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Read at your own risk.
|“||Wicked King Rance, who's leading humanity to ruin. I, the Hero Arios, will punish you.||”|
—Arios Theoman, challenging Rance to decide the fate of humanity.
|Age / Birth||23 / GI0999|
|Ht. / Wt.||175cm / 65kg|
|Skill levels||Sword Combat Lv2 (?)|
|Appeared in||Kichikuou Rance, Rance 01, Rance 03, Rance IX, Rance X|
|Mentioned in||Rance VI, Sengoku Rance|
Arios Theoman is a young man who served as The Continent's Guardian Hero of the World between the years of GI1012 and LP0004. While a compassionate man with a strong sense of justice, his good character proved to be a poor fit for the duties associated with being the Hero.
Arios was born in a small farming village in an unknown region of the Continent. Raised by a cheerful single mother, he had a peaceful and uneventful upbringing that was free of any particular hardship and spent most of his time playing with Nina Nirvana, a girl around his age who resided in the same village.
Arios' life took a dramatic turn the year GI1012, when his village was attacked by a group of Monsters on the day of his 13th birthday. Amid the chaos, he was approached by a mysterious young boy known as Cola, who introduced himself as the servant of the Hero. Cola revealed to Arios that he was the Hero, the person blessed with the power needed to defeat the Demon King, the being that presided over all monsters, and presented him with the Heroic Blade Escudo, a legendary sword that can only be wielded by the Hero, as proof of his title. Using the powers granted to him as the Hero, Arios was able to repel the monsters and save his village.
Immediately after saving his village, Arios set out into the world with Cola on a journey to train his abilities in preparation for his eventual battle with the Demon King. Believing it to be his responsibility as Hero to spread peace throughout the world, he made it his personal policy to lend his aid to any and all people in need he encountered during his travels. Though this way of thinking led him to quickly accomplish many minor heroic feats, including destroying a group of bandits, ridding a chapel of a Curse, and finding a rare medicinal herb, it was often criticized by Cola, who argued that it merely served to distract him from his mission to defeat the Demon King. Arios payed little heed to Cola's complaints, insisting that he could not turn away from people that he could help, and made no attempt to alter his behavior.
In the year LP0001, Arios was asked to search for Hikari Mi Blanc, the daughter of a noble family from the Kingdom of Leazas who had mysteriously gone missing. While attempting to complete this request, he contracted a severe case of food poisoning after eating food from a yakiniku stand in Leazas Castle Town’s central park and was incapacitated for several days. During the events of Rance 01, Arios was briefly encountered in his poisoned state by Rance, a womanizing adventurer who had also been investigating Hikari's disappearance. Arios attempted to have Rance bring him medicine to relieve his stomach pain, but was mistaken for a vagrant begging for money and quickly kicked away before he was able to properly introduce himself.
After enduring several days of crippling stomach pain, Arios recovered from his food poisoning enough to resume his search for Hikari. Even with his strength restored, however, he frequently took time away from his investigation to take part in other quests, including helping people around Leazas Castle Town with their personal problems and competing as a fighter in the Leazas Coliseum. Hikari was eventually found and rescued by Rance while Arios was busy completing these secondary objectives, bringing his adventure in Leazas to an unceremonious end.
Before leaving Leazas Castle Town, Arios learned of a group of slave traders that had been kidnapping the daughters of various noble families across the Continent and took part in a mission to destroy it. Having still not fully recovered from his food poisoning, he recruited Yulang Mirage, the champion of the Leazas Coliseum, to assist him. After defeating the slavers, the duo were approached by Maris Amaryllis, the personal attendant of Princess Lia Parapara Leazas, who asked them to exterminate a group of monsters that had invaded the basement of Leazas Castle. The two succeeded in completing the request, after which Arios left Leazas to continue his travels.
Sometime later, Arios became one of many adventurers hired by Gaizel Gode, the mayor of the Free City of Kathtom, to defeat the Four Witches that had seized control over his city. As in his previous excursion, however, he became sidetracked with helping the townspeople resolve their personal problems, which caused him to delay his pursuit of the witches. Eventually, all four witches were successfully defeated by Rance before Arios was able to even attempt to find them, causing his adventure to end abruptly for a second time.
In the year LP0002, Leazas was occupied overnight in a surprise attack by the Helman Republic in a conflict that would come to be known as the 7th Helman-Leazas War. Soon after capturing Leazas, the Helman Army began to march into the Free Cities to further expand the scope of its conquest. During the events of Rance 03, Arios enlisted in the Leazas Liberation Army, an organization composed of the remnants of the scattered Leazas Army and various adventurers from across the Free Cities that had emerged to combat Helman's forces, to protect the people put at risk by the invasion. Arios played an active role on the frontlines during the Battle of The O, the decisive battle to drive the Helman Army out of the Free Cities, where he used his great strength and fighting ability to fight off several enemy soldiers at once to aid the Liberation Army's advance.
Shortly after the Leazas Liberation Army's victory in the Battle of the O, Arios was forced to abandon the war effort to rescue Cola, who had been captured by an unknown assailant. His disappearance was quickly noticed by Milli Yorks, one of the commanding members of the Liberation Army, who lamented the loss of his talents but chose to trust that he had deserted for a just cause due to recognizing his strong moral character. Despite losing Arios, the Liberation Army nonetheless succeeded in freeing Leazas from its occupants under the command of Rance, who had claimed the position of leader for himself following a series of strange circumstances.
After rescuing Cola, Arios traveled to the Free City of Gaya to destroy an organization of mutants that had begun to overrun it. Almost immediately after he defeated the mutants, however, all of Gaya was crushed under the floating island of Ylapu, which had fallen from the sky as a result of the destruction of Upsilon, the Toushin responsible for its sustained flight. While Gaya and its inhabitants were completely destroyed by the crash, Arios' powers as Hero allowed him to miraculously survive and continue on his journey.
Following Gaya's destruction, Arios departed from the Free Cities to the Magic Kingdom of Zeth, where he met and befriended Urza Pranaice, one of the highest-ranking members of the non-Magic user rights group Pentagon. Arios assisted Pentagon during the December Revolution, an attempted coup d'état against the nation's government done in cooperation with several dissenting nobles. While the uprising was eventually suppressed by King Ragnarokarc Super Gandhi, it proved to be long and needlessly violent, with Pentagon’s leader Nelson Server rallying the organization’s most extreme members to commit several vicious atrocities. The extremist actions of Nelson and his followers disgusted Urza and her family, who led the more moderate members of Pentagon to break away from the group and form their own resistance known as Ice Flame.
In the year LP0003, Arios returned to the Free Cities to assist its citizens in fighting against the Empire of Buhard, a nation that had secretly formed underground and was controlled by an evil organization that intended to conquer the entire Continent. During the war, Arios had his first formal meeting with Rance, who was serving as one of the evil organization's top executives. Believing Rance to be a villain due to his affiliation with Buhard, Arios engaged him in an intense duel. While the fight technically ended in a draw, Arios succeeded in severely wounding his opponent while remaining virtually unscathed himself, causing the humiliated Rance to develop an intense grudge against him that would persist for several years.
The war between the Free Cities and Buhard was eventually brought to an end after Rance betrayed the organization and killed each of his fellow executives, destroying it in the process. Following the end of the incident, Arios was encouraged to begin spreading chaos throughout the Continent by Cola, who informed him that the relative ease with which both of the most recent international conflicts had been resolved would prevent enough Human deaths from occurring to sufficiently strengthen Escudo, which derived its power directly from the global mortality rate. Arios refused, believing that such actions went directly against his responsibilities as the Hero, and ordered Cola to cease any further plans of doing so. While Cola was irritated by Arios' lack of forethought as to how he would gain the strength necessary to slay the Demon King, he obediently followed his demands and made no additional attempts to convince him.
After placating Cola, Arios was made aware that Little Princess, the current Demon King of the era, had been sighted at Kaiz, the headquarters of AL Church, the Continent's largest religion. Eager to rid the world of the Demon King's influence, he stormed the Holy City to defeat her. At Kaiz, he was attacked by the Dark Lords Satella and La Hawzel along with the Human warrior Ogawa Kentarou, who had been accompanying Little Princess as escorts. Despite their great strength and superior numbers, Arios succeeded in subduing all three of his opponents and locating the room in which Little Princess was being kept. Upon entering the room, however, he was shocked to discover that the Demon King, who he had expected to be a terrifyingly evil person, was Kurusu Miki, an innocent-looking young girl sleeping peacefully. Unable to bring himself to kill Miki, Arios abandoned his pursuit of her and left the group alone.
