When he finally woke up a day later, Barrett was on the path to recovery. It was unfortunate that while the Immortal Berserker Technique allowed the healing of injuries at much accelerated rates, other bodily processes weren’t necessarily so fast. For example, Barrett wasn’t able to fight off poison at thousands of times the normal speed. Of course, with his body being trained as it was he would be much less affected and recover more quickly- but only a handful or a few tens of times what would be normal compared to thousands. Of course, there was a very important thing to consider with poison- whether one would recover at all, and whether there would be permanent damage.
Barrett was fortunate to have a True Immortal Body, which meant he didn’t need to consume medicines of various sorts to guarantee a full recovery. Medicines that would heal wounds that normally wouldn’t recover could set back cultivation, either directly or requiring time not spent cultivating for them to function properly. Barrett wasn’t sure how much difference it would make with Pure Body Tempering… but it was nice to recover without active input. Since he had recovered naturally, he was able to build up at least a partial immunity to the various toxins he’d experienced. Some likely couldn’t have an immunity to them- but at least he would be conscious of how to deal with them in the future.
He didn’t feel fully recovered after just a day- his wounds were healed, but his body was still weak and working on filtering out the last bits of everything. That would take time, and it was better to let his body do it naturally since he wasn’t in danger anymore. While that was happening, he would still train magic. Having another source of power in combat was very useful… which was the unfortunate thing about no longer being able to cultivate energy. While berserk energy wasn’t entirely beneficial, it added effectiveness onto a strong body and had reserves separate from stamina. That was why most people cultivated at least a small bit in several areas.
Barrett’s magic was currently at second tier. It was only because the stone pits responded so well to earth magic that he was able to use them effectively in battle. Because of how useful they were, he had somewhat been neglecting his training in other areas. He barely ever even thought about shifting the ground beneath people anymore. When he could do that a few times or attack with stone pits for an entire battle… it didn’t seem that useful. Of course, that all came down to timing.
Either way, practicing in more areas would increase his capabilities. While his body was rather weak at the moment, he could still use magic- though if he strained his magical abilities it would be a problem for his body. Everything connected to body and soul eventually. As for what he could do… the metal sea didn’t have traditional earth, but earth and metal were related. They just used different methods to control similar things. Barrett could control a rock with or without metal in it, whereas a metal cultivator could control only those things with high metal contents, preferably pure. From that perspective, it sounded like controlling metal was worse, but that wasn’t the case. Barrett would be much less efficient with trying to control something entirely metallic, and he couldn’t do anything advanced with it.
The Immortal Berserker Sect and the Fourth Eye Seers were planning to leave the area of the Metal Sea. He’d been carried while unconscious. Now he could walk- even in a ‘weakened’ state he was more than capable of that. He just wouldn’t be able to travel much faster than a normal person. As they moved along, Barrett lifted some of the metallic dirt into his hand. Metal cultivators could take advantage of its properties and magnetize it to stick together if they wished, or even form it into a solid shape that would stick together- assuming such was a possible form for the metal. Meanwhile, anything he did to the sand was temporary, fading as soon as he stopped using mana to control it.
Technically, there was nothing except experience stopping Barrett from controlling it the same way as metal cultivators. Metal and earth were related after all- it was just that specialization allowed for greater effectiveness. There were specializations even inside metal cultivation. Kaylani cultivated with energy and magic and used both to control metal weapons external to her- and anything metal an enemy had as well. She could likely control stone as well, but it would have less force behind it… and if one were to make a dagger out of stone, it would naturally be less able to hold an edge. Obsidian knives, for example, were extremely sharp but didn’t hold an edge at all, and could be easily shattered. Thus, they weren’t used unless enchanted. Meanwhile, enchantments on metal could go to things other than just structural stability- even greater sharpness, for example. Kaylani’s methods were one thing, but Kail’s were quite different. He controlled metal that he was touching directly- such as any weapon he held. He trained metal energy and was also a body temperer. He’d learned a touch of Pure Body Tempering from Barrett, but mostly trained his body to have a metallic constitution. In theory anyone could do that- but those from around the Metal Sea were naturally more suited to it, both from their ancestry and being raised near the Metal Sea. Kail used his energy to add momentum to his swings and toughen his armor to be even harder than metals of the type could normally be. Meanwhile, the Macaio clan was not so interested in the material strength of metals but what they did when introduced into the body- sometimes their own, but usually that of an enemy.
Barrett thought it wouldn’t hurt to get some experience controlling metal. Firstly, it was related to earth so it wouldn’t be too much more difficult… and if he were to eventually run across some Living Metal, he wanted to have better affinity with it. Barrett knew he wouldn’t have even been able to form a Pure Body Tempering connection with the stone pits without his experience with earth magic.
The thing about metal was it could be treated as many different entities but also one entity. One might say a rock was a single entity of earth, but it wasn’t quite the same. Perhaps the definitions were just how it felt rather than a strict law of the world… but feeling was important. Coming from another angle, metal was about purity compared to earth or stone. It was about focusing on one type of thing… such as iron. Barrett took his handful of sand and did his best to pull all of the iron out of it. He wasn’t sure if he did it right, but he did end up with the pile in his hand and a floating clump. It didn’t seem to be entirely pure, but at least he hadn’t just gotten everything vaguely silvery. Barrett wondered if studying the different ways to describe metal available in the Metal Sea’s dialect would be useful for metal magic. Having words for concepts did help sometimes. Perhaps he would find some time to study with some of his friends from the Metal Sea… but for the moment it was best they didn’t stay in the area. The continued presence of the Immortal Berserkers might make people nervous they were planning a takeover of some kind.