Ashes and Kingdoms v1 1-7

TL notes: I tried making Masod’s speech use a lot more slang, as he talks in a very casual and talks down to Fin a lot. Also, I wasn’t quite sure how to translate “生き返る” in an easy-to-understand way. The phrase means to “return to living”, but don’t ya think it’s a bit too much? I understand the author’s intentions to say that Fin “returned to life” as in he regained himself, but I just kept it as “revived”. Hopefully, my way makes sense though… Anyways, enjoy the chapter~

Volume 1, 1-7: Seeds of Hope

When Fin opened the door while calling out “Commander”, Masod listlessly raised his faced as he continued to sink slovenly in his chair. Those inhumane light blue eyes, the same as when he first peeked through castle gates look at Fin and his family. No sooner did he recognize Fin’s appearance did he become stern, like he just found a pest. He gave a sigh as he was fed up with the likes of him, and then slowly lowered his eyelids.

“…….You’ve got life in your eyes, huh?”

He murmured it with a small voice, but Fin clearly heard it. He frowned and, with an expression that said “What do you mean?“, asked his question. Masod stretched and stood up at the same time he swung his raised hands downward with force.

“If ya hadn’t died, then I’d hoped you’ve be useful. Sheesh, why’d ya gotta bring up such an unreasonable thing?”

While grumbling, he went around the corner of the desk, and displayed an exaggerated gesture of exasperation when he stood in front of Fin.

“And, what? Are you going to leave here? You gonna try to start up a plan that you saw in some kind of pipe dream? Or you wanna have a wedding ceremony?”

“Wedding ceremony?”

Without thinking, Fin replied in a weird voice and Masod just shrugged his shoulders uninterestedly.

“There’s a guy who did such, ya know. A guy like you with a “I’ve been revived” face, came in here so noisy all of a sudden and such, and said he found a woman that he would risk his life for, and his head was filled with goodness and flowers despite these times. It’s a shame he’d died a half a month later”

“………….”

Masod saw that Fin’s facial expression became clouded and smiled with an interesting thought. The thought of seeing Fin once again fall back into the grave in low spirits. Fin noticed this and quickly and forcefully raised his chin; his eyes were filled with indomitability. Masod openly looked dejected, but Fin didn’t care. He didn’t have duty to make Masod happy.

“I didn’t come here for that kind of business. I just want to go to the temple, so I came to receive permission to go out”

“The temple? Ya wanna ask the gods for something? Did ya get an oracle for the noble Deia or Mother Audia? I’m just saying, but if ya plan to tussle with the group in city, quickly give up on it, for ya own good”

“Tussle with them?”

“Don’t give them any crappy hopes or intentions; got it?”

Even though Fin clearly understood the intention of what was said to him, his mind went blank for a brief moment. When he finally comprehended the message, the next words to convince Masod were stuck in his throat.

“Why……, you” He slowly shook his head. “Even you, aren’t you one of the people who told me “to live”? So, why? why do you say such things?”

He forgot to use polite speech and stared at Masod in terror.

Now he understood. This man is not affected by that apathetic insensitivity. Even though he knows that at this rate, there is no hope and sooner or later, the town will be bankrupt. Yet, despite that, why does he not do anything?

” ‘Even though you gather up all these “dead” people, the living are just as necessary’ …is what you should be saying.” Masod grinned broadly. “Because my companions are “dead” men, I can be this cocky, ya get it? And what? Ya can do something ’bout it? Just leave ’em alone. Do ya think that ya helping them out by meddling ’em and waking ’em up? To raise a clamor by shouting? To push and shove in the middle of this cage with nowhere to run? Helping this group who are still half-asleep and unfeeling, just waiting quietly for death to come to them? Do ya think they would be thankful towards ya”

“You won’t know until you try it!”

Fin unintentionally got worked up and replied. Masod responded back with a scornful laugh. Such a childish thought

(This is hopeless. If I don’t produce concrete evidence, then this can’t be properly dealt with)

After Fin bit his lip, he took a deep breath and made his heart calm down. He slowly said the things he didn’t want to say before.

“…..At this rate, we won’t be able to obtain food anymore. That’s why, I thought that maybe we could grow at least wheat and beans inside the walls, even if it’s just a small amount. If we can harvest, then everyone will once again regain hope, definitely”

“And who do you think will protect those fields, idiot?”

Masod raised his voice in disgust. However, the fear of food distribution followed after. The citizens would starve, grow wild, and their eyes would shine as soon as they got the chance to steal someone else’s belongings. Even if they plow the land, they probably would dig up the dirt of the defenseless fields without a waiting for the the harvest and scramble to steal all the seeds and beans. Even Fin could easily imagine that happening.

“That’s why we need to ask for Master Fianera’s help. If it’s the temple, then we won’t have to worry about the fields being easily destroyed…..And foremost, only that area has that much extra land and soil. Even now, the town is overflowing with people all over the place”

“………….”

Fuu. Masod folded his arms, exhaled, and made a conflicted face. For a while, there was silence as he pondered with a frown on his face. Fin held his breath as he waited for a reply.

