By Yukiya Murasaki and himesuz. Released in Japan as “Haken no Kouki Altina” by Famitsu Bunko. Released in North America digitally by J-Novel Club. Translated by Roy Nukia.
Since this volume was released on the same day as the short story compilation, you end up with two Altina reviews in a row. Fortunately, there’s a lot of ground to cover here, as we pick up right where we left off – with Latrielle having just murdered his dissolute father and consort in a fit of disgust. Naturally, this particular part is covered up, but the fact that the King is dead is absolutely not – meaning not only that Latrielle is going to be the next King, but that Altina is no longer in the line of succession. Admittedly, he’s not quite crowned yet. What’s possibly worse is that the military and the crown are finally forcing Regis to return to the capital to get his promotion and title… and no, Altina has an army, she can’t just tag along. That’s right, we’re breaking the fellowship here, and I have a suspicion it may be for multiple books. That said, those who are fond of the low-flame romantic feels in this book might be pleased.
There are, of course, other things going on besides Altina and Regis liking each other and being unable to convey it properly. Regis’ impact is felt on multiple people, especially Clarisse, who may couch it in the form of teasing but clearly likes Regis a whole lot more than she’s ever going to let on. There’s also the matter of Gilbert, the mercenary that was captured last volume, and trying to negotiate so that he’ll join them rather than simply be executed as everyone expects. Unfortunately, the news of the King’s death makes negotiations fall apart a bit. Gilbert’s three sisters are still at large, although they’re a lot less dangerous on their own. And Bastian and Eliza are returning from Britannia after events in the short story collection, meaning there’s another royal to throw into this chaos. With all this going on, there is also personal defeat – Eric’s injury has injured their hand to the point of being unable to use a sword anymore, and Eric is devastated by this.
Despite all the bad news, there is quite a bit of comedy in this book, mostly stemming from Regis’ inhuman self-deprecation, which has actually become a genuine weakness – praise seems to cause him pain. Given that he’s generally considered by everyone not named Regis to be a brilliant strategist, you can imagine how he holds up when he’s escorted by a gorgeous young woman to return to the capital to get a promotion and a title – he’d rather be doing anything else. Altina is also her usual blockheaded, mildly tsundere self – please do not pull anyone into your boobs when you are wearing armor, kid. I get the feeling she’s gonna miss Regis more than he’s gonna miss her, at least in terms of the war. What’s more, given Latrielle assigning Regis as his aid for the immediate future, their separation may be longer than expected.
The author continues to write both this and How NOT to Summon a Demon Lord at the same time, which if nothing else shows off their ability to write in different styles. For those who like a fun, action-filled fantasy with much less fanservice than the other title, Altina remains a solid bet.