A Surprisingly Happy Engagement for the Slime Duke and the Fallen Noble Lady, Vol. 1

By Mashimesa Emoto and Kasumi Nagi. Released in Japan as “Slime Taikō to Botsuraku Reijō no Angai Shiawase na Konyaku” by HJ Novels. Released in North America by J-Novel Heart. Translated by Minna Lin.

Fallen Noble Lady series are getting to be a bit glutted in this market. We’ve already had to separate them from Villainess stories (note the Japanese does not say Akuyaku Reijō), but even after doing that it seems you cannot throw a shoe without hitting another young woman being publicly humiliated by her fiancee. As such, you need to make sure, when you write another such story, that you have a gimmick. And it’s got to be a really good gimmick. Slime Duke? Controls slimes? Not bad, but could be better. Slimes are also, honestly, a bit overdone. She bakes yummy treats? Boooooring, seen it. She secretly has multiple men in love with her but is totally clueless? Boooooring, seen it. No, this series needed something more. Something truly astounding to put it ahead of the pack. It needed a duck. An attack duck. An attack duck that goes with the heroine to her new domain and proceeds to wreak a reign of terror (on the male ducks). It’s glorious.

Technically our heroine, Francette, is the sister of the Fallen Noble Lady. But said sister rebounds fast, and ends up the Queen of a neighboring country. This is not her story. Francette, however, does lose the family house, money, and everything else. She ends up staying with her father because, well, after seeing that she is rather tired of nobility. Unfortunately, her dad tends to run around with other women. And one day the husband of one of those women goes to see Francette, saying she has to pay 200,000 in restitution or he’ll force her into a brothel. Even her attack duck can’t help her out of this. Fortunately, out from a bush (it makes sense in content, but only later on) steps the owner of the slime that she took in from off the street, and he’s there to… propose to her!?

So, first of all, the biggest minus for this volume: the duck should have been on the cover. Come on. Also, word of warning, but Gabriel, the Slime Duke (he’s a human, not a slime, it’s a title) is a bit of a creepy stalker, in the sort of “I am too pathetic to express my infatuation so I will instead follow her around secretly” kind of dweeb. Fortunately, once they’re actually forced to meet, they turn out to be the best things for each other, as she builds him up and praises him, while he gives her a ;purpose and a new family. There are identical maid triplets with different personalities here as well, which is a trope that is almost impossible to get wrong, and this does not. It does have villains who are super, duper, ooper evil, and multiple threats of being forced into sex work, but at heart this is a fluffy story with a cute couple, cute slimes, and a vicious duck who will cut you.

My favorite part is when Gabriel introduces the mansion residents (his histrionic mother, the triplet maids, and the head servant who is a woman but dresses as a butler) and says that Francette is the only normal one there. He says this to her as she is holding her duck under one arm. Normal is overrated.

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