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Naofumi Iwatani was summoned to Melromarc as the Shield Hero. Everything looked great... until he overheard Itsuki and Motoyasu talking about parties sharing experience from kills outside his inn room. He then finds out some stuff from his help guide that Malty hadn't told him about.

Hope of the Shield Hero is a The Rising of the Shield Hero fanfic written by Allen Blaster, and can be read on Fanfiction Dot Net here.

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Hope of the Shield Hero provides examples of:

  • Adaptation Relationship Overhaul: In canon, Raphtalia and Filo behave like sisters, often bickering for the attention of their father/mutual-crush Naofumi. Here it's framed more like a mother-daughter relationship. Raphtalia even encourages Filo to identify her as "mommy" and Naofumi as "daddy."
  • Adaptational Angst Upgrade: The Shield, Bow and Sword heroes all have elements of this added to their backstory. Naofumi's heart was shattered back in school, which is why he has a harder time trusting people even before Malty's betrayal. The Bow hero had a friend who was bullied to suicide, which is why he can't stand bullies making people suffer. And the sword hero knew someone who was almost raped, which is why he instantly starts seeing red flags when Malty jumps into the Spear Hero's bed after accusing Naofumi of raping her.
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  • Adaptational Badass: Itsuki, Naofumi and Ren manage to work together to kill the T-rex.
  • Adaptational Heroism: The canon-counterparts of Ren, Itsuki and Motoyasu are all Idiot Heroes at best, The Poorly Chosen One at worst and only ever make things worse in their attempts at a short-sighted chance at living out a hero fantasy. While Motoyasu is mostly unchanged, both Ren and Itsuki are far less gullible, far less of a dick to Naofumi and each have a Break the Haughty moment that makes them more worthy of their titles. Ren is tricked into killing an innocent dragon by men who want to enslave its adoptive daughter, Wyndia. He takes it upon himself to look after her, while Itsuki starts a campaign against the Melromarc nobility's practice of slavery and cruelty to demihumans, upgrading to the role of Unscrupulous Anti-Hero when he sees just how bad it really is when a noble kills a demihuman child.
  • Adaptational Intelligence: In canon (which includes the light novel, manga, and anime), the other three Heroes are all complete idiots and more of a detriment to the people than they are saviors, willing to believe anything that anybody tells them without proof and usually assume the worst of Naofumi. Here, Ren and Itsuki are not so gullible, even trying to help Naofumi avoid being captured by the church when they overhear what the knights intend to do. They also don't buy into Malty's False Rape Accusation, Ren having known a real victim of sexual assault in his old life and seeing right through her.
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    • A downplayed example with Motoyasu, as while he does notice that Raphtalia's close relationship with Naofumi is more genuine than he thought, he immediately discards the notion when Malty accuses Naofumi of forcing her to act like it while under her slave crest. It takes Malty shouting the truth in front of him for him to realize Naofumi had been right about her all along.
    • While King Aultcray is still an unforgivable Jerkass when it comes to Naofumi, he isn't nearly as incompetent. When he discovers that his eldest daughter had created a crisis that led to a rebellion in Lute, he immediately reinstates the old Lord and has Malty's authority rescinded. Not only that, but he doesn't shy away from letting the Spear Hero know how badly he screwed up in his time as Lute's Lord, along with the consequences of leaving his station protecting the food cart to unleash an ancient "Miracle" seed on an unsuspecting village. It's implied that he also disciplined Malty over it.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: While Naofumi is still cynical and slow to trust, he is noticeably far less unscrupulous than his canon counterpart, treating Raphtalia less harshly when he buys her and even acknowledging the love she feels for him when she goes back to him after her slave crest is removed.
    • Ren and Itsuki to a lesser extent are a lot nicer and trusting towards Naofumi. Ren ends up giving Naofumi several tips he had previously and becomes an ally of sorts.
    • When they meet later, Itsuki openly acknowledges that Naofumi is not only doing a good job as a Hero, he may actually be doing a lot more than himself and the others.
    • During the fight with the Pope in Chapter Fifty-One, Naofumi tells Motoyasu he doesn't want an apology. He wants his help to defeat the Pope. Motoyasu finally sees Naofumi "isn't so bad" like he'd thought.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Despite all the awful things she did and all the people she killed or injured, Altara/Victoria's death was rather sad, with the story pointing out how she was a woman who lost everything and made her easy to manipulate.
  • Armor-Piercing Attack: Hope Asunder, the first skill Naofumi learns from the Hopeful Series. By spending SP, he can reduce an enemy's defense for a time, and if the enemy is armored the attack can destroy the armor and damage said enemy. This allows him to win the duel against Motoyasu even after Malty's cheap shot.
    • At least one of the Light attacks Altara uses against Naofumi in the Pope Battle passes right through his shield.
  • Armor-Piercing Response: When Motoyasu asks why the people of Lute are rebelling, Albert's What the Hell, Hero? has such an impact that thinking it over makes Motoyasu reach the Despair Event Horizon, unlocking his Curse Series.
  • Asleep for Days: Due to the effects of the cursed flames on her, Rishia falls into a coma. Naofumi unlocking the second level of the Shield of Hope and using its effect "Ray of Hope" cures her.
  • The Atoner: After killing Gaelion the dragon, Ren resolves to atone for this huge mistake by protecting Wyndia (Gaelion's adopted daughter) to the best of his ability.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Malty wanted Naofumi to show himself as the Demon of the Shield during their duel. She gets what she wanted... and she finds herself completely outclassed by Naofumi when he's gone completely volcanic whilst triggering the first and second Shield of Rage, nearly killing her and pretty much every soldier he sees while burning down Melromarc's Capital with his cursed flames.
  • Believing Their Own Lies: When Ren and his party uncover documents of how the Three Heroes Church was founded and the reasons why they demonize demihumans and the Shield Hero in the way that they do, the Pope remarks that they should have destroyed the document sooner because it was "filled with old blasphemies". Then again, the Pope is shown to be a manipulative, racist hypocrite, so it's possible that he is just using the religion for his own ends.
  • Berserk Button: Naofumi's is when someone is harming Raphtalia and Filo. When Malty threatens to murder them, he becomes so furious that he unlocks the first and second Shield of Rage and attempts to kill Malty.
    • Raphtalia is actually pretty good with money. And works hard to help her master not waste it. When Naofumi's shield accidentally eats a bag with 500 silver inside when he's joking with her, he notes that he's pretty sure the Slave Mark is the only thing preventing her from literally murdering him. Had he been unable to find a way to take said silver out of his shield, Raphtalia probably would have found a way around the Slave Mark to kill him.
    • Raphtalia's other one is her friend Rafina, whose death mere minutes before she could be saved drives her into a berserker fury against Idol Rabier.
