Shovels In Spades



Book 3 Chapter 32: Mr Barrier and Secret Override


A note from Lone

Second and final guaranteed chapter of the week.

"I wonder what you'll get," Daz mumbled as he watched Madison use her golden lottery ticket.

The two of them had decided to use her ticket first before using Daz's Skill Upgrade Tokens and his SS-ranked Item Token.

"Curious," Madison replied enthusiastically.

The training room that they were now in started glowing with a bright hue of shimmering-yellow as the ticket began making noises and fanfare like a local street raffle might have done.

Daz wasn't particularly impressed, but Madison was enjoying herself, so he chose to watch her instead of the ticket.

Madison's eyes were transfixed onto the ticket. Seconds passed before the golden slip of paper crumbled away and was replaced by a small ball of light aqua... fluff.

The ball was fuzzy and very real. It floated about in the air for a second or two before it seemed to find Madison. It floated over to her peacefully and then it settled on her shoulder.

"Cute," was all Madison said upon witnessing this. She carefully picked up the... thing and held it in front of her face. "Soft."

Daz looked at the ball sceptically. "I wonder what it is? Higher Identification."


Mr Barrier [S-Rank (Higher Tier) [Growth Item]]

A unique existence unpurchasable from the system.

It is a living being that is unkillable, and it has voluntarily asked to be labelled as an item, and thus its status has been removed and it is now an exclusive item of the host, Madison McArthur.

This little ball of dust is the true definition of a special snowflake. Take notes, Daz. You could learn a thing or two from Mr Barrier.

Did Someone Ask For A Barrier?


Did Someone Ask For A Barrier?
Creates an unbreakable and everlasting barrier around the host or a single object that the host designates. Note: Mr Barrier can and will remove the barrier when his mood sours. His barriers also have specific limits and restrictions, so do not expect him to make you invincible.


"Wow. That's... incredible, in more ways than one," Daz reached over to pet the ball of fluff in Madison's hands.

It was a bit cautious, but seeing as how Madison wasn't reacting poorly to this strange man, Mr Barrier accepted Daz's hands. After a few well-placed scratches, a purring sound eeked out of the fluffy ball of fur.

Madison immediately hugged him to her chest. "Cute!"

Daz chuckled. "How the hell did it make that sound? So strange. We need to test his barrier limits at some point. I imagine that'll be a really complex process, so we should probably do that once the auction's over."

"Okay," Madison agreed with a swift nod of her head. "Now, you?"

"Yeah. I guess I'll use my Skill Upgrade Tokens first. I only got two, so I need to think about this quite seriously," Daz said as he assumed a cross-legged position. "You don't desperately need a skill upgrade, do you? I'll give you a token if you do."

She shook her head. "No. You, what, skills, have?" Madison asked as she snuggled up to Daz. Mr Barrier gently floated up to her head and nestled himself there.

"Hmm? I've got a lot. Want me to list them all off?" Daz replied seriously.

Madison bobbed her head up and down in response. Oddly enough, Mr Barrier didn't move even slightly as she shuffled around.

"Okay. Well, first there's my new class ones; Mass Dig, Ore Collection, Master Tool Identification, Master Crystal Identification, Astral Crystal Control, Crystallisation, and lastly, the skill to summon Rimmy. As far as my other class skills go, there's Craftsmanship and The One Shovel To Rule Them All - that's God-ranked, so no point wasting a token on that," Daz detailed.

He then asked the system to show him his skill list since the rest of his skills weren't quite so fresh in his memory.

"After that, there are my racial skills, I suppose. First, we've got Halo of Absolute Judgement - another God-ranked one. After that, there's Archreaper's Aura, Absolute Harvest, Death Energy Solidification, Archreaper's Gaze, Justice Chains and Enemy of Chaos." Daz scratched his head. "That's a lot of skills, to be honest."

"Others?" Madison questioned.

"Yeah. I've got a few random ones too that I've bought myself, got through a token or made." Daz looked at those skills then stated them aloud. "Shovel Arts, Laughing Skull, Weak Death Beam, Grip of Death - which I rarely use, to be honest, Marksmanship - which I never use and will probably swap out when I reach the skill cap, Higher Identification, Legendary Gift of The Gab, and finally, Grave of the Humans which I'm not allowed to upgrade until my dreamscape mentor gives me the go ahead," Daz said with a light shrug.

"Ah, there's also Godly Universal Management. That's all of them," Daz added.

Madison counted her digits adorably until she suddenly said loudly, "Twenty-six!"

"Yup. I've got twenty-six skills. Twenty four really since all of the identification ones are kind of merged. I'd have a lot more if Shovel Arts wasn't so great. I need to combine more skills when I can. Ideally, I'd only have, like, ten or so active skills and the rest would be passives like Craftsmanship or permanent buffs like Enemy of Chaos," Daz claimed.

"Hmm... Higher, Identification, and, Grip, of, Death?" Madison suggested as she scrunched up her face in thought.

Daz smiled. "I agree on Higher Identification. I'm sick of being forced to not look at someone's status 'cause they might be able to sense or block it. Why Grip of Death though? I can't think of any good reason to use a Skill Upgrade Token on that."

Madison's eyes showed her confusion. "Never, use. Bad, skill. Make, good?"

Daz chuckled and then he unconsciously hugged the girl. "No. It's a great skill, I just haven't needed it yet. I rarely use too much death energy, and its other use is a bit... over the top for normal fights."

"Hmm..." Madison thought as hard as she could as she enjoyed Daz's warm embrace. "Rimmy?"

Daz shook his head. "I can upgrade him with money, plus, he just got a massive upgrade recently. I want him to get used to his new power before I give him another one. He's also in the middle of absorbing a very powerful gem, so I don't wanna interfere with that really, not until he's done, at least. I kinda want to upgrade a really powerful skill."

"Like?" Madison asked.

"Absolute Harvest or Laughing Skull. If I can absorb more stats or extract souls more easily, Absolute Harvest would be worthwhile. If Laughing Skull gets more uses, that'd be perfect, but I'm worried only its duration will increase. While that's good, it's not worth a rare Skill Upgrade Token," Daz said.

Madison took Mr Barrier off of her head and cuddled him again as she scrunched up her face. "Coin, toss?"

Daz tapped his chin a few times. "Let's do this."

He took out his box of unlucky dice and picked one out. "One to three and it's Absolute Harvest, four to six and it's Laughing Skull."

He threw the dice on the floor casually after declaring that. It rolled and spun until it finally landed on a five. "Absolute Harvest it is then."

Madison's eyes widened in puzzlement. "Huh?"

Daz grinned as he collected the dice and put it away in the box. "These things reduce your luck by ten-thousand points when you use them. My thinking is that if it landed on Laughing Skull, that means the other option was the better of the two. My instincts seem to agree. Understand?"

Madison nodded her head very slowly. "Think, so..."

With that adorable response, Daz used his tokens.


Confirm usage of [Skill Upgrade Token] on the skill [Higher Identification]?


Confirm usage of [Skill Upgrade Token] on the skill [Absolute Harvest]?


The young reaper rolled his eyes. "Yes, I confirm."


Confirmed. The skill [Higher Identification] has been upgraded to the skill [Master Identification]. The skills [Master Tool Identification] and [Master Crystal Identification] have merged perfectly with the skill [Master Identification], as a result, the skill [Master identification] has mutated to be the skill [The Crystal Digger's Master Identification].


Confirmed. The skill [Absolute Harvest] has been upgraded to the skill [Absolute Reaping].


"Oh, sweet. A skill mutation? I've never seen that before. System, show me the info for the skills The Crystal Digger's Master Identification and Absolute Reaping, please," Daz requested as he felt his excitement rising. He was really hopeful that Absolute Reaping was as good as he wanted it to be.


The Crystal Digger's Master Identification [SSS-Rank (Higher Tier)] [Up one entire rank and one sub-rank!]

Allows the host to identify anything with no restrictions. This particular variation is unique to the Archreaper of Earth, Daz.

Borrriiiinnnng! Man, why is the system so bad at being creative? Regardless, yeah, it's a powerful skill, but boy does it sound lame.

By saying or thinking 'Master Identification', most of the relevant information of the identified item/person shall be displayed to the host. Consent is not required by anyone save for other possessors of a variation of the Master Identification skill. The host shall be warned should they try to identify such a person prior to the skill being used.
By saying or thinking 'Secret Override', a random secret of the identified object/skill/being shall be revealed to the host. This cannot be blocked or detected by any means at all.


"Oh, awesome. That's a lot more useful than I was expecting. I wonder why it mutated in the first place? Maybe my luck? Or maybe the system doing me another favour?" Daz pondered aloud as he read the Absolute Reaping skill's details.


Absolute Reaping [SS-Rank (Higher Tier)] [Up 2 entire ranks!]

A very rare variation of the skill unique to reapers, Absolute Harvest.

This particular variant was first developed by the fourth Archreaper, Huy Selats. His hunger for power knew no end, which led to him evolving this skill when he accidentally consumed his own son's soul in a fit of rage.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: All Archreapers are either nuts or boring as all hell. You choose which category you fit into. Tip: No, you don't belong in both.

Allows the host to absorb souls in exchange for soul power. Limit of 5,000 [+4,500] lesser souls, 50 [+45] medium souls and 10 [+8] higher souls per day.
Allows the host to absorb bodies in exchange for energy. Limit of 20,000 [+18,000] bodies per day.
[New!] Allows the host to reap the souls of planets. Limit of 1 planet per year. Cost: 1,000,000 soul power and requires two weeks of constant concentration to trigger.


"Holy fuck. Planets? Really?" Daz cursed in shock.

"Hmm?" Madison cocked her head to the side as she started at Daz's face.

He smiled and scratched his cheek. "Well, it seems like I can kinda kill planets now. It's far from easy, but it's doable, so... yay?"

"Yay!" Madison would happily take any opportunity to celebrate. Perhaps she should have been worried that Daz now had a viable method to destroy a planet's soul - and presumably kill it, but this was Madison, the girl who loved Daz and Rose more than anything else in existence, including Earth and even herself.

"Hahah," Daz chuckled as he decided to use his new identification-related ability on Absolute Reaping just to test it. "Secret Override."


Randomly selected [Absolute Reaping] secret: If the host uses it to reap the soul of a planet, the skill's creator, Huy Selats, will immediately be informed of the host doing so.


Daz stroked his chin once more in thought. He spammed the ability a few more times on Absolute Reaping to see if he could get a new secret, but it only gave him the same one over and over again. "Very useful. It seems to be limited to one secret per thing, but still, that's one more secret than none. I wonder what other secrets are hiding in my equipment and skills?"

He would check later, undoubtedly, but for now, Daz had an SS-ranked Item Token to redeem, did he not?

A note from Lone

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