There was a noticeable difference the second time Barrett pricked his finger. As he concentrated on healing it, he didn’t notice the passage of time as much, but still kept close watch on the hourglass. However, his finger was healed before the hourglass was even halfway drained.
That meant he was successful. He had healed at least three times as quickly! That was good… but also not as impressive as it sounded. Sure, it was three times multiplied with his thirtyish times- but it was still only very limited success. A small prick was only a miniscule amount of his body. Alnherr could recover it more quickly, with his base healing speed being around that of a normal human. In fact, for something that size Alnherr could heal it nearly as quickly as Master Hykel. Well, on the same order of magnitude anyway- somewhere around ten thousand times. Less than a minute of healing in either case, though Master Hykel was a handful of times quicker.
The most important thing to Barrett was that he’d only unleashed a very small part of that potential. Larger wounds would be able to have much less healing decreases, but at least now he knew he was doing something. Now that he was sure he was actually doing something, he could work on improving it. After he ate something. Healing was hungry work.
Barrett was finally fully healed about a month and a half after coming to Stredo. During most of that time he’d been cooped up in his room. He did eat in the mess hall sometimes, but often his food was brought to him. Because of that, he hadn’t really interacted with many people in the Sect.
Now that he was healed, he was heading to one of the training areas. The Immortal Berserker Sect might have been small compared to Srebro, but it was still the size of a small city, with thousands of people. Since it wasn’t just a city but a martial sect, there were a number of different training grounds throughout, focusing on different areas and levels of attainment.
Most of the places for sparring were just open fields with markers designating different sections. Barrett had heard there were different terrains, but for basic sparring and practicing techniques, relatively flat ground was good even if somewhat unrealistic outside of official matches.
Once Barrett got close, he followed the sounds of fighting to the entrance of a large, walled area. The walls were mostly for a designation of what areas were to be used for sparring instead of keeping people in or out of the area.
Barrett entered and looked around. He saw a number of people sparring in heavy padded armor, with training weapons. While many of the weapons were made of wood, they were probably heavy woods- bronzewood or other something similar. They wouldn’t hit quite so hard as metal weapons, and they had no edges to cut, but that didn’t mean people couldn’t still get a broken arm. If they were careless, it could be worse.
There were over a dozen pairs sparring, and Barrett’s eyes fixed on one pair. The larger of the two, around Barrett’s size, had a spear held in two hands. Meanwhile, the smaller one was a good fifteen centimeters shorter and held a hammer in one hand. Barrett’s eyes had flicked past a few lower level spars before lingering on that one.
The larger figure thrust with their spear, but in small jabs instead of committing to a serious attack. This kept the smaller figure from closing in, but they moved with agility stepping around the thrusts or parrying with the hammer.
Then the larger figure- a woman, Barrett could see as he got closer- thrust her spear in a powerful attack. Barrett thought he would have grabbed the spear and move in, but he saw the smaller man hook his hammer around the shaft and slide along as he moved forward. Barrett could see why he was willing to lock up his only weapon instead of using his free hand- he didn’t have a free hand, only having his right arm.
As he moved in, the larger woman swung the haft of the spear like it was a staff, crashing it into his side- while at the same time his hammer also hit her in the ribs. There was the sound of splintering wood as they both staggered back, their weapons ruined. Barrett had sensed the infusion of berserk energy into their attacks- not terribly large amounts, but enough that it had weakened the wood.
They both stood clutching their sides, but then the woman laughed loudly. “Looks like we might have to move up in sparring equipment!” Barrett could hear some pain in her voice, but it didn’t stop her from grinning.
The man just nodded. “Yes.” He looked down at his side, “I am done for the day.”
He walked toward the exit- and Barrett. He glanced over Barrett as he approached, then frowned. Barrett looked away. It probably wasn’t polite to stare at his missing arm.
His attention was caught by the woman yelling toward him, “Hey! You’re a new face! Wanna spar?”
Barrett walked closer. He wasn’t particularly accustomed to having a conversation at shouting distance- even Master Hykel usually approached to normal speaking range. Barrett could feel that she and her opponent were both at the third tier. Probably early third tier, but that was still a significant advantage. On the other hand, fighting people stronger than him would benefit Barrett. Once he was within proper speaking distance, Barrett answered, “I would love to spar, but shouldn’t you heal up first? You don’t want to make your side worse. We can try tomorrow?” Barrett didn’t mind sparring with injuries- but broken ribs were an exception.
The woman shook her head, removing her arm from her ribs. “We don’t have to wait that long. Just gimme a five minute break or so.” She reached out her hand, “I’m Katja, by the way.”
Barrett shook her hand, and her grip was every bit as firm as he’d expected from her size. “Barrett.”
As he said his name, Katja’s eyes sparkled and she actually jumped in excitement. “Oho! It is you! I have an immortal body too!”