Han Xinya’s instruction was very beneficial to both Yu Huan and William. Though William had somewhat grasped what he had been doing, it was a bit more complicated to see how he did it. William understood that concentrating defenses somewhere could be very effective, but only if you accurately predicted the attacks coming. Han Xinya explained how he did that, and many other techniques he hadn’t displayed in the tournament or his fight with William. He had reasons behind why particular abilities were best in particular circumstances, backed by the weight of experience.
Of course, to actually make use of this knowledge required practice. No matter how inherently talented someone was, it still required time to actually become good at something. These were skills Han Xinya had spent dozens of years perfecting… and it wasn’t like he was untalented either. If that were the case, even if he somehow maintained the motivation to keep practicing soul techniques, he wouldn’t have reached his level of accomplishment.
The Order approached Han Xinya again, with a new offer this time. Now, they knew they needed experts in soul techniques to destroy the Demon King. He didn’t want to be tied down by responsibilities, and they were willing to accommodate that. All they asked was that he teach some of their members, when he could. However, he wasn’t considered an official member of the Order, instead he was just an outsider hired to help. Thus, he didn’t know the reason that they needed experts on soul techniques… and if he wanted to learn why, he would have to actually join, and accept real responsibilities and restrictions. Han Xinya was naturally curious as to why, but valued his freedom of movement more than that. He knew that it wasn’t just that the Order wanted people proficient in a somewhat rare skill.
However, the payment offered for his time was enough that he was willing. Even so, the time he spent teaching those of the order in a group was much less than that spent teaching William and Yu Huan individually. This was because he had chosen to teach them, and they were official students. He taught them because he wanted to, and not because it was a job.
Another few years passed, and William felt time was both quick and slow. He felt that the war with the Demon King was drawing even closer… yet it was still probably a dozen years away. Time like that could pass almost in an instant… but William felt it was still slow. He didn’t have any responsibilities other than training. That was good, since he didn’t like to be in charge. He would rather have things run smoothly without him. However, it meant he was stuck doing training, training, and more training. The only thing that broke up that routine was the occasional receipt of letters from those he knew.
William received letters from Amelia in Eclea. It was nice to hear about various magical discussions, and William would respond with his thoughts. There weren’t any particular breakthroughs, but interesting topics still came up. Eclea was also working on expanding their various avenues of communication, such as the linked disks. William even had one that he could use to communicate with Eclea… but unless it was an emergency, it wasn’t a good method of communication. William wondered if telephone-type technology could be developed, but getting precise vibrations over a long distance was much more complicated than just flipping over a disk. Even if they had the proper shape for a speaker or some such, getting a receiver of sorts linked (William liked to think of it as something like quantum entanglement) to a speaker was a different matter. The disks were both the same simple shape, but that would not be the same for a method that could reproduce sound. Based on William’s understanding of speakers and microphones, they were similar. However, the problem was that a microphone receiving sound vibrated in a different manner than a speaker producing sound. Thus, replicating the same movement wasn’t a solution.
In Ostana, William kept in contact with both Daniel and Ivy Cyril… as well as Yu Li, since she was staying in Ostana now. Studying magic together with those knights who knew magic was beneficial to all parties involved. However, the biggest factor was that wizards from Eclea were also involved, and was helping those from Ostana catch up on some developments, and re-learn things that had been forgotten over time. William was sure they still kept much knowledge to themselves… but he couldn’t blame them at all. Ostana hadn’t been trustworthy in the department of magic for quite some time. In addition, a new wizard’s guild was being formed. They would be more regulated, and less self governing. The facilities where the former guild had been were abandoned, the ostentatious tower left empty as a symbol of how things could go wrong. Children and people of all ages were invited to study, even if they had little or no talent in magic. A few public schools were opened up, and though they didn’t reach the level of the schools in Eclea, and definitely not the level William expected from Earth, to people who had little chance to learn to read and write, it was an amazing opportunity. Of course, there were many nobles who were unhappy with this, but they mostly kept their mouths shut. The king and his supporters had consolidated a lot of power, and the nobles had more important things to do than complain about people being treated fairly… especially when it was worded in such a manner.
William had no particular contacts in Ustil, though he heard that they were very helpful and straightforward in coordinating with the other countries. Liaoyang wasn’t exactly united like the other countries, but was traditionally willing to band together to fight off outside influences, especially full-blown invasions like that of the Demon King. In the current time, the Order had been quietly influencing the right people so that once the war grew closer, they would be more willing to work on concrete preparations.
Throughout the years that passed, William never forgot about his illness. He was constantly reminded of it, though not every day. Thanks to medicine he was taking regularly, it wasn’t progressing quickly, but it was always there. William spent some time looking for solutions, but hadn’t found any. As for the actual problems it caused, William felt it wasn’t too much of a problem. He could still spar and engage in combat without difficulty, however he felt physically tired all the time. If he tried to practice any type of body training technique, he only felt worse, but ki cultivation wasn’t a problem. William still managed to keep his body basically fit, but he wouldn’t be as physically powerful as a knight or even as much as he had been in his previous life.