Chapter 1: A Royal
Naofumi Iwatani, a sophomore from a local university, describes his otaku tendencies and his family. He tries to take his studies seriously so that he can lead a proper life, but his parents quickly give up on him and invest their hopes on their younger son by sending him off to some fancy cram school. One day, his brother finally snaps from all the stress and Naofumi rushes in for the rescue. He introduces him to a game and slowly his brother, too, becomes an Otaku. Now, having a way to shake off his stress, his brother graduated from the cram school and was becoming into one of society's top dog. This led to Naofumi leading a fulfilling and independent college life while being pampered by his parents.
Naofumi received a meager 10,000 yen from his parents as his monthly allowance, but in the face of all his Otaku expenses, the money barely lasted him long enough, so to conserve money, he was forced to go to the library to read "old books" from second-hand bookstores or the library. This is where it all began.
While walking around the Fantasy section of the library, Naofumi stumbles upon the book, "Four Heavenly Weapon's Manual". It was an ancient-looking book, which had fallen from the shelf right in front of him. Naofumi sits down and starts to read the book.
The book describes a parallel world and also prophesied the world's demise. It claimed that "waves of disaster" would assault the world one after another till the world finally collapsed. To escape their fate, the world would summon Heroes from another world to protect them. The Four Heroes would possess a unique weapon each; Sword, Spear, Bow and... Shield. Naofumi finds it amusing that the "Shield" is even considered to be a weapon and continued reading. The Four Heroes after being summoned would go their own ways to prepare for the upcoming waves of disaster.
Naofumi suddenly feels the urge to sleep. He notices that there was no "cute heroine" mentioned anywhere in the book so far. He assumed that even if a princess were to appear, she would undoubtedly smell like and irritating slut in the heat with a harem involving the Four Heroes. He then takes a look at the characteristics of the Four Heroes. The Sword has overwhelming combat prowess, whereas the Spear was considerate. He also wondered whether the Bow would get rid of a horrid dictator just like Robin Hood did. The story was now moving onto the Shield Hero. But, the page which would hold the information of the Shield was blank through and through!
Just then, Naofumi's consciousness drifts away and he awakens in a parallel world!
Chapter 2: Hero Introductions
Suddenly, Naofumi finds himself in a brick-walled room with a line of "men wearing robes," admiring him...and three others. The four people, including Naofumi, are standing in the middle of a glowing, geometric pattern which is glowing intensely. As Naofumi gets to his senses, he realizes that a Shield is stuck to his arm. He tries to remove it, but nothing happens. He notices that the other three are also carrying a certain weapon, a Sword, Spear, and Bow.
The one with the Sword demands to know what this place is and why are they here. The robed men respond by begging the four to save their world and that they were summoned here with the help of an ancient spell. Initially shocked by the man's answer, the three other people demand to be sent back to their worlds, whereas Naofumi was engrossed in the robed man's explanation. The tension in the room was steadily rising and the three Heroes started issuing their demands and warning that they could become enemies if their demands were not fulfilled. The robed men gesture for the Heroes to follow them so that they could make an audience with the King. Naofumi trails behind the other three.
Peeking outside one of the windows along the way, Naofumi describes the world to be similar to that of Medieval Europe. Lost in the beauty of the scenery and landscape, the Heroes reach the throne room, where the King is waiting for them. The King introduces himself as Aultcray. Naofumi immediately dislikes the King. The King then goes on to explain that the world was facing "waves of calamity" which would eventually destroy the world. There exists a giant hourglass that forecasts the arrival of the waves. Initially, this prophecy did not concern the people, but when the hourglass completed it's first turning, the sky split open and out came monsters which lay waste to everything in its path. The knights and adventurers were barely able to hold them back.
Even after listening to the King's tale, the Heroes were not at all bothered with the situation, they said that it doesn't bother them and that if the world is prophesized to be destroyed, then it should be... there was no reason for the Heroes to sacrifice themselves if there was no incentive for them, and that once the problem was resolved they'd be thrown out. The Heroes wanted something in return for their services to which the King gladly agreed and was willing to reward the "Brave Ones" fully for their efforts. Financial and housing support would be provided to all the Heroes. Finally, the King asked the Heroes to introduce themselves.
The Sword Hero, Ren Amaki, age 16, high schooler. Naofumi felt he took great care of his facial features but was a bit short at 165cm. He thought that if he cross-dressed, people would confuse him for a girl.
The Spear Hero, Motoyasu Kitamura, age 21, a university student. Naofumi described him as a carefree yet having an older brother kind of person. He also claims that he was perhaps the most handsome of the four, and probably had two or three girlfriends.
The Bow Hero, Itsuki Kawasumi, age 17, high schooler. Naofumi's first impression was that he was a timid boy, best suited to the piano. Other than that, he found him very vague and mysterious.
Finally, Naofumi introduces himself.
Shield Hero, Naofumi Iwatani, age 20, a university student.
