|Congratulations! You have successfully completed the side quest [Outsmarting An Ape].|
|[Negotiator's Ring] x 1.|
|200,000 Merit Point.|
|Optional Goal Reward|
|Three golden tickets for [The Grand System Auction] that will be held during the next resting cycle.|
|The total merit balance of the host is now: 1,140,929 [+200,000].|
The mentioned ring appeared in Daz's left hand while the three tickets were placed on his right hand. He wore the ring and stuffed the tickets all into his pockets after identifying them. The ring helped with negotiations, obviously, while the tickets' description said nothing except that they were rare and useful.
Big Bo smiled and nodded knowingly. "As I thought. The system gave you a very lucrative quest it would seem. Castle-type bases are such gold mines."
"You knew?" Daz asked with a bit of shock in his tone. He hadn't expected Big Bo to suspect that he was negotiating so fiercely for two hours mostly because of this quest.
Big Bo just laughed. "Of course I did. Sure, you've got some skill, Daz, but I mean, c'mon. There's no way you were gonna get a better deal out of me unless I actually wanted you to. What were the optional reward requirements? I was guessing four or five times my initial offer. I gave you a bit extra just in case."
It was Daz's turn to laugh this time. "Apparently, the system had far less confidence in me than you did. Either that, or it didn't expect you to play along. I only needed three times as much, but thanks anyway for the extra stuff."
Big Bo's face fell. "Damn it! The system played me like a fiddle again! It's been too long since I last beat it at one of its little games. Anyway, here, your million points, as promised."
|The host [Botund Relox] has gifted the host [Daz] 1,000,000 merit points as per the terms of their arrangement.|
|The total merit balance of the host is now: 2,140,929 [+1,000,000].|
"I'm gonna set up an automated system in a minute now for giving your citizens the agreed upon one-hundred thousand points. Do you want a special message to be displayed along with it? I can do that if you'd like. It'll apply when hiring new citizens via your city lord rights too," Big Bo suggested.
"Sure," Daz happily agreed. "Just make it say that it's a gift from their lord - or potential gift from their future lord, me. It'll look better that way instead of being from some unknown person they've never heard of."
"A bit of friendly manipulation, eh? Well, in a way, it is from you, so it's fine I suppose. I hardly care if I get credit as the... well, as the creditor. Hahaha." Quite clearly, Big Bo was enjoying himself.
Daz smirked lightly. For some reason, even though Big Bo had mostly been lying all night, he had come across as... genuine. This massive red-furred gorilla was so similar to his father, but at the same, so incredibly different. 'I wonder if we could have had a decent relationship if Father was more like this? I guess the manipulation wasn't the only problem, huh?'
"Okie-dokie. All done. Your current citizens are probably all up in arms about the sudden gift. I have more business to attend to anyway. I need to prepare for the grand system auction as well," Big Bo said as, yet again, a banana wormed its way out of his hand and into his mouth.
Daz raised an eyebrow. "You're going too? Can you tell me anything about this 'auction'?"
"Just a tiny bit. All I can say really is that it's an event that spans all of the known multiverses. You lot on Earth will be in a separate version from the real one. Kinda like a kids version? Still worth your time, but you'll laugh at how pitiable it is once you experience the real auction. Ask your keep's advisors for more details if you're interested. You can just wait though if you'd prefer. The system will explain everything when the auction starts," Big Bo explained a bit dismissively.
"Okay. I guess I'll be on my way then," Daz said as he stood up.
Big Bo jammed another banana into his mouth before he followed Daz. "I'll get the door for you."
Instead of leading to the clouds overlooking the golf course, the door led straight back out into the bank's lobby this time. "This was fun. Remember, results or your soul is mine."
"Yeah, yeah," Daz replied casually. He highly doubted that the system would ever sell his soul since it was interested in him. And besides, he'd already started making plans for if he were to prematurely die.
Daz stored all of his points into the bank as he left. He was greatly looking forward to the huge amount of profits he'd be able to rake in from a twenty-percent interest rate over the next five days until the third cycle started.
It was just coming up to four in the morning, so not many people were even awake, and the few who were didn't want to disturb Daz right now. He seemed to be lost in thought, so they just silently thanked him and returned to what they doing before. Naturally, they were fully intent on giving him a proper thank you later, even if Daz himself wasn't interested in such a thing.
One-hundred-thousand merit points was not a lot to people like Daz, but to the average Joe just trying to get by and chipping in as they were, it was an incredibly large sum of points. Doing quests given by the system did give some merit points, but nowhere near the hundreds of thousands the fighters regularly obtained. Not unless you were really changing yourself and adapting like Heather, Sandy and Lyle had been doing.
However, even though most people were giving Daz some space, there was always an exception. "Yo, Uriel. How'd you do that?" Crusher walked right up to Daz, not minding his mood and wrapped her arm around his shoulder.
