I do not own Rising of the Shield Hero, I do own my OC and my plot twists that I incorporate in for this fanfic. Please review and comment but let's keep it civil please ;) If anyone can direct me to a tutorial about how the system for unlocking the Holy weapons works, I would deeply appreciate it!
And without further ado, Chapter One!
Hazel rolls her eyes as she wanders the D&D and RPG section of the bookstore, ignoring the stares of the otakus around her.
"Of course it's in Japanese, which you half understand," She mocks herself as she struggles to identify one core book with a dragon on the cover.
"It's in Japan, not America, and why did I let myself get talked into this again?" She mutters, putting the dragon core book back.
"'Sis! Please get me the Fifth Edition of the D&D core book for Spellcasters- in Japanese!' Geez, Riley is so gonna owe me for this. Translating all the kanji is giving me a headache!" She growls, stalking along.
Several of the otaku continue to stare at her; a Westerner, clearly from her eyes, skin tone, hair and height. Hazel is 5' 8" ((172 cm)) with dark brown hair in a messy bun with sea green eyes. She has a curvy figure, but she doesn't bother with revealing clothing- raggedy sweatpants, a tank top and a sweatshirt with floppy ears suit her fine.
She meanders through the store until she stumbles upon several D&D books, which she recognizes with profound relief.
"Oh thank God! Ok, fifth edition, fifth edition… Here it is! Ack!"
As she pulls it out, a second book falls on the floor.
"Crap, please don't be damaged-! Oh, it's fine! Hmm? 'The Cardinal Slayers of Calamity'? What is this, a new RPG? Let's see…" Hazel starts to flip through the book.
"Intro, world is being destroyed, you are called in to save it along with three other players- weapons are sword, shield, bow and spear. Okay, pretty basic. 'Waves of Catastrophe' need to be defeated in order to return to home world… Wow, this princess NPC looks super bitchy. Yuck, religions based on favorite heroes; that's not dumb at all... Hmm, I wonder if there is any expansions on the original weapons…?"
After speed reading the main lore/mechanics Hazel flips to the table of contents and spots 'Expansions'. She fist pumps and goes to the page in question.
"'In the case of true danger and as a last resort, a fifth hero may be summoned with the special dual weapon: 'war gauntlets'. They differ from the other weapons in that they are not typically respected, worshiped or well known in the summoners' world. While each of the four 'Cardinal' weapons has an established role in the world, the Gauntlet Hero has never been summoned save once and is considered a myth among myths. Nonetheless, the Gauntlet Hero is a force to be reckoned with as they have the capacity to fight solo against a Wave if necessary.'"
"Cool! So they can solo? That's awesome! Okay, what are the stats for this class-? 'Features include a pair of war gauntlets that can absorb the powers and skills of those slain or conquered in combat, as well as objects 'fed' to them. Emphasis is on Agility and Stamina as the Gauntlet Hero is a close-combat fighter; side note, martial arts training prior to summoning is a MUST for this weapon.' Huh, well, I've got that, so I can play that realistically." Hazel muses, tapping the page.
The book starts to glow and Hazel's eyes widen in shock as golden light envelopes her.
"Holy-!" She yelps, throwing up her arms to protect her eyes and staggers when she suddenly lands on stone floor.
"Yes! Our summoning was a success! Welcome, Heroes! Please, save our world!" A man's voice rings out.
Hazel opens her eyes and takes stock of her surroundings. A few priests in front of her in purple robes, four guys next to her on a large (presumably) magic circle. Two of them look around her age of 20 while the others look about high school age. Each is holding a different weapon; the blond ponytail dude with the spear, a straight black-haired kid has a double-edged sword, the younger blond boy with a bow and the messy-haired guy with a small shield.
A gasp catches her attention and she switches her attention to her 'summoners'; they are all looking at her in horror. The other 'heroes' turn to look at her too, quizzically rather than horrified. Hazel puts a hand on her hip and blinks when she feels metal rather than knuckles dig into her hip. She glances down and sees silver metal gauntlets on her hands with small purple gems embedded on the tops.
Gauntlets..? Wait, didn't I just read about these?!
[Warning! The Gauntlet Hero is not allowed within close proximity to the Cardinal Heroes unless fighting together in the Waves or stopping a fight between the Cardinal Heroes! Conditions not met! Relocation effective immediately!]
The warning flashes in front of Hazel and the other people in the room seem just as surprised by the notification.
Purple light emanates from the gems and a new circle appears underneath her.
"Ack-!" Hazel yelps, stepping back- the circle follows stays exactly under her feet and the light blinds her.
The summoners and other heroes blink in shock as she vanishes.
