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Ah, The Great Sushi-Eating Contest. Anyone who's read my prior anthologies should find that name familiar. Yes, I originally wrote a story about Tarble and Ledas having a sushi-eating contest a long time ago - on November 3, 2014, to be precise. The final version wasn't put on this site until June 19, 2016. I believe I even stated on my deleted stories anthology page that this was a story I wanted to re-write eventually. And I did. It was placed as the last story in The Heels of the Unknown very early in the formation of that one-shot collection. I paired Ledas with Cyleria and his story became a winter story because of that. It always felt right to make it a winter story though. Summer would be too easy, as would autumn, and spring wouldn't work at all for this story. It's a comedy, yes, but it's not comedy without consequence. That's why it's winter.

My description for this story, written on August 15, 2015, was: "8. Ledas - This would be the sushi eating competition between Ledas and Tarble, expanded a little bit to show some information about Ledas' life since TF.". As can be seen, there wasn't much there. Indeed, almost everything about this story was me "expanding a little bit to show some information about Ledas' life since TF". I went very wild with all of that. I thought about this story often in the months leading up to me writing it, and I developed numerous ideas during those times. By the end of 2015, I think I had a basic idea of what to do for this story in terms of the sushi part, but I did have some vague notions that I wanted to tie this story to my upcoming fan fiction, Dragon Ball: Heart of the Dragon. That fan fiction will be a coalescing of many of my stories. Almost every story of mine that involves a living fanon character is building up to Heart of the Dragon in some way, though I think this was the first story that really went all out in that regard. It wasn't originally planned, but something I realized as I was writing the other one-shots in THOTU was that I was tying all sorts of little things together in them. So by this point, I was actively trying to do that, and The Great Sushi-Eating Contest, as a result, features some of the most integrated story elements of any one-shot I've ever written. There's a ton of stuff packed in this comedy that is of serious consequence for future stories of mine.

I primarily got drunk to write earlier comedies in The Heels of the Unknown (most notably, Cool Cat). That was not so with this story. I got high to write it. Writing high and writing drunk produce two different styles of writing, in my opinion. For me, I'm far more aesthetic when high - I write prose that is more colorful and beautiful, I believe. I'm funnier while drunk, though, I think, but my prose gets much more sloppy. Being high influenced so much of this story, it's hard to even list everything here, so I won't try. Ledas' ridiculous outfit is one example, though.

In terms of the plot of this story, I had much of what I thought it'd be about planned long before I got to this story. I expected to just copy the above-linked old draft of the sushi-eating contest into a google doc and then edit that and add a few things here and there. But then I got an idea to use Beelzebub. And then I got an idea to add in The Benefactor's warning as well as setup for Heart of the Dragon. I really don't remember when those ideas came up - some might've come up when I was writing, others when I got high in preparation to write this story. And of course, since this story took multiple days to write, I'm sure I got ideas for later sections after writing earlier parts of the tale. Either way, this story turned out a lot different than I expected it to at first. It's funny, too, because from the moment I created The Heels of the Unknown, this was one of the stories I felt little pressure about writing. I thought I was ready to write it day 1. And I probably could've written something in early 2016, but it wouldn't have looked anything like what The Great Sushi-Eating Contest looks like now.

This story follows Crushing Blue in being a more mature comedy story than I'm a Candy Man and Cool Cat. I think that works well, tonally-speaking, because autumn and winter are more mature seasons than spring and summer. With that in mind, it feels like much of this story was still improvised while I was high. I really don't remember when I figured everything out for this story. But it did take a long while to write.

I began writing this story at 8:45 pm on June 16, 2016. I was writing Black Dawn concurrently. To take a break from Black Dawn, when I reached a road-block in the writing, I began working on this story. For reference, when I wrote the first paragraph of The Great Sushi-Eating Contest, this was the last line of Black Dawn that had been written at the time: "“Then I come in from behind and blow their brains out. Make sure you take out their scouters.”". It may not look like much, but I had 10 pages of Black Dawn done at the time. And ironically enough, even with such a massive headstart, I'd end up finishing this Ledas story before that one.

I wrote from 8:47 pm on June 16th until 12:49 am on June 17th. I completed the first draft of the first two scenes in that time (being high, I took many breaks and wrote quite slowly over that stretch); the second scene was mostly a re-writing/polishing-up of the above-linked sushi contest, but that still took quite a while to re-work. I next worked on the story from 3:33 pm to 6:26 pm on June 17th, editing the first two scenes and writing the first paragraph and a half of the third scene in that time. I continued writing from 8:45 pm to 10:41 pm, finishing the third and fourth scenes in that time. I had not touched Black Dawn since I started working on The Great Sushi-Eating Contest. So the eighth story was finished before the seventh.

But there's more! I edited the third and fourth scenes from 2:18 am to 2:48 am on June 18th. The entire story was written and fully complete at that point (or so I thought). Then, later in the day on June 18th, I continued and ultimately finished Black Dawn. During the final stages of editing that story (past 1 am on June 19th), I did additional editing on this story, but that was pretty minor stuff. And I actually finished the minor editing on Black Dawn first, so I guess technically this story was the last one completed in The Heels of the Unknown. It should also go without saying that I was high for practically every moment I wrote this story, including the editing.

The theme song for this story was originally going to be Choke by Bowling For Soup. That would've been a great song if I only did the sushi-eating contest. Like, the fragment that exists on my deleted stories anthology - that would work well with this song, because Ledas chokes big time in that. But as the story expanded, and I started making it a more consequential narrative, the song lost its use, so instead, I used Weight of Living, Pt. I by Bastille. This song is amongst my favorite Bastille songs, and I liked it so much, I made it Ledas' theme song because of its inclusion in this story. The song's lyrics tie to Ledas rather well, especially because he doesn't age physically (but probably still has a lifespan). He's been through a lot, and all the weight of living is not getting lighter, because he's going to go through a helluva lot in Heart of the Dragon and Nowhere to Go. The lyrics go really well with Ledas in general, though I don't want to be too on-the-nose about that stuff here. I also just think this song goes really well with the opening of this one-shot.

