Title:The King’s Beast Vol. 4 Author: Rei Toma Publisher: Viz Media Language: English Format: Paperback Pages: 168 Genre: Romance, Fantasy Publication Date: November 2, 2021
In the fourth volume of The King’s Beast, the polo-esque competition continues between the third and fourth princes! During the match, the third prince, Kougai and his beast servant Boku end up getting a little rough, and for whatever reason, no fouls are called on them. Kougai even mentions in passing that Rangetsu did very well to detect the poison, leading him to suspect that Kougai was behind the attempt in the last volume.
After the game, Rangetsu pays Kougai a visit and sees a completely different side of “The Ice Prince.” Kougai defends himself by saying that everyone has a public and a private persona. Kougai takes a vested interest in Rangetsu and wants to make her his own. So, Kougai pays Touya a visit and challenges him to a match where Touya can pick the stipulations. If Touya wins, he gets anything that Kougai can provide but if Kougai wins, he gets to claim Rangetsu as his own.
Ririn wanted to come to watch her two brothers battle; however, she is a little too late in doing so. She mentions that she wants to gather all of her brothers together and have a bit of an affair. When that happens, Rangetsu isn’t allowed to mingle with the nobles so she’s sent to stay with the other beast servants. Touya eventually joins her and things get a little… close… between them to where Rangetsu has to put her guard up. The volume doesn’t really end on a cliffhanger but just a reaffirmation that Rangetsu must protect the secret that she’s actually a girl and to make sure Prince Touya doesn’t see through her.
The biggest development here goes to Prince Kougai. We get to understand him a bit more and while he may be The Ice Prince, he’s not as heartless as ice as people think. In fact, he’s not the one who tried to poison Prince Touya. Instead, he even reveals in private to Boku that he didn’t order him to play dirty in their polo match and wanted to know who ordered him to do so? That deepens the overall mystery of this story arc even more!
Kougai’s true intentions were that he simply wants to face and defeat Touya in competition with Touya being 100% serious. He wants to prove that he can be emperor but feels he can only do so by beating all of his competition when they are at full power. He only longed to have a true competition with Touya and, admittedly, got it… the outcome I’ll let you read and discover on your own.
All I have to say is… poor Rangetsu. Even though she is masquerading as a guy, she has found herself in so many situations where people have treated her as a girl. She received multiple comments on how cute she is and even Kougai has taken an interest to her. It makes you wonder about some of the preferences of these princes! It was still fun seeing Rangetsu get subtly hit on by a bunch of guys who think she’s a guy as well!
This was an interesting volume that had a couple of nice developments in it. While the main story took kind of a backseat, there were some interesting side plots that were set up here all involving Touya, Kougai, and Ririn.
Competition was the theme of this volume and while it was only between two princes, we know that there are many of them in the running to become emperor. I’m sure as the series goes on, we will see more of this between Touya and the other princes. Rangetsu trying to protect her secret was revisited but we all know that it’s going to get revealed sooner or later. Oddly, I can see Touya just shrugging it off and letting Rangetsu continue on as normal. He just doesn’t seem like the type of character to be surprised by anything like that. Given how noble he has acted so far, even if he discovers Rangetsu is a girl, he’s not going to care one bit.
Then again, I could be wrong and this could become a bit of an issue. Perhaps he will do his best to try and protect her secret but it gets out again and now some serious damage control has to be taken that could put his chances as the next emperor in jeopardy? Who knows… there’s a lot of ways this could go but it is pretty certain the secret will get spoiled at some point. It is this manga’s biggest selling point so when something like that takes center stage, it becomes painfully obvious that it will also be the focal point of some drama later on.
Until then, we just get to enjoy a bunch of princes squabbling with each other over who’s going to become the next emperor. Ah… family feuds… gotta love ‘em!