Chapter 1: Underworld

The world was enveloped in darkness, but humanity held light in its grasp.



Deep, terrifying roars echoed through the silent, desolate underground valley.

They reverberated like thunder, causing one to shiver amidst the uncharted depths. By the lake, a youth clad in black robe covered his ears with a twisted expression of agony on his face as the roars rattled his eardrums mercilessly.

His hood fell back, revealing a handsome face that exuded a noble aura. Although his face was deathly pale and his ears were bleeding, his gaze remained extremely clear. Once again, his expression grew resolute.

His name was Sein, a humble black magic initiate.

It was at this moment, the rocky dome of the underground lake came down like an avalanche. Sein could do nothing but dart around, evading the falling rocks in a state of sheer panic.


The deafening roars reverberated once more. It was as if they were cruelly mocking Sein’s powerlessness in the face of absolute power, reminding him that all his struggles and resistance were futile.

The creature that produced these terrifying roars was an intermediate-level magic beast—a Giant Saltwater Crocodile.

The underground lake was no doubt its habitat.

All of a sudden, the creature ceased its ear-splitting roars. It stared at the human before it as its massive tail lashed against the rocks. Its terrifying aura sent a chill down Sein’s spine, despite finally having a chance to catch his breath.

The creature’s pale eyeballs glowed eerily in the darkness. More than half of its head appeared to have been scorched by flames. It was evident that the magic spells Sein had cast earlier had inflicted some damage to it.

Even so, from its point of view, this human was nothing but a nuisance that was infuriating and provoking it.

Although the black magic initiate had yet to be defeated by the terror of death, the crocodile had run out of patience.

It charged fiercely toward Sein, its fearsome maw aiming straight for his head. Drool dripped from its sharp teeth, and a nauseating odor filled the air.

In a split second, Sein sprang into action!

The opportunity he had been waiting for had finally arrived!

With his left hand, he scattered a handful of iron phosphate powder.

With his right fingertip, he used the last of his mana to release a spell that he had saved for this very moment…

Minor Fireball!

In an instant, a fireball the size of a soccer ball shot forth.


The iron phosphate powder ignited, and, combined with the force of the fireball’s explosion, it created a deafening blast that shook the entire cave.

The crocodile’s massive maw was blown apart, showering the ground with blood and chunks of flesh.

Sein was pushed back a few meters by the impact. He struggled to rise to his feet, but pumped his fist in the air as soon as he saw the lifeless crocodile laying ahead of him.

His gamble had paid off!

The iron phosphate powder had turned the Minor Fireball that Sein had pinned all his hopes on into a devastating spell.


The battle that had excessively consumed Sein’s strength and nearly depleted all his mana finally concluded. By this time, his complexion had turned terribly pale.

After regaining some strength, he forced himself to get to his feet and swam toward a small island in the heart of the lake. He plucked three stalks of brightly colored Starlight Grass, then returned to the battlefield and collected the most valuable item on the Giant Saltwater Crocodile—its magic crystal. He also took a section of its skull that was pulsating with elemental energy before swiftly leaving the lakeside.

Sein had taken only half of what the intermediate-level magic beast was worth.

He left most of the carcass as well as its blood that contained abundant elemental mana behind. It was not that he did not want to take them with him. He was exposing himself to risks for every second he lingered in the Underworld.

Aware that he no longer had any strength left to fight, Sein knew he could not afford to find himself in danger again.

The three stalks of Starlight Grass had been his primary objective for venturing into the Giant Saltwater Crocodile’s territory. They were the sole reason he had risked his life to battle an opponent that was beyond his strength to overcome.

Huff… huff…

Weak huffs drifted through the darkness and appeared to come from the direction of the lake.

Sein hastened his pace, eager to leave the perilous ground.


Mystralora City, the heart of the “Gloomhaven” in the Underworld, was the sole city to have ever been constructed by black mages in history. It was a place that commanded the respect of all dark creatures.

The green stone bricks of the twenty-meter-high city wall bore the scars of time and history. The crevices between the stones were not only stained with the dried blood of innumerable vanquished magic beasts, but they also bore the etchings of magic runes used for concealment and suppression.

After two days of travel, Sein finally arrived at this magnificent city. He finally felt a weight lifted from his shoulders, knowing that his safety would now be guaranteed to a certain extent.

“Hey, Sein, you look quite battered!” A teasing voice echoed when Sein arrived at a special passageway for mages.

A group of people, wearing black robes similar to Sein’s, stood atop the city wall. The one who had spoken was a tanned guy bearing a scar on his face.

