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Aultcray Melromarc XXXII, born Lüge Lansarz Faubrey and later known as Trash is the secondary antagonist within the first four arcs of the Light Novel Series The Rising of the Shield Hero. This corresponds to Chapters 1 - 32 of the manga series and episodes 1 - 21 of the anime. Afterwards, his role was significantly reduced to that of a recurring minor character until Volume 11 where he underwent a character development. Trash subsequently redeemed himself and returned as a supporting hero for the rest of the story.
He was introduced as the King of Melromarc, although his title would later be rescinded. Aultcray is the husband of Queen Mirellia Q. Melromarc who according to tradition is the real power behind the throne. He and his wife have two daughters: Malty (the series main antagonist) and her younger sister Melty.
Aultcray is the one responsible for summoning the Cardinal Heroes to defend his country from the Waves of Calamity. Initially perceived as a kindly old gentleman, the King, like many of the citizens in Melromarc, is in-fact a human supremacist and holds a deep hatred for the Shield Hero, Naofumi Iwatani. Unlike most of his people, however, Aultcray is not motivated by religious reasons but the experiences of his early life.
Due to this personal vendetta, the King set out to make the newly chosen Shield Heroes life as difficult and miserable as possible, hoping that Naofumi would either eventually die or be killed off during the Waves.
He is voiced by Yutaka Nakano in Japanese version of the anime series, and by Jamieson Price in the English version.
Aultcray is a middle-aged man with the first trace of wrinkles forming on his face. He has a short grey beard, but no moustache and long shoulder-length grey hair. He appeared to be taller than Ren and Itsuki, but shorter than Motoyasu and Naofumi.
Before the loss of his status and power, Aultcray maintained a well-groomed appearance befitting of a monarch. He wore fancy purple gold-trimmed robes, to match his eyes, adorned with expensive golden buttons. Beneath this, he wore white underclothes. Many rings adorned his fingers, he also wore a golden livery collar and an ornate bejewelled crown rested on his head.
Prior to his redemption, however, Trash's appearance changed significantly. Reduced to the rank of a common soldier he was forced to wear civilian clothing, his appearance becoming noticeably more dishevelled and scruffy.
Aultcray was shown to smile affectionately in the presence of his daughters and he looked towards the favoured heroes with warmth and reverence. In contrast, he frequently scowled and looked upon Naofumi with open hostility (which the Shield Hero gladly returned). Whenever the two men met, Aultcray generally maintained an authoritative tone although he did show genuine fear on one occasion in the anime. Although the pair love each other very deeply, Aultcray is also shown to be afraid of getting on his wife's bad side.
Despite his status as a villain, Aultcray genuinely does care about his wife and two daughters, loving all of them very dearly. Unfortunately, this affection makes him blind to the sociopathic behaviour and manipulative nature of his eldest daughter, a fact that Malty frequently exploited. He also had a very strong relationship with his little sister Lucia, as it was her "abduction" that influenced his later actions and desire to protect his family. The anime highlighted this, making it clear that King Aultcray only wanted to protect his family from harm due to his past trauma and that he genuinely believed the Shield Hero was a demon. The Queen also pointed out that his idiocy might be due to a decade of peace and also because of his spoiling of his first daughter, Malty.
Although he originally hailed from the Kingdom of Faubley, a country that treated all of its citizens equally, the murder of his parents and several other relatives caused Aultcray to develop a deep hatred for Demi-Humans and Beast-Men. Whilst it is never confirmed or implied that Aultcray converted to the Church of the Three Heroes, for a considerable amount of time, he shared The Kingdom of Melromarc's human supremacist views. This hatred for Demi-Humans was also carried over to the Shield Hero. The Demi-Human's worshipped the wielder of this weapon as a living God and as if to add fuel to the fire, the previous Shield Hero (the one prior to Naofumi) was known for their kindness towards Demi-Human's. However, his wife Mirellia claims that despite his treatment of Naofumi, Aultcray used to aid anyone, no matter how much hatred he bears towards them if it brings him some benefit or debt owed to him.
Aultcray is later revealed to be a masterful tactician and extremely capable soldier. Many people, in-universe, stated that in his glory days the former King commanded a lot of respect amongst both his friends and enemies. He wielded one of the Vassal Weapons, the Staff and his mere presence was capable of turning the tide. Some have even stated that the Kingdom of Melromarc would not be in the position it is now, were it not for Aultcray. For much of the story, Aultrcray's actions seem to contradict this assessment. It would not be until the death of his wife and witnessing Malty's evil first hand that Trash would reveal just how powerful he really was and start to redeem himself.
