There were nine bodies that had started to slowly decay inside of one of Fort Skip's closed shipping containers. Three of them belonged to the High Devils, five were the Hellhounds, and the last was the Demon Lord's mutilated corpse.
Thankfully, due to their power when they were alive, their bodies were rather strong and were decomposing at a far slower rate than an average carcass would, meaning that there were no foul smells and that they were still safe for harvesting.
Daz had already decided to leave the remains for Sandy and Bobby since he knew that they would like them for crafting and cooking purposes. All Daz needed to absorb to gain stat points were the souls. Bodies only restored his energy and healed him which wasn't needed at all right now.
The Higher Devils counted as medium souls, so Daz consumed all three of them along with two of the dogs which also counted as medium souls. The Demon Lord was classified as a greater soul and he made a little bit of a fuss as he tried to curse Daz while he was being swallowed. Unfortunately for him, Reapers were immune to soul attacks which included all of the most basic of curses.
The High Devils were worth eight stat points each and the Hellhounds were still only worth five points, however, the Demon Lord was worth a staggering twenty points!
Daz took a moment to check his status sheet now that his stats had been increased by a noticeable amount.
|Name:||Daz||Species:||Reaper (Beginning stages of evolving)|
"Only one-hundred luck? Shouldn't it have been one-hundred and three? Oh, right, Reapers have a hard cap of one-hundred for luck, don't they? That's a shame. System, when I evolve again, and if my next Species has a higher limit on luck, will I receive the missing stats?" Daz asked with some hope in his voice.
[Bronze-level access required for desired information] Confirmed.
Denied. The host will start with whatever stat points they possessed before evolving.
"That's a damned shame. And there's not an easy way to evolve, right?" Daz followed up.
[Silver-level access required for desired information] Confirmed.
Confirmed. The host must achieve a mental breakthrough before the option to evolve will be granted.
"Mmm..." Daz stood still in thought.
Meanwhile, Reika had been sitting on his head and she was looking at the remaining three souls of the Monster Dogs with a greedy expression on her face.
'Hey, Insolent Fool, may we please consume one of those souls? Only one is enough, we swear!' Reika sounded just like a hungry child begging her father to buy her some sweets at the cash register.
Daz shook his head and sighed. "Nope. I'm not going to waste a medium soul on you. I need to feed you lesser souls first to see the effects. Sorry, but the stat gains I get for absorbing medium and higher grade souls is too much to forgo them to you."
'We understand. We promise to prove ourselves to you, Insolent Fool, so that you may feed us higher quality souls. The better the soul, the stronger we get and the more we can help you,' Reika replied with a very depressing tone to her voice. Clearly, she was trying to pull Daz's heartstrings and make him feel guilty.
Unfortunately for the Demon Princess' soul, Daz was a very rational person most of the time, so he completely ignored her guilt-tripping. "I know. Also, stop calling me 'Insolent Fool'. I have a name."
'You did not mention it so we took liberties.' Reika's tiny body shrugged its shoulder and she flashed Daz a smug look.
"An insult can be considered a liberty? My name is Daz," seemingly unimpressed, he responded with some sarcasm.
'Thank you for letting us know, Insolent Fool.' Reika closed her eyes and nodded her head profounded.
"Really?" Daz was a little bit dumbstruck at her continued use of the insulting nickname.
'You have promised to not eat our soul and you refuse to feed us, so please, let us have this one thing,' Reika requested with some genuine desire in her voice.
"I haven't refused to feed you... Fine, whatever, call me what you want." Daz didn't care that much. It was a minor matter, and if it would keep the soul happy, he was willing to let her insult him whenever she addressed him. 'Maybe this is how Dorian feels whenever Crusher calls him 'Captain Ahab'?'
'We appreciate it, Insolent Fool,' Reika smiled sweetly before she got back on Daz's head and got as comfortable as an intangible soul could get.
Just as Daz was leaving the shipping container that held the monster bodies, he was stopped by Sarah. Normally, people didn't enter the inner fort anymore unless they needed Daz for something, so naturally, the young Reaper was curious what the boisterous twin wanted him for.
"There you are, Daz. I've spent the last thirty minutes looking for you! It's almost lunchtime! Seriously, why were you hiding in this dingy corner?" Sarah said as she waved her arms about in a clearly exaggerated manner.
"Sorry. I had something to do. Need me, Sarah?" Daz replied nonchalantly as he began walking towards the gate that led to the outer fort. His instincts were telling him that whatever the twenty-three-year-old needed, it required his presence out there.
Sarah gingerly matched his stride and grinned. "Yup. Crusher sent me to find you. Apparently, somebody stole from another citizen, my dad actually, and the laws you wrote mentioned that stealing would result in imprisonment, so she's 'detaining' the guy and she asked me to get you to decide on what to do."
"You're in a pretty good mood considering a crime was just committed against your father, huh?" Daz commented.
