The Strange Adventure of a Broke Mercenary

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After the soldiers’ mercenary group where he used to work had been utterly destroyed, Loren, who survived the disaster, decided to walk the adventurer’s path as a way to make a living. However, for Loren who had no acquaintances and nothing but an empty pocket on him, receiving a single quest seemed like a faraway aim. So, as he was contemplating about what he should do next, another adventurer called out to him.

Associated Names
One entry per line
Kuitsume Youhei no Gensou Kitan
食い詰め傭兵の幻想奇譚
Related Series
N/A
Recommendations
Goblin Slayer (1)
Grimgal of Ashes and Illusion (1)
Wortenia Senki (WN) (1)
The Second Coming of Avarice (1)

Latest Release

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02/16/19 Unlucky Slime c49
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23 Reviews sorted by


Casul_Reader
Casul_Reader rated it
April 14, 2018
Status: c25
Just a heads up, this is suprisingly my opinion so keep that in mind. This is also an updated review as the translators finish the first book.

After reading further, I must say that this is pretty damn great. I can't recall the last time I've felt so immersed in a scene of life and death where I keep rooting for the characters in my head to succeed. In short, if you like the fantasy isekai genre but without the wimpy and generic JP MC then you ought to give this... more>> a go.

To explain further, the novel has a grim dark feel to it. Characters who make poor decisions tend to end up miserable and those who aren't won't always get what they want. It has a realistic approach to things that things doesn't always go well but at the same time there is a certain feeling of relief in seeing the two main characters safe and sound at the end of the day.

The two characters are quite likable, Loren being this supposed badass wielding a greatsword whose body is about as beefy as Guts, and Lapis who is this mischievous priestess that works kind of like a library on foot with her level of knowledge. But being people, they have their flaws but these flaws just add up more to their character as being realistic individuals with the way the two interact being interesting and fun to read.

As for world building, its pretty good despite it only being a volume in. It gives one enough information to get a grasp on what how the world works around them and the mechanics in play. Its quite fascinating for me to read as often do we read about JP novels that are like this who don't even tackle the rulings on how the Adventurers Guild work in the first place.

All in all, its a great novel and you should give it a go. And the spoilers below is my original thoughts after reading the first 4 chapters.

Spoiler

Dood, Ive been waiting for this damn novel to be translated ever since I saw the cover. Even before it was in Novel updates, I've already seen its cover. The only reason I haven't read it so soon was because I didn't even know its title, I just saw the cover and knew I had to read it.

With just 4 chapters I am hooked, heck I'm hooked with just the MC's personality alone. For starters, no reincarnation, transmigration or summoned to another world shenannigans, although the MC's past makes him kind of a black slate in terms of world knowledge, he's no amatuer at living and shows it through his interactions with other people, he feels so... real... and not like most JP MCs... that's more than enough of a reason to give this novel a go.

In terms of atmosphere and setting, its the typical "Another World" world in the isekai genre, adventurer's guild, monsters, countries, etc. However, what makes it different is the MC. The whole feel of the atmosphere feels more grim and realistic, people die, being unprepared will bring trouble, going around and letting your d*ck choose your life decisions won't bode well for you and the reality of being broke, is cruel one. Overall, atmosphere is great, setting is alright.

Characters, so far only two noteworthy ones, the ones on the cover, the big picture on this page, whom are Loren the broke MC, and Lapis the priest. Both are surpisingly likable at first glance and are obviously gonna be the main duo based on the following volume covers. (P.S. If you want to see the covers, just google images its alternative japanese name and you'll see a few along with some character concept art. This is also how I knew of this novel in the first place)

Overall, I have a lot of hopes for this novel, please do support the translator for picking this up as it is a daunting task to translate JP novels as most translators tend to stop after translating a dozen chapters or so. Don't let a gem like this lose its brilliance!

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scribbledoutname
scribbledoutname rated it
May 21, 2018
Status: c21
Not bad but not amazing either. I think 3 stars (6/10) is a fair assessment.

Pros:

  • Level-headed, capable MC.
  • Characters have personalities.
Cons:

  • MC doesn't speak his mind nearly enough. Some problems could be avoided if he just spoke instead of berating people in his head.
  • Dwells a bit too much on the bits where nothing much is happening. For example, it might describe how they get from A to B instead of just starting at B, even though nothing meaningful happens during the walk. It can get a bit off-putting because the chapters are already so short.
I should admit that it's partly my fault for getting my hopes up after seeing the amazing art. The art is a league better than the story, which is OK.
16 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
HARD FUNK
HARD FUNK rated it
February 2, 2018
Status: v1c4
The grim exposition of a lost, groveling, and hopeless mercenary in an uncomfortable situation has done a good job of keeping it tense with anticipation for 4 chapters.. Shame that's all there is translated at the time I'm writing this review. Hope it gets picked up by a good translator.

