(Patreon) The Immortal Berserker Chapter 14

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Barrett had a new fire of determination in his eyes. He was going to join a group and become strong, and there was nothing anyone could do to stop him. Of course, he knew how stupid the thought was. After all, he had no doubt that almost anyone here could beat him up easily, and there was anybody who would do anything about it. Someone might do something if he was about to get killed, but maybe that would only happen afterwards. Regardless, if he gave up because he was afraid, wouldn’t he just remain weak? Next time, he would give up as well, and the time after that. He didn’t want to live his life afraid of everyone. Maybe it would be better to be dead. Barrett wasn’t sure, having never been dead… but he certainly didn’t want to live the way he had been for the last few months.

Barrett slapped his hand down on the table. “Hey! I want to join your Immortal Berserker Sect!”

The man sitting there opened one eye. “Why? Wait… didn’t I already reject you? Go away.”

“No way!” Barrett didn’t quite shout, but he spoke with energy. “If I go away, what did I even come here for?”

The man shrugged, “I don’t know. Just go join someone else or something.”

“I tried that! I tried all of them, and got rejected.” Barrett regretted admitting that the instant he said it, but it was too late.

“So you came here hoping I would pick you up out of pity?” the man shook his head, “Get real kid.” The man closed his eyes again.

“That’s not it at all!” Barrett slammed his hand on the table again. “I came here first, you know! Now I’m just coming back.” The man did a very poor impression of snoring. “Oh, don’t give me that. Why are you even here? Why show up if you don’t want a disciple?”

The man opened both eyes. “Who says I don’t already have all I need?”

Barrett raised an eyebrow, “This place does. You don’t have any here with you. If you had disciples you could have them do the boring stuff like recruiting too. I bet I’m the only one who even came up to the table.”

The man shrugged, “Yeah, so? Obviously somewhere else would be a better pick, then. You should take a hint.”

“Why? You’re strong, and you need a disciple, so it should be me.”

“Oh? Why do you think I’m strong?” the man flexed, “Is it because of these? Because that guy over there is bigger.”

“It’s because you’re here.” Barrett waved his hand to the right and to the left, showing all the empty space. “Everyone else is all crammed together, but you have a huge area. You don’t smell bad, so there must be a reason.”

“Not everything has a reason.”

“Sure, but this does. They gave you a lot of space, but nobody even looks at you. Maybe they don’t like you, but maybe they’re scared. If they just didn’t like you they would kick you out. Therefore, you’re strong, and should be my teacher.”

“Why should I be your teacher? You’re weak.”

“That’s exactly the point! I’m weak, so you should make me strong.”

“A fair enough point. Let me just say this though. It’s not just to deter you but… you’ll die.”

“I doubt it. You survived the same training, didn’t you?”

He shrugged, “Sure I did. Let me be clear. Of the ten disciples I took since I came here, seven are dead… half of them within the first week.”

“What about the rest of them?”

“Those who didn’t die quit after a year or two.”

“Oh.” Barrett wasn’t completely sure that he was telling the truth, but he hesitated. He didn’t want to do some crazy training that just killed people. On the other hand, this man didn’t actually seem crazy. Perhaps there was more to it. “Why did they die?”

“What else? They were just unlucky or unsuited to the training. Well, one of them was killed by someone.”

“That’s pretty harsh. Is the training that bad?”

“Of course it is. Though, in a weak country like this it’s pretty much a given. In better places the survival rate is upwards of six in ten.”

“That’s… not much better.” Barrett was strongly considering just finding somewhere else… but he didn’t like any of them, and knew they wouldn’t accept him. Besides, something felt right here. “Can I join?”

“Look, kid, you seem nice, so I’ll just say this one more time. You’ll die. Why risk it?”

“Because I don’t want to live in a world where I can’t do anything. For that, I need to be strong.”

“I hate to break it to you, but there will always be someone or something stronger than you. There’s nothing you can do about it.”

“At least I could… try. Instead of doing nothing.”

The man nodded. Then he closed his eyes for a few seconds. Finally, he finished thinking and opened them again, “I’m Hykel. I’ll tell you what, I’ll give you a chance. I can guarantee that the beginning of the training is non-lethal. We’ll see if you’re suited for that part of it. If not, there’s nothing I can do. Let me tell you though. This is a berserker style. You’ve gotta be angry. You don’t look angry.”

“You don’t look angry either.”

Hykel nodded, “Good point. Anyway, you also have to be able to take a beating.”

Barrett frowned as he looked down at his hands, still wrapped in bandages. The physical wounds hurt, but they weren’t the worst part of things. He nodded. “Okay.”

“Great.” Hykel stood up. “Let’s go.”

“Umm… shouldn’t you stay until the end of the event?”

Hykel raised an eyebrow, “Do you see anyone else showing up? You’re the only person who even came to my table in the last two years. Everyone else already knew better. Besides, I’ve got to get back to my own training. Can’t waste my time here.”

With that, they were off. Barrett didn’t know where too, except it was to the north. That could be many places. There were several more cities in Ashia before the mountains bordering with Etron.

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