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 Blood Broters (Complete)

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Goku

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PowerLevel : 98,240,100
Ki : 98,240,100
Transformations : (False Super Saiyan)~(Super Saiyan)~(Lengendary Super Saiyan)~(True Legendary Sayain)~~
Tehniques : ~~(Kamehameha)~~(Warp Kamehameha)~~(Spirit Bomb)~~(Instant Transmission)~~(Solar Flare)~~(After Image)~~(Kiao Ken)~~(Energy Bomb)~~(Super Slither Slasher Basher)~~(Super Mega Death Ball)~~
Battle Points : 2,157
Zeni : 19,065,102
Items : (Z-Sword)~(Kings Armor)~(Weighted Armor)~(Ultimatre Sensu Beanx5)~
Posts : 109
Join date : 2010-08-27

PostSubject: Blood Broters (Complete)   Fri Sep 24, 2010 7:28 am

hope you enjoy!!
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Chapter 1 – An inoportune fall
Goku ran along the Snake Way at the highest speed he was able to reach, determined to get to the end as quickly as he could. He didn't know for how long he had been running, nor how big was the distance he still had to cover before he got to the end, but he did know what was waiting for him: training from a gifted martial arts master who went by the name of King Kai. Goku knew he had to get the most out of that training, for his opponents would be stronger than the strongest person Goku had known while he had lived.
Raditz. Goku thought, trying to ignore the stab of pain on his heart. My brother. And I died because of him.
Under different circumstances, perhaps Goku would be happy to say that sentence, but now, such a thought only brought him sadness, and perhaps rage. After all, his brother Raditz was nothing like the kind of brother Goku had ever wanted to have. The only thing he had ever been during the short time they'd met was a monster. The only thing comparable to the shock of having such a brother was the shock of being part of such a race.
Of being a Saiyan.
For many years, Goku had believed he was just a normal person. But those same years had been spent in a place called Mount Paozu, without seeing anyone else than his grandfather. As a result of that, his notion of normal had always been off, that much he was forced to confess. At least after he'd spent some time out of Paozu and more of the outside world and its inhabitants had slowly come to be known by him. One of the things that had confused him was that no one else had a tail. Confusing as it was, though, Goku had learned to let it go, and as such, when Kami had decided to remove it, he'd scarcely given it a second thought.
But now that he knew the furry, monkey-like tail he no longer possessed was the trademark of a barbaric race that slaughtered innocents by millions, he was glad he didn't have it, although it had come in handy a time or another in the past.
How ironic. Goku allowed himself to think for a moment, remembering what Raditz had told him about the Saiyans. They wiped out planets for a living, but they were all wiped out when their planet was destroyed.
No. Not all of them. Two of them were still alive, and right before his death, Raditz had told him they were heading for Earth. The worst part of it, though, was that they were much stronger than Raditz. And Raditz had already been about three times than Goku when the two fought.
Shut up! Goku shouted at his own mind. Why are you thinking so much about Raditz? He may be your brother, but he's a monster! He doesn't deserve another thought from you! So, get over it, and run faster!
Deserving of another thought or not, Goku had to admit he was giving too much of a thought to that monster who called himself his brother. Or Kakarot's brother. That had been his Saiyan name, until he forgot it when he hit his head. And he was sure glad he had. He sure didn't want to have become a monster.
But one thing a tiny part of him wanted was that, someway, his brother hadn't been such a monster, and instead had been more… of a brother. Goku didn't know anyone who had a brother, so he couldn't compare, but one thing he'd always known was that family was to be there for you if you needed them, and to help you through your troubles. And Raditz…
Stop it! Goku again ordered his mind. Just what do you think you're doing? Hoping for something that can't happen is the most pointless thing ever! For now, the only thing you can hope for is trying to reach King Kai and get a decent training before the other two Saiyans get to Earth!
With that, his mind finally seemed to quiet the thoughts about Raditz. Happy that such a thing had happened, Goku allowed himself to keep running along Snake Way.
________________________________________
Below Snake Way, in one of the deepest spots of Hell, Raditz punched and kicked a rock in his path over and over again, imagining it was his brother Kakarot he was punching instead of a chunk of mineral.
It could be worse, Raditz recalled. Although he was dead, and in Hell, he had somehow gotten to keep his body, something no one else Raditz had seen managed. So far, he'd only seen white clouds who claimed to be souls. But having his body did little good to him. Raditz would only find his body useful if he could use it to pound his brother to dust.
In fact, his brother would be more sensitive to his hits than the rock he was currently pounding. Raditz had been hitting this rock with all his strength ever since he'd gotten to Hell, and hadn't even made a scratch on it. Punching this rock had the objective of draining out all the anger and hatred he felt toward his brother. But instead, with every punch he landed on the rock, the magnitude of his feelings seemed to increase. If before his death Raditz had hated Kakarot, now Raditz just… well, there simply was no word strong enough to describe the depth of his feelings for Kakarot. Negative feelings, but deep nevertheless. They were what had gotten him to Hell. And although Raditz had always known, deep down, that this would sooner or later be his destination, he wouldn't really mind that much – if he hadn't been killed by his brother. True, Kakarot had died as well, but even so, he had managed to defeat Raditz in the most painful way ever. And worse, he'd be resurrected by those Dragon Balls the green man had spoken about. Being the weakest of his companions, Raditz was more used to be defeated than most other Saiyans – but none of his defeats had been as painful as his last one.
Raditz reminded himself that this had happened to him because he had been stupid – and coward. What he should have done was to look for his brother, and then torture him in the most agonizing way he could think of, before finally erasing his face off the map. But no, Vegeta and Nappa, his two comrades, had told him they wanted him to get Kakarot, so Kakarot would help them conquering that planet they'd found, and if for some reason it was a wasted chance, then he should just erase Kakarot of the map. Because Vegeta and Nappa had been listening through the scouter, all his fight with the green man and Kakarot had been like a well rehearsed theatre play. If not for that damned scouter, Raditz would have gotten his real feelings out. But Saiyans were not meant to have feelings of any kind. If Vegeta and Nappa had known of all the grudges Raditz held, they'd probably kill him without a second thought. Everything he'd done since arriving to Earth had been more of an attempt at saving his life than anything else.
Worse, his efforts had been wasted ones. Now he was down here for eternity. Although he'd said Vegeta and Nappa would resurrect him with the Dragon Balls, that sentence had come out more as the product of a drained brain than of a real hope. And it made no difference to him, for Raditz didn't want to be resurrected. The only thing he wanted now was to cause his brother Kakarot the same pain Kakarot had caused him.
And that moment would come, even if Raditz had to wait for the rest of eternity.
________________________________________
As Goku kept running, he had the impression he could see some sort of vehicle moving along Snake Way. It appeared to be some sort of sanitation vehicle, as Goku could see a faint trail of foam and water the vehicle left on its path.
Goku ran up to the vehicle's side. Inside it, there was some sort of ogre-looking guy, similar to the one who'd taken him to the beginning of Snake Way.
"Good morning, sir!" Goku said to the ogre inside the vehicle. "What are you doing here?"
For the briefest of moments, the ogre looked confused, but then, he answered as if it was the most obvious thing ever,
"What an idiot question! I'm in charge of the maintenance of the road, can't you see it? And you, what are you doing here?"
"I'm going to King Kai's place." Goku answered. "Is it far from here?"
"WHAT?" the ogre shouted. "You're going to King Kai's place? Well, young man, one can't say you haven't got nerve!"
"Is it far yet?" Goku asked.
"Oh, you have barely started, poor friend!" the ogre said. "I guess so far you've only made a quarter of the way!"
"WHAT?" Goku shouted back. "Only a quarter of the way? No, it can't be!"
Even after all the efforts I've been through? Goku asked mentally. He couldn't have a precise idea about the time he'd spent running so far, but he'd say it had been at least a month and a half. Apparently, it would take him long indeed to get to the end… and to King Kai.
And worse, it looked like he would need to take a break, because his last remnants of strength were already out. Unable to give another step, Goku fell on his bottom, trying to use his hands to sit up instead of falling completely.
The driver stopped his vehicle, and put his head out.
"What is it?" he asked. "Is there anything wrong?"
"No, no, I'm alright." said Goku. "I only need to rest a little bit."
"If you say so…" the driver said, before getting his head back into the vehicle.
But, before carrying on, he stuck his head out again, and called, "Hey, I can take you with me while you rest! Are you interested?"
A small burst of energy coming across him, Goku ran to the vehicle and jumped onto the rear area.
"Thank you very much, sir!" Goku shouted.
"You're very welcome!" replied the ogre.
Goku lied down right as the ogre started the engine of the sanitation vehicle, every muscle of his body aching with tiredness. For a moment, he contemplated the caramel-coloured clouds above him, but sleep fell down on him in less than a minute.
And so tired he was, that he didn't notice when the sanitation vehicle shuddered as it took a turn – and threw him off Snake Way.
________________________________________
Still boiling with anger even after all the time he had spent pounding on that rock, Raditz growled in rage, his eyes on fire with madness and hatred. Yet another array of punches, and still, he could see no mark.
Delivering another punch on the rock, Raditz jumped away of it, and lifted both of his hands, preparing a Double Sunday, one of his signature techniques. As the energy gathered in his hands, Raditz kept his eyes locked on the stone he'd used as target, imagining it was his brother Kakarot that he was about to blast into oblivion.
Kakarot… Raditz thought, his fury fuelling the energy going onto his hands. I swear to you, the second you appear in front of me, I'm going to rip you to pieces so tiny they won't be distinguishable!
As he continued to gather strength, Raditz briefly thought about the real first time on which he had seen Kakarot. At that time, he'd been delighted at the idea of having a little brother. It had meant to finally have a friend, to finally have someone who would look up to him, instead of bullying him like most other Saiyans his age had done.
But that had been a short lasting hope. Even before his birth, Kakarot had been starting to take the two people Raditz cared the most about away from him. And when Kakarot had been born, both those people had been gone forever, although in different ways.
For the briefest of moments, the thought that Kakarot hadn't done that on purpose came across Raditz's mind. After all, Kakarot had been a newborn baby, barely aware of those around him. The only things Raditz had seen him doing – until meeting him as an adult – had been drooling and crying. But that didn't make the final result of what Kakarot had done less painful for him. And intentionally or not, Kakarot had done it.
And if I ever get to see him, he will pay for that. Raditz thought, before trying to vent his feelings through the strongest Double Sunday he had ever created.
But, right before he fired, something in the sky caught his attention.
It appeared like something was falling off from those yellow clouds. Raditz had never known what was above those clouds, and although he had once tried to fly up there, those things were harder than concrete, and he'd never been able to break through them. But apparently, there was something above them, otherwise, nothing would be falling off.
Raditz focused his sight, and realized that thing had a vaguely familiar shape. And a familiar colour. And a familiar size. And it was…
"Kakarot!" Raditz gasped out.
For a moment, Raditz just stood there, so shocked that he forgot to keep all the energy he had gathered. It seemed impossible that such a thing would happen, that Kakarot would literally be falling from the sky at this moment.
But it only lasted a moment. Immediately after, the feelings that Raditz had been trying to vent on the rock rushed through him with the power of a hurricane. The energy he had let go of returned to his hands at lightning speed. But Raditz didn't even focus, his eyes wild like those of a crazed beast, like he was when turned into a Great Ape.
"KAKAROOOOOOOT!" he roared, before sending out the most intense energy blast he had ever produced.
________________________________________
Goku woke up from his sleep with a start as a scream reached his ears. He realized that he was no longer asleep on the sanitation vehicle, but instead he was falling through the air. Already somewhat rested, he used his energy to stop his fall. As soon as he knew he was floating in mid-air, he tried to get some bearings of his surroundings, but before he could orient himself, all of his senses were overpowered by the sight of an energy blast heading straight at him.
"Whoa!" Goku shouted, right as he used all the energy he could to dodge the blast.
He managed to dodge it, although barely, but he still felt the energy wave's power on his skin. Although he couldn't be killed, he dreaded to think what would have happened if the blast had hit him.
Then, before he could recover from the scare, the scream came again.
"Kakarot!"
Goku froze again. He remembered that voice. It was the voice of his brother, Raditz. And he was angry. Beyond angry, in fact. From his tone, he seemed bent on murder, literally.
Goku heard a distant explosion, which must have been his brother Raditz taking off, and he could already feel Raditz's energy, approaching him with the speed and precision of a missile.
Damn! Goku thought. Where do I hide? Where do I hide?
Looking up, Goku saw the layer of caramel-coloured clouds, floating above him. He realized he should have fallen off Snake Way, but that wasn't important at the time. The most important at the time was to get Raditz to lose track of him, and continue his journey to King Kai's planet.
But how?
In the clouds, Goku realized. His best chance was to hide in the middle of those clouds.
Hoping to hide in the clouds before Raditz caught him, Goku flew as fast as he could toward his only hope. Raditz was gaining ground on him fast, but, thank God, it wasn't fast enough. Goku would get to the clouds before Raditz caught him.
Almost there… Goku thought over and over as he kept his eyes focused on the protective layer of clouds. Almost there…
Raditz was close, but the clouds were much closer. And once Goku got there, he just had to be really quiet.
Almost there… almost there…
WHAM!
As soon as the top of Goku's head touched the clouds, he felt like he'd just crashed with a whale of steel. The pain burst through his skull, and whatever awareness he had of the world around him vanished. Disoriented like he had never been, Goku repeatedly shook his head in an effort to get his bearings back. Through the middle of the shaking, he recalled something that the ogre who took him to the beginning of Snake Way had said, something about being impossible to come back once you fell off. He had fallen off. So, he was down here forever. He'd wasted his only chance to get to King Kai and be trained by him. Even if he was resurrected, defeating the Saiyans would be impossible.
Suddenly, a feeling broke through the throbbing in his head. The feeling of a hand engulfing his right ankle.
Looking down with tears in his eyes, Goku saw that Raditz had caught up with him. In fact, Raditz had caught him.
The throbbing in his head slowly receding, the picture of Raditz became ever clearer in Goku's eyes. But as soon as it became clear enough, Goku wished his sight was still blurry from the pain.
For Raditz, holding his ankle in that death grip, looked ever more terrible than Goku had ever seen him looking. Back on Earth, Raditz had looked emotionless and cold-hearted for all the time Goku had met him. The only time where Goku had seen any emotion at all coming from his older brother had been when Raditz had been stomping on his ribs. But the only emotion he had there was genuine hatred. Raditz hated him.
But now, as Raditz was about to drag him to the depths of hell, Goku realized the hatred he had seen on his big brother's face while he was being stomped to near-death was nothing, compared to the hatred Raditz held in his eyes now. Mixed with that absolutely diabolic smile, it was the most terrible thing Goku had ever seen.
"Well, well, Kakarot…" Raditz whispered softly. "May I ask where you were going?"
Goku didn't answer. His mind was racing in an effort to find a way out of the big trouble he'd gotten himself in.
"It's such a pity you can't stay around…" Raditz kept whispering. "After all, I have a few matters I need to settle with you. Did you know that?"
"Do you mean since you've died, or are those matters older?" Goku tried to repress his voice from shaking as he made the question.
He didn't even know why he'd asked that. The main goal was distracting Raditz while he thought about how to get away from this big mess, but he could have done something else.
"They're older, Kakarot." Raditz whispered. "Much older."
Goku rubbed the back of his head. "Well, I'm sorry I can't stick around to help you then…" he whispered, trying to crack a joke in an effort to calm down. "But I also got my matters to solve…" struck by a sudden idea, he added in a shout, "AND THEY'RE MORE IMPORTANT!"
Then, he fired a one handed Kamehameha toward Raditz's face. Raditz let him go, taking his hands to his eyes, and Goku took the time to fly lower, hoping to hide in some deep spot of Hell until he managed to find a way out. Because there had to be one.
But Goku never got to hide. After a short-lasting feeling of freedom and hope, Goku sensed an energy wave coming toward him. He tried to dodge it the best he could, but the blast hit him head on. He knew without looking that he'd been hit by one of Raditz's "presents", equal to the one Raditz had given him after the Kamehameha had failed. However, this "present" had been much more powerful.
Goku fell down like a duck that had been shot, but, unlike a duck, he was stopped shortly after his fall… by what seemed to be the grip of a huge vice.
His sight was too dim for him to have a good view, but it was more than obvious for him that Raditz had been the one catching him.
"You have more important matters, huh?" Raditz whispered in the same soft, scary tone.
Weakened by the power of such a strong hit, Goku could do nothing but shiver in fear.
His sight slightly clearer by now, he saw Raditz's look shifting from his sinister smile to a snarl, a snarl as full of hatred as his previous look.
"Unfortunately, it seems you're just going to have to wait before going to solve them." Raditz whispered, his voice appearing choked. Then, Raditz shouted, "BECAUSE I'VE ALREADY BEEN WAITING FOR TOO LONG!"
Even before Goku could totally take in the hatred in Raditz's voice, Raditz flew head down toward Hell at top speed, dragging Goku with him. Goku struggled as much as he could, but nothing came out of his efforts, other than some feeble movements.
Eventually, Goku felt that Raditz let go of him and stopped… but Goku himself kept pummelling down toward the ground. Again, he focused every bit of his brain in soothing the impact in every way he could imagine… to no avail.
He dove into the hard floor head down. And then, pain like he'd never felt erupted all over his body.
________________________________________
Raditz landed next to his brother, watching Kakarot's crumpled form on the stone floor. That floor was hard indeed – although Kakarot had fallen on it at a speed higher than Raditz had ever flown at, it barely had a mark. But Kakarot himself was totally broken. He still twitched, but twitching appeared to be all he could do, other than moaning.
Walking over to Kakarot, Raditz grabbed the collar of his brother's shirt and lifted him to eye-level. He wanted to be able to look into Kakarot's eyes as he spent the rest of eternity burning him with an energy blast, relishing in the satisfaction such an act would bring to him.
I may be in Hell, but Kakarot's arrival has just made it a paradise! Raditz thought, even as he lifted his left hand to create another 'Begone'.
But, before he started gathering the energy, he realized something was wrong. Kakarot was helpless in his grasp, beaten as ever, and Raditz was able to deliver him a punishment that would last the rest of eternity… and yet, no satisfaction came onto his heart. Considering this had been the moment Raditz had been awaiting the most ever since he'd arrived to Hell, that was odd. Frightening, almost.
For years, Raditz had relished in slaughter, the fear emanating from those he burned away with his energy being the best reward for his assignments. And Kakarot… Kakarot had been the one making Raditz suffer the most, even more than Vegeta. Raditz had dreamt about getting back to Kakarot about every time he slept.
But if that was the case, why wasn't he getting any satisfaction from his brother's pain?
________________________________________
Although all of his body was in more pain than Goku had ever felt, he forced himself to open his eyes. Even the simple gestures of moving his eyelids and moaning seemed to cause him the deepest agony.
But, through his tears and through the blood in his eyes, Goku could see something different in Raditz's look. For the first time, the hatred had disappeared from his eyes, and although his teeth were still bared, Raditz's look was now doubtful. It almost seemed like he was wondering why he was doing this.
Goku couldn't help but making the same question mentally. At least, thinking didn't cause him any pain.
But making the question mentally wasn't enough. Goku had to speak it. He had to find out the answer to that question.
Although speaking appeared to be an insufferable torture, Goku asked, "Raditz… why are you doing this?"
The hatred returning to his eyes in a flash, Raditz snarled, "Shut up!" and threw him down. Goku felt his back exploding in pain as he hit the floor. He'd shout, but his throat appeared to have gone too tight for that.
"Raditz… brother…" Goku managed to whisper.
Raditz stomped on his chest.
"Silence!" he shouted. "You're not my brother, Kakarot! You never were my brother! A brother doesn't cause all the pain you've caused me!"
Through the fog of pain enveloping his brain, Goku could feel confusion coming over him.
"The pain I've caused you?" Goku insisted, trying to ignore the pain for long enough to speak. "But… what sort of pain did I cause you?"
"Oh, nothing." Raditz spat. "You just caused everyone who I cared about and who cared about me to go away!"
This was making less and less sense to Goku. He didn't remember causing his brother any pain.
But that was expected. After all, he'd hit his head when he was a baby, and therefore had forgotten everything that had happened to him before that.
The only thing he knew was that, whatever pain he had caused Raditz… he didn't mean it.
But this time he was in too much pain to say another word.
In the meantime, Raditz looked at him again. The hatred in his eyes was as intense as ever, but an equally strong sadness was mixed there, as he recalled whatever Goku had done to him.
"All of them left." he repeated. "Because of you. And now… you're going to pay."
With that, Raditz lifted his left arm, and started gathering energy on the palm of his hand. Goku could see a white ball of energy forming there. It was meant for him, Goku was sure of that. Although he was already dead, it was far from pleasant to imagine what could happen to him. The notion of dying again was stupid… but somehow, the idea scared him.
But through his fear, there was also a tiny bit of pity. Although Goku didn't know what sort of pain he'd caused his big brother, there was one thing he knew: it had been a strong one. And if there was anything he could do to change that, Goku swore he'd do it.
Unfortunately, there was nothing he could do, neither to make up to his brother, nor to save himself.
Chapter 2 – Scar
As he kept gathering the energy for his 'Begone', Raditz looked at his younger brother, stuck under his foot, unable to get free even if he tried, helpless like the slug he was. A slug that Raditz was about to squash. Even if he couldn't kill someone who was already dead, spending the rest of eternity torturing his brother was more than his wildest dreams had ever hoped for.
But there was still something wrong: Raditz still wasn't enjoying anything! So far, not even one bit of the torture he'd given to Kakarot had felt good to him! On Earth, he'd already had the same problem, but Raditz merely figured he needed some time to get into it. That had happened many times when he was a kid; it took some time before he got in the right mood to complete a mission. Lately, that had been ever rarer, but sometimes, it still happened. However, it had already happened more than once when it came to torture Kakarot. Neither on Earth nor here the act was being enjoyable. Considering everything Kakarot had done to him, Raditz had hoped torturing his brother would be the most enjoyable thing ever. Why wasn't it being so?
Perhaps because I haven't turned up the real heat yet. Raditz thought.
Yes, that had to be the reason. Raditz wasn't enjoying this because his subconscious should be thinking this wasn't yet a strong enough torture for Kakarot. But, once Kakarot was burning inside his 'Begone', then the real torture would begin, and then everything Raditz had been after would come to him.
It just had to!
________________________________________
As Raditz kept gathering energy for the deadly move he was about to unleash, Goku felt fear starting to overcome him. Even if one couldn't die twice, what was about to happen to him was far from pleasant. After all, it appeared Raditz would torture him for the rest of eternity – or at least, until Goku resurrected. But that would take months to happen, and until then, Raditz would undoubtedly spend every possible second making him suffer.
But the real question that kept gnawing at his mind was, "Why?". It had already become clear to him that Raditz wasn't doing this out of enjoyment, but out of revenge. But revenge for what?
Goku wasn't sure why he wanted to know the reasons behind Raditz's actions – if it was out of some sort of morbid curiosity, or merely as a way of trying to figure out a way out of his situation. He was more beaten than he had ever been, true enough, but he was also aware of the fact that hope was always the last thing to die.
So, trying to summon the scant energy he had, Goku spoke, although that simple act was still excruciatingly painful.
"Raditz… why are you doing this?" he managed to say.
At that question, Raditz stomped on Goku's chest again, even harder than before. Goku screamed in pain, although the act of doing so caused a pain itself. Blood came out of his mouth as he shouted.
"Shut up, Kakarot!" Raditz snarled. "Because of you, everyone who cared about me went away! It's only fair if I get you for it!"
Trying to overcome the ever-increasing pain, Goku insisted, "But will that solve your problems?"
"SHUT UP!" Raditz insisted, this time stomping on Goku's belly. "You have no right to ask questions, you MURDERER!"
Raditz's last word came as such a big surprise that Goku even forgot all the pain he was in, including the one from the recent stomping Raditz had delivered on his stomach.
"Murderer?" Goku asked.
"Yes, murderer!" Raditz shouted, this time kicking Goku's chin.
Although he felt his head had been almost kicked off his neck, Goku still tried to get to know more. Even considering most of his mind told him that it would be better if he didn't know whatever grudges Raditz held against him, Goku felt he had the duty to know.
"Why do you say I'm a murderer?"
The look that came to Raditz's face at that question was more shocked than any Goku had ever seen before.
"Why do I…" Raditz repeated to himself, as though he could hardly believe what Goku had asked him.
Then, hatred returning to his face in full force, he shouted, "BECAUSE YOU KILLED MY MOTHER!"
That sentence was accompanied by another stomp of Raditz on Goku's belly, but this time, it didn't even register in his brain, as Raditz's words struck Goku's heart more painfully than every physical blow could.
He'd killed Raditz's mother. No, it was not only Raditz's mother. It was also his mother. Goku had killed his own mother. He didn't know how, and probably he wouldn't remember it even if he hadn't gotten the hit to his head. But the knowledge he'd done such a thing to the one that had given him life was like someone sticking a sword into his heart time and time again.
"That's right, Kakarot." Raditz snarled. "After all the crap you and your friends came up with about a noble life… you're more of a monster than I have ever been."
"But I didn't mean…" Goku tried to say, before being silenced by Raditz stomping his ribs yet again.
"It doesn't matter if you meant it or not! What matters is that you did it! And now… you're going to suffer the consequences."
With that, Raditz gathered even more energy on his attack. And the only thing Goku could do about that was close his eyes, both in a hope that it would somehow make what he was going through less unbearable, and in an effort to hold back his tears, tears that came both from his despair and from the knowledge of what he'd done to his own mother.
He could already feel Raditz about to fire his finishing move. And no doubt, in a moment he'd feel the terrible burning Raditz's attack would cause.
But before that could come, something unexpected happened.
________________________________________
Raditz was about to unleash all of his fury and hatred toward Kakarot through his 'Begone', when, all of a sudden, something came that stopped him.
Right before Raditz fired, an energy blast came as if out of nowhere, straight at him. It appeared to be an ordinary energy ball, but Raditz was taken by so much surprise that his immediate reaction was to phase away from it – and throw all the energy he'd gathered for the 'Begone' to waste.
Shortly after the blast had passed the spot where he had been, Raditz landed, not on Kakarot, but on the floor at his side.
Forgetting about the brother he wanted to beat to a pulp for an instant, Raditz turned his focus toward the direction of which the energy ball had come, trying to see the one who had fired it.
He was not hard to find out, standing about 20 feet away, with his arms crossed.
The interrupter appeared to have an anatomy similar to that of a Saiyan or a human, but that meant little. There were lots of beings with that kind of anatomy throughout the universe – the one in front of him could basically be from any race.
Of whatever race he was, though, he had a halo hovering over his head, just like both Raditz and Kakarot. Clearly, this man was also dead.
The man appeared to be slightly over six feet tall, which meant he was almost a foot shorter than Raditz. But shorter didn't necessarily mean weaker. For example, Vegeta was slightly less than five feet six inches tall, and yet he was fifteen times stronger than Raditz.
The man was wearing navy-blue baggy trousers, secured up with a green sash, a navy-blue sleeveless shirt, green wrist bands, and black boots. He was also wearing a cape similar to the one Raditz had seen the green man wearing, only it was black, had much bigger shoulder pads – similar to those of a Saiyan Armour – and it had a hood. And the hood was what annoyed Raditz the most, because it was draped over the stranger's head, therefore leaving his face in the shade. Having been interrupted by someone whose face he couldn't see appeared even more unsettling that if he'd been interrupted by someone with his face uncovered.
But there was another feature of him not uncovered, one that Raditz glimpsed for a moment, swinging from behind the man's legs.
It was a tail. A brown, furry, monkey-like tail. Clearly, this man was also a Saiyan.
Well, Saiyan or not, this guy had interrupted his torturing of Kakarot – and probably would do it again unless Raditz dealt with the issue now.
"I don't know who the hell you are, but you have no business here." Raditz snarled at the stranger. "So get out of here right now unless you want me to give you a good thrashing."
Although it was impossible to say for sure through the hood, the Saiyan didn't appear affected by the comment.
"You speak as though you are capable of physically opposing me." he said. "And besides, I do have business here. A lot of business in fact, Raditz."
The amazement at the fact a stranger had addressed him by his name was so much that Raditz even forgot his feelings about what the stranger had interrupted. But even more amazing than the fact the stranger knew his name was how familiarly the stranger had spoken to him – as though the stranger knew him personally.
"How do you know my name?" Raditz demanded. "Who are you?"
"Who I am doesn't matter. What matters is what I came to do here."
Then, after what appeared to be a moment of thinking, the man added,
"But if you need to call me something that much, you can call me Scar."
Raditz briefly scoffed, before saying, "Very well then, Scar, I'm going to say this only once. You interrupted a very important matter I was taking care of. And if you don't want me to give you a good thrashing, get out of here. The matters I have to settle with Kakarot have nothing to do with you!"
Scar didn't even flinch.
"You're wrong." he said. "The matters between you and your brother Kakarot have a lot to do with me, Raditz."
For a moment, Raditz had the impression Scar's voice was sorrowful, but his mind quickly eliminated it. In the state of rage he was in, he was thinking in a very simplistic way. That way was: Raditz wanted to make Kakarot pay. Scar was getting in way of that. Therefore, Scar had to be put out.
Without further warning, Raditz threw an energy blast at Scar. But Scar simply stood where he was as the blast, apparently all by itself, veered away from the Saiyan and exploded behind him.
How could that be? Raditz questioned himself. My aim is perfect with any target that doesn't move faster than me. Yet, even with Scar standing still, I couldn't hit him!
It should have been a stroke of good luck on Scar's part. But luck doesn't last forever.
With that in mind, Raditz fired yet another energy blast. Again, Scar didn't move a muscle as the blast appeared to gradually change course and exploded behind him.
Raditz snarled in frustration. Missing his target once was already barely acceptable. Missing twice was even worse.
But Raditz wouldn't miss the third time.
So, he threw a third energy blast – which again veered away from Scar and hit the ground behind him.
Raditz stomped on the ground in fury. Even worse than the fact all the energy blasts were missing their target was the way how Scar stood there – so… impassive. Of course, he could be hiding a smirk under the hood's shade, but if he was anything other than impassive, surely he would say something!
But Raditz was thinking mostly with his rage instead of with his brain – and therefore what he did was gather all the energy he could in his hands. If throwing single energy blasts didn't work, then Raditz would just throw a barrage of them. At least some from the barrage were bound to hit their target.
As soon as Raditz felt like he'd gathered all the energy he could, he started throwing a barrage of energy blasts at Scar. But, yet again, the man just stood still as stone, as energy blast after energy blast veered away from him. Some of the energy blasts exploded on the stone ground, some of them exploded as they either met another energy blast or the impact of an explosion – and yet again, nothing seemed to even come near Scar!
Eventually, Scar gave a tired sigh, uncrossed his arms, and threw his own energy blast at Raditz. That energy blast deflected all those from Raditz's barrage that met it – and it went straight for Raditz.
Seeing his inability to stop it, Raditz just veered out of the way the best he could, barely managing to avoid the energy blast.
It was only at that moment, when his hyperactive mood had been cut off, that Raditz realized how much energy he had spent. His sight immediately went blurry, slightly dark at the edges, and all the strength went out of his body. With difficulty, Raditz managed to fall only on his hands and knees – in fact, he was about to fall belly down. The effort had let him more drained than he'd ever felt before.
And it was just unbelievable. Raditz had put the most effort he could into that barrage – and in fact, he assumed that was the barrage of energy blasts he'd kept for longer – but yet, not a single of his energy blasts had hit Scar.
With what felt like supreme effort, Raditz lifted his head to look at Scar. The guy was standing twenty feet in front of him, this time with his arms lowered, looking at him. Even with his face covered by the hood, Raditz could somehow feel Scar looking at him. And somehow, he could also feel the look he was receiving was not a good one.
And Scar's tone as he spoke next only confirmed it.
"Now that you've worked yourself out to the point where you can't even stand, could you please stay put and quiet and let me do what I came to do here?"
"And what did you come to do here?" Raditz managed to ask through his panting.
"I've come here to settle a few matters." said Scar. "Like the conflict between you and your brother Kakarot."
Raditz raised his eyebrows in surprise. "You did?"
Then, a slight smirk coming onto his face, he said, "I'm sorry for saying this, but I neither need nor want your help. The conflict between me and Kakarot is mostly settled – or for other, it will be when I beat him to a pulp."
"You already have." Scar said in a disapproving tone. "And that's not something you do to your brother. Or to anyone, in fact. But above all, not to your brother."
Scar's words were enough to get Raditz's rage to return – and his strength appeared to come back with it. Just who was he to come up with that kind of moralist speech?
"You're no one to tell me that." Raditz growled. "I beat Kakarot to a pulp whenever I want, and if you don't like the idea, it's your problem!"
"Apparently, I'm not the only one with a problem." Scar said. "You also have it, or you wouldn't be beating your brother to a pulp. Even so, hitting on your brother doesn't solve anything."
"Shut up!" Raditz shouted, throwing a Saturday Crush at Scar's head.
Just like his other energy blasts, the Saturday Crush appeared to veer away from Scar, disappearing into the distance.
"Raditz, even if hitting your brother solved anything, it's not his fault." Scar said. "Kakarot is innocent."
Kakarot? Innocent? Well that was new! After Kakarot had killed his mother, he was innocent! Sure, he could be unaware of what he'd done, but he'd still done it! And so, he had to be punished. And if Raditz had to put Scar out of the way before doing so, that was exactly what he would do.
Although he still felt his muscles a little bit numb, Raditz got up and clenched his fists.
"You're no one to come here telling me what to do, or to say people are things they're not." Raditz growled. "My issue with Kakarot concerns only me! But it appears I'll have to put you out before settling it."
With that, Raditz extended his right hand and fired the most intense barrage of energy blasts he could. Again, not even a single one of them hit Scar, all of them veering away from him. But this time Raditz was alright with that. Because, while he fired energy blasts from his right hand, he gathered the strongest 'Begone' he had ever created in his left hand. Hopefully, with Scar distracted by the energy blasts, he wouldn't realize Raditz was preparing another attack.
When Raditz got the feeling he had the most energy he could gather in his left hand without stopping the barrage of energy blasts from his right one, he started running toward Scar, all the way firing energy blasts.
Even as Raditz got closer, each and every energy blast kept missing the target, but the Saiyan was past caring about that – as long as his 'Begone' hit the target.
When Raditz was only ten feet away from Scar, Scar extended his right arm and fired his own energy blast. This time, Raditz was ready for it, and disappeared, dodging Scar's energy blast totally.
He reappeared about fifty feet above, and fell down on Scar, now putting every single amount of energy he could into the 'Begone'.
After Raditz was only about a meter above and away from Scar, he lowered his arm, and shouted, "BEGONE!"
Then he unleashed his strongest 'Begone' ever on Scar. Soon, there was an explosion more powerful than any of those Raditz had ever created with any attack of his. A blinding light spread through the area, but it didn't hide Raditz's pleased look.
After all, this time Scar was out of the way for sure.
________________________________________
Still lying down on the floor, Goku closed his eyes to shield them from the huge explosion Raditz's attack had created when it met Scar. The sheer power of this attack had been overwhelming, at least two or three times more powerful than Piccolo's Special Beam Cannon. If Goku had been standing, he would have been thrown off his feet for sure.

