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Since William had reached eighteen years old with his body matured, his staffwork had grown significantly better. He would no longer come even close to losing to either Lila or Marius in pure staff technique. William would have been happy if this was because he was a genius, but he knew the real answer was something different. Quite frankly, he had more experience. Even if the others spent the same amount of time training battle techniques, he obviously spent more time improving his body any staff abilities. He couldn’t use magic, after all. Chris could, but that was something different.
Of course, there was a problem with Chris. It wasn’t that he wasn’t a good staff. He was even a good friend. It was just that, as a staff, he was too good. With Chris supporting him, William could often win a duel against Lila. However, he found himself slightly slacking off. He wouldn’t dodge spells that he could parry with Chris. He wasn’t as fast to react as he could be, because he wasn’t worried. It didn’t take too long for William to notice his dependence. Thus, he always spent some of his training time without Chris. He even entered some real duels that way. He could certainly tell that his overall performance was worse that way, but his personal performance was better, as long as he didn’t get complacent.
One very tangible benefit took a while for William to recognize. This was because the effects were infrequent. However, he noticed that when pushed to his very limits, he could sometimes go beyond them. Not in the way he expected from an athlete or adrenaline. Instead of just running a little faster or further than he thought he could achieve, he would attain a burst of speed that was almost twice as fast, or strike noticeably harder than normal.
This phenomenon wasn’t unique to William, though wizards rarely experienced it. Instead, it was something that knights experienced. Unfortunately, they didn’t have any explanation for it, or methods to trigger it consciously. William was disappointed, because he would have liked to be able to control that strength. Though, he would have preferred to be able to use magic. It was somewhat of an embarrassment to be more similar to knight, yet still call himself a wizard. Though, his knowledge was at least on par with the rest of the wizards.
No matter his abilities in combat, William’s heart was that of a wizard. This meant that anything he found interesting, he put thought and research into. His favorite topic, how magic worked, was hardest to gain insight into. Even though Chris was very helpful, and would do whatever William asked, he was frankly bad at explanations. Lila… did almost everything by instinct. She wasn’t a great candidate for figuring out how things worked.
Marius was the best option, except he was busy. Aside from his wizardly studies and other such activities, he was also a noble. Thus, he had family affairs to take care of from time to time. If that wasn’t enough, William was pretty sure he had a girlfriend. Not just an arranged relationship, but one he actually liked. Thus, Marius was busy.
William didn’t really know anyone else that wasn’t really old. In fact, there weren’t even very many middle-aged teachers. Just young students and old teachers. Consequence of the last Demon King. Most of the generation of wizards before William had been killed. The Demon King phenomenon also interested William, but it was very hard to get information on. As far as he could tell, it couldn’t, or at least didn’t, happen more often than 100 (base twelve) years. Other than that, information was sparse.
What William did learn about the Demon King was that the Demon King himself was very strong, and he also had many strong demon followers. Every appearance was a major disaster for the world. Even with all of the nations gathering together to fight, losses were still high. In fact, from the information William had found, losses were worse every time. He wasn’t sure if this was because the general population was going up, or the wars were killing a larger percentage of the people.
There was also some indication that the Demon King reincarnated. At least, from what William could glean, it wasn’t that a new Demon King was born. It seemed to be the same one, getting stronger every time. There wasn’t much else about reincarnation, though there were a few references to other cases, they may have just been stories. Indeed, William wasn’t even sure if the information he’d found about the Demon King reincarnating was correct, or just the prevailing belief. Unfortunately, he couldn’t just go ask demons about it. Though they might know, it wouldn’t do him any good since he would be dead, even if magical beasts or monsters (not that there was necessarily a difference between the two) didn’t kill him on the way to demon territory.
William had his own idea on how to research reincarnation. At least, something that might work. However, he didn’t have the resources to implement his plan just yet. He would have to attain an official position as a researcher, which would still take some time. Then, he would have to get his research topics approved. He would have to put time into topics he didn’t find interesting, of course, but securing funding was more important than only doing what he wanted. It wasn’t like he could just go slay dragons for their treasure hoards and suddenly become rich.
Not that there weren’t some dragons. He just didn’t have confidence in beating them. They really needed a small army, at minimum, to combat them. Even if he could survive fighting one, if he couldn’t kill it, it would be a big problem. The dragon would be angry, and would cause trouble in a large area around where it lived. Needless to say, entering the territory of any dragons was a crime, because there could be consequences beyond just what could happen to the one person. In addition, though dragon corpses were highly valuable, they didn’t collect gold coins or anything. Frankly, it was ridiculous to think they could even pick up tiny coins.