Regressor of the Fallen Family (Novel) Chapter 43 - 44 - 45

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

C43 - 44 - 45

Episode 43

“Yes. Visiting the capital has been quite enlightening.”

“…Good. Then that settles it. Anything else you wish to discuss?”

Even in that brief exchange, Logan could sense that his father’s perception of him had changed significantly.

Trust. It meant his father didn’t question or scrutinize him.

But for the sake of the future, he still had to speak his mind.

‘Before getting to the main point…’

Logan swallowed down his dry saliva.

“I did some business in the capital and earned a bit of money. Revenue should keep coming in for a while.”

“…Money? No, before that. Business? What kind of business?”

“The medicine I gave you as a gift, Father. I started trading with it. Luckily, it went well so I made some money.”

“What, what did you say?”

His father’s initially casual expression suddenly became rigid.

Then, as if realizing the full implication, his face turned beet red.

“You, you’re telling me you went to the capital to sell libido enhancers?!”

His voice, startled and flustered, trembled ever so slightly.

“Don’t tell me… You had a representative?”

“I sold it directly to the nobles. It had to be me who did it for a high price.”

“You, yourself sold it?”

“Yes.”

“While revealing you’re a MacClaine?”

“Yes.”

“Kuhum. Huh. Grng. Hooo….”

Padrick’s shock quickly gave way to deep sighs and groans.

“Uhm, I have no face to see our ancestors…”

Through the hands covering his face, came his muffled groans.

When he looked up at Logan again, Logan braced himself for a blast of fury.

“Sigh. Logan, I’ve decided not to interfere in your actions, but…”

Contrary to his expectations, a sincere and grave voice followed his father’s deep sigh.

“The next time you do something, could you at least consider the honor and dignity of the family to some degree?”

Despite the complicated look his father gave him, Logan wore a smile.

‘I thought I’d have to convince him with a whole spiel.’

It seemed that his reputation had improved more than he guessed.

‘This might make things easier.’

Thus, Logan could answer boldly.

“Yes!”

“…Are you thinking before answering?”

“Of course!”

“Krnng…”

Logan’s too readily given answer didn’t instill much confidence, and Padrick, out of words again, buried his face in his hands.

But Logan was earnest and resolute in his heart.

He believed he was already acting with ‘maximum’ consideration for the family’s honor and dignity.

It was just that, in his mind, honor and dignity came after survival and profit.

Padrick would have wrapped his head again if he knew, and Logan barely concealed a smirk.

After causing such a headache, it was time to share some good news.

“Actually, I happened to meet a Swordmaster in the capital, and it’s proved to be a fortuitous connection.”

Fortunately, this time Logan’s news received an immediate reaction as anticipated.

“A Swordmaster? You mean Duke Felix Esperanza?”

Padrick’s eyes sparkled with sudden interest, as if all his concerns had vanished.

“Yes.”

“How did you meet him?”

“I sold him the medicine. And it turns out that he was quite…”

“What?!”

As if something burst inside him, Padrick abruptly shouted out with flushed cheeks.

His son had not only sold libido enhancers under the family name, but he also peddled them to the most respected sword hero of the kingdom.

For Padrick, it was an unimaginable blow to his dignity.

“How could you smear so much filth on the face of our family…!”

“That’s why I acquired quite a formidable mid-tier sword skill.”

“…What?”

Caught between anger and bewilderment, Padrick’s eyes fixed on a book that Logan had pulled out.

“Steelblood Sword. It’s a proper mid-tier sword technique, endorsed by the Swordmaster himself. Plus, it includes a secret technique that’s quite a trick…”

Padrick darted in front of Logan like a flash of lightning.

“Is this for real?! How? No, that’s not the question. Let me see it first.”

Padrick had longed for a proper Force Sword Technique, or mid-tier swordsmanship, all his life.

He had been considering the limitations of his swordsmanship as a possible reason for his lack of progress for over a decade.

To him, a mid-tier swordplay manual endorsed by a Swordmaster was like rain after a long drought.

Whoosh. Whoosh.

“That’s right. If I do this…. Huh.”

As Padrick flipped through the pages quickly, his eyes devoured every word as if ready to draw his sword there and then.

Seeing this, Logan quickly brought up his prepared suggestion.

“This should be a significant help to the family, don’t you think?”

At that moment, Padrick looked at Logan with a vacant expression.

“It’s genuine, indeed. And it seems to be among the better mid-tier techniques. How can we ever repay the Swordmaster’s kindness… No, first. Logan, you’ve done well. Really well!”

Where had the fiery anger gone?

Padrick grinned even brighter than when they had resolved the family’s debt and patted Logan’s shoulder.

Riding that enthusiasm, Logan brought the conversation back on track.

“Would this be enough to train our knights with?”

