Hi, Super Vegetarott here. I figured I'd get some quick words out of the way before you read this chapter.
First off, I recognize that this is an absolute gargantuan chapter by my standards, and under normal circumstances I would've split this up into two chapters. However, as you'll see later on, this chapter is literally composed of only two scenes/events. I couldn't find a proper spot to cut this off at as a result, as any traction or momentum I have with this chapter would most certainly be lost without publishing this as one whole chapter. I hope you can understand where I'm coming from as the author of this story, and I assure you that chapters won't be as absurdly long(though I will still be aiming for meaty, action-packed chapter lengths) as others. I suppose this is a great thing, though, as it shows how motivated I am to get this story going; I hope I have your support and readership as we both experience the story of Turbulence!
Without further ado, please enjoy the third installment of Turbulence!
Tournament Saga – Part 1: Clash of Beliefs
Not the slightest sound could be heard in the reticent wastelands of Namek as he meditated silently, isolating his mind from the rest of the world around him. He could no longer hear the gentle waters as they flowed through the rivers, nor could he feel the winds nipping at his shoulders. His eyes then shut, leading him away from his home and into a world where he himself was alone.
'There aren't many Namekians left since the great cataclysm…' mused the warrior as he did his best to drown out all excess thoughts. '…but Grand Elder Guru will only choose one bodyguard come a few days' time.'
He did not wish to gain fame among his people by becoming Elder Guru's protector, nor did he wish to crave power for . All he wanted was simple... the knowledge that he had accomplished something with his life. He was not one of Kakarot's educators or his teachers, nor was he skilled in the fields… but he knew that the one thing he could do was serve the Grand Elder as his bodyguard. Despite not being as dexterous and intelligent as some of his peers, he more than made up for those faults with his awe-inspiring strength.
Ever since he'd been a young child he'd been enthralled with the idea of serving his people as a warrior, but something of this magnitude was simply an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
As such, he refused to allow himself to get rusty so close to the Elder's selection date, which was why he had constantly been throwing himself into meditation and fierce training sessions—he did it all just to ensure he would become the one.
'The Grand Elder grows older and older with each passing day,' thought Nail to himself as he assumed a lotus position, slowly lifting himself off the ground as he allowed his thoughts to continue. 'It's fair to assume that the day will come when invaders come and try to finish what the great drought started. If that happens, then the Grand Elder will need a suitable fighter to whom he can pass his knowledge to.'
At that precise moment, the surfacing of his emotion caused Nail to almost lose his concentration, though at the very last moment he was able to refocus and still himself, calming his mind once again. 'And that fighter will be me.'
Little did he know, he was being observed from afar by a rather sprightly child – or rather, near adolescent – who had about an hour or so for recreation before he had to sleep. Flanking him were his two best friends, Linas and Radula, while Lug and Cochela brought up the rear. Over the years, they had grown to be somewhat tall, easily exceeding Kakarot's height by quite a margin. When asked why he hadn't grown, Elder Moori had simply explained to the boy that his 'time' hadn't come quite yet, and that he would grow to be tall as him and his friends someday. Regardless, this hadn't cut ties with Kakarot and his friends – if anything, they had become even closer of a unit since they had begun taking the same tutoring sessions together.
During their break, they'd taken the time to congregate around the wasteland, observing his still form from afar. All of them were extremely impressed by Nail's immense concentration.
"W-What do you think he's doing?" asked Cochela, scratching the top of his head in confusion. "It looks like he's just sitting there or something… not exactly the most productive thing to do."
"Wait, maybe he's actually sleeping," thought Kakarot aloud. 'I thought I was the only Namekian that actually needed to get sleep for every twelve hours that went by. I guess Nail's had to sleep all this time too…'
"You're not thinking clearly," interjected Lug, holding his head up high as if he were an elder teaching a class of students, "Nail's not sleeping, you guys… he's actually doing something completely different. It's called meditating. Apparently, meditating is another way of calming your mind while still steadily gaining power."
"Really?" pondered Linas, not taking his eyes off of Nail's still form for even the slightest moment. "I didn't know Nail was so powerful… he just might have a chance at being the elder's bodyguard."
"You must be joking, right?" came the reply of Radula, who seemed to be surprised by Linas' word choice. "Might? There's no question about it whatsoever. Nail is one of – if not the strongest – warriors on Namek. There's no way he doesn't make it into the final two for consideration."
"Really?" thought over Kakarot, his gaze locked onto the meditating Namekian. 'He must be really strong if he's training out here all on his lonesome…'
"Yes, Kakarot. If I had to place my bets on the most powerful Namekian warrior, it would be Nail without a doubt," assured Lug with a nod of his head.
"Maybe…" mumbled Linas, still unsure of Nail's potential. As far as he knew Nail personally, he'd never once shown a true passion for training and fighting – was this a secret kept from the elders? "Maybe we should go talk to him. I might actually want to learn how to meditate—maybe it'll impress him and have him teach me."
"Again, are you serious?" retorted Lug, almost feeling the need to shake his friend and welcome him back into reality. "Nail isn't exactly… a very friendly person who would just train anyone. Though he definitely cares about us as Namekians, I don't think he could care less about us as his actual brothers."
"You don't know that," immediately responded Cochela, getting in Lug's face in order to defend his friend, "maybe he's just misunderstood. You're never exactly anyone's advocate until they're nice to you, Lug. Why not allow Radula a chance to see what happens?"
"If it makes you feel any better, I'll come along too!" exclaimed Kakarot with a feverish grin. He'd always had a side interest in martial arts, but he could never find anyone who claimed to have proper training. If Nail was really as strong as his friends claimed, then perhaps there was a chance to become his disciple. "I wouldn't mind knowing a few moves!"
"Wait, Kakarot!" responded Lug as the child began walking towards Nail's current location. "Where do you think you're going?"
Innocently, Kakarot looked back over his shoulder and shrugged nonchalantly. "Didn't I say so before? I'm going to go see if Nail wouldn't mind training me."
And with that, the always vivacious Kakarot seemingly scurried off towards the still Namekian, leaving his friends to gape and gasp in the dust his moccasins had left behind. He was always so energetic in everything he did, sometimes making it impossible for his friends to keep up with him. This was just another one of those cases, it seemed…
Everything was perfectly calm and serene. His body, spirit, and mind had been perfectly aligned, allowing him to access his energy reserves like never before. He could already feel his strength increasing, every small drop of power boosting the Namekian's strength steadily—
"Hi!" came the outcry of a high-pitched voice, snapping Nail's concentration in two; as a result, he fell to the ground from his lotus position.
"If you didn't know who I was, my name is Kakarot," continued on that sprightly voice, offering a hand towards the much larger Namekian on the ground. He waited for what seemed to be like hours, but Nail didn't take it, instead choosing to stand up on his own power and dust himself off.
"I'm well aware of who you are, Kakarot—what I want to know is why you're here. Don't you have to be studying with the Elders or something right now?" Nail turned away from him, refusing to make eye contact with the young child. He thought maybe the young boy would take the hint that he didn't wish to be disturbed right now.
However, young Kakarot didn't seem to take the hint—apparently, even the scowl Nail wore across his face didn't even seem to point the child in the right direction. "I finished with my lessons a few hours ago," chattered on the boy, a perpetual smile seeming to adorn his expression. "My friends and I have some free time before they go to work in the fields and I go to sleep…"
'Good,' internally approved Nail as he listened to the boy's long-winded speech, 'It seems Elder Moori somehow found a way to discipline him… I don't know how, but thankfully he was able to persuade the boy into getting proper rest. If this is true, I no longer need to worry about Kakarot roaming off without supervision and getting himself killed.' His chest suddenly felt lighter, as if a gargantuan weight had been taken off of it.
"…so after we did that, we found you all alone out here and wanted to know what you were doing. Lug said you were doing some sort of meditation or something, but I wanted to know from you yourself!" finished Kakarot dramatically, his obsidian eyes looking upwards at the tall, lanky Namekian figure.
Nail sighed in relief that the boy didn't appear to be doing anything reckless—ever since that near-fatal accident had occurred, he'd always held the slight fear that Kakarot would be foolish enough to fall prey to another life-risking incident. Though he knew that the alien child knew right from wrong, Nail was simply concerned that the boy's eagerness to prove himself and headstrong nature would land him in another predicament.
"He's right; I'm currently meditating in order to increase my power. Come the day of Guru's selection of his bodyguard, I want to be both physically and mentally prepared—he'll only choose the strongest and most durable warrior to be his guardian. As such," he paused to crack his neck and flex his arms ever so slightly, "I need to be in the best shape possible if I'm to achieve such a high honor."
"So if you're picked by Guru-"
"Elder Guru," harshly interjected Nail, intent on ensuring that Kakarot showed the Grand Elder his proper respect. "Remember, he's earned the right to be referred to as the Grand Elder—he deserves nothing less than to be treated with only the utmost honor and respect."
"Right, sorry. So if you're picked by the 'Grand Elder'Guru…" Kakarot affirmed with a nod, still seeming to grin happily despite the firm scowl entrenched across the older Namekian's features. "…that means you're the most capable warrior on Namek if a threat were to show up?"
"Basically, yes, I would be. In addition, I would get to spend my days with the wisest, most spiritually enlightened Namekian in all of history. " Nail took a moment to let that fact sink in—in just a few days' time, he could very well be named the most powerful and the most capable of taking up the mantle of Elder Guru's bodyguard…
…but then reality set back in for him and he realized the truth: fate wasn't set in stone just yet. He had to keep training and building up his strength; he couldn't waste a single moment in his preparation… if he did, there was simply no telling what could possibly happen. He couldn't let his resolution falter, not even for a moment.