Toward the end of LP0003, Arios took time away from his journey to return to his home village. While he had only intended to make a brief visit, he was startled to learn upon arriving that his childhood friend Nina had suffered from amnesia as a side effect of the trauma she experienced during the monster attack that started his adventures and had spent the six years since his departure living in misery. Arios blamed himself for Nina's condition and felt great personal guilt for his decision to abandon her when she was most in need of him. Unable to bring himself to leave her side again, he resolved to end his time as the Hero prematurely and asked Cola to allow him to remain in the village. Though annoyed by such a request, Cola obliged under the rationalization that Arios' term as Hero was already set to expire in a few months and parted ways with him with the assurance that he would one day return to recollect Escudo. Freed from his obligations as Hero, Arios began living in peaceful anonymity as an ordinary man.
Arios was briefly mentioned by Gandhi during the events of Rance VI, in his speech to his subordinates Kaoru Quincy Kagura and Wichita Skate about their mission to unify humanity to fight against the monsters. In the speech, Gandhi emphasized the importance of finding out the identity of the latest Hero in time to be able aid them in uniting the world, noting their failure to do so with Arios before he lost his powers as exactly what they could not allow to happen again. Gandhi later thought about Arios to himself again upon becoming more properly acquainted with Rance during the feast celebrating the alliance between Leazas and Zeth at Parapara Fort, where he briefly speculated whether or not the selfish swordsman could have been his successor as Hero before brushing it off as an impossibility due to Rance being over 20.
Arios was mentioned once more during the events of Sengoku Rance, this time by Miki while she was reminiscing about the various hardships she had experienced after becoming Demon King, where she stated that she was very scared when she was being chased by him.
In the years following his retirement as Hero, Arios steadily re-acclimated himself to the mundane life of a villager. He slowly developed a romantic relationship with Nina, who had gradually begun to regain her lost memories as she continued to spend time with him, and satisfied his lingering desire to help others by running errands for his neighbors. The sole point of contact he maintained with the outside world was his local postman, who he would often ask about the various goings on in the world whenever he passed through the village. While he felt discomfort whenever he was told of a conflict that had enveloped a certain corner of the Continent, he resisted the urge to take part in helping to resolve it by reminding himself that the people who needed him most remained in his home.
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Arios' likeness made a brief appearance during the events of Rance IX as a part of the witch Miracle Tou's magical projection of the Twelve Knights, her fantasy all-male elite guard. As a member of the Twelve Knights, Miracle gave Arios the title of "Judgement", and stated that she desired to have him as part of the group more for his compelling background as a failed former Hero rather than for his actual physical abilities. Compared to the group's other members, who Rance had either forgotten or dismissed for various inane reasons, Rance flatly stated that Arios was "no good", and did not provide any further clarification for why he did not want him to be a part of it.
During the events of Rance X, Arios left his village to collect wood from the surrounding forest to replace a pillar for a neighbor. While on his way back from the trip, he grew concerned by the lack of noise and faint burning smell coming from the direction of his village and hurriedly quickened his pace to investigate. When he finally returned, he was greeted by the horrific sight of his village in flames and the townspeople being savagely slaughtered by a group of monster soldiers. Desperate to save his home, he immediately took action and charged at the monsters with his woodcutting axe, managing to rapidly take several out. While he attempted to defeat the Monster Captain leading the raid, he was swiftly surrounded by many more soldiers and bombarded with attacks before he could do so. Sustaining heavy injuries, he managed to push through the wall of enemies only to have his axe break apart in his hands while parrying an attack. In need of a weapon, he rushed inside of the barn he had kept Escudo in since his retirement and tried to use it against the invaders. To his great frustration, he found himself barely able to lift the sword he had once wielded skillfully due to no longer being the Hero. As he hauled Escudo out of the barn, he glimpsed the severed head of Nina being kicked around casually by a monster soldier. The sight of the person he had sworn to protect so brutally desecrated sapped Arios of all remaining fighting spirit and caused him to collapse to his knees in despair as the monsters swarmed around him to end his life.
Just as one of the surrounding monster soldiers motioned to sever Arios' neck, they were all instantaneously killed by Cola, who appeared suddenly to reclaim Escudo. Seeing Cola ignited a faint flicker of hope within Arios, who pleaded him to do something to save the village. Cola responded with indifference, stating that it was likely all of the village's inhabitants had already been killed, causing Arios to retch with grief. When Arios struggled to make sense of the attack, Cola informed him that the forces of the Monster Realm had launched a full-scale invasion of the Human Realm and that his village's destruction was in all likelihood a random pillaging. Hearing of the Monster Realm caused Arios' mind to immediately return to his encounter with the Demon King and despondently mutter that the current state of the world was the result of his failure to slay it when given the chance. Cola bluntly agreed with this statement and declared that he had squandered his time as Hero resolving small incidents of no real importance. Arios insisted that he had done so to help people, which Cola rebutted by arguing that he had only helped the people directly in front of him for praise and a self-satisfaction while ignoring his true responsibility to defeat the Demon King, dooming millions in the process.
Cut through by Cola's words, Arios' mind became wrapped in a cloud of grief, shame, and powerlessness. Frantic to make amends for his past mistakes, he begged to be made the Hero again but was immediately denied, with Cola stating that it was impossible for a person to become the Hero after their term had expired. By sheer miracle, the Holy Gal Monster of Time Serachrolas appeared behind Cola as he made this statement and proclaimed that she could use her abilities to rewind time and restore Arios' status as Hero. While Cola agreed that doing so was within Serachrolas’ power and admitted that he had not yet found a suitable candidate to serve as the next Hero, he remained dubious of Arios' wish and reminded him that many human lives would have to be lost in order to strengthen Escudo enough to harm the Demon King. Arios replied by reaffirming his own responsibility for the current state of the world and declared that he would do everything in his power to destroy the Demon King. This answer was enough to persuade Cola, who asked Serachrolas to return Arios to being the Hero in exchange for three pieces of candy.As soon as he was given the powers of the Hero again, Arios found himself able to wield Escudo once more. He wasted no time in using his new strength to slaughter all of the monsters that had destroyed his home. After defeating the monsters, he gathered what little remained of the fallen villagers and dug a small grave to commemorate their deaths. Along with the bodies of his friends and loved ones, Arios buried the last lingering vestiges of his compassion for humanity in the ruins of his village; hardening his heart to the reality that the mission he had chosen to undertake would require him to forsake the lives of the people suffering around him. His eyes cold and empty, he departed from his village for the second time determined to slay the Demon King no matter the cost.
Arios encountered no end of gruesome sights as he began his second journey as Hero, finding village after village being razed to the ground at the hands of the Monster Army as the entire world was embroiled in war. Informed by Cola that 50% of the global population needed to die in order for Escudo to be capable of harming the Demon King, he suppressed his urge to help the endangered people and instead watched from a distance as they were killed one by one. Though horrified by the destruction around him, he assured himself that his idleness was necessary to secure a peaceful future for humanity and vowed to take action the moment when doing so became possible. While he did not actively kill other humans to hasten Escudo's growth, he sabotaged any efforts to defend against the Monster Army he came across to maximize the number of human casualties, taking up arms against his fellow man if they attempted to stand in his way. Rather than protect people in need as he had in the past, Arios became a specter of the battlefield whose presence marked them for death.
As he continued his travels, Arios discovered that Rance had united the major nations of the Human Realm in a joint defense effort against the Monster Army under his leadership. Wielding the Dark Sword Chaos, one of only two weapons other than Escudo capable of penetrating the Invincibility Field, Rance had begun defeating the Dark Lords that led the Monster Army's forces to steadily reduce its strength and turn the tables of the war in humanity's favor. His actions sharply slowed the progression of the global mortality rate, placing him in direct opposition to Arios’ own goals. Recognizing this difference of opinion, Arios became convinced that stopping Rance was the key to saving the world, and set out into the battlefield to confront him.
