A Story of a Cannon Fodder Volume 2 Chapter 11 part 1

Chapter Eleven: Maria and Lilia

Memory, like Swiss cheese, has gaps here and there. I can’t recall. But I know that the forgotten memories are terrifying.
That’s right, I remember the memory of almost killing Lilia.
My mother had blonde hair… I think. I was held by her when I was a baby. My mother seemed like an ordinary person who could be found anywhere.
But in reality, my mother had red hair. Beautiful red hair, and at the same time, she was a far cry from ordinary, being a holy knight.
I was a village girl. I grew up normally, had aptitude for magic, and talent in swordsmanship. And to avenge my mother, who was killed by a Daemon, I became a holy knight.
Yes, that’s how it should be. But sometimes I lose sight of myself. I doubt my memories. Who am I?

Am I Lilia…? Or Lilia…?

In the city of Ned, a few days after the tournament ended, Arthur found Fei walking in the capital, Britannia.
“Oh, Fei, what are you doing?”
A day with no missions or training. Fei was at the general store. He wore a handmade red scarf given to him by Yururu around his neck. Arthur found it unusual because Fei was walking around the capital without training.
Furthermore, he held two flower hair ornaments in his hand. Even more unusual.
“Are those hair ornaments for girls?”
“If Fei wears them, shouldn’t they be black?”
” It’s not for me. It’s for Maria.”
“Oh, right. She’s from the orphanage, isn’t she?”
“Yeah, but it’s almost her birthday. I owe her one. That’s why I decided to buy this.”
“You’re buying two, one red and one blue?”
“…I just felt like Maria should have two, two kinds of hair ornaments.”
“I see.”
“After buying this, I’m leaving.”
“R-Right, see you.”
Without replying to Arthur, Fei bought the two hair ornaments and left. Winter had set in, making it colder, but Arthur felt even colder without Fei there.

In a certain village, there was a girl. The village where the girl lived was very peaceful. The village where the girl lived no longer exists, but it definitely existed.
The name of the girl who lived in that village was Lilia. She was a normal girl, blessed with beauty, and she loved flowers. Her father had been absent since she was a child, and her mother was the only parent she knew.
Lilia’s mother, like her, had beautiful blonde hair and a kind face, and she was loved in the village. For Lilia, the village and her mother were precious and beloved.
She had a happy life from a young age, but it was suddenly shattered when she was eight years old.
One night. There was a loud noise, and Lilia woke up. She wasn’t the only one. Her mother and all the villagers in the village also noticed the unusual noise.
However, it was already too late. The unusual noise was a horde of monsters. There were hounds that looked like wolves, snake-like creatures, large bird-like creatures, and many more. Suddenly, they gathered and attacked their village.
Screams echoed in Lilia’s ears. The villagers were being killed by the monsters one after another. Their bellies were split open with large claws, their heads crushed, their legs cut off. Lilia trembled, feeling nauseous.
“Lilia… Hide here.”
“But Mom…”
“I’ll be the decoy.”
“No way…”
“Those monsters have some kind of intention. Normally, different species wouldn’t band together like that. There must be someone giving orders somewhere…”
“M-Mom, don’t go.”
“Lilia, I’m sorry.”
Lilia’s mother pushed her into the closet. And before leaving, she stroked Lilia’s head and left.
Lilia was told to hide by her mother, and she did. She convinced herself that she would see her mother again someday…