"And that's why I need to be that bodyguard, Kakarot. I need to be able to prove myself, both in the eyes of the elders and in my own. As such, it is essential for me to continue my training and prove why I am the best candidate for the role. If you don't mind, I must ask you to leave so that I can continue doing so." Nail turned his back on the child, walking towards the riverbank before once again assuming his lotus position, attempting to achieve inner tranquility once again.
But unfortunately for Nail, Kakarot was nothing if not persistent. He trotted over to the Namekian's still figure, trying to observe every remote detail about his positioning so that he, too, could attempt to mimic it.
"You do realize I can literally feel your presence right next to me, correct?" lowly mumbled Nail, refusing to slip out of his meditative state once again. "As I said before, Kakarot, this conversation is over. We have nothing more to discuss; therefore, I must ask to you to please leave."
"But I don't want to, Nail! I want to stay and train with you!" Instead of heeding his fellow Namekian's advice, Kakarot kicked off his moccasins and took a seat next to him, dipping his small, childlike feet into the water as he did so. To Nail's chagrin, it appeared as if the boy was determined to spend his remaining waking hour with him and that nothing would change his resolve.
"Fine, Kakarot... if it means so much to you, I will allow you to stay. As recompense, though, I want you to remain quiet and not make a sound. As I've said countless times before, I cannot afford to slack on my training, especially so close to the selection date."
Nail took the silence that followed to be a sign of Kakarot's obedience, which he couldn't help but smile at. "Thank you, Kakarot. That was all I asked for. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to attempt to return to my training." Closing his eyes, he did just that, a small, alabaster-colored aura shimmering around his figure as he returned into his training.
As the two sat in silence, the winds gently billowed around them in a serene, peaceful manner. The waters of Namek continued to flow gently, the occasional blue-colored fish leaping out of the aquatic scenery in an impressive display of acrobatics. One could go as far as to call the scene absolutely perfect.
This tranquility wouldn't last very long, however. Kakarot soon grew malcontent with his surroundings, eager to move around and expend all the built-up energy within him, but he knew Nail wouldn't appreciate it. He then tried to glide his feet in the water, splashing them gently and causing small ripples in the water for a few moments, but then the child grew tired of that just as quickly.
Finally, it became too much. Kakarot simply couldn't stand to sit around and waste his precious hour before bed; it was time to stop beating around the bush and get down to his purpose of approaching Nail.
"Hey, Nail," Kakarot started, turning to the elder Namekian and nudging him lightly so as not to repeat his mistake from before. When he didn't respond to the child's call, Kakarot tried it again, this time slightly more forceful in his approach—still, however, Nail remained perfectly calm and motionless.
"NAIL!" he repeated with fury in his tone, standing up fully and shoving the Namekian down to the ground. Immediately, the elder warrior was broken out of his stupor and gasped as he returned into the realm of reality, looking upwards and seeing the angered child loom over him.
"What was that for, Kakarot?!" Nail shouted back, unable to believe that the small child had the gall to attack him. 'He's been raised so well… he's never truly raised his hand towards someone with malice. What's gotten into this boy?'
"That's for you not listening to me!" snarled Kakarot angrily, a fire blazing in his eyes as he glared at his fellow Namekian. "All I want to do is ask for you to train me, and all you do is ignore me! Elder Moori's always said to listen to people when they're talking!"
Dusting himself off, Nail pushed himself off the ground with his left arm and used his right arm to adjust himself into a sitting position before he scowled at the child, unable to believe the boy's logic. "I specifically recall asking you to not perturb me, Kakarot. I mean it when I say that every second counts; I don't have any spare time to waste."
"You just care about yourself, don't you?" fired back Kakarot, each word rolling from his tongue sounding more and more uncharacteristic of the boy who had been raised as a son of Namek, "you don't care about teaching me to fight and become powerful!"
Suddenly, Nail gasped in shock, his eyes widening as he heard that last word. "P-Powerful…" he muttered, his mind flashing back to a memory so many years ago… 'N-No… not like… him… if he trains, he could become like… that demon...'
"Wait, Elder Moori…" interjected Nail as he saw the elder smile down at the infant invader, seemingly holding no pretense against it whatsoever. "...You're not seriously considering allowing this… thing… to reside here on Namek, are you?" Something didn't seem to add up to the boy; surely there was some sort of trap with this child. It wasn't every day that an invader came along to a remote planet such as Namek, especially not a prone, weak newborn child.
The harsh remark caused Moori to subconsciously grip the boy tighter, almost as if he were actually afraid of losing him to the boy's words. "Clearly, Nail, this boy was destined to lead a life of sin and evil. I refuse to allow him to walk down that path when there's something we can do to change it."
"Actually, Moori," came the quick interjection of Elder Tsuno, "we don't know if it'd even be possible for us to get through to the boy. That message seems to be continuously drilling information into his brain, which means it could very well be too late to teach him right from wrong. If he somehow gains the capabilities of doing so, he could very well exterminate our entire race!"
"Then we'll have to raise him so that doesn't happen, my fellow elder." Moori stared into the infant's onyx eyes, seeing the untapped potential of evil within those black orbs… but there was still hope to save his soul. He knew that benevolence and righteousness were hiding behind those malicious emotions, and it was then he recognized more than ever that he simply couldn't let the child succumb to such a fate.
"I recognize that you could never turn away someone in need, Elder Moori," began Nail in his usual humble tone, attempting to gently point out the flaws in his blind plan, "but just listen to the message in full. It's discussing how to kill, destroy, and exterminate… I just don't think we should have a possible murderer on our planet when we can help it."
A long silence ensued after Nail's remark, all three Namekians contemplating the repercussions of the child actually being raised as one of their own. As fate would have it, in that exact moment, the prerecorded message began to repeat its contents once again.
"We wait," simply said Moori, struggling not to let his personal opinion affect the overall decision, "we wait and see just what the masterminds behind Kakarot's arrival had in store for him."
All were silent as their highly-attuned ears listened to the message that – if successfully embedded within the infant's frail, weak mind – would create a monster.
"Kakarot, you are one of the warrior race classified as the Saiyans, loyal warriors and soldiers to none other than the mighty, illustrious Lord Frieza. This is to be the first of many missions that you will embark on in his service. You will be tasked with the extermination of Planet Earth's population and all its settlements. The business Lord Frieza runs is known as the Planet Trade Organization, and as an employee of his, you must ensure that Earth is completely cleansed of both its populace and its civilizations in order to make the planet a proper sell to another race in need of a suitable home."
'T-Those monsters… they're just slaughtering for 'business?' This Frieza character… and by the sound of the word 'organization,' he's not alone in his tyranny. What other threats lurk among the stars?' thought Moori to himself, realizing that there were indeed evils in the universe that were oppressing others and that there was simply nothing they could do to stop them.
Next to him, Nail recoiled visibly from the horrid, twisted message this child was being forced to receive. He'd imagined that the boy would be forced to partake in murder and destruction, but to know that innocent lives were being prematurely ended just for the sake of a thriving business absolutely sickened him to his very core. '...One day, if they ever invade Namek, that'll truly be it for all of us. There won't be any hope of repopulating if we're all exterminated and vaporized into absolute nothingness. And if this demonic business keeps growing and expanding, that means that we'll eventually be conquered and destroyed...'
"I think I've reconsidered my decision," quietly admitted Tsuno, absolutely mortified that that such people existed in what he believed to be a tranquil, serene universe. "If there's just one soul we can save from this horrific fate, we must take it. This child doesn't deserve to be put through hell like this. I believe he should stay with us and learn right from wrong, Elder."
"As do I," the youngling Nail commented, determined to train to his limits and eventually put an end to the monstrosity known as the Planet Trade Organization. "If we turn this boy away and send him back into the cold, dark chasms of space, we're no better than they are."
"Excellent," replied Moori, a smile plastered across his face now that the boy was safe from harm. "I suggest we take him back to the villages and hold a meeting; we can inform everyone of his origins then and there. After that, I will go consult the Grand Elder on what to do… the legends say he is not to be disturbed unless there is a grand issue, but this is a dire situation worthy of his insight.'
The trio, with Moori still keeping a firm hold on the child, began to make their way back to the villages and begin baby Kakarot's new life as a son of Namek…
...Then, suddenly, the message seemed to continue, immediately halting the trio in their tracks.
"Now that you've had a few moments for your brain to absorb that information, it's time you were informed of Lord Frieza himself. His men have perfect reputations until the day they perish… he refuses to tolerate any sort of failure. As such, Kakarot, you are given two choices when it comes to being employed by Lord Frieza: grow powerful and join us, or become weak and die. "
'He so callously slaughters his own men as well? He's no monster… he's the devil himself!' thought Moori as a chill ran down his spine. 'I've never asked for much in my life… but please… keep this demon away from us...'
Nail's eyes narrowed at the spacepod, and in one single kiai, he immediately blasted the speakers inside the pod to ultimate oblivion. 'No child should ever be subject to this kind of manipulation and torture… I don't care how powerful I have to become, but I will play some hand in that demon's demise!'
Though 16 long years had passed since he'd heard that terrifying message, Nail still remembered each and every word of it vividly, almost as a reminder to himself that he couldn't allow Kakarot to become the monster he was once destined to be. "I apologize, Kakarot, but I cannot train you."
"What?!" exclaimed Kakarot, shell-shocked that Nail had turned his request down.
"W-Why?! What did I do to you?!" It didn't make sense; he certainly didn't recall acting out recently. He'd made sure to complete his studies and listen to his superiors' orders, yet Nail still refused to grant him what he wanted.
