Regressor of the Fallen Family chapter 91

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Chapter 91

“They’ve finally gone mad.”

Roger Bifrost couldn’t help but let out a sarcastic laugh when he first heard the news from Feretta.

The humiliation at the territory party, followed by the disgrace in the capital.

The man had deceived even the proposal extended in anger by the faction leader.

Since then, Roger had been planning for days on end how he would trample them.

Had it not been for the Sword Sage’s warning, McLaine would have been devastated even before this winter began.

He had been biding his time, looking for a credible excuse to strike, and those fools had handed him the perfect reason on a platter.

“Your Excellency, what will you do?”

Even as his subordinates asked his intentions with concern, a smile never left his face.

He couldn’t help but laugh.

No matter how he analyzed it, Bifrost’s forces were more than twice the size of McLaine’s.

That new weapon they call a crossbow was a bit worrisome, but he had more than twice the number of knights.

What use would it be if mere common soldiers held superior weapons?

“Aslan. Franz. Are the preparations complete?”

“Of course, Your Excellency.”

His left hand and right hand, so to speak, were the two top-grade knights.

In addition to them, he himself, now a fully mature 5th circle wind mage.

Even if something unexpected happened, his overwhelming confidence filled his chest, assuring him that he could block it.

“Let’s set out slowly. When Feretta has been crushed and those fools are drunken with their petty victory, we’ll send them plummeting from heaven to hell.”

His command to advance slowly for his psychological satisfaction.

However, even before they set out, Roger Bifrost received an unexpected piece of news.

* * *

“Why… why aren’t they coming?”

Inside the main hall of Feretta’s castle.

Max Feretta was biting his nails, expressing his anxiety before the assembled retainers.

And then, the knights who had been sent to scout half a day ago burst into the hall.

“My Lord! McLaine’s army has…”

“Where… where are they?!”

Tension filled the eyes that focused on the knight.

“McLaine’s army has vanished.”

“…What?”

There was no reply to that question, and a heavy silence overtook the hall of Feretta.

One day earlier.

“Your Highness! At this rate, we will arrive at Feretta Castle within a half-day!”

“What about the point?”

“We are about to reach it.”

“Good.”

Eileen, who was closely following Logan at the head of the cavalry, tilted her head.

‘The point?’

She thought she had misheard, but merely ten minutes later…

“Change direction! To the northwest, at full speed!”

“Yes!”

Only the oldest in the McLaine Knights responded without hesitation.

The majority of knights wore puzzled expressions, indicating that Eileen wasn’t the only one who found the situation strange.

Yet, with the order given, they had no choice but to follow the lead says that abruptly changed direction.

Thus, most of McLaine’s forces, bewildered, turned northwest and continued advancing for three straight days with minimal rest and sleep, picking remote areas to traverse.

On the third day of their relentless advance, as dawn broke and the day brightened, they reached a vast plain with a looming castle in the middle.

In the center of the castle’s spires, a flag featuring a rose that bloomed within flames was planted.

* * *

“Your Excellency! Tomodo Castle! McLaine’s dogs have appeared at our Tomodo Castle!”

Roger Bifrost’s expression instantly changed.

“These bastards dare!!”

Count Bifrost’s second castle, responsible for managing the harvest on the Bifrost Plains.

As the emergency spread through the Bifrost forces due to the sudden attack on Tomodo, McLaine’s army was already lining up before the unexpected stronghold.

“Over there.”

“Yes.”

Flapping sounds.

Logan’s horse, having been ridden hard, was blowing intrepid breaths.

A rush for three tiring days.

The reserve horses were all used, forcing even the infantry, still unaccustomed to riding, to gallop.

The primary goal, Tomodo Castle, had just come into view.

‘Estimated garrison strength: about 50 knights and 500 soldiers.’

During the winter, when farming was over, the forces guarding Bifrost’s secondary castle were reduced to a minimum.

That number should be easy prey for McLaine’s current forces.

The problem, however, was that Bifrost himself would not just stand by.

“Looks like the flags are moving frantically. Bifrost must have received our message by now.”

“Likely so.”

Even considering the slow pace of the infantry, this was their heartland. Counting generously, the elite forces might arrive in two days.

