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 024 – Eternal Foundation [A]
There was a person who wished for eternity. At first, it was an innocent yet stupid wish. Such a thing was impossible and couldn’t be realized. Everyone laughed at their foolish attempts.
However, the number of people who had the same wish gradually increased, along with the people who sought it for different purposes and yet their interest aligned so they chose to support it, and it eventually grew into a large organization that sought eternity. Perhaps it was better to call it immortality instead. It was a purpose that went against the nature of life.
Everyone feared death. However, there was no way eternity could be achieved so easily. It was probably something that could never be achieved through legitimate methods.
Experiments were necessary. A new form of mysticism was needed. How does one establish that? It was simple. They could just carve such a path using lives.
Sacrifices were considered natural. These people didn’t mind how much atrocious acts and sacrifices they needed to do to achieve that.
There were three sisters in a certain place. They lived together with their gentle mother. The three dreamed of opening a flower shop together. And the father of these girls happened to be a researcher.
Although he was enthusiastic about studying the mystery of life, there was nothing particularly weird about that. However, their lives soon changed.
The three turned into tools for the sake of achieving eternity. Pain dominated their very being. Their emotions began to disappear. There were children other than themselves, with many people who seemed to be researched as well.
The mother of the three worked as an assistant, helping their father and said nothing about the experiments they were subjected to. Their days were filled with pain, and they didn’t know if there would be a moment where their pain would end.
The mother of three was scared and unable to save her daughters. There were many days where she kept ignoring their pain. However, a turning point came to them. Their mother helped them escape.
They didn’t know what became of their mother after that. However, the three surely knew it would be bad for her.
The eldest of the three sisters was filled with resentment. To their father who forced her and her two little sisters into days of suffering, and possibly the person who they hated and loved, their mother.
Her two little sisters lost even such emotions. They were merely grateful for the freedom they earned.
The eldest sister also had a bit of that thought. Perhaps everything was good as long as her little sisters still live on. However, her fury left her unsatisfied with just that…
Everyone was staying in the village near the new dungeon. There was only one reason for it, it was because a certain paladin was seriously injured and collapsed due to blood loss, so first aid needed to be applied as soon as possible.
“Hey, sensei. Is he okay?”
“He should be okay. Fortunately, it isn’t life threatening.”
Fay was quietly placed on the simple bed with his eyes closed. Although he seemed to be a corpse due to lack of vitality, he was still alive. Alpha, Marumaru, Beta, Gamma, Ese, and Kamase were looking at Fay.
They remembered his ferocious figure. That deadly battle burned into their memory and refused to be forgotten. They were surprised to know that such a knight was among them and had various emotions.
“Well, he should be fine, right? I knew it though. He’s not a man who’d drop dead at a place like this.”
“You’re right. I shall go out for lunch.”
“I’ll go with you. There’s no point to staying irritated here after all.”
And with that, Ese and Kamase left the room. They firmly believed that Fay wasn’t a man to drop dead here thus he should be fine, so they left without worries.
“Well, I guess I’ll also leave for the time being. I need to thank the villagers for preparing this place, after all. We’ll be staying in this village until Fay awakens, so don’t forget to get your lunch properly.”
Marumaru also left the room, leaving only the three sisters. Beta was staring at Fay, who didn’t seem to show any sign of waking up.
“What is it?”
Beta pointed her finger toward herself, seemingly trying to tell the others something. A few seconds passed just like that. Alpha tilted her head while Gamma groaned because she didn’t know the answer. Then Beta pointed at Gamma, and then pointed at Alpha as well.
Then she once again pointed at Fay. Alpha finally understood what Beta meant to convey through her series of actions.
“…You meant to say he’s like us?”
Beta nodded her head. Gamma finally understood what they were talking about. Gamma leaking words through her hand-covered mouth.
“That’s impossible nanoda…”
“No, perhaps Beta is right in this case. Perhaps he was also experimented on in the Eternal Foundation just like us, or perhaps a similar other project… Now that I think about it, that bastard (father) mentioned that a perfect soul is one of the keys to achieve eternity.”
“Bu- but nanoda”
“But, you meant to say he isn’t normal, right? His swordsmanship is somewhat decent for his combat ability… But he has an abnormal mentality which shows no stagnation to the point that could be referred to as perfect. He’s transcended the fear of death, showing the chaos of madness, and tries to surpass his limits… It’s more unlikely for a person with such a mentality to be born naturally.”
“Bu- but he wasn’t there. He wasn’t among the people in the facility we were in.”
“There’s a possibility that the place we were in wasn’t the sole research facility. Or maybe we merely didn’t notice his existence… Well, I can’t deny the possibility that he might have been born naturally though… We’ll keep watch over him for some time. I’ll deal with him if we learn he is a person related to that project.”
With that said, Alpha squinted her eyes. She wondered who Fay was. And,
That madness I felt at that moment… The resolve to finish the opponent even while taking a hit. Perhaps that’s what I lacked… I’ll watch over him for some time. Then I’ll make the decision.
Alpha’s thought was nailed to Fay in a sense. She was taking consideration for everything for the sake of relieving her resentment and increasing the chance to fulfill her vengeance.
If a person completely fell onto the path of vengeance… Perhaps it’ll be someone like him, who sought power without considering consequences.
She was scared of that appearance, but at the same time, it felt as if she saw her future self. It was possible she might abandon everything, risk her life, become alone, and turn into an existence that nobody could understand.
She didn’t think her intuition was wrong. She was sure once she completely fell on the path of vengeance, nobody could understand her, and nobody could stop her either.
Now that I think about it, I thought he was the most decent among the male members of the team, but I never thought he was actually the most dangerous among the bunch….
Alpha felt like sighing at the error of her observation skills.
