William wondered if it would be too much for him to get his name back again. In his previous life, by some serious improbability, he had been named after… himself. Now, his name was a bit different. His parents called him Josef, which he supposed made it his name, but in his heart he was still William. Of course, neither of those names were exactly like the ones he remembered from his life on Earth, just quite similar. It didn’t make any difference in his speech, but inside everything was just slightly different.
William’s father was named Barend, and his mother Anselma. They had red and blue skin respectively. William wondered whether there were any prejudices about skin color among the demons- gevai. Just because his parents were happy together didn’t mean anything about the general feelings. William’s own skin was black. Not black like what humans called black. Even though there were a few who William agreed were well and truly black, and not just a bit brown, William’s skin was different. In the right light, he could see it was actually slightly purplish, but it was so dark as to appear black in most cases. William sometimes surprised himself when his hands came into his vision, because he was much more used to having light colored skin. Of course, the horns were also different, but most of the time he didn’t notice them. However, he thought he would soon be able to see them when he looked up, as they were already several centimeters long. They grew out of his heads at the corner of his hairline, out at a slight angle. The horns themselves were straight.
William found that he remembered some things very well, and other memories were more fuzzy. Perhaps the normal erasure process for reincarnating souls had taken effect on him this time, but he thought it more probably lay with the terrible state his soul had been in… was in. He knew he was William. He’d had one life on a planet called Earth, though those memories were a bit shaky at this point. They were old, so it could have been because of that or because of the damage. Then, he had come to this world. Though in a sense it had a name, it would be basically like Earth- it might be called “the world” or something based off of it being dirt depending on the language used. The sense of it being a planet was certainly not as strong here as it had been on Earth though.
As for William’s second and third lives, he remembered them happening, but many of the details were lost. He remembered that he tried to be a wizard, and his friends. There was Lila, Gerald, Marius… He’d even been friends with some old professors. At some point he’d become a teacher and even Archmage, despite his inability to actually use magic. The things he didn’t remember were just specific things. Names of students he was sure he knew before… memories of specific events. Perhaps there was something important William didn’t remember- but if so, he wouldn’t know.
William remembered in his previous life he had died trying to destroy the Demon King, which should have destroyed his own soul in the resulting explosion. That hadn’t happened, so perhaps he failed somehow. He didn’t want to think about that. It would be nice to have a life free of thinking about destroying the Demon King, or having to convince people he was a problem. Even more so now, since he was no longer one of the humans the Demon King wanted to destroy.
As for the Demon King, William did manage to learn about him. Of course, since the horned people didn’t call themselves demons, he wasn’t known as the Demon King, but as the Eternal King… undoubtedly a name he chose himself. Except, William’s parents told him in hushed voices that sometimes he was called something else. After comparing to the children’s stories that he had seen, it was a name analogous to Demon King. After all, the gevai had things they were afraid of as well. Humans were villainized, but William learned that such was much more prominent among some of the “official” stories.
William’s parents were relatively young. They were fifty years old… but for those with potentially unlimited lifespans, they were still young. They had been born about one hundred and fifty years after the Demon King died, which put the current time about two hundred years after that. His parents had neither seen the Demon King nor received any benefits from the laws he made, so they were not devoted followers. However, they always spoke about the Eternal King with cautious respect, if nothing more. News of his death hadn’t been a surprise, but there had been no news of his destruction. However, William didn’t expect that to be public knowledge, even if it was known… if it even actually worked. As he died, William had been completely confident it worked, but with himself still existing he continually was second guessing himself. He took comfort in the fact that the Demon King hadn’t appeared again yet… but there was still a long time before it was out of the expected range for his revival.
William had not yet told anyone in this life about him being reincarnated. Although his new parents were good people, that was part of the reason. It could cause some confusion, at a bare minimum. Perhaps he might be thought of as the Eternal King- but he wasn’t. He didn’t think it would be better to be known as someone who fought against the Demon King either. Though his parents weren’t deep followers of the Eternal King, there were certainly some of those, including many high ranking figures. At least on the surface, that included all of the various noble families, and whether or not they were true followers in their heart, they would listen to him… or risk having their families wiped out. A rebellion would do little good even if they managed to kill him, since the Demon King would return and wipe them out before too long. There were official records of a few rebellions, and one of them had been successful… to that point. None of the families involved still existed today. William was finding that besides the fact that people had horns… they were pretty similar to humans.