Shovels In Spades



Book 2 Chapter 11: Pursuer and Replacement


A note from Lone

Second and final guaranteed chapter of the week.

"Four quests? System, please show me my quests," Daz asked after hearing that he had already gained a few quests somehow despite not doing anything.


Confirmed. Displaying the user's quest list.


Daz's Quest List
Earth's King
An Unlikely Alliance
First Time Dungeon Explorer
Pursuer of Passion


Daz could guess the content's of each quest except for the 'Pursuer of Passion' quest, but he identified each one regardless of his assumptions about them.


Quest Title: Earth's King
Quest Type: Main Quest
Quest Difficulty: God-Rank
Quest Goal
Become the sole ruler of Earth's survivors.
Quest Rewards
Gain the ability to participate in world battles.
Gain a daily sum of 100,000,000 merit points to be used on your planet per day.
Gain unconditional trust from your planet's inhabitants.


"...It's not my imagination is it, but these rewards... They're definitely tailored specifically for me, aren't they? 'Unconditional trust from my planet's inhabitants', huh? That sounds almost too good to be true." Naturally, being the control freak that he was, Daz found this specific reward to be exceedingly appealing to him, needless to mention the high amount of offered daily merit points intended to develop Earth as well.


Quest Title: An Unlikely Alliance
Quest Type: Main Quest
Quest Difficulty: A-Rank
Quest Goal
Ally Fort Skip with Camp Waterford.
Quest Reward
Ownership of Waterford City.


"Well, if I didn't have a good reason to get the General and his people under my thumb, I sure as hell do now. I wonder how that would work though. Would all of the hiding survivors and ones that are managing on their own fall under my rule, or what?" Daz wondered aloud.

He shook his head and concluded, "I guess I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. The system has been handling things thoroughly thus far, so I expect it to be fair in its managing of that as well."


Quest Title: First Time Dungeon Explorer
Quest Type: Side Quest
Quest Difficulty: C-Rank
Quest Goal
Clear the E-Rank dungeon at Waterford's City Centre Mall.
Quest Rewards
30,000 merit points.
A single C-Rank item suited to the host.


"Pretty standard stuff. Definitely, a nice addition to the prizes Rose said we'd get regardless if we beat the dungeon anyway," Daz commented with little enthusiasm. Most of his prior excitement had been consumed on the first two quests.


Quest Title: Pursuer of Passion
Quest Type: Personal Quest
Quest Difficulty: E-Rank
Quest Goal
Have an intimate exchange with your lover.
Quest Rewards
20 charisma.


"Oho?" Daz exclaimed in surprise. 'So a personal quest can give stats, or is this one special? Anyway, that's great. The more ways we have to gain stats, the better, especially if all personal quests are so accomplishable.'

Having an 'intimate exchange' with a beautiful girl like Madison was most definitely not accomplishable by most people's standards, but once again, Daz's intuition was correct. Personal quests were the simplest, and arguably, the most rewarding type of quests.

After some probing, Daz found out that up to three personal quests could be completed per day and that they would only ever offer stats. Daz was very pleased by this. He went to find General Retford and gave him one of the medals he'd made the prior evening.

Daz explained that these were the identification tokens and that William should get some of his soldiers to collect them from his crafting area and to distribute them amongst the soldiers and the citizens.

"The soldiers too, My Lord?" William asked with some uncertainty in his tone. He and his men were hired by the system, so they couldn't be unloyal to Daz even if they wanted to.

"Especially the soldiers, Will. You guys are in charge of the walls, so of course, I need to be certain that you're all my soldiers," Daz replied in a fashion that made it seem like he had just stated the obvious.

General Retford's eyes twitched at being called 'Will'. "And how should we display or check for these medals?"

William made a good point. These trinkets were very easy to forge due to how simple they were, but the General didn't really care about that. He was under the assumption that his lord was being overly paranoid for no good reason. This world's apocalypse was still new, so it wasn't yet time to focus their attention on such things.

"Sew them onto your sleeves. If you're incapable of that, ask the Gnomes in the smithy to do it for you. I want to see every soldier with a medal on their sleeve by evening, okay?" Daz ordered. "And don't worry about people faking them. I can tell if they're real or not," he added with a grin. 'I can use Higher Identification on them, after all.'

"Y-Yes, sir!" William responded with a sharp salute. 'He could tell what I was thinking?'

Daz walked away after that and headed for the outer gate since it was the appointed meeting time for the dungeon exploration group. Daz's mind continued to think about General Retford's attitude. 'I feel like my instincts have been getting sharper recently. Father was always harping on and on about these stupid instincts, so maybe that's my esper ability? But if that's the case, then what about the soul absorption? Do I have two esper abilities? I really wish the system could show me this shit.'

Daz was confused and uncertain about these details, and that scared him out of his mind. It would be kind to call him a control freak. If something wasn't within his grasp and understanding, then Daz would endlessly worry and think about it, almost like an impulsive obsession. He wanted answers about all of this esper business, so he was fully planning on sitting Madison down tonight or tomorrow and squeezing every drop of information out of her since she seemed to be more knowledgeable about it than he was.

"I really do hope that Maddy knows about this stuff... She did say that she used some sort of 'alteration' on the Tank Automaton, and if I'm right, that's her esper ability," Daz mumbled to himself.

He was now stood outside of the Fort, and Madison, Rose and Crusher were already waiting for him there.

