The next few days were somewhat awkward for William, since it was hard for him to adjust to his new family situation. Fortunately, William didn’t mind being treated like a (smart) kid, so his parents were still able to treat him mostly as they had before.
However, besides that issue, Lila still hadn’t shown up at his house. Therefore, William started searching around the city for her. He didn’t know where she lived, but he had an idea. Based on her clothes, staff, and lack of education… it should be somewhere poor, but not the most poor. After all, though her clothes hadn’t been high quality, they were well taken care of. Therefore, William searched the less affluent areas of the city, and hoped he would be fortunate. Alternatively, he hoped she would show up at his house, where he’d left a message with his parents.
William understood that, logically, searching for Lila was almost futile. Still, he felt he would regret it for the rest of his life if he didn’t try, and since he was hoping that would be a very long time, he looked. Since he was so sure he wouldn’t actually find her, he was surprised at what happened the third day.
William was walking through some streets he had traversed before, when out of a side street he heard children’s voices. One of them he recognized as Lila. The others were obviously student mages, or prospective mages, at least. They obviously cared for the traditional robe and staff attire. William wasn’t particularly good at reading people, but if he had to guess, he’d call their demeanor “threatening”.
“Hmph. Looks like the little ‘genius’ isn’t so smart after all. What good is your magical potential if you can’t pass even the simplest of tests?” The one making fun of Lila was older, William would guess about ten. There was also another of similar age, but obviously a lackey. Based on his internal descriptions of them, their first impression on William obviously wasn’t great.
Lila had a perturbed look on her face. She was obviously unsure what to do.
William had no idea as well. His first thought was to step in and provoke them. Fortunately, William knew that his first idea in most social situations was usually a bad idea, so he stayed back for the moment.
Then, Lila’s look changed to one of resolve. “At least I didn’t have to pay to get a mediocre score, like you did, Geoff.” Inside, William was disappointed, surprised, and happy that Lila came to the same conclusion as he did.
Geoff, as he was apparently called, suddenly got a furious look on his face. By this, William assumed it was a true accusation. Then he did something that surprised both Lila and William. “Oh! Pyromancy-”.
Lila was surprised, and seemed unsure of how to react, and yet ready to do something at the same time. At this point, William made a decision. It may not have been a good one, but it was a decision.
“-I call upon thee-”
At this point, William threw the first punch he’d ever thrown in his life. Actually, he was pretty sure it was the first punch he’d thrown in two lives. He hadn’t practiced at all, but was confident that he could hit a still target… in theory. In practice… William was quite surprised at how well his body actually worked. He mostly hit his target. It helped that Geoff for some reason decided to be a still target.
“-Gack-” was the next sound Geoff made. It wasn’t surprising, since he’d been punched in the throat. Honestly, the punch was a little bit shallow. William was pretty sure it hadn’t had much force behind it as he’d somewhat underestimated the length of his arms.
*BOOM* was the next sound that happened. If William had had a few moments to think, it would have been an obvious result. Instead, he was also quite surprised when Geoff’s fireball went off in his face.
William’s first observation was that Geoff’s fireballs weren’t all that powerful. His second observation was that Geoff wasn’t very good at controlling mana from magical feedback. This could be observed by the fact that he looked much worse off than Lila had been when her much stronger fireball had exploded in her own face in training. Lila’s hair had been frizzled and she’d coughed a couple times. Geoff was unconscious, and his face was pretty badly burned, along with his robes.
“You~!!!” the lackey yelled. “Oh, Astrapamancy-”. The lackey was smart enough to dodge William’s punch. So, William kicked him in his family jewels.
The lackey whose name William didn’t know wasn’t too badly off, because he hadn’t gotten far in his spell, and thus there wasn’t as much mana to run rampant.
William looked down at the bodies. Unconscious bodies, not dead bodies. Not that it would have been his fault if it were otherwise. “Right, so… do you want to come with me to find somebody to deal with this, or leave and try to stay out of trouble?”
“…I’ll come with you.”
William shook his head, since he’d actually meant to suggest the second option, but decided to let her come anyway. “Right, so one more question then. Why didn’t you use magic? Not enough time?”
“Umm… actually, I didn’t want to kill them.” Lila looked sheepish.
William was taken aback for a moment, then responded, “Yeah, actually, that was a pretty good choice. I’m glad you thought of that.” William imagined the training dummies… and rocks… that had fallen under Lila’s hand. “You’re going to need to learn some weaker magic, and maybe some defensive spells or something.” William didn’t know what those spells were, but maybe he could figure it out.
Together, the two of them headed toward the wizard’s school, where William intended to take responsibility for the incident. Although, if his plan worked right, it would actually be Geoff and… his lackey who took responsibility, whether they wanted to or not.