Mushin was created to further look into Beerus' struggles with mastering Ultra Instinct, which is first brought up in The Naptime Championships. The subject was only touched upon briefly there, so I wanted to have a Beerus one-shot where that was the central theme, as it felt like one of the few aspects of Beerus' character that are not static.
As I developed the story, I added in the idea of the mealtime with Champa in Universe 6, for I liked the dynamics between the brothers. The setting was less important, but having a character based on Gordon Ramsay serve them felt like a funny situation that would motivate me to write this. There's not much more to that scene, although one could say that The Naptime Championships also had a big influence on that one. This scene's importance is why the original draft of this story was called "A Fine Fucking Mess".
For the third scene, the stuff with Old Kai came very late. I realized there was a possibility to show the moment Old Kai gets locked away in the Z Sword, so I went with it. Finding a way to tie that in to Beerus' character development came later and was more tricky.
One other thing to add is that the stuff with Verlate's prison was added here to finally put to rest a very old story idea of mine. This story idea had existed since the time of The Heels of the Unknown, a one-shot collection I had written in 2016. Including that one, there had been 5 one-shot collections up until A Trifling Matter. In every one of those (sans Starchasers: Origins), I had put up the Sertung/Verlate story as a possible candidate. Every time, it had been rejected. The following is the original description for that story, written in the style of The Heels of the Unknown. Of note is the fact that it was originally intended to be the fifth story in that collection and was eventually replaced by Starfall:
5. Sertung - Sertung drifts through life, dying a slow death as the universe is thriving around him, watching the Daman empire crumble and the Kais rise; he is alone with Verlate's mind prison and eventually runs into Vados and Champa, and he gives them Verlate's mind prison before succumbing to his disease. During his meeting with Vados, a Supreme Kai appears and attacks Vados with a spirit bomb but is killed.
The idea never really interested me too much aside from vaguely showing what happens to the mind prison at some point (and potentially a cameo by Sertung, but that wasn't required if the story had to take place after his death). So that's how the pyramid ended up on the Sacred World of the Kai. The third scene is fairly efficient in terms of knocking out plot points.
I began working on the story on July 15, 2018. I finished about half a page that day (of the second scene). The next day I wrote another two pages. By the 18th, I had written a few more lines, but nothing too crazy. I didn't work on Mushin again until after the first draft of The Royal Exception was complete (which was on July 24th). On July 25th, I edited the doc in a way that showed I had realized the scene I was working on was in fact the second scene.
On July 27th, I wrote two paragraphs of the third scene, despite the second scene not being done. Not sure why I did that. On July 31st, I wrote the first line of the first scene. The next day, I managed to write another two paragraphs of the first scene. My first choice had been to send Beerus to Planet Snack, but on August 2nd, I changed the planet to Xii. After doing that, the plot came to me easily, and I finished the first scene a few hours later.
On August 4th, I edited the first scene from 3:30 am to 4:39 am. I went right into editing and finishing off the second scene. That went from 4:40 am to 5:42 am. So pretty consistently ~1 hour of editing time per scene (although for the second scene, there was about a page and a half of writing done to finish it off, too).
From 5:43 am to 5:44 am, I edited the two paragraphs of the third scene I had written. I wrote out the rest of the scene from 6:54 am to 8:18 am. At 8:21 am, I began editing the third scene, finishing that at 8:57 am. I posted it to the wiki three minutes later.
The Mushin category is "飢餓感" (hunger). This hunger refers not only to the stuff going on in the second scene, but also to Beerus' hunger/desire to master Ultra Instinct. Anyways, with all that said, let's get to the endnotes.
“Are you going to fight back, or just stand there looking like an idiot?”
“Impossible! That was my strongest attack!”
“My, my. What a disappointment you are.” Behind Lord Beerus, the forest had been splintered into a million flaming splinters. Ash and smoking leaves rained down around them. She was trembling; he yawned. Running a claw across his chest where the pirate’s attack had made contact, he said, “You know, I almost felt that. Is that really the best you can do?”
With godly force, the explosive wave buried her crew and ship beneath ash. A marooned pirate is as good as declawed. The time had come to end her pathetic existence. “You’ll pay for that, scum! I’ll kill you!”
The pirate drew her longsword, a silver blur enwrapped in fire.
“Seriously? That’s your plan? Don’t make me laugh.”
Not that she could.
One finger was all it took to parry her clumsy slashes. When the gaunt-faced reaver pressed him with violent, indulgent slices, Beerus needed only to sidestep her, take her legs out with a tail whip, and grasp the blade by the tip with a forefinger and thumb as she stumbled wildly, desperately trying to spear him through the heart one last time. Wrenching the sword free, he quenched its fire with the might of a Destroyer.
Dismay manifested in a blush. The mortal rushed him again, her hideous fur coat billowing behind. “How about this, you wrinkly old bastard?!”
Beerus inhaled and cleared his mind. Her insult lingered in his thoughts. Her fist drew back, a ball of energy coating it like a glove. It split in two; the Destroyer waited patiently, not allowing emotion to cloud awareness. Twin bronze-colored beams soared past him, curled back in, and with sudden daring went for the back of his neck.
The God of Destruction exhaled, and his body moved without him having to think. Ducking left, then spinning to the right, he moved too quickly to see her expression change. Her energy exploded against the ground, sending more ash into the air.
