When William got back, he was tired. Journeys were always tiring, but for some reason this one felt especially so. He collapsed in his room, glad that it was always kept ready for him even though he hadn’t been around much in the recent years. It took him a few days before he felt fully recovered. William sighed. He wasn’t even getting old yet. Once he was older, everything would be much worse. Not that he would likely get older than about three dozen years in this life, since that was around the time the war with the Demon King would be starting. It could be short, or it could last for some time, but either way William would never reach truly “old” status before it was over.
William didn’t really have much in the way of responsibilities among the Yu Clan. He mostly spent his time broadening his horizon on what ki cultivation could do, studying a variety of new abilities that he might or might not have use for. Having a systemized technique for controlling fire in a certain way or particular methods of avoiding attacks was never a bad thing. Of course, William couldn’t learn everything. There were just too many different techniques, and though he would have liked to compare and contrast them to determine which were the best, it was impractical. Instead, he had to limit himself to a smaller set of abilities.
He chose a few things for offense to compare, and a few things for defense. Though William was quite good at soul attacks, he could imagine scenarios in which they weren’t practical. Either way, it was good to have variety. Of course, directly hitting someone with Chris was also quite useful, but with proper techniques everything was even better. He could have the form right, but with just using ki to increase the kinetic energy of the attack it would be less than optimal.
William took particular care in the defensive techniques he chose. He especially thought about what dangers magic might pose. Chris was capable of sensing magic, and could even predict the path of a lightning bolt. That was good, but he wouldn’t always be able to deflect them, or deflect them to somewhere safe. The particular technique William learned was a lightning property “armor” technique. Of course, lightning or electricity couldn’t serve as armor in any way. The technique involved turning a layer of ki around the user into a form that acted like electricity. Then, when the user was hit with a fist or a weapon, it would shock the attacker, though a near miss would do just as well. If actually hit, the user of the technique would still take the same amount of damage from the attack they would have anyway, from a cut, to broken ribs, to death. Hence it not really being an armor technique. However, if the user were adept at dodging- or more sensibly parrying with the technique covering their weapon, they could shock their enemy. The technique was also rather efficient in its use of energy, requiring very little to maintain. It would mostly drain energy when it actually did something.
Still, William didn’t really want such a technique. It could be useful, but he had learned it for another reason. It was close to something he wanted, and it taught him how to control his ki in basically the way he wanted. William repurposed the technique to a different end. He still used a layer of ki that had electrical properties around him. However, instead of one that would react to contact, he extended the technique to the bottom of the feet. Normally, it wouldn’t cover those, both because it was not a critical place, and also because the feet were always in contact with the ground, which would discharge the technique. That was exactly what William wanted… except of course he couldn’t maintain a high level of such power for any length of time. That didn’t matter, though, because William reduced the power of the technique to the absolute minimum. It wouldn’t even be able to give people the feeling of a static shock if they touched him, let alone travel along their weapons and damage them. That didn’t matter though. All he wanted was the layer of current around him.
This was a defense against lightning bolts. In truth, it was more likely to make a lightning bolt strike him. However, it would also direct the flow of the electricity around him. That was how it worked, following the path of least resistance. It would then flow into the ground harmlessly. William knew there was a bit of problem with that, though. Wizard’s didn’t just throw lightning in a direction. If they did, the direction would quickly become down. Instead, they guided its path with mana under their control. Thus, it was possible for them to make a path through him more desirable.
Chris played a key role here. William couldn’t sense mana, nor could he use magic. Chris helped William test his defenses. Mana already had a hard time moving through solid objects, and especially living creatures. In the case of lightning bolts, a wizard would either need to have it strike from above and hope that the enemy was conductive enough, or continue to guide it through them. This occurred by continuing the path as the lightning approached them and entered them. William learned that defensive layer of ki was somewhat useful for blocking mana from intruding into him, or directing the electricity to flow through him. However, it didn’t make it impossible, just harder. It took some time to figure out what attributes the ki would need to take on to do a better job of protecting him, but he figured it should be even more difficult. At the very least, it could prevent the first attack from a wizard who wasn’t prepared for that kind of resistance. After that, William would be more ready to block with Chris or otherwise defend himself against lightning. If there was no lightning used… well, it only took a small amount of energy to maintain. William briefly considered trying to develop a way to use any lightning bolts that hit him against his enemies… but he quickly realized nobody was going to let him stand on them, and otherwise he would have to be waiting, prepared for a specific attack… and then use a large amount of effort to direct it to an enemy that had to be adjacent. He could just hit that enemy much more easily, as well. Still, it was good enough for defending himself. William named the modified technique ‘Lightning Rod’. This was simply because it acted in a similar manner to a real lightning rod. He did have to admit that getting hit by lightning was still rather frightening, even though he knew he would be safe.