Shovels In Spades



Book 2 Chapter 22: Changes and Chicken


A note from Lone

First guaranteed chapter of the week.

"You can't arrest Daddy, he did nothing wrong!" Fiona abruptly shouted as her eyes started to water up.

Daz looked somewhat bothered by this, but he continued to disregard the teenager. "Crusher?"

The tall Titan grinner and said, "The barracks have a few holding cells meant for punishing soldiers that make critical mistakes. I suppose you could throw him in one of those?"

As if his brain had just caught up with the conversation, Robert's face paled and he exclaimed, "Wait! Why eight days? I accept that I need to be punished. I broke one your laws, that's fair, but why eight days? Wasn't the minimum sentence only two days while the maximum was ten?"

Robert didn't want to be locked up for just over a week's worth of time, but he had to accept that he couldn't resist Daz and Crusher. These people had adapted too well to the apocalypse while he was busy sucking his thumbs.

"Automatic four days for breaking the law. Down to two days for admitting to it. Back up to four days for trying to steal a valuable weapon that could cause harm to yourself and your fellow citizens. Up to six days for initially resisting the arrest, and finally, up to eight days for attempting to persuade me to waive the punishment." Like a machine, Daz coldly stated the exact breakdown of Robert's sentence.

Fiona started to thrash about and she threw a tantrum. "No! I won't let you take Daddy away! It's your fault anyway that he had to resort to theft since you're hoarding the other guns!"

'Mm, how to deal with this?' Daz was finally troubled enough to reconsider things, after all, he did have some plans for Fiona, so having her hate him completely could complicate things. 

Fiona's class greatly interested Daz. Her weapon was a pen and from his understanding, she could bring her drawings to life momentarily in exchange for her stamina, and Daz had wanted to use this power somehow, but if he created a bigger divide between her and himself, that small dream would quickly disappear.

"I can compromise." Daz had come up with, what he thought was, a smart solution that would make everyone happier.

"Please, so long as it's not prison, I'm willing to make up for trying to steal that gun," Robert urged with a hopeful look on his face.

"How about you work in the mines for six hours a day during the intended eight-day sentence instead of being imprisoned?" Daz suggested, surprising everyone. Crusher whistled and nodded approvingly.

"Work in the mines?" Robert was somewhat confused. Was Daz asking him to slave away in a dark cave instead of being thrown in a cell? How could that have been a better option?

"Right," Daz replied calmly and continued, "You'd get eighteen hours a day to yourself. You'd just have to work as hard as you can for six hours and you can even use thirty minutes of that as a break. Well, wanna work, or be arrested?"

"... Will I be forced to work even if my body starts to ache badly?" Robert asked his biggest concern. 

Rarely did the ex-mayor exercise and he was usually doing mundane paperwork or participating in meetings as the leader of the city, so his body wasn't exactly in the most optimum shape like Daz's was.

Daz held his chin and thought for a moment. "Let's do this. You'll spend three of the hours mining, thirty minutes for a break and the final two and a half hours helping refine the gems and metals extracted from the mine. You might even earn some skills since it's a system building. Well?"

Robert desperately wanted to refuse, but he could tell that's Daz was already being extremely nice to him, so despite his high amounts of pride, he gave up resisting and accepted the offer. "I'll do it. Thank you for being lenient with me, L-Lord."

With that settled, Daz smiled and looked at the young girl who was crying mere moments ago. Obviously, she had been faking it, so she looked perfectly fine now if you could ignore the bitter look on her face. "Fiona," Daz called.

"Y-Yeah?" Holding her hands behind her back and playfully twisting her feet, Fiona tried to look as innocent as possible as she responded to Daz.

Purposefully taking no notice of her actions, Daz gave her an order. "I'd like to talk to you about your class later today. Find me after your father is finished getting acquainted with the people that already work at the mines. Also, 'no' isn't an answer."

"What? No..." Fiona's face crumpled up and she was fully intent on disputing the young Reaper, but a single glance from him told her that she shouldn't bother. "...Okay."

Daz, Crusher, Fiona and Robert went to the barracks where Daz ordered two soldiers to escort Robert to the mines and to supervise him for the duration of his eight-day 'community service'. 

Robert, Fiona and the soldiers headed to the mine, while Daz and Crusher remained at the barracks. "Hey, Lord, do you wanna fight for a bit?" Crusher suddenly asked.

Daz raised an eyebrow and replied, "Sure, I don't mind, but why?"

"Hahaha, I'm just getting itchy." Crusher scratched her head. "I barely got to fight in the dungeon and you're the only person that I can properly compete against. Anyone else would end up being one-sidedly beaten."

"You should ask Maddy when you have some time, she's at the same level as us, you know? There's also General Retford. I think he can beat me in a one on one if I'm not careful," Daz claimed with a shrug.

"Really? I'll do that then, but for now, let's have some fun!" Crusher was thankful for the tip, however, she really wanted to fight Daz.

She was extremely strength-focused while Daz leaned more towards agility, so they opposed each other fairly well. The main reason Crusher wanted to fight Daz now, and not later, was that she was afraid that it wouldn't be too long before she wasn't his match due to his absurd ability to gain stat points from consuming souls.

"Give me thirty minutes to an hour. I need to go do something. Just wait for me here if you'd like. If we use the training ring, we might get a skill during our spar," Daz said as he pointed at the barracks' practice area.

"Sure, I can wait," Crusher smiled before she sat on the floor and began meditating.

"Hmm, I didn't think I'd be editing this so soon after creating it. Oh well, at least it's a positive change," Daz mumbled to himself as he stood in front of the law sign that sat in the centre of the inner fort.


[The Five Basic Laws and Punishments of Fort Skip

Law 1: Do not murder other Citizens. Punishment: Death. All of your merit points will be forcefully used to better Fort Skip before your execution.