The thought of what would happen if Goku had been the one on the receiving end of the attack was enough to get him paralyzed by fear.

But that was Goku. With Scar it should be a different story. Goku was too hurt to focus enough to feel Scar's energy – but Scar was surely more powerful than Raditz. After all, a single energy blast from him had been able to knock away all the blasts of Raditz's barrage it had met. And the fact Raditz had missed every shot he'd thrown at Scar could only mean two things: Raditz's rage worsened his aim greatly, or then Scar was so strong that the sheer energy he released was enough to make Raditz's attacks veer away from him. Goku had a gut feeling it was the latter.

Whether he was powerful enough to withstand that attack or not, it was a different question.

As the light began to fade, Goku could mostly see some rather thin smoke floating in the air – smoke thin enough for him to see Raditz, still with his arm extended toward where Scar should be. Although he was still floating in the air, he appeared to be quivering, probably from pure exhaustion.

Or from fear, Goku guessed as he started to make out a dark shape from the smoke. Scar was still there.

He's not just 'still there'! Goku thought. He's totally unaffected!
Unbelievable as it was, Scar was standing there, his right arm extended toward Raditz, the palms of their hands appearing about to touch. Apparently, Scar had blocked the attack like that – and he didn't have as much as a pinch mark on his hand.

"Gee, that wasn't bad." Scar said. For a moment, Goku had the impression it truly sounded as if Scar was complimenting Raditz, and not mocking him.

"I-I-I-I-impossible." Raditz stammered, fear flooding every sound he made. "This just is not possible."
"It is." Scar stated, and Goku had the impression he was speaking in a pained voice.

Then, he just stood in silence, almost as if he was hesitant about what to do next. Whatever it was he would do, though, Goku sure as hell could not stop it – he could not even move.
Neither could Raditz, obviously. Although he so far appeared unharmed, he was obviously terrified. Clearly, meeting an opponent stronger than himself was devastatingly scary for him. Again, Goku felt anything other than hatred for Raditz. He felt pity. And even a tiny bit of sympathy. Goku knew what it felt like to face an opponent stronger than him – and it didn't feel good at all. Even considering Raditz had tried to kill him and had kidnapped Gohan, Goku couldn't help feeling sorry for what his older brother was going through now.

In the meantime, Scar still had done nothing reacted. Then, he took a deep breath, and exhaled, almost as if he was steeling himself for something he felt he had to do, but that he didn't look forward to doing.

Then, without any sort of warning, a blue energy wave erupted from Scar's hand, engulfing Raditz completely, and pushing him away like a feather. Goku again had to close his eyes to shield himself from the bright light and from the energy that emanated from the energy wave. The sound of something falling by his side came to him. It should be Raditz, without any doubt.
Only a moment later, he heard the sound of someone appearing, standing right next to him.

Goku forced his eyelids to open, and saw Scar standing right at his side, looking down at him. Goku forced himself to keep his eyes open. If Scar realized how scared Goku was, that would be the first step toward potential suffering. The best thing to do for now was trying to act braver than he felt.

The only thing to do, in fact. Goku was so beaten up he could barely move, and he certainly wouldn't be able to stop Scar from doing whatever he wanted to do next.
But, before Goku had time to wonder what that would be exactly, Scar spoke again.

"I had hoped that when I met you, it would be in a different set of circumstances." he said.

Goku felt a little bit relieved as he heard Scar's voice. Although it was rough, it didn't sound evil or cold. But there was also a strange feel to it, like a memory of a long forgotten dream – almost as if Goku had already heard his voice somewhere, but couldn't remember where exactly.

"However, we can do nothing to change these circumstances, and so they're the ones we all have to deal with." Scar continued. "So, I'm going to be as clear as possible about what awaits you."

Goku flinched in fear – and again, pain rushed through him from even that small movement. Goku was about to moan, but he held it back. Even moaning let him in more pain.

"Right now, I'm going to give you some slight healing." Scar said.
Goku looked up at Scar, not bothering to hide the puzzlement in his eyes. What did that mean exactly?

Apparently, Raditz had the same doubt, because he asked,
"What do you mean by slight healing?"

Goku turned his head around, trying to ignore how painful the act was. Raditz was just as broken as Goku felt, and probably should feel in the same amount of pain. But apparently, he'd just felt like he had to know the answer. But at least, Goku wouldn't have to make the question himself.

"By slight healing, I mean that both of you are going to be well enough to sit up, see what I have to show you, and listen to what I have to tell you." Scar stated. "But I won't heal you any further, at least until I show and tell you everything you need to know. And you two are meant to behave while I do so, get it?"
Goku imm
ediately nodded, and surprisingly, he didn't even feel any pain doing so this time. For a moment, this man had reminded him of his grandfather. His grandfather was a gentle and kind man, but he wasn't up to mischief either.
Apparently satisfied, Scar extended his right arm, and then the palm of his hand emitted a yellow glow. And Goku started feeling – different, as the pain started decreasing. Granted it was still strong, but now it was on a bearable level, and only if Goku moved too much.

Eventually, the pain stopped decreasing, and Goku found out he could sit up. The act of doing so was still painful, but not as much as it would be without Scar's healing.

At his side, Goku could see Raditz had also managed to sit up, and was glaring at him, as intensely as before. However, this time he was restraining himself. Apparently, Scar's warnings also had caused an impression on him.
In the meantime, Scar sat down cross-legged in front of the two of them. He swung his tail over his left leg, and then opened his arms, holding his hands cupped and parallel to each other.

"Very well then, what do you want to show us?" Raditz spat.
"Shut up and pay attention." Scar said briskly.
Then, he started forming a white ball of energy between his hands. At first glance, it seemed like an ordinary ball of energy, but Goku could sense there was something more to it.

And without any doubt, he'd soon find out what it was. But, for some strange reason, he didn't look forward to it. As if what Scar was about to tell him was something that he wouldn't like to know.

Chapter 3 – The real guilty

Sitting on the hard ground of Hell with his legs crossed, Raditz alternated his glares between Kakarot and Scar, not even bothering to look at the energy ball the third Saiyan was forming between his hands – and which probably would have nothing important to show him. He was much more focused on trying to repress his boiling rage – and on the pain of his injuries.

Raditz still felt bruises in places he didn't even know he had, but it was nothing compared to the explosive pain he had experienced before Scar had given him that 'slight-healing'. But apparently, that was meant to heal him only enough for him to listen to Scar's words.

But Raditz was in no mood to listen to Scar. The only thing he was in the mood for was torturing his brother Kakarot – like he had been doing before Scar had interrupted him. If not for the fact he was still too hurt to move without feeling strong pain, Raditz would already have resumed what he was doing. That, and the way how Scar had revealed he was in no mood for disobediences. And after all, Scar was much stronger than either Raditz or Kakarot – which meant it would be far from wise to test his patience.

Raditz shivered again at the thought of the pain he'd felt not too long ago. No one had ever caused him that – although probably Vegeta and Nappa would have enough strength to do so. And Raditz didn't look forward to feel the same way again.

So, when some images started appearing in the energy ball Scar held between his hands, Raditz forced himself to turn his eyes toward Scar's energy ball and pay attention. However, the images were too small for him to distinguish anything.
But, when Scar started opening his arms, the energy ball started increasing in size, and soon it got so big that only Scar's hooded head could be seen above it.
By now, Raditz could see very well the images in the ball. But he couldn't believe what he saw.

Two figures, one of them much smaller than the other, were running through a corridor of what Raditz saw as their basis on Planet Vegeta, back when it still existed. Incredibly, the ball not only gave images, but it also gave sound, as he could hear the sound of their steps.

He recognized one of the figures inside the energy ball. It was a Saiyan man, looking exactly like his brother Kakarot, but with tanner skin, a scar on his left cheek, and a slightly more muscular build. It was his father, Bardock.
He also recognized the second one – but it was as if he didn't at the same time. The other figure there looked like a seven year old kid, with wild black hair that fell slightly below his waist. It was Raditz himself, at seven years old.

Raditz clenched his fists and snarled. Again, his muscles burned as pain went through them, but this time, he didn't care.
He knew what he was seeing. It had been the worst day of his life. The day when the one who cared the most about him had disappeared forever.
"Who are those two people?" Kakarot asked.

Raditz didn't know whether the question was for him or for Scar, but even so, his only reaction to Kakarot's question was to turn his head toward his brother and glare at him. If he was stronger and was in perfect condition, Kakarot would be beaten to a bloody pulp in an instant. But he was beaten up, and Scar was there. So, the only thing Raditz could do was to keep quiet and fume.
Meanwhile, Scar answered Kakarot's question.
"The one who looks like you is Bardock, your father." Scar explained. "As for the kid, well, I guess you should recognize him as Raditz – when he was a seven years old kid."
Scar said the last sentence as though he was calling Kakarot stupid – which he was, and not only for not recognizing the similarity.
"He is?" Kakarot asked. "Well, could have fooled me. That Raditz looks so different from the one here…"


Raditz couldn't help but to wonder what Kakarot meant by that exactly.
In the meantime, inside the ball of energy held by Scar, Bardock and the little Raditz had gotten inside a room. Raditz remembered that day well.
For a moment, the image in the ball changed, and it focused on the shocked looks on the faces of Bardock and the little Raditz. Raditz remembered the sight that had left him like that, but apparently, Scar decided he needed to be remembered, because the image inside the ball changed views again. Now, it focused on the second most haunting thing Raditz had ever seen in his life.

In the bed right in front of Bardock and the little Raditz was a woman, lying on her back, with her forehead covered in sweat, her black hair tangled and sweaty, and her face so pale that she looked like a ghost. Her breathing was the most laboured Raditz had ever heard, and every deep breath she took was like a stab of pain to his heart.

Raditz knew that, among Saiyans, displaying emotions was a weakness, but he couldn't help it. Reliving that day, when he'd seen his mother, the one who always cared the most about him, weakening 'to her death... it was… it was as if someone was driving a knife into his heart over and over again.
Meanwhile, Kakarot looked at the woman in the bed with an intrigued look, as if he was trying to work out who she was.

"That's my…" he gave a look at Raditz. "…our mother, isn't she, Scar?"
Scar froze the image inside the energy ball, and then answered the question.
"Yes, Kakarot, this is Erel, your mother… and Raditz's."
"Why does she look so weak?" Kakarot asked.

Before Scar could answer, Raditz took that role.
"Because of you, you bastard!" he shouted. "Mother got so weak because of you! If you hadn't been born, this wouldn't have happened!"
Kakarot appeared as though he had been stabbed.

"Bu… but…" it was the only thing he could stammer.

"That's right, you bastard!" Raditz shouted. "How do you feel, now? How does all that thinking of me as a heartless murderer sit into you now? I would NEVER kill my own mother!"

"RADITZ!" Scar shouted. "SHUT UP, IMMEDIATELY!"
Suddenly reminded that Scar would be capable of hurting him a lot if he so wanted, Raditz grew quiet, although the intensity of his glare at Kakarot didn't decrease.

Meanwhile, Scar turned to Kakarot, who looked about to break into tears. As though tears could undo what he'd done!

"But… but why did she die after giving birth to me? I thought childbirth was something women endured well… my wife Chichi didn't have any big problem with giving birth to Gohan, other than feeling tired for about a day..."

"And it is." Scar interrupted, although in a more gentle way than usual. "Even for the standard human female, birth is something they endure without many
problems, and they usually take a few days to recover – although there are some who don't recover at all. But for Saiyan women, recovering from childbirth is about the easiest thing in the world. Even the weakest Saiyan women usually take only about an hour to recover from childbirth. And your mother, although she had been labelled as a low-class Saiyan, had a power level of 5 000, which is comparable to many elites."

Raditz snarled at Scar. So far, the man had not told anything new, and was only making him to relive painful memories. In the meantime, Kakarot still had that hurt look on his face,

"Then why… why did she… get like that because of my birth?" Kakarot asked.
"That's the same thing your father and brother wondered about." Scar said. "Because, although it is rare, there are a few Saiyan women who die from childbirth – but as much as I know, all the Saiyan females who died from childbirth were those who had babies with power levels higher than theirs. And even in that case, there were a few lucky ones who survived."

This time, Raditz was the one to make a question. Hurt as he was, that piece of information was so confusing that he wanted to ask for some information.
"But Kakarot's power level was only 2 when he was born!" he shouted. "And mom's, even at the later stages of her pregnancy, was 100! How can she…"
Raditz left it hanging there. For the first time in his whole life, he actually asked himself whether Kakarot had been as much of a responsible in his mother's death as he'd thought. But who else could it be?

As if he'd sensed Raditz's question, Scar placed the images inside the energy ball moving again. Now, they shifted to the faces of Bardock and the little Raditz, who ran for the bed with worried looks on their faces.
"Erel…" Bardock whispered, placing his hand under the woman's head and lifting it gently.

"What's wrong, mommy?" asked the little Raditz, leaning on the bed's edge, looking at his mother with wide, worried, and scared eyes.
The woman made an effort to stop panting, and turned her glassy eyes to the little Raditz. The little Raditz flinched – and so did the adult one sitting on the ground.
"Raditz…" Erel whispered, making an effort to extend her hand and pull her son closer to her.

As he saw that, the adult Raditz could feel his eyes starting to sting.
No… he thought. You're not going to cry now… a Saiyan doesn't cry… mainly an adult one…

But seeing his mother with that look again was too much for him. For now he was managing to hold back… but he didn't know if he'd be able to do it for much longer.
Back inside the energy ball, Erel turned her eyes to Bardock.


Last edited by Goku on Fri Sep 24, 2010 7:34 am; edited 1 time in total
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PowerLevel : 98,240,100
Ki : 98,240,100
Transformations : (False Super Saiyan)~(Super Saiyan)~(Lengendary Super Saiyan)~(True Legendary Sayain)~~
Tehniques : ~~(Kamehameha)~~(Warp Kamehameha)~~(Spirit Bomb)~~(Instant Transmission)~~(Solar Flare)~~(After Image)~~(Kiao Ken)~~(Energy Bomb)~~(Super Slither Slasher Basher)~~(Super Mega Death Ball)~~
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Items : (Z-Sword)~(Kings Armor)~(Weighted Armor)~(Ultimatre Sensu Beanx5)~
Posts : 109
Join date : 2010-08-27

