William thought back on the fight with the night cats. Not anything in particular, just that it had happened, and could happen. Somehow, even after two lives in this world, he wasn’t quite used to the fact that he could be attacked by monsters just walking through a forest. Wild animals, sure, and maybe magical beasts, but night cats were definitely in the category of “monster”. He hadn’t been as ready to be attacked as he should have been, though to be fair the night cats were exceptionally stealthy. Still, he could have reacted somewhat if he had been more aware. He had lived in a mostly peaceful world for more time than he had here in two lives. Though, in not too much longer that would no longer be true.
When they finally arrived at the Yu Clan grounds, the guards took a moment to recognize William and Yu Li. Especially in William’s case, a half dozen years had changed him from a pre-teen into a young man. However, it really took them just a moment, then they recognized him and stepped aside promptly.
The group planned to meet with Yu Jian first, but he was currently occupied. After all, he didn’t know they were coming, and even then wouldn’t have known the time. Instead, the person who came to greet them first was William and Yu Li’s father. They had a cordial discussion, which was about the best things were ever going to be. As a father, William would rate him as the worst he’d ever had, with his father Archibald from his previous life being the best. As for his first life, he hadn’t thought about his parents for a long time, even before he had died. However, at least they hadn’t been openly neglectful, like Yu Kun.
Eventually, Yu Jian arrived, and Yu Kun quietly and gracefully took his leave. Yu Jian smiled. “I hadn’t expected to see you back so soon, old friend. I also hadn’t expected to see my grandchildren. You’ve both grown marvelously.” He paused to think for a few moments. “I imagine you’re not just here for a visit, however. You had other plans, I recall.”
Dong Xin nodded. “Indeed, we intended to travel to Eclea. However, something came up which made it worthwhile to stop by here.” He pulled out the scroll case that contained William’s writing of Shattering the Soul. “Give it a look.”
Yu Jian read the scroll. The letters glowed, flying off the page and around his head, rotating a few times before entering into his eyes, and his mind. “The negotiations with the knights were successful? No, if that were the case it should have gone directly to the Order. Then, this is…?”
Dong Xin smiled. “Young William created that one. What do you think?”
“William made it? It’s good.” He smiled broadly. “I would still like to see the original, but this is good. You must have made astounding progress training this technique.”
William smiled. “Well, I did spend most of the last half dozen years training it. It should be good.”
Yu Jian stroked his chin. “Perhaps, but it still requires some amount of skill in the area. Otherwise, no amount of time would be enough.”
A number of people, with varying age ranges, were gathered in a training ground. Yu Huan was among the youngest, at around two dozen years old. Then there were a number of young men and a few women, as well as those who were middle aged and older. Finally, there were a few around the age of Yu Jian, as well as Yu Jian himself.
Standing in the middle as the focus point of the group’s attention was William. He appeared to be the youngest person present, but was technically the oldest. Not everyone was privy to that information, but everyone present was trusted. Since William was the most proficient in Shattering the Soul, he was called upon to demonstrate. Once everyone was ready, William did just that. He attacked the dummy with punches as well as palm strikes. His hands impacted upon the surface, but that wasn’t what people were watching. They were watching how the energy flowed from within him, and through him, becoming an attack. Then, William took out Chris. He took up a stance, seeming to face off with the practice dummy. Other than that, nothing visible was happening. However, those who were watching for the flow of ki could see that it was gathering. In addition to that, everyone could feel… something. It was like a chill, but also hot, as if the temperature were rapidly changing between the two. Then, William struck out, a single attack. The staff thwacked against the training dummy, but many of those watching nodded appreciatively. In contrast Yu Huan slightly trembled. She was not afraid of William… not exactly. She knew William wouldn’t hurt her. However, there was still the vague feeling of fear, because she knew that he could. It was also because she knew the Demon King had an ability that produced similar results, and he most definitely would hurt people, when given the chance.
Yu Huan knew that the most William had used the technique on was a bee, but she could feel that he was well beyond that level now. At the very least, she thought that most people here wouldn’t be able to stand up to the final strike he had done. Though she was one of the youngest, she was also one of the most qualified, having spent most of her recent training developing her abilities in the area of the soul. After all, what terrified her most was being unable to defend her innermost existence against attacks. If she failed to block a killing blow, it would merely do just that, kill her. That bothered her, and she obviously continued to work on her ability to fight in matters not related to the soul. However, that was almost inconsequential compared to having her soul damaged or destroyed. When she had dueled Song Ping, he hadn’t even really managed to do much damage to her, but it was as if a knife had stopped just short of reaching her eye. It wasn’t something she could forget. Now, she would prepared to defend herself against similar things… and she also had a good foundation to train Shattering the Soul, which would unfortunately be very important in the upcoming years.