Polymath Redux Annex



Chapter 41 – Concerning the case of the race known as ‘Shadow Fiends’


Polymath Redux Annex
Chapter 41 – Concerning the case of the race known as ‘Shadow Fiends’

‘Shadow Fiends’, they were not a naturally occurring species, but an artificial construct. Even then, such descriptions were not completely apt. It would have been much more accurate to call them a ‘sentient by-product’-anomaly- of a certain magical incident. Though it may not be the most ‘politically correct’ way to address them, it was undeniable that they were truly just a ‘mistake’. That said, being a mistake did not always necessarily mean that they were ‘unwanted’.

“We are a symbiotic race,” spoke the kimono-clad woman, ‘Regalia’. “We require a host to sustain ourselves.”

“So you say, but I have seen you exist and fight without a host until now,” Mordred retorted. “What say you to that?”

“My apologies for not being specific enough,” Regalia lowered her head. “We are able to exist without a host, but only in a very limited form; nothing more than mere shadows; as nothing more than husks with exceedingly limited cognitive abilities, moving only about by instincts. Our powers and existence wane with each passing day until eventually we would perish.”

Mordred thought for a moment. It was true that Regalia now had a much more solid form and her intelligence did spike up quite a degree. “If that were true then why have you neglected to find a host until now? From what I can make out of this, the more time you exist without a host, the more your mind deteriorates. Would it not have been the most optimal solution to simply find the nearest person to become a host?”

“It is, unfortunately, not that simple. The actual requirements to finding a host does not take much, however it is still very difficult. For starters, we are unable to make beings weaker than us our hosts. The moment we try, the host would die from an overdose of our magic.” Regalia paused for a moment, her head cast down in shadows. She let out a sigh as she continued, “There were fifteen of us when we started, now there are only three… ‘Emblem’, ‘Crest’ and myself, ‘Regalia’… even then I am unsure if that is still the case. Amongst them I was the most powerful, however with that kind of power I was given a handicap in terms of searching for a host strong enough to resist my magic. There is also another drawback, it is that when the host dies we also die. Thus, if we tried to make a weaker being our host and they died in the ritual process then we would also perish. We could not afford to be so lax when searching for potential hosts.”

“Hmm, an interesting system,” replied Mordred as he made subtle nods here and there. “The constitution of your species also fascinates me. Supposedly, you’re an existence made entirely of sentient mana.”

“That is correct.”

“Explain to me what this ‘magical incident’ was that caused your creation.”

“I unfortunately cannot recall with much clarity as at the time I had merely been a new-born, but we were accidentally created by an unknown Deity. The ‘God of Alchemy’ as many have called them, but I am sure that that was not their only talents. It seems they merely had a penchant for testing and experimentation, that this hobby became their most distinguished trait. It was from one of their alchemic experiments that we were born.”

‘A penchant for tests and experimentations, huh…’ Mordred thought about it in his head, that it sounded similar to someone he knew but that couldn’t have been the case. A familiar voice played in his head like a record. ‘Why do I play this game? Unlike you guys, I don’t continue to log in because I find it fun to do so. I simply need a place I can escape to. Whenever I come here it’s like a secret place for me to let all the theories swirling around in my head to settle down and congeal. It’s like meditation. When it’s all done I’ll return to the university's lab and continue on with my experiments'. “What is the name of this ‘deity’?”

Regalia shook her head, “we do not know. While there are many people who vaguely know that person via their title, nothing concrete is known about them. They do not appear in any sort of historical documents or legends, but they are known for the creation of one permanent monument. That is the city known as ‘Sage Gate.”

“Sage Gate?”

“It is a grand floating city that orbits this world. Many scientists, magicians and alchemists go to that place in order to further their education. It is the seat of power for all intellectuals, and the one who governs that city is known as the ‘Grand Magus’.”

Mordred noted to himself, ‘I suppose I’ll eventually have to seek out this city as well. Not to mention that ‘God of Alchemy’ should also be investigated into thoroughly’. “I see. We’ve veered rather off topic. Concerning back to your constitution and the connection between you and your host. How long are you able to exist outside of my body?”

“As long as it is near your vicinity then I am able to exist like this indefinitely, however once the distance begins to grow larger the limitations become stricter. Every so often, I must come back to my host and replenish my mana as well as my connection. I would say the maximum amount of time I can exist with some level of distance away from my host is about five days.”

“Next question, how did you find out about me? I’m assuming you caused all the strangeness within this Labyrinth because you wanted to gather my attention.”

Regalia fidgets to herself for a moment before answering with a blush, “I did not know specifically of your existence, my Lord. As I have mentioned, up until we had just completed the ‘servitude ritual’, I was more or less an instinct driven monster. That said, I felt an explosion of magical power from this area. A few days ago, a powerful ‘Red Dragon’ had been slain and it was that catalyst which drove me to try and find a host here. Eventually, I had found you, my Lord.”

“And when you found me, you still decided to lay a trap and attack me.”

Regalia lowered her head, practically touching the dirt floor. “I must apologize, at the time I was still in the process of ‘losing myself’ and did not have proper mastery over my own body. Thankfully, now that my Lord has accepted to become my host there is no longer any risk of a relapse to that shameful state.”

“Is that so?” as Mordred asked the entire Labyrinth began to tremble. Small piles of stone and dust came crumbling from the ceiling. “Hmm? What is it now?”

“I suspect that the Golem is trying to reform itself,” suggest Regalia.

“A pain. I’ll skip it,” Mordred shook his head. “Regalia, there should be an item known as a ‘Crystal Flower’ here. Retrieve it for me.”

“Understood!” Regalia answered as her form dissipated into shadows. It took no more than a few seconds for her to return with a flower that seemed to be made of a glimmering blue glass. It glowered magnificently and reflected much light. “I believe this is the item in question, my Lord.”

“Good work, now we’ll be getting out of here.” Mordred said as he draped Cecilia’s unconscious Elven body over his shoulders like a sack of potatoes. “Then, for the first experiment, let’s see if you can survive long-distance teleportation,” he smirked as he took out an item that resembled a rugged red crystal.


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