Necromancer Academy's Genius Summoner
[Translator - Ramen]
[Proofreader - Artethrax]
The Legion's skeletons and corpse spiders surrounded her. She was overwhelmingly outnumbered, 27 to 1, but she was maintaining a perfect composure.
“Well, this is pretty entertaining. I shall play with you, Commander."
She stretched out her long, slender index finger.
At the tip of her finger, a foreign white feather rose up. Simon paid close attention to it as he watched her every move.
'So that's Serene's unique ability.'
A power that only a few chosen beings on this continent could obtain.
A 'supernatural ability' that wasn’t dark magic, divine magic, nor pure magic. It was on a whole different level from the Black Hand used by Haren Cork. She gingerly took the feather into her hand and threw it.
Simon clenched his teeth, drew out a short sword, and swung.
Even though it was iron against a feather, the iron was the one that broke. Then, as though it managed to change its course, the feather lightly grazed Simon's cheek before thudding into the tree behind him.
In that brief moment, Simon felt a pain burning worse than the fires of hell before returning to reality.
Although it was for less than 1 second, his organs still released endorphins to produce a pain-killing effect.
'What the hell is this?'
A cold sweat dripped from Simon's back.
"This is my power. I can put feelings into this feather."
Simon looked back.
The tree where the feather embedded itself was twisting its branches. As though it was feeling like a pest was eating it, its stem was synthesizing pest-repelling substances and creating an odor to attract the pests' natural enemy.
Simon could smell a sour tree sap. If plants would react this much…
"Anything is possible, from primary emotions like joy, anger, and pleasure to things like fear, pressure, and lethargy."
Six new feathers danced on the top of her hand.
"If the opponent is a human, I can make them crawl like a dog with just one feather. Would you like to see it?"
A full-fledged offense began.
Feathers flew at a savage speed, and Simon jumped away in fright to dodge, a loud sound ringing out every time her feathers hit the ground.
Another set of feathers bloomed from her fingertips, and she took hold of them. These ones were dyed black, and they shot out at a speed more than twice that of the previous ones.
The black feathers were reflected in Simon's eyes, who had just fallen to the ground.
At that moment, Pier, jumping in front of Simon, slashed the feathers with his greatsword.
[Kuhehe! Are you alright?]
"The reaction speed of the ancient undead really is scary~"
Muttered Serene. Pier grabbed the pure-white greatsword.
[What are you gonna do now, Boy?]
Simon stood up with a serious face.
As soon as the last word left Simon’s mouth, Pier shot forward like an arrow.
Serene grinned and threw a feather.
Pier’s body blinked out of existence as he fired himself up before suddenly changing direction mid-air into a downwards arc. Using her opposite hand, Serene lifted a feather above her head and into the path of the attack.
The sword and the feather collided, releasing violent sparks. In the blink of an eye, the feather had transformed into a defensive magic circle.
"I've been wandering around thoughtlessly, but I didn't expect to be dealing with an ancient undead here, you know?"
Fierce flames erupted in Pier's eyes.
Pier's greatsword tore through the defense magic, and Serene stepped back, taking it as an opportunity.
As Simon focussed his eyes, the corpse spiders scattered all over the place fired their webs at once.
She leisurely folded her hands behind her back and dodged them with soft steps as though she was slightly floating in the air.
'Spear soldiers, forward!'
Skeletons lurking in the grass thrust their spears. Five spears charged toward Serene, but she ducked underneath all of them, pressing herself against the ground.
Feathers bloomed from her body and smashed all the skeletons around her. However, when she got back up again, a rain of slashes from Pier fell upon her.
A precise combo attack leaves no gaps.
In front of and behind Serene, who fled to the air to avoid the fierce attack, corpse spiders swung like pendulums at her. Seeing this, she swiftly fired feathers to shoot down the spiders, bringing herself higher into the air.
'As expected, it's not just about putting emotions on feathers.'
Simon, who was observing, bit his lip.
"A Commander is in a different league after all, huh?"