A 5* start, but that's all I can judge it by for now. Not enough to tell if the MC's lack of cynicism is a flaw yet.
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Razzy V
Razzy V rated it
September 15, 2018
Status: c26
This was a fun read until the end of the first arch where they lost me.

Starts off strong with a lone mercenary into adventurer as it states in the synopsis but quickly becomes a knight chained to a princess story by the end of the first arc. MC has a multitude of inner monologues that could shape the situation for the better but never voices them leaving him struggling to save himself. He is constantly led by the nose or in this case the coin purse.

I have to say this... more>> story is a pretty fun read as long as you don’t expect much world building (outside of the cost of living), strong characterization, or an assertive MC

Probably will come back later to browse through and see if the MC learned how to talk about his ideas instead just watching the house burn down and regret not telling anyone to bring water. <<less
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redheadtn
redheadtn rated it
September 10, 2018
Status: c35
Having crippling debt, no retirement plan, and having to take up a job he doesn't really want strikes a little too close to home for me to enjoy...

On a more serious note, the world-building feels terrible, and some of the things SnoopyGM said ring true. ... more>>
Spoiler

There seems to be too many conflicting premises for the conclusion the story tries to draw. We've seen he's not stupid, but he has no backup money in case his mercenary unit gets wiped out. We see he's stronger than most mid-rank adventurers (literally so strong he has a title), but he's got a piece of junk sword and needs a party in order to do quests. Then they get into how the low-rank adventurers are all in debt or dying... Why would anyone ever become one? It seems completely unsustainable.

Honestly, Loren doesn't even feel like the MC... He makes almost no meaningful decisions and gets swept up in the pace of other people. It's more like following the background character that the hero blackmails into joining his party. I'm not really enjoying the "Get stepped on like a doormat" attitude. I'm not asking for some revenge obsessed super killer like Summoned Slaughterer or something, but you have to have some kind of personality. Currently he's just the stupidly strong thug (on a leash) that doesn't want to be a mercenary. Oh but being an adventurer is sooooo different.

All of this is just speculation though so let's just shove a concrete example in here to solidify the point. Chapter 30 (29 maybe) he tosses some guys into a wall on accident, realizes it was too strong, and ends up racking up more debt. Chapter 31 he immediately DOES IT AGAIN. I can't believe that a seasoned mercenary that made the escape plan in the ruins is so stupid that he didn't learn anything. It all just feels like a blatant setup for a guard dog and his princess.

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To sum up, it feels one-dimensional. These don't feel like characters, they feel like a stereotype tossed onto a page. What charm their interactions had quickly became common, and we even see the priest acting as a walking encyclopedia multiple times in just the first two volumes. That doesn't sound like a lot, but the chapters are somewhat short so it's easy to read a 3-4 at a time. <<less
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rodavis
rodavis rated it
August 6, 2018
Status: c30
Got bored, the MC is to beta and get run over to much and his nice guy dialogs doesn't add up to what a merc actions should really be.. this one dialogue put the last nail into the coffing, killed any kind of fun I was having, that wasn't much to begin with ... more>>
Spoiler

“It looks like an ordinary coat. But this is in fact a magic item. The cloth was woven with many layers using silk from black widows. This is a great find. Plus, it only costs five gold coins.”

“That’s quite an incredible on you’ve found.”

“A coat that is enchanted with << Protection >> and << Auto Recovery >> would usually cost ten times this price. Your defense will increase just by wearing this on top of leather armor. We must definitely buy this one.”

“Ten times... Why don’t you tell the owner?”

If what Lapis said was true, the store would be at quite a loss.

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used the last one.. there are to many internal monologues of him berating and talking about the right way o best or whatever form to success in any given situation, but he does not speak up, let's the sh*t hit the fan every damn time. <<less
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ReadsWebNovels
ReadsWebNovels rated it
May 3, 2018
Status: c14
A breath of fresh air. It's the same world and rules as a typical JPN fantasy novel, but with realistic logic. This may be the strongest opening to a novel I've ever read.

Can't fault any part of the story to this point except for personal preferences.
6 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
Vrethalya
Vrethalya rated it
May 23, 2018
Status: c23
wellp, keep in mind that im writing this review in accord to my taste and its all but an opinion (and a tid bit of fact)

The story so far is quite interesting and the description is acceptable. Started off strong, with only several character, but clear distinction, relation and interaction between them. It is also well translated with little to no mistake being made in each chapter.