Like almost everybody in Melromarc, Aultcray gave preferential treatment to the Spear, Bow and Sword heroes (Motoyasu, Itsuki and Ren). He treated all of them with warmth and kindness, investing large amounts of money towards their training, going out of his way to find companions for them. In accordance with an earlier promise, he made sure to reward the trio for their efforts and did everything in his power to make sure they succeeded in their quest to stop the Waves of Calamity. However, he did show the Spear Hero, Motoyasu, slightly more favoritism because his daughter Malty was in this particular heroes party.
In contrast, Aultcray's relationship with the Shield Hero, Naofumi Iwatani was a mutually hostile one. Aultcray initially ignored Naofumi when first meeting the Cardinal Heroes, but the Shield Hero still spoke kindly to him thinking this was just an oversight. After realizing that the King was involved in Malty's setup, however, the Shield Hero fully returned Aultcray's loathing. The King would continue to misuse his power in the hopes that Naofumi would either die because of his lack of experience, during the Waves or if necessary could be killed by the other heroes. He also crossed the line by threatening Naofumi with the life of Raphtalia and Filo, causing Naofumi's rage before he challenged the King. To illustrate his hatred, Naofumi refused to address Aultcray by his name or title and instead referred to him by the degrading title of "Trash".
When the King was eventually deposed Naofumi felt no sympathy for him, and under the Queen's authority had Aultcray's name legally changed to that humiliating nickname. The pair's relationship remained one of dislike, the former King still blaming Naofumi for his own downfall. This all changed when Trash underwent his redemption after learning about the existence of his sister's children and the death of his wife at the hand of Tact Arusahorun Faubley and Malty. After witnessing his daughters actions first hand, Aultcray finally realized his mistake and renounced his prejudice. He accepted his new name and became an ally to Naofumi, intending to atone his crimes. After the start of his atonement, he slowly returned back to the wise Staff Hero figure he once was.
Re: In keeping with the objectives of this wiki, the characters origins and villainous roles shall be noted. For further information relating to his heroic actions, see elsewhere. The man who would become Aultcray Melromarc was born Lüge Lansarz Faubrey, the third legitimate heir to the throne of Faubley, the strongest country in the world. During his youth, Lüge was robbed of that privilege when his parents and many others close to him were massacred by the Hakuko. Lüge and his younger sister Lucia only escaped the slaughter because they were not there at the time.
Ultimately, Faubley did not retaliate against Siltvelt due to unspecified political reasons. Owing to this lack of justice, Lüge began to despise both Faubley and Siltvelt. Desiring revenge, Lüge changed his name and left his home country with his sister Lucia, who was blind. The pair moved to Melromarc, a human supremacist Kingdom which discriminated against Demi-Humans and the arch-nemesis of Siltvelt.
Roughly twenty-some years prior to the start of the series, when Siltvelt plotted for global domination, Lüge faced them head-on, saving not just Melromarc but many other countries as well. Lüge hid his status as a royal and joined the Melromarc military as a common soldier. Throughout the war Lüge proved himself to be an exceptionally talented warrior and capable tactician.
At some point, he encountered the Staff Hero and the pair duelled one another to the death. After vanquishing his foe, Lüge took the weapon as his own, having earned the right to wield it and became the new Staff Hero. After this, his reputation as a Hero began to spread. After many years of war, Lüge managed to obtain an act of partial revenge, when he challenged and killed the Hakuko supreme of Siltvelt, Tai Ran Ga Feon. Thanks to him many countries exist peacefully. Rishia's family and other nobles still firmly believe that Melromarc would remain peaceful and secure as long as Aultcray was there.
Unfortunately, Lüge's absence during the war had unintended consequences for his family. Owing to his position as a frontline soldier, Lüge was forced to leave behind his sightless sister. One day he received word that Lucia had disappeared leaving nothing behind but a pool of blood. He was eventually informed that a Hakuko had killed her. Lüge was clearly devastated by this news. Vowing to make sure nothing like this ever happened to his family again, Lüge's desire for revenge intensified, turning him into a man that deeply despised not just Demi-Humans but those associated with them. One such victim was the Shield Hero, whom the Demi-Humans worshipped and whose current wielder was noted for their kindness towards Demi-Humans.
Lüge's actions during the war, especially those ascertaining to his resourcefulness and strength, soon brought him to the attention of Mirellia Q Melromarc, the current Princess of Melromarc. Whilst it is not known how or when the pair met, their relationship turned romantic and the pair eventually fell in love. They went on to marry at some point and ascended to the throne, presumably upon the death of Mirellia's parents. Since Melromarc was matriarchial, this made Mirellia the true ruler of the nation with absolute authority over her husband. Lüge did not seem to mind this, however. As a demonstration of affection and in keeping with the traditions of Melromarc, he allowed his wife to chose a new name for him. Thus Lüge Lansarz Faubrey became King Aultcray Melromarc XXXII, named after the Queen's father.
