From Penguin Village with Love
By Reid M. Haynes
Disclaimer: Dragon Ball/Dr. Slump is the property of Akira Toriyama, TOEI ANIMATION, and various other companies, as well as all characters within. I am using them without permission, and I am making no money off of them.
( ) Denotes thoughts.
Denotes sound effects.
Tale 4: We Got Power
A silent and irrepressible heat streamed effortlessly though a clear sky, bearing down on the streets of Penguin Village like a giant's toaster oven. The asphalt sparkled mystically as it slowly cooked everything on it, and the palm trees swayed softly with the slight wind rustling through the large leaves. Not a one, whether it be human, android, or alien, could be seen traversing the roads, even though it was a typically busy time of the day. It was like a desert battleground; slow, hot, and with a foreboding sense of danger permeating every speck of dirt.
Such as it was in the Coffee Pot.
Kimidori Aoi tended to the collection of mugs and canisters that lined the shelves of the small shoppe, going on tiptoe to reach the higher levels. As she gathered a mess of dishes into her hands, she turned her head back to examine the tables and chairs in the dining area. No one was here either; plates and napkins placed in a manner akin to a Thanksgiving meal were left by their lonesome, all the love put into their arrangement wasted. And from the clean floors and spotless tablecloths, it was clear nobody had stopped to eat here since a night before.
The young woman sighed and looked over to the grill, where a lone serving of scattered hash browns cooled off in the air-conditioned Coffee Pot. She had cooked the meal in hopes that the customer that ordered it every morning would find it hot and ready for him as he arrived. But he was a no show; like everyone else, he had other plans then breakfast or brunch.
It couldn't be helped really. Considering what was happening right now.
Aoi picked up a small spatula on her right and began to scoop the hash browns onto a suitable plate, leaving not a shred of it on the grill. Munching periodically on it with her fingers, she moved over to a cabinet that carried the extra dishes, opening it up with her free hand. She searched past the cutlery and glasses, moving carefully to avoid having her arm clipped by their potentially dangerous edges. Finding a notch on the side of its wooden innards, she pressed down upon it like a button, quickly retracting her hand afterwards and stepping back.
With a soft mechanical noise, the cabinet slowly and automatically moved to the side, revealing a hidden doorway. With a thoughtful expression, Aoi proceeded through this new path and down a flight of stone stairs that led to a place deeply hidden. As there was no railing, her footsteps were light and careful, slowly carrying her towards a distant light at the end. It was another doorway, as small as the first, yet somehow more ominous.
Reaching the bottom of the staircase, the woman shielded her eyes from the intense light coming from the opening. Aoi could hear loud chatterings coming from beyond the doorway, and shadows danced franticly along the walls of the tunnel. Her nerves were already wracked from the sound and stimuli, but she quickly gathered her nerve to make the final plunge. Taking a final bite of her hash browns, she took a deep breath and proceeded through the doorway...and into a locale of complete chaos.
Beyond the small doorway, alive with the splendor of a hundred lights, was a giant, underground stadium, packed with a thousand spectators. Complete with snack bars, souvenir stands, and a booth where you could take a picture with a digitally placed version of the competitors, it was enough to completely shame the modest arena that the Tenka'ichi Budokai was held in. Speaking of which, the plan for the actual fighting grounds was basically the same as the fabled tournaments: large, square blocks placed into a grid. With earthen stalactites hanging overhead and a few palms dotting the area between the arena and spectator signs, it was a place both suited to and completely foreign to everyday Penguin Villagers.
"Ladies and gentlemen, are you ready for action?" a booming voice called from the announcer's box. "Are you ready for excitement? Are you ready to see little girls beat the snot out of each other? Well then, you're in the right place, for this is the Penguin Village 'Fight for Love' Super Battle!" A large roar erupted from within the crowd, as they started practically foaming at the mouth for some action.
The Tenka'ichi Budokai announcer straightened his tie in a dignified manner, though there was no one to observe or critique him. Yes, Penguin Village had managed to secure his services for this special one-time event. Truth be told, he was having second thoughts about choosing to take this job; the people here were some of the strangest he had ever met. It was true the Budokai's attracted some odd sorts, like monsters, monks, and prepubescent martial artists, but at least they didn't run around with poo on a stick for fun.
Like the professional he was, he continued nonetheless. "We have a great fight for you today, folks!" the TBA continued with much gusto, trying to put as much enthusiasm into his speech as possible. "Two very strong competitors have agreed to meet in the ring this one time for the ultimate grudge match. They're not fighting for money, they're not fighting for glory. They're fighting for looooove!"
He ignored the second squeal that rippled through the crowd, opting instead to continue his monologue. "In this corner, weighing in at around 92 lbs, is a newcomer to Penguin Village. A princess in her own right, she fights to secure her fiancée and protect him from all other competition. Say hello to Gyu-Mao's daughter, Chichi!"
A polite show of hands played as a fanfare to the first competitor's entrance, modest yet not entirely fulfilling the demands of a crowd. As the clapping died down, a spotlight shone to the left of the stage, illuminating the silhouette of a small girl, dressed in an odd outfit. A casual audience member sitting in the nosebleed section might mistake her for a Halloweener, or a cosplayer. But if you were lucky enough to get good seats, you could clearly see from her harsh demeanor her that she was dead serious about her choice of outfit, with her rival adding the "dead" part.
The princess' pixie-like features were taut with tension, though not in a way that would make her ugly. Eyes closed and eyebrows furrowed, she was in a state of intense concentration, one that even the raucous audience could not disturb. One could almost see the furious stream of memories flowing around her; truly, it did seem like her spirit was stoking a bright flame around her. That supposed flame burned with an intense love for her betrothed, and with a fiery determination...
WHAM!!! The image of a gleeful girl was smushed in by a respectively large fist, its knuckles completely concealing her face. That fist has scarcely been pulled away before another blow bore into it, squishing and distorting her face even further. WOP! An ongoing flurry of punches made their way towards their target, joined by the occasional high kick. WMP!WMP!WMP! It was an elbow jab that had finished up the heated combo, and the "comboer", so to speak, only rested for a moment before resuming her assault on the object of her ire.
Chichi sweated and panted as she pounded away on the image of Norimaki Arale posted to her punching bag. No one was quite sure where she had got the photo; perhaps she had nicked it from the family that had put her up for the night. It was clear to everyone that the purple-haired girl was going to be the favorite in the oncoming fight that had been set up for the both of them. Her rival was like a celebrity in this place, and she was constantly surrounded by friends and family that gave their undying support to her.
The girl grimaced loudly, throwing more force into her blows. She didn't need any of that, though. Chichi was a princess, a born fighter trained by the strongest man in the land: her own father. She would even the score and retrieve her love, even if there was no one to cheer her victory.
"Miss Chichi." A voice broke through her intense concentration, causing to break momentum. She ceased her attack to stare at the arrival, her eyes widening in surprise. Obotchaman was standing in the open doorway, holding a small water bottle in his grip. "Obotchaman, what're you doin' here?" she asked, her tone not angry, just curious.
The small boy's eyes were unblinking, but had a certain amount of sadness within them. "I wanted to see how you were faring," he stated, slowing walking up to Chichi and presenting her with the bottle. "I haven't seen you ever since this whole fisticuffs affair began."
