Ashes and Kingdoms v1 1-2

TL notes: Hello and welcome to the site~! This is my first translation by myself and I hope you enjoy this. If you haven’t read 1-1, check the index page.

Volume 1, 1-2: Our Home From Now On

“Looks like this is it. It can’t be helped”

Inside a broken windmill, the former owner sighed. Resignation and fatigue were spread all over his round face, and his wife put her hand on his shoulder to console him.

“We have no choice but to leave before things become worse. At any rate, we don’t have any more assets left…..looks like packing will be easy”

The wife forced a smile, and the man bitterly laughed in response. Their young daughter couldn’t endure the depressing atmosphere and raised her voice.

“If you’ve settled on that decision, then we have to hurry! They’ll come at night, you know. Quickly gather up all usable items, and let’s depart. Big Bro Fin!”

Her blonde braids swayed vigorously as she turned to face and call out to the young black-haired boy in the corner of the shed. The boy, who was tidying up the fragments of the broken wooden boxes and smashed jars, raised his head and calmly responded.

“Aah, I already started. Nellis, go with Aunt and look after the house together”

One can probably understand from the way he was called ‘Big Bro Fin’, but he was 3 years older than the young girl Nellis. Although, he was not her real brother. He was adopted. He obviously looked like a teenager, but maybe because of his natural temperament or from the influence of the temperament of his adopted father Oandus, he had a calm aura around him for his age.

Oandus made up his mind that he couldn’t remain depressed, so he rolled up his sleeves and started to work with Fin. The two were cleaning and gathering still-viable items from the mountain of wreckage caused by the Beasts that invaded their home. And from those gathered items, they chose only the objects that they could carry along with them.

“Phineas, you should wear some gloves”

“It’s fine because I’ll be careful”

Fin responded clearly, but truthfully, there wasn’t a single wearable glove left.

While the two men did the physical work, Nellis and the mother Fauna had begun packing in the house. Clothes, pots, flint and tinder, whetstone, and sewing tools. When they had gathered each and everything, the amount became impossible to carry. Narrowing the selection was unexpectedly difficult.

There were a multitude of items that would be regrettable if they threw them away, but there wasn’t enough time to deeply consider each item. If the day ends, those guys will once again come around. The Beasts of Darkness, with their shining blue eyes and pointed fangs.

Before long, the sky was clad in a slight golden color, and the family had loaded any and everything onto a wagon and left behind the windmill they used to live in. At the outskirts of Nanais City on a small hill stood the windmill, which was the pride of the family since Oandus’s great-grandfather’s time, but now it had been reduced to a figure that just groans and doesn’t move a bit. The family’s spirits fell into darkness as the setting sun behind the windmill created a gigantic shadow that resembled a gravestone.

“…Well, anyways”, Nellis cleared her throat. “When we reach the city, everything will work out well, you know. Right? There are walls and even soldiers.…even though it seems that recently they’ve been acting viciously, nevertheless they can more or less use weapons. If everything works out well, then Big Bro Fin, maybe they’ll hire you”

“I wonder. I certainly do intend to join the army sooner or later, but…”

Fin bitterly smiled and looked ahead.

As he was originally raised in an orphanage and Oandus unexpectedly adopted him, he wasn’t impudent enough to think that the adoption was a sign that he would inherit the mill. The windmill belongs to Nellis. That’s what he decided. Though it had become just a ruined building….

“I feel like that’s not the issue at hand now. Anyway, until everyone properly settles down, I’ll be together with you, trying my best to not be a bother”

“Even after being with us for so long, don’t put this strange distance between us”

Oandus was shocked, making an angry face while he groaned.

“If this keeps up, even my mouth will become sour, but you’re already family, you know. Well, I can’t deny that now is a very troublesome time for us”

“It really is,” Fauna gently interjected. “Even if asking the mayor of the city to take care of us is aiming too high, I hope we could at least be able to stay within the inner walls of the city.”

“Yeah…since we don’t know whether or not the city will be safe”

Oandus’s face darkened. If soldiers turned bandits and the citizens turned rioters are not fighting each other, then Mayor Atila would still be managing the daily life of the city. If it’s him, then the people who have lost their homes probably won’t be treated harshly. Still, what if–.

Anxious that her family will once again be controlled by someone else, Nellis opposed in a loud voice.

“What is the almighty god Deia doing! He may be busy with some other things, but in that case, what about Master Nenna, or Master Felinium or Master Olgu, if any one of these gods were to lend us their strength, then everything would’ve been fine!”

“I’m sure that the gods have more serious god issues at hand as well. Maybe the heavens are in a more serious state than down here on earth, you never know”

Fin said, half sarcastic and half serious. Nellis pouted, puffing out her cheeks.

“Sheesh, Big Brother, you know you really are a genius at making everything tedious”

“Well, my bad”

Fin responded in a light manner and laughed a little.