He landed behind her, tapping her once on the nape of the neck. Crying out, the pirate fell to her knees, swinging wild fists like a dying animal. “N-no, you can’t… it’s im-impossible… that was my strongest attack! I am the… the Empress of the Galaxy!! You cannot stop me! No, no, no!!”
“Is it too much for a Destroyer to hope for a little fun? You mortals are all the same… So vain, so fragile, so tiresome. How can none of you even force me to power up a little? Why can’t you be more interesting?!” he roared.
She could not speak now, for that tap had rendered her unconscious. As the pirate fell face-first into a pile of smoldering wood, he released the tiniest of destruction blasts. The purple sliver of light caught her on a crimson cheek, just below her horns, and it was over.
The devastation encompassed no more than a few miles. It was remarkably humid here; this system’s star was a scorching, boiling eye silently watching. He’d grown bored of this place faster than he thought he would have.
“Whis! Whis?!” The Destroyer growled, clenching his fists. “Where are you, Whis?! I want to go! Stop wasting my time, and–”
“Lord Beerus,” his attendant murmured, appearing before him in a gust of wind. His staff floated beside him, his arms held behind his back. The blue man wasn’t usually this formal.
He would never admit that he hadn’t seen Whis coming.
“There you are. It’s done. Can we leave now?”
“Oh, you defeated her that quickly, my lord? I’m impressed. Urrughi Shakala is the most notorious space pirate in this galaxy. I expected you to deal with her comfortably, of course, but it seems you had no trouble with her at all. Tell me, did she land even a single blow?”
“No. Now tell me what you’re hiding behind your back, Whis.”
“Oh, this?” He showed Beerus the pair of spiky balls with a grin. “This is Xan, a deliciously sweet fruit native to this world. Would you like to try one? The locals tell me it’s absolutely to die for.”
“Is that so? Give it here, Whis. I’ll decide if they lied to you or not. This better be good… if it’s not, I’ll destroy this planet too.”
“I must warn you, my lord… this fruit has a mild mind-altering effect not unlike alcohol. It may make you feel euphoric.”
Giving his attendant a disbelieving scowl, Beerus cracked open the fruit, revealing the pink flesh within. He scooped it out with a finger, tossed it all in his mouth, and then drained the juice in each half without wasting a breath. Whis too ripped his in half before engorging upon the hidden prize within like an over-eager child. He felt no need to remain all mystical and cool–that fool was groaning and moaning and making ridiculous faces as he fawned over the flavor.
“Oh my, it’s sweet, but not too sweet… What a rich, yet refreshing flavor. Perfectly suited for a tropical world such as this. Mmmm. Lord Beerus, what do you think?”
The Destroyer cast aside the remnants of his Xan, wiping his mouth. “It’s alright, I suppose. But I don’t feel anything, Whis. Well… I am feeling somewhat tired. Take me home. I want to take a nap.”
Perhaps it was disappointment in the angel’s face. “Very well, my lord. Come here.”
He did. With a sudden explosion of silver light, Beerus powered up far beyond what he had needed to defeat Shakala. His mind and body became one, humming and feeling and reacting as a single stable unit. This was Ultra Instinct. Whis had been teaching him in the ways of this most godly of forms for several million years.
“Here, take this!”
At full power, the God of Destruction’s movements were too fast for any mortal to behold. Sadly, Whis was no mortal. He caught the poor kitty’s fist without breaking a sweat. Looking rather unimpressed, he snapped Beerus’ wrist down, flipping him up into the air, and brought him down again like a broomstick against concrete.
“Lord Beerus, what are you up to? I thought you wanted to go home.”
Gritting his teeth, he shot back up and attacked again, this time a flurry of punches and kicks that forced Whis to drop his staff and move back, parrying each blow. Not a single one of Beerus’ attacks got through. Whis’ form was impeccable. How he was able to operate like this against a God of Destruction and not even take the fight seriously…
“Try to hit me!” Beerus commanded him. “That’s an order, Whis!”
His attendant obeyed. A ball of green energy came flying at him from the side. There was no time to think. His body simply had to react. He felt himself moving as if through a dream, as if through water, as if through the heart of a neutron star. The energy ball flew past him, leaving behind only the faintest trace of heat before it exploded in the distance, leveling a hill.
Without pause, Beerus threw himself at Whis again, this time mixing in energy bullets between punches.
“Not bad, my lord. I see you have become more powerful in your Ultra Instinct form since the last time we sparred. But even though you are a god, my lord, this form has proven to be extremely difficult for you to master. Did you know that at present, not a single one of the other universes’ Gods of Destruction can access Ultra Instinct at will like you can… Well, your novice form would be easier to power into, I suppose, than the real thing.”
“Novice form?! I’ll show you novice!”
Splitting into ten Beeruses, he came at Whis from all directions, pushing himself as he had not pushed himself in a long time. He felt alive; his fingers were tingling; his heart was racing. Not even Champa could access Ultra Instinct at will–not that Beerus was surprised. His movement was only getting faster. His muscles were burning, but less and less did he care. Pain held no lordship over him.
Beerus blasted Whis with a face full of energy before leaning back to punch him hard across the cheek. As the attendant went to block the attack, the Destroyer teleported behind him, dissolving his ten forms and concentrating all of his power back into one body so as to hit Whis with the hardest punch he’d ever taken…
“That’s enough, Lord Beerus.”
