Crossover Fan Fiction ❯ Ranting of a Shield Hero(ine) ❯ First Alternate Summons ( One-Shot )

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First Alternate

“Success! We have summoned the Four Cardinal Heroes!” announced the voice. The light died and Maple looked up and around at all the people standing around, including three Japanese boys with different weapons: spear, sword, and bow. Maple had a shield, though it was on the wrong arm. She was comfortable with a shield. She’s totally conquered that fun game she’d played before. Maybe this was another fun world to explore?

The four of them followed the priests or mages into a throne room with an old king and a bunch of guards in armor. He asked their names. He didn’t wait for her to speak. Maybe he already knew who she was? Maple was a cheerful person and the single most famous gamer on Earth after playing for nearly six whole months, so she waited with a patient smile. The king said there were demons coming, in big timed surges called “The Wave” and there was a Dragon Clock. She checked her HUD and found she was starting out at the beginning, but that was okay. She would just put all her ability into Defense, as always. That was a fun way to play, and she didn’t like getting hurt. She also noticed that her shield could devour things and would gain abilities, and gain forms of defense, a lot like her prior gaming. That was good.

She got a small amount of money, but that didn’t matter. She left with the others to adventure, and Maple loved to explore on foot, slowly and happily marching about. In one of the lower reaches she met a happy man with a top hat who wanted to sell her a slave, and that didn’t seem very nice, but she followed and bought a girl so she wouldn’t suffer here anymore.

“What’s your name? I’m Maple,” she said.

“I’m Raphtalia (cough).” Maple found the girl was part animal, a Tanuki-Human crossbreed, which was pretty amazing, and she had some kind of tuberculosis cough or something. Maple marched them out into the woods and found some dead dried skeleton and stripped off the armor and the rusty short sword, so gave that to Raphtalia. Eventually she found some orange balloons with teeth who bit her for a while until her defense went up a level, and she put the skill points into defense, again. She got strong. She got attacked by poison stingers and acid slimes and everything she fought just made her stronger as she stood there and took it cheerfully. A rabbit with glowing red eyes and a unicorn horn on its forehead tried to stab her but she stopped it with the shield, bashed it, and snapped the horn off.

She fed the horn of the dead evil-bunny to the shield and gained a ranged attack called Thorn. That was interesting. Raphtalia followed behind, helping with cleaning the various monsters for skins and parts that were worth something for sale or for crafting. Even the balloon skins were useful to the shield, adding a reflective defense skill to the shield.

She eventually found some herbs in a meadow in the forest. Maple tried making potions with the herbs and eventually crafted a healing potion. She gave it to Raphtalia and a brief green glow suggested her cough was cured. Raphtalia started to range around more, now that she could breathe and move freely, and was quick to direct Maple to interesting things, or warn of incoming monsters. Raphtalia got good at sneaking and this became a very useful skill.

Thanks to the many things she fed to her shield it evolved into a larger one, reaching the size of a tower shield with maximum defense capability, though it was heavy so she was back to walking slowly.

“Hey, girl. I have something interesting for you. Do you like to gamble?” asked the top hat slave dealer.

“I guess,” agreed Maple. Her gaming was about exploration, which is also a type of gambling. In the real world she sometimes wore a tight teeshirt which said Filthy Casual in English on the front. She’d gotten it as a gift from her bestie.

“I’ve got an egg lottery. One gold piece for a chance on a unique mount. Some are just ordinary, at least one is unique. What do you say?” he asked.

Maple handed him a gold and looked at the eggs before picking one of the smaller leathery eggs. She cared for it for the following three days and on the fourth a little beak poked through, a tiny turtle.

“It’s a hot springs turtle,” Maple realized. Its little flippers and ability to fly was straight out of a really old anime she’d watched as a child.

Two weeks and a lot of food found during her slow moving travels and growth spell had raised Mii the hot springs turtle to about 10 meters across and multiple metric tons of weight. She could still fly, despite this because magic. Maple noticed a messenger blowing a horn at her to get her attention. She landed and he brought her a notice from the castle, from the King. The First Wave of the demon invasion was about to start. It was a good thing she’d been feeding her turtle because she was able to fly there. They stood in the Dragon Clock chamber and a light went from the clock to her shield and each of the hero’s weapons.

