The Alchemist Who Survived Now Dreams of a Quiet City Life


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    I just noticed: tomorrow is the release date for volume 2. A little less than 9 more hours before I can continue to enjoy the series. Anyone else here who is following/enjoying the series?


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    I've read the first volume, and the second arrived last week in the mail.
    I enjoyed the first volume enough to keep reading it. I do like how it has manga to start of the volumes for something different rather than just a couple of colour illustrations.


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    Indeed! I was quite surprised at first - especially since there is also a manga which you can buy separately. I know some reviewers on amazon consider the content boring, and the alchemist-transmutation-description rather boring. But the story is very much to my liking so far and I am looking forward for what awaits me in volume 2.

    In fact, some of the scenes in the first volume, like those where Sieg tells the story from his point of view, brought tears to my eyes. So touching! <3


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    Yeah when it was first announced by YP, I didn't take much notice of it, but when it came out I looked in to it a little more and it seemed interesting enough. Everyone was complaing that the alchemist-transmutation-description was rather boring, but that was the part that I went in to it looking for something interesting. I was hoping for more of a crafter story rather than someone who goes head first in to battle. I didn't find the descriptions too drawn out either which is also what other people said.
    Yeah, Sieg's backstory was very interesting.
    I'm looking forward to seeing where it goes, the only problem is my backlog... All the December YP books came in at once, so there is a stack of about 15 books from YP-December alone for me to get through, and this book is thick...


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    I just read part 1 this weekend and enjoyed it a lot, so I'm looking forward to the Kindle version of volume 2 being released this evening (usually 9 PM Pacific time).

    So far it's a nice, relaxing story. It's a change of pace that the main character is very skilled but only at crafting, and has no combat power at all. It's fun to cheer her on as she overcomes obstacles and grows in confidence.


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    I just finished the second volume. This series is truly a gem among many light novels.

    Oh dear, how Dick found out about the monsters - perfectly delivered.

    It is rare to see such a polished and refined light novel. I just noticed one typo even.

    The books would make awesome anime material with the way they are written.


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    I was kind of put off by the first volume, largely because I'm kind of tired of the whole thing about slavery being used as a plot excuse for the protagonist to have a trustworthy companion without going through the effort to characterize them first.

    I was kind of hoping for a story about the main character finding herself in a world far in the future than what she came from, and her clear PTSD about the monster flood. I'm not that interested in the literal step-by-step descriptions of her crafting, but I can always skip those. And I don't even mind the heavily-hinted romance between her and Sieg. I just don't like the part where the romance is happening because she treated Sieg like a normal human being, which should be the baseline, and honestly a huge part of why I don't like slavery systems in light novels.

    I do understand that at least Sieg being a slave is a background point in how he got his arrogance beaten out of him, but it's kind of overboard.


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    It did not seem that much about slavery to me... but I can see where that dislike is coming from. A lot of Isekai and non-Isekai novels and manga who has a world with slavery usually end up having it as a general excuse for the main protagonist to get a (harem/)character for cheap.

    I especially disliked it a lot with "Death March to Parallel World Rhapsody".

    While in my opinion there is always a potential romance flag whenever you put a character of the opposite sex to the main one, I do not see it happening anywhere between Mariela and Sieg. In the second volume it feels more like a Guardian-Child relationship while having the background story from the first volume solemnly served for Sieg, or rather the dedicated Guardian he had became.

    The idea of the main protagonist ending up with PTSD is a fine one - I quite like it. As much as I can tell without giving out spoilers is simply, that the main character seems rather dense for that - plus the training with her master shaped her into a person who rather embraces life after escaping certain death, instead of becoming traumatised. It fits her age quite good, from my point of view.

    In the second volume the hints towards a potential romance between Mariela and Sieg are rather running gags, which the author even used to make fun about it. Also the transmutation descriptions have become scarce due situational issues. Everything which I considered off putting from the first volume feel mostly gone and I consider the second volume a huge improvement over all, with the story taking interesting directions less focused on the main character.

    And yeah - the content was much more than what I expected. I could not tell the book is thick right away, as @Timmaaah could. But it was more than I personally expected. In my opinion the sequel deserves to be called a proper novel, rather than being a "light" novel.

    It was so good, I pre-ordered right away the next volume. <3


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    @serah Yeah both of them are pretty thick, and vol 2 is about 30-40 pages more. It's just a shame that YP has problems with the way that they cut their books in that it is rare that the spines line up. And these 2 for me don't even come close to lining up...

    Image


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    @timmaaah you can’t put photos in spoilers, it just won’t show up, you can just drop the photos as is, or link to an album on Imgur or your preferred hosting site.


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    @rahul-balaggan Ah fair enough. I did it because the photo displays excessively large


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    @timmaaah I am astonished about the size... Seems about right since I took about twice the time I usually need for a "light" novel.

    That makes the series look ridiculous cheap, if I compare it with other titles, which cost the same or even more with much less content.


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    @serah Yeah you really get your money out of this series. Out of all the other YP books that I have, there is only 1 that has more pages, and that is Danmachi Vol 14 which only has a few more pages.


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    @serah That's kind of part of my issue, though: the story is definitely not much about slavery, which means the only reason slavery is put in there is to provide an excuse for Mariela to buy one, and thus have a "trustworthy" companion. After that, we hear about slavery either only with regards to Sieg's past, or in passing as a comment on the local justice system.

    And I keep wondering why the author didn't just remove this huge uncomfortable implication of slavery in the first place, and find some other more interesting way for Mariela to meet and befriend Sieg.

    As for the PTSD, Mariela definitely has it, since there was at least one occasion in the first novel where she is struck by a panic attack at recalling that monster flood. Which is a highly traumatic experience, so I was kind of hoping to see how the story describes her overcoming it in a healthy way.


