The Order of the Watchful Sentry raided the Song clan’s territory, eventually finding the scrolls containing the demonic cultivation techniques. The Song clan couldn’t do anything to stop them, since most of their combat capable members were dead or captured, and they also had to deal with the Yu clan.
Although the Yu clan would have liked to completely eradicate the Song clan, there were noncombatants such as some of the women and children, as well as their servants. Killing them would not be appropriate, even if the clans in in the city didn’t like to keep some semblance of the large clans following the laws. The Song clan would have likely been less merciful, but the Yu clan liked to think that they had a moral superiority, and perhaps some of them did. However, the Yu clan didn’t want to invite trouble, so the members of the Song clan were forced out of the city, with only enough resources to survive. All of their cultivators, however, were killed. Most of those had directly participated in the “war”.
Several years passed by quickly. The Yu clan stabilized itself, though the deaths of some of their elders and members was a hard blow that couldn’t really be made up for by the resources they gained from the Song clan. The Order of the Watchful Sentry organized a delegation to be sent to Ostana, this time directly to the knights. Though they could have arranged people sooner, it was best for the general feelings in Ostana about those in Liaoyang to have time to settle down. The knights almost certainly wouldn’t care about them being from Liaoyang, but they would probably care about the public opinion, and who was seen interacting with them. In addition, there would be much more unpleasant scrutiny at the border, though they didn’t necessarily have anything to hide. Thus, the Order had chosen to wait.
Dong Xin travelled back to Ostana at the same time as them, but instead of crossing the border with them, he travelled through the deeper parts of the Endless Forest. The border was large enough that not all of it could be watched, but they could watch everywhere that there were safe paths. That just meant Dong Xin’s journey was a bit more dangerous, but nothing that he couldn’t handle.
William was bored. Though for the most part he didn’t mind living on the Cyril family grounds… he couldn’t even visit the city, and he started to get tired of being in the same place. He also grew tired of just training with little to break up the monotony. Even Lorelei had left, returning to the demon lands to watch for any previously unexpected problems. He didn’t stop training, but he wasn’t particularly interested at the moment. Mostly, he was waiting for Dong Xin to return. The only information he’d received was that Dong Xin was alive and in Liaoyang. Any other details in messages might reveal something too much, such as Dong Xin’s and William’s actual identities. Fortunately, he did not have to wait much longer.
A bit more than four years after Dong Xin had left on his journey, he returned. William greeted him enthusiastically, both because he liked him, and also that his presence likely meant that William would have a new destination to go to… or at the very least, he could ask for new things to train in from Dong Xin. They spent some time catching up with each other. After explaining what he had done and seen, Dong Xin asked, “So, William, how has your training progressed?”
William shrugged. “Pretty well, I think. I would guess that my level of ki should be similar to someone who has passed the second major breakthrough. Good enough to face off against a demon in a direct confrontation… at least most of the ones I’ve seen. I’ve also had pretty good progress in Shattering the Soul.”
Dong Xin sighed. “That’s good. As for myself, my progress hasn’t been that much. I can manage to destroy insects, but it’s not that easy. No offense, but your instructions just aren’t as good as direct insight from a technique scroll.”
William nodded. “That’s probably true. How are those made, anyway?”
“Well, for it to work the creator obviously must have a sufficient level of insight and experience with the technique in question. As for the rest, I can show you, though first I’d like to see your progress in Shattering the Soul, if I might.”
“Of course. Though… I’m not going to use it on anything alive.”
The two of them moved to an area with a training dummy. William waited until Dong Xin had extended his senses to watch what was happening, because Shattering the Soul had no visible components. Then, he struck out with a palm toward the training dummy. Dong Xin was surprised at the results. Obviously, nothing had happened to the dummy. It had no soul. However, he had been watching William. It had only taken him a few short moments to gather the power he used, and Dong Xin felt that the attack itself was very smooth. The most surprising thing was that William hadn’t approached the dummy- he was still standing a few meters away. However, Dong Xin still observed that the effect travel over the whole distance, then stop exactly at, or rather in the dummy. “You… can use it at range?”
William nodded. “Though, the strength lessens considerably. I wouldn’t place any bets on being able to affect a demon, let alone the Demon King, from anywhere but close quarters. That’s if I used all the energy I have. Though, I’m probably not strong enough to affect them in close quarters just yet either.”
“Well, either way… I can tell your progress is excellent. At the very least, by the time the war happens you should have a good chance of success. Especially since your ki capabilities will be stronger by then.” Dong Xin frowned slightly. “Still training in that strange cultivation method?”
William shrugged. “I haven’t reached the limit just yet.”
Dong Xin shook his head. “Well, let’s teach you how to write technique scrolls, in case you need to write some in the future. After that, I have a destination in mind for us to travel to.”