The Ideal Sponger Life, Vol. 13

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.

As I’ve mentioned before, this series was originally a webnovel, which ended around the events of the 4th book. Then it became a light novel series, Freya was added to the mix starting with Book 5, and has, frankly, become the main female lead. Sorry, Aura, you just aren’t in this series enough to count anymore. Even in this book, her role consists mostly of either finding out about stuff and telling other people about stuff. Now, to be fair, in this volume Freya does not exactly perform great feats, though you could argue that convincing her family to let her marry Zenjirou counts as one. She is part of the best moments of the book, though, as she has to confess to everyone how this marriage came about – which is this society of fantasy feudalism, is the equivalent of walking up to a married man and saying “I’m down, wanna bang?”. The reactions of everyone else to this news is hilarious, and worth the price of the book alone.

Freya and Zenjirou finally arrive in Uppasala, and get ready to inform the royal family of their betrothal. This goes about as well as you’d expect. That said, Zenjirou revealing that he has the power to teleport shuts up a number of people, and leads to a deal: if Zenjirou can take the traditional coming of age rite that everyone does and succeed, he will earn the right to ask for Freya’s hand. Since Zenjirou is, to put it mildly, not a physical powerhouse, everyone finds this hilarious. They find it a lot less so after they realize exactly how he’s going to win – even if it does end up taking a lot of physical labor as well. As for the other members of the family, the first prince is sent to Capua, there to meet with Aura – but, more importantly, to have a test of strength with Pujol. As for the second Prince, Yngvi, he’s basically Freya, only a guy. No, really, they’re twins.

There’s a lot of good humor in this book. Zenjirou’s plan to survive getting to the hunting site for the coming of age rite is hilarious and also something we should have seen coming. Eric’s reaction to Aura describing Freya arriving in Capua is also highly amusing, as is Pujol’s reaction on seeing the sword that was given to Aura as a gift by Uppasala. There are a few plot points that could carry over to the next volume, such as the fact that Margarette the maid seems to have secret parentage, and the ongoing war between the deeply religious church knights and the less religious rest of the continent. So far the holy wars seem very one sided against the holy, to be frank. And yes, Zenjirou and Freya are now married, and he goes off to spend the wedding night with her – which we do not see. We don’t even get a kiss. They snuggle a bit. These books are now the opposite of horny.

That said, we come to the end of this arc. And good news for Aura fans, the next cover has her on it… and also Freya, because hey, she’s the lead character now. Should start a new arc, though, which is fantastic news provided the series hasn’t ground to a halt in Japan or anything…

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