Yamai Zenjirou is an overworked salaryman for a shady company who's thinking about how he's going to spend a rare two consecutive days off, when he suddenly finds himself before a bronze-skinned, beautiful woman in what appears to be a throne room. She introduces herself as Aura Capua, queen of the Capua Kingdom and the possessor of her family's Space-Time Magic which she used to summon him to her world.
In the aftermath of a major war she was the only heir left, becoming a queen regnant in a traditionally male-dominated society. However there is great pressure on her to marry another noble from the royal bloodline and have children who will inherit the royal magic. Since her noble suitors would be likely to assert their own authority if one of them became her husband, she's asking Zenjirou—a long-lost descendant of a crown prince of Capua who fled to Earth with his star-crossed love—to marry her. And what's in it for him? All he's got to do is make children with her, and she'll happily let him laze around in the palace while she does all the governing.
Once Aura has answered all his questions, Zenjirou agrees to marry her and gets his Earthly affairs in order before returning to Capua for good. He and Aura have great chemistry, and he's brought some modern technology to help make his stay more comfortable, but he's still got a lot to learn about his new world, and staying out of politics might not be as simple as he thought. How will things turn out as Zenjirou tries to start his sponger life in another world?
The Ideal Sponger Life (A.K.A. Risou no Himo Seikatsu) is an Isekai Light Novel written by WATANABE Tsunehiko and illustrated by Jū Ayakura (文倉十 Ayakura Jū). Originally a web novel that won first prize in the "Let's Become A Novelist" competition, it incorporates elements of fantasy, ecchi, romantic comedy, and government procedural. Sponger Life is licensed in North America by Seven Seas Entertainment.
Tropes in the series
- Alternate Universe: The not-Earth world where most of the story takes place. Among other things, dinosaurs and dragons exist alongside humans.
- Artifact Title: While Zenjirou moves to Aura's world with the intention of living a lazy life in the inner palace while leaving the politics to Aura, it ultimately proves impractical for him to avoid all interaction with the court, and in the process of fulfilling his expected duties he develops quickly into a sociable and hard-working ruler. The whole sponger theme actually falls by the wayside pretty early in the story.
- Buxom Is Better: Zenjirou is very enthusiastic about Aura's big breasts.
- Cassandra Truth: The Carpa Nobility find it hard to believe that Zenjirou truly loves Aura and desires no concubine and just think Aura is being selfish and forbidding any woman to be with her husband.
- Decadent Court: Zenjirou has to keep an eye on the Carpa nobles since they are trying to find a way to undermine Aura's power or gain advantage against their rivals in anyway like offering their sisters as his concubine or giving priceless gifts that needs to be repay back with a gift or reward of equal value.
- Deliberate Values Dissonance: Aura's people sees no problem for powerful men having concubines as it's considered normal. So they find it absurd that Zenjirou, who comes from modern Earth, is not into polygamy and is fine having a monogamous relationship with Aura.
- Domesticated Dinosaurs: The drakes of the southern continent are mainly used as horse substitutes, including for riding and hauling wagons.
- Government Procedural: Zenjirou has to help Aura deal with the problems of running her kingdom, which involve the competing agendas of numerous parties.
- Happily Married: Zenjirou and Aura grow to love each other, and in fact it surprises the court just how much Zenjirou adores Aura and wants no other woman.
- Horse of a Different Color: The southern continent of the other world mostly uses reptiles as mounts and beasts of burden. They're referred to as drakes and wyverns and so on.
- Language of Magic: There is a magic language that can pack a whole sentence in one word. Because the "Soul of Words" can translate it automatically, a viewer can feel some dissonance from seeing the lip movements not matching what they hear.
- Lord Country: Most of the Royal families in the othe world share their surname with their kingdom i.e. Aura's surname is the name of her kingdom, Capua.
- Love at First Sight: When Zenjiro got summoned the first time by Aura, he was so enamored with her that he didn't notice other people (i.e. the guards) in the place he was summoned until one of them spoke up.
- Medical Monarch: Those of the Jilbell Royal Family bloodline can perform Healing Magic.
- Mundane Made Awesome: The glass marbles from Earth which were cheap mass produced toys are highly valued to the Sharrow Royal Family due to them being perfect for them creating magic tool in a short amount of time with their bloodline magic.
- Mundane Object Amazement: In addition to the electronic devices Zenjirou brought, the other world's south continent never invented glass, so the inhabitants are fascinated by the glass cups, wine bottles, and marbles he also brought.
- Nonindicative Name: "Raptorial dragons" are herbivores and quadrupedal.
- Royalty Super Power: The royal family of most countries has a unique magical power passed down through the bloodline. There are exceptions though.
- The Landlion continent (a.k.a. the 'Southern Continent'):
- The Carpa Kingdom's royal family has 'Space-Time Magic'.
- The Twin Kingdom of Sharrow and Jilbell has two. The Sharrow royal family has 'Bestowal Magic' while the Jilbell royal family has 'Healing Magic'.
- The Gupta Kingdom's royal family has 'Lightning'.
- The Harkonen Royal Family has 'Mind Search Magic'.
- The Bernhard Royal Family has 'Gardening Magic'.
- The Makarov Royal Family has 'Creation Magic'.
- The royal families of the 'Northern Continent' do not necessarily have 'Bloodline Magic' but that doesn't mean that there are not any.
- An added complication is that someone born from two bloodlines could inherit both magics if their magical power is sufficient. This has potential political ramifications since much of the south continent's royal families' claims to power and legitimacy come from their monopolies on their unique bloodline magics.
- The Landlion continent (a.k.a. the 'Southern Continent'):
- Showing Up Chauvinists: Throughout the series there are women in the not-Earth who are trying to break into/succeed in the male dominated world.
- Aura Carpa is the first ruling married queen of the Carpa kingdom (there were two other previous single queens, one adopted a branch family and made him her heir while the other made her baby brother her heir) though many of the country's nobles believe that a king should be the ruler due to reasons such as that a woman would not be able to do administrative duties when they are pregnant.
- Freya Uppsala, the first princess of Uppsala kingdom, is the first female captain who made an intercontinental voyage from Uppsala in the upper north of the northern continent to Capua in the south continent and back.
- Starcrossed Lovers: An important part of the backstory. Legend has it that a prince of the Carpa Royal Family fell in love with a princess of another kingdom, but due to the above mentioned political ramifications of mixing royal bloodlines, they were forbidden to marry. He used his Space-Time magic to elope with his lover to another world. The story was true and that other world was Earth. Zenjirou is a descendant of that prince and that is why he was summoned. It turns out that the princess the prince eloped with was a member of the Sharrow royal family, meaning Zenjirou inherited the ability to pass on Bestowal magic as well. Zenjirou and Aura's son Carlos turns out to have enough magical power to use Space-Time Magic and Bestowal magic. A fact they have to keep secret to avoid causing political turmoil.
- Translator Microbes: The 'soul of words'. It uses a little bit of magic power to allow people who speak different languages to understand each other. It has limitations such as the language must be acknowledged by a few thousand people, both parties must have magic flow between them, words of one language might have no equivalent in another and words can have different meanings between cultures. A skilled magician can deliberately stop the flow of magical power to stop the function between themselves and another party. Another problem is that it doesn't affect electronic recording, so that Zenjirou cannot understand what Aura is saying when he plays back a video of her lesson.