By Sarasa Nagase and Mai Murasaki. Released in Japan as “Akuyaku Reijo Nanode Rasubosu o Katte Mimashita” by Kadokawa Beans Bunko. Released in North America by Yen On. Translated by Taylor Engel.
So I have very good news for fans of this series: not once in this volume is Aileen threatened with execution as a result of something happening out of her control. Which makes a nice change from the first five books. Indeed, there’s a very “final volume” to this, despite the fact there are at least five more books coming. All the major subplots are tied up, most of the romantic couples are now together… well, mostly (try harder, Serena), Claude is no longer being forcibly possessed and turned into a dragon, and everyone gets something to do. Indeed, that may be my biggest complaint of the volume: this cast is too big, and I hate having to go back to the cast list at the start of the volume to remember who is who. Oh yes, and perhaps the most important part of all this: Aileen and Claude are finally allowed to consummate their marriage! Offscreen, of course. This isn’t Loner Life in Another World.
We pick up right where we left off, with everything having gone wrong and Amelia having won. That said, Aileen doesn’t know the meaning of the word quit: indeed, to everyone’s shock, she notes that if she can’t rescue Claude she’s going to have to kill him. In order to save the day everyone will have to do their best, despite the fact that one heroine is in a coma, one heroine is being a tsundere, and one heroine is still convinced that this is a game and that she doesn’t have to care about anyone as a person at all – though you get the sense she’s lying through her teeth. As for Aileen and her faction, well, she handles things like she always does, with brute force and blunt objects. Indeed, looking back to the past of Amelia and her sister, we meet Grace Dark, Claude’s mother, who turns out to be a lot like his current wife.
As with the previous few volumes, I’m fascinated with Lilia, possibly the best “heroine” in a villainess book not named Maria Campbell. Out loud, she’s the same as always, talking about backstories and routes opening up (Aileen does this as well, and the two are frankly far more alike than Aileen would like). Deep down, her feelings for Cedric are wavering, not enough that she’ll confess to him or anything (honestly, you get the sense she’d rather be in a bisexual relationship with Aileen and Claude), but because she’s going off to be brutally murdered by Amelia, and knows that saying “I’ll marry you when I return” is the biggest death flag there is. Unfortunately for Lilia, she’s surrounded by much better people than her, who can also work miracles, so rumors of her death become the reality of her wedding. Which, honestly, she’s a bit bitter about.
So, the end! Aileen is married and has now consummated her marriage! What could be next? Oh, short story volume? Right. Short story volume.