Wizard! Chapter 81
William had to pull out all of his storytelling skills to make things interesting. It’s not that there weren’t interesting things that had happened to him, but he was the kind that was more likely to tell a story as straight up facts. Like, “one time I went to hunt a dragon, but it was dead when I got there.” Though, in this case, he also had to avoid saying “I”. Fortunately, his stories were at least good enough, or unique enough, that Dong Xin enjoyed them.
Dong Xin was a good teacher. That made William lucky to have talked to Yu Xiao, and thus find him. Beyond the level of being a good teacher, William couldn’t tell how strong he actually was. He didn’t just radiate all of his strength all over the place, and though William couldn’t match him in staffwork, it wasn’t because Dong Xin was using more ki, he was just better. William was glad to finally have a real teacher, but it was somewhat problematic because it was hard to unlearn some of the things he was doing wrong. However, he had time.
Although William couldn’t tell exactly how strong Dong Xin was, at least in terms of ki, he developed a better sense of how strong others were. Density and quantity of the ki someone had was a large determining factor. For a quick but unreliable method of judging strength, you could judge someone on breakthroughs. In most cultivation techniques, after reaching a certain point, there would be barriers that people had to forcefully breakthrough, after which came a significant increase in strength. There were twelve minor breakthroughs before a major one, which was harder to overcome but gave proportionately more strength. However, although people might like to think of these as levels of some kind, they weren’t equivalent. Different cultivation techniques were weaker or stronger at different levels. It was only useful to vaguely judge the level of an opponent. From what William had learned, though there was the potential to become extremely powerful, most people did not become much stronger than most knights. Ki did offer an advantage in that techniques used with it could be used in different ways, but in this world the body could be trained, if not indefinitely, at least to very high levels. People could train both ki and their body directly, but there were restrictions on time. Someone might be able to train their muscles slightly faster, or gather ki faster, but these alone weren’t enough to give them amazing advantaged. Instead, real geniuses were just that, geniuses. They were those who learned faster, and used what they learned better.
William was interested in starting another ki cultivation method, perhaps an elemental one where he would convert his ki into fire or ice. However, he hadn’t reached the limits of what he was currently using. In addition, it might be better to pick one without an attribute. He would still be able to use fire techniques without a fire cultivation method, but they would just be weaker. However, a fire method would be almost incapable of ice techniques. It was also possible that he had a natural elemental affinity that he should try to complement, but he didn’t know any way to figure that out, if it was even a real possibility, and not just something from stories.
That was something that annoyed William about where he was. There were things that “everyone knew”, but he didn’t know how they knew it. It wasn’t verified, instead they were just from stories. Many of the stories were probably accurate, at least on most points, but that meant many weren’t. It was very easy to accidentally propagate incorrect information from one source to another, until it was the “truth”. Nobody wanted to share concrete information, so there was very little in the way of scholarly work that William could find. He could find information on how to make fire ki, but was that the best way? Certainly, it would have been tried and tested, but that didn’t mean the method that worked best for the creator was better, but just better for them. William thought about this, and it made him think about Ostana, and the wizard’s guild. They had similar problems with secret information, but at least they made scholarly efforts. Here, William found little such information. However… that didn’t mean it didn’t exist. Perhaps he would find some who had looked into elemental affinities, cultivation techniques, and perhaps even had a good definition for a soul. Though William agreed that it sounded interesting, throwing soul on everything wasn’t a good idea.
These were the things William thought about as he trained with Dong Xin, and polished his staff techniques. Really, though, instead of polishing them, it would be more fair to say he got new staff techniques and polished those, since his old ones weren’t worth polishing. He didn’t learn any new ways to use ki, and still couldn’t shoot fire from his hands or lightning from his eyes, but William felt much more confident now. He was also made to practice without a staff, “because you won’t always have a staff, kid.” William definitely understood that point. William was starting to grow nervous about the future, however. At some point, people would have to realize that he was already training in ki. For that time, William was attempting to make some friends in the Yu family. These ended up being others who had little chance to gain favor, but they really ended up more like allies than friends. They would help each other, but they wouldn’t necessarily care about each other. William also worked on developing his relationships with Yu Xiao and Elder Shaozu. Meanwhile, he helped teach Big Sister, not so much about magic, but just more about the world in general, since she could then understand better what she could do with magic. Big Sister Li also developed relationships of her own, making friends, or at least doing her best to have less enemies. In this manner, two years passed, and William was eight years old.