At this point in his life, William was aware that meditating to try to sense mana was a pointless effort. After all, after so many years, he had no progress. The recent experiment with the demoness had proved he had no chance of anything happening. However, there was always a small hope in William that something would change. If nothing else, it was already firmly entrenched in his routine, and helped him calm his mind. This was especially useful to him after dealing with the upcoming war, and the preparations for it.
As a side effect of becoming Archmage, many people had been coming to see William to curry favor. William understood that this was just part of the way things worked, but where had these people been earlier? They hadn’t been interested in William in the slightest until he got a fancy title, one recognized by those outside the guild. William had to deal with meeting these people and being polite, an area in which he still was still somewhat insufficient. Though, he’d at least learned to put on a good smiling face and learned to have polite but meaningless chats. Perhaps that was all there was to it.
On the interpersonal relationships side of things, William had good contacts among the younger, though it was slowly becoming the older, generation. William had a good relationship with Gerard, who was well respected among the knights, but was less familiar with his superiors. As for the generals of Ostana, he had only met them briefly at social engagements. Fortunately for William, his robes were perfectly acceptable attire at such engagements, so he had still felt secure. He’d certainly gotten a lot of practice in almost meaningless social interaction. Not that William didn’t like some other people, and conversing with them. However, he preferred intelligent conversation about practical things. Or, those parts of magic which might someday become practical.
Although he wasn’t particularly interested in which noble families disliked which others, it was something he had needed to learn, as well as other things. The only feud with which he had any personal experiments was that the Cyrils- Marius’ family- had with the Lockridges- Geoff and his family. It had somewhat existed before the current generation, but it had developed further during William’s lifetime. It was rarely violent- outside of official duels, at least. Even if there weren’t always looming dangers outside the kingdom, starting an actual war between families would have serious repercussions. The relationship wasn’t that bad, yet. Instead, they would often try to find places to one-up the other family. William supposed himself becoming Archmage was a win for the Cyril family, but he didn’t have any intention to get significantly involved besides showing his support. It was better to not get actively involved, and just occasionally remind the country of his position, as a deterrent.. Plus, all of William’s effort was tied up with the coming war effort.
William wasn’t sure whether he should or needed to conscript any wizards for the upcoming war effort, or could get by with volunteers. Regardless of what the need would eventually be, he did implement mandatory combat training. All the wizards needed to be at least basically proficient in combat, because in the worst case scenario, William might have to conscript them at a moment’s notice. However, the reason he gave, which was also equally true, was that it could not be determined what would happen in the coming war, and it was entirely possible the war would come to the city of Canta, where the guild headquarters was placed. At that point, they would have little choice but to fight, and William wanted everyone to have a chance.
In addition to training on their own, William also selected a group of volunteers to practice maneuvers with the knights and the army. After all, they would have to work together in the future, and it was necessary to practice. It wouldn’t be good for anyone if a wizard threw a fireball into a group of charging knights. Certainly, it would be bad for the knights, but of course the fireball wouldn’t be damaging the enemy either. In addition, the wizards would need to be able to ride a horse to keep up, as well as know when and how to attack and retreat. William found himself learning much, since he’d only previously worked with smaller squads of knights.
Among all of his other pursuits, William still found time to keep up with his training in staff techniques. It kept him in good shape, and he thought he was pretty healthy for his age. He was having a hard time remember exactly what he was like in his fourties in his previous life, but he was definitely feeling better here. He only felt a little bit old. Even that was mostly because he saw a lot of younger people around, and not because of an aching back or anything. It was amazing what regular exercise- and possibly something about being in another world- would do.
Then, William received another scroll, with a very familiar feel about it. This time, it said “Can’t meet until after war.” That was all. William was disappointed, because no matter how much he thought that the demoness’ past actions, and possibly present actions, were suspect… he still liked talking to her. On the other hand, it was a big relief because it was better to not associate with a demon, and he didn’t even have the free time. Still, it was hard to think about after the war. Even if it was very short, it would still be 5 years, but William doubted it would be that quick. Though, he could always hope, for the sake of Ostana, that it would be short and relatively small war. Even if that hope had to ignore the information he had, he would still hope.