A Story of a Cannon Fodder Volume 2 Chapter 9

“Chapter Nine: Special Training” 
“In a relaxed tone, the Holy Knight known as Marumaru began speaking.  
He was a veteran knight who also supervised the round table knights of Fei’s group. 
He had instructed several young holy knights to gather at the usual training ground, a place with three trees. The members were Fei, Bowlan, Arthur, True, Esse, and Kamase, a total of six. 
“Today, you’ve gathered here for special training,” Marumaru said. 
Why had training resumed with this particular group of members? 
It was because knights were dying one after another this season. Already, six new holy knights had died. It was unusual for so many newly recruited knights to die so quickly after the probationary period, necessitating some action, hence the need for training again. 
Training while on a mission. This was quite a burden, and Esse and Kamase looked pale. 
“Let’s start with some running,”  
Marumaru said, clapping his hands. With that, everyone started running through the wilderness. Fei was the first to sprint ahead, swinging his arms vigorously and leaving the others behind. From the time of his probation, he had been the handstand king of the capital, enduring harsh training, and now adding self-practice to that. 
–With his physical abilities surpassing those without Star Magics, there were hardly any peers who could match him. 
Bowlan, considering pace, couldn’t catch up with Fei. However, Esse, pushing his pace, managed to. 
“Fei, it’s been a while.” 
“…Esse, huh?” 
“Well, I didn’t particularly want to greet you… That cute blond girl, Arthur, right? You were in the same unit during probation, right? Can you introduce me to her somehow?” 
Esse spoke to Fei while running. In Esse’s eyes, there was the figure of Arthur sneaking glances at Fei. She wanted to talk to Fei, but he didn’t know that Esse was being a hindrance. 
“I’m not that close to her.” 
“Huh? But you were talking to her earlier, weren’t you?” 
“I was asked about my thoughts on lettuce.” 
“What? What does that mean?” 
“How would I know? I’m going.” 
Fei increased his speed even further.  
“Too fast? You can still go up a gear? !” 
Ignoring Esse’s surprise, he continued ahead. Then, as if waiting, Arthur caught up with Fei. 
“The person from earlier, do you know him? Is he a friend?” 
“…I’m not that close to him.” 
“Huh? But he seemed quite cheerful.” 
“I was asked about yourself?” 
“Huh? Why?” 
“…Who knows. I’m going.” 
Fei increased his speed even more, leaving Arthur behind. 
“Want some dressing to enjoy your lettuce?” 
“…Don’t waste your breath. Just run quietly.” 
Feeling a strange déjà vu and ignoring the mysterious Arthur who loved lettuce, he focused on the training. Fei was serious. He continued running and finished training in first place. 
Then, after pure strength training, they proceeded to dash training using Star Magics.” 
“First, there is a punishment game for the one who was the slowest. If it’s pure physical strength, then it’s Fei, but when it comes to star element manipulation, the result is different. 
Unlike before, Fei was at the bottom. 
(Really, this kid is the most unbalanced this season… if it’s pure physical ability, he’d be first, but with Star Magics, he’s at the bottom…) 
Maru Maru observes Fei with keen interest. He finds Fei, the newest member, the most intriguing. 
“All right, Fei. As a punishment game for you… hmm. Since you must be quite tired and at your limit, how about doing one hundred swings?” 
It was a punishment game decided from the beginning, but Maru Maru, mindful of Fei’s fatigue from training, instructed him to do one hundred swings. Arthur reacted to those words. 
(This teacher underestimates Fei too much… Fei is much more hardworking, and just a hundred swings shouldn’t be his limit. To say that’s his limit, he’s really clueless.) 
She wanted to object to Maru Maru as Fei’s representative. Fei wanted to say loudly that he was much more hardworking and amazing, and that this shouldn’t be his limit. However, Arthur had communication issues. Not knowing how to say it, he was lost in thought. 
