Wizard! Chapter 95
Though William was looking forward to testing himself in the tournament, the person he most wanted to compete with would not be participating. Yu Huan, as the winner of the previous tournament, had the option to compete at the next level even though she was not in the right age range, and she took it.
As William competed in the tournament, he found himself evaluating the other candidates. This wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, but he did it more as if he weren’t even participating. Upon realizing this, he thought it was rather arrogant, but it was also almost impossible to avoid. He was, after all, mentally many times older than these children. It also turned out that he was stronger than all of them, but that didn’t meant he should just look down on them. After he realized what he was doing, he started taking the matches more seriously. This was fortunate for him, because one opponent employed a similar strategy to Yu Huan, attempting to knock him out of the ring. Fortunately, he was prepared, and managed to hold his ground.
William couldn’t help but wonder at how strange it was to be able to shift his own momentum without touching anything, and even though he understood what ki was capable of, he was still somewhat fuzzy on how it worked. Did it change fundamental particles from one kind to another, or merely activate or empower those that were wanted? In terms of elemental attacks, it merely had to change real chemical elements into different ones, which just involved rearranging protons, neutrons, and electrons, and possibly picking up or throwing away a few neutrons. It may not have worked like that at all, but William felt that was one way it could work. As for changing momentum, it was somewhat fuzzier, as he didn’t know what exactly could cause it. Perhaps he only increased mass… that would slow him down, if energy or momentum was conserved. William decided he wasn’t directly affecting momentum at all, just mass. Then, he realized that he had won the tournament. Although he could, with effort, stop himself from thinking too highly of himself, he could not in any way stop his mind from wandering. Fortunately, his thoughts were also connected to the current situation, where he semi-consciously kept fighting. Perhaps it was a so-called state of enlightenment, but William suspected true enlightenment was more than just getting distracted by interesting thoughts.
William was happy to win the tournament, but not overly so. Though his body was young, he still had three years of real ki training, similar to all of the rest of the participants. Plus, he had some level of unconscious training in ki, though he wasn’t sure what this amounted to. It wasn’t impressive in amount accumulated, but it certainly made his three years of training much more efficient. Thus, William had to keep telling himself not to get too arrogant, since he knew he wasn’t invincible, and also wouldn’t necessarily be involved with those near his age range.
After the younger tournament, he watched the next group, for approximately ages fourteen through eighteen. He paid special attention to Yu Huan’s matches, since he had actually fought her, and thus had something to compare to. Her movements were quite impressive, and William could she that she had definitely improved. Her speed, which was an important trait of hers, had gone up another level, and William was glad that his kinetic vision had improved or he may have had some trouble seeing her movements. After watching several matches, her power had also improved. Last year’s William would certainly have lost a match, perhaps even in brute force which had been his biggest advantage. This year… he wasn’t so sure, because he didn’t know what she was hiding. In her fifth round, she lost, but only to an eighteen year old combatant, who went on to the semifinals. Thus, she gained significant amounts of glory for herself. After all, she had defeated several people older than her, and not by an insignificant margin.
William went up to speak to her, but she spoke before he could greet her. “Well well, if it isn’t the favorite little grandson of Grand Elder Jian. Nice of you to come see me.”
“I do believe he is also your grandfather, is he not? He seems to spend not insignificant amounts of time doting on you, as well.”
She grinned slightly, which William took as a good sign. “Perhaps, but you’re definitely the favorite, grandsons and granddaughters all included.”
William looked around and shrugged, then said conspiratorially, “I won’t deny I’m definitely the favorite grandson… but there aren’t any other particularly resplendent options. However, I might argue that he likes two of his granddaughters more than me… but we could go back and forth all day. I came here for a reason. We should spar sometime.”
“Why, so you can figure out some advantage to have over me at the next tournament?”
William shrugged. “I’d say I’ve seen more of what you can do today than you have seen of me, so it would probably be more beneficial to you. It is your choice, however, I just want you to know that the offer is there.”
“Well, I’ll let you know if I ever want to spar against a little kid.” Though she said that, William didn’t feel insulted at all. She was talking with him rather normally, and she basically ignored those younger than her. Her tone of voice also didn’t radiate any kind of hostility, though she really did seem somewhat concerned that he would learn more from their sparring than she would. William had noticed that strength seemed important to her. As for why… he could also guess at that. Being a woman in this culture, it was hard to take control of her own destiny, unless she had strength. There wasn’t much William could do, but he found that Yu Jian was at least somewhat in support of women controlling their own destiny. On the front of Big Sister Li, the talks about marriage had stalled almost indefinitely, and were somewhat fading. That made William relieved, but he wasn’t going to be so naive as to think that the current political situation in the clan would remain stable. Thus, he tried to keep himself prepared for anything, though that just really meant he didn’t have any idea what would happen.