Barrett looked down at his fingertips. He actually had fingertips again. He’d been working on the muscles in that arm as well as he could over the last few months. It hadn’t grown back particularly weak compared to how it had been when it was cut off, but his left arm had continued to grow stronger during that period. Barrett knew he would be a bit off balance for a while, but it would catch up. Besides being his primary arm, it was just faster to train something weaker.
There hadn’t been much else to do besides train over the last several months. Reina and Mistress Seviren had already left. Barrett and Master Hykel had only stayed behind because Barrett wanted to be in top shape for what came next. Since he was going to be leaving to travel very far, he had to settle some business first.
Barrett looked at the city walls of Triridge. Frankly, the view of the city from where he was didn’t bring back any sorts of nostalgic feelings. Nor were there unpleasant memories. After all, he hadn’t really seen the city from outside during his stay. Only a few buildings peeking over made him remember anything.
“Need any help?” Master Hykel asked.
Barrett shook his head, “No, I should deal with this on my own. Besides, I don’t think there was anybody any better than first tier in the city.”
“Alright, I’ll just watch then.”
The guards stopped Barrett as he stepped up to the gate. “What’s your purpose in entering the city?”
Barrett raised an eyebrow and gestured to the axe on his back, “What does it look like?”
“Mercenary work then? Good luck.” The guards raised their gazes a bit higher as they glanced over Master Hykel, but waved the pair of them through.
Barrett shook his head once they were away from the gate, “They don’t even know what I look like.”
“Even if you weren’t horribly scarred before, you’ve changed significantly over the past four years,” Master Hykel remarked, “You’ve grown from a little kid into a decently fit young man.”
Decently fit. Barrett laughed at that. Besides Master Hykel, Barrett doubted anyone in the city could compete with him on a purely physical level. He might be wrong about that, but they weren’t going to be involved with what he was doing even if they were in the city.
Barrett wasn’t exactly sure where to start, but it soon became obvious. He would start with the perpetrators of everything, and the place with the most guilty parties. Barrett frowned, “Actually, I might need your help.”
“Do they have someone crazy strong in that manor?”
Barrett shook his head, “No, but I would appreciate it if you could… stop everyone from leaving. There are a lot of people here I need to deal with.”
“Fine.” Master Hykel nodded, “Nobody will get past me.”
Barrett strode confidently toward the front gates of the manor. He recognized the two guards.
As he approached, they readied themselves. “What business do you have here?”
As he continued forward they lowered their spears and stabbed out. Barrett merely grabbed one spear in each hand and deflected them to the side, then stepped forward and grabbed the guards by the helmet.
“You two were a pain. For that you get…” Barrett adopted a thoughtful expression, but he already had exact plans in mind for everyone on his list. The two guards heads slammed together- but only hard enough to knock them out and give them cracked skulls. “I expect more upright behavior from anyone associated with the Ravenhalls.” The guards wouldn’t hear him, but he didn’t care.
There were two guards immediately inside the front entrance, and one of them got a broken kneecap. Barrett was all about paying debts exactly as owed, but sometimes he had to improvise. He didn’t have enough time to shove or insult or bruise everyone exactly as much as they had done to him.
Barrett saw a servant. They didn’t know how to react as they saw him coming, and they still didn’t know how to react when their face was slammed into the bannister and their bucket of cleaning water dumped over them.
Barrett noticed how expensive everything was. There were paintings- simple to ruin- tapestries that just needed a couple quick tugs, statues that required a bit more effort… and oh so many windows. Barrett didn’t know exactly how much hand his cousin and aunt had had in the burning of his family’s manor… but they were at minimum expecting it to happen. Otherwise he couldn’t have been taken away from the city immediately afterwards.
Many people came to look at the commotion he caused. One servant got punched in a gut. For another one of them, Barrett stomped on their foot hard enough to shatter bones. Another servant was backed into a corner. Barrett glared at him for a few moments. “You’re new, aren’t you? You can go wait outside if you want.”
The head servant Albert came running past the door just as Barrett stepped out, and immediately found himself yanked to a stop. He turned to see Barrett, “Who are you? What do you think you’re doing?”
Barrett shook his head, “You don’t even recognize me, Albert? But we spent so much time together. Here… let me remind you.” Barrett slapped him across the face. Hard- but not with his full power. That would probably kill him. That wouldn’t be appropriate retribution. While Barrett didn’t have the time to repay every individual thing that had been done for him… he had enough time to get pretty close with Albert and a few others. Slaps continued to ring throughout the corridor as Albert tried to speak. He was probably begging for Barrett to stop, and Barrett thought he had recognized him finally- but he didn’t care.
There was a momentary pause in the slapping as two guards charged at him. A punch broke one of their noses- and a bit of berserk energy rattled his brain around. The other one felt Barrett’s arm go around his neck, and struggled to pull it away.
“You don’t have to struggle so hard. I don’t even know your face so you’ll just wake up with a bit of a headache.” Barrett knew that with the amount of commotion he had caused, most people would be running away from the noise instead of toward it. He looked out a window toward the front gate, and saw Master Hykel holding a crowd of people there. Having backup was very nice.