Wizard! Chapter 171
As the clamor from Yu Huan’s victory died down, Yu Jian turned to see William and Dong Xin. “Oh, you’re back! You just missed a very special tournament. It was organized by the Order… focusing on soul techniques. After all, it’s important to collect talents who can use Shattering the Soul in the future.”
William nodded. “Yu Huan is quite talented. Obtaining the position of champion in such a tournament is impressive.”
Yu Jian nodded. “Of course. I would expect nothing less from my granddaughter. However… I can’t be too happy, since this tournament is not yet of national significance. There are most certainly people who are more skilled than here elsewhere. Of course, some of them are old masters who wouldn’t be interested in displaying their skills in a mere tournament… but eventually they may be drawn to watch it.”
“This is a good plan. This way people can be gathered without making it obvious what the Order is attempting.”
“Indeed. Hopefully, we can find some people who are both skilled and trustworthy. No matter how useful they might be, it is no good if the plan leaks to the Demon King and he comes up with some kind of counter. At the very least, we want him to have only minimal time to prepare himself if he does find out, but at this point he would have far too much time to make preparations if we are found out.”
At this point Yu Huan had come to the area where the Yu clan was. Everyone was gathering around her to congratulate her. Eventually that died down, and she came to see Yu Jian. “Grandfather.” She nodded respectfully.
“An excellent performance, Yu Huan.”
She beamed happily, then her eyes glanced at William and her smile faded. She looked at him with almost a glare. William thought they had been on good terms when he had gone away, so he wasn’t sure why she seemed hostile now. However, her expression quickly returned to a more pleasant one. “Ah, Yu Hui’Lam, you’re back. It is a shame you missed the tournament…”
“You don’t sound particularly happy for having just won.”
“Well, it’s not that but, well…” Her eyes locked on him again, and William could see that her eyes were more filled with determination than hostility. “I don’t feel like the true champion since I know you could have done the same easily, unless you’ve been seriously slacking off in your training.”
William didn’t know exactly what to say to that. “Umm…” William concentrated for a moment. “If we fought conventionally you’re more likely to win. You’re pretty well past the second major breakthrough, and I know you’ve trained in those techniques more.”
She looked at William. “See, that’s exactly my point. You can just casually glance at my cultivation level. Besides, you worded that pretty carefully. What do you think your chances are if we both fought to the best of our abilities?”
“Hmm… I’m not sure.” Specifically, William didn’t know whether he should count Chris. That was an unfair advantage for sure, and unless her defenses were better than he had seen, he would be able to win… except she had previously been very fast, and could be even faster now, so that would require him to be able to hit her, or at least graze her, depending on how well her Soul Armor technique was trained.
“And that, William, is why I don’t feel like the champion of this tournament.”
William didn’t know what to say to that. He supposed he could tell her he was technically older than her, but that would just complicate matters. His half sister seemed fairly confident, and making excuses for her probably wouldn’t help. William’s biggest advantage right now was having a strong soul, and he knew he hadn’t done anything to deserve that, so he couldn’t really take credit for it. When he’d first found out about it, he hadn’t really had any understanding of the soul at all. Now… William could say he at least understood something about souls in practical terms, if nothing else.
William and Dong Xin discussed their journey with Yu Jian, and reported on their successes. William felt he could take a decent amount of credit for the events in Eclea, but Ustil wasn’t really something he had been able to control, even though it was technically because of him. Still, the journey had been very successful. The only problem now was coordinating their new allies with each other. Of course, there was a long period of time left before the Demon King’s predicted return, so things could still go downhill. Where there were people involved, William knew that things would go wrong. However, William felt somewhat more confident about Eclea and Ustil than Ostana at the current moment. Liaoyang rarely acted under one banner, but the Order of the Watchful Sentry was well established in Liaoyang.
This didn’t mean everything was perfect in Liaoyang. Yu Jian told of one clan to the west that was suspected of practicing demonic cultivation methods, and thus having ties with the demons. William couldn’t imagine why anyone would work with the demons as a whole, since they were intending to wipe out humanity- but he supposed they wouldn’t tell that to anybody they could influence. William suspected they had promised a position of influence when they “conquered” the four countries. On the other hand, the short term benefits of a powerful cultivation method might be too tempting to pass up.
One thing that bothered William is that the demonic cultivation methods were good. In the war he participated in as Archmage, there weren’t any cultivators, or at least he didn’t see any indication of them. That meant that demons who actually practiced cultivation, at least any of the better methods, would be even more powerful than those he had seen. Hopefully the fact that the humans would be prepared and have far superior numbers would be enough.