Chapter 1:

My name is 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. However, after some let's just say "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 this nation.

Today it seems my fate is going 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.

This is perfect. My plan to escape this Labyrinth seems to be going better than expected. I just need to convince this girl to allow me to become her thrall.

You see, thralls are bound to their masters with 3 restrictions:

1. A thrall is directly connected to their master's life force. If their master dies, they die as well.

2. A thrall can only wander so far from their master. Whether we want to or not it is physically impossible to leave our master. There is a magic force that pulls us like a magnet.

3. A thrall's magic power is only as great as their master's. I retain all the magic skills I had while alive, but my current master Lucian is nowhere at the level I was and in his old age, his power seems to have begun to decline.

I've spent much of my time these past decades figuring how to transfer the seal that binds me, to a new host. I believe I figured it out. I just need an actual living person to try it on…

"... Mr. Skeleton, are you okay? You look like you zoned out or something. Hm... Maybe he's deaf? I don't know sign language, so I don't know how I'm going 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 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 based on just an 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 really is nothing 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 as far out of the jurisdiction of the kingdom as he could be without completely fleeing the country. That way 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?"