PostSubject: Re: Blood Broters (Complete)   Fri Sep 24, 2010 7:30 am

"Bardock… you shouldn't have brought our son here… he'll get nightmares for seeing me like this…"
"How could this happen to you?" Bardock asked, ignoring her words. "You're strong, childbirth shouldn't affect you like this unless the child is more powerful than yourself…"
Apparently in an effort to get that clear, Bardock asked, "Is he?"
"No…" Erel whispered. "…according to Planthorr and Malaka, Kakarot has a power level of 2."
"2?" Bardock and the little Raditz shouted.
"Don't scream, please…" Erel begged, in the same agonizingly weak voice.
"Sorry…" Bardock said, so low Raditz almost had to struggle to listen. "But you mean… you went through all this and lost so much of your strength to give birth to a baby with a power level of 2?"
"His power level isn't the most important." Erel said. "Kakarot is our son, and according to the other tests they performed, he's healthy."
Neither Bardock nor the little Raditz said anything to that. Bardock just kept holding his wife, apparently at a loss for what to do, and the little Raditz looked desperately at his mother, as though she could forcefully get healed just with his eyes.
But slowly, the look in the little Raditz's face changed. His eyes turned hateful, and he clenched his fists. He suddenly seemed like a totally different person.
"Well, now I'm recognizing him as Raditz." Kakarot said bitterly at his side.
"Kakarot…" the little Raditz said, his breathing heavy. "It's his fault… When I see him, I'm gonna…"
"RADITZ!" Erel shouted, with surprising force for a woman so weak, even considering she was a Saiyan. "I can't believe you were going to say that! He's your younger brother! How can you…"
"Quiet, Erel." Bardock said. "Save your strength. I'll talk to him."
Very slowly, as though it was painful to let go of her, Bardock set Erel's head gently back down on the bed, before kneeling down at Raditz's level.
"Raditz…" Bardock spoke, as slowly as he could. "…your mother is right. It isn't Kakarot's fault. Kakarot is a newborn baby, newborn babies don't think nor act."
"Then why is mother like that?" Raditz shouted. "If it isn't Kakarot's fault, then who's the guilty?"
Bardock appeared not to know the answer.
"I don't know." he finally said. "The only thing I know is that Kakarot isn't the guilty – and that your mother would never forgive us if we treated him differently because of that."
At that moment, the sound of the sliding doors being opened was heard, and a tall man with a somewhat dirty look walked in.
"Who's that?" Kakarot asked.
Scar again stopped the images inside the energy ball.
"That's Tora." he said. "He was a member of your father's crew, and also his best friend."
Then, he got the image moving again.
Bardock stood up.
"What is it, Tora?" he asked.
"The others are ready to leave, Bardock." said Tora. "They asked me to come here and tell you that. Besides, we're already getting late. If we don't go to Kanassa soon, we'll miss the full moon."
Bardock nodded as though he'd understood, but he stood on the same place, rigid like a statue, only his eyes moving.
Tora finally stopped looking at Bardock, and gave a look at Erel. His eyes widened slightly when he saw the state she was in.
"How is she?" Tora asked.
"Weak." Bardock said. "And well… I'm… I'm… I think perhaps you guys should go without me this time."
"What?" Tora, Erel, and the little Raditz asked at the same time.
"Come on, Bardock, you can't stay here!" Tora said, trying to pull him outside of the room. "You're our leader, we need you there! And the Kanassans are strong. Perhaps four great apes would be enough, but it's a chance I don't want to take."
"She also needs me." Bardock said, giving a look at his wife.
"No… Bardock…" Erel managed to whisper. "Go with Tora and the others… they need you more than I do. If you'd stay here, you'd only be holding my hand – there, you can actually help them to conquer the planet."
Then, a frown appearing on her face, she added, "Besides, you know very well what he would do to you if you skipped work."
When Erel said 'he', the image inside the energy ball got slightly blurry, and black and white instead of on colour. Some image viewing electronic devices Raditz had seen could have the same problem sometimes, but, even in his grief stricken state, Raditz couldn't help to wonder why images inside an energy ball would have it.
Bardock nodded as though he knew exactly what she was talking about, but he said, "It's a price I'm willing to pay."
"BUT I'M NOT!" Erel shouted. "I don't want you to throw your life away because of me, Bardock! If you go alone and I stay here, at least I have a chance to make it through. If you stay here, while I may make it through anyway, he will kill us both after!"
Again, exactly at the same time Erel said 'he', the image got blurry and black and white, and again, it lasted for exactly the same time it took Erel to say 'he'.
Bardock shivered, as though he was facing an internal struggle. But eventually, his shoulders fell, and he said, "Alright. I'm going."
Tora patted Bardock's shoulder. "That's the spirit. Besides, don't worry about your wife. She's tough, she'll bounce back. Just like you always do after every battle."
Tora gave a playful smirk, and said, "That's why you're such a good match for each other, eh?"
"Shut up, Tora." Bardock said, giving him a playful punch.
Then, he went back to Erel, and bent over, stroking his wife's cheek.
"I'll be back as soon as I can." he whispered.
Bardock was about to lean further down, when Tora cleared his throat, and then pointed at the little Raditz. Understanding what he meant, Bardock stood back up – very reluctantly.
The little Raditz looked at his mother.
"Can I go to make company to Dad until he goes away?" he asked. "I'll come back after that, I promise."
"Of course, baby." Erel replied.
"Just remember you'll have to leave for your own mission in an hour." Bardock said.
The little Raditz nodded to his father. After another look at Erel, father and son finally left the room, Tora following them. Erel stayed in her bed, closing her eyes, as though she was trying to fall asleep.
"So this is it?" Raditz asked Scar. "This is what you wanted to show me? Well, I didn't learn anything from it!"
The images inside the ball appeared to have frozen again, but it was hard to tell for sure.
"Well… I sort of learned something…" Kakarot said timidly from Raditz's side.
"What is it?" Raditz demanded gruffly.
"Well… that… that…" Kakarot started, as if he was unsure on how to continue.
"THAT WHAT?" Raditz roared.
"That you're not as heartless as I thought you were." Kakarot said. "If you were, you wouldn't have behaved like that."
Then, Kakarot's eyes turned apologetic, as he said, "And Raditz, I am sorry, I really am…"
"Shut up!" Raditz shouted. "Being sorry about what you did doesn't change anything! You still killed her!"
"No, he didn't." Scar said. "And if you'd let me show you everything, you'd see so."
His curiosity captured by that matter, Raditz halted himself and looked back at the energy ball, and he could sense Kakarot doing the same at his side.
Scar got the images moving again. Again, the door of the room opened, but the one who came in was not the little Raditz. It was another Saiyan woman, with brown eyes and black hair. Raditz noticed she was holding what looked like a glass of water in her hand, but he also noticed how cold her eyes looked – as though she was bent on murder. Then, Raditz realized that he recognized her.
But Kakarot asked,
"Who's that one?"
"Her name is Anian." Scar said. "She and Bardock… had a relationship that didn't work out before Bardock met Erel. And let's just say that… she didn't take it very well."
Scar's words, added to the cold look on Anian's face inside the energy ball, gave Raditz a chill up his spine. And suddenly, he knew what he was going to see.
Anian walked toward Erel, still holding that glass of liquid – by now, Raditz had a pretty good idea that it wasn't water after all – on her hand.
"Hello, Erel." she said sinisterly.
Erel opened her eyes.
"A…Anian…" she whispered. "What do you… what do you want…"
Anian smiled down at Erel, a smile that sent chills up Raditz's spine.
"Well, I want to tell you one thing." she stated. "That you made a very, very big mistake by getting… so close to Bardock."
Then, her face turned feral, as she shouted: "He should have been mine! And you came along and stole him!"
"I didn't steal him." Erel gasped. "Things already had fallen apart between the two of you before he met me!"
"Oh, things fell apart between the two of us?" Anian asked. "Well, I have news for you, Erel, you're also falling – right here, right now."
With that, Anian used her free hand to force Erel's mouth open. Erel tried to hit the other Saiyan woman's arms, but it was useless. She was too weakened to get free.
Meanwhile, Anian held the glass of liquid over Erel's head.
"You see the liquid inside this glass? Well, let me tell you this: throughout your whole pregnancy, you've been unknowingly ingesting small portions of it, both in your meals, and both mixed with the water you drank. It has no taste, so there is no way you could have known. I wanted something that would do the trick quickly, but unfortunately, this product is the only one that doesn't register in any sort of analysis they can make to you. Besides, if you just fell down after having a meal, it'd be obvious that it was poisoning. This way, it'd just look like pregnancy had left you frail. And if Bardock was less of an overprotective husband, both you and the wretched child you gave birth to today would have fallen a long time ago."
She made a pause, before adding, "But soon, Bardock will be my overprotective husband, of course. As for you… you're going to Hell. And don't get too worried about your children, because they'll join you soon, due to some – unfortunate accidents they'll meet."
"You wouldn't dare…" Erel gurgled.
"I would, and I'll do it." Anian replied. "But for now, you'll be the first to go. Goodbye, Erel."
And before anyone else could say anything, Anian forced the whole glass of liquid down Erel's throat. At first, she coughed and choked, and tried to take the deepest breaths she could, taking her hands to her chest. Then, her body went limp.
Anian was getting ready to smile, when she heard the sound of the door being opened behind her. She immediately phased out, hiding on the other side of the bed.
There, standing at the entrance, was the little Raditz. At first, he looked slightly confused, as if he hoped his mother to look at him when he came in – but as if by instinct he realized something was wrong.
"Mommy?" he asked, running to her. He tugged at her arm, but she didn't react. "Mommy?"
At that moment, the sound as if got eliminated. And soon, after, the image itself disappeared. The last picture Raditz saw inside the ball was the grief-stricken face of his younger self.
The energy ball disappeared, and Scar crossed his arms. And Raditz just kept staring at emptiness, a shocked look on his face.
"So, what do you have to say now?" Scar asked.
Raditz had a lot to say – but he couldn't think of what he should say first. So… everything, all the hatred he'd had for his brother, all the vows of revenge he'd done… through it all, Kakarot had indeed been innocent. And that made his actions all the more unforgivable.
For a moment, Raditz allowed himself to glance at his brother. He was looking at the place where the energy ball had been with a look of rage – hatred, even – on his face. It made him look much scarier than Raditz ever thought possible. And all of that… all of it was for him, certainly.
I'm sorry, brother. Raditz thought. I truly am. If I could make it up to you… I would.
But Raditz deep down, knew that there was no way he could make it up to his brother.
________________________________________
Goku looked at the place where the energy ball had been, trying to repress the rage and hatred flowing through him. It reminded him of what he'd felt when his friend Krillin had been killed by one of the original King Piccolo's lackeys – only it was ten times more intense. If that woman was in front of him right now, he'd tear her apart, regardless of his injuries.
"What happened to that woman?" Goku finally asked in a voice that sounded like a feral growl.
"I don't know." Scar said. "Presumably she was wiped out with most of our race when Planet Vegeta was destroyed."
For the briefest of moments, Goku had the impression Scar was hiding something from him, but he placed that aside. What he still wanted to do the most was to somehow find this woman and make her pay for killing his mother.
He immediately tried to get up – and he actually managed to do so, but as soon as he stood straight, his muscles screamed in pain, and he fell down again.
"Calm down, Kakarot." Scar said. "I understand you want revenge, but pursuing it right now would be pointless."
However, Scar's tone betrayed him – it had hints of anger and hatred, and Goku found himself wondering if he had been close to Erel when he still had been alive. It was clear he was dead, but for how long?
"Kakarot, listen to me!" Scar demanded. "Right now, wasting your time pursuing revenge is the last thing you need. What you must do now is to get back to the Snake Way and go to King Kai, so you can go to him and train with him, to be ready to defeat the other two Saiyans when they arrive on Earth."
Goku gasped. With everything that had been going on, he'd forgotten King Kai and the other Saiyans. Scar was right. Somehow, he had to go back to Snake Way, find King Kai, and train with him to be ready to defeat the Saiyans.
But there was one problem with that, Goku realized, as he struggled to sit up, and pain flashed all through him.
"How am I going to do that when I'm so…" he managed to ask.
"Don't worry about that." Scar said. "Because now, I'm going to heal you completely."
Then, Scar's hooded head turned to Raditz, and he said, "And Raditz as well."
Raditz looked toward Scar with a startled look on his face. "Me? But why? After what I've done… not only to thousands of innocent people, but to Kakarot, I deserve to be as beaten up as much as possible during the rest of eternity…"
"Perhaps you do." Scar said. "Perhaps not. I'm not important enough here at the Other World to decide that sort of thing. But I do know this: you, like everyone, deserve a second chance. And that is what you're going to get. You'll go to King Kai's planet with Kakarot, and there, the two of you will train to fight the other two Saiyans when they arrive on Earth."
Raditz lowered his face in shame.
"I can't go." Raditz said. "I'd turn out as a traitor at some point along the way, for sure. I've done it once, I'm bound to do it again."
"That's only your decision, Raditz." Goku said. "You'll only betray me if you want to. You're not automatically bound to betray me. But who knows, perhaps you will not."
Raditz looked at Goku with total disbelief on his face, as if he thought Goku was mad for just considering that.
"Kakarot is right, Raditz." Scar said. "The struggle between darkness and light is one that takes place all over the universe, but it also takes place inside living beings… or dead beings, in this case. Sure, there are times when you may feel your inner darkness trying to win you over – but if your light fights that darkness, I believe the light will be the winner."
"It won't." Raditz said. "I've been a planet broker for years, and my inner light never gave me a sign."
"You're wrong." Scar said. "It probably gave you lots of signs. You merely weren't receptive to them. But now you are – that will make everything easier."
Scar turned to Kakarot.
"And your brother would help you, I'm sure."
Raditz looked at Goku, as if he was trying to get his brother to talk. Goku felt uncomfortable with the look Raditz was giving him. Truth being told, he didn't trust Raditz, and that was as far as matters went. But it was true everyone deserved a second chance – and Raditz still had to use his.
"Well, Scar is right." Goku finally said. "We all deserve another chance. I can give you one – but you also need to give it to yourself."
Raditz took a deep breath. Clearly, he wasn't used to so much kindness around him. But finally, he said, "Very well. I guess we'll go together to visit that King Kai."
At that moment, Goku couldn't tell why, but he had the impression Scar was smiling under his black hood. Then, he said, "Very well. If that's the case, now you're going to get healed."
Scar extended his palm again, and both Goku and Raditz glowed with a yellow light. Once the light was gone, Goku felt completely healed – in fact, he felt stronger and faster than ever, as if all the pounding his body had taken had strengthened it several times over. Goku gave a flurry of punches, and indeed, the speed of them was much higher than it had been before.
"Get used to it, boy." Scar said. "And consider yourself lucky for being a Saiyan. If a Saiyan gets beaten up, his power level increases when he recovers. The more beaten up a Saiyan gets, the stronger he gets if he manages to recover."
Well, this was unexpected – but it surely was a stroke of good luck. If King Kai's training was rough enough, perhaps Goku would be strong enough to defeat the two Saiyans by the time the training was over. And with Raditz along… he'd have even better chances.
Raditz was also giving punches into the air, and also seemed surprised at the discovery of his new strength. From what Goku could see from Raditz's test punches, and from the energy he felt coming from his brother, the two of them were approximately equal in power now.
For the briefest of moments, Goku turned his energy sensing ability toward Scar… and focusing on it made his jaw drop in amazement. Scar appeared as though he was at least fifty to sixty times stronger than Raditz had been back when he'd arrived on Earth, if not more. No wonder Raditz's attack had done nothing to him!
Unbelievable… Goku thought. To think that such a level of strength is even possible to reach…
"Is everything alright, Kakarot?" Scar asked. "You seem a little… well…"
Goku couldn't answer Scar's question – what he felt was robbing the capability of talking from him. That, and the other thing he'd felt: even with the energy he was currently releasing, Scar was holding back. Goku didn't know exactly how much Scar was holding back, but it was a lot. If Scar ever released all of that power…
"KAKAROT!" Scar shouted.
Goku jumped in startle, losing his focus on Scar's energy. He found it wiser not to recover it – what he'd felt was so immense that it had nearly given him vomits.
"Are you alright, Kakarot?" Raditz asked, a concerned look on his face. "You look sort of ill."
"I'm alright." Goku said, panting slightly, as he cleaned drops of cold sweat from his forehead. "I'm alright." he repeated, as if to convince himself.
"That's good." Raditz said with a genuinely relieved tone.
In the meantime, the palm of Scar's extended hand glowed with blue light, and both Goku and Raditz were involved by that for a moment. When the light disappeared, Goku noticed that he was wearing new clothes – exactly like the ones he'd worn before. The only differences were that his undershirt, boots, and wristbands were heavier, apparently to adapt to his increased strength.
"What is the deal with these clothes?" Raditz shouted. "They're so heavy, I feel like I can't move!"
Looking to his left, Goku saw that Raditz was wearing clothes very similar to his – only his shirt and trousers were dark-brown, instead of reddish-orange, and his undershirt, belt, and wristbands were black, instead of blue. Also, there was no symbol on the front of his shirt - and if there was any on the back, it was hidden by all that hair.
"That's the point of your clothes." Scar replied. "Wearing weighted clothes strengthens your body. Kakarot is wearing a similar set – but he's more used to weighted clothes than you, so it may not seem like it."
"I guess I preferred my old armour." Raditz grumbled.
"Well, as for me, I think with those clothes you look more like my brother." Goku said.
Then, he noticed the brown tail swaying behind Raditz.
"And if I had a tail now, we'd look like brothers even more." Goku said, more as a comment than anything else.
To be true about that, Goku kind of missed his tail. It had come in handy many times, although there had been a point when it had also been a weakness. But Kami had cut it off many years ago, and Goku hadn't gotten to know why, only that the moon would come back, and he'd be a burden if he still had his tail – which Goku failed to understand.
Scar's eyes focused on Kakarot.
"I guess I can give that to you." he said. "After all, I guess it'll be better for you if you have a tail - at least for some time now."
Goku didn't understand what Scar meant by that, but he didn't voice his doubts. He was more curious about how he would get his tail back.
Scar pointed the open palm of his hand toward Goku, and then, a white aura flared around him.
"As I do this, you'd better be very quiet." Scar said. "I need to focus in order to do this properly, and that will be easier with silence."
Both Goku and Raditz nodded. And then, Scar started humming, murmuring something in a strange language Goku had never heard between the hums. Goku didn't understand what he was doing… but he could feel an itch on his backside, at the same spot where his tail had been. He could also feel a strange feeling at his stomach.
"What are you doing?" Raditz asked.
Scar lifted his free hand in order to tell Raditz to shut up… and then, he kept humming and murmuring. Suddenly, Scar gave a deep, loud yell, his white aura suddenly became so bright it was blinding, and his energy level got so immense that feeling it made Goku's head hurt so much that it looked like it was going to split in half. Then, Goku felt something spurting from his backside, and a pain, equivalent to the one he'd felt when his tail had been pulled off by his grandfather by accident, went there.
"YOW!" he shouted at the top of his lungs, taking both of his hands to the spot. Even with the pain there, Goku could feel a furry appendage between his fingers.
So, Scar's weird magic had worked. His tail had grown back. But Kami had said he'd make it so that his tail would never grow again, Goku managed to remember as his headache slowly subsided. Apparently, Scar's magic was stronger than Kami's.
"Thanks, Scar." Goku said, as he started swaying his tail around. "I kind of missed my tail."
"No problem, kid." Scar said.
"But why do you say it will be better if I have my tail?" Goku asked.
"Don't worry about that for now." Scar said. "This is not the time for you to get worried with such things. Now the only thing you need to get worried about is getting back to Snake Way and going to King Kai's planet."
With that, Scar started flying toward the yellow layer of clouds. Raditz was the first to follow him, and Goku soon joined them. By now, the pain in his backside had already dulled to a persistent, but weak sting. However, it was still enough of a reminder to Goku that he had his tail back – and that he'd somehow made a mistake when he'd said that thing about missing his tail.
He had missed his tail, but it was the trademark of a race of murderers – and now that he had it back, he couldn't help but to briefly wonder if that meant he'd become a murderer.
Don't be stupid! Goku scolded himself. You said yourself to Raditz that one only becomes a murderer if he wants to. You've had your tail for a long time more than once, and you never felt the wish to destroy innocent lives. Besides, there's no written rule that being a Saiyan means being evil. Scar is also a Saiyan, and he looked nice enough. Perhaps a little bit rough, but he's not evil.
That was true. Whether Goku would become evil or not depended more on himself than on anyone else. And if he didn't want to become evil, then he wouldn't. It was as simple as that.
Scar finally stopped, as he finally got close to the yellow layer of clouds. Goku and Raditz stopped as well behind him.
It was only when he saw the clouds that Goku was reminded of another problem. Getting through this layer appeared to be a one-way trip – and it was not the way they were trying to go.
"What do we do now, Scar?" Goku asked him. "These clouds can't be broken through."
"They can." Scar stated simply. "I can open a hole through them. Again, just stay quiet and let me focus."
Goku did as he was told, curious to see what sort of thing Scar would do to break through these clouds.
For a moment, Scar just stood silent, apparently focusing for whatever it was he was going to do. Then, he opened his arms as much as he could with his hands open and his fingers spread wide. Then, he lifted his right arm well above his head, while his left pointed straight down. Then, he bent both his elbows and clenched his fists so that they were pointed at each other. Then, he again moved his arms, so that his right one was pointing downward in a sixty degrees angle with his chest, and his left one was pointing upward in an equal angle with his head. Then, he again opened his arms as wide as he could, his hands continuing the line of his arms, with their palms pointing downwards.
The overall series of movements was so fast Goku could barely keep up with it.
Finally, Scar clasped his hands together in front of his chest, and both of them became involved in a greenish-blue glow with an electrical look. The glowing ball gradually grew bigger, and Scar slowly separated his hands, his muscles twitching as though he was struggling not to lose focus. Apparently, this was a skill he didn't completely control yet.
Although separated, both of his hands were still involved in that greenish-blue glow. Scar pointed them toward the layer of clouds, and then fired both the glowing balls as if they were energy blasts. The balls of light broke through the layer of clouds, meeting shortly afterward. There was a flash when they met, strong enough so that both Raditz and Goku covered their eyes to protect them.
When the light dissipated, there was one single glowing ball, in the middle of a hole in the clouds, with a diameter of about fifteen feet.
Understand the idea, Goku went through, soon followed by Raditz. The two of them landed safely on Snake Way.
Scar suddenly appeared in front of them, and Goku could see a few drops of sweat on his forearms. Apparently, the effort had been a big one on him. But that was probably because he was still keeping his power at that fairly weak level – compared to his overall potential, that is.
Goku shuddered. The idea that such a strong being even existed was sickening. But at least, Scar was on their side. If Goku ever had to face such a powerful enemy… he didn't know what he'd do. Well, he knew what he'd do: fight to the end, obviously. But he didn't know how he'd win.
"Right." Raditz said, snapping Goku out of his thoughts. "We're here on this Snake Way. Now, which way to King Kai's?"
Goku looked at Scar. He'd been asking himself exactly the same thing.
Scar merely pointed at the pointy scales that sprouted from the stone snake's back.
"See these?" Scar asked. "They always grow on the same direction ever since the beginning of the Snake Way 'till its end. Follow the direction they point toward, and you'll be on your way to King Kai. There's no possible mistake."
Scar lowered his arm.
"In the meantime, my mission here is over, so I am leaving. Goodbye, Raditz and Kakarot, and good luck on your journey to King Kai."
As he spoke, Goku had the impression he could hear hints of emotion in Scar's voice: it was as though Scar was saving goodbye to someone of his family. But he barely had enough time to start wondering about that when Scar disappeared, leaving Goku and Raditz alone.
For a moment, the two brothers just stood where they were, looking awkwardly at each other. Now that Scar had gone, the two were on their own – and for the first time, they weren't close to – or even in danger of – starting to fight. But the feeling was so new that it was weird, and Goku didn't know what to do. Neither did Raditz, apparently.
"Well…" Goku finally said. "…I guess by now we'd better leave to King Kai's planet."
"Right." Raditz said. "Let's go."
Putting the awkwardness aside, both brothers turned to the direction Scar had indicated, and started flying toward King Kai's planet, both of them flying faster than ever before.
As he started his way, Goku again remembered the two Saiyans that would arrive on Earth too soon for his likes. Both of them would be much stronger than Raditz had been when Goku fought him – Goku only didn't know how stronger. He could only hope that King Kai's training would be enough to defeat them.
And he would do his best for such a thing to happen.
Chapter 4 – Royal hospitality
As time kept passing and passing, the two Saiyans flew along Snake Way, in the hopes of finding King Kai's planet and training to get ready to face the other two of their kind who were going to Earth.
Raditz couldn't guess for sure how much time had passed since he'd gotten out of Hell and had started following Kakarot, as there was no real way of measuring time here. There appeared to be a constant daytime, and there weren't even any sort of tags on Snake Way to tell them how much they had to travel before getting to King Kai. On the only conversation he'd had with Kakarot since the two of them had started making the journey to King Kai's planet together (a conversation that been incredibly short and awkward) Raditz had asked Kakarot just how long the way there was. According to Kakarot, the road was a million kilometers long, and he had only traveled a quarter of it before falling off. But of course, back then he had been much slower. Now the two of them were much stronger than before, all because they had been healed from the beatings they had taken.
Raditz grimaced in shame. He still couldn't believe himself. For years Raditz had hated his brother, all because of a crime he hadn't committed. If not for his hatred, his brother wouldn't be dead. It had been because he hated his brother that he'd taken the first chance available to kill him. A chance Raditz had created. He had taken Kakarot's brat as a bait, only so Kakarot would get even angrier at him and Raditz could set up excusable circumstances for killing Kakarot. And he had killed Kakarot, but not without dying in the process. None of that wouldn't have happened if he didn't hate his brother.
Blood ties should have mattered. Raditz should have cared the fact Kakarot was his brother. But his hatred had stopped him from doing so. And in the end, it had all been toward someone who was innocent.
How could that be? Raditz asked himself, not for the first time. How can I hate him so much? I never hated anyone else like that!
Kakarot's shout suddenly cut into his thoughts. "Hey, Raditz, are you alright?"
Raditz looked toward his brother. Kakarot was looking back at him, a concerned look on his face.
"Save your breath, Kakarot." Raditz instructed plainly. "You'll need it if we keep flying for much longer."
"But you don't look alright, Raditz." Kakarot said, concerned. "Are you having any problem? Can I help you?"
"Why do you even care?" Raditz said harshly.
His tone immediately made him cringe. He wished he hadn't been so bitter, but being bitter was everything he'd been for most of his life. No one had truly cared about him for so long that he'd forgotten what it felt like.
Kakarot appeared to find the situation awkward, but he said, "Well, you're my older brother. Brothers care about each other, and try to help each other when there are problems."
Raditz had to use all of his self-control to keep his eyes from bugging out. Kakarot had never considered him a brother when they had been alive, why would he do so after they were dead?
Kakarot's words reminded Raditz of the dreams of brotherhood he'd had on the months before Kakarot's birth, but those dreams had been crushed as soon as his mother had died, supposedly from childbirth.
"How can you think of me as a brother after what I've done to you?" Raditz asked.
Kakarot's look didn't harden or become bitter for the slightest moment. Instead, it was sympathetic.
"Scar explained us everything, remember?" Kakarot said. "Now I know the reason behind your actions, and I know that it wasn't your fault."
"It was my fault." Raditz stated. "Even if you had been the one to cause my mother to die, I shouldn't have hated you like that, or have done what I did. You're my brother."
Kakarot sighed heavily.
"Looking back on an event, it's rather easy to realize how we were wrong. But you were only a kid, you loved mom, you had lost her, it's rather natural that you'd want revenge."
Kakarot took a deep breath, and carried on, "I remember how when the original King Piccolo and his servants caused the death of Krillin and Master Roshi, I wanted revenge. Badly. And I didn't rest while I didn't kill him – which I did end up doing."
Kakarot momentarily grit his teeth, and his look became fierce. The memory was sore, Raditz could tell that much. But suddenly, his fierceness deepened even more, and he bared his teeth like a snarling wolf.
"Or that other monstrous ape who killed my grandfather. That one I never met, but if I ever saw it… I'd destroy it with my own bare hands."
Raditz raised one eyebrow. That story of a monstrous ape killing Kakarot's 'grandfather' seemed too similar to a Great Ape out of control rampaging through a planet, the standard process for a Saiyan baby to conquer planets with weak inhabitants.
"Kakarot…" Raditz began hesitantly. "What happened exactly when that monstrous ape killed your 'grandfather'?"
Kakarot's face twisted into a painful grimace at the question.
"Oh, sorry." Raditz said quickly. "I couldn't help to ask, but if you don't want to answer…"
"No… it's alright…" Kakarot gasped, taking a hand to his heart as he spoke.
Raditz waited patiently, while Kakarot appeared to be summoning all of his will to talk about the matter. Then, he began speaking,
"I'm not sure." Kakarot said. "One of the first things I remember my grandfather saying is 'Goku, when the full moon is out, an ape of gigantic proportions appears to eat or squash anything it encounters, so never go out during a full moon. Stay home asleep, it is much safer.' As far as I can remember, I obeyed that rule always. The only time I broke it was at a night of full moon when I was ten years old, I really needed to go out…"
Kakarot stopped there, but this time it didn't look like because he was in pain. Rather, it seemed like he was trying to recall what had happened.
"What happened next?" Raditz inquired as gently as he could.
"I don't know." Kakarot said. "Next thing I remember I woke up naked, there were a lot of broken trees around me, my house had been reduced to ruins… and my grandfather was… well…"
Kakarot stopped there, looking like he was trying to repress a wave of sobs. Raditz started twisting his hands uncomfortably, wanting to do something, but having little to no idea of what would be proper. In the end, the only thing he found himself capable of doing was flying as close to his brother as he could, and start gently patting his back.
I don't know what to say, Kakarot. The truth is not something you would like to hear this time.
Raditz wished he was able to come up with something that would distract Kakarot from thinking about that old man who had raised him, but for some reason, his mind seemed blocked, and the only thing it could do was replaying the recent moments between him and his brother. Then, as he remembered one of the things Kakarot had said, a sudden thought struck his mind, and allowed his change of matter.
"Kakarot, you said that 'the original King Piccolo and his servants' had killed Krillin and Master Roshi. But isn't Krillin the name of that bald guy I… well, whacked with my tail?" Raditz said, the last part of the sentence coming rather awkwardly. "And isn't that Roshi guy the one who told you the story of how you had been found in your space pod by some old man?"
Kakarot's struggle against sobbing slowly faded away with the sobs themselves, as he tried to give his full attention to Raditz's new question.
"Yes, those were the ones." he said.
"But they looked alive to me. Why do you say they were killed?"
Before Kakarot answered, Raditz recalled one of the last things the green man – what was his name really? – had said before killing Raditz.
"Did you resurrect them with those Dragon Balls?" he asked.
"Yes." Kakarot stated simply.
Raditz nodded in understanding. But something else got confusing, as he remembered another piece of information.
"But isn't Piccolo that Namekian who helped you to fight me?" he asked.
"What's a Namekian?" Kakarot asked.
"A Namekian is a type of alien, like a Saiyan." Raditz stated. "They come from Planet Namek. Your friend Piccolo is one."
Kakarot chuckled briefly. "Well, I guess it's a good explanation about his looks. But why didn't you say so before?"
"It was irrelevant." Raditz stated.
Kakarot appeared to be thinking of a comeback, but, unable to find one, he only nodded. Noticing Raditz still didn't have an answer to his own question, he insisted,
"But either way, is that one Piccolo?" Raditz insisted.
Kakarot nodded again.
"In that case, what was he doing fighting by your side?" Raditz insisted. "And how does it come he isn't dead?"
"It's sort of a long story."
"In that case, we'd better keep quiet." Raditz stated. "We don't know how long of a way we have to make, we'd better save our breath and strength."
Raditz had never been much for conversation, but, for some reason, ending up this one right here made him feel somewhat sad. He wanted to learn about Kakarot and his background. But at the same time, having such deep talking like this was too new to him. A part of him wanted to stop it if only to stop the odd feeling inside him. Raditz couldn't tell if Kakarot had noticed his inner conflict, but Kakarot said,
"I'm going to make it a short story then."
He took a deeper breath, and then started talking, "The Piccolo you met is the son of the original Piccolo, the Demon King. I fought King Piccolo eight years ago, and managed to run him through by gathering all my energy in my fist. But right before he died, he rescued a part of himself by spitting an egg, and that part became the Piccolo you met. He and I fought again five years ago on the World Martial Arts Tournament, and I managed to defeat him again – barely."
"Why didn't you kill him for good? And what is that World Martial Arts Tournament?" It seemed that every answered question gave origin to new ones.
"The World Martial Arts Tournament is a competition on Earth where fighters from all over the world go to see who's the strongest." Kakarot explained. "There are a few rules: you can't kill your opponent nor use weapons, but other than that, you're pretty much free to do anything you want. You lose if you fall out of the ring, if you surrender, or if you stay down for a count to ten. And if you win, you receive a lot of money – on the last time, it was 500 000 zeni."
Kakarot paused for a moment to take a breath, before asking, "Anyway, you also wanted to know me why I didn't kill Piccolo, didn't you?"
Raditz nodded.
"Well, you of course remember the Dragon Balls Piccolo mentioned before you – we died."
Raditz didn't say anything. It hadn't been a question, so it didn't need an answer.
Kakarot carried on, "Well, the Dragon Balls were created by the Earth's guardian, Kami, who is the other half of the original King Piccolo. He and the original King Piccolo shared a connection, and after the original King Piccolo's death and the birth of the Piccolo you met, that connection was instead shared with the Piccolo you met."
"Meaning…" Raditz prodded, although he could sort of see the way this was headed.
"Meaning that if Piccolo dies, so will Kami." Kakarot explained. "And if Kami dies, the Dragon Balls will disappear."
Raditz shook his head in agreement.
"That makes sense. Even if that Piccolo is your enemy, those Dragon Balls seem too precious to throw to waste like that."
After that sentence, silence again settled between the two brothers. But this time, Raditz couldn't help but to feel it seemed less awkward – as though it had served for them to bond a little bit.
Raditz couldn't help but to frown at the thought. The idea didn't seem unpleasant, but it was still too new of a concept for him, and he didn't really know what to make of it.
This time, he didn't dwell on that for long, because something finally broke through the monotony of Snake Way, pink sky, and yellow clouds that the two of them had been going through for who knew how much time.
A huge palace stood out to the left side of Snake Way – left side of the Snake, that is, because Raditz saw the palace to his right. It was quite a big building, at least as big as some of the military buildings where he went after his missions, although not all of them. It had white walls, and its three roofs appeared to be made of red tiles. There were a few windows over it, but to this distance, Raditz couldn't see beyond them.
"Raditz, look!" Kakarot called, clearly having noticed the same building. "This is it! We've arrived to King Kai's place!"
Well, it was about time. Although Raditz had already lasted far longer than he thought himself capable of lasting, he also had been starting to get tired from flying so much. It was only a good thing that they had finally arrived to their destination.
Soon, Kakarot and Raditz landed in front of the palace, connected to Snake Way by what looked like a purple bridge.
"Man, this building's huge!" Kakarot said as he watched the palace with his mouth agape. "King Kai must be rich to afford himself a place like this!"
Raditz figured Kakarot was making such statements under the principle that the afterlife was like real life in monetary matters. And he had to agree with that: if the Other World was anything like Planet Vegeta – or Earth, apparently – the owner of this building was rich. When Raditz had been alive, he and his two companions lived in a place that was a dump, while the higher-raking soldiers hogged all the luxuries for themselves.
Then again, he is KING Kai. Raditz recalled. Kings are meant to have luxuries.
But as Raditz kept eyeing the palace, he found himself doubting more and more that this was King Kai's place, for one very simple reason. If he remembered it right, King Kai was meant to live at the end of Snake Way. However, this building was here, and the Snake Way still went on beyond it, as far as eye could see.
Frowning in distrust, Raditz turned to his brother, who kept contemplating the palace.
"Say, Kakarot, wasn't King Kai's place meant to…"
Kakarot turned to him, but before Raditz could finish his question, he started feeling a strange wind rushing through his body, as if something was trying to suck him. Looking to his left, Raditz saw something that made him open his mouth in horror. A gigantic head of a snake had materialized right there, and although it was made of stone, its jaws were wide open, and the suction effect clearly came from there. This thing was trying to suck both of them in!
Raditz lifted his hand to launch an energy wave, but even before he had time to concentrate energy, the strange suction effect increased in force, and both he and Kakarot were sucked in.
Oh crap! was the only thought that came to Raditz's mind as he was sucked into the guts of that gigantic snake, panic rushing through him.
________________________________________
As he kept feeling the effect of whatever was sucking him and Raditz inside that palace, Goku looked around, in a vain attempt at finding something that he could grab. For an instant, he'd thought the snake way going to eat him, but as he looked around, he could notice that they were inside some sort of stone tunnel, and not inside what he imagined a snake's inside looked like. In fact, the snake head that had swallowed them appeared to be made of stone.
Still, the idea of being swallowed by a snake of stone didn't sound any more appealing than the one of being swallowed by an ordinary one.
Those thoughts were taken away when Goku noticed a light at the end of the strange tunnel they were at. The light appeared to be below him, which meant the tunnel had become vertical at some point.
Eventually, Goku went beyond the light, and landed on his bottom, and on something fairly soft, at least compared to the stone floor he saw all around him.
"Whew!" Goku said as he made himself comfortable on the strange surface. "At least the landing was smooth."
"Speak for yourself." a voice grumbled.
"Raditz?" Goku asked, looking around him. "Where are you?"
The first answer Goku received was a hopeless grunt.
"Guess." Raditz hissed.
That made Goku realize what the fairly soft surface he had landed on was.
"Oh, sorry Raditz." Goku shouted as he jumped aside. It was indeed his older brother who was there, flat on his back and with his arms and legs spread on either side.
"Are you alright?" Goku asked even as he pulled his brother to his feet, not without a deal of difficulty.
"Well, I won't say getting you landing on top of me while you wear those weighted clothes is a pleasant experience, mainly considering I am wearing weighted clothes as well." Raditz said, looking far from happy. Then, a smirk came to his face and he added, "But I can handle it."
"That's good." Goku said with a smile.
On that moment, both brothers were distracted as the sound of someone hitting a small gong was heard. Looking toward the noise, they saw a girl with blue skin, black hair, white gloves, and a dress that appeared made of the skin of a purple snake, stood in front of them.
"Welcome to our palace." the girl said. "Your visit is an honor for us."
"Gee, thanks." Goku replied, giving the girl a polite smile.
But in giving the girl a smile – and his attention – he didn't notice the frown that appeared on his brother's face when the girl spoke.
________________________________________
Sitting on her throne, Princess Snake, the owner and ruler of the big palace Goku and Raditz had landed on, was sitting down on her throne, taking small sips from a cup of tea she held, a smile on her lips.
If she wasn't mistaken, she had heard some unfamiliar voices on the chamber next to hers, which certainly meant she had a visitor – who knew, perhaps more than one. But only one visitor would already be good enough – the occasional visits she got were the high moments from her life.
Soon, the door to her chamber opened, and one of her many servants came in.
"I have good news Your Highness, we have two guests."
Princess Snake lowered the cup from her lips. "Two guests?"
"Yes, Ma'am." the servant said.
Curious about what sort of servants she had received, Princess Snake got up and moved to the peephole in her chamber.
The first look made her realize that not only she had two visitors, but rather, two very handsome visitors. They were both wearing clothes similar in design – although with different colors – both had what looked like brown, monkey-like tails, and both were tall and muscular. And both were very handsome, particularly the one in the brown shirt and trousers, with hair that went below his waist, and a height of about seven feet.
"They're both very handsome." she said. "I like them. Particularly the taller one."
But although the taller one appeared more handsome, perhaps she should focus her attention on the other one, who was shorter and less muscular, but on the other hand, appeared to be more innocent and naïve. The taller one, however, was looking around with a suspicious look on his face, and appeared ready to fight back at the first thing he found strange. Worse, he looked much more aggressive than the shorter one.
Yes, it was better to focus her attention on the shorter one.
Or then, I can always have both of them. she thought. Visitors are too rare for me to allow myself to waste one.
A sinister smile came to Princess Snake's lips. Having the two of them for her was definitely the best plan. She only needed to get the bigger one to lower his guard first.
________________________________________
As Kakarot looked around the huge palace with a look of awe on his face, Raditz stood where he was, with his arms crossed, unable to get the mistrustful frown off his face. Perhaps he was being somewhat paranoid, but this all seemed strange to him.
For starters, the blue-skinned girl had told them having both of them in the palace was an honor, but making a snake-head of stone materialize to suck them in was not what Raditz would call hospitality. Even between the mercenaries he worked with, whenever he entered a house that wasn't his he was meant to knock first – at least if the one he went to visit was stronger than him. However, he and Kakarot appeared to have been forced to get in.
And there was something else. He had the impression he remembered Kakarot telling him that, during the last 100 million years, King Yemma - who Raditz now knew to be the one who had sent him to Hell – had been the only one to travel all of Snake Way and get back. But 100 million years was a lot of time. Surely in that time someone else should have managed to make it all through Snake Way. After all every traveler was dead, it was impossible to die from hunger, or thirst, or disease. And surely not everyone would be dumb or unlucky enough to fall off.
All of that put together meant there had to be some sort of trap. And after this, Raditz couldn't help but to wonder if this was the trap they were in. If it was, then it should be high time to get away.
At that moment, the blue girl rang her gong again.
"Dear visitors, her highness has arrived." she said.
At that moment, a green door in front of them opened, and from there came three more girls. The ones at the ends were similar in looks to the first one, with only their hair color telling them apart – one was blonde, the other had pale-brown hair, and both wore green dresses that also seemed made out of snake skin. But the one in the middle was notoriously different. She had blue skin and wore a dark-blue dress that seemed made of the skin of a snake, like the others, but still she was different. For starters, her hair, which was red, was done up in an elaborate hairstyle, unlike all the others who had it in a ponytail. She also had green eye-shadow and green lipstick on, and two spherical purple earrings dangled from her ears. To complete the set, she had a stole of white fur draped over her shoulders. She clearly stood out as 'her highness', and Raditz had no problem imagining her as the princess of this palace. The question now was if there was some higher ruler, or if she was the one they'd have to worry about the most.
"Huh?" Kakarot asked, looking at the princess in amazement. "King Kai's a woman?"
Raditz smacked his forehead in hopelessness. "Don't be ridiculous, Kakarot."
"Ridiculous?" Kakarot asked, turning away from the princess. "What do you mean?"
"Allow me to demonstrate."
Raditz turned toward the princess. "Hey, you, the one with red hair and the purple earrings, are you King Kai?"
The princess stopped dead on her tracks, looking at Raditz as though he'd asked her something totally illogical.
"Me, King Kai?" she finally managed.
"That's what I asked." Raditz said. "Are you or not?"
The princess chuckled a little bit, accompanied by her servants.
"No, I'm not King Kai." she said when she stopped chucking. "I'm Princess Snake, the ruler of this palace."
"And winner of the Other World Beauty Contest." said one of the servants.
Kakarot's look immediately went from amazement to disappointment. "Guess you're right, Raditz. This is not King Kai. Then again, it'd be weird to have a woman titled as 'King'."
At least he figured that one out. Raditz thought.
But he decided to keep that one to himself.
Meanwhile, Kakarot made the introductions.
"Nice to meet you Princess Snake." he said. "I'm Goku, and this is my brother Raditz."
After glaring at his brother for being so communicative to strangers, Raditz turned to Princess Snake, a fierce and rough look on his face. He was bent of going straight to the point and then get out of here as quickly as possible, to take the smallest number of chances at falling in traps.
"If you're not King Kai, then we have nothing to do here." Raditz stated. "Come on, Kakarot, let's get out of here."
Raditz started looking for the nearest exit door available, but before he could find a way out some of those servant girls came up to block his and Kakarot's way.
"No, please, stay." he heard Princess Snake beg. "It's been more than a thousand years since I last had any visitor, I would love it if the two of you didn't go away so soon. Stay for some more time, please!"
Raditz acted as if he hadn't heard Princess Snake and kept looking for a way out. A part of him knew that perhaps he was being too paranoid, but this Princess Snake made him uneasy for some reason.
Kakarot, however, turned to the woman.
"We're really sorry, but we have to go." Kakarot said. "My brother and I are kind of in a hurry to get to King Kai's place, you know…"
"Please stay!" Princess Snake begged again. "At least stay for dinner!"
At that one, even Raditz stopped looking for a way out and turned around. "Dinner?" the brothers chorused.
"Yes, dinner." Princess Snake said. "You two stay, have your dinner, and then you can go to King Kai's. It'll be easier to make it there with full stomachs."
"We stay!" Kakarot said immediately, already drooling in anticipation of the food he was about to eat.
Princess Snake beamed. "Splendid!"
She clapped her hands once, and a large number of her servants gathered around her. "Girls, prepare a banquet fit for a king!"
The servants nodded, and most of them ran off, except for two of them.
"As for you two, please escort our guests to the dinner table."
Kakarot immediately followed one of the girls, eagerness obvious in every movement he made.
Raditz followed the other servant girl, in a state of controlled eagerness. He'd long ago found out that, being dead, he didn't need to eat, but the truth was he missed food – a whole lot. And with the only things he'd eaten since his arrival to the Other World being pieces of those yellow clouds surrounding Snake Way, he would love to have some real food.
Only the thought that this could be a trap kept some of his rational side with him.
Don't be so pessimistic, Raditz. Raditz thought. It's perfect possible that she's just being honestly nice.
That was true. It was possible this Princess Snake was being honestly nice. But it wasn't certain. And because of that, Raditz figured it would be better to keep his guard up, just in case.
________________________________________
Glad that she had gotten the two strangers sitting down on that table, Princess Snake went to her palace's kitchen. Two of her servants were preparing dinner – a dinner with a very particular seasoning.
"You know what I want from you, don't you?" she asked her servants. "You have to stop these two men from leaving. I've been waiting for visitors for centuries. We have to keep them here at all costs."
"I'm going to mix a special weed in their food." one of her servants said. "After dinner they will fall asleep…" she paused to yawn and lean forward on the table. "…and they'll wake up only in ten hours, at the earliest."
"It's not very elegant from us to act like this, but we have no choice." she said.
That was true. They had no choice. Particularly in regards to the taller, more aggressive man. She'd seen him looking quite suspicious about the whole deal. She and her servants would have to be very cautious dealing with him.
But in the end, all the work they'd have would be worth it.
________________________________________
Raditz cursed out loud as dinner was served. Immediately after Princess Snake had come to them to tell that dinner was ready, the servant girls had brought a huge amount of food, of many different varieties, all of them looking delicious. Raditz was reminded he had to keep his guard up, but having all that food in front of him, looking and smelling so delicious, made him more and more tempted to take the chance Princess Snake's hospitality was honest.
"First, we have bird of paradise foie gras." one of the servants said. "Then, marinated bear pâté, and then crocodile stew with devil sauce. Finally, we have muzzles baked in Styx water."
At Raditz's side, Kakarot immediately started shoving down all the food he could grab. Raditz tried to eat in the most controlled way he could, ready to spit the food at any sign of ill effects. But by the end of his meal, he still hadn't felt anything strange, except a strange taste in the food, which he figured should be some weird seasoning they put here, but which didn't give the food a bad taste at all. And Kakarot also seemed fine – and they had eaten the same amount of food.
Perhaps he had indeed been paranoid about Princess Snake.
And speaking of her… Raditz thought as he looked at the princess.
The blue-skinned princess was sitting down in front of both of them, looking awed at the amount of food they had both shoved down – particularly Kakarot, who had delivered himself to eating in typical Saiyan fashion. If not for his suspicions, Raditz would have done exactly the same.
And only now that he had stopped eating, did he notice something. The portion of food that was meant to be for her was still there.
"Uh, does any of you want my dinner?" Princess Snake offered. "I'm not hungry."
"Yum!" Kakarot said, immediately pulling what rooted like a roast bird of some sort to himself.
But before Kakarot could eat it, Raditz made a gesture as if he was going to grab for it as well, and knocked it off the dish – and off the table. In the meantime, he made another gesture – which he tried to make it look as if it was accidental – and pushed the other two dishes off the table. The food went all over the floor.
Kakarot turned to him with a definitely annoyed look.
"Frankly, Raditz!" he said. "There was enough food for the two of us, you didn't need to throw yourself at all of it at once! Now, thanks to you, the remaining food got wasted!"
Raditz withstood Kakarot's angry look.
"No need to get like that, Kakarot. It's only food, and I guess both of us already had enough of it."
In all honesty, Raditz could still feel just a little edge of hunger, which the food he'd wasted would be more than enough to fill. But that food could also have been the final piece of the trap Princess Snake had set for them.
"Well, I guess I'm not as hungry as before." Kakarot confessed. "But I still have a little hole in my stomach. And now I won't be able to fill it. Besides, who knows how long it will be before we get the chance to eat again!"
That was true. This meal they'd just had could be the last for a very long time He wished he'd be able to just tell straight out to Kakarot that he thought it had been a trap, but Princess Snake and her servants kept looking at them. And he didn't want to voice out his suspicions in front of them, just in case they had some unknown trick up their sleeve.
"Sorry, Kakarot." was the only thing he could come up with, if only for not to leave his brother hanging.
On the inside, Raditz allowed some relief to wash over him, but not much. If this food had been a trap, it had failed, but perhaps Princess Snake had one or two backup traps in case this one failed. They had to get out of here before she had the chance to throw another one at them.
________________________________________
Sitting down at her place, Princess Snake was absolutely awed at what was taking place in front of her. Both those two had eaten a lot of her food, and yet they were wide awake as they could be.
"Are you sure you've put enough of that weed on their food?" she asked one of her servants, making sure to use the time of the two brother's brief argument.
"Yes." she whispered back. "Both of them ingested enough weed to get an elephant knocked out for a week. I don't know how they're still so lively."
That was bad. If they were still lively at this time, it meant they were very strong. That in turn meant she'd have to find some way of making them fall quickly, before they realized this was a trap. Otherwise, things could get bad for her.
Worse, the big one with long hair was definitely suspicious. She was certain that he'd knocked the food away from his brother because he'd thought it was a trap. She had to get him to lower his guard. Which meant she had to get him to relax.
Fortunately, Princess Snake had a good guess at the thing that would get him relaxed.
________________________________________
Although he couldn't help to feel a little tiny bit annoyed at the fact Raditz had wasted some delicious food, Goku decided to put that behind his back. After all, there was nothing he could do about the wasted food, and anyway, according to what he'd heard, it was better to let an edge of hunger remain.
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Goku

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PowerLevel : 98,240,100
Ki : 98,240,100
Transformations : (False Super Saiyan)~(Super Saiyan)~(Lengendary Super Saiyan)~(True Legendary Sayain)~~
Tehniques : ~~(Kamehameha)~~(Warp Kamehameha)~~(Spirit Bomb)~~(Instant Transmission)~~(Solar Flare)~~(After Image)~~(Kiao Ken)~~(Energy Bomb)~~(Super Slither Slasher Basher)~~(Super Mega Death Ball)~~
Battle Points : 2,157
Zeni : 19,065,102
Items : (Z-Sword)~(Kings Armor)~(Weighted Armor)~(Ultimatre Sensu Beanx5)~
Posts : 109
Join date : 2010-08-27