"I'm jes' fine," she responded without much conviction, taking the bottle from him listlessly. "Thanks for askin'." She brought the nozzle to her lips, squeezing lightly until the fluid made its way into her parched mouth. Then, she spat the liquid out in a sputtering stream, splattering Obotchaman with a complete mouthful. "WHAT IS THAT STUFF?!" she hollered out at him, coughing as if she spent a minute under the ocean chugging salt water.
"Oh, sorry," Obotchaman apologized nervously, putting a hand on the back of her head. "I suppose you don't drink Robobitan A, do you?"
"Obotchamaaaan..." she growled petulantly, giving the boy a glare that could melt iron. He laughed nervously.
Chichi harrumphed, and sauntered away from him to the other side of the rooms. She grabbed a towel sitting on a chair and began to wipe off the sweat that drenched her entire body. Rubbing the cottony wool over her head caused some large drops of perspiration to fall from her hair and land on the ground with a unceremonious PLAP! She might as well have been a sprinkler system from the way she was soaking the floor where she stood.
"I believe I have figured out why we were so unsuccessful in attempting to deter Miss Arale and Sir Goku," Obotchaman said after a moment, a slight note of trepidation in his tone.
The girl stopped drying off for a moment and turned to look at him. "What do ya mean?" she asked, letting the towel hang on her shoulders as if she was a human rack.
He closed his heads, and hung his head in contemplation. "It is because their souls have already bonded with each other," he told her quietly, not looking up from his floor-bound gaze. "It is true that neither of them are likely the type to develop deep, romantic connections with the opposite sex so readily. Yet their attraction was a spark developing from the moment they first met that day the Red Ribbon had shown up in our peaceful island village. It is a development that even I have never been able to produce myself with my own love, so I find myself blown away by their companionship."
"There are few people like Miss Arale and Sir Goku, and it is rare when Fate allows them to unify," he continued, opening his eyes and staring at Chichi seriously though his round spectacles. "Though they are almost shockingly similar, they have managed to bring out new traits of their respective personalities. This is a feat I've always wished to pull off together with Miss Arale, and yet...Sir Goku has managed it without any effort at all. I have come to believe...that such a potential love should not be stifled, even by us."
For a brief moment, Chichi looked stunned by Obotchaman's speech, even widening her eyes in response to the cuttingly honest words. But soon, her expression hardened in stubbornness, and she clenched her fists. "N-no way!" she yelled, her hair flaring around her face at she pointed at the boy. "You might be willin' t' give up, but I ain't gonna let my Goku go to that...that...other woman!"
Having over-exhausted herself from emotion and exercise, she turned away from the boy for a moment, her expression becoming less sour. "Before I met Goku, I spent every day pinin' for my fairy tale prince to come sweep me off ma feet," she said quietly, her tone wistful. "Then, Goku showed up on his flying cloud, and I jes' knew he was gonna be the one." She whirled back towards Obotchaman, her eyes vibrant and shining. "He promised me marriage!" she cried out desperately to him, trying to make him understand. "Even if it was a lie, couldja forget about that, Obotchaman?"
The boy looked even more shocked that Chichi did, when their roles had been reversed. He then sadly lowered his head, and began to slowly walk out of the room. He had one foot out the door when he turned back towards the girl, a serious expression on his face. "God speed, Miss Chichi," he told her softly, his hand resting on the doorframe, as if it was the last thing holding him to her side.
After Obotchaman left, Chichi let out a loud breath of air, feeling the weight of the world on her shoulders. She shook her head a few times, and slapped her own cheeks to help wake her up. (C'mon, Chichi,) she told herself, staring fiercely at nothing in particular. (You got a battle t' win!)
With her mind more focused now, she turned her eye towards a helmet sitting on a chair in the back. The large, heavy headgear was vaguely Roman in attributes, with a sharp blade in place of the traditional comb. The small, crystal eye in the forehead shone in the lighting of the room. It was her partner in all things, and it would serve her well in the upcoming fight.
(This is it!)
Chichi grasped the helmet in her two hands, regarding it with determination. Then, she placed it upon her head, the light reflecting off the blade with a glaring sparkle. KSHWING!!!
The roar of the stadium was a deafening rush as Chichi as she strode in full Valkarie getup to the raised battle platform. Stepping up to center stage, she stood stoically against the throngs of stadium goers, ignoring them like one might ignore a buzzing fly. Instead, her eyes tore through the blaring lights towards the other fighter's entrance, staring at it almost anxiously. Truly, the person waiting in the darkness was a force to be reckoned, if the stories she had heard from the villagers were true.
"Looks like we have a real fighter here, folks!" the TBA was saying, trying his best to play up Chichi's entrance. It must've worked, too, for the intensity of the crowd picked up just the slightest bit. A few of the more adventurous folks were already starting to place bets on Chichi, in hopes for a dramatic upset. Most strayed away from doing this, however, confident in the abilities of the hometown favorite.
The TBA scanned the premises from his booth, before focusing on the other side of the arena. "Oh, here comes our other contestant now!" he cried out hurryingly, before the moment passed. "In this corner, weighing in at 98 lbs, is a face I'm sure you'll all know! She's three feet tall and likes poking at poo. Give a warm round of applause to Penguin Village's favorite daughter, Norimaki Arale!"
This time, the reaction from the crowd was much more profound than when Chichi had made her entrance. The people hooted and hollered for the presence of their heroine, and some of them held up large banners with the girl's smiling mug on them. It was enough to bring a small frown to Chichi's face, as she mumbled something under her breath.
On the other side of the arena, a small figure could be seen making its way from the entrance to the center stage. It was a small, purple-haired girl, with a countenance that was making the adjustment from cheery to serious. She, too, was dressed in a new outfit, which couldn't quite be made out from the distance. The light reflected off her glasses eerily, and nobody could tell what she was thinking.
But she was thinking...
"Are you sure you're ready for this, Arale-chan?" the woman said as she sorted out some clothes on the easy chair rocking next to the wall.
"Yup!" a much more chipper voice responded from behind the curtain, not under confident in the slightest. "This is gonna be lots of fun, Sensei Midori!"
In the relative safety of the Norimaki home, Midori made some last minute preparation for Arale's big fight. To her right were a collection of sewing utilities and pins, and to her left was a large collection of colored cloths with varying weights and textures. Her hands were bandaged up from a number of small nicks and cuts due to her hard work. It was obvious that she was a perfectionist about whatever she was doing the hour before.
The woman turned her head seriously towards the feminine robot. "Arale-chan, I don't think you understand the consequences of this battle," she stated, bending down slightly to stare her in the face.
"Hoyo?" the girl responded blanking, nicely proving the point made.
Midori sighed softly, straightening looking out the window towards the general direction of the sea. "Chichi-chan has the competition all set up," she explained, a certain heaviness to her voice. "If you lose, she will take your precious Go-kun away, and you won't be able to see him anymore."
At this, the smile vanished completely from Arale's face, as she made a small concerned "o" with her lips. She looked down and to the side for a moment, obvious mulling over something. Soon, though, she raised her head once again, a brand new smile on her face. "Then I'll hafta win!" she declared, standing up to her full height and clenching her fists with gusto.
