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Lorelei’s eyes suddenly widened, “Wait when did you look at my cultivation? Was it while I was sleeping?”

William raised an eyebrow, “Would I do anything to you in your sleep?”

“Yes.”

William coughed, “Right, well… it was just now.”

“But I didn’t feel anyth-” Then Lorelei shivered. “You were hiding all of that energy? I didn’t even notice until you mentioned it.”

“That’s the point.”

“Right. Umm… perhaps I really should work on that breakthrough.”

William nodded, “It’s a very helpful step.” William looked around the rolling hills, “I don’t think anything will show up. Now’s a good enough time. If anything does show up, I’ll protect you.”

“Can’t we wait till we get to a city?”

William raised an eyebrow, “You sound almost like Lila.”

“Ugh. Never say that again.”

“Sorry, sorry.” William waved his hand, “But seriously, I think it would be good to do it sooner.”

“Alright.” Lorelei nodded, “Since you’re the expert…”

—–

Lorelei’s breakthrough went smoothly, though William kept a close watch on both the surroundings and her. If something went wrong with her breakthrough… William wasn’t sure if he could have done anything, but it might have been possible. It was better if he didn’t, though, and she succeeded herself. William didn’t know the technique, but he could feel it was probably designed by Marek for her. It had such familiar traces.

After she completed the breakthrough, she continued training through the evening, the whole night, and even into the morning. After she passed her most vulnerable state, William joined her, leaving Chris on watch… though nothing happened.

“You were right,” Lorelei nodded.

“Well, thanks. It was a good time for you, I didn’t want you to miss it.”

“Well, there was that but… training was easier. I made somewhat significant advances. Magic and body training have been going slowly, but I already have significant attainments in those…” Lorelei’s face went blank, remembering the past. “It’s strange. When could this have started?”

William shook his head, but Chris actually wrote something, “After the Demon King’s death.”

“Ah…” Lorelei inhaled through her teeth, “That’s not likely to be a coincidence. Was it immediately afterwards or…”

Chris spun around in his version of a shrug. “It might have been a few days… or weeks or years. I don’t remember. I was just sitting there sad for a while. Then I decided I had nothing better to do but train, and it was faster. I broke through to the fourth level before you showed up.” Before anyone could say anything, Chris continued, “I know that’s not strictly fast… but I improved so slowly between William as… William and as Yu Hui’Lam. It wasn’t just that I didn’t know what I was doing either. It definitely sped up after that point.”

“Hmm, we’ll need to talk to Lila about this. Though… Chris experiencing it too is interesting.”

“Why is that?” William asked.

“If it was a phenomenon related to gevai, well, he’s human isn’t he?”

“He was human. I was human too, you know?”

Lorelei frowned, “And Lila too.”

“Maybe you were as well, and just don’t remember it. That wasn’t my point though. My point is now Lila and I are gevai… and Chris got fused with a lot of them, including a tiny bit of the Demon King.”

Chris scribbled excitedly on the ground, “Oh yeah there were a ton of them in the room and then there weren’t.”

“Right. Well, it’s certainly strange.” Lorelei frowned, “We’ll have to look into it. Though, getting back to my notes might help. As far as priorities go… that’s not at the top of the list right now. Thus the coming to get you and ruining the whole thing where we were looking for the Demon King in Lioayang and Ostana.”

William nodded, “Right.”

—–

Upon leaving the mountains, William and Lorelei found themselves in rolling hills and plains. The area within a hundred or so miles of the mountains and thus the border with human lands was largely unpopulated. The only thing that inhabited those lands were animals and magical beasts. However, such magical beasts were not a threat unless they felt threatened, and Lorelei knew the signs to avoid the territory of the more aggressive ones. The pair proceeded north until they ran into known roads, from which they directly travelled to the nearest city, and then to Ducson.

They immediately went to find Lila. Once they had settled in her office, Lorelei opened up the conversation. “So, what’s so important that we had to come back early?”

Lila frowned slightly, “As I mentioned in my message, the lords seem to have realized that the Demon King has not yet appeared as he should have. Some of them are willing to wait longer, but some of the regional lords are planning to convene for a council to discuss the matter.”

Lorelei nodded, “That is indeed important. When is it?’

“Well, it’s still probably a year or two away, you know how slow they are at organizing such things… but I couldn’t tell how long it would take you to get back. Especially since William lost his contact disks.” She turned to glare at William.

He shrugged, “I wasn’t expecting to be hit directly where I was carrying them, but if I didn’t have them with me I could miss a message…”

“Tch. You sure cause a lot of trouble for someone who’s supposed to be calm and rational. Anyway, about the council… we weren’t invited. In fact, we weren’t even officially informed. Abiel Thorsten, the new lord of this region, informed me. Perhaps because he doesn’t have a strong backing and wants to get in my good graces… but I’ll take what I can get.”

Lorelei frowned, “Not even the Archmage received an invitation? They can’t really reject me if I show up, but unfortunately there isn’t much I can do to anyone, given my status. Of course, I’ll have to find a way to keep them off the trail long enough… for whatever we plan to do, besides destroying the rest of the Demon King.”

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