PostSubject: Re: Blood Broters (Complete)   Fri Sep 24, 2010 7:31 am

The two brothers got up from the table.
"Thanks for the food, but now we really have to go…" Goku started saying.
"No, wait just one moment more!" Princess Snake called.
Four more servant girls came, and both Goku and Raditz had two of them grabbing their arms.
"Your bath is ready." one of them said. "It will help you two to relax."
"We don't need to relax." Raditz spat. "We need to get out of here and get to King Kai's place, and you're not helping it."
"Oh yes we are." said another servant. "You know, King Kai will be way more likely to receive you well if you are clean. He doesn't like dirty people, you know?"
"He doesn't?" Raditz asked, clearly starting to hesitate.
Raditz gave a look at his clothes, and then smelled himself, before finally saying, "Alright then, we'll have that bath. But after that, we're going."
________________________________________
Some time later, Raditz was sitting down inside a hot spring, located in what he assumed to be the palace's garden. He kept trying to make himself as aware and conscious as he could, but that task was being harder than he thought, because it looked as if he was more tired than he had felt before. Only now that the hot water was making his muscles starting to relax did he feel how tensed they had been.
But, as he forced himself to remember, this could be some sort of trap from Princess Snake. Perhaps if they stayed here for too long they would fall asleep – and once that happened, they'd be sitting targets to Princess Snake.
Close by, Kakarot appeared to be enjoying himself, the idea that this could all be a poisoned gift not coming to his mind. Raditz wished he'd be able to warn his brother, but it was a risky thing to do. It felt to him as if these walls had ears – and in case they had, it was better to be cautious with what he said.
As if she'd heard his thoughts, Princess Snake suddenly called, "Goku, Raditz, is the bath to your liking?"
Raditz only grunted with his mouth closed, but Kakarot said, "Yes, thank you very much. Perhaps a little bit hot, but it's still nice."
"I'm glad you like." she said. "There's nothing like a bath in a hot spring to get invigorated."
Even as she spoke, Raditz had the impression he had the slight whisper of some sort of machine working. And right as that happened, the light appeared to decrease, as night came.
Night? Raditz wondered. But so far night has never come in the Other World! Why would it be different in this palace? Or why would it come so suddenly?
It seemed too suspicious. If time had never shown any signs of passing so far, it had no reason to start doing such now. And night would never come so suddenly – mainly because there was no sun here.
That should be because it wasn't a real night. It should be some sort of trick from Princess Snake.
Raditz went over and grabbed his brother's up arm.
"Kakarot, we're getting out of here." Raditz said, starting to drag his brother toward the edge of the hot spring.
"Now?" Kakarot whined. "But Raditz, I haven't yet finished my bath!"
"You're more than clean enough, Kakarot." Raditz barked. "Now let's just get out, get dressed, and get out of this place!"
"Why?" Kakarot asked.
"It doesn't matter." Raditz said. "Let's just get out."
"What's wrong with you?" Kakarot shouted. "Ever since we got here it looks like you're all antsy about something. What is it?"
Raditz exhaled deeply. "Kakarot, I won't elaborate for now, but let's just say I have a bad feeling about this, OK?"
"Bad feeling? What do you mean?"
Raditz couldn't help but to cuff his brother's head at that.
"Ouch!" Kakarot moaned as he took his hands to the spot Raditz had hit.
"I've just told you I wouldn't elaborate for now, and the first thing you ask is what I mean. A wall would have gotten the message."
"Oh, right." Kakarot said, rubbing the back of his neck in embarrassment. "But why do you have that bad feeling?"
Raditz leaned to the left and whispered on his brother's ear, "I don't know. The only thing I know is that this Princess Snake and her servants behave too suspiciously for my taste. We got food, we got a bath, let's get out of here before we get trapped."
Kakarot patted his brother's back. "You're being too mistrustful, Raditz. She is only being nice to us."
Raditz decided to change tactic. "Even if she is only being nice to us, she has been nice long enough. We have to get going to King Kai's planet. We don't know for how long we have been here, or how much time spent since we started leaving from where Scar left us, but we'd do better in not wasting it. A year is not that much time, and we've already lost some of it."
Raditz gripped Kakarot's upper arm tighter and leaned even closer to his brother's ear. "Remember, it's your friends, family, and planet that depend on you."
Kakarot nodded, his look unusually serious. "You're right, Raditz. We'd better get going."
Glad that he'd finally managed to convince his brother, Raditz got out of the swimming pool and went to get his clothes, while Kakarot did the same.
"I feel on top of my shape again." Kakarot said when the two got out of that room with the hot spring.
"Can't argue with that one." Raditz nodded, flexing his bicep experimentally. "Now we can leave."
"No, don't leave, don't leave!" Princess Snake shouted.
At that moment, eight more servant girls came. Both Raditz and Kakarot were grabbed, each by four of the girls, who appeared determined to keep them there at all costs.
Kakarot was going to open his mouth to argue against that, but Raditz had already lost his patience. Or at least, most of it.
"Look, blue women, I don't know what you have in mind, but my brother and I can't be here with you for longer." Raditz said, trying to keep his tone as controlled as possible. "We have to leave."
"That's right." Kakarot carried on. "We need to get out of here as fast as we can, and ask King Kai to give us martial arts training!"
"If you want to learn to defend yourselves, I have what you need." one of the servants said, raising a gun. "Are you interested?"
"Huh?" Raditz asked, his eyes widening at the sight of the gun. Not that he was afraid – but he wanted to know what she meant exactly.
"What is that?" Kakarot asked.
"It's a gun, and we're going to play Russian roulette." she explained. "It's a good exercise to learn how to overcome fear."
"What's Russian roulette?" Kakarot asked. "And are you sure it is efficient?"
"Yes." Princess Snake replied.
"I'm going to explain you." the servant girl said. "First you load your gun with a single bullet – and then you spin the cylinder to try out your luck. My revolver is a gun with six shots, so we have a chance out of six, which means we have five chances at survival."
At that, the servant girl closed the magazine, and pulled the trigger – and immediately after, fell dead.
"And one chance at dying." Raditz said, shaking his head at the servant girl's foolishness for playing such a game.
"But that's absolutely stupid!" Kakarot shouted. "I don't want to participate on a game as dangerous as that one!"
"Good." Raditz said. "Now that we got that settled, let's get out of here."
But, even before either Raditz or Kakarot could give a step, there was the sound of gongs ringing.
"Wait, weary travelers."
Looking toward the sound, Raditz saw a circular hole in the floor, from where appeared a circular stage, with two more of those weird servant girls holding long sabers.
"Allow us to perform a sacred dance to give you good luck on your journey to King Kai's planet."
Before Raditz even had time to think, the girls had already brought two chairs, and forced him and Kakarot to sit down on them.
I'm really getting sick of this. Raditz thought. If I don't get out of here soon I'm gonna lose my mind and end up telling them of my idea this is a trap.
But should that happen, Raditz had no idea what the slave girls would do next. They could either be offended at his false accusation, or then bring them something very nasty. The first one was something Raditz could live with – he didn't know these gals, offending them wouldn't have that much meaning to him. But the second one… that was something he did fear. And he knew he and Kakarot had to escape this palace before Princess Snake got through with her plan – whatever it was. But the only way out of this palace he could think of was breaking everything, which could be counterproductive if they had really set a trap for them.
So focused Raditz was on his thoughts that, when one of the girls gave him a glass of juice, he took it and gulped everything down without realizing his mistake. Until right after he drank the juice, that is.
"Oh, shit!" he shouted as he got up.
"Raditz!" Kakarot shouted from his place. "What's wrong?"
Raditz looked toward his brother, who had gotten up, and could see another empty glass next to his brother's chair.
"Kakarot…" Raditz began… "…they… they… dru…"
But Raditz said no more, as he fell forward like a sack of potatoes, right on top of his brother. Goku lifted his arms in an effort to shove Raditz off of him, but even before he could start making the effort, a terrible sleepiness overcame him as well, and he went to the land of dreams.
________________________________________
"Whew!" Princess Snake said. "At last! I was starting to think we'd never get them under our power."
"But now they are, your Majesty." one of the servants said. "And now they're going to be sleeping for at least three days."
"They gave us hard work." another added. "Particularly the one with the big hair. He's much more cautious than his brother."
"Yes…" Princess Snake confessed. "…but as you saw, even Raditz had a moment when he was off guard."
And one moment had been enough for her and her servants to get him asleep. Now they'd have plenty of time to get what they wanted.
But before she and her servants could get down to serious business, Goku opened his mouth, and started speaking.
"Go-Gohan…"
"I think he's dreaming." Princess Snake said. "Quick, bring me the dream mirror."
"Yes, Ma'am." said a servant, going away for a moment, before returning with a mirror, which she placed in front of Goku's face.
"Chi-Chi, Gohan…" Goku kept saying.
For a moment, the image in the mirror was simply the reflection from the sleeping Goku, but it gradually changed into the picture of what he was dreaming. Princess Snake managed to see what looked like a plain, with a few trees scattered here and there. But the people running through that plain were what got her attention. One of them was a little boy, four or five years old at most, wearing a yellow coat with a symbol in front of it and a red hat. The other one was a woman, dressed mostly in purple, except for her red boots and the orange shawl she had around her shoulders. Both of them had wide smiles on their faces as they ran.
"But who are that woman and that child?" Princess Snake asked out loud, more to herself than to her servants
"I don't know." the servant holding the mirror said. "But it's possible that they're his wife and son."
"What? But then… he isn't single?"
Taking another brief glimpse at the mirror, she realized that indeed the boy running beside the woman had similarities both to her and to Goku. One of his most obvious similarities to Goku was the brown tail that occasionally could be seen swaying behind him. Still, the fact Goku had come as married had been a surprise. A big surprise, in fact. But it made no difference in the end.
"It's alright he's single anyway." Princess Snake said, as she allowed her real self to come out. Her servants immediately followed her lead.
"The essential is that he's here." one of the servants said. "He and his brother."
"Yes, and they're not going to escape us, isn't that right, your Highness?" said another servant. "In fact, besides Yemma, no visitor has ever left your palace."
"Exactly…" Princess Snake hissed.
Perhaps she couldn't have Goku's heart for her, but that didn't mean she couldn't get some pleasure out of the two sleeping brothers.
________________________________________
"Very well, Gohan." Chi-Chi said, sitting down at the table in her kitchen. "First I want you to solve this math problem. When you're done, you can go outside to play."
"Alright, mom." Gohan said. "I'll try to solve it."
But, even before Gohan could start solving the math problem, the front door to their house opened. Having no idea to who it could be, Gohan and Chi-Chi turned toward it to see who was at the entrance. The blood of both mother and son froze in their veins, as they realized it was death itself at their house's front door. Or perhaps even worse.
The two Saiyan conquerors, Raditz's comrades, had already arrived to Earth, and were now ready to add two more victims to their endless list.
"Who are you two?" Chi-Chi whispered, otherwise paralyzed by the terror that had come through her.
"Dad… please… come quickly…" Gohan pleaded, as frozen as his mother.
Relishing in the helplessness of their two newest victims, the two merciless warriors moved in for the kill.
________________________________________
"I'm coming!" Goku shouted, getting up from the floor with a jump.
It was such a forceful act that Raditz was thrown off him, and ended up hitting his head on the floor.
"Ouch!" Raditz shouted as his eyes snapped open.
Raditz sat up with a half groggy look on his face, rubbing the spot where his head had hit the floor.
"You sure know how to wake a person up, Kakarot."
"Oh, sorry, Raditz." Goku apologized. "I just… just had a nightmare, and woke up bad because of that."
"What nightmare?" Raditz asked.
"It doesn't matter now." Goku said. "What matters is that we have to go, hurry!"
All of his grogginess gone, Raditz jumped up, landing solidly on his feet.
"You couldn't be more right." Raditz said. "Let's get out of here now, before we have any nasty surprise."
"No!" Princess Snake shouted, grabbing both of them by the arms. "Stay for some more time!"
Raditz turned around to Princess Snake.
"Silence!" Raditz shouted as he slapped Princess Snake's face, making her land on her back at a distance of twenty feet from them.
"Frankly, Raditz!" Goku scolded. "You didn't need to be so rude to her!"
"Yes, I needed!" Raditz said.
He pointed accusingly at the princess. "She gave us that juice to fall asleep. It's more than clear she wants us here for some reason. I can't guess as to why, but I know that she's trouble."
Goku's eyes widened at Raditz's words.
Just what was he saying? Why would Princess Snake be trouble? She had just given them such a nice meal, she had let them have that nice bath on her hot spring, there was no reason to think she was trouble – although, now that he thought of it, she did seem a little bit too desperate whenever they tried to leave.
Meanwhile, Raditz assumed a fighting stance, his eyes locked on Princess Snake.
"But I'm going to tell you this, woman: I can also be trouble if I want to." he snarled. "And I only have this warning for you: you let us leave right now, or we're blowing our way out of here!"
For a moment, Princess Snake seemed awed and shocked at Raditz's words. But, ever so slowly, those were replaced by a fierceness which seemed strange on her, as her features started to change. Her hair became spikier, her eyes became truly snake-like, with her pupils turned into slits, and her teeth became sharper and longer. The servant girls soon followed that lead, and although they didn't change so much, their teeth also became longer and sharper, and their eyes equal to those of their princess.
Realizing that his brother was right about Princess Snake being trouble, Goku also assumed a fighting stance. He didn't know the purpose behind her change, but he could guess that it was nothing good.
"You leaving the palace is out of the question." she said. "It's been more than a thousand years since anyone came here. Now that you two arrived, you'll stay for as long as I want. And if you refuse my hospitality, you'll make an irreparable mistake!"
At that, Princess Snake snapped her fingers once. Goku immediately braced himself for anything that could come, but all that happened was that she and all of her servants vanished.
But, after they had vanished, the house all around them began changing, becoming smaller, almost cylindrical, and changing in color.
Just what sort of trick was she going to pull on them?
________________________________________
I was right. Raditz thought. This woman is trouble, and we've just fallen into her trap! Now how will we get out of here.
"Now what's going on here?" Kakarot shouted at his side, while the house kept changing around them.
"I don't know for sure." Raditz replied. "Whatever it is, it isn't good!"
Finally, the changes in the house seemed to settle. Now, they appeared to be inside some sort of dark-pink tunnel, with green strings dangling from some spots at the walls and the ceiling – and some parts of it moving, as if it was alive.
"Alive?" Raditz shouted. "Kakarot, we're inside the stomach of some sort of animal!
"Gaaah!" Kakarot shouted as he jumped up.
At that moment, Princess Snake's voice boomed all the way through the place.
"You have unleashed my wrath, insolent mortals!" she shouted. "You shall be punished!"
At that moment, some sort of green fluid began erupting from the ground below their feet. Both Goku and Raditz immediately floated 'till they were a few inches above the ground, sure that the liquid would be quite harmful to their health. But they had barely managed to escape the growing pool on the floor when green drops started falling from the ceiling. Some of them landed on the two Saiyans, making both Raditz and Kakarot hiss in pain.
"This thing is gonna collapse on us, we have to get out of here!" Kakarot shouted.
"No arguing with that!" Raditz replied.
That was all it took for both Kakarot and Raditz to start flying toward the place where they both remembered the exit to be. For some of the way, green strings of what was undoubtedly stomach acid erupted from all around them, looking bent on hitting them and making them stop. Both Saiyans flew up and down in an attempt to avoid the strings that would have inflicted serious harm on them. But fortunately, those strings eventually stopped appearing, which meant they had left this animal's stomach.
But Raditz and Kakarot didn't stop there. Instead, they flew even faster toward the supposed exit – considering the only thing around them was the inside of the animal, Raditz guessed they'd end up arriving to the animal's mouth. And soon, as if to prove he was right, there was a light at the end of that tunnel of flesh, it's shape looking like that of a cave full of stalactites and stalagmites.
Speeding up even more, both Kakarot and Raditz arrived to the light – and when they went beyond it, Snake Way, with the yellow clouds and the pink sky, could again be seen around them. For a moment, Raditz had the impression he heard the sound of jaws snapping behind him, and that he felt an air dislocation caused by that very same thing. But he didn't feel anything holding him back, so he kept going forward.
"Whew!" Kakarot said, beaming in joy. "We managed to get out."
Raditz was about to sigh in relief, when a sudden chill crept up his spine, joined by a churning on his stomach. He felt as though he was being followed.
Although he didn't really want to look, he forced himself to do so – and realized they weren't yet free from their problems.
"Kakarot, I'm sorry for breaking your joy, but we're not out of this mess yet!" Raditz shouted, without turning to his brother.
Clearly confused about what his brother meant, Kakarot turned around to see what had gotten Raditz's attention.
His look turned into one of horror as he saw the same thing Raditz had seen.
A gigantic snake slithered through the air after them, its head looking exactly like the stone head that had sucked them both into Princess Snake's palace. It was as if the palace had turned into a snake – or something in that vein. Whatever had happened, though, it was clear that this snake was hungry.
"Come back, you shall not escape my wrath!" shouted the voice of Princess Snake – which seemed to come from the snake that chased them.
"We'll see about that!" Raditz shouted, as both he and Kakarot tried to fly faster.
Unfortunately, the gigantic snake appeared to be faster than them, as it soon caught up with them, without any obvious sign of effort.
When the snake caught up with them, it opened its jaws and snapped at the overall place where the two of them were. Kakarot and Raditz moved up, managing to dodge the snake's jaws right as they snapped shut. The snake coiled its neck backwards, before shooting forward to snap at them again.
Raditz frowned. That one had been far too close for his taste.
The snake again opened its jaws, but this time it didn't try to snap at them. Instead, it appeared to be trying to exhale something else than air – and suddenly, a torrent of flames came from its jaws.
"Cripes!" Raditz shouted as he shot his hand forward, creating an energy field that met the flames the snake breathed and made them go over the two brothers at a distance too big to cause harm.
But it was more than clear enough for Raditz that he had created his force field on the last possible moment.
"Whew!" Kakarot shouted. "One more moment and we would've been toast."
"Let's split up!" Raditz shouted. "That'll confuse the snake."
Raditz was about to fly on another direction, but Kakarot grabbed his wrist.
"No, Raditz. If we stay together, we'll be stronger."
The snake again breathed fire. Both Raditz and Kakarot disappeared, dodging the flames.
"But do you have any idea to stop this snake, then?" Raditz asked.
The snake threw another jet of flames at them. Raditz and Kakarot parted, making the flames pass between them.
"I guess I have one." Kakarot said. "You go ahead, and make sure you don't look back. I'll stay here and stop it."
Before his death, if Raditz had ever faced troubles in battle and any of his comrades would want to stand in the way of danger to help him escape, Raditz doubted he would have thought twice before following the suggestion. But now, the idea of letting Kakarot face this snake alone while he got away didn't sound acceptable to him.
"Don't be a fool, Kakarot!" Raditz scolded even as they flew away. "You can't face this snake alone!"
At that moment the snake moved its head from left to right, breathing fire all the way. A huge jet of flames whipped through the air. Again, Raditz and Kakarot disappeared, phasing out of the fire's way.
Kakarot and Raditz reappeared about fifty feet above and ahead.
"Trust me, Raditz, I can stop this snake alone!"
Raditz threw a concerned look at his brother. Kakarot seemed rather sure of himself – but there was no denying that the snake was big, and most likely strong as well. Raditz wished he still had his scouter with him just to know how powerful the snake was exactly.
"Are you sure you can do it, Kakarot?" he insisted.
"Yes, I am sure." Kakarot insisted. "I know of a technique that may leave it confused long enough for we to get away. Now just go!"
Kakarot was speaking with total confidence in himself – but none of what he did betrayed any madness. Raditz was now certain that his brother could somehow stop the snake on its tracks.
But it didn't erase the discomfort he felt at the idea of leaving his brother behind. It seemed odd that he'd gotten to care about him so much, but somehow, he had. And because of that, Raditz couldn't make himself leave Kakarot to face danger alone.
Behind them, the snake had again caught up with them, its jaws fully, ready to breathe fire again. However, before the flames could get out of its mouth, Raditz threw his arm forward and launched the strongest force field he could create.
By his side, Kakarot crossed his arms, managing to withstand the side effects of the force field. But the snake, in spite of its great size, got all coiled into itself and was blown away at least three hundred feet, if not more.
Raditz's eyes widened. The snake's size was impressive enough that Raditz would have considered it luck if his force field stopped the snake for even a moment. But apparently, the snake was weaker than it looked.
Kakarot lowered his arms. "Thanks, Raditz. That intervention of yours will give me more time to get ready."
Both brothers stopped and turned back to the snake, waiting for it to get to them. In the meantime, the snake had already uncoiled itself and was quickly covering the distance that separated it from Kakarot and Raditz. But it was obvious that the energy field Raditz had thrown had hurt it seriously. Many of its scales appeared to have been blasted off, and several spots of its body were bleeding. But the mad determination in its look hadn't decreased.
"Raditz, cover your eyes." Kakarot whispered.
Even as he spoke, Kakarot placed his hands on the sides of his face, with his fingers spread wide, pointing to his eyes.
Although he wasn't sure of what Kakarot could be up to, Raditz obeyed him, certain that it had something to do with his secret technique. In the meantime, the snake was about to snap at them again.
However, before she could do so, Kakarot shouted, "Solar Flare!"
Although his hands were covering his eyes, Raditz realized that Kakarot had just released a bright flash of light right into the snake's face. If his hands hadn't been covering his eyes, Raditz would have gone blind as well.
"That's it!" Kakarot shouted. "Now let's get going!"
While the snake shook its head furiously trying to get its sight back, Kakarot and Raditz flew down to Snake Way, to make sure they were on the right direction.
"What was that technique, Kakarot?" Raditz asked. "It looks like something that comes in handy easily."
"It's the Solar Flare." Kakarot explained. "It's not hard to learn. Someday I'll show you how it's done.
"I'll keep that in mind." Raditz said. "Now let's keep going before that snake recovers its sight."
Even as Kakarot nodded, a jet of flames went straight at them. Both brothers disappeared, avoiding the fire, and reappearing some meters below, only some feet over Snake Way. A look behind them made them realize that the snake had started breathing fire on several different directions, in an attempt at hitting them while its eyes didn't recover.
After a quick observation of the inclination of the spikes on the road's side, the two brothers again started flying toward King Kai's place. Soon, none of the jets of fire came near them, although they could still see them flying around.
"Looks like we already left the snake behind." Kakarot said.
"Can't say I'll miss it." Raditz replied.
Raditz hadn't even finished speaking when another jet of fire came down on them. Raditz and Kakarot disappeared, right before the flames scorched the portion of Snake Way they had been flying over.
Looking behind, Raditz saw that the snake had already recovered, and was making a beeline toward them.
"Fools!" Princess Snake's voice boomed. "I'll chase you for eternity if I have to, but you won't escape me!"
"Damn, that's one stubborn snake." "It looks like we need to find another way to get rid of it."
Raditz grinned somewhat sinisterly.
"Well, considering what she wants to do to us, and how we need to make sure she quits for good, I guess the best decision is to do it the old fashioned way."
Raditz lifted his left arm and started gathering energy on the palm of his hand. It was time to give this snake one of his presents.
In the meantime, Kakarot cupped his hands to his side.
"KA… ME…" he started chanting, but then he separated his hands and grabbed Raditz's wrist. "Don't do it, Raditz, she gave us that nice meal and let us have a bath on her hot spring!"
Raditz let go of the energy he'd gathered, but he couldn't help to glare at his brother. Kakarot was definitely too kind-hearted for his own good.
"Listen, we're willing to give you a chance only because you at first treated us nicely!" Kakarot shouted. "If you let us go to King Kai's place, we won't hurt you!"
"I won't let you go, insolent fools!" the snake shouted, breathing a jet of fire that seemed to have the power of all the ones it had fired before straight at them.
This time, both Kakarot and Raditz stopped and worked together to create an energy barrier, making the flames run over it without delivering any damage. Still, it was important to get the snake still before it pulled some other nasty trick.
Then, an idea suddenly came to Raditz's mind.
"Hey, Kakarot, stand aside, I know how to get rid of this snake!"
Like Raditz before, Kakarot didn't seem too sure about doing it.
"But Raditz…"
"Do it!" Raditz shouted.
Taken by surprise by Raditz's fierceness, Kakarot immediately stood aside. In the meantime, Raditz threw a fairly weak energy blast at the snake's muzzle.
"Hey, you big old reptile, catch me if you can!" Raditz taunted.
That caused the desired effect. The snake focused on him.
Having gotten what he wanted, Raditz sped up, then turned left, then turned left again, then turned down, then turned right, and then turned up. The snake followed him during all those movements – without realizing it was tangling itself into a big knot.
Eventually, the snake tried to snap at Raditz – but right on that point, it realized what Raditz had wanted – and that it couldn't get itself loose.
Meanwhile, Kakarot flew up to his brother. "Way to go Raditz! You got it all tied up!"
"I sure did." Raditz smirked.
Then, the two brothers turned toward the snake, which was furiously trying to untangle itself.
"You're looking absolutely pathetic now, you know that?" Raditz taunted. "From what I saw before, my brother and I could blast you to dust if we so chose."
The snake threw another jet of flames at them, which Raditz and Kakarot dodged easily.
"Unfortunately, we have to go." Raditz carried on as if he hadn't been interrupted. "And we can't afford ourselves to lose more time because of you. Goodbye, snake!"
"And thanks for the hospitality!" Kakarot shouted.
And that was the last sentence any of the brothers uttered before they flew off, continuing their way toward King Kai's place at top speed.
Chapter 5 – Arrival to King Kai's place
After leaving a very tangled giant snake behind, Goku and Raditz kept flying toward King Kai's place at the highest speed they could reach. Fortunately, the flight from the point where Scar had left them to Princess Snake's palace appeared to have strengthened their bodies somewhat, and the food they'd eaten had refilled their energy reserves, so they were actually flying faster than before. The problem that there were no points of reference remained as intense as ever, but when he remembered his speed before having fallen off Snake Way, him and Raditz were making a far better time than Goku had before he had fallen off Snake Way. How better exactly, Goku didn't really know – numbers had never been his strong point – but it was much better anyway.
It had been a bit of a surprise when he'd gotten to know that whenever a Saiyan was beaten up, he became a lot stronger if he managed to recover, but Goku sure was glad that he'd gained that speed and strength increase. The only thing in that matter that didn't make him glad was that it had been his brother who had beaten him up. But after what he had gotten to know, Goku couldn't bring himself to blame him.
Goku briefly turned his head toward Raditz, who was flying by his side. Since the conversation they had shared shortly before getting to Princess Snake's palace – and their small predicament with that giant, fire-breathing snake – it seemed like the tension and awkwardness between them had disappeared, or at least, decreased quite a lot. Now, more than ever before, Goku felt Raditz was his brother, and it was not an unpleasant feeling at all.
But he knew there would be problems coming from that. One of those, which concerned him greatly, was the fact that he had no idea of how he would get to tell his friends on Earth to resurrect Raditz alongside him. He guessed the only way was to go back to King Yemma's office, look for Fortuneteller Baba, and tell her to inform Master Roshi to resurrect Raditz alongside him. But they were pretty far from King Yemma's office now. If they were to go back, they would certainly lose precious time, which would take an even heavier toll on the training they'd get from King Kai. The two Saiyans would only take a year to travel from the planet they were at to the Earth, and there was no real telling of how much time had passed since Goku and Raditz had died. Goku didn't know how much time it would take him to go back to King Yemma's office, asking someone to inform Fortuneteller Baba of his idea, and then restart the way to King Kai's place.
Eventually, Goku had decided the best would be going to King Kai's place, and hopefully King Kai would have a solution for that problem. If he didn't have, then Goku would go back to King Yemma's office, leave the information of his request to resurrect Raditz either with Fortuneteller Baba or with someone who would tell that to her, and then go back to King Kai's.
But Goku knew that, even if King Kai could help him with that particular problem, he wouldn't be able to do anything about another issue, the one that let Goku the most worried. Namely, how easy would it be for Raditz to join his family?
It didn't take much for Goku to realize that Raditz was even more socially inept than Goku had once been, although in a totally different way. From what he had learned about his brother, most of his life had been about destroying civilizations, helping the other two Saiyans, and always feeling dwarfed by them. He wasn't sure how someone with Raditz's upbringing would fit in a family. Or, for that matter, of how Chi-Chi and Gohan would react to Raditz once Goku came back with him. After all, Raditz hadn't exactly been trying to leave a good impression when he'd first arrived. But, unlike his problem with getting Raditz back to life, thinking about this before he had to deal with it did more harm than good. The only important thing about it was that Goku was determined to help Raditz in that matter, once the time came.
"Are you alright, Kakarot?" Raditz asked.
Goku cursed under his breath. Apparently his worry had been showing itself on his face, and that was something he didn't want. As much as Goku was worried himself, he didn't want to pass that onto Raditz. It was more than obvious for Goku that his older brother had a fair share of concerns of his own.
"Yes, Raditz." Goku said as confidently as he could. "I'm fine, I was just wondering when this Snake Way is going to end."
Raditz nodded. "I get what you mean. I'm starting to get sick of this as well."
'Sick' was a weak word. Goku was full of it to the tips of his hairs. He definitely didn't look forward to make this way ever again. It was a pity there was the possibility of him having to make that way at least two times more. But if he had to do it, he would. After all, Raditz deserved his second chance at life as well.
Goku was brought out of his thoughts when Raditz spoke again, with obvious joy in his voice.
"But it looks like we're about to be freed from this!" Raditz announced, giving the first real smile Goku had ever seen him making.
"Huh?" Goku asked. "What do you mean?"
"I mean that I can see the end of Snake Way!" Raditz shouted, pointing with his arm ahead of him.
Goku's eyes followed the direction Raditz's arm was pointing to… and indeed, he was right! The snake's body had finally given way to the tail. With those two fins sticking from each side of it, perpendicularly to the tip, that tail looked more as if it belonged to a whale than to a snake, but that was unimportant. Finally, they had arrived to that destination.
"Hooray!" Goku shouted in joy, as the two brothers flew even faster than before toward the snake's tail.
Finally! Goku thought, making a sing-song voice even in his mind. We got to the end of the road! We got to King Kai's place! We got to… nowhere?
Goku halted as that thought came to his mind. It was true. There was nothing there! The only thing there were more clouds below them, which would probably give access to Hell, like before – but there was no King Kai!
"What's going on here?" Raditz shouted as the two landed on the end of Snake Way. "This place is empty! There's no King Kai, nor anything whatsoever!"
Raditz turned to Goku, visibly angry, although not with Goku. "Are you sure you haven't been fooled?"
Goku didn't know what to say. He was reasonably sure he hadn't been fooled, because after all Kami had always been someone he trusted. But there was no denying of the fact there was nothing here.
If there's nothing here, I don't really know what to do. Goku thought. Other than trying to calm Raditz down, that is.
With that being the only starting point Goku could see, he decided to go for it.
Goku turned his head upwards – a task necessary to look in the eyes of Raditz, who was a foot taller than Goku – while he tried to come up with something that would decrease his brother's anger. But right as Goku looked up, something that could be seen through the halo that hovered over Raditz's head caught his eye. It appeared like a green sphere, about the size of his thumbnail. But it didn't take long for Goku to realize that the thing's apparent size was because of the distance that separated them from it.
"Look!" Goku said, his eyes not leaving the green speck. "There's something round floating up there!"
Raditz turned his head toward the spot Goku indicated.
"You're right!" he said, all the traces of anger gone from his voice. "That must be King Kai's place!"
Without any other word, both brothers flew up to what was obvious a small planet. Goku saw that the planet was mostly covered in green grass, with a yellow, dome-shaped house, and another building that appeared to have the shape of half a cylinder in a horizontal position. There was a road of white pavement that appeared to circle the whole planet, and a red car of a model Goku couldn't recognize.
And then, before Goku could notice anything else, a massive force pulled him down, making him drop like a stone toward the planet's floor.
________________________________________
"Kakarot!" Raditz shouted in concern, even as he felt the planet's gravity dragging him down alongside his brother.
Raditz had to use some of his energy to decrease the speed of his fall, but unlike Kakarot, he managed to land smoothly on his feet. Although the gravity difference was big, he estimated that it was no different from the one at Planet Vegeta. If not for the weighted clothes he was wearing, which had also grown proportionately heavier with the gravity, Raditz would feel totally at ease.
Even without the strain he was under, though, he was clearly better than Kakarot, who had landed on his bottom, and was clearly struggling to get up.
Raditz moved over to his brother, ready to help him up, but when he got there, Kakarot had already managed to get up by himself. The effort had been immense, though. Kakarot was out of breath when he straightened himself, and drops of sweat had appeared on his forehead.
But that was expected. After all, Kakarot had grown up on the Earth, and on that planet, the gravity was only a tenth of Planet Vegeta's gravity – and in turn, this planet's gravity. The difference for him was certainly monstrous. If the fact Kakarot was also wearing weighted clothes was taken into account, Kakarot wasn't doing all that bad in the end.
"Well, brother, looks like you already managed to get up." Raditz said, trying to make a joking tone. "We'd better go see King Kai now."
"Right." Kakarot nodded, as the two started to walk toward the yellow house, Kakarot making much more of an effort to move than Raditz.
Even before they had given ten steps, Kakarot stopped.
"Wait a second, Raditz."
Raditz stopped as well.
"What is it?"
"Before we go to King Kai's house, let's eat one or two of those apples first." As he spoke, Kakarot pointed to a tree that grew close to the house. "I think I need to get some strength back."
"Good call." Raditz said, as the two changed course for the tree.
Even before they got there, Raditz decided it would be better if to get the apples himself. If Kakarot was having this much trouble moving, he certainly wouldn't be able to fly to the branches of the tree and get the apples.
And although Raditz also had to make some efforts, he managed to fly up to the lowest branches of the tree without many problems. He picked an apple for each of them, and then landed back on the ground, making a slight thud as he landed.
"Here, Kakarot, have your apple." Raditz said as he passed the apple to his brother. Kakarot grabbed it, but the weight of the apple appeared to pull his arms down, and got him to his knees.
"Sorry, brother." Raditz said, cursing himself for not noticing Kakarot would also have felt the weight of the apple.
Kakarot grit his teeth, and started trying to get the apple and his arms off the ground. An inch at a time, the apple was lifted further.
"Do you want some help?" Raditz offered.
"No, Raditz." Kakarot said through gritted teeth. "I… can… do… it… myself."
Although he had to make a great deal of effort, Kakarot did manage to straighten himself up, and lift the apple to his mouth.
"How can you do it?" Kakarot asked, clearly having noticed how easily Raditz lifted the apple to his mouth and started taking bites off it.
"Do what?" Raditz asked with his mouth full.
"Move around this planet where everything seems to be so heavy that easily!" Kakarot panted. "I feel at least ten times heavier here!"
"This planet is not so bad." Raditz replied after swallowing the pieces of apple in his mouth. "The gravity here is the same as it was on our home planet. Only you grew up on Earth, which has only a tenth of the gravity on Planet Vegeta. That's why you feel so heavy."
After answering, Raditz gave another large bite on the apple, taking a big chunk out.
"Oh, I get it." Kakarot said, starting to eat his apple. "But well, at least I know that this is a good place to train."
Raditz didn't reply, instead giving another bite on his apple. If this gravity didn't have the same effect on him than it had on his brother, then perhaps he wouldn't get all that stronger. But he still felt the effect of wearing weighted clothes that had also been affected by the gravity, which meant he also had something to get used to. And who knows, perhaps King Kai's training would be a harsh one. If King Kai was as skilled as Kakarot believed he was, it probably would be.
In the meantime, Kakarot had finished his apple, and had gotten up with more ease than he did before, although still with a considerable deal of difficulty.
"Feeling better now?" Raditz asked his brother.
"You bet." Kakarot said, speaking more easily than before. "Now I'm ready as ever to find King Kai!"
Kakarot turned to his left, and then stopped dead on his tracks. For a few moments, he just stood still, his eyes widened in amazement, and then he gave a huge grin, one of those Kakarot seemed to be an expert at giving.
"And it looks like I won't have that much work doing it!"
Raditz raised an eyebrow.
"What do you mean?"
"I mean that King Kai is standing about ten feet to your right, Raditz!"
Raditz's head jerked to his right as soon as Kakarot said that. But what he saw there was anything but the so-called skilled martial arts master he expected to find.
A brown monkey, looking as if he was about three feet tall, stood there, looking at them with a blank, stupid look on its hairy face.
Raditz looked around to see if he could spot anyone else, but no. The only creature in front of them was that monkey. Just what did Kakarot mean with King Kai standing about ten feet to his right?
Kakarot joined his hands in front of his face, and bowed to the monkey.
"It's an honor meeting you, King Kai." he said. "My name's Goku, and this one next to me is my older brother, Raditz. We came here for you to give us your training."
Raditz's eyebrow rose even higher. Was his mind somehow fooling him, or was Kakarot truly thinking that this flea bag in front of them was King Kai?
First it's the blue-skinned woman, and now it's this brown pile of hair full of lice! Raditz thought. It seems Kakarot's so desperate for finding King Kai that he thinks every creature he meets is King Kai.
And it wasn't that unusual, now that Raditz thought of it. A lot of what would happen when they went back to life depended from King Kai's training. Although Raditz didn't question his determination to help Kakarot, the fact his younger brother was the most desperate for the training out of the two of them was to be expected.
In the meantime, Kakarot kept begging,
"Please, King Kai, will you train us?"
Raditz let out a deep sigh of total hopelessness at how much his brother's desperation to get training made him blind to the obvious. If this monkey was really King Kai, he would at least have a more intelligent look on his eyes. But no, the animal just sat there with one of the emptiest, dumbest looks Raditz had ever seen, which was saying quite a lot.
He brought his fist up to knock on Kakarot's head before stating the obvious, but then, the monkey suddenly reacted. He brought both of his hands up, then started slowly hopping from one foot to the other. All the time, he made monkey noises.
"Is that some new kind of martial arts?" Kakarot asked.
"Kakarot, that's obviously not…" Raditz started to say, but Kakarot lifted one hand and made a hushing sound.
His brother's attitude taking him by surprise, Raditz could do nothing else than to shut up.
In the meantime, the monkey started slowly walking away, lowering and lifting his arms as though he was doing weight lifting, all the while making monkey noises.
"Alright." Kakarot said. "I'll try to imitate you."
Before Raditz could stop him, Kakarot lifted his arms, and started copying what the monkey was doing – monkey noises and everything.
Raditz slapped his forehead, unable to believe his brother was actually performing such foolish acts. The fact Kakarot also had a tail looking like the monkey's swaying behind him made everything all the more embarrassing.
"It's quite hard, actually…" Raditz heard Kakarot say as he kept struggling to follow the animal and copy what he was doing. "…with me being so much heavier than usual…"
Raditz opened his mouth, determined to stop Kakarot's foolishness, but before he could do so, a voice asked, "What are you two doing here, young men?"
The sound of the voice made Kakarot to stop mimicking the ape, and made Raditz look behind him. And, at long last, the two brothers saw who they had been looking for.
A short, portly creature with blue skin, two long, black antennae on his forehead, a short barbell beside each corner of his mouth, and sunglasses, stood behind them, his hands behind his back. The creature, whoever he was, was wearing a black sleeveless-robe-like outfit with a weird symbol on the front, a black hat from which the antennae on his forehead sprouted, and a red robe underneath the black one. He looked at Kakarot and Raditz with mild curiosity.
At long last, Kakarot stopped imitating the monkey, and walked back to Raditz.
"You're King Kai, aren't you?" Raditz asked, although he was quite sure of the answer.
Instead of answering, the blue being bent down and started scratching his back.
"It's hard to scratch this place your eyes can't see…" he said. Then, he straightened up with a flourish, and proclaimed, "But yes, King Kai is me!"
Raditz raised an eyebrow after that peculiar introduction. Where had that one come from?
"If you're King Kai, then who is he?" asked Kakarot as he pointed to the monkey, who was still doing the same monkey-business from before.
"That's my pet monkey, Bubbles." King Kai replied. "Why do you ask?"
"Oh, for nothing." Kakarot said, redder than a tomato. "I just guess that explains why I found him so strange."
"You found him strange, huh?" King Kai asked. "Well that's strange."
The only strange thing here is this martial arts master Kakarot didn't quit worshipping behaving like this.
"I meant it's strange you found him strange! That's funny, isn't it? Come on, laugh at will, my boys."
"Laugh?" Kakarot asked.
"Why?" Raditz added.
After all, they had come here to receive martial arts training, not to make jokes. Mostly, not lame ones.
Much to Raditz's surprise, King Kai looked outraged after their questions, as though they had delivered him the worst insult in the universe.
Then, as though a sudden through had struck him, he said,
"Oh, I get it now, boys. You two are so nervous you're not even listening to what I say!"
Raditz grunted. Why this guy insisted on hitting the same key was beyond him. And it was only because of that he couldn't bring himself to stop this.
"But that's alright, I'm always telling jokes!" King Kai carried on. "Now listen carefully and prepare to roll with laughter!"
King Kai extended his right arm forward, his hand palm down to the floor, "Ring ring, ring ring." he said. "The telephone?" he clenched his fist and brought it to his ear. "Hello, yes, who's talking there? I can't hear! Sorry, but my telephone is aphonic!"
King Kai covered his mouth in a failed attempt at holding back his laughter.
"That's funny." he said, his words muffled by his hands. "My phone is aphonic, that's a good one…"
"But what is funny in that?" Kakarot asked.
Raditz thought exactly the same, but he wasn't about to hear even one more of those lame jokes.
"Hey, what the hell is wrong with you?" Raditz shouted. "We came here to be trained by you, not to watch the show of the lamest jokes ever, and we're not about to…"
What Raditz was going to say next was cut off by Kakarot putting his hands over Raditz's mouth.
"Get your hands off my mouth, Kakarot, I'm not finished yet." Raditz tried to say, even as he took his hands to Kakarot's wrists and tried to pry his brother's hands away. But it only came out as "Gwt yur hunds uff m muth, Kukurot, 'm nt fnshd wut."
"Raditz, we can't bother King Kai!" Kakarot said, clearly desperate, while Raditz kept trying to have his mouth uncovered. "If we do so, he may not train us!"
Raditz stopped struggling to take Kakarot's hands away from his mouth. Sensing it was safe, Kakarot finally uncovered his big brother's mouth. Raditz sighed in relief at having his breathing unobstructed, but all the relief he felt disappeared when he realized that by now King Kai was quite angry – to say the least.
Me and my quick temper! Raditz cursed mentally. Couldn't I have kept my mouth shut?
"You two want me to train you, huh?" King Kai finally said. "Well here's a piece of news for you, young lads! If you don't laugh after such good jokes, it's because you have bad character, and I don't train people like that!"
As though some switch had been turned on, Kakarot started laughing like mad.
"How funny! Those are the best jokes ever!" Kakarot said through his laughter. "I haven't laughed so much in ages!"
Raditz took a deep breath, made a face as though he was swallowing the bitterest medicine ever, and then, his face red as everything, started laughing as hard as possible.
"You tell the best jokes ever, King Kai!" Raditz shouted in the short breaks he made through his laughter. "I've never laughed so much in my entire life!"
Inwardly, he was cursing as loud as he could, disgracing the fact he had to put himself through such embarrassing antics just so he and his brother would get training from this blue guy. But if in the end he got back to Earth strong enough to teach Vegeta and Nappa a lesson, it justified going through the most embarrassing moment in his life.
At least, King Kai seemed satisfied after the waves of fake laughter from the two Saiyan brothers.
"At last!" King Kai said. "Your brains took long to process my jokes!"
Raditz was about to throw a comeback after that remark, but, although it took a great deal of effort, he managed to hold it back. He didn't want to ruin his attempt at getting on King Kai's good side even before knowing whether it had been successful or not.
"Very well then, you can stay." King Kai finally said, bringing a sigh of relief out of the two brothers.
"Then will you train us?" Kakarot asked.
"My, you're locked onto that idea." King Kai said. "Well, alright, I'm going to train you."
"Hooray!" Kakarot shouted for the second time in quite a short period.
Raditz didn't show any outward sign of joy, but he smiled at the thought of finally receiving the training he'd travelled such a long distance for.
"But on one condition." King Kai immediately said, bringing the joy of both brothers to a halt. "I will only train you if you deserve it!"
"What does that mean?" Raditz asked before he could stop himself.
At first, he was about to say it harshly, but on the last moment he remembered he couldn't annoy King Kai, so he forced himself to speak as politely as possible.
"It means both of you have to make me laugh like I made you laugh!"
"Make you laugh?" Raditz shouted. "And in what way does that determine whether we deserve your training or not?"
"Is that an attempt at chickening out of trying?" King Kai inquired.
Raditz clenched his fist, trying his best not to explode at King Kai for having even hinted at the fact he was a chicken. That was one of the worst insults one could give at a Saiyan, second only to 'monkey'. Still, Raditz tried his best to hold the outrage he felt in check – after all, it had become obvious already that annoying King Kai wasn't a good policy.
"Well King Kai, Raditz sort of has a point." Kakarot said. "I guess none of us is very good at that…"
"Well, if you can't do it, then just go away!"
In spite of both the ridiculousness of the challenge and the fact it was practically impossible Raditz would be able to overcome it, the long-haired Saiyan was certain of one thing: giving up was not an option. If he went away, he wouldn't get the training. Which meant he wouldn't be able to defeat Vegeta and Nappa. Which meant he wouldn't be able to help his brother stopping those two from conquering the Earth.
All that rushed through his mind in only a short moment. Only then, he stopped himself to realize what he was thinking. He was doing this more for his brother than for himself. Raditz couldn't remember how long it had been since he'd done something for someone other than himself – well, willingly, that is. Raditz was more than used to being ordered around like a slave. But he was going through this ridiculous challenge because he wanted to.
Raditz tried to think of something that sounded remotely funny, but right then, Kakarot delivered his attempt at a joke, in a stance that almost seemed as if he was powering up.
"There were two of them, and the one in the middle fell!" Kakarot said.
Raditz's eyes bugged out. What sort of joke was that? It had no funny side whatsoever. At least, that was what Raditz thought – but then again, Raditz had never been used to laugh. He was much more used at being laughed at. Back when he was a kid, he had been constantly bullied, insulted, and laughed at by stronger kids. Eventually, he'd become strong enough so that he could also laugh at the poor people he massacred – he'd even laughed at his brother's pain. Now, however, recalling any of those things let him sick.
Raditz snapped out of the bad memories when he heard a sound. The sound of laughter. To be more precise, the sound of King Kai's laughter.
In fact, he wasn't only laughing. He was bending forward with his hands covering his mouth, laughing hysterically. What was up with that guy? He heard the lamest joke ever, and cracked up like that?
You speak as though you're the best judge of good jokes. Raditz thought.
That was a good point. Raditz doubted he would recognize a joke – whether it was good or not – even if it fell down on him like the meteor that had destroyed Planet Vegeta. And that made getting through the challenge much harder for him.
Still, he had to try.
In the meantime, Kakarot shot his right arm forward triumphantly.
"He laughed!" Kakarot proclaimed. "King Kai laughed."
"Damn." King Kai said as he stood up and straightened his sunglasses. "You're not a beginner, are you?"
Then, he turned to Raditz.
"It's your turn now, my boy. What do you have in store to make me laugh?"
Good question, that one. What could someone who had grown up in a world where the rule was "kill or be killed" have something in store to make someone laugh? If anything, Raditz's attempts at jokes were bound to make someone either cry or freeze in horror.
"What do I have to make you laugh?" Raditz asked out loud, but more to himself than to King Kai. "Well, no matter what is necessary to do it, I doubt I have even half."
No matter what he had, though, Raditz couldn't just quit. After all, he had to get the training.
Surprisingly, however, King Kai started laughing.
"Good to laugh… not even half…" he said through his covered mouth. "That's a good one as well…"
The joy he felt at having overcome this seemingly unsurpassable challenge was so much that Raditz didn't even mind the fact King Kai was laughing because of such a lame joke.
"I did it!" Raditz shouted as he shot his fist up in victory. "I did it! I made King Kai laugh!"
After this, Raditz could honestly say he had never experienced such triumph. It was much better than what he'd felt whenever he had conquered a planet or anything.
As soon as he made that mental comparison, Raditz's joy was totally destroyed. He knew he should start seeing such things as part of the past, and therefore he had to get them behind his back, and instead start turning to the future. But it was hard not to feel disgusted at himself now that he realized how he had been. He'd let hatred be the basis of his life for years – and although he was dead now, he feared it would be the same way when he got back to life.
Although it was a huge concern, Raditz decided to drop that for the moment, seeing that King Kai had recovered from his second fit of laughter.
"Whew." he said. "Apparently, both of you are very experienced at this. Very well then, uh… what are your names?"
"I'm Goku." Kakarot introduced himself. "And this is my older brother, Raditz."
"Well then, Goku, Raditz, you both passed my test! I'll train you, alright. I'll teach you the best jokes ever!"
Raditz raised an eyebrow. "Jokes?"
Just what did this man think they had come for?
"What jokes man, we came here for your martial arts training!" Raditz barked.
At his side, Kakarot flinched, obviously fearful of the reaction King Kai would have at Raditz's outburst. Fortunately, King Kai only gave them a surprised look. "You came here for my martial arts training, huh? Well, you could've said that already!"
Raditz smacked his forehead in hopelessness. So, all of this laughing-challenge stupidity, only because they hadn't said they wanted to learn martial arts straight from the beginning?
King Kai then settled into a fighting stance.
"Very well then, attack me." he said. "I want to see what you can do. As you're the older, you can go first, Raditz. Hold nothing back, I'm stronger than I look."
Raditz settled into a fighting stance as well.
At least we already know he's going to train us. Raditz thought. It's better than nothing.
It would also be better if Raditz didn't have these weighted clothes to slow him down, but Raditz wouldn't take them off. He was curious as to what exactly he could expect from this guy.
Raditz flew as fast as he could toward King Kai, his right hand pulled back, clenched into a fist. When he got to his target, he brought his hand forward to punch King Kai, but the blue being lifted his own hand, easily blocking the attack. Raditz delivered another punch, but King Kai blocked it without any problem. Raditz then delivered a knee-strike to King Kai's face, but King Kai put his hand in front of his knee, and the attack was easily stopped. Raditz again threw a punch at King Kai's cheek, but the deity easily slapped his hand aside, and then punched Raditz squarely in his chest, making him stumble a few steps back.
Raditz took his hand to his chest. This guy was definitely stronger than he looked. But Raditz wouldn't go down so easily.
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PowerLevel : 98,240,100
Ki : 98,240,100
Transformations : (False Super Saiyan)~(Super Saiyan)~(Lengendary Super Saiyan)~(True Legendary Sayain)~~
Tehniques : ~~(Kamehameha)~~(Warp Kamehameha)~~(Spirit Bomb)~~(Instant Transmission)~~(Solar Flare)~~(After Image)~~(Kiao Ken)~~(Energy Bomb)~~(Super Slither Slasher Basher)~~(Super Mega Death Ball)~~
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Items : (Z-Sword)~(Kings Armor)~(Weighted Armor)~(Ultimatre Sensu Beanx5)~
Posts : 109
Join date : 2010-08-27

