Necromancer Academy's Genius Summoner
[Translator - Ramen]
[Proofreader - Artethrax]
From the very next day, Simon started training with the Overlord in preparation for the Duel Evaluation.
Whenever he had free time, whether it was before, after, or even between classes, he practiced.
However, even though he tried connecting to the Overlord's thoughts several times and swinging the blades, something wasn't right.
He couldn't feel whether he was improving or not.
Unlike Bone Armor or the mud golem, where proficiency growth was immediately visible, Overlord training felt pointless.
Simon knew from past experience that, in times like these, asking for help from someone else was far quicker than struggling alone.
As such, he moved.
"…What are you doing here, Simon?"
Asked Aaron, who arrived at the lab after finishing his class.
Simon, thoughtlessly sitting in front of the door to Aaron's lab and munching on a piece of bread, jumped up and bowed.
"I asked what are you doing here."
"I came because I wanted to receive guidance!"
Aaron placed a hand on his forehead and made a wry smile.
'To think that he'd make a move like this because I rarely held restoration classes.'
"…By guidance, do you mean Bone Armor?"
"I completed that on the last mission!"
Aaron began to think that this young disciple was a monster.
"If it's not Bone Armor, then what is it?"
"I want to ask you about how to operate the new undead 'Overlord' I obtained this time!"
Aaron had also heard from Jane that Simon obtained a special undead worth 10,000 gold in Blue Harbor. If it was the usual, he would've ignored him, saying that it was past his working hours, but…
'The Overlord, huh?'
As a summoner, Aaron felt a surge of curiosity coming from the bottom of his heart about the new undead. In fact, if he hadn't been busy with work, he would've gone to the Blue Harbor exhibition and looked at it himself.
After getting a glimpse of Aaron's reaction, Simon quickly added,
"The Overlord is a completely new form of mollusk undead. It has a total of six tentacles, and mythril was applied to its weak bones to make them like blades."
"It's a model designed to be capable of slashing or stabbing with its tentacles like a sword. It really moves like a mollusk, too. However, it's difficult to operate it, so I think it'd be a great help if you checked it out for me, Profes—"
"Alright. Follow me."
Watching Aaron turn around and walk away, Simon quietly clenched his fists and rejoiced.
Soon, they arrived at a vacant lot in a building.
As Aaron observed with interest, Simon took out his Overlord and connected to its thoughts to show off various techniques, asking if he was practicing right.
"There's no way you’d properly practice just by wielding it blindly."
"…Th-Then what do you think I should do?"
"Get ready. Take your shirt off."
He didn't know what the reason was, but Simon did as he was told and took off the top part of his uniform.
After Simon hung the blazer and shirt on a tree, Aaron took out a skeleton made of demon bones from his subspace and disassembled it.
"Starting right now, I'll attack you with these bones."
"The only thing you can use to defend is the Overlord. Try blocking."
Then, he started shooting the bones using his restoration skill. And, before Simon knew it, his legs were fixed to the ground by 'Bone Prison'.
He couldn’t dodge these at this rate.
Simon hurriedly accessed the Overlord's thoughts and sent a blade toward the flying bones.
Bones ricocheted off the blade.
However, a bone that got through the swinging blade smacked Simon across the forehead.
It wasn't that painful, but it was quite sobering.
"Stay cautious. I'll keep going."
Sh sh sshhk!
Bones flew in succession at even speeds and timings. Simon raised two blades simultaneously.
'Read the speed and timing, and…'
Simon, reading the movement of the bones flying side to side, crossed his arms. Then, the blades flew in from the sides, covering the flanks and center all at once.
'Send the blade accurately to the destination!'
The blade drew an arc in the air, deflecting bones and letting them powerlessly fall to the ground. Perhaps because the bones were under Aaron's control, there were no irregular patterns at all.
It was intentionally designed so Simon could block all of them if he got the timing right.
"I'll double the number of attacks starting now."
As Aaron beckoned, more bones filled the air.
"The speed and pattern is the same. You know what to do, right?"
Bones flew in immediately without explanation. Simon controlled two more blades even while sweating profusely.
Four blades in total.
The four blades swung as if to cover Simon's face, clearing away the flying bones. Seeing the falling bones, Simon's face turned bright.
'This feels so great!'
It was definitely on a different level compared to cutting through the air without any target. Simon could feel his control getting better.
However, Simon's concentration seemed to briefly collapse. The tempo twisted, and bones slammed all over Simon's body.
"If this was a real battle, you would've already died. Control it more precisely."
Shk shk shk shk!
Simon moved the blades until he physically couldn’t. After finishing the timing training, he then did accuracy training, where he directly hit projectiles flying in opposite directions with his blades, and then battle training, where Aaron deliberately twisted the paths of the bones so they would be difficult to read.
"Huff! Huff! Phew!"
Simon sprawled out on the ground, completely exhausted.
