I did not originally plan to write this story. What happened is that I spontaneously made this story after I watched the Tarble special on youtube in the early hours of July 11, 2014, which I had originally done with to help me with my upcoming Tarble one-shot (at the time), Yellow (you can see more commentary about that here). Because I enjoyed that special so much, I decided to explore Tarble's character more than in just Yellow. Yellow only explains how Tarble learned about his heritage. There were many other things that could be explored with his character, and the most interesting one to me was why and how Abo and Kado started chasing Tarble. In the special, Tarble notes that he was told of Earth's location by a Namekian, and he thought that Vegeta killed Frieza. Both of these things are in Prideful Demons Black specifically to tie it into the Tarble special. Both of these things were small little tidbits I wanted to explore; they were the basis for me crafting this story's plot and setting.
I made the page for this story about an hour after I finished watching the Tarble special. I was in a Dragon Ball mood because I had just completed watching the special, and I was motivated to start this thing. I wasn't exactly sure at first how many chapters it should be. I settled on three tentatively, allowing myself to add and remove any as I began writing it. As it turned out, three chapters was the perfect amount. The name of this story took a long time for me to come up with. At first, I was going to something like I did with Spindlerun. It would have been called something like: _____: Tarble's Tale. I didn't have the first word, ever. Also, the re-use of the word tale, while being good in this title, was repetitive when comparing it with Spindlerun, so I ultimately did not use this type of name for the story. I'm not sure exactly where the final name came from. I ended up writing down several names on notepad and then picked the one I liked best. "Prideful Demons Black" is the one I liked best.
I began writing this story only after I had finished Yellow. I wrote the entire thing in a (roughly) 2 1/2 day period. This story is actually not much longer than Yellow (the first two chapters put together are shorter than Yellow). In some ways, it does read like a one-shot, but it's a bit too long for a one-shot, in my tastes. It has the cliffhangers necessary for chapter splits, too. I can't see not having a chapter split between the end of chapter 2 and the beginning of chapter 3, for example. I don't have much memory about writing this story, aside from the fact that I wrote all of the chapters in the late night to early morning area. I'll get more into how long each section took me in the below chapter endnotes.
Sigur Rós was big in my life at the time of writing this story (and it still is!), which is why I used three of their songs for the below chapters. While Valtari isn't my favorite album of theirs, I think its sound suited this story immensely. I consciously did not use my favorite song from that album (Varúð) because I plan on using it in The Last Saiyan at some point in the future. I'm not sure where which chapter I would have used that song in even if I hadn't reserved it for The Last Saiyan. Maybe chapter 2; maybe none of them. Anyway, I didn't put cues in the text for the three Sigur Rós songs. I simply put them in a playable youtube bar at the top of each chapter. It's up to the readers if they want to play the song while reading it, or cue it during a certain part of the chapter. They don't have to play it at all, even though I think each song is pivotal to the tone of each chapter. For me, this was a fun experiment to do. I've done many music cues in the past in many different stories, so trying something different here was interesting. Allowing the reader to have more of a choice than in previous stories (while they wouldn't be forced to play the songs, the songs would be "cued" at certain points, so they were physically a part of the story, even if the reader ignored them) allows the reader to choose what they want to do with the song, as well as what to think each song is meant for.
Story[edit | edit source]
Cerulean Shores[edit | edit source]
The algid cold bit into Tarble’s soft pink skin as he waded into the deeper waters. The sapphire lake flickered and twitched like a drunken flame as cold as ice. The Saiyan bit his lip to stop the heaving his chest, which bordered on hyperventilation. The cold hit him hard in his stiffening bones. He looked over to his petite lover, Gure. She laughed and gloated, and briefly did Tarble feel her enthusiasm within him before the cold snatched it away like an owl in the night. Splashing him with the richly colored water, she smiled up to her husband. It was a thin remark on her broad face, and Tarble thought it made her look as beautiful as the dawn. He wanted to kiss her then, to wrap her in his arms, embracing her and sharing his love with his wife, but there were others around; Tarble was a meek Saiyan and he felt not like embarrassing himself in the company of others. So he smiled back, abashed, and hurriedly retreated back out of the water.
Gure splashed at him defiantly, a pleading caring action that told Tarble he should stay - but he could not. He was not one of Gure’s kind. He was not so hardy in the cold. The Saiyan returned to the shore, which was coated in fine cerulean pebbles. They stuck to his toes and hands as if stickiness coated them all. He sat down on the edge of a sand dune next to a mauve-barked tree and watched his wife enjoy their vacation. It was good to be out of the cities. Work took its toll on them, Tarble knew. He was just glad that everyone else was having a good time. It was enough that they had accepted him into their community when he was a baby. They could have, as easily, killed him and left his bones for the worms. But no, Gure and her people had raised Tarble to be one of them, loving him unconditionally every step of the way. And for that, he was grateful beyond words. So what if the water was too cold for him? He took enough pleasure in watching his wife and her parents and siblings have a great time.
The whispers of the world came to Tarble then, hitting him on the back of his exposed neck. The hairs there stood on end and he felt an unnatural chill overtake him which could not have been the planet’s cold. No, this was something darker, fouler, more alive. Tarble turned around and beheld a burst of light, shooting up like a geyser from the dull ground, soundless and vicious and grave. He recoiled, covering his eyes from the unheralded heat and piercing color of it. Screams followed in a eerie crash like thunder after a flash of lightning. Not too far-off had the explosion been, for the fires it had started were spreading to the beach Tarble and his wife were enjoying. Standing up, Tarble craned his neck to see what had happened.
It was a terrible sight to bear witness to, and Tarble regretted that his eyes had given him such images. Dozens of members of a nearby town lay dead or dying, their limbs torn off, blood and bone and green-pink flesh coating the ground near the explosion. Dust hung in the air coolly and debris floated about as if being carried by some invisible force. Still more of Gure’s people, yet alive, ran about, stunned and frightened; many of them were on fire, their dull green skin charring black as the flames overtook them. And above the town floated two beings, veritably alien and veritably evil. Red was one, blue was the other, and upon their fat, squat bodies was the tell-tale armor of the Planet Trade Organization. Tarble knew that armor well, for he possessed one of those outfits, himself. But he had not been born a warrior, so he had hung it up and forgotten it.
