"Death Energy Solidification," Daz and his two clones said together.
Immediately, four extra bulging arms grew on their bodies; one above and one beneath each of their normal arms.
The three of them then all walked backwards until they were about thirty-feet away from the measuring device. Daz paid the one-thousand merit point challenge fee then spoke to his clones. "Clone One, Clone Two, throw me as hard as you can towards that machine before you, Clone One, throw Clone Two. To give you both some motivation, I fully intend to name you guys after this auction is over today."
Clone one's eyes shined. "I'll do so, Original."
"Of course, Original," Clone two answered emotionlessly.
Without wasting any time, both clones picked up Daz and worked together to toss him as hard as they possibly could. Within the same second, Clone One grabbed Clone Two and spun him around before launching him as well. He then sprinted forwards himself.
Daz poured all of his death energy into his four astral limbs, increasing their power several-fold. With a massive bang, all six of his fists slammed into the measuring device. He lingered there in mid-air for a moment before his halo shined and forcefully made him dodge Clone Two.
Copying his original, Clone Two empowered his extra limbs as he hit the machine. Just like Daz, he also didn't have the time to physically evade the six punches of Clone One, so his halo moved him out of the way as well.
Daz dismissed his death energy limbs as Clone One struck the device. He watched the number showing the total tonnage of force rapidly rise before it finally stopped at a solid '321'.
Congratulations! You have won the [Test of Strength] jackpot!
Your prize: 4,547,000 merit points.
|The total merit balance of the host is now: 37,927,641 [+4,547,000].|
Daz dismissed his clones and sighed. "So even though I used two clones that had sixty-percent of my stats and power, on top of the fact that I exploited the laws of inertia, I barely passed one punch of Crusher's without her new feather attachment? To be fair to me, she was in her Titan form and she used a God-ranked skill from what I could tell, but still... I might need to invest in a skill or two to enhance my physical prowess..."
Hsiao-Han wore an interested look on her young and lava-cracked face. 'I never thought of using gravity. It would have gone against the point of testing myself, but I could have won the points If I'd done something like that. He also talks to himself a lot. What a weirdo. He's giving me a lot of information without realising it... Or is he doing it on purpose?'
"Hey," Han called out to him, interrupting his contemplation and forcing him to give her his attention. "Stop handing out information. In exchange, I'll tell you something interesting."
"Hmm? Sorry, it's a habit. Sure," Daz replied.
Han sighed softly and said, "I'm the champion of The God of War. There, now stop forcing me to reveal stuff to you, please. I'd prefer a consensual exchange of information."
'Oh? 'Forcing'? Does she have some sort of skill or racial trait that forces her to hand out knowledge of equal value to that which she receives? Maybe it's not mandatory. Could it boost her powers if she follows that rule? Can she enforce it onto others if she gives them knowledge without their permission? Very interesting,' Daz wondered.
He smiled lightly and said, "Sorry. Anyway, It was nice meeting you, Han. If you don't have any plans to join another ruler in the next auction, would you wanna come to my suite? I wouldn't mind chatting some more with you."
The girl shrugged. "Okay."
"Great. Well, I'll see you later in that case. Again, it was nice meeting you," Daz said in farewell.
The girl just waved slightly while still sitting on the floor.
The casinos in the champion gambling ring were far more profitable than those in the ruler champion ring.
After Daz had cleared out the best three, he returned to the general gambling ring and did the same to the second and third largest casinos since he had neglected them originally.
Daz was now back on his way to the largest casino where he had left Rose, Madison and Vanessa. 'System, show me my merit points and my ranking list, please.'
|The total merit balance of the host is now: 54,510,045.|
|The host's overall Lord ranking is #1, the host's overall Point ranking is #4 [-1], the host's overall Kill ranking is #232, the host's overall Evolution ranking is #3, the host's overall Skill Creation ranking is #49, the host's overall City Owner ranking is #28, and finally, the host's overall Potential ranking is #3.|
'With this many points, hopefully, I can buy a lot of good upgrades for Waterford. Since I have my Godly Universal Management, I should ignore all of the normal upgrades and buildings that show up in the ruler auction. That's assuming the ruler auction will be selling such things. Hopefully, there's some good unique shit available. Still, there are three people with more merit points than me? I wonder who they are and how they have more?' Daz thought as he walked into the Korean restaurant where he'd left his family and Vanessa.
He had texted Madison before he came back, so they should be waiting for him further inside. He started walking towards the section of the restaurant where the table they were supposedly at, was, however, someone blocked his path to the establishment's second floor.
"So you're Daz..." a scantily-clad woman with plenty of curves - perhaps too many curves - said as she used her large body to prevent Daz from stepping forward.
The young reaper folded his arms across his chest. "And you are?"
"Oho, look at me, forgetting my manners." She took a paper fan out of seemingly nowhere and used it to partially cover her flabby face. "I'm the Duchess of Cambridge, vassal to King Vincent, but you, Honey, you can call me Lady Bethany."
