Regressor of the Fallen Family chapter 90

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Chapter 90

“Don’t you know? They’re only holding back because of my master, but if a little more time passes or there’s the smallest excuse, Roger Bifrost won’t hold back.”

“We can use that time to grow stronger. We’re still inferior to Bifrost. Isn’t that what you said?”

“Yes, but if I were Roger Bifrost, I wouldn’t just wait for us to grow. He’ll create a reason somehow.”

“Right. He probably would.”

Even without knowing the future conflict, it was a natural prediction if one acknowledged the tension with Bifrost. However, my father nodded but wore a slightly shocked expression.

‘…It’s not strange.’

It’s human nature to harbor hopeful expectations for one’s own matters, regardless of intelligence or social standing. It was Logan who was unusual, always thinking about war.

“You must be speaking because you have a plan in mind.”

“Yes.”

With confidence, Logan began to explain his plan. Shortly after:

“It’s a reasonable plan. But what about afterwards? What’s your thought on that?”

“We will endure.”

“What?”

“It’s difficult to provide details at the moment. But trust me. It is certainly possible.”

Patrick’s face, which had seemed to lighten a bit at the sound of Logan’s plausible plan, crumpled once again.

“You haven’t told me how to deal with the most dangerous issue. And you say, let’s start a war just like that? Just trust you?”

“Yes.”

“If it were anyone else who had said this, I would’ve thought they were mad and wouldn’t want anything to do with them. In fact, I might’ve taken their head on the spot.”

Despite the grave tone, Logan looked unwaveringly at his father. Sighing deeply, Patrick slowly nodded with a heavy look.

“Alright, I must trust you. If I don’t trust you, who will I trust? Let’s do it. But this plan will only be shared among a few until the end.”

“Of course.”

It wasn’t because of a particularly ingenious strategy. To protect the morale and spirit of our forces, the father and son decided to conceal this seemingly hapless tactic until just before the war.

“When is the time? When do you plan for it?”

“It’s not far off. We must start on the day the next full moon rises.”

Patrick tilted his head at his son’s words. The son seemed like he had fixed the date as if he knew it from someone else.

“Only about 20 days left. But why does it have to be on that day?”

“Yes.”

“Does it relate to the plan you mentioned earlier?”

“Yes.”

“Well then, we must prepare. Even if it’s rushed, the forces should be ready by now.”

“Thank you, Father.”

“I should be the one to thank you. You’ve opened my eyes to my complacency.”

The discussion of a dangerous future ended, and with it, the conversation between father and son.

“I’ll call a knight’s meeting tomorrow. Be ready.”

“Yes.”

War was once again on our doorstep.

The next day.

By order of Lord McLaine, the vassals gathered at the lord’s manor.

The newly built manor in the town, although smaller than the grand hall in McLaine Castle, was more than enough for the assembly of fewer than 40 people.

It lacked the splendor of the old grand hall but was built with ironwood; a modest and clean space, it provided a more comfortable atmosphere for discussions. Yet, the expressions of the eight administrative officers and twenty-four guards who had been with old McLaine Castle were not bright.

“An all-out call…”

“There really must be something going on.”

“It shouldn’t be anything serious.”

The groundless rumors spreading through the territory were starting to take shape and circulate among the people.

Something had happened to the Lord’s family.

They started construction more extensive than in previous years during winter.

Taxes will go up as much as before.

From the perspective of territory citizens who, for the first time under McLaine, were preparing for a warm winter, it was hard not to be anxious.

Yet the most worrying rumor among the majority of the territory’s citizens was this:

A war was about to break out.

Just as things were finally settling down and becoming livable.

No one in McLaine wanted the worst-case scenario—a war.

However, while the administrative officers might have been unaware, the increasingly harsh nature of their training had already made the knights suspect.

So, when the lord finally revealed his intent shortly after appearing, no one was particularly shocked.

“We start a war with Feretta this winter.”

Of course, excluding Dwayne, the faces of the administrative officers looked as if they had been struck by a thunderbolt.

“A war, you say?!”

“That’s ridiculous! A war at this time!”

“What, without any declaration of war from them, we start a war?!”

Rugel Haze, with his scalp burning red, jumped up in outrage.

“Oh, no wonder there’s been so much armor coming in.”

Ferran Doyle, shaking his plump cheeks, clutched his head.

The knights, somewhat prepared, calmly voiced their objections.

“If we strike at Feretta, Bifrost will not sit idly by.”

“That’s right. We need to consider Bifrost in the background. Our territory is not yet powerful enough to handle Bifrost.”

“We need either allies or assurances that Bifrost won’t move.”

But Patrick looked unfazed, turning his gaze to his son beside him.

Catching the cue, Logan stepped forward.

“The will of the house is decided. This is an announcement. Summoning you here isn’t to hear your opinions.”

His sonorous voice echoed, suppressing the vassals’ retorts with his authoritative presence.

“This gathering is to carry out the upcoming war as effectively as possible. Speak of ways to prepare for war. I will not entertain dissent.”

In short, it meant ‘follow blindly.’ It was an outrageous action that belied the term ‘vassal meeting,’ yet no one dared voice opposition.

The feudal hierarchy in McLaine was quite strict compared to other noble families.

‘That is advantageous now.’

As Logan thought this with a slight smile.

“Is this the young lord’s thinking?”

“If so, well…”

“There must be a plan.”

“He’s not one to act rashly, after all.”