“Of course! If they master it properly, our knights’ power could increase by at least 30 percent! You can count on that!”

“Good to hear. So I’ll propose…”

“Yes. But first, I must master this myself.”

“What? No, I intend to…”

Before Logan could say more, Padrick, seemingly thrilled, became absorbed in the book again.

“This is really… It’s not the time for me to be here. Logan!”

“Yes?”

“I must concentrate on learning this as fast as I can. So please, I’ll leave things to you for a while.”

“What do you mean?”

Caught up in the whirlwind of events, Logan felt confused.

Thud.

Padrick placed a heavy, fist-sized object on the desk.

“Here. This is the seal of the head.”

“What?”

“Assist Dwayne with household matters for the time being. I will concentrate on this sword technique.”

“What? That’s not what I planned…”

“Discuss it with Dwayne and resolve it well. Logan, I truly appreciate it!”

“But Father, I have something to tell you…”

Bang!

The study’s door slammed shut as Padrick vanished like the wind.

Logan’s voice only bounced off an invisible wall.

“What just happened…?”

Padrick’s impassioned reaction trampled over all of Logan’s expectations.

On the desk, a large seal lay forlorn, with its blazing flame design, the MacClaine family’s insignia, appearing particularly pathetic that day.

“I didn’t even get to mention the main topic.”

The frustration was palpable, but another thought offered some consolation.

‘It’s as if I have the right to do it now, after all.’

Thinking that way, the flaming insignia in his hand suddenly seemed friendlier.

“Alright. I’ll set it all in motion before Father finishes his training.”

While Logan was affirming himself with a murmur, suddenly, the door burst open.

“Sir! I heard you’ve arrived! You’re here!”

Dwayne rushed in eagerly, greeting him with unusual fervor.

“Welcome back! Good to see you!”

After a brief, formal greeting, Dwayne wasted no time getting to the point.

“I’ve heard about what you did in the capital! Please contribute some money to the family funds! It’s urgent.”

The desperate plea sounded almost pathetic.

“What’s so urgent? Aren’t there funds from the war?”

“That money is barely enough to sustain two castles! And this year’s harvest is expected to plummet. It looks like the taxes will be in deficit…”

The depleted labor force due to war casualties in Thesron’s Castle, the already poor financial situation of MacClaine Castle, the abruptly halted support from Kyros—along with a litany of other issues that Dwayne rattled on about—all led to one conclusion.

“Please, give us money! Money! I know you’ve made a fortune! Don’t look away!”

However.

“I’m sorry.”

“Sorry? Why are you apologizing? No, no, you shouldn’t be sorry. What are you saying? Instead of apologizing, just give us money. Money!”

“I’ve spent it all.”

“…What? Hey, this isn’t funny. You made millions of gold, didn’t you? What have you done in such a short time to spend it all? The territory’s really in trouble, this isn’t a time for jokes!”

“It’s not a joke.”

“Come on, this isn’t funny. Seriously, it’s not.”

“…I’ve really spent it all.”

“….”

Dwayne stared into Logan’s eyes momentarily, then collapsed limply to the floor.

“What, what did you spend it on?”

“120 million on magic scrolls and mages. Bought food, and various materials for construction, so there’s nothing left.”

Indeed, after those purchases, nearly two million gold was left, but the minimal expenditure for the next six months was already estimated at 2.2 million gold.

Considering the possible sales decline of the Imporix, he could not spend the remaining money.

And there was another reason.

“120 million gold? For magic scrolls? What on earth are you planning to use them for?!”

Those bulging eyes somehow seemed amusing to tease.

“Collapse. I plan to take on a major project. Lots of territory people will have to be mobilized too.”

“How many? Just about how many people?”

“Let’s see. At least a few thousand…”

“A few thousand? Have you lost your mind?! Now is not the time for that!”

‘I know it’s harvest season, my man.’

Logan held back the laughter trying to escape.

“What project are you planning? No, no matter what it is, this is not the time for construction! The head will never allow it! Just get a refund!”

“Nope. Besides, I’m the head now.”

Logan teasingly waved the fiery seal in front of Dwayne’s eyes.

“This seal? Where is the head?”

“Training.”

“This man, again!”

Dwayne jumped up as if he had never been disheartened.

“Head of the house!!”

A boar with flames in its eyes went charging back into the manor.

* * *

– There’s nothing more important than this right now! Sort out the rest through discussion!

– Head of the house?! Head… Hey, man!

Charging into the training hall, Dwayne, who went in full of vigor, ended up only getting rebuked by Padrick, who had just begun to concentrate.

The dejected Dwayne looked at Logan with a face full of resentment, but Logan stood his ground.

“Do you really have to do this?”

“It’s necessary.”

