A Quest for Booty was my second major collaboration of 2017. Creeperman and I started it in March 2017, about a month after I began collaborating with TeamUnitedNerds on Across the Universe. I am not sure precisely when Creeperman and I began discussing a story about Beelzebub, but that was the original basis for it. Our brainstorming probably began at least a week before we started writing (which occurred on March 13, 2017). I believe my collaboration with TUN influenced this one somewhat, for only five days after the first chapter of ATU was posted, we began working on AQFB.
With that said, the stories were not remotely similar. Across the Universe was centered around a video game character named Soba and was an exploration of how he became such a strong Yardrat. Somewhat of an interesting idea, in my opinion, that inevitably led to a story that spanned multiple planets and environments, featuring many different aliens and cultures. A Quest for Booty, on the other hand, was mostly centered around Earth and the canon characters living there.
I don't remember who came up with the idea for Beelzebub coming to Earth to resurrect his father with the Dragon Balls. The backstory to the idea was certainly a collaborative effort. I think Creeperman had more to do with the Towa stuff than me. He said that he thought her inclusion would be set up for her creating Mira for the Heroes timeline. Heroes sucks, though, so that was never going to happen in a story I participated in! This also implies that he didn't realize there was going to be quite a few of my fanon characters in this one. I am also fairly certain that I came up with the idea to include Abo and Kado. I think it was fairly early in the ideas phase that I decided to include Ledas in order to explain how he and Beelzebub are working together in The Great Sushi-Eating Contest (which was written roughly 9 months before we started on this one).
The ideas began coming together from there, for having Beelzebub go on a Dragon Ball hunt was appealing to me. I hadn't done much with the Dragon Balls themselves at this stage in my fanon writing, so that idea in and of itself interested me. It was like writing the Emperor Pilaf Saga from Dragon Ball with different characters. Each ball had its own realm (though not all were complicated to acquire). The one thing we did differently was to pace the chapters more quickly than the usual 1 per episode ball of the Emperor Pilaf Saga (the Mount Frypan one and the final Pilaf-owned one being exceptions even in that saga).
The collaborative writing wasn't super formal in terms of breaking off sections. Sometimes we wrote our own sections, but sometimes we contributed to the same section. We wrote one after another, with the word counts before switching off being lower the earlier in the series we were, which is the case in any collab done this way. We were discussing a lot on discord and whatnot what we were going to do with this, so it wasn't as detached a collaboration as the ATU one was. We wrote until we felt like it was the other person's turn, which was somewhat of a casual way of doing things. There was some minor editing in each other's sections (for the most part, I edited crepe's with some grammar/wording changes, trying not to change the meaning of anything he said while being technically grammatical, and he did the same for me a few times).
A lot of the plot was come up with as we were discussing and writing it. For example, I came up with the idea to use Paprikan, a slightly moderately significant character in The History of the Decline and Fall of the Planet Trade Organization, after Creeperman had written the first section of the first chapter. He ended up becoming a fairly lengthy, word-count-wise, speedbump.
One aspect of this collaboration that was important to me was that it was really the first time outside of any collaboration with Hyper Zergling where I went for some of my own characters in a canon-following way. I've used some of my own in some of the BYARMS, but outside of going hard into it with HZ for our combined universe, this is the first time I put a lot of effort into that type of story. As Across the Universe developed, I began getting into that, but assuredly, this was the first story, timeline-wise, where I indulged in some of my fanon characters. Creeperman was the perfect collab partner for that. He was very accommodating.
For example, some of my thoughts that came up during the writing of the first chapter can be seen below (this list grew and was modified as the chapters went on):
Kv ideas: -drunk Makyan space lord: Paprikan -Abo (Avo :P) and Cado resolution -The Waste Land: “I will show you fear in a handful of dust” -make a joke about Beelzebub’s obsession with water -if you float, you burn -Jiugin guiding Beelzebub -fat king of a failed, distant kingdom has a dragon ball -Dragons of the Dawn intervention -purity vs. disintegration -blood/sand -the shame of being an aristocrat -“dig them up/let’s finish what we started” -save for later: “Seventy-seven cunts, fuckin’ hell mate,” grunted Paprikan the Polite. He belched a breath of fire wine, amber sparks curling around the corner of his lip. -we’re the sexiest of all primates -“I caught a parasite working in the oil mines of Tablorhe Vorno. I still feel him prodding at my insides, those phantom pokes and impatient punches, almost pleasurable, though I’ve been cured for more than half my life.” -Desolate and empty is the sea -He was a sick and desperate animal.
Some of these ideas were used. Others, like the inclusion of Jiugin and the Dragons of the Dawn, were not. Lots of random cringe KV emo/song phrases too, great job with that, I definitely don't look back on the past and feel it spearing my bones. Relevantly, though, the ideas for both the Abo & Kado and Paprikan plotlines spawned from these fever dreams. Paprikan, in my story about the fall of the PTO, is quite the cunt. He ends up killing a very powerful officer in Cooler's army (who was attempting to spark a massive war by rebelling against Cooler) and then fleeing, never to be seen again. The idea for Paprikan's character arc was heavily influenced by my brainstorming for this story. I had only written 15/25 chapters of PTO volume III by the time we began AQFB. Paprikan isn't named as a contender for the guy who kills Admiral Bael until chapter 1 of volume IV, which was published in June of 2018, about 15 months after we began this story. That's one example of an idea that was created on-the-spot that had massive ramifications for another story of mine years later. Much of the characterization of Paprikan is in these notes. I don't have a good explanation as to why so much of my creative time was spent on him, but it is what it is. He's a secondary character, so I probably could have spent less time coming up with his backstory and whatnot.
I believe Creeperman came up with the inclusion of Kibito Kai, and, by extension, Grand Supreme Kai Buu. He said, about this, "I came up with including Kibito Kai as well. I think because I thought it would make sense for his character to be scared of Dabura coming back considering how shook he was whenever he saw him". I vaguely remember spending most of my sections involving him criticizing how ugly he is, for, in my opinion, Kibito Kai is the ugliest character in Dragon Ball, and that includes Bacterian. The idea for the medieval kingdom housing a Dragon Ball was also in these notes. In terms of the other notes, I don't have much to say, and I hope I'm a better writer now than that, for it does come off as rather edgy.
One aspect which endears me to this story is how clean of a plot idea it is. It's a simple, logical, fun idea. Beelzebub would absolutely do this if he knew about the Dragon Balls. He's been to Earth before in my universe (Cool Cat is one such tale), so it's likely that he knew about them already. The dutiful loyalty to his father was a nice idea, giving him both purpose and a weakness. There were other things I found enticing, such as messing around with Abo and Kado, giving them some resolution after the Tarble special, and some that were also crucial to the overall plot of my universe. Having Ledas involved was necessary, given The Great Sushi-Eating Contest.
Beyond that, the use of the Dragon Balls to revive Shoekki was something that had to happen eventually in my universe. As soon as Ryori learns of them, he would ask Ledas to gather them to wish his brother back to life. For some years I thought about this plot point, wondering if it was possible to sidestep. I don't think so. As such, given that both the Tarble special and the Hirudegarn movie are canon to my universe, this story was literally the only year (Age 776) that the Dragon Balls could be summoned pre-HOTD. Having an actual story surrounding the gathering of those balls, rather than it just being mentioned at the start of HOTD ("oh hey, we revived Shoekki like 2 years ago off-screen") was by far the preferred way to do it. I could've done it the other way, I suppose, but it would've felt cheap. So this story solves more than just one issue for my universe.
I have fond memories of A Quest for Booty. I'm no good with memory in general, so the feeling is but a vaguely pleasant one when I think of this story, indicating to me that I was in a good mood while dealing with this story, at least for the most part. This is the only canon-following collaboration where that is the case, which puts this story in a special place for me. Not sure precisely what Creeperman thinks of it, but from our discussions about the story, I believe he generally likes it.
In any case, I will get into the writing timeline for each chapter in the below endnotes. For the most part, every chapter was written within a few days, start to finish, but that was not the case for chapter 1. Anyways, onto the endnotes, woohoo!
The stuff that I wrote is in bold.
Chapter 1: The Prince and the Talker
“King Beelzebub?” the servant asked.
The King, however, was busy swinging a sword with a gold handle around. Back and forth, back and forth. Mesmerized. Finally, after a minute of silence, the young king gave a glance to the servant and went back to swinging the sword around. Another minute passed.
“Um…my king?” the servant asked again.
Beelzebub waved his hand away from the demon, still watching his weapon, firmly grasped as if the demon was going to snatch it away from him. “Go talk to Aunt Towa about what you want. I’m busy.”
“I said leave!” he shouted. He faced the servant, who was shaking in his leather boots. The sword was now firmly stabbed into the ground, out of the king’s rage.
“A-As you wish, my king.” The demon shuffled to the door. He glanced once more at the boy and noticed he was struggling to pull the sword out of the ground, like King Arthur, though not as successful. In fear of being yelled at again, the servant rushed out of the room, leaving the king behind.
The servant walked to a room not like any other in the Demon Realm. Before it was a large, metal door with buttons and dials all over. Next to that was a small intercom. The demon spoke into it, “Mistress Towa, I need to speak with you! It’s urgent! Hello? Are you there?” After he said that, the door started to creak open. The servant walked in.
The room was just as queer as the door, with machines, tables filled with vials of strange liquids, papers flown onto the floor, and unknown plants growing in the corner of the room. In the very middle was a demon woman, tinkering with a small device: Towa. Before the attendant could speak, Towa turned to meet him, lifting her goggles from her eyes.
“What is it?” she asked.
He gulped, looking away from the scientist. “U-um, well…Mistress Towa, t-there’s been another revolt…”
She slammed her fists down upon the table, breaking it in two and making the lackey yelp. “Another one? Another revolt?! If this keeps up, I’ll never complete my experiments!”
“Wh-what should we do?”
She sat in a chair, with her hand on her head, thinking. They sat in silence for quite a long time until Towa smirked. “Yes, yes…this is perfect!” she ran to a cabinet and pulled out a scroll with seven orange spheres on it. “Yes, yes, yes!” She hopped up in the air with glee, quickly wrote a note on the scroll and handed it to the patient footman. “Give this to a servant, preferably a younger one. Make sure he doesn't show the king this map, but make sure the bra-my nephew knows about Dragon Balls. Those being wish granting orbs on Earth. No exceptions. Don’t argue with any ideas he comes up with. Let the king do what he wants. If I found out you haven’t done what I said…well…I do need a new test subject for a rather…explosive experiment. Do you understand?”
The demon nodded and hastily ran out the door. Towa slammed the door behind him and laughed maniacally. “Of course, why hadn’t I thought of it before?! Send the boy on a dangerous and pointless mission that he can’t resist! There’s no way those Earthlings will let him gather the Dragon Balls, ahaha! And after they kill him, the throne will be left all for me. It’s perfect! No one will suspect a thing!” She giggled again. “The Demon Realm is mine!”
“Which one are you?” Beelzebub eyed his shadow-clad servant suspiciously.
“They call me Khulketti, sir. Woo!”
“Are you gonna follow me around the whole time?”
“That’s the plan, sir!” The brave messenger beat his chest and flew around the boy, his bony wings spread. “And if I bring you back in one piece, sir, Miss Towa’ll make me a king!”
“A king of what?!” Beelzebub’s words spilled out sharp as razors.
“Oh, uh, nowhere, I think…I-I mean…you’re the real king, Beelzebub sir, my lord, my king, your grace, your majesty, your worship, etc., etc…!!!”
“Shut up. I’m not the king–my dad is. We’re gonna bring him back. That’s the plan.” He gazed up at the sun spitefully. “Curse this damn sun…! Why did you bring me out here, anyways?” Beelzebub peered around; dust-beaten dunes expanded starkly in all directions. The boy thought he could make out a Krayt dragon skeleton laid across a far-distant dune that rose like a burgeoning, baby mountain in the distance, silhouetted by the deepening horizon. “There’s nothing out here, Khulketti.”
“Nah ah, sir, lookee!” His servant flittered about in the air, twirling like a twirler. Beelzebub had half a mind to shoot that pesky little irritant out of the sky. “Right here, sir!”
The strange messenger demon loosed himself down from the sky, streaking urgently towards a lone cactus that had grown at the base of the nearest dune; gracelessly, Khulketti landed in an awkward flop, skidding his way past the target, earning him mad bonus points. “Here’s the first one sir, lookee, I found it, I found it, I did!”
Beelzebub walked over to his companion, who was flailing in the dirt about twelve feet away. As he went, the sands seemed almost to give way, shaking as if something were moving (with great pace) underneath him.
“Man, he tried to eat it! I mean, lookee sir, this vulture almost ate a Dragon Ball!” Khulketti explained, pointing with one long finger to the bird carcass that lay broken and curled around the trunk of the cactus. In its withered, yellowed beak, an orange ball gleamed.
“Oh… cool.” It had two light orange stars on it, pale as honey. Beelzebub pocketed the ball, furrowing his brow. “Hang on, how’d you know that one was here?”
His reaction startled the younger demon.“Ah, I, well…Miss Towa…she…uh, I…” Khulketti squeaked, suddenly retreating about three feet into the air.
His bony wings for a moment cast a blanket over the sun in bursts that seemed to pulsate in rhythm with Beelzebub’s heartbeat. The air was already in his lungs, ready to be expelled violently, when the dune exploded in a white-gold rush. He swore; the Krayt dragon surfaced without a sound as it rose to pluck Khulketti from the sky. The messenger hardly managed a gurgled scream before he was sucked down into the swirling sands.
Beelzebub sprung into the cloudless sky, exhaling slowly. He stared into the sand and in mere moments, the desert looked the same as it did mere seconds prior. The boy flew back down and stomped his foot into the sand. “You stupid servant! You could’ve at least told me what Aunt Towa told you!”
Suddenly, the Krayt dragon reemerged from the sand, ready to pounce. He fired a blast at the creature’s chest, which shot through the Dragon’s body. The Dragon’s movement halted as it lay dead in front of the prince. The sand sizzled as Beelzebub was about to walk away. However, he looked in the hole and saw the disgruntled body of his former companion. He didn’t care about him (although it was very disgusting to see that ). No, what stood out to him more was a slightly torn scroll. Careful not to get any of the blood or who knows what else on himself, he made a weak ki glove and grabbed the scroll. The demon opened up the scroll, walking away from the body. On it were orange spheres, each marked in a specific location: a map. Strangely, the balls themselves moved on the piece of paper. Obviously an incantation put on by Towa.
“Well I guess that was karma for not telling me you had this, Khulketti.” The prince crossed off the Dragon Ball marked on the map with his finger. “Alright, where to next?” he asked no one in particular. The closest one (besides his) was around…East City? West City? It didn’t matter to him. All that mattered was that he could find the balls. He flew off to his next destination, leaving the desert behind.
“Interesting. Very interesting,” Old Kai said, looking into his crystal ball. Normally, he’d be ogling the reporters or Chi-Chi or Bulma (well maybe not the latter; Vegeta does get mad at him for doing that), especially since he was at a party filled with them. Granted, Abo and Kado had just scared all of them away, but they were coming back now, after they had settled down. But Old Kai was focused. Kibito Kai heard this and, curious, walked away from the food platters and sat by the ball. He looked into it and saw a small imp-like demon.
“…Who is that?”
The ancestor rubbed his chin and spoke, “That, young one, is the son of Dabura.”
Kibito Kai was shocked. “D-Dabura has a son?”
Elder Kai nodded. “And he’s here on Earth collecting the Dragon Balls as we speak.”
“Shouldn’t we do something?!” Kibito Kai’s wildly dramatic tone had quickly become his signature skill.
“Nah, it should be fine. Beelzebub is nowhere near the power or the evil Dabura was. It should be fun to watch him search for the balls tho–” Old Kai saw a beautiful girl. “On second thought, I’m going to look at that fine looking lady right there!” As the old man, along with Master Roshi and Oolong, went to look at the girl, Kibito Kai stared down at the crystal ball.
“…I’m sorry, elder, but if he’s as dangerous as Dabura…” He remembered Kibito being blasted into tiny little bits by the King of the Demons. The fusion grabbed the crystal ball and teleported away from the party without a second glance.
Aunt Towa’s crudely-drawn map led Beelzebub to a corner of the busiest road in East City.
He had half a mind to curse this damn sun too. There were so many humans he felt sick. The boy’s father used to (this was many years ago now) tell him bedtime tales about humans, about their nasty foulness, their greed, their lack of passion. They moved in grey-black crowds around him, dead-eyed and persistent. Beelzebub wanted to throw up.
A shirtless man sprinted indecisively along the sidewalk, a bright green cape tied around his neck, a lanky, green, boot-like hat jammed down over his ears. He was shouting something profane and throwing lentil beans into the crowds, but no one cared. Beelzebub picked up one of the lentils from the ground and tried it but it wasn’t good at all and he couldn’t understand why everyone wasn’t as nonplussed as he was.
Just ahead, a moss-furred fox sold jackalope kabobs from a dirty, banged-up metal cart. Beelzebub recoiled in disgust as a man with a balding, uneven head ordered three. He stopped in front of another vendor whose cart was yellow and bright and clean and bought one bottle of water with a dapper show of his courtly manners. When the water seller asked for a random amount of zeni, Beelzebub, not knowing what zeni was, spat a blood curse at him and swiped one of the bottles before bounding off down the street. The man’s uproarious shouts were lost in the crowd.
His feet and the map led him down a polluted little alleyway that sprung crookedly from the main street. A scarlet dragonfly hovered in front of his goggles. The boy blasted it away, his ki illuminating the entire tucked-away world of grime and garbage. In that instant, he caught a flash of orange in the corner of his eye.
“Give it back…! I only need six more to get my wish,” the gnomish, blue-skinned shrimp of an imp wailed. He wore an outfit that might have been meant for either a king or a jester (Beelzebub could not tell). The tiny little maggot had pointed ears, though, and that made the prince grin from ear to ear. In his left hand was a bottle of GP Cola; the petulant creature sipped from it with marked tedium.
“You’re a miserable little toad, arentcha?” Beelzebub said with a sinister chuckle.
“A-a…a toad?! Why you little… How dare you speak to me like that?! I’m Emperor Pi–”
Beelzebub tossed the ranting despot aside like yesterday’s baby-infested bathwater. He held up the shining six-star Dragon Ball, rolling it between his fingers. “Man, this is way easier than I thought it’d be.”
There were a few awkward moments of silence. Nothing moved except for a shaggy grey alley cat scrounging for morsels in a heap of garbage.
Well past what could be considered good timing, a blooming flare of blinding light materialized in front of the Prince of the Underworld. And from that light tumbled a certain man who is the venerably oblivious Kibito Kai, but Beelzebub didn’t know that yet.
Kibito Kai’s hair was outrageously long. He looked absolutely ridiculous. “Nice hairdo, you old minger! You know, I’ve been around all sorts of demons in my life, and man, I gotta say, you’re the ugliest one I’ve ever met! Gah, it’s not even close!”
Kibito Kai rather fancied his hairstyle; the pink baby demon would do well to hold his tongue, the grand old fusion thought. There was much and more the Supreme Kai could say about the kid, but he held back because he was an adult and he had been taught how to act. He admired anyone who had the courage to step into the real world still wearing their playing-pretend cape, though.
“Stop right there!” Kibito Kai shouted, doing the jazz hands maneuver. Beelzebub swore under his breath. He never expected that. The Dragon Ball fell from the boy’s outstretched palm. With a choked gasp, the prince realized he could not move. That ugly purple freak had paralyzed him.
Ecstatic, the squealing imp ran for the fallen Dragon Ball, dropping his GP Cola out of excitement. However, before he could reach his prize, the god waved one of his hands to the imp, sending him into a wall with a powerful gust of wind. He then grabbed the Dragon Ball, keeping the boy frozen with his other hand.
“I’m not taking any chances with you,” Kibito Kai boldly stated, forming a ki ball in his other hand.
“Wait, wait! I-I was joking about your hair!” Beelzebub desperately pleaded.
“I won’t let you endanger the universe!” His hand outstretched an inch away from the prince’s stomach, singeing his chest. Suddenly, a flash of blue went past the Kai, and in an instant, Beelzebub was gone.
“W-What?” He looked at his other hand and saw that the Dragon Ball was gone too. “What?!” Kibito Kai shouted. A second later, a red man approached him.
“Yo. Why did you leave the party to attack some kid? I thought you were supposed to be a good guy,” the red man said. The blue flash that took the Dragon Ball and Beelzebub stood on the other side of the alley, although with neither of the items in tow. “Do you understand what you’re doing? You’re letting the next King of Demons leave! I can’t even imagine what he’ll do!” the Kai shouted. He looked at the two again, with a look of realization. “…I see what you’re doing. You didn’t become good at all. It was just a lie.”
“W-What?! No, no! It just seems kind of bad to try to kill a kid,” the red man said.
“You just tried to kill Goten and Trunks an HOUR ago!” The duo were speechless at this fact. Kibito Kai then formed energy in his hands. “My job is to not destroy anything…but like with Buu, I have to make exceptions for universal threats…” He outstretched his arms parallel to one another, aimed at the two who intervened and fired. Both fired their own respective blasts at the incoming energy, negating all of the ki completely. “…And I’d say the King of Demons with three wishes at his fingertips is a big enough threat.”
“Hey, I’m not the king, my dad is!” Beelzebub shouted back. “You look like a mangy little shrew!”
“Y-you…you monster!” Kibito Kai stuttered. His eyes grew shifty and his brow moist. As the two aliens approached, clothed in identical sets of white-and-brown armor, Kibito Kai took a step away from them like a filthy casual. “I-I-I…I-I’m w-warning y-y-you…! I killed the cunning magician Bibidi!”
“Who’s that?” one of the huge, round-as-a-berry aliens grunted.
“He was a frail old man who lived four million years ago!!”
“Oh.” This time, light formed around the other aliens, and when it cleared, there was only one left standing–a purple-skinned, armor-wearing fusion of Abo and Kado, who quite easily surpassed the capabilities of Kibito Kai.
The lavender-cheeked mortal god eked out a squeak. Taking a deep breath, he was engulfed by his own light and disappeared again.
Abo and Kado defused. Beelzebub walked over to the two bulbous aliens tossing the six-star Dragon Ball in his palm. “That was sick, thanks! You’ve gotta teach me how to do a move like that!” he said boyishly. “Who was that idiot anyway?”
The blue one shrugged. “One of the natives, we presume. He was at that party.”
“I couldn’t wait to get out of there,” the red one interjected. “That party was about as bad as my ex-wife was at givin’ me-”
“Settle down, Kado,” his brother cooed. “He’s just a kid.”
“Yeah, yeah, Abo. You’re right.” Kado’s eyes shifted around the alleyway with suave dexterity. “So kid, what were you doin’ with those Dragon Balls, eh? You don’t look like you’re from around here.”
“No way! I’m not a loser from this backwater dump. I’m Beelzebub, the Prince of the Underworld!” The boy pocketed the ball and folded his arms, scowling at the two. He refused to say another word.
Abo cleared his throat. “No, of course not. We would never assume such a poor thing of you. So kid, what were you planning on wishing for once you collected all of those balls?”
“I was going to bring my father back to life.”
“How did he die?”
“I don’t know! I don’t care!” he sneered at them. “I just need to find five more balls and he’ll be back!”
“What will you do with the other two wishes?” Abo coughed with an up-turn of his nose. “Surely you’ve planned what you want with those, too?”
Flustered, Beelzebub bit his lip, trying to think, but his mind had gone painfully blank all of the sudden. “I…I don’t need to tell you that.”
“Surely not,” Kado grinned, “but you can’t blame our curiosity.”
Sucking water from the stolen bottle, Beelzebub scoffed. “You want one, don’t you?”
Abo nodded his head vigorously prompting Kado to hit him in the back of the head to make him stop. “Abo, you fool! You are just as dumb as you look!”
“My apologies, Kado, my brother. I was overcome with unbridled excitement,” Abo apologized.
“Hey, kid, forget what my brother said. He’s not all there. We’ll be your bodyguards,” Kado spoke quickly, redirecting his voice to the young demon. “We’ll make sure that purple guy doesn’t come back and try to kill you again.”
An empty soda can slid slowly down the alleyway, chased by that monstrous tom cat with the shaggy grey fur. The boy made them wait longer than he could have. “Fine. You two can have one wish if you protect me.” He didn’t like giving them the wish, but knowing that that ugly guy with the pointy ears would probably be back, he reckoned this was a fair enough trade.
“Kado, I find this most disagreeable!” Abo whined. “I thought you were taking me to The Guac tonight, now where will I go to party?!”
“Quiet you raving lunatic, we can party after we get our wish!” Kado whispered sharply in his brother’s ear.
“Oh yeah, I like that kind of party!” Abo replied with enthusiasm.
“I know you guys are aliens, but can you stop being so weird around me?” Beelzebub cut in. “Let’s go. There’s another Dragon Ball not so far from here. We can reach it before nightfall.”
Beelzebub took to the air, his pink aura forming weakly around his body. He didn’t wait to see if they would follow.
The god teleported back to the outskirts of Mr. Satan’s party, panting rapidly. “Oh…oh this is no good…I-I only thought I had to face the kid! Not them too! I need backup…” Just as suddenly as he appeared, he was gone.
Unfortunately for him, he teleported right in the middle of the conga line that was made, and he ruined it. Oolong, Yamcha, Krillin and Tarble fell to the ground and were more confused than anything. “Guys! You need to help me fight this demon kid!” he exclaimed. However, he was mostly ignored by his allies, except for Krillin.
“Hey, you don’t have to be hung up on whatever you’re talking about now. There’s a party going on!”
The deity considered this for a millisecond, but quickly neglected the idea. “This is a universal issue! There’s no time to wait around and play games!” Well…maybe fishin-no, he thought to himself. I will not make the same mistake I did with Buu! Buu…yes, that’s it!
The divine being ran up to the one who had once been his mortal foe: Majin Buu. “Buu! I need your help!” Buu was busy eating food and ignored him completely. “B-Buu! I’ll give you loads of food and candy if you help me!” This caught the Majin’s attention.
“Hm…candy? What kind of candy?”
This was his one moment, his one shot–the choice between life and death. “Uh…very, very tasty candy!” Nailed it, he thought to himself.
Buu nodded while eating a whole plate of sandwiches. “Buu help you. But Buu want to eat all this yummy food before eating your candy!”
Kibito Kai was flabbergasted. But…Buu’s the only one who will actually help! Think, Kibito Kai, think! “But…uh…isn’t candy made from bad guys tastier than any other candy?”
The Majin put his big oven mitt hand on his chin and nodded ecstatically. “Buu remember when he ate that fun red guy! Tasty, tasty cookie!”
The god sighed in relief, knowing now that at least Buu was on his side. “Do you remember those red and blue Frieza soldiers from an hour ago?”
The pink man-child drank an entire punch bowl and looked down at the ground. “…Those meanies broke Buu’s best plate. Hercule made that plate!”
A puff of smoke blasted Kibito Kai in the face, making him freak out. Of course! I can’t get Buu that mad or he’ll cause another rampage! And if that happens… He shuddered at the thought and waved his hands back and forth in front of Buu. “Y-Yes, they did that because they’re b-bad people…so I need your help to beat them up! Then you can turn them into candy and…uh…if you do that…a piece of their candy brings…back plates?”
Buu clapped his hands. “Super, super! Candy like shiny balls?”
“Y-Yes! Their candy is…Candy Corn Crunches! They can bring plates back from the dead!”
The excited Majin hopped up into the air with his arm held up high. “Buu bring back plate! Buu make it great! Let’s go, let’s go!”
Buu pulled his former enemy across the grass. As he was being pulled along, the Supreme Kai thought, I’ll have to ask Hercule what that plate looks like later…
“Argh…who would have thought that a Super Elite like me could have lost! Woe is me!” This obviously amazing and stunning man was Jaco. Today, however, was not one of his best days. First, he lost a card game to the Galactic King. Then, his stereo broke. Finally, he dropped his sandwich on the flight to Earth! Oh, and there was also that red-skinned alien soldier, formerly of the Planet Trade Organization, who had just beat him to near death. That too. Now he was just barely standing up, in his signature pose, of course.
The invader started walking around the Patrolman slowly and methodically, stopping once or twice to examine the look on his prey’s face. Finally, he stopped with his back turned to the elite. “How pitiful. The strongest of the Galactic Patrol reduced to a bumbling fool…” He tilted his head just enough so that Jaco could see his cold, emotionless eyes and his grin, which reminded Jaco of that one time he had been on janitor duty–disgusting, wet and slimy. “Although I suppose you already were that before this. Perhaps even more so.”
Determined not to give up, the Super Elite boldly stated, “I am Jaco! The Super Elite! And it is my job t-” He was cut short by a right hook to the face, which knocked off one of his earpieces and caused him to fall to the ground.
“You talk and talk and talk, don’t you?” the alien shot back, his dark skin glistening with sweat. He held a rusty canteen in one hand, drinking from it every few seconds and sometimes spitting the liquid out onto the dusty, crater-streaked ground. “Do something already. You can’t, can you?”
This had been a routine traffic stop–the alien had been speeding wildly. Jaco was merely doing his duty. He hadn’t expected things to go so poorly. “Look, what do you say we call it a misdemeanor speeding ticket a-and…and I let you get on your way, sir?!”