Whis’ tone was sharp and dry. He caught the god’s punch effortlessly, squeezing his wrist until Beerus finally relented. How had he moved so fast? Beerus hadn’t seen it. That was impossible. He was using Ultra Instinct–the greatest of all fighting forms in the multiverse. He was using a form not even gods could easily master. And yet, Whis hardly needed to react to his attacks.
“It seems you weren’t telling me the truth about that Xan,” Whis smiled. “I haven’t seen you this agitated since you and your brother last saw one another.”
He folded his hands behind his back, looking away. “It’s nothing, Whis. I feel fine.”
“Oh? Well, speaking of Champa, my sister has alerted me that he has only just last week completed his training at a prestigious gourmet chef’s academy in his universe. He has invited you, along with all of the other Gods of Destruction, to attend the grand unveiling of his restaurant.”
“A-are you serious?”
Beerus was at a loss. That had come out of nowhere. It wasn’t like Champa to graduate from anything. Was he really a universe-class chef now, or was he just putting on a show? Knowing Champa, it was unlikely he even knew how to boil an egg. Beerus felt a heat rising in his chest.
“Yes, my lord. I was going to tell you on the way back, but… after spending a minute in Ultra Instinct, your body has absorbed an immense amount of stress. Maybe it would be better for you to take that nap you wanted as soon as possible.”
“Hmph. No way. I’ll go. I need to see this with my own eyes.”
“Oh goodie!” Whis’ face lit up like an exploding planet. “I can’t wait to try Universe 6’s finest cuisine… oh, it’s been so long since we’ve tasted anything from there. My mind is going crazy just thinking of all the possibilities! Oh, I know whatever they serve us, it will be absolutely delicious!”
“Settle down, Whis,” Beerus sighed, stepping up to him and grabbing on for the ride. “Settle down… When’s this party anyways?”
“Three days from now. Oh, I can’t wait! How I wish I could speed up time!”
White light enveloped them. He wouldn’t focus on the pain. It was nothing. This form felt more real than when he powered up to maximum. He would grow into Ultra Instinct. If anyone could master it, it would be Lord Beerus. He was not like the other Destroyers. Though his muscles screamed at him, he ignored their message. Pain was weakness. He was not weak. He was the strongest being in Universe 7.
They rushed off, leaving the planet behind. Beerus never looked back, but his claw once again found his collarbone. It was only hurting because he had used Ultra Instinct, burning through all his energy in the process. That was the only reason why.
After he’d gotten real good at cooking up some grub, Champa invited all his friends and family to come to his restaurant on opening night. Of all the Gods of Destruction and their attendants, only his lanky puss-puss for a brother (and his metrosexual attendant), Quitela (and Cognac) and Liquiir (and Korn) had bothered to show up. There was one other person–the only mortal–who had decided to attend this marvelous unveiling, and his name was Chef Schitme Mamsays.
Champa gathered them around a nice big table, round as his belly. “Come in, come in everyone. Look at me, I graduated from Tartar Arse Culinary Academy. Now that I am a full-fledged chef, it is time to show you uncultured space swine my new skills!”
The rotund Destroyer danced awkwardly back to the kitchen, promising to return shortly with their first courses.
“Oh fuck me,” Mamsays scoffed, burying his head in his hands. “Here we go again with that over-excitable pussy. I want my kitties shaved, damn it! No hair, or you don’t get a lick. Hey, hey you, space donkey!” he screamed, his voice breaking. “Yeah you. You better not screw this up. I’m not in the best of moods, yeah? Try not to embarrass yourself.”
“He already did that when he turned into a space cannoli factory for a year. Look at how fat he’s gotten,” Beerus yawned. “I could fit Whis in that stomach. It’s a disgrace!”
“Now now, Lord Beerus. You know I like it narrow. The rounder the worser as I say.”
“You never saw a good titty in your life when you were a kid, and it fucked you up,” the mortal chef snapped.
No one paid attention to Chef Mamsays because they were gods and he wasn’t, or something like that.
“Don’t we get to look at a menu?” complained Quitela, his nose twitching. “I’m not eating what Champa wants me to! I demand to choose what I put in my mouth! It’s my choice, I’m a God of Destruction. I’ll blow this place up!”
“You will do no such thing,” Vados cautioned. She had remained at the table with them for some obscure reason. “That is unless you want Lord Zeno to find out about your mousetrap fetish.”
Quitela turned the color of a spoiled banana. “N-no… anything but that, please!”
Vados looked mighty pleased with herself. Cognac, meanwhile, was hastily polishing the tip of his staff.
“How good of a chef is he anyways?” Liquiir asked. “I’ve never heard of him cooking anything. Beerus, is this true, or is he pulling our legs?”
“Just wait and see. For all I know he’s in there eating our first courses himself. I wonder if he has someone else in there cooking for him… Whis! Go check!”
“Now, now, Lord Beerus, have some faith in your brother.”
“That’s the dumbest thing you’ve said all evening, Whis.”
“Of course he can fucking cook,” Schitme Mamsays roared, his face going red as a piece of raw meat. “I’m the bloody damn cunt who taught him! Fuck me, how can you lot be so daft?”
