Regressor of the Fallen Family (Novel) Chapter 212

Chapter 212



The image that generally comes to mind when imagining Hammer is roughly dressed in linen top and bottom, with a leather vest layered on top and wearing craftsman gloves for injury prevention. However, now... 



""Wahaha! Master, it's been almost 8 months since Taren, how does it look? Hasn't it changed beautifully?"" 



While it might be expected for other dwarves or knights surrounding him to be clad in such a way, Hammer's appearance with a plump and smiling face seemed very unfamiliar. Nobles of the kingdom or wealthy merchants could pull off the look with their neat red silk garments fastened with yellow pumpkin buttons, but it was definitely not a fitting style for a craftsman. Logan's eyes, which had been expressing perfect satisfaction with Taren's recent transformation, narrowed slightly. 



Flustered, Hammer exclaims, ""What, why are you staring at me like that, Master? I did well, didn't I? What! Why?"" Logan hesitates, ""Well, yes, you did well, but..."" Hammer interrupts, ""What's with you, acting all uneasy! If you have something to say, say it now!"" Logan continues, ""You did well, but... you’re not going to do more work now? There's not even a speck of dust on your clothes?"" Hammer retorts, ""Absurd! There are now 1,103 dwarves in our workshop! Human craftsmen are almost three times that amount! So why should I work directly on something like that?"" 



Although that was true... 'Why do I feel uncomfortable when I think Hammer is resting?' Is it some kind of compensation psychology from repeatedly hearing the demon master's voice? An ironic chuckle escaped from Logan, born out of his selfish thoughts, but Hammer, upon seeing that, flinched again and exclaimed, ""Just so you know, I personally tailored and sewed the buttons on this outfit! It didn't cost a penny!"" 



Well, even making clothes himself. Given the work he had done so far, it would be acceptable to wear something bought. 'I need to do better.' Logan made a silent pledge like that and patted Hammer on the shoulder. "Who said otherwise. Yes, you did well." Hammer, puzzled, asked, ""...?"" Logan suggested, ""Let's take a look around the workshop. How about giving a tour?"" Hammer, taken aback, questioned, ""Really?"" Logan confirmed, ""Yes, let's. Shall we fake the tour instead?"" Hammer replied, ""No, let’s just move on... Ahem. This won't do. Well then. Let’s go, I, who designed it myself, will guide you from the entrance."" Logan agreed, ""Sure. And the mine too."" Hammer exclaimed, ""Ah! Right, we started mining a few days ago!""""Alright. Then we should go even faster,"" the owner and the slave turned with smiles, and simultaneously tilted their heads slightly. It felt ambiguous and uncomfortable, as if they had passed by without doing something they should have. Unbeknownst to them, it was the first time they had met again after a long period of several months without any trouble.



Therefore, as they walked in silence for a while, Hammer hesitated a few times before quietly opening his mouth, ""Um, I saved a lot on construction costs to make clothes with silk and pumpkin.""



""...Huh?""



""I do have a few more outfits. But really, I saved a lot on construction costs!""



""...Cancel the raise for the workshop foreman.""



""Why, why?!""



""You just confessed to embezzlement.""



""I, I saved that much...!! Wait, before that, did I have a salary?""



""That's right. I'm canceling the one I was going to give you.""



""Why?!""



With a smug smile, Logan jokingly teased Hammer for a while before agreeing to give him the same monthly salary as Dwayne, the head manager of McLaine. Of course, the performance bonuses based on their past contributions and efficiency were calculated separately. 'I need to take care of my people.'



Watching Hammer's light footsteps as he turned back with a relieved smile, Logan also smiled contentedly, but that smile didn't last long.



The hundreds of dwarves coming and going around the marble quarry.



""Master, I've heard that what the master is most worried about here is that 'it' will be heard outside,"" Hammer said.



""Yes, that's right.""



""That's why we're working here only with me and the dwarves.""



""Oh, really. That explains the quick progress.""



""Indeed. We even drafted a special contract.""



""A special contract?""



""A magical contract. We carefully selected exactly 300 people and extracted exactly 3 million gold from each. Therefore, secrecy is guaranteed.""



""...3 million? 300 magical contracts?""



Logan's expression turned grim in an instant. As if reflecting his heightened mood, a spasm appeared at the corner of Hammer's mouth, which had been raised in satisfaction.



""Th-that's a cheap price. With so much money, why?!""



Indeed, at one time, 3 million gold was equivalent to McLaine's annual budget, but now it was not such a large sum. However, the issue was not the money."300 sheets? Would they have been purchased from the royal mage tower? In the capital?" Logan felt like he might collapse any moment upon hearing Hammer's response. 

The effectiveness of a magical contract could only be provided by a royal mage tower of the mage faction that could only pledge allegiance to the king generation after generation.

Moreover,

'Only the king is loyal to the royal mage tower…'

Logan forced out a sigh to lower his rising blood pressure.

"Huff, Hammer, try to think of yourself as a mage."

"Uh, what?"

"If suddenly a certain family, especially in a city known for some kind of development, buys 300 of those contracts at once, what do you think they would be thinking?"

"Well, uh, grateful guests?"

"Are you insane! Do you think mages are all fools?!" 

As Hammer tried to make excuses in response to Logan's outburst, he realized his mistake and his face turned pale. 

"You might think there's a situation here where a large number of forced contracts are needed. Especially in a territory that claims to have developed a new mine. Once they find out, even the royal family will know."

"Um, well, I, I honestly hadn't thought that far... I'm sorry, master. Really, I'm truly sorry." 

