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CAUTION: Sequel to Gohan's Dilemma. If you haven't read Dilemma, then I suggest you do so to get up to speed.
Son Gohan yawned widely as he listened to the droning of his high school teacher, who was going on about the glories of sines, cosines, tangents, and all other manner of mathematical formulae that were, all in all, so mind-numbingly dull that it took all of Gohan's phenomenal concentration just to keep himself awake.
A big part of that was owed to his father and Piccolo, who had been training with him ever since Majin Buu's reign of terror had been ended some time ago. Naturally the three warriors had beaten each other senseless into the wee hours of the morning and Gohan had only gotten a few hours of sleep.
He yawned again.
"Mr. Son," the teacher said with his nasally voice, hardly changing pitch from his last words to his current statement. Inflection was lost on this one. "Perhaps since you find this class so dull, you could work the next problem for me?" Gohan jerked awake, getting titters from his classmates. He stood up and took in the problem, sharp mind whirling at top speed as he looked over the problem and came up with an answer.
"Negative three," he said confidently.
"Now you see why you need to…" the teacher stopped dead in his tracks as he realized that Gohan had not only gotten the question right, but he'd done it mentally. Flummoxed by this latest feat of mental might by the transfer student, the teacher waved Gohan back to his seat as the class laughed, each student knowing that when it came to Son Gohan, you would be hard pressed to find a better person. His grades were top-notch, he regularly smoked the Phys. Ed test that left even members of the track team vomiting without breaking a sweat, and he was easy-going to top it all off.
The bell rang.
"For homework do pages 339-343," the teacher called over the din of students packing up to leave for the day. Groans met his ears as he wobbled out of class. That particular teacher was thin, reedy, and looked like a solid blast of wind would knock him over.
Gohan stood with the rest and stretched, leaning back until he felt a few bones in his back pop. He grunted with satisfaction.
"Way to show up the teacher, Gohan," Videl said as she faced him from the row in front.
Sharpner snorted. "Yeah. Way to go, bookworm," he fumed. "You're probably the reason we got so much homework in the first place!"
"That's not fair!" Eresa protested as the four headed out the classroom, down the hall and across the school grounds. "That guy's always been heavy on the homework! Gohan's answer had nothing to do with it!"
"So you say," Sharpner replied, not convinced.
They got to the gate and parted ways.
"Bye Gohan!" Videl and Eresa called as Sharpner gave a half-hearted wave.
Gohan waved back and walked away. As he strolled down the street, he stared up at the clouds, wishing he could just fly home, but he knew that he had to at least be beyond the city outskirts if he wanted to remain semi-invisible to the normal people in the town. Not many knew about Gohan's real power. The only ones who did know were Videl, Eresa, and Sharpner. The three of them had inexplicably retained their memories of everything that had happened during the couple of weeks that Majin Buu had run rampant on the Earth. Gohan guessed it had something to do with them being his friends but he really couldn't say for sure.
Either way, the young man was acutely aware that his time among his treasured friends was coming to an end. In another few weeks or so, he would finish collecting the Dragonballs and make the wish that would return him to Konohagakure, a village in an alternate dimension.
The Saiyan teen's eyes found the hitai-ate that he'd tied to the strap of his bag, slung over his shoulder. The blue headband was a treasured possession of his, something to remind him that yes that crazy adventure three years ago had been real and he hadn't been dreaming. Gohan's finger traced the shiny metal of the hitai-ate. He kept the hitai-ate meticulously cared for and, during his first week or so of school, had even gotten into a fight with a bully who'd tried to take it from him.
That bully no longer went to Orange Star High.
In the center of the metal plate that was attached to the navy blue fabric was a stylized engraving. The swirling pattern looked oddly like a leaf, which it was. The hitai-ate was an ID card of sorts, something that showed Gohan's attachment to the village of Konoha.
