Polymath Redux Annex
Chapter 66 – The miracle of a parent
“Old man, don’t do this to me!” cried the girl as she clung helplessly onto the lifeless body of her father. “Not you too…” the miracles of god could not reunite the girl with her parent- Mordred had already failed. So then, what else could he do for the girl? A torrent of tears ran down her face. Her small back trembled. For the petite Elf shivering alone in the cold night having her entire world torn to pieces before her, there really was only one thing he could do for her.
A final goodbye.
[Dark Art: Reanimation]. The Necromancer spell that allowed Mordred to temporarily resurrect nearby corpses and place them under his control. To desecrate the dead and puppet them like toys, it may have been the most disrespectful way to handle it but it was the only way he knew how. The dark spell channelled and the essence of magic entered Roland’s body.
It was a rather odd feeling to control a body from a distance. The most appropriate way to describe it would be if it were a third person game with no camera control. With the most natural movements he could muster for the body, Mordred moved Roland’s hand up to gently pat the crying Elf on the head. The last moments from father to daughter; from Roland to Cecilia.
“Pa… pa?” Cecilia looked up still with tears pouring out of her eyes. “Are you… are you alive?” she moved in closer. Reanimated bodies were incapable of speech; only movements. He lightly brushed aside her hair and gifted her a smile. “Papa… say something? Please…”
Unable to grant her wish, the body instead embraced Cecilia whole. Those large arms wrapped warmly against her small body, burying her head in his chest. ‘Forgive me,’ it seemed to say with actions. Through a semi-connected magical feedback, Mordred felt her body quiver. She must’ve realized that there was no heartbeat in Roland’s body. “I’m sorry Cecilia,” yet suddenly the corpse spoke. Mordred himself being the most surprised by this.
“Papa? Are you…” whatever questions she had was stopped by Roland shaking his head.
“Don’t be too harsh on the kid,” the body moved independently from Mordred’s control. ‘A miracle?’ that was the only way to explain this strange phenomenon. The soul of a father crossing over from the realm of the dead to say the final goodbyes to his child. “He only did what he had to do. I would’ve done the same for your sake.”
The ‘miracle of a parent’, it was a power that Mordred could never replicate. The least he could do for them now was to maintain the magic that reanimated Roland’s body for as long as he could. Unfortunately, perhaps it was due to the mental exhaustion from the night’s events, but the simple act of sustaining magic for them was harder than he thought.
Mordred glanced over and met Roland’s eyes. “There’s not much time left,” Mordred shook his head and whispered through his lips. Roland nodded.
“I don’t care about that! Please don’t go anywhere! Just stay with me!”
“Sorry Cecilia, but I can’t do that.”
“Why?! Why can’t you do that?! Why can’t you ever do what I want you to do?! Why do you always have to try to take on everything by yourself?! Why can’t I become your strength?! This can’t be happening!”
“Haha, you’re a good girl.”
“… mmm,” Cecilia desperately shook her head. “No, I’m not a good girl, so please come back to scold me!”
“You’ll be fine from here on. He’ll protect you.”
“No! I don’t want that! I want you!”
“Really… what a selfish girl,” Roland let out a small chuckle as he brushed her hair aside to get a clearer last look at her face. “Yep, you’re definitely the same girl I’ve known all these years. You’re my daughter.”
“You know, long time ago I made a promise with your father, your real father.”
Cecilia interjected, “you’re my real father. I don’t care if we’re not related by blood, you’ll always be my real papa.”
“Aha, is that so? Thank you, that means everything to me. But listen, I made a promise to your father a long time ago that I’d make sure you’d grow up to be a strong girl. So when I see you as you are now, I can meet him and confidently proclaim that I’ve kept my promise.”
“But… but, I’m not…”
“You are. You’re much stronger than you think. You’re kind, gentle and brave. If he could see you now, he couldn’t be any prouder. I know you’ll be okay even if I’m not here.”
“No, please… I’ll do anything… don’t leave me all alone… not again.”
“Be sure to stay safe.”
“No,” she clung on tightly, her body shivering like a scared creature.
“Always remember to eat properly.”
“Be sure to live a long life, for the both of us. Really, I won’t forgive you if I see you again so soon. Just don’t go squandering it doing something stupid like me.”
“… I guess most of all, I wanted you to know that I’ll always love you. So just be happy and take your time… I’ll watch over you.”
“Papa… I… I love you too…”
The dark magic that kept Roland’s body animated started to wane. Those were the final words the body spoke before it returned to inactivity. The night continued silently with only the cries of an innocent girl.
Mordred gave her some time to adjust herself before he carefully approached. “Sorry,” he placed a hand over her shoulder and conjured another spell. [Enchanting Voice], a Bard class skill that places afflicted targets to temporary sleep. “For now, I’ll take you back home.” Cecilia resisted. Her eyes struggled to keep awake but eventually the sleep forced her mind to unconsciousness.
There was one last thing to do before he left this wretched place. The final thing he could do for Roland was to dig an unmarked grave. “Haha,” he laughed at himself in self-mockery. “After everything about being ‘strong’, in the end I was just all talk, huh? I think I understand a bit of how you felt now. Don’t worry Roland, I’ll take care of everything from here on. Cecilia, the church… this world…
… You just sit tight and keep your eyes wide open.”