" I am Cell. I have a message for all the people of Earth. Now pay attention to what I say. Your boring lives are about to get a lot more interesting, thanks to me. I have enjoyed terrorizing Earth, but now I have something far more entertaining planned for this pathetic planet. For those who don't remember me, take a close look at my face. The big monster of Basil Town. I am the evolved form of that creature, and I owe it all to this worthless planet for providing me with the bio-extract I needed. But the reason I am here is to announce my decision to hold a martial arts tournament. I am calling this competition the 'Cell Games'. Catchy little title, don't you think?
The Cell Games will be held nine days from today at Area S.5, 28 miles northeast of Eastern City. There, you will find an arena that I have designed myself. I modeled it after the one used in the original World Martial Art's tournament. I believe it is the ideal location to crush my competitors. Bring me your best fighters, and I will face them one-by-one in a contest of strength. This is the last chance for Planet Earth. If I am not defeated, it belongs to me! My competitors will have the advantage, since I won't be able to rest between matches, and my new opponents can enter the competition immediately.
The rules will be the same as the World Martial Arts Tournament. If you give up, or your body touches the outside of the ring, you lose, and, though I will try to avoid this, if you die, you will, of course, be disqualified. I hope I haven't frightened any of you from playing the Cell Games. Now that you know where the competition will be, all you have to do is find the courage to show up. Hahahahahahahaha...come and get me if you dare!
Now. Let the games begin! The tournament starts in nine days...good luck!"
Fear. Terror. Uncertainty.
These were the feelings that swept throughout Planet Earth. In the wake of only the past few days, terror continued to sweep the planet. The biological monstrosity who called himself "Cell" had been terrorizing the Earth, going from a boogeyman who hid in the shadows, absorbing the life energy of humans, to a true threat who had the entire planet running scared.
But there was a glimmer of hope.
In a strange twist of fate, Cell had announced a tournament; the "Cell Games", as he called it. If the Earth's greatest fighters could defeat Cell in this tournament of his, the Earth would be saved. With a period of nine guaranteed days left to live, the entire populace of Earth seemed to have gone into hiding, with only a select few having the courage to stand up to the monster.
Among these few was a young boy named Son Gohan, the son of Son Goku. This boy in question was currently flying over the mountainside at breakneck speeds. At his father's insistence, they were to spend the remaining days waiting for the Cell Games relaxing, and not training. While Gohan couldn't understand his father's motivations, he placed his faith in him, hoping he had something to back up his attitude.
"I think I'm almost there...!" The boy, currently a pale blonde with bright green eyes — in a state of Passive Super Saiyan — thought aloud as he flew straight over the forest. After a great deal of pestering from his father and himself, Chi-Chi finally relented and allowed Gohan to take a visit over to Orange Star City. The hybrid had never been to a city before, and given his father insisted they didn't train at all, it seemed like the perfect chance to take a trip.
"There it is!" The boy gasped as the sight of Orange Star City; the sprawling metropolis, named for one of the magical orbs known as "Dragon Balls", was unlike anything Gohan had ever seen. Skyscrapers, small buildings, parks, streets crowded with people and cars, it was so much to take in. The young Saiyan descended to the ground, looking around in awe. "It's so...crowded," He finished lamely, trying to find the words to match his astonishment. "Unlike the villages I've been to before, this place isn't deserted. And there's so much to do...I don't know where to start looking!"
Orange Star Primary School
A short-haired, blonde girl with bright, curious blue-eyes sighed theatrically as she left her classroom with her friend. These two were Erasa and Videl, two girls who had been friends since childhood. The two girls headed to their lockers, trying to pretend nothing was on their minds. But in truth, there was something nagging at these girls.
Not a day ago, the monster known as Cell had announced the Cell Games. Naturally, this had caused everyone to fly into a panic. However, the denizens of Orange Star City continued to live as they always had, children still attending school, adults still going to their jobs, criminals still committing crimes, the usual. The reason for this was simple; Orange Star City was home to the current World Martial Art's Champion, and self-proclaimed "world's strongest man", Mark, otherwise known as Mr. Satan. Videl, the black-haired girl who seemed more focused on her locker than her surroundings, in fact, happened to be his daughter. Walking up to her own proximate locker, Erasa couldn't help but say something to her best friend.