(Well, how should I say this… if I say it too forcefully, it might create friction…) 
(For Fei, I should suggest letting him do more swings. With his high potential, diligence, concentration, and consciousness, Fei wouldn’t be satisfied with just that number of swings.) 
After much deliberation, Arthur came up with the perfect line. 
“I think Fei should add one more zero to the amount of his swing.” 
People around them wondered if he was provoking the kid. But she didn’t notice that. 
Fei, who heard it, was slightly annoyed. 
(As expected from the rival Giant Panda… saying sarcastic things directly to me, the protagonist… It’s incredibly irritating, but… fine. I’ll go along with it!!!! And I’ll surpass expectations!!) 
“I was planning to increase it from the start. And, it’s two more zero, Arthur.” 
(As expected, Fei… surpassing even my thoughts… But our thoughts were similar. I understand Fei the best after all.) 
(This guy doesn’t seem surprised even though I’m saying I’ll do ten thousand swings… Is she taunting me? Do you think you can do it at your level? I’ll definitely show you.) 
(Do your best, Fei.) 
(Is she looking at me with an expressionless face… thinking it’s ridiculous? I’ll use her as a stepping stone for me, the protagonist, so be prepared.) 

“Um… then, should we end the training here?” 
Unable to bear it any longer, Maru Maru ended the special training. After that, Fei swung the sword with anger while Arthur, who seemed emotionless but somehow happy, watched. 


By the time Fei finished swinging, it was already dark around. 
As usual, Yururu visited the place with three trees in the wilderness for night training. 
“Um, Fei, you’re drenched in sweat…” 
“No problem.” 
“Hey, why don’t we take a break from training today?” 
“Let’s do it.” 
“But, it seems like everyone is waiting for you, Fei-kun.” 
Ahead of her gaze, she could see the figures of the holy knights who had trained with Fei today. They must be waiting for Fei to finish his training. They were talking about going to the knights’ bathhouse together after training to wash off the sweat. 
But since Fei hadn’t shown up yet, they were waiting. 
“Hey, Fei. Wanna go to the bath with us?” 
“I refuse.” 
“An instant answer, huh!?” 
“Fei-kun, please deepen your friendship with your classmates today! It’s advice as your mentor!” 
“…I see. If you say so, there must be some meaning to it.” 
“What’s with you? Do you actually listen to what that girl says?” 
With an expression that seemed to say she had a point, Fei headed towards the bathhouse. But there was hesitation in Yururu’s expression. She didn’t seem to want to use the bathhouses or facilities that the knights often used. Yururu was disliked by some of the holy knights because her brothers had committed criminal acts. It was difficult for her to use the facilities used by those knights. She hesitated, her face clouded. 
Bowlan noticed and spoke up. 
“What’s up? Aren’t you coming, Sensei?” 
“Well, I…” 
“We’re all together, so you’re not alone! Let’s go together!” 
“…Yeah, you’re right. Since Arthur-san is coming too… If I’m not alone, maybe it’s okay.” 
Encouraged by Bowlan, Yururu managed a faint smile and thought about heading to the bathhouse. 
(…Is it okay to go?) 
She worried that someone might whisper something to her, but such worries were unnecessary. Indeed, someone did whisper something to her. 
But with Fei beside her, she didn’t mind. Just having him next to her, with his arm linked and his serious expression, was somehow reassuring. 
Though they didn’t say anything, Fei would glare at anyone who talked about Yururu, scattering them like spiders. 
Arthur and Bowlan also felt reassuring to her, feeling lucky to have such good students. Although Fei and she separated into men’s and women’s baths, just knowing he was nearby made her feel stronger. 
Arriving at the bathhouse, Fei, True, Ese, and Kamase from the boys’ group, and Arthur, Yururu, and Bowlan from the girls’ group split up and entered their respective baths. 
After washing themselves thoroughly, the three of them soaked in the bathtub. 
