Polymath Redux Annex
Chapter 8 – You are already dead
“Huh, what…? What?! Augh! Shit, my hand!!” the knight’s severed hand flopped around the floor for a second. His eyes widened and darted around like crazy. He fell to the floor as he tightly covered over his stumped wrist that gushed out a gory fountain. Mordred sidestepped to evade the blood splatter and observed with mild amusement at the suffering brigand. ‘Hmm,’ had the situation been any more normal he would’ve certainly felt grossed or nauseous about this scene, possibly even concerned for his enemy. However, nothing about today could be described using the world ‘normal’. Right now, he felt absolutely no concern for the knight.
Irian casually kicked the disembodied hand to the side as though an unwanted piece of garbage. She had grown tired of staring at the disgusting thing flop around and pollute her master’s vision. “Disgusting idiot, you dare touch my master with your filthy hands?”
“Irina,” Mordred warned her yet her overprotective emotions overrode her master’s actual commands.
“Master, I simply cannot allow any further affront. These subpar species must be taught a stern lesson that they must take to their graves.”
“Irina, you know I’m also ‘Human’, right?”
“Ah… my deepest apologies, my master. Then for the preservation of your honour, I will remove these insects for even daring to share the same species as you.” Mordred sighed. It was probably that Irina would’ve backed off if he had pressed the matter but he allowed her to rampage. He stepped back and let her take the spotlight.
“B- bastard!” one of the knights stepped forward with his blade clearly shaken. His comrade’s hand had been sliced off without even knowing how. The fiery woman’s attack shred through the knights’ armour like a piece of paper. Two knights rushed forward not to attack but to drag back their incapacitated comrade. The blood that trailed behind as they pulled him back was enough to fill a local pool.
To ‘kill someone’, that was the ultimate taboo in Mordred’s former world. Yet that rule seemed to have taken a considerable backseat in this world. Reservations on harming members of the same species swirled around his head. He wanted to avoid it if possible, yet at the same time he currently felt no actual repulsion from this gory scene. This cognitive dissonance was far more disturbing to him than having witnessed a man lose his hand in a torrent of blood. It would be easy to give in and indulge in wanton destruction, and perhaps that’s what would await him in future. For now, quandaries about morality was pushed aside. Right, for now he would act with convenience of the situation in mind than morality. If someone attacked him, then he would attack back. If someone came to beg for help then he would think about it.
“Irina, just disarm them for now,” Mordred ordered. Her master’s word was law but it was up to her how she wanted to interpret the specific word ‘disarm’ and naturally it would escalate to the highest acceptable definition. Irina thrust her right hand forward, it shone with an ominous red flash as an unknown spell augmented her attacks.
Not understanding this attack, the knights made distance with her. They clutched onto their swords and shields tightly. They trembled as they hid behind that metal barrier. Two knights contested Irina from either side but none had the courage to go in for an attack. Naturally, Irina looked to capitalize on this opportunity and went in for the killing blow.
From beneath the knight’s feet, a small red magical circle erupted. It hurled searing chains of soldering hot metal and wrapped around their entire bodies- ‘Hellgate’s Fury’. These chains seared the knights gauntlet to their flesh as well as suppressing their bodies to the floor. They dropped like flies whose wings were violently torn off. Struggling and screaming, yet finding no relief as Irina made sure that they would not ‘die’. It was what her master had ordered after all. “No…! No! No! I can’t die here!” they shouted with desperate breaths.
They tried to crawl away through those steaming chains that branded their flesh. “None of you will escape,” however, they were stopped as black spears covered in an inferno appeared to stab at their hands and legs- ‘Flame Spear’.
Beyond repair and skirting over the border of death. The knight’s screams feel to an almost literal deadly silence. They were ‘unconscious’, and extremely unlikely that they’d work as knights again… if they could survive.
Mordred turned away- a ‘death sentence’. ‘Now then, these knights came from the direction of that large smoke,’ civilization was bound to be there. Probably being razed to the ground by knights with similarly adorned uniform. There was no need to waste further time with hypothesis as he could almost taste their hostility with his ‘intuition’ ability. “Irina, we’re leaving.”
A few seconds later, another crime scene was stumbled upon. A small border village of wooden houses and sticks was under terror by an onslaught of violent knights. Their armour dyed more crimson than the very flames that surrounded the village. About forty to fifty knights rampaged around as they mercilessly cut down the unarmed villagers.
‘What now…?’ if he helped the villagers he’d make an enemy of those knights and whatever power was backing them. If he left them, his own gut wouldn’t feel satisfied. “Tch, this is why morality is bullshit,” he whispered to himself as his expression soured. To kill to save, was one more just than the other if all life is purported to be equal? There was no ‘correct’ answer.
“Master?” concerned by his expression Irina called to him.
He sighed. “Yeah… you’re right,” he gave answer to a question that was never asked. He could no longer wash his hands of this incident regardless of the decision to join the fray. He realized, ‘it’s not about right or wrong, but whether the answer is correct for the situation’. That being the case, “then the correct answer here would be…”
The answer was intervention with ‘anonymity’. If neither the villagers nor knights knew what faction he belonged to, then he could act as a mysterious ‘third party’. Absolving guilt while making no enemies. Yet, just the two of them was not impressive enough. He needed to make it flashier.
Mordred stretched out his arms. A surge of power rushed past him as they extended out and sunk into the ground before him. “Divine Marionette,” he chanted the name of the spell. There was no strict necessity in doing so but it helped him get into the mindset.
A bright white magical circle etched over. White gauntlets burst forth from the dirt floor as though zombies reclaiming life. Humanoid figures adorned in majestic white armour dug themselves out of the ground. Upon closer inspection they were lifeless puppets, however with an enclosed helm and animated movement they could pass off as ‘real’. One or two wasn’t enough… ‘More’.
“About, fifteen should do,” Mordred repeated the activation sequence of Divine Marionette summoning. A small squadron of holy armoured knights gathered behind him. Mordred himself had been dressed appropriately enough in his white overcoat but his face was revealed. To remedy this, he pulled out a small white mask that was just a blank slate. With only one hole for eyes, it was impractical, but for Mordred he could navigate perfectly through his enhanced senses.
With the illusion of a unified mysterious force, Mordred prepared himself. “Irina, I won’t say not to kill them this time, but try to hold back. I still need most them alive to extract information.”
Irina nodded, “if that is your command, my master.”
With that set up done, Mordred and his little squadron of puppets burst forth from hiding. Their illuminating appearance it was hard to ignore them. Several knights immediately forwarded their attention to the new threat as they shouted to each other.
“W- what’s going on?! Who are these guys?!”
“I- I don’t know!”
Mordred smirked heartily beneath his helmet as he saw the frightened figure of the enemy. He raised his hands without a word and pointed to the savage brigands amid subjugation. With a single clear and authoritative voice, he commanded… “Attack.”