There are two final things I want to mention. 1: this story is the first tale about Ledas after Dragon Ball: Cold Vengeance, narratively speaking. Sure, he's set to appear in The Last Saiyan in some capacity, but I haven't gotten there yet (the prologue which he does currently appear in will be re-written; the current version is not canon to my universe anymore). So this story, at the time of its publishing, is the furthest we see Ledas in the timeline. Cold Vengeance was completed in 2012. The Forgotten wasn't finally completed until 2014, but it was largely done years before that. This is like the first new Ledas content in years. Since this story came out though, I've focused more on Ledas because he's great and I love him, and there have been numerous stories about him since. But this was a groundbreaking story in that it got me to focus back on Ledas and write about a character I truly like writing about. It was bizarre to write about him in prose though, since The Great War, The Forgotten, The Redacted Scenes, Cold Vengeance, Nowhere to Go, and (when I start writing it) Heart of the Dragon are all written in drama format (and even his now-non-canon prologue in The Last Saiyan is written in an irregular style similar to drama format). So writing for Ledas in standard prose was a new thing for me, and it was really exciting. I had a ton of fun writing this story. The Great Sushi-Eating Contest allowed me to explore writing for Ledas and realize that I need to spend more time writing about my own characters, developing them, expanding on them, showing pieces of their history that may be important, etc. This story directly influenced the direction I took in a number of stories that are featured in A Short-Lived Dream, which is the one-shot collection directly succeeding The Heels of the Unknown, and, as of my writing of this commentary, is not yet complete. 2: After completing it, I considered this story to be the best one-shot I'd ever written. Bear in mind that I thought this after just completing Black Dawn too. For perspective, Black Dawn is currently my highest-ranked one-shot (before I do the below endnotes and come up with a rating for this story), so it'll be interesting to see if my initial impression of The Great Sushi-Eating Contest is still what I think several months later.

Most of what I want to say about this story will be in the endnotes below. The Great Sushi-Eating Contest is a complex series of small stories with a vague overarching sense that Ledas is building up towards a confrontation with some people in the future (namely, The Benefactor, and Haimaru and Raimie). Thus, it's difficult to make sweeping comments about the story up here. So I won't try. Onto the endnotes I say!


Story[edit | edit source]

The Great Sushi-Eating Contest
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The pod entered the atmosphere like a red wart, burning a chemtrail all the way to the surface. Crashing onto what looked like a stained couch on top of an abandoned parking lot, the pod came to its final resting place (may it rip in piece). Out from the hatch emerged a young boy: a black-haired grey-eyed boy who looked not a day past 12. He wore a marvelous fur cape of rose and tangerine as well as similarly-colored fur gloves and boots. Otherwise, he wore short black training pants and a fancy pair of fuchsia-rimmed sunglasses.

The boy rolled gracefully from his craft and sprinted down the concrete jungle to a lower floor. Down there, rats made their kingdoms; old trash spread across the abandoned parking lot like tumbleweeds and a rusted sand-colored pickup truck sat derelict in a corner. The sun shined a dull red as it passed between the skyscrapers to the west. A dull wind was blowing. It wasn’t cold really, but there was no warmth in it. Outside, most trees shook lifelessly, like spiky tumors growing from the ground. The boy skidded around the dark pavement, crashing into a cardboard sign that stood next to a wooden stall. On the sign read, ‘Office of Beelzebub, Intergalactic Bounty Hunter’. However, it appeared the good bounty hunter was not in at that moment. The boy rang the old reception bell about three thousand, five hundred, and seventeen times before the sleepy, lanky form of the Prince of the Underworld emerged from behind a crimson curtain.

“Hey, Ledas,” he yawned. “Anything new?”

The boy grinned, taking a capsule out of his pocket. Clicking it open, a puff of smoke befell the desolate parking lot, and a moment later, a large crash was heard. When the smoke cleared, Beelzebub beheld a pile of skulls, of various shapes. Some were tall, skinny, and pointy; others fat and twisted like flowers in bloom; there were small skulls, humanoid skulls, rat skulls, and pinhead skulls. Some were grey, some yellow, some white, some charred black. Every one of them was unique. “That’s thirty-six, Mr. Beelzebub,” Ledas said slyly.

“Is it?” The demon looked over the skulls briefly and then returned to his stall. “I count twenty-five.”

“Aw, come on Beelzebub! I made sure I counted right! Don’t you trust me after all I’ve done for you?” He tried to tempt Beelzebub to forget his cheapskate ways by putting a little bag of space candy on the counter – a sweet little present akin to a chamber pot of liquid gold that Ledas brought back for the Prince of the Underworld after every mission. That perked up the demon’s attention, and though he sighed in laziness, he took out his little bounty scanner and began checking all of the skulls.

“Fine, fine. Sheesh, here’s your stinkin’ money,” the kid demon said, handing Ledas a pile of morselcoin after scanning each skull. This was not a scam at all. Morselcoin is a new kind of currency, and invest now.

“Awwright!” the boy yipped, doing a little dance and a flip.

“I have another one for you if you’re up for it,” the Prince of the Underworld yawned, holding up a holopad. “Pays big money. More than you’ve ever got before.”

Taking the holopad, Ledas said, “This better not be like the butterhole incident on Dalon IV.”

“No, no, no, nothing like that.” The prince grinned a sharp-toothed grin.