Pros:

  • good translation quality
  • its pace is quite good, not to fast, yet not to slow
  • reasonable update rate
  • NOT REINCARNATED, MC CAME FROM THE VERY SAME WORLD (so far)
  • reasonable MC, not some shounen beta MC who unreasonably tries to save everyone, nor edgy dude who tries to kill everyone in the story. Just an unlucky adult who got kicked from his previous job bcs his company got wiped out
  • the MC isnt like to strong that he can challenge everything with ease, there are actual problem being faced by MC and his company, like unreasonable new kid who just got introduced to this kind of work, unreasonable work load due to some kind of unlucky circumstance (well, sh*t happens), new kid got rekt by reality, MC who hated him just left him alone so he can reflect on his action (on the afterlife)
  • the story flows in a good way, not just some dude go to place A, dude wipe some enemy, dude got power up, dude got new equip, dude go to town B to buy/repair his equipment, rinse and repeat. No, it has a good reasoning, why is he ended up in that city, why the MC do that, why the MC has to face such problem, etc.
  • once again, the MC is reasonable and relatable. He is an adult who tries his best to survive in a harsh adult world after being kicked from his old company. Like an adult (at least in an asian background) there are complains with who you're working with, but you have to endure it since not everything can be solved by tackling it head on. MC aint trying to lay low either, he just do what he have to do in order to survive in a harsh world
  • so far, the characters are well defined, not just a sack of walking troupe (well, some are quite linear with fantasy-related characters, like how there are elf and dwarf, and how they act, but not to the point that the troupe dictates how they act in every situation)
  • the story felt kinda similar to goblin slayer (wellp, seeing how the first trouble he experienced is a horde of goblins (sweet jesus, some people just think that goblin is a mob enemy, but seeing how they're always at odds with human, kidnap humans and breeds like rats with intelligence similar to an infant or neanderthal, and is capable in working in a group, making a small basic village and using magic and weapons, they're more than just a mob like how similar novels describe them)) it describe demon's threat realistically
Cons:

  • wellp, its quite short
  • since its short and well explained, some chapters seems filled with not-so-important details that will explains the characters involved, their circumstances, and their course of action.
  • since its short, and some chapters are filled with a not-so-important details, the story progression felt a bit slow
  • eventhough the MC is a senior mercenary who have been involved in a life and death bussiness, the MC arent really assertive. He is more like a wait and see type of a person and at some situation (mostly in the begining of the story), it seems kinda bit weird, like putting up with beginner party who wont even bother to check on their job and doing simple assignment within the party like night watch, which is important for the party's safety. (I know it really is an awkward situation, but dude, thats f**ked up, leaving their back open like that)
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LtBeefy
LtBeefy rated it
October 27, 2018
Status: c32
3 stars.

Not a bad novel. Tho the MC is suppose to be someone who was till recently a famous very powerful mercenary. Yet despite living as a mercenary killing people and being strong he is a wimp. He fulfills the complete stereotype of a Japanese MC. It honestly gets annoying as the personality doesn't fit up with his background at all. Read up to ch 32 so far and debating on dropping it because of that.
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Zombiefan
Zombiefan rated it
August 13, 2018
Status: c37
Main character is a typical Japanese arc type. He's a strong famous mercenary but has no money, and when a pushy woman comes around he just follows her instructions.

The woman is crafty? She realizes she's physically weak but to achieve her goals needs the main character and uses money to keep him in her pocket. Whether it's weapons, armor, lodgings, she covers it knowing that a female would like her would get taken advantage of in many ways if she didn't have muscle behind her. It's really annoying because most... more>> of this comes at the end of the first volume and if I knew that's how she would be I would have skipped this. <<less
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mukkaar
mukkaar rated it
July 18, 2018
Status: c34
It's ok, nothing bad but also nothing special. There is a lot of dialogue and text that doesn't really do anything for story and MC, although reasonably smart, seems to be floormat. He could have avoided a lot of trouble by just speaking up. I can't really see mercenary experience showing up.

This is kind of cheap plot trick to make MC seem better, by having some smart inner dialogue with MC about how things should be done. But if he doesn't try to correct the situation and just goes with... more>> it, that makes MC equally stupid.

