Little note: No matter when you cancel whirling it will always do 3 hits. The only time it does 2 is if you are too close to your opponent, the last hit is at maximum distance and the first two hits provide no knock-up and don't knock them into range of the third if they are too close.
Also, a perfectly canceled whirling sword will not move you from your current alignment. As with auto-step, a perfect execution means only the side step occurred with no time for the dash to come into play. That said, when you get to the point that you can cancel easy enough, you can slow your execution down willingly to add that extra move to the right to realign yourself if the enemy is off-center. Windmill is also good for realignment on a poor execution of the cancel.
"There once was a boy who dreamed of being a hero. Who believed sincerely in the battle to banish darkness from a world of light... but light and darkness are equal... and where one exists so too must the other... and when the boy finally realized this he had taken the first step toward being a true hero."