This Special Chapter, set in the future, answers a question that many DBZ fans have asked time and time again: where did Future Trunks get his sword? The DBZ Movie Wrath of the Dragon gave us a few hints, but it told a story from the present, not the future. Now, for the first time, the answers will be revealed!

The story that follows has been verified by Salagir as Dragonball Multiverse compliant. Though the Bringer of Death future has several major changes compared to DBM Universes 12 and 14, this portion of the timeline is the same. You will probably notice some references to a fight between Future Gohan and the evil wizard Babidi; we follow DBM canon on this as well. For that saga, check out the DBM fanfics Twin Pain and One Way (both currently in French).

More of the back-story of Hoi and Hirudegarn is available in DBM's U16 fanfic; it's in English. It has additional information about how the events preceding this story came about. For those of you who are familiar with Wrath of the Dragon, you will notice that we have changed several of the details about Hirudegarn's strength and abilities. That is entirely intentional; we aren't sticking strictly to the depiction in that film. Our concept is different, but we think it is also vastly improved.

Additional information, along with a special note to new readers from DBM, can be found at the end of the story. There's also an announcement of new art from Arcane Super Saiyan!

If there is anything that's confusing or difficult to understand, let us know in the reviews and we'll do our best to answer your questions! Now: the Legend of the Brave Sword.

Bringer of Death Special: Brave Sword

Future Timeline.

Age 774

The beauty of the deep blue sky contrasted sharply with the charred ruins dotting the landscape. Though the fires had long since died out, a pallor of death still hung over the cities that had been decimated by the murderous cyborgs.

One untouched hill still remained above the largest city. On its slopes, two half-Saiyans hovered in midair, battling furiously. One was a teenager; the other was in his early twenties. The older of the two had short-cropped black hair and wore an orange and blue gi; the younger had lavender hair and wore ordinary street clothes.

The young Saiyan charged his mentor quickly, trying to catch him off guard. But as always, Gohan's reactions were much too swift for his pupil to land a sneak attack. He braced and blocked the incoming punch, pulling Trunk's right arm over to the side and causing the boy to lose balance and flip over in mid-motion. With his left knee, Gohan tapped his pupil just between vertebrae, an attack that would have crippled him in actual battle.

'Man,' Gohan thought. 'As hard he tries, Trunks still doesn't have the warrior instinct. He's just an amateur. Maybe It's my fault he's so clumsy…I'm not near the teacher Piccolo was.'

Feeling Gohan's gentle tap, the only son of Vegeta realized that he had made a costly blunder, again. He didn't know exactly what he had done wrong. It was always like this…he knew he was constantly making mistakes, but he couldn't figure out how to fix them, no matter how hard he thought about it. But he knew his focus was lacking; his mind was consumed with the thought of transforming into a Super Saiyan. It was always there – a constant, unspoken expectation that weighed on his consciousness.

Had it been the same way for his father? The pursuit of a dream – a legend – that was always there, taunting him. Of course, he had Gohan as an example; his father had been alone in his pursuit of the Super Saiyan transformation for nearly his whole life. Why couldn't he do what his father had done? More than anything, he was frustrated with himself…his own doubt was more of a hindrance than anything else.

Trunks hung back for a moment, panting. "How old will I have to be before I can go Super Saiyan like you? I want to be able to really help!"

Gohan smiled at his young pupil. "You're already old enough, Trunks. Remember, I was younger than you when I first transformed. But the power only comes when it's an absolute necessity—when there is no other option. You can't just will it to happen. I can tell that you want to transform, but you won't until you really need it—you just have to find that need."

The boy charged back at his mentor, putting everything he had into a series of punches and kicks. "But...I DO need it!"

As he continued blocking his pupil's attacks, Gohan took a moment to reflect. The thought of having another Super Saiyan was always thrilling. Another warrior to fight alongside him could make all the difference. As much as he hated Vegeta, the proud prince had been a fantastic warrior. With his present strength, he was confident that the two of them could have fought the androids together and won. Then again, the androids didn't seem as strong now…or maybe that was just an imagination born of a child's terror. In any case, Vegeta probably wouldn't have accepted his help anyway.

He remembered the way he had felt after his own transformation – like he was invincible. But the androids were just too strong. If Trunks could indeed transform, he wanted to be there to make sure the boy didn't do anything rash. Despite more than a decade of training, he still couldn't take the androids on by himself—and he was far more powerful than Trunks, even in his normal state.

It was hard to believe that there were enemies out there even stronger than the androids, but he knew there were. His narrow brush with Dabura only a year before was proof enough of that. He had been incredibly fortunate to escape with his life. The sorcerer Babidi had sacrificed the powerful demon in the hopes of resurrecting some even stronger monster, but had failed. Gohan still felt sick about killing the wizard, but it was something that had to be done.

The brush with Babidi and his minions had prompted Gohan to begin training Trunks in earnest. Though they had learned to avoid the androids most of the time, anything could happen; Gohan wanted the Earth to be protected if he wasn't there. It had only been a year, but the boy was a fast learner. The older half-Saiyan simply wished he could remember how Piccolo had trained him; he felt like there were so many skills he couldn't explain.

Frustrated, Gohan flared his energy, surprising the boy. Try as he might, he couldn't bring himself to push Trunks beyond his limits. "Someday soon, Trunks. You'll transform, I'm sure of it. I just don't know how. But I have faith in you."

The next day, Trunks flew low over one of the cities close to the ruins of Capsule Corporation. Despite the scourge of the machines, many refugees still survived, scraping out a living in any way they could. Today, he headed to a makeshift shelter to help the refugees collect supplies. The androids hadn't been sighted in this region for quite a while.

As he started to come in for a landing, he sensed someone's energy fluctuate rapidly, as if someone relatively weak was terribly frightened. The signal was coming from only a few streets away; he quickly changed course and dropped down to the ground.

Coming around a corner, he saw two thugs confronting a short, scared-looking man. Both the thugs were training automatic weapons on their victim and loudly demanding that he hand over the small golden box he was holding defensively.

"Hey, stop that!" Trunks ran up to them quickly, already moving into a fighting stance. "Leave that poor man alone!"

The larger thug turned to him, a snarl on his face. "This is none of your concern, kid. Get lost, or we'll fill you with lead too!"

"I told you, leave him alone. If you drop your weapons and leave now, no one has to get hurt."

The other thug also turned to look at him. "This little punk thinks he's tough stuff. Guess I'll teach him a lesson." Scowling, he pointed his automatic handgun at Trunks and squeezed the trigger.

Rat-rat-rat-rat-BLAMM! The gun suddenly exploded as the boy grabbed the end of the barrel. "I told you to leave him alone. HYAH!" With a wave of his hand, both the thugs went flying across the alley and smashed into the brick wall on the other side, unconscious. Though Trunks was nothing compared to the androids, he was more than strong enough for bullets to be completely ineffective against him.

Trunks quickly turned to the robed man who still cowered on one side. On closer examination, he wasn't sure that it was a man after all – the being was short, but clearly old, with pink skin and long, pointed ears. "It's all right, sir; I won't hurt you. Are you okay?"

"Yes, thank you! Those men were going to kill me, I'm sure of it!"

"What's your name?" Trunks asked.

The being smiled, revealing sharp, yellowed teeth. "My name is Hoi – I am a priest of the ancient Kashvar order. I came to Earth several years ago. You must be one of those Saiyans I have heard so much about."

The boy was surprised. "That's right! My name is Trunks. I'm actually half-Saiyan. How do you know about us?"

