Finding Hope

Disclaimer: I don't own Dragonball Z… but I wish I did. ^_~ I'd be fairly rich then.

By: Selenity Jade (

Thanks: W-chan for Beta'ing!

Chapter Eleven: Meeting Slaan

Rating: PG13

Buruma looked around the bright green scenery curiously, a gentle smile coming to her face. It had been a long while since she had seen… plants. Grass, trees, oceans. It was beautiful to her, one of the most beautiful sights she had ever seen. It reminded her so much like home… So much, it brought tears to her eyes.

::Knock it off, Onna,:: Vejiita snapped into her mind, causing her to glance at him sharply. ::I can feel your…weepiness,:: he explained irritably.

Shooting him a glare, she resentfully swallowed her tears and glanced about. 'So, this is Namek.'

"There are quite a few power levels that are over a thousand, Ouji-sama," Bardock said, tapping the side of his scouter. "But none are over three. It will be simple."

"Vejiita-ouji, what are our orders?" Radditzu asked, turning to his prince curiously. "Seek and kill those that defy us?"

Buruma made a soft growl sound. ::No!::

Vejiita held up a hand to stop Buruma and turned to his two subjects. "No, we will not," he told them both with a glare that stopped any further questions on his odd behavior, or acceptance of what his 'mistress' wanted.

"Killing this time is a last resort," he told them, turning to scan the area with his scouter as well. He trusted Bardock fully, but he liked to do his own check. After all, only a fool would rely on the words of others. "Onna, you will be…talking with the Namek-jin. Saiyajin are not diplomats," he stated.

She nodded. ::Alright, Vejiita.::

Radditzu growled at her, but held his tongue, which was more than likely a very good thing as Bardock looked about ready to cuff his son.

"Good, there's a fairly small group of Namek-jin over that way," he told them, pointing west. "They're the strongest on this planet, we'll be visiting them first."

Bardock and Radditzu nodded and floated into the air slightly. "Yes, sire," they said simultaneously.

Vejiita rolled his eyes and scooped up the blue-haired scientist, floating into the air moments later, and then the small group was off.


The three Saiyajin warriors and the blue-haired scientist landed outside of a small settlement of little white dome-shaped houses. Buruma looked over the small village – or what she supposed was a village – curiously, her active mind storing the odd observances of the alien town in her mind for later use, should it have a use. She was always doing that, storing stuff in her mind from just common things, and she found, more often than not, that she did find uses for it later.

The white houses seemed to stand empty, the small village deserted. Buruma didn't think that was the case, actually, since the scouters the Saiyajin wore gave them ki levels. They were probably hiding in their homes, and she honestly couldn't say she blamed them. She knew how fierce they looked, or more accurately, the Saiyajin looked. She, on the other hand, appeared practically harmless, and she knew it. With the reputation of the Saiyajin, she doubted that they would want to come out anyway even if they looked like little fluffy bunny rabbits.

"They're hiding," Radditzu sneered, disgusted with their supposed cowardice. Buruma didn't think it was so much cowardice, but self-preservation. Only Saiyajin were stupid enough to fight when they were sure to lose.

She wasn't sure what to expect from the Namek-jin people, having only Piccolo and Kami to compare them to, and she didn't know if Piccolo was a good example of one. Especially when she had met Kami once and he seemed nothing like the destructive green demon. So, which was the norm, Piccolo or Kami?

"Yes, they are," Bardock stated, his voice neutral.

Buruma glanced at him curiously, finding her 'adopted' father a bit odd compared to the rest of the Saiyajin she knew. Most were almost foolhardy in their lust for battle, and despised any sort of thought process that might help them. If it didn't involve brute strength, they preferred not to use it. She knew that Vejiita was a bit different with that, as well. He was willing to actually strategize instead of relying on force completely. She was beginning to think it was something Bardock had taught to him.

"Radditzu, call them out," Vejiita ordered softly.

She took a step towards the largest house that she could see, figuring that was where some sort of leader might be housed. She was planning on simply walking up to it and knocking actually, but after two steps, Vejiita's gruff voice stopped her.

"Idiot, what are you doing?" he barked at her back.

She turned to glare at him. ::Going to knock, idiot! What else?::

Vejiita snorted and walked past her, stopping when he realized she wasn't beside him. "Well? Come on then!"

She blinked and then shrugged inwardly. Why he wanted to go with her to the door was beyond her, but she couldn't really think of a reasonable excuse as to why he shouldn't, so she simply nodded and walked up with him, rapping on the large door as soon as they reached it.

After a long silent moment, the door crept open slowly and a bald, green-skinned man, sporting an interesting pair of antennas, peeked his head out. "What do you want?" he demanded, eyeing Vejiita warily, and her with suspicion.

