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 023 – Alpha, Beta, Gamma [B]
Jean took the lead. While observing the surroundings, Alpha asked him.
“It’s amazing you noticed this kind of place.”
“Hearsay says there use to be two swordsmen from around these parts. Both of them compete to better themselves. However, they knew them just frogs in a well, so thinking they couldn’t stay like that, they went round the world to broaden their horizons and promised to have a rematch. One of swordsmen returned… but the other…”
“The other didn’t return, huh.”
“Ye, But rumor has it that the swordsman’s still waitin even now, along with all that loot his got from travelin around. The diary I found at an old general store said so. I reckoned it was true and here I am.”
“Heeh, you’re quite a romanticist.”
“I reckon. That guy’s still waiting for that match. Seems that sweet loot he’s got from his journey was gonna get cashed out after their match ends and they’d buy some top class booze and drink together. It was to exchange glasses with his buddy.”
“Fu-hn. So that treasure is around here?”
“I reckon it should. I bet its worth more than the request fee I paid you all.”
“That’s quite amazing, if it actually is the case.”
The group advanced as they had a light exchange. However, something changed from here onward. Marumaru was the first to enter his battle stance.
“…There’s something here.”
“Oops, then I’ll leave yah to it, paladin-san.”
Jean went to the back while the paladins drew their swords. They were in a dark cave where the sun didn’t shine on. Their view was slightly bright due to the use of fire magic. They depended on the light of the torch they brought with them to look forward.
“…It’s a living dead, that’s quite rare.”
Marumaru muttered. Beyond the place illuminated by the light was a person with only bone remained. The skeleton without any flesh slowly approached the group with swords in hand.
“Alpha, Beta, Gamma… the three of you are capable of magic, so eliminate them from long distance. To prevent the cave from collapsing, make sure your magic only targets the living dead. As for Fay and others, you are to stay and guard the rear.”
Marumaru gave out orders. With that, the three sisters began to cast water magic. They chanted, formed a water ball, and changed it into a water arrow. The living dead were annihilated one after another due to use of accurate magic from long range.
“Hey, is there any point… in us being here?”
“E, even I can-“
“You are suck at magic, don’t you?”
The group of Ese, Kamase, and Fay who weren’t good at magic focused on defending the rear. One could never know what might appear inside the cave. It was safer to advance slowly through the use of long range magic, such was Marumaru’s judgment.
Even after that, Alpha and others continued to play their part.
“Well, it’s an obvious result.”
“It’s easy with Gamma and others here nanoda- .
Ese and Kamase had awkward expressions. Jean spoke to them as he saw that.
“You guys aint got any parts in the team (LOL).”
Ese and Kamase couldn’t say anything at this point. However, Jean was curious. It was because there was a boy who was still walking with a cool expression as if nothing was wrong with their current state.
He crossed his arms, as if he was waiting for something.
“You seem… weird kiddo. Whatcha waiting for?”
“I feel it… it’s calling me. My trial, that is.”
The boy merely muttered that. He looked restless just like an abnormal person with withdrawal symptoms.
While folding his arms, he used his index finger of right hand to tap on his own arm many times, unable to keep calm.
…Is this boy right in the head?
Jean was a bit worried, but continued to advance with the group. Along the way, there were other demons and traps that appeared, but the melee paladins didn’t seem to have any work to do. Ese, who was bored, began to talk to Jean.
“Do you like adventure, Jean-san?”
“Hm? Me? Nah, I just love me some moolah. You can do all sorta things with money, right? It lets me get all frisky with dancer onee-sans, watch expensive plays and laugh at it, I just wanna do those things. Don’t you want to do a lot of things without being worried about money?”
“Heeh, money, huh. I also like it, indeed.”
“Isn’t it? There aint nothing money can’t buy, after all. Course it’s better if yer loaded.”
The rearguard began to excitedly talk about money. Alpha and Gamma were exasperated as they heard that. It was the moment when their favorability dropped even more. Then the spell casters kept being active until they finally arrived at a big empty space.
That was the dead end. Marumaru put the torch high to illuminate the whole room.
“Oohh!! There’s heaps of treasure here!!”