“Most days I’d’ve killed ya,” the demon-like alien mumbled, pacing around Jaco. He stood more than three times the height of the Patrolman. He took another long drink from his canteen. The alien wore what looked to Jaco like an older model of Planet Trade Organization armor, black, white, and green, black-and-white fingerless gloves, armored gauntlets, and a dark crimson cape. His hair was white and stuck up in parts in awkward asymmetry as if he’d just woken up. “But today…I’ve got places to be."
He spit on a space rock. Jaco shivered and tried to do his pose again. Tired of looking at that pathetic windbag, the alien bandit shot Jaco with a ki blast, sending the Galactic Patrolman flying off into the distance, and jumped back into his ship. The engines roared, burning white and yellow and black, and in an instant, the alien had disappeared into the void of space.
- I am fairly certain that I named this chapter. The "talker" is what Paprikan calls Jaco near the end.
- Creeperman and I wrote this chapter from March 13th to April 1st. One or both of us worked on it most days, so the progress was fairly steady for this one. I remember near the end of the writing we reorganized some things and came up with somewhat different ideas, such as using Majin Buu as Kibito Kai's champion and having Abo and Kado fuse to scare off Kibito Kai (who was stronger than they were when unfused). Additionally, I'm fairly certain that I rewrote some of Creeperman's section with Jaco, but I think a large majority of it remained in the final draft.
- The opening blurb was added by Creeperman. While I think he went for that thinking there would be more a Towa focus later on, it was still nice in terms of hinting at how she sends Beelzebub to Earth and later goes there herself.
- I liked the detail of having Beelzebub mess around with a sword at the beginning. He is very much his father's son in that moment.
- While the sword metaphor was perhaps unintentional, I think it's nifty. Beelzebub often gets himself into situations he can't get out of, due to his hubris, such as when he stabs the sword into the ground and then cannot pull it back out again.
- Beelzebub having Towa deal with the revolt instead of doing so himself is another interesting moment. Because he doesn't want to engage in the more boring parts of ruling, he's giving Towa the idea that she's in charge. Allowing her to assume some of his power is not a wise move. Certainly, she must realize this, which is one of the reasons why she sends him to Earth. Beelzebub is no threat to her, intellectually, or strength-wise, so there would be no need to cause a great scandal by killing him.
- I like how Towa's room is described, for it shows how different she is from the other demons. I don't find her to be much like Dabura. She doesn't seem like she's related to him. Most of that is due to Toriyama not creating her, and her plotline being tied up in a convoluted video game. It goes beyond that, though, with how she is like the demon Bulma. The opening description sets her up to be the villain, although there was perhaps not enough emphasis placed upon her later importance to the story. That is likely because we didn't know she was going to be the "final boss" at this stage of the writing.
- Towa can't have a good idea of the capabilities of the Earthlings, so she is gambling pretty hard that Beelzebub won't gather all of the Dragon Balls. If he does, her plan is spectacularly ruined and she will likely be executed by her brother for treason. I don't think she entirely thought that plan through.
- Khulketti is a bony king of nowhere if I do say so myself. His admission that Towa was going to make him a king, beyond the reference to the subtitle of "There There" by Radiohead, hints at Towa's insubordination and treachery.
- Khulketti was supposed to keep an eye on Beelzebub for Towa, though it's unlikely he could've stopped Beelz from making a wish.
- Although Beelzebub doesn't want to refer to himself as the king, out of respect for his father (similar to how Vegeta goes about this), he is technically the king at this stage. He ascended to throne long ago, and his uncles, Aekyarian and Tyren tried to usurp that throne by killing him in Black as Blood, which took place many years before this story. He knows he's the king of his realm. That is not disputed. He consistently defers to his father, though, because he doesn't want to believe that Dabura is gone for good.
- The thing that eats Khulketti is obviously not a Krayt Dragon, for this is not Star Wars, but with how mystical Dragon Ball is, particularly before King Piccolo's introduction, I didn't feel the need to explain it any further. If there are dinosaurs in this world, there damn well could be sand dragons.
- I am finding some of my descriptions in my first section to be overly wordy and obvious. Not everything's terrible, but I can see how I've grown as a writer. Sometimes you've gotta leave things to the readers' imaginations, kv.
- "Beelzebub walked over to his companion, who was flailing in the dirt about twelve feet away. As he went, the sands seemed almost to give way, shaking as if something were moving (with great pace) underneath him." - A bit of foreshadowing here, but more importantly, this part shows that Khulketti did it to himself, which is a very important super official theme for AQFB.
- Towa's previous command to keep the scroll out of Beelzebub's possession seems like a very unreasonable request in retrospect. How was Khulketti going to hide that from the prince? If he just so happens to go from one place to another, finding ball after ball, Beelzebub would realize what's going on.
- Smaller versions of these sand dragons appeared in a story of mine that was written some months before AQFB, Chasing Oblivion. Since they were native to Diablo Desert in that story, it's likely that that's exactly where Beelzebub and Khulketti are at in the second scene.
- I just noticed that Creeperman's use of "disgruntled" at the end of the second section was improper and I am annoyed at myself for not catching that when I edited this chapter prior to posting it.
- Not every Dragon Ball was as easy to acquire as the first one, but a few of them did need to be found relatively quickly in order to keep every experience unique. It felt wrong for every single ball to be located in some far-off kingdom, protected by secretive people. Additionally, I chose the location for this Dragon Ball specifically to coincide with the aesthetics of Sand Land, Beelzebub's (non-canon) manga.
- "The closest one (besides his) was around…East City? West City?" - I don't know if it was intentional, but Creeperman was being highly accurate here. The East City one is Pilaf's ball, and the West City one is the one that Ledas has. Diablo Desert is located between the two (and a bit south, as well), so that was a really nice bit of geographical orientation. I can't remember if we discussed that or not, but either way, it was convenient wording that was also 100% accurate.
- Creeperman wrote Kibito Kai pretty much perfectly in my opinion. While Crepe does have a tendency to use a lot of stuttering in his dialogue, it works to perfection with the Kindergarten Kai.
- "There were so many humans he felt sick. The boy’s father used to (this was many years ago now) tell him bedtime tales about humans, about their nasty foulness, their greed, their lack of passion. They moved in grey-black crowds around him, dead-eyed and persistent. Beelzebub wanted to throw up." - this was written to disparage a group in the same way that human parents tell their kids slanderous bedtime tales involving demons.
- "A shirtless man sprinted indecisively along the sidewalk, a bright green cape tied around his neck, a lanky, green, boot-like hat jammed down over his ears. He was shouting something profane and throwing lentil beans into the crowds, but no one cared." - this meaningless paragraph is somewhat of a reference to the opening scene of Spindlerun: The Tale of Yajirobe, where Mr. Satan's older brother ran around looking like a leprechaun as he threw fliers into the streets.
- Water, including the bottled variety, is very important to the thirsty demons in Sand Land, and with Beelzebub being the trickster hooligan he is, I tried to reference his manga simultaneously through action and characterization.
- I'm fairly certain GP cola is from Sand Land, but it also might be from Dragon Ball. Don't exactly remember.
- The inclusion of Pilaf was necessary, as I mentioned before that this story is somewhat paralleling the Emperor Pilaf Saga. Pilaf, however, is a wretched wretch, to put it mildly, and so he gets little more than a cameo here. He's in quite bad shape in this story. Luckily, AQFB takes place two years before he becomes relevant again in Dragon Ball Super, so I had a bit of leeway to make him appear as ragged as I wanted.
- Beelzebub's comments to Kibito Kai are my own feelings, although perhaps not how I would have articulated them.
- I liked Crepe's inclusion of Pilaf the second time, emphasizing the emperor's pathetic addiction of hunting down the Dragon Balls in vain.
- Abo and Kado aren't exactly evil, but I wouldn't call them good, either. I don't think they're all there, personally. In terms of their justification for saving Beelzebub, it's more about calling out Kibito Kai than actually protecting the kid.
- Kibito Kai is pathetic, beyond selling himself short with describing his victory over Bibidi, in that he's afraid of Abo and Kado, who are much weaker than him when unfused. He should have been able to sense that.
- I don't know where the idea came from, but I wanted Abo and Kado to be very weird in their speech sometimes. Not all the time, because they need to be able to talk, but when they're feeling comfortable, they almost act like defective robots. This is also the case in some of my stories that take place like 40 years before this one, like His Majesty's Pet. In Twelve Majestic Lies, Captain Ginyu thinks to himself that the two are weird creeps and he doesn't treat them well as a result.
- Abo looks like the smarter one, in my opinion, which is why I made him the dumber one (at least in this chapter).
- Abo and Kado go to the Guac a few times in their lives. Roshi and Oolong find them there in Sandboys, for instance.
- I vaguely remember talking to Creeperman about not having any further scenes with Beelzebub in this chapter after he acquires his second Dragon Ball, as it felt too much, pace-wise, for him to get three of them in the very first chapter. Not sure if that's a false memory, but either way, it was a good choice to limit chapter 1 to only 2 balls being collected.
- I think Kibito Kai's pathetic nature was part of what made everyone discount his panic. He's like this over trivial things, so why should they believe what he's saying is important? With that said, he also doesn't do the best job of explaining what is going on to them, so it's on him.
- "The Majin put his big oven mitt hand on his chin and nodded ecstatically. “Buu remember when he ate that fun red guy! Tasty, tasty cookie!”" - an excellent line, not just for being relevant to reviving that guy, but just the way Buu says it. This line has made me laugh more than once in my various readthroughs of the first chapter.
- Buu was the best choice of an ally for Kibito Kai, for there is not much of an intelligence gap between them.
- I quite like how Creeperman wrote for Paprikan in the sixth scene. I am not sure exactly how he felt about writing for some of my fanon characters, but he did a fairly good job here. I also like how he mocked Jaco in his prose. Both Jaco and Kibito Kai get beatings from us in this chapter. But they deserved it, so I don't feel bad.
- When I took over in the sixth scene, I began emphasizing Paprikan's drinking. He wasn't so much of a drinker during his time in the PTO, but now that he's quit, he's taken more to that. In a way, he's influenced by how the Hound from Game of Thrones acts after he deserts from the king's army.
- "This had been a routine traffic stop–the alien had been speeding wildly. Jaco was merely doing his duty. He hadn’t expected things to go so poorly." - there is some light commentary within these words that mocks the Galactic Patrol as a whole. Jaco is an elite patrolman but arguably doesn't have a power level above Nappa's. Most of the other patrolmen are far weaker than him. So how can any of them police Universe 7 when there are so many powerful aliens who come out of nowhere to attack Earth? And what of the PTO? Cui alone would decimate them. So I was having a little fun with that, but to say it was entirely in jest would be to miss the point. I think the Galactic Patrol is a garbage concept that wasn't well thought out by Toriyama. Toei and Toyotaro did no better in their execution of the idea.
- The way Paprikan spares Jaco has occurred in Dragon Ball numerous times and so, in the spirit of illogical plotting, I added it in (it would've taken him 1 second to kill Jaco, and if he's in such a hurry, why is he talking so much to the patrolman?).
- To be fair though, in his drunken state, Paprikan might have assumed his final ki blast killed Jaco. But you never know.
- I probably could've added in one more tiny hint that Paprikan was going to Earth. Creeperman did mention that Jaco was on his way there and ran into the Makyan, so that's some evidence, but overall, the final scene feels a little too detached from the rest of the plot.
Chapter 2: The Hunt Escalates
Buu was flying through the sky, dragging the Kai along. “Again today Buu will go soaring through the sky! Buu’s enemies, I’ll dish ‘em up in candy pie!” Buu sung ecstatically.
“B-Buu, can you stop f-for a second, please?” Kibito Kai pleaded.
Suddenly, Buu halted his movement, yet Kibito Kai’s momentum just went on, tearing Buu’s arm off and flinging the deity towards the ocean. The Majin looked at his wound for a moment and simply regenerated it. Meanwhile, the god was still flinging downwards, but quickly flew back up to Buu.
“B-Buu, that’s not what I meant!”
The Majin looked around, seemingly ignoring his ally. After a few seconds, Buu responded by asking, “Where bad guys?”
The Kaioshin held his hand on his face. Augh…how stupid of me! he thought. Quickly, he regained composure, grabbing Buu’s hand. Just as he was about to teleport, Buu looked at his third arm that Kibito Kai was still holding. He grew a big grin, thinking up an idea. He snatched his third arm from his ally and flew away from him. “H-Hey, Buu! What was that for?!”
He giggled and shouted back, “Buu change his mind! Buu want you to play fetch! Then me beat up bad guys!” The Supreme Kai was about to conjure up a response, but before he could, Buu ripped his third arm into four pieces and threw them into the ocean down below. He pointed down below. “You get five of me now! No cheating!”
“B-But you only threw four pieces!”
Answering his question, Buu shrunk himself down and flew down into the water, laughing hysterically. Kibito Kai sighed. I knew I should’ve gotten Piccolo first… he said to himself. But with no way to turn back without Buu getting mad, he flew into the water to win the game and get this over with.
Piccolo was of course Kibito Kai’s favorite – or rather, he had been Kibito’s favorite before they had fused. The Eastern Supreme Kai had felt utterly indifferent about Piccolo. And now here they were, two mortal foes with the fate of the universe at stake, now reduced to playing a game of fetch.
“More gravy! I want it thick, damn it! Thick as blood!” King Himohimovich bellowed, raising his silver spoon riotously. “And bring that spiced pumpkin cake! It better be hot! If it’s not, I’ll cut off all your fingers and feed them to my giant Grasshopperra!”
The feasting table shook with rage. Cluttered with platters of pheasants and fowls and peacocks and stuffed turkeys, laden with brown sugar gravy, toasted with walnuts and seared paprika, and bowls of giant lizard tongues, boiled and dried, pulled tough as jerky, and pitchers of chilled arbor wine imported from Gingertown, the table concealed the slouched, potato-like form of the king, who wore a stained white shirt underneath his purple and brown fur robes, partially dyed in the style of old Vanutia.
His denizens were pale grub-people, the kind that one would associate with locusts and hedgehogs, not people so much. The king himself was human, as his twelve-and-a-half chins attested to, and he was a wise and benevolent ruler in his time. His kingdom of Swietvol was, for lack of a better term, a backwater cult compound located deep in bowels of an untamed forest where at least seventy-three species of dinosaurs dwelled.
King Himohimovich was a man of justice and pleasure, and he mightily enjoyed his feasts. Almost as pleasurable as food (of which he desired nothing spicy and nothing beyond the conventions of polite society) for the good fat man was the fighting pits. So enamored with the fighting was he that an arena had been built inside his feasting hall, just below his own raised feasting table (which was thrust before his throne like an airplane tray). The arena was small, only able to hold two or four combatants. On either side of it, the grub people’s own tables were arranged in long, cramped lines.
He came in through the bathroom window – or, rather, the privy window. The king didn’t have any running water in his forest-swallowed kingdom. Abo and Kado, much too large to fit in through the window, punched a hole through the wall. Small and dank, the privy exuded no signs of being the private lair of a king of Earth to the demon boy.
“That works too, I guess,” Beelzebub said, jumping to his feet (he had, in his boyish impatience, fallen flat on his face trying to crawl in through the window).
“I wanna kill him!” Abo pouted.
“Please Abo, my brother, my twin, my partner of horrific, unspeakable crimes, you must control yourself. We don’t want to destroy the Dragon Ball, after all!” He nudged Abo hard in the thick of his belly.
“I’ll handle it,” the prince told them as he led them out of the stinking privy to where shouting, music, and the aroma of food was coming from, down the dark-lit, dusty hall. Lining the walls were rows of mannequins in antiquated armor, rust-iron colored, the visors all pulled down. Beelzebub shivered.
The king was munching on a piece of a drumstick and saw the little boy walking into the room, along with his bodyguards, looking at them and piquing his interest a tad. They looked much more different than any of his subjects. Could they be…tourists? he thought to himself. However, the king hadn’t been expecting any tourists, nor did he even allow tourists in his kingdom without him signing a bunch of papers, which was quite a hassle. Might as well start off kind to them at first…maybe they just lost their way and couldn’t fight against the urge to take a peek inside my magnificent castle! The king slowly got up from his chair, and walked over to the strangers, drumstick still in hand and his fat jiggling with every step.
“Why hello there, tourists! It seems you don’t understand the laws set in place in my magnificent kingdom of mine! Now, let me just read them off to you…” With that, he took out a tattered and torn scroll in his pants pocket and started reading off the laws. The prince, however, didn’t notice him at all and took a glance at his own piece of paper.
“So, the Dragon Ball is right in this room, right? It shouldn’t take very long to find it.” He looked around the room, noticing missing pieces of the wall, covered with graffiti, the tattered rug, the king’s throne just being a Mr. Satan branded chair and most importantly, how small the room was. He turned his head to his bodyguards and shouted, “What are you waiting for?! Help me find it!”
As the trio split up, the good king had finished reading off his list and was quite shocked to not see his unwanted guests in front of him. Oh, the nerve of such ravenous foreigners! Going against their king! The fat man hopped in front of Beelzebub once more. “Now, now, young child. I think you don’t know who you’re de–”
“And you’re dealing with the Prince of Demons here. Now beat it.” He turned to Abo. “Did you find the ball yet?”
Abo was clearly not looking for the Dragon Ball and was inspecting a moldy piece of cheese, wary not to touch it. “Uh, no luck yet.”
Mr. Himohimovich’s interest was piqued with the mention of the ball, as well as the mention of royalty. Could he be here to conquer my kingdom?! How arrogant of this “Demon Prince”! Well, I’ll show him! Oh, yes, I’ll show him! The king finally spoke to the boy about this obviously pressing issue, “A…Dragon Ball, you say?”
“Do you know where it is?” Beelzebub hastily asked.
The king grew a big grin for gaining the boy’s attention and continued: “Why, of course! Someone as majestic as I would have a Dragon Ball! It’s orange and has stars in it, correct?”
“Yes! Now tell me where it is!”
“Now, now, don’t be so hasty. As I was sa–” Beelzebub, however, was having no patience for this king and threw him into a wall, squashing a grub person.
“Listen, I’m not here to play games with you or to waste time. So just give me the Dragon Ball NOW!
The king coughed. “T-Take it easy, please…I will give you what you want. B-But only on a single condition!”
“I SAID I DIDN’T WANT TO PLAY GA–”
“I just want those to fine young gentlemen to spar for me in my fighting pit! Just one little fight!”
Abo and Kado immediately caught attention to this and before their boss could object, they said in sync, “We accept!”
“You two idiots! Why do you want to spar with each other?” Beelzebub shouted.
“We always like a good spar, ya know. How else would we decide over who gets the wish?” Abo replied.
“Heheh…you're being silly bro, obviously I’M getting the wish!” Kado responded.
“No, no, that wish is MINE!” Abo argued back.
“No, MINE!” At this point, Abo and Kado had their heads put against each other, each with an angry look on their face.
“You know what, fine, whatever. The sooner you two stop arguing the quicker we can get this done. Whoever wins can have the wish, alright?” Beelzebub said.
Abo stepped into the ring first, his belly swaying proudly. “My brother, you will lose,” he said like a robot, like a man straight outta Tallahassee. “The wish will be mine, when I wish it of course.”
“No, Abo, you’re wrong,” said Kado, stepping into the ring on the other side very formally and with significant class, “I’m going to win!”
Beelzebub yawned and sneered, “Come on, you two, I don’t have all day!”
Abo beat his chest and stomped his feet; Kado did the same thing because they’re twins. The king found his throne again and began to engorge himself upon his moldly feast. His legions of grub minions resumed their meals as well, shaking with fear. “Onward and upwards, they say!” King Himohimovich roared. “In this place, there’s never any ice cream!” he sang merrily.
The grub people muttered a respectful “harumphh”. Abo punched Kado in the face, and it hurt Kado a lot, and he screamed and fell over and clutched at his bruised face like anyone would after getting punched in the face. Kado jumped up and kicked Abo, who kicked him back. Kado then kicked Abo, and Abo kicked Kado. Once Kado had been kicked, his body began to hurt, and he flailed on the ground crying. Abo, having seen his brother perform this dastardly sneak attack before merely shot an energy blast at him, sending Kado flying like a ragdoll into a wall.
Kado was getting mad now because his brother Abo was not getting mad. “Haha, Kado, you are not blue like me,” Abo jeered. “I will win the wish surely!!”
“I am Kado, the brother of Abo!” Kado screamed passionately, flaring up his aura around him and shooting towards his brother like a sky-fallen meteor. “I will make the wish!!”
“No it is not fair, brother, the wish should belong to me, Abo, the greatest of us both!” His aura appeared around his body too, bathing the room in shining light. The grub people, of whom there were plenty, let out gasps and hollers and shouts and a few catcalls, and no less than three sneezes. Abo jumped at his brother; a clanging, thick sound of skull-on-skull collision rang throughout the room.
Himohimovich, the King of Gluttony, winced loudly, spitting chicken skin all over the place. Beelzebub, receiving one little piece on the corner of his chin, was not amused. He picked it off gingerly, eyeing the king like a bored assassin.
In the fighting pit, the light had faded. Abo and Kado were on the ground, passed out, blood leaking from wounds on each of their heads where they had made contact with each other. “Well, that’s a shame,” Himohimovich burped. “Those were some weird-looking cosplayers. Hang on… you’re a weird-looking cosplayer too!” he said, his eyes blooming with horror. “It’s against my divine law to be a cosplayer!”
“What are you rambling on about now? They just did your stupid fight, now give me the ball.” Beelzebub was crouching on a seat next to the king, but at the conclusion of his statement, he stood up on the chair and held his arm out and made a motion with his fingers, as if he were wanting someone to come near so he could whisper to them about free real estate.
“Oh, Grasshopperra, kill this little business tycoon!” Himohimovich shrieked. At once, three grub people ran over to a door and pulled it open. As they did, something huge and gnarly shrieked from within. A moment later, a huge grasshopper-looking creature came bursting through the door, impaling one grub man upon its sharp, spider-like pincer, and grasping a second in between its mandibles, tearing apart the soft grey-blue flesh like it was cotton candy. The third one went running for his seat, lest his supper get any colder.
Beelzebub, being the Prince of Demons, was unimpressed, and he hardly even cared to see the giant freak-animal racing down towards the table. The king flung his gnawed-clean drumsticks into the air and rolled away under the table, but the boy stood his ground, glancing at the animal with a bored look.
“Haha, your guards are knocked out, now my pet Grasshopperra will eat you alive, and you’ll never get the Dragon Ball, teehee!!”
The Grasshopperra drew near, wailing loudly. Some of the grub people, as scared and full of despair as they were, began to spontaneously self-combust, burning away into piles of ash, unable to contain their inherent biological energy within a corporeal, sentient form.
Jumping into the air to dodge the beast’s pincer, Beelzebub back-flipped over it, and landed calmly on its back. The giant insect-looking thing, for a moment confused, spun its head around, dripping saliva and growling uncertainly. Beelzebub sighed. “I’m up here, you stupid bug.”
It tried to look up, hearing the boy’s voice, but Beelzebub drew forth a black ball of ki between his devilish hands and held it; as it floated in midair, he raised his elbow over it, and slammed it down on the energy. The energy shot into the top of the bug’s head faster than light and exploded in a sphere of bleeding white. The throne, the feasting table, and Himohimovich’s prized banquet of almost-eaten food, was splattered in the liquid tar of Grasshopperra’s life’s blood. Leaping off the falling bug carcass, Beelzebub tore his foot through the thick, ancient wood of the king’s feasting table. He found Himohimovich cowering underneath, sucking on a chicken bone.
Beelzebub kicked him out from under there. Himohimovich rolled from under the table, skidding out onto the stone floor, leaving thin streaks of blood behind him. Wailing, he called for his supporters to help, but none of them rose. “Give me the Dragon Ball,” Beelzebub told him, “or I’ll kill you and take it anyways!”
“You’ll never find it!” the king wheezed desperately. “You won’t, I–”
A flash of light engulfed him. Beelzebub’s pink palm faced the king. Smoke wafted through the room and was dissipated. What remained was Himohimovich, wearing a suit of fat and excess skin, which thankfully covered his nakedness well. At once, something heavy and glass-like dropped onto the stone floor, giving a tinkling, ringing sound.
Scowling, Beelzebub used his telekinetic powers to pick up the Dragon Ball and make it float over to him. Unwilling to touch it, he covered the thing in his energy, in a ruby-red haze of ki, hoping that no germs could survive at the temperature he was cooking up.
Once the ball had cooled again, Beelzebub grasped it from the air. It had five light-orange stars on it. He put it in his pocket with the other two. The king threw his chicken bone at Beelzebub, but it missed and clattered against the stone dais leading up to his throne. “H-hey… get back here! Let’s finish this like men, eh cosplayer?!”
Beelzebub ignored him and walked over to the unconscious alien brothers. “You two were utterly useless, ugh,” he whispered to himself in disgust. “Maybe you don’t deserve any wishes at all.”
At that, Abo sat up in delirium. “Finland!” he screamed in sleep-terror.
“Abo, my brother, my twin, what was that?” Kado yawned, sitting up too.
“Come on, you.” Beelzebub kicked Kado in the soft of his belly. “I got the ball. Let’s go.”
“Oh yes, of course, very well. We did very good, didn’t we, kid?” Kado asked eagerly. “Aren’t we the best bodyguards in the universe, eh Abo?” Abo grunted something fierce in response.
“No… no you aren’t,” Beelzebub said, shaking his head. “But whatever. You’ll just have to get the other four Dragon Balls for me all by yourselves.”
He blew a hole through Himohimovich’s stain-glass window depicting the king’s favorite feast from his dreams. He had never had the resources to make that dream a reality, unfortunately, so he’d gotten the best artistic grub person to make him a stained glass depiction of his deepest and darkest desires. Sometimes he liked to eat his moldy leftovers and imagine he was eating that feast, and it was real sad. Would that he had the skills to make pudding himself.
Now he stood alone in his throne room, naked and without a Dragon Ball, his pet Grasshopperra dead, his grub people having witnessed his humiliation in its entirety. His last chance had been to challenge the little weeb-looking cosplayer to a fight to the death – one he was sure he could win simply because of how much larger he was than the boy. But Beelzebub had mocked him, and Beelzebub was gone: the three foreigners jumped through the window and flew away like they were swans in search of moistening tuna.
“Get back here, cowards!” Himohimovich shouted after them, shaking his fist. “Come back and fight me like a real man!”
But when he turned to face his grub people, King Himohimovich realized that not one of them had broken out in applause, nor had any of them been reduced to tears by his remarkable show of force just then with those wonderfully kingly words of his.
They were, all of them, standing – either on their tables or on the ground – their arms crossed, their eyes narrowed, their desires clear to him. King Himohimovich screamed. The crowd broke, screeching war cries of their own, and ran him out the hole in the window his foes had just left through. It was through that window he jumped to escape their murderous grasps and plummeted five hundred feet to the bottom, where a moat had been dug a long time ago, but had since dried up. His body ruptured against the cracked clay floor, and not even one grub person ever went down there to see what became of his corpse.
Paprikan looked out of his space pod, seeing the beautiful stars in the sky. Sadly, his favorite star had been destroyed long ago, so he didn’t much care for them. What he did care about, however, was the planet in front of him, which he was fast approaching. He tapped his red scouter. “Hm…I wonder if this thang even works now,” Paprikan said to himself. About a minute later, his ship landed on an icy tundra.
The Makyan stumbled out of it clearly drunk and looked out at the barren land. “WHERE THE HELL AM I?!” he shouted. Quickly, he clicked a button on the side of his scouter. It did nothing. “Stupid broken scouter, now of all times you HAD to break!” Frustrated, he kept clicking other buttons, all off which didn’t do what he wanted them to. The PTO officer tossed the device into the snow. “Of course I couldn’t trust those scientists with even that! I swear, imma kill one of those cheeky buggers when I get back! Probably that one who didn’t get me my Space Chips at Spacey’s. Yeah, chip guy. HEAR THAT CHIP GUY, YUR GUNNA DIE TONIIIIIGHT!”
Paprikan fell into the snow in a doozy and scratched his head. The soldier laid there, staring up into the sky, but grew bored of the sight rather quickly and turned to his ship. Suddenly, it dawned on him. “They gave me a chip to do that radar thingamagig! Why din’t they leave a note somewhere remindin’ me?!” Too lazy to get up, Paprikan rolled back to his ship, and fell back inside. When he got in, he rummaged through the compartments, tossing aside empty bottles of space whiskey and Makyan apple cores, eventually finding a tiny computer chip in one of them. “Of course past me had ta be disorganized…note tah self…give past Paprikan a freaking cleanin’ lesson.”
Once again, the soldier rolled out of the ship and stood back up, chip in hand. “A’ight now I just…” Paprikan shoved the chip on his head, expecting his scouter to still be on his face. After a moment of confusion, he scowled. “Bloody…note tah self again. Never throw away scouters! NEVER! Now where did I put it?” The Maykan looked around the tundra and out of the corner of his eye, he saw a little fluffball-like animal dig into the snow, scouter in its little hand. The soldier blinked once in disbelief and then shouted at the top of his lungs for five minutes straight.
