Polymath Redux Annex
Chapter 44 – ‘The incident’
“That Yda… three days. Just when does she plan on coming back?” Rena let out a sigh as she blankly stared at the eggs frying on the pan, the sides of which were slowly being toasted to a light brown crisp. Whilst in that state of concerned daze, she felt a small tug at the hem of her apron. When she gazed down, a small and cute child looked back up at her with a worried expression. Her small eyebrows furrowed up as though she were about to cry and her tiny hands grasping onto the side of her clothes.
“Mommy? Are you okay?” her daughter, ‘Charlotte’, called out in a meek but soothing voice. Unable to resist the urge that was her daughter’s adorableness, Rena crouched down to tightly embrace and rub her face against hers. “Mn… Mommy, it’s hard to breathe,” the small girl protested but did not resist.
“Hya!” it was only when a small portion of searing oil popped out of the frying pan and lightly scathed across Rena’s skin that she finally let go. She quickly turned down the fire to the stove and sighed when she saw the charred remains of what were supposed to be breakfast. “Oh no. I really shouldn’t be so absentminded when cooking. Hmm,” she turned back to her small daughter still looking up at her and clinging onto the side of her apron. “Charlotte, do you want to help mommy with the cooking?” she asked.
Charlotte gave a short nod, “yes! Please let me help!” she replied with a hearty smile.
“Okay, just stay here for a bit, I’ll try to find something you can use as an apron. Digging through the cupboards, Rena found a large table cloth that could be used as a makeshift apron for her daughter. She crouched back down to tie it around Charlotte’s small waist and nodded with satisfaction at how snuggly it had fit. “Mhm, it looks cute~ now then, Charlotte, could you pass me the salt?”
“Okay, mommy!” she happily ran over to a group bottles with different seasonings written on them. “Mn… sa… salt…” she tried to read out the label.
Before their little mother-daughter ‘cooking session’ could begin, a loud knock came from the front door. “Hmm? Could it be Yda? Oh, I think Mr. Mordred also said he’d be back around today.” Thinking that it was them, Rena moved over to the front door whilst wiping her hand against the apron. “I’m coming.” However, as she was about to open the door for them, it had been violently burst down from its hinges. She fell to the floor on her back, “Kya?! W- what is going on?!” A loud ‘thud’ echoed through the building as dust flew up.
Taking advantage of the ensuing chaos, several hooded figures rushed into the quaint little building. They wore plated leather armour that looked several times more expensive than the general ones used by the city’s mercenaries and even official guards. With their hooded faces, none of their identities could be ascertained- not that she would know any of them even if they weren’t. They each all held weapons in hand or had swords attached to their sides. While their identities were all obscured, the one thing that Rena had immediately recognized were the crests marked upon the left side of their chests. A circle within a circle. The inner circle was surrounded by small lines making it seem like the rays of the sun; a very well-known symbol within Xagontetia. ‘The church?!’ she shuddered with that thought and started to crawl back.
“Mommy?!” a voice rushed out of the kitchen to see what all the commotion was about.
“No Charlotte! Stay away!” Rena shouted in vain as her daughter revealed herself to the sinister men. When she tried to protect her daughter, one of the hooded men pinned her against the floor by stepping on her back.
“Mommy!” her daughter rushed to her but was forcefully picked up midway. A rugged looking older man whose identity was not obscured like the rest. He did not wear the crest of the church either but it was obvious that he was no friend. His skin was slightly tanned and the numerous scars upon his body revealed a history of violence. Rather than a member of the clergy, he looked more like a mercenary- one with a long history in that job too.
“What are you doing?!” Rena protested from the floor. “Please let my daughter go!”
The older man looked back down at her with a rather sympathetic gaze. With Charlotte still struggling in his hands as he held her like a kitten he crouched down closer to Rena. He shook his head, “haa… I know this must be hard for you; I have a daughter also so I can relate to how it must feel. Personally, I’m not the biggest fan of doing it like this, but there’s no other choice. Unfortunately regarding this matter, you must’ve known that a day like this would come the moment you gave birth to ‘that’ man’s child, right?”
“No! Let go! Let my mommy go!” Charlotte continued to resist. The older man pulled out a small cloth it gently forced it over her mouth. The small child tried to struggle away from it but the longer the cloth remained over her mouth and nose she became less enthusiastic. Eventually, Charlotte’s movements stopped.
“No! What did you do to her?! What did you do to my daughter?!”
“Don’t worry, I’ve only put her to sleep. It will be much easier on the both of us that way.” The older man gestured to the hooded men to tie her up. Her arms were bound and she was tugged back to her feet. “You’ll be coming too… though, I’m not sure what that damned bishop wants with you.” He shooks his head and sighed.