Didn’t I Say to Make My Abilities Average in the Next Life?!: Lily’s Miracle

By Kousuke Akai and Itsuki Akata, based on the novels by FUNA. Released in Japan as “Watashi, Nouryoku wa Heikinchi de tte Itta yo ne!: Lily no Kiseki” by Earth Star Novels. Released in North America by Seven Seas. Translated by Diana Taylor. Adapted by Maggie Cooper.

Like a lot of readers who first saw this spinoff announced, I was a bit confused. I thought it would be about one of the many side characters we’ve seen along Mile’s journey, and indeed thought it was about the young princess who needed a balanced diet in order to not die (her name is similar to Lily’s). But no, it’s nothing like that.l Instead we have a (mostly) new cast, in the same world that we know of. The Crimson Vow briefly show up at the start, and Mile jump-starts the plot, but otherwise they are entirely absent. Which is fine, really, as it allows us to truly focus on Lily. As with Mile, she’s a former noble with a lack of common sense due to circumstances. Also as with Mile, she has a truly ludicrous amount of magical power on hand. Unlike the childish Mile, though, Lily is a literal child.

Lily Lockwood is the oldest daughter of the local margrave. Unfortunately, she was born deaf, and so has been hidden by her family and quietly ignored. Then one day bandits arrive and attack the family, who vanish… with the exception of Lily, who is hidden in a cupboard by a kindly (?) maid. After emerging, she’s pretty much starving to death when the Crimson Vow come upon her. The girls give her food and water. Then Mile sneaks back in the night to cure her hearing… by giving her a bunch of nanos. Readers of the previous books likely know where this is gonna go. Now Lily is trying to make her way in the world, find allies and money to put food on the table, and also perhaps find her missing family. And all she has going for her is magic that is so strong it can destroy the local landscape.

This side story is not by FUNA, and it shows. Not that this is a bad thing – it’s quite a strong story, and I very much enjoyed it. But with a few exceptions, stupid comedy is mostly absent from this book, and it takes Lily seriously. I was impressed that Mile’s curing of Lily’s deafness did not magically allow her to suddenly hear and understand conversation properly or speak, though she does eventually get past that. Some of Lily’s feats, such as creating 30 fireballs that are almost the literal sun, show us that this author has been doing their homework in terms of the chaos Mile + nanos can bring. But Lily’s 9-year-old POV makes it both more innocent and also multitudes more terrifying, as she’s never been taught magic so does not know how to use only a tiny bit… or turn it off. There’s also a great supporting character in Lafine, the classic “cynic with a heart of gold” who winds up, as the cover might suggest, getting dragged around by her young charge.

I’m not sure if Lily will get another side story, but we may see her show up in the main series. That would be fun. Till then, this is an action-filled, somewhat emotional entry in the Make My Abilities Average series, with a spunky and likeable heroine.

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