The night had come and gone and it was now morning in Fort Skip. Daz looked at the alarm clock that was lightly ringing and saw that it was seven o'clock.
He had practised his Grave of The Humans skill with the help of Cecil in The God of Shovels' dreamscape, but apparently he still wasn't allowed to upgrade it, so he put that matter in the back of his mind and was now ready to get up and start spending his merit points, however, there were a few things he needed to do first.
Carefully peeling Madison off from himself, Daz lightly whispered, "Maddy, it's morning. Try not to sleep for too long, okay? And make sure to remember to withdraw and spend your merit points before the attack."
"Mmm," Madison muttered in response lazily.
Daz smiled wryly and got up before getting dressed. "I'll give you a kiss if you're up within the next twenty minutes. I want you to prepare because I'd like to fight you before the attack starts."
Without questioning him in the slightest, Madison shot up and fell out of the bed as she scrambled to find some clothes and her hairbrush.
Daz smirked. "You've got twenty minutes. Don't rush." He then walked towards the door before he added, "I'll be in the living room when you're ready."
Daz left the adorably frantic Madison and made his way to the coffee machine in the kitchen portion of the living room.
Once there, he noticed that Rose was resting on the sofa like yesterday. There was a small man on her laptop's screen who was moving around and performing a variety of tasks at her commands. He also had a strange looking gem floating above his head.
"It's rare for you to wake up before me," Daz noted as his hands moved in a practised manner as he made his morning coffee.
Rose clicked on her mousepad a few times and the man she was controlling jumped into a swimming pool. A few clicks later and the ladder to get out was gone. "You're right, it is rare. I wonder why you're mentioning that though? You woke up before I did."
"Hmm?" Daz tilted his head as he took his coffee and sat down on one of the two leather-padded seats next to the sofa Rose was sprawled out on.
The man on Rose's screen cried for help several times since he couldn't escape the swimming pool and he eventually ended up dying, presumably from exhaustion or drowning, Daz concluded.
Rose closed the game and looked at her brother as her hands continued to type and open up another programme. "I need to sleep first before I wake up, right?"
Daz frowned. "You didn't sleep? That's not good for you. You don't have a resistance or immunity towards the need to sleep."
"I know," Rose sighed. "I was too busy though, so I couldn't afford to doze off. I'll sleep during the attack, don't worry."
"Good. So, what was so important that you pulled an all-nighter for it?" Daz questioned as he sipped his drink.
"This," Rose calmly said as she pointed her laptop's screen at Daz, showing him a single line of text.
"Warning. Tomorrow's attack shall face weather more dramatic and record-shattering than the Earth year of two-thousand and sixteen. Please, prepare." Daz read the sentence aloud.
"Was there a new record for some sort of weather two years ago? I'm really concerned with this punctuation though. A period after every word? It's just as bad as Maddy when she talks," Daz said as he looked at the words a second time.
"I think I know who it's from and I definitely know what it's referring to, though it did take me all night to figure it out." Rose pouted.
Before Rose could explain further, the door swung open and a fully dressed and cleaned up Madison flung herself onto Daz and kissed him.
"That was faster than I expected," Daz laughed.
"Kiss, wanted," Madison replied as she carefully got off of Daz and sat down on the other leather chair.
Madison glanced at Rose's computer screen and tilted her head. "Record?" she then held her chin cutely before her eyes shone. "Hottest, year. Heat, today?"
Rose's jaw almost hit the floor. "It took me all night to figure that out... but you... Kuh! How frustrating!"
"Ah, now that you mention it, twenty-sixteen was fairly hot, wasn't it? Well, it should be easier to deal with than the snow yesterday was, though I am a bit concerned about the monsters." Daz began thinking about what the system might select to attack them today.
Rose could do nothing but sigh. "You're not interested in who sent the message?"
"Well, that's obvious, isn't it?" Daz responded lightly.
"What?" Rose was a bit shocked. "It is?"
"It was obviously the god who you're a champion of. My bet is on The God of Knowledge or The God of Wisdom," Daz said a little bit smugly. He was happy to have surprised Rose for once. She was usually the one who was several steps ahead since she was so intelligent.
"Oh, you must be a champion as well then, huh, Daz? I didn't realise The God of Idiots was participating in this 'adaptability test'," Rose growled with her usual sarcasm.
"Says the girl who didn't realise that it should be impossible to block my Higher Identification unless you have a higher ranked skill, and that means that you had either spend a ludicrous amount of points, which is impossible for you, or you were chosen by a god to be their champion," Daz pointed out.
Rose simply glared at Daz before she loaded up her game again. "By the way, it's The God of Information, not The God of Wisdom or Knowledge."
