Ashes and Kingdoms v1 5-5

Message from translator: Starts chanting ‘1 more chapter!’

Volume 1, 5-5: Crossroads・Hesitation

At the crossroads, connecting the road leading from Winea to Calsum Pass to the cross street joining the east and west, was a simple lodge used by a farmer when he did odd jobs.

This area was once a bustling hub with people coming and going, but now it was completely deserted. The eastern side of the road had a stable and rest area; at its back stood the farmer’s dwelling, storehouse, work hut, etc. Therefore, the group following the cross street from the northeast didn’t have to worry about being discovered by the travelers on the main road heading to Calsum Pass, and the group was able to sneak into the storehouse.  Of course, it was all under the direction of the building’s owner as well.

After he invited the fugitives inside, he took a broom and went outside. He swept the area where approximately 20 footsteps dirtied the road and rearranged the trampled grass leading to the storehouse from the road. During that time, the farmer’s wife was preparing wash bins for the group to use.

The exhausted soldiers squatted by their individual ones and washed their hands and face. The shadows of two people rushing in from the main building could be seen.

“Big Bro!”

Fin caught Nellis, who ran up to and jumped on him, and became slightly wide-eyed. Both of them were happy that the other was safe. Fin gently caressed Nellis’ round head. Fin smiled and said, “What a surprise,” at his startled younger sister who raised her head.

“Short hair suits you.”

“Eh… think so?”

Immediately becoming embarrassed, she separated herself from him and played around with her hair.

“Really? Do you really think so?”

“Yeah. You’re cute.”

Fin gave a kind nod. His tone was too serious, without a single hint of being a lie or consolation. Nellis blushed, and her smile filled her whole face.

“Ehehe. Tru-truthfully, I looked in the mirror a bunch of times, and I started to think that I can make this work. So that’s how it is. Yeah…..In that case, I’ll keep it short like this.”

Behind the embarrassed Nellis saying all of this was Max popping up with, “Ehh?” Nellis turned around and threw a threatening look, “What d’ya mean?”

“A light head is comfortable, and it’s fine as long as it matches me. Right, Big Bro?”

Both Nellis’ gaze seeking approval and Max’s gaze asking for this to stop landed on Fin. Of course, the one that properly reached him was his sister’s. Fin nodded with a serious look.

“Yeah. It’s fine.”

After plopping his hand on top of his sister’s head, Fin headed off towards the doorway. The farmer came back to return the broom. He was the same man the patrolling unit had protected from the bandits some time ago.

After a quick greeting, Fin held out his hand to the farmer and said, “I shall return this.” “Yeah,” The farmer replied. A small key jangled as it was dropped into the man’s rugged and rough hand.

“I have confirmed that you have certainly returned ‘Mr. Iguros’ to me.”

“You really were a big help to us. If we hadn’t been able to use that hut of yours, we would have been stuck camping outside for two continuous nights. For you to even prepare food and straw for us to use….I cannot thank you enough.”

If the farmer hadn’t done that for them, they would have to keep watch of Fernaine on top of the Beasts of Darkness. If they had to experience the hell of a journey they did from Tetna again, there was no doubt that the young Fernaine would try to run away or bawl her eyes out. Sleeping in a hut didn’t provide just physical protection.

Fin was grateful of this added benefit and deeply bowed his head. However, the farmer let out a strained laugh as he waved his hand.

“Yer sure over-the-top, sonny. You don’t need to bow yer head. I still owe you folks one for savin’ me. And even without that, I’ll gladly help to stick a thorn in the commander’s and Niardo’s sides any day.”


“The area around that hut used to be part of ma land. But that bastard Niardo partnered up with the commander to cheat, threaten and steal from ma old man. As revenge, we weren’t told a damned thing ’bout what was happenin’. Even that hut was left locked up. And they told us, ‘If ya need it, build one then.’”

The farmer’s breathing was rough from his resentment. Fin threw in an appropriate response, “So that’s how it was.” Varte probably knew about this farmer’s circumstances, which was probably why he went to the farmer’s wholesale shop to ask for his assistance. Fin wanted to know just how the captain obtained this information.