Fay woke up. He showed impressive resilience despite suffering serious wounds earlier, and they left the village to return. Fay was eating a ham sandwich he bought at the village as he walked home.
“Hey, Fay. Are you okay?”
“What do you mean?”
“Why, you ask, I mean your wounds, you know? I knew you were okay, but I’m just worried a bit.”
“What do you mean?”
“…There’s no meaning even if I explain it to you. It’s the scream of my soul that only I can understand.”
Fay replied as he was looking somewhere. He ate his ham sandwich as it was. Alpha turned a suspicious gaze toward Fay.
“By the way, do you know about Free City, Fay?”
“No, I’m not asking you.”
“…I’ve never heard of it.”
“It’s the location where there is one of the largest dungeons in the world. There are factions known as Legions, and it is mostly an interesting city, with casinos and swordsmanship competitions.”
“According to Guren and Fubuki from our generation, there are tons of tough guys there. The security seems to be good, at least.”
“Dungeon, huh… I guess I’ll go there eventually.”
“Oh, that’s fine. It’s just, some paladins think lowly of adventurers as a bunch of outlaws who think they can get stronger easily without proper training. On the other hand, there are also some adventurers who don’t have good thoughts about paladins, so be careful when you’re there.”
“…So anyone can become one?”
“We also passed our enrollment test immediately, right? Well, there was a temporary enrollment period though, but adventurers have no such a thing. Some paladins said we are stronger since we trained properly.”
“…What a worthless argument.”
“Well, it’s more of a difference in values, though. There’s also the Elf Kingdom for a guy like you, Fay, one of the world’s greatest dungeon lies there, and it is said that the legendary weapon slumbers deep within.”
Fay didn’t talk much. And he wouldn’t even react if he wasn’t interested. The fact Fay replied, meant that there was something that drew in Fay’s interest among the things Ese was talking about.
“As for me, I aim to get the riches, that’s natural when you talk about dungeons!”
“Idiot, like hell a guy like you could do much. Being an adventurer ain’t easy, you know?”
“No, I think I can achieve my success there. Through the casino, that is.”
“Casino, you say… You’re more likely to pile on debt instead.”
“Even if I end up in debt, there’s no problem as long as I can earn it back through gambling.”
“I guess you’re a great example of a gambler.”
Fay totally lost interest. Perhaps the conversation of the two was no longer important to him. Fay finished his ham sandwich, and walked ahead with a frosty expression. The area was illuminated in red by the dusk sky.
His back that was shown as he walked ahead seemed to possess a fascinating charm.
The group dissolved the moment they arrived at the royal capital. Fay went to a certain location instead of the orphanage. There were three shadow tailing Fay from behind.
“Hey, you two don’t have to come along.”
“… (gesture, cross mark!)”
“Ga- Gamma is worried if Alpha is left alone nanoda.”
“Re- really… Oh well. Make sure you don’t get noticed.”
Fay was walking alone in the royal capital, which was dyed red by the setting sun. The three wondered where he might go.
Meanwhile, at the same time and at the same place, a figure of a certain giant panda appeared.
“Eh? Where is he?”
“See, it’s over there.”
Bouran was walking together with Arthur. The two had just returned after completing their mission.
Arthur’s finger pointed at Fay’s figure.
“Ah, he is really there. Where is he going at this time?”
“Might as well call him out.”
“We’ll be having dinner together then!”
“What’s wrong? Let’s invite him for dinner already.”
“See, over there.”
“…Who are they?”
There were three beautiful purple haired girls tailing Fay.
“…No good, Fay is being stalked. I have to protect him.”
“But it might just be a coincidence.”
“Nope. I’m sure they’re trying to do something bad to Fay. Let’s follow him and escort him in secret.”
“Eh, isn’t that stalking?”
“That’s wrong, it’s called following after a person to escort him.”
“I- is it? I don’t know.”
“Bouran is fifteen years old, while I am seventeen years old, so I’m two years older than you, and therefore, it’s natural for me to be smarter than you. You ought to listen to your elders. You better listen to it, or rather, you must listen to it. Fay is in trouble because of stalkers, so we have to go and help (Arthur, brainwashing).”
“Yo- you’re right… I guess that’s true (Innocent Bouran got brainwashed).”
Arthur and Bouran tailed Alpha’s group in secret. Then there was Sajinto, who was tailing Arthur.
What the hell are they doing?
Such was his impression.
There is a blacksmith in the royal capital. He was a particularly stubborn person who only sold swords to people he deemed worthy. This elderly blacksmith was called Gantetsu. The shop he was in was unnamed, and since he refused to sell his swords to most people, there were barely any people there.
Before he knew it, there were barely any customers at all.
The interior was like a rusty hut. Many armaments there failed to find their owners, and that place was where they all slumbered.
It was a forge that nobody came to and nobody sought.
Gantetsu felt sadness and pity. There was nobody who seemed to be worthy enough to be entrusted with the swords he made. He dreamt of making armaments for heroes since his childhood, and he poured his soul into his craft to achieve that.
He found himself to be a skilled blacksmith before he knew it, but he couldn’t make the weapon he dreamt of making. There was also nobody worthy enough to wield the sword he poured his soul to make.
He did wait for them, since his shop never closed. However, nobody came. The person he waited for didn’t come.
I guess nobody will come here today as well.
The person he sought and expected didn’t come to his shop today either. This elderly and stubborn blacksmith with white hair and black eyes sneered at his outdated and pitiful expectation.
As the night approached and he was about to decide to close the shop for the day… someone stepped into the shop. It was a man with black hair and black eyes, and his sharp gaze seemed to be judging the old man. That man silently looked at the swords in the shop.
What is this guy…?
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