By Zappon and Yasumo. Released in Japan as “Shin no Nakama ja Nai to Yuusha no Party wo Oidasaretanode, Henkyou de Slow Life Surukoto ni Shimashita” by Kadokawa Sneaker Bunko. Released in North America by Yen On. Translated by Dale DeLucia.
As far as I can tell, this entire volume had one purpose: to make me feel guilty for calling Ruti terrifying over and over in my previous review. I mean, not to say that she still isn’t a bit much – waltzing past deathtraps that would have destroyed anyone else, taking the killer drug from the previous volume and having it only affect her slightly, and of course saving people when she runs across people who need saving… whether she wants to or not. Indeed, even her companion Tisse, who starts off the book sticking with Ruti seemingly because she’s being forced to, suspects that Ruti is going to turn on her beloved pet spider and kill it, which… isn’t actually true. (The spider’s name is Mister Crawly Wawly, which probably says a lot about Tisse, but let’s move past that.) But in the end, what this book is here to remind us is that behind her hero’s blessing, Ruti is a lonely young girl who HATES being the hero.
In fact, the majority of this volume, at least until the cliffhanger ending, is meant to undercut the previous two. After seeing Ruti as the stereotypical “yandere little sister” sort, she finally is told her brother and Rit are together, and… is not all that happy about it, but does not going on any killing sprees whatsoever. She arrives in town trying to get more of the drug that can kill her blessing, though it’s working pretty slowly so far. It *is* working, though – Ruti’s emotional range widens considerably throughout the book, which also helps to sell what she’s been forced to go through. After two volumes where a “slow life” start was followed by dark content and action scenes, this volume gives us slow life right to the end, with lots of Red and Rit being lovey dovey to each other, etc. Unfortunately, there is that ending… the rest of the hero’s party arrive in town.
I suspect the long term goal for Red and Rit might be figuring out a way to get rid of blessings entirely, though they may earn the ire of the church by doing so. They’re SUCH a liability in this world, with folks who are happy with them outnumber4ed in the narrative by folks who are not. Just as Ruti’s shy, introverted side is transformed by the hero blessing into an emotionless behemoth, so Tisse is an assassin because… well, if she doesn’t kill people, bad things will happen to her, so what choice does she have? (She levels up big time in this book as well, thanks mostly to her emotional support Mister Crawly Wawly.) Everyone is starting to question whether free will is an illusion or not, and this is a fantasy world where that questio9n is very much up in the air. That said, as long as Red is on the side of good they should be fine.
This volume was mostly all slow life, but I doubt the next book will be, as it looks like Ares is going to be having a huge fight with Red. Or Ruti. Or both. Till then,l this remains an excellent example of its genre.