Closing his eyes, Nail took a deep breath and sighed to himself. 'It's not what you've done, Kakarot… it's what you're capable of doing with that power that we all fear...'
Not receiving any sort of response, Kakarot prodded on, refusing to leave without getting some sort of answer out of his Namekian brother. If other Namekians had the right to train, then why didn't he? Was there something wrong with him?
"Answer me!" he snarled, clenching his fists subconsciously to prevent himself from hitting Nail. The urge existed within him to reach out and crash his bare knuckles against the Namekian's stoic, if only slightly exasperated, features, but something within him held that primal sensation back.
A bead of sweat ran down Nail's face as he pondered whether what he was about to do was right or not. Everything the elders had worked for regarding Kakarot's inner peace and mentality would boil down to this very moment. He had the power to either firmly place the boy on the path towards ultimate benevolence or lose him to the demon within forever.
'If he knows… if he's told the truth… then perhaps he'll be be more aware of his decision-making and that inner drive within him,' thought Nail to himself, his eyes unwilling to break contact with the troubled boy for even an instant. Though he knew he could subdue the boy with little effort, he wanted to avoid any and all possible violence if possible—Kakarot couldn't think that violence was the norm.
"...It is time, Kakarot." Nail opened his eyes and stared down at the boy with what appeared to be a crestfallen expression. 'Regardless of what the elders think of me...regardless of whether I am no longer considered worthy to be Grand Elder Guru's bodyguard… this boy deserves nothing less than the truth.'
Though rage still burned within his very persona, the boy could easily tell that Nail seemed to be conflicted about something. "What?" he coldly hissed, the shackles of his Saiyan hormones still very clearly grasping him and controlling nearly his every movement.
The Namekian took one step forward towards the boy; immediately, Kakarot leapt back and crouched into what appeared to be a sloppy and inexperienced fighting stance—there was no doubt he was trying to mimic the stances taken by the warrior clan. However, his sheer lack of knowledge when it came to martial arts would hinder him, as Nail could identify at least three weak spots he could capitalize on.
But Nail wasn't worried about his physical endurance at the moment—he was more concerned with whether or not Kakarot would be able to handle this information or not.
'It's best that he knows,' repeated Nail to himself continuously, as if afraid he would cower down from the task at hand. 'Elder Moori should really be the one having this talk with him, but… I suppose it falls on me to relay the news.'
He suddenly stopped in front of the boy, placing both arms behind his back as if to show he had no intention of striking. "Kakarot… while the Elders certainly care for you and want the best for you, there has been a very specific piece of information that they have refrained from telling you. Most likely they thought ignorance would be bliss in regards to your upbringing, but your behavior now has entirely convinced me that you need to understand what you were to become before your life here."
Immediately upon speaking, Nail could see a change in the spiky-haired boy's expression—his eyes no longer appeared to be glassy and glazed over, having regained their youthful brightness and vibrant, shining spark.
"W-What do you mean, 'before your life here?'" As far as he knew, he had always been raised alongside his Namekian brothers… was Nail suggesting that wasn't the case? Did he truly have another home somewhere among the stars?
Cracking a small smile upon seeing the boy regain control of his senses, Nail continued onwards with his tale. "You were not originally a Namekian-born child, Kakarot; you were – and still are – of a race known as the Saiyans. As a whole, the Saiyan race is extremely notable for possessing unbelievable power and having extremely barbaric personalities. Their bloodlust knows no bounds, and they will stop at nothing to find a good fight or challenge for themselves."
Immediately, Kakarot felt a wave of horror course through his veins—he was responsible for just the same thing. 'So… when I asked for Nail to train me in the ways of martial arts… was I doing it to become a warrior alongside some of my friends? Was it really because of my Saiyan blood?'
"You were supposed to be one of them, Kakarot," admitted Nail solemnly, closing his eyes as he truly realized there was simply no turning back any longer, "you were supposed to be a brutal, blood-crazed soldier who slaughtered for the thrill—"
"N-No," boldly interrupted Kakarot, cutting off the Namekian before him. "I-I… wouldn't be. Not after everything you and the other Elders have taught me. I refuse to fall down to such levels of sin and evil."
He didn't know what came over him in that moment, but Nail suddenly couldn't stop a large smile from growing on his face. 'So… perhaps this is what the Elders feel like whenever they get a message through to him…' The sensation of knowing the boy had learned from him and seemingly became a better person for it… it was truly indescribable, but it was a feeling Nail knew he wouldn't soon forget.
"Tell me more about them, Nail," asked the boy with seriousness all throughout his tone. While he had enjoyed learning lessons from Elder Tsuno, this was something he felt he needed to know—not for a test, but for his own knowledge. Even if he was to never be a true Saiyan at heart, he at least needed to know more about his people… maybe, just maybe, there were more like him out in the galaxy who wished to stand for purity instead of debauchery.
"For starters, they're no longer under their own free will. They are employed by a nefarious tyrant named Frieza, being forced to conquer and exterminate planets for a living. But I'm sure they don't mind in the slightest… as I've said, they'll be content so long as they get to slaughter anything in sight. They're nothing more than barbarian, one-track minded creatures who wish to destroy rather than create."
"So then why did Elder Moori and the others allow me to stay here? Surely they knew what kind of threat I could've been had things not gone right." Now that he was aware of his latent powers, it almost frightened him—with the right training, he could very well become powerful enough to end the entire Namekian race.
"Heh… to be honest, Elder Moori is the one you should be thanking for that one," chuckled Nail as he recalled that day so long ago. "He figured that if he could take away one potential mass-murderer and transform him into a man of kindness and benevolence, he'd play some small hand in stopping the universe from Frieza's conquest."
Upon hearing the name of the tyrant, Kakarot's eyes hardened and his fists clenched. "He has to pay, somehow… I don't know how it'll happen, but he needs to die."
"I've vowed the same thing myself once upon a time, kid," offered Nail as he placed a hand on the child's shoulder. "And if you truly feel the same way I do about that monster, then you'll have my full cooperation in taking him down. From this day forth, you are my pupil, and I am your master."
Kakarot's eyes nearly bulged out of his sockets—even after his most recent hormonal outburst, Nail was still offering to train him?! "B-But… what happens if I grow too strong, Nail? What if I eventually lose control of myself and kill everyone?"
"I have faith in you, kid. I don't think you'll lose control, especially now that you're conscientious of it happening. But just to be certain of this, I shall also teach you the art of meditation and various other methods of spiritual training that should help to repel any sinister, crazed thoughts your Saiyan hormones may cause you to have." He paused for a moment, seeing the frightful look on Kakarot's face—immediately, he felt the need to assuage his fears. "If you're afraid, you shouldn't be; I'm sure this is just something that'll plague you during your development and nothing more. Once you mature fully into your adult body, I'm sure any lingering Saiyan tendencies within you will be far gone. Now, are you ready to begin your training?"
Both Namekian and Saiyan locked eyes for what appeared to be hours, each trying to read the other's facial expression. Both stayed firmly locked in their positionings, not even a slight breeze of salty air getting them to budge an inch.
And then suddenly, Nail raised his right arm and extended it to Kakarot, simply waiting.
A sense of euphoria ran through Kakarot's body, immediately causing the child to start trembling in place. There was no doubt his inner Saiyan was relishing the opportunity to gain more power, but something even further within him saw something even greater—it saw the beginning of his true enlightenment as both a Namekian and a Saiyan, the beginning of what would surely be a journey in itself.
With these thoughts in mind, and the hope to create a better future for both Namek and the universe by defeating Frieza, Kakarot reached out and firmly grasped Nail's hand in a handshake.
And with that sudden motion, their training had truly begun.
"This will determine your world champion, ladies and gentlemen!" came the vibrant, energetic voice of the announcer, riling up the raucous crowd as only he could. "Let the match between Krillin and Tien Shinhan… begin!"
The ex-monk, garbed in his signature orange gi that he had adopted from his mentor, Master Roshi, immediately lowered himself into his fighting stance. As he did so, raising his left arm upwards while drawing back his right fist, the sickening, audible CRACK of Yamcha's leg being snapped by the man abreast him kept ringing through his mind. 'I-I've gotta do this… for Yamcha… for Master Roshi... for everyone.'
He knew everyone was counting on him in this moment, that they needed him to avenge Yamcha's defeat to the Crane pupils and show why the Turtle School wasn't to be messed with. Nervous sweat ran down his face in rivulets, though he refused to back down from the challenge at hand—he owed it to everyone who had supported him and helped him become the fighter he was today.
Across from him, Tien, donning a red belt and indigo trousers, confidently smirked as he slid into his own fighting stance. 'This should be far too easy—there's no way a little frightened kid like him can put up a fight against a warrior of my caliber.'
Krillin kicked off the tiled ground, the wind violently billowing around his small form as he dashed towards Tien with a loud battle cry. The three-eyed fighter kept a stoic expression until the split-second before the ex-monk struck, throwing his leg out to strike the child. Seeing the attack coming, the Turtle-styled warrior halted his momentum by thrusting his arms downwards into the pavement, immediately stopping him in his tracks and allowing him to perform a handstand. He would then utilize his small stature to his advantage, pushing up off the ground and into the air to avoid a double-fisted smash from the triclops.
As the Crane-styled warrior winced in pain from smashing his knuckles against the solid, firm pavement, he could feel the slight change in the air currents above him. He looked upwards to see Krillin, knees fully outstretched, about to crash down on his exposed skull.
He had to think fast.
Quickly, he reached out and gripped his opponent's feet by the ankles, grasping them tightly to ensure his foe couldn't use his smaller size to slip away.
