Polymath Redux Annex
Chapter 6 – The First Crimson Servant
With a gentle tap, Mordred touched over the sigil engraved on the surface of the translucent blood gem. It let of heat and steam as it vibrated a fiery presence. Almost as though it were a living creature the gem moved about and fixed its position midair before him. Like a heart that beat periodically, so too did them. A light glow of red tint and a gentle pulse every so often.
“Now I think about it, this is the first time I’ve ever summoned a familiar,” he pondered to himself. There had never been a situation where such a companion was necessary. When Mordred first started playing the Familiar System hadn’t been implemented and by the time the developers had introduced it he had advanced sufficiently powerful enough not to require it. Though he did stockpile a variety of different, high-tiered monster insignias as a trophy and to pass time.
The cast crimson gem shone brilliantly as it was absorbed in a demonic hellfire. A pyre burst forth from its heart and engulfed the surrounding territory of green in cinders and flames. As he waited for the summoning ritual to be completed, Mordred reminisced back to the time he had faced the end game boss himself. He had been much weaker than he was currently, yet he still insisted upon raiding the final dungeon solo against the behest of his friends not to. It had never been for the glory or endgame rewards, merely that it was a way for him to test his strength and prove himself.
The battle against the last boss of the game was excruciatingly long and arduous. It lasted over five hours without a moment of break. The moment he had landed the coup de grâce a great sensation of liberation overwhelmed his entire body, both in game and in real life. Yet, that had also been the point that he understood that he stood at the ‘peak’. There was nowhere else to climb.
At that moment, the game had somehow lost its luster. Still, the game had been an undeniably important facet of his life. Everything he had done up until then would stay with him. Mordred smiled softly as he gazed back at the floating gem that was on the verge of hatching.
The nightmare soaked red light died. The gem fluctuated wildly from side to side and slowly corroded before losing its solidarity. The gem, now a queer liquid, fell to the floor and formed a puddle that resembled magma. Without warning the pool flashed one last time. An explosive inferno towered forth. However, that was not the end as the pyre rose and crystalized into place. Upon closer inspection, Mordred’s eyes glimmered for a second at the sight of a gentle humanoid figure sealed within. A woman.
Her eyes creaked open and the crystalized fire began to tremble. It cracked and crackled as its appearance became distorted and unstable, eventually shattering into several large chunks. From the ashes of the eruption appeared a single woman. Tall, slender with an aerodynamically designed proportion. Her armour seemed to fit almost too perfectly as though she had been born in it rather than being tailored to her. The night coloured inner leather armor naturally revealed the seductive curvatures of her figure whilst also maintaining a respectable level of protection. Her upper torso, shoulders and arms were reinforced with a ghastly red plate armour with the insignia of the Crimson Dragon etched upon them. Her hips and legs were also likewise covered very well. The armour that seemed sturdier than diamond or titanium was worn by this woman with such elegance and grace that it was hard to avert gaze.
Wordlessly she took a few steps forward. Her crimson greaves gracefully strode upon the ashen and dirt floor. She stood before Mordred and gazed longingly. They had been about the same height, yet she suddenly chose to lower herself. She knelt before him as a knight would do for her king. She placed one of her crimson gauntleted hands across her chest and one to the floor as she lowered her head in a display of loyalty and submission. She did not speak. Her flame coloured hair, dual dyed red and light orange, wavered in the winds of the thick ashen gale. Her knife sharp features in absolute servitude to her summoner and master.
‘Do all familiars have such high initial disposition to their summoners?’ Mordred wondered. This had been the first time he had met his own personal familiar after all. He felt a little reluctant and drawn back by this level of overwhelming respect but decided to accept it for now. “State your name,” he commanded in an authoritative voice.
Introductions were the first order of things. However, the red-haired mistress remained silently as she subtly shook her head. “Forgive me, my master. I do not yet possess a name; it would be an honour to have you bestow me with a title you deem most fitting.” She responded with a calm and collected tone. Her voice was rather feminine despite her fierce appearance, yet at the same time reflected a certain attribute of power. She looked up, her heterochromatic eyes- one red, one light yellow- and waited.
‘Name… right, this is like what I heard happened in the game,’ Mordred nodded. Familiars could be named, although this aspect didn’t really change anything other than flavour text. “Very well, then from hence forth you’ll be known as ‘Irina’.”
The ‘Crimson Dragon Lord’: ‘Irina’, nodded without complaint. Her expression was stiff and deadpan that even Mordred had a hard time trying to read her emotions. She appeared to be loyal and subservient, yet resembled nothing like what he had heard of those stiff A.I. companions. Everything from her actions, movements, speech and even the way she breathed felt ‘real’.
Mordred metaphorically slapped himself. ‘Of course it’d be real. This is now reality…’ he reminded himself.
There were a few more things to make sure of. He had just summoned the most powerful entity in the game, yet since it had been scaled down to player levels as a familiar he wasn’t quite sure how powerful she was. “Irina, identify your classes.”
Like players, every combat available entity had ‘classes’ fixed upon them. Familiars were no different in that they had an assortment of classes that they were programmed with. Ordinary familiars usually only had one class at a time but boss ranked monsters were special in that they were given up to four. ‘If memory served correct,’ he dug his memories. The classes for the Crimson Dragon Lord were: ‘Magician’, ‘Warrior’, ‘Necromancer’ and ‘Templar’. Each class had a potential of being scaled up to level 200, which in effect meant that her current total level should be 800. Incidentally, Mordred’s overall level was 2200.
Irina nodded. “My classes are identified as: Warrior, Magician, Necromancer and Templar.”
“I see, it’s the same then. Just to be sure you’ve also access to your ‘true form’ ability, correct?”
“Yes, if you so desire it I can take my original form. Would you like me to do so?”
“No, you needn’t waste time doing so. As long as I know it’s possible then it’s all I need to know right now.”
‘Right now,’ he fixated himself on that word. Everything else was in order. His skills were tested and the most powerful familiar had been summoned. Then what naturally comes after ‘right now’? Mordred turned to the skies. They were clear as he remembered them, but a slight hint of orange dusk was on the invasion. ‘Fantasy, magic and dragon servants… where do I go from here?’
He shook his head as all the anxiety immediately left him. “Of course, what am I even worried about?” he stretched his arms and took in the air of the ‘fantasy’. “Irina… I want to learn more about this world.”