Daz watched this unknown Asian man as he got off of the black cloud he was sitting on and patiently stood outside of the barrier. The man looked no older than himself, and he had a loose smile on his handsome face.
"Everyone, return to Fort Skip... I'm going to go see if I can talk to him. He hasn't moved for a while now, so here's hoping he can be reasoned with," Daz said.
Crusher snorted. "We should just crush him. Do you really think he can beat me, you, Madison, Barbarossa, Ahab, the squirts, your toy soldiers and the base's weapons? This is stupid."
The ex-cosplayers felt their faces heating up at Crusher's way of addressing them. Lyle was busy mumbling to himself in depression at not being mentioned while Edward and Dorian just sighed. William didn't really care what people other than his Lord called him or his soldiers.
'Barbarossa...? Again, her nicknaming sense never fails to amaze me.' Daz shook his head at Crusher's words. "The system thinks he has a chance, so I'm not willing to take any risks. Just trust me, I have a plan."
"Fine," Crusher huffed before she turned around and heading back into Fort Skip.
Everyone else soon followed her. Madison stayed for a moment a lightly kissed Daz before saying, "Stay, safe."
"I will," Daz replied as he grinned.
Now alone, the young Reaper carefully strode towards the man dressed casually. As he got closer and closer, Daz could make out more of the man's details.
He was wearing an expensive-looking dress-shirt under a thick jacket which Daz didn't doubt was purchased from the system. Oddly enough, he was also sporting a pair of knee-long shorts and some ordinary-looking sandals, both of which gave Daz a bad feeling. The shoulder pad strapped to the man's left arm intrigued Daz, as did his peculiar-looking backpack. The final thing of note was the massive scythe the man was holding without any effort.
Daz only stopped approaching once he was a few feet away from this champion of a higher god. Each man stood on one side of the magical barrier.
"Yo," Shen Mu happily greeting.
"... Yo." Daz's voice was dripping with caution.
"My name is Shen Mu. What is yours?" Mu asked with clear, but overly formal, English.
"... Daz." The young Reaper was surprised at how... pleasant this man seemed to be. Of course, he remained vigilant in case this was some sort of ploy to lower his guard, but still, Mu's behaviour was a far cry from what Daz had expected.
"I need one minute, please," Mu requested before he laid his scythe down on the ground and took his backpack off.
Daz watched in amazement as Mu pulled out a little book titled 'English For Beginners' in both English and what was presumably a Chinese language.
Mu ran his finger across the pages until he had found what he wanted. "I want to fight you. I will use half of my spaghetti... half of my strength. If you win, I will become your citizen. I know about bushes. Wait... bases, not bushes. If I win, I will take the merit points of everyone here. Deal?"
Daz was sweating at these words despite how humorous his mistakes had been. However, he did see the great opportunity that was being afforded to him.
Naturally, he wouldn't be able to just give up and accept these demands without first negotiating.
'Judging from his pitch black eyes and hair, he either has extremely Asian blood, or he's a different race of Reaper than I am. I can feel it. We're the same in some regard... If grey means a normal Reaper and light-grey like mine is a Justice Reaper, then it's safe to assume that he's gone the other direction. Probably a Corruption Reaper or a Death Reaper. It's hard to tell without identifying him first,' Daz concluded.
Of course, if he wasn't so scared that Mu would be able to detect him using the skill, then Daz would have used Higher Identification in a flash. He wanted to try to de-escalate the situation first though before he used that ability on the man in front of him.
"I have a better idea," Daz claimed in a calm and relaxed voice.
Mu raised an eyebrow before he flipped through the book once more. "'I have a better idea...' 'I have a better idea...' Ah! Okay. I am willing to hear you out, my friend."
'He's really trying to learn English properly instead of just using the system to buy a translation skill or something?' Daz was getting increasingly interested in this man's actions.
"How about I give you a base of your own? This entire city is mine. It has two bases in it, the fort you see behind me, and a military camp on the other side of town. If you can follow some basic rules of mine, you're free to do what you want and own that place," Daz offered.
He currently had no use for Camp Waterford, and he was fairly certain that he wouldn't be able to get Mu to just outright leave. Daz wasn't an idiot and he was aware of how badly this man wanted to fight him. He felt it in his blood.
Mu spent about three minutes scouring the book for the words that Daz had said until he finally replied. "Maybe. It would depend on the rules. Also, we still must fish today. Wait, fight, we must fight today."
Daz sighed. "Okay, we can fight, but only if you agree to my terms. I can promise a fight today and twice every resting period. Would that satisfy you?"
A few minutes later, Mu nodded his head with great speed. "Yes! That is acceptable. I will change the rules of the battle. If you do not die, I will do as you wish if I agree to your rules, however, if you somehow win this battle, you are not allowed to kill me."
'So he's not an idiot. Tch, this might be a bit easier if he just looked down on me and assumed victory was his,' Daz lamented internally.
He still thanked his Legendary Gift of the Gab skill for doing its job, but he would rather dispose of such a powerful loose-cannon than have it lying around just waiting to fire off.
"That sounds fair enough. My rules are very simple. Never harm a citizen under my control. You won't need to fight for the city if we eventually enter some sort of city warfare, I respect your freedom, however, you will never be allowed to cause harm to anything I own on purpose or as a result of you refusing to take action that would prevent such harm. Does that sound okay to you?" Daz said very rapidly.
Mu's eyebrows creased up and his face looked pained. "I need a few minutes, please."
