Shovels In Spades



Book 3 Chapter 5: Holy Cross and Gambit's Signet


A note from Lone

First guaranteed chapter of the week.

Fruit of Luck [S-Rank (Higher Tier)]

A fruit cultivated over the span of three decades by the prophetic clan of Fate Worshippers situated in the Sitronian Desert of Gug'la.

A fruit that's small, edible, a weird colour and it boosts your powers... Isn't this just a shitty Devil Fruit?

Ripeness: Max Durability: 25
Upon consumption, increases the host's [Luck] limit by 1,000 points.
Upon consumption, increases the host's [Luck] by 500 points.
5,000,000 Merit Points


"Holy shit..." Daz quietly exclaimed. "That's a lot of fucking points for an S-ranked fruit... System, out of curiosity, how much does the tree cost?"


Confirmed. The price of a single [SSS-ranked (Higher tier) Tree of Luck Fruits] is 1,000,000,000 Merit Points.


"A billion?" After thinking for a second, he nodded his head. " I suppose that makes sense. A tree like that probably won't wither anytime soon, so the harvest must eventually outweigh the cost... Interesting stuff."

Daz spent five minutes after that looking through other options and eventually decided to go with the system's recommendation. As much as he wanted another physical item, he had to admit that he was incredibly strong right now.

His instincts weren't screaming at him, but whenever he looked at an item that boosted his luck or the ability to gamble, it would give him a light warning that it might be wise to get them, so he figured that the auction wouldn't only involve bidding on precious items. If gambling was involved, then he'd certainly want to have any and all advantages where he could find them.

Daz used the item token and bought the fruit. It almost looked like an apple, except it was pure blue in colour and almost sand-like in texture. Its taste? Worse than shit. Daz didn't complain, however, when he saw his Luck - his hardest stat to raise - increase. The cap limiter going up by a full thousand as well was very pleasing to witness.

Now rolling between his fingers were the three item upgrade tokens. Reika was floating next to him as she marvelled at his feat of dexterity. It was like he was a master sleight of hand, which, well, he was. He'd been pickpocketing for over a decade, so he could do these simple coin tricks even without the help of his high stats.

"System, out of all of my items, can I upgrade each one?" Daz had a feeling there'd be a restriction on Hamson due to its unique method of improving.


Denied. [The Travelling Gear of Altros, The Wanderer] as well as [Hamson] and the [Box of Wonders] may not be upgraded with the host's [Item Upgrade Tokens]. They may only be used on the host's [Earring of Calm Mind] or [Daz's Personal Safe]. They may also be used on many of the items available in the shop or other peoples' items.

It is recommended that you do not upgrade your extremely weak items, as this would be a waste of the tokens.


"Hmm, that kinda sucks..." he muttered as he stroked the sphinx-bone earring sitting on his right ear.

Thinking about it, the earring had been immensely helpful in assisting him with keeping his head in check when he was first starting to get his emotions back. Of course, its paltry luck bonus was almost negligible, but Daz still liked the accessory. 'The damned thing was lucky enough to survive the final attack from Ellie's M Destroyer when even my hair wasn't spared, wasn't it? Guess it wasn't all that bad blocking with the left side of my body, hahaha...'

"Screw it. System, use two of the tokens on my Earring of Calm Mind," Daz said. 'I'll save the other one for Rose's laptop. It's not a VR machine, but hey, I'm sure it'll suffice as a good early birthday present, right?'


Confirmed. Are you sure you wish to use two of your [Item Upgrade Tokens] on your [Earring of Calm Mind]? 


Daz groaned. "Two-step authorisation here as well? Yes. I'm sure. Thank you for your concern, system, but it really isn't needed. I think several times about my decisions before I make them."

'Unless you're angry,' Reika noted.

"... Unless I'm angry, which is far more frequent of an occasion recently... Okay, forget my complaint." Daz just shook his head in defeat.


Confirmed. [Earring of Calm Mind] Has been upgraded to [Holy Earring of Tranquility]


Daz ran his fingers across the accessory and noted that it had grown in size. It felt lighter and more stiff in its placement, but it was also now in the shape of an incredibly ornate cross. "Is this being moulded off of Christian lore or something?"


Denied. It is not moulded from the lore of Earth as this particular item actually is from Earth and is an original item much like its Egyptian predecessor, the [Earring of Calm Mind].


"Right... I actually forgot about that... I never stopped to care before, but doesn't that totally mean that Earth has been through a test before? System, can you confirm that?" Daz asked, somewhat hopeful for answers now that he had platinum-level access.


Denied. All information about where tests have and/or are being performed requires Ruby-level access.


He laughed in response. "Of course. That must be unlocked at rank ten of the merit point ranking then if we're following the flow." Daz should have expected a roadblock there. "Okay, whatever. Higher Identification." He used one of his oldest skills on his newest item.


Holy Earring of Tranquility [S-Rank (Middle Tier)] [Up 2 entire ranks!]

The cross of the true founder of Christianity on Earth, Amaryahu.

It was forged in 10,430BC by an ancient and still thriving clan of blacksmiths called - in English - 'The Undying Stars'. Their location is unknown to the system, but they have always taken advantage of its prior tests to sell their excellent wares for various goods.

