The healers were auxiliary members of the Immortal Berserker Sect- those skilled in medicine and magic even if they didn’t actually train in the Immortal Berserker Style. They looked over Barrett carefully.
One of them shook his head, “There isn’t much we can do about this. We aren’t curse specialists, so trying to remove it could damage you instead. The effects of the actual poison are recovering just fine, however. There are also not many specialized in curses in Stredo- necromancy is closely related to many curses, and much of that is forbidden… Whatever you are doing to fight it off seems to be working, if you can keep it up. We can search for someone to help, but finding someone we can trust to deal with something that closely entangled with your life force will be difficult. It may take several days to contact the right people.”
Barrett grimaced, “I understand.”
Mistress Abels arrived, “I heard what happened… if I had known they were lying in wait for you I would have stayed… Why were you not out ahead? You should have been the second one.”
“Ah… can you get Master Hykel? I’d like to include him too.”
Mistress Abels shook her head, “That’s not possible at the moment, unless it’s an emergency he can help with… but unless something needs to be chopped apart with an axe…”
Barrett shook his head, “I just wanted to include him.” Barrett started digging around in his bag, “Is he on a special mission or…?”
“He’s breaking through to sixth tier. It might take some time, since it needs to be done just right.”
“Ah… sixth tier… that… makes sense actually.” Barrett nodded to himself. Even if he’d become fifth tier after going to Etron to wait for a student with a True Immortal Body, that had been ten years… and then another six and some years training Barrett was about the expected time to advance, if he was able to. If he’d been in the Immortal Berserker Sect the whole time he would have likely already been able to do so. Barrett pulled out the box, “Well, instead of passing through the exit door, I fell down through the floor, where I was given this.” He handed the box to Mistress Abels.
“Is it safe to open?” Barrett nodded, and Mistress Abels looked inside. “Some sort of shrivelled peach? Given to you by… who?”
“Something like that,” Barrett shrugged, “The remnant spirit of the wind mage’s rival gave it to me.” Barrett skipped over the reason he was chosen instead continuing, “He said to grow it in fertile soil with lots of mana. Presumably it will have some benefit to earth magic user or something like that. I don’t think he remembered anymore.”
“I see,” Mistress Abels closed the box and moved to hand it back to Barrett.
Barrett held up a hand, “Actually, I was hoping the Immortal Berserker Sect could grow it. I certainly don’t have the skills to raise such a plant, and I’d have to rent land from the Sect anyway…”
“Ah… I suppose it is worth the effort to attempt it. Though ancient, I feel just the tiniest spark of life in the fruit. I can personally try to grow it, and if successful the fruit will be split between us. However, the best possibility of success would require the best land, and that would require sharing a part with the sect.”
Barrett shrugged, “That’s fine. I provide the seed, the sect provides the land, you grow it… splitting the results is fine. Assuming it’s successful.”
Mistress Abels nodded, “I will put my best effort into it… but it is hard to say what the best environment for it will be. However, the potential is worth the investment of time and effort. You could also try to grow it yourself…”
Barrett shook his head, “I can’t even feel the life in it, nor am I much of an earth mage or botanist. I suspect time might be important as well… and I’m currently a bit occupied…” Barrett grimaced as he internally fought the curse as it once again slipped out of his grasp.”
“Very well, we shall come up with an official arrangement.” Mistress Abels pulled out a pair of contact tokens, “The Immortal Berserker Sect appreciates you informing us about the opportunity in the Tornado Plains. Though we have not personally gained anything, except what you yourself gathered, it was a good use of a contact token. Our allies in the Order of the Four Winds will likely also be quite grateful for the opportunity. At least some of their members were selected to receive the wind mage’s legacy… though how helpful it is will have to be determined when they come out.”
“Ah, they’re still in there?” Barrett shook his head. It had only been a couple hours, far too fast to even barely cover an entire legacy. “Ah, of course.”
That night was truly unpleasant. Barrett couldn’t sleep for fear of never waking up again, since he had to fight off the curse at every moment. The best he did was slightly rest his mind and body in between attacks.
The next morning, Reina came to visit, smiling. “Nice place you found there. While it’s not perfectly suited for fighting with swords, there are a few insights into wind magic we can glean…” She frowned as she looked over Barrett, “What happened to you?”
Barrett laughed weakly, “I got cursed.” He explained the circumstances, how he’d received the seed and left later, then been ambushed. “I couldn’t even detect any killing intent… they were extremely skilled.”
Reina shook her head, “You sure have a knack for getting in trouble. Yet you always seem to turn it around. The tornado picked you up… then dropped you off at the wind mage’s trial. Well, the tornado was him anyway but… why was he targeting you in particular?”
Barrett shrugged, “Maybe he didn’t like how I looked. Actually…” Barrett frowned, “That’s possible. Maybe something about me reminded him of his rival. I never really talked to the tornado but once I did it let me go… and definitely not because I did a good job of being polite.”
“Right…” Reina shook her head, “So about that curse… have you seen Doctor Stieber? Shanta is around so he should be.”
“I haven’t, but he’s a doctor, not a curse specialist… right?”
“True. He might be able to help some though, and he’d definitely not make anything worse. It would be a waste not to ask.”
“Right…” Barrett nodded, “I’ll try to get in contact with him.”
“Good.” Reina stopped by the door as she was leaving, “And Barrett… try to avoid getting in crazy situations for a while, alright?”
He nodded, “I’ll try.”