The World’s Strongest Rearguard: Labyrinth Country’s Novice Seeker, Vol. 8

By Tôwa and Huuka Kazabana. Released in Japan as “Sekai Saikyou no Kouei: Meikyuukoku no Shinjin Tansakusha” by Kadokawa Books. Released in North America by Yen On. Translated by Alexandra McCullough-Garcia and John Neal.

This series, of course, follows the efforts of our hero, who is the bestest guy who ever lived, and so it can sometimes be hard to remember that for everyone else in this world not in Arihito’s party, this world is a parade of failures, lethal battles, and fates worse than death. The Simian Lord can make you a mind-controlled puppet, the monsters can kill you and never look back, and if you fail and survive, well, your reputation is so bad you may as well go right back to the beginning. It’s a vicious little world that would be extremely unpleasant to read about if this book were not a male power fantasy, so good news! It is still a male power fantasy, and instead of tragedies piled on each other we can read about triumph over said tragedy. As well as, y’know, more ways to use Arihito’s mysterious orgasm power. Which the girls still won’t tell him about.

Our heroes are still trying to find a way to defeat the Simian Lord and free Theresia from his curse. This involves finding Holy Stones, something that would normally be next to impossible but fortunately their party has a girl whose job it is to be lucky. They then have to battle a sand creature, which is defeated thanks to Theresia, but it turns out that defeating monsters in combat advances the curse, so she attacks Arihito. Things are desperate. Fortunately, Arihito’s reputation and general kindness means that he has quite a few allies this time around (though Elitia’s brother is not among them, and it’s implied that he’ll be the main antagonist in the next volume). Do they have enough to finally do what no one else has done and defeat the Simian Lord?

Theresia is particularly lucky that everyone loves Arihito, as after her attack she’s arrested and taken to a holding cell, and it’s only the intervention of three other people that saves her from what sounds like a very nasty fate. It’s actually been a while since we’ve looked at how people in this world treat demi-humans, and the answer has ranged from “slave” to “tool”, but this also means that when you’re p;ut under a curse that is not your fault and you attack your friend, the solution is “imprison you forever and oh yes, you’ll also probably get sexually assaulted”. I am therefore relieved that this long arc is finally over, and that, needless to say, our heroes win. Though I will admit I’d have liked a bit more of an epilogue, as we get very little after battle tears and instead get introduced to an amoral girl who seems to be in charge of things. Another teaser for next time.

If there is a next time. The last volume was a year and a half ago in Japan. The webnovel has been updated once in the last two years, and is also caught up with the light novels. And the author has a new series being published that seems to be taking up his time now. Given that, I’m even more happy this arc ended, and if fans want to write fanfic showing what happens next, hey, knock yourself out. recommended to fans of books that are both pure and deeply horny at the same time.

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