Hoi told him. Having heard of the mystical dragon balls on Earth, he had traveled across the galaxy in the hopes that he might be able to use them. Showing Trunks a small, ornate music box, he explained that the box contained a powerful weapon capable of destroying any evil. If the dragon balls could be used to open the magically sealed box, they could use the weapon to defeat the androids and restore peace to the entire galaxy.

Trunks frowned. "Well, that sounds great, but I'm afraid I have some bad news. The dragon balls don't work anymore. The androids killed the keeper of the dragon balls; they are useless now. But I can try to open the box myself! I'm pretty strong."

Smiling his strange smile again, Hoi handed the box to the boy. "Feel free to try. If you can break the seal in any way, the weapon will be released. But the box is protected by strong magic; I fear that force alone will not be sufficient."

The cunning Kashvar chuckled to himself. 'This fool has no idea what he's about to unleash…haha. I'll show them all, even those traitors who sealed the lower half of Hirudegarn inside me. Once the box is opened, it's only a matter of time before the upper half is released…and then I'll be in control of the most powerful creature to ever exist! The power will be all mine.'

The son of Vegeta held the box in his hands, suddenly feeling a strange chill trickle through his fingers. There was definitely something very peculiar about the contraption, but he couldn't discern exactly what.

Sure enough, the golden box proved impervious to the boy's efforts. No matter how he squeezed or twisted or shook it, his hands simply slid off the surface. But Trunks was determined to find a way—opening this box might be their best chance to defeat the androids.

"Well, let's take it to my sensei, Gohan. He's a Super Saiyan. If anyone can open the box, he can!"

Back at their camp, Gohan was initially suspicious. Somehow, Hoi reminded him of the evil wizard Babidi. Their appearances weren't that similar, but something about the way the "priest" smiled bothered him.

After Trunks begged him to try, though, he assented. Easily powering up to his Super Saiyan form, he gripped the box in one hand and lifted his other hand in a fist. Faster than anyone could see, he brought it down hard. THUMM!

To his surprise, the box remained perfectly intact. His clenched fist had simply bounded off the surface, as if held back by an invisible force-field. Frustrated, he flung the box up into the air. "Stand back, everyone!"

He charged up an attack in one hand. "YAAHH!"

A brilliant beam of golden energy erupted from his hand, completely encompassing the falling box. The light from his attack was momentarily blinding, but when it passed, everyone saw the box laying motionless on the ground, still completely untouched.

Gohan relaxed, dropping his Super Saiyan state. "Well, that's disappointing."

Over the next few hours, the two half-Saiyans and the Kashvar priest tried everything they could think of to open the box. They smashed it into the ground, trapped it in balls of energy, crushed it between rocks, and even shouted at it. Trunks really wanted to see what was inside; Gohan persisted only because he was frustrated that something so small could resist his strength so easily.

"Hey, what are you guys doing?" Bulma emerged from one of the remaining buildings, rubbing her eyes. "I was trying to take a nap, but there's a horrible racket out here."

Trunks ran up to his mother happily. "Mom, this is a real-life priest named Hoi! He brought us a weapon we can use to defeat the androids, but it's in this box and we can't open it. Not even Gohan can break it!"

Bulma was glad to see her son so excited. The story seemed too good to be true, but hope was hard to find. It was good, she thought, that he had something to hope for. "Well, I'm sure there's a way to open it. Can I see?"

Gohan handed her the box. She stared at it closely for several minutes, squeezing and twisting it. "Hmm, let me take this back to my underground lab for analysis. Maybe I can find a way to get past this force field."

The next morning, Trunks hurried to his mother's lab with Gohan to see what she had come up with. Hoi followed. When they entered, they saw her in a lab coat wearing protective goggles. Empty coffee cups littered the floor.

"Did you stay up all night, Bulma?" Gohan looked concerned.

The woman smiled. "Yes, but I think I've got it figured out." She gestured to a metal frame on her work table. "The box has a magical barrier protecting it, but the field releases an electromagnetic frequency every time it is touched. I modified one of the old dragon radars to act as a frequency detector, see?"

She pointed to a small computer monitor that showed a thin green line stretching across the screen. Lifting a hammer, she brought it down hard on the music box sitting next to the frame. Instantly, the green line spiked, tracing waves up and down that faded quickly.

Working quickly, Bulma inserted the music box in the metal frame and connected a pair of wires running from the frame to the modified dragon radar. "If I've designed this right – and I always do – the frame will vibrate just a little bit faster than the frequency of the magical field. The detector will keep the vibrations in phase. My theory is simple: the resonance of the waves will cause runaway vibration within the field that will shatter it."

Trunks stared blankly. "Frequency? Field? Resowhat?"

Gohan grinned. "That's a really good idea! I don't know why I didn't think of that. Leave it to you to solve all the most impossible problems."

"Okay, everyone: cover your ears!" Bulma put on noise-cancelling headphones, then tapped a few keys on her computer. Seconds later, a high-pitched whine started coming from the frame on the table.

The green line on the screen started to go up and down, fluctuating rapidly. The whine grew to a long, unending squeal as the box shook faster and faster.

'They are actually going to succeed! Astounding!' thought the Kashvar wizard. He stepped back, eager to see but wary all the same.

Suddenly, the lights dimmed. A split second later, a blinding flash of light exploded from the table as shards of the box flew in every direction. Gold-tinted fog filled the room.

"It worked!" shouted Trunks gleefully. "Gohan, Hoi, it worked! We can finally defeat the androids! Isn't that great?"

But as the smoke cleared, Hoi was nowhere to be seen. Standing next to the table was a tall, white-skinned alien with a deep red mohawk of hair. A long sword was slung over his back. He wore a brown robe, and some kind of metal fitting was wrapped around the back of his head.

Gohan, no longer the hesitant child he had been years before, instantly powered up to his Super Saiyan form and stepped in front of Bulma and Trunks. "Who are you and what are you doing here?" His voice was stern and commanding, hardened by years of dealing with the androids.

The newcomer immediately drew his sword, frowning, and replied just as seriously; his deep voice immediately revealed that he, too, meant business. "Why have you awakened me from my slumber? You will regret this, I assure you. Hirudegarn must not be released again!"

"What?" Gohan was confused, trying to sense out the strange man's intentions—his ki was cloudy, though, and oddly secretive. But the newcomer didn't answer. In a flash, he ran between them, dashing up the stairs and out the door.

"Hey, come back!" Trunks started to run after him, but Gohan caught the boy by the shoulder. "Wait. Let him go. I sense a dark energy in him; we must be cautious. I don't think Hoi was telling the truth at all."

That night, Bulma sat at the dinner table with Gohan and Trunks. They were puzzled by the events that had transpired. Where had the priest gone? Why had the newcomer fled? Was he good or evil?

"So…what do we do now, Gohan? Should we go look for Hoi?" Trunks asked.

"Not we," interrupted the blue-haired woman. As brave as she was, she understood the reality of their situation. After all these years of keeping her backup lab hidden from the androids, they had foolishly given up its location to these two strangers, Hoi and the tall alien. Putting on a bold face, she smiled at her son. "It's just…what if they come back while you're away, Trunks?"

Gohan smiled and put his hand on the woman's shoulder. "Don't worry, Bulma, Trunks will stay and look after you. I don't know for sure about the guy from the box, but I'm positive Trunks is way stronger than Hoi. That priest is no threat."

"But, Gohan! I want to help! Let me go with you!" the frustrated boy argued. Suddenly, all three felt a low rumble shaking the city. Gohan and Trunks felt energy signals abruptly dropping. "It's the androids!" shouted the boy. "They're back!"

Gohan shook his head. "No, it's something else – something much different. For one, I can sense it—pure evil—and we both know the androids can't be detected." He stood, tightening the belt on his gi. "Stay here; I'm going to check it out. If I need help, I'll call you with telepathy."

