Disclaimer: :::insert typical fanfic author disclaimer here:::
Last Revised : 4/5/03
by Psycho Ann
Chapter 1 : Life on the Run
Once again the young woman cursed her luck. Who would have thought in the middle of a lake, that was in the middle of a forest, that was located in the middle of nowhere, she still couldn't get a decent bath. Being on the run for 3 years constantly taught her that there was no concept of 'privacy' as a fugitive. As a hunted. A prey.
Man, she hated it so much.
Again, she cursed as she made her way slowly to the bank. Stretching out her ki, she felt nothing. Not surprisingly of course, the one after her could mask his perfectly. However she knew he was there. Watching her. Some how she didn't need to detect his ki anymore to know he's there; years of running from him, of feeling him breath down her neck had his presence practically carved into her mind.
Videl eyed her surroundings, trying to calm herself. The half moon didn't do much to illuminate the dark forest around her but she watched for movement anyway. 'I shouldn't have taken a dip in the lake.... stupid stupid, I knew he was on my trail yesterday!! AUGH!!'
The day had been blistering, not to mention her last decent bath was 3 days ago. Trekking through the thick, moist forest hadn't helped either. Finding the sparkling lake was a gift from Dende.
And now, Videl was butt naked in the middle of a lake where she knew a certain bounty hunter after her head was watching. Great. Thank you so much Dende.
Covering as much as she could, she wished that her hair was still long. At least it could have covered more than what her arms could do. Dammit, her hair being short was his fault too.
That damn hunter.
It was a year ago when he had caught her midnight locks in his grip. She flipped out her dagger and sliced her hair off, freeing herself. She would have just tried taking his arm off, but she learned that stabbing him with a knife breaks the knife. Since then, she learned her lesson. Long hair, a no no. Short hair, efficient. But now she wished her hair was a good 2 meters long.
Swallowing her pride and fear, she took a cautious step out of the water. He's there all right, lingering at the edge of her senses. It's not like he never seen her naked, in fact he had seen her in more states of nudity than her parents. He even once attacked her in a public bathing house. She was forced to run out with her things wearing only a towel. Another reason to which she added to her 'why to kill him' list.
'I bet you're enjoying this, damn you Gohan.' Videl seethed. Throwing all caution to the wind, Videl dashed forward in speed that no human could see. Grabbing her pack and dressing in a blink of an eye she took to the sky. Too late. He was already in front of her. His onyx eyes smirking at her as he floated there in his usual black spandex suit and green robes.
Without pausing she dived below him into the forest, darting her way around the trees. Her smaller frame made her faster than him, but in account of power, she knew she didn't have a chance. She remembered that time when he half-heartedly swung at her; she ducked only to see his arm go through the steel building like it was made of foam. Why he didn't kill her after all these years was a mystery to her. He once told her that he would like to wait until she could prove to be a challenge before he had his fun.
Well, she did come from being a regular human fighter to a human fighter that could manipulate ki and blast towns into oblivion. Some of the things she learned could be credited to this particular hunter. He polished her ki sensing abilities by attacking her whenever he wanted too. Daily sparring matches left her spent and bruised but she somehow escaped every time. She would just get into a crowd and drop her ki to nothing, or just use her own ingenuity to find a way out. Deep in her heart though, she knew he let her go. If he really wanted her dead, she would be the first time he attacked.
Avoiding a large tree, she suddenly felt a large ki gathering behind her. In her panic she shot up out of the trees just as a bright ki ball flattened the forest below her. She had no time to think about it as Gohan swung his fist at her face. Videl ducked it and many others, trying to dodge as many as she can. Whatever hits came through she would block them, feeling her arms and legs crush under the impact.
"You're getting better Videl, I see you can hold up to my punches quite longer this time," the black haired hunter said in amusement. Videl felt her temper rise as she glared at him through the furry of movements.
"Why are you so into making my life suffer!?" She screamed at him while trying to get her own hit in. "You already know that I'm innocent from the charges!! Is hunting all you care about?!"
"I recall you asking me this years ago, why are you asking again? Did you think I suddenly would develop pity towards you?"
"Augh!!! Shut up!!"
In her frustration Videl ducked his high kick and shot upwards, her palms in his face. 'This is something I learned from you, bastard.' A hot ki ball blasted Gohan point blank in the face. However, Videl didn't wait to see the result of her attack and just flew off to the horizon as fast as she could.
When the initial shock that she managed to land a hit disappeared, Gohan reached out frantically for her ki. Nothing. She was getting faster everyday. He smiled to himself. She didn't know it but he had been increasing his attacks gradually for years. Videl managed to keep up and now she even got through his defenses.
'It's been a long 3 years, Videl. But you're getting there.'
Videl sighed as she watched the clouds go by above her. A second later she heard her stomach grumble. At the head of the wagon, the farmer chuckled at her plight.
"It seems you haven't eaten much little Missy, why don't you join me and my wife for lunch?"
