Regressor of the Fallen Family chapter 88

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Chapter 88

One day, amid the whirlwind of reading military training reports, Logan was caught off guard by a sudden question from Patrick.

“Do you two meet separately?”

“Excuse me?”

“Mm. I can tell the lady knight is sincere about the knight order training, and I know you’re busy. But you are engaged, albeit not formally. It seems like you only ever deal with business at arm’s length.”

“Ah… Haha. Yes, that’s true. I should visit her once things settle down…”

Logan stammered a response, his gaze shifting back to his desk. But his father wouldn’t let it slide.

“No matter how much work I’ve loaded onto you, I don’t want to obstruct your youth. I’ll handle things today. Go and rest.”

“Excuse me?”

“Spend some time with Lady Eileen. She has the day off too.”

“…Father, that’s…”

“Stop making excuses. You’re engaged because you like each other. Now, off you go!”

Patrick shooed him out and closed the door firmly.

Logan stared blankly at the closed door before sighing softly.

The civil war loomed near, leaving little time for idle dates, but his father’s stubbornness seemed to demand at least one day’s respite.

Logan’s steps were lighter than he realized as he turned away, unaware of his own buoyancy.

* * *

“Lady!”

“I told you not to wake me! I’m one with the bed today!”

Eileen rebuffed Layla as she entered the room, burying herself deeper in the bedding.

Yet Layla wouldn’t back down.

“You can’t stay in bed! Young lord Logan has come to see you!”

“What?!”

The sudden announcement jolted her alert, dismissing the heaviness of sleep, and Eileen sat up sharply.

“Why would Logan come?!”

“Oh my, Lady! It’s obvious – it’s a date! All this time I’ve worried why he hasn’t come to see you!”

The blunt reply flushed Eileen’s cheeks.

‘A date?’

She’d fended off several suitors before, thinking she’d have no more romantic connections in life.

Caught off guard, no rational thoughts came to her.

“Don’t just sit there! Go wash up! I’ve prepared bathwater!”

“Oh, alright.”

“And leave dressing to me. Finally, we’ll put that dress to use.”

“The dress?”

“What, did you plan to wear armor on your date? Hurry to the bath!”

Pushed by Layla’s strange forcefulness, Eileen resignedly retreated to the bathroom.

It was three hours later when Logan finally met Eileen.

“I’m so sorry for the delay, Young lord. Did you wait long?”

“It’s alright…”

As Logan turned at the sound of her voice, Eileen’s appearance struck him speechless.

The thick shawl draped casually over her exposed shoulders, a floral dress accentuating her waistline, elegantly flowing. Amethyst necklace and matching earrings complemented her red hair, enhancing her already beautiful features.

‘Huh…’

Since their arranged meeting, Logan had never seen Eileen so well-dressed, and he momentarily froze.

When he just stared without a word, Eileen’s face clouded over.

“Is something… off? This outfit is a bit uncomfortable…”

“No, not at all.”

“Excuse me?”

“I was merely surprised by the unexpected sight, my lady. You look beautiful. Truly beautiful.”

His candid praise brought a gentle smile to Eileen’s face, and Logan, too, allowed himself a small smile, though his subsequent words were ill-suited.

“Aren’t you cold? In the middle of winter, just one shawl seems a bit…”

“No! It’s, it’s enough!”

Her smile tightened as she abruptly turned away.

The arrival of a lavish four-horse carriage that was a rare sight in McLaine drew the villagers’ attention.

“What’s with the carriage?”

“It must be the lord’s carriage.”

“But there’s no family crest…”

“I know! I saw that visiting the young lord’s fiancée…”

The people murmured from a distance, and over Eileen’s shoulder, she could now feel the warmth of Logan’s red cape in the carriage.

“It seems we don’t have a town tour since you arrived. It’s cold outside, even in the carriage. Shall we go in and have tea?”

The snowfall was picturesque but hardly inviting for a stroll in her light dress and shawl, now covered by a cloak.

Yet Eileen was resolute.

“No, I’m fine. Really.”

Logan, cheeks flushed a healthy hue, looked untroubled – Force users could handle a bit of cold, after all.

He smiled and spoke.