The sun rose. When she came out from her hiding place, the village was soaked in blood.
“Huh? That’s odd. There are survivors, aren’t there?”
A creepy, high-pitched female voice echoed in Lilia’s ears. When she turned around, a creepy woman with brown hair and red eyes was standing there.
Lilia realized in an instant. This was the person who had lured monsters to attack their village yesterday…
“Well, since you’re here, should I keep you? I killed a monster that made nice screams the other day…”
Saying that, the woman caught Lilia.
With a sneer, the woman imprisoned Lilia in a certain mountain hut.
Then, it was hell. Every day, Lilia was subjected to torture by the vile woman. No matter how much she cried out or called for help, it was a chain of repeated pain.
She experienced hell, a lifetime’s worth of hell. During this time, the spirit of the girl named Lilia was gradually worn away.
Her mind gradually became numb from the daily torture. Emotions faded away.
Having given up hope of rescue, the girl named Lilia once came close to death.
──This is the story of Lilia when she turned twelve in the year 317 of the Holy Grail Era. A certain holy knight suddenly found her. She was a red-haired female holy knight.
Her name was Margaret, and she was chasing a criminal. A woman named Terror who used monsters to attack people and villages and plunder their possessions. Margaret had been chasing Terror for a long time.
She found her at that moment. In a certain mountain hut… she killed Terror and saved Lilia.
──Margaret remembered Terror’s face, drew it, and made a portrait. After her face was revealed, Terror’s crimes abruptly disappeared.
But Terror’s mark remained. Lilia, who had been tortured for many years, had become an empty shell. Occasionally panicking, vomiting, and choking, she was no longer in a state where she could live normally.
Margaret took in the orphaned Lilia. Margaret raised her, but her psychological state was severely damaged. Unable to bear it, Margaret used her own magic eye to hypnotize her.
──There was never a girl named Lilia to begin with. You are Maria, Margaret’s daughter, and you have always lived together.
A strong suggestion. She didn’t put it on for just one day, but for days, weeks, and months. As a result, all fear and happiness from the past were reset. With this, Maria regained her sanity and returned to being an ordinary village girl.
And so, Margaret decided to become Maria’s real mother and quit being a holy knight, living together in a certain village.
“What? Mom.”
“I… no, it’s nothing. I’m really happy that Maria has grown up so well. Let’s always be together.”
A happy daily life continued. Margaret felt that Maria was not just her real daughter, but something more, and vowed to love her forever. They read books together at night, drew pictures of flowers together on holidays, and occasionally went out to eat, trying their best to be a mother to her.
Mercilessly, that peace was once again shattered. Margaret was killed by Daemon. The whole village disappeared. Once again, everything was taken away.
You can’t imagine how much resentment there was. Although Maria didn’t remember, the resentment, hatred, anger accumulated during Lilia’s time, and even now, the anger that Daemon had taken away everything burned into her memory.
She had no choice but to become a avenger. Inevitably, she ended up on the path of vengeance.
After becoming a holy knight, she almost died countless times, killed Daemon countless times, but her anger did not subside, the number of Daemons did not decrease, and revenge was not achieved.
──It was a life of only impatience and anger, but Maria was slightly saved by the smiles of the children she helped as a holy knight.
She felt somewhere that she wanted to extinguish the flames of revenge. Her heart was already exhausted to the limit. So she created an orphanage. Using hypocrisy to continue to save unfortunate children.
The flames began to diminish with a happy life and the smiles of cute children.
She was tormented by the thought of using children to stop revenge. Still, the flames gradually diminished.
Yes, it would have been good if it had ended here. But it couldn’t end here.
The melancholic novel game doesn’t end here. A cruel fate awaits her. On her birthday, she will lose everything once again.

Maria’s birthday has arrived. Since the day before, the children at the orphanage have been preparing for her birthday party, as she is a significant figure akin to a mother to them.
However, on such a day, True, a holy knight, receives news of a mission.
The mission is a simple daemon extermination. Even in the scenario of the novel game, True has a mission on Maria’s birthday.
In the game, choices appear for True in this situation.
[It’s Maria’s birthday, but it’s a mission today. Didn’t we just decide to do our best recently? Maria will understand.]
[As a holy knight, I vowed to do my best again, but today is Maria’s birthday.]
In the original game timeline, True encounters Daemon on their first mission and loses comrades. This happens right after Arthur encourages them, and they decide to do their best. However, in reality, Fei’s scolding has slightly altered the situation for True.
However, the choice remains whether to go on the mission on Maria’s birthday or stay. That hasn’t changed.
In the world of the melancholic novel game, one choice can drastically change one’s life.
If the former is chosen, Maria dies. Then, True falls into a depressive state again, and the game continues. However, if the latter is chosen, the story progresses into Maria’s route, and the narrative branches to its end.
The decision of True, the protagonist of “Round Table Chronicles,” is…
“Today, I… can’t lose to him. I’ll go on the mission…”
In True’s mind, there is Fei’s figure. Ever since Fei kicked their back the other day and after witnessing his figure in the warrior tournament, True has been full of motivation for their duties as a holy knight.
True chose to go on the mission.

But, in this situation, perhaps there was no other choice. In the game, most players would go on the mission after being encouraged by Arthur.

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