PostSubject: Re: Blood Broters (Complete)   Fri Sep 24, 2010 7:32 am

Getting his footing back, Raditz flew back toward King Kai, and started throwing punches, all of which King Kai blocked.
Although by now Raditz had his doubts as to whether any of his attacks would hit King Kai, he did a roundhouse kick to the master's chest, hoping the master was too busy with defending himself from the punches to pay attention to the kick. However, King Kai disappeared, and Raditz's kick went through the air.
Clearly, even if Raditz didn't have weighted clothes on, he wouldn't have been able to hit King Kai, as he moved too fast for his eyes to see. And worse, he didn't have his scouter, so he had to rely on his eyes and ears to know where King Kai had gone to.
Raditz looked around in an effort to find King Kai – only to have the deity's foot coming straight to his face. Raditz ducked as fast as he could – but it wasn't fast enough. King Kai's foot hit him squarely on the nose, throwing Raditz backwards, and making the Saiyan land flat on his back.
It had been years since someone had brought him down so quickly – although Raditz knew plenty of people who were capable of doing so but hadn't done it.
"Stop." King Kai said as he landed. "That's enough for me to get a grasp of your skills."
That was just fine for Raditz. He didn't really look forward to a thrashing.
"Not bad." King Kai said as he watched Raditz getting up. "Not bad at all. You have some potential there, Raditz."
As Raditz finished pulling himself back to his feet, King Kai turned to Kakarot, and melted back into his fighting stance.
"Well then, Goku, now it's your turn. Attack me with all you've got."
Kakarot did his best to settle into a fighting stance, but the discomfort such a high gravity caused on him was evident.
"I'd love to, King Kai, but the gravity here is too intense." he said. "It's hard to move in this."
King Kai dropped his fighting stance, and got both his hands behind his back.
"You come from Earth, don't you?" King Kai asked. Kakarot nodded. "In that case, it's understandable you can hardly move."
"I know." Kakarot replied. "Raditz already explained me about the gravity difference."
"Very well then." King Kai said in a slightly disappointed tone, which gave Raditz the impression he wanted to have the honors of doing the explaining himself. "In that case, try to jump. Give the highest jump you can."
Kakarot crouched, and then jumped as high as he could. It was a quite high jump, probably close to what Kakarot would be able to when they had fought on Earth, in Raditz's opinion. Still, it was nothing compared to what he'd be able to do if this gravity didn't affect him.
"Oh no!" Kakarot moaned when he landed back down. "I only gave a little jump!"
Raditz went over to his brother, and laid a hand on his shoulder.
"Don't worry, Kakarot." he said. "I have no doubt you'll soon get used to this gravity."
Kakarot smiled gratefully, but Raditz could see he appeared nervous about King Kai's verdict.
The master stood still with his hands behind his back, looking like he was in deep thought about something – probably about what to say in regards to Kakarot's potential.
"Goku, don't take me wrong by me saying this, but it's obvious that you're quite behind your brother in terms of being used to the gravity here." King Kai said.
Kakarot frowned at King Kai's words, his face turned into an apprehensive one. And, at least in Raditz's mind, it was understandable. After all, that sentence from King Kai could perfectly be a gentle attempt at saying that he didn't accept Kakarot.
"Still, I'd say that you have about the same potential your brother has – and I'll soon put you through an exercise to get used to the gravity here. When you finish it, yo will be on a level similar to your brother's."
Kakarot let out a deep, relieved sigh.
"But before we start…"
"We're going to have something to eat, right, right?" Kakarot interrupted.
"Kakarot!" Raditz barked as he glared at his younger brother. "Don't interrupt others while they're speaking!"
"Oh, sorry." Kakarot said, rubbing the back of his head in embarrassment. "It's just that I'm really, really hungry."
In other circumstances, Raditz would have said that was no excuse, but this time, he kept quiet. After all, he could also feel a huge emptiness on his stomach, and it didn't feel totally right to blame his brother because of a problem they shared.
"You want to have something to eat, huh?" King Kai asked, genuinely surprised. "And here I thought dead ones didn't need food…"
Then, his surprise gone, he said, "Alright, you can have lunch before you start training, but first let's go back to what I was going to ask. And that is: how much time do you have to train?"
"Well, that's a complicated question." Raditz said. "We're not really sure of how long it took us to get here."
"But probably it's not very long." Kakarot added. "The Earth is going to be invaded by two aliens, the Saiyans, and we need to get strong enough to defeat them. We need your help!"
"It won't be easy." King Kai stated gravely. "The Saiyans have an extraordinary strength. The opponents you two will have to face are among the most dangerous ones in the universe."
Then, his eyes locked on Kakarot and Raditz – or, to be more precise, on the tails that swayed behind them. "But, if I may ask, why would you two face your own comrades? I can see your tails, and that makes it plain as day – at least to me – that you two are also Saiyans."
"They're not our comrades." Raditz immediately said with a disgusted sneer. Behind him, Kakarot nodded in agreement, a fierce look on his face. "Well, at least they're not my comrades anymore." Raditz corrected. "And as for Kakarot's… technically, they never were."
Raditz expected King Kai to make more questions, or even that he would refuse to train them after knowing they were members of one of the most barbarous races known to the universe. It wouldn't be pleasant, but Raditz had to admit it would be expected. However, King Kai only nodded, as though he didn't need any more assurance than that.
"Very well then." King Kai said. "As a start, I'll see when they will arrive on the Earth."
As the long antennae on King Kai's forehead bent forward – clearly it was part of the process of watching Vegeta and Nappa – Raditz couldn't help to think it was suspicious that King Kai had accepted them so quickly, mainly after knowing they were Saiyans who were going to face their own kind. In fact, it seemed almost as if King Kai, in a way, already knew that they would come. But Raditz wasn't sure of how King Kai could know such a thing.
"I can see them on their way to Earth…" King Kai said. "They're still very far, oh, very far… but they move forward at high speed. They should arrive on Earth in, let's see… 264 days."
Raditz nodded, impressed. Although this guy had a weird sense of humor, he had already shown to be a good fighter, and apparently, he had other kinds of tricks up his sleeve.
"But how can you know that so certainly?" Kakarot asked.
"As a matter of fact, I don't know anything." King Kai stated. "My magical finger guesses it!"
At that, King Kai started laughing, covering his mouth with his hands.
Not again… Raditz thought, grunting in hopelessness.
Kakarot just stood there, looking at King Kai with a confused look on his face.
As for King Kai, he immediately stopped laughing when he saw Raditz's and Kakarot's reactions.
"Like I said, if you don't want to laugh, I won't train you!" he scolded, starting to move away.
Both brothers immediately started laughing like mad, complimenting King Kai's joke between waves of laughter.
"That's better." King Kai said.
"Good." Kakarot immediately said. "But you said we have 264 days, right?"
"It's not very long, but it will have to suffice…" Raditz said, trying and failing to hide his disappointment.
He hadn't managed to get even close to Nappa or Vegeta after more than twenty years, he didn't see how a little less than nine months would allow him to do so. Granted that after being healed from the beating he'd taken in Hell, he was much stronger, but he knew that even now he wouldn't be able to defeat Nappa, much less Vegeta. And he didn't see how nine months could change that.
"Don't worry." King Kai said. "I'm sure 264 days will suffice."
"Really?" both Raditz and Kakarot asked at the same time.
"Yes. Just to let you know, training for 264 days here on my planet should be the equivalent to training for some thousands of years back on Earth."
"Great!" Kakarot said with a huge smile on his face.
Raditz felt a little bit more relieved after that, but he still couldn't help to wonder if it would be enough. Thousands of years would not to change the fact he had been born as a low-class Saiyan, and would always be labeled as such.
But labels only have the importance you give them. said a voice inside Raditz's head. Remember your own father was labeled as a low class warrior, and he got to be stronger than some elites. And remember…
Raditz shushed the voice inside his head as it got there. If there was anything more painful than thinking about his father's death or his mother's death, it was thinking about her death. Shortly after she had died, he'd made the decision to stop thinking about her, if only for not to feel the pain that came with such thoughts. He hadn't thought about her for years now, and since her death he'd never referred to her by name, even in mind. It was just too painful. But he had never forgotten her.
King Kai's voice suddenly got to him, as if from very far.
"Hello, Raditz, are you there?"
Raditz snapped out of his thoughts. "Sorry, what were you saying?"
"Apparently, he wasn't there." King Kai stated. "But now, he is. So I'm going to repeat what I said to Goku, and this time, pay attention as well, Raditz."
"Yes, King Kai." Raditz nodded. It was a healthier attitude to pay attention to his new master than to particularly painful thoughts.
King Kai cleared his throat, and then resumed speaking.
"Like I said to your brother, just training under me won't give you the guarantee of victory. The two Saiyans going to Earth are opponents to be feared, and I'm sure you know that quite well. They're really strong. To be fully honest with you, both of them are stronger than me."
"What?" Kakarot shouted. Apparently, that was something King Kai hadn't said while Raditz hadn't been paying attention. "They're stronger than you?"
"Exactly." King Kai nodded. "Which means that if you two want to fight them, you will have to become not as strong as, but much stronger than me."
Great. Raditz thought. Training under a master who is below the level of our enemies. Things couldn't get any better.
However, after the recent thoughts he had about her, Raditz was determined not to give up. After all, she had managed to become one of the strongest Saiyans on Planet Vegeta by the time of her death, and she had also been labeled as a low-class Saiyan. Her achievement was entirely due to her efforts. And if she as a seven year old girl had become almost as strong as royalty, then an adult Raditz at least had to try the same feat.
"Well then, can we start?" Raditz asked, standing as tall as he could, his fists clenched. "I'm ready."
"My my, that's an eager student I got myself there." King Kai said.
Kakarot didn't say anything, but Raditz could swear he looked pleased.
"Very well then, we're going to start training." King Kai announced.
Right as King Kai finished speaking, Kakarot's stomach growled loudly. Apparently, it was still thinking about the food Kakarot had wanted to have earlier. Raditz opened his mouth to chastise his brother, but he'd barely finished doing it when his stomach growled as well, the noise as intense as it had been the one coming from Kakarot's stomach.
"But apparently, it's better if we have lunch first." King Kai said.
And in spite of his eagerness to train, Raditz immediately agreed.
________________________________________
As he watched the two Saiyan brothers gulping his food as thought it was nothing but water, King Kai realized he had made quite a mistake when he'd offered a lunch to these two. His pantry was already halfway toward emptiness, and neither Raditz nor Goku were giving any sign of having their stomachs sated.
"But can you two eat so much?" King Kai asked in frustration.
Raditz didn't answer, still shoveling food down as quickly as he could. Goku, however, took a break from eating, but it was only long enough to answer, "My stomach's glued to my back."
"Ha ha ha ha ha ha!" King Kai laughed, as Goku resumed stuffing his face. "His stomach's glued to his back! Ha ha ha ha ha!" His laughter halted immediately after fully taking in what Goku had said. "He must think he's a horse!"
Horse or not, Goku carried on eating for even longer, and Raditz didn't fall behind his brother.
Finally, when the only things left in King Kai's pantry were a few moths he hadn't even known to exist, both Saiyans had their appetites sated.
"That's better." Raditz said, rubbing his stomach in deep satisfaction.
"I feel better now." Goku said, mirroring his brother's action. "It didn't taste very good, but at least I'm stuffed now."
"What a pair of animals!" King Kai exclaimed. "Not only they eat like pigs, but they have no respect at all!"
"Say, King Kai, I was just thinking, don't you get bored being alone in this tiny planet?"
King Kai chuckled. "It's obvious you're young. When we look around, we can see there are many interesting things to do here. We can have fun counting the sprouts of grass, looking at the sky, or then dreaming for hours on end."
Then, King Kai proudly patted the door of the car he owned, a 50's-stlye red Cheverolet Sedan.
"But as of late I have another passion. It's driving my car."
To show them what he meant, and also to get a small moment of pleasure, King Kai got inside his car, put the key in the ignition, turned it, and then drove the full length of the road around his planet. In no time, he was back in front of his house. But, like all the rides he had on his car, this had been an enjoyable ride.
"Well then, what's going to be the training?" Raditz asked once King Kai got out of his car.
"Hold on a second." King Kai said as he locked his car's door. "Bubbles! Could you come here for a minute?"
As soon as King Kai called, Bubbles came running to them.
"Now pay attention." King Kai said. "As a start, both of you have to get truly used to this planet's gravity. It's very important if you want to train here. And for that, you have to catch my monkey. Get it?"
Both Raditz and Goku nodded, looking like they had nothing to ask. That was expected, with a task as easy to understand as this one. What they didn't know, and would soon learn at their own costs that catching Bubbles was not as easy as it seemed.
"But just before you start, I want to ask you something." King Kai said. "If you two are Saiyans, you should be used to this gravity right from the start – after all, it's only as strong as that of Planet Vegeta. Why aren't you?"
An embarrassed look came across both Raditz's and Goku's faces. Clearly, it hadn't been a pleasant question. But King Kai needed to ask it, only to satisfy his curiosity, and to know if a certain suspicion he had was true.
"Well, like you said, I grew up on Earth, so I didn't grow up used to that gravity." Goku said. "Besides, I'm wearing weighted clothes, and they also have been affected by the gravity."
"With me, it's only the weighted clothes issue." Raditz said. "If not for them, I'd have no problem moving around here."
King Kai nodded, knowing what Raditz meant. Now it was obvious for him that when a certain someone had met those two in Hell, said someone had given the two brothers something to make their training more profitable. He'd expected it from the start, however, so he didn't get surprised.
"Very well then." King Kai said. "In that case, I want you both never to remove the weighted clothing during your training here. That way, your training will be more efficient."
Both brothers appeared slightly disheartened at that, but they didn't make any objections or complaints.
"Talking time is over." King Kai said. "Now catch that monkey!"
It took no more than that for Raditz to take off after Bubbles. And although his weighted clothes had also become ten times heavier with the gravity, and the strain he was going under revealed itself on his face, the long-haired Saiyan was already forcing Bubbles to run quite fast right from the start, which was amazing. Goku, however, could only do something that looked like running at walking speed, in spite of his greatest efforts. But the determination on his look was obvious.
Knowing he had no business here while those two were trying to catch Bubbles, King Kai went back inside his house, leaving the two brothers alone so they could go through the first step of their training.

