A Story of a Cannon Fodder Volume 1 Chapter 8

Chapter 8: Fei’s Hidden Talent

It had been a month since Fei, True, Arthur, and Bowlan joined the special forces. Each day, they endured grueling training, academic studies with Teacher Yuru, and magic lessons from other instructors in their pursuit of becoming formal holy knights. Additionally, Fei found himself being punished almost daily with handstands and running ten laps around the royal capital. This routine led to Fei’s handstands becoming a daily spectacle, drawing attention from onlookers.

“Hey, it’s the older brother who does handstands!”

“Why do you do it every day?”

“Teach me how to do it too!”

“Annoying… don’t get in my way.”

“What does ‘annoying’ mean?”

“It means bothersome.”

Fei’s handstands became a popular phenomenon in a corner of the vast royal capital. Children would follow him, while adults used his presence as a marker for various activities such as the start of a croquette sale or as a reminder to hurry home and prepare dinner. Some even enjoyed watching him while having a drink.

At first, there were laughs and taunts from the crowd. Whispers and occasional mocking laughter still occurred, but gradually, more people began to recognize Fei’s determination as he continued his daily routine.

Yuru and Fei engaged in morning training focused on swordsmanship, correcting his habits and allowing him to gain practical experience through sparring with Arthur, Bowlan, and True. With every passing day, Fei accumulated valuable experiences.

During their training, Yuru couldn’t help but notice something.

(Initially, I didn’t realize it, but… Fei-kun may possess considerable talent in swordsmanship.)

This realization surprised her. When she first witnessed Fei’s swordplay, she believed he lacked talent not only in magic but also in swordsmanship.

(At first, I thought, ‘What kind of peculiar sword style is this?’… However, his habits are improving, and his pure swordplay is advancing at an incredible pace.)

(But that’s not all. What amazes me about Fei-kun is his fearlessness in embracing change. He dismantles what he has built and constructs something new.)

(Individuals like Fei-kun, who refuse to give up, often resist change… but he is different. He constantly breaks his own limits, ascending to greater heights. He forgets the past…)

Fei approached his training with utmost seriousness, considering Yuru his master and following her instructions diligently. Yuru found herself having an exceptional student who, despite her poker face, possessed unwavering motivation.

(Why does he have such an unusual habit, though?)

After concluding their morning training, Yuru decided to inquire about Fei’s background.

“Um, Fei-kun, were you self-taught in swordsmanship?”

“Yes… that’s correct.”

(Is it common for someone who is self-taught to develop such a peculiar habit?… It’s as if he has been misled by a nonexistent swordsmanship…)

Yuru couldn’t help but worry. However, her notion that Fei possessed talent in swordsmanship and that he had been misled by a nonexistent swordsmanship was accurate.

Originally, Fei was a character skilled in swordsmanship but lacked aptitude in magic. Hence, he possessed some talent in swordsmanship, but he couldn’t surpass main characters like Arthur and True, who excelled in both magic and swordsmanship.

Despite having some inherent talent, Fei’s arrogance prevented him from training and improving. Furthermore, his lack of magical talent made him an easy target for True whenever he bullied others. That was the essence of Fei’s character.

“Arthur, True, and other exceptional individuals. No matter how hard one tries, they cannot surpass someone who is wholehearted, even if they possess great talent. Even if they have amazing abilities, there will always be someone with even greater talent and effort, someone who cannot be defeated. That’s why Fei, with his immaturity and mediocre talent, was resigned to being a secondary character.

However, the boy who assumed the role of Fei displayed unwavering determination. But the story was not as simple as putting in effort and improving his swordsmanship. Fei’s swordsmanship was self-taught. The current Fei, lost in his own world, entertained thoughts like:

(If I could execute a sixteen-hit combo, that would be cool.)

(I want to make the cross-cut more stylish!)

(If I hold the sword upside down, it looks more like a ninja and cool, doesn’t it?)

He spent time in an orphanage and, unlike in the original work, Maria did not hide the swordsmanship book from Fei. Therefore, he had read it to some extent and acquired some basic skills.

However, the Fei with his head in the clouds had the book hidden by Maria, and thus he did not improve. True already had some basic skills before Fei, so he progressed steadily. This created a significant difference between them.