After some searching, Arios managed to intercept Rance and his allies as they were attempting an operation to defeat one of the Dark Lords leading the Monster Army. Wasting no time with reintroductions, Arios tersely asked Rance if he planned to defeat a Dark Lord. When Rance answered in the affirmative, Arios asked him to refrain from doing so for a time but refused to explain why beyond that it was for the sake of the future of the human race. Rance showed no interest in negotiating and promptly refused, compelling Arios to draw his sword to stop him by force.Arios charged at Rance with ferocious speed, quickly closing the gap between them as he prepared to strike at him. While Rance was able to narrowly draw his own sword in time to repel the attack, Arios immediately made use of their changed positions to redirect Escudo toward his neck. Lacking the time to move his sword arm, Rance instead swiped his thick cape in front of himself to stop the blow and made use of the small opening to swing Chaos at Arios. Arios stepped backwards to evade the attack, enabling Rance to take the offensive by repeatedly striking at him with all of his might. Though pushed backwards by the assault, Arios matched each of his opponent’s attacks blow for blow before deliberately reducing the strength of his motions to bait Rance into plunging Chaos into the ground. He then stepped on top of Chaos to temporarily disarm Rance and moved Escudo toward his neck once again. With strenuous effort, Rance managed to shake Arios off of Chaos in time to sustain only a shallow wound and disorient him long enough to slam into his body with his shoulder and deliver his signature Rance Attack. Arios was knocked unconscious by the devastating move, ending the fight in Rance’s favor and allowing his party to continue on its way.
A short while later, Arios regained consciousness and resumed his efforts to obstruct the forces of humanity. His defeat against Rance was lightly mocked by Cola, who suggested that Rance’s contributions to the resolutions of several major international incidents had played a role in bringing the world to its current state. Arios brushed off this remark by asserting that he no longer had any interest in dwelling on the past but reinforced his own notion that killing Rance was crucial to defeating the Demon King and began training to prepare for a second encounter with him.
Sometime later, Arios crossed paths with Cecil Carna, a female mercenary he had fought alongside during his battle against the evil organization of mutants four years previously, along the boundaries of territory that had been occupied by the Monster Army. Having promised Arios that she would protect the people of the Free Cities at the end of their last adventure, Cecil had risen to great prominence as a mercenary in the time since and now served as the commander of the combined forces of the Free Cities Army. Despite enduring a humiliating defeat at the hands of the Dark Lord Lei that separated her from her soldiers and forced her to drag her injured body through dangerous ground, Cecil was instantly filled with relief after seeing Arios again. Avoiding his gaze to hide her tears of joy, she admitted that she had done all that she could to uphold their promise. To her shock, Arios responded to the memory with brusque irritation and coldly told her to desert from the Human Army and hide in the mountains for the remainder of the war. Cecil reacted with confusion and insisted that doing so would cause humanity to perish, which prompted Arios to attempt to take her life and forcefully cut her ties to the Human Army. Already heavily wounded from earlier battles, Cecil was overcome by the sight of the man she had fallen for attacking her and was swiftly knocked to the ground. Just as Arios’ sword approached her head, it was blocked by Rance, who had traveled to the Free Cities on an operation to defeat Lei and had coincidentally passed by in time to witness the fight. Deeming a fight with Rance at that moment to be an unnecessary risk, Arios stopped what he was doing and retreated, sparing Cecil in the process.
After being rescued by Rance, Cecil was escorted by his party back to M Land, where she was greeted with suspicion for her unprecedented survival after getting captured by the Monster Army. Rance chose to take advantage of her mounting traumas and frustrations to convince her to sleep with him, claiming that Arios had abandoned humanity to side with the monsters and was not to be trusted. While Cecil’s mind was put at ease by the experience, she chose to interpret it as evidence that Arios could also be saved from his current state if he had someone to comfort him and maintained hope that she would be able to appeal to his better nature. Rance was infuriated by this response, having intended to make Cecil lose all interest in Arios after sleeping with her, and began to ruminate on ways to get back at the Hero for wounding his pride.
After some thinking, Rance was suddenly reminded of a vow he had made after his first run-in with Arios, where he proclaimed that he would hunt down and rape each of the Hero’s female companions as revenge for humiliating him. While the declaration had once been an empty threat, he had since acquired the resources needed to make it a reality and set about to fulfill it. Using Crane, an infamous spy with the ability to uncover all of the secrets of the world, he was able to acquire information on all of Arios’ female associates. Of the ten women, all but three had been killed or gone missing during the Monster Army’s invasion, reducing the total targets to a much lower number than Rance had intended. As more information was obtained about their whereabouts, Rance eventually succeeded in finding and assaulting Arios’ two surviving companions, a priestess of the AL Church named Elizabeth Des and a Devil named Hecate, after which he granted them shelter from the Monster Army in his residence of Rance Castle. Despite being warned of Rance’s plans beforehand by Cecil, who hoped that doing so would reawaken his discarded emotions, Arios made no effort to stop him on either occasion, and even expressed hope that such frivolous behavior would distract Rance from delaying the progression of the global mortality rate.
After increasing his strength by fighting through several dungeons, Arios eventually cornered Rance and his party on the battlefield once more, where he again attempted to subdue him. Before he could initiate combat, he was approached by Miracle, who maintained an interest in him after researching his past for the Twelve Knights. Miracle asked Arios what he aimed to accomplish by opposing the United Human Army and offered to grant whatever it was by using her tremendous magical power. Arios replied by saying that he had no interest in anything beyond protecting the future by fulfilling his duty as Hero, after which Rance irritatedly moved Miracle out of the way to commence the fight.
Soon after their battle had begun, Rance attempted to replicate his tactic from their most recent clash by kicking up gravel to disorient Arios before pushing him backwards and striking him with a Rance Attack. Arios maintained his footing enough to swerve out of the way of the Rance Attack’s radius and pivot himself toward Rance’s flank. The attack was enough to shatter Rance’s armor and draw blood, but proved too shallow to seriously harm him, giving Rance enough leeway to knock Arios’ sword back and retaliate. Locked in close quarters, the two warriors traded several ferocious blows until each of their swords became coated in the other’s blood. As their fighting endured, Rance slightly slackened in his movements from exhaustion, giving Arios an opening to bury Escudo into his abdomen. Fighting through the pain, Rance used his free hand to grab Arios’ wrist and swing Chaos down at his shoulder. Without even trying to evade the oncoming attack, Arios removed his sword from Rance’s body and prepared his own special move, the Type-2 Shouki, as a counter. Before either attack could land, the fight was interrupted by Miracle, who used gate connection magic to forcefully transport Arios to an Alternate Dimension. Though Miracle’s intervention had removed Arios from the Continent entirely, Cola soon left to recover him and assured the party that he would return in a short while.
With Cola’s assistance, Arios was quickly transported back to the Continent to resume his activities. After training extensively to further improve his strength, he intercepted Rance and his allies for a third time. As Arios approached with his sword drawn, Rance ordered his slave Sill Plain and the Kalar Queen Pastel Kalar to pelt the Hero from a distance in the hope of seizing an easy victory for himself. The scheme was foiled by Cola, who erected a divine barrier around Rance and Arios to prevent any outside interference and force the two to fight one-on-one.
Arios opened the duel by running toward Rance with rapid speed. As he approached, Rance fired off a sudden Rance Attack to blow him away at close range. Without hesitating, Arios leapt over the shockwave of the Rance Attack and swung Escudo at Rance from above. Rance managed to react in time to stop the sword with Chaos, but was still pushed backward by the sheer force of Arios’ blows. Forced into a precarious defensive position, Rance struggled to ward off Arios’ swings and received several light wounds along his neck and torso. Rance was finally able to find an opening after narrowly turning his body away from a blow near his shoulder and smashed Chaos at Arios’ head with all of his strength. Though Arios blocked the maneuver, Rance continued to relentlessly smash his sword on top of Escudo to break his guard. Unable to maintain his defense, Arios retreated backward to regain his footing. Rance reacted by throwing Chaos, who had been irritatingly praising the skills of their opponent throughout the fight, at Arios. Arios did not expect such a bizarre strategy, and knocked Chaos out of the air with enough of a delay to enable Rance to slide past him, recollect his sword, and plunge it through his torso. Arios pivoted his body to dodge the surprise attack but was unable to move in time to completely avoid it and took a direct hit to his flank. He then motioned to pierce his sword through Rance’s neck, but was barely stopped by Rance moving his free arm in the way and digging Chaos into his right thigh. No longer trying to protect against their opponent’s sword movements, the two bleeding warriors aimed at the other’s vital points to urgently bring the battle to a close.
