Raphtalia, the first-ever comrade and slave of the Shield Hero is finally free from her master. The skilled swordsman of Naofumi Iwatani has had her slave mark since the beginning of the first season. But as the saying goes loyalty is rare and it is considered a decision. So, did Raphtalia get back her slave mark after it vanished?
Raphtalia is known to have massive affection toward her Master, Naofumi. These feelings of her eventually bloomed into something deeper as the story goes on. However, arguments regarding her feelings rose due to her questionable slavery from Naofumi.
The master-slave relationship between Naofumi and Raphtalia is deemed complicated by some fans. Some argue that Raphtalia’s feelings may never be reciprocated for Naofumi only see himself as a father figure. Don’t get disappointed though because the series has already provided us with plenty of foundation that someday their relationship will develop into something more. One contributing factor in their relationship is Raphtalia’s slave mark.
The History Behind Raphtalia’s Slave Mark
After losing everything due to the false accusations of the former Princess of Melromac, Mayne Sophia a.k.a bitch, Naofumi desperately finds a party member leading him to a slave merchant. Out of necessity, he requested the slave merchant to show him his cheapest and most obedient slaves, which are demi-humans. The trauma gained from Mayne’s accusations even led him to say that slaves are no humans, but are things just like his weapon.
When the slave merchant showed Raphtalia, he emphasizes that she had a psychological disorder that gave her former master a hard time. Regardless of that, Naofumi still bought Raphtalia and formed a slave contract with her. This was the start of their adventure together. Naofumi may have seemed cold-heart at first, but he eventually loosen up and showed deep benevolence towards Raphtalia.
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In episode three of season one, Naofumi and Motoyasu (the Spear Hero) battled each other in a duel for the sake of Raphtalia’s supposed freedom. The Spear Hero does not believe that the relationship the two have is sincere and genuine. Due to Mayne basically helping Motoyasu by cheating during the duel, he exhaustingly won against Naofumi freeing Raphtalia. He believes that Raphtalia’s loyalty to Naofumi is only because of the slave mark cast on her, and is being forced against her will.
However, Raphtalia was able to prove them all wrong as she defended her master. She defended her master against all of the Spear Hero’s accusations and proudly expressed Naofumi’s kindness towards her. Even the Bow Hero and Sword Hero believed that Naofumi and Raphtalia’s relationship is genuine after witnessing their heartfelt conversation.
When Raphtalia’s slave mark was removed, the people including Naofumi expected her to run away as she was now free. But, this didn’t happen for she went back to his Master’s care, and reassured him that she will always stay by his side. One of the words that showed Raphtalia’s unquestionable loyalty is when she said:
I am your sword. No matter what hardship may await us, I will go with you.Raphtalia to Naofumi (The Rising of the Shield Hero: Season 1 Episode 3)
These words from his slave are what Naofumi always wanted to hear after struggling so much since being isekaid. After the duel with Motoyasu, Raphtalia, and Naofumi went back to the slave merchant to activate her new slave seal. Raphtalia willingly did this because she believes that the slave seal symbolizes his trust in her. However, this symbol of trust vanishes once again in season two.
The Katana Hero: Raphtalia
During their mission in Glass’ world, Raphtalia got separated from his party and was chosen to play the part of one of the Vassal Heroes. When Raphtalia escaped the prison cell together with L’arc, Glass, and Therese, they all went to the town to buy clothes that would help them hide their identities better. As if destiny was widely awake at that time because the time that Raphtalia was there was the same moment that the new Katana Hero will be chosen.
Originally, she was just there to witness the ceremony. But, in just a split second the vassal katana was already in her hands for it had chosen her. After being the Katana Hero, Raphtalia suddenly grew again since she reverted back to level one after entering Glass‘ world. If a vassal weapon has chosen its hero, it is now very impossible for the holder to let go of it. Hence, Raphtalia accepted her fate in return loses her slave mark.
Since Naofumi and Raphtalia got separated, losing her slave made him furiously worried. He thought that she may be in danger and that she needed help. True enough, Raphtalia has almost gotten beaten by the white tiger if Naofumi didn’t show up and protected her.
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After finishing their mission in Glass’ world, Naofumi returned to his parallel world. There are no signs of Raphtalia’s slave mark, and no scenes showing that she went back to the slave merchant. Moreover, chapter ninety-three of The Rising of the Shield Hero‘s original manga showed that Raphtalia is no longer Naofumi’s slave, and isn’t planning to be one anymore.
Her becoming the Katana Hero permanently removed her slave crest. Although the slave mark was a symbol between the two according to Raphtalia. She and Naofumi have formed a deeper bond with each other that no slave mark is required to prove it.
Raphtalia has become one of the strongest characters, and heroes in the entire franchise. She is no longer the demi-human who terribly suffered from a psychological disorder. Now, she is considered as one of the greatest swordsmen in the series. It is very evident that Raphtalia no longer needs a slave mark to fight for the Shield Hero.
With or without her slave mark, Raphtalia has continually proven that she will always remain loyal and be there for Naofumi. Hence, Raphtalia’s role in the story is very much something to look forward to, especially now that she is free from the binds of the slave crest.
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