The woman smiled. "You always were so irrepressible," she told her, electing a small series of chuckles from the girl. "Here, I have something for you!"
Arale craned her head curiously as Midori grabbed a small bundle from the ironing board. It was lightweight and light blue, with a black sash and a pair of kung-fu slippers on top. "After I mended Goku's uniform, I figured I knew enough about the design to sew another," she said, a blush of pride coming to her cheeks. "So I made a second one just for you!"
"Wow!" Arale cried out, running quickly to the woman's side. "Coooool!" Quickly snatching the uniform away, she appraised the outfit excitedly, running her hand over the yielding, yet durable cloth. "Great, Mom!" she said happily, cradling the outfit in her arms lightly. "I'm gonna change now, 'kay?"
As she eagerly ran off to the bathroom to exchange one outfit for another, Midori stood silently among the folding clothes, her hands still stretched out. Her eyes twinkled with some unknown emotion, and a few droplets made their way to the corners. Slowly, a shaky, wobbly smile came to her lips. "She called me 'Mom!'" she said with a sniffle, putting a hand to her eyes to wipe away the tears that were now streaming down her face.
The girl opened her eyes to the scramble of the crowd, looking more like an array of multi-colored specks than actual people. They fizzled like cola in the stadium stadiums, many of them piping up with the chant of her name. She looked a bit bewildered by all of this, the lights and sounds more intimidating than exhilarating. Then, slowly, she began walking up the long path towards the center battlefield, where Chichi awaited her with a tough expression on her face.
Arale's clothes were indeed designed after Goku's usual martial arts uniform, albeit with a few artistic changes. For one, it was a light blue uniform, and there was an "A" in place of the Turtle symbols on the front and back. The girl had also done her hair up in twin ponytails which dangled on the side of her head, and she had left her trademarked winged cap behind. It was the perfect look for pint-sized female martial artists; though her forte was wrestling, she was sure she could manage.
With renewed cheer, she strode down the long walk, waving back and forth at the supportive crowd. By looking carefully, she could spot a few familiar faces in the stands, giving their support.
"Go for it, Arale!" Senbei called out loudly, his mouth stretching out to reveal his molars. "Show them what my number #1 creation can do!"
She smiled up at him. "Got it, Hakase!" she affirmed, throwing him the peace sign.
With a spring in her step, Arale bounced up to the center platform, stopping around five meters in front of Chichi. There, she waited happily, rocking back and forth in a somewhat impatient manner. The other girl growled in a somewhat exaggerated manner, trying her best to stare down her opponent. But the robot girl just tilted her head in a confused manner, trying to consider what she was so angry about.
"Okay, here are the rules," the TBA's voice bellowed from the loud speakers set up all throughout the stadium. "No eye gouging, no hair pulling, no hitting the vulnerables. When the count starts, back away from your opponent until I give the okay. Weapons are allowed. That is all."
"Now, then," the announcer continued, his voice tapering off for a moment. "Match, BEGIN!"
The two fighters pulled into roughed fighting stances, each gauging the expertise of the other. Chichi's stance was solid and strong, leaving no obvious holes in her defense. Arale simply mimicked what she had seen on the martial arts channel, adding a typical 'Bruce Lee' facial expression to the mix. If this was any indication of their abilities, it was clear that the foreigner had the advantage in skill, if not strength.
"Do it to it, Arale-chan!" a boy-ish voice cried from the stands. Arale smiled up towards the voice, where Goku, back in his own uniform, was cheerfully waving at her. "Hi, Go-kun!" she hollered, waving back. "Hi! Hi! Hiiiii!"
BOOT! and was subsequently knocked a good one in the head for her inattentiveness. Arale went flying in the direction of Chichi's kick, coming to a rough roll on the ground before finally stopping a good distance away from the other girl. She looked up with a somewhat startled expression, her glasses almost falling off her nose. "Hoyo, we're fighting already?" she asked, straightening the spectacles with her right hand.
"Betta' get ready!" the other girl responded, putting her dukes up. "I'm gonna getcha!"
And with a WHOOSH!, Chichi dashed forward in a rushing punch. Startled, Arale just managed to nip out of the way of the attack, popping back just a few feet away from her opponent. The other girl wasn't deterred, however, and threw a spinning roundhouse that threatened to alleviate her irritating concern. But again, Arale avoided this, jumping back into a somersault nearly halfway across the arena.
She landed on the ground somewhat roughly, squatting sort of like a monkey. "Hey, you're being just like the kung-fu guys on TV!" she pointed out happily, raising a finger up in realization.
"Shush!" Chichi retorted, putting her fingers to the jewel in the center of her helmet. Arale looked surprised at this, and was obviously even more surprised with a glowing laser beam bolted from the gem straight. BIIIIIIIIIIIIII…! "Whoops!" she cried out, as she danced away from a danger that seemed to follow her everywhere. Soon, she was running all over the place as the laser trailed along the ground, leaving a scorched path everywhere it touched.
As Arale tore around the arena trying to escape from Chichi's attack, the TBA sprang into action, pulling the microphone up close. "And Chichi's getting off to a fine start!" he told the audience, spittle flying from his mouth and causing the microphone to emit some annoying feedback. "It looks like Arale has no idea what's happening! Though perhaps that has nothing to do with Chichi..."
Contrary to the very precarious situation she was in, Arale was far from the distressed damsel. Rather, she laughed and smiled like she was chasing after a swarm of butterflies, rather than being chased by a screaming death ray. "Wheeee, this is fun!" she said, her heels one step away from the laser. "Let's do it again tomorrow!"
"Oooooh, you...!" Chichi fumed, her face turning red with frustration. Turning off her laser, she sought instead for a more direct approach, and rushed after her to bludgeon her with flying fists. VOOKA!VOOKA! Arale giggled hyperactively as she avoided each blow within a hairsbreath from contact. The attacks were as ineffectual as shadowboxing, merely cutting the air and nothing more.
"Huff, puff," Chichi gasped, worn out from her heated assault. Then she blinked and looked around, discovering just then that the robot girl was nowhere in her field of vision. Where could she have gone off to?
"Gee, that's a pretty funny hat!" Chichi started at this voice, and whirred around franticly. Arale was now just to her side, poking at her helmet with a stick. "I wonder if it'll do the 'biiiiiiii' thing again I poke it enough," she was saying cheerfully, prodding the headgear over and over. "Pokity-poke-poke."
"Danggit!" Chichi wailed, swinging her fists like a threshing mill. "Take me seriously!" She started hurling an impressive amount of punches towards the android girl, ready to thrash her into Arale-Sausage. VOOP!VOOP!VOOP! Arale dodged them cheerily enough, seeming to be everywhere at once. This only furthered the Ox Princess's desire to smash the girl into the ground, and her attacks doubled in intensity.
The assault continued, and Arale was starting to have some difficulty in avoiding Chichi's iron knuckles. SHP! a blow nearly grazed her cheek, causing her to lean back in surprise. She retreated into a backwards somersault that gave her a small berth from the other female fighter. WRRRR…!"That's rough!" she stated, staring wide-eyed at her opponent.
