Shovels In Spades

by

Lone

Book 3 Chapter 10: Data Tracker and The General Auction's Start

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A note from Lone

Second and final guaranteed chapter of the week.

I finally got the achievement for having over 7,500 comments on this website... I reply a lot lol.

Congratulations! You won the duel.

Your prize: [60,000] merit points.

 

The total merit balance of the host is now: 6,471,641 [+60,000].

 

Daz rubbed his chin with a happy look on his face. 'Just under three million points in twenty-two hours... Amazing. I've learnt so much as well. I hope I made a good impression on everyone. The more people that want to serve under me, the better. System, what's my point ranking now?'

 

Confirmed. The host's overall Point ranking is #18 [-33].

 

'Good progress. Eight more ranks until my next reward. That should be ruby-level access to the shop and system, right?' Daz wondered as he waved goodbye to the six martial artists whose weapon was their fists.

He stretched his body lightly and apologetically declined a few offers to duel him that came his way as he returned to his and Rose's table. He hadn't come back in over twenty hours, so he was curious if his sister was still awake or if she had found somewhere to go sleep.

'She should be fine, right? You can't hurt people in here since the androids'll fuck you up if you try, and she's a champion, so she can just decline anyone stupid enough to test her,' Daz reasoned as he squeezed through the crowd. Most people gave way for him after seeing his halo and recognising who he was, but there were still thousands of people roaming about, so it took him five minutes to find his table again.

He was a bit confused by what he saw. The table was littered with candy wrappers as well as soda cans. Both Rose, and - surprisingly - Vanessa, were huddled up in what looked like sleeping bags. There were both awake and seemed to be playing a voice-operated co-op game on Rose's new laptop while the device's side screens displayed various people that he recognised doing different things.

"Why the hell hasn't an android come to clean this mess up yet?" he asked loudly, making Vanessa jump.

Rose just turned to acknowledge his existence before looking at the table then back to the monitor. "Because I ordered thirty cans of juice and these snacks then I told the robot not to come back until we were finished with them."

Daz sighed and signalled one of the mechanical waiters. It rushed to his side and bowed its body. "How may I be of assistance, Sir?"

"Clean this trash up," Daz ordered it as he took a seat opposite the girls.

"Of course, Sir." Like a vacuum cleaner, everything that the waiter's hand hovered over disappeared into a tube in its palm. After that was done, the android bowed once more, then rushed off to assist someone else.

Rose frowned. "Why'd it follow your order and ignore mine?" Before Daz could offer up his best guess, she'd already found the answer. "Ah, 'cause you're my lord. I suppose that makes sense."

Vanessa moved her head inside of her sleeping bag and her eyes were sparkling as she gazed at Daz. "Fort Skip is amazing!"

"Huh?" Daz wore a perplexed look on his face. 'Why does think it's amazing?' Knowing Rose, she'd just talk poorly of it or avoid the subject since it was boring to her.

Rose looked at her older brother like he was an alien. "Ah, right. You don't use technology much. You haven't looked at your auction phone?"

"No. Why? Did something important happen?" Daz asked in response.

Rose paused her and Vanessa's game before she brought up three scenes, one for each screen. She then spun her laptop around and showed the screens to Daz.

Looking at them, Daz was happy to see Sandy, Bobby, Carl and Ellie winning third place in a building contest that had more than two-thousand teams participating in it. He was a bit shocked and very disheartened by Crusher's show in the Test of Strength. 'Eight-million points? Fuck. She'll probably be stronger than me again after this is over unless I can double, no, triple my points, at least.'

The third screen was the biggest shocker thus far though. Mu had breezed through most of the trials of The Test of Endurance and was only stuck on the last trial, Nirvana. "That sign is a bit..."

Vanessa still had that strange look in her eyes. "Isn't it cool?!"

"Eh? Yeah, I guess," Daz hesitantly agreed. 'I mean, it's nice to see him trying to promote us, but him and Crusher both... They're idiots. Sandy did a good job. As expected of the people's leader.'

Daz - unlike his past self from a few days ago - no longer held any doubts about Sandy's motives nor about the fact that most of his citizens saw the man as their true ruler. It made no difference to him since the ex-foreman was loyal and somewhat of a father-figure to the young man.

The last thing Sandy needed after all he'd done to help build Fort Skip's community and being a pillar of support for Daz in his moments of weakness, was distrust and an unfair helping of paranoia from the man whose hands he had placed his own life in.

They were small steps, but Daz was easing his way out of his pessimistic nature slowly and carefully.

He pulled himself out of his self-reflective state and smiled at the two girls that looked like they were wrapped in cocoons.

"I'm surprised you're still here, Vanessa. Did you not want to explore the other rooms?" he asked as he cupped his hands and rested his chin atop of them while his elbows sat on the tabletop.

A hand crawled up the sleeping bag and scratched its owner's face. "I was having fun on the phone, and sometimes people challenged me to a fight. Plus, Rose let me play some fun games with her, so I wasn't very bored. The time just kinda flew by?"

"It also helps that you don't need to sleep in this place. Before you ask why, it's because of the time differences. Less than two hours have passed in the real world, so for us normies that still need to sleep usually, we're fine," Rose added.

Vanessa wasn't stupid. She could tell that Rose was being sarcastic towards her brother. "Eh? Does Daz not need to sleep?"

