Story of a Cannon Fodder who Firmly Believed He was the Protagonist, Misunderstood the Actual Protagonist as the Cannon Fodder, and Ended up Victorious
Editor: Frozen Ink
Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
Chapter 016 – Madness Infects [A]
It was a dimly lit room like a prison. Sajinto explained the outcome of the team’s first mission to Noir.
“A man in a robe…”
“Yes. It was a person confirmed by Fay, and they only exchanged a few blows before said man retreated.”
“…That man is supposed to be the one who modifies the hounds, right? Can a rookie manage to force such a person to retreat without any sacrifice?”
“I can’t say much since I wasn’t there to witness it… However, it was a fact that the village girl was rescued. Her memories were so muddled that she couldn’t remember the event clearly.”
“How about Tlue?”
“He is very capable. Regarding his magic precision and swordsmanship, perhaps he is a level above people in his generation.”
“…How about Arthur?”
“She is about two levels above the others. She’s a monster.”
“Did she use the light magic?”
“She did. And it’s terrifyingly precise at that.”
“…What else is weird about Arthur?”
“She hardly speaks, yet easily spouts ridiculous things that people would normally be reluctant to.”
“I don’t care about that. I’m asking about something suspicious.”
“I don’t think its suspicious, it’s just–”
“She talks a lot if it’s about Fay. On top of that, she gives off feeling like ‘I understand him the best,’ or rather, acting like a girlfriend who watches over him from behind.”
“What’s with that?”
“No, I also don’t understand, but maybe they’re lovers?”
“I don’t think so. My intuition denies that. I mean, both of them are people with serious communication disorders, right? As for Arthur, she’s like the characters in fiction, where a pair of introverts who love books would talk fluently when it’s about a book they like.”
“Aah, I see.”
The theory about Arthur and Fay being lovers was casually denied. Noir’s words were rough, unlike her stature as a little girl.
“Well, okay. You keep monitoring Arthur… I’ll watch over Fay for a bit…”
“Are you going to accompany him on the mission?”
“I’ll just pretend to be a commoner though, using my appearance as Noir. In other words, my current pretty girl appearance will watch over him.”
“Ah, I’m sorry. So you won’t use your public appearance as a first-grade paladin, Bruno, for that?”
“My appearance in a tall man’s outfit stands out. In addition, he might hide many things if he knew a first-grade paladin was watching over him.”
“It’s rare for you to make a move yourself.”
“Regarding this Fay fellow… I just can’t shake off the strange feeling about him. Anyway, I will watch over him during his next mission. You just continue watch over Arthur.”
Noir had two faces.
One of them was her appearance as one of the eleven first-grade paladins, Bruno of the Knights of Round Table. That public appearance was her disguising herself as a tall man.
And her other appearance was as an individual who did the dirty work and investigated aristocrats behind the scene, which was her true appearance. It was her appearance as Noir, the little girl.
She frowned as she called out the name of a certain paladin.
The day after Fay returned from his first mission, Fay and Yururu resumed their morning training. After completing some training, they took a break and Yururu groaned at that moment.
“Fay-kun doesn’t seem to be very good at manipulating art.”
“Yes, and I feel it’s pretty wasteful to not do so.”
“Non-elemental is usually used for reinforcement magic. It is important to wield your art externally for this, but it’s also important to comprehend the flow of magic inside. In Fay-kun’s case, it’s just my speculation, but I think all the art that was supposed to be kept inside is flowing out somehow…”
“But there are some sensations involved in using reinforcement magic of non-attributes… It is something that is hard to explain.”
“Of course, I don’t think it’s something I can learn overnight.”
“…Y-you’re right. Then, there’s something I’d like to try.”
Yururu’s words stagnated slightly. Then she reached out her hand while trembling.
“H-how about I directly send my art to Fay through my hand to allow control to some degree? Perhaps you might learn the sensation–“
“Okay, let’s do it.”
Fay immediately answered and held Yururu’s hand. Yururu’s heart skipped a beat by the sudden action of Fay who made a quick decision.
“Ah, I’m sorry… I-I will send the art now.”
A transparent art flowed from her beautiful hand. She controlled it and made so Fay could use the art.
“How is it?”
“…My body feels lighter than usual.”
“As long as you don’t forget that sensation, I think your reinforcement magic will improve.”
“…I see. I’ll remember it.”
“Ah, yes. B-but let’s stay like this for a bit, so you don’t forget the sensation…”
Yururu still held on to his hand and poured her art.
“Ah-, b-by the way, Fay-kun, are you dating anyone of the opposite sex right now?”
“No, I’m not that interested in that.”
“I guess so!”
A little smile appeared on Yururu’s face.
“Why are you asking?”
“Y-you see… uhm, it’s important to learn about your opponent during combat… you never know there might be hints somewhere… yes, something like that.”
Yururu just attached a random yet appropriate excuse to her question. Fay seemed suspicious for a moment but was soon convinced that it must be true since his master told him. Then he returned to being expressionless.
“Ah, err, do you have a type of woman you prefer…? Someone older, for example.”
“Nothing in particular.”
“H-hee-. I see… what is your favorite food…?”
“Ah, that’s cute.”
From there, Yururu’s questions lasted for some time.
The next day, the sandwich she brought was a ham sandwich.
On a certain day, Fay was ordered on a mission. The location was Nimama town. Recently, people were either attacked or went missing outside that town. Although there were only three confirmed deaths so far, urgent action was requested.
