“Kazuya…make a family and protect it to the end.”
Your grandfather’s words resound in your mind as you stare at his funerary photo.
You came home to tell him that you got accepted into university, but now…
You are lifted into the air with smoke surrounding you and getting thicker!
Moments later, you fall to the ground as the smoke dissipates.
Is…this a king…and a queen?!
“Are you angry about being here, o hero?” the king asks with concern.
“That d-depends,” you say with unease. “C-can you please explain why I am here?”
The king’s explanations remind you of an intro for a role-playing game.
The world you are in now consists of a single, great landmass known as the continent of Landia. About ten years ago, a massive horde of ferocious monsters and powerful demons suddenly appeared in northernmost Landia. The various nations of Landia united their armies and fought against the horde but were defeated. The monsters, led by a Demon Lord, eventually conquered a third of the continent and established the Demon Lord’s Domain.
The king himself is the ruler of Elfrieden, a kingdom in southeastern Landia. Despite being away from the front lines in the ongoing war, the Kingdom of Elfrieden currently faces a food shortage and an influx of refugees from lands overtaken by the Demon Lord. On top of this, the Elfrieden government is having difficulties paying war subsidies to the Gran Chaos Empire, a large nation that now fights constant border battles with the Demon Lord’s Domain. Recently, the Empire suggested that Elfrieden summon a hero as compensation for unpaid subsidies…and here you are.
“So, what now?” you finally ask. “Are you going to hand me over to the Empire?”
“This is a difficult decision.” the king sighs.
“Your majesty, I should learn about your kingdom’s affairs first. Perhaps I can find a way for you to pay the Empire.”
It had been an intensive two days of talking to the king and his prime minister. Your eyes feel a bit sore from reading all the countless records you requested from them.
You follow the king as you both enter the meeting hall.
You stand in front of the crowd while the king takes his place on the podium. His face looks clear and determined.
“…in favor of the hero!”
How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom (現実主義勇者の王国再建記, Genjitsushugi Yūsha no Ōkoku Saikenki) is a light novel series, manga and anime written by Dojyomaru (どぜう丸).
Shortly after attending the funeral of his beloved grandfather, the young Kazuya Souma is whisked away to the Kingdom of Elfrieden in another world. He then holds an intense two-day-long discussion with Elfrieden’s ruler, King Albert, about his country’s government and infrastructure. At the end of it, Albert officially abdicates as King and appoints Kazuya as the new King of Elfrieden. Albert also engages his daughter Liscia to Kazuya.
Kazuya reforms Elfrieden’s agricultural system and orders audits on the country’s government expenditures. He also improves the kingdom’s transport infrastructure, sewers, and waste management and commences the construction of a port town to improve maritime trade. Later, Kazuya organizes a recruitment drive to find talented people to work in Elfrieden’s government, eventually recruiting several noteworthy people. As a result, the standard of living in the kingdom improves significantly.
However, not all in the Elfrieden Kingdom are happy with the sudden appearance of a new king. The three leaders of Elfrieden’s military consider rebelling against Kazuya. The Principality of Amidonia, a neighboring country to the west, sees this as an opportunity to regain land that the Elfrieden Kingdom seized from them generations ago and Prince Gaius, the ruler of Amidonia, personally leads his entire army into the kingdom. The leader of Elfrieden’s navy, Excel Walter, eventually affirms her loyalty to Kazuya while Georg Carmine and Castor Vargas, the leaders of the army and air force respectively, carry on with their mutiny.
Deciding to attack Castor first, Kazuya uses a walled fort, constructed by magic, to delay Georg’s advance and orders Excel to delay the Amidonian army’s occupation of a border town. After Kazuya subjugates Castor and takes command of the air force, he uses these newly acquired troops to subdue Georg’s forces with as few deaths as possible. After Georg’s surrender, Kazuya declares to the Amidonian army that he will occupy their capital city of Van, driving them back to their principality. On the outskirts of Van, the exhausted Amidonian army is thrashed by the now-united Elfrieden army and Prince Gaius is killed in battle. In one week, later known in history as the One Week War, Kazuya ended a civil war and occupied a neighboring country’s capital city!
