A suffocating feeling was hanging in the air of the Chamber of Council. All of the higher gods found themselves holding their breath as they witnessed the scene before them.
Morte was in the centre of the pure-white room, and his screams pierced even their very souls. Several hours passed like that before his nearly-lifeless body scattered down onto the ground.
Every higher god then received a message from the system.
|Punishment had been dealt out to the host, [Morte]. 80% of his will has been erased and he will now serve as the system's puppet in your council. Do not make his mistake and assume your freedom equates to the system's weakness. You are all disposable.|
That was the only message that every god saw, every god except for Ordine. He received a second, more personal, notification.
|Your meddling with the test on [Earth] coincides with the system's goals, so it shall be allowed to be continued, however, do not overstep your bounds too much. The system is always watching.|
What seemed like centuries of silence passed in the massive room. Finally, the one to speak first was the God of Madness, the tiny Gnome wearing a jester's outfit.
"That was... interesting," he said as he stroked his goatee thoughtfully, all the while, a smirk covered his lips.
The God of Weakness, a skinny and pitiful looking human, shook his head. "That was incredibly intimidating..."
The enormous octopus, the God of Wisdom, thrashed his tentacles about with rage. 'Anything is intimidating to you! This was insulting, that's what it was! For the system to dare bare its fangs at us!'
Forza snorted, making a few tendrils of smoke emerge from his snout. "Saggezza, you do know that the system can hear you, right? Morte was an idiot for tampering so heavily with the test. He got what he deserved."
The Golden Dragon watched as Morte's smokey body mechanically floating up onto his throne. Even though he still retained twenty-percent of his own will, the God of Death was obviously choosing to abstain from commenting.
'Of course you'd say that, you traitorous lizard.' Saggezza, the God of Wisdom, was very upset. He couldn't be bothered with this conversation anymore, so he got off his throne and left the Chamber of Council.
Many of the other higher gods followed after him. Soon, all that was left was Ordine's faction which consisted of the higher gods of Evil, Reality, Strength, Weakness, War, Madness, the Goddess of Life, and lastly, the God of Order.
"Such a surprising child, that Daz boy," Vita, the Goddess of Life, a beautiful golden-skinned elven woman, said.
The massive green slime that was the God of Reality sloshed about on his chair. "Is that really important right now? While I never was very fond of Morte, he was still one of us. It is painful to watch a fellow higher god go through such punishment."
Guerra, the Shura who was the God of War, snorted. "It was his own fault for underestimating the system. It clearly has some interest in the boy, otherwise, it wouldn't have been so enraged. You all know that it hardly ever bothers when we meddle in the tests more so than we should."
"Still..." Debolezza, the God of Weakness, had a troubled look on his frail face. "I have to ask wh-what's so special about him anyway? The system's never been interested in anything except its tests before..."
Malvagio, the High Devil who was the God of Evil, laughed. "I find myself asking the very same question." He shot a look at Ordine before asking, "I wonder why the system didn't strip you of your will for your meddling in the child's affairs as well, hmm?"
Ordine stroked his beard. "I am merely maintaining the balance. Naturally, the system can see that."
"The balance, is it?" Malvagio had a wicked smile on his red and crooked lips. "I wonder if that little stunt of yours at the start of the trial was also to 'maintain the balance'?"
Ordine grinned. "I have no idea what you're talking about. Please, elaborate for this old fool."
"Of course, of course. I'm remembering things wrong, no doubt." Malvagio backed down and simply slouched in his throne with a playful expression on his face.
Forza huffed loudly before he lumbered up onto his feet. "You stupid bastards and your mind games. Come on, Guerra, let's go fight or something. This place is too stuffy for my liking."
"Sure," the six-armed Shura happily replied.
Like that, the rest of the gathered higher gods dispersed, leaving Ordine by himself in the Chamber of Council.
Stroking his beard, Ordine couldn't help but speak to himself as he watched Daz. "To think that it's only the second cycle, but he already possesses two champions of us higher gods under his wing... Pala truly is a fortunate god, is he not? Hahaha..."
Daz had decided to return to his keep after he shrugged off everyone that had come out to congratulate him.
He had already forgotten about Mu destroying Rimmy's main body. Seeing Rimmy's core looking at him with pride from the walls had quelled any rage he still held. Daz's objective now was to go over the racial changes he had experienced upon becoming an Archreaper.