He smiled wistfully. Three years. Had it already been that long? Gohan could remember, quite clearly, the day when an accident at Capsule Corps had sent thirteen-year-old Gohan tumbling through time and space. The dimension Gohan had ended up in, quite by accident, had become a second home to the young man and he felt just as at home there as he did here, among his own family.
"I wonder how they're doing?" He wondered aloud, watching the clouds drift by overhead. He thought of all his friends, from Naruto, that rambunctious bundle of energy who was more tenacious than a bulldog, to the venerable old Sandaime Hokage, to the lecherous but strong Jiraiya, and everyone in between, but mostly his thoughts lingered on Haruno Sakura, a girl who'd admitted her feelings for him not long before he'd been whisked back to his own dimension by Shenlong, who'd created quite a stir in the village when his huge serpentine girth had appeared in the skies over the Hokage Monument.
A small part of him wondered why he was even bothering thinking about them, but Gohan knew the reason.
He had a promise to keep.
Three years ago, Uchiha Sasuke, a prodigy and one of only two remaining members of the Uchiha clan, had gone rogue and left the village. Naruto had been adamant about retrieving the runaway shinobi, called a missing-nin in the trade's lexicon, and returning him to Konoha, all because Sasuke was the first real friend Naruto had ever had.
Sakura, Gohan, and Kakashi had been much less enthusiastic about the whole idea, but they'd gone along with him, knowing that letting Naruto go after Sasuke alone was a very bad thing to do. Actually, the entire ordeal had come close to costing everyone their lives. Gohan still got goosebumps when he thought about his little run-in with the not-so-dead Orochimaru. That had pushed him to his limits and if it hadn't been for Sakura's timely interference and Gohan's Ascended Super Saiyan form, things might have gone very differently. In the end, the attempt to rescue Sasuke had been a failure and the Uchiha had escaped.
Not too long after that, Sakura had confessed to him, the two had begun a fledgling relationship, and Gohan had all but given up hope of ever seeing his family again, but he had come to the realization that living where he was wasn't such a bad thing and had come to accept it. That was when Shenlong had appeared, interrupting a festival, found Gohan, and whisked him back to his proper world, but not before Gohan had given Sakura and Naruto a promise that he would return in three years and they would go after Sasuke together.
It hadn't been a lie and so he'd thrown himself back into his training, which he'd neglected after he'd killed Cell and Bojack. Then there had been the incident with Majin Buu and now Gohan was stronger than ever, thanks to a ceremony that had released his full potential, something that was frightening when one stopped to think about just how much potential Gohan had, and to top it all off, Goku was back from the dead, thanks to a lucky combination of circumstances.
The father and son duo had lost no time in sparring with each other (at full power no less) and had driven each other to the very summit of their enormous power. Piccolo, not one to be outdone, had joined in on the act from the beginning at Gohan's request. He'd trained relentlessly with Gohan until Goku's revival and the conclusion of the Majin Buu incident. At first it had been an exercise in futility on Piccolo's part but that had long since changed and the Namekian was now able to routinely hold his own against the two saiyans.
Gohan made it to the outskirts and blasted into the sky, going home for the day.
Two weeks later, Gohan was hovering over an active volcano, frowning down at the Dragon Radar he held in his hand. Below him, the volcano spewed ash and lava into the sky and more molten rock sloughed down its sides. The teenager sighed heavily. It would have to be here, wouldn't it? The Dragonballs were seven mystical orbs, made of some orangish substance that could possibly be described as glass or crystal. Inside each ball was a star, numbered on through seven stars. When all seven were gathered, the Eternal Dragon Shenlong could be summoned and two wishes made. It didn't matter the wish. The Dragon had been used to grant everything from the world's softest pair of panties to restoring the Earth to her rightful place in the heavens and reviving all the population that went with it.
After its task was complete, the Dragon would leave and the Dragonballs would scatter to the ends of the Earth for one year and turn to stone, after which they could be gathered again and Shenlong could be summoned and the process would be repeated. Now Gohan was collecting the balls on his own time so he could return himself to the dimension that held Konoha and his other group of friends.
