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Deceiver's Legacy

By Dragoness Eclectic


Chapter 9

"Goten! Goten!" A familiar, pale figure waved frantically at Goten from atop a nearby rock.

Goten looked around, then ducked another swing from Gohan. He was training with his older brother, and the ghost boy, Perejil, had picked a very bad time to talk to him. Distracted, Goten's counterstrike was sloppy, and Gohan slipped easily evaded it and punched Goten solidly in the stomach with his counter.

"Oof!" Goten folded up and sat down abruptly, holding his stomach.

"Oops, sorry, Goten! Are you all right? I expected you to block that one!" Gohan stood over him, looking slightly worried. Behind him, Perejil waved his arms then pointed emphatically downhill, toward the house. What did he want?

"I--" I'm fine, Goten had started to say, then realized that Gohan would just keep on sparring, and Perejil seemed to think something was very important. "I think my tummy hurts. I feel like throwing up," Goten said. "Can I go sit down on the porch for a while?"

"Sure," Gohan said. "I'll get Mom," he said, starting downhill--

"No!" Mom did not like Perejil, and didn't want Goten talking to the ghost boy. "Um, I'll be all right in a little bit. Mom would just get upset." Goten held his stomach and started to shuffle down the hill.

"If you're sure you'll be okay," Gohan said, still worried. "I'll go split that wood I promised Mom I'd take care of, and if you're still feeling bad after that...."

Goten nodded, trying to look serious about his 'tummyache' when all he wanted to do was dash down to the house. Instead, he picked his way carefully down the hill, rubbing his stomach as if it hurt. Perejil waved him on frantically, urging him to hurry.

Goten still couldn't talk with the ghost boy, but they had learned each other's names by the ancient, simple method of point-and-repeat. Perejil had also learned the words of all the objects Goten could point out, but still couldn't or wouldn't put together a sentence Goten could understand. Perejil also seemed to understand that Goten couldn't talk to him around Mom or Gohan, and the ghost boy was too scared of Dad or Grandpa to come out when they were around.

Perejil looked worried--no, downright scared--and waved Goten around to the back of the house and pointed to the crawlspace under the house. "House," he said, and mimed opening one of the crawlspace panels and crawling in.

Goten shook his head. "I'm not supposed to go under there," he said.

Perejil's eyes widened slightly; he didn't understand Goten's words, but he knew what a shake or a nod of the head meant. He gestured more frantically and pushed intangibly at Goten.

"But Mom told me not to!" Goten protested.

Perejil looked over his shoulder, toward the west for a moment, and Goten could see sheer terror in Perejil's eyes when the ghost boy looked back at him. "Canojo kah! Kahkuureiraye! Hahyahkuu kahkuureiraye! PLEASE!"

Goten blinked--Perejil knew that word, too?--but only for an instant. Then he pulled the decorative wood panel aside and dove under the house, heeding Perejil's frantic gestures to replace the concealing panel and hold very, very still.

* * *

Naranja crouched low, staggering now and then as the earth shook under her feet. Once, the concussion from a nearby blast knocked her off her feet and showered her with ash and dirt. Her mind reeled as she ran toward the crest of the nearest hill, hurrying to put its bulk between her and the cataclysmic battle behind her.

Prince Vegeta, and Bardock--both of them!--golden haired, glowing with furious energies. Both of them! Safely over the crest of the hill, Naranja put her hands to her head and fought back screams of baffled rage. How could there be TWO of the legendary Super-Saiyan? HOW?

It was impossible! The Super-Saiyan was the ultimate warrior--he could have no equal. But she had seen the TWO of them--Prince Vegeta and Bardock--

Correction: Vegeta identified the other as 'Kakarott', not Bardock.

That is a mistake, Naranja thought coldly. The prince said, 'Die like Kakarott!'; he did not call him Kakarott.

The Saiyan designated 'Bardock' consistantly denies that his name is 'Bardock'. He may indeed be Kakarott.

He is NOT Kakarott! Kakarott is dead, Bardock is alive. If he had died, then everything I've done would be... would be--NO! Bardock is alive! Anything else is a lie and I will not accept it!

Kakarott may still be alive as well.

Have I not heard Vegeta refer to him as one dead? Kakarott is dead and should be forgotten like all dead things.

What of the other power in this vicinity? It may be Kakarott.

Enough! Kakarott is dead--but I will look for myself, and prove that it is not him.

It should be evaluated. Determine if it is a threat.

