Polymath Redux Annex
Chapter 65 – The Will of the World
“I am, of course, the orchestrator. They call me the ‘Grand Cardinal’.”
The will of this world rejected the outsider. It was only a self-assured coward who could only reveal himself through proxy of his shadow fiend, yet it felt as though the entire world suddenly turned against Mordred. With all that godly might, all that limitless power and innumerable skills, that he failed to save the one person he actively sought to save was comical. With the coveted [Resurrection] spell in his repertoire how could he have known failure was even a possibility?
“Hah… haha,” Mordred let out a confused chuckle. “This can’t seriously be happening,” yet gazing down at the lifeless body of his friend only reinforced the reality. “Fuck!” in the spur of the moment, he launched a burst of flames from his hands towards the shadowy figure. The flames torched a large chunk of the shadows, only barely escaping being turned to complete cinder. [Immolate], the spell continued its path to a nearby hillside to which it ignited like a massive bonfire. “What do I have to give to bring him back?” Mordred mumbled to himself.
The ‘Resurrection’ spell could only be cast within a three-minute time-frame and even then, it had a cooldown equal to an entire day. ‘It cannot be re-casted,’ he searched for something else. His entire inventory was full of ‘Legendary-class’ items and godly artefacts. Yet even amongst the treasures of the world there was no suitable item that could bring him back. As miraculous as his powers and items seemed, they were not the equivalent to that of an actual god’s. “Nothing…?”
It was the first time he had to face his own incompetence. Mordred himself had grown too confident of his own power and this was the obvious result. How could he have known that his powers weren’t almighty when that was the only thing he had experienced since he had arrived? He was barely an adult. At eighteen, the normal things to think and worry about were ‘which university he’d go into’ or ‘where to take his girlfriend out on dates’. This business of taking on national religious organizations and dealing with an Empire-level War General was not normal. In what way could an eighteen-year-old who had lived in relative comfort prepare for this?
The shadow fiend reformed itself and loomed over Mordred. “After all that, it seems you’re merely just a child. How disappointing for someone of your level to be throwing tantrums.”
“Shut the fuck up!” Mordred launched another ‘Immolate’ spell at the shadow. Yet the telegraphed attack was easily manoeuvred around by the shadow proxy. There was no way his powers would lose to that of this sub-par shadow’s. He could slay dragons and tear entire legions apart with little effort. It was vexing, “do you think you’re better than me? Stronger than me? I could crush your entire goddammed church right now if I felt like it.”
The shadows moved around carefully. It crept a little closer with its disgusting, sludge like feet. “Indeed, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that you were quite powerful. To single handily defeat one of the most powerful factions of the Baliazoural Empire is nothing to scoff at,” so said the shadow, yet there was no hint of faltering, no fear behind its dark voice. It continued, “very well. Crush my church, kill my men, destroy the entire country if that satisfies you, however, know that you can never defeat me so long as I hold the ‘Will of the World’ on my side.” The shadows edged even closer until it was only a hair’s breadth away, “I’m sure you’ve heard it many times but, ‘Justice’ will always prevail over ‘Evil’.”
Mordred frowned behind his visor. “You honestly dare claim you represent justice even though you’re doing these kinds of shady crap? You delude yourself.” For some reason all the anger and frustration about the situation dissipated from Mordred’s mind. [Sharp Mind], it was the skill that allowed him to do what he does; it amplified his own convictions and honed his logic to the point he could make life or death judgments at the drop of a hat. Temporary it was, but it had saved him from being swallowed by the grief.
“Criticize my actions, it doesn’t matter. You will never understand,” the shadow fiend retreated a little and stretched out its arms to praise the darkened night skies. “For I am a being blessed by the world itself. No matter the cost, all my being and actions are for the sake of upholding its justice. So please, do whatever satisfies you knowing that you will never triumph.”
“Is that so? All right then,” Mordred spoke as he took a deep breath. “Then I’ll take you up on your offer. I’ll crush that ridiculous church of yours, and when I come smashing through your walls and wring your neck around my hands, don’t say you didn’t ask for it.”
“You may ‘try’.” Those were the last words as the shadow dispersed.
“I’m sorry Cecilia,” the knight apologized as Cecilia rushed into the scene. Her quelled her haggard breaths by pushing down on her chest. From the corner of her vision she could see a suspicious familiar figure limp on the floor. She held her breath and bit down on her lower lips to suppress the trembling.
Cecilia pushed the knight out of the way. Her eyes snapped wide open as her worst fears had been confirmed. Words could not escape her throat. The anger, the fear and desperation all clashed in her mind as she tried to process the reality. “H- hey… old man, this is… this is a joke, right?” she fell to her knees. She light nudged over Roland’s still warm body but there was no response. It would be a lie to say there wasn’t half an expectation and wish for him to spring back to life and give her big hug while telling her it really was all a prank. “Stop it… don’t… no, don’t do this to me, old man. Wake up, please…”
Cecilia continued to nudge at the unmoving body, “just wake up already!” a warm sensation ran down from her eyes down her face. “I won’t forgive… I won’t forgive you if you don’t wake up!” she grabbed a hold of his collar and tried threaten. “Get up! Now!”
There was no response…