The Naughty Sorceress finally defeated and King Ralph defeated, the Adventurer stares blankly at the gash in the sky, gathering his thoughts.
“Today, I am a Pastamancer. Tomorrow, I might be… What? Should I become a Disco Bandit and continue my streak of pickpocketing all over the kingdom? Take it further and become an Accordion Thief and not only pickpocket but steal different kinds of accordions and subject everyone to my bad singing? Or should I decide to take up my club and bash infernal seals in the secret tropical island volcano lair…”
“…Are you talking to yourself, Master?”
The Adventurer, currently a Pastamancer, turned to look at his Fist Turkey, who looked curiously back at him. “No, Gobble, I’m not.”
“…Gobble,” the Fist Turkey said simply, turning away to scratch idly at the ground of the Naughty Sorceress’ Tower’s top floor. Its master was strange, to be sure, but the Fist Turkey was one to talk. It probably wasn’t normal to be able to excrete booze in a magical burst of randomness five times a day, but the Master had always trusted him enough to even drink the booze gratefully, happily even after a long day of adventuring. He could have no better master than this Adventurer, who trusted him enough to acquire him and travel with him.
“…Naughty Sorceress… Volcanic Sauceblob… Ed the Undying…”
There were so many fragments of memories that the Adventurer had, differences and similarities that one couldn’t begin to understand. At one point, he had fought the Goblin King using sheer moxie to cow the goblin into failing to attack him, but just a few days ago he had used Entangling Noodles to trip the Goblin up before unleashing his Cannelloni Cannon on him. Surely one cannot be of two classes, but these memories…
But they were all real, he reminded himself. Like reliving a life all over again, except with certain choices that could be made. There was no other way to explain the strange items that he would find in his closet, items that he surely hadn’t gotten in his present life and belonged to those of a different class. There was no other way to explain how he could still summon scrumptious reagents while swearing allegiance to the Department of Shadowy Arts and Crafts. (Unfortunately, he couldn’t go to The League of Chef-Magi to use the Wok of Ages for his chow meins while affianced to most other classes.) But the end result was the same – he would defeat the Big Bad, whoever it was, free the King, and go through the gash…
No, that couldn’t really be true, could it? The Adventurer didn’t know his own thoughts anymore at times. After so many trips through the gash, his mind was fractured at every turn. Each time he went through the gash after freeing the hapless King Ralph, choices were always given to him. To engrave a skill he has learned on his consciousness so that he could use it in the next life, if he chose, without having to relearn it again, to buy clearly illegal products that gave him extra time each day, to even gain magical objects that aided him in his next life, to change the circumstances he would have in the next journey and even possibly the rewards he might gain…
It was like a dream, but it was not, for each time he lived again, he would do everything all over again, one quest at a time, one monster at a time. It was tiring, especially since he couldn’t remember everything anyway, no, just fragments that he could doubt…
His familiars seemed to take it well, maybe understanding it more than he. There was just that dark period when he couldn’t access them, when he had put on the crown of an enemy he had always defeated before and had… become him, had even lived in the desert instead. And at the end of those lives, he would end up fighting himself, the Adventurer, instead. That first life had been terrible, realizing that the final boss was himself, but…
“But thou must,” he muttered to himself as he idly summoned some dry noodles. Gobble moved close to him, its brass knuckles glinting in the sun as it moved to nuzzle at the Adventurer’s hand.
Maybe… maybe he shouldn’t go through the gash this time. It would be nice to rest, to maybe increase one’s funds, go on an adventure deep in the sea or take a plane to the new theme park that had just opened… Maybe even just settle down somewhere… spend more than a few minutes per day in his Chateau… give the Typical Tavern a run for its money with his variety of drinks (vastly superior, of course) and maybe set up his own Tavern somewhere in Seaside Town…
“But thou must,” he muttered again to himself. The Council… why was it that every time he came into a new life, King Ralph was imprisoned in a prism, the Kingdom taken over by the Big Bad of the time? Did the Council do nothing but sit in their desks?
For all that they told him that he must ascend to give the Kingdom peace after he has defeated the Big Bad, he never started a life seeing peace in the Kingdom when there should have been. Maybe the Council was secretly manipulating things from the shadows and making him ascend so they can regain power over the Kingdom once he had ascended? Maybe he should confront them about it, yes, that would be a good idea…
As the Adventurer looked at the gash in the sky from the top of the Naughty Sorceress’ Tower, suddenly he was pushed into it.
And with that, his last thoughts grew fuzzy as he was instantly transported to the Pearly Gates. The Fist Turkey, seeing his master had left the Kingdom, instantly disappeared; it would appear in the Terrarium and patiently await his master’s return to the Kingdom in his new life with the rest of his familiars.
“…It looks like he’s starting to be able to put together thoughts on his past lives,” said one Council Member dryly.
“…They all do that eventually,” said another boredly, the one who had pushed the Adventurer through the gash.
“…What do you propose we do?”
“…I thought you’d never ask,” said the first Council Member, holding up what seemed to be a piece of cloth with dice prints on it. “The Naughty Sorceress has created a spell that makes the monsters of the Kingdom more… interesting.”
“…Fun, I should say. The mechanic will certainly throw our already deranged Adventurer for a loop, trying to figure out how to deal with the new challenges that he’ll not be able to continue his train of thoughts…”
Cackling could be heard from the Naughty Sorceress’ Tower as the gash in the sky closed completely.
“Now, where did King Ralph go off to…” It was certainly time to entrap the useless King again in the sky, now that the gash had closed.
And in a dimension beyond the sky of the Kingdom of Loathing, there is a murmur spoken to a dazed Astral Spirit-
“Heya, kid. Welcome to the Bureau. Gettin' bored up here? Ready to head back down there and give it another go? I gotcha covered.”*
But thou must, a whisper of a thought floats across the Astral Spirit’s mind, and he makes his choices all over again.