Necromancer Academy's Genius Summoner
[Translator - Ramen]
[Proofreader - Artethrax]
"I apologize on behalf of my brother and the royal family."
Princess Mollie bowed her head in sincere apology. Simon freaked out and waved his hand in a frantic dismissal.
"N-Not at all, Princess!"
"I promise in my name that neither my brother nor Dresden will bother you in the future, Simon. I also sneaked off, so please give me some time to formally apologize later. See you then."
Simon thought he didn't have to worry about Andre's revenge anymore as long as she was there.
* * *
It was after the Duel Evaluation ended without any trouble and Simon had stopped by the club room to repair the Overlord.
Benya, who was helping Simon with the work, initiated the conversation.
"You mentioned you're taking Professor Aaron's class, right?"
"What are you guys tackling these days?"
Simon pondered for a moment and said,
"Hmm, thinking about it, we've been focusing on zombies these days rather than skeletons and other undead."
At the mention of zombies, Benya froze. Dio, a second-year student who was lying on and rolling around on the sofa as usual, also raised his head slightly.
"Yeah. Is something wrong?"
"No, nothing’s wrong. But if you're tackling zombies right now, then sooner or later…"
Benya shook her head.
"You'll be going… there."
A sudden scream made both their heads turn.
Dio was struggling while pulling his hair out.
"Ugh… Shit. I told you not to talk about that! I still haven’t forgotten that event from almost a year ago!"
"It was fun for me!"
"…Fun, my ass. Just imagining it gives me chills."
Benya laughed out loud. Simon didn't know what they were talking about, so he just looked back and forth between the two.
"There's an important performance assessment at the end of Professor Aaron's zombie class."
"It may have been a little terrible at the time, but looking back now after a year passed, it’s nothing but a memory~"
Over Benya's shoulder, while she was saying it was nothing but a memory, Dio was looking at Simon in pity as if consoling him for what will come.
* * *
Not long after Benya brought that up, a performance assessment was actually scheduled for the Summoning class. It was a fairly large-scale performance assessment that emptied the entire schedule for the day.
The meeting place also wasn't the usual Summoning lecture room, but rather in front of the teleport magic circle they’d often used when going to missions.
This meant that they were definitely heading out of Roke Island.
[Interesting. Take me with you!]
When Simon told the story he had heard from Benya, Pier was expressing initiative.
'Why do you want to go, Pier?'
[I actually wanted to check that place out! I was going to stop there regardless when you went on holidays.]
If Pier was going this far, it could only mean…
[There's a high possibility that the Captain of the Zombie Army, 'Prince', is there!]
…another Captain of the Legion.
Of course, this was very welcome for Simon. After finding out that the efforts to get Big Krum were in vain, he didn't want to miss even a single possibility.
There was nothing said about Kizen examining the subspace on exit, and according to the seniors, students could work freely after the performance assessment started, so Simon accepted Pier's proposal.
On the day of the performance assessment, Simon put a number of conscripted skeletons and Pier into subspace and arrived in front of the teleport magic circle, the meeting place.
He was hungry, having to go to Pier’s ruins early in the morning.
While he was nibbling the wheat bread he bought from the school cafeteria…
Camibarez was running down the hill waving.
Her ever-smiling face had the magical power of making the people watching her feel better as well. Simon also smiled and waved.
"May I sit beside you?"
Sitting next to Simon, she brought her knees to her chest, rested her hands on her legs, and smiled.
"You seem to be in a good mood today."
"Yes! It's another group performance assessment after so long!"
It was. Aaron clearly mentioned that this performance assessment maintained the group compositions in Jane's class. When Simon glanced around, all the Class A students were talking with their group-mates.
"I'm a little worried."
Said Simon while munching on the bread.
"The seniors in my club said that this performance assessment will be tough."
"Ah~ I heard that too. Apparently, Class C went ahead of us, and it seemed like everyone was so exhausted that they may as well have been zombies themselves the day after."
"Oh! What's with you guys?"
Simon raised his head.
Rick was looking down at the two of them with a mischievous smile.
"You guys are getting along well, huh? Wow! Almost like a couple!"
Shouted Camibarez as her ears turned red. Simon just let them be and gnawed on his bread.
"I said it's nothing like that!!"
Camibarez jumped up and down in front of Rick while covering his mouth.
Rick uttered a few words, and despite them being muffled by the hand, she went red as a tomato and slapped Rick on the forearm in embarrassment.
'Cami is the only one who plays along with me, after all.'
While Rick was enjoying the worthwhile teasing of Cami…
"Hey! Stop bullying our Cami!"
* * *
Translator - Ramen
Proofreader - Artethrax
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* * *
Meilyn was approaching them while her light blue hair fluttered behind her. Rick shrugged his shoulders.
"I think it's a bad habit to criticize people without hearing the context."
"Yeah, your usual behavior is context enough."
"Wow. You're so mean."
Meilyn shook her head.
"I still feel ashamed whenever I remember how I made a fuss at the beginning of the semester because of your wordplay."
"Oh! So you're saying that you've gained immunity these days?"
