Story of a Cannon Fodder who Firmly Believed He was the Protagonist, Misunderstood the Actual Protagonist as the Cannon Fodder, and Ended up Victorious
Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
Chapter 019 – Maria and Lilia [B]
She felt like she recognized the voice, even though she shouldn’t have. Her body trembled as she looked back in fear.
It was a face she didn’t recognize at all. He was sitting at the chapel, staring away at her. The man had blue hair, blue eyes, and sported a creepy smile.
Man: “Ah, I changed my face, so it’s normal that you won’t recognize it.”
Man: “Uhn? You won’t say you don’t remember who I am, right? No, looking at your expression, it seems you really don’t know.”
Man: “What’s this? Well, whatever. I came to bully you. I just can’t forget the pleasure of the good old days.”
Those words and that faint smile filled with disgust made her memory gradually come back.
Man: “I got put on the criminal wanted list, you see, so I changed my face and went around looking for you. Your terrified expressions were just so irresistible, and nothing gave me more excitement and bliss than your screams.”
Maria’s voice cracked as she whimpered. The man approached her as he talked.
Man: “I came to pick you up. Let’s go somewhere together. I was actually about to leave the royal capital this morning, but I just so happened to see you. I was really happy. It seems that we’re really fated to be.”
Maria was hanging her laundry and taking care of the garden this morning. It was at that time the man saw her.
Lilia: “…Sto-p. Go home.”2
Man: “Listen to me. I aimed for the moment when you were alone. If we don’t hurry, the other orphans will notice. Maybe you actually want to show off our love in front of them?”
She lost strength in her legs, crumpling to the ground in a fear-frozen state.
Man: “Hurry up. Otherwise… I’ll kill all those orphans.”
Lilia: “…Ple-ase. Don’t, do that.”
Man: “Yes, so come with me now. We will return to the hut again…”
Lilia: “Ah, ah, no… stop, don’t do, such terrible, things.”
Man: “If you really want to see all those orphans bathed in blood, I don’t mind.”
Lilia: “…Ah-no, stop.”
Man: “Aah, I really wanted to see that face. I’ve done similar things for a while, but nobody could give a face better than you, Lilia.”
The man panted the more he got excited. As she couldn’t move, he grasped at her clothes. His eyes were bloodshot from excitement.
Lilia was filled with fear as she shed tears.
Man: “Let’s do it here for once. It’ll only take a short moment anyway. If you’re loud, I’ll kill everyone, remember that.”
Lilia: “No, please stop, I beg, of you… I really, don’t want that, stop, please, I’m sorry, I’ll apologize, stop, please, please stop, please, please–”
Man: “It’s really the best. To think I found you once again—”
Immediately after the man pushed her down though, his belly was kicked and he was sent rolling through the chapel.
Fay: “—It seems like someone came to the birthday party uninvited.”
It was the same voice as usual, however, a slight anger could be detected as it echoed inside the chapel. That boy stood with his eyes sharper than usual.
Fay: “…Back down. He isn’t your guest now, he’s mine.”
Fay walked towards the man he kicked away. The man looked at Fay with irritation.
Man: “Who are you? I hope you don’t intend to disturb my tryst with her.”
Fay: “Fuh, the only choice for me who doesn’t understand the situation is refusal. But I’ll play with you instead. Come, I’ll show you the difference between us.”
Man: “…I don’t want to make a big fuss in the royal capital though. Well, I guess I can just kill you and bring her away afterwards!!”
After saying that, he pulled out a knife and rushed at Fay. He immediately closed the distance through the use of physical reinforcement with art, and the knife swung at Fay like a deadly fang.
He was faster than Fay. However, Fay’s accumulated experience allowed him to read the knife’s trajectory in an instant and grab the man’s wrist.
Man: “Heh- you’re quite capable. But it seems like your skill at using physical reinforcement with art is lacking.”
Man: “I can just burn you with magic… but I don’t want to hurt Lilia right now, and the paladins might come over if I make a scene… Well, it doesn’t matter. After all, I can still defeat you without the use of flashy magic.”
He shook off the offending hand and swung his knife out again with the intention to kill. He wanted to deal with Fay quickly. Fay responded to his attack by using physical reinforcement through his awkward control of art.
If Tlue was here instead, he could deal with the man quickly, but Fay was unable to do so.
Evade, evade, evade, evade. Fay moved around constantly to avoid the knife’s trajectory and possible fatal injury. However, scratches gradually formed around Fay’s eyes, arms, and chest.
Lilia: “Fay… Stop it, it’s okay already, you’ll die at this rate…”
Fay: “…I won’t back down. If I did, that‘s no different to death.”
Man: “It sure is a beautiful love between parent and child, I guess? I can’t understand it though!”
The man’s slashing speed became faster. Fay couldn’t avoid it and it produced a dull sound upon impact with his left shoulder. Blood soaked his clothes.
Man: “Ah- you’ve got a good sense, but it still ended up this way because of your poor skill in art reinforcement. It just shows that you can’t win against me just with mere resolve. I wouldn’t mind if you backed off now, you know?”
Fay: “No way. Do you really think that this is enough to stop me?”
Man: “You sure are a weird fellow.”
Fay: “I definitely don’t want to hear that from you.”