The problem was that it seemed the balls never landed in places that were easy to get to, or survive for that matter. Case in point was this one. The four star ball, the one that Gohan and his family treasured above all else, was sitting in the middle of an erupting volcano. The small resort town on the island had long since been evacuated and the lava was currently eating a path through the jungle towards it. Gohan sighed as he landed on the lip of the volcanoes crater, watching pumice and chunks of rock fly over his head and thud down the slope.
"It had to be a volcano," Gohan groaned. "Why couldn't it land in the middle of the tropics?" He shrugged and tucked the radar securely into the special carrying case Bulma had made for it in her spare time. The case was a godsend here because it could withstand the rigors of the ocean floor all the way to the chills of the arctic and the searing heat of the desert. It was a safe bet that the case could withstand a volcano too right?
Gohan took a deep breath and poised on the edge of the volcano.
He dove headfirst into the boiling cauldron of rock and smoke.
Gohan sprawled on the beach a few hours later, breathing hard, a small orange-yellow ball resting serenely on the white sands next to him. Rising above stood the volcano, looking just as it had only a little while before, except the crater wasn't smoking. Gohan's clothes were burned and he had singe marks all over his body from close calls with lava and other hot objects.
"Oh man! I thought I was done for sure!" he gasped as he sat up and picked up the Dragonball, which, despite all it had been through inside the volcano, was cool to the touch and unblemished. "But I got the 4-star ball!" He retrieved a cloth bag from a rock in the surf, figuring that the water would be the best place to put the other five while he went after the next one.
He opened it and grinned at his distorted reflection in the shiny surfaces of the other five. The five balls were pulsing in time with each other, something that they did when two of the balls got within a few feet of each other. Gohan dropped the newly-acquired four-star ball into the pouch with its fellows and closed the flap.
"And that makes six!" he crowed. Gohan's ki flared up around him as a blue-white aura of flame and he blasted off from the island, rocketing up into the sky and away from the island. He looked down as he left and grinned when he saw the blown out backside of the flaming mountain. That had been the work of a fast Kamehameha because Gohan didn't feel like going out the hard way.
Then the island became nothing but a brown-green speck in the sapphire sea and he was gone.
"No!" Chichi said adamantly. "I refuse!"
"Mom," Gohan started to say.
"No means no, Gohan!" Chichi turned from wiping dishes to glare at her eldest son. Gohan had just come back from somewhere that involved fire and smoke. Chichi could smell the singed hair and burnt clothing on him, even after a long and vigorous shower to try and wash the stink off. "I'm not allowing my baby boy to go off to some other dimension and consort with people I haven't even met!"
"But I told you, Mom, there're good people there!" Gohan protested. Both mother and son had a set to their shoulders and bodies that would've told the uneducated that this was a long-standing argument. In fact, it had been going on for the last three years, ever since Gohan had announced his plans to return to that world and that he was not coming back this time around. Naturally, Gohan's overprotective mother Chichi had been one thousand percent against it and Gohan, contrary to what he normally did when it came to his mom, wasn't backing down.
"You've almost died! You've been tortured, attacked, and been put into situations that can't be healthy for you! I'm not letting you go back there, Gohan!"
Goten and Goku were sitting at the table, each stuffing their faces, watching the argument go back and forth, heads swiveling like they were at a tennis match.
"But I promised them! I promised I would return in three years and we would go after Sasuke together! I can't just leave them hanging!"
"That was a lie and you know it, Gohan," Chichi retorted. "You don't belong there."
"And I belong here?" Gohan all but shouted. An uncomfortable silence followed his words but Gohan knew that there was no going back now, even if he did feel bad about it. "Mom, I don't fit in here and you know it! Everyone's saved the world more times than I can count and it's still not enough! I have to hide my powers at school and I have to pretend to be something I'm not. I'm getting sick of it!"