"I know I've asked this a lot in just the past few hours, Videl..." Erasa began, but the black-haired girl cut her off.
"Erasa, we've been over this," She said curtly. "I am 100% certain my dad will be able to beat Cell!" This entire line sounded rehearsed, as it should; Erasa had been nervous ever since the announcement of the Cell Games.
"How can you be that certain?" The blonde girl insisted as she struggled with her locker combination. She'd never been good at remembering these kinds of things, and Videl quickly came over and turned the knob in the correct combination for her. "You saw what he did to the section of that city. He's even claiming to be responsible for the mass disappearances in places like Gingertown!"
"It's all just a trick!" Videl asserted sharply. "Dad even says so — the destroyed portions of towns? Just explosives he set up before he arrived. Everything this guy's displayed are just light shows and tricks. Super powers don't exist, you know that. This isn't a fantasy world, Erasa, you've got to get your head in the game!"
"I-I get it...!" The blonde girl almost backed away, raising her arms up as if to defend herself and chuckling weakly. "I'll stop asking about it."
" I just wish Dad wouldn't use this as a chance to parade around like a buffoon..." Videl thought to herself. She had to admit, even she had some doubts about her father, but he was so insistent, and after all, the humans needed some hope to cling to. It was only because Mr. Satan lived in Orange Star City that everyone was so at ease.
The girls closed their lockers, having retrieved their schoolbooks, and swapped their shoes at the shoe locker, walked outside into the fresh city air. If someone had woken up out of a long sleep in this city, they really would not have known a thing was wrong.
"You go on ahead to Burger World, Erasa," Videl suggested to the girl. "And give me your things. I'll take them to my place, so we can just head back together."
"You sure?" The blonde asked curiously. She didn't want to just leave Videl carrying her bag.
"Don't worry about it," Videl waved it off airily, "Dad wanted me to come home first anyway. Just go wait at Burger World. And don't wander off."
Orange Star Shopping District
"There's so much to do!" Gohan was standing in awe in the middle of the crowded shopping district. The voices of people were almost overwhelming, as, at home, the only ambient noises came from the animals in the forest, this was certainly a new experience. He briefly reflected on how sad it was that his only experience in a city ended with it being destroyed by a maniacal android. This was a year ago, due to Gohan's training in the Room of Spirit and Time, but it was still fresh to the world.
Assailing the boy's Saiyan nose were a plethora of wonderful aromas; perhaps it was due to his Saiyan heritage, but in addition to the various scents that were obviously human, he could detect the aroma of several different kinds of food. In fact, these smells seemed to be registering far stronger to him than anything else. "Well," He said meekly to himself. "Maybe I should grab a bite to eat."
Following one of the stronger scents that made his mouth water, the boy found himself in front of a restaurant called "Burger World", a fast food restaurant popular with primary and secondary school students in the area. Gently pushing open the front doors, making careful effort not to shatter the glass, the boy stepped in and found himself surrounded by the sound of chatter, and the smell of cooking meat, as well as various condiments and the like.
Patiently, he waited in the line, while everyone was receiving their orders. He kept his eyes on the menu, trying to figure out what to order. As he'd never been in a fast food restaurant before — his mother would cook all their food, which only made sense, given how much he and his father could eat — he had no idea what any of these foods were. They were listed by numbers, with images of the food next to them. Gohan supposed he would just order something random, and try it. He'd never found a food he didn't like; he was very like Goku in that regard.
"Welcome to Burger World, may I take your order?" The cashier at the register sounded terribly bored and uninterested, as if he'd rather be anywhere but where he was right now. Gohan couldn't quite get how he could seem so bitter in a place that smelled so good.
"Um..." Gohan scratched the back of his head meekly. Having never placed an order before, the experience was slightly nerve-wracking for the boy. "I-I'd like to order the #5, please."
"That will be 700 zeni in total," The cashier droned on, inputing the numbers into the register with barely a glance at Gohan.
Gohan reached into his pockets, only to be shocked when he discovered something terrible.
He had no money.
"Sir?" The cashier pressed. "Can you pay or not? We need to move the line along."
"I...um..." Gohan stammered, tripping over his words entirely. How could he have forgotten any money? Had he gotten so caught up in the euphoria of his mother letting him go that he'd forgotten it entirely?