"Ah, That's right. I actually got supported by that god after yesterday's attack. So you're his champion? I'm surprised you were made a champion of a god considering your condition, but since it's The God of Information, I can understand." Daz nodded before he added, "Also, is there a big difference between those gods?"
"Yes, two are lesser gods while the other is a higher god. Did you get taught nothing in your god's dreamscape?" Rose's replied snarkily.
"Only combat skills and some racial information. By the way, what's your dreamscape like? Mine's a graveyard. Fitting for The God of Shovels, I suppose," Daz said as he finished his coffee.
"It's a large room with nothing but computer servers in it. I can also walk in there, which is... strange," Rose claimed.
Madison's eyes shone and she knelt down next to Rose and held her hands, pulling them away from the laptop's keyboard. "You, walk? Was, fun?"
Rose blushed. "Y-Yeah..."
Madison's eyes were shining and Daz was sure that if her face were to make an expression, it would be smiling from ear to ear. "Happy."
"How heartwarming." Reika was looking at Rose and Madison with an almost enchanted expression.
She never had a real family in her old life. Reika's father, the Demon Lord, sheltered her and was always busy so he could never visit her, and her mother had died shortly after Reika's birth, so she had never been able to feel the warmth of a parent.
"We are jealous," Reika honestly spoke.
"Hey, you have me," Daz lightly joked in a whisper.
Reika smiled. "Indeed, we do, don't we?"
"A-Anyway," still embarrassed, Rose pushed Madison away and continued explaining. "There are three tiers of gods: Lesser, Middle, and lastly, Higher."
"From what I know, there are hundreds of lesser gods, zero middle gods, and only sixteen higher gods. The only gods I'm aware of are The Lesser Gods of Information and Knowledge, and The Higher God of Wisdom, their superior." Rose shrugged a bit as she started playing her game again.
"I know a lot more gods than you, surprisingly. Most of them are lesser gods, but I have heard of a few higher gods from items, skills and attack status pages," Daz said.
"Please, I'm all ears. The more I know, the more I can infer." Rose had expected this because Daz had been very active since the apocalypse started and he had a better access level than she did to the system's shop.
"I don't know anything about them, but five more of the higher gods are, The God of Death, The God of Order, The God of Chaos, The God of Strength and The God of Dreams. Like I said, I'm in the dark on what they do and who they are beyond the things they are gods of," Daz said with a light sigh.
"Ah," coming to a moment of realisation, Daz added, "but there is one curious detail I nearly forgot about."
"Hmm?" Rose tore her attention away from her game and looked at her brother.
"Well, during the first cycle, I was actually forcefully brought to my god's dreamscape early and soon removed from it by the higher god, The God of Order. So I'm wondering if there was a big reason behind that or if it was just a mistake. The God of Shovels is still supporting me and giving me merit points after attacks, so I'm not sure if it was serious or not," Daz explained.
"I know nothing about that," Rose replied while she looked at Daz like he was an idiot. "Maybe ask your god the next time you see him?"
"I'll do that," Daz jokingly replied in response to Rose's sarcasm.
"Anyway," Daz said, "You mentioned that there aren't any middle gods, right? Do you know why, or is that also a blank spot for you?" he asked.
Rose stuck her tongue out playfully. "I have no idea. It took a lot of digging in the database to even figure out that middle gods once existed. Maybe they were wiped out by the higher gods, or they could have all died in a great war? Who knows."
"Hmm... Well, regardless, thanks. I appreciate all of the info, Rose," Daz wholehearted thanked.
"Y-Yeah, don't mention it..." Again, Rose was getting embarrassed. She found it difficult to act rude when people were being genuinely nice to her, so she was left in a tough spot.
To shift the atmosphere, Rose closed her laptop and looked at Madison. "Maddy, can you carry me down to the dungeon? I wanna sleep and I can't do it in here if I want to avoid the coming heat."
"Yep." Madison happily nodded her head.
Daz walked over to Rose and kissed her lightly on the forehead. "I'll see you after the attack then. I need to go prepare and tell everyone about the heat. If you get a good idea or something like that, just ask any of the soldiers down in the dungeon to relay it to me, okay?"
"Stupid brother..." Rose mumbled as she rubbed her forehead. "I got it. You can leave now. You smell."
Daz chuckled lightly. "I could use a bath, couldn't I?"
With that, the Reaper left the cabin. Immediately, a warm wind breezed past his face. "Heat, huh? How to prepare for heat...?"
Daz made his way to the bank first and withdrew his merit points. It was time to spend his nearly one-million points and prepare. Daz's only goal this attack was to not let anyone die.
In any other base leaders' eyes, this mission of Daz's would have seemed like a joke of some sort. Even for the champions of the higher gods, deaths were unavoidable, however, Daz was special. He wasn't any old lesser gods' champion, no, he was the champion of The God of Shovels!
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