Wizard! Chapter 174
After a few months had passed, William couldn’t reasonably wait any longer if he wanted to try to have any effect on what was happening in Ostana. Though politics often moved slowly, that was only until a breaking point. All of the reports from Ostana indicated that point was soon. As for William, he now had a reasonable beard. He wouldn’t say it was great, but for someone less than twenty years old, it wasn’t bad at all. He also got some pointers from some members of the Order on what else he should change. He got a new hairstyle, not too different from what he had, but different enough. His hair was somewhat longer than it had been in his previous life, almost shoulder length at points, which meant he actually had to provide more effort in its care. He couldn’t easily disguise the robe he was wearing, since it was magical and he would have had to clunkily place another robe over it, but that wasn’t a problem. After all, he hadn’t had this robe when the troubles with the Archmage in Canta occurred. All in all, he should look different enough given the various factors that he wouldn’t be easily recognized. It also would help that he had identification papers now. He might have called them counterfeit, but they were officially issued… Just using a different name.
It was decided that Dong Xin wouldn’t return to Ostana with William. It made sense, because for those who didn’t know, he was the one actually suspected of killing the Archmage, with William being more of an accessory to the crime. William travelled with another caravan- not one run by anyone he was familiar with, but travelling through the Endless Forest alone wasn’t a great idea. Of course, William could probably pull it off, but then he would have to also sneak across the border or bring suspicion upon himself.
At the border, everyone travelling with the caravan had to undergo inspection. Those who were actually part of the caravan were vouched for by them. The other travellers- William and two others, were not backed by the caravan. The inspection was fairly routine, and mostly a check for routine smuggling or other things of the sort. William found the methods rather primitive, compared to Eclea. It made William sad, how far Ostana had fallen. Well, perhaps that wasn’t exactly right, but rather it was how much they had failed to progress forward. Not moving forward at all was basically going backward, and from what William had seen they were actually truly a bit further behind than when he’d been Archmage. Of course, they did make a more money on selling useless baubles to nobles, but as for practical progress, they were equal or worse than they had been.
As William’s bag was checked, of course nothing untoward was found, only daily necessities. However, they also needed to check his staff. A guard opened the leather case, and slid out the staff contained within. It was a nice, sturdy oak staff, smooth and shiny. Other than that, there was nothing special about it. The staff was returned to the case, and then to William.
Out in the forest, Chris waited patiently. He was good at waiting. He’d waited a very long time for William to come back. Now, he knew how to find him. He could feel him. Right now, he wasn’t through the border yet. Once William was through, Chris would follow, and then meet up with him. In case something went wrong and they couldn’t find each other, they also had a backup plan to meet at the Cyril manor. That was one of the few places that Chris could reliably get to, and it should also be a safe location for Chris to be seen. Of course, there wasn’t any reason for there to be problems. Chris could feel him through their connection, and now that he recognized it, he would be able to find William from a very large distance. Though, Chris supposed it wasn’t perfect. After all, his senses were also indicating somewhere to the north. Very far north, it felt like. However, that was such a faint feeling it was insignificant, so Chris didn’t bring it up. Then, Chris started moving. William was past the border now, so Chris would move to meet up with him… though he would stay away if he noticed anyone else, since he was somewhat of a famous object in Ostana, to the right people. Even if nobody knew who he was, he would stand out. Chris flipped end over end. He found it was kind of fun to travel this way… but also lonely.
William left the caravan at the border city of Domaro, and went back outside the city to meet up with Chris. He could feel Chris approaching. That was rather strange. He wasn’t exactly sure why they had a connection, however it seemed to be related to the soul. Otherwise, it shouldn’t have persisted between lives, though William couldn’t say he’d actually noticed it in his first life in this world. William hadn’t heard about something like this happening with magical items, but on the other hand he hadn’t heard about any other intelligent items. Actually, it might be more correct to say that Chris was an objectified person. Chris was certain he had been a person before he was a staff, and thus it was more correct to describe him that way. However, intelligent object flowed better… though in most cases, William wouldn’t bring up either way of saying it. Finally, Chris arrived, and William placed him in the leather case, carrying the normal staff in his hand. He headed toward the Cyril manor, where he planned to leave the normal staff, where he would pick it up on his return trip. It would save him a little bit of money instead of buying a new one, but if Chris was inspected on the way out of the country, William could imagine anyone who knew about him would raise some questions that were hard to answer.