 

Nanais City had completely changed from the one that the family remembered.

Of course, they have all been to the city. They did whenever they were asked to deliver flour as a part of their everyday business. However, as of recently, there were no townspeople who asked for flour from their mill, and as a result of the family becoming inattentive and and separating from the town, they didn’t know about the town’s situation.

“Still, to this much of an extent”

Oandus mumbled in a low voice.

The area outside of the city walls had completely became a wasteland. Only the stones of the road remained the only thing left intact, as there were even traces of the quiet graveyard that used to be on either side. The gravestones were knocked over, smashed, and possibly carried away; and even the charming thicket of shrubbery, with its flowers blooming, was completely dug up.

Dotted all over this desolate area were the bonfire pedestals to ward off the Beasts. The Beasts of Darkness rarely enter inside the light. This is done as, if a person were to look at the Beast’s figure directly, the person wouldn’t understand what kind of body it possessed nor how many variations of it exists. They are simply called 『Beasts of the Darkness』 as a way to distinguish them from the ordinary beasts like wolves and wild boars.

In that area, one can pick out bone fragments mixed together with the scattered cinders. Fin didn’t know whether those were from humans, but he pretended to not see them and said as he looked around.

“Looks like they’re trying as much as possible to avoid creating a shadow”

Indeed, if there were gravestones as tall as a person lined up there, then they would obstruct the light of the bonfires, probably letting the Beasts of Darkness to advance until the edge of the walls.

“That would mean, these soldiers more or less protected the town”

Nellis muttered, looking relieved. The mother agreed, but Fin didn’t say really anything else.

Even if those men are soldiers, without the wall, they wouldn’t be able to defend against the Beasts. Though, they probably have worked out at least a plan as it is necessary for their own survival. If they remembered that their original mission was to protect the citizens, then they are allowed to worship the almighty god Deia.

He barely resisted the overflowing urge to sigh and gazed out in front. The city gates were tightly shut.

(Oh almighty Deia, please find it in your grace to guide us. Oh Nenna, Goddess of Love, have mercy on us. And Olgu, Holder of Hidden Powers, give us your protection)

While Fin was praying to the three main gods, he and Oandus lined up and knocked on the gate.

*Clang*, and the peek hole opened up. A shrewd wild eye sharply looked over them, evaluating the family.

“Are you refugees?”

“I am Oandus of the windmill. The Beasts of Darkness got to our home. It’s already impossible to continue to live there. Will you please let us inside? There are four of us: me and my wife, and my daughter and son”

“Any livestock?”

“Everything was destroyed,” Oandus shook his head. “Not even a duckling was left behind”

Even the donkey that they tried to protect last night, was still taken at the end. If the donkey wasn’t taken, then the cart would have been pulled by it, not Oandus.

The cold blue eye continued to silently gaze at the family. After glancing at the objects stacked up in the cart, the eye looked at each person, from head to toe, with contempt and it seemed like he calculated that letting these people in would do the town good. The peek hole was violently closed, *Bashin*, and right after, the side gate opened.

“Enter. Hurry, hurry”

Beckoned, the family uneasily exchanged glances with the person, and following the order, they hurriedly entered inside. Sleeping outside was out of the question. By tomorrow morning, they probably would have all been just bones.

Inside the walls, the familiar townscape was more or less still left there.

Different than many of the farming villages of the North with each house having  wickerwork walls plastered with mud and thatched roofs, Nanais had many buildings with plaster walls and tiled roofs. On days when the sky was clear, the brightness of the white walls contrasted well against the deep blue sea, giving off the sense of security that one would say “This is most definitely a ‘town'” as well as an exhilarating, fun feeling.  However, the town now had no such desire, no matter how much the sun may shine.

Whether it be either on the roadside or in the town square, shabby tents were set up in the empty areas and there were dirty people crouching down. The people were also lying down on a taken-down door or an animal pelt, as those items will survive through the rain and dew. Before there was never an odor this bad, but now it hung over the air.

“……What a state it’s become”

Fin unconsciously muttered. The circumstances are just circumstances, and even though he understood in his mind that there was no one who sought the same cleanliness and order as before, he became sick by looking at the scene before his eyes.

Even though Nanais is small, it had public facilities such as a town hall and bathhouse. Although there are not that many lodges, the town had several houses, but anyways if everyone were to somehow use those buildings, then there shouldn’t be this many people overflowing out onto the roadside.

“Well then,” the gatekeeper cut off the family, who were grimacing with disgust.

“I let you in. After that, you can rely on your acquaintances or join the people over there, or whatever the hell you want. I’ll be collecting this cart”

Because it was said so naturally, there was a gap before the family could react.

“What did you say?”

Oandus grew angry. But at that time, the gatekeeper’s comrades lined up on both sides of him and laughed. It seems like they’ve come closer to grab some spoils whenever there’s a newcomer.

