Der Werwolf: The Annals of Veight, Vol. 5

By Hyougetsu and Nishi(E)da. Released in Japan by Earth Star Entertainment. Released in North America by J-Novel Club. Translated by Ningen.

Honestly, I’m starting to feel that the author is spoiling me at this point. Der Werwolf 5 has Veight and Eleora going to Rolmund, which is essentially not-Russia, pretending that she defeated Meraldia in order to suss out the political situation back in her country. And thus we get an entire book filled with political machinations, double-dealing, duels, and Veight telling everyone he’s just a humble vice-commander. It’s excellent, and reminds you how good this author can be at making just two people sitting in a room discussing economics interesting. Which is a good thing, as we’re not done with this arc yet, nor does it sound like we will be next time. Rolmund still runs on a lords and serfs-style of rule, and their agricultural yield has not been all that great lately. And, honestly, no one was really expecting Eleora to win. (Which she didn’t, but let’s not split hairs.) As a result, things are… complicated. At least till Veight gets through with them.

Given that Veight is in diplomacy mode here, there’s not quite as much derring-do, especially as he and his fellow werewolves have to keep their true nature hidden during the visit. (I don’t expect THAT to last either.) He does get a duel against Count Von Evilcount, who he wipes the floor with despite the count having the sword equivalent of an Agonizer. Actually, he ends up fighting LOTS of duels, though only a few are people legitimately trying to cause him harm, and it gets to the point where by the end of the book he’s telling old war stories (edited for state secrets) to the easily impressionable son of one of the crown princes. Actually, he’s feeling out all the royals, be it eating not-so-poisonous berries from a private garden, having blunt discussions with the most ambitious of the group, and realizing that at the rate it’s going, Rolmund is going to be dealing with mass starvation and death in a generation or two.

There is a running gag here (among the many running gags in Der Werwolf) about Eleora being very repressed and precise, and everyone except Veight noting how much she’s relaxed and mellowed out since the invasion of Meraldia. She does not, thankfully, seem to be joining the group of women in love with Veight – honestly, this is still a harem with one big front-runner, and things will likely not be helped by Veight, to provide a cover story, says that Airia is his fiancee. Pretty sure that will get back to her, and also pretty sure that she won’t mind one bit, provided he doesn’t try to walk it back. But with Eleora we don’t get that dynamic, we just see that Veight has the ability to change those who come into contact with him, as we see when she manages to overcome her trust issues and reunite (sort of) with her uncle.

We’re just at the start of this arc, and I’m pretty sure things are going to go pear-shaped next time. Till then, enjoy the light novel equivalent of a John le Carré book.

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