Shovels In Spades



Book 2 Chapter 70: Teasing Maddy and Expedition to Middletown


A note from Lone

First guaranteed chapter of the week. Second one should be out on Sun, maybe tomorrow. That's a heavy and incredibly unlikely maybe, but who knows. Depends on if I have the motivation today to write an LTW chapter as well.

First, Daz checked his status to see if anything major had changed. He sincerely hoped that he had more stat slots.

Despite the fact that he had been against the idea previously, time and time again it had been proven that he needed the Regeneration stat, so Daz was hoping to finally buy it.


Host's Status
Basic Information
Name: Daz Species: Reaper
  Race: Archreaper
Age: 20 Sex: Male
Class: Shovel Knight Affinity: Lawful Neutral
Lifeforce: 7,000/7,000 [+2,500] Death Energy: 20,000/20,000 [+11,000]
Strength: 1,000(1,200) [+500] Dexterity: 900(1,080) [+450]
Constitution: 1,000(1,200) [+500] Agility: 700 [+150]
Charisma: 580 [+10] Ingenuity: 740
Defense: 1,500(4,500) [+1,150] Immunity: 216
Soul Power: 0 Luck: 400(405) [+215]
Justice: 115 [+10] Corruption: 0
Combo: 100 [+14] Wisdom: 600 [+400]
You have 2 unused Stat Slots.


'Explosive increase in Death Energy, Defense, Luck, and even Wisdom... This is more than I was expecting. I also got more stat slots which is perfect... Archreapers are really powerful, huh?' Daz mused internally. After confirming that everything was in check, he looked at his resistance sheet very briefly.


Host's Resistance Sheet
Resistance Type Resistance Amount
Magic 55% [+10%]
Physical 12.5%
Ranged 10%
Penetrative 10%
Holy Magic -5% [+50%]
Elemental 25% [+14%]


'As I thought, nothing special or different from what the racial trait upgrades told me. Though it is nice having that holy magic weakness almost wiped out. Then again, It's never been an issue thus far.' Daz nodded his head in satisfaction regardless of his internal comments.

As a result of Daz moving his head, Reika flopped about while she tried to resettle on the Reaper's hair, all the while, there was a frown on her cute little face.

Daz moved on to the last thing he wanted to check right now, his new stat limits. He did want to check his evolution ranking too, but he was exhausted mentally. Another time. Whatever rewards he may have wouldn't turn to dust if he left them alone for right now.

As unimportant as his stat limits seemed since he never appeared to actually hit them, he knew that these limits would one day bind him. Daz didn't possess any confidence in the idea that a person could evolve endlessly, or at the very least, evolve as rapidly as he had been doing so in perpetuity.


The state of being physically strong.
Effect and Limit
Increases the host's muscle strength by 0.5% per stat point.
Limit of 1,500 stat points for an Archreaper. [+750]


Skill in performing physical tasks, especially with the hands.
Effect and Limit
Increases the host's dexterity by 0.5% per stat point.
Limit of 2,000 stat points for an Archreaper. [+750]


The fundamental health and foundation of one's body.
Effect and Limit
Increases host's lifespan by 50 days per stat point.
Limit of 3,000 stat points for an Archreaper. [+500]


The ability to move with ease and think quickly.
Effect and Limit
Increases host's agility by 0.5% per stat point.
Limit of 1,500 for an Archreaper. [+500]


A compelling attractiveness or charm that can inspire devotion in others.
Effect and Limit
Increases host's charisma by 0.5% per stat point.
Limit of 2,000 for an Archreaper. [+1,000]


The quality of being clever, original, and inventive.
Effect and Limit
Increases host's ingenuity by 0.5% per stat point.
Limit of 900 for an Archreaper.


The physical hardness of one's skin and muscles.
Effect and Limit
Increases host's muscle density by 0.5% per stat point.
Limit of 2,000 stat points for an Archreaper. [+1,250]


The internal defensive system of one's self.
Effect and Limit
Increases host's resistance to negative status effects by 0.5% per stat point.
Limit of 2,000 for an Archreaper. [+350]


Soul Power
The quality of one's soul and clarity of mind.
Effect and Limit
Increases the stored strength of the host's soul by 0.5% per stat point.
Limit of 2,000,000 stat points for an Archreaper. [+1,500,000]


Success or failure brought by chance rather than through one's own actions.
Effect and Limit
Increases the chance for fate to be in the host's favour by 0.5% per stat point.
Limit of 750 stat points for an Archreaper. [+350]


The ability to aptly combine several attacks into a coherent, pattern-like chain.
Effect and Limit
Amplifies the damage of each successful strike in a combo by 0.05% per stat point.
Limit of 1,750 stat points for an Archreaper. [+250]


The quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgement; the quality of being wise.
Effect and Limit
Amplifies the host's ability to see and gain more from their experiences and also increases the host's proficiency with using magic by 0.05% per stat point.
Limit of 4,000 stat points for an Archreaper. [+1,000]


'Quite a big jump for a lot of them, huh?' Daz stroked his chin thoughtfully. "Well, that'll do for now."