Nellis clung to Fin’s arm, scared of the signs of trouble. However, even though he was being depended on, Fin didn’t have any way of fighting back. The opponents were soldiers with swords on their sides, while he didn’t have any weapons, not even a single stick.

“It’s a given?”

The gate keeper said without trying to conceal his joy of being mean-spirited.

“During these times of crisis, you folks aren’t possibly thinking you only get to be lucky. I’m confiscating all of this. Heh, I’ll be using these to protect the town from the Beasts o Darkness!”

“The pot too?”

Nellis blurted out in a sarcastic voice, but in the next second, she regretted it and held her breath. The gatekeeper had a stern expression and a cruel laughter spread throughout his group of soldier comrades.

“Did you say something, young miss? I didn’t hear it very well, you know”

“…………”

Nellis was silent and couldn’t even shake her head a little. She bit her lip in frustration and clenched her fists so hard that her knuckles turned white.

The gatekeeper was satisfied with a a complacent smile, and signaled at his comrades. “Take it and go” They grabbed the cart, and at that moment, Oandus snapped back to his senses and opened his mouth.

“I beg of you, at least the……”

But, he couldn’t even finish his sentence. The side of his face was hit suddenly and he staggered back a couple of steps. A soldier of a different stature used the end of his spear to push him down, and Oandus was quickly on the ground, on his hands and knees. Fauna rushed to her husband, hoping to protect him from any further attacks. The gatekeeper only snorted at the act.

It was only until the soldiers were about to leave when Fin tightly clenched his fist and challenged them, full of determination.

“Please wait”

Without responding, the soldiers had on a face that said “What? Do you also want to be hit?” when they turned around. Fin felt only anger from deep within himself to that group who, with their pride, doesn’t even have any compassion, but he firmly suppressed that feeling and said.

“Originally, I intended on volunteering for the army. That’s why…..I also, want to work with you. In exchange, will you please leave these people at least the minimum amount of their belongings?”

“Hooh? You’re going to compensate your own life for stuff like pots and clothing? You’ve got some nerve”

When the gatekeeper who looked interested slowly came back, he took a look at Fin like how one would appraise the value of a farm animal.

“I think you look usable, but….let me see…”

“Ugh!”

All of a sudden a fist was thrown at his stomach, and Fin’s body bent. But, he only stepped back half a step and somehow withstood it. He continued to receive an assault of hits and kicks to his body parts such as back and legs, but thanks to putting up a guard, he managed somehow to hold out falling on his knees until the end.

When Fin endured the pain and clenched his teeth, the gatekeeper snorted and nodded his head, “Very good”.

“Youngster, your name is?”

“……Phineas”

He managed to answer, and then he noticed that the gatekeeper had an aura that he was still waiting for something else, and Fin added “Sir”. Maybe calling him ‘your Excellency’ would’ve been better, but unfortunately Fin was still uninformed about the degrees and honorary titles of the army interior.

“Out of respect for your dumb courage, I’ll leave the cart. Come”

Only saying that much, he motioned towards Fin with his chin and indifferently began to walk away.

Nellis was earnestly hesitant to touched Fin’s arm, but it didn’t look like he was given any time to say his good-byes. A sort of smile appeared at the edge of Fin’s mouth and he forcibly straightened himself and walked away.

Behind him, several soldiers followed, and the remaining ones turned around to return back to the gatekeeper’s hut. But then, among those soldiers, one of them suddenly stopped and coldly looked at Nellis and laughed.

“Well, you need to really work your hardest to protect this piece of junk. Or else, that youngster won’t be able to rest in peace. Of course, that’s if you guys live to at least tomorrow morning!”

Thinking this was fun from the bottom of his heart, the man laughed and left. The three family members left behind were dumbfounded, and finally noticed the sinister aura surrounding them.

The dirty vagabonds were observing them. Men with thirsty eyes and greedy half-opened mouths were sneakily in the process of gathering together.

Nellis gulped and held her breath, and Oandus was frowning at his pain while looking around his surroundings.

“…Anyways, let’s leave this place. Mayor Atila may be out of the question, but if we can find an acquaintance with some conscious left…”

“Yes, let’s do that. If it’s Kunad’s wife, then maybe we can work something out”

Fauna nodded and resolutely stood on one side of the cart. Nellis followed and stood on the opposite side, giving off the impression that they will carry it across. Oandus grit his teeth and pulled the cart, walking away.

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One thought on “Ashes and Kingdoms v1 1-2

  1. The way of the scum is a survival technique handed down in human DNA from long ago, this might be some of the stock we are born from, opportunistic scum that sought to live and prosper at the cost of another.

    Ty for translating this story 🙂 it looks interesting, I hope our MC makes this world how he wants.

    Like

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