Though he chafed at the instructions, Trunks obeyed. He knew that until he was a Super Saiyan, he would only get in Gohan's way.

"That's Gohan, always rushing off bravely to the rescue just like his dad." Bulma understood her son's frustration. "You're the same way – you've got so much of your father in you. Vegeta always wanted to be in the center of every battle. One day, Trunks, you'll be strong enough, I just know it. Then you and Gohan can beat those androids together and save us all!"

He let out a long sigh, staring at the ground. "I know, mother." A normal boy his age would continued complaining about being left out, but Trunks knew he had to protect his mother at any cost. For now, he would stay put.

The Super Saiyan flew toward the center of the destruction at top speed. He feared that they had made a terrible mistake in helping the priest – if, indeed, Hoi was a priest. He was sure, now, that his first impression had been right. If he had allowed another horrible monster to be released, he would never forgive himself.

Flying between two bombed-out buildings, he suddenly saw the source of the destruction. A giant pair of reptilian legs, nearly five times his own height, was smashing its way through the city. Now that he was closer, he immediately placed the energy signature – it was identical to what he had sensed in the newcomer that emerged from the music box!

"That alien! He must have transformed into these…legs? He's destroying everything in his path, like a mindless beast. This is even worse than the androids!" Powering up to his maximum strength, he charged an energy attack and dashed down toward the monster.

"Kamehameha!" The bright blue beam exploded from his hands, rushing toward the monster rapidly. Gohan carefully controlled the beam, making sure it wouldn't hit any innocent people or destroy any more buildings. It struck the monster's legs squarely with a blinding flash.

Gohan accelerated, diving down to where a small mushroom cloud was rising. He had no way of gauging how much damage his attack had done – not yet. Maybe it had destroyed the monster completely!

To his dismay, the smoke cleared to show the pair of legs lying in a pile of rubble, completely intact.

"Damn! How is that possible?!" As the legs stirred, beginning to rise, Gohan charged with his fist cocked for a powerful blow.

THUMM! THUD! BLAM! Gohan's limbs spun, smashing into the monster with all his strength. The blows knocked the legs back, but they did no damage. Instead, each impact simply glanced off. The Super Saiyan immediately realized that this beast had the same kind of magical protection as the music box.

"This isn't good. I doubt we can trap this monster long enough to shatter it like we did with the music box." He continued punching and kicking the legs as hard as he could, but still nothing happened. "What was I thinking, listening to that Hoi fellow?"

Though the legs had no apparent means of sensing Gohan's position, they reacted to his attacks. Within moments, counterattacks began raining down with surprising speed and force. Though the beast wasn't quite as strong as the Super Saiyan, he had no way of injuring it. Every tactic he tried simply slid off its powerful legs. They just kept smashing into him again and again.

"Gosh, it's like this creature is completely immune to all my attacks!" The son of Goku was becoming more desperate as each new attempt to fell the beast failed. Energy blasts did nothing, physical attacks seemed to slip off the creature, and Gohan was quickly wearing himself out. Did this monster have no weakness? "This thing doesn't hit as hard, but I'd almost rather fight the androids. At least I can punch them…"

One of the powerful legs smashed down on top of Gohan, causing the ground under his feet to crumble. Gohan increased his power as much as he could, but his strength was waning. He did everything he could to lift the leg…the monster was just so strong. In seconds he would be crushed without ever even damaging the creature.

Suddenly, he heard a high-pitched, lilting tune fill the air. The reptilian foot holding him down suddenly wavered, then lifted.

Gohan looked around for the source of the music. Immediately, he spotted the same humanoid that had fled from Bulma's lab. The alien, standing on a nearby rooftop, was holding some kind of ocarina to his mouth and blowing. "So, he isn't the monster! But then, where did it come from?"

The Super Saiyan turned to look at the beast. The pair of legs was twisting and squirming with every note that came from the ocarina. Apparently, something about the music made the monster vulnerable.

Gohan wasted no time. Blasting off the ground immediately, he unleashed a fresh burst of punches and kicks. This time, his efforts were rewarded; the magical force-field still partially impeded his blows, but they were actually doing some damage. His courage restored, he kicked the beast as hard as he could, straight up into the air. Accelerating rapidly, he flew straight up and slammed down into the top of the beast's legs as hard as he could.

FOOM! The pair of legs struck the ground hard, raising a huge cloud of dust. With the music still playing, Gohan watched golden smoke bleeding out of the two limbs. The smoke formed into a cloud and immediately dashed away from the sound of the music, disappearing into the city streets. The creature had vanished in a wisp, leaving no trace of its existence but the damage in its wake. Surprised, but satisfied that the immediate danger was passed, the hero powered down from his Super Saiyan state.

Looking up, he saw the young alien who had been playing the ocarina collapse in a faint. Instantly, the half-Saiyan dashed to intercept, catching him just before he would have fallen off the roof. "He saved us all!" thought Gohan. "I've got to get him back right away."

"Is he going to be all right, mom?" asked Trunks, concern sounding in his voice. "I think so," his mother answered. "From what I can tell, he just needs rest."

Just then, the tall alien came to with a start as Bulma continued to mop his brow. "What – where am I? What happened? Minotia?"

"Woah, there, just relax. You're in no condition to be up and about." Bulma ordered in a kind but firm tone. "What you need is a nice long nap. We'll talk when you wake up."

"No, I can't." The red-haired alien slid his feet out onto the floor, trying to leave. But a fiery look from Gohan froze him in his tracks, and he laid back down.

"What do you mean, 'you can't'?" Bulma asked. "You can and you will! Rest is what you need!" The demanding tone of the blue-haired woman might have scared him off if it hadn't been for Gohan. Clearly, the strange alien realized that he couldn't get away even if he wanted.

"You don't understand," he replied. "I can't sleep because…" he suddenly fell silent, staring blankly at the ground.

Gohan still stood by the bed, uneasy. Though he sensed purity and kindness in the alien, he also sensed darkness. Strangely, though, the two seemed distinct, like two halves of the same coin. He still wasn't sure whether he could trust the alien, but he decided to try talking, changing the subject.

"I don't know who this Minotia you mentioned is, but you're on Earth; you collapsed after playing your instrument. I suggest you tell us who you are and what your business here is." Gohan wasn't about to take any chances.

The alien shifted his gaze to the tall Saiyan. "You…you fought the monster! Only, you looked…different. Your hair…"

"Yes, my hair was golden; I was a Super Saiyan. You still haven't answered my question."

The alien closed his eyes, apparently concentrating on something. The silence lasted a brief moment, arousing the curiosity of everyone, and then he regained himself and replied. "My name is Tapion, and the monster you fought is but one half of a terrible demon known as Hirudegarn." He sat up slowly. "If you fought him, I know you're on the right side. I'll tell you everything."

Many centuries ago, violent civil war reigned on the once-peaceful planet of Konats. The Konatsians were a proud and noble race, born – according to legend – from a pair of Kaioshin whose love for each other led them to live out their lives as mortals. Though their descendants didn't have the power of the Kaioshins, they used the Kaioshin magic to protect their entire solar system for millennia.

But corruption crept in among them. An order of evil sorcerers, known as the Kashvar wizards, twisted the divine magic. Not only were their life-spans unnaturally altered, warping their appearance, but they secretly planned to take over the planet, wiping out anyone who refused to join them. With their powerful wizardry, they would use Konats as a base of operation to rule the entire galaxy.

The Konatsians fought back, bravely resisting the evil of the Kashvar sorcerers. At first, it seemed that they would be victorious, until the Kashvars revealed the secret weapon of their cult: Hirudegarn.