"And what's so different about that place?" Chichi asked. That place. It was Chichi's term for the world that held Konoha. She refused to call Konoha by name, or any of the other places Gohan had told them all about for that matter. No one was quite sure of the reason, but there were days that Gohan wondered if it wasn't a ploy on her part to get him to forget everything and be content with going to school and becoming what Chichi wanted.
In another world, another life, and another mindset, Gohan would've done exactly that. He would've let himself slip, let his powers weaken, and go to school like a good little boy. But that trip to Konoha, though brief, only a couple of months, had changed Gohan forever. Naruto, Sakura, Kakashi, Sasuke, Jiraiya, Tsunade, Shizune, Sarutobi, Itachi, Kisame, Orochimaru, Kabuto, and all the rest had left their mark on Gohan. They'd shown him what he had to become to protect the world, to protect those he loved and cared about. In some way they'd inexorably and undeniably sculpted Gohan into the man he'd become.
"They're the same, Mom! Everyone in Konoha, they all have abilities, just like we do! They manipulate the elements, clone themselves, fight with strategies so complex I still don't understand most of them, and all kinds of other things. I don't have to hide who I am! They accept me, care about me, love me, and welcome me as a valued part of the village! I miss that! I miss not hiding!"
"Gohan you are not going and that's final!"
"I'm going whether you like it or not!" Gohan shouted. Again there was that horrible silence and Chichi looked really hurt this time. Gohan instantly regretted his words but knew that there was no turning back now. He would go. He had no other choice. He owed it to everyone he'd left behind in that world.
Gohan turned on his heel and walked out of the kitchen.
"Son Gohan you get back here this instant!" Chichi roared.
The slamming of Gohan's door was the only answer she got.
"Goku!" Chichi said, rounding on her husband. "Do something about that boy!"
Goku shrugged. "Like what?" He asked.
"Go up there and tell him that he needs to listen to his mother!"
"But Chichi," Goku replied, "every kid moves out of the house at some point or another. Gohan's no different."
"Most kids don't move to other dimensions!" Chichi all but screamed. "I'm not going to let him leave and go somewhere where I'll never see my little boy again!"
"Gohan's becoming his own man," Goku replied. "None of us can stop that any more than we can stop the sun from rising."
"I think it's best if we let Gohan do what he wants," Goku said firmly, in an unusual display of parental force. "It's not our decision to make. And," he added, "Gohan's not doing it because he's a rebellious kid or anything. It's because he made a promise to some friends and he intends to keep that promise. If that means he has to go away and maybe never come back, then I think I'm more proud of the person he's grown up to be than angry about his decision to follow his heart." Goku grinned his innocent Son grin that had been passed from father to both sons. "Right?"
Chichi blinked, surprised at the intelligent words that had come from her too-often naïve husband and finally smiled. "Idiot," she said affectionately. "Sometimes I wondered why I married you."
Goku's grin widened and Chichi kissed his forehead then smacked Goten as the kid made loud retching noises.
Gohan sat on his bed, the six gathered Dragonballs strewn on the floor in front of him, each pulsing in time with its brothers. A soft beeping filled the dark room as the Dragon Radar on Gohan's lap picked up the six balls and then the one remaining one. Gohan felt horrible about the fight with his mother but he'd meant what he said. He was really going back to Konoha and was really going to help Naruto and the others get Sasuke back from wherever he was.
Gohan was debating when he should go get his last ball and make the wish right then. It was getting close to the three year to the day mark since he'd been pulled away from Konoha. Naruto had been talking about going on a training trip with Jiraiya to get ready to go after Sasuke and Sakura was apprenticed to Tsunade, the Godaime Hokage, to achieve the very same ends. Gohan himself, instead of wishing himself back immidiatly like he'd first intended, had been talked into staying home for three years to train as well.
