Banished from the Hero’s Party, I Decided to Live a Quiet Life in the Countryside, Vol. 6

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.

It’s become a commonly known thing by now that Slow Life books, for the most part, aren’t really. They’re “I started with a slow life and then” books. No one is going to read 200 pages of JUST farming beans. You need to get a wide variety of cute young women, old friends trying to drag you back into fighting, monsters threatening your peaceful farm, etc. That applies even to a seies like this, where all the hero work was at the start and now Red and Rit are just trying to run a small apothecary shop and find the time for occasional hot wolfgirl sex. But Ruti is different, and the book is continuing to let us know that her deciding not to have her entire life destroyed for the sake of her hero blessing is not something that is simply going to be accepted. The world needs a hero.

Yes, Rit can turn into a wolfgirl, though honestly that’s the least important part of this book. On the heels of the three assassins seen at the end of the previous book, a massive ship appears in the harbor, there to block all trade until they get what they want. What they want is to search the church records of everyone in the town till they find a specific blessing, something the Church finds abhorrent. Ruti and Tisse start to investigate, and find the story of a prince who is searching for his birthright, a kingdom in turmoil, and a pirate elf woman who just wants to protect what she already has. Now Ruti has to try to play detective without simply solcing everything the way the hero would, and Tisse has to go after some former assassin classmates who have gone rogue.

You may notice I did not mention Red and Rit there. They’re both very much still the stars of the book, but are content to leave the dangerous stuff to Ruti and Tisse – their own job is to try to find alternatives to the things that the town can’t import anymore, like oil. It’s refreshing and heartwarming seeing them deliberately not help out with the monstrous plot on the horizon. Now, yes, this is clearly the first of a multi-book arc, and I know they will both be dragged into it in the next volume, especially since Red seems acquainted with the current Queen of Veronia, who has all the signs of being, if not a Big Bad, at least the gateway to the Big Bad. But that’s next time. For this, it’s about finding out how to get oil from coconuts, trusting your sister and her wife and their spider to handle things, and investigating new fetishes you’ve just discovered.

The book feels a bit slight, but that’s not uncommon with the first book of an arc – or of this genre in general. The slow life may go away eventually, but it’s winning for now.

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