Polymath Redux Annex
Chapter 48 – What happened here was a real mess
Through her ‘Dragon’s eye’ technique, Irina watched Yda run out of the building. On her way, she brushed passed her master who had just come back from a mission. She did not acknowledge him, a crime punishable with execution, but she stayed her hand. The desperation and tears in that human’s face was enough remuneration.
Her master, ‘Mordred’, had returned to inspect the condition of the inn. He stood at the centre of the building simply glancing around in every direction assessing the damage. The door had been bust down from its hinges, furniture had been destroyed for no apparent reason and all the draws and cupboard had been ransacked. Irina had seen it all, what had happened to his place.
“Irina,” her master called for her. Like a phoenix she appeared from a bright flare. Her fiery hair swaying side to side as the sparks died down. She knelt before her master like a knight to her king.
“I have answered your summons, my master.”
“What happened here?” something was clearly different. His voice was a little tenser than usual. As tolerant and all-seeing as her master was, this minute change in his tone was enough for her to understand that he had been extremely displeased.
When she replied with the same stoic and nonchalant tone, “earlier, a group of hooded men from the church arrived and raided the place. They took both the woman and child,” her master’s hand clenched to a fist. At that moment, she realized her mistake. It was something she should’ve thought about beforehand but she had placed too much emphasis on the task her master had given her that she neglected thinking about anything else. This was the place that her master had rested, it should’ve occurred to her that this was now a sacred place, and that if such a temple was destroyed then he would naturally be angered.
Her heart started to beat faster and out of control. She felt a shortness of breath. Sweat rolled down the side of her face and her vision became blurred. “What?” her master asked in a low and whispered tone. “And you’re telling me that you did nothing to stop them?”
“…” silence was all she could muster up. When Irina glanced back up, she just as quickly averted her gaze in fear. Her body started to tremble at the mistake she had caused. The colour of her face paled, even the words that came out of her mouth were stuttered, “I- I… apologize, my master… I did not think.”
“Of course,” her master spoke to himself as he clicked his tongue in annoyance. “In the end, you’re still just a script controlled by an artificial intelligence,” he muttered under his breath. She did not truly understand what he meant, but it was more than enough to know that he was disappointed in her actions. The thought that perhaps this failure may lead to him abandoning her griped her heart in even more fear.
Her master turned his back on her. He let out a small pulse of his true strength. A depth of power that dwarfed even her own. It sent chills down her spine and she had become disoriented just standing in such a smothering presence. A small child before the mighty universe. She clutched her head as a migraine invaded her thoughts. Yet, what had drained Irina of all colour by far, was when her master had called out the name of another, “Regalia.”
The shadows beneath his feet swirled and animated to life. A woman clad in a black kimono gracefully bowed at her master’s summons. Irina did not know who this was, but most likely a second servant. She froze in place. The desperation and tear that the human wench showed, for the first time Irina had felt that she understood what it was like. That kind of helplessness and horror. All of a sudden, that human wench seemed so... close. Less disgusting.
The new servant glanced to Irina’s direction. Her golden eye shining brightly; laughing, or so it had felt like. She did not truly smile or laugh, but ignored her all the same. Standing beside her master was someone else. “Regalia, I’m sending you ahead to scout out the church.”
“Yes, my lord,” responded the woman as she disappeared into the shadows.
“Master, I too,” Irina tried to offer herself but her master did not even turn his head to greet her.
“No, you will stay here.” That was all. As she heard her master’s footstep become farther away, she felt the void closing in on her. Frozen in place with that shame kneeling stance, she wondered to herself if she had finally been abandoned. Even if that were the case, she would continue to stay here as her master had ordered. Hoping that one day he would come back.
Waiting. “Forgive me… master.”