As the reckless struggle continued, blood from Arios’ hands splashed into Rance’s eyes, blinding him for long enough for the Hero to unleash the Type-2 Shouki. While Arios managed to land the attack and pierce Escudo directly through Rance’s chest, Rance reacted in time to drive Chaos through his side and tear his body in half. Both blows proved fatal, with Rance and Arios each collapsing to the ground in bloodied heaps. After the fight came to an end, Cola walked through the barrier he had created to collect Arios’ body and Escudo and calmly left the area. After he had gone, the barrier surrounding Rance’s body dissipated, allowing his grieving companions to flock around it. Lacking any other apparent options, Crook Mofus, the pope of the AL Church, prepared to use the one miracle granted to her by the Goddess ALICE to wish for Rance’s resurrection. Before she could do so, the Holy Gal Monster of Life Wenlina, who had been traveling as a part of Rance’s party, exhausted the power she had accumulated to revive him. After momentarily rejoicing at his recovery, the group continued on its way, with Rance expressing frustration at not being able to see Arios die.
A while after the bloody encounter, Arios regained consciousness on the outskirts of the battlefield. Confused by his survival, he was informed by Cola that his powers as the Hero had prevented him from dying by coincidentally causing an incredible doctor to appear nearby and operate on his body. When Arios inquired about Rance’s status, Cola told him it was likely the other man had also found some means of returning to life and advised him to avoid attempting to fight him again. Arios refused, repeating that Rance would need to be killed in order for him to be able to slay the Demon King, and set off to train once again.
After several long and arduous battles, Rance and his allies eventually succeeded in liberating each of the Human Realm’s nations from the Monster Army and set out into the Monster Realm to confront its leader, the Dark Lord Kayblis. Arios also crossed over into the Monster Realm after hearing of Rance’s intentions, intent on stopping him before he could end the war and prevent Escudo from being able to harm the Demon King. The two were reunited as Rance’s party approached Kayblis’ secret stronghold inside of the volatile Mount Bezdog, and instantly drew their swords upon seeing each other. Before attacking, Arios attempted to reason with Rance for a final time by stating that defeating Kayblis was ultimately meaningless and that true peace could only be attained by killing the Demon King. Rance angrily denied his request and declared that all of the beautiful women in the world belonged to him and that he would kill anyone who tried to harm them, leading another fight to break out between them.
As he traded blows with Rance, Arios noticed that Escudo had begun to feel heavier in his hands, causing him to react more sluggishly. He charged through Rance’s side to reposition himself and attempted to strike from a distance using his special attack the Type-One Falcon, only for Rance to use the shockwave from his own Rance Attack to neutralize it before it could land. Pushed onto the defensive, he struggled to parry Rance’s attacks and tried to appeal to his morality by insisting that the Demon King needed to die for humanity to be saved. Rance replied by stating that he didn’t care about anything other than himself and his women and mocked Arios for being unable to fight without sacrifices. Panicking, Arios repeated that humanity had no future so long as the Demon King lived and warned Rance that he was making the same mistake that he had in the past. This claim was instantly rebuffed by Rance, who chided Arios for comparing himself to him before knocking him back with a strong swing of his sword. As Arios was caught off balance, Rance leapt into the air and struck him with his most powerful technique, the Brutal Attack. Arios was sent spiraling backwards into unconsciousness by the force of the attack, ending the battle in Rance’s victory.
When the fight had drawn to a close, Rance approached Arios’ body to decisively end his life. Before he could do so, he was stopped by a sudden earthquake, which caused the ground surrounding the Arios to collapse. After the quake subsided, Rance assessed that the hole Arios had fallen into was too deep for him to have survived the fall and cheerfully announced that he had been defeated. With the threat of Arios no longer present, Rance and his allies continued on their way to confront Kayblis.Arios regained consciousness sometime later and was greeted by Cola, who had jumped down the hole he had fallen into to wait by his side. Refusing to accept defeat, Arios started to return to his feet to challenge Rance once more. He was immediately interrupted by Cola, who informed him that his time as Hero had expired and he had again failed to complete his mission. To confirm his words, Arios attempted to lift Escudo and found it to be too heavy to use. Despairing at his failure, Arios begged to be made the Hero a third time but was bluntly turned down, with Cola telling him that he had wasted his second term as Hero by refusing to help anyone. When Arios attempted to justify his actions by asserting that he had needed to focus his time toward training to battle Rance, Cola replied that he could have easily accomplished his goal if he had simply ignored Rance and attacked other influential people within the Human Army. Arios could not offer any argument against this assessment, which prompted Cola to begin mocking him further. Calling him a weak person who could not handle personal tragedy, Cola accused Arios of choosing to fixate on a theoretical future as a means of retreating from the pain of the past and present and declared him to be unfit to hold the title of Hero. After uttering these harsh words, Cola collected Escudo and prepared to make his exit, sprouting the wings of an angel and offering a brusque farewell before abandoning Arios to agonize over his fate alone.
Trapped at the bottom of a ravine and broken by his failures, Arios soon lost what little remaining will he had left to continue living and fell comatose. In the time following his defeat, Rance managed to lead the forces of humanity to subdue Kayblis and bring a decisive end to the war. As he celebrated the hard fought victory with his comrades, however, the peace they had achieved was soon disrupted by the threat of the Demon King as Miki began to lose herself to the corrupting influence of the Demonic Blood Pool. For reasons known only to himself, Rance elected to resolve the problem by absorbing the Demon King’s blood, in the process inheriting the title from Miki. Possessing the willpower necessary to temporarily keep his newfound power at bay, Rance ordered all remaining monsters to withdraw from the Human Realm and safely transported Kentarou and Miki back to their home dimension, bringing the tumultuous LP era to a decisive end. With a tenuous peace secured, the curtain rose on the RA Era and all of the looming conflicts it would bring.
In the year RA0004, four years after his final encounter with Rance, Arios’ body was retrieved from the Monster Realm by a mysterious organization known as Justice and placed into intensive care at its headquarters in Zeth. Though he regained consciousness after several days of bed rest, he remained detached from the world around him and did nothing other than stare vacantly at the ceiling above him.
On the day of his recovery, Arios was visited by Wichita Skate, the founder and leader of Justice. A former aide of King Gandhi, who was brutally killed by the Dark Lord Medusa during the 2nd Dark Lord War, Wichita explained that she had created Justice with the intention of upholding the legacy of her departed lord by delivering justice to those that were ignored by the law. Arios sluggishly sat upright in his bed after hearing Wichita speak of justice, but continued to stare silently ahead of himself when she attempted to inquire about his actions during the war with the monsters. He was finally lifted from his daze by her second question, which asked him if it was true that the Hero needed half of the human population to perish in order to be capable of defeating the Demon King. His initial shock at hearing another show understanding of his circumstances quickly dissipated into a hollow sigh as he quietly confirmed her query. Arios’ response startled Wichita, who rhetorically asked what the true purpose of the Hero was. After a moment’s contemplation, Arios replied by stating solemnly that he did not know, remarking that he had failed in his attempts at being both the Hero he had aspired to be and the Hero he believed the world had needed him to be before falling silent once more. After seeing the look of sorrow that draped over Arios’ face after he spoke these final words, Wichita concluded that he had been broken beyond repair and sadly left the room.
Alone with his thoughts, Arios reflected on his final conversation with Cola. While he at first stirred with regret over his failures, he eventually resigned himself to the reality that he could not change the past. His mind then turned to Wichita’s discussion of justice and what it meant to be the Hero. No longer the Hero, he asked himself what he could do to act with justice, and thought back on the painful memory of the destruction of his village. As he sat in uncertainty, his attention was drawn to a group of children playing outside his window beneath the setting sun. While running, one of the children tripped and began to fall, causing Arios to instinctively reach his hand outward as if to save them. After the child hit the ground and started to cry, a feeling of pain began to swell in Arios’ chest. At first staring at his hand in disbelief, he slowly closed it with revitalized conviction, having finally reached an understanding of what it was that he truly wanted to do.
