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The Church of The Three Heroes, also known as the Three Heroes Church and Cult of the Three Heroes, is a corrupt religious organization in the Rising of the Shield Hero franchise. Introduced as the dominant religion in the Kingdom of Melromarc, they were initially a hidden antagonistic faction before emerging as the main antagonists of the 3rd and 4th volumes of the light novel series. This corresponds to the first saga of its original web novel, and episodes 12 - 21 of the anime series.
A monotheistic order led by Pope Balmus, the Church openly preached of love towards humans whilst revering the Legendary Heroes of the Bow, Sword and Spear. At the same time however, they promoted discrimination against demi-humans and the Shield Hero who they viewed as evil people.
On top of a large priesthood and nuns, the Church also had its own military and shadow network. As a sign of devotion, many of its followers carried a special rosary comprised of the three cardinal weapons that the Church viewed as sacred (The Bow, Sword and Spear). One of the Church's most prominent allies was Melromarc's first Princess, Malty Melromarc.
At some point during their desertion from the Four Heroes Faith, the founders of the Three Heroes Church stole a sacred replica weapon from the Church of the Seven Star Heroes from Melromarcs future neighbour, The Kingdom of Faubrey.
This weapon could replicate the effects and abilities of the four cardinal weapons: the Sword, Spear, Shield and Bow heroes. However, it was only capable of producing a quarter of the strength of the original weapon's power and required a tremendous amount of energy to use even once.
Pope Balmus would utilize this weapon during his climactic battle between himself and the Legendary Heroes. During the fight, he revealed that over the centuries, many of the churches followers sacrificed their energy (and in some cases their lives) so that when the time came, the High Priest would be able to wield it in order to strike down the Churches enemies once and for all.
The cult that would eventually morph into the Church of the Three Heroes was founded several hundred years before Naofumi was summoned as the Shield Hero. Centuries ago, when the Waves of Calamity first threatened the world, only humans existed on the continent. Originally, there were only two Legendary Heroes to protect its citizens, the Spear and the Sword Heroes.
During one of the waves however, survivors from a separate dimension managed to cross between the two worlds following the destruction of their own planet. These people were the demi-humans. Accompanying them were two new Legendary Heroes, the heroes of the Bow and the Shield.
Initial contact between the original residents with the new heroes and demi-humans was peaceful. As the latter groups began integrating themselves into society, a new religion was founded. One that worshipped all of the heroes equally as chosen heroes of God sent to protect the world, the Church of the Four Heroes. For a time all was peaceful.
However, amongst the clergy were a band of religious extremists that refused to accept the demi-humans as equals. Whilst many of the existing nations welcomed the new arrivals to varying degrees, these intolerant clerics noted several traits that separated the latter species different from humans. These included their distinctive animal characteristics and the way they aged differently to humans. In the eyes of these biased people, these traits made the demi-humans inferior to humans and more akin to the monsters that roamed that the land.
Preaching this opinion to the masses, the group found support amongst a number of like-minded bigoted humans. Eventually, the cult gathered a large enough following to break away from its parent religion and become a separate faith in its own right. The leaders of the new faith subsequently led their followers away from their ancestral home to found a new country, one that revolved around human supremacy. That country eventually became the Kingdom of Melromarc.
Despite their xenophobic treatment of demi-humans, the cult initially continued to revere the Four Holy Heroes equally. This all changed when the former together with the founders of Melromarc plotted to eliminate the demi-humans once and for all. Learning that the demi-humans were gathering together within their new countries border, the two groups planned to lead the demi-humans into a trap and inflict genocide upon them. Amongst the conspirators, were the original Legendary Heroes. For reasons unknown, the heroes of the Bow, Sword and Spear Heroes agreed with this scheme to wipe out the demi-humans and offered to help them.
The Shield Hero likewise supported the motion and volunteered to personally lead the demi-humans into the trap. This was approved and the cultists got ready to spring their trap. However, the demi-humans never came. It turned that the Shield Hero did not share the prejudice of their fellow heroes or the founders of Melromarc. Having only feigned compliance, they warned the demi-humans of the citizen's treachery and led them to safety beyond the countries border. This allowed the demi-humans to found their own nation, the Kingdom of Siltvelt. Given what had happened, the demi-humans were subsequently hostile to the citizens of Melromarc.
Following this, the newly established church abandoned the worship of the Shield Hero. Altering historical facts to their own benefit, they would subsequently only portray the Bow, Sword and Spear Heroes as avatars of God. In contrast, The Shield Hero was portrayed as a corrupt individual, akin to a demon and an ally to Melromarcs enemies the demi-humans. With that, the cult adopted the name the Three Heroes Church.
