Matfey came up to William after the duel. “A lover’s spat, huh? I don’t know what you expected with someone like the headmistress. She’s attractive enough, but rather… volatile.”
William looked at Matfey and blinked. “We’re not lovers. I’m pretty sure I told you that.”
“Oh yeah? I guess you did, but I’m just talking about what I and everyone else saw. That’s what it looked like.”
“Ugh, can’t a man and a woman just have a magical duel without people reading things into it?” William shook his head and looked around. Lila was gone… and he hadn’t even started to teach her about ki. Well, he could find her later.
William thought about the lightning bolt. It had struck him from behind, which wasn’t impossible. However, to do that, there had to be a thread of mana connecting to behind him. He thought back on the scene, and couldn’t see how that could have happened. He ignored the fact that it was much harder to have something originate behind someone, because Lila was quite capable of that. How did it get behind him though? There hadn’t been a trail of mana around to the sides- or up above. He supposed the trail could have been far away, but in that case it would have had to first go far behind Lila. That left the most likely answer, that it had gone through the ground. That was harder, of course, but possible. He hadn’t really checked for mana gathering behind him. It wasn’t likely that it was actually gathered under the ground, because that was more difficult, but just the trail of connection wouldn’t be too difficult. Of course, against people who couldn’t see mana there were easier methods to hit them, but William had to admit it worked pretty well. On the other hand, anything meant for people who couldn’t see mana was entirely useless in this country, though not everyone would have the proper experience to recognize the danger.
Before William could go find Lila, Lorelei came to him. William wondered if people knew she was the teacher of Headmistress Lorenz- though William supposed he was actually her first teacher. Not just of magic, but of any sort of formal education. Lorelei brought William to a room where they could talk privately. “So, how much do you remember?”
“Most things, I think.”
Lorelei shook her head. “No, not that. I mean, how much do you remember about other people. Your soul should have gotten mixed up with… at least some of the Demon King, right? You seemed to have some idea about his memories… I think.” Lorelei paused, “I’m not sure, because you might have gotten better at lying. Maybe you don’t? Anyway, I know you have some of his soul because Chris sensed it.”
“Yeah, that’s right. Honestly, it’s not much. There was… when he made Chris, and right before his death, but even those aren’t concrete. A few other bits.”
Lorelei nodded, “Any insight into why he hated humans so much?”
“Uh… because he was a jerk? There might have been more to it, but he just felt they weren’t as good as him and should die for it. Well, I only have a small portion of his memories though.”
“Right, right. I suppose that’s what made it so you can use magic? Or even reincarnate as a gevai?”
“I would assume so. Or… possibly a coincidence, but probably not. Well, the magic is also partly all the other people too.”
“Yeah. Bits and pieces of people the Demon King absorbed.”
“Memories? That would explain part of why he kept becoming even more unstable. Though, with that bit of information, perhaps not as much as one might think.” She stroked her chin, “Anything interesting in there?”
“I dunno, not really. There was one guy who was an archmage? But that’s the clearest memory, and even then it’s not that much. I think… he was the one before me? Maybe. It’s not super clear.” William tilted his head, “Are you an archmage? I mean, do they have such a title here in the gevai lands? Obviously you’re qualified.”
“I am, we have an equivalent title. In fact, I’m the only one. Though, many of the heads of the other academies might call themselves archmage. Some of them might even qualify, some of them don’t. It’s too much of a bother to care. I’m also head royal advisor to the Eternal King, and court wizard… though I suppose if he ever gets the chance he’d withdraw the appointments.”
“About that… does the Demon King have power anymore? Are the fragments dangerous?”
“Probably not on their own… but who is to say if one man, or part of a man, will be dangerous? The biggest problem is if they meet up and… merge, or work together, or something. Or if one retained more of him than the few we’ve found. With a large portion of his power, he could be a serious threat, though I imagine he probably would have announced himself if that were the case.” She grimaced, “Unless he suspected treachery. There isn’t much reason for him to, but he could be… quite paranoid.”
“There being actual treachery isn’t reason enough? Well, I suppose it’s not like you did anything yourself. How did you find the fragments you did?”
“Well, Chris can feel them, of course, but we knew to look for them because of the divinations. The gevai don’t do much with divination magic… but the one thing they do is await the return of their Eternal King. Usually, they at least pinpoint an area, but this time none of them could agree on anything more than his return. Fortunately, I was the first to find one of the fragments, and with a little effort I got him restrained… and figured out what was going on. Well, I wasn’t sure until Marek destroyed him for me, and then we found another one. Fortunately he trusted me enough that I got him into the dungeon, because while I could have defeated him… I didn’t know that at the time. It would have been… an awkward experience to have to end up serving him again, even if he didn’t know I tried to have him destroyed. Honestly, if he’d just wanted to go to war without wanting destroying entire species and let me do my research, he would have been just fine.” Lorelei frowned, “Well, I draw the line at destroying souls too, it’s nasty business. He’s just an exception.”
William nodded. Destroying souls was very unpleasant. It was good to see that Lorelei had some moral boundaries… though he felt she actually had more than she let on, as well.