Ashes and Kingdoms v1 4-7

Message from translator: Ugh, barely made it in time to post this x_x New games, new series I want to pick up, new series I want to read, health issues, and tutoring took up a lot of my time…But we’re back!

Volume 1, 4-7: Creeping Malice

Despite being in the arms of distress and unease, sleep was like a supreme blessing.

Even without being able to see Leena’s face, he could vividly and strongly feel her presence. This vast sensation of freedom and unwavering strength filled his mind and body. Should he call this feeling omnipotent, or even transcendental? However, there was no pride or confidence in having such a feeling. The feeling of fusing with a greatness that exceeds human comprehension.

Fin fell asleep, appeased by the gentle warmth and was greeted with a refreshed feeling as he awoke. Afterwards, his head was clear and his body overflowed with vitality.

(Is this also the power of the ‘connection’? If so, it’s most appreciative.)

Nothing to be apologetic about. He didn’t think that this would be something Leena had to apologize for.

(….Even if something was taken away and more sacrifices were needed?)

At any rate, there would probably be more sacrifices he would have to make in the future. Fin furrowed his eyebrows and then looked out the window after he finished changing his clothes.

The sleeping city in twilight was still quiet. The sounds of footsteps heading to fetch water at the communal water supply in the square echoed with the metal fittings on the bucket they carried through the alleyway. That was a job for a servant or a child of the masses.

When he recalled his life in the orphanage in Nanais, Fin was overcome with surprise for a brief moment. Right after, he shook his head, brushing off the feeling. Although he wasn’t thinking of what was ahead, the root of this concern came rolling in front of his eyes. How long could he keep Leena a secret? What should he do when everything gets exposed? What about his family….?

Fauna had said such, but if everything could be resolved if Fin disappeared, then he intended to do so even if he would be resented for it. But it wasn’t like he could just simply disappear. If his disappearance would be deemed as desertion, his family would be driven out, no longer able to live here.

(What can I even do?)

While Fin was racking his brain over this and that, he put on his usual demeanor and headed to the patrolling unit’s station.

Fortunately, his days since have been peaceful.

Due to having driven the bandits from the main road heading south, he’d been living a bit more easily without a single uproar occurring. The atmosphere around the unit hadn’t changed for the better or worse, and no one had spoken a single word about the dragon. It was as if the events of that day related to Fin were erased from their minds. It was only Eutis who asked, “Your wounds all good now?” in grandiose concern to Fin who shouldn’t have any such injuries now, making everyone’s mood dampen.

At any rate, there wasn’t anything happening so far. …..At least on the surface.

A mere 5 days have passed since the incident with the bandit suppression when the dreaded situation reared its head into sight. It was around the time the summer heat smothered the north.

Rumors were spreading, and they even reached the unit’s ears.

That morning, Fin was walking through the barrack’s courtyard. A dog hurried took refuge in the shade, its tongue hanging out of its mouth as it panted. Fin gazed upon the sight and smiled, slightly jealous. When he raised his face, his gaze met with that of an unfamiliar young man. He clearly was an army corps soldier, but Fin couldn’t recall his name, let alone his face. However, the other party was filled with happiness when their eyes met as he excitedly made his way across and asked all of a sudden.

“So, hey, is it true that a dragon appeared? You were outside the walls then. Didja see it?”

Fin froze, unable to answer this too frank of a question. He couldn’t even maintain his expression as it solidified. Thereupon, the man thankfully came to his own understanding of the situation and awkwardly scratched his face.

“Ah, well, it’s just a rumor and all. It’s not like I believe it or anything, so you know…..well, whatever. Sorry for asking something so weird.”

He probably thought that his sanity was being doubted, so the man waved his hand to gloss over everything and hurriedly ran off.

“So the time has finally come, huh,” harboring such a thought, Fin quickened his pace as he headed for the station. When he arrived, the others were already gathered with their distressed faces covered in dark shadows.

“You’re late. From the look on your face, I guess you heard as well.”

Varte groaned, and Fin nodded, his stiff expression still there.

“Seems like rumors are spreading. Though nothing too detailed.”

“I heard about a dragon appearing, but that’s it. Though I think sooner or later, rumors ’bout the dragon’s owner’ll start to spread.”