"That was a nice move," complimented Tien as he smirked at the struggling Krillin's feeble antics to escape. Then, just as quickly, he let out a loud cry and began rotating his foe, spinning and spinning him around multiple times until he himself began to lose his full coherency.
"But…" he ground his teeth as he continued to swing his opponent around in the center of the ring, violent gusts of wind beginning to whip harshly against both Tien and his foe, "...it's not enough!" Accentuating his last words with a mighty shout, Tien promptly hurled his opponent towards the stone-covered walls of the entrance area, planning to end the battle quickly and obtain the championship.
"N-No!" cried out Bulma, shockwaves of fear coursing all throughout her body. 'F-First Yamcha… now Krillin… this can't be happening...' If Shen had his way, it was very probable that Gohan and Roshi were the next on his list to target… and though she could've very well been placed as a target as well, she felt something more in that moment… she felt concern for one of her close friends.
Though he had often tried to make passes at her during their brief time together, Krillin meant more to the aquatic-haired woman than she'd cared to admit. He was a human being who she could vent to, discuss her problems with, and more importantly, trust in times of need.
And right now, she needed to put her trust and faith in him one more time as he defended the honor of the Turtle Hermit against the stylings of the Crane School...
'Krillin…' thought Gohan to himself, watching as his master's current pupil was forcibly flung towards the walls made out of brick. 'You doubt yourself. I can sense it. Let go of those restraints. Don't fight for us—fight for yourself. Fight for why you wish to fight, and your mind will act on its own.'
In that moment, Krillin regained full bearings of his surroundings, somehow mustering up the strength to kick out his feet and rebound off the wall. He tried to immediately dart forward and attack with a double-booted kick, which caught his foe off-guard and forced him to clutch his stomach in pain. From there, Krillin quickly swept out his leg and tripped Tien off his feet; he then used his hands to regain his footing before he kicked his foe across the ring with a mighty shout.
"What an unbelievable way to get back on the attack!" lauded the announcer, shell-shocked with this awe-inspiring performance from Krillin. "It looks like Krillin's definitely picked up a few new moves and tricks since the last tournament!"
He didn't have a moment to breathe, however, as it didn't take long for Tien to stabilize himself and get back on the attack. With a battle cry, he zipped forward and connected with a few quick jabs to the abdomen, though his foe was able to quickly sidestep the finishing strike with a swift afterimage.
Tien paused for a moment, closing all three of his eyes in the center of the ring as if he had suddenly stopped fighting. The announcer, as well as the audience, looked on in sheer puzzlement—just what was going on.
It took them no more than a few swift moments to find their answer. Tien smirked, performing a perfect one-eighty spin and lodging his fist firmly into his foe's solar plexus. The impact sent Krillin staggering backwards, but it would not be enough to force him down.
"I-I'm not finished yet!" he declared proudly, crouching back into his fighting stance. 'If he wants to win, he's gonna have to earn it… I don't care if he's the Turtle School's enemy, but if he thinks he can just waltz in and injure our friends without a fight, he's sadly mistaken!'
"I'd hope not," retorted the triclops as he prepared himself for another round of combat, a taunting grin overtaking his features along with a chuckle. He then extended two fingers outward before flicking them backward, daring his opponent to make the first move. "Give it your A game this time!"
Krillin did just that, diving back into the battle and extending his left leg towards Tien's chest for a well-aimed kick. However, that was swiftly ducked under and evaded easily due to Tien's speed, yet the ex-monk's momentum continued to drive him forward until he was able to ground himself firmly near the edge of the ring. He would then quickly perform a backflip to return to the center of the squared arena, not wanting to take a chance against his crafty opponent.
Upon seeing his opponent land abreast him once again, Tien noticed the slight shift in his foe's stance and capitalized on it, aiming low with a chop block that the ex-monk quickly leapt over and evaded, crouching back on the ground and looking back over his shoulder to see Tien skid to a halt on his bare hands.
Both fighters turned around almost simultaneously and dashed at each other again, though this time it was Krillin who would be able to slip past his foe's defenses, using his smaller stature to grip his foe's arm and pull him into a double-booted dropkick to the face that sent Tien rocketing backwards and toward the barricade.
As he watched his foe uncontrollably barrel backwards, everything seemed to stop in that exact moment, almost as if it had been frozen in time. Tien was just maybe one or two seconds away from slamming his head against the barricade and falling out of bounds—
—and then he suddenly seemed to freeze in midair, floating just inches off the ground and from what would've been his loss. 'T-That was close… I can't believe he's been able to push me this far...'
Krillin wiped the excess sweat from his brow as he saw Tien try and right himself mid-air, a grin forcing its way across his features as he let out a small chuckle. 'So… he can fly on his own power, too? Heheh… I guess I've really got my work cut out for me, huh?'
From his spot in the audience, Master Roshi observed the fight with a proud grin, not unlike a parent would give to their child. 'Keep it up, Krillin. You're faring better than even Yamcha could against him… heck, if you keep it up, you might actually beat him. Oh, how the days fly by...'
It wasn't very long ago that the ex-monk had approached him with the request to learn martial arts from whom he considered to be the greatest martial artist in the world, Roshi had accepted his request – although it had cost him an 'admission fee' of finding an attractive woman – and immediately commenced his training. From then on, Krillin had grown into the son the Turtle Hermit never had, the two bonding and sharing in nearly every experience together for what seemed to be the span of a lifetime. Roshi had taken a vested interest in his training unlike he had with any other student, teaching him nearly everything he knew about fighting straight from the get-go—his eagerness to learn all he could drove him far in both his own eyes and his master's.
And even to this day, Master Roshi's eyes glimmered with that same happiness as he saw his son in all but blood give his rival's student the fight of his life. 'Become the champion you were destined to be at the last tournament—had you and Yamcha not knocked each other out in the semi-finals, one of you could've given me a real run for my money in the last tournament.'
In this moment, he knew there was hope for the future savors of Earth. In this moment, all Roshi could think of was his everlasting pride and respect for who had once been a shallow boy looking to fight to attract women, but now a true, honorable warrior duking it out with a fellow competitor for the right to be called world champion.
'Go get him, Krillin…' thought Roshi to himself as he watched his student fight to the best of his capabilities. '...Nobody deserves this more than you do.'
Krillin would attempt to go on the defensive away the ex-monk's first strike with his right arm and retaliating with his own cross, which the smaller fighter had to endure with a winced grunt as he tumbled backwards and nearly out of the ring. However, he quickly righted himself with a back-flip, subconsciously rubbing his cheek in pain before he relaxed his stance, seemingly smiling.
"Well… I knew you were powerful, but you're on a whole other level, aren't you?" chuckled the teen as he readied himself for battle once more. "Seriously… no matter what I throw at you, you always seem to find a way to get back up…"
"You seem to forget who my master was, as opposed to your pathetic, washed-up has-been mentor," sneered back the triclops, his arrogance as prominent as ever. "As long as there's breath in my body, I won't stop fighting."
"Tough talk…" came Krillin's reply, a small smirk coming to his face as his eyes glinted with confidence. "...but can you back it up?"
Krillin raced forward towards his opponent, his heart thumping wildly with each and every step he took on his rapid sprint towards the triclops. Quickly, his foe raised his left arm upwards toward his face, seemingly prepared to guard against anything he had in store.
"Too easy!" the Crane student yelled as he threw his right arm forwards and easily matched his opponent's strength with a well-executed kiai, which passed right through the shimmering afterimage of Krillin.
As quickly as a candle, the afterimage faded, yet Tien didn't seem the slightest bit concerned. He quickly whirled around and fired off a double-handed kiai at the recently materialized Krillin, but that only vaporized the flickering form of his opponent.
'N-No way!' thought Tien as a bead of sweat began to glide down his cheek, 'he can pull off a double afterimage? What other techniques has Roshi taught this kid?'
He soon felt a tap on his pant leg, and he immediately whirled around, kicking straight through yet another afterimage. However, as this one fizzled out of existence, another one seemed to simply materialize in the center of the ring, perfectly calm and stoic.
"W-Why, you…" scowled Tien, refusing to believe that this child kept outsmarting him at every turn. Just a few moments prior, he had been the one controlling the bout, yet the tide had turned drastically with the use of just one simple move.
"I did exactly what you asked," came Krillin's voice, yet he somehow managed to keep the reverberation of his voice perfectly concealed—as such, the triclops had absolutely no idea where he could be lurking. "I'm giving it all I've got."
Upon hearing his foe's retort, Tien could only growl in frustration, his mind running amok as he tried to figure out a way to get his foe to expose his location. However, despite how much he wracked his brain for his next strategy, he came up with nothing—although, there was still one maneuver he supposed he could try and pull off. 'If this keeps up, I really might have to resort to it...'
"It looks like Tien's growing desperate, folks! He might be forced into employing some sort of last stand tactic here!" shouted the announcer, the crowd roaring over his speech in their appreciation and respect for what had been an impressive bout so far.
Tien's third eye glanced towards the announcer as he continued to think to himself. 'He might not be that far off from the truth… though the kid doesn't hit that hard, his durability and technique more than make up for it.' The idea that he could very well lose and be humiliated in front of his master haunted him, and in that moment he recognized that he needed to win. He couldn't hold back any longer; the time was now to fight.
Then, just as quickly as he'd made that vow to himself, the triclops was broken out of his stupor when he noticed Krillin – or, rather, who appeared to be Krillin – dashing towards him yet again with his arms fully stretched out and ready to strike.