The two aliens laughed together. Tarble could not hear them, for the screams of their victims overtook all other noises. Then, the two started their terrible descent and produced more and more fiery blasts as they went. The screams started to lessen down as more and more died. Tarble could not bear to watch anymore. His legs felt numb and weak and his stomach churned with the thoughts running through his head. Tarble turned from those aliens to his wife, Gure. With her family, she stood silent and still, eyes wide, mouth agape in horror.
“Come on! We have to go! Hurry!” Tarble heard himself scream. The pounding inside his skull dampened all sounds and his voice felt detached from him, as if someone else was speaking for him and he was just a bystander, a simple onlooker to the madness going on around him.
He ran forward, instincts driving him. Gure had to be saved. That was what mattered most. She needed to get out of the genociders’ path. He could not let her die. Tarble did not feel the water as he entered it. This time, the cold was the furthest thing from his mind. He grabbed Gure by the wrist and pulled her out. She was a small thing, no larger than a child of Tarble’s species would have been. He was no warrior, no strong man - in fact, he was small and frail for his age - but even Tarble was able to pick her up and cradle her like a child between his arms. He motioned for the others to follow him out of the lake; they nodded and obeyed. He knew not where he was taking them. Anywhere away from the rampaging lunatics behind him would be enough. Tarble felt his face go red with embarrassment and shame. He was not strong enough to protect them, he knew. He would be useless. These people had raised him as one of their own, loved him as one of their own, and he could not repay them. He could not be a Saiyan when it truly mattered.
As they exited the waters, cerulean pebbles clutching desperately to their feet, Tarble saw an old, ragged spaceship land in front of him. Dust and smoke flew up as the rusted white spikey device shuddered to a halt. Panic grabbed Tarble by the heart and throat, briefly disallowing him from thought or breath. These were more come to kill him. His end was nigh, and there was nothing he could do about it. Tarble grasped for breaths and felt his wife shaking in his arms. Then, the door opened, and out from it strode two individuals.
Emerald they were, and tall too. Two antennae they had on their bald heads, and muscles ran down the rest of their bodies where simple clothes did not cover them. Tarble fell to his knees, Gure in his hands, ready to plead for his life. He would give up anything and everything to make sure his wife survived this day; even his own life would he forfeit if it meant Gure’s survival. As cowardly as Tarble was, he could muster up enough courage to protect the most important thing in his life. But the aliens did not so much as look at Tarble or the others.
“Grand Elder, they’re over there!” one shouted to the inside of the queer ship.
“There are more coming, too. I can sense it!” the other roared, baring his teeth.
Then from the ship came a third emerald alien. This one was not so tall and not so muscled the others. He wore a red and white jacket and walked with a chiseled wooden cane. His face was wrinkled and weary, like an old rock on an ancient shore, and his body was as fat as a berry. When he stepped out, he did not ignore Tarble like the others had.
“Tarble!” he said in a raspy voice. “We have been looking for you.”
“Wh-what…?! Please, sir, d-don’t kill me or my wife! P-please! I’ll do anything y-you want! Anything!”
The green alien studied Tarble for a second with sharp, glowing eyes. Then, a smile crept onto his face. “I am not here to kill you, Tarble. I’m here to help,” he raised his stick towards the smoking town which was not so far away. “Come inside, we must talk about how we are to deal with those two monsters who call themselves Abo and Kado.”
He bade Tarble and Gure’s family into his ship while his two guards stood sentry at the door. Tarble looked down at Gure for a moment. The pain and fear was plain across her little face and it made Tarble sad. He felt tears coming on, a lump rising in his throat, but he beat them back. He was a man, after all, a Saiyan grown. He supposed that meant he had a little bit of his family’s famous pride running through his veins. But more importantly, Tarble would not suffer to look so weak for his wife now. He would not cause her even more fright. He needed to be strong. For her. She nodded, noiselessly telling him to listen to the elder alien. If it was good enough for Gure, it was good enough for Tarble. He stood up and started walking forward.
He did not know why Abo and Kado were attacking his wife’s planet. He did not know why these fearsome-looking green aliens had appeared to help him. But one thing Tarble saw as he walked was that the situation was becoming more dire by the second. The red and blue aliens had spread out across the region. Now, they were flying like cunning wasps, blowing apart the landscape as they went. Tarble saw that the destroyed town was not the only place of ash anymore. Smoke was rising from two dozen other locations by now, and he saw more and more pillars of fire rising in the air with each passing second. Screams accompanied them, causing a hideous clash of sounds to emerge over the peaceful beach. They were all dying, Tarble knew, and nothing could stop it.
Tarble sighed and looked to the sky as he walked. How could anyone be so evil? How could this happen? But the heavens gave him no kind response. For as Tarble raised his hopeful eyes to them, he saw nothing but despair answer him back. Black demons circled the sky above, like dread vultures over ripe carrion. Abo and Kado were not alone. They had legions and legions of followers - so many, that they blotted out the sky itself. Tarble shuddered and felt his legs quivering. It was over. His happy life with his wife was about to end. He had not hope in him when he stepped into that green alien’s spaceship then, for Tarble was only about to think about how quickly his simple family vacation had turned into a nightmare of unimaginable proportions.
How did it come to this?
- This chapter is called "Cerulean Shores" because that was the color of the sand on the beach where Tarble, Gure, and Gure's family were relaxing.
- The first Sigur Rós song I used in this story is called Ekki mukk. I chose it because it reminds me of sitting on a shore or playing in shallow water on a beautiful day. It is ominous and sad at certain parts, which works well with the destruction Abo and Kado are spreading in the background.
- I created the page for this chapter at 1:06 a.m., July 19. I began working on the chapter at 9:42 p.m., July 19, and finished it at 11:07 p.m., July 19. I posted the chapter on this wiki the same minute I completed it on my google doc.
- Tarble's inability to withstand the cold is one of my own traits that added to his character to not only flesh it out but to show that this Tarble is the KidVegeta version of the character.
- Ebio and Budo (Gure's father and brother) are in this story and chapter, though they are not named. This is a reference to Yellow, where both characters are integral to the plot.
- Using the phrase "The whispers of the world" was me trying to be a bit poetic with describing the wind. Not sure it worked, to be honest.
- The rich, descriptive writing style I used in this story is very similar to the one I used in Dragon Ball Z: In Requiem.
- It was important for me to show how much Tarble and Gure love one another at the very beginning, so the way in which Prideful Demons Black ends makes sense. They are not just husband and wife. They are peaceful creatures who are madly in love. Abo and Kado threaten everything they have, especially each other.
