As Daz had expected, Fiona happily accepted his proposal. While she was currently on the track to becoming morally corrupt, her affinity was still labelled as 'good'. She was still young and a simple impressionable teenager who loved art.
Fiona had always wanted to show her work to others, but due to her secluded lifestyle, the only person that ever got the chance to appreciate her hobby was her father, and obviously, he didn't have the time to grant his daughter the attention she needed and deserved.
Daz had told her that if she could convince Sandy and maybe a few of the other citizens to help her out, then he would allow her to build a stage where she could perform her skills and act as Fort Skips' first live entertainer.
Originally he had wanted to simply ask Sandy himself to build a suitable location for Fiona to perform, but he had gained a few words of advice from Reika.
'Hasn't she been coddled her entire life? We were once like that when we were a Princess, however, our situation was far more extreme. We suggest you let her arrange everything herself. Independence is a powerful tool, and we can guarantee that her loyalty to you will spike if you let her do this herself and it succeeds. Of course, you might want to dip your hand into it secretly to make sure she doesn't fail.'
Daz had originally intended for the whole 'entertainer' thing to be a distraction that would stop Fiona from giving her father ideas to rebel against him, but after listening to Reika, he had changed his mind. While the shop provided simple entertainment goods like magazines from other worlds and consumable goods like alcohol and tobacco, it wasn't actual entertainment.
The young Reaper didn't think about getting involved like Reika had suggested, but he was very hopeful of what this would bring to his base and greatly desired for it to raise the morale and loyalty of, not just Fiona, but all of his citizens.
Time passed, and before Daz knew it, it was already seven in the evening. This might have been the single most peaceful day since the apocalypse had started, the young Reaper thought to himself. Daz had spent his time after leaving Fiona by training his usage of Reika's aura, and with attempting to increase the power of his new skill, Grave of the Humans.
He had gained two levels in the skill which was unbelievable fast in Daz's opinion. He could only assume that this was due to the fact that it was a skill heavily attuned to his Species and class.
Daz stretched his body and sighed. "I'm getting pretty hungry..."
Reika lied down on Daz's head and asked him a question as she playfully kicked her feet about. 'Doesn't your body not require food?'
"Yeah, but it's not like I don't enjoy eating. I don't need to eat, but that doesn't mean I don't have to eat." After having experienced poverty during his youth, Daz had grown to love food and drinks. His taste buds were one of his few allies that he could rely on to never betray him.
'Is that how it works?' Reika had a confused look on her face and she clearly didn't understand.
Daz wiped off the sweat from his chest and back as he continued the conversation. "You don't crave food sometimes? Surely you ate when you were alive, right?"
'Mmmmm... We don't remember anymore, but we do recall desiring cakes and sweets during our time as a demon sword.' As predicted, Reika was a very innocent Demon Princess before she was turned into a weapon of death and destruction.
"Huh... I guess you forgot what food tastes like after a few hundred years," Daz concluded. He then put on his shirt and the Travelling Gear of Altros.
'... Probably.' There was some sadness and loneliness in Reika voice.
For a reason unknown to Daz, he felt annoyed by those negative emotions that were spewing out of Reika. He wanted to get rid of them. He wanted to help her, but he didn't know why. This wasn't like him, so he decided to try to rid himself of these feelings by making a compromise. "If I ever can, and if it's easy, I'll find a way to help you eat again."
Reika was quite surprised by this. She had barely known Daz for more than six hours, however, even she could tell that he was an uncaring man whose only goal was to better his own life and situation. '... Why?' Suspicion riddled her voice.
"It's a shame that you can't enjoy the finer things in life. I'd be pretty depressed if I couldn't eat delicious food ever again," Daz made up some lip service to hide his true reasoning. In fact, even he wasn't aware of his actual purpose for wanting to help Reika, not yet at least.
Reika frowned and chose to simply lay her thoughts out bare. 'We haven't known you for more than a day, but this does not seem like you. Is something wrong?'
"No. It's just that I feel bad for you, okay? Like I said, even I would pity someone that can't eat. Trust me, if it's too much work and requires a lot of effort, you can forget about it. But if it's not a big deal, I'll figure something out," Daz shrugged his shoulders and exercised his Legendary Gift of The Gab skill to successfully pull the wool over the wary soul's eyes.
'Thank you, Insolent fool. We appreciate it,' Reika felt weird about this whole situation, but, something told her to trust Daz very strongly, so she did.
Daz walked into his cabin and entered the living-room which was also the kitchen before he sat down on a sofa. He could see a small head over one of the counters busily moving around as its owner hummed a tune to herself.
"Rose?" Daz asked.
"Hi," Rose replied with an unfocused tone.
Standing up and walking towards the kitchen counter, Daz questioned, "What are you doing back here?"
"What does it look like? I'm cooking," Rose snapped. "Please don't tell me your eyes have stopped working now. One cripple is enough for our family."
Rose was trying her best to cut a tomato, and if anyone looked at her and her hands without paying too much attention, they might assume that she had just murdered the fruit, not chopped it up.
Daz tried to ignore his sister's failed attempts at preparing ingredients and waved his death energy arm around a bit."Aren't I technically disabled too thanks to my leg and arm?"
"Don't be so pedantic," Rose replied as she took a chocolate bar out from a drawer and began mixing it with the tomatoes in a large bowl.
'What the fuck? Chocolate and tomatoes?' This combination had befuddled the young Reaper even more so than his feelings earlier had. "Anyway... since when did you want to try cooking?"
