Shovels In Spades



Book 2 Chapter 31: M1 Abrams and Bonus


A note from Lone

First guaranteed chapter of the week.

Changed how statuses work. Now they will display how the stats have changed to make it a bit easier to directly see the growth.

Baetylus [S-Rank (Middle Tier)]

The corpse of a powerful celestial being that lived its life as a meteor until crashing onto a planet and going on a rampage in its final moments.

Sold off to the system at a young age, this Baetylus was unable to fully mature before being forced to crash onto a planet for the sake of an experiment.

This body can be processed and turned into powerful S-rank armour or weapons by a master blacksmith who has access to A-rank tools.

It is also an essential ingredient for a few SSS-rank magical rituals.

Durability: 20,000 Hardness: 12,500


Passively ignites things around it with less than 500 durability or less than 100 fortitude or constitution.


'Well, that explains the security. S-rank armour or weapons, huh? I have a master blacksmith, but not the needed tools... Oh well, it's not worth the risk of ruining my relationship with Rocky and his people,' Daz thought as he read the Baetylus' details.

The young Reaper wasn't sure what it meant by 'magical rituals', but until he knew more about the arcane arts in general, he wouldn't bother wasting his time on that stuff. Magic was more the forte of Sarah, so he made a mental note to ask her about it later if it was convenient.

He then approached the septic tank and used his skill, Absolute Harvest, on the corpse. A crimson burst of fiery energy poured out of the stone-like body and, for the first time ever, this greater soul didn't needlessly struggle nor did it curse and berate Daz for consuming it.

'What a docile soul,' Reika commented. It wasn't unheard of nor was it particularly special. The Demon Princess assumed that when it was alive, this monster wished for death, so it had no qualms about being consumed. In a sense, this would erase the possibility of it being used by the system ever again.

Daz had concluded the same, but he was busy enjoying the sensation of the power flowing through his veins, so he ignored the topic and immediately checked his status to see the changes.


Host's Status
Basic Information
Name: Daz Species: Reaper (Late stages of evolving)
Age: 20 Sex: Male
Class: Shovel Knight Affinity: Neutral
Lifeforce: 2,000/2,000(3,300) Death Energy: 5,350/5,750
Strength: 353(423) [+ 50] Dexterity: 303(363) [+ 50]
Constitution: 353(423) [+ 50] Agility: 343 [+ 50]
Charisma: 300 [+ 47] Ingenuity: 653 [+ 50]
Defense: 263(3,263) [+ 50] Immunity: 131 [+ 50]
Soul Power: 5,000 Luck: 100(105)


"Wow..." Daz unconsciously gasped at the massive stat boost. 'Wow... For a greater soul, isn't fifty points per stat too much? I even reached the cap on charisma for a Reaper... I wonder... The Wyverns from Camp Waterford, does Greg still have their bodies?'

Daz was having selfish thoughts. Even if the boss monster amongst those subspecies Dragons only gave fifteen, or even ten stat points, Daz wanted its soul. He'd have to immediately get a hold of that as soon as he possibly could.

"All done?" Adam asked as he kicked himself off of the wall and put his finished cigarette in a little metal container which he'd seemingly pulled out of nowhere.

Daz clenched his fist and smiled. "Yeah, thanks."

"Well then," Adam sighed and lit up a new smoke before continued with, "It's probably best if you leave now then, right? I'm sure you have more preparations to do back at your base."

"Sounds good. I trust I'll be given a vehicle?" Daz asked as he and Adam went back up the hallway to the surface.

"Rocky spoke to me and Commander Zach extensively. It's been decided that we'll give you a single tank to help reduce the difficulty for us tomorrow. Mind you though, do anything funny with it, and we'll blow both you and the tank up," Adam said nonchalantly.

"That's fair enough. By the way, I have no experience driving a tank, so you wouldn't happen to have a manual or two on it, would you?" Daz replied, not taking Adam's threat all that seriously.

