By Yukiya Murasaki and himesuz. Released in Japan as “Haken no Kouki Altina” by Famitsu Bunko. Released in North America digitally by J-Novel Club. Translated by Roy Nukia.
Well, after a couple of volumes where she played a very small role, this volumes finally gives us what we’ve sort of been expecting. Altina the Sword Princess does not appear in it. Instead, we finish up Regis’ time on the side of Latrielle, as we get the second half of the big siege we started in Book 9, and also bring to an end the war with Britannia. I had sort of guessed that the war was going to end in this volume, if only as a minor character I did not expect to die brutally died brutally, and the denouement is pretty much everything you want in a military-themed light novel series. Unfortunately for Regis, he has made himself far, FAR too valuable. This is not merely a matter of taking a promotion exam and returning to Altina’s side anymore. Especially as Latrielle reveals his plans for the future of the nation, and they are absolutely terrifying. So now the big question becomes: can Regis survive?
Regis has reason to be concerned about his plans, of course. A lot of them rely on their soldier in the walled city itself, Varese, and the teenage girl who has basically decided to glom onto him and live or die with him. Unfortunately for her, that comes close to meaning dying, though I am hopeful we’ll hear from them again. As for the plan to fight the massive army, things are helped along by the mercenary corps suddenly deserting the enemy army mysteriously, which is good news for our heroes… for now. Eventually everything comes down to stopping the Queen from escaping back to Britannia, which of course means stopping Oswald, something that that Regis is thoroughly incapable of doing if it requires physical strength. Fortunately, he has a wannabe emperor at his side.
There are a few highlights in this book, but in terms of the ongoing plot I think the biggie is Latrielle’s plan for the future of the country, with Regis’ occasional interjections pointing out the difficulties. The biggest one, I think, is only alluded to, which is this kind of military dictatorship Latrielle wants is only really feasible while he’s alive. It is quite brave and also quite stupid of Regis to essentially tell the future King, to his face, “no, I disagree with everything you say, I’m going to return to my liege now”. No surprise that the book ends with Latrielle essentially ordering a halt to Regis’ future prospects. Even the romance in the book is fraught with peril. Regis does his best Catarina Claes impression when Fanrine, the noble who’s fallen in love with him, gives him the old Japanese staple “I want to cook for you for the rest of your life” and his response is essentially “That would be great. But sadly, I’m about to be assassinated.”
Still, quite a strong volume, and one that both makes me happy that the next one is coming soon and sad that we’re about to hit the series’ “end” – the author has been busy with other better-selling series like How NOT to Summon a Demon Lord for the last three years. But we have a few volumes to go till that happens. Till then, enjoy Regis the Strategist, with no appearances by Altina.
Also Laetrile’s plot would never work as he’s banned in the US! (Obscure, I know.)