“I guess this means we’re ready?” she asked. The boys ignored her, playing cool she supposed. People tried that around really famous celebrities, like her. She and Raphtalia-Ninja and Flying Turtle went about their business for a few more days before they were summoned to a small mountain clearing. She looked around and noticed the village of Lute a few miles away down the slope. She lifted off and Raphtalia strung her short bow and checked her arrows.

Green circles opened in the sky above her, a large area. Monsters appeared, drifting out and down slowly, like paratroopers. Many of them were heading for Lute. Well, something to defend, and she was the Shield Heroine, so that seemed simple enough.

“Mii! Fly to the village so we can protect it!” Maple and her helpers flew to the village. The three other heroes continued to shout challenges at the approaching monsters and did their part on the mountainside. Maple and Raphtalia took advantage of their flying mount to fire projectiles into the demons, which dropped from the deadly strikes. The villagers joined her defense of their homes, and Maple descended to the ground, where Raphtalia used a quick sword to cut her way through a number of green orc things, and Maple would shield bash them so the finishing blow would be easier. It didn’t matter that she was slow moving. The monsters came to her. Some knights showed up and the noble with the big mustache started saying how much he would do as Maple and Raphtalia finished up the attackers. The villagers, tired and some of them wounded thanked Maple for using an Area-Heal ability from her shield to restore them.

“Yay! The Shield Hero saved us!” they villagers shouted together. The mustache guy, who hadn’t yet drawn his sword and was completely clean, so obviously hadn’t fought anyone kept trying to take credit but nobody was listening to him and his knights looked a bit annoyed. Being Maple, who always thought the best of people and was endlessly genki, noticing this was significant. The blustery commander decided to try shouting around the village, but nobody really paid attention to him.

“Thank you, Shield Hero. You saved this village, and our men,” said a slightly hunky knight with a scar across his face.

“Glad I could help. Are the other heroes done defeating the monsters on the mountainside? They were going to draw them off up there. I thought I should come down here and save the village.”

“How did you get here so fast?”

“Miii!” cried Mii flying overhead like a zeppelin.

“That’s Mii. She’s my flying hot springs turtle, a kind of mount. She let us shoot lots of monsters in the air and when they landed we swooped around and shot lots more before they could get here. After that I landed so we fought them on the ground. Then I healed the villagers. Are any of you knights injured?” Maple asked, looking around. Several groaned yes, so she healed the group in a moment.

“Thank you again, Shield Hero. You are a real credit to your people.”

“I really appreciate how nobody is making a big deal of how famous I am back home. Even the other heroes are trying really hard to impress me by pretending I’m not the most famous gamer in the world. Because I AM the most famous gamer in the whole world.”

“What’s a gamer?” asked the knight with the scar.

“Let me buy you an ale at the inn, and I’ll tell you about it.” Maple was 19 years old. She’d been a really famous gamer since middle school. She actually got so much money from advertising and spokesman jobs, she was like a gamer Idol, but with a more human work schedule. She only played for fun, which is why people liked her. She was a Filthy Casual, the most famous Casual in the world. It was her brand, in Japan. She had managers who dealt with the business side of things, and she had teeshirts, jackets, hats, phone straps, bento boxes, video games where people could play a retro fighting game and she was one of the characters. She was a big deal, worth a billion yen.

She explained all this to the knight, who had rugged good looks she found appealing and it wasn’t really any surprise they ended up in bed. The following morning Raphtalia wrinkled her nose at the smell so Maple bathed properly before dressing for her breakfast and the knight bad himself farewell, to lead the men to the next trouble spot.

Other things happened. The legend of the Shield Heroine grew, with emphasis at how strong she was, how fearless and brave, how she helped the common people, and how nice she was. A few mentioned how she was probably pregnant, but they didn’t say it very loud. She was popular, after all. Maple took all this in stride and enjoyed herself immensely. She did wonder, however, why she couldn’t log out of the game.