Shovels In Spades



Book 1 Chapter 85: Emotion and Hindsight


A note from Lone

First guaranteed chapter of the week.

Sorry for only posting two chapters last week. I was experiencing writer's block for both of my main stories, which I am now past. Thank you for your patience.

Daz had immediately checked the system to see if he could afford this 'automated Defense system' for his base, but he was out of luck. It required base points, of which, he had none remaining. 

Seeing no other options, he had to return to Fort Skip immediately. "Crusher, you have more strength than me. Would you mind running as fast as possible back to Fort Skip? I don't have the time to explain, but the base might be under attack."

Crusher's eyebrow inched up in response. She could see that Daz was being completely serious, so without answering her Lord, she broke out into a heavy sprint and was quickly running away from Daz and Rose towards Fort Skip.

"Trouble in paradise?" Rose asked curiously.

"Something like that. I'm going to have to carry you back. I hope you don't mind," Daz replied before gently scooping his sister out from her wheelchair. He stored the chair and her laptop in two of his free inventory slots.

"Grabbing a lady without her consent... I should sue you for sexual harassment, Daz,"  Rose laughed lightly.

Daz didn't look impressed. "I'm in a bit of a hurry and I don't have the time to ask for 'consent'. I'm going to start going as fast as I can, so hold on tight, okay?" he said somewhat sarcastically.

"Well, since you asked so nicely, I'll have to agree." With that being said, Rose wrapped her arms around Daz's neck and accepted the princess hold from her elder brother. Daz then began running at his full speed.

Naturally, he wasn't even close to Crusher's speed despite his higher agility and dexterity.

After having asked many questions to the system, he had found out that dexterity affected reaction speed and one's senses, while agility changed the host's flexibility and nimbleness. Strength was a far more suitable stat to invest in if speed was your goal.

While not inhumanely fast, Daz's speed shocked Rose. "So you've invested a lot of your merit points into stats, I see? What a waste. You do know that the stats are superficial, yes? There's a reason I didn't increase my stats or buy any new ones."

'Despite all of her intellect, Rose is definitely still a child,' Daz thought upon hearing what his sister had to say. "I couldn't disagree any more. Stats are similar to a foundation. The better my stats, the more options I have available for me in the future, especially in cases like this, no?" Daz refuted while jumping over a crashed car.

"But wouldn't spending the same amount of points from, for example, a Defense based stat, be more efficiently used on, let's say, a passive defensive skill that can always assist you? From my understanding, it is possible to get debuffed by certain skills and that could impede your stats," came Rose's response.

Daz thought on this for a moment. Even though the siblings were travelling through Waterford at a fast pace, they were just the kind of people that could have such a civil and relaxed conversation despite the unknown crisis they were heading towards and completely ignore the fact that they were moving so quickly.

The two continued to debate back and forth without reaching a solid conclusion, and it took them no time at all to reach Fort Skip. What lay before Daz and Rose was absolutely shocking. There were three men in military uniforms dead on the ground outside of the outer gate with various body parts smashed completely and Crusher was slumped against the wall with bullet holes riddling her torso.

Daz quickly took out Rose's wheelchair and sat her on it before rushing towards Crusher.

"Crusher! What on Earth happened? I know we got attacked, but for you to end up like this..." Daz asked with panic quite evident in his voice.

Crusher weakly tried opening her eyes but was met with failure. "That you, Lord?"

"System! Give Crusher a full body heal right this instant!" Daz shouted. 

Rose who was sat nearby looked very alarmed and frightened by Daz's change in attitude. 'What the...? When did Darenzo gain emotions? This... this isn't possible... unless he's faking it? But no, I can always tell when he's being insincere. Right now, he genuinely cares about Crusher's life... well, mama, papa, it looks maybe he was a success after all...'

What Rose was thinking about would forever remain her own knowledge, and right now, the pressing concern was Crusher's life.

