Wizard! Chapter 117
The next two weeks involved a lot of waiting, but it was not like William couldn’t find anything to occupy his time. He took his time to familiarize himself with the new city layout. That said, the actual layout of the main road wasn’t too different. Individual buildings were just different. The wizard’s guild was in the same place, but there was the new tower, and the other buildings had changed around as well. William wasn’t exactly sure how, because the guild wasn’t open to touring around. In fact, the library wasn’t even open to the public. Not that it had been exactly open to the public, but for a reasonable fee and a short verification process, people had been able to visit the main areas of the library. This made it more likely for foreign wizards and scholars to visit, often bringing with them new books and information. Now, however, the fee was far from reasonable, which meant it wasn’t really open to the public.
William was hoping that Big Sister Li would be able to study at the library. Not that William couldn’t teach her most of the information that was available there, but for both of their sakes it would be good for her to have the option. It annoyed William that it was less publicly available, though William could think of some reasons that it might be a good idea. However, that didn’t help him internally grumbling about how things were “back in my day”. It was mostly ironic.
William also put some time into studying the current noble landscape. He recognized many names, which was both good and bad. However, there were also a few new names, and a few missing. One missing name bothered William. He didn’t find the name Vaughan anywhere. That is, the descendants of Lila and Gerald. There could have been several reasons for that, including one generation just not having children. Since they would have been minor nobility only, they might actually have let that happen instead of adopting a child to ensure the name continued. William could think of a few other possibilities, but he would have to find some records to know what actually happened. Unfortunately, the only ones who would have that information were nobles, who weren’t particularly open about sharing their records, and the wizards guild, who also didn’t seem to want to share at the current time.
Nothing much happened over that period of time, which was part of the reason that William was surprised when he woke in the night. He would liked to have said he sensed something strange and was immediately on high alert. Instead, there wasn’t really a way he couldn’t notice something. He woke up coughing, with a somewhat familiar feeling. It was a poisonous gas. If William had any time to think, he might have determined that it was probably less powerful than chimaera poison, but also in a larger dose.
William didn’t think, though. Instead, he rolled out of bed immediately, running his ki through his body to try to purify it. He grabbed his staff, and immediately kicked open the door. He might have tried to open the window, but didn’t think of it, and later realized that there may have been another person outside the window anyway. However, William did slightly detect someone outside his door. That was why he kicked it open instead of just pushing it properly.
Outside his door, William saw a dark clothed figure. Though, everything looked dark at the moment. William didn’t hesitate, striking out with his staff. The figure was still off balance from the door opening suddenly, as they had been holding it closed. That was a contributing factor in why William’s strike actually hit, and why it was so effective. Enough, in fact, that the figure crumpled to the floor.
William coughed, and turned toward Big Sister Li’s room. He hadn’t really gotten his bearings yet, but that was all he could think of. He didn’t see any more figures in the hallway, but the door to her room was open. William half staggered, half ran in that direction. Inside, he saw another dark clothed figure, swinging some weapon, perhaps a dagger, toward the bed. William had already been readying his ki as quickly as he could, and he threw everything he had available into his movement and subsequent thrust. He couldn’t see clearly, but he feared that the dagger would arrive at the bed before he could complete his attack.
In the end, William couldn’t tell, but his thrust struck the assassin directly in the spine, hurling him into the wall. Then he went into a coughing fit, as he tried to force the last of the poison out of his system. However, there was also some in this room, though it was not much, since the door had been open, and perhaps there had been less to begin with. William also heard some other coughing nearby, which was a good sign. William looked, and saw a slight form crouching in the corner, behind the bed. William would have created a flame to see by, but his thinking had cleared somewhat, and he wasn’t sure if the poisonous gas was flammable or not. “Are you alright?” William asked.
A hoarse and scratchy voice replied. “Not… particularly…” Then she devolved into more coughing.
After the adrenaline wore off, time seemed to blur. All that William could remember was going over to Big Sister Li to try to help her remove the poison. It wasn’t something he had done for someone else before, so he had to be careful, and thus was less effective. Dong Xin showed up, and William felt guilty for not considering him at all. On the other hand, that was partly because he was confident in his abilities.
Then the innkeeper showed up, and then a squad of knights. To their credit, they did their best to provide medical care before beginning their interrogation. Dong Xin did his best to explain, but his vocabulary was somewhat limited, so the task ended up falling to William. William couldn’t think of a reason they would be attacked by assassins. Then the torchlight was shone on the face of one of the assassins. William didn’t recognize the man, but that did not matter. His features made it clear. The anger of the Song clan had caught up to him. William had nearly forgotten about their conflict. That was unfortunate, because he thought perhaps he could have been more wary. William looked over at Big Sister Li. She was unconscious, and her face was pale. William regretted that his lack of caution might have allowed pain, or possibly worse, to someone he cared about.