Beelzebub was in the middle of the street, looking at his map. He had hoped that Abo and Kado would at the very least help him look for it, but they were busy sitting on a bench and licking some ice cream. “I’m surprised they even took the boss’, uh, ‘Demon Coins’.” Abo said to his dear brother, who was licking his strawberry ice cream.
“Well the boss did also hold a blast to their face so that may have something to do with it,” Kado retorted.
The boss finally looked up from his map, and saw rows of cars honking their horns at him. The demon glanced at his bodyguards, motioned his head to the left and started flying off in that direction. Kado had already finished his delicious delicacy and started flying off, but Abo had not. Hastily, he tried to finish his chocolate ice cream, but the treat fell off of his cone and onto the street, where it was soon run over by a car. He cried out, “No!” and fell to his knees. “My chocolate ice cream…I promise I will avenge you!” He then licked the chocolate on his lips and flew away with Kado.
The trio had arrived at a small house very close to a building labelled “Capsule Corp”. Although the bodyguards were very interested in going to the big dome shaped building, Beelzebub was not. He took a closer look at the building. It was a tranquil place: much smaller than the towering skyscrapers in West City. Not to mention that there was actually a small lawn, with a flowers covering the grassy ground. There was also a decently-sized tree right besides the sidewalk leading up to the door. Beelzebub walked up the the front door and kicked it down with no hesitation.
He, along with his bodyguards, walked into the house. “Alright, spread out around the place. Find the ball.” Beelzebub ordered.
“Can the person who finds it first get another ice cream cone?” Abo asked. In response, Beelzebub glared at him and walked forwards and to the left into a kitchen.
“Ooo, is there ice cream in there? If there is, it’s mine!” the blue bodyguard boasted.
“Focus for once! It’s like you take a month to get anything I tell you done!” his boss shouted from the other room.
Abo sighed and walked to the right into a living room; Kado went straight through the hallway to the rest of the house. As soon as Abo walked into the room, he saw a small little box on a medium sized table with six chairs around it. He opened the box and saw the shining glow of an orange ball with seven stars on it. He quickly grabbed it and ran into the kitchen, tripping onto the floor. “H-Hey, boss! I found it!” he claimed, showing the Dragon Ball in his hand.
Beelzebub snatched the ball from his guard’s hand and examined it for a few seconds, taking a bite out of an apple from the fridge. “Hm…good work. There’s ice cream in there, if you want it. We’re only staying for five minutes until I find out where we’re going next and when I finish my apple. Make it quick this time,” the demon prince said, pointing to the open fridge. Abo rushed to the fridge and grabbed a whole container of chocolate ice cream, opened it and stuffed a handful of it in his mouth. Kado quickly rushed in the room too and was about to reach the fridge when his boss slapped him over the head. “You didn’t do anything useful yet to deserve any food in there. Put more effort into looking next time and maybe I’ll get you something,” the child responded.
Beelzebub flinched, however, when he heard a voice coming from outside. “Don’t worry, Ryori. Bulma’s making a new radar, alright? Everything’s going to be fi-hey…what happened to the door?!” the childish voice outside said.
Before the demon boy could think of a plan, two children barged inside to see the devious trio. One was a short boy, looking about 12 years old, wearing a dark maroon hoodie and jeans. He had long, spiky hair and greyish eyes, though at the moment they were bloodshot. On closer inspection, Beelzebub noticed that the boy had a brown, furry tail as well. The other boy also looked to be around the same age. He was quite skinny and had shaggy brown hair with blue eyes and wore a dark red shirt with blue jeans. This boy, presumably this Ryori in Beelzebub’s eyes, looked more surprised than angry and didn’t say a word.
The boy with bloodshot eyes, however, noticed the demon boy holding the Seven Star Dragon Ball. “What are you doing in our house?”
Beelzebub glanced at the Dragon Ball and glared at Abo and Kado. “What are you two idiots doing? Do your job!”
“I mean, they’re just kids–” Kado was about to retort, when Beelzebub shouted back, “I don’t care! Just knock them out!”
“Ryori, stay behind me. I’ll take care of this.” The tailed boy said.
In response, Ryori nodded and said, “Alright, Ledas,” then ran outside.
“You’re seriously going to regret breaking into our home,” Ledas shouted.
“You’re just a kid,” Beelzebub said smugly, folding his arms. “We’re not scared of you.”
“Now that I’m a good guy, I’m not scared of anyone!” Abo declared, rushing Ledas, his fist raised. “Die, kid!”
Without flinching, the boy caught Abo’s fist, holding it back with casual ease. “That’s all you’ve got?” Ledas shrugged. “Well that sucks for you.”
He threw Abo into the TV. The entire wall that it was hanging from collapsed on top of Abo, covering him in dust and smoke and debris, and he did not get up. Poor little alien blueberry. From outside, Ryori began to wail. “That was my favorite thing in the whole house! Why Ledas why?!”
“I’ll avenge you Abo, my brother!” Kado said passionately, flinging himself at Ledas with a form so sloppy and reckless he had to be a good guy.
The boy kicked him in the throat, and Kado went sailing through a number of walls, causing the roof to partially cave in. He didn’t seem to mind, even as Ryori was shrieking from outside. “Your turn,” the boy said defiantly, walking up to Beelzebub.
Now Beelzebub was royalty, and he despised anyone who dared to talk to him so bluntly and with so little respect. “You two are useless!” he complained loudly. “What’s the use of having bodyguards if they can’t guard me from one stupid kid?!”
Ledas slapped that fool across the cheek. The power was enough to make Beelzebub fly back into the kitchen, landing hard against the refrigerator and not getting up again. The Seven Star Dragon Ball rolled from his grip and slid slowly across the cherrywood floor. Snatching it up coolly, Ledas looked around for any sign of Abo or Kado, but saw nothing.
“We are using the Dragon Balls to wish back Ryori’s brother,” Ledas said adamantly, walking up to the crumpled figure of the Prince of the Demon Realm. “I’m not gonna let anyone prevent that from happening.”
He was bleeding and seeing stars and the wind had been knocked out of him, but still, Beelzebub managed to sit up and glare down that kid with the hatred of a thousand mustaches. “Y-you…” he stammered, trying to think up a clever insult that would surely make Ledas drop the Dragon Ball and flee and also magically heal all of his wounds, but no such insult came to mind.
“I don’t like thieves. You’re gonna pay for that.”
“I don’t… have…” Beelzebub panted. Ledas reached him, grasping him around the neck and bringing him to eye level, “any…”
The boy’s grey eyes flashed. “Yeah?”
Beelzebub coughed, grinning a bloody grin. “I don’t have any…” he breathed, his lips curling into a thin smile, “a-any money…”
The boy’s head slammed into the marble countertop violently. He dropped Beelzebub groaning, seeing black, and slipped and fell.
It was neither Abo nor Kado who stood before Ledas now, but a purple monstrosity many times uglier than Bulma when she wears the guacamole like Ledas saw that one time he accidentally barged into her room and Vegeta was there and it was awful and why was he thinking about that now?
There was ringing in the boy’s ears. The purple beast roared with deep laughter. “Looks like you can’t deal with our secret technique!” the creature boasted. “Now, I oughtta put you out of your misery… oh wait, I’m a good guy now, so I’ll just beat you until you’re nearly dead.”
“You’re almost as stupid as you look!”
Springing to his feet, Ledas raised his fists, seething with anger. Beelzebub stumbled over to the other side of the kitchen, following the rolling Dragon Ball, which the boy had dropped too after that last sneak attack. Just before he reached it, however, the Saiyan teleported over to him, stepping on the demon’s fingers and making him cry.
He had never been treated so poorly in his life, and this was beyond an outrage to the poor Beelzebub. He looked around for anything he could use to hit Ledas back with. That’s when he saw the can of what looked like spray paint on the left side of the sink. Jumping back, he reached for it, pointed it at the boy, and sprayed.
The Saiyan boy screamed and fell to his knees, covering his eyes, as the paint, evidently a pinkish hue, sprayed all up his face and into his hair. “Hey, come on, boss, I wanted to finish him off,” the purple Abokado complained.
“Say one more word, and you’re not getting a wish!” Beelzebub yelled, drunk on his newfound unlimited power. He screamed like an old man whose skin was melting for no good reason other than he needed to look older as he drew closer to Ledas, emptying the pink spray paint all over the boy’s face, trying to blind him. “I am the God of H–”
The Saiyan punched him in the throat, and Beelzebub dropped. “That’s an interesting technique,” the pink boy muttered, facing Aka. “I can sense that you’re a lot more powerful now. Too bad it won’t be enough.”
Aka grinned. “Oh yeah? Why don’t I show you what I can really do!”
He lunged at Ledas, but the boy swerved his body to dodge the fist, slipping closer to Aka in the process. Aka tried to hit him again and instead punched the refrigerator, destroying another wall. Ledas wasn’t even trying. He was still wiping his eyes. He spun and flipped to dodge, but none of his efforts were very strenuous.
“I’m done playing around. Dieeeeee!!” Aka had an anger problem, and when one has an anger problem, they become reckless.
Needless to say, it took him only five or six blows to utterly destroy the kitchen.
From outside, Ryori was running in circles on the lawn. “What are you doing, Ledas?! Why are you letting him wreck the place?! Where are we going to live? I loved this place!! Why?!”
Why equals fry, nerd, Ledas wanted to say, but Ryori didn’t have super hearing like him so he wouldn’t have heard.
Aka’s blows were predictable and slow, and he reminded Ledas of Nappa. The boy had surpassed that old stinker years ago. He knew just how these huge, lumbering fighters operated. They had little stamina, and as long as one could dodge their blows, they would wear themselves out quickly. So it was with Aka, though in the process, he destroyed about half of the house.
When sweat covered the big alien’s face, and when his blows started to come in clumsy, arcing patterns, Ledas decided enough was enough. He grit his teeth and blinked, and his hair shone with gold.
“Ah… y-you…” Aka stammered, realizing with horror that his life was repeating itself again, as it so often did. He knew what came next, how unpleasant that would feel, and there was not a thing he could do to stop it.
“I’m using the Dragon Balls,” Ledas told him. “And I’ll kill you if you try to stop me again.” He kicked off the ground, teleporting around Aka to confuse him. Bouncing off what remained of the ceiling and the walls of the living room now, as they had moved there during their fight, Ledas made sure that Aka had no idea how to predict his movements. That was clear just by how the big man moved his head. He couldn’t even see Ledas at this speed.
Landing quietly behind Aka, the boy dropped to his hands, kicking out the big alien’s legs from under him. As Aka fell, he teleported in front of him, elbowing the alien downwards, cracking his armor, making him spit blood. The boy’s arm slid up, his fist connecting with Aka’s chin, and the alien went flying at a wall again, this time shooting out a window, narrowly missing Ryori, and slamming into the tree in the front yard.
Aka’s head had gone all the way through the tree, and he lay there sideways, partially through it, unconscious, dripping dark blood on the grass.
A man in a hover car passing by dropped his toothpick as he squealed in shock. He stopped for two moments to stare and then sped off before slamming into a parked hover car three blocks down the road.
Ledas dropped out of Super Saiyan and walked over to Beelzebub, legs shaking and teeth clenched. “You heard what I said to your bodyguards, right? Leave now.”
Beelzebub glared at the boy and took a minute to think. As much as I hate to admit it, I can’t beat him in terms of power. But I can’t just give up my wish! Think, Beelzebub, think! Aha! I could give him one of the wishes. Yes, yes, I can say I can do the work for them!
“Well?! Leave!” Ledas shouted.
The prince in response put his hand out, with the other on his chest, breathing heavily. “Wait. Wait. I’d like to strike a deal with you.”
“You’re in no position to bargain.”
The demon boy quickly took out the three Dragon Balls he had collected thus far, catching the tailed boy’s attention.
“I’ve already been searching for the Dragon Balls before I went into your place. We both want a wish, right? If you give me the Dragon Ball, I promise I’ll do the heavy work of getting the Dragon Balls and wish back that kid’s brother,” Beelzebub said, pointing to the still-distraught Ryori.
Ledas glanced at the Dragon Ball then back at Beelzebub. “How do I know you aren’t lying right now?” Beelzebub froze, but before he could even try to respond, Ledas spoke again. “Fine. I can easily find the rest of the Dragon Balls if I had a radar, but I see this as an opportunity for you to make up for what you did to the house.”
“But you could’ve stopped the house from being destroyed in the first place!” Ryori retorted.
Ledas put his finger on Ryori’s lips and made “sh” sounds. “I can just make Cardinal give us more money to buy another house. A bigger house!”
The other boy rubbed his chin. “Well, I did want a new bathroom…”
Ledas patted him on the back. “That’s the spirit!”
“So, can I have the Dragon Ball now?” Beelzebub asked.
Ledas wagged his finger. “Ah, ah, ah. Don’t get so hasty now. I still don't know if you’re lying to me. Instead, I think it would be best if I held on to it now and you come back to me when you have the rest of the Dragon Balls so that I can make the wish myself.”
“Where are we going to meet you?”
The tailed boy pointed to the big building next door. “Just head over to Capsule Corp when you’re done. We’re going to be stayin’ there for a while anyways. It takes a while to build a house, you know.”
The demon boy nodded. “Right.” He then walked over to the tree, with the two bodyguards lying on the ground. He then promptly kicked them, making them jump a few feet up. “Come on. We’re leaving,” Beelzebub ordered, looking at his map.
“But boss, I want the wiiiiiiiiiiiiish!” Kado whined.
“Oh be quiet. We negotiated an agreement. We’re going to go to that building and give Ledas one of the wishes when we have collected all of the other balls,” he said, tilting his head at Capsule Corp.
“So we do get to go into the big building! Yay! Horrah! What a happy day!” Abo cheered.
“Shut up” Beelzebub said as he, along with his incompetent guards, flew away.
He was a sick and desperate animal. There wasn’t as much space whiskey left as he had hoped. Trudging through the snow, he reached for the bottle in his pocket. It was a dirty bottle, and the liquid inside was the color of immolating bile. He tore the cork out with his teeth and sucked it dry.
“Seventy-seven cunts, fuckin’ hell mate,” the Makyan grunted to himself. He belched a breath of the fire wine, amber sparks curling around the corner of his lip.
Something moved in the snow. His energy came out like a rolling tide of fire, melting the snowscape utterly. Nearby, a frozen lake cracked and boiled. The trees went up in fire. Paprikan threw the empty bottle at the sky. He could feel the water in the air, his breath frosting before his mouth.
“Come out, come out wherever you are!” he said angrily, swaying as he walked about, looking for any sign of the creature. The land and had been burnt to a crisp; nothing moved. There weren’t even any birds making music. Everything was so remarkably peaceful. “The fuck you went, bitch?”
He vomited. Staggering to his feet, the drunk Makyan took to the sky to get a better view. But all he could view from up there was a realm of ash and rising smoke. Even his space pod had been destroyed in the explosion. “You fuckin kidding me…”
There had been so much precious space alcohol in his pod. The loss hit him hard in the gut, and he threw up again, the wind blowing it back into his face. “That’s it, that’s enough, I’m gonna go clean!” Paprikan declared. He hiccuped. “A-and with my first wish, I’ll wish I never want another drink again!”
He had waited for the infrastructure to collapse. He still didn’t know if Bael was alive or dead. He hadn’t been keeping up. “Fuckin’ dead, scum!” he shouted wildly, his voice reverberating through the stillness. “I outlived you, cunt!”
He had spent most of his time drinking, and remembered very little. He had wasted not just weeks or months of his life, but entire years. With the Dragon Balls, he’d get back on the right track. “I juss wanna be a successful space judge at the Citadel,” he complained miserably. “I wanna be the most respected man in the universe!!”
He was none of those things, and he wasn’t even close. Dreams were easy to think up. He’d found that always to be the case.
There was something – someone – in the distance. Paprikan’s aura was the color of spoiled wine. He shot after it.
Beyond the carnage and burnt trees, a very furry humanoid was trekking through the snow, its back to the Makyan. He landed in the snow behind it, clearing his throat. “Ahem, good sir, do you know where I could find the nearest–”
The beast’s reaction was to tense its shoulders and melt into sandy smoke. As the smoke drifted back, past Paprikan’s body, he felt a tingling sensation wash over him. It wasn’t entirely unpleasant, but the power behind it, the unabashed prodding sensation it produced, was enough to make Paprikan lose his sense of balance. He fell face-first into the snow, the darkness washing over him, something deep and full of hunger whispering coldly in his ear.
He never felt the cold, just that old familiar empty feeling, that one that gnawed away at him constantly from just below his ribcage. He missed his scouter and wished he hadn’t been such a damn fool.
“Alright, now where are you?” Kibito Kai was swimming in the water with his eyes closed, trying to sense the bits of Majin Buu scattered about the ocean. He quickly locked onto a ki signature and flew towards it, seeing a piece of Buu lying in between two rocks. Kibito Kai tried to grab it, but was sprayed in the face with ink from a squid who camouflaged itself onto the rocks. Angered, Kibito Kai wiped the ink off of his face and snatched the piece of Buu. “I wish I could’ve been fishing instead of, well, being like a fish!”
Kibito Kai closed his eyes again, trying to sense the other pieces of Buu and realized that three of the remaining pieces were all heading to one area. Is Buu realizing that this game is pointless? No, Buu isn’t like that, he thought while swimming to the area, lowering his ki.
Eventually, he ended up facing a large circular rock formation and hid behind a rock. This was because it was surrounded by humanoid shark people, about ten feet tall each. Some held swordfish blades, others rode on seahorses, and some even with belts with starfish, of course with shark teeth on the end to make them more deadly. Most of them wore the same garb, looking akin to Roman attire, but one stood out – a hulking behemoth among this shark clan, standing easily at twenty feet. His face, arms and legs were bright red, this being blood to not only scare his prey, but to attract the sharks to him. The rest of his body was a dark blue. He wore a bright orange headband and held a giant squid on his back, along with two large swordfish blades and starfish shurikens on his belt. This was obviously the captain, who stood over what the rock formation protected, which the Supreme Kai could not see.
Before the Kai could act, three sharks flew to this captain and held out bits of Buu in their hands. “Oi, captain! We sensed these balls of energy! They have immense powah!” one of the sharks said.
The captain grabbed one of the Buu balls and closed his eyes, sensing the power emanating from it. “Good work,” he said in a deep voice. “It seems that merely setting up the ritual was enough to get attention from Ke Akua o ke Akua already. We shall bring these spheres of the gods to the ritual.” And so, the captain flew down towards the city, leaving Kibito Kai to contemplate what to do.
Argh…if I don’t get those bits of Buu, he won’t even come with me! I have to get them back! he thought to himself. Do I kill them? No, no, they’re nowhere near a big enough threat for me to get involved. They’re just simple natives worshiping gods. I can’t exactly walk in either…wait a minute! Yes, I just have to wait until the perfect moment. He then teleported into the city, observing the shark warrior and waiting for the perfect moment.
Meanwhile, the captain landed in front of a battered-down coliseum, heavily guarded by the shark people. One of the guards noticed the captain and did the shark salute: holding his back fin with both of his arms. “Mano Koa! Elder Mano Kahuna has been waiting for you to attend the ritual.” Mano Koa smirked, nodded and walked into the building.
Inside were a dozen shark people, clad in red robes and silver crowns, sitting above the bottom in rows. On the bottom row was an older shark, also wearing a red robe, but differing in that he wore a gold crown. His body too was covered in red, also blood.
Mano Koa saluted to this old shark, placing the spheres on the floor. “Elder Kahuna. I apologize for the wait. I just didn’t want to leave the perimeter unguarded for a long period of time, so I thought it best to wait.” He then picked up the spheres and gave them to the Elder.
Mano Kahuna could sense the immense power coming from the orbs and placed them around a drawing: a circle with multiple squares in it. In the middle of this ritual circle was another orb, this one being orange with three stars on it: a Dragon Ball. The elder smiled and said, “Good, my young warrior! Now, if you’ll excuse me, you’ll have to go up into the balcony for me to start the ritual.” Mano Koa bowed and swam up into the balcony with the other twelve shark people.
The shark chief took out a dagger, presumably found from a wrecked ship, and held it up into the air. He shouted,“Ke Akua o ke Akua and all other gods! I, along with all other Atlanteans, return to you your gracious gifts given to us in exchange for everlasting power and beauty! Along with those of the Yeti and Manu Clans, we raise our hearts to your limitless energy!” He then sliced the dagger along his arm, dripping blood in the water, though it looked no different due to his bloody skin. Then suddenly, Kibito Kai, who was overseeing the whole thing from a remote part of the stadium, teleported to Mano Kahuna.
Now, Mano Kahuna did not expect the god to appear so suddenly and stumbled back a little bit, quickly bowing to his deity. The other twelve Atlanteans swam down and also bowed. “K-Ke Akua o ke Akua! Oh, it is truly an honor to see you!”
The Kai rubbed his head and grabbed the pieces of Buu along with the Dragon Ball. “Um…yes, it is I! Your great god! I, uh, appreciate your support and love for me! Now, if you’ll excuse me…”
He was about to run off, but Mano Koa spoke. “ My apologies, Akua, but I would like to see the true power of our god to motivate myself to become even stronger. I’ve been waiting for years, ever since you appeared to me in a vision when I was but a little shark.”
Mano Kahuna was shocked at his. “M-Mano Koa! What do you think you’re doing?!”
The shark captain shoved his chief onto the floor, ignoring his warning.
“I’m kind of–”
“Ke Akua o ke Akua!” the glorious bloody shark man bellowed, but Kibito Kai could only barely hear him because they were underwater. He drew one of his swordfish swords and pointed it right at the Kai’s chest. “You won’t get away from me! I’ve spent my entire life training for this day. You can’t run now!”
He could. But he didn’t. That was mostly because, at exactly that moment, Majin Buu re-appeared. “No fair, no fair!” Buu pouted, boiling the water around him with his steam as he approached the Kai and random shark guy. “Buu hide forever, and stupid purple guy never come find him!”
Majin Buu was pretty mad, but Kibito Kai had a Dragon Ball, and he wasn’t too sad anymore. So long as he had this ball, Dabura’s son wouldn’t be able to make a wish. “Hey… nice Buu… um, look, when we return to the surface, how about I buy you a candy bar, would you like that?”
The pink demon screamed and played a mean belly. His little broken-off pieces were floating above his head like a cracked halo. “Buu want chocolate now!” His head tentacle was flopping about like a cat’s tail. “Buu hungry!”
“Buu, shut up!” the Kai shouted. “You can have your chocolate–”
“You tell Buu to shut up?! You shut up!”
The Majin’s arm stretched forward, hitting Kibito Kai hard in the jaw, sending him tumbling into a wall. The shark guy spun on his heels and faced his new gargantuan threat. Raising his swordfish sword, he sliced savagely through Buu’s head tentacle. The piece fell like a severed leaf blowing in the wind, the ocean currents whisking it away and out of sight. Buu hardly reacted to the act of disfigurement.
“You try to hurt Buu! You make Buu mad!”
Majin Buu acted like a fifteen year old boy who likes nothing more than the feet of little cat boys. That is to say, he lacked any composure. In his gross hunger, he latched himself onto the shark, breaking the sword as his body rolled against Mano Koa. Strong though he was, the underwater warrior was no match for the lazy power of an ancient, extraterrestrial demon who apparently was still actively absorbing the Grand Supreme Kai of Universe 7, but let’s just pretend that guy never existed, right?
Kibito Kai rubbed his jaw as he floated back to his feet, surveying the situation. He had been a mighty fool to enlist the help of so childish a child, so brainless a living creature, so hopelessly desperate an animal, that he questioned if he even knew, in his right mind, how many planets in the universe were inhabited by life.
Kibito Kai clenched his teeth, trying to remember. Closing his eyes, feeling the hum of the universe, he could feel all the life out there, dirty and distant and raging against itself in energetic lurches of destructive power. There were ten thousand or more, perhaps even ten times that. But his brain hurt when he tried to count, and the vision behind his eyes rippled when he thought about it, and so it was easier just to imagine a random number and get on with it.
The first number that came to mind was thirty-three. That was an ugly, brown number, cut down the middle, not half as pretty as eighty-eight, so he discarded it for a bluer number – not twenty-nine (that was too sharky), but twenty-eight seemed a sterile enough number for this purpose.
He realized his head was bobbing up and down. His mind was spinning with white noise. Kibito Kai wanted to return home and present Elder Kai with the universal tally. He’d finally done it – he’d finally outgrown his laziness and come up with a real number.
Kibito Kai was concussed, and as such, nothing he thought had any semblance of rationality to it. Being in the midst of this, he was entirely unaware of his rambling thoughts, and thus Majin Buu and Mano Koa were able to do battle for about twenty minutes, in which the shark man, whose power level could not have exceeded even one thousand, was holding back Majin Buu. That was how Buu liked to play. He was the kind of psychopath who would eat all of one food at a time before moving onto the next item on his plate.
Kibito Kai shuddered. The Dragon Ball was in his hand. It was warm; he remembered. The silent blue all around, desolate and empty, he felt innumerable eyes reaching at him from the deep. A severed head tentacle drifted by, carried by a lazy current.
“Ke Akua o ke Akua…! Please, don’t go!” Buu on his back, hanging onto him almost as if playing. “Let me fight you… I won’t let this opportunity pass me by…!” he grunted, tugging his foot forward through the muck, as Buu remained latched onto him.
The man’s strength of will impressed Kibito Kai. However, he was still nothing to the power of a god. Mano Koa took a starfish from his belt and, just before he threw it , Buu had an idea and latched a piece of himself onto it. The kai dodged the starfish with ease, but the weapon flew back at him like a boomerang and sliced his shoulder, its speed and power far augmented with Buu’s assistance. At the same time, Koa dashed at astounding speed and punched the god in the stomach, making him stagger back.
“This power…it’s amazing! Did you grant this to me, Akua?” the shark warrior questioned.
The Supreme Kai glared at Buu, noticing that the demon was transferring his nearly unlimited energy supply into the shark. “Buu! What are you doing? Get off of him!”
The Majin shook his head. “No. Buu think this much more fun than Hide and Go Seek!”
The fish ignored this conversation completely, overwhelmed by Buu’s power granted to him. His muscles flexed, shaking the blood off of him, revealing his dark blue skin and broke his bandana. He took out his other sword and augmented it by flowing ki into it. The immense heat evaporated the water around him, and made bubbles surround the weapon. “I promise, I’ll not let your gift go to waste, Akua!”
Swiftly, the shark slashed at Kibito Kai, who was able to grab it before it sliced him and broke it in two, though just barely. It seems I have no choice, but to fight at full power! He then flew up out of the water and into the air giving him time to charge up.
Koa discarded his broken blade and looked up into the sky. “Whether it be land or the sky, with this energy, it doesn’t matter! I shall rise above and strike any inferior prey down!” Koa swam up and jumped to eat the smaller god. With a well timed ki blast, the kai struck him in the mouth, sending the fish careening down to the sea. He huffed and puffed for a few moments, thinking the fight to be over. Just as he thought that, however, Koa unexpectedly flew up to his level.
“I shall prove to you that my skill and strength can surpass you! Do you hear that, Ke Akua o ke Akua? You shall face your end here! I will no longer be an Atlantean, but the one true Akua! You should have ignored our gifts, fool. For now your greediness shall be your demise.” Kibito Kai was quite surprised that a mortal, not even originally on the level of the weakest Saiyans, could be bolstered with so much confidence and bravado. This surprise put him off guard for the starfish shurikens flying at him, each tearing through his clothing and skin, at least for the first few. Then, he fired ki blasts at the starfish, cancelling them out and creating smoke.
When the smoke cleared, Koa was holding the giant squid. “Goodbye!”
“N-Not on my watch!” Kibito Kai started charging up his own blast.
After a while, Koa, along with an assisted Majin Kamehameha from Buu, fired excess amounts of ink at Kibito Kai, with the Kamehameha swirling around the ink. “Shin Gekiretsu Shin'ou'hou!”, the god shouted, firing a large blue beam of light.
The two blasts were equal, neither giving an inch for multiple minutes. Even if they did move, they quickly equalized once again. After so much time, Buu grew immensely bored. “Ah…Buu bored playing with you. I had fun!” The Majin latched off of the shark and flew away from the blast. Unfortunately for Koa, without Buu giving him energy, his power almost instantly reduced back to its original state. With such a measly power level, Koa’s ink blast, along with himself, was destroyed. His ashes fell into the water, leaving nothing behind.
Kibito Kai wheezed, huffed and puffed. He then looked at the now thoroughly satisfied Buu. “Please…don’t…do…that…again.”
“Mhm that’s right, Jeanpaul’s my baby daddy. I know he did, I know it, yes’m, he was the only one, mhm.”
“Jeanpaul, Jeanpaul, Jeanpaul!!” That man was older, a sort of worldly scholar with a high, shocked voice which crackled in decay all these light-years away. “Jeanpaul, Jeanpaul…!” came the more urgent tone.
“Gotcha!” Jaco squashed the last kialiki between his fingers. “Stupid space mites,” he muttered to himself, shaking out his Galactic Receiver again. Sighing, he put his hands on his hips, staring off at the sunset. The world was nothing but sand-baked mountains rising over boundless dunes. Awash in a sea of boiled gold, fleeting sunbeams cut jagged shadows around Jaco and his well-arranged and gentlemanly picnic bouquet. To their left, a flawless onyx obelisk was poking up from a sandy crater like a crooked tooth, casting a long shadow over the picnic blanket.