It’s like Fei is latest model of a smartphone but used it incorrectly, browsing adult sites out of curiosity, causing viruses to spread and preventing the device from performing at its full potential. Because of this, except for one person, no one was able to recognize his talent.

Only Maria noticed Fei’s talent in swordsmanship to some extent. That’s why she hid the book. So, in general, Maria is to blame.

Yuru noticed that Fei had put everything into his swordsmanship after removing the virus.

“Um, I think Fei has considerable talent for swordsmanship…”

“I see…”

“Yes… but could you tell me a little? Why does Fei want to become stronger?”

“…”

When Yuru asked him that, Fei looked up into the distance.

“Why…?”

It was as if he was looking somewhere else. Those eyes resembled someone else’s.

“When it comes to reasons… I just want to become strong vaguely… the strongest in this world. That’s all.”

“…”

“How strong do you intend to become…?”

“As strong as possible.”

(Sir brother…)

A very old memory was burned into Yuru’s eyelids. She was originally a noble called Yururu Garestia. She had a father, mother, and three brothers, and was happy.

Her entire family were holy knights. Therefore, she also pursued her dreams.

However, her third brother killed their mother first. Then, her second brother killed twelve knights. And then, her eldest brother killed their father. She witnessed the scene of his murder.

[Why did you… kill father?]

[…Why? Just to become stronger. This guy was in the way on my path. I just cut him down… I will become stronger, no matter where…]

Her father’s head was severed. The smell of blood, like iron. Her father’s blood had pooled like a puddle. Her stomach churned, and she felt nauseous. Her second eldest brother, Gawain Garestia, who had killed their father, muttered like a machine while staring into space.

[This is something only those who have fallen into the abyss understand. You cannot understand it. Not you.]

(Elder brother has fallen into the depths of strength. There is no purpose or pride there. He used to be so kind, taking my hand and taking me to many places, showing me many sceneries. He was really kind and my pride. But he was consumed by strength and strayed from the path of humanity, even killing those important family members who tried to stop him. Fei reminds me of him.)

Watching him train tirelessly, pushing his body to its limits, Fei reminded her of her brother. She felt that he possessed a completely different and incomprehensible set of values.

(Is Fei going to become like my elder brother? Will he stop at nothing to become stronger, using strength as a means to an end rather than the end goal, becoming obsessed with power?)

(Fallen into the depths of strength… like a Shura…)

Observing him with an impassive expression, showing no interest beyond becoming stronger, Yuru grew increasingly concerned, and her chest tightened.

YOU ARE READING STOLEN TRANSLATION. READ THE ORIGINAL TRANSLATION AT GADGETIZEDPANDA.COM

Lately, I feel like I’ve been making steady progress and growing stronger. As expected, Yuru-sensei is amazing. She even mentioned that I might have talent.

Well, those who understand, understand, right? Having talent in swordsmanship… It’s not bad, considering you’re the protagonist. Naturally, your mentor, Yuru-sensei, would understand. It just reminds me once again how incredible she is.

“Well, I’ve made some improvement in swordsmanship, but I’m still not skilled in magic. Swordsmanship was a hidden talent, so perhaps I have talent in magic as well.”

“Um… but could you tell me why you want to become stronger, Fei-kun?”

“……”

The teacher asked me why I desired strength.

Well, I don’t really need a specific reason to become stronger. In my case, it’s because I’m the protagonist. It’s crucial to grow stronger no matter what, especially in this fantasy world filled with Daemons and such. It’s almost like becoming stronger is an integral part of the plot. In battle-oriented stories, there’s likely to be even more escalation in the future.

However, even if I say I want to become stronger because I’m the protagonist, I don’t think anyone would truly understand. I’m supposed to appear cool, so I shouldn’t say anything too bothersome. But it’s alright to say it from time to time… So, this time, I’ll respond coolly.

“I don’t have a particular reason.”

“──”

“……”

“How far do you plan on becoming stronger…?”

“──As far as possible.”

This part was left untranslated. As the protagonist, I won’t succumb to the inflation and instead, I’ll become stronger and save the world. It’s only natural.

“Well, only I, the protagonist, can truly grasp the significance of this sentiment. But that’s alright.”

Afterward, we resumed our swordplay, crossing blades once more.



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