A thick book suddenly appearing in Adam's hand and he gave it to the young Reaper. 'Such a handy class skill,' Daz thought to himself as he watched that.


Smoke Dimension [B-Rank (Higher Tier)]

A skill unique to Smoke Manipulators.

It allows the host to store and retrieve things from a very small personal dimension.

Grants access to a 2 meter squared dimension of smoke.
Can store anything except for living matter.


"I'll explain the basics now, so read the book as you travel back. It shouldn't be too tough though, after all, the tank that you're getting, the M1 Abrams, it's pretty easy to operate since Commander Zach used the system to forcefully make it and the other tanks easier to use, so don't stress over it," Adam said calmly. 

He wasn't particularly happy giving away a perfectly good death machine to a person that he could have called a complete stranger only twelve hours ago, but he had no choice since both his leader and his peer had agreed that it would be better to get rid of the machine rather than let it be their doom. One less tank meant one less thing for the system to factor into their difficulty, not to mention, it would be one less target for Ed and his raiders.

Now stood in a large hanger of sorts, Adam looked at Daz and questioned him. "Well, got it?"

"I think so. This Zach guy really simplified it, huh? That must have cost him a lot of merit points," the masked Reaper responded as he looked at the large vehicle that had an enormous rifle barrel on it with interest.

From Adam's explanation, it would seem like the way to drive this forty-year-old tank was by using two levers for speed and two more for direction while there was a rotatable stick that acted as the aiming function for the cannon.

Obviously, there were several other parts that couldn't be made easier with Zach's available merit points, which was why Daz was given the instruction manual, but, with the basic knowledge Adam had told him, he could, at the very least, move the M1 Abrams.

Daz walked around the vehicle and decided to use his skill, Higher Identification on it.


M1 Abrams Military Tank [A-Rank (Lower Tier)]

A powerful machine designed for movement over long distances in a war zone and it possesses immense destructive capabilities.

It weighs 54 tonnes and it is recommended that at least four people work together as a commander/machine gunner, a gunner, a loader and a driver, though due to the modifications, it is possible for a single person the run it without much difficulty.

It has been modified by the host, Commander Zach, to be operable by anyone without needing months or years of training.

Durability: 7,000 Speed: 100
Attack: 3,000 Ramming: 1,000
 Interactive System Interface
Burst Rounds


Interactive System Interface
Allows the vehicle's commander to operate most of the integral components via the system when in use.


Burst Rounds
Consumes 5 105 mm L/52 rounds to fire the rifled cannon in a rapid burst. Overheats the main gun and requires ten minutes to cool down.


"It's a pretty amazing piece of tech, isn't it?" Daz admired.

Adam laughed lightly. "It holds up pretty well for something from the seventies. It's a shame it's not the latest model, but hey, you use what you've got, right?"

"Exactly," Daz agreed. "Is there anything that Gem Kingdom needs? I'd feel bad taking this off of your hands even if it does help you guys out."

Adam looked a bit surprised before he groaned and shook his head. "Nah. If anything, we only need to get rid of those damned Raiders and Ed, but he's too well-armed and it'd be a waste of resources and lives to attack him."

"Consider it done," Daz replied without any hesitation.

"What?" Adam thought he'd misheard. "There's no way. Ed has three tanks and forty men, all of which have at least a few C-rank skills and maybe a single B-rank one. Ed himself has two S-rank skills and his weapon is his own arm."

'His own arm? What the hell does that mean? He's skilled at martial arts, or maybe a metal arm or something? It hardly matters regardless,' Daz said to himself as he stared at the system notification in front of him.


Congratulations! You have been given bonus information related to your quest [Adventure Out of Waterford!]. Please refer to the quest to see the changes in the objective and rewards.


'It's a bit different to the bonus that was offered in the dungeon, but let's see this, system, show me my quest, 'Adventure Out of Waterford', please,' Daz politely requested.