"No, it's all right, you're already kind enough to give me a lift, I can't ask more from you," Videl's stomach, however, didn't agree as it let out a particularly long moan. Blushing as the farmer let out a merry laugh she didn't say anymore and let herself be brought to his farm for lunch.
The farm small and pretty far away from the town, located right on top of a hill. Videl found herself in awe at the peaceful scenery. What she would give to live in peace... but no. She had a duty she sworn on her life to do. A duty written in her blood. Videl's deep blue eyes hardened before a call snapped her out of her thoughts.
"Lunch time!!" Videl couldn't help but smile.
"Oh my, did you hear about the hunted?" the farmer's wife asked her husband as they all sat down to the humble meal.
"The one about the traitor of the country of Satan!"
Videl's spoon stopped midway but soon resumed it course. Her blue eyes focused under her cloak.
"The one about the general that killed the king, queen and crown princess?"
"Yes! I heard the hunted was spotted in a town not far from here, oh dear, what if he comes here? He would bring bounty hunters and royal soldiers along, what would be of our beloved town?"
"Don't think too much Myria, I'm sure we can make it through."
"I just wish that traitor would turn himself in!! He murdered the whole royal family and now the city is on the verge of destruction!! The people there are suffering under oppressive rule, I fear the country will be no more in a few more years... don't you think so dear?" Myria asked a deathly pale Videl.
"Huh? What? Oh, ye... yeah... but Satan City is ruled by Frieza now. He has the help of the Saiyans and no one would dare go against him... it won't be long before he spreads his rule to other countries."
"Terrible terrible, all because of the murder of the royal family!! Frieza was the royal advisor right? He stepped up to take care of things and now...."
Videl watched the old woman sniffing over a city that wasn't even her home. Videl kept the pain from showing on her face as she continued sipping the chicken broth.
"I heard rumors that Frieza was behind the plot to assassinate the royal family. Of course it seems logical that he would take up ruling so efficiently, and then suddenly the Saiyans from Vegeta were in..." the farmer thought out loud.
"Frieza promised a treaty, Vegeta are low in resources and Frieza delivered," Videl cut in, her voice turning cold, "As long as the Saiyans provide the power, Frieza will provide the fuel."
"It seems funny that such a powerful race would listen to him, I heard the Saiyans were among the most powerful in the universe!"
"Frieza's personal army is stronger... much stronger that's why. The Saiyans already rules nearly half the world, it's already a wonder why they didn't take over the other half. From their destroyed planet they came here in a handful and grew into a country. I guess they found this place as new home and kept from plundering it. Even so far as having diplomatic relations with rest of the world's country and even other planets. But then, Frieza arrived from no where..." Videl trailed off, her mind flashing back in time.
Videl had bad feelings about the alien the moment she laid her eyes on him. He, she, whatever, wriggled his way into the king's mind. Almost overnight Frieza became the advisor to the richest country in the world. He said he was a space traveler and decided to have his home on earth, a planet so beautiful he guaranteed no other planet could ever compare too. She let her distrust show clearly and he clearly showed his too.
She should have known. Damn it, she saw it coming.
dead, they're all dead
Videl snapped her head up, "Oh, I'm sorry, got distracted there. It's pretty hot..."
Myria laughed at her as she reached for Videl's long black cloak, "You should just take this off then dear... "
"NO!!" Videl shouted, nearly giving the old woman a heart attack. "Uh, I mean, this cloak is special to me, I can't bear to have it removed, haha, uh, sorry," she turned back to her soup finishing it quickly in one gulp.
"Um, I'm done and I really want to repay you..." Videl started as she ignore the looks from the farmer and his wife, "Is there anything at all around here I can do?"
"Um, it's all right, you don't need to repay us little miss-"
"No, I insist, please, at least some chores, I don't have much zeni on me."
The farmer scratched his chin in thought, "Well, the only thing around here that needs to be done is the new irrigation ditch but that's too-"
"I'll do it."
The farmer and his wife stood outside in disbelief, watching as Videl picked up a long stick.
"Where do you want it? How deep and how long?" She asked, flexing her arms, hoping that what she was about to do going to do won't put out too much ki to attract soldiers. She's pretty confident she put a day's travel between herself and Gohan, but then, there's no telling when it came to him. After the farmer explained, Videl set her eyes on the ground. Then, in a sweeping motion perpendicular to the ground, she swung her ki out along the stick. The hard ground in front of her seem to explode as the controlled ki dug a ditch within seconds.
"Is that all?" Videl asked the gaping husband and wife as the stick disintergrated in her hands. The farmer could only nod silently as Videl smiled and thanked them once again before running off to the town below.
It was later that evening that a troop of androids with Frieza's emblem knocked on their door to ask if they seen a 19 year old young woman that had blue eyes in a long black cloak. The farmer and his wife only then realized that their guest, who they invited to lunch and gratiously dug their ditch, was the traitor who murdered the royal family in cold blood. The former General of the Satan Royalty.