Daz raised an eyebrow in interest. "Well, you're not lying at least. Thanks for that, but, yeah, not gonna happen," he said in response to the rainbow-haired man.
Jeremy's face didn't falter even slightly. "Could I ask why? I'm sure I could compensate you for any losses you'll incur from not completing the quest or mission or whatever else brought you here. My companions and I are even willing to join you back in Waterford and live as your citizens once the sinkhole matter's dealt with."
The happy man held his hands together and smiled charmingly, though there was a slight tremble of fear in his arms, no doubt caused by Daz's Enemy of Chaos skill which he was avidly trying to ignore. "Please?"
Daz stroked his chin thoughtfully for a moment then nodded. "Sure. You need to give me fifty points into all of my stats and a B-rank item."
Jeremy's smile widened. "Only that much? I can triple th-"
"I wasn't done," the young reaper interrupted. "I need those and a city."
Jeremy flinched slightly but soon resumed smiling. "Easily done. From what I can remember, there should a few cities in California that haven't been claimed yet that I'm sure we can help you obtain. Of course, we'll pay the bill."
Daz laughed faintly. "No."
"Pardon?" Jeremy was certain that he'd misheard Daz. "Could you repeat that, please?"
Shrugging, Daz replied, "Sure. I said 'no'."
"I... I see..." Jeremy frowned deeply. He ran a hand through his well-styled hair and asked, "Would you mind telling me why? I'm not a big fan of being led on, so please tell me if you never had any intentions to even consider my proposal."
"Oh, I considered it, it's just, well, the system promised me a free right to claim any city in Nevada that I wish as a part of my reward for preventing the sinkhole from destroying the state," Daz said calmly.
The young reaper then walked up to Jeremy and wore a small smirk. "I asked the system which city has the best facilities, so I'm thinking of choosing Vegas. Give me Vegas, then sure, I won't stop the sinkhole."
"You... you want Las Vegas? That's already owned. Please, I know I'm a bit silly on the eyes, but I'm perfectly capable of using my brain," Jeremy sarcastically stated. He had already lost his cool and was debating on what his next move would be out his available options.
Daz just shook his head disappointingly. He walked away from Jeremy and returned to Mu's side. "Hey," he said, looking at his fellow reaper, "You understand why he's being an idiot, right?"
Mu happily nodded as he finished off his ice-cream and cancelled his Soul Vision. "Isn't it because of the system's wording?"
Jeremy scowled but quickly wiped his sour expression from his face since that would only result in worsening his complexion, which simply would not stand. "The wording?"
'It's now or never. I only need to stall for a little bit longer...' the flamboyant man secretly thought as he loosely rubbed the mirror hanging at his hip.
Mu cocked his head to one side and scratched his thigh with his sandalled foot. "The reward for Daz said 'any city', no? It did not say 'any unowned city'. Fine print is a very dangerous weapon, maybe even more dangerous than guns were a few weeks ago."
Jeremy's countenance paled very slightly despite his dark and tanned skin. "You were promised something so absurd just to save a single state? A state where only 100,000 people live?"
"100,000? Wow. That's a lot considering Nevada only had, like, what, just under two-mil before the apocalypse? You guys did well for yourselves," Daz said in genuine praise. "But yeah, I'm stopping the sinkhole, so either leave us alone or get lost. I dunno why you want Nevada gone from the map, but that is not going to happen."
Jeremy looked a bit disheartened, but he wore a defeated smile and shrugged in disappointment. "Oh well. There's no way that I'm going to outtalk you, and I'm way too weak to kill even one of you, let alone both of you, right? I'm scared to even try to use Lesser Identification on you boys."
Daz nodded. "More or less. I'm glad you have some reason in you," he said then waved his hand in apparent farewell.
"Haha, yeah. I could never beat you, but I wonder how you'd deal with three yous?" Jeremy asked coyly.
The next second, he whipped his mirror out and it shone brightly when he said the word, "Release."
The four-armed man, Bruce and the short snake-oil salesman-lookalike both appeared out of thin air.
Daz frowned, but he was still beyond relaxed. "I'll let you know right now, my instincts aren't warning me about you guys even slightly. Attack me, and you'll die. Me saying this now is my mercy to you, so don't waste it."
