Lorelei confronted William later. “You knew he would die?”
“How did you do it? Unless he really had a weak heart, stopping it wouldn’t have been simple. Even if you had, he would have had a moment to react.”
“I didn’t stop his heart. At least not in any direct manner. However, although the wards are very good at protecting against kinetic energy such as that contained in weapons or certain types of magic, or against heat, or electricity… they’re significantly less useful against soul attacks. That might be something we should work on… or perhaps I should say Eclea should work on, since we don’t have wizards in Ostana anymore.”
“Hmm, a nice trick. Though, it wouldn’t be fair to say there are no wizards here. The Cyril family has a small number… and then there are the knights.”
Lorelei grinned strongly. “Did you really think that Lila left no instructions on how to do magic to her children? Besides, the Cyril family was working with them as much as they could. There’s no reason that one can’t practice the body training techniques of a knight and also use magic. Except of course the very ability to use magic, but as long as you don’t care about being good at it, a decent number of people are capable. With a clever mind, that can be quite useful.”
“How come nobody told me this?”
“You never asked. Really, though, it was because you didn’t spend that long with the knights, and it wasn’t necessary for you to know. However, now that the guild’s being dissolved, it’s good for certain people to know there is still magic to be had in Ostana… even if it’s not at the finest it’s ever been.”
Now that there was time, William was asked to stop in with the knights to check on their progress. The members of the Order were there to help, and they had the basics under control. They were aware of a bigger variety of cultivation techniques, and had been very helpful with trying to find the best ones for each knight, or at least one who had reasonable ki cultivation talent. The members of the Order were surprisingly open with sharing their methods, which just showed how much they actually believed in the cause. William knew that people from Liaoyang were extremely paranoid about sharing knowledge. He understood a bit of that motive.
William didn’t need to teach the knights new cultivation methods, and he certainly wouldn’t do any good trying to teach them to fight. They had their own styles that relied on their strong bodies and equipment. Instead, he was invited exclusively for the one reason the knights were training in ki anyway. He was to help them with Shattering the Soul. Somehow, he had become the expert on that technique. The expert, even. He supposed he had been the first one to learn it, but that obviously wasn’t the full extent of the situation. He was devoting a lot of time to it, and most of the rest was spent on training soul-related techniques.
After assessing the knights, he determined that… they weren’t great. He couldn’t blame them. They first had to learn how to cultivate ki, and then they had to learn the technique. However, it wasn’t like the only thing they devoted their time to was cultivating ki. The knights primarily trained their body. In addition to that, they had duties to fulfill, though those didn’t necessarily interfere with training. There were also some knights that trained in magic, though obviously some more than others. They also did things like forging equipment- some knights were basically blacksmiths, though they also got equipment from outside blacksmiths. Finally, there were a few knights who specialized in making magical equipment, which wasn’t something that one could devote just a small amount of time to and still be good. Though William could theoretically make magical equipment, that was only in theory. He’d studied enough about their make, but he wouldn’t be able to construct anything. It required precision, and understanding how magic would flow through the materials. This included interactions with impurities that couldn’t be seen with the naked eye. Thus, though William could put together something that should work, it would only work in a perfect material, and if it didn’t work, he would have no way to determine what was wrong.
All of that was to say, the knights weren’t great at Shattering the Soul… but they did devote themselves to what they did. Because they didn’t have a longstanding tradition of practicing ki cultivation, their general lack of progress was normal. William also couldn’t say that all of them were average or poor. Tyler Dragonfoe, for example, was quite decent at the technique. The most impressive part was she also kept up with her duties as Knight Commander, her body training… and training in magic. Though magical ability wasn’t hereditary, Tyler showed a good amount of affinity for magic. She was a bit lacking on the theoretical side, but her practical useage was pretty good, which was the most important thing if it was going to be used in combat. It wasn’t on Lila’s level of proficiency or growth, but William didn’t expect that from anyone. He would have really been glad to have Lila around for the war with the Demon King, but she was dead, and had been that way for a long time. William supposed she could have reincarnated, but that might still happen later… and more importantly, most people didn’t keep their memories at all. Thus, she would be someone else. William suspected she would still be monstrously talented at magic, though. That seemed to be tied to the soul. At least, in his case his lack of magical ability had continued with him. Talking with Lorelei, there were some conjectures about that, but it wasn’t something that could really be tracked. The only long term case was the Demon King retained his level of proficiency in magic, but demons could all do magic, and he was also reincarnating with memories intact so it didn’t provide much in the way of further information, except for providing a counter-case to William’s situation.