A Story of a Cannon Fodder Volume 1 Chapter 15

Extra 2: Stray Cat

The royal city of Britannia basked in the sunlight as bustling crowds engaged in shopping and conversation. However, amidst the hustle and bustle, there were areas that remained untouched by the sun’s rays. The vast city was dotted with alleys and backstreets that remained in perpetual shadow.

Though the ambiance may have seemed eerie, this place was still peaceful, albeit with a faint hint of malevolence. It’s really just a small thing, but…

In one of the alleyways, a wooden box served as a resting place for two cats. One was a fierce-looking black male cat, resembling a knight-in-training from a distant land. The other was a beautiful female cat with golden fur, her eyes reminiscent of a certain blond-haired Arthur. These two were stray cats who had once been pets in a certain household but had been abandoned due to financial difficulties. Now they resided here, leading a quiet life.

Their owner had disappeared, and although they had felt lonely at first, they gradually adjusted to their new way of life. Occasionally, they would find scraps of food and share it between themselves. They believed that as long as they led a peaceful existence, everything would be fine. However, on this particular day, a group of young children, around seven years old, stumbled upon their hidden abode.

“Hey, look! There are cats over here!”

“Really?”

“Wow, they’re cool!”

The three boys approached the cats, their faces filled with the excitement of discovering a new toy.

“Meow.”

The male cat with the fierce gaze glared at the boys, perceiving them as a threat. The female cat with the golden fur positioned herself in front of him, protecting her companion. The children found this amusing and reached out to touch the cats with their hands. The black cat resisted, not liking the intrusion, but kids strength proved too much for the cats to handle.

“The fur is so soft.”

“The paw pads are incredible.”

Children, at times, harbor an unconscious malevolence. Similar to how elementary school students may catch frogs and dissect them out of curiosity, these children were now captivated by the cats, satisfying their own inquisitiveness. However, the cats did not appreciate being touched in such a manner. They despised the way they were being handled.

As the children continued to indulge their curiosity, a warm gust of wind suddenly swept through the alley. It carried a peculiar sensation, giving them goosebumps.

“…”

When they looked up, they saw a man with black hair and sharp eyes, his face appearing very scary. He wore the training clothes of the Knights of the Round Table, but the children wondered whether he was truly a holy knight or a demon. The fact that they were in a dark alley made the man even more terrifying to the children, causing them to immediately release the cats and run away.

“Ah!”

“There he is!”

“Run!”

Without uttering a word to the fleeing children, the black cat and the man faced each other. Both of them had a bad-tempered disposition. The man held a burnt meat skewer in his hand, which he placed on top of a box along with the ripe red tomatoes he was carrying.


“Dedication, dedication, dedication! That’s the kind of life the protagonist, me, leads. After the morning training session with Yururu-sensei and completing my training as a provisional member of the Holy Knights, it was finally time for lunch break. While strolling through the castle town, I happened upon a food stall selling delicious-looking meat.

“Hey, it’s the guy who can do a handstand!”

The food stall had an appealing set-up. I thought it might be worth trying out once in a while. Since I’m cool, I should make my purchase in a stylish manner. As I was contemplating that, a meat skewer was offered to me.

“Here, it’s on the house.”

“…I’ll pay for it.”

“It’s fine. Our sales always go up whenever you come.”

I didn’t know who this person was, but it seemed like they knew me. Perhaps they were a fan? Well, it’s normal to have fans when you’re the protagonist. With that thought in mind, I graciously accepted the offer and looked for a place to eat. However, I was halted in front of a vegetable shop.

“Oh, it’s the kid who can do a handstand. Take this.”

The old lady at the vegetable shop handed me a bright red and delicious-looking tomato. As expected of the protagonist, I have quite a few fans. Now, since I had come all this way, I decided to enjoy my lunch in a cool and secluded spot. I roamed around the capital and stumbled upon a deserted alley with few passersby. It felt a bit chilly there, and I thought it would be a relaxing place.

While taking in the surroundings, I heard the voices of young children and the distressed cries of a cat. Curiosity piqued, I moved closer and discovered children playfully petting a cat. It seemed like the cat wasn’t enjoying it, so I considered warning them, but the kids abruptly ran off. That’s when I noticed the black cat and the golden cat staring at me, and I stared right back. Hm, that black cat seems to have quite the temper. Its glare is incredibly intense. As for the golden cat… it resembles Arthur with its eyes.

Do these two cats live here? I should probably leave before they become a nuisance. However, I then realized that the cats were eyeing the food I had, not me.

“Oh, you want to eat? Are you hungry? I think cats eat meat and vegetables. Raw meat is a no-no, right? Since I got this for free, I suppose I can’t help it. I’ll give it to you.”

I couldn’t just drop the food on the ground, so I placed it on top of a wooden box and coolly walked away. And so, I had a ham and lettuce sandwich from a bakery for lunch.”


Several days had elapsed since Fei had generously given the cats their share of meat and tomatoes. On that particular day, Fei found himself practicing his sword swings amidst the three towering trees, striving to refine his skills. The sky wore a veil of clouds, casting a somber ambiance, and the air held a chill that hinted at an impending rain shower.

“Fei always dedicates himself to his sword practice, doesn’t he?”

Even though there was no formal training scheduled for the day, Fei voluntarily immersed himself in his rigorous training routine. Bowlan, a member of the special forces assigned to the temporary unit, often found herself in Fei’s company, almost inseparable. She made the remark as she happened to come across him, but Fei remained completely absorbed in his swings, not even sparing her a glance, his expression devoid of any familiarity.

“That’s none of your concern.”

“I have something I’d like to ask you.”

