William wasn’t really sure what to do with the glowing marble of light. However, he hadn’t been particularly told to do anything with it, so he just observed it for a short while. How was he going to get out of here? As soon as he thought that, and actually attempted to leave, he was out. There wasn’t any flying up, or movement. Instead, he was just “back” to his body, though he hadn’t really ever left.
William strongly considered cursing. Was this something he could have done last time? Although the method had helped smooth things over, William felt like he could probably have achieved the same results eventually, if only he had been looking in the right place. Inside, instead of outside. On the other hand, he had somewhat figured it out. He wasn’t sure what more he could have done upon knowing the “location” the mysterious energy was located. What William was most annoyed at, though, was that he had heard of its existence, but hadn’t thought to look into it at all. The one thing that comforted William was that Liaoyang was very protective of their methods, so it might not have been simple to get any information out of the country and to him. That was barely consolation however.
William looked up at Big Sister and nodded. “Thank you. I succeeded.”
She looked down at him and frowned slightly. “That’s it? You can just do it like that? You can do it but I can’t?” She sighed.
William raised an eyebrow at her. “Well, if I could, I’d gladly trade you for the ability to do magic. That would have been useful.”
She looked at him bashfully. “Right… sorry.” She paused for a while. “You were really the Archmage William, but couldn’t do magic? How did that happen?”
So, William told her about it. How he could do everything but see and control mana, including theory, research, and memorizing chants. “Oh yeah, right. Chants are pretty much irrelevant, by the way. You’ll see what I mean when I have you start practice. Umm… are there any places that are safe to throw fireballs around here? I feel like everyone should start with fireballs. Well, sparks, anyway.”
One of the benefits of being in this family was that there was an abundance of places to train things like magic. They weren’t for magic, but for ki abilities, though they would serve the purpose. All of the good locations were taken by more favored members of the family, but there was an old, less conveniently placed training ground that nobody used. This suited William and Big Sister Li quite well, since they didn’t want it to be seen that she was practicing magic. In addition, they did their best to avoid other members of the family. Any interactions were, at best, people turning up their noses at them in contempt. Usually, though, meaningless insults would be thrown at them. Words like “trash” and “useless” and the especially ironic “idiot” were thrown around. William was quite certain that Big Sister’s intelligence was above all of the rest of the siblings, at least what they displayed. Certainly, she wasn’t able to cultivate ki abilities to any real measure of success, but judging a person by a single metric was a pretty terrible method. Even if they were to judge her by potential combat strength… they would be wrong.
Big Sister was good at magic. William thought she was better than Marius, but not as good as Lila. At least, at the magical control aspect. She did think through magic more carefully, and would likely use it more efficiently. If comparing combat prowess with those martial artists of the family, she could possibly beat those in the same age range, at least following the point she had practiced magic for a few months. Once she got combat experience, she would almost certainly be able to win. None of those around twelve or thirteen years of age could emit ki to form outside abilities, at least not to any real extent. Casting time would be a problem, but spells didn’t have to be big and flashy to be useful. She could cause relatively minor things to hinder her opponent, a flash of light, a slight shifting of the ground, and various other tactics, all in mere moments. William made sure she trained her body still, because she had to be able to hold her own long enough to cast a spell, and it wouldn’t be likely that a battle would start at a conveniently long range for her. More importantly, William was thinking ahead to the Demon King… who could be coming at any time. In a large battle, he’d seen how easily the enemy could close in, though at the sacrifice of some of their numbers.
The only problem remaining was William’s training. All he could do was train to increase the amount of Ki he had. It was a strange thing. Although Ki would be used up when he did anything with it, it wasn’t like it was actually gone and he had to start over. Instead, it was more like the training increased his maximum storage space. The energy came from… somewhere that William wasn’t sure. It seemed to have little or nothing to do with mana, the only energy that seemed to float around. Instead of gathering it from somewhere, William felt like it just sort of grew inside, though putting effort into gathering it was much more efficient than waiting for it to grow naturally. Like tending a garden. It somewhat fit both definitions of cultivating, the agricultural, as well as acquiring and developing a skill. Well, both were making something grow. The only problem William experienced is that he couldn’t really do anything new with his ki. He didn’t know how to convert it into fire to shoot out of his hands. He was very careful when he tried, because he knew he could hurt himself if he did it wrongly. Of course, if he had a technique manual, it would help immensely. Sadly, nobody would be interested in allowing a small child into the cultivation library. If they knew he could already gather and control ki, they might have changed their minds, but William knew that would cause all sorts of turmoil he wasn’t yet prepared to deal with.