Ashes and Kingdoms v1 3-1

Message from translator: Sigh. I wish I could add JavaScript to the page. That way the footnotes and pictures would come out more nicely, but that’s the sad truth I face by running this site for free, but I’ll manage it. Though, I have updated the novel’s index page (as well as added the translated character sheet), so do let me know if this new format is better. I don’t want to make you guys scroll down too far when we get further down the novel. Just hover the mouse over the chapter number and the title will show up (same for the footnotes on the chapters). But back to the story. Kyaa, this ending. So cute (੭ु ›ω‹ )੭ु⁾⁾♡ I live for those blushing moments. Hopefully it will make up for my shortcomings.

Volume 1, 3-1: Departing Again

“Alright, well then….everyone’s here? Let’s go.”

Fin checked and Max nodded. Each one of the children held onto a bit of water and food, and the cart was just barely fastened properly to the two horses. Just like the humans, the horses also weren’t in a very good condition, but when Nellis talked to them, they obediently began to walk. It’s fortunate that they didn’t need a coachman. Since they can gather as much food as they could.

Iguros was still dissatisfied. In the end, even he recognized that there was no future to be had by staying here, though his face looked like he was forcefully made to take bitter medicine since then. He would probably criticize Fin by saying, “I said that if there’s even the smallest chance there, then we stay.”

Compared to that, it was good that the children, including his niece Fernaine and Max, understood. When they heard that they might be attacked by the Beasts of Darkness on their way to Winea, Max was the first to grasp the meaning. When he understood the basis that this wasn’t simple optimism, he undertook the task of persuading the other children. He probably guessed that after leaving this place, they had to go somewhere.

The group scraped together the remaining bits of food from the town, loaded up the cart pulled by only the two horses, and departed two days after they arrived at the town.

All the children walked with everyone in the beginning. They all advanced at a pace to match the children’s tiny legs, but it was rather tiring for the adults. However, they had no leisure to carry them on their backs. And since the horses couldn’t advance at such a fast past, the party’s walking was lagging.

Nevertheless, they finally managed to arrive at the place Leena mentioned by evening so Fin let out a sigh of relief. On the roadside, the blue Asiatic dayflowers[1] were in full bloom and a well remained in the middle of the thicket that used to be farmland.

“Ah, a deer.”

A child pointed to the red grassland, and everyone turned to face that direction. Right outside the forest, a fawn that was born this spring was standing there. It still didn’t understand fear and was looking somewhere far with innocent eyes.

Kyuii The cry of the deer’s parent could be heard from afar. The fawn moved its ears with a twitch and returned back inside the forest with a jump.

“…..It’s going back home, huh.”

Fernaine whispered. “Home”: a word that stirs nostalgia, and twilight fell upon the children’s hearts. Fin also stared at the forest in a daze and thought that his own home has become quite far. A home where the sound of waves could always be heard. The windmill turns and the sound of the millstone grinding flour. When he returned home from the town, that was the scenery that whenever he laid his eyes on it, he felt a warm feeling. He wondered if one day, he would walk again on that path with the same feeling.

To cheer up the party that has become solemn, Fauna raised her voice, “Come now, come now. Help out,” as she had begun to prepare the meals. She wanted them to fetch water from the well and start a fire with gathered withered branches and grass. As there was no more ground wheat, she had to make by with threshing the coarse rice with a bowl and rod and cooking watery congee[2]. Following Fauna’s instructions, the slightly older kids took the initiative to help out and took care of the younger group. While they were living among themselves, it appears that a ranking had naturally been decided.

What was created was a rice porridge with a few beans and vegetables and may or may not have any flavor, but nevertheless, the children devoured it greedily. Since they were exhausted after walking all day long, it was still a proper mean, no matter how small it was.

When they finished cleaning up after their crude dinner, the children laid out blankets on top of the grass and huddled together as they slept. There wasn’t a single one of them who was unruly, as there was no energy to spare for such.