"Sir, you're going to have to mo-"
"Hey! Didn't I tell you lunch was my treat?" A silvery, unfamiliar voice caught Gohan's ear, and his nose was greeted by a very soothing aroma; a strange mixture of fruit scented conditioner and rose scented shampoo. There was also a natural fragrance to her, something that smelled very sweet, almost inviting. Gohan turned to see a girl with short, cropped blonde hair and curious bright blue eyes looking at him eagerly.
"Oi, get back in the line!" A teenager directly behind Gohan snapped angrily. "We've been waiting here before you, kid."
"I'm with him," The girl replied crisply, glaring at the older male. "He was waiting for me to get here, and tried to pay in advance since I was late. I'd told him lunch was on me earlier." It was surprising how easily this lie spilled from the girl's lips. "Isn't that right?"
"Y-yeah, she's with me," Gohan caught on quickly, and tried to say it as convincingly as he could. He wasn't a natural liar — in fact, Krillin often said he had a terrible poker face, not that he knew what that was — but the teenager either believed him or decided it wasn't worth getting into an argument with. Erasa giggled to herself, and winked at the flustered Gohan.
"Let's see, you wanted a #5, so I'll get that too!" She chirped, and paid the 1400 Zeni price, despite Gohan's misgivings about letting a random stranger pay for him. The cashier handed her two numbers, one for each of them, and two large cups. Erasa led Gohan to the soda machine, and the people in the line finally heaved a sigh of relief.
"Um...why did you do that?" Gohan asked as Erasa took both cups and filled them each with soda from the dispenser.
"Do what?" Erasa asked airily, handing Gohan his own drink, which he took with gratitude.
"I'm really grateful that you paid for me but I've never met you." He said innocently, if a bit a blunt. He wasn't trying to be rude, he just was surprised to see someone like that.
"Well, you're new here, aren't you?" Erasa replied, chuckling at the surprise on Gohan's face. "I could tell by the expression on your face, it's so...clueless. No one whose lived here for awhile looks that excited to walk into a fast food restaurant."
Gohan's face flushed. Was he really so obvious about that?
"It's also your clothes," She gestured to Gohan's attire, which truly did look out of place in this modern setting; a white, silk shirt, tied down the center up to the collar, black pants also composed of silk, and black, flat shoes. "No one out here dresses anything remotely like that."
Once again, she'd nailed it, and Gohan couldn't help but feel a little embarrassed. Just how out of place was he?
"Since you're new in town, why don't I show you around after we eat?" Erasa coyly, a bright smile perched on her face. Gohan couldn't help but notice her scent was still very powerfully present, even among the aroma of the food here. "What do you say?"
"S-sure...!" Gohan replied, giving a slight bow in thanks, showing just how odd he was. Erasa couldn't help but laugh once more, but to Gohan's relief, she seemed to simply find him funny. "Come on, let's find our table, ummm...?" It was at this point she realized they'd been talking for a few minutes with neither knowing the other's name.
"I'm Son Gohan," The blonde hybrid replied quickly. He wondered why he hadn't introduced himself earlier, since it was only proper manners.
"A family name? We definitely don't have those here. My name's Erasa," The human girl replied, and the two made off towards a table, sitting down, and they sat in awkward silence for a moment. However, it was Erasa who broke the silence, "So, Gohan, if you're not from out here, where are you from?"
"A small town over in East District 439." Gohan replied cheerfully. The boy, however, was apparently unaware of the magnitude of his statement, as it caused Erasa to jolt up in shock, thrusting both hands on the table
"E-East District 439?!" She gaped, eyes wide. "You're kidding, right? That's hundreds of miles from here! Even by jet flier, it takes five hours to get here! And you came here just to look around? Are you rich or something?"
"N-no, not really," Gohan replied hastily, trying to get Erasa to relax.
"Miss, you're going to have to sit down or leave," One of the employees had come to the table, carrying Gohan and Erasa's food, and had been there for the entire spectacle. "We don't need disturbances here."
Erasa gasped, entirely unaware that she had stood up, or had been been exclaiming her surprise. "I'm sorry!" She replied quickly, and the server placed their food down, taking the numbers off the table and left.
"Itadakimasu~!" Both children exclaimed as Erasa handed Gohan a wrapped burger, and fries. While Erasa immediately began to unwrap her burger, she saw Gohan looking around aimlessly. Swallowing a bite, she placed the burger on the table, staring at him curiously. "Is something the matter, Gohan?"
