Shovels In Spades



Book 2 Chapter 39: Chains and Rage


A note from Lone

First guaranteed chapter of the week.

Just behaviour or treatment such as a concern for justice, peace, and genuine respect for people.
Effect and Limit
Increases other beings' faith in your words when there is any conflict in interests by 0.1% per stat point.
Limit of 10,000 stat points for a Justice Reaper.


A form of dishonesty undertaken by a person entrusted with a position of authority, often to acquire personal benefit.
Effect and Limit
Increases the chance for the host's acts of corruption to go unpunished by 0.1% per stat point.
Limit of 10,000 stat points for a Justice Reaper.


"Should a Justice Reaper really have both of these stats? System, can both of these be acquired at the same time?" Daz asked with curiosity in his voice.


Denied. By acting corrupt, the host shall lose Justice stat points and eventually earn Corruption stat points. The reverse also holds true. These stats cannot be purchased with merit points nor boosted via outside sources. They must be earned via the host's actions.


"Oh, not too overpowered then. That's a shame," Daz sighed.

If he could, Daz would have worked on these two stats simultaneously and enjoyed the perks from both of them, but now he had to make a decision. From what he could see, in the future, he would probably have to act as the moral compass for his people, so Justice was more than likely the better choice.

"System, does absorbing souls affect these stats?" the young man asked.


Denied. The only way to increase either of these stats is to act just or corrupt.


"So that's counted as an outside source. I see." Daz held his chin and remained lost in thought for a few minutes.

"Well, not much point in thinking over it anymore. There are a few things I need to do before the attack. Firstly, Reika," Daz called out to the lazy soul that was laying on top of his head.

'Hmm?' She floated in front of his face and looked at Daz quizzically.

'Justice Reaper's Gaze.' Daz activated his new skill mentally and a system notification filled his vision.


Reika's Crime List
Accidentally murdered the Human Hero [Relias Lordhold].
Purposefully attempted to harm the Reaper Lord [Daz] with no excusable justification.


"It's not as accurate as I'd like... Hmm, it's certainly better than nothing. Maybe it gets more precise as it levels up?" Daz mumbled to himself.

Reika cocked her head in a similar fashion to Madison and Rimmy before she said, 'What's not as accurate? We are curious.'

Daz waved his hand dismissively and replied, "It's nothing. Just a new skill to help me judge what kind of a person someone is before I actually get to know them."

Reika returned to Daz's light-grey, almost white, hair and tried to get as comfortable as an intangible soul could get. 'We do not understand. Is that important?'

"Very. It will let me know if I can trust others or if I should be wary around them. It will also make it impossible for them to hide certain things from me," Daz claimed in a very factual manner.

Reika frowned. 'You are a very paranoid man. We had noticed this, but we have only just now thought that maybe you are even more worried about these things than our father was.'

"Your fathers sounds like he was a wise man in his days," Daz retorted defensively. He didn't appreciate being called out on his tendencies, even if it was true.

'Maybe, but he was still killed in the end. His paranoia made it impossible for him to accept any help from the other Demon factions, leading to his, and consequently, our, eventual downfall.' Reika was being uncommonly serious this morning.

"I won't make that mistake. I'm already surrounded by people that I trust and believe in. This is simply another way to help increase the number of such people," Daz explaining in a relaxed tone as he got up and left the cabin.

The tiny Demon Princess' soul smiled sweetly and responded with, 'We see.'

Daz was now stood outside of the training area near the barracks, and he was surprised to see that General Retford and all his men were training there despite the fact that the sun had yet to rise. The only exceptions to this were the two guards stationed outside of Daz's home.

General Retford noticed his lord watching them, so he ordered his men to do some simple exercises before he walked over to Daz and greeted him. "My Lord, what brings you here at this hour?"

He took a mental note of the change in his lord's hair, limb and eye colour, and he could also feel that Daz had grown stronger in some way. The General wasn't fully confident now that he could defeat his lord as easily as he could have a couple of days ago.

"I wanna perform a quick test, Will. Got a minute or two?" Daz asked with a small smile on his face, hoping to get a light reaction out of the General for using a nickname.

As expected, William's eyebrows shot up and he was trying his best to suppress his annoyance. He placed a fist oh his chest and replied, "Of course, My Lord."

'If you never rose to it, Will, I'd never try to tick you off with it,' Daz teased silently before he used his Justice Reaper's Gaze skill on his hired General.


William Retford's Crime List
Twelve minor accounts of theft as a child.
Fourteen cases of minor assault.
Murder of the King of Humptonshire [Lagdon Maxton the 12th].
Fleeing the country with his men to avoid persecution.


'Well, that's an issue. I just realised, this skill gives me almost no context. Did he straight up commit regicide, or was he trying to overthrow a tyrant? Oh well, it doesn't really matter much since the system ensures his loyalty. Now, to test my other skill... Justice Chains,' Daz activated his second skill on the General now that he was aware of his past crimes.

Immediately, two-thousand and eight-hundred points of Daz's death energy was consumed and twenty-eight light-grey and ghastly-looking chains sprung up from the ground before they coiled around William and almost encased him entirely.

