Polymath Redux Annex
Chapter 1 – Reception for the Greatest Polymath
A villainous actor.
“Hmm~ they managed to get this far. I suppose they weren’t half the dolts I presumed them to be… or perhaps they are, seeing as they’ve dared to show themselves.”
Searing landscapes of molten rock and horror. Ashen skies torn asunder by harsh solar winds and towering infernos that brazed across the horizon. Such an appropriately oppressive décor was perfect for the tyrant that lorded over the scorched earth. A magnificent and ferocious beast that even heroes of legend fear. Yet now it laid trampled and defeated upon the dirtied floor as wine coloured ooze leaked from its corpse. The Crimson King hailed as one of the highest echelons of power, the ‘Red Dragon’ had been slain.
A message pronounced to the world:
[‘Mordred’ has defeated the ‘Red Dragon’.]
Seated atop this epic monster as though it were merely a scaled and decorated throne was a single man. A bloodstained grin smeared across his face. A thin, silvery cross-shaped sword sheathed in his hands. Clad in an elegant white overcoat that fluttered in the blazing gale like a cape. A mysterious and professional black suit underneath. He was the entity recognized by this world as the ‘strongest existence’…
“Mordred!” an echoed roar came from behind. The ‘strongest’ responded; Mordred cocked his head just slightly back to justify a glimpse at the intruders who dared ruin the afterglow of his magnificent victory. Not just one, they were many. With their exquisite swords and bows; an entire armed company came to receive his triumph with a celebration of carnage. Confident and assured of their victory they approached him with savage smirks.
Mordred applauded. The harrowing percussive beats pierced through their armour and sunk into their hearts like a poisoned dagger. “Ah, just on time as always,” he announced merrily with a hint of malice. He stood from his dragon corpse throne and offered a most gracious bow. With the mannerisms of a professional actor he offered a most gracious bow. It was all a ‘play’ to him.
Yet such a simple act of sarcastic ‘etiquette’ was enough to send break down the mental fortitude of these veteran warriors. Pale-faced, they collectively double-took. Confidence morphed into hesitation and assurance into unease. Their composure shredded like paper, just the greetings was enough to highlight the vast chasm of power difference that existed between. That said, the veteran warriors had all prepared for this, it was only proper as they knew they would face against the ‘strongest’.
Much like a lion playing with its prey, the ‘strongest’ decided to entertain his guest. A warm light glimmered in his hands. He slowly raised forward and unleashed an intense surge of power. A faint pulse of crimson light shone around his body. The veteran warriors felt immense pressure drag down their bodies. Some even retreated ground out of fear- the correct response. In a brief exchange of silence, one thing was made painfully clear: that only one party would leave unscathed.
“Heh… hehehe… huh? The, the ‘strongest’ thinks he can win against all of us? Sure, you might take out a dozen or two, but we’ve brought an entire raid expedition!” a warrior proclaimed as he raised his sword to the skies to hype up his peers. “Come on boys! We can do this!”
Mordred’s mouth curled from a stoic grin to an amused, malicious grin as he watched the warriors chant their victory. Then he noticed something, ‘ah, I see,’ he nodded to himself. The truth of their mad confidence was revealed. It was not just a single raid expedition that came to confront him, but several more were lying in wait outside of the raid zone. ‘One, two… oh my, seven whole raid expeditions,’ they had been a lot more prepared than he initially gave credit for. Upwards of ninety-two people waited their turn to confront him.
Usurpers of his throne. He relished the challenged. He accepted as he gracefully stretched out his arms to taunt them. He would give them the first shot, yet none moved. “What’s wrong? Didn’t you headhunt all these people just to take down little ol’ me?” Mordred’s eyes found its way to the apparent ‘leader’ of this group. “Come, entertain me.”
Only after a full minute had elapsed did a contestant finally break free of his fear-induced petrifaction to throw the attack. A bolt of fire- a mid-rank ‘fire bullet’ spell- erupted from the crystal tipped staff and soared straight towards the strongest’s face. Mordred did nothing to defend himself as the inferno made direct impact. Everything burst into a cloud of fiery ash and dust.
“Did… we get him?” one member of the raid asked.
“Are you stupid? If that was all it took then what was the point of brining all these people? Get ready, he’ll launch his counter soon,” the leader of the group commanded. The warriors primed their weapons with shaky determination.
“Hehehe… hahahaha! Hahahaha!! Excellent! Finally! Some backbone! Then let us begin the party!”
From the thick veil of charcoal dust, a very distinct and ominous red aura outlining a glaring white overcoat shone through. Most of the raid members failed to recognize what this light entailed. They gathered themselves but stopped to figure out what was going to happen. The leader of these men, he knew. A cold sweat ran down the side of his face. His eyes widened. He hurried to turn and address his party an emergency order, “you idiots! Don’t just stand here like fools, run! Scatter!”
The warriors only returned confused looks, “leader, what are you…?” before the sentence could even be completed, a group of them was suddenly struck down by something and exploded into a pile of ash and debris. None had noticed it due to the similar ambiance of the zone, but a horrifying spell known as ‘Hell Storm’ had been summoned. The skies growled with anger as if the gods themselves were coming down. Black clouds of thick ash converged above their location.
Only when a handful of them were instantly eviscerated from the spot did they realize their mistake. “Holy shit! Five of us just got blown up! How broken is that spell?!” shouted another warrior as he pointed at the large crater made from the impact of a single meteoric fragment. Understanding the horror, they immediately tried to oblige their commander’s orders and scattered to regroup. Yet the ‘Hell Storm’ spell was not that simple, it was in fact a continuous barrage of meteoric fragments. As screeching shards of death and fire rained from the sky, the warriors tried to helplessly escape. Each successive explosion yielded more and more defeated.
“What the shit is this?!”
“Is this even allowed? What spell, where?!”
“Holy fu- this guy is broken as hell!”
“Seriously?! I didn’t think this game was that imbalanced! GM?! Patch?!”
“This is a glitch, right?! I’m just lagging, right?! No way three-fourth of us got destroyed in a single spell!”
Despite their best attempts, retreat was a failure and almost all were struck down.
After the carnage passed, only a single warrior remained from the entire raid expedition: the leader. Sweat and dust plastered upon his face. A spider-like anxiety crawled up his spine as he fell to his knees. The strongest, ‘Mordred’, stepped down from his dragon throne, trampled across the fallen bodies of the warriors and approached the leader. “All that time, money and preparation… gone,” mumbled the leader.
“Well, I must admit that it was quite entertaining. A shame though. You’ve brought along so many friends all to PK a single player. Actually, it’s almost comical.”
The leader gritted his teeth. Unable to hold back his laughter the absurdity of this man’s power. “Haha… ha? What the hell? What kind of equipment do you have? What are your stats? Your god damned magic stat is maxed, right? Just how?”
Mordred shrugged with a smirk, “this equipment? I believe I was the only player able to obtain them. Maybe in a year or two you’ll see more people running around town with them, but for now… just me. In the end, this game is far from balanced and with enough time and money, even you could reach my level. Though, I don’t recommend you do; I’m sure you have a life outside of this game anyway. Well, not that I have any right to tell you what to do.”