William spent much time thinking about who the mysterious wizard was. First, he started by confirming that no one in the company had cast the lightning bolt that most likely saved his life. Everyone denied it, but William was already pretty sure that was the case. As far as he knew, none of them could create such a powerful lightning bolt. That raised the question… who could? Who would?
In addition to the power of the lightning bolt, it must have been done from a significant distance. Otherwise, the wizard would have been noticed by at least someone in the company. That meant that they had to be even more powerful… or at least, more skilled at controlling magic at a distance, which amounted to the same thing. William wondered who fit those criteria.
His sister Yu Li? Not to disparage her skills in magic, but William knew she couldn’t do such a thing. Furthermore, there would have been no reason for her to hide. William decided to focus on the power first. The archmage of Eclea? William wasn’t sure, but she might have been powerful enough… but she wouldn’t have any reason to be around, nor to hide her help if she was. Basically the same things were true of everyone William knew.
That left… Lorelei. However, she had specifically stated that she didn’t want to be found out, and didn’t seem like the type to take the risk. William wasn’t sure if her magic was up to that level, because he had never seen her seriously attack with magic. There was a chance it was her, and it would certainly explain the secrecy, but William wasn’t sure.
Chris was always around, and it almost never hurt to ask him about things. “So, do you have any good ideas about who it could be?”
After some time spent thinking, Chris replied simply, “No.” After a few moments, he followed up with, “Not any good ideas anyway.”
In the end, William had to give up on finding out who it was because of insufficient data. Perhaps if it happened again… but he didn’t even want to pretend to get into a situation where he might die. It was entirely possible that William wasn’t being specifically protected by the wizard, they could have been just passing by… though in such a case William hoped they would join the war against the Demon King.
Months passed, but the war was progressing quickly. William was glad for that, though he really didn’t like the fact that many people were dying sooner than they might otherwise. Still, it seemed that the Demon King wasn’t a patient man. That was good, because if he was patient, human would probably have been destroyed many lives previous. Several larger battles had happened, and even at a cost of other troops, wizards were specifically targeted for capture. This wasn’t always successful, but it was clear that the Demon King was still continuing to eradicate the human wizards. When the Demon King himself took to the battlefield, he destroyed the souls of many humans, at least according to the records. Presumably the wizards were captured for the same thing, and only the Demon King could do what was necessary. Either way, nothing good would happen to those who were captured, and orders were sent out that the wizards should prefer death to capture. William certainly thought it was a better alternative, though he would prefer no one have to even consider that choice.
After the second full year of the war, according to William’s reckoning, he felt something strange. It was a connected, pulling feeling. He had felt it before… in fact he even felt something similar all the time, but unconsciously ignored it. This one was so faint he might have been doing so as well. William couldn’t help but wonder… “What is that…?”
Chris actually decided to respond to William’s musings. “What is what?”
“I feel a connection… somewhere to the north. It feels like my connection with you, sort of.”
“Oh.” Chris was still for some time, but William could tell he wasn’t done. “That’s probably the Demon King.”
“What? Why… would I feel a connection to the Demon King?”
“That’s probably… because you’re connected with me, and I’m connected with him.”
“You’re connected to the Demon King?”
“Yeah. He was involved in making me like this after all.”
“You didn’t think this was important enough to tell me before? No, of course you didn’t. So, let me just say that this is important information. This allows us to track him… if he’s nearby enough. Do you know how far he is?”
“Not exactly, at least not from this far. At least a week of travel if he heads straight here, though I’m not sure if he’s even on the move right now.”
“Okay… great. Then the problem is… can he tell where you are?”
“I don’t know. Probably.”
“We definitely need to tell somebody about this.”
William avoided some awkward questions by indicating that Chris’ ability to sense the Demon King was a newly awakened ability. Nobody really knew how Chris worked, and he was the magnificent Hexagonal Crystal Staff. At least his origin wasn’t entirely a secret, so it was not too surprising for him to have such an ability.
This revelation excluded William from going on any secret missions… though he was not particularly considered for such anyway. Theoretically, William could leave Chris behind, but that would just make him even less capable of performing whatever was necessary, since Chris was a good part of his abilities, if not strictly necessary.
Everyone thought it was good to have at least a general idea of where the Demon King was, and since the headquarters of the army wasn’t exactly secret, there was no problem with Chris remaining there. The only problem would be when the time came to destroy the Demon King, since it might be suspicious when Chris joined the battle, since he’d never been used in a war with the Demon King before.
William thought of some ways to deal with that. He could cut off the connection to the Demon King… and while he thought he really could do that, he wasn’t sure he could do that without damaging Chris’ soul, or his own, or both. It would also be quite permanent. Still, perhaps he could conceal or mute the connection. Fortunately, this fell in the area of the soul, and William was, if not a true expert, at least the most studied on the topic. He could at least attempt to come up with a ki technique that would do what he wanted… and if he failed, he should be no worse off.