Shovels In Spades



Book 3 Chapter 53: New Quest and Choice Selections


A note from Lone

First guaranteed chapter of the week.

Note: I personally think it looks less professional, but I'm gonna start using numbers in place of the usual hyphenated words. It's just easier to read that way. For example: one-million-five-hundred-thousand = 1,500,000.

Daz agreed when he was given the second confirmation notification, and he immediately checked his status after the new stat had been purchased.


Confirmed. The total merit balance of the host is now: 83,200 [-2,000].


Host's Status
Basic Information
Name: Daz Species: Reaper
  Race: Archreaper
Age: 20 Sex: Male
Class: Crystal Digger Affinity: Lawful Neutral
Lifeforce: 100,000/100,000 Death Energy: 98,000/100,000
  Worldforce: 10,000/10,000
Strength: [LR] 1,500(2,250) Dexterity: 1,500(2,250) | Item Boost: +50. [+1]
Constitution: 1,560(2,338) [+1] [New!] Intelligence: 10(15)
[New!] Transparency: 10(15) Agility: 1,260 [+1]
Charisma: 1,140 | Item Boost: +15 [+1] Defense: [LR] 2,000 | Item boost: +3,000.
Immunity: 775 Soul Power: 6,460 [+1]
Luck: [LR] 1,250 | Item Boost: +325. Justice: 150
Corruption: 0 Wisdom: 1,160 | Item Boost: +250 [+1]
Regeneration: 460 | Item boost: +100 [New!] Mana Sensitivity: 1


"Oh? That's interesting. So class-related skills are all forced to the top, huh? Nice to know. Also, Limit Reached stays and is abbreviated for stats that are maxed, huh? Anyway, system, show me the details of Intelligence, Transparency, and Mana Sensitivity, please," Daz requested.


Confirmed. Displaying listed stats.


[New!] Intelligence
The ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills.
Effect and Limit
Increases the host's ability to learn by 0.5% per stat point.
Limit of 2,500 stat points for an Archreaper.


[New!] Transparency
The condition of being transparent.
Effect and Limit
Increases the host's ability to blend in and make themselves seem like they belong by 0.25% per stat point.
Limit of 750 stat points for an Archreaper.


[New!] Mana Sensitivity
A constant state of being that allows one to feel and detect mana with ease.
Effect and Limit
Increases the host's ability to sense and learn all magics that originally utilise mana or that can use mana as a power source by 0.25% per stat point.
Limit of 5,000 stat points for an Archreaper.


"Hmm... Hey, system, is it possible to upgrade stats? Like, evolve them somehow?" Daz asked as he held his chin in serious thought.


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

Yes, stats may be evolved, but only when the host has reached that stat's limit for the host's species/race and only when certain conditions have been met. Normal stats can evolve a total of two times, while Special stats may only evolve once.


"Huh... That's good to know. I'm assuming stats that only cost 200 points to increase are normal, while ones that cost 2,000 are special," Daz speculated as he got up and cracked his neck. "System, what's the time?"


Confirmed. The local time is currently: 6:22AM.


"Okay. I think I've plenty hours to spare for one more dungeon sweep then work on Waterford before I need to be back at the keep to deal with the serious suggestions and complaints, right?" Daz asked no one in particular.

As he was leaving his workshop, he muttered under his breath, "Woulda been nice if I had swapped out my stats after I'd done the first dungeon run. Oh well, I guess my instincts can't predict the future."

It was at that moment that Daz suddenly got a quest which blocked his vision, resulting in him halting in his tracks.


Quest Title: Saviour of Nevada
Quest Type: Emergency/Optional
Quest Difficulty:  SS
Quest Goal
Close the sinkhole that is threatening to swallow the state of Nevada.
Quest Rewards
+50 points in all stats.
A random B-rank item.
A system sanctioned pass to claim any one city in Nevada free of cost.


Daz was obviously going to do the quest seeing as how close to Nevada California was, as well as due to how good the rewards sounded.

First though, Daz made sure to use his Secret Override on the quest notification. He'd been trying to make of point of using it on almost everything and filtering out the useless secrets from the useful ones, though the pointless secrets far outnumbered the helpful ones, it seemed.


Randomly selected [Saviour of Nevada Quest] secret: 13 other hosts situated in and around Nevada have been granted this quest, of which, 7 are already at the sinkhole or on their way.


"Oh, a useful secret for once. Well then, no time to waste. Crusher's out, and Maddy's sleeping... I guess I'll go grab Mu then leave," Daz decided verbally before he left his workshop and made his way to one of the few structures in the city that he'd instructed his clones not to destroy - Camp Waterford. Of course, only after he'd withdrawn his merit points from the bank first.

As he made his way to Camp Waterford, Daz effectively spent his time by upgrading the skills that he and Madison had decided would be the most beneficial to him in the long-run.

Naturally, the first one he upgraded was the pesky Grave of the Humans skill.


Grave of the Mammals [C-Rank (Higher Tier)] [Up by one entire rank and two sub-ranks!]

A skill self-developed by the young Archreaper of Earth, Daz.

He had witnessed a far superior version of this skill, and through great aptitude and willpower, was able to recreate a far weaker version of it that his body could handle.

Through rigorous training and mentoring, he has managed to gain some mastery over the essence of this skill.

Well, congrats on gaining some mastery on how to, uh, dig holes? Chin up. It's better than mastery over breathing or defecating, at the very least.

Allows the host to use his patron God's energy to create a grave. There is no limit so long as the patron God has the needed energy to spare.
Requires the use of a shovel to activate.


Not a single thing had changed in the skill's ability descriptions, but it had only cost Daz 20,000 points to evolve, which was nothing considering that he had accumulated over 32,000,000 points overnight from his bank interest alone.

