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 019 – Maria and Lilia [A]
Tsukii’s Warning: Depiction of cruelty ahead. You have been warned.
Arthur: “Huh, what are you doing, Fay?”
Fay: “Arthur, huh.”
On a certain day, there was neither mission nor training. As Arthur was walking through the royal capital, she found Fay’s figure in the general store. A handmade red muffler presented by Yururu was wrapped around his neck.
He held onto two flower hair ornaments.
Arthur: “Are they hair accessories for women?”
Fay: “…I guess so.”
Arthur: “If it’s for Fay to wear, I think black suits you.”
Fay: “Fool. It’s not for me. It’s for Maria.”
Arthur: “Ah, so it’s like that. She is the person from the orphanage, isn’t she?”
Fay: “Aah, it seems her birthday is coming soon. I will repay my debt properly. I chose to buy these for that purpose.”
Arthur: “You bought a red hair accessory and a blue one?”
Fay: “…Somehow, I feel that I have to present Maria with two types of hair ornaments for some reason.”
Arthur: “I see.”
Fay: “I already bought what I need, so I’m going.”
Arthur: “I see… See you later.”
Fay bought two hair accessories and left the place without replying to Arthur. The winter was getting colder, but Arthur felt it was colder because Fay was no longer there.
There was a girl in a certain village. Although the village she came from was no more, it certainly existed.
Her name was Lilia. She was an ordinary girl who was blessed with beauty and loved flowers. Her father was never there, and by the time she could remember things, her mother was her only parent.
She was a beautiful blond woman with a gentle face and was loved in the village. Lilia loved both her village and her mother, and they were all important existences to her.
However, everything was destroyed when she was eight years old.
Bandits came to her village and everything changed.
Her mother hid Lilia in the corner of her house. Then her mother was raped and killed by the bandits as she watched.
It was a tragic sight. Lilia wanted to tell them to stop. But she couldn’t do so. She couldn’t raise her voice due to fear.
Her mother had asked her to not leave her hiding spot regardless of what happened, so she couldn’t break her promise with her.
A fire was set, burning her village. The offensive odor of burning corpses spread, and so did the burning stench of blood.
The bandits were gone and Lilia was left alone. Everything she once had was now gone. Then a male paladin appeared.
Although the paladin smiled, the girl’s instinct told her the paladin in front of her was a person who stepped away from the righteous path, and fear struck her.
Man: “Huh, those bandits actually had leftovers… I guess I might as well keep her.”
That paladin was colluding with the bandits. In exchange for letting them go, he would take a portion of their pillage. He instructed them to attack villages and settlements with poor security.
Lilia was caught…confined in a hut, and her life became hell from that moment forward. Violence, rape, and fear were the only things given to her. She wished to escape over and over again, but she couldn’t.
The hut was located deep in the forest. Nobody would have ever thought that a little girl was confined there.
It was nothing but hell. Hell, hell, hell, and hell. She wanted to die. She wanted to die, but she was scared, so she didn’t want to die.
She gradually became empty. Her emotion disappeared.
As she gave up, the girl named Lilia practically died.
Something happened when Lilia was twelve years old, in the year 3017 of the Holy Grail Calendar. A certain paladin found her. It was a red-haired female paladin.
That paladin, named Margaret, found the wrongdoings of the male paladin who confined Lilia. Then the male paladin entered the criminal wanted list as Lilia was secured.
However, Lilia had already turned into an empty being. She occasionally panicked, vomited, and sobbed, which made living a normal life impossible.
Margaret, who couldn’t endure such scenes, used her own magic eye to put the girl under suggestion.
—There was never a girl named Lilia. You are Maria, the daughter of Margaret, and we have lived together all this time.
Both the girl’s fear and past happiness vanished. With that, Maria regained her sanity and returned to being a normal village girl.
Margaret also resolved to be a real mother for Maria, so she resigned from being a paladin and lived together in a certain village.
Their happy days continued. Margaret truly treated Maria as her own daughter, no, as someone more than that, and vowed to love her forever. They read books together at night, painted flowers together on holidays, and even ate out together. Margaret tried her best to be Maria’s mother.
