Banished From The Hero’s Party, I Decided to Live a Quiet Life in the Countryside Volume 2, written by Zappon with art by Masahiro Ikeno, character design by Yasumo, translations by Dale Delucia and lettering by Dayeun Kim, is a Yen Press manga. It continues the hilarious story of Red, formerly named Gideon, living in Zoltan.

His apothecary is now open and Rit, a friend from his previous life, now works as his employee and lives with him. Though not a couple yet, their love for each other is evident. There is not a lot of action in this volume, but there are lessons in each sweet story. Complete with an adorable mix of characters, Banished From The Hero’s Party, I Decided to Live a Quiet Life in the Countryside Volume 2 is an enjoyable slice-of-life read.

Banished From The Hero’s Party May Have An Ares Villain Origin Story

This volume covers chapters 7-13 and includes a bonus story. Picking up where the last book left off with Ruti wondering where about Red’s whereabouts, we see life in the Hero’s Party is no longer running smooth. Ares looked down on Red/Gideon because Red’s blessing only gave him 30+ levels. He ignores the benefits Red brings to the Hero’s Party, such as strategizing and restocking supplies. With Red gone, the Hero’s Party struggles, plus they no longer have Red’s delicious cooking while they travel. 

Not sure if Ares is a villain, but his narcissism and jealousy toward Red make it possible. Even Hero Party member Danan and Red’s high elf friend Yarandrala suspect Ares murdered Red. Readers know that is not the case, but it says something that those who know Ares, and his dislike of Red, believe he is capable of murder. Yarandrala did not come to play, and slugs Ares—only two volumes in. I was hoping for this. Being confident does not require condescension toward others. 

Small-Town Life That Is A Relaxing Read

Banished From The Hero's Party Volume 2 cover art with Rit holding buns and Red smiling in the back.
Banished From The Hero’s Party, I Decided to Live a Quiet Life in the Countryside Volume 2 cover art

After that, the story travels back to Red. The chapters each focus on a different challenge Red and Rit face, from seeking approval to sell their “red drug” to brainstorming ideas to bring in customers to aiding a small sauna business. Each story has comedic moments but also warm messages about working together.

The blessings grant different types of innate talent, which is no different than life, where all people are good or great at one thing and deficient at another. I hoped they would explore the blessings more, but it is only the second volume, and I love Banished From The Hero’s Party so far because it is an easy, engaging escape. Despite nothing dramatic occurring, I was not bored. I am rooting for Red and Rit. 

Red And Rit Are Goals, But Red Needs To Believe In Himself

Seeing Red and Rit dance around their feelings for each other is too cute. But with Danan determined to find Red, the question is whether or not Red return’s to the Hero’s Party. Given Rit’s love, she will go if he does. But Red still has insecurities regarding his worth. He places too much value on blessings and sees his own as insufficient to be a valued member of the Hero’s Party, largely thanks to Ares’s nasty words in the first volume.  Despite Red’s helpfulness and others’ praise, he always views himself as lesser. Red needs to work on that as Banished From The Hero’s Party continues. 

The story has looming questions, such as the Demon Lord’s army that remains on the fringes of the manga for now. But the danger looms, and now that the Hero’s Party lost members after Red’s departure, success seems less likely unless they get Red back. Some mangas leave you anxious and stressed, but Banished From The Hero’s Party, I Decided to Live a Quiet Life in the Countryside Volume 2—in fact, the series so far—is a comfort read. Like returning to your favorite shows again and again for peace, the characters are funny, kind, and caring. A wonderful escape.

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