By kabedondaikou and Yunohito. Released in Japan as “Risō no Seijo? Zannen, Nise Seijo Deshita! Kuso of the Year to Yobareta Akuyaku ni Tensei Shitanda ga” by Kadokawa Books. Released in North America by J-Novel Club. Translated by Rymane Tsouria.
“Would you exchange a walk-on part in the war for a lead role in a cage”, philosophers once said. It’s something that feels very relevant to this second volume of Fake saint, where a large chunk of it is taken up with locking Ellize in her bedroom forever because that way she won’t defeat the witch, won’t become the next witch, and the kingdom can be at peace. It’s a transparently stupid decision that ends up failing almost immediately, but the book at least shows us why so many people are making this stupid decision. It’s not only because everyone loves Ellize and is terrified at the thought of losing her, though that’s certainly part of it. It’s that this world was SO BAD prior to her birth. People starving, royal family dying in battle, misery and despair everywhere. Going back to that would be a horror show. That said, yeah, don’t lock up your one weapon.
Things are going relatively well for Ellize, who has negotiated most of the “bad end” parts of the plot that her “evil” game self did, and given that the witch is still refusing to come out and show herself, she gets to attend classes and try to figure out how to get rid of the witch without Eterna dying or turning evil. Unfortunately, the royal family, as I noted above, decide to lock her in her room forever so that everything can remain nice. They’re helped in this by her personal guard, including Layla, who feels exactly the same way. Sadly, “almost completely at peace” does not mean “completely at peace”, and the monsters decide that now is a perfect time to do one last huge assault on the capital, intending to massacre everyone. Can Ellize manage to get there in time? And just what is going n with this “game” anyway?
For the most part, if you’re reading this for the “fantasy” parts of the book, I’d say to just read Tearmoon Empire, which is funnier and has a more likeable heroine. That said, this series is doing interesting things with its “isekai” bit. Ellize may still be sounding like a cynical, selfish guy on the inside, but her actions are slowly starting to belie her attitude. She’s not attracted to Verner yet, but… Meanwhile, her actual Japanese self back home, even while slowly dying (every time Ellize appears in front of him for a status update/strategy meeting, another piece of his soul moves to her) is trying to find out why this is happening, and that involves going to see the creators of the game… and confirming that the game is rewriting reality both here and in Ellize’s world. I’m interested to see what’s really happening.
Everything is set up for the next volume to be the big climax, which makes it a bit of a shame that this series has 4 books and counting. Still, this is worth it for all the bits that aren’t done better in other, similar novels.