Chichi smiled, an easy win seemingly near. "There's no escape!" she said, reaching up to the top of her helmet, where the curved blade sat at the ready. With a small grunt, she hurled the weapon with all her might, sending it CHOK!CHOK!CHOK! towards Arale's forehead. "I gotcha!" she cried, her grin expectant and exuberant.
Chichi's facade of victory soon turned into a look of utter dismay, and the crowd gasped with shock. With one unscathed hand, Arale had caught the blade in midair, holding it just an inch from her nose. GRRRNnnnk…! Everyone watched in shock as she slowly crumpled the metal into a crumbled ball, like it was a piece of notebook paper. Then, with eyes concealed by violet bangs, she let it drop with a CLANK! on the arena floor, in a manner not unlike someone dropping that notebook paper ball.
"I letcha have your fun, because I thought it was fun," she said in perhaps the softest tone anyone had ever heard from her. "But we're fightin' for Go-kun, right? People say you're gonna make him go bye-cha." And Arale raised her eye, her eyes hard and determined. "You can't do that!"
In a rush of insurmountable agility, the robot rushed headlong at her opponent, her elbow cocked and ready for a titanic punch. VMMM! Chichi almost completely panicked, turning into a true, little girl at this threat. "S-stay back!" she warned unsteadily, her fingers flying again to her helmet's jewel for another laser blast.
But Arale had different ideas. CRUNCH! Her fist impacted against the gem, shattering it into absolute dust and sending Chichi flying backwards almost six meters. The befallen girl struggled to retain her battle stance, her expression wild like a tiger's. "W-wanna go fer it?!" she cried, trying to bring out some reserves of angry strength.
"HAAAIIIII!" Arale roared, rushing forward to meet her opponent's demands.
"Heh heh," a dark figure rumbled, rubbing his hands together like sandpaper. "Soon..."
A red light blinked continuously, and a piercing, beeping noise echoed throughout the chamber.
Arale rushed towards her opponent with a flying, spinning kick, cutting the air like soggy butter. SWWK! Chichi edged away from the attack just in time, and whirled around with a back fist aimed for the other's cheek. WOK! Arale wasn't caught unaware, and raised her arm to deflect the blow, moving low for a sweep kick aimed for the shins.SHOOP! To avoid this, Chichi fell backwards into a series of handsprings that carried her away from her opponent, though the robot girl was hot on her heels.
The battle was now truly underway, with both opponents putting everything they had into the fight. The crowd was oohing and ahhing, equally impressed with both competitors. Despite her soft appearance, Chichi was built like a rock, and Arale had to push herself for the first time in order to win a fight. And push she did, harder than a construction worker on end-of-the-month payday.
Chichi landed on her feet deftly and looked up in shock to find Arale bearing down on her once more. Falling down towards her opponent, the android took the travel time to gather her strength, and then proceeded to rain down a flurry of punches towards Chichi's face. BFF!BFF!BFF! Chichi put up her arms to shield herself from the nonstop barrage, instinctually turning her face from the force of the impacts. But Arale kept firing away mercilessly with her fists, a robotic fighting machine born from the heated moment.
Chichi's fighter instinct saw an opening for a brief moment, and she quickly seized it. Grabbing onto Arale's wrists, she clenched tightly, electing a brief "Hoyo?" from her. Before the robot girl knew what was happening, Chichi was spinning her like an Olympic hammer, around and around until they became a single blur. VWM!VWM!VWM! She had made five complete revolutions before she finally let go, sending the other girl flying away at a high speed and, hopefully, towards the "ring out" area.
But Chichi made a small mistake in calculating the trajectory of the girl's travel. Her bullet-like flight carried her but a foot from the arena floor, and all she had to do was put a palm down to slow her momentum. shnnnnnn…! the resulting friction stopped her right at the edge of the ring, and with a round off, she was back on her feet once again. She crouched for a moment, smiling confidently, and in a rush bolted back towards the center of the ring, beginning the melee once again.
"I can't believe my eyes, folks!" the TBA screamed out at the microphone, the energy genuine this time. "We have here a Grade A battle on our hands! The sheer chi exploding throughout the arena is astronomical! I haven't seen this much action since the last Tenka'ichi Budokai, which as you all know was Son Goku vs. Jackie Chun!"
In the stands, the boy just mentioned blinked in astonishment at the violent confrontation raging below. "Golly!" Goku said, rubbing the back of his head. "I didn't know Chichi was so tough...!"
"Well, duh!" Akane said from beside him, giving him a dull expression. "She's fighting for true romance! That's gotta give you some stoppin' power!"
"Huh." He took a large bite of his hotdog, chewing it in loud smacks. "I wonder if a good meal would make her feel better?" he contemplated, large bits of mashed up pork flying from his open mouth.
The older girl looked at him like he was some sort of joke. "You and Arale really are perfect for each other, you know that?" she drolled, wiping off some of the excess hotdog crud that had landed on her tank top.
"Hush, hush!" Tsuku snapped out at them, pointing out towards the two competitors. "Fight heating up!"
The three of them all turned back around to watch the ongoing drama in the ring. Arale and Chichi were swinging away at each other with all their might, fists and feet flailing out at an incredible pace. BWOK! BWOK! Blocks and counters flashed by like a dance recital sped up, as each fighter struggling to execute their best move. Indeed, there was no clear winner in sight.
PMP! Arale threw a left-handed jab straight for Chichi's face. She blocked it, and threw a rough hook at Arale's chin. FFP! The girl ducked this attack, and followed through with an uppercut aimed at the jaw. FOOP! Chichi flinched away from it and BWAAA! shot her leg out in a fierce kick towards Arale's midsection, which only scarcely missed.
The android girl did her best to pummel though her opponent's assault with a rapid flurry of kicks aimed towards her opponent's chest. VIZ!VIZ! But Chichi managed to avoid them all, and returned fire with a wave of punches to the face. BSH! BSH! Arale struggled to bat away the barrage of punches, and was shocked to find that her rival had once again grabbed hold of her arm. Working with this the best she could, she clutched at the girl's fists, and soon the two of them were grappling at arms length in a classic power struggle. GNNNnnn…!
"Hoyo-yo," Arale wheezed out, a bright smile on her face. "You're strong!"
"Strongest girl this side of Frypan Mountain, doncha know!" Chichi fired back, a devil-may-care grin on her face.
The robot's grin only widened at this comment, as she seemed to enjoy this twisted camaraderie. "I won't lose, ya know!" she said, tightening her grip on Chichi's fingers. "Hakase said I was fightin' for true love!"
"Well, let me tell ya somethin'," Chichi ripped out, her smile now more grim then grin. "So am I!"
And she suddenly let go of the android girl's hands, causing her to lose balance and topple onto her chest. Chichi then pushed Arale away, who stumbled backwards in complete disorientation. She did her best to regain balance, trying to fall back into a fighting stance. But it was too little too late, and Arale found herself the precipitant of a harsh blow to the side of her face, spinning her head around like a teacup carnival ride. WHAM!!!
"Whoa, that's twisted!" the TBA called out, almost horror-stricken.
Arale's head continued to spin wildly, a sickeningly dizzy motion that was put to a stop by a left jab from Chichi fist. KA-BAMM! The Valkarie quickly followed through with BAP! a second punch to the cheek, making the victim spit out a streamer to saliva that impacted on the arena floor beside them. Arale was left completely helpless to a ruthless onslaught that targeted her face, sides, and stomach. BAP! DMP! WAK! It was a final uppercut that had knocked her completely off her feet and face first into the ground, mumbling nonsense and gibberish. "Hakase, please give me big breasts like the girls in your magazines..."
