Regressor of the Fallen Family (Novel) Chapter 49 - 50 - 51

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

C49 - 50 - 51

Chapter 49: A Week Later, Hamar Rises from His Sickbed

A week later, Hamar stood up from his sickbed.

“I’ll do my best to make up for the lost time,” he said.

His complexion, markedly improved from before his injury, Hamar set about the construction schedule at a pace that surprised even Logan.

Everything naturally progressed smoothly, according to plan—much faster than Logan had anticipated.

“What? Already?”

“Yes. We’ve already opened the tunnel you mentioned and connected the waterway to the Luther River. The sluice is nearly full.”

“Uh… In just three months…”

The construction expected to take six months was completed in only three.

Overjoyed by the news, Logan rushed to see the sluice brimming with water himself and could not hide his admiration.

“Of course, the water level will not rise above that of the Luther River. It will only fill up to the depth we’ve dug the tunnel…”

“Wow. It actually worked.”

“What?”

A sincere exclamation of surprise escaped Logan’s lips, shocking the dwarf who had heard him.

“Lo-, Lord. What did you, just say?!”

“Hmm?”

“The larger one. Didn’t you say you’ve seen a bigger dam built by humans?!”

“That’s right.”

“And now? ‘It actually worked’?!”

Logan had indeed seen it in the future, but was unable to prove it.

“So what’s the problem if it worked?”

He simply responded with a bright smile.

Hamar’s reaction to that smile was fiery.

“Huh? You, you were bluffing! I almost died because of that… Ahh! Hey!! Today you die, then I die! Let go! Let me go, wizard! This ends to… Gah!”

“Haha. Even so, this was a valuable experience, wasn’t it, Master Hamar? Using human strength to tunnel through a mountain and guide water through it. I thought it would have been more realistic to just shave off the mountain…”

Clayton, with a haggard look as pale as Hamar, held the struggling dwarf and smiled at Logan.

Logan responded with a hearty laugh.

“Hahaha! You’ve really outdone yourself, Mr. Clayton.”

“Ugh! Ugh!”

“Alright, Hamar. Of course, I know you’ve worked hard. Well done.”

“Ugh! Ugh! Ugh!”

“Yes, yes. I know. You’re the number one contributor.”

Logan once again realized that the combination of a dwarf and an earth magician was the best team for large-scale construction work.

‘Honestly, I thought it could fail.’

But it had ended up cutting the expected duration by more than half.

This construction project was the only one since his regression that Logan had not been entirely sure would succeed.

Now that it had been resolved so successfully, everything seemed to be on a positive track, lifting his spirits.

Then, Hamar, having narrowly escaped from the magician’s firm grasp, asked with a grumpy face.

“So, ‘that’ when do you plan to do it? If it’s as expected, any time before winter should be fine.”

“My disciples are helping, so the waterway work will be done in a few days.”

“Then why wait? Call all the hardworking workers together. They all need to see it. To see what they achieved.”

The number of workers involved in the construction was nearly 8,000.

All of them were robust adult men, in other words, the resources that would support him in future wars.

To instill confidence and patriotism in them.

That was another goal Logan intended through this construction project.

* * *

Three days later.

As the irrigation work was completed, the workers climbed up the ridge at Logan’s command.

“What’s this noise? Water? You’re saying there’s water over there?”

“I saw it. There’s definitely water inside.”

“Then did we really dig the waterway?”

“Still, it can’t be enough water for all that vast land.”

Murmurs rose among the crowd.

Thousands of people, standing on a hillside overlooking a wasteland woven with a dense network of irrigation channels, harbored skepticism.

And even less pleased were the administrative officials of the territory, called out unexpectedly.

They were present to see the land’s transformation and reflect it in their administration, as Logan had willed.

But the officials didn’t respond positively.

“This is quite something. Literally, a monumental waste of effort.”

The bald head in charge of food supply, Rugel Heiss, clicked his tongue as he looked at the drawn water channels across the wasteland.

“With these men, we could have repaired the southern wall instead, especially with the monster wave that might come this winter.”

The portly wall supervisor, Lupin, was already worried about the disaster that occurred irregularly every 5 to 10 years.

“Why go to such lengths…”

“I don’t know either.”

Administrators who were unaware of the details of the construction were equally pessimistic.

However, unexpectedly, Dwein, who had been the most opposed to the construction, looked down the mountain with hopeful eyes.

