Shovels In Spades



Book 1 Chapter 36: Choice and Changes


A note from Lone

First guaranteed chapter of the week.

I hope you enjoy.

Daz was currently sitting on a wooden chair that had a leather-padded cushion attached to it inside of a single bedroom. He had taken his armour off and was now wearing the white tank top and ballistic trousers that he was wearing for work before the apocalypse happened. His new muscles looked quite defined under his shirt, but he had a very serious expression on his face while he rested his elbows on his knees and his hands on his chin as he hunched his back over.

'Death... a person's death. What does it mean?' Daz asked himself in a completely emotionless voice.

'I took a man's life, but I feel nothing... why? If this was a few day's ago, I'd be full of regret... regret. Right... there're no consequences for killing now. Here, am the Law,' Daz concluded before he stood up and walked over to a nearby lightbulb.

He lightly cusped the bulb in his hand and began mumbling, "I see. It's warm and has meaning." Daz then slowly tightened his grasp around the fluorescent sphere, forcing its glass to crack.

"I have the power to chill that warmth, to envelope its meaning," Daz stated as he crushed the lightbulb. Blood dribbled out of the cracks between his fingers since he wasn't wearing his armour meaning he was far more susceptible to damage.

"Once again, I feel nothing," Daz said. He then opened his hand and waved it out in a straight motion, making his blood splatter onto the wooden wall alongside the shattered glass.

"Perhaps this is what it means to be neutral? His death was necessary. He was too far gone into the dark side of this new world, so he would have been a threat to me. He might have shaken my position here in my base had I not ended him right here and right now," Daz said as a smile crept up onto his average-looking face.

"Yes. This is neutral. This is MY NEUTRAL!" Daz exclaimed as he held his arms out, threw his head back and started laughing maniacally. However, before he fell into complete madness, a blue screen appeared, blocking his view.

Congratulations! The host has successfully fulfilled the requirements to undergo their first Evolution!
Please select one of the following to evolve.
Higher Human [C-Rated Species] Jewelled Man [S-Rated Species]
Reason Reason
Host's current Species is Human. Due to the host owning a jewelled core.
Description Description
A more advanced and simply stronger human in every single aspect. A Species very strong against magical attacks and somewhat resistant to physical attacks. Changes the host's body into one made of pure jewels and runs entirely off of jewelled energy.
Intelligent Zombie [D-Rated Species] Reaper [SS-Rated Species]
Reason Reason
Due to the host surviving a Zombie infection. Due to the fact that the host tore a soul out of its body.
Description Description
A Species weak against physical and soul attacks, but resistant to magic attacks. Makes the host impervious to death unless the head of the host is destroyed. Allows the host to retain their mind after changing to this Species.  A Species immune to soul and charm based attacks and is very resistant to most magic. This Species is weak to physical attacks and very weak to holy magic. Grants the host a new energy source and many more benefits.

"You're not even giving me a choice. I choose 'Reaper'," Daz replied immediately, coming to the conclusion that the Reaper option would be the one to give him the most power since it had the highest rating by the system and it granted immunity to soul attacks which was the most important part. 'I can probably heal any type of damage with the help of the system's shop except for soul damage, right? Maybe I'm wrong, but Immunity to that sounds pretty amazing,' he thought.

Immediately A dark grey cloud appeared out of nowhere and filled the room. Daz stood perfectly still and let the cloud do whatever it was here to do since he knew it must have been related to his evolution choice.

Daz was right. The cloud of grey energy slowly condensed on top of Daz and began seeping into his skin. He gritted his teeth as he endured the pain that came along with it. His skin writhed and he felt like something alive was crawling around inside of him.

This feeling lasted for about five minutes until finally the last part of the cloud had entered his body and the pain and discomfort suddenly stopped. Daz wiped away the sweat that collected on his brow and walked over to the mirror that was hung on the wall next to him.

"This is interesting..." Daz mumbled. He could see no immediate changes except for two things. His hair was now tinted dark grey and his eyes were no longer a dark brown but were a deep grey colour. Looking into his pupils, Daz felt like he would be swallowed up by them. 