Despite an attempt by Gaius’ son to have the Gran Chaos Empire “request” the Elfrieden army’s retreat, Kazuya eventually annexes Amidonia and creates the united Kingdom of Friedonia. He also forges a secret alliance with the Empire to prepare for all-out war with the Demon Lord’s Domain.
Kazuya Souma (相馬 一也, Sōma Kazuya), the 19-year old fourteenth King of the Kingdom of Elfrieden (later Friedonia) and a former humanities student. Considerate, decisive, humble, resourceful, and wise, he is now gradually experiencing the burdens of rulership including loneliness and stress from responsibility for countless lives. Kazuya is very familiar with the art of government and remembers various works from famous authors including Niccolò Machiavelli and Sun Tzu. In his new world, Kazuya can telekinetically manipulate several objects from a distance and remotely view whatever is in the objects’ vicinity. He typically uses this ability, known as Living Poltergeist, to manipulate manikins of various sizes.
Liscia Elfrieden, the crown princess of the Kingdom of Elfrieden and Kazuya’s first fiancée. Brave, determined, and proud, she was initially unhappy with her father’s arbitrary decision to engage her with a foreign stranger, but her feelings for Kazuya grew as she witnessed his actions as Elfrieden’s new king. While Liscia is tolerant of Kazuya having several fiancées, she is fiercely insistent on being the first one. Trained at her country’s military academy, Liscia is a competent officer and swordswoman.
Aisha Udgard, Kazuya’s dark elf bodyguard and one of his fiancées. Bold, dignified, gluttonous and impetuous, she is quite naïve about life outside her home in the Elfrieden Kingdom’s God-Protected Forest, where she had spent most of her life. After the young king organized a relief effort to help the dark elves after a landslide almost destroyed their village, Aisha swore her eternal loyalty to Kazuya and fell in love with him. Extremely strong, Aisha can swing her huge two-handed sword with skill and ease.
Hakuya Kuonmin, Kazuya’s prime minister. Calculating, reserved, and shrewd, he is Kazuya’s closest advisor. Because of his keen interest in reading, Hakuya is extremely knowledgeable on a wide variety of fields including law, politics and economics.
Juna Doma, a music pub singer and one of Kazuya’s fiancées. Affectionate and even-tempered, she promotes good morale throughout the Kingdom of Elfrieden with singing and persuasive words. Behind the scenes, Juna is an agent of her grandmother, Excel Walter, and the leader of the Elfrieden navy’s marines, codenamed “Lady Canaria”.
Tomoe Inui, a mystic wolf beastfolk girl. Compassionate and timid, she can communicate with all animals. After Tomoe secretly revealed that she can also communicate with any demonic being, Kazuya decided to arrange the girl’s adoption into the Elfrieden royal family for her protection.
Poncho Panacotta, an expert chef and gourmet. Kind and unassuming, he spent most of his life traveling across the continent of Landia in search of various foods before he was recruited by Kazuya. Poncho’s food expertise proved invaluable in solving the Elfrieden Kingdom’s food shortage.
The hero of this story is, more or less, an ordinary person with a focused, rational mind who is determined to do his best for those he considers his family. Kazuya sees himself as an administrator, instead of a king, who ensures that the Kingdom of Elfrieden survives and prospers. He feels the burdens of being someone responsible for the lives of literally millions of people, so he’d rather not have this job but has no choice in the matter. Overall, the story is an example of what a responsible monarch endures and the complexities of managing a country.
The average person in the world is usually concerned only with their particular profession and does not need to understand much outside it. Senior executives, engineers, and politicians have jobs that manage the livelihood of many people and, as a result, have to understand the particulars of several fields and how their decisions can affect the future. Kazuya had to read through countless kingdom records and hold discussions with experts before making decisions to improve life in his kingdom. The fact that every action has consequences is especially true for anyone who manages a country. For example, is it worth spending ten years of taxes on land reclamation to construct more homes for a city? One could easily argue for it or against it.
It’s easy for people to complain to their employers or protest against their country’s leaders, but not all of them truly understand the entire situation involved. Such leaders also have the difficult task of ensuring that their power and influence do not corrupt them, which is very easy judging from the amount of corruption in economics and politics in this world! Rare is the leader who always considers the wishes of a country and its people. While it’s important for us to stand up for what we believe in, we must never dismiss the difficulties country leaders face.
Never take your country’s stability and prosperity for granted.