A Story of a Cannon Fodder Volume 1 Chapter 5 part 1

Chapter 5: Marumaru

Marumaru, a veteran holy knight of the fifth rank, was responsible for overseeing the entrance exam. Despite the importance of his role, he maintained a relaxed tone and facial expression. However, deep down, he carefully observed the examinees.

He believed that dedicating oneself earnestly to the task at hand was what would contribute to a better world. Although the exam appeared ordinary on the surface, he placed special emphasis on evaluating the examinees’ self-discipline, even in a relaxed setting.

After explaining the exam’s contents, he heard murmurs such as “What?” “Easy,” and “Let’s slack off.” Almost everyone had let their guard down simultaneously. In battle, there are instances where soldiers think it’s over, only to be unexpectedly attacked, resulting in casualties. That’s why he first tested everyone’s skepticism.

(It seems like no one in this group has noticed this time.)

He observed some of the holy knight candidates already engaged in conversations, feeling somewhat disappointed. He expected to see a few more exceptional students among them, as he had in previous exams.

(There were some individuals in our generation who noticed it, like Maria.)

He recollected a golden-haired girl with dark emotions who sought power solely for revenge. Maria always pursued power for revenge, no matter what. That’s why she wielded her sword even in situations where slacking off would have been acceptable. There were few fierce warriors like her who sought power in any circumstance. She was an exception, he mused.

(And those who possess a strong mindset as holy knights can behave appropriately without noticing it… well, that’s something to watch for in the future.)

He felt a slight disappointment, but he hadn’t planned to place excessive concern on that particular aspect. If no one noticed it, he would evaluate them based on their swordsmanship, even if it was a bit relaxed, while carefully observing their performance.

The holy knight order was understaffed. Instead of selecting individuals who were already skilled, they chose to nurture those with the potential to become capable. That’s why everyone passed the exam. They were admitted as provisional members and would undergo rigorous training from that point on, which should address any shortcomings.

Therefore, apart from a few exceptions, if they were made to work hard enough, they would eventually develop a distaste for it. What mattered in this exam was:

(The ability to keenly discern things, the capacity to make judgments uninfluenced by others… it’s a challenging subject because it pertains to one’s mentality.)

Just as striking iron makes it stronger, training the body helps it grow. However, the mind can shatter if subjected to excessive force. Training the mind alone is not an easy task.

It’s an entirely different realm. Only those who notice it can earn a favorable evaluation in this regard.

After being admitted as provisional members, everyone would undergo training to the point of disgust. Among them, a select few provisional members would receive undisclosed special forces training. Crushing the knight candidates would not be an easy feat, as it was beyond imagination.

But there were individuals who possessed strength. They alone would experience the torment of high expectations.

(No one seems to have noticed this time… oh well, let’s assess them by observing their swordsmanship. Those who possess star power and are aware of it… oh, there he is. That individual listening to me without changing his expression. The golden-haired girl influenced by him, the golden-haired boy carefully observing him, and the red-haired girl with sharp eyes seem to have noticed something.)

(That child who noticed it first… wasn’t it Fei? From Maria’s orphanage…)

Marumaru recalled the entrance exam he had taken with Maria, where they had engaged in intense combat. They were in the same year and ranked high as members of the special forces unit. This was because Maria, driven by her thirst for revenge, attacked relentlessly. Her eyes held the depth of an abyss, displaying an unnerving level of focus.

That level of concentration was reminiscent of the boy, Fei.

(The girl known as the avenger, Maria, shares similarities with that child.)

They clashed repeatedly. Fei’s presence overlapped with Maria’s from her childhood. The two engaged in a fierce battle, truly putting their skills to the test. Despite being informed that she passed by sheer luck, Maria refused to accept it and continued to hone her swordsmanship in solitary practice.

For Marumaru, who knew both Maria and Fei, they were like individuals from the same hometown. They were almost identical, with the exception of Fei’s lacking sword fighting skills. Fei’s swordsmanship couldn’t compare to Arthur’s, a girl whose precise, beautiful, and powerful swordplay surpassed that of others. The two contrasting characters clashed, and in the end, Arthur overcame Fei’s desperate assault.

(Does Fei lack the skill to harness his exceptional spirit…? Did he teach himself? Did Maria not teach him?)

Marumaru had his doubts upon witnessing Fei’s imbalance, but after learning about Arthur and True’s story, he came to understand. There was no way Maria would allow self-teaching. She would never permit anyone to be alone.

If that was the case…

(I see… that’s just like Maria. She intends to allow complete self-teaching… to prolong the temporary membership period.)

The Knight Order didn’t immediately thrust individuals into the frontlines merely because they passed the exam. They had to reach a certain level of skill during the provisional membership period and then be assigned the appropriate rank—twelfth rank—based on their abilities before being entrusted with missions.

(Those lacking skill would spend a significant amount of time in training. Maria wanted to delay their deployment to the frontlines for as long as possible.)

(And those who self-teach are highly likely to develop peculiar habits. Correcting those habits would require even more time.)

Fei had developed weird habits from swinging his sword around, trying to appear cool. Marumaru wasn’t aware of the specifics, but he could see the irregularities in Fei’s swordsmanship.