- The descriptions of the many aliens of Gure's species who are killed by Abo and Kado were influenced by various gore videos I've seen. The descriptions are quite graphic so as to show how truly evil Abo and Kado are. There's no grey area for them.
- Tarble isn't a warrior, so he is frightened by Abo and Kado to the point of him becoming detached from the situation. When he screams at his family to follow him, he's hearing himself scream it as if he's watching from a television. This detachment from the situation (and from his body) seems to be a coping mechanism.
- I describe Tarble as small and frail for his age because he looks like he's a lot younger than he could possibly be (at most, he could only be five years younger than Vegeta, and Vegeta looks relatively old by this point).
- Tarble's love for Gure can be seen when he goes into the cold water without thinking about it. Before, he hated the cold so much that he couldn't stay in it for more than a few moments. Now that Gure's life is in danger, he doesn't let the cold stop him. It's a little thing, but it illustrates how much Tarble loves her. And in my humble opinion, it's always more effective to show than to tell, when possible.
- I figure Moori's space ship looks like Katas'.
- At first, Tarble expects that the people coming out of the space ship are going to kill him. I did this to build up tension and show how much a coward at heart Tarble can be. He always assumes the worst, for better or worse.
- I didn't have the ability to just say the Namekians were Namekians, since I'm telling this story from Tarble's perspective. Still, I think the descriptions are clear enough that any Dragon Ball fan would immediately recognize the species of the three aliens that come out of the ship.
- Tarble on his knees, with Gure in his arms, despair on his face, towns burning in the background, and cerulean sand all around him is such a vivid scene. I would love to see it drawn and colored someday.
- Having the first words out of one of the Namekian's mouth be "Grand Elder" alerts less-astute readers to the fact that the aliens are Namekians.
- The two Namekian warriors in this story have the ability to sense power levels.
- That Moori knew Tarble's name indicates Vegeta told the old Namekian about it at one time or another. Vegeta probably didn't do so without a reason; Moori might've even become aware of Tarble's existence by overhearing a conversation he wasn't a part of.
- Moori referred to Abo and Kado by name so that I could then refer to them as such. Remember, this story is told from the limited third-person perspective, which means I have to introduce information like this before I can reference it. This proved to be handy, as I don't see many other places where Tarble could learn their names, and him knowing their names is very helpful for the last chapter's fight scene.
- "a Saiyan grown" is a reference to the phrase "a man grown" seen often in the various books of the series, A Song of Ice and Fire.
- Tarble knows about his family's famous pride. This is because he saw his father's video message to him in Yellow.
- I made a conscious choice not to italicize any of Tarble's thoughts in this story. There was no real reason for this. I just wanted to try something different.
- We get the first glimpse of Abo and Kado's soldiers in the final paragraph of chapter 1. This is foreshadowing to their prominence in the second chapter. Additionally, the phrase Tarble describes them with, "Black demons circled the sky above, like dread vultures over ripe carrion" references the name of this story and provides a bit of an idea of why I named it Prideful Demons Black. There are literal demons circling above Tarble, yes, but it's the figurative ones, the crude Saiyan instincts that tell him he must be a warrior and a proud Saiyan (when these instincts go against his nature) that seem to affect Tarble more in this story. That above quote is also one of my favorite lines in the story. I quite like its elegance and evocative imagery.
Hvassviðri[edit | edit source]
The largest of the aliens wore his wrinkles well, and Tarble thought him to be a noble man. He bade the group enter his meager ship, where the lights were low and flickering and the rooms were cramped with wooden boxes of bitter-smelling vegetables. Tarble stood at the helm of his pack, and the mickle green alien stood opposite him, calmly rubbing his well-burnished cane. The Saiyan was careful not to dither; his countenance had to be fresh, prideful, calm. He was a son of a King whose bloodline was famous for its pride. And despite his royal father casting him out as an inheritance-less waif by surrendering Tarble to an alien world, Tarble still felt his lineage strong in his bones. And it gave him the confidence to proceed.
“Who are Abo and Kado?”
The alien tapped his cane a few times, as if he was worried to even hear their names mentioned on his ship. “Two mercenaries, as far as we could tell.They are terrible individuals… murderers and thieves and hateful beings. They worked for Frieza once.”
“Once?” Tarble asked, lowering his head slightly. Was Frieza not still their keeper?
“Frieza is dead,” the other replied, simply. “And that is part of why I have come here, Tarble. You must be wondering how I know your name.”
Tarble nodded boyishly.
“I learned of your existence from your brother, Vegeta. He and his friends… helped my people defend ourselves from Frieza. They killed that cruel beast on my homeworld and thrust the universe into chaos because of it. Without their lord reigning them in, Abo and Kado have started to roam the universe, killing and pillaging as they pleased. They came to my world, but my Namekian guards beat them back. Ever since then, I have been searching for a way to bring this mercenary duo to justice.”
Tarble gulped. He felt very small when faced with the achievements of his older brother. Honestly, he could not even believe that Vegeta had killed that famed tyrant. It made Tarble’s head go light just thinking about it. His brother was awe-inspiring, a true legend.“If Vegeta could kill Frieza, then he could help us with Abo and Kado! Please sir, where is he?”
The great elder shook his head. “He lives on a planet called Earth. It’s not too close to here, unfortunately.”
“Then what is your plan? Please, hurry. My wife’s people are being slaughtered even as we speak!”
The emerald alien stared Tarble down as if he was a ball of ink in a rainstorm. “The blood of a great warrior race flows inside you, Tarble. You are who I was looking for to deal with Abo and Kado. You must help me fight them off.”
“But I’m not warrior,” Tarble admitted, softly. He felt his face and ears go red at the simple, painful admission.
The alien raised his head. “I can sense your power, Tarble. Perhaps you are not as strong as your brother, but there is a strength inside you that you do not know. If you forgot your worries and your fears, you can unlock it. These two have many minions at their disposal. Hundreds of lesser soldiers. I have but two warriors myself. They will doubtless be overwhelmed in battle. You must help them. Please.”
“I-I don’t know,” Tarble said. He looked back at his wife and her family and they nodded to him lovingly. That stirred something in Tarble, a fierceness and a willingness to change the world. He felt something shoot through his chest; pride it was, he thought, and it was a peculiar feeling. He would abandon the fear and the cowardice that was so entwined in heart. He would don the pride of a warrior for once. He had to, for them. Tarble stood up as tall as he could. “I will help you, sir. But first I need to get my armor.”
