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 037 – End of Sightseeing [E]
The city burned red. This city, once heralded as the symbol of freedom, had now lost its freedom due to fire and demons. There was nowhere to escape, and people died.
Blood spilled, and the air resonated with the fear-driven shouts and screams of those who too quickly lost their lives. No matter how much suffering a mother might endure to bring life into the world, it took only a moment of suffering to snuff that life out… but the fearful anticipation of that moment was all-consuming, more torturous than any amount of labor pain.
The air was choked with the smell of burnt blood, reverberating with the panicked, fearful voices of the masses. The adventurers pressed forward, gradually whittling away at the demon horde.
At long last, screams of fear gave way to shouts of victory.
But celebration quickly turned to mourning as the people took in the carnage around them. Everyone had lost someone—valued friends, loved ones, people bonded through promises, trusted comrades and protectors.
Every one of them died.
Dead, gone. No longer breathing. The city filled with the sounds of grief.
As the death toll rose, so did the piles of corpses littering the city.
Fortunately, the Free City itself didn’t suffer much damage. The big legion couldn’t afford to sit back and do nothing in light of these events while the adventurers spearheaded the rebuilding efforts. Of course, some of the political leaders only pitched in for the sake of their own reputations, but they all worked to restore the city.
Even so, there were casualties… too many of them.
Aliceia’s stomach turned at the sight and iron-like smell of fresh blood, and she vomited.
[“What did we do to deserve this?!”]
[“My son, my son.”]
[“Aaaaahhhhh!!! We were supposed to be married…”]
The screams of grief and loss continued to grow. Aliceia couldn’t help thinking that this calamity was her doing.
[“—It’s your fault.”]
Her mother’s voice rang in her head, and she recalled how the villagers gazed at her in fear.
Unreasonable obsession‒such was her essence. Even though she really had no reason to think this way, and had no solid evidence to support her belief, she couldn’t help thinking everything bad that happened was her fault.
She thought of herself as a bringer of disaster.
There was no way that was true, of course. It was nothing but her imagination, a foolish belief, trying to rationalize the absurd cause and effect.
Yes, from a rational point of view, there was no way she could be responsible for such disasters. Aliceia herself was aware that her way of thinking was abnormal, and she was also aware that these feelings merely stemmed from intense paranoia. In fact, not a single person had ever pointed their finger at her or blamed her for anything that happened.
Still, she just couldn’t write off today’s events as merely a product of her imagination. The foolish delusion that her constitution was the direct cause of all this tragedy stuck in her head like a festering sore, which made her blame herself even more.
Her head ached, but not from any physical wounds. Maybe it was more accurate to say her mind felt polluted, like a painful infection that needed lancing. It made her nauseous.
As Aliceia’s thoughts returned to the idea that the tragedy was all her fault… the pain she felt inside was too much to endure.
She vomited once again.
She wasn’t convinced. It was no good trying to tell herself things she wouldn’t believe anyway. She fingered the edge of her knife, drawing it across her unblemished palm. This was a pain she could focus on, and gave her relief from the turmoil in her mind.
For a brief moment, she was released from her unreasonable obsession. She stabbed her hand over and over. The feeling of blood seeping out of her hand felt right.
However, the real source of her pain wouldn’t go away. It was painful, painful, painful, painful.
< —That’s right, let’s use this knife to feel better.> ◀
< —Someone… help me>
Her own hand drove the knife deep through her heart with a sickening squelch. Though she was in pain and in tears, her lips twisted into a wry smile. The sky was dyed with dusk, and Aliceia thought how beautiful it was despite her situation. She didn’t need to look and see things anymore.
She wanted to feel better just like this.
Her vision turned white. The taste of blood spread in her mouth, but for her, it felt comfortable… she just wanted to feel better… but it made her so happy. All her cares and worries—her mother’s expectation, her mission to search for her elder brother, and everything else… none of it mattered anymore.
“Aha, ahahahaha… I, I’m all alone…”
She was all alone… she never tried to lean on others, nor did anyone try to lean on her. There was nobody next to her and she had nothing worth holding onto in this world.
—It is a worthy end for the bringer of disaster.
She no longer opened her eyes after that.
< —That’s right, let’s use this knife to feel better.>
< —Someone… help me> ◀
Someone stopped her hand. Rhine stood there, gripping her hand in his. He just couldn’t turn a blind eye to Aliceia’s pain anymore.
Ever since she came here, Aliceia had been wounded too much for that. Rhine drew her closer by her hand and embraced her.
She told him everything about her constitution and about how she might have been the cause of the disaster.
—I will bear the burden with you.
And with that, her story continued.
—These were both possible futures at one point. Although they didn’t exist anymore, they once existed in some version of this world’s reality.
However, the people involved in this plot point were still alive. Nobody had been stabbed through the heart, and Aliceia hadn’t experienced anything that would break her psyche.
However… this one event left a big lump on her heart. No, it was more correct to say that every event that happened to her so far had overlapped and turned into a big lump.
She had an unreasonable obsession and her belief was absurd, so her continuing worry about that was par for the course. No, what bothered her was the matter of how Fay was always wounded.
He kept getting injured while protecting her all this time. His protection meant that she was spared from getting seriously hurt.
As she saw how Fay always got wounded in her stead, Aliceia could no longer make excuses. The belief that everything was her fault was driving her to the deep end.
Moreover, there was also the matter during the demon march. Driven by fear, Aliceia had been trying to escape back then. She had tried to abandon her benefactor who had taken the brunt of the harm meant for her all this time.
She was filled with guilt. Yes, in the end Fay didn’t die and Aliceia only suffered minor wounds. Even so, Fay had been at death’s door earlier.
Her unreasonable obsession was haunting her, horrifyingly so. For her… Fay was the place she had sought all this time, a place to belong to. He never complained even when she walked beside him. Yes, he might say offensive words and find her annoying sometimes, but he didn’t reject her. It was a place where she could find kindness.
Aliceia was afraid to lose that place. More than anything, her guilt and unreasonable obsession drove her to the deep end. Her head hurt as though her brain had a festering infection, and she couldn’t think clearly anymore.
She couldn’t stop sobbing.
Before she knew it, it was already night. She headed to his room to check in on him. She would suffer greatly if she found something was wrong with him.
However, she didn’t do so out of good intentions… she was merely trying to run away from her unreasonable obsession. She wanted to do something to repay him somehow. She wanted to reward him for what he did and apologize to him. More than anything, she just wanted to feel better.
Those were the only things that filled her head.
Aliceia opened the door. Felmi and Barbara were no longer there, but the moonlight streaming through the window illuminated Fay.
Fay was sitting on the bed, staring outside.
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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.