Story of a Cannon Fodder who Firmly Believed He was the Protagonist, Misunderstood the Actual Protagonist as the Cannon Fodder, and Ended up Victorious
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Chapter 005 – Marumaru [A]
Paladin Marumaru. He was a fifth-grade paladin entrusted with the responsibility of being the examiner for the enrollment test. Although he was assigned a major role this time, his tone and expression were loose. However, he was actually looking carefully at the examinees as if to contradict his appearance.
As usual, he did things that needed to be done seriously. But that was all. It was all because he believed that things were better this way. What he did was the hidden evaluation. He was paying particular attention to how many examinees could actually control themselves in such a loose examination.
A few seconds after announcing the contents of the exam,
…It seems that nobody noticed the evaluation among the new term examinees.
He felt a little disappointed as he saw the candidates of the paladins had already begun to chat amongst themselves.
There were some people who noticed it during our generation, though… and there were also those who put an attitude befitting of a paladin despite not noticing it…
However, it wasn’t like he was desperate to look for such people anyway. If nobody noticed it, then the evaluation would become the rough one where he paid attention to their swordsmanship and ranked them that way instead.
The knight’s brigade lacked people. Their policy wasn’t to choose capable people, but to train them into capable people instead. That was why they accepted everyone. They would then proceed to temporarily enroll and rigorously train them so there wouldn’t be any problem.
Indeed, although there were exceptions, they could just make them gain ability later on so there was no problem about that. The important thing in this exam was,
The observation ability to carefully recognize the situation, and clear judgment to not be swept away by surroundings… It is all about evaluating one’s mental fortitude. Well, such a mental theory is quite hard to apply though.
Just like how iron would expand if struck by a hammer, physical ability could also expand if they were trained. However, there were times when people collapsed if their mental aspects were hit too much. One’s mental power couldn’t be easily trained.
People were put in space where situations were against them. Only those who notice that could go beyond the basic evaluation.
Once they were enrolled, everybody would be trained to the point they hated it. Although they wouldn’t be announced, there would be people among them who ranked higher than would be enrolled into a special unit and trained accordingly. Because what actually happened on the field could go beyond one’s imagination, they couldn’t let candidates easily take work that would likely crush them as soon as they enlist.
However, only for those strong, selected people would taste the hell known as expectation.
I guess there’s none in this generation, huh… it can’t be helped, I guess I’ll just evaluate them based on Art and swordsmanship… ooh, there’s actually some who noticed it.
There was one person whose expression never changed even after hearing the announcement. Then there was a blond haired girl who was inspired by said boy. There was also another blond haired boy and another girl who seemed to notice something was off instinctively.
That boy… is it Fay? The one from Maria’s orphanage…
A memory flashed in Marumaru’s head. It was about when he had an enrollment test together with Maria and engaged in battle here.
That kid seemed to overlap with Maria, who was once known as Avenger.
He was trying to attack over and over. Fay’s figure seemed to overlap with young Maria’s figure. He and Maria fought a deadly battle back then. Even though they were told that they already passed, Maria wasn’t satisfied with that and kept swinging her sword at him.
Maria and Fay, Marumaru knew both of them and they gave off a feeling as if they were a kin belonging to the same hometown. They practically felt the same, with the sole difference that Fay’s swordsmanship wasn’t as good.
The struggle went on until it ended with Arthur blocking his desperate attack.
Although he has excellent mental power, he lacks the ability to properly make use of it… is it self-taught? Did Maria not teach him?
Marumaru raised his doubt as he saw how unbalanced Fay was. However, as he overhearing the conversation between Arthur and Tlue, he was convinced. There was no way that Maria would allow him to be self-taught if it was under normal circumstances.
In that case,
I see… It is very like Maria to do things this way. By letting Fay totally go self-taught… She intended to prolong his temporary enrollment period.
Even if they passed the exam, it wasn’t like they would suddenly drag people to the frontline. They would first let them gain the capability to some extent during the temporary enrollment period, be granted the rank as twelfth grade paladin, and be given the mission fit to their capability.
People without capability would have a long period of training. I guess Maria wanted to delay him being sent to the frontline for as long as possible.
And people who learn by self-taught would have a high probability of developing strange habits. It would take even longer to fix those habits.
Since Fay swung his sword in the way he thought was cool, he had tons of weird habits in his swordsmanship. Although Marumaru wasn’t aware of that fact, he could see those weird habits in Fay’s swordsmanship.
And she couldn’t pull that boy back, nor would he stop his advance, it would be like watching her (Maria) past-self, either die on a mission or lead a miserable life.
Maria should be aware of that since she once lived on the edge, and that his roots are deeper than hers. Rather than forcing him to change his path, she chose to extend his path instead. Obviously, she has no intention to stop convincing him to change his path along the way.
Maria chose to buy time to convince him to change his path before things went beyond the point of no return, by hiding the proper instruction manual and spending more time with the boy as a person. And for Marumaru, a person who belonged to the same generation as Maria, he could easily deduce her intention.
Maria understood that there are only two possible outcomes awaiting that boy if things stay as it is. Either a miserable death or a lonely struggle.
Marumaru began to wonder what to do about this. Would he honor Maria’s intention and deny the boy’s entry to the special unit or would he believe in the brilliance of the boy’s soul?
Mental power was necessary to enter the special unit. The boy possessed the mental power to endure the harshness of that place. Although Marumaru didn’t know how long it would take, once Fay graduated there he would immediately be sent to go around the frontline of paladin’s battleground with a high possibility of doing dangerous missions.
Or should Marumaru send the boy to normal temporary enrollment? The boy would definitely be able to last in that place. Of course, he would take a longer period of time for training. This was Maria’s will. She intended to make use of that period to somehow steer Fay’s feelings away.
I don’t think I would pick the latter… Sorry, Maria. I want to see it. What kind of paladin this boy would become.
As he came to a decision, Marumaru proceeded to recommend Fay to the special unit.
Arthur and Tlue also possessed amazing capability and talent. They would likely become orthodox knights. I also felt something about those two. However, I… felt something more from Fay.
This world has not changed. I wish to change it.
People died as a matter of course. The paladin named Marumaru had also lost his family and decided the path to be paladin out of regret.
However, his small power wasn’t enough to change the world. He wished he could do something to change it.
Would this world be changed by the orthodox or by the insane? … Let me see the answer.
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Also, Tsukii has picked up a new series called “A Story of a Cannon Fodder who Firmly Believed He was the Protagonist, Misunderstood the Actual Protagonist as the Cannon Fodder, and Ended up Victorious!” The title really says it all. Early access to more chapters for this story is available on Patreon.