Polymath Redux Annex
Chapter 38 – Mission: Obtain the Crystal Flower from the Manatite Forest (8)
“Mordred!” screamed the voice of an absolutely horrified young girl. The person in question, ‘Mordred’, was flung across the fort’s arena and smashed into a nearby stone column, where he leaked precious life fluids from the point of damage: his upper torso. That said however, he was not truly hurt, ‘a minor inconvenience,’ as his mind had so aptly described his rightfully ‘fatal predicament’. Not because he was damaged, but because this was no longer a game, meaning that he now had to actually wash his bloodstained armour when everything was over. ‘Such a nuisance,’ he sighed as he tried to get back up.
However, he stopped at the last second when he saw something infinitely more amusing. That small body of the Elvish girl, ‘Cecilia’, began to glow with a righteous and divine flame. White and holy. Something he had prior knowledge of, not from this world but that world behind the monitor- from ‘Hellgana’. At the very least, if it wasn’t the same thing, then it was rather familiar. Of course, with a fantasy world with Elves and Dragons, he had not neglected to think that perhaps some may exist in this world as well. Or rather, this was the most likely explanation. “Deities…” he whispered under his breath as he bore witness to her magnificent and glowing figure.
“Argh!” she yelled as she clutched tightly onto her head as though suffering from an insufferable migraine. Her irises turned to a pale shade of very light grey. The aura about her flared with magnificence, yet at the same time violent and unpredictable. She no longer had the dignified grace of an experienced professional mercenary or tracker, but her entire being gave off the presence more akin to a force of nature- unstoppable and unstable. Small and transparent wings sprouted from her back, upturned and free. The earthy ground beneath her feet left trails of white flame as she moved. “No… dammit! You… I’ll kill you!” rage in her voice, she roared towards the shadow monster.
Naturally, such actions immediately attracted the monster’s attention. It was taunted. Unable to ignore, it shifted its ghastly pale eyes onto the glowing elf. The abhorrent smile upon its face flipped and the blackened sword raised. It pointed towards that small body with accusation as it growled in a low hum. It moved forward a few steps, then it suddenly transition into a full sprint. It lunged towards Cecilia waving its blade around like a chained morning star mace.
Upon reaching striking distance it swung down that black sword like a guillotine. However, wouldn’t be that easy. On pure instinct, Cecilia dodged the attack. Her body fluttered to the side weightlessly as the small wings upon her back flapped a few times. She contorted her body, winding it up as she delivered a roundhouse kick straight to the shadow monster’s face. Surprisingly, it had connected with the supposedly incorporeal existence. Most likely, the monster did not even think that it was possible for it to suffer from a direct attack and did not attempt to dodge. As a result, it suffered a frontal assault with no guard to its face. Its shadowy body fell back several meters, dragging and digging the earth as it was pushed back.
Mordred watched with equal levels of amusement and study. ‘True damage, interesting…’ it was the closest equivalent concept that Mordred knew of for this phenomenon. In the game, ‘True Damage’ allowed a player’s attack to pierce through all defense and state. Something similar was happening here. Due to the horrendously powerful nature of ‘True Damage’, there were only a handful of ways to obtain that state. Some very rare items could give a player such effects, some skills had that inbuilt feature, but there was also one special class also granted the user temporary True Damage. ‘Could it be that deities in this world also operate on a similar system?’
When the dust finally cleared, the monster’s body was no longer there. Cecilia quickly scanned the area for it, yet it was too late by the time she managed to locate it. Through the surrounding shadows, it manifested itself so suddenly before her that she was left wide open and vulnerable. Without warning or signal, the monster smashed the black sword against her body like it was a blunt weapon.
A spark and pinging sound echoed against the walls of the ancient fort. A translucent white barrier protected Cecilia from the monster’s attack- although small cracks did appear against the shield. Once again, the monster had been left stunned by the ineffectual nature of its attack. Normally, the opposite was true but when faced on the other end of such helpless situation it clearly did not know how to react. It stood still for Cecilia to counterattack: a straight gut punch. Strong enough that a good portion of the ground beneath them upheaved.
The shadow monster spewed something close to spit, black oily substance dripped from its ghostly white mouth. It’s face- though lacking features- did contort to reveal an expression of pain. She did not stop there, and continued her onslaught by sweeping its legs and pinned the monster to the ground. Once mounted she continued with her bombardment of divine punches. As amusing as it was to watch, it was clear that Cecilia’s mind was no longer the dominant force in her body. She moved purely on rage and instincts driven by a berserker-like violence.
“Kaaaa!” for the first time the monster let out a howling screech. It was a sound that could’ve sent chills to even the most hardened warriors. If it stayed, the only death by pummelling would remain for it. The monster seemed unwilling to let that happen and attempted to turn the situation around. Several of those iconic black swords were summoned mid-air. Taking the opportunity in which Cecilia was distracted with her pummelling, the monster called down the swords to strike.
As expected, those black swords were intercepted by the mysterious holy barrier. The strength of the barrier was indeed strong, but without proper training and conscious control, it started to waver. The black swords started to sink through the barrier. Cecilia noticed this, ceased her pummelling and turned her attentions to reinforcing the strength of the barrier. However, what this meant was that her front was wide open. The monster- employing a clever tactic- used this opportunity to summon the original black sword and stabbed it through Cecilia’s unguarded front. Blood trickled down onto the monster’s face. “Kaa…!” that same pale frown flipped once more to a blood-stained smile.