“It’s the peak season when the territorials have to work. What on Earth are you trying to build during this time!”

Even in this barren territory, there were crops to be harvested.

Predictably, the yield was small, but the people managed to survive by hunting or gathering herbs.

And summer, this season, offered nature’s most bountiful harvest.

In other words, it was the busiest time for the territorials.

“The mood’s already sour post-war, it could lead to a disaster. Please rethink this! Please!”

“Don’t worry, no one’s working for free.”

“…What are you planning to do?”

“Feed them. There are a lot of starving people in our territory, aren’t there?”

“Yes?”

“I’ll distribute food. Provide enough for those who are starving and even more for those who will contribute to the construction work.”

That idealistic talk made Dwayne’s expression sour.

“If you do that, within a month you won’t even have soup to eat.”

“It’s fine. I have some.”

“What do you mean ‘It’s fine’?! We have nothing! Don’t you get it?!”

“You didn’t really listen to me earlier, did you? I said I bought food, didn’t I?”

“Yes? But earlier you said magical scrolls for construction…”

“Tsk tsk. You need to listen properly when someone’s talking. I said I have that and food. Does that settle it?”

“Even if you bought a little food, distributing it to the territorials would…”

“One million gold.”

“What?”

“Every month, until next year this time.”

Dwayne stared at Logan with a dumbfounded expression for a moment, then started fiddling with his ears.

“Cough. I’ve been working so hard lately I must be hearing things. Sir, what did you say again?”

“I’ll spend 1 million gold every month for a year to buy food and distribute it among the territorials.”

“Goodness. It—it wasn’t a hallucination… Sir?”

“Yes, I will.”

“Did you eat something wrong?”

Dwayne’s incredulous gaze made Logan smirk wryly.

‘This is the natural reaction, I guess.’

So far, Logan hadn’t shown any concern for the living conditions of the territorials.

Even though his reputation might have improved after becoming a war hero, it was unlikely anyone would expect such a change in his worldview.

But for the sake of the future, this was a job that needed to be done right away.

“I’m fine. Is that enough?”

“There are 30 thousand in MacClaine Castle and 50 thousand in Thesron Castle. We may not be able to feed everyone lavishly, but it should be enough for modest provision…”

“If we minimize it and give twice as much to those involved in the construction?”

“Well, it should be sufficiently feasible. But Sir. Do you really need to do this?”

“What?”

“Opposing the construction aside, why do you want to spend that money on food for the territorials? You don’t have to; they will manage. Rather, use the money for something else. There are so many other places that need it…”

‘Hmm. Right. Everyone still thinks that way.’

It wasn’t that Dwayne lacked compassion.

It was just the accepted standard—a misguided belief that skimmed the territorials’ vitality while keeping them barely afloat to pay taxes.

‘We need to correct this mistaken notion.’

So Logan had to set things straight.

“It’s my money, anyway. What’s the problem with spending it as I please?”

“Sir!”

“I have the authority as the acting lord. And the source of funds is also my money. There’s no reason to object, right?”

Logan’s argument was undeniably sound, and as Dwayne tried to furiously come up with a rebuttal, he eventually collapsed with a grimace.

“Sigh… The head will oppose it.”

“He’s not here now.”

“If we must do it, making sure no one dies of hunger would be best…”

“No. That’s not good enough. This is all ultimately for the welfare of the family.”

Therefore, it was imperative to succeed. Absolutely.

Logan’s firm expression left Dwayne speechless in the end.

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

Episode 44

“You’re planning to drill through a mountain?”

“And bring in river water by constructing some kind of gate? Hahaha.”

The dwarves and wizards were incredulously responding, as if to say, are you out of your mind? Logan just chuckled confidently, replying,

“It’s entirely possible. So I would like you to carry it out as planned.”

Harmar and Clayton’s skepticism wasn’t unfounded.

The McLean domain bordered the Southern Mountain Range, a place so vast that no one claimed to have seen its end. To the north, relatively shallow hills formed a series of undulations blocking the Luther River from flowing southward.

There were no rivers nearby heading east or west, and as a result, the land around the castle was barren waste enveloped by wilderness.

Logan’s plan was to create a massive tunnel through the northern hills to draw water from the river.

To the people of this era, it sounded more plausible to push the mountain over than to drill through it. Regardless, Logan continued his explanation unwaveringly,

“We’ll create a tunnel, 30 meters in diameter, directly connecting to the Luther River, which will be used as a sluice. It’s a civil engineering method used in the western continent, they call them ‘dams’.”

Although small dams were indeed being used in some parts of the western continent at the time, precise trends of flood control would only become widespread in the Empire 20 years later.

The plan was based on a dam he saw at a fortress in the northern Empire, which used the mountain itself as a natural embankment, crafting sluices through tunnels.

