Story of a Cannon Fodder who Firmly Believed He was the Protagonist, Misunderstood the Actual Protagonist as the Cannon Fodder, and Ended up Victorious
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Chapter 031 – Causality Brought Forth [A]
On the second day, Fay woke up in Arthur’s room. He moved away from Arthur who embraced him, got up and left the room as it was, swiftly exiting the girls’ dorm and quickly returned to his usual practice swing routine.
He still wasn’t allowed to participate in the mock combat that day, and the next day, and the day after that.
The training camp lasted for 6 days and five nights, with the last day only used for the parting speech before they returned home. Fay was filled with irritation.
Neither the room that imposed mental burden nor his usual practice swings were burdensome or painful to him. It didn’t cause distress or mental exhaustion.
He didn’t come to this place to do these lackluster things. He continued to impose the same drive as usual.
Fay was isolated and frustrated by the lackluster training, however he still continued to swing his katana.
There was a man sitting on a chair and observing the mock combat. He was Magnum. Kakukaku also observed the mock battle of the rookie paladins next to Magnum, but he sometimes glanced at Fay.
“How long would he continue that useless endeavor?”
“…I don’t know.”
Magnum replied perfunctorily. It seemed that something was still lacking for this veteran among veterans to change his evaluation of Fay.
“I have no intention of letting him participate in the mock combat regardless of how hard he trains.”
“Ah-, about that, may I fight him once?”
“What? Did you change your mind?”
“No way, I’ve always hated that kind of person . I just wanted to show him that there’s nothing awaiting him, the talentless, in the future.”
Kakukaku kept spitting poison at Fay. It was to break Fay’s spirit so he would give up being a paladin. However, Fay didn’t even listen to him. Therefore, Kakukaku thought it would be best to directly show the difference in ability.
“Do it outside the training time.”
That was all Magnum said. He continued to stick to his belief. The talentless who only have non-elemental affinity should leave the knight brigade, and that way, he could give them mercy by forcing them to abandon the choice of throwing their life away meaninglessly.
At dusk, the exhausted paladins sweated like a waterfall and returned to the Temporary Castle. They cried in relief as they laughed, they knew they were finally released from hell.
Their expression filled with satisfaction of managing to survive that hell. However, only Fay’s expression was filled with frustration. He thought there was no point in participating in this training camp.
Fay continued to swing his katana since he still had a lot of power to spare. As Fay did that, Kakukaku came to talk to him.
“Hey, you. How about doing a mock battle with me?”
The time seemed to stop at that moment, so much so that people thought the atmosphere was dead. Those who saw that seemed to forget how to breathe. The frustration that Fay had accumulated was unleashed at once.
“Of course I will.”
“Then let’s do it. Take some wooden swords—“
“—No, let’s use the real weapon. I will also use my katana.”
“…No, you might end up suffering beyond just being wounded.”
“Ah, really. I guess your motivation is decent, at least.”
Kakukaku stood in front of Fay while yawning. Fay glared like a starving beast as if seeing a meal finally arriving.
Kakukaku, whose purpose was to show the despair due to difference of talent, pulled his sword lazily. Fay also pulled his katana and wielded it. The paladins who have finished their training also stopped to see what was going on.
Making him lose miserably in front of a crowd… is a bad idea, I guess…?
Kakukaku had such faint thoughts. Teaching Fay a cruel fate known as the difference of talents didn’t need to be carried out here.
“Don’t worry. This place is good enough. I can’t bear waiting.”
However, the hungry wolf in front of him seemed to see through his thoughts and declared so. Kakukaku felt like he was dealing with a mad dog who was hungry for blood.
“Oh well. Come on.”
Combat began. The sound of them kicking ground was the gong of the battle. Fay swung his katana from above. As soon as the katana and sword crossed, they immediately separated, leaving behind scattering sparks.
Well, he has good swordsmanship. I already knew it, though.
Just as one thought the blade was about to separate again, Kakukaku kicked Fay’s belly. It was a blow that showed the difference in physical ability. Fay’s physical ability was still lacking compared to Kakukaku’s.
Fay was blown away several meters back but he got up immediately. Fay coughed lightly and spit blood out of his mouth. He wiped his mouth with his hand and showed a crescent moon-like grin.
“Good, this is good.”
“…You see, I think it’s better for you to be aware of how talentless you are. Life is all about compromising. I’ll tell you this as your senior in life.”
“Yes, it had to be this much at least… I feel like I could grasp something.”
“You’re not even listening.”
Fay didn’t listen to Kakukaku’s words at all. And the paladins around were watching with great interest. Tlue, Guren, and Fubuki were watching the match side by side from a distance.