"I see. Well, 'Lady Bethany', could you please move? I have business upstairs," Daz asked. Of course, his mind was working in the background. 'King Vincent? Is that the same Vincent Redcliff that was leading that group of lords when I first entered the Court of Lords? If so, what's he a king of? She said she's the Duchess of Cambridge, right? That's in England, isn't it? I do remember Vincent sounding posh. Her as well... Is he the king of the United Kingdom, England, or just a group of ten-thousand or more people? I should ask Ben. He's in contact with that old man, isn't he?'
"Such a curious boy. Well, I've made my greetings." She closed her fan and smiled coyly. Despite all of her rolls of fat, she still somehow looked charming. "Until we next meet, Lord of Waterford."
She strolled past him, clearing the way to the restaurant's second floor. Daz shook his head as he walked up the flight of stairs. "There are so many weird and wonderful people out there now thanks to the apocalypse. First Vanessa, then Larry and Han, now this Lady Bethany and King Vincent. Mu and Crusher too, now that I think about it."
As soon as he reached the second floor, he was greeted by Madison who linked her arm with his. "Was, waiting. Miss, you."
Considering the time dilation, it had been about twelve-hours since he'd last seen her. Of course, he'd been texting her as he got familiar with the auction phone, so he didn't wholly share her feelings of longing. As long as he knew that she was thinking about him, then he was satisfied. "Where are the others?" he asked with a warm tone.
Madison tugged at his arm and pulled him through the restaurant's second level. She stopped when they had reached a large table occupied by several people.
As ever, Rose was busy typing away on her laptop. Vanessa was playing on her phone. Crusher - still in her male clown disguise - was watching a dance-performance on her own phone while across from her, Dorian was doing some maintenance on his mechanical arm, it would seem.
Rose glanced at her brother briefly before she said, "You had fun. I see you got a lot of points and met some interesting people."
Vanessa pried her eyes away from her phone and smiled when she saw the young reaper. "Ah! Daz! Welcome back!"
Dorian kept his attention on his arm, but he nodded his head softly and said, "Hi, Lord. It's been a while since we last talked. How're you doing?"
Daz sat down while Madison placed herself next to him. "It has been a while since we last had a proper conversation, hasn't it? I'm doing well, thanks."
"I heard about your emotions from Crusher, and more recently, from Rose. That must be tough to go through," Dorian said as he took off a part of his mechanical arm and began closely inspecting it.
Daz shook his head lightly. "I doubt it's even half as bad as going along with Crusher's every whim."
Crusher laughed. "Are you kidding me? This little fucker refuses to play along a lot. That makes it more fun though."
Dorian chuckled dryly. Long were the days that he shied away from every little thing.
Daz found it remarkable how much everyone had changed in just over two weeks. He had to wonder if that was just human nature, or if the system was subtly guiding everyone to adapt faster than what was natural.
"Rose," Daz called. The girl gave him a grunt to ask 'yes?', so he continued, "I met another person who's evolved. I was thinking, why haven't I seen more of them? Her's was very visually dramatic. Kinda like my halo. It was an obvious evolution. I was just curious as to why there aren't more evolutions like that."
Rose shrugged. "Two main reasons. Reason one is the same reason that you didn't become a Soul Devourer when you had the chance to despite the power you would have gotten. People don't want to abandon their humanity. Most people who can evolve, do it like Ellie. They get human races, not new species. And if they do get new species like you, they tend to choose ones with humanoid appearances. Of course, as the days tick on by, this is slowly changing. More people are willing to abandon their humanity for greater power."
"Reason two is a little bit simpler," she said as she stretched her arms and popped her wrists before she went right back to typing away on her alien laptop. "Basically, only zero-point-one-two-five-percent of the population have evolved. In raw numbers, that's exactly two-hundred-and-eighty-six-thousand-two-hundred-and-fifty people since there are two-hundred-and-twenty-nine-million people left. Funny coincidence how round that number is."
She looked at Daz for a second and added, "So, yeah, there's just under three-hundred-thousand people out of over two-hundred-million that have evolved. Most of them evolved with human races like Ellie's Telekinetic Witch. Quite a lot of the more inhumane ones wore disguises to hide the changes like Crusher. I can't find out more specific info unless I see someone like that in person or if I pay a ton of merit points."
"I didn't do this to hide me bein' a Titan, by the way. I just did it for fun. I get your point though," Crusher noted and then downed a tankard of beer before she called over a waiter android for a refill.
Daz tapped his finger onto the table a few times thoughtfully. "Okay. That makes sense. That's a really low percentage though, even if it is a lot of people at the end of the day."
"Meh. Apparently, that's a really high turnover actually. From what I know, most tests don't even allow the testees to evolve, and the ones that do, only one or two people on the entire planet actually evolve. Sometimes, a few dozen or hundred. Very rarely, a few thousand. Earth is the first to have hundreds of thousands. Though I can't get more details until the tests are over, it's still pretty interesting," Rose said with a casual shrug.
Daz smiled. "I'm sure. Thanks, Rose. You answered my question perfectly."
The girl nodded. "I am the Champion of Information. It'd be retarded if I couldn't do at least this much."
Daz and Madison stared at Rose and slowly inched towards her after she had said that. "Oh. Crap." She only just now realised that, while she hadn't cursed, she had said a pretty offensive word. She covered her mouth hurriedly, but her low stats weren't good enough to protect her from her loving parents.
Support "Shovels In Spades"
- 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.