Necromancer Academy's Genius Summoner
[Translator - Ramen]
[Proofreader - Artethrax]
Simon, who peeked at the stadium from the student waiting room, was surprised. He had heard that there would be many visitors from the outside today, but he never expected them to be this numerous.
The spectator seats were filled all the way from the bottom to the top. Students in Kizen uniforms were seated below, and outsiders sat in the seats above the divider.
"For your information…"
Said Rick, who came to visit because his match was in the afternoon, while chewing gum.
"They all came to see your duel."
"No matter what anyone says, the biggest issue here in Stadium 2 is the duel between Special Admission No.1 and No.10. See, looking at the bracket, you guys are the only ones who are ‘named’. Everyone must've come to see the mysterious Special Admission No.1"
Simon smiled bitterly.
"Hey, what's with you? Why are you making me nervous?"
"You're the type who performs well under pressure. And I said it so you would know what’s actually at stake."
Said Rick, making a peace sign with his fingers and moving it back and forth in front of his eyes.
"There’s nowhere to run after this match. If you lose in front of so many spectators, rumors will spread all over the continent that this Special Admission No.1 is insignificant! People might underestimate you for the rest of time!"
Simon crossed his arms while nodding in understanding.
"Come to think of it, that's not so bad."
"Haha! I'm just kidding. Other than that…"
Simon laughed mischievously and tapped Rick on the forearm.
"Say, you also have your money bet on this, right?"
At that, Rick’s face became laden with guilt. It was easy to read with him avoiding Simon's gaze and smiling in embarrassment.
"Tell me honestly. Who did you bet on?"
"Ah! Of course I placed my bet on you! The beauty of gambling is with the underd— I mean! I believe in my friend no matter what, after all!"
"Don't worry. I'll make sure you didn’t waste your money."
"Hehe, as expected, you're so assuring! I'm counting on you, Simon!"
After saying that, Rick glanced back and said,
"By the way, who are you? You’ve been here a while. Show yourself!"
He had sensed a presence. In fact, Simon had also noticed it.
After a moment of hesitation, a female student appeared.
It was Camibarez. Her fingers clutched onto the side of the wall, timidly sticking her head out.
Remembering that her match was in the afternoon, Simon asked in surprise,
"Why are you in the stadium already? You get nervous when you come early."
She sprinted toward Simon, her eyes screwed shut.
"D-Do your best!!"
"Whoever the opponent is, Simon will win! Simon worked harder than anyone…!"
She repeated, “than anyone…” in her trembling voice before very faintly whispering,
"W-Worked harder than anyone I've ever seen!"
After finishing her words, she crouched down and covered her face with her palms as though out of courage.
She might have meant to say something better than 'worked harder than anyone', but Simon felt the tension building up inside him release regardless.
He got down on one knee and spoke softly.
He then waited. After a while, Camibarez removed her palms and looked at Simon with a red face.
"Thank you! It really helped me a lot. I'll definitely win this Duel Evaluation."
It was an atmosphere that one shouldn't disturb.
Rick giggled quietly and left the waiting room.
Outside the waiting room, Meilyn was leaning on the wall with her arms crossed.
Staring at the opposite wall with a complicated expression, she belatedly spotted Rick and said with her face red and lips pressed together,
'Why the hell are you coming out from there, you crazy bastard?!!'
'You can't take hints at all, can you!'
Rick chuckled and responded with a lowered voice,
"I went outside because I can take the hints."
After Meilyn said that, she turned her back and walked away nonchalantly.
Rick pointed to Simon's waiting room.
"Will you be alright going already without saying a word to him?"
At that, she paused.
Her eyes glanced at Simon's waiting room, and then she let out a resigned sigh.
"That's why I'm saying you can't take hints."
The moment Meilyn finished her words, she continued walking down the lobby.
Rick brought his hands behind his head and watched her leave.
* * *
Translator - Ramen
Proofreader - Artethrax
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* * *
[Class A Simon Polentia. Class M Malcolm Randolph, please come to the stadium.]
Time passed quickly.
As Simon left the waiting room and came out to the stadium, lively cheers poured out.
"Do your best, Special Admission No.1"
"I’m betting on you!"
Malcolm came out of the waiting room on the other side and was also preparing for the Duel, wearing a protective suit.
Their eyes met. Malcolm smirked, and Simon didn't react.
The stadium reset and break time was over. Spectators in the intermission room returned, and spectators from other stadiums flocked in to see the match between the special admissions.
Rick and Camibarez also took their seats in the corner of the stands, and Meilyn joined them after finishing her match.
The result of her match was, obviously, victory. She high-fived the two and sat down on her seat as if her mood had improved.
"Hey, how's Simon's condition?"
"Looks good as of now."
Replied Rick, crossing his arms.
"The key is probably how well he has mastered his Overlord control."
After a while, following the referee's instructions, Simon and Malcolm came up to the center of the arena.
"Both duelers, shake hands."
The two came over and gripped each other's hands.
Malcolm held Simon’s hand with a strong grip. Simon said with an expressionless face,
"You're doing this again after putting yourself in trouble in the mansion."
"I never forget the bastards who humiliate me."
Malcolm smirked and continued.
"And I am not the only one who thinks that they've been humiliated by you."
This time Malcolm's expression stiffened. Simon had also begun strengthening his grip on Malcolm's hand. Malcolm clenched his teeth and gripped back.
