Wizard! Chapter 85
William had used up some of his ki, but it wasn’t that much on the grand scale of things. Ki got “used up” in various ways. Generally, when it came into conflict with other ki or was launched as an attack, it could not be returned into the spiritual sea, as control was lost. This wasn’t a matter of skill, but rather it just went back to being a sort of free energy. William wasn’t sure if it transformed into mana, or just eventually found its way back to a spiritual sea somewhere as someone gathered ki. The first option was something he would have to test.
There were other matches going on after William’s. He took the time to recover his ki as he watched. After seeing more matches, several things became clear to William. Yu Chao had certainly been on the lower end of those his age, but he still managed to be above most of those younger than him. The girl who won the first match actually seemed to have been hiding some of her ability, as she continued to perform well. William was pretty sure she was an older half-sister he hadn’t bothered to learn the name of, not that any relation between them would be useful. It was also obvious, at least over the course of many matches, that these people didn’t have large amounts of real combat experience. It couldn’t really be blamed on them at their age, but it was nonetheless true. It also came to William’s realization, that even though he had combat experience from before, that he was really specialized in fighting wizards, magical beasts, and military battles. Plus, all of those he had relied on Chris’ ability in magic to be effective in. William started to really miss Chris, and not just because he made William more useful, but rather because they had spent so many years together. However, William had neither much experience against martial artists outside of recent training, nor Chris.
Finally, it came William’s next turn to participate in a match. William’s opponent was about twelve or thirteen, and also used a staff. However, he held it in a stance that indicated he really used spears. William now was disadvantaged in reach, since he was smaller with a similarly sized weapon. His opponent started off with a thrust toward his chest, but William realized it was just a feint. He lightly deflected it, but didn’t try to counter. Master Dong Xin had drilled into William the proper reactions, and how to recognize feints. Though, it was really just for staff against staff, he had minimal experience against other weapons. In that particular situation, though, a spear and a staff were effectively the same. Then, William’s opponent started a series of thrusting attacks and sweeps with the tip of the “spear”. Some were strong, and some were weak. William needed to use a larger amount of ki to get the speed and strength required to deflect the strong attacks. Meanwhile, if he failed to recognize the weaker ones for the feints they were, he could waste energy. Then, the battle shifted, with William starting to make attacks. He used a similar strategy, forcing his opponent to read his moves. However, William also increased the amount of ki he was using at sudden moments. His opponent started to be more and more on the defensive, until he finally failed to block a strike to his side, which cracked against his ribs. It wasn’t a serious injury, but he surrendered, looking rather haggard.
After the battle, William returned to restoring his ki, and thought about the battle. If he both similar body strength and ki, William knew he could have won that battle on skill. However, his body strength was lower. Yet his opponent had completed three minor breakthroughs, like Yu Chao. William had exhausted his opponent, but still had at least half of his ki available. This gave him some actual experimental data. However, watching the other matches, William knew that he would have more trouble against those who didn’t rely just on physical forms and enhancing their attacks with pure ki. Although he could deal with fireballs and even lightning bolts used by wizards, there was more warning time with them. As such, he wasn’t as confident with his ability to deal with similar effects made with ki. He knew he could deflect or block them with ki, but he would use more energy than the opponent. It would be better to learn to anticipate such moves and avoid them, or at least mostly avoid them. Of course, William knew that not all combats could or would go optimally, so he wouldn’t always have a choice.
Interestingly enough, William’s next opponent used fire techniques. William had only started learning the basics of creating and controlling “elemental” ki. However, from his understanding, using fire with ki placed more emphasis on creating fire than igniting the oxygen in the air. However, William didn’t know for sure what it really did. However, ki could block any kind of energy, be it heat or kinetic energy from a weapon. In this case, William had to do both. His opponent wielded a sword, but also coated it in firey ki, which continued along the trail of the sword and toward him. This meant William had to dodge more than just the weapon itself, and do more than just block it, since the fire would continue on regardless. As the battle went on, William found that more often than not, he just had to take the hits of the fire with his defensive ki. This meant he was using up energy rapidly, and he was starting to get worried. However, his opponent still tired first. William was beginning to understand that his ki reserves were significant… at least for his age range.
Somehow, William made it through the next few rounds of combat, even though each round had slightly less time to rest in between, because there were less matches. However, this also meant his opponents had less time to rest, so he continued on. Somehow, he was in the final match. Nobody believed what was happening. His opponent was the twelve year old girl he saw in the first match. He himself was an eight year old boy. None of the fourteen year olds had even made it this far. So, the final match was to be a girl against a little boy. William thought he should really learn the name of his opponent, since she was apparently quite exceptional. “Yu Huan versus Yu Hui’Lam!” Ah, there it was.