Varte added, “Sh•t,” and let out a sigh.

As expected since a giant creature just suddenly appeared. The surviving bandits probably blabbered this to anyone who would listen, or perhaps there were people who happened to be passing through on the main road and noticed the tips of white wings popping out from the forest. Either way,

“This was quite fast.”

Fin’s voice sounded reluctant, but it nevertheless stated the truth of the matter. “Yeah,” Varte also agreed, but the two of them averted their eyes, not looking at anyone else. They didn’t want to reach the conclusion that someone in this unit had leaked the info. Firstly, it would be pointless to go searching for the culprit this late in the game.

“The issue now is what are we gonna do?”

Varte shamelessly stretched and then turned to face Fin.

“I don’t think they’ll be able to pin it down as you, but it won’t be long before all of us here will look suspicious. If Dirgius gets word of this….I’m guessing, he’ll probably sink his teeth right into the news, as desperate as a stray, starved dog.”

“So, he’ll try to take advantage of this, is what you’re saying?”

When Fin asked in a low voice, one of the soldiers to the side interjected.

“Captain, we’ll be heading out to patrol. Probably be better if we don’t hear any of this.”

It was a light, joking expression, but the tone hid something deeper. However, Varte lazily nodded and signaled with his chin for them to leave.

The soldiers exited in succession. Eutis glanced back and forth between them and the captain with discontent eyes. He turned to face Fin and looked like he wanted to say something, but in the end with a sullen face, he chased after his comrades.

Whether this was intentional or a slip of the mind, the door was left opened and a high-pitched voice protested by itself, “Thought this is everyone’s problem, though~” Varte clicked his tongue and stood up, but someone from the outside slammed the door faster than he could put his hand on the door handle.

He stared at his hand just dangling in the air, and after clearing his throat, he ambiguously shrugged his shoulders and plopped down on a chair. Fin also sat down on the chair Varte pointed to.

“Well then.”

Varte properly looked at Fin for the first time and said with a solemn look on his face.

“Mind answering me honestly? What do you plan to do from now on?”

After a while, the soldiers returned and gathered around, though they didn’t inquire about anything. With the exception of Eutis.

“So~o, in the end, what should we do, eh? We’re in quite the pickle, heh.”

He was talking to himself in such a loud voice that Fin exchanged a glance with Varte for just a moment and answered in a vague tone.

“I think we should act the same: just feign ignorance. If we can manage that, then there’ll be no worry about them finding out about me. And if something does come up, this is my own problem, so I don’t want to trouble everyone.”

“Your own….”

Eutis started to say, but another soldier forcibly interrupted in a loud voice.

“Well, that’s true. This doesn’t really concern any of us. If we play dumb, I’m sure we can make it look like that, right?”

Fin nodded, simply muttered, “Well, then,” to the captain, and left. Eutis’ voice came chasing after him.

“Wait, where you going?”

“Shaddup, Eutis. I asked him to do some stuff.”

Varte’s words were like a slap. Eutis’s face said that he wouldn’t settle with that, but he shut his mouth at once. Though, he immediately gazed at the closed door and muttered.

“Do you even realize how big of a situation we have right now?”

Without anyone responding, his words floated in the air for a brief moment then came crashing down.

The Fin in question had no time to be concerned with Eutis’s worries with his own head bursting with thoughts as he quickened his pace towards the orphanage.

Fauna and Oandus were taking care of the children inside when the unusual appearance of Fin in this time of day brought a suspicious look to their faces.

“What’s wrong?” Oandus quickly whispered. Fin feigned a lax attitude and titled his head.

“No, it’s not something urgent or anything. Just an army corps errand….”

“The army corps? Is it about Max?”

The puzzled Oandus asked. This time it was Fin’s turned to have a strange face. Answering that, Oandus vaguely directed his gaze towards the individual rooms in the back.

“Just now, a higher-up from the army corps came. It looked like he’d come to recommend Max to enlist though.”

Whether or not Oandus had finished talking, Max came back. The soldier accompanying him turned around as if to depart when he noticed Fin. It was Ancius.

“Phineas? Why are you here?”