'You're okay?' Reika asked with some concern in her telepathic message.

Daz smiled softly. "Yeah, I'm fine. I've got business to attend to, so I can hardly sit around brooding like a stroppy teen all day, now can I? Besides, Mu is my citizen, and he never caused any lasting harm, so it'd be immature of me to hold it against him for destroying Rimmy's main body."

'We are surprised. You wanted to kill him only twenty minutes ago,' Reika noted.

Daz sighed. "We're not best friends all of a sudden, and I obviously don't like him for essentially taking a job from a god to become a hitman and take a hit out on me, but I won our little bet and I trust the system to enforce the rules I set. Mu is practically Waterford's guard dog now, isn't he?"

'Trust you to see the light in an otherwise bleak situation. We are both impressed and scared.' Reika pretended to shiver as she looked at Daz.

Smiling, the young Reaper nodded his head. "I do need to make sure that he doesn't start to resent me or Waterford in the long run though. While I was pretty thorough in the rules, I'm sure there's some sort of loophole that I missed. I'm not my father, after all."

'We don't understand. What does your father have to do with Mu?' Reika tilted her head and held her chin.

"He was far better at the whole manipulation business than I ever was or currently am. He sure played me like a fiddle," Daz said with a light shrug.

'How so?' Reika's curiosity had been piqued.

Daz just shook his head and smiled wryly. "Not now. Maybe another time."

'Hmm...' Reika stayed silent after that and returned to her home, Daz's hair. She eyed the semi-halo with a strange light in her eyes. That smooth curve looked like it might fit her tiny back just perfectly...

Some time had passed while Daz was organising his thoughts, and, of course, Fort Skip's citizens moved and proceeded along while he was alone in his quarters in the keep.

Once Daz had finally left and returned to the throne room, he was greeted by Crosius, Rose and Madison.

Crosius was apparently talking to Rose and he had a very troubled look on his face as the young girl asked him question after question without giving him a moment to breathe.

Several of the other advisors were in a panic as soon as they saw Daz and they rushed towards Madison who was sat on the throne in a futile attempt to coax her off of it since only the Lord should rightfully be allowed to sit atop the keep's throne.

Madison just looked at them all with an ignorant look on her expressionless face. Daz walked up to her and lifted her, an easy act with his immense stats, and then sat her on his lap after taking the throne for himself.

Madison blushed furiously and tried to squirm free. She loved Daz's affection, but not in public. She was very shy, after all.

Daz felt a hint of euphoria at the furious blush covering the person whom he loved the most on this Earth's face. "This is punishment for sitting on my throne." No matter how hard she tried, she couldn't get out of Daz's embrace. That was how big the gap between their personal strength had become after his latest evolution.

Madison eventually gave up and settled down. "Bully," she said with a sheet of crimson hiding her features and a frown visible in her eyes.

"How long are you two going to keep flirting?" Rose asked. Apparently, she had stopped pestering Crosius.

Daz shrugged. "I dunno, maybe an hour? Teasing Maddy is incredibly satisfying," he said before he lightly pecked Madison's cheek. In response, the girl just hid her face in his shoulder.

Most of the advisors looked on with a wry smile while a small percentage of them gnashed their teeth in frustration. For example, Corius was muttering under his breath about youths and love or something of that like.

"Fine. I guess I'll tell you the location of the wild events an hour before tomorrow's attack since you're so relaxed." Rose's voice was dripping with sarcasm.

Daz grinned. "Sure, if you want. I can find them on my own anyway. It'd save you the effort of asking the system."

Rose opened her mouth as if to shout at Daz, only to close it slowly. "I've already asked the system's database... Well, for starters, the closest wild event is in Middletown, not including all of the baby ones spawned here for you and that Asian guy. 'Mu', was it?. Apparently, they're struggling with their most recent attack, there's also the fact that they're being raided by a group of other survivors as well."

