It had been some time now since Bob had left Daz's workshop. The Reaper remained seated there in deathly silence. The former mayor's words echoed in his head once more.
'Well, I don't really remember much of your description, to be completely honest. From what I do remember, it explained your hard childhood which I'm incredibly sorry for. I do recall getting a formal request from the Senate to not investigate anything regarding mysterious disappearances of ATM money or mass-pickpocketing incidents by the harbour. I put the pieces together when I saw that you were an esper on your description. I'd heard rumours about the Hamilio family, but I never put any stock in them.'
This much was normal. Daz had expected such trivial information to be on his status. Bob went on to describe how it said that he loved Madison and Rose deeply. It also made a note of how willing Daz was to murder anyone that stood in his way, which was what had frightened the man so much when he used Lesser Identification on him. Taking the life of another was not an easy thing to commit to, but the system never lied.
The reason that Daz was currently sitting in his workshop with a blank look on his face was the final thing that Bob had recollected seeing on the young Reaper's description.
'Ah, that's right! There was a small note at the bottom saying that, more than anything else, you wanted your father's approval and recognition. A perfectly normal thing, in my op- H-Have I upset you? I-I'm sorry. I'll leave.'
Daz face had turned ghastly upon hearing those words from the ex-mayor. Enough so to scare him off. Daz's insides felt like they were on fire just from imagining those words from twenty minutes ago. 'I wish I never had these fucking Eyes of Truth! It would have been better if I didn't know he was being honest! Fuck!'
Daz ended up getting so enraged that he briskly got out of his seat and grabbed the nearest thing, a small wooden shovel figurine, and he threw it will all of his strength into the wall. It left a sizeable dent before exploding into a million splinters.
Reika was frightened, so she dove into the brand on Daz's right hand, which had reformed after his evolution into an Archreaper despite Mu cutting his right arm off in their fight. Her social skills weren't good enough to calm him down, so she felt it was best to hide until he was okay again.
Daz pulled at his hair and grit his teeth. He laughed at himself. "There's no way I can give a speech like this..."
Making a split-second decision, Daz resummoned the clone that he had dismissed after it had finished delivering the supplies to Fiona's stage. It looked around with confusion on its face momentarily before the new information that Daz had accumulated since its last summoning flowing into its mind. The clone frowned. "The speech?"
Daz nodded. "You deal with it."
"I'll do so, Original. Are the topics still about Waterford Camp and creating a more localised activity to establish as a cultural factor for Waterford's future development?" the clone asked.
"Yes. Just tell them about Mu, but be brief. Don't mention how many crimes he's committed. As for the activity, come up with a few ideas to get the ball rolling, then make it an open poll where each citizen can choose whatever they want. I'll deal with it after that. My mind is too... muddled right now to show myself in front of everyone and not fuck it all up," Daz explained.
The clone patted Daz's shoulder. "I understand, Original. We all have our moments of weakness." With that, he walked out of the workshop with a spring to his step. As soon as he was out of Daz's range of vision, his expression darkened. 'We share the same mind, you fool of an Original.'
Daz found Crosius and told him that he was leaving the fort for a bit. He would have told Lyle, but he didn't want to be seen by his fellow survivors in his current state. Once he had done that, he immediately left Fort Skip.
The young reaper made his way to Camp Waterford. With his stats, at a full sprint, he was there within a minute.
The place looked no different from how it was the last time Daz had visited. Clearly, Mu hadn't bothered to renovate the place yet.
'Where is he? I need to blow off some steam. The only way I'm clearing my mind is by beating the crap out of something.' Daz could think of another way to calm down, but he'd rather not wake up Madison just to have sex. While he didn't doubt she'd happily agree, Daz had more respect for her than to just use her as a stress reliever. Mu, on the other hand, wasn't so lucky.
Daz found his fellow reaper sitting in the centre of the former military base. His palms were pressed together and the Cloud of Tartarus was peacefully floating next to him outside of its bottle.
Opening his eyes and breaking himself out of his meditation, Mu sprung up to his feet and flashed a big grin. He walked over to Daz and gave him a hug before he could even react. "It is good to see you, my friend! You are here early."
'This guy is such a weirdo. Did he forget that I tried to blow his brains out with a Death Beam yesterday?' Daz found some of his unjust anger escaping him. "I came here to fight."
Mu released Daz from the hug and he slapped his hands down onto his fellow reaper's shoulders. "Fight, not fish. I learned. I'm am happy to fight with you, my friend. Please, do not use those... chains? Is 'chains' the correct words? I feel like it might be cheese..."
"It's 'chains'. Cheese is a type of food. It goes well with almost anything," Daz briefly explained. Again, some more of his rage at his own feelings disappeared and were replaced by his intrigue towards Mu. 'How can someone so... carefree have committed so many crimes?'
"Ah! Cheese! Yes. Now I know." Mu smiled from ear to ear. "Do not use the chains or the skull, and I won't use my skull too. Deal? The big crystal man is okay. He is cool."
