Ashes and Kingdoms v2 1-6

<A Message from the translator:> Another chapter is up~ Even more new characters are getting introduced. Reminder that there is a character sheet in the Table of Contents in case you lose track or need a refresher.

1-6: Older sister and Younger brother

“Wow, delicious!”

Fernaine squealed in delight as Nellis and Fauna were thankful. The girl who brought this box of sweets giggled and offered some to the rest of the people present.

“I’m glad you’re enjoying it. Everyone, please take some.”

There was no man out there who could be in a bad mood after being treated by a friendly, young girl. Even Plast, who wouldn’t usually care for sweets, humbly accepted one.

The girl’s name was Oria. Just as Fin had guessed, she lived alone with just her mother.

“Ahah, this is quite the unexpected treat after a day of work.”

Varte’s smile stretched across his entire face as he grabbed some tea and sweets like a bear who found honey.

“It feels real nice to have a girl around, ya know.”

A former member of the patrol group, Nix, let this comment slip before Nellis slapped his head.

“Hmph, there’s already a girl here.”

“Heh, that’s…well… Nellis, if you were two or three years older…ya know?”

He looked at his nearby comrades, seeking if they “knew” what he was talking about. Varte laughed and answered.

“Yeah. How about you learn from this young lady and be a little more ladylike?”

“I don’t need your advice.”

Nellis rebuffed. Fin plopped his hand on top of her head. Her hair was still short like a young boy.

“Don’t mind him. You’re fine as long as you’re happy, Nellis.”

Although his tone sounded like apathetic consoling, his words rang true. He couldn’t count how many times Nellis’ brightness and encouragement saved him. Sometimes, he’ll be overwhelmed although not to the point of dizziness, and if that state continued for any longer, he would spiral down into misery.

Nellis sensed her brother’s feelings hidden in his words, but she only looked up at him before immediately turning to Varte and puffing our her chest.

“See? My brother says so too!”

“Hey, hey, big brother… Don’t go spoiling her too much. What are you going to do if she can’t get married?”

Varte advised with a sarcastic laugh, but Fin shrugged his shoulders and played it off. Oria couldn’t hold back her laughter as she watched this exchange.

“You guys really are close. I wish I had an older brother or younger sister.”

“I don’t really care much for having an older brother.”

Nellis said relatively seriously but giggled after.

“But, I wish I had an older sister like you, Oria.”

This statement with a hidden implication startled Fin. However, Oria took those words at face value, though it wasn’t clear if it was because she hadn’t realized or if she was playing along.

“Really? I’m so happy. Actually, I was also thinking it’ll be nice to have you as a little sister. Whenever I look at my friends with their sisters, they look like they’re having so much fun. Hey, do you want to go shopping together sometime?”

“Sounds good. I’ll go!”

The image of the two girls giggling with each other made Oandus and Fauna smile as well. “Girls are nice,” Fauna said with a soft laugh while Oandus bobbed his head in agreement.

Left with no one on his side, Fin leaned against the wall with a conflicted face as he drank his tea in silence. Varte slapped Fin’s leg as a way of comforting him, but it instead caused the tea to jump from the cup.

Around this time in Syros, a coastal city much further south than Comillis, a sister called for her younger brother.

“Cestus! Let’s go home.”

When she called out from the plaza, a flustered voice inside the bookstore replied, “In a sec.” The sound of someone cleaning up something was heard from inside along with a conversation of, “Goodbye. See you tomorrow,” and “Yeah, good work.” Then, a young boy appeared on the other side of the door.

“Sorry, Nera for making you wait.”

He was around 12 or 13. His soft hair was honey-colored. His intelligent eyes were gray with golden irises. They were strange eyes, but there weren’t many who noticed this distinction. In front of such a dazzling smiling face, that didn’t even matter.

His sister also had a wide smile on her face.

“It’s fine. Cleaning up is important, after all. Were you able to properly do your job?”

She asked kindly, so the younger brother nodded.

“Yeah. I’ve gotten used to it by now, as expected. Mr. Cornis has been teaching me a bunch of important things recently. Plus, he let me read books during break. I’ve also gotten used to delivering. I even got this today. Here, I’ll give it to you.”