Law 2: Do not attempt to intentionally hinder any fighters participating in the attacks. Punishment: Death, imprisonment, or forced labour depending on the severity. All of your merit points will be forcefully used to better Fort Skip.

Law 3:  Do not sexually assault any Citizens. Punishment: Death, imprisonment, or forced labour depending on the severity and on the wishes of the victim(s). All of your merit points will be forcefully used to better Fort Skip.

Law 4: Do not physically or mentally abuse another Citizen. Punishment: 5-20 Days of imprisonment, or forced labour depending on the severity. Half of your merit points will be used for the good of Fort Skip.

Law 5: Do not steal from other Citizens. Punishment: Confiscation of all stolen goods. 2-10 days of imprisonment, or forced labour depending on the severity. Half of your merit points will be used for the good of Fort Skip.

All laws are subject to change as Fort Skip gains more stability and as new incidents occur.]


"Hmm, I wonder if this is too lenient... Mmm, for now, this will do. It's better for me to not kill any of my citizens whenever possible since I need them. Yup, death should definitely only be mandatory for murder," Daz muttered to himself.

A sweet and childish voice flowed through his head, surprising him slightly before he remembered Reika's existence. 'So many types of punishments... Father used to just kill anyone that did anything bad.'

"Mmm, that is one way to do things, but I'd rather not control my people with fear, as ironic as that sounds, considering my twisted personality and my species," Daz chuckled lightly.

'Why not?' Reika popped out of the brand on Daz's hand and laid down on his head while she waited for his answer.

Daz had already brought some wood and nails over to the law sign because he was planning to build a second one for the outer fort, so while he started to do that, he began explaining to Reika. "In this world, for me to get stronger, I need as many people on my side as possible. We have four-day cycles and they get more difficult if I have more people under my command."

Reika looked confused. 'We don't understand. Why would you want to make it harder? Wouldn't its difficulty being less benefit you more?'

"You haven't interacted much with the system, have you?" Daz asked.

'Nope. Our home world, Kaltraso, wasn't affected by the system, so we only learnt about it after that soul mage sold our soul to it.' Reika stated as she rolled around in Daz's head and hair.

"Don't go inside my head. It's weird," Daz lightly shuddered. He was fine with her pretending to sit on him, but entering his body with her astral form gave the young Reaper the chills.

"Anyway, the more of a challenge you give yourself, the more the system rewards you. So the more citizens I get, the more difficult my cycles will be, and consequently, the bigger the rewards. Also, the base itself has its own point system, and the more people under my control living in it, the more of those points it earns every day during an attack cycle. Got it?" Daz was nearly finished creating the new sign, so he stood up and started to add the final details.

Reika floated onto Daz's shoulder and said, 'Sorry. We are still getting used to our new body. We will try our best to avoid entering you.'

'That sounds really fucking weird,' Daz noted mentally.

'We think we understand.' the young girl's soul smiled and tried to lay against Daz's head without accidentally phasing through him again.

"Good, well, this is done, so let's go put it near the houses in the outer fort then we can fight Crusher. Reika, are you ready to show me your true value?" Daz smiled in a carefree manner to help boost the morale of his shovel's tenant.

'Yeah! Let's! Let's! We'll show you that we're worth feeding souls to!' Reika was getting pumped up. Truly, for a Demon Princess that became a lesser demon sword who had corrupted a world's Hero, she was surprisingly innocent.

"Foreman Chris?" one of the two soldiers that had led Robert and Fiona to the mines called out as the group of four entered the small hut that acted as the reception and entrance to the mines.

"Hmm? What's up? New volunteers?" a dark-skinned man with curly hair asked as he took his feet off from the desk he was sat at.

He wolfed down the last few bites of his lunchtime sandwich and grinned. "I guess not, after all, there's no need for the soldiers. So, what brings you guys to my mine?"

This man, Chris, was unlucky enough to be holding a pickaxe at the DIY store when the apocalypse started. He was just curious as to why such an odd tool was in a DIY store in the first place, so he felt very cheated when he got his first system prompt telling him that his class was a 'Miner Foreman'.

Luckily, Daz had created a mine, and Chris was a very fit twenty-six year old, so he was more than willing to use his mining-related skills to assist the base. After all, he was very aware of the fact that every little bit helped in times like these.

The guard that had called out to him explained Robert's situation and planned punishment.

"I see. A lawbreaker, huh? I thought those got imprisoned or killed. Though mind you, that is a bit surreal since we've barely started adjusting to this whole apocalypse nonsense. Glad to see the lord changed his mind on that." Chris smiled as he walked around Robert and scrutinised him thoroughly.

"Yeah, you're definitely a politician, that's for sure," Chris laughed lightly.

"What does that mean?" Robert's confidence had surged now that he was out of the presence of those two monsters knows as Daz and Crusher.

"You've got a lovely set of chicken arms and noodle legs, that's what I mean." Chris ruthlessly pointed out the ex-mayor's physical flaws.

"Anyway, Little Lady, you can go now. Feel free to pick your dad up in six hours. The day's still young." Chris shooed Fiona out of the hut and then walked down the mine shaft with his arm around Robert's shoulders while the two soldiers followed behind them closely.

"Don't worry, Chicken Arms, I'll make a miner out of you soon!" Chris was in a great mood. Now with Robert, he had four employees to help him gather resources for the base!

Robert was sweating and his mind was racing. '... Maybe being imprisoned for eight days wouldn't have actually been that bad? I wonder if I can ask for a redo?'

A note from Lone

My Discord

Read up to 11 chapters ahead as a patron!

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

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

Support "Shovels In Spades"

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.

Log in to comment
Log In

Log in to comment
Log In