William found himself at the training grounds again. He did take his own advice on running, but a majority of his time was spent training in staff techniques. He wasn’t making fast progress on that end, but he felt there was some, which was good enough. Most importantly the training was honing the muscles he would use most in combat. Again, there wasn’t quick improvement, but there was some. That was enough, because he had time. He should have a very long time, in fact. As long as there wasn’t something wrong with him. Other than the current state of his soul, but that was merely preventing him from training in ki… and making some memories incomplete. He felt he was getting more of those back, but it was hard to say whether nothing of import happened during certain times or if he just didn’t remember. William grimaced at a thought he had. Perhaps his soul needed to be whole to take advantage of gevai’s longer lifespans. How would he know? He shook his head. He couldn’t afford to think about that too much, but he did keep in mind the idea that he needed to look for a method to make his soul better… or at least less messed up.
This particular morning, William saw an unexpected figure at the training grounds. It was Headmistress Lorenz. “Did you need me for something?”
“Hmm?” She tilted her head upon seeing William approach. “Oh, Josef? No, I didn’t even expect to find you here. Or anyone, really. Nobody usually uses this area but me.”
“I’ve been using it for months.”
She shrugged. “A recent change then. Barely even counts. Well, I usually come earlier anyway.” She looked over William. “You actually come here regularly? It’s hard to tell with the robes. It would explain the style, though. Normal robes are… inconvenient for moving around in.”
William nodded, “Yeah, they can be a real pain.”
William watched her start training, and was surprised. She was using a staff and the training dummies, and was clearly moving in a way that wasn’t just for exercise. There was something familiar about the staff style… but William couldn’t say what. He’d studied a number of styles under Master Dong Xin, even if he didn’t practice them all himself. All the familiarity said was that staff styles ended up about the same, and perhaps in the past some styles had passed between human and gevai. She was quite good. William supposed she should be, as long as she trained regularly over the duration of her life. Still, that showed she had some talent or significant devotion, or perhaps both. William doubted she was going all out against training dummies.
William wondered if it would be rude to ask to spar. He decided not to at the moment, because he had to head to a class. Sure, he could have skipped it, but it wouldn’t reflect well on him if he skipped a class just because he suddenly wanted to spar. It might not look good for the headmistress either.
The microscope was finished. It wasn’t grand, but it was functional. There was merely a basic structure with a light source, a lens, and a place to view. The glass slides were expensive, since they had to be flat and pure, but not as much as the lens. William could only imagine how much a compound microscope would cost… but when he mentioned that having more lenses could amplify the effect, Headmistress Lorenz started planning one out, without considering the cost.
William found he really enjoyed looking at things under a microscope. He hadn’t really done it much on Earth, but maybe because it wasn’t something easily available, he took it more seriously. Unfortunately, as for scholarly advancements, he didn’t really achieve much. He did have the idea to study some yoghurt and yeast so that he could see if it was feasible to exclude those from the refrigeration formation. They came in different kinds, but maybe there was a way to be specific enough… But he knew it would take time to figure that out. Rejecting all bacteria and such was rather easy, but even specifically excluding humans from the process was not an easy task. Now that he had access to more information, William considered that part too, but he also considered if it was even worthwhile. Hopefully, nothing else would be entering the formation anyway, and it might be more expensive for no real purpose.
In terms of his studies, William was making great strides. Specifically, he was learning all the correct terminology in the gevai language, and filling up gaps in practical experience. His calculations weren’t a problem, and they even had a few neat tricks for certain kinds of math. William found himself experimenting with magic… and being glad that his body was tough on the occasions he messed up and suffered backlash. He even tried various ways to stimulate mana without speaking. He didn’t find anything that worked, but at least nothing happened to him. After all, if he never stimulated the mana, it couldn’t backlash.
William was so engrossed in his studies that he almost forgot to write to his family. He’d sent a letter telling them he’d successfully entered the academy, and received a response, but he’d be negligent in the following months. He didn’t say much in his next letter, but mentioned that he was studying ways to improve the refrigerator formation, and that he also had some methods to cover costs in future years of study. He didn’t mention knowing the headmistress and working with her- on side projects admittedly- because it would sound like bragging. It would be bragging, even if he didn’t mean it that way, and he thought maybe he kind of would. He wanted to be seen as smart and important, at least to people he cared about. He also inquired about the status of the farm. Although he didn’t care about the details so much, he wanted to know everything was going well.