(After witnessing that battle, I, too, felt that the child couldn’t retreat. He was just like Maria, who had lived a precarious life, where retreat was not an option, and the only choices were either to die or defeat the opponent.)

(Maria, who walked a fine line, must have recognized that. She had a deeper understanding than that child. Instead of trying to change the path, she chose to avoid it. Of course, she had no intention of giving up on altering it.)

To buy time for altering the course before it was too late, Maria concealed h instructional book and make him spent more time with people. Marumaru, once her classmate, could easily deduce this.

(Maria knew that if things continued as they were, that child’s future would be one of two things: either an easy death or a continued solitary journey.)

Marumaru pondered his own course of action. Considering Maria’s intentions, he contemplated not recommending Fei for the special forces. Or should he place his faith in that radiant soul? The test that went unnoticed by others, the boy who noticed it before anyone else and influenced those around him. Perhaps someone else would have noticed it even without his intervention. Nonetheless, he greatly admired that momentary judgment and the unwavering focus, always keeping his senses sharp.

Fei, the boy, possessed the mental fortitude required to join the special forces. He had the resilience to withstand the challenges that lay ahead. Marumaru couldn’t predict how long it would take, but once Fei emerged from this training, the esteemed holy knight would take the frontlines by storm, willingly throwing himself into perilous missions.

Alternatively, should Fei be assigned to the regular provisional membership forces? He would undoubtedly endure the rigorous training there as well. However, progress might be slower compared to the special forces. Marumaru took Maria’s intentions into consideration. Maria also believed that the temporary membership period would provide an opportunity to refine Fei’s sensibilities.

(The latter option is not feasible… I apologize, Maria. I want to witness it firsthand. What kind of holy knight will this child become?)

Marumaru jotted down his conclusions on the test results.

Arthur, True, Bowlan, and Fei—these four should be designated for the special forces.

Several days had elapsed since the conclusion of the exam. As per my usual routine, I was diligently practicing my swordplay when an owl gracefully delivered a letter to me. How exhilarating! It seems that in this world, specifically trained owls handle the task of mail delivery.

It truly is astounding. I cannot fathom the intricacies of their training, but I can’t help but ponder the rigorous regimen these owls must have undergone. Yet, there is another matter occupying my thoughts: the results of the exam. Hence, I shall proceed to open this letter and unveil its contents.

[Dear Fei, I am delighted to inform you that you have been appointed as a provisional member of the Round Table Knights, assuming the role of a provisional holy knight. Congratulations and best wishes…]

Hmm, I see. Naturally, I have succeeded. However, had I failed, the story would have reached its conclusion. Nevertheless, I find myself genuinely pleased! While my heart desires to dance in triumph, it is unbecoming of a composed protagonist to engage in such frivolities. Maintaining a sense of calm and collectedness is the path I shall tread.

I was perusing the letter in a room at the orphanage where I usually share meals with the other children. Just then, the door swung open, and Maria entered alongside a blind boy.

“Oh, Fei. Is that the acceptance notification?”


“Wow, that’s incredible!”

“Hmph, it’s not as significant as it seems.”

This young lad, known as Rere, is blind, yet for reasons unknown, he holds a fondness for me. Generally, I do not actively interact with the children at the orphanage, but these two individuals are exceptions. Over the course of two years, they have become the only individuals I engage in conversation with… but that is inconsequential. Cool protagonists do not actively seek companionship.

“Fei, may I peruse the letter as well?”

“Of course… Dear Fei, I am delighted to inform you that you have been appointed as a provisional member of the Round Table Knights, assuming the role of a provisional holy knight. Congratulations and best wishes…”

“If Fei can achieve it, perhaps I can as well?”

“Do not look to me for answers. The outcome rests solely on your determination.”

“Alright! I shall strive to the best of my abilities!”

Truth be told, Rere may be blind, but that should not preclude him from pursuing the possibility of becoming a holy knight. I always offer an objective assessment.

Subsequently, he burst into laughter, brimming with happiness. I find no fault in the innocent nature of children.

“Thank you, Fei.”

“For what?”

“He’s a young boy who had given up on himself due to his blindness.”

“I have not done anything remarkable. I merely voiced my thoughts.”

“Indeed… being a holy knight is arduous… best of luck.”


“Return safely. Promise me.”

“I cannot make a promise, but I shall exert my utmost effort.”

“Very well… for now.”

As the protagonist, it is highly likely that I will embark on expeditions and undertake special missions to various locations. Protagonists, as you may know, are often wanderers. Thus, I cannot make promises. I am not one to deceive!

However, when Maria imparts this to me, I am once again reminded that I am to become a holy knight, even if only provisionally. While I had contemplated utilizing the Round Table Knights’ accommodations, Maria insisted that I return here. I must exercise greater vigilance and attentiveness towards her, for she may well be the heroine.


“What is it?”

“Forge ahead! I shall surpass you and become a knight stronger than you, Fei! And then, I will protect everyone in the orphanage, including you!”

“If you can achieve that, then by all means, go ahead. I will await your progress from the pinnacle.”

Could this be a foreshadowing of events to come? Will Rere fulfill his promise and return one day? If such a turn of events were to occur, it would undoubtedly be captivating. Rere is a commendable individual, and a slight sense of anticipation for the future stirs within me.

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