Chapter 4: Senses
On one ordinary day Goku walked into a city on the Earth Kingdom's southern coast, looking for something new to pass the time. A sign on his way in labeled the city Gaoling, which didn't mean much to him. Walking through the streets of Gaoling he passed by a school for earthbending, and Goku stopped for a few minutes to observe the martial arts style used to command the ground. Watching the lessons quickly bored Goku, as he could easily fake it with his strength and energy.
Nearby Goku saw a poster on the side of a building, describing an event called Earth Rumble Six. "A tournament," Goku muttered, reading the poster to see where it was being held. He tore off the poster and followed the directions, heading out of Gaoling to a nearby mountain. Goku wanted to see how the locals compared to his own skills, wondering if there were any fighters on a level similar to his own.
At the base of the mountain was the entrance to the arena, and there was a signup station just inside. A tall man with bulging muscles was behind a counter, dismissing people he believed were too weak to compete. "Who are you?" he asked when Goku walked up to the counter.
"I'm Goku, and I want to fight."
"Alright, show me what you can do."
Goku lifted one foot and stomped on the ground, using enough strength to shake the entire mountain. Then he clenched his fists and concentrated, mentally spreading his energy into the rocks nearby. Several person sized boulders lifted out of the ground, telekinetically floating in fake earthbending. Then Goku relaxed his energy and the boulders crashed back down to the ground.
"Is that good? Or do you want more?" Goku asked.
The muscular man was staring at Goku, impressed by the sheer volume of rock that had been controlled at once. "No, you're more than qualified," he answered. He picked up a quill and dipped it in ink to write on a registration form. "I just need a fighting name, something dramatic."
Placing his hand on his chin Goku thought about what name to use, as it hadn't been necessary in the tournaments back home. Only one spectacular name came to mind, something that Vegeta never stopped talking about back on Namek. "How about, The Super Saiyan?"
"Perfect," the muscular man said, writing it down. "Your first match starts in half an hour."
Half an hour later Goku was standing outside of a ring beneath the mountain, which had many stone ledges around it for seats. The announcer Xin Fu had just explained the rules for the audience, which was that only a ring out was necessary to win a match. Xin Fu only stayed in the ring long enough to introduce the first two combatants.
"Tonight we have two new challengers. Introducing The Boulder and The Super Saiyan!"
Both combatants entered the ring at the same time from opposite sides, and the Boulder was amused by Goku disregarding tradition by keeping his shirt on. "Listen up Saiyan, The Boulder is going to win this in a landslide."
The Boulder stomped a foot on the ground to bend some rocks out, then flung them at Goku. With a swing of his arm Goku broke apart the thrown rocks. Goku punched the ground with enough force to shake the ring, then tore out a chunk of rock ten times his size and threw it at the Boulder. The Boulder broke the chunk in half with earthbending, letting each half fall beside him. Then the Boulder started earthbending the ground beneath Goku's feet, lifting up the rock with him Goku on it and throwing him towards the audience. Right before a ring out Goku jumped off the moving rock, getting above the ring and descending towards the Boulder. He landed next to the Boulder and used a very light punch on him, which sent the Boulder flying out of the ring and slamming into a wall.
"The winner is, the Super Saiyan!"
Unknown to Goku, there were a pair of Water Tribe siblings and a bald kid in the audience. The Water Tribe boy in the stands was cheering for Goku, having an appreciation for violent sports. The boy's sister suggested that they find Goku after the tournament and ask him to teach the bald kid, not realizing that Goku was faking earthbending. The bald kid didn't like the idea, mentioning that his crazy old friend wanted him to learn from someone that listens to the earth.
"Next match: the Super Saiyan versus The Hippo!"
A tall fat man was Goku's opponent, rather dimwitted compared to the previous earthbender. The Hippo tried to tip the ring back and forth with earthbending, attempting to break Goku's footing. Instead Goku ripped a chunk of rock from the ring and propelled it with his energy, hurling it faster than the Hippo could react. The rock hit the Hippo's fat belly and knocked him out of the ring."
"…versus Fire Nation Man!"
The crowd booed as a man with thick sideburns and a red cape walked into the ring, carrying a Fire Nation flag. Goku didn't know why the guy was hated so much, but was amused by the crowd throwing rocks at him. Not even bothering with fake earthbending this time, Goku decided to make the match merciful by shoving Fire Nation Man hard enough to toss him out of the ring.