'It can't be him,' mentally deduced Tien as he relaxed his stance, seeing the figure already beginning to dissipate before his very eyes, 'he's already fadi-'
WHAMM! Just as quickly, Krillin's figure regained its organic glow, and no less than a moment after did he strike, his leg arcing in the air before smashing against the triclops' skull with all the strength he could muster up. As Tien fell forward to his knees, his vision disoriented from the blindingly powerful strike, Krillin leapt over his foe and landed perfectly behind him. He then capitalized on all his momentum, immediately falling forwards and using the ground to kick his feet back upwards in a mule kick, the soles of his feet connecting against the Crane student's foramen magnum and knocking him to the ground. Upon smashing into the ring, Tien's body appeared extremely stiff and unmoving, perhaps down for the count.
'Shaolin Mirage,' internally murmured Krillin to himself as he stood with his back to the fallen Tien, looking out into the vast sea of people who made up the audience for the tournament for a brief moment before smiling and giving his master an enthusiastic thumbs-up. 'Changing from afterimage to afterimage is pretty tough, but training the technique with Master Roshi was pretty effective, I guess.'
As they saw the fighter seemingly unresponsive, all eyes went to the announcer to start officiating the count; however, he seemed too awestruck by the back-and-forth action to do anything of the sort.
Due to the lull in the action, though, the announcer quickly noticed the apparent unconsciousness of Tien and immediately began his count. "It seems like that last combination from Krillin may have knocked Tien out cold! One!"
Krillin panted heavily as he whirled around and dropped back into his fighting stance, resisting the urge to drop to one knee and take a moment of rest. He needed to stay on the attack while he had the advantage, lest he lose control of the match the way Tien had moments prior. Had it not been for his picture-perfect illusion strike and how precisely it had caught his foe off-guard, the match could've very well ended in Tien's favor.
"Two!" the announcer cried, the audience chanting along with him now. 'He might need a medic after this match is over… no normal human being can be able to take so much punishment...'
Just then, Tien showed the smallest sign of consciousness with a simple twitch of his fingers, unwilling to accept defeat to his opponent so easily. 'G-Gotta get up… ne-need to k-keep fighting...'
Tien then tried to lift his arms up, but his muscles soon gave out on him; his arms lowered and faltered due to all the severe pain he had been dealt, forcing him to crash back down to the ring.
"Three!" continued on the announcer, his eyes staying firmly locked on Tien's prone figure as he tried to will his way back up. Alas, even as he tried again to push up his weight, his arms buckled and gravity shoved him down yet again as if he were nothing more but a helpless child.
Tien clawed at the ground below him in a last-ditch attempt to stand, trying to block out the pain as he did so. It wasn't easy, trying to null such a powerful stinging sensation, but he knew if there was ever a time he needed to endure, it was most certainly now. Unfortunately, his body didn't seem to agree with his sentients.
"Four!" chirped the announcer, the audience echoing him raucously as if they were officiating the very match themselves.
"He will understand, boy," came the voice, momentarily pausing to scowl as its owner heard the five-count being officialized by the announcer. "Do as I command. When he rises, finish it."
"Six!" came the shout of the blonde-haired man, just four counts away from declaring Krillin the winner and the world champion. He had to admit that the odds certainly seemed stacked against Tien; there was no way he could stand any longer under his own power. The count seemed like almost a formality, really.
"Seven!" he continued onward, feeling the crowd's anticipation for the final count rising and rising—their fervent cheers and chants for the ex-monk seemed to only support his theory. 'Tien seems to be moving, but will he muster up the strength he needs?'
"Eight!" Krillin couldn't believe his ears—was his goal of becoming world champion actually about to become reality?
"Nine!" The crowd became deathly silent, the tension in the air so thick it could've been cut with only the sharpest knife. Every single person in the jam-packed arena sat on the edge of their seats to see if Krillin had truly won.
Alas, it wasn't meant to be. Tien's three eyes suddenly burst open as he flipped upwards, much to the shock of his opponent and the entire audience, who, in unison, began to murmur about the possibility of the triclops being some sort of superhuman figure.
Then, in that same moment, the Crane student concentrated his energy, building it up as two odd pillars began to sprout up from his back. His cries built to a sudden crescendo as two arms began to protrude from his back, growing until five fingers formed on each of them; he then proceeded to smirk at his foe, who stood agape with shock.
"This'll finish it..." he vowed before he pounced like a hound toward his opponent, ready to capitalize on his opponent's pause. However, Krillin had just enough time to throw up his defenses, raising his arms to a guarding position just before the triclops attacked with his frightfully fast flurry of jabs. He constantly weaved through his foe's blows despite it becoming increasingly harder and harder to do so.
"Hyaah!" Tien shouted, putting his sole concentration on breaking through his foe's defensive barrier, yet it was to no avail. With flawless technique, Krillin evaded nearly each and every blow, trying to find some way in which he could attempt to counterattack.
As the duel raged on and on, Krillin couldn't help but notice out of his peripheral vision that he seemed to be nearing closer and closer to the edge of the ring, potentially growing closer and closer to losing the fight as well. Though each and every strike he evaded left him still fighting, one costly slip-up could've cost him the match had he not been careful.
In that moment, one idea struck him, an idea that would either lead him to victory or cost him the entire championship match. As soon as another jab was headed for his neck, he quickly leapt upwards and evaded it, performing a few somersaults to return to the center of the ring. Upon his landing, he quickly pivoted around and dashed forward towards his opponent, who, as expected, was only just turning around to face his opponent—his guard had been lowered; he wasn't prepared for the ex-monk's fist that would—
All of a sudden, pain – searing, blistering pain – crept up through his body, sending jolts and waves of brutal agony throughout his central nervous system. He immediately was halted in his tracks, being kept just barely afloat by some mysterious power, while his ability to move even the slightest finger was ultimately nulled.
As soon as all three of Tien's eyes locked fully onto his paralyzed figure, Krillin knew that it was all over. He immediately dashed forward and capitalized on the situation at hand, nearly breaking the ex-monk's jaw with a nasty uppercut to the skull that snapped his head upward as he fell backward, his body still being put through all kinds of brutal pain due to this unseen force.
The Crane student then landed next to his opponent's prone form, stunned at how simple it had been to take down his opponent. Though the lanky child was certainly by no means a pushover, he had remembered how hard he'd had to battle just to get to this point.
'Something's not right,' thought Tien to himself as he retracted his extra arms, doubt and suspicion beginning to fester in his mind. 'This was too easy! Regardless of whether or not his stamina was drained, there's no possible way he'd just pause in the heat of—'
With a scowl, Tien stared directly into the audience, his highly-trained vision seeking out his targets. He knew exactly what was going on; he just simply was flabbergasted that it had happened at all.
After only a beat of searching through the sea of people, Tien nastily glared towards two spectators – one a rather aged man, the other a pale white imp, both donning the Crane school uniform - and shook his head with a disapproving frown.
"Chiaotzu!" he shouted, not willing to let his victory come through such dirty, foul means. "Let go of him right this instant, or I will never forgive you!" If he was to win today, he would defeat Krillin just as he had defeated his first two opponents—under his own power, his fighting ability, and his own skill. He would accept nothing less.
His loyalty to his best friend far outweighed that of his master's, and it was for this reason that Chiaotzu released his telekinetic hold on Tien's opponent and allowed him to break free of his psychic bindings. Almost immediately, he sprang up in surprise, leaping backwards into his fighting stance in case Tien was to strike yet again.
His attack never came.
"W-What?! You knew my orders going into this fight, Tien Shinhan!" snarled Master Shen, livid at his pupils' sudden disobeyance of him. 'Since when do they think they can just ignore my specific commands—I gave them their lives! I taught them everything they know, and this is how they repay me?!''
"I have done as you asked, Master," spoke Tien solemnly, bowing his head, "I have defeated your enemies and defended the honor of our school. The success of this match rests on my shoulders alone; I do not need assistance, nor do I require it, from either of you." As stoic as his expression was, the meaning behind each and every word was truly sincere.
"Then prove it!" snarled Shen, not about to allow Tien to stray from his orders. Everything had gone according to his plan up until now, when the triclops had suddenly began to rebel on him from out of the blue. "Prove us wrong, then! Eliminate him at once!" No matter how he sliced it, he simply wanted all remnants of the Turtle school gone. "Do it, Tien Shinhan! Kill that child right now!" Globs of saliva sprayed out of his mouth, his frustration apparent. Tien had been one of his best students before all of this had happened—he could have never expected the triclops to rebel against him in such a manner.
The triclops harshly glared at his master, refusing to see eye-to-eye with him any longer. It seemed he was simply swept up in his own blind rage at this point, refusing to listen to any other viewpoint. "No, Master, I won't kill Krillin! Doing so would cause me to lose this match—after everything we've fought for, defeating the Turtle School in battle and preserving our honor, you would want to just waste our chance to win the championship? I refuse… my only match with Krillin is going to be fair and non-fatal!"
Shen snarled, feeling his window of opportunity to persuade Tien closing further and further with each passing moment. "Never mind the stupid match!" he scowled, spitting out the word 'match' as if it were blasphemy to say it. "Make no mistake, my pupil, you are a killer, or are you going to forsake your destiny as well!?"
He couldn't bear to look at his master any longer; he was not the man he remembered him to be. Somehow, along the way, he had devolved from an honorable trainer and master into a heinous, wicked man who wished to kill anything and everything he despised. "My destiny is not what you believe, Master. I'm no killer."
In that moment, something within Shen snapped, a growl of absolute fury escaping his throat while his fists clenched hard enough to draw blood. "Y-You… weak coward! Insolent fool! You've allowed that senile Turtle Hermit to warp and twist your mind! Have you no self-respect for yourself any longer?!"
