Chapter 1:

Arno Tovenaar

The Skeleton & The Idiot Sorceress

At one time you could say I was at the top of this world. I was one of the most powerful mages that had ever lived. I nearly brought this kingdom to its knees and took the throne for myself. Now though, I'm nothing more than a skeleton thrall bound to this labyrinth.

My name is Arno Tovenaar. As I mentioned before, I am undead. I used to be alive, but unfortunately after some "unlucky" circumstances several decades ago, I have been like this ever since.

I am bound to my master, a necromancer named Lucian Heremita. He has resided in this labyrinth for almost as long as I've been undead and has completely shut himself out from society. This is a problem for me because one day I plan to figure out how to unbind myself and resurrect, so I can conquer the world.

Today though, it seems my fate is about to change. Someone has wandered into the labyrinth and has been caught in one of its many traps!

"Um... Excuse me Mr. Skeleton, could I get some help?" Said the blonde hair girl, in the cage in front of me.

Yes it seems-. Wait... did she just call me “Mr. Skeleton”? That's kind of strange. Necromancy is considered to be taboo in this country. Most average people would be terrified or disgusted by an undead skeleton, but this girl seems completely unfazed.

Now that I think about it, for her to even have made it this deep into the labyrinth, she must be somewhat skilled…

"... Mr. Skeleton, are you okay? You look like you zoned out or something… Maybe he's deaf? I don't know sign language. Hmmm… how am I supposed to communicate with him?"

Is she serious or is she mocking me?

"uh... No, I can hear you perfectly fine."

"Oh, that's a relief! I wasn't sure what I was going to do if I couldn't communicate with you.".

...I think she was actually serious.

"What's your name, girl?"

She looked at me with a bright smile.

"My name is Erika Magier, it's very nice to meet you."

For someone who is in a fairly dire situation, she is quite positive.

"Are you here alone?" I asked.

"Of course I am!" She answered without hesitation.

Either this girl is way too trusting or she is a very convincing liar.

"Who exactly are you, Mr. Skeleton?"

"Who am I? I'm an undead sorcerer that guards the innermost corridor of this dungeon."

Unlike this girl, whether she is sincere or not, I'm not so trusting as to give too much information about myself to a stranger.

"I'm not entirely sure what most of what you said means, but it seems you're like someone really important or something, right?"

Is this girl an idiot? I don't know how much simpler of a description of what I am, I could have given her.

"Uh... I guess you could say that," I said.

"Oh, that's great! If you could let me out of this cage and point me to any magic relics or treasure, I would very much appreciate it."

I have to say, she is quite bold to directly ask me to let her out and to basically hand over any valuables. Also, I don't know what makes her assume there is anything of value in this dungeon. I might be able to use this naivety to deceive her into being my new "master" though.

"What makes you think there is anything of value here?"

"Well, why wouldn't there be? Everyone knows that places like ancient ruins and dungeons always have some sort of artifacts or treasure hidden deep within. Since I made it this far, I'm guessing I am getting close to something good."

Wow… She came here just on a baseless assumption. I could see if she heard a rumor or something, but she risked her life off a naive fantasy. On top of that, there actually isn’t anything of value here. This is just an abandoned ancient structure. Lucian probably chose it because it is incredibly difficult to get to. He also probably wanted to make sure he was far out of the jurisdiction of the West Kingdom, so he could practice his necromancy freely… and avoid paying taxes.

"Listen here, girl. This is just a very old labyrinth. The only thing here are undead and traps. There are no magic relics, artifacts, or treasures."

Her face turned to complete disappointment.

"That's a bummer! I came all this way for nothing… Are you sure? This isn't like a test or something to make sure I'm pure of heart?"

"No, I can assure there is no test, but since you showed such determination making it all the way to the bottom floor. I feel as though I need to give you some kind of reward."

I just need her to take the bait.

"Really! You can do that, Mr. Skeleton!?"

"Of course, I'm essentially the final boss. How about you and I work out a deal?..."

The chamber was dark, but I could make out Erika giving me an inquisitive look. She didn’t really look like an adventurer. Her clothes consisted of a white sleeveless undershirt with a blue long sleeve top that exposed her shoulders. On her chest was a light blue ribbon that matched her shirt. She had long shiny blonde hair that came down to the center of her back. Her clothes were more like something you would see most average upper class teenage girls wearing around the kingdom. She looked like she should be shopping with her friends, rather than hunting for treasure in a dungeon.

Was this girl really a sorceress? She doesn't even have any weapons on her. She must have some kind of ability to have gotten this far.

"What kind of deal are you proposing, Mr. Skeleton?" She said, while staring at me with her innocent blue eyes.

"Well, let me ask you this first, girl. I'm guessing you have some kind of magical affinity. Is that correct?" I asked her in a serious tone.

"Well yeah, I got that magic finity stuff you're talking about. I'm a sorceress and I think I'm pretty good at magic too."

She seems confident in her abilities, which is somewhat reassuring. I think she should do just fine as my new host.

"So as I told you before, there really isn't anything here for me to give you as a reward, but there is one thing I can give… Something no one else in the world has."

"What's that?" She asked.


"Er... What do you mean by that, Mr. Skeleton?"

She stared at me blankly.

"What I'm proposing is that I enter into a pact with you and become your eternally loyal undead servant. I will serve you as my master for as long as you live."

Her face had turned red and she looked embarrassed.

"Umm... Listen you seem like you're a really nice guy and all, but we only just met. Not to mention you're a skeleton and I'm a human. I just don't think it would work out. I'm not ready for marriage just yet."


"Look, don't be too down. I'm sure there are plenty of lady skeletons that would be happy to marry you."

"What makes you think I'm asking you to marry me?" I said coldly.

"Oh, well that stuff about being an eternally loyal servant sort of sounded like marriage to me."

I smacked my forehead.

"What I meant by that was becoming your thrall, not your husband. Nothing I said had anything to do with marriage."

"Oh that's a relief... What's a thrall by the way?"

I can't believe how dense this girl is.

"A thrall is kind of like a servant that is supposed to loyally follow your every command."

"I get it. So you're kind of like a pet, right?"

She isn't exactly wrong, but I'd say I'm a bit higher status than a dog.

"Well kind of I guess," I replied.

"Ok, but what exactly do you do? Do I like have to feed you or something?"

I shook my head.

"I'm a skeleton. I don't eat or drink. Even if I wanted to, I have no stomach or digestive system. The food would just fall through my bones onto the ground. I'm an undead mage, so I can do things like aid you in battle and defend you on your travels."

She didn’t look particularly sold on my response.

"Hmm… that's great and all, but how are you at carrying things?"

"Carrying things?"

"Yeah, like my bags. I have a backpack I keep all my belongings in. It's really heavy and hard to carry while I travel. I actually left it at the entrance to this place because I figured it would be a pain to carry around in here. So if you were my thrall, could I make you carry it for me?"

She is basically asking me to be her pack mule. She didn't even care about the mage stuff. I guess I’d just go along with it for now.

"Sure, if you want I can carry your bags."

"Great! It's a deal then. I'll be your master and you'll be my skeleton thrall thingy or whatever you are… So how exactly do we forge this pact thing you talked about, Mr. Skeleton?"

Perfect! Now my plan was coming along perfectly.

"So to forge our pact I need to transfer the current seal that binds me to you. You probably don't understand what that means, but I'll explain later. Just wait here a bit, I have to go to my quarters and get a few things to initiate the seal transfer."

With that, she nodded and I walked off to collect what I needed.