Blood flowed from Fay’s left shoulder. However, Fay kept moving as if nothing happened, though he became more disadvantaged the more his wound was left to bleed. Evidently enough, the man’s knife managed to stab Fay’s right shoulder.
Fay’s blood spilled out and soon dripped to the floor.
He was gradually unable to respond to the knife’s speed. The fact he was bad at operating art and the gradual loss of blood was piling up disadvantages against Fay.
Man: “Wow, that’s amazing. To think that you still can stand despite the grievous blood loss, but you’re already at your limit.”
The battle only lasted less than two minutes so far but Fay was already battered all over. Attacking for the first time, he swung his left arm out.
What a fool.
The man thought. The boy in front of him was too impatient, he chose to do a big move despite clearly being on the losing end. Even though he managed to survive the last two minutes because he kept his movements compact, the boy abandoned that tactic.
Therefore, Fay made a hole in his defenses. His abdomen was open and the sharp knife stabbed directly there. The red stain bled through Fay’s clothes.
Lilia: “F-Fay… Noo, why, why do I always have my things taken away?”
Man: “Now then, let’s go, Lilia…gh?!”
The man couldn’t pull out the knife stuck in the boy’s abdomen. In the next moment, the man’s wrist was crushed by Fay having focused his art to reinforce his right hand.
He was unable to focus his art on a specific spot in an instant. Therefore, he instead gradually focused his art on his right hand. Then, he foresaw that his abdomen would get stabbed, so he exposed an opening on purpose to let himself get stabbed and make the man put his guard down.
It would make the man think Fay was finished.
However, that was exactly Fay’s goal. Fay was different compared to the common paladin. His abilities might be lacking, but his resolve and mentality were outstanding. He made use of the art reinforcement to catch the man’s wrist and used all the power in his right arm to crush it.
Fay’s operation of art was among the worst. It was so clunky that even if he had tons of power and used it all, it still wouldn’t be enough to reinforce his whole body. That was why he cut off his own reinforcement to lead the man into a false sense of security.
The man screamed as his wrist was crushed, while the other was a madman who didn’t show any pain in his expressions despite having both his abdomen and shoulders pierced. It was the difference in their resolve. It wasn’t even comparable to begin with. Although there was a clear gap in their abilities, a momentary change –created due to a resolve to bet his life on winning– was more than enough to overturn the situation.
The knife fell with an echoing clang as the man continued to scream. And that knife was picked up in an instant.
With flowing movement like running water, Fay slashed across the eyes of the man and proceeded to smash the man’s head against the ground with his hands. Fay slammed it so hard that a big crack was created in the floor.
Fay: “…It’s my victory. I dunno who he is though. Rather than that, are you okay?”
Lilia: “H-how about Fay…?”
Fay: “Fuh, ’tis but a scratch to my abdomen and both of my shoulders are, not, enough, to…”
Fay’s body collapsed and his vision turned black at that moment.
What happened afterwards was simple. Maria was so weakened that she couldn’t shout. However, she used her arms to drag her own body forward since her legs were still paralyzed in fear and somehow managed to get to a nearby orphan. The orphan noticed the situation and made a report to the royal capital. Things became a big deal and the man who was blinded was revealed to be a former paladin named Ray.3
It was found out that the former paladin became a criminal and changed his face to lurk in the royal capital again. To prevent a similar incident from happening once more, a petition to strengthen the security of the capital was raised.
Meanwhile, the unconscious and seriously wounded Fay was taken to Ector once again to be taken care of.
Maria: “Uhm, Ector-san, how is Fay’s condition?”
Ector: “Well, we used a potion in the orphanage and did first aid so he should be alright… but I’m sure he’ll die otherwise. He was bleeding too much. It was amazing that he chose such a tactic.”
Maria: “…It’s my fault.”
Ector: “No no, you’re just a victim here. And your life was saved too, so didn’t it all end well?”
Maria: “B-but he’s not waking up.”
Ector: “For this matter, we can only hope for the best. Although his wounds are now closed, I doubt that he has enough blood in his body right now. It might be a while before he wakes up.”
Ector: “Don’t worry, just believe in me. I somehow feel that he’ll be a regular here, so I think he’ll survive this and come back again due to a completely different incident.”
Ector laughed comfortably.
Ector: “But really, what’s with this boy? His mentality is obviously abnormal. May I ask about his history?”
Maria: “It’s my fault… it’s because I always left this child alone before.”
Ector: “No, I think this is completely different… It’s rare, but they exist, people with some sort of irregularities like his… It can be said that they are an extraordinary existence outside of our normal. People like them won’t appear under normal circumstances.”
Maria: “Th-that’s why it’s my—”
Ector: “Don’t think of yourself so highly, Maria. There’s no way that the mere difference in your nurturing ways could produce this kind of existence.”
Ector looked at Maria with sharp eyes. For Ector, the irregular existence named Fay couldn’t have come into being just because of the lack of care from Maria.
Ector: “Transcending the fear known as death… there’s no way someone could do it that easily. It’s not that your lack of care made this boy turn out this way. It’s him who had such potential to begin with. His values and standard of values belong to a completely different existence that goes beyond our understanding. He has an impossibly deviant mentality. This boy is abnormal. Do you understand?”
Ector: “If you do, stop being subservient and just wait until he wakes—”
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