Hirudegarn was a powerful demon called from the underworld to animate an ancient bestial statue. Though the demon had strength rivaling that of the Legendary frost demons, the Kasvhars were not satisfied with strength alone. They stole an ancient Kaioshin artifact – the Brave Sword – and used its power to grant Hirudegarn magical protection against all attacks. Now sure of victory, the Kashvars used their weapon to slaughter the Konatsians by the thousands.

One brave Konatsian priest penetrated the Kashvar's lines and made his way into the cult's temple. At great personal peril, he retrieved three items: the Brave Sword and two ocarinas that the Kashvar had created to help control the beast.

The wise priest gave the two ocarinas to a pair of young musicians: Tapion and his younger brother Minotia. When the monster attacked again, the pair entered the battlefield and played their instruments. Just as the priest had hoped, the music made Hirudegarn helpless. The priest was not particularly strong on his own, but with the monster weakened by the ocarinas he used the Brave Sword to slice the horrible beast in half.

Taken by surprise, the Kashvar were quickly captured, and the priest sealed the two halves of the monster inside the brave young musicians. The Kashvar were exiled.

Unable to destroy Hirudegarn without killing the musicians, the Konatsians sealed them both in a pair of magical music boxes, placed them into a wormhole, and sent them to opposite ends of the galaxy. As a safeguard against any future release of Hirudegarn, they gave Tapion the Brave Sword before sealing and sending them away.

Trunks silently listened to the story, inwardly glad. 'Hah, I just knew Tapion really was a hero! Maybe he can help us against the androids after all…if we can defeat this Hirudegarn thing.'

Gohan interrupted. "Well, I just destroyed Hirudegarn's bottom half. So now we're safe, right?"

Tapion shook his head. "I'm afraid it's not that simple. The golden smoke is a defense mechanism that the monster uses when it faces a stronger opponent." His voice faltered. "The fact that Hirudegarn's lower half is here means that Minotia is gone." A tear fell from one of his eyes.

Having been fascinated with the story, Trunks began to see the unfolding character of Tapion much more clearly. 'Losing his little brother seems to have been really tough on him. He didn't even get to try and save him…he gets released one day only to learn that his brother is dead. A shattered world…sounds familiar.'

Tapion spoke again, containing his emotion by wearing a façade of un-expression. "Clearly, the Kashvar found the second music box and released Minotia. They would have killed him without mercy. Apparently, someone or something defeated them, but they sealed Hirudegarn into one of their own. And whoever he is, he's here."

"That makes perfect sense." exclaimed Gohan. "I knew there was something wrong with that so-called priest Hoi. He was holding half of the monster inside himself the entire time!"

The pointy eared alien nodded. "Hoi was one of the weakest of the Kashvar; it's logical that they would use him as a vessel for the demon. They didn't care what happened to him." Tapion spoke calmly. "He must have found my music box much later, but without the rest of the sorcerers he would have no way to open it. I just don't know why he came to Earth."

Trunks spoke up. "I do. He told me he came here because of our dragon balls. Earth used to have an eternal dragon that would grant magical wishes; he wanted us to use them to open your box. But the dragon was destroyed when two murderous machines started killing everyone years ago. Hoi tricked us into thinking that your box contained a weapon we could use against the androids; Bulma figured out a way to open it."

"I see. Is there any way that she could make another to seal me back in?"

The blue-haired woman laughed. "I don't exactly have magic, you know. Why would you want to go back in there anyway? That's crazy, you just got out!"

"Because…every second I'm free, I am in a constant struggle to contain Hirudegarn inside of me. If I were to fall asleep even for a second, the monster would escape!"

Seeing the horror on the others' faces, Tapion continued. "The magic of that box was the only guaranteed way to keep Hirudegarn contained. Without it, it's only a matter of time before the beast gets free." He looked down, quiet. There was always one other way to destroy the creature, and he was willing to face it if he had to. But there was no need to mention it yet. Just as he was about to speak again, Bulma suggested another idea.

"Well hey, I don't know about building a magic box, but I may be able to make a chamber that emits the same frequency as before. If it gives off the same vibrations as the box, maybe it will be able to contain the beast."

"I would be most grateful for that," sighed Tapion. Perhaps there was a small hope for him after all. Indeed, if anyone had a chance of helping him, it was the woman who had managed to open his box.

"In the meantime, I need to leave this place. Hoi knows where it is, and if he gets close enough to me he can release his half of the beast again. No, I must go before that happens." Tapion stood, this time unimpeded by Gohan, and walked to the door.

"I'll go with you!" Trunks excitedly said. "After all, you'll fall asleep in no time if you've got nobody to chat with!"

Almost immediately Tapion said "no", but something about the young teenager reminded him of Minotia. He paused for a moment, half-expecting the boy to argue as his own brother no doubt would have. When he didn't, Tapion opened the door and vanished.

Bulma turned to begin work on her new project, when she noticed Trunks grabbing a sack and stuffing it with food and supplies. "Oh no you don't!" she yelled, freezing the boy in his tracks.

"He just told you 'NO', so you leave him alone!"

"But mom, he didn't even take any food! The guy is a hero, but he's obviously really lonely…let me just go talk to him."

Gohan smiled and backed up his pupil. "He has a point, Bulma. Tapion has been through a lot…after being alone in that box for so long I think it would do him some good to be social. I'm sure he'll be fine; he is fast enough to escape if something bad happens."

The son of Goku leaned closer to Bulma, whispering. "Trunks really needs to get his mind off of the androids. He's under so much pressure, particularly to transform into a Super Saiyan. This could be good for him."

The blue haired mother finally relented. "All right, son. But at the first sign of danger you contact Gohan immediately—androids or Hoi, got it?"

"Sure thing, mom!" The boy took off out the door.

The Konatsian musician had found an abandoned warehouse on the other side of town with just enough shelter to protect him from the elements. It would suffice for his hideout—he wasn't picky. Tapion crossed his legs on the ground and began to meditate…calming his mind and stilling himself was the closest thing he could get to actual rest. Within a few minutes, however, the alien opened his eyes and spoke into the darkness.

"I told you not to come."

Trunks chuckled to himself, stepping out of the shadows. Apparently he wasn't as good at sneaking around as he thought.

"I, uh, brought you some food." Trunks reached into the bag, putting together a meal for the hero. "Hmm, re-hydrated apples—one of my favorites, dried tuna, and some nuts." The teenager set the food in front of Tapion, who simply stared motionlessly at the boy.

It was true; he had been alone for a very long time. Back on Konats, so many years ago, he and his brother had done everything together. But the musician wasn't a very social person even among his own people. Strangely enough, this time he didn't mind the company. While he would normally prefer to be left alone, Trunks continued to remind him of Minotia. The similarities in their curious and good-hearted natures were striking.

Deciding to accept the food, Tapion reached down and picked up the apple. Trunks smiled.

"So hey, Tapion, tell me about that wicked cool sword." The alien was silent for a moment, chewing his first bite of apple, and then replied sternly. "There is nothing wicked about it."

Trunks stumbled to clarify his meaning. "Uh, I just meant that it looked really heroic and awesome. Sorry."

Tapion began to chew the nuts. "The magic of the sword grows with the bravery of its wielder. Any and all forces of evil fear this weapon—and they are right to do so. No matter how strong they are, it can kill them."

"Oh wow, epic!" Trunks said, realizing a moment later that his slang had probably confused Tapion again. The alien remained silent.

"So, can we use it to defeat Hirudegarn—if Hoi comes back, I mean?" Trunks cautiously sat down next to the hero, hoping he would be allowed to stay.

"That's how he was sliced in two," answered Tapion. "This sword and my ocarina are the only two things in the universe that can even slow down Hirudegarn."

The son of Vegeta realized he was probably a little too excited, but now that he was seated he was thinking more clearly.