Despite Fei’s cold and dismissive tone, Bowlan persisted in engaging him in conversation.

“What does it truly mean to be strong?”

Bowlan posed a genuine, childlike question to Fei.

“When I refer to someone as strong, I imply that they possess physical strength, proficiency in magic, swordsmanship, and similar qualities. What are your thoughts, Fei?”

“I don’t know.”

“Give me a proper answer! I can’t rest at night due to my curiosity! And I can barely manage to eat eight pieces of bread!”

Bowlan’s dissatisfaction perched upon the branches of the tree where she sat. Having grown up in a beastman village, she had fought her battles in solitude for a significant period. Until now, she had always believed that strength boiled down to mere combat prowess, but doubt crept into her mind, suggesting that there might be more to it.

That’s why she turned to Fei, hoping that he might possess a solution to this enigma she couldn’t unravel. However, Fei chose not to respond. He seemed to imply that the answer would hold no meaning if she didn’t contemplate it herself.

Fei shot her a brooding glare. As their gazes locked for a while, a surge of anger emanated from Bowlan, and the weather got worse. Raindrops commenced their descent, drenching her crimson hair and ruby eyes.

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“Fei, it’s raining.”

“Oh.”

“Aren’t you going to cease your practice?”

“No.”

Unperturbed by the rain, Fei persisted in his sword swings. Bowlan lingered nearby, for reasons unknown, and the two of them shared the experience of being drenched for a while, until a figure approached.

“Bowlan, Arthur is here.”

Bowlan’s attention shifted to Arthur, who drew closer, wielding an umbrella.

“I brought the umbrella because Bowlan hadn’t returned to the dormitory.”

“Thank you.”

Arthur and Bowlan both resided in the knight order’s dormitory, thus possessing awareness of each other’s living arrangements.

Coincidentally, Arthur stumbled upon Fei as she wandered the streets of the royal capital, beset by concern for Bowlan’s well-being.

“Fei, would you like to take shelter under my umbrella? You might catch a cold if you stay wet.”

“I don’t mind. Both of you should head home.”

“I understand. Bowlan, let’s go.”

“Hey, Arthur! Let me share the same umbrella… I’ll leave this one here! Use it!”

“That’s unnecessary.”

Bowlan left Fei’s side, she went under Arthur’s umbrella in the process.


Meanwhile, True, the original main protagonist and rival of Arthur in the novel game “Round Table Heroes,”, finds himself approached by Maria, his fellow resident at the orphanage, who asks him to keep an eye on Fei due to her concerns. Although True holds an unfavorable opinion of Fei, he cannot refuse Maria’s request as she is a devoted Sister who tirelessly cares for the orphans, and True himself is indebted to her.

To True, Fei has always been an unpleasant presence at the orphanage. Ever since he underwent a drastic change at the age of thirteen, True has been apprehensive around him. While Fei has shown improvements in his behavior and hasn’t harmed anyone, and True has somewhat revised his impression of him during their time together in the temporary team, the negative image of Fei still lingers.

The rain has been incessant for quite some time. Fei, showing no intention of stopping his practice, appears to have noticed something and reaches for the umbrella that Bowlan had left behind. He then hurriedly dashes off.

Unbeknownst to Fei, True secretly trails him.

(Is he planning something weird like before…?)

With such thoughts swirling in his mind, True desperately follows Fei. He steps into puddles without a care, willingly drenching his shoes as he pursues him. Eventually, True spots Fei entering an alley.

(Why here?)

Fei sneaks into the alley, taking cover behind an object. However, True notices Fei running in a different direction, without an umbrella. He wonders where Fei left the umbrella and continues his search until…

“Meow.”

“Meow, meow.”

On top of a wooden box lies the open umbrella. Two slightly wet cats finally find shelter from the rain thanks to the umbrella.

(That guy…)

As if employing a psychological trick where delinquents who typically engage in wrongdoing appear commendable when they perform acts of kindness, True’s impression of Fei undergoes a slight change.


“Hey, Arthur.”

“Yes?”

“What does it truly mean to be strong?”

The two of them engage in a conversation within the dormitory cafeteria. Bowlan, acknowledging Arthur’s superiority in swordsmanship, magic, and everything else, seeks his insight on the concept of strength.

“I don’t know.”

“I always believed I was strong because I persevered on my own in the village… But I can’t quite grasp the essence of true strength.”

“I understand. There are various forms of strength.”

“Really?”

“Yes, like mental strength.”

“What’s that?”

“Well, it’s challenging to explain, but it’s akin to giving your all, like Fei does.”

“Like him…?”

“Being kind, like Fei.”

“Is he kind?”

Bowlan queries Arthur’s statement regarding Fei’s kindness.

“Perhaps… He shows kindness to Korosuke and Asamaru.”

“Korosuke and Asamaru? Who?”

“They’re cats. They reside in the capital’s alleyways.”

“Oh, Korosuke and Asamaru…”

Arthur personally named the cats Korosuke and Asamaru and regularly fed them while also tending to their fur with lukewarm water.

“That’s an odd choice of names.”

“…No, it’s not. Korosuke and Asamaru are excellent names that I bestowed upon them.”

Bowlan falls silent, slightly intimidated by Arthur’s response.

“Alright, I understand.”

Bowlan remains uncertain about the true nature of strength.


Ah, I recalled the cats when training on this rainy day. I have no choice but to take this umbrella and offer it to them. Training while getting drenched in the rain adds a heroic touch, reminiscent of a protagonist who exudes determination.

Training under the rain while soaked is like being a hardworking protagonist.

Since I won’t be using the umbrella anyway, I might as well give it to the cats, thanks to Bowlan to left it behind.


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