Mere moments after making this personal discovery, Arios was thrust into another predicament as the headquarters of Justice were swept into a frenzy after receiving distressing news. During an operation in the city of Italia to infiltrate the estate of a corrupt moneylender named Marzowa Tomomiya, a division of Justice led by Wichita was interrupted by the sudden appearance of Geimark, a young man who had succeeded Arios as the Guardian Hero of the World. Intending to strengthen the Heroic Blade Escudo as quickly as possible to exterminate the Demon King, Geimark had traveled the world collecting Balance Breakers, one-of-a-kind individuals and objects in possession of power that threatened to destabilize the Continent, and using them to plunge the world into chaos. Geimark and his followers had launched a raid on Italia in order to acquire the cruciblecible, a mysterious jar capable of infinitely generating powerful monsters when placed indoors that had been acquired by Marzowa as part of his collection of rare magical items. Strengthened by his newfound realization, Arios rose to his feet and set out to confront Geimark, equipping himself with the nearest sword he could find.Arios arrived at Italia to find the city in flames, with Marzowa’s mansion having been razed to the ground during Geimark’s rampage. He encountered his successor just as he prepared to throw the cruciblecible into a nearby church that several citizens had flocked into for shelter and instantly leapt toward him with his sword drawn to stop him. After he had interfered with the attack, Arios was greeted by Cola, who now accompanied Geimark as his servant. Exasperated by his sudden reappearance, Cola asked Arios what he intended to accomplish by showing himself, to which the former Hero replied by stating that he would protect the city by defeating Geimark. Cola was unimpressed by this answer and encouraged Arios to leave, telling him that his time had passed and that he had nothing to gain from meddling. Arios remained firm in his decision and stood his ground, which intrigued Geimark enough to speak with him.
Repeating Cola’s question, Geimark asked Arios why he had come to Italia. When Arios answered by restating his intent to stop him, Geimark retorted that doing so was impossible as he was the Hero and could not be killed by any injury no matter how painful. Arios brushed this assertion aside and declared that he did not care about the Hero and would try to stop him regardless for the sake of helping others. Turning his gaze toward the hand that gripped his sword, he admitted that he had allowed his grief to dampen his will during the 2nd Dark Lord War and looked to the power of the Hero as a crutch to avoid the risk and the difficulty that would have come from attempting to confront his enemies directly. Dismissing this decision as an attempt at taking a shortcut from his problems, he looked back up at Geimark and vowed to from that point forward only walk the path that he believed to be right, no matter how long and arduous it was. Geimark again attempted to challenge Arios’ thinking by insisting that the chance of a person other than the Hero defeating the Demon King was nearly impossible and that he was endangering humanity’s future by opposing him. Unshaken, Arios disregarded the power of the Hero as requiring too much sacrifice to rely on and reaffirmed that all anyone could do when the world was in danger was to do all that they could to protect it. Geimark mockingly replied that Arios’ beliefs sounded too nihilistic to come from a person who was previously the Hero before suddenly charging at him to attack.
Crossing swords, Arios and Geimark traded blows at lightning-fast speeds, with neither being able to gain a decisive advantage over the other. After Arios deftly repelled an attack aimed at his neck, Geimark stepped backwards and attempted to catch him off guard by abruptly launching a fire laser spell in his direction, only for his opponent to sidestep out of the way of the beam and continue his assault. As the struggle continued, Geimark accused Arios of overlooking the fate of the world in favor of fixating on the problems directly in front of him for the sake of his own self-satisfaction. The same words that had shaken him years earlier proved to no longer have any effect on Arios, who again stated his intent to help everyone that he could no matter how long doing so would take. When Geimark dismissed this way of thinking as naive by claiming that his good deeds would be proven pointless if he could not defeat the Demon King, Arios replied by revealing that it was in fact the mission of the Hero that had no meaning and that another Demon King would be appointed the instant the current one was slain. While Geimark was at first left speechless by this crushing revelation, he soon erupted into maniacal laughter and began to attack Arios more aggressively.
Pummeling Arios to the ground with the force of his blows, Geimark confessed that he did not care about humanity beyond its role as bait to strengthen his sword, and that he had chosen to oppose the Demon King solely for the thrill he derived from finding new and creative ways to kill as many people as possible. After pushing him to a point where he could resist no further, Geimark finally used his special attack to blow Arios backwards in a devastating wave of electricity. Despite the power of the attack being enough to kill even the most elite warriors in the world, Arios nonetheless rose to his feet through sheer will and continued to raise his sword defiantly against Geimark. The two locked weapons once more, sustaining several additional wounds as they each aimed to take the other’s life.
Finally, either due to a difference or skill or the depletion of his strength, Arios delayed in repelling one of Geimark’s strikes, creating an opening for his opponent to aim his sword at his head. Lacking the time needed to block, Arios stopped the attack using his arm and twisted his body to forcibly knock Escudo from Geimark’s hands. With his opponent disarmed, Arios fired his Type-2 Shouki at Geimark’s torso. Though a direct hit that tore open his ribcage, the Hero’s ability to supernaturally evade death enabled Geimark to survive the attack and fire a second fire laser to knock Arios backwards once more. Despite lacking similar protection, Arios rose to his feet yet again, ignoring his bleeding arm and the burns that covered his body.
Before the fight could continue, Geimark was called to by Cola, who encouraged him to ignore Arios and activate the cruciblecible before the Zeth Army arrived on the scene. While Geimark agreed with this evaluation, he remained fascinated by Arios’ tenacity and asked him if he had any further plans for how to defeat him. Arios professed that he didn’t, but that he would continue to oppose Geimark for the sake of buying whatever time he could until another could arrive to defeat him. Geimark asked in response if Arios believed that there existed anyone that was capable of defeating him or if he merely planned to die for the sake of making a pointless gesture of heroism. Dropping his brittle sword to the ground, Arios affirmed that he was not choosing to die but would willingly give his life if it meant saving even a few people from Geimark’s wrath. Displeased by this answer, Geimark regained his former composure and dismissed Arios as being uninteresting before preparing another spell to end his life.
As Geimark readied his spell, his attention turned to Wichita, who had watched the fight from a distance and been inspired to take action by Arios’ determination. Rushing toward Cola, she raised her own sword to destroy the cruciblecible he held in his hands before it could be used. While Geimark moved to stop her, he was blocked by Arios, who tried to subdue him using nothing but his own body. Arios’ refusal to yield threw Geimark into another frenzy, which distracted him for long enough to allow Wichita to break the cruciblecible apart. Angered that his work had been for nothing, Geimark broke away from Arios and immediately began to make his exit with Cola. Before the two departed, Cola moved near Arios to collect Escudo and was called out to him from behind. Arios asked if he planned to continue spreading similar carnage into the future, to which Cola coolly agreed, adding with a sinister smirk that the current Hero and Demon King were certain to make for an interesting conflict. In response, Arios told Cola that he would do everything he could to stop them, causing his former servant to return to his usual apathy and remark that he was as boring as ever before fleeing with Geimark.
By the time the Zeth Army had arrived, Geimark and his followers had completely departed from Italia, leaving only the members of Justice and frightened civilians within the ruined city. With the enemy no longer in front of him, Arios at last collapsed to the ground from exhaustion. While Wichita quickly ran to his side in concern, Arios slowly rose to his feet once more and assured her that he would not die from his injuries. Together with the rest of Justice, the two focused their attention toward assisting the people of the city evacuate to safety, offering them relief from the disaster that had occurred just minutes before.
After the evacuation was completed, Arios was approached in private by Wichita, who had been moved by his display of heroism against Geimark and asked him to act as the leader of Justice alongside her. Arios accepted, determined to help the people of the world in whatever way he could. Under Arios’ leadership, Justice shifted its central objective to protecting anyone threatened by either the Hero or the Demon King in the hope of eventually uniting the world to topple both. Justice went on to fight many difficult battles against Geimark and his followers, failing to ever land a decisive victory against them but always managing to greatly reduce the number of casualties in the areas they targeted. Over time, its actions were recognized by the world’s leader, who began to act alongside it to combat the carnage Geimark spread.
Despite its noble efforts, Geimark continued to elude Justice at every turn and eventually succeeded in slaughtering 30% of the global population. In an ironic twist of fate, his villainy was finally stopped by the Demon King, who appeared in public for the first time in years to defeat the Hero after learning that he killed people indiscriminately. Though humankind was freed from Geimark’s wrath, the victory was mired by Rance’s reappearance, as it became apparent to all who had known him that his mind had been corrupted by the dark influence of the Demon King’s blood. Justice continued to operate even after Geimark’s defeat, defending the world from the Demon King and other threats that emerged in the following years.
In the year RA0009, Rance succumbed to the effects of the blood of the Demon King, causing his mind to be filled with an overwhelming desire to bring ruin to the Protagonist Race. In order to satiate this urge, he ordered his monster forces to invade the territories of the Human Realm, sparking the beginnings of a conflict that would become known as the War of the Brutal King. To combat the new threat, Miracle, who had assumed the position of leader of humanity's forces, assembled an elite team composed of humanity's strongest warriors known as the Neo-Twelve Knights. Arios was refused membership in the group due to his misdeeds throughout the 2nd Dark Lord War.