Confirmed. Desired item, [Intermediate Body Recovery Gel] is required. Price: 15,000 merit points. Confirm purchase? 

"Confirm!" Daz yelled. 'Do you think I can afford to lose someone as powerful as Crusher right now?! That would cripple Fort Skip! I will not let her die, regardless of the cost. Her value far outweighs the measly merit points required to save her.'

Confirmed. Injecting [Intermediate Body Recovery Gel] Price 15,000 merit points. Usage on another host (Exclusive to Gold Rank access or higher) 5,000 merit points.  
The total merit balance of the host is now 129,548.

A white glow took a hold of Crusher's body and momentarily blinded Daz. When the light receded, Daz could see the bullets that had pierced Crusher's skin slowly pop out of her body and fall to the concrete road. There were at least seventy bullets and two of them were clearly of a very high calibre. Colour returned to Crusher's face and she opened her eyes.

"Crusher, what the fuck happened? How did you end up like this?" Daz asked urgently.

It took her a few minutes to explain, but in summary, Fort Skip had been attacked by two groups of soldiers, presumably sent by General Miller. They, without anyone's knowledge, managed to scale both of Fort Skip's walls and almost escaped undetected after accomplishing their goal.

Crusher didn't know how Daz knew about them, but thanks to his warning, she arrived just as they were escaping. Crusher moved to intercept them, but she didn't know that they had a sniper hiding up on a nearby hill. He managed to shoot her twice before she could react.

Just before she collapsed from blood loss and shock, Crusher managed to kill three fleeing soldiers, however, the other soldiers escaped with their objective after gunning Crusher down with their assault rifles. Were it not for her regeneration stat and high Defenses, Crusher would have already died.

"I don't know why they wanted him, but they kidnapped Dorian, Lord... hahaha... guess I failed," Crusher said with a bitter chuckle.

Daz had a complex look on his face. "Damnit. I didn't think he had the balls to outright attack us like this... I underestimated the General. Maybe I should have tried to establish a more peaceful relationship between us?"

Daz shook his head. "It's too late for that now. I've made my bed, so I need to lie in it."

Crusher heard his mumblings but chose not to respond. She could tell that Daz was shaken. His normally calm countenance had crumbled and he looked very uncertain and vulnerable right now.

"Daz," Rose called from his side. 

"What?" Daz snapped back. His mind was spinning with ways to deal with the impending crisis that was Camp Waterford. Without Dorian, he had lost all leverage he held against the General and even if he was fully prepared, he couldn't deal with the fully armed soldiers of Camp Waterford without taking some loses.

"How did you manage to provoke the military?" Rose asked with an expression that said the whole thing was hilarious.

"It's not a laughing matter, Rose. I may or may not have blackmailed the General to get a bunch of weapons. My leverage that I had used to blackmail him with is now gone. In retrospect, I might have been a bit brash in how I dealt with that whole situation," Daz replied with some of his usual calmness having had returned.

Rose sighed. "Hindsight is twenty-twenty, I suppose."

A thoughtful look then spread across Rose's face. "Want me to help smooth out the tension? The last thing we need right now is another enemy when we already have to deal with the attacks."

Daz turned to look at her with a curious expression. "Sure, if you think you can help, go for it."

"Perfect! I'll need my laptop, please, Daz." With that being said, Daz returned her laptop to his sister and entered Fort Skip with her and Crusher.

Lyle, Ger, Heather and several of the braver Citizens in Fort Skip were waiting just inside the inner gate with guns in hand, all seemingly ready for a firefight. Obviously, they had heard the gunfire and were scared, unsure of what had happened.

Daz let Crusher explain everything to them and left to enter his private cabin. Now that this had happened, Daz felt like it would be a perfect moment to spend the remainder of his merit points. He had made a big mistake in how he had handled the military base, and he was regretting it, but for now, the best thing he could do was increase his personal strength.

A note from Lone

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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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