‘I may not know the detailed principles of construction, but…’

Logan had dwarves and wizards to offset his lack of knowledge.

In the future, the Empire would demonstrate incredible feats, such as diverting the course of a mighty river within a few months for massive construction projects.

But for now, McLean didn’t need such grand undertakings.

‘Just a portion of the Luther River’s flow will suffice.’

With that, it would be possible to convert the western wastelands of McLean Castle into fertile plains for agriculture.

Knowing full well that it was no easy task, Logan had planned around the use of a large number of magical scrolls and wizards, including mobilizing the domain’s residents for the construction.

“Haha…”

Even after the explanation, Clayton remained skeptical, but Harmar’s demeanor differed,

“…We must choose the location carefully. The condition of the ground is critical. We also need to consider the water level and waterways. Hmm, to prevent the tunnel from collapsing, we’ll need to construct an arched structure and get assistance from wizards…”

As the perplexed dwarf mumbled, Clayton looked at Harmar with a stupefied gaze, and Logan was brightened.

“That means it’s possible?”

“Eh? Ah… Haha. What did I just say? Hahaha. Lately, I’ve been saying nonsense without realizing.”

“It sounded plausible even for someone like me, who doesn’t know much about construction work.”

“Hahaha. I think my mind’s gone funny from staying in mines too long, Master. Ah ha, ha, ha.”

Harmar tried to cover up with an awkward laugh, but Logan had already grabbed his hand eagerly,

“See, I knew it was possible. I’ve seen much bigger things than this!”

“…Yes?”

Harmar responded with a look that read, what are you talking about?, but Logan already seemed too far gone to hear it,

“If humans can make it dozens of times larger, why can’t dwarves? Right?”

Truth be told, if Harmar said it couldn’t be done, Logan was prepared to push over a small mountain and carve out a channel himself.

It would take significantly more time, but it was a definitive method that even an uninformed outsider could accomplish.

‘Although, it would have cost much more.’

He probably would have been better off using that money to buy a hundred years’ worth of food.

That is if you didn’t consider the need to prepare for war.

Regardless, Logan’s confident demeanour forced Harmar’s complexion to grow increasingly ashen, but pride stumbled over reason as he blurted out,

“It would require a tremendous amount of manpower and money! Drilling through a mountain isn’t as easy as…”

Before his rational mind could regain control, it was too late.

“We have magical scrolls and wizards.”

“That’s not something a few scrolls can handle…”

“We have 120 each month.”

“What?”

“There are 120 Fourth Circle Collapse Scrolls every month. That’s enough to use four a day without rest. Plus, we also have Lord Clayton here, a Fifth Circle wizard. Isn’t that sufficient?”

With that, the last desperate defiance of logic was futilely crushed.

“Come on, now we have to find a mountain suitable for drilling that tunnel. The easiest place we can start.”

There was still time before the arrival of the supplies and scrolls. If they prepared thoroughly in the meantime, there would be no issue.

“Am I supposed to find the place too?”

Logan was not privy to that knowledge either.

“Then who will?”

“Huh…”

With Logan’s natural retort, Harmar slumped down powerlessly on the spot.

Two weeks later,

“Really, here? Is this the right place?”

Logan asked wearily on the ridge of the second-lowest mountain amongst the northern hills of McLean.

Not only was he forced to ride a pony due to his stature, but his spirit seemed greatly diminished by the sheer amount of work. Over the past fortnight, Logan had personally been mounting Harmar on a horse and traveling around.

To visualize the dam he remembered from the future and apply the dwarf’s geological capabilities, it was an unavoidable decision.

And now, he was feeling the strain of it all.

“Ugh. Yes. The ground and geological conditions are even, and the land is low. Plus, it’s close to the Luther River, making it a good place to dig a waterway.”

Fortunately, Harmar finally nodded.

Despite Harmar’s expression being one of utter exhaustion, his face seemed to relax a bit.

But, then again.

“Alright, let’s head back and prepare for the construction.”

“Let’s rest a bit! Human!”

To the excessively demanding master, Harmar’s complexions once again turned steely and deathly.

However, Logan, ignoring his weary dwarf, lifted him back onto the horse with an indifferent expression,

“Lucky it’s low ground with a trail already. It should make it easier to drill the tunnel.”

“That means the ground is harder! Don’t speak so loosely if you’re not going to do it yourself!”

Ignoring the tired dwarf’s protests, with a refreshed look, Logan drove the horse back towards the castle.

***

Three days later, at dawn, those obligated for conscription were summoned. At McLean Castle’s outer west gate, at Teslon Castle’s outer east gate. Those without a valid excuse for non-compliance…

The sudden proclamation caused an uproar amongst the denizens of both domains.

“It’s finally…”

“All nobles are the same.”