The second skill he and Madison had agreed would be worth upgrading, was the skill that allowed him to create two clones, Death Energy Solidification.


Death Energy Manifestation [SS-Rank (Lower Tier)] [Up 1 subrank!]

A rare skill unique to reapers which allows them to mould their own Death Energy into a physical substance.

This skill is an evolved version of the famous reaper and necromancer Abos Maloy's signature skill, Death Energy Solidification. He made it initially in an effort to create clones of himself that could assist him in his necromantic rituals.

One of these clones helped him to bring the skill to new heights after he had gifted it the name, Fred.

Hah. Fred. Hahaha... Did you know, Fred is actually the fourteenth most-commonly found name for hosts under the system's rule? Still, Fred... hahaha...

Allows the host to solidify their Death Energy. All solidified Death Energy will no longer be usable for casting skills and spells until returned to an energy state.
Allows the host to create a clone of themselves that has 70% [+10%] of the host's abilities and power. It is made purely out of Death Energy. Cost: 1,500 [+500] Death Energy. Limit: 3 clones [+1].
[New!] Allows the host to meditate and focus to manifest the souls of the forgotten which can be used to restore the host's Death Energy. Limits: If used when moving, the host shall be slowed by 50% and the souls of the forgotten shall gather twice as ineffectively.


An extra clone was always nice, which was the main reason Daz spent the 3,000,000 points required to upgrade the skill. It was mildly alarming that the base price was 30,000,000 merit points, but thankfully, the underappreciated level system cut the price down by 90% since it had capped out at level 10.

After that, came one of Daz's most-used skills, but almost most easily countered, Justice Chains.


Reflective Chains of Justice [SSS-Rank (middle Tier)] [Up 2 subranks!]

A skill stemming from the skill unique to Justice Reapers, Justice Chains, which was developed by the most famous Justice Reaper, Ratiel, using the specific Death Energy that only Justice Reapers can wield.

This particular evolution of the base skill was created by the Life Reaper, Juju Mifnol, out of a pure desire to research all skills that her species were capable of learning and creating.

So, let me get this straight, sweet little Juju has made how many skills? Really? That many? And she can't even use almost any of them since she's the wrong race of reaper? Man, must suck to be her. Well, at least she ain't you. That's one reason to wake up in the morning, now isn't it?

Allows the host to bind any being with the evil or [New!] chaotic morality for 5 [+3] minutes per chain if they have no resistances (only 20 [+10] seconds if they possess resistance to death energy or magical binding). Cost: 1,000 [+500] Death Energy per chain.
Allows the host to bind people with a criminal past. For each past crime of the target, a chain will be created to bind them. Can only be used three times a day and the chains will remain for 60 [+20] seconds. Cost: 100 Death Energy per chain. Ignores all resistance to death energy, binding magic, law magic and soul magic.
For every 10 crimes of the target, the duration of the chains will double. Limit: 60 [+30] minutes.
[New!] Can bind anyone regardless of their moral alignment or their criminal past for 5 seconds. Cost: 30 Justice Stat Points.


At last, Daz had a use for the mostly worthless Justice and Corruption stats he owned. With this improvement to the skill, he could lock down people like Larry Billard or anyone else in the future whom his instincts informed him would not be affected by the regular application of the chains.

This skill has been the most expensive thus far though. Despite having a 90% reduction in price, it still demanded a sizeable 10,000,000 merit points to be upgraded, meaning its original price for an upgrade was 100,000,000.

Daz didn't even want to think about the skill's original price when not buying it as an upgrade.

Thankfully, the last skill he enhanced was incredibly cheap when compared to the last two.


Death Beam [A-Rank (Higher Tier)] [Up 2 subranks!]

A skill created by the Overlord Wizard, Jundar, from The Canyon of Despair, located in an isolated pocket of space.

Jundar designed this skill for his apprentices to learn the foundation of his arts, and it was made in the image of his most powerful ability, Ultimate Death Beam, an SSS-ranked skill.

No change in description? Really? Well, to be fair, Jundar did create a bunch of variations to his signature skill, so I guess he just let the system describe it... Now, who else do I know that lacks creativity and doesn't pay the small fee to put his own description into his skills? ... Mustn't be anyone important if I can't remember their name.

Grants the host the ability to emit a beam of pure death energy from either their hands or their eyes. Cost: dependent on the strength of the beam and the duration it is maintained.
[New!] The skill has a maximum range of two-hundred meters and can cut through steel and concrete with relative ease.


The new effect, was, in essence, giving words to the capabilities of the Death Beams, those of which Daz's clones already knew since they were the ones that used the skill so much. However, what made this particularly useful was that it had suddenly become a lot easier to keep track of these details.

Daz was also aware that the beams struggled a lot when cutting steel before the upgrade from the reports his clones had given him after he had returned from Guishan Island yesterday evening, so that being made easier for the clones was certainly a nice bonus.

Adding the 100,000 merit points that the skill had cost him to the total expenses mentally, Daz asked the system to show him his total merit points to confirm his new balance as he entered Camp Waterford.


The total merit balance of the host is now: 180,869,092 [-13,120,000].


"It really is quite strange how my instincts keep screaming at me not to upgrade literally every single skill that I can afford and buy a bunch more. Waterford only has so many city points, so will I even be able to ever spend this much money?" Daz asked himself. "Maybe far better stuff is made available after the tests? Maybe I'll need to buy something important soon? Really, some times my instincts seem worthless, other times they seem damn-near prophetic..."

Daz continued to ponder over this matter as he promptly found Mu, told him of the quest in Nevada, had him accept it when the system showed him its details, then the two made their way to Fort Sky to start their excursion to the northeast.

A note from Lone

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  • The Scottish Slothy Sloth

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