“Okay…” Ledas was unconvinced. “You’re a dirty, filthy, horrible liar, so I’m not believing a word you say.”

“Suit yourself, Saiyan. Anyways, all the info’s on the pad. Take it with you.”

Ledas looked over the holopad, just to see what was in store for him. When he began reading the details (in Saiyan script, because Beelzebub’s like a god or some shit), the boy’s heart nearly stopped. “H-hang on… these are Frieza’s kind?”

Beelzebub took out his Nintendo 3DS and started playing some Pokémon Sun. “Yup, two of them. Might be the last holdout of the Planet Trade Organization. We’ll pay you a fortune if you root ‘em out.”

“Are they his kids?”

Beelzebub shrugged. “What do you care?”

“I guess I don’t.”

Ledas went to leave when Beelzebub stopped him. “Hey, Ledas… don’t forget. I want a space hotdog and three space candy corns this time.”

“Yeah, yeah,” Ledas said, raising his hand in a wave, but not turning back. “I’ll get you your stupid space candy corn.”

“Thanks dude. Say hello to the girls for me.”

Ledas sighed as he walked out, for he knew who awaited him: Step-mother Theresa and sister-mother-in-training Theresa. They were sisters, dressed up as nuns, and whenever Ledas walked past them, they made purring noises and sounds of the bathroom.

“Come a little closer, honhon,” one said, her deep throaty voice echoing throughout the parking lot. “Come to mama Theresa.”

“Don’t forget about papa! Papa wants some action too!” the other grumbled enviously, slapping her massive belly. That one Ledas thenceforth called Father Theresa.

They reached for him, like dead trees on a bayou. But Ledas was too quick. He ran like a hedgehog who had fallen into a can of blue paint, his arms thrust behind him in a ‘V’ shape. Outside, the Saiyan was met by a man in a suit sitting up against the building with a lampshade over his face (it was all burnt up, as if it had once been on fire), repeating: “Has the light gone out for you? Cause the light’s gone out for me!” He was reaching around blindly like a drunken zombie.

Beyond the parking lot, the path led through an overgrown garden in the shadow of a ruined mansion. Cracked gravemarkers, fallen pillars, and decaying wood sheds greeted the boy, but he had been back here many a time. There stood a sweaty dark-skinned man wearing overalls and a worn white hat. He had a thick mustache and straight black hair, and he was wiping his brow.

“Mexican tryhard,” Ledas said. “So we meet again.” This kind of tryhard was a true classic. They put lots of work in at the factory every day, only to come home, pop in some Gears of War 3 for some nighttime unwinding, and end up going 2-8. But hey, they put work in. Ledas imagined that when the tryhards came home, they had battle stations set up to play their video games just how they wanted to, and they would get in human-sized hamster wheels and spin about as they played.

The tryhard handed Ledas a slip of paper. On it, in brutish scratches, ‘1v1’ was written. Ledas shook his head, a cheeky smile spreading across his face. He let the piece of paper slip out of his grasp and tumble down to the ground, where a pile of similar such papers lay, some curled yellow and black with age. “I’m the king,” Ledas reminded the worker. “You’d only embarrass yourself.”

“Putomadre, jajaja, .l., Follo tu madre y varias ovejas.” the tryhard muttered, wiping the sweat from his brow.

It smelled of ivy and honeysuckle, reminding Ledas of last summer, which he’d spent on the beach with Vegeta and Ryori and the others. He missed those times. On the fencepost leading out to the city sat a grey cat with a long mane of fur coating his body in exquisite dignity. Every time Ledas saw him, he imagined some British commentator narrating every muscle spasm the cat unleashed upon the world.

“Hey Balerion,” the boy said, reaching for something in his pocket. “Long time no see.”

The cat murmured lustily and raised his tail in the air. Ledas handed him a senzu bean. “I didn’t use it this time. You have it. I heard cats like these things.”

On Ledas went, past the vagabonds and Samson Jacks (also known as hobo freestylers) snorting blue ice cubes, to good old Capsule Corp., where Ledas’ best friend in the whole wild world lived. He was looking forward to sparring with Vegeta again. If he did that enough, maybe one day he could make a three minute montage video which he’d release just before his next big fight. That’s how all the pros did it. The breath of pedestrians walking by frosted in front of their faces, and the air smelled of impending snow.

There was a big man, a huge man, a beautiful man who was posing for some onlookers on the corner of a street. One woman was sitting on a stool, painting him. The man must’ve been a sumo wrestler, due to his impressive folds of fat and massive baby diaper. He was perched atop a fountain, the sunset in the background. It was really kinda pretty. When Ledas passed the man, he couldn’t help but teleport over to him and knock him into the penny-flavored water. No human saw the boy do it; he was too fast for their puny eyes. But the shouts of the gargantuan wrestler and his desperate splashes in the six-inch-deep pool gave Ledas all the pleasure he could have hoped for.

Further ahead, the police had swarmed around a car stopped at a green light. “He didn't notice that the lights had changed!” one distraught pedestrian shouted, running down the sidewalk as if a giant space monster was chasing him.

Making his way through the crowd, Ledas caught a look at the man in the car: his corpse was slumped back against the faded leather seating; blood dripped down from his scalp to his white kimono, staining it; his skin was pale, his bushy hair salt-and-pepper, his beard grey and untrimmed; Ledas thought he spied a sword shouldered on the back of the corpse… perhaps it was katana.

A tall, long-nosed man in an oily amethyst-striped vest was carrying a bag full of money, licking his lips and singing of AstroTurf. A blind man sat at the curb, peeling a pineapple. A small blue-skinned imp stood on a stool surrounded by a crowd of onlookers. His bouncers – a black-haired woman and a brown-furred dog – held the passionate swarms back while the imp squealed and squeaked and whined about the fault in our stars. He deserved to rule this world, the imp complained, but alas, he could barely stand a stool.

