However, a magical trap caught Zachary and zapped him to death. Upon finding his body on the stairs, Gert turned him into a zombie servant. The witch had animated him in such a way that he kept part of his soul, enabling him to feel emotions and make decisions. Zachary sometimes missed the part that was gone, but every time he tried to think about it, the memory slipped away. He put his hand on the hilt of an enchanted sword at his hip.
An emo bunny jumped out of the bush and stared at Zachary, hoping to make him sad. It took only a second for the bunny to realize that Zachary was a zombie before it hopped away in terror. He noticed that there was a trap set in the ground in front of the entrance. Judging by a row of holes in large rock next to the entrance, darts or spears would shoot out to hurt him if he stepped on the trigger. Even though he was already undead, that sort of thing would be inconvenient. Zachary bent down to carefully and slowly to disarm the trap. Oddly enough, being a zombie made it easier too.
If he had taken more time on the trap that had killed him, he might be alive today. There were also fewer thoughts distracting him now that his brain was slightly decayed. With a click, he finished disarming the trap. Next, he found the mechanism to open the secret entrance. It opened in jerking motions, just far enough for the four zombies to enter. He looked back at the others. They all had bits of flesh falling off and decaying clothes.
One named Al had half his skull exposed, but was in decent shape other than that.
Gus was the biggest of the three. He was six and a half feet tall with large, rotting muscles and a loose jaw. He carried a pack with supplies for searching ruins. The last, Carl, was in bad shape, with more skeleton than flesh showing. When alive, Zachary had been rather handsome. Even though he was still decent-looking, for a zombie, his charming good looks were one of the things he missed the most. The other thing he missed was the way his right eye used to stay where it was supposed to.
It tended to spin and make him dizzy. To make matters worse, the view inside his head was not pretty. He motioned for the others to follow him. They moaned in acknowledgement and followed.
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Al bumped against a tree and knocked off his left hand. It reattached easily with the magic that zombies possessed. Al licked the connection to strengthen it. It was a little known fact that zombie saliva could heal minor zombie wounds. Sighing deeply, Zachary shuffled through the secret entrance. He wondered why zombies breathed. Maybe it was necessary. He was suddenly hungry at the thought of brains.
They shambled forward. Zombies had magical sight that enabled them to see in the completely dark passage.
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The only disadvantage was that the sight made everything appear black, white and fifty shades of grey. They reached stairs after a few feet. Decades of moisture seeping through cracks in the stone made the walls and steps slimy. They made their way slower than usual and surprisingly managed to reach the bottom without incident. After twenty feet, they reached a dead end. Zachary looked closer and saw that it was another secret entrance. He easily found the mechanism to open it. It made grinding noises from centuries of disuse, but the fact that it opened at all impressed him. Inside was a large round room.
With his dark vision, Zachary saw that debris and decades of dirt covered the ground. A few pieces of crumbling stone furniture littered the room. Night crawling vines traveled up the walls and mushrooms popped up from the floor. He also saw a figure in the middle of the room. It was twice as large as a man and had skin like clay. Its head lifted and a low moan escaped its thick lips. The fists were like boulders at the end of arms as thick as tree trunks.
Zachary drew his thin, lightly curved sword.
The blade glowed with a sickly magic. The golem lumbered towards them. Al scuffled past Zachary and mindlessly slugged the golem. Regrettably, his fist fell off again. Zombie goo splattered all over the room as Al was squished into mush. It gave Zachary an opening to begin slashing at the creature.
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The golem swung a fist, but Zachary was fast for a zombie and ducked the blow. The creature fell into a pile of sludge. He looked around the room while Gus and Carl kicked the motionless golem. Zachary rolled his eyes.
He had no such luck. Gus and Carl laughed at him and pointed their fingers.
After lighting the lantern so he could see colors, he began searching the room. A staircase at the opposite side of the room led down. The way up had collapsed at some point in the past. He shuffled to a stone desk against a wall. After a moment of searching it, he discovered a secret compartment in the bottom of one of the drawers. Gert had let him keep his set of magical lockpicks, so Zachary pulled them out and worked on the latch to the drawer.
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It only took a few minutes to figure out the secret and unlock it. After putting away the picks, Zachary pulled open the compartment. Within was a jeweled dagger, just the thing he had come for. Turning it in his hands, he could see that it was golden and had rubies set at the end of the hilt and in each of the crossbars.