Sorry about the break, had midterms. So here’s a bunch of chapters to make up for it.
Volume 2: Samurai Hunting
Chapter 16: Necromancer
Even among all the classes, Summoner was a class comparatively easy to use for Solo Players. So much so that the【Undead Magic】Skill Build for the class was specifically called the「Specialized for Solo Play」Summoner build.
Aside from 【Undead Magic】, there were other skill trees of【Fire Spirit Magic】【Water Spirit Magic】【Lightning Spirit Magic】 and 【Earth Spirit Magic】. Each one of these builds consume Stamina to summon spirit servants, but they had the demerit that the spirits would disappear after a set amount of time.
If Summoners wished to re-summon their servant then it was possible to do so by chanting the magic aria, but if they were in the middle of battle then the defenseless summoner would be subject to concentrated attacks from Mobs, and would promptly find themselves transferred to their Home House.
In order to avoid this risk, a summoner must manage both the remaining time-limit as well as the flow of battle. Even more so for Solo Players, if you did not have a Tank in your party to receive attacks from Mobs then it was very difficult to utilize your abilities to their full potential.
However, if you chose to go down the【Undead Magic】 build, then that playstyle would greatly change.
For【Undead Magic】 there was the condition that servants were summoned from「Mobs or Players that you personally defeated」, but until the servant’s HP reaches zero, or until the summoner used the 【Return】skill, a servant that was called will not disappear.
In other words, a summoner with an【Undead Magic】 build did not need to associate himself with a party. The Tank duty and the Healer duty, those responsibilities could be allocated to the summoned servants instead.
A Servant which lasts almost permanently──
And, there was one more reason why 【Undead Magic】 was said to be specialized for Solo Play.
「You ain’t gonna say this is unfair, right?」
「Of course not. I know that this is how a Summoner fights, so there’s no problem」
Edgar’s expression looked like it changed slightly when he responded, the situation had greatly shifted from just few moments ago.
After finished his chant, appearing beside Timberu, was a repulsive number of Plateau Lizardmen.
Their numbers── 10 bodies.
This was the reason why the【Undead Magic】build suited Solo Play.
「Hold on a second! Wouldn’t this normally be called unfair!?」
Interjecting from the side was Usa.
Edgar unintentionally made a frown.
Even though you said he was the guy who attacked you… why are you even saying that at this point?
「A Summoner using 【Undead Magic】 can only call up to 10 bodies at once. I’m not trying to take his side, but what he’s doing is not unfair」
Naturally, the【Undead Magic】Summoner Build that could create armies of skeletons and zombies from only corpses, at the thought of the so-called「Necromancer」, Usa swallowed her breath.
「T-That’s just fine! This is perfect! After all, I came along to help Edgar-san, you know! Why don’t you bring it on!」
Shouting with vigor, Usa unsheathed the tiny katana on her waist.
Edgar was just about to say「You’ll get in the way, so just stand back」, but he held those words of advice in the back of his throat.
In order to fight against an【Undead Magic User】, it was necessary to swiftly pressure the Summoner’s real body. Since he has been constantly hunting samurai at this place, it wouldn’t be wrong to think that Timberu has a countless number of corpses to utilize his 【Servant of the Dead】 Skill.
The longer it takes to defeat him, the more the battle will shift in his favor.
In order to bring him into a one-on-one PvP situation, having Usa lend a hand is not a bad idea.
「Fine. I will be the Attacker. You and Sonya should take care of the Lizardman who come this way」
「Listen up, Usa. A large number of Lizardmen will come to attack you. Don’t stop your feet. “Hit-and-Away”, be aware of your surroundings and aim for their weakness that I told you about earlier. Do you have a wide-range attack skill?」
If she has a wide-range skill, it might make it several times easier for her to fight.
For a Samurai, the earliest wide-range skill that could be learned would be the【Crescent Moon Slash】from the【Middle Stance】 Tree.
We’d be pretty lucky if Usa actually learned it already though.
However, Usa’s response was different from what Edgar had expected.
「Ummm…… W-What is that? If the Lizardmen stop moving, then, ‘hit and away’ ??」
Usa pattered about in a panic.
Edgar’s thoughts were quickly thrown in disarray.
「Whatever then. What I mean to say is…… Just get the job done」
Well, it’s not something you can do just by hearing it, and the opponents are 【Servants of the Dead】. It might be best to not say anything and let her do things how she wants to.
Even if she can’t understand the details, anything is fine as long as Sonya is protecting her.
「Yo, finished chatting yet?」
And, sounding like he was growing impatient, Timberu voiced a question.
For him to wait for us to be properly prepared, he must be pretty confident in his skills, that or he’s just stupid.
「…… I thought for sure you would attack us as we talked though」
「That would’a been a good idea, but my motto is to do things “fair and square”」
「I see. That’s quite the phrase coming from someone who takes pleasure in hunting down beginners」
And, as Timberu lightly jeered, he waved the staff in his right hand.
The jewel adorned to the tip of the staff dimly shined, and the surrounding Plateau Lizardmen silently began to move.
The Lizardmen’s movements felt like they were devoid of all life.
An abnormal silence filled the air as the battle with the Summoner commenced.
Up until now, Ran had fought against【Necromancers】 several times using Aran’s Avatar.
During those times what the Summoners called were not Mobs, they were Players.
Based on the orders of the Summoner, the servants were able to make full use of both Skills and Magic. With waves of coordinated attacks, these「Dolls」created from Player data were infinitely harder to deal with than ones made from Mobs.
However, Ran was able to deal with all of those servants.
The reason why: even though those【Servants of the Dead】seem invincible at first glance, they always have a certain weakness.
Taking the initiative, 3 of the Lizardmen attacked Edgar who was standing up front.
