The next day, Barrett was able to get angry about everything again… with similar results in his training. When he tried to refine it into energy, everything drained away and he became sluggish. He wondered if he was even capable of this technique… or would just have to give up. Master Hykel didn’t seem concerned at all, though.
Barrett did do well enough in training his body later the second day. All of the exercises were designed to push him, but not quite as far as they had before. Apparently, he needed to keep some energy for other things. Based on how exhausted he was feeling at the end, he knew that was true.
The third day, Barrett thought about that energy refining technique. He was supposed to be making a kind of berserk energy. Why wasn’t it working… what was he doing wrong. He thought about it. The most important thing was that Master Hykel had told him something. He told him to pay attention to the energy, and him using it. He concentrated on the feeling he’d gotten at that time. He tried to ignore the looks that it gave off, and sense the feeling. It took some times, minutes… maybe half an hour. He wasn’t sure, but he finally got a lock on the feeling. It was as if it were right next to him and not just a memory.
Then Barrett realized… of course it felt like it was next to him. Well, it should have felt a bit closer, because it was in him. It was real. Sure, it was just the tiniest wisps of energy, but it was there. As for it being berserk… it did seem to be thrashing around a lot, but it seemed to have very little actual effect on… anything. Barrett tried to control it, but to little success. He couldn’t tell whether its movements were due to his will or random movement. He shook his head. He supposed it didn’t matter yet. What mattered was… he was making progress. No wonder Master Hykel hadn’t been worried.
This time, he concentrated on the energy inside him as he tried to refine the anger. He saw more and more wisps of it appear, until it was almost double what it had been. He found that concentrating on this particular side of it was more efficient… and more pleasant. Of course, he was still tired afterwards… but he could see the progress. Energy was coming out of him and his body, and becoming something else. Hopefully, it would be something he could use.
Barrett hadn’t believed the whole time frame of a week of training, but he found he could make more berserk energy with less effort as the days went on. On the fourth day, he had been taught how to guide the energy. It made sense, but he hadn’t thought of seeding anger in front of the path he wanted it to travel. The real trick, though, was making it move just as much as he wanted and where. He found if it moved too quickly, it was painful. As for where the pain was… that was harder to describe, except inside of him. Either way, it wasn’t good.
His senses became more attuned to the energy as well, and he could feel Master Hykel when he moved around. It was significantly muted, but he felt it inside of him nonetheless. If he had to compare… Barrett himself had about a drop compared to a lake. Perhaps that wasn’t correct, because he couldn’t actually tell… but he knew he was pretty insignificant. He wasn’t exactly sure what could be done with all that energy, but based on how much effort it took to obtain, there must have been a proportionately large amount of power.
At the end of the week, Master Hykel came to Barrett. “Well, this is it. You won’t be able to progress much further without really beginning the training. I can say your affinity is… decent enough. You should be able to progress unless you’re unlucky.” He patted Barrett on the shoulder, “Besides, there’s a chance you won’t die even if it goes poorly. If you have a bit better than regular healing, you can be left with a small amount of ability to recover. Isn’t that wonderful?” He sighed and shook his head, “The choice is yours though. I can’t say you will definitely succeed, just that you won’t certainly fail. What I promise is that if you do succeed, I can make you strong… as long as you stay determined to become so.”
Barrett nodded. He took a deep breath. He felt the berserk energy and its danger… and yet he also felt he was quite suited for it. That was justified by nothing- it was just a feeling- but he couldn’t shake the thought. He also liked Master Hykel, and wanted to be strong. Certainly, he could go find someone else to train him… but if he gave up on this he didn’t think he would keep the determination to go on. If he succeeded the first time and failed the second, going back to the start, he would be justified in giving up. It would seem to be unsuited for him… but as it was, he seemed more likely to succeed than fail. “I will do it.”
Master Hykel nodded, “Very well. Then, pay close attention to what I do. Remember, pay attention exactly. If you’re slightly off it can be deadly with no chance of recovery… or just wasted injuries that will take time to recover from.” Master Hykel sat cross legged and concentrated. Barrett could see he was very serious. As he watched, it seemed as if Master Hykel opened himself up to be seen. He watched the flow of energy. “Here.” Master Hykel’s energy swirled around one part, “And here… and here. These three points.” Then he released a slow breath, before inhaling quickly. “It is best to destroy them all simultaneously.” Then Barrett heard a popping sound. He saw the few points were crushed, and Master Hykel spat out a mouthful of blood. “Ah… how unlucky. You get to see a failure.” He shook his head, “Not that it is too dangerous at this point. I would have to fail thousands of times to be in trouble. Give me a moment…”
After a few minutes, Master Hykel’s face went from pale to somewhat neutral. “If you wait, I can demonstrate a success as well… but the technique is exactly the same. This time it just reacted poorly.” Master Hykel shrugged, “Just to be clear… this is definitely the best way. The Immortal Berserker Sect has had a very long time to work on the technique. The results have been very clear. Unless something goes significantly wrong, the results are up to the individual’s body and affinity with the technique.”
Barrett nodded seriously. He didn’t like the idea of a gamble… but in essence, he only had to gamble once. Once he made progress, he would have something to fall back on if he regressed. “I understand. I saw what you did. I can do it.” He told himself that… and he even believed it for the most part. He first focused on calming himself. He couldn’t let any mistakes be on his own part. This was his first step to becoming strong. He could not fail. To that end, he avoided thinking about the possible consequences. Such thoughts would be of no use.