|This page may contain spoilers.|
|“||I hoped the whole place burned to the ground, the whole damn world.||”|
—Naofumi , Volume 1, Chapter 7
Iwatani Naofumi (岩谷尚文) is the main protagonist of The Rising of the Shield Hero. He was a university student before being summoned to another world, where he had to fight against the waves of calamity, as one of the heroes.
Naofumi is a roughly 20 year old young man with black hair and fairly sharp features. He has a rather slim build and a permanent scowl on his face as a result of his mistreatment and cynical outlook on the world. The armor he wears is called the Barbarian Armor, and he is always equipped with his Legendary Shield. The armor in question is noted by others to suit him, even though one would expect a bandit leader to be wearing it.
Originally Naofumi was an extremely trusting and positive person, he was also enthusiastic about his situation, when initially summoned, but this all changes quickly after he is betrayed by Malty. Left penniless, framed for rape, and hated, Naofumi becomes distrustful, cynical and spiteful towards the world. He becomes unable to trust anyone who is not his slave as a traveling companion and begins planning for events where people try to deceive him or rip him off. This betrayal has left him in an almost permanent state of anger and hostility, even while he usually acts calm and level headed on the surface.This also bites back as, he unknowingly pushed away genuine believers of shield hero and Sieltwelt envoys without knowing.
His hatred for Malty is utterly without bound, to the point where he has become completely apathetic and ignorant to the advances of women in general, and even sometimes expresses disgust and hatred purely on the grounds that the other person is the same gender as Malty early on, though he never voices this to them. Due to Raphtalia and Filo, he becomes less inwardly hostile towards women over time, but is still evidently unable to notice their advances, Raphtalia herself, when her Slave Crest was being renewed, even asked him what he thought of her body, which had to be exposed for the application of the crest, only for him to completely miss the point. He was rather amazed when the Slave Merchant was willing to pay 15 gold pieces for Raphtalia after she became a beauty as well.
Eventually, he recovers more of his caring side and begins treating Raphtalia like a daughter rather than a slave (she would ironically prefer he treat her more as a woman though). By the time he sets up a base of operations in Rock Valley, he is visibly kind to the slaves under his command, but not soft, as he still would not hesitate if discipline was called for. He comes to care enough about Filo to fly into a rage when he thinks she's dead, despite constantly finding her annoying. He in fact has a rather unique opinion of slavery and a very business-like outlook in general. the prime example is when he bought Raphtalia; he fed her well, gave her medicine, sheltered her, defended her from bullies and even treated her when she was good. He genuinely earns her affection through his treatment of her, to the point where she chooses to remain his slave when given the option to leave him. In his mind all of these actions were taken because they're practical, I.e. an unhealthy, unfed and half dead slave would be useless, so he genuinely can't understand why someone would neglect their treatment and health. He never mistreated or exploited any of the slaves under him and has disciplined them only when they refuse to do as ordered.This same treatment extends to literally all of the slaves he comes to own, with them even coming to treat him like a mother figure in return.He also spoils and rewards them when performed earnestly like giving ball to Raphtalia, cooking for all his slaves even if it was in the middle of night. This action caused Rishia(one of his comrades and later slave) to wonder if Nafoumi was their slave instead of the other way around. He is also considerate to others to a certain extant, as he was willing to share the room with other adventures, since his allotted room was taken by other heroes and party members which may result in discarding ordinary adventures who paid hefty amount to travel to Cal Mira island.
He is also very observant, dislikes being ripped off, and will definitely not tolerate being stolen from; for example his grudge against Malty grew noticeably when he realized the man stole what was to be his new shield and made a point to personally defeat him. When merchants tried to rip him off or he saw bullies picking on Raphtalia, he sends literal monsters at them, since he himself can't attack. He can be somewhat of a sadist in this sense, to the point Raphtalia actually tried to warn those same bullies to run away.
