–So, I woke up.
I opened my eyes slowly.
In front of me was a stone-built room. Rows of bookshelves lined the walls, and magic circles depicted in crimson lines were etched on the floor.
It was as if a layer of fog had fallen over my eyes, and my vision was hazy. However, the process of coming from nothing, no thought, no consciousness, no change, was like waking up from a dream – but much more intense.
It was as if I had been raised from the bottom of hell…
Or to be dragged down from their resting place…
Sight, sound, smell – the overwhelming information received by all the senses at the same time overwhelmed my thoughts.
As I was in extreme confusion, a hoarse word came to me.
“Have you regained consciousness? How do you find yourself….Flesh Man?”
I slowly turned my head to look at the source of the voice that permeated my brain.
I then realized that I was lying across the stage.
The owner of the voice was an old man, wearing a black robe that seemed to represent the darkness itself. The light black face with countless wrinkles and folds, but with dusky pupils that shone so brightly, it was amazingly hard to imagine how many years he had lived. The body was thin, but did not give the impression of being weak.
He has a head full of white hair, a bony body, wears a strange mask, and holds a twisted and creepily constructed staff in his palm.
Unable to comprehend the situation. The old man continued to speak to me, who could only turn his eyes wildly.
Like it was only normal that I didn’t reply.
“My name is Horus Carmon. One who defies mystery, a Mage and your Lord. Flesh Man! Bow before your Lord!”
The moment the words stimulated my eardrums, there was a wonderful sensation throughout my body.
My body acted against my consciousness.
It rose from the stage and stood up with the slow motion of a baby rising for the first time. It bent its torso and folded its knees in defiance of my consciousness. When I came back to consciousness I had kneeled face down to the Lord.
The floor was a musty gray stone floor. That’s when I noticed.
–Even without illumination, my eyes could see everything as if the world was in daylight.
Anomalies. I began with the anomaly I noticed, slowly sorting through the information. My brain does its best to process the external information, but I forcefully use it to sort through my internal memories.
Suddenly, my head was clanging. There was a shock, but no pain.
No, that’s right – no “usual” throbbing either. The headache that even painkillers couldn’t relieve, the headache that felt like a needle stirring back and forth, or the pain in my gut that felt like it was melting and rotting, were all gone. My consciousness, which had been undisciplined by chronic pain, was free of the never-ending agony, and now my mind was at rest.
It sounds amazing, but I was back to normal in this moment, for the first time in a long time.
And for the first time – in this moment – I know what it feels like to be human.
Just as I was dazed due to the unexpected fact, the voice of Lord Horus the Magician poured out.
“Flash man, my servant. Now I will give a name to you, the one without a name and a surname who are returned from the underworld.”
Without a name and surname.
That not right. I already have a name.
The name given by both parents at birth. A name that no one has even called me by lately, though.
But then I barely stop before I say this out loud.
I have a gut feeling. A gut feeling that this thing shouldn’t be said now.
But it’s probably a bad habit brought on by the useless negative life I’ve lived.
I keep my silence and the Lord give me a name.
“You will be called “End”. End as in the one whose life has ended. I gave you temporary life with Necromancy.”
Temporary life. Necromancy. Even I, who hadn’t attended school properly and had poor common sense, knew it.
Manipulating the dead, the dreaded dark magician. Necromancy, the Necromancer.
Words entered my brain in a hollow way. Then, I understood. I understood all of them.
Anyone can easily understand by comparing the memory and the words just now.
I had died. And then now, the man in front of me woke me up again with the power of evil grimoire.
“End, follow me.”
The Lord gave a short order and walked out of this research like room. I follow in silence.
The body moves. Hands and feet move as intended. How many years has it been since I’ve been able to walk properly-?
A pain-free body gives me an incredible feeling. No sense of reality. It was like a dream.
The Lord had just walked out of the room, then suddenly stood and looked back at me.
The Lord ‘s eyes were gray, but the pupils were glazed, as if something was burning deep down.
I couldn’t help but freeze at that terrifying stare.
“Hmph…looks like words do get through to you. You would be worthless if you couldn’t comprehend verbal commands.”
The verbal commands …… worthless?
Not at all sure what was being said. But I recall that after I returned to consciousness, my flesh took precedence over my thoughts and acted on the words of Lord.
This was – awful. There was no room for resistance. I was unaware of the situation, but I could instantly comprehend the deadly sensation.
I’ve heard that necromancers can freely manipulate the living dead. That means I’m just a doll to the Lord.
The Lord see me remain silent, nod somehow contentedly, and then take another step. I followed suit.
The corridor outside the room was no different from the house I had lived in before I was reborn. But maybe because there was no lighting, there was a wonderful pressure.