    • Bitch's is being reminded that she is not the heir to Melromarc's throne. Naofumi uses this to humiliate her in front of Motoyasu and trick her into doing an Engineered Public Confession that destroys any credibility she could still have.
  • Bestiality Is Depraved: According to the Church of the Three Heroes' theology, demi-humans are the product of humans mating with monsters and are thus abominations in the eyes of God, this being a primary motivator for racism against them in Melromarc. This is, in fact, a lie- the real reason is so that Demihumans, with their exceedingly fast growth rate, don't outnumber humans and drive them to extinction.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • Just when Naofumi falls into a Heroic BSOD over using his Cursed Flames on Raphtalia while in an Unstoppable Rage moment, with only Filo, Eclair and Melty able to protect him, Itsuki, Ren, and their parties crash the party right on time to save them from the Church's Knights and get them all away to a safe place.
    • Queen Mirelia arrives to Melromarc just in time to save Melty from a Church knight.
    • The Pope's minions manage to cast the Sanctuary ritual, making the Pope even stronger just when Naofumi and Motoyasu are starting to run out of power, starting to push Naofumi towards the Despair Event Horizon while he's using the Shield of Hope II... only for Itsuki and Ren to arrive just in time to distract the Pope and restore Naofumi's hope long enough to allow him to change his shield and begin the push back.
    • When Raphtalia gets cornered by Altara, Dou-Lon, the Hakuko arrives to aid her.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Somehow, Malty Melromarc, AKA Bitch, is even more unlikeable in story than in canon. Not only is she shown to frame Naofumi for rape, but she seeks any means necessary to make his life and the lives of all those around her an absolute hell. She sucked a town ravaged by a Wave of its money so she could live in luxury. She pinned the blame of the Miracle Seed on Motoyasu so she'd avoid being punished by Pappa Aultcray (in which she didn't escape full punishment). She bought a human slave, Rino, to level up herself as well as Motoyasu's other party members while he lived in a self-inflicted exile. Worst of all, she's already plotting on killing both her younger sister Melty and Naofumi at the same time.
    • Bitch cries crocodile tears and fakes being a damsel in distress when things don't go her way, but don't be fooled. There is nothing pure or innocent about her. She is a bitch through and through. Unlike in canon, she is approaching the point of being irredeemable much more quickly.
    • Altara. A nun, she is a die-hard believer of the doctrine of the Three Heroes' Church, and as such hates the Shield Hero and all demi-humans. She has tried to kill Naofumi several times in the name of her God and takes pleasure in using her light magic (which she claims was a gift from God) to murder demi-humans.
  • Blessed with Suck:
    • Played for Laughs with Naofumi's Chef's Shields, as Naofumi considers them to be things that force him to act as a cook. Or as a butler. He is still unsure about that.
    • An Omake introduces the Bulter Shield, which dives so deep into this trope it crosses into Power Up Letdown. The Butler Shield gives Naofumi the amazing ability of... following any order he's given by pretty much anyone. He immediately changes shields before Raphtalia can invoke Power Perversion Potential.
  • Blow You Away: Filo learns how to use Wind Magic, which she uses to great effect.
  • Brick Joke: Remember how Naofumi noted that he had to find someone that could give Raphtalia The Talk? Chapter 39, "He Forgot The Talk", has him realizing (after he and Raphtalia snogged for a while) that he forgot that, and now he might be forced to do it himself.
    • Naofumi thinks she's had the talk. Unfortunately, Raphtalia still hasn't had "The Talk" at Chapter Fifty-One. Which might set up for a return of the infamous Brick Joke down the road.
  • Character Development: Most of the Heroes undergo this.
    • Naofumi slowly becomes nicer and more capable of interacting with others, thanks to Raphtalia.
    • Both the Bow Hero and Sword Hero realize that where they are is not a video game and that there are real people with real consequences for their actions.
      • Itsuki goes from having an Inferiority Superiority Complex to acting like an actual Robin Hood by fighting for Slave Liberation and stopping Melromarc's worst nobles. He also relies on his party, better relates with them all and even does his best to encourage Rishia, doing his best to overcome his flaws and become a real hero.
      • Ren begins to lose his Ineffectual Loner attitude as he realizes he needs other people if he is to survive and aid in stopping the Waves of Catastrophe. Unfortunately, after the fight to get Naofumi out of Melromarc, he begins to backtrack: as he gets stronger and cares more for his party, he's developing a fear of relying on them and losing them in a fight, so when he knows they are going to face strong enemies, he tries to keep them busy with other matters.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Hope Asunder, the Armor-Piercing Attack Naofumi first used during the duel against Motoyasu, makes a return during his duel against Malty to destroy her armor, leaving her wide open for him to destroy in a fight.
  • Clark Kenting: During the Chapter 42 omake, Naofumi, Ren, Itsuki and their parties manage to infiltrate Rabier... while wearing glasses. Ren and Itsuki become convinced that the Church Knights are completely stupid. The only one that even comes close to sound suspicious of them is one that confounds Itsuki for his cousin.
  • Cluster Bleep-Bomb: The author not being keen on writing expletives, he replaces the words with asterisks - which creates this effect whenever Naofumi gets going.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Naofumi and Raphtalia stop by a town whose Lord is the real father of one of Raphtalia's old friends.
  • "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: The Order of the Spear Breakers is forced to flee from Lute because they launched a rebellion against Malty and the Spear Hero right before the original Lord of the Town comes back and tells the occupiers that they are to leave immediately. If they had waited just a little longer, they could have stayed in their homes. The Lord even grouses about this fact.
  • Crazy Enough to Work: Naofumi comes up with a plan to infiltrate Melromarc that is, by his own description, crazy. Itsuki and Ren tell him that they could use a crazy plan to deal with the current situation.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: The Witch who runs the magic shop claims that because Naofumi's magical affinities - Healing and Support Magic - are exceedingly rare separate, let alone together, this limits the type of magic Naofumi is capable of learning to those two affinities.
    • This is one of Naofumi's biggest recurring problems. Naofumi's shield physically prevents him from equipping a weapon and gives him next to zero points in Attack (leading to him half-joking that his shield is a yandere that wants to keep him from attacking), meaning he has virtually no way to conventionally harm enemies. This renders him a Tank that's very good at absorbing blows and catching the enemy's attention, but also requires that his party members do actual combat in his stead - it's the main reason he buys slaves in canon.
    • Motoyasu's Legendary Spear is great for going against mid-range enemies; it's not so good when the enemy gets up close and personal.
  • Damned by Faint Praise: Ren tries to comfort Itsuki (who is in a My God, What Have I Done? phase) by telling him that at least he's not as bad as Motoyasu. Itsuki points out that he's not very good at comforting others.
