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: ink (being whipped by derpy)
Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
Intermission – Maria & Lilia [A]
It was the morning in a certain orphanage. The orphans were sitting on their seats and chatting while having their breakfast as usual. Maria, who wore a blue flower hair accessory and Lele were having their meal in front of me.
Yururu-shishou sometimes made me breakfast, but I doubt it would be a good thing to be taken care of that much (a sudden common sense).
And so, I was having breakfast at the orphanage.
My breakfast for today was a ham lettuce sandwich. It was because a certain panda gave me tons of lettuce which was beyond what I could consume on my own. Therefore, all the orphans were having ham lettuce sandwiches.
Well, I didn’t mind since I like it, though.
Well then, let me try Maria’s special ham lettuce sandwich, shall I? I like it quite a lot after all. I also like the way Yururu-shishou made it … but I like Maria’s sandwich after all.
Muu…this ham lettuce sandwich tasted different. Maria, this won’t be enough to deceive my tongue, you know?
Lilia: “Fay? Is something wrong? Is it yummy?”
Huh? Maria had a very sad expression for some reason.
Fay: “No, it’s just, I thought it tastes different than usual.”
Lilia: “Ah, I, I see! I actually changed the seasoning!”
Fay: “As I expected.”
Lilia: “So you noticed.”
Fay: “The taste won’t deceive my tongue.”
I properly checked the minute difference in taste after all. I was trying to be a first-rate protagonist who ought to notice even the smallest thing, so I always stayed alert.
If one missed the hints, they would only be second, third, or even an even lower rate protagonist. If I’m going to be one, of course I’ll try to be the best. That was all there was to it.
Lilia: “Is it tasty?”
Fay: “Not bad.”
Lilia: “…I see.”
Fay: “…You have a different atmosphere than usual somehow.”
Lilia: “Eh? Ah, is-is it?”
Lilia: “So you look at me properly… (whisper).”
Was it because she wore different hair accessories? Well, to think she could change this much just by wearing a different accessory, she seemed to be a completely different person.
Even in some social games, certain characters would act differently when they were in the swimsuit version, perhaps it was something like that? 1
But people with this kind of special treatment tend to be a major character for one reason or another. Perhaps Maria really is a heroine…
Lele: “Fay, Maria feels different than usual? I can’t tell.”
Fay: “It’s faint, but I felt it.”
Lele: “Fu-hn, I can’t tell. I think she is the usual kind Maria!”
Fay: “Perhaps that’s also the correct answer.”
Lele said so. Well, that might be the correct answer. I didn’t know though.
Lele: “Fay, I heard you got stabbed in the belly, are you okay? Won’t the wound open up if you eat a lot?”
Fay: “Aah, I’m fine.”
Lele: “I’m glad that Fay is fine. But don’t force yourself if your tummy feels hurt!”
Fay: “That’s not something for you to worry about. I’m fine. Rather than that, you shouldn’t forget trying to better yourself.”
Lele, you really were a good fellow. I was already alright, so you didn’t have to worry about it.
But my tummy was indeed hurt when I got stabbed… Hm? Tummy hurt…
I was stabbed in the belly during that combat → Tummy hurt → Yururu-shishou → she gave the combat hint way before the combat!!
Wow, as expected of her. To think she did that back then as the hint for the future battle. I really didn’t catch that hint until now. Yururu-shishou was indeed the hint giver for the combat event after all.
Just leave it to me for combat! It really felt that way. I should be extra alert to pick up and understand Yururu-shishou words properly from now on! 2
Lilia: “Fay, are you training again today?”
Lilia: “Is that Yururu a woman?”
Fay: “Of course she is.”
Lilia: “I see… do your best.”
Maria gave her encouragement. I always thought about it for a long time, she sure had a good personality, or rather, a person this kind was rare.
After breakfast, I left the orphanage. Then Maria seemed to come to see me off as usual.
Lilia: “Can you come with me for some shopping when your done training …? I usually ask Ray, Tlue, or Iris for that… but I’d like Fay to come with me sometimes.”
Fay: “…I’ll do it when I feel like it.”
Lilia: “Ah, yes! Thank you!”
Fay: “I told you I’ll do it when I feel like it though.”
Lilia: “Fay is kind, so I’m sure you will come.”
Fay: “…I see.”
I felt like I had no choice but to go if she said it like that. How to say this, her being slightly forceful like this sure felt different to the usual Maria after all…
Lilia: “Can I give you a goodbye hug?” 3
Fay: “…Not again.”
She has been doing this kind of thing recently… Did I raise a flag?
On a certain day where the season was getting colder, with time nearing dusk with temperature getting lower, there was a pair walking together. It was Maria who wore a red flower hair accessory with Fay beside her.
Fay and Maria had food in the paper bags on their hands.
Maria: “I’m sorry, Fay, to ask you suddenly.”
Fay: “I don’t mind.”
He had emotionless, dead eyes as usual. Fay’s facial muscles stayed the same. Maria was happy despite walking with such a person.
Fay wouldn’t match her stride. He would walk as he liked. It was Maria who matched his pace when they were walking next to each other.