The atmosphere, rather than stiffening, became warmer and full of trustful gazes.

‘What’s with this… ‘

Confounded by this unexpected turn, Logan was surprised when his father’s declaration reinforced the situation.

“As you have surmised, this war is Logan’s idea. Naturally, the young lord will lead it. Any objections?”

Logan looked back, perplexed, but—

“No objections!”

“We will follow!”

“Command us!”

The voices poured out.

When they first entered the grand hall, their faces had been anxious, but now almost all had brightened.

‘This easy?’

Logan wore a blank expression, dumbstruck, but Patrick whispered to him in a low voice.

“How does it feel, Logan?”

“Pardon?”

“This is the result of your actions. Are you not proud?”

At those words, Logan took another look at the faces of the vassals.

Heinckel, who had looked somewhat worried, nodded vigorously when their eyes met.

Dwayne, who had been a strong supporter of his words, gave an inappropriate wink along with a thumbs up.

The bald Rugel, chubby Ferran, and the surprisingly thin Luffman, who Logan didn’t recognize.

Henderson and the rest of the knights as well.

They all looked at him with trust-filled eyes.

“While worrying, if it’s the young lord’s consideration—”

“We trust you, young lord.”

“Show us another miracle.”

Overwhelmed, Logan briefly lost his words, unable to speak, his heart aching with emotion. Finally, with sincere intent, wanting to turn his desires into reality, he declared:

“Of course! This time, too, I will show you a definite result!”

“Wow…!”

“Trust me! With this war, McLaine will soar once again!”

Logan’s declaration lifted the spirits of the vassals.

“Prepare for war!”

The Lord’s affirmation echoed, and in that moment—

“We will follow your command!”

The roar in unison almost shattering the walls of the grand hall.

* * *

The moon rose high that night.

As always, Logan sat in meditation in his room, but unable to concentrate, he quietly relaxed his posture and stood up. The soft moonlight and starlight peacefully illuminated McLaine Town outside his window. He could occasionally hear faint sounds of laughter.

This serenely peaceful scene inexplicably filled him with unease.

‘Couldn’t we continue to grow without taking risks and still sustain the house?’

Even though he had examined and resolved this many times, his anxiety surfaced again. The upcoming war carried a heavy burden of danger. One wrong step could plunge the house into the abyss. It was natural for worries to arise.

Logan pulled out the records he had made shortly after his return, which he had inspected countless times. The most important day to remember, and for the current situation, was the day the king died.

Despite being decades ago, it seemed unlikely he was mistaken, as it was an easy date to remember.

‘The last day of this year.’

That day, the king’s death will be announced.

But his anxiety didn’t ebb easily.

‘What if, like with the territory war against Teslon, something unknown to me shifts the timeline? What if I really misremembered the date? What if we’re underprepared?’

He worried about betraying the absolute trust the vassals had shown during the day. The anxiety grew, trailing thought after thought.

But the conclusion was clear.

‘We must do it.’

If we don’t seize this chance to rise, even if we grow quickly, we’ll hardly have the influence of a third-rate lord in the 8 years when the imperial war breaks out.

We’d have to abandon this land bequeathed through generations, abandon the country, and perhaps migrate en masse to that detestable empire.

“I must succeed, no matter what!”

Logan voiced his determination, banishing the creeping anxiety.

‘Whatever happens.’

Wishing the cold moonlight to carve out his weaknesses, Logan stood there gazing at the sky for a long time.

Two weeks later, nearing the year’s end and just 3 days left, the declaration came.

“Advance!”

As Logan gave the order, McLaine’s army moved out.

152 knights.

A total of 2,532 soldiers, including 1,000 crossbow-cavalry (squires included) and 1,532 infantrymen. Even those from Sylvan who defected were mobilized.

All of McLaine’s forces except those needed to maintain minimal public order were heading west.

Even infantrymen who could hardly ride horses were mounted behind their comrades. The army, almost devoid of provisions, was laden with the maximum possible weapons and equipment. It was the same as the battle for Sylvan territory, just larger in scale—a determined charge for a swift war.

And the declaration of war delivered to Feretta.

– We will hold you accountable for the insult 6 months ago.

A storm once again began in the kingdom’s southwestern part.

* * *

Feretta territory was turned upside down by McLaine’s sudden declaration of war.

“Send word to Bifrost! The McLaine have gone mad!”

Max Feretta shouted hoarsely, his face pale.

“Let Flan Castle fall and concentrate all forces at the main castle! We must hold on until Bifrost arrives!”

Since Sylvan’s effortless fall, Max Feretta had analyzed the battle countless times. He realized McLaine’s previous attack on Sylvan instead of himself was sheer luck.

Thus, he valued the envoy Reihart, who dissuaded him at the time, far more than before.

However, with McLaine igniting conflict despite Bifrost’s warning, Feretta realized that all his fortune might just be a matter of time.

Especially upon learning McLaine was bypassing Flan Castle and advancing on the main castle, his last bit of reason vanished.

“Conscripts! Round up the conscripts too! They must at least deplete that damned rain of arrows!”

Following the ruthless command, every village resident near Feretta castle was forcibly drafted.

Indiscriminate mobilization with no distinction between young and old. Every able-bodied man was press-ganged and herded to the castle.

Feretta Castle and its surroundings trembled in terror at the sudden emergence of a state of emergency invoked by McLaine’s advance.

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