Ashes and Kingdoms v1 3-3

Message from translator: Oh wow, our first major fight scene. We get to see some violent descriptions, but don’t worry; it’s not gory or anything like that. Hopefully after this experience, we can see how our characters will grow and change after that exchange. Also, in case you guys were wondering why this chapter is a week early, it’s because I’ll be gone next week and unable to update. As such, enjoy this early update and the next part will be up on March 7th.

Volume 1, 3-3: Just a Little Farther

“You don’t know if they’re either bandits or refugees, huh? But that can’t be helped since we can’t fight the Beasts of Darkness.”

Oandus groaned, and Fauna and Nellis exchanged anxious looks. Iguros looked like he wanted to say something, but if they were going to encounter humans, he couldn’t complain and kept silent.

Fin checked if everyone was present and explained his strategy.

“Aunt and Nellis, please board the children on the wagon and stay beside them. If the situation calls for fighting, hide them underneath the wagon. Uncle, Iguros, and I will protect everyone.”

“I can fight too, you know,” Max frankly announced himself. “I only have this broken piece of wood for a weapon, but I can be useful instead of just hiding and not doing anything. Besides, there are several of us that can at least throw rocks.”

Fin could see his desperate feelings of not wanting to be dead weight. So he nodded, without intentionally telling him to be reckless.

“Yeah, when the time comes, I’ll leave it to you. However, only on the chance that you get attacked, okay? Use the cart as defense. Same with the Beasts of Darkness… long as you drive them away, it’s fine. Don’t even think about defeating them.”

“How honorable.”

Iguros sarcastically said in a low voice. Fin groaned, but he didn’t turn around, smilingly bitterly.

“I suffered through a horrible experience once from that. Don’t make the same mistake as me, Max.”

“…..I understand.”

Max faced Fin after glaring at Iguros and bowed. He mimicked the movement of the army corps soldiers.

“Alright!” The same time he said that, he reaffirmed his resolved and threw away his nervousness.

Yesterday’s rain had already stopped, but heavy clouds were still in the sky and the wind was humid and cold. There were several children in a bad condition, and they endured the weather with their pained expressions as they sat on top of the wagon. There wasn’t much blood in any of their faces.

As they relied only on Leena’s landmarks, they couldn’t tell their location without the sun and the party continued onward in silence. Nellis led the horses when it looked like the wagon couldn’t cross over the uneven, muddy wasteland, but it was by no means an easy process.

Eventually, a hill appeared in the far off distance on their left side. A shadow of a small temple could be seen on its peak.

“That’s Winea.”

Iguros let out a deep sigh and whispered. From the southern slope of the hill and across the Pol River that flowed alongside the foot of the hill, the provincial capital of Winea stretched out. The party hadn’t seen the scene from the north, but when they saw the walls and shadow of the temple fall naturally all over the hill, a sense of relief washed over them; they had finally arrived inside human territory. At Tetna, they prematurely celebrated, but it definitely won’t be the same with Winea.

There was little in the way of blocking their view of the hill on which Winea stood. There were only a few small hills that needed to be crossed over.

“Looks like there’s nothing troublesome over there.”

Iguros said in a state of relief, and Fin also took a breath.

“Yeah. I’m sure that the refugees aren’t bandits, but those who entered Winea before us.”

“I’m glad,” Oandus and Fauna exchanged smiles. The facial expressions of Max and the children finally relaxed a little.



Fin noticed his sister’s grim expression and furrowed his eyebrows. Nellis nervously looked around the area while still holding onto the horses’ rope.

“…..They’re here. I can’t really tell, but there are probably, people here. I have a bad feeling about this.”

“Stop that. You’ll scare the kids.”

Iguros immediately denied her. He walked ahead by himself while waving both hands in a dismissive manner.

“I don’t hear any sounds and there aren’t any traces of a cart or horse. First off, we’re right in front of the provincial capital, you know? The army corps soldiers are patrolling the area so stuff like thieves ain’t gonna come out.”

“Iguros, wait!”

Without thinking, Fin shouted out a command. He thought it was too careless of him to go out that ahead by himself. But Fin’s voice offended Iguros.

“Haah? You gonna command me, boy? When did you get so superior? For a brat who wet his pants in fear of the Beasts in Nanais, you sure took up the air of a commander as soon as we left. Don’t make me laugh. The reason we got this far, wasn’t by your ability, you know. Don’t misunderstand your place.”

“You don’t think I know that!” Fin snapped back in anger. “You’re the one who should understand. We should trust in Nellis’ intuition!”

“Shaddup. I can’t stand being around your goody-two-shoes family!”

Iguros turned his head to Fin and shouted angrily as he climbed the slope. It was right after his body climbed up the ridge.


He screamed the same time as he slipped, rolling down the slope.


Fin reflexively rushed towards him. “Wah!” A rough voice rose up at the same time on the other side of the hill. Iguros pulled out an arrow stuck in his left shoulder and spat out curses and jeers in succession. Max hid the children under the wagon. Oandus grabbed a club and took a stance.