Just then, the announcer made his way over to the disheveled master, seemingly unaware of his furiosity and anger. "Uh…. excuse me, sir, but I can't have you interrupting the match—"
"I'm speaking!" snarled Shen in response, the announcer immediately scurrying away so as not to become a part of the Crane master's wrath. His obsidian eyes, blazing with fury, then locked onto the triclops once again.
"And as for you… I made you, Tien! All that you are, everything you've accomplished, would have been impossible without my guidance! If you had any respect for who you are and who I am, you'd finish this fight just as I ordered you to!"
All Tien could do was look exasperatedly toward the ground, his mind conflicted. On one hand, he truly did want to finish this fight just as he'd started it—under his own power, fighting for the right to be considered the best in the world. Yet on the other hand, there was still that one lingering thought of his master—could he really disappoint him by rebelling this way?
""You are no longer worthy of being a Crane student, Tien Shinhan! And now, your insubordination will cost not only you, but your opponent as well! Chiaotzu, paralyze them both where they stand!" he snarled furiously, refusing to accept Tien as he was. This was not who he had trained—this was a shell of his former self attempting to masquerade as the triclops.
"Umm… Master…" came Chiaotzu's shaky reply, the poor imp nearly beginning to quake in his boots. "I-I—"
"Chiaotzu!" Shen hissed in fury, turning to his other student with his obsidian eyes blazing in anger and fury. "Don't you dare turn your back on me as well! You heard my orders: paralyze those two where they stand right now!"
"Master… I will do anything you ask of me…" came the shaky reply of Chiaotzu, his eyes shifting to face the ground, "...but I cannot and will not hurt Tien Shinhan. He's my best friend…"
"Bah! This whole notion of him being your friend is absurd, Chiaotzu!" His arm immediately shot out and grabbed the imp by the front of his Crane-styled uniform, holding him up in the air as he stared into his frightful eyes. A snarl once again escaped his lips, his unbridled fury focused on the pale psychic warrior.
"So, you've been corrupted as well, have you?! Then you, too, can join in Tien's fate!" His right hand raised to form a knife-edge chop, trembling from absolute rage. "I'll kill you both where you stand!"
"Chiaotzu!" Tien cried, unwilling to just stand by and watch while his master tried to kill his best friend. Yet at the same time, his body ached with fatigue, enough so that he wouldn't be able to make it in time. What was he to—
"Get back!" came the cry of a rather-aged voice, its volume loud enough to reverberate around the tension-filled atmosphere. Heeding the cry, Tien looked over his shoulder to see Master Roshi fire off his patented Kamehameha wave, which he immediately leapt to the side to evade.
The beam, which had not been satiated with hitting its target just yet, continued to arc forward in a ray of azure light, heading for the enraged Shen and the frightful Chiaotzu. Then, in the span of a second, the wave struck Shen in the abdomen, carrying him up into the skies above before ultimately dissipating into the day sky with one last twinkle.
Ignoring the murmurs of the crowd, both Krillin and Tien stood shell-shocked by the Crane master's disappearance. Both knew it had been well-deserved, but to see Master Roshi – who both competitors saw as a kind and respectful elderly man – actually harm another man outside of combat was staggering.
"M-Master Shen…" whispered Tien to himself, still finding it in himself to worry about his overall well-being. "W-Why did you have to… persecute them? What did they ever do to you?"
But he knew the truth. In a way, he supposed he always had. Internally, he knew that his master had been blinded by his pride and faith in the very school he had created, wanting so desperately to prove that he was the superior between himself and Roshi. Not only had that arrogance cost him his students, but it had also cost him his pride.
"D-Did Ma-Master really just…?" asked Krillin to himself, unable to believe his very eyes at what he'd just seen. "I never knew he had that in him…"
"Don't worry," came the aged voice of Roshi as he lowered his palms, waiting until both fighters turned to face him once again. Once he locked eyes with his rival's student and his own pupil, he relaxed his stance entirely. "He'll be wounded for a while, yes, but it's nothing he can't endure. I'm sure he's near somewhere on the other side of the planet by now with only minor injuries."
Upon hearing his master's apparent status, all Tien could do was stare solemnly at Roshi, unsure of whether or not to thank him or not. On one hand, he had been responsible for allowing him to be his own person, yet on the other, he'd just wounded his master—the man responsible for raising him to become the person he was today.
"There'll be time to discuss all of this later, you two," continued on Roshi, clenching an aged, wrinkled fist in excitement, "now let's get back to the fight and see who really is the strongest under the heavens!"
"I-I…. I've got no words for what's just happened here…" admitted the announcer truthfully, just as surprised at the recent turn of events as the audience was, "...Let's just hope that this fight can continue on normally and leave it at that. I hope Master Shen doesn't land on anyone important… just kidding, folks." It seemed not even a poor joke would be able to lighten the atmosphere today.
Both Tien and Krillin turned back to each other, their eyes locking almost instantaneously. Each knew what must've been running through the other's mind, even as they leapt back and took their fighting stances yet again.
"I'm sorry for what happened to him," Krillin said with sincerity, unwilling to start the match back up just yet. "He doesn't deserve to die, but what he did to you and your friend was just unacceptable."
Tien bowed his head, all three of his eyes closing in respect to his master and all that he had stood for. "I have forsaken my master—don't feel the need to apologize just because of what happened. He brought it on himself. As for now... all that's left for me is this fight, right here and right now. But before it starts, allow me to make one thing clear—this isn't about the rivalry that both our masters share with one another. This isn't about revenge, either. I'm fighting you for one purpose and one purpose only… to win the title of the world's strongest!"
"Glad to hear it! But just so you know… I don't plan on losing this fight just yet!" Krillin began to focus his energy, preparing for another clash with his foe. "If you're going to beat me, it's going to take everything you've got!"
"No matter what measures I have to go to, I will defeat you! No matter how long this fight is… or how many tricks you have up your sleeve, I will emerge victorious!"
Krillin nodded with a genuine grin, kicking off the ground and racing toward his opponent with his right arm extended for a roundhouse punch. His foe immediately evaded, bringing up his knee and lodging it into the child's stomach before grabbing his arm and throwing him towards the ground.
The ex-monk immediately tried to flip upwards, but Tien had seen it coming; with a well-timed knee to the skull, he sent his opponent skidding and tumbling back until he managed to right himself just before he was forced out of the ring.
Surprised at the ex-monk's resolve, Tien quickly extended his index finger and gathered his ki, hoping to fire off a quick shot and eliminate his opponent from the ring all in one fell swoop.
"Dodon Ray!" he cried out, the narrow, pencil-thin blast darting forward from his index finger and racing towards Krillin in a deadly glow of golden light.
"S-Shoot! If he hits that dead-on, I'm done for!" exclaimed the Turtle student, recognizing that the sea of people behind him could've been hurt if he tried to dodge. 'I-I guess I've got no choice...'
He threw his arms out, feeling the stinging sensation of the Dodon Ray begin to pierce his creased palms as he tried valiantly to repel it from the crowd. "Rrgh…" he growled, giving it his all to dissipate the ray of light, but to no avail.
"I told you, I'll take any road to victory…" Tien said, inputting another pulse of power into his blast, which immediately forced Krillin to skid back and have one leg slip, falling to the grass and nearly eliminating him. "...Any road at all."
Krillin felt sweat drizzle and pour down his face, a physical reminder of his exhaustion. He couldn't keep this up and he knew it. If his other leg were to fall out of bounds, 'There's gotta be a way… I don't know what, but there's gotta be something I can do...'
Taking a gamble, he concentrated his energy into his palms as if he were firing a Kamehameha wave, that all-too-familiar blue orb of light beginning to form in his extended palms. It immediately clashed against the thin Dodon Ray, the struggle creating blue-and-yellow sparks that razed all around the spectacle of light, before both forms of energy canceled each other out in a small flare of a sea blue coloration.
Upon seeing his opponent regain his full balance inside the ring, Tien gave him a slight nod of respect. "Even against one of my most formidable techniques, you've still managed to find a way to stay in the ring. That's impressive, but I wonder… how will you fight when there's no ring to fight in?"
"W-What?!" thought Krillin aloud, shocked by Tien's choice of words. 'He couldn't really be implying he planned to destroy the ring… is he?' One thing was for certain—he'd need to be on his guard for whatever came next.
"When the time comes… avoid it. I don't wish death upon you any longer, which is why I'm granting you this warning now. If you want to survive, I suggest you clear the ring right now." With that he began to ascend to the heavens, slowly levitating upwards and upwards until he reached the clouds, much to the surprise and amazement of the audience around him.
"It appears as if Tien Shinhan is levitating! We saw him use this technique once before to narrowly escape elimination, but who would've thought he'd be able to actually fly?!"
'What's going on here?' thought Krillin to himself, able to do nothing but watch as his opponent snapped his arms together and charged a golden cascade of light in them. 'I-Is he really thinking about firing off such an attack from the sky?! He… he could kill us all if he's not careful! I… I have to stop him somehow!'
"Tien, no!" cried out Roshi, already recognizing that his cries were futile—regardless of Tien hearing his pleas, he knew that his usage of the Tri-Beam Cannon was imminent. He could understand and respect his warrior's pride, but to go so far as to create wanton destruction just for the honor of winning a battle?!
"Th-There's no way he's gonna actually go through with this, right?!" exclaimed Bulma, fearful of the raw, unadulterated power being formed right before her very eyes.
"He can't…" mumbled Yamcha to himself, trying to convince himself that Tien wouldn't take such drastic measures to win. "But yet… there's no way he can just stop gathering all that power… he's really going to go through with this…" Immediately, he turned to his master, his eyes ablaze with determination. "Master! We've got to stop him somehow!"