The citizens of Teslon Castle, which could be considered a conquered land, had a sense of impending doom.

They began to dread the notion that the conqueror was starting to plunder, but the mood at McLean Castle, the true realm of the conqueror, was even worse.

“If I’m sent to compulsory labor, my children will starve to death! Please stop it! Lord!”

“Barely surviving war, now our lord wants to kill us. Ah, my goodness…”

“Should we just run away?”

“Is there a place nearby to live?”

“Either die trying to flee, labor to death, or starve. Is this the choice we’re being given?”

Amidst this dire situation, with no real options left, they faced a choice of how they wished to die.

The residents, who had lived passively all their lives, were forced to obey their ruler’s command, filled with desperate imaginings but with no other alternatives.

Three days later, at the castle gates.

“See if there’s a chance to escape or…”

“Maybe purposely hurt ourselves to get out of work…”

Some of the gathered residents were looking around anxiously, trying to find a way out.

“I can barely keep my children fed with only watery porridge, let alone have the strength for labor!”

Amidst their fear and desperation, cries and pleas erupted from the crowd.

“Gathered nearly four thousand strong, why not just revolt?”

“Even if the knights, or rather bastards, barrage in…”

“Anyway, we’re all done for. Right?”

“Yeah, might as well take a stand now.”

The turbulent air grew thicker, and the weak-willed subjects’ eyes began to fill with madness.

Seeing the ominous atmosphere among the residents gathered outside McLean Castle, Dwain sighed atop the ramparts.

“Was it necessary to issue a conscription order? You could have just offered to share the food.”

“If it had been that simple, less than half of them would have shown up.”

“What?”

“They wouldn’t have believed us. Not in us.”

Dwain couldn’t understand Logan’s bitter smile and response.

“Really? I don’t mean to boast, but our domain has always prided itself on fair and sound administration.”

“But this isn’t an issue of doing well or poorly.”

Logan knew very well that his father had never exploited the people of the domain for selfish or unfair reasons.

The McLean family had fallen from grace due to the atrocious deeds of an ancestor four generations back.

Even though they were a Count family at the time, the Count McLean of four generations ago caused the domain to suffer greatly by squeezing the people for a war effort, only to be betrayed and defeated. The following Count McLean desperately attempted to redeem their past by becoming even more ruthless, but ultimately he failed, and the rest of the retainers turned their backs on him.

That was the reason the direct McLean line ended up settling in what is now McLean Castle, sometimes used only as a fortress.

That’s why Padric McLean, the current head of the family, had no interest in repeating the mistakes of his predecessors and had yet to do so.

Logan was certain of that.

“The issue is more fundamental.”

“What is it?”

“We’re nobles.”

But Logan, in his previous life as a mercenary who spent a long time among the commoners, understood their lives.

Nobles regarded their subjects as property, and those who prided themselves as sensible nobles contended that it was their duty to protect their subjects, believing themselves to be fulfilling that duty suitably.

‘Like my father.’

However, for the commoners, a good noble was just one who took a little less from them, and a bad noble took more. Dwain couldn’t grasp this distinction.

“What does that have to do with anything? In this barren land, I am confident in our best policies. That couldn’t be!”

Feeling his life’s work being invalidated, Dwain couldn’t help but become angry.

“Is the well-being of the domain residents foremost in father’s mind? It isn’t. It’s the knights.”

“Th– that’s because Lord…”

“In this barren land, a slightly better policy means it’s just slightly less tough.”

Unable to refute the undeniable truth, Dwain was silenced.

Padric McLean was a man who thought in terms of knights when it came to the strength of the domain.

That’s why, even when budgets were tight, he maintained a knight order of over fifty knights. Their salaries alone accounted for over 1.5 million gold each year.

Over half of the domain’s budget was spent on the wages of the knights.

The bitter realization was that even so, the McLean knights’ salaries were still below the average of other domains.

So, the knights couldn’t be blamed.

As the treasurer, and knowing better than anyone that without the support from Kairos, the domain would have already gone bankrupt, Dwain could no longer question Logan’s explanations.

“So we have to force them together and show them. Make them believe.”

“Huh…”

“Time’s up. Just keep watching.”

As Logan spoke, Dwain turned his gaze down from the ramparts.

Rumble, rumble.

“The gates are opening!”

“You all know, right? Stick together to live, scatter to die!”

“In times like these, conscripts of what?!”

“Alright! Everyone, brace yourselves. Get your strength up!”

The villagers, no matter how untrained, were filled with a sense of resolve born from hunger and the fear of death.

As they patted each other on the back, watching the gates with eyes beginning to gleam with ferocity.

Rumble, rumble.

Boom.

The gates opened, and a procession of countless carts appeared,

“Charge! Hurry up!”