As the dwarf hung his head low, his tearful expression contrasting with his rugged beard, Logan's anger began to wane. 

Upon reflection, Logan realized that there wouldn't be any significant changes after all. 

'I already received a promise of a 10-year tax exemption. Even if royal inspectors come, we can just prevent them from entering. Why bother investigating a place that doesn't need to pay taxes.'

Moreover, there was another reliable device(?).

'Master. I trust you. You must help me this time.' 

Thinking of his master's expression as they parted ways in the capital, Logan was able to calm his mind with a small sigh.

However, to discipline Hammer, who almost caused a crisis with his hasty actions, Logan deliberately put on a stricter expression.

"What's done is done. Just control the access of outsiders strictly. Especially the route leading from where 'that thing' is being mined to the mage tower."

"Oh, understood, master."

"I'm sorry for shouting. Attempting to maintain the secrecy was good. Just make sure to report to me beforehand next time."

"Wait, I did report it, right? I'm sure the approval document came!" 

"Huh?"

"Oh, right! We purchased it after receiving approval! Before the rebellion suppression, in the territory! There should be a document stamped with a seal somewhere! Just a moment. This, I wasn't the only one at fault. When I go to the office, I'll show you the documents! I was worried for nothing."

A sudden chill ran down Logan's spine.

He pushed the tired Eileen aside and vividly remembered stamping the documents energetically."What did I say back then?"

- ...Hey, Master Logan. You're not going to check the content?

- We hired competent management precisely because we didn't want to check. Dwayne must have done the final review.

"Ah, you idiot. Ugh."

He wanted to smack the past self who was blabbering nonsense.

The dwarf, who had just stamped the approval documents, shedding tears moments ago, would realize it was him...

"Ah, haha. Yes, it was a good idea. Seems like something was missed during the review process. Mistakes happen when everyone's busy. It's okay."

"Master, it really doesn't look okay right now, does it? It won't work. If there's an error in the report, we should find and take responsibility together."

"Haha. There's no need for that. There are ways to cover it up..."

Hammer, looking at him with eyes full of injustice, found it difficult to meet his gaze and kept staring into the distance endlessly.

Blink.

"...Huh?"

Over there, where his gaze was fixed.

A sudden bright light spewed from the top of the tower.

* * * "Please, please, please, my lord."

Clayton once again gazed at the steel plate starting to tinge with a blue hue, throwing his gaze to the sky, no, the ceiling.

Having prayed too much, he could no longer distinguish whether he was a mage or a cleric.

He had personally dealt out punishment to the rotten rebel forces that had driven McLaine to take up arms before he could enter his experiments.

But now, the thought that he could conduct experiments peacefully was a grave mistake.

Even after receiving the first mana stone ever mined, failure had occurred seven times in three days.

What he had thought was perfect theory had changed completely in three days, and now it had reached a point where it could no longer be modified.

"If I fail this time, I'll have to overturn the entire existing theory and start from scratch."

He needed to develop a new theory from the vague research journal.

Yes, maybe now that he had reached the level of a mage, he could make slightly wiser judgments than when he first saw the research journal.

In a year, he should be able to complete the theory.

And then several years of experiments...

"No. That way, I won't have the face to see Master Logan."

Of course, the person involved said it was fine.

- It's okay if we succeed, but if we fail, it's fine too. Besides, it won't harm any... Haha. Forget I said that. It was a slip of the tongue.

- ...No. I will definitely succeed.

He had staked his pride this many times already.

Even if he didn't receive any ridicule, he knew better than anyone else.If this experiment were to fail, it would greatly impact one's mind.

It wasn't just a matter of pride.

While deciphering the research journal created by an unknown person, or rather a group, a realization dawned upon me.

"Enhancing one's Mana force, the essence of a Mage's staff, ultimately enhances the Mage's soul. And that soul is not some baseless myth that the gods used as a foundation when creating humans."

For a Mage, the soul signifies the value accumulated through one's life.

"Guiding one's life's trajectory by upholding, evolving, and acting upon one's own words."

And that becomes the driving force elevating a Mage's level.

The research journal referred to this as a Power word (言靈).

And after years of continuous research, it became evident that this was the truth.

"I was just trying to live as honestly as possible."

It was that attitude towards life that led me to the peak of Magehood at a relatively young age.

It also allowed me to speculate on why Juan Douglas, the former sole Mage of this country and a genius of the century, suddenly ceased to progress.

So now,

"Regardless of what happens, I must succeed."

Regardless of the success of this research, the research journal itself was a treasure that would be unparalleled in the century, to help the benefactor who provided such an opportunity and treasure to me and my school of thought.

And for my own sake as well.

I must succeed without a doubt.

Perhaps my earnest desire reached someone.

Vwooong.

The steel plate surrounded by a blue light began to undergo a strange transformation along with subtle vibrations.

And as a Mage with a heightened sensitivity to Mana, I could predict the future results just from those subtle vibrations.

"I've done it! Finally!!"

I had overcome the most crucial hurdle in mass-producing low-grade Artifacts.

Therefore, Claiton could use the heavy burden in his heart at that moment as a stepping stone to rise one level higher.

Just two years after reaching the Mage's level of the 6th circle during the civil war, he leaped from a beginner to an Expert of the 6th circle, the very next stage.

"Just by spitting out and acting upon something difficult to uphold…"

The most important lesson that he could pass on to his disciples was engraved in his soul.

Feeling the warm golden light emanating from his body spreading around, Claiton couldn't help but smile.

At the same time,

"Thank you, God."

He began to understand why the ancient Mages who had reached such high levels seemed to have deep faith.

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