William sat in a tavern, drinking something. Ale, maybe. He hadn’t really put much thought into what he ordered. Instead, his attention was occupied by the dwarf and elf sitting together at the same table, talking and laughing. William found that strange. He didn’t think they looked to have much in common with each other. Then, a demon came in and sat with the group. Everything continued as normal.
Eventually, William decided that he’d had enough of drinking alone, and went to sit with them. Everyone was talking, laughing, and drinking. William still felt there was something strange. He didn’t really get a specific sense of taste of what he was drinking. He knew he was talking and laughing, but what was he saying? What was he laughing at? How did he even know that this was an elf and a dwarf? He couldn’t recall seeing any before, and the sketches of what it was thought the looked like varied somewhat. Ah right, William remembered seeing ‘pictures’ of them in his previous life. Then, he woke up.
William grumbled to himself. It would have been nice if elves, dwarves, humans, and even demons could all get along. Not that there were any elves and dwarves nearby. Though William wasn’t the type that thought world peace was easily achievable, and he had to admit that he wasn’t a big fan of demons at the current time, he still would prefer that the two races stopped fighting… especially for no real reason. Of course, that required destroying the Demon King, since he was the biggest instigator in the wars.
However, William knew that real long term peace wasn’t going to be easy after that, either. For one thing, humans couldn’t even get along with each other. In this particular case, William had been hearing about certain groups that hadn’t enjoyed the ‘changes’ that had happened. Some nobles weren’t happy about having less power, and enough time had passed that they felt somewhat comfortable causing trouble. While this wasn’t anything new, even though William thought the world would be better off if such people all just died, he wasn’t able to do anything about it as long as people existed.
Taxes had been raised in preparation for the upcoming war with the Demon King. Ostana needed to be ready, not just with people but with fortifications that hadn’t been properly maintained, if they were bothered to be maintained at all. Enough years had passed by without any need for the fortifications on the northern border that William completely understood. However, even though the taxes were only raised marginally, it caused a lot of backlash. This was mostly from some of the noble families who had greater income, and thus greater taxes. However, they were informed that spies had seen the demons preparing armies, and there was a need to prepare. This reduced some of the grumbling to completely understandable levels. After all, nobody likes to have less money when they could have more… and taxes were something people could always complain about. However, there were others who knew there were perfectly good reasons, and still wanted to reject the taxes.
Real spies, not just Lorelei’s word, had confirmed that the demons were starting to build up armies… the word was the same from all of those who managed to survive and return. Even so, there were complaints. Some of those who complained didn’t see the demons as a real threat, and William thought they were just stupid. There was plenty of information from the past, even if not all of it survived, but people still refused to accept what was going on.
All of that, William expected from the foolishness of humans. However, there were rumors going around that this wasn’t the Demon King’s return… and there actually wasn’t a Demon King to begin with anyway. For those not from the nobility, perhaps they wouldn’t be able to verify the information, but that was not the case for those who mattered. While William didn’t like to think of the general populace as not mattering, that was actually the case, in this current situation. To them, it didn’t matter whether there was a Demon King, or just regular wars with the demons, at least until enough were lost and humans were wiped out. The nobility, however, were more involved with the plans to combat and destroy the Demon King, whether they knew any details or even that such a plan existed.
William understood that some people wouldn’t accept the truth, even if it was placed before them. However, that didn’t make it acceptable… just that he knew people would do that. If they were wrong about something less important, William would just shrug his shoulders. However, some people were intentionally leading things the wrong way. It didn’t matter whether they really believed the Demon King wasn’t real, or were for some reason working on the Demon King’s side. The results were the same. Moreover, there were those who were refusing to contribute to the upcoming war, an inevitability that was even harder to deny.
In Ostana, William had no official capacity to do anything. He wasn’t an Archmage, and he wasn’t even a citizen of the country in this life. Nobody was going to ask him to do anything, nor would they expect it. Perhaps they would even ask that he not cause trouble. However, someone had to do something, and asking nicely and telling people the truth obviously wasn’t good enough. William just didn’t know what would be. He would find out what needed to be done, and he would do it without asking, because nobody had asked him to do anything in his previous life either. However, William didn’t know what that thing would be yet. First, he had to see if he could find out who the biggest problems were.