"I-I'm afraid that's impossible, Yamcha," came the quiet, yet insightful, reply of Gohan, who could do nothing but stare at the huge amalgamation of energy. "I recognize your determination and respect it, but not even our combined might would be able to stop his charging of power without fatalities throughout the audience."
"B-But…" Yamcha tried to retort, but soon realized his master was right—there was no stopping Tien now that he'd gotten so far into the process of setting up his Tri-Beam. "Can't we try anything at all?"
He was met with nothing other than dead silence, providing him with his answer. All they could do was leave their fate in Tien's hands and wait…
Back upward in the sky, Tien's three eyes stayed locked onto the arena as he charged his energy, knowing that this would be the ultimate and final attack. No matter what, he would either seal his opponent's fate with his Tri-Beam or give him the perfect opportunity to win the match.
He didn't care that the attack would take years off his life due to it drawing on his life force, nor did he care that he was about to sacrifice months and months of constructors' hard work on the ring—what mattered was attaining victory, just as he vowed to do just a few minutes prior.
With a shout of pure power, he began to spread his arms apart, a golden cacophony of light forming between either of his arms. Then, concentrating more power into this large mass of energy, he formed his hands in a diamond-resembling shape, the energy within his palms now adjusting itself into the same geometric shape. 'I have to use enough energy to destroy the ring in its full entirety… but if I slip up and use too much power, I could destroy everything in sight. This has to be perfect...'
As he stared down at the ring through the triangle-like formation of his hands, he locked on further and watched as Krillin took a defensive stance, seemingly preparing to block his ultimate attack.
'Surely he'll recognize that he has no choice but to eliminate himself from the ring,' Tien concluded, tendrils of raw energy continuing to arc up and down his hands. 'There's no other option—I will win this match!'
Just then, he realized it was ready to be fired. Shutting his two front eyes, his third staying locked onto his opponent, he took aim and prepared for the end.
"TRI-BEAM…" Tien shouted, the high-pitched squeal of his attack growing ever louder as it shone ominously above the skies, filling them with a yellow hue of raw power. "HAAAAH!"
At that precise moment, he fired the blast, the diamond-resembling blast freefalling towards the ground, and subsequently, towards his opponent. Its raw power could be seen and felt by everyone in the general vicinity, eliciting screams and wails from the audience as they tried to protect themselves from the incoming attack.
"Tien, no!" cried out Chiaotzu, already knowing it was too late to stop him. All he could do was trust Tien, as he always had, and hope that he hadn't been too blinded by pride to realize he could've very well just sacrificed his own life for nothing more than a championship. But at the same time, Chiaotzu knew a true battle meant everything to his friend; there was simply no in-between for him. In a way, he understood that he had to do this...
"HAAAAAAAAAAAH!" Tien cried as the large attack continued to arc downwards toward the ring, nearly threatening to exhaust himself. But regardless of his fatigue, he kept on pressing down the attack, knowing that this was a gamble he simply had to take.
It soon collided with the ring and swallowed it whole in a display of awesome power, encompassing the ground and shredding each and every tile apart with the raw energy behind it. The resulting explosion hurled debris and dust everywhere, causing the viewers and the announcer to shriek vehemently.
And then, just a few seconds later, the ring of the tournament and all that was in it was suddenly no more. Its raw power had decimated everything in its wake, nearly expanding to destroy the arena itself. Luckily for the spectators there, Tien had been able to accurately predict the amount of energy he'd needed to achieve his goal.
The blast had left a gaping hole where the fighting grounds once were, leaving absolutely nothing but a large black void of darkness. The spectators gaped in both astonishment and awe, unable to believe that one man could contain so much power within him.
But there was one thing that everyone was able to notice: Krillin, the brave warrior who had fought Tien for all this time, was no longer present. He was simply… gone.
"W-Where's Krillin?!" exclaimed Yamcha fearfully, unwilling to accept that his long-time friend had just perished. After all they'd been through together, was he really destined to go out this way? "H-He can't be…"
"I hate to be the pessimist here, guys," said Oolong as he tried to stare into the gaps of the freshly-made crater, "but I don't see how anyone could've survived such a powerful attack!"
"I-I think you're right…" murmured Bulma to herself, slowly recognizing the probability of Krillin surviving had decreased with each and every passing second. "Not even Master Roshi, Gohan, or Krillin himself would've been able to generate so much power."
Next to his long-time friend, Gohan placed a consoling hand on her shoulder, feeling his eyes begin to brim with tears. 'Krillin… Yamcha and I always saw you and Roshi as our rivals to overcome, yet you always seemed to manage to stay one step ahead of us each and every time we did battle. While you may no longer be with us, I shall never forget your spirit, kind-heartedness, and determination. I'm… so sorry your time has come so early...'
"I-I…" Roshi began, bowing his head in both a combination of sorrow and anger. "I was wrong to judge Tien as a fighter… there's no comparison…" His poor judgement had just cost his adoptive son his life, which stung worse than any physical blow could've.
Then, suddenly, he felt an energy signal flicker in the sky; he quickly looked upwards to see if it was indeed who he thought it was. His mind couldn't have been playing tricks on him, could it?
'It can't be…' thought Roshi, his jaw nearly dropping to the ground. But just as quickly, a proud smile overcame his features as he recognized the truth. 'Krillin… you must be one hell of a fighter to survive something like that...'
"K-Krillin is… alive!" exclaimed Chiaotzu, shell-shocked that the Turtle-styled warrior had been able to escape such a fatal attack. How had he managed to pull it off? He distinctly remembered seeing the ex-monk stand there until the Tri-Beam came into contact with the ring—
—and then, in that moment, he knew for certain that Krillin was still alive…
"Hah… hah…" panted Tien in exasperation, feeling the side-effects of utilizing such a powerful blast so quickly. 'Was he able to escape that Tri-Beam Cannon? I never saw him move once I locked onto the ring… yet I wouldn't count against him being able to escape at the last second. But where could he have—'
Just then, out of nowhere, Krillin leapt into the air abreast him, stirring up more gusts of wind as he did so. A small grin crept up his face as he saw Tien's shock and awe written all over his face, amazed that he could do the impossible and keep himself afloat. "Surprised?"
A grin growing on his expression, Tien let out a small laugh of excitement—it had been quite a while since a fight had given him this much of a thrill. "You made it! I can't say I'm surprised, to be honest with you…" the triclops then smirked deviously, realizing his advantage. "...but you're fighting on borrowed time here. There's no way you can last more than ten seconds in the air against me, especially when you don't know how to fly?"
Just then was when he realized a slight shimmer in Krillin's figure, and by the time he looked upwards, it had already been too late.
"HYAAAH!" Krillin shouted as he dove downwards toward his opponent, striking the triclops' skull with both his knees as he tackled him downwards with his full weight. Hoping to capitalize on his sneak attack, the ex-monk tightened his fists and let loose on his opponent's skull, each blow connecting violently against his opponent preventing him from forming any sort of counterattack at all.
As he could make out the arena clearer and clearer, Krillin grinned triumphantly, foolishly raising his arms upward in victory. "I've done it!" he cried jovially, realizing that the title of world champion was merely seconds away…
...but as soon as he did so, Tien gripped his arm with all the strength he could muster and performed a three-sixty, reversing their positioning in mid-air. He then quickly fired off a double-booted dropkick to the abdomen, accelerating Krillin's fall to the ground before he ultimately slammed roughly into the grass, officially ending the fight and awarding Tien the victory.
"I-I don't believe it!" shouted the announcer in rabid excitement, awestruck at the performance both Krillin and Tien Shinhan put on for the crowd. "After a back-and-forth battle, your victor, ladies and gentlemen… Tien!"
He was met with raucous applause and cheer as he touched down on the outside of the ring, but he couldn't bask in his victory due to the nagging injuries that stung him. 'Even if I won… he really did a number on me...'
The world around him soon began to dim, and out of his peripherals he could see darkness creeping up on him. His legs soon buckled and he pitched forward, falling to the ground in both pain and fatigue.
It only took a moment later for the pain to envelop him and carry him into unconsciousness…
"Tien!" Chiaotzu cried upon seeing his friend collapse on the grass, immediately darting over and tending to his side. "Somebody, please, help him!"
Immediately, Roshi and Gohan – who had immediately leapt over the barricade upon hearing Chiaotzu's cry for help – rushed over and bent down to look at the triclops' wounded form, immediately noticing the agonized expression on his face. Though he had appeared to have fallen into unconsciousness from that brutal fight, it appeared that the pain he had been forced to endure was still taking its toll out on his body.
"He's definitely in bad shape," noted Gohan as he observed the welts and bruises already beginning to form on Tien's caucasian skin. "Frankly, I'm amazed he was able to fight for as long as he did."
"He and Krillin are definitely some resilient warriors, that's for sure," beamed Roshi with a small chuckle, amazed that there were two fighters of such a caliber. 'They're so young as well… they can only grow stronger and stronger from here...'
His expression turning serious once again, Roshi heavily examined the wounds over Tien's body. "They're indeed rough, but they're nothing to concern ourselves over without some basic treatment." He then made his way over to Krillin's side, finding him to have rather similar injuries. "Certainly nothing to worry about at all. He'll have some pain in his lower ribs from all the abuse he's taken, but it shouldn't be anything more than that."
"A-Are you sure he's okay?" queried Chiaotzu, still uncertain of how Tien could be able to endure all that punishment.
Standing up, Gohan gave a quick glance to his master before turning around to face the entrance to the arena. "Allow me to go. Make sure to keep an eye on them in case they wake up… especially Tien. I don't disbelieve he no longer wishes to kill us all, but I must admit I'm still wary of him."
