Regressor, Possessor, Reincarnator
[Translator – Aine]
[Proofreader – yukitokata]
“This is Francisca, the sorceress who will be assisting us in this case. She’s already a Rank 4 sorceress.”
“I am Sorcerer Prindal’s granddaughter, Francisca.”
“Sorcerer Prindal? The exclusive sorcerer?”
“Yes. She is his granddaughter.”
“Really now? The future sure is looking bright.”
Baron Bellourne busied himself with praising the party without shame. He was blinded by Allen’s charisma and majesty and noted Francisca’s beauty and talent.
Allen was modestly humble in response to his flattery.
Baron Belloure. An incompetent ruler who failed to take action until the situation got out of control. The type of noble that Allen typically loathed.
Looking at him, he began to see where they overlapped in doing things without any forethought.
“By the way…”
Baron Bellourne made a few more flattering remarks unbefitting of the urgent situation before glancing in Allen’s direction.
“...Wasn’t Young Master Juliuis supposed to come?”
“Haha, it seems as though you don’t find me trustworthy,” Allen responded, words laden with intent to elicit a reaction from the baron. He then shook his head with an ingratiating smile.
“How could you even think that, sir? I was only curious about the rumor regarding Young Master Julius. That he’d changed…”
‘Just curious… Hah. That’s what he had thought, but was seeing Julius once really all he wanted?’
Allen sensed a bit of incongruity around him that he had never felt before.
“Unfortunately, he is headed towards Gabia, in the northwest.”
“...That’s unfortunate. My, I wasn’t being considerate of our guests. Please, come in. We’ve prepared Hibelle’s specialty tea.”
It wasn’t until they’d arrived and conversed in the drawing room that they finally were informed of the details of the situation.
“I was briefed about the situation two weeks ago.”
Allen squinted at him.
‘The atmosphere is different.’
Could it be because the damage done to the baron’s territory was severe? Or was there at least something else bothering him? There had to be something wrong.
“I was given news that both merchants going to and from the city as well as foragers going up the mountain had been going missing.”
He dimmed his expression as if he were sad, but nobody there believed his grim facade. If he really thought it was sad, he would’ve asked the duke for help before it got bad.
“At first, I thought that it was a monster attack or a group of bandits. People were dying, but isn’t that just how things normally are? But…”
“But it wasn’t the same as normal?”
Allen questioned him to confirm the information he had already known.
“No, it wasn’t. And when I sent some soldiers to investigate, they found traces of monsters. So I declared it to be a series of monster attacks, as I’d previously suspected. But… that wasn’t the end. Missing people reports kept coming.”
One day, two days, three days, four days, five days, six days…
“It was then that I realized the gravity of the situation and began to gather the soldiers, albeit a late start. The situation was already getting out of hand. The monsters started to attack and kidnap the citizens.”
After that, he began to explain about the monsters themselves.
“The monsters were… Honestly, a trained soldier could deal with one alone. But then the soldiers all run away immediately after they arrive. That’s all.”
He complained as if he had contributed a lot in resolving the issue at hand.
“What if we tried to lead them away to another place to capture them…?”
When Francisca asked about trying to set a trap, he briefly replied, “Miss Francisca, have you forgotten where we are?”
“What? We’re in Hibelle, in the northern region of the duke’s jurisdiction… Oh.”
Her expression revealed that she had just realized at that moment.
“Yes. A city in the north bordering the Michellant Mountains.”
Hibelle City itself was created in the process of pioneering through the Michellant Mountains. A city formed naturally within the mountain range, trading with the rare ores, herbs, and animal pelt found there. A city entirely surrounded by dense forests.
And within that forest, there were surely lots of creatures living there. That was why it was so difficult to move out..
“If we can figure out where the mastermind behind this whole situation is, we could call in the subjugation team, but...”
“You mean to say that would be difficult.”
“Yes, that’s right.”
It would be easy to defeat them on flatter ground, but it's difficult to track monsters fleeing in the dense forests with all the natural obstacles that the forest brought.
Even if they tried it, the forest was already overflowing with other monsters, so it was obvious that they would just be sacrificing their soldiers for nothing.
Baron Bellourne wore a regretful expression.
Allen quietly listened to his conversation with Francisca and spoke to confirm the momentary sense of discomfort in the room.
“In that case…”
If the answer to this question was different from what he was expecting…
“What were you doing while it was getting this bad?”
If the baron acted differently than he did before…
‘Why did he do nothing?’
His gaze at Allen was stained with contempt. Having witnessed the baron being very clearly held accountable, Francisca became quiet at Allen’s sudden confrontation.
“There should have been plenty of time to evacuate the citizens.”
There were a lot of villages in the area of impact. How could he have not taken any action at all?
He should be embarrassed.
‘Avoid all the responsibility, and shoulder all the burden.’
He just wanted to hide until someone killed the sorcerer who created the chimeras—the dark secret that created this situation.
“I’m sorry, sir. It was my mistake. It is true that I failed to take proper action to handle the situation.”
He didn’t hide.
With a look of shame, the baron replied, “We were so preoccupied with dealing with the refugees who’d been gathering here. But I cannot use that as an excuse for myself. If I hadn’t been so prideful in my own abilities, the situation wouldn't have become so severe.”
Allen closed his eyes to quietly listen to his supposed excuse of an explanation. However, unlike his appearance, his feelings were complicated.
‘The Baron Bellourne that I knew would never act like this.’
It wasn’t like this before. The baron was double-faced. And at the end of the day, Julius caught him stealing taxes.
‘It looks like he’s just pretending to be incompetent on purpose.’
