Bloody beasts battle it out in Volume 11 of Sacrificial Princess and the King of Beasts.
Sariphi and company fled Fenrir’s hideout in the previous volume. But their seemingly successful escape falls short when they learn Fenrir let them escape for sport. Meanwhile, Leonhart rushes to his beloved’s aide as Jorgamund and Anubis chase after him. Eventually, it’s an epic showdown between the king and the one who wants his throne.
The cover depicts a sweet embrace between the main couple, and their bond is on full display here. They’re obviously on each other’s minds while they’re apart, but as Leonhart is both mentally and physically pressured during his fight with Fenrir, it’s Sariphi herself and the name she gave him that gives him strength to keep pushing on.
He needs that encouragement when his magic runs out. Fenrir, to the amazement of onlookers, also uses up all his magic so he can face Leonhart on equal ground. That did seem a little odd since he’s had no issue taking hostages or leading a deadly rebellion. I guess it helps give this volume a very shounen action-y feel to the volume. This continues when Leonhart and Fenrir duke it out with their claws and teeth, biting and swiping at each other. Sacrificial Princess and the King of Beasts has had physical brawls before, but this one doesn’t involve weaponry; it’s very animalistic. I would love to see this animated one day, or even given a vomic (voiced comic) treatment with roars and such. I imagined it with The Lion King‘s sound effects and score when Simba and Scar fight. The movie avoided any gore of course, but the author isn’t afraid of including some bloodshed.
Of course, Leonhart emerges victorious. After that, everyone needs to recuperate, and readers are finally treated to human-Leonhart again in volume 11’s final chapter, which feels like it’s been so long. This is mostly a relaxing episode, but the ending likely sets up the next arc with a new antagonist. However, I’d like to see to see some of the physiological and emotional humanity struggles of Leonhart. We get some of both here, but the author kind of bailed on the latter for Fenrir’s ending — although it’s hard to argue that Fenrir’s story should have concluded any other way.
That’s not a big deal, and it’s also not a real issue that the roles for characters like Jorgamund and Lante are overshadowed by Sariphi and Leonhart’s bond. The before, during, and after battle dedication for Fenrir and others to lay it all on the line makes up for it and gives audiences one gripping adventure.