"I'll be in your care for this match."
Said Simon while smiling.
"I'll make sure to show this massive crowd the worst day of your life."
Sneered Malcolm, also smiling.
The two of them let go simultaneously and turned their backs.
"Both students! Are you ready?"
In response to the referee's question, the two nodded simultaneously and lowered their stances.
"Then, we shall commence the Duel Evaluation between Simon Polentia from Class A and Malcolm Randolph from Class M."
The referee raised his right arm.
Simon was surprised by the cheers that erupted from all directions.
The crowd was incomprehensibly large no matter how much Simon looked at it.
On the lower section sat his fellow Group 7 members, friends from Class A, Hector's faction, second-years, and Benya and the rest of the Mutant club members, who were sitting together. And above them were countless nobles wearing luxurious clothes and Scouters scribbling hard with quills.
'This is bad.'
Simon smiled bitterly and wiped the sweat off his palms. This was his first time being nervous about a Duel Evaluation.
The referee looked at Simon then Malcolm before dropping his raised arm.
Simon was awakened by that shout.
He fully activated his core, whirring up jet-black all over his body as Malcolm raised a silver rod in his hands.
He stabbed it into the ground. A huge jet-black magic circle spread out from around the rod.
"You have no idea how much I looked forward to this stage, Simon Polentia."
Click click click!
The magic circle on the floor began to unfold at a terrifying speed. Simon realized it when he saw the pace of the unfolding.
Malcolm couldn’t have just learned this after coming to Kizen, and he wouldn’t have done this just once or twice.
This had been repeated thousands of times, and now it was his specialty in the truest sense of the word. He could cast it even with his eyes closed.
Everyone in the arena opened their eyes wide and watched the dark magic of the Special Admission No.10
People who looked just like Malcolm came out of the giant magic circle on the floor.
You couldn't tell the difference between the real one and a fake. Even the clothes, hairstyle, and the way they walked were the same. In an instant, two dozen or so Malcolms filled the arena.
"A Doppelganger user!"
"So the rumors were true."
Clamors erupted from all directions.
Among the excited crowd, Meilyn also wore a dumbfounded expression on her face.
"What in the world is that?"
"It's Malcolm's specialty, Doppelganger."
Explained Rick, who was sitting next to her.
"With that spell alone Malcolm enrolled in Kizen as a Special Admission, took control over Class M, and maintained the top rank in all performance assessments."
To put it simply, Doppelganger was a dark spell that created countless summons that looked just like the user. But Malcolm was far beyond that level.
Malcolm could see, hear, and smell through his doppelgangers. Their fighting power was excellent, and the replication was so perfect that the main body could hardly be distinguished.
Considering that the average Kizen first-year controlled 3 to 4 skeletons, Doppelganger, which endlessly created summons regardless of the numbers, was the ultimate dark spell.
Of course, in the future, when the students were in the second and third years of Kizen, where all the students were powered up, the performance of Doppelganger may become a little ambiguous. But at least in the first year, the quantity was everything.
This was the reason Malcolm, the No.10, was evaluated as having a higher combat power than other special admissions.
"To defeat Malcolm, you need a wide-range dark spell that can wipe out both his body and his clones at once, or detection magic that can detect his body. Other than that, you could use a cancellation-type curse that could neutralize the Doppelganger itself."
At Rick's words, Camibarez looked extremely worried.
"But Simon has none of those!"
"That's probably the reason why the ratio in the bets was 8:2. Doppelganger is either easy to beat or impossible to beat. There is no in between."
The number of Malcolm's doppelgangers was increasing. In response to this, Simon activated his core to 100%, raised his concentration, and then calmly approached Malcolm.
"Have you gone mad?"
"You're approaching without any wide-range spells?"
"You arrogant bastard!"
Malcolm made two dozen doppelgangers rush in at the same time. Simon stopped in his tracks.
Simon put his left foot on the floor. A virtual magic circle spread around his feet, and he materialized it by pouring in jet-black. Meanwhile, Malcolm's doppelgangers encircled Simon.
"What are you doing, Special Admission No.1?!!"
"You're surrounded! They'll rush in from all sides!"
The two dozen doppelgangers jumped at Simon simultaneously. Simon, eyes closed in concentration, soon shot them open.
Whir! Whir! Whir! Whir!
A subspace opened up around Simon. The moment the doppelgangers got close…
The Overlord's tentacles, made of metal and bone, protruded from the subspace. The blades went up in a circle as if wrapping around Simon, dicing up the doppelgangers around him.
All the doppelgangers that jumped in were torn to shreds, scattered into the winds like discarded ashes.
"Woah! Wh-What is that?"
The crowd reacted explosively. Even his opponent, Malcolm, stood there with his mouth agape.
'That's dark magic?'
At that moment, one of the blades wrapped around Simon stretched out toward the real Malcolm.
Malcolm freaked out and stepped back.
Dodging in a hurry threw him off balance and made him fall on his buttocks. The blade swung like a whip, destroying additional doppelgangers, and it even pulled out the rod stuck in the floor and threw it into the sky.
Malcolm's rod stuck straight into the arena's ceiling. The blades made a rustling sound and returned to Simon's subspace.
Simon, no longer hidden in the forest of blades, smiled calmly.
"What did you say about having wide-range spells again?"
The crowd erupted in fierce cheers.
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