Chapter 6 – Delivering a message
Raditz cursed loudly as he again felt face down on the green grass of King Kai's planet, after having given yet another jump forward to catch the goddamn monkey, and yet again he'd let it slip through his fingers.
When King Kai had said the first part of the training consisted in catching that damned monkey, Raditz had guessed it would be somewhat hard, although he was pretty sure that if he didn't have his weighted clothes slowing him down, he'd catch it easily. Still, he hadn't guessed it would be this hard.
The monkey not only was faster than Raditz had initially expected, but he was also incredibly sneaky and devious. Raditz couldn't tell for sure how long he had been running after the animal, but according to his estimations, it was for a little more than three days now. However, he hadn't yet been capable of catching the fleabag.
Then again, that was probably because of the huge number of restrictions King Kai was placing on him. According to the rules, they were to keep their weighted clothes on, they couldn't fly after Bubbles, or throw energy blasts to stun Bubbles or knock him off his feet – in short, of using energy in any way. The only things they could do were run and jump. That left things more complicated, but it made catching Bubbles a much better exercise.
And Raditz could already tell he was improving. By now, the weighted clothes didn't affect him nearly as much as they had first when he'd arrived. However, he had the slight impression that, somehow, after a certain point, his clothes had been getting gradually heavier, in a way that never allowed Raditz to truly get used to them. How that was possible, Raditz didn't know, but probably Scar had introduced some sort of magic in it. After all, Scar had shown to be capable of performing some magical tricks, perhaps he'd introduced some sort of it in the clothes he'd given them. Whatever the explanation was, Raditz wasn't too worried about it now. He had a monkey to catch.
Raditz stood up, ready to continue the pursuit, but before he started running, the sound of footsteps caught his attention. Looking behind him, Raditz saw that Kakarot had arrived there, looking far worse for the wear than Raditz himself was. If he was alive, he'd probably be about to die from exhaustion.
"Are you alright, Kakarot?" Raditz asked.
Although he knew that his brother was dead, and due to that nothing worse could happen to him, Raditz just couldn't help the concern. It was as if he was trying to make it up for all the years he'd spent hating him.
Kakarot still had the strength to stumble a few steps toward Raditz, before collapsing to one knee.
"I guess I'm well enough." Kakarot managed to pant. "I'm only totally spent from chasing after Bubbles."
"I can imagine." Raditz said.
But, right as he finished speaking, Raditz realized that he'd told a lie. While Raditz did feel quite tired, he only needed to get some breath back and soon he'd be able to keep running. Kakarot however, barely seemed capable of standing up and walking some more. That was understandable, however. Raditz only had to get used to how the extra weight on him had become heavier. Kakarot had to get used both to that and to the heavier gravity. And even so, Raditz had a distinct impression that Kakarot was getting used to both those things way faster than Raditz would be if he was the one having to go under such an effort.
The motivation of having to protect his friends and family must be a powerful one, if that's what makes him get used to this so quickly. Raditz thought.
Before Raditz could voice those thoughts, however, gibberish undoubtedly originated by that monkey came from about thirty feet to their right. Without any further thoughts, Raditz ran toward Bubbles, this time bent on catching him. The monkey immediately took off after he saw that Raditz had already been encouraged to continue the pursuit, with Raditz right on his heels.
This is it! I'm sick of you, and sick of your mocking! Raditz thought. This time, I'm going to catch you!
Then again, Raditz realized, he had said and thought the same thing other times before, and none of those had proved to be true.
But, Raditz would do his best to make sure this one turned out to be. Sure, he'd done all the other times he'd promised that in his mind, but eventually, he'd get it right.
He just had to!
________________________________________
"Caught you!"
King Kai jumped up from his recliner at the sound. He had been relaxing there, as he sometimes did, when suddenly that shout brought his attention. It was a rather sudden jump, which made him trip on one of the arms of his recliner. Others would have fallen face down after that, but King Kai made a flip in the air, and managed to land on his feet without any trouble.
After straightening the sunglasses on his face, as they had slipped slightly during the fall, he tried to look for the origin of the shout. When he found it, his eyes widened at what he saw.
Raditz had already managed to catch Bubbles. It had only been slightly more than three days since the two brothers had started the exercise of chasing Bubbles, and yet Raditz had already finished that first warm-up exercise.
It wasn't really that much of a surprise, however. After all, Raditz was a Saiyan who had grown up on Planet Vegeta, he was naturally used to this sort of gravity right from the start – not to mention he was pretty strong right from the beginning. He only had to get used to how his weighted clothes had grown heavier. That was less than what Goku had to get used to.
Even so, from what King Kai could see, although Goku had more things to get used to than Raditz, he wouldn't take much longer to follow his brother's example – perhaps another day or two at the most.
I knew they were quite the extraordinary type. King Kai thought. But let's just see how they can make it through the other things I have in store for them – once they both get to that stage, of course.
________________________________________
As he saw King Kai walking up to his brother, Goku forced himself to stand straighter and go to them, each of his steps still a little bit heavier and slower than it should be, although Goku by now could feel himself almost used to the gravity, and definitely more used to the weighted clothes than he had been before. Still, Goku knew he was behind his brother, and that was something he wasn't very used to feel. Not that Goku was sore at the fact – quite by the contrast, having someone at a higher level gave him even more of a motivation to train than the one he already had from the beginning – but Goku couldn't deny that he wasn't used to experience that. For the first time in years, Goku had been beaten at something.
Raditz had managed to catch Bubbles in only a little more than three days – or at least, it felt like that time, Goku couldn't say for sure. Three days had been the amount of time Goku had taken to climb to Korin's tower and catch the Sacred Water – which in the end was only regular water, although the training had indeed given him the extra strength he'd needed at the time. But catching Bubbles was worlds harder than catching Korin. Still, it wouldn't take him that much longer to catch Bubbles. From his estimations, it would take only another day or two.
In the meantime, King Kai had already gotten to Raditz, who was still holding Bubbles, and, Goku noticed, breathing quite heavily.
"There, I got him." Raditz said between two deep breaths. "What do I have to do next?"
"Now you have to wait for your brother to come here so I can explain the next exercise to both of you." King Kai said.
Then he turned around and started calling, "Goku, come here lad, I've got to explain you and your brother the next exercise!"
With a considerable degree of effort, Goku got up and walked to King Kai.
"Why do you want to explain the next exercise to me as well?" Goku asked. "I haven't caught Bubbles yet."
"But you'll do it soon without any doubt, and besides, it's a way for me to give the explanation just once." King Kai replied.
"Fine by me."
"By me as well." Raditz piped in. "So, what's next?"
Instead of answering, King Kai took his hand to his chin and started stroking it with his thumb and forefinger, looking as though he was deep in thought.
Goku could already see his older brother scowling and gritting his teeth. Obviously, he wasn't pleased with King Kai's attitude. Goku couldn't figure out if it was because Raditz was eager to know what the next exercise was, or because he simply didn't like people who acted like that. But at least, Raditz was restraining himself, and that was good, because if they put King Kai in a bad mood, he'd probably kick them out of the planet very soon.
"Next?" King Kai finally said. "Well… next can be… this."
Even as Goku wondered what King Kai meant exactly by what he said, King Kai started taking a really deep breath. Then, he did something unexpected. He screamed. Worse, he screamed right in Raditz's face.
Raditz covered their ears as the scream came onto them, accompanied by a gust of strong wind which parted the grass over which it flew, until it disappeared in the distance.
"Ugh." Raditz said as he took his hands away from his buzzing ears. "What was that for?"
Again, King Kai didn't answer Raditz's question. Instead, he simply turned around and looked off into the distance, as though he was waiting for something.
"What are you looking out for, King Kai?" Goku said.
"For my scream." King Kai replied.
For his scream? Goku wondered, a puzzled look on his face. How can someone just wait for his scream?
That question was soon answered when a strong gust of air – the same one caused by King Kai's scream – came from the place King Kai was looking at, accompanied by the sound. Again, the gust of air rushed past Raditz, forcing him and Bubbles to cover their ears again. This time, however, the scream didn't go again around the planet. Instead, it seemed to take off the ground, disappearing into the distance.
"It's a new skill I made up." King Kai explained. "A long distance call!"
Then, like he seemed to do so often, King Kai cracked up in laughter.
Goku gave an impressed nod at King Kai – even if it did seem pointless for the most part, being capable of making a scream travel all the way around a planet, even a tiny one like this, was quite a feat.
Raditz, however, seemed more confused than anything else.
"How can someone who looks so foolish be the ultimate martial arts master?" he asked.
"Who dares to insult King Kai?" shouted a high-pitched voice.
"Huh?" Goku said as he looked around, trying to locate the voice's owner.
"Who spoke?" Raditz demanded as he looked around.
The question was partially answered when a strange light appeared to come into the area. Goku tried to locate its origin, and noticed that a sphere of blue light appeared above King Kai, and it flew straight toward Raditz and Bubbles. Alarm obvious on his face, the monkeys jumped out of Raditz's arms right before the ball of light hit the longhaired Saiyan and sent him flying a considerable distance, landing on his back.
Although Raditz didn't appear to be particularly harmed, Goku just couldn't help but to frown in concern at the ball of light. Just what was this next exercise going to be exactly?
________________________________________
Shaking his head to overcome the slight dizziness gained from that sudden push, Raditz put his hands on the ground, and sat up. He could still see ball of light on the place where his head had been moments before. The push hadn't exactly been too strong, Raditz had been knocked away such a big distance mostly because he wasn't expecting it. Still, he didn't know how a mere ball of light could push so hard – or even what this thing was exactly. After all, it could be totally different from a ball of light.
"What is that?" Raditz voiced one of his doubts, his eyes still locked on the ball of light.
The ball of light flew backwards and circled over King Kai's head, before flying back forward, stopping about two feet away from Raditz, and turning into a green insect, about ten inches long, with green skin, and large black eyes.
"It looks like some sort of grasshopper." Kakarot remarked, noticing the bug's features.
From Kakarot's comments, Raditz assumed a grasshopper was some sort of bug that lived on Earth. Still, this should be no regular grasshopper, or it wouldn't be able to do what it just did.
"But how on the hell can a bug knock me down like that?" he asked, although he didn't really expect anyone to answer.
"Well, with you standing around like an idiot, it was easy." the insect remarked.
"An idiot!" Raditz barked, fury rushing through him. "You insolent bug, I'll get you for that!"
Even before he said that, Raditz doubted he had the power to back up his words, but he had to try either way. He got up with a jump and threw an energy blast at the bug. It wasn't as strong as what he'd be able to do if he was fully powered, but it should be enough to hit a bug. However, the bug simply flew up, moving so fast that it was a blur in Raditz's eyes, and the blast flew past him, straight into King Kai, who deflected it away, into the air.
Meanwhile, the insect again turned into a ball of light, and flew straight toward Raditz, apparently ready to deliver. Raditz raised his arms to block the blow, but still, when the bug hit him, he flew a good distance away, and gave a few uncontrolled flips backwards, before finally getting his hands on the ground and giving another flip backwards, which resulted in him landing squarely on his feet.
"Beware of your tongue, insolent." the bug said. "My name is Gregory, and I'll have you and the other one there know that I'm much stronger than a mere grasshopper!"
"Huh?" both Raditz and Kakarot made.
"I have the honour of serving the best master that ever existed in the whole Universe." Gregory proclaimed with a flourish. "Our venerated King Kai! The strongest of all. How dare you to doubt him? You're nothing more than a stupid, ignorant, and impertinent individual!"
"Watch your tongue!" Raditz shouted, lifting his right forearm and clenching his fist, a snarl staying on his face as though it had been stamped there to stay.
He was about to gather more energy to throw at the grasshopper, but on that moment King Kai stepped forward, and called, "Right, enough talk, and enough aggression. You've got another exercise to begin."
Although the snarl didn't disappear from his face, Raditz retracted the energy he'd gathered. Hopefully, the next exercise would involve giving some sort of bashing to that damned insect.
His suspicion was confirmed when King Kai said, "Raditz, in the next exercise, you'll have to deal with Gregory."
Turning toward Kakarot, the martial arts master added, "And so will you, Goku, once you catch Bubbles."
"What sort of training can one do with the grasshopper?" Raditz asked.
"Don't call me that!" Gregory snapped.
"Kakarot and I came here to train with you, not with the bug!" Raditz protested, ignoring the insect's complain.
Clearly, that had been the drop that made the glass overflow.
Gregory turned to King Kai, and started complaining as well. "Now that's too much, I can't stand such injuries! King Kai, this youngster humiliated me, and I demand retribution for his affront!"
King Kai again took his thumb and forefinger to his chin.
"Well, I can't give you the retribution… but I can get this!"
With that, King Kai lifted his left hand. A puff of smoke came, and a moment later, a dark-brown sledgehammer replaced it, and King Kai wrapped his hand around its handle. Raditz had the impression King Kai gave the slightest of grunts as he held the hammer. Apparently, even him had to made somewhat of an effort at holding that.
"What are you going to go with that hammer?" Raditz asked.
"You must be mad, that hammer is too heavy for me!" Gregory complained again.
"It isn't for you." King Kai said. "It's for him!"
With that, King Kai threw the hammer at Raditz with a barely noticeable degree of difficulty, so small that Raditz wasn't even sure he had seen it. But there was one thing he was certain about, and that was that the hammer was heavy. As soon as Raditz closed his hands around it, the sledgehammer fell down – and dragged Raditz's arms with it. The only thing he could do was spread out his legs, barely managing to stop the hammer's weight from forcing him to his knees.
"What is it, can't you lift it?" King Kai asked.
Gregory snickered as he saw Raditz's efforts at lifting the hammer. Fury boiled inside him again, and he gritted his teeth so hard that he felt like he could end up breaking them that way. His fury, however, didn't make him lose enough focus for not to realize that most likely the next exercise was about hitting the insect with this heavy hammer. Well, that suited him just fine, 'cause the grasshopper was going to pay for making fun of him like that!
Of course, that was easier said than done. The hammer was stupidly heavy.
Raditz tried to force the hammer up until his face was red all over, and veins were starting to protrude on his arms. Still, in the end of it all, Raditz only managed to lift the hammer about an inch.
"Well, Raditz, like you probably guessed by now, your next exercise is going to consist on hitting Gregory with the hammer I just gave you." King Kai explained. "And when you catch Bubbles, I'll get another hammer for you to do the same, Goku."
"Right." Raditz said, sweating profusely from his attempt at lifting the hammer. "Hitting the grasshopper with this hammer. Piece a cake."
However, even as he said that, Raditz's energy seemed to slip away, and the sledgehammer fell back down, after Raditz had lifted it only two inches off the floor. Gregory snickered again, obviously happy at seeing Raditz having so much trouble in lifting the sledgehammer.
"I really doubt someone an insignificant idiot like you can catch me." Gregory mocked.
Raditz scowled at the insect, before trying to lift the hammer again. However, this time his hands, drenched in sweat, slipped from the hammer's handle.
"Damn." he cursed. "Lifting this thing is harder than it looks."
"Is it that heavy?" Kakarot asked.
Raditz felt utter disbelief rising within him. Why was his brother asking about the obvious? Couldn't he see the effort Raditz was making only to lift the hammer?
"No, Kakarot, this hammer isn't that heavy." he mocked. "I'm just making a big show out of it." he mocked.
Then, he shouted, "Of course it's that heavy, you idiot! Why else would I have so much trouble doing it? Do you want to try to lift it yourself to check out just how heavy this is?"
Kakarot gave a step forward, which Raditz took that as an affirmative answer to his last question. However, before Kakarot could even move, King Kai disappeared from the place where he stood, and appeared in front of Kakarot, and lifted his hand as if to signal him to stop.
"No way, young man." King Kai said, putting both his hands behind his back after seeing that Kakarot had stopped. "You still haven't caught Bubbles, and until you've done so, there's no way you can start running after Gregory. Get it?"
Kakarot nodded.
"Besides, even when you do catch Bubbles, and even if Raditz manages to hit Gregory before you do so, it's not Raditz's hammer you'll be using. Each of my students is meant to use a different hammer, conceived specially for him or her."
Raditz looked at his hammer with a slight sense of awe. He had no idea how King Kai could conceive a hammer in particular for each student, but if he was as great as they said, that shouldn't be too hard for him.
Meanwhile, King Kai turned back to Raditz, and carried on, "As for you, you won't be training with me until you hit Gregory, and there's no way you'll be able to defeat your two compatriots if you don't train under me."
That sentence was all it took. As the memory of the fact he'd have to fight Vegeta and Nappa returned, Raditz wiped his hands on his trousers, hopefully getting the sweat out of them, and then again grabbed the hammer. He gave a deafening grunt, and made so much strength his arms felt like they were about to break, but this time, he managed to lift the hammer over his shoulders. His knees were shaking under the weight, but this time, he did manage to keep it reasonably steady.
"Oh, and before I forget, the same rules that were valid for catching Bubbles are valid for hitting Gregory with the hammer." King Kai added. "No using of energy under any circumstances, otherwise it will be considered an invalid win. Oh, and no punches, kicks, or tail-whackings as well. You can only run, jump, and swing the hammer."
Raditz grunted noncommittally. He'd already been expecting such a thing. And although those restrictions didn't make chasing the damned insect any more pleasant, he wouldn't back down either way. He wanted King Kai's training, so he could give Vegeta and Nappa a good thrashing.
Besides, he wanted to wipe that conceited smirk off Gregory's face.
"And it doesn't look like you'll be able to do any of those things." Gregory said.
Then, before Raditz could come up with a retort, Gregory became enveloped in blue light again, and flew straight toward Raditz, knocking him backwards.
Grunting in pain, Raditz got up as quickly as he could, but even as he'd done so – with no hammer in his hands – Gregory again came flying at him. This time, he hit Raditz's nape, and Raditz fell face down.
Raditz again got up, and again, Gregory came flying at him so fast Raditz could see no more than a blue flash. This time, however, Raditz jumped up and spread his legs apart, managing to make the insect not to hit him on the last possible moment.
He landed firmly on his feet, and reached for the hammer. But even as he held it, Gregory came flying at him again, hit his chest, and knocked him backwards. Raditz gripped the hammer as tightly as possible, but even so, he was knocked away, the hammer's handle still held in his hands.
It was more than obvious for Raditz that he was in for a hard time with this damned insect. A time that was only made harder when Gregory flew up in front of him and stuck his tongue out at him.
And he even laughs at me! Raditz thought.
That was the last drop. He was going to get this bug, and once he did so, he'd hammer him so hard that he'd run the planet through!
His strength of purpose renewed, Raditz stood up, the hammer in his hand, ready to chase the damned insect with everything he had.
________________________________________
While Raditz faced his trouble with Gregory, Goku decided that it would be better to take care of a certain pressing matter. And it had little to do with catching Bubbles. He'd go back to that as soon as he took care of that other matter. A matter King Kai had unconsciously reminded him of when he'd spoken to Raditz.
"Say, King Kai, can I talk to you about something?" Goku requested from his master.
"Of course, my lad." King Kai replied. "What's bothering you?"
For only a moment, Goku was amazed at how serious King Kai was currently looking, without making any attempt at pulling a joke.
"Well, you see, that thing you spoke about facing the Saiyans…" Goku started.
"Yes…" King Kai nodded, patiently.
Goku stammered slightly. Now that he'd had the idea of requesting such a favour from King Kai, it occurred to him that perhaps King Kai wouldn't know what Dragon Balls were, or anything of the kind. And if he didn't, then perhaps he'd find Goku was somewhat mad by speaking about the existence of such things. And perhaps he'd decide it was better not to train a mad student.
For a moment, Goku reflected that in normal occasions he wouldn't be so thoughtful about the matter. He'd speak straight to King Kai already assuming he knew what Dragon Balls were, and all that. But too much was at stake here. Not only the training he and Raditz would get, but both of their resurrections. He couldn't really take any risks.
Well, perhaps it was better to ask if King Kai knew about the Dragon Balls before contemplating that problem.
"You… well… do you know anything about the Dragon Balls that exist on Earth?"
"Yes, I do." King Kai asked. "And I also know that you – and your brother as well – are going to be resurrected by the dragon that can be summoned when the seven of them are together."
Goku let out a sigh of relief.
"In that case, you know the essential. But there are two problems with that. One of them is that I need to tell my friends that Raditz is also to be resurrected, and perhaps it'd be better to do it in advance, just for them to let that sink in."
King Kai nodded. "And which is the other one?"
"The other one is that the only way I can think of to do that is go back to the beginning of Snake Way and tell one of King Yemma's workers to tell Fortuneteller Baba to pass that information on to Master Roshi. That would take too much time out of my training."
Then, a sudden fear that he'd given King Kai the impression that he cared more about training than about giving Raditz the second chance at life he deserved, Goku quickly added, "Of course, I'd still do it if there was no other choice, but I'd prefer if it wasn't like that."
Again, Goku amazed himself at what he was doing. While Raditz had started to be a better brother when they were dead, it was still going to a great length to make sure Raditz would be resurrected over having more time to get stronger and guaranteeing the Earth's safety. After all, it was two aliens much stronger than Raditz they were talking about, and every moment they could spend here counted. Goku was already losing some time by talking with King Kai, he'd lose too much if he just went back to King Yemma's place.
Like he'd already said, he'd do it if there was no other way, but he'd prefer it if there was another choice.
"Of course, my boy." King Kai nodded. "But don't worry, you won't have to go that far. You can pass on that piece of information right here."
Goku raised an eyebrow. "How?"
King Kai merely turned his back on him. Then, he answered Goku's question.
"Put your hand on my back and speak. Master Roshi will listen to you."
Wasting no more time, Goku placed his hand on King Kai's back, ready to deliver the news to one of the best martial arts masters he'd ever had.
________________________________________
In a totally different realm – and in a small island located in the middle of clear, blue sea – Master Roshi was reading one of the magazines from the huge collection he owned. Bulma had currently gone outside sunbathing, and Turtle had gone for a swim, which meant Master Roshi could read his favourite type of magazines without being bothered – or having to share it with Oolong, who was outside drinking coconut's milk. It hadn't taken long to discover that the swine shared Master Roshi's taste for that kind of magazines. However, the pig was also incredibly careless when reading them, and lending one to Oolong was equivalent to throwing it away, as Master Roshi had found out years ago, the first time he'd lent Oolong one of his magazines. Fortunately, that one had been of a recent number, and Master Roshi found little problem to replace it. Still, since that day, he'd never let Oolong borrow any of his magazines, and it would take him a long time to do so again. He'd spent 135 years gathering magazines for that collection, after all. And hopefully, he'd keep gathering them for much more years.
However, this time, like it had been so frequent ever since Goku had died, Master Roshi couldn't focus on the magazine he was reading. Instead, he was far more concerned about another danger – a danger that was meant to come about nine months from now. The two Saiyans.
A shudder came over the old Turtle Hermit as he recalled the sheer power that he'd felt emanating from Raditz. Worse than its huge amount, was the evil that he'd felt coming from the tall, muscular Saiyan.
Ever since his youth, the terror of King Piccolo's first rampage was something that haunted Master Roshi's nights when he closed his eyes. Although it became less frequent with time, it never went away completely.
But, after seeing and feeling both the strength and the evil that came from Goku's so-called older brother, he'd come to the conclusion that both King Piccolo and his son – who had taken Goku's son to train, the old master recalled – were little more than weak, gentle puppies.
And although Raditz was dead, Master Roshi had only become more worried when he'd listened to the news that it would only take a year before two warriors, far stronger than Raditz, and bent on conquering the planet, would come.
First the Red Ribbon Army, then the return of King Piccolo, and now this! Master Roshi thought, swatting his magazine up in hopelessness. Just what is this world coming to?
Well, unless all of Earth's fighters were training like mad, this world would certainly come to its end.
No. That's not true. Master Roshi thought. Yamcha, Tien, Krillin, Chiaotzu, they're all training under Kami, and they can't have any better master than that. They'll manage to stop this world from ending.
Yes, they would. But it would certainly take Goku's help for that to happen - as always.
Lately, everything seemed to come down to Goku. He'd been the one destroying the Red Ribbon Army. He'd been the one killing King Piccolo. And he'd also been the one defeating Piccolo Jr. Somehow, the boy had a knack to get ever more ahead of all of them. Now that Master Roshi had found out the kid was an alien, he couldn't help but to wonder if both facts were somehow related, if Goku was so strong only because he was a Saiyan.
Well, Saiyan or not, hopefully afterlife training would make Goku strong enough enough to defeat those two Saiyans that would come.
"Master Roshi!" a voice suddenly called. "Master Roshi, can you hear me?"
Taken by surprise, Master Roshi lifted his head and looked around. Where had that voice come from? Or more importantly, who had spoken? That voice sounded exactly like… but there was no way it could be him!
Age must be getting to me, I guess. Master Roshi thought. Then again, when one is 331 years old, that's not so much of a surprise.
"Master Roshi!" the voice insisted. "It's me, Goku! Can you hear me?"
"Goku?" Master Roshi called. "But where are you?"
"I'm currently with King Kai, in the afterlife. I'm speaking to you with his help."
"Oh, right." Master Roshi nodded, although he wasn't sure if Goku could see him. "But why are you talking to me? Is there any problem?"
As soon as he asked that, Master Roshi felt slightly foolish for asking such a thing. Goku was already dead, there should be nothing worse happening to him there. Besides, even if there was, it was unlikely Roshi would be able to do anything from where he was. Still, he couldn't help to have asked that question. But this time, Goku took a long time to answer. And when he finally did so, Master Roshi could distinctively hear the hesitation in his voice.
"Well… not exactly. There isn't really any problem. But there's something I need to ask you."
"What is it?"
Again, Goku took a long time to speak, as if he was thinking about what to say – or how to say it. This immediately concerned Roshi. Goku usually didn't take a long time to choose his words, unless the matter was really serious. More than that, Roshi had never recalled Goku taking this long to choose his words. Which meant that whatever Goku wanted to talk about was beyond really serious.
But just what can it be exactly? he wondered.
Finally, Goku made himself heard again.
"Well, Master, did you get the Dragon Balls?"
"Of course I did. It was fairly easy, and they're ready to be used to resurrect you. But why do you ask?"
Yet another time, Goku took an agonizingly long time to answer. However, the reason behind it seemed different this time. Although they were in two different realms, something in the very air seemed to make Roshi aware of the tension emanating from Goku.
And, as if his previous concern wasn't enough, Roshi found it rising to new levels. Just what was Goku going to ask of him exactly?
"Because…" Goku finally said. "because…"
The way how Goku spoke was enough for Roshi to realize that he'd been correct about Goku being nervous – and enough for the old master to find his own nervousness rising even more in response.
"Because there's someone else I want you to resurrect alongside me." Goku spoke, so fast Roshi barely distinguished his words.
Roshi let out a sigh of relief, the unease inside him gone with the speed of a balloon being burst. It was true Goku was asking for something quite hard, considering the limitations the Dragon Balls had, but still, just why had he stammered so much because of it?
"You want me to resurrect someone else? Well, I can try, but I can't see how. Shenron only grants one wish at a time."
"Yes, I know." Goku said. "And I also know that for him to resurrect more than one person at a time, they need to have died under the same circumstances."
Well, that one was something Roshi didn't know – although he expected it.
"I get what you mean. But who else might have died under the same circumstances than you for you to want to resurrect?"
Again, it came one of those agonizingly long pauses in Goku's speech. It looked like this answer was taking a long time to come.
Well, if it was that way, perhaps Roshi should just try to figure it out for himself. Just who had died in the same way that Goku?
Roshi let his mind travel back to that day when he'd received the news that the whole planet was potentially doomed. He, Bulma, and Krillin had gone on an airplane to the place where Goku and Piccolo had fought Raditz, to see how the association between Goku and Piccolo would work out, and perhaps even lend a helping hand. But when they had arrived to the battle site, it had merely been to fin out that Piccolo was the only one standing. Goku had been on the ground, nearly dead, run through by Piccolo's attack after his sacrifice.
And not very far, with a similar gaping hope in his middle after being run through by the same attack, laid the already dead body of…
"ARE YOU NUTS, GOKU?" Master Roshi shouted once he realized who Goku intended to resurrect alongside him. "HOW CAN YOU EVEN CONSIDER WANTING TO RESURRECT HIM? DID YOUR DEATH SOMEHOW AFFECT YOUR BRAIN?"
Although he couldn't see him, Roshi could almost feel Goku's wince.
"I kind of knew you would say that." Goku replied. "But listen to me, master, I met Raditz up here…"
"You met Raditz up there?" Roshi asked, so surprised he forgot to shout. "But I thought he'd be going to Hell…"
"And he did." Goku replied. "But he… oh, well, that's too long of a story to tell now, I have to keep training. I only ask you this: when the time comes, please resurrect Raditz alongside me. He's changed, I know it."
Roshi was about to ask if Goku was kidding him, but the seriousness he heard in Goku's voice stopped him. It was more than obvious for him that Goku was being dead serious about this matter. The old master didn't exactly know what had gone on between Raditz and Goku in the world of the dead, but whatever it was, it had surely been very meaningful. Besides, Goku wouldn't joke about something like this. Even if he'd been goofy at times during his youth, he didn't play with such serious matters.
Still, Roshi didn't like the idea of bringing such an assassin to life. For everything he knew, Raditz could just be pretending in front of Goku, only to turn against them once he came to life.
But Roshi couldn't help to recall the other thing he'd heard in Goku's voice when he'd asked him to resurrect Raditz. It had gone beyond a request, it was almost as if he was begging Roshi to do it.
"That is really important for you, isn't it, Goku?"
Roshi heard Goku taking a deep breath, before he finally answered, "Yes."
That short word was enough for Roshi to make his decision.
"Alright, Goku. I'll ask Shenron to resurrect your brother alongside you when the time comes."
"Thank you, Master Roshi."
Then, some of the seriousness in Goku's voice draining away, he said. "Now I have to go. See ya again soon."
Roshi nodded, having the impression the house had suddenly gone emptier.
His mind, however, was full of questions. What had gone between Goku and Raditz exactly? How could Goku be so sure that his older brother had changed enough to deserve the trust Goku was depositing in him? It was impossible to know.
The only thing he knew was that, although Goku's judgement wasn't too sound at times, it was still sound enough for him not to take chances at a time like this. And it was equally true that this wouldn't be the first time being around Goku changed someone for better. Yamcha, Tien, even Krillin, all of them had changed for the better, and Goku had been somewhere along the way on those changes. But Raditz… Raditz was a murderer so merciless that Piccolo looked kind-hearted when compared to him! He wanted to exterminate every Earthling! How could someone just change so much, even considering Goku was involved in the process?
Well, it did little good to him to wonder such things. The only thing he had left to do now was to keep the promise he'd made to Goku.
Roshi snapped out of his thoughts when he heard an argument outside his house. It looked like Bulma and Oolong were the ones involved in it.
"You go in Oolong." Bulma shouted. "The old man looks like he's gone senile, to scream like that. We'd better see what he's up to."
"We?" Oolong returned in the same volume. "From the sound of things you say more as if it's me! And why me, anyway? Why don't you go instead?"
"Because I'm a woman! You're the male around here! Besides, a brave man would automatically volunteer to do it!"
"BUT I'M A PIG!"
Not really in the mood to hear any more screaming, from those two or from anyone else, Roshi shouted, "Will you two just stop that crazy screaming?"
For a moment, nothing more than silence followed Roshi's question. Then, the door opened, and both Oolong and Bulma were standing at the entrance, looking both concerned and slightly angry. But Roshi paid it little mind. Truth being told, he was so upset himself that he didn't even mind how Bulma looked breathtaking in her brand new yellow bikini.
"Are you alright?" Bulma asked, sounding quite concerned.
Taken aback by the question, Roshi took some time to answer. He knew he could just tell them the truth, but something stopped him from doing so.
"Of course I am!" he finally said. "Why wouldn't I be?"
"Because you were talking all sorts of gibberish, old man!" Oolong explained. "You were shouting at someone, and you looked far from happy."
Oolong paused, before adding, "In fact, to be fully honest about it, you sounded lunatic. From what Bulma and I heard, it looked as if you were talking to Goku!"
"What's gotten into you?" Bulma added. "Has old age caught up at last?"
Again, Roshi didn't reply for some time. In spite of his nervousness, he hadn't totally lost sense of reality. He knew that, for outside people, it was very likely that he'd look mad to anyone outside, talking alone and shouting like that. But Roshi found it better not to tell the truth. If he told them the truth, they would certainly get a real scare out of this, and there was enough fear around with the idea that two Saiyans would come. It wasn't really necessary to have them scared with the idea of a third one coming back to life – excluding Goku, of course.
Then again, he also didn't want to make it seem like he was going senile from old age.
Finally, an idea for something to say came to his mind.
"You two must have gotten too much sun. Come back in where it's fresh, 'cause the heat's clearly starting to affect your minds."
Without giving any of them a chance to answer, Roshi grasped his magazine tighter and headed for the bathroom, closing the door behind him. It hadn't even been five minutes, and he already regretted having made such a promise to Goku. He knew he should carry it out now that he'd made it, but he was struggling a lot with the idea of doing it. Raditz had been a heartless murderer, and Roshi was sure it was impossible for someone to change so much in such a short period of time. At least, he wasn't seeing any way for that to be possible.
But Goku had seemed really honest on what he said – and although Roshi remembered Piccolo telling how Raditz had gotten Goku to let go of his tail during the battle, Roshi knew Goku wouldn't be naïve enough to let himself be fooled like that a second time.
Still, it was a huge risk they were going to take. Their chances looked already grim enough with having to face two Saiyans only. If Goku turned out to be wrong, and Raditz turned against them, they'd be in too much trouble for them to handle.
But what if Goku was right? If Raditz had indeed change, they'd have two Saiyans against two Saiyans – that would greatly improve their odds. Perhaps the best thing to do was just to have faith about Goku's judgement about that particular matter.
No. That wasn't exactly true. The best thing to do was talking to Kami about that particular matter. After all, Piccolo's other half was the Guardian of Earth, he had to be warned of yet another potential threat that would come.
The only problem was that Roshi was hardly cheerful about delivering such news to the Earth's guardian. He was quite nervous about it, to be honest. And Roshi could already tell that, no matter how kind Kami was, Roshi was going to take some time to gather enough courage to speak to him about that.