First, he inspected his two new racial skills.
|Halo of Judgement [SSS-Rank (Lower Tier)]|
A skill unique to Archreapers. It was gifted to this very rare and powerful race of Reapers by the first God of Death, Bàs.
This skill draws upon the death energy of the universe to restore any damage dealt to the host.
Bit of a half-arsed halo since it's a semi-circle, but who am I to judge? Oh, right. I'm the person writing all of these notes. I can judge all I want. This halo looks dumb.
|Heals the host's injuries and restores the host's limbs if lost. Limit: Up to 100,000 lifeforce points' worth per day.|
|Slightly enhances all of the host's perception-based senses.|
'So, basically, I have ten extra lives? That's insane... Per day, no less... Also, what does it mean by 'first' Death God? It's not a set person but a title? Still... 'Bàs', huh? I wonder if that means 'death' in some other language as well...' Of course, through his own study, Daz had learnt that 'Pala' meant shovel and that 'Ordine' meant order, both in Italian.
He knew that 'Bàs' wasn't Italian for 'death', so his curiosity had been piqued. Daz decided to leave this up to Rose to discover the meaning behind it, that was if there even was one.
|Archreaper's Aura [SSS-Rank (Lower Tier)]|
A skill unique to Archreapers and is an inherent talent in all races that are at the pinnacle of their species.
The uniqueness of the Archreaper's aura that defines it from the other pinnacle auras is that it passively collects and coerces the souls in the host's surroundings, whether alive or dead.
Spooky skill, this is. Y'know, there are less than ten Archreapers in existence, ten if you count yourself, but each one has a sea of souls around them. Bunch of uptight arseholes never clean them up. Weird, huh?
|For every ten souls surrounding the host, the host shall gain [+1] to all stats.|
|Beings who are not at the pinnacle of their race will wish to bow before you if you actively attempt to exude your aura, doubly so for members of your own species.|
'Interesting... So I guess the theory is that I should absorb all of the medium and higher ranked souls while letting the lesser ones surround me? I'd rather just upgrade Reika with them, but it's certainly a thought.' Daz could understand why the other nine Archreapers were unwilling to consume the souls that the note in the description was complaining about.
Now that he had confirmed his new racial skills, Daz checked out the single racial trait that he'd been given for becoming an Archreaper.
|As the king of Reapers, Archreapers will be naturally accepted as the leader of a base far more easily than others would. This passively boosts the loyalty of citizens by one rank and increases the political power of owned or conquered cities, countries and planets of the host's by one rank.|
"Interesting..." Daz mumbled aloud.
Treating his halo like a bed of some sort, Reika heard Daz talking to himself, so she stopped messing around and asked, 'What is?'
"Nothing," Daz replied dismissively, making Reika puff out her cheeks and return to acting like she was sleeping.
Now that Daz had confirmed his new skills and trait, he asked the system to show him his updated existing racial skills and traits. Apparently, becoming an Archreaper had boosted every single one of them.
|Absolute Harvest [A-Rank (Higher Tier)] [Up 1 entire rank and 1 subrank!]|
A skill unique to reapers. This very skill led to reapers being widely hated in almost every world due to its very dark and evil uses. Although, the skill itself isn't inherently evil. It allows the host to consume the souls and bodies of the dead in exchange for stats and energy.
What is one man's food, is another's soul. Not much of a difference really if you don't look into it too deeply.
|Allows the host to absorb souls in exchange for soul power. Limit of 1,000 [+500] lesser souls, 10 [+5] medium souls and 2 [+1] higher souls per day.|
|Allows the host to absorb bodies in exchange for energy. Limit of 2,000 [+1,000] bodies per day.|
|Death Energy Solidification [S-Rank (Higher Tier)] [Up 1 entire rank!]|
A rare skill unique to Reapers which allows them to mould their own Death Energy into a physical substance.
It was created by the famous Reaper and Necromancer, Abos Maloy, in an effort to create clones of himself that could assist him in his necromantic rituals.