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique:
    • The Cursed Series are this. They greatly empower the user, but at the risk of pushing them into a reflection of their worst selves. Naofumi's Shield of Wrath makes him capable of heavily damaging his enemies at the cost of making him unable to distinguish friend from foe, and Itsuki's Bow of Pride turns him into a Control Freak with brainwashing powers.
    • The Blessed Series run on the Heroes' positive feelings (such as Hope), but in their great strength lies their great weakness: if the Hero is unable to sustain such feelings, they run the risk of falling even worse into the problems the Cursed Series would cause.
  • Deader Than Dead: Balamus has his soul eaten by a Soul Worm, shredding it from existence. Motoyasu even drops the trope name when describing what's about to happen.
  • Death-or-Glory Attack: Realizing that they are toast if they do not do it, Itsuki, Naofumi and Ren throw everything they have at the T-Rex in one last attack that leaves them completely exhausted. Fortunately for them, it works.
  • Didn't See That Coming: Naofumi becomes pleasantly surprised when he manages to have a full conversation with Itsuki without any accusations or insults being thrown around - and with both complimenting each other for everything they have been doing since the last Wave.
    • The Shield, Sword, and Bow heroes are all surprised when they find out that there are features to their weapons that they never figured out - but by sharing their own methods of doing things, each of them now knows how to do them, becoming stronger.
  • Does This Make Me Look Fat?: Raphtalia asks this of Naofumi with a new set of armor. Naofumi is immediately set off by this, trying to fish for the right words to say to her, only for Raphtalia to admit she was just messing with him.
  • Due to the Dead: Ren and his party give Gaelion a decent burial, honoring him and preventing the "Necrodragon" problem from happening.
  • Empathic Healer: Ray of Hope, one of Shield of Hope II's abilities, allows Naofumi to heal people of their curses by taking their pain into himself and giving himself a temporary debuff.
  • Enemy Mine: Naofumi manages to convince Siltvelt's army to work with Melromarc's and the Four Heroes in defeating Melromarc's Third Wave.
  • Engineered Public Confession:
    • Naofumi punches Bitch's Berserk Button like it gave free candy to trick her into doing one in front of Motoyasu. In his own words, it worked better than he could have imagined.
    • Motoyasu unintentionally does this to the Pope during the last part of the Liberation of Melromarc. Had the Pope just kept his mouth shut and didn't do a Villain Monologue, he would have used Cathedral's power to kill the Four Heroes, and everyone else in the castle. But because he confessed his true thoughts in regards to Altara, the latter had a Heel–Face Turn moment in regards to his evil Excellency and ultimately brought about his downfall.
  • Enraged by Idiocy: Naofumi suffers this every time someone nearby does something absurdly stupid. Unfortunately, it is somewhat common.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: The Commander of the Royal Guard, supposedly a friend of Aultcray, betrays him by joining the Church's coup. Ditto for Pope Balamus, who was Aultcray's chaplain during the war.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Itsuki and Ren intervene in the aftermath of the duel, disgusted by the way the King and Malty are acting towards Naofumi, outright telling the King that either he abides by the deal and lets Naofumi go (since he clearly won the duel and the King only declared otherwise on a whim), or they will refuse to aid Melromarc in the future Waves of Catastrophe.
    • One noble's nephew sells him out to Itsuki because of the man's cruelty. He promises to do his best to find someone that will actually be decent to other people that the King can appoint.
  • Exact Eavesdropping: The For Want of a Nail. When Naofumi overhears Itsuki and Motoyasu speak about game mechanics he didn't know about (parties sharing EXP). In trying to find answers, he looks for Malty and discovers her plans.
    • This seems to be a weakness for villains - they can't resist telling someone about their evil plans without making sure no one is listening. Eclair, for example, gets dragged into the plot the same way when she overhears the Church's plans to discredit the Shield Hero.
  • Fantastic Racism: Not only between humans and demi-humans, but also amongst demi-humans.
    • A primary motivator for the racism against demi-humans in Melromarc (besides the Church) is the war with Siltvelt: its brutality, which spread for the eight years it lasted, turned the nobles that worked as Aultcray's commanders into gaining a greater hatred for demi-humans than they might have had before.
    • When several Siltvelt agents attempt to find Naofumi to kidnap him and take him to their country, Naofumi overhears them planning to kill Raphtalia on the basis of her being a Tanuki.
    • The Raccoons do not have it so good, either, because when Siltvelt lost the war, their Grand Council turned them into scapegoats by claiming they used illusion magic to convince Claw King Tai-Lon to 'try and conquer the world'.
    • The Hakukos might also not be as favored as they appear in Siltvelt, since those that tried to speak out against the scapegoating were exiled along with all the Noble Raccoon families.
  • Fat Bastard: Idol Rabier is an example of this trope, with him regularly torturing demihuman slaves to death while being corpulent.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: Just as Melromarc and Siltvelt's armies are going to battle, the Four Heroes vanish to meet the Third Wave... only for them to reappear in the no man's land between both armies. Cue the Third Wave opening right on top of the battlefield.
  • For Want of a Nail: Naofumi overhears Malty plotting to frame him with a False Rape Accusation instead of Naofumi being forced to the castle to be charged with the crime.
    • Naofumi goes to Erhard for help and explains to him what Malty is planning to do, so Erhard never suspects him of the rape.
    • Because he ran from the capital before Malty could have him arrested, he is only seen as more guilty and declared a fugitive by the King, who intends to have him thrown in the dungeons and only let out to fight the Waves. Naofumi attends the celebration after the first Wave only because he was invited by some of the Royal Knights with a guarantee that he would not be arrested. During the party, he thoroughly enjoyed making the King angry with his unarrestable presence.
    • Naofumi actually wins the duel against Motoyasu, forcing him to surrender and accept defeat. The only reason he's declared the loser is because Bitch throws a tantrum and states (with no proof whatsoever) that Raphtalia used magic (after Bitch herself blatantly used magic on Naofumi).
    • Queen Mirelia is already aware of the Pope's intentions to overthrow the royal family.
    • Itsuki decides to put his efforts into helping demihumans and weed out corrupt nobles against them. Raphtalia suggests that he go to Van Reichnott as a potential ally.
    • Naofumi learns about Class-Ups with the Dragon Hourglass and the Weapon Copy system from Ren and Itsuki after his duel with Motoyasu and not after the Pope is defeated.
    • He is also made aware of Raphtalia's not-so-platonic feelings for him much sooner.
    • Without Naofumi there to counter Motoyasu and challenge him over the latter's takeover of Lute, the townspeople are soon driven into outright rebellion due to his abysmal ruleship. Eventually, the town's former adventurers form a group called the Order of the Spear Breakers, and rise up in arms against Motoyasu and Myne's knights, fighting until their former Lord is restored to his position. The Lord then proceeds to expel Motoyasu, his party and the knights. The Spear Breakers disappear shortly thereafter in order to avoid the trouble their rebellion could cause to them and their town. They have as of yet to reappear.
