Polymath Redux Annex
Chapter 4 – Another world’s welcoming party
A force that could make mountains tremble and quiver in fear was not to be taken lightly. Large chunks of molten rock avalanched down the side, scathing half the mountain. Some came close to knocking him off balance. A mixture of anger and terror crawled up Mordred’s throat. He gazed in awe of his winged assailant. Large and blood red, winged and scaled, sharp claws, jagged rows of spikes. There really was no other way to describe it than to use the word he didn’t want; ‘Dragon’. The monster opened its jaws to reveal teeth larger and sharper than his entire person. It roared as if in taunt or mockery.
Without mercy, the crimson beast let out a burst of searing flames his way. “That, fuck!” there was no time to think or speak. With caution forcefully slapped out of his hands, he had no choice but to hastily climb down an extremely dangerous mountain. “Dammit!” he shouted. Unsteady footing topped up with an overload of adrenaline and rage. Above was fire and below was a gorge of death. Amidst this insane chaos he couldn’t help but reminisce back to the times he thought he would die in mundane ways.
With his mental state so heavily disrupted, it had only been a matter of time before he had lost his grip. A piece of the edge he had been balancing upon suddenly snapped off. He instantly slid off the face of the mountain and plummeted to his doom. ‘Ah…’ he couldn’t even let out his final words as a cruel sensation of detached Zen overwhelmed his mind. ‘I’m dying…’ he realized to himself, yet it didn’t particularly feel all that real in the moment.
Time slowed, or rather his perception of time grinded to a haled. This was the ultimate end to the story of a rather insignificant character. To be dragged off to an unknown locale and then plummeting to his death while a dragon assailed him from above. There had been no reason to anything this- just confusion.
His life flashed before his life in the most cliché manner possible. There weren’t too many things to recall, most of them being the time he had spent on his online avatar. That said, there were also things he had been fond of and regretted. One of those was the fact he couldn’t make it to his uncle’s Christmas party.
Falling backwards, he gazed up to see the red dragon make its way onto the side of the mountain. For some reason, it focused its narrow vision at him, smiling as though it truly were mocking him with that sarcastic expression- it was a shitty lizard. A deep sense of profound rage burnt up within him as they locked gazes. “Piece of shit!”
Regret and rage filled him as he fell, but when he truly lost himself in that singular focus, a miraculous event occurred. The fall that was to be his doom was broken, cushioned by nothing but air; entering the range of a protrusion he was spared from hitting it at full force. He was let down as though a baby was slowly lowered into its crib. “Just what?!”
Confusion swarmed him harder than the fact that a red dragon actually existed. This too was ‘real’. He felt the cold dirt behind his back. Standing up, he reached all over his body to confirm, ‘I’m intact,’ no external damage. Even his clothes were spared from damage… ‘wait, clothes?’ he thought about it. Or rather, he hadn’t been giving it any thought to it until now. “Huh?” looking down at his body he realized something very important. That the clothes adorned on his person were not his own but highly reminiscent of the equipment warn by his game avatar. A pristine white overcoat with a mysterious dark suit beneath… ‘This is that, isn’t it?’ he thought as he stared at himself. Suddenly a cold and metallic sensation writhed up his hands. A very, very, very familiar thin and silvery cross shaped sword. So polished that he could see his own reflection off the side of the hilt.
It was not the face he remembered seeing for all those years. This face was much more charismatic. An almost devilish handsomeness. The one familiar element was the hypnotic glimmer of his ruby eyes.
He took a deep breath. A strange sense of calm overwhelmed him. “This is… ah, maybe because of [Sharp Mind]?” it felt as though his logic was sharpened to a knife edge and the previous disorderly chaos was just an illusion- just a joke. ‘Sharp Mind’ was a skill in the game, but it wasn’t attached to any of the eleven classes. Rather, it was a skill that the player was granted to upon character creation. The effects of the skill provided the player with a state known as ‘Sharp Mind’. It was more of a justification of how the player character could so calmly engage in so many ‘to-the-death’ battles be they with epic monsters or other humans.