The Colonel was lounging on the far side of the blanket, munching feed from a plastic bucket cradled under one arm like some much-needed milk.
“What’s the matter, Jaco? Which one of ‘em turned out to be Archibald’s baby daddy? Jeanpaul, wasn’t it, ahehehehehehehueh?” the Colonel coughed miserably.
“No, it wasn’t Jeanpaul.” Jaco sighed and turned off the space radio. “That show must have aired years ago. I wonder if any of them ever showed up again in another episode.”
“That Rolando muppet, yeah,” the Colonel said petulantly. “He was a right tosser, a saladboy if you know what I mean.”
Silence was worse than stupidity. Jaco hastily turned the radio back on; he hated being alone with the Colonel like this. It did not feel right. Nervously, Jaco’s fingers brushed the dial, spinning it to another station:
“Galactic Patrolmen are still arriving on the scene here at the helium mines of Perneki Minor where officials have just released a statement about the more than seven hundred miners that were killed by a rogue officer of the, ahem, rapidly declining Planet Trade Organization.”
The news report cut to an eyewitness account: “Called himself Paprikan. Shiiiieeeet. Nasty-lookin’ dingus. Oh yeah, that was before he changed himself into a monster! His body was shaking with power, and I could feel the heat from where I was hiding – and he was laughing, laughing at us as he blew us…”
“Eyewitnesses have confirmed that the rogue officer boasted that he was headed for Planet Earth next. The Galactic Patrolmen will no doubt–”
“Oh, crap.” Jaco wanted to disappear completely. He knew what was coming next.
Lights blinked blue, yellow, green, blue, pink, yellow, blue. The Colonel languished in gluttony. “Jaco, he’s all yours,” the Galactic King said. Crisply did his voice journey across those light-years.
The Galactic Patrolman felt his eyes narrowing in reflex. Why me? Why does it always have to be me? He gulped and jumped into his ship, getting the heck out of there before the Colonel had time to look up from his bucket of space grease.
Dying sunlight clawed at his cockpit. In his mind, Jaco could see with his waking eyes, like a heartbeat, a pulsating image of Paprikan standing over him grinning, the fight already lost. His knuckles flexed as he gripped the controls; grinding his teeth, his cheeks burning hot with the rage of righteous injustice, Jaco pressed on with gathering speed, welcoming the challenge.
The limitless black lay ahead; faintly, a few stars managed to glare holes through the veiled deep. Ever since Bahkaar’s Plague had swept across the universe just a few years prior, killing trillions, quelling the last feeble attempts at empire this galaxy would ever see again, the universe had felt like a much quieter place. There had been times in his life, some in the not-so-distant past, when Jaco would have preferred such a reality.
- I believe Creeperman named this chapter. Pretty vanilla title.
- The split between word counts for the first chapter was fairly even. However, I wrote about 1000 more words than Creeperman for this chapter, which is like writing an extra section.
- We began writing chapter 2 on April 23, 2017, about three weeks after publishing the first chapter. I don't recall exactly why it took so long. Talking with Creeperman about it, he says that in general it was due to laziness (the first section was his to write). He had free reign to write what he wanted with that first section, too. It could've either been about Beelzebub, Kibito Kai, or Paprikan. He chose to go with Kibito Kai. Anyways, we wrote off and on from that point all the way until June 29th. This chapter was a slog to write. It took by far the longest of any chapter. While the first chapter was also fairly slow, this one felt disjointed because of how long the gaps were between writing sessions, and it wasn't like these gaps only occurred after a section was completed. This chapter is by far the longest in the story, and it's not super easy to write a 10,000 word chapter of anything, so some of the time can be accounted for just due to the varied, complicated scenes, but that was certainly not the only issue. Neither of us operated as if there was an impending deadline, which I guess is true, but it would've been nice to have gotten this one out faster in retrospect.
- I wrote the opening quote thingy for this chapter. It introduces Colonel Srednas and also shows that the Galactic Patrol has known about Paprikan for a while. The texts both show the ineptitude of the GP's leadership and Jaco's incompetence (for not remembering that Paprikan was a major threat). I really only put this in there so as to hint at Srednas' later minor involvement in the plot and to also once more mock Jaco for calling himself super elite.
- Seeing Buu and Kibito Kai work together is quite interesting. Considering their history together, the fact that these two teamed up was a nice move on Creeperman's part. I'm guessing that Kibito Kai is starting to gain some respect for both Bibidi and Babidi after dealing with the Majin for a short while.
- When we first wrote this chapter, I didn't read Creeperman's first section properly, and so I wrote a good deal of nonsense after my first paragraph. That is the only reason why I wrote some of the first section. Only one paragraph was salvageable.
- Himohimovich was named after Zlatan Ibrahimovic, though he shares no other similarities to the man.
- I probably should've given Himohimovich a wife, but it felt extraneous in the moment. Reading back now, it's a little odd that he's a bachelor king in my opinion, given his age and wealth.
- Grasshopperra was a name that felt in-line with stuff that Toriyama does. It's barely a pun. Plus, having a giant grasshopper is pretty stupid and fantastical, so it felt like a good addition to our recreation of the Pilaf Saga.
- The second paragraph of the Himohimovich section is a parody of how George R.R. Martin describes food, going into unnecessary detail and spending far too much time on the matter. GRRM is a piggy boy, so it makes sense that he'd focus on that kind of stuff, but those descriptions do have some thematic value to his universe too (when winter comes, and people starve, these grandiose displays of gluttony vanish). Even so, he overdoes it. I couldn't be bothered to go on for more than a sentence, though. It is so trite to write about that shit. Arbor wine is specifically a reference to GRRM's story.
- I have no memory of what "Swietvol" means. If it's a reference to anything, I cannot say. There's a good chance it was made up from nothing.
- I used far too many dialogue tags in my first section of this chapter.
- Coming in through the bathroom window is something I've done numerous times when locked out of my house (sometimes, when I got home early from school and I had forgotten my key and my parents weren't home, I had to improvise). This also references something a Beatles fan did that prompted Paul McCartney to write the song "She Came In Through the Bathroom Window.
- "He looked around the room, noticing missing pieces of the wall, covered with graffiti, the tattered rug, the king’s throne just being a Mr. Satan branded chair and most importantly, how small the room was." - this was a nice detail for Creeperman to add. It foreshadows Himohimovich's death nicely. His empire is barely holding itself together - literally, as well as figuratively - and it won't take much for everything to come crumbling down. Himohimovich's excessive lifestyle also shows how unsustainable this kingdom is. As I speculated in my earlier section, this is likely not some medieval kingdom that survived the modernization of the rest of the world (as is the case in M. Night Shyamalan's "The Village"), but rather some cultish compound run by a charismatic religious leader. Being that Himohimovich isn't charismatic in the slightest throughout this chapter, it's not difficult to see that he has worn out his welcome with the denizens.
- One of the themes of this story is that simple operations become complicated through pride, ego, and general stupidity. Abo and Kado cause many headaches for Beelzebub over the course of AQFB, but he can't afford to lose them. I liked that tension in their relationship, for it was fodder for comedy.
- I figured if the cheese was moldy, it would be difficult for Himohimovich's people to produce much ice cream.
- Creeperman and I probably should have been on the same page when writing Abo and Kado's dialogue. In the Himohimovich section, it is very apparent that we wrote them as completely different people. That was definitely my fault, but I don't regret how I wrote them. As I said, they act like robots when I write for them some of the time, but not always. It was just very apparent that in the span of a few seconds, they switch personalities.
- There are no such thing as aliens in Himohimovich's religion, which is why he assumed Abo, Kado, and Beelzebub were cosplayers.
- "he stood up on the chair and held his arm out and made a motion with his fingers, as if he were wanting someone to come near so he could whisper to them about free real estate." - this refers to one of the more well-known Tim and Eric memes.
- The image in my head of Grasshoppera's unleashing was inspired by when Yetti was brought out to fight Vegeta and Nappa in that Arlian filler episode. I don't think he killed any lesser Arlians in his entrance, but it was nonetheless the inspiration for that.
- The grub people began to combust because they were infected with lambency, if I recall. The grub people themselves were based on the Locusts from Gears of War, so that's why they were infected in the first place.
- Beelzebub isn't much of a fighter (though he is his father's son), but I thought he needed to have a moment of heroism against Grasshoppera, lest someone else be mistaken for the protagonist.
- "The energy shot into the top of the bug’s head faster than light" - I believe Hyper Zergling would dispute this claim.
- Beelzebub vaporized Himohimovich's robes not only to humiliate him in nakedness, but to have some fun with the concept of "the emperor has no clothes".
- Despite Beelzebub's germophobia, Himohimovich had not been hiding the Dragon Ball in an unmentionable place, nor even under one of his rolls of fat. It had merely been in one of his pockets. One can never be too careful, though.
- "At that, Abo sat up in delirium. “Finland!” he screamed in sleep-terror." - this references this scene from Spongebob.
- In the characterization of Beelzebub, an important moment comes when he spares Himohimovich. It's not because he is particularly noble or anything. He simply does not care about humans, nor their struggles. He has no emotion related to them. This is an important point that he will later bring up to Kibito Kai. He doesn't care about anything going on at Earth. He's not a villain intent on becoming emperor of a planet of inferior beings, like Towa would be. He just wants his father back. Kibito Kai completely misunderstands what kind of a person Beelzebub is, which I think is a grave mistake for a man of his position to make.
- I am very surprised to see that Creeperman wrote an entire Paprikan scene by himself in this chapter. I didn't remember him writing so much for my character, so great job there. I guess in terms of pacing, with needing this guy to get to Earth and find the seventh Dragon Ball ASAP, it made sense to have another Paprikan scene right after my long turn.
- One of the stylistic differences between Creeperman and I, in terms of characterizing various people in this story, is that Creeperman took a more boisterous, loud, aggressive approach when they were stressed or emotional, while I used more sarcasm and cynicism. His approach is probably more true to the Toriyama style than mine, but I must say that I've never tried to entirely emulate Toriyama in that regard, either. Overall, I'm pleased with how Crepe wrote for Paprikan here, although the one minor nitpick would be that he did make the guy a little too bumbling/carefree. The guy is a cold-blooded killer, after all.
- Paprikan delayed the advancement of his story by being arrogantly drunk, I think. It wasn't just about his "past self" being disorganized.
- The fourth scene finally brings Ledas into the story. Due to how the story was paced, with me writing that long section to close out Himohimovich's scene, it became necessary for Creeperman to write the opening of the fourth scene. I remember being interested to see how Creeperman would handle writing for Ledas. Writing for Paprikan was one thing, but Ledas is my main OC, so that was a more serious proposition. One minor thing that had to be explained in this story is what happened to Ledas' house at the end of TF. Cardinal gave him that house, but in Country Matters, a one-shot I wrote a few months before we wrote this chapter, Ledas' children are living in a completely different place. Thus, the idea for Beelzebub tearing the house apart was formed, and most of that destruction fell upon me to enact. It was fun to write that. Cathartic, I suppose. Us writing this scene was one of the few things I can vaguely remember about the AQFB writing process. Fun stuff.
- The ice cream joke with Abo was tonally in line with something I'd do, were I writing this scene instead. I like that Creeperman went with the idea of Abo being the clumsier, both in speech and action, of the brothers.
- Personally, I find it a little dubious that there would be chocolate ice cream in Ledas' refrigerator. Maybe that's Ryori's preferred flavor? Ledas, like me, wouldn't find chocolate ice cream appealing.
- No idea how Ledas and Ryori broke the Dragon Radar (although this was excellent dialogue by Creeperman to explain why they only had the 1 ball). Perhaps Ryori dropped it in the shower? Had to be.
- Ryori is actually 14 years old, but I suppose he could be a late bloomer. I don't think we considered that when discussing the writing of this scene. Since Ryori is 12 in TF, it was hard to imagine him growing older in later stories, but of course, this would have to be the case. I think it was a minor oversight that doesn't matter in the long run, as (and I shall declare it canon now) he could look young for his age.
- I can't remember if there was significance to Ledas having bloodshot eyes in this chapter. Probably not? Maybe he was pulling a KV and staying up way past his bedtime day after day. I dunno. Some of the things I'm reading in this story, it's as if I'm reading them for the first time. I have no memory of any discussion about that detail, so I wonder how it ended up in the story. I had to have said something to Creeperman about it.
- Beelzebub wanting Abo and Kado to knock Ledas and Ryori out for no reason seems a little harsh even for him.
- "From outside, Ryori began to wail. “That was my favorite thing in the whole house! Why Ledas why?!”" - this is technically not true. Objectively, the television was Ryori's third or fourth favorite thing that was in the house at that specific moment.
- The reason the floor is cherrywood is because that is the wood in my floor that I installed some years ago (being the most pretty kind of wood in my opinion). It is also excellent wood to slide across in socks, and since Ledas learned to love doing that in Mrs. Fanshi's house in TF, the fun had to continue in his new home.
- The pink hair spray is obvious foreshadowing to Ledas unlocking Super Saiyan Rose at some point in the distant future. No, but seriously, I think I added that in because at around the time we wrote this, I was often dyeing my hair pink.
- It's important to note that Ryori isn't in the slightest a nerd.
- Ledas is not exactly a moral character, but he's also not the type to just steal the Dragon Balls from Beelzebub after the dude showed them to him and tried to strike a deal.
- "The other boy rubbed his chin. “Well, I did want a new bathroom…”" - I don't remember if I told Creeperman to add this line, but regardless, it's 100% true. The bathroom situation in Ledas' old house was, to put it mildly, not ideal.
- Ledas and Beelzebub's alliance is very tenuous at the start. It's merely out of convenience that Ledas lets Beelzebub collect the Dragon Balls for him. There is some level of begrudging respect between the two at the end of the fourth scene, as they seem to have a similar trait of not beating around the bush. Plus, Beelzebub got his cheap shot in with the canister which has to be respected. Once Ledas saw that Beelzebub already had three Dragon Balls and didn't break into his house just to steal one to start his quest, I think he respected the kid a little more.
- It's not like Ledas and Ryori needed all three wishes. In fact, before A Quest for Booty was a thing, I was very uncertain what they would use the other two wishes for. I didn't have any good ideas for it. There's always the possibility of immortality, or infinite stamina, or some other broken concept. I really didn't want to give Ledas anything like that, but it seemed somewhat inevitable that he would logically wish for something like that. With AQFB, that issue was solved, and I was very happy about that. I'm not sure if Creeperman ever knew that AQFB was very beneficial in that regard.
- For the second Paprikan section, the idea was to get his plot going somewhere. In his previous two sections, there was build up, but there was no inclination as to where his plotline was going, other than the vague idea that he was coming to Earth for some reason (most likely to acquire the Dragon Balls to gain immortality). With this second scene, a lot more had to be done in terms of establishing him as a character in this story.
- Paprikan is a good deal less comical and animated in his second scene. Some of that is my writing style, but it's also true that he's a good deal drunker and knows that he doesn't have much space alcohol left.
- It goes without saying, but Paprikan didn't mean to blow up his space pod (as well as his scouter). He let his anger get the better of him with that explosive wave. Also, I didn't want a space pod just sitting around somewhere on Earth that could be accessed in the future. Paprikan being stranded kind of foreshadows his fate.
- The stuff about Paprikan wanting to give up alcohol was likely based on myself, subconsciously. I don't think I thought about it relating to me at the time.
- While Paprikan did kill Bael, he didn't stick around long enough to know if his assassination plot had been successful. That detail is only revealed in this story. In PTO, the other Faereth assume that Paprikan likely killed Bael and then fled immediately afterwards. Not sure if I will ever go into more detail about how he killed Bael. Probably not.
- "He was none of those things, and he wasn’t even close. Dreams were easy to think up. He’d found that always to be the case." - this is especially true when one is drunk. I tried to characterize Paprikan a bit by mentioning the judge thing. He's a drunken outlaw warrior, so not exactly the kind you'd think would want to be an administrator of justice. I think that's partially due to the alcohol, but his demeanor is also not suitable for the job he wants. He's too reckless, as seen in the opening of the scene. Also, a small note, but the mention of the citadel here tells me that I had been writing His Majesty's Pet recently before doing this scene, as that place is only mentioned to a significant degree in that story.
- The yeti that Paprikan confronts is heavily based on the yetis seen in the Far Cry 4's DLC "Valley of the Yetis". One of these may be the yeti-like creature, known as the Yalung, seen in Chasing Oblivion.
- "Before the Kai could act, three sharks flew to this captain and held out bits of Buu in their hands. “Oi, captain! We sensed these balls of energy! They have immense powah!” one of the sharks said." - this guy seems quite Jeice-like to me.
- One must wonder how the ritual would have begun had Mano Koa not found the Buu balls.
- I like how the Atlanteans think Kibito Kai is their god. This sort of comedy goes well with the general tone of the story, and beyond that, I think it was much in the spirit of Dragon Ball. The use of these Atlanteans evokes the story's more mystical tone before the King Piccolo Saga.
- I like the mentions of the Manu and Yeti clans here, as that gives some proper build up to their importance in the next chapter. However, I'm not sure how the three clans are in contact with one another, nor how they formed any sort of alliance (to what end?). We could've probably fleshed that point out more.
- It was fairly rude of Mano Koa to treat poor Kahuna like that. Shoving one's elders is never a good idea. It was an excellent thing that Creeperman had Mano Koa killed in this section to show that one must not disrespect one's elders, and it goes without saying that this decidedly Confucian sentiment was deliberate.
- It was somewhat awkward for me to write for the Atlantean section. This storyline was mostly Creeperman's idea. It was like the earlier Himohimovich section in reverse. For my contribution, I didn't really advance the plot much, instead focusing on Majin Buu's re-introduction so that Creeperman could resolve his fanon characters' arcs.
- "Majin Buu acted like a fifteen year old boy who likes nothing more than the feet of little cat boys. That is to say, he lacked any composure." - this is a reference to Tricktron, a kid who was active on the DBF discord during 2017. He's a flaming homo semi-furry who has a foot fetish. It was definitely a poor choice by me to make that reference.
- "Kibito Kai rubbed his jaw as he floated back to his feet, surveying the situation. He had been a mighty fool to enlist the help of so childish a child, so brainless a living creature, so hopelessly desperate an animal, that he questioned if he even knew, in his right mind, how many planets in the universe were inhabited by life. Kibito Kai clenched his teeth, trying to remember. Closing his eyes, feeling the hum of the universe, he could feel all the life out there, dirty and distant and raging against itself in energetic lurches of destructive power. There were ten thousand or more, perhaps even ten times that. But his brain hurt when he tried to count, and the vision behind his eyes rippled when he thought about it, and so it was easier just to imagine a random number and get on with it. The first number that came to mind was thirty-three. That was an ugly, brown number, cut down the middle, not half as pretty as eighty-eight, so he discarded it for a bluer number – not twenty-nine (that was too sharky), but twenty-eight seemed a sterile enough number for this purpose. He realized his head was bobbing up and down. His mind was spinning with white noise. Kibito Kai wanted to return home and present Elder Kai with the universal tally. He’d finally done it – he’d finally outgrown his laziness and come up with a real number." - this is the most important part of the entire story. The answer is, of course, that Shin's estimation of 28 planets in the universe is obviously false and non-canon. A kindergarten Kai can only count so high. Beyond that, the stuff with the numbers having colors is something I've always thought about. I think it's called synesthesia, although I'm not 100% sure about that. 33 has always been brown to me. Hell, most of the 30s are brown or yellow. 29 is a more complicated color (it's also a very good number from an aesthetic point of view), being dark blue with white streaks in it. Eighty-eight is a light blue color, for what it's worth. 28 for me is purplish. Kibito Kai's concussion certainly has a lot to do with him settling on 28, though, it must be said, and all of this is canon fact.
- Koa's change after getting drunk on power was well-written. He starts off as a noble man, but by the end of it, is trying to murder the man he called his god. That's no way to act, and he is duly punished for it, which is some nice justice.
- Koa's death was a pretty good idea. Nothing really matters, dust to dust, and all that stuff. Buu's boredom was a nice comedic touch. The way we handled the nihilism of this story was in a more comedic way than in Across the Universe, which I personally find to be more fun to read.
- I liked how Creeperman spent a lot of time working on the lore behind this section. Additionally, his creativity when coming up with how to make Mano Koa relevant was excellent. Overall, a solid section in terms of the ideas and execution of those ideas, even if the prose itself is a little rough.
- Jeanpaul is based on the character "Jean Paul" from Seinfeld.
- I figure when it comes to Creeperman saying he doesn't find my writing style endearing, it would be particularly about sections such as the final section in this chapter.
- The final section of this chapter is a way to get Jaco into the story. He was featured in the first chapter as well, but that appearance didn't really go anywhere. In order to get him to Earth, he needed another scene. As this story utilizes a lot of secondary and minor characters, it was only natural to bring Jaco into the mix once Paprikan became a character. Paprikan is, in the most base way, a vehicle for Jaco to be relevant in AQFB.
- Srednas is of course Sanders backwards, and the colonel loves his space chicken.
- Jaco and Srednas listening to an ancient intergalactic soap opera was based on this episode of Futurama. The Jeanpual soap opera aired perhaps hundreds of years beforehand (on an unknown planet).
- "“That Rolando muppet, yeah,” the Colonel said petulantly. “He was a right tosser, a saladboy if you know what I mean.”" - this, of course, refers to anilingus, which is a much more risky maneuever when performed if one, such as Srednas, eats nothing but oily fried chicken.
- The onyx obelisk is a reference to the same type of alien monolith featured in 2001: A Space Odyssey.
- Perneki Minor is a planet owned by Audacci. I'm sure she was none-too-pleased at the rogue officer's actions. Icer probably had to apologize to her for what he did, even though Paprikan hadn't been part of the PTO at this point for nine or so years.
- "laughing at us as he blew us" - perhaps not the most subtle cut-off point.
- "Lights blinked blue, yellow, green, blue, pink, yellow, blue." - this kind of writing is raw, naked, and blunt. I don't usually write like this anymore, but I don't hate it either. This style was mostly due to me smoking a lot of weed at the time.
- Jaco of course is not expected to fight Paprikan. He has a good rapport with the people of Earth, so he was sent there to inform them of Paprikan's arrival. I'm not sure if I knew at this stage that he and Ledas would go on an adventure together to track down the Makyan, but either way, the goal was to have him assist some Z Fighter, Beelzebub/Abo/Kado, or Ledas in tracking the drunken dude down.
- Almost three and a half years after writing the final paragraph of this story, I still haven't gotten to the point in my PTO story where Bahkaar’s Plague has reduced Universe 7's population by trillions (although I'm only a few chapters away). Time flies. I would not have expected to still be working on PTO so long after AQFB was completed. That wasn't the plan, but procrastination is a bitch.
Chapter 3: Super Elite
Beelzebub was floating in the air, looking at the map again. The brothers, on the other hand, were playing rock-paper-scissors.
Kado raised his fist up in excitement. “Yeah, I win again!”
“You truly are the best rock-paper-scissors master, Kado! No wonder you won the Planet Trade Organization Rock Paper Scissors Contest!”
The demon prince, actually intrigued by his bodyguards’ ramblings for once, asked, “What do you mean by ‘Planet Trade Organization?’”
Abo waved his hand. “It was just an old empire we worked for. It was getting boring, anyways. All we did was go back and forth on missions.”
His brother nodded in agreement. “It only got exciting when we were chasing after Tarble. After we turned good though, we couldn’t chase him anymore. Now, here we are.”
“You do know that you’re basically just going back and forth on missions for me, right? Isn’t this the exact same thing you two did before?” the demon inquired.
In response, the siblings looked at each other. “Well, uh, this is different because…uh…we’re fighting for good this time!” Kado said confidently.
“Hmph.” Beelzebub flew once again towards his destination.
After a few minutes, they arrived at a large and tall pillar of rock, surrounded by large nests housing even larger birds. Two of them, these ones looking like ravens, flew up to intercept the trio. “Halt! State your reason for wishing to enter the realm of the Bird Tribe!” one boldly stated.
This was a mistake as the prince kicked him down into the abyss surrounding the pillar. “All you need to know is that I’m the prince of the Demon World with business here. No reason needed.”
The other guard, much more wise than his companion, motioned the trio to the kingdom, now wary of the trio’s power. “P-Please, come with me! I-I can guide you the king, if you would like!” Beelzebub nodded and followed the bird to the top of the pillar to the biggest nest of all.
Here was a giant bald eagle, wearing a blue suit and black eyeglasses, also guarded by two crows. “Crano! Why are you not on duty with Tano, and who are these…these tourists?!” the eagle shouted. The crow warily glanced at the Dragon Ball hunters and flew up to the king, whispering in his ear. The king blinked in surprised and looked at these invaders. I see…so the small one can kill my guards with ease. I’m sure he’ll even be able to kill me too if I tried to attack. Calm down, Brago. You are a king. You may be able to use such power to help you, the king thought to himself. “Welcome, dear, dear tourists! I won’t try to make small talk. You must have come here to gain something from me.”
Beelzebub, being surrounded by incompetence for so long, welcomed this intelligent being in open arms. “Yes. Your clan has a Dragon Ball, which I would like. I already have three now.”
“A Dragon Ball? You mean there are more than one? Ah, pardon me. But yes, yes, of course. I do understand you would like it now, but I have a small test for you. With your level of intelligence, it should be very easy for you. Just in case, however, I shall give you three chances.” Brago lifted up his wing, with three ‘fingers’ being held up.
“Hah, fine. This is a nice change of pace to see someone this willing to give me a Dragon Ball, so I accept. Go on, give your test.”
“Of course, my young prince. Ahem. Three young, and rather frail, people were travelling in a bus in the front row on a Sunday morning to go to a movie. One was a bird man, one was a dog man, and the other was a dog woman – his girlfriend. Suddenly, the bus got into an accident and flew off of a cliff, deep enough to kill any person on the bus. However, the dog man with the girlfriend was able to get out quickly enough by running through the front door of the bus, grabbing his two acquaintances with him. Yet, the two were too heavy for him to handle for more than a minute. Worse still, both were hanging off of the cliff, in which the young dog man could not lift both up. My riddle is this. How can the young dog man save both of them?”
Beelzebub put his hand on his chin, thinking. After a minute he was about to speak, but Abo blurted out “He, uh, prayed! Since it was a Sunday!” Brago shook his head.
Once again, the prince tried to speak, but was interrupted by Kado, who said, “He throws them up into the air and does a super back kick, kicking both of them to safety while he falls into the abyss!” Brago shook his head again.
Angered, Beelzebub blurted out, “One of the friends is a bird man! That one can just fly to safety if the dog man lets him go, while he saves his girlfriend! It’s obvious!”
Brago nodded. “Great job. I knew you would be able to solve it. Now then…” Brago stood up from his nest, revealing the One Star Dragon Ball underneath him. Beelzebub quickly grabbed it. “We already used it for what we needed. I just wanted to test you.”
“Thanks. Come on, let’s go you two.”
The king raised his wing to the trio. “Wait! Based on your clothes’ horrible conditions, I can guess that you haven’t been able to rest for quite a long time. Please, I implore you to stay at our hotel. Don’t worry, it’s inside this rock structure and has very comfortable accommodations. I can arrange the best rooms for you.”
The demon boy smirked and looked up at the king. “Finally, someone who gets what a prince wants.”
The bird chuckled. “Well, I do have a prince of my own, so I know what it’s like. Crano will guide you there.” Brago stamped his claw onto a card and gave it to the guard, signifying to anyone who asks that the king sent them there. As the trio walked off, the bird king smirked.
Bulma was making her way across the lawn, the repaired Dragon Radar firmly grasped in her hand, when the spacecraft blocking out the sky descended.
“Jaco?! What are you doing here? I haven’t seen you in years!”
“Oh, um, nothing really,” he said coyly, slithering over to her with a wide cheeky grin spread on his smug face, “just chasin’ a wanted space pirate, you know, doing my job as a Super Elite!” he screamed wildly, spinning and doing a sideways pose on his toes, his arms thrown back behind him.
The wind stirred, exploding, and Jaco was flung into the side of his ship. Before him now, on the paved path cutting through the freshly-mowed lawn, was a boy not a day over twelve years old with wild bushy black hair. Jaco gulped when he saw the boy’s brown monkey tail curling and uncurling around the boy’s wrist.
“Where’s the space pirate?!” the Saiyan asked excitedly. “I wanna fight him, where is he, where is he?!”
“Ledas… I told you to wait in the–”
“Aw, come on, Bulma, how often do space pirates even stop by here? I wanna see how powerful he is.”
She raised an eyebrow. “You’d be surprised, kid.” She sighed, shaking her head. “Anyways, here’s the Dragon Radar.” She handed it to Ledas. “Try not to drop this one in another volcano.”
“Ah, right…” he said, laughing nervously, scratching the back of his neck.
Jaco got up and approached Ledas with his eyes narrowed, trying to detect just how powerful this kid was. “Trust me, he’d be too much for you to handle.”
“Really?” the boy’s curiosity was plain on his face. “Then where is he? All I can sense are Vegeta’s friends and…” His voice trailed off, as his eyes glazed over. “No, wait. There’s another power coming from way up to the north. I’ve never felt that one before… is that him?!”
Jaco shrugged in mild disinterest. “Maybe.”