The jumbled sounds of footsteps and the sounds of metal clashing were coming from over the hill. Then following, their source appeared. Several tens of men brandishing axes, poles, and swords closed in like an avalanche.

Fin and Iguros drew their swords and rushed back to the wagon.

“Uncle, take the back with Max!”

Although Oandus grimaced for a moment at Fin’s order, he obeyed it without saying anything. Fin and Iguros stood in the front, readying their swords to face the ruffians. There was no room for such things like negotiations.

Fin dodged the downward slash of an axe and quickly stuck out his sword. Practically at the same time he felt some resistance, he twisted and pulled it out. Then he parried the pole stuck at his side. The horses’ neighs of fear and the children’s cries and weeping voice piled on top of the sound of swords. Fin was concerned with those behind him, but he couldn’t turn around.

(Don’t cut but stab.)

The voice of the man who taught him fencing at the barracks quietly whispered in his head.

(Don’t just brandish the sword. Your movements need to be careful, small, and fast.)

He stabbed another person and pulled his sword out. There were piles of dead bodies by his feet, making it hard to move.

(It’s the opposite when dealing with the Beasts. Knock them down. Repel their attacks. But if your enemy is human—)

Catch the incoming attack with the sword, redirect their strength, and take control over the enemy’s movements. Fin bashed his head with all his strength against the man’s face who was approaching right in front of him. The sound of teeth breaking. The groaning man stumbled and within that opening, Fin quickly stabbed him.

When three of the men collapsed, Fin’s field of vision cleared up. He could see the backs of men who were quickly running away. Because his attention was taken by their movements for a moment, he tripped over a corpse by his feet.


Fin had fallen over so another man took this chance to attack. But, a sword flew from the side and stabbed him.

And that man fell on his side with a thud. Fin barely managed to return to his stance and pull out the sword that saved his life.


He held out the sword to return it to the man who was supposed to be next to him. However, Iguros’ body wasn’t there. The moment he opened his eyes wide, a spearhead drew close. He avoided the dangerous situation, but it scratched his left cheek, and blood burst out.

Fin unconsciously shouted and attacked the spear wielder with the two swords filled with violent anger. The spear wielder flinched and lunged weak thrusts as he retreated. Fin snapped the spear with all his might. Wooden splinters scattered around and the man let go of his weapon and tried to run away. But Fin stabbed his throat with his sword.

The man’s last cry before he fell over was a strange gurgling sound.

Fin sent the body flying with a kick without checking his condition and looked over his surroundings.

—And then the battle had ended.

The bandits panicked at this unexpected counterattack and had almost all escaped. There were bodies fallen over all around the wagon, but in total, there may or may not have been 10 of them. Fin had killed 4 people.


Fin relaxed his shoulders with a sigh and called out in a daze. He finally curbed his agitation and returned to his numb senses and reasoning.

“Iguros! Nellis, Uncle, everyone! If you’re alive, answer me!”

A large number of weak cries rose in response to his cry.

“I’m here,” Nellis raised her hand beside the fallen horse. “I’m safe.”

Following that was Oandus and Fauna. The children came out from under the wagon.

“I’m here.”

A weak voice came out last and Fin heard it around his feet; it was probably Iguros. Fin crouched down in a panic and roughly turned over a bandit’s corpse. Underneath, Iguros’s pale face appeared.

“Iguros! Oh sh*t!”

Fin swore, threw down his sword, and examined Iguros’ body. His clothes were dyed in the dark, dried blood of the bandits, so he couldn’t tell where Iguros’ wounds were without undressing him.

The moment he removed the breastplate and exposed his shirt, Fin’s face warped in pain. But Iguros couldn’t see it. He looked up at the grey sky with blank, vacant eyes and uttered in a hoarse voice.

“I leave Fernaine… you…..”

“Get a hold of yourself! You’re not the type to just drop dead in a place like this! Damn…. for someone who said that you wouldn’t save me, why……!”

“Shaddup…..That’s just the way things are, you idiot.”

Fin could barely follow his jeers. His lips looked like it said his niece’s name once again, but that was the end.

The light had disappeared from his eyes, so Fin closed his eyelids. Tears of regret overflowed, and he forcibly wiped them as he stood up.

He looked around at everyone with a grave look and managed to push out the necessary words.

“I don’t really know what we can do, but let’s treat the injured. Is there anyone who isn’t injured?”

He looked around and Nellis raised her hand. Her braid became undone and her shirt sleeve was ripped, but energy still remained in her stiff face. Several children raised their hands after her.

“Okay, search for anything usable. If these guys are carrying any canteens, we can use the contents, whether they be water or alcohol, to wash everyone’s wounds. I’ll leave it to you, Nellis.”