Tarble learned from the grand elder Moori that his two guards were named Mushin and Maimas. After Tarble had returned home and thrown his armor over his thin frame, he returned to them, ostensibly a warrior. He was Vegeta’s brother, the king’s son, a great Saiyan in his own right. It was time for Tarble to turn away from his gutlessness and become what his father had always wanted of him. He was fighting for Gure, for her people, for his pride. He would vanquish his demons today.
The sky was dark when he returned. Hundreds, if not thousands of Abo and Kado’s soldiers were flying high in the atmosphere, shooting ki this way and that, roughing up on the landscape with gruesome strokes. Fires engorged trees of mauve and coral and bodies of Gure’s kind littered the ground like the brown leaves off of a dying tree. Tarble grew angry upon witnessing such butchery. He slammed his small hands into fists and looked over to the two Namekian guards.
“Are you ready?”
“Let’s do this thing,” one of them replied.
Tarble nodded and kicked off the ground. As weak as he was, he could fly at least. And he could shoot basic ki blasts. But he was not fighter, and he worried about his form. He had never trained in hand-to-hand combat. Still, as he saw Mushin and Maimas shoot past him, Tarble’s confidence grew a bit. He was flying into hell, but he was not going alone.
The soldiers were clad in the Planet Trade Organization armor much like Tarble was, and he read on his cyan scouter that their power levels were relatively weak. Many of them sported bulbous weaponry attached to their arms, for they could not produce ki on their own. Others still had thruster packs or rocket attachments to help them fly. Tarble marked Mushin charge into a group of soldiers just to his right, slicing them back with his hands. He proceeded to do a back flip and kick even more away. The Saiyan saw blood spurt out from the soldiers’ bodies until a huge yellow ki blast from the Namekian disintegrated them utterly. Tarble swallowed hard.
There were half a dozen soldiers charging at him, and he had to duck out of the way just to avoid them. Spinning and losing his balance, Tarble tried turning back to his quarry, but they were on him already, restless dogs foaming at the mouth. One punched Tarble in the throat and another grabbed him by his tail. He screamed out in pain, but before they could kill him, Tarble saw Maimas come screaming over, white ki covering his splendidly long body, and crash directly into the vile minions. Two of them dropped like flies and a third was taken out by a swift punch to the back of the head by the great warrior. Tarble watched with sheer wonder. He felt his lip shaking uncontrollably.
“Are you okay?” Maimas asked the Saiyan gruffly after dealing with the small batch of soldiers.
“Yes, sorry,” Tarble said quietly. “I’ll be good now.”
The Namekian nodded and shot off again. Tarble screwed up his face and breathed in. He had to help them. He had to. It was his duty. The Saiyan let out his breath and grunted, producing a ball of light blue energy between his gloved hands. Holding it out in front of him, he looked for the nearest enemy. Truly, they were everywhere. He need not even aim, there were so many. So Tarble winced and threw the ball wildly. It swerved sharply and wobbled mightily as it sailed through the air.
“Please hit!” he whispered to himself.
A second later, the ball of energy struck the back of a soldier who was shooting his hand-cannon at Mushin. When the ball hit him, it exploded loudly, and Tarble heard the alien scream before dropping from the sky, his body reduced to a meaty pile of death. Tarble smiled and punched the air. He’d done it.
Yet, there were many more to kill. The two Namekians were taking on dozens at a time, and Tarble was not able to replicate such impressive feats. He sat back, idling behind smoke and deception to prevent too many aliens from charging him. He threw his blue balls of ki at any aliens who got too near, and when either of the emerald warriors was being overrun, he aided them with as much ki as he could muster. Soon the skies were lightening back up and the demons were dying in scores.
The two Namekians descended to the ground and Tarble and the soldiers followed them at once. A great windstorm was picking up down there and fine sand was blowing about in mini tornadoes all around. Grass and trees blew this way and that screaming to the sky to let them be. Tarble dug his heels into the grass just in time to see a burly alien, who stood at least eight feet tall, come charging him like a flaming space bull. Tarble gasped and put up his block, but the mad warrior knocked him to the ground all the same. Tarble rolled to his right, covering his face and hair in sand. Looking up, he saw the large green-skinned alien roll over and shoot a ki blast at him. The Saiyan did what his instincts required of him - he put his hand up to cover his face. Curiously, as he did, the attack deflected off his hand and went sailing up to the sky. Tarble was as uncertain about what had happened as anyone else, but he didn’t have time to think about it. The gigantic alien was bearing down on him again, and this time, malice and death was sweltering with edacity in his blue-white eyes.
Tarble jumped up and shot a ki blast at the thing. It tore through his left shoulder, sending blood and flesh into the air like confetti. Tendons and muscle hung loose around the open wound, and the alien howled out as he fell to one knee and absorbed the pain that followed. Tarble could not hear him. The winds were too sonorous, too strident, and it was like a continuous, deafening explosion was going off around him. The visibility was awful, and Tarble could see scant three yards ahead of him. Soldiers stumbled in and out of view like memories in a dream, and ki blasts shot all around him, purple, blue, green, and red. He stumbled forward in the slippery sand as the feral roars of the world tugged at his ears. The alien looked up at Tarble as he approached.
“I’m sorry,” Tarble said, though he didn’t think the alien could hear him. “I have to protect my family.”
He raised his hand over the alien’s head and punched him so hard that the poor Saiyan’s fingers went straight through the alien’s black hair and into his skull. Tarble shrieked as he felt the creature’s brains and blood, though he was thankful to at least have been wearing gloves.
The fighting continued for some time, and Tarble caught only fleeting glances of his two Namekian guards as it went on. They were oft battling several aliens at once. Tarble helped where he could, shooting ki blasts, or punching aliens who weren’t looking his way. He was good at sneaking up on them in the windstorm, for his scouter was a good model and his wits had been sharpened by years of playing seek and hide in the planet’s forests. He did not know how many he killed, how many he felled in the great battle, but Tarble knew that he had done it all to protect Gure. He hated killing anything, even small bugs, but his desperation for his wife’s safety had awakened a numbness to death in Tarble. He had suddenly felt alive as the sand and air fluttered about him like some uncaged lion. He felt detached from reality, as if he wasn’t Tarble, but merely an unassuming onlooker watching his own actions happening before him. And by the time the windstorm had died down, Tarble found himself covered in dirt and blood and sweat and he barely remembered how any of it got there.
