Wizard! Chapter 87
William had a variety of work to do in the days following his participation in the tournament. He was hoping to pick up some prestige and allies, though he was not sure how well he did on that front. At least he was pretty sure that some opinions of him were now neutral where they had before been negative, so that was good. However, several of his uncles’ opinions of him seemed to have worsened. Some of them may have had their children defeated by them, which was a loss of face. He assumed at least one of them was also involved in entering him in the tournament to begin with, since it wasn’t an accident. For example, Yu Chao’s father would be a prime candidate for such, though he couldn’t have guaranteed they would fight.
One other thing that came out of his participation in the tournament was that William no longer had to hide, nor could hide, the fact that he could use ki. This was bad because now he was exposed, but it was good because he no longer had to worry about it. He could also openly go to the technique library, instead of just early in the morning, which would be slightly helpful. It wouldn’t particularly change his habits of going when it was more empty, though.
On a related note, however, more of William’s secrets were exposed than he thought would be. He wasn’t sure it would matter, but he heard rumors that he had only achieved his level of strength since he practiced a dangerous cultivation technique, Rotational Soul Pressure. This was both correct and incorrect. William had been using it for quite some time now, and he could tell it was only dangerous if pushed beyond its limits, as it specifically instructed not to do. In addition, unlike what the rumors said, it was not a temporary boost in strength, but would provide a lasting benefit when he finally changed to another technique, or even if he chose to practice both. William expected to reach the limit at any time, so he had been browsing various cultivation techniques, looking for something that would suit him. He found he liked those that were not focused on one element, for they would allow him flexibility. He also both liked and hated those that had “soul” in the name, since he liked the idea of soul related things, but doubted that most of them truly connected to the soul. In the end, though, William had still yet to choose his next step.
In terms of offensive techniques, William had only learned what Master Dong Xin had taught him. Other than that, he had learned techniques for general manipulation of ki, as well as starting on general conversion of ki into different elements. Though, William wondered if he was actually turning his ki into element elements, or could only really only create heat, force in the air, cold (or condense water out of the air), or move electrons around. William did have to admit that fire and cold were just adjusting kinetic energy, just in an area instead of on a weapon or a person as an attack or armor. Maybe that was as far as it could go, but there seemed like there was a bit more to it than that. What bothered William was that he could create fire without understanding exactly what he was doing. He felt like it would be better if he really knew what the inner workings were, but for now all he could do was follow a process to get results.
William still went out to train with Master Dong Xin, since he still had much to learn about using the staff, and even what he had learned wasn’t perfected yet. “Recently, I was entered into the family tournament for the lowest age range.”
“Oh, did you win?”
William shook his head. “I made it to the final round, but didn’t win.” While they were talking, he was also doing exercises. Sometimes, Master Dong Xin would correct his form.
“Why not?” Master Dong Xin asked, as if William should have been expected to win even though he was much younger.
“Probably carelessness. It wasn’t like I held back, but I wasn’t ready to just be… blown out of the arena. I also let my movements get controlled by the opponent.”
“Oh?” Master Dong Xin shook his head. “Sloppy… is what I would say, but I’ve been the one training you. You’re not bad. Your opponent must have been pretty decent.”
William nodded. “It seems like she was hiding her abilities until this year.” William practiced a few more stances. “I could beat her with a second try, except that she seems like the type to come up with a new technique.” Like Lila, William thought. William considered whether Yu Huan could be Lila. The answer was “yes, possibly” but also “probably not”. William knew other people reincarnated here, in fact everyone seemed to. However, retaining memories was a different thing. There were reincarnators from other worlds, and the Demon King. Other than that, William had no evidence of people from this world reincarnating with their memories, but then again, he had no way to search them out. At least, it wasn’t an extremely common thing, so it would have been too much of a coincidence that it would have happened with Lila, and she would have been born near him, in both a physical and temporal sense. Still, it could happen.
On the subject of the Demon King, however, William hadn’t previously considered the possibility that he was from another world originally. Perhaps he was, but he hadn’t seemed to bring any particular technological advancements. The demoness had almost called him stupid, but she seemed to have high standards for intelligence, so William couldn’t say what that meant. If William knew what caused people to retain their memories, he would have an easier time of figuring it out, but it may not have even mattered. He still had to be stopped either way.
Since William had gotten second place in the tournament for the lowest age range, he was told he was now allowed to go out in public with the symbol of the family on his clothes. What that meant however, was that if he was out in public he needed to have the symbol on his clothes, and then do a good job of representing the family. William thought it was rather bothersome, since some people would likely take any chances they could to say that he had poorly represented the family, but he couldn’t do much about it. This was somewhat troublesome in other ways as well. William was walking through the streets back toward the entrance of the clan grounds, when he noticed two kids. Young men, maybe. At least, they were older than him, perhaps fourteen. William recognized their insignias as from the Song clan, who currently had a rivalry going with the Yu clan. That hadn’t been a problem before, but now he was wearing the symbol of the Yu clan, and they had also seen him. William sighed.
The two of them walked up to him. One of them spoke, “I can’t believe you can walk around with your head up wearing that clan symbol. I hear that a twelve year old girl won your clan’s younger tournament bracket. Seems the Yu clan is nothing much to speak of.”
William sighed again. “Are you sure you want to do this in public? There’s a nice alley over there…”
The two looked at him, then at each other, confused. “What?”
William shook his head, and sighed for a third time. He really wanted to be less in the public eye, but it seemed he wasn’t going to have much choice.