036 The burning capital? (2) p.1


Translator: yAmi

Proofreaders: Olcivv and the community

“The time has come, my comrades.”

A candle provided weak illumination to the basement room. A man began speaking, undeterred by the dimness of the room.

The man’s appearance was truly queer. His beard was thick enough to cover his cheeks and his bloodshot eyes focused on nothing but a single point on the ceiling. The intensity of his zeal should have made it difficult for anyone to approach him.

Yet, there were many other figures seated around him. While they all looked solemn, a fanatical joy erupted in all of them.


“We have been waiting, Comrade Gaston!”

In unison, they greeted the man. Their singular tone and similar expressions made them appear like cold mechanical robots. This detached and otherworldly group of people were the so called ‘activists’.

They were the protesters that appeared in Broussonne two months ago out of nowhere to criticise the system of government and condemn the rich. They were the oddballs that never seem to learn their lessons after being rounded up by patrol guards. Even today, they were still active.



The man gave a satisfactory nod to his comrades and took a deep breath.

And he silently reflected upon the tireless days spent to get to this day. Gaston Justeau was not from Brousonne. He came from the southern rural areas and was originally a farmer. He lived in poverty while in his hometown. The lands he worked on were by no means barren. In fact, the land in the area was considered the richest among the surrounding regions and they could grow local fruit trees, etcetera. However, this did not guarantee the livelihoods of the common folk.

The place Gaston lived was where the rich and powerful farmers resided. These powerful farmers were supposed to act as representatives for the farming community but by negotiating with the nobles over a long period of time, change gradually happened. Over some generations, they made the surrounding families work under them as tenant farmers and extracted wealth from the tenant farmers. Some even considered these rich farmers as half nobles. There was a lord governing the farmers but with the rich farmers, they were effectively governed by two different people. No matter how fertile the lands were, now that they have to pay nearly double in taxes, they could no longer have a decent livelihood.

Naturally, Gaston was one of these tenant farmers. The most vivid of his memories in his hometown was starvation.

Just by being part of the rich farmer’s ‘protection’, the tenant farmers had to endure the shame of living like slaves. The village leaders were bribed blind and the poor farmers held only disdain for the lord who sat back and did nothing. Anger built up against the merchants who enriched themselves by trading the farmers’ harvest. Gaston’s motivation came from his hatred towards this country and this world that allowed the powerful to exploit them.

Gaston had to control his rage as he was addressing his comrades. While trembling, he announced.

“I will order all our other allies that remain in hiding to begin their operations. Now is the time to rise!!”

His strong words seemed to shake the air. Not because of how his voice trembled. His comrades trembled at having their hot impulses awaken.


Yes, it was time to rise up. What Gaston and his comrades were referring to was an armed uprising in Brousonne.

Gaston surveyed the faces in the room. They were the faces of people who would have died to destitution and poverty. Their faces were baked by the Sun and their complexions pale with some even concealing bruises. There were even some among them who had been assigned to unfathomable hard labour and had wrinkles in the corners of their eyes despite not being in their thirties.

Last but not least, he could see the strong loathing they had against the powerful ⁠— nobles who tortured commoners and commoners who exploited their brethren for personal gain.


“Long live Comrade Gaston!”

“Victory to the labourers! Death to the parasites!”

Gaston stood up to the rallying cries and shouted.

He was once a simple farmer. An ordinary person that was powerless, uneducated and spiritless.

Today, he was different. Today, he stood at the front for his enraged comrades. 2 months ago, he stood at the intersection in the capital, gathering support for the movement. He was mocked as an insane person and stoned by onlookers. Now he has put together a sizable number of comrades who shared the same beliefs as he did and they would now grasp victory. And then, they would be remembered  in the Kingdom’s history, or rather, the entire history of the continent as heroes.

Intoxicated by what they were about to accomplish, Gaston raised his face in a grin.

“Come my comrades! We have to stand together for our rage! To take back our rights from our oppressors who call themselves nobles! To take back our money from the merchants who pilfered from us! ...For this fight, will you all stand with me!?”


In response to their leader, the so called ‘first activist’, the other activists stood up.

Like the evening sun reflecting brightly on a canal, their bottomless eyes glimmered.

※ ※ ※

“Hey, look over there.”
A guard that was patrolling the city was the first to notice something amiss. He made a sour face and called out to the other guard who was patrolling with him.

“Hm? What’s wrong?”

“...I don’t know how to say it but doesn’t that look fishy?”

He tilted his head to signal towards the crowd.

The center street of Brousonne was usually bustling towards the end of the day. That was to be expected since it was located in the center and Brousonne had the largest population among cities in the Kingdom. Naturally there would be more people going out at night. In addition, the city installed more streetlights, making it less intimidating for city-dwellers to wander around at night.

Just like any other day, the street was crowded with men who seemed to be going back home from work.

“Huh, I don’t see anything different.”

His fellow patrol guard laughed scornfully. There was nothing special about hungry labourers filling up cheap restaurants or gathering at the tavern. At one glance, this scenery was very much like any other day in the capital.

However, he could not wrap his mind around it.

There was a nagging feeling he could not get rid of. He had a vague sense that something about the day had changed. What caught his eye was how abnormally dishevelled these men were. Some of them carried pickaxes on their backs, presumably because they worked in construction. There were sailors who held poles too. They probably worked at the harbour by the Amon River. Or the people carrying firewood with a wooden rack on their backs who looked like they were going to try to sell firewood to kitchens that lacked firewood. Wood carving knives hung from their waists. There were the blacksmiths with sledgehammers on their belts too…

And then, he finally found the words for his unease.

“Um. Somehow, I think.”

Everybody here were all men. And all of them had ―

“Somehow everybody here has tools that can act as a weapon?”

― tools that could be used for murder.

The other patrol guard stared hard into the crowd.

“Now that you say it...”

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