By Miya Kazuki and You Shiina. Released in Japan as “Honzuki no Gekokujou: Shisho ni Naru Tame ni wa Shudan wo Erandeiraremasen” by TO Books. Released in North America digitally by J-Novel Club. Translated by quof.
Tempting as it is to have the series be 20+ volumes of Myne and Lutz sitting around and making paper, it’s no surprise that we’re going in a different direction. More accurately, the moment that Myne found out there was an easier way to get at books, she was going to go after it no matter what. Of course, Myne being Myne, she chooses the one thing that will upset everyone, as the way to get to books is to become a shrine maiden at the local temple… which is composed mostly of orphan children abandoned by society who are worked to death. No wonder the family is against it. But of course, this is the thing. Myne is weak. Even after a temporary cure of the Devouring (though it’s just putting it off), she’s still really, really weak. So honestly, provided she gets some leverage, shrine maiden might be a perfect job for her. Fortunately, finding leverage is what Myne is all about.
I will admit that I wish the religion had been given a bit more emphasis in earlier volumes. As it is, it feels like the Church comes up right about when the plot requires it to. It at least gets a bit of development, with a nice story about how the Gods work, and a prayer pose that unfortunately looks like a very popular Japanese meme image, causing Myne to lose it with laughter during her own baptism. (It also provided the inside color image, because really it deserved illustration.) On the same note, Myne finds out more information about The Devouring right when the plot requires it as well – there doesn’t seem to be a taboo on discussing it, so it’s a mystery as to why Myne just now finds out that it’s due to too much mana inside her. It is clever to show that the only reason she hasn’t died yet is due to the reincarnated memories, which allow her more adult brain to control it better.
There is, believe it or not, an actual action sequence in this very inactive light novel series, as when Myne shows up with her parents to the temple, the bishop has an attitude of “we’re taking your daughter forever now, goodbye”, and gets upset when both she and her family refuse. This allows her father to kick ass and take out several priests at once, in a sequence that would be ridiculous if it lasted any longer than the two paragraphs it does. Likewise, Myne had better start learning how to control her Devouring/mana, as in her rage she ends up nearly killing the Bishop for attacking her family. It’s a startling scene. That said, it does given Myne the leverage she was seeking out, and fortunately the High Priest is a lot more sensible than the Bishop.
So Myne is off to the Temple, but can still see Lutz and her family and innovate. Oh, and she gets to be treated like a noble shrine maiden, not a slave shrine maiden. And, most importantly, BOOKS! But will it really be that easy? We’ll find out in the next arc of Bookworm, which seems to be four books long.