The King looked past Naofumi and ignored him. Even when addressing the Heroes, the King forgot to mention Naofumi's name. The King then asked the Heroes to check their 'Status'. When Itsuki couldn't find it, Ren pointed out that there was an icon in the corner of their vision, focusing your mind on that would open a window containing the information of the person. Naofumi opens his and finds that his occupation is "Shield Hero Level 1," with no Skills or Magic Status.
All the Heroes realize that being Level 1 would be useless in an actual fight when the King proclaims that the Heroes would venture out and strengthen their weapons and themselves. Each one excited about the forthcoming adventures thought that they would form a party together, but the King informed that the weapons do not work in proximity of each other, so each Hero would form his own party with the members provided by the King. The King advises them to rest for the night and leave for their adventures tomorrow with their new parties. The Heroes thank the King and move to the guest rooms.
Chapter 3: Heroes' Discussions
All the Heroes were sitting on their beds and intently looking at their screens, reading about their weapons and stats. Unlike normal weapons, Legendary weapons would not require maintenance and could absorb materials to upgrade them and to strengthen them. Each weapon has a large set of weapons they could turn into but are currently locked. It felt very similar to that of a skill tree in games.
Naofumi and the others all feel like this is a game and then go about discussing which game it reminds them of. They all claim that it's a very popular game, yet none of them had ever heard of the game the other person mentioned. They start to realize that something is wrong, so to get to a common ground, they decide to name the current Prime Minister. Each one answers with a different name. Eventually, they came to the conclusion that even though they were all from Japan, they were from different versions of Japan, and from different eras that too! Itsuki was from a time past, Motoyasu and Naofumi were close to present-day, while Ren was from some time in the future, based on the technologies they had in their world.
They each decide to explain the circumstances that lead them to be summoned here. Ren claims that he was walking home with his friend when he encountered a troubling murder incident. He claims that he had saved his childhood friend and somehow managed to escape the killer, but that's the last thing he remembers. Motoyasu claimed that he was having a few girlfriends in the other world and when things went wrong, he was stabbed and ended up here. Itsuki goes next and states that when returning home one day, a dump truck took a sharp turn and that's the last he remembers. Naofumi just said that he was reading a book in the library.
The other three looked coldly at him and then began to discuss among themselves. Naofumi feeling uncomfortable tried to change the subject but was still left feeling isolated from the others. It was unfair. Naofumi asks the other for help since he was the only one without any prior idea of the world. Ren and Itsuki look away but Motoyasu accepts the request. He clearly points it out to Naofumi that people with shields are useless after a certain time and can never amount to much. Naofumi was devastated and turned to the others, but they all gave the same verdict. They then talked about Geography and hunting grounds of the world, all the while sidelining Naofumi who was pushed further into isolation. Naofumi consoled himself by exclaiming that he would work hard to improve his stats and would find others to help him in his journey. His brave speech was cut short when the servant announced that the meal was served. The Heroes ate whatever they wanted and then decided to call it a day and went to sleep.
Naofumi lay in bed, thinking of all the adventures he would have in this world starting from tomorrow and went to sleep.
Chapter 4: Specially Arranged Gold
Early the next morning the King summoned the Heroes once again, but this time he was surrounded by 12 people all of whom looked like adventures of different kinds. Apparently, the 12 people would themselves choose which Hero they wanted to follow and so the people moved to their respective Heroes. In the end, Ren had 5, Motoyasu 4, Itsuki 3 and Naofumi 0. The King was mildly amused by this, he asked his minister and announced that a rumor has spread that the Shield Hero did not satisfy some condition when he was summoned to this world. Naofumi believed that it was because he had no knowledge of the world. Infuriated, Naofumi turns to Ren, demanding that he give some of his people. Ren claims that he prefers going alone, yet still, no one left him. Motoyasu unsurprisingly was surrounded by women, and Isuki was reluctant to part with his companions. It seemed Naofumi would have to go alone.
Just then, one of Motoyasu's companions stepped forwards and wished to join Naofumi. She introduced herself as Myne Sophia. No one else wanted to join the Shield Party, so the King decided to increase the Shield's funding to compensate for the apparent lack of party members. Each Hero received his share of money and left the room to begin their adventures.
Myne and Naofumi decided it would be best to visit a tools shop and acquire their gear first, as that would consume most of their resources. Myne takes Naofumi to a shop she is acquainted with and they reach it within ten minutes. It was a weapons shop. The owner of the Weapons shop comments on Naofumi's clothes and that he would need better equipment. They decide to spend around 250 of their 800 silver to purchase their gear. The Owner pulls out a sword and hands it to Naofumi, but as soon as he reaches for it, it jumps away from his hand. Naofumi tries again a few times the sword keeps jumping away from him. He finds out that being a Hero he cannot wield a weapon other than the one assigned to him.
The owner intrigued tries to get a better look at the Shield, but can't figure much more than the name, he claims that there's a strange power, like a curse, emanating from the gem in the center of the Shield. Seeing as he can't use a sword, the Owner presents Naofumi with armor instead. They end up buying the Chain Mail Armor for 120 silver, reasoning that they would need to get better equipment as Naofui would level up, so buying low-level gear, for now, would be a good idea.