    • Motoyasu and Itsuki trigger their Cursed Series a lot earlier than they did in the light novel: the former after pondering over the Armor-Piercing Response shown above and the latter when he is unable to save a young slave girl from being murdered.
    • Ren still kills Gaelion, but this time he learns both that he was duped and that Gaelion had an adopted child (Wyndia) who was the real target of the man who hired him. To atone for his mistake, Ren fights them off and takes Wyndia in as a party member. He also gives Gaelion a proper burial and properly disposes of the corpse, thus clearing the issue of a Hate-Filled Necrodragon terrorizing the town below. He does, however, have Gaelion's Dragon Emperor Fragment resting in his sword.
    • Instead of Naofumi, the one that ends up going after the plant monster Motoyasu unwittingly unleashed is Ren.
    • Because he decided to liberate the slaves held by the Melromarc nobles instead of going after corrupt governments, and did it by killing a majority of the slave-owning nobles, not only is he deemed a false hero by the Church, making him the priority target over Naofumi, but now he's also wanted by the Kingdom of Melromarc.
    • Naofumi is captured by Motoyasu and brought to the Castle for trial. This means that the Pope Arc happens a lot sooner, and the Queen is forced to return to Melromarc before she can finish dealing with the other countries. Also, it is likely that the Cal Mira arc will happen right after the Ghost Ship Wave.
    • Since Naofumi doesn't have the Dragon's Heart accessory (Gaelion's Dragon Emperor Fragment taken from the Necrodragon) with his Berserker Armor, he won't have access to the Eternal Torment Blutopher Shield Spell used to kill off the High Pope in Canon.
    • Malty's assassination attempt on Melty happens while she's visiting Naofumi in the castle's dungeon, intending to kill Naofumi as well while pinning the blame on him.
    • Eclair is introduced much earlier in the series than in canon as Naofumi's cellmate when he first wakes up in the Castle Dungeons.
    • In the light novels, Motoyasu's Cursed Weapon was the Spear of Lust/Envy. Here, it's been changed to the Spear of Jealousy.
    • Naofumi challenges Bitch to a duel once he saves Melty's life. He almost wins, but due to Malty/Myne/Bitch promising to torture Raphtalia and Filo to death once he's dead, Naofumi ends up using his Cursed Series to utterly destroy Myne, and his rampage ends up decimating the entire town area he fought in. Raphtalia suffers cursed burns from trying to snap Naofumi out of his Rage-induced rampage, almost dying in the process.
    • The Church of the Three Heroes brings down their Judgement spell on top of Naofumi, Ren, Itsuki and their parties... while they are in the city of Melromarc. They take advantage of the chaos to start their coup a lot sooner than expected, forcing the Queen to divert her attention from the war with Siltvelt in order to put down the coup.
    • The Church sends an army to support Idol Rabier's attack on Van Reichnott's lands.
    • When Raphtalia was taken away from Rabier, it was a mysterious lady who healed Rifana and told Raphtalia that she had an important role to play.
    • Instead of just the thousands of followers constantly supplying mana to Balamus like in the Anime, the Replica Weapon itself is also powered by centuries worth past church followers storing their mana inside it like in the Light Novel. The author invokes Rule of Cool, with the overflow of mana from all the followers makes fighting Balamus much more dangerous than even in either canon media. In addition, the Sanctuary/Cathedral Spell not only cancels out the effects of curses from Tier II and lower Curse Series Weapon forms, but it also cancels out many of the effects of Tier II Blessed Series Weapon forms. Only if the skill is powerful enough can it overcome the spell, like in canon with the Shield of Wrath and Blood Sacrifice.
    • Siltvelt decides to declare war on Melromarc, attempting to take advantage of their weakened situation due to the Pope's coup.
    • The Ghost Ship Wave begins right on top of Melromarc's and Siltvelt's armies just as the battle is about to begin.
  • The Fundamentalist: Almost every instance of Naofumi meeting a member of the Three Heroes Church has resulted in him either being termed the Shield Demon, the Three Church followers running away in terror, attacking him, or a mixture of all three. On the flip side, the only instance he's had thus far with Siltvelt was being termed their God, but that his current party companions, especially Raphtalia, were unworthy to travel with him.
    • The exception to this are a few members of Lute village, who term him the Shield Demon... right up until Naofumi and his party save the village from the Wave, after which they start treating him with more respect, going as far as to call him a "real Hero".
  • Get A Hold Of Yourself Man: Ren slaps Itsuki when he starts to go off the deep end while trying to frame things as if they are a videogame.
    • He is on the receiving end of one when Wyndia slaps him as he wonders if the Legendary Sword made a mistake in choosing him.
  • Good Weapon, Evil Weapon: While the Cursed Series weapons still exist, here there is the addition of the Hopeful Series (not to be mistaken with the Compassion Series from canon), a series of weapon forms Naofumi unlocks when Raphtalia declares her complete trust and love in him even after her slave crest is removed. It gets upgraded by exploring his feelings of hope and love that Raphtalia gives him.
  • Groin Attack: When their caravan is stopped by a group of bandits, Naofumi tells Raphtalia she can cut them down, specifically requesting her to go for the groin. Raphtalia doesn't understand why - until she does. Then, after the bandits fess up on why they attacked, Naofumi tells Filo to kick them as well, an attack she later gives to Motoyasu when he attacks them in chapter 29.
    • In chapter 34, Filo starts to deliver them wholesale to the knights trying to kill Naofumi, so much that Naofumi wonders if he should teach her to attack other parts of the body. Hopefully, fighting with Fitoria solved this issue.
    • It doesn't, as shown in chapter 52, where she hits a Church knight hard enough to "end his family lineage".
  • Guest-Star Party Member: Discussed. Itsuki offers to temporarily add Naofumi and Raphtalia to his party as Naofumi hadn't had a chance to register the Dragon Hourglass yet. Naofumi turns him down, instead opting to break into the Church of the Three Heroes and force his way to the Hourglass with seconds to spare before the Wave started.
  • Hammerspace: The Legendary Weapons have this feature, which collects materials from all the monsters they kill - which Naofumi does not learn until the meeting with Itsuki and Ren after their escape from Melromarc. Fortunately, all the meat from the monster corpses that made their way into his Shield remains good even months after the fact - which at least helps him cook the feast he promised to throw for Filo. Between feeding her and using Itsuki's strengthening methods, he ends up almost running out of carcasses.
    • This also leads to a funny moment of Naofumi realizing how many potential drops Filo could have eaten before he learned about the inventory box, since Filo was well known for devouring almost every monster she killed.