Fear entered Bruce's eyes as he was encapsulated in Daz's charismatic words and his Enemy of Chaos skill effect. His knees threatened to buckle, but he stayed strong.
The moustached man was perfectly fine. He simply stood there calmly as he held his briefcase and wore a professional smile.
"Last warning," Daz said as he saw Jeremy moving his mirror in a strange pattern.
Bruce cracked at the coldness in the reaper's tone. "Hey, maybe we shouldn't do this. There'll always be another ch-"
"Shut up!" Jeremy yelled. "If we fail, we'll die anyway, so what's the fucking difference?!"
The suited man stayed silent during this exchange while Bruce clammed up upon seeing Jeremy actually getting seriously enraged.
Bruce was a simple-minded man at the best of times, but he had to ask himself, what was better; dying now, or dying later?
Daz could obviously see this mental struggle going on in the short man's mind, and it made him smile on the inside. 'He's got potential if he's already evolved. He's clearly chaotic judging by his shaking, but he knows when not to fight someone outside of his league, and I don't think he has any poor feelings towards Mu or myself... That... lawyer? I've no clue what he's supposed to be, but he's not chaotic at least, which I can work with. Unless he's just straight-up evil. Well, these guys are my enemies for now, right? I guess I'll just find out exactly who they are instead of standing here patiently doing nothing. I've already given them more than enough chances and warnings. Master Identification.'
|Bruce Manners' Status|
|Class:||Martial Arts Practitioner||Affinity:||Chaotic Good|
Bruce has always trained to fight ever since he was a child. As enthusiasts of professional mixed martial arts competitions, his parents actively pushed for him to enter that particular line of work.
He was never very bright, but Bruce was always very strong and very resilient despite his short stature. If there was one thing that he was good at learning, it was fighting. He was so skilled, in fact, that he has won all 32 of his professional fights, and he was set to become a world legend, but unfortunately had to end his career before his biggest fight due to a violent car accident that left him as a cripple.
He is incredibly thankful to Amanda Willow - his new boss and leader in this ever-changing world - for giving him the opportunity to use the system to grant himself a second chance to shine.
|Over Lifeforce:||13,043||Over Stamina:||6,532|
Daz had very little time to think about the several things of interest on this man's status. He could see that Jeremy was perhaps less than a second away from finishing whatever he was doing, so the reaper chose to spend that time on using Secret Override with Bruce in mind.
|Randomly selected [Bruce Manners] secret: He has a pure heart beneath his surface-level chaoticness, and due to this, he cannot hurt or do wrong to those he feels do not deserve it, regardless of the situation.|
"Incredible," Daz muttered in awe at the orc in front of him who was very much so a coin with two extremely clear and individual sides.
Jeremy smirked, apparently misunderstanding the target of Daz's amazement. "It is, isn't it? Did you identify the skill? Well, it's too late now. Mirror Image!"
With those two words, Jeremy, Bruce, and of course, the snake-oil salesman-lookalike, all three of them turned into motes of bright light. Less than a moment later, Daz and Mu were looking at three more Daz's.
The back one - Jeremy - smiled from ear to ear. "I doubt we can kill you, but surely we can keep you busy for 2-hours, don't you think? I can keep this skill up for 3, and as I'm sure you already know, all of us have your stats now."
Daz mimicked what Rimmy or Madison would do in this situation, he tilted his head to one side with a confused look on his face. "You guys do know that I can control crystals, right? I mean, if these gems floating behind me weren't already a telltale sign of that. Hell, a bunch of the younger ones literally require my help to even float."
Jeremy frowned with Daz's face while the Daz that was Bruce got a chill up his spine for some unknown reason. "So what? We can easily dodge them now."
"Okay, but can you dodge a city?" Daz asked nonchalantly.
Jeremy laughed a little bit nervously upon looking up at the massive purple pillar that was staked right through Fort Sky. "Y-You can't move something that big... E-Even if you could, it'd use up so much energy!"
"Actually, no. I can move crystals for free. I could move a planet if it was made of nothing but crystals if I wanted to, but yeah, you're right, I'm not gonna move it," Daz replied.
