Shovels In Spades



Book 3 Chapter 37: Crusher's Success and Xiao Meimei


A note from Lone

First guaranteed chapter of the week.

"Now, of course, as telling as this name is, it doesn't quite explain what these lovely little fruits do, now does it?" Pheldorapod asked rhetorically.

He basked in the anxiousness and curiosity that absolutely filled the auction hall before he continued talking. "A Limitless Fruit of Evolution is quite special, even by the system's standards. I can assure you of at least that much."

Pheldorapod adjusted his eyewear for a second and said, "I'll be using my authority as the owner and master of The System's Grand Auction to reveal that a lowest-class species can evolve a maximum of five times normally."

He frowned internally as he felt the system trying to reject his attempts to divulge even more sensitive information regarding evolutions. 'You cheeky little creature. This isn't the first time that I've done this, so why try to stop me now?'

The system didn't answer and continued to wrestle away the octopus' ability to speak on this topic right at this moment. 'Hmm... Are you trying to keep this information from Daz? Is this to help his growth by making everything more organic?'

A tremble in the system's attack gave the powerful alien all of the knowledge that he needed. Grinning internally, he thought, 'Fine. I won't fight you over this, but you owe me yet another favour.'

A feeling of consent washed over Pheldorapod as the system stopped interfering with him.

Nodding softly, Phedorapod coughed. "Ahem. As I was saying, this very special fruit will grant the consumer a free evolution chance!"

'If Daz wins one, I sincerely hope that he figures out on his own what I wanted to say before the system stopped me,' he thought a little bit regretfully. "Much like with many other items during today's auction, good testees of Earth, these fruits are bound to their winners. Any other person who tries to eat them might break their teeth, so caution is advised."

With that said, the auction began.

Crusher, Han, and Mu, were all actively participating in the auction for the fruits while Daz just watched on in silence.

Vanessa found this a bit odd, so she voiced the question that was plaguing her mind. "Um, Daz... Aren't you gonna buy one too?"

He raised an eyebrow as he looked at the girl. "You didn't realise what I was doing with the Class Reset Tokens? I'm doing the same thing here."

"Ah, um, the thing with your instincts? I didn't quite understand it..." Vanessa admitted as she scratched her cheek lightly.

Daz nodded. "Basically, I can tell when a ticket will be used on an item. I need to focus a lot, but I can do it. I'm saving as many points as I can for the final five items - the Skill-cap Upgrade Tokens, as well as for my home city, Waterford. Because of that, so long as I win the challenges, I can get the items free of cost."

"Ah! So you're trying to get more points by only bidding when you'll get challenged? I could never do that... What if you got beaten in the challenge?" Vanessa asked with genuine worry in her tone.

A snort filled the suite. Rose cast her new friend a side-long glance. "At this point, considering all of the cheats my idiot of a big brother has at his disposal, anyone who can beat him in a legit one-on-one fight deserves a medal or something."

Daz smiled faintly. He placed his hand on his sister's head and rubbed it roughly. "As much as I love your twisted praise, don't call me an idiot, please."

The ten-year-old grunted in agreement.

"By the way, Rose, are you gonna bid on a fruit?" the reaper asked.

Rose shook her head while Daz was still rubbing it. "It won't help me, and my points are better spent elsewhere."

Daz smiled wryly then removed his hand. "If you say so."

Vanessa was, of course, envious of this little show of theirs, but she continued to wear a smile as she chatted with the pair of siblings.

Crusher was successful in winning the first fruit. Upon her win, Pheldorapod stated that each person could only use one fruit. The consumption of more than one would result in no further evolutions.

Crusher didn't eat her fruit immediately since Rose belittled her for even thinking about it. The girl's reasoning was that the fruit should only be used when so much time had passed that it seemed like further natural evolution was impossible.

Since Crusher viewed Rose as both smarter and wiser than herself, she agreed with the foul-mouthed kid.

Han and Mu continued to bid on the second fruit but were defeated by a woman called Akira Mai who had bid a grand sum of thirty-two million merit points for the fruit.

Daz calmly stood up as soon as bidding began on the third fruit. "This one's mine," he casually said to Mu and Han.

Mu didn't mind in the slightest, so he happily accepted and wandered off to the suite's bar to have a drink with Crusher. Han was far less okay with Daz's claim, but she knew that she couldn't match him as far as merit points went, so she backed down as well and stopped bidding.

The bid on the third Limitless Fruit of Evolution continued to rise until it had finally apexed at a grant total of thirty-nine-million merit points. Daz couldn't hide his excitement at the prospect of being given that large sum of money by his challenger.

As he had hoped for and predicted, just as Pheldorapod was announcing him as the victor, the system gave Daz a notification.


A rival host has used a silver ticket to challenge you.

Should you accept and win, the item [Limitless Fruit of Evolution] shall be awarded to you free of charge and the challenging host shall be forced to pay you your highest bid as compensation. Should you lose, nothing will happen.

Should you decline, you will be refunded your bid and the item will be awarded to the challenging host.

Warning: the auction master has the right to say anything about either party should a challenge take place to build up the crowd's excitement. This can be used as a good opportunity to advertise the host.

Do you accept the challenge? Y/N.