He is more realistic in approach, as He sold the slave hunters to SiltWelt and used that money to buy back all of Raphtalia villagers, much to the horror of Eclair and Raphtalia for his unorthodox action. Realizing that he couldn't hand over the bandits to the guards, e extorted everything from them, as the guards may take the bandits side over him. Though his allies wants him to behave heroic and forgiving, he acts otherwise like holding grudge and enjoys at the misfortune of those he hate.
He is some one who could be reasoned with, Unlike other heroes. He decided to stay in the nation, after listening to the reason of the queen and Fitoria. He never received any fund from the crown till the end, even after the queen took charge, as the nation was suffering from spirit tortoise rampage.Instead recieved a territory under his request.
Despite being the most villainous and evil approach, ironically Naofumi is perhaps the most effective of the heroes at getting things done, he corrected the problems the other three either started or worsened, and managed to deal with the Spirit Turtle, an act which required him to cheer up the allied troops, raise their moral, organize them, and effectively lead people his past would undoubtedly put him at odds with. The latter case is especially important because the other heroes unleashed it to begin with.He also has some moral, as he willing to save the people who berated him .
Animals have liked Naofumi since he was young. When he walked around the mountains, wild birds naturally perched on his shoulders, and he encountered wildlife easily. Once he encountered a bear, and played dead to try to survive. Rather than attacking, it started licking his face. He later learned that playing dead didn’t actually work.
Naofumi was initially the less-liked child of the family, an all the pressure of his parents expectations were placed upon his brother and he simply lived without having to meet these expectations. One day, when his brother started acting out because of this, it was Naofumi who introduced him to Galga themed games, and managed to provide him with a hobby to relieve his stress. Despite being an educated student and having a number of skills under his belt, as evidenced from his ability to quickly adapt to living unaided in the world, he is noted to have had poor grades in school.
Naofumi was once a successful otaku University student before being summoned to Melromarc.He was framed of a crime by the country and subjected to harsh treatment. Although he experiences a slow start because of the Malty incident and is on a much lower level than the other heroes, he is still able to keep up and even occasionally outshine them. He is also the only one who treated the world as a world and not a game, even though he can see many similarity to game. Being a shield hero, he has no offense power and needed companion which he could neither afford nor trust.At first he firmly believed that he was poorly treated because of being a weak job(shield Hero) and framed of a rape charge. Later, he learnt of the true reason for this treatment being the nation's religion which portray him as a villain and country's long standing war with neighboring country, who worship the shield hero as a god.
The church of Three Heroes hired many fake heroes of the shield to commit crimes and to ruin his reputation further. Later, all of this brought to light by the queen and she banished the church of three Heroes while proving Nafoumi's innocence. However his bad reputation remained the same for a time, Nafoumi was described in public as fraud, extortion, Abduction, vile demon who will execute anyone who stand in his way, though some were literally correct, but not actually true.
After the betrayal, he lost the ability to trust and his initial approach was to just to survive the wave, until he was able to return to his own world.He bought Raphtalia because she was the cheapest slave and also because he want to subjugate the same gender as the one who betrayed him. Despite his negative approach, his kindness started to seep out, he took real good care of Raphtalia and saved the villagers from the wave.After Raphtalia and few other citizen shown their loyalty towards him, he decided to really to give it his all in saving their world.
Though Nafoumi did save the village during the first wave, everyone in castle and other heroes berated Nafoumi for not fighting the boss of the wave, even though they know he has no attack power.They even called him a failed hero for not putting himself on the line for others.They even claimed that he was a failure as a human-being. This comes to biting back to them, as they other heroes were nowhere to be seen during the spirit tortoise incident and all their action failed them as a hero and a failure of human being.
Nafoumi started with serious of disadvantage, the other three hero had somewhat experience of this world by the game they played while he had none. Before he was even summoned, the country Melmorne considered the other three heroes to be a savior and shield hero to be evil, this is because of the constant war with the nation which worshiped the shield hero.