Yet life was merciless as such peace was broken once again. Margaret died due to an Abyss attack. The whole village was gone. Everything Maria had was robbed away once again.
One couldn’t imagine how much of a grudge she had. Although she didn’t remember, the grudge during her time as Lilia also accumulated and added into Maria’s anger.
Maria had no choice but to become an avenger. She tried to follow her path of vengeance as much as possible.
Regardless how many times she almost died and killed things, her anger didn’t subside and her vengeance couldn’t be achieved. Although her life was nothing but panic and anger, the smiles of the children she saved became her small salvation.
She wanted to extinguish the flame of vengeance somewhere in her heart. That was why the orphanage was built. She continued to save unfortunate children with her hypocrisy.
Then the flame gradually faded.
She lived while suffering from self-loathing for using the children as an excuse to give up on her vengeance. Even so, the flame inside her was certainly gradually disappeared.
Indeed, perhaps it would be better if things ended this way. However, this wasn’t the end of it.
Being an utsu novel game, there was no way this would end peacefully. A cruel destiny approached her. On her birthday, she would lose everything once again.
Maria’s birthday had arrived. Tlue received a mission. It was a simple demon subjugation. It came to him suddenly. In the game, Tlue was depressed after his comrades were killed by the Abyss and Arthur talked him out. After that, he would be forced to make a choice.
<Let’s do the mission for today. I got Arthur to cheer me up earlier. Let’s celebrate Maria’s birthday once I return.>
<No, although I promised to do my best, today is Maria’s birthday.>
Although it was Fay who cheered Tlue up in reality, the choice itself didn’t change. It was the choice whether he would go on a mission or chose to remain for today.
If he chose the first choice, Maria would die. Then the game would proceed and Tlue would end up depressed once again. If he chose the second choice, the story branched and he would enter the Maria Route.
Tlue: “For today, I… won’t lose against him. Let’s go to the mission…”
As his back got beaten by Fay, Tlue chose to go on the mission. It was a normal choice to be made by thinking logically as well. Most players would think it would be natural to choose to do their best for the mission after being cheered up.
By breakfast, Tlue chose to go for the mission that came to him suddenly. He quickly made preparations and left.
Lele: “Hey, Fay.”
Lele: “Let’s prepare for Maria’s birthday together with me.”
Lele: “Un, at least do it for today!”
Fay: “…I guess it can’t be helped.”
Lele: “Now that I think about it, what about Maria?”
Fay: “I dunno.”
Lele: “Maria sometimes felt lonely, so please stay together with her for today. Maria would be happy if Fay is present.”
Lele: “I think she should be alone right now, so let’s call for her.”
Due to Lele’s invitation, Fay chose to stay for today. This decision made the plot stray from the supposed path.
Maria’s end was approaching her.
Maria had been in the chapel in the orphanage since the morning. She didn’t know why. She indeed prayed every day. However, she didn’t have time to pray to the Holy Grail, which was comparable to God.
It was supposed to be her birthday today. She would turn 26. Many people her age would normally already be married and have children.
However, that kind of thing had nothing to do with her. She treated the children in the orphanage dearly. Nevertheless, she secretly longed to make love with her destined person.
…Why am I…here…?
She was also confused why she ended up in this chapel. Perhaps she just felt like being alone at the moment.
I no longer have any thoughts of vengeance… Maybe it’s because I’m turning the children’s loves and smiles into the water to extinguish the fire within me…
Although it’s true that children’s smiles saved me… I’m just using them… Even today, I’m tricking the children who are celebrating my birthday together…
Fay… I don’t want you to live a life for vengeance…
She was all alone in the chapel. She was wondering that even though it was still morning, it felt as dark as night.
She somehow had a bad feeling. It was a memory of pain she didn’t wish to remember as if she had tasted it over and over.
A feeling of loss similar to when she lost her mother Margaret was coming back to her little by little. Even though she was supposed to only experience it once, she felt the anger as if she tasted such pain many times.
She wanted to suppress her unstable mind.
She exhaled many times. She was sure she had a dark face at the moment and proceeded to smack her own face. Then she switched her mind and proceeded to go to the children—
???: “Long time no see, Lilia.”
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