“What did he do to get you chasing him all the way here though?”
“Look kid, I don’t got all day–”
Ledas teleported an inch from Jaco’s face. The alien wailed loudly, falling to the grass again, swearing on the sacred name of King Space Octopus man. “I’m way stronger than that power up there, if that’s him.” The boy closed his eyes again for a brief moment. “You and him are the only people here that I haven’t sensed before.”
Jaco’s heart caught in his throat. This was the luckiest of circumstances. He knew he had no chance against Paprikan if it came to another fight. He would need to either resort to cheap tricks, or maybe this kid could…
“Alright, alright. You can come with me to investigate…” Jaco said, building dramatic tension. His poise was immaculate. “…ahem, as my sidekick…!” He spun on his toes, falling to a knee to assume a new pose, this one of remarkably less grace than the previous form, at least in the ancient eyes of Bulma.
“You take that back!” The boy sounded horrified. “I’m not anyone’s sidekick!”
Jaco was about to make another lame comment with that alien sass mouth of his, so Ledas teleported right into his face again, scaring the living Frieza out of him yet again. “Ugh, why do you keep doing that?”
The impatience was obvious on his face. He grabbed Jaco by the wrist. “This old fat guy who liked to wear sailor’s caps once told me words are wind, so let’s be just like them, okay? I’m Ledas by the way. Welcome to Earth.”
And with that, kicking grass into the air, the two went shooting off, Jaco’s screams carrying across the sky for the first hundred or so miles.
The demon prince yawned, rubbing his eyes and getting out of his deluxe bed. Now, of course, he didn’t sleep in the same room as those idiots Abo and Kado and left them in their own room. Not really wanting to stay there anymore, he quickly went to the safe that he had been ordered by the bird king to put the Dragon Balls and the map in. He opened the safe, expecting the orbs to fall into his hand, but nothing came out of the safe. Everything in the safe was gone.
“W-What?!” Beelzebub shouted at the top of his lungs and ran into Abo and Kado’s room. “You two idiots! Get up, now!” Not waiting for their response, the prince dragged them into his room and threw them in front of the safe. “If either of you stole the Dragon Balls and the map, I swear, I’m going to give you punishment you can’t even comprehend!”
Kado quickly shook his head. “No, no we didn’t steal them! We swear!”
Abo quickly followed suit. “Y-You know we’d be too stupid to open up the safe!”
The demon scowled and put his hand on his chin. “Yes, you’re right. I’m sure there would be at least dent or a hole in the safe if you tried to take it. Let’s see. The only people who had access to the safe’s code were me and the hotel employees. Wait, no, this is the deluxe room, meaning the safe’s passcode is restricted to the manager.”
“So it must have been the manager!” Kado boldly claimed.
“No, you think too single minded. There’s nothing stopping the manager from just telling someone else the code.” He walked to the door. “You two stay here. I’m going to find the manager.”
After a few minutes of asking the employees, Beelzebub found the manager sitting at his desk. “Ah, my young prince! How wa–”
“Cut the small talk. I know you either weaseled someone out who wanted the Dragon Ball or took it yourself.”
“Dragon Balls? I would never take them! I swear it!”
The prince glared at the manager. “Aha. ‘Them’. I only said one Dragon Ball, which your king had. No one besides the king and three of his guards overheard the conversation saying that there were multiple. This means that one of them told you to steal them, or got someone else to take them for themselves.”
The bird froze up. “Ahah…eheh…um. O-Ok, I’ll tell you what I know! Please don’t hurt me, though!”
“Alright. So it was 11:00 at night when two large bird men, clad in black clothing, asked me for the code to your safe. I told them that was restricted information. They then threatened to destroy the hotel and kill my family if I didn’t comply! Afterwards, they went out carrying the balls, telling me not to tell you anything or else I would face the consequences. Since it was night, I couldn’t see where they were flying to after they left.”
“Did they leave anything behind? Any clues at all?”
“Hm…wait, yes. One was doing seed, with a symbol on the blunt being of the Rebirno Gang.”
The bird nodded. “They’ve been causing mischief all throughout the kingdom. Now, I don’t know a set location of their hideout, but there have been rumors that the guards have found some leads to where it might be. Surely the group must have some more information vital to you. However, even the guards wouldn’t be able to infiltrate their hideout easily, so you must be careful.”
The demon shrugged. “Eh, I’ll be fine. They’re just a bunch of birds.” With that, he flew up into the sky to where he found Crano. Strangely, the bird guard was not there, so he simply flew over to another one. “Hey, I heard that you know where the Rebirno Gang might be. I can get them out of your feathers if you tell me where they might be.”
“That is classified information.”
He then narrowed his eyes and fired a ki blast at a nearby forest, destroying it completely. The bird man hastily responded, “T-They should be at the top of that mountain over there!” He pointed to the tallest mountain surrounding the pillar. With that, he flew up to the mountain to get more answers.
It was a tall mountain, a barren mountain, a mountainous mountain. It reminded Beelzebub somewhat of home. The sun was burning bright; there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. He had missed how quiet life could be without Abo and Kado in his ear.
The prince flew to the top of the mountain where, built into the side of a jagged cliff, a broad metal door was shining like lambent copper. Two guards stood before the locked door, perched on the edge of the cliff. One was a blue-feathered parrot man, and the other a white-tailed hawk, but Beelzebub couldn’t have known that.
“Hey, you.” The demon prince touched down casually on the thin strip of rock in front of the door. Beyond was a sheer drop. The birds both gasped and lost a few feathers, the blue baby boy squawking and bobbing his head up and down upon seeing Beelzebub land. “This is the entrance to the Rebirno hideout, isn’t it?”
“Your mother’s a whore,” the Parrot man sang. Immediately, he yowled like a cat at midnight wandering the hallways.
The boy raised a hand, forming a reddish-pink energy ball around it. The speed at which it shot forward, engulfing the parrot in demonic flames, made the other one squawk finally. A charred corpse fell from the cliff; ash drifted through the air; the remaining guard shifted nervously on his perch.
“I won’t ask again.”
He was shifting his head from side to side as if someone was working his movements with invisible puppet strings. “It goin’ down! Aww dem motherfuckin’ bootleg fireworks shit!!”
The prince hated talkers. He blasted that fool with a milky ball of energy, no larger than his eyeball, that had materialized above his finger, homing in on the bird’s neck and impacting savagely against his feathers. The guard’s feathers boiled and puffed into the air, along with blood, bits of flesh, and charred bone.
“Ho… shi… Hoooooo shi… Woooooooooooooooooooooooh!!!”
His beak open and shut without sound, and was lost in the falling blue.
The door didn’t impress him. He hardly had to power up at all to put holes in like his father always told him he should do.
Inside this supposed bandit bird hideout, bird shit was everywhere. There were old soggy feathers littering the ground too. Empty bottles of allstar were lying about like unexploded bombs. It reeked like a wizard’s foreskin. “Hey you, give me back my Dragon Balls!” Beelzebub’s voice echoed throughout the fortress.
No one came to answer him except for one little pigeon who jumped out from the shadows, smashing a water bottle in his face, getting his cape all wet. The demon prince screamed at the top of his lungs, but no one ever came. There was no sign of the Rebirno clan anywhere.
This place had never been clean. They were dirty rotten birds and he hated them almost half as much as humans. Beelzebub had seen enough. At this moment, Beelzebub decided to use his new move that he had never told anyone about.
“What was that?!” the confused Rebirno cried.
“Yo, give me back my Dragon Balls.”
“How are you inside my head?! Am I just hearing voices again, damn that Pergnant, I told him I didn’t want anymore juice!”
“I’m a demon. Every demon can mind-read. I’ve never done this with a bird before, though. I’m surprised you were able to hear me at all, fool.”
“The Piccolo did you just say?!”
“Wherever you and your buddies are hiding in this filthy cesspool, I’ll find you. You thieves aren’t getting out of this alive.”
“Uh, uh. Nah, chiiiiiill. I-I’m juss here ta get some…uh…medicine fer mah bro! Yeah, yeah.”
“Really now? Doesn’t matter. How about this. You tell me where the rest of those gang members are, and I’ll give you a head start to run.”
Now this bird was a very stupid bird, straight out of the nest, so he took this as a good situation for himself. “Uh, sure. Juss tap yur foot on this here board…” He then tapped his foot on an open plank twice in intervals, opening up the rocky floor with a ladder in the middle of it.”
Beelzebub looked at the bird. “Good. Now, I’ll give you until the count of 3. 1.” The bird quickly flew out of the door into the sky, his wings gleaming with the sun. “2.”The prince put his arm out, forming a ki ball in his hand. “3.” Then, with a puff of smoke, the gang member fell from the ground. Getting information and killing a bird. Killing two birds with one stone.
He hopped down into the hole, falling downwards until he reached the bottom, turning to see a flock of the Rebirno, circling around a circle with squares inside of it, holding the Dragon Balls and the map. Too tired of waiting, the demon sprung forth, grabbing the Dragon Balls and the map. He turned to the surprised members of the gang. One was a relatively young bald eagle, wearing the same clothes as Brago, who stepped forth to the attacker. “Ah, you must be the young prince my father warned me about. I must say, you’re smaller than I thought you’d be. This make it all the easier for us.” The prince took out a gun from his belt. “You must understand that we’re working towards a bright future for our kin. Sacrificing to the gods and working with filthy gangs such as this one may seem strange to you, but trust me, once the Yeti and Atlantean Clans have enacted their rituals with their mystical balls, we will reign victorious!”
The prince let out a squawk as Beelzebub kicked his stomach, killing him. The other members stepped back as the prince grabbed the bird’s corpse “Shut up. All I care about are my Dragon Balls.” he flew up out of the hole, charging up a giant pink blast of energy, and firing down, blowing up the place.
He hastily flew to where the king sat, tossing his son's dead body on the ground. Brago, not at all expecting Beelzebub, flinched and stepped backwards, looking at his heir’s body and grasping it in his arms. “M-My son…Brago Jr. I-I’m sorry I brought you into this. I just thought…you would keep them in check while they did the ritual. I should have stopped you and sent a guard instead. I’m sorry…I’m so sorry.”
“You asked for this when you messed with me, bird brain.” He stepped forwards.
“W-Wait! I-I know you must be mad from me deceiving you, but I swear, this was all for the good of my people!”
“Working with a gang is good for your people?”
Brago twitched his eye. “I-I know the methods may not be morally sound, but it’s all for the greater good! W-What will they do without a leader? Without a king? Without ME? They-they’ll go into shambles! Innocent civilians will have to leave here, with nowhere to go! Have mercy on me, please…you have to understand…right?”
Beelzebub then remembered his own father: how the Demon World was never the same without him here; how he was going on this quest just to bring him back; how Brago wasn’t as different as he thought after all. True, he did use ulterior motives and did indeed get in his way, but the kingdom would be far worse without him. The child stepped back, walked towards the hotel. “I’ve already killed your son and took your Dragon Ball. Be grateful that’s all I’m taking.”
Brago looked down at his son’s corpse once again, tears in his eyes. He then looked up to see the trio fly off into the distance. “My selfishness caused this…I-I’ll never make that same mistake again. Never again.” He grasped his dead child in his arms, weeping.
“I caught a parasite working in the oil mines of Tablorhe Vorno. I still feel him prodding at my insides, those phantom pokes and impatient punches, almost pleasurable, though I’ve been cured for more than half my life. Hah, you still there, sir? It’s nearly time for your therapy session…”
Oil lamps decorated the cave walls. The ground had been paved with diamond and diagonal patterns cut through the rock. He was hanging by chains against a wall; a faint musty smell clung to the air. Nothing moved. Laughing again, his voice echoing down the tunnel, Paprikan remembered Tablorhe Vorno as memories of someone else. He was altogether different now, and the person he’d been back then, who had experienced those emotions, was as foreign to him as anyone he’d once known.
Ever since Bael’s Gambit, as it had come to be called, Paprikan had not had a single friend to talk to, a single person worth talking to. He’d run from everyone he’d known, and they were either dead now or close to it.
The chains pulled off easily. Every sound made an echo down the hall, and he was certain he was alone. Paprikan didn’t need his damn scouter to get out of this place. He walked down the hall, his vision clouding over, memories of phantasms, shadows with the faces of giant apes biting at him through the falling snow, and his balance was shaking. Paprikan grabbed onto a rock poking out from the tunnel wall, making note of how rough the carving of it was compared to the smooth-polished floor.
“Juss a little woozy…” he told himself under his breath. “Had a little too much…”
Hundreds of lanterns had been lit. Something moved down the hall – a pebble fell from the wall, and he spotted a blur of white. Paprikan was gliding now, pursuing quickly and quietly. Every time he closed his eyes, the foggy flames of those oil lamps, cradled by smoky darkness with the face of those infernal apes, eagerly returned.
The tunnel widened out into a deep and wide chamber that spread out over what appeared to be an underground river. He could hear a waterfall, though blackness covered most of this vast expanse. It rose at least two hundred feet to the ceiling, and perhaps twice that to the rushing river below. The carved area widened into a circular room with pillars, a thick stone table raised in the center of the room. There was no sign of anything living. Hanging lanterns swayed, creaking slowly.
He had arrived.
Paprikan approached the table, where the dim-looking Dragon Ball with four stars on it lay. He was about to pick it up when something whispered behind his ear. Jerking around violently, he fired a red ki blast at a pillar which exploded in a puff of dust. There was nothing there.
“The fuck…?” the space pirate whispered to himself, looking around. Darkness was everywhere save for the few lanterns. The Dragon Ball seemed to inhale the light, holding it deep within it, making it glimmer a deep fiery orange. He had no idea what was going on, how he could be so lucky.
“He’s in here,” a voice from the other side of the room came echoing over. Paprikan’s eyes narrowed. Two black forms, like shadows wrought from clouds, were moving towards the central raised temple in the center of the huge chamber. Those two had entered from a bridge on the other side.
Swearing, Paprikan jumped back, crouching behind a fat, rectangular pillar.
“I can still sense him! He’s here somewhere!” a boy’s voice called, fading and growing higher in pitch as it faded out in simulacrous echoes.
Paprikan swore. He took a deep breath and realized, his cheeks rushing with the heat of terror, that they were here for him. He didn’t recognize the boy with the tail, but Jaco, who was standing right under a lantern pole by the central raised table, was very familiar to him. The boy was flying around, looking for Paprikan. He crouched lower in the shadows. In his current state, he was in no mood to fight.
“Hey, Ledas, look at this. Isn’t this one of those Dragon Balls?” Jaco asked, holding up the shining sphere.
“Oh, yeah… yeah it is! Throw it to me!”
“Ha, I told you, I’m Super Elite! That’s right ladies, I’ve got…” he twirled, chopping at the air, “mad deductive skills!” Narrowing his eyes, Jaco chuckled deviously.
“If you’re a Super Elite, then I’m the Legendary Super Saiyan!” the boy scoffed, rolling his eyes. Still, he caught the ball easily and pocketed it, and it was gone. Paprikan nearly screamed. That was his ball, damn it. What the hell did that boy want with it? Who was he to take it?!
“Heyo Paprikan,” the boy called out, his hands cupped around his mouth. “Where aaaaaare you?!”
Paprikan didn’t fear that boy, nor did he fear the Galactic Patrolman. He’d already smashed Jaco to bloody ribbons back on that asteroid. This time he’d finish the job. There was no way a boy could beat him, so he hardly missed his scouter. The man was just about to rise to his feet, to call out, to welcome the fools to meet his fist, when the smoke returned.
Feeling it as much as he perceived it, Paprikan held his breath as the smoke drifted around him, shivering from its icy strokes. Every light flickered at the same time. The smoke seeped into the room like a toxic sea, churning excitedly. The lanterns flickered a second time. Phantom prodding beneath his flesh made him want to relieve the tension, to let them know wh–
Jaco cried out like an Arlian whore. There were fifty or sixty primates in the room now, none focusing on Paprikan, which he found a little odd of course, as one would expect a drunk space pirate to. Instead, the furry creatures, some with matted grey-black coats, others with thinner, whiter fur, were approaching the boy who was hovering in the air.
One jumped, reaching a clawed hand up to grasp his ankle, but the beast just missed. They had six eyes, arranged over their foreheads like a tiara. He wanted to throw up. Jaco had climbed onto the table.
“Eaaak! What are these things?!”
“I dunno but they kinda remind me of Uncle Bessupo.”
Another jumped and missed, and the group was all roaring now, beating their chests. They were as tall as the pillars – fifteen feet or more. Their gangly arms reached the ground, and though they could jump pretty high, every time they went to grab the boy’s ankle, they somehow missed. He never moved.
Taking the ball out of his pocket, Ledas took a moment to admire his reflection as the monsters reached for him from beneath, missing just ever so slightly each time. “Here,” he said, tossing the ball back to Jaco. “You should prolly hold onto that, y’know, since you’re a Super Elite and all.”
“Wh-wh-wha… no!!” the Galactic Patrolman shrieked, juggling the ball like that shit was on fire yo, and all the furry Yeti buggers like starved wild dogs turned to him and rushed. The boy’s arms folded and he watched from the safety of the air.
Personally, Paprikan preferred the air. But even a fool as wine-soaked as he knew power when he saw it. The boy hadn’t been moving because he’d been dodging the beasts so quickly it had looked as if their hands were going through him.
His speed was unfathomable; there was an unfathomable weight in Paprikan’s stomach. He’d never be able to match the kid.
Paprikan was going to get outta there real quick like when he’d been a wee space pirate and worked as a Nil runner for some shitbeard who was most likely long dead. However, interrupting this noble thought venture of Paprikan, the Wise was little Jaco boy who had once arrested thirty-seven pirates in Paprikan’s crew for smuggling contraband space tacos into a space movie theater. Ever since then, he’d never forgiven Jaco, not even once.
Jaco flew out of the pile of filthy apes somersaulting through the air, shooting his laser gun wildly, and lasers were flying all over the place, whizzing by Paprikan’s filthy ears and exploding against the pillars, destroying everything. Yetis were slaughtered moderately. One body came flying over to Paprikan, landing on its back, smelling foul. Its six eyes were blue-red, pupiless and wide open (all except the one on the end). The pirate quickly pulled out his trusty rusty knife and cut out the yeti’s heart, putting it in his bag. “Son of a Frieza, this thing is like all blood…” he whispered to himself.
Jaco’s blasters on his feet illuminated the dank air. His laser shots were precise, coming at a rapid pace; the little guy spun and twisted and contorted and squeezed the trigger, and the bastards fell like something that falls a lot.
"Compared to a Super Elite, you're dead meat!" Jaco landed amongst the corpses, turning on his heels, leaning forward, his gun smoking. Pulling back, he blew the smoke from it and grinned, looking around, slick as an alley cat. “Not a chance against a Super Elite!”
“Stop calling yourself that, it’s laaaaaaame!” the floating boy cried out. Paprikan hated that kid. He wanted to shove his knife through that kid’s earhole.
“I didn’t see you helping out. But I wouldn’t expect you to. As a member of the Galactic Patrolmen, it is my duty to protect the universe from dangerous space alien threats!”
“Those weren’t space aliens,” Ledas replied.
“Uh, yeah they were. Where do you think we are, Planet Luud?!”
“Is that like where you were born or something?”
“Shush!! If you haven’t noticed,” Jaco said, kicking a yeti corpse lightly, “none of these guys were Paprikan.”
“Oh.” Ledas scanned around the room, but he felt no significant power levels – nothing above what one would expect of a lurking cave spider or a radioactive stalagmite. “He’s not here anymore. Maybe those creatures killed him?”
“Baboons go down easy,” Jaco said, drawing his voice out. “No, he’s just hiding. Look harder!”
“Why don’t you? I told you already there’s no one else in here.”
“Then he escaped! We must go on, searching for him across the universe!” Jaco got a tear in his eye, holding the Dragon Ball up with one foot on a plump yeti belly. “It’ll be a grand tour! And we’ll catch him no matter what, I swear on the King’s seventh tentacle! I need those sixth months off.”
Ledas wasn’t listening to that jive nonsense. He had the freshly-repaired Dragon Radar in his hands. Widening the range to maximum, he noticed that four of the Dragon Balls were together on the other side of the world, but they were moving. He tracked their trajectory and realized that they were headed right towards this place. “Beelzebub’s on his way,” Ledas called out to Jaco. “We’re waiting for him. There’s just that seventh Dragon Ball to get, looks like…”
But that one was far away too, and it was not approaching – in fact, it was flying away from Ledas’ position, and not at a slow pace. Whoever had that ball was powerful. He felt a surge of heat rush through his veins. The thought of facing such an opponent, of testing himself truly for the first time since the Mind Prison… he couldn’t wait. He was half-tempted to leave right then and have Jaco give the balls to Beelzebub. But Jaco was a horribly stupid alien and he simply couldn’t be trusted with these two balls.
The boy descended to the ground, air-dashing over to Jaco and grabbing the Four Star Dragon Ball from his clutches. All around them, the yeti corpses melted to smoke, and dissolved up into the pitch black above them. Jaco was whining about a message the Colonel had sent him.
The smoke surged up until it was gone, and then they were alone again – Ledas was sure of that. This was the perfect opportunity to have another argument about who was really Super Elite.
“Give me chocolate! Buu want chocolate!”
Kibito Kai was busy looking at the Dragon Ball, smirking at it. As long as we have this Dragon Ball, Dabura’s son can’t have his wish! Now with Buu here, not even those Frieza soldiers could finish us! Then we can just take the Dragon Balls they have now and then no one will be in danger again! Wait, should I put the Dragon Ball on my planet? Then no one would be able to get it even if we somehow lose. Right, I’ll do that!
He was about to teleport to his planet when Buu grabbed him by the arm. “BUU WANT CHOCOLATE NOW!”
“Um, can I just do this one thi–”
Buu shook him up and down. “NO! BUU WANT CHOCOLATE NOW!” He then snatched the Dragon Ball and absorbed it into his gum like body. “There. Buu no give back ball until you give Buu chocolate.”
Kibito Kai sighed. “Well, I guess it’s safe in your flabby body too. Ok, I’ll get you chocolate. What kind?”
The Majin let out a puff of smoke. “You promise Buu he get to eat those meanies! You say Hercule’s plate get brought back!”
To be honest, he had completely forgotten about that deal he had made with Buu. “Um…ok, I don’t know where they are now, but in the meantime…uh.” He started to sweat, obviously panicking. He thought of no other way out of this situation, though he dreaded the moment now that he was actually confronted with it. “I can sense them and we can go there to fight them.”
He cheered a hearty cheer. “Yay! Buu turn them into chocolate!” And so, once again, Buu flew off, not actually heading anywhere in particular, grabbing onto Kibito Kai. Slowly but surely, the god directed Buu where to go and soon, they would face the greatest challenge on their journey yet.
The prince looked at Ledas. “I thought we agreed that I’d get the Dragon Balls. Bah, this makes it easier for me anyways.” Abo and Kado soon landed behind him.
The Galactic Patrolman was put into a frenzy seeing the former Frieza soldiers. “Ah! I-It’s Abo and Kado! This is just not my day!” He quickly hid behind Ledas. “A-a Super Elite allows bystanders to help if they want to…so help me, please!”
The Saiyan chuckled. “Don’t worry, these are just some guys I beat up not too long ago. They’re fine.”
”Yeah, and we’re good guys now!” Abo added.
The Super Elite warily got out from behind Ledas, squinting at Beelzebub. “What about this one? He seems suspicious…was he a bounty hunter hired by Abo and Kado before they became…ahem…‘good guys’?”
“I’m Beelzebub. I’m just here to bring my dad back with these Dragon Balls. Also, the two dolts are my bodyguards. They’re too stupid for me to even think about working for them.” He put his hand on his mouth, thinking. “Though being a bounty hunter would be really cool…”
Jaco looked at Ledas in confusion. “W-Wait! I thought you were going to make a wish with those things!”
“I only need to use one of the three wishes. Oh, right! You didn’t know that we could use three. My bad, heh.”
Jaco looked at the trio and whispered, “Hey, can I have a wish?”
Abo and Kado stood over the defender, making him fall down. “No! The third wish is for my dear brother and I!” Kado retorted.
Jaco got up and stepped back, glancing at Ledas and hoping he would back the Super Elite in this desperate time, but to no avail. “R-Right! I knew that! I was just testing you to…uh…see if you knew who I was! Everyone in the patrol would know that a Super Elite gets a good enough paycheck to get anything he wants! I have no need for wishes!”
“Oh, okay.” Abo said back.
The elite laughed a fake laugh. Truth is, I barely get a 401 K. The king says doing the deed is good enough, but I really want that new spaceship! Then maybe I can actually get some ladies…
Paprikan overheard this conversation and started to think. Abo and Kado are here too? Are they here to catch me? Sure, they say they want a wish, but they could be searching for me as well. No, last I heard they were chasin’ after that Saiyan. He then noticed Ledas’ tail. Wait, could he be the Saiyan they were chasing? I thought he was said to be weak! No, he must have hid his energy up until now and eventually led those two to the outskirts of the galaxy to not bring attention to himself. Yes, that must be it. Either that or he brought them here cuz this is his hideout where he had the home field and time to prepare. Heck, he even planned out getting the Galactic Patrol to help him in the fight against those two! Though then why would Abo and Kado work for that demon-looking kid? Must be a new officer’s son or somethin’ that I didn’t hear about. Doesn’t matter either way. I’m just gunna have to take their Dragon Balls.
Beelzebub took out his map. “Now that the small talk is out of the way, where’s the final one?” Strangely, the ball was moving on the map. “ Hey…the last ball is moving towards us!” He looked in the direction they were coming in and sensed the immense energies. “One of them’s that weird purple guy, and the other…I don’t know, but it’s even stronger!” If either of them hit me and take the balls, I’m done for!” He pointed to the twins. “You two! Go take them on! You too, Ledas!”
The twins followed his orders reluctantly and flew away. Ledas did not. “Psh, I’d rather take both on at the same time! It’s more fun that way!”
Beelzebub scowled at him. “What do you mean, ‘more fun’?”
“You should know that a Saiyan always likes a challenge! To be beaten to the brink of death only to rise up again!”
“Now that just sounds masochistic,” Jaco retorted.
The Saiyan sighed, his hands behind his head, walking lazily around the half-destroyed temple. On all sides, sheer drops, cloaked in pitch darkness, led directly to the underground river below. He kicked a bit of rubble off the edge, waiting to hear it break through the water. It never did.
“Hey, this is boring. Let’s go watch the fight!” Ledas complained.
Beelzebub shook his head. “It’s too dangerous.”
“Don’t worry!” Ledas boasted loudly. “If those idiots lose, I’ll get the ball for you, no problem.”
Unconvinced, the Prince of the Demon realm folded his hands and exhaled loudly. “Don’t get cocky now. There’s no way you’re strong enough to defeat that purple guy’s fighter.”
“Um… you remember that I beat Abo and Kado… and you too, for that matter. I’m the strongest one here. If anyone’s got a chance, it’s me.”
“Then you should’ve gone to fight him instead!” Beelzebub complained. “I told you to go!”
“Naaaah,” the boy replied casually, his hands still behind his head. “If they lose, I’ll do it. But I wanna see if they can actually win first.”
“B-b-but…” the demon boy sputtered, “you JUST said you wanted to fight that big power you sensed!!”
“Well, yeah.” Ledas didn’t see the contradiction. “I’m gonna fight him if he wins. If he can’t beat those two berry-lookin’ dudes, why should I bother?”
“You’re making this way more complicated than it needs to be,” the demon prince said bitterly, but there was nothing else they could do.
“I vote for staying here!” Jaco raised his hand boisterously. “Why follow them?”
“Because,” Ledas said, kicking off into the air, a faint blue aura forming around his body. “Abo and Kado will definitely mess it up somehow, even if they win. I don’t trust them.”
“Neither do I,” Beelzebub admitted, and he jumped into the sky as well.
“Stay here if you want,” Ledas said. “There might be a few more of those weird-looking smoke monster guys for you to smash up, Jaco.”
Jaco the Patrolman squeaked like a proper squeaker. “Th-that’s…” He swallowed, reliving the memory in a soundless, erratic blur. While it probably had looked, to outside observers, like he had absolutely wrecked those yeti noobs, in truth, Jaco had blacked out for the entire fight. He didn’t remember any of it, aside from closing his eyes and squeezing the trigger at random. Somehow he’d come out of that alive. He was a Super Elite, after all. But it wasn’t like he wanted to go through something like that again. “Fine, I’m coming too.”
Ledas blew a hole in the ceiling of the rock formation, bringing them back to the surface of Planet Earth. Abo and Kado had flown quite far already – he could sense that they had met up with Kibito Kai and Majin Buu a bit south of here, where an ocean should be, if his memory was right.
While he was not familiar with either Kibito Kai or Majin Buu, Ledas knew both of them, and he was surprised that they had stolen one of the balls to prevent their wishes from being made. He sort of wondered why that was, but he was certain that he was stronger than this iteration of Majin Buu if he went all out, so he wasn’t too worried. Nothing was going to stop him from reviving Shoekki. Remembering the pain he had seen in Ryori’s eyes when he had been forced to tell him what had happened, Ledas swallowed… It was because of me that Cardinal killed him. I have to make this right…
He led them on at first like the leader of a flight of birds going south for the winter, but after he realized just how slow Jaco and Beelzebub truly were (Jaco, fumbling with his boot rockets, didn’t seem to be able to fly very far or for very long), he grabbed them by the wrists and burst off through the sky, tearing sonic booms through the cloudless, frigid air.
