“Who takes Baron Elmar’s position?” William asked Lorelei. He wasn’t that familiar with how the nobility worked just yet, though he was learning.
“Well, if he had relatives suited to take over the position, it would be one of them. However, in this case, there are none of those. Thus, the lands and title will go to the Earl, who would then give them to a loyal subordinate. Unless someone comes up with some claim to the title here in the near future.”
“Just to be clear… how long is the near future?”
Lorelei shrugged. “Depends on how hasty the Earl is. He might want to give some people time to jockey for position, so… a few dozen years.”
“This is hard to get used to. Normally I’d expect my life to be more than a quarter over, barring something like a disease or accident or other form of especially early death.”
“You’ll most likely have to worry about those other forms. Don’t slack off in training. Your expectancy of a shorter lifespan might actually be an advantage there, because gevai generally take their time getting stronger- those who do at all, anyway.”
“Ugh.” Lila- though William would still call her Headmistress Lorenz here in public- grunted. “The school…”
“What’s wrong with the school? I thought you were getting plenty of students. Sure, some of them won’t be the brightest but…”
“It’s not a problem with the quality. As long as they actually try to learn, it’s fine. Those who don’t, won’t show up. They could be making money- or just relaxing elsewhere if they’re lazy. No, we just have… too many now. We’re running out of room. Actually, we ran out of room a while ago, but then we got rid of the desks and had people stand. Then we had to move to bigger rooms, and now people can’t see the writing at the front. We already can’t give them any real practice with writing…”
“Oh. Hmm.” William frowned, “You could use a projector, I guess.”
“It’s a- I’ll show you.” William sketched the basic idea. There was a backlit writing surface, and the image went into a lens up above to be projected onto a screen. “You can use a white wall as a screen. Oh, I guess there’s a mirror involved up here somewhere? Otherwise the writing gets flipped.”
“Ooh, you’re full of all kinds of useful information. I like it.”
“Well, thanks. It would be expensive though. More lenses, and all that. Though, I suppose this one doesn’t need to be that great of quality? It just has to be good enough to see the images afterwards, it doesn’t matter if it’s a bit distorted. On the other hand, I’m not exactly sure how much that is. If the focal length is wrong, you’ll get blurred, useless images even with a good lens.”
“Yeah. I’m also worried that people aren’t going to be getting a good education though. There are just too many.”
“There’s not much that can be done about that. If they think they need to learn more… they can continue to come. Nothing is stopping them except free time, and we can’t do anything about that. There are probably so many people now because everyone wants to get educated at once. Basically none of these people had the chance before, right? However, once they’ve learned, you’ll have those who need more work to understand, as well as a few new people. Once it’s been established for a while, you’ll only really have to teach what new children come.” William shook his head, “If there were more people interested in giving out educations, it would be better as well. I’m sure some of them will teach each other, and perhaps their children.”
“That’s a good point. On the other hand, maybe some more nobles won’t like the poor being educated, and we’ll end up with more trouble.” Lila sighed.
“Even though everyone will probably make more money. They like having control. I wish there was something simple that could be done about it…”
William hadn’t seen his family in almost a dozen years. Letters weren’t really sufficient to convey everything, but with the trip being around a month, going to visit yearly was impractical. Thus, he had been putting it off, because of various things happening. Now that he was done with attending classes regularly, he could have gone whenever he wanted. Until now, though, there hadn’t been a good excuse.
Now, he was going to be a big brother… again. He supposed he’d never stopped, but his parents were having another child. Though it had been almost two dozen years, that was a more normal timespan between children than the half dozen between him and Stefan.
William didn’t have much to pack. He actually had significantly more money now than he had come with, but didn’t particularly keep much in the way of material possessions. He had an office, but even what stuff belonged to him he wouldn’t need to take while traveling. Instead, he only took a small bundle of parchments should cover any writing needs, as well as clothes and a few other essentials.
Of course, he also took Chris, but along with being an object, he was also a person and a friend, so he didn’t count. Besides Chris, he had planned to travel alone… but Lorelei would be coming along as well.
“If you find any fragments of the Demon King, it would be better to have someone with authority around to help with the complications after… dealing with them.”
“That’s true. It will be nice to have you along.” William grinned, “and not just because you come with one of those fancy carriages.” Lorelei had a carriage at least a nice as the one Lila had, though of course the Archmage should have something better than “merely” the headmistress of an Academy. It would help to shorten the journey, in both directions, and more importantly make it much more pleasant. Especially with someone to talk to instead of just walking along alone- and though Chris would have been around, he couldn’t really converse on the move, and wasn’t that talkative in general.