For some reason, William was surprised to find closets with clothes in them. In his head, the Demon King only went around in armor, but he couldn’t always be in heavy armor. Well, perhaps he could, but that would show somewhat of a lack of trust of his people. In the end, his bedroom was filled with exactly what one would expect from a bedroom, There wasn’t anything special.
The truly interesting place was beyond it, in his study. First, there was another set of wards. William thought that perhaps that might be overkill, but maybe there was actually something useful in there. Or he was just paranoid. Lorelei had also set up those wards, thus it wasn’t too hard to enter. After all, the Demon King had to be able to enter as well, so it wasn’t possible for them to have no way to disable them safely- unless they had someone on the inside to activate and deactivate them.
Inside the study was… a collection of books, and a desk filled with papers. William would have called it a small collection, especially considering how long and how many times the Demon King had lived. It was only a few bookshelves, though they did take up a good portion of the room. “Well, what do we do now?” William asked.
“Now… we start reading.” Lorelei shrugged, “We can just skim the books for any notes or different writing, but we’ll need to read all of the papers.”
“How long will that take?” William asked. He didn’t actually expect an answer… because they would soon find out.
“You know,” William chatted, “When I was a human, this kind of paper and ink was a luxury- not a necessity. Sure, we wanted what we wrote to last for dozens of generations to come… but we usually had to settle for just a few generations. Even as Archmage, I only wrote my most critical notes on this kind of material, with alchemical inks.” William frowned, “Then Cecil burned them.”
“He was the one who you kicked out the window?” Lorelei nodded, “That was the right response.”
“Ha! Not really. The most probable situation there was that I got killed… by the knights. I was fortunate that they were not only competently skilled… but also willing to work for the greater good. At least, humanity’s greater good.”
“The Demon King’s death is still better for the gevai in the long run. Though it might lead to a civil war here… that’s still better than a huge war every several generations to make no real gains.”
“Yeah, I suppose so. Find anything yet?”
“Yes. I have discovered that his handwriting is atrocious. Though it changes slightly in his different incarnations, it seems. Normally, he doesn’t have to write anything, so I hadn’t been able to study his handwriting.”
William nodded, “Well, so far there is nothing of interest in these books. This feels like the sort of collection one has to display that they are educated, though it’s not actually on display for anyone. So far, no books have been on any particularly special topics.”
Lorelei nodded, “In a more practical sense, he has taken notes on many of the various demon lords, and how he felt about them. Some of it seems like paranoia, but we still might be able to use it.”
It took almost a week to go through the whole study, just to make sure they hadn’t missed any books or notes. In the end, they had nothing much to show. Small bits of blackmail on some lords… a number of which were already dead. There didn’t appear to be anything else of value.
Lorelei sighed, “What a waste of time. Not that I expected to find much, but now I have to spend more time coming up with a believable fake summary that will be to our benefit.”
William nodded, “Yeah, it’s about time to check the secret room.”
“What secret room? Why would you need a secret room when you have wards preventing people from getting in?”
William shrugged, “Because people can force their way through wards. Because you’re a paranoid ruler. Because you maybe don’t completely trust the Archmage who set up your wards.” William nodded seriously, “As good as those reasons are, there is one much more important reason there must be a secret room.”
“And that reason is…?”
“Because… why wouldn’t there be a secret room?” William grinned, “What’s the point of a castle if you don’t have secret passageways and rooms strewn throughout?”
Lorelei just looked at William, confused. “So, the main reason to have a secret room is… because it would be fun? I don’t understand where the logic fits in that.”
“Who said the Demon King operated on logic? You’re the one who always said he was stupid. I think maybe he’s not quite that stupid though. After all, he maintained power for so long. There must have been something. Otherwise, people afraid of revenge would have just gathered together to captured him, destroyed his cultivation ability, and chained him up in a magic proof cell, force feeding him for all of eternity.”
Lorelei blinked, “Wow, sometimes you come up with the most… interesting ideas. The problem there is he would die of old age, even if he couldn’t commit suicide through normal means.”
“Then just keep him in a coma or something. Surely people could make magically induced comas. Well, maybe not. There are… interesting gaps in knowledge here.”
“Fine, if that’s the case… where’s the secret door? I don’t see any mana fluctuations, and I don’t feel anything with ki. There are just smooth walls, floors… ceiling.”
William nodded, “I’m going to be honest, one problem we share is relying on our abilities too much. Why use my eyes to look for something when I can just feel it, in more detail from further away?” William pointed toward a bookcase, “But anyway, the secret door is behind that, I’m pretty sure. It’s got wards of some kinds that even fool ki senses. I only found it through luck, because I thought there should be a secret door somewhere. Only with that thought in mind did I manage to notice some weird things. Can you support the top? I don’t want it to tip over.” Lorelei helped, and together they shifted the large bookshelf. Behind it was… a seamless wall.
Lorelei looked at it seriously, “Well… what next?”