“Ah, it feels good.” 
“Yeah, it’s nice.” 
Seeing Bowlan and Arthur in the bathtub, Yururu felt a certain allure as a woman. At the same time, though they were younger than her, she felt a sense of attraction that was greater than hers, which complicated her feelings. 
“Bowlan-san and Arthur-san are both beautiful, aren’t they?” 
“Huh? Well, yeah. But I think Sensei is cute too.” 
“Indeed, Sensei is cute.” 
“I-is that so?” 
“Like, kind of childish and cute!” 
Being called a child by Bowlan, who was younger and her student, made her feel a little down. Then, they heard a voice from the men’s bath next door. 
“Fei! What’s that!? Huge!? I’m embarrassed! Kamase, you better hide. If Fei’s a dragon, you’re a mole!” 
“The… difference in stature…” 
“I-I would also be like that if blood flowed to the lower body!” 
Echoes of wondrous voices reverberated. The voices were so big that they echoed into the women’s bath as well. Although Arthur and Bowlan didn’t understand what was being discussed, Yururu knew why they were speaking so bigly. 
(Fei, it’s so big…) 
“What are they talking about?” 
“I don’t know. Do you know, teacher?” 
“I, I’m not sure. What could it be?” 
She pretended not to know, but Arthur and Bowlan continued their conversation. 
“What part of Fei’s anatomy is large?” 
“Maybe it’s his nose?” 
“Fei doesn’t have a particularly large nose. It’s straight and tall.” 
“Oh, right. He does have good facial features. Quite handsome, actually. Even though he has a fierce gaze, is unfriendly, and doesn’t listen to others.” 
“Fei is a bit scary, but he’s not a bad person.” 
“Huh? What’s with you? You seem to understand.” 
“Actually, I feel like I understand Fei the best.” 
“Oh, really? Can you guess his favorite food?” 
“Fei loves lettuce.” 
“Fei occasionally goes to the bakery. I go there too, so we occasionally meet. He always buys ham and lettuce sandwiches there… that’s when I became convinced. Fei likes lettuce.” 
“Hmm, now that you mention it, it does seem possible!” 
Arthur’s doubtful reasoning. Her confident tone lent it some credibility. And Bowlan, being so pure, immediately believed her words. Yururu, watching from the side, couldn’t help but smirk. 
(Fei likes ham, so he buys it… He mentioned he likes it before. Also, Bowlan is too pure…) 
“So, I had a few things I wanted to thank him for, so I put three heads of lettuce in a bag and gave it to him as a present.” 
“What happened?” 
“Oh, he took it with a surprised expression. His eyes blinked three times, so I think he was really happy.” 
(…Fei must have been surprised by such a tricky gift… They’re too gullible… including Bowlan.) 
—The Perplexed Detective, Arthur. 
She didn’t understand her reasoning. She couldn’t understand it. Her reasoning wasn’t something to be untangled logically but simply felt. It might seem absurd to others, but Bowlan respected strength. Having experienced Arthur’s strength firsthand when she first joined the team, coupled with her purity, she completely believed her words. 
“Oh! That might actually be true! But I didn’t know he liked lettuce!” 
“I’m planning to give him some dressing that goes well with lettuce next time.” 
“Dressing, huh!” 
“I think Fei must love lettuce so much that he imagines a lettuce field in his head.” 
“Is that so! I’ll remember that too!” 
Fei’s mysterious trait of loving lettuce was solidified. 
“Oh, yeah, from now on, when I give him something, it’ll be lettuce!” 
(Bowlan… too pure. But maybe I should learn from this honest personality…) 
—The Birth of Pure Bowlan!! 
Her initial prickly demeanor was nowhere to be found. She had softened considerably. And thus, Bowlan evolved into Pure Bowlan. 
And in the future, on Fei’s birthday, he would receive an abundance of lettuce. Conversely, Yururu had decided to gift ham to Fei.

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