‘This isn’t just a one-time watering. It’s directly connected to the Luther River.’

The irrigation channels meant continuous water supply, which could turn the vast wasteland into rich fields if the land was well managed—that was the potential promise he saw.

An uncontrollable mix of rational skepticism and hopeful excitement made his heart race.

As everyone watched the scene below with their own thoughts, Logan turned to his side with eyes full of anticipation.

“Mr. Clayton. Let’s begin.”

“We’ve worked hard to make it possible for the workers to adjust the sluice gates. Do we really have to do this? Ugh…”

Hamar, turned grumbler by the construction process, complained, but Clayton nodded in silence.

Rumble, rumble.

Simultaneously, a giant golem rose from below the fields.

“Whoa!”

“What is that?!”

“Yikes! Scared me… Ahem. Well, it’s magic we’ve seen plenty of before.”

The frightened administrators nearly stumbled on their feet from surprise but soon realized that, aside from themselves, no one else was startled, and they sheepishly closed their mouths.

“Open the gate!”

With Clayton’s booming command, the golem stomped toward the sluice.

Then, the golem tried to lift the wall-like sluice.

Grind, grind, grind.

The vibration reached the ridge, tension visible in everyone’s eyes.

But then…

“Why isn’t it moving?”

“What’s going on?”

Despite several vibrations, there were no significant changes to the sluice.

Doubtful eyes turned to the sweating magician.

“What’re you doing? Are you playing around?”

Clayton, lips tightly sealed as if using ventriloquism, muttered quietly, causing the dwarf to wave his hands in confusion.

“No, no, I definitely told them to open it, but—how could this…”

In truth, the golem’s show of strength was just that, a show. In reality, about a hundred workers had gathered to manually open the sluice with a winch due to its heavy weight.

This unexpected hindrance was not part of Logan’s plan.

“What’s going on here?”

Logan, maintaining a calm expression despite the surrounding attention, used ventriloquism with menacing eyes.

“I’m, I’m sorry. Something seems to have gone wrong.”

Hamar bowed his head, drenched in sweat.

Without descending to check, there was no immediate solution.

At that moment, Logan, abandoning his dignity, grimaced and shouted.

“Mr. Clayton. Destroy it.”

“Excuse me?”

“If the sluice breaks, we can rebuild it. Just break it down!”

Logan could not let his carefully prepared plan fail at this point.

At this moment, Logan’s face was more than just a matter of pride.

It would become the foundation of trust from his subjects and bureaucrats in the future.

It was better to demolish the sluice than to ruin that.

Of course, the key figure who would suffer the consequences, Hamar, turned pale.

“Yes. Understood.”

Clayton’s response was immediate. Though lifting the gigantic sluice was impossible, destroying it was not difficult.

Bang!

Boom!

Crash!

With consecutive strikes from the giant golem, the sluice began to crack.

Crash!

Soon enough, with a loud noise, the sluice crumbled.

The sluice shattered, sending huge clumps of stone into the air, overwhelmed by the vast gush of water spilling toward the wasteland.

Everyone gasped at the enormous stream that swept even the golem down the fields.

The water, drenching the entrance to the wasteland and flowing along the irrigation canals, showed no signs of slowing down for some time.

When, at last, the water began to subside slightly, a mighty cheer erupted from the people.

“Wow!”

“Water! It’s water! Truly water! Hahaha!”

“Thank God, thank you so much!”

“We really did it… this vast land…”

“Yes! We did it, we did it! Hahaha!”

The exhilarated voices filled the expanse that would soon be called the New Mackline Plains.

* * *

Logan, too, joined in cheering as he watched the water flow across the wasteland.

Or rather, knowing the crises to come in the future, he was even happier.

‘This will solve the food issue during the civil war.’

Food prices would skyrocket the moment a civil war broke out.

Therefore, stockpiling food in advance was critical.

To such an extent that hoarding food might attract unwanted attention.

‘The Macklines have hoarded a lot of food, haven’t they?

Then we’ll hit them first…’

In the worst case, they could become a prime target before the civil war even began.

Thus, the development of a productive plain was the best outcome, resolving those worries in one strike.

‘Of course, it’ll be a problem if word gets out.’

One year was too short for rumors of this barren territory to spread throughout the kingdom.