  • Hate Sink: Balamus becomes one In-Universe after being captured, as Melromarc's population are finally able to unleash their rage with him during his trial.
  • He Knows Too Much: When Ren and his party learn from the Church of Three Heroes archives about the truth of the demi-humans and the Shield Hero, the Pope tries to have them killed.
  • Heal It with Fire: Unfortunately Naofumi utilizes this to patch up the wounds that Raphtalia recieved from her former obese noble owner Idol Rabier's whipping from before, as there wasn't any other proper medical treatment available at that time to heal the bleeding wounds that reopened after narrowly escaping the capital of Melromarc.
  • Healing Hands: With healing being one of Naofumi's magical specialties, it should be no surprise that he can do this. The Shield of Hope makes it even greater, as he can heal curses without requiring holy water (at the cost of a long debuff).
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: While they are not the best thing when it comes down to combat, Naofumi's powers and magic excel outside of it. While fighting the plant monster, Ren wishes Naofumi was nearby since his greater defense and resistance (or even immunity) to debuffs such as poison would have been wonderful to have. He eventually starts to gain more skills whose main purpose is supporting others.
  • Heroic BSoD: Naofumi breaks down in despair after the cursed flames of his Shield of Wrath nearly kill Raphtalia and he is unable to heal her, since he does not have any light magic to counter the curse.
  • Hidden Buxom: While relaxing at a hot spring, Naofumi accidentally sees Raphtalia nude and realizes without her armor covering them just how well endowed she is. Part of it is the armor and clothing, but another part is his own development that he isn't seeing her as a child anymore.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Naofumi uses Rabier's electrified whip against the man, nearly killing him.
    • The church lured Naofumi and Raphtalia into a mine to have them eaten by an Orthrus Dog since it was way too high level for the two to beat. However, since they did beat it, and since Naofumi absorbed the remains into his shield, he gets a shield based on the Orthrus Dog, which is one of his more effective ones and one of the few with an offensive use. Not only does the fight make Naofumi stronger, but he uses the shield against the Church's forces multiple times.
    • Jaralis used Naofumi's situation as an excuse to declare war on Melromarc. Then the Third Wave comes and Naofumi manages to use his status as the demihumans' God to get them to stop the war and work together with Melromarc.
  • Hope Spot: For a moment it seems like Rifana will survive to meet Raphtalia... only for the Heroes to arrive just as her body starts to go cold.
  • Hot Skitty-on-Wailord Action: Dou-Lon, while recovering from his wounds, finds that the old lady who is caring for him used to be married to a half-Orca Demihuman. She's four-foot-nine, and the smaller examples of Orca demihumans are around seven feet tall.
  • Hufflepuff House: While the author did an outstanding job with the Sword and Bow Hero's parties, giving them names, personalities and development, taking them out of this trope, sadly the trope still applies to the Spear Hero's party, whose only member with a name and personality is still Malty.
  • Hypocrite: Jaralis, one of Siltvelt's leaders, who claims to fight for the Shield Hero but blatantly ignores what the Shield Hero is telling him.
  • An Ice Person: Queen Mirelia can use ice magic.
  • Ignored Epiphany: When the people of Lute begin to jeer at him for forcing absurdly huge taxes to enter or leave their town, Motoyasu wonders if he is actually making a mistake - only for his normal Never My Fault behavior to return seconds later.
    • Averted when it comes to Itsuki. After he seems to accept that he's not in a game, he goes back to it... except that when Ren confronts him on it, Itsuki breaks down and reveals that he knows it's not a game, but he's trying to hold on to that delusion because he is feeling crushed due to the knowledge of all the people he's killed or failed to save and the wanton cruelty he's seen.
  • I'll Pretend I Didn't Hear That: The lord of Lute allowing the members of the town's rebellion to escape after attacking Myne, Motoyasu, and the knights that served them, which is still treason no matter how poorly they had treated the town and villagers.
    Lord of Lute: "There's nothing I can do, except turn away and pretend I didn't see all of Melromarc's traitors escape my town with some of the funds from the toll."
  • Insane Troll Logic: Expect believers in the Three Heroes Church and Motoyasu to engage in this regularly, making contradictory statements mere sentences apart and ignoring all signs to the contrary that they *might* be in the wrong.
  • In Spite of a Nail: Naofumi still winds up buying Raphtalia out of necessity.
    • Though his False Rape Accusation doesn't go the same way as in canon, Naofumi still suffers severe psychological trauma that leaves him unable to taste food or see Raphtalia for her actual physical age till after the Sacred Duel.
    • Despite Naofumi being able to defeat Motoyasu in their duel for Raphtalia's freedom, he is still declared the loser when Bitch accuses Raphtalia of using magic to cheat, and her slave crest is still forcibly removed.
    • Naofumi still ends up taking Melty with him to keep the little Princess safe, and thus is framed for kidnapping the young Princess.
    • Rabier manages to set the T-Rex on the Heroes in spite of his almost mortal injuries, and gets crushed by the monster.
  • Instant Soprano: Following Filo's kick to Motoyasu's groin, Naofumi can't help but notice how the Spear Hero's voice has gone up a few octaves for the rest of the fight.
  • Interrupted Intimacy: Ren walks in on Naofumi and Raphtalia as they heavily kiss each other after Naofumi tells her he loves her.
  • It's Personal: Naofumi had enough reasons to hate Idol Rabier, but when Raphtalia tells him that Rabiel tortured her multiple times, he makes it clear that he will kill the SOB if he has the chance. He almost does.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: When Jaralis keeps trying to turn his army on Melromarc after Melromarc's Third Wave opens up right above the battlefield, Naofumi paralyzes him mid-battle and calls him out for being a murderer.
  • Legend Fades to Myth: The common concession of the Three Heroes Church and Melromarc as a whole is the belief that the Spear, Sword and Bow Heroes are gods to be worshiped, the Shield Hero is a Devil out to lead humanity to ruin and demihumans are the unholy union of humans and monsters. When Ren and his party do some investigating in the Church's archives, they discover the truth: The Cardinal Heroes, Vassal Heroes and demihumans were all introduced to the world in the very first Waves of Catastrophe. Some of the humans saw the demihuman's sudden appearance and their natural ability to age quickly as an existential threat to humanity's claim to the world and thus launched a campaign of genocide against them. While the Sword, Bow and Spear heroes agreed to this campaign, the Shield Hero believed that he was obligated to protect both humanity and the demihumans, so he volunteered to lead them into a trap, only to instead help them escape Melromarc. The place they fled to would eventually become Siltvelt, while the original launchers of that campaign founded the Three Heroes Church and demonized the Shield Hero to the people of Melromarc, a country that formed later in opposition to Siltvelt.
