By Dojyomaru and Fuyuyuki. Released in Japan as “Genjitsu Shugi Yuusha no Oukoku Saikenki” by Overlap Bunko. Released in North America by J-Novel Club. Translated by Sean McCann.
I’m not entirely certain if the author has stated that this series is going to end 2-3 volumes from now, but honestly he doesn’t have to. After reading this book, it’s self-evident that we are in the “endgame” part of Realist Hero. We’re getting answers to things we have wondered since the first volume, even if we didn’t actually know we were wondering them. The Demon Lord’s Domain. What relationship this world has with Souma’s time on Earth. And, of course, how can a character possibly be in this series and still remain single? (Answer: they can’t. I think Trill is maybe the only one still not married, and even then we know it’s just a matter of time.) That said, the main thrust of this book ends up being setting up the next book, because having laid out all the mysteries and answered them, there’s only one thing left to do: big fight between the two world powers. It can’t be put off any longer, alas.
After things settle down following events from the 16th book, everyone is getting married. Souma adds Maria and Yuriga to his wife count. Hakuya marries Jeanne. Mio Carmine marries Colbert. This author has a fetish, and it’s marriages. However, Fuuga Haan wants to take care of one last thing: the Demon Lord’s Domain. And he wants Souma to help him, and is perfectly willing to blackmail him in order to get it. Unfortunately, the Demon Lord’s Domain is ludicrously hard to defeat, and also still relatively unknown, though Ichiha’s data helps there. Also unfortunately, it turns out that one of Souma’s children has inherited the9ir grandmother’s precognition, and has foreseen… Souma’s death!
I can’t really get into the nitty gritty of the book without spoiling its main secrets, but it’s something that has been foreshadowed for some time now. What I can say is that this book showed off better than most of the last few how much time has passed in this world. Because everything happens all at once in these books, it’s sometimes hard to remember that it’s been almost a decade since Souma first was summoned, and that his oldest kids are now six years old. This also means Yuriga is 18 or so, making it at least a bit less creepy for Souma to be marrying her – and it’s also stated that she’s not “consummating” at the moment because she’s concentrating on her career. That said, her career as “the thing trying to hold back her brother from attempting to destroy Souma’s league of nations” is failing hard. Though admittedly there really was very little she could do to stop that. Fuuga is the type who simply has to be waging war on something, and due to the circumstances of this book he is not able to wage it here. That said, I’m pretty sure we know who will be winning the fight between them.
I’m not sure how many book the series has to go, but 20 would not surprise me as an end point. Till then, enjoy the nerdy past history of the Demon Lord’s Domain, which features a surprise Demon Lord that I don’t think any reader was expecting.
Also, it is impossible not to see Maria on the cover of this volume and not start singing “Hello mah baby, hello mah honey, hello mah ragtime gaaaaaal!”