Story overall just feels a bit dragged out and has plot holes. I can't say it's bad, but it's not great either. <<less
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Kratos2151107
Kratos2151107 rated it
May 24, 2018
Status: c24
The story is great, entertaining and more or less realistic (realistic in a sense that the MC is not overpowered and his decision is more or less normal for human). MC struggles to fight by his own strength and brain (the MC also struggle's about money for he is broke LoL). The theme is more or less Berserk x Goblin Slayer but not a dark fantasy (I cannot sympathize those 3 idiots who are trash so for me its a light hearted story well I feel satisfied when those 3... more>> idiots died). The most important Pros for me is Lapis (LoL) <<less
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beanguyensonr
beanguyensonr rated it
July 11, 2018
Status: c32
Not exactly a tensei story, but certainly a CAREER tensei story! A guy from another line of work is forced to get a new job in the adventurer's guild. It's fun to read and I'll continue to read it as long as it stays on its current path - definitely one of my favorite reads at the moment.
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Chourou
Chourou rated it
July 10, 2018
Status: --
Guts from berserk got tired of his author who keeps going on hiatus so he changed named to Loren and started his work for a diffrent writer.

It is an ok read to be honest. Pace feels nice. Story: He meets a demon lady, who will soon scheme to entrap him to her. Well Loren is a nice guy so he won't mind it if he ever finds out. First arc, it was ok I guess. Loren meets dumb people who think they are hot stuffs when infact they are inexperienced... more>> and soon gets the death flag. So far we don't know where this will go in this early game, he just aims to earn money. And I am entertained, I like the pace. I like the mysteries behind the spawning machines and ruins. Though novel lacks some background meat. <<less
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shinikage
shinikage rated it
June 15, 2018
Status: c25
a really good story very good male main character totally out of the regular cliches not reincarnated or transmigrated, no cheat to save him at the last second not a wimpy boy, the narrative has a good pacing that so far doesnt allow it to grow dull, the only negative point being the female main character can't stand her personality at all
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elbert134
elbert134 rated it
May 29, 2018
Status: c24
This is very good. Interesting characters, a very likable, normal and relatable MC (this is hard to come by in japanese novels) and the pacing is smooth. The events flow naturally and the writing of the novel is nice.
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TheLastBossForm40
TheLastBossForm40 rated it
April 18, 2018
Status: c6
The author clearly has similar tastes to me.

It's basically Guts from Berserk currently in a plot development that is similar to Goblin Slayer.

The main character wields a sword that is too big for normal men. He pays keen attention to detail in his doings that others clearly do not.

The ideas are not particularly original as of yet and the inspirations for the work are very clear. But I love both of the influences that I have seen to death, so I don't really see a reason to not read this... more>> also. <<less
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Vidolin
Vidolin rated it
April 16, 2018
Status: v1c5
Always nice to see a down to earth MC, they are too rare, unfortunately. Both the MC and the Lapis seem likable, the way he thinks is very relatable, trying to work with new people, but worrying about awkward and uncomfortable situations. He tries to act professional and is justifiably annoyed when others fail to do the same. Haven't seen much of Lapis (who I'm guessing is going to be the FL) yet, but so far she appears to be an overall good and kind person, but not to the... more>> point of being a complete pushover, she can recognize the absurdity of a situation tries to take a tactful approach to it.

The translation is very well done, looking forward to seeing where this novel is going. <<less
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SnoopyGM
SnoopyGM rated it
August 7, 2018
Status: v1c1
I rate this 4 star for the story and the world building. But I stop reading this bcause even though thr author want to make story with 2 main character, it develop into 1 stupid and gulible but strong main and 1 weak but smart and kind of bitch. The strong but stupid is of course the male, and as some people already review its really not very good character.

He is a very high status mercenary but stupid. In many story this already become the side character, its not exiting... more>> and interesting enough. I think the only people who would really enjoy this is either a woman or a beta male, because goddamn this is really a story of side character people with people on the sidelines not caring about the male protagonist. Remember he is a very known mercenary! The female protagonist is intereting and devious by keeping the male and using him as a lackey, its not really shown but yeah the male is her slave.

Maybe what I said is a little overkill but that all true, look at the title, the male is poor, but he is very good, how can he still become poor? Ask the female protagonists. That is how the author want to make this story going.

I rate this 4 because its a good and interesting novel for some people and I rate this objectively, but personally I hate this story waste 3 hour of my time. <<less
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mllhild
mllhild rated it
May 20, 2018
Status: c21
This is one of the best adventure novels with a realistic setting I've seen until now on NU.

Pros:

  • The translation is good and has a decent speed.
  • The characters are funny and interact in a realistic way.
  • No kindhearted or OP MC, but he also isn't a Jerk.
  • No Harem
  • very smart way of world building, the author manages to express strength and background without wall of text exposition
Con:

  • the Chapters are a bit short and the chapter titles aren't good.... yeah, thats the only "problem" I could find until now. Oh and that I can't enslave the translator and editor to keep translating it 24/7
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