Breathing hard, the Saiyan warrior looked over the landscape and saw the Namekians battling the last of the soldiers. He helped by shooting an energy beam into the head of one, killing it on impact. The Namekians quickly beat down their remaining foes and vaporized them with great energy waves. Then, it was just the three of them again. The only noise across that barren sand dune then was the heavy, rapid breathing of three exhausted fighters. Tarble walked over to them to make sure they were okay. Each of them had small cuts across their faces and arms, but they were not seriously hurt. Tarble only had a few small bruises on his face and bloody knuckles. Those would heal.
Around them were the corpses of many aliens. Tarble looked at them. So many still had their eyes open, looking up to the blue sky in frantic, horrified expressions. He wondered what they had thought when they died. Were they pleading for mercy to some god of theirs? Were they hoping for a painless death? Were they afraid? He hoped he never had to find out. Tarble rubbed his aching knuckles and was about to speak to the Namekians when, in front of the three of them, two beings landed.
One was blue and one was red, and their faces betrayed no soft feelings. The hatred and bile they conjured up was so natural, so suitable for their looks, that Tarble thought them to be proper demons, true hate-filled beings. He took a step back without even realizing it. They looked to him, first, and then laughed.
“Who’s this big shot?” the blue one asked.
The red one smiled and licked his lips. “He’s a Saiyan… look at his tail! I’ve always wanted to kill one of those!”
“Revenge for Lord Frieza!” the other agreed. Then, he spoke to Tarble directly. “These Namekians won’t save you, Saiyan. You have messed up our plans enough by killing our soldiers. They were quite expensive to hire! Now you will have to pay for that! Prepare to die!”
Tarble looked up at them. He was afraid, petrified really. But he couldn’t show it. He had to bury it deep inside. He had to forget it. He had to stay numb to the pain. He had to look like a warrior. He had to look like he could take them on. The Saiyan gulped and pretended that he was the prideful warrior they thought he was.
“My name is Tarble, son of King Vegeta,” he began. “I’m the protector of this planet. Leave now and I won’t kill you.”
Abo and Kado guffawed like savage animals. The blue one even punched the red one on the shoulder in jest. “Hahahaha! Don’t try to fool us, boy. There’s no way you can take us on. We’ve become as strong as Lord Frieza himself!”
Tarble ignored them. “You don’t know who you’re dealing with. My brother Vegeta killed Frieza. And I’m a warrior just like him,” he said, raising his fists. He saw, out of the corner of his eye, Mushin and Maimas do likewise. As fake as his confidence was, Tarble had to keep going. He had to be the warrior now. He had to be the protector of his people. He had to face his demons. “I’ll kill you if I have to.”
- This chapter is called "Hvassviðri" (which means windstorm in Icelandic) because of the big windstorm battle that takes place between Tarble, Maimas, and Mushin and Abo and Kado's Elite Force. I used the Icelandic word for windstorm as a reference to Sigur Rós.
- The second Sigur Rós song I used in this story is called Rembihnútur. I chose it because it builds into a crescendo that works well for a fight scene. The early part of the song works for the setup to the fight, and then the explosion into the fight is mirrored by the explosion into the heavier sound farther into the song. This chapter was the hardest for me to pick the song for. I knew the songs for the other two chapters before I wrote any of this story. I only decided upon using Rembihnútur for this chapter just before sitting down to write it. Before I sat down to write Hvassviðri, I listened through the album Valtari (the album all three of these songs come from) twice to try to find a song that would work best for this chapter.
- This is the longest chapter of the story.
- I created the page for this chapter at 7:48 p.m., July 20. I began working on the chapter at 10:32 p.m., July 20, and finished it at 12:29 a.m., July 21. I posted the chapter on this wiki at 12:51 a.m., July 21.
- The bitter-smelling vegetables were the ajisa plants that grow on Namek. As to if they are actually vegetables, I cannot say. That was Tarble's guess. He's an unreliable narrator, remember.
- I'm irritated that I used the word mickle in this story. I don't think it works for where and how I used it.
- I had Moori tell Tarble that Frieza was dead. He didn't specifically mention that Vegeta did it, but Tarble assumes Vegeta did it as the conversation progresses. Moori doesn't correct him, which is why Tarble has this mistaken belief in his canon special.
- I figured having Abo and Kado attack New Planet Namek before the events of this story was the best way to have Namekians involved in the plot.
- Early in the second chapter, Tarble thinks Vegeta could help them deal with Abo and Kado. This is foreshadowing to his plan involving Vegeta that he comes up with at the end of the story.
- The strength inside of Tarble that Moori senses is perhaps not physical.
- I had Tarble get his armor before fighting Abo and Kado's minions so that he would be wearing it by the time he got into his space pod, since when he arrives on Earth and steps out of his ship, he is in his armor.
- It is Gure and her family that influence Tarble into acting like a warrior, even if he is not one by nature. Here again, he is setting his own comfort aside for their sakes.
- Mushin's name is based on an archaic Japanese word for snail (Dedemushi).
- Maimas' name is based on another Japanese word for snail (Maimai). Of note is that the place that Frieza landed at on Planet Namek was known as the "Maima Region". Maimas may have originally came from this area.
- Tarble saying that he will vanquish his demons is yet another reference to the story's name. It has a double meaning: Tarble's demons are the physical soldiers who serve under Abo and Kado and his conflicting thoughts about being a "true" Saiyan and a warrior, instead of being a peace-loving person.
- I gave the trees on Gure's homeworld coral and mauve colors to make them appear more alien than those seen on Earth.
- A lot of Mushin and Maimas' dialogue is influenced by how Piccolo talks.
- While Tarble is weak, I figured he would have a power level of at least a few thousand by adulthood, given his genes. That puts him at or above most of Abo and Kado's soldiers, but far below Abo and Kado themselves.
- Tarble having trouble killing people is due to him being such a peaceful being. It also reminds me of Nir's similar struggle in Act I of The Last Saiyan.
- Tarble saying "Please hit!" is a reference to his appearance in Dragon Ball: Raging Blast 2. In that game, Tarble shouts "Please hit!" when he fires his only ki blast super attack in the game.
- I added in the windstorm to have something interesting going on in the setting. Since the battle is just people attacking one another over and over again, this adds in a much-needed and interesting change of scenery. The windstorm is also alien and unnatural, which may be a metaphor for the battle itself. Gure's people appear to be peaceful (Tarble and Gure are, at least), so a battle of this scale may have never been seen before in the history of their planet.