Serene waved her hand like a conductor. The body of feathers fluttering in the wind collapsed back into jet-black, which transformed into a magic circle.
A multi-cast of more than twenty, a feat that even active Necromancers would find astonishing. For her, it was as easy as the wave of a hand.
Each feather was a means of attack, a carrier of emotions, and a magic circle.
She smiled as she raised twenty magic circles.
Twenty dark flames erupted from the magic circles and turned the ground into a wasteland. The bodies of skeletons and corpse spiders alike were swept away by the overwhelming firepower, not standing a chance.
Simon avoided a direct hit by a hair's breadth, but more than half of his Barrier Gauge was blown away.
'......That's all Dark Flare? That doesn't make any sense!'
The Special Admission No.2, Serene Aindark, was already far beyond the level of a student.
It was then. Pier, who flew into the sky, appeared behind Serene's back.
Her body crashed to the ground. Pier, moving fast enough to come down to the ground and wait for her to fall, swung his greatsword.
Serene transformed a feather into a shield and blocked it, but Pier continued his fierce offense.
Defending every attack at the sacrifice of many of her feathers, Serene stepped back and spread out her palms.
The remaining feathers fluttering in the air turned into new dark magic circles surrounding Pier.
Pier's eyes sparkled.
The pure-white greatsword turned into a single line, leaving countless sword paths in the air. Soon, every last magic circle was torn apart.
[Certainly, you have surpassed the level of a student!]
Pier kicked off the ground and jumped.
[But that’s just the level of a student!!]
A pure-white sword came down with enough force to split Serene's head in two.
* * *
Translator - Ramen
Proofreader - Artethrax
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The greatsword stopped a mere whisker away. Twenty feathers embedded themselves all over Pier's body.
"While inducing you to attack, I readied the feathers I set up on the ground beforehand."
She approached Pier with light steps and tapped his skull with her finger.
But Pier didn't in any way react.
"Twenty feathers of lethargy. Originally, my powers wouldn't have worked against the undead, but good thing that it's an ancient undead. Since it has existed for a long time, it's an existence that thinks and feels like a human being."
She turned to look at Simon.
"Well~ Commander? Your best hand is now sealed off. Now......"
Hearing Pier's laughter, Serene turned around.
The feathers attached to Pier's body were falling off.
[Certainly, emotions do exist on me, Girl! But my will isn't that weak!]
As though Pier's body was about to explode, dark-blue jet-black soared up.
[To be shaken?! By this?!!]
Pier, who broke through Serene's power with his own will, held his greatsword in a firm grip.
Serene quickly stepped back and sent out feathers to unfold a defensive magic circle.
[I shall not go easy on you anymore! Die!]
Pier's greatsword scattered light in all directions.
The slash cut the world in half and caused a huge explosion. It was bigger than any of Pier's slashes that Simon had ever seen.
Trees and plants were being blown away in the fierce blast.
Simon looked straight ahead, covering his face with his arms.
'......Pier! We'll be in trouble if you really kill her! She's a successor of the Ivory Tower!'
[You're worrying over nothing.]
Said Pier, carrying the greatsword on his shoulder.
[It's more of a monster than you expect.]
As Pier said, when the smoke cleared up, Serene appeared, standing.
Simon was surprised. She had three wings on her left shoulder.
"It's been a long time since I revealed this form."
It was only on one side, too. There were no wings on the right.
This was the true identity of her abilities. You could feel the wave of the jet-black that was on a whole different level to a while ago.
'Pier. Can you use that skill one more time?'
[Kuhehe! Of course!]
'If I get Serene's attention......'
"By the way, are we…"
Serene pointed behind herself.
"going to keep fighting like this?
Simon's eyes widened.
With Pier's slash just now, Serene's barrier had been broken. As the cracks started to run through the structure, the entire barrier began collapsing and cracking apart.
That would be difficult. As the barrier began to break, they'd enter the observers’ sight.
'Crap, come back!'
Simon pulled the imaginary lever.