"Take as much time as you need," Daz replied as he used another part of the Legendary Gift of The Gab skill.
|Thought seed [Daz can be trusted and isn't trying to trick me] has been successfully implanted into the host: Shen Mu.|
With this notification, Daz could feel at least somewhat relieved.
Eventually, Mu put his book away and tossed his backpack aside. "I agree." After saying that, Mu purchased a contract from the system that would forcefully bind the two of them to agree to each other's terms.
After the two had signed. the contract disappeared into a well of light. Now there was no going back for either of them.
Without wasting any more time, Mu raised his scythe and swung it down towards Daz the second he left Fort Skip's barrier. He would have preferred to fight within the range of the ballista and the lightning tower, but Mu had made it clear in the contract that Daz was only allowed to use his own power to fight with.
Barely dodging the attack, Daz gripped Hamson and began thinking as quickly as he could. 'That was fast. I almost didn't evade it in time. His base stats must be incredible... Okay, let's go with Justice Chains first and take a second to Identify hi-'
Daz's thinking was cut off by an immense pain in his left arm. He turned his head slightly only to notice that the arm in question was gone. In its place was a massive black flame that was trying its best to consume him whole.
He didn't know what had happened, but without any hesitation, Daz lopped off the remnants of his arm, making the black flames fall onto the ground.
Daz used some of his Death Energy to replace the now missing arm. His only remaining limb that was actually made of flesh now was his left leg.
Thankfully, Daz could rely on his stats to slowly close the gaping wound above his armpit. It hurt like a bitch and was bleeding quite badly, but Daz believed that he'd be fine... for now.
Mu looked surprised. "I aimed for your leg too."
"Reika, cover Hamson," Daz ordered while he ignored Mu's frightening words.
Daz launched himself at Mu and used Justice Chains. Hundreds, if not thousands of light-grey shackles sprung forth from the ground and completely surrounded Mu.
'Just how many crimes has this guy committed?!' Daz was shocked beyond belief. Weaving his way through the chains, he tried to stab directly into Mu's flesh.
Naturally, Mu could see the attack coming even if he was immobilised. He didn't panic nor did he retaliate. He simply remained there and watched as the crimson-coloured shovel approached his skin.
Daz was shocked that Mu wasn't screaming out in pain as he experienced all of the crimes he had committed, but that was probably due to him being a Reaper and being immune to soul attacks. At least that's what Daz hoped. Worst case scenario, he had an even more powerful ability that was helping him avoid the mental pain.
Just before Hamson made contact, the straps from Mu's sandals slapped the shovel's blade out of way, making Hamson accidentally sever at least a dozen of the Justice Chains. Daz could feel that the pressure on his chains was immense. Mu was about to break free with his raw power much like how General Retford had managed to.
As he was creating some distance between himself and Mu, Daz made sure to use his Higher Identification. At this point, he didn't care if Mu could detect it or not since they were already battling.
|The host [Shen Mu] has discovered your usage of [Higher Identification]. The host [Shen Mu] has allowed you to see only his status page excluding its description.|
|Shen Mu's Status|
|Class:||Scythe God||Affinity:||Chaotic Neutral|
|The host currently has 8 empty stat slots.|
Daz sucked in a breath of cold air. 'His stats are double or triple mine. Disregarding the fact that he's ignoring his additional stat slots, one-million Soul Power?! What the fuck? How many souls has he absorbed? And he's never used them to boost his attacks before... If he threw all of that into a single attack... He could wipe out a city easily.'
He was baffled at the fact that Mu was labelled as chaotic neutral, not chaotic evil considering how many crimes he'd obviously committed, but he had no time to think on this. With the sound of thousands of chains shattering, Mu was free.
A charming laugh rang through the air. "You are cool." After praising Daz like that, Mu attacked with his scythe once again.
Daz could sense the soul power rolling off of the scythe's blade. It would be impossible to dodge, so Daz decided to block it with Hamson.
The two weapons met and clashed fiercely. Mu looked surprised that Hamson was holding its own against his scythe. "That is a very strange soul attached to a very strange shovel."
"Thanks." Daz grinned as he jumped back, ending the conflict between weapons that he felt like he was losing due to Mu's absurd strength.
Once again though, Mu's attack had somehow sneaked onto Daz's body. Now his left leg was covered in that weird black flame.
Gritting his teeth, Daz chopping it off. Now every single one of Daz's limbs was made of Death Energy.
Mu frowned. "This is not as fun as I had hoped it would be. I should end this."
After saying that, Mu spun his scythe around in a circle repeatedly until a whirlwind of air was formed in front of him.
As much as he tried to avoid it, Daz was inevitably hit since he wasn't used to having two weightless legs. His body was torn to shreds. Even with the help of Altros' gear and his high stats, Daz couldn't possibly ignore the millions of tiny wind blades that were cutting deeply into his flesh.
Only after suffering through this for several minutes did Mu finally stop. Daz was now nothing more than a bloody mess on the ground.
Mu walked next to him. "I am disappointed. I am also surprised. None of the other strong people are coming here. How weird."
Daz could barely see, but his blood-covered face sported a smile. "Because... it's not.. over... yet..."
"What?" Mu was confused. How could it possibly not be over yet? Daz was almost dead while Mu was as good as new minus a bit of used up Death Energy.
It was then that Daz mumbled a skill's name in his mind. Mu was sent flying across the field and all of the bones in his body were simultaneously broken. Now in the place where the Death Reaper once was stood a majestic and mighty man made of jewels.
The thirty-foot tall Rimmy looked straight at Mu and roared. "RIMMY!"
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