William didn’t actually have much to show Lorelei in the lab. He had just put it together after all, and hadn’t really had the time to do more. He didn’t even have any assistants. However, he still felt it was worthwhile, because he had the pseudo-phones to show off.
After a short demonstration, he waited for Lorelei’s reaction. “Hmm… it’s…”
“Poor quality? Unfinished?”
“Interesting. Partly because I just heard about something like this…” Lorelei looked around, “Do you have any paper? I know a sketch of the… very unfinished blueprints.” Within a few minutes, Lorelei had finished sketching out something. “This is what I got… unfortunately there wasn’t a finished version of the blueprint, just notes on what it was supposed to do. Really, it was just an idea someone had. My spies can’t… or won’t… get much better.”
“Let me guess, from Eclea?”
Lorelei nodded, “Well, yeah. They’ve built up quite a spirit of progress there. I wish I could visit…”
William nodded, “I thought so. This looks like… an old phone. From Earth. One part receives and one part transmits. It’s better to have a dedicated sending and receiving pieces… but my version used pieces I already knew might work.” William looked over the sketch and notes some more. “Was this all the notes? It doesn’t look like they’d actually made any process in the engineering. No mentions of materials. They still planned to use a wire to connect them… With it being in such an immature state, it’s more than just a coincidence that it looks so like an older phone. Someone from Earth has reincarnated there with a significant chunk of memories.”
“Interesting. An old-style phone, you said? Does that mean someone from a long time prior came, and their reincarnation was delayed? Or have they lived several lives but not had the chance to do anything…”
William shook his head, “More likely it’s just that these are… simpler. Later phones required much more infrastructure and other engineering. Especially the ones that were also computers.”
Lorelei nodded, “That makes sense. At some point I would be happy to see such a large infrastructure of communication. First, though… we should get your idea working better. Instantaneous clear communication between us would be convenient… and somewhat more secure, since our voices will be heard so we can recognize each other.” Lorelei turned toward William, “For now, do you have anywhere else you’d like to show me?”
In the morning, they had to move onto more important business. If they were going to investigate the Demon King’s castle, it was better to get things over with sooner. That way, if there was anything actually important revealed, they could make plans around that accordingly. If not… they could proceed with their current plans, and say that it was probable that the Eternal King’s return would be delayed. After that, they still planned to look for him… though William couldn’t afford to spend a large time out of the gevai lands until he had better solidified his status as a Lord. It was unfortunate that they might give the Demon King’s fragments some time to develop, but there wasn’t much that could be done. William hoped that they wouldn’t be strong enough to matter. The important part was that they keep him from getting in contact with and supported by the other demon lords.
Chris grew visibly antsy as they drew closer to the castle. It made sense… after all, he’d been there. Been made there. William knew that the group of humans that had come to the Demon King’s castle had been quite exceptional, but even so they could not have made it this deep into the territory without an army… except they were allowed to come. It had been a sort of process of killing two birds with one stone.
William found the Demon King’s castle was much larger than his manor- of course- but also more imposing and… more of a real castle. It had thick stone walls and a stone keep. It was clearly made to withstand a siege, but as far as William knew there hadn’t been any real army to reach it. That was to be expected from something in the center of the gevai domain. As he approached closer, William could tell that there were many wards. The outer walls wards were inactive, but the central keep still had active wards. There were still other signs of life around, which surprised William- though it shouldn’t have. The Demon King had a staff keeping the castle in shape for his inevitable return. Presumably, some of them were even the same who had been there previously- at least in his former life. Though gevai didn’t necessarily age, most of them would eventually die.
William was glad Lorelei was with him. Some of the staff recognized her. When she explained the decision of the lords, some of them didn’t look too happy… but they were also becoming worried. Moreover, they couldn’t actually stop her. Though there were a few guards, most of the skilled ones had gone with the Demon King into battle… and thus they were all dead, just as everyone else on that battlefield.
William and Lorelei walked through the halls. Though there were valuable paintings, tapestries, and statues… William found it surprisingly ostentatious. After all, it was the Demon King’s castle. He thought it should perhaps be more grand. The great hall was appropriately splendid, but the rest of the castle- while quite large- was not quite as expensively arrayed as he would have thought.
Finally, the two of them arrived at the Demon King’s quarters. “It’s warded,” William said.
Lorelei nodded. “I know. I set these wards up. I am the Archmage, after all. These and the ones around his study are my handiwork. They have rather nasty results if you don’t properly disarm them.” Lorelei spent some time looking them over. “It’s nice to see they’re still in good shape after all this time. Also, unchanged. Not that I expected him to be able to do so… but caution is good.” Lorelei stepped through the doorway, “Well then… after I set up these wards, I haven’t been back here. I wonder if we’ll find anything interesting.”