"I know we can win, Tapion. Gohan and I will help you! Together, we'll be unstoppable."

The Konatsian didn't reply, but instead began to meditate again; Trunks, though feeling extremely awkward, decided to stay and do the same.

The androids were coming - Trunks was sure of it. Already, he could feel their cruel eyes gazing at him, taunting him. Where was Gohan? He was alone, he thought...alone except for the soulless machines that stalked him.

There was something inside him. Something dark, powerful, terrible. His heart was pounding, the beast inside him fighting to get out. Would the beast attack the androids? Could he get away in time? If only he could be a Super Saiyan. He needed Gohan!

Something exploded out of him, ripping and tearing. Suddenly, there was a sword in his hand, but he couldn't move. The androids appeared in front of him, eager to fight. The dark shadow that had left him came up behind them...and joined in their inexorable march toward him. They were getting closer and closer, pounding, crushing—

The boy awoke with a start, drenched in sweat. Had it only been a dream? No - he felt the ground rumbling underneath him. Half of the warehouse was missing, as if a huge body had exploded out of it.

Turning, he saw Tapion. The alien was asleep on the floor next to him, tossing and shaking. "Wake up, Tapion! You have to get up!" Trunks looked around frantically for the source of the chaos.

Abruptly, he It towered over the smashed warehouse, nearly forty feet high. A bony torso...hideous armored shoulders...cruel clawed fists...a skull with black, dead eye sockets.

Trunks shook his friend frantically. "Wake up!" The monster was coming closer; he couldn't wait any longer.

"HYAA!" Trunks burst off the ground, releasing a rapid stream of energy attacks aimed at the demon's eyes and face. He heard a roar of pain - the demon felt the blasts, but wasn't injured - just before a gigantic armored forearm caught him in the back, sending him plummeting to the ground. Just before impact, he righted himself and landed on his feet, then sprang back to do battle again.

The boy's first physical attack, a fully charged kick to the back of the monster's neck, was completely ineffective. Not only did his leg simply bound off the armor like a rubber ball, but the beast spun with surprising agility and released a massive golden fireball directly at him.

Trunks dove downward to escape, only to be caught by one of Hirudegarn's outstretched hands. The beast brought both of his palms together with a loud clap, crushing the young Saiyan between them. As hard as Trunks struggled, he just couldn't get free. The boy felt his breath coming in gasps and his joints beginning to pop.

'This can't be the end!' Trunks could feel himself slipping; the tight grip on him would soon end his life. But he was determined to survive. He began to dig deep, searching every corner of his mind, desperately trying to find the strength to become a Super Saiyan. He was close, he could feel it. 'Mother, I have to save you! I…have…to…transform!'

Suddenly, the hands released him, shaking. Trunks began to fall, but he quickly gathered what remained of his energy and hung in midair, amazed. The monster was pulling back...shifting...wavering. Music was playing. Green smoke poured out of the beast, pulling him down and back, shrinking.

Looking past the beast, Trunks saw his friend hovering with his eyes closed, playing the ocarina as loudly as he could. To his surprise, the monster continued to shrink, until it dissolved completely into mist and flew into the alien's body.

"NOO!" Though he still ached from his fight, Trunks rushed to Tapion's side...only to be greeted with a wan smile. "Are you all right?"

"Yes," answered Tapion simply. "My ocarina only weakens the other half of the monster, but it can draw my half of the monster back into me." His eyes were sad. "I'm sorry. I never should have stayed close to you. This is why I cannot sleep."

The son of Vegeta was exhausted and pretty badly hurt, but he didn't want his new friend to feel guilty for his injuries. He could see in Tapion's eyes that there was blame, regret, and a feeling of being irresponsible.

"It isn't your fault, Tapion. It was an accident, you didn't mean to let the monster out."

The Konatsian's face was sullen and silent. After a few moments, he turned his back to Trunks and replied. "No, it's my responsibility…my burden to bear. I never should have allowed you to be near me; you could have died!"

"That's not fair, Tapion! I want to be here. And besides, I didn't die. I can take care of myself pretty well, if you haven't noticed."

Tapion suddenly turned back around. Could it be coincidence? Surely not. His little brother had given him almost the same speech, word for word, when they had gone up against Hirudegarn the first time. No, it had to be a sign…they needed each other.

"I suppose you're right, Trunks. You sure do remind me of Minotia."

Trunks smiled. "I hope you aren't saying I'm like a little kid."

The two laughed – something Tapion hadn't done in centuries. The two new friends continued talking through the rest of the night.

Dawn was breaking; the two heroes had stayed awake for half the night. Yawning, Trunks got up.

"Let's head back. If I know my mom, she'll be able to figure out a solution soon!"

When they arrived back at Capsule Corporation, Bulma already had breakfast on the table.

"Good morning, Mom. Long night?" Trunks noticed his mother was wearing the same clothes as the day before and her hair was messy and tied back.

"I stayed up all night. Again. But I was working on a way for Tapion to be able to rest. I think I've got something, too!"

Trunks was pleased. "That's great, mom!"

"Yeah, we'll go check it out after breakfast," she said. "So, hey, did that monster show up again last night? It was like bombs going off out there! What happened?"

Gohan suddenly walked into the room, looking sleepy. "Oh, hey guys. What did I miss?"

Trunks swallowed nervously and glanced over at his new friend. Tapion wasn't smiling. "Well, long story short…we both accidentally fell asleep. Hirudegarn's upper half was released from Tapion in the middle of the night and I had to fight it."

"What!? Oh, Trunks, are you ok?" his mother cried. Gohan was equally worried. He wondered why he had not sensed the fight; ordinarily, high energy levels would startle him even when he was asleep.

"Yeah, Mom, I'm fine. Tapion used his ocarina to draw the beast back inside him just in the nick of time." The boy purposefully avoided saying anything about his near death experience. He knew his mother would panic if she heard everything that had happened.

Though alarmed, Bulma didn't show it—perhaps she was simply too tired. "I'm just glad that both of you are all right. Now, I really hope my plan works." She led them out of the dining room and into one of the large aircraft hangers next door.

"Originally, I just thought I should put speakers inside a box to play the same music. But I realized that the music follows the same frequency pattern as the energy I was detecting from the magical forcefield." Inside the hanger, Tapion and the two half-Saiyans saw a large container, trimmed in the same way as the tiny music box had been.

Bulma smiled proudly. "I used the measurements I saved from the initial analysis to create a frequency modulation routine. It will play the same music, but with the variances and changes of the original box. The shards of the box I picked up from the lab are embedded in the walls of this container; they should react with the resonances to reproduce the original shield."

"This is incredible." Tapion said, as he stepped inside. "Does it work?"

"Of course it works! I am a genius, after all," replied the not-so-humble woman with a chuckle. "I haven't tested it on containing any demonic spirits yet, though, so to be sure you'll just have to try it for yourself."

The Konatsian smiled, looking over at Bulma. "Thank you very much. I am very grateful."

The mother of Trunks appreciated his thanks, but was very tired herself. "I think the both of us deserve a nap."

Several days passed with no further appearance of the monster. For a time, Bulma's genius had worked; Tapion's sleep was troubled, but he slept safely. The next week, Trunks took his new alien friend to see the home he had grown up in—Capsule Corporation, or what rubble remained of it.

"…and this is where I grew up. For whatever reason, this was one of the last cities the androids came to. But in the end, they still came…destroying everything in their path. Mom and I were lucky enough to escape, but my grandpa and grandma wouldn't leave with us." Trunks had been hardened by the loss he had grown accustomed to in his short life, but it still choked him up to think back. "Gohan and I went back and looked through the wreckage, but we never found them."

