"Delicious!" pronounced Goten cheerfully as he munched on his breakfast corn cereals. "I only wish there was milk in it…"
"So why don't you put milk in there?" asked Gohan, looking up from his dog-eared learning scrolls their village scholar kindly gave him as a gift for his recent birthday. He loved these pieces of rolled papers dearly, although in the past, his mother had to practically TORTURE him into loving pieces of documents such as this. It was understandable; he was a boy, hungry for adventures, and his father was more than happy to feed the need. And being chained to the study desk when he could be out there, saving the town from grizzly bears run amok, bandits trying to wreak havoc in town, or even creatures from another world attempting to dominate the world…well, it didn't make sense to him.
But on his father's deathbed, Son Gokou made him promise to obey his mother always, and to love and protect her. And he cherished that word they exchanged man to man, so he taught himself to love erudition—something his mother dreamed of incessantly for her sons. Not to be like their father who was, in every sense, not an ordinary father. He didn't toil in the farm from sunrise to sun down and bring home the food to be served on the table. He didn't pay the village's contributions. He couldn't be home long enough to fix the roof or to regularly fetch water from the well.
He was simply too busy looking after the world's safety, together with his trusted friends.
He snapped back to reality when he heard his mother's angry voice. He sweatdropped. Here they go again…
"…and we can't even afford anymore to have stock milk in the cabinet because we cannot get enough money to BUY a cow! Your father was too laidback and too contented with his lazy life, flying around town and fighting forces unseen when the town didn't even care for him! Instead of working in the farm and being a good provider, he… would rather serve the world! He has the most thankless job I know, and good heavens, he ENJOYS it! But the people who really needs him—really, REALLY needs him – couldn't get hold of him." Chichi's eyes watered. "Had he forgotten that he has a FAMILY? A wife, even?"
He winced inwardly. His mother was getting emotional again. Although he had to admit, his mother had the right to say that. His dad was never really around in the house. It was fortunate that he was able to be with his father in their adventures, but his mother…his good ole mother, who was more practical, more sensible, and was more at home with her feet firmly planted on the ground than uncertainly above the air; soaring freely…she never had a husband.
Then the memory of his father in his deathbed flashed in his mind. That of his father's twinkling eyes as he talked about the young girl who made him promise that she would be his fiancée. He agreed at once, thinking it meant food. He wasn't able to come back though, as he promised her. He only remembered years later in a martial arts tournament when he faced a mysterious beautiful young woman on battle who seemed to dislike him intensely. She told him that he would have her name and her reason for hating him when he defeats her, which he did with consummate ease.
Ruefully, she gave him her name. After the tournament and some mishaps, it was his turn to give her his name.
Son Gokou never said anything about love, but he could sense something powerful within the Saiyan's heart that only this man's wife could stir so passionately. If that wasn't proof enough, then all he must do was look at the mirror, or look at his younger brother.
Speaking of which, his brother was sighing. "Really, Mom, I think the cereal is OK without the milk…"
Chichi delicately blew her nose on the hem of her apron. "Don't worry, Goten. I…I would try to ask your Grandpa for milk when he visits us again." She subtly smiled at the small-framed picture of the grinning Son Gokou on the dining room, as if reassuring him that his sons wouldn't go wrong while she was still here.
His heart wrenched. It was his job to smile that way to his father, promising security to this family. Within him, he heard his father's voice telling him to go for it. He put down his learning materials.
This made his mother look up. "Gohan? Oh, I'm sorry. Did I disturb your studying?"
"Mom, I'm going to get a job."
Videl smiled fondly at her father who was being interviewed by the eager reporters. It seemed her father, the champion of the city that bears his name in tribute to his greatness, had done yet another act of heroism, this time, triumphing against the strange fellow who calls itself Cell. Despite Cell's use of deceiving ways, the Grand Martial Arts tournament champion still won against it.
