The sun shone down into the Bright-Wood Forest.
Its rays peeked through the trees and fell upon a cave with a small entrance inside one of the mountains of the North-Barrier Mountain range separating the North from the South.
Despite the entrance being small, the inside couldn't be called the same- in any way.
The spacious cave looked almost as if it was specifically carved by humans. The inside was long and deep and most importantly... lively! Sadly, it wasn't the type of lively that could be appreciated.
The many rotten corpses moving around tirelessly like brain-dead parasites could cause any sane man to shiver from fear.
But not the green-skinned-tiny goblins who were also emotionlessly patrolling the area.
The zombie' pungent scent and disgusting bodies made them the worst kind of enemy to encounter. Thankfully, nature had been just enough to keep these zombies at the bottom of the food chain. Making them brain-dead creatures and easy prey for somebody with some wits.
Amongst the many zombies, there was one particular Zombie near the entrance whose appearance was much better than the others, most likely because he was recently turned into an undead.
As the Zombie was walking, its feet collided with a torn piece of rotten flesh and its face smacked heavily onto one of the rocks littering around.
To its dismay, its head struck a rock laying around, causing some of its decaying flesh to get torn off.
But like a true undead, despite bleeding, the Zombie remained unfazed.
But as it was getting up, perhaps from hitting its head, this Zombie- a monster that possessed zero intelligence, suddenly heard a voice in its head.
[You must remember... if what you seek is power, then you must break the laws of this chess board.
As a mere Pawn, you must cross to the other side of the board and promote to a being no less than the King himself!]
[Ding! System activation successful!]
[Congratulation! You have received the title, Awakened!]
As the voice echoed in his head, the Zombie's dull eyes suddenly lit up in a conscious light.
Slowly, the Zombie got up on his feet and glanced all around cluelessly.
Seeing a strange tiny, green-skinned creature suddenly walk next to him and gaze at the cave's entrance with a face frowned into seriousness, the Zombie blinked and stared.
Seeing the Zombie staring at him non-stop, the Goblin felt strange and started to return the gaze.
Seeing the Zombie's eyes not budge in the least, the Goblin got creeped out and bared its fangs, "Gah!!"
The Zombie tilted its head and like a newborn child... imitated, "Grrr!"
A pungent and disgusting odor wafted out of the Zombie's mouth and assaulted the Goblin.
The Goblin, feeling disgusted, retorted and slashed at the Zombie- Thinking the mindless creature wouldn't bother attacking back at a fellow monster.
But the Zombie preceded all expectations and imitated the Goblin and attacked.
"Gah!!" The Goblin stared at the Zombie in disbelief and rage. Feeling insulted by getting attacked by a lowly Zombie, The Goblin bore its fangs and claws and pounced on the Zombie.
[Ding! You are being attacked by a Goblin!]
Seeing the notification pop up in front of him, the Zombie felt something spring up inside him, "GRRR!"
The Zombie slammed his fist into the Goblin's head, causing the Goblin to get a concussion and fall.
The Zombie still feeling a strange drive from deep within, raised its leg and started beating up the Zombie- truly like a brain-dead creature that could only follow a single command with no desire of stopping.
But surprisingly, the Zombie wasn't following anybody's order but following its guts- something unknown and strange to it. But still... it filled him with joy.
As the flesh kept getting destroyed underneath his feet, a sense of joy suddenly erupted inside him and he roared incoherently, "Grrr!"
[Ding! You have killed a Goblin! You have leveled up! Congratulations on your first kill!]
● Title: Awakened
● Name: None
● Race: Zombie
● State: Dead
● Level: 1
● EXP: 0/10
● Rank: 0
● Talent: Origin
● Stats: Strength-6 | Speed-3 | Defense-7 | Intelligence-16 | Mana-5
● Skills: Undead | Flesh-Bound]
As the Zombie glanced at his status, a strange sensation coursed through his body, "Grrr!"
He raised his hand and looked at himself, he could feel it. After he killed the Goblin... he had grown stronger!
"Grrr!" A spark lit up inside this strange Zombie... a spark for the same delicious taste. The taste of... power! The taste of... growing stronger!
Just as the Zombie was erupting with the pleasure of growing stronger. Three shadows started to encroach inside the cave while chatting loudly.
"Listen up, you two newbies! As your senior! I am going to see you through this first dungeon of yours. But only this one.
Don't be nervous! This dungeon only has Zombies and Goblins. You know both of them are weak asses.
The Zombies and Goblins might be the stinky duos- Famed for their disgusting and wretched scent but you gotta bear it!"
A man walked in, followed by two other young boys.
Seeing the Zombie standing still near the entrance, the man nodded toward the boys and said, "Now, I am going to demonstrate how to kill a Zombie. That particular one seems to have been recently corrupted, that's why it appears better than the rest. Anyhow, Zombies are pathetic monsters- the weakest of the weakest. And Assassins like me with stealth-based Talents consider them even worse than Slimes!"
"Look! I will now activate my Talent- 'Stealth'. You must've felt my presence decrease a ton. You will even have difficulty focusing on me if I stop speaking but for these Zombies, who don't rely on their garbage sight and only hear through their pathetic ears- I might as well be air."
"In my current state, the Zombie felt me disappear altogether... Wait, I will demonstrate. Be quiet and don't move."
The Zombie was silent as the strange creatures suddenly appeared in front of him.
As he looked at them, he saw a strange panel appear next to them.
The Zombie was currently glancing at the man due to him creating the most racket of them all.
○ Name: Seth
○ Race: Human
○ State: Alive
○ Level: 11
○ Experience: 231/1200
○ Stats: Strength-13 | Speed-15 | Defense-12 | Intelligence-10 | Mana-25
○ Skills: Dagger Mastery (Level: 2) | Dagger Charge (Level: 1)]
The man covering his face with a mask silently appeared in front of the Zombie without creating a sound, his eyes brimming with absolute confidence. He drew out his dagger and attempted to slash the Zombie.
But the Awakened Zombie, who was relying on his somewhat capable eyes to see the human named Seth trying to attack him, felt his instincts kick in again.
The sight of the Goblin baring its fangs and claws appeared in his head and, instantly like a blank slate being filled, he took on the Goblin's stance and growled.
Seth, seeing the Zombie react and its strangely lively eyes focused on him no less, got stupefied for a second and froze. 'Did the newbies create a racket?'
But the Zombie wasn't the same as Seth. He instantly imitated the Goblin and slashed at Seth with his shriveled and hard finger, successfully scratching the human's face.
Even the two drops of blood that the Zombie managed to draw caused Seth to get stunned and unable to react. 'Huh? Did this zombie just... injure me?'
The Zombie waited for a second, thinking the human would attack back but seeing him remain frozen in his spot, the Zombie growled, and a strange emotion surfaced atop his face.
It was a strange and inexplicable emotion to him, but his body still reacted to it... by causing his lips to stretch back into a smile.
"Grr!" The Zombie growled and slashed the human again.
More and more scratches appeared atop Seth's face as a stream of notifications appeared in front of him.
[You have been attacked by a Zombie and have been infected by its virus.]