In Volume 3 of Banished from the Hero’s Party, I Decided to Live a Quiet Life in the Countryside siblings Red and Ruti were reunited at last, much to their joy. Of course, not everyone was happy about this development and in Volume 4 our heroes are going to have to fight if they want to keep the quiet life they desire so much. Will they succeed? Let’s find out!
As we found out in the previous book, Ruti wants to give up her status as a hero and live a quiet life with her brother in Zoltan. Of course in this world, trying to go against what your Blessing wants is going to cause you plenty of trouble but to get around this, Ruti has been taking False Prophet – a drug that caused a lot of trouble in earlier instalments of the series. Red is worried about the long-term effects of Ruti taking the drug, so he and Rit (along with Tisse the assassin) head to the nearby ruins where Ruti has been keeping the creator of the drug hostage.
That’s not the only problem Red is facing either as Ruti’s old party member Ares is hot on her heels, hoping to change her mind about letting go of the Hero’s Blessing and he will do anything to get what he wants. Ares believes he needs to be the hero’s guide to have any purpose in life and as that begins to slip through his fingers, he’s only become more and more unhinged. Now even turning to a demon for help isn’t out of the question, so long as Ruti returns to her quest.
Readers may remember that Ares is the reason Red was kicked out of the hero’s party to start with, leading to him beginning his life in Zoltan. For as nastily as Ares acted toward Red, he still believed the man would protect his little sister and put her best interests first. Needless to say that Ares and Red reuniting under these conditions with Ares in such a deranged mental state does nothing good for anyone and ultimately the two enter into a deadly conflict that could spell the end for any number of our cast.
Banished from the Hero’s Party Volume 4 is a fairly short entry in the series coming in at just 165~ pages, but that means it wastes no time in bringing this arc to its conclusion. In the afterword, author Zappon admits that this was originally supposed to be the end of the series, which makes sense to me since Red and Ruit coming together always felt like it should be the final storyline.
Of course thanks to its popularity, this is not actually the end of Banished from the Hero’s Party and there is still plenty more content to come (five volumes and counting!), but this does make for a good stopping point, depending on what you cared about in the series. How the storyline evolves from here is going to be very interesting since we’ll not have the divide between Red and Ruti’s stories that we’ve had up until now. Zappon talks about the theme of the series being a slow life, which we also haven’t seen a great deal of since Volume 1 so that already suggests a significant change in direction.
If you’re not particularly in love with the cast then this is the perfect point to bid farewell to the series. I am certainly intrigued to see what comes next, but not everyone will share that sentiment now the original premise has concluded. This also explains why the anime adaptation that aired last year crammed all four books in to reach this point. This book ended up a bit of a confusing mess in the anime since it was adapted over just two episodes, so even if you watched the anime, it’s well worth seeking out this volume to give yourself a clearer idea of what was supposed to be happening.
Banished from the Hero’s Party, I Decided to Live a Quiet Life in the Countryside Volume 4 comes to the West thanks to Yen Press and continues to be translated by Dale DeLucia. The translation reads well with no problems to note. Volume 5 of the series is due for release in February, so not long to wait to find out how things change going forward!
Overall Banished from the Hero’s Party, I Decided to Live a Quiet Life in the Countryside Volume 4 brings a satisfying conclusion to the plot we’ve been following since Volume 1. Now it’s set to change direction and follow a new path, but for some of us, this will prove a suitable place to say goodbye to the series.