My Daughter Left the Nest and Returned an S-Rank Adventurer, Vol. 11

By MOJIKAKIYA and toi8. Released in Japan as “Boukensha ni Naritai to Miyako ni Deteitta Musume ga S-Rank ni Natteta” by Earth Star Novels. Released in North America by J-Novel Club. Translated by Roy Nukia.

Last time I said that Book 10 felt like an epilogue, and technically this one should as well. The first 3/4 of it or so is basically everyone being chill. Ange and the others in her party are in the city, but they’re coming to visit in the fall at last, after trying several times. Meanwhile, Belgrieve has settled down with Satie and is busy trying to learn how to start a new dungeon and become a guildmaster, leaving the caring of his many adopted children to Charlotte and Byaku, the oldest of said children. There’s lots of loving descriptions of the seasons, or people watching, or reflecting on the passing of time, which we’re used to. There is one slight issue. Ishmael shows up again to greet Angeline, and unfortunately the reader is the only one who knows who he really is. So really this entire volume is being a little frustrated at all the chill and wanting to shout “hey, he’s the bad guy!” at the characters.

So yeah, Angeline is fine until she meets Ishmael, who is carrying around, for some reason, a small part of a branch from an apple tree. Touching this starts to give Ange terrible nightmares which she can’t remember afterward, but which we see some of: they’re showing how awful life was for Percival, Kasim and Satie after their party broke up, and also the occasional flashback to the same scene we’ve seen since the start of the series, a demon eating Belgrieve’s leg and destroying his adventuring career. All these nightmares are causing Ange to be exhausted when awake, and her skills are suffering. So, at the suggestion of not-at-all-secretly-evil Ishmael, they all pile in and head off to Turnera for the fall festival. Unfortunately, when there, Ishmael throws off his (very good) Scooby Doo disguise to reveal he’s Schwartz, and that all this is part of his master plan, which requires Ange to be completely, 100% broken.

Despite begging from some folks, I’m not going to reveal the big twist in this book which made me swear on Twitter. I will note that it’s not Bunny Drop, it’s a normal twist that fits in well with the book as a whole, and Ange and Bel remain daddy-daughter in the good way. But I like how it made sense. We know Ange is a demonic creation, as does she and the rest of her party, but since she’s human presenting and also a really good kid, no one really stops to think when she begins to be sick, get depressed or have nightmares “hhhrrrm, I wonder if this is due to our missing bad guy?”. And why should they? Last volume was an epilogue with a wedding! But it makes the surprise hit harder, and gives Ange and Bel an even stronger connection – for good and ill, obviously. As for the actual end of the series, it’s pretty open-ended, and we could see more if sales permit, but finally ALL the main plot points are wrapped up, so ending here is just fine.

In the end, this is a very enjoyable, fun series with a bit of dark drama in the middle and end to keep things interesting, and I also appreciate that it gives us a series with an adopted daughter being raised by her father figure that STAYS that way. Fantasy fans, or anyone who liked the anime, should read this.

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