Chapter 7 – Important decisions
Two days after Goku had dropped that shocking request on him, Master Roshi was spinning through the sky, sitting on his Baby Gamera. He hated flying on this thing, as he always got dizzy both when and some time after flying on it, which meant it was only his last resort. Nevertheless, now that Bulma and Oolong had gone back to West City for some time, it was the last mean of transportation he had. And while he normally preferred to stay on his peaceful island, this time he really had to leave it – hopefully to get to a final decision on the matter Goku had told him about.
He'd been thinking about the fact that Goku wanted Raditz to be brought back to life as well for the last two days. In fact, the issue had taken such a big portion of his thoughts that this flight on the Baby Gamera's back made him far less dizzy than usual. But the Turtle Hermit hadn't yet managed to come to a decision about the matter. Of course, he still had a lot of time to think about it, but that wasn't the real problem. After two days, he'd become unable of keeping that issue to himself - he had to talk about it with someone before he went mad.
And he already knew who he had to talk to. Hopefully, that one would help him to take a decision on the matter of doing as Goku had asked.
Truth to be told, Roshi was very tempted to simply ignore Goku and let Raditz stay dead for the rest of eternity, but the way how Goku had asked him to do that didn't allow him to take that decision tranquilly. But he was also far from tranquil at the thought of bringing the monster that Raditz was back to life. Sure… it was possible being with Goku had somehow changed Raditz, and Goku wouldn't be fool enough to make such a request if there wasn't a big enough possibility that he was right.
Still, it was just a really big chance to take, and the results would be disastrous if they didn't turn out to be right. All in all, it was better to talk to someone about it before taking a final decision.
But first, he'd have to get to the place where that someone was. Which hopefully, would happen soon, because, even with Master Roshi being as deep in thought as he was, he was feeling queasy enough to want the ride on Baby Gamera to end as soon as possible.
________________________________________
Not very far from there, on a tower higher than any other existing on Earth, Korin, a white cat over eight hundred years old, stood on the guardrail of his tower, gripping his staff in his paw, and his eyes taking in the landscape several kilometers below. The eyes of an ordinary cat couldn't distinguish a lot from such a large height, but Korin was far from an ordinary cat. He'd watched many things during his long existence, and hopefully, he would get to watch a lot more – if the Earth wasn't destroyed when those two Saiyans arrived.
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Goku

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PowerLevel : 98,240,100
Ki : 98,240,100
Transformations : (False Super Saiyan)~(Super Saiyan)~(Lengendary Super Saiyan)~(True Legendary Sayain)~~
Tehniques : ~~(Kamehameha)~~(Warp Kamehameha)~~(Spirit Bomb)~~(Instant Transmission)~~(Solar Flare)~~(After Image)~~(Kiao Ken)~~(Energy Bomb)~~(Super Slither Slasher Basher)~~(Super Mega Death Ball)~~
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Zeni : 19,065,102
Items : (Z-Sword)~(Kings Armor)~(Weighted Armor)~(Ultimatre Sensu Beanx5)~
Posts : 109
Join date : 2010-08-27

PostSubject: Re: Blood Broters (Complete)   Fri Sep 24, 2010 7:33 am

Korin shivered as the memory of when he'd watched – and felt – Goku and Piccolo fighting against Raditz flashed across his mind. While Raditz wasn't the most powerful creature Korin had ever seen in his existence, he was without a doubt powerful enough to annihilate all of Earth's population. And apparently, both of his comrades were even stronger than him. Any chance at beating those two was slim. And the time they had to get ready for that was slipping away fast.
It was true everyone was doing their best. Krillin, Yamcha, Tien, Chiaotzu, and even that fat tub of lard, Yajirobe, were currently training with Kami, and based on the checks Korin made of their powers using his energy-sensing skills, they were growing strong quite fast – although, from what Korin could sense, Yajirobe wasn't exactly training as hard as the others. Still, Korin wasn't sure of whether they'd be ready to face the Saiyans. It pretty much depended on how hard they trained – and of how much stronger the other two Saiyans were compared to Raditz.
Korin was brought out of his musings when he suddenly felt an energy approaching his tower. Approaching being a relative term, of course, as it currently was still quite far, relatively speaking. If Korin hadn't been so deep in thought, he'd have sensed it long before – in fact, if he focused enough, he could have felt that energy if it was anywhere on the planet – but he'd been too distracted with thinking to have felt it before now.
For the most part, Korin wasn't all that concerned, because he knew this energy. It was Master Roshi's. But the Turtle Hermit didn't leave his island all that often. And for him to come to this place, he certainly had to use Baby Gamera, and Korin knew that Roshi didn't like that mean of transportation. That allowed Korin to take one conclusion: if Roshi was going through the work of coming up to this place, it certainly wasn't to drink milk and eat cookies with Korin.
But what exactly was he doing here?
Right when Korin made that question in his mind, he saw a speck floating at the sky, and it was quickly growing in size.
It was Roshi. And, just like Korin had guessed, he was riding Baby Gamera. Again, the white cat couldn't help but to wonder what could have forced the old master to ride that thing, mainly for such a long distance like the one between his island and Korin's tower.
The Baby Gamera came closer at high speed, entering through the tower's window, came onto the floor, and it finally stopped spinning. Master Roshi, however, kept spinning for a while longer, before stopping, bent over, with his hands on his knees, looking as though he was about to throw up. Not really looking forward to have the floor of his tower dirty, mainly with that sort of substance, Korin flew over to the Turtle Hermit and started leading him to the guardrail, so that he'd empty his stomach out of the tower. But before he finished doing so, Korin remembered that were people living at the basis of the tower, and it wouldn't be a good idea if the half digested remains of Roshi's last meal rained down on them. All in all, it was better if Roshi vomited on the tower's floor.
Fortunately, after taking three deep breaths, Roshi straightened himself up, and although he put his hand over his stomach for a moment, he didn't seem like he was about to vomit. Instead, he just straightened his sunglasses, and then looked straight at Korin.
"Greetings, Master Korin." Roshi said in the usual respectful tone he adopted whenever he addressed the white cat.
"It's good to see you." Korin replied. "Even considering that you're likely to be here because there is something troubling you, and you need some advice on how to deal with your problem – whatever it is."
Roshi gave a brief nod at Korin, which the white cat said it meant he understood. After all, the two of them had gotten to know each other quite well during the three years Roshi had spent here trying to catch the Sacred Water.
Trying to be as careful as he could, Korin voiced the next question, "What is your problem, if I may ask?"
Roshi didn't give an immediate answer, which was expected, considering this problem was certainly something he didn't really like to talk about.
In a way, Korin didn't really need an answer – he could just use his mind reading skills and get to know what was troubling Roshi. But first, he'd give Roshi a chance at explaining everything. He knew that other people sometimes felt uncomfortable when Korin tried to read their minds. Fortunately, his mind-reading was an ability he could switch on and off, and use to look for specific thoughts, although it had taken him quite some time to perfect that skill. That was good, because although Korin didn't leave his tower very often, he still wouldn't like to automatically know what everyone was thinking. After all, some people had pretty unpleasant thoughts inside their minds.
Eventually, Roshi did give Korin the answer the white cat was expecting.
"I'm sorry, Master Korin, this isn't really the sort of thing one can easily explain."
Korin nodded. "I see."
After taking a moment to scratch his chin, he added, "In that case, I may use another method – if you'll allow me."
Roshi tensed up when Korin said that. Clearly, he didn't like the idea of having that other method used on him. But he clearly figured out it would be for the best, because he answered,
"Go ahead, Master Korin."
Now that he'd gotten Roshi's permission, Korin started making use of his mind-reading abilities, trying to discover what was troubling the old man. It probably wouldn't be that hard – with Roshi looking as troubled as he did, it was certain that thought was occupying most of his mind.
And indeed, Korin had no trouble finding the thought that was troubling the Turtle Hermit so much. But immediately after he realized the reason behind Roshi's distress, Korin almost found it would've been better if he had remained in ignorance.
"It can't be…" Korin whispered, as if denying what he had seen would somehow make it a lie. "It just can't be…"
And it couldn't. After all, how could Goku want to resurrect a creature more dangerous to this planet than any other they'd seen, and almost as dangerous as the two who would come to Earth far too soon? Granted, Raditz was Goku's brother, but he'd been a monster as well. Korin was totally confident when he said that there hadn't been a single moment in life when the two of them had behaved even remotely like two brothers. What sort of experiences could they have gone through in the afterlife for Goku to want to resurrect Raditz? And for that matter, how could the two of them have had some sort of experience together in the afterlife? As much as Korin knew, Goku had gone to King Kai's place, while Raditz had gone to hell. How could the two of them have gotten together?
Still, the way how Goku and Raditz could be together was a secondary doubt. The real matter was that Goku wanted Raditz to be resurrected. And that was just… well, more out of place than anything else Korin could remember at the moment.
"It can." Roshi stated with a heavy sigh. "I don't know how, but it can."
That it could, Korin also knew. After all, no one had ever been capable of telling him any lie, at least since he'd become an expert at reading minds. What Roshi was saying was the truth, for sure. And what Goku had said also was, for sure. Goku could have a playful side to him, but he'd never joke about such a serious matter. Goku wouldn't ask such a thing if he wasn't absolutely sure that Raditz had changed.
In spite of all that, Korin couldn't help but to ask himself the same thing Roshi did: could they truly afford themselves to take such a risk?
But there was another thing Korin asked himself. And although he could read Roshi's mind to find out the answer to that question, he chose to do this the polite way and ask.
"Why are you talking about this to me? No offense meant, but I'm not the best person to talk to in regards to this matter. You should go talk to Kami."
"I know that." Roshi said with a nod. "But Baby Gamera said that he couldn't fly to Kami's Lookout – it's too high for him. He could only fly here. So, I couldn't go talk to Kami directly. I guess you'll have to do it yourself."
On any other situation, Korin would have scratched his head in embarrassment. After all, it took a lot for Korin to forget about anything. But now, he was so concerned that he didn't even think of that. Like Roshi had said, Korin had to be the one delivering the message to Kami. And, like Roshi, Korin didn't look forward to relaying this sort of news, no matter how kind of an entity Kami was, or how it would be better to tell Kami the news before wishing Raditz back to life.
But Korin knew that some things, no matter how hard they were, had to be done. Telling Kami such news was one of those things. As for resurrecting Raditz – well, that much would be up to Kami to decide. It was a matter Korin didn't really want to concern himself with.
"Very well, then." Korin finally said. "Just wait for a moment longer, and I'm going to call Kami down here to tell him about the matter at hand."
Even before Roshi gave his nod of agreement, Korin was already establishing the telepathic connection with the guardian of the Earth, to call him down here, and tell him about the unexpected problem that had fallen onto them – one that could end up very badly for them when the other two Saiyans came back on Earth.
________________________________________
Much higher than Korin's tower, in a building with the shape of the lower half of a sphere, Kami stood with one of his hands gripping his staff and the other one behind his back, watching all the fighters he had invited putting all they had into their training. All of them were progressing at an unexpectedly fast rate, much faster than even Goku himself had when Kami had trained him. If they all kept training like this until the year ended, they'd most likely be quite stronger than Raditz. But whether they'd be strong enough to defeat the other two Saiyans was another question. It all depended on how stronger than Raditz those two were.
If the three Saiyans had arrived three hundred and fifty years ago, Kami would have no problem defeating all three of them himself with one hand behind his back. Before he and the original King Piccolo had separated, Kami had been incommensurably stronger than he was now. But for him to become Kami, he'd had to get rid of the evil inside him – and unfortunately, most of his strength had gone away with it, and it hadn't gone to King Piccolo. Instead, it appeared that most of the strength of Kami before he had divided had just disappeared. Kami didn't know why, but dividing himself in two had somehow made both halves of the original being extremely weak compared to the power of the still united entity. And it was really extreme, to the point where even Kami, who was the stronger of the two divided halves, probably didn't even have a hundredth of the power of the original being.
Still, that extremely weak power had been enough to make Kami the strongest being on Earth probably ever since his birth. But now, things had changed. Now, Kami was insignificant compared to the two enemies that would come. And that knowledge made him feel even more powerless than when King Piccolo had tormented the humans for years, and Kami had been unable to do anything about it.
However, he could do something about the Saiyans. He was currently training some of Earth's most powerful fighters – and he had made sure that Goku would get training from one of the best masters in the whole universe. Hopefully, that would be enough.
Kami was brought out of his thoughts when, all of a sudden, a voice sounded inside his head.
"Kami! Can you hear me?" the voice said.
Although Kami recognized the voice talking to him – and also understood that this had been a telepathic address - his eyes widened slightly. No one contacted him like that unless they had some urgent matter to talk about.
"It's me, Korin." the voice added, although it wasn't exactly necessary. Kami had known who was talking to him right from the first moment he heard it. But he didn't know what Korin could want to talk to him about.
"How can I help you, Korin?" Kami replied through telepathy.
Kami heard a sound inside his head that appeared to indicate the beginning of Korin's answer, but it didn't last more than a second, and no more telepathic phrases, words, or sounds came from the immortal cat. For a long time the only thing that could be heard in the area was the Earth's fighters training on the Lookout. Still, it seemed to do nothing more than to accentuate the silence that came from Korin.
For a moment, Kami wondered if Korin was being threatened in any way, and whoever was threatening him was forcing him to make that conversation, or something of the like, and Korin had followed that enemy's orders at first, but then had refused. True, that thought was out of place, but still, it wouldn't hurt to check out if anyone was down there with Korin.
Kami focused his energy sensing abilities on the direction of Korin's tower – and while Korin was alright, it was true that there was someone down there with him. However, that someone was only Roshi, the Turtle Hermit. While Kami knew some people described him as a 'dirty old man', the Turtle Hermit wasn't evil. He'd never do anything to threaten Korin.
But what was he doing there? As far as Kami knew, Roshi didn't leave his island regularly, mainly to come to Korin's tower. That meant he'd come to give Korin some news – or then, he'd come to give the news to Kami, but because he couldn't come up to Kami directly, he'd taken Korin as the intermediary, and now Korin was relaying the news to Kami.
That explained a lot of things, but it left Kami with more questions. What sort of news could that be? And how did it come that Roshi had gotten to know of that before Kami? After all, Kami was supposed to be the one more aware of the dangers this planet was in. But perhaps he'd been too focused on training Goku's friends lately to be as aware of what was going on at Earth as he normally was.
As shameful as that could be, though, it didn't eliminate the fact there was something important Kami had to know. And it apparently was such an important – or shocking - matter that even Korin was nervous about giving such news.
At first, Kami tried to wait long enough for Korin to gather his courage. But eventually, when the silence became unbearable, Kami decided to talk again himself.
"Are you alright, Korin?"
Kami didn't really know why he'd made that question – he didn't see any reason for Korin to be in danger. After all, he didn't feel any negative energy down there with Korin. Apparently, the cat was only nervous, not in danger. Still, the fact Korin was more nervous than he had ever been since Kami had known him was enough to make Kami himself nervous as well.
Fortunately, the answer to that question came almost instantly. "Yes, Kami, I'm alright, don't worry."
"Then why haven't you told me what do you want to talk to me about, Korin?"
"Because it will be better if I tell you about this face to face, instead of through telepathy. After all, it's a rather serious matter."
"I already knew that last part." Kami added, unable to repress the growing unease inside him. "I'm meeting you down there as soon as I can."
"Very well then." Korin said. "I'll be waiting."
Immediately after that, Kami felt Korin breaking the telepathic connection between the two of them. But the gloominess of the whole fact seemed to be hanging in the very air. From Korin's tone in some parts of that telepathic conversation, it appeared the news he had for him were really bad. And the last thing Kami wanted to hear these days were more bad news.
But as Guardian of Earth, what one wanted to do could be very different from what one had to do. In this case, that meant Kami had to hear the bad news Korin wanted to tell him – even considering that something bad enough to get Korin as nervous as it seemed was certain to be the kind of event that could affect the whole planet as much as the arrival of those two Saiyans.
The seriousness of the matter, however, was only another point in favor of the fact that Kami had to know those bad news.
After taking one deep breath in an attempt to steel himself, Kami turned to his assistant, Mr. Popo, who stood to his right – and was looking up at him. Without any doubt, Mr. Popo had listened into his and Korin's conversation. It was good, because in that case Kami didn't need to give explanations.
"Could you keep supervising their training while I go down there to meet Korin?" Kami requested.
"Of course, Kami." Mr. Popo replied in a solemn tone.
"Thank you, Mr. Popo." Kami said. "And also, in case they notice anything, please don't tell them where I've gone – at least for now. They need to be as focused on their training as possible, if we are to have any chance at defeating the Saiyans.
"As you wish."
Giving Mr. Popo a nod of thanks, Kami started floating up, before flying down toward Korin's tower, the thoughts of how serious could the matter Korin wanted to discuss be plaguing his mind all the way through the short flight to the white cat's residence.
________________________________________
Less than five minutes later, Kami had already gotten to the tower, and heard the news Korin and Roshi had for him. However, no matter how many times Korin and Roshi tried to tell him everything, his mind didn't seem capable of absorbing that fact – either that, or then Kami just didn't want to let the information sink in. After all, what he'd just been delivered was undoubtedly the most shocking information Kami had ever heard in all of his life – which was saying a lot.
"HE WANTS TO DO WHAT?" Kami shouted for what could have been the hundredth time, but that for Kami still felt like the first, as though those news had just been delivered to him.
"Exactly what you heard, Kami." Korin repeated yet again, revealing patience capable of making a saint envious. "Goku has asked Master Roshi to wish Raditz back to life when the Saiyans arrive. Apparently, the two of them have met in the afterlife, and somehow, Raditz changed, to the point where Goku believes it is safe to have him resurrected. In fact, Goku sounded like he really wanted Raditz to be resurrected – or so I got from what I read in Roshi's mind in regards to the conversation he had with Goku."
Kami clutched his staff harder, to the point his knuckles got white. If the staff wasn't made from an especially hard wood, it would have already shattered inside his grasp, but Kami didn't pay any attention to the fact at the moment, focused as he was on the way how things didn't make sense in this whole situation.
For starters, if King Kai had established one of his telepathic connections with Master Roshi for Goku to talk to his old master, Kami should have been able of listening in. However, focused as he had been on training Goku's friends, it was just possible that he had been too focused to pay attention to telepathy-related conversations between Earth and King Kai's planet. Still, that was the only thing that made any sense at all in this whole event. Nothing else did.
After all, Goku had gone to travel through Snake Way, and Raditz had gone to Hell. If Goku had somehow fallen on Hell, there'd be no way for him to get out of there – none that Kami knew about, at least, although it was possible that King Yemma himself could somehow make a person exchange from Heaven to Hell, and vice-versa. That, in turn, could also mean that King Yemma had a way of getting people out of Hell.
Still, there was one thing that really didn't make sense at all: how could Raditz have changed? Kami remembered the amount of hatred he'd felt emanating from Raditz when he'd watched the battle from his Lookout. That hatred was extremely unlikely to disappear with death. If anything, it was bound to increase. And while Goku had managed to make many people change their ways, none of them had been even halfway as evil as Raditz. What could they have gone through on the Other World that stirred such a big change of heart inside a person like Raditz?
Well, there's only one way to find out. Kami thought. No matter how unpleasant it is going to be for me to do it. I'll have to go to King Yemma and ask him for answers.
Kami shivered at the very thought of doing that. King Yemma was probably the quickest-tempered creature he'd ever met, and he certainly wouldn't like being interrupted while he went through his endless work of sending people either to Heaven or Hell. But Kami couldn't just stay put in a situation like this. He had to get some answers, even if it meant facing King Yemma's wrath.
Oh well… what must be done must be done. Kami thought, his shoulders dropping slightly in resignation.
"What do we do then, Kami?" Roshi asked all of a sudden.
Kami's head snapped up when he heard the Martial Arts master speaking. He'd been so deep in thought that he'd forgotten about Roshi and Korin.
"About what?" Kami asked.
"Well… about Raditz, and all that." Roshi said. "Do we resurrect him like Goku asked to, or do we let him stay dead?"
The answer Kami wanted to give the most was for them to merely let Goku's brother stay dead and go along with it. He already had enough concerns without needing to add that one to his plate. And after all, even if Goku got bored at them for that, he'd push that aside until the two Saiyans were dead for sure, and after that, even if he was still mad at them, he'd live that down – eventually. Besides, Goku would surely understand why they'd think that resurrecting Raditz was just too dangerous, even if he got somewhat disappointed for his friends not trusting him.
But one thought stopped him from saying that. Regardless of how unlikely it was that Raditz had changed, it wasn't impossible – or so Kami figured. If Raditz had really changed, and was willing to fight against his comrades, then the Earth stood a much greater chance at survival. However, if Raditz would use King Kai's training to help his comrades destroying Earth… the mere thought was enough for Kami to quake in pure terror.
Still, he had to check things over with King Yemma, and his decision would be based on what would happen while he went there.
But before that, he had to answer Roshi's question.
"For now, just wait." Kami said. "I need to have a word with someone before coming to a final decision on this matter."
Then, before either Roshi or Korin could ask anything else, Kami just teleported away, hoping that somehow, the visit to King Yemma would help him get to the final decision on this matter – whatever that would be.
________________________________________
"Where did he go?" Roshi asked, amazed at the way how Kami had disappeared all of a sudden.
"To talk with King Yemma, most likely." Korin explained to him. "King Yemma would be the best person to talk to in regards to making the decision we have to make."
Roshi raised an eyebrow, although he wasn't sure of whether Korin could see that through his sunglasses. "And just who's King Yemma."
"The deity who judges every person who dies, deciding whether he or she is sent to Heaven or Hell." Korin replied.
"I see…" Roshi nodded, folding his arms.
And he hadn't said it just for not to be quiet. He did see that particular point. He only didn't really see why King Yemma would be the best person to talk to in that regard. Or, for that matter, why Kami would need to talk to King Yemma – or anyone else – at all. To be true, Roshi had a huge trouble visualizing the concept of an authority even higher than Kami.
But debating such points inside his mind was the epitome of pointlessness. It wouldn't do any good for him to get concerned with those particular matters – not when they could have another murderous Saiyan on the loose all too soon for everyone's tastes.
Then again, nothing did any good at the moment, other than to wait for Kami to come back with the solution for the issue they were currently facing. Hopefully, that wouldn't take very long, though, because, if anything, Roshi was only growing ever more nervous with the whole situation. And to make it all worse, he'd forgotten to bring one of his magazines to entertain himself with while he waited for Kami to return.
As Roshi turned back to the railing, trying to pass time by watching the landscape below, only one thought that got through all of his concerns with the issue of resurrecting Goku's brother: the thought that this was likely to be a hell of a long wait.
________________________________________
The first thing that came to Kami's mind when his teleportation ended was that he'd better check out King Yemma's mood before trying any sort of conversation with the massive red ogre. Then, he could start trying to get answers to the questions that tormented his mind, although the way how he'd do so depended greatly on what King Yemma's reaction would be. Although it was highly unlikely that King Yemma was in what most people would call 'a good mood', if he was only slightly grumpy things would almost certainly go smoothly, at least by Yemma's standards.
But even before Kami could turn his head up to try to figure out King Yemma's mood, King Yemma himself boomed, "You're going to Hell."
Kami's heart jumped up in his chest when he heard that. Not because he feared that would be directed to him (after all, he was still alive), nor because of what King Yemma had said, but because of the way how he'd said it. It was obvious that King Yemma was in a quite bad mood, even by his rather bad-tempered standards.
A scream of pure terror came from Kami's left, as whoever King Yemma had just trialed fell down to the eternal punishment he'd receive because of his behavior in life – just like all those that came to Hell.
Not all of them. Kami thought. Raditz shouldn't have gotten out of there – and yet he did. The big question was whether that happened with King Yemma's knowledge, or not.
And what a question it was. Even unanswered, it already made a whole set of assumptions that had been on Kami's mind for centuries, and had placed a dilemma worse than anything Kami had ever gone through – one where a wrong decision could cause a disaster. However, Kami's decision would be heavily influenced by King Yemma's answer, and if Yemma's answer was the one Kami wanted to hear, then none of the two possible decisions would cause a disaster.
Before getting the answer, though, he had to make the question. But, with King Yemma being in a mood far worse than Kami had ever seen him on for the last decades, Kami didn't really look forward to addressing him. At the same time, even if the worst of bad moods he'd ever been into, King Yemma wouldn't do anything other than to roar in rage. While that was scary, it did no irreparable damage, and in fact, it would be a reasonable price to pay for the information Kami wanted.
As he took a deep breath in an attempt to summon up the courage to make that question, Kami looked up at King Yemma, who was wiping the sweat off his forehead with a handkerchief the size of an elephant.
"Alright then." he said through his unusually deep breathing. "Nex…"
Before King Yemma finished that sentence, though, his eyes turned toward Kami, standing close to his huge table. For the briefest of moments, his eyes widened in surprise. The lasted only a moment, but when King Yemma spoke again, his bad mood appeared to have been forgotten – or at least, temporarily pushed aside.
"What are you doing here, Kami?"
For once, King Yemma's voice was devoid of its usual gruffness. The only emotion that appeared to be on it was a slight surprise. At any other moment, Kami would be awed at the fact, but right now, he was so relieved at seeing King Yemma in a good mood that he didn't find it in himself to get surprised. Instead, he got courage out of some place, and started his conversation, hoping to deliver the matter while King Yemma was still in a fairly good mood.
"There's an important matter I need to discuss with you, King Yemma." Kami said.
King Yemma's eyes narrowed when Kami spoke. The Guardian of Earth flinched at the giant ogre's stare, even angrier than it usually was when he was interrupted on his work. It was obvious that Kami had come at a bad time, but really, no time was good enough to talk about the matter that had caused Kami to come here.
"I'm sorry for interrupting your work, but I really need to talk to you now." Kami added, not really expecting to ease King Yemma's mood, but trying to make him more willing to listen.
King Yemma let out one of the deepest sighs Kami had ever heard from him, before he said, in his usual gruff voice.
"Alright then, Kami. But make it quick, because I'm really busy at the moment."
"I'll make it quick." Kami stated, his tone much calmer than it should be, considering what he wanted to talk about.
After letting out a deep sigh himself, Kami said, "Well, do you remember Goku, the young man I brought here to travel through the Snake Way to go to King Kai's place?"
King Yemma grumbled. Kami couldn't realize if King Yemma remembered it or not, but he didn't seem to think that this was a matter that justified interrupting his work.
"Yes, I remember." King Yemma said. "What's wrong with him?"
"Nothing." Kami answered. "Nothing that I know of, at least. He got to King Kai's planet, and as far as I know, he didn't have any problem – or if he had, he got through it."
Again, King Yemma's eyes briefly widened in amazement.
"That kid got to King Kai's place?" King Yemma let out in a voice far lower than usual. "Well, that's a surprise, indeed. I never thought he'd make it, mainly this soon after he left here."
Then, any surprise that had been on King Yemma's features disappeared, and the angry look returned.
"Still, that doesn't really justify you interrupting me, Kami." he pointed out. "Unless you have something important to tell me, get away, I'm really busy."
"I know, King Yemma, I know." Kami said, hoping to calm him down – although, truth being told, he hardly had a remote idea of what was to have King Yemma's amount of work. "Goku isn't the issue. It's his brother, Raditz."
"What about Raditz?" King Yemma asked, his voice still sounding somewhat surprised, instead of gruff.
For a moment, Kami thought he heard that King Yemma, besides surprised, sounded slightly concerned. But the thought was so brief that as soon as it came Kami decided that it had been some illusion. After all, King Yemma had sent Raditz to Hell, he had no reason to be concerned about Goku's brother. The one who had reasons to be concerned was Kami, and it wasn't about Goku's brother. It was about King Yemma's reaction of someone escaping from Hell.
After all, it would be the first time that such a thing happened – or at least, the first time Kami knew of such a thing happening. It was true King Yemma was much more ancient than Kami, but Kami knew that there had been no one escaping Hell while Kami had been around, or while the previous Kami had been around, or even while the Kami before the previous one had been around. Before that, Kami didn't know, but he knew enough to be sure that escapes from Hell, whether noticed by King Yemma or not, were few and far between. Apparently, this had been one of the unnoticed ones – something that not only added to Kami's distress in regards to breaking the news to King Yemma, but appeared to stop him from gathering enough courage to reveal the fact to King Yemma.
But apparently, King Yemma wasn't in the mood to wait for Kami to gather courage, because he insisted, "Kami, will you just tell me what's wrong with Goku's brother? I don't have the whole day to be waiting for you to speak!"
Then, apparently not willing to wait for Kami's answer, King Yemma added, "Did he fail to get to King Kai's place, by any chance?"
"Huh?" Kami let out, whatever nervousness he was feeling suddenly replaced by confusion. "Why would you expect him to get to King Kai's place, King Yemma? After all, you sent him to Hell."
Then, unable to repress himself from voicing an afterthought, Kami added, "Don't you remember?"
At that question, King Yemma pressed his lips together, and Kami felt capable of swearing he was about to see smoke coming out of the gigantic ogre's nostrils. In spite of the difference of size between him and King Yemma being already enormous, Kami suddenly felt himself shrinking, in front of King Yemma's fury.
King Yemma then lifted his fist, and slammed it on his enormous table so hard that it shook for at least ten seconds.
"Who do you think I am?" he shouted. "Of course I didn't forget I sent Raditz to Hell! I remember where I sent everyone that has ever come across me since I started this job! I'll have you know, Kami, that I won't tolerate such insults to my professionalism from anyone, and mainly not from you! If you ever say something of the like again, you'll get a one-way ticket to Hell when you die!"
For several moments, Kami just stood there, shaking as though the vibrations coming from the table had passed onto him. It was more than obvious for Kami that he'd just insulted King Yemma in the worst possible way. And although Kami was certain King Yemma wouldn't follow through in the threat of sending him to Hell, his display was easily the scariest thing Kami had ever seen – second only to the idea of the two Saiyans coming on Earth.
Still, King Yemma's words had stirred such a big question in Kami's brain that he managed to swallow his shaking and ask, "But if you remember you sent Raditz to Hell, why were you expecting him to have gotten to King Kai's place?"
King Yemma raised an eyebrow, clearly confused as to why Kami had asked such a thing. It seemed very weird, it was almost as though King Yemma was expecting Kami to know that Raditz was meant to get to King Kai's place.
"Well, I'll say that I wasn't really expecting him to get there when I let him out of Hell, but…"
Whatever King Yemma was about to say was cut off, when Kami, unable to repress himself, shouted again.
"LET HIM OUT OF HELL?"
Taken by surprise, King Yemma leaned backwards. Apparently, he wasn't used to such outbursts from anyone. But Kami wasn't through yet. Before King Yemma could recover, Kami carried on, in a voice that was still loud, but still lower in volume than his recent shout.
"How could you even consider doing such a thing? I don't know what Raditz's record is, but I'm sure as hell it's not a peaceful one! Even if he'd done some final act and redeemed himself in the end, he would hardly be worthy of Heaven! Why would you let him out of Hell? Just what is wrong with you?"
Kami stopped there, panting like a locomotive. He'd shouted so loud that he was out of breath. But the same questions he'd shouted kept running over and over again inside his head – and Kami was unable to make sense of any of them. To have Raditz escaping Hell was already confusing – but to have King Yemma let him out of there to join Goku was, to say the least, so out of place that Kami didn't even have a word to define it. The only thing he knew was that he, somehow, was missing a big piece of the puzzle.
Meanwhile, King Yemma started speaking again. Remembering how disrespectful he had been, Kami feared another outburst, but this time, however, his voice was even and calm, although slightly confused.
"I'm very sorry, Kami, but I'd say there's something wrong with you. You're acting as though you've just heard about Raditz having gotten out of Hell and having joined Goku on his trip to King Kai's place."
Kami again raised an eyebrow. Why would King Yemma expect him to know that Raditz had joined Goku on Snake Way? Or for that matter, why would he let Raditz join Goku on his trip to King Kai's planet?
Instead of giving him more information, King Yemma had just made things a whole lot more confusing. However, this was one of the little things he'd said that made some sense this far, so Kami replied, trying to sound as calm as possible. "No offense meant, King Yemma, but I have just gotten to know that you let Raditz get out of Hell and join Goku on his trip to King Kai's place."
Stopping for a moment, just to try to make sure that he wouldn't speak in any disrespectful tone, Kami added, "Why do you think I was meant to know it earlier? Or, for that matter, why have you let Raditz get out of Hell? And how did he manage to get out at all? I thought that if one fell there, it was impossible to get out."
King Yemma rubbed his temples. Apparently, the whole business was starting to give him quite a headache.
"Right then." King Yemma finally said. "I'm going to explain everything to you in very simple words, and then you're going to get out of here, because I'm awfully busy, and you're making me lose too much time. Get it?"
Then, as though it was some sort of afterthought, King Yemma added in a whisper, "And then I'm gonna have a word with that Fortuneteller Baba so that she gets to do what I tell her when I tell her."
For an instant, Kami wondered what Fortuneteller Baba, Master Roshi's sister, and the only other person on Earth who could travel freely between the Other World and Earth, could have to do with this, but he didn't voice that mental question. He was finally about to get some explanations. And besides, King Yemma didn't like to be interrupted in anything, so it really was better to let him speak.
Having finally stopped rubbing his temples, King Yemma started speaking.
"Answering to your first question, I thought you knew about Raditz going with Goku to King Kai's place because I had specifically asked Fortuneteller Baba to deliver you and Roshi the message that I had allowed Raditz to get out of Hell and join Goku on his trip to King Kai's place."
Kami frowned when King Yemma answered. Although he now understood better what Fortuneteller Baba had to do with all of this, he still didn't understand what he really wanted to know: why King Yemma had let Raditz out of Hell. But it was better not to remind King Yemma of that fact, because saying anything right now would be seen as an interruption, and King Yemma hated interruptions.
"In fact, I also asked her to tell you and Roshi that it was possible Goku would eventually ask Roshi to resurrect Raditz alongside him, and that if such a thing happened, you should be ready to get the both of them to Earth after they travel back here from King Kai's planet." King Yemma added.
"Well, Goku already delivered that message to Master Roshi." Kami stated. "But Master Roshi thought Goku had gone mad, and he got so distressed because of that request that he came to me and Korin, trying to get to a decision of whether we should resurrect Raditz or not."
King Yemma's eyes narrowed. "I thought you had more faith in your friend, Kami. Even I, who haven't met him personally for long, know that he wouldn't ask you to resurrect Raditz if he didn't think it was safe. And even if Goku would do such a thing, King Kai wouldn't let him make such a request if he didn't think it was safe."
Then, as if a thought had suddenly struck his mind, King Yemma added, "Besides, didn't Goku end up, in one way or another, changing several people for the best?"
Kami knew he should say something in response, but the only thing he could do after hearing King Yemma's words. It was true Goku had changed several people for the best, but none of them had been, by far, as evil as Raditz. Besides, Goku had also given Piccolo a Senzu bean, even considering he knew Piccolo could just try to get his revenge later on. It was true Goku had done that to save Kami, but above all, he'd done so because he didn't want to lose an opponent, in spite of what he risked by keeping Piccolo alive.
However, Goku had known he was able to defeat Piccolo, and he could just have done it all over again if Piccolo decided to attack. And while he appeared to be slightly goofy and ignorant at times, he was no fool. He couldn't consider bringing Raditz back to life if he wasn't at least mostly certain it would be safe.
Besides, there was one thing King Yemma was certain about: King Kai wouldn't have let Goku make that request if he didn't think it was safe. And Kami should have remembered that from the start. But he'd been so scared at the idea of bringing Raditz back to life that he'd forgotten about that.
"If I remember it right, you also asked me why I let Raditz out of Hell." King Yemma continued. "Well, I let Raditz out of Hell because, shortly after Goku started his way on Snake Way, I had another Saiyan coming to meet me."
Another Saiyan? Kami thought. But who? I thought they were all dead and in Hell. How could one come to meet King Yemma?
Kami opened his mouth to voice those questions, but right before he managed to let out a sound, King Yemma leaned forward, making one of his worst glares come onto his face, reminding Kami of how little he liked interruptions. The look on King Yemma's eyes was enough for Kami to immediately close his mouth and decide to keep the questions inside his head. Hopefully, he'd be able to ask them later. Besides, those questions weren't exactly of the important kind. They were just minor details, compared to some other important questions King Yemma had yet to answer.
After leaning against his chair's backrest again, King Yemma carried on. "That Saiyan has been dead for some time longer than either Goku or Raditz. In fact, he's also one of the few who didn't get to go to Hell. That Saiyan has talked me into giving Raditz a second chance, saying that he believed Raditz would change his ways if a few matters got to be explained to him."
Again, new questions were brought to Kami's mind, and this time, he couldn't stop himself from asking them.
"What is that supposed to mean about some Saiyan getting Raditz to change his ways only thanks to a few explanations? And how could you have believed him, or what he said?"
King Yemma's eyes narrowed as soon as Kami made those questions. And Kami immediately understood what was behind that gesture. It wasn't because of the questions in themselves, but because they were questions. They meant more explanations King Yemma had to give, and in turn, this would drag on for longer – and King Yemma's patience was clearly starting to run thin.
However, King Yemma didn't voice anything in regards to that point. Instead, he decided to answer Kami's new questions. "It means that, according to that Saiyan's words, Raditz lived most of his life under a wrong assumption, and that Saiyan appeared to believe that, if Raditz got to know the truth, he would change his ways."
Kami tried to make a question again, but, as though he had guessed what Kami wanted to say, King Yemma lifted his hand again, and said, "If you want to know details, you'll have to wait until Goku gets back to life to ask him. I'm already volunteering too much information as it is. The only thing you need to know is that my records confirm that Saiyan's words, at least about the way how Raditz lived his life. There was little in the records suggesting that Raditz would change, but it was a possibility. I didn't automatically believe that would happen, but that Saiyan appeared to believe in himself. After all, he offered to take the blame for whatever harm Raditz would cause once he got out of Hell, and to take the punishment that would otherwise come onto Raditz should he cause trouble. So, I told that Saiyan he could get Raditz out of Hell – but that he had to wait until the right time. He waited, and then he got Raditz out of Hell. Until now, Raditz didn't cause any problem, so it appears that Saiyan was right."
Again, Kami couldn't help but to wonder who that Saiyan was, and why King Yemma had refused to mention his name. Mainly the first part. Whoever that mysterious Saiyan was, he clearly cared a lot about Raditz. But Kami had no idea of how that was possible. From the little he'd gotten to know about the Saiyans – all of it through Raditz – Saiyans were heartless monsters. But it was true Raditz was only one representative from his race. Perhaps somewhere, among all the Saiyans that had existed, there were a few caring ones.
In the end, Kami decided not to interrupt King Yemma with those questions. Knowing the answer to those particular details wouldn't change anything, and it certainly wasn't worth risking facing King Yemma's wrath. He was already taking too many chances by being here.
Kami was brought out of those thoughts when King Yemma said, "Also, you asked how Raditz got out of Hell at all, didn't you?"
Kami gasped slightly when King Yemma pointed that fact out. In full honesty, he'd already forgotten about that particular point. Some of the other things King Yemma had told had caught so much of his attention that the question of how Raditz had gotten out of Hell had turned out as a minor doubt. But if King Yemma was going to explain that, Kami lost nothing in listening to it.
"Yes, I wanted to know so." Kami said.
King Yemma leaned his forearms on his large table, and then he started explaining, "Well, while it's very rare, some people know magic that can crack open a hole in the barrier between Hell and the Snake Way for a limited amount of time. That Saiyan who offered to take responsibility is one of those people. Still, he did need my permission to get Raditz out of Hell. All in terms of paperwork, though, I didn't grant him any special power to do that."
"So does that mean some people can travel freely between Heaven and Hell if they so want?" Kami asked.
King Yemma grunted for a long period. Apparently, he didn't like the fact Kami had just found a new question for him. Kami flinched, fearing an outburst, but fortunately, King Yemma merely answered, in a voice where Kami could hear the occasional hint of irritation.
"Yes, Kami, some people here in the Other World can crack a hole in that magical barrier that prevents those who are on Hell from going to the Snake Way. But those who can do so and are in Heaven rarely have a particular interest in going to Hell. As for those who are in Hell and try to escape, well, all of them are eventually noticed, sent back there, and locked up in specially designed high-security cells."
Then, as though he was trying to stop as much as a thought from coming into Kami's brain, King Yemma immediately said, in a voice that rose in volume with each word, "Now, if you don't mind, get the hell out of here, because I have a huge amount of souls to trial, and you already made me lose too much time, GET IT?"
Kami jumped up when King Yemma screamed. Apparently, the red ogre felt he'd lost far too much time for his likes with all those explanations.
Kami, however, didn't feel like he'd lost any time at all, except the one he'd spent hesitating. After all, he'd gotten everything he'd come to look for: explanations as to how Raditz had gotten to go to King Kai's place, and help in making his final decision as to what to do in regards to resurrecting Raditz. Even if Kami didn't feel more comfortable with the idea of Raditz getting back to life now than he felt before coming to King Yemma's place, he now knew it would be reasonably safe to do so. And now he also knew that they'd have an extra fighter to help defeating the two Saiyans that would come, something that would be extremely useful. Kami still wasn't sure of how good their chances were at winning, but a fight against those two Saiyans was one where any help was welcome.
And apparently, Kami was also welcome to go away, because King Yemma was drumming on the desk with his fingers, and his lip was twitching, as though another outburst would come. Not really willing to face it, Kami just thanked King Yemma for his time and help, and then teleported back to Korin's tower, to let Roshi and Korin know what he'd found out – and on what he'd decided.
Hopefully, they'd take it well.
________________________________________
Letting out an extremely deep sigh, King Yemma wiped a large amount of sweat off his forehead with his handkerchief. Dealing with Kami had left him more tired than he'd felt in a long time, although all of that tiredness was out of stress. Stress caused by knowing that there was a bunch of souls outside, waiting to know whether they got to go to Heaven or Hell, and that Kami coming in here with his doubts about resurrecting Raditz had caused a big delay on things.
Still, that delay would have been avoided if Fortuneteller Baba had just done what he'd told her to do and delivered the news to Roshi and Kami. Apparently, she'd either deliberately disobeyed King Yemma's orders, or then she had just been so nervous that she'd forgot to deliver the news.
Whichever the case, it would be better if King Yemma found out. If he didn't get that settled now, it would just be one doubt nagging at him and distracting him from his job. And King Yemma needed to have full attention permanently. Apparently, those souls would have to wait some more time to get their turn.
Reaching out to his gigantic telephone, King Yemma lifted the receiver to his ear, and started dialing Fortuneteller Baba's number.
After three rings, he heard the other line pick up.
"Hello?" said the voice on the other end. It wasn't Fortuneteller Baba's, though. Instead, it was that of her Ghost Usher.
"Hello, this is King Yemma speaking." he said. "Get me Fortuneteller Baba, I need to talk to her right now."
"Yes, sir."
A moment later, King Yemma could hear the calls of the little ghost. Apparently, Baba was alright, otherwise the ghost would have given some sort of different answer. But while that was a relief, it still didn't answer the question of why hadn't she delivered King Yemma's news.
"King Yemma, sir?" Baba's voice came through the receiver. "What is it you want to talk about?"
Not really willing to waste much more time on this matter, King Yemma immediately asked, "Why didn't you deliver the messages I asked to your brother and Kami?"
Although they were on different realms, King Yemma could almost feel Baba wincing. Whether out of surprise or nervousness, he couldn't tell.
"Why do you ask it?" Baba said.
King Yemma let out a grunt, before replying in a shout, "Because, just so you know, the fact you didn't do as I said caused me to have Kami here with a lot of questions about resurrecting Raditz and matters of the like, after Goku delivered the news to Roshi in a way that seemed totally out of the blue to them. If you'd explained that to them what I asked, such a thing wouldn't have happened, and I wouldn't have lost so much time! Do you have any idea of how many souls I have to trial today? I'm not like you; I don't have time to spend on guessing things in exchange for money and fights. Was it really so hard to do me this one small favor?"
"As a matter of fact, it was." Baba replied without the slightest amount of hesitation.
Although others could have been taken aback by such bluntness, King Yemma didn't even blink. He'd known the old witch for centuries.
Leave it to Fortuneteller Baba to be as straightforward as that. he thought. Oh well, it's not like it's really a loss. At least, straightforwardness helps in saving time.
"You remember what he did in life, don't you?" Baba carried on. "How could you expect me to tell them that they could have to bring such a monster back to life?"
King Yemma let out a deep sigh. It was true he could count on Baba to be straightforward, but apparently he could also trust her to make difficulties and raise objections – and for not to listen to what he said.
Then again, it wasn't really as if he could blame them. As far as all of Goku's friends were concerned, Raditz had been no more than a monster. It was to be expected that they wouldn't like the idea of resurrecting someone like him. Still, King Yemma thought he'd explained everything very clearly in that regard, although he apparently hadn't. So, it looked like he'd have to explain that again.
And lose even more time out of the one he should spend trialing souls.
"I thought I explained you everything very clearly." King Yemma said. "But as it looks like I haven't, I'll repeat. If King Kai allowed Goku to make that request, it's because he saw it was safe to do so. And you were meant to have explained that to your brother and to Kami."
"'Allowed'?" Fortuneteller Baba repeated. "'Were?' What is the use of the past tense supposed to mean?"
Without even flinching at the amount of attention Fortuneteller Baba paid to the details of his sentences, King Yemma explained, "It means that Goku already made Roshi that request – and Roshi didn't have any sort of forewarning in that regard. So, he went to Kami and Korin to try to get to a decision. In turn, Kami came here, and made me lose a lot of time. That wouldn't have happened if you'd done as I asked."
King Yemma again wiped some sweat off his forehead. Just remembering the mess that had been caused by the whole resurrecting was enough to make him feel tired.
"That wouldn't have happened either if you'd simply said 'No' to whatever that Saiyan asked you about giving that Raditz a second chance." Baba pointed out.
King Yemma tried to come up with some sort of comeback, but his mouth was empty. In a way, Baba was right. This wouldn't be happening if he hadn't given Raditz a second chance. And, like he'd pointed out to Kami, there was little hinting at the fact Raditz deserved that second chance. But it was true he'd lived misguided for most of his life. Besides, the one who'd vouched for Raditz clearly believed that Raditz would live (or at least, 'afterlive') up to that chance, if he ever got it. As so far, Raditz was proving himself worthy of that chance, according to the fact King Kai had allowed Goku to ask his friends to resurrect him, King Yemma didn't see it as wasted time. After all, he preferred to have people go to Heaven rather than to Hell, and although most of those who went to Hell were beyond salvation, there were the rare few who weren't. Even if it meant losing a lot of time, King Yemma was willing to give those rare few their chance at redemption.
"I did what I thought it was right." King Yemma finally said. "And you can't blame me for it."
His look hardening, King Yemma added in a much sterner voice, "I, however, can blame you for not doing as I asked. After all, it's not as if you had to tell them they had to resurrect Raditz. You just had to tell them it could be a possibility, and that Goku would later confirm it or not. And if you had done so, this mess wouldn't have happened."
"Look on the bright side." Baba said, dodging his comeback. "At least, the whole problem is solved now, isn't it?"
King Yemma pressed his lips tightly together to stop the stream of curses and insults that was about to come out. So, after her negligence – or nervousness about the fact – had caused all this trouble, she still found it in herself to say such things.
How dare she? he thought. How dare she tell me to look on the bright side about the whole problem being solved, when she is the one who made the biggest contribution in starting it in the first place?
This was about the only thing about Fortuneteller Baba that still amazed him, even after all these centuries: her cheekiness.
"Not thanks to you." King Yemma finally grumbled. "Have a nice day, Baba."
Then, before she could say anything else, King Yemma slammed the telephone's receiver down on the cradle.
"Phew." King Yemma exhaled, wiping sweat off his forehead with the cuff of his jacket.
The whole Raditz issue has given him a much bigger headache than he'd ever think it would. But at least, like Baba had pointed out, it was already settled. Now, King Yemma could go back to other important issues, like carrying on with his job. Even if he could already guess the number of souls out there, much larger than it usually was, would just bring him another headache.
Trying to brace himself for the amount of work ahead of him, King Yemma straightened himself on his chair, and called for the next soul to present itself for trial.
________________________________________
Meanwhile, on Korin's Tower, Master Roshi stood with his hands behind his back, listening to Kami's recounting of what he'd gotten to know on the Other World. He tried his best not to interrupt, but it was hard, mainly considering that Roshi couldn't understand about half of the things Kami talked about, such as who was King Yemma, or why would some Saiyan care for Raditz to the point of vouching for him and offering to take whatever punishment would come upon Raditz if he caused trouble, or why would some people who went to Hell be deemed worthy of a second chance.
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Goku

