By Riku Nanano and cura. Released in Japan as “Koujo Denka no Kateikyoushi” by Fujimi Fantasia Bunko. Released in North America digitally by J-Novel Club. Translated by William Varteresian.
As the author has noted in previous books, Lydia has by far the biggest advantage among the other girls who are in love with Allen, and judging by comments I’ve seen on the original webnovel site (the webnovel is still ongoing, by the way), fans seem to prefer Lydia as well. Our author said that he’d try writing Lydia out of the plot for a bit, but that didn’t even last one book. Now we have this solution, which is to make the reader feel that having Allen and Lydia end up together would be bad for her. The front half of this book has Lydia and her family being told that he’s presumed dead, and she completely falls to bits. It’s almost comical, as everyone writes her off as being useless without Allen. By the last quarter of the book she’s recovered, cut her hair, and is ready to join in the battle… and becomes so terrifying that by the end of the book no one dares go near her for fear of accidentally being murdered.
This volume can be divided into thirds. The first third has Tina, Ellie and Stella back home, dealing with an invasion from the North in addition to the noble’s rebellion. The last third has the Leinsters dealing with an invasion from the South in addition to the noble’s rebellion. And in the middle portion we get a flashback showing Allen’s “final” moments, as well as the reaction of Caren and his parents to this. We get introduced to the “Hero”, Alice, who has a past with Allen and Lydia, and who seems to suspect that Lydia is going to snap and have to be assassinated before she turns evil. And we discover that it’s not just Lydia, all the Leinsters are absolute monsters who will destroy you if you get in their way. We also get more tantalizing hints of backstory about Allen and Lydia’s time at the academy… but no flashbacks, dammit.
So yes, of course Lydia doesn’t actually kill the opposing Army, it’s made very clear that they’re all burned but alive. Still, the implication is that this is Not Okay, and Lydia knows this but can’t help herself. The feelings of despair have to go SOMEWHERE. Meanwhile, it’s pretty hilarious that Allen is *still* doing the “I can’t believe you’ve heard of me” given that he’s clearly known to everyone in the Kingdom as a legend and the most important man to kill when the rebellion starts. Certainly Richard tells him point blank, “Look, either marry Lydia or have us take you into the family anyway”. Everyone desperately wants Allen to be credited for SOMETHING, and his last stand in this war may be the answer. He is, of course, not dead, and appears to be trapped in the evil magic dungeon of bad things. I expect, since Book 6 had lots of Lydia, that the 7th book will shift towards Tina, but no doubt we’ll also see Allen do amazing things that he insists are just things that anyone can do.
As you all have no doubt noted, I’m on Team Lydia as well, mostly because of a reason that is very important to me: she’s not 13 years old. This continues to be a much better series than it has any right to be, and the battle scenes were excellent.