Read The Rising of the Shield Hero Volume 05 Online

Authors: Aneko Yusagi

Tags: #Fiction, #Fantasy

The Rising of the Shield Hero Volume 05

BOOK: The Rising of the Shield Hero Volume 05
8.05Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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Prologue: Class Up

I was standing in the main hall of the huge church that lorded over the town square in Melromarc. The enormous dragon hourglass stood in the center of the hall, a commanding presence.

“Every time I come here I end up feeling the same way. That thing looks more ominous than holy.”

“I feel the same way, Mr. Naofumi.”

“The red sand is so preeeeety!”

My name is Naofumi Iwatani.

Back in the real world, I was an average
otaku
college student in Japan.

I actually ended up here sort of by accident. I was killing time in the local library when I found an old book called
The Records of the Four Holy Weapons
. I started flipping through it only to black out and wake up again in the very world the book had been describing. I’d been summoned to serve as the Shield Hero.

Apparently the whole world was living under the threat of something called the waves of destruction.

Pretty soon I found out exactly what that meant. There were temporary waves that came at specified times. When the wave came, massive hoards of monsters appeared and attacked any person that happened to be living nearby.

People from this new world had summoned me from my own world to help them fight against the waves.

When I’d first arrived I was very enthusiastic—what could have been more exciting than adventuring in a whole new world? But then I met that
woman
. . . . Even now, most of the populace distrusts and hates me. It was all because of this woman, who was now officially known as Bitch. She had framed me for rape, lied about me, and dragged my reputation through the mud.

It was all a lie, but I was chased out of the kingdom and sent out into the world by myself. My ruined reputation basically ensured that I would never find another adventurer to travel with me.

Well, that’s what I’d thought at the time. Apparently I’d been mistaken.

In the end, and I’ll explain it all later, I ended up falling behind the other three heroes that had been summoned. They effectively got a head start on leveling up.

So not only was I unable to secure any help—I was also forced to fight in the battles of the waves.

I did what I could to level up, and I managed to stay alive for a while.

Eventually, I was able to take down some enemies that the other heroes had failed to defeat, but just when I thought things were looking up for me, I was framed for an even more serious crime.

The country that had summoned me was called Melromarc. It was a human-supremacist country and ruled by a queen.

Apparently the royal family was matrilineal, and the throne was passed down through the women in the family.

The princess next in line for the throne was named Melty—and they framed me for her kidnapping.

Melty was Bitch’s younger sister. She was . . . feisty, to say the least.

Her mother trusted Melty much more than she trusted Bitch, and so she appointed Melty first in line to inherit the throne.

I soon realized that there was only one way to clear myself of the charges that had been brought against me—I had to find out where the queen was and go visit her myself.

Ultimately, I was able to meet the queen and clear my name.

Once everything was out in the open, it was clear that the real perpetrator behind all the misery that had been heaped upon me was the national church in Melromarc—the Church of the Three Heroes.

The gist of their dogma was that there were four weapons that represented their respective heroes. Of the four weapons, three were worthy of worship, while the other was worthy of derision.

You’ve probably already guessed, but the hero worth the derision was the Shield Hero—me.

So the reason for my persecution had its roots in the national religion, and whether or not I had raped anyone was not really the issue.

The reason for all of this lay with the neighboring country, the country where demi-humans ruled. Melromarc had been locked in war with them for generations.

Demi-humans were basically just like humans, except that they all had certain characteristics in common with animals. So while they looked and behaved like humans, they sometimes had animal ears or tails.

At first, I wasn’t really sure what all that was supposed to do with me, but apparently the demi-humans had taken to worshiping the hero.

So in the end, the citizens of Melromarc, as well as its king, had taken up arms against me because of religious dogma.

Even now I get pissed off just thinking about it.

Moving on—there was a single person that stood behind the whole conspiracy to ruin my life. It was the high priest of the Church of the Three Heroes. Eventually we came face-to-face and fought. I won, and that basically wrapped up the story of my persecution.

But in the middle of our battle, I had to summon a cursed shield to defeat the high priest. The shield was called the Shield of Wrath, and I used its strongest skill, blood sacrifice.

It was a complicated skill that damaged me as much as him. I was able to defeat him in the end, but I had to pay the price—the skill sapped my stats and left me incapacitated and cursed.

I was, however, able to prove my innocence. I finally found myself on equal footing with the other heroes. And the queen had decided to make the official religion of Melromarc the Church of the
Four
Heroes.

“It really seems like you only use your talents to make Mr. Iwatani suffer.”

“Yeah, it really does.”

The queen of Melromarc had declared that the king who had been standing in for her would be officially renamed Trash. She was in the middle of torturing him—by incasing his body in ice.

To punish him for his actions as king while she had been away on diplomatic missions, to punish him for persecuting me, she’d changed his name and taken away his royal position.

“ARRRRGGHHHHHH!”

I looked at Trash—he was encased in ice up to his neck.

He wore a look of agony, but he wasn’t broadcasting it to the queen who punished him. He was staring at me.

I wished I could have taken real joy from seeing his pained expression . . . but I couldn’t.

There was something sad about it, but I had to keep watching.

He’d been sneaky, conniving. He’d done all he could to help the church accuse me of kidnapping princess Melty, and now he was receiving his due punishment from the real ruler of the country.

But Trash hadn’t been involved with actions the church had taken on its own.

A part of me thought we should just exile him and send him out into the world empty-handed. But if we weren’t careful who knew what something like that could lead to? Furthermore, their first daughter, Bitch, had been punished as well. She’d been stripped of her royal title, renamed Bitch, and would have to live the rest of her life as an adventurer with the pseudonym Whore.

Furthermore, in her mother’s absence it seems Bitch had been living the high life off the Crown’s coffers. She now bore the responsibility of paying back all the funds she’d used to finance her own extravagance.