The clamor of armored knights directing the procession could be heard. The remarkable length of the caravan, seemingly stemming from the outer east gate to within, was approaching the gates without end.

“What are all those?”

“Looks like grain?”

The presence of the unfamiliar convoy made the gathered residents’ murmurings grow louder,

“Where are those going?”

“They’re coming this way?”

Their astonishment was palpable, and the murderous intent that had been surging faded away.

“Halt!”

“Alright, get the distribution ready!”

As the wagon train halted, sack after sack of grain was delivered, carried by unfamiliar hands and becoming a mountain in front of the residents.

“What’s that?”

“Are they giving it to us?”

“Stop dreaming! What noble would…”

“But why now?”

“Wha, who knows.”

As uncertainty began to permeate the crowd, hope hesitantly started to take root. When tables set up and the grain piled behind them, that hope neared affirmation.

Soon, one of the knights commanding the procession bellowed with a thunderous voice,

“This decree by His Grace Logan is to provide a month’s worth of grain to the family of each conscript!”

The words created a brief silence, but it was soon broken by an uproar even greater than before,

“Wha, what did he just say?”

“They’re distributing grain?”

“Could it be true?”

“Commencing distribution now. Form an orderly queue, please.”

The knight’s voice echoed amidst the confused residents.

Woah!

With a thunderous cheer, the people surged towards the tables,

“Stop! You must form a queue or there will be no distribution! Hey, you there! Get in line!”

What could have turned into a riot was quickly quelled by five knights brandishing their authority.

“Is this really grain? Are we truly being given this?”

“Yes. As long as you participate in the construction, your family will receive this every month.”

“Every, every month?!”

“That is the will of His Grace.”

“Whew, we’re saved.”

“Thank you, sir knight!”

“Not me – it’s His Grace’s will.”

“Still, thank you! Truly…”

As one resident after another received their grain, doubt vanished, and their cheers grew louder. Eventually,

– Long live Logan McLean!

This ordeal, led by Logan, was praised by the echoing chants in front of the outer castle walls.

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

Chapter 45

“Did you see that? This is a much faster method. It’ll naturally cover the census too.”

“…That it will.”

“Why are you looking at me like that?”

“I’m just amazed. Recently, Young Master has been surprising me time and again. I should be less surprised by now. Heh heh.”

“Stop your foolish talk. Oh, and make sure to distribute food to those in the territory who are injured or can’t come for labor service, alright? Starting this year, no one in our territory should die from hunger.”

“There are already enough right there… Yes, I understand. I was just worried that the people of the territory may become lazy pigs… Yes, yes. I get it. Stop looking at me like that.”

“Tch.”

Logan clicked his tongue, narrowing his eyes.

“Anyway, if we wait a little longer, we’ll be able to carry out the construction properly. Thanks to the Treasury Administrator placing such trust in me.”

“Don’t even start with that construction!”

“Oh, you’re going to end up doing it anyway.”

“Please think it over again, will you? Why spend 2 million gold to drill a hole in the mountain each month?”

“No. We’re doing it. No matter what you say, it’s futile.”

“Urgh. Young Master…”

Dwayne was frustrated by the absurd construction and the wasteful spending that couldn’t be stopped.

Logan, having easily dismissed Dwayne’s resistance, turned his gaze westward.

‘Even if it’s not time for the scrolls, having Clayton is enough.’

The other materials ordered through Phillip had already arrived.

It was finally time to start drilling through the mountain.

* * *

“Now. One, two, three!”

Urachacha!

With shouts, tents rose up in unison.

Far from the construction site chosen by Hamal and Logan, numerous tents mushroomed rapidly in the wasteland.

The chosen location, midway between Teslon Castle, which was one and a half days away, and McLean Castle, which was a day away, made temporary accommodations for the workers essential, not a choice.

And of course, suitable accommodations for the crucial mages had to be prepared as well.

“Are you sure you want the mages to have the same conditions as labor?”

“It’s fine, Young Master. After all, our Earth Tower is called the laborers among mages, and our faction has done the most work there. You’ve seen the Tower Lord freak out.”

“I suppose it’s one less thing for me to worry about, haha.”

“Leave it to me. I’ll finish the job quickly and perfectly.”

Clayton’s grim face bore a firm gaze that felt incredibly reliable.

And the very next morning.

The gaze of nearly 8,000 people summoned from the two castles gathered upon a corner of the wilderness hill.

“To dig a straight tunnel, this spot is perfect. If we calculate the range and cause a collapse around this center, we can…”

“Dwarf sir. With my magic, we can have a much larger range, you know?”

“No, that’s too much of a collapse, you mage sir. The tunnel doesn’t need to be that big! A semi-circle about 30m in diameter would be enough…”

“Come on, trust me and let’s make it big and refreshing!”

