Hey everyone! So it's been awhile… so I decided to write one of those omakes of the Duel for y'all! I don't own Rising of the Shield Hero, just my OCs and plot twists~! Now, as far as which scenario I'm doing, I checked the poll for which one had the most votes after Hazel pummeling Motoyasu.
And the winner is-!
Naofumi vs. Motoyasu!
Please review if possible and be safe! Mwa ha ha ha ha!
Warnings! Violence, swearing, bitchiness, emotional manipulation (everyone clap for Bitch -_-), wtf moments and hard core tear jerker sadness (hint, Naofumi).
The king waves away his advisors and looks down his nose at Hazel and Naofumi with ill-concealed disgust.
"Naofumi Iwatani. As the challenged, you have the right to ask another to battle in your stead. The results will be the same regardless. If you, or your champion, wins the duel your slave will be returned to you. If Sir Motoyasu wins, the slave is freed. You have a moment to decide if you, or the False Hero, will do battle against Sir Motoyasu." Aultcray stiffly informs him.
Naofumi and Hazel glance at each other.
"Do you want to fight Spear-san? The insult is against you," Hazel asks him quietly.
Naofumi frowns, glaring at Motoyasu and Myne as the redhead whispers in the Spear Hero's ear. He wants to ask Hazel to fight for him- she clearly could from what he saw during the Wave. But he hesitates.
Naofumi can't bring himself to trust another woman.
Myne had been kind at first too and supportive- only to stab him in the back and twist the knife deeper and deeper smiling all the while. And a part of him still hates Hazel for her free pass, of getting teleported away before the King and Myne could ruin her too. Intellectually he knows it's not her fault, he saw how her gauntlets seemed alive and made decisions arbitrarily without her input. But Naofumi can't get rid of his resentment towards her- and her words bolster his need to answer their ridiculous challenge himself.
Why should I depend on her when I can't trust her to get Raphtalia back?
"I'll fight him." Naofumi tells her.
To his surprise she doesn't seem shocked by his choice, merely nodding and turning to Aultcray.
"Tate-san will fight Spear-san himself." She informs the audience.
Pandemonium erupts as the crowd makes their disbelief known or jeers at Naofumi maliciously.
"QUIET!" Hazel roars, shutting them all up.
To Naofumi's amusement, several of the nobles look ready to piss themselves.
"The duel between Tate-san and Spear-san will resume. I will stay in the arena to prevent deaths or permanent injuries and stop any misconduct from the audience. Heroes, ready yourselves." Hazel orders before Aultcray has the chance to overturn her commands.
Naofumi and Motoyasu glare at each other but nod to Hazel. Myne bites her lower lip in frustration, opening her mouth to protest-!
Only for a chill to shudder down her spine and she sees visions of her own demise dancing before her eyes. The redhead shivers uncontrollably and instinct makes her look towards the source of death and violence only to stare into the False Hero's skull mask. A red glow from within the eye sockets stare at her- and for the first time in her life Malty fears for her life. The False Hero tilts her head meaningfully towards the perimeter of the arena, seemingly courteous.
"Let us remove ourselves so they can conclude their duel." She says smoothly.
Malty represses a shudder and quickly walks to the wall, avoiding that crazy woman's- no, that demoness' gaze. She can feel the eyes still staring at her, burning into her back as she walks swiftly out of the way.
Humming, Hazel chooses a place roughly half-way between the Heroes against the wall of the arena. She raises her arm high, checking to see if both Heroes are ready to battle.
"On your marks!" Hazel shouts.
Naofumi grimly adjusts his stance, compensating for Motoyasu's favorite tactic of rushing him.
"Get set!" Her voice rings in the tense silence, making the audience tense in anticipation.
Her arm chops down, gleaming silver in the torchlight.
"Begin!" She roars and the two Heroes lunge at each other.
Motoyasu stabs at Naofumi but his shield changes to one with two dog heads; they react, biting Motoyasu on the arms. The Spear Hero swears as he tears free and yells as he activates a skill.
Naofumi quickly changes his shield to the Light Ore version, deflecting most of the blows. None the less, several draw blood to Motoyasu's satisfaction.
"Give up Naofumi! You won't win! You should have asked the False Hero to fight for you since you're only good at blocking attacks!" Motoyasu taunts him.
