All in all, the Battle of San Miguel Island was a resounding success towards my path to become an S-Rank [Adventurer.]
I gained more experience in battle than at any other point in my journeys on Earth so far, and that’s saying something considering that practically every day so far has seen me battling something or someone—Buddy the car dealership man, a bear in the woods, underground pro wrestlers, the Persian Mob, the Wine Mom Cult, and constant waves of surfers who dislike shoobies... Now, and entire army of surf pirates have been defeated or otherwise aprehended, and I am King of Santa Barbara.
I will be leaving this place, even though I am its monarch... It feels very wrong to do, but I have other paths to take in my life, and my people will surely understand. A shoobie I am... NOT.
Most importantly, however, I gained an absolutely gargantuan amount of Destiny Points.
Minus the 30 I spent to level up before the non-fight with Brett, I gained so much that it’s almost incomprehensible. Before the battle, I had [79 DP.]
Now I have [201 DP.]
I have a feeling that Destiny itself has underplayed how many foes I defeated in the battle at sea and unfairly attributed some of them to others. But oh well.
I can now level up almost 7 times. That’s almost halfway there to reaching B rank in just one day.
What a hero I am.
Somehow, in some ways, I feel like a villain too.
But I push that out of my mind and decide not to think about it anymore, lest I encounter something darker than I wish to confront at the moment.
Right now, all that matters is that I am standing on the beach with Francis, Delta, and Abby, truly the three greatest allies I have met since I came to Earth.
“Thank you for helping Santa Barbara,” Abby says to us. “You three were the greatest heroes we have ever seen... and I was nearly its downfall.” Her crestfallen expression tells all. She feels like a failure, like her foolhardy attitude allowed corrupt bureaucrats to nearly topple her nation and then let her throne be taken from her.
I offered to return the crown to her and to erase all the grandstanding proclamations I made about making Brett my hostage-regent, but she regused it. No need for any of that sort of nonsense, she said. Her time as a royal was over.
She looks up and reaffirms that stance with her expression alone. “I’m a Surf Ronin now. So I guess I must wander.”
“Why don’t you wander with us?” Delta asks. “Join the Systemless Squad and balance out our overbearing masculinity.”
“No thank you, ma’am,” says Abby. “I think I have a different destiny. I will not be a part of Systemless. But, if I may, I wish to travel the lands and tell the world about it. I wish to spread the message of the Systemless Style, the sheer coolness that you three exude as you go from place to place, solving the world’s problems.”
“Well, so far just California’s.”
“And I expect, much more than that,” Abby says. “How far do you plan for your travels to take you? Across the United States?”
Francis and Delta exchange glances.
“Something like that,” says Francis.
“They are providing me a valuable service by helping me become acquainted with Earth and giving me opportunities to level up,” I tell her. “They are the best friends I could ask for.”
“I’ve never had a friend before,” Abby says. “I spent all my childhood years fighting the revolution, and then I became King by the time I reached puberty. My whole purpose in life has evaporated... and now I have a new one.”
“You’re wrong,” Delta says.
“We’re your friends. So you have three of them now.”
Wow, DELTA said that? I’m seriously impressed.
Also, twelve hours ago, this girl was trying to have us enslaved for her empire. But I guess friendships are peculiar like that sometimes.
“Well then, I’ll see my friends some other time,” Abby Faulkner says. “If destiny allows our paths to meet again.”
She hops on her surfoard and rides out towards the sunset, far past the horizon.
It’s been a long two days here in Santa Barbara.
I’m a [Demigod,] I’m an [Adventurer,] and now I’m a King. The whole world is ahead of me. But the only thing I care about... is becoming an S-Rank Hero!
Francis, on the other hand...
He looks a little bummed out. But at least he’s feeling better than when we freed him from captivity. Poor Brett must have tortured him so much with that evil Fortnite game.
“Where to next, Francis?” I ask.
He gulps. “Los Angeles.”
“The very Los Angeles that is spoken of constantly in the media that I have consumed these days?”
Delta frowns more than usual. “Los Angeles. Francis, are we—“
“Wait,” Francis says. “Actually, I think we should make a pit stop first. The Amtrak train’s going to go through a lot of awesome spots before we get to L.A., so we might as well stop at them and get Eryk a few more Destiny Points for discovering new locations. By the way, how many do you have now?”
“About two hundred.”
“...” Francis’s mouth opens, and apparently refuses to close.
“Also, I ranked up to Rank C during my fight with King Bodhi. Now I am Level 2.”
“So that’s... about 1200 Destiny Points before you reach Rank A, and apparently about 3700 before you reach Rank S?”
“Your mathematics skills, and memory, are superb.”
“Thanks.” Francis points forward. “Well then, let’s catch the last train and make our way down the great state of California! We can stop in, I don’t know, Simi Valley or something.”
“What the hell is in Simi Valley?” Delta asks.
“Uh... I’m not sure. Probably something cool that Eryk will like? Food, maybe?”
I have no idea what a Simi is, so I simply nod and comply. That’s what I am best at in situations like these.
Sometimes it feels like the Systemless Squad is not as well-off as we would like it to be, but nonetheless, we are going forward with the adventure with great power! Time to be heroes!