Shovels In Spades



Book 3 Chapter 3: Steven's Approaches and Poor Timing


A note from Lone

First guaranteed chapter of the week.

Tall. Sharp looks. A trimmed stubble. Short and wavy blonde hair which had clearly been styled. A gold piercing in his left ear. Low-hanging and almost lazy eyes. Dark skin, but not quite black. Perhaps from mixed parents. His clothes were nice. If Daz had to hanker at a guess, maybe designer brand. He'd never cared much about fashion anyway, so he wasn't sure.

The man sauntered into the throne room and only stopped when he was a few feet away from the throne itself. He eyed both Daz and Madison top to bottom, his gaze lingering on Madison. "Man, she's fucking hot. You look better now, but how'd an ugly bastard like you nab a beaut like her? Spill the beans."

Daz raised an eyebrow. He cared very little about his looks. He may put on a show with Rose about it, but he genuinely wasn't interested in the subject. This curious person was just that, curious. He wasn't angering him... yet.

"It's a little thing called charm. You might want to invest in some," Daz paused for a moment to check the man's status, "Steven."

'Chaotic neutral, huh? I wonder if he's feeling my Enemy of Chaos skill? He doesn't look afraid... Maybe he's resistant to fear or just strong-willed?' Daz checked the man's skill list and saw nothing out of the ordinary. That meant that he was either very strong-willed, enough so to ignore the skill like Ellie had been doing since her family's death, or he was simply skilled at hiding his fear.

Steven laughed. "Come on, bro, don't gimme that shit." He turned his attention back to Madison. "Hey, Gorgeous, why're you with Mr Glum over here? There's gotta be, like, a million other folk out there better for you."

Daz didn't let Madison reply since he knew she intended to blank the man. This wasn't the first time something like this had happened to her. "I'm assuming you're putting yourself in that category, Steven?"

Rolling his eyes, Steven shrugged. "Duh. I mean, no offence to the boss man himself or anything, but I'm probably bigger than you. If you know what I mean."

"No, I don't." Daz smiled. "Elaborate."

Steven smirked. "I could always give her a demonstration. You know, let her test the merch before she swaps. I'm not a generous dude, but I'll give it to her free of charge."

Now Daz's anger was starting to bubble. Crosius had a pained look on his face. "Perhaps you can see why I didn't wish to handle this matter on my own without letting you first see the man. Do you want to hear his request, Your Grace?"

Daz shook his head. "I'll probably reject it regardless, so let's hear it from him." He looked back at Steven who was smugly standing there. "So, what do you want, Steven?"

"Nothing much," he replied. "I just want a job in the keep. Not an actual job, but the system one. Ten-k a day for doing nothing? That's a pretty sweet deal."

"No," was Daz's simple response.

Still beaming from ear to ear, Steven just chuckled. "Figured. Well, was fun chatting." He winked at Madison and put his hand to his ear in a phone-like motion. "Call me some time, Gorgeous. We'll work on spreading those nice legs of yours or something."

As he was walking towards the exit, Steven suddenly found himself on his face, body pressed fully against the ground. There was an unknown weight and a vast pressure on his back and he could feel his spine cracking.

"I don't know your game or why you're playing it," Daz said in a low and intimidating tone, "but if you ever fucking try to hit on Maddy again, I will have Rimmy tear you limb from limb, string you up on the outer walls as an example to all, then I'll rip your heart out and eat your soul."

Steven laughed as he coughed. His chest was being squished against the floor. "What about your rep, oh mighty boss man?"

Daz knelt down, keeping his foot lodged in Steven's upper back and he lifted the man's head up by his hair. He stared right into his eyes and said, "Fuck my rep. I can rebuild it. No one, and I mean no one, treats Maddy like that. Want to test me?"

Steven spat in his face. Daz calmly wiped the saliva from his cheek with his free hand. "Cute." He slammed the man's head down onto the cold hard floor of the throne room, instantly breaking his nose and sending several teeth flying out of his mouth. He then took a knife out from its sheath which was strapped to his thigh and brought it to Steven's right hand.

"A finger, a few fingers, or the whole fucking hand. Your choice, Steven," Daz stated with nothing but ice in his tone.

"I'm a gambling man. Let's go with the hand." Steven laughed as he spat out some blood and a shattered tooth.

"Trying to play a mind-game with me?" Daz smiled. "You think I'm going to not do anything now that you've chosen the worst option?" There was madness in Daz's eyes. "Tell me, Steven, who are you working for?"

