Regressor of the Fallen Family (Novel) Chapter 94 - 95 - 96

Note: The Novel Will Be Corrected Until Chapter 105, After That Chapter It Will Be All MTL

C94 - 95 - 96

Chapter 94: “Damn it. Where did that monster come from…”

Until the moment Jerome witnessed the enemy lord’s sword burst with a Forceblade, he still had the fighting spirit.

However, facing the unknown golden strike, he couldn’t muster any spirit at all.

The outward momentum felt on par with his own, but…

“That can’t be right.”

Despair and helplessness rose in the place where his fighting spirit had vanished.

And that only worsened the already dire situation.

Finally.

Whush!

“Keuk, keuhk.”

A red Forceblade, which emerged from his ally Teres’ neck, pierced his own heart at the same time.

‘My lord, I failed to complete the mission…’

He tried to apologize to his lord in his heart, but he wasn’t even afforded the time to do so.

Slash!

For Padric had lifted his head high into the air with a stroke of his Forceblade.

“We’ve captured the enemy commander!”

Padric’s voice echoed across the entire battlefield from atop the walls.

During the war, one side’s entire command had been annihilated.

In a normal battle, it was time for the disadvantaged forces to throw away their weapons and surrender.

But the knights of Bifrost were different.

“I will take command! Fight to the end! Reinforcements are on their way!”

Below the walls, a bloodied knight came running, spouting nonsense.

‘Those damn dogs…’

Logan couldn’t help but feel exasperated at the sight.

If reinforcements were coming, they should already be visible to those on top of the walls.

But whether the shouting knight held a position of note, his maniacal cry imbued the remaining forces with false courage.

Their retreating steps suddenly halted.

“Reinforcements are coming!”

“Fight!”

Poor soldiers deluded by their own side reignited their will to fight.

And watching this made Logan’s heart burn as well.

In this increasingly troublesome situation, there was only one answer left.

“I’ll kill them all!”

Logan plunged into the center of the unnecessary bloodshed created by a knight’s single remark.

Knowing the overwhelming enemy forces would charge the castle, Jarek, who was leading the ambush squad, resigned to sacrifice as he forcefully broke through the encirclement and dashed towards the castle.

Though it left only 15 of the original 22 ambush knights, he believed this was sufficient to aid the defensive forces.

Ignoring the rain of quarrels pouring onto the back of his head, he raced toward the walls.

But the enemy was stronger than expected.

– We’ve captured the commander!

The voice he heard upon reaching the bottom of the walls.

“Brother!”

The bloodied head held by the knight above was a face all too familiar to him.

Rage and fury surged from deep within, clouding his reason.

“They’re ordering us to fight on! Reinforcements are coming!”

Nonsensical utterances induced their comrades to resist.

He knew it would only lead to unnecessary sacrifice.

But he wished to inflict even the slightest more damage on the ones who had killed his brother.

“Jarek! It’s too late! We should join the main force!”

Though his comrade Gael assessed the situation and protested, Jarek ignored him.

“You go. I’ll see the end of it here!”

“Jarek!”

As a clash ensued amongst the commanding knights, those following them were also thrown into confusion.

“Fire!”

Bang, bang, bang!

As if refusing to give them a moment to decide, the pursuers bombarded them with the tiresome rain of quarrels once more.

“Go! Only I will remain here!”

As the knights faced danger, Jarek roared with the last of his reason resounding.

Then.

“Who’s going to leave!”

Accompanied by a shout from above, someone leapt down from the wall like an arrow.

The golden light enveloping the sword was an unusual sight, but Jarek didn’t notice.

All he could see were the man’s red eyes and red hair.

The same person who had earlier lifted his brother’s head, a symbol of the Maclaine bloodline.

At that sight, the last bit of reason in Jarek vanished in an instant.

‘That bastard!’

The rain of quarrels from their troops, the dozens of knights leaping down in pursuit of the red-haired one.

Everything else faded from his vision.

“I’ll kill them all! Maclaine!”

He had already given up on survival.

Madness took over completely, and he invested all his remaining strength into his sword.

A searing red Force blazed more intensely than any other moment in his life, adding to his wild nature.