'Great, a silver ticket. I wonder if anyone besides Father and myself got any golden ones?' With this, he had nothing to fear. 'I accept.'

Like the other two times that he had been challenged, Daz appeared on the right side of the stage.

Pheldorapod was quite surprised to see Daz being challenged for a third time. Suffice to say, it was rare enough for a person to have a ticket used on them once, let alone twice. Thrice made the octopus think that Daz was using some sort of skill or power that he was unaware of to abuse the auction's mechanics.

''How very fascinating. Is it an internal power? Perhaps I should invest some more of my interests into Earth... Is this why the system has an eye on the boy?' the auction's host wondered.

Daz, unaware of the alien's thoughts, checked out his opponent. She was a busty woman who was probably in her mid to late-twenties. She was wearing a silk Chinese dress that showed off her curves in just the right ways. Held in her hand was a thin bamboo smoking pipe.

'Huh. Another powerful Asian champion like Mu? Is that pipe her weapon? Master Identification,' Daz asked himself in wonder as he pulled up the woman's information.


Xiao Meimei's Status
Basic Information
Name: Xiao Meimei Species: Demon
  Race: Seductress Succubus
Age: 43 Sex: Female
Class: Mistress Of Love Affinity: Chaotic Neutral

Born an orphan in Chongqing, Meimei struggled to live day to day as starvation plagued her.

One day, the old mistress of an underground brothel saw potential in the girl. Twenty years later, Meimei would go on to murder the old mistress and take up the position herself.

She and her employees have made a solid foundation for themselves in the society of Earth after the system's tests began.

Meimei has many goals, one of which is to secure safety for herself in this unstable and ever-changing world.

Secret Description
She is the champion of the God of Sex.
Lifeforce: 3,000/3,000 Stamina: 2,700/2,700
  Pheromones: 12,500/12,500
Patience: 700(840) Wisdom: 900(1,080)
Charisma: 2,000(2,400) Item Boost: +700. Intelligence: 1,000
Attractiveness: 5,000 | Item Boost: +640. Immunity: 840
Luck: 400 | Item boost: +50. Fate: 652
Constitution: 1 | Item Boost: +400. Regeneration: 1 | Item Boost: +400.
Charm: 4,000 Item Boost: +1,050. Insight: 900
Tolerance: 150 Ingenuity: 500 | Item Boost: +250


Daz cared little for the woman's real age nor did he care for her past. What he did care for, was her power. 'She's strong. Very strong. Even more so than Mu. Mistress of Love? Hmm... how strong is the God of Sex? Is that god a higher god, or a lesser one?'

Many questions raced through his mind as he began inspecting each of her racial traits as well as her skills and items. Her secret was a useless one like with Andre, which disappointed the reaper somewhat.

Pheldorapod humbly bowed as he said, "Ladies, gentlemen, the genderless and everything else in between, I believe that at this point, we are all very well acquainted with the Lord of Waterford, no? For that reason, I'll abstain from detailing his exploits this time. As the saying goes; too much of a good thing can diminish the experience."

He then masterfully waved a few of his tentacles towards Xiao Meimei. "Now, what have we here? Oho, quite the testee indeed!"

The Asian woman smiled coyly towards Pheldorapod and gave him a wink. "You're too kind, Mr Auction Master. I'm just a nobody when compared to you."

The octopus turned red and began wriggling about. "Mr Auction Master... I like the sound of that... Ahem. Anyway, shall we list this lovely young lady's achievements? I think we shall!"

Daz frowned lightly upon seeing this. 'Dangerous. She took advantage of Pheldorapod's ego to butter him up, huh? Those five stats; Charm, Charisma, Attractiveness, Luck, and Fate. They work together amazingly well.'

"Xiao Meimei here has a total of two achievements! I know, I know, that's half of Daz's, isn't it? But please, don't think that they aren't grand and spectacular in their own right!" Pheldorapod exclaimed.

Xiao Meimei had a brief look of sourness flash across her face before she smiled amiably and took a puff of her bamboo pipe.

'Hmmpf, like someone at your level could ever sway my reasoning. You're a million years too young, Girly. No matter what you try, the other testees will find out about these achievements. Being nice won't worm you out of this, though it will certainly make me feel happy,' the sly alien privately thought.

"Firstly, Xiao Meimei has done something unbelievable! Not only is she a ruler of one of the only four system sanctioned empires of Earth, but her main city is the home of over two-million citizens! Quite the amazing achievement!" Pheldorapod announced.

Daz held his chin in thought. 'Is it though? She's from China, right? How many people lived in China before the apocalypse? Over a billion, right? I guess if you look at the total population of the world now, then yeah, two-mil is a lot. That's just under one-percent of Earth's total remaining population.'

"Secondly, she has personally killed over ten-thousand fellow Earthian testees! Now, of course, I won't say why she killed these people, but that's quite the astonishing number, no?" Pheldorapod asked sweetly as he revelled in Xiao Meimei's hidden fury.

'Ah, this is perfect. People who don't understand the power that using a ticket or accepting a ticket's challenge grants me are absolutely delectable. Lay bare all of your secrets to me...' Keeping his mind separated from his actions, Pheldorapod gestured towards both Daz and Meimei before he said, "Let the challenge begin!"

A note from Lone

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