After leaving the technique library, William’s first action was to go find Big Sister, which wasn’t hard. She was in a usual place, though looking worried. When she saw William show up with some scrolls under her arms, she looked somewhat surprised. “What happened?”
“Well, it seems that someone wants to help me, at least somewhat.”
“What about Yu Chao? He really won’t remember?”
“Concussions will do that, and Elder Shaozu wouldn’t have sounded so sure if he thought otherwise. Though because of that, he’ll almost certainly cause trouble again in the near future.”
William secretly hoped that the concussion would keep him down for a while, but still discussed various strategies with Big Sister so that she could protect herself if he showed up again. William had hoped none of the family members would get violent, especially since they hadn’t been given a reason. Then again, people almost never needed a reason to do anything.
William started out with studying “The Basics of Energy Control”. It was actually a very helpful document. It went over many things William hadn’t thought about much. It covered when to allow ki to flow naturally, and when the user should keep a tighter grip on it. It could be said to naturally permeate throughout the body, but it was also not located in the body. It was, instead, more of a metaphysical overlapping with the body. When moved outside of the body, ki took a more physical form, but that would require the user to intentionally convert it for it to be maximally effective. William hadn’t ever really considered that. When he had been using Chris, and didn’t really understand that it was ki, he felt that it happened somewhat naturally. Now, he would have to practice doing it on his own. A combination of these factors was why Yu Chao was merely given a concussion, since his ki was naturally protecting him like a cushion, and William hadn’t properly used his ki to attack. That was probably for the best, because William hadn’t been thinking rationally, and could have killed him on accident, which would have certainly caused an abundance of trouble.
William added to his schedule some exercises for controlling ki, as described by the scroll. He could “harden” it for defense, or use it for attack. However, after being used, some of the energy would dissipate, until it, or at least an equivalent amount of energy, would eventually find its way back into the place inside of him, his Spiritual Sea, where all of his ki was stored. The Spiritual Sea was also called the dantian or just abdomen, but William felt that was a weird terminology. Certainly, it was metaphysically in the center of the body, but it wasn’t actually there, either. If he got stabbed with a knife, he wouldn’t bleed out ki. Unless, of course, the knife itself used ki in the attack.
Although “The Basics of Energy Control” was extremely useful, William found that the cultivation technique was equally impressive. Though, he couldn’t say that he was familiar with different kinds. The basics of “Rotational Soul Pressure” was a gradual expansion of energy. Unlike other techniques, at least according to this manual, it allowed a gradual increase in energy, instead of attempting sudden increases in power like most techniques. The only drawback was that it wasn’t a technique that could be used indefinitely. It only worked until a certain point, though that point was different for each user. Apparently, those with a stronger soul had a bigger limit, though William was unsure what qualified as a stronger soul. It was quite possible that there were different definitions, and in this case he thought it might be just an explanation for why different people had different success. He couldn’t be sure.
After reaching the limits, the user would start to feel great strain, and if they continued to try beyond that point, instead of a possible breakthrough like other techniques, it would cause death. The scroll for Rotational Soul Pressure was very clear that nobody had stumbled upon the point accidentally, and thus was only a danger to the foolish who considered it like other techniques. William planned to stop if he felt any discomfort at all, since he didn’t want to risk his life for this technique, but he also thought it would be a good method to try.
William lowered his thoughts into his Spiritual Sea, observing the ki that had gathered in the center. Over some time of observation, he had noticed that ki seemed to be birthed from the entire area, out of the space itself. The energy must have come from somewhere, but William wasn’t sure where that was. However, after it was birthed, the energy moved, as if being pulled by a gravitational force, toward the center, adding itself in tiny wisps to the marble he had. If he concentrated, he could generate the energy much faster.
Rotational Soul Pressure was, in fact, simple to practice. All it required was to take the energy and grind it against the outer limits of the center space. This had a gradual effect of expanding its size. William thought of it as something like digging out dirt from a big sphere underground, except the dirt disappeared instead of just falling to the floor. The first time he had entered his Spiritual Sea, William had encountered a barrier, the boundary he now knew denoted the limits where energy would seep out of the space around it. Above that… there wasn’t really anything. Just empty space, or maybe lack of space altogether. The ki would dissipate with the conversion of non-space into space that was useful for gathering ki. Then, with the increase in area, ki would gather slightly faster, and the process would repeat, though it took more ki to expand the area as well.
William practiced the technique, and felt his gradual progress. However, he wasn’t certain how much progress he was making. The useful space expanded, but he had no sense of scale in this place. His own thoughts about his body size would change his perspective, and he couldn’t remember what sort of perspective he had begun with. However, William could tell there was progress. As time went on, he would track it more carefully, so that he could more accurately judge his progress. As it was now, he could at least tell it wasn’t a terrifyingly large growth rate, but it wasn’t negligible either. For now, he would have to be content with that.