A Story of a Cannon Fodder Volume 1 Chapter 9 part 2

I posted chapter 9 part 1 twice, gomen.


“I will become a genuinely powerful individual.”

Her abhorrence and contempt for weakness consumed her.

She somehow managed to survive, left the village behind, and decided that becoming an adventurer in the Free City, engaging in various endeavors, was the path to true strength. It was during this time that she encountered someone she initially believed to be strong—Fei. He stood out during a test, giving her hope and expectations. He seemed like a person of strength. Fei discerned the purpose behind the test before anyone else did. Bowlan thought that he might possess extraordinary magical abilities compared to Arthur, but the reality was disappointing—he was just another weakling.

Fei’s aptitude for magic, swordsmanship, and everything else fell short. He was the type of weakling that Bowlan detested.

Her attention had already shifted towards Arthur and True, who were undoubtedly stronger than her and possessed exceptional talents that surpassed her own. Fei was no longer of concern to her.

However, despite her indifference, Bowlan couldn’t help but be drawn to him.

She failed to notice the approaching threat—a hungry wolf. His meticulously honed swordsmanship barely grazed his opponent.

One day, they engaged in swordplay once again. It was a training session for temporary members, nothing out of the ordinary.

“Um, let’s begin the practical training between Bowlan-san and Fei-kun.”

“Alright.”

“……”

Bowlan gave a slight nod in response to Yururu’s signal. Fei silently complied. The two faced each other, their swords at the ready. In an instant, they closed the gap between them, engaging in a swift dance of swordplay.

The sound of wooden swords colliding echoed through the air. Bowlan suddenly realized something.

(If this were before, I would have deflected his sword with ease. I was too tense back then…)

Fei had learned from his training with Yururu the importance of relaxation and applying force at critical moments. He effortlessly evaded the initial strike that should have easily taken him down. The sound of their wooden swords clashing resonated. Bowlan couldn’t help but notice a subtle difference. However, that alone wasn’t enough for her to be defeated. She emerged victorious that day. Fei’s wooden sword was sent flying, marking the end of the fight.

(…… I won again.)

Yet, gradually, a strange sensation began to creep into her being. It annoyed her, the way his sword stood in her way…

Little by little, an overwhelming feeling approached her. An aura of command, an unfamiliar energy. She realized it was drawing closer, even though she initially deemed it unworthy of her attention.

(…… Why are we evenly matched?)

“Slowly but surely, it closed in. The subject that once held no interest for me was now catching up,” she mused.

Swords clashed against each other. Up until now, Fei had been on the defensive side. However, he continued to unleash a flowing series of attacks. She simply kept deflecting them.

“(Have I been too focused on defense until now? I never thought…)”

A flicker of anxiety coursed through her.

“(Losing to someone I thought was weak? Me?)”

The pressure of being defeated by someone she considered weak weighed heavily on her. Nervousness caused her hands to grow sweaty, and her grip on the sword began to slip. Nevertheless, she persisted, deflecting Fei’s attacks with unwavering determination etched onto her face.

Again and again, like rain, the mental strain pushed her to her limits.

“Until I defeat you, this rain won’t stop.”

Fei’s eyes conveyed that message as he continued his relentless barrage. Bowlan teetered on the verge of surrender but managed to regain her composure. However, in the next instant, she couldn’t withstand a ferocious onslaught. Her sweaty hands caused her sword to fly out of her grasp, and the impact of the blow rendered her momentarily frozen in shock.

“Fei wins!”

Yururu, who had been attentively observing Fei’s efforts, felt a sense of joy at witnessing his growth. However, maintaining her role as a teacher, she remained impartial and simply declared the outcome.

“…”

“I… lost to someone like that…”

Fei had achieved his first victory in a sword fighting match against another person. He had never emerged triumphant before, but this marked a turning point.

Fei glanced at Bowlan, and their eyes met. His gaze seemed to communicate that he was no longer interested in her, as if she were beneath him. Anger surged within Bowlan.

“You…”

“…Bowlan-san.”

“Tch.”

True intervened, putting an end to her outburst. Bowlan clicked her tongue in frustration and complied.

“It’s obvious that it was a fluke. Losing to a weakling like that…”

She muttered deliriously. True watched her silently, refraining from offering any comments. And so, the training session came to an end. Fei, who had only achieved one victory thus far, proceeded to perform his customary ten backflips on his hands.

In a certain corner of an empty lot, as the sun began to set, Bowlan swung her sword. Usually, she would return to the dormitory after training, but today she continued with additional practice. Her anger fueled her actions. Suddenly, a voice filled with vitality addressed her.

“Bowlan-san.”

“Huh!? What is it, True!?”

“Well, I’ve been thinking that you’ve misunderstood something. I wanted to clarify it for you.”

“…Huh!?”

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

Bowlan expressed her discontent with True’s sudden appearance.

“I want you to come with me.”

“…Tch. What is it?”

Despite her grumbling response, she followed him. After a while , they arrived at a training area where three trees were planted.

