Daz wasted no time and immediately asked the system to show him his crime list. His curiosity far outweighed any fears he had about what crimes he had committed and thought were actually crimes by his own sense of justice.
|Daz's Crime List|
|2,401 cases of pickpocketing.|
|89 cases of shoplifting.|
|232 cases of beating people within an inch of their lives in the name of self-defence when it wasn't strictly necessary to go that far.|
|1 case of murder in the name of self-defence when it wasn't strictly necessary to go that far.|
|1 case of blackmailing with the threat of death as a consequence of not going along with the host's demands.|
|17 cases of murder to defend an ally when it wasn't strictly necessary to go that far.|
Daz stroked his chin thoughtfully. 'Interesting... So I don't personally believe that sleeping with Maddy before we were of age was illegal? Maybe since the age-limit varies from country to country. She was sixteen, which is the age-of-consent in the UK, so I suppose that makes some sense.'
Daz also found it fascinating that him using all of his citizens wasn't considered a crime by his moral standards. He knew that at least some people out there would contest that idea, which is why he found it intriguing.
'Still, it counted Matt's death as a murder by me even though it was Hamson who killed him? And it didn't count the one's that Rimmy killed? Weird. I suppose I allowed it and provoked him into it, so that also makes sense,' Daz noted. He was under the assumption that the separated murder crime was related to Matt since he had never killed anyone before the apocalypse started and it all seemed to be in chronological order.
Everything else made perfect sense to him. Blackmailing Greg hadn't stood well in Daz's mind almost since he'd done it, and he indeed didn't need to kill Edward's former men when he was helping Ben protect the Baetylus' corpse.
One thing, however, was worrying the young reaper. 'I never realised how many pockets I pinched from over the years... Was it really that many? I should be immune to Justice Chains, right? If not, that's a huge fucking weakness. I should test it at some point.'
Daz cracked his neck and stood up. He had been sitting on the concrete next to Mu as he was checking all of this, but now it was time to leave. "I'll be back soon."
Mu, still meditating, nodded his head.
"Try to upgrade this place if you have enough spare merit points. I have a hunch that the next cycle will revolve around city warfare or something similar. Also, use up your other stat slots. If you can get stats from killing people, then stop being an idiot and get at least one point in the most suitable stats for you. You should get plenty of chances to kill people when the system eventually forces us to fight other survivors," Daz suggested as he began to walk away.
Once again, Mu simply nodded in response.
On his way back, Daz made sure to pick up a few more diverse games for Rose since she seemed to have already ploughed right through the ones he had given her only a couple of days ago.
His mind was clear and he felt refreshed after beating Mu up. He did have to admit that he was slightly fond of the mass-murderer. If it was to be believed that he did, in fact, only kill to defend himself or out of a distorted sense of justice, then Daz found it difficult to hate the man.
There was also the fact that he himself had committed thousands of crimes as well, and they were performed before the apocalypse. Of course, Daz recognised that killing over three-thousand people and stealing over two-thousand times were two very different things that needed to be judged separately, but deep down, Daz saw some of himself in Mu, as twisted and concerning as that sounded, it was the truth.
Just as he was about to stop his train of thought since he was close to Fort Skip now, a system notification interrupted him.
|Congratulations! The host's clone [Clone 2] has successfully learned the skill [Basic Martial Arts]. Due to the host's clone [Clone 2] having learned this skill, it shall be given to the host free of cost or training upon the clone's dismissal.|
This was good news, and concerning news when Daz pondered over it for a second. "Clones have names? Does that mean that they have personalities as well? Come to think of it, I never told the clone exactly what skill to train in, so it actively chose martial arts, didn't it? Is this a good thing, or a bad thing?"
Reika floated down from her semi-halo perch and hovered in front of Daz's face. She crossed her arms over her chest and asked, 'Are you worried that they might turn on you? We think you should ignore such a silly idea. You can always dismiss them whenever you want to.'
Daz smiled. "You can never be too cautious, but you're right. I'll keep that in mind. It's not confirmed if they have personalities or if they even retain them after being dismissed. I might have to test that at some point."
'Why not just ask them? They're your clones, plus, you can detect lies, so they won't be able to hide having a personality if you ask them.' Reika's suggestion was actually very astute.
Daz nodded his head. "I never thought about that. I'll try it. Why not? There isn't much to lose. They still have to follow my orders from what I've seen, so it shouldn't affect anything important. Thanks, Reika. I guess you can be useful, huh?"
Reika grinned from ear to ear as she returned to her halo. 'We are always useful, Insolent Fool.'
"What a peculiar question, Original," the clone waiting at the outer wall's portcullis for Daz said shortly after their reunion.
Almost immediately, Daz had asked it whether or not it had any sentience and a personality, which surprised the clone somewhat.
