(A/N: Only the first four chapters are in first person. The rest are in third.)
My sockets flickered with an intense light as I welcomed another day in undeath. I rose from the position which I had laid in and stood.
My spot was a hollow place on the wall where I and the rest of my dead folk would go into 'slumber'.
Above my own hollow was another one also etched into the wall where another of my brethren was still in slumber.
Our tomb was small, with a large rock covering the circular entrance.
My fellow brother in death shook, causing his bony body to rattle and the fire in his sockets to burn a bright red.
He woke up and jumped down from the hollow landing on the ground.
"Dead morning, Skullius," he said to me.
"Dead morning to you too, Bonet," I said as I began stretching my off-white skeletal body.
"Bro, what are you doing?" Bonet asked with the flame in his eyes dancing in confusion.
I suddenly jerked and stopped. I stood up and faced him.
"I... I don't know... It felt vaguely familiar," I replied.
"Enough games, let's go out before we miss morning roll call."
Bonet walked up to the large rock that covered the tomb.
"Don't just stand there, get over here and help me!" he said.
I quit staring at my bony hands in confusion and went to help him push away the large rock of the tomb.
Bloody hell it's heavy!
I do this every day and it never gets easier.
We finally managed to push it away, revealing a large open space which had a large number of entrances to bunk tombs just like our own.
We walked out of our bunk tomb and saw a large crowd of skeletons gathered in the midst of the vast cave, chatting away with their different coloured flames flickering.
Bonet was half a head taller than me with bones that had a light grey colour. A small light the size of a marble could be seen within his chest (ribcage) emitting a poor white light.
"Man I'm drooling over those bones, Bonet," I said to him while running my bony finger along his arm.
Bonet turned to me and the flame in his socket flickered fiercely.
"Heh, heh. Now you envy the brilliance of my tough bones! They are almost stronger than any steel now. I told you to quit your flimsy mana practice and just focus on the skill most important to all undead, Skullius. [Boneman of Steel] is the best!" he said proudly.
"Maybe," I said.
We continued walking until we reached the crowd of thousands of other undead.
A burly skeleton who was over two meters in height jogged over to us, the flame in his sockets dancing with a yellow glow.
"Eeey, Bonet, Skullius! Took you long enough to wake up. Is the Lich having a hard time waking you up from slumber each morning now?" the burly Skeleton said.
"I think so, Fractures. Between Skullius and his large mana core and my dense bones.." Bonet paused while flexing his bone lustre. "..I'd say his mana is getting wrecked. Kek."
I looked to the side in shame.
Within me was a core the size of a tennis ball, emitting a faint white light.
That....was the sound of Fractures, the burly skeleton.....laughing.
As we conversed, a large Death Knight with a valiant grey armour that had begun to rust walked up to the front of the crowd. He exuded a dense pressure that only an undead of his rank possessed.
He towered over us at a height over two and a half meters.
His eye sockets blazed with an almost blinding green flame that cast a similarly coloured hue on his face (skull).
"ATTENTION!" he yelled, emitting an eerie force that forced us all to stand at attention.
He scanned us all and when he saw that we were all accounted for, he lay his armoured hand on his chest plate.
We all did the same, our bony fingers on our chests as we then chanted the daily motivation mantra.
"FOREVER DEAD, DEAD FOREVER! F*CK LIFE! A NASTY ENDEAVOUR!"
Daily motivation mantra, courtesy of Lich Somanda.
The fun to say 'f' word in the mantra was an addition by the Lich himself. No idea what it means but it doesn't bring the mantra to life.
The massive doors at the end of the cave we resided in opened on their own to signal the start of another day of monotonous toil.
We walked out the doors, greeted by the crimson sun in the sky that dyed our surroundings red, outlining the horizon full of dark hills, mountains and different kinds of prowling undead creatures.
Silhouette of large towers could be seen beyond with a grand mansion that rose to an absurd height being unmistakably visible to all in this land even further away.
This was our world.
At least that's what we called it.
A name stemming from the fact that we are all dead and all men. Probably.
A world where only the dead lived. We lived in the comfort of undeath, blanketed by its eerie and unforgiving dead webbed wing.
I know. Really sold the idea of Death there.
We were all created by a powerful undead Lich, named Somanda. Our job every day was to mine for a mana filled resource called mana gems for him. At least that was true for us lower-level undead. We usually heard the higher level undead boasting about how they vanquished enemies in different worlds under the banner of the Lich.
That .... couldn't be true right? Other worlds?
I've been like this for as long as I can remember. A thousand years...at least. Doing the same thing over... and over....and over again.
Every day we mine the gemstones throughout the day and then Somanda cuts off the supply of mana for our undeath and we slumber, only to be woken up when it's time for work again.
We walked in a single file for miles, seeing the black soil and dark coloured crooked protrusions that rise from the grounds.
The undead animals spend the day, prowling or fighting with each other. Most of them are just a lazy aesthetic anyway.
We reached a spot with tons of unearthed dirt spanning over thousands of miles and walked into the massive pits that leads into the underground pathways in specialised groups led by an Undead Captain.
Undead captains are undead one rank below Death Knights. They exude a stronger presence than us, donning less attractive armour.
Inside, with the pitch-black walls and darkness, our 'eyes' which had an aggressively positive affinity to the nothingness saw all very clearly.
We advanced until we could see where we left off, the glowing red and blue rocks that were fitted into the walls being an indicator of the day's work yet to be done.
Having brought our equipment; pickaxes, made of special redwood and the crude metal curved head, we started digging the rocks out, the Captains monitoring us.
I hit the wall with my pickaxe, barely feeling a sensation except for the hard wall that barely shifted as I stroke it. I hit it again and again, little crumbs of rock following thereafter.
I turned to find Bonet laughing at me.
He raised his pickaxe and struck down with an unbelievable force that causes the wall to tremble, massive chunks of rock and soil flying and falling along with red and blue glowing gems.
He looked at me with his socket flames burning brightly with pride.
"Son of a femur," I scoffed.
The other undead were in awe and started working hard.
It's possible to acquire skills by repeating certain actions in the world.
It's every undead's dream to unlock the skill, Boneman of Steel. It causes your bones to get tougher and dense, adding to your strength. For us workers, it's the ideal skill.
The Undead Captains told us the skill's name, encouraging us to cultivate it.
However, I've always been more interested in mana. It is very thin over here though, the majority of energy being undeath energy.
The mana coalesced over the years seeps into the ground and creates the mana gems we mine, but it takes a pretty darn long time.
They have always been my fascination for a long time.
The undead beside me was hysterically swinging the axe like a madman, expressing strength that is at least double mine by knocking off chunks of the hard rock and soil off.
"I'm almost there, I'll have that smooth lustre and density too? You hear that, bro?!" he turned to me, his flame sockets burning incessantly.
"Y...yea... sure, man," I said to him.
He kept dishing the attacks on the innocent walls and started yelling at me.
"Bro, get your ass working!"
I reflexively blurted out, retorting.
"Bro, I don't have an ass!"
Wait! I stopped
"What's an ass?" I ask him.
For a moment he jerked and stopped digging. He faced me, and his socket flames quit blazing fiercely.
"I...I don't know... it's just vaguely familiar," he said.