There were a few days of waiting at the location the Fourth Eye Seers had declared would be the most generally significant place to wait for the Bicentennial Conflux. During that time Barrett was approached by a young man- no, he was about the same age as Barrett, which made him solidly a man. It was just that among cultivators they were still considered quite young at less than thirty years old. “Greetings, you are Barrett Ravenhall, correct?”
Barrett nodded, “I am. Who might you be?”
“Myself? I am Einar Hale,” the man nodded. “I have sought you out because I have a divination that concerns you.”
Barrett closed his eyes for a few moments. He’d heard some things about the offered divinations from Fourth Eye Seers. They weren’t wrong… but they didn’t necessarily help to know them. “Do I want to hear it?”
Einar laughed, “That sort of question no divination can answer. I can say it concerns the near future- events occurring within several days.”
Barrett shrugged. At least he wouldn’t spend a decade waiting like Master Hykel had. “Alright. Tell me.”
Einar’s eyes glowed bright white, and as they did the rest of his face faded from view. Two more eyes appeared on his face, as if his original eyes had been rotated a quarter turn around their center, taking the place of his forehead and approximately his nose. Though Barrett couldn’t see his mouth, he spoke. As he did so, Barrett felt that the sound slipped through the air in such a way that he alone would hear it. His voice distorted, echoing inside Barrett’s head. “In the coming days, a long time friend will face mortal danger. Only quickness of action on your part will allow them a chance to survive, but it will come at a great sacrifice to yourself.” The two additional eyes faded from his face, then the glow on his normal eyes lessened as his facial features returned. His expression returned to a neutral state.
After that, Barrett actually sighed. “Yeah, I don’t think I wanted to hear that.”
“Too late.” Einar nodded his head, then turned to leave. “You already did.”
It was indeed too late, and Barrett hated it. He didn’t really know what to do with the information. In fact, a question about divinations always existed- did knowing it change the future? Some diviners said yes, some said no… the Fourth Eye Seers refused to comment on that particular topic.
Now that he knew, he had to figure out what it meant. Who was it about? The first to come to mind was Reina, but there were others here he had known for more than half his life. That even included Master Hykel, though Barrett had no idea how he would be able to assist him. What did quickness of action mean? Did he have to go warn them right now? He didn’t see how that would come with great personal sacrifice, however. What even was great sacrifice? An arm? A leg? Both? If that was it, he could grow those back… which possibly meant it would be something else. Maybe his life. Barrett didn’t like that thought at all. Might he choose to die for a friend? Certainly… but he would rather choose to save them without anyone dying. That brought up something else- what was a chance at survival? How much? Barrett sighed deeply.
Master Hykel approached Barrett. “Divination troubles? I saw you get approached…” he shook his head, “I don’t know if I want to hear what it is… but I can at least sympathize. Sometimes, you hear things you don’t want to.”
“I… don’t know what to do,” Barrett shook his head.
“The thing is, nobody really does.” Master Hykel shrugged, “Not just with prophecies, but in general. Outside of very simple things, people just make choices and get stuck with them. The important thing is to follow your heart,” Master Hykel poked Barrett in the chest. “If you later think your heart was wrong, then you can have a change of heart later. Though of course hearts don’t actually do any thinking so maybe your brain would be a better thing to listen to.”
“Yeah, I get it…” Barrett nodded, “It’s just sitting around waiting for-”
Fortunately, he didn’t have to do any more of that. The ground started rumbling, and the top layer of sand started crawling down the dunes. Barrett suddenly could feel it. Energy- of all types- locked up deep underground but now springing to the surface. Mana suddenly suffused the atmosphere, and his vision was obscured by sand and light. He could just barely see Master Hykel a few steps away. Master Hykel laughed in good cheer. “Well, seems like it’s time to start. I may not be able to stay with you- I can’t help just you. So if I do have to go, good luck.”
“I don’t know if that will help…” Barrett would have said more, but at that moment he felt energy rushing through him. He couldn’t control it, and could barely even control his own berserk energy. Then the sand beneath his feet split apart, forming a toothy maw that snapped towards him to bite him. Barrett threw his arms out to the side, grabbing between the many teeth. He had been worried he couldn’t stop the thing made out of sand… but if he really couldn’t touch it, he supposed its teeth wouldn’t have been sharp. Barrett kicked out at one side, controlling his berserk energy as much as he could. His leg connected and the entire figure split apart.
Beyond where his eyes could see, Barrett could vaguely sense through the sea of energy that various other things were coming out of the sand- toothy maws like had attacked him, giant creatures that separated from the desert below, and swirling dust devils that were suffused with berserk energy as well as energy seemingly entirely made out of sharpness. Even as all the chaos broke out, Barrett felt that the barrier preventing him from reaching fourth tier was lessening… but he couldn’t exactly try to break through at the moment even if it finished. A slicing sand dust devil was making its way towards him even as he tried to take stock of the situation.