Daz frowned. "Answer the question."
"Sure. I possess nothing that you do not. That naturally means that I am devoid of a unique personality," the clone happily replied in an emotionless tone.
Daz's frown deepened. 'He isn't lying, but my instinct is screaming that he is. A false-truth?' Daz gripped his clone's shoulder and squeezed down hard. The clone's expression faltered and he winced in pain. "Never forget who the original is. I don't care if you have a mind of your own or not, but don't be stupid. It would be far more beneficial to you to continue to serve me faithfully, okay?"
"I... understand, Original..." He grit his teeth and endured the pain of the pressure on his shoulder as he spat out a few more words. "A name... Please..."
"What?" Daz responded, unsure of exactly what the clone was requesting. It was a struggle to hear him clearly through the pain he was enduring. Daz let go of the clone's shoulder and allowed him to speak properly again.
Gasping for air, the clone smiled a bit wryly. "Please, give me a name. It doesn't matter what it is, anything will do. I admit, I have a... personality, but it isn't unique. From what I know, I'm a culmination of all of your scheming and all of your longing. Give me a name and I'll do whatever you want. I promise."
'Why is a name so important to him? I'm glad I got the truth out of him, but now I'm worried about this instead... System, will anything bad happen to me if I give the clone a name?' Daz asked the most trustworthy source he had available.
|Unsure. That is dependent on the host's opinion of what could be bad to them or what could be good for them. In the case of granting a clone a name, the exact information to the effects of doing as so would require [Platinum-level Access] to the merit store.|
'Great. Now I'm more confused... Well, for starters, let's just put this matter on indefinite hiatus. I'll give him the Edward treatment,' Daz thought a bit jokingly. He was glad that he could now find the humour in an otherwise very serious situation.
Daz sighed before he said, "No, not now. Work hard for me and prove your loyalty, and then I'll think about it again. Does that sound fair to you?"
The clone bit his lip. "I suppose I should expect as much from the original. Yes. I hardly have a choice." His thoughts were slightly different. 'It hurts. I can understand his mistrust, but I am him. Does he really not see that? I just want to be treated as an equal...'
Daz smiled. "I get it. If your personality is all of my longing, then you must be having an internal war right now. Don't worry. You can detect lies as well, can't you?"
The clone nodded. "Not as intricately as you, but basic yeses and nos and simple statements can't get past me."
"Perfect." Daz looked right into his clone's eyes and said, "I guarantee that if you work for me without complaint, I will definitely give you a name once I gain Platinum-level access to the merit store and take a bit of time to think regardless of what giving you a name may do to me. Okay?"
'Well, I might already have platinum-level access, but I haven't checked my ranking rewards yet, so I'm not really lying here,' Daz noted privately.
The clone still seemed a little bit miffed. He felt like he was being out-schemed which didn't sit well with him since he also had all of Daz's scheming nature inside of him, but he couldn't refuse now that his personality had been revealed. "Okay. I agree. I never planned to betray you anyway. If you died, I would be gone forever, and if I tried to usurp you, all you'd have to do would be ask the system to dismiss me. I'm glad I never inherited your distrust of others."
Guilt filled Daz's chest, but he had to be sure. He couldn't afford to have any weaknesses. The last thing he needed in this apocalypse was having himself kill, well, himself.
The clone smiled weakly. "Don't give me that sad face, Original. I hate your untrusting nature, but I understand it. I also possess your memories as well as most of your emotions, it's just that your scheming nature and your longing for... well, those two things have control."
'Dammit. My feelings are really that hard to hide now? Even my clone is pitying me?' For some reason, Daz wanted to cry. He instead chose to laugh. "I'll figure out how to hide them soon."
"I trust you will," the clone replied. "By the way, Original, on the topic of the speech, it went fairly well. Ideas are being collected for the cultural activity and no complaints were raised about Mu. I did mention his crimes, but not the extent of them. Everyone has broken the law at some point in their life, so as long as they don't know exactly what Mu did or how much he did of it, they're content knowing that he's serving as Fort Skip's watchdog."
"That's good. It'll make it easier to explain if the truth ever does get out. Well, I'll summon you again if I need you. I might make you the placeholder ruler of this place if I'm ever out of town doing something. Under supervision, of course. How does that sound to you?" Daz suggested as he raised an eyebrow.
The clone smirked lightly. "I'd love a chance to prove myself to you, Original."
"It's decided then. Seeya later," Daz said.
"Goodbye, Original." The clone disappeared as Daz dismissed him.
Shaking his head and sighing as he walked into Fort Skip, Daz couldn't help but mutter, "I can't believe I'm asking my clone for permission to give it tasks. Boy, has the world changed a fuckton in the past couple of weeks..."
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