In the Land of Leadale, Vol. 4

By Ceez and Tenmaso. Released in Japan as “Leadale no Daichi nite” by Famitsu Bunko. Released in North America by Yen On. Translated by Jessica Lange.

Last time I called In the Land of Leadale “a slow life series with a potentially dark, chewy center”, and that definitely applies to this book, though keep in mind the darkness at the center may in fact keep you up at night. For the most part this continues to advance the series’ vague plotline. Cayna is getting better at social interaction (having a child to care for helps), and while she still does ludicrous things, they’ve become more of a spice than the entire book itself. There’s also lots of cuteness and slow life stuff. Unfortunately, there’s also a group of goons who are hired to kidnap the children Cayna is caring for, and they fill the “evil light novel guy” gamut from cheerful sociopath to literal pedophile. Seeing them get their asses handed to them by our favorite catgirl maid is a big highlight of the book. We then get to see their actual fate, which, not gonna lie, was straight up terrifying. I was not expecting pure horror in this series.

Cayna, settling in in the village with her adopted daughter and her butler/maid familiars, realizes that she has not interacted with Mai-Mai as much as her other two children, and also wants to introduce Luca to her. So it’s back to Felskeilo we go, with not only Luca and Roxine but also Lytt, just to make sure Luca has an appropriate companion. Once there, it’s time for the annual festival!… which may not happen, as there’s a mysterious unidentified swimming object in the massive river that goes through the city. Those familiar with previous volumes of Leadale will not be too surprised at what it actually is, but that does not make dealing with it any easier. Add to this that Cayna’s… unusual horseless carriage has drawn the wrong kind of attention, and it’s a wonder that Cayna has any time left over to be ludicrously powerful! But that’s OK. She makes time.

So yeah, I will not get too much into the fate of the horrible mooks, as I’d like to leave it for the reader. It’s scary, though, even if they deserve it. The most interesting part of the book might come near the end, where Cayna starts theorizing about why all of a sudden they’re seeing the reactivation of so many quests. It’s actually quite a clever idea, and manages to hit on another of the things I like about this book – we’re not sure if this is a “trapped in a game” world or not, and the narrative itself is deliberately obfuscating things. The other fun thing about this book is its sweet moments. Cayna’s casual overpoweredness can also lead to relaxed, fun situations, such as the giant fishing party at the end, and the bond she’s developed with not only Luca but also Roxine is great. (Also loved Roxine’s dere moments in this.)

This is the last volume to come out before the anime, and given the state of recent LN adaptations, that’s cause for worry. Still, if you still enjoy slow life OP women and don’t mind a literal demon coming along and turning evil men into things, this is a great series to read.

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