It was a skill set up only to make the player character seem special, but unexpectedly it had a huge benefit in this world. With this sharp increase in logical thought it was easy to deduce that then the fall from before was cut short also due to a skill. An acrobatic type skill under the ‘Assassin’ skill-tree. It was an ability known as ‘Soft Landing’, a self-explanatory skill.
It wasn’t hard to formulate an explanation as to how this all came to be, but the problem was ‘belief’. If a dragon can exist in this fantasy-scape then was it so far outside of the realms of possibility that he could inherit traits from his character? Soft Landing and Sharp Mind, they were definitely abilities of his character.
“How strange,” a small grin slid across Mordred’s mouth as he gazed up at the frenzied dragon hurling balls of liquid fire. He felt no fear; nothing at all. That wasn’t true, he did feel one emotion: anger. ‘Right, there was that dragon. That piece of shit lizard,’ he grimaced. The red dragon roared as it witnessed Mordred land safely. It appeared almost mad that Mordred hadn’t been killed or fatally injured from that fall. It proceeded to vault off the side of the mountain and flew straight down towards him. “Does it want to finish me? Tch, if I’m wrong about this then it really is over.”
Without giving proper time to recover, the red dragon rushed down to Mordred’s altitude with a hurricane-like ferocity. It opened its mouth and started to charge another fiery blast. A flash of scorching red light burst forward. The explosive impact of the seething flame eviscerated the entire mid portion of the mountain. Yet, even though he had been caught in the centre of the blast, Mordred came out unaffected from a level of heat that wouldn’t be strange if it had melted his face from his skull. Small streams of heat and smoke rose from his clothes, but no exterior damage could be detected, not even a scratch on his white clothes.
“Are you done, you sub-par, mindless beast? Just where do you think you’re even aiming that thing?” a low harrowing voice. In that moment, Mordred’s figure disappeared from the dragon’s sight. “[Blink]… huh?” a voice rang from behind the dragon’s ears. Noticing what had occurred, it started to move erratically in a sky dance formation. It attempted to throw Mordred off by smashing against the mountain like a pig trying to scratch its back by rolling around in rocks. “Hey, hey, I’m still on you, so why don’t you calm down for a bit?!” an unmistakable sound of a metal blade sliding out its sheath stretched out. It flashed an ominous red aura. A massive surge of raw ‘power’ could be felt concentrated along the edge of his blade.
Without hesitation, Mordred swung down through the dragon’s armour-plated scales. It pierced through like tissue paper- a skill known as ‘Assassinate’. The sharp pain entered its flesh it screeched, shaking both heaven and earth alike. “Don’t even think I’m done yet. Bastard, I’m going to repay you for treating me so well just a few moments ago!”
‘Mordred’, not his real name but in this instant, it was real enough. As a human being he had many flaws, however the greatest flaw of them all was that he was a very vain individual. He didn’t really consider that anyone else could be greater than him though he understood in theory that there would always be someone higher and greater. However, if he never saw it for his own eyes they were just as fantastic as this dragon.
Not an illusion of grandeur, just a childish sense of arrogance. He knew this very well himself, but this one trait alone was the very defining essence of ‘Mordred’. The dragon was not yet slain, but very close to death. Nothing would sate ‘Mordred’ other than ‘overkill’.
“Die.” Mordred threw his left hand towards the sky and as he did a large black lance made of shadows emerged- ‘Shadow Spear’. However, this was not enough, ‘I need more!’ not just one… not two… three! Two more titanic lances made of dark space appeared besides the first.
On Mordred’s command, he pointed them towards the dragon, without even the slightest hesitation he ordered this majestic beast’s execution. Unrelentingly brutal and quick, the Shadow spears pierced and dug through the thick red plated scales. It sunk through its back and deep into its heart and out through the other side of its body.
A feral scream, its last scream, the final thing it could do to protest its death. Once more the area was sunken beneath its horrendous roar, but this roar filled Mordred with nothing but the greatest sense of accomplishment and exhilaration. Because this roar was a one of defeat.
The red dragon’s wings failed to support it mid-air, eventually it began to quickly drop altitude. Both Mordred and the dragon fell, but Mordred couldn’t be happier.
After all, he had ‘won’.