"Oh my!" Obotchaman gasped from his place in the stands, looking a bit queasy at the punishment that his love was taking. "It seems as though Miss Chichi might win." He squinted his eyes to make out the prone figure of Arale, who was trying desperately to return to her feet. "Though I'm wondering if that's truly a good thing," he continued with a sigh, shaking his head at the savagery of it all. "Miss Arale, please hang in there..."
Arale, for her part, had managed to stand up before the count began, but her posture was weak and unbalanced. One just had to look at her eyes to see she was still dazed from Chichi's heavy attack; they were one step away from looking like little cinnamon swirls. Her opponent stood over her triumphantly, folding her arms in proud satisfaction. Then, that opponent started to move in, prepping herself to execute the finishing blow.
"It's nighty-night for you, home wrecker!" Chichi declared, pulling back her fist for a titanic blow.
"Ho...yo?" Arale burbled, almost completely out of it.
"Gah!" Akane warked, staring transfixed at the unfolding scene of impending doom. She then started shaking Goku violently, causing him to turn away from his hotdog for a moment. "Goku, do something!" she shouted in his ear, not caring that she was right next to him. "Or your girlfriend's going to be stew!"
"Wha..." the boy stammered, before finally waking up to reality of the situation. "Oh, right!" Reaching behind him, he pulled out Nyoibo from the sheath on his back, bringing it up behind him. "Arale-chan, catch!" he shouted out at her, tossing it in a perfect arc towards the center of the ring.
At the sound of Goku's voice, Arale suddenly jerked back to attention, her eyes becoming clear once again. "Oh...!" she chirped, turning up just in time to see the red pole twirling towards her. WHOOKWHOOKWHOOK! With quick reflexes, her hand snapped out to grab Nyoibo in midair with a loud SNAP! She then peered curiously at the strange object, wondering what in the world she was supposed to do with it.
"Arale-chan, say 'Nyoibo extend!'" Goku called from the stands, cupping his hands over his mouth so he would be heard. "It'll make the stick grow!"
"Okay, Go-kun!" Arale nodded out at her friend, smiling. "Thanks-cha!"
Chichi observed the exchange with tears in her eyes, a betrayed expression on her face. (Why is Goku helpin' her to beat me?) she wondered to herself, an unhappy frown forming on her face.
This turned out to be a double tragedy, as the girl was not looking where she was supposed to be. Arale had already pulled the staff up to bear, holding it like one might hold an automatic rifle. She aimed it straight at Chichi's gut, holding it steady. "Nyoyobo, extend!" she recited to the weapon, as if she was speaking to it, rather than calling out an incantation.
Well, it wasn't quite the correct phrase, but it worked nonetheless. Nyoibo flashed red, and then bolted out on a collision course with Chichi's stomach. DUUM! the pole caught her right in the bellybutton, pushing her right out of the arena along with it. It carried her flailing and screaming over the ring out area, only to slam her against the wall with a crushing BWAK!!!
"Can this be it?" the TBA pondered loudly, as if he could scarcely hold his breath. "It's it possible? Ladies and gentlemen, I believe we have a new grand champion. The winner, by ring out, is Norimaki Arale!"
A huge blast of applause appeared in from the stadium stands like a bomb detonation. They waved their hands and took off their shirts, twirling it above their heads as makeshift flags. Arale took in all in with a big smile, letting go of Nyoibo to put her hands on her hips. "Yay!" she cheered, tilting her head to the side. "I won!"
"Don't count yer chickens..." a scraggly voice moaned from outside the area. "...before they hatch!"
The people closest to where Nyoibo had impacted quieted down, being the closest to where this voice had originated. Slowly, the rest of the crowd hushed up as well, getting the feeling that something was happening. The dust from the shattered wall hadn't quite settled down, but a distinct shape could be seen through the haze. And when the grainy cloud had finally dispelled, everyone could clearly see Chichi hanging upside down from the pole like a chimp, two feet from touching the ground and still very much in the fight.
"Hmph," Goku snorted, folding his arms in mild irritation. "And they call me 'monkey-boy.'"
Chichi unsteadily turned herself upright on Nyoibo, standing up and balancing upon it like a tightrope. She began to quickly run along the length of the pole, keeping two arms outstretched to assist her poise. TMP!TMP! When she had reached the middle of the staff, she sprung off into the air, somersaulting like a skilled gymnast. SHOOKASHOOKA! With her cape trailing behind her like a fireball, she landed back on the arena floor in an elegant crouch, with blazing eyes and a fighting fervor equal to a champion.
"You're kinda stubborn," Arale stated, blinking her eyes rapidly.
Chichi tossed the hair out of her face like a fashion model, letting it flow back behind her. "I'm jes' a sweet, strong lil' girl!" she said somewhat-haughtily, peeking at the other through the corner of her eye. She them got back into her battle stance, fist outstretched. "Now we gonna end this!" she said, prepared to punch her opponent to kingdom come.
Arale stared blankly at her opponent, who seemed like she wanted to roast her simply with a boiling hot gaze. Then, the android girl slowly got back into her own fighting position, and got ready to throw down.
RRRRRRRR... A low, rumbling sound suddenly spasmed throughout the fighting area, bringing up a flare of dirt fleckles from the bare earth. The palm trees started shaking slightly, and some of their leaves began to fall off and drift off towards the ravaged ground. Then, one of the palms completely toppled over, unearthing and exposing spider-like roots that dangled uselessly in the ahir. And from where the tree had formerly gotten its nutrients was now a large mechanical drill, tearing up the dirt and making its way slowly upward.
"Hoyo?" Arale murmered, looking away from her rival to stare at this strange contraption.
"What on earth...?" Chichi muttered, completely forgetting about the battle as well.
GYYYNNN!!! The drill continued to make its way out from underground, weakening the earth further until it was nothing more then mushy sentiment. Soon a second drill joined the first, boring upwards approximately five meters from where the other drill was doing its business. Splitting rock into gravel, they both worked their hardest to bring whatever they towed to the surface...
...and suddenly, a giant, mechanical crab bolted from the torn terra firma, flying up into the sky and falling back down with a resounding CLANK! Indeed, it was a giant, mechanical crab, with tiny little legs supporting its massive form, one blinking red eye, and the two drills serving as claws. The top of the beast bore a small hatch like a submarine, which was now starting to open up. And emerging from that hatch, splendid in all his dark glory, was...
"You!" Chichi gasped, taking a step back in shock. "What are you doing here?!"
"Hello again, little missy," the mystery man crooned, folding his arms inside his lab coat. "Fancy meeting you here. But then, your fancy has always been fancy, so long as it has worked to my need." One could almost feel the snickering smile behind his smiley facemask. "And it has worked well, very well indeed."
"What?" Obotchaman cried out, looking in shock at the arrival of his old friend from the beach. Stumbling out of his seat, he made his way down the stairs toward the center arena. In a brief moment, he had arrived at Arale and Chichi's side, moving in front of them as if to protect them. "What is this about?" he demanded, feeling the suspicion he should always have felt towards this untrustworthy stranger.