I wonder why Abos didn't just ask his friends to help with his rituals instead of going out of his way to create a skill? Must have been one lonely son of a bitch.
|Allows the host to solidify their Death Energy. All solidified Death Energy will no longer be usable for casting skills and spells until returned to an energy state.|
|Allows the host to create a clone of themselves that has 60% [+10%] of the host's abilities and power. It is made purely out of Death Energy. Cost: 1,000 Death Energy. Limit: 2 clones [+1].|
|Archreaper's Gaze [SS-Rank (Lower Tier)] [Up 1 subrank!]|
A skill unique to Archreapers and is an upgraded version of the racial skill: Justice Reaper's Gaze.
This skill allows the host to inspect the criminal past of any target.
Wanna peep on your neighbours and know all of their dirty little secrets? I bet you do, you weirdo.
|Allows the host to check the criminal past of any being.|
|For every crime that the target has committed by the host's moral standards, the host will deal 15% [+5%] more damage to them and take 15% [+5%] less damage. Limit: Maximum of 100% [+50%] extra damage dealt and 50% [+25%] less damage taken.|
|For every crime that the target has committed by the host's moral standards, the host's words will contain 15% [+5%] more persuasiveness when used against the target. Limit: Maximum of 100% [+50%] more persuasiveness.|
Daz clicked his tongue once he saw this skill. It still didn't seem like it would work on Shen Mu, which made it a garbage skill in his eyes. Of course, this skill was incredibly useful, but Daz was currently being a little bit narrow-sighted. He made a mental note to find out exactly how Mu had completely nullified this skill's damage buffs later on.
|Justice Chains [SS-Rank (Higher Tier)] [Up 1 entire rank and 1 subrank!]|
A skill unique to Justice Reapers that was developed by the most famous Justice Reaper, Ratiel, using the specific Death Energy that only Justice Reapers can wield.
Allows the host to turn their Death Energy into chains that will shackle any evil beings at the will of the host.
Chains. How kinky.
|Allows the host to bind any being with the evil morality for two minutes [up by 1 minute] per chain if they have no resistances (only 10 seconds if they possess resistance to death energy or magical binding). Cost: 500 Death Energy per chain.|
|Allows the host to bind people with a criminal past. For each past crime of the target, a chain will be created to bind them. Can only be used three times a day and the chains will remain for forty seconds [+20 seconds]. Cost: 100 Death Energy per chain.|
|[New!] Ignores all resistance to death energy, binding magic, law magic and soul magic.|
|[New!] For every 10 crimes of the target, the duration of the chains will double. Limit: 30 minutes.|
|Enemy of Chaos [A-Rank (Higher Tier)] [Up 1 subrank!]|
A skill unique to Justice Reapers, but usable by Archreapers who evolved from Justice Reapers.
Instils all chaotic beings who see or speak to the host with a dread of them and plants the subtle desire to become more lawful in their mind.
Y'know, this skill sounds way more useful than it actually is. Weird.
|Puts all beings with the [Chaotic] prefix in a mild state of fear upon interacting with, seeing or [new!] thinking about the host.|
|Passively makes chaotic beings around the host wish to become more lawful to varying degrees based on their willpower and the skill's level.|
|Soul and Mental Immunity [+Mental]|
|Grants the host complete immunity to all attacks on the soul and mind.|
|[New!] Ignores effects that bypass resistances and immunities.|
|Grants the host complete immunity to all charm-based attacks.|
|[New!] Ignores effects that bypass resistances and immunities.|
|Grants the host the eyes of a Reaper, allowing them to see souls. Toggleable.|
|[New!] Cannot be blocked.|
|Greater Magic Resistance|
|Grants the host a high resistance to all magic-based attacks. Magic attacks do 50% [+10%] less damage to the host.|
|Slight Holy Magic Weakness [Down from Extreme]|
|Weakens the host greatly to Holy-based magic attacks. Holy-based Magic attacks do 10% [-50%] more damage to the host.|
|Makes the host seem just and trustworthy.|
|[New!] Ignores effects that tune out auras.|
|Eyes of Truth|
|Allows the host to detect all lies and distortions of the truth.|
|[New!] Allows the host to identify illusions.|
|Significantly [Up from greatly] increases the chances of a being punished by the host to change their wrong-doing ways forever.|
This was all a lot to take in. From what Daz could immediately see, some of his useless abilities had become less useless, while his useful ones had become infinitely more useful. All around, it was a major upgrade that he had badly needed since he'd been focusing on Fort Skip and Rimmy far more so than himself of late.
The last few things that Daz had to check were his status, his resistances, and finally, his new stat limits.
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