In time, the King and Queen had two daughters, Malty and Melty Melromarc. Loving his children just as much (if not more) than his wife, Aultcray did his best to be a good father. Unfortunately, his behaviour during the girl's youths had several unintended consequences, especially in regards to his eldest daughter Malty. Aultcray spoiled her rotten and in time both became incredibly callous. Malty owes much of her arrogant and cruel tendencies to her father. With her protective father watching out for her, Malty used her royal status to do whatever she wanted with no regard for the consequences, punishing anyone that stood up to her.
Whilst her husband remained blind to their daughter's psychopathic nature, Queen Mirellia did everything she could to try and correct her eldest daughter's deplorable behaviour. The young girl, however, refused to reform, rejecting any and all attempts at redemption. Eventually, Mirellia concluded that Malty was beyond any hope of saving and denounced her as her heir. She then took Melty under her wing to prevent this same kind of failed upbringing. Despite this, Aultcray maintains a strong fatherly bond with both of his daughters.
King Aultcray's hatred for Demi-Humans did not fade, however. The decade of peace in the lead up to the series completely clouded his way of seeing things, and Aultcray's rationality faded as he aged. Just before the Waves of Catastrophe struck Queen Mirellia left Melromarc on a diplomatic mission, taking Melty with her. The Queen planned to negotiate with the leaders of the other nations to stop the hostilities.
When the Waves struck, however, this quickly changed into talks concerning the necessity of summoning the Cardinal Heroes. The Queen initially entrusted the rule of the Kingdom to her right-hand man, but he was murdered by the Church of The Three Heroes during the wave. By default, all the power was transferred to her husband. Thus King Aultcray was given absolute authority in his wife's absence. Nevertheless, the Queen believed that her husband would rule justly and wisely.
Unfortunately, Aultcray did not live up to his wife's expectations. Now in a position of absolute power, Aultcray was free to rule as he saw fit and became a wrathful, callous, vindictive, incompetent, cynical tyrant that was a far cry from his original reasonable figure. It is heavily implied that the King ordered the attack/enslavement on the Demi-Human citizens of Rock Valley and he did not investigate the timely death of their Lord, Mirellia's most loyal aide.
Shortly after the wave, Pope Biscas T. Balmus along with other representatives of the Three Heroes Church approached the King with a suggestion that the Queen would never have agreed. Ignoring the political ramifications of his actions, since it would give Melromarc an unfair advantage and desiring revenge King Aultcray Melromarc agreed to their proposal. Betraying his wife's trust and the other nations, Aultcray gave permission for his mages to summon all four Cardinal Heroes to Melromarc.
Role in the Series
Note: This information focuses on Aultcray's actions from the original Light Novel. The manga and anime interpretations are mostly consistent but noticeable deviations are noted.
The Cardinal Heroes
In accordance with Aultcray's instructions, four youths were summoned from alternative worlds to Melromarc as wielders of the Cardinal Weapons. Motoyasu Kitamura became the Spear Hero, Ren Amaki the Sword Hero, Itsuki Kawasumi the Bow Hero and Naofumi Iwatani the Shield Hero. The four would-be heroes were presented to the King shortly after their summoning.
As the first sign of trouble, during this introduction, The King initially ignored Naofumi focusing on the other three heroes. When this was pointed this out, King Aultcray apologised, making it seem as if this was a harmless oversight before addressing the Shield Hero with the same courtesy as the others. The King then provided the four young men with an overview of their duties as heroes and information retaining to their skillsets.
At the insistence of Motoyasu, Ren and Itsuki, The King assured them that they would all be richly rewarded for their services and be allowed to return home once the Waves had ended. As a further display of courtesy and hospitality, Aultcray provided them all with rooms for the night and offered to find companions for them, since due to their weapons restrictions the four could not partner up together.
The following morning, The King was, for the most part, as good as his word. Several adventurers were selected from amongst the best in Melromarc to serve as the heroes confusion. As the second sign of trouble, none of these people moved to join Naofumi again favouring the other heroes. Putting on a surprised face, The King said that "unfortunately", rumours about the Shield Heroes lack of knowledge retaining to this world prevented anyone from wanting to become his companion. Naofumi was confused by this statement, justifiably thinking it shouldn't matter.
However, a red-haired girl from the Spear Heroes party soon offered to be his companion. Owing to the lack of party members, The King gave the Shield Hero additional funding then sent the four heroes on their way.
Within 24 hours, however, less than two days after summoning the heroes King Aultcray had the Shield Hero brought before him under heavy guard. With the other heroes, as well as several ministers and nobles to bear witness the "infuriated" monarch denounced the fourth hero as a criminal. The Shield Heroes confusion about his situation and the Kings hostility would not last long. A distraught Malty was called forward and proceeded to tell the entire court that Naofumi had forced himself upon and raped her.