A hushed silence befell the table. Beerus hastily drank from his glass of water. He always hated how there were so many ice cubes. He didn’t need his fucking water so damn cold. It made his teeth hurt. So to remedy the situation, the god threw his glass at the wall, where it shattered, raining icy chunks down on the carpet.
“My word, Lord Beerus, have some manners!”
“You’re not the boss of me, Whis.”
“Want to take an unexpected dirtnap, kitty kitty?” the effeminate man responded, raising a hand.
“Oh please, please! Do it, Whis, it’ll make my day,” Quitela cried.
However, before Whis could bitch slap Beerus, Champa returned with their appetizers. He was wearing a chef’s hat, tall as a second Champa, white and puffy, but not nearly so rotund. Trays of food floated around him like a planetary ring system. He certainly had the gravity for such a feat, Beerus knew.
“For Liquiir and Korn, I have prepared for you pez dispensers filled to the brim with uncooked space maize! Enjoy!” Champa flung two Zalama-faced dispensers at them, smacking Liquiir right in the tail. Korn managed to catch his, for he was a god or some shit. “And for my dearest Quitela, this is a can of Mmm’Lekgolo, unwashed, preserved in space vinegar. Enjoy!”
Two tin cans with ‘Mmm’Lekgolo’ written in a hasty scrawl on their unadorned sides were all that were given to the two hapless Universe 4 cretins.
“This is why I wanted a menu,” Quitela whined. “Can I get a refund?”
“No refunds! Hey, shut up and eat! Don’t complain or I’ll throw you out of my restaurant!” Champa was spitting all over the place, so Whis put up a protective energy barrier around himself and Beerus. The others were not so lucky, especially Chef Mamsays, who, after Champa’s tirade, had become wetter than an Indian girl lusting for the best monopoly player this side of Mrov. “Now Beerus, this one’s yours,” he said gruffly, setting two more trays onto the table. “This is space sushi pizza. I used space ranch dressing instead of cheese, space rice instead of dough, and the savory gonad excretions of the mysterious giant space squid for the topping! It’s a fan favorite; you’ll love it! Just ask Vados. She can’t get enough of it.”
“Oh, Lord Champa, stop it…” Vados waved him away, blushing.
Lord Beerus stood up hastily, his cheeks burning. “Where’s my weiwei fish, Champa? Whis promised me canned weiwei! I’m not here for any other reason!”
Rolling his eyes, Champa muttered, “Yeah, yeah, you’ll get your fish, Beerus, just wait. There’re still nine more courses, okay? Have some patience.”
“I do love space pizza,” Whis sighed passionately. “Especially when you put space pineapple on top!”
“Speaking of which, that’s exactly what I cooked up for Chef Mamsays!” Champa beamed, setting down another space pizza in front of the old wrinkly bloke. “Space Canadian Bacon and space pineapple. Extra space cheese (not to be confused with Earth cheese, which none of these hapless fuckers have ever tried) and a thin crust, just like you like it, chef!”
The pizza had been pre-sliced, thank kami, and when the Chef picked one steaming piece up, he just shook his head and said, “Fuck me. Space fruit on a space pizza. Are you fuckin’ mental?!”
“Well, looks like everyone’s enjoying their meals, so I’ll get right to work on the second course!” Champa said cheerfully, his jowls swinging, his belly puffed out. “Bon Appétit!”
Vados forgot to tell him that he’d dropped his hat as he ran off. Maybe ‘forgot’ is too strong a word to use in this context.
Liquiir first attempted to eat his space maize from the pez dispenser, but on the third or fourth seed, he began to choke. Korn was busy eating his space maize so he didn’t notice the three-tailed Inari wannabe flopping around. His companions being most civilized and polite did not dare to interrupt either the choking god or his attendant. It was only when Liquiir, his face having gone a lovely shade of purple, apt enough to match the lavender walls of this one-table restaurant, threw himself to the ground that Korn exhaled in annoyance, discarded his empty Zalama dispenser away like the trash it was, and tapped his staff on the floor three times. White light enshrouded the two.
“My apologies to the chef. Please tell him that his food was so horrible it nearly killed Liquiir. I’m going to have to revive him off-screen so I don’t reveal to you the extent of my magical abilities. Oh, and we’re definitely not coming back, so ta-ta.”
“Ta-ta, brother, oh good luck!!” Whis sang, his eyes sparkling.
Quitela, meanwhile, was trying to open the can of Mmm’Lekgolo, for he had not been given a can opener.
“Hey, hey you,” Mamsays grunted in the god’s general direction. “Yeah you. Look at me, eh. That right there’s something you don’t want to eat unless you want to go to hospital. Yeah? Got it? You don’t want to get sick, do you? Those Mmm’Lekgolo are spoiled. I can smell it from here. For fuck’s sake.”
The yellow mouse guy was none-too-pleased by Mamsays interjecting himself into this fancy and high-class dinner for the most privileged of Gods of Destruction. “Mind your manners, dog-face.”
“Hey, hey, shut the fuck up. Hey, you look more like a dog than me, alright? Fucking useless pile of coagulated piss.”
“He has a point…” Cognac nodded.
“Stick ‘em with the pointy end. That’ll show ‘em you’re a man.”
After struggling for a few more moments, Quitela gave up. “I ain’t openin’ this can o’ worms.”
