Ashes and Kingdoms v1 2-3

TL notes: As it’s been a year since I started, I’ve decided to start increasing the frequency of my releases to be twice a month. Hopefully this decision doesn’t kill me, but if I can manage everything out, translations and life, then I could increase this to even once a week. But we’ll have to see. Anyways, as you can tell by the chapter title, we have a calm chapter. Though, there’s quite the ominous vibe to it, eh?

Volume 1, 2-3: A Moment of Peace

“Big Bro Fin–!”


He was awakened by the many shouts and saw four frightened expressions lined up with the bright sky in the background. As Fin stretched after experiencing such a satisfying rest, Nellis and Fauna let out a relieved sigh and sat down beside him, weak.

“I, I’m so glad that he’s alive…….”

Nellis said as she hugged her mother, half in tears. Fin was still a little dazed as he looked around.

“Hm……where’s Lenna?”

“What? Hey, you okay, Phineas?”

Oandus anxiously waved his hand in front of Fin’s eyes. Fin unconsciously combed through his messy hair with his hand as he vacantly answered.

“There’s was a girl. Here, last night……”

Suddenly, the back of his head was smacked, and he fell forward.

“Are you an idiot!” Of course, it was Iguros. “You sayin’ that you wandered out here and in the end, slept in this sort of place; and on top of that, you were dreaming of chasin’ some girl’s ass!?”

Fin held his throbbing head and narrowed his eyes. He couldn’t complain about being yelled at or being hit as he was the first on duty to watch over everyone, in charge of their lives, and yet, he stepped away and was sound asleep. Even if Nellis were to mock him with, “Big bro, you’re the worst.” He wouldn’t be forgiven this easily.

If his position was reversed, then he may have kicked the person the moment he was found. Their anger was more than that. But, he had something to say this time.

“It wasn’t a dream. She really was here. She probably was……a spirit. She said that they wouldn’t come tonight and put me to sleep.”

“Oh really? She must’ve been quite the beauty, eh? Sheesh, you’re rea~l lucky that nothin’ big happened……”

Iguros grumbled but halfway through, he scowled.

“……Now that you mention it, it’s weird. I didn’t wake up once ’til morning. This sort of thing wasn’t supposed to happen since I entered the barracks.”

“I haven’t slept that well in a long time as well.”

“Weren’t you just bewitched by a magical creature?” Nellis was once again skeptical. “Aren’t there plenty of legends that tell of travelers being lured by a beautiful person and then found asleep on the roadside, stripped of all their belongings?”

“It didn’t feel like that. Plus, it wasn’t like she was a jaw-dropping beauty either.”

Fin vaguely remembered as he recalled last night’s chance encounter.

“Well, that is, if I had to say, I think she had a pretty face, but…..somewhat unreliable….hmm, almost like a puppy.”

When he found the perfect comparison, he smiled a little. She reminded him of a shaky puppy, climbing up on his knees while sniffing around.

“She said that she never really talked to people before. She probably thought I was unusual and came closer to look. Anyway, thanks to her, we were sound asleep for the night. Let’s gain some distance today.”

“Yeah. Oh bother, since Big Bro caused such a big scare, I haven’t even washed my face yet.”

After such a long time since waking up, Nellis ran towards the well with cheeks puffed in anger. Fin also stood up and looked around his surroundings as he brushed the sand off his clothes. The ruined houses remained ruined, and there were no signs of life in the village as usual, but under the morning light, a calm scenery was slightly reflected.

After a simple breakfast, the group once again continued south on the main road.

Along the way, Nellis persistently tried to inquire about the thing Fin saw last night. How did she look? What did she say? What did she do?

“Her appearance….well, let’s see, a girl, probably between my age and yours, and her hair and clothes were whitish. Her eyes were amber, I think.”

“She really was a spirit, huh?”

“Who knows. But she called herself Dialphalena. People usually don’t use ‘Dia’ in their names, right? And her footsteps barely made a sound, and she said herself, ‘I never spoke with humans;’ so that’s why I guessed and said that she wasn’t human.”

“……In that case,” Nellis speculated. “Did she come here to help us out? Do you think that the spirits finally stopped hiding and came out because the number of Beasts of Darkness has increased?”

“That would be great if that was the case, but I don’t know.”

Fin also frowned and groaned. The girl innocently asked if he was fighting the Followers of Darkness. Her behavior didn’t show any signs of offering assistance nor giving advice concerning that matter. It was strange whether or not she understood the predicament that the humans were in.

“Do you think she would’ve helped us if you asked? If she could at least prevent them from getting close, then that would be a great help………Ah!”

Nellis muttered, but immediately after, she abruptly turned around.

“What’s wrong?”

“Big Bro, stop for a sec.”

The puzzled Fin stopped as told, and Nellis rushed over to the horse Fin was leading. It was the horse carrying luggage. Nellis lifted one of its front legs and removed a stone that was stuck in its hoof.

“Good job catching that.”

Fin blinked in surprise. He was leading the horse himself but couldn’t sense any abnormalities. And furthermore, it’s not like Nellis could see everything behind her.

Nellis tilted her head and answered vaguely, “Yeah, somehow,” as she herself was also confused.

“I sort of felt ‘Ah, it stepped on something’. Well, I’m glad that I noticed it right away. Right?”

She patted the horse’s neck and returned to the front. Fin looked at such a younger sister and suddenly remembered an earlier incident.

“Come to think of it, you gave me a good luck charm when we met after coming to Nanais, right? Apparently, it really worked. Afterwards, Lady Fianera said that I was granted Master Neena’s protection.”

“Eh, really?”

“Yeah. Perhaps you have the talent to become a priestess. Since Winea is a big city, let’s find the Temple of Neena when we get there.”

The temple was probably elegant. If they accept Nellis, then maybe his family could settle down there. They probably won’t be able to have a mill, but Oandus was capable of doing most jobs that deal with physical labor and Fin could probably be of some use…..

Fin thought that and wondered if Nellis really understood her big brother’s true motives since she responded with an indifferent, “Yeah,” as if this concerned someone else. And after, she clapped her hands as she suddenly realized.

“Aah, in that case, the reason by Big Bro is safe is all thanks to me? I wouldn’t mind you praise me more. Come on, come on, don’t you have something to say?”

Fin rolled his eyes as she approached smugly and burst out laughing.

“Sheesh, you really are…. I get it. I am grateful towards you, O Most Merciful Nellis.”

He exaggerated a bow and soon after, extended his hand and patted the top of Nellis’ head.

“…..I really am grateful.”

Rather than the one receiving the thanks, the one saying it became embarrassed by his true feelings expressed by the tone of his voice and removed his hand. Nellis, on the other hand, tried to hide her embarrassment with a weird smile and exaggeratedly pretended to be shocked.

“Oh bother, Big Bro. Can’t you say anything interesting? You’re so bor~ing.”

“My bad.”

When Fin grumbled, Iguros turned around and grinned.

“What?! The little lady is amusing enough. After all, you got the power to make even that ‘gravestone’ of an elder brother laugh. Plus, see if you can get that big brother of yours to say somthin’ funny. Then we all can become a party of entertainers. And the leader’ll be the little lady.”

“Wahaha,” Iguros laughed at his own joke. Only Nellis pouted while everyone else had a sympathetic look as they resisted the urge to laugh.

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