It seemed that getting the next ball sooner rather than later would be the way to go. Gohan nodded to himself. He would go get the next ball next weekend and summon the dragon soon after that, after he'd made his reparations, said good-bye to everyone he wanted to say good-bye to, and gotten his stuff packed up and ready to go. He felt sad about leaving everyone behind for what could very well be the last time, but this was what he wanted to do and no one was going to stop him from doing it.
The next weekend came quickly and departed just as fast and by the end of it, Gohan had the seventh Dragonball in his collection at his house. Almost as if Shenlong himself were wishing Gohan good luck, the seventh ball had been near Master Roshi's house. Gohan had collected the ball and said his good-byes to the old pervert hermit, or Ero-sennin as Gohan had taken to calling him as a reminder of Naruto's penchant for nicknaming people, Krillin, Eighteen, their daughter, and Turtle.
Now it was Monday and Tuesday was the day Gohan had decided to use the Dragonballs to take himself back to Konoha. There was just one problem with his plans and that was saying good-bye to his friends at school. He knew Videl harbored more than simple friendly affection for him, something she'd tried to act on at one point or another but Gohan had had to turn her away. After all, he was kind of involved with Sakura, which he'd explained to Videl, but made it sound like Sakura lived in another country in this world instead of an entirely different dimension.
"Thank you," the receptionist said to Gohan as he handed over all of his paperwork to complete his withdraw from Orange Star High School. Gohan nodded and left the office, checking both ways in the hall before stepping out. He kind of hoped that he didn't see any of his friends after school today because of what was going on.
"Gohan! There you are!"
Gohan winced. It was Videl and the others, coming down the stairs at the end of the hallway. Oh well. There was no denying it now.
"What're you doing in the principal's office?" Sharpner asked. "Get too many As or something?"
"Not exactly," Gohan said with a small chuckle as they left school together.
"Well then what were you doing in there?"
He kept going, well aware that his friends had all stopped dead in their tracks and were staring at him like he'd grown a second head.
"Withdrawing?" Eresa repeated.
"Now?" Videl added.
"It's the middle of the school year!" Sharpner finished.
"Yeah, I know."
"So what's the deal?" Videl asked as they trotted to catch up to Gohan again. "Is something bad happening in the world again?"
Gohan laughed. "No, it's nothing like that, it's just that I have to leave now."
"Leave? Where're you going?" Eresa asked.
"Away," Gohan replied. "Maybe for good."
"You're leaving for good?" Videl asked, looking hurt. Gohan tried not to see it but it was kind of hard to ignore. He nodded mutely. "Why?"
"A promise I made," he replied. "One made three years ago. I have a friend who's in trouble and I promised the others that I would go help out."
"This is about that Sakura girl, isn't it?" Videl prodded.
"Somewhat, yeah. She's gonna be there to help me finish this."
"So?" Eresa said. "Go help her, then come back. It should be a piece of cake for someone like you."
"Yeah. You're the guy who can fly faster than a speeding bullet and all that, remember?" Sharpner added.
"I wish it was that easy," Gohan replied. "See the thing is, the place where I'm going isn't exactly nearby. I've…gotta go to another dimension." The three traded dumbstruck looks.
"Say what?" Videl asked. "Another dimension?"
"Come on, bookworm," Sharpner said dismissively. "Even for you that's stretching the truth."
"It is the truth."
"Okay then, prove it."
Gohan pointed wordlessly at the hitai-ate tied to his back, a curiosity that all his friends had wondered about at one point or another but Gohan had never really explained. He'd usually avoided the question by pointing out the weather or some other feeble excuse.
"That doesn't prove anything," Videl told him.
Gohan pulled open his bag and produced a small wallet, barely big enough for an ID card, much less money or something like that. He flipped it open and showed everyone the photo on the inside. It was a picture of Gohan, three years younger than he was now, Naruto, Sakura, Jiraiya and Kakashi all at Ichiraku Ramen. A teetering stack of empty bowls sat between Naruto and Gohan. It was nighttime in the photo but there was clearly a festival going on.
