Wizard! Chapter 131
In addition to training, William also studied the languages of Eclea and Ustil, which were the countries to the east and south of Ostana, respectively. At some point, he planned to visit them, and he’d really rather not need an interpreter. William wasn’t sure if he would be able to learn all of the nuances of their language, but at least he would have a base. Given enough time, he might be as fluent as he was in the languages of Ostana and Liaoyang.
William practiced Shattering the Soul on a dummy. The effects on the dummy were precisely nothing. However, actually attempting and releasing the technique on a target was helpful. William knew he was making progress. He could feel it, but he couldn’t actually say how well it would work on something with a strong soul, particularly one as powerful as the Demon King’s. William thought about practicing on an insect or an animal. However, William had already tried that once. It had terrifying results, and he wasn’t comfortable with casually destroying souls, even that of insects. Animals would be worse, and more dangerous. Regardless, the explosion would affect both body and soul of things around… and thus William continued his practice without a real target.
However, he knew he was making progress, not just because of his own thought, but because there was another who verified his actions. Dong Xin had made almost no progress with the technique, by his own admittance. Meanwhile, Lorelei had also admitted her inability to use the technique. The one who could, though, was Chris. William would watch Chris use the technique, and he could feel when it was right. Likewise, Chris watched William. Then they performed it together. There wasn’t really a conscious effort to work together, but it just happened. It seemed somewhat strange, but Chris was a staff, specifically meant to enhance performance. Though magic was generally enhanced by a staff, any good weapons could be conduits for ki. Upon thinking about it, there really was no reason that Chris couldn’t do both. After all, he could both practice ki and use magic on his own.
As for how Chris could perform the technique… well, he had managed to develop a terrible ki cultivation technique over the approximately 150 years since William had last seen him. He had also seen the scroll, so he’d subconsciously dwelled on it during that time period as well. Though Chris admitted himself that watching William perform it was a lot more useful than just thinking about it.
In the city of Canta there were rumors abounding everywhere. The Archmage had died. At the same time, a mysterious shout of “traitor” had rung throughout the city. Though, people couldn’t be sure it was exactly at the same time. From the perspective of the people, there were many accusations thrown around. The knights were incompetent and worked with the killer and helped him escape. The Archmage had received divine punishment for some action on his part. However, the public opinion was on the side of the knights. Their reputation was stellar, and though the wizards held a lofty position, the public had less regard for them.
Meanwhile at the higher level various noble houses who knew more of what was going on had increased conflicts. The Lockridge family tried to have the king act against the knights, calling them corrupt. However, the knights countered with their own suspicions about the Lockridge family, and the fact that they were not allowed to investigate the death of the Archmage yet somehow responsible. In return, it was pointed out if they were corrupt, of course they shouldn’t be allowed to investigate. In the end, the king organized an investigation force of his own. However, by that time, the Archmage had been long dead, and it was a fairly pointless investigation. Nothing incriminating the knights or the wizards was found. However, the guild claimed the records that were burnt still existed, and that it was a false accusation. Since they had support of many noble houses and the Lockridge family, the attempt to demand they produce the documents stagnated. In the end, after months of political bickering, the knights were chastised for letting a prisoner escape, but it was little more than a slap on the wrist. Especially since the knights pointed out that they couldn’t have known that a child who was merely an interpreter would have the ability to bend the bars to his cell and escape. Meanwhile, they had still managed to respond to the situation quickly, though they pointed out if they had more time to prepare they likely could have even caught the more probable culprit, who had sadly escaped onto the rooftops. After the proceedings, nobody was happy. The wizard’s guild had lost their Archmage, and the knights had a stain on their record. As for the fact that the killers seemed to be foreigners… the country of Liaoyang denied knowledge of their existence, and the existence of any mages in their borders. Tensions rose, but even the Lockridge family did not have enough sway, nor the desire, to start a war over the death of the Archmage.
Knight Commander Tyler Dragonfoe had no reason to smile. Though personally she believed the child they had captured was equally guilty and innocent, she wouldn’t decide such important matters on personal feeling. In his case, he had admitted to killing the Archmage, but had spoken evidence of his corruption. She believed it, but didn’t currently have the positioning to actually investigate. The Lockridge family, who was almost intrinsically tied to the wizard’s guild, had too many allies. She would honestly have liked to let the kid go just to spite them, but that still wasn’t the ultimate reason, just a contributing factor. However, just as the Lockridges were old enemies, there were also old allies to consider. It was the representative of the Cyril family who had tipped the balance. The kid had killed two members of the Lockridge family while saving some of the Cyril’s members. More importantly, there was further proof of corruption on the side of the Lockridges, though nothing that could be brought up in public. Thus, though Tyler Dragonfoe would have personally liked to let the boy go for probably being ‘innocent’, or to spite the Lockridge family, that was not why. Instead, she had other perfectly good reasons to take the blow to the knights reputation. Thus, she didn’t smile. At least not on the outside. Not even when thinking of what other trouble the boy might get up to in the future. In fact, she didn’t even smile when she received word that he had somehow managed to get Archmage William’s staff to accept him. Though a smile never showed on her face, she would admit to imagining what kind of trouble the boy could get up to with such a staff. It might be for the best if he did, since the staff had mysteriously disappeared from the public eye after the Archmage William died. In fact, there were rumors that the current guild wasn’t legitimate since they couldn’t even keep the Staff of the Archmage- never mind the fact that it hadn’t represented the guild even before the Archmage William. Rumor would do as it would.