"Interesting... Well, I needed to go there anyway to talk to Sean," Daz said absentmindedly.

Rose squinted her eyes. "Who's Sean?"

"Ah, he's a nobody, but he was Sarah's boyfriend. I should really tell him about her death," Daz explained.

"How uncommonly thoughtful of you," came Rose's snide remark.

Madison, still on Daz's lap, scowled. "Bad. Daz, thoughtful." She then turned to look at the aforementioned Reaper. "Me, coming."

"Sure," Daz agreed happily.

He was actually planning to bring along anyone who could move quickly with him on his wild event hunt since wild events gave equal rewards to all those who participated in them. Of course, he would love to use a vehicle, but Middletown was too far, and at this point, several of the fighters of Fort Skip were far faster than your average car at their top speeds.

Daz was having idle thoughts about potentially hiring a group of his citizens to become system mechanics of some sort that would fix up and upgrade cars and trucks to be suitable even for the people with incredible stats like himself. Either that or just buying vehicles from the system.

"Admiring your new face or something, Daz?" Rose joked. "You do look a lot more like a K-pop star, but one of the two-bit backup dancers. Progress is progress, I suppose. Better than Leatherface."

"Either I stroke my chin as I think, or I continue to tease Madison. I know which one I'd rather do, but I don't like the sound of abstaining for a while. From what, I'm sure you can infer, my genius little sister," Daz said as he smirked.

Rose's cheeks turned red. "Bah, you're still only a four out of ten."

"Only a four? What was I before I evolved then?" Daz asked.

"A three, then a two when you took on a Batman antagonist's appearance." As Rose was insulting Daz's looks, she made sure to use her fingers to emphasize the importance of her gradings.

Madison, while upset at being so lovey-dovey with Daz and scared of being teased further, she still showed her support for him. "Before, ten. Half-half, still, ten. Now, ten, plus."

"Ten-plus, huh?" Daz could feel his self-esteem going up almost as it was a stat of its own. He glanced over to his sister and sighed grandly. "If only you loved me as much as Maddy does. How wonderful would that be?"

Madison lowered her head. "Impossible, to, more..."

Rose just gazed at Daz with a deadpan expression. "Ever since the 'test' started, you've slowly been creeping closer and closer towards forbidden territory, Daz. Of course, I'm just a weak crippled girl. I can't resist you when you throw yourself on me."

Daz burst out laughing and stood up, freeing Madison from his warm embrace. He walked over to the now flustered Rose and scooped her out of her wheelchair before she could move away from him.

"Well, if it's a 'when', and not an 'if', why wait?" Daz said, scaring Rose half to death.

Another round of laughter later, Daz returned Rose to her wheelchair. He ruffled her hair lovingly and listened patiently as she detailed all of the other wild events that she was aware of without any more snarky remarks. Apparently, his joke had scared her more than he had thought it did.

'I should do that more often if it'll get her to stop being such a rebel all the time.' Daz considered mentally as he was walking out of the fort with Madison, Crusher, Edward, Dorian and Lyle by his side.

He could easily leave Fort Skip in Ellie and Sandy's hands since he now had the reassurance of Mu's existence.

Daz really had to shake Jiksum Mik-ton's hand and thank him eventually. He was fully intent on studying under such a master manipulator that could create a skill like the Legendary Gift of The Gab.

The young Reaper acknowledged that he was like a split branch of the tree that was his father, and he would no longer try to deny this. He would embrace it in its entirety, and one day, Daz would confront his father and show him that he could be a different person, a better person, all the while using the same schemes and tactics that his father oh so loved.

A note from Lone

As a little side note, there's finished art of Madison on my patreon now. A bit of a shameless self-promo, I know, but all patrons can see her a month early before she gets posted here, so $1 is all you need if you're curious about how she looks.

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Give my other novels a read if you have the time, please.

Main Stories (guaranteed 2 chapters per week)

Lone: The Wanderer | Shovels In Spades

Side Stories (no set release schedule)

Hello, You're Through To Hades, How Can I Help You Today? | Paradox | The Magic Of Science

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  • Scotland
  • The Scottish Slothy Sloth

Bio: Hey there, nice to see you. I'm just an ordinary man who enjoys writing, which is great since it's my full-time job now thanks to the support from you guys over on Patreon! I hope you enjoy my novels if you read them, and if not, I hope you enjoy looking at my profile.

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