There were piles of gold coins at the wall of the room. It was the lifelong property of the swordsman in the story.
“Anyway, we need to check if there are any traps around here. Be cautious.”
They began to check the room according to Marumaru’s instructions. However, they found nothing in particular and they all headed to the pile of gold coins. Several of them had a desire to touch those gold coins as soon as possible.
“Ooh-, that’s amazing. Gamma is also surprised nanoda-.”
Once she was done with trap checking, Gamma curiously went toward the pile of gold coins. She had a strong sense of curiosity. Although she wasn’t that clingy about money, her heart tingled with curiosity when she heard about treasure. Marumaru also judged that there shouldn’t be anything to be wary of in the room.
—Gamma approached the pile of gold coins out of curiosity. Then *stab*, something pierced her head. A sword went through Gamma’s head, spurting blood, and she died … or at least that was how things were supposed to be.
That was the story of a certain game. The event where Alpha and Beta had to witness the death of their little sister happened only in the game.
However, a different factor got mixed in this place. The moment Gamma was about to approach the pile of gold coins out of curiosity, someone pulled his sword.
“—Show yourself. I know you’re there.”
It was a low, angry voice. The moment everyone else relaxed, he was more alert than anyone else. Jean asked Fay what he meant.
“What are you sa—“
He couldn’t continue his words. It was because a sight that made him doubt his own eyes happened, wherein the pile of gold coins began to move on their own. The pile of gold collapsed. And people noticed the thing buried beneath.
It was a skeleton. Something similar to a moving corpse, the living dead, revealed itself. The skeleton wore something similar to a black costume over its bones. An iron sword was held in its hand.
It was just a common iron sword. It wasn’t like it was a masterpiece or anything, just a common sword which was proof of its vow to rematch out of pure swordsmanship.
The swordsman stood before they noticed it. It moved with uncertain gait. However, the atmosphere it exuded told everyone it was a different level of existence to other living dead earlier.
“You noticed that?!”
“Of course I did.”
Ese spoke to Fay in surprise. Everyone’s eyes also became wide at Fay’s words, wondering why only he managed to notice the skeleton’s existence. There was no way people could normally notice that there was a skeleton swordsman lying hidden beneath the pile of gold coins.
Marumaru was about to give everyone the instruction to take a battle position. And then a pressure like a huge waterfall fell upon everyone who tried to do so as if reacting to that.
“—Hands off. This is my fight.”
At that moment, everyone stopped entering their fighting stance. Perhaps it was more correct to say they were forcefully ejected from the fighting ring. Fay and the skeleton knight wielded their swords.
Metallic sounds rang. It was the profound sound of exchange with one’s life on the line. The sound reverbed on everyone’s ears.
“AaH, I’ve BeEn wAItiNG…”1
“What a coincidence. I’ve also been waiting. For you to appear, that is.”
The skeleton uttered a word. The words spread and reached others’ ears. It has been waiting? Everyone tilted their heads in wonder. However, they were convinced soon after. It was the swordsman in Jean’s story.
“mY LIfelONg riVAL… TimE foR OUr REmaTCh.”
The gears of the two didn’t match. Yet despite both of them belonging to different parts, the clock was still forced to rotate, such was their conversation.
The skeleton’s sword stabbed Fay’s left shoulder. However Fay swung his sword without minding that.
It was Fay’s winning tactic. He took the enemy’s attack on purpose to strike the enemy with his sword during the same moment. That attack that abandoned the concept of defense was an effective blow to the opponent if one ignored the damage on the user’s body.
The blood danced. Blood slowly dripped from his shoulder to the ground. Although the damage wasn’t fatal, it also wasn’t trivial, so it was better to command Fay to withdraw as an instructor, yet,
…I can’t say it.
Marumaru, a five-grade paladin, felt his own existence turn small, all because of the pressure emitted by the clash between a twelfth-grade paladin and a skeleton swordsman.
Fay’s left shoulder turned useless for the rest of the fight. However, he also managed to send the skeleton’s left arm flying. Both of them were focusing their exchange using the right side of their body.
Fay and the skeleton knight unleashed a big swing toward each other.
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