Wizard! Chapter 123
William watched Tyler Dragonfoe as she sat down to meditate. She set aside her armor, but she was still quite adequately clothed underneath. Not that William had thought to spare about that at the moment. As he watched, he was surprised at how practiced her meditation seemed. She seamlessly transitioned from what was likely her normal meditation experience to attempting to see her spiritual sea. It took some time, perhaps an hour, but she succeeded. Then, after confirming a few points with William, she started to practice Rotational Soul Pressure.
William watched her with his spiritual senses. It was strange. Even though it was necessary, he felt uncomfortable looking into someone else’s soul, or perhaps their visualization of their soul… or his visualization of what he thought souls were like. He wasn’t exactly sure. Regardless, he saw a spiritual sea. It shared all the traits that his and Yu Li’s had. However, he felt it lacked a sense of depth. That was strange, because space and distance really had no meaning in such a place… did they? Perhaps it was because he knew so little about her, whereas there was much he knew about himself… though there were also many things he didn’t understand about himself or his position in the world in general. He watched, as she took control of the energy. Then she moved it according to the method, building up pressure on the outer reaches of the space. The pressure William felt continued to climb.
Then, William’s eyes snapped open, and he moved to place his hand on her head. He called upon as much ki as he could, and sent it into her. The energy went into her spiritual sea. It penetrated through the outer barrier, from all directions. It flowed in, and seemed to squeeze the small bit of ki inside, then it pulled at parts of it until it disappeared.
William felt his hand get shaken off, then he found himself pressed up against the wall, a strong grip holding onto his neck. “What the hell did you just do?”
William coughed. “Did you… did you even listen to my warnings?” He looked at her. “Didn’t it hurt?”
“Of course it hurt, with what you did. What did you do?”
William slightly frowned. “Before that. It must have hurt. I saw it… it was almost cracking, about to burst.” His voice grew weaker. “You almost killed yourself.”
The pressure on his throat lessened. “What? Was that wrong?”
“That technique, you specifically have to stop when you reach the limit. You didn’t.”
“How could I have reached the limit? I just barely started doing it. You’ve practiced for years, right? Haven’t you?”
William shrugged. “Different people have different limits. That’s just how it is for that one.”
“But… it doesn’t make sense. I should be able to do it.”
“I should be able to use magic. But I can’t.” William stared at her. “You still can definitely control ki though. This is just one way. There are still others.”
She let William down. “Sorry. What was that about magic?”
He shook his head. “It doesn’t matter. For now… you’ll need to rest. Even a safe technique is a bad idea right now.”
Tyler nodded. “Yeah. I can tell that.”
Back in his cell, William had nothing better to do but cultivate ki… and practice Shattering the Soul. Not that there was anything to practice it on, which was for the best. William instead went through the motions of activating it. Gathering energy. Shaping it and changing it. Throwing out a fist… or a palm… William would have preferred a staff strike, but the delivery method didn’t seem to matter. His hands struck the brick walls of the cell. He could have perhaps broken them, if the ki he released had any interaction with physical things, but it didn’t. As for whether it would do anything to a soul… it was hard to tell. However, William had a feeling that it would. That was just one of those things that happened with ki. He didn’t like it. It wasn’t that it was all feelings with no explanations, but the fact that he knew the feelings could be right even though he didn’t understand why bothered him.
After about a week, Tyler once again met with him. He checked her over, and she seemed fine. It seemed the damage hadn’t been too serious… but it could have been. This time, they tried the other method William knew. He had never practiced it, but he had memorized it and contemplated on how it would work before he had left Liaoyang. Fortunately, that was enough. Tyler managed to start practicing the technique. William kept tabs on her, and occasionally gave her advice on how he thought she might improve. Over the course of several days, they could both see some improvements.
Then, William taught her some simple methods to apply her ki. Things like using it to move faster, or hit harder. It didn’t do that much, especially since she was actually already quite strong, and her ki was relatively weak. However, when she held back her physical strength, the effect was there.
After a week or so of training Tyler, William then spent about another week by himself. When he was finally brought out of his cell again, he was taken to a different place. Instead of the room, he was brought to a courtyard. In the middle of the courtyard was a figure. They were dressed in simple garb. The same kind of prisoner’s clothing William had been given. However, they were restrained, and had a bag covering their head.
Knight Commander Tyler Dragonfoe was waiting there. “I appreciate what you’ve done over these weeks. I intend to keep my earlier promise no matter what… but the time has come to prove you still have value. I don’t want to have to make this decision but… Well, you understand. The way the probabilities lie… I think a united people might have better success. Sorry. Unless… you can do it on him.” She gestured to the prisoner.
William looked over at the prisoner and sighed. “I won’t.”