Theo paled, “Why would anyone want to kill me?”
William sighed, “Because you’re smart. You know things. Gevai aren’t exactly popular, and even if there aren’t any external problems there’s a tradition of solving things by violence. Maybe in the next few dozen years you get along with everyone perfectly well. What about the next few dozen? Or the next gross? At some point, you make an enemy- possibly on accident. I’d love the culture to change so that they don’t think it’s acceptable to try to kill you, but people do it anyway. So, what do you do when someone attacks you?”
“I run… I guess.”
“What if they run faster than you? Or, if you are the fastest runner, what if there are more of them and they surround you?”
“Well… I… I’m sure there’s always a way to escape. Or I could hire a bodyguard.”
William nodded, “What if you need to bring something with you? Or someone you care about gets left behind? Running fails then, no matter how good you are at it. What about the moments your bodyguard isn’t with you?” William leaned forward intensely.
“Um…” Theo cowered back into his chair.
William returned to normal posture. “If you’re afraid to fight…”
“I’m not afraid!” Theo blurted, “I’m not. I just… don’t want to hurt people.”
William held up a hand. “Fine. Whatever your reason, all you have to do is be strong. Maybe much stronger than those you face… but that’s your choice. However, if you’re strong enough, you can deal with people without hurting them. At least, not in any permanent fashion.” William shook his head, “It can be harder than other methods, but you can do it. Though if you insist on complete lack of pain… You’ll have a much worse time. If you only care about killing or permanent harm… it’s not so hard to break a few limbs or dislocate them.”
Theo’s eyes widened. “That’s… umm…”
“I’m serious. Dislocations are rather painful and incapacitating- but people can recover from them just fine. Especially with the help of a little magic to encourage things fix properly.”
“Is that supposed to make me feel better about the whole idea?”
“Maybe. Does it?” Theo shook his head. “Oh well. Anything else you aren’t ready to learn yet anyway. Just remember there’s a point to learning to protect yourself.”
William watched as Theo left his office. He wasn’t sure why Theo had his particular hangups about violence. Perhaps that was more normal than William, but he couldn’t really remember. His life in this world had included violence from around Theo’s current age, even in his first life. William would have been perfectly fine with Theo not learning to fight or protect himself if he didn’t need to… but he certainly would. Bodyguards weren’t perfect even if they could be around all the time.
Theo might be able to learn soul techniques- those could be used to disable people without causing damage, if used properly. First, he would need a foundation in ki so that he could actually use them. Beyond that… William wanted to make sure he was the right type of person who wouldn’t abuse the power it gave. When very few people could resist your power, it would be easy to abuse. Theo seemed good-natured, but perhaps he was not. William certainly didn’t sense any hints of that, but they’d not known each other very long. He knew some secrets about William, but at this point William didn’t really care if people knew he was from another world. Theo would also find it hard to use it against William without causing trouble for himself as well- if he’d even considered the thought.
William considered how he could teach people dwarven faster. It would be preferable to take the time necessary to learn it the right way if they could. That wasn’t necessarily possible, and the sooner he had others who knew dwarven, the sooner it could be taught to more people.
It wasn’t like William could just copy the information onto their souls in a reverse memory reading… or could he? He wasn’t just going to try out a new technique on the spot, but he considered something that did work to achieve similar results.
Ki technique scrolls did something like that. It still required practice to use ki techniques learned from scrolls, but it certainly did something like transferring memories. Could it be used for something as complicated as a language? Would it even work for something that wasn’t a ki technique?
William was determined to find out. The complexity of a language wasn’t a big deal- cultivation methods and ki techniques had their own complexity. Sometimes they were broken up into multiple parts to be easier to digest… and there was no reasons the same couldn’t be done for a language. His biggest limitation would be his own understanding. He only had a limited amount of practice, and though he’d been able to converse without difficulty with the dwarven crew, he wouldn’t say he was as good as a native speaker.
On the other hand, using even a basic understanding of the language as a starting point was good enough. From there, practice would help… though William really wished there were some native dwarven speakers to practice with. He just hoped he wouldn’t be making any mistakes and teaching parts incorrectly… or at least not anything important.
Before he got too focused on what could go wrong, William needed to see if he could even make it work to begin with. He had made technique scrolls before, and he would know if he succeeded or failed in the creation of one.
The actual text of a technique scroll was not particularly important. Even so, it was best to pick something fitting to serve as the basis. William finally found himself writing a few simple lines onto the special parchment. Technique scrolls weren’t made on ‘magical’ materials, but they still had their own special features to facilitate making them into a real technique scroll, such as durability and the ability to actually hold the ‘memories’, such as they were.
William set about infusing all of the basic information that formed what he felt was the core of the dwarven language. Memories seeped out of his head, not being lost but merely being copied… and into the line of text and dwarven alphabet that covered the page. Everything flowed in reverse from the end to the beginning, ending with the line written in gevai- Dwarven, the language of a people of stone and metal.