"There aren't any utensils," The boy replied, sounded confused. "How am I supposed to eat then?"
Erasa stopped, blinking rapidly. "You don't know how to eat fast food?" She asked incredulously. "You really are from a village." She had to admit, his innocence and ignorance of city life was cute, in an odd way. "Watch me, alright?" The girl took command, picking up her hamburger once more, and taking a bite, giving Gohan a much needed demonstration. After chewing slowly and swallowing, she smiled at his shocked look. "You eat food like this with your hands! Go on, try it!"
Unsure of himself — his mother insisted food always be eaten with some form of utensils, be they flatware or chopsticks — Gohan picked up the burger, unwrapping it, and took a bite. Trying to mind his manners, he chewed carefully and swallowed. "It's delicious!" He exclaimed, never having tasted anything like it.
"Isn't it?" Erasa smiled, and picked up a napkin, reaching across the table. "Hey, c'mere. You've got some ketchup on your face." Gently, she rubbed the napkin along the side of Gohan's mouth, removing a slightly red-stained napkin. "There we go," She smiled brightly once more, and Gohan couldn't help noticing he was getting more relaxed around this strange girl by the second. "Come on, let's finish, and I'll take you around the city!"
Gohan and Erasa exited the fast food restaurant, both having food in their stomachs, putting them in a jovial mood. The blonde pair of children immediately started to explore, Erasa pulling Gohan by the hand, eager to show him around. Being in a city for no reason other than enjoyment was a refreshing experience to Gohan.
As Erasa showed Gohan around the city, she'd completely forgotten two important things; the trouble of Cell, but also, the fact that her friend Videl was most likely waiting back at the restaurant she'd just now left, and would be furious. Gohan himself had long since gotten rid of the nervous feeling he'd had when Erasa first appeared, and the two were talking like old friends.
Laughing as they chatted, Erasa led Gohan around the shopping district, introducing him to the concept of shopping malls, supermarkets, and even stores like convenience stores. Every sight, every smell, was new to Gohan; he'd never seen, or even dreamed, of a place as busy and bustling as this, and having Erasa lead him around seemed to complete the experience, in his mind. The blonde girl had a remarkable amount of patience, allowing Gohan the time to bask in his reverence of the city before she dragged him off to see something new.
"What's this?" Gohan asked, pointing at a large, ornate fountain. Made seemingly of marble, filled with water, and the figure of a large, serpentine Dragon rising out of it, it caught Gohan's attention immediately, due to how much it resembled the Dragon God summoned through the Dragon Balls. From the dragon's menacing, open mouth shot a pillar of water which arched as it rose higher, landing in the basin.
"This?" Erasa was surprised Gohan would be interested in such a relic. "This statue is a piece of history. The dragon here is Shénlóng, and, an old legend has it that, when Orange Star City was just a small town, hundreds of years ago, this very dragon saved our town from a cataclysm," She walked over, placing her hand on the horns of the dragon, slowly moving it down the winding, twisting frame. It seemed she held a kind of reverence for this creature. "There was a shrine built, dedicated to the dragon, and placed inside it was a sphere with a single orange star. Eventually, when we became a large city, the shrine was demolished, but those who wanted to remember Shénlóng, and what he did for our small village, created this fountain. Even now, people still pray to Shénlóng, for fortune, for protection..."
"That's so...amazing..." Gohan stood there, staring at the statue of the Dragon God. He'd grown up knowing about the concept of Dragon Balls, and as such, hadn't placed any true thoughts of reverence to them, they were just there, and he'd always assumed they would be. When Piccolo fused with God, however, the Balls became inert...he wondered how these people would react, to realize their precious deity was now gone? He didn't have the heart to tell Erasa, who kept staring at the statue fondly.
"Come on!" Erasa told the boy, slightly dazed as she walked off aimlessly; telling the story of Shénlóng, her attention seemed to be entirely focused on the marble statue, as opposed to where she had been walking.
This would prove to be a mistake.