  • Let's You and Him Fight:
    • One that works for Naofumi. When the Siltvelt agents begin to follow Naofumi and Raphtalia (planning to kidnap him and kill her), several Church agents also arrive - and promptly go after the Siltvelt agents, accusing them of hiding Naofumi away.
    • The Church of the Three Heroes gets in on this by arranging for Motoyatsu to try to kill Naofumi.
  • Level Cap: Like in canon, it's a problem that the Church won't let Naofumi use the hourglass to let Raphtalia and Filo go past level 40.
  • Like an Old Married Couple: Naofumi and Raphtalia, particularly as they discuss Filo behaving as if she were their daughter.
  • Loophole Abuse: Erdhart figures that if Naofumi isn't allowed to wield any other weapons than his legendary shield, then he can still make spiked gauntlets for him that give an attack boost because that's considered armor, right? Nope.
  • Love Epiphany: Slow, but Naofumi realizes that he is actually falling for Raphtalia after she reaffirms her Undying Loyalty to him. In Chapter 26, while he doesn't outright use the L-word and he doesn't fully understand his feelings, he all but tells Raphtalia he cannot live without her. It takes ten more chapters for him to actually say "I love you" to her.
    • Non-romantic example in Chapter 26: after an encounter with several creatures using illusions to make people think their partners are attacking them, Naofumi tells Filo that, for all her faults, he would never exchange her for anything, because he considers her his daughter.
  • Lured into a Trap: Itsuki and his party are lured into a trap set by the Church Shadows due to one noble in particular acting excessively cruel to draw out the vigilante. They end up surrounded by mercenaries, his Transport Bow is negated, and the Church Shadow has discovered the location of the freed slaves with the intention of killing them. One of his party members dies in the fight, but when Itsuki triggers his Cursed Series Bow and brainwashes several of the mercenaries, it allows the others to survive.
  • Malicious Misnaming: Naofumi keeps calling Melty "Second Princess" to needle her over her naivete. And eventually, because he's too stubborn to call her by her real name.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Ren becomes horrified when he realizes that he was duped to kill Gaelion, leaving little Wyndia all alone - and then when he learns it was all because the guy who hired him wanted to enslave Wyndia.
    • Itsuki is terrified of himself when he realizes the brainwashing power he has used on the mercenaries attacking him.
    • Naofumi suffers a Heroic BSoD when he realizes that he has killed many people under the influence of the Shield of Rage II and gravely injured Raphtalia.
  • Never My Fault: With a bit of goading from a Church Shadow and the influence of the Spear of Jealousy, Motoyasu comes to the conclusion that his failure at being a governor and the disastrous consequences in leaving the shipment of food behind and the miracle seed were all somehow Naofumi's fault, despite him being absolutely nowhere near any of those events.
    Motoyasu: You've done plenty of bad things! You turned the people of Lute Village against me! You took the miracle I gave the town of Leruno and mutated it into a monster! You made me doubt my friends and live in exile for a long time! Everything is your fault!
    Naofumi: What the hell are you talking about Motoyasu?! I wasn't even near Lute when all that crap went down. And I've never heard of a town named Leruno before-
    Motoyasu: Shut up! The Shadows already told me you'd try to lie to me again so that you could brainwash me into letting you rape and pillage your way to Shieldfreeden! I won't allow it!
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Motoyatsu nearly ruins the town of Lute because he let Myne guide his decisions as its Lord.
    • Had Dou-Lon (the Hakuko Siltvelt agent who saw Naofumi and Raphtalia) stayed silent after seeing them, he would have prevented the death of his two partners and also kept the Church from finding Naofumi.
    • Ren realizes that him killing Gaelion was this, learning too late that Gaelion never intended to attack anyone, and that the person who hired him only did it because he wanted to take Wyndia as a slave. It should be noted, though, that he quickly starts to take steps to make things right, such as taking Wyndia into his party, promising to protect her, and giving Gaelion a proper burial.
  • No-Sell: Glass manages to do this to Pandora's Box. Naofumi theorizes that it is because either she is much more powerful than him or because she did not do anything that would be construed as deserving punishment.
  • Not a Game: Naofumi warns Ren and Itsuki to take things seriously because even if it looks like it, the situation they are not in is not a game. Both of them learn the lesson in tragedy, Itsuki when a little girl is killed in front of him, Ren after he learns he was duped into killing a dragon who was not a threat to anyone.
    • Downplayed with Itsuki. He knows it is not a game, but he tries to convince himself that it is to be able to distance himself from the deaths he has caused and the people he has been unable to save. But in doing so, he dooms others to die - including one of his party members.
  • Not So Above It All: Melty becomes a fangirl whenever she meets Filo. Every. Single. Time.
  • Oh, Crap!: Played for Laughs when Naofumi realizes he hasn't found someone yet to give The Talk to Raphtalia - after he and Raphtalia get into a heavy kissing session and Raphtalia tells him she thinks kissing makes you pregnant.
    • More seriously when Maya and Raphtalia find out that not only is Rabier's army a day or two away, but he also has received reinforcements from the Church of the Three Heroes.
  • Overprotective Dad: Naofumi is all too ready to punch Motoyasu when he appears to become enamored with Filo.
  • Pet the Dog: After the Wave and Naofumi's duel with Motoyasu, the King denies Naofumi his fair reward, so Ren and Itsuki give him the reward out of their own pockets.
    • Ren takes Wyndia into the group in order to atone for his decision to attack her father, the dragon Gaelion, on falsified information.
    • When a young Raccoon slave girl thanks Itsuki for freeing her from her evil master, Itsuki tentatively rubs the girl's hair, much to her delight.
    • Ren also rubs Wyndia's head, after hearing about Itsuki's experience, to show his appreciation for the dog-girl. While she enjoys it, she has a Tsundere moment and slaps Ren for what he'd done.
  • The Poorly Chosen One: The three non-Shield Heroes start off as this, but they slowly get better over time. A look back in the Church's records implies that this wasn't a unique phenomenon to this set of heroes; they tell of heroes fighting one another, declaring grudges, and one who outright abandoned the job to form a harem of catgirls.
  • Power of Love: Naofumi's love for Raphtalia and the hope she inspires in him are what allow him to unlock Shield of Hope II, giving him the power to heal people from curses.
  • Rapid Aging: A well-known feature of demi-human species. Those that undergo it age physically, mentally, and emotionally with levels. The rate of aging varies from species to species.
    • Raphtalia was a known canon example, much like other demihumans.
    • Ren notices during the fight against the plant monster that Wyndia (which he took in a few weeks before as a preteen) now looks like a teenager and has grown a few inches. In interactions with Wyndia, she is shown to be calm and mature. But in more personal cases, she's also shown to care for others, and worries for the Sword Hero. In short, she reads more like a teenage girl instead of a child.
