William felt weird. He thought that maybe he was sick. He had aches and pains all over, and in general his whole body felt weird. He’d been feeling this way for at least a month, though the pain had come and gone. He didn’t think it was to a dangerous level, just uncomfortable. Still, since it hadn’t gone away, he felt that he needed to do something about it. He was also having trouble concentrating in classes. Since he had pretty good comprehension, all that meant is that his progress slowed somewhat. It didn’t particularly harm his studies, and he wasn’t actually in a hurry. After all, this life was a second chance given to him, he wasn’t going to rush through it.
Though he was sick, he still exercised. If he’d felt there were problems afterwards, he planned to immediately stop. Instead, he actually felt that he was improving more rapidly. He thought maybe he was experiencing a weird, magical sickness that could only happen in this world. However, after doing some research, he couldn’t find anything with similar symptoms.
He did learn some things, but they were useless and didn’t help him. Instead, during his lapses in concentration, he noticed things that didn’t matter much. Like, although the society he was in wasn’t exactly equal opportunity for men and women, the number of wizards, or apprentice wizards, who were female was almost as high as the number of men. He wasn’t sure how this information was useful, but his brain wouldn’t stop thinking about it.
That is, he couldn’t stop thinking about it except when he was thinking about punching people. William liked to think of himself as a relatively peaceful person. He’d actually only been in one fight in his previous life, and it was over something stupid. He didn’t even remember what, actually, just that he’d walked away with a bloody nose. In this life, he’d been in one fight. That was to protect Lila. Well, maybe he ended up protecting the other side from Lila indirectly, since he doubted she would have been so stubborn as to not use magic once she was actually hurt. Either way, though, he couldn’t stop thinking about punching, or otherwise fighting, people who barely even deserved it.
Many other thoughts flashed through his mind, and he didn’t even want to dwell on them. Maybe he was cursed? He had been spending a decent amount of time around the crystal staff. As far as he could tell, it hadn’t done anything at all. That said, since he couldn’t sense mana, as long as it didn’t turn into anything visible or audible, he had no way of knowing. He decided to head home to visit his parents and talk to them about seeing a doctor. If that didn’t work, then a curse specialist. Besides, he liked visiting them. Though he lived at school, it wasn’t too far to go see them casually when he had a day off. He could have even lived at home, but would have spent a decent amount of his time each day going back and forth between the academy and home. If he had a car, it would be a short drive, but sadly there weren’t cars here. Hiring a carriage would have been too expensive to make up for the time saved. Thus, William lived at the dorm and went home once every couple weeks.
William’s parents were quite smart. Perhaps knowledgeable or wise was a better word, but then again, all three were likely correct. They were successful merchants, and they knew more about the things of this world, with the sole exception of magic, than William. Thus, he would often come to them for advice. He gave them a basic description of his illness, and they followed up with questions.
His mother asked for more clarification. “So, your body feels strange, and has aches. You can’t concentrate, and think about fighting. Is that correct?” William nodded. “You also think about girls more than you did?” William nodded again. His mother turned to William’s father. “It sound like…”
“Yes, indeed.” William’s father nodded. “Son, I’m afraid you’re not sick. I could tell you, but I think it would be more fun to have you figure it out yourself.” He grinned. “That said, you could probably use a hint. How old are you?”
“Twelve.” William replied. He could also have answered, “About one hundred,” but that wasn’t the answer that his father was looking for. William looked at his father, but he didn’t seem like he was going to give any more hints. What happened at twelve? Well, it was somewhat of a special time. In this world, sixes and twelves were important. Specifically, he was two-thirds a man now. William thought about things involving twelve, but couldn’t come up with an answer. What was he missing? Then, he realized. It was applicable to the previous world as well. Twelve, exactly, wasn’t significant. It was his age that was important. “It’s…” William felt awkward saying it. “…puberty?”
His mother clapped mockingly, but in the kindest manner of mocking possible. “Figured it out, huh?”
William blushed. “I… didn’t think about it. After all, before, it happened a long time ago. Plus, I don’t think it was so strong. Maybe that’s just bad memory though.”
William’s father smiled. “Glad to see that we can still help. If you have any questions about girls, you can ask me. If you want useful answers, though, I’d probably ask your mother.”
“I… think I’ll try to stay away from that area. At least for a while. Because… it’s super weird.” William shuddered. “I am like… a hundred.”
“Don’t forget that everyone sees you as twelve, though,” his mother mentioned. “A young man like yourself may get some women interested.”
William had browsed a fair amount of fiction in his previous life. In it, the main characters were usually either perverts or oblivious. He didn’t want to be either of those things. Thus, he decided to ask for advice on dealing with young women. He wanted to be able to have real friendships with them. In the chance they were interested in more, he wanted to be able to respond appropriately, whether he was interested in return or not. Although he thought of everyone around him as very young, he realized that physically, they were the same as him, or older. He couldn’t ignore the chance that he would grow to actually like, and not just lust after, someone much younger than him mentally. Well, that would be everyone.
Not that William was expecting many women to throw themselves at him. He just wanted to be prepared for anything that did come up. Thinking about his previous life, there had been perhaps a few who were interested in him briefly, but he squandered the opportunity, due to being terrible at interacting with people. Likewise, he’d been unable to make any progress with those he liked first. Friendships with women had been even more lacking than the ones he’d had with men. On the friendship front, he could perhaps do a bit better here as well.
Thus, William made his secondary goal in this life to have friends, and not die alone. Perhaps he should rework the goal into something that didn’t involve dying, since it sounded sad that way. Thus, his secondary goal was to leave an impression on the world and its inhabitants, including many friends. Obviously, first was still becoming a wizard, and he seemed to be doing that rather well. Besides the fact that he couldn’t do magic.