"Of course I am!" Sarah's tone made it seem like it was only right for her to be happy at this time. "After all, Sandy finally finished fixing the destroyed cabin this morning with the volunteers, so that means Bobby can start cooking for us again! He's a great chef."
"Can't you just buy your food from the shop?" Daz questioned. His body no longer required eating, so he had stopped doing it as much as he used to. All he regularly had now was coffee and souls.
"Well... we could, but Bobby is amazing and it cuts the price down. The food isn't that expensive, but the ingredients are far cheaper, and Bobby likes to cook for everyone, so it's a win-win situation." Sarah grinned and Daz thought that he could see some drool dribbling out of her mouth.
As if she had remembered something, Sarah's face suddenly lit up. "Speaking of the cabin, all of the volunteers got two-thousand merit points for finishing the repairs as a quest reward and they were wondering what they should do with them. Any thoughts?"
"They don't want to upgrade their stats or buy an item or skill?" Daz didn't understand the mindset of the people that didn't wish to participate in any of the needed fighting.
"Well, all of the basic living necessities are so cheap that it's almost a joke, and most people don't want to help in combat, so they were wondering if they could support you and the base somehow else," Sarah explained with a light shrug.
'Hmm, I still have just over ten thousand base points, and with the merit points I got from the dungeon, maybe I can buy a merit point bank or something? That would be helpful,' Daz thought to himself.
"I'll figure something out. For now, just tell them to hold onto the points," Daz decided.
"Okie-dokie! Look, there's Crusher. Well, I'll catch you later then, Daz," Sarah said with a smile before she trotted off.
"Both her and her sister are pretty childish, huh?" Daz mumbled to himself.
Walking up to Crusher, Daz wore an incredulous expression on his face. The muscled woman was sat on top of what looked like a man and next to her was the young Fiona, the ex-mayor's daughter. The fourteen-year-old was glaring at Crusher and it seemed like something had happened between the two of them.
"Get off of me this instant, you brutish barbarian!" a man's voice which almost sounded like a shrill scream echoed out from underneath Crusher.
"Lord, you finally came. I was starting to get cramps in my ass cheeks, hahaha!" Crusher boomed when she saw Daz and she stood up before stretching.
"Hi," Daz lightly responded as he looked at the man on the floor. As suspected, it was Robert Mathers, the ex-mayor and Fiona's father.
The scrawny man got on his feet and brushed off the dirt on his suit before a very unhappy look took a hold of his face. "To think that I, the mayor, would be treated with such disrespect simply fo-"
"What did you try to steal?" Daz coldly cut off the man's complaints.
When the young Reaper had first rescued this man, he had hoped that he would be of use thanks to his corrupt nature and high social standing prior to the apocalypse, however, Daz had been nothing but disappointed by this waste of space.
Not only had he not taken Daz's warnings to heart, he hadn't even attempted to be helpful to him or Fort Skip in any way, shape or form. At this point, his only use was the small number of merit points he was forced to give up via the taxation and the one-hundred base-points his life was worth per day during a non-resting cycle.
"S-Steal? How presumptuous! I did no such thing! To dare accuse me, a state official and the mayor of Waterford, of petty theft, I should-"
"You should what?" Daz interjected once again. Clearly, Robert had forgotten whatever details he had seen when he used his Lower Identification skill on Daz during their first meeting.
Robert held his tongue as soon as he saw Daz's eyes. It was obvious even for a corrupt politician like him that Daz wasn't going to offer any room for excuses. "I... I wanted to borrow Mr Richie's pistol. I swear it was only borrowing! I was fully intent on returning it, I simply wanted some means to defend myself."
Fiona rushed up to Daz and hugged him despite her disgust of his physical appearance. She looked up at him with teary and adorable eyes. "Please don't punish Daddy! He knows he was wrong and he'll never do it again, we promise, right, Daddy?"
"Huh? Oh, uh, yeah, that's right!" Robert exclaimed. 'That's my girl!' He had succumbed to the pressure of losing his freedom, but his daughter had rapidly calmed him down and helped him to clear his mind.
Daz ignored Fiona and simply said, "It's good to know that he won't do it again, but I have to ask you, Robert, how many merit points do you have right now?"
"Hu-Huh? I have none. Of course, I've spent them on bettering my life in this place..." Robert had a bad feeling, and he was suddenly remembering some of the details he had seen on Daz's status screen a few days ago, particularly about his description which even Daz, himself, wasn't able to see.
"I got it. Crusher," Daz called as he turned to the woman who had folded her arms and was watching this transpire with a grin on her face.
"Yeah?" Crushed replied inquisitively.
Daz paused for a moment and collected his thoughts before responding, "Is there anywhere that we can detain Robert here for eight days? I was thinking an empty shipping container, but I was wondering if there was a more suitable location."
"E-EIGHT DAYS?!" Robert shouted and nearly passed out. He had never even spent a single night in jail before, so while the circumstances were quite clearly different, the ex-mayor couldn't help but be exceedingly frightened by the possible consequences.
Support "Shovels In Spades"
- 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.