Regardless of Allen’s thoughts, however, Baron Bellourne revoked his previous display of pride and lowered his head with a serious face.
“We cannot stay out of this dangerous situation any longer. With your permission, we will give you our utmost support.”
He gave out a very aristocratic air, as though he were fit to rule over the city.
Allen began to speak out his intentions for the last time.
“Now, would you be willing to renew the contract right now?”
And, of course, Baron Bellourne agreed.
“Of course. We, the people of Hibelle, shall continue to swear allegiance to the Rienhart family.”
* * *
Translator - Aine
Proofreader - yukitokata
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* * *
The hours-long meeting ended successfully.
Unlike what had happened in the same situation before Allen’s regression, he and Baron Bellourne made constructive plans and cooperated with each other in taking measures to evacuate the residents, creating strategies to defend the city, and finding the culprit behind the situation.
It was a bit of a waste of time for Allen, though, who already knew the location of the chimera sorcerer’s workshop.
It really was shocking just how much Baron Bellourne’s behavior had changed.
‘It was supposed to be Juilus who saves the city on the behalf of their incompetent baron.’
It was also him who did away with the chimera sorcerer in the do-nothing baron’s place. Furthermore, he punished the baron for stealing the city’s taxes.
‘Could all of that have been an attempt to have Julius appear competent in the shadow of the baron’s incompetence…?’
“...I don’t need to think about it right now.”
If that was all Julius’s doing, then Allen could be sure of what he was going to be doing in Gabia.
However, Allen didn’t come all this way just to figure out how Julius managed to manipulate Baron Bellourne.
He left the Baron’s mansion with only a few people.
The reason why they had come to Hibelle was to resolve the emergency there. He didn’t need to get caught up by little things that he couldn’t figure out now.
Francisca wanted to rest in a private room to relieve the fatigue that had built up over their ten days of travel and extensive meetings, so she stayed behind after their first day of meetings.
The city was in total chaos. Or rather, it was maintaining very little public order.
Even though the city was in the soldiers’ care, the residents were still very anxious.
It couldn’t have been easy to regulate.
Highly populated areas—like popular shopping districts—were protected by soldiers. On the other hand, areas closer to the slums had far less protection. Those areas were filled with various incidents and accidents.
In the short time that Allen had been traveling around in the city, there had already been five confirmed crimes—of which two were serious crimes of arson and murder.
Yet the confused Allen was walking around aimlessly because of one concern.
‘Just because the opponent is so capable, is it really right for us to be allowed to decide their fate as we wish?’
He had been thinking about this ever since he found out about the plan to come here.
He knew who would become skilled in what areas and who would make a name for themselves in combat in the future. Because of that, he knew that he could collect the seeds before they could reveal their talents and deal with them before they could bloom.
However, was that just?
‘Even if it’s wrong, what’s the difference?’
Didn’t they already all decide to kill him? He didn’t mean to hesitate on the matter to make himself look like a saint, but this was something different.
Those who he had decided to recruit in the future were those who he had known to have had a grudge against Julius from before his regression. Victims of his young brother’s ignorant decisions. Those who’d been forgotten in Julius’s pursuit for power.
But what about everyone else?
For example, the girl who’d lost her mother and developed her own talent on her own?
‘It’s funny that I’m hesitating now that we’re here.’
It was best to recruit people who held grudges against Julius. Through their one purpose of revenge, they’ll follow Allen to the end.
Similarly, it was good to use those driven by money. As long as they were pleased with the conditions, they wouldn’t hesitate to work for him.
However, when it came to those living normal lives… If Allen moved quickly to kill the chimera sorcerer and the situation was settled smoothly, they could live in peace in their city, unlike the outcome from before his regression.
When it came to those who would have continued on living regardless of ongoing battles and war…
‘Is it really right to entice people with my competence?’
…He would surely receive lots of criticism for what he was about to do.
Allen would deal with lots of things closely related to Julius.
He would help his younger brother deal with various disasters and expose schemes that would someday become big threats to others. And in the process, build a reputation for saving countless people.
The more highly regarded Julius’s name was, the even more highly regarded Allen’s would become.
However, things may not necessarily end up as well as expected.
Because he would take him down in the end.
Regardless of whether or not he finds a way to save his brother, Allen would end up killing him.
Allen’s attempts to target his weaknesses may all be in vain, and the trap he had prepared to kill him may also fail.
If the opportunity came quickly, he might even be able to cover it all up, but...
‘If ten or even twenty years pass… Even if he saves the whole world and racks up countless achievements…’
Whatever the reason, Allen would continue his hostility towards him and anyone who aided him.
If he were to find a way to save his brother, what would it even matter to anyone else? In their eyes, Allen would be nothing but a dirty traitor who stabbed his little brother in the back.
It was the same as if he had saved his brother by chance of a miracle. The body was his brother’s, but it was the bastard inside who took all of those actions. How could he not be hostile?
In that way, Allen agonized over whether it would be right or not to recruit those who would have otherwise lived in peace without his intervention.
‘I’d rather just be comfortable with it than feel so guilty about it.’
Those experienced in combat would be rewarded with wealth and honor, but left alone, wouldn’t they just get married and lead normal lives?
Wouldn’t they be shedding their blood that they didn’t need to shed?
That Julius wouldn’t even be thinking about this at all. He would just be dragging them in.
Could he be overthinking this?
While walking along the main road, he heard a shout.
“My mom is outside! They took her away!”
“No, boy. We’ll bring her back soon, okay?”
“Yeah, yeah. Don’t ya know that there’s supposed to be some high-ranking person comin’ in today? So shut it.”
Allen turned his head to find a woman in the tavern who seemed to be a little out of her element rushing towards the soldiers.
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