"Who… was that?" Naofumi wonders aloud.
Hazel keeps her eyes closed as the world whirls around her- the spinning sensation convinced her to keep her eyes shut until whatever this is stops. Eventually the spinning slows and stops- Hazel feels her feet hit the ground hard. Swearing, she opens her eyes and looks around at her new surroundings.
Woods in every direction, as far as she can see; rustling in the undergrowth tells her there are animals around. She glances up and notes the sun is almost directly overhead. Hazel sighs and dusts herself off before turning her attention to the gauntlets on her hands.
They are a silvery color with a solid single plate covering her forearms to just above her wrists. There several overlapping but flexible plates allow her nearly full movement and rotation. Below that a plate with the purple gem protects the back of her hands and her fingers are cased in highly flexible overlapping plates.
Hazel glares down at her hands, nonplussed.
"Okay… so what now?"
Several days later…
"Hell. This is absolute hell!"
Hazel punches yet another stupid orange 'Balloon' thing and spins on her back foot to kick an Usapil, crushing its' face. More rustling alerts Hazel to yet more attackers: more Balloons of various types and a goddamn mob of Usapils rushing her.
Hazel glares, puts most of her weight on her back foot and snap kicks the shit out of them. A few dodge to the side and Hazel pivots to keep her front towards them. They growl at her and Hazel rolls her eyes. Decisively she surges forward and punches one Egg Balloon, knife chops another Usapil in the throat and back fists the last monster.
[+507 xp gained: feed monster remains to Gauntlets.]
"No, you glutinous pits! Some of this I get to eat, not just you two!"
"The hell it is! I have to eat too!"
[Feed Gauntlets to upgrade weapon forms and boost stats!]
"After I eat! You get what's left!"
[Inefficient! Certain components are best for upgrades!]
"What parts? You never tell me, you two just eat the entire thing!"
[Holy Weapons upgrade best with pieces of the monster consumed in sections.]
"Like what?! Give me an example!"
Hazel narrows at the screen, tapping her fingers on her hip as she waits.
[Ideal butchering list: Teeth, paws, meat, head, bones, fur, etc.]
"Why in sections?" Hazel asks grudgingly.
[Different attributes will be unlocked.]
"That is so goddamn vague…" Hazel swears.
She glances at her kills: 7 Balloons (various) and 5 Usapils. Even with her ravenous appetite (thanks new world for constantly attacking her at random moments) Hazel would be hard pressed to eat it all.
"Fine. You two want the Balloon things or Usapil?"
"Seriously?" Hazel asks in resignation.
She scoops up the Balloons and starts dropping them onto the crystals. The purple gems greedily suck up the monster skins and pulse with satisfaction.
[Orange Balloon Gauntlets: (3/10), Locked. +2 Attack.]
[Red Balloon Gauntlets: (1/10), Locked. +4 Attack, Skill: Devouring Fists (Locked).]
[Egg Balloon Gauntlets: (1/10), Locked. +2 Cooking.]
[Green Balloon Gauntlets: (2/10), Locked. +3 Agility.]
"… So when are you going to explain what that babble meant?"
The gauntlets ignore Hazel and she can almost feel their attention (they might be weapons, but they sure act like they're alive!) focused towards the Usapils. Hazel grabs one of the carcasses and eyes it.
"How the heck am I supposed to butcher it? I don't have a knife or anything."
[Using other weapons other than your Legendary Weapon is prohibited.]
The gauntlets flash the message in front of her eyes- if she didn't know better Hazel would think they were angry!
"Wait, seriously?! That sucks! I was so close to perfecting another kata for rope dart! Ack!" Hazel ruffles her hair in agitation, frustrated.
"So I can't practice spear, rope dart, tambos, bo staff or swords? Gah, I'm gonna be so out of practice!"
[You are proficient with multiple weapons?]
"Huh? Yeah, everyone in my style at the very least learns tambo and bo once they reach Green belt. I just happen to enjoy learning so I kept going. Besides, I can different weapons for different scenarios, and each weapon type uses unique skill sets to wield effectively."
Hazel quirks an eyebrow.
"So, how do I butcher this then?"
[Feed Gauntlets the whole monster.]
"You sure? But don't you want it butchered first?"
[Affirmative. We can butcher it.]
Curious, Hazel holds the Usapil over her left hand- the gem flashes and swallows the rabbit monster with a sucking sound. Bones snap as the Usapil is pulled into a gem the size of a quarter and things ooze out that aren't supposed to.
[Processing: estimated completion in 15 minutes.]
"That… was disgusting."
[Feed right Gauntlet a Usapil.]
