Margaret had to know that Douglas could do magic. She didn’t necessarily know he was a wizard or anything, but she had to know the repairs he did were impossible. Douglas wondered if anyone he interacted with regularly would really stay in the dark about his magic. He probably wasn’t as subtle as he thought. However, that didn’t mean he was going to stop hiding it… because not everyone would be good like Margaret and Librarian Reed. He especially couldn’t allow the academy of the Endless Library to find out. That could get Librarian Reed in trouble… but he didn’t plan to be interacting with many people there. Regardless, he had a month to figure things out before he went back.
Some of his time was spent creating more spells for tailoring related purposes. While he was learning how to do things by hand, it was faster to do it with magic. Though of course, creating a spell took time. Thus, he just had spells for any repetitive task that should go the same way every time. He needed that, because he was a bit slower in other areas… and Margaret couldn’t do much work. Each day, she seemed to move a bit slower. She did somehow manage to find time to bake sweets for Douglas occasionally… and he never refused them. Likewise, she was clear on how much he was helping, but she needed him.
However, now that he wasn’t working at the library as well, Douglas actually ended up getting a bit more sleep. If he’d had a magic armor spell to create that would have been different, but all he could do was to sketch out a few possibilities without knowing all of the features of the basic form. He didn’t have many books to reference- only those he’d accidentally taken with him- and he hadn’t been thinking about defensive spells at that point.
Douglas wasn’t sure how old Margaret was- he’d considered his father old at one point, but he probably hadn’t even been forty years old. Margaret was certainly older… but it was hard to say how much. Some people aged faster than others. All he knew was that Margaret’s health was going downhill. Could he use magic to help? He knew magic couldn’t stop or cure aging. A few books he had read through mentioned people trying, to greater and lesser levels of success, but it usually lead to unhealthy obsessions and a dark path. Regardless of how kind she had been, Douglas wasn’t so close to her that he would be willing to try sacrificing people to keep her alive longer… not that she would have approved of anything like that. Douglas didn’t think he would even do that for himself… though maybe very particular people. That was just an idle thought though- Douglas had no desire to become an evil wizard. He couldn’t say the same of Scoubar, however.
On that note, news told that actual war between Scoubar and Bryria had broken out. Though it was an entire country away… in reality, it wasn’t that far. It reminded Douglas that he couldn’t just sit studying as long as he liked. The world kept happening even without his involvement. Would Scoubar make it all the way to Vospia and the Endless Library? Some people seemed to think that would never happen, but while Bryria wasn’t surprised like Dalgare had been, Scoubar seemed to be quite strong. The used wizards in battle, for one thing. Bryria did too, but from what Douglas had heard they weren’t as organized… or as plentiful.
Douglas had no fond feelings for Scoubar, and while he didn’t think he was the type to be able to destroy a country… he wanted to take revenge in some way. He’d studied them, and learned some very interesting but disturbing things about Scoubar, some of it new information to come to the Endless Library. He already knew the basics… wherever they went, they cut the tongues out of male magic users and captured the women. Once in Scoubar, they would be forced to bear children for other magic users, until their inevitable death. That wasn’t even the best way to ensure the highest number of probable magic users… but that wasn’t the goal of Scoubar. The mage-king of Scoubar just wanted more magic in his line. All of those who could use magic were his sons, or grandsons. Douglas didn’t know what happened to daughters in that line, but he doubted it was particularly nice.
He couldn’t help but think about Lucy. He’d run away to Vospia because he couldn’t do anything for her… and he still couldn’t. By now, she was probably dead. He doubted he could even get to Scoubar, let alone find one person there… but maybe he could stop anything from happening to others. Douglas resolved to take a more serious look at the book on war magic.
A Scoubarian commander looked at the quartermaster, “Another supply convoy lost? I thought the mages we assigned you previously fended off the… assailant.”
The quartermaster shook his head, “It isn’t certain yet… the evidence seems to be a different method than the reaper normally uses. However, without the protection of mages, the Reaper… umm, the assailant… seems to be able to come and go as he pleases. Though the last attack was fended off, they weren’t able to confirm injuries.” The quartermaster cleared his throat, “Regardless, the signs in this attack were much more… overt. There seems to have been an explosion, and mangled bodies were found. The supplies were burnt… but some may have been stolen as well. That implies more than a single person being involved. If it is… him… then he has found new allies.”
The commander rolled his eyes. “Wonderful. Of course, the more competent princes have not yet arrived… and those that already have aren’t much help even though magic is their area of expertise. But… the mage-king has given us the timeframe and all we can do is to act. We can afford the loss of a supply wagon or two… but not of any mages. We’ll have to reconsider our options.”