Wizard! Chapter 557
The most surprising event to occur after the internet came to fruition was the appearance of the Hidden Library. Not an actual, physical library but a website purporting to be a collection of ancient texts. At first, there were only a handful of volumes that were quite hard to verify. The reason for that was nobody spoke the language anymore. Even though it was ancient gevai, it bore very little resemblance to the modern gevai language. The volumes were supposedly from the time before the Demon King was born.
Shortly afterwards came a more modern book that served as a translation guide between modern and ancient gevai. With that, people looked at the older books and determined they were probably authentic. The determining factor was that there were both scans of the physical pages and purely text versions. The text versions required special fonts to be installed, because the size of the alphabet and letters had both changed significantly in the time since the Demon King first appeared.
At first some people claimed they were just carefully crafted fakes, but as more and more texts were produced- several per day- they found it harder to back up that claim. There really were surviving books from those times- and even with magic supporting them the scans showed the books were barely holding together. In fact, there were also many handwritten copies from later times of books that had not survived. The Hidden Library guaranteed the accuracy of the copies, though not necessarily the original texts.
The books ranged from history- or at the time they were written, modern events- to understandings of magic and culture. Eventually books written by non-gevai in other languages started showing up.
While it was called the Hidden Library, it was completely available to the public and they even explicitly allowed and encouraged the copying and redistribution of their files.
As they continued to release more and more books on a daily basis, there were communities that dived deep into everything that was released. While no single person could read everything that was being released, especially not with the necessity to translate most of it, a group people could. However, to most people the books were simply old history and of little use beyond that. It was only when commentary texts written by members of the Hidden Library started popping up that it began to become widely known.
William had a fairly good idea who was responsible for the Hidden Library. They weren’t exactly secret either, though the actual location of their library- or libraries- were secret. William went to ask the representative of the diviners and librarians that stayed at his castle. “I thought all of your books were kept secret?”
“That has never been the intention. The intention was that the knowledge survive… and we could not trust anyone but ourselves to keep it safe.” The woman who was currently the representative nodded. “We have been waiting quite some time for this.”
“You knew it would happen?” William raised an eyebrow.
“Not in detail. It was, after all, too close to our personal interests. However, we knew that at some point it would be possible to easily copy and spread the knowledge in the books, such that it would not easily be lost.” She shrugged, “While it is a far cry from traditional libraries with physical books, it serves its purpose. If we failed to adapt to changing times we would just doom everything to fade into obscurity.”
“Is there any dangerous knowledge?” William asked.
“All knowledge can be dangerous. However, modern weapon designs far outpace anything we might have collected.”
“You would do well to leave out anything involving the destruction of souls. At least… the practical side of it.” William shook his head, “If you have anything like that. Though I doubt any individuals can make much use of it, and large organizations… should know better. Even if sometimes they don’t.” William sighed, “That is my only request. You can do whatever else you want, even including any history books that pain me in a hugely negative light… though I would prefer your sources be accurate.”
She nodded, “I will make your words known.”
William watched the political landscape of the countries around Cruonia. Many of them were becoming more democratic, in the broad sense of the word where leaders were elected by the people for specific terms. Kingdoms were ending, and not generally through violent political uprisings but more peaceful means.
Then there was him, the Eternal King of Crunoia. He had supporters and detractors, and while he liked to think he had more of the former, it didn’t always feel like it. But even if he was good for the country… was he what was best for the country?
He hadn’t ever wanted to become king. He’d only done it because it was necessary. Now… he still didn’t want to be king, and it wasn’t necessary. He barely did anything. He was responsible for meeting with foreign dignitaries, many of which were afraid of him. They might have had good reason for that, but it didn’t change the facts. Sometimes having people be afraid was good… but it could only go so far.
It didn’t matter that many of the leaders of other countries knew how he really was. Their people would see him differently, and reflect poorly on any positive relations between the countries. Besides, William had other things he wanted to do.
Thus, he was going to give up being king. Some might consider a reign of a few gross years rather short compared to ‘eternal’, but he didn’t really care about that. He was a symbol that was unnecessary. He was not just the king of gevai anymore, but of Cruonia. While there were many gevai, there were also humans, elves, dwarves… and every combination of them possible. In fact, pureblood of any sort were more rare. Cruonia didn’t need a pure blooded warrior gevai reminiscent of a Demon King- whether he was the Demon King or not. They had other leaders that were quite functional. While giving up control over the country would mean it could go directions he didn’t envision, that wasn’t necessarily bad. He wasn’t capable of making the right decision in every situation, but with absolute control he felt like he should be making those decisions. That meant changes needed to happen… including him stepping down from the throne. Just not right away, since sudden changes were rarely the best option.