Banished from the Hero’s Party, I Decided to Live a Quiet Life in the Countryside, Vol. 2

By Zappon and Yasumo. Released in Japan as “Shin no Nakama ja Nai to Yuusha no Party wo Oidasaretanode, Henkyou de Slow Life Surukoto ni Shimashita” by Kadokawa Sneaker Bunko. Released in North America by Yen On. Translated by Dale DeLucia.

The second volume of Gap Moe: The Light Novel. No, hear me out here. It’s nothing to do with any of the characters, but rather to do with the two moods of the book which are pulling on each other. the majority of the book is quite serious and rather dark. There’s drug addiction, beatings, child abuse, lots of death, demons possessing people, and, in the end, a cliffhanger which promises an absolute nightmare descending on Red and Rit in the third volume, especially if the Hero has as much of a brother complex as I suspect she does. And this is contrasted with the schmoopiest romance I’ve seen this side of SAO: Sugary Days. Rin and Rit are deeply in love with each other, have grown and matured enough to get past the self-deprecating or tsundere masks they’ve been hiding behind, and are here to be as sickeningly sweet as you can possibly imagine. It’s pretty great.

While Red and Rit go on a lakeside picnic, buy a double bed, and sit in each other’s laps a lot, other things threaten their bliss. Al, the kid from last volume with the weapon blessing, is still having trouble reconciling his feelings with his blessing. Then his parents are attacked by the kid who bullied him previously, who was supposed to have turned over a new lead. Could this be related to the new, highly addictive drug going around that changes your blessing for you? Could it be related to the ongoing class war that still infests the town? Or could it be related to the fact that the local slumlord kingpin has made a deal with a demon to rule the city? Oh yes, and the Hero’s Party continues to fall about without Gideon, Ares is desperate and pathetic, and Ruti gets even more terrifying by the page.

As you can see, the idea that this is Slow Life is hogwash… except that Rin and Rit are determined to make their own little world exactly that. They’ve got the apothecary, they’ve got the day-long dates, they’ve got still being too shy to even grope each other properly… really, I’m not exaggerating, it is SICKLY sweet. But that’s good, because without this the rest of the book would just be grim. And the grim stuff gets equally good attention. This town may be where Red and Rit have chosen to reside, but it’s an ugly little town. Albert, the creep knight from the last volume, shows up here and is even worse, and it’s darkly hilarious that the demon cannot fulfill his contract because this city is too lazy and halfassed to be properly conquered. As I said last time, my one complaint is that it really goes into ridiculous detail about its worldbuilding, the blessings in particular. And honestly, I’m well aware that for most readers my complaint is their high point.

So yes, this is an excellent light novel, and you should read it. And I really hope that Ruti does not kill Rit stone dead in the next book, as that would make the rest of the series rather short.

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