Wizard! Chapter 89
When William got back to the clan, he immediately went to several people he considered allies and explained the situation. None of them faulted him for his actions. They were, after all, a rival family. Though nobody seemed to care about the second part, they also started the fight. William thought that should be important, but it didn’t seem to matter as much.
The training instructor, Yu Xiao, just stroked his chin. “Both were fourteen?”
“Not bad.” He turned and almost proceeded to walk away, but before he left, he gave one piece of advice. “Don’t forget to keep some strength hidden at all times. You never know when you might need to be underestimated again.” Then, he finished walking out of sight.
When William went to see Big Sister Li and tell her, she couldn’t help but check him for injuries. “Are you sure you’re okay?”
William nodded. “I’m fine. I’m just telling you because it might matter. It’s possible that this will affect you, and also possible that you’ll be attacked if the Song clan knows our relation, or just that you’re from this family.” She nodded, but still looked worried for William. “I’ll be fine, it’s not like I’m not bad at fighting. As for talking… well, I’ve gotten a bit of practice, I guess.”
Elder Shaozu in the library pretended that he didn’t care, but William thought he saw a slight smile. “What? You want a reward or something?” He raised an eyebrow at William. “Then, I’ll allow you to check out a new scroll. If you return something first.” This, of course, wasn’t a reward in any way, just normal policy.
“What would you recommend?” William asked.
“Let’s see… Basic Combat Movements would be a good bet.”
William frowned. “I’ve already studied that one.”
Elder Shaozu looked down at him, not saying a word.”
“…but I’m sure it wouldn’t hurt to look it over again.”
After Elder Shaozu, William went to find Yu Huan, but she was nowhere to be found. Not that he knew where she would be anyway. It wasn’t like they were technically allies anyway, but William had thought he would take the opportunity to have a conversation at least.
Surprisingly, at least to William, nothing happened for the next few days. This was fine for him, because he could spend all his time training and studying. He decided not to leave the grounds for a time, however. He considered trying to get a message to Master Dong Xin, but since they really just trained whenever William showed up, he supposed it didn’t matter if he told him he wouldn’t be available for a few more days.
Then, there was one day where very few people were around, and an elder from the Song clan showed up. William was summoned to a room where the elder waited, along with an elder from the Yu clan. He thought it was perhaps Yu Chao’s father. That didn’t seem unlikely.
William couldn’t be bothered to listen to the exact words spoken. It was filled with pointless drivel. One of the few things of note was that Yu Chao’s father acted like the elder wasn’t from a rival family, and was his own best friend or brother. In addition, there were words like “fighting”, “disrespectful junior” and “shame” and “face” and “apology”. William tried really hard to listen, but all he could do was think of nobles coming to talk to him when he was an archmage, and how he wished he could throw them out of the window that was behind his chair. However, he never did, because the window was expensive… and also because he was slightly better at politics than that. William realized that the elders had stopped talking. He should respond somehow.
He looked around, finding there wasn’t much of anything in the way of witnesses here. Thus, he switched on his politest mode. “This junior is indeed very sorry for his actions. I offer my apologies.” He paused for a moment, thinking about something. Before he could speak, the elder from the Song clan spoke again.
“Of course you should be sorry for your shameless action! An apology alone will certainly not suffice.”
He looked like he was going to continue and suggest something in particular, but William had finished thinking. “Of course. However, a public apology would be the best place to start. Certainly, we can go out into town at this very moment? We can discuss anything else afterward.”
The elder was about to say something else, then just nodded. He couldn’t resist the idea of a public apology.
Thus, William shortly found himself in the same public square in the marketplace. “Everyone gather around, please. I have an announcement to make.” After a sufficient crowd had gathered, mostly to see why elders from two rival clans were walking together, William continued. “I am here today to make an apology, at the behest of the Yu Clan and the Song clan.” William took a deep breath, then projected his voice as loudly as he could, including some help from ki. “I apologize that I didn’t hold back as much as I should have, and trashed two members of the Song clan who were nearly twice my age, losing them face. I apologize that I didn’t just let them beat me up like a good little child, even though they were from a rival clan. I even apologize that a member of my own household had to get involved, because of a personal rivalry.” William turned to bow to the elders. “I trust I have given you two an appropriate amount of face?”
William could see the Song clan elder’s eye twitching, and Yu Chao’s father seemed to be ready to explode. However, William was prepared. He was ready for anything. Probably.
“Insolent junior!” The Song clan elder shouted, ironically throwing away more face at his reaction. At least, William thought he was. He didn’t really understand entirely how it worked, because it was so contradictory at times. However, he did know that attacking juniors was a huge loss of face… and yet the Song clan elder still chose to do so. However, William was prepared. A staff blocked the punch that was coming for William’s body. William looked at it in shock. He had been prepared… to run away very quickly. He wasn’t planning to fight an adult martial artist, or possibly two, on his own. However, it seemed he wouldn’t have to fight at all.
Dong Xin stood in front of William. “Old fart, you dare to attack my student?” William had to admit that it was somewhat less impressive with Dong Xin’s hobo-like attire, but he wasn’t going to mention that, on account of him being rescued. Though, he thought he should have been able to run away.