Title:The King’s Beast Vol. 5 Author: Rei Toma Publisher: Viz Media Language: English Format: Paperback Pages: 168 Genre: Romance, Fantasy Publication Date: February 1, 2022
The fifth volume of The King’s Beast begins to explore Rangetsu’s budding feelings for Prince Tenyou. Prince Taihaku sees exactly what’s going on and tries to pull Rangetsu aside to let her know that she’s being way too obvious with her mannerisms. In the process, Taihaku spills the beans about knowing she’s a girl. This causes Rangetsu to become so paralyzed with fear that she couldn’t even breathe. However, Taihaku swears to keep her secret just that… a secret.
The problem now comes with Prince Kougai as he’s starting to have some deep suspicions. Although Kougai won’t come out and say it, it’s pretty obvious that he suspects Rangetsu to be a girl as well. Tenyou is the only person who is still clueless; however, that might change.
Rangetsu comes up with a plan to reveal that she is Sogetsu’s “older brother.” Since the records surrounding Sogetsu were destroyed, she feels that they can take advantage of that to draw out the killer so that she can get her revenge. The faster that they wrap this up, the quicker she can just disappear and spare Tenyou any more pain or unwanted eyes on him. Taihaku agrees and the information is released… first by telling Tenyou who is in shock and then the rest of the palace.
This ends up triggering a certain someone which gives us a really big clue (or a really big misdirection) on who could be responsible for Sogetsu’s murder. Before anyone can be drawn out, though, Kougai summons Rangetsu. Tenyou reacts in an unexpected way which causes Rangetsu’s feelings to go into overdrive!
I really found a new respect for Taihaku in this volume. Despite knowing her secret this entire time, he ensured her that it would be safe. Even though it’s rather bothersome for him to do so, he’s doing everything he can to help keep Rangetsu’s secret safe. Even when Tenyou needed to have her measured for a traditional Ajin Servant getup, Taihaku took charge and went to do the measurements himself. He’s pretty noble for someone who grunts and grumbles over everything that inconveniences him.
Tenyou is starting to develop feelings for Rangetsu as well. He had this long inner monologue as he was trying to piece everything together (which, funny enough, Rei Toma left a note to just skim the monologue… that was… odd…). Tenyou can’t find that connection about Rangetsu’s true gender; however, he was more focused on what Kougai wants with him than Rangetsu herself. Still, the fact that Tenyou is starting to have certain feelings tells me deep down, he knows and just doesn’t want to admit it for any number of reasons.
Kougai is still a slimy jerk, haha! Ririn gets a little development here but it’s only what we have suspected about her since the beginning. I mean, they didn’t exactly hide the fact that she was two-faced so there’s nothing to be shocked here about. Just another story about corrupt nobility. We’ve all seen it before, I’m sure.
I really liked the exploration here of Rangetsu’s feelings. All the while, the plot was moved forward with a sense of urgency but one little simple line tells me that it won’t be as rushed as we think it’s going to be. Tenyou wanted Rangetsu’s new clothes ready before the next set of games to measure who would be the successor to the throne. This means that this wasn’t a plot point that was easily forgotten and we will be moving forward with it.
I doubt that means we will see Sogetsu’s killer in the next volume but this volume did seem as if it were setting things up for the eventual ending. Even though it has done that, I don’t think we will arrive there so soon as there are still a LOT of loose ends to explore and tie up before we get there. What this book does establish is the true end goal: drawing out the killer and Rangetsu getting her revenge. While this has been known since the first book, a bigger emphasis on “it’s coming” was placed here.
It’s only an eventuality at this point where Tenyou is going to discover Rangetsu’s secret and I truly believe that he and Taihaku will join forces to protect it. I cannot see Tenyou acting any other way… especially after how he started to realize his feelings for her in this volume. Heck, he keeps talking about the world he would like to create so I’m sure the true end goal here is Tenyou becoming the next successor and making it so that all Ajin… both man and woman… are treated equally from here on out.
In fact, I would put money on that ending. Let’s take it one volume at a time though but I’m curious to see if I’m right.