Silence and a bloody grin was his only answer. "I see. I'd put my money on my father. I do have to wonder how he got you in here. What's the plan? Disrupt my growth? Spread dissent among the people? Make them distrust me? What a fucking joke. No, I bet you're a probe sent by someone working under him. You were probably told to rile me up, gage my reactions, see if I was emotional."

Steven wasn't looking quite so happy now. "Ah, so I'm right. What did that bastard always used to say when I was still around him? 'Sometimes, oh foolish Steven, a lack of an answer is an answer in and of itself,' if I'm remembering correctly."

Steven was now stiff with fear. "Look, man. Don't kill me. I don't know anything, okay?"

"Maybe Father would have tortured you, mind-raped you somehow were he in my shoes, but you know what?" Daz took his leg off of Steven's back and went back to his throne. "I'm better than him. Leave my base. Leave my city. I won't kill you, Steven, because I don't need to. This is a firm warning. If I ever see you again, I'll beat you within an inch of your life, maybe castrate you for what you said to Maddy. I'll certainly take that hand, that's for sure. I see you a second time? I guess I might get a little bit savage. I like it when the souls struggle."

"Big man with big words," Steven responded as he wobbled up to his feet. "I guess I'll catch you later."

"I'd like that." Daz's smile remained in Steven's mind as he left the room.

Crusher whistled. "Fuck me sideways and call me mommy. That was hella fun to watch. What happened to 'peaceful Daz'?"

Wiping his hands clean of the blood and his face more thoroughly of the spit with a cloth a servant had passed him, Daz replied, "Still there. Peaceful doesn't mean compliant. People want a fight? Want to antagonise me? Fine. Let them. I just need to work twice as hard to make it okay for me to do shit like this whenever it happens."

Daz waved his hand lightly, making his first clone appear. "You."

"Yes, original?" it asked.

"You know what to do," Daz said.

Without replying, the clone nodded and wandered out of the throne room. Crusher threw Daz a curious look. "Damage control. I don't know what Steven's going to rant about as he leaves, and if he tries to stay, the clone'll throw him out. With excessive force."

"Good point." Crusher picked up her hammer and reduced its size back to normal before slinging it over her shoulder. "Guess I'll catch ya later. Either at this auction crap, or afterwards. Again, thanks for the show."

"See you then, and anytime." Daz took Madison by the hand and returned to their bedroom while Crusher left to go practice her puns and jokes on her unsuspecting victims.

Daz was laying in his bed with Madison wrapped in his arms. He had originally wanted to work on his skills today, but he just summoned his other clone and chose to let him practice instead. He wanted to spend time with the woman he loved since he had been neglecting her as of late.

"I'm sorry," Daz suddenly said.

Madison raised her head from his chest and looked at him quizzically. "For?"

"For being an idiot. I let my anger control me there. I'm still getting used to all of these intense emotions. It's just that when he said those things to you, about you... I wanted to skin him alive and rip off h-"

Madison's lips covered Daz's and she slipped her tongue into his mouth, exploring every nook and cranny as if it was her first time doing so. Daz played along and guided her across his teeth before he pushed back and found himself in her shoes. He chose to dance with her tongue and savour the sweet and familiar flavour of her saliva.

The two parted with heated breaths and misty eyes. Madison smiled sweetly. "Okay. Not, you, then, me."

Daz pressed his forehead against hers and grinned. "I guess so. I can't help but think that maybe I made a mistake... Maybe I'd have done better if I was thinking straight... Maybe he'd have done better..."

Madison shook her head. "No, one, better. Don't, think." Madison flipped herself over so she was on her back instead of facing Daz and she then tugged on his arm, making him place himself on top of her. "Play?"

Daz kissed her collarbone softly before he traced his tongue along her neck, bringing it up to her chin. He then softly planted his lips on hers and smirked. "I'm happy to 'play' all day if you want. The auction can wait."


Warning! [The Grand System Auction] shall commence in 1 hour! Participation is obligatory. All hosts should adequately prepare themselves and be ready for [The Grand System Auction]. Please collect all merit points and/or [The Grand System Auction] related tickets the host may have stored elsewhere as soon as possible.


A growl escaped Daz's lips, bordering on a snarl. "Cockblocking system..."

Madison tugged on his muscled arms. "One, hour?"

Daz was a bit startled before he caught her meaning. "Yeah, you're right. One hour." He was damned sure he'd make this a fantastic hour for the both of them or he'd make the system pay for ruining the rest of his day. He wasn't sure how, but he'd do it if it came down to it.

A note from Lone

And fade to black~

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  • 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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