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PowerLevel : 98,240,100
Ki : 98,240,100
Transformations : (False Super Saiyan)~(Super Saiyan)~(Lengendary Super Saiyan)~(True Legendary Sayain)~~
Tehniques : ~~(Kamehameha)~~(Warp Kamehameha)~~(Spirit Bomb)~~(Instant Transmission)~~(Solar Flare)~~(After Image)~~(Kiao Ken)~~(Energy Bomb)~~(Super Slither Slasher Basher)~~(Super Mega Death Ball)~~
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Zeni : 19,065,102
Items : (Z-Sword)~(Kings Armor)~(Weighted Armor)~(Ultimatre Sensu Beanx5)~
Posts : 109
Join date : 2010-08-27

PostSubject: Re: Blood Broters (Complete)   Fri Sep 24, 2010 7:34 am

However, Roshi had a feeling that even Kami himself didn't know the answers to most of those doubts. Besides, he'd been taught that it was impolite to interrupt, so he kept quiet all the way through Kami's explanation, in spite of the considerable degree of effort it took.
"So, this is it." Kami said, once he finished his explanation. "Apparently, it is safe to resurrect Raditz."
"So it seems." Korin agreed. "And if Goku wants us to resurrect Raditz alongside him, then that's what we should do."
Roshi kept quiet, unable to think of what to say. He still didn't have an answer to most of the questions that plagued his mind, but at least, he now knew what to do in regards to the matter he'd come for. Still, Roshi couldn't help but to think that he wasn't really relieved in regards to the fact that resurrecting Raditz was considered safe by some people from Other World who wouldn't allow so if it wasn't considered safe. For some reason, he'd have preferred if resurrecting Raditz was deemed too dangerous to be done. Perhaps it was all due to the pure horror Raditz had driven into him on their first meeting. The last thing Roshi wanted now was to see that long-haired monster again.
But in this case, what was at stake was what Goku wanted. If it had been deemed so safe to bring Raditz back, then he had somehow changed a lot while in the Other World. It made no sense to Roshi as to how someone could change so much in such a little time – but perhaps it was just due to some exposure to Goku. Goku did have a knack for making the impossible happen. And he'd also done enough for this planet to deserve to have his brother back to life alongside him – mainly if said brother was now a real brother, instead of some monster bent on killing him and destroying Earth.
"So it seems." Master Roshi echoed Korin's words. "If it's safe to resurrect Raditz, and Goku wants us to do it, then we'll do it."
As unpleasant as the idea may be. he added in mind.
From the look both Kami and Korin gave him, Roshi could already tell they knew what he was thinking. It made no difference for the Turtle Hermit – after all, from their resigned tones as they got to the agreement that it was safe to resurrect Raditz, none of the two exactly looked forward to it.
Still, there wasn't much of a point in thinking about this matter now. The Saiyans would take some time to come, and until they had to resurrect Goku – and Raditz – they could just stop thinking about that matter. And, now that he'd gotten to an agreement with himself, Roshi could go back home, even if that meant having to use the Baby Gamera again.
But before that, Roshi decided to tell something else, "By the way, if you don't mind Kami, I suggest you don't tell this news of resurrecting Raditz to Krillin and the others. News of that kind would be highly distressing for them, and are bound to distract them from their training. I won't spread the news, and I suggest you don't either."
"I totally agree." Kami stated. "It will be bad enough when they see that Raditz came back with Goku, they don't need to be worried about that – not when any second counts for them getting stronger."
Korin didn't say anything, but from the way he looked, he undoubtedly agreed with Kami. Roshi let out a relieved sigh when he noticed that. He didn't expect any different reaction from the two of them, but still, he couldn't help but to feel relieved at having this particular opinion of his confirmed.
"Very well then." he said. "In that case, I'm going back to my island. Thank you for your time and help. Farewell."
After Kami and Korin bade him goodbye, Master Roshi sat back on Baby Gamera, who had been waiting here 'till now. Not even a moment later, the spinning turtle took off, back to Roshi's island, and dragging his stomach back into the horrible churning that came along whenever he made that kind of trip.
He could already tell this ride was not going to be a pleasant one, but none of the rides on Baby Gamera was pleasant. Still, it was nothing compared to the thought of bringing Raditz back to life when the Saiyans arrived. Even considering he'd agreed to do so, and that so many high entities had said Raditz was a different kind of person after whatever he'd gone through in the afterlife, Roshi didn't like the idea any better than when he first heard it from Goku.
But a promise was a promise, and besides, it was a promise that had already been deemed safe to keep, so Roshi would resurrect Raditz.
Roshi was brought of those thoughts when, for some reason, the Baby Gamera started spinning faster, and most of Roshi's attention was focused on the churning created in his stomach. Still, there was enough room for one last thought before his mind totally gave in to the sickness created by Baby Gamera's spinning.
I only hope that resurrecting Raditz is one promise I don't regret keeping. Because if it is, I can't even imagine what will happen.
________________________________________
Clutching the hammer as tightly as he could in his sweaty hands, Raditz ran after Gregory as quickly as he could, trying to ignore the strain on his muscles. He didn't know exactly how much time he had spent chasing that cheeky insect, but no matter how long it had been, he knew he was getting close. But it was only close, he hadn't yet managed to hit the bug. And if he didn't manage to hit the bug, he wouldn't move on to the next stage of King Kai's training. Besides, while he didn't manage to hit the bug, the bug just wouldn't shut that damned mouth of his.
Locking his eyes on the ball of blue light that was only about three feet ahead of him, Raditz swung the hammer forward. He thought it was close enough, but apparently, the time taken to swing the hammer had been just the right one for Gregory to stay ahead of the hammer. Not by a long way - Raditz doubted he'd missed the bug by more than about four inches - but still, it had been too far.
"You damn bug!" Raditz shouted. "Just stay still so that I can hit you, damn it!"
Gregory looked backwards, but he didn't stop.
"Oh right." he said. "As though you yapping at me will make me stop dead on my tracks and let you hit me with that thing. Pathetic."
For a moment, Raditz was so stunned by the bug's audacity that he nearly stopped. And, even though he kept chasing Gregory, his speed decreased somewhat, and words appeared to have been robbed away from his mouth. Even with all the bickering the two of them had exchanged ever since they first met, this topped the list.
"You dare to call me pathetic?" he finally growled, anger rushing through his veins, and making him increase his speed in an effort to catch up with the bug again.
"Yes, I dare." Gregory emphasized. "And I don't regret it at all. Only someone pathetic would shout at me to be still instead of trying to catch me himself."
Raditz growled again, before barking, "Let's just see who'll be the pathetic one once I clobber you with this!"
"You?" Gregory scoffed. "You wouldn't manage to hit me with that thing if you chased me for a hundred years!"
Gregory's words struck Raditz as if someone had pressed on a third degree burn over his heart. For starters, because Raditz didn't have a hundred years. He only had months. Little more than eight months if he remembered it right. It was already short, but he had to try to make the most out of that time period. When he got back to life, he'd show Vegeta and Nappa a thing or two. And he'd show Kakarot that he was worthy of being his brother by helping him to defend Earth.
But first, he had to show this bug that he was going to hit it - and hit it so hard that he'd be sent all the way to Princess Snake's palace.
And if I had been allowed to use energy waves and flight, I'd certainly have showed him that much sooner.
Oh well. If Raditz couldn't have shown him sooner, he'd show him now - and it would certainly feel a lot better.
Gathering all the determination he could, Raditz forced the burning muscles of his legs to speed up - and he finally caught up with Gregory again. In fact, by now he got so close that, even with the hammer lifted over his shoulder, he was almost touching the bug.
As though he'd felt Raditz's breath, Gregory looked behind - and his cheeky look immediately turned into a scared one when he saw how close Raditz was from him. But, only a moment later, his look turned devious, and he started leaning slightly to the right. Raditz knew Gregory would turn right because that would be the direction where he thought an escape was more likely. He'd already gotten to realize that Raditz was half left-handed, something he'd gotten from his mother. He could hit from both sides, but he was more comfortable with using his left one.
But Raditz had a plan.
He rotated on his heels as quickly as possible, and extended his arms as much as he could along the way, holding the hammer's handle from the end opposite to the head, rather than from the middle.
As expected, while he spun around, Raditz saw the hammer's head going straight for Gregory. It would meet its target for sure.
But, on the very last moment, Raditz tried to decrease the strength of his swing, as a thought came across his head. If Raditz hit the bug too hard, he could him, or even kill him. And if he killed the bug, it wasn't sure Kakarot would be able to go through the same part of the training - after all, Raditz wasn't certain of whether this afterlife was also valid for bugs. It was better not to hit him that hard, in spite of all the reasons Raditz initially had to hit him hard.
The hammer slowed down slightly, but still, it's head met Gregory's chest straight on - and the impact sent him away. Gregory flew for about twenty-five feet, before he lost his impetus, and fell on the grass, bouncing up once, before falling back, this time for not to move again.
At first, Raditz was about to gasp, concerned that he'd hit Gregory too hard. Even if he wanted to give the bug a pounding, he'd never wanted to kill him. But the worry only lasted a moment, before some sort of dam appeared to open on his heart, and a feeling of triumph even bigger than what he'd felt when he caught Bubbles came onto him.
"I did it!" Raditz shouted, punching upwards with his left arm. "I did it!"
"I did it!"
Raditz lowered his arm. He hadn't been the one shouting that. It had been Kakarot. But if he'd shouted that, then did that mean...
"I did it!" Kakarot shouted, as he suddenly came hopping in joy from the other side of the planet, holding Bubbles over his arms like a trophy.
The sight of Kakarot's ecstatic look at having managed to catch the monkey was so shocking that at first, it took Raditz aback. He still didn't understand how Kakarot could express his emotions so openly. Raditz himself hadn't done so in a long time. The last time Raditz ever remembered showing some positive emotion so openly was years ago, when he was only a seven-year old child. But in the world where Raditz had been forced to live after Planet Vegeta was destroyed, no one was allowed to show any emotion other than ruthlesness. Whoever did so was automatically dead, in one way or another. If the big boss himself didn't do the job, them some underling would do it, whether ordered or out of his free will.
For a moment, he wondered just how well he and Kakarot would manage to avoid interactions with those the surviving Saiyans were associated with. If they started to draw too much interest, there could be complications - and involvement from higher authorities - a thought that was far from pleasant.
With effort, Raditz managed to push the thought out of his mind. Even if killing Vegeta and Nappa lead them to bring bigger troubles to Earth, it did no good thinking about it. The only thing they could do was to keep training after going back to life - or then, to hope that Earth would simply be crossed off the big boss's plans. Whatever it would happen, it did little good thinking about it now. Just like his mother had said, 'worry with one thing at a time'. And for now, his worry was better placed if it was centered on stopping Vegeta.
Deciding to settle himself on that thought, Raditz again looked at Kakarot. His brother had finally stopped jumping up and down, but the ecstatic smile was still on his face.
"I did it." Kakarot repeated, in a tone that appeared to imply that it was the last time he'd say it.
"Well done, Kakarot." Raditz complimented.
Kakarot lowered Bubbles, before he said, "I guess the same can be said about you. You managed to hit Gregory."
His brother's words suddenly reminded Raditz of the strength with which he'd hit the bug. His head whipped around - only for him to see that Gregory was still where'd last fallen, unmoving.
"Oh shit!" Raditz shouted as he ran for the bug. "Are you alright, Gregory?"
For a moment, the grasshopper didn't react, but when Raditz got to him, he saw his foot twitching slightly. Then, after a moment, Gregory jumped to his feet, his hands on his hips, and a definitely conceited smirk on his face.
"Of course I'm alright. My body is more solid than the Rock of Gibraltar!" he stated. "I already got blows worse than that, I don't fear them."
Raditz didn't know what was the Rock of Gibraltar, but he knew that the bug was just boasting, because immediately after saying that, Gregory retracted himself, taking both of his arms - or front limbs - to his chest, as he let out a moan of pain.
"Really?" Raditz remarked, a smirk coming onto his face. "It doesn't seem like that."
"You don't need to be like that, Raditz." Kakarot said with a chuckle. "You hit him already, you don't need to throw salt on the wound."
The smirk still on his face, Raditz turned to his brother.
"He doesn't have any wound, Kakarot. He may have a bruise, but he doesn't have a wound."
"Oh, right..." Kakarot said. Then, he focused his attention back on the bug. "So, Gregory, are you ready to take your turn with me, or do you want to use some time to rest?"
Trying to act as though he'd forgotten his pain, Gregory again stood straighter, his hands on his hips.
"Of course I'm ready!" he snapped. "To say I wasn't ready would be an insult to my integrity."
"Right then." Kakarot said. "In that case, just wait a second while I go to meet King Kai and get the hammer he said he'd give me."
With no further words, Kakarot ran off toward King Kai's house to get the hammer. Raditz, in turn, immediately followed his brother, wanting to know what was the next part of his training.
________________________________________
Sitting on his table with a cup of tea in his hand, King Kai looked at the two approaching Saiyans. He already knew that Raditz had managed to hit Gregory, and seeing Bubbles in Goku's arms was enough of an evidence as to the fact Goku had managed to catch Bubbles.
These two youngsters were definitely extraordinary. With his help, they had great chances at defeating the Saiyans. And considering they'd have someone else's help after King Kai had trained them, they would have even greater chances.
But that other one's training was still far. So far, they still had to get through King Kai. And they would do so eventually. After all, they still had 259 days. They'd undoubtedly be able to master the Kaio-ken. A technique that King Kai had worked on for many years, and one that, although he'd spent years working on it, and get the theory all developed, hadn't managed to put into the practical part.
"Well done, boys." King Kai said once the two of them got to him. "Both of you are progressing very well. But I must warn you now, my training is harsh. If you take it, I'm going to push you hard - very hard, in fact. You'll need to be persistent and hardworking to get through it."
King Kai decided to stay through that point. He didn't want to tell them of the even bigger obstacle they'd have to overcome when King Kai was done with training them.
"Thanks for the compliment, King Kai." Goku said, setting Bubbles down, and extending his hands forward. "And for the warning.
Getting what Goku meant by that gesture, King Kai summoned a dark-blue sledgehammer, and threw it to Goku. Spreading his feet apart, and grabbing the handle with both of his hands, Goku managed to stay on his feet, although it took a visible effort on his part.
"Very well, Goku." King Kai said. "You got the hammer - now you've got to hit Gregory. Good luck."
Apparently not wanting to waste breath in conversations, Goku only nodded, and started moving away, clearly slowed down by the heavy load he carried.
Meanwhile, Raditz came forward.
"And me, King Kai?" he asked. "What do I have to do next?"
King Kai placed both of his hands behind his back, and pretended to think. "Next... next... next..."
"Then?" Raditz insisted. "What's next?"
"Next..." King Kai carried on. "Next..."
Raditz's eyebrow was starting to twitch, a sign that he was starting to lose his patience. For a moment, King Kai decided to wait and see how much waiting he could handle, but seeing as Raditz already had a period of waiting assured, it wasn't really justifiable.
"Next, you'll have to wait." King Kai finally said.
"Wait?" Raditz repeated, as thoug he thought his ears were fooling him. "Wait? But wait for what?"
"For your brother to hit Gregory with his hammer." King Kai stated. "You may do some simple self-training - push ups, sit ups, and things of the like - in case you wish so, but I won't start training you while your brother doesn't hit Gregory."
"Why must I wait for him?" Raditz asked. "Why can't I start training now?"
Putting on his more serious side, King Kai stated, "Because you must learn to wait. Good things come to those who wait. And besides, my training will be harder than you can imagine. Once you're facing it, you may find yourself wishing you were doing something else."
A frown appeared on Raditz's face at King Kai's words. It was more than obvious that Raditz was wondering just how hard King Kai's training would be - and although Raditz still appeared to be looking forward to it, he clearly wasn't capable of repressing a feeling of apprehension. And there was nothing wrong in it. After all, King Kai would train them hard.
"Alright then." Raditz said. "I'll wait."
"That' a boy." King Kai replied.
Then, leaving Raditz to do whatever physical exercise he chose, King Kai turned his attention back to his cup of tea.
________________________________________
Floating far above King Kai's planet, one figure covered in a black cape and hood watched Kakarot and Raditz carrying on with their training. His observations, however, were more through his energy sensing skills and some magic-related capabilities he had than through his own eyes. Even considering his race naturally possessed a sharp sight, he was too far to actually see what was going on down there.
From what the black-covered figure could tell, Raditz had done quite better than Kakarot, but that was because he had less things to get used to than his younger brother. In fact, considering what he was going through, Kakarot was doing much better than expected. At the rate he was going, in the next three days he'd have hit King Kai's bug, and then, the two brothers would start learning the techniques King Kai had to teach them.
Hopefully, the two brothers would be fast learners. Because after King Kai taught them his techniques, then it would be his turn to train them. And not only he had a lot to teach them, but he had to make sure they got as strong as possible by the time those Dragon Balls were collected on Earth to give them life. The problem was the time he had left to do it. Even if he had all the 259 days for himself, he wasn't totally sure he'd get these two on the level he wanted them to be on. And with the Kaioken being as hard to learn as it was, he wasn't sure of how much time they'd spend on mastering it. He still remembered how hard it had been for himself to master it, and he had already been stronger than King Kai when he first arrived to this planet, more than twenty years ago.
Does time really pass so fast? he wondered. It sounds like yesterday I saw those two when they were...
He stopped those thoughts when he felt a slight grasp on his left upper arm. The hand that had grabbed him belonged to the other figure here with him. Just like himself, she was covered by a cape and a hood. Unlike his, however, her cape and hood were white.
"It looks like they're doing well." she remarked in an approving tone. She didn't possess most of the skills he had, but she was good enough at sensing energies to have a good idea of what was going on down there.
"Indeed." he agreed. "It's hard to tell, though. We've been the last ones getting training of him. I was already stronger than him when we got here, and you weren't that much weaker than him. It's hard to tell when they'll be ready for me. But hopefully it will be soon, because they've got a long way ahead of them if they are meant to get where I want them."
She turned her hooded face to him. Even under the covering, he could sense her unease.
"And you're still intending to train them for... "
"Yes, I am." the black-covered figure stated. "He must be stopped. And it's only fitting if the ones who do so are the ones he's feared the most. Besides, he'll most likely send more powerful soldiers to conquer Earth once Vegeta and Nappa are killed. And if those soldiers fail, he'll most likely want to do the job himself. It's better to have Kakarot and Raditz ready for that eventuality than to have them just be killed again - this time, without a chance at coming back to life."
The other figure was silent for long moments, before speaking again.
"I get your reasoning. But I don't like the idea of them having to face him."
"Neither do I." he admitted. "Mainly because I don't know what will happen if they do."
He could almost feel the horror coming from her as he said that, and he immediately wished he'd kept his mouth shut.
"You don't?" she whispered, panic evident in her voice. "But I thought you could..."
"Not from this point on." he explained. "Whenever I try to look at the future, I just see endless mists. It's as if there is some sort of fog covering the whole future."
She started grasping his muscular upper arm in her slender hand.
"I don't like the sound of that." she said, her voice lowered to a whisper by her fear. "I don't like it at all."
"Neither do I." he admitted. "But that's all the more reasons to have them ready for the worst of eventualities."
She gasped, clearly not liking the way his speech was heading for. Being honest with himself, he didn't like it either. So, he decided to shut up, and just keep watching the two brothers training, wondering how prepared they would be for the challenges he had for them to overcome.
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PowerLevel : Good bye
Ki : 77,447,800
Transformations : Oozaru <> kaiokin <> False super sayian <> super sayian <> super sayian 2 <> super sayian 3 <> golden oozaru <> super sayian 4 <> super sayian 5 <> Super Sayian 6 <> Super Sayian 7 <> Super Sayian 10 <> Super Sayian 11 <> Super Sayian 13
Tehniques : Super Duper Final Mega Big Bang Blast Kamehameha X70 <> Super explosive wave <> Super Mega Final Big Bang Kamehameha x20 <> Revenge death ball <> violent thunder <> super slining slasher basher <> solar flare <> fusion dance <> after image <> Super Mega Death Ball <> Super Final Big Bang Kamehameha <> Kamehameha <> Spririt Bomb <> Super Dragon Fist <> Instant Transsmission <> angry kamehameha <> energy feild <> Super Kamehameha <> Final Kamehameha <> Big Bang Attack
Battle Points : 154
Zeni : 600,048,050
Items : 5 ultimate senzu beans, prince's scouter, king's armor, Z-sword Sword, Weighted armour
Posts : 601
Join date : 2010-07-16

PostSubject: Re: Blood Broters (Complete)   Fri Sep 24, 2010 1:32 pm

2,900,000 pl ki and zeni
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PostSubject: Re: Blood Broters (Complete)   

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Blood Broters (Complete)
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