    • When Maya (the Raccoon girl Itsuki takes into his group) asks to be allowed to help, Rachel (another of Itsuki's party members) explains to him about this issue, promising that in a week he will see how much she has grown. Sure enough, she looks like an eighteen year old the next time she's mentioned. One that obviously has a crush on her party member Aksel.
    • This is revealed to be the reason that the Church of Three Heroes hates Demihumans, at least in the beginning- since a Demihuman can grow to teenage or full adult size in a fraction of the time a human can, they believe that it's only a matter of time until humanity is wiped out, and so plan to wipe out the Demihumans first.
  • Reality Ensues: It only takes a few days under the ruinous tax Myne imposes on them (the equivalent of spending 100 nights in the local inn just for entering and leaving the town) for the economy to dry out and for the people of Lute begin plotting a revolt. They finally do so, attacking Myne's knights and Motoyasu's party. However, there's a nested Reality Ensues here- while the reason for the Rebellion was just, they did attack a member of the Royal Family and her entourage, and thus have to leave town (and possibly the country) or be arrested.
    • For all their having a Legendary Weapon, the Four Heroes are still inexpert in their use, and the only reason they get by is by taking advantage of their weapons' power and skills. When Albert, Lute's captain of the guard, fights Motoyasu during Lute's revolt, he closes in to prevent Motoyasu from using his spear, and with his experience, he can easily destroy him in a fight. Ren also has a similar moment, though not as important as Motoyasu, when it's offhandedly recorded that he dueled Eclair, and got his butt handed to him by the Rose haired swordswoman.
    • Naofumi and Eclair are imprisoned, and can't get out using magic. It makes sense- the governments and societies of the world have had generations to perfect prisons so that anyone with the slightest bit of magical power can't just flick their fingers and walk out. And with the Shield Hero being widely demonized, the Church has expended a lot of time and effort to prevent him from escaping.
    • Numbers don't matter much when your enemy is much better than you. During Naofumi, Eclair and Melty's escape from Melromarc's castle, two new knights get knocked out in seconds by Eclair, and Filo and Raphtalia end up defeating a large group of knights on their own.
    • Naofumi and Itsuki fall into a Heroic BSoD when they face the fact that they killed many people while in their Cursed Series state. It takes effort to get them out of there, and even then it's not easy to shake the guilty feelings off. For Itsuki, it's a resolve to become a better Hero. For Naofumi, it's accepting what he did and unlocking the next Shield in his Blessed Series: The Shield of Hope II.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: After being captured by the Church and taken to Melromarc's capital, Naofumi has quite a few words - combined with multiple Cluster Bleep-Bombs for the King, Malty, and Motoyasu.
  • Refuge in Audacity: When Naofumi, Raphtalia, Filo, Eclair and Melty are unable to escape Melromarc before Motoyasu and Malty catch up to them, what does Naofumi do? Get one of Raphtalia's gloves, use it to challenge Malty to a duel... and when she balks at the idea, he taunts her and calls her a chicken, making fun of her until she accepts the duel out of a complete desire to make him suffer.
    • Naofumi's plan to deal with Rabier and his army: make an illusion of himself to distract them, and then sneak and free the slaves whilst Itsuki kills Rabier and the army commanders, putting the army into disarray.
  • Running Gag:
    • Whenever they start selling things, Raphtalia always sells more than Naofumi.
    • Whenever Naofumi has any mean spirited thoughts, Raphtalia will always ask "Master Naofumi, are you thinking something rude?". Later, Filo starts doing it as well, much to his frustration.
    • Is Naofumi a Hero, a cook, a Butler, or a mixture of the Three?
    • Any time Naofumi is presented with an option to increase his attack stat, his Yandere Shield NOPES it to oblivion.
  • Sadistic Choice: When Idol Rabier and the Church are preparing to send their army to attack Reichnott's lands, the Heroes know that, whether the people evacuate or they stay to fight, many will die, because the former is bringing many demi-humans, whether for slavery or for torture. Naofumi comes up with a third option: use an illusion of himself to distract the former, while he, Ren and Itsuki infiltrate the camp, free the demi-humans and, if they have the chance, kill Rabier and the army commanders.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: After the encounter with the Siltvelt agents, Naofumi decides the group has to leave town fast before the Church agents that had gone after the Siltvelt spies realize they (Naofumi, Raphtalia, and Filo) are in town as well.
    • After the Church casts their Judgement spell on Melromarc, Erhard leaves town as fast as possible, warning his friends to do the same.
  • Selective Obliviousness: Naofumi accuses Motoyasu of this, for ignoring how blatant the Church's brutality is.
  • Shout-Out:
  • "Shut Up" Kiss: When Naofumi is about to kill Malty with the Iron Maiden, and knowing that if he does he will be completely lost, Raphtalia only sees one way to stop him. And she does it. This is downplayed, though, since Naofumi was on evil magical fire at the time and had nearly killed her, so once he comes to his senses, Naofumi starts panicking at the horrible state Raphtalia is in.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Played straight with Raphtalia.
    • Eclair developed a crush on the Shield Hero due to the stories her parents told her about him. However, when she meets Naofumi, she can tell that he is in love with someone else and tries to let go of it.
    • Wyndia acts like a Tsundere when she's around Ren (mostly because he was duped into killing her adoptive father, although he immediately tries to begin to atone), but her care for him and her wish to help him can be clearly seen. The fact that one of the few memories she has of her mother is her singing songs about the Four Heroes, and that her favorite was about the Sword Hero, is another possibility.
  • Situational Sword: The Royal Shield. Against most other targets, it's a waste of energy, being weaker than other shields. But when he uses it against people of a royal bloodline or to protect them, it's extremely powerful - as Malty found out when her attacks are reflected back at her.
  • Skewed Priorities: Naofumi becomes dumbfounded and furious when Jaralis puts the destruction of Melromarc's army above the very real danger of Melromarc's Third Wave falling on both armies.
  • Slave Liberation: At Raphtalia's suggestion, Itsuki begins to attack the slaveholder nobles, killing them in order to free their slaves and bringing them to safety.
  • Slavery Is a Special Kind of Evil: The Heroes and their parties share this opinion, but for most of them it isn't until they reach Idol Rabier's mansion that they realize how horribly demi-human slaves are treated within Melromarc, much to Melty's pain and shock.
  • Smug Snake: Jaralis, the lion demihuman who leads Siltvelt's Council. He's a slimy Jerkass who is pretty much a demihuman Balamus, but he becomes dumbfounded when Naofumi (whom Jaralis claims is fighting for) tells him to stop the war and return home.