The mouse guy looked like he wanted some space cheese bad. There was no space cheese to be had, incidentally. Meanwhile, Cognac had his face buried in an opened can. “So salty… so gooey… so thick and stringy, just how I like it!” the older angel grunted.
“Stop showing off, Cognac. That’s enough. I’ve had it! We’re out of here! Take me to a Burger God-Emperor at once! I command you!”
“Oh very well, Lord Quitela.” Cognac was peeved, or perhaps he just hated Quitela. It’s hard to tell sometimes. Giving the unopened can of Mmm’Lekgolo an erotic look, the attendant drew up his staff, covered himself and his Destroyer in light, and vanished.
“Well this is going about how I expected it to,” Beerus muttered. Folding his arms and leaning back in his chair, he stifled another yawn while watching Chef Mamsays take a bite of his pizza and then spit it out all over the table, gagging melodramatically.
“Eat your appetizer, Lord Beerus.”
Each piece of the space sushi pizza had been cut into a little sushi roll. He tossed one into his mouth impatiently, not expecting to taste much. That was when the biggest surprise of all time happened.
“Oh my… Whis, are you tasting this too?”
“Oh yes, Lord Beerus. Indeed.” Whis had already eaten twenty-two of his space sushi pizza rolls.
“It has absolutely no flavor. It’s not as good as boiled egg… what a mediocre disappointment. It’s not even horrible enough for me to care.”
“That is a good point, my lord.”
“Fuckin’ hell. At least you didn’t have to go through eating fucking space fruit on a space pizza. Space fruit doesn’t belong on a fucking space pizza!”
“Shall I destroy this one, Lord Beerus? His palate seems rather questionable if you ask me.”
“Forget it, Whis. I’m bored. Let’s get out of here.”
“But Lord Beerus, that would be incredibly rude to your brother.”
“I’m hungry and I don’t have the patience for this tasteless crap.”
“If you want to leave, you’re going to have to tell him yourself, my lord. Oh, look. It’s time for the second course…”
Out came Lord Champa again, seven trays floating around him in a perfect circle. “Oh, Beerus… guess what I’ve got! I’m the best chef ever, aren't I?
Beerus couldn’t endure another round of this inanity. His belly was rumbling, and if there was one thing he couldn’t stand, it was the tasteless excess of the sixth universe. Knowing Champa, there was no way the second course would be any better than the first.
“Follow my lead,” he whispered under his breath to the angel sitting beside him.
Champa was just about to reach them. Beerus was going to be stuck here for another course if he didn’t act fast. Things were looking dire. Whis hastily ate up all their sushi pizza rolls so Champa’s feelings wouldn’t be hurt. That was exactly why his twin brother would never master Ultra Instinct. Beerus leaned back in his chair even further, yawning obnoxiously and slumping forward, pretending to sleep.
He began snoring loudly. Whis jumped up dramatically. “Oh no! Oh my! It seems Lord Beerus has fallen asleep! At this rate, he’ll be out for decades! I better take him home…!”
“What a shame,” Vados sneered. “He’s going to miss out on so many of Lord Champa’s dishes. You know, my lord worked extremely hard to create these recipes for you guys.”
“I’m sure he did, but…”
He couldn’t bear to listen any longer. Snoring louder and louder, Beerus blocked out their voices as best he could. In order to master Ultra Instinct, it was necessary for him to clear his mind, to act instinctively and without indecisive behavior. He was not to give into his emotions, was not to spend time thinking of ways to attack or defend any opponent, was not to give any thought to movement or strategy. He needed to respond to any and all stimuli with a perfect and empty mind.
How could that be possible? Lord Beerus had long ago become a god, yet mastering such a technique felt like it was still far beyond his reach.
When Whis slung him over a shoulder and said farewell to his sister and the others, Beerus’ heartbeat quickened. His skin grew warm. His muscles almost felt like they were healing. He couldn’t wait to leave this place. Lord Beerus was almost giddy with excitement. There was much better food back in the seventh universe. He couldn’t wait.
His stomach rumbled again, and he thought nothing of it, and they were gone.
It was very important for Lord Beerus to go to the Sacred World of the Kai to participate in the usual once-every-thousand-years meeting with the various Supreme Kais of Universe 7. To call this meeting tedious would be to describe it honestly, but obviously. The Destroyer’s boredom was palpable from the moment they arrived in Other World.
“This better not take too long. I really need a nap. Fifty-two years I’m hoping. Couldn’t this wait until after I wake up?”
Whis laughed at him. “Of course not, Lord Beerus. Your meetings with the Supreme Kais are important for a number of reasons. Need I remind you of this universe’s mortal level? Lord Zeno has already warned you that it needs to be raised. That can only be done if you communicate with the Supreme Kais and come up with a plan for maintaining good civilizations and only destroying the planets of evil or destructive ones. I seem to recall that not even a week ago you threatened to destroy Planet Xii if its native fruit wasn’t as delicious as you hoped. That level of impulsiveness is what got us into this mess.”
“Yes, yes, whatever. Xii can stay. Its native civilization is space-faring, is it not? Yet I don’t remember them being the conquering type. I saved them from that pirate. That should raise our mortal level!”
“It has, my lord, but Xii is a single planet in a vast universe.”
“Let’s see what the Kais have to say. It’s up to them to create fewer evil species. They’re more to blame than I am!”
“We’ll see about that.”