Naofumi grits his teeth, biting back his retorts as he waits for Motoyasu to get close enough-! Motoyasu moves to stab him and Naofumi takes the chance to his shield to the Two Headed Dog. The spear hits his shield and the dog heads react, biting Motoyasu on the arms. Motoyasu yelps, backing up to prevent them from going for his face. Naofumi presses forward, noting that Motoyasu has a hard time positioning his spear when Naofumi is so close to him.
Grinning viciously, Naofumi body checks Motoyasu, making the spear-wielder stagger and lose his balance. Taking the chance, Naofumi changes his shield into one of the ones he had unlocked with parts from the chimera.
The shield glows and transforms into a ram's head with a green gem at the center of it's forehead.
"Ram's Challenge!" Naofumi roars.
The ram's head opens it's slit-pupiled eyes- and as Motoyasu tries to stab Naofumi again it glows green. A glowing specter of a giant ram explodes from the shield, smashing into Motoyasu and sends him flying backwards to hit the ground so hard it cracks. Motoyasu groans as he feebly tries to get to his feet, wheezing hard. The ghostly ram disappears and Naofumi charges forward before Motoyasu can recover, hitting him with Shield Bash. Motoyasu goes down and Naofumi has a moment of inspiration, switching to his Rope Shield and creating an Air Strike Shield to pin Motoyasu on the ground.
Motoyasu curses and flails but ultimately fails to free himself. Naofumi glares down at Motoyasu with a dark sense of satisfaction as Hazel approaches. She examines Motoyasu and how he is pinned before nodding shortly.
"As the Spear Hero cannot continue and is immobilized, the Shield Hero wins as per the rules of the Duel agreed upon by both parties." Hazel declares clearly.
"No! No, I can still fight-!" Motoyasu protests hotly.
"That's right, Motoyasu-sama is still able to fight!" Myne screeches.
Hazel coldly stares at both malcontents, disapproval projecting off of her.
"If this were a duel to the death, Tate-san could have killed Spear-san by crushing him into paste with that last move. An enemy downed is an enemy dead." She says very concisely.
"If you cannot recognize that very basic fact of warfare then I shudder to think what will happen to you later due to your overconfidence."
Aultcray, meanwhile, is fuming- the wretched Shield Hero won the duel! This wasn't the plan! His eyes bore into the False Hero, the source of many of his problems.
I won't accept this- I cannot accept this!
He thinks furiously before sneering down at the False and Shield Heroes.
"I have no need to acknowledge a victory won by a criminal of the state! Guards! Seize them!"
The crowd gasps in shock as a platoon of guardsmen quick march into the arena and level their spears and swords at the pair.
"What the hell?! I fought and won your stupid duel, you piece of shit! Now give me back Raphtalia!" Naofumi snarls, green eyes flashing with outrage.
Hazel is silent but her eyes narrow as she takes in how the soldiers are encircling them. Aultcray's expression becomes condescending as he looks down at them.
"It is amoral for a Hero to possess a slave! Now, Priest! Free the slave and arrest them!" He commands.
Naofumi's eyes widen in panic as the priest exposes Raphtalia's slave crest and goes berserk, charging for her.
"Air Strike Shield!" He barks, interposing it between Raphtalia and the priest.
Naofumi, in his single-minded focus to protect Raphtalia, fails to notice the soldiers charging him from behind. Hazel does not. Rysty transforms into the Chain Gauntlet while Knokene morphs into Frost Troll Leather Gauntlet. It is made of leather, in a light-blue color, in the shape of a crinkled and worn glove with a purple gem on the back of the hand. Hazel sends the chains out to entangle the soldiers and knocking them down while one brave (or foolish, depending on your perspective) soldier avoids the attack and yells as he swings his sword in a powerful blow.
Hazel's left hand snaps up and catches the blade mid-swing. The soldier's eyes widen in panic as he tries to tug it free to no avail as frost coats the blade. Hazel glances at him as she twists her wrist sharply- and the sword shatters into useless pieces. She drops the tip of the sword and catches him with her chains, trapping him with the rest of the soldiers. As she fights off the squad, Naofumi is running to reach Raphtalia before his Air Strike Shield times out.
Myne, forgotten in the mess of the sudden melee, points at Naofumi and casts a spell with a derisive sneer. The nearly invisible blast of wind hits him mid-back, making Naofumi tumble away from Raphtalia. Raphtalia screams through her gag, worried that Naofumi is injured-! He staggers to his feet, swaying, only to see his Air Strike Shield time out. The priest moves faster than Naofumi can conjure another shield, pouring the Holy Water on Raphtalia's slave crest. Raphtalia screams as the curse is washed away, struggling against her bindings.