"I was just mindin' my own business, y'know, working out in the barracks' training area, then suddenly, two system messages block my vision." Crusher grinned as she gestured grandly with her free arm. "'Congratulations! Your lord, Daz, has gifted you with one-hundred-thousand merit points.' The second one was even more shocking. 'Your lord, Daz, has successfully negotiated with the manager of the whatever-the-fuck-that-bank's-called and raised the daily interest rate from two-percent to twenty-percent.'"
Daz winced a little. "Do you mind taking those damned weights off if you wanna sling your arm over my shoulder? I'm not geared towards strength or endurance like you. How many of those damned things are even on your arm? It feels like I'm carrying a fucking truck."
"Ah." Crusher pulled back her arm and scratched her head in embarrassment. "I forgot. It was my reward for helping save Middletown. I got this personal gravity field thingy. It apparently quadrupled my weight, which also includes anything I'm holding. It gives me two strength and one constitution every two hours that I have it on. Pretty nifty gadget."
Daz frowned. "Am I gonna have to invest in some stronger foundations?"
"Whaddya mean?" Crusher asked as she swung her arm around and rubbed her shoulder.
"One of these days, you're going to jump, and when you land, you'll never come back. I'm pretty sure you'll just shoot through the ground and end up in China or something." Daz's joke ended up sending Crusher into a fit of laughter.
"I can actually see that happening! Hahaha! What a mental image! Hahaha!" After the Titan had calmed down, she wiped the tears from her eyes and spoke again. "Speaking of China, what's the plan with the Asian dude who kicked your ass?"
"Hey. I won," Daz protested.
Crusher shrugged. "Sure, but he was kicking your ass until you evolved. Neat trick. How'd you do that so soon, by the way? It hasn't been long since you became a Law Reaper, right?"
"Justice Reaper. And yeah, it wasn't a normal evolution. I got a free evolution chance. It was my trump card. I was banking on being fully restored by using it," Daz explained.
"Looks like it paid off." Crusher grinned. "Anyway, so, what's the deal with that scythe dude?"
"I'm not sure." Daz saw the confusion on Crusher's face, so he elaborated. "Well, the guy's a lunatic. And you know he's fucking nuts if I'm the one saying it. At the same time, he's under my control now. We made a deal. I need to fight him twice every resting cycle, but in return for not killing him, he's forced to serve me and not cause any harm to me, my bases or my citizens."
Crusher squinted her eyes and held her chin in thought. "So... is that guy a retard? He's either really dumb or he loves fighting. You totally bent him backwards, right? That deal sounds stupidly unfair."
"Well, I did cheat, but yeah, we got the much better side of the deal. You know, you're free to go fight him if you want? He's not allowed to kill you, in fact, the system might even disallow him from fighting back. Could be a good test to train your accuracy," Daz suggested as the two of them walked into the keep.
Crusher put on a ponderous expression. "Maybe. That sounds kinda boring, but it's worth trying at least once. Anyway, I just wanted to say thanks for the points. I don't really care how you got them, but I'm not one to turn my nose up at free shit."
"Don't worry about it," Daz replied nonchalantly.
"I won't," Crusher replied with a smirk on her lips. "Catch ya later, Uriel."
Crusher wandered off further into the keep as she left Daz there. Reika, who was perched on his semi-halo, tilted her head cutely in confusion. 'Why did she call you 'Uriel'?'
Daz shrugged. "I dunno. I guess it's her new nickname for me? She has been trying to think of one for a while. I guess your bed was the final thing she needed to come up with something."
'We thought that she enjoyed calling you 'Lord'?' Reika was even more puzzled now.
"Crusher's a strange woman. Don't think too much about what she does. You'll end up hurting yourself," Daz teased.
Reika pouted in response and returned to lazing about on Daz's semi-halo.
The reaper's initial plan upon returning to the keep was to get advice about the upcoming auction from his keep advisors, but he quickly remembered that they were absent save for one until the morning. Instead, he chose to retire to his and Madison's room to shave his stubble off.
As he entered the bedroom, Madison rolled around under the sheets and peeked her eyes open to look at the room's intruder. Once she saw that it was Daz, a certain light entered her eyes. "Daz, bed?"
Smiling softly, Daz walked up to Madison and sat next to her on the mattress. "Maybe in a bit. I want to shave and check out the rest of the keep. I haven't really had the time yet to do a thorough once-over of the place."
"Mmm... okay. Quick. Miss, you," Madison mumbled before she started to drift off to sleep again.
Daz kissed her on the forehead. "I miss you too, Maddy. Once I'm done, I'll need to talk to everyone in the morning about a few things, but we can sleep together all night if you'd like."
"Love, to." Madison mustered up the energy to raise her body and plant her lips on his. After doing that, she slumped back down into the bedsheets and got comfortable again.
Daz couldn't help but smirk at Madison's adorable actions as he made his way into the room's en-suite to trim his facial hair.
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