Naofumi's pleas of innocence were completely ignored with further "evidence" presented to verify his guilt. As such the King and other Three Heroes denounced Naofumi as a monster and a criminal, turning against him. Unnoticed by the others, Naofumi saw Myne mocking him and realized that he had been set up. Rising defiantly to his feet the Shield Hero ordered the King to send him back to his own world if nobody would want him.
Aultcray was begrudgingly forced to admit that whilst he would like to do so, this was not within his power. The heroes could not return home until the end of the waves, thus ironically, they still needed Naofumi.
Instead, he declared that Naofumi was no longer welcome in the palace and would receive no more support from the crown. With the other heroes sharing this sentiment, Naofumi resolved to live. He then threw his remaining money to Myne and Motoyasu as a final gesture of contempt, then left with nothing but his shield and undergarments.
After the Second Wave, King Aultcray organised an elaborate feast for the heroes, personally congratulating them on their success with so few casualties. Naturally, of course, he was only referring to Motoyasu, Ren and Itsuki when he said this, ignoring the fact that the Shield Hero was the one that saved the affected villagers. Never the less, Naofumi was allowed to attend since the King had promised all of the heroes a financial reward.
The festivities were halted when Motoyasu, following a tip-off from Myne learnt that Naofumi's companion, the tanuki Demi-Human Raphtalia was, in fact, a slave. Believing that Naofumi was mistreating her, The Spear Hero challenged The Shield Hero to a duel for Raphtalia's freedom. Since he would not get anything in return Naofumi refused him, but as the duo made to leave, they were stopped by a band of royal knights.
Seizing the opportunity the King once again denounced Naofumi as a deplorable individual for owing somebody against their will. Conveniently "forgetting" that slavery was permitted in Melromarc, King Aultcray ordered Naofumi to accept Motoyasu's challenge. Raphtalia's pleas of genuine companionship were ignored. Instead, The King had her bound, gagged and effectively taken as a hostage. He claimed that Naofumi had forced the "poor" girl to feign loyalty to him and vowed to remove the curse once Motoyasu won.
Left with no choice, an infuriated Naofumi accepted the challenge. Like everybody else, the King believed that the match would be one-sided on Motoyasu's part. He was therefore taken by complete surprise when Naofumi (utilizing monsters and quick thinking) not only held his own against The Spear Hero but dominated him for almost the entire duel. Unfortunately for Naofumi, Myne illegally interfered in the duel allowing the match to end in Motoyasu's favour. When Naofumi tried to point this out, the King declared he was lying and proclaimed the Spear Hero the winner.
The King personally congratulated Motoyasu on a job well done, before carrying out his promise to free Raphtalia. Here Aultcray unintentionally revealed to Naofumi that Myne was his daughter Malty. Upon hearing this, Naofumi realised that the vile King was involved in his evil daughters scheme and had set him up to fail before he was even summoned. This revelation almost caused The Shield Hero to unlock his Curse Series.
However, on this occasion, things did not go the way Aultcray was intending. Immediately after being freed, Raphtalia slapped Motoyasu in front of everyone, calling him a cheater and declaring that she'd neither wanted nor asked for his help. Much to the King's shock the Demi-Human defended The Shield Hero from The Spear Heroes accusations, then defiantly made her way past the Royals, returning to the despairing Naofumi's side. Raphtalia subsequently gave a passionate speech, making it clear that she was truly loyal to Naofumi of her own free will. She then essentially gave the King, Princess, Spear Hero and spectators efforts the middle finger, by proclaiming that she believed in Naofumi's innocence and wanted to return to his side, as his slave if necessary. Owing to this pledge and compassion, Raphtalia unknowingly saved Naofumi and the spectators from the negative effects of the Curse Series.
To rub further salt in the wound for King Aultcray, Ren and Itsuki pushed their way to the front, where they told Motoyasu that he the duel was his loss. To the ignorant Spear Heroes shock, The Bow and Sword Heroes verified Naofumi's earlier statement. The King and other citizens of Melromarc were lying. The pair of them saw Myne attack Naofumi from behind with their own eyes. Everybody knew she had cheated, only for The King to cover it up. When Motoyasu looked to the crowd for support, Aultcray and the other spectators were unwilling to look him in the eye, thus verifying the accusations With his scheme to deprive The Shield Hero of his only companion foiled, King Aultcray left the courtyard, his celebratory mood completely soured.
Contrary to Aultcray's intentions as a result of this duel, Naofumi and Raphtalia became closer than ever. Owing to the revelations about Aultcray Melromarc's relation to Malty and his involvement in framing Naofumi, The Shield Heroes already negative opinion of the sovereign, turned into outright hatred. Therefore, he decided that the King was not worthy of being referred to by name or title. From now on, just as Aultcray was always scornfully calling him "Shield", Naofumi would refer to him as "Trash". These same courtesies were extended towards Malty, who Naofumi would henceforth call "Bitch".
