Shovels In Spades



Book 2 Chapter 15: Rocky and Vincent


A note from Lone

Second and last guaranteed chapter of the week.

I am reallllly on top of my game this month. Like, holy shit. I haven't been this productive since, like, 12 months ago. Go me.

The first thing Daz did when he had returned to Fort Skip was giving every otherworlder and the group of five teens an identification medallion. After he had done that, he found Sandy and asked him if it was possible to create a new house or two to shelter all of Daz's new citizens.

Unluckily for the young Reaper, Sandy immediately said it was impossible without enough wood and simple metals. Luckily for Daz though, he wasn't planning to leave Fort Skip for the rest of the day which meant that he could protect it himself. So he told Sandy that he could leave the base with a few soldiers and with Rimmy to loot resources from shops and buildings.

If he could avoid spending merit points on building materials, then why wouldn't he? Sandy grumbled a bit at this, but he agreed nonetheless. After that, Daz took a moment to check Fort Skip's status page.


[Fort Skip] C-Rank Little Base
Base Name: Fort Skip Base Owner: Daz
Base Type: Castle Base Size: Little
Base Stats
Health: 120,000/120,000 Offence: 15,000(19,500)
Security: 5,000(6,000) Defense: 5,000(7,500)
Citizens: 103  
Base Facilities
Facility Number Owned Description Bonus
Tiny Base Walls and Porticullis 1 A circular wall made from stone that surrounds the base and an iron portcullis. 20% increase in Defense for the base.
Small Base Walls and Porticullis 1 A circular wall made from limestone that surrounds the base and a steel portcullis. 30% increase in Defense for the base.
Training Ground 1 A simple training ground. 10% boost to skill growth for citizens.
Tiny Living Space 1 A simple living space designed to house a few citizens. 10% boost to stress relief for citizens.
Small Living Space 5 A comfortable living space designed to house a dozen citizens. 15% boost to stress relief for citizens.
Automated Steel Ballista Tower 2 A complex weapon designed to defend a set location. 15% increase in Offense for the base.
Small Base Shop 1 A shop designed by the system to allow a cheaper way to get entertainment and basic living supplies. N/A
Small Base Mine 1 A mine that allows citizens to work and gather precious metals and gems for the base. 15% increase in productivity for citizens.
Little Lightning Tower 1 A magical tower that serves as a manual or automated defensive system. 15% increase in Offense for the base.
Little Barracks 1 A training and resting ground for Fort Skip's soldiers. 20% increase in Security for the base.
Little Smithy 1 A workplace for forging and modifying tools and weapons. 15% increase in productivity for citizens.


"So the containers aren't labelled as facilities anymore and the base gets extra stat boosts now that its type matches its upgrades more? Hmm... Oh, right, I have over one-hundred citizens now, didn't the system say that my nobility ranking would update and I'd get put on that list or something for doing that?" Just as Daz had mumbled that, a notification flashed before his eyes.


Congratulations! Due to successfully gaining over 100 citizens, your nobility ranking has been upgraded from [Lord] to [High Lord]. More options are available to you in the Ruler Upgrade section and you have now been added to the Nobility Ranking list. Please refer to the rankings to see if you are eligible for any rewards.


Please select a Ruler name that you shall be known by on the Nobility Ranking.


"This is new. Shall I have some fun with it?" Daz said to himself and then began taking his time to think of a name. It took him about twenty minutes to think of a fitting one that described him physically and also told of his future aspirations. "My ruler name shall be 'Scarred Emerald King'."


Confirmed. Emperor of Destiny invites you to the Court of Lords.


"The who? Is that another survivor that also has good taste in naming?" Daz was clearly deluding himself into thinking that his naming sense was anything except horrendous.

"I was starting to think that those ten-thousand merit points and one-thousand base points were a waste since access to the 'Court of Lords' has been nothing but useless to me thus far. Maybe this will prove otherwise? System, I accept the invitation," Daz replied with confidence clear in his tone.

"Ah, but give me a second. You need to teleport me or something right? I did research the Court of lords, so before I go, system, please find a mask that hides my face and is intimidating, please," Daz added in a bit of a hurry.

Due to his past, Daz was well known by the upper echelon of several countries, and while he wasn't very important now, and he assumed that he'd been forgotten due to his disassociation with his parent's lifestyle, it was never hurtful to be safe rather than sorry. 

A small transaction of ten merit points later and Daz was now wearing a grey facemask with an intricate white design on its borders which covered the unscarred right side of his face. Unless someone had a godly skill or something like that, then Daz was confident that it would be impossible for anyone to recognise him and create trouble for him and his base in the real world.

As soon as he told the system that he was ready, like he had researched, Daz was immediately teleported away from Fort Skip with a flash of light.

The young Reaper was a bit disoriented and he felt like vomiting, but he held back the urge and struggled to open his eyes. He could hear several voices murmuring and whispering, and when his eyes had adjusted to the light, he could see eight people staring at him.

Daz could see that they were all in a large hall that only contained a single wooden round table and it had dozens of seats around it. He focused his attention on the people who were looking at him.

Three of them had masks on just like he did, but the other five were showing themselves very confidently as if they weren't scared of any of the other people present.

A light-skinned man who was wearing a loupe that only covered one eye stood up. From what Daz could tell, his only visible eye was a sparkling red jewel and he was in his mid-twenties. This man walked around the large circular table everyone was seated at and he approached Daz before appraising him audibly. "Grey hair, seemingly natural, likewise, grey eyes, also natural. Incorporeal arm and leg, both of which are a light-green transparent colour."