"You really evolved in a dramatic way, huh? Not like this useless brother of mine. All he got was a pair of fish eyes and hair to rival the edgiest emo," Rose sighed as she compared Crusher's new beauty to Daz's Reaper-related changes.

Madison frowned slightly while the rest of her face remained emotionless. "Daz. No bully."

"Yeah, yeah," Rose dismissively stuck her tongue out and playfully teased the frustrated teenager.

"Lyle's not here yet?" Daz asked.

"Nope, not yet," Rose said in a nonchalant way.

Daz narrowed his eyes and sighed. Rose thought this was odd, so asked, "What, you know where he is, Daz?"

The Reaper looked at his seated sister and nodded. "Not exactly, but I have a feeling that I know why he's late."

"Your instincts?" Rose probed.

"Something like that." A few minutes passed and Lyle never showed up. It took another twenty minutes for the missing fifth person of their exploration party to make his appearance.

Covered in sweat and shaking quite a bit, Lyle appeared at the gate and his face couldn't look any more apologetic even if he tried. 

Without letting Lyle explain why he was late or in such a condition, Daz briskly walked up to him and grabbed him by his collar before walking out of the sight of the others.

Crusher looked confused. "What's that all about? Daz looked pretty pissed."

Naturally, due to Rose's skills and overly observant nature, she was immediately able to determine what was wrong with Lyle, so she replied, "Daz gets paranoid easily, so he's taking precautions. I honestly wouldn't be surprised if he stopped trusting in Lyle's ability to advise him anymore and he might replace him on this little adventure."

"It's that bad? That's surprising," Crusher said with an interested tone in her voice.

"You're not going to ask what's wrong with him?" Rose would be lying if she said she wasn't shocked ever so slightly by Crusher's willingness to not pry into Lyle's matters.

"I don't really care. Lyle's not my friend. Daz can do what he likes with him, hahaha!" Crusher laughed with a shrug.

All the while, Madison had been busy bobbing her head with Rimmy. The guards on top of the ramparts had their attention fully fixed on her and the golem and they couldn't help but sigh at how adorable the two were being.

Just like Rose had predicted, Daz returned without Lyle and had Dorian with him instead. 

Dorian was surprised by the sudden opportunity being offered to him by Daz, but he happily accepted and was more than tempted enough by the reward the dungeon-related quest provided upon completion. Every merit point was highly coveted by the man since his number one goal was restoring or replacing his arm. In fact, he even had a quest to fix his arm that was labelled as a main quest and it promised great rewards upon finishing it.

"So, you're bringing Captain Ahab, huh?" Crusher asked with an approving grin on her lips.

Dorian grimaced a bit when he remembered the events of yesterday, and hearing his 'nickname' made him cringe. 

From her wheelchair, Rose started to laugh uncharacteristically. "Captain Ahab? What a stupid yet fitting name. That's funny!"

Madison and Rimmy cocked their heads in unison, clearly not understanding the reference while Daz just sighed. "Such strange senses of humour..." he mumbled.

"Well, we're all here now, so let's not waste any more time. I assume you're all geared up and ready to the best of your abilities, yeah? Even if this is one of the first ever dungeons and despite the fact that Crusher, Maddy and I are stronger than average, don't underestimate it. You should all know how much the system likes to make things' fair' and fuck us over," Daz said mostly to Crusher and Rose than to anyone else.

He knew that Madison was far smarter than her speaking pattern would suggest and his only hope for Dorian was that he wouldn't hold them back by triggering traps or something along those lines.

"Yeah, don't worry, Lord. I can be careful too," Crusher replied as she scratched her head. 'I can't really afford to mess up again after that Automaton incident...'

"How can I underestimate it? All I'm doing is identifying and disabling traps. Sometimes I really need to ask myself if we're really related," the grumpy ten-year-old claimed with a condescending tone clear in her voice.

"Mmhmm, well, you'd better only be doing that." Daz didn't care about much beyond himself and his personal gain, but Rose was most certainly one of the few things he actually wanted to protect for unselfish reasons.

"We've wasted enough time. Let's get going," Daz ordered and then began pushing Rose's wheelchair.

Madison, Crusher, Rimmy and Dorian followed him. Daz was confident that his soldiers and the new lightning tower could deal with any threats currently. The automated feature of the tower, in particular, gave Daz a strong feeling of security.

'I'm definitely going to buy a bunch more automated Defenses when I get more base points. What I have right now might be good enough, but I have a feeling that the system is gonna pit us against each other eventually, and regardless of that, the cycles are only gonna get harder and harder, so more assurance is never a bad thing.' With that thought in mind, Daz left Fort Skip in General Retford's hands.

It took the group of six fifty-minutes to reach the city centre mall, and the sight of it startled them all except for Dorian who was utterly terrified of the building and wished that he'd never accepted Daz's offer anymore.

"Well... It's certainly... Aesthetic? Hahaha," Crusher chuckled at the sight.

The old mall was shaped like a large 'L' with several floors and an open underground car park, but now it had changed completely. While still retaining its 'L' shape, the walls had turned pitch-black and spikes littered them. As you went up the structure, it got wider along with each floor by about fifty feet.

Daz found it hard to believe that a building that got wider by such a large margin could still be left standing, but he quickly remembered that the system was involved. Unfortunately for the surrounding buildings, they had been completely levelled, presumably by the creation of the dungeon.

"Demon Lord. Home?" Madison tilted her head and put a finger on her chin as she speculated. 

She might have been right, but regardless of who living inside of it, the place certainly looked ominous.

A note from Lone

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  • The Scottish Slothy Sloth

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