Naranja lifted into the air, carefully keeping the ridge of hills between herself and the titanic battle to the west. She tuned her scouter as she flew, and tuned it again. Somewhere nearby must be the other astounding power she'd detected in combat with Bardock at various times--but who and where? There was no sign of it now.

There were a couple of weak powers nearby, close to the southeast--stronger than the usual vermin on this planet, but nothing to challenge even a third-class Saiyan. At a loss, Naranja swerved toward the readings.

The forested hills opened out into a wide river valley dotted with widely separated dwellings. The forest ran nearly to the eaves of the nearest such dwelling--

--Naranja reared back in shock as a man flew up to face her. No, not a man, a youth--Naranja stared at the spiky Saiyan hair, the too-round, vermin-like eyes, the small, un-Saiyan ears and recoiled. Bile filled the back of her throat; Kakarott had indeed consorted with vermin, and this--this thing, this abortion of a true Saiyan was the result!

He stared at her. "Hi. Um, what do you want?" Gohan asked--then glanced westward as the sky flashed white and thunder cracked.

Naranja stared back at him, horrified. Why hadn't Vegeta destroyed this thing when he killed Kakarott? Something crawled in Naranja's gut as she remembered Vegeta's peculiar attitude toward the blue-haired female... Had Vegeta himself--? No, it was unthinkable! But what of the purple-haired child she'd seen in the distance from time to time? Surely he belonged to the vermin!

"Oh, no!" Gohan looked west. "Dad's fighting Vegeta!"

Dad? This was Bardock's son? How could he--this was not Kakarott! Kakarott was a true Saiyan, even if he was the witch's brat. This one was too young to be the dead witch's child--and half-vermin! Naranja looked beyond Gohan at the rambling house; movement drew her gaze. A woman--one of the vermin females--stood on the front porch of the dwelling. It all became horribly clear. No wonder Vegeta didn't speak of Bardock; the former peasant had gone native and bred with the vermin himself!

Naranja screamed, and summoned power. A blackness flickered before her eyes, and when it passed, everything was washed with red from the lurid corona flashing around her body. Rage hammered her, rage at wasted years for a worthless peasant--it hadn't been the witch alone, he'd betrayed her willingly, left her for that long-haired bitch--he'd pay, like she paid, they would die, all of them, die screaming at Naranja's hand like the other traitors---!

She slammed her hands together and a single titanic, red-tinged blast lashed out at Gohan. Forewarned by her enraged scream, Gohan dodged nimbly aside; white fire crackled translucently around his body as the young demi-Saiyan drew on his power.

Naranja's eyes were wide and empty; with a bestial howl she hurled a ball of white energy down toward the Son homestead--

Gohan dove down and slapped the energy ball away, high into the atmosphere where it exploded. His hand tingled; it was far more powerful than he'd expected.

"You could have hurt someone!" Gohan said angrily, his black hair bristling like any true Saiyan's as he lunged upward to strike at Naranja.

* * *

Miles away, a mountain shuddered as Goku's body slammed into it, deep into it. Three tremendous blasts crashed into Goku, pile-driving him into the relatively brittle shale of the mountain.

Goku spat out a mouthful of blood and tore himself free of the rock, grinning like a maniac. Vegeta hovered above the mountain, waiting for the dust to settle enough for a clear shot at his low-born nemesis.

Goku generated two balls of ki and sent them spiralling through the dust cloud, while he himself hurtled back and around. As he'd hoped, Vegeta pursued the wrong ki source, and Goku got behind him--

"Uhn!" Now it was Vegeta's turn to slam into the ground as Goku's elbow caught him in the small of the back. Goku sent a small kamehameha down after him, blowing a sizable chunk out of the ground and into the air, where it rained down as ash and dust. This time, Goku waited for the dust to settle--

The thunder crack of shattered rock was too slow to warn Goku; Vegeta appeared suddenly in front of him, and in the blink of an eye buried his fist into Goku's stomach. He followed it with a second blow to Goku's stomach, and then slammed the momentarily breathless Saiyan into the ground with a brutal double-handed blow to Goku's back. Vegeta followed him down to the ground, landing cruelly hard on Goku's back with both booted feet. He then leaped into the air and hurled a tremendous plume of energy at the prostrate Saiyan...

Goku dragged himself to his feet; his gi was in tatters and blood trickled from dozens of cuts and scrapes. He wiped the blood out of his eyes and grinned at Vegeta, who was equally tattered and torn.

"You're getting really good, you know that?" Goku said.