Nellis noticed that the bonfire was going out, so she switched the fire to the square lantern. With just that light, Fauna looked over each and every one of the children’s feet, checking their condition: if they had blood blisters or any other blisters and if any of them were injured.

Fin and Iguros laid their drawn swords beside themselves and strained their ears to listen to the surrounding sounds.

“….Doesn’t seem like they‘ll show up tonight.”

Iguros said after a while. Fin also nodded and looked up towards the sky. A few clouds were out, but there was no rain. That was appreciated.

Ever since their first night outside, the pattern of Fin taking the first watch and Iguros sleeping continued. So, Fin thought that it would continue tonight as well, that Iguros would soon go to sleep as usual, but this time, he still hasn’t moved. Fin was puzzled as he thought, and when he asked if he wanted to switch shifts, Iguros said in a low voice.

“Pray that they don’t come from now on. You hear me, if we get attacked by them even once….I won’t save you at that moment. I don’t even know the other brats. Even if you’re being eaten by the Beasts, I’ll take Fernaine and run away, got it?”

“–! You…you know people are….”

“I said I’ll stay in Tetna, you know. Don’t forget that. There were fences, a safe temple, and the possibility that we could manage to survive. Yet despite all of that, you insisted that you bring everyone with you. They’re your responsibility.”

That was an angry way to say that, but there were no lies in the fact. When Fin was silent, Iguros slowly whispered a threat in an emotionless voice.

“Listen here. If I drop dead first….you will absolutely bring Fernaine to a safe place. You’ve got a responsibility to do so. Swear that you will definitely do it.”

Fin stared at Iguros in shock. There was only so far someone could be that selfish. Saying that he won’t save Fin while leaving the responsibility to Fin if he were to ever die.

However, Fin didn’t get angry. Iguros was serious. Whether or not his logic was selfish, he was desperate—rather than living, he would save his very young niece.

“I understand. I swear that I will.”

Fin solemnly raised his right hand to swear, and afterwards, Iguros released his tension and silently crawled towards the children and laid down.

Fin motionlessly looked up at the dark sky and thought.

(—If I die.)

That was something he didn’t want to think about, but he had to. The people living in the northern lands now all, without exception, weren’t guaranteed to live until tomorrow.

(If there’s someone I can entrust after I die. Who….?)

As he was pondering this, a soft light was lit in his line of sight all of sudden. He raised his face in surprise and then a smile appeared on his face. It was Leena.

“Good evening.”

His greeting reached her from afar. Fin’s eyes twinkled, but when he noticed that he was too close to everyone else, he quietly stood up and stepped away from the camp.

Leena didn’t have her usual smiling face. As if Fin’s anxiety was contagious, the mood was surrounded by sadness. Fin forced himself to keep a calm heart and smiled as he took out the map.

“Thanks to you, we were able to safely come this far, you know. Can I ask you to guide us again?”

“…..Yes. For tomorrow……”

Leena said as she looked around, and then she traced her finger on the map. She gave instructions like, “Up to here is fine,” and, “But here is no good.” Fin hammered in his head the terrain of those places she pointed out and then closed the map afterwards.

Their conversation stopped and Fin stared intently at Leena. When he looked at her sad face, he thought of what he should say.

“Leena, I’m a bit reluctant to ask of such a thing from you…..If I were to ever, become no longer able to talk to you like this…”

Leena gasped. Her eyes became moist very quickly. In a panic, Fin placed his hands on her shoulders and softly gripped it.

“It’s okay. This is just hypothetical. But, because I promised to take everyone to Winea, I have a responsibility to do so. This is something I have to think ahead about so that’s it would still be fine if anything were to happen to me. That’s why…..please calm down and listen. Understand?”


Leena gave a small nod in silence. When he opened his mouth, Leena looked like she’ll cry at any moment. Fin continued to speak as he gently stroked her shoulders.

“If I get injured, by something…..and I can no longer talk to you, I want you to continue to guide everyone no matter what. If it’s Nellis, you can probably talk to her, right? Also, if the situation calls for only one person to be awake, could you talk to my Uncle or Aunt?”

