By Tsunehiko Watanabe and Jyuu Ayakura. Released in Japan as “Risou no Himo Seikatsu” by Hero Bunko. Released in North America by J-Novel Club. Translated by MPT.
I get the sense that the author is well aware that his core audience may not yet be here for the politics. Sure, in a volume or two the readers will be into that, but here in the second volume there’s still a lot of horny guys taken in by the premise and the title. What’s worse, Aura is pregnant throughout most of this book, so we can’t even write in her and Zenjirou making love. As a result, there are, frankly, a heck of a lot of descriptions of Aura’s large breasts, to the point where it gets to be vaguely annoying. Indeed, it’s almost a plot point – to the typical reader of this series, Aura’s tall, red-haired muscular and stacked body is exactly what they like, but in her own country, she’s not considered attractive compared to the more willowy and mild women that Zenjirou gets introduced to here. Even her own trusted aide is amazed how much Zenjirou is attracted to her. It’s hard being the Queen.
Still, while the audience may not be here for the politics, that is what they are going to get. Aura’s position is still very precarious. Zenjirou begins to emerge into actual public appearances, and the moment he does various factions try to manipulate him so they can gain power and influence. Usually this involves offering him women to be his concubine, something which is not only common here but actually expected, which leads to friction in many ways. Zenjirou is not comfortable with taking on another lover, Aura knows it’s necessary but isn’t happy with it, and then there’s the fact that he likely has the blood of two different kingdoms in him, which means their child might also have two different kinds of magic powers – a big deal in this world. Get ready for negotiation madness!
Zenjirou is far more adept and clever at this than he likes to admit to himself, but he does find it exhausting, and I don’t blame him. He’s offered a military bow, which naturally he can’t use, and is able to finagle himself out of it but comes off looking weak. Then there’s all the concubine business, which is off the table for now due to the multiple magics problem, which is ALSO solved by making him look weak and pitiful. Aura is unhappy with this, as she has rapidly come to fall in love with Zenjirou for real, but sadly, politics. that’s almost the motto for this volume, honestly. Fortunately, Zenjirou does have a few aces up his sleeve. Glass marbles, which he brought from Earth, are considered immensely valuable here (though learning how to make glass proves a bit more difficult), and his abilities at contract negotiation help when the Queen has to negotiate with another country regarding the life of their child and how they will be brought up going forward.
Fortunately, at the end of the book the child is born, healthy and hearty. I’m not sure where we go from here, but I will continue to read the light novel series with the biggest dissonance between its title and what actually happens.