‘Besides, there’s no hurry to cultivate the land; we can start farming next spring. Before that…’

Logan, content with a proud smile, was organizing his future plans when a tearful, broad-shouldered man suddenly embraced him.

“Ugh? D-, Dwein?!”

“Master! I, I was really wrong. I apologize.”

“Ah, it’s okay. Dwein helped out later, right?”

“Sniff. But if I had cooperated sooner…”

“It’s okay, really. How can such a big man cry so much.”

Although Dwein made quite a scene, among those who hugged and cheered, a few shed tears as well.

Then, as the wave of emotion slightly subsided.

‘Now’s the time.’

Logan, rallying his strength, roared loudly.

“I will permit anyone who wishes to cultivate the new Mackline Plains!”

The eyes of everyone present, especially the workers, poured upon him.

“And for that cultivated land, I will give tenancy, and the tax will be only 30%! This I, Logan Mackline, publicly declare!”

His voice echoed across the vast wilderness, and the response was an overwhelming cheer.

“Wow! Master!”

“Thank you!”

‘Having shouted this, now even the nobles can’t oppose.’

Amidst the throng’s gratitude and cheers, Logan smiled satisfactorily as he watched his pleased retainers.

But there was one person, or rather one dwarf, who was in despair amidst the jubilation.

“The sluice… how many days will it take to rebuild?”

“Worry not, dwarf friend. I will help again. It’ll be faster since we’ve done it before.”

No consolation from his human friend, who had become close over the past few months, could alleviate the dwarf’s deep disappointment.

However.

“There’s no rush for the sluice. Rest for a week. Then we’ll wrap up the mining work and take a long vacation, alright?”

Logan, slightly buoyed, mentioned a vacation which instantly changed the morose Hamar’s expression.

“Really?”

“Of course.”

“Hahaha! Thank you, thank you, Master!”

Only then did Hamar join the joyous celebration, his face flushed with elation.

‘After that, there’s a mountain of work to do. Better smile while you can.’

The cruel master, who had coerced his workers into half a year of relentless labor and still received thanks, concealed his insidious intentions with a crooked smile.

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

Episode 50: A Week Later.

“Town? A large pioneer settlement? Master, what are you talking about?”

After the water gate opening ceremony, Hammer was called up immediately as his short vacation ended, and his expression was naturally not a happy one.

“You’re planning to cultivate that vast plain and farm it, how would the peasants living near the castle at both ends go back and forth every day? Even if it’s possible, it’s a waste of time. We need to create a new village right in the middle of the plain.”

“So, you want me to take charge of that…?”

“Hmm. Are you not confident in construction? Well, I haven’t heard that dwarves are good at building as well…. “

“What are you talking about! We dwarves are best at construction after weapon-making….”

“Ah. Really? I knew it!”

“Oh…this damned mouth….”

Hammer, who blurted out in a moment of anger, soon realized what he had said and plopped down in resignation.

Hammer looked as pitiful as he could in the hopes of some final sympathy, but his counterpart had no intention of taking pity.

“The town will be laid out in a cross shape with roads, divided into four sections with houses of the same type constructed at regular intervals. The more permanent residents, the better, but for now, the goal is half the population of the territory.”

Logan smiled, remembering the efficiency of a planned imperial city he had seen in his previous life.

“We will build several communal wells in each district, create communal toilets for use, and construct a separate sewage system that will dispose of waste outside the town.”

Logan’s orders were very detailed, from the overall form to specific facilities.

However, as Logan explained enthusiastically, Hammer could only grind his teeth.

“Where have you seen such absurd ideas?!”

“Ah, Tina?”

“What in the world! Who keeps giving these useless inspirations to the Master? I thought you’ve only lived here!”

Well, that would have been the people from the empire of the future, but since that wasn’t something he could actually say, he had to casually gloss over it as he had done before.

“Not exactly, but I’ve seen it for sure….”

“Augh! Damn it! I’m going mad with all this plausible talk.”

“Right? It really seems so? I’ve seen it. With better sanitation, infectious disease prevention….”

As he spoke, Logan quickly added with a glance at Hammer’s increasingly distorted face.

“Just prepare the designs for now, and if you build a few wooden houses as a trial, once the mining work is done, I’ll give you a long vacation. As long as you want. How about it?”

“Ugh. How many times have I been tricked….”

Hammer, almost trembling with clenched fists, gave a half-hearted consent, and Logan’s bright smile twisted his expression even more.