He lurched back as several grey screens popped into existence in front of him. "Grey?" he mumbled before he inspected these screens.

A Species immune to soul and charm based attacks and is very resistant to most magic. Is weak to physical attacks and very weak to holy magic. Grants the host a new energy source, Death Energy. 
Soul Immunity
Soul Harvesting
Soul Vision
 Charm Immunity
Greater Magic Resistance
Lesser Physical Attack Weakness
Extreme Holy Magic Weakness
Soul Immunity
Grants the host complete immunity to all attacks on the soul.
Soul Harvesting
Grants the host the ability to actively harvest the souls of slain enemies. Limit of 500 lesser souls per day.
Soul Vision
Grants the host the eyes of a Reaper, allowing them to see souls. Toggleable.
Charm Immunity
Grants the host complete immunity to all charm-based attacks.
Greater Magic Resistance
Grants the host a high resistance to all magic-based attacks. Magic attacks do 40% less damage to the host.
Lesser Physical Attack Weakness
Weakens the host slightly to physical attacks. Physical attacks do 5% more damage to the host.
Extreme Holy Magic Weakness
Weakens the host greatly to Holy-based magic attacks. Holy-based Magic attacks do 60% more damage to the host.

 "Wow. So basically, no cons except I take a tiny bit more damage from being hit directly and Holy-based shit hurts me twenty-percent more since the greater magic resistance nullifies forty-percent of that damage... this Species is awesome!... That is right, right, system?" Daz asked since he knew that calculation could go a different way if the calculation was multiplicative instead of additive.

Confirmed. Addition is used for all percentages for simplicity's sake.

"Ah, good to know. I'll test out these abilities later, but first things first, system, please show me my status screen," Daz asked the system politely.

Confirmed. Displaying Status Screen to the host.
Host's Status
Basic Information
Name: Daz Species: Reaper
Age: 20 Sex: Male
Class: Shovel Knight Affinity: Chaotic Neutral
Lifeforce: 3000/3000 Death Energy: 500/500
Strength: 120(144) Dexterity: 80(96)
Constitution: 150(180) Agility:  60
Charisma: 100 Ingenuity: 500
Defense: 100 Immunity: 5
Soul Power: 0  

"What? It replaced my Jewelled Energy, this 'Death Energy'?" Daz frowned at this. "System, please tell me all of the changes that I'm not aware of that my new species did to me," Daz asked.

[Silver Ranked access required for relevant Information] Confirmed. The previous energy source, [Jewelled Core] was removed due to not being compatible with the host. A full merit point refund has been granted for the personal upgrade. The [Soul Power] stat has been added. This stat boosts any Reaper exclusive used power by consuming points from it and the host can gain points for this stat either from the shop or by consuming souls. The nature of the system screens has changed to the host due to their species' vision.

"I see... I'm a bit sad to lose that connection to Rimmy, but I'm sure he'll understand. Me becoming a Reaper was definitely the correct decision, I'm sure," Daz said to himself.

He then redressed himself in Altros's Travelling gear and left the bedroom he had been in for the past twenty minutes.

A note from Lone

Thank you to the user, Vladaye, whose suggestion I decided to use for the title of the novel. I really like the wordplay. c:

Point out any grammar mistakes I missed, please.

The 2 most recent chapters can be viewed early for all $1 patrons!

A big thank you to all of my patrons.

Give my other novels a read if you have the time, please.

Main Story (guaranteed 3 chapters per week)

Lone, The Wanderer | Shovels In Spades

Side Stories (no set release schedule)

Hello, You're Through To Hades, How Can I Help You Today? | Paradox

This novel is a participant in The Writer's Pledge.

I hope you enjoyed.

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About the author


  • Scotland
  • The Scottish Slothy Sloth

Bio: Hey there, nice to see you. I'm just an ordinary man who enjoys writing, which is great since it's my full-time job now thanks to the support from you guys over on Patreon! I hope you enjoy my novels if you read them, and if not, I hope you enjoy looking at my profile.

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