Inside his body, Barrett surveyed the damage. The bleeding had stopped, so he wasn’t in any danger, but he was actually more injured than anticipated. First and foremost was the damage to his sternum and the ribs around it. There was a large hole where the spearhead had pierced his chest, and a half dozen ribs around had been broken as well. While he could easily recover from broken bones, missing bone was another things entirely. Of course, most of the muscles on the chest were anchored to the ribcage in some way, and there was damage to them beyond just being separated.
Inside his chest, things were more or less as anticipated. He’d squished his lungs and heart over to the side as the stab had come, leaving plenty of room for the spear to pierce through without hitting them. Of course, organs weren’t meant to change shape and berserk energy radiating off of the spear had caused some damage still… but overall the internal organs were fine. Barrett had also moved his spine… but the spear had grazed the bones there and caused damage to rear ribs as well. He hadn’t been perfect with that motion either, so he thought he might have broken some of the ribs himself as he moved the spine. Even so, that would be healed soon enough.
At the rate Barrett healed, the single day he had to recover was approximately equivalent to a year. That would allow him to recover the broken bones and slight damage to his organs, as well as the other wounds throughout his body from the rest of the fight. He could slightly speed up the process by using Pure Body Tempering, but with so many wounds there wouldn’t be much free healing potential to draw upon for the first few hours. Then, most of Barrett would be recovered… but his chest would still have many issues.
As he stepped into the arena the next day, Barrett was happy to have magic bandages among other things. The bandages wrapped his chest tight and everything was held in place by his breastplate. His ribs had healed… with the exception of the two directly adjacent to the part of his sternum that was still missing. Regrowing huge chunks of bone took time and nutrients, and Barrett had been unable to eat for most of the day. He’d remembered to move his windpipe along with his lungs, but he’d forgotten his esophagus, which had fortunately just been split, and it had been stitched back together just fine… though it took time to heal.
Barrett’s armor had been repaired quickly- the Immortal Berserker Sect had some of their personnel on standby for such things during the tournament. Fortunately magic made it possible to fix a massive hole instead of requiring getting new armor. While normal smiths could close up a hole with enough work, it wouldn’t be as strong as before.
Stepping up onto the arena, Barrett looked over his opponent. He was a mage wearing plain white clothes without any distinctive markings. From the information given before the match and some research, he had learned they were a rare sort of mage- a light mage. Light mages used light, obviously. The way they did so was either illusions or more rarely… to attack. Using light to attack was generally weaker, with one significant advantage. It wasn’t possible to dodge- or rather, it reached from its point of attack to its final points instantaneously.
As the battle started, Barrett moved forward cautiously. Or rather, he tried to appear that way instead of letting on that he didn’t want to move violently so that he could avoid worsening the wounds on his chest. It would probably happen at some point during the battle, but he preferred to wait until it was necessary.
The first thing Barrett saw of the attack was nothing- or rather, that he could see nothing. Light around him had disappeared entirely. He had enough of a sense of mana to feel more being gathered to attack him. He prepared to dodge- while he couldn’t avoid getting touched by light, it wouldn’t damage him all at once and aim could be thrown off.
Suddenly, there was a flash of light. Barrett perhaps should have expected the move, but he hadn’t exactly fought any light mages before. The sudden change from darkness to light overwhelmed his eyes, and while they wouldn’t take any permanent damage, he found himself blind. More blind than the darkness? Not really, but now his opponent didn’t have to actively control his blindness.
At that moment, Barrett sensed killing intent. He’d sensed something before the flash, but it had been so broad as to give him no time to react. Now he felt something coming for his eyes in particular. He squeezed his eyes shut tight just in time to feel heat on his eyelids. It wasn’t fire, but it was much the same. Barrett threw his left arm in front of his face, the motion very uncomfortable in his unhealed chest. With his armored limb blocking, the attack stopped for a moment before changing targets. Barrett only had a tiny sliver of time between one place being attacked and the next- and in the next instant his left armpit was being burned. There was no direct line from where the mage had been to there… but there was no reason they couldn’t control light to turn.
The mage was doing their best to hide their presence by concealing the flow of their mana, but Barrett could still track their approximate location through feeling back the killing intent… and through hearing. Barrett tossed his axe- it wasn’t designed for throwing, but since it was either that or just drop it, throwing it was better. Perhaps in a real battle he would prefer to properly stow it, but here it gave him an opening to attack with lead balls.
His counterattack threw off the enemy mage, and the man’s accuracy with his attack lessened. Barrett moved, ignoring the tearing feeling in his chest. He continued throwing lead balls on the way, berserk energy exploding out towards the mage. He was either extremely proficient at dodging or had some sort of magical shield- Barrett couldn’t see, and his hearing wasn’t good enough to detect the man’s exact motion. In regards to that, he suddenly felt heat in his ears. His opponent was trying to destroy his hearing- a good move, but regardless of the fact that Barrett hadn’t faced light magic before, his body was quite resistant to heat. By twisting and turning his head, he made it so the heat couldn’t build up quickly enough to deal any damage.
He was rushing towards the mage, nearly having reached him, when he leaped towards the light mage with a kick. At the same moment, he used magic to move the stone of the arena to grab the man’s feet. His opponent could clearly sense his mana and avoided being caught, dodging out of Barrett’s attack trajectory as well… except Barrett changed his weight distribution in the air. His trajectory slightly changed, and his forward kick turned into a side swipe. Barrett’s kick connected and he felt that the mage indeed had a magical shield- it slowed the attack down slightly as it shattered, and then the arena’s restrictions stopped the blow from connecting and destroying the man’s entire ribcage.