Picking a strand of Xan fruit from his teeth, the bony space kitty looked around, finding the usual meeting place nigh empty. Only one of the Kais–the Eastern Supreme Kai, if he remembered correctly–was around. Giggling to himself, the man was sitting at the ancient stone meeting table. He was reading something Beerus couldn’t quite make out from so far away; his posture was horrific. Aside from the Kai, the only thing Beerus could see was what looked like a miniature pyramid on the table, its dark stone sides ornately carved with patterns and symbols the Destroyer did not recognize.
“Hello there, Supreme Kai.”
The man screamed, looking up sheepishly. “O-oh… Lord Beerus, it’s a pleasure to see you again!”
“You’re the ugly one,” Beerus retorted. “Still haven’t found a way to de-fuse with that witch, have you?”
“I’m afraid not, Lord Beerus.”
“What a shame.” The god took his seat at the head of the table. Whis stood nobly behind him. The attendant, despite his tongue, rarely participated in these meetings. It was Beerus’ job to work with the Supreme Kais. Sometimes he wondered if this was some kind of training exercise Whis had concocted. He hadn’t asked Champa if he too had to do these stupid meetings every thousand years. “Where are your comrades?”
“They, well, they weren’t expecting you, my lord. You’re two days early. I just so happened to be here because… um, well, it’s not important, heheh!”
“I am not early. I need to sleep, and I will not wait any longer. We will do this today. I would ask you to call them over here, but that would take too long. Whis, go.”
“As you command, Lord Beerus.”
Now it was just the two of them. He began to thrum a claw or two on the stone impatiently. That was no good. He couldn’t let his emotions get the best of him. Exhaling, the God of Destruction reminded himself that impatience was poison. Impatience was a clamoring of thoughts, like a hurricane in his mind, that would hamper his focus and his training. He needed to be disciplined.
“What’s that you’re reading, Kai?”
“Oh, it’s nothing, Lord Beerus. My apologies. I didn’t expect you to show up so early, heheheh…!” The man had gone red under the eyes. He quickly pocketed the book he’d been reading.
He could guess what that Kai had been reading. That weakness did not affect Lord Beerus. He held no interest in such distractions. It just surprised him that supposedly virtuous beings like the Supreme Kais could be tempted by lust as regular mortals were considering they did not actually reproduce with one another, but grew as fruit on their Kaiju trees.
“You look like an old prune. Has anyone told you that before?”
“Y-yes, Lord Beerus. You did five thousand years ago.”
“Oh, is that right? I guess I forgot.”
Whis was taking too long. Trying to make small talk with these fruit people was growing more and more excruciating with every trip. His legs were growing restless. The Kai wouldn’t look at him. Bowing his head, his hands folded in his lap, he was clearly terrified. At least he wasn’t shaking. Lord Beerus had met more cowardly Kais than this one in his time.
“What’s that there?” he finally asked, pointing to the pyramid, which lay on the far side of the table.
“Oh, that. Well, Lord Beerus, I’m not sure I have a good answer for you. The Daikaioh found it half-buried on the bank of the lake down there.” The Eastern Supreme Kai pointed vaguely to Beerus’ left. “He thinks it’s some kind of mind prison from the days of old, but we haven’t gotten a chance to study it thoroughly yet. It appears to be the work of the ancient Supreme Kais… or maybe another species!”
“Nonsense. The Supreme Kais have always been the only beings allowed to live on this world.”
The man squeaked. “Right, of course.”
“Bring it here. I want to look at it.”
“But my lord, it could be dangerous! If the Daikaioh’s hunch is correct, if you open it by accident, you could end up stuck inside forever.”
“Like that would ever happen. Give it here, Kai.”
Shaking and sweating, all the purple had gone out of his flesh. “It’s too dangerous, Lord Beerus. Please, just forget about it. Trust me, I’m sure the Daikaioh will be able to fill you in on its purpose the next time we meet!”
He didn’t remember getting to his feet; his chest heaved. “Give it to me, you wrinkly old bastard!”
“It’s not safe!”
Destruction energy in his hand, the space kitty lunged across the table at the Eastern Supreme Kai. When the man jumped up and ran off, Beerus teleported into his path and kicked him to the dirt. “Not so fast. I should destroy this world for your insolence…”
“Lord Beerus!” Whis gasped.
The angel was flanked by the four remaining Supreme Kais on the other side of the plateau. They too had grown pale. What useless fools. There was no way they were his equals.
“What now, Whis? Can’t you see I’m busy?”
“What are you planning on doing with that energy, Lord Beerus?”
“Destroying this world. Why?”
“Under no circumstances will you do such a thing! It is improper, Lord Beerus. Do I need to remind you what will happen to you if the Supreme Kais are killed?”
“Oh yeah. I guess you’re right.” A surge of pain spread through his tired body. Embarrassment was hard to ignore, try as he might. “Fine then. Conjure me something to seal this idiot in.”
“Seal…?! Hey, what did I do?!” the Eastern Supreme Kai cried.
“I asked you to hand me that pyramid and you refused. Nobody refuses Lord Beerus, Kai. Not even you. Whis!”
The attendant shook his head, sighing in a motherly fashion. Nevertheless, he obeyed. In a puff of smoke, a hovering longsword appeared. “My apologies, my lord. It’s not an exact replica. I didn’t think the fire would be necessary.”
