By Milli-gram and Yuki Kana. Released in Japan as “Nidoto ie ni wa Kaerimasen!” by Overlap Novels f. Released in North America digitally by J-Novel Club. Translated by Emily Hemphill.
There is one, brief shining moment in the third volume of this very sweet and also very dull series where I was engaged and interested, and (as with the second volume) it’s where we are reminded of the past that Chelsea has had. About halfway through this third volume a group of kidnappers enter the mansion of her friend and hold them hostage. After the situation is resolved (there’s really no suspense at all), Glen talks to Chelsea about why she wasn’t scared, and she reveals that she was fine once she knew there would be no pain, because it was the physical abuse that was the worst part of her old life. Chelsea casually talking about getting whipped on a near daily basis is jaw-dropping, mostly as she now possesses a defensive barrier and can literally create massive Venus Flytrap monsters to eat her enemies within seconds. She’s come a long way, and while I’m happy for her as a person, it damages the book.
Glen has proposed to Chelsea, and she’s now actually looking her age (though whether she acts it is in question), but we still have a few hoops to jump through before they can marry, and not just “wait till she gets older”. First she needs to make her debut in society, and that means gowns! It also means meeting the Queen, who thinks Chelsea is adorable and cute and also treats her like a Barbie doll whose clothes get changed 6 times a day. And she gets a new friend… almost by force… in Noel, a young noble who is enthusiastic about gardening and plants and therefore is very eager to talk with someone who knows her stuff. Unfortunately, as I noted above, there’s the break-in and hostage situation. And it turns out that the people trying to kill Chelsea, who we met in the previous book, are still trying to kill Chelsea. Can she survive to her engagement ceremony?
I mean, yes. She can create anything in the entire world from seeds as long as she can visualize it. She has a personal defensive barrier. She has an army of soldiers ready to defend her. And now she’s creating monsters to eat her enemies. She has maids who love her, a cook who not only loves to feed her (and she can finally actually eat meals now that she’s no longer being starved to death) but can also interrogate enemies with her own special magic, her research team, her cool older brother, and of course Glen, who adores and wants to protect her. There’s an after story where she and Glen go to his home and discover that the enemy is a giant crab, but once Chelsea is there she creates a trap (with a seed, natch) and the problem is solved.
You know what this series needs? Fagin. No, not the anti-semitism, but Chelsea is like Oliver Twist if he was rescued from the orphanage by Mr. Brownlow and the rest of the series was just meals and clothes. Chelsea desperately needs to be lured into evil or spirited away. Not because of her as a character – she’s a sweet girl, I don’t want bad things to happen to her. But for me, as a reader? Yes, I want bad things to happen to her.