On the surface the queen seemed to be an honest, decent human being.

Recognizing the true threat of the times, the existential crisis faced by the whole world, she’d abandoned the national zeitgeist of human supremacy and reached out to their national enemy, the Shield Hero, for assistance. It seemed like she genuinely wanted to bring me into the fold.

She hid her mouth behind a folding fan and appeared young, probably in her late 20s. She was very beautiful.

To think that she had already given birth to two daughters—it didn’t really seem possible.

“ARRRRGH!”

Trash was still encased in ice, leaving only his neck and head free. He was staring at me hatefully.

It was a simple cause and effect. He was the one that summoned me here, and then he went out of this way to make my life a living hell. The punishment was fitting.

I turned to the queen and suggested she move on.

“I think that’s probably enough for him. I’d rather you go ahead and let me participate in the class-up ceremony.”

I’ve probably said enough to sum up the current state of affairs, and the beleaguered history of my persecution here. Now it was time to take a solid look at the problems I was still facing.

For whatever reason, this world I found myself in functioned much like a game. Everyone had levels, and they could level up by defeating monsters and accruing experience points. When you leveled up, your abilities tended to grow more powerful as well.

When your abilities got stronger, your stats increased, which would enable you to battle stronger monsters that previously would have defeated you easily.

That was one of the more interesting aspects of the world: the harder you worked, the more powerful you became, and the power was immediately useful.

But of course there were problems with the system as well.

As the Shield Hero, I was equipped with the legendary shield from the moment I was summoned here. The shield’s abilities severely limited the amount of damage I was capable of doing. In fact, even if I attacked an enemy with my bare fists and pummeled it all day long, I was unable to do any appreciable damage at all.

Not that it was all bad news. The shield came with an enormous defense rating and a number of very special skills.

All that was well and fine, but if I was unable to deal any damage on my own, I was effectively prevented from participating in battles by myself.

As if that weren’t bad enough, the persecution and reputation I was suffering under made it impossible to find anyone that would consider traveling with me.

“Huff . . . I suppose you’re right.”

“Are you finally finished?”

Raphtalia whispered to herself, her exasperation evident.

Raphtalia was a girl that traveled with me. When I was unable to find anyone that would help me, I ended up buying her as a slave. It was the only way I could get an attacker on my team.

She was a demi-human, so she had as hard of a time living in Melromarc as I did.

She had the ears and tail of a
Tanuki
, and I think she was called a “raccoon-type” demi-human. When I’d bought her she had only been a little girl. But apparently demi-humans’ physical bodies grow in response to their level, so she grew up very quickly as we battled our way through the countryside.

Now she looked to be around 18 and was a cute, attractive girl.

When the first of the waves of destruction arrived, she lost the village where she’d grown up—and both of her parents.

After traveling together for so long, I’d come to see myself as a sort of surrogate parent to her.

In a way, she felt like my child. She was an accomplice I could depend on.

“Still, I could watch Trash get tortured all day . . . .”

I flashed Trash a smile.

“Mr. Naofumi!”

“Grr . . . shield!”

“BE QUIET!”

The queen immediately put a stop to Trash’s protests while Raphtalia put me on notice.

As if I didn’t know. Raphtalia was always very serious.

Still, she kept a close watch on me. Whenever it looked like I was going to lose control, she stepped in and tried to put out the fire.

“Master! When is this gonna be over?!”

“Soon enough.”

The girl who just whined at me was named Filo.

At the moment she looked like a little blonde girl. A prominent cowlick stood up from the crown of her head, and she had small angel-like wings protruding from her back.

She was one of my companions too.

She’s . . . a little harder to explain than Raphtalia though.

“What’s taking so long?”

I’d originally bought her egg from a lottery-like game with plans to keep her as a pet.

When the egg hatched, a filolial emerged. Filolial were large bird-like monsters that were often seen pulling carriages down the street.

However, if a filolial was raised by a hero, it would grow into something else altogether.

I guess that was what caused it. At some point, she gained the ability to transform into this young angel-like human form.

Had she been a human, she would have looked like a young girl around 10 years old. Her real form, for whatever that’s worth, was a large bird.

When in her bird form, she was actually something called the filolial queen.

She had a powerful attack and was a very important member of my team, but because she was originally a bird she had a tendency to be louder and more obnoxious than necessary.

We sometimes traveled around the country selling wares to raise funds. Whenever we camped in the fields, she was invariably the first one awake—and she’d wake me the second she woke up.

Furthermore, Filo ended up becoming best friends with the younger princess, Melty, when we traveled together.

Personality-wise, she was a very naïve little girl, with a tendency to make inappropriate outbursts at inconvenient times. Honestly, she’d be a lot cuter if she’d learn to keep her mouth shut.

“You’re thinking something meeeean!”

“I guess that’s true.”

Raphtalia and Filo both could be very perceptive. Whenever it looked like I was turning rude thoughts over in my mind, one of them would immediately notice.

Anyway, those two are my closest friends here.

So the reason that we were in the church gathered around the dragon hourglass had to do with the leveling up system in this world.

The leveling system actually has a ceiling in place—not for heroes like myself, but for normal people in the world.

Raphtalia and Filo had both reached the leveling limit—which was level 40.

If anyone wanted to level past 40, they had to go through something called a class-up ceremony.

The ceremony itself utilized the dragon hourglass, which was controlled by the country.

The hourglass itself had other uses. For one thing, it was a countdown to the arrival of the next wave of destruction. But it also served a necessary role in the class-up ceremony.

We had already tried to go through the class-up ceremony once before, but Trash had stepped in and prohibited us from participating.

BOOK: The Rising of the Shield Hero Volume 05
8.05Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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