While all of this was happening, Nellis, Max, and the farmer with his wife were busily working to treat the injured. Fin looked around the warehouse again and counted the large number of people inside.

All the members of the patrol unit were safe. Including Varte and Eutis, there were 7 members. There was also Fin’s family–both parents, Nellis, Max, and Fernaine. The rest of the people were the survivors from the pursuit platoon, but that was only 5 people from there. The soldier wielding a bow and arrow was only slightly injured, but it was a miracle that the remaining 4 soldiers were able to even walk in their state.

(17 people, huh. Including me makes 18…..)

[Am I also included?]

Hearing Leena’s voice, Fin broke out into a smile,

[Yeah. With you, we have a total of 19 people.]

At that moment, as if reading Fin’s mind, Varte came over and said.

“Our crew’s grown. We gotta bring everyone up to speed about what we’re gonna be doing from here on. Including that idiot, Eutis.”


“What do you wanna do? I don’t mean what you personally wanna do. I already know what it is. I’m talking ’bout Eutis.”

Varte’s tone sought an answer, causing Fin to cast his eyes downward. Seeing that, Varte pressed on.

“The wisest thing would be to kill him here and use him to fertilize the fields alongside horse manure. Dead men tell no tales. Our safety secured. Let me just warn you; it’s useless to make him swear to keep his mouth shut. He’s different from you. He’s not old-fashioned, willing to throw down everything to protect an oath. If you use yourself as a standard, you’re gonna be in a world of pain.”

“I know.”

Fin left his answer as only that. He furrowed his eyebrows and stared at Eutis. He recalled the moment when his intuition told him on the day he formed the bond with Leena that he couldn’t trust this man. Now he understood why. That wasn’t just his intuition telling him that. The dragon’s power picked up on Eutis’ true nature.

Eutis noticed Fin’s gaze and turned around with an uneasy look. When their eyes met, Eutis opened his mouth for just a second, as if he wanted to beg for mercy. But he immediately faltered and hung his head.

Fin continued to stare at him with grim eyes.

Everything was unpleasant: Eutis’ betrayal, his egotistical “justice”, as well as both his and Varte’s reactions to them.

“…..Should I…” Words spilled out of his mouth, “be doing as Eutis says? To be honest, I don’t think I can do the same things as the dragon lords of lore. Still, should I at least try to? If I could defeat Dirgius and bring the northern army corps back to their ways of driving away the darkness and protecting public order…..”

“Hey now, stop that. That boy ain’t looking at things realistically. What can you do by yourself? Did’ja think that everyone’ll open up the path for you if you say, “I’m a dragon lord”? And that isn’t what you wanted in the first place, right? What you want is…”

“To live a peaceful life with my family. Yeah, you’re right…..It’s a selfish desire of mine.”

Fin rubbed his exhausted face as Varte let out a long sigh.

“Every single one of us lives for themselves. It’s the same with me. If you’d planned on imitating the heroes of legends, I wasn’t gonna help ya. Rather, I would’ve taken advantage of all the confusion and run somewhere far away. And what’s wrong with that? Even Eutis. ‘Cause he wanted to live a quiet life, he held some kind of expectation that you’ll give him such a life. You know, without him actually putting in any effort himself.”

“In that case, why don’t we take him with us? We can bring him with us until we find someplace safe to live.”

“No can do,” Varte curtly rejected. “He’s unpredictable and untrustworthy. If he was trustworthy, I would’ve accepted him even if he was incompetent and a burden, but he’s the type that would stab his savior in the back, ya know. If we took him with us, we wouldn’t know when he’ll pull the rug right under our feet. Living a peaceful life’ll turn into a pipe dream…..If you can’t make a decision, I’ll bury him right here and now.”

Although this was spoken in a whisper, it was a resolute declaration.

Fin was silent for a while after feeling Varte’s stern gaze, but sometime later, he let out a deep breath, and a pathetic smile appeared on his face.

“Let’s eat.”

Varte raised an eyebrow at this sudden proposal. But Fin merely shrugged his shoulders and continued to speak with a tone that indicated that he had already made up his mind.