She was so proud of her dad, and she knew that if she wanted to become like him, she must persevere further in her training. In her eyes, he was the grandest hero in the entire history.
"How about your daughter, Videl, Master?" asked one of the reporters. "The young lady is growing beautifully—"
"Of course, it's in the genes," said her father not without a touch of pride. Her heart swelled in happiness.
"Of course, Master," agreed the man. "Do you think you would allow any man to ask her hand for marriage?"
Before her father could reply, she answered for him. In a loud, proud voice, she declared, "The only man I will marry is the one who can defeat my dad!"
"Then Ms. Videl, I guess that means you'll grow up a spinster? Why, that would dishearten a lot of men who admire your bravery and masterful skills in battle, but also your fierce beauty as well," said the reporter, grinning.
"My father is my yardstick," she replied, smiling. "No man will be ever worth his skin without him bearing my father's qualities."
"Look, son, can't you see the signboard outside?" said the stout man as he grabbed Gohan outside his office and showed him the No Vacancy sign. "What does it says?"
"Um…that you have not yet realized that your manpower is still in need of one more work-oriented laborer with properly settled priorities and had acquainted himself with work ethics?" he tried.
"No. It means we don't need you around here." With that, he was unceremoniously thrown out of the construction area.
He sighed. This was the nth time that he tried to get a job, but was refused, for a variety of reasons. He was too young, too weak-looking, too mild, too scholarly-looking, and of course, too late, for they had always recruited enough men just when he applies for a job. Now he understood why his father opted to be an invisible protector of the town. He wasn't paid literally, but the feeling he gets after saving people, it was compensation enough for a simple-hearted one like his dad. Plus, he didn't have to go through all these rejections…
Maybe I should just give it up, he thought glumly. But no, it was like giving up on his promise to his father and mother.
He ran his job ideas in his mind as he walked on the grassy path leading to the city.
Not so long after the TV station broadcasted the interview, suitors had been lining up in front of the mansion to try to fight against her father. Videl sighed in exasperation as man after man flew outside the gates of their front yard.
"Dad, maybe you should take a rest or something?" she said when he kicked the eighty-fifth man out of the ring.
Her father smirked. "Nonsense, Videl! I'm just beginning to warm-up!"
She sweatdropped. "Well, try to not hurt them too much, ok?"
"Haha! Of course!" He gave her a V-sign, then went back to his business.
Gohan's eyes widened when he saw the long queue formed outside the large mansion. He nudged one of the men lined up eagerly. "What's going on?" I hope it's a free ration of milk.
"We're applying," said the man simply.
His eyes lit up. A job fair? Wow! "For what job?"
The man rolled his eyes. "What planet are you from? Didn't you see the broadcast awhile ago?" He went on to narrate to the nodding boy the interview on TV.
In the end, Gohan nodded. "I'll fall in line too! I WANT THAT JOB!"
It was already nine in the evening when the line dwindled, and so far, no one was able to even touch her father. She sighed, then yawned. "Dad, make the others go home already. We both need to rest."
Her father nodded. "I am dead beat. I'm not used to being up all afternoon without a nap." He didn't add that he wasted his whole afternoon kicking amateurs' butts when he could be in a spa with lots of attractive women to respond to his every whim.
"Goodnight, Papa." She kissed his sweaty forehead and smiled sleepily. "You're the greatest." She suddenly made a jab towards his jaw, and he barely managed to avoid it. "How's that for my training improvement?"
"Don't gawk. It's nothing much." He grinned.
"CLOSED?! But I waited all afternoon, I didn't get dinner, I'm tired and I wasn't able to buy milk for my brother!" wailed Gohan.
The guards of the mansion didn't seem sympathetic to him. "Master is tired too. He would attend to you tomorrow morning maybe."
"Please let me in. Maybe I can try to talk to him and ask him—"
"Forget it. You have to get past us if you want to—"
No sooner that the guards said that when the men behind and in front of Gohan rushed towards the steel gates of the mansion, stampeding on the guards in the process. Gohan sweatdropped as he helped the poor guards back into their posts, then entered the mansion as well.
