Wizard Chapter 79
In Liaoyang, there were many good fighting styles available for swords and spears. However, staves were unpopular, because they weren’t particularly suited for killing. Thus, it was more difficult for William to find anything worthwhile to train in regarding staves. Strictly speaking, William didn’t have to use a staff, but he’d grown attached to it. Since he didn’t have to keep up appearances, and he couldn’t use magic, there wasn’t a particular need to use a staff. Except, there was a particular staff William was interested in using.
Chris was still in this world, or he should be. William would be extremely surprised if anything had managed to harm him, and another hundred or so years shouldn’t have affected him in any way. Chris was still a powerful magic weapon, even if he wasn’t being used to enhance magic. There was the slight problem that William didn’t know where Chris was, but he was confident he could find him. It would be very hard for anyone to contain Chris against his will, and William couldn’t imagine that anyone went to such effort. At least, he imagined they would eventually give up when they realized he was inexhaustible. Chris should, at the very least, still be in Ostana, perhaps even still in the capital of Canta, since he had been there for a very long time before William had been there, and there was little reason for him to leave afterwards. However, even if William couldn’t find him… using a staff still reminded him of those times, and he didn’t want to forget that.
The technique library had a wide variety of fighting styles available, even some for staves, but William knew that learning from a book wasn’t as good as learning from someone who actually knew what they were doing. There were instructors, of course. The Yu family had some members or attendants who performed such jobs. However, for several reasons, William couldn’t just go ask them to train him. Generally, they taught students in large classes, starting at the age of ten. Before that, they might get some private instructions, but formal training for the family started then. Generally, a child’s body wouldn’t be ready for much training before then, so it also did little good to attempt to train sword or spear techniques, since such required a significant amount of physical effort. Finally, William’s position in the family wasn’t such that he could request special training, and any such attempt would be unwise.
Except, there was a possibility. William hadn’t joined in any training, but he had watched through the windows, and had seen the various instructors over the years. Some of them were better than others, but what William cared about more was the personality of the instructors. Some were lazy, assigning the students some drills and otherwise doing little. Some were more involved, personally helping some students with their forms. Similarly, some only paid personal attention to those who were in better standing with the family. William was least interested in interacting with the last kind.
One instructor reminded William of Professor Farman. They looked nothing alike, of course. Professor Farman was an old, thin, wisp of a man, while Yu Xiao, one of William’s distant uncles or some such, was a large, well-muscled man. No, it wasn’t their appearance that made William think them similar. Instead, it was their attitude. Yu Xiao was strict to those who were lazy or refused to practice. This included, not just during his training sessions, but also their own time. If they didn’t make improvements over time, or at least not as much as he thought they should have, he trained them more harshly. This included those who were in better standing, and those who weren’t. However, his strictness never displayed itself in a way William found particularly unpleasant, though he was sure that some of the students felt otherwise. Because of this, William found a time he could talk to Yu Xiao without any others around.
“Greetings, Senior Yu Xiao, this one is named Yu Hui’Lam.” At that, William paused for a moment, however he was pleased to see that there wasn’t any look of disdain such as many gave when they realized his status, or his age. William still found it somewhat odd to speak formally to someone in his thirties, younger than William had been six years before… at least, as far as his consciousness went. However, formality was culturally important, and some people deserved the respect it gave them, even if they were technically younger than him. “I wonder if I could turn your ear for a few moments of time?” After receiving a nod, William continued. “I have observed that very few train in staff techniques. This one is interested in using a staff in the future. Senior is very knowledgeable, does Senior know any outside of the family who train in the staff and might be willing to instruct this one in the future?” This was different from a request to the family for training. He tried to show that he was interested in securing the instruction for himself. It also somewhat indicated that he wasn’t interested in anyone connected to the family, which William thought Yu Xiao would understand given William’s position in the family, or lack thereof.
After a few moments, Yu Xiao finally opened his mouth to speak. His voice was deep, and booming, and his words direct. “There is a reason that nobody practices the staff. They aren’t as good of a weapon as others.” Yu Xiao made a *hmph* noise after that. “That, however, is only speaking from a standpoint of purely martial arts technique. Once ki is involved, it much more depends on the user and the technique, and a sharp edge or point becomes less necessary. However, because of that… it is perhaps worse to go to a mediocre teacher. It is good to search for a potential master early…” At this point, Yu Xiao paused. His eyes narrowed as he looked at William, and there was a brief feeling of something that passed over William. Then, Yu Xiao’s expression returned to how it had been. “Regardless, I only know of one person who might both be skilled enough, and willing to train you… in the future.” Yu Xiao gave William a name, and a location in the city.
“Thank you Senior. I will certainly seek him out.” William was glad Yu Xiao had acted as straightforwardly as he had expected. However, William had a goal to fulfill. A goal of strength… not for himself, but for a purpose. The Demon King could return at any time. William would need to be able to take care of himself, and he also planned to see if he could find any who would be sympathetic to his warnings. Ostana was his goal for now, though he would try to see if he could find any in Liaoyang as well. He couldn’t count on the descendants of his former contacts being alive, or willing to listen to him, or even in a place he could contact, but he would attempt something in that area as well. Hopefully he wouldn’t have to meet them in person, because he wouldn’t be extremely convincing as a six year old child. Though, William knew that was one thing that time would absolutely help with, if he had enough time, anyway.