Shovels In Spades



Book 3 Chapter 35: Tokens Galore and Merit Point Averages


A note from Lone

First guaranteed chapter of the week.

Pheldorapod waited until the first item had been carted onto the stage and revealed before he spoke again. "As you can all see, lovely champions of Earth, there are five tokens here. I'm sure you are all curious as to why, exactly, there are so many. Perhaps you get all five in one purchase? Perhaps they are all actually one item? Perhaps they only work together in a set?"

He stayed silent for a moment to build up the anticipation. "In truth, the answer is very simple. The champion auction shall only be selling three items, however, we have five of each item in stock today!"

Pheldorapod gestured with his tentacles to the tokens and then said, "This particular token type allows the host to change their initial class! A reroll, so to speak. It is known as the Class Reset Token!"

This announcement had many people excited. "Indeed, indeed, indeed! Wouldn't it be a dreadful shame to be the champion of a powerful lesser god like the God of Thunder, only to have your weapon be something less combat-based like a fishing rod or perhaps a cell phone? Wouldn't it be far more usual to reroll as a lightning sorcerer or sorceress? My, with the right class, the limits are almost, well, limitless!"

Pheldorapod skulked his way over to the trolley and shook his massive squishy head sadly. "I know that a lot of you still don't quite understand the full value of these precious little tokens. This saddens me greatly."

He made strong gestures with his body as he took off a few of his monocles to wipe away the tears that he hadn't wept. "It would be down-right criminal of me if I didn't change your minds. Criminal, I say!"

Daz raised an eyebrow as he watched the octopus alien putting in so much effort. 'What's up with him? Isn't it already obvious what those tokens are worth? They're honestly amazing. I'd buy them all if I wasn't trying to get the Skill-cap Upgrade Tokens.'

Crusher just laughed. "Y'know what? I like this guy! He's full of shit, but he's a pretty funny squid."

Mu cocked his head to the side. "A squid? I thought he was an octopus?" The Asian man frowned. "I must brush up on my English even more..."

Rose sighed heavily. "I'm surrounded by baboons. Crusher, you're an idiot if you think he's trying to up-play those tokens, and 'Mu', you're not even speaking English. The system is translating your words with the skill it gave you for the auction, remember? As an FYI, it's also translating our words into Mandarin for you."

Crusher burst out into uproarious laughter upon hearing Rose's harsh words. "Man, getting dunked on by a fuckin' kid is awesome!" She didn't even bother trying to refute the girl. From what she knew, the little smartass was pretty much right about everything that she said.

Mu just scratched his head as he tapped one of his sandalled feet against his leg. "Ah, you are right. I completely forgot."

Daz smiled warmly at all of this. 'Even if she's a rude little shit, she's still a kind girl on the inside... I'm glad. It was hard to see when my emotions were sealed, but now... now it's almost as clear as day...'

Returning his attention to the screen, Daz listened carefully to confirm if the way that he assumed the tokens could be used was, indeed, correct.

Pheldorapod brought several of his tentacles together and formed a smile by moving his internal organs about. This looked both charming and incredibly disturbing at the same time. An interesting effect, that was for sure.

"For those of you hesitant to bid on these lovely little tokens, especially you three Second Classers, the most important thing to note when it comes to these lovely little items, is that they are not bound!" Pheldorapod revelled in the emotions stirring amongst the champions from this revelation. "Indeed! You may purchase these tokens and provide them to your subjects, your friends, your family, whomever you wish to give them to, and give them a chance to reroll their class!"

After announcing that, the alien happily moved away from the trolley and adjusted his monocles one more time before saying, "Well, now, shall we begin the bidding for the first Class Reset Token?"

"Puha!" Crusher exclaimed as she finished a bottle of exotic spirit from some hard to pronounce planet. "Well, Uriel, what's the plan? Gonna buy 'em?"

"My plan is to exploit my instincts. Originally, I was going to sit out of this auction until the end, but I feel like my instincts are good enough now to help me here... I hope," Daz explained cryptically as he rubbed his temple a bit.

He had a very mild headache, but he was certain that it was nothing to worry about since his Lifeforce hadn't moved an inch. If he had to pin it on anything right now, it'd just be mental fatigue and stress that had built up due to his new emotions.

Vanessa looked confused. "What do you mean?"

"Well, we'll see soon, won't we? This first token is a bust though, it would seem," Daz replied with a light sigh. "If any of you want one of those, now's the time to get it safely if you have the points. I wouldn't recommend it for any of you except for Han, maybe. You all have great classes suited for you," he said as he looked at the young girl seating on a couch by herself. "I don't know you well enough to make a solid judgement, Han."

"I do," Rose said after casting a slightly concerned look Daz's way. "She'd be an idiot to change her class."

The reaper frowned. "Call one more person an idiot, and I'm taking your wheelchair away from you and holding you in a princess carry for the rest of today and tomorrow. That includes bringing you to the toilet and putting you to bed, so watch your mouth, yeah?"