If one listened closely, one could almost hear Jaco screaming as they disappeared into the vast greyness. Old habits die hard. Paprikan blinked in the light of the day. He wasn’t used to how bright this world was. He felt a familiar prodding sensation against his cheekbones beneath his skin, almost tender, almost painful. Pulling himself out of the hole Ledas had made, the Makyan cracked his neck and peered around the frozen tundra.
Sitting politely on a rock, not more than twenty feet away, the white-furred fox was panting lightly. In its mouth, clutched fiercely, was Paprikan’s scouter. He grinned. The only thing that would make this moment better would be a belly full of fire wine.
Maybe that’s what I’ll use my first wish on, he thought to himself.
- I believe I came up with this chapter's name. It mostly refers to Jaco's boasting throughout the chapter, although since Ledas is a Super Elite too, it could theoretically also refer to his interactions with Jaco.
- I wrote about 500 more words than Creeperman for this chapter.
- We began writing this story on June 29, 2017, nine hours and ten minutes after chapter 2 was published to the wiki. The first two scenes were written that day. We each wrote another section the next day, though the third scene was not completed in that time. We took July 1st off. The next day, Creeperman finished the third section, and I wrote a sizeable chunk of the fourth. On July 3rd, I finished the fourth section, and Creeperman wrote the fifth section. We finished the final scene on July 5th. Overall, this chapter was written fairly quickly. We took two days off, working for five other days, so that is a pretty good pace in my opinion.
- I don't recall if we discussed it, but Creeperman adding in the conversation about the PTO was a nice way to plant the idea for the intergalactic bounty hunting operation in Beelzebub's mind.
- I don't think Abo and Kado were part of the PTO when they went after Tarble, although I'm not sure if that's what Creeperman meant. He could also have a different headcanon about that than me.
- Not exactly sure how Brago knew the little orange balls with stars on them were called Dragon Balls. I mean if he knew the name, he should know there are seven of them.
- The first scene is kind of weirdly paced. There's an impatience in it, like Creeperman didn't want to write this story anymore. That also comes out in Brago's dialogue. He moves at a whirlwind speed to advance the plot for seemingly no reason.
- Brago's riddle is kind of weird and contains a lot of unnecessary information, but I do like how Abo and Kado nearly mess it up. That seems like some foreshadowing to me.
- I wonder how the Manu tribe's ritual to Ke Akua o ke Akua went without the Majin Buu blobs. How could they know it was a success? Also, if the Manu, Yeti, and Atlantean tribes were in contact with one another about their rituals, wouldn't King Brago know about the existence of other Dragon Balls? I am not sure this plotline is entirely logical.
- Beelzebub, for all his wit, is blinded by his greed. It was good of Creeperman to showcase his cleverness while also not have him realize that Brago was tricking him. Excellent characterization in the first section. The boy doesn't have enough real world experience to know that the way he won the Dragon Ball was too easy. I'm sure that after this, he will be more cautious if similar situations arise in the future.
- "Aw, come on, Bulma, how often do space pirates even stop by here?" - this was making fun of how Earth-centric the plots of Dragon Ball are. For some reason, all the powerful beings flock to Earth. Sure, the Dragon Balls are a good reason to come, but how would anyone even know about the Dragon Balls? It's not like people routinely come to Earth, use the Dragon Balls, fly off into space and then tell the whole galaxy about it. Beyond that, Bojack and Majin Buu arriving on Earth is just sheer convenience for the plot.
- Ledas did not drop the Dragon Radar in a volcano, as that would have destroyed it. His excuse was very childish. I'm sure Bulma saw right through it.
- Jaco had wanted Ledas' help the entire time, but being a prideful Super Elite, he had to go about it in a way that didn't make him look inept. I don't think he succeeded in that regard as well as he thought he did.
- "“You take that back!” The boy sounded horrified. “I’m not anyone’s sidekick!”" - of course, not counting Vegeta, for Vegeta is #1.
- "This old fat guy who liked to wear sailor’s caps once told me words are wind, so let’s be just like them, okay?" - this references George R.R. Martin. He famously overuses the phrase "words are wind" in A Dance With Dragons, the fifth volume of A Song of Ice and Fire.
- The tone I used in the second scene was a little too casual and silly for my liking nowadays. Ledas was a little too childish in how he acted towards Jaco, so overall, not my favorite scene.
- Beelzebub was kind of foolish to put the Dragon Balls in that safe. He should've been like King Himohimovich and kept them on his person at all times.
- The manager accidentally revealing that he knew there were multiple Dragon Balls in the safe was a good touch by Creeperman. These Manu birds really aren't close to being the smartest creatures on Earth. I also like how Creeperman made them so much different than the Atlanteans in that way, not that it was a super important part of the plot or anything.
- I like how the manager, a veritable bird man himself, refers to the guys who snuck into the hotel as "bird men". That was very Abo-esque of him.
- The "seed" detail was some nice world building. Of course, drugs are bad, so no good person would ever do seed, only the evil Rebirno gang members.
- I can't help but think of all the poor innocent bystanders lurking in that forest Beelzebub blew up. All the birds are the same, though, in terms of being stubborn until threatened, so I guess it had to be done. It's interesting how Beelzebub uses the same tactic against pretty much every bird in the first and third scenes. I can't say I disagree with how he goes about things, it's just funny how every single bird has basically the same interaction with him.
- As much as I like Abo and Kado, it was nice to have Beelzebub go on a mission by himself in the third scene.
- I expect that the parrot guard had Tourette's.
- "He was shifting his head from side to side as if someone was working his movements with invisible puppet strings. “It goin’ down! Aww dem motherfuckin’ bootleg fireworks shit!!”" - that line is based on this video. Additionally, the Manu clan members would not have known about ki, so seeing Beelzebub vaporize his companion, the remaining guard would no doubt think he hit him with something akin to fireworks.
- "The prince hated talkers." - this line, a callback to the name of chapter 1, foreshadows that Beelzebub will despise Jaco.
- The guards really got what was coming to them. Beelzebub gave them a chance to escape with their lives, but they had to be loyal. Silly birds. The Rebirno gang leadership had no clue they died so loyally, so what was the point?
- I have no memory of what allstar is.
- I don't remember exactly how we came up with the idea for Beelzebub to have a telepathic speech ability. I might have come up with it? I dunno. It will be useful in Heart of the Dragon, surely, but I don't recall why it was so necessary here. Maybe as a simple way to finish the Rebirno plotline.
- I believe Pergnant is a reference to a bird in Chaucer, but it's been so long since I've read the shitty Canterbury Tales that I can't exactly remember.
- "Now this bird was a very stupid bird, straight out of the nest, so he took this as a good situation for himself." - I quite like this sentence.
- The two birds with one stone joke wasn't bad. I also like how Beelzebub made the Rebirno think he'd live before killing him. That is some quality work by the Prince of the Demon Realm right there.
- I wish we would've clarified what exactly the three clans think their sacrifices with the Dragon Balls will do. Reigning victorious over what exactly?
- To be entirely honest, I don't understand Brago's argument. Not sure if that was intentional. His babbling doesn't have any logic or flow to it.
- While the Manu clan probably could not function without a leader, who says it has to be Brago? There are plenty of other birds in the clan. One of them could take over.
- Had I written the end of the third section, Beelzebub would have executed Brago.
- The Rebirno plotline is overall decent, but feels a bit too impatiently-paced. We could've probably spent another two or three sections on that plotline if we had wanted to.
- I believe Creeperman was supposed to write some of the fourth scene, but refused for some reason (I cannot remember why). That is why I ended up writing 2000 words in a row, which is by far the longest single section in AQFB.
- Paprikan's opening line in the fourth section is something I came up with some weeks before writing that part. At this point, he's somewhat delirious and drunk, so he's acting quite embarrassingly.
- "Paprikan remembered Tablorhe Vorno as memories of someone else. He was altogether different now, and the person he’d been back then, who had experienced those emotions, was as foreign to him as anyone he’d once known." - this is often how I feel when I re-read these old stories of mine to anthologize, including in the case of AQFB.
- Much of the atmosphere and physical description of the area in the fourth scene is based on the Valley of the Yetis DLC from Far Cry 4.
- Paprikan's doomed hunt for the Dragon Balls is worse than Kibito Kai's. He doesn't even get a single ball. He only gets to briefly see one (until his scheme in chapter 4). I kind of feel bad for the guy. He picked the absolute worst time to come to Earth to find the balls. He's the fourth faction going for them, and there's hardly even room for two.
- Ledas trolling Jaco by giving him back the Dragon Ball was one of the most satisfying scenes for me to write in this story.
- "The pirate quickly pulled out his trusty rusty knife and cut out the yeti’s heart, putting it in his bag. “Son of a Frieza, this thing is like all blood…” he whispered to himself." - this line references what one character in Far Cry 4 will say when harvesting a dead yeti.
- It's true that every Earthling is a space alien to Jaco. Can't be Earth-centric when portraying an alien. Still, it will never not be odd to me that he assumed he was fighting a horde of space aliens in that cave.
- Although I relentlessly mock Jaco in this story, he does get his badass moment when he takes out all of the yetis. I didn't want Ledas to annihilate them because then that would be giving Ledas too many cool moments in this story. There had to be some level of balance. Jaco deserved it, anyways, as he wouldn't be able to do anything against Paprikan.
- That Planet Luud reference was only for Creeperman's sake.
- "Baboons go down easy" - this is perhaps my favorite thing that Grunts say in Halo 2 (following a Brute's death).
- "“Then he escaped! We must go on, searching for him across the universe!” Jaco got a tear in his eye, holding the Dragon Ball up with one foot on a plump yeti belly. “It’ll be a grand tour! And we’ll catch him no matter what, I swear on the King’s seventh tentacle! I need those sixth months off.”" - I really despise GT if you couldn't tell.
- "He felt a surge of heat rush through his veins. The thought of facing such an opponent, of testing himself truly for the first time since the Mind Prison… he couldn’t wait." - this is one aspect of Ledas' personality that is identical to Goku. Perhaps this is the only thing the two Saiyans share in common. Additionally, the mind prison refers to the battle between Ledas and The Benefactor at the end of Dragon Ball Z: The Forgotten. In the two years since that battle, Ledas has not come close to fighting anyone on TB's level. I guess Kibito Kai is a decent test, but certainly he's not on TB's level either. Majin Buu, on the other hand, certainly is.
- I like how Creeperman writes for Kibito Kai. There's something irritating about how jittery and irrational Kibito Kai can be in canon that I think Creeperman did a good job of portraying here.
- It had to have been a terrible idea for Kibito Kai to want to remove the Dragon Ball from Earth. That ball belongs to Dende. I know Kibito Kai's a god and all, but that's really not cool. If I were Dende and I heard about that "plan", I'd immediately go to New Namek and wish for Kibito Kai to be forever imprisoned inside South Kai's planet, but that's just me.
- I'm sure Abo and Kado terrorized Galactic Patrol space many a time in the past years, so it was smart of Creeperman to have Jaco mention his history with them. I hadn't thought about that before he did so, but he was correct to do it.
- Again, the foreshadowing to Ledas and Beelzebub's bounty hunting by Creeperman was expertly-done. I am grateful that he put in the effort to build up to that, even though HOTD won't be a story he's involved in.
- I really like how Creeperman wrote for Abo and Kado in the sixth scene. Perhaps some of my style rubbed off on him by this point in our writing.
- Paprikans ramblings were quite funny to read. I especially liked his conspiracy about Tarble being Ledas.
- Ledas' role was fun to write in this story, particularly in scenes like the sixth scene of this chapter. He's in a very comfortable position. I'd say he's like a chaotic neutral character with how he approaches the fight between Kibito Kai/Majin Buu and Beelzebub/Abo/Kado/himself. Perhaps he's a little too cocky, though. Vegeta's personality rubbed off on him at an early age, so it's to be expected. I tried to evoke a sense similar to when Vegeta let Semi Perfect Cell become perfect. Ledas and Aka together would have been an unstoppable combo, but where's the fun in that? In that adrenaline-junkie mindset lies much of Vegeta's influence over Ledas as a warrior.
- I used way too many dialogue tags in the conversation between Ledas, Beelzebub, and Jaco.
- "he was certain that he was stronger than this iteration of Majin Buu if he went all out" - while this is certainly Ledas' perspective, he doesn't know what Majin Buu's full power is, so it's merely a guess on his part.
- I am pleased with the pace of this chapter, with the exception of perhaps adding a few more scenes to the Rebirno plotline. Overall, very solid that we managed to account for all seven balls in three chapters, setting up a final showdown in chapter 4. I believe at the time we finished this chapter, we assumed there would only be one more chapter. I don't recall exactly when we remembered that Towa's plotline needed to be resolved, but I don't think it was at this stage. Anyways, a very good chapter in my opinion, but of course I'd say that for any chapter that features Ledas so heavily.
Chapter 4: End of the Road
And now we go back a few moments prior…
“Ok, left.” Kibito Kai was still guiding Buu through the sky.
Buu lifted up his hands and looked at each, confused. “What left again?”
The god sighed and was about to explain when he noticed Abo and Kado arrived. He hastily hid behind Buu. “W-What are you two doing here?”
The duo started to stretch in sync. “The boss told us to go and fight you,” Abo said.
Kado was about to follow it up with a truly awesome one liner, but Buu gleefully slapped him towards an island. The deity sighed in relief as Abo flew to his brother. “Buu eat them up!” Buu followed Abo down to the island, as well as Kibito Kai a few moments later.
The red bodyguard had been hit into a rock, and was struggling to get out. His brother quickly pulled him out. “ARE you alright, brother?” Just as Kado was about to answer, Buu had flown in between them, sending the two away from each other.
“Buu eat you meanies up! You destroy Hercule’s plate!” Buu let out puffs of steam from his head.
Then, the two jumped out and body slammed each other, fusing into Aka. “Alright, now I’m serious!” With that, he punched Buu up into the air and flew up to continue the assault.
Kibito Kai, on the other hand, landed on a rock on the island to watch Buu fight. Although it seemed that Buu was losing, the Supreme Kai knew from experience that he was just playing around. Even still, he was relieved to see him actually doing what he wanted for once. He then glanced up in the air to see Ledas, Jaco, and Beelzebub arrive, and stepped back.
“Y-you’re… you’re one of Vegeta’s friends, aren’t you?!” Kibito Kai looked mighty worried when he noticed Ledas.
The Saiyan touched down on the remote island, which to any seagull worth his salt looked like a broken crown from overhead. He let go of Jaco and Beelzebub, the former collapsing in a pathetic heap in the rock-blasted sand. “Oh hiya. You’re that guy I always see at Mr. Satan’s parties, arentcha?”
“Uh…” Kibito Kai trailed off in disbelief. “I-I…”
Beelzebub snorted, unimpressed. The sun was so bright and hot, he could barely stand it. “Aka will beat your pet,” he said coldly. “And then I’ll have all seven Dragon Balls.”
Kibito Kai searched for Ledas’ name in his vast memory banks. Though he was a god, he had a limited amount of brainpower, and most of that, he’d used on memorizing how many planets there were in the universe. That was a useless statistic. Lord Beerus wasn’t set to wake for a few more years, so he wouldn’t need to update his counter until then, at least.
Emptying his mental recycle bin, Kibito Kai felt rather refreshed. “Well, pardon me, but it seems, I’ve forgotten your name…”
“That’s because we’ve never talked to each other before,” Ledas replied, staring hard at Kibito Kai’s ponytail. “What are you even doing here?”
“Trying to stop him,” Kibito Kai replied, pointing to the Prince of the Demon Realm. “He’s trying to gather all the Dragon Balls to wish back his father!”
The waves beat against the rocks; nonchalantly, he said, “Yeah, I know. I guess once those two are done with Buu, we’ll make the wish right here.”
“Y-you… what?!” Kibito Kai was about to have an aneurysm. “Don’t you know who his father is?!”
The air cracked and boomed. Aka and Buu had disappeared from sight.
“Dabura was the King of the Demon Realm… He came here with Buu and tried to kill everyone… He was with Babidi trying to take over the universe…!”
“No he wasn’t!” Beelzebub said, his voice rising with emotion. “That stupid green dude took my father away against his will! I was there, I saw it happen!”
“I…” Kibito Kai stopped. He’s right… what if Dabura was really a good guy? What if it was Babidi that was the real problem and not anyone else…? He looked to the sky, sensing Buu moving at incredible speed. Water was spiraling in gushing waves, foaming at the tips. No way. I’m better than that! It’s just a trick… he’s trying anything. I have to remember that he’s a demon too. He’ll try anything. “N-no…! I don’t believe you! Your father was an incredibly powerful demon – stronger than even Cell…” Dead silence followed. “Oh… right. That’s right! None of you were here for Cell…”
“Who was he?” Ledas asked, cocking his head. “Was he strong?”
The Supreme Kai shrugged. “Not by your standards, nor Buu’s. But that’s beside the point. He reminded me a lot of Jaco’s last girlfriend.”
“What?!” the Galactic Patrolman shrieked, jumping to his feet. “How do you know about Space Sheila?!”
Kibito Kai smiled creepily. He had forgotten that none of them knew he was a god, which made this whole exchange unbearably awkward, and he couldn’t even begin to guess why.
Buu let out a long shout of glee, appearing in the air like a wad of partially-chewed gum. “Buu wanna smash! Let Buu smash!!” he cried, pounding his chest like a yeti.
Distracted by Buu’s antics, Kibito Kai rushed back into the sky to make sure Buu didn’t get too sidetracked and lose the fight.
“That guy’s an idiot.”
“You don’t have to tell me.”
“Yo, Aka’s going to lose. He doesn’t stand a chance against Buu.”
“Then why don’t you…”
Like a black, roaring tide he came. Ledas the Saiyan heard him before he touched the boy’s shoulder. His ears perked up and his head started to turn, but it was too late. Paprikan grasped Ledas’ right shoulder, twisting him to face the Makyan. Only at the last possible moment had he let go of the restraints of concealing his power and let the warm, enthralling, depersonalizing rush of his total power flood through his veins, intoxicating him with Makyan bloodlust.
The boy’s grey eyes bloomed wide and white, and Paprikan headbutted him murderously. The boy dropped; Jaco screamed, taking a good look before scrambling away down a slope of sea rocks. The Demon Prince hardly reacted to his presence, merely twisting his head a fraction to get a good look at him.
“Those Dragon Balls are mine. The wishes belong to me!”
“Oh, you want them too, do you?!” Beelzebub drew back, gaining enough distance from the man so as to read this situation correctly. He pulled off his cape and unshouldered his bag and set them on the ground next to him. “In that case, I’m going to have to kill you. Sorry,” Beelzebub said, “but I’m going to light you up.”
“Oh, come on then! If that’s what you want, I won’t disappoint you…!”
A red energy ball in each hand, Beelzebub dashed at Paprikan. He threw the one in his left hand first. When it exploded against the man, he didn’t even flinch. The second one hit him in the face just as Beelzebub reached him. The boy was already swinging his fist down upon the greedy alien’s head when Paprikan’s eyes shone suddenly black, and the air boiled over.
Paprikan cackled as his energy wave pulse, in black, strobing waves, sprung out from his body. Each one hit Beelzebub, staggering him, pushing him back. He was a weak boy. Paprikan loved this feeling. He was about to kill everyone. They couldn’t stop him. He hadn’t even…
The boy’s finger beam cut his cheek. Paprikan fell to a knee, grunting as blackish blood spilled out onto the sun-beaten rocks. Gasping, he felt the cold, salty sting, and his rage was renewed. “You bastard! Now I’m done playing around!”
His energy beam came out a dark blue color. He’d once used this technique sparring with Admiral Bael. The admiral hadn’t managed to dodge it. This boy had much less hope.
In a blinding wave of light and heat, Beelzebub was hit by the attack and thrown off the island, into the sea, carried down and away by the beam. Paprikan chased after him, following the foaming wave that was forming around the descending blast. Clicking his scouter, he got a power reading of only 100,000 from the boy. That was high for anyone, really. But it was no concern for Paprikan. Someone with a power level that low wouldn’t be able to last another round against him.
Kibito Kai had gotten to Buu, his hand grasped on Aka’s leg. Aka, on the other hand, had grasped onto Buu’s head tentacle. The two’s other open hands were grasping one another. They were in a stalemate, though the fusion’s grip was fading fast. “Good job, Buu! Just a few more hits and I’ll get you your chocolate!”
Buu became distracted when he heard chocolate and turned to his ally. “Chocolate?! Wait…Buu wanted chocolate now!”
Aka smirked. “Ahaha! Now for my second super ultra technique! Flaming Wahaha no Ha!” The fireball utterly destroyed Buu’s body and was so powerful that it hit Kibito Kai as well, flinging him down to the ocean, near unconscious. When the blast dissipated, only a Dragon Ball remained, falling to the ground. The fusion quickly flew down and grabbed it. “Yahahah! I did it! We did it! We saved the world! We actually did something for the boss! Hah, we’re so good at our job! Ahahah!” He tossed the Dragon Ball up and down in the air, and, inevitably, dropped it clumsily into the ocean. He stood staring blankly into his hand for a few moments. “Uh…crud.”
Another fault of this dumb brute was not noticing that giant pink spheres were forming together in front of him. When he finally did notice, which was when he dropped the ball, Buu had reformed. “That was good attack! I wanna do it too!”
Aka, at first not at all surprised that Buu suddenly reappeared, rubbed below his nose. “Hah, that technique can only be performed by the innate bond between two brothers, formed together to unleashed a giant ball of flaming glory!” Seconds later, Buu had opened his mouth and fired the blast towards the ocean, evaporating a great deal of the water and causing a giant explosion. Not to mention it was a much bigger blast than Aka’s.
He stood dumbfounded, then finally realized that the Majin had reformed. “H-Hey! You can’t do that! That’s cheating!”
He looked at his big yellow gloves. “Buu no cheat! You lie to Buu!”
“Ugh, fine. If you’re gunna whine about it then we’ll play another game where you don’t cheat. Got it?”
“Ok then. Now…uh…let’s play fetch. You get a shiny ball down there.” He pointed down to the evaporated ocean.
Buu nodded again. “Okay, okay!” With that, the childish demon flew down into the water. He quickly came back up with the Dragon Ball. Truth be told, Aka hadn’t planned on Buu getting the Dragon Ball and truly thought playing fetch was a good way to teach Buu not to cheat. Either way, he lucked out.
“Uh…good job. I can now say that you aren’t a cheater.”
The demon man bounced up and down. “Yaaaaaay!” He put his hand on his lip. “If you play with Buu, does that mean you Buu’s friend?”
Aka tapped his head. “Uh…yes. Yes it does.” He then unfused into Abo and Kado, each sighing as Buu skipped around the two gleefully.
Beelzebub had finally regained balance after a few minutes of flying across the ocean, and had ended up in front of a pirate ship. He flew up and stepped onto the ship. There he was faced with a jolly old crew of pirates, one whose arm was held by a beautiful woman with long blue hair. “Honey, who’s that?”
“Nothin’ we can’t handle, Maron, sweetie. Attack!” As the men charged with their swords, Beelzebub kicked them all off of the boat. Maron screeched and ran into the captain's quarters.
Paprikan then landed next to the demon boy. He looked around the ship. “I suppose this place works for your grave. I am a space pirate, after all, so this is only fitting.” With that, he summoned a scarlet red ki blade from his hand in the shape of a hook. He swung at the child, who easily ducked it, leading to the rogue soldier to slice the mast in two, which then fell into the water. “Ah, so you’re faster than I thou–” Before he could finish his sentence, the demon boy had delivered a swift kick to his jaw, flinging two of the pirate’s teeth into the water. Paprikan wiped his face with his other hand, eyes flaming. “Alright, you’re dead!”
Just as he was about to swing again, the captain of the pirates came out with Maron beside him. He was a giant worm monster, wearing an eyepatch and a wee little pirate hat. “Yar, I be Patchjaw the pirate! I see that ye hurt me lass here along with me crew!” He spit a sword out then grasped it with his mouth. He started blindly swinging it around like a dog playing with its new toy on Christmas day. “En grd!” He said, his voice muffled. Paprikan sliced the sword in half with his hook, and the captain dropped it. “Yar, I see you be a strong one!”
Before he could say anything more, Beelzebub had kicked that slithery worm man out to the outer reaches of this vast ocean with no name. “Man, that was annoying.”
“Hey, you big dolts! Can’t you notice the beautiful lady standing in front of you?” The two looked at Maron who swished her hair lusciously through the air, hoping that these two characters would instantly stop fighting and be head over heels for her. She thought herself to be the ultimate and perfect person. Turns out she was wrong since all that happened was that Paprikan tossed her overboard along with the rest of the crew. So ended the sorry tale of this band of pirates, but no one actually cares.
“Alright, now with that out of the w–” The demon boy elbowed Paprikan in the stomach, then with his other hand, he fired a ki blast at the Mayakan’s jaw. He staggered back, in utter shock “H-how…your power level is just 100,000! A mere 100,000!”
“Power levels? What are you talking about? Either way, you better check again buddy because you aren’t even close to my level.” The Mayakan fumbled to check the boy’s power again. “Well? What is it?”
“S-Six million? Six million?! T-That’s impossible!” Unwilling to accept this fact, Paprikan summoned another hook blade from his other hand and making each hook even bigger. Desperately, he swung his arms around, hoping to strike his target, but alas, Beelzebub easily dodged the blows.
Paprikan then fired an eye beam at the boy, which actually did hit, stunning him for a short while. Quickly, the soldier took advantage of this and slashed him up into the air and unleashed a flurry of blows. He then sledgehammered him back down into the ship splitting it in half. Not yet done with his assault, he created a small ball of energy in his hand. He held his other outstretched hand behind it, also with ki formed on it. “Pepper Shaker!” With that, a swirling red tornado of energy blasted towards the sea, sucking up the water and ending with a giant explosion. He huffed and puffed.
Before he could think of a witty response, Beelzebub fired a blast into his face, destroying his scouter and leaving a wound on the Mayakan’s forehead. “You suck at this, don’t you?”
The officer glared at the boy, fueled with rage. “Y-You…I-I just want some space beer! That’s all I want! Why do you have to get in my way for me to get that?”
“Space beer? Really? I think bringing my dad back is more important than making a washed up alcoholic go deeper into his addiction.”
“Don’t get cocky now, boy. Let me tell you that I’ve been hidi–” Beelzebub fired another blast at his face. He screamed out in pain
“Really, just get to the point in your sentences.”
Paprikan smirked. “Oh, I’m going to enjoy tearing you apart.” He suddenly buffed up immensely, his skin becoming a blood red color and his eyes becoming white. Beelzebub smiled at this new challenge, hoping it would at least some enjoyment. An appetizer of satisfaction before the main course of his wish being fulfilled. He took a battle stance, starting his opponent down, and charged.
“Wake up… wake up…! Wake. Up. Wake. Up. Wake! Up!” Jaco shook Ledas violently, his unsupported head whipping back and forth savagely.
“Yo… I didn’t steal those cucumbers, they were broken when I found ‘em!”
“Ledas, wake up!”
“Oh, huh?!” He looked around, not understanding where he was. “Who are you?!”
“Ledas… now is not the time! Those dubious-looking aliens up there got the last Dragon Ball!”
“Aw, they did? But Majin Buu was stronger…”
“They outwitted him.”
“Oh. Well I shouldn’t be surprised. As dumb as those two are, they’re no Buus.”
“Hey, I heard that!” Kado sobbed. “Abo my brother, my beautiful brother, my blue baby boy, Abo my dearest brother, see how this filthy monkey hurts me brother? Do you see how cruel he is to me?!”
Abo was eating some space candy from his pocket.
“Just give me the ball.”
In a blink, he jumped left, grabbing Beelzebub’s bag and kicking off back to catch the Three Star Dragon Ball just in time. Landing, Ledas set all seven orange balls onto a relatively even spot in the wild sand garden.
“Where’s Beelzebub?” Abo asked.
“We have them all gathered now,” Ledas said. He could sense the purple man, his power level decreased from before, but still nearby. “As long as that weird guy with the ponytail is trying to stop this from happening, we can’t hope to keep them safely here.”
“Buu want chocolate!!” Buu screamed, as Buu often would.
The Saiyan boy threw him a half-empty box of milk duds from the deep recesses of his pockets that had probably been in there for like two weeks but that was exactly how Buu liked it. “Alright, so Eternal Dragon guy, I summon you! Come forth to fulfill our wishes right noooooow!” He tried to be all dramatic, but he was a poor actor and a poorer dancer.
“Ah… duauauauuuaaauaghhhhhh!!!” Kado screamed as a dark light shot up from the Dragon Balls into the sky like a cumshot in reverse.
The skies darkened, lightning flashed, thunder boomed, the seas got really rough, there were suddenly a lot of clouds, and it was otherwise very much like one would expect it to be during a foreboding moment such as this. The wind went whoooooosh and then kagracchaaaaah and it was real spooky, too spooky for Jaco who ran behind Ledas again and made him purr when he did that.
“I am Shenron, the Eternal Dragon!” Suddenly there was a huge serpentine green dragon in the sky and it was balla as heck. “You have three wishes. State them and let’s get this over with.”