“Ah, but with that scale, the amount of timber alone will be no joke, did you consider how to import that much timber? It won’t be easy even in Tritan…”

Hammer, deep in thought, launched what he thought was a counter attack.

“Timber? It’s down south, where we don’t need processed raw material like a crossbow.”

“Down south?”

At that, Logan pointed out through the window of McLean Castle at the lush mountain range below, covered in dense trees.

“You can’t mean… the monster forest?”

Logan nodded nonchalantly at Hammer’s incredulous voice.

Hammer tried to argue, but knowing his plea would fall on deaf ears…

“We’ll just do the groundwork for now, set up a basic model house, and then slowly start construction with the available timber. We’ll get new recruits to cut down that forest in winter for timber supply, so there won’t be any issues in the future. You can rest until then, as soon as the mining is over.”

Hammer could only sigh as it was clear that nothing he would say would be heeded.

“Hehe… And then join the town construction again?”

“Ey, I promised you a long vacation once the mine is over. The development’s almost finished, isn’t it? You should be able to take at least a month off. How’s that? Perfect plan, right?”

“Ugh…”

Hammer didn’t want to admit it, but even to him, it sounded like a solid plan.

What’s more, he wasn’t a slave, so if he was forced to work against his will, he had no place to complain.

“McLean Town. That village will now become the heart of the McLean territory. It might even become busier than the castle since half of the territory’s population will live there. You’ll be creating the future of this territory.”

“So why do I have to do that…”

“The magicians will help you too. You’ll do it, right? Give it your best.”

“Demon…”

Though he lamented, Hammer had no choice but to nod reluctantly.

And just three weeks later.

“As expected from Hammer.”

Logan nodded with satisfaction as he was informed that Hammer had completed the design for the massive pioneer village, known as McLean Town, and the model houses.

The news he had been waiting for also arrived at the same time.

“Young Master!”

Bang!

The door to the office opened as if it was about to break, and Dwayne burst in.

“What? Why?”

“Hammer, no! Master Hammer sent a message that mining can now begin in the gold mine!”

The very moment Dwayne shouted, Logan darted out of the office like the wind.

The cornerstone of the family’s leap, the source of funds had finally been completed.

‘Now all the plans can take off.’

His heartbeat accelerated as his body raced faster and faster.

“Ma, My Lord! I’ll come too…!”

He couldn’t afford to care for the desperate voice echoing from behind.

* * *

“This is a rare gold nugget from the mine. Normally, gold is sparsely distributed among the minerals and requires extraction, but this one has already appeared.”

As Hammer presented a nail-sized piece of gold, Dwayne’s mouth hung open in amazement.

Logan too, with a proud look on his face, patted the tired Hammer on the shoulder.

“You’ve worked hard! You have truly done so much for this territory to come back to life!”

It was sincere praise, but Hammer responded with nothing but a vacant expression.

“Now that the mining operation is set up, I’m taking my break?”

“Ah… Hahaha. But how much can you mine from now?”

Avoiding Hammer’s eyes suspiciously, Logan inquired further, but Hammer gave him an answer anyway.

“As predicted, we can mine up to 1 ton of gold each month. I can’t make an estimation on the reserves yet, but conservatively, it should last at least 10 years. That’s my estimation. So now, I’m taking my break?”

“1 ton… then that’s….”

Once again, Logan awkwardly changed the topic.

“Hey, Master? Hey! What about my vacation? Don’t avoid my eyes!”

“Cough. But there’s construction in town to begin with, and more crossbows to make, and knights’ weapons too….”

“…Just kill me! Put me to death! People are supposed to have some conscience! I can’t! I won’t! Just kill me!”

Flushing red with rage, Hammer threw himself on the floor and started whining like a child.

‘I’ve seen this scene before…’

Feeling an odd sense of déjà vu, Logan held his head.

‘Argh. There’s still so much to do….’

Logan knew there were endless things for the dwarf Hammer to do, especially with the ongoing preparations for war.

But now he really had no more excuses to keep him busy.

‘Maybe I should look for another dwarf in the future…’

Hammer had already done dozens of times more than originally expected.

He really had no choice but to allow him to rest.

Not to mention that if things kept going this way, there might be another accidental incident as before.

“Alright. I’ll keep my promise and give you a break. A month is….”

“Wahhh! Master! Don’t look for me! I’ll sleep for a month!”