The ominous figure merely laughed at the boy's question, his shoulders shaking with dark mirth. "You two have been under my spell for some time," he explained with glee, spreading out his arms to encompass Chichi and Obotchaman. "Draining jealousy energy, marvelous jealousy energy, that is what the two devices on your back have been doing. You two are nothing more than batteries to power my latest machine!"
Chichi and Obotchaman stared slack-jawed at this declaration, finding it almost too strange to believe. Then, their hands went to their backs, frantically searching for any foreign object that might have been implanted there. Eyes widened as they felt the small devices pulsating on her back, like little termites boring into their skin. "I jes' can't believe it," Chichi said, feeling like she was about to become sick any moment.
Neither could the audience, apparently. "Jealously energy?" Akane scowled, one of her eyes twitching sporadically.
"It like plot of magical girl show!" Tsuku added in, his eyes wide with astonishment.
"Heh heh," the mystery man laughed, letting his arms rest lazily at his side for the moment. "I've been planning this scheme for some time, ever since that Goku boy left our Penguin Village. I could tell from her countenance that Arale had some developing some feelings for the little chimp. As soon as he returned, it was only a simple effort to track down the rivals for their affections. You two have been an excellent source of nourishment for my child."
"Stop it!" A loud voice suddenly pierced through the now quiet stadium, and the four of them; Arale, Chichi, Obotchaman, and the mystery man, turned towards the crowd. In a blur of orange and black, a figure tore through the air separating the stands and the arena, landing deftly and whipping out with a battle stance. "Why are you threatening my friends?!" Goku yelled out, shaking his fist violently.
"Because..." Here, the mystery man pulled on the string that kept the mask affixed to his face. "It's my destiny to destroy the Norimaki legacy!"
He removed the mask.
The crowd gasped.
"Father..." Obotchaman took in a deep breath, his eyes narrowing with intense dislike.
"That's right, my dear estranged son!" the shaggy haired man crowed out, raising his hands to the sky. "I, Dr. Marushito, will be the sole deliverer of death today! Bwahahahahah!" He broke out into full guffaws, clutching his stomach in an attempt to hold it all in.
Goku stared at the mad scientist's for a moment longer before turning to the others. "Guys, who's this creep?" he asked, feeling like he was being left out of something.
"Dr. Marushito, my creator," Obotchaman said, his cherubic face suddenly like granite. "He is the rival of Arale's creator, and an enemy we have faced many times."
As if to confirm this, Senbei began hollering from the stands at the top of his lungs. "Marushito, you turd!" he screamed out, shaking his fist rapidly. "You mean this is just another dumbass plot to off Arale? Damnit, you're supposed to be dead!"
"Shut the hell up, butt munch!" Dr. Marushito barked back, his expression just as unbalanced as the others. "You'll see I'm the greatest scientist in all Gengoro Island once I waste that four-eyed mistake you call your greatest invention!" With a fierce growl, he lowered himself back into the crab, and a moment later, the machine's loudspeaker turned on. "Now, Arale, feel the wrath of Magic Battle Crab SI!" his voice blared out as the crabs mechanical arms raised above its head, the drills shining gloriously in the spotlights. "The 'SI' stands for 'Simply Irresistible!'"
Dr. Marushito's ultimate machine activated its drills, holding them upwards like the duel implements of death they were. It then started to slowly bear down on the android girl, hovering menacingly above her. BRIIIIINN…!
"Yeek!" Chichi squealed, quickly grabbing onto Goku's vest.
"Whoa..." Goku said, ignoring the girl's grip on his person.
"Hoyo!" Arale cheered, raising her hands above her head. "That's cool!"
As the android girl cheerfully stared into the face of death, it looked like this was going to be the end for her. Dispelling this notion, however, was a small black streak hurling itself towards the crab's steel frame. BAM!BAM! The figure hurled fist after fist into the metallic construct, causing loud clanks to echo throughout the stadium. Then finally, BWONK! it kicked out with two legs, sending the machine skidding backwards, and sending the figure flying back towards the rest of the group.
"Argh!" the mad scientist growled, his distaste heard even through the crappy speaker...or crabby speaker system, to be more appropriate. "You betray me again...?"
Goku stared at the figure, who had just landed beside him. "You...?" he gasped, astonished at the fighting prowess just displayed.
"We will not let him best us!" Obotchaman yelled out, staring out at his enemy like a commander at the front lines. "I already ceased giving him my jealousy energy! Follow my lead!"
The monkey-boy hesitated for only a moment before finding himself once more. "Gotcha!" Goku said determinedly, grabbing his Nyoibo and pulling out from where it was stuck in the wall and throwing it into his sheath. "No way is this stupid thing gonna kill Arale!"
The girl herself fell back into a battle stance, her face eager and excited. "Two fights in one day!" she said, smiling up at the huge monstrosity. "I'm lucky lucky!"
Chichi said nothing, but just looked quietly at her feet.
The Magic Battle Crab SI loomed over the foursome, eagerly brandishing its drill-arms. "A triple threat, eh?" Dr. Marushito sniggered from the voice box. "Fine, I'll take out all of you!"
"Here we go!" Goku, Arale, and Obotchaman cried out simultaneously, and the crowd watched on pins and needles as they darting up and towards the latest grand battle.
Goku and Arale began the assault by bludgeoning the beast with a hail of punches that impacted against the robot's frame. BATTABATTABATTA! As the drills swooped down for appropriate retaliation, they darted out of the way of danger, leaving Obotchaman to take the middle. With a cry, he launched a furious punch towards the belly of the crab, pushing in the metal with a satisfying CRUNCH! He then jumped up and over the beast, ready to launch an attack from the rear with the other two.
The crab whirled around, murder in its red, robotic eye. With a flash of crimson, it emitted a heat ray similar to the one Chichi had utilized earlier, scrapping the ground in search of a deep-fry fricassee. BWAAANNN!!! Currently on the receiving end of the blast, Goku and Obotchaman ran at breakneck speed to avoid it, making a half circle around the beast. Yet Dr. Marushiro's mean machine was not to be denied, and it continued to fire its deadly beam after the duo, chasing them down like a snake of fire.
Of course, while Dr. Marushito was busy concentrating on the two boys, it left ample opportunity for Arale to sneak up behind his invention. With a small giggle of mischief, she grabbed the Magic Battle Crab SI and began to lift. With titanic, cybernetic strength, she hoisted it above her head, causing its little legs to scurry about helplessly. "Alley oop!" she cried out as she tossed the bot high up in the air, its arms flailing in some desperate attempt at flight. FWEEN!!!
But they weren't quite finished yet, as Arale proved by leaping upwards to follow the crab's ascent. VMM! Joined by Goku and Obotchaman, the three of them pounded away at the machine in midair, treating it as if it were a tossed pizza crust. BWOK!BWOK!BOWK! Blow after blow met the hardened steel of the outer shell, and they were sure they could hear Dr. Marushito's pained groans emanating from within the contraption. Soon, the crab, Goku, Obotchaman, and Arale all fell back to the ground once again, with the crab clearly the loser in this scuffle.