“Can you see it?”

“…Fei and Yururu?”

“Exactly.”

The cool night air brushed against them as they gazed upon a scene that resembled purgatory. There was someone who constantly pushed themselves to improve, to elevate their skills.

“Has he not done your ten backflips yet?” Bowlan inquired about the punishment of performing ten handstand backflips, but True shook his head.

“No, he do that after completing ten laps every day.”

“…Every day. Even with that much training…”

“It doesn’t matter. He… I don’t like him. Even when we were at the orphanage, his behavior was always terrible, and he said awful things to me and the other orphans.”

“…”

“But he suddenly changed. Because of something terrible… I’m scared of him. I hate him. But there’s one thing I can say.”

True spoke devoid of emotion.

“He’s strong.”

“… “

“He turns his loneliness into strength and keeps running tirelessly. Two years ago, he underwent a sudden transformation. I was scared, always wary of him. So I know. He has been running all this time. Initially, he encountered various obstacles and got stuck in the mud.”

“… “

“But it’s not a fluke that he defeated you, Bowlan. He has been pushing himself to his limits. That’s all, I believe. He just grazed your back…”

“Why do you keep saying that?”

Bowlan questioned, and True let out a wry smile, tinged with both amusement and dryness. It was a warning laced with sympathy.

“I don’t know. I thought you were underestimating him, and you might come to regret it.”

It was a fear that could neither be proven nor dismissed. True understood what it felt like. This child might also experience it someday.

The fear of stepping on a snake only to realize it was a dragon’s tail. The mere memory of it sent shivers down True’s spine.

“Like me.”

“…Have you experienced it too?”

“Well, yes. It’s embarrassing to admit, but it’s already become a trauma for me… I don’t want to feel that fear again. That’s why, even in mock battles, I immediately relinquish his sword, you know?”

“…Because it’s a mock battle.”

“In a real battle, he persists like a serpent. That tenacity only grows stronger as the challenges become tougher and more painful, and he naturally embraces it, yearns for it. He’s an enigmatic existence.”

“… “

“Well, that’s all I wanted to say. I should be going. If I stay here, I might get caught.”

“…Hey, were you watching all along?”

“…Well, yeah. Sister asked me to, and personally, I couldn’t tear my eyes away from it.”

True left as if fleeing from the scene. The wind blew, leaving Bowlan alone. She had once believed herself to be weak. But now, she questioned that assumption.

That match—it was a pure exhibition of swordsmanship. If she had utilized her magic, she would have undoubtedly emerged victorious. Only once had she been dirtied. But that would be akin to surrendering the fight.

Next time, in a fair duel with no external factors involved.

“I’ll admit it. He’s strong. Fei. And mark my words, I’ll defeat you until there’s nothing left.”

Resolute in identifying her archenemy, Bowlan departed. In that place, only the strong remained.

———————————————-

As I joyfully walked on my hands through the capital city, my elation was completely justified. You see, this time, I emerged victorious in my swordsmanship training! Arthur, True, and Bowlan—altogether, we had engaged in 1,200 battles, with me suffering 1,199 defeats and finally securing one glorious win! Admittedly, there were days when victory seemed elusive and various anxieties crept in. However, when you’ve come this far, you can sense it too.

Undoubtedly, I am the hardworking protagonist. It took me over two years since my memory returned to realize this. I possess both coolness and an indomitable work ethic. The challenges I face must be significant; winning should be difficult. The concept of a foundation period was absolutely correct. It’s only natural to encounter unreasonable situations during such times—that’s the essence of being a hardworking protagonist. While I have been rewarded for my efforts thus far, I refuse to slack off now. I’ve been dedicating myself to training nearly every day, only pausing for sleep and meals. This way of life shall persist because I am the hardworking protagonist! What purpose would a hardworking protagonist serve if they didn’t work hard? Let us continue pushing ourselves further and further in the future. We shall grow gradually, little by little!

Speaking of growth, I can’t help but anticipate an extraordinary awakening event. Perhaps it’s best to consider various elements as a protagonist without adhering to a single idea! So, from this moment onward, let us give it our all!

As I continued walking on my hands, thoughts swirled in my mind. For the first time, I emerged victorious against Bowlan… or so I believe. Looking ahead, my future plans involve defeating True, followed by Arthur, in that order, I suppose?

It’s crucial to take things step by step and become stronger along the way.

And now, it’s your turn, True! To be honest, I’m not particularly interested in Bowlan anymore since I’ve already defeated her once. It’s not thrilling to face an enemy I’ve already vanquished repeatedly. Bowlan doesn’t capture my attention.

Let’s elevate ourselves one step at a time.

However, Arthur is an entirely different story. Seriously, that person is a force to be reckoned with. No one has managed to best her, and both True and Bowlan fell to her decisively. I don’t feel confident enough to overcome her at this moment.

Nevertheless, I will emerge victorious. After all, I am the protagonist. Will I give my best moving forward? Absolutely.



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