Polymath Redux Annex
Chapter 35 – Mission: Obtain the Crystal Flower from the Manatite Forest (5)
“Hmm, a most interesting turn of events.” A desolate, cavernous room with nothing inside but rocks and dirt. Faint trickling of water could be heard, but from which exact location was a mystery. The only sources of light came from dimly burning purple crystals stretched just far enough apart to ensure clouded vision. Perhaps it was done deliberately by the architect of this trap for maximum annoyance. Yet, to Mordred who possessed the ‘Night Vision’ skill, their efforts were for naught.
There was also the distant smell of fresh air leaking through to the room. ‘At least I won’t suffocate to death,’ he commented. In the first place, if worse came to worst he could always blast through the walls with superior firepower. It wasn’t like the game where the terrain was almost always non-destructible.
All in all, it was true that he had fallen into a mysterious trap but the word ‘predicament’ would not be used to describe this situation. At worst, it could be summarized as a mild ‘annoyance’ or at best, ‘amusement’. For a while now he had felt hostile glares from what should have been an empty room. His ‘intuition’ skill alerted him to all their presence, yet the naked eye couldn’t perceive their true forms. That said, he had no need to force himself to try. His thoughts were cut short by the appearance of monsters, or more aptly described, ‘shadows’ that took the shape of monsters.
Whereas the monsters in this Labyrinth were merely entities of mana given the appearance of monsters, these ones weren’t even trying. They barely formed a coherent silhouette of the mobs that he had faced so far. Dire Wolves, Goblins and skeletons, yet with no physical form aside from a loose figure of those stated monsters. They took their oily steps forward, leaving behind a puddle of black smog. All their golden gaze directed at Mordred with enmity. One by one they continued to crawl closer.
The first to attack were the Dire Wolves. They lunged at him from a distance.
“Come now,” Mordred shook his head as he effortlessly dodged the attack by moving only his body just a few inches. He turned to launch a counterattack. As one of the Dire Wolves were airborne he flicked its head with his middle finger. With an explosive force, its cranium exploded and so did the rest of its body eventually disappear into shadows and dust. It fell, though unlike living beings it did not writhe in agony and only dissipated. With no real feedback to his attacks, it almost felt as though he was just striking at air.
The Goblins started to move in tandem with the Wolves. Their coordination was almost praiseworthy with how in-sync they were with each other. The Wolves leapt in for an attack, and the moment they were defeated the Shadow Goblins would appear even before the wolves’ bodies fell to the ground. They wielded their shadowy stone axes and went for an attack. “If it was anyone other than me… well, it might have actually been rather effective,” Mordred let out a bemused commented as he leaned forward. He slapped the Goblin’s axe aside, twist his body to launch a powerful round-house kick that sent the small shadowy body across the room. The creature dissipated like gas upon contact with the walls.
A few more minutes elapsed with the shadow monsters being unable to even make a scratch upon his armour. That said, the one advantage that they had were their limitless number. They continued to spawn in, most likely until Mordred died or the Magic which activated the trap ran out. Still, he was confident he could outlast it so there was no problem.
“Hey! Are you there?!” a distant voice echoed from beyond the walls. “Argh, dammit! Where did that idiot go?!” with the appearance of the voice the shadow monsters started to retreat for some reason. They crept back into the walls and even their hostility could no longer be sensed by ‘intuition’. ‘What a strange trap.’
“Hmm? Oh, Cecilia, is that you?” Mordred replied.
“Huh? There you are! Where the hell have you been?!” that fiery voice echoed through the voice carrying equal parts distress and relief. “I’ve been looking for you for the past fifty minutes! The fact that you somehow fell into a trap when you were right behind me is almost admirable! You deserve a big medal!”
“Yes, I do apologize.” Mordred offered words of reflection, though even Cecilia would’ve noticed the insincerity behind them. She let out a sigh. “If you don’t mind, please help me get out of this room.”
“Whatever, then just stand back.”
Complying with her instructions, there were slight trembling vibrations. Explosions. The grounds quaked and the sounds started to get louder. After a series of six detonations, on the seventh, the wall collapsed along with a massive glacial gale. Dust and debris flew all about the place. Once they had cleared, a new path through the walls had been created. Beyond them stood a disgruntled, short elf. She crossed her arms while her small, cute mouth were upturned into a frown. She glared back at him through those ruby eyes then shook her head with a sigh.
“Much obliged.” Mordred walked out with a smile.
“Much obliged, my ass! God dammit, how did you even fall into a trap when you were right behind me?”
“I’ve no clue, but it’s a good thing you came when you did. I almost started to cry thinking that I would be permanently trapped down here.”
“You say that but you look like you haven’t even broken a sweat. Heck, I look like I’m in a worse condition than you! Tsk, I should’ve just left you in there for a few more hours.” She turned her back, but her ears twitched- not unlike a dog who was waiting for her master’s reply. “This time, if you fall into another trap, I’m going to just let you rot in here.”