Vegeta spat out a mouthful of blood and wrapped his tail more tightly around his waist. The length of white fur tingled, and his fur bristled; part of him longed to summon the moon and give himself to the ouzaru battle-frenzy. Vegeta squelched the desire ruthlessly. Once before, Kakarott had proved himself the stronger by forcing Vegeta to become ouzaru to defeat him; that would not happen again. Kakarott would fall by Vegeta's hand, and know once and for all that Vegeta was greater than him in all ways.

Vegeta smirked--and then whirled toward the east, frowning. What the--?

Goku's head snapped up and he looked eastward as well. "That's Gohan! He's fighting Naranja!"

"What is that idiotic woman doing?" Vegeta snapped. "She has no reason to fight Gohan, and shouldn't even be out here!" He lifted into the air and surged eastward. "I'll deal with you later, Kakarott!"

Goku's only answer was the flicker of light as he put two fingers to his forehead and vanished.

* * *

At the last instant, Gohan pulled his punch. Naranja's head snapped back and she sprawled ungracefully in mid-air before regaining her equilibrium. Naranja snarled, baring her teeth, and leapt for Gohan's throat, striking and kicking.

Gohan dodged and blocked her furious attacks with ease; her training and speed were far less than his. He was reluctant to strike back; it felt wrong to hit a woman, especially one so much weaker than him. Only the worst kind of bullies did that. He felt ashamed at losing his temper and punching her the first time.

Naranja sprang back, breathing hard; for all her effort, she had not landed one blow on Gohan. She screamed and the lurid red glow around her intensified.

"Die like the vermin you are, son of Bardock!" A globe of seething red energy formed between her hands and began to grow--

Gohan backed away, unsettled by the new attack form, though his senses told him that Naranja was still too weak to do him harm.

--the globe expanded to twice Naranja's size, and then she shoved it toward Gohan, pouring power into from behind. The globe continued to expand, surging toward Gohan--

--Gohan dodged easily aside from the slow-moving globe, only to watch it turn and dip downward, straight toward his unprotected home! Gohan dove, and intercepted the globe--

WHAAAAMMMM! It exploded in an immense ball of fire, completely enveloping Gohan. The outermost radius of the fireball vaporized the tops of three trees standing near the Son house, and slightly slinged the roof. Gohan was untouched.

Naranja gaped in astonishment at the slim adolescent half-Saiyan. What kind of power did this brat have? She gasped as two strong arms looped under hers, pinning her from behind.

"Stop!" Goku said in her ear. "There's no need for that."

"ENOUGH!" Vegeta's shout rang out, followed shortly by the prince himself, interposing himself between Naranja and Gohan.

Naranja froze; Vegeta's clothes were in tatters, and copious cuts and bruises covered his body, but his power remained undiminished--and far too high for Naranja's scouter to register. "MAX OVERRUN" blinked at her every time she looked in his direction.

"Idiot woman! What do you think you are doing?" Vegeta snarled wrathfully.

Naranja paled with momentary fear at Vegeta's anger, then flushed with anger. She had depended on Bardock to protect her from this decadent Vegeta, but even Bardock had turned perverse over the soft years. Still, he was the only one who could defeat Vegeta. Ignoring Vegeta, she turned her head so she could see Goku.

"Forgive me, Bardock. I became angry when I discovered how soft you had let yourself become, and tried to destroy that which has made you soft. It was not my right; that right belongs to you and the prince alone." The bile of shame tasted bitter in Naranja's mouth as she looked back at Vegeta, "I will return to Capsule Corporation, my prince, and do as you have commanded."

Vegeta frowned, and folded his arms. "Do that, immediately." Vegeta turned his head and spat to one side. "You are only useful as Raditz's mate, now," he said. "You are too weak and lack the discipline a true warrior must have."

Naranja flushed red again. "As you command," she snarled, her voice shaking with rage at the mortal insult.

"You're being too hard on her, Vegeta," Goku said as he released her. "She can learn better."

Power gathered around Naranja; she gave Goku a single, bitter glance and was gone, hurtling westward toward the city and Capsule Corporation.

Vegeta glared at Goku. "And you are too soft on Gohan! He was too sentimental to properly chastise the woman, as he should have done--now I must treat an elite noble like an ill-mannered child, which is an insult to her pride and mine."

"GOKU! YOU GET DOWN HERE!" Chi-chi yelled from the front porch as she jumped up and down waving her broom.

Vegeta smirked. "This fight isn't over, Kakarott--I'll see you after I deal with Naranja and Raditz." White fire swept over Vegeta and he, too, hurtled westward.