Roshi grimly nodded, realizing that his former student did have a point. While he'd have loved for Tien to make a complete reformation from his heinous ways right from the start, he couldn't deny there were still quite the number of things they needed to talk about. "Completely understandable, Gohan. Hurry back."
As he broke into a full run in the hallways of the tournament building, his eyes darting from side to side in search of a medic, Gohan felt further paranoia about Tien and his accomplice. Though he had spared and mentored Yamcha, seeing him as a lost soul who had never found his calling in life, he was reluctant to accept the former Crane student as benevolent people. They were trained to have been cold-blooded assassins—could they just really move on to hold peaceful lives without committing any murders? He sincerely had his doubts on that.
Just then, the flicker of an all-too-familiar sphere caught his eye; he immediately halted in his tracks and remembered he'd forgotten his Four-Star Dragon Ball back when he had been helping Master Roshi into his Jackie Chun wig.
He moved forward to pick up the sphere, recalling all the memories that had come with defending that Dragon Ball from falling into the wrong hands, ranging from his humbling of Yamcha to his battles with Pilaf and his gang. Even after Oolong's rather perverse request was fulfilled by Shenron, Gohan had used his super-speed to track it down, catching the sphere before it had the chance to roam too far. Since then, he had kept it alongside him at all times, unwilling to let it be used for nefarious purposes.
Little did he know that his life was flashing before his very eyes.
A lightning-fast claw reached out from behind and brutally impaled the former Turtle student through the chest, immediately causing his vision to spin as he fell face-forward to the ground in front of the Dragon Ball he'd worked so hard to protect.
In its reflection, he could see what could only be described as a demon – what with his green skin, sinister features, and his dragon-resembling wings – loom over him with a bloodthirsty grin, raising his left hand upward and preparing to end his life.
"That's one Dragon Ball down for Lord Piccolo's reign of terror," it grinned horridly, the name drawing out one last shriek of agony from the elderly man as his life was snuffed out with another claw to the chest.
Thanks a lot for reading the third chapter of Turbulence! As I've said above, believe me when I say that the wait was definitely not meant to be this long, but this was a huge, action-packed chapter that needed every detail it could get. I don't think I can doubt that my skills have vastly improved by writing this chapter, and I strongly feel that the fun and excitement will only continue in chapters to come!
Before I move on, the Shaolin Mirage is basically a play off the real-life technique known as the Shaolin Fist, which is a martial-arts technique utilized by Shaolin Kung Fu practitioners. Basically, the concept of the technique is that Krillin is able to focus his spiritual and physical energy all into his movements, which allow him to transfer his physical essence from one Afterimage into another, all while still leaving the previous Afterimage where it stands until it is either hit or vaporized. While I was the one to think up the original concept, my friend SpiderLedgic was the one to help me develop the name for the attack, so please thank him by checking out some of his awesome fics, which I also have a hand in as his primary editor.
The title Clash of Beliefs is both metaphorical and literal in specific aspects of the chapter. In the beginning scene with Kakarot and Nail, we see the vast contrast between average Saiyan and Namekian characteristics and how Kakarot aspires to be the best of both(something that will take him many years of soul-searching and experience to accomplish). The Earth scene differed greatly, as it was more of a physical battle between Krillin and Tien to prove their superiority to one another, but it soon evolved into a mental struggle which saw Tien come out a better person because of it. Speaking of, if you have questions about any prior events that you'd like more information on or more information about the Shaolin Mirage, feel free to review with your thoughts and I'll reply here in the next chapter!
To follow up on the first part of the chapter, I have a feeling many of you aren't exactly going to be fans of this whole "inner Saiyan struggle" concept. That's okay; believe me, I'm not a fan of it either. However, it is necessary to showcase Kakarot's progression and failures as a character, as he is spiritually both Saiyan and Namekian. It won't appear too often, and Kakarot will have many more struggles without this concept even coming into play, but I figured I should at least address it due to my respect for all of you readers and your possible concerns with the story.
And to conclude this terribly long author's note, I'd just like to mention that Turbulence now has its very own TV Tropes page! If you're an experienced troper, I would really appreciate you helping me to further the page along with new tropes and examples of already-existing tropes up there! It'll take me a lot of work to do this, which is why I would greatly value any contributions made by you readers.
In the next chapter, the story takes its first true radical divergence from the canonical plotline as we begin an entire new saga next chapter! I'm sure you can guess at who it's going to be, but it'll be exciting nonetheless!
-Ultimate Black Ace: As for who the future protectors of earth are going to be, Yamcha is currently the best bet. Gohan is old, extremely so, so his days of being a fighter are coming to a close. Yamcha is getting the benefits of his training and experience, putting him ahead of Krillin and at the very least we need someone close to Tien's level who he can respect in order to reform him.
Sadly, Gohan's day in the limelight is over due to his old age. While the idea of Yamcha fighting Tien in the finals would've no doubt been an interesting concept, I needed to have some sort of redemption angle that Krillin could work towards. As it's my intention to spread the spotlight on the characters, I felt that a nice way to share that would be to have Krillin get the nod here. As for why he is so much more capable than his canon counterpart, Krillin being Roshi's sole student was basically able to skyrocket him in terms of fighting capability(power, speed, stamina, etc.). While Turbulence Krillin isn't exactly as strong as canon Goku was at this point in time, as Tien noted in this chapter, the ex-monk's variety of abilities and his fighting style is able to allow the human to keep up with the triclops. Undoubtedly, though, Tien is ultimately the stronger of the two.
I will say this about the characters' developments: now that a particular saga begins officially next chapter, you'll get a very large hint at the Z-roster and what kind of roles they'll be playing.
-Supersaiyaninfinitygohan: First off, congrats on all the support and this was a really great need. Although I have noticed a rather glaring problem: Dialogue. Besides the Namekian elders, everybody is FAR too formal. A staple of Dragon ball was that for a long time all the heroes and villains were rather laid back and didn't care much for grammar or big words, so everything just felt like it flowed better.
Also, when I checked on the wiki, it said Akira Toriyama had always imagined Puar as a boy.
That's a reasonable thing to say. It was my intention, however, to have Kakarot and Nail speak with such an inflection, as the Saiyan child is drastically altered from what he would've been as Goku, and Nail… well, he's a Namekian as well, so I try to write him with that same poise to give him a little extra flair as a character. I find your comments about the dialogue somewhat odd, though, as I did borrow many canonical lines for Yamcha, Puar, Oolong, Tien(from this chapter), and a few other characters.
As far as that anthropomorphic cat goes, it's very easy to identify Puar as either gender. I've seen fics that address Puar as male and also a few that are female. I decided to personally go with the latter, as I always thought Puar a more feminine character than masculine. Of course, it's ultimately up to your interpretation, but for all intents and purposes, Turbulence will feature Puar as a female character.
–SaiyanWanderer: Love this story so far! Keep it updated! The idea of Goku landing on Namek instead of earth is a superb idea and having Grandpa Gohan as the protagonist of earth is totally original. I am excited to see what the upcoming conflicts are in your story and i cant wait to see they are handled. Hopefully the earthlings are ready for King Piccolo and the Saiyans, i would hate for them to lose but i know you got some great ideas for this and once again im and pretty excited! Please update soon!
Thank you kindly for your superlatives. Unfortunately for Grandpa Gohan, as I've outlined above, his old age wouldn't really allow him to participate in many more fights before he eventually bites the dust. It felt natural to let him have his Dragon Ball journey before effectively retire in such a manner.
-Goku96: Great story so far I'm looking foward to the next chapter. Although i have a question is yamcha going to take Goku's role in dragonball like fighting red ribbon army,piccolo etc. and also are they first going to meet kakarot when they first go to namek?
1. I can definitively tell you that while Yamcha is going to be a very important character, he's not going to be taking the role of Goku in DB. To be honest, nobody will be going to. A key element of this story is going to be how everyone has to step up in Kakarot/Goku's absence and work together to overcome various threats. They'll succeed in some scenarios, but others may not be so fortunate.
2. I can't divulge when the two plots intersect and finally become one concrete story, but I will say that it will occur sooner than you might think.
-Zalkari Ament: As for new characters, will you add any? I mean sometimes I think there should be new characters.
If you're referring to original character offspring(ex. a hypothetical Vegeta/#18 child or something to that degree), then yes, I will have a few of them. However, in regards to actual new characters being incorporated… I'm going to have to lean towards saying no for the moment. There may be a few other Namekians and maybe some footsoldiers for Frieza's army being named, but ultimately I don't think I'll be creating any "lasting" OC's that'll be making a big impact on the story, aside from the offspring of the original DBZ characters.
-Originality: All right, I think I've seen enough of this nonsense.
Your story is GREAT so far, and completely original. Wanna know why it's original? Easy. You're putting your heart into it.
Everywhere I'm looking at DBZ fics I'm seeing that people are concerned with adding things or making sure that their pairings haven't been done before. TO that I say: who cares? The only thing you need to make sure of is that what you wanna write is what you're writing into the chapter. I don't really care if you have Kakarot and Bulma or Kakarot and Chi-Chi or even Kakarot x Zangya for all I freakin' care. I want to see the story that YOU write, not what another person writes.
Well, thank you and all the other reviewers kindly for not being shy to express your opinions on the whole pairings matter. My decisions are not going to be entirely swayed by readers' opinions/desires, but I will say that I will give nothing less than my full attention to make any couple I write as believable and authentic as I write the rest of my story. To be quite honest with you all, this story isn't your 'orthodox' DBZ fic—I'm not afraid to diverge drastically from the canonical timeline, and it's quite probable that while this story will contain mostly all DBZ elements, I plan to make many additional twists to the characters and timeline to make it all my own unique story that you won't find anywhere else.