"Another one?! Don't you two share abilities?!"
"Then why do you want second one?!"
[Repeated feedings of same material can unlock locked abilities and skills.]
After eating a Usapil, Hazel starts on her journey again- by climbing the tallest tree she can find. Once at the top, she huffs then carefully glances around. In the distance Hazel can spot a cut through the woods, likely a road. Near it is a shimmering silver ribbon- a river. The opposite direction has mountains and the forest ends there.
As Hazel hangs there, she considers her options.
"Ok, decision time! Head towards civilization or the edge of the forest?"
Hazel sighs as she thinks: while civilization is nice, she can't be sure that anyone she meets will be friendly. In that regard, the mountains are safer. But the only water source she can easily spot is near the road and Hazel's water supply is dangerously low. Not to mention she is seriously lacking in information.
In the end, there was only one real choice.
"Civilization it is. Alright you two, here we go!"
Hazel lets go of her branch and drops, kicking off the tree to flip onto the forest floor. She quickly orients herself and takes off towards the road. Soon enough she can hear the rumble of wagons and the whispers of the river running next to it.
Hazel pauses before coming out into the open, surveying the road: a well-used track, with multiple ruts from wheels and signs of frequent passage. Warily, she darts across the road and kneels next to the river, filling up her water bottle decorated with her favorite anime characters. After, she glances around and spots a ruined watch tower in the distance.
"… Looks like it'll keep the rain out. Might as well!"
Hazel makes her way to the tower, checking it first for monsters before making a bed out of leaves and a ratty blanket she found.
"Night… don't let the bedbugs bite…" She yawns.
"What do you mean five heroes were summoned?!"
The king roars, terrifying the magicians who bunch together in silent support. Their speaker swallows audibly and repeats himself.
"We… we do not know how, but there was no mistaking it! There was a fifth hero present- a young woman! We barely had time to see her before a warning appeared before us, forbidding her from being in the presence of the other heroes! Then magic from her Holy Weapons engulfed her and she teleported!"
Aultcray makes a fist, his mind whirling at the implications. A fifth hero with an unknown Holy Weapon, out of his reach and thus supervision. He could not influence or get rid of her currently and her presence would send the world into turmoil. That would not do!
"I want a description of her! Post wanted posters and get her to the capital as soon as she is found! We cannot afford to let an unknown false hero wander free!"
"But your Majesty-!"
"We do not recognize her as a hero- a fifth hero has never been mentioned in any texts or religious traditions! She is an interloper at best and a devil at worst!"
"Papa? What has you so worked up?" A charming feminine voice cuts through his anger and fear.
Aultcray turns to see his eldest daughter walk up behind the magicians, her expression curious and full of concern.
"Ah- Malty!" He stammers, surprised to see his eldest daughter.
She smiles at him reassuringly.
"Won't you tell me what happened, Papa?"
He sighs and gestures at the magicians to repeat their tale. Malty's eyes widen with shock at the implications.
"A fifth summonee? But I have never heard of a fifth hero before…" She trails off.
Aultcray nods, happy someone else sees it his way.
"Exactly! We cannot allow such a person to wander free!" Malty nods her understanding, smiling at her father.
"I see! You best catch the False Hero soon, Papa!" She kisses him on the cheek and walks away, making her own plans for the 'False' hero.
"Find the False Hero!" Aultcray orders, not knowing the events that would result from that fateful order.
In yet another location…
"A fifth hero? Are you certain?" Queen Mirellia turns to face her faithful Shadows.
The lead Shadow nods.
"It was confirmed, my Queen. A fifth hero was summoned alongside the Cardinal Heroes but immediately was teleported away by her Holy Weapons. There appears to be a restriction in how closely she may interact with the other heroes."
"'She?'" Mirellia questions, eyebrow shooting up.
The Shadow nods.
"The reports say she is a young woman, my Queen, perhaps of a similar age to the Shield Hero."
Mirellia taps a finger against the desk.
"Find her- Aultcray must not be allowed to alienate her. 'False Hero?' That is a certain to offend her!"
The Shadow looks up at the Queen.
"Yes, my Queen. When we find her, what steps would you like for us to employ?"
Mirellia sighs and thinks it over carefully.
"Make contact with the Lady Hero, find out what she knows- provide assistance as you see fit. If necessary, become her party member."
Mirellia pulls out a purse and hands over 6 gold coins.
"Give her these for funds- regardless of her origins, she is still a hero and must be ready for the Waves."
"As you command, my Queen, it shall be done."
The Shadow disappears and Mirellia sighs, sitting down at her desk.
Please let us reach her first. She prays.