To be honest, nothing was clear. Why had I been resurrected, where was this place, and what was going to happen to me. It can’t just be to put me out of my misery.
However, one thing is very clear to me.
The thing to do now is not to ask questions of the Lord or run away, but to grasp the situation.
Luckily I’m good at thinking. Before I was reborn, when I was moaning in pain in my bed against death, the only thing I could do was think. The situation I’m in now isn’t much different, but the lack of pain is still quite good compared to back then.
After following the Lord for a few minutes, I walked down the stone stairs that ended at the basement.
The Lord opened the massive metal door and entered it. Inside was a spacious room that one would not expect to be a basement.
There was no lighting in the room, and numerous stone ledges were arranged. I had to make a sound, but I barely swallowed it.
What was displayed on the neatly arranged stone tables were – corpses.
But unlike me, there was no sign of activity.
It was the first time I had ever seen a corpse. But somehow it was only surprise and not horror.
“Stand by in this room until I give the next order.”
The Lord spat out white breath, looked at me with indifferent eyes, and gave a short order.
The door was closed. The footsteps of the Lord faded away. After the footsteps completely disappeared, I waited for some more time, then began to move.
First confirm the physical activity.
I tried stretching out my arms and standing on one foot to kick my legs.
The pain that had tormented me for years disappeared without a trace. Waving my arms, shaking my head, stretching my body, and jumping, I felt unbelievably free. It was like a dream.
I couldn’t help but smile, but I did so quietly, without making a sound. This was underground. I’m afraid the Lord won’t come back even if there’s some noise, but right now I don’t know anything, so I’d better be careful.
The Lord seem to have left me at the morgue. No, it’s more than a morgue – I should say it’s a storehouse of materials for necromancers. There were about five real human corpses on the stage. Ages ranged from teens to thirties, and most of the genders were male. Though properly clothed and seemingly uninjured, the faces were lifeless.
Although I was surprised when I first entered the room, it was nothing as time went on. After all, I was like half-corpse when I was alive, and had actually (I’m afraid) died once. Maybe a few of these will become my colleagues – all such naive thoughts popped up.
The structure of the morgue was simple. There was only one door, and apart from the table where the corpses were placed, the only furniture was a large shelf by the wall. The surrounding walls seemed to be made of stone, and the light tapping gave off a hard feeling.
I thought that my old room was still more habitable, and began examining the shelves.
What I wanted now was even the slightest bit of information.
Carefully, I pull open the drawer. It didn’t seem to be locked.
It seems the magician Horus hadn’t thought of the dead in this room moving freely.
I proudly pulled open the first drawer, but it was empty. The second and third were also empty. The fourth, though it held a couple of tooth-like objects of some sort, did not describe the status quo. The fifth was also empty, and the sixth held about a dozen bottles with liquid in them. The seventh was also empty, and as I pulled open the last drawer in discouragement, what was inside made me open my eyes.
“Isn’t this something good ……”
I couldn’t help but make a sound. A hoarse sound resounds through this quiet room of the dead.
It’s been a long time since I’ve made a sound, to say the least. And there is still no pain in making a sound.
The absence of pain was wonderful. With a desire to hum, I removed the contents.
The last drawer contained the …… square mirror.
I wiped the dusty surface with my clothes and peeked into it.
The reflection of myself in the mirror matched my memory. My face was delicate, my cheeks thin, my eyes deeply sunken. Colorless white hair not unlike my own brother’s, like an old man’s, but it’s innate. I remember the doctor saying it meant a lack of life force. I actually died too, and that doctor might have been a famous doctor. But only the hair was different from the remembered shaggy, well taken care of.
They probably took care of it to look good after I died, thanks.
I looked at the mirror and indulged in a lament, then carefully put it back in the drawer.
I realized that I was still me. I didn’t find anything else useful, but it was enough to know this now.
I circled around to confirm this corpse placement and finally headed to the only door in this room.
It was unlocked as the Lord walked out of the room. I had the presence of mind to listen carefully, there was no mistaking it.
I walked quietly towards the door, not making a single footstep.
I am not sure of the construction of the house, nor of the condition. But the room is so lacking in information.
I – don’t know anything. I wanted to know about the mansion, and about the necromancy.
And what I have – turned into.
I had a body that could move freely now, unlike in life. The necromancer is an evil being. It’s not absolute, but it’s still not to be believed. Then you have to do everything you can.
I gripped the metal doorknob, careful to make noises, and turned it slowly.
Contrary to my nervousness, the doorknob turned easily. It was indeed unlocked.
I pressed my ear to the door as I slowly opened the metal door. There was no sound. Not even the sound of my own heart or the flow of blood could be heard, only complete silence. I settle down though to make sure the outside is clear and gently push the door.