    • Balamus, during his execution, tries to preach on about how the Church of the Three Heroes will return and that he will be their martyr. He changes his tune when Mirellia reveals that the execution involves getting his soul torn and eaten by a Soul Worm.
  • Smug Super: When a knight breaks his pike on Naofumi's shield, he decides to let him try again with his sword, smirking all the time. The blade shatters on his neck. The Knight proceeds to faint. It is also used in an omake. Going as far as a boulder from a catapult failing to do anything against Naofumi, causing many knights to faint at the sight.
  • Spanner in the Works: When the Gengar bats and rats attack Naofumi, Raphtalia, and Filo, using illusions of the others to attack them physically and mentally, it would have worked - if it weren't for Naofumi triggering Raphtalia's crest. This, combined with her realizing that 'Naofumi' is attacking her harder than he should be capable, lets her see through the illusion and kill the monsters.
    • During their duel, Raphtalia realizes that Altara is weaving illusions as she fights. Had it not been for her encounter with the bats, past experiences with her illusion magic being interrupted, and various other factors, Raphtalia would have never realized it. But because she does so, she's able to fight Altara on more even ground.
  • Spoiled Brat: Unfortunately for Naofumi's nerves, Filo is quite demanding due to her lack of knowledge of social mores. Fortunately, Raphtalia is capable of getting her to listen to her. But not always. This is at least somewhat justified by her being less than three months old and the lack of the Monster Seal.
  • Spotting the Thread:
    • Ren immediately becomes suspicious of Malty's accusations because, despite claiming that Naofumi tried to assault her, she immediately hopped into Motoyasu's bed the very same night Naofumi fled. Since he's been friends with people who were sexually assaulted in his old life, he knows that something is off - going against the normal Japanese cultural norm, being that people arrested for a crime are "Guilty until proven innocent".
    • Eclair finds her father's body in her hometown, and is able to put together several pieces of information to deduce that he was assassinated, not killed by the Waves. This is because she sees that he died with a Three Heroes Church rosary in his hand... when he worshiped the church of the Four heroes.
  • The Talk: When Naofumi realizes that Raphtalia is in serious need of learning about this, he tries to find a demihuman old enough to give her one. He has as of yet to find one. In the end, Raphtalia almost manages to convince Eclair to do it, only for the whole Idol Rabier scenario to happen, and now no one realizes the ticking time bomb they have on their hands.
  • Tailor-Made Prison: The fic features one that holds the Shield Hero and Eclair, not allowing them to access their magic nor their inventories.
  • Tennis Boss: The Pope's Replica Weapon is capable of shooting very powerful energy beams, and he's also using a barrier strong enough that not even Motoyasu's strongest attack can break it. The solution? Naofumi deflects one such beam so Ren can then use Reflect Sword to bat it straight at the barrier, shattering it.
  • They Do: Naofumi and Raphtalia finally kiss each other on Chapter 38 after Naofumi confesses his feelings. Their later interactions are tamer, but their love and care for each other is plain to see.
  • Token Evil Teammate: With Ren and Itsuki both taking a level in kindness and competence, only Motoyasu remains antagonistic towards Naofumi.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Ren and Itsuki, particularly the latter. While Itsuki still has yet to stop seeing people as videogame NPCs, he is acknowledging their feelings and helping the innocent as best as possible. This is downplayed in Itsuki's case as well - it's less of "He's ignorant of what's really going on" and more of a coping mechanism so that he can deal with the deaths of all those people he killed and those he failed to save.
  • Tragic Villain: Aultcray Melromarc, AKA Luge Faubley, AKA the Trash King, doesn't just dislike Naofumi from the start because he's, in essence, the God of the demi-humans. As it's revealed, Aultcray lost all his original family except his sister as a child to Hakuko mercenaries. Then, as the General/King of Melromarc in his prime, he lost his sister to what was supposed to be a Hakuko peace party. Aultcray's motivation now is to keep his family safe, no matter the cost. And it both blinds him and drives him - something his daughter Malty (AKA Bitch) uses to her advantage.
    • It's implied that, had Bitch never accused Naofumi of rape, Aultcray may have eventually warmed up to working with the Shield Hero, especially since he'd come to realize Naofumi was far more capable than the other heroes. Because of Bitch manipulating her dear daddy by using the love he held for his family against him, that doesn't look possible now.
    • After Balamus and his Royal Commander turn against him, performing a coup, and making it appear that his precious daughter Melty died in a blast of Judgment, Aultcray is thrown into a cell. When he's next shown, he appears broken. Gone is the King of Melromarc. Here, he is just a broken old man, preparing to be whipped and then executed by the Church.
  • Tranquil Fury: When the Queen learns of Balamus' betrayal, she remains superficially calm, but in the space of one sentence, all present knights know that she is completely and truly pissed off.
  • Trauma Button: Finding a noble threatening to kill his slave triggers Itsuki's trauma about being bullied in his old world – and when the noble follows through, he remembers seeing his best friend killing herself because of the intense bullying she suffered. This sends him to a Despair Event Horizon, unlocking his own Cursed Series.
    • Rabier is one for Raphtalia, as he had previously tortured not only her but countless other Demihumans as well. When Raphtalia finds her best friend Rifana dead and realizing she died less than an hour before, she enters into an Unstoppable Rage and runs straight to find and kill Rabier.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: When the Soul Worm begins to rip into Balamus' soul, Ren vomits into his sword's gemstone.
  • Wardrobe Malfunction: The omake of chapter 59 has Naofumi using Hope Asunder (an ability that destroys the enemy's armor and greatly reduces their defense) on Glass, and since she was only wearing a kimono, she ends up almost naked. This prompts her to flee the battle, but the heroes realize that she will return the next Wave, and she'll be super pissed.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Albert verbally blasts Motoyasu, telling him that he's no hero because he never protected Lute during the Wave, he didn't clean up the messes he left behind, and he was ruining the village with his idiocy. King Aultcray would later do the same thing, adding on the devastation he brought with the ancient seed.
    • Wyndia to Ren after the Battle of Melromarc, calling him out for isolating himself from his party precisely when he knows he needs them to become stronger.
  • Worth It: In a dramatic version, Raphtalia tells Naofumi she considers her kissing him to get him out of his Shield of Rage state was worth it, even if it ended with her almost dying because she knew she was saving him.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Idol Rabier would whip his slaves with no mercy, no matter their age. He is definitely a kill on sight.
    • Malty openly tries to have Melty murdered so that she'll be the only candidate of ascending to the throne.
  • You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!: When Naofumi gets rid of some leftovers by absorbing them into his Legendary Shield, he unlocks the Chef's Shields, making him an even better cook than before. His response is pretty much this.
  • You Remind Me of X: Wyndia reminds Ren of his best friend.
    • Naofumi reminds Fitoria of the previous Cardinal Hero who raised her.

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