Nellis followed Fin’s instructions and led the children to their work. They first used the contents of their own canteens on those who were safe and treated those with more serious injuries. The first on the list was Oandus. He lost a finger on his right hand.

Fin searched around the corpses for anything that could be useful. The ironic thought of stealing from bandits flashed in his head for a moment, but a smile didn’t come out from that.

One horse was stolen and the other was killed. Of course, the thieves weren’t planning on killing it. But, a spear stabbed it in the confusion, and it died. Looking closely at the children, several of them were missing as well. Luckily, Fernaine was safe.

Max suffered several cuts on his arm and shoulder, but they were all shallow. He sat down on the broken wagon and was in a daze, his face pale.

“How many, were taken away?”

When Fin asked, tears poured out of Max’s eyes.

“I don’t know. But the ones who aren’t here are Noté and Stau and……”

Max counted on his fingers as he recalled their names. When he finished counting up to five people, he clasped that hand in a fist. As there were no children’s bodies among the corpses, all of them probably ran away or were taken. Fin closed his eyes as he thought of their futures—pushed around as slaves, used to consolidate someone’s pain, and sold off.

“…..It isn’t Big Bro Fin’s fault.”

Max said after a short period of silence. Fin was taken by surprise, so he couldn’t understand the meaning of the sentence right away and blinked his eyes. Afterwards, he noticed the boy’s kindheartedness and feebly smiled.

“You don’t need to worry about me. I did as much as I could. But even so, it’s not like I don’t have any responsibility to what happened to Iguros and the five children.”

“Big Bro Fin….”

“You’ve already done enough.”

Fin brushed aside Max’s bangs and placed his hand to cover the bruise on his forehead. He suddenly thought that it would be great if he could use the ability to heal with his hand, just as Leena had done.

“Big Bro is also in a pretty sorry state.”

Nellis suddenly called out, causing Fin to look over his shoulder in surprise. Nellis stood in an imposing stance as she had a canteen and wet cloth in her hands.

“Aa haah. You already have a face like a gravestone. For you to get such a wound like that there. I don’t know, I really don’t know anymore…..”

While muttering her complaints, Nellis wiped the soaked cloth on Fin’s left cheek. The dried wound was rubbed, making Fin recoil in pain for the first time in a while.

“Are you hurt anywhere else?”

“Uh, probably… I’m fine”

Fin answered as he checked over his body again. He moved his arms and shoulders, checking if they weren’t hurt. His clothes were dirty with blood, but his only wound was the one on his cheek.

“You’re strong, Big Bro Fin.”

To Max’s words of adoration and admiration, Fin fidgeted in embarrassment.

“I was just lucky. If Iguros wasn’t there…..I would have already been dead.”


Max and Nellis fell silent and glanced over at Iguros body laid to rest.

“But still,” Nellis pulled herself together and encouraged Fin. “You’re better at fighting than I expected. I had no idea that Big Bro could fight this well. I’ll have to reevaluate my opinion on you.”

“Yeah. I’m also a little…..surprised.”

Fin gave a strained laugh and looked down at his own hand.

When he defeated that last man, he thought that he didn’t need to go that far, but the bitter stings washed over him even now. He didn’t know if that spear wielder was the one who killed Iguros. If he was the one, then the excuse that he killed him out of vengeance would hold, but either way, his opponent tried to flee at the last minute. His weapon was broken, and he had lost the will to fight.

Even without delivering the breaking blow to his weapon, the bandit would have run away. Furthermore, he definitely didn’t need to kick the corpse nor pull the sword out from it. He had no feelings of mercy towards the bandit, but the regret of going too far did remain. He let himself be controlled by violent, instinctive anger.

“Big Bro Fin?”

Max and Nellis said, worried about him, so Fin raised his head and put on a pretend smile.

“It’s nothing. I’m fine. We just need to go a bit farther. When we’re finished treating everyone and taking a break…..we’ll properly do something about Iguros’ body. Then, we depart.”

Fin stood up and lightly slapped the wagon that had turned into a heap of junk.

(I have to be careful.)

Even if lives were on the line, it will be a repeat of the barracks if he lets his heart run wild. He’ll degrade himself to the level of a ruffian, and he will no longer be able to protect Nellis, Max, or any of the others.

Fin took a deep breath, looked up towards the sky, and closed his eyes. He felt the light on his face. Even though the sun was covered by the clouds, he could definitely feel the presence of it. He mustn’t forget.

(Someday, the clouds will clear up. Even if it doesn’t…..the things precious to us won’t disappear.)

He felt like he could hear Leena’s voice from last night. At the same time, a dazzling light poured down from the gaps in the clouds. “Wow,” the children raised their voices in admiration.

It was just a small moment, but it was like that light gave everyone some hope.

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2 responses to “Ashes and Kingdoms v1 3-3”

  1. Thanks for the chapter!!!


  2. Iguros was probably aready fatally wounded when he threw his sword, and he had it coming, being an dumbass and gets shot with an arrow before the melee fighting begins.


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