After a year of constant fighting, the Neo-Twelve Knights were able to temporarily restore Rance's sanity through the combined efforts of his daughter Reset Kalar and the mysterious creature SBR. Following his recovery, Rance ordered the monsters to cease their assault on the Human Realm, ending the war in the process. After the war had concluded, Arios began leading an adventuring party with the goal of defeating the Demon King, determined to continue fighting until a true peace could be attained.
In the year RA0015, Rance was finally liberated from the control of his blood by the El Party, a group composed of his children and the friends they had made in their travels. Working together with the El Party, he was able to completely destroy the Demonic Blood Pool and rid the world of the Demon King once and for all. Though it is unknown how Arios reacted to this news, the peace he had spent much of his life striving for had at last been achieved.
In one variant of the non-canonical “Hero’s Duty” ending, obtained if the global population is reduced by 50% while Miki is in the custody of the United Human Army, Arios is awakened while resting along an abandoned wall of the Maginot Line by the confirmation that he is now able to harm the Demon King. While he prepares to take immediate action to accomplish this goal, he is suddenly interrupted by the appearance of Kayblis’ Apostles Kaybnyan and Kaybwan, who approach him with an offer from their master to join his forces as a top-level executive. Rather than respond, Arios instead beheads both Apostles on the spot and travels to the Monster Realm in search of the Demon King. After defeating Kayblis with ease using the power of the awakened Escudo, Arios confirms that the Demon King is not in the Monster Army’s possession and launches an assault on Rance Castle. Though both Rance and Kentarou make efforts to stop him, he effortlessly defeats each of them; mortally wounding the former and bisecting the latter at the torso. Traumatized by Kentarou’s death, the panicking Miki surrounds herself in an enormous explosion but is unable to stop Arios, who moves through the attack and pierces her heart with his sword.
After killing Miki, Arios declares that he has saved the world and expresses relief for the first time since the destruction of his village. His words enrage the dying Rance, who bitterly asks who he had saved by killing a girl. Arios defends his actions by stating that the Demon King needed to be killed to save humanity from the threat of the monsters but is corrected by Crook, who regretfully informs him that people will continue to die at the hands of monsters. Confused, Arios looks to Cola for clarification, who reveals that killing the Demon King will only cause a new one to be appointed by his superior to replace them. When Arios asks who he means when he refers to his superior, Cola sprouts a pair of angel wings and plainly answers Planner, one of the Three Supreme Gods that oversee the world. Shocked by the revelation that both the Hero and Demon King are created by the Gods, Arios demands to know what the point of the conflict between them is, which Cola answers by revealing that the Continent, its inhabitants, and the hardship they endure exist for the sole purpose of providing fleeting entertainment for the Creator God Ludo-Rathowm. At first falling to his knees in despair at this knowledge, Arios surges with anger and defiantly proclaims that he will continue to defeat every Demon King the gods create until humanity can finally know true peace. Soon after saying this, however, his time as Hero expires, causing Escudo to suddenly become too heavy to wield and fall from his hand. Cola then collects the sword from the ground and assumes his true form, the god Colas 0024, before commending Arios for his hard work, offering him a brief farewell, and disappearing in a blinding light. With Rance and Kentarou dead and Arios too broken to return to his feet, none remain to stand against the Monster Army and humanity is steadily brought to its end.
In the second variant of the “Hero’s Duty” ending, obtained if the global population is reduced by 50% after the United Human Army has been pushed out of Rance Castle into the eastern nation of JAPAN, Arios enters the country wielding the awakened Escudo in preparation to kill Miki. He is ambushed along the outskirts of a town by Rance and his allies, who swarm him all at once in a final bid to defeat him. Despite their superior numbers, they remain outmatched by the combination of Escudo’s power and Arios’ unshakable will and struggle to hold off his relentless attacks. Through careful teamwork, the group is eventually able to buy enough time for Houjou Souun, the most powerful Diviner in all of JAPAN, to open a hole to Hell beneath Arios’ feet and close it before he is able to climb to safe ground. The victory proves to be short-lived, as Cola approaches them afterwards to inform them that Arios’ powers as Hero will save him from death and that he would likely return to resume his hunt for the Demon King within a month. Left with this solemn warning, the tired forces of the United Human Army spend their remaining days fighting off attacks from the Monster Army but are unable to make any meaningful progress to prepare any sort of countermeasure against Arios’ reappearance. One month later, Arios returns from Hell undeterred and stoically marches toward the Human Army’s headquarters to accomplish his mission.
In the non-canonical “Truth of God” ending, obtained if the global population is reduced by 50% after the United Human Army has been pushed out of Rance Castle into a secret cliffside headquarters, Escudo gains the power to harm the Demon King while Arios is resting along the Maginot Line. Taking immediate action, he approaches the cliffside Fort Rance in search of the Demon King, killing hundreds of human soldiers as they attempt to halt his procession. With Rance and his party not present to face him, Urza, who had been acting as one of the United Human Army’s chief strategists, orders the surrounding soldiers to take extreme precautionary measures while fighting him. The strategy fails to do anything to hold off Arios, who kills all of the people protecting the fort, including Urza and Kentarou, until he finally reaches Miki. Greeting Miki’s tears with weathered resignation, Arios moves faster than she can react and beheads her in an instant.
After killing Miki, a calming feeling of relief envelops Arios’ body. He is called out from behind by Rance, who arrived with his allies in time to see Miki die by the Hero’s hands. Ignoring the pleas of his comrades, Rance draws his sword with murderous intent, determined to kill Arios as retribution for harming Urza and Miki. Arios sheathes Escudo in response, insisting that killing the Demon King was a necessary sacrifice to secure a peaceful future for the world. The exchange is broken up by Cola, who informs Arios that a new Demon King would soon be appointed to replace Miki. Sprouting a pair of angelic wings, Cola reveals to the stunned Arios that the Hero, the Demon King, and all of the suffering humanity endures are done for the entertainment of the gods and congratulates him for being an excellent plaything. Arios refuses to accept this truth and declares that he will kill every Demon King that appears until true peace can be attained. Cola mockingly praises him for this heroic statement only to tell him that his time as Hero had expired and that doing so would be impossible. As Cola says this, Escudo grows heavy in Arios’ hands until he can no longer carry it, rendering him silent from shock and terror. Cola offers a mocking prayer that humanity will have God’s will before disappearing in a blinding light to search for the next Hero, leaving Arios nearly catatonic with despair.
Soon after being abandoned by Cola, Arios is stabbed through the chest by Rance and dies a slow and painful death, too broken to defend himself. Despite not understanding the situation, Rance demands that Crook explain whether Cola was telling the truth about humankind existing for the entertainment of the gods. After Crook reluctantly confirms Cola’s words, Rance orders the remaining members of the United Human Army to shift their attention away from the war with the monsters in favor of seeking out a means of entering the Gods’ Realm to confront the Creator God Ludo-Rathowm. With the assistance of the all-knowing sage Ho-Raga, Rance and his allies succeed in storming the Gods’ Realm but are killed by the Goddess ALICE before they are able to encounter Ludo-Rathowm. As punishment for his defiant actions, Rance’s Soul is condemned to a prison of reincarnation, where it is made to endlessly suffer until it crumbles to nothingness. Without Rance and his allies present to fight against it, the Monster Army swiftly conquers the Human Realm and the Continent is plunged into chaos at the hands of the newly-appointed Demon King Buton.
In the non-canonical “Demon King Kayblis” ending, obtained if the United Human Army fails to locate and retrieve Miki before she is abducted by the Monster Army, Arios infiltrates Kayblis’ castle in search of her. As he moves through the castle, he is suddenly called out to by Kayblis, who appears before him in a new form and reveals that he had already succeeded in killing Miki and taking her power as Demon King for himself. While Arios is warned by Cola to run away, he declares escape to be impossible and draws Escudo to face Kayblis. Carefully timing his movements, Arios aims his strongest attack at the palm of Kayblis’ hand in an attempt to sever it but is unable to so much as cut through its skin due to the sheer difference in power between them. Kayblis laughs with glee at the confirmation that even the Hero poses no threat to him and slams Arios against the wall with enough force to shatter his skeleton. Though the power of the Hero enables Arios to survive the attack, Kayblis responds by trapping his body beneath a wall of breath hot enough to melt iron to prevent him from being able to recover from his injuries. Placed under excruciating pain, Arios can do nothing but helplessly wait until his time as Hero expires to grant him the release of death.
