Polymath Redux Annex
Chapter 42 – End of mission, how? When?
“Seems like there are no problems with taking you through long distance teleportation. Any discomforts, Regalia?” Mordred could feel her presence emanating from within. A hard-to-describe intrinsic sensation, like he was wearing a thin layer of clothing over everything else he already wore.
To answer his questions, a woman clad in an elegant black kimono appeared from the depths of his shadows. She graced him with a perfect forty-five degree bow, “none, my Lord.” Half her face hidden behind her long sleeves, her golden eye greeted him with a smile. With that brief exchange, she disappeared quietly back into his shadow to await his next commands.
With the childishly proportioned elf slung on his back, they were now back where they had begun. Not at the edge of the Manatite forest, but at the edge of the capital city of Solaris. That long six hour journey on foot reduced to a mere few minutes with the teleportation crystal. Mordred thought that perhaps this was what it must’ve felt like when technology improved and sailing ships no longer had to be used. Everything could be airdropped from anywhere within the world, at least that world. ‘Convenience at the expense of romance…’
Mordred gently placed Cecilia’s small body against the wall. He crouched down to her and stared for a good few seconds at her peacefully sleeping face. Her face was like rubber; an almost impossible to hold back urge welled up inside him to pull her cheeks but he resisted. She was so small. Her cherry coloured lips subtly agape as she breathed in with her mouth. It was difficult to believe that there was a mysterious and divine power sleeping deep below the recesses of her mind and body. Looking at her like this, he didn’t want to wake her up from this picturesque peaceful scene.
However, things had to move on. He lightly tapped her across the shoulders. Her eyes twitched a little before she moved her small hands to rub them. “Mn…? Huh…? Huh?! What?! Where?! Who…? What happened?! Mordred?!” she suddenly burst up and desperately scanned the scene around her. The confusion and disorientation she was suffering from was understandable; the last thing she should’ve remembered was getting stabbed through the stomach by Regalia’s blade.
It was better to have her not know about what happened after fell unconscious. “You don’t remember anything?” Mordred asked, of course knowing that she would question him back with…
“What are you talking about?” she raised one eyebrow.
“After all the strangeness that went down in the Labyrinth, it turned out that the culprit behind those phenomena was a strange shadow monster.”
“Ah, I remember that part…” Cecilia massaged her eyes trying to recall her most recent memories of that time. “Yeah, that shadow monster attacked us and then you… that’s right! Mordred you were…!” her eyes widened and quickly shifted back to Mordred’s chest. “You were killed! Wait… what happened? How did you survive?”
Mordred let out a small smile and shrugged, “I think you may have been a little too hasty in jumping to conclusions. It is true that I suffered a direct attack by that shadow monster, but most of the damage was absorbed by my armour and all that happened to me was a bit of blood spillage. I’m fine now... or at least, that was my initial assessment. That monster's attack phased through my armour and bit me directly. But look," Mordred took out the pieces of the golden locket Cecilia had given him at the start of the dungeon. "I think it was thanks to this I survived." He smiled back. "Thanks to you."
“R- really? Cecilia remained a little unconvinced of it all. The locket was in pieces so the effect shouldn't have activated, but it was undeniable that Mordred was alive and in front of her. “I seem to recall that you lost quite a bit of blood. The sight of which made me… right, what did happen after that?”
“That was an amazing power,” Mordred complimented. “Your entire body began to glow and become engulfed by some kind of white flame. Your power practically quadrupled and you were able to fight against the shadow monster on equal footing. That part doesn’t seem familiar to you?”
“No, I mean, I do remember going a little berserk, but everything after that becomes fuzzy,” she shook her head. “Ugh, it always ends up like this when I go into that state.”
“I figured as much. You looked like you didn’t really have proper control over that form and was basically attacking on instinct.”
“Yeah… that’s why I don’t like using that uncontrollable power. So? What happened after I went berserk?”
“Well, you managed to defeat the monster.”
“What, just like that?”
“Yeah, you both continued to slug it out for quite a bit of time and eventually the shadow monster gave out first and that’s how you won. What did you expect? It’s not like you used any sort of strategy. At least, not one I could consciously perceive.”
“Ah… I see, so that’s what happened,” Cecilia let out a sigh. “Why did we even go to that Labyrinth…? Oh, that’s right, we went to retrieve the Crystal Flower. I suppose that’s a bust now too, considering what happened.”
“Actually, I managed to find it on our way out,” Mordred presented a small glowing flower made of glass. It glowed with a soothing blue tint and almost felt as though it was singing. Watching this flower made the soul feel cleaner. Cecilia took a hold of the flower to examine its authenticity.
“This really is the Crystal flower we were after. Good job on getting it. Now all that’s left is to return to the capital and hand in the quest.”
“About that too, actually we’re already here.”
Cecilia froze. She slowly turned to ask “huh?”
“You were out for a really long time. No surprise, considering how much you were fighting. While you were out, I managed to carry both you and our luggage back to the capital. You’re actually pretty light for your age.”
“How did you even…” she shook her head. “Know what? I’m not even going to bother questioning that. Fine, if we’re already here then let’s go turn in our quest. It’s been a long day and I need to drink something.” She stood back up and just before they decided to head back, Cecilia whispered under her breath, “thanks.”