Vejiita's eyes narrowed angrily at the Namek-jin, but Buruma quickly spoke into his mind before the irate Saiyajin no Ouji had a chance to infuriate the entire settlement.

::Tell them we need their help, Vejiita,:: Buruma told him softly, giving him a warning look.

"We need your help," Vejiita repeated gruffly, irritated at having to ask for…help, but he was going to follow the blue-haired woman's suggestions for now, he figured she would have a better idea on how to get them to help than he would.

The Namek-jin frowned slightly, clearly not trusting her or the Saiyajin. She suspected they might have been more open if she had shown up alone – and could speak – without the growling prince. "Help? Help to do what?" the green man asked.

She sighed, telling Vejiita with telepathy what she wished him to tell the Namek-jin. "She," Vejiita began, nodding towards Buruma, "is from Earth, Namek. On her planet, there was a man named Piccolo and another being named Kami. Both were Namek-jin."

The green man blinked, obviously shocked with that information.

Vejiita growled softly before continuing. "They had a set of magical balls," he began, smirking slightly at the Namek-jin's widening eyes, "but unfortunately, the Namek-jin who created them past away recently, making the balls worthless. She's been traveling with me, and her best friend died recently. She wishes to use the dragonballs that were created here for the purpose of bringing him, and the rest of the people killed in an…attack on her planet, back." After his short explanation of what exactly they wanted, the Namek frowned thoughtfully.

"Why doesn't she tell me about this?" the green man demanded, suspicious of the oddity.

"She lost…. her voice recently. She was… captured by a being known as Furiza."

"Furiza!" the Namek-jin exclaimed with a slight squeak, his eyes wide with terror. "What do you have to do with that monstrosity?"

Vejiita smirked. "So, you know of Furiza, do you?" He glanced at Buruma quickly before going on. "I am Vejiita, Saiyajin no Ouji."

The green man's eye's widened. "You work for him!!" he accused angrily, starting to slam the door shut in his face, but Vejiita quickly stopped him with a hand to the door.

"Yes, I am a soldier of Furiza," he reluctantly admitted. "Unwillingly, but yes, I do work for him," he growled, his tail bristling in irritation.

Buruma could feel the resentment, anger, and hatred rolling off Vejiita, and placed a gentle, unobtrusive hand on his arm. He didn't acknowledge the soft touch, but he did calm visibly. She removed her hand moments later, not wanting him to shrug it off as he was inclined to do when she demonstrated anything resembling affection towards him in public.

The Namek-jin's eyes narrowed. "I am no fool, Saiyajin. Why should we choose to believe you?" he demanded gruffly.

Vejiita hissed, tempted to blast the green man to hell, and only Buruma's presence, and his promise to actually try another way first, kept him from doing just that. But it didn't keep him from envisioning it. The destructive thought calmed him enough to speak though. "Because it happens to be the truth," he stated, his voice clearly irritated.

Buruma nodded at the man, agreeing with Vejiita. She gave him a pleading look, hoping that her good looks, and apparent harmless appearance would win them some points. The Namek-jin looked her over carefully, glancing back at Vejiita again, and then turned towards her. "Alright, come in," he said, opening the door wide enough for them to enter.

What she didn't know was that it wasn't her appearance that persuaded the Namek-jin to trust them for now. It was the small, almost unnoticeable interaction between her and Vejiita – who was known as a vicious, cold killer – that decided him. It was the simple fact that one of the universe's most feared warriors was standing close to an apparently harmless woman, and the slight feelings of intimacy between them that had made the Namek-jin decided to trust them. At least a little bit. She had calmed him with a touch. Vejiita was acutely conscious of her presence beside him as he was avidly watching for betrayal and danger as they stepped into the Namek-jin's cozy home.

The green man nodded towards the living room area just inside the door, motioning towards a piece of large furniture that resembled a couch of some sort. Buruma immediately took a seat, leaving Vejiita to snort and follow suit. The Namek-jin then disappeared from the room, leaving his two visitors alone.

"Onna, this is going to take too much time! This is one reason I use force, among others," he growled, clenching his fist. He was not the most patient person, she had learned a while ago.

Buruma gripped his arm gently, shaking her head. ::Please, do this my way,:: she whispered into his mind. ::It'll work better. Trust me, Vejiita.::

Vejiita's entire body was tense with suppressed anger, but he gave her a curt nod, accepting her wishes, even if he didn't understand why he was relenting to her desires. He didn't care what she would think of his actions should he decide to kill the Namek-jin people. It was his choice, not hers. He was the prince; she was the slave. Why was he giving in to her wants? She couldn't harm him should he opt not to. So, why did he feel an odd sort of trepidation when he thought of going against her request?

