Wizard! Chapter 86
William stepped out into the arena against his opponent, Yu Huan. She wielded a light sword, and used wind ki. That meant she would be fast. Applying wind ki to a weapon would allow it to have reduced air friction. Air friction wasn’t usually a major factor in the speed of an attack, but it became more significant the faster the attack was. Thus, as long as one could reach a certain level of speed, wind ki would help further increase the speed, more than other types could. William hadn’t seen her obtain that level of speed yet in the tournament… but she also hadn’t needed to.
The battle started, and Yu Huan moved forward aggressively, stabbing at William. He didn’t have time to think of a better method, so he countered by intentionally colliding his staff with her weapon as hard as he could. Her arm knocked back, but soon was swinging toward him again. William had to do his best to keep up. This was the last battle in the tournament, and it was obvious to William that she had indeed still been holding back. She had the kind of speed that needed wind ki to allow it to go even faster. William was constantly coating his staff in more ki, as each deflection and collision consumed some of it. Her attacks came quickly, but also not just from the same direction. She moved around him as she attacked, in a somewhat unpredictable manner. This required William to move, block, and deflect as fast as he could.
He was completely unable to get in a good counter or disarming move, but occasionally he would follow a deflection up by continuing his movement, and attacking with the other end of the staff. This at least forced her to back off slightly. Then, the moment came. William could feel her gathering a large amount of ki. Her attack came, and William also gathered almost everything he had to deflect the attack, everything he wasn’t using to defend his body. His attack collided, and her light sword shattered. However, it shouldn’t have. William was confused. It wasn’t a feint, but the sword had broken. He then felt a lifting sensation. Before he could react, he was out of the arena, though just barely.
William landed on his feet, then looked around to get his bearings. He was definitely out of the arena. He looked at Yu Huan’s position. She was not far inside the arena. He hadn’t realized that he had been forced to move that close to the edge. The attack with her sword hadn’t exactly been a feint, but it also wasn’t exactly not a feint. If he had let it, the sword would have reached his neck. However, its true purpose was to distract him from the fact that she was using most of the wind ki she had gathered to push him out of the arena. She looked rather tired, whereas William could have kept fighting longer. However, given the parameters of the match, she had won, which was really all that mattered. William respected her for that, and bowed.
“Winner, Yu Huan!”
There were many different reactions to the end of the tournament. Many looked surprised, and many looked unhappy. Those who were unhappy would likely also have been unhappy if William won. It was a disfavored boy, or a more favored girl, so some people would inevitably be unhappy, especially since those they wanted to win didn’t. However, many people also cheered, at least maintaining the correct bearing one should have at the end of a tournament.
However, it wasn’t too long before the next tournament, those about fourteen to twenty, started. This meant that people could stop thinking about William and Yu Huan, at least for the moment. All this meant was that William would have time to think of ways to leverage this to his advantage. Almost winning a tournament was pretty good for status, though not as good as winning.
The large form of Yu Xiao, one of the elders in charge of training, came over towards William. He was slightly smiling, but he also looked over William closely. He frowned slightly. “No breakthroughs?”
William raised an eyebrow. “Isn’t that kind of rude to ask? Well, for almost anyone else, I’d just ignore them. You can look closer if you want to.”
An interesting feeling came over William. As if something or someone were trying to look through him. Which Yu Xiao was, trying to peer into William’s spiritual sea. William felt he could have tried to block him, but he could tell it wasn’t dangerous. It really was just observation. Yu Xiao’s expression changed to a slightly confused one, then returned to neutral. “I see. That’s certainly interesting.”
William just smiled. He knew Yu Xiao was really just curious. However, if it were anyone else, he wouldn’t have let them see his full strength. William had no doubt that many or all of the elders still could, but it would require much more effort if he put up any resistance, and they may not be able to interpret what they saw. William wasn’t really sure, since he was still rather new to training in ki.
After that, William sought out Yu Huan. He saw that there were several people around her congratulating her. One was, William was almost certain, her mother. The other was their shared father. After congratulating her, William’s father actually came over to him. “Good job.” That was all he said, and then he left. Perhaps if William were just experiencing his first life, and desperate for fatherly attention, that would mean more to him. However, he wasn’t. Still, it had at least sounded sincere, if terse.
Yu Huan was now alone. William went up to her. “Congratulations on your win.”
“Hmph.” She frowned. “Come to remind me that I almost lost to an eight year old?”
“Not particularly. I think winning according to whatever parameters are available is a sign of intelligence. Besides, I should remind you that quite a few people lost to an eight year old today, and you didn’t.” William wanted to be friends with her, or at least not enemies. He could see her going somewhere in this family, and he could use her support.
She loosened up a little. “You… don’t sound like you’re eight.” She tilted her head to the side. “Are you just short?”
William wasn’t sure how the conversation suddenly went that direction. “I’m really eight.” In terms of body, anyway.
“Eh, how embarrassing. I’ve been training ki for two years and nearly lost to someone who just started.”
“I have trained ki for two years as well.” William paused to think for a moment. “Besides, the only thing I did was break your sword. I never even touched you. I just have more stamina due to the cultivation technique I train in.” William wasn’t entirely sure if that was true, or if it was something else. However, he also had an advantage in starting position. More people arrived to congratulate Yu Huan, so William politely excused himself. He felt that their interaction had gone decently smoothly, however.