William and Lorelei decided to leave one person up in the study, in case any servants came looking for them for some reason. It hadn’t happened so far, but having found something actually secret, they thought caution was in order.
The other would study the runes and wards for a time, and at the end of the day they would compare notes. They didn’t forget to check for tricks, but as far as they could tell everything they saw was genuine. That made sense in a way- the inner formation was intended to stay hidden. From what they could tell, it was made to preserve secrecy. It was partially devoted to keeping people out, but it also seemed to have conditions where it seemed like it would trigger something inside the room.
The formation was rather complicated, and it would have served its purpose completely if William and Lorelei did not have many days at their disposal. However, in the end they gained a comprehension of the entire formation, and came up with some methods to surpass it. They surmised the Demon King should have had some object that served as a key, but they had no idea where it was. However there was no lock that could not be picked, and no formation that could not be broken- it was only a matter of time and skill.
With no distraction, after more than two weeks they finally had a plan. If they wanted their intrusion to be entirely unknown, they could not estimate how long it would take… and they might just need they key or a particular bit of insight. If they just wanted to get in without triggering anything, they could do so immediately. Finally, the two of them decided it was best to see what was inside. Much longer, and people would start getting suspicious- even reading though every book in a small library wouldn’t reasonably take them more than a month. The Demon King could find out an intrusion had been made if he checked the formation… but they didn’t exactly plan to let him return to his castle.
In the end, they had to destroy a few triggering mechanisms for the formation. Optimally they would have removed the parts of the formation powering it, but those seemed to be internal. Upon checking their work, they finally opened the door. A pile of magical crystals made it immediately clear where the power came from. About half of them seemed to be out of energy… but William knew that it had been almost two gross years since this door had been opened. It seemed it was relatively energy efficient… and the formation didn’t have to withstand major attacks anyway. If anyone tried brute force to get in, it would merely have destroyed the few things that were not the energy storing crystals.
It was only a small pile of notes. Perhaps it might have equated to a journal in length, but they were not bound in any way. Lorelei gingerly picked up the papers. They were old- old enough that even high quality paper with magical enchantments were starting to weaken. Thus, it was important to treat them with care.
Lorelei handed William a few sheets, “Start reading, I guess.”
William found that the Demon King’s handwriting had actually improved over time. At least, these very old notes were the least legible yet. William thought part of that was the letters had changed slightly over time, and some spellings were different. Reading the notes was slow and laborious… but none of the content was hard to comprehend.
The section of notes he had started in the middle. The notes read:
“Alexander Goddard came to me again today. I owe much of my current position to him today. Thus… I had to listen to what he had to say. I couldn’t believe it at first… what he was suggesting seemed insane… and wrong. However, I couldn’t help but consider the thought that I could grow even stronger. Even now, I don’t know what to do, but I must admit, I am tempted.”
William looked up from the note and looked toward Lorelei, “Do you know an Alexander Goddard?”
Lorelei nodded, and responded without looking up from her reading, “Yes. He’s one of the older demon lords, middling in strength. He doesn’t rock the boat, so everyone leaves him alone. Why?”
“He seems important… apparently he helped the Demon King grow in power… I’ll see what else this says.”
William continued to read through the notes. “For some reason, I agreed to his request. It is such an unpleasant thought that I dare not even write it down in my personal notes. In the end, though, it should be better for all gevai. We can get the place we rightfully deserve in this world. Fortunately in the process we should be able to weaken the lesser races… Today, I ride out to war.”
That was the end of that page, but another followed it. William hoped it was organized enough to be chronologically next. The handwriting suddenly changed, which indicated a reincarnation. “I cannot believe I am writing more. I was even more surprised to find that Alexander kept my old notes. I cannot say I am fond of him reading through what I wrote… but in his defense, I was dead. Now, I am not. It was unbelievable to me… and he found it so as well. I shall not bother to note the annoying experiences required to get to a point where I could travel to see him, but I shall only note how unpleasant it is to be born weak. Still, as predicted I grew stronger quickly. I hadn’t meant for it to happen this way, but that wasn’t my choice. Alexander has accepted that I am the same me from before… and says that gives him new ideas. I hope the new plans aren’t as unpleasant. Certainly, I grow stronger quickly… but must my own people die so that I grow in power?”