Although he did not have any grudges against Sein, he took pleasure in seeing Sein’s misfortune.

The other initiates did not openly mock Sein, but their indifference toward him was evident.

Sein did not blame them. After all, this was the norm in the Underworld.

There were also conflicts between the black magic initiates in Mystralora City. In the Underworld, strength reigned supreme. The weak would not be able to survive here.

Survival depended on following the law of the jungle, where only the strongest thrived.

Even Sein himself would not lend a hand to others without a good reason.

In fact, if he witnessed another fellow black magic initiate falling upon misfortune, he might secretly rejoice, as it meant one less competitor in the relentless struggle for resources.

Sein ignored the mocking remark and presented his token to the minotaur captain who was guarding the city gates. “I’m an initiate from the Black Magic Academy who is on a material gathering quest for Lord Morsidor. Allow me entry!”

The imposing minotaur captain, whose strength was comparable to that of a high-level magic beast, displayed utmost respect and obedience before Sein, a mere initiate.

What it revered was not Sein himself but his identity as a black mage and the mention of Master Morsidor.

In Mystralora City, or more accurately, the entire Gloomhaven, the black mages represented the truth!

Sein brushed off the taunts from the other initiates and passed through the city gates, disappointing those who were waiting for a drama to unfold.

Sein was a notable figure in the Black Magic Academy of Mystralora City. At the age of sixteen, he was on the verge of becoming an intermediate initiate.

While potential was certainly important, it did not solely determine the futures of youths like Sein. What truly garnered the attention and envy of his fellow black magic initiates was the commendation he had received from several esteemed black mages.

The prospect of when, or even if, Sein would be fortunate enough to be accepted as an apprentice by a distinguished black mage remained a mystery.

Should this come to pass, his status among the initiates in Mystralora City would no doubt skyrocket, catapulting him to the upper echelons of their ranks.

“Hmph!” Sein’s indifferent and disdainful response infuriated the scar-faced initiate.

In reality, the guy did not wish for a direct conflict with Sein. He was rather fearful of Sein’s girlfriend.

Scar-Face rolled his eyes, then whispered to his lackey, “Tell Elrik that Sein is battered and bruised.”

“The two of them are mortal enemies, hehe. I believe Elrik doesn’t want to see Sein appear in front of him with the status of an intermediate initiate one day either.”

Scar-Face’s magic aptitude was only average. His lackey, on the other hand, was merely a fresh initiate who had only been in Mystralora City for two years.

In Gloomhaven, where strength was paramount, everyone sought the support of a powerful backing when their own abilities fell short.

Thus, the lackey had little choice but to obey the commands of Scar-Face, even if it meant incurring the wrath of Sein and his crazy girlfriend.

Should Sein meet his demise at Elrik’s hands, that crazy bitch would undoubtedly seek vengeance.

As for Scar-Face…

He had his own backing. So naturally, he had nothing to fear about that woman.

In fact, Scar-Face and Sein’s girlfriend were rivals in certain areas, which explained his animosity toward Sein, who lived together with her.

Yameropomelo's Thoughts

Welcome to the first chapter, everyone!

I’m your translator, Mei! (Please be nice to me.) I’m thrilled to welcome you to the enigmatic world of “Sovereign of Ashes”! It’s giving the Harry Potter vibes, but more adult-ish with a twist of darkness and gore. Also, there's a little bit of sci-fi. There'll be stuff about traveling to other planes (you know, like in the Dungeon and Dragons) as well as interplanar wars in the future.

The wizard (ahem, author) behind this spellbinding world is Bean Lover, a rising star in the literary sky. “Sovereign of Ashes” may be only his second book, but it has once rocketed to Rank 2 on the Zongheng’s monthly ranking and even clinched an award in 2023. So, hopefully this will be a book that you will enjoy too!

Also, I’m not just translating words; I’m weaving magic (JKJK I’m being cringey). My goal is to bring you a reading experience that's smooth and immersive. So, rather than translating word-for-word, I take a little liberty in my translation, focusing more on the context and the essence of the author’s vision, while staying true to his original intentions.

Your comments are like sparks of magic that will keep this journey alive. They’re a constant reminder that we're in this adventure together. Share your thoughts, your theories, or even funny memes. I enjoy reading reader comments, and they motivate me to bring you more chapters.

Happy reading, and may the mysterious allure of “Sovereign of Ashes” captivate you!

Ps. I'm a human, so I make mistakes. If you notice any typo, please inform me through my discord: yameropomelo! Thanks!


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