Sakura was arm in arm with Gohan and Naruto was climbing over their shoulders, his hand in Jiraiya's face. Kakashi wore his typical jounin uniform, his erotic book Icha Icha Paradise in hand. The three kids in the picture were grinning, clearly having a grand old time and Kakashi looked bored. The only person not in the picture was Umino Iruka, the chuunin instructor at the Shinobi Academy and that was only because he was the one taking the picture.
"Naruto, Kakashi, Jiraiya and Sakura," Gohan said, pointing to each in turn as Videl, Eresa and Sharpner all crammed together to stare at the picture, trying to bore holes through it with their eyes they were looking at it so intently. "There is supposed to be another guy there too. His name is Uchiha Sasuke."
"So where is he?" Eresa asked.
"Gone," Gohan answered. "He ran away from the village and left everyone he cared about by the wayside, all to get greater power for himself. Naruto and Sakura were closer to him than I was so they took it harder and Naruto decided he's going to bring Sasuke back."
"Is that a bandage on your arm?" Videl asked, peering closer at the photo.
"It is," Gohan replied, pulling up the cuff of his shirt and showing them a small faded scar on the outside of his arm. "This was taken just after we went after Sasuke to get him back. We failed and he got away. About ten minutes after this was taken, Bulma used the Dragonballs to wish me back to this world. Before I left, I made them a promise that I would return in three years and we would all go after Sasuke again, when we were stronger and better able to deal with the challenges."
"And it's been three years since then?" Eresa asked.
Gohan nodded. "I've spent the last three years getting ready to return to that world and keep my end of the bargain. I got the last Dragonball last weekend and I'm leaving tomorrow night." He put the picture away.
"So that's it?" Videl asked. "This is good-bye?"
Gohan nodded, not meeting her eyes. "Yeah. Sorry."
"Well, that's just like you, Gohan," Eresa said with a grin. "When you give your word about something, you always keep it!"
Videl nodded in agreement as did Sharpner. Gohan hugged Videl and Eresa and clapped Sharpner on the back, nearly sending him face first into the dirt. "Well, I gotta get going," Gohan said. "I've got a lot to get done before I leave tomorrow and I don't have a lot of time to do it in."
"Right. Well, see you around Gohan."
"Yeah. See you guys."
Gohan drifted away into the air, his three friends waving up at him. He waved farewell in return, then turned and streaked off into the setting sun. He tried hard to forget the hurt and accusing look in Videl's eyes.
Gohan wasn't completely ready to leave until very late the next night. When he finished packing the last of his belongings into a large sack, he fished out a capsule, threw it at the bundle of possessions and it all vanished in a burst of smoke. He scooped up the tiny little pill with a plunger on the top of it and stowed it in a small white case where three or four others resided. The only thing left in the room were the seven Dragonballs, which Gohan scooped up into his arms and carried outside. He arranged them into a circle with one in the center. Now the seven orbs were pulsing in time with greater frequency and brightness, like they were the representation of Shenlong's heartbeat and the dragon was aware that he'd be called very soon.
"So you're really going through with it?"
The Namekian in question dropped out the black night sky, landing next to his student and old friend.
"You're really returning to that world?"
"Yeah. I have a promise to keep and I'm not gonna break it now."
Piccolo nodded. "I had a feeling you'd say that." The tall warrior clapped Gohan on the shoulder. "I had fun with you kid," he said finally. "I'm gonna miss having you around."
"And I'm going to miss everyone here too," Gohan replied.
"Good luck out there son," Goku said coming out of the house with Goten standing in the doorway, dressed for bed. "I'm proud of you."
"I'm proud of you too," Chichi added, coming over and giving her son a hug. "Go and do what you have to do Gohan." She turned back to Goten. "Alright. Bed mister."
"Aw Mom!" Goten whined. "I wanna see the dragon!"
"Bed!" Chichi commanded, herding him back into the house.
"Bye Goten!" Gohan took a deep breath. "Okay. Guess we'd better get started then." He faced the Dragonballs. "Come out Shenlong!"