In time, the church established itself as the dominant religion in the Kingdom of Melromarc. Their central base was a huge cathedral in the countries capital, the steeples of which bore giant monuments to the cardinal weapons that the Church viewed as sacred. The church also oversaw the countries Red Hour Glass of the Dragon Era, which meant any heroes summoned to Melromarc had to go through the church in order to receive updates on the waves and class upgrades.
Preaching to the masses over several generations, to rich and poor alike, the teachings of the Church became firmly ingrained within the minds of Melromarc's citizens. By the start of the series, many of the people living within Melromarc look down upon demi-humans. The latter is treated with disdain rather than as equals, and as creatures to either be exterminated or enslaved. Owing to the church's tampering with historical records, people are immediately distrustful of the new Shield Hero. It was for these reasons that Naofumi Iwatani found no support and suffered prejudice in the early stages of his journey. Due to the church's high position in Melromarc society, anybody that speaks out against them is either killed or branded as a traitor and imprisoned.
Summoning the Cardinal Heroes and Framing Naofumi
Following the devastating events of the first wave, representatives from the Church (including Balmus) approached the current ruler of Melromarc, King Aultcray Melromarc, and suggested summoning the Four Cardinal Heroes together in order to protect the Kingdom.
In reality, Queen Mirellia Q Melromarc was the true power behind the throne, (since Melromarc is a matriarchal monarchy), with Aultcray serving as a proxy ruler in his wife's absence. With the Queen away on a diplomatic mission with the rulers of the other countries, however, the Church used this situation to their advantage since the Queen (who followed the Church of the Four Holy Heroes) would never have agreed to their schemes. Doing so would give Melromarc an unfair advantage over the other countries, who normally summoned one hero to each country.
The ploy was successful, and (ignoring the political implications of their actions) the Church, at the King's instruction, successfully summoned four people from alternate dimensions to wield one of the four cardinal weapons; Motoyasu Kitamura (Spear Hero), Ren Amaki (Sword Hero), Itsuki Kawasumi (Bow Hero) and Naofumi Iwatani (Shield Hero).
Unbeknownst to any of the heroes, The Church had conspired with the sadistic Princess Malty to frame the Shield Hero, i.e. the weapon their religion despised, in order to gain favour/support from the other heroes. King Aultcray, who had his own reasons to hate the Shield Hero, was aware of this plot and agreed to use his position to back them up.
Their plan was successful. Within 72 hours of his summoning, Naofumi was falsely accused of attempting to rape Malty. Word of 'his crime' spread quickly, and stripped of his armour, financial support and honour, The Shield Hero became an outcast in the Kingdom hated by everyone and accepted/appreciated by no one.
Naofumi would later learn from the Queen that prior to receiving his false charges, agents of the Church were already spreading false accusations and bad rumours about him. This was one reason why the citizens of Melromarc were so hostile, and Malty's lie was so easily believed. It appeared to back up everything that the Church had been preaching about the Shield Hero for generations.
Mirellia also informed him, that contrary to what the King said, a group of adventurers had volunteered to fight alongside Naofumi, just like those that fought for the other heroes. It is unknown how many of them were human or demi-humans. Amongst their numbers was Eclair Seato, an upcoming knight and the daughter of the Queen's now deceased right-hand man. Since these adventurers opposed the Church's teachings, they were all executed before they could join Naofumi, with the exception of Eclair. Due to the latter's status as a noble, she was simply thrown into prison and left to rot.
The Duel of the Heroes
Following Naofumi's framing, the churches mission to destroy the Shield Hero was apparently successful. Turning their backs on him, they set about helping Motoyasu, Ren and Itsuki fulfil their destiny and become the heroes of legend. Like the rest of the Kingdom, they gave the group preferential treatment, and prior to the second wave, the Sword, Spear and Bow Heroes not only received sand from the hour-glass helping them learn new skills but were provided with a class up to make them more powerful.
Shortly before the second wave, representatives of the Church encountered Naofumi for the first time. They were kind enough to let Naofumi visit the dragon hour-glass so that he could learn about the time for the waves, which was ultimately, as far as their assistance for the Shield Hero extended.
