Chapter 5: One Man's Treasure
On a whim Goku traveled to the edge of a desert in the central Earth Kingdom, having overheard people talking about an oasis that everyone needed to visit. It turned out to be a tourist trap, as the ice spring in the middle of the oasis was almost completely melted away. The locals all stared at Goku's strange choice of clothing, mostly red with some blue and the green Earth Rumble championship belt. The mix of colors confused the locals, uncertain which nation he came from but not saying anything about it.
A bar was the only place worth visiting in the oasis, which Goku decided to enter. He saw someone order a fruity drink, and he watched the bartender use swords to chop up the ingredients and mix the drink in a bowl of ice. "One of those, please," Goku asked, tossing a gold coin from his Earth Rumble prize money.
The bartender made another fruity drink and passed it to Goku. In just a few minutes the bartender had to make a dozen more drinks for Goku, and started to run low on ingredients. It was still the bar's most profitable day ever, as Goku didn't know the real value of his coins and overpaid for each drink. Goku was almost finished when he noticed someone else entering the bar, who was sunburned in spite of wearing proper desert clothing.
"Hello there," the stranger said, walking up to the bartender. "One drink please."
"Coming up," the bartender said, making another fruity drink in less than half a minute. "The last one we have today."
"Thank you," the stranger said. He sat down on a barstool and slowly enjoyed his drink.
"You really should stop nearly dying in the desert," the bartender suggested. "You're wasting your time looking for that library."
"I have to find it," the stranger insisted. "Discovering Wan Shi Tong's lost library would be the greatest achievement anyone can make. And I know it's out there somewhere."
Uninterested in a library, Goku walked away from the stranger and headed outside. In the desert heat Goku took his time leaving the oasis, walking into the desert sands. Once the oasis was out of sight Goku jumped into the air, planning to fly across the desert and explore the lands beyond it. But along the way Goku sensed a strange presence beneath the sands, and he stopped in midair to focus on it.
"What is that?" Goku muttered, hovering above the desert and looking down. He was right above the source of the presence he sensed, and directly below him was a tower sticking out of the sand. Goku descended and landed on top of the tower, wondering why it was there. He peered over the edge and saw large windows, while a strange fox climbed up the side and entered through one of the windows.
Goku walked off the tower's roof and floated down to the window, drifting through it and finding a much larger structure down below. He slowly dropped through the open space and landed on one of many stone bridges spanning the large building. At both ends Goku saw rows of bookshelves, but didn't care about any of them.
"Hello? I know someone's in here!" Goku yelled.
"You should not have come," a new voice answered. From one end of the bridge a giant owl walked towards Goku. "You should leave, the way you came."
Realizing that the owl was the being he had sensed, Goku looked up into the bird's eyes. "Who are you?"
"I am Wan Shi Tong, he who knows ten thousand things."
"Neat," Goku commented. "What is this place?"
"This is my library," Wan Shi Tong answered. "And humans are no longer welcome here."
"Well I'm not human, so no problem right?" Goku reasoned.
"Appearances say otherwise."
"I know, but I'm really a Saiyan," Goku answered. "So can I wander around here for a while?
"Only if you can provide some worthwhile knowledge for the library," Wan Shi Tong demanded, doubting that Goku had anything worthwhile.
Goku patted each part of his body to check for anything written down, finding nothing of value to the owl. "I got nothing," Goku muttered, but then an idea struck him. "How about I show off some fighting styles?"
"I have studied every fighting style in this world, so there is nothing you can show that I don't already know."
"Except that my fighting style isn't from this world," Goku reasoned.
The owl took a moment before responding, thinking about Goku's suggestion. "Very well," Wan Shi Tong said. "We shall spar, and I will assume a more appropriate form."
Wan Shi Tong spread his wings and covered the entire front of his body. Then he started to shrink, reducing to a size slightly larger than Goku. The wings retracted and turned into a feathery cloak, revealing a vaguely human shaped body. New arms ending in clawed hands hung from a feathery chest, and he had talons for feet. The head still resembled an owl, but had smaller eyes and a shorter beak.
"That will do," Goku commented.
In a split second dash Goku closed the gap between him and Wan Shi Tong, pulling back a fist and punching the spirit in the beak. The blow sent the spirit flying backward, until he slammed into a wall. Goku flew after the spirit and threw another punch, but missed when Wan Shi Tong ducked. Goku's fist punched a hole in the wall, startling the spirit enough to distract him from Goku swinging his leg. A kick hit the spirit's side and slammed him into a bookshelf, breaking it down and burying him in books.
The spirit got up and out of the pile, then charged at Goku. Wan Shi Tong slammed his shoulder into Goku, knocking him back a few feet. A flurry of punches followed, but Goku was more than fast enough to dodge each one. Goku jammed his knee into the spirit's gut, the resulting pain making him bend over forward. With both fists Goku slammed them into the spirit's back, using enough force to make Wan Shi Tong break through the floor and fall into the next level of the library below.
Goku flew down through the hole in the floor, pulling back a fist to strike again. At the last second Wan Shi Tong swung a leg and hit Goku's side, knocking him down a row of bookshelves. Goku planed his feet on the floor and slid to a stop, then saw Wan Shi Tong dash towards him. The spirit threw a punch at Goku, which met Goku's fist and slammed together with sound of thunder.
"Nice warm up," Goku commented.
"Warm up?" Wan Shi Tong muttered.
Before the spirit could see the attack coming Goku punched him in the gut, making Wan Shi Tong gasp for air. Several more hits in the same place knocked the wind out of the spirit, leaving him vulnerable to a punch in the face. The blow hurled Wan Shi Tong across the library and into the far wall, the impact shaking the building hard enough to spill sand through cracks in the outer walls.
Realizing that he had severely underestimated his opponent, Wan Shi Tong abandoned the form he had taken for human martial arts. First he reverted to his default owl form, then doubled in size and grew into a form closer to a vulture. On large wings he flew towards Goku, while extending his sharp talons. When he was close enough Wan Shi Tong slashed with his talons, but Goku jumped out of the way. While Goku was in the air the spirit used a long neck bring his head closer to Goku, clamping down with his beak to swallow Goku whole.
Inside the spirit's beak Goku pushed with his arms and feet, forcing the beak to open. He leaped out and landed on the floor, then jumped back up and slammed a shoulder into Wan Shi Tong's throat. The spirit staggered back a few feet, before Goku slammed both fists into the top of the spirit's head. Wan Shi Tong's head hit the floor with a loud crack sound, and a piece of his beak chipped off.
"Enough," Wan Shi Tong said, reverting to his default form again.
"Already?" Goku asked, crossing his arms while standing in front of the spirit.
"There is no point in continuing a battle I cannot win," Wan Shi Tong reasoned. "You have earned access to the contents of my library."
Goku looked around in every direction, seeing all the books it had to offer. But reading was something more suited to Gohan, as Chi-Chi wanted their son to be a scholar. "If it's all the same to you, I'll be leaving now."
"What?" Wan Shi Tong said, baffled by Goku's decision. "Then why did you come here?"
"I thought I'd find a good fight," Goku admitted. He jumped into the air and slowly flew upward. "No offense, but this place is lame."
Wan Shi Tong watched Goku fly up and out of the library, feeling sorry for any human that might cross him. "What a strange being."
A/N: The owl had that beat down coming.