"One of the many perks of being a reaper," he explained casually. "Anyway, Rose. I was thinking of returning to the waiting room since the general auction starts soon."

"Okay," Rose replied immediately. She moved her wheelchair with her mind after grabbing her laptop, and she then rolled out from the table while still all snuggled up in her sleeping bag. "See you at the auction, Vanessa."

A warm smile from the teen filled the area. "Mmm. I'll see you both there!"

Daz politely bade farewell to his fellow champion before he took the reins from Rose and pushed her chair for her.

As soon as they were back in the hallway, he asked, "We'll be seeing her in the auction? The one where over two-hundred million people will be?"

Rose peered up at Daz briefly and then she groaned. "I have a class skill. 'Data Tracker'. It lets me track anyone that I've touched and find out their exact whereabouts twenty-four-seven. It shouldn't be too hard to find her before the first item gets sold. There's an internal downtime in the auction of thirty minutes to get everyone seated and prepared. And even if we can't find her, lords and champions get their own suites that you can invite people into via the system."

"I see." Daz nodded. "I'm glad to learn more about my secretive little sister's skills."

Rose pouted, but otherwise stayed silent and continued to mess about with her laptop.

On their way to the waiting room through the hallway, several people were brave enough to comment about the two's odd appearances.

"Is she in a sleeping bag?"

"Looks like it. Weird."

"Hey, isn't that the guy from the fighting room streams? The angel guy."

"Ah. You're right. I heard he was an Archreaper though, not an angel."

"Heh... The system's full of mysteries. I guess that explains why his halo is grey, not gold."

"More importantly, why's he pushing a cripple's chair for her?"

"Hey! I heard that's his sister. He's super protective of her."

"Yeah. He tortured some thugs for thirty minutes for threatening to assault her. Scary guy. They were practically lifeless dolls when the fight was over."

"Eh? That's not scary. I'd have done the same."

"True, still a bit creepy though."

"Isn't he kinda handsome? I wonder where he's from?"

"Is he single? Do you think I should approach him?"

"He has this 'stay away from' aura. It's kinda mesmerising..."

As usual, Daz paid no heed to the peanut gallery that was making a show of him, especially the last few comments. Rose found it far more distracting than he did, so she folded her laptop up and buried her face in her hands. This only made the people watching them point out how adorable she was being even more than they were before.


"Welcome to the general auction of The Grand System Auction!" an android said to Daz and Rose as soon as they had stepped through the general auction's door.

"Hi," Daz responded while Rose just ignored it.

"As a champion and a lord, there a few special rules in place, Sir, Madam," the robot claimed.

Daz cut it off before it could run him through what Rose had already explained in the waiting room. "I know. I'm limited to ten purchases in this auction while she's limited to five. And I can invite whoever I want to our private booth should we choose to use one. Also, anything significant about us will be announced should we wish to double our purchase limit."

The android's eyes flashed for a few moments. It was seemingly getting told how Daz and Rose could possibly know this early. Its eyes calmed down shortly afterwards and it wore a humbled smile. "Excellent. Well then, Sir, Madam, shall you be using a single exclusive suite, or separate ones, or perhaps no suites at all?"

"A single one," Daz replied.

"Of course. And might I ask if you wish to reveal your most prominent pieces of information during the auction to double your purchase limit? As an example, your name, what you rule over, what you are a champion of as well as any rankings you possess in the top one-thousand shall be announced should you win a bid on an item," the robot happily explained.

"Yeah. We're fine with that," Daz answered. Rose nodded her head when the android looked at her for confirmation. The more fame they got, the better. It would make them look arrogant to some and may even be viewed as a challenge, but to the most ordinary of survivors, it would be a show of power and a reassurance that he was able to protect them.

"Excellent. I shall guide you to your private room. Please, this way," saying that, the android started walking through the crowd of people and robots, so Daz followed it.


"Hey, Sten."

"Yes, Leston?"

"Is it just me, or did all of the Earthians disappear?"

"Quite so, old boy. It would appear that they have. How curious..."

"Stop stroking your moustache. We should be worried, shouldn't we?"

"Nonsense!"

"What?"

"Why should we be troubled when no doubt Lord Daz is with them?"

"Hmm... You just don't want to get out of the tank, do you?"

"W-What an audacious claim! Leston, I'll have you know that this is my property and it is my right to pla- ahem, to train with it every day between one and three!"

"Mmhmmmm... Have you even asked the lord about giving it to you yet?"

"O-Of course I have! I am nothing if not honourable. I swear it on the name of my great grandfather, Halodius!"

"I thought you were an orphan before you joined the army?"

"Ahem... Regardless, it truly is quite peculiar how everyone has disappeared, no?"

"Yeah."

"Leston?"

"Yes, Sten?"

"Care for some tea?"

"..."

Naturally, the two idiots had been informed already about The Grand System Auction from General Retford. As usual, they were too busy goofing off in their own little world to remember that.

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A note from Lone

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Read up to 17 chapters ahead as a patron!

Give my other novels a read if you have the time, please.

Main Stories (guaranteed 2 chapters per week)

Lone: The Wanderer | Shovels In Spades

Side Stories (no set release schedule)

Hello, You're Through To Hades, How Can I Help You Today? | Paradox | The Magic Of Science


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About the author

Lone

  • Scotland
  • 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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