* * *

"GOKU! SHE TRIED TO KILL MY GOHAN!" Chi-chi shrieked.

"Um, Mom, she wasn't that strong. She couldn't hurt me, really," Gohan said.

"I don't care! She nearly blew up the house! I won't have that sort of thing going on!" Chi-chi held her broom in a deathgrip and snapped at Gohan and Goku--then she looked at Goku, taking in his tattered clothes and injuries for the first time.

"GOKU! What happened to you??" Chi-chi threw down her broom and threw her arms around Goku, feeling his arms and body for broken bones and major wounds.

"Ah, I'm okay, Chi-chi--but I'm awfully hungry. Vegeta and I had a good fight--"

Chi-chi shrieked and collapsed into Gohan's arms. "You were fighting Vegeta? Are you trying to get killed? Goku!"

Goku scratched the back of his head. "Well, Vegeta's gotten a lot better, but I'm still better than he is, and--"

"Goku! You never think about how I feel when you fight! I wish you would stop scaring me like that!" Big tears welled up in Chi-chi's eyes, and Goku shifted from foot to foot uncomfortably.

Looking decidedly unhappy, Goku said, "I'll try, Chi-chi. I didn't mean to upset you, I really didn't." He wasn't sure how he would stop scaring her, because Goku really didn't know what he was doing, exactly, to upset her. There were some facets to Chi-chi that were beyond his understanding, and this was one of them. A thought occurred to him, and his face brightened.

"Chi-chi, do we have anything to eat? I'm hungry!"

Chi-chi folded her arms and scowled furiously. "If you think I'm going to cook you dinner after such rude, inconsiderate behavior--" She broke off abruptly at the woebegone expression on Goku's face; Chi-Chi never could resist those big, dark, puppy-dog eyes. "Oh, all right! But you change into some decent clothes first!" she said as she stomped off toward the kitchen.

Goku smiled as a confused Gohan looked on. It always made Chi-chi happy to cook a delicious meal for Goku, and he always appreciated it heartily. Goku knew that within seconds of entering the kitchen, Chi-chi's fears and anger would be completely forgotten.

* * *

Hundreds of miles away, Eighteen stared alternately at the sandy beach and the letter in her hand. Little Marron played contentedly in the sand at her feet, building sand castles and sand villages. Not far away, Kulilin lazed in the warm water, letting the waves rock him gently.

"Penny for your thoughts, babe?" Kulilin asked, noticing his wife's pensive mood.

Eighteen looked up abruptly. "Yeah, why not? I'm sick of looking at sand. Kulilin, let's take a vacation!"

Kulilin stood up in the shallow water. "Vacation? Hey, this is a permanent vacation! Except when I'm training, of course."

Eighteen snorted. "Yeah, well, everyone else I know calls this 'unemployment and poverty'." As Kulilin's face fell, Eighteen shook her head. "Nah, I'm not starting that argument up again." She held up the letter she'd been reading. "My brother Seventeen wrote--"

"--he can write? Who'd have thought it?" wisecracked Kulilin.

Eighteen glared at him. "As I was saying, my brother wrote and invited us up for a visit. And, like I said, I'm sick of sand, and I haven't seen Seventeen in years, and he's never seen Marron, so we'll go."

Kulilin blinked. "Uh, okay. Where are we going?"

"He's got a cottage up in the western mountains. I'll get Marron and me packed up, and we can fly there after lunch. Fortunately we can fly there ourselves, since we certainly don't have enough money to buy plane tickets, or even bus tickets," Eighteen concluded, unable to resist a final barb.

Kulilin flushed. "Yeah, I'll be packed by lunchtime; remind me to tell Master Roshi when he gets up."

* * *


"Over here," Goten waved at Gohan from under the house when he heard him calling. He crawled out from under and stood in front of his big brother.

"Is she gone?" the little boy asked.

Gohan nodded and looked Goten over. "You're all right?"

Goten nodded. "I hid from the bad lady; she scared me!"

Gohan looked thoughtful. "I'm glad you did; she's nasty and might try to hurt you or mom. Anyway, Mom's cooking dinner early, so come on," he said, jerking his head toward the kitchen door.

"Okay!" Goten said, heading for the back door--then stopped to glance back under the house. He waved to Perejil to come out, but the ghost boy stayed where he was, huddled in a ball, whimpering with fear.

It would be days before he came out again.


* * *


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Disclaimer: See Credits.

Copyright 2002-2005 by Dragoness Eclectic