“I’m here on Captain Varte’s orders and….”

He held back the urge to ask, “The same could be said to you,” and after an uneasy glance at Max, he stepped in front of Ancius.

“It’s about Iguros, the one who accompanied us from Nanais. He died before entering Winea, but as he was also a soldier, I want to give him a proper burial. So, I came to seek some advice on how to search for his remains.”

“I see,” Ancius gave a solemn nod. “It’s true that the burial of a soldier who had died in duty lies with the army corps. By the way, Phineas, how is your condition? Heard that there was quite the battle the other day.”

“I’m starting to become quite accustomed to my job now.”

Fin gave a short reply, maintaining an expressionless look to avoid displaying his discomposure. Hmph Ancius raised his eyebrow and looked like he wanted to say something, but in the end, he left the words, ” Then, don’t stray off too much, got it?” behind and disappeared.

When his superior could no longer be seen, Fin promptly rushed over to Max.

“What were you told?”

“He said, ‘Won’t you enlist in the army corps’.”

Max sensed the unrest in Fin’s attitude and put on a serious face, but his voice overflowed with pride.

“He told me that I’m still lacking in the years, but it would be fine if I join for the time being as a helper of sorts and start receiving actual military training. And he said that if I did that, by the time I turn 18, I could easily become a corporal.”


Fin was uncertain of how he should perceive these words, both grimacing and brooding over this.

This should be a joyous conversation, looking at how Max can actually become a professional soldier and take his first steps in life. In this day and age, there were far too few jobs that one could take that could provide for a sustainable future.

However, because of that very reason, Fin found this very hard to swallow.

Why was Ancius, a high-ranking officer, taking his time off to show up in an orphanage to bring such tidings? If he had talked to the orphanage staff about wanting to grab a promising youth quickly, then they probably would have shown him at least one or two more candidates. There was also no need for him to leave work at such a busy time.

“Max. You know I really want to be happy for you and all, but don’t you think that this is….a bit more complex. Did Ancius tell you anything else? Did he ask about me?”

“So this is how an older brother teases the younger,” Max jested and shrugged his shoulders. “If this ain’t it, then a commander like him won’t come all the way out here to see me, right?”

“I’m well aware of how brilliant your improvements are and what a reliable guy you can be. However, Ancius wasn’t supposed to be aware of that.”

Because Fin had answered him with such a serious look, Max’s expression turned complicated, embarrassment mixed with disappointment. If Nellis was here, she would have probably said, “You really are boring, you know that?” However, Max had yet to reach that point, so he tilted his head to the side as he responded.

“So that’s how it is. I also thought that it was strange for some reason….but also thought that maybe the Priest had reported it or something. Saying that there was someone in the orphanage who had potential and wanted to join the army corps. And I wasn’t asked anything about you, Big Bro Fin. He only wanted to confirm if I would go together with him.”

“….If that’s the case, then have the rumors yet reached the higher-ups then?”

“Rumors? Big Bro Fin, you can’t mean…”

“Yeah, looks like it’d started spreading around inside the army corps. They don’t know who or why yet. Only that a dragon had appeared. And because of that, the captain showed me a way that will….”

While the two were whispering, a guiding voice saying, “Please, come this way,” reached them. The two quickly shut their mouths and reflexively turned around. Nellis was just about to escort a guest inside. Her face said that she was surprised by Fin being here, but aside from that, her attitude remained unchanged and she continued to guide the guest. The person following after her was a middle-aged man dressed in affluent garbs.

“He is?”

Fin asked Max after feeling something unpleasant.

“He’s the one we mentioned before. You know, the old man who wants to adopt Fernaine.”

Max lowered his voice in response. Fin frowned and his eyes followed after the man. The man hadn’t noticed Fin’s gaze and excitedly followed after Nellis. It was clear from just looking at him that his heart was bursting with anticipation.

Fernaine appeared from another room, led by one of the orphanage staff members.

At that moment, Fin was suddenly assaulted by a strong sense of discomfort, akin to having a cold carcass pressed up against his face. The muscles along his spine froze and his stomach writhed. It looked like the whole body of the man in front of him was being surrounded by a swamp’s miasma.