“I understand” Masod suddenly said. “Go ahead. I won’t send soldiers to protect ya, but I’ll tell ’em to lend ya the necessary seeds and farming tools”

“Yes, sir!”

Even though Fin was surprised, he gave a energetic reply and immediately started running.

When he ran out like a whirlwind, the left-behind Masod let out a huge sigh.

“Give me a break…..Guess I’ll have to get some new supplies. As soon as I thought that he’d finally become useful, what a troublesome thing”

While mumbling a complaint, he dug out a piece of parchment and a pen after rummaging through the mess of a desk. He sat in his chair and while trying to recall what he wanted to write on the parchment, he dipped the tip of the pen in the inkwell. And then gave a cynical smirk.

“Let’s see how long you can hold on to that hope”.

Sooner or later, even this ink won’t be obtainable anymore. When he thought that, the visage of that “revived” youth appeared in the black ink that was still left in the pot, looking like it could even wish good luck. That’s because, the later it gets, the amount of things one can do after regaining one’s willpower lessens.

Masod, with a gloomy and bitter smile, began to read over what he just wrote.

From Masod, 17th Regimental Commander of the Nanais Station, To Dirgus, 8th Corps commander of the Winea Station —

 

On the other side, Fin continued running towards the temple, not thinking about what kinds of plans his superior has. Even now, he wasn’t even bothered by the long road nor the endless staircase.

“Master Fianera!”

The priestess was amazed at the brightness in the voice that called out to her, and turned around.

“What is the matter, Phineas? You look like you’re going to a festival or something”

“Ah…..sorry, I was a little too excited, huh?”

Fin apologized in embarrassment and scratched his head. But, he soon braced himself and became to speak.

“I’ve come up with a plan. I’ve also received permission from Commander Masod. In fact…..”

He lowered his voice as much as he could to the point where others couldn’t hear, and yet there would be times when his gestures would become large in excitement. In the beginning, Fianera was astonished but gradually her smile widened, and when Fin ended by asking “What do you think?”, she put her hand near her mouth to hid her smile.

“Oh ho”

In any case, Fianera was only able to say that and suppress her laughter. Fin made an uneasy face in response to her reaction. She tilted her head to the side, just like how a dog would examine its owner’s facial expression. Fianera laughed again at how her own resemblance (to the image she thought of) and fixed her expression in a panic. Teasing a boy of his age would be bad.

“You two really are siblings, hehe”

“Eh?”

“This is just between the two of us” Fianera glanced up and whispered. “Nellis said that she was also thinking about planting melon seeds in Mr. Kunad’s garden. She said that because that area is surrounded by walls, there is no worry that it could be spotted from outside. That is, if it properly grows, then it will be fine”

“Nellis, huh……Ah, that’s right. Master Fianera, you met with her, right? Did she change in any way from before? Is she living a safe life in Mr. Kunad’s place?

Sigh He calmed down and asked. Fianera softly smiled and nodded.

“Yes, presently, it seems that she is somehow surviving without becoming disheartened. If you have time, then please return to see her circumstances yourself. You’re that anxious because you haven’t met with her once since you separated”

“…..Yes, ma’am”

Fin hung in head. You were so focused on yourself, letting your heart become dull and forgetting your precious family; you’re so heartless. He loathed himself and bit his lips.

Fianera hit his shoulder to comfort him.

“I think your idea is very good, you know. If the commander graciously gives us his support, then this could work out. Although as no matter what we do, it will attract the attention of people coming to the temples; as such, we must have some measure to ensure no one damages it…. Why don’t you leave that kind of discussion to us?”

“It’s unfortunate” Fianera added; her eyes cast down. To do such things as driving away injured and starved people, that’s the complete opposite of the temple’s primary purpose. However right now, if they can’t do such a thing, then they truly can’t save these people.

“I’ll leave it to you”

Fin deliberated over her conflicted feelings and bowed his head in sincerity.

“If there’s anything that I can do, please tell me. I’ll help whenever I can”

He was planning on doing so, no matter what Masod would’ve said. However, Fianera smiled lightly at his determination.

“Thank you. Your sincerity is the most encouraging. Well now, go oh ahead. We’ll probably meet again, but until then, I pray for Master Audia’s blessings for you”

“……?”

Fin frowned, but Fianera didn’t say any more. Fin remembered his first night on duty and his chest swelled in anxiety. But this time, Fianera’s expression was gentle. Perhaps, she simply meant that we would pass each other when working out the plan.

As for the true meaning hidden in her words, he’ll probably figure it out soon. When Fin came up with a clear decision, he bowed his head once again and headed down the hill.

When he ran down the path, thinking about going towards Kunad’s place, he unfortunately saw some of the comrades from the barracks.

“Oh, you’ve come just in time. Hey Fin, lend us a hand!”

It appears that they somehow came to retrieve armor that was repaired by the blacksmith. They were in the middle of loading various heavy objects onto a cart. And of course, what was pulling the cart was not a donkey, but a person. And furthermore, although Fin was recognized a member of them, his position is currently the lowest in rank.

Unable to even consider declining, Fin reluctantly joined in the heavy lifting.

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