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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QC Kiro: I’M SORRY IT HOUR LATE I FORGET TO ACCOUNT FOR DAYLIGHT SAVINGS
Chapter 035 – Gambler [G]
“I’m terribly sorry… I will do anything… I will prepare money and whatever I need to compensate.”
“You fool… do you think that could fix what has already happened?”
“N-no… I think it won’t be worth enough to compensate your eye… B-but, I have to make some compensation.”
“…So you just want to run away from your mistakes.”
Tork was seen through. Such was how Tork felt it. The man in front of him saw through his self-protection and the dirty feeling he wouldn’t think about.
“I won’t accept anything. Your current-self has no such worth.”
Tork couldn’t say anything after that. He didn’t know what word he should say in response. It wasn’t something that could be fixed by a mere apology. Such a thing wouldn’t quell the man’s anger.
“…I will tell you so you don’t misunderstand. I am not angry.”
“I’ve always thought that having my life on the line is normal. Besides, I’m also at fault for failing to expect an attack from you.”
“That’s definitely not the case! Everything is my—“
“—Shut up and listen.”
“In my perspective, this is not a big deal. I merely lost an eye. This didn’t mean I would change my way of living and it’s not worth being the reason to give up. However, it is a fact that I lost an eye as a result.”
“I have the right to ask. Why did you shoot an arrow at us?”
“T-that’s, err… my hands… the goblin is appearing suddenly.”
“Okay, that’s enough. I can guess what happens. Why are you an adventurer?”
“I want to be someone amazing… just like a champion, or something like that, I want everyone to praise me.”
“…I see. The last question. What will you be doing from now on?”
“…I don’t know… I… I wonder… what should I do…?”
“I told you earlier. Your current-self has no such worth… What should you do then? Think about what I wish out of you.”
“…I don’t know.”
“I’ve thought of digging your eye out as compensation earlier. But there’s no meaning in doing so. I will continue my path to grow stronger. So be a warrior that could climb to where I am.”
That would be impossible. Tork immediately gave up.
After all, I have no talent or resolve or anything worthy…
The moment Tork gave up and closed his eyes, he was grabbed by the collar and forced to meet Fay’s eye. Tork swallowed his breath. It was the gaze of a ruler that could swallow him whole.
“Don’t make me repeat myself. I never expected anything from your current-self. The one I expect is not your past-self who got ridiculed as a ditch rat, and it is also not your current-self who is at a loss of what you should do. It is Tork the warrior who walked beyond the thorny path.”
“Gather your resolve. Don’t stay still forever. Stretch your hand to what you long for and make your soul shake. Then grow stronger, and make me say I’m glad I lost an eye because of you.”
“Ah… you, do you expect something like that from someone like me…?”
Tork was never given any expectation by anyone. Nobody looked at his future. Nobody believed him. However, this person who lost an eye because of Tork believed in him and pushed Tork’s back to his future.
“—The one I have expectations of is your future self.”
With that said, Fay released Tork’s collar. Tork fell down on his butt and kept looking up at Fay. Perhaps this was a scene of someone’s beginning. It was a figure of a swordsman who walked far ahead of others in his path. Then there was a boy who longed for such an appearance and resolve…
Fay turned around and was about to leave. Before that, he threw his spare sword to Tork.
“This sword shall be proof of this vow, yours and mine… I’ll lend it to you so you won’t forget it. Once you grow to be worthy enough in my eye, return that sword to me.” 1
That was the last thing Fay said to him, leaving his back illuminated by the orange light as Tork saw Fay departing.
Tork held the sword he got from Fay tightly with his quivering hand, as if to reach out for his longing.
On his way back to the inn, the news of Fay’s loss of an eye spread at the speed of light. Fay didn’t like to be bothered so he walked towards a place without anyone. Mordred appeared there.
“…So it’s you.”
“That eye… it has spread as a rumor.”
“I don’t regret it.”
“…You sure are soft on that boy.”
“…So you saw that after all.”
“Yes… Why did you do so much for him? Fay-sama is the victim here.”
“Fuh… just the same reason as what you’ve done to me. It is an investment, not so different from the gamble I did today.”
“Fay-sama used your eyes to invest in that boy? …I don’t feel that boy has that much worth.”
“No… he’ll definitely grow stronger.”
“What makes you think so?”
“I heard a bit of his story. About how he ends up referred to as a ditch rat.”
“I also heard of that derogatory name. It is a background that is unbearable to listen to.”
“Fuh, but I don’t think so. Regardless of how much he is ridiculed and looked down upon, even as he keeps running away due to his fear, he never quit being an adventurer. It is because he didn’t give up yet, on himself, that is.”
“…Do you have expectations of him because he never gave up?”
“It’s a little different. I have expectations of him because he sucks at giving up. I don’t hate such people. He kept looking for excuses and reasons to give up, and he should have already found some. All the reasons he needs is there after all. Even so, he didn’t give up. He couldn’t do so. And I found that favorable…”
“…I don’t feel any worth that Fay-sama speaks of. To be honest, I really want to go after that man immediately to kill him.”
“Losing my wish to fight Fay-sama in your perfect state is something unbearable to me. That was what I thought, but since Fay-sama spoke for him, it is a different story then.”