Before Logan could finish speaking, Hammer screamed in protest.

‘I was only going to let him rest for two weeks.’

But faced with Hammer’s bloodshot eyes and the shadow beneath them, Logan thought he would genuinely draw a sword if he said that.

‘Well, I have other things to do anyway. I’ll set things in motion, and Hammer will have to tidy up when he comes back after a month.’

As Logan was swallowing his words with dread, Hammer disappeared down the mountain with a speed that made him invisible.

He was determined to rest with a will stronger than steel, and his lightning-fast movement reflected it as Logan watched with a snicker.

“Wah!”

Another shriek suddenly erupted right behind him.

“What, what?!”

“100 million gold!”

“What?”

“Can’t believe it was true! With 1 ton of gold per month, 1 billion gold would be feasibly possible in a year!”

Dwayne’s triumphant shout came after completing his calculations while squatted down.

“Now our territory is saved! We don’t have to look at anyone’s faces anymore!”

The exhilaration in Dwayne’s eyes was almost maniacal as he shook Logan with all his strength.

“That happy about it?”

“Of course! Whether it’s equipment or food or any problem, we no longer have to worry about anything. Puhahahaha!”

Remembering how overjoyed Dwayne had been just at the news of the gold mine, Logan understood his current intense reaction, but thought it best to cool his enthusiasm before it got out of hand.

“There’s a lot that needs doing. Money isn’t the solution to everything. Directly….”

“Nonsense! There’s nothing that money can’t solve! That’s only if you’re short on cash!”

“….”

Dwayne seemed to be completely beside himself.

It looked like normal persuasion wasn’t going to work to bring the beguiled administrator back to reality.

Logan was left without any other choice but to pull out his last card.

“But you know this gold mine isn’t owned by the family; it’s mine.”

“…Yes?”

“I mean, I own the mine, not the family.”

“What? What’s that? Eh, My Lord. You jest.”

Surely he knew, but maybe played dumb.

‘That’s a card to be played.’

This was a moment when Logan had to remind him very clearly.

“I received it as a personal reward after the previous reward. You forgot?”

“…Is that the reward you received? Eh, I don’t remember. Why joke on such a fine day.”

Looking at his expression, Logan thought he might really not remember, and so he pushed forward indisputable evidence.

“It’s true. Here are the documents.”

Pulling out a piece of paper from his chest pocket, Dwayne’s eyes began to find focus as he looked at the flapping document.

“Ah, ah… ah…”

Coming out of his happy daydream, tears began to form in Dwayne’s now lucid eyes.

“Sa, say it isn’t so. My Lord, you’re not planning to manage all that wealth all by yourself, right? Surely not…”

“Aye, I wouldn’t do that. It’ll be used for the benefit of the family.”

He felt like joking a bit, but if he did, he feared he might actually see Dwayne bawl.

“True? You’re sure?!”

“Yes. But at my discretion.”

Dwayne’s returning smile complicated at Logan’s words.

“Then, at least three percent will go to the family as tax….”

Before he could appease the deeply loyal finance administrator to keep him from falling into despair.

“Ah… Whatever. As you wish, My Lord.”

Suddenly content with everything, Dwayne simply nodded.

“…Huh?”

“If it was that dam project and the mining, everything has gone well so far.… After all, there’s never been anything that’s gone worse when you insisted, My Lord. I trust you.”

Logan couldn’t feel entirely good even at his words.

Clayton and now Dwayne; they were all excessively positive about him.

It felt somewhat discomforting that they had such a heightened and perhaps unrealistic view of him.

‘Well, a good thing’s a good thing, I guess.’

So he took the current positive mood to push his luck a bit.

“Alright then. With the mine construction successfully completed, continue with the pioneer town project. As soon as Hammer returns from his break, we can drive it forward.”

“Yes. I’ll prepare.”

Booking hard labor expected to continue through winter even before his top talent’s vacation was over.

“We’ll give priority to those who are willing to live there for the town cultivation rights. The announcement’s ready, right?”

“Yes. I’ll get on it right away.”

He forced through the settlement rights details without a single conversation with his father or the retainers.

“We’ll start recruiting soldiers to begin training around winter.”

Charging on, he even laid out plans to supplement not just the main force but regular troops as well…

“Yes. I am aware.”

“…Ah. Really.”

Logan was surprised by Dwayne’s prompt responses only to be hit by his sharp gaze.