But.

“You’re the one who’s going to die.”

Swish.

Like compressing space, the ghostly movement appeared before him.

At a moment’s glance into the cold red eyes.

Jarek’s consciousness faded away.

Snap.

Possibly provoked by the lunatic’s last defiance, resistance from the remaining troops of Tomodo persisted to the end.

But the moment Heinzel lowered the gates to let in the crossbow cavalry including the foot soldiers of Maclaine, the overwhelmingly outnumbered situation became glaringly apparent, and they were forced to cease resistance.

However, by then only about four Bifrost knights and 50 soldiers remained.

In contrast, Maclaine’s casualties accounted for only 14 knights on the walls and about 30 soldiers killed by stray arrows.

It was a landslide victory.

* * *

“We’ve won!”

“Hooray!”

“Long live Maclaine!”

The battle that began in the morning ended before the sunset.

Considering there hadn’t been a proper clash even by lunchtime, it was a swift resolution.

And it ended in an overwhelming victory, so it was no wonder the soldiers cheered so.

But after several hours of clearing the battlefield, the grim expressions of the leaders gathered in the makeshift headquarters within the castle were hardly bright.

Although some faces were flushed with the excitement of battle and victory, there were none who were simply smiling—a strange scene.

The reason for this came with the first words spoken at the conference that began after the sun had set and the moon and stars rose.

“We’ve gotten through one crisis, but now the army from Bifrost’s capital will come. What’s the next plan, Logan?”

Everyone’s gaze shifted towards Logan after Padric spoke.

However, Logan’s brief reply was enough to turn the expectations in their gaze into dismay.

“We hold.”

“…What?”

When Padric asked again on behalf of everyone.

“It’ll take at least a day or no more than a few days. If we just hold, Bifrost will retreat on their own.”

Logan’s continued words only magnified the perplexity.

Yet, Logan’s gaze remained fixed on the full moon beginning to rise in the night sky.

“Your Highness. What do you mean…?”

“We need an explanation, please.”

“Why would Bifrost back down?”

“…You’ll naturally find out later.”

Though he tried to speak as calmly as possible, the most anxious of all was Logan himself.

‘Please, let there be no variables!’

Desperately trying to hide his nervousness, he continued to act composed.

“Now, let’s prepare for the siege!”

* * *

– Prepare for the siege!

The soldiers who had been shouting victory cries were baffled by the sudden orders given during the moonlit night.

“A siege means defense?”

“What’s going on? Isn’t the war over?”

“We won, didn’t we?”

The simpler minds, only looking at the situation at face value, were puzzled.

“As expected… a war with the count’s family…”

“I knew we couldn’t be at ease.”

Those with a bit more insight lamented the looming future.

Of course, the most important thing for the soldiers was different.

“What’s this all about doing in the moonlight!”

“Ah, shucks! My body’s already aching.”

“Do we really have to do this now?!”

For them, it was the forced labor that came at the expense of their sleep.

As thousands of curses erupted, Tomodo Castle’s night became noisy.

“There’s no time. Quickly, quickly!”

As his master ordered, Griek hurried in a fluster.

In his and his fellow mages’ hands were dozens of Collapse Scrolls.

The precious items, each worth a thousand gold, were now being ridiculously installed on the ground.

‘If only we had more time, we could have saved these and tried to manage with magic instead.’

But there was no time now, as his master had said.

It was fortunate that there were leftover scrolls from the dam project, making this work possible.

Moreover, the Grand Prince’s command required a meticulous task: the precise calculation of the limits of the scrolls’ destructive range, something that couldn’t be entrusted to soldiers.

‘In the end, we have to do it.’

Griek sighed, preparing for the moonlit gymnastics, no, magic.

“Griek! Are you ready?!”

“Yes, Master!”

“Enan! Turs!”

“We’re prepared too!”

“Good! Three, two, one!”

Flash.

With Griek’s signal, the scrolls laid out at regular intervals on the ground right in front of the walls simultaneously emitted light.

And then…

Rummmble.

As though an earthquake had started, a tremendous rumble caused the ground to crack.

The soil swelled up as if it would burst.