On the few occasions that he was forced to interact with the church's officials, Naofumi noticed an exceedingly large amount of hushed whispers and hostile glances from the clerics and nuns in attendance. Queen Mirellia later theorized that the only reason the Church of the Three Heroes did not eliminate Naofumi straight away was that they believed that he would be unable to defend himself with only a shield. They appeared confident that he would either die straight away or could be eliminated later on by the more powerful heroes.
Naofumi, however, did survive! Forced to become resilient and uncompromising, the Shield Hero managed to make it through the second wave with the assistance of his demi-human slave &partner Raphtalia. At the celebration that followed, Myne spotted a golden opportunity and tricked Motoyasu into challenging Naofumi for Raphtalia's freedom. The High Priest watched the duel alongside many other attendants, and whilst the duel was initially going in Naofumi's favour, Malty illegally intervened causing Motoyasu to be declared the victor.
Like everyone else, the High Priest said nothing in Naofumi's defense and watched on silently as Raphtalia was freed. However, these actions came to nothing as following the duel Raphtalia, Ren and Itsuki angrily called out the unfairness of the duel. The tanuki girl openly snubbed "the efforts" of the Kingdom and the Church "to save her" by returning to Naofumi's side, where she delivered a passionate speech, making it clear that if given the choice between her freedom and Naofumi, she would rather remain with the Shield-Hero.
Although the High-Priest would later congratulate Naofumi for his resilience in the duel, the events of that day appear to have set the Church of the Three Heroes firmly against the Shield Hero. It is also possible that the battle also installed the first traces doubt about the capabilities of the other heroes, since the Spear Hero only "won" the fight due to the illegal interference from one of his party members. Even more concerning, was the fact that the Bow and Sword Heroes took Naofumi's side in the aftermath of the duel.
Volumes 2 & 3
Monitoring the situation
Between the events of the second and third waves, the Church kept a close tab on the actions of the four heroes, noting where they went and what they did. Whilst Ren, Itsuki and Motoyasu went around acting like heroes, they continued to treat their adventures as nothing more than a video game. This led to them making a number of mistakes, endangering the lives of many of the innocent citizens throughout Melromarc: -
- Motoyasu was asked to help a village which was undergoing a famine. Ultimately, he gave the villagers a seed he'd recovered from a nearby dungeon, one which had been altered by an alchemist many years before his arrival to produce fast-growing food. However, what the Spear Hero and the villagers did not realise was that the seed had been sealed away because it was dangerous. Whilst the vegetation produced by this seed did grow rapidly, the plants grew to fast to control and were sentient, making them dangerous to anyone and everyone around them.
- Ren killed a dragon at the behest of the guild that had taken refuge in a mountainous region close to a human settlement. However, he did not dispose of the corpse properly. As it decomposed, the dragon's corpse unleashed a massive plague upon the surrounding area. Many citizens and adventurers became sick as a result of this epidemic, leading to several deaths. To make matters worse, poisonous monsters were attracted to the area, making it even more dangerous.
- Itsuki was asked to deal with a corrupt King, who was overtaxing his people and using the money to hire mercenaries. Ultimately, Itsuki joined the local resistance against this lord, overthrew and killed him, before installing a new governor from the resistance in his place. What Itsuki did not know, however, was that the country had been undergoing a famine. Although corrupt, the Lord's intentions were to use the money to buy food for his people and hire mercenaries to protect his land from greedy invaders. All Itsuki accomplished was a changing of the figurehead. Shortly after taking over, the resistance had to level similar taxes, leading to people starving. Things got so bad that some survivors were forced to flee across the border into Melromarc, in order to beg for help and food.
Naofumi and his companions meanwhile, became travelling merchants aiding the citizens of Melromarc whenever possible. This included cleaning up the other heroes messes; -
- Naofumi, Raphtalia and Filo were able to defeat the sentient plants created by Motoyasu's seed, with the help of some herbicide. After that Naofumi used one of his shields to alter the plant's composition so that whilst it continued to grow rapidly, it was now completely harmless. Thus the villages famine was solved.
- After treating the villagers affected by the plague, Naofumi and his companions travelled into the mountains in order to destroy the corpse. The corpse, however, reanimated itself as a zombie dragon. An intense battle ensued, during which Raphtalia was badly injured, and Filo was apparently eaten. Ultimately, however, the heroes triumphed, although Raphtalia needed special treatment in order to get fully healed, and the trio were forced to remain in the area until all of the poison monsters dispersed.
- During his travels, Naofumi encountered a group of refugees from the domain Itsuki had interfered with. Explaining what had happened the group tried to exchange material goods for food. Naofumi ultimately fed them for free and provided them with some of the fast-growing seeds to take back to their country and end the famine once and for all.
