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 035 – Gambler [F]
He was a weakling and coward. He was nothing but a weak boy. He wasn’t talented at all.
He had nothing but non-elemental affinity. Even so, he couldn’t give up. It was because of a vague dream he had.
He wanted to be acknowledged and praised. He always dreamt himself to be a brave man.
But there was no way reality could have been that good. Before he knew it, he was ridiculed by everyone around him. It was a natural thing to happen. It was because he was timid, even though the brave version of him in his dream was longingly gazed at by people around him.
But he was too scared and couldn’t get close to demons. He couldn’t swing his sword. That was why he chose a long-range weapon like a bow gun. He could hit his target from a distance. His accuracy was quite decent.
He would escape once a demon drew near. Then he would shoot at a safe distance. There were times when it hit properly, and there were times when it flew in a random direction because of his shaky hand when under pressure. His evaluation was below mediocre.
The people around me set my limit on their own… that became Tork’s catchphrase. Even though he was doing his best, the people around him… and his talent… he was always using some sort of excuses.
—He was looking for a reason to give up.
He always did his best to be a cool person… no, he thought he was doing his best. The boy named Tork always compromised and set his own limit.
At that moment, he met his destiny. It was a girl named Aliceia. Her talent and ability were all different from Tork’s. He was jealous of her. But at the same time, he was longing for her.
He was satisfied just being together with a strong person.
He felt happy that someone was looking at him when nobody else would.
But all he gave in return was loss. It happened when there was an outbreak of red goblin mutants, the strengthened species of goblins. Both of them were surrounded by goblins. Tork panicked and left Aliceia behind.
It wasn’t like he escaped. He merely moved to a safe area. Then he intended to support her by firing arrows with his bow gun, but… there was actually another goblin nearby, which surprised Tork and he ended up misfiring.
And the arrow that launched… struck Aliceia’s eye.
She screamed at the pain of the loss of her eye as it was… but they managed to escape from the goblins somehow and returned to the above ground. Tork apologized over and over as Aliceia received her first aid. His guilt made him dependent on her and turned him into a stalker-like existence.
Aliceia looked at Tork’s weak appearance and felt as if she was seeing herself. If the player proceeded to the Tork route, they would be tied together with a muddy chain of love.
On the internet of Fay’s previous life, it was reputed as the best development among yandere lovers. However, there were also many people who hated Tork.
After all, he still robbed one of Aliceia’s eyes. Although she would later replace that lost eye with a prosthetic eye that was sold at a high price in the Free City… his sins remained.
As for what happened when Fay was involved… not even gods could predict it.
Fay and his group were walking in the dungeon. Aliceia was telling Tork about the quest. After that, Aliceia and Tork exchanged words.
“Hee-h, so you came to this city just recently. You’re amazing.”
“Of course I am.”
“…You really are amazing. It’s hard to believe you’re just a rookie. You have all five elemental affinities. I only have non-elemental affinity, though…”
“That Fay over there also only has non-elemental affinity, you know.”
“…And what of it?”
“Ah, no. I’m just asking…”
Fay spoke only the bare minimum of words and proceeded forward. Tork got curious about Fay and kept looking at him. Fay was a similar existence to Tork, who only had a non-elemental affinity. He felt empathy for Fay, thinking that Fay must have been looked down upon by others like Tork was.
“What? Your gaze is annoying.”
“Ah, I-I’m sorry… It just, I heard that… you only got non-elemental… so I got curious.”
“…Cih. It’s uncomfortable to be looked at that way. If you have a question, just say it.”
“T-thank you very much! That’s, do you have any dreams?”
“A dream… if I have to say any, then it would be to become stronger than anyone.”
“…Even though you only have non-elemental affinity?”
Tork was surprised by how Fay could declare his dreams so straightforwardly. He was completely different from Tork, who avoided putting his dream into words because he didn’t want to be ridiculed for it.
“Do you have a complaint?”
“N-no, I don’t have any! It’s just, people around you would set your limits on their own if you only have non-elemental affinity… Don’t you care about people talking about it?”
“No, I don’t.”
“It’s amazing… You’re different from me. I’m scared of it… If one day, I noticed that I couldn’t do anything and gave up on everything, it would make the dream and thoughts I have all this time become a waste, along with all the effort and suffering I went through to achieve it. I was really scared of that. That’s why I couldn’t step forward. I couldn’t bet everything to go on. The fear that everything would be rendered useless wouldn’t leave my mind.”