"We waited all day in line! Now give us the chance to fight the Master Grand Champion!" yelled the mob in unison.
Videl sighed and closed the window. "How in the world are we going to get any sleep with them around?"
Her father opened one eye, then groaned. "Ah, it's terrible to be so popular!" He got up and took his signature brown robe. "I guess I would have to face them—"
"Wait, Papa!" She stopped him. "What if I face them instead?" she asked.
He frowned. "Are you sure? There are a lot of men outside and…"
"I'm sure, Papa," she said, smiling confidently. "Now I can put my training into a REAL test."
"Well, if you ever need help, you can call me—"
"Relax, Papa. I'll deal with them MY way." Her grin was self-assured. After all, she was not the daughter of the Grand Martial Arts champion for nothing.
The minute a young girl materialized in the balcony, the mob was hushed. Excited whispers roamed around the crowd, and Gohan thought he caught the words "the daughter of Master Grand Champion" in the undertones. He looked up at the girl and squinted at her figure through his glasses. Her figure towered above theirs, and the moon behind her hid her features, merely silhouetting her outline. Her acutely toned voice though penetrated his auditory systems wholly.
"Listen, you guys," she said. "Papa is resting, so if you guys really want to fight…you have to fight ME." This was followed by her proud laughter that rather resembled well the laughter of…
He sweatdropped. It couldn't be…
"You guys can attack me all at the same time or one-on-one. I do NOT care. All I want is to finish this as soon as possible, so I can get a goodnight sleep already. If you fall from the balcony where I'm standing, you are not qualified anymore to fight with me. Ready?"
Tensed silence, then loud ayes.
As if with one mind, all the men around Gohan headed for the girl at once.
Videl blocked one flimsy punch successfully, then another one with her right leg. She used her left elbow to nudge roughly the other man, then leaped to avoid the flying kick of another man. Adrenalin shot through her veins as she felt awareness in every part of her body. She was now in the right spirit to fight!
Men after men tumbled down, but she maintained her poised balance on the steep rails of the balcony. The some thirty men she was fighting thinned down to twenty, then to ten. Until finally, she was fighting with just two. She kicked the other one down, and now, she was left battling with a blond-haired macho man. She shut her eyes in distaste. This could NOT be the man for her! One look at him and she knew that she would rather be unmarried all her life.
She raised her leg to kick him, and in his moment of hesitation, she saw him ogling her legs. Her cheeks heated, and she used her other leg to deliver a blow to his face. This made the man plummet down to the ground.
She stood at the top of the railing, arms crossed smugly in front of her chest. "All of you were defeated so easily, just as I thought. Shame on you to think that you can defeat my father when you can't even stand up against ME." She cocked an eyebrow. "Goodnight, gentlemen. Thank you for coming anyway."
"Thank you my ass!"
Her eyes widened when she saw one man pull a gun and point it at her. "No woman would defeat me like that, even if you are the daughter of Master Satan!" he yelled before firing away.
And cursed her for not moving. She shut her eyes in anticipation of the bullet when she felt strong arms encircle her waist and dive her down to the floor. The bullet missed her inches in the air.
It instantly stirred a reaction among the Grand Champion loyalists. The crowd hammered on the man, while Videl…
"H-Hey…it's ok to open your eyes already," said a male voice gently.
She stiffened, but relaxed when she knew he was right. She was safe. The bullet missed her. She opened her eyes and found herself face-to-face with her savior.
A young man with a milk pail on his head.
Before she could react, he got up and saluted.
"H-hey, wait! Your name!" she cried before she could stop herself.
She saw him pause, then suddenly, made frantic arm and leg moves. "Call me…the Great Saiyan Man!"
"G-Great…Saiyan Man?" she echoed, somewhat feeling dumb.
"Goodbye!" And with that, he jumped down the balcony, just as panicked guards entered the balcony. "Videl-sama, are you alright?"
