Necromancer Academy's Genius Summoner
[Translator - Ramen]
[Proofreader - Artethrax]
The Poisonous Alchemy class had begun.
A pang of empathy hit every student who met the exhausted eyes of the assistant teachers as they passed around the lesson's materials—the poisons.
Surrounded by silence, Simon tossed the first lump of antibodies into his mouth.
'Tastes like hair today.'
They say that humans are creatures of adaptation. Having done this for a few weeks now, their bodies had all gotten used to it. Now, they could tell when the drug had fully entered their blood without having to rely on the rough time estimates.
Simon just chewed lightly before gulping down the powdery mass.
He felt his body rejecting the foreign substance far less than it used to.
At this point, he just wanted the pain to pass quickly.
As Simon felt the poison spread, he lifted his quill.
Belya had the students fill out a checklist of simple questions about the poison they just ate. Questions like what does the poison tasted like, what symptoms it caused, what kind of poison it seemed to be, and what poisons it resembled from the ones in the textbooks.
Finally, she asked the students to define the poison they had just swallowed in one word.
Simon wrote 'hair' in there. His thoughts were too foggy, so he just scribbled away without bothering to peer through the fog to find his more illuminating thoughts.
By now, few students vomited after eating the poison, and the pain became far easier to manage.
Someone joked that they felt like they were becoming a monster for getting used to this, and Simon laughed in bitter agreement.
Finishing the first dose quickly, Simon moved on to the next.
'This one tastes like fingernails.'
Of course, he'd never intentionally eaten hair or fingernails before, but something about it just clicked in his head.
Looking to the side, Rick was writing fruits for the taste, Meilyn was going for lipsticks, and Camibarez named colors.
By the start of the third dose, Meilyn had pulled a pre-prepared paper bag over her head in a familiar gesture, and snot dribbled from Cami's nose by the time she finished with the second.
As for Rick, the moment he swallowed the third dose, he stood up and said he was done.
In Group 7, Rick was the most resilient to the poisons.
But not long after, Simon felt the pain and nausea from the third dose subside, and he raised his hand to call over an assistant teacher so he could report that he was fine.
After turning in his checklist, he turned to leave for the next room where students were learning theory.
Called out Belya as she waved Simon over.
She was sprawled out in the back row of seats instead of her designated place at the front. Of course, they were all too busy dealing with the poisons to realize she had moved.
As Simon approached, she yawned lazily and tapped her fist on her shoulder.
"I'm sorry, but please give me a massage."
A nearby assistant teacher winced at that and offered to do it instead.
Simon smiled, standing behind her as he massaged her shoulder.
Belya stiffened momentarily, straightening up, but soon she melted completely at Simon's touch.
It was oddly quiet. Simon ended up laughing, comparing Belya to how a cat would be helpless after being grabbed by the neck.
"Whew, you're good."
Belya sounded genuinely surprised.
"Did you take separate massaging classes or something?"
"No, I just used to massage my mom's shoulders all the time, so I'm used to it."
"Ohoho. You're a dutiful son, huh?"
After massaging her shoulder in silence for some time, Simon whispered,
"Professor Hong will be worried."
"The bastard who cut off all ties with me after I was kicked out of the grasslands?"
"Professor Hong Feng has been planting wildlife known for its anti-toxins all over Roke Island and feeding her students a steady diet of drinks made from them, I think."
Simon added in a very small voice,
"She's doing that for you, Professor Belya."
She was silent for a moment. Simon was standing behind her, so he couldn't see her expression.
Then, suddenly, Belya reached out and grabbed Simon's cheek.
"You're going too far with what you say. What do you think you know, trying to interfere in grown-ups' affairs?"
She laughed mischievously and pulled harder on Simon's cheek.
Simon resisted as he squirmed in his seat, the pain bringing tears to his eyes.
She let go of her hand, revealing her sharp teeth as if in warning.
Simon stroked his cheek and glared at her with resentment.
"How are you preparing for the next BDMAT?"
Simon blinked at the sudden question.
"Ah, yeah. I'm working hard."
"Come see me if you get stuck."
She patted Simon on the shoulder.
"Your big sis will help you out once, no matter what it is."
He wasn't sure what he just got, but he realized that—for a shoulder massage—he got a lot.
He was definitely going to keep this one in mind later.
"Thank you. Professor!"
"How strict. Just call me big sis when it's only the two of us talking."
"Kyahahaha! You're too inflexible, asshole!"
* * *
Translator - Ramen
Proofreader - Artethrax
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* * *
Even though Belya said she would help, he couldn't just ask her to come up with a plan for an underwater battle.
For now, he thought it would be best to finalize how he would fight in the sea, his techniques, and his general style, and then ask for advice on what he needed to improve.
As he continued to attend classes, his worries about managing to finalize everything deepened.
The professors hadn't taught them anything about dark magic for the sea, obviously because that would be basically giving away the answer.
The most they could do was offer occasional hints and help, like when Professor Jane gave a lecture on circle bonding or how Professor Bahil taught them a formula for a non-ejection curse.
The professors seemed to be saying that they'd have to figure out how to fight in the sea on their own.
Class after class passed by, and the BDMAT some time probably next week drew closer and closer.
Everyone was outlining plans for how they would fight in the ocean, but Simon couldn't come up with anything beyond how to breathe.
"Are there any undead that can be used in the sea?"
Simon stopped by the Mutant Club room for the first time in a while.
He casually brought up the subject while working on the Overlord with Benya.