It is not locked. There’s already a few centimeters of clearance. But no matter how hard I push it, I can’t push it.
So hard ……? A lock? Nope. It wasn’t locked, and I didn’t see anything secured.
Push with my palms. Pushing with my whole body. I tried to push the door.
And then – I noticed.
It was like a lightning strike to the head. And my feet lose strength and I sit down on the spot.
The door is made of metal. It should have a fair amount of weight. But it’s not the weight. It wasn’t the weight.
I leaned my hand back against the gate. Then I shivered, and made the realization to push the door with all my strength.
I should have – pushed it.
My hands were shaking and I couldn’t move them. No matter how hard I pushed, I couldn’t push the door.
In my head, I recall the words of the Lord as he left.
“Stay in this room until I give the next order.”
Exactly. Not “sturdy”, I’m afraid. Rather, “no push”.
My flesh takes precedence over my consciousness over the Lord ‘s commands.
It’s like when I first woke up and knelt at his command.
Feel chills in my back. Couldn’t think very well. I pushed the door as hard as I could with trembling hands, but my body, contrary to my feelings, did not act.
I intended to understand. But that’s not all… “intend”.
I opened my eyes wide and shook my shoulders. The emotion that emerged in my heart wasn’t horror or astonishment.
It’s anger. It’s been a long time since I’ve had such strong feelings. It was the first time I knew how tense my face could become when I felt angry at someone.
There was no shouting. There was no loss of self. The feeling stayed in my heart.
I thought I had become free. I became complacent after getting a body that was pain free and could bounce around. I had thought that I could do anything as long as I had this physical body that could move normally.
But instead. I haven’t changed a thing. Better than before? You’ve got to be kidding me.
Before I was born, I had never-ending pain all over my body, and I couldn’t use my arms and legs, so I had to try to think to keep my brain from feeling the pain. No, I couldn’t even concentrate well enough to think.
But at least – the control of my body was not taken away from me by someone else.
I could follow his instructions. The Lord was my savior in a sense. Even if the other was an evil magician, I would be happy to assist.
However, this is unforgivable.
Although I don’t know what the Lord Horus is planning to bring me back to life, the fact that my power of life and death is in his hands is unforgivable. This burning emotion shocked me myself.
It seems that I clearly made that realization – yet I still don’t want to die.
And now I don’t want to give up the “second life” I was fortunate enough to have.
That’s right, I don’t want to give up my second life. By any means necessary.
When I was trying to take a deep breath, I realized that I wasn’t breathing. Even when I put my hand on my heart, I couldn’t feel it beating.
Why am I so stupid? I finally became realistic about the fact that I had become an incomprehensible being. The body is moving. There was no pain. But not living. Just moving.
By the way, the Lord came here spitting out white puffs. The bodies on display also showed no signs of corruption. Exactly. It must be – very cold here. But I can’t feel the cold. A part of my senses are gone.
And there’s no window or light in this room, but I can see clearly what’s going on inside.
I – changed. Maybe that’s why I couldn’t feel horror at the array of corpses.
For a moment these questions floated through my mind, but then I immediately shook my head.
It’s okay. I’m still conscious. I can still think. I’m – right here.
I can still continue to experience the life I was so intent on living.
I was a patient. And I was a patient, suffering from unexplained pains throughout my body and a weakening body, waiting silently for death, the “living dead”. Now, I have become the “living dead.
Then… I have to accept it. Even if I become an existence in the darkness, it is nothing compared to ending my life without finding any meaning to live.
I stood up, frowned at the door that was only slightly open, and quietly closed it. The door, which I couldn’t move with all my might, easily returned to its place.
It wasn’t surprised. This was truly a command from the Lord
Was this coercive command above my consciousness the prerogative of the one who awakens the dead.
But, there must be a flaw. There absolutely is.
The Lord had initially said. “You would be worthless if you couldn’t comprehend verbal commands” In other words, if a deceased person like me is awakened, there’s a chance that the verbal command won’t work.
I’m going to live no matter what. Gather information. Information about escaping from the Lord’s domination.
I’m too ignorant. I don’t know anything about necromancy, this house, or my changed self.
Now is the time to gather information. I must be patient and sharpen my teeth. Waiting is my second area of expertise after thinking. When I thought that it would work now, I felt that there was a meaning to the life that I had only been enduring.
I set my mind right, stand where the Lord ordered me, and stare ahead.
Stop moving like that and count in my head.
I don’t feel sleep, fatigue, or hunger. Even if I don’t blink, my eyeballs don’t feel dry. I just stare ahead, quietly, emotionlessly, and count. Pretend to be a corpse, like the dead on display around me.