Wizard! Chapter 129
After spending some more time at the Cyril household, he almost wished he had just never left. He’d certainly caused enough trouble. That said, he’d really wanted to know the status of the knights and wizards himself. The knights fortunately seemed quite steadfast, but the same could not be said for the wizards, at least run by their former Archmage. Though, from what William had gathered, the previous several hadn’t been doing all that well either. William just wished he could do more about the guild, but if he even showed his face near Canta he would be in danger. Plus, he didn’t really have any way to influence what went on there, besides killing more people. He didn’t think that would be particularly helpful.
William came to understand that the Cyril family, at least, understood the threat of the Demon King. Not just in a vague sense, either. Lorelei was introduced to him as a spy that had information on the Demon King’s return. Obviously it was a terrible idea to introduce her as a demon, so they didn’t mention that. For some reason, she didn’t point out that he already knew she was a demon, perhaps because it didn’t really matter at the moment. What mattered was the timeframe of “a couple dozen years”. At the moment, it couldn’t be more precise. The good news was that it wouldn’t come much before that time frame at its earliest. This meant that there was still time to prepare, and get nations to prepare. Based on the speed that politics went, it might take most of that time to just convince them there was a problem. William hoped that wasn’t the case. If he still had the records the Archmages had kept, it would provide some help. However, those didn’t exist any more… which was the reason Cecil Lockridge was dead. Not that his death really brought anything helpful to the table. William just hoped other countries still kept records on the Demon King… and were willing to carefully scrutinize them.
In Ostana, William knew the knights and the country itself had also kept some, but he wasn’t sure how detailed… and he didn’t really have any way to find out. When he had asked in his capacity as Archmage before, he had been politely refused- though he’d still gotten copies of some specific information he had requested. William wished he could remember everything in detail, but memorizing that amount of information was not his forte. Now that he wasn’t an Archmage but rather the troublemaker who had killed one, he didn’t think he would do any better. Though, it seems the knights didn’t dislike him, but he obviously couldn’t be seen near them or with them. Letting him escape had been somewhat of a gamble for them.
In the end, William was most glad for the time because it would allow him to become older, and therefore be taken more seriously. Certainly, Dong Xin and Big Sister Li took him seriously. The Cyrils did as well, and perhaps the knights. However, he didn’t think he would always have it in him to perform some perfectly timed rescue or to kill an Archmage, so it would be nice to have a slightly better basis for appearing like he should be taken seriously. At least if he were fully developed he could pretend to be older.
Staying at the Cyril household was good for Yu Li and Dong Xin as well. They did have quite a few members that were wizards, and a reasonable library. Though William considered himself very knowledgeable, having just one perspective of thought wasn’t really the best way to learn. Plus, they also had access to testing potential here. Though since they were already training as wizards, the main point was rather moot. They already had ideas of how talented they were. However, it did also show elemental affinities. This is one area that William had failed. Dong Xin, though relatively poor as a wizard overall, had a strong affinity for earth. Since earth abilities were mostly defensive, he hadn’t practiced them much. However, upon knowing his affinity, it actually made a tremendous difference. Even in the area of offense, where forming a big rock to throw at someone took much more effort that just lobbing fire at them, with his amount of affinity for earth he was more efficient. Though, it would still be better for him to just hit people. It also affected his ki training, because he discovered the affinity crossed the divide between ki and magic. In terms of ki, he had slightly noticed the effects, but earth abilities tended to reduce agility, which had bothered him. Thus, he had steered away. With a strong affinity, though, he could overcome that problem.
Yu Li also had a decent affinity for water. Since she wasn’t weak as a wizard to begin with and the affinity wasn’t that strong, there wasn’t such a profound difference as with Dong Xin. However, it did open up some opportunities that wouldn’t have been as worthwhile with equivalent talent. In addition to finding her affinity, having other wizards to train and study with was rather useful from a morale perspective. William felt her time would be well spent.
Alas, William wasn’t aware of a way to test elemental affinity from the perspective of a pure martial artist, and he couldn’t use magic. He couldn’t get the orbs to react in any way, so he wasn’t sure if he had any elemental affinity. He hadn’t felt it when he was training, either. If only he had slight ability to do magic, he could see what his affinity was. However, there was no use. William wasn’t too worried about an affinity, either. At least, nothing had seemed particularly harder to train. Fire techniques were the same as water or ice techniques, as well as non-elemental techniques. He felt he was about an average affinity for all of them.
The first time after William had taken some time to train in ki cultivation, Chris mentioned it. “You can do that on purpose now too? The thing where you swirl around the inner energy and get stronger? It seems a lot better than what I remember from before.”
“Yeah, I figured out a way to make myself stronger. It took… a while, but I had time.” Then, Chris demonstrated. William watched with his Soul Perception ability. He didn’t feel any resistance at his observation, even though most people would subconsciously block out any intrusion. From what he could see… Chris’ cultivation method was a mess. That might actually have been generous. However, he came up with it on his own, without any real guidance, so William couldn’t really fault him.
William tried to explain to him the other method he had memorized for when Rotational Soul Pressure reached its limit. William didn’t particularly trust in Chris’ abilities to sense his limits. It wasn’t really an insult to Chris… but William wasn’t even sure if he could feel the same way. It was better not to try. Chris didn’t really understand William’s explanation at first, so William tried a few different explanations. Knight Commander Tyler Dragonfoe had learned it more quickly, but she had the advantage of not being a staff. Eventually, William decided to practice it himself for a small time, and let Chris observe. He found that worked for Chris, at least over time as they both got used to it. However, William felt the method felt very inefficient. It wasn’t that it was bad… but it didn’t really suit him. Either that, or Rotational Soul Pressure was just that easy to cultivate, until the limits. That did make a certain kind of sense. Fortunately, they didn’t interfere with each other, because Rotational Soul Pressure wasn’t the kind of ki cultivation technique that involved breaking through limits. It was also meant to be completed, after which the user would move onto another technique. Thus, it would be pointless to even try if it interfered with other methods. William wondered when he would reach his limits in the technique… By all accounts, he should be reaching them at any point.