Polymath Redux Annex
Chapter 62 – The Strength of Evil
Mordred wrapped his fingers around the thin handle of his broadsword. The nightmarish crimson liquid slid down the edge of his blade as it gathered to a sanguine pool beside his feet. With every drop, a dark sensation of disgust and repulsion slithered down his back like a corrosive electric shock. It wasn’t the first time he took a life in this world although it was the first time he did it for his own personal reason and with actual ‘hands-on’ experience. He tossed the sword to the wayside for it to suddenly disintegrate into dust- an animation that played when ‘un-equipping’ items in game.
He shook his head after a brief glance at the fresh ‘corpse’ of the man who stood in his way. His mind was blank; strangely he felt nothing about the deed outside of his blade sawing against raw flesh and bone. The only point of contention in his mind was the distasteful imagery. There was no adrenaline rush, no remorse and no regret. It was like fitting into a shoe that matched his size perfectly. After a few extra seconds of contemplation, he decided to ignore the issue of morality for the moment. The priority was still with Charlotte; he stepped forward and gently picked up the light and small body of the sleeping child. There was a sour look on her face, sometimes she would murmur, ‘mother…’ but overall unharmed. “Yda, please come here,” Mordred beckoned in a reflective voice.
“Ah! Right,” she snapped ack to reality. For anyone, it would’ve been a struggle to keep their eyes off the daunting colossus looming over head. Even for Mordred it was the first time he had seen it outside of a screen. Impressive as it may have been, it still wasn’t the time for that. She trotted over to Mordred who passed the unconscious child onto her.
At that moment, the Titan who had been rampaging downstairs, Padan rushed up the stairs in a miniature earthquake from his massive frame. “Oi, guys! What’s up with that gigantic thing?!” he shouted in half excitement and terror. The silence he met as he reached the top of the stairs gave some answers left even more questions.
The situation carried on with little attention to the Titan Warrior’s query. “Padan you’re here, good. I want you and Yda to take Charlotte and leave. I’ll follow behind shortly after I’ve sorted out the mess here.” There was no room in his voice for discussion. This was the decision he had reached and everyone follow it. The metallic colossus gazed down at the tiny figure like ants in the room as if to enforce that decision.
“Ah… right,” nodded the confused Titan warrior. “Then tell me all about it when you’re back, okay?”
“Umm, are you… I mean, nevermind. You got this, right? Promise you’ll come back,” Yda hesitantly agreed and quickly fled the scene with the Titan in tow.
“Heh~ haaahaha… god dammit kid, you’ve really put a cork in everyone’s plans. The Church’s, the Empire’s… even mine,” the elderly mercenary finally raised his voice with a dry chuckle. He struggled his way over to a small crate to take a seat. He let out a sigh and scratched the back of his head. The situation had crawled to an impossible impasse. “The Church will never let this slide you know?”
Mordred understood- he was half counting on that fact to progress his next plans. “Yeah,” he agreed with a small scowl beneath his breath. “I don’t really care. We’re doing what I want, no excuses.”
“Well, you’ve borked everything up for me,” Roland shrugged. “I’ve no more options left but to see this through. Seriously kid, just who the hell are you?”
“I’m just like you, a ‘Human’.”
“So you say, but,” he pointed towards the Colossus, “that is not something ‘Humans’ can do. Look, if you don’t want to tell me that’s fine too.”
“How can you be so sure? Have you tried summoning a ‘Colossus Knight Marionette’? Jokes aside, I assure you, I really am ‘just’ another Human’.”
“Anyway, the Empire’s lapdogs are bound to come this way to collect their ‘prize’. All I need you to do is kick back and keep an eye wide open. But don’t blink; it will be over quite quickly.”
As if on cue, a large yet somehow slender man appeared in dark cloud of smoke. His armour was not much different from the type Mordred wore, leather with plate metal attached. Although, the difference was that Mordred’s was made deliberately to imitate low level equipment, while this man’s was a top-of-the-line product. A small red cloak came down from his shoulders with a tangentially familiar crest upon it. The man wore a hood that obscured finer details of his face and overall identity. ‘The Baliazoural Secret Service?’ Mordred wondered to himself. For sure, it would’ve been unlikely for the Empire to send low ranking delivery men to pick up something as important as Charlotte.
The hooded man gazed back at him and then towards the blatantly intrusive metal colossus that loomed ominously overhead. Although he seemed to be acting independently, the presence of about thirty other members hidden behind the shadows could not escape Mordred’s keen senses. To him, with the ‘intuition’ ability, even in this curtain called night, the invisible opposition were as if they stood out in bright daylight.
“Where is the package?” asked the hooded envoy. His voice was a deep and authoritative. More fit to be some kind of war general than a delivery boy. The distinct air of prominence and professionalism all embodied and sharpened this fact. It was as though he stood before an accomplished world champion boxer. However, as Mordred was now, something of this level amounted only to slight amusement as he watched the enemy act with the belief of superiority. Was it his armour? Mordred’s shoddy-looking, scratched up armour was specifically for such deceptive purposes. Though he couldn’t help feeling the enemy’s lack of focus on him as the true threat to be anything more than disappointing.
“There is none,” Roland dismissed, making a ‘shooing’ motion with his hand. “Are your eyes just for show? Can’t you see the person responsible for whatever nefarious exchange you guys organized is dead?” He pointed towards the deceased clergyman, “now get lost.”
“Hm, unfortunately that won’t do. We all have a job that needs to be accomplished, you see… if the package isn’t here then I’ll need you to tell me the location of where it went.” The hooded envoy, with his arms behind him walked forward in a superior manner. Matching the tune of his stride, several robbed figures appeared from black smoke to surround Mordred and Roland. They wielded dangerous weapons: swords, axes, bows and staffs. Yet, in place of the metallic blades were crimson crystals in the shape of those blades. They pulsed with ominous bloodlust; ready to dig in to the fervour of battle.
One word from the bemused mouth of the old mercenary, “nah.”
The enemy poised themselves for the signal to attack. They pointed their swords, wounded up their bows and prepared magical attacks. “Good answer,” Mordred raised his own hand and snapped his fingers like a magician performing a trick. The Colossus that had remained dormant until now echoed the creaking of hulking metal. Much nimbler than anyone’s expected, the Colossus slammed its gargantuan fist onto the building, obliterating everything on impact. The robbed figures were no push overs and slithered their way out of the destruction with their finesse and trained acrobatics.
However, this was only the opening move. A purple mist rushed into the area and a bright purple magic circle carved onto the floor. The gravitational force from the magic circle dragged the enemy to the floor and glued them there like a fly trapped in spider web. The extra force also made it difficult to breathe, most likely even for Roland stood in the sidelines watching with unblinking and wide eyes.
[Art of Ultimate Alchemy: 'Hyperdimensional Gate’]
Caught in the fray, the true effects of the purple magic circle activated before any of the robbed figures could do anything. Before they knew it, all but Roland and the commanding enemy officer disappeared into the void. “Huh…?” both Roland and the enemy commander asked. Their answer came a few seconds later.
Mordred returned from the purple void alone. “What did you…?” Roland was about to ask but was interrupted by Mordred.
“Just a second.”
A horrific image; it rained bodies. The scared and torn corpses of the enemy dropped from the sky like grotesque rain and smashed onto the floor with a morbid ‘squish’. All of them dead; swatted away like flies. “Oh dear, your soldiers seemed to have met with an ‘unfortunate accident’,” Mordred commented with a light chuckle. Eyes of ghastly red shimmering through the gaps of his helmet’s visor.