Chapter 9

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――The deceased doesn’t have a presence.
There are no heartbeat and breathing sounds.
Therefore, they sometimes become the greatest weapon.
I suppress my footsteps and I walk slowly and quietly.
The “Low-class Skeleton” (Lesser Skeleton)’s back is totally exposed to me.
Its appearance induces fear, but it actually is a slow-moving, fragile low-class monster.
It’s an opponent that I, an “Immortal” (Undead) can win 9 out of 10 times without being hurt…… Is what I was told.
One step, two steps, three steps. The other side is not aware of me yet.
That should be it. A Skeleton is not intelligent enough to take precautions, it’s a monster that only moves and attacks whatever is reflected in its hollow eye sockets.
It walks slowly while making creepy rattling sounds.
I push my fingers together and use my hand like a sword.
The target is the cervical vertebrae. Although the skeleton is only bones, it was formerly a humanoid. It will die without a head.
The neck of a Skeleton is especially fragile.
I move towards the Skeleton’s neck and chop with my hand vigorously.
I heard a snapping sound.
Without its head, the Skeleton crumbled like a puppet whose strings snapped.

I decided to take a breather after defeating five Skeletons in the vicinity. Though I do not breathe.
…… No matter how this undead body doesn’t get tired, there still is mental fatigue.
I slowly lean against the wall and think.
The reason I hunt so frantically is because of the conversation I had with Vermut Neesan a few days ago.

…… To put it frankly, my body decays after warming up.
When I was told this, I was shocked, but I also understood.
I’m a moving corpse. The flesh naturally decays with time.
The reason I didn’t decay so far is because the temperature in this Labyrinth is below the freezing point.

And one more thing. The present me can’t get out of this Labyrinth.
In fact, Undead is a monster that is closer to the Skeleton, not the Zombie.
An existence that came to life after magic entered a corpse.
And the source of that magic is this place, the “Labyrinth of Everlasting Darkness”.
In other words, I can only move around this place.
When Merlin escaped the other day because the heat has escaped with her, I thought I was feeling unpleasant because of that, but it seems that wasn’t the case.
I will rot if I warm up.
I can’t go out of this cold labyrinth.
As expected, even though I usually have a cool head, I was in despair. Neesan taught me how to solve my problems.
The method to warm me up without rotting, even outside of the labyrinth.
Vermut Neesan smiled all the time while explaining everything thoroughly as if having fun teaching me who knows nothing.

There are three methods.
Become a “Followers” of a monster far superior to me.
Obtain a “Magic Tool” that contains a high amount of magic and use it as a fuel.
And finally, defeat monsters and go through an “Evolution”.
I was told these three methods could grant me my wish.

Lecture――Vermut Neesan taught me this――The fastest route is to become her follower.
But apparently, there seems to be a suitable risk.
Firstly, one would become her follower for his whole life, it is impossible to cancel the contract.
If the master dies, you will die too. You can’t put a great distance between you and the master.
Above all, followers seem to be under a great mental strain and will collapse 9 out of 10 times.
In the first place, this is a convenient spell to control powerful monsters, there is no consideration to become a follower, this method is full of demerits.

Next, “Magic Tool” method wasn’t recommended, apparently, it’s almost impossible to find one.
The reason being, Magic Tools are rare and very difficult to obtain, meaning I will be targeted if I walk alone with it.
It’s different from the follower method and has no demerits, however thinking about what to do until then and afterward is unpleasant.

That leaves the “Evolution”, the most realistic and easy to some extent.
Evolution. The hidden possibility of creatures with magical power.
A high ranking monster like Vermut Neesan is necessary to take a specific action in order to evolve, but it’s different for a low-class monster like me.
You should kill monsters. Weak or strong, defeat them all and snatch their magical powers for your own good.
If that’s the case, cling to this labyrinth in order to preserve. The surrounding magic can prevent your body from rotting.
However, if you fail…… You will die for good this time.

What are you going to do?

After the lecture, I nod to Neesan’s question in acknowledgment.
…… There is a chance, that if I keep evolving further, I may be able to obtain a living body.
Neesan said so.
If that is the truth, there’s no need to be hesitant.
Why did I die, also who am I?
I still don’t know these things.
Still, I want to live.
I want to live again.
Therefore, I will fight.
In order to regain a warm body.

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