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

Chapter 2: Arthur Under the Moon

A puddle of bright red blood had formed. There was so much blood you could call it a pool. The ground was covered with the spilled blood.

Blood, blood, blood, nothing but blood all around. An endless red pool, with young Arthur standing alone in the middle. She knelt in the hopeless pool of blood, eyes blank.

Ripples spread through the pool of blood, radiating from her in all directions. Drawn to her, something approached.

“G-give it…back…”

“G-give it…over…”

“G-give it back…”

Two women with missing eyes staggered slowly towards her like zombies.

Behind them, a woman with a hole in her chest. The three blood-soaked women clung to the blonde girl as if mourning something lost, trying to take back something stolen, like needy children.

They approached us like children mourning for what was lost, trying to get back what was stolen from them.

Arthur lowered her eyes in horror, but when she realized, the girl was surrounded by countless corpses.

The pool of blood was filled with corpses. Seeing them, Arthur was overcome with nausea. Confused and dizzy, her ears plugged against the wailing voices, her eyes closed in terror, she could only crouch.

Killed, killed, killed, stolen, taken, and yet she lives. Her own hands bright red, her pristine body stained with blood, she felt the warm lifeblood seep into her, rejecting it completely.

Even if she plugged her ears and closed her eyes, the screams echoing in her heart could not be silenced. On the back of her eyelids, the blood-soaked girl was etched into her memory. She could never forget her.

“To atone… I must… become a hero… or I will die…”

Like a curse, muttering madness to preserve himself, Arthur woke up. Drenched in cold sweat, exhausted from the nightmare.

“…Ah…”

The women’s dormitory of the Knights of the Round Table. On the second floor, Arthur sat up, sweating from the night’s terror. The cool night breeze through the open window was a slight relief.

She didn’t hate the moon. Bathed in its light, she felt that even her twisted, ugly self became beautiful. She stared at the moon for a few minutes, letting the wind blow on her.

Just staring blankly. Even though it was late, she couldn’t sleep. Zoning out to the moon, time passed.

After a while, the night wind dried her sweat a bit and she began to calm down. But she still felt unsettled.

So she left the dormitory. She wanted to walk around the capital, get some air. Just to get her mind off things. And to forget the bad memories a little.

But with training starting tomorrow, she couldn’t wander around all night. The trial period of the Knights of the Round Table was about to end. With the end of the probation approaching, the training had become even more grueling.

So she had to be in top shape for the training. She needed sleep. If she got some exercise, it might help her rest, she thought.

There were no people in the night capital. No human sounds. Walking in the silence made her feel strangely alone.

But she told herself that was only natural.

She walked without purpose, just wandering. Before she knew it, her feet had taken her to the usual training grounds. Wandering aimlessly through the wilderness. The place had always been occupied, but now it was empty. Nothing but the wind…or so it should have been.

-But there was someone there.

The wilderness with the three trees where they always trained was shrouded in clouds, the moonlight obscured.

But she sensed someone there and approached.

As she approached, the wind blew and the clouds moved as if in response to her. Gradually, the clouds were swept away by the wind, and the two of them were illuminated by the moonlight.

“Fei…”

“…Arthur?”

It was Fei. She wasn’t sure if they could be called comrades, but they knew each other.

He reacted indifferently to her voice, not even glancing in her direction, his back to her.

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“Why are you here?”

“….Is there a need to tell you?”

“Just curious, so I asked.”

“…..Training. I’m just catching my breath.”

As usual, he was drenched in an incredible amount of sweat.

Known to some as a training-obsessed madman, she had seen Fei up close.

And his typical emotionless words.

Of course, she felt reassured by them. Their muted voices to each other. Some might think it sounded like machines talking.

But she liked it. Why, she didn’t know, but his similarly subdued manner, his eccentricity, she liked it.

Her previously restless mind was somehow mysteriously calmed.

“Why is Fei… so strong?”

“…..Is that meant as an insult?”

“…..No.”

“Heh, coming from you who always overpowers me, it can only sound insulting.”

“…..It’s not meant as an insult.”

Fei snorted in irritation, still not looking at her, maintaining a defiant tone as he spoke softly. Of course, hearing that from Arthur, who was constantly beating him up, would sound insulting to Fei.

“I’m weak… Fei must be stronger… I’m just… a cheater…”

Her words became quieter and quieter. They were honestly how the usually composed Arthur saw himself, now sad. Her impassive face crumbled sadly into something too pitiful to look at directly.

Since her features were so clean, her expression would evoke more sympathy. People would want to comfort her somehow.

But Fei’s reaction was the exact opposite.

“…..Don’t like it.”

The anger in his voice rang out in the night. Unlike her tragic words, his were laced with frustration.

Hearing it, her sadness instantly turned to confusion.

“Huh?”

“I can’t stand you. The strongest of our unit uttering such words. You are strong. How about acting high and mighty for once?”

“….But.”

“Tch, whatever. Spar with me a bit.”

Saying that, he finally turned from the back he’d been keeping to face her.

And tossed her a spare wooden sword. Arthur caught it in her right hand. Forced, she assumed a fighting stance.

“….If you want.”

“Come at me like normal.”

At his words, Arthur moved first.

A downward diagonal slash from the right. Fei blocked it as if he’d anticipated it, impassive as always.

She’d fought him so often. She knew his style. They traded blows for a few seconds, neither gaining ground.

But then Arthur’s blade accelerated. Smoothly increasing speed at a constant interval.

The previous attacks had been a warm-up, getting a feel for the sword.

Now it finally shifted gears. Sensing that she’d been holding back, Fei’s anger rose again.

Since he’d been training all the time, his body was warm and his muscles were loose.

Even though he was tired from the endless training, he was in better shape than Arthur.

That should have been the case, but Arthur had the upper hand.

The end was sudden. As usual, his sword went flying. Fei looked at her sharply and clicked his tongue.





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