‘Possibly even before midday tomorrow…’

The moment to engage in a race against time had arrived.

But there was yet another hindrance.

‘They won’t come down from the city walls.’

Crossbows were useless for attacking from below to above, compared to regular longbows.

McLaine’s main infantry weapon was essentially null and void.

Nonetheless, the disparity in strength was clear.

Even if the knights led the frontal assault in the simplest manner, there would be sacrifices, but eventually, Tomodo Castle would fall.

But then…

“The loss would be substantial.”

“It would be.”

Acknowledging Heinckel’s certainty, Logan nodded.

After the great migration a thousand years ago, most non-human races that oppressed humans vanished beyond the southern mountains, ushering in humanity’s golden age.

And about three hundred years ago, being a Force user became a basic condition for knights, further strengthening human power.

As a result, city walls were no longer the great tactical shields they used to be.

Walls over 10 meters high were no obstacle to knights who could simply leap over them if they found a foothold.

Fortifications lost much of their previous effectiveness in defensive warfare.

However, if the goal was not a certain victory but rather to hold out…

If the aim was to buy time until reinforcements arrived…

City walls were still a viable option, though less effective than before.

Reducing the battle area when outnumbered, but also, if their skills were on par, it was advantageous to defend from a higher position against an attacking enemy from below.

“But that’s why we prepared.”

“…Will it work?”

“What else can we do but try our best?”

Logan’s resolute reply made Heinckel nod in silence.

However, he soon raised another concern.

“What about Lady Eileen?”

“…Wasn’t that matter already concluded?”

“Are you really going to join her to the knight’s charge?”

Heinckel asked seriously, but Logan wasn’t swayed.

“She wants it.”

“But still, she is your fiancée. If something goes wrong, there could be issues with the house… No, rather than that, are you really okay with it?”

Logan sighed and nodded.

“…That’s a promise I made to her, to help her achieve her dream. Don’t even think of giving her special treatment.”

“Understood.”

Heinckel still appeared unconvinced but stopped pressing further.

Logan maintained a stern expression watching him step back.

He had no intention of leaving Eileen alone in danger.

And it wasn’t only because she was his fiancée.

‘Ronian, Victor, Eileen. They are talents with the potential to become Superhumans in the future; they must be saved no matter what.’

Saving them was his second-most important task after winning the battle, and so he had secretly asked his father for help.

His father would take care of Ronian, his kin, he himself would look after Eileen, and as for Victor, whoever of them was available would take care of him.

Naturally, this was something the people involved did not know, nor could it be formally disclosed as it might demoralize the other knights.

‘Of course, that’s assuming we win this battle.’

Logan bit his lip.

In a battle where they held absolute superiority, it was McLaine who felt unease.

That’s how the assault on Tomodo Castle looked from McLaine’s perspective.

However.

No matter the circumstances, the defending forces at Tomodo Castle, who had suddenly faced a far larger army, were nowhere near as anxious.

“Blast it all! Where have they suddenly popped up from!”

Jerome, the commandant of Tomodo Castle and one of Bifrost’s high-grade knights, was thrown into panic when he saw the unexpected enemy forces outside the western city walls.

Unable to stay still, he started to react irritably to everything.

In contrast, his subordinate and brother, Jerik, remained fairly calm.

“Calm yourself, brother. The main castle has been contacted. We just need to hold out for a day!”

Despite being brothers, they had distinctly different dispositions and were both high-grade knights, which is why they often carried out missions together.

Jerik’s calm balanced out Jerome’s impetuousness, and Jerome, aware of his own temperament, took his brother’s advice to heart.

But the current situation was different.

“Nearly three thousand, and about two hundred knights by rough estimation. How could we possibly hold out?”

Jerome knew full well he wasn’t the brightest.

Yet, even the smartest among them could not bridge this gap in forces.

By the looks of their formation, this was a well-trained army.

Compared to the Bifrost main force, the troops there at Tomodo Castle seemed to pale; even the quality of the soldiers looked significantly better.

“Just hold the city walls, bide our time. If we combine our strengths, we can endure a day, right? Huh? Gael, Teres, Typhon. They’re also high-grade knights, so they’ll do their part.”

