The news finally came. William had expected a war… a political coup… or some other kind of big event. He hadn’t expected something so obvious or direct though. The news came that a demon had appeared in Liaoyang. Specifically, the city of Xudong… east and south of where William currently was.
Everyone was up in arms, literally. If there was one things humans agreed on, it was that killing demons was good. William would have agreed with them before. Now… actually, he was planning to destroy- redestroy?- the fragment’s soul, so he supposed they still agreed at the moment.
William didn’t bother with travelling with a caravan, and just rode a horse. A magical beast was more expensive… and less reliable. William thought that wyvern riders were crazy, but perhaps they just trained them for much longer. William thought about that a lot on the ride to the next closest city, because he had nothing else to do.
There, he found out the demon had moved. It was good that he had to stop in the city anyway, because otherwise he might have continued on toward the wrong destination. Being closer to the news, there was more clarity to the information. There were a number of things that indicated the demon might not be the Demon King. Firstly, casualties were low- injuries and deaths combined. The numbers weren’t clear on any of those, but in cases involving the Demon King, anything less than a gross or perhaps even a whole town or two was low. The real numbers were probably somewhere around dozens. The fact that the demon seemed to be running around not leading an army was another clue, though William supposed the Demon King might act alone. The last was that some of the reports indicated that the demon was female.
William wasn’t sure if reincarnation could or would change sexes. There shouldn’t be any reason he couldn’t, because it changed everything else about genetics. However, he had always remained male, and the Demon King had always been so as well. The others who had reincarnated had also stayed the same sex as far as William knew. On the other hand, he didn’t actually have a huge pool of results, and since the Demon King often wore full body armor, descriptions wouldn’t mean much. He seemed the type to hide it if he became a she.
Regardless of whether it was the Demon King or not… the most likely candidates all seemed like reasons William should go see the demon to find out. He just hoped he could get there at the proper time… not too late, but not exhausted.
Lorelei ran along the road. This was why she hadn’t come to Liaoyang in the first place. It was far too easy to get found out, which led to all kinds of annoyances. It didn’t help that she’d been unlucky enough to come across some members of the Order of the Watchful Sentry shortly after entering Liaoyang. They were a major pain to deal with. They’d also killed her horse, which was another unpleasant thing.
She grumbled at William. That was probably his fault. The humans had been pretty complacent before he showed up. Sure, the Demon King might have not been destroyed without all of the seeds of alertness he’d sown, but couldn’t they have disbanded after the Demon King was destroyed? A good portion of humanity believed he had been, but this group was rather stubborn. They also had many members, which made evading their searches a pain. Thus, she spent a rather large amount of time running.
In fact, this whole thing was definitely William’s fault. He had gone and gotten his communication disks destroyed. He might be dead, too. If he was dead, Lorelei was going to be even more annoyed, because that would mean she was wasting her time coming here to find him. If he died, it would throw off all of their plans. She would probably have to go into hiding, and just let the Demon King take over the world, because she had no interest in getting herself killed trying to stop him. Marek might not even have it in him to destroy even one more fragment… and there were surely more than that. Then William would come back, and he’d have a huge mess to clean up.
On the other hand… if he met with the Demon King, perhaps his soul had been destroyed. If that was the case… he wouldn’t come back, and that would be the worst case scenario. She didn’t think that could happen… but if it did, she would have to build him a grave somewhere so she could cuss at it and tell him how stupid he was. She’d never really had the chance to tell him he was stupid before… but she doubted it would make her feel better if she did.
Behind Lorelei was a small army. It only numbered perhaps a gross, but in terms of combat potential it was much ahead of what one would expect. After all, those were the people who could at least somewhat keep up with her, which meant they weren’t just run-of-the mill people. Lorelei thought she might have to give up and go run into a danger zone… and then return without William. Maybe he would get the idea anyway.
Unfortunately, she wasn’t sure if she could get there. She had tremendous endurance, but hadn’t had much opportunity to rest in the last several weeks. Though she avoided sprinting or any excessive movements most of that time, a hustle could quickly add up. She might just get caught. That was what she got for being impatient. Usually she was better about it, but it only took one mistake…
Then she felt it. Normally, magic was something that was seen. Mana flowed around like little motes of light. However, in certain circumstances, it could be felt. This was the feeling of all of the mana in the area being controlled at once. It flowed to one point, like a great whirlpool of energy. This was the level of power possessed by the Demon King.