Rose visibly trembled. "Sorry..." 

Crusher cackled loudly while Vanessa had an envious look on her face. Han looked impassive at this exchange, and Mu, well he wasn't interested in the least. Familial bonds weren't 'cool' as far as he was concerned.

Before long, the first token had been sold for the high price of ten-million merit points.

"Rose, out of curiosity, you don't happen to know what the average merit point count was before the auction, and the current average as well, do you?" Daz asked his little sister.

"I do, actually. I was interested myself when you got over forty-million points just between the ruler auction and this one," Rose claimed as she pulled up a tab on her laptop's browser.

Daz wasn't very familiar with the internet and how it worked, but he was fairly certain that she wouldn't get any service here assuming the connections on Earth were still up and running. 'She's mentioned a system database before... I wonder if she's connected to a system-run internet service or something?'

Rose, oblivious to her brother's thoughts, gave him the answer to his question. "The worldwide average before the auction was twenty-thousand merit points rounded down. The worldwide average right now sits at forty-six thousand rounded up. As for the top percentile of survivors, the average before was six-hundred-thousand rounded to the nearest ten-thousand. As of right now, it's at two-million rounded to the nearest hundred-thousand."

Daz stroked his chin thoughtfully. "And you wouldn't happen to know who is currently rank one and who is rank two on the merit ranking list, would you?"

Rose shook her head. "Ranking list info is super expensive. I can afford it, but I'd rather not waste my points on useless info like that. With enough background information, I could figure that shit out on my own."

"For Christ's sake, stop swearing. You'll end up like me," Daz said with another small sigh escaping his lips. "You'd hate that now, wouldn't you?"

The girl shrugged. "I certainly wouldn't mind walking."

Vanessa and Han both felt a bit awkward upon hearing such a dark comment while Crusher chuckled lightly.

Daz just bopped her on the head. "You get to walk in your dreamscape, and besides, it won't be long until you can walk on your own two feet, right? My amazingly intelligent and snarky sister is more than capable enough to get platinum-level access to the shop and system then do whatever she needs to do in order to cure herself, now isn't she?"

Rose's face wore a disgusted expression. "Never speak to me in the third person ever again, please?"

Daz stood up and put his hands on Rose's shoulder before he leaned in towards her. Their noses were practically touching now. "She is, isn't she?" he asked again in a more intimate and quieter tone this time.

Rose's face was redder than Hamson's blade purely in response to her brother's proximity to her. She very slowly nodded. "Yeah, she is. Happy?"

"Very," Daz replied with a big grin on his face.

Vanessa was having her own private thoughts about wishing to have a father or a big brother care for her like Daz did for Rose, but Han, on the other hand, was simple regretting getting involved with Daz in the first place.

'It must be true what they say... Only the insane are the truly successful. I'd never act so affectionately in public with a relative like that... Although, I don't have any relatives now, so I guess I can't really judge them...' the Taiwanese girl said to herself mentally.

"Finally. I was getting worried that my idea was flawed or that no one was going to use one," Daz mumbled to himself as he connected himself to the bidding room of the fifth and final Class Reset Token.

He got up and stood next to Mu and Rimmy as he looked down onto the stage and started saying his bid numbers out loud.

Crusher leaned over the sofa that only Vanessa was on now since Daz had gotten up. The Titan clambered over the piece of furniture and got herself comfy. Her cheeks were tinged with a light hue of pink, but otherwise, she was perfectly sober.

"Hey, Hotwheels, you got any clue what Uriel's mumblin' 'bout?" Crusher asked as she nudged Rose's arm.

The girl raised an eyebrow. "Hotwheels? Heh. That might be the first nickname of yours that I actually find funny."

Crusher grinned. "I label 'em as I see 'em. Glad you like it, anyhoo, gonna answer my question?"

"He's abusing his instincts. Figure out the rest on your own. I'm busy cracking his storage skill, and I've only got so much time to do that since the system is being a picky bitch, so I'd appreciate it if you left me alone for now," Rose answered dismissively.

"Is that so?" Crusher yawned then stretched like a cat before she flopped her body - which was still that of a male clown - over and rested her head on Vanessa's lap. "I'mma sleep. Wake me up if something interesting happens."

Vanessa froze like a deer in the headlights and very slowly craned her neck down. "Wha-Wha-"

Rose interrupted her meltdown by saying, "Remember, the one inside is a burly eight-foot tall Russian woman in her late twenties. Don't think too deeply about it."

Mu glanced at the snoozing clown curiously. "He's an interesting person. Ah, right, woman. She's an interesting person."

Rose gave him a dirty look. "Yeah, she is. Her background is colourful, but not nearly as colourful as yours."

Mu just smiled in response to that as he innocently scratched the back of his head.

Suddenly, Daz turned around. "Seems like I was right. Well, I'll see you guys in a minute." After saying that, his body disappeared only to reappear on the stage. He had been challenged.

A note from Lone

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  • The Scottish Slothy Sloth

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