William finally had access to whatever books he wanted. Though he thought of it as “finally”, he was one of the youngest to ever receive access to the restricted library. Mostly, this was because he had finished his schooling and attained “real” wizard status earlier than others would have. Currently, he was trying to figure out what books he actually wanted.
Information about reincarnation. Information about souls. Information about alternate types of magic, if such existed. Specifically, some kind of magic that didn’t require him to be able to sense or manipulate mana. William wasn’t sure where to look, exactly, so he first made a brief overview of what there was. He stayed away from the section that contained potentially dangerous information. Though he was likely responsible enough to use the information well, he thought he could get what he needed elsewhere.
There were a surprisingly large number of histories in the restricted library. After briefly scanning them, William determined that was mostly because they contained doubtful or speculative information. There were some, however, that seemed to contain reliable information, but were still not available in the main library. While William was generally for freedom of information, he understood the reason to keep some things secret. Though this information was just history, as William read it, he understood some reasons the information wasn’t public.
There were a pair of volumes that covered the same period of time. The books were not finished, however. Each had more pages blank, and upon a quick scan, William could tell that different sections had been written at different times, by different people.
The first sections of both were written by Marcel Orr, the first archmage. Archmage was the position of the head of the Ostana wizard’s guild. Currently, the position was empty. However, Marcel Orr had been the first, and had thought the writing of these books important. The first book was a comprehensive history of the guild, beginning with its founding some 1200 years before. After Marcel Orr, it appeared that each archmage had continued writing the history. They included any advancements in magic that they thought were important, and any other events that affected the guild or the country as a whole. There were often mentions of a numerical reference book, which William had not yet seen, and the second book he had found.
The second book was a record on the Demon King. There had, in fact, been a wizard’s guild in Ostana before the founding of the current one. However, it was treated as a separate entity, precisely because the previous one had been completely destroyed. It was more than just the buildings of the guild, but much of the city. This was because the incarnation of the Demon King at the time had managed to invade that far, only to be barely defeated. Marcel Orr and a few others were the only survivors among the wizards, and they decided that it was better to found a “new” guild.
The history of the guild had much information that was important, but it wasn’t what William was interested in. The history of the Demon King, however, confirmed some things for certain. It was very specific that there was only one Demon King, and each appearance was an incarnation. Though he’d mostly gathered that information already, this was much more in depth. It contained specific details, such as when each of the signs of the Demon King’s return had happened, and when they were defeated. It even included details on the battles. It was upon reading these that William discovered some sections that were not written by the archmages. After all, they could not write a summary of the battle and events afterward if they were dead.
Of the six Demon King incarnations in the past 1200 years, four had killed the current archmage in battle, or the archmage had died of wounds shortly after. William took note that there could have been eight Demon Kings, if the minimum known reincarnation time had always occurred. Upon further research, he determined they always reincarnated between the first and second 144 year cycle since their death. There was one instance where the Demon King did not appear for slightly more than 300 years since the previous time, but adding in the time it took for them to reach maturity, it still fit within the right timeframe. The Demon King reincarnated as a baby, as far as had been able to be determined. Obviously, no humans had been around for his birth, and information from the Demon’s country was hard to obtain.
The Demon King’s history also mentioned the third book, the numerical reference. This bothered William, so he set out to find it. Upon finding it, he looked through it. It kept track of how many wizards were in each generation. It recorded various statistics, such as the percentage of the population that were able to become wizards, as well as the total population. It also included casualty numbers. The total number of participants on both sides of the battles seemed to be growing. The population total had grown as well, though, so this was fine. However, the casualties had increased not just in number, but percentage, three incarnations before.
William looked up information about that time, and discovered something unsettling. That was the time that the Demon King had learned how to use some kind of soul magic. There weren’t many details in the record, but it seemed to be useful for destroying souls (which was very effective for killing people) as well as using souls as some kind of power source. After this point, the casualties had understandably gone up. However, William discovered something more disturbing. Casualties had gone up… and the percentage of wizards in each generation had gone down. The actual number of wizards had still increased, but a smaller portion of the population had the ability. Though William thought it could have been a coincidence, similar drops happened after all three battles since then.
William was taken aback. He needed to talk to somebody about this. In addition to those he would normally consult on such matters, there was one name he found but hadn’t known that he needed to talk to. In addition, there was one person he saw every day that he had to talk to about some things that hadn’t come up, but were very important.