The Ideal Sponger Life, Vol. 14

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.

And so the author has finally achieved his dreams. We’re 14 volumes into a series that began with the idea that our hero was being isekai’d solely to impregnate a queen for the sake of the country, and he never would have to do anything else. Now, 14 volumes later, the sex is basically absent, there’s not even any action in this volume, and the entire book is devoted to political wrangling, all of which needs to be done by Zenjirou, because Aura can’t exactly go gallivanting all over the world. We are now finally in complete, 100% opposition to the title of the series. Fortunately, in this case that’s a good, thing. The worldbuilding is stepping up its game, and we’re also (finally!) seeing a lot of Aura in this volume, and seeing how she is stating to deal with Freya now that she’s married to Zenjirou and living in the same palace. It actually goes pretty smoothly, though now that Freya has gotten her man her eccentricity is more pronounced than ever.

Everyone is back in Capua, at least for the moment. That said, there’s a lot still to do. Lucretia is still trying to become Zenjirou’s second concubine, and while she’s changed her approach to be more mild, she still doesn’t really get him, and does not understand why “I have no actual wants or needs beyond what you have for me” is a bad thing. Aura, meanwhile, hears a secret from the Twin Kingdoms that is potential dynamite – they were once part of the White Empire, long long ago. And there’s a high chance that some people still hold a grudge about it. This is also stunning news for Freya, who realizes that she may have accidentally gotten her little Northern country involved in a massive global conflict by her marriage. And then Zenjirou gets a very odd invitation…

There’s some very funny jokes in this book, most of them involving Freya. Having seen in the previous book that she is thought of in her own country as “that out of control lunatic”, we get to experience a bit of that here, with her having to be literally dragged away from the fridge in Zenjirou and Aura’s room and also declaring that she’s moving in with them when she sees the air conditioner. (Aura says no, sorry, threesome fans.) There’s also her twin brother, who is basically her as a man, and this is emphasized by the color artwork, showing each of them throwing the exact same tantrum when being told they can’t do something they really want to do. Mostly, though, this book is setup for the next major arc. Zenjirou is at a point where he has to accept Lucretia as a concubine, but it makes him unhappy, which will not help anything. And then there’s his mystery invitation. The next book should be really exciting.

Hrm? What’s that? We’re caught up? It’s been over two years since the last book in Japan? Ah well.

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