Throughout all of this, Naofumi and his party were able to test their skills against real opponents, whilst earning themselves a good reputation. Behind the scenes, this caused the ordinary civilians to start doubting the Church of the Three Heroes teachings and to look to Naofumi as the only true genuine hero amongst the four cardinal heroes.
The Shield Hero himself was forced to deal with the Church on two occasions prior to the third wave. Following the incident with the zombie-dragon, Naofumi went to the cathedral in the capital to purchase holy water to aid in Raphtalia's recovery. There he met the High Priest for the first time. Balmus chastised one of his subordinates when she tried to swindle Naofumi and allowed him to purchase true holy water. Despite this, the Shield Hero noted how stuck up Balmus was, acting as if he was the one doing Naofumi a favour. During their second meeting, the Hour-glass attendants refused to allow Naofumi's party members to class-up unless he paid an exorbitant amount of gold to them per class up. Naofumi surprised them, however, revealing that he the necessary funds. This prompted the attendants to produce a document from the King. Said document prevented Naofumi from classing up, much to the Nuns amusement.
Attempted Regicide and Framing the Shield Hero
Despite these setbacks, Naofumi's party emerged as the true heroes of the third wave. They not only defeated the boss of the wave but held their own against an unexpected opponent, Glass. In contrast, the other heroes wasted time bickering amongst themselves and were easily defeated by the vassal hero. When word of this reached the capital, the Churches situation looked desperate. People were now openly questioning the accuracy of their teachings and starting to wonder if the Shield Hero was bad as legend made him out to be.
Carefully monitoring the situation, agents of the church soon spotted an opportunity to turn the situation back to their advantage. Naofumi's relationship with the King had reached an all-time low after the events o the third wave. More importantly, Crown Princess Melty Melromarc had returned to the country with orders from her mother to fix the bad relationship between the King and the Shield Hero. Since this plan worked against the Church of the Three Heroes desires, the officials within the church came up with a plan. One which they believed would literally allow them to kill two birds with one stone.
Agents of the church secretly posed as Princess Melty's bodyguards following the Crown Princess in her search for the Shield Hero. Whether these men were imposters or actual guards more sympathetic to the Church than the crown is never stated but upon finding Naofumi the agents enacted their hidden agenda. With one guard holding a crystal ball to record what was happening, one of the men drew a blade and tried to assassinate the young princess, so that they could frame Naofumi for it.
This plan failed, as Naofumi was able to prevent Melty's assassination. A short scuffle broke out, and despite the best efforts of Raphtalia and Filo, a few of the soldiers managed to escape claiming that Naofumi had abducted Princess Melty and was now holding her hostage.
Naofumi subsequently interrogated a few of the captured soldiers, (who refused to answer him in the anime). In the original story and manga counterpart, however, the men informed Naofumi that they had fully intended to assassinate Princess Melty. Even though their mission had failed, the soldiers that escaped would bring news of the Princesses 'abduction' back to the Capital. As such Naofumi's reputation would be completely ruined and that "the Devil of the Shield" would now become a wanted fugitive in every single nation. In every version of the story, Naofumi found a rosary on this soldier and started to recognize the Churches involvement in this scheme.
Doctored footage of the "abduction" was shown across the entirety of Melromarc, depicting Naofumi and his party members as evil, bloodthirsty fiends that abducted the innocent Princess whilst slaughtering most of her guards. In the Light Novel, it was also mentioned that the guards that brought this footage to the castle were heavily wounded and died shortly afterwards, indicating just how far the Church was willing to go to just to get rid of Naofumi.
Despite not killing Melty, the Church's plan was otherwise successful. Following this most recent ploy, Naofumi and his party were forced to go on the run, as wanted fugitives. King Aultcray (who was not aware of this plot) dispatched soldiers from all across Melromarc to find and rescue his daughter. The soldiers were also instructed to eliminate Naofumi and his party members once and for all. They were aided by several nobles (such as Idol Rabier), the Church of the Three Heroes (the real perpetrators), along with the other Three Heroes and their party members.