“Down with the government!” the imp bellowed, shaking his fist at the sky. “King Furry can suck a fat one!”

That was really unreasonable in Ledas’ opinion. Sucking a skinny one would be much easier, especially for a novice like King Furry.

A little further ahead, a hover bus came to a stop, letting out its passengers. An over-eager elderly Asian gentlewoman came rolling out of the bus like a sack of kiwis. When she hit the ground, that bitch don’t move no more, okay?

Ledas raced a couple hover cars over to Capsule Corp., where he was greeted by the lil white flying robot, Frododobo R’but. It was fat and round, like a plump orange. “Hello Master Ledas,” the thing droned pleasantly. “It is wonderful to see you again.”

“Yeah, yeah, okay. Can I get inside?”

“As you wish, sentient.”

The doors opened and Ledas scurried inside like an echidna fleeing the light. Once the gate shut behind him, he turned to Frododobo R’but and asked, “Has anything come up about that thing I asked you to look into?”

“No, nothing, sir. There have been no reports of a creature matching that description anywhere in the galactic chatter.”

“Alright, keep searching.”

“One more thing, Master Ledas. Since your latest absence, a new sentient has moved into this complex. Of note is the fact that he is a Saiyan like you.”

Ledas raised an eyebrow. “Whaaaaa… a Saiyan?! Who is he?”

“The sentient identified himself as Prince Vegeta’s brother, Prince Tarble.”

“Tarble?” Ledas scratched his chin, straining to remember. “Oh… I think I met him once, when he was a baby. I didn’t even know he was still alive! I wonder how old he is now!”

Ledas ran down the hall like a madman. In a side room, Dr. Brief sat playing with pink robots in a city of legos he had built himself, smashing everything to bits because destruction is more fun than creation. He yelled and bellowed and called his chief robot Nikon the Mighty, Nikon the Powerful, Nikon the new. One day, Dr. Brief planned on making big robots and unleashing them upon the world, sort of like how one participates in a piñata contest. He wanted to see what the Z Fighters could really do. He wanted to work them, like Mexican tryhards worked in factories during the day. One day, he was going to show the world just how clever he was.

But today was not that day.


“What’s sushi?” Tarble was short, for a prince – scrawny too. His voice reminded Ledas of a Jolean he’d once known.

“It’s pretty tasty. I swear you’ll love it. Ty some!” Ledas threw a small bit of rice and fish Tarble’s way. It hit the young prince directly in the face and splattered like an egg on a windshield. It was a crit if I ever saw one.

“Ow! My leg!” Tarble screamed, falling over.

“Sorry, I just thought you’d be faster…” Ledas laughed carelessly. He looked over at Vegeta, who shook his head and looked away, embarrassed. The poor prince couldn’t stomach the sight of his family’s reputation going down in flames. That was okay, since Vegeta had been a much more interesting character years ago.

“Take that hideous outfit off,” Vegeta complained, looking his best friend over like he was a slab of freeze-dried jackfruit. “Why are you even wearing that? Don’t you know you look ridiculous?!”

“I already told you, Vegeta. I got this for saving Planet Ctaedi from space pirates!”

“Wonderful, now take it off,” Vegeta growled. He had the patience of a rabbit in heat. “The fools you saved aren’t here, so they won’t know if you aren’t wearing it.”

“I like it,” Ledas said, spinning around in his cape. He was a proper fancyboy, number one in the eyes of that random old photographer from the Tim and Eric blooper sessions for sure.

“Whatever.” Vegeta folded his arms and his face resembled something akin to three-day-old applesauce.

“You know, I think I met you once,” Ledas said to Tarble. “Didn’t we, Vegeta? He was a baby, right?”

Vegeta grumbled something indistinct and looked away from them. A cold wind howled through Capsule Corp. lawn, causing the Saiyan boy to shiver.

“Why are you a kid?” Tarble asked. There was a hint of incredulity in his voice. “Aren’t you supposed to be as old as Vegeta?”

“It’s a long story. So how’d you end up here?”

“It’s a thirty-five minute story,” Tarble explained.

“Oh okay, well in that case, I can’t be bothered to ever learn about your backstory, Tarble.”

“Me too.”

To break the awkwardness, Ledas handed Prince Tarble another piece of sushi – this time making sure to do so much more slowly. He promised the too-slow prince that he would never humiliate him again. Ledas only wished that he had better finishing moves. Then, a Saiyan-like fire erupted in the boy’s eyes.

“Hey, I betcha I can eat more than you,” Ledas goaded Tarble. “Come on, whaddya say, princey?!”

Tarble nibbled on the edge of one small piece of sushi, inspecting it with his taste buds (that is just speculation). His eyes lit up large and pale. “A contest?”

“Yeah, let’s do it! Vegeta can be the referee!” Ledas’ voice was a little too eager.

“I do not want to be the referee!” Vegeta roared in complaint. That was just like Vegeta. He was like a stick in that thing sticks go in. He was never any fun (that is why Ledas often tried to get him zone blazed). The Saiyan boy knew he had to give it everything he had in trying to convince Groucho Karl to have some fun.

Ledas’ face suddenly went very serious. He lowered his voice to a whisper and put a hand in front of his mouth so Tarble couldn’t lip-read his treachery. “Vegeta, you hafta. Your brother really wants you to. He told me it’d make up for all the years of you not talking to him. Come on, it means a lot to him.” Tarble probably hadn’t said any of that, but before Vegeta could complain again, Ledas turned to Dr. Brief’s servants cowering around the corner of the building. They had been hiding back there since watching the trio consume a meal that would have served a thousand people not ten minutes before (that feast had taken place in celebration of Ledas finally meeting Tarble). “You guys!” Ledas laughed and pointed. “Bring us all the sushi you have! We’re having a contest! It’s gonna be the best contest ever!”