The skeletons and corpse spiders of the Legion quickly returned to Simon's subspace.
Perhaps Serene also thought that it wasn't a good idea to show her wings, so she hid them inside her body once more.
'Pier, get back in too.'
Pier hardened his face.
[The problem here isn't about you getting caught! That woman's feather has the power to simply turn humans into cripples!]
'It's fine. I have an idea.'
Simon fiddled with the necklace artifact that Nefthis had given him, which he still wore around his neck.
'I'll leave the subspace open. For now, please go in, and if ever I fall into danger, please come out.'
[Mm, be careful.]
Pier also entered the subspace, and Serene's barrier disappeared completely. Perhaps because the surroundings were completely devastated, observers began to wander in the sky.
Now, only Simon and Serene remained. Simon fixed up and straightened his tie.
"At this rate, the last option you mentioned is gone out the window, right?"
The option of getting rid of Simon and hiding the Legion so that no one could obtain it was now impossible. After all, Kizen's eyes were wide open and observing them.
"That's true. Then how about something like this."
Serene pulled out one of the feathers and put it to her cheek.
"I'll play with you, bring you into a fit of rage, and then drive you out of the evaluation. Don’t worry, I'll erase your memory."
The wind blew. A feather fluttered in the air toward Simon and fell to his feet.
“You'll live a painful life in Kizen from now on.”
Her feather turned into a magic circle, and Simon could hear her voice.
“Unknown misfortunes will overlap. You'll fail the exam, screw up the performance assessment, and get expelled from Kizen, and when their protection ends, I'll come to visit you. What do you think? Don't you think it's a legal and clever way to persuade you?”
Simon scoffed and put his hand on his waist.
"How persistent. You've been doing that to other students till now, haven't you?"
She just blinked with a smile on her face as though she didn't understand.
It was obvious. Making the talented people who seemed like they would become main pillars of Kizen drop out of the school, and secretly scouting the discouraged students into the Ivory Tower.
Sneaking out talented people.
Of course, it'd be a problem if she got caught, but she wouldn't care whether or not she got expelled from Kizen.
According to Meilyn yesterday, Serene had to study here because of their pact with Kizen.
Being a special admission was a huge privilege no matter what, but this situation was pretty awkward from a diplomatic point of view. A situation where a large organization like the Ivory Tower had to send its successor outside.
To put it bluntly, it was like their prince or princess getting held hostage.
Therefore, it was natural for her to dislike Kizen. Serene's goal was perhaps the complete independence of the Ivory Tower.
'It feels like I got myself into something complicated.'
Kizen wasn't just a school.
It was an organization full of talented people who will dominate the Dark Alliance and the continent in the future.
To lay the foundation for the continent, to draw a rough sketch for the future, various interests would be lurking in this school.
He'd be swayed by many struggles for power as time went on.
What would be a smart choice at those times? It was like Simon was once again given a new task.
"There are people who don't give in to that way of yours."
Simon slowly took a stance.
"Your method only increases the number of your enemies."
"Who do you think you're lecturing?"
Serene raised her arm. Twenty feathers formed, fluttering in the wind, and gathered at the center.
"I'm the next Tower Lord of the Ivory Tower, a person who will divide the continent into three and usher in a new era."
As she pointed her finger, her feathers flew like bullets.
In that moment when Simon tried to avoid it by stepping on jet-black…
The air distorted, and someone stepped in, appearing in front of Simon.
All that person did was the simple motion of swinging their arm.
With that alone, the feathers that had rushed in with force, objects that could tear anything into shreds, disappeared without a trace.
"I think I heard something interesting just now~"
A feeling of intense pressure that would make one tremble just by hearing their voice.
"Who will get expelled from Kizen? Whose protection will end, again?"
Black hair fluttering in the wind.
Hair-raisingly red eyes, which were held wide open.
"I'll protect Simon, Dog of the Ivory Tower."
A powerful candidate for the next president of Kizen, and a figure emerging as a new pillar of the Dark Alliance.
Lorain had entered the battlefield.