Lila, Lorelei, and William all sat around making perturbed noises. Finally, Lorelei spoke real words, “Divination is yielding even less satisfactory than normal results. Namely, nothing. I could get more from random intuition. This could be a sign that the Demon King will appear nowhere of importance for some time, or not at all, or… just as failures. It was nice when I just had to rely on the diviners who wait for him to return like something sacred. It gave me a dozen or two years to prepare. Now, I suppose he might be too weak.”
William nodded, “Would it help if I did it? I do have some connection to the Demon King, after all.”
“It might,” Lorelei said cautiously, “or it might cause significant bias in your predictions, to the point of meaninglessness.”
Lila finally commented on the situation, “Okay but what if… what if we’re not finding any sign because there are no more fragments? We might have gotten them all.”
William shook his head, “There are definitely significantly more than two… or three fragments. Because of the unusual nature of their existence, they probably kept some memories, at least for this life. After that, I don’t know…”
“Anyway, there should be quite a number left.” Lorelei nodded seriously.
“No I get that, but we’ve kind of been forgetting something. I was a human. William was a human… a few times. Sure, he’s the Demon King and has always been reincarnated as a gevai, but… given the circumstances, it might be different. If it’s a completely random probability of where each piece reincarnates, we should expect… most of them to be humans now.”
“Oh, hmm…” Lorelei nodded again.
William frowned. “That… is very bad.”
“Is it?” Lila frowned, “I mean, couldn’t reincarnating as a human make him less intent on wiping them out? He could have a change of heart, or at least part of him.”
“No.” Lorelei flatly stated.
“As someone who has some of his memories… Not a chance.” William shook his head. “Instead, he would use it as an opportunity to kill as many humans as he could, and wiping them out completely would be in his best interests so he completes his goal, and then he can kill himself and reincarnate as a gevai for sure.”
“Is he really that bad? Sorry, I never met him…” Lila frowned, “But it could happen, right?”
Lorelei shrugged, “Almost anything can happen. I would not count on it, but there is a small probability that a fragment will end up with no hatred towards humans.”
William shook his head, “He might also decide to become a pacifist, but I think I won’t bet on either of those things.”
“Right.” Lila acknowledged, “Then, I guess we know where to look?”
William heard the sound of something glass breaking as he approached the lab. He hurried his steps so that he could help if something was wrong. Inside, he found just Lorelei, “Everything fine?”
“Hmm? Oh, yes. Fine.”
William looked around and found the offending glass. It was some kind of beaker, probably. It was hard to tell in its current form of shattered pieces of glass over near a wall. “Did you throw that against the wall?”
Lorelei shrugged, “Yeah, so?”
Lorelei shrugged again.
William closed his eyes to think for a moment, then opened them again. “Were you mad that Lila thought of something before you?”
Immediately after that, another empty beaker came flying at William’s face. Before it could touch him, it shattered into a number of pieces against his ki defenses. “Whoa, what was that? What if glass got in my eye?”
“I highly doubt that you wouldn’t dodge that or block it with ki. Beyond that, your eyes probably can’t be damaged by glass shards at this point.” Lorelei blinked, “I suppose if they had, I would have healed them, or in the worst case, gotten you some new ones.”
“Right, but… why? Did I say something wrong?”
“There are some things you shouldn’t say, even if they are correct.”
“Well, sorry, but it probably needed to be said. I didn’t take you as the type to get mad at someone for being right.”
“I’m not mad at Lila for being right. I’m mad at myself for not figuring it out first. I can’t believe I ignored half of the continent and most of the population because of some assumptions.”
“So did I.”
“Yeah, but you’ve only been part of this for a few years now, and you likely inherited our assumptions.” She shook her head, “I’ve had a few dozen years since I discovered the Demon King was coming back, and fragmented. I could have done so much more… Now, we already have a handful of leads.”
“And what could you have done? How many more fragments could Marek really have destroyed in that time? One? Maybe two?”
“Well… maybe, yeah.” She sighed, “I wish there were more people I could trust to do that, but Marek is it. Lila, well… you know how resistant she was to trying cultivation. I… don’t have the talent for it myself.”
“What about Chris? He knows Shattering the Soul.”
“Well…” she looked over at Chris, “No offense to you, but you’re not really strong enough to do it on your own,” her eyes shifted back to William, “Besides, do you know how long it took me to convince him to come with me at all? He was just going to wait near that lake until you showed up. He only came with me once I convinced him you were dead and not coming back, though I’m sure hearing about the Demon King’s fragments helped too.” Chris glowed red for a moment. “Yes, I know he came back, but there was no way I could have predicted that after him being in the epicenter of a soul explosion that created a lake.” Lorelei shook her head, “You’re quite full of surprises, you know.”
William shrugged, “I surprised myself there.”
Lorelei grinned, “Still, a few dozen years of training and you turned the Demon King into little bits and survived. That’s pretty impressive.”
“I also had an army with me to help defeat him, and I died.”
“Fine, fine, whatever. Don’t forget, he died too. You can’t say you didn’t come out on top in that area. After all, your soul didn’t get exploded into many pieces. Plus, Marek says he thinks you will fully recover, given time.”
“I’m glad for his confidence.” William wasn’t sure of that, but his destruction of the soul necrosis had sped up somewhat. Perhaps he might not have to see what happened if it lingered too long. It would be a shame to die to that, especially when he had the chance to live a good and long life.