"Raphtalia!" Naofumi howls as he sees her forcibly removed from his party.
Hazel's head snaps up as she realizes what happened, a hard flick of her wrist sending the soldiers flying only to land in a messy heap.
"Shit!" She growls, seeing a second squad entering the arena.
Instinct makes her surge into a combat roll, dodging a wind spell from Myne. Hazel narrows her eyes at the interfering bitch but is preoccupied with restraining all the soldiers. Naofumi collapses, unseeing, unhearing of everything around him as darkness starts to swallow his mind.
The outcome of the duel was decided before it even started… they needed a scape goat to assure the Spear's spot in history… 'He saved a girl from being that wretched Shield's slave'… that's the story that Bitch wants to tell… 'The Spear fought a great evil'…
I'm that evil…
[Curse Series: Conditions Met]
Hazel snarls, dodging arrows and decides she has had enough! Both Knokene and Rysty shift into her Golden Spider Web forms. The gold glinting in the torchlight distracts the soldiers, just long enough for Hazel to shoot out webs to ensnarl the soldiers and Myne for good measure.
"Tate-san! Snap out of it!" Hazel yells at Naofumi as some of the soldiers wise up, dodging her webs.
Up in the stands, Ren and Itsuki glance at each other, unsure of what to do. On one hand, Naofumi owning a slave is not something either of them agree with- but neither is the complete disregard for the law Aultcray had just demonstrated. But the ease with which Aultcray had set the soldiers on the Gauntlet Hero and Naofumi is ringing alarm bells in Ren's mind.
What is stopping the king from turning on the rest of us the way he did on the Gauntlet Hero? Naofumi's a lost cause but she's displayed fair judgement and battle prowess, but somehow the Gauntlet Hero's still a criminal? What's her crime then? Why haven't we heard anything about her crimes?! This makes no sense! He thinks desperately.
"Ren… What do we do?" Itsuki wonders, staring down at the chaos below them.
Ren has no answer as they watch the madness below them grow worse as Motoyasu decides to get involved. Hazel forces Motoyasu to abort his attack at Naofumi with a crescent kick that knocks his spear wide while still restraining the soldiers. Motoyasu scowls at Hazel.
"Surrender and I won't hurt you! Naofumi has to pay!" He tells her.
Hazel scoffs at that statement, shifting Rysty to the Ice Drake Scales version in preparation.
"Seriously? That's what you're thinking about? Not how the king has gone back on his word or how he is trying to arrest two of the Heroes tasked to stopping the Waves? Isn't it a bit strange he wants to imprison people critical to the survival of the world?" Hazel retorts, side-stepping a clumsy lunge.
"Naofumi is evil! And besides, he's the Shield Hero! All he's good for is tanking hits!" Motoyasu answers heatedly.
Hazel narrows her eyes, unable to believe the load of shit she is hearing.
"You're a fucking moron if you think that isn't important!" Hazel snaps, stepping inside his guard and smashing a punch into his stomach.
Motoyasu wheezes but Hazel refuses to let up, punching his chin viciously in an uppercut. He flies upwards but Hazel isn't done with him yet. Spider webs grab him and Hazel yanks him back down, directly into her waiting knee strike. Motoyasu's face turns white as she knocks the air out of his lungs. Wasting no time, Hazel wraps him in more spider webs to immobilize the Spear Hero to the watching crowd's dismay.
Raphtalia, meanwhile, had been cut free and she had run out into the arena towards Naofumi.
"Stay back!" Naofumi yells, clutching his head.
Raphtalia jerks in surprise but does not retreat, staying close to Naofumi.
"Master Naofumi. I knew the rumors… that you were a criminal, that you were a rapist…" She murmurs as she kneels next to his collapsed form.
"Don't touch me, woman! Stop!" Naofumi snarls, batting away her hands as Raphtalia tries to hug him.
Tears fall onto the ground.
"I… I didn't do it…" He whispers brokenly, crying.
This place is hell. Everyone lies. Everyone blames me… Naofumi thinks angrily.
"… Can you believe in a slave that has no choice but to follow you?" Raphtalia asks him, head bowed.
"Please, calm your anger. Listen to me. I want you to believe me-"
"Shut up!" Naofumi hisses frantically.
Raphtalia pulls him into a hug.
"Even if the whole world wrongs you, blames you… I won't. I'll say it as many times as you need to hear it. You didn't do it!"
"What?" Naofumi whispers.
"I believe in you, Master Naofumi. If you don't believe me, the please put the slave curse back on me. I want you to believe me. I will be your sword, I promise." Raphtalia states firmly.