"Ha... You almost scared me there! Jerry, Bruce, flank him!" Jeremy shouted as he moved like lightning, whipping around to Daz's back. he was astounded at how insanely quick Daz's body was. The flamboyant man almost wished that he could maintain this skill forever after having a taste of this power.
Jerry - the suited man with a moustache, didn't move an inch from his original place and simply maintained his business smile. Bruce, on the other hand, did as he was told.
A very light sigh escaped Daz's lips. "Archreaper's Aura." With that, almost everyone collapsed to one knee to bow down in worship of Daz - Mu being the exception. The four cacti about 50-feet away quivered as the powerful aura rushed over them.
Mu's eyes lit up. He had a very powerful urge to do whatever Daz told him to do right this instant. In fact, the sensation was so strong, he almost moved to ask Daz to specifically give him an order, but Esmerelda - the now almost-fully healed skull - floated out of his shirt front pocket and negated a good portion of Daz's aura for him.
"Such a cool man," Mu muttered as he sat down on the sandy ground and crossed his legs.
Esmerelda figuratively rolled her eyes. "As ever, such a useless master..."
At that point, Daz slowly turned to face Jeremy - who still looked like him - while completely ignoring Bruce and Jerry.
Reaching out his hand to the kneeling man, he wrapped his fingers around his own neck, which was a little bit odd. "I told you that I'd kill you if you attacked us, didn't I?"
Now dropping all semblance of a facade or any false bravado, Jeremy used all of his willpower to resist Daz's Archreaper's Aura. He succeeded, but only mildly.
Raising his hands and weakly used them to clasp onto the fist that was slowly closing around his windpipe, Jeremy muttered, "I'm... sorry... We'll... leave... We... won't... bother... you... again... Killing... me... will... only... upset... Boss... She's... strong... Keh!... Maybe... not... as... strong... as... you... but... if... she... hears... about... this... she'll... hurt... you... in... other... ways."
Daz's instincts seemed to disagree. Every fibre of his being was telling him that no matter what he did at this point, this 'Boss' who was presumably the woman mentioned on Bruce's status, Amanda Willow, was going to be an issue for him one way or the other, and Daz was nothing if not a man of his word regardless of anything else.
"I hope you find peace in the afterlife, wherever or whatever that may be," Daz said in an almost soothing voice as he snapped Jeremy's neck, killing him.
Immediately, his body, as well as Bruce and Jerry's, all returned to their original appearances.
Daz didn't harvest the dead man's soul, nor did he command it to stay near him, instead, he spoke to the system. "System, I don't know what your policy on souls for hosts is in normal situations, but can you please make it so all souls on Earth do not get sold to an alien, or, I dunno, recycled back into the system? This planet will be mine with time, and while not all people are worthy of respect, these are still my people, so I'd like to treat their souls with some dignity."
A brief look of sadness crossed his face before he added, "I'd rather not have a god mess with the souls of my people again like with Jordan and the Richies."
Confirmed. It is possible, however, there are a few conditions. The base price for changing the world to be one where all souls are protected from the system and system players is [50,000,000] merit points.
As an [Archreaper], a race that is a sovereign of souls, the host shall receive a [30%] discount.
As there already exists several small scale reincarnation systems on Earth which can support the souls no longer being funnelled into the system, the host shall receive a [15%] discount.
The host's total discount is [45%], reducing the [Planet Soul System Upgrade [Independent Soul Circle]]'s price to [27,500,000].
Additionally, should the host wish to make this upgrade impossible to remove or alter by anyone except for the host, it shall cost an additional [50,000,000].
Daz frowned. "That's a lot," he muttered. "Hmm... You know what, yeah, I'll get it. If I didn't have the bank's interest, I would be a bit more hesitant, but this is important and I can afford it... I hope it pays off how I expect it to... And maybe it can give some peace to Ellie."
|Confirm purchase of [Independance Soul Circle] and host [Daz]-only access to alter, remove or replace the upgrade?|
"Yes," Daz replied.
|Confirmed. The total merit balance of the host is now: 103,369,092 [-77,500,000].|
Nodding in satisfaction and confident that he'd recoup his losses within no time, Daz stopped focusing on system-related things for now and instead looked at the heavily sweating Bruce and Jerry who was neatly arranging his hair and moustache with a fine silver comb.
"Now, what to do with you two?" he asked rhetorically.
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