Time passed, and Lorelei once again had to return the the demon lands. That meant William didn’t have much reason to stay in Ostana at the moment. The knights were progressing quite well in their cultivation, and William didn’t need to be around for that anyway. After all, the envoys from the Order of the Watchful sentry were more experienced in cultivation than he was. William was only more skilled in one aspect, that of soul techniques. However, he didn’t think that telling them what to do during every step of their training would be useful. It was better for them to test the waters, make some mistakes, and possibly solve them on their own. Besides, his advice wouldn’t necessarily help someone learn even though he was more proficient at Shattering the Soul than others. Not everyone thought the same way.
As for other reasons to stay in Ostana… there weren’t too many. William had been glad to see Daniel and Ivy again. After living with them for six years, they had become like siblings. William thought that was rather interesting, because he already had other siblings in this life, though only two he actually was close to. In his previous life he had no real siblings, though Lila was something like a sister as well. In his first life, he had a brother and sister… but they had never been close, and then had died before him. William had barely even thought about them in his second life, and they were now basically just a distant memory. He could still remember them if he tried, but generally memories of them were in the seldom travelled parts of his mind.
William was travelling back to Liaoyang. It was nice that he didn’t have to worry about any legal issues with crossing the border, for the first time since… well, since he had first returned to Ostana. That didn’t mean he thought he was perfectly safe on his journey. However, the Lockridge family was not in a state where they could do anything to him, nor could they afford to pay any sort of bounty on him. Still, William didn’t travel alone. He had Chris… and also travelled with a caravan, though he felt they weren’t as critical to his safety. Realistically, though travelling with others was a better deterrent.
Besides, William wasn’t invincible. He’d even thought that perhaps he was acting that way too much. He went around and did whatever he wanted, without much thinking about the consequences. For example, killing Albert Lockridge had been unnecessary. It’s not that William didn’t think things weren’t better with him dead, but it had been a risk he didn’t need to take. He could have just as easily knocked him out and defeated him that way, but instead chose to kill him. Although he tried to determine if it would be a problem… some people certainly knew it was intentional. Besides, even if it was acceptable in a legal sense, the only reason he got away with it so easily was that the king was already on his side, and the Lockridge family was on the back foot. However, that didn’t mean they couldn’t have pushed for some kind of punishment for him, if they were willing to sacrifice. Perhaps it would still have come to nothing. Albert probably would have been executed anyway, so the action was completely unnecessary. Still, the only thing William had considered at the time was that he could probably get away with it, and that Albert might not get executed otherwise.
That wasn’t worth risking his future. There were bigger things at stake than whether one person died a bit earlier than they otherwise might, and William knew he needed to hold that in perspective. Though he could argue that letting Albert live might be a risk, he also knew that wasn’t really the reason why he killed him. He almost certainly wouldn’t have been able to do anything.
After weeks of travel, William was nearing the Yu clan family ground, he couldn’t help but think about how slow horses were. Though they were faster, or at least less tiring, than travelling on foot, they weren’t fast. Certainly, he had travelled a long distance, but he couldn’t help but think about airplanes. He could have made the same trip in only a few hours with airplanes he considered “modern”. He supposed that if time passed at the same rate on Earth as here, technology there should be quite advanced now. Here, there didn’t seem to be as many advancements. One reason for that was probably the semi regular occurrence of large wars. This meant that there were large population drops, which slowed overall population growth. There also weren’t new regions to expand into, and international trade wasn’t particularly booming.
From William’s perspective, the next big advancement in transportation would likely be a train, or something similar. However, that would require a large amount of infrastructure, and with wars happening that could easily get destroyed. More importantly, there were limited resources. Though it wasn’t that any country was in danger of running out of natural resources in the near future, a train would likely be magically powered and supported, which would require rarer materials than a mechanical version. Technology hadn’t particularly advanced in a mechanical direction either.
Magically powered carriages, which were effectively cars, would require better roads everywhere they wanted to go if they wanted to be fast. As for flying… anything that could carry people would require much more power than was easily available, and of course places that they could land.
Still, William thought that, though some of these things would be useful now, they wouldn’t be ready until after the upcoming war with the Demon King anyway, even if resources could be devoted to them. In his previous life he hadn’t even considered advancing in those directions as viable at all, but looking at what Eclea had done he thought they were certainly ready to consider such things. Maybe they had been before, and he just hadn’t considered it. After all, fantasy worlds didn’t have trains… and that was what he had been in.
Regardless of whether it could be done or not, William thought he would perhaps take notes on what he remembered that might be useful. Maybe someone could do something after the war. At the very least, it could get people thinking about what could actually be accomplished. He would leave the notes with some people he could trust. Maybe it would turn into something, maybe not. William suspected he would never know. It was nice thinking about the future, but sometimes it reminded him he probably wouldn’t have one. Unless someone actually succeeded at using Shattering the Soul to kill the Demon King when William wasn’t on the battlefield, or hadn’t managed to get close enough, he would probably have his own soul destroyed. If he was actually within a short distance, at minimum a few dozen feet, William knew the explosion wouldn’t leave any souls in any state worth speaking of. That was with his most conservative estimates on the strength of the Demon King’s soul and the resulting explosion. It wasn’t particularly fun to think about.