Polymath Redux Annex
Chapter 54 - Extracting the truth
“Tsk… oh dear, they truly are just a bunch of useless fools, aren’t they?” Bishop Midas commented as he glanced over to the fallen and writhing bodies of his own men. He clicked his tongue in annoyance as he retreated his pudgy frame a few steps. His eyes twitched trying desperately to scan around for a way to escape or somehow turn the situation around. To his left was a large and angry Titan that was ready to crush his head in with his bare hand and to the left was the shadow woman put his men to a meat grinder.
What made the situation worse was that girl, ‘Yda’, she strolled up to him as though she meant to do something. As if she had some kind right to stand before and challenge his God given privileges. In the corner of the room was the woman he had kidnapped, ‘Rena’, embracing the child in her arms, ‘Charlotte’. He turned over to Yda and thought, ‘no, maybe I can use this!’ he moved his hands forward and like the strange armoured man, the shadows beneath the Midas’s feet riled up and burst to life like a large wave. It spread itself over the stage, ready to crash upon Yda and use the ensuing chaos to escape. “Hehehe! Die!” he shouted, laughing even while his body trembled in fear.
“Kyah!” the girl shrieked back, using those thin, bony arms to defend herself against the shadow that was about to crash down on her. Yet, of course nothing goes according to his plans. Just moments away from his shadow coming down, the shadow woman moved in front and used that black blade to cut shadows. It was an impossible sight, as if someone had cut the very oceans themselves, the shadows split it two and completely missed the initial target, destroying only the furniture of the cathedral’s hall.
“I had been a bit curious about it since before, but it seems your Shadow Fiend is incomplete,” the armoured man commented as he jumped onto the stage. His helmet’s visor had been drawn up but due to the darkness of night his identify couldn’t be fully ascertained. The only thing Midas could see were those menacing red eyes that shone through the darkness. “It doesn’t even have a solid form, or rather, considering your overwhelming lack of magical talent, I don’t understand how you’re in control of one.”
The armoured man said something, but Midas couldn’t really understand. He only returned a quizzical gaze and returned the question, “what are you talking about? What the hell is a Shadow Fiend?”
“Hmm? You don’t even know about the power you’re using?”
“What, this shadow? Heh, I don’t have to tell you anything,” Midas laughed just to taunt the man.
“Well, no matter,” the armoured man sighed as he shook his head. “I’ll get the answer out of you eventually. For the time being, why don’t you fight like humans?” the man directed his gaze at the girl. Yda drew close with an enclosed fist and without even saying anything struck him across the face. So unexpected was that blow, Midas had lost his balance and fell to the floor. He felt a warm liquid ooze down from his nose, accompanied by the taste of iron.
“Kuh!” he spat out a mouthful of blood. “You think you knaves can get away with this?! You dare raise your hands against the church?! This is treason!”
Yet, his threats fell on deaf ears. The girl slowly walked up to him and glared down with equal parts pity and condescension, “hmph, whatever. You guys may have ‘God’ on your side- or at least you claim you do- but,” the girl then returned a middle finger, “I have the greatest ‘Devil’ on mine!”
“You… you insolent blasphemer! I’ll have you all killed!” driven by his rage, Midas tried to stand back to retaliate, however the girl was too quick for him. The moment he tried to throw a punch, she swiftly swept his legs and he plummeted back to the floor face first. “Dammit!” he smashed the ground with his fists like a child throwing a tantrum, “you idiots should all be grateful that it was me in the first place!”
“Don't you even dare start with that shit! Grateful?!” the girl confronted back, “are you retarded?! Who the hell in their right minds would ever be grateful to you for having ruined their lives?!” her irritated shouts echoed through the darkened cathedral walls as she ruthlessly stomped on his head with enough force to cause a crack on the wooden stage.
“Yda… please… stop,” from the corner of the room came a meek plea. A blue skinned demoness, pitifully clutching an unconscious child as tears rand down her face. She had enough of the violence and simply wanted it to stop. “Please… no more, I don’t want to see you doing this…”
The girl immediately got off him and turned her head. “Rena!”