* * *
Translator - Ramen
Proofreader - Artethrax
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* * *
The parts hit by the bones were throbbing, and his mind was worn-out from continuously connecting with the Overlord’s thoughts.
Aaron quietly sat down on a nearby bench and lit a cigar.
Simon thought he had heard it wrong and asked again, but Aaron didn't say anything, just puffed his cigar.
"You may have chosen to start this out of your own free will, but it's up to me to end it."
"What do you—?"
"Come here again tomorrow."
Aaron tossed his cigar into the trash and turned his back.
"Let's have fun training, shall we? It'd be useful for me, too, since I'll be able to collect the data of the mollusk undead."
Aaron, who always looked tired, left with an unusually creepy smile, making Simon’s hairs stand on end.
But the training wasn't over yet.
Having finished all his classes for the day, the next place Simon headed was Pier's ruin in the Forbidden Forest.
[The class of that Kizen professor bastard called Aaron is too simple! Simply increasing proficiency and reflexes can't bring out the true power of the undead!]
Said Pier, placing his hand on the body of the Overlord Simon had taken out.
"Wait a second, Pier! Don't tell me…"
[Don't worry, I'm not trying to conscript it! You're supposed to use the Overlord in Kizen, aren't you!]
When Pier did something and stepped back, the Overlord, which had been calm, suddenly began to move violently.
Simon jumped in surprise.
[I made the Overlord go berserk, maximizing its aggression for a while.]
Pier then sent out a conscripted skeleton. The enraged Overlord immediately moved its tentacles and blew it away.
[Watch carefully, Boy.]
[That's the original movement of the Overlord.]
The Overlord's blade moved like a twisting snake, strangling the skeleton's body, or moving only the tip of the blade to immobilize the skeleton.
Until now, the only thing Simon did after connecting to the thoughts of Overlord and moving it were stiff and artificial attacks such as slashes and stabs.
However, seeing the Overlord's natural movements, Simon felt his mind melt.
'So flexible. So that's how you use the joints, huh?'
'Just by slightly moving the tip of the blade, it's threatening enough.'
'Not sticking to straight lines, but also curves. And if you wield the blade like that, you can effectively use the narrow attack range.'
While Simon was observing the action in real-time with his eyes glistening, the Overlord's blade fell toward Simon this time.
Simon hurriedly backed away and dodged.
Pier laughed loudly.
[Why are you just watching! Feel the movement of the Overlord by dodging it by yourself!]
Pier's lesson was to observe and master the Overlord's natural movements as much as possible, then connect to its thoughts and re-enact those movements.
A human moving their limbs and the Overlord moving its tentacles were completely different concepts.
Simon realized there was a direction in which the Overlord could move more comfortably. As he swung the blade, Simon's control gradually became smoother and more natural, too.
* * *
After finishing Pier's class, Simon stopped by the Mutants club room the next day during lunchtime.
"Oh my, mister! What have you been doing to him in just a span of a day?!"
The club president, Benya, was examining the Overlord's condition in shock.
"Just some training…"
"You overworked it! The joints on this side are already worn out and dry!"
She sprinted off, her short skirt fluttering in the wind, and brought a bunch of things resembling paints from the shelf.
Then, she put a large brush into one of the paint-like liquids and began to spread it over the Overlord's body.
"This boy isn't something that can be left unattended like a normal skeleton. Since it's holding together an extremely unstable body through artificial means, maintenance isn't a maybe but a must! You have to take care of it consistently!"
"Ah… How specifically should I take care of it?"
Benya shouted, "Good attitude!" and pulled at the Overlord's torso.
"This soft material on the torso is called 'pluedo', and when Overlord makes its legs move often, the lower part of the joints—this part—will dry up. You have to keep this part moist with pluedo or slime constituents. If you keep going like this, the durability will decrease, and you may have to replace the entire mythril center in the end. Okay?"
"I'll keep that in mind!"
Benya taught Simon detailed knowledge about the maintenance of the Overlord.
The Overlord, who hated having someone touch its body, didn't reject Benya's hands as if it knew that she was helping it.
Simon learned a lot of new things from his senior Summoning student.
"Take it easy."
At that time, Fitzgerald came into the club room. He took out the amalgamation from his subspace and also worked on it in various places.
"Are you trying to tune the amalgamation too, mister?"
"Oh! Hold on a second. I got some good materials from Rochest, you know?"
While Benya went to the shelf to get the materials, Simon walked over to Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald looked at him and said,
"Simon, looks like your duel evaluation won't be that easy this time."
"You saw it? Oh, come to think of it, you said you were in the same Class M as Malcolm, right?"
Fitzgerald nodded and said,
"Be careful, Simon."
"Malcolm is different from the ones you've met in Duel Evaluation until now. You can't win against him with a bluff like before."
He couldn't just let Fitzgerald's words go in one ear and out the other. He realized after talking with him several times that, even though he was a geek, he always based his words in logic.
"Then how do you think I can win?"
After staying silent for a while, Fitzgerald turned to Simon's Overlord.
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