Falling over into his bed sounded like the best possible course of action to Barrett, but he took the time to seek out Kail first. After all, the last time they’d seen each other they had been separated by a great worm.
Having learned where Kail was staying from Master Hykel, Barrett went to knock on his door. It was possible he was out exploring the Sect, but Barrett got a quick response. “Yes, who is it?” Kail opened the door, then stared slack-jawed. “Barrett?” He heaved a huge sigh of relief. “So it really is true you survived a volcano… I waited a whole day but didn’t see you…” Kail turned his face away.
Barrett smiled with what he currently had of his face, “It’s alright. Crying doesn’t make you any less of a man. You haven’t even really had a chance to mourn your clan, either.” For all of his strength, Kail was still a young man. No, a teenager. Barrett himself had cried after the loss of his family- as much as he could at the time, anyway. “How has your treatment been here?”
Kail took a moment, then leaned his head back. When he returned to facing Barrett, only slight traces of tears could be seen. “It has been excellent. I’ve only been here a week, but everyone has been inviting and helpful. Especially Master Hykel… and Master Alnherr.” Kail put on a crooked smile, “Somehow Master Alnherr figured out you started teaching me Pure Body Tempering… so I’ve been kept occupied.” Kail swallowed, “I didn’t expect you really would survive. I should have listened to them, huh?”
“I appreciate their confidence in me. They seemed more sure than I was at the time. It was much closer than I would have liked.”
“Are you going to be able to… heal… alright?”
Barrett grinned, “Now that won’t be a problem. Recovery is my specialty. I think I might start with my face though.”
Barrett received his reward from the mission for the Leipeka clan. He was glad he hadn’t received it immediately, because then he would have had nothing. Sure, Master Hykel was willing to spend money on him for anything he needed, but he would rather rely on his own contributions if he could.
The first thing Barrett bought were some bandages. Since he’d lost everything, Barrett should have probably started his purchases with weapons or armor, but he didn’t really spend much money on them. Magic bandages were not nearly so cheap as the single silver he had spent to get his first set, but they were also not a large investment on the scale of third tier budgets- even just one missions worth. The bandages themselves would barely help with his healing- going from over a hundred times normal healing speed to one more was insignificant, but Barrett wanted them for their ability to smoothly cover him. If he could get a kind that would last through a volcano or immersion in the Metal Sea, he might like that even more than a legendary axe.
There was a bonus payment from the Leipeka clan, and that was enough for him to get a new magic bag… and have it be extra-reinforced. It was apparently rated for up to third tier volcanos, as well as similar levels of damage from any other source. As for why he got that before weapons or armor… Barrett had grown used to fighting without them. His body was his weapon and his armor. Even if armor barely restricted his movements, it was still something. That said, he didn’t plan to go without entirely. Weapons were good for extending reach and applying force in particular ways, and there were certain types of light armor that were just like clothes. Well, they were clothes- made from various sorts of rare spider silk reinforced with magic. They were less effective than other armor of similar cost, but their semi-organic nature made it easier for it to self-repair… and thus the clothes would maintain their effectiveness over a long duration. Except for that and covering his arms and legs, they were still strictly worse than the armor he’d gotten from the old hag from the Silver Blade.
After a few days filled almost entirely with laying down and eating alternatively, Barrett was ready to go back to training. He couldn’t be said to be in top form, but if he always waited to be perfectly healthy he’d never get any training done.
It was a day that Master Alnherr was teaching. Barrett saw there were still not many participants, but the same faces were still around. Katja was there, and even Kail. Barrett even spotted Herman.
Herman wasn’t particularly fond of Barrett. He was missing an arm, but Barrett had a true immortal body and had grown one back. Doubtless it seemed unfair- and it probably was- but that was not Barrett fault. However, Barrett noticed something a bit different. He walked up to Herman, and squinted.
“What?” Herman glared back.
“Hmm… that’s great. You must have been spending a lot of time practicing. How long until you grow back the whole arm?” Barrett saw it had gained a little bit of distance from the shoulder. Since Master Alnherr had managed to grow back teeth… other things were certainly possible. There was also medicine that could accomplish it, but Barrett was almost certain it was ‘natural’.
“Oh. Well, it’s not guaranteed that I’ll succeed… and it will probably take years.”
“You’ll succeed. I’ve seen your determination. Good luck with the rest.
A few minutes later, Master Alnherr arrived. “Oh, Barrett! Good to see you back.” He grinned, widely. It wasn’t just a show of affection either.
“Wow. You really accelerated on that whole teeth thing, huh Master Alnherr? That’s great!” Master Alnherr had almost a full complement of teeth- and among them were some adult teeth as well.
“That’s right! Practice makes perfect. I have become convinced anything can be accomplished with Pure Body Tempering!”
“Right,” Barrett nodded. “So when are you going to be fifth tier, then?”
“Bah, I’m already far too old for that. Better to teach what I can now.”
Barrett crossed his arms, “But you could teach for another decade if you made it. Don’t tell me you’re going to give up? Is it… impossible?”
“Bah,” Alnherr flipped his head on which there was a surprising amount of hair, “I don’t have time to listen to the goading of a student who went away and missed months of training.” Alnherr stepped up to the front and clapped his hands, “Let’s start!”