- Tarble wounds the huge alien in a very gruesome way. Such is war. War is not pretty. It is bloody and it is gory and it is unpleasant. I wanted to show that with Tarble's duel with the alien.
- Tarble's personality really comes out when he fights the huge alien. He doesn't want to kill or hurt anyone. Tarble apologizes to the alien before he kills him. But he knows he must protect his family, or else they will be killed. And he'd rather see the alien die than his wife.
- During the windstorm, Tarble notices: "Soldiers stumbled in and out of view like memories in a dream, and ki blasts shot all around him, purple, blue, green, and red". In my opinion, this is a great image. It shows how chaotic war can be, and the parallels to war give this passage a lot of meaning.
- "his wits had been sharpened by years of playing seek and hide in the planet’s forests" - there are two references here. First, the reference to "seek and hide" is a reference to Yellow, because that story opens with Tarble and Gure's brother playing that game. I called it "seek and hide" instead of hide and seek as a reference to this Lord of the Rings TCG card.
- Tarble again feels detached as he kills the aliens. This is definitely a coping mechanism for him, because he wouldn't normally be okay with killing living things. Because he has to - and he kills so many - he becomes detached from the horror around him.
- It is no accident that the windstorm ends when the battle does.
- Tarble's speech to Abo and Kado makes him seem like he's a real Saiyan warrior. I think, deep down inside, he doesn't know what he's doing, and he's panicking when he says those threatening words.
- Tarble refers to himself as the son of King Vegeta, which is a bit weird. Most people would just say their father's name, not his title as well. I did this only because Tarble's brother (who Tarble talks about later in his speech) is also named Vegeta.
- "My brother Vegeta killed Frieza. And I’m a warrior just like him" - I find these lines sad, to be honest. Tarble is nothing like Vegeta. He's fighting for his life, so he has to invoke his brother, but what this really shows is how little legacy Tarble has crafted for himself. He's telling a lie that not even he believes. I think, later, when he reflects on what happened during this story on the ride to Earth, he becomes ashamed by what he said.
Wherever Heroes Go[edit | edit source]
There stood two stubby brutes across from Tarble. Their mouths cracked open, cackles loosing from their sharpened teeth, greed shining in their eyes. They each wore scouters, the red one a blue model, the blue one a red model. As Tarble stepped forward, they scanned his power level and burst out into hideous din once more.
“Haha! His power isn’t even 3000!” Abo whooped.
“Time to die then!” Kado retorted, and the two dropped into fighting stances.
Tarble looked to the Namekians squatting behind him. Maimas grimaced. “There’s no way they are as strong as Frieza. They’re just his soldiers.”
“It’s impossible!” Mushin agreed.
“Okay, but we still have to attack them at once,” Tarble said. “Even if they are lying, they’ll be tough.”
The others agreed and fell into stances with their Saiyan warrior. Tarble noticed the blue-and-red alien duo’s scouters scrolling with text as they read the Namekians’ power levels. He knew not how strong Frieza had been, nor did he know the absolute strengths of his companions, but he hoped they would be strong enough. Tarble had been slightly concealing his power level when Abo read it earlier, so he brought up his ki around him and charged up to his fullest. Once he had done so, he gave the two Namekians one more look and then charged the monsters, shouting cries for his homeworld and for his father as he went.
Abo and Kado jumped to either side as Tarble approached them. He looked left, then right, and lost them in the blue void. Surprised, he took a step back just to be met with a boot to his chest. It sent him careening backwards, flipping over in the dirt and grass and bodies of the dead. By the time he managed to stand back up, Tarble saw both Namekian warriors dueling an evil brother. Tarble ran forward, readying energy in his hands. As he fired the blasts at his foes, they punched the Namekians back, caught his blasts and threw them to the sky. Tarble gasped in shock.
Then they were on him again and Tarble could barely see what was going on through the flurry of punches and kicks. More dust clouded the Saiyan’s vision, and it was all he could do to put up his block to protect his slender, fragile body. After a moment, one punch hit Tarble on the mouth, splitting his lip and sending him flying back to the turf. He tasted irony blood and gravely sand in his mouth and there was much muddy grime in his hair when he stood back up. Maimas and Mushin looked to be injured, their faces bruised purple and their limbs moving as lethargic as sap. Tarble’s heart fell into his stomach upon seeing his two guards in such a condition.
“Hey, are you okay?!” he yelled at them, spitting blood and sand out of his mouth.
“They’re strong, Tarble,” Mushin groaned. “I don’t know if we can beat them. Even together.”
Tarble glanced over at Abo and Kado. They were approaching him even then, walking slowly and deliberately and laughing menacingly. “We’re going to die if we don’t beat them! Please stand up! I need your help!”
“We’re not nearly as strong as them, Tarble. It’s hopeless,” Maimas admitted. His voice was stoic and dry, defeated and broken, like the ash that hung so still in the air.
Tarble’s mind was racing. He didn’t want to die. He couldn’t let Abo and Kado get past him and kill off his wife and her people. Gure had to be saved. He had to protect her. He was a Saiyan, a warrior, not a coward. Warriors didn’t lose. He had to think up a new plan for defeating the dreadful aliens.
“If you can’t help, then go back to Grand Elder Moori,” Tarble began. His eyes were darting from the Namekians to Abo and Kado and back again. He was running out of time. “Tell my wife to prepare my space pod. Have your Grand Elder put the coordinates for Earth in its computer. I’m going to draw Abo and Kado away from this planet and take them to my brother so he can kill them for us.” Tarble’s felt guilt wash over him saying those words. It was a concession, an admission of defeat on his part. It was the plan of a coward. But Maimas and Mushin didn’t question Tarble at that moment; the situation was too exigent. The time for folly was done. So the two beaten Namekians rose into the air and flew off, racing the winds to get Tarble what he needed so badly.
The Saiyan turned back to the two mercenaries, who were observing him with their scouters once again. They grinned upon seeing his Namekians fly off.
“Abandoning you, eh? They’re smart to run, unlike you. The only thing waiting for you here is death.”
Tarble felt sweat pouring down his lower back. He was quivering uncontrollably, like a leafy tree in the ceaseless wind. He was scared. They shot energy at him, and he had to use all of his power just to dodge out of the way. The green blasts went past him, grazing his shoulders, and he knew that if they had hit him, he would have died. Tarble rolled and then looked up and more energy was being flung his way. This time, he rose into the air. He couldn’t beat these aliens, he knew, but he could stall them. He had to, until his ship was ready. Tarble noticed the glimmer of their scouters following his every movement and an idea came into the novice Saiyan’s mind in that instant. Scouters tracked power levels. Without them, they would be blind to his movements. They would have to use their actual sight. And then Tarble would have the advantage. After all, he had played seek and hide all his life. He was a champion of deception.