“What’s with that all of a sudden?”

“Why are you so obedient all of a sudden?”

“What do you mean?”

“Why are you complying so easily now?”

“Because it’s worth doing.”

Dwayne’s eyes gleamed with resolve.

But it nevertheless unsettled Logan.

‘Why is this making me uneasy…’

Despite his concern, since Dwayne was responding openly, Logan felt no need to further challenge him.

He moved on with the conversation.

“Ah, and needless to say, we must keep this a secret, understood?”

“Of course. If Bifrost, Kalia, or the border lords find out, it will be chaos.”

“Right. Over time, rumors will spread, but the later, the better.”

Once the gold began to come in earnest, even the miners, who had been cluelessly digging up ore until now, would realize they were working in a gold mine.

Given that there were only four known gold mines in the kingdom, the sudden appearance of a fifth would be a momentous event, and it would be impossible to silence thousands of mouths.

“Yes. I’ll take care of it. It’s obvious.”

‘Not adjusting to it…’

Logan forced a smile as he watched Dwayne’s unexpectedly agreeable attitude.

“Alright. Let’s just start everything and see how it goes.”

Even if his father finished his training and came back to oppose it, by the time he did, it would be too late. The dice had been rolled.

Over the past three months, Logan’s daring as the lord substitute had grown boundless.

But a week later…

“My father is out of meditation?”

In the midst of planning and preparing announcements, Logan might have to vacate his acting lord position sooner than expected.

He couldn’t help but frown.

“Yes. After tidying up, he’ll head to the office. He wishes to receive a report from you personally, Young Master.”

“Argh. If only he had stayed in meditation for another week.”

“…What worries you?”

“Would’ve been better if he returned after the soldier recruitment and announcement of the start of the pioneering town and tax reductions.”

“Hmm. You’re concerned he’ll oppose it?”

“Isn’t that obvious? He’ll say it was all unnecessary.”

“Huh…”

“Why do you look at me like that?”

“Oh, it’s nothing. We’ll wait and see.”

Having gotten used to Dwayne’s odd reactions following the successful dam and mine constructions, Logan ignored it.

His father’s reaction was more troubling.

‘I’ll just have to insist. The current response from the territory’s citizens is also good.’

In the past three months, without the family head due to his absence, Logan had been acting as lord…

[The translation is truncated due to length limitations.]

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

Episode 51: A Monumental Achievement

The office door opened, and Padric offered a quiet greeting.

“It’s been a while, Logan.”

The intense gaze shining through his slightly longer red hair felt even heavier than before.

‘He’s become stronger.’

Though I had expected it, I never really thought his realm would actually ascend.

The genius knight of twenty years ago had finally overcome a decade of stagnation to emerge as a top-grade knight.

‘This increases our chances of victory.’

A slight smile crept onto Logan’s lips.

The sharpest blade of the Maclaine family had been honed even finer.

He would serve as a sturdy shield for the still lacking himself, and for Ronian and Victor, the future aura users, until they matured.

He couldn’t help but let out a satisfied laugh.

“Congratulations on your achievement.”

“Indeed. It’s all thanks to you, my son.”

“What? Sir, you surely jest?!”

Dwayne, who had failed to sense Padric’s newfound strength, jumped in surprise, prompting Padric to laugh gently in response.

“I feel I can be a more reliable head of the family now. You’ve worked hard, Dwayne.”

A voice and smile now showed more ease than before.

Filled with emotion, Dwayne looked to his lord with a moved expression.

“Congratulations, Sir! You’ve finally reaped the rewards of your training, after neglecting all else for so long. It’s a relief my struggles over the past years weren’t in vain. Sincere congratulations, Sir.”

It was unclear whether the statement was a compliment or a rebuke, but Dwayne’s genuinely joyful expression made it difficult to say anything.

Padric managed an awkward smile, nodding slightly, then changed the subject.

“Has anything happened over the past three months? If there’s anything I need to know…”

Thunk.

Before he could finish speaking, a massive pile of documents was dumped on the desk.

As Padric stared dumbfounded at the mountain of papers.

“You’ve been rather busy, young Master Logan. Please review and decide.”

Dwayne welcomed the real lord’s return with a bright smile.

And three hours later.

“Distributing food to the people, employing them in the construction of a dam or something, developing a gold mine, and fertile land in the wasteland stretching…*chuckles*.”