“Yeah, that must be it, right?”

Though not entirely convinced, Jerome also knew there was no alternative.

And just as he replied…

– Charge, all forces!

The enemy began their assault without even a battle cry.

“Hold them! Defend!”

Jerome’s shout spurred the wall priests into action, pulling out their longbows.

Tense faces pulled on their bows, aiming at the approaching enemy.

“Fire!”

Alrune with a shout from the enemy side, small, pointy arrows that might count as half the number they possessed were shot toward the city walls.

‘Fast, too fast!’

Arrows that were much quicker and stronger than those from normal longbows.

As those with some experience expressed alarm.

Thud thud thud!

The bolt rain struck the walls and deflected.

An anticlimactic departure compared to its startling debut.

Stunned soldiers of Tomodo looked on as Jerome yelled from behind.

“Counterattack! Fire back!”

The soldiers reflexively pulled their longbows.

And they let loose a volley of arrows diagonally into the sky.

Although not as quick and powerful as the small arrows, the falling arrow rain from above made up for that lacking strength.

Of course.

Puff puff puff.

Their arrow rain also failed to reach the enemy, just like before.

The charging enemy was not even approaching beyond the 400-meter mark.

“Longbows as expected.”

“Unless supported by magic, that’s the best they have.”

“The problem is we also lack methods.”

Logan grinned, lifting his repeating crossbow.

Swish.

Thud!

The bolt he shot sparked forcefully against the wall and bounced back.

Even with Force-enhanced tension, that was the limit.

Without the ability to curve, the crossbow was useless at this angle; unless someone poked their head out around the wall, it was a waste of arrows.

However.

Despite this, Logan raised his hand, signaling the archers to fire.

Puff puff puff.

Thud thud.

“Aargh!”

This time, some were unlucky enough to be struck.

Seeing the wall defenders shrink back, he thought, ‘Good.’

The crossbowmen and soldiers alternately fired at the walls.

They had enough magazines, and simply shooting intermittently could make the enemy cower.

Meanwhile.

Their secret weapons began moving.

“I entrust it to you, Sir Clayton.”

In the rear of McLaine’s camp, Logan viewed the ‘jealously magicians’ with less-than-pleasant expressions.

“Humph… I thought you were someone who cared for your people. Starting a real war, no less.”

“This will ultimately be for the good of the people.”

“…I hope those words aren’t just empty reassurances to someone you’ve hired.”

“Of course not.”

“Ahem. Boys, let’s go.”

Magicians from the Golem Tower, who would be talked about time and again in the kingdom’s war history.

Their debut on the battlefield was at Bifrost’s Tomodo Castle.

When contemplating the assault on Tomodo, Logan had always considered the involvement of the Golem Tower, specifically Clayton’s involvement.

His initial plan was for Clayton’s colossal golems to march towards the city walls, deflecting the rain of arrows and the offensive, followed by the knights charging and using the golems to scale the walls.

Clayton’s response to this vision was a blunt reply.

“Are you planning to kill me?”

“Pardon?”

“If magicians or knights attack the golems, there’s no way to block it. They’re just clumps of mud, you see, mud!”

“Even if you’re just blocking the front and luring the knights or magicians, it would still be worth it…”

Logan wasn’t ready to give up and tried to convince him again, but there was another drawback to golem magic he hadn’t realized.

“And even with the use of magic crystals, a portion of the impact received by the golem transfers to me. I won’t be able to endure it.”

“….”

“Ahem. Of course, I’m continuously looking for improvements, so maybe someday…”

The moment Logan’s fantasy of war-dominating battle golems was shattered.

Hence, he inadvertently had an inappropriate thought upon seeing Clayton, who had contributed greatly to the construction of McLaine Town and the dam.

‘Ah, useless.’

“… I’m feeling unpleasant for some reason.”

“Ahem. Sorry, I shouldn’t have wasted the time of someone so busy.”

As naturally as shifting his thoughts to find another strategy…

“Perhaps a different approach would be better if you insist on using our magic in war.”

“Pardon?”

Clayton himself made a counterproposal.

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