"I'm sorry for your loss, Trunks. You've had as tough a life as I have, and that's rare. I think that connection is what makes me comfortable with you," the Konatsian said softly.

"Once I become a Super Saiyan, we can beat Hirudegarn. I know it! We won't just keep that monster contained, Tapion…together, Gohan and I will destroy it!"

Tapion grinned. "I've heard you mention this 'Super Saiyan' thing several times now. What is it, exactly?"

Trunks was immediately excited to tell his friend about his favorite topic. "Well, you know how Gohan can transform, with the golden hair and the glowing yellow energy? Well, anybody with Saiyan DNA inside them can do it. One day I'll be able to as well, and when I do I'll be much stronger!"

"Fascinating," replied the alien. To be able to suddenly call on a vast reserve of power – well, it would have made a huge difference back on Konats. These Saiyans were already so strong – just like the legendary Kaioshins.

Suddenly, a building beside them began to rumble. Trunks shifted into a fighting stance immediately. "It's Hirudegarn!"

Tapion was startled. "Oh no – you're right. Hoi must have been following us, waiting until Gohan was gone. Hoi's magic isn't strong enough to release the top half on his own, but if he can get the bottom half close to me, it will happen anyway. Do your best to fight it. I'll weaken it and try to hold the monster in me as long as I can!"

The alien pulled out his ocarina and immediately began blowing into it. Trunks powered up and charged just as the beast's legs exploded out of the building, already trembling from the effects of the music.

BLAM! Trunks attacked at full strength from the very beginning, kicking the monster as hard as he could. His leg bounded off of the beast, stinging, but it was a good shot. The monster lurched, then counterattacked. THUD! A massive knee sent the boy's entire body flying, bruised.

"Ugh." Trunks groaned. "That thing is incredibly strong!" He picked himself up, lifting an iron support beam off his back, and charged the beast again.

"I've got to hold this thing off on my own until Gohan gets here!" The teenager was sure that his mentor would have felt the energy surge and would be there any second, but he tried calling him with telepathy nonetheless.

'Gohan, hurry! I don't know how long I can keep this thing occupied, even with Tapion playing the ocarina.'

Trunks landed a double fist into the monster's right foot, causing it some pain, then with a spinning kick sent Hirudegarn toppling over once again. While the beast was down, the teenage half-Saiyan quickly reigned down his strongest energy blasts on the body of the creature. The explosions piled up one by one as the music continued to sing out, weakening the monster and strengthening the resolve of Trunks.

"This is it, Trunks," he told himself. "I need to become a Super Saiyan, right now!"

The legs picked themselves up, the explosions of energy having barely done enough to keep them on the ground momentarily. The teenager dashed again, using his speed to strike one blow in front then fly behind the creature's legs and strike again. Trunks clearly wasn't an experienced fighter, far from the skill of Vegeta or Goku, but against such a giant he knew enough to spread out his attacks and keep moving. The flurry of blows was successful in keeping the boy alive and the monster confused. The pair of legs continued to flail around, attacking wildly, but thanks to the ocarina the incoming attacks were just slow enough for Trunks to avoid. However, the teenager was tiring quickly, and Gohan still was nowhere to be seen. Worse, it seemed as if the creature's strength was growing by the second.

"I have to transform! This is it…it's now or I'm gonna die!"

SLASH! The monster's armored tail caught Trunks across the back, ripping his shirt and opening an angry wound. Crying out in pain, the boy fell to the ground. He could still hear the music of the ocarina – for the moment, it was the only thing that kept Hirudegarn from crushing him.

"Kamehameha!" A blue beam of energy shot across the sky in front of him, lifting the pair of legs into the air with a violent explosion. Super Saiyan Gohan hung in midair, his golden aura pulsing.

"Gohan! You're here!" Trunks was ecstatic.

The older Saiyan dropped to the ground next to Trunks and Tapion – the latter sighing in relief even as he continued playing the ocarina as loudly as he could. Gohan addressed them both. "I'm sorry I couldn't get here sooner – I came as fast as I could. This time, the monster isn't going to escape me!"

Hirudegarn's legs rose from the ground again, smoking but still whole. Tapion pulled away from his instrument for a moment.

"Be careful, Gohan. You have to finish him right away. The longer he is close to his other half in me, the stronger he gets. I can only hold it back for a little longer." He quickly returned to playing his instrument.

"Don't worry, I'll make this fast. Trunks, stay back." The Super Saiyan powered up even higher and charged, catching the monster with a series of expertly-placed blows. Tapion had been right; the monster was stronger now. Despite the music of the ocarina, Hirudegarn was resisting his attacks well. Even so, he was still powerful enough to defeat it…he hoped.

Gohan concentrated his energy, calling on the rage he knew as a child…his greatest source of strength. In a golden streak, he slammed into the side of the beast, lifting Hirudegarn into the air with the impact. Then, teleporting behind it, Gohan hammered it down into the ground from above. He, too, had found that the creature was weakest when it was knocked over. As Gohan landed in front of it, rushing in for another attack, the creature's left leg swept in front of him and kicked the Super Saiyan away.

Crashing through the rotting debris of several former skyscrapers, Gohan finally slowed himself and flew back towards his foe.

"It's not over, you monster!"

Gohan rammed his fists into the monster's pelvis, causing it to stumble backwards. But the creature swung its tail around hard, slamming into the hero. Gohan barely caught the armored appendage with both hands, though it slammed him against the ground. He braced against the tail with all his strength, fighting for leverage. Suddenly, he twisted into the monster's flesh with his hands and turned, raising its tail above his head and slinging the beast over his head and down into the ground.

When it had crashed to one side, losing its footing, Gohan grabbed the tail even harder and began spinning the beast around in a circle. When the monster's form had faded into a whirling blur of spinning brown, Gohan finally let go. Hirudegarn was hurled through the city, crashing through empty metal and concrete structures one by one.

All three of the heroes followed, Tapion keeping the music constant as he leapt over rubble. The trail of wreckage through the town looked like someone had rolled a giant bowling ball, smashing everything across in a straight line—which led to where the beast was once again picking itself up.

Suddenly, just as they arrived, Gohan heard his pupil shout. "Look, it's Hoi!"

Sure enough, there was the Kashvar sorcerer, his cloak pulled back and his yellow teeth bared. Hoi's eyes showed smug satisfaction. His plan was falling into place. His gnarled hands twisted, forming a sickly orange sphere of energy.

"Ah Nazatha Kuun Hakaya!" shouted the wizard. Whatever the mystical words meant, they took immediate effect.

BLAM! To the horror of the two Saiyans, the ocarina in Tapion's hands exploded in a cloud of black smoke. The wizard laughed gleefully. "Now my Hirudegarn is unstoppable!"

Furious, Gohan redoubled his efforts, firing a flurry of energy balls at the pair of legs. But they exploded harmlessly. The pair of legs flew straight through his volley and smashed him to the ground with a single kick.

"Without the ocarina, Hirudegarn is invulnerable again!" Trunks cried out. "Gohan, we have to get out of here!"

But the Super Saiyan couldn't escape even if he wanted to. Now freed from the weakening effects of the music, the beast was stronger than ever. With greater speed and strength, it began to attack Gohan with giant kicks. The hero blocked the first two, but the third kick stomped him deep into the ground.

"AACHH!" he cried. "Darn! This thing is even stronger than me now!"

Watching helplessly, Trunks knew he had to help. It was just like when they had run into the androids several months earlier. He had sat idly by, useless, as Gohan fought them and barely escaped with his life. Everything inside the boy cried out – he desperately wanted to be able to make a difference. Now, he began to despair, knowing his efforts would be futile unless he could somehow transform. There was clearly a need, so why couldn't he do it?

