William wasn’t sure how long it should take to make a full recovery from his father’s wounds, if a full recovery was even possible, but it seemed like a long time. It was only through Barend’s stubbornness that he was up and walking around on his own after a month, but he wasn’t in any condition to work. Perhaps healing magic could have helped speed the process along, but only if William knew what needed doing. It wasn’t so simple as waving a hand and wanting to heal an arm. Well, it could be done that way, but that ended in substandard healing. Perhaps the bones might not be lined up properly, or scar tissue would form where it could have properly recovered. William was pretty sure all the bones were in the right place, and his father wasn’t coughing up blood or anything, though his chest apparently still hurt. That was reasonable, since the bones were still mending. There might have been something wrong there, but William couldn’t figure out how to tell without an x-ray. Even if he had some way to display the results of such, he wasn’t comfortable messing around with radiation. Though it was safe enough in the proper doses, he didn’t know what those were nor how to measure them. William at least took heart in the fact that the front of the ribs seemed to match up nicely under the skin, as far as he could tell without cutting it open and making things probably worse.
While his father couldn’t work, that meant William needed to take over some of his duties on the farm. William was capable of doing so, but it meant he had less time for himself… which mostly was him messing around with magic. He might have called it “research” or “study”, but it usually wasn’t. He didn’t have any specific goal to work toward in that area right now. He considered going to a specific shop and asking them what they needed, but there was no guarantee he could produce something that could help with any of their problems. He’d been rather fortunate that the right materials to create the magical arrays for refrigerators were available in Caister. Some of the materials could have been replaced with substitutes, but some of them weren’t so easy to replace. At the very least, the only substitutes William could think of were extremely expensive… or they had been in Ostana. Even when he didn’t have anything specific in mind, William couldn’t help but think about magic. His mind shifted from magical arrays and magic items to potions. Many of the plant and herbs here were different than in Ostana, but he imagined he could still make a basic potion or two. They wouldn’t be as good as the one made by some of the alchemists in the city… but William had seen one or two shops he thought he could top. Those were run by either new, incompetent, or lazy owners. While William had known enough of alchemy to qualify for the position of Archmage, that hadn’t meant he was best in the guild in Ostana… and though he’d had better study materials there, he imagined most of the alchemists here had much more practical experience. Besides the fact that it was their profession, they had likely spent dozens of years to do so, or even dozens of dozens. Though, William had learned that most gevai actually died between a gross and two gross of years. That was still double to quadruple a human lifespan, but it seemed most of them didn’t live indefinitely. Some of them died of age, but accidents and disease took their toll as well… as well as magical beasts. While the cities were safe for the most part, magical beasts were more present in these lands and thus a larger threat to gevai as a whole than they were to humans, except perhaps those in Ustil.
Though William had been worried, his father seemed to be healing up gradually, if slowly. Because of his period of inactivity, his muscles were somewhat weaker, but he would recover those in time. After all, he was still young. William found it somewhat strange as he grew older. Soon, he would be an adult… and then he would be nearly indistinguishable from his father in terms of age. Perhaps there were some mannerisms that older folk picked up, but except those particular to gevai, William already had such. He’d lived for a longer time than his parents, who were about five or six dozen years old. William considered how long he’d actually lived. About eighty years in his first life… give or take. Then, about four dozen… then about three dozen. Plus nearly a dozen and a half in this life. That put him at around one hundred and eighty… or a gross and three dozen. Still, he imagined he wasn’t the same as if he’d lived that all in one life. He definitely wasn’t the same, but he also couldn’t say how he would be different. He felt that, because of how it had happened, he didn’t hold on to his relationships as much as he might have otherwise. At the end of his first life, he’d basically been alone. That hadn’t been ideal. At the end of his second life, he’d died at the same time as many others around him. Though he’d come back to life, it had taken long enough that nobody had hope of living that long, even if that person had been born the day he died. It was the same for his third life, and going into the last battle he hadn’t expected to see anyone ever again, including people in a next life. That probably shaded his view of relationships with people… but as he’d felt with his father in this life, he could definitely still grow attached. That was probably good, even if it would be painful later.
The exception to all of that were Chris and Lorelei. Except, though they were around for two of his lives, he couldn’t guarantee they would be around now. Chris likely didn’t have to worry about aging… but William knew that nothing could be truly indestructible. At the end… something could have happened. He’d been over this in his head many times, and he couldn’t stop thinking about it. He couldn’t feel Chris right now, but that only really meant he wasn’t nearby. Lorelei was cautious, but she could die from an accident just as anyone else could… probably. William had some plans to meet up with both of them, if he could. While Lorelei would have some connection to the magical academies in general, Chris would be harder to pin down. He could have gone anywhere, and there wouldn’t really be a way to contact him. Still… there was a chance. Specifically, if he hadn’t gone anywhere. Chris might still be at the battlefield where the Demon King was slain. The maps the gevai produced were somewhat different from the human ones, and both were probably a bit inaccurate, but he thought he could get close enough to the battlefield. There, he would be able to sense Chris… if he were there. He would go there on the way to the academy- though it was almost in the opposite direction. With his father recovering… he would still be able to go… right?