Before you say it, I'll say it. Yeah, the system's sweet on ya. Look at it. The damn thing's basically confirmed that tests happened on your planet before, all sneaky-like by exploiting its own rules, eh? Cute little thing, isn't it? Wants to impress you and everything.

Luck: 250 [+245] [New!] Regeneration: 100
[New!] Wisdom: 250 Durability: 10,000/10,000 [+9,900]
Extreme Calm Mind [+Extreme]
[New!] Aura Booster


Extreme Calm Mind
Passively calms the host's mind.
[New!] Can actively be used by the host to wipe away their rage which cannot be calmed by the passive effect once per day by saying the trigger word [Death] while touching the cross.


Aura Booster
Passively increases the effects of any auras the host possesses.


"Very nice... Still, really? 'Death' is the trigger word? Is that a coincidence or was it tailored to suit me?" Daz didn't get an answer since he was speaking rhetorically. He didn't really care. "It is nice to know that this isn't Earth's first test though. I wonder if that has anything to do with esper powers and bloodlines and why they aren't listed by the system?"

Again, only silence met him. He shrugged and pulled out the last of his tokens: the item exchange ones. "System, what can I even trade these for?" He was going to miss his merit rings, but, to be honest, they really didn't give him that many points every attack day, and he was just happy to at least get something in their place instead of them simply becoming inert now that the system managed his rewards personally.


Confirmed. There is a list of 7,234,216,756,346 possible items to exchange for the [Item Exchange Tokens].


"Em, yeah, no. Fuck that." Daz hated how stupidly massive the system was. "Just... show me the best recommendation, please. It's probably luck-related if things keep following the trend."


Confirmed. Displaying [Gambit's Signet]


Gambit's Signet [B-Rank (Higher Tier)]

A mass-produced and fairly common ring used by rogues and thieves alike.

It was developed in secret by an unnamed orphan of the interstellar module: 46aG, with the hopes that she would be able to earn enough money via gambling to buy her way to a life of luxury.

Shortly after she started her plan, she was accused of cheating by a bitter competitor. While not technically cheating by the establishment's standards, she was still stripped of her ring and sold off to be a sex slave.

The ring made its way to the BQ Ingot Corp who aptly mass-produced it and sold it illegally via backend channels.

Man, this chick really got shafted. No name, no luck despite owning a ring meant to give it, sold off to please some pig, no doubt. Oh well. Coulda been worse. At least she wasn't a mopey edgelord ruling over a castle in the middle of bumfuck nowhere... What? Don't give me that look.

Luck: 75 Dexterity: 50
Charisma: 25 Durability: 500/500
Loaded Die


Loaded Die
Allows the host to vastly improve the chances of a dice roll ending in their favour. Limits: Can only be used once every five minutes. Scales off of the luck and/or fate stat(s) of the host.


"Oh, yay." Daz's voice was saddeningly monotonous. "Do I get a prize for being right?"

Reika was clapping her hands enthusiastically. She couldn't see his system screens, but she could hear him talking to himself, so the tiny spirit found it funny how he was joking with the system who was - to the best of her knowledge - lifeless.

"I guess I'll get two of them, system. I'll probably need them for the auction then if you're recommending it. Gambling's confirmed then, huh? Oh, also, do the effects stack?" Daz asked.


Denied. The stats will stack, but the skill shall not.


"Hmm... Guess I'll give it to Rose. She could use it. Probably better than I can as well with that big ol' brain of hers," Daz smiled as he formed a prank in his mind that would certainly spook his little sister. "Confirm the exchange of two of the signets, please, system."




Two small globes of light appearing in front of Daz, so he placed a palm underneath each one. A second later, two rings with large - almost badge-like - signets depicting a hooded figure rolling a dice landed on each of his hands. They were pure bronze in colour, and if he didn't look at them specifically, then they blended into the background like they were trying to hide their presence from him.

He held his chin in thought for a bit and decided it was time to use his two new stat slots before he had a repeat incident of the liches. He'd rather not waste so many free stat points again in the future, if at all possible.

He slipped one of the Gambit's Signets on his right middle finger and stuffed the other in a pocket before he browsed the stat section of the store.

He bought regeneration like he'd promised himself he would, and his second stat was the patience one. This one might have seemed selfish and stupid, but he desperately wanted it to help him with his anger issues. He only bought a single point of regen but splurged on patience by buying two-hundred points.

His reasoning? Daz wanted to be as calm as he could to be more intimidating and less easily manipulated during the auction. Sure, he could later come to regret this, but for now, it was the stat that made him feel the most emotionally secure. Sometimes, that was more important than gaining the most power at all possible opportunities.


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 Death Energy: 20,000/20,000
Strength: 1,100(1,320) Dexterity: 1,000(1,250)
Constitution: 1,100(1,320) Agility: 800
Charisma: 680(705) Ingenuity: 840
Defense: 1,600(4,500) Immunity: 316
Soul Power: 6,000 Luck: 1,000(1,325) [+500]
Justice: 140 [+20] Corruption: 0
Combo: 200 Wisdom: 700(950)
[New!] Regeneration: 1(101) [New!] Patience: 200


The total merit balance of the host is now: 2,499,488 [-65,000].


Nodding his head in satisfaction, Daz checked the time and saw that he still had fifteen minutes, so he left to find Rose to give her the early birthday presents he had as well as to treat her with his 'prank'.

A note from Lone

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  • The Scottish Slothy Sloth

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