"His name is Rimmy McShineston, and he's a Jewelled Mountain Golem," Daz said as he shook his shoulders a bit briskly to get Mu's hands off of himself.
Mu didn't seem offended in the slightest by his kin's actions and put his hands in his pockets. "Rimmy McShineston... a cool name." Mu nodded a few times before he wandered away and came back holding his war scythe. "Fight?"
Daz cracked his neck and summoned Hamson from the brand on his right hand. "Yes, fight."
The two reapers exchanged blows for several hours. Since they weren't trying to kill each other, they had far more energy to spare, resulting in the long and drawn out match.
Mu was covered in sweat and there were small wounds all over his body. He was lying down on the ground and looked up at the clouds that were masking the sun's mighty presence in the middle of the sky. "How long has it been?" he asked.
Daz deferred the question to the system and answered, "Just over five hours. It's nearly one."
The clear winner in this was Daz. He was lightly sweating, but there wasn't a single scratch on him. The additional senses his halo afforded him as well as his instinctive esper ability allowed him to counter every move of Mu's.
Now that he was an Archreaper, he had the physical stats to keep up with and even overwhelm Mu at times. This spar had helped Daz immensely. His mind was clear and he had pushed back Bob's words into the furthest reaches of his memory while his body felt refreshed. "I learned a lot today."
"So did I, my friend," Mu replied with a beaming smile on his handsome face. He sat up and crossed his legs before he placed his palms together.
"Are you meditating?" Daz asked curiously.
Mu slightly opened one of his eyes. "Yes. It's how I cope. Skull taught me it yesterday. The visions from your chains were very hard to deal with, but this helps."
A heavy sigh escaped Mu's pocket. "My name is Esmerelda, you foolish master."
The skull in question floated out of the pocket and hovered around Mu's head. She had recovered somewhat, regaining the bone around her eye socket and some of her upper-frontal-bone, but most of her skull was still missing. Daz was glad in retrospect that he hadn't permanently damaged this being that seemed to serve Mu. If Mu was Waterford's new watchdog, then Daz wanted him to be as powerful as possible.
"Speaking of that," Daz said as he slumped onto the ground and put on a ponderous expression. "What crimes have you even committed? You don't really seem like the type to justify thousands of chains appearing. By the way, in case you didn't know, each chain represents a past crime of yours. I can see people's crimes, but I have a feeling that you can block my intrusion onto the info if you really wanted to."
Mu cocked his head in a fashion not unlike Madison and Rimmy. "Please, feel free to look. I can explain further if you have more questions. Trust is important in a long-term relationship."
"Okay." Daz showed no hesitation and activated his racial skill, Archreaper's Gaze.
|Shen Mu's Crime List|
|3,564 cases of murder in the name of self-defense when it wasn't strictly necessary to go that far.|
|342 cases of murder to take the merit points from innocent survivors.|
"You can take merit points from others?" Daz asked as his gateway question into this... disturbing subject.
Mu nodded once again. "I can. Anybody that I kill I can harvest their merit points upon their death. However, I must be the one to deal the killing blow."
'His English is getting better... he doesn't even need the translation book anymore,' Daz noted mentally. "I can kinda understand these self-defense murders. I've killed when I didn't need to before out of 'self-defense'. But I have to ask, why so many?"
Mu sighed. "Most of them were from the army. I had control of Hong Kong, but they insisted I return it. I refused, they attacked, they died."
"You controlled Hong Kong?" Daz asked in shock.
Waterford was a decently-sized city, sure, but it was nothing on the scale of a city like Hong Kong. All Daz could think of was how someone like Mu had a city like that considering his seemingly uncaring and free-spirited attitude.
Mu laughed lightly. "Yes. I was strong, so people flocked around me. However, I did not own a base. I refused to spend my points on one. Many 'innocent' people tried to kill me in my sleep for not protecting them properly. I returned the favour. The rest had no chance at surviving without my extensive help, which I was not willing to give, so I chose to end their lives before they were captured or killed by the system and ended up its servants."
"I sense a 'but' in there somewhere," Daz said after confirming that Mu had been truthful thus far.
"Yes. But, I didn't realise how much pain and fear I put them through. I assumed I was the lesser of two evils. Maybe I was wrong. Who knows? You are a better ruler than I. I'm not sure how you do it, but everything you say, I want to agree with. You are very charming, my friend. I look forward to living under you for a long time. I expect my stay here to be full of fun times," Mu admitted as he scratched his neck.
'This guy... I don't know if I should hate him or like him...' Daz was greatly perplexed. He had come here to clear his mind, but now he'd ended up only confusing it further.
"I'll come back soon. I want you to only fight Rimmy then. He needs more experience," Daz stated as he got up and stretched lightly.
Mu closed his eyes again and grinned. "I look forward to it."
As he was leaving, Daz couldn't help but have a certain thought. ' I wonder what my crime sheet looks like? System, can I view my own crime sheet?'
|Confirmed. You can.|
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