In the non-canonical Kichikuou Rance, set during the year LP0003, Arios appears while still being in possession of the title of Hero. At some point prior to the events of the game, he was captured and imprisoned by the all-female kalar race while out training in order to be used as breeding stock. Unable to escape, he accepted his misfortune as a part of his training and carefully maintained his stamina as he was forcefully ejaculated for days on end.
If Rance enters Kalar Forest himself, he will also be captured by the kalar and get placed into the same holding cell as Arios. Contrary to their canonical relationship, the two young men get along rather well, with Rance expressing pity towards Arios, a virgin, for having to be repeatedly raped by women without being allowed to penetrate them and Arios sharing a portion of his rations with Rance to help him fight off exhaustion. After Rance successfully wins the affections of the Kalar Queen Pastel, both he and Arios are granted freedom and return to the outside world. Before returning to his adventures, Arios is invited to visit Leazas Castle whenever he pleases by Rance, and the two part on good terms.
Arios makes an additional appearance in Kichikuou Rance during the "Unification" ending, obtained if Rance manages to defeat Kayblis without having full control over the entire world. With the world not completely united under Rance, tensions quickly begin to stir among the conquered nations, who begin to recognize him as a tyrant. A massive rebellion soon erupts, with Arios charging into Rance's throne room to challenge him to a duel to decide the fate of the world. The game ends just as the fight begins, preventing its victor from being revealed.
Personality and Appearance
Arios is a young man of average height with a lean muscular build, brown eyes, and red hair that juts off from the right side of his head in several large spikes. During his first term as Hero, Arios wore an outfit comprised of white plate armor emblemized with an image of a golden falcon on each pauldron, a blue tunic, brown boots, and a yellow cape. After retiring as Hero, he traded his clothing for a much plainer ensemble consisting of a tan-colored tunic, a leather belt, and grey wrist wraps. During his second term as Hero, Arios began wearing a blue version of his old armor over a blue tunic that was torn at the sleeves, exposing his forearms and wrist wrappings, along with a tattered brown cloak that billowed behind him in several angular shapes.
While Arios' appearance in Kichikuou Rance is very similar to his canonical portrayal, he is depicted with blue eyes rather than brown and has his hair spike out from the left side of his head instead of the right. His clothing is also subtly different, featuring the emblem of the golden falcon on the center of his armor's chest plate rather than its pauldrons and a white cape.
Arios is a compassionate and altruistic individual with a strong sense of justice that naturally drives him to help others. Rather than fame or fortune, he is motivated solely by his own moral convictions, believing it to be his personal responsibility to assist people in need through whatever means that he can. He is described by his companion Cola as someone who is not equipped to deal with tragedy, and is unable to turn away from anyone he encounters in distress without harshly blaming himself for their suffering in the process. While this selfless behavior earned him many friends and admirers throughout his travels as the Guardian Hero of the World, it also made him largely ineffectual at using the powers bestowed by the title to accomplish anything of particular significance, as he would often become so preoccupied with resolving the problems of every single person he came across that he would overlook major conflicts until they concluded without his involvement. Arios' prioritization of his principles over practicality reached its peak near the end of his seven year term as the Hero, where he chose not to kill the Demon King when given the opportunity due to his refusal to harm what appeared to be an innocent girl and later elected to retire prematurely in order to be with his childhood friend as she recovered from amnesia. Though he was left somewhat uneasy at having to give up on continuing to help people, he did not regret his actions in the years immediately following his retirement and remained content to have simply done what he could to make the world a better place.
During the 2nd Dark Lord War, Arios' personality and ideals were drastically warped by personal trauma. The deaths of his loved ones at the hands of the Monster Army caused him to become overwhelmed by guilt and convince himself that it was his inability to destroy the Demon King years previously that had allowed the tragedy to occur. This thinking was exacerbated by Cola, who pitilessly criticized his behavior throughout his time as Hero as being short-sighted and accused him of overlooking the greater needs of the world for his own satisfaction. In a desperate attempt to make amends for his supposed failings, Arios negotiated Cola into allowing him to regain the title of Hero under the pretense that he would defeat the Demon King at all costs. Believing it to have been his emotional attachments that had prevented him from saving the world, he abandoned his desire to help everyone that he could in favor of condemning half of the global population to be exterminated at the hands of the monsters, rationalizing that their sacrifices were necessary to destroy the Demon King and secure a peaceful future for the world. While he did not go out of his way to harm other humans directly, he actively worked to disrupt any efforts made to protect civilians from the Monster Army, including those being helmed by people he had once looked to as treasured friends, and was willing to slaughter all who tried to oppose him. He maintained a constant air of detached focus throughout this period, ignoring anything he deemed to be a distraction from his mission, such as the screams of innocents and the pleas of his former comrades, and fighting through all adversity, including getting transported to another dimension and being banished to the depths of Hell, with unwavering determination.
Despite his apparent radical shift in attitude, Arios nonetheless remained inhibited throughout his second term as Hero by the same thinking that had hampered him during his first. After reaching the conclusion that eliminating Rance, the leader of the United Human Army, was the most effective strategy to weaken humanity's resistance against the monsters early on into the war, he chose to devote nearly all of his time and attention toward defeating him. He continued to cling to this belief even as it became progressively apparent that Rance would be incredibly difficult to kill, in the process disregarding other, potentially more efficient, paths to success. By the time his second term had expired, Arios had failed to use his powers as Hero to defeat either Rance or the Demon King, with Cola going so far as to state that he had done nothing beyond look away as the world was in peril. While evaluating his behavior, Cola surmised that Arios' fixation with defeating Rance was in fact a subconscious manifestation of his unwillingness to harm others, and that he had used the excuse of preparing for their battles as a way to avoid having to kill innocents to strengthen Escudo. After making this assessment, Cola repeated his previous claim that Arios had prioritized his own selfish wants above the greater needs of the world and declared him unfit to be called a Hero, an accusation which caused Arios to be drained of all remaining willpower and give in to his building despair.
Following the disastrous end of his second term, Arios fell into a coma that lasted for several years until his body was recovered and rehabilitated by the organization Justice. Ashamed of his failures and haunted by his past, he remained nearly catatonic even after regaining consciousness, unable to do anything beyond stare vacantly in front of himself and stew in silent anguish. He was eventually lifted from this miserable state after a conversation with Wichita Skate caused him to reflect on what the concept of justice meant to him. Realizing that he could not bear to see people in pain, he came to understand that all that had ever truly mattered to him was being able to help others in any way that he could and was reinvigorated with a newfound sense of purpose. Renouncing the fatalistic mindset he had embraced during the 2nd Dark Lord War as a crutch he had used to avoid facing hardship, he resolved to never turn away from adversity again and devoted the remainder of his life to protecting humanity with all the strength he could muster. While he remained determined to rid the world of pervasive threats such as the Demon King, he no longer believed that defeating them was the sole solution needed to create peace and instead chose to prioritize defending those who could not defend themselves. By doing this, he hoped to inspire others to also take action, stating that the only future truly worth fighting for was one where all of humanity possessed the resolve needed to struggle for the sake of peace. Arios' reforged convictions drove him to act much more proactively than he ever had during his time as the Hero, allowing him to serve as a prominent figure on the side of humanity during global conflicts such as the Hero's Disaster.
As an individual capable of wielding the powers of the Hero, Arios is a superb warrior blessed with a variety of remarkable abilities. He possesses a staggering Level Cap of 99, granting him far greater potential than all but the absolute strongest of the Continent's inhabitants. In exchange for requiring much more experience to gain Levels than the average person, the power of the Hero prevents Arios from losing levels over time. He maintains this attribute even when he is no longer recognized as the Hero, allowing his outstanding physical abilities to remain regardless of whether or not he holds the title. Through rigorous training, Arios was able to reach his level cap during the 2nd Dark Lord War and permanently place himself among the top percentile of human fighters. He demonstrated this great strength during his duel with his successor Geimark near the beginning of the Hero's Disaster, where he was able to withstand several direct hits from the other man's most powerful attacks in spite of having awakened from a four-year-long coma mere hours earlier.