The servants ran off in a panic. Who knows what those poor humans thought, seeing the Saiyans feasting. Maybe they thought it was a dream, a horrible nightmare they would soon wake from. Maybe they thought it was paradise from the lovely Dr. Brief. Maybe they didn’t know if this was even real life; that’s a hard thing to know when everyone is on drugs. Xanadu is a nice place to go, and I want to meet the nameless things that crawl in the mud at the bottom of the sea. Yea, slimy things did crawl with legs upon the slimy sea. They could be tripping pretty hard, and that would be preferable, since regular life is drivel. Regardless, the servants soon returned with plates and plates and plates of the finest sushi in all of Dragon World. Every morsel was Jiro approved. Dr. Brief’s uncle Ham-mon had spared no expense in importing the delicacies from the mercury-saturated western coast. Ledas and Tarble took their places, each behind a table packed six feet high with sushi; Vegeta stood ahead of them, as serious as a walrus.

“Wait, you’ll need this,” Ledas said, before throwing a shiny silver whistle at Vegeta. This prince caught what was coming for him. “It’s your official World Sushi Eating Competition compensatory referee whistle! It’s a ten thousand zeni value!”

“This is ridiculous!” Vegeta whined.

“This is sushi,” Ledas reminded him.

With a sigh and a shake of the head, Vegeta blew the whistle. Ledas was glad that Vegeta was getting more tired in his advanced age, because it made arguing with the stubborn Saiyan Prince with the parsley hair much easier. Then, the two Saiyans were off to the races, consuming sushi at a rate not seen since at least last Tuesday. Soon, a crowd of single women appeared and began screaming and cheering for each side. Many held posters showing their support for Ledas, and many others were chanting Tarble’s name. One woman held a neon light with the name ‘Matt Stonie’ on it, blinking in electric yellows, blues, and pinks. She was speed-eating a five pound burrito in mere celebration and didn’t even eat a pound of it before throwing up violently on the bystanders seated around her. There was a little man with a mustache and sparkling suit wading through the crowds throwing confetti all around.

The two ate for many a minute before Vegeta finally blew his whistle again. There was no time limit, but Vegeta was getting quite annoyed with the spectacle going on around him. He would much rather train all day or take up a new hobby, such as mustache-growing. Reluctantly, the two Saiyans stopped eating sushi, the dust cleared, and the crowd gasped in unison (a burst of confetti punctuating their noise). Ledas had eaten half of his sushi. But Tarble had eaten his entire table of sushi. It was a sushi miracle.

“No way,” Ledas moaned, running over to Tarble. “How’d you eat all that so fast?!”

“No offense, but you are a lot smaller than me,” Tarble stated, patting his round belly. “I’m an adult, after all.”

Ledas was shocked. “But Tarble, Vegeta’s way bigger than you, even though you’re supposed to be brothers! I bet Vegeta could eat the most sushi out of anyone!”

Vegeta grumbled and folded his arms. “Hmph, save your breath. I won’t take part in such a silly contest!”

“I’ll get that carrot-top guy to be your opponent!” Ledas said, running off with glee.

“Kakarot?!” Vegeta’s eyes filled up with fear and surprise. “Stop! Get back here, Ledas! Do not tell Kakarot about this!”

The sun was sinking into a curtain of blood-red clouds. The cold winds were rising. Vegeta chased after Ledas as Tarble watched. He was far too frail to run even a few feet after them. Instead, he turned around and started to eat the sushi still left on Ledas’ table. Dead leaves dragged across the pavement and crackled under moving feet.

“This ‘sushi’ is pretty good,” he said to no one in particular. “I bet Gure would touch me with her probe if I asked her to. She’s a beautiful alien.”


They dined on shrimp nigirizushi rolls whilst sipping on high-grade koicha green tea. Their feet dangled off the edge of the pier while ships swam with great vigor around them in the dying light of day. Red was the sky (but I have told you that before), and soon night would be upon them. Even now, Tarble was eating sushi at a much faster pace than Ledas. The prince finished his plate a full twelve seconds before Ledas. To the boy who had never seen anyone out-eat him before, this was quite distressing, but that will never be mentioned again.

“How long are you staying here, Tarble?” Ledas asked at last. A ship glided past them in the coral-and-ink waters, blowing its horn rebelliously.

“I uh, I don’t know. I guess now that Abo and Kado have been dealt with I can go home. But I like it here, and it’s nice to see Vegeta again. I haven’t seen him in years!”

“Yeah, I know how that feels.”

“Although, we should be heading out soon… Gure wants to, anyways. I guess she misses home.”

“Hey, I got a better idea,” Ledas said earnestly. “How about you join me on a mission I’m going on?”

“What kind of mission.”

“We’re hunting Arcosians. Supposedly, these are Frieza’s kids, or something?”

“F-f-frieza?!”

“Does that scare you… prince?”

“Ye-yeah!” Tarble shouted, his voice going all high and such.

Ledas stood up. “That’s no way for the brother of Vegeta to act!” he proclaimed.

A couple of fat black women walking by gave the boy a nice “Mmmmhmmm”, which made him feel a lot better.

“I’m just not strong,” Tarble shrugged. He was now licking his plate, trying to get every last individual grain of rice into his seemingly bottomless pit. “I’m not a warrior like Vegeta!”

“Power up to your maximum,” Ledas told the Saiyan Prince.

“Huh? What are you talking about?”

“I wanna see how strong you are! Power up!”