“Everyone barely ate last night, right? Besides, there may be others here who want to go their own ways…..It wouldn’t be bad for all of us to gather just this once and eat together. Let’s discuss the future after we’ve eaten something and calmed down.”


Fin didn’t even hear the discouraged Varte grumble. He was already walking towards Fauna and started talking about the meal preparations with her and the farmer’s wife. Left behind, Varte scratched his head and took a wide look at his comrades. Faces filled with hunger and fatigue filled his line of sight,

So that’s how it is. Varte was immediately convinced. Maybe eating something in the meanwhile was the right thing to do. It’s like how the saying goes: ‘You can’t fight on an empty stomach.’

He placed his hand on his stomach and remembered that he too was famished, All the energy he had suddenly disappeared, so he sat down at that spot.

In front of the dazed Varte, Nellis had finished treating everyone and briskly joined the other women. Naturally, Fernaine was forced to help out as well, whether she liked it or not.

The thought that he should prepare the fire appeared in Varte’s mind for a split second, but his body didn’t move the way he wanted. He just sat down on the ground like he was trapped in mud. Oandus pulled up next to him and sat down.

The two watched in a daze the following scene: A young soldier who still had some energy left in him tried to help out with the preparations, but in the end, he was a bother and pushed away. Oandus let out a strained laugh while Varte also smiled a little.

Sigh Us men are useless doing things like this.”

Right after Varte nonchalantly said that, Nellis just so happen to come over to check on Oandus’ condition when she heard him say that.

She interjected, “It doesn’t look like that though.”

Her cheeky voice made Varte look up at her with an indignant look. Then, his gaze followed the direction she was indicated with her look, and he grimaced. Oandus made a similar face and let out a wry laugh. Phineas was skillfully helping Fauna.

“Isn’t my big brother a man?”

When Nellis joked, Varte groaned in response.

“Don’t be stupid. He’s an exception. He’s–“

After he had said that much, a dark bitterness was added to his voice.

“Not normal. He’s special.”

His tone had a weight to it unfitting of such a light topic. It was as if he wanted to say, “Don’t dare lump me together with him.”

Nellis became a little embarrassed that she might have started something unpleasant and took a peek at her father’s complexion. She was met with a similar, strict look that said, “What’s wrong with that?” However, his glare was directed at Varte, not Fin.

Varte noticed the daggers Oandus was throwing at him with his look, shrugged his shoulders, and returned back to his usual attitude.

“Just think ’bout it. If this was a ‘normal’ and ‘ordinary’ time, then all the men like us who can only ‘go get the meat’ would all be abandoned by the women. First of all, he’s different from us; he can sleep soundly at night. Of course, he’s the only one who’s full of life.”

“If you told him that, it’ll hurt a bit.”

Oandus had an unnatural and strained smile on his face in response. He looked over to his son, his gaze becoming softer.

“It’s because he spent a long time at the orphanage. He’s used to helping out with household chores and babysitting, Captain Varte……He’s not someone special.”

Removed from this conversation laden with meaning, Nellis frowned and compared the two men’s faces. But there was no explanation, and just like that, the conversation was interrupted.

“Nellis! Look after the pot for a bit.”

“Ah, ok~ay.”

Nellis was called over by Fin and quickly ran over. After her footsteps were far away enough, Oandus whispered in a low voice.

“Captain Varte.”

“Yeah, I know. I’ll be quiet.”

Varte cut off Oandus in an annoyed manner. After a quick glance at the brother and sister pair, he groaned from deep in this throat.

“…But damn, why do they have to be so alike?”

There was no response to this rhetorical question. The two men merely sat in silence after that.

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6 responses to “Ashes and Kingdoms v1 5-5”

  1. Thanks for the chapter >w<)/


    1. I never really know how to reply to your comments so I’ll just start using emojis!
      ( ^∀^)


  2. Thank you for the update bro
    Does varte know something about fin


    1. I feel like he does, right?


  3. Thank you for the chapter.
    One more chapter!!
    One more?!


    1. Yeah, until the end of the 1st volume!


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