Ledas, who had only ever heard of Shenron from Vegeta, had never met this majestic snake-looking guy before, and stood in awe. It was a great honor and a privilege. Quickly, Abo stepped forward. “Ahem, thank you, thank you,” Abo said, peering around to his compatriots and offering to shake their hands, but Ledas and Jaco both declined. Abo’s hands were filthy. “Yes, hello Mr. Shenron, it is your honor to welcome me here to your wishing ceremony,” he said elegantly, bowing just a little bit, but adding proper color to his intonations so as to hold the attention of very old teachers who like to scream in class and play as soap opera characters from obscure Japanese television programs. “I wish that me and my brother Kado, who is also my brother, would be instantly transported into a luxury suite in the Pink Oyster Cult on Poonjab VII.”
“An easy wish.”
Abo squealed with glee.
“Abo, my brother, my only blue brother, does this mean…?” His eyes were wet with tears.
“Ginyu promised, yo.”
Light coated their bodies; there was a loud pop, like loose popcorn in a microwave, and they were gone.
“Those horrible fools!” Jaco shouted, shaking his fist. “That’s all they wished for?! What a waste!”
“Where Buu’s friends?” Buu screamed.
“Buu shut up!” Ledas complained.
“No!! Buu have indigestion!!”
“That’s cuz you always eat them all at the same time! You don’t have any patience!!”
“Buu no need patience, Buu need candy! Buu want candy!!” The pink blob whose sailor’s belly resembled the Grand Supreme Kai’s thicc and luscious curves was outraged.
Ledas jumped at Buu, going Super Saiyan 2 in midair. As his fist connected against Buu’s cheek, he roared, holding it there, bringing up a surge of light blue energy, enough to wrench Buu from where he was standing and throw him into the ocean.
From over the water, Kibito Kai, flying slowly back to the island, watched Buu tumble into the sea, unconscious. There was Shenron above the puny rock structure, towering over them like a god. The skies crackled with lightning again. Shenron was speaking, but he couldn’t hear what he was saying.
Suddenly, candy started falling out of the sky. All sorts of kinds. Chocolates, candy corn, smarties, M&Ms and more. Ledas looked around in surprise. “Your second wish has been granted. State your third now.”
The Saiyan glared down at Buu’s body. That idiot just had to wish for candy! Well…I’m sorry Beelzebub. I promised Ryori I’d get his brother back. I’m not letting that go, he thought to himself. “I wish Shoekki back to life!”
The dragon’s eyes glowed. “Your wish has been granted.”
Ledas looked around, hoping to see Shoekki in front of him. “Wait, I thought you said you brought him back!”
“Indeed. I brought him back to life. That was the wish. You did not ask for him to be transported to you.”
The boy rubbed the back of his head. “Man, you do like specifications for someone who takes wishes from idiots like Buu.”
Shenron didn’t even give a response to this and merely said “Farewell.” Then, the Dragon Balls flew up into the air and each dispersed across the planet once more.
Jaco then shoved his way in front of Ledas and shouted up into the air. “NO! I wanted a new spaceshiiiiip!” He fell to his knees in despair. “My spaceship…”
We once again go back a few moments prior…
Beelzebub punched Paprikan in the gut, completely expecting his opponent to fall in pain. Instead, Paprikan took the hit head on with no injury and smiled. The soldier then grabbed the boy by the head and put his other hand out towards him. He then fired multiple beams from his fingers, piercing through the boy’s skin. He howled out in pain. The elite then tossed the body to the ocean. “Ya shouldn’t have underestimated me, kid.”
He was about to fly away when Beelzebub grabbed a hold of himself and fired a giant blast of energy at Paprikan, sending him flying off into the distance. The demon held onto his chest and wheezed. “Same to you.” He looked down at his bleeding chest and winced. The sky suddenly turned dark, though he was too busy thinking to notice. No, it wasn’t supposed to end like this. Okay, just calm down. Even though he’s stronger than me, he still has wounds from when I injured him before. If I can just target those and dodge most of his blows, I should be fine.
The pirate had arrived back to Beelzebub and flared up his energy. He was about to fire a barrage of ki blasts when he heard a voice in his head, saying Boo!.”What the blaze–”
Beelzebub took this opportunity and rammed his head into Paprikan’s gash in his forehead and then slashed at it. The officer regained balance and caught him in a bear hug, squeezing the life out of him. He laughed hysterically. “You’re pretty clever! However, you weren’t clever eno–” Beelzebub looked up and blasted an eyebeam at the open wound, going straight through the man’s head. The pirate immediately let go of the boy and dropped down into the sea. His corpse floated in the water as his blood spread across the ocean surface.
The prince coughed and said, “Heh…I told you not to talk so much.” With that, he struggled to fly to a piece of land, then passed out as the sky returned back to its blue color.
Ledas bent over to poke Beelzebub’s cheek for a third time. “Not again, Khulketti!!”
The prince rolled over, screaming in his sleep. When he raised his hand, Ledas thought nothing of it, though a second later, a pink ki blast, wide enough to rend this lifeless rock in two, was unleashed, and Ledas got cooked up good. He didn’t particularly enjoy being cooked up by a demon’s ki like that, and it would never happen again, no sir.
Regardless, the sneak attack had caught him off guard, which was most certainly a common Saiyan trait, luckily for Beelzebub (and, not long from now, Sorbet too), and Ledas was thrown into the ocean again where he sank like a stone. That was not why he had come here.
His body was throbbing with pain, but he felt alright. Scratching his head, Beelzebub looked around, not seeing anyone. “Hello? Weird space pirate guy, was that you?”
Everything he laid his eyes upon was ocean. He was real thirsty. Reaching for his bag, he swore. He’d left it on the other island, and his last bottle of water, straight from the demon realm, tasting veritably of sulfur and sand, had been in that bag. He didn’t know where he was either. That big red idiot had blasted him all the way out here, and now Beelzebub didn’t know how to get back.
Luckily for him, there was a wonderful Saiyan named Ledas who was around, and he decided to at that moment breach from beneath the churning blue like a whale because this is supposed to be a cool moment. Seaweed in his hair, Ledas landed delicately on the edge of island, which was now barely wide enough to support two people.
“I could ask you the same.”
Ledas scratched the back of his head, wincing and looking away. “Well, um, we used up the Dragon Balls.”
“What…?!” His fury echoed through the empty, salty air.
“Yeah, well, Abo and Kado used the first wish to transport themselves to the Pink Oyster Cult on Poonjab VII–”
“I should’ve never trusted those two!! They get a wish, but not me…?!”
“…and then Buu wished for candy on accident.”
“WHO IS BUU?!” Beelzebub jumped up, stomping the ground until the island shattered and fell into the sea. The two remained hovering, Beelzebub moving uncontrollably in his rage.
“That pink demon guy Abo and Kado fought…”
“HE’S A DEMON TOO?!”
“Look dude, you gotta chill out.”
“No way Ledas, one of those wishes was mine!”
The Saiyan shrugged. “I told you I was getting a wish, and I did.”
“So you took the third one…”
The demon boy’s eyes narrowed in disgust. “You owe me big.”
Ledas shrugged. “I think you should be talking to Buu about that.”
“Y-you… you said he was stronger than Aka.”
“Yeah. So am I. I’m stronger than Buu as well; he’s nothing compared to me.”
“Y-y… I…” Beelzebub shook his fist at the sky, cursing this damn sun. “Just take me back to my stuff okay?”
“Can’t find your own way?” Ledas asked innocently.
“I should really turn you into stone for that,” the boy muttered to himself.
“Alright then, let’s go.”
Beelzebub let Ledas grab his wrist again, knowing he couldn’t keep up with this boy at all. It annoyed him that he was weaker than this dolt. They rushed on through the wind, the desolate sea spreading onwards and wrapping him in its coldness. He almost felt like crying, as pathetic as that was. He was shocked at himself. What am I doing? I’m not some stupid baby. Beelzebub’s mind could not shake the image of his father that last day when he had stood up from the throne, Babidi’s mark painted on his forehead. And now, he’d never see his father again, truly.
Arriving back at the island, Ledas dropped Beelzebub next to Jaco, who was sitting on a rock, enjoying the view, sipping from a half-empty water bottle.
“Wh-what are you doing?!” the demon shrieked, tackling the Galactic Patrolman.
“Hey… I was thirsty…”
“That was MY water!!” He wrenched the bottle from Jaco’s grasp, wiping the rim off with his cape and giving the alien a death stare. “I’m glad you didn’t manage to make a wish. I just knew a nerd like you would get left in the dust.”
“Wh-what…” Jaco flushed in embarrassment. “H-hey… you didn’t get a wish either!”
“I should kill you just like I killed that big red guy…” the prince said in a low voice.
“Hang on… what?! Are you talking about Paprikan?”
Beelzebub shrugged. “He called himself a space pirate and he was pretty strong. He wanted the Dragon Balls to wish for beer and wine and stuff. He was a mess. But in the end his stupidity got him killed, just like yours will if you keep this up!”
Jaco stepped back, now entirely fearful of this boy. “Man…you can take out Paprikan. Maybe you would be as good as a bounty hunter.”
The prince, surprisingly, spit out his water and turned to the Super Elite. “You can actually get me to be a bounty hunter?”
Ledas was also intrigued about this idea and also got giddy. “Ooh, ooh! Going across the universe, takin’ out tough bad guys!”
“Rollin’ in sweet money, beatin’ people I don’t like up!”
“That sounds amazing!” they both said, leaving Jaco flustered.
The demon then rubbed his head, thinking about it more in depth. “Well, now that I think about it, that’s still a lot of work. Not to mention I still have to keep things somewhat intact in the Demon Realm, thanks to you dolts.”
The Saiyan completely ignored this and was still infatuated with this idea. “Well, I think it sounds really cool! Going across space and beating aliens up! It’d be just like the good ol’ days with me and Vegeta!”
“You do know that it takes more than beating people up to do the job, right?”
He did not know that. “Uh…what else is there?”
The boy groaned. “There’s administration, advertising of the job, payment distribution and more. Now I know that you're too stupid to do the job alone.”
“Aw…but I wanted to do bounty hunting.”
“You can always work together, ya know. The Galactic Law doesn’t prohibit bounty hunting businesses, as long as they don’t directly work with criminals and just do their jobs…and especially if they’re super strong.” Jaco said, muttering the last words under his breath.
The Saiyan’s eyes beamed again and he grabbed onto Beelzebub's arm. “We can be a bounty hunting duo! What should we call our business…”
Beelzebub shoved the child off his arm and replied, “As the person who’s going to do the main parts of this job, I dub our corporation, ‘Demon Hunters Incorporated™ ’.”
“B-But we aren’t hunting demons…or are we?”
“Shush, it sounds cool.”
The Galactic Patrolman knew there was no stopping them at this point, so he took two devices from his pocket and gave them to the founders of this business.
Ledas flicked it. “What are these supposed to be?”
“They’re transmitters connected to the Galactic HQ. They usually update the criminals who need to be hunted every week or so.”
Concerned, the prince asked, “How is Ledas even going to take them out if they’re in space? He can’t breathe in space.” He looked at Ledas suspiciously. “Or can you?”
“I dunno. Never really tried it before.”
Jaco stood proud. “If you remember, a Super Elite can get whatever he wants! I can just give you a ship!”
“Didn’t you try to wish for a new ship though?” Ledas retorted.
He started to sweat a little, but said back, “Ahahah, nonsense! That was just a joke! Ahahah!”
“It wasn’t really that funny.”
Jaco looked down, tapping his fingers together. “I thought it was neat.” He then started thinking to himself. Bah, what am I saying! All I have is my ship! I can’t afford another one! I can’t exactly tell them I was lying at this point either. Well, there’s always the space taxi.
“Alright, so we’ll have our first meeting at that uh ‘Capsule Corporation’ after a week. Then once we rack up a few kills, I should be able to afford a headquarters in this realm. Got that?”
He nodded. “Yeah, sure.” He then remembered he still had to pick up Shoekki and waved his hand. “I have to go! See ya later, partner!”
Though Beelzebub winced at Ledas calling him partner, he waved his hand back as the boy flew away. He then looked at Jaco. “Alright, so I expect that ship before the end of the week. Park it at the Capsule Corp, got it?”
Scared, he saluted. “Um…yes, of course!” Wanting to get out of there, he booted up his boots and flew away. Beelzebub was about to depart too, when a voice called out to him. “N-No…I won’t let you…I won’t let you leave.” He turned and saw a very bloody Kibito Kai, panting, and holding on to Buu’s head tentacle.
“Oh. You’re still here.”
“I… won’t… let you…” Kibito Kai stumbled to the ground, limping to the demon boy, a look of pure rage on his face. “You won’t…”
“Congrats, old man. You win. I didn’t get a wish.”
“You heard me, ponytail.”
“I-I… hey, wait a minute, take that back!”
Kibito Kai straightened up a bit, eyeing the boy slyly. “And you can’t wish him back anymore?”
“No way, man. The Dragon Balls were all used up. Now I just wanna go home.”
He doesn’t know they recharge every year… best keep him oblivious to that fact. “R-right, of course. How can I help?”
“Shut up.” He found his bag, pulling it over his shoulder. He plucked a little device with a blue light on the tip and showed it to Kibito Kai. “Whenever I want to go home, she said I should just press this button.”
So he did. They waited in silence for more than five minutes. Nothing happened. He pressed the button several more times. The blue light on the end never even lit up. “Aw crap…”
“What is it?”
“Aunt Towa forgot the batteries. There’s no way for me to get home now. I can’t travel between realms…”
“Oh, that’s a shame…” Kibito Kai said casually. But, on the other hand, if he stays here, he’ll cause more mischief and he’ll definitely find out about the Dragon Balls, meaning it’s in everyone’s best interest if we get him out of here. “Um, ahem, I-I guess I can take you back…”
“No offense, but you don’t look like you could get yourself back to the hole you crawled out of.”
He felt like punching the kid, but he was a Supreme Kai, at least partially, and that was beneath him. “Look, I can take you home, but if you keep talking like that, I’ll leave you somewhere remote, somewhere no one will find you and that way you won’t be able to terrorize anyone ever again!”
For once, there was confusion on the demon’s face. “What are you talking about?”
“You want to revive your father to take over the world! I cannot allow it. Majin Buu may be dealt with but that doesn’t mean I will not remain vigilant!”
He sounded so noble, it was making Beelzebub cringe. “Shut up! I want to revive my dad to bring him home! I don’t care about this stupid world!”
Kibito Kai did not expect this. Maybe the boy actually wasn’t lying when he said that Dabura wasn’t evil. After all, he never really checked on him in heaven. Wait, that was it! “Um…I can take you to see your dad.”
“What are you talking about?! He’s dead and the Dragon Balls are gone and I’ll never see him again.” The boy was actually tearing up, though he quickly wiped them away.
“Listen. I’m actually a Supreme Kai. A god of the universe.”
“Well, you suck at your job.”
“I’m trying to help you!” He regained composure. “Look. I can take you to the Other World so you can see your father.”
Beelzebub was in utter disbelief. “R-Really?” The Kai nodded. Beelzebub kneeled to the ground. “Then please, take me to see him!” He nodded again, let go of Buu, then put his head on the child, teleporting them to the Other World.
Buu then woke up and scratched his stomach. He then looked around and frowned to see that no one was there and sadly flew back to the party.
They had teleported to King Yemma, who was stamping papers. He fell back in his chair, seeing the Supreme Kai.
“T-The Supreme Kai? W-What are you doing here?”
“I’ve got Dabura’s son with me. I was going to show him where his father is now. Is that alright, King Yemma?”
“O-of course, anything you wish!” Yemma threw up his hands, yelling for his ogres to do unmentionable things, spilling his coffee all over his mahogany desk. Swearing loudly, he called for towels and maids and furiously swung back in his fancy King Yemma chair and went crashing through a wall.
“Let’s just go,” Kibito Kai whispered to Beelzebub. The faster I’m rid of this little devil, the better. “I know where he is.”
“You don’t have to touch me for this part, do you?”
They flew through a window, but Kibito Kai went first, so it was okay. Then they traveled through the air for a sufficiently long enough time before vast fields of golden flowers came into sight. It was at this sight that Kibito Kai halted. “There he is,” he pointed to Dabura, who was indeed right where Kibito Kai had pointed. “Go talk to him.”
The wounded Kai looked like he was about to crack, and Beelzebub would have paid good coin to see that happen. Nevertheless, he approached his father cautiously from the air. The first thing he noticed was the wreath of flowers in King Dabura’s hair. Next was the second wreath of flowers around his neck. Thirdly, Beelzebub noticed the third wreath of flowers around Dabura’s midsection, which he wore like a belt. There were also two smaller wreaths hanging from his ears like earrings. And there was also the tongue piercing with just a single flower on it. And of course, that didn’t count the bracelet-sized wreaths around his wrists and elbows.
His father was humming something happy. He leaned forward to pick a new batch of flowers to hold in one of his two hands because he has two hands usually. “Cash me outside howbow dat…” he murmured angrily to himself, pulling out another bunch of flowers.
It was like one of Paprikan’s punches, like that moment after a really good meal. “Take me home please,” Beelzebub said, landing in front of the Supreme Kai. “I’ve seen enough.”
- I think I named this chapter, but I am not certain about that. Regardless, this is my favorite chapter name in the story.
- I wrote about 367 more words than Creeperman did for this chapter, so a fairly equal collaboration for this chapter overall. We had almost the exact same word counts before my final section.
- We began this chapter on the morning of July 6, 2017, about sixteen and a half hours after publishing the third chapter to the wiki. Creeperman wrote his first section during that time. I came back later in the day to add my first section. Then, that evening, we wrote a lot of the chapter, finishing the first four scenes in that time. The next day, we continued writing in the afternoon, finishing scenes 5-7 in the evening. I posted the chapter to the wiki one minute after finishing it. Overall, an extremely quick pace with this one, the best in the entire story. I am not surprised, considering this chapter contains most of the climactic fights that we've been building up to for tens of thousands of words.
- I wrote the blurb for this chapter. It's not about a character in AQFB, but is written in the same way that Paprikan's report would be (which was mentioned in the second chapter's blurb). Kohitsu is a character who will appear very early in Heart of the Dragon and is the bounty who Ledas goes for that introduces him to Linessi. Also, given that Ledas and Beelzebub form their bounty hunting group at the end of the chapter, it felt appropriate to show what a bounty posted by the Galactic Patrol looks like.
- I don't remember why Creeperman wrote such a short opening section. Kind of weird, that.
- While Ledas was disrespecting Kibito Kai with his line about seeing him at Mr. Satan's parties, it's not like ol KK has done anything noteworthy, or godly, at any point in his life.
- "Emptying his mental recycle bin, Kibito Kai felt rather refreshed. “Well, pardon me, but it seems, I’ve forgotten your name…” - haha get it, Ledas is the forgotten, haha great job KV.
- Ledas not caring about who Dabura was is another example of his more chaotic neutral tendencies.
- It was fun to bring up the discussion about Cell, as history lessons for the fanon characters are very valuable so that I can make obscure references in future stories that they will be able to understand.
- Kibito Kai was also not on Earth during the Cell Arc, and I find it hard to believe that he was watching Earth during that struggle. Perhaps Piccolo told him about it, though, as that would explain why he holds Piccolo in such high regard.
- Kibito Kai had to be a bit of a voyeur due to his isolation and ability to remote view anybody in the universe. Like Old Kai, I think he misused this power, though not in an intentionally sexual way like the Master Roshi copy.
- Knocking Ledas out was the only way to give Paprikan a decent fight, and what would be the point of introducing Paprikan without allowing him to fight Beelzebub? Paprikan is Beelzebub's first true test. He needed to have at least one meaningful fight in this story, and the good Makyan proved to be the only one around his power level, so it was an easy choice to have the events unfold in this way.
- Paprikan's ability to conceal his power level is unusual for a PTO officer. In the years since he left the PTO, he also got significantly stronger than most of them, including Abo and Kado, so the message here is that it pays to do nothing but wander around drunk all the time.
- I don't think Paprikan's eye technique was based on Jiren, as we finished this chapter two days after the TOP in the Tournament of Power Saga began (Jiren doesn't fight in the first episode). It's kind of interesting to see that I came up with such a similar technique to Jiren's signature move.
- Paprikan has to have a new-age scouter to be able to get a reading that high.
- The idea to use the flaming Wahaha no Ha was a good one, working well with Buu absorbing the ball earlier in the story.
- To think that Aka ruined everything just because he couldn't juggle one Dragon Ball. Very much the Abo-side fucking things up, in my opinion.
- Buu is a proper div. I'm surprised that Aka knew how to exploit his stupidity so easily, having just met the Majin.
- I had completely forgotten about the pirate ship. I think it was a good call to have a change of scenery here. The Maron cameo was very cool. That appearance is very in-line with the general tone of A Quest for Booty.
- I thought that the fight between Aka and Buu took place relatively close to the northern pole (Creeperman might've thought differently), so when those pirates go into the water, they surely die within minutes, due to the cold.
- One must wonder how Paprikan knew about non-space pirate ships. Even so, I like the silliness of that line.
- Whenever someone loses teeth in one of my stories, they tend to die not soon after. Rarely do the toothless go free (unless we're talking about Recoome). Don't remember if we discussed that, but yeah, Paprikan is taking critical damage here (in the first scene, his cheek was also shredded), and only because he's expected to die soon.
- The worm captain thingy is so random lol. It's hard to imagine Maron being with such a man, but maybe he has quite a lot of booty.
- "So ended the sorry tale of this band of pirates, but no one actually cares." - the pirates were an excellent metaphor for Paprikan, so well done with that.
- Maron couldn't have died, because I don't want to believe she died.
- I like how arrogantly Creeperman wrote Beelzebub. The kid's not known for being a warrior, but he slips into the role naturally.
- Ledas would have only used cucumbers because better materials were not readily available to him. With that said, it take a lot of force to break a cucumber, so who knows what the hell was going on. Also, that vegetable was chosen because Cuber exists.
- Jaco should have told Ledas that Beelzebub was fighting Paprikan. That was some cold lotion right there.
- "“Ah… duauauauuuaaauaghhhhhh!!!” Kado screamed as a dark light shot up from the Dragon Balls into the sky like a cumshot in reverse." - this is a reference to this scene from Spongebob. Kado, not expecting the Eternal Dragon's entrance to be a fifth as dramatic as it was, reacted accordingly.
- It was a lot of fun writing Abo's acceptance speech before making his wish. He assumed, because he's Abo, that he just received some Emmy or other similar award, and had to make a speech about it to get his wish. Why did he think that? Well, it's not overtly stated in the story, but Abo is actually not a very intelligent guy. So he was just a tiny bit mistaken on the procedure there, and hilarity ensues, etc., so proud of myself for writing that.
- Dende's Shenron, having been born from the loins of a small Namekian child who witnessed Kami's Shenron transport Piccolo, Gohan, Vegeta, and the Namekians from Namek to Earth, was not unsure about his ability to do inter-planetary shenanigans.
- The Poonjab VII stuff is a reference to Twelve Majestic Lies. In the final section of that story, the following exchange occurs between Ginyu and Abo/Kado:
Kado’s eyes sparkled like Cream of King Cold. “Tell us where to get that sweet alien booty, please. Captain Ginyu, you’re a legend! Can we be on your team?”
Those brothers were weird aliens, strange beings that should’ve been left immobile on the subaquatic hydrothermal vents of Arcose’s southern ocean. They made him feel uncomfortable to be around, particularly because one was red, and the other was blue. But more than that, if one combines their names, it will become “Abokado”, which sounds a lot like space avocados, and space avocados are hardly worth the effort of even mentioning, let alone eating.
All of this is to say that in the mediocrity of their personalities and appearance, Ginyu found his hatred of them. Why would anyone like Abo and Kado? Why would Frieza hire them? Why would they be given titles and ships for their strength? They were horrible, horrible scum, and Ginyu didn’t like them one bit, if that wasn’t already clear enough.
“The best place…” Ginyu whispered, lowering his voice dramatically, “is the Pink Oyster Cult on Poonjab VII.”
Abo and Kado never forgot that interaction, and so the name of this story itself is revealed. A Quest for Booty is not named after Beelzebub's journey, nor Ledas', nor Buu's, nor Paprikan's. It is named after the quest Abo and Kado take to get to Poonjab VII. And with all that said, I'm not sure if they could pay for the suite once they got there, but they are strong enough to force the issue if need be.
- Buu wishing for candy was a critical reveal for the story. I don't remember exactly when or who came up with that idea, but once we did, it felt like, to me, that A Quest for Booty was in solid shape. Beelzebub was never going to get his wish, and I needed to get Abo and Kado off of Earth. Thus, that left one open wish. Buu has said many times already that he wants candy, so to have him say it here again was a nice payoff. One wouldn't expect that wish to go through until thinking it over again, due to Buu saying that phrase so much. It was a really nice bit of plotting in my opinion.
- The first time Ledas powers up in this story, he swats Buu aside like the common housefly that he is. As the neutral party in the struggle between Kibito Kai and Beelzebub, he could have ended matters quickly, like this, much earlier in the story, but that wouldn't have been in-character for him.
- It is interesting to me that Creeperman wrote Ledas wishing Shoekki back to life. I probably intentionally had him do that, but I can't be sure three and a half years later. It is nice to read a pivotal moment in your OC's life and realizing that you didn't write it. Very satisfying scene to read, too.
- Creeperman utilizing the demon's mind reading ability to outwit Paprikan was a very good idea, and well-written too.
- I like how Beelzebub kills Paprikan. The Makyan is stronger than him at this stage, but tactics beat muscle every time. He played Paprikan like a fiddle. Focusing on his prior wounds was a nice moment too, as it gave those earlier wounds actual consequence to the story. This is very similar to how Cuber kills the stronger Chukberry in chapter 14 Dragon Ball: The Mrovian Series: Genocide Escape saga. That chapter wasn't posted until April 2019, but HZ had told me about how Cuber was going to kill Zarbon's lover many years beforehand. I don't think I told Creeperman about that, though, so we had some nice parallel thinking going on here.
- Jaco woke up Ledas in scene 4 and now Ledas wakes up Beelzebub in scene 6. Were there a scene 8, Beelzebub would've woken up Jaco.
- "He didn’t particularly enjoy being cooked up by a demon’s ki like that, and it would never happen again, no sir." - this references Ledas' death scene in the prologue of The Last Saiyan. Ledas is killed by Aekyarian, Beelzebub's uncle, in that scene.
- Ledas doesn't owe Beelzebub anything, nor will he ever.
- At one point in time, in some future story of mine, Beelzebub will turn someone to stone. My deviant mind sometimes goes to a sex scene, where he tries to use his own spit as lube and then turns himself to stone, but I don't think that'd be canon respecting.
- The final paragraph of the sixth scene really irritates me. It is almost written well, but is not there yet. It needs like 7 changes, and not all of them are minor. This frustrates me, because that is a very big moment in Beelzebub's characterization and I handled it crudely.
- Very nice moment when Jaco says that Beelzebub should become a bounty hunter. He's been thinking about it for a while, but that comment really brought it home. I find it interesting that Creeperman was the one to write almost all of the Beelzebub bounty hunter moments in this story. I guess that's just how it happened with the distribution of scenes, but I might have neglected that a bit, myself.
- Demon Hunters Incorporated™ isn't the worst name, and is kind of funny, but in the end, they will be known as the Starchasers.
- "“Shush, it sounds cool.”" - true, but more importantly, this line sounds like something Creeperman himself would say to me in a similar situation. He's probably used this exact phrasing before.
- Since there's conflicting information on if Saiyans can breathe in space, Creeperman was wise to have an indecisive answer from Ledas about that. Also, it's not like Beelzebub can breathe in space either, so I don't know why he was so concerned about that.
- Jaco was really stupid to offer them his ship, given the fact that Ledas has his space pod, plus the Model-14 TG/SV Sub. Ex. I will declare it canonical now that they didn't take his ship, which must've been a huge relief to him. One can see how Jaco gets himself into these dicey situations when he makes so many unforced errors.
- Kibito Kai is like Saruman during the Scouring of the Shire. I love his weakness, his wretchedness, his stupidity in the seventh scene. While certain characters are relentlessly mocked in A Quest for Booty, none are done as dirty, nor are as deserving of it, as Kibito Kai.
- I don't remember why we took so many turns during the seventh scene. Five turns for an 1800 word scene is a bit unusual, given our previous pace. Not sure if there was any specific reason to that or if we did it unintentionally.
- Beelzebub not knowing that the Dragon Balls could recharge was a crucial detail, otherwise he would have returned in one year's time to try again. With that said, Creeperman came up with an even better idea to get around that, with Kibito Kai taking the boy to Heaven to see what Dabura has become. Either way, I prefer it that Beelzebub doesn't know that the Dragon Balls recharge. He may learn at some point, and probably will, as some Dragon Balls (not Earth's) are used by the Starchasers in Heart of the Dragon. But yeah, it was better that he didn't know right now, as he could have tried to wish for something else, and Age 777's wishes were reserved for Hyper Zergling to revive Kailon.