The Magic Battle Crab SI had landed on its shell, rolling around like a tortured turtle. The machine's drill arms waved helplessly, struggling to find something that could bring it back upright. For a moment, the three fighters dared to hope that they had won this fight.
"I will not be defeated!!!" Dr. Marushito declared, and his bot made a spectacular leap back to its feet, drills ready for action. Well, it was a nice thought, at least.
"No good!" Goku shouted, gazing disdainfully at the crab. "It's too tough!"
"It's tough-tough!" Arale added, this time not amused.
"Miss Chichi, please help us!" Obotchaman called out behind them.
But the girl remained passive and unmoving, her head tilted downwards so that her hair fell over her eyes in a disturbing image. The other three had no time to tend to her hesitations as the machine soon began moving again. It bore its drills like the claws they substituted for, shining in the light of the stadium.
Then, the Magic Battle Crab SI suddenly began a transformation. It raised the two drills high up in the air, which had stopped spinning for the moment. VVVN! each drill began to split apart in the middle, like walnuts cracked on a Christmas eve. Then, the drill segments fell away and onto the ground, revealing large, prosthetic claws in their wake.
"Whahaha!" Dr. Marushito hooted, safe in the machine. "How do you like these babies?"
"That's dumb!" Goku said bluntly, momentarily distracted from fighting. "If ya wanted to make a crab, ya should've had the clampy things from th' beginning!"
A large, pulsating vein somehow appeared on the side of the crab-bot. "How dare you insult the integrity of my greatest achievement!" he roared, opening and closing the claws rapidly. "I'll teach you some respect!"
And before anybody knew what was happening, the claws suddenly extended seven meters forward and snatched up Goku and Obotchaman. CLAMP! CLAMP! The two yowled in surprise, setting about trying to retch the claws open again. But even for their considerable strength, they didn't have quite enough strength to free themselves from the mad scientist's mechanical grip. "Not so mighty now, are we kiddies?" he laughed, relishing in the struggling motions that they made in their desperate attempt for escape.
Arale put her fists to her mouth in surprise. "Hoyo!" she said, her eyes wide open. She quickly trotted over to the captive Goku and Obotchaman to help lend her strength...
...but a small streak suddenly cut her off three meters before she arrived in front of the crab. SHREENK!!! it tore through the metal that connected the claws to the rest of the bot's body, causing both of them to fall to the ground with Goku and Obotchaman. BONK! Without the aid of the pressurized piston pumps that operated it, the claws opened up and released the two quite easily, who promptly turned around to stare at their rescuer. That certain raven-haired lass was still in the follow through of her punch, but she quickly turned back towards her new opponent, her fury righteous and powerful.
"I don't know much about your plans, but I can't let you hurt Goku!" Chichi said, narrowing her eyes. "Or Obotchaman!"
Obotchaman's face slowly softened up with a small smile. "Miss Chichi..."
"Okey dokey!" Arale cheered out of the blue, raising her fist in the air. "Now that everyone's friendly friends, let's have a real good time and beat up the crab!"
"Right!" the other three answered simultaneously, jumping quickly away from the Magic Battle Crab SI and to the girl's side. VPP! Together, all four of them went through a vaguely Tai-Chi motion, rotating their arms until it landed them in the same fighting position. Their faces ranged from powerfully determined, to cheerfully excited (Arale) as they all readied themselves for the final push.
And if this were a sentai anime, there would a four way split in the television screen as they all cried out in the same tone of voice: "Let's do it!"
In a kaleidoscope of fury, the foursome swirled towards their foe and enveloped the machine in a flurry of stylish and unorthodox attacks. BISH!DFFT!KONG! With the added assistance of Chichi, Dr. Marushito found himself completely overwhelmed, double so, now that he had no drills or claws to defend himself. It was enough to make some of the fighters feel almost guilty at the extreme beat down they were giving him. But he was a bad guy, so who cares.
KANG!KANG! Goku swung back and forth with his Nyoibo. BUDDABUDDA! Chichi battered it in like modeling clay. The Magic Battle Crab SI was truly on its last legs, resembling a junkyard heap more so than a tuned, fighting machine. Soon, its little legs failed, and it crumpled over haphazardly into an awkward position, unable to move effectively.
VWOP! VWOP! VWOP! One spinning somersault landed Goku back on his feet some distance away from the mangled machine. With a wide grin, he turned back to his purple-haired partner. "Let's give it the final blow!" he suggested eagerly, finally ready to finish these matters.
Arale was only too quick to agree. "O-kay!"
The two quickly positioned themselves into a triangle with the bot, facing their foe and ready for action. Goku began a circular motion with his arms, while Arale moved into a half crouch and clenched her fists. Soon, the boy was cupping his hands behind himself and muttering, while his friend had opened her mouth to let out a low hum. And soon, glowing energy began to focus all around them: his, a striking blue, and hers, a radiant gold.
The two bright spots were almost scorching to the naked eye, and many of the crowd shielded their eyes from the light. Obotchaman took a step back, surprised that there was another that could execute a beam cannon attack. Chichi, though, merely stared transfixed at the energized duo, her mouth open in awe. "Their unity..." she whispered, completely amazed for perhaps the first time since she met Goku.
"...HA!!!" Goku cried out, ejecting a bolt of plasma from his outstretched palms. "N'CHAAA!!!" Arale hollered, a similar blast pouring from her gaping maw. VWOOOOO!!! Twin beams, cerulean and saffron, crossed right at the Magic Battle Crab SI, making a perfect X before they flew into the walls of the stadium, shattering them like glass. A moment more, and they dissipated into the air, leaving the two to stare triumphantly at the destruction they had unleashed upon the great machine.
It wasn't pretty.
The crab's head had been completely torn open, revealing a gaping wound of circuitry and metal. Sparks flew freely from the flayed wires that danced like snakes during mating season. Energy meters could be seen slowly draining away, the power systems regulating them completely defunct.
And in the middle of the command chair, completely blackened by smoke, was Dr. Marushito, his expression as fried as the rest of his body.
Toppling face first out of his machine, the good doctor ate dirt as he hit the ground, his face completely concealed by the mess of shaggy hair. His hands were flat on the ground, but soon, he started clawing away at the dirt in sheer frustration. He was brought back to the present for the moment as he heard a large foot land in his general direction. But when he looked up at his visitor, it was clear that it would've been better if he had just fallen into unconsciousness right then and there.
Dr. Marushito stared up with a weak smile. "This is going to hurt, right?" he said, almost conversationally.
Norimaki Senbei cracked his knuckles viciously. "Yup," he replied with a not-so-nice smile.
As Senbei wailed away on his rival, Arale stood smiling at the giant that she had helped eliminated. Then, she slowly fell backwards as if in a faint, her twin ponytails trailing behind her. "Arale-chan!" Goku cried out in concern, moving quickly to catch her. She fell effortlessly into his arms, her body feeling like it weighed only an ounce.
Cradled in Goku's arms, Arale looked wearily up him, managing to conjure up a light smile. "That was fun...wasn't it, Go-kun?" she said, blinking a few times.
The boy smiled. "Yup," he agreed, adjusting her to be more comfortable.
She grabbed at his shirt, snuggling closer to his chest. "I wanna spend everyday having fun," she told him, her eyes going hazy. "Everyday...with you, Go-kun..."
