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Hello, I’m Hiro Ainana. 

Thank you so much for picking up Volume 14 of Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody! 

This is my first publication in four months. 

Volume 12 came out last December, the EX volume came out in January, and Volume 13 came out in March, so it feels like it’s been a while after that fast-paced release schedule. However, up until Volume 11, my standard schedule was one volume every four months, so it’s actually more like I’ve returned to normal. 

The anime has finished airing, but you can still watch it on streaming services and such, so please check it out if you haven’t seen it yet. 

I think there are four Blu-ray volumes out so far, so pick those up, too, if you’re interested. 

The Blu-rays also come with a special Death March side story that’s a total of about 210 pages (with twenty-five to twenty-six pages per volume). 

It’s a story about Zena and Satou’s party coming to modern Japan, the world of Ichirou Suzuki (Satou), so our fantasy-world friends have all kinds of misadventures in the real world. 

I set the story in some sightseeing areas of Tokyo, so it might even be fun to follow the path of Satou and company in the real world, too. 

Now that we’ve talked about the anime a bit, I’d like to discuss the highlights of this volume. 

As I’m sure you noticed right away from the cover illustration, Zena finally reappears in the main story for the first time since the end of Volume 2, way back in Seiryuu City twelve volumes ago! Well, she was sort of a secondary heroine in the anime, and there have been stories about her at the end of the last two volumes, so it might not actually feel like it’s been all that long. But still, Zena is one of my favorite characters, so I’m happy to finally be able to write her again. 

Since we’ve been reunited with an old friend, I was tempted to just fill the whole volume with heartwarming everyday scenes, but that wouldn’t do. 

Why? Because the Dogheaded Demon Lord who Satou defeated in the previous volume said all sorts of foreboding things. 

For those of you who are thinking, As if I’d remember something I read four whole months ago! let me summarize: There are God Fragments inside reincarnations like Arisa, and those God Fragments can potentially turn someone into a demon lord. 

That’s right—God Fragments are the purple lights that appear after a demon lord’s been defeated. The ones who say nasty things and can be defeated only with a divine sword. 

The web version of Satou didn’t seem too worried about that, but apparently the print novel Satou is very concerned. 

Along with his reunion with Zena, we’ll also see how far Satou is willing to go for Arisa. 

And I won’t get into details in case you haven’t read the story yet, but there’s a new scene near the end where Satou teams up with a certain character to fight a powerful opponent, so if you’re a reader of the web novel who’s thinking about quitting partway through because the plot seems similar, you’ll definitely end up regretting it. Please be sure to read all the way to the end. 

I don’t want to write any spoilers, so we’ll wrap up discussion about the current volume here. 

Before the special thanks, I do have a brief announcement. 

Volume 7 of Ayamegumu’s comic adaptation of Death March, as well as Akira Segami’s comic Princess Arisa’s Parallel World Struggle Diary, will be released next month. Since they’re not coming out on the same day as the novel this time around, don’t forget to pick them up, too. 

The former adapts the climax of the magic potion quest from the latter half of the novel Volume 3, and the latter is an adaptation of the Arisa side story from Death March EX. 

Both of them are heartwarming and wonderful, so please do take a look. 

You’ll even get to see characters who weren’t illustrated in the original novel, so you get an extra bang for your buck. 

Finally, the usual thanks! 

The direction and rewriting advice from my editors A and I made all sorts of scenes more readable and improved the overall pace of the story immensely. It was an enormous help to have them point out places that might be unclear to the readers. I hope I can continue to rely on your help and advice for a long time to come. 

As always, I can never thank Shri enough for always providing wonderful illustrations that bring so much color and life to the world of Death March. 

As I write this, I’ve seen only the rough sketches for the cover and designs for the new characters, but they’re so great that I can hardly wait to see the finished product. I’m sure it’s going to end up being even better than what I’m picturing. Honestly, the author might be more excited for a book’s release than anyone else. 

And of course, I want to extend my thanks to the Kadokawa Books editorial department and everyone else who was involved in the publication, advertising, sale, and multimedia adaptations of this book. 

Finally, the biggest thanks of all goes out to you, the readers! 

Thanks so much for reading all the way to the end! 

Let’s meet again in the next volume: the departure from the Labyrinth City arc! 

Hiro Ainana 

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