::Thank you, Vejiita,:: she murmured into his mind, just as the old Namek-jin returned, followed by two younger men.

Vejiita stood up immediately, his entire body tense and Buruma had the feeling he was preparing for any sort of attack by the green inhabitants. Buruma realized again that he would definitely always be a warrior before anything else. And it frightened her. How could she allow herself to fall for someone who would always be poised to attack? She was nervous that that would include her as well.

Vejiita glanced around, memorizing the layout of the room, and the positions of the occupants in seconds. He paid particular attention to the location of the blue-haired female with relation to the others and himself. He wanted to be able to get between her and whatever threatened her if need be. He found the new feeling of wanting to keep the human woman from all harm a bit disconcerting, but he didn't fight it. After all, what would be the point?

"I suppose introductions are in order," the older Namek-jin said softly. "I am Slaan. The two warriors behind me are Polz and Kula," he began, motioning to each Namek respectively.

Buruma watched the trio of tall green men curiously. She hadn't known Piccolo well, or at all really, back home, nor Kami. While she could see the obvious resemblance, she didn't really know what to expect from them. Piccolo had been a violent warrior, trying to take over her planet quite a few times, actually. Well, technically, it was his... father, she supposed. The Piccolo that had been killed when the Saiyajin arrived had been a young version of the one that Goku had fought and killed. She found herself curious about whether all Namek-jin could procreate with the spitting up of eggs, or if that was simply a way to clone oneself.

She shook her head lightly, dislodging those thoughts; it was too much for now. Besides, he was gone and dead. There was time enough later to try to figure out Goku's green enemy.

Vejiita nodded, his face expressionless and guarded. "I am Vejiita-ouji, as I stated earlier. The female is Buruma, a human."

"She doesn't speak?" Slaan repeated questioningly, glancing curiously at the blue-haired woman. He then shook his head, turning his gaze back to the Saiyajin. "You want the dragonballs. It would be best if you spoke with the Eldest. He is the one who grants permission for the Elders to give seekers the test."

"Test?" Vejiita repeated as his brows came together, irritation slowly growing. He did not want a test. He just wanted to grab the stupid balls, and make his wish, or their wishes. Whatever. He needed to find a way to defeat Furiza and soon. From what the woman had told him, he gathered there was only one wish, and it would take a while for the balls to regenerate. He still hadn't decided which wish to do first. He knew his was imperative for Furiza's defeat, but he had promised his female her wish as well. He knew they couldn't afford to wait to make his wish. She would just have to trust him.

An odd thought.

"Yes, a test," Slaan said. "In order for seekers to be granted the dragonballs, he must pass a series of tests, one for each ball."

Vejiita cursed, growling low. "We do not have time for that! Furiza would find me by then!"

Buruma rested a hand on his arm, calming him with that simple touch. Neither bothered to wonder about the oddity, and if Vejiita would have thought about it, he would have probably been more than a little irritated with himself. The three Namek-jin did, however, notice the change in the Saiyajin no Ouji as soon as she touched him, and both of the warriors glanced at each other, confused. The Namek-jin had heard of Vejiita, and what they heard did not match up to the version before them.

The Vejiita they had heard about was a ruthless, bloodthirsty monster who delighted in destruction and death. He was supposed to be a small, tailed warrior who battled Furiza's enemies at the pale tyrants command, and enjoyed it. Not the man before them that let a slender female calm him.

They didn't know what to make of it.

Slaan shook his head. "I apologize, but we cannot grant permission. Perhaps if you explained the situation to the Eldest he would grant leave from the tests, and then you could simply gather them."

Buruma nodded, glancing at Vejiita. ::Just listen to them, Vejiita. Ask them where the Eldest is and let's go see him.::

Vejiita growled, nodding curtly to Buruma, although the Namek-jin thought he was nodding at Slaan's suggestion. "Fine. Where is he?"

Slaan nodded to the two warriors, both stepping forward at the motion. "These two will guide you there. It's to the east from here."

Vejiita nodded turning around and with a pointed look at Buruma, left the house. Buruma caught the slight bristling of Vejiita's tail and sighed, giving the three Namek-jin apologetic looks. She then followed Vejiita out of the small house.

Slaan turned to look at the two warriors. "Polz, make sure that the Saiyajin does not start trouble. Although, I do believe the female would stop him from doing so. Kula, watch them. Now, go," he ordered softly, watching as the two nodded and left.


AN: Slaan, Polz, and Kula are mine, obviously, and YES, they're names come from snail and slug words, so there! ^_~