He ruffled through his bag and took out a small handiwork from the bottom. It was a decorative pin used to fasten clothes. It looked a bit old-fashioned, but it certainly didn’t seem cheap.

“It’s for women. The wife at the place I was delivering to threw it away, and the maid had secretly picked up and repaired it. She said that it’s a bit old-fashioned but still usable.”

“Yes, that would be a waste. I shall gratefully accept it.”

Nellis beamed and quickly pinned it on her clothes. Cestus happily watched her movements.

The two left the plaza together when a bunch of playing children called out to Cestus. They invited him over to play, but after pondering for a bit, Cestus shook his head and said, “Sorry.”

“I have to go to Publa’s store today. Scallions are on sale. Next time.”

The rejected boy pouted and shouted back, “We would win if you joined us though.” Nera looked down at her younger brother and whispered with a bitter look.

“You didn’t need to say something so domesticated. Why don’t you go and play, master?”

“It’s fine. Whenever I join them, I get poked and pushed in the midst of everything. It’s a mess. Besides, it’s true that scallions are on sale at Publa’s. The maid who gave him the pin informed me of so. Let’s go and buy some before she closes. We need to save money.”

Cestus jokingly shrugged his shoulders, waved at the boys at the plaza, and quickened his pace. Nera followed his motions before looking at the sky with her cornflower-colored eyes, tired.

“Even though one year ago, this young master didn’t even know how to procure a piece of break… How much you’ve grown. Should I be delighted or sorrowful? Oh, how complicated. If your mother saw you know, what would she say?”

“Stop talking about the past.”

Cestus suddenly turned red and puffed his cheeks. Then, he immediately turned serious and added in a solemn, low voice, “And about Mother as well.” Nera cast her face downwards and gently stroked Cestus’ head.

One year—

To an adult, such duration was short. But, for a child, it was enough time to undergo a complete change. Cestus had practically turned into a different person. Both in name and body.

Last year, he was “Cenate.” He lived a life free of inconveniences in the royal palace as he received various training as the adopted son of the emperor.

However, this life flipped 180° after he barely escaped the blade that slaughtered his adoptive father.

After Nera led him out of the royal palace, he could only shiver. He was merely a young child who couldn’t do anything like comprehend the situation or obtain food or a place to sleep.

The two hid in the slums of the imperial capital of Diact. The boy was scared, despaired, and suffered for four to five days.

—Then, he awoke like the sun breaking through to dawn.

Nera didn’t know what kind of conflict was happening in his tiny chest or what brought reason back into his head. However, he just suddenly requested one morning that he wanted to run away from the imperial capital and his hometown of Nakte and head to some other city.

“Don’t you wish to return to your mother’s side?”

Nera asked, surprised, but the boy once known as Cenate bit his lip and shook his head.

“I want to see Mother. But, I cannot return to Nakte. Grandfather and Father would try to make me ascend to the throne. If that were to happen, the main country would be divided by a great battle. The ones who will suffer from that are the poor who have sheltered me. Nera, I—I have abandoned the name, Cenate. I want you to take me as far away as possible as your younger brother. Once we’ve arrived at a safe location, I do not care if you decide to leave me behind in some orphanage.”

Accepting this bitter request, Nera was no longer the maid of the crown prince but the older sister of the orphan Cestus. They continued to escape from the imperial capital as they walked on the main road while spinning the tale that they had lost their parents to disease and were on their way to rely on distant relatives. Finally, they made their way to Syros.

(Of course, he will have to return to being “Cenate” one day.)

Nera smiled fondly at her “younger brother” walking beside her. At this rate, it would be impossible for him to fully become “Cestus.” His grandfather, the Dragon Lord Cenate, and his real parents were desperately searching for him. Besides, even if Cenate were to remain missing, this wouldn’t necessarily stop the war.

(But, until then…it would be nice if we can continue acting like siblings.)

Nera looked up to the sky and recalled her original master, Fernanna. “Please forgive me,” she apologized deep in her heart.

“Nera! There are plums. What should I do? Can I buy some?”

A cheerful voice called out to her. Nera looked back down and smiled like a kind older sister going along with her younger brother’s whims.

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2 responses to “Ashes and Kingdoms v2 1-6”

  1. This is so cool! Looking forward for more actions


    1. Welcome~
      Glad you’re enjoying the story


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