The Saiyan jumped over the next slew of ki attacks and then angled two finger beams at the duo with pinpoint precision. They did not react fast enough, and the green beams hit them on the face, shattering their scouters completely. The two bellowed in disapproval as the smoke from their destroyed contraptions briefly blinded them. When it cleared, Tarble was nowhere to be seen. Abo growled softly and flung an energy beam into a group of trees to his right, encapsulating them in heat and fire and light. Then came Tarble to the monster, striking low and true, and soon Abo was face down in the dirt. He rolled over to attack the Saiyan, but Tarble was already gone. Kado whirled around, looking for him, and he was met with a face full of ki. He stumbled back, cursing the Saiyan with every breath.
Tarble glided past them, using all of his speed, agility, and intelligence to stay out of their sight. As the two looked right and left, he moved above them; as they looked to the skies, he flew behind them. He was a shadow dancing on the edge of a fire, but his energy was not infinite. After striking the two a few more times, Tarble felt his muscles cramping up, a burning, unbearable feeling taking hold of his body. He could not stall forever. And his attacks were little more than nuisances, the bites of flies on the hard flesh of greater beasts. He was not damaging his foes, only making them more reckless and more angry and more bloodthirsty.
Abo and Kado then went back-to-back and started spinning in a circle, shooting off ki wildly and rapidly in every direction, and it was all the poor Saiyan could do to avoid the attacks. Then as the Saiyan flew through the sky with unequaled grace, one purple blast hit him in the leg, causing him to fall to the dirt right in front of they who hunted him. The aliens saw him and grinned together, knowing they had finally cornered the pesky fly.
“Tarble!” The shout was high and hopeful over the barren sand dunes. The silence of the world allowed it to travel a great distance so that the Saiyan and his opponents could hear it. Startled, all three of them looked over to see Gure, Tarble’s beloved, standing alone on the top of a blue sand dune some ways away from them. Her eyes were wide, but she did not look scared. It gave Tarble hope just seeing her.
“What’s that?” Abo said, anger coming to him like realization. “Stupid bug!”
He fired a purple energy beam at her in annoyance.
“No!” Tarble shouted, suddenly leaping from the ground to intercept the blast. He did not feel his exhaustion, his wounds. He flew as fast as he had ever flown then, streaking through the sky like a homing missile. When he reached the beam, he didn’t even think. He just punched it away, burning his hand severely in the process. He grimaced as he landed next to his wife and felt the pain come over him. But he had to do it. It was her life otherwise. He could deal with his wound later.
“She’s a person, not a bug, you monsters!” Tarble yelled with all the fury he had in him. “Her name is Gure, and she’s my wife!”
“Who cares? She’s dying today and the dead don’t have names,” Kado spat.
Tarble seethed through his teeth. He wanted to punch that arrogant creature so hard. He wanted to make Kado feel true pain. But alas, he could not make that happen; he was Tarble; he was weak. He was no warrior. He could not protect his wife’s honor. He looked over to her, tears coming on. Why did he have to be such a failure.
Gure smiled back at him and hugged Tarble. “It’s okay Tarble. We got the ships ready to go! Are you ready to see your brother? I’m looking forward to meeting him!”
“Ships?” Tarble asked, puzzled.
“I’m coming too!” Gure said. “I must support my husband in his fight!”
Tarble felt tears rolling down his face, but it was happiness, not sadness that then overtook him. Gure loved him. She truly loved him to put herself at so much risk now. She didn’t care that he wasn’t strong like the other Saiyans. She didn’t care that he had failed against Abo and Kado. She was faithful to the end. And it gave Tarble strength to know he had married such a woman. He saw two space pods sitting just behind him, hidden just on the other side of the sand dune. They could escape. They could reach Vegeta. He just needed to convince Abo and Kado.
The two hideous beasts had gotten closer since then. Each pulled a purple scouter out of their back pockets as Tarble and Gure talked, and now that Tarble saw the devices on their faces, he knew he could not make a sneaky exit. He had to confront them.
“Do you want revenge for Frieza’s death?!” Tarble shouted, his voice echoing manyfold.
They smiled and answered in unison. “Yes.”
“My brother killed him! He killed your master! Let me take you to Vegeta so that you that you can avenge Frieza!”
“We want your blood first.”
“If you kill me, you’ll never find Vegeta! You’ll never get your revenge! It’ll be your biggest mistake!”
The two considered that for a moment. They turned to one another and spoke in sharp, clanging voices, though Tarble could not make out the words. Then, they returned to their quarry. “Very well, but we’ll kill that bug first!”
“No!” Tarble’s eyes nearly bulged out of their sockets. He grabbed Gure and pushed her aside, back down the sand dune, to avoid the energy attacks that raced so doggedly to her previous location. “Run, Gure! To the ship!”
Abo and Kado were chasing Tarble then as he ran with his wife to the two small space pods. Their doors were already open, yet it would take a moment to start them up. Tarble bit his lip. He didn’t know if there would be enough time. If the worst came to worst, he would stay behind and let Gure go herself. As long as she survived, that was all that mattered.
And then from behind Abo and Kado, a hail of sharp red ki, dark and fiery as the sun, came. It hit them in the backs, causing them to howl in pain and forget Gure. They turned around to see Mushin and Maimas waiting for them. They snarled like rabid fools and charged the Namekians headlong. Tarble let out a sigh of relief and ushered Gure into her pod. The Namekians had indeed come through for him, in more ways than one. He was eternally grateful to them. Once his wife was inside her ship, he jumped into his pod and started up the systems. He saw the destination, Earth, programmed in already. He smiled and thanked Moori quietly. The Grand Elder would get his wish soon enough, after the brothers met Tarble's own kin.
He and his wife started their pods and rose from the ground, sand falling from their ships’ white hulls like water off rock. When this happened, Abo and Kado, who had charged the emerald aliens and started beating them to death, looked up and cursed loudly. Seeing their prey get away, they started flinging large ki blasts up at the ships. Tarble and Gure were effortlessly able to dodge them from such a distance, and there was nothing the brother duo could do to stop them from escaping. Peering out of his ship’s window, Tarble the Saiyan saw Abo and Kado kick the Namekians away and fly off, as fast as they could, to their own space pods. They had taken the bait. Tarble smiled again. He almost whooped, he almost screamed, but he was in too tight a space to comfortably express himself. And when he finally saw two enemy space pods shooting towards him, Tarble knew he had them.