"Erasa, watch out!" Gohan called frantically; the girl's dazed state caused her to only dimly register Gohan's words as she accidentally tripped off the side of the curb...and into the path of an oncoming pickup truck. The girl let out a shriek, the driver shouted, frantically honking their horn, and Gohan, despite Erasa being far out of his reach, reacted instantly. He leapt forward within the blink of an eye, grabbed her around the waist, and in one bound, leapt to the sidewalk on the other side of the road, crouching on one knee with a breathless Erasa at his side.
"You...saved me...?" The girl breathed, utterly stunned as the pick-up truck seemed to floor away from the scene, without giving its would-be-victim a look of concern. "H-how did you do that?" It was understandable that Erasa was shocked; they went from one side of the street to another faster than she had taken a breath.
"It just happened," Gohan replied, giving Erasa a once-over to make sure she hadn't been harmed anywhere — not by the car, but by him. Controlling his own strength wasn't easy when he wasn't focusing, but much to his relief, he hadn't done any damage to Erasa. "How are you feeling?"
"Fine, thanks to you," She replied, still sounding like she'd just run a mile. " What did he do? It couldn't have just been, like, adrenaline, could it? " This girl, it seemed, had far too many questions than was actually good for her. Before she could ask any questions, however, Gohan's sensitive hearing caught the sound of cheers; his natural curiosity made him want to go look, and Erasa, as his guide, felt compelled to follow the boy.
"MR. SATAN, MR. SATAN, MR. SATAN!"
A deafening roar greeted Gohan and Erasa's ears as they stumbled into the crowd of what looked like a parade. Every person in the crowd was shouting "MR. SATAN!" over and over, cheering on a towering mountain of a man — easily 6'10" — muscular, with a thick moustache and afro, both dark black.
"EVERYONE, WELCOME YOUR HERO, AND THE HOST OF THIS CURRENT FESTIVAL, MR. SATAAAAAAAAAAAAN!" A man with slicked black blonde hair, wire-rimmed glasses, and a lanky frame, dressed in a pinstriped suit, bellowed into a microphone. "THIS IS THE MAN WHO HAS SO VALIANTLY AGREED TO COMPETE IN THE CELL GAMES AND SAVE THE WORLD FROM THE TYRANNY OF THAT MONSTER!"
"MR. SATAN! MR. SATAN! MR. SATAN!" The crowd let out another deafening roar, and it was only then that Erasa and Gohan realized exactly where they were; directly in the center of a large festival. Looking around, Gohan could see concession stands, crowds of people gathering at various attractions and games, and the smell of food once again caught his attention. Was this entire procession just for this one man? Gohan couldn't understand why, as he'd never heard of the man. Was he important?
"WAHAHAHAHAHAHA!" The man, Mr. Satan, let out a raucous laugh that had the terrible misfortune of striking both children as ear gratingly annoying. "LOYAL CITIZENS, YOU HAVE NOTHING TO FEAR! IN NINE DAYS, I WILL BE COMPETING IN THE CELL GAMES, AND I WILL CRUSH CELL FOR ALL OF YOU TO SEE!" His voice, gravelly and boisterous as it was, was also nothing to smile at.
"BRILLIANT, MR. SATAN!" The unnamed bespectacled exclaimed. "WITH YOU AS OUR CHAMPION, THE CITIZENS OF ORANGE STAR CITY CAN REST PEACEFULLY!"
The crowd began to disperse, everyone heading out to enjoy the festivities, leaving Gohan and Erasa to themselves. Gohan couldn't help but feel a slight sense of worry. This man was competing in the Cell Games? That had to be a mistake, didn't it? He could barely feel any power from that man; in fact, he felt more energy from Master Roshi than Mr. Satan. So had he heard correctly?
Seeing their surroundings, however, gave Erasa a different feeling from Gohan's. A stroke of brilliance, in fact. Wrapping her arm around Gohan's, which immediately flustered the child, she dragged him straight towards the festival. "C'mon, Gohan! I bet you've never seen a festival before, have you?"
"N-no, I haven't," Gohan replied, his face flushing a little due to the proximity of her body to his; her could feel the skin of her arm through the silk of his sleeves.
"Then come on!" She tugged on his arm excitedly, eager to take Gohan to an event like this. With a smile on her face, she led Gohan around the festival, and, as she still had Zeni in her pocket, decided she'd make this her treat as well. Munching happily on grilled-squid-on-a-stick, Gohan let Erasa lead him around, and she seemed to enjoy herself just seeing his reaction to the new sights. Many of the stands and rides were themed around Mr. Satan; it became very apparent that this was a festival to celebrate the man's decision to compete in the Cell Games. Neither Gohan nor Erasa paid this any attention; the two children were far too absorbed in each other's company, the worries of things like the Cell Games put in the back of their heads.
