Polymath Redux Annex
Chapter 40 – Regalia, the Spectral Blade

“… Addendum: I may have underestimated Subject 02’s cognitive abilities. Clearly, it understands complex social relationships and dynamics. Which further reveals that it may not be as feral as I had initially thought.” Mordred grasped the hilt of the presented black sword and studied it in more detail. Less like a traditional European-themed weapon, there had been a closer resemblance to eastern weaponry. More specifically, “a Katana…” He wondered if this was a coincidence or if there had been a reason as to why it adopted this theme.

Surely, with its fighting style- rash and incoherent- a different weapon would’ve suited its purpose better. A katana was arguably a very useful slashing weapon, but if the monster intended to incorporate all manner of erratic and wild movements from slashing to piercing and blunt force attacks, then a western double-edged blade would’ve been more useful. ‘Perhaps I’m overthinking this,’ Mordred shook his head and faced the monster.

It stared back at him through those two large hollow eyes. A telepathic message was then transferred from the blade to Mordred’s mind directly. A voice echoed in his head, “Bleed… Stab us… Claim us…” it spoke simple but ominous instructions to complete the servitude ritual. All of this was completely foreign to him; Hellgana never had such a gruesome system before. That said, “very well,” there was nothing to lose by partaking in this procedure.

Mordred took the blade and pricked his finger. A thin trail of crimson liquid slid down the edge of the blade. It glimmered with a slight sanguine tint. He then took the blade and pointed it directly at the monster’s chest. It made no movements and awaited.

Rather than a direct stab, the sword tainted with his blood sank into the shadow monster’s body. Still with the hilt in his grasp, Mordred felt a rush of stamina and ‘magic’ rapidly drain from his body through the sword and transfer into the monster. It was a sensation similar to having a blood drawn by a doctor. Only, instead of a needle a vacuum cleaner was used. That said, this rapid draining of stamina and magic could be remedied by a certain skill. ‘Meditation’, a ‘Magician’ class skill that increased MP regeneration by a factor of 900%.

As useful as this skill had been for mages, there were two major downsides. The first was that the user was unable to move faster than walking speed, which often made them out to be sitting ducks in an open battlefield. The second was that if the user was attacked then the skill’s channel would be immediately cancelled and the skill would also entire a long cooldown. However, for situations like this it was the perfect skill; more MP was being replenished than it was drained.

In regards to stamina depletion, an equivalent skill existed in the ‘Warrior’ skill-tree. ‘Respite’ was a skill that accelerated stamina regeneration by 900%. Of course, this skill also had the downside of not being able to run and would cancel itself upon being attacked. As a side, ‘Goddess’s Grace,’ was a health regeneration skill with the same effects and drawbacks in the ‘Templar’ skill-tree.

Mordred relinquished hold over the black sword and when the servitude ritual came to a close, the shadow monster became engulfed by a black flame. It reminded Mordred of the time he had first summoned Irina and that flashy fire effect upon her summon. The harrowing black flames died down to reveal the features of an unexpected makeover.

Her atmosphere commanded attention.

A female. Long, glistening black hair as though she had just stepped out of the shower. It flowered gently down her shoulders. Her eyelashes were long and elegant, yet hidden under those graceful features were the golden eyes of a demon filled with madness. Almost hypnotic, one could hear a long painful silence as they gazed into her piercing eyes. Her luscious pink lips curled to a small smirk. Behind those cherry-like lips however, were razor sharp teeth. Her choice of attire was a long black kimono decorated with red floral patterns. Those long sleeves covering away half her face as she smiled back at her new master. Unlike the ragged shadow figures from before, there were more curvatures now. The contours of her body seductively on full display.

‘From looks alone she appears to be around early-to-mid-twenties,’ Mordred surmised. “Ah~ what delightful magic. I praise you, my Lord. For this insatiable magical thirst has been quenched by your mana. I shall sing your name for all eternity.” Those were the first coherent words the shadow monster spoke. Her voice was as charming as her lithe decorative figure. A kind of anaesthetic suggestion to her tone.

“Subject 02… no, what is your name?”

The monster stood with her hands upon her stomach. She gave a graceful bow. “My Lord, I am known as ‘Regalia’. Pleased, I am most honoured to be under the servitude of a great being such as yourself,” the entity known as ‘Regalia’ introduced herself. There was no reason to refuse more servants if they offered themselves to him, but the thing Mordred was more concerned about was the reason. While it could’ve simply been because of the overwhelming destructive power he had displayed, for some reason he did not think that was the only reason.

“Is that so?” Mordred replied with barely any shift in outward emotions. “Then, ‘Regalia’, why don’t you start by explaining everything to me. What are you? Where did you come from? And why did you come here?”

Regalia paused for a minute to collect herself. She took a deep breath and began to recall her story. “I am… we are a race known as ‘Shadow Fiends’.”


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