Padric gazed at Logan with an incredulous laugh.

“Is all this true?”

Padric, skeptical to the core, asked, and Logan’s response was succinct.

“Yes.”

“Let’s go see. And judge for ourselves.”

From Padric’s perspective, it was as if the world had turned upside down in three months, so courtroom skepticism was only natural.

Logan followed his father silently, smiling.

In Padric’s memory, the western outer gate of Maclaine Castle led only to a parched wasteland with hardly a blade of grass.

But now, just three months later, the scenery unfolding was entirely different.

“Irrigation canals, in this wasteland? This is truly… truly…”

The sight of canals laid out every three hundred meters, already nurturing patches of green, was a dream come true.

And there, among the eleven mages and thousands of citizens no longer in a wasteland, were small wooden buildings and a large earthen wall, captivating Padric’s gaze.

“We’re building a large village for the people who will till the plains. It will be dozens of times larger than a small village. It shall be called Maclaine Town.”

“Heh…”

As awe-inspiring progress unfolded before him, Padric was at a loss for words.

“By next spring, before the weeds take hold, we’ll begin tilling for farming. We might even see greater yields than the Maclaine Plains our ancestors lost.”

“…Is that so? But will the people readily move to the new homes?”

“Yes. Those living in the town will be given priority in land cultivation. Plus, their new homes will be much better than the thatched ones most live in now.”

“Right, I see.”

Though it was his own question, Padric seemed more distracted than focused on the answer.

He bustled about, seemingly forgetting his dignity.

“Let’s see that dam. How did such a miracle…”

Padric’s voice trembled with the question.

Setting aside explanations for the future, Logan quietly led his father as requested.

Witnessing the dam and sluice, Padric marveled, unable to conceal his astonishment.

After also visiting the mine and confirming the gold ore, he kept patting Logan on the shoulder in admiration.

‘With this, even recruiting soldiers should be effortless…’

As Logan indulged in the thought of easy-going days ahead, he watched his father with a pleased smile.

“Indeed, you surpass me.”

“That is so.”

“…”

“Aha, well, if we’re only considering recent achievements.”

“Ha! No, you’re right. Your deeds over three months surpass my thirty years of effort. I am truly blessed with a fine son. Thank you, really.”

Heartfelt words spilled from a father who had never imagined saying such things.

Logan’s heart swelled, but then a strange twist followed.

“Now that you’re handling the lordship’s duties, I will devote myself to training the knights thoroughly.”

“…Excuse me?”

What are you planning now?

“Let’s have breakfast together tomorrow. We have much to discuss.”

Before a bewildered Logan could respond, Padric turned his back with a bright smile.

‘There’s much I want to discuss too…’

Watching his father return, free of burdens, Logan felt unable to hold him back.

The next morning.

At a table where the Maclaine family gathered for the first time in a while, Padric made an explosive declaration.

“I designate Logan as my successor and henceforth he will handle most of the lordship duties.”

“*Cough! What?!”

Hoping for a change of heart overnight was futile.

Logan, who had wished his words were a mere test, nearly choked on his meat.

“So you know. And assist Logan in smoothly fulfilling his role.”

“…Yes.”

Even the supposed adversary agreed rather palely.

‘Wait, why are you giving in so readily this time?’

Logan, unable to believe it, looked at Marian with incredulous eyes.

“If it’s my brother, I trust he will excel.”

His brother, who he thought had grown somewhat dependable, added fuel to the fire.

‘…You wretch, it’s supposed to be your position!’

Logan inwardly screamed in dismay, his eyebrows quivering.

He had almost wrapped up his official duties, so freedom to move about seemed more appealing.

“Going forward, I will focus on enhancing our military strength by training the knights.”

“Father, please reconsider…”

“Logan. Under your leadership, I hope Maclaine regains its past glory.”

Unable to finish his sentence, Logan gaped as Padric solemnly concluded the matter.

“I understand it’s a burden.”

“If you understand, please reconsider…”

“However, it’s a duty we must fulfill eventually.”

“But why now…”

“And I trust you will perform excellently.”

After breakfast, during a requested private conversation, Logan tried to persuade his father again, but only reaffirmed his unwavering determination.

‘This stubbornness…’

Logan sighed heavily, a headache brewing.

“I know you have no attachment to this position.”

Padric spoke calmly, surprising Logan.

