Der Werwolf: The Annals of Veight, Vol. 10

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

Now that Veight has pretty much succeeded in uniting the continent, and Airia is settling in as the new Demon Lord (and also getting pregnant, which answers that whole ‘can werewolves and humans mate?’ question from the last book), the book have been branching out into other unrelated countries, showing how they really need Veight to come in and shake things up. His trip to Wa was fairly straightforward and normal, despite the past life shenanigans, but this time things are a lot more difficult, and Veight is going to be forced to take action despite wanting nothing more than to stay by Airia’s side. Oh yes, and teach young students how to be a good leader. In fact, this book may be outdoing Realist Hero on the subject of running a country, and it also does not need to venerate Machiavelli, which is always a plus. Most of all, though, we get a really nasty and horrible villain here, something we haven’t seen in these books for a while.

Kuwol, a southern kingdom with lots of sea transport, is getting close to a civil war between two varieties of nobility and a rather shallow and brainless king. Veight is trying his best to stay out of it, knowing that they don’t have the ships to send a huge army and also don’t want to get involved in foreign affairs, but as things go further south, and Parker goes missing, he is forced to act. What he finds is that one of the groups of nobles has hired mercenaries to supplement their forces, led by Zagar, who is a thoroughly reprehensible man who nevertheless commands intense loyalty from those at his command. Veight doesn’t trust him, but is not particularly a violent man, so is content to wait and watch and try to make things better for the civilians caught in the war. Unfortunately, this proves unwise as Zagar has grander plans than a simple civil war.

The main plot is pretty much what you’d expect, and the author says in the afterword he wanted to show Veight’s hands-off approach being the wrong choice. That said, there are lots of little details in this book I liked. Seeing Veight’s young students trying to come up with forward thinking ideas. Airia’s absolutely awful morning sickness, and Veight feeling somewhat helpless to do anything for her. There’s a moment near the end when Zagar offers Veight three of the former lord’s mistresses for pleasure, and Veight, naturally, is uninterested in anything but Airia. However, Zagar is determined to second the women to Veight’s company (are they spies?) and so asks if they can be secretaries, and they promptly show off a savviness that I quite liked. That said, the brutality of the final scenes is start, and we’re left with a cliffhanger that makes us wonder how Veight is going to handle things without the whole nation falling apart.

The next book is supposed to be the last book in the “main series”, though I know there’s at least one after it. I suppose peace and prosperity are harder to write about, which is probably why Veight is traveling to a civil war. In the meantime, Der Werwolf remains very underrated, and has a minimum of Veight being super modest this time around.

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