"No foolin'." Goku replied, holding onto her a little bit stronger than before.
A collective "Awwww!" went though the stadium stands, as the crowd practically swooned over this touching, if somewhat corny scene. Some of the audience members were actually dabbing their eyes with tissue paper. Akane and Tsuku, for their part, were letting out loud hollers from the stands, shaking their fists in victory. "You go, Arale!" Akane chanted, her face torn from its usual cynical smirk into a bright smile.
Obotchaman came over to the duo's side, and put a hand to Arale's neck. "That last blast must have drained her energy reserves," he determined, drawing his hand away quickly as not to intrude too much on their moment. "She needs some Robobitan A. The Norimaki residence always has some, so let us head over there now."
"Got it," Goku answered, nodding his head.
Chichi moved up to the others as well. "Goku, this was all my fault," she said, a tone of true regret in her voice. "I'm sorry that I caused so much trouble ova' somethin' you neva' understood. I'll...I'll accept your relationship with A-Arale from now on. Just don't worry about the marriage thing anymore."
"No prob," Goku said, his tone simple and frank. A smile popped up on his face. "Hey, you fought really good today!" he told her, bringing a small blush to the girl's cheeks. "Let's get together and fight again sometime!"
She almost laughed in spite of herself. "Okay," she responded, a grin of her own melting her troubled features.
A small cough made them turn their heads, and they found Obotchaman nervously shifted back and forth on one foot. "I, as well, offer my condolences to you two for my actions," he said, trying his best to keep his dignity in a situation where he was, in fact, the loser. "If you truly wish to consort with each other, I can do nothing to deny your desires. My only hope is that we can remain friends, Miss Arale."
"'Kay, Obotchaman-kun," Arale responded weakly, offering up a small smile. "We'll always be friends."
Obotchaman smiled gently, and his shoulders relaxed with relief. All of them, in fact, felt the tension leave the air like a retreating storm front. Even Arale, who normally wasn't as perceptive to the general mood of a group, felt considerably more at ease with everyone else through her sleepiness. They could all be happy, together.
Goku broke the peace of the moment with a loud shout. "All-rightee!" he said, ready to take charge. "Let's get goin' to the Norimakis!"
The others nodded. Together, Goku, Arale, Chichi, and Obotchaman all made their way to the exit of the stadium, which led back to the outside. They could smell the fresh sea air wafting in from a breeze that had somehow coasted in. Arale still subconsciously cuddled up to Goku, more out of comfort than anything. But Chichi and Obotchaman were content to leave them alone, relaxing in the fact that the grand fight…two grand fights, were over.
The TBA, huddled behind the desk in his booth, lifted himself up just in time to watch the four leave. Franticly remembering his duty, he went for the microphone with a start. "Wow, what an upset!" he roared into the amplification device. "From a one on one duel, to a four on one brawl, to eternal friendship! I don't believe I've ever seen such a display at any of my many tournaments! Ladies and gentlemen, there is no winner!"
The approving response from the crowd told him they were far from disappointed.
Things quieted down in Penguin Village after that. The villagers returned to their normal, if somewhat eccentric lives, the buzz from the "Fight for Love Super Battle" soon forgotten. Dr. Marushito was carted off to a jail used by the old Red Ribbon Army, where he was kept secure under twenty four hour armed guard. "And I would've gotten away with it too, if it weren't for those meddling kids!" was a line heard constantly by the guards as they slacked off on their duty and ate their chilidogs.
Chichi and Obotchaman had a bit of a tougher time than the rest. While letting Goku go was fine for Chichi at first, she found that the backlash was quickly catching up with her, and there was many a day that was sad for her. Obotchaman stayed with her during this time, offering up his lodgings to the girl. Though his heart, too, was wounded, he truly believed that the four of them could be all become friends.
As for Goku and Arale...
"Hey Go-kun, where're you goin'?" the robot girl asked him one day, walking up to him as he prepped his Kinto'un.
"I'm headed back to Kame House," Goku answered her, strapping his Nyoibo onto his back. "I gotta explain why I ditched my trainin'."
"Oh," Arale made a slightly curious face, not entirely sure who or what he was talking about.
He grinned encouragingly. "Hey why don't you come with me?" he offered, looking over his shoulder at the girl. "You can get some great martial arts trainin' from the turtle guy!"
Her smile was brighter than a summer day. "That sounds cool!" she squealed enthusiastically, shaking her head "yes" rapidly.
And so they were off, amongst the clouds and winds on a brand new adventure. The seas and continents swam underneath them as Kinto'un made good time across the world, leaving nothing but a yellow/green streak in its wake. Arale gripped onto Goku's shoulders excitedly as she strove to see all there was to see in outside her own Penguin Village. The boy, for his part, just urged his cloud faster, wanted them to have as good a time as possible.
"It's so fast!" exclaimed, her hair flapping like a violet fireball behind her head. "I wanna run that fast!"
"You can!" Goku insisted, turning his head to grin at her. "Just start trainin'!"
She giggled happily, letting the wind hit her face full blast. Then a thought came to her, and she scooted closer to him. "Hey Go-kun, I think I know how to do that 'kissy kiss' stuff now!" she said with a somewhat mischievous smile.
Goku's face became confused for a moment. "Oh, that thing from last night!" he recalled, his eyes widening up with recognition. "What about...huh?"
But the girl was already leaning in, at a rate almost equal to that of Kinto'un. SMOOCH! Before he knew it, Arale had laid a rather heavy lip lock on him, putting both hands firmly on his cheeks. It took him a moment before he was able to gather enough nerve to kiss her back, putting his hand on her shoulder to steady them both. They broke apart after a moment, both chuckling with embarrassment, even Arale.
"Wow!" Goku said, a red flush slowly flowing to his face. "That sure was different!"
"Yup!" Arale agreed, with a "heh heh heh" of laughter.
The boy turned back towards the blue skies, rubbing the back of his head nervously. "I wonder if Kame-Sen'nin knows about any of that wedding stuff?" he pondered out loud, bringing a hand to his chin and rubbing it.
Arale smiled for a moment, before rushing forward and embracing the boy. "I love you, Son Go-kun!" she cried out happily, squeezing her cheek against his back.
Goku looked behind him in astonishment, then slowly smiled. "Hoyo-yo…"
And HYUUUUNnn…! the Kinto'un tore down across the rushing seas, filling them both with the familiar rush of curiosity and quest.
Author's Notes: Well, that's it. It took about four years, but I finally cranked out the last two chapters. This may very well stand as my ultimate Goku/Arale fic. I hope it can wear the crown well.
I know I probably made Chichi too strong in the fight; in canon, Arale would've probably cleaned her clock. But since she spends most of this fanfic getting kicked around as the bad guy, I wanted to let her get in a few licks, too.
Dr. Marushito is indeed supposed to be dead. (he appeared as a ghost in the last volume of Dr. Slump) In my favor, though, death never stopped Akira Toriyama from bringing Taopaipai, Frieza, and numerous others back from the grave. Hey, you just can't keep a good villain down, eh?
List of Names Given to Arale by Chichi:
1. Little Tramp
3. Evil, Purple-Haired Hussy
4. That Other Woman
4. Home Wrecker
Until next fanfic, ja ne!