The collapsed earth shoved the soil outward around the scrolls.

And the displaced dirt, following a pre-adjusted magic, moved to cover the gaps in the walls, smoothing out the uneven exterior.

Rumble.

The continued vibration resulted in a five-meter deep trench dug around the walls—a moat.

Deep enough to bury dozens of people, the trench stretched along the wall.

Even the removed earth automatically shifted to repair and fill the wall—an astonishing sight.

‘Feels like our school of magic is becoming more specialized in construction work.’

While instructing his golem to compact the ditch, Clayten felt a twinge of discomfort.

Of course, there was no time to dwell on such sentiments.

“Let’s move quickly. It needs to be completed before dawn!”

Noticing his disciples’ grim expressions as he shouted, Clayten felt less than pleased as well.

It appeared his initial goal to provide more training time for his apprentices had somehow gone awry.

‘Nah, it’s probably just me.’

With tens of millions in support from Maclaine every year, it was only right to do this much.

If Maclaine fell, the Golem Tower would fall as well.

They were practically one and the same.

‘Could it be he initially held us to do this… No, I proposed the tower. Paranoia, Clayten. You lack discipline.’

He brushed off the bitter feeling and hurried his disciples with a deliberately bright face.

* * *

By dawn, the soldiers, pushed by orders from above, climbed the walls and could only look around in amazement.

“Huh, was this wall always this high?”

“The wall’s completely smooth, too?”

“Magicians, after all. How did they do all this overnight…”

To the Maclaine soldiers, it seemed as if they had woken from a brief sleep to find the walls had suddenly become incredibly smooth and taller.

They were once again astonished by the power of magic.

However.

“Spread the prepared oil on the walls! Make sure it can flow down without any gaps! The decurions should check thoroughly!”

“Yes!”

They too had to contribute to this great endeavor, and their astonishment soon turned into complaints.

Regardless of their mood, their grumblings would be nothing compared to what the sleep-deprived mages from the Golem Tower who had to face Logan that night.

“We’ve made the moat, so are we to fill it with water now?”

Clayten’s face contorted at Logan’s absurd request.

“The plains and rivers are close, but it’s still a straight distance of at least 5 kilometers to the nearest branch of the Luter river!”

“If the enemy arrives today, as you said!”

“This is absolutely impossible, just impossible!”

“Didn’t we already dig through mountains and tirelessly dig canals? It’s just 5 km to the river, and we just need to connect the flow; is that too hard?”

“…”

In the end, their just and rational rebuttals were silenced by the oppressor’s power.

--------------------------

Episode 95: “Huh, it actually worked.”

During the time when the warm sunlight shone overhead, Clayton could not help but let out a chuckle at the accomplishment he and his disciples managed to achieve, bewildering even himself. From atop the ramparts, he gazed down at the sight below. The moat they had created overnight was more than 5 meters deep and wide, filled with rippling water. Anyone wearing heavy armor would struggle to climb out if they fell into it, knight or not.

The work was a one-time construction effort, so not much needed to be considered. However, to think that in just six hours they managed to dig a channel from the Luthor River tributary to the moat, taking into account the height and geology of the land. It was an incredible feat, even for those with experience.

Despite using mana stones generously and utilizing magic and golems, he hadn’t expected the work to be completed so easily.

“Exactly. It can be done if you try.”

Of course, this left all his disciples completely exhausted, and Clayton himself was in dire need of rest, so the term ‘easy’ wasn’t quite appropriate. Nevertheless, it had been easier than expected.

“Sir Logan, it was quite a reckless suggestion this time. Some things can be forced, and some cannot…”

“It worked out, didn’t it?”

As Logan uttered those words, a grim realization dawned upon Clayton; if employers were given the impression that anything could be pushed through, it would only lead to hardship in the future. In construction, the best outcome was to complete the work exactly within the set timeframe, neither sooner nor later. As Clayton was about to make an excuse, internal laughter seized him at his own thoughts.

“Employer? Construction?”

These thoughts naturally drifted into the realm of labor, which he swiftly caught onto. But there was no time to linger on such musings as the imminent battle loomed overhead, leaving the tower’s strength severely depleted.