The handsome man walked around Daz while he held his sharp chin with fascination. "Severe burn damage to the left side of the body. Clearly the result of some sort of laser or photon-based attack and not the result of fire damage. The scarring is too clean for that. No older than twenty-two, no younger than nineteen."

The eccentric man then turned his attention to Daz's apparel and to his visible weapons. "Powerful armour, no doubt purchased from the system or earned in a wild event. It must be at least ranked B or above. Shovel with peculiar carvings that weren't handmade or produced. Most likely a product of an inborn skill the shovel possesses. Very intriguing. It seems to be a growing-type weapon. Also, a regular sidearm that is of no worthy note."

The man stopped in front of Daz and had a pleased expression on his face. He rubbed his jewelled eye before spitting on his hand and offering it to Daz. "I'm the Ruler of Overly Cryptic Knowledge of Yore, but you can call me Rocky. Neat acronym, right?"

The goofy man had flipped from being stoic and intrusive to acting like a bashful young man looking to make a new friend. 'I thought I was pretty strange, but this dude takes the cake...' Daz thought.

Disregarding the saliva covered palm, Daz grabbed it and shook it firmly. "Scarred Emerald King. It's a pleasure."

"Excellent naming sense if I do say so myself. It really hits the mark right on the head," Rocky said with a chipper tone to his voice, "Can I call you Sek for short? Or maybe Emerald? I love jewels! You see, I even have a jewelled core and whatno-"

"That's enough, Rocky. You're putting the newcomer on edge," a tall man in an extravagant robe who was holding a cane that had a lion's head for a handle ordered.

This man looked to be roughly sixty or maybe even seventy years old and his long bushy beard told volumes of the type of life he'd been living before the apocalypse.

"Are you the one who invited me here? 'Emperor of Destiny', was it?" Daz asked sceptically. His guard was still up, even if he was quickly growing very fond of Rocky. 

"That's me. Please, call me Vincent, or Sir Redcliff, whichever you feel most comfortable with," the elderly man said with a prideful and expectant look on his face.

Daz simply stared at him and didn't react at all. "You... Do you not recognise me?"

"Should I?" Daz asked. "Why did you bring me here? Please don't tell me you invited me here only to waste my time. I have the next cycle to prepare for, so if you people don't have anything meaningful to say to me, then I'll be leaving."

Daz felt uncomfortable and he couldn't tell if he was stronger than the people here. Due to this, the young Reaper wanted to leave and not give them any more clues to who he was in case they had greed-filled minds that only wanted to gain his base and citizens. Everyone here was a ruler of some sort that lorded over one-hundred or more people, so caution was the only thing on Daz's mind currently. 

"Ah, please, stay a moment," Vincent said politely as he gestured to an open chair.

Daz sat down and was busy having an internal conflict. 'Should I identify these people? I probably shouldn't right? I want to know about them... But I have a feeling that at least one of them would be able to detect me and I'd rather not play Russian roulette.'

"Thank you," Vicent said with a gentle smile. "First, why don't we exchange some basic information?"

"Such as?" Daz was intrigued, but his guard was still most definitely up.

"What a wary child. First, I can start by telling you that you're the nine-hundred and forty-seventh ruler to gain at least one-hundred subjects. Most others refuse my invitations to the court or they haven't purchased the upgrade. I was the initial ruler to gain one-hundred subjects, so I am privy to this information. A benefit of being number one," Vincent explained with pride in his voice.

'There's no way that's all he got. I got two very powerful things from being the first base owner, so I'd wager he got way more than just access to some simple information,' Daz reasoned.

"Now then, our goal here is to share knowledge about this 'experiment' of the system's and to send each other aid if necessary and if possible. Would you mind telling us where your base is so that we can do just that should you find yourself in a rough situation?" Vincent stroked his bushy beard and arched his eyebrows up. He was studying Daz's arm and leg and he was fascinated as to how those came to be Daz's limbs.

"I'll abstain. I'm more than capable enough as it is." Daz didn't want to reveal anything about himself, especially his location.

Rocky rubbed his eye and stated, "From the accent, definitely American. Western states, hmm, California or maybe Nevada."

Daz was shocked. Rocky had hit the nail right on the head. Waterford was the third largest city in California only lagging behind Los Angeles and San Diago, and it greatly startled Daz that Rocky's deduction abilities could be so frighteningly accurate.

Rocky's personality shifted back to being the friendly one after he touched his eye again and he announced, "I'm from Arizona myself, so we're only one state apart either way! That's so cool! We should meet up and make an alliance via the system."

"I'm leaving. Goodbye," Daz replied curtly before he stood up and left the Court of Lords abruptly.

"Damn it, Rocky, why did you have to go scare him off like that?" A woman wearing a frowning mask in her late twenties complained.

Rocky scratched his head and blushed. "Whoops. I didn't think he'd be so secretive and sensitive to his personal information."

Vincent had a peaceful smile on his face and he said, "It's only natural to assume that he wouldn't trust us. You can tell by his body that he's been through a lot already, and if I'm not wrong, he was mistrusting even before the apocalypse started. Rocky, see if you can find out where he's located and contact him in person. We need to keep each other safe in these trying times. After all, we're all children of Mother Earth, are we not?"

A note from Lone

Rocky's Loupe

As a small side note, Waterford and Middletown are both fictional, but, of course, the states are not.

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Main Stories (guaranteed 2 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 | The Magic Of Science

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  • 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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