- The manga portrayed all of the above sequences fairly accurately, though a slight deviation is noted below.
- In the anime, Ren and Itsuki called King Aultcray and Malty out on their actions prior to Raphtalia's declaration of loyalty.
- Whilst not stated in the original book, in both the manga and anime series, King Aultcray was the first person to leave the scene and return to the castle following Raphtalia's proclamation.
Rewarding the Heroes
The morning after the celebration, King Aultcray Melromarc had the four heroes brought before the throne. Once again congratulating them on a job well done, the King upheld his promise and distributed their promised rewards. For his efforts, Motoyasu received four thousand pieces of silver. In contrast, Ren and Itsuki were presented with 3,800 pieces, whilst Naofumi was given the poultry amount of five hundred. Unlike the other heroes, whom he addressed respectfully, the King refused to refer to Naofumi by name.
When Raphtalia challenged the difference in the rewards, Aultcray scornfully told her that the other heroes had taken part in guild quests. When asked why Naofumi had not been made aware of this option, the monarch spitefully added: "What can a Shield do?" This drew a laugh from many of the spectators, who like the sovereign ignored what had happened the previous evening.
In an act of further hindrance, King Aultcray revoked the Shield Heroes reward, claiming that it would cover the cost for the removal of Raphtalia's slave curse and was due to his apparent lack of action during the wave. When the other heroes acknowledged the later of these facts, Naofumi called them out on abandoning the villagers, revealing to everybody that he was the one responsible for the small number of casualties.
When the Knight Captain (reluctantly) confirmed this, Aultcray retaliated. He ordered Naofumi to leave the castle forever, making it very clear that he would not receive any more support and was banned from ever taking part in guild missions. Though irritated, Naofumi and Raphtalia responded to this declaration with mockery, stating that they no longer needed to "waste" their time and could instead focus on more important things.
Before they could leave, however, Ren and Itsuki once again objected to Aultcray's unfair treatment. They pointed out Myne's illegal interference in the duel, declared that Raphtalia's curse had been removed against her will and acknowledged that Naofumi would have won had it been a fair fight. Myne's interjection and Motoyasu's objections only spurred the pair on. The Bow and Sword Heroes added that no matter how small his role, the Shield Hero had also participated in the Wave, therefore the King was breaking his promise. Naofumi noted their jealously of the favoritism Aultcray had shown towards Motoyasu. Even more astonishing, a statement from the younger pair indicated that in light of the King and Princesses actions, they were starting to doubt the original allegations against Naofumi.
Desperate to save face, King Aultcray reluctantly handed over the original five hundred silver but made it very clear that was all Naofumi would receive. Deciding not to push things and with his hatred for the sovereign solidified, The Shield Hero and his companion then left the castle.
- This scene in the audience chamber did not take place in the manga. At the conclusion of the duel, following Ren and Itsuki's declarations, the furious King ordered one of his ministers to present Naofumi the smallest possible reward. The Shield Hero presumably left the castle first thing in the morning without bothering to meet Aultcray.
- In the anime, much of the mockery in this scene was cut. Just as in the original source material, Ren and Itsuki objected to Naofumi's lack of a reward. Raphtalia's declaration about time-wasting was also moved to the end of the scene and clearly directed towards King Aultcray.
Whilst visiting the magic shop in Castle Town, Naofumi learned that the King had spared no expense in the training of the other Three Heroes. Amongst other things, he had purchased a large number of crystal balls claiming they were to help the four heroes learn magic and boost their skills. Naturally, of course, Naofumi did not receive any of these. This originally made him angry until the shop keeper informed him that he could also learn magic through careful study, which would yield better results than simply absorbing it from a crystal ball.
After leaving Castle Town, Naofumi and Raphtalia made their way to Riyute/Lute Village. Due to their actions in the Wave, the pair were welcomed with open arms. With plenty of time to prepare for the next wave, The Shield Hero used this opportunity to rest, help the villagers with their restorations, learn new skills, allow his new companion Filo time to mature and plan his next move. A few days after their arrival, however, Motoyasu, Myne and a large contingent of Knights turned up unexpectedly.
In recognition of Motoyasu's actions, King Aultcray Melromarc had granted the Spear Hero Lordship over the territory. This declaration was met with a fierce objection from the citizens, especially when Malty proclaimed their intention to level extortionately high taxes on civilians. Motoyasu, who had no knowledge of the currency, was not aware of this until Naofumi pointed it out. Malty simply dismissed the Shield Heroes revelations, claiming it was an act of necessity then ordered "the criminal" to leave.
