By Yu Shimizu and Asagi Tosaka. Released in Japan as “Seiken Gakuin no Maken Tsukai” by MF Bunko J. Released in North America by Yen On. Translated by Roman Lampert.
There’s a lot of things to love about found family situations, but one of my favorites is that everyone seems to know that everyone else has *a* secret, but doesn’t know what it is, and doesn’t really care. That’s shown off to good effect here, as everyone in our main cast seems to be hiding something. Leonis is a Demon Lord, of course, which only Riselia knows, but the others clearly know he’s not just a normal 10-year-old prodigy. Riselia, of course, has to hide that she’s now basically a vampire queen. Regina and Elfine both have their secrets, though in Elfine’s case it’s the fact that her secret is figured out in 2.5 seconds that makes it amusing. And then there’s Sakuya, the “Sakura Orchid” (read: Japan) resident who’s now living here in not-quite Europe. She’s a seemingly stoic swordfighter, and her secret may in fact be the most dangerous one of them all. Fortunately, our heroine who witnesses said secret is not the sharpest knife in the drawer.
It’s school festival time at Excalibur Academy, and you know what that means: it’s time for a maid cafe. Unfortunately, the dorm that our heroines and Leonis live in has been getting creepier of late, what with all the ravens wanting to hang around their vampire mistress. There’s only one thing they can do: make it a combination cafe and haunted house! Oh, but one big problem: Leonis is a guy, and thus can’t participate… UNLESS… we dress him in an adorable maid outfit and disguise him! Fortunately, wacky hijinks are not everything that drives this volume. Elfine’s sister has uncovered the frozen body of another demon lord, and brought it back with her. This surely won’t be a terrible decision! Spoiler: it is, and now Excalibur Academy is once again surrounded by void creatures.
There’s fun to be had here provided you don’t think too hard. Everyone gets to do a cool thing or two. The ancient elf from the previous volume shows up again, and has discovered her true calling, with is to stare in amazement at the stupidity of everyone around her. Which is mostly Leonis’ terrorist minions, who prove to be top-tier dumb mooks. There is a cute plot where Shary, Leonis’ obsessive stalker… erm, dark minion, gets a ring from her beloved… which is just a summoning ring that will immediately call to her the strongest monster. He doesn’t get why she’s disappointed, but we do, especially when we see her seething at Riselia the entire volume. Still, in has a sweet ending. And there’s the ongoing worldbuilding, as we have… you’ll never guess this… evil laughing priests who are trying to restart long dead schemes. A lot of this book, which has everyone call out their attack names all the time, reminded me of Slayers, and you should take it about as seriously.
This remains the light novel equivalent of a late night hamburger meal from Wendy’s, but again, there’s nothing wrong with it. If you like cute girls and magic battles, pick it up.