6 Chapter 6: Zeni

[The Readers of Fate are telling the little Zombie to turn around.]

Once again, a spam of words appeared in front of the Zombie, only for him to wave his hand and swat them away like the flies festering around him; not knowing that the mysterious entities that seem to be watching over him were trying to save his… life.

But still, the Zombie was as he always was– cautious when he could be. Learning how to walk in the shadows was probably the best skill he learned ever since he gained the ability to think for himself. He didn't even have to come close to the Giant Hornet group, as he could hear them even tens of meters away.

The moon was already at its highest point, and yet the Giant Hornet seemed to have not reached this so-called city they were mentioning– granted, they had to kill some undead here and there.

But finally, after walking in the shadows for another minute or so, the darkness that once filled the streets disappeared. The Zombie, of course, did not proceed any further as he hid in the closest building where the light does not reach.

He quickly peered his head out, only for him to see a… wall. A wall that was almost as tall as the buildings surrounding it– in fact, the wall was overlapping some of the buildings, and the Zombie could see more than a dozen humans standing guard on the windows.

"!!!"

A loud whisper then hissed in the air, causing the Zombie to slightly hide his head; he then quickly turned his eyes towards whatever was making the noise, only to see a small part of the wall open up.

The Giant Hornet group was also there, entering the hole that suddenly opened.

…A gate, was it?

The Zombie grunted as once again, his simple mind slowly inserted things that he never knew… or did he? The Zombie had seen it many times before– humans, when not completely devoured by his kind, rise up to walk again as one of their own.

Could it be that he too… was once human?

"..." The Zombie looked at his rotting hand as all sorts of thoughts once again started to surface in his tiny mind. But with the gate closing and hissing whisper once again entering his ears, he once again hid.

"..." He saw all sorts of lights through that hole, even from afar. What exactly was inside that city? The Giant Hornet group called it a Safe Zone numerous times throughout their journey. And this was also the first time he was seeing this many humans all gathered up in one place, albeit scattered in a sense.

"..." The Zombie's eyes then started to stare at the gate.

If he were to try to enter… would he be able to?

[The Readers of Fate are telling the little Zombie to turn around.]

"..." The Zombie turned his eyes towards the letters that once again popped up in front of him; this time, however, he stared at the words for a few seconds… before once again swatting them away.

The Zombie then stood up, but instead of walking towards the gates, he ran towards the tallest building and started climbing on its walls– almost like a spider; his fingers, surprisingly strong enough to dig through the building's crumbling sides.

"..." The cloak he was wearing started to snap the higher he got; the wind, almost seemingly trying to violently blow him away. The Zombie didn't seem to mind, however, even as he looked down.

He has no concept of fear, only caution. And he knew, somehow, that he could make it. But after a few seconds more of crawling across the walls… he decided to just jump into the windows.

His strength was growing, and perhaps, in a way, so was his mind.

And so, he continued his journey up inside the building, running through the stairs until he reached the top of the roof. The door was already gone, smashed up by something.

"..." There were also human bones there, all huddled around the remnants of a dried campfire. The Zombie ignored this, however, as he cautiously walked towards the edge of the roof– his pale blue eyes, immediately bombarded by the collection of lights that he had never seen before.

Life.

That was perhaps the only way the Zombie could describe it. The Safe Zone was filled with life– everything was moving… everything has a purpose.

"..." The Zombie then looked behind him, only to see the view of darkness and ruin…

…as well as two humans standing near the door.

"I told you it was a person! No Zs move that fast!"

"Just making sure," one of the two men then slowly approached the Zombie, "Hey you, you shouldn't be out here this late at night. You know there are reports that there's a ghoul running around here, right?"

"Are you stupid?" The man's companion also stepped forward, "Why do you think the guy's here? The dude's probably a solo slayer."

"Even so, as guards, we have the duty to ensure the safety of everyone," the man shook his head, "You know, it…"

The Zombie watched as the two continued to discuss themselves. And for some reason, almost a feeling– he knew that these two were not as strong as the humans in the Giant Hornet.

They were stronger than the people he had devoured before, sure. But… he could probably take them.

"Let… us go," the Zombie then breathed out. His voice, almost causing the two guards to jump from where they were standing.

"See?"

"Pft, let's just go. This roof is giving me the creeps for some reason."

The two then turned around, and as soon as they did so, the Zombie rushed towards them… but did not do anything. Instead, he followed them until they got inside… and as soon as they reached the stairs… he pushed the two.

"!!!"

The two were able to react as they fell, quickly turning around towards the Zombie… but by then, it was already too late. Like what he did before, he punctured the eyes of the two guards even before they could land on the floor.

And before they could even utter a scream, he bit off the side of their necks.

And once again, the Zombie followed his instincts– he devoured.

[Skill: Enhanced Strength, Upgraded to Lv. 2!]

[Skill: Summon Ice Lv. 4, Failed to Absorb!]

[Host level, Up! x2]

[Would you like to distribute your Status Points?]

[Failure to answer within the allowable time: Automatically distributing Status Points.]

[Determining Host's needed Status.]

[Adding points to Intelligence.]

[Congratulations on reaching Lv. 5! Host has now unlocked: The Shop System.]

The Zombie let out a whisper of a scream as he was once again bombarded by numerous letters; enough to fill everything in his view. He tried swatting them away again, this time, however…

[Opening Shop…]

"!!!"

The Zombie could not help but take a step back as his surroundings suddenly changed– everything turned white. His black robes, now standing out; he tried to find a place to hide, but the place was empty.

"Hello."

"!!!"

The Zombie then quickly turned around as soon as he heard an unfamiliar voice; almost as if it was whispering right in front of his ears. But the one that was speaking… was standing meters away from him.

"Hello, Unnamed Host."

It… was a woman– not quite human, she doesn't have the smell, no. But she looked like one. The Zombie then slightly took a step back as the woman… bowed.

"My name is Zeni, the Shop Keeper," the woman smiled as she looked the Zombie straight in the eyes, "Would you like to look at my wares?"

"..."

"You currently have– Oh," and suddenly, the smile on Zeni's face disappeared, "You…

…only have 10 Powerstones and you dare open the shop?"

**AUTHOR NOTES**

Hi, if none of you know, Undying Monarch is actually part of a contest. So, please do vote if you like it! And yes, voting will help our little Zombie afford things in the shop-- not by much, of course, as we do not want to break the story. But it will help him. What it will help, however, is the book to win the contest, so please do vote if you like the story!

The mechanics will be further explained by our new tsundere shopkeeper, Zeni!

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