The borders were closed off, in order to prevent Naofumi seeking refuge in an of the neighboring countries, especially Siltvelt. During an encounter between the Shield Hero and the other Heroes, Princess Melty and Naofumi almost tried to convince them that they were the victims of an evil conspiracy. Princess Malty, intervened, however, and successfully covered up Naofumi's heroic actions (both past and present) by claiming that the Church had discovered that he'd unlocked a brainwashing shield and that he was forcing people to serve him against their will. It was here that Naofumi realised that Malty (as Melty had suspected) was in on the Churches scheme, planned to kill Melty in order to become the crown princess and frame Naofumi for it. When Naofumi refused to back down and comply with the other foolish heroes, a fight broke out, resulting in the defeat of the Sword, Bow and Spear Heroes, their parties and the knights of Melromarc, allowing Naofumi and the others to make their escape.
Despite the Churches best efforts Naofumi and Princess Melty avoided all attempts to find and capture them. Worse still, during the confrontation between the Four Heroes, Naofumi and Melty presented enough evidence to highlight the Churches conspiracy. This coupled with the subsequent actions of Princess Malty and the Knights were enough to convince Ren and later Itsuki that something was not right here. Instead of pursuing Naofumi the Heroes of the Bow and the Sword began their own separate investigation in the Capital city of Melromarc.
Eventually, they managed to unearth enough evidence of the churches corruption and realised that they were responsible for this conspiracy. Recognising that the pair were both getting to close to the truth, Balmus decided to take matters into his own hands. Using the Church's replica weapon, he and a massive band of followers tricked Ren and Itsuki into going to a specific area, then proceeded to 'eliminate' them. They subsequently informed the Spear Hero that the Shield Hero was responsible for the death of his comrades.
This led to a confrontation between Motoyasu and Naofumi at their next meeting. The former called Naofumi a villain and refused to hear him out, whilst the accused demanded whether his foolish counterpart had seen the proof of his supposed misdeeds with his own eyes. Throughout the fight, Malty urged Motoyasu to not listen to Naofumi, and kill the Shield Demon once and for all. Thus Naofumi and Melty realised that she was involved in Ren and Itsuki's downfall. Throughout the fight, Naofumi tried his hardest to convince Motoyasu of his innocence and of the greater conspiracy. The Spear Hero, however, refused to listen. He was blinded by his absolute belief in his comrades, a desire to free Raphtalia, Filo and Melty from the perceived brain-washing, the need to avenge Ren and Itsuki and his personal hatred of Naofumi. Although the fight did not go the Spear Heroes way, he ultimately refused to back down and the fight would have continued had fate not intervened.
The Church vs The Heroes
Using the situation to their advantage High Priest Balmus and his followers ambushed the two heroes and their party members proceeding to fire upon them indiscriminately. Branding Naofumi a Devil and a murderer, and calling Motoyasu, Ren and Itsuki false heroes that had already been killed and reanimated by the Shield Demon, the Pope declared that he would eliminate them, all in the name of God. He also revealed that he was the one that killed Ren and Itsuki, leaving Motoyasu shocked that Naofumi had in fact been telling the truth the entire time.
When Malty tried to scold the Pope for trying to kill her, the next Queen, Balmus merely laughed. He then made it clear that Malty's usefulness to them was ended and that the Church of the Three Heroes was going to stage a coup and overthrow the monarchy, in order to restore balance to the world. With the Churches lies finally exposed, Naofumi and Motoyasu, reluctantly joined forces in order to defeat their latest enemy. They were soon joined by Ren and Itsuki who were revealed to have survived their assassination attempt thanks to the intervention of the Queen's shadows. For the first time since their summoning, the Four Cardinal Heroes and their parties stood truly united against the very institution that originally summoned and subsequently betrayed them.
An epic confrontation followed pushing every single one of the heroes and their comrades to their limits. Due to the sacrifices made by the churches followers over countless generations, The High Priest, seemed relatively unaffected by the battle. He utilized powerful imitations of the Bow, Spear and Sword to cause massive damage to his adversaries. As the battle unfolded, his followers (soldiers, clergy and shadows alike) continued to stand and fight despite suffering horrific injuries. As such, it quickly revealed that it was the High Priest that had the brainwashing power. When the Pope unleashed the full might of the replica upon the Queen's reinforcement army and used a camouflaging spell to hide amongst his followers, Naofumi realized that desperate measures had to be taken in order to defeat him.
Ultimately, the Four Heroes prevailed thanks to the timely intervention of Queen Mirela Melromarc, who imprisoned the Pope and his followers in an ice field. With the Pope's powers temporarily nullified, Naofumi used his latest shield, Blood Sacrifice, to deal justice to the High Priest for all of his misdeeds. The Popes body was completely destroyed by the power of the very hero his religion vilified, undoing all of his brainwashings and leaving his name, institution and soul damned for all eternity.
