William stared at the wall. Really, it was the corner that was important. He wasn’t really sure what to do. He knew it had to open somehow, but it appeared perfectly smooth. He thought feeling it with his hands would be a good start except… “We should avoid touching it. I’m positive there are formations in the wall… but I can’t see them.” William tilted his head, “I bet this would be a lot easier if we broke through the ceiling but… that would be a little bit obvious. It would be best to not be seen to be destroying anything.”
Lorelei nodded, “Indeed. So, if touching the wall might be dangerous, what should we do? We could touch it with something, but then we couldn’t feel the wall. Chris doesn’t have a sense of touch, either.” Chris twisted in acknowledgement.
William frowned, “There should be an illusion on the wall, but I can’t see it. More importantly, I can’t see any traces of mana. That means…”
“That the mana is only used to manipulate the light, then it releases control. Any actual mana would stay back within the formation. However, it likely makes some assumptions. First, what happens with no outside light?”
It only took a few minutes to block the light from the window and what came through the doorway from the bedroom. The result was… just normal darkness.
“Well, we’ve learned one thing. It doesn’t create its own light, or at least it has the ability to sense natural light.” Lorelei scratched her chin, “Or there’s nothing there, but I believe you that something is there. After you pointed it out, I can even feel that it’s rather strange. I get the feeling I expect for a wall but…”
William nodded, then realized it was still dark, “Right. Next I’ll try… this.” William created light with magic, the fluorescent white he had grown used to on Earth. The corner continued to look normal. “Alright, it’s not specifically keyed to just sunlight or anything…”
William and Lorelei spent the next half hour trying different colors of light, just to see if it had any different results. They even tried maintaining one each, but they couldn’t see anything but flat surfaces.
“I’m sure it opens up, somehow.” William frowned, “But we have to be able to see it. Do we have to try touching it?”
Lorelei shrugged, “We’ve tried all the colors. Red, blue, yellow, green, violet… everything in the rainbow and even pink. It doesn’t seem to have trouble with those if it’s projecting light to fool us.”
“Yeah. Right.” William couldn’t help but think. Were there any other types of light? Infrared… wasn’t exactly light. At least, human eyes couldn’t see it, which was the problem. Could gevai? That was a good question, but William had no idea how to get the answer. Then, there was ultraviolet. They were a component of black lights… but most importantly they had a propensity for highlighting things that other light didn’t.
“Any more ideas, William? Not that I mind being alone in the dark with you, but I’d rather be doing… something else.” A knocking sound on the floor reminded them of Chris.
“Oh, right. Yes, I have an idea. It will either be very impressive… or totally disappointing. Oh, and it might take a few tries.” William thought back to when he had been experimenting with making a laser. He had ended up with a number of burns- including sunburns- because he absorbed a large amount of light. He hadn’t really stopped absorbing UV, but had just grown better at having the laser only come out from the end it was supposed to instead of all parts of Chris. Still, he could try now.
There were a few awkward minutes of chanting, only to either have apparently nothing happen or to get something like normal light. Then, there was weird bluish-purple glow. Some things immediately stood out. William and Lorelei’s eyes, papers, and the plaster on the wall. Everything else seemed as if it almost had no light at all hitting it. William immediately moved his face closer to the wall. After a few moments of study, he reached his hand out and pushed. A small section of the corner rotated. “Well, you’ll have to explain this before we see what’s in there.”
William nodded. “This is called a blacklight. Can you guess what it was most commonly used for… or at least known for?”
“Hmm…” Lorelei stroked her chin, “Security… or anti-security. Perhaps forensic investigation.”
“Well, maybe that last thing actually… but one of the most common uses would be… dance clubs. It creates quite an atmosphere.” William went on to explain ultraviolet light- Lorelei already knew about it as the component of sunlight that caused sunburns. “Well, anyway, it doesn’t look like the magic formations there are for destroying careless fingers… but I didn’t want to find that out the hard way.”
Lorelei nodded, “Let’s go in.”
If William had designed the secret passageway, he would have made it a more comfortable fit… but he supposed that would make it easier to notice. Inside was a tiny spiral staircase that he had to circle around sideways. The Demon King had been a large fellow the time William had seen him, so he couldn’t have done any different. Even Lorelei found it uncomfortably narrow. It continued some way down, probably until it was underground. Then it opened up somewhat. At the bottom there was… a real door. On and around the door were more wards. “I thought you said the Demon King was stupid.”
“He was. He is…” Lorelei looked over the wards, “Things of such complexity like this were beyond him. There was no way he was this good at faking it… right?” She shook her head, “No, this was probably done by someone else… but who? None of the other who would call themselves Archmage are this good.”
William looked them over. “This looks like it could take quite some time to decipher. Unless a majority of these pieces are useless junk, but I doubt it. Nobody would bother to just try to intimidate people who made it this far.”
Lorelei nodded, “Indeed. I can tell that some of them are interfering with ki, as well. Even right in front of the door, I can’t tell it’s there.”
“Well then… I guess we should get started.”