Several more matches followed, though they seemed very similar to Goku. There was one earthbender that fought by tunneling beneath the ring, which Goku beat by pulling him out of the ground and throwing him out. Then came a skinny guy with a mask, beaten by a kick that smashed through the corner of the ring. A wild man followed, whom Goku threw a rock that pinned him to the wall outside the ring.
"Now, the moment you've all been waiting for! The Super Saiyan versus, your champion, the Blind Bandit!"
A little girl holding up the championship belt entered the arena, and then handed the belt to a stage hand for safekeeping. Goku found himself wondering how to win without hurting her, even when keeping his power to a minimum. "Is there some kind of mistake here?" Goku asked.
"Scared?" the Blind Bandit asked.
"Not at all," Goku answered.
"Then come at me," The Blind Bandit said.
"You asked for it," Goku said, holding up one hand and aiming his palm at the ground in front of his opponent. He channeled energy from his hand into the ring, breaking apart the flat surface into hundreds of small chunks that flew at the Blind Bandit.
The Bandit avoided the attack by burying herself with earthbending, letting the flying rock soar overhead. She emerged behind Goku and sank the ground he stood under, trying to bury him beneath the ring. She noticed Goku jumping off the moving ground, and then he vanished to her. Goku had leaped high above the ring and was taking his time to land, and the Blind Bandit couldn't tell where he was in the air.
"Where did you go!" the Blind Bandit demanded. Then she felt Goku landing nearby. "There you are!" She pulled out a chunk of rock her own size and threw it at Goku, but was surprised to notice him catching it in one hand.
"Okay, you're better than you look," Goku commented, dropping the chunk of rock. He jumped above the ring again, nearly reaching the high ceiling before coming back down behind his opponent. Goku was going to punch the ring hard enough to shatter it, but on his way down he noticed his opponent still facing the spot he used to be. Curious about his opponent, Goku stopped his attack at the last second and hovered just a few inches above the ring. To the audience it appeared that Goku was standing on the ground, but the Blind Bandit still didn't notice him.
"Are you coming back down or not?"
"I'm right here," Goku answered, hovering right behind the Blind Bandit and startling her.
After a short scream the Blind Bandit turned around and earthbended a wave of rock, trying to hit a target she couldn't see. The wave hit Goku and broke around him, giving the Blind Bandit a clear view of Goku for the few seconds he was in contact with rock. After the wave passed the Blind Bandit couldn't see him again, as Goku was hovering inches above the floor.
"How are you doing that?" the Blind Bandit demanded.
"You can't see things in the air," Goku observed.
"Finally someone figured that out," the Blind Bandit said, bending another earth wave.
Goku kicked off the ring and jumped over the earth wave, then landed behind the Blind Bandit. "Have you tried sensing for my energy? That would solve your problem."
"Yeah right," the Blind Bandit said, thinking that her opponent was crazy. She buried herself beneath the ring, and then five hollow pillars sprouted and spun around Goku. "If that's real, then try to find me!"
The audience wondered which of the five pillars the Blind Bandit was inside, but Goku didn't bother checking any of them. Instead Goku punched the floor and ripped out a large chunk of the ring, then smashed it against the floor. The moving pillars stopped as the Blind Bandit fell out of the broken rock, tumbling close to the edge.
"Okay… there might be something to that sensing energy thing," the Blind Bandit muttered, getting back onto her feet. "I'll have to work on that after I beat you."
"Well this should get you started," Goku said, clenching his fists and spreading his feet apart. Goku started powering up with a white aura, his energy generating wind outward and pushing down the floor beneath him. In under a second he turned the entire ring into a crater, startling the audience while the Blind Bandit slid down the crater's steep side. She slid towards Goku at the bottom of the crater, where he lightly flicked his fingers with enough force to propel the Blind Bandit out of the ring.
The Blind Bandit crashed into the stands, right next to the Water Tribe siblings and the bald kid. They didn't notice her there at first, too busy staring at Goku's display of power. The audience was silent as Goku took the championship belt and prize money from Xin Fu, himself too shocked to properly announce the winner. Only when Goku peacefully left the arena did anyone in the audience speak again.
When the Blind Bandit started to recover the bald kid asked her a question. "Hey, would you mind teaching me earthbending?"
Rubbing her head to sooth a headache, the Blind Bandit wondered if teaching might repair her damaged pride. "Sure, why not?"