“However, Sir Clayton, with our full magical forces now dispersed, haven’t we wasted our strength right before an expected battle?”

“If it’s of no use in combat, what’s the point? Except for Sir Clayton.”

Stung by the undeniable truth, Clayton could only swallow his words as Logan gave half-hearted consolation.

“You did provide tremendous help though. You should rest now, Sir Clayton.”

“Thank you.”

The battle might be upon them either today or tomorrow, but tired as they were, nothing more could be done.

“However, I have one final request.”

“Yes?”

“Do you still have Collapse Scrolls left? With those and Sir Clayton’s magic…”

Logan’s voice trailed off, laced with unexpected and serious implications. It was certainly possible, but…

“Do we really need to take it that far?”

“It’s a necessary situation.”

With that, Logan’s face was once more visible to Clayton. In truth, it was Logan who had been overseeing the moat and canal construction works throughout the night, directing the necessary workforce and materials.

Despite the difference in exhaustion, both had gone the entire night without sleep. Clayton glanced at Logan, a newfound respect welling within him, and slowly nodded.

“I will prepare.”

“Thank you. And the things I said earlier were a joke. Please do rest. You never know when you might be needed.”

Swallowing the bitter retort, Logan turned away from Clayton and cast a heavy gaze outside the fortress.

“The timing couldn’t be more perfect.”

As if on cue, an army appeared beyond the horizon, and Logan gritted his teeth.

“The enemy’s upon us! Prepare for battle!”

Soldiers who had been napping in anticipation of battle and knights sharpening their swords hurried out of the barracks.

The army of MacLaine swiftly organized their ranks.

* * *

“Eh? Since when did Tomodo fortress have a moat?”

Rushing fast as the wind and barely having time to organize camp, Roger Bifrost asked his men incredulously upon seeing the transformed appearance of Tomodo.

“It wasn’t there before.”

“To build something like that overnight… Well, they have some skill, but what could it mean? Aslan!”

“Yes, my lord.”

Aslan, the Knights’ Commander and the Knight of Swift, stepped forward promptly.

“What’s the enemies’ strength?”

“From our escaping allies, we heard of less than 150 knights and less than 2,500 soldiers.”

“And the variables?”

“It seems that the lord is a high-ranking knight. There are about ten individuals who appear to be Earth mages.”

“Ha… they’ve prepared secret weapons, huh? So, what’s the anticipated outcome?”

“Our overwhelming victory.”

Aslan gave his immediate response, and Roger Bifrost agreed with his assessment.

“Exactly. They’re desperate. Rendor, any other variables?”

“It’s past harvest season, and most of the food was sent back to the main castle. There isn’t enough food inside for nearly 3,000 soldiers. If they don’t want to die of starvation, they’ll have to come out.”

With his subordinate’s reply, Roger Bifrost’s smile deepened.

“Good. Even if we just wait, we win. But should we prolong the lives of those insolent enough to invade my territory for a few more days?”

“Do as you please.”

Shortly thereafter, the Bifrost army, having organized their formation, began their advance.

* * *

“There are just over 300 knights and well over 5,000 soldiers. And those occasionally visible ones, are they mages?”

“Judging by their sky-blue robes and the storm sigil, they appear to be the mages of the Wind Tower. It makes sense, given that Roger Bifrost and his son are from there.”

As Logan added to his father’s analysis, a shadow fell over everyone’s faces. There was a nearly two-fold difference in military strength, and Bifrost’s strength wasn’t just numbers.

“That silver-haired gentleman must be the Knight of Moonlight you mentioned, and that monkey-faced man in the red armor…”

“Aslan Liar, the Knight of Swift, that must be him. And Roger Bifrost is also a 5th circle mage, though outwardly known as 4th circle. You must be cautious.”

“Hmm…”

Patrick MacLaine was indeed a top knight, and Logan, although upper rank, was comparable in might and reputation to a top knight. And then there was Clayleton of the Golem Tower.

‘But honestly, it’s a bit worrying.’

Logan let out a quiet sigh. The top knights of Bifrost were battling reputations for years, while his father had only recently reached that level. Logan himself was on the upper tier but not an actual top knight, and Clayton was a 5th circle mage whose greatest strengths didn’t lie in combat.