“Ha, this is going to be troublesome.”

The dwarf and the mage were coordinating their opinions for the construction.

Logan, a step behind them, watched over the pair with contentment.

Beside him stood a large administrative officer with a dazed look, surveying the surroundings.

“You’re really pushing ahead. What will you do when the head of the family finds out?”

“It’ll be fine, don’t worry.”

“…I give up. Do whatever you want.”

Dwayne muttered helplessly as the construction finally began.

* * *

“What are they doing there?”

“I dunno.”

“The higher-ups must have some plan.”

The local peasants, who had never seen nor heard of magic, looked at Clayton with curiosity.

“Magician sir! If you’re ready, begin immediately!”

Following Hamal’s signal, a bright yellow light began to emit from Clayton’s body.

“Wow! What’s this?!”

“Wow, that’s magic…”

“It’s not some disaster, is it?”

“There’s the Young Master. It’ll be fine.”

Mixed with wonder and fear, the workers couldn’t take their eyes off Clayton.

Then, Logan felt the change caused by Clayton’s power.

‘Hmmm. The flow of mana…’

Natural energy (自然氣), Mana.

Along with The Force, one of the two great powers called the supernaturals controlled by humans on the continent.

The flow of energy that he could barely feel in his past life was now vividly alive.

The five mana rings engraved on Clayton’s heart.

Logan could clearly see the mana originating from them, stirring up matching energies scattered throughout the world.

The gathering of strength through an intricate yet specific pattern happened many times in a fleeting moment.

Even the minute flow did not escape his Force-imbued hyper senses, which were advancing beyond Logan’s estimations.

While he felt this remarkable sensation,

The direction Clayton raised his hand towards turned earthen as light slowly moved towards a rock face.

When the light touched the rock, the earth began to vibrate.

The light soon spread across the entire rock face.

With a tremendous roar and a rumbling sound, the world seemed to shake amidst the blast.

“Argh!”

“Get down!”

“To think it would come to this…”

As workers scattered in a panic amidst the flying dust, Hamal’s bellow could be heard from amidst them.

“Take it easy! That’s too powerful! Why show off your strength in vain like this?”

As Hamal flared up,

Logan sensed an even stronger flow of mana.

‘A different spell?’

From within the dust clouds rose a stronger energy than before, signaling the formation of something massive.

Giant rocks and earth crumbled from the rock face assembled into a colossal being.

‘Huh?’

Through the dust, a shadow loomed about 20 meters tall.

The colossal golem start thudding towards the rock face, crashing into the epicenter of the explosion.

The echoes of its movements resonated from within the rock face.

“What’s happening?!”

“What on earth is going on now?”

The panicked voices of workers filled the air and, after a little time, the dust settled to reveal the source of the noise.

“A monster!”

“It’s a monster!”

“Ahhhh!”

“Is this the wrath of the mountain spirits!”

“Please save us, spirits!”

Within a gouged-out rock face several tens of meters wide, a giant made of earth and stone frightened the workers enough to freeze in fear.

With the ground above the rock face seemingly about to collapse, they didn’t even realize what was happening.

“What are you all standing around dazed for? Rush over and secure the ground!”

Clayton’s command along with his disciples’ actions, emitting bright yellow light towards the cave ceiling, stirred the workers to pull themselves together and rise.

“Is that magic?”

“Hoaaa…”

“Scary…”

“Was magic always so mighty?”

Amidst their terror-stricken admiration,

“Actually committed to it. Aiyo, head of the family. Ehehe…”

Alone with a unique reaction, an administrative officer chuckled as if losing his mind, waking Logan from his daze.

“Huh…?”

The pattern of mana carved into his mind continued to linger.

The idea that he could emulate such magic with the power of Force, given its growth, trickled through his thoughts.

‘Thinking I could learn a spell that mana-born sages spent decades researching and studying?’

His rational mind immediately dismissed the notion.

‘No matter how exceptional the Divine Sword’s secrets, that’s impossible.’

A moment after shaking off that fantasy, Clayton’s magical feat once again struck his eyes.

“Such a golem…”

The massive golem looked truly remarkable, even to Logan.

Unlike the common folk who had never seen such a thing before; Logan, who had witnessed countless forms of magic in his previous life, was deeply impressed.

‘A fifth circle mage can do this?’

A golem, to his knowledge, was an artifact made by gathering stones or dirt around a magical stone, including a magestone, as its core.

Yet, the giant Clayton created with his magic far exceeded any such golem he knew.

Not only did Logan perceive many spells on the battlefield in his past life, he even saw powerful ‘Superhuman’ sixth circle mages invoke storms of fire to devastate battlegrounds, but they didn’t evoke the shock of this moment.

An exaggerated golem could hold up a mountain.