She blinked, blushed, then placed her hands on her hips. "OF COURSE I'M ALRIGHT! I'm my father's daughter, and I can take care of myself!"
"We heard a gunshot—"
"And I'm safe. Don't bother Papa about this anymore." She turned her back on them and gazed at where her savior stood just seconds ago.
"Great Saiyan Man, huh? I know we'll see each other again. I know that you're the only one who can actually hold his fort against Papa."
"An applicant at this time of the morning?" Her father looked very displeased. It was fortunate that her Papa was sleeping too tightly to even notice the commotion outside last night.
She grinned. Well, I guess he would just have to hear it in the news then.
"Oh, alright. Let him in. Geez…people are so ambitious, thinking that they can defeat the one and only Grand Martial Arts champion? Hahaha!"
She looked up when she heard footsteps shuffling towards them.
Behind the guard was a tall, young man with dark hair clumsily combed up, but with strands of hair falling down on his eyes, making him look boyish. On his face was a sheepish grin, one enough to melt any mother's heart. He was dressed casually in white shirt and slacks, with a vest draped over his broad shoulders. What attracted her attention the most though were his twinkling warm eyes, carrying gentleness that was rarely seen in boys her age who only knew how to make themselves look good and coat themselves with false macho and bravado.
She did a double take when she saw him smile at her. She quickly looked down on her pancakes, trying to contain the colors that were starting to flood her cheeks.
Gohan grinned when he saw the young girl seated in the dining room gazing at him intently. He was puzzled though when she looked away, as if she was angered when he noticed her looking at him.
"Look here, son, I'm not yet in the mood to battle. Maybe if you come back in a more suitable time, I'll battle with you," Master Satan was saying. "Try me after ten years."
He nodded slowly, then asked, "In the afternoon or in the evening? You see, my mother makes me fetch water the whole morning everyday, so I may not be able to make it."
The two gaped at him in disbelief.
"You really want to be my suitor THAT much?" Videl finally asked, unable to determine what she feels with that thought.
"Huh?" The look of confusion on the boy's face was a classic.
"What do you mean, 'huh'?" she demanded.
"S-Suitor? I don't want to be a suitor!" he sputtered.
"E-Eh? T-Then why are you here applying?" she yelled, her high-pitched voice filling the four corners of the spacious dining room.
He paused for awhile, then recognition dawned on his handsome face. He rubbed his cheek sheepishly. "I-I think it was my fault. Somebody told me that he's applying to be your tutor. I must have misheard him."
"S-So you mean to say you're applying here as a TUTOR?!"
"Yeah!" nodded the boy brightly. "I'm good in literature and in sciences."
"Well…" Her father rubbed his stubbles thoughtfully. "You had an awfully terrible grade in biology in your report card…"
"Papa!" she screamed in disbelief.
"Videl!" He pounded his fist on the table. "I have decided already. My daughter must not only excel in physical and martial arts endeavors, but in academics as well." He turned to the boy. "Son, you're hired." He grinned just as hidden cameras in the mansion started flashing. It was only then that Videl realized that their whole house was bugged by the TV Station to get the latest scoops on the life of the Martial Arts Grand Champion. She groaned helplessly.
"HIRED?!" Gohan couldn't believe his luck. He could now finally buy a whole cabinet of milk for his brother!
The man went on to tell him the extent of his tutoring job, but he wasn't listening. He was excited to see the reaction of his mother, or his Aunt Bulma and Trunks.
He looked at his new student, grinning in his usual friendly way, but she ignored him deliberately. He shrugged. She was really different from the girl he saved last night. She was not very grateful this morning, when if he was in her shoes, he would be overjoyed that someone would help him in his journey to education.Oh well. Maybe she's not just in the mood to talk. He then self-consciously combed his hair with his fingers, praying that his hair wouldn't attract ants because of the lingering scent and stickiness of the milk on his head. To be continued