Every aspect seemed slightly lacking compared to the Bifrost camp. But alas, that was unavoidable.

‘We’ve done everything we can. Up until now, we’ve followed the best choices.’

More troubling than the gap in troops was the fact that ‘that news’ hadn’t arrived yet, although it should have by this stage.

Logan’s ideal scenario was to avoid this siege entirely. However, the signs suggested it was time to let go of that hope.

– To the scum who dare to invade the land of your rightful Lord without knowing their place. You are…

The voice of Roger Bifrost echoed across the battlefield, instilled with killing intent from the start.

“Since when did those scoundrels become Lords…”

As his father’s voice sounded frustrated, Logan calmly commanded the troops around him.

“Prepare to fire!”

“Ready!”

With echoes of affirmation, the archers perched between the castle ramparts lifted their repeater crossbows in unison. Though they hadn’t seen much use in actual siege warfare, their position this time was advantageous—from the safety of the walls aiming downward.

– …I will now punish your crimes.

“Why don’t we counter them?”

“What’s the point of wasting strength? Just let him rant by himself.”

At Heinckel’s question, as Logan gave his cold response, Bifrost’s voice rose.

– We will eradicate the MacLaine roots! All forces, charge!

With Bifrost’s order, their army advanced..getChildAt(0).getBoundingClientRect().top

The most eager to charge were the knights. The sight of nearly 300 cavalrymen adorned in luxurious armor, each emblazoned with the emblem of a burning rose, rushing ahead as their armor brilliantly reflected the sunlight, was enough to impose psychological pressure.

Yet, as Logan watched, something felt off.

‘They’re charging without shields? Without any preparations?’

Despite the threat of the repeater crossbows, they appeared to be making no precautions.

“Are they that confident of their skills?”

Heinckel murmured incredulously, thinking the same thing.

“They’d be safer if they were cautious. This is just…”

Mid-sentence, Logan realized the truth.

“They’re simply underestimating us. Either they didn’t bother to gather information or they chose to ignore it.”

The posture of the advancing knights conveyed a sense of ease. The knights, who even during combat left their helmet visors up, exposing their faces, showed that same sentiment.

And indeed, although the fleeing soldiers had told them about the repeater crossbows, all they had witnessed were crossbow bolts harmlessly bouncing off the walls, so they didn’t bother to prepare for them.

This realization brought a smile to Logan’s lips.

“Perfect…”

Worries about the future momentarily vanished.

“Truly perfect.”

It was a chance to strike a crippling blow to the Bifrost Knight Order, an unexpected fortune gifted by the enemy. Logan paid no attention to the 1,500-strong cavalry tailing behind.

“Aim only at their knights! Show them the heat of our welcome!”

“Yes!”

As Logan gave the order, the enemy knights entered the crossbows’ range, and then…

“Fire!”

With a command, a volley of bolts flew as a deadly shower, engulfing the silver knights in black.

Their eyes widened in horror, an expression visible even from a distance.

Thud-thud-thud!

“Argh!”

“What in the…”

“Block it!”

Regrettably, the foremost knights didn’t suffer as much. Most sustained injuries, but raised their Force abruptly and swung their swords to deflect most attacks, narrowly avoiding fatal wounds.

Nevertheless, the average knights behind were a different story.

“Arrgh!”

“Choke!”

“What is this madness!”

With the first volley, nearly thirty knights were hit simultaneously, toppling from their horses and tumbling on the ground. Those who screamed were the lucky ones. Others, struck fatally in the head, eyes, or heart, couldn’t even cry out before their life was snuffed out.

‘Good!’

With a smile as grim as the Reaper’s, Logan shouted again.

“Focus on the rear of the knight order!”

With his order, bolts filled the sky once more, raining down in succession.

While the Bifrost knights screamed, a silver barrier suddenly rose in the front ranks.

“Knights, scatter to both sides! Target the other walls!”

Commanding from the center, the face was all too familiar to Logan.

‘Plants.’

It was Plants, the Knight of Moonlight, who had lifted his sword, unleashing silver Force blades like whips, creating a defensive barrier in front of him.

