The Ideal Sponger Life, Vol. 7

By Tsunehiko Watanabe and Jyuu Ayakura. Released in Japan as “Risou no Himo Seikatsu” by Hero Bunko. Released in North America by J-Novel Club. Translated by MPT.

This is a series that began with the premise that our hero was being isekai’d solely for his ability to breed the queen, hence the now ludicrously inaccurate title. There has been the occasional bout of really good sex over the past six books, though usually we cut away before it happens. That said, as I’ve mentioned before, if you’re reading this book for the sex, find some other series. Or is that true? Let’s face it, The Ideal Sponger Life has pretty much made its reputation on its political wrangling, as Zenjirou has to learn the ins and outs of a world where everyone is trying to get a leg up on everyone else, and one misspoken phrase can lead to disaster. This book is ALL about that sort of situation, and let me tell you, the way Zenjirou resolves it? Is just as good as sex. There is, however, one snag. Aura’s barely in the book, left behind to rule the country and possibly be diagnosed with Baby #2. Hope you like Princess Freya!

Zenjirou is going to be attending a wedding, and since Aura can’t go he’s taking Princess Freya, despite the fact that this helps her case for being his first concubine tremendously. Once there, though, his hospitality is taken care of by the father of the bride’s second daughter, Nilda. Which is all very well and good, but Zenjirou was not told that there was a second daughter… and the records they have back at the palace did not mention it. Nilda is illegitimate, but that’s not the concern, the concern is that the records don’t match up. Fortunately, the wedding itself goes fine. Unfortunately, Nilda, Freya and Skaji spot a knight from a rival nation coming out of a corridor he should not have been in… and the knight denies that he did this. Now Zenjirou is going to have to play detective in order to avoid an international incident.

This is, as many light novels these days are, based on a webnovel. That said, I was startled when I read that the webnovel does not feature Freya at all – she’s not in it. The only other webnovel I know where a major character was created out of whole cloth for the official version is The Saga of Tanya the Evil… which makes it appropriate that the queen’s maid refers to her and Zenjirou’s son as “Carlo Zen”. Pretty sure that’s intentional. As for this book, Zenjirou was pretty damn awesome in it, despite having to talk over and over about how weak and feeble he is as a fighter. I think he realizes by now he’s screwed in regards to Freya, because if nothing else she’s fallen 100% in love with him. Treating a woman as an equal is ALSO as good as sex. And in this case Freya is trying to turn it INTO sex. So far he’s holding out.

Everyone but Aura fans should be happy with this (and given she’s not getting another cover picture till Book 14, they may want to give up). Its title and premise may put readers off, but it’s moved way beyond that.

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