(What is that? What the hell is going on?)

In the corner of the confused Fin’s consciousness, Leena’s heart quietly hinted at the meaning. That this was what it meant by the ability to “see.”

It was certain that there was some kind of miasma reflected in Fin’s eyes, although invisible to others. However, on the other hand, it wasn’t like it was completely covering his entire field of vision.

It was just something appeared to be normal. The man gave a friendly grin as he stroked Fernaine’s head. The image of him giving her a ribbon and sweets looked exactly as is: no secret agenda or anything. But at the same time, a different sensation could be perceived from the miasma—its true colors directly reached Fin’s mind.

—In this man’s mind, Fernaine was being stripped naked. The man’s imaginary hands were stroking every nook and cranny of the little girl in front of him and forcing her into a lewd position.


Fin couldn’t enduring this man’s depraved fascinations and fell to his knees. He felt nauseous; he wanted to vomit.

When the man’s really sweet voice saying, “The mansion arrangements are almost ready as well,” reached Fin’s ears, he understood the true intentions behind them.

The man had to tidy up and clean the room used by the one before Fernaine, “dealing” with all traces of that person. Those were the “arrangements.”

Max and the others were worried and called out to Fin several times. Just as their hands stroked his back, the chills quickly faded. The mysterious sensation was shut out and his five senses returned to normalcy. Nevertheless, Fin couldn’t recover right away and remained on the floor, his breathing ragged. His gaze was fixed on the spaces between the weaves of the carpet. The corner of his head was still numb.

(Is this…Leena, is this how you see people? You can see this much?)

[I don’t always see everything.]

Leena’s voice reverberated in the numb area of his head. Fin didn’t have the energy to be surprised and could only meekly comprehend it.

[But, I can see all of the strong ones. Lust, anger, and hatred are especially easy to spot. Of course, euphoria, joy, and such are….I guess humans like Fin as well are just as easy as well.]

But their numbers are few. Leena’s voice continued to echo, containing some slight gratitude. With his head hanging low, Fin let out a faint, bitter laugh. This wasn’t a dragon’s responsibility, but a human’s. Else she would start to regret this “oath” for showing him such a sight. One way or another,

[This isn’t something you have to apologize for. I’m fine.]

Fin not only addressed her through his thoughts but also inhaled a long, deep breath. I’m alright. I can’t sense that miasma or rotten smell anymore. The air is back to normal.

Fin slowly raised his face, responded to the worried people that he was fine and it was nothing, and stood up. On the other side of the room, the man didn’t have an inkling of what was happening and only continued to throw flattery at Fernaine.

If he hadn’t possessed a dragon’s eyes, then this would be nothing more than a heart-warming scene—nothing suspicious about it. The innocently delighted Fernaine and the smiling face of a man who purely adored children.

Fin was haunted by despondency and melancholy, helplessly watching the two.

(I have to take her with me.)

There was no way he could leave her behind and go. He had sworn: he will, without fail, bring her to safety. And that man’s mansion was far from safe.

(Iguros, looks like the promise you wanted me to make is heavier than we expected. If your soul is still in the underworld and could hear my voice in this world, help me, even if just a little.)

Fin resisted the urge to let out a sigh and closed his eyes.

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3 responses to “Ashes and Kingdoms v1 4-7”

  1. Thanks for the chapter


  2. Thank you for your effort. It must be hard to push your self through all this for free. I mean, I translated just a A4 page of my native language into english and I was bored to death! 😵
    Just know that I understand the weight of your sacrifice and I appreciate it so much!!

    About this chapter, perfect translation as always!
    The tone is dark and foreboding again but I am not surprised with that perverted old guy at all. I hope I am not the only one seeing this from miles away. I am not that uniquely dark, ain’t I? And I will have you know, it still make me feel sick to the core.

    Hoping you could translate quickly pass the fernaine cliff and get rid of the yucky stuff, but will understand if real life calls for breaks. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Translating can be a pain, especially when you want to make it sound fluent in English.

      And thank you for all your praises!! I really want to continue to translate this novel until the end. As you’ve mentioned, some of the plot twists become fairly obvious before they’re revealed, but I still feel like this is an A+ story.


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