"Gohan!" Erasa skidded to a stop, gasping excitedly, pointing with a free arm at one of the game stands; it was a ring throwing game, and if the winner could land three rings on one pole, they could win the grand prize, a giant plush bear. "Look at the bear! It's cute!" She was practically squealing.
"Do you want it?" Gohan asked, eyeing the stand. It wouldn't be difficult at all to win something like that.
"Can you win it for me?!" She begged, her bright blue eyes practically sparkling with the request. To anyone else, this would seem unfair; who could refuse puppy dog eyes?
"I'll win it for you," The boy promised, and Erasa let go of his arm as they made their way to the stand.
"You here for the ring toss, kid?" A bored looking woman asked, standing behind the counter. "You get one try free; every try after is 200 Zeni." She handed the boy three plastic rings, which he gripped gently; any excess force and he'd have to explain away destroyed property. Gohan kept his eyes on the pole, deftly throwing the first ring. It caught onto the tip of the ring, spiraling down to the base of the pole. Gohan smiled to himself as he threw the remaining two rings, both mimicking the actions of the prior, all three landing around the pole with ease.
"Congrats, kid," The woman droned, much to Gohan and especially Erasa's glee, as she unhooked one of the largest plush bears from the prize rack, and Gohan picked it up, handing it over to Erasa, who struggled to hold the giant bear up. It wasn't heavy, per se, but it was larger than Erasa was, and she stumbled back trying to hold it. Gohan quickly took it himself, placing it on his shoulder. "I'll hold onto it until we're done, alright?" He told her, chuckling to himself.
"Thanks, Gohan," Erasa was smiling broadly, her eyes twinkling with happiness. "I'm going to take good care of it," She said sweetly, and Gohan couldn't help but flush once more. Was the bear that important? In the back of his head, however, he was pleased with himself for winning Erasa a gift she wanted.
The two children, oblivious to time, continued to tour the festival. Erasa wanted to try goldfish scooping next, and despite having some issues with it, Gohan was able to guide the girl's hand and help her use the poi to succeed in scooping up the slippery fish. After playing several more games, by which point Gohan had won Erasa a few additional smaller prizes, and the festivities continued well into the evening. It was only when the sun began to set that the two realized just how late it had gotten; had the time truly gotten away from them?
"Oh my gosh!" Erasa looked down at the wristwatch on her hand, panic in her voice. "It's 6:55! I should have been home 20 minutes ago! I have to call my dad, he's going to get worried!"
"Don't worry about it," Gohan replied in a matter-of-fact manner. "I'll walk you back to your house, Erasa."
"R-really?" Erasa blinked, her silvery voice sounding surprised. Admittedly, she wouldn't mind Gohan coming back with her; she hated to have to see him go now, when they'd been having so much fun today. "You'd do that, Gohan?"
"Of course," The hybrid replied with a smile. "I can't just leave you with no one, can I? Besides," He held up the giant bear, as well as the bag of smaller prizes. "I don't just want to let you carry these on home by yourself. Just show me the way, and I'll walk with you."
"No you won't!" A ringing voice shot from behind both Gohan and Erasa. The Saiyan boy's hair quickly stood on end; a new, yet familiar scent caught his nose, pungent, like cinnamon. It was a smell of confrontation, and he recognized it all too well; it was his mother's own scent when she was angry. Both blondes turned to see a small girl in a white t-shirt and jean shorts with black hair tied into a side ponytail who was wearing a furious expression. She marched over to Gohan, a hand on her hip, and jabbed the boy in the chest with her index finger.
"I don't know who you are, but Erasa doesn't bring any boy home, at all!" She snapped, her blue-eyes meeting Gohan's. Unlike the warmth of Erasa's, these were cold and hard, more akin to a rugged sapphire than the pools that Erasa's were. Her forceful way of speaking reminded Gohan heavily of his own mother, and it made him uncomfortable as he edged back a bit. "You're why she did the exact opposite of what I asked and wandered off!?"