Light burst from the seven balls and lit up Mt. Paozu like the surface of the sun. Dark clouds formed overhead, blotting out the stars under a heavy blanket of inky black. Lightning began to skitter across the clouds, flashing back and forth with greater and greater intensity. The storm built in intensity and power until a torrent of blinding light burst out of the Dragonballs and climbed into the sky, growing ever longer and thicker the higher it went.
Piccolo, Goku, and Gohan shielded their eyes from the display as they tried to remain upright against the rushing winds that were howling across the mountain range that Gohan's home was a part of. All around animals fled the onslaught of wind and light, their instincts telling them that what was happening now was nothing to be trifled with.
The dragon took on a more corporeal form, the light beginning to dim into Shenlong's serpentine shape. A pair of glowing crimson eyes opened where Shenlong's head had taken form. The light vanished like someone had flicked a switch and there sat Shenlong the Eternal Dragon in all his glory. The dragon's power was palpable in the air, so heavy and obvious that it was like the humidity in the area was through the roof.
"Speak now!" The dragon commanded, his timeless voice rolling across the mountains and back again. "State your two wishes and it shall be so!" The dragon's bottomless eyes found Gohan as he stepped forward.
"Shenlong!" Gohan called up to him. "I wish to be returned to the dimension that harbors the place called Konohagakure!"
The Dragon's eyes lit up from within, like embers from the heart of the sun. The great beast's breath rumbled outward, rolling over the three lesser mortals like blast of wind from a hurricane. This happened several more minutes before Shenlong's eyes quit glowing and Gohan could feel it looking at him again. Piccolo noticed that it took a lot less time than it had the first time around. "I have found the world you speak of. You wish to travel to this place, is this your wish?"
"It is! Please make it so!" Gohan shouted back up at him.
"Very well. I shall grant this wish!"
The Dragon's eyes glowed again and Gohan was outlined in bright red light. He looked down at his hands as they began to turn translucent and fade away. The fading began to spread up his arms and began to travel up his feet as well. Gohan smiled sadly at his vanishing body. He turned and faced his father and mentor.
"Well," he said, his voice echoing, as if he was already partially across the dimensions, "I guess this is good-bye for good."
"Yeah," Piccolo said. "Maybe we'll see you again."
"Maybe," Gohan replied, though they both knew that the eldest son of Goku would, in all likelihood, not be back to his own dimension again. Gohan was almost entirely gone now. He looked like a ghost and was fading by the second. Piccolo could see the dragon and the mountains on the other side of Gohan with almost no problem. They watched until Gohan vanished like leaves in the wind.
"I guess that's it," Piccolo said.
"Yep," Goku agreed.
"We should dismiss the dragon now."
"Still," Goku went on, ignoring Piccolo. "I wish we could go with him! I'd love to see that dimension!"
Neither caught the slip up in words until Shenlong spoke again.
"Very well. I shall grant this wish!"
"What!" Goku and Piccolo shouted together as they too were illuminated by red light and they too began to fade. They looked at each other and then over themselves. They were vanishing just as fast as Gohan had only seconds before.
"Shenlong!" Piccolo called in an echoing voice. "Cancel the wish! Cancel it!" Piccolo continued to shout at Shenlong to stop the wish right up until Goku vanished. "SHENL…"
Piccolo too vanished without a trace.
The only people left who'd borne witness to what had transpired were the Eternal Dragon and Chichi, who'd been watching the occurrence from the second story window when she'd heard Piccolo shouting something about canceling a wish. She'd come to the window just in time to see Piccolo vanished like a wraith in the night.
"Your wishes have been granted," the dragon rumbled. "Farewell!"
He vanished in a second blast of light. The seven Dragonballs lifted into the air, spinning slowly before scattering, streaking over the horizon as amber comets.
They were stone even before they cleared Mt. Paozu.
Return's here! Stick around. Chapter Two will be up momentarily.