Fall from Power
With their leader defeated, the surviving members of Balmus' army found themselves not only leaderless but surrounded by the heroes and forces loyal to the crown. With their crimes exposed, the fanatics were arrested on the spot. Queen Mirela Q Melromarc had no sympathy for the Churches followers as they tried to assassinate her beloved daughter. Also, the Churches actions against the Shield Hero and initial summoning of the Cardinal Heroes had led to diplomatic tensions with the other countries, which had not soothed over and left the entire world vulnerable.
Upon returning to the capital, two days after the confrontation with Balmus, Queen Mirela took back the throne and was able to publicly clear the Shield Heroes name, proving beyond any doubt that any accusations made against him by Malty and the Church were false. As such the Naofumi quickly became a celebrated hero, whilst the atrocities of the Church Three Heroes were publicly brought to light.
The Queen also took the necessary steps to punish the institution (and its supporters) that almost brought her nation to ruin. King Aultcray, Princess Malty and several conspiring nobles were stripped of their titles indefinitely for aiding the Church of the Three Heroes. Any captured members of the now shamed institution were investigated, and based upon their level of involvement were either executed or imprisoned. The final blow to the institution came when Queen Mirellia Q Melromarc publicly outlawed the Church of the Three Heroes, stripping it from its position of the state religion, and installing the Faith of The Four Holy Heroes in its steed. Owing to these revelations, many of Melromarcs citizens, who had begun to have their doubts anyway, swiftly converted to the new faith.
Despite this, the damage caused by the Church of the Three Heroes would still felt. Naofumi was not the same person that he had been upon his initial summoning. He remained very wary and distrustful of others. The rumours did not disappear overnight either, and in several area's the Shield Hero was still distrusted. In the long run, their preferential treatment of the Spear, Sword and Bow heroes held them back as they were uncooperative with each other and Naofumi. The events of the Spirit Turtle eventually led to the three former heroes being viewed as failures, whilst Naofumi, the Devil of The Shield continued to save the world alongside his party members, completely contradicting, the Church of The Three Heroes teachings.
Destruction (The Web Novel only)
In the original web-novel, the Church of the Three Heroes survived its impeachment. Many of its clergy and military members were nobles who used their connections to escape the death penalty. Mirellia only complied because a mass execution risked destabilizing her nation and costing her valuable support.
Although their faith was outlawed, the Cult of the Three Heroes became an underground movement still preaching about the treachery of the Shield Hero. They were supported by several nobles who despite his many heroic actions remained deeply distrustful of Naofumi. Ultimately, despite trying to kill them, the surviving members of the Church joined the fallen Princess Malty Melromarc, now renamed Bitch's, separatist movement. They were aid by the treasonous members of Motoyasu and Itsuki's former parties.
When the movement finally launched its coup they were once again forced into conflict with the demon that their religion vilified, Naofumi Iwatani. However, the Shield Hero had grown significantly in both power and skill since their last encounter. Without the aid of any secret weapons the surviving members of the Church proved no match for the Shield Hero or his allies skill and tenacity.
In due course, the soldiers, clerics, shadows and nobles were defeated and rounded up. Having proven beyond any doubt that they could not be trusted anymore, Queen Mirellia disregarded her previous concerns and sentenced them to die a traitors death. One by one, every remaining adherant to the Church of the Three Heroes was executed for his or her crime, alongside their allies. With this Malty's separatist movement was completely destroyed and the corrupt sect known as the Church of the Three Heroes was wiped out once and for all.
- The Church of the Three Heroes split from its parent religion was probably inspired by the real-life division between the Catholic and Protestant churches, during the Protestant Reformation.
- The Church of the Three Heroes ideology is inspired by Nazi propaganda and racist cults.
- Shortly after the Church of the Three Heroes foundation, a rival sect established itself as the dominant religion in Siltvelt, Melromarcs arch-nemesis. This religion, The Church of the Shield Hero, is the complete opposite to the Church of the Three Heroes. The Shield Hero was the only Cardinal Hero that saved from destruction, whilst the others were prepared to help the xenophobes kill them. As such modern-day, demi-humans worship the Shield Hero exclusively, whilst branding the other cardinal heroes as demons.
- The Queen later revealed that the weapon used by Pope Balamus was also capable of replicating the effects of the Naofumi's shield, not just the bow, spear and sword. Given the tenants of his religion, however, the Pope did not use this. The Queen said this was a good thing, proclaiming that if he had, Balamus might have been able to survive Naofumi's final attack.