However, the Queen's shadows intervened, the masked agents presenting Malty with a second decree, stating it came from a higher authority. What was on the letter is never revealed, but it was most likely a statement from the Queen overriding the King's declaration. Malty tried to undo this by challenging Naofumi to a race for the lordship of the village. Despite Malty and the Knight's cheating, Motoyasu and his dragon still lost to Naofumi and Filo. As such, the King's promotion was undone and Motoyasu's party retreated, for now.
Despite Aultcray's expectations and best efforts, Naofumi not only survived but eventually began to thrive in the company of Raphtalia and Filo. Although he was unable to obtain quests from the crown or guild, The Shield Hero and his companions were away from the negative influence of the King and his ilk. This prevented them from making several of the mistakes the other heroes made on their respective journey's and allowed them to develop new skills at their leisure, with Aultcray unable to hinder them. The small party eventually became travelling merchants. With Filo acting as their steed, the trio travelled all around the Kingdom selling medicine, jewellery and other materials. In the lead up to the Third Wave, Naofumi also fixed several catastrophes resulting from the other heroes careless actions. This not only allowed him to earn an income but to develop a good reputation in his own right. Many citizens across Melromarc now called him, "The Savior of the Heavenly Fowl".
Whether Aultcray heard about any of this is uncertain, but given his position and resources, it seems very likely. In either case, shortly before the Third Wave, the King was revealed to have thrown another obstacle in Naofumi's way. Raphtalia and Filo eventually reached level forty, meaning they now had the option to class up. Returning to Castle Town Naofumi visited the Dragon Hour Glass, which was watched over by the Church of the Three Heroes. Not wanting to see the hero their religion opposed becoming more powerful, the nuns refused him. Initially, they claimed that he couldn't class up without paying an extortionate amount of money, thinking that this would put him off. When this failed and Naofumi revealed he could pay it, they hastily presented him with a decree; revealing that Aultcray Melromarc had forbidden them from ever allowing the Shield Hero or his party members to class up.
This declaration left Naofumi furious and he decided that once the Wave was over he would travel to another country in order to class up.
A Confrontational Audience
Following the conclusion of the Third Wave, King Aultcray in-spite of what he had previously said, had the Shield Hero brought back to the palace. Prior to their meeting, the King was brought up to speed as to the outcome of the Wave. Contrary to all expectations Motoyasu, Ren and Itsuki had proven themselves virtually useless when combating the latest invasion. They had dallied causing the Wave to go on for an extensive period.
On the other hand, Naofumi, along with his companions and a band of volunteer knights not only saved all of the nearby villages without a single casualty, but the Shield Hero single-handedly killed the Waves main boss (a Soul Eater). He then managed to hold his own against their unexpected adversary Glass, whilst the other heroes were easily defeated and left badly injured.
Before meeting with the King, The Shield Hero was informed that Aultcray wished to speak to him alone and had ordered that Naofumi's companions were to wait in a separate room. Naofumi reluctantly complied and entered the main audience chamber alone. When the pair meet, a clearly disgusted Aultcray Melromarc "congratulated" Naofumi, in a very off-handed manner.
Having heard about Naofumi's strength and skillset, the sovereign revealed the true purpose of this meeting. He wanted to know how the Shield Hero had obtained such "unbefitting power" for his station. He ordered Naofumi's co-operation in a very condescending manner, which did not go unnoticed by the Shield Hero. Seeing no reason to comply with the evil King's instructions, Naofumi decided to turn the tables and to use this opportunity to humiliate the Sovereign.
Instead of answering, Naofumi pointed to the ground in front of him and ordered the King to perform an act of dogeza (begging on one's knees) if he really wanted to know. This display of utter contempt shocked everybody present, whilst understandably angering the monarch. King Aultcray responded to this as expected; by having his guards surround Naofumi, their weapons drawn, reminiscing the night of Malty's accusations. This time though, he did not hesitate to order his soldiers to execute the Shield Hero.
Unfortunately for the King of Melromarc, this act of intimidation did not work. Naofumi had grown significantly in both power and confidence since last time. Knowing that the guards would not be able to hurt him, the Shield Hero reminded everybody that he was the one that killed the previous Wave Boss. He might be under-levelled compared to the other heroes, but the Shield Hero told them confidently that he was easily capable of dealing with the Knights and the King, before walking out the door unharmed.
This declaration made the soldiers hesitate, allowing Naofumi to make his position with Aultcray Melromarc absolutely clear. He would co-operate with Melromarc and by extension, The King until the Waves were over and he could return to his own world. The Shield Hero stated, however, that he is done with Aultcrary and that he never wants to see or hear from him ever again. With that, Naofumi turned his back on the monarch that betrayed him pushed past Aultcray's guards and marched out of the room unscathed. The furious and humiliated monarch could do nothing more than curse Naofumi on his way out.