"One of the citizens, an old guy called Bobby, he bought a bunch of cookbooks from the system. Now that I can move on my own without having to roll my chair's wheels, I figured I could get a hobby or two until my legs were fixed. Cooking seemed like the logical choice, so I asked Bobby if I could borrow some of his cookbooks. He only gave me one," Rose explained with a slight frown.
"Were you really getting that bored?" Daz felt sorry for the ingredients that were being wasted due to Rose's obvious inability to use them properly. He wondered if she was actually following the recipe's instructions at all or if she was just ignoring them. He was leaning heavily towards the second option.
"Very. There's only so much fun I can have searching the system's database and playing solitaire." Rose waved her hand dramatically before she tasted her concoctions and frowned. "I need to add ketchup."
Daz was trying his best to ignore Rose's comment there. In his opinion, there was little that could be done to salvage the food at this point, so he diverted his attention from the matter with a follow-up question. "You don't have any better games than solitaire?"
"All of my personal games were online ones, so no, solitaire is my only companion in these trying times. Chess and minesweeper are far too easy to be fun." Rose stated.
Daz had almost forgotten how much of a gaming junkie his sister had become ever since she had gotten her first gaming system. "Next time I'm in the city centre, I'll see if I can find a few single player games for you to play."
"How kind of you. This laptop is the best one on the market, so just find me any old games that don't require an internet connection, and it should be able to run them fine." Rose added a few dollops of whipped cream and an egg to her deathly creation before she looked at her brother. "Well, what do you want in exchange?"
"Huh? A brother can't do something kind for his sister every once in a while?" Daz acted offended.
"Sure, if the brother in that scenario wasn't a sociopath with almost no emotions," Rose snorted.
"That's cold." Daz laughed a little bit.
"Oh no! I hurt the power and soul hungry Reaper's feelings, whatever shall I do?" Sarcasm laced the young girl's voice. "Please, Daz, don't treat me like a child. What do you want?"
Dropping the charade, Daz came clean. "Information on a base's ruler that's only a few states away from us."
Rose stopped brewing her devilish concoction and looked at Daz with interest on her face. "Oh really? Now that is interesting. How did you find out about this person? Ah, no, wait. The Court of Lords?"
Daz nodded his head. "As expected of you."
"Describe them. The more I already know, the less stamina it costs me to find out the missing details." Naturally, Rose didn't see a problem employing her skills and stamina to help Daz.
"I don't know his name, but his nickname is Rocky. He's about my age, maybe a bit older. Average build. Good looks. One of his eyes is a red jewel, probably a ruby. He was wearing a one-eyed loupe and he's pretty eccentric." Daz listed every physical feature he could recall of Rocky.
"Are you being serious? That sounds like some sort of crappy children's show villain," Rose said with mild disgust in her voice.
"I'm just detailing him like you asked me too," Daz shrugged.
Rose put a finger on her chin and eyed her brother from top to bottom. "... Maybe it's a trend for rulers to be weird? That guy sounds like he could give you a run your money when it comes to the oddity factor."
"Shut up. Well, got any information?" Daz flicked her forehead and smiled lightly.
Rose frowned. "Give me a minute." She busily tapped away on her laptop and it was only a few seconds before her face livened up. "Hmm, interesting."
"Found something?" Daz questioned.
"Yup. I got his current location." Rose replied with pride.
Daz gently rubbed her hair. "Good job, Rose. Where is he?"
"About ten miles away from Waterford and he's moving fast. Did you tell him where our base is? I know you're not the sharpest tool in the shed, but even you aren't that stupid, right?" Rose snarked as she enjoyed Daz's affection.
The young Reaper's face changed immediately. "Tell me exactly where he is."
Obviously aware of the seriousness of Daz's tone, Rose complied. "Interstate seventy. Looks like he's coming right towards us at about twenty miles per hour. I guess he's in a car or something."
Daz wore a thoughtful look, and, within a few moments, he had decided on what to do. "I'll be going out for a bit. Make sure you save whatever you're cooking for me. I'd like to taste test it before you poison someone innocent."
"Get lost." Rose stuck her tongue out at Daz.
Daz ruffled Rose's hair lovingly and left the cabin with haste. He almost ran to the M939 trucks while his mind was busy thinking. 'I have nothing against the other rulers from the court, but I can't let them know exactly where my base is before I can trust them. Rocky seemed like a nice guy, but I have to intercept him.'
Just as soon as Daz had arrived at one of the two trucks and was opening the door to it, a loud voice startled him.
"Something going on, Lord?" Crusher yelled as she sprinted across the field towards the young Reaper.
Naturally, she and many of the other citizens had seen Daz moving very quickly with his destination appearing to be the M939 trucks that were parked next to the outer wall. Crusher knew that Daz was usually very calm, but for some reason, he seemed a bit panicked, so she followed him to see what was happened.
"No time. Get in the truck and I'll explain on the way," Daz ordered the Titan.
'Fort Skip should be fine with Rimmy, Maddy and the soldiers here. I'll leave my clone behind just in case,' he thought with confidence.
Crusher was never really one to ask questions, so she did as told and jumped in the passenger's seat. Daz created his clone and told it to keep Fort Skip safe, after that, he hopped back into the vehicle and left the fort.
The young Reaper was desperately hoping that Rocky had good intentions. After all, Daz's goal was to rule over all of Earth and everyone living on it, so any situation which might lead to deaths wasn't ideal in Daz's opinion. Not anymore at least.
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