The Records of the Four Holy Weapons?
This really old-looking book just fell off the shelf. The title was pretty hard to make out, and I guess whoever had been reading it last hadn’t taken the time to put it back securely. Whatever. Figuring it was probably destiny, I brought it back to the table, sat down, and opened it.
It was the kind of book that starts off by telling you about the fantasy world itself. To sum it up, it seemed to be about a different world, one with an apocalyptic prophecy to worry about. The prophecy said that many waves of great destruction would wash over the world until nothing was left. To stave off disaster and escape destruction, the people would call for heroes from another world to come and save them. Or something like that, anyway.
Hmm, well the idea seems pretty cliché now, but something about the book being that old felt, ironically, fresh.
So the four heroes each possessed a weapon. Sword, spear, bow, and shield. I started to wince at the content. I mean, when you think about it, a shield is not even a weapon at all. Anyway, I started to skim ahead. The four of them went on a journey to train, gather strength, perfect themselves, and stop the prophesied destruction of the world. My head jerked. I’d nearly fallen asleep in my seat. It was all too much, I was yawning. And the book was so old-fashioned. I mean, there were no cute heroines at all. The only girl was the princess, and she was horrible because she was manipulative and obsessed with the heroes. She kept casting flirtatious glances at all of them, pitting them against each other. I wished she would just pick one of them to focus on.
The Sword Hero was active and powerful; the Spear Hero valued and protected his friends, and the Bow Hero would never tolerate injustice. All the heroes were good people with great personalities. There aren’t many stories like that these days. You know the kind where all the characters share the protagonist spotlight? What’s this? The story was shifting to talk about the Shield Hero.
I turned the page and let out an involuntary yelp. All the pages after the introduction of the Shield Hero were blank. I kept flipping, kept looking them over, but they were all blank, white pages. There was nothing else in the book.
“What the heck?”
I was thinking over how strange it all was when I started to feel dizzy.
“Huh? What’s…” I heard my own bewildered whisper and felt my consciousness slipping away… I’d never dreamed that I’d be transported to another world.
I had been summoned to serve the role of the Shield Hero. The world was suffering under “waves of destruction,” in which hoards of monsters and horrible disasters spilled over from other dimensions through rifts in space. Four heroes were summoned to protect the world from harm. I had a shield on my arm that I couldn’t remove—maybe it was under some sort of curse? I found myself unable to go on the offense at all. All I could do was defend. But I had some experience with online MMORPGs, so I focused on defending myself, and recruited someone else to attack for me. We set out on our adventure, and I was very excited. But I fell into a wicked trap. Someone framed me for a crime I didn’t commit, and I found myself convicted. So nobody trusted me from that point on. I couldn’t make any friends or get anyone to help me, and they ran me out of the castle without a word. I was in a really tough spot. I figured I would just not do anything. I thought I didn’t have to fight against the waves of destruction. I was wrong. The waves of destruction arrived around once every month, and we heroes were instantly transported to the site of destruction. I was forced to protect a bunch of people that I didn’t care a lick for—it wasn’t fair at all. I did all I could to raise money to survive, and all the...
while people jeered at me. They threw rocks at me. So that girl that was sleeping next to me, Raphtalia, she’s a demi-human slave. I bought her. Slavery still exists in this world, and in this particular country, Melromarc, there were people with animal attributes called demi-humans. They were sold into slavery all the time. When I bought her she was just a little girl, but as we leveled up she grew very quickly, until she appeared only slightly younger than myself. Apparently demi-humans grew differently than the rest of us—they developed based on their level, not their age.
In the beginning, I thought I’d work her hard, considering she was a slave and all. But soon enough this pompous jerk named Motoyasu forced me to battle. During the fight, Raphtalia believed in me and attempted to sacrifice her own freedom to protect me. Well, there were other things too, but in the end we became close friends, and we trust each other deeply. Honestly, for the longest time, I couldn’t have cared less if everyone in the world just dropped dead. But now, I sort of feel like I want to help out.
Raphtalia woke up and rubbed her eyes.
“Good morning, Mr. Naofumi…”
“Ah… Um… Morning.”
Looking at her again, she really was quite beautiful.
Her face was like a work of art. I could use words besides “beautiful,”
but I’ll hold off for now.
Her hair was brown and hung in loose curls down her back. Her eyes were big and bright. They were the color of a deep red tea. They were the most beautiful eyes I’d ever seen. With all that she had been through, I don’t know how her eyes were still so pure and kind. They were too pure to belong in a body of her age. They really were the most charming thing about her.
I leveled up and earned money with Raphtalia until the first wave of destruction came. It was the first wave I’d seen, but it was the second wave that had visited the world. It was a hard fight, but I’ll tell you all about that later on. The really tough stuff happened afterwards.
By the way, my bad name had yet to be cleared. If I hadn’t been forced to be the Shield Hero, if only I could have attacked, I’d have taken care of that whole crowd a long time ago. And I wouldn’t have let being a “hero” stop me!