Polymath Redux Annex
Chapter 25 – Enter: Cecilia
The short Elvish girl stormed her way through the bar- it was as though fire was burning in the background. The earths seemed to quake with every furious step. She advanced. The bar became that much quieter. Veteran mercenaries almost double and triple her size instinctively cleared the path for her tiny frame. She stomped forward and stopped right before Mordred’s table- in front of Roland. Her knife sharp red gaze pierced at him, like a guillotine slowly raised to its apex, one last chance to explain himself was given.
Roland threw his hands up in submission. “Cecilia! Ah, that time… right, that time I had just remembered something very important that needed to be taken care of. Besides, I thought that as an elf you would be able to… you know,” he let out a small hesitant laugh as he trailed off. For a moment, the Elvish girl’s silence made it appear as though that farce of a story had been bought. However, on closer inspection that could not have been any further from the truth. The edge of her shoulders trembled with anger. Her downcast head slowly raised from the shadows as she stabbed at him with just her eyes.
“You… what? You thought all elves were tree hugging hippies?! I’m a city elf you dolt!” she burst out. In an impressive demonstration of great athleticism, she jumped upon the table and drew her bow. She pulled back the string and held the arrow aimed straight for the centre of Roland’s face. Her eyes were locked on. “You have five seconds to restate your excuse, and if I’m not satisfied, it’s execution!”
It was an amazing scene. If this happened back at Mordred’s original world the girl would’ve been dragged out no less than five seconds after she barged into the tavern. He watched as sweat rolled profusely down the side of Roland’s face. A desperate protest, “There… there was an important job! I received an incredible job that’s said to pay super well! If this goes smoothly then all our debts can be washed away! Knowing that, I’d be a fool not to take it, right?! You know what it’s like to be dirt poor, right Cecilia?!”
“Old man….” the Elvish girl, named ‘Cecilia’, whispered beneath her breath. A smile quickly turned into a frown. “Are those your last words? Because I’m going to friggin’ kill you now!”
The grip on Cecilia’s bowstring tightened. Her crimson eyes started to flicker and fade; first into a pink hue then eventually into a raging pale white. ‘Huh?’ Mordred thought to himself as he observed this curious phenomenon. ‘Changing iris colours… now where have I seen that before?’ of course it had been rampant in modern fictional media so there were all sorts of references that flooded into Mordred’s head. However, there was a more ‘correct’ answer that he felt in his chest. A deep and ‘nostalgic’… sensation.
Just before the grip on the bowstring started to become loosened, Roland shouted as a last-ditch effort, “Cecilia! Your eyes! Your eyes have changed!”
She immediately responded to this queer statement. Cecilia powered down and withdrew her bow. Her face suddenly became flustered as though a high school girl coming face-to-face with her crush. She crouched down onto the table and buried her face behind her knees in a foetal position. Through the gaps she peered out and confronted Mordred, “You… did you see?” she asked in a tone reminiscent of accusing him if he had peeked at her undergarments.
As the diplomat he was, Mordred shook his head and shrugged, “see what?”
“Hmph, if you didn’t see then don’t worry about it,” though still suspicious, she ignored Mordred and focused her attention back to the main problem. She jumped down from the table and took a seat opposite Roland. As she did the normal sound of the tavern returned as the excitement died. “So? What kind of mission was so important that you had to ditch me in the middle of the forest? I had to navigate my way through that blasted forest for two days! Two days, you hear?!”
“Ah, I’m sorry, I said I’m sorry.” Roland thrust up his arms in defeat once more. “Anyway, it’s something I can do by myself so you don’t have to worry about it.”
“Well, If I don’t have to do any work then whatever.”
“Hmm, ah! I have an idea, why don’t you take this guy on for his first mission? He seems eager to take on a big job even though he’s still a greenhorn,” Roland roughly patted Mordred’s back to bring his existence into attention. “He’s new to the city and all, so you can teach him the ropes while you’re at it.”
“Huh?! Why do I have to babysit this greenhorn?!” Cecilia protested. “He doesn’t look like he’s had even a day’s worth of hard-work!”
“Come now, don’t be like that. Although I’m not sure exactly how strong this guy is, he does look rather capable, doesn’t he? Anyway, just think that you’re doing me a favour and take one for the team. If nothing else, you can always use him to carry your stuff.”
“Ugh… fine! Whatever, it’s not like I had plans or anything.” Despite her initial protest, there had been no further reluctance from Cecilia for taking on this burden. There had been some discussion upon what Mordred’s first mission should be to establish himself, but Cecilia withdrew a small piece of paper from her pockets and tossed it to the table. “Tsk, fine. If I’m forced to look after some idiot, then at least let me do the mission I want to do. I say we’re going to be doing this!”
The language was still foreign and vague, almost bordering on runes and glyphs but the meaning behind them could be easily comprehended. “Mission Objective: Obtain the ‘Crystal Flower’ from the ‘Manatite Forest’.”