as Logan’s request extended, their expressions slowly turned complex.

* * *

“Ah, to think that the knights…”

Having barely managed to settle his shipping affairs in the capital, Philip stared slack-jawed at the knights Logan had brought.

“Yes, they’ve all agreed to my ‘request.’ Let me introduce them. This is Henderson, the captain. He will be responsible for your safety.”

“I’m at your service.”

“I am as well, but… is this really…?”

As Philip faltered, Logan continued with a smile.

“This is Digrom. For strategizing, consult this lieutenant.”

“But young lord, is it really…”

“From here we have Jimmy, Nuez, Lambert, and Kelden.”

“Are you sure it’s wise to deploy the knights this way?”

“I asked them, and they’re all okay with it, right?”

“Yes.”

The knights’ collective voice was quieter than that of an individual, a testament to their unwillingness, but Logan’s next words gave them a glimmer of hope.

“Three months. Until winter sets, you’ll assist with something very important.”

For Philip, the knot of anxiety only tightened.

“There’s no need to worry. It’s just an expansion of last year’s tasks…”

Despite Logan’s reassurance, Philip’s unease only grew.

“Secure as many weapons and mounts as possible before the end of the year, and send them back to our territories, including the timber from the recently acquired Triton County.”

An ominous premonition that was never wrong.

“…What scheme are you plotting now?! These are dangerous times and you’re gathering war supplies. Are you planning to start a war yourself?”

“Ay, do you see me as a warmonger?”

“Then why gather war supplies!”

“Just in case, that’s all.”

“In case of what! Every time you say that, something always…”

About to protest further, Philip swallowed his words, fearing his prediction could become reality. He sighed and gave in, seeing Logan’s unwavering resolve.

“…How much, then?”

“Allocate 30 million gold for it. Do the best you can with that amount.”

“What?!”

Philip’s cry of disbelief didn’t alter Logan’s expression.

After conquering Sylvan without much effort, Logan had become confident.

‘If I could increase the number of crossbow cavalries, I could handle a lesser knight order with just soldiers.’

It was possible to annihilate a small knight order with thousands of soldiers, changing the common understanding of the continent. There was certainly a limit to the number of troops due to maintenance costs of horses and equipment, but it was worth the challenge. Moreover…

‘In the long term, it doesn’t even need to be cavalry. Just training conscripts with crossbows would suffice.’

While he might not reach the prowess of the empire’s crossbow soldiers, he needed to build a comparable force before his rebirth. And this involved amassing resources in peacetime.

But it seemed Philip had other concerns.

“Ah. That’s complicated. Young lord, due to your lack of experience with trading, let me explain. You probably won’t be able to procure even half of what you’re thinking.”

“What?”

“I’m telling you, the moment there’s such demand, prices will skyrocket. Especially horses! Money doesn’t make horses multiply faster or grow overnight!”

“Wha… did I wait too long to act? I thought it would be fine before a war, this is…”

“Before war?! You did say before the war! So you are planning this!”

“No.”

Logan feigned innocence as Philip helplessly quivered with anger.

“Let me explain clearly. 30 million gold. Even if we spent a third each on weapons, horses, and timber at twice the current market rate, prices would still soar to the sky. Especially horses!”

Philip insisted prices would triple.

And to gather such quantities and transport them to McLaine using the merchants’ guild…

He dreaded the idea too much to continue thinking about it, so he tried to persuade Logan. However…

“Ah… No choice then. So adjust your approach.”

“…?!”

Philip’s argument about the inevitable price spike was futile.

“Why gather such an amount of horses and weapons? We don’t have that many troops! Why are you doing this…?”

Philip was determined to reason with him and stop this madness.

“Basing the purchasing price on twice the current market rate, with an additional 3% commission for any savings made by buying cheaper.”

“I will do my utmost.”

…With a bit of effort, it wasn’t an impossible task.

Ignoring the bewildered gaze of the knights, Philip forced a smile, resolving to do his best.

“Ah, and there are a few other things…”

“So, shall those also earn a bonus?”

“Certainly.”

After all, there’s nothing money can’t solve.

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