Having tried out the armor, finalizing the purchase, Naofumi sets out with his new partner into his first exciting adventure!
Chapter 5: Reality of the Shield
Upon exiting the city gates, Naofumi was presented with boundless grasslands, similar to Hokkaido. To test out Naofumi's capabilities, Myne suggests that he try to take on one of the weaker enemies. It turned out that even though he had a very high defense rating, his attack power was almost negligible. Naofumi was pretty disappointed but assumed that the other Heroes might be facing the same problem. But the others were able to 1-hit kill them.
Myne tried to encourage Naofumi, but it seemed hollow to the ear. Naofumi then feeds his shield the remains of the Orange Balloon monster and unlocks his first shield. This was the power of the Legendary Weapons. Finally, after seeing Naofumi's capabilities, Myne decides to take the frontlines while Naofumi would provide support and defense. They keep on fighting monsters throughout the day but do not venture very far from the castle town as it was getting close to dusk. They head back to the weapons shop to purchase better equipment for tomorrow's hunt.
The first day of Naofumi's Hero adventures left him filled with uncertainties about the future.
Chapter 6: The Trap and The Arts of Betrayal
Naofumi and Myne return to the Weapon shop and decide to buy gear for Myne as she would be fighting on the frontlines. After a battle for discount, Myne purchased a "cute" set of armor and a sword for 480 silver, leaving only 200 as their funds. Naofumi was a bit stressed by the remaining balance as he was always known to hoard cash in his games.
They decide to spend the night at an inn and book two rooms. While having dinner, Naofumi goes over the geography of the country with Myne's help and looks at hunting grounds, nearby villages, forests, etc., getting a good idea of his surroundings. He didn't want to turn for help to the other Heroes seeing their attitude yesterday, so he decided to do his best and outperform the other three with his own efforts.
Myne notices that Naofumi had not touched his wine glass, to which he responds by saying that he dislikes alcohol. Myne tried to persuade him to drink, but he stubbornly refused, to which Myne dejectedly complied. After dinner, Myne went to her room leaving Naofumi who quickly followed suit.
Naofumi hung his chain mail on the chair and hid 30 silver inside his shield and kept the rest on the table and went to sleep dreaming of all the adventures he would be having.
The next morning Naofumi woke up in his underwear, and his chain mail and silver were stolen! He couldn't believe that the security could be so bad here and rushed to Myne's room only to receive no answer from her room. Just then the castle knights rushed to Naofumi, ignoring his plea of help demanded him to accompany them to the castle where the King demanded his immediate presence.
Treated like a criminal, Naofumi was dragged to the castle to face the King.
Chapter 7: False Charge
Dragged to the throne room with spears pointing towards him, Naofumi stood facing the King and his minister. He noticed that the other three Heroes were also present... and Myne hiding behind Motoyasu. Everyone looked at Naofumi with disgust.
Motoyasu starts blasting at Naofumi about how could he have done such a grievous crime, that's when Naofumi noticed that his stolen chain mail was being worn by Motoyasu. But before he could point it out the King demanded to know the charges against the Shield.
Myne, sobbing informed the King that Naofumi got drunk yesterday and then burst into her room in the night and tore off her clothes and then proceeded to "force" himself on her. Panicked, she ran out of the room and happened to meet Motoyasu, who took care of her.
Naofumi tries to object but it cut off by an enraged Motoyasu. Naofumi then questions how Motoyasu came across his chain mail, to which Motoyasu replies that it was a gift from Myne. No matter how Naofumi looked at it, it reeked of corruption.
The King silenced Naofumi and ordered that he would have been executed on the spot, were he not a Hero. Naofumi could feel his blood boiling, his fury rising. How could the world that summoned him here, treat him like a criminal for something he did not do and those wielding authority would turn a blind eye to innocence!
Naofumi realized that this was planned beforehand. Myne would join Naofumi's party, flatter him and get him to buy her equipment, then steal all his belongings and then accuse him of a crime and run off to join Motoyasu once again.
Nobody would stand up to support the Shield. Naofumi seething with rage demanded to be sent back to his world, and that the King should summon another Shield Hero. Unfortunately, to summon a new Hero all the Heroes must be killed or should have died. All the Heroes were shocked by his answer and demanded an explanation. Naofumi, fed up with the world and everyone in it, asked for his punishment. The King announced that since the Shield is crucial to combatting the waves, he shall not be disciplined, but instead, his rumors would be spread to all the people of the country. As Naofumi was turning to leave he felt the small pouch of silver he had hidden in his Shield. He took it out and threw it at Motoyasu and turned his back to the castle. As he left the castle, he noticed that people were hostile towards him and that they pointed at him and gossiped among themselves. Naofumi was impressed by how fast news spreads in this world.
Naofumi, an outcast in this world, now ventured into the hostile world with nothing but hate in his heart.