Though many bolts were deflected, he couldn’t stop all.

‘It’s futile.’

Such a defense had limits, and the whip-like Force blades were a waste of Force.

‘Go on, use all your strength. Top knight Plants.’

The battle was unfolding better than expected. Over 50 Bifrost knights lay on the ground.

“North and south walls! The knights are on the move! Follow them! Keep firing!”

Logan’s orders flowed as MacLaine’s forces moved as planned. The father led some troops to the north wall, and Heinckel, alongside Henderson, Nadal, and other high knights, rushed towards the south wall with additional forces.

But as the firing from the west wall weakened for a moment, a figure in red armor leaped towards the walls. His small stature contrasted with his unusually long arms, and his face was monkey-like.

Logan recognized him immediately, despite being a stranger. Aslan Liar. Another top knight of Bifrost.

“You dare!”

Logan dashed towards the direction from which the figure leaped.

“I’ll carve you up!”

Aslan belted out his indignation.

The prideful knight order had suffered an unfathomably humiliating defeat. It was Aslan who had scoffed at tales of MacLaine’s new weapon, finding the idea of knights being harmed by mere bolts laughable.

His appearance, subjected to mockery, had driven him to reach the pinnacle of knighthood. To Aslan, the notion of any knight-endangering soldier weapon seemed ludicrous.

Roger Bifrost had shared his confidence, and Plants, his deputy, had respected his decision.

Yet, this was the outcome. However, Aslan was never one to accept fault.

A top knight who had pushed himself to his position through his own will and belief, Aslan’s stubbornness prevailed, even negatively. He was right; it was the enemy’s fault for employing cowardly weapons. And so, he would hold them accountable, allowing his furious rage to fuel his leap.

The supposedly slippery castle walls, smeared with mud, could not deter him. But…

Slip.

Crash!

“F-furious… those damned…”

Blending rage and embarrassment, his face flushed hot. The wall was indeed more slippery than he anticipated; mixed with mud and oil, he barely managed to claw into the wall to stop his fall.

As numerous bolts rained down before him, he cursed.

“Damn it all!”

But could mere crossbow bolts really overcome him? True to his moniker, the Knight of Swift, Aslan parried the bolts with a swift motion, using only one hand. With power in his wall-embedded arm, he sprang upward again.

“To kill them all…”

Just as terrified enemy faces came into view, a golden blade plummeted from above his head.

Crash!

----------------------------

Chapter 96: Kwaaaaang!

“You this… what are you saying?”

What was that fool trying to say?

Logan clicked his tongue in disappointment, watching Aslan who had fallen into the moat filled with water with a splash.

It was a pity that he had missed a golden opportunity.

A top-tier knight who foolishly came up alone.

Logan thought he could end it with a single strike, seizing the opportunity, but the man managed to ward off his attack even in an unstable state hovering in mid-air.

As a result, he fell below the ramparts, but even if it hadn’t been the water, a fall from this height shouldn’t have been a problem for a top-tier knight.

As expected, water from the moat where the man had submerged erupted explosively, and soon enough, the drenched figure of the enemy was standing on the ground.

“Tch!”

And the problems didn’t end there.

Aside from those who had moved to another part of the ramparts, there was the Phobos Order of Knights who had now huddled together, blocking the rain of bolts more efficiently than before.

And at that moment, when Logan saw the newly arrived cavalry and infantry spreading out across the ramparts and pulling out longbows,

he intuitively knew that the sweet time, during which he had been sucking honey, had come to an end.

Yet, the outcome of the initial skirmish had already exceeded expectations.

‘I just need to deal with them.’

Aslan, the other top-tier knight Plantz, and the seven high-ranking knights scattered to the north and south.

These strong opponents, capable of not only defending but also counterattacking within the effective range of the repeating crossbows, were the problem.

‘I’ll have to hold out the north and the south. But first, I deal with what’s in front of me.’

Logan’s red pupils glared down at the two top-tier knights preparing to leap up from the western rampart.

The outcome of this early battle, no, the defense of Tomodo depended on this very moment.

Logan drew on all his strength in that instant.

Wooong.

