Barrett was quite capable of performing two actions simultaneously. Throwing a punch or swinging a weapon while at the same time directing berserk energy was natural. However, directing two forms of rather complicated power wasn’t so easy. Directing berserk energy required him to maintain tight mental control or it would just do as it pleased, rampaging about. Likewise, anything involving Pure Body Tempering methods had its own difficulties. A lapse of control might just involve the strength or weight he was gathering from the rest of his body returning to where it was… but in some cases it might result in it getting “stuck”. If it was a contortion that the body wasn’t supposed to undergo, it could result in damage once he lost control. In training that wasn’t a big deal, but in combat it could be very problematic.
Barrett knew that he would get better at using the two things together with time. Practice could solve everything… the only question was what type of practice would work best. He could just keep trying things out, but if there were a better way to think about things he wanted to know it. Reina used two sorts of different powers, so he asked if she might provide some advice.
“Well… let’s see. For me, it helped to think of them like different limbs. I can move both my left arm and right arm at the same time to do different things, right? Though it’s more like one arm and one leg, because they’re different forces.” Reina was soon floating slightly above the ground. “Wind attribute energy extends out from me, making a sort of soft cushion. The reasons why this is useful don’t matter right now… just that energy extends from inside a person to outside of the person. It can even extend quite far away as long as there is a connection… but without the connection the energy does as is natural, scattering about to a state of equilibrium with the surroundings.” Reina waved her hand, causing wind to blow and leaves to swirl around them. “Magic uses mana, which is mostly outside the body. I just use a small bit of my own internal mana to control the outside mana. It can affect inside the body as well, but that is not its strong point. Meanwhile, I can cut off my control of it… and it will continue performing the designation action until it runs out of power or reaches the end of the prescribed action.” Reina held out her arms into the blowing leaves, “I have already given up control of this. If I wanted to stop it, I would have to exert more effort to cease its actions.” After a handful of seconds, the leaves started to settle down, with the wind only barely stirring them as the rolled along the ground, then fading into imperceptibility.
“I see the differences, but isn’t it still hard to control both at once?”
“It can be. They both still require mental action, but those mental actions don’t overlap entirely. As you train, you can work to develop all of the areas of control, and especially the part they both need. Of course, that would happen whether or not you know about it. The important part was learning to recognize how much mental control is actually needed.” Reina held out her hand. “If I were to make a fist…” she demonstrated, “Easy, right? I don’t have to think about folding each finger individually. In fact, that’s not even possible. The other fingers want to follow along.”
Barrett held up his hand and folded down each finger individually, keeping the others straight. “Actually, that’s not necessarily the case. But I understand the point. Sometimes, controlling the action as a whole is easier than trying to micromanage each part.”
“That’s right. Now, it might be something you aren’t used to, but each action can have that with the right training. Once you get it down to automatic actions, it’s not so hard to do two or more things at once.”
Barrett sat nearby contemplating on his own situation. He didn’t use energy and mana, but stamina and energy. However, the different ways they worked remained. He stored berserk energy in his body, and could extend it outside him. Mana was almost exclusively outside the body… while stamina worked entirely inside the body. It couldn’t be otherwise- if it was outside the body, then his body would be outside of his body, and that wouldn’t make a lick of sense.
In a way, Pure Body Tempering should have been the easiest- it was just controlling the person’s own body. It didn’t require hosting energy to control it or controlling mana outside of the body. Even so, Pure Body Tempering was the most difficult to get even simple results from. The reason for that was… the body fought it. The body had certain ways it liked to be- was supposed to be. Forcing it to act differently was obviously going to take effort. Especially when those changes required things it normally wouldn’t or couldn’t do.
Bones were hard, so beyond a small point bending them would cause them to break. Changing those properties should have been impossible. Well, without energy or mana. Maybe what was called stamina was just another one of those sorts of things. The only difference was it was intrinsically part of a person, even if they couldn’t control it consciously.
Barrett had studied the body extensively for the Immortal Berserker Style. Knowing the details of how the body worked was important. It worked a certain way, and could be trained through various methods to be tougher, stronger, more flexible… but that was still part of the normal method of things working. There was only so much individual parts could do, so much energy they had stored and how quickly they could heal. Then, Pure Body Tempering techniques made them worked differently, and broke those rules. Did that mean what he had learned was wrong? Barrett didn’t think so. It worked, and was correct for the most part. In fact, all of his knowledge was still correct regardless. The body worked a certain way- unless acted on by a force. Just like the wind blew a certain way, but wind mages could control it. Pure Body Tempering was just a poorly understood way of making things happen.