Rising up, they aimed for the throat from both sides.
Swiping horizontally as they aimed for the abdomen; Lowering their stance as they aimed for the legs──
Taking orders from Timberu as he took to the rear, the Lizardman charged forward and let loose powerful claw attacks from every direction── However, each one of their attacks simply cut through empty air.
That was the first weakness of servants summoned through【Undead Magic】.
The initial speed of the summoned servants attacks are much slower than their original selves.
For Edgar who has fought against countless Mobs and Players alike, those attacks were effortlessly seen through.
「You’re a nuisance!」
Distorting his body, Edgar who had nimbly dodged the attacks by crouching down had started to activate a new Skill he just learned.
Returning the blade to the saya, tightly gripping the hilt, he drew the sword at blistering speeds, and unleashed it──
Left behind in the remnants of that swiftness, an effect indicating that damage had struck true. In the aftermath, the blade brilliantly danced as it returned to its saya.
For a Samurai it was the fastest skill they could perform, The 【Iai】Skill:【Razor Blaze】.
A pedal-like effect revolved around Edgar.
The high speed【Razor Blaze】 pierced through the 3 Plataeu Lizardmen. Within a short amount of time, all of their health had dissipated and vanished.
The Lizardmen’s bodies shook and swayed, and they faded away as they fell down on the spot.
Gazing upon Edgar who had instant-killed the Lizardmen, without a hint of surprise in his warped smile, was their puppeteer: Timberu.
「……Hmph, as expected」
「For servants summoned through【Undead Magic】, they only possess about half the defensive power at most. It is easy enough to deal with【Servant of the Dead】 Lizardmen by using swift attacks, despite their characteristic thick scales」
Unlike the「Living」Plataeu Lizardmen who can repel superficial attacks with their scales, if it is a「Dead」 Plataeu Lizardman who was summoned, then even Usa’s attack should be able to work against them.
That was the 2nd weakness; it was the main factor as to why Edgar let Usa take care of the other Lizardmen.
「’YES’, that’s right. However…… violence in numbers is a terrifying thing, ya know?」
Timberu’s staff once again emitted ominous light.
A short incantation.
You plan to summon more Lizardman huh.
「Usa! I’ll leave the rear to you!」
Edgar kicked off the ground.
Matching that movement, Timberu drew his distance as he continued to summon Lizardmen.
The distance between us is about 10 meters.
If I can bridge this gap, then I will win.
If I don’t manage to corner him── Then Timberu will win with overwhelming numbers.
Edgar promptly unleashed the Moon Step.
Covered by a pale ring of light, he slipped past a number of Lizardmen. Splashes of blood mixed into the air.
One after another, the Lizardmen once again became corpses.
However, Timberu did not stop his incantation as the Lizardmen continued to impede the way as meat shields.
「HA HA HA HA! COME ON NOW! IF YOU DON’T HURRY UP THEN YOUR STAMINA WON’T LAST!」
Moon Step was not a Skill, it was a Technique created from Skills.
Edgar was dazzling with pale light, as the distance between Timberu grew smaller and smaller, his Stamina was slowly depleting.
Will this distance to Timberu reach 0 first, or will Edgar’s Stamina become 0──
Looking beyond the Lizardmen, he could see an indigo robe.
However, Edgar’s blade could not reach that robe.
Edgar was able to bridge the 10 meter distance, but his Stamina had already become empty.
What decided this fate, was Edgar’s total Stamina.
For the low level Edgar, his Stamina capacity was the one to lose out.
「HAHA! QUITE THE PUSHOVER, AREN’T YOU!『MOON STEP USER』!」
As if saying “This is the end”, Timberu began his aria a second time.
Edgar was surrounded by a dark blue light, and from it came a number of Lizardmen, a number large enough to kill Edgar.
A look of mad ecstasy showed on Timberu’s warped face.
「…… The match is not yet decided」
Whispering those soft words, was a member of Edgar’s Party, it was Sonya.
Deafened by the cries of the defeated Lizardmen, Sonya’s word did not reach Timberu’s ears. But, he immediately understood what was happening
Faintly, a golden glow enveloped Edgar’s figure.
That was, the effect of the「Energy Potion」that restores a fixed amount of Stamina.
Having his Stamina restored, Edgar’s body once again shined with a pale-blue light.
Timberu jumped back a second time to try and widen the distance, but this time it was too late.
Where Edgar now stood, was behind Timberu.
Standing with their backs to each other, Edgar began to move.
In an instant. A flash──
「…… Now then, Let’s hear what you have to say. How come you know about me?」
As the Lizardmen surround Edgar simultaneously turned into particles of light, Edgar let loose a heavy blow to Timberu’s back.
The 【Middle Stance】Skill that caused paralysis:【Blunt Strike】──
Receiving the【Blunt Strike】 from behind, Timberu’s body was robbed of its freedom; he fell down to his knees and collapsed.
TL note: A Wide-Range attack is also referred to as a ranged/cone/AOE attack. Since it’s a bit hard to imagine a sword slash as a “ranged” attack, I just went with the more literal translation.
TL note: Hit-and-Away is a boxing technique otherwise known as “Out Boxing”. It involves quick footwork and swift attacks used to confuse and outmaneuver your opponent.
TL note: The original name for the skill “Razor Blaze” is “Usuba Kagero”, which is more accurately translated as “Thin-blade Heat-haze”. I went with “Razor Blaze” because it helps demonstrate the “thinness” and “heat” of the original name.
As a side note, a Usuba knife is a thin knife used by chefs to slice vegetables (Wiki Link).
TL note: “Blunt Strike” or otherwise known as “Mi ne Buchi” is a strike using the back/blunt side of a one-sided sword.