Wizard! Chapter 100
Much to William’s surprise, Dong Xin actually succeeded in awakening. He wasn’t a very strong wizard, which made sense because he would likely have awakened naturally if he had much talent for it. However, having the ability to use magic could be useful in some circumstances, so he still put in the time to learn. He was somewhat surprised by the way chants worked. Theoretically, a wizard could say whatever they wanted. However, it was best if it was an actual chant of some kind that consistently flowed, and wouldn’t be messed up. If a wizard stuttered in the middle of gathering mana, or couldn’t think of what to say next, it was problematic and usually led to magical “feedback”. William tried to teach him to avoid this, but it was pretty much inevitable that a wizard would experience it at some point. Fortunately, even if Dong Xin messed up horribly, he wouldn’t do much damage to himself, especially if he was prepared and defended himself with ki. However, that took more concentration, meaning it was more likely he would fail, or at least take longer to gather the same amount of mana. It was an interesting problem. However, William could do little more than teach him, and let him work out how to make it practical, with some advice. As evidenced by Yu Li, a bright flash of light could be very advantageous in combat. Yu Jian hadn’t yet managed to awaken, and William found that scenario to be more likely. It wouldn’t be easy, or it would have likely happened naturally, even if it had subsequently gone unnoticed.
The tensions between the Song clan and the Yu clan were at an all time high. It was just short of an open war. William wished he had some magical or otherwise miraculous solution, but he didn’t. Outside of physical conflicts, the two clans competed in business. William stayed away from that, since even if he had the right to interfere, he didn’t have anything to contribute to the matter. Certainly, his previous parents had been merchants, but that just meant William wouldn’t have made a complete and utter fool of himself, not that he could come up with a magical path to victory. Thus, in some areas the Song clan was winning out over the Yu clan, and vice-versa. However, they were both making less profits than they could have, because they required guards all the time. Other clans didn’t, or at least not so many.
Neither the Song clan nor the Yu clan was really “winning”. It was a stalemate, the kind that could last forever if tensions weren’t so high. However, with death being involved, even of a branch member, and the crippling of a “young master”, things wouldn’t remain as they were indefinitely. Then, an opportunity showed up.
A number of clans got together to organize a citywide tournament for the younger generation. This was not uncommon. William had learned that people liked tournaments. It was a good way to show superiority without getting engaged in an actual war. As for why the older generations rarely got involved in tournaments… Likely because the clans didn’t like showing off what they could actually do, in case a real war started.
William would be almost eleven when the tournament happened, which meant he would have five years of training. The maximum age for the tournament was twenty, and it was only separated by age for the starting blocks. That is, the first few fights would be against those of similar age, but after that they might not. William could find himself up against those with ten years of ki training, in the worst case.
Thus, William had a discussion with Yu Jian over whether he should enter. It would be a minor loss of face if he didn’t, both for him and the clan, as it would show cowardice. William wasn’t exactly a well known figure, but many had at least heard about him, or the fact that a young child defeated some members of the Song clan. However, the Song clan would likely go all out if they found themselves facing him. They would not mind throwing away a bit of face and having one of their almost adult members maim or kill him if they got the chance. Of course, it would be an “accident”, which would likely just result in them getting kicked out of the tournament.
There wouldn’t be much that could be done if that happened, except break out into a war. Plus, on a more personal level, William would be dead, which would be problematic. There wasn’t much in the way of legal action that could be taken, not in this society anyway. It was the same as the Song clan being unable to do much of anything to him even though he killed one of their branch members, though the circumstances would be somewhat different. Not that the public would care.
On the other hand, if he did well it would be very beneficial, especially if he defeated some prominent members of the Song clan. Yu Jian thought it would still be worthwhile for William to participate. If he came up against anyone dangerous, he could just surrender. It wouldn’t be shameful for an eleven year old child to surrender to someone five or almost ten years older than himself. Thus, as long as William didn’t run into any exceptional geniuses, he would be perfectly safe. It was possible that there was one to be had, but if so the Song clan had done a good job of concealing their existence. If there were one from another clan, they would have no reason to do any more than defeat William. However, that required them to be able to. Not that William thought that he was a world breaking genius, but at least he wasn’t below average, which mean that in his age range he would be rather safe, since he was able to start training sooner. In fact, William thought his training speed was probably above average, especially since he had so many experiences to rely on, which helped. At the very least, he had practice working hard to improve himself. William decided he would join the tournament, but he didn’t plan to push himself too far, and attempt to win against those who had trained much longer than himself.