"You're pretty confident, huh? Wanna test it?"
When Rick suddenly bent over and pretended to put his hand on his knee, Meilyn spat out,
"Agh. My legs are stiff after standing in this ‘posture’. Guess I gotta ‘touch’ my legs a little."
Rick's face stiffened. Meilyn had guessed exactly what he was going to say.
He pretended as if it wasn't that and changed his posture. This time, he tore his leg straight.
"Are you planning to do that one? The one where you go ‘come at me’ or whatever?"
"What the, how did you—?"
"C'mon, even if you keep milking this one, know your limits. That’s been way overused."
"You're so cool, Meilyn!"
Camibarez clapped and cheered. Simon was also watching Meilyn's counterattack in excitement.
Rick wiped his face as if he were going through the greatest dilemma known to man.
"Woah, shit. I was planning to save this if I could, though."
"Stop messing around and prepare for the performance assessment."
"This time, I'll try imitating Meilyn's signature victory pose."
"Signature victory post?"
Meilyn's expression became a little uneasy.
"I think it was something like this? When Meilyn won the Duel Evaluation."
Rick crossed his arms. In that position, he placed his left arm on his navel, and his right arm pointed toward his face. He straightened one leg and slightly bent the other, making a pose that showed off his curves.
In that pose, he flicked his hair behind his ear and smiled brightly.
"Try harder~ commoner."
The other students, who were watching in curiosity, couldn't help but burst out laughing.
Simon spat out the bread he was eating on the grass, and Camibarez quickly covered her mouth. And Meilyn, the one directly involved, couldn't stop her face from turning red.
"Bwahahahaha! Isn't it really the same? Lemme try again in a different pose—"
"Don't do it, you crazy bastard!"
In the end, Meilyn took out a bag from her subspace and beat up Rick. Rick fell on the grass as Meilyn kept whacking him across the face.
It was a one-sided massacre.
"No, not a ‘beat-up ending’ again!"
Cheerful laughter erupted from everywhere.
"Hah, what fools."
A female student from Hector’s faction scoffed.
"They really can't read the room. So carefree, not knowing where we're going… Don't laugh, you wuss!"
She hit the boy next to her on the back of the head.
While everyone was lively sharing stories…
Aaron finally showed up.
All the students' eyes widened.
Instead of wearing a loose t-shirt, shorts, and slippers as usual, he appeared in a coat with a black feather.
'Woah, the tailor really makes the man, huh?'
'He looks completely different now.'
While the students were silently admiring him, Aaron spoke in his characteristic languid voice.
"There's no time to chat. Everyone, go up to the teleportation circle."
Aaron was sending out the students without any explanation for now. The students entered the magic circle, and Aaron arrived at the center last.
It was the teleportation feeling that Simon had already gotten used to. He felt his feet rise and closed his eyes…
* * *
He opened his eyes.
Simon felt like his image of the place formed by the stories and rumors he had heard from his seniors completely vanished. This place was beyond his imagination.
A black world.
Breathing the air of this place made him feel sick.
The sky was pitch black, and red clouds were floating above, moving about from strange air currents. There were weeds growing on the ground, and there were flowers too, but they all seemed dried up and lifeless.
Simon thought that the evaluations of the people calling this place a land of death were accurate. The other Class A students who came through also were clearly bewildered at this disjointed, desolate view.
Camibarez grabbed Simon's sleeve in fright. Simon patted her on the shoulder and comforted her in a low voice.
Aaron, dressed in the black feather coat, came to the center. Students flocked to him.
"There's no need to make a fuss. This is a place called Death Land. It’s in the southern part of the Shahed Kingdom."
Aaron began to explain.
"Death Land is one of the top 10 mysteries across the continent. Powerful dark magic and natural phenomena are mixed to create strange occurrences, and the most famous one is…"
Aaron plucked a faded flower off the ground.
"There's no concept of decay in this area."
When Aaron tapped the flower with his finger, it cracked and shattered into pieces.
"When a living organism dies, it maintains its shape and after a certain point in time stops rotting. That's why this place is…"
Aaron grinned and continued.
"…known as Zombie’s Paradise."
The students' faces turned pale. As a matter of fact, there was a strange noise coming from the surroundings and everyone quickly assumed it was a zombie.
"The performance assessment will be conducted as a group activity."
Said Aaron while looking at the watch on his arm.
"Until now, you guys have been studying zombies and even learned the magic circle that raises zombies. The content of the assessment is simple. Before noon, create the best zombie summon you can in this Death Land and show it to me."
Simon's eyes widened.
'…A mission to create a zombie!'
If so, it was useless to bring in the natural undead scattered throughout this Death Land. Only the summoned zombies made with the students’ magic circles were subject for evaluation.
"The evaluation criteria includes the perfection of the zombie, originality, combat ability, and the magic circle used to raise the zombie. There are no points for teamwork. All four of you will receive the same score and rank based on the performance of the zombie brought forth."
Aaron smiled grimly.
"I hope there are no cowards who cry like a child at zombies. You guys are necromancers. Face this assessment like a necromancer."
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