As a king, William needed to spend more time on his appearance than before… but that still wasn’t very long. He hadn’t gone and rolled around in the mud overnight. Among the many enchantments on his robes, one prevented wrinkling- not that it would have been a problem anyway with it hanging in the closet.
He didn’t even have to do any of the work himself. He got shaved- though nobody would have been able to see any hairs grown in the last day without being right up against him. It’s not like dark hair would stand out against his nearly black skin. It did not take much work to get his short hair under wraps.
Lorelei was a different story. Though she normally did little for her appearance beside maintaining a state of cleanliness, as the bride she was expected to be the best looking- or at least close enough. William was surprised at how much that involved giving her a new look on the second day. There weren’t many styles her shoulder length hair was suited for, but apparently the stylist had one in mind for each day of the wedding. That, and a new dress and a different set of jewelry.
William wondered how long he could feed a city for with the price of each dress. It wouldn’t be very long- but conversely there were quite a few people in cities and feeding them all for a few days cost quite a lot of money. William wondered if he had fallen into frivolous spending like many of the rich… but he reminded himself all of this was because other people cared. If relations were good among the humans and gevai any additional trade would more than make up for the cost- and William didn’t even care that much of it would end up in his own pockets. He did understand he needed some money for kingly purposes, but he also knew that it could go to much more practical things than clothes he didn’t need.
Throughout the castle and outside people were preparing for the next day of the celebrations. There had not been enough rooms in the castle to house all of the visitors, and William didn’t want to deal with concerns about who got which room- so he had prepared a large number of rather fancy tents. He did have some idea about expanding the castles with more permanent structures, but that was a project for much later.
For now, servants bustled around in the kitchens preparing the day’s food. Fortunately the kitchens had been large enough to support the whole endeavor- with only minor expansions and additional hires. There were others cooking outside of the castle, but those were the ones who were making food for the various soldiers and escorts who were not actually invited to the party.
William watched them moved around with his senses… and was glad he had taken the time to do so. There were so many new and temporary workers around the place that nobody would notice someone who didn’t belong. William probably would have had more trouble picking out that particular individual just from his actions- but to William’s ki senses he stuck out like a sore thumb. Cooks had very little reason to train in ki. William actually had one who was a former soldier, but he hadn’t been very accomplished in the area of ki. Meanwhile, the intruder was at least on the level of the average lord. He did his best to hide it, but that was of little use against William.
It had to be admitted that the man was quite accomplished. He actually knew something about kitchen work, going around performing various jobs that needed accomplishing… and only briefly had anything to do with bottles of wine. In particular, there were two that he tampered with just slightly.
By this point, William had moved near to the kitchens- though not so close that he would be seen by anyone entering and exiting. When the man left, William took a good look at him from his hidden vantage point, before slipping into the kitchen. Normally a gevai could pick out an invisibility spell with ease- it disturbed the mana in the air after all- but there were so many people moving about that nobody noticed a brief shimmer moving through the kitchen. William could have just walked in openly, but it was best not to let on what he knew.
It only took him a few moments to swap out the labels on the bottles and carry away the poisoned ones, while leaving just tiny scraps of ki latched onto the two safe bottles. He would have preferred to just remove the poison from the two but he couldn’t be sure he would get it all- and he was worried about what effects it might have on humans drinking it.
Just as William thought he was done with that mess and had left, someone else slipped into the kitchen invisibly as well. They managed to accomplish their goal, but William saw they bumped into a few cooks, nearly spoiling their attempt at stealth.
William shook his head as he saw the lord walking away. He could have just happily managed his lands and it wouldn’t have been a problem… even if he disagreed with many of the reforms William was trying to enact. Now, William had an excuse to deal with him. Of course, the lord was hoping that the poison applied to the goblet would kill William- but he probably hadn’t considered that even if it would kill William, his position would not improve. He might be able to run his lands as they pleased, but they would be less profitable even in the case humans and gevai didn’t return to war immediately. He also didn’t know William wasn’t just calling himself another Eternal King and really would come back to life… Though William couldn’t guarantee it would be as a gevai. Well, William wasn’t going to let it kill him anyway. Lorelei seemed quite pleased with his current form and he didn’t want to have to deal with reincarnating again and losing a very large amount of time, and much of his recent efforts would go to waste. Plus, dying wasn’t exactly pleasant.