Quest Title: Adventure Out of Waterford!
Quest Type: Side
Quest Difficulty: A-Rank
Quest Goal
Leave Waterford with the ruler, Rocky, and his aide, Adam. Head to their base and safely return today with their gifts.
Additional Bonus Goals
Stop the approaching Raiders from looting Gem Kingdom.
Kill or capture the Raider's leader, Edward Flint.
Quest Rewards
100,000 Merit Points.
An unbreakable relationship with Ruler Rocky and his base.
A Random B-rank [Middle-tier] skill or item.
10 points to every stat.


'Yup, even if it's a bit dangerous, maybe even life-threatening, I have no choice here. These rewards are too good. I wonder if Crusher got the update to the quest as well? No matter, I'll tell her anyway. It's a bit concerning that it says 'approaching'. I guess that means they're already on their way,' Daz concluded.

"I'll be fine, Adam. I might not look it, but I'm not the easiest nut to crack. Crusher is also stronger than I am. By the way, the system just told me that Edward and his Raiders are all coming here right now," Daz announced.

Adam's face paled. "Is that true?! Ed himself is coming?"

"Why would I lie?" Daz asked.

"Fuck!" Adam seemed a bit panicky and he paced around until he stopped in his tracks. "Wait, why would he attack in the middle of the day? He has Harriot with him, so wouldn't he know that both you and Crusher are here and that you're both really powerful?"

Daz's eyes shone slightly. "Does Edward know that you guys are looking to get rid of the tanks?"

Adam gasped in realisation. "That bastard! He's waiting until you two leave with a tank, lowering our Defenses... Fuck! You're one-hundred percent sure that he's coming with all of his people, right?"

"Unless the system lied to me, then yeah, I'm sure, but don't worry. I'm confident Crusher and I can take them down on our own," Daz said in an almost arrogant tone.

He knew that it would be a tough fight, but if he worked together with Crusher and resummoned his clone and Rimmy, the young Reaper was certain that he could destroy the three enemy tanks before they could cause any serious damages.

Most importantly, if it was only the two of them battling, he could spare the lives of all of Rocky's citizens, which in turn, meant saving his future citizens.

Adam held his forehead and seemed to be deep in thought. "Okay, this is what we'll do. We have time since he shouldn't move until you guys have left, so come with me. We're going to discuss a strategy with Rocky and Commander Zach."

"Sure, that's fine," Daz responded with a shrug. 'It doesn't really matter, I won't let any of you help us anyway. I'm not letting my people die.' 

The young Reaper already considered all of Earth's residents as his own subjects. Whether this was a positive change in the man would remain to be seen.

"They're finally leaving. You were right, Harriot. They actually gave away a tank to those strangers. Good job, this'll make things easier," Edward praised as he watched the M1 Abrams slowly roll away from the retractable bridge that led to Middletown.

"T-Thank you, Edward..." Harriot still wasn't convinced that they had to get the Baetylus' body, and she didn't feel comfortable attacking her former comrades. The young woman wished that she hadn't run away with Edward and his faction during the fourth attack, even if she recognized that his motives weren't inherently wrong.

"Don't look at me like that," Edward said after having obviously noticed the despondent gaze in Harriot's eyes.

The bespectacled woman seemed a bit flustered, but she still managed to utter out a reply. "Ah, um, I'm sorry, Edward."

As he cracked his neck and cut his cigar, a sympathetic expression took a hold of Edward's face. "You understand that we need the power of that body, don't you?"

"Y-Yes Edward. I know. Without it, we can't bring her back..." Harriot seemed genuinely upset, and for once, she actually agreed with the muscular and frightening man in front of her.

"Exactly. The system is absolute. It's Ben's fault for not understanding that her value is enough to justify the deaths necessary to restore her." Edward grit his teeth and closed his eyes and the image of a certain girl flooded his mind.

As soon as he regained his focus, an almost crazed look possessed his face. "I will see her again, and nothing will stand in my way... not Ben... not Adam or Zach... nothing."

A note from Lone

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  • The Scottish Slothy Sloth

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