- The King's audience with Naofumi was illustrated the same in the manga.
- The anime, however, took things a step further. As the Shield Hero started to leave, King Aultcray, offended at being treated in such a disrespectful manner demanded to be shown more respect. When that failed, he made the mistake of threatening to harm Naofumi's companions in retaliation for the Shield Heroes previous "crimes". This made Naofumi stop dead in his tracks and give the King a fearsome death glare. Without mincing his words, Naofumi made it clear that if Aultcray did anything to harm either Raphtalia or Filo, he would hunt the treacherous sovereign down and kill him in a very slow, painful way. This threat unmasked threat left Aultcray shivering in genuine fear for his life.
The Hunt for Naofumi
After this audience, Aultcray Melromarc's relationship with the Shield Hero undeniably reached its lowest point. The two men openly despised one another and wanted nothing more to do with each other. Hearing about what happened, Crown Princess Melty Melromarc, who had previously returned to the Kingdom, took it upon herself to try and fix the deteriorating situation. Remembering her mother's declaration that the four heroes needed to work together, and aware that the Queen would punish the King unless he demonstrated fair treatment of the Shield Hero, she set off in pursuit of Naofumi.
Whenever she met up with him, the second Princess implored the Shield Hero to return to the Castle and try talking things out with her father. Naofumi was not interested in fixing things and a scene from the anime confirmed that Aultcray was not either.
In light of the Shield Heroes recent actions, however, a rift had started to develop in Melromarc. The Church of the Three Heroes, Princess Malty, King Aultcray and the nobility remained firmly opposed to the Shield Hero, plus the original accusations had not completely faded. However, aware of the devastation brought on by the Spear, Sword and Bow Heroes, a number of citizens especially those in the affected areas started to publicly question the assumptions/accusations concerning the Shield Hero. More importantly, however, they questioned the accuracy of the Churches teachings, which stated that the Shield Hero was evil, yet Naofumi's actions demonstrated otherwise.
This news prompted one dissatisfied faction to take drastic actions. Not long after his meeting with the Shield Hero, King Aultcray Melromarc was informed that his youngest daughter had been abducted by The Shield Hero. Evidence was presented in the form of a crystal ball, which clearly showed Naofumi, Raphtalia and Filo killing the majority of Melty's bodyguards before making their escape, taking the "frightened" girl with them. The surviving guards were reported to have died shortly after bringing this information back to the Capital due to heavy injuries.
In reality, however, this was another setup. Naofumi had in fact saved Princess Melty from an assassination attempt by her treasonous guards. The Church of the Three Heroes and Princess Malty were, in fact, the real culprits. They staged the entire incident so that Naofumi's heroic reputation would be completely ruined, leaving him unable to find refuge anywhere and providing them with a justified reason to kill him. Naofumi, initially, suspected that King Aultcray was also involved in this latest scheme, but Princess Melty insisted that her father loved her very much and would never do anything that could potentially harm her.
Melty's assumptions were in fact correct. For once, Aultcray Melromarc was neither aware nor part of these dangerous schemes. This did not stop him from playing into the real conspirator's hands, however. Unaware that the real culprits were standing alongside him the entire time, King Aultcray Melromarc utilised every resource at his disposal to try and rescue his daughter.
Backed by Motoyasu, Ren, Itsuki, The Church of the Three Heroes, Malty and the entirety of Melromarc's militia, Aultcray intensified the border patrols to prevent Naofumi from escaping into another country, especially Siltvelt. He placed a massive bounty on the Shield Heroes head, declaring that any sighting of the Shield Hero or his companions was to be reported. Authorizing a thorough search of Melromarc, The King instructed his soldiers and citizens alike to find and rescue his daughter, then kill the Shield Hero!
- In episode 14 of the anime, Aultcray was shown at the knights main camp indicating that he was taking part in the investigation as well.
A Long-Awaited Retribution
The search for Melty eventually concluded with Pope Balmus leading the Church of the Three Heroes in open betrayal of King Aultcray, The Kingdom of Melromarc and essentially the entire world by trying to kill the Cardinal Heroes. After a climactic final battle, the latter faction emerged battered by victorious. Amongst the participants was Queen Mirellia Q Melromarc, who arrived just in time immobilise the fallen Pope, allowing The Shield Hero to strike the killing blow.
Returning to the Capital, The Queen waited for a few days until Naofumi's injuries had healed sufficiently before making her return to publicly known. Prior to doing so, however, she met with the Shield Hero, promising to bring those that had wronged him to account for their crimes. King Aultcray Melromarc, who was still unaware of The Pope's betrayal was relieved to know that his daughters were safe but did not learn of his wife's return until she walked into the throne room, during an audience between the King and the other heroes.
Here, as Mirellia had promised, King Aultcray Melromarc's actions finally caught up with him!