“I can’t sympathize with that.”
“…Aren’t you scared? If one day you awake from the dream and find out everything you worked hard for ended up for nothing…”
“I’m not scared.”
Even though they were supposed to be the same, everything about them was different. Tork couldn’t help but wonder about that.
“The premises of our thoughts are different to begin with. Humans are selfish. Regardless of how much suffering they go through, they would think it would be worth it if it produced better results in the future. They would think every effort and suffering they went through was finally rewarded.”
“However, when it doesn’t get rewarded, they would lament that it was all useless. You’ll never know if the door might be opened at the 101st knock if you gave up at the 100th knock. My future self would approve of my past self. I will keep going to achieve it. I would not allow all the suffering and effort I went through to end up in vain.”
There was a pressure that made Tork get goosebumps.
“I will not regret. My future self would definitely approve of his past self. That’s all I have in my mind. That’s the difference between us.”
“I guess I talked too much… but okay. I could just give you a simpler answer. There’s no reason to give up. That’s all.”
“There’s no reason to give up…”
Tork was reciting Fay’s words before he realized it. Tork compared himself, who kept looking for reasons and excuses to give up, and Fay, who kept walking toward his future.
Their vessels might be similar, but their behaviors were completely different.
“I… no, even I.”1
He was telling himself. He also wanted to raise the expectation for his future. But then, they heard a loud noise.
The second floor of the dungeon was a big plain. Red goblins emerged from the ground one after another. There were hundreds of them.
Fay and Aliceia were ready for battle in an instant. And Tork felt fear and ran away to not get surrounded. The two saw that, but they were focusing on the battle in front of them.
Aliceia and Fay used their swordsmanship and defeated the goblin mutants. The demons turned into ashes one after another.
Tork, who ran a safe distance away, was filled with self-hatred. He ended up running away again. He already repeated this over and over.
I, I… When will I … not run away like that again… I-it’s not too late yet. I have to support them…
He held his bow gun with quivering hands. He touched the trigger. Just before he was about to shoot, he noticed a goblin emerge from where he stood.
And his aim messed up. As for the arrow… it flew toward Aliceia.
She was astonished. She couldn’t dodge it in time. It was because the arrow was already approaching the distance where she couldn’t react in time. She was completely caught off guard. There was no way anyone could expect a party member to shoot an arrow toward her eyes at this time.
She could tell where Tork went. Therefore, she felt relieved and expected support from his bow gun.
But what came toward her was an attack instead.
At this rate, her eye would be pierced. Even art strengthening wouldn’t be able to make it in time. Just as she thought so, her back was pushed at the next moment. She was pushed so hard that she dived to the ground.
And then, the smell of blood… went through her nose. When she looked, she saw Fay’s left eye pierced by the arrow.
Since he pushed Aliceia away using his forceful strengthening, his hand was swollen a reddish-black.
And blood flowed from his eye…
“A-ah… Fay… blood is… your eye.”
“No problem. Rather than that, let’s get rid of these demons.”
After that, the quest was successfully completed. However… Fay lost his left eye in return.
I…I… what have I done…? I’m the worst. I actually shot an arrow toward a party member…
Once they returned to the guild hall, Fay was immediately escorted to the first aid room. People around them were gossiping about Tork secretly.
Tork could tell what they were saying even if he didn’t hear any of it. They were a rain of insults. He couldn’t stop trembling. He couldn’t tell whether his current trembling was out of his guilt toward Fay or his form of self-protection.
After a while, Aliceia came out of the room.
“…You…! Are you aware of what you’ve done!!!”
“It’s not something that could be resolved with a mere apology…”
She was angry. Unlike in the game version, she was angry because it was Fay instead of her who lost an eye. She was quite generous at her core and not so attached to her own well-being. However, she was more affected if something happened to a person who was close to her. That was why she instinctively raised her hand.
The door of the first aid room opened at that moment. Fay stood there expressionlessly with his left eye bandaged. And everyone closed their mouths after the first sentence he said.
Be it Aliceia, the surrounding people who insulted Tork, and even the guild staff there.
Every one of them felt the pressure he gave off, as if the gravity suddenly increased tens of times over.
Tork also felt it. He even felt nauseous from the pressure. Such an existence was angry at him. He couldn’t endure his fear. But it couldn’t be helped, considering what Tork did to him.
“Come with me for a bit.”
Fay called out to Tork and left the guild hall. They were facing each other at a place without anyone else around at dusk.
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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.