"My Lord! What is the meaning of this?!" General Retford was now very angry.

He used his full power and called upon the strength of the lion-spirit living within his soul to manifest into the real world. A large two-headed beast of pure majesty appeared in astral form and roared loudly. With the aid of this beast, Willam was able to destroy fifteen of the chains, while a few seconds later, he was able to shatter the rest with his own force.

The two-headed lion faded back into nothingness and William fell forward. He landed on his palms and sweat was practically oozing out of him. "Why... Why did you do that to me?! The past... I wanted to forget the past, you bastard!"

"What? That past?" Daz was confused. 'System, explain to me, what exactly are the Justice Chains beyond what the skill tells me they are?'



Confirmed. [Justice Chains] created by Justice Reapers, as opposed to being created by another species, will induce visions of the target's past crimes, making them experience these transgressions from the victim's side instead. It is a brutal method designed by the Reaper species to torture criminals.


"Sheesh, no wonder everyone apparently hates us..." Daz mumbled.

The young Reaper then walked over to the General and offered him a hand. William was hesitant, but he could see that his Lord didn't expect such images to appear in his head, so he chose to stay sceptical as he took the offered palm and got back on his feet.

"I didn't know they'd do that. I was under the impression that they'd only hold you in place. By the way, you've committed a lot of crimes before. Mind telling me, why'd you kill the king of your old home?" Daz asked with a calm and relaxed manner.

William's eyes opened in shock momentarily before he sighed. "Nothing can escape those dead eyes of yours, can they? He was a maniacal murderer hellbent on bringing our kingdom to ruin in the face of the system's trials. He had to be stopped. It was as simple as that."

"I see," seemingly satisfied with that answer, Daz nodded and continued, "Again, sorry about this. It's a new skill and I wanted to test it. I didn't realise it would have such a powerful effect. I won't ever use it again on you or your men."

General Retford stood in a daze for a moment after hearing Daz's words. 'Has something changed in the lord? He seems... different. No matter, if he's done here, then good.'

"If that is all, My Lord, I would like to resume the personal training of the soldiers. I would also like to let you know that four of my best men have already perfected the way to operate that 'tank' of yours and it will be ready for usage this afternoon," Willian said as he saluted.

"That's great," Daz smiled. "Oh, right, that reminds me. I don't know if you can do anything about it, but it is very likely that it will snow heavily during the battle today. I'll be setting up some countermeasures, but I thought it'd be best if I let you know as well."

"Snow? Okay, thank you for informing me, My Lord. There is little that I can do, but I will see if can come up with something to make it easier if it does, indeed, snow," William nodded.

"I appreciate it," Daz replied and then left the lion-like man to do other things.

Pala was anxiously pacing around in Informazione's small bits and bobs shop in the realm of the Lesser Gods.

"You're sure you sent the information?" the God of Shovels asked the Cyborg as he chewed on his fingernails in worry.

"Yes. Biting. Nails. Stop. It. Not. Healthy. For. Your. Mind," the silver mechanical man replied monotonously.

Pala's pacing only sped up and he threw his long trenchcoat across the room, making a few trinkets fall over as it crashed onto a table. "I can't believe those bastards!"

The enraged God kicked a small wind-up toy dog, sending it flying through the room. Luckily, Informazione caught it before it could crash and break. "Those selfish Higher Gods! Offering millions of divine crystals to the system so their personal champions would get an easier additional factor in their tests! Bastards! The lot of them!"

"Pala. Your. Rage. Calm. It. Information. Already. Sent. By. Me. My. Champion. Has. Relayed. It. To. Yours," Informazione, despite his lack of a distinctive tone, was quite clearly concerned about his close friend and brother Lesser God.

"Yes, but what of the others?! How many champions of our comrades will die due to this unexpected curve in difficulty?! It is infuriating!" Pala's face was red with anger.

"Nothing. Could. Be. Done. Believe. In. Them. If. They. Fail. We. Must. Rely. On. Your. Champion's. Strength. He. Is. The. Strongest. Amongst. All. Of. The. Lesser. Gods'. Champions. After. All," Informazione consoled as best as he could.

Pala wanted to retort, but he knew that the God of Information was right. Rare was it that this Cyborg ever got anything wrong, so Pala sighed and sat down. "It just pains me to know that his hard work, some of it will be wasted due to the whimsical system."

"True." Informazione didn't try to deny it. "I. Could. Not. Give. The. Full. Details. To. My. Champion. Unless. I wanted. To. Be. Discovered. They. Cannot. Fully. Prepare. Deaths. Are. A. Certainty."

Pala closed his eyes and covered his face with his hands. "You're right. At this point, we've done all that we could. We need to hope that none of the powerful ones by his side fall. He needs to adapt quickly to this cycle. Like you said, he very well could become the very last hope for our people."

Informazione nodded solemnly. The odds were ever stacked against them, but they would regain their long-lost freedom. Daz was the key, and they were willing to do anything in their power if it ensured that he could successfully unlock the shackles binding them.

A note from Lone

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  • The Scottish Slothy Sloth

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