Then Ese, Kamase, Arthur, and Bouran also lined up next to each other. They weren’t particularly close to each other. They just wanted to see the match closer.
“How do you think Fay will handle this?”
“Let’s see… as it is, I think it’s almost impossible for Fay to land a single hit in the exchange.”
“Then will he give up?”
“He doesn’t have the option of giving up. He’ll surely do something about it.”
Kamase asked questions, and Ese explained the situation as he watched the battle. Fay took a step, another step, yet another step closer to Kakukaku. The distance between them was less than three meters, which was beyond the reach of the blade.
“If you stay there… your attack won’t reach me.”
Fay sheathed his katana back then put on the stance of battoujutsu. Then he swung his katana.
It was the swing that stretched, the surprise attack he used in the battle against Arthur.
As expected, Kakukaku didn’t expect such an attack and raised his surprised voice. He ducked and broke his stance. Fay immediately proceeded with his sword dance at that moment. Facing the slashes like flowing water that came from above, below, left, and right, Kakukaku unleashed his wind magic to the ground with his broken stance.
Kakukaku launched himself out of the attack range like a rocket’s emergency escape pod. He was surprised by the sudden attack, but his enemy was still inferior. It was easy for him to move away from the attack range, and since that kind of attack only worked the first time, it no longer had any meaning.
“Kuh! That was close! He was just one step away!”
“No, that’s not one step away. It was totally avoided, I guess as expected of a fourth-grade paladin.”
“I see… But isn’t an attack that extends cool! For me… it’s like an attack that draws the arc of a moon… so I want to name it ‘kogetsu.’” 1
“Isn’t it okay? I don’t care either way.”
“I see, then—“
“—It’s ‘snake attack’.”
There was a voice who argued against the name of kogetsu. Arthur stared at Kamase who named the attack earlier.
“That would be ‘snake attack’.”
Fay’s snake attack managed to surprise Kakukaku a bit, but the difference in their ability was still clear. Kakukaku thought Fay’s earlier attack was his ace in the hole, which he just now rendered ineffective.
“…Haah, how to say this…This isn’t a world where anything could work out just because you don’t give up. With your non-elemental affinity and your awkward art reinforcement, there’s no future for you. You need at least to be decent in art operation. Looking at you, there’s no doubt you’ll die out there.”
Kakukaku had convinced several people to give up this way. This was also a form of compassion.
“It’s better to give up. It is useless regardless of how hard you try. There are tons of people who are better than you out there. You also understand that, right? In terms of pure combat, you can’t beat any paladin here.”
Besides, this was also Kakukaku having an outburst of emotion because the circumstances were similar to the person he knew. Kakukaku was originally the fourth son of a certain aristocrat.
He had wind and non-elemental affinity, but his eldest brother only had non-elemental affinity. Kakukaku always won against his elder brother. He used his magic skillfully and came out victorious.
His elder brother was laughing despite losing to his younger brother, and he trained desperately. Kakukaku thought the figure of his brother who trained hard despite not being as talented was something he could be proud of.
However, his elder brother died easily. He was killed by Abyss.
Everyone cried as they praised it. Things like “he worked hard,” “He was a proud knight,” “He was the eldest brother that other siblings were proud of.” His parents also cried and praised how proud they were as his parents.
At that moment, Kakukaku couldn’t understand. Why did they sing praises and compliment him? One’s life ended by their death, and they would no longer feel happiness or despair, such was how his gentle eldest brother died. Nothing remained of him.
Even though he was about to get married with the person he loved, even though his happiest moment was waiting for him.
He left his loved one behind and died. He failed to fulfill his happiness.
—If I were there, I might be able to save him.
Kakukaku couldn’t help but think so. At that time, he was behind the back of his eldest brother who was always inferior to him. He thought his eldest brother was someone who could protect others.
After that, according to what he heard, he fought against an Abyss… and died. Then said Abyss was easily killed by Magnum who possessed three elemental affinities.
—So he died because he only had non-elemental affinity. 2
That was the first doubt that Kakukaku had. Eventually, he found out as he investigated. Most of the paladins who were killed in action were those with non-elemental affinity. It wasn’t like he despised their noble aspirations. He wouldn’t deny their wish to protect people.
It wasn’t like he blamed their behavior they who were proud of protecting others.
But since they were inferior, they should quietly let themselves be protected. Even those people with non-elemental affinity had people who waited for their safe return, so he didn’t want to allow the folly of throwing their lives away. 3
Wasn’t it better to live miserably in fear than praised for working hard and dying bravely?
“Since you’re inferior, it’s better for you to just work at a flower shop.”
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