“Whis… you… I…” His embarrassment only grew in that moment. The fury that followed was enough to momentarily blind him. “Whis! You were watching our fight the entire time?!”
The blue man smirked in the most irritating way. “That’s right, my lord. Did you honestly expect I wouldn’t watch over you? It is my job, after all.”
He grabbed the sword from midair and raised a paw at the Eastern Supreme Kai. “P-please, Lord Beerus… re-reconsider…! I’m sorry…! So sorr–”
“Shut it, Kai.”
The wind cooled his face. As it spun around the Kai, he screamed and begged, his voice slowly fading as he merged with the cyclone. When finally all that could be heard was the force of the spinning vortex, Beerus jerked his hand towards the sword, and the energy wrapped around it, glowing indigo for a fraction of a second before dissolving into the metal.
“There. It’s finished.”
With that, Beerus marched over to the nearest mass of rocks sprouting up from the grass and speared the sword deep into the largest boulder. His mind was racing, his brother’s voice on endless nonsensical loop, berating and laughing at him, and he felt lightheaded. He needed a nap very badly. The remaining Supreme Kais stood fearfully in silence. If any of them made even the slightest of slipups, they would join their compatriot inside that sword, the god swore to himself.
“Lord Beerus, please control yourself.”
Ignoring Whis, he walked over to the pyramid, picking it up and looking over its patterning. “So, is anybody going to tell me what this strange thing is?”
“Oh my…” the Daikaioh said. “My lord, I believe that is an ancient mind prison.”
“Is that so? Whis, what do you think?”
He was at Beerus’ shoulder instantaneously. “Hmm… let me see it.” Beerus handed it to him, stifling another yawn (it’s not polite to yawn in front of important people). “Ah, yes… oh, mhm. I see. Yes, yes. Yes, that’s it! I see now, Lord Beerus.”
“Out with it, Whis. I don’t have all day.”
“This device is an ancient mind prison indeed. The Daikaioh’s theory appears to be correct. But my goodness, I haven’t seen one of these since before you became this universe’s God of Destruction, my lord.”
“Huh. Is there anyone stuck in there right now?”
“Impossible to know unless we open it.”
“Please don’t!” the Daikaioh begged. “This is a sacred world, my lord!”
This tedious conversation needed to end. He craved nothing more than to feel the softness of his pillow against his face. It was time to get down to business. “Very well. Let’s forget about it.”
He took the pyramid from Whis’ hand and punched it into the sky. The Kais gasped; the angel moaned. The pyramid blew through the air, gaining speed, disappearing behind a patch of clouds a second later. It would soon enter space and, if Beerus’ calculations had been correct, would quickly find its way into the center of a hypergiant star where it would no doubt be vaporized. The thought of that archaic artifact melting to dust delighted the Destroyer.
“That’s that,” Beerus said, finding his seat again. “Now, let’s begin. My patience is wearing thin, Kais.”
The looks on their faces as they took their seats amused Lord Beerus. His bed would feel even better. He was too tired at this point to worry about restraining his emotions. The more tired he became, the less he cared. So what if he hadn’t mastered Ultra Instinct yet? No one else had. No mortal ever would. He had plenty of time.
Honestly, what a guy I am, Beerus thought to himself. It shouldn’t take much longer. No. I’ve nearly done it.
- Mushin refers to this. Mushin is probably the inspiration for Ultra Instinct, so yeah, it should be fairly easy to understand why that was chosen. I should also mention that I don't believe anyone in the history of the world has achieved Mushin, and everyone who claims to have is a liar or deluded.
- "Her insult lingered in his thoughts." - an example of why Beerus hasn't mastered Ultra Instinct yet.
- Though Beerus rightfully identified the pirate as being vain, so too is he, and that blind spot is costly for his pursuit of Ultra Instinct.
- Urrughi Shakala did indeed hit Beerus with an attack (at the very start of the story). He had goaded her into doing so to try to will his body into using Ultra Instinct to dodge. That had failed, but the attack hadn't caused him any damage. That was why he was so mad at her when he killed her, not because she was so weak.
- Beerus does manage to land one hit on Whis during their unprompted sparring session, which indicates he's a lot better at Ultra Instinct than even he realizes.
- I think Beerus was jealous of Champa's accomplishment, but one can never be certain with those two.
- Schitme Mamsays is based on Gordon Ramsay, and the Tartar Arse Culinary School is a nod to Tartarus from Halo 2.
- I personally don't believe that Champa ever graduated from the culinary school, but I don't know for certain, as I wasn't there to watch.
- Schitme allowed me to inject some nonsense into the discussions. The canon characters can't get nearly as ridiculous as him. It's also why they rarely if ever respond to what he says.
- The Mmm’Lekgolo is a reference to the Lekgolo species from the Halo series.
- "he others were not so lucky, especially Chef Mamsays, who, after Champa’s tirade, had become wetter than an Indian girl lusting for the best monopoly player this side of Mrov." - Monopoly is a bit of a luck-based game, but yeah, one could also argue I am also the best monopoly player on the other side of Mrov and lose that argument horribly since I'm pretty shit at it when not playing against my family and friends.
