Wizard! Chapter 412
Besides those required to run his estate, William brought all of those who worked for him to the castle. His castle, now. He could claim it through right of conquest or possibly through traditional gevai succession. The only issue was that he killed the Demon King while he was a human, so it wasn’t like anyone would recognize that. Most people didn’t even understand that the Demon King wasn’t coming back… though they would soon start to figure it out, if they hadn’t already been told or discerned it on their own.
Some humans, at least, knew about the fragments and had been taking note of their destruction. That had been entirely Marek’s work. William hadn’t been alive or in a useful state to do anything about them. Now there were none they knew about and could get to.
William wondered what the gevai diviners knew about them. Surely they must have realized something when Lorelei kept asking about possible places to find the Eternal King. While he wasn’t going to say that the gevai diviners had to be better than humans, at least in that area they should not have been any worse. He wanted to ask about that, if he could come up with a good method
Working on the declaration was what occupied most of William’s time. It wasn’t very long, but he had to fill it with the most flowery language and make it as perfect as possible. Truth be told, William could have completed it much more quickly… but he was hesitant about it. Even though it would achieve a significant goal, it wasn’t one he personally wanted to complete. However, he couldn’t drag his feet forever. He didn’t want to wait until armies were at his door… that would upset everything. He finished the declaration and sent it out. The other lords on his side knew it was coming… but the official declaration would be spread from everywhere at once… including a few places in territory he didn’t control.
“Sir!” Jordan stood in the doorway and saluted.
“Come in, Jordan.”
Jordan stepped into the study, “Sir… Why didn’t you tell me about this… declaration?”
“Didn’t I tell you?” William closed his eyes to remember, “Ah… I did say you needed to be ready for a large scale attack. I just didn’t say why.”
“I… see.” Jordan paused for a time, “Are you really…?”
William held up the declaration, “Read it for yourself. I believe the words say enough on their own.”
The last person on the list was Stefan. It was only safe to contact him at night. He carefully copied down the message. “Is this… right?”
“Go ahead and read it back.”
Stefan cleared his throat. “Lord Josef Rutten hereby declares his ascension to the throne of Eternal King of the gevai.”
William wasn’t happy with the Eternal part. He certainly didn’t want to be a king forever… but leaving it out would be sign of weakness. “That’s right so far. Go ahead with the rest.”
Stefan continued to read out the rest, including the most important part- the date of the coronation. “This… is certainly a monumental announcement. But…”
“Don’t worry. I’m not the Demon King. He… won’t be returning anymore.”
William could hear the confusion in Stefan’s voice, “We both have things we need to get to… but remember- I’m still the same- very strange- brother you grew up with. I just have an even fancier title now.”
“My lord… your majesty.” Theresa spoke carefully.
“I haven’t been coronated yet. You may maintain your previous form of address.” William would have been fine being called ‘dude’ by people he knew well, but he needed them to stay in practice for public appearances. Jordan could get away with ‘sir’ in most cases because of their military relationship.
Theresa nodded, wringing her hands nervously in front of her, “My lord… your recent declaration is what brings me here.”
“Let’s see… you want to know if I’m the Eternal King of old… also known as the Demon King by those who don’t like him?”
Theresa shook her head, “I know you aren’t. Because… he was my father.”
“I see.” William stroked his chin. Judging a gevai’s age by looks wasn’t useful after a certain point. He had assumed she was younger, but that was his own thoughts. Now that he thought about it, she certainly had the right kind of drive. Even so… “The most recent incarnation, I presume?’
“That’s right. I was only a dozen years old when he died…” She shrugged, “Not that I spent much time with him before then. He’s never really cared for his children… or even his mistresses. While a number of his children have become lords, any real connection to him is minor. Even so, there are some who care about it. My mother is one of those… and so is the man she wanted to give me to. Lord Harridan… was at least kind to his mistresses. He liked the idea of having a daughter of the Eternal King as a mistress, but knew to keep my identity secret because of Lord Neroni.” Theresa shook her head to clear it, “He might be important, but you also must watch out for my mother. She’s a manipulator and… not weak herself. I know you are strong… but be careful not to let your guard down around her. With that open invitation… she’ll almost certainly show up.”
William nodded, “Very well. I’ll add her to the list.” William had invited all gevai lords and persons of status to the coronation. It was a sort of provocation. Not that he expected many enemies to actually attend the coronation, even with a promise of safety. Well, he did expect some to show up, if they could get their armies to him in time- but those people weren’t going to be attending his coronation, one way or another.
Some would probably risk causing a commotion… but that was exactly what William wanted. After all, what was a coronation without a good show of strength? Well, William supposed it would be a nice, peaceful one… but it would be some time before gevai could even start adapting toward the idea of peace for a long duration.