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The Undead King Battles Boredom
(The long-awaited continuation, “Evil God At Random – The Average Evil God and the Summoning Hero” – it’s finally been launched; the webnovel title, protagonists, and even the point of view’s been entirely revised. With any luck, you can find it in stores starting tomorrow, maybe even today. I do hope you’ll treat me well.)
Those were the words so unwittingly sighed by the very same being that sat upon the throne of the tenth floor of the dungeon known as the Evil God Holy Ground. Though he spoke the same tongue as humans, he was far from it.
No, the thing garbed in blue robes, the same creature whose head was adorned with a crown bore a much stronger resemblance to a skeleton. He was the one and only Boss of the Tenth Floor, summoned by none other than Anri herself: The No-Life King.
The reason for his despondence wasn’t too difficult to comprehend. It was quite simple, in fact; humans just refused to reach his floor. He’d had nothing but time on his hands for ages.
Anri had given him the task of guarding the tenth floor, and he was in no way dissatisfied with his mission. But presently, with nary a single intruder reaching his floor, there hadn’t been even one chance for him to shine. He was an undead, and therefore completely removed from the fatigue that accompanied the physical form. This, however, did little to stop the unending boredom that assailed him.
“Oh, if only there were something that might alleviate me of this tedium…”
His eyes searched the room as he spoke, but apart from him and the throne he was sitting on, there was no one else. He could look as much as he wished to, but there was nothing that may have distracted him from his ennui.
“Hm. If only I had a board, then at least I could– oh?”
While the No-Life King preoccupied himself with the memories of the fondness for board games he’d had in life, an idea tickled his brain. Not that he actually had a brain per se, but you get the idea.
“I… am a King. I am king of the undead, one who governs a fair number of retainers.”
The No-Life King slowly rose from his throne, lifted his hand towards the great room that expanded before him, and spoke solemnly.
“Come forth, my Underlings.”
Dozens of undead creatures appeared before him, all heeding his summons. Skeletons, Zombies, Wraiths, Dullahans… The list went on for a quite a bit. The No-Life King let a keen gaze wander over them, then nodded to himself, satisfied. Then he gave the order.
“Divide yourselves into two factions and hold your stations.”
The undead obeyed his command, separating left and right, one side facing the other. They had made sure that the number of each undead type was split evenly among the two groups. If one had the means of turning the room into a square and subdividing said square further, they would have noticed that it it was strongly reminiscent of a classic board used for games.
“Alright then, let us begin. Whoever moves first is white.”
Strike that. That’s exactly what it was meant to be.
◆ ◆ ◆
“That did nothing.”
Once some time had passed, the No-Life King let out another sigh. He had already commanded his retainers to take their leave. While he’d separated them and used them as different pieces, trying his hand at quite the mockery of an actual board game, it became evident almost immediately that he had no opponent to face off against and that he would therefore only fall into even greater boredom.
He had even matched their movements to those of actual game pieces, letting them attack each other without restraint. They were undead, after all, and would recover from whatever injuries they had if given time.
“Well, what to do next?”
His most recent attempt at entertainment had relied on having his retainers move about in accordance with his orders, a simple task given their rather feeble minds. As it turned out, however, it merely meant he would be controlling both sides equally. A downright mess, that. Moving both sides of his own accord turned the whole thing into a limited one-player game, and that was just no fun.
He had therefore chosen something that might amuse him regardless of involvement. Music was something meant to be enjoyed for the sounds it produced. Whether he was or wasn’t the one playing would surely do little to curb his enjoyment.
That said, he had no instruments. Which, of course, meant he couldn’t perform.
With few options available, he decided to make do and play a tune using the bones of his underlings, occasionally asking them to scream so that he could conduct his music. Needless to say, the result barely outreached the musical limitations that came with the dissonant shrieks.
“That’s enough of that!”
Completely unable to produce anything remotely resembling enjoyable music, the No-Life King, irritated, ordered his retainers to retreat.
◆ ◆ ◆
This made the third time the No-Life King had risen from his throne, raised his hand towards the vastness of his room, and solemnly spoken.
“Come forth, my Underlings.”
The undead obeyed his commands, once against appearing before him. And although he was all too ready to consider it a fancy flight of his imagination, he could have sworn that his retainers, despite their lacking intelligence, appeared somewhat miffed at the idea of being here.
“This time, we shall attempt to dance.”
There had been no instruments, and so his attempt at music had ended poorly. Dancing, on the other hand, had no need for tools. By that logic, he was sure to experience some measure of enjoyment.
“Whatever’s the matter? Show me how you dance.”
While his retainers didn’t immediately jump into action, the No-Life King’s urging eventually impelled them to do so. When they did dance, they seemed almost reluctant.
It was only when they had begun to dance that the No-Life King came to realise his blunder.
Without music playing in the background, dancing just didn’t look like it was supposed to. And while he was sure that a more nimble, flexible dancer would have caught his attention well enough, his own undead were woefully untrained in the art of dancing. In fact, they only seemed capable of cluttering about as they shook their arms, moving from one side to the other and then turning around and repeating the process.
It looked more like a bizarre ritual than anything else.
“…You’re all excused.”
◆ ◆ ◆
The No-Life King spent the time that followed by calling for his underlings and trying to use them to stave off his boredom in many, many ways. Finally…
“Come forth, my underlings.”
…not one of them showed themselves. Apparently, they’d all decided to go on strike.
(And there you have it, that was the fourth chapter of the special series released with the Volume One printed releases. This is also the final special chapter for Volume One.)