His heart’s force core surged, expelling a sudden burst of energy, most of which then focused into his beloved sword, Lux.

His target was both of the top-tier knights.

Under normal circumstances, this would be an impossible feat. But with him atop the ramparts and the enemies leaping up from below in an unstable posture,

in this situation, it just might be possible.

Logan heightened his senses, calculating and predicting the movements of his foes, then swung his sword following the optimal path he envisioned.

‘Die!’

With all his might, the strike of the Grand Earth Slash was unleashed.

A golden light erupted from the swung blade, transforming into a giant sword over 20 meters long, sweeping the enemies who were suspended mid-air in a single blow.

“Gasp!”

“What…?!”

Catching a glimpse of the shocked expression in the enemies’ eyes, Logan felt a premonition of success.

Suddenly, there was a sharp noise.

A silver whip burst forth from Plantz’s blade, it struck the ramparts, and using the recoil, he twisted in mid-air, narrowly dodging Logan’s attack and landing atop the ramparts.

Boom!

The strike, filled with Logan’s entire being, left behind only a golden afterimage in the air.

A mocking smile on Plantz’s face seemed to taunt, as if asking if Logan thought such an attack would work on him twice, but Logan could not express his frustration just yet.

“I shall kill you!”

Before Plantz, another figure looking like a monkey and with movements just as quick, appeared before Logan, thrusting a red blade at him.

Clang! Clang!

Boom!

“Kuk!”

Aslan, who had now firmly planted both feet on the ramparts, unleashed ferocious blows.

Despite employing all his speed and even utilizing the Ghost Shadow and Wind God’s Boots to their fullest, Logan’s speed was barely keeping up.

The force behind the red sword, strangely short but brimming with intensity, was decidedly more powerful than Plantz’s.

“Try and squirm more!”

Pressed on the defensive, Logan barely withstood the onslaught while scanning his surroundings.

Zerrroong!

“Impossible!”

His father, who had temporarily receded to the northern wall, returned, standing in Plantz’s path.

A sound judgment; even though it might weaken the northern defenses, for the moment, it was the best course of action.

The soldiers who had been defending the wall had either become corpses by now or had long since fled.

The dazzling force blade and the lightning-fast movements kept anyone nearby from intervening with ease.

Moreover, while Logan couldn’t assess the situation on the northern and southern ramparts, Plantz’s silver force blade was already tearing down a piece of the western wall.

His intrusion alone had reduced the crossbows that were aiming at the enemy outside the fortress by a third.

This, in turn, was subtly changing the movement of the enemy forces outside.

The enemy archers outside the wall started to fire arrows upwards, occasionally harrying Logan’s troops.

‘I must end this swiftly!’

Logan had to deal with them as quickly as possible because although the aftershock of the previous failed strike had not yet dissipated, leaving his force not fully recovered, he had no time to consider such factors.

Woong.

Drawing out his force as if wringing it out, Logan threw himself toward the enemy, even as he was being pushed back.

He had no intention of parrying the red blade piercing toward his vision; he simply struck back at the enemy.

Then, a sinister smile appeared on Aslan’s face.

The length of the force blade shot out from the enemy’s sword aiming straight for Logan’s heart.

But.

“Kuk?!”

Shwuck.

Before it could hit, a golden stream of light shot from Logan’s sword, piercing Aslan’s shoulder.

‘Finish it with one breath!’

Woong.

The force core resonated with a sharp pain.

With his last burst of energy, Logan pressed the attack like a storm.

Chachaachang!

Kwaang!

The golden blade relentlessly assaulted the red armor, but the sword could not easily achieve its goal.

‘Kuk!’

Weirdly, no special wounds were inflicted, but the taste of blood was palpable in the mouth, and there was a sting near his heart.

Yet the enemy showed no openings, minimizing each assault with limited movement from the pierced shoulder.

He knew that once this offense ceased, Logan’s reserves would be depleted.

Continue to wear down the enemy with persistent defense, the adversaries’ eyes tracking his movements.

Feeling a sense of despair, Logan squared off with Aslan.

The height of mastery had not increased, but having received training from his master in the capital and mastered the Ghost Shadow, Logan was confident that he had become much stronger than before.