"W-wait, I can explain!" Gohan replied frantically, trying to muster up the courage to say something in response to this rabid girl.
"Videl, I was only showing him around the city!" Erasa replied hastily, trying to defend herself and her new friend. "He was new in town, and he looked lost, and..." She trailed off under Videl's enraged glare.
"And then there's you!" Videl cried shrilly, causing several shocked people to look in their direction. "I asked you to do one thing — one thing! — and that was to not wander off! And you do just that!" She began to wheeze heavily, the stress of yelling at these two kids was beginning to get to her. "Do you have any idea how worried I was about you? I've been looking for you for several hours — HOURS!" Her voice, if possible, began to shrill further, to the point that it pierced Gohan's far more sensitive ears and causing him to instinctively wince.
"I get it!" Erasa's voice was defeated, conceding that she had, in fact, given her friend too much trouble. "I'm sorry, I just wanted to help him out. He couldn't pay for his food, and when we started to talk, I lost track of the time, alright? I didn't mean to cause you this much trouble, Videl!"
Videl sighed, placing a hand to her forehead. "You're always like this, always! It's like that time when we were five, and you wandered off at the carnival. Do you remember how much explaining my Dad had to do to the relatives of that poor clown?" Whatever this topic was about, it was apparently one of Videl's hot buttons. "I'm taking you home, let's go!" She snapped, and grabbed Erasa by the wrist. The blonde girl flashed an apologetic look to Gohan; she couldn't find any words for her friend's actions at this point.
"I guess this is good-bye, Gohan?" The girl said morosely, looking slightly downcast.
"Yeah..." Gohan replied dully; he couldn't see anything to be gained from arguing with this new Videl girl. He really wanted to spend more time with Erasa, but this girl obviously wasn't going to allow something like that. Gently, he put the bag of prizes in her hand, and handed her the giant bear he'd won for her; once again, Erasa stumbled with it, but tried to keep a firm grip on it. "I really did have fun!" Gohan called out to her as Videl quite literally dragged the girl away. "Thank you!" He waved at her.
"Gohan!" A voice from the sky, all too familiar to the boy, called out to him. "So this is where you've been, huh?" Gohan looked up to see his father descending; clad in orange jacket, white t-shirt, green pants, and brown boots — clothes the boy's mother had bought the man in a bid to get him to wear something other than gi. In a state of passive Super Saiyan as well, this man was Son Goku, the father of Gohan.
"Dad?" Gohan almost spluttered in surprise. "Why'd you come all the way out here?"
"Your mother was worried, so she sent me to come get you." Goku replied airily. "'What if he's been kidnapped!? Or got hit by a car? Or ran into a group of thugs?'" Goku put on a very bad imitation of his wife's voice to give Gohan the picture of what was happening at home. "She's worried, so we should head home son."
"Sure..." Gohan agreed, flashing Erasa another look as he and his father rose high into the air. The girl was still looking at Gohan as her best friend dragged her away, but when she saw him float into the air with no support, her look of sadness changed into one of utter shock.
" He can fly!" She gaped, recalling their earlier discussion of where he lived. That was how he'd been able to get here on a whim; he could fly!
The father and son duo flew off into the sky, against the setting sun, and Gohan couldn't help but smile to himself. Despite how the day ended, he'd quite enjoyed spending time in the city, with Erasa. It was only at this point that he realized that, during this entire day, he'd barely thought about the Cell Games once. Even now, he was wondering if he would see Erasa again.
Little did the boy know that this was not to be their last meeting. It's funny how fate works.
Author's Note: So, here it is guys! The first chapter of the Erased Chronicles! I didn't expect to start it so soon, but I really couldn't wait to jump into it the moment I finished with the Neptunia Mk2: Conquest Ending: Resolution and I can just say I had a LOT of fun writing this chapter up. Let me clear a few things up real quick; to those who don't know, the Room of Spirit and Time is the Japanese term for "Hyperbolic Time Chamber", and that term stuck with me after reading the manga. The same applies to Shénlóng; this was the term used in the English Adaptation of the manga. It's chinese for "Dragon God", and given Dragon Ball's Chinese themes, I found it more fitting than Shenron or "Shinryu", which would be the Japanese name for the Dragon God
So, here's hoping this series is a success. This is just the prologue everyone, so don't worry! The real story will begin in Chapter 2, so please hang with me until then!