Silently Hazel notes the conversation and feels a spark of respect for Raphtalia.
You really are loyal, Raphtalia-san. She thinks.
Around them the nobles whisper in fear and horror while Aultcray looks fit to burst with fury at the failure of the guards. Ren abruptly stands and starts to walk for one of the stairs leading down into the arena. Itsuki hurriedly tries to follow, confused by his fellow hero's actions. Hazel looks at where Naofumi and Raphtalia are embracing and smiles.
"Tate-san, you really are lucky with Raphtalia-san. She truly is a most loyal swordmaiden." She compliments him.
Naofumi nods silently as he cries, holding tightly to Raphtalia. Rysty and Knokene's jewel flash and a new message appears.
[Conditions met! Raphtalia gains the Title: Loyal Swordmaiden! +30 Attack and +15 Agility when acting on her liege lord's orders! Bonus Skill: Unwavering Fealty- Title bearer is immune to Conditions that would turn her against her liege lord!] They announce.
Hazel, Naofumi and Raphtalia are stunned while the rest of the audience erupts with shouts and questions as Raphtalia glows purple. The Gauntlet Hero glances down at her Legendary Weapons and mourns the days when shit still made sense. Naofumi and Raphtalia stare at her for answers and Hazel grimaces.
"… Yeah, I have no idea what the fuck just happened." She admits to them.
Naofumi opens his mouth to berate her but is interrupted by Motoyasu.
"No! Why is she still with him?!" Motoyasu protests from where he is wrapped up like a spider's breakfast.
Hazel deadpans at him.
"Maybe because she wants to? And she wasn't being abused?"
Motoyasu doesn't even seem to be listening as he continues to rant. Hazel seriously considers punting him clean out of the arena but Ren and Itsuki's arrival successfully distracts her and Motoyasu.
"Motoyasu, enough! You lost!" Ren snaps at the older Hero.
Motoyasu splutters while Itsuki nods sagely.
"His majesty ignored Naofumi's clear win, which makes him at fault for this mess." Itsuki reminds Motoyasu.
Hazel cocks her hip, watching the two youngest Heroes berate Motoyasu.
"But-! Raphtalia-chan is still-!" Motoyasu complains.
"She is no longer your concern- not that she was ever yours to be concerned about in the first place." Hazel cuts him off, voice hard as she steps up next to Ren to glare down at him.
"Your concern should be mastering your weapon- and I don't mean upgrading it or unlocking new forms. Find someone to actually show you how to hold a spear and fight without using skills- it may save your life one day. The same goes for you, Sword-san, Bow-san." She addresses Itsuki and Ren, to their surprise.
"Learn how to use your weapons properly. That's what you need to do before the next Wave. Oh, and figure out how to work together." She adds thoughtfully.
Motoyasu shudders at Hazel's demonic gaze considers him-and finds the Spear Hero lacking. It is a cold comfort that he is in the same boat as Itsuki and Ren. Ren grimaces but nods sharply before glancing at Naofumi and Raphtalia. He hesitates, then bows in apology to them.
"… I should have spoken up earlier when the duel ended. I'm sorry, Naofumi." He mumbles.
Itsuki and Motoyasu gape at the typically stoic Sword Hero while Naofumi hesitates over accepting his apology. It's Raphtalia who nods to Ren.
"Thank you for saying so, Sword Hero." She answers calmly.
Ren flushes with embarrassment and looks away, folding his arms. Hazel smiles at Ren, resting a hand on her hip.
What a cute knucklehead. He's a bit apathetic, but at least he's trying. She thinks ruefully. Knokene and Rysty's jewels flash again.
[Conflict resolved. Relocation effective immediately!] They announce.
Hazel represses a groan and looks at Naofumi and the other Heroes as a familiar violet magic circle appears under her feet.
"Behave and use your brains, or you idiots will be seeing me outside the Waves. Seriously, get your acts together and learn to read!" She lectures them before vanishing.
The four Cardinal Heroes and Raphtalia stare at where the Gauntlet Hero had stood and reflect that she sounds like a scolding older sister. Aultcray growls with frustration when the False Hero vanishes once more while the Pope considers the delightful puzzle the False Hero presents.
And that is a wrap! The chapter is slow and ongoing but I think I am finally getting my muse back..! Please comment and review! Let me know what kinds of places you would like to see Hazel and the Belladonnas go to, I am open to ideas and suggestions!
Please be safe out there!