His brother on Earth would be able to help Tarble. Vegeta would be able to do what Tarble could not. Before, Tarble had felt ashamed at that notion, embarrassed by his lack of warrior traits and inherent strength. He had even briefly convinced himself that it was his destiny to become a warrior like his brother. But it had not come to pass. He had defended his wife’s homeworld as best he could. And he had failed. But Gure still loved him. She still stood beside him. By nature, Tarble wasn’t prideful. He wasn’t a warrior. He wasn’t a monster. But, as he now assuredly knew, it didn’t matter. His demons had certainly been cast aside, and Table knew that now he could be who he truly was without feeling ashamed. He didn’t have to hide or pretend he was something else. He simply had to realize that he was Tarble, not Vegeta. And that was okay.
- This chapter is called "Wherever Heroes Go" because Tarble flees to Earth at the end of it. It is a reference to the famous phrase "wherever whores go" in the series, A Song of Ice and Fire.
- The third Sigur Rós song I used in this story is called Dauðalogn. I feel that it best captures the tone of the end of the story, what with Abo and Kado being things Tarble cannot surmount, the love Tarble and Gure share, and Tarble finally accepting who he is.
- I created the page for this chapter at 6:33 a.m., July 22. I began working on the chapter at 6:35 a.m., July 22, and finished it at 8:05 a.m., July 22. I posted the chapter on this wiki the same minute I completed it on my google doc.
- A careful reader would realize that the scouters I give Abo and Kado at the beginning of this chapter are not the ones they are wearing in the Tarble special. That was a conscious choice. It's foreshadowing in itself about what will happen to those scouters later on.
- Abo and Kado could have killed Tarble in this chapter's battle if they had wanted to. They decided not to, so that they could torture and mock him to their hearts' content. That proved to be a costly mistake.
- Abo and Kado didn't hear Tarble's plan, otherwise they would have stopped Mushin and Maimas from flying off.
- I made Abo and Kado's energy attacks green because they use green ki attacks in Tarble's special.
- Like in the previous chapter, Tarble's mastery of hide and seek helps him here. Even if he can't damage Abo and Kado, he can stall them while his ship is being prepared for the trip to Earth.
- Gure deciding to go with Tarble to Earth happens in canon. I knew that I needed some way to get her to go with Tarble to Earth, since she actually does. Her appearing with the ships ready seemed most appropriate, and with how I've built up their love throughout the story, it seems like a natural plot development.
- The sequence with Abo calling Gure a bug and trying to kill her and Tarble saving her and reminding Abo that she was a person, not a bug strikes me as thematically similar to arguments against racial superiority.
- I'm not entirely sure how or why I had Kado come up with the idea of the dead no longer having names (perhaps it was a very veiled reference to Shelley's poem, "Ozymandias"?). But it's a cool thought, nonetheless.
- I find it kind of funny how oblivious Gure is to the situation. She doesn't seem to grasp the threat of Abo and Kado when she speaks to Tarble.
- The question must come up: How did Gure have a space pod too? Wasn't Tarble sent to her homeworld with only one? There are two possible answers. She could be using a space pod of one of the dead soldiers in Abo and Kado's Elite Force. Or this could be the space pod of the alien who came to Gure's planet with Vegeta in His Majesty's Pet. Vegeta killed that alien so that the alien wouldn't tell Zarbon that Tarble was located on the planet. Vegeta then left, leaving the alien's corpse and his space pod behind. A member of Gure's family may have found the space pod later, and it could have been used by Gure to travel to Earth.
- Tarble noting that Mushin and Maimas' ki was dark and red as the sun implies that Gure's homeworld's sun is a red one.
- Mushin and Maimas are true heroes. Their actions in this chapter give the chapter title a duel meaning. Sure, they leave near the beginning of the chapter, after the fighting becomes too hard, but they return at the end to give Tarble and Gure enough time to escape. They know they aren't strong enough to do much to Abo and Kado, so it's almost suicidal what they do. But it's heroic nonetheless. Abo and Kado probably would have killed them had they not been so desperate to chase after Tarble.
- That Tarble's ship is white now (as opposed to being yellow in Yellow) implies that he or someone in Gure's family cleaned it since its last appearance in the Black and White Collection one-shot.
- This story's main theme is resolved nicely in the last paragraph. I don't think rehashing it here will state the theme better than it's stated in that last paragraph. What I will say is that that theme is universal. Many people struggle with being who they are, so it makes it easier to relate with Tarble and his struggle. It gives a true meaning to the story's name. Tarble's demons are prideful and they are black (evil), but in the end, he vanquishes them, even if he can't vanquish Abo and Kado. Tarble gets a victory that is, in the end, more important to his character development. He's not Vegeta. He doesn't need to win a fight. He needs realize that he's Tarble, and there's nothing wrong with being Tarble.
Endnotes[edit | edit source]
I love Prideful Demons Black. It's one of my favorite stories to read for pleasure. The writing style reminds me of In Requiem, and it also seems to be tonally similar to In Requiem (especially with the songs in PDB compared to IR's theme song). It was fun developing Tarble's character from where it was in Yellow. His struggle with being who he is as opposed to being who society (and his conscious) wants him to be is a very strong theme that resolves itself nicely by the end of the story. I think Tarble's character development in Prideful Demons Black is the most important thing that happens in the story. Sure, it's the prequel to his canon special, but Tarble finding who he is must be more important that the plot. His love for Gure and his innocent peaceful nature also makes him an easier protagonist to root for, especially as he struggles to develop into a warrior. There are a few words and phrases that I am annoyed that I used. I also probably would have changed Mushin and Maimas to being killed, if I were to write this today. But hey, that was past KidVegeta that wrote that. He wasn't me. I can't understand him (though I promise to try). I wrote this in 2 1/2 days. I think that's impressive as it is. One chapter a day is damn impressive for how elegant and rich the prose is. Usually, it'll take me longer to write that kind of prose. So overall, I'm very happy with how this story turned out, even if it does have a few minor problems. I think it's a great look into Tarble's history. I would give Prideful Demons Black a S-.
<---- Part 38
Part 40 ---->