- Gordon Ramsay hates pineapple on pizza. I've always found it funny how people get outraged at what other people like. So you don't like it. And? I don't live my life wondering whether or not you approve of what I'm eating. My taste buds don't quake in fear knowing that Ramsay's out there hating on pineapples on pizzas. I don't give a fuck. And by the way, the Hawaiian pizza is the best pizza out there. Checkmate redcoats.
- Ramsay does look like a dog, but when he said that to a customer, he was completely right. Had to reference that legendary moment here. For the record, Quitela looks like a vermin, so he does not look like a dog more than Mamsays does. Still had to be said.
- I do feel kind of sad for Champa for the second course. Undoubtedly, he could sense that 4 of his patrons had already left, but he still brought out their courses. At the end of the day, beyond all the jokes, that one cuts deep.
- "if there was one thing he couldn’t stand, it was the tasteless excess of the sixth universe" - this goes beyond just the food. I'd say this applies to the U6 Saiyans as well. They don't even have tails and aren't notorious warriors like the U7 Saiyans, yet you pick out any random trio, and they can all go Super Saiyan, something which was considered rare enough in the seventh universe, that it supposedly only occurred once per thousand years. Great writing as always.
- "He couldn’t bear to listen any longer. Snoring louder and louder, Beerus blocked out their voices as best he could. In order to master Ultra Instinct, it was necessary for him to clear his mind, to act instinctively and without indecisive behavior. He was not to give into his emotions, was not to spend time thinking of ways to attack or defend any opponent, was not to give any thought to movement or strategy. He needed to respond to any and all stimuli with a perfect and empty mind." - this paragraph was meant to portray one of Beerus' blind spots. He thinks he is letting his emotions go, but by pretending to be asleep, and not just telling Champa that his cooking sucks, he's actually doing the opposite of what he claims. Perhaps this is the most emotional moment for Beerus in the story.
- Mamsays kind of had a shit end to the second scene. I probably should've given him another line or two. It felt like his character ceased to exist whenever he didn't talk. Didn't do the best job with him.
- The scenes are all dealing with drastically differing plots, but throughout it all, Beerus is focused on Ultra Instinct and trying to master it, and his thoughts about doing so are questionable to say the least, maybe even deluded. So while it was fun to write, it's a bit hard to read how he's constantly like "I gotta stop thinking and just use intuition" while the whole time thinking hard and letting his emotions dominate him. The moment where he seals Old Kai in the Z Sword is a really nice thing that was revealed in Dragon Ball Super in my opinion. Some of the information that is given in that series to retroactively explain things in Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z can be pretty bad, but in this case, it makes a lot of sense, and it is extremely relevant to what I said about Beerus' emotions dominating him. He won't learn to master Ultra Instinct until he has mastered himself, and the Old Kai encounter proved to be a good opportunity to explore that. As well, it was something I just wanted to write about in general, so it was really cool to be able to do so with the added Ultra Instinct characterization.
- The natives of Xii are not space-faring in Dragon Ball Z: The Forgotten, indicating that at some point in the distant past a cataclysm nearly wiped the species out, and most of their technology was lost at that time.
- Beerus is unaware of the Daman, who were the self-proclaimed gods of the universe before the Supreme Kais came to prominence. I assume that Whis would have known about them, but there would have been no need to tell Beerus about that.
- Earlier in the third scene, Beerus kept thinking how he needed to outgrow the emotion of impatience, and yet here he is mere moments later, giving into that in a ridiculous way. It's one thing to recognize a flaw in oneself, but it's an entirely different matter to actually deal with it. Beerus is very prideful, and has been that way for many, many years, so I don't think he recognizes that part of his emotions anymore, he just thinks it's part of what is always going to be there. I would say that, as of this point, it doesn't appear that Beerus had gotten any closer to mastering Ultra Instinct than he had been at the start of the story.
- The fact that Whis didn't object to sealing away the Eastern Supreme Kai feels a little weird, but it's what happened in canon. I think so long as Beerus doesn't seal all the Supreme Kais and doesn't kill them, he'd be allowed to do whatever he wanted, so it makes sense to me.
- It does give me some measure of satisfaction to write Old Kai's sealing the way I did, for in the end, Verlate's mind prison was crucial in how that went down. Even millennia later, she's still inadvertently fucking over the Kais.
- Beerus punching the mind prison is how it eventually arrives on Earth. It does not stop on any other planets in between. It goes without saying that Beerus' calculations were off.
- Beerus shows that he is nowhere near ready to master Ultra Instinct at the end of the story, but he wraps the tale up in a positive fashion due to the bias of his point-of-view. He thinks much more of himself than he should, and even with his final thoughts, he betrays the fact that he doesn't understand, really, Whis' teachings on how to master the form.
I quite like this one. The tie-ins with Verlate's mind prison, the Old Kai plotline, and the sword from the pirate in the first scene was cool. I had forgotten about that before re-reading the story for the anthology. The prose seems fairly strong. It's cheeky, but not over-the-top like The Naptime Championships was. Each scene is unique, with wildly different plots, but Beerus' characterization, particularly his anxiety around mastering Ultra Instinct (and deluding himself into believing he's getting close) is the glue that holds everything together. I like Beerus and Whis a lot, so spending time with them in this story was fun. Writing dialogue for them is always a blast. I don't know if I'd change anything major were I to write this again today, so I'd say overall, I am satisfied with Mushin.
<---- Part 115
Part 117 ---->