Leena nodded again with a deep nod.

“I think that afterwards, they’ll rely on Max as the leader. He’s still a child, but he’s the best at gathering everyone together. No matter what happens, any one of the people I mentioned should be fine. I’ll talk about you to them, so please.”

Fin said and stared at the camp. He couldn’t imagine that Leena would talk to Iguros. Fin personally didn’t hate or detest him, but as Leena would weaken if she touches any anger or hatred, then he predicted that it would be too unreasonable.

As for the rest of the children, even if they do have “pretty” hearts, they are too young and he couldn’t imagine that they could properly follow Leena’s guidance. Firstly, if the situation turns into something where only those children were left……then it’s already hopeless.

As Fin had such thoughts, he turned around and Leena’s golden eyes were filled with tears.

“Don’t die, Fin.”

“I’ll be fine,” Fin unconsciously gave a strained laugh. “I’m not saying anything about my life in a day or two. Even I don’t wanna die that easily. I just wanted to talk about a 1-in-100 chance, so please don’t make such a face.”

Fin placed his hand on Leena’s cheek as he comforted her. Leena put her own hand on top of his and closed her eyes as if to erase the ominous future. Fin, without thinking of anything, very naturally bent over and gently and lightly placed his lips on top of her hand.

With that, Leena had finally calmed down. Without stopping Fin from removing his hand, she wiped her tears though she sniffled and managed to show a smile. Then she softly raised both of her arms and hugged Fin.

Her body barely felt like it had any weight as she hugged him, and Fin patted her back. The same time he let out a laugh that, “It’s like a big kid,” Leena opened her mouth.

“Hey, I can make out whether something, living or non-living, is in the path…..but I can’t really tell human shapes. I can tell that they’re there, but since I only appear at nighttime….everyone is sleeping at night, right? So….even if I do know that there are people, I can’t tell you if they’re a good or not.”

Fin recognized what Leena was trying to say and corrected his facial expression. He separated himself from her a bit and when he looked into her face, he was met with a serious look.

“Humans are scary. That’s why, please be careful, okay?”

“I’m also human, you know.”

Fin gave a sarcastic laugh and hit his forehead to Leena’s while her eyes were still watery.

“I know. I’m not dealing with my life only, so I’ll be plenty careful…..At any rate, you’ve been hugging me for some time. What is so good about hugging me?”

Fin’s tone had become mixed with ridicule and self-mockery, so Leena blinked her eyes in surprise. She tilted her head and blankly stared at Fin.

“Why are you saying it like that? Fin’s really pretty.”

“…..Uh, thanks for that.”

This is pointless. Fin, with an air of resignation, ruffled Leena’s hair. Leena stared at Fin as if asking if he really understood her intentions, and she emphasized her point with, “I’m serious.”

“It may be hard to understand for humans, but I know. I can clearly tell how pretty a ‘person’ is without looking. Fin is very pretty. That’s why I…”

Leena swallowed her words as she regained her senses. This time it was Fin who blinked his eyes in surprise.

In the blink of an eye, Leena turned red and stood up straight, covering both of her cheeks.


“Wha, what is it?” Right in front of Fin’s confused eyes, Leena was flustered by herself and looked around her surroundings even though there was nothing. When her eyes meet with Fin’s all of a sudden, she stopped her movements.

“….G, Go, Good night!”

She suddenly said and just like that, she disappeared like smoke.

Fin, who was left behind, stood still dumbfounded and titled his head. Somewhere, an owl hooted.

[1] ツユクサ (Asiatic dayflower) = Commelina communis – A flower whose bloom only lasts a day Asiatic Dayflower
[2] 粥 (Congee) = A type of rice porridge or gruel.

Previous Part

Table of Contents

Next Part


One response to “Ashes and Kingdoms v1 3-1”

  1. Man.. The despair and fluffyness so good


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: