Shovels In Spades



Book 3 Chapter 34: Merit Star and Baggage


A note from Lone

Second and final guaranteed chapter of the week.

A/N: Finished and coloured Rose artwork in the footnote. I'll be posting it together with Daz's finished art when it's been a month since I posted that on Patreon, but for now, Rose won't have a dedicated post since the background is kinda weak.

Direct Line To God
Allows the host to connect themselves with their patron god and channel their godly power into the host's body. Doing this consumes a single merit star per second from the host and ten divine crystals from their patron god. (Currently sealed due to the host's patron god being incapable of channelling their power to the host).


"What the hell?" Daz asked aloud as he knitted his eyebrows and frowned. "What's a merit star and why is the God of Shovels not able to help me right now?"

The system dutifully answered the first half of his question.


Platinum-level system access is required for that knowledge. Confirmed access level of the host to be Sapphire-level.

A single merit star is equivilant in value to 100,000,000 merit points.


It then tried its best to deliver the information regarding the second half of his question, but unfortunately failed.


Denied. The requested information can only be viewed by the gods.


Daz raised an eyebrow. "Really? So with my current points, I can only barely afford three-quarters of this skill for just a single second? Isn't it useless? Well, for now it is I suppose. The system must have suggested this for a reason like it did with the Luck Fruit. I doubt it wanted me to get the replica of Pala's Spade just to buff Hamson an incredible amount, did it?"


Denied. The requested information can only be viewed by Pala - the God of Shovels, or by the system.


Daz sighed. "System, if I don't directly address you, please don't try to answer my questions, okay? I appreciate it a lot, but it's unnecessary. Or, in fact, do answer them, but only if I have the required access level, 'kay?"




Little did Daz know that he was the first person in existence to have gotten the system to agree to such a personal preference. Many otherworlders and space dwellers would go so far as to destroy planets to stop the system from notifying them every time that they thought about a question or said one aloud to no one in specific had they the chance. It was truly a curse for those who had platinum or above access to the system.

Madison cocked her head to the side as a peridot floated in front of her eyes. "System, helpful. Nice."

Daz nodded. "It is. I'm very thankful for what it did with you and those jackasses that you mentioned. I wonder if Rose has found out who they are yet? Knowing her, I wouldn't put it past her if she could already name their favourite colour when they were in fifth grade or something equally absurd."

Madison smiled with her eyes. "Mmm. Auction?"

"In a sec. I wanna check something first. Secret Override," Daz said as he used Master Identification's ability on Hamson and the shovel's two new skills.


Randomly selected [Hamson] secret: Something great and something disastrous will happen if Hamson has a total of ten skulls.


'Info on the skulls? Sweet. It's pretty vague, but that's better than nothing,' Daz concluded.


Randomly selected [Spade Form] secret: The weapon [Hamson] is the only weapon in the mortal plane that can transform into a spade from its base form.


'Okay... Kinda useless knowledge... I wonder if this skill even has any good secrets? I kinda doubt it,' Daz thought in disappointment.


Randomly selected [Direct Line To God] secret: The cost for both the host and the patron god can be halved if the skill is used in an area with strong godly energy.


'Oh, that's a pretty nice secret to know. I've no clue where such a place is nor how rare they are, but I'm certainly better off knowing as opposed to not knowing,' Daz thought happily. 

He then stretched - causing his back to crack - before he spoke to Madison. "Yeah. I should get going now. Wanna walk me to the waiting room? Considering how the time-dilations here work, I think you'll leave the auction basically as soon as the champion auction starts. I should be out at the same time."

"Mmm. Continue, playing?" Madison asked as she got close to Daz and held his hand.

He grinned. "Sure. You should be aggressive more often. Cute Maddy is great, but sexy Maddy is even better, you know?"

She buried her face in his chest. "Bad..."

Rimmy and the floating gems watched all of this silently. The humanoid golem couldn't help but think that he liked seeing his master being so happy. If he had one wish, it would be to preserve this happiness of Daz's, and for that goal, he'd do anything, just like any other self-respecting servant would do for their master and their best friend.

"Hello, Sir," the android enthusiastically greeted Daz once he had entered the champion auction. "As everyone is a champion here, it is required that you use a private booth. The same rules as usual apply, except the restrictions on how many items you may purchase has been removed for this auction. Please let me know if you have any questions. The auction won't start for another fifteen minutes."

"No limits? Why?" Daz asked.

"Of course, Sir. That is because this auction is only hosting a total of fifteen items. Should one have the means to buy all items, then the system deems that to be fair since this is a gathering of champions. If a champion can buy every item on offer here, then they deserve them. The system used to have this rule for the other auctions as well, but Master Pheldorapod fought tooth and tentacle to put restrictions on them. 'It made them more entertaining', was his reasoning," the robot explained.

"I see... I guess the system favours the strong getting stronger and the weak staying weak. I wonder why?" Daz asked himself. "Anyway, take me to my suite now, I suppose. I've not got any more questions."

"Of course, Sir," the android replied as it bowed lightly and then led Daz to his private suite.

Once there, Daz called out to the system as he got himself comfortable. "System, please invite the hosts, Shen Mu, Crusher, Ellie Richie, Rose Hamilio, Vanessa Jacoby, and Hsiao-Han to my suite."


Confirmed. Inviting listed hosts.


In the few seconds before anyone accepted his invitation, Daz asked the system to try to invite three more people. "System, invite the hosts Lyle Middleton, Benjamin Rock, and Adam Stiller."


Denied. None of the listed hosts are present in the [Champion Auction].


Daz frowned. "So none of them are one of the two unknown champions?"

Just after he wondered that, Rose, Vanessa, Crusher, Han, and Mu, all appeared.


The host [Ellie Richie] has refused your invitation.


'Really? Interesting. She's really changed since Jorden, Sarah and Ger passed away, huh? I should have a chat with her after this is over. If not today, then tomorrow at the latest,' Daz thought privately as he sat down and got comfortable.

Rimmy stood next to the glass that showed the auction hall and the stage while the sentient gems all harmlessly floated around the room.

As far as Daz's guests were concerned, Rose moved her chair mentally as per usual and wheeled it next to where Daz was sitting.

"Sup," Crusher casually greeted as she immediately waltzed over to the bar, still disguised as a clown, obviously.

Vanessa sat next to Daz on the couch and smiled softly. "Hi again, Daz."

He nodded at her. "Hi."

Han found her own chair while Mu went to play with the floating gems. He found them to be very interesting.

Crusher wandered back over with two large beers in her hand. She held one out towards Daz. "Up for a drink, Uriel?"

He considered it for a moment before saying, "Sure. Why not?"

"Hahaha! That's the right attitude!" Crusher used her fingers to skillfully pop open the beer bottle caps, and she then passed one to the young reaper. "Cheers," she said as she clinked her bottle with his then downed her drink in one long chug.

Mu and Han watched this with different looks on their faces. Mu was quite clearly impressed while Han seemed to be confused.

"I guess some introductions are in order. Rose, Vanessa, Crusher, this is Mu, and this is Hsiao-Han, but feel free to call her Han," Daz said as he gestured to all three of them. 'I probably shouldn't say too much for Han's sake.'

Crusher gave both of them a friendly wave as she went to get her second drink. Vanessa introduced herself very humbly while Rose didn't take her eyes off of her laptop's screens.

"Mu, Han, the clown is Crusher. She normally looks like an eight-foot-tall muscular woman, but she chose to have some fun with the auction's disguise system. She's also incredibly strong. It would take a good chunk of my effort to beat her as I am right now, I suspect," Daz confessed.

"Heh..." Crusher returned with a bottle of vodka in each of her hands. "Define a good chunk, would you, Uriel?"

"About thirty-percent?" Daz estimated.

"Someone's cocky. After this shit's over, let's fight. Put your money where your balls are and all of that shit," Crusher suggested with a toothy grin strewn across her painted face.

Mu cocked his head to the side and held his chin. "Put your money where your balls are? Is the saying not 'put your money where your mouth is'? Was the book on English phrases wrong, or did I read it poorly?"

Rose snorted. "Crusher likes to skew things, nicknames in particular. Don't take her seriously, Bei Fan."

Mu's eyes opened wide. "Where did you hear that name?"

"It's on your status. I also know who your parents are and why you act the way you do." Rose lifted her eyes up and glared at the Asian man. "You tread on thin ice, Mister. Prove yourself worthy or I will convince Daz to kick you out."

Daz gave his sister a very surprised look. "What's this all about?"

She gave Daz a heavy sigh. "That man right there isn't a guard dog so much as he is baggage. Really heavy baggage. You have a version of Master Identification now too, don't you? Just look at his description if you want to know more."

Daz shook his head. "Unlike you, I've recently grown to respect other people's privacy if they're nice to me." He then looked at Mu. "Don't worry about Rose. She's a snarky little devil, but she's only thinking about Fort Skip's well being. Tell me about what she mentioned when you're ready. I'm confident I can help."

Mu smiled faintly. "Thank you. I will."

Han was frowning very heavily. "Too much information. I should have rejected..."

Rose looked at the girl who was the same age as her and cackled a little bit. "What a shitty tick to have. I already know literally everything about you. Even the fact that you're wearing white panties with a black lace border. Consider that as payment for any info you learn from citizens and allies of Fort Skip for the foreseeable future, well, excluding Daz. Not much I can do about him since he knows a lot of 'valuable' things. Okay, Little Miss Parricide?"

Han seemed upset for a moment before she appeared to think of something. "Okay. Thank you. That's a weight off of my shoulders for the immediate future, I suppose."

Daz reached his hand over and rubbed Rose's head quite roughly. "Stop being a little shit, okay? I love you Rose, but I really can't bring you anywhere."

The girl sulked. "I'm not the one making friends with people that should be thrown into insane asylums."

The group of six then went about their own things or drank and talked as they waited for the auction to start.

Before long, the multi-monocle-wearing octopus made his way onto the stage and, consequentially, the televisions in the many suites.

He used one of his tentacles to stroke his exceedingly hairless head in a very professional manner. He then cleared his non-existent throat. "Ahem."

Now sure that he had everyone's attention, his numerous eyes became crescented in joy. "Ladies, gentlemen, and everything else in between! It is my greatest pleasure to have you all here with me tonight for Earth's very first champion auction!"

The final auction of The Grand System Auction had officially begun.

A note from Lone

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  • The Scottish Slothy Sloth

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