"Gohan!" he cried out, just as the monster smacked Gohan aside with its tail once again.

Trunks knew he had to do something, but he was too overwhelmed. He felt the world around him spinning in circles, dazing him. Turning around, he suddenly noticed Tapion on his hands and knees.

"What is it, Tapion? Are you alright?"

Grunting in agony, the Konatsian replied. "It's…Hirudegarn…he will be…released."

BLAM! SLASH! The monster kicked Gohan into the air and then spun, striking him viciously with its armored tail. The Super Saiyan screamed in pain as the spikes tore his skin.

With tremendous effort, Tapion stood, drawing his sword. Shaking from the pain, he handed it to Trunks. "You…have to kill me, Trunks. I'm sorry. It's…it's the only…way."

"NO!" the boy shouted. "I won't do that!"

"You must." Every word required tremendous exertion. "The Brave Sword…will destroy the half of Hirudegarn that…lives within me. And if that half dies…the other half will die as well."

"No, Tapion! There has to be another way! I won't! I can't kill you!"

"It was…good to have you…as a friend, Trunks." The look upon the hero's face was eating away at the teenager. His words were those of a man who knew his time had come, and had accepted his fate.

Though he was still in his Super Saiyan state, Gohan was covered in bruises and blood. Nothing he tried was working. The monster was even stronger now – and this was only the bottom half! He lifted both his hands above his head. "Masenko…HAAAA!"

The bright golden beam rocketed toward Hirudegarn, smashing into the monster with tremendous power. For a moment, it seemed that the blast was successful…but then the pair of legs exploded forward with incredible speed. The tail wrapped around Gohan, squeezing him and then hurling him into the air. The legs came down with devastating force, sending him spinning into a crater. His golden hair pulsed once more, then faded to black.

"NOO!" Trunks didn't know whether his mentor was dead or alive. His mind suddenly flashed, blood rushing to his head. 'It's all up to me now. I'm all that's left. But…I can't kill my friend!'

Tapion could no longer stand – he was kneeling on the ground, gripping the dirt between his fists. His eyes were wild and his voice was deep and hoarse. "Trunks…please! Kill…me…now!" Gold-green smoke had begun to leak from his eyes and nose and mouth.

The boy couldn't bear to look at his friend who stood, begging for death. Nearby, Hirudegarn was lifting its leg, about to crush Gohan's unconscious form to death. There was no more time.

Trunks became a man. His blue eyes hardened, his vision still blurred from weeping. Swiftly, he lifted the Brave Sword and slid the blade straight through Tapion.

"AHHHH!" Tapion cried out in pain. Brilliant light burst from the shining blade as the green smoke dissipated. Trunks pulled the sword out, the tears streaming from his eyes, and his friend fell to the ground. With his last breath, Tapion smiled.

"I'll see…Minotia…now. Thank you…my friend." With that, Tapion shut his eyes and breathed his last: a sigh of relief. Finally, his face was calm.

Trunks turned, expecting to see the monstrous pair of legs evaporating. Through his tears, he saw Hirudegarn shaking…contorting…but then the creature stood up straight again, a visible aura erupting out of it.

"NOO!" he cried at the top of his lungs. Despite the noble Tapion forfeiting his life, it seemed that the bottom half of Hirudegarn would live on.

Hoi had turned angrily towards Trunks, screaming. "No, you killed him! You stupid, stupid Saiyan! You killed my Hirudegarn! How could you?!" He had not yet seen that the beast had somehow survived.

Distraught, Trunk's looked to the sorcerer, tears still streaming down his face. "Why isn't it dead? WHY IS THAT MONSTER STILL THERE?!"

Turning and seeing his pet, the sorcerer's eyes suddenly lit up wildly and bared his teeth in a crazed grin. He looked more like a demon than anything else.

"You were a fool! That dirty musician was wrong – his death couldn't kill my Hirudegarn! Nothing can! I may have lost the beast's top half, but the bottom half will still be more than enough to kill you all. Your so-called friend died for nothing!"

At those words, something suddenly snapped inside the son of Vegeta. A mental restraint deep inside him instantly shattered. The blood of his friend Tapion was running down the shining blade and onto his hands. Trunks began to shiver. He felt unchecked rage tingling as it rippled up from his feet through his whole body and out through his ears. Blood rushed to his face as his anger continued to swell.

A flash of lighting crackled in front of his face…and all his Saiyan power was instantly released.

"No, Tapion. Your death will not be in vain!"

The young Saiyan's head snapped upwards, his lavender locks rising with a golden flash before they settled back around his head, dancing with ripples of energy. Then, like a fire around him, a golden hued radiance began to shimmer. He clenched his fists with all his might, pouring his rage into the transformation. He wasn't cognizant that he was becoming a Super Saiyan. All that mattered was that he had killed his friend and yet the monster still remained. He would not let Tapion's sacrifice be for naught!


With one final scream, Trunks ascended to the ranks of legend. His blue eyes flashed into a sharp green, and his hair was now erect, the blonde strands waving back and forth in the golden storm of energy around him. He had done it.

The beastly legs turned to face the new Super Saiyan, momentarily leaving Gohan still unconscious but alive several hundred yards away. It exploded forward, intent on crushing Trunks to death instantly.

Gripping the sword in both hands at his side, Trunks gritted his teeth. He bounded forward, landing just in front of the beast and then leaping straight up.


Neatly and cleanly, the sword sliced through Hirudegarn from bottom to top, separating his legs in two. His eyes still brimming with tears, Trunks darted back and forth, slicing and slashing furiously. With each swing, a flash of light from the magical sword incinerated more and more of the beast.

Chunks of demon were falling to the ground, bleeding greenish smoke that started to move toward Hoi. "NO!" The young Super Saiyan raised one hand. "BURNING ATTACK!"

FOOOOM! A massive explosion of energy erupted from the ground, creating a brilliant firestorm that immediately engulfed all that remained of Hirudegarn's bottom half.

"GAHHHH!" The Kashvar wizard screamed angrily. "YOU…YOU…HOW COULD YOU—"

Wordlessly, the boy disappeared and reappeared in front of Hoi. "No, Hoi. How could YOU?!" Angrily, he backhanded the sorcerer with his free hand. THUD. The last of the Kashvars smashed into the side of the nearest building, every bone in his body crushed. Hoi was dead.

The following day Tapion's body was buried just outside the ruins of Capsule Corporation. Gohan, despite being constantly stressed about a possible android attack, recovered quickly from his injuries. Though the son of Goku was proud to see his pupil as a Super Saiyan, Trunks wasn't quite as thrilled as he thought he'd be. His regret over killing Tapion made his access to the transformation bittersweet. Still, they did find a renewed hope in Trunk's new power—even if they couldn't defeat Dr. Gero's creations for the time being, they could continue getting stronger and try again.

The two Super Saiyans trained as regularly as possible, but neither made enormous progress—the stress of always being on alert for the androids hindered their focus. It would be several more years, but eventually Gohan would meet his unfortunate end at the hands of the maniacal #17. With Gohan's help, Trunks spent a great deal of time learning to use Tapion's sword…though, regrettably, he found it to be of very little use against the androids. Apparently, their mechanical powers were impervious to the magic of the blade.

Trunks found it much more difficult to make friends with anyone—especially after Gohan's death. But he always remembered. In his darkest hours, with all hope seeming to be forever lost, he would remember his mentor's unshakeable faith and would find the strength to continue. Thankfully, one day his dreams were realized when his mother discovered time travel. And from there, the story is one we all know.