- It goes without saying, but Aunt Towa did not forget the batteries. I kind of like that Towa, being the final boss, wasn't revealed until after the Dragon Balls were collected. Kind of a cool series of events if you ask me. It's a very atypical storyline, because, in the end, who is really the main villain of AQFB? Kibito Kai? Towa? Beelzebub? I don't think any single one of them fulfills that role, especially since Towa is only in one short scene prior to chapter 5 (and doesn't even come into that chapter until several scenes into it). To have so many villains and have none of them be the big baddie is structurally interesting to me.
- "“No offense, but you don’t look like you could get yourself back to the hole you crawled out of.”" - I don't know how that could be taken without offense. Honestly, this might be my favorite Beelzebub line in the story. We'll see. There's one more chapter's worth of content to mine through.
- "It was like one of Paprikan’s punches, like that moment after a really good meal." - tried to go for contrasting feelings here, as what Beelzebub feels upon seeing his father is not simply one emotion. It's complicated, as they say, and I don't think it's all bad or all good, regardless.
- I believe that Beelzebub will go see his father some day, but he's not prepared as of yet, especially not after seeing what Dabura has become. Also, it must be mentioned that before Beelzebub went to heaven, he hadn't seen his father in more than three hundred years. I'm sure he had an image of the man in his mind which was shattered in that moment. It's going to take some time to get over that. Not sure if he will visit his father in Heart of the Dragon or afterwards, but demons are long-lived, so he has plenty of time.
Chapter 5: The One Where Everything Gets Resolved and Stuff
Do do do
Picking some flowers
Do bee dee
Gunna make a bonnet
Dah dee dah
-A small sampiling of Dabura's singing in heaven
“Servant! Give me that wrench there!”
“Of course, Queen Towa.”
She took the tool from his hand, as the servant walked out of the room, and twisted some bolts onto her newest device: a metal bracelet with dozens of buttons on it. She then lifted it up with glee. Towa had done it. Not only had she become the absolute ruler of the Demon Realm with any and all competition killed off or imprisoned, but she had just finished a portable device to transport to and from this world with ease.
The only way she had gotten that brat out of the Demon Realm in the first place was through a very old and ruined portal made by Babidi, which was restricted only to the elite demons at that point. It was so run down, in fact, that no more than a pair could go through the portal at once without it breaking - woefully inefficient to send every demon through it. Even if she had gotten all of them to come to the portal, there was no telling if the portal would have been accidentally destroyed. This was the same reasoning for why she hadn’t tried to enhance the portal with her technology either. Either way, she had destroyed that portal shortly after her nephew left, just in case he somehow did as she asked or had been a coward and tried to come back to cry about it being too hard.
However, this portal device was vastly superior to that idiot Babidi’s magic. It could transport the user to and from the human and demon worlds. It could send mass amounts of demons to Earth at once with the push of another button, at least hypothetically speaking. She hadn’t tested out the device herself yet, but she had checked her calculations dozens, no, hundreds of times! It couldn’t possibly fail!
The one major problem she had yet to fix, however, was the amount of revolts still going on. Though she had tried to rule through many methods, she was merely met with anger and savagery. She was admittedly nowhere near as merciless or effective as a ruler as her brother had been. No matter. Once she revealed this device, she would be hailed as the greatest ruler in the history of the Demon Realm!
There was still the problem of how to transport them without Earth's defenders taking them out. They would be able to take out all of them in an instant, and that just wouldn’t do. Maybe I should create a fighter stronger than any of them. After all, I do have all the parts necessary here. Yes, I’ll keep the device a secret until my ultimate invention is made. I shall name it...Project: Mira.
She was about to laugh hysterically when Kibito Kai and Beelzebub teleported above Towa and fell on her, making her drop the device. The god quickly got out of the pile and teleported out of the Demon Realm.
“Before I leave, lemme tell y’all a little something…”
The gangly dude collapsed against his ship, vomiting all over the window. “Think of the children!” a patron yelled hysterically.
“And that’s another ticket for public intoxication!” Jaco rushed forward, getting out his ticket pad. “The way this is going, I’m going to have to take you in.”
“Listen man, I ain’t takin’ no shit from a Tech-Tech…”
Jaco gasped. “I’m not a-”
“Take it, bitch,” he said, lunging pathetically at the Galactic Patrolman, his teeth bleeding red with vomit.
“Whoa there.” Calmly, he slipped around the drunken man, pulling out his energy cuffs. “Attempted assault of a Super Elite!” The man attempted to reach for Jaco, spinning wildly. He wasn’t fast enough. Jaco slipped around the man’s embrace, grabbing his arm, pulling it behind his back along with the other, and snapping the cuffs on tight. “That’s a class-two felony. If you keep going on like this, you’ll never see starlight again.”
He had to struggle to contain his glee.
“I don’t even like that shit!” the man screamed wildly, spilling more of his stomach’s contents all over the ground. A man went screaming, running to his ship. The parking lot reverberated with the sound of his vessel’s twin engines. When it grew silent again, the drunken man struggled hard against Jaco.
“Whoa there, settle down. You don’t want me to have to tranquilize you, trust me.”
“Lemme go I was just-”
“You were just driving drunk through high-trafficked space. You told me two minutes ago that you wanted the patented Sonikku Meat Stick, and that’s why you drove all the way out here.”
A green-skinned Yardrat watched coolly from the crowd that had gathered. This Sonikku fast food stop was located on a small asteroid - the only settlement on this rock. A long time ago, this place had been the haunt of space pirates and smugglers. But then came Frieza’s Force, and they wiped out everyone. The Planet Trade Organization persisted, alas, even with Frieza long gone. Its power and reach no longer extended to this section of space; Jaco could patrol it without fear of coming into contact with those terrifying aliens ever again.
They dispersed, most back into the restaurant. A few alighted like passing comets and were gone. It grew quiet, almost.
He didn’t expect to have to use his tranquilizer, but the man just would not shut up. “I told ya, I told ya, I was just comin’ out for a quick Meat Stick, goin’ right back home, you know I was only going to go back home, you know it!”
Jaco shot him. The alien’s head hit the space rocks hard. “You’ll feel that in the morning,” Jaco said to no one at all, not even himself.
“We’ve got a runner!” he heard a woman shout.
The man was already halfway across the parking lot, sprinting as if in a fever dream. The tranquilizer was sticking out of his neck, wobbling as the man ran awkwardly, his arms chained behind his back. Jaco knew exactly where he was headed - but he wouldn’t get there in time. Vomiting down his chest, the man continued on, running past the woman who had called out. His vomit was not the color of space wine anymore, but blacker, rustier, bubbling and foul-smelling, and wherever it landed, the ground began to steam.
He was headed for the restaurant again. Things were about to get messy. Jaco’s boot rockets engaged. Like a drop of flame, he reached her, overtook her, and passed. Whatever she had held in her hand was now crumbling to ash. Their eyes met; an old familiar feeling squeezed its way through his body. The boundless desolation of space flooded his vision.
The alien crashed into the Sonikku’s door, shattering the glass, going down easy. Jaco skidded to a stop. As he caught his footing, his head fell back, and the heat of those desolate, far-off stars flowed down inside him with a roar.
“Argh...he had to give me a rough landing.” The prince looked down to see his aunt. “OH. Hey, Auntie Towa.”
The queen was beyond shocked. H-How did he return? There was a 0% chance of him coming back! Towa scowled at her nephew, lying through her teeth. “Beelzebub...what a...pleasant surprise. Who was that...that man just now?”
“That was a lame god guy. He got in my way for a while, but then he took me to see Dad in heaven.”
Towa stepped back in surprise. “Was it that Supreme Kai?! And wait, Dabura was in heaven?!”
“I know, right? I got the balls and everything, but two of the wishes were taken by idiots. The other one was used by my partner. But man, I’m happy I didn’t bring him back. He’s a total disgrace to the Demon Realm! Picking flowers...how dumb, right?”
Her own brother was in heaven. Surely he didn’t go there of his own volition. Yes, he was just brainwashed into thinking such a childish thing like picking flowers was a good idea. If only that brat had wished him back then she could’ve reminded him of what he really was. That was in the past, though. Once Mira was created, she could just do it herself. She turned her head to look at the device. “That’s truly a shame.”
She was about to go and grab it when Beelzebub took it. “H-hey! Give that back, you dolt!”
He looked at the buttons closely. He then pointed it at a vial and clicked a button labelled Teleportation-2. The vial was then hit with a green light and poof, it was gone from the room. “A teleporter, huh? Maybe you should’ve given me this this before I left. After all, the stupid button you gave me didn’t work.”
His aunt promptly slapped Beelzebub on the cheek, sending him across the room, though he still held on. “I really didn't want to get my hands dirty or to waste my time with you. Give me the device. Now.”
Though the child didn’t know what was going on he rubbed his cheek and smiled. “Why should I? Do you need this for something?”
“Yes, you stupid insolent child! I’m going to make the demons prosper more than even Dabura did. I’m going to free us all and lay waste to the human realm! I am not only your aunt, but your QUEEN! Now give me the device and maybe I WON’T kill you!”
Beelzebub put his hand on his chin and then pointed the device at his aunt. “Wanna go to the human realm now?”
Towa quickly tried to rush the child in desperation, but it was too late. He had already pushed the button, promptly transporting her to who knows where on Earth. “Pff. Queen? I’m the ruler of the realm, not you. And I’m not havin’ my bounty hunting business be ruined by these demons.” He looked at the device again. “Ya know, Auntie, maybe you’ll be our first target.”
He was eating dried macaroni decorations from the inside window of the drawer next to the refrigerator. When Beelzebub emerged from a gash of light just to his right, he screamed like a little girl, which Beelzebub thought was quite appropriate for a boy of his disposition.
There was a jug of mango smoothie on the marble counter. The demon casually took a deep swig of it. Wiping his mouth, he said, “Alright, Ledas?”
“Whoa… how did you do that, Beelzy?”
The King of the Demon Realm fluttered his cape to make things significantly more dramatic. “Don’t ever call me that again, damn it!”
“Okay, sorry. But how did you get here, yo? How’d you find me?”
“Do you actually want to know that?” Beelzebub held up Towa’s device. “I promise there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation, but do you really care?”
Ledas shrugged. “So, are ya gonna tell me why you’re here or what?”
“My Aunt.” He got real serious, putting his hands on the counter, slouching forward. “She tried to take over the Demon Realm while I was gone… well that was the whole reason she sent me here, but I didn’t know that until I got back. She imprisoned my mother, executed almost all of my father’s loyal demons…” His body was quivering, and try though he might, Beelzebub could not hide it entirely. “I banished her for that. And now I want her gone for good. You wanna help?”
“Good.” He sighed, setting the empty pitcher on the counter. In the bay window behind the sink, a young Nebelung was sunbathing. “Hey… wait a minute, this isn’t the same place as last time…”
“My last house got destroyed somehow.”
“Shame.” Beelzebub put the device on the counter and said, “Make sure no one takes this. I’m leaving it here.”
“Why’s that?” Ledas had sat himself on a stool at the kitchen’s island, a kiwi in his hands, cutting it open with a knife.
“We’re going to find my Aunt and make sure she doesn’t come back. If I don’t take it with me, she can’t find it, and there’s no way she can get back to the Demon Realm.”
His mouth was full of fruit. “Oh…”
“You can sense her, can’t you?” The demon’s voice was eager.
“Hey, wait a minute. If you can’t sense people, how did you find me?! You didn’t even know this was a different house at first!”
“Th-that’s not a plo - you know what, never mind. I don’t have to tell you anything. You stole my wish.”
“You stole my mango smoothie! I’m gonna…” The boy trailed off.
“What is it?”
“Uh… I think I just sensed her,” he said distantly. “How long ago did you banish her?”
Beelzebub shrugged. “A couple days ago.”
“A-and you waited this long to tell me?”
The kitchen was at least three times as large as the previous one. Beelzebub found that especially unsettling. The counters were all black marble, the drawers white as snow. In the middle of the room, a silver-finished stovetop looked more like a table than a cooking station. This place was significantly fancier than the Saiyan’s previous house. Something was amiss. He could smell it in the air.
I’ll have to keep an eye on him, Beelzebub thought to himself. There’s something weird going on with this kid. How could he afford a place like this?
Now was not the time to bring that up. “I’m surprised no one sensed her and knew she was here. She must have been hiding.”
“Your aunt’s stronger than you. She’s not powered up all the way, but I can tell. Do you know exactly how strong she is?”
“Dunno. I can’t sense energy. I have no idea what Aunt Towa’s capable of. Never seen her fight anyone. But she’s my dad’s sister, so her full power must be insane. My dad was the strongest demon to ever live…”
His voice broke. “Let’s go then.” Ledas jumped up, looking at the demon carefully. There were thoughts in his brain, empty thoughts, like shredded paper drifting through a warzone. He could sense Towa was much stronger than Beelzebub. The gap between them was almost impossible to imagine. A rush of heat flooded his veins. Excitement spread through his chest. This old familiar feeling always made him tremble a little.
He hadn’t looked so forward to a fight in years. “Will you kill her?” Beelzebub asked him, breaking Ledas from the trance of his thoughts. “Consider this our first mission together. Pretend she’s a bounty.”
“Sure,” the Saiyan replied. “I’m not going to mess around, I promise. I don’t want her destroying the Earth if she gets desperate.”
“Ha. I just want her gone. I don’t care how long it takes.”
She must have been put on the most remote island in the whole world. Towa was hiding on a tropical little rock much further south than South City, tinkering with a little device. She then clicked a button on it, and it broke apart. She threw the pieces on the ground in frustration.
“That imputent child! Of course he had to arrive just after I had made my device! If he had just come a little earlier or a little later I could have just killed him!” She looked at the pieces and sighed. “No, this is fine. As long as I can get better materials from this realm I should be able to make my way back to kill him. It doesn’t have to be as advanced as the first version. Not to mention that I have all the time in the world to finish it now. Yes, just be careful about the defenders, take things slow and I should be fine.” Towa inhaled and exhaled slowly and was about to fly away when she sensed Beelzebub and an unknown ki approach. Neither were even near her level. She smirked. “Or I could take this opportunity to get the device back!” With that she grabbed her staff, leaned against a rock and flew off to reclaim her invention.
“So, how much closer is she?”
Ledas was about to answer when he stopped. “It disappeared. She can suppress her ki.”
“What? That means she knows we’re coming?”
“Probably.” He looked down towards the ocean and fired a large ki blast into the water. This sent a large amount of the water shooting into the air, revealing a large area of land in return. There he saw Towa and smirked. He motioned her to come up to the air and she quickly obliged. “You’re pretty sneaky, trying to catch us off guard like that. Though it was pretty predictable.”
The mistress twirled her staff around, grinning. “It wasn’t just a way to try to kill you easily. It was also a test to see if you could really sense energy and not just wandering around with no sense of direction. This makes it safe to assume you too can suppress your energy. Even though neither of you two could lay a finger on me, that information gives the probability that you may try to run, hide your energy and get much stronger reinforcements.” She stopped twirling the staff and pointed it at Ledas. “Now that you don’t have that information kept secret anymore, however, I can easily stop that from happening.”
Beelzebub flew back a little, glancing at the Saiyan. “I’ll leave this all to you, Ledas.”
This caught the woman off guard and leaving her with a bigger smirk. “Do you really think this child stands a chance against me alone? Even though you assisting is futile, I would’ve thought you’d at least make an attempt to attack me together.”
The child turned to his ally and then to Towa, giving a grin just like Towa’s. It sickened her how the two were even related. “Oh, believe me, I won’t need to interfere.”
The boy cracked his knuckles together and instantly turned into a Super Saiyan. Towa flew back in genuine shock and even a hint of fear. “A-A Saiyan?” She laughed nervously, trying to keep her cool, though she sensed the Saiyan was very easily an equal to her power. “You think that transformation means you’ve won? Though you may have equalled me, you don’t have the intellect to bea-”
The child wagged his finger back and forth, holding one eye closed. “Don’t get too excited, yet, Towa. I’m still not done transforming yet!” He was about to try to come up with an awesome line Vegeta would say, but alas, he could not think of one in time before his opponent pointed her staff at her nephew, encasing him in a red bubble.
She brought the bubble closer to her quickly and held onto it. “One more move and he dies. Even with your power now I know you can’t attack me before I can kill him.” She smiled. “Of course, unless you don’t mind him dying.”
Ledas hesitated and glanced at his ally. Beelzebub then glared at Ledas and spoke to him in his mind. I have a plan. My aunt’s staff is the-
“Aaaaaaaah!” Ledas screamed suddenly. “Get outta my head!!”
Grasping the sides of his head, the boy jerked sharply, as if he was trying to pull the mysterious voice out of his skull. “My nephew attempted to contact you using telepathy, didn’t he?” Towa pointed her staff at Ledas. “No matter. Try anything you like. It won’t help you, pest.”
Bubbling dark energy pooled around the sharp tip of her staff. Clutching her nephew against her side, Towa did not look afraid as she aimed her attack. Ledas shrugged. Prince Beelzebub screamed a muffled scream, his aunt holding him tight under her left arm. That was her non-dominant side, Ledas could tell.
There had once been a man named Dewberry whom Ledas, to this day, hated very much. He had once held someone Ledas loved very much as a hostage, just as Towa held Beelzebub now (Ledas barely even liked Beelzebub though, which made the comparison almost a wasted effort). He had once pointed a device at Ledas and threatened him much like this woman was now. Her energy was more powerful than Dewberry’s had been, but that didn’t matter. He had gained a new transformation since his last encounter with Dewberry, and thus the results would be the same.
“That’s right!” Towa goaded him, releasing her bubbling wine-colored energy. It flew like falling icicles, tracking towards Ledas like homing finger beams. “Try blocking this!”
Ledas, don’t! Beelzebub shouted in the echo chambers of his mind. She was shaking the boy, in his trapped state, breaking him from their mental tether. Ledas couldn’t understand how she knew that time that they were communicating telepathically.
He had little time to focus on such trivial matters. The attack was bearing down upon him. This was his favorite part. “Don’t blink!” he shouted boyishly at Towa.
As his own eyelids shut, Ledas disappeared, and when he reappeared behind Towa, his hair had grown spikier, slightly longer, and electrical sparks were popping around his shining golden aura. He roared and punched her in the back. The woman screamed, dropping Beelzebub and her staff, coughing up blood.
He caught the demon easily, breaking him out of Towa’s energy wrappings before her staff even hit the water. “Where are you going?!” he called after the woman’s falling body, suddenly surging forward in a golden blur to catch her by the ankle.
Blood was dripping from Towa’s mouth. She hung upside down, her eyes fluttering, appearing more than a little dazed. “Let me go, you brat!”
Dropping her, Ledas teleported above the demon and savagely bicycle kicked down upon her chest. Groaning, she caught herself in the air, firing a purple energy ball up at him that split into five smaller balls, homing in on Ledas. The boy burst through them, flaring his aura and deflecting the attack effortlessly.
Across the water, Towa’s other attack was drifting upwards like a fleet of bullet trains cutting through a tangerine sky.
He headbutted her, teleported below Towa, catching her back on his feet and kicking upwards. Pursuing immediately, Ledas kicked and punched Towa’s back hard from behind, causing her body to continue tumbling upwards. Catching her several times with unexpected and savage left hooks, he managed to knock her unconscious. Seeing the lifelessness in her body, Ledas jumped upon Towa’s back, wrapping his arms and legs around her upper chest and neck.
The two tumbled back down towards the ocean, the wind screaming in their ears. Towa awoke suddenly and began struggling and screaming against the boy’s grip, but it was no use. He held on tight, releasing his left hand to reach around to her face and punch her hard three times in the jaw.
He pulled his hand back as she released a torrent of fire from her mouth. Ledas’ fist returned, curling around Towa’s head. This time, he punched her hard in the forehead. And when he did, the Saiyan’s fist glowed green and black, and ice-like, murky ki flashed out from the back of her skull, stopping just an inch before Ledas’ mouth.
Her resistance and screaming came to an abrupt end.
Holding on for a moment above that soundless and desolate sea, blue as sapphire, Ledas waited until he was sure she had left this world. At last, he dropped the corpse, incinerating it with a Kyorra Flash before it reached the waves. Beelzebub flew up to him. The boy maintained his form, feeling its latent strain upon his body, knowing he would have to deal with that problem soon. Had it been frozen, the sea could not have appeared more empty.
“Sooooo…” Ledas said after a long pause, stretching his voice, “who’s our next target?”
Beelzebub chuckled to himself. This was better than he could have expected. I’m going to be rich, he knew. The monkey kid’s not half bad. We could really make a killing out there in space… and I wouldn’t even have to go with him. It’s no risk. His grin widened. The demon thought of his father, then his aunt, then his mother, and then finally, his realm.
He would be a fair and just king for all the demons, he swore to himself. A better king than Father, even, he thought, for he knew he wasn’t ever going to become a lame old man who liked to pick flowers all day long in literally the last place a demon should ever be seen. With all the money I’ll bring in, the Demon Realm will become as modern as this place before I’m gone.
It was a noble plan from a noble demon, and that should bring a tear to anyone’s eye. But at this precise moment, Beelzebub actually wanted nothing more than to curse this world’s damn sun, as he had done on numerous occasions before. He would have been able to have done so if not for that wild pack of rabid clouds. They covered that sun up real good, ya feel me, like Oolong deep in the bloomers. And there’s probably some symbolism in that, but Beelzebub was a dumb child on account of King Dabura once dropping his sword on baby Beelzy’s head two or three times, so it’s not like he could be expected to figure out what that means yo.
- Fairly certain I named this chapter.
- I wrote 850 more words than Creeperman did for this chapter.
- We began writing this chapter on July 12, 2017, five days after the publishing of chapter 4. On that day, from the morning to evening, we wrote the first three scenes (two for Creeperman, one for me). I wrote my second section the next day, which took us up through the end of the fourth scene and into the fifth. On the afternoon of July 15th, Creeperman finished the fifth scene. He then wrote the remainder of his final section later that night, in the wee hours, which was very noble of him, etc. I finished my final section the next evening. Overall, a fairly quick pace once we started, though we did take a five day break between chapters 4 and 5 for some unknown reason.
- This is the shortest chapter and features the fewest sections by each writer at three apiece.
- Creeperman wrote the opening blurb. This song explains why Beelzebub didn't go see his father at the end of the previous chapter. Looking back on it now, we very well could have switched the blurbs for chapters 4 and 5.
- Good description of the portal device, and the lore behind it was solid. I shall be using that device semi-frequently in HOTD. A very nice contribution by Creeperman to the universe.
- I'm fairly certain that when Creeperman wrote the Project: Mira thing, he was assuming that we were about to go in a Dragon Ball Heroes direction. If only he knew how much I despise Heroes. It's probably my all-time least favorite thing in the Dragon Ball universe, although there are several contenders, so I can't say that definitely. Dunno if the unfinished Mira will ever show up in any of my future stories.
- The second scene exists only to give Jaco some closure to his plotline. It felt weird to never see him again after chapter 4. His character arc wasn't completed in that chapter, so I gave him a small send-off here.
- The Sonikku restaurant that Jaco is at in the second scene is the same one that Kuriza and the Ginyu Force go to in the first scene of Twelve Majestic Lies, further tying that story to this one.
- The Yardrat watching Jaco fighting the drunken alien is none other than Somen, which was a reference to Across the Universe, my other major collaboration of 2017. I was working on that one at the same time as this story.
- When the drunken alien vomits near the end of the second section, what he vomits up is something foul and infected. He's got some disease. Is it Bahkaar's Plague, perhaps? One can never be too sure. It's gotta be some kind of disease, but considering Jaco is still around in Dragon Ball Super, it couldn't have been too contagious.
- Towa's reaction to Dabura being in heaven was unique. I hadn't expected that. It works well with her elitist mindset. Overall, Creeperman does a good job of building up Towa's personality in the first and third scenes after her absence in chapters 2-4. It had to be done quickly, but I don't think it was rushed.
- Towa lacks patience in this story, and she's kind of jittery. The way she explodes at Beelzebub was a poor choice on her part. She let all of her plans slip, let her emotions rule her, and I believe it was only because of that error that Ledas had the opportunity to kill her.
- Beelzebub teleporting Towa away is a strong moment. He truly takes on the role of King of the Demon Realm right there (partially aided by finally realizing his father wouldn't be coming back). Beforehand, Beelzebub was a kid playing games and going on fun little adventures. That action was the first seriously adult thing he did in the story.
- It would've been sweet if Beelzebub had actually put a bounty on his aunt's head to make it official.
- "He was eating dried macaroni decorations from the inside window of the drawer next to the refrigerator." - I used to do this at my friend's house, usually taking no more than one per a trip. For years, the macaroni pieces grew less numerous in that window and his parents never replaced them.
- Mango is, in my opinion, the second greatest fruit, so it's only natural Ledas would be having some of that.
- I added in the bit about Towa imprisoning Lilith and killing some of the loyal demons so that Beelzebub wanting her murdered seemed a little more reasonable. From his interaction with her in the second scene, we weren't quite at that level yet. Once he found out that his mother had been imprisoned, Beelzebub understood what had to happen to Towa.
- The nebelung is based on my own kitty. This cat, Balerion, is seen (a few years older) in The Great Sushi-Eating Contest as well.
- Kiwi is perhaps, in my opinion, the only fruit greater than mango, which is again why Ledas goes for them.
- "“Th-that’s not a plo - you know what, never mind. I don’t have to tell you anything. You stole my wish.”" - I'm chalking this one up to Towa's technological genius.
- Towa's smart enough to lay low on Earth, but I'm sure that Vegeta, Goku, and the others sensed her. As long as she wasn't causing mischief, they wouldn't attack her.
- Dabura might have, at one time, been the strongest demon ever, but he may not retain that title forever.
- I believe the fifth scene of this chapter is the shortest scene in the story.
- This story was written three years before I came up with the names of many of the significant islands south of South City. Dunno the fates of some of them yet, but a lot of them were populated by outcast Makyans, as seen in my upcoming story, Crimson Shores. I expect the island she is on is one of these, perhaps Umihebiza or Tansei (unless those islands are destroyed in a future story of mine). I am very fond of the aesthetics of a remote tropical island (although some of these are so far south that they may get snow sometimes), so having the fight between Towa and Ledas take place above one was always going to happen. When I try to lucid dream at night, my most-often fanon-related one is Ledas vs Yuki on the beach of a remote tropical island, so it's no surprise that I went for a similar scenario here.
- We probably should have explained why Towa can sense ki but Beelzebub cannot.
- Creeperman's dialogue for Towa and Ledas entertains me. The demon's arrogance and Ledas' nonchalance were captured accurately here.
- "He was about to try to come up with an awesome line Vegeta would say, but alas, he could not think of one in time" - it's better that he didn't, lol.
- Ledas doesn't like voices in his head. He similarly freaks out when Quoeyg contacts Cubas telepathically in Cold Vengeance. Using this move again was fun, though, as it was a way to keep Beelzebub relevant to the fight beyond being a hostage.
- I don't know when I got the idea for the Dewberry callback (perhaps as soon as Creeperman had Towa take Beelzebub hostage), but as soon as I thought of it, I knew I had to do it. Also, there was a fairly big reveal in that Dewberry paragraph but I shan't say anything more about that.
- Towa versus Ledas was not much of a contest. It was a beat down, akin to whenever Goku fought a villain the second time around (Tambourine or Tao comes to mind). It had been a long time since I'd written a fight like that. Not every fight is going to be close or dramatic, and sometimes bitches need to be put in their place, as in this case. Towa's arrogance was truly her downfall.
- "The boy maintained his form, feeling its latent strain upon his body, knowing he would have to deal with that problem soon." - this is something that Ledas deals with a lot in the coming years, but Super Saiyan 2's energy consumption is still a problem as of the start of Heart of the Dragon. Can't have him be too overpowered to begin with. Gotta earn those stripes.
- I hope that Yemma sends Towa to heaven too. There do not appear to be many gadgets to mess around with up in those flower fields.
- I tried to give Beelzebub some light character resolution at the end, basically with him coming to terms with being the King of the Demon Realm. "Kill the boy and let the man be born" and all that jazz. The final paragraph is entirely filler comedy that was written because of how awkward delving into the more serious topic was in a story such as this. One of the more significant themes of A Quest for Booty is that the superficial silliness masks the more serious, dramatic, and adult issues going on just below the surface.
Not much more to say about this one other than it's my favorite collaboration on Dragon Ball Fanon. The prose is rough in places, the dialogue isn't always the best, but I absolutely love the unique plot, the cast of characters, and the way everyone interacts with one another. The journey for the Dragon Balls is exactly how I would have wanted it to go, showing the KV/Creeperman style compared to Toriyama in, say, the Emperor Pilaf Saga. I feel great joy whenever I read this one. The humor in it has not grown stale for me, which is not usually the case in my other old stories. I have a happy, nostalgic feeling when remembering this story, although I can only barely remember the writing process. Finally writing a long story with Ledas as a major character is probably a big part of why I like this one so much, as well as being able to write for Beelzebub, Abo, Kado, and Jaco, all of whom I think are the perfect cast members for the tone of this story. Creeperman did a very good job in his sections for the most part (the ideas being far superior to the prose itself), with the two Dragon Ball realms (Atlanteans and Manu tribe) and Towa's characterization being the highlights for me. I also appreciated how he wrote for my OCS, especially in the fourth scene of chapter 2, which is my favorite scene in the story. Overall, great job and I love AQFB long time.
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Part 98 ---->