For some reason, Midas had found all of this so amusing. He felt a rush of pain through his stomach as laughter crawled out of his mouth and echoed harrowingly through the messed-up church, “Heh… hehehehe….! Hahahahaha! Hahahahahaaa!” He moved his fingers and pointed towards the blue skinned demoness. “You… braindead morons,” he taunted once more, “you think I’ll just lie here and let you have your perfect ending? You’ve been played right from the start!”
“What are you talking about?”
“Eh?! Charlotte!” suddenly, the blue skinned demoness shouted in distress. The child that she had so tightly been holding onto started to dissolve. She rapidly started to lose solid form and eventually faded into a black mass of shadows. The demoness continued to stare at her own powerless hands as she shook her head in disbelief. She trembled. “Charlotte…? Charlotte…” she called out her daughter’s name in vain. “No, no… no, please… where is Charlotte…? Where did you take her? Please give her back… she’s the only thing I have left…” she softly cried.
“What did you do?!” Yda suddenly turned back to him. She stomped on his face one more time, this time with much more intensity. At this point, pain had already surpassed what his body could handle and everything became numb. He didn’t even mind the pain he couldn’t feel anymore. All he could feel was a chilling laughter crawling out from his throat, “hehehe… you dumb shits, that was just a doll I prepared since the beginning. The real one’s already being taken far away… far, far, far, farrrrrr away… A place that you’ll never see, because come morning and you’ll all be dead.”
Unable to hold herself back, the girl tried to take her assaults to a lethal level. “Tell. Me. Where. You. Took. Her.” When he refused to answer, she had been fully prepared to take his life. However, she had been stopped at the last second. The armoured man stopped her, was it because of moral reasons? “Why are you stopping me?! This bastard… he doesn’t deserve to live!”
The armoured man shook his head, “if he dies then you won’t get the information out of him. Besides, he’s already so numbed to the pain that he probably won’t talk if you continue with this.”
“That’s…” the girl fell to the floor. “Then what are we supposed to do?”
The man said nothing and suddenly lifted Midas by the collar. He dragged him up high enough that he was now slowly being choked. Midas let out pained coughs as blood trickled down the side of his mouth, yet still he continued to resist, “Keh… do your worst. I won’t talk.” The man’s face was still hidden behind shadows but his eyes were filled with murderous intents. No, it wasn’t something as simple as ‘murderous intents’, it was something much more. The eyes of a being that no longer considered Midas a living being, just… not even a ‘thing’. He had denied his very right to existence.
“I still have some more questions for you, so why don’t you come with me?” suddenly the ground below them started to glow with a phantasmal purple light. An unfamiliar magic circle was etched to the floor as some kind of sinister spell activated. Though his sense had dulled, he could still feel something tense within his heart. That something ‘bad’ was going to happen. He let out a small whimper.
Suddenly, everything was surrounded by a deep purple.
“Huh…? Where did they go?” Padan who had been silently watching the entire thing play out asked.
“I… I remember he used that magic to take me to some place,” Yda tried to scramble her brain for the answers. “I think he called it something like a ‘Hyper gate’? ‘Dimensional gate’? I’m not too sure.” After a few minutes went by the space where Mordred had disappeared with the Bishop suddenly glowed with the same deep purple. The only one who came out of the strange portal was Mordred. “Eh? What happened? Where’s that shitty bishop?”
Mordred shook his head, “he… ‘went away’.” That was the only response they had gotten. Though everyone had a suspicion of what might have happened they did not question it. “I’ve gotten a gist of where they took the girl,” hope had returned. He then summoned a small black bird and sent it away through the window. “It’ll be easier to teleport there but some additional prerequisites need to be made before we can get going. We’ll be waiting for a bit, but before that,” Mordred suddenly walked towards Rena. He crouched down with a sympathetic gaze. “Don’t worry, I will save your daughter.”
At his words, Rena’s expression lightened as tears fell down her face once more, this time one of relief. “Thank you… thank you so much…”
“I will definitely save her. However, if we’re going to be risking our lives to do so, I believe we all deserve to know the truth. About why this is all happening. Who Charlotte really is, or more specifically who her father is. Tell me, who is he? Who exactly is ‘Zhiglov Balia’?”