This is a Japanese high fantasy story. It got some good review on amazon, but I’ll be translating the web novel version and not the light novel. I don’t want to get in trouble with translating the LN ones.
Within the long decaying empire, in the northern borders where the public order has been crumbling, beasts of darkness threaten the livelihood of the people. Phineas, a young boy who works as a miller, is forced to leave with his family, away from the windmill, to take refuge in a town ruled by the brigands who were once the army. This is the story of a boy who goes on a journey with the support of his family and his friends to find a quiet place they can call home.
Syosetsu Link: CLICK HERE
It has a light novel version too
Amazon Link: CLICK HERE BUT JUST SO YOU KNOW IT’S IN JAPANESE
Act 1: Darkness in the North
Chapter 1-1: The Setting Sun
A nation fell.
It was never officially announced. The people only realized it by themselves. That that something which had been protecting them all this time had vanished.
The first signs appeared at the border in the north.
Beyond the villages and the towns, through the farmlands and the pastures, along the borders by the forests and the swamps, were beacons of fire sparsely arranged.
Each day before the sun would set, the guardsmen would patrol these borders, lighting the holy fire blessed by the priests to keep the Household of the Dark at bay, away from the domain of man.
These flames flickered dead one by one; they grew less and less.
At first it was in one place, but then in the next, three vanished, and the depth of the night grew grimmer.
But the Household of the Dark continued to stay their hand, and they did not attack. The lanterns, however, continued to vanish, until eventually, the guardsmen stopped their patrol.
They stopped for they were no longer receiving their dues.
The money and commodities stopped coming in from the mainland. And along with them, the finances to keep the lanterns alit each night. To say no less of which, the soldiers and the priests even began to struggle with simply getting by. They struggled just to make a living.
The small barracks were the first to fall.
Then with the order of the soldiers in chaos, desertion and negligence soon followed. The general tried to quell the chaos, but alone in the face of anarchy, he was killed. And so, what were once barracks, homes to the guardians that protected the citizens, had now changed to dens of outlaws. They did as they pleased with no regard for the law that they once protected. Yet no matter how much time passed, the troops that should have come from the mainland to suppress them never came.
Without even the faintest traces of the echoes of the army’s footsteps, without even the slightest rumors of their course of action, several moons passed.
––––Not long after… the darkness made its move.
As the beacons flickered dead one by one, the creatures ever hidden within the depth of the forest and the marshes, slowly moved. At the dawn of dusk, they quietly encroached into the domain of man. At first, they were quiet and cautious, but before long, they acted with no mercy.
With their fields burnt and their lives threatened, the peasants had no choice but to run for the castle walls. The army who had now turned to banditry fought against the Household of the Dark, but in exchange, they enslaved those with nowhere to go.
Without even the passing of a year, within the territory of the prosperous Diateus Empire, in the barren wasteland, an invisible hole was hollowed. The villages, isolated, they each passed laws as they pleased. Arts and culture were thrown to the dust as people sold everything they could to survive. They sold their possessions, they sold their neighbors, they sold their pride, they sold even their own blood and kin.
Whether it was the Vitia Province to the north of the empire or the Nanais Port City ever facing the dazzling Divara Sea, they all ran from the same fate.