“Then, let us proceed. I’ll guide you to each place.”

“Over there is the sewage system. Don’t go too close – it disposes of household waste naturally.”

“It smells far less than in Grandia. I had thought it was because it’s new.”

“On the contrary, the sewage will smell more. But certainly, the public health is much better.”

“Indeed, many people seem happy.”

Eileen observed the villagers, not unlike the common people in Grandia, though these seemed cleaner somehow, with light smiles.

Apart from that…

‘Is this a date?’

The thought kept nagging at her.

“If circumstances allowed…”

Listening to him speak passionately felt detached.

She pondered if simply a guide would’ve sufficed. The cloak was warm, but so was her heart chilling.

Then dissatisfaction settled in, startling her with its presence.

‘How foolish…’

To expect anything from an arrangement fostered by mutual benefit.

Embarrassed, she clutched the cape around her shoulders. Logan, noticing her discomfort, hesitated.

“Are you not enjoying this…? Sorry. This is all I know to do…”

“No, not at all! I find the town fascinating, and… well…”

Her embarrassment was palpable, and Logan’s expression stiffened. They were equally unsettled.

Logan, who in a past life had only known gruff female mercenaries or empire knightesses who targeted his life, struggled for words.

‘Such companions, if you could say that.’

A rueful smile crossed his face at his limited experience, unable to find a fitting response to Eileen’s downcast look.

“What if we just go for a ride instead? It might be more fun than this stifling carriage.”

To an elaborately dressed lady, it was an odd suggestion.

Yet surprisingly, she responded with eagerness.

* * *

“Let’s race to that hill’s foot! The loser grants a wish – no, a request!”

“What? Start!”

With Eileen setting off headlong after hastily spoken words, Logan took a moment to follow.

She muttered about her discomfort, feeling freer in simple practice gear than her exquisite dress.

The rush of the ride was intoxicating, filling her with joy.

Then, a bold voice interrupted.

“Excuse me!”

A golden streak of Force-enhanced speed whizzed past Eileen.

‘Really, Force?’

Caught in disbelief and amusement, she yelled indignantly and gave chase – but now, it was Logan’s subtle fleeting scent that lingered in her heart, bringing a persistent, radiant smile to her face.

“Ho, ho! I won, fair and square, yes?”

“Using the Force, that’s cheating!”

“No rule against it, Lady.”

Logan’s shameless expression finally broke through Eileen’s reluctance, and together they shared a genuine laugh.

“What’s your request?”

“Let’s have dinner.”

“That’s it?!”

“A winner’s request.”

“You had something in mind after all, didn’t you?”

“Not exactly…”

Their banter continued, and the plans for a city-prepared meal shifted to a picnic, thanks to Layla’s efforts. The food was unexpectedly delightful.

Their rides became frequent, an almost everyday sight. Logan and Eileen, seizing their breaks from the knight order trainings, would surge through the McLaine territory, their camaraderie deepening.

Soon enough, they paused at the outskirts of McLaine Castle, far from town.

“We should turn back; the soldiers are training ahead.”

“Why not observe?”

“If you wish.”

And so, they watched the impressive drills of a thousand crossbow horsemen, commanded by the master tactician, Kai. The flawlessness of the regiment moved Eileen, and Logan could only humbly acknowledge his part in their creation.

“Amazing. They could challenge any knight.”

“That’s the purpose,” Logan confessed, details of his inventions and McLaine’s prosperity fueling Eileen’s admiration. Despite the remarkable triumphs, there was a relentless tension in him, an inexplicable drive to push on – and she wondered what spurred him.

The image of him laughing carefree contrasted sharply with his tireless striving.

Perhaps she was becoming curious about the man behind the gallant facade, desiring to see smiles rather than burdens…

‘No, that’s not it,’ she wavered, then grasped, “Forgive my question. Shall we return? I’ll treat you to a splendid dinner.”

The splendid dinner she promised would be a task for the ever-diligent Layla. And so Eileen’s generous offer, on behalf of Layla’s discontent at the casual attire replacing the beautiful dress, would have to wait. Their postponed engagements continued as their shared rides across McLaine became a new routine.

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