Although there were paladins stationed at there, the cause of incident wasn’t clear, and because there were other duties like patrols around the town, if the scope of operation was expanded to outside the town, then the town would be shorthanded.
There, Fay and two other members of knights’ brigade and a certain veteran paladin were tasked for the mission.
This event also existed in Round Table Heroes… It was the event where the character named Fay abandoned others to their death and became ridiculed as “escape-senpai” on the internet.
On top of that, the two paladins who accompanied Fay in this mission belonged to the same generation as Fay, who also happened to be cannon fodder like he was. Moreover, the veteran paladin who accompanied them was also an asshole cannon fodder.
Without knowing such a thing, Fay was eating breakfast at the orphanage. Lele and Maria were in front of him.
“Fay, it’s almost Maria’s birthday!”
“Is that so?”
“What does Fay want to give?”
“…I haven’t decided yet.”
“Oh, Fay. You don’t have to worry about that. I don’t need anything.”
“That’s no good! Fay has to give something!! I will work hard to draw a picture!” 1
“…Since you decided to do it, you have to produce the best result.”
With that said, Fay finished breakfast and departed from the orphanage. He didn’t talk much with Tlue as usual. They talked less since they were on different missions today. Both of them departed from the orphanage without saying anything.
Fay and Tlue, both of them weren’t aware of the trial that awaited them ahead.
Fay was waiting for the members at the gate. Although he didn’t hear much about his teammates, he did hear of their names and as he waited, a pair came.
“Huh? You’re Fay right?”
“It’s reassuring for you to arrive at the gate before us.”
“Ah, the name’s Ese, nice to meet ya.” 2
“I am Kamase.” 3
Ese who spoke with ese-kansai-ben had blue hair and thin eyes, while Kamase used “boku-sama” to refer to himself arrogantly and had brown hair and black eyes.
“Ah, so you’re all here.”
A paladin with the appearance of being in his late twenties appeared in front of them. He had black eyes and was bald. The knight didn’t seem to have the impression of courage.
“Err, you’re Ese, Kamase, and Fay, right? My name is Heppiri, a veteran eleventh-grade paladin.” 4
“Nice to meet you, uncle.”
“Don’t be a hindrance to me, old man.”
“Heh, no need to rush, rookies.”
They were the paladins who went together with Fay in the utsu novel game Round Table Heroes, raising their death flags like they live for that purpose, and they would all meet their deaths in this mission except for Fay, which would become a joke over the internet.
They immediately went to the town. The arrogant group of four walked side by side.
Originally, Fay belonged to the same group with the two instead being a member of the special unit. However, since Fay entered the special unit, Ese and Kamase trained with just two of them instead.
And today was their first mission. Because there were too few members to be sent out, Fay was selected to go along with them due to some sort of fate or corrective power.
–This team was the group where Fay was originally supposed to belong to.
The four who arrived in the town immediately started gathering information… which wasn’t what they actually did.
“I’m gonna head over to spin a slot for a bit. Ah-, it’s to gather info.”
“I shall ask that beauty over there.”
“I’m going to the bar for a bit. To gather information.”
The three other than Fay immediately ignored their mission and began to move around on their own. Fay began to make rounds outside the town for the time being, but he didn’t find anything suspicious.
Once they regrouped… it was around dusk.
“Hey-, uncle. Can’t we go home already? I’m tired.”
“Fuh, I did some information gathering, but I couldn’t find any clues.”
“You’re right. For the time being, let’s just report that we found nothing today and go home.”
Fay no longer had the will to retort. Or rather, he never spoke a word ever since the mission began.
“Hey, Fay, ya didn’t talk at all today.”
“That’s right. Even though I’m considerate enough to talk to…”
The moment when the two talked to Fay, loud screams were heard. The voices belonged to a man and a woman.
–They were screaming for help.
They ran with ugly form. The two ran in a hurry without caring about how others looked at them. Their gait wasn’t very good.
“Y-you guys are paladins, right?! Do something about that!”
“What? What’s that?”
“I-it’s monsters. Because things have been getting creepy recently, we did a test of courage and then–”
“Fu-hn, and? What do you mean by monsters–“
It was there before they noticed it. It had a gray, clay-like color. Even though it had a humanoid shape, it didn’t wear any clothes. It was something similar to muscular male.
It had hair, but it looked like ash, like it had lost its color.
“That’s… an Abyss. Right…?”
Ese muttered. His breathing became rough, and as it found them, it was already ready for combat.
Chill. Its appearance caused their living energy to seemingly escape their body. The pressure emitted by the creature was too much for Ese, Kamase, and Heppiri.
“A-aaah, this one, is dangerous.”
“Wai, Heppiri?! You shitty old fart! Don’t escape ahead of us!”
“Hey, don’t leave us behind! You’re supposed to be a paladin here.”
Everyone tried to escape. This development was the same as in the game. The group of six which consisted of Fay, Ese, Kamase, Heppiri, and the pair of civilians who did the test of courage ran for their lives.
However, only Fay managed to survive this.
Some lost their head or legs, and they turned into bloodstains stuck on the ground. After the blood dried up, the paladins’ reinforcements arrived and the Abyss was subjugated.
“Oi, yer not supposed to escape there!”
“That’s right! We also want to escape together.”
“…Just run if you want to.”
It was the voice that belonged to the man whose voice was heard for the first time today. The man’s feet stood firm on the ground like a statue.
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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.