He thought he would surely be able to defeat the likes of Plantz, whom he had fought previously.

However, Aslan’s level, also known as a top-tier knight, was something else.

While he lacked unpredictable moves like a whip-like force blade, he was noticeably faster and stronger than Plantz.

‘This won’t do…’

As his remaining force dwindled, Logan could easily imagine himself falling to a counterattack.

And that imagination naturally bred an opening.

In a flash, the long arm of the lurking enemy extended a red lightning bolt.

Realizing his mistake in that moment, Logan mustered all his strength to swing his sword.

Kwaang!

The golden blade grazed the enemy’s shoulder, and the red lightning tore through Logan’s side, piercing the wall of the ramparts.

Looking down at the hole the size of a human head that had opened at his feet, Logan wondered.

‘Why?’

Logan had exposed the gap, yet the enemy’s attack was too hurried.

It wasn’t an exaggeration to say that thanks to that, Logan had been spared.

That red lightning held a force more powerful than the Single Slash; aiming just for an injury through the gap instead of life would naturally have tipped the victory in the foe’s favor.

‘But why?’

“You rat-like scum!”

The enemy’s hoarse voice erupted with such vehemence, making the air around him seem to shiver.

Nonetheless, Logan managed to bear the assault, and in return launched another golden light.

“Aaagh!”

This time too, the three enemy knights who had just scaled the wall were caught in the stream of light, tumbling down.

Logan keenly felt the limits approaching, but he launched at Aslan with renewed ferocity.

“Come, let’s play a little longer!”

Then, at that moment.

– Retreat! Everyone retreat!

A voice from outside the ramparts called out – Phobos’s.

Aslan, who had thought his rage had peaked, trembled as the anger surged past its previous limit, experiencing something altogether new.

“You son of a…”

Clang! Clang!

Boom!

Caught off-guard by the retreat order and Logan’s tactic of whittling away at Phobos’s knights, Aslan couldn’t even vent the fury building up inside.

Flailing his sword, Aslan finally pulled back abruptly.

“Remember this, kid. Next time…”

“Why not now? Why wait?”

Fuelled with killing intent, Aslan chose to leap outside the ramparts rather than engage, despite his eyes burning with rage.

And then Plantz, who had been locked in combat with Patrik, also fled the scene, gritting his teeth.

Logan, who had been feigning composure, collapsed as if crumbling.

And with his father shouting with a pale complexion:

– We won!

Tomodo resounded with triumphant cheers.

* * *

The Maclaine army shouted as if they had triumphed in war, but anyone with sense knew this was not the end.

Though the initial dread and terror felt at the appearance of Phobos’s forces had been somewhat replaced by confidence, the victory in this battle was still significant.

But the expression of the leadership was grim.

“They won’t be careless anymore.”

Padric, still pale, commented with a steely face, his tired appearance evidence of the difficulty of the day’s clash.

The deep concern in his eyes was expected.

“I know.”

“Is it still not time?”

“…Yes.”

“And you still can’t explain why?”

“…Please, just hold on a little longer.”

Logan’s gaze turned towards the rising moon again.

After filling up, the moon began to wane once more.

In normal circumstances, everyone here would be celebrating the start of a new year with joy on this New Year’s Day, with the first moon.

But now, that moon only instilled despair in Logan.

‘I should have heard something by now.’

Maybe something has gone wrong in the history of his previous life.

This dark and ominous guess was something Logan could not dare share with others.

Perhaps his expression had given something away.

“Hm, what can you do about it now?”

His resolute father patted him on the shoulder.

The knights listening also thumped their chests and clenched their fists when their eyes met with Logan’s.

Looking at them, Logan could feel an aching near his heart.

It wasn’t because of the injuries he sustained in the day.

‘Because of me…’

These people might end their lives here.

Just because they followed his word.

Should he have focused on strengthening his domain from within rather than rising so early?

The regret he once cast aside now clung deep within his heart again.

The fear that everything he achieved since his regression could collapse at once weighed heavily on Logan.

And at that moment.

– The enemy! They approach!

On the night when the first moon of the New Year had risen, Phobos launched its second attack.

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