Benya, who was carefully wiping clean the Overlord's tentacles with a rag, pondered, then said,
"…I don't think I can control such a high-ranking undead yet, and there's no way to get one."
Simon, realizing that he needed to add some context, explained the theme of the third BDMAT, and Benya nodded in understanding.
"So you're looking for an undead to fight alongside you at sea?"
Finished cleaning the Overlord's leg, she grunted as she stood back up.
She walked over to a bookshelf, her skirt carelessly swishing around her, and she shuffled through the books.
"To be blunt, you do realize that undead themselves are unfit for use at sea, right?"
"Yes, of course I know that!"
"But it's also true that, for the grand plan of world domination, we cannot ignore the ocean."
Simon experienced this many times, but he still took an extra second to filter what the geeky undead engineer was saying.
"We can at least make undead out of sea monsters. How about this?"
She pulled out a book and flipped it open to an illustrated page. It was an undead made of a large whalebone.
"Cool! Do you think I can get one of those?"
"If you're lucky, I guess?"
The premise seemed shaky. Seeing Simon's hesitation, Benya put down her book and said,
"I guess it's better to go and see one with your eyes instead of looking over a picture again and again, comrade!"
"Are you free this weekend? I'll take you somewhere fun."
* * *
The weekend came quickly, as the weekdays had been swallowed up by the mission evaluations.
When Benya told him to meet her in Rochest, he assumed the 'somewhere fun' she mentioned would be somewhere on Roke Island.
But when he arrived at the meeting point, he was greeted by a teleportation magic circle prepared by Vanilla.
'…First Serene and now this? I guess rich people are different, huh?'
They had authorized the teleportation with Kizen, so there would be no problems.
Benya had a lot of undead business of her own, and Kizen was accommodating in that regard.
Simon nervously stepped on the magic circle. His body felt weightless for a moment before he landed on a different place.
"Welcome to the harbor city of Balot, my comrade!"
Simon opened his eyes to see a vast, endless sea.
Countless fishing boats were pouring in and out of the harbor. He had never seen a harbor this large before.
"To have good undead, we must first get good ingredients."
Benya pointed toward a large fish market that was mostly obscured by a swarm of people crowded around it.
"The fish market of Balot Harbor is the largest in the Dresden Kingdom! Shall we go conquer it and see if they have anything good?"
The two walked briskly into the fish market where they were greeted by the distinctive stench of salt water and fish.
Simon's eyes darted around as he took in the brand new sights.
He was overwhelmed by the number and size of the stalls. It seemed like every fish in the continent was on display here.
Behind the colorful stalls, fishermen and merchants shouted with booming voices that the fish were good today. He felt like he was amid a fierce battle, with fishermen and merchants calling out over each other about them having the best quality fish.
And it wasn't just fish. There were sea monster corpses, too.
Buried in ice, a fish with teeth too long to be a fish was still twitching like it was alive.
A sign above it read: Gerontos, level 4 monster, caught yesterday.
"Welcome! How fortunate for you to find my place here! The gerontos are good today! Do you want a taste?"
The roughly bearded vendor whipped out a fish knife and quickly sliced open the gerontos's flesh, filletted it into sashimi, and placed a piece on a cutting board.
'Poor fish, it's still alive!'
What was happening in this fish market was enough to even frighten a necromancer, someone who handled corpses on a daily basis.
"Go ahead, try it!"
"N-No thank you!"
Simon backed away with his hands raised in front of him, but Benya swooped in and grabbed a slice of the raw meat, popped it into her mouth.
Benya nodded as she chewed.
"Delicious! How long ago did you catch it?"
"It just came in last night. It's fresh."
Against Simon's disapproval, Benya pointed to the more mundane board of sashimi next to him, this board also from the flesh of a monster.
"Isn't this your first time eating monster sashimi? Try it."
Simon squeezed his eyes shut and took a taste. The sashimi slid into his mouth, and he chewed on the thick flesh.
It was thick and slightly acidic. But the acid cut cleanly through the heavy levels of fat—it was closer to red meat than fish in that regard—and it went down quite smoothly.
Growing up in the mountains, he rarely had the chance to taste sashimi, but this was the most delicious sashimi he had ever eaten.
"It's known that the meat of land monsters is not good, but interestingly enough, most of the fish monsters have high-quality flesh."
"…That's the first I've heard of it."
Benya turned to look back at the vendor.
"We're necromancers. Do you have any stuff we can use as undead?"
"Oh, your young looks hid that fact well. You two are necromancers, huh? And no, I'm out of today's supply because I used all of them for meat."
"Then we'll come back later!"
"Of course, of course. Feel free to stop by anytime!"
With that, the two walked deeper into the fish market. Benya explained,
"Balot is right in the middle of the home of necromancers, Kizen, and the royal city of Langerstine. Because of its location, there are many sea monsters along with the fish, making it a popular place for necromancers to gather ingredients."
"Ah, that's the first I've heard of it."
Somehow, he had a feeling that he would come here often for ingredients.
And so the two made their way to the depths of the fish market.
They came upon an alleyway decorated with the cartilage of a deadly shark monster. Just looking at it sent a chill down Simon's spine.
Most of the people in the fish market didn't even look that way. When they had something to do nearby, they quickened their steps and stared intently in the opposite direction of the place.
"Hehe! That was just the normal fish market. Now, we're entering the real world of necromancers. Are you ready?"
Simon nervously gulped before nodding.
Determined to find a way to fight underwater here, Simon walked inside.
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