In combat, Arios wields longswords in a flexible style that allows him to use either one or both hands. He is one of only a select few people to possess the Sword Combat Lv2 Skill Level, bestowing him with a genius level of talent that he has finely honed across his adventures. His technique is described as being orthodox yet highly efficient, relying on swift footwork and precise blows to throw his opponents off balance and strike at their vital points. He is also noted to have excellent fighting instincts, and is able to react quickly to the movements of his enemies even while fighting against several at once, making him difficult to catch off guard. When faced with a particularly powerful opponent, he is willing to be deliberately hit by their attacks and put his life at risk for the sake of creating openings for himself. Arios has demonstrated his phenomenal swordsmanship on several occasions; managing to fight Rance, a warrior similarly renowned for his incredible strength and skill, to a standstill across multiple duels and matching Geimark, whose outstanding strength was further augmented by the power of the Hero, blow for blow using an ordinary sword. Throughout their encounters, Arios is only ever able to decisively win or lose against Rance due to either a significant difference in physical strength or an outside interference, suggesting that they are roughly equal in terms of skill.
Due to possessing the Sword Combat Lv2 skill, Arios is capable of performing a special attack known as the Type-1 Falcon, in which he swings his sword in an arc to release a powerful wave of energy. The attack is stated to be functionally similar to Rance's Rance Attack, and can be used to strike at multiple targets from a distance or to deliver devastating damage to a single enemy at close range. Arios is also able to use a more powerful version of the technique known as the Type-2 Shouki, though it is unclear how exactly it differs from the Type-1 Falcon.
When actively serving as the Hero, Arios was imbued with several additional benefits that further heightened his potential, such as the ability to miraculously survive what would otherwise be lethal injuries and an uncanny popularity with members of the opposite sex. While he did not deliberately exploit either of these powers during his time as the Hero, they each provided him with invaluable assistance throughout his travels, with the former saving his life from unrecoverable catastrophes such as getting crushed beneath the floating island of Ylapu and the latter ensuring that he could easily recruit the aid of female companions regardless of his location. The title of Hero also granted Arios the ability to wield the Heroic Blade Escudo, an incredible weapon capable of surpassing all others in sheer destructive potential. Ordinarily rusted to the point of being unusable, Escudo magnifies tremendously in strength as the global population of the Continent is reduced, eventually becoming capable of damaging entities that are generally unable to be harmed by mortal beings, such as Dark Lords, the Demon King, and even gods. Compared to the Dark Sword Chaos and the Light Blade Nikkou, the only other known weapons with the potential to perform similar feats, Escudo possesses numerous passive attributes that activate when used against a Dark Lord or the Demon King that further increase its effectiveness. These features include exponentially improving its wielder's strength and reflexes and rapidly draining any Dark Lord or Demon King struck by it of energy, significantly reducing the gap in power that traditionally exists between the creatures and humans. When using Escudo in Instantaneous Mode, its third most powerful form overall, Arios was capable of defeating Kayblis, the most powerful Dark Lord in history, with relative ease, demonstrating the sword's unrivaled aptitude for accomplishing such a task.
|Hero (Rance X)|
|Hero Phase (Rance X)|
- Arios does not know the identity of his father and his mother refused to tell him anything about him growing up.
- Arios is terrified of bees, to the point where he has never once attempted to fight a Bee Girl Gal Monster due to the great fear they inspire in him.
- Arios' known admirers include:
- Nina Nirvana; Arios' childhood friend and lover. Was killed during the 2nd Dark Lord War.
- Terrasse; a 16-year-old Arios met in the year GI1015. Was either killed or went missing during the 2nd Dark Lord War.
- Lilina; a 17-year-old Arios met in the year LP0001. Was either killed or went missing during the 2nd Dark Lord War.
- Cider; an 18-year-old Arios met in the year LP0002. Was either killed or went missing during the 2nd Dark Lord War.
- Cecil Carna; a renowned female mercenary Arios met in the year LP0002.
- Elizabeth Des; a 16-year-old priestess of the AL Church Arios met in the year LP0003.
- Hecate; a female Devil Arios met at an unknown point during his first term as Hero.
- Ekal; a woman Arios met at an unknown point during his first term as Hero. Was either killed or went missing during the 2nd Dark Lord War.
- Tsukiko; a woman Arios met at an unknown point during his first term as Hero. Was either killed or went missing during the 2nd Dark Lord War.
- Houpi; a woman Arios met at an unknown point during his first term as Hero. Was either killed or went missing during the 2nd Dark Lord War.
- Additionally, Cola claims that several prominent female world leaders were intended to fall in love with Arios, naming Queen Lia Parapara Leazas and Princess Magic the Gandhi in particular, but had their hearts stolen by Rance before he could meet them. The accuracy of this statement is highly suspect, as Rance did not encounter the latter until the year LP0004, by which point Arios' term as Hero had already expired.
- Arios came in 17th place in the "Males" category of the Rance X Popularity Poll.
- Arios is voiced by Manaka Sawa (佐和真中) during his cameo appearance in Rance 03. Sawa also provided the voice of the character Lark Pikespeak in the same game.
- In a Twitter Q&A to commemorate the 2nd anniversary of the release of Rance X, Orion, the Rance Series' lead artist, stated that Arios would go on to serve as a mentor toward Rance's grandchildren after the events of the series. Orion made a point of noting that this information had not been verified by Alicesoft, and as a result should not be taken as fact.
- Arios is largely intended to be a parody of Adol Christin, the main protagonist of the Ys video game series, in terms of both personality and appearance. Notably, the rough outline of Rance X's story found within the game's script includes an ultimately unused suggestion to make each of the women that Rance assaults during the "Theoman's Women" segments resemble a heroine from the Ys games.
- Arios' last name is derived from the phrase "the omen", possibly in reference to the Hero's intended role as an individual who only rises to prominence during times of great crisis. TADA, the creator of the Rance series, initially planned on having the character's last name be "Deoman" (デオマン, deoman), but was convinced to change it by Arios' character designer Mucchi, who believed it to be too uncool-sounding to belong to a hero.
- Arios' special attack, the Type-1 Falcon, is named after the Ki-43, a single-engine fighter plane used by the Japanese airforce during the Second World War which was given the designation of "Army Type-1 Fighter" and the nickname of "Hayabusa", the Japanese word for falcon. Similarly, his second special attack, the Type-2 Shouki, is named after the Ki-44, another fighter plane used by the Japanese during the Second World War which was given the designation of "Army Type-2 Fighter" and the nickname of "Shouki". The word "shouki" roughly translates to the phrase "devil qweller" in English, alluding to Arios' opposition to the Demon King as the Hero.
- Prior to his appearance in Rance X, Arios did not make any appearances in the Rance series outside of his debut in Kichikuou Rance and small, unseen cameos in the Rance 01 and Rance 03. As a result, nearly all information relating to the character and his life has been revealed through ancillary materials, most notably Hanihon magazine, which featured a timeline of his life in its sixth issue and a short story entitled "THE GUARDIAN HERO OF..." revealing his fate after the events of Rance X in a special edition released to commemorate the conclusion of the Rance series. The timeline detailing Arios' life included in Hanihon magazine states that his term as Hero expired naturally rather than prematurely and that he made an effort to continue traveling the world to help people for some time before he decided to return to his hometown to retire, information that is directly contradicted by the backstory given to the character in his canonical debut.
- Arios is indirectly referenced in Wichita Skate's epilogue in Rance Quest, which states that she would go on to join the Hero's party and assist him in his battle against the Demon King. Arios was not definitively confirmed to be the Hero referred to in this passage until the release of "THE GUARDIAN HERO OF..." seven years later.
- In a profile on Arios featured in the Alice's Battery Bomb newsletter, his hometown is stated to be located in northern Leazas. This information is never provided in any other source, with Arios' appearance in Rance X leaving the whereabouts of his village ambiguous, making its canonicity debatable. Arios' character card in Rance X is affiliated with the Zeth faction, but it is similarly unknown whether this is intended to suggest that he is from the country.
- Arios' exclusion from the Neo-Twelve Knights was revealed in a Twitter Q&A held by Orion to commemorate the 3rd anniversary of Rance X's release, where it was stated that he was the only living member of the group's first incarnation who was definitively not a part of it.
- Arios was planned to make an appearance in Rance VI at some point during its development. Very little information has been publicly released about this appearance, including what his role in the story was intended to be, suggesting that it was cut early on into the game's production.