Fay continued to walk as Mordred stared at Fay from next to him while sulking.
“What’s with that gaze?”
“It’s desirable, such is a word that I don’t like to use. I just don’t find it amusing.” 2
“Haah… Fay-sama, you really are a mysterious person after all.”
He arrived at the inn he stayed at. It was the same inn as yesterday. Fay properly checked in for today.
“Oi, go home already.”
“Really, Fay-sama is good at joking~♪ isn’t it obvious that I will be staying in the same room~♪”
“Oh my? Did Fay-sama forget who took care of you and brought you to your lodging yesterday?”
“Fufuh, your strong sense of responsibility is also wonderful~♪ Well now, shouldn’t we enter the inn?”
The moment the two entered the inn, Aliceia appeared as if she had been waiting for him.
“Fay, so you came here after all… is your eye okay?”
“You don’t need to make noises about it every single time. I already told you I am okay over and over…”
“Ah, I-I see…”
“…I can guess what you want to ask. I’m also aware that you ran out of money. Come in.” 3
“I-is that okay?”
“This one is also staying in the same room, so there won’t be much difference whether it’s two or three people staying inside.”
“To call me this one… it feels like we’re an old couple~♪”
Fay entered the room together with Aliceia and Mordred. Once they entered the room, Mordred spoke to him.
“That’s right, Fay-sama.”
“There’s a place that sells prosthetic eyes in this city. If you don’t mind, how about we go there together tomorrow?”
“Hou… okay then.”
“Fufuh, I knew Fay-sama would say that~♪”
“I-I will also go with you!”
“I didn’t invite Ali-something-sama.”
Fay held his head due to how noisy it was.
It was my third day at the Free City. Amazing things have happened since morning, and it was so concentrated that I never thought it was actually not even noon after it happened. First of all, there was Mordred’s duel against Fay. That was definitely not the degree that should be used for training. Mordred’s strength was at an abnormal level. Who the hell she really was?
While I was still at a loss, I got involved in gambling and I lost all my money. But Fay won the gamble and told me he didn’t mind me staying in the same room. It felt like… I was always troubling Fay all this time…
Then, Fay lost his left eye. I guess it happened because I lightly invited Tork to our party… wasn’t it? For some reason, it felt like Fay was taking hits from the disasters that should have come to me in my stead.
If it really was the case… It really hurt my chest. I wonder if I really was a plague after all…?
But Fay kept telling me to not mind it. He said he had been fighting all this time, and things didn’t change even when he came here. He looked straight into my eyes as he said that it was his destiny.
Somehow, it really warmed my heart. He told me to not keep an irritated expression and eat as he treated me to dinner.
I’m sorry… no, that’s not it. I wanted to say thank you. I really wanted to sincerely say that to him without any random thoughts interfering within me.
Fay seemed to notice that I had a dark expression from time to time. He told me to order some desert. Fay was being very considerate back then.
But my head was smacked by Mordred. She told me to not trouble Fay-sama and to not act unnecessarily tragic, since it was presumptuous of me to think I could interfere with Fay’s destiny.
You’re right. I thought at that moment!! It didn’t suit me to be irritated all the time. I should only think about getting stronger. If what Fay said was true, then there would be crueler destiny waiting for him from now on.
I should have a similar destiny. That was why I thought to do our best to gather and be optimistic! I switched my thoughts there, ordered tons of desserts, and ate them to vent my frustration. Fay didn’t seem to care, but Mordred was busy telling me that I was being vulgar.
I would definitely beat her up someday.
The third day of the Free City! Three things happened today!!
First, I won the gamble!
Second, we encountered Tork.
Third, Tork misfired and shot my eye!!!
And my left eye was crushed. Well, I was always fighting with my life on the line all the time, so losing an eye wasn’t a big deal.
I was always prepared that something like this might happen. That was why I didn’t find it surprising. I received the first aid and left the guild’s treatment room.
Everyone’s whispers were noisy. I was the only one who had the right to blame Tork. You guys should just shut up.
You guys weren’t related to it anyway.
Well then, I singled out Tork and talked alone. As I listened, it seemed that he felt like giving up on everything.
Having the protagonist to encourage others was a basic procedure. I wasn’t surprised in particular for losing an eye. However, having a protagonist to lose an eye meant it was considered a major event.
I think Tork might be a major character somehow. It was the event that destroyed my eye as the price after all. I think he was a character with great expectations for the future. He was the character with the worth similar to the protagonist’s left eye after all.
Well then, I encourage him appropriately. I would leave this sword to you. Don’t forget to return it later. I would go with Yururu-shishou style and give foreshadowing to others.
Ah, Mordred. What’s up? Eh? You don’t have expectations for him? No no, he must be a character of some importance since he cost me my left eye.
Besides… I didn’t hate that kind of character who sucked at giving up. I was sure he would turn out to be great later.
Well then, I returned to the inn. I properly checked in this time. And Aliceia was there. Ah, she lost all her money due to gambling, right? It couldn’t be helped, just stay in my room.
You didn’t have to mind my eye.
Eh? Mordred? What did you just say… prosthetic eye? I see, so the loss of an eye held another meaning!!
—It was the strengthening flag for the protagonist!!!
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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.