The crown gave the other three hero with trained adventures, crystal ball to learn magic, funds, guild jobs, information of using the legendary weapon. While Nafoumi was framed of rape, all his possessions were stolen, denied of any jobs and crystal balls, adventures faking to join his party for money, He was even denied his promised living expense.He was also denied class-up under various pretense. The other heroes already reached higher power and had their party class up before the first wave.Most of the guards and general public gave him a scorn and felt discomfort seeing him in their nation.The Knight who should be on his sides tried to set him, didn't respect him and tried to set him on fire.He was turned away, when appeared for break fast in castle, during the celebration of first wave subjugation
He has no attack features and No one joined his party, due to his bad reputation and also because of fear of those in authority. He himself avoided any one, due to distrust of everyone and many adventures tried to fake him while other heroes had more than 3 members, with at-least one new member joining their party.
This forced him to look for alternatives, he bought slaves to fight for him, He learnt magic by studying books instead of crystal ball, He peddled for funds to survive & to buy equipment for him and his party. Knowing his own weakness and limitation, he choose to defend the villages and save them from the monsters of the wave rather than to fight the wave itself.
The information given by the church and guild to other Heroes were fake and was meant to manipulate them, While Nafoumi was able to gather information as a merchant from the common people, enabling him to understand the dire situation of the nation.Though Nafoumi refused to listen to any details which he felt trivial which eclipsed all the root cause for his situation. example, Nafoumi refuses to listen to Melty and Elhart.
All this turns out to be blessing in disguise for Nafoumi. By saving the villagers from monsters of the wave, many came to help and respect him. They even gave him materials, let him stay in the inn for free, gave books to learn magic, built him a carriage for peddling, made clothes & armor for him & his comrades at a reasonable discount. By peddling he not only earned money but also trust of commoners throughout the nation. People begin to doubt the teaching of the church of three hero which states the shield hero being evil.
Nafoumi's party was only able to class-up after the third wave, by the time which Fitoria gifted Firo an item which doubled all of his party member's status during the class up. This doubling status is mostly considered impossible and rare.By literally learning magic he was able to read any magical words which cannot be read by crystal balls.Despite learning from books consumes too much time to learn, it is more powerful than the one obtained from crystal ball. Nafoumi choose slaves as his comrades, giving them new life. They becomes more reliable and trustworthy in comparison to the adventures assigned for other heroes.
Nafoumi also committed some crime, like throwing balloon monsters on any one trying to trick him(the adventures faked to be in his party, sales person who gave less money for his drop items and children who tried to steal the ball from Raphtalia), He charged high prize for services & goods he sold. He also extorted from the bandits who tried to do the same, as he neither was funded by the crown nor given any guild job and also because he can't hand them over to guards, since the guards may choose the bandit's side over him.
Nafoumi was prevented from crossing borders to other nations, fearing of him joining hands with siltwelt (During the time loop of spear hero, Nafoumi was killed for crossing borders with siltwelt envoys). Despite all this setbacks, Nafoumi made himself a strong one against the third wave and pope. But other heroes failed, despite of all benefits they received. When Nafoumi unlocked slave shield, it increased the power of his slave which rivaled the power of the other heroes, this made Nafoumi and his party outshine most incident where other hero failed, despite the refusal by the king for class up.
To make up for all the trouble in Nafoumi's progress, the queen proposed a information exchange for heroes for to strengthen their weapons and offered a free trip to Cal Mira Island during it's activation time. The cap of the leveling in the activation time was nearly 80, which is solely to benefit Nafoumi since others already reached that level.
During their first information exchange, the queen clarified that the other heroes have less chance of survival, pointing out their failure in the previous wave and fight against the pope. Other Heroes pointed out that Nafoumi and his party was too strong for their own levels which Nafoumi himself mentally agrees and puzzles about it.Nafoumi extracted all the weapon strengthening method from them. After some troubles implemented it to his own weapon.During the activation event of the island, despite being the lower level in comparison to other heroes, Nafoumi party took down three
As the story progress, every hero lost all their party members, while Nafoumi had a village of party members. The adventures assigned for other hero either left or tried to kick others out of party, some even betrayed the hero. The game knowledge of other heroes betrayed them, as the games shown each of them to be stronger than the other heroes, boosting their confidence to confront the wave alone, instead of working together. hence they had only one success against wave and the rest went down the hill.Even though the game forecaster the events that going to happen, it exaggerated their own power. But Nafoumi who was cautious of his limitation, always takes a careful steps and doesn't charge in without any hope.