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    @unsynchedcheese If that is the issue, I wonder if the plot in the second volume would mend that. The slavery part of the world is becoming a more -very disgusting- importance as the story goes on.

    In regards of Sieg, a different approach would be completely different from that how it is, indeed, if it was not for the slavery background. Aside of the "treat-a-slave-like-a-person" thing, he came off as garbage for the society after the mistreatment of his former slave masters. If that would not have been the case, I wonder, no one seems to be in life threatened danger as Sieg was (aside from the typical soldiers/adventurers/etc.) in the world where healing magic and potions exists.

    And then, if it was that easy, it would feel like a repetition of how Mariela befriended Lynx and company.

    While I agree with you to a certain degree, it is hard to pass that same judgement for me - especially after the second volume. Though I definitely feel being fed up with that typical harem plot hero-buys-slave-slave-loves-hero. It is far too convenient for an otherworldler to get 120%+ trust just by buying a slave and treat them as a person, lacking all the interesting challenges which comes with the story when trust is gain step by step.

    Ugh... on a completely unrelated side note, this would serve so good to underline my argument in the topic about upvotes...


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    Wow, I'm surprised you got through it so quickly. I only just finished it moments ago, but I'm a slow reader. I picked the first volume up on a whim, and have continued to be pleasantly surprised. Second volume was even better. I'd forgotten how much was going on in the story until I started reading volume 2. Pre-ordered volume 3 as well (:

    Spoilers for volume 1 about Sieg/slavery


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    @unsynchedcheese said in The Alchemist Who Survived Now Dreams of a Quiet City Life:

    I do understand that at least Sieg being a slave is a background point in how he got his arrogance beaten out of him, but it's kind of overboard.

    It was also important to the scene later in the first volume after Mariela collapses from using too much magic, where he realizes he has mostly been being nice to her as self-interest not as real friendship. Even becoming a slave and almost dying hadn't cured his selfishness.

    I don't mind slavery being an element in light novels because it has existed in our Earth throughout history, and still exists in some countries today. By loose definitions there are 20+ million enslaved people right now, and even using the strictest definitions there are hundreds of thousands - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slavery_in_the_21st_century

    It made sense in Shield Hero, Mixed Bathing and here that someone without any connections in the world would turn to buying their companion.

    @serah said in The Alchemist Who Survived Now Dreams of a Quiet City Life:

    Though I definitely feel being fed up with that typical harem plot hero-buys-slave-slave-loves-hero. It is far too convenient for an otherworldler to get 120%+ trust just by buying a slave and treat them as a person, lacking all the interesting challenges which comes with the story when trust is gain step by step.

    Except she didn't have Sieg's trust at first, he just pretended to give it even to himself.

    @serah said in The Alchemist Who Survived Now Dreams of a Quiet City Life:

    I especially disliked it a lot with "Death March to Parallel World Rhapsody".

    That one didn't bother me because the MC is a 29-year adult (in a 15-year-old body) who is not interested in teens at all. At the first inn he stays at the owner's daughter flirts with him but he's more interested in her mom.

    He treats his slaves as wards or family rather than a harem, and is looking for a way to break the curses that enslaved them.

    It's also not the case that he needs them for protection since he's one of the strongest beings on the planet. He's a tourist on vacation, and enjoys sharing new food, sights, and people with his travel companions.


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    @harmlessdave said in The Alchemist Who Survived Now Dreams of a Quiet City Life:

    It made sense in Shield Hero, Mixed Bathing and here that someone without any connections in the world would turn to buying their companion.

    This has really, really uncomfortable implications for a story, where someone who has no connections immediately goes to owning another person as the solution.

    My objection is that the protagonist buying a slave means that there is a system whereby people can buy other people and own them, which I think most people can agree is a bad thing for the people being owned. So while the protagonist can be nice to their purchased slave all they want, that leaves every other slave in this system, who have no choice but to depend on the whims of fate to have anywhere near the same hope of being treated like a person. Or, as is more likely in almost every story with slavery as a narrative crutch, they disappear into a puff of narrative inconvenience.

    (Mixed Bathing is especially frustrating, because they mention all these rights and freedoms for the ravers, and I kept thinking "the concept you want is 'D&D hireling', not 'slave'".)

    In the case of Sieg, the fact that he had to realize he was being nice to Mariela for his own ends could have been done through actual character development without the extra burden of not actually being able to do anything different even if he decided that it was fine for him to continue pretending.

    Which is another reason I was less happy with the extended descriptions of alchemy (which use SI-derived units like Celsius, for some reason), because it felt like the author wanted to focus more on their particular setting system than character development.


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    @unsynchedcheese said in The Alchemist Who Survived Now Dreams of a Quiet City Life:

    This has really, really uncomfortable implications for a story, where someone who has no connections immediately goes to owning another person as the solution.

    Well, in each case there aren't any other good options:

    Shield Hero - he's been falsely branded as a rapist, his money and equipment were stolen, and he's in a country where a majority of the population holds his skill in contempt. He did try forming a party with non-slaves and it ended very badly.

    Mixed Bathing - his hero skill seems useless for combat and no one wants to join his party, I agree that Ravers are more like indentured servants than slaves though.

    Alchemist - at the point where she buys Sieg she has every reason to believe that if she reveals her skills, she'll be put in a cage at best and possibly enslaved herself. She has no friends, family, other skills.

    Yes, the writers could have changed the setting to the point where that wasn't true, but it would be hard to do so without removing major themes of betrayal in Shield Hero, becoming powerful despite a useless skill in Mixed, trying to maintain secrecy with sometimes Abilities Average levels of comic failure in Alchemist.


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    So, has anyone kept up with this?


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