Wizard! Chapter 90
William wasn’t exactly sure what he should do. He had been prepared to run away moments before, but now he didn’t seem to have a reason to run. William wasn’t sure exactly how strong Master Dong Xin was, but that was the reason why he was confident he could defeat the Song clan elder, and even Yu Chao’s father, at the same time if it came down to it. Beyond that, William didn’t know. Not that he had long to think about that.
The elder from the Song clan was indignant that his attack had been blocked. “A filthy beggar dares interfere with the Song clan? Hmph!” He drew a sword he had attached to his waist. Then, he took a swing at Dong Xin. William didn’t see exactly what happened, but he knew Dong Xin performed a move known as “snake climbing a tree”. William wasn’t sure what he would have called it, but it would have been shorter. The name wasn’t particularly wrong though. The staff seemed to bend around the Song clan elder’s arm, until it looked like it was curling around it. Of course, this was just what it looked like, because it wasn’t really something that could be seen. There were two snapping sounds, and something like a popping. The second snap was an elbow being broken, wheeras the popping was a shoulder being dislocated. The first sound… was a wrist breaking, William determined. That wasn’t technically part of the move, but it seems that Master Dong Xin had decided to do that “on the way”, since he was moving. At least, it looked that casual, to William.
The Song clan elder had a look of shock for a moment, before crying out incomprehensibly. Master Dong Xin shook his head. “It’s bad enough that your clan’s juniors attack those much younger than them, but an elder getting involved? Ridiculous. Why don’t you tell your juniors to grow a pair and suck up their losses instead of crying like little babies. Also, avoid such shameless conduct in the future, or I’ll break your other arm and all three of your legs.” The Song clan elder backed away a few steps, then took off running, leaving his sword behind. Dong Xin turned towards William. “That was funny kid. I must say you definitely have a pair, or maybe two. Thought you were smarter, though.” William opened his mouth, at first to justify his action, and then with the intent to shout a warning. However, Dong Xin thrust his staff by his side, straight behind him. Then he turned around to the stunned face of Yu Chao’s father. “Tsk tsk, sneak attacks? And poorly executed ones at that! The Yu clan used to be something, but it seems you are falling apart. Maybe I should talk to Grand Elder Jian about it.” The face of Yu Chao’s father paled, but William wasn’t sure why. He hadn’t heard of a Grand Elder Jian. Obviously, if he was a Grand Elder, he would be very important, but his name hadn’t come up in anything William had seen or heard. Dong Xin watched as a second person hobbled away. “Well kid, perhaps I’d better escort you back to your clan.”
William nodded. “I would appreciate that. Um… who is Grand Elder Jian?”
“Who is Grand Elder Jian? A man doesn’t do much for a dozen years and people just forget who he is?”
“I’m eight,” William interjected pointedly.
“Yeah yeah, I know. The point is, you said your father was Yu Yun, right?” William paused for a few moments, thinking. He hadn’t really heard or had reason to use that name often. Then, he nodded. “Then, Yu Jian is your grandfather.”
William stopped walking. “What? I have… a grandfather?”
Dong Xin sighed. “Of course you have a grandfather, kid. Everyone has a grandfather. Don’t you know how that kind of stuff works?”
William frowned. “Yes, I know how that works, I just didn’t know I had a living grandfather. He was never mentioned.”
“Well, he never really got along with your dad, so maybe he would avoid mentioning him.”
William shrugged. “I never really talked with my father, so I wouldn’t know.”
“What? Who raised you, kid?”
“Big Sister.” William said, as if it were the most obvious thing in the world. Not that he’d needed anything more than help getting food and mobility when he was barely born. After that, he could have taken care of himself.
“Hmm, if I recall correctly, wasn’t your sister six when you were born?”
William nodded. “She’s very smart. She taught me to speak and read.” William had barely realized it before, but upon thinking about it, it really was quite impressive that she had been good enough at reading to teach him at such a young age.
“You’re a weird kid.” William shrugged at that comment. He couldn’t say it was incorrect.
After they had walked a bit further along, William had a thought. He couldn’t help but bring it up right at that moment. “Hey, Master, do you believe the Demon King is real?”
“What, like a twelve foot tall monstrous demon general that breathes fire like a dragon? Stupid stories.” He paused for a moment. “That said, nobody can gather armies of that size without something special. The armies and wars were certainly real. So there is certainly something to this ‘Demon King’ thing.”
“How about reincarnation?”
Dong Xin shrugged. “There’s basically no way to know, unless you experience it yourself. Anybody else, and they could be crazy or just making up stories.”
William nodded. “Speaking of stories, I have one that involves both the Demon King and William Stevenson.”
“Pfft, some story that is, he was born after the last one, I think, and there hasn’t been one for… a while.”
William nodded. “That is correct. In fact, it has been a bit more than a cycle since William Stevenson’s death, and about fifty years before that.” William grinned mischievously. “Did you know there’s a special connection between the Demon King and cycles? In fact, according to my source, William Stevenson studied the Demon King incidents in detail. He came to the conclusion that the Demon King reincarnated, and always appeared again between one and two cycles.” William shrugged, as if it were unimportant. “Just an interesting story to think about.”
“What? How… accurate is that?”
“It’s completely accurate. Not that I can show you. I haven’t managed to find a good historical library around here to find the dates again, and I don’t remember what they were.” William realized what he had just said, and continued, “I don’t remember those details from my source.”
William didn’t see it, but Dong Xin looked down at him, with a face that couldn’t hide his suspicions that William was more than just a strange kid.