By Hyougetsu and Nishi(E)da. Released in Japan by Earth Star Novels. Released in North America by J-Novel Club. Translated by Ningen.
A lot of these light novels were originally based on webnovels where readers no doubt left comments on what made them happy and what made them unhappy. This may be why each succeeding volume of Der Werwolf has managed to top itself when it comes to Veight’s superhuman powers of humility, with a number of “I’m just a lowly vice commander” lines or their equivalents here, even while he strategizes, leads armies into battle, decides the course of a throne war, and manages to get the best military leader of the Empire settled in Veight’s own land. It beggars belief a bit, and the rest of the cast are finding it less and less tolerable. Veight’s past has almost never been focused on, but what little he’s mentioned implies he was a standard Japanese NEET who was crushed by women and expectations and therefore has a horrible opinion of himself. If anyone’s going to be able to force him to admit his own accomplishments, it’s going to have to be someone who can take that into account. Sadly, the only other person who knew is now dead.
After the political maneuvering of the last volume, this volume is mostly wars and battles, as Ivan kicks off the throne war in earnest by killing his own father. He’s got the most military-minded of his brothers on his side, and also has more troops. Prince Ashley is technically in charge, but has the weaker hand. Veight, though, can see that his own lands would benefit more from negotiating with Ashley than with Ivan, and thus has Eleora to throw her troops behind Ashley. Most of the book consists of, as you’d expect in a climate like this one, waiting and preparing for battle, rather than battle itself. Veight can also help things out by secretly transforming and leading his werewolf corps, who take out a few bigwigs. That said, in the end it’s Eleora and Ashley who end up on top… though the body count is lower than I expected. There’s also lots of the usual banter you’d expect from Der Werwolf.
I was pleased to see Airia managing to make a short appearance in the book despite mostly communicating with Veight through letters. This leads to the other big thing that has only gotten bigger since the series began, which is Veight’s denseness when it comes to other women liking him. Again, this is meant to be a reflection of his sad former Japanese life, but frankly I think much of it comes from the fact that the series is not yet ready for him to be having love affairs – something he himself says here. That said, saying that he was Airia’s fiancee comes back to bite him, as he has to deny it in front of her, and then can’t figure out why she’s so angry. I still say she’s the obvious leader in the campaign for Veight’s heart, but he doesn’t do himself any favors by shooting himself in the foot like this.
The next volume looks to wrap things up up North and have Veight return to his own people. In the meantime, this is a solid volume of Der Werwolf, which gives readers more of what they want.