Tarble whimpered and threw his plate into the sea, which was really reckless since that plate was made of glass and came from Dr. Brief’s most prized collection of undersea ceramics. Then, Tarble conjured up his aura, which looked blue-white to Ledas in the dull red light of sunset. The Saiyan was like an under-watered dandelion, swaying and sweating and looking like he was about to explode. His face grew red and his muscles didn’t grow a bit. His shouts started to reach Super Saiyan 2 Gohan levels, which is to say, they were entirely theatrical. When the light cleared, Tarble stood proud, his hands on his hips and a grin on his face that reminded Ledas of the plague.

“How’s that?”

“You’re at… 3000? 4000, maybe?” Ledas shrugged. “It’s hard to stick to scouter numbers in my head when I sense you, but I’m pretty sure I’m close.”

“Is that a bad number?”

Ledas nodded dispassionately. “I was that strong when I was four.”

“Oh, darn.”

Ledas shook his head. “Yeah, you’re really pathetic. Horribly pathetic, like a worm! Vegeta wasn’t lying, huh. Well, I guess you can come with us to hunt down the Arcosians,” Ledas said. Tarble grew pale and tried to speak, tried to stay this madness, but the boy interrupted him unintentionally, “You’ll have to meet the rest of the crew first.”

“C-crew?” Tarble managed to get out.

“Yeah. Well, Vegeta has all his friends on Earth helping him fight his battles. They formed a noble gang of warriors. I got one too, only we’re in space.”

“I-I-I…” Tarble stammered, hunched over like a huncher of sorts.

“Prince Tarble,” Ledas said solemnly, “you don’t have to be so scared all the time. Just be yourself, and remember that no one’s gonna save you out there if an alien comes for you or something.”

Without letting Tarble respond, Ledas kicked the prince in the chest, sending him flying back into the water. Though he screamed and though he clawed at the air, Tarble had not the strength to fly to safety. He fell into the swirling dark waters, bobbing like a cork, screaming for help, and writhing in discomfort over his clothes getting wet. Cold wind blasted through the air like an angry swarm of bees, and the lazy honks of the ships moving through port seemed to echo across the busy waters.

Ledas laughed boldly and ran off towards the city, never looking back.


The subway was a miserable, dirty place. Everything smelled of bleach – that is exactly how you know a place is dirty. But Ledas liked how abandoned it was. Old newspapers covered the floor, and filth mixed with graffiti along the walls. It gave the place a spooky, dead feeling. Ledas bought himself a ticket and hopped on the next bullet train out of West City. There was no one in the car with him as he rode over. It was better that way, since often times people would make fun of his tail.

Eventually, Ledas came to an outer station, overlooking the sea. To the east, a hill had a forest growing on it. Power lines stretched in all directions, brainless blackbirds watching him from them and the other metal structures around. They squawked and let loose white tears from their buttholes and annoyed the heck out of that boy.

When the train was off again, the blackbirds took flight. The desolation of the train station grew as the wind blew a skirling current through it. Ledas watched the last light leave the world, as the stars were released from the veil. Then, the sound of footsteps replaced the midnight breath, and the boy felt goosebumps cover his body. Turning to face what awaited him, Ledas saw the hulking figure, seven feet tall hunched forward, waiting for him. The beast’s skin was rust-pink and midnight blue, and he seemed to have the face of some kind of ferocious predator, he had so many teeth. And then there was the fact that he was hairless and his arms and legs were covered in three-foot-long claws. The creature had a stumpy tail and long fleshy ears.

“Hey bunny,” the boy breathed.

“You know that’s not my name,” the monster growled pleasantly.

“Okay, okay, Vizzer. Okay, is that good? Are you happy now?” The beast began to purr and wag his tail. “What do you want?”

“We found their planet,” the furless space bunny said. “And we’re ready to go whenever you are.”

“Good. I found a new member for our crew,” said the boy. “He’ll join us in the morning, and then we’ll set off.”

“I’ll let them know,” hissed Vizzer. Without warning, he leapt into the air and glided off with the fleshy bits around his arms being used as quasi-wings.

Ledas sighed, rubbed his hands together, and blew into them. Sitting down on the edge of the platform, his legs dangling over the tracks, he lost himself in his thoughts (which are too private: see the deleted scenes for more details)…

That was, until a man lit a cigarette across the tracks from the boy and illuminated himself. Ledas saw an albatross around the dude’s neck. He was bronze-skinned, had a shaggy beard and wore dark sagging clothes, an orange-white hat, and thick sunglasses. His cigarette burned angry and red in a world awash in darkness.

“Hello, and so forth!” Ledas shouted at the man. Those were some fierce manners he laid on that human, them’s straight from the bitch ass mouth of Mrs. Fanshi.

“Sup,” the man said, his voice as thin as dust. He sounded older than he looked.

“It was a nice day today, right? And the weather?!” Ledas recited politely.

“Yeah, man fuck the weather. Weather ain’t shit where I’m from.”

“Okay, great.” Ledas said, as if to wrap up the conversation. He wasn’t good with humans (if you couldn’t tell), but this just sealed the deal, man. This one was straight out of his nightmares.

“Yo, I feel you. Fuckin’ feel it, man.”

“Cool.”

“You want one?” he grumbled, holding up his flare in the darkness.

“No, thanks.”

“What’s the matter? Did the cat get your dong, dude bro?!”

“No, that’s not it. I don’t believe my cat did that, sir.”

“Fuckin’ hell, mate. You just don’t get it.” The man stood up and held his cigarette in front of him, as if to point with. “You know he’s coming for you. You know he hasn’t forgotten. You know a lot, kid. You know how he’s going to get it back?” He cackled heinously. “No, I don’t fuckin’ think so. Watch your back, kiddo.”