Whilst The King was overjoyed at the safe return of his wife, he was shocked to see that the Shield Hero was not only alive but standing alongside her. He immediately ordered his guards to execute Naofumi, only for Mirellia to rescind that order. In a display of absolute authority, Mirellia ordered the guards to stand down to which they immediately obeyed. Confused, Aultrcay went so far as to call her an imposter and even dared to wonder if she had been brainwashed by Naofumi, a claim that had previously been used by the Church of the Three Heroes. Queen Mirellia responded to these accusations by freezing her husband in a block of ice. She dismissed these accusations claiming that the Shield Hero had no such power.
Criticizing her husband for his behaviour, she revealed that word of Aultcray's actions and Naofumi's mistreatment had reached the rest of the world as well. Stating that Melromarc had only narrowly avoided a war with the other nations thanks to her intervention, the Queen made her disappointment in her husband very clear. Throughout all of this she slapped her husband.
Having taken back all of her power, Queen Mirellia proved her political shrewdness. She hinted at her plans to have Melty marry Naofumi in the future. For once Naofumi and Aultcray agreed that this was not a good idea. After this Aultcray stayed mostly silent, with the Queen revealing that she was aware of both of their schemes. When Malty objected to Naofumi's presence, Mirellia had her daughter seized and gave her a chance to come clean.
As expected, Malty did not comply so the Queen had a slave crest placed upon her, one which tortured Malty every time she lied. The Queen then subjected her daughter to an open trial, where she extracted a full confession from the Princess about her original accusations relating to the Shield Hero. Whenever Malty claimed that her original accusations were true, the slave crest tortured her. In the end, she finally came clean and admitted to everything.
Thus after three long months, the attending nobles, knights, servants, ministers, Motoyasu, Ren and Itsuki finally learnt the truth. Naofumi had never forced himself upon Myne at the start of his adventure. The Shield Hero was innocent, the victim of an evil conspiracy devised by King Aultcray Melromarc and Princess Malty who stole everything from Naofumi, then framed him.
Further Humiliation and a New Name
Aultcray was taken aback by his wife's actions, but displayed no remorse and offered no apology to Naofumi. In light of
these revelations, Queen Mirellia Q Melromarc declared that her husband and eldest daughter were undeserving of their titles. She officially disowned them and declared that they were both to be permanently stripped of their royal stations. When Aultcray objected his wife informed him that she had already made all the preparations for his dismissal leaving him speechless.
Mirellia declared that from henceforth, Aultcray would become a soldier or adventurer. As a final act of the former Kings humiliation, the Queen permitted Naofumi to inflict further punishment upon the pair if he deemed it necessary. When Naofumi made it clear that he would not be satisfied unless both of the former royals died for the hardships they put him through. Queen Mirellia managed to talk Naofumi out of this, but added a sadistic twist, claiming that Naofumi could force the pair into a situation where death would be preferable yet continue to make them suffer. Hearing this and reflecting on Glass' words, Naofumi found the perfect solution. At a feast held later that evening in the Shield Heroes honour, the Queen publicly denounced the former King and Princess, revealing everything they had done. In accordance with Naofumi's wishes, Aultcray's name had been forever altered to Trash. Overcome, the fallen King tried to attack The Shield Hero but was stopped at sword point by his former guards. Thus, it became clear that Trash's authority was ended. To add insult to injury, he and Malty were forced to bow in supplication before the hero they'd hated and wronged, asking for his mercy. This drew a massive laugh from the spectators, leaving Trash's humiliation complete.
- The manga was fairly accurate in its portrayal of the King's fall and humiliation.
- In contrast, the anime deviated significantly. Here Aultcray and Malty were both arrested and put on trial together. Aultcray was genuinely shocked to learn about Malty's conspiracy. Unlike, Malty, however, Aultcray did accept some responsibility for his actions, acknowledging that he had behaved in an unbefitting manner. Like the books though, Aultcray insisted that everything was Naofumi's fault calling him a devil. As a consequence of their actions, Malty and Aultcray were both stripped of their authority by the Queen and sentenced to death. The pair were subsequently placed in guillotines and whilst Malty pleaded for mercy, Aultcray remained silent. They were only spared due to Naofumi's intervention, who instead had them renamed Trash and Bitch. This declaration was accepted by the Queen and the audience who cheered in acknowledgement.
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- Aultcray could be considered as a foil to to Fohl. Not only are their backstories nearly identical, being fallen nobles who were left caring for their younger sisters after being orphaned by war, but they're similar enough that Atlas mistakes Aultcray for her brother.
- However, the loss of their younger sisters have completely different effects on them. Whereas Aultcray was driven into a hateful and vengeful racist against the Demi-Humans, Fohl adjusts to it significantly better and never acquires a hatred for humans like his uncle.