To new readers from Dragonball Multiverse: Greetings! We hope you've enjoyed this brief glimpse into the universe of Future Trunks. Bringer of Death is the story of a different universe – one where Vegeta was the first to become a Super Saiyan on Namek – but this part of the story is just the same as in Universes 12 and 14. We're both huge fans of Dragonball Multiverse; we hope that you will take the opportunity to begin reading Bringer of Death soon!

To all our readers: Happy Tuesday to each of you. We hope you found this previously untold story to be enlightening. As we've stated, this chapter is meant to be able to stand alone and fit several universes. You probably noticed a few places where we were intentionally vague for that exact reason.

As you've no doubt realized by now, this is very different from the Trunks TV Special where Future Trunks became a Super Saiyan after the death of Gohan. In the original manga, Trunks was already a Super Saiyan (and already had the Brave Sword) when Gohan was killed. Dragonball Multiverse follows this particular account rather than the anime version. In Bringer of Death, Trunks and Gohan faced the androids together as Super Saiyans, but the machines were simply too powerful to oppose.

As the primary author, I must also give David credit for being the predominant writer for this Special Chapter. He also went through the necessary steps to contact Salagir of Dragonball Multiverse to make this story canon to DBM U12 and U14. He's my best friend and I couldn't do this without him.

We also MUST make special mention of our good friend Arcane Super Saiyan/Arcane Hurricane. He has drawn some absolutely fantastic artwork for this special, available now on our DeviantArt page (~bringerofdeathDBZ). You absolutely must check it out!

Now, I know you are all anticipating next week's chapter. It will be entitled "Judgment Day". After three long years of training, the Z fighters' time is up. Next week, they will face the androids…but which ones? And how will they fare without Goku? What is to become of Earth's greatest hero in the future?

Announcer Voice: "Stay tuned for scenes from the next episode of Bringer of De….ehem. Sorry I got carried away. Just get on with the darn Q and A already. GO!"

Q: Several times you mention, well vegeta mentions, that there are only three saiyans left... Is he talking about goku, himself, and also including gohan?
A: He is including Gohan in the count. But there may be Saiyans yet alive that he doesn't know about.

Q: Shouldn't have Goku had the virus much sooner?
A: The point in time at which Goku contracts the virus is relatively similar to canon—in BoD he contracts the virus after he got it in the original canon timeline, but before he got it in the main canon timeline. Once we reveal more about the nature of the virus, it will become clear why he got sick when he did.

Q: I love it so far... Although I would kinda like to see Vegeta and Goku come to some kind of friendship, and now I also think that Goku could be stronger than or at least as strong as Vegeta is now... After 3 years, they should be REALLY close in power level...
A: As you know, the two rivals already have a different dynamic to their relationship than they did in DBZ. Friendship isn't really a concept Vegeta values right now though, nor are he and Goku on the best of terms. As for their comparative strengths, canon seemed to always show that Goku and Vegeta took turns being strongest, pushing each other to new limits. But seeing as Goku is indisposed and in a different timeline, he may play a slightly different role…for now.

Q: I hope Gohan transform into ssj2 first and when Goku dies and then Vegeta will be upset that Gohan surpassed him and he'll wanna train with Gohan and Gohan won't become a weak bastard. And lastly I hope vegeta trains kid trunks more.
A: So, you hope everything happens just like in canon with no surprises, the only difference being that Vegeta decides to train with Gohan after the Cell games? Sorry to disappoint, but we have something much better in mind.

Q: In DBZ, when Goku tells the Z fighters about the androids, Bulma says "Hey I don't you guys just go and kill Gero before he activates them?" and Goku responds "Oh but he didn't even do anything yet, and I really want to fight him..." It always bugged me, this is the stupidest reason ever! Bulma's question always made a lot of sense to me.
My question is, why didn't anyone bring it up on BOD? Trunk could have told them about Gero and the android and Vegeta could be like "Oh so there's this guy who will screw my plans? So I'll just kill him now - since I'm the most powerfull being in the universe - and then kill Kakarot. Or even the other way around."
A: See, I don't know why Toriyama would write a character blatantly pointing out a plot hole of his and then give a half baked unsatisfactory answer for it. He had plenty of other plot holes in DBZ he could have done this with as well, but this one he felt the need to answer…poorly I might add. So to be honest, I avoided the question entirely. Had Bulma brought it up, Vegeta would have still demanded to fight the androids, and as for Goku…since he is weaker than Vegeta he wouldn't have had much choice but to go along with it. In fact, the truth is that Goku wants to fight the androids just as much as Vegeta…maybe that's why the canon reason is so goofy, because Goku came up with it.

Q: Can we see a power level list? Tenshinhan almost getting the drop on Goku? That's awesome.
A: Well, last Chapter we said Tien was double Goku's strength on Namek—making him 6 million. Then he used the Kaioken x8—48 million, and Kaioken times 9—54 million, and he fought Goku's base pretty evenly with that. With the Kaioken x9 Kikoho, he was able to force Goku to turn SSJ in order to match it. I can't put a number on the Tri Beam though.

Q: I think Vegeta is really, in a manner of speaking, telling Trunks the lesson he learned in the original story, fighting Goku and his friends for the first time. The pride he had in his strength and elite heritage back then was shown to be misguided. If he was below Frieza, he was still an elite, and no low class clown was going to take that from him!
Vegeta will have always felt this conflict - I'm sure he wanted the dragonball's gift of immortality to destroy Frieza and open up the horizons of the Saiyans - but that was the wish of a tormented man whose outward expression of pride concealed desperation and frustration at his own weakness. It was only after fighting Goku and seeing what was possible that he could go beyond his limits and put hall of his resentment and pride into developing the strength to fight Frieza, and to see beyond the tyrant, to new challenges like the one Goku presented him with. The Saiyans, who became arrogant and complacent, preoccupied with class and position, were focused on holding onto their rung of the ladder, not daring to try and climb, and so they were kicked off by Frieza. He twisted their pride against them to focus them on the strength of their status, over their true potential. Vegeta surpassed the mentality the Saiyans were stuck in. Goku's affront to his honor, treating him not as a warrior, but as someone to be pitied, may have been the moment where he broke through that limit and into action. If his pride in himself was actually real, it was his potential that mattered. Being "elite" was of no merit under Frieza's foot.
A: You nailed it. This is very well said and shows a lot of thought and understanding on your part. I really appreciate a review of such high quality.

Q: In dbz when piccolo fused with kami, he outclassed both goku, vegeta & trunks.
and was even stronger then imperfect cell (at first) and was pretty much equal to #17. In the BOD version with the increased training everyone has done, will this still be the case? or will vegeta once again be stronger then the z-fighters?
A: Good question. I have one of my own: if they are as strong as you are suggesting, will Piccolo have need to fuse at all?

Q: Did Future Trunks send Goku to the future on his own? As far as I can see there is no mention of Future Trunks inside the time machine.
A: Yes. Trunks was left behind in the past. There were several reasons as to why, such as the time machine being too small for two people, and Trunks knowing he is needed now more than ever against the androids. More of this will be discussed in the next chapter.

Q: One thing though would've been nice is to see how the wonderful bald monk and scarred bandit were going strength wise, just to get an idea.
A: Well, as you know, Krillin had been doing some training with Gohan. But even starting out he was far outclassed. He said a couple chapters ago that he thought he could take on the Ginyu Force now, but I doubt his potential is much more than that. As for Yamcha, he is not quite as strong as Krillin but he can almost do a Kaioken x2. He can't maintain it very well though. Neither of them have power levels of significance.

Q: I wonder where the hell that Goku came from though.
A: Uh, I'm not sure if you're lost or not. I thought it was pretty clear that Goku got sick, so Trunks sent him forward in time using his Time Machine. So, future Bulma just found our Goku like a sick puppy left on her doorstep.