He also cleared the mess which was created or worsened by other heroes. Without his own knowledge his reputation among the people raised and shook the very core of the national religion which teaches the shield hero being evil. This forced the church of three hero to act desperately which lead to their downfall. They tried to assassinate the second princess and pushed the blame on to Nafoumi and told the other heroes that the reason for his rise in support in public was because of brainwashing shield which at least one of them believed, finally the church of three heroes reveled their true intention and tried to kill all the heroes and their comrades, since all of them in one way or another responsible for the people's decline of faith in the religion. Despite the disadvantage, Nafoumi pushed himself and destroyed the enemy saving himself along with other hero and their party.
The queen who just returned from her diplomacy, cleared all of the fake charges made against Nafoumi and punished those involved in conspiracy against Nafoumi. She promised to prevent any repetition of his past trouble and give preferential treatment in return for his co-operation in the fight against the wave. The queen requested Naofumi to stay, as it may lead to war because of the ill treatment towards him by Melmore.After considering much possibility, he decided to give the nation one more chance in exchange for better treatment.It took some times for him to be in equal footing with the other hero.He was some what treated with well deserved respect in comparison to the past.
Later, it was reveled that Naofumi too had believers in this nation as well, like the voluntary soldiers who joined with him to fight the third wave, demi-human adventures and the noble that support the demi humans. It was also mentioned by the queen that the adventures who tried to fake to be with Nafoumi by joining his party during the first three days of summoning were brutally murdered without able to recognize, the Knight leader who tried to torch Naofumi, along with the monsters was also murdered, the dress which he signed for a voluntary Knight was stolen and sold at the highest prize in auction at siltwelt.
On the other hand , the other three heroes acted foolish, thinking this reality to be a game. They took everything lightly, even believing them-self to be immortal and their defeat are leading to a special event. This self proclamation of immortality disturbed both Nafoumi and queen. Despite, Nafoumi being much lower in level, the other heroes begin to feel inferior to him. During the information exchange they tried to extract his information for getting stronger, but he used it against them to get info from them.Nafoumi realized that this reality resembles similar to the game which convinced other hero that they were living inside a game. For the first time Nafoumi, who always angered for the unjust done by other three heroes toward him, felt pity for them.
He realized that the trust among the heroes is essential for to use the weapon strengthening method of other to work and shared this information with other heroes, who never believed him. He realized that they might die with this attitude. Fearing that the wave might increase in strength because of the death of heroes, he forced them to work hard and train. Feeling boss around, they decide to increase their level above Nafoumi. Trying to gain more strength (the other heroes released in web novel) the spirit turtle in hopes of defeating it. Soon the reality slapped them hard with their brutal defeat, Until Nafoumi under the queen headed the coalition force and succeeded in defeating the spirit turtle.
After the three heroes became MIA, and with how Naofumi became the only hero that succeeded in slaying the Spirit Turtle, people had then began the belief that the heroes, other than the Shield, were false heroes. Thus, most of the countries, besides Melromarc, had decided to place restrictions on the movements of the heroes.Melromarc the only one that would accept them while also making the attempt to have rumors die down. Though gossip did not stop which became evident as a role reversal began where Motoyasu, Ren, and Itsuki had began to experience similar conditions that Naofumi had went through, initially because of Bitch, while Naofumi himself was greatly praised as a great hero and received praise and all other positive treatment from the public. They were subjected to the scorn of public with random people throwing stones, denied jobs from guild, unable to approach the crown fearing of punishment for crimes, also betrayal of their comrades, individually used and betrayed by bitch, awoken their own curse series which pushed them into doing crimes such as extortion(Ren) and brainwashing(Itsuki) and completely broken(Motoyatsu). On the other hand Naofumi became the lord of a land which happens to be the former village of Raphtiala, in hopes of rebuilding the village for the demi humans. Mirelia then depended on Naofumi to monitor the three heroes so that they can make amends for their mistakes.