The might it would show if it were brought to war would surely surpass that of a mere storm of flames.

‘It doesn’t seem to be a one-off either…’

Thanks to his connection with Force, which let him see mana, Logan understood the mechanics of how Clayton’s magic manifested.

Admittedly, he didn’t fully grasp the complex process of mana transformation starting from the rings in his heart.

However, he could sense that the core at the heart of the massive golem resonated continuously with Clayton’s own circle.

The golem began to move again as soon as the terrain hardened above.

Thud.

It then proceeded to push aside the scattered rocks and soil from the collapse.

Despite its impressive height of about 20 meters, it looked somewhat squashed due to its breadth at shoulder height being about half that size, but the giant’s strength born from its bulk easily cleared away the debris of the rock face.

‘Such magic, such a mage, how did I not know in my past life?’

It was a natural question for Logan.

The versatile and powerful fifth circle magic seemed far more useful than the common sixth circle spells.

‘Why…?’

No matter how hard he thought, the answer eluded him.

But there was one clear fact.

‘I desire it. What an enviable talent.’

Such magic would naturally inspire greed.

Considering they were utilizing such a premium worker at no cost right now.

Hence, Logan could sincerely smile brightly at Clayton.

“Elder, truly formidable. To think I would witness such magic in this world. You’ve opened my eyes.”

“Hmm. Well, as leader of our golem faction, this is basic, Young Master. Didn’t I assure you?”

“Haha. Indeed.”

“Those like the Tower Lord may only see negatives, but our faction’s accomplishments stand proudly against the world.”

Clayton’s face remained stoic, barely hinting at pride if not for the sweat trickling from his scar.

Hiding any pity, Logan gave two thumbs up.

“Hahaha. Elder, I never doubted you. Rather, I’m even more astonished than I thought.”

Clayton’s lips curled ever so slightly.

A face mostly expressionless to most, but through recent weeks and disciples’ explanations, Logan understood that expression meant Clayton was genuinely pleased.

“Truly dependable. Are your disciples able to use the same magic?”

Thus, seizing the moment, Logan did not shy from asking what might be rude or secret.

Now only using basic magic to stabilize the crumbling terrain, Clayton’s disciples, if they could cast even a weak version of the golem spell, would speed up the planned construction than anticipated.

However…

“They can indeed cast it but, cough. There’s a slight… issue.”

“Yes?”

“The core of the golem requires a 5th circle mana script, so my disciples need magestones. Even so, they will be much smaller and weaker.”

Clayton’s response left Logan dumbstruck.

‘Magestones…?’

Magestones (魔精石, Mana Crystal) were as rare as the divine metal Orichalcum or Mithril, being minerals imbued with natural energy mana.

They were almost priceless due to their scarcity, the inability to manufacture them artificially, and the constant need for magic or crafting artifacts.

While graded by the concentration of mana, even the lowest grade magestone was more expensive than equal volumes of gold.

‘Sigh. This isn’t cost-effective…’

But who ever waged a war considering cost-effectiveness?

‘If the effect is good, that’s what matters. If money can increase the power…’

Logan briefly forgot that Clayton and his disciples were merely employees.

“Elder, even your magic?”

“Indeed. At my level, if I use an appropriate magestone, the golem’s power can be amplified several times over. Enhancing strength, speed, and duration.”

“Wow. That is truly incredible.”

Logan genuinely marveled, and while externally showing his amazement, internally he rapidly calculated.

If the golems could move just a few times faster than now…

‘They could wipe out any knight. Impressive!’

Such power would be unquestionable in war, no matter the cost…

“But as mentioned, it requires magestones suited for it.”

“What kind of magestones do you mean?”

“Well, cough cough. The highest grade, fitting a 5th circle.”

…That might be a problem.

A fist-sized highest grade magestone cost anywhere between 500,000 to 1,000,000 gold.

The moment Logan understood why the golem faction was always struggling.

Still, Logan had not given up hope.

“Perhaps your disciples also need such…?”

“Of course not! 2nd circle golem magic only requires a low-grade magestone. It should last a day and can exert several times the strength of an average man.”

These low-grade magestones, the size of a fist if assumed, cost about as much as a lump of gold.

In gold terms, that was nearly a thousand gold.

Such a price for simply a few times a man’s strength?

And with just a day’s duration?

Still not quite cost-effective.

‘But if it’s for a short-term battle, it could surely deliver much more…’

Despite all the downsides, the vision of golem magic on the battlefield was compelling.

‘What if my side had it?’

Logan unknowingly shivered slightly at the thought.

However…

‘Ah, they belong to the tower. Tsk.’

Returning to reality, Logan licked his lips and had no choice but to turn away.

Publicar un comentario

Artículo Anterior Artículo Siguiente

AD1

AD 2

close
close