Chapter 1 is the first chapter of the Dead Mount Death Play manga.
Summary[edit | edit source]
Setting: the Other World. As the Geldwood Church's subjugation unit struggles in their fight against the peerless necromancer known as Corpse God, their best knight—Sir Shagrua Lugrid the Calamity Crusher—steps forward to challenge the Corpse God one-on-one. Shagrua announces that he can see all the souls the Corpse God has sacrificed, revealing that he possesses the Evil Eye as the Corpse God does, and then shatters one of the Corpse God's armored plates to expose his true form: a brain encased in a suspended jar.
The Corpse God says that he and Shagrua both take lives for the fun of it, calling their actions "grim reaper" games while his magic swirls around him; Shagrua does not recognize the patterns of the Corpse God's spells but charges forward regardless, and the Corpse God disappears in a bright flash of light.
When the Corpse God next opens his eyes, he finds himself in an unfamiliar alley and an unfamiliar body. Though he immediately notices that he is unable to use his voice, he does not notice the wound on his neck. Upon hearing noises nearby, he follows the sounds out of the alley and into a wide intersection with strange, tall buildings and strange vehicles. An illegal drone hovers unnoticed in the air overhead, transmitting a video feed of the street to its owner Takumi Kuruya.
Takumi, monitoring the feed from his workstation, places a call to a colleague as soon as he spots the Corpse God. In shock, he says that he is cancelling the 'retrieval': the corpse that was supposed to be in the back alley is not only alive, but walking around with his throat slit.
In the meantime, the Corpse God has concluded that this land is a peaceful one. That he cannot sense any magic troubles him; as such, he is more preoccupied with where he is and whether he can return to his former surroundings.
His thought process is interrupted when he is approached by two policemen, addressing in a language he initially finds incomprehensible. They more they speak, however, the more he understands, owing to the fact that his body's previous occupant was a native speaker of Japanese. When the police ask for his name, he answers with the name "that belongs to his body": Polka Shinoyama.
One of the officers voices concern over the Corpse God's neck wound; though it has stopped bleeding, he believes they should call for an ambulance all the same. Before he can examine the wound further, a girl in a sailor-themed outfit lands on his back and leaps onto the ground. She exclaims that she is glad to see the Corpse God is "all right," grabs his hand, and proceeds to flee the scene with him in tow.
After coming to a stop in a quiet street some distance away, the girl introduces herself as Misaki Sakimiya and asks the Corpse God if he remembers her. He finds that his body's brain does recognize her face, but Misaki frisks him before he can investigate said memories further. Once she affirms that he is indeed alive and well, she cheerfully informs him that she will be killing him for a second time. A memory of her slitting his body's throat hits him; he turns to run, and Misaki gives chase.
As Takumi observes the two of them via his drone's video feed, he wonders why Misaki was hired to kill Polka—a mere sixteen-year-old—in the first place. Shrugging, he 'asks' Polka to die for real this time around for the sake of his paycheck.
Having gotten away from Misaki for the moment, the Corpse God takes the opportunity to catch his breath and assess his situation. Not only are the magic elements in the air weak, he can barely detect any spirits and his flimsy body hardly has any magic to speak of—meaning that any new wounds he acquires will not heal.
From the open window behind him, Misaki announces that "hide-and-seek" is over and lashes out a hand which he just manages to dodge. She remarks that no one has evaded her for this long before, easily dodging his attempted counterattack; the Corpse God, frustrated by his body's flimsiness and by this obstacle keeping him from his peaceful life, has no choice but to try and flee once more.
One of Misaki's metal projectiles pierces his right calf, and he stumbles. Unwilling to give up, he yanks the blade out and hurls it behind him before staggering around a corner The blade narrowly misses Misaki's head, and she cannot help but be impressed—though she follows after him in no particular hurry—even conceding that this may be the first time she has ever been 'outdone' by anyone.
The Corpse God bursts through a door and into a strange room, one with barrels, an empty bathtub-like container, and a hanging hook. He asks out loud what sort of place this is, and Misaki—after stabbing his right thigh with such force that he crashes onto the floor—obliges him with a response: this building was once an execution site used by gangsters, though it has since remained abandoned due to rumors that it is haunted.
With the spirits of past execution victims staring him down, the Corpse God inwardly notes that he still has the Evil Eye in this world; outwardly, he agrees that the occult is present and mutters that the gangsters must have had no respect for human life. Misaki asks if he is someone who advocates for "the value of a human life," and he affirms that he is.
She assures him, insincerely, that she will be "soooo respectful" when she kills him. Standing his ground as she charges him, the Corpse God warns her to not be so cavalier—and that all lives are his toys. The spirits warp under his power; in the next instant, a phalange of a large, skeletal hand impales Misaki's stomach and slams her against a wall. With Misaki pinned in place, the Corpse God finishes his thought: as all lives are his toys, she must not abuse them. Takumi, frozen in his seat, struggles to process what his monitors are showing him.
The chapter cuts to the Other World, revisiting Geldwood in the aftermath of Shagrua's confrontation with the Corpse God. Shagrua is visibly troubled, despite his victory; when a priest inquires as to why, he confides that he is concerned he "did not complete his task." He is certain that the Corpse God activated a spell in the moment he swung his sword—a spell that felt like teleportation magic—and though he did see the Corpse God's soul, he feels that the soul's disappearance was unnaturally sudden.
His companion assures him that he truly did save the world, as their observation unit has reported that all traces of the Corpse God have vanished. He replies that he hopes this is the case, though his suggestion suggests he is not fully convinced.
The Corpse God, filled with magic once more, advances towards Misaki's body with dangerous, confident intent. Thanking her for bringing him to a place saturated with dead spirits, and more than ever convinced that this world may be his best chance at finding a peaceful life, he agrees that he is done playing hide-and-seek: instead, he will match her "grim reaper" games with ones of his own.