The man dropped his cigarette onto the concrete and stepped back. In the moonlight, his shape seemed to slide like vapor on an air current. His eyes turned to fracturing kaleidoscopes, and his mouth became a shimmering rainbow wound, and his form shattered to blocks, which digitized and vaporized and were blown away into the dust fields beyond, like gossamer on a trade wind.

Ledas stood, angrily massaging his wrist (which he’d banged into the concrete wall upon hearing what the man had said). “I haven’t forgotten. Try all you want. He’s not getting it back.”

The boy ruffled his hair and rubbed his eyes and stared up at the stars humming like sparkling eyes and wondered why he had chosen Tarble, of everyone available, to help him on this latest mission. “He’s gotta be good for something,” Ledas said aloud, almost in defiance. “Tarble exists because he has a purpose. Maybe this is it.” Quieter, and to himself, he whispered, “Man, I hope he’s good at something, because otherwise, this is going to really suck, and I just ate half-a-ton of sushi for nothing.”


Endnotes[edit | edit source]

  1. The name of this story is the same as the original version, changed a bit from "The Great Sushi Contest" to "The Great Sushi-Eating Contest". It's a pretty straightforward name.
  2. "The pod entered the atmosphere like a red wart, burning a chemtrail all the way to the surface. Crashing onto what looked like a stained couch on top of an abandoned parking lot, the pod came to its final resting place (may it rip in piece). Out from the hatch emerged a young boy: a black-haired grey-eyed boy who looked not a day past 12. He wore a marvelous fur cape of rose and tangerine as well as similarly-colored fur gloves and boots. Otherwise, he wore short black training pants and a fancy pair of fuchsia-rimmed sunglasses." - when I wrote this opening paragraph, I was still deciding what to do for the remainder of the opening section. I hadn't fully figured out Ledas' collaboration with Beelzebub yet. Also, the prose here is particularly striking to me, indicative of me being very high while writing it. Ledas' clothes here are specifically meant to be outlandish and very colorful.
  3. The rusted pickup truck connects this story to Down the Well-Worn Road. That time is spent admiring the desolation of the parking lot is no accident. Some mono no aware with that, and a bit of the tea ceremony's appreciation of imperfection too. Also, the stuff with the rats and their kingdoms is rather obvious if you think about it.
  4. The winter presented in this story is not as stark as the winter in Cyleria's story. "The sun shined a dull red as it passed between the skyscrapers to the west. A dull wind was blowing. It wasn’t cold really, but there was no warmth in it. Outside, most trees shook lifelessly, like spiky tumors growing from the ground." Everything here is cold and bare, but it's not a biting cold - there is hope that spring will come. That optimism is not seen in Black Dawn's setting.
  5. "On the sign read, ‘Office of Beelzebub, Intergalactic Bounty Hunter’." - this is the kind of stuff that makes this story endearing to me. Quite innocent humor here, starkly different from the other comedies in The Heels of the Unknown.
  6. The bunch of skulls is slightly based off the ending of Predator 2, when the Predator's ship is explored and his trophy room, with a wall of alien skulls, is shown. Really cool scene that was mimicked here. Ledas is much more clumsy with his skulls though.
  7. "When the smoke cleared, Beelzebub beheld a pile of skulls, of various shapes. Some were tall, skinny, and pointy; others fat and twisted like flowers in bloom; there were small skulls, humanoid skulls, rat skulls, and pinhead skulls. Some were grey, some yellow, some white, some charred black. Every one of them was unique." - this section is particularly influenced by the writing patterns of George R.R. Martin.
  8. Ledas implies that he's been working for Beelzebub for a while. That places this story in at least the 776 Age. As of writing this commentary, I don't have a specific date for when this story takes place, though. But the 776 Age is probably right.
  9. So why does Ledas work for Beelzbub as an intergalactic bounty hunter, killing aliens and scoundrels across the universe for the Prince of the Underworld all while making boatloads of money? Because the idea's cool as fuck. That's why.
  10. Morselcoin = intergalactic bitcoin. It's not a scam at all.
  11. "Taking the holopad, Ledas said, “This better not be like the butterhole incident on Dalon IV.”" - this kind of humor is influenced by the Ratchet & Clank series.
  12. Ledas and Beelzebub have excellent rapport. I should write more scenes with them in the future. This story was really good in helping me flesh out both of them, and to see where I wanted to go with Ledas post-CV. His role as an intergalactic bounty hunter is cool, yeah, but it also sets up how he's going to meet Haimaru and Raimie in Heart of the Dragon.
  13. You'd think a demon would play Pokemon Moon.
  14. Beelzebub having a 3DS is a slight nod to his manga, where he was always playing video games (but mean papa Dabura only let him play for 1 hour a day that bitch).
  15. Three individual space candy corns is a ridiculous request, which is exactly why Beelzebub made it. On the other hand, it's understandable because I don't know anyone who could stand eating more than 3 of them in a sitting.
  16. "Ledas sighed as he walked out, for he knew who awaited him: Step-mother Theresa and sister-mother-in-training Theresa. They were sisters, dressed up as nuns, and whenever Ledas walked past them, they made purring noises and sounds of the bathroom." - so this section is influenced by a satirical philosophical book a friend and I wrote (partially). One thing that he came up with in that book was the concept of Father Theresa - a very good joke indeed. I was going off that idea here. To this day, this section still makes me laugh out loud. I was so high when I came up with this.
  17. "“Come a little closer, honhon,” one said, her deep throaty voice echoing throughout the parking lot. “Come to mama Theresa.”" - fuckin pedos, man I swear (Ledas mating with Step-mother Theresa would be so hot). The "come a little closer, honhon" is based on a person I once knew on epicmafia.
  18. "“Don’t forget about papa! Papa wants some action too!” the other grumbled enviously, slapping her massive belly. That one Ledas thenceforth called Father Theresa." - mother-sister-in-training Theresa is experimental and quite controversial. Nice personality development here. But all kidding aside, even papa needs some action. This sister needed to distinguish herself from Step-mother Theresa, so she became the good papa, bless her heart.