Maria: “I was thinking of making stew for today, how about it?”
Fay: “If you decide so, just do it.”
Maria: “Okay. Then we’ll have stew for today.”
Even for conversation, Fay wouldn’t talk more than necessary. Silence would come upon them if Maria didn’t force the conversation to continue.
Even so, Maria’s expression was filled with happiness.
Maria: “I will do my best, so look forward to it.”
The pair returned to the orphanage. Then they were having the best stew filled with spice (love).
The sun was already down at the royal capital. There was an orphanage at one corner of it. Most children had begun to fall asleep. Only a few of them were awake.
And Fay was also still awake. There was a fluorescent lamp made of special magic stone, producing orange light that illuminated the room.
He was lying down on the bed while absentmindedly looking at the ceiling. Then someone knocked on his room.
Maria: “Fay, it’s me. May I come in at the moment?”
Fay: “…I don’t mind.”
Maria in pajamas entered Fay’s room.
Fay: “What’s wrong?”
Maria: “I just wanted to talk for a bit.”
Fay: “…I have no obligation to accompany you though.”
Maria: “Is it, no good…?”
Fay: “…Just make it quick.”
Maria: “…Thank you.”
Fay accepted Maria’s request while sighing as if it couldn’t be helped. Maria happily sat next to Fay. Both of them sat on the bed.
Maria: “You see… Thank you very much.”
Fay: “…That again?”
Maria: “Yes. But I wanted to say it properly when it’s just the two of us. I wanted to say my gratitude.”
Fay: “That’s enough.”
Maria: “Okay. I’ll only say it from time to time then.”
Fay: “…Don’t say it again. If I accept that, then I’ll also have to thank you for everything you did.”
Maria: “What do you mean?”
Fay: “Cih…Just guess it yourself.”
Fay grumpily clicked his tongue and crossed his arms. Fay said no more than that. It meant it wasn’t something he wished to answer.
Maria: “Err… perhaps you are referring to how I prepare meals every day?”
The silence was affirmation
I see… So he’s grateful for the meal I made. So he’s saying if I have to thank him every time, then he would have to do the same…
Maria’s cheek flushed a little. Before she knew it, she put her own hand on top of Fay’s on the bed.
Fay turned his sharp eyes at her, as if asking what she meant by doing that with his gaze, but Maria’s lonely gaze made Fay silently close his eyes.
Maria (Lilia)… ■■■■ Fay. She was both happy and sad for him to give her such genuine gratitude. It was because she made use of Fay and others’ innocent feelings to suppress the flames of vengeance and tragedy in her heart. 4
She wished for him to know that. She wanted to tell him about it, about the anxiety and fury she piled up all this time, also the foolish acts she chose to extinguish it. She wanted to spit that out, even if he ended up disillusioned as a result.
Maria: “You see… I had a lot of things happen to me in the past, and it was painful. Even the other day, I might meet my end if you came a little late. That’s why I think I’ll be grateful to Fay forever.”
Maria: “I’m scared… perhaps from now on I would have to live a life dominated by fear. Even the reason I built this orphanage… it’s all for my own sake.”
Maria: “Whether it is the smiles of the orphans or their happy voices, I just made use of them to get a sense of happiness and use it to suppress my ugly emotions… I, wonder, if, it’s, really, alright, for, me, to, stay, here? Do I, really have, the qualification, to stay, with Fay, and everyone? I, don’t know, anymore. I’m just using all of you… I.”
She squeezed his hand tightly. There was a fear that he might deny her. There should be people who would denounce her if they knew she used the orphan as an excuse. She was also prepared. She thought it was natural for her to be denounced. However, perhaps she didn’t wish Fay, out of all people, to deny her.
Fay: “…I don’t know what you are talking about. I know nothing of your past. I also don’t understand why you feel conflicted about such a thing.”
Maria: “I, see. I’m sorry, for saying such weird thing—“
Fay: “—But if I have to say one thing… Hypocrisy acted on is better than kindness without act.”
Fay: “I don’t know the feeling you had while you were raising the orphans, but there definitely are people who are saved by your hypocrisy. They appreciated what you did. I’m neither intimate with them nor do I want to be. I don’t need them, just like they don’t need me. However, they need you. That’s why—“
Fay’s cold eyes looked at her. There was neither sympathy nor subjective thought. It was a fair opinion of a third party.
Fay: “I feel that it’s better for you to stay with them.”
Maria: “…Ah, ah, ah, I.”
Perhaps that was why she felt saved by that. Maria (Lilia) felt the fear, fury, hatred, regret, and repentance burst out.
She tried to suppress her voice, but she couldn’t. She didn’t know how to stop her tears. She would show her shameful figure before Fay at this rate.
Yet it didn’t happen.
Fay gently pulled her toward him. Her face was buried in his thick chest. She thought it was alright to cry now.
Fay: “…Don’t get me wrong. I just don’t have a hobby to watch over crying women.”
Maria: “A, Aaah, UAaaaaaAAaaAAAAAA!!!”
That day, she slept in Fay’s arms as it was.
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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.