“It only just occurred to me. Perhaps you view the family as a burden you must shoulder.”

“Not a burden, but…”

“We have greatly benefited from you. Now, it’s time to reap the benefits of a family that has grown, or will grow, thanks to you. I prefer to think I’m giving you not a burden but a right.”

Taken aback by the heartfelt conversation and warmth in those eyes, Logan wavered.

“I’ve realized something for sure during my training.”

‘Yes, that’s why you’ve reached the top-grade.’

Logan nodded silently.

“I’ve gotten old.”

“…Excuse me?”

“To whatever extent I could manage it, the swordsmanship of your Sword Spirit Technique is something I got the hang of. But that Secret Art you mentioned is beyond me.”

An unexpected continuation followed.

“Perhaps had I learned it when I was young, just awakening to the Force, it might have been possible. But with my Force now marked by time, forming what was it—crystallization—seems impossible. And even if I forced it, it would likely just strain my heart. So I had no choice but to give up.”

“Ah…”

Side-stepping resentment, at that moment, Logan no longer had the heart to object.

Though still slightly uneasy, he decided to take it easy.

‘I’ll just delegate to Dwayne whenever I need a break.’

He’d still need to carve out personal training time, even if it meant pushing tasks onto Dwayne during work hours.

‘Or maybe let Dwayne handle things all the time…’

Unbeknownst to Logan, a large retainer nearby shuddered with an inexplicable chill.

Logan calmed himself with a sigh.

“Yes. I understand.”

Squeak.

Leaving with his contented father’s smile behind him, Logan chewed over his mixed feelings. Before long, he ran into someone waiting for him.

“…Mother?”

“Logan, may I speak with you?”

Startled by the unfamiliar formal address, Logan couldn’t refuse her request.

He too had questions.

“Why… did you stay quiet earlier?”

“What could I have done? Does the wife of a traitorous house have a right to any say in the family’s affairs?”

Her tone was harsher with self-reproach, and Logan struggled to respond.

She seemed slightly more at ease than in the aftermath of the war, but the paleness of her complexion revealed she was not well in spirits.

“The achievements you’ve shown are enough to warrant succession. My only wish now is for Ronian’s well-being. Indeed, it has always been. It’s why I clashed with you.”

“…I’m sorry.”

“You have nothing to apologize for. It is I who should apologize.”

“Really?”

“You’ve apologized to me before. Sadly, I couldn’t accept it. I was petty, and I hope you can forgive my narrow-mindedness.”

Another unexpected confession left Logan speechless.

“You’ve been teaching Ronian swordsmanship, I hear?”

“…Yes.”

Fortunately, the prodigy Ronian created a Force core within a week and was already practicing the first move, Blue Wave Slash.

Though not manifesting extreme sensations or physical changes like Logan, the boy was refreshingly eager in his training.

Caught in an awkward moment, Logan found refuge in this perfect topic.

“Ronian is a genius, so he’s quickly improving his skills…”

“To think it’s been years since I’ve seen the child so bright…”

The conversation veered in an unexpected direction, making Logan tense up.

“I hope you will continue to look after Ronian… the younger brother.”

The last words left behind by his stepmother as she turned away brought back faint memories:

The baby who’d stop crying once held by him, as if by magic.

The newborn, smiling with tiny, wriggling fists.

That image, alongside a younger, brighter-faced black-haired beauty, opened her mouth to chuckle:

“Our son seems to like his brother more than me.”

“Heh. Mother, I promise to always protect my brother!”

“Good, Logan. Please, look after your brother.”

A time of peace…

Memories he had tainted with his dreadful jealousy.

Squeeze.

Embarrassment clenched his fist tight.

‘Now, I can start anew.’

Now he had the chance to reverse it all, grateful for this second chance at life.

Unconsciously, Logan found himself shouting loudly at the backs of his departing stepmother:

“Parents do not speak formally to their children!”

Her silhouette seemed to pause for a moment.

“Going forward, as before, please speak freely to me, Mother!”

It wasn’t a lengthy apology, but those words resonated deeply, from the heart.

The lady, with her head lowered, quietly shed tears, and the gentleman inside smiled softly upon hearing his son’s voice.

With his face flushed, Logan quickly walked away, carrying the weight of emotions and future responsibilities.

Publicar un comentario

Artículo Anterior Artículo Siguiente

AD1

AD 2

close
close