  19. "They reached for him, like dead trees on a bayou. But Ledas was too quick. He ran like a hedgehog who had fallen into a can of blue paint, his arms thrust behind him in a ‘V’ shape." - wow kv so aesthetic.
  20. "Outside, the Saiyan was met by a man in a suit sitting up against the building with a lampshade over his face (it was all burnt up, as if it had once been on fire), repeating: “Has the light gone out for you? Cause the light’s gone out for me!” He was reaching around blindly like a drunken zombie." - so this section references two different songs. First and foremost, the man's appearance is a nod to Lampshades on Fire by Modest Mouse, a great, wonderful, beautiful song. I would soon make it Chasing Oblivion's theme song after finishing this story. I wrote a lot of this opening section while listening to that song. Secondly, what the man is actually saying are two lines from Bodysnatchers by Radiohead. "Bodysnatchers" is the theme song of Black Dawn. While these are nice little references, there's some commentary on society here that is tied to the aforementioned rats.
  21. In an early draft of this opening section, Ledas was going to engage the lampshade-covered man in conversation. That was removed when I realized it was better to allow some things to be unstated.
  22. "Beyond the parking lot, the path led through an overgrown garden in the shadow of a ruined mansion. Cracked gravemarkers, fallen pillars, and decaying wood sheds greeted the boy, but he had been back here many a time." - beauty in the wild, untamed, imperfect things comes up again here. This kind of stuff has particular connection to Ledas, who is quite a rebel himself. In general, though, I just find these kinds of things beautiful, and when I'm high, I like to write about things I find beautiful or interesting. Also, the overgrown mansion is probably lightly based on Adam Fenix's mansion in the Gears of War series.
  23. "There stood a sweaty dark-skinned man wearing overalls and a worn white hat. He had a thick mustache and straight black hair, and he was wiping his brow./“Mexican tryhard,” Ledas said. “So we meet again.” This kind of tryhard was a true classic. They put lots of work in at the factory every day, only to come home, pop in some Gears of War 3 for some nighttime unwinding, and end up going 2-8. But hey, they put work in. Ledas imagined that when the tryhards came home, they had battle stations set up to play their video games just how they wanted to, and they would get in human-sized hamster wheels and spin about as they played." - this is the exact thought I had one time while playing GOW3 while high. Almost everyone who plays nowadays is Mexican, so I got this image in my mind of the common man in the game (because so many people are bad at GOW), and this is what came up. I remember while I did find this funny when I came up with it, I was more shocked at how fantastical, yet realistic it sounded to me at the time. The hamster wheel thing goes well with the image of a middle-aged man in overalls, all sweaty, with a bushy mustache and a hat. I quite like this section, and it accurately expresses my anger at the very real population of Mexican tryhards on the GOW servers these days.
  24. "The tryhard handed Ledas a slip of paper. On it, in brutish scratches, ‘1v1’ was written. Ledas shook his head, a cheeky smile spreading across his face. He let the piece of paper slip out of his grasp and tumble down to the ground, where a pile of similar such papers lay, some curled yellow and black with age. “I’m the king,” Ledas reminded the worker. “You’d only embarrass yourself.”" - this is based in real life. I get 1v1 requests all the time from scrubs and rarely fight them because that's boring as shit. Here, it's implied that Ledas has come through here dozens, if not hundreds of times, given the number of slips of paper on the ground. This again hints at how long he's been working for Beelzebub.
  25. "“Putomadre, jajaja, .l., Follo tu madre y varias ovejas.” the tryhard muttered, wiping the sweat from his brow." - I quite enjoy this type of humor. The way the tryhard says this phrase is almost in fear, anxious and "tryhardy".
  26. "It smelled of ivy and honeysuckle, reminding Ledas of last summer, which he’d spent on the beach with Vegeta and Ryori and the others. He missed those times." - this really sets the time well, and I think the callback to summer is Ledas remembering the fun he had in the past, even though he's not unhappy with the present. For me, the smell of honeysuckle conjures up a similar image of similar times, so I kind of wrote myself into Ledas here. When I wrote this, I hadn't yet really come up with what I planned on doing in that "past", but recently I've decided that that will now be either the opening of Heart of the Dragon, or in some deleted scenes for HOTD, which mainly feature Ledas and Ryori in a new school in West City. Of course, this story is a bit tricky, because that'll mean that it takes place before some parts of HOTD, while potentially taking place after other parts of HOTD. It's going to be hard to work in Ledas' "role" in HOTD if that is indeed the case (like, why wouldn't this story be in HOTD, for instance?). That's something I'll have to figure out before I begin Heart of the Dragon.
  27. "On the fencepost leading out to the city sat a grey cat with a long mane of fur coating his body in exquisite dignity. Every time Ledas saw him, he imagined some British commentator narrating every muscle spasm the cat unleashed upon the world." - like Toriyama, I have put my cat into my Dragon Ball story. Balerion will be in Heart of the Dragon. Ledas will get him as a kitten. Not sure exactly how, yet. But this cat will be great for Ledas. He's a nice companion for the alien boy with few friends.
  28. That senzu bean bit is rather clever if I do say so myself. Lots of implications there, too. This means that Ledas is still in contact with Korin and is getting senzu beans regularly. It also means that none of those 36 alien bounties were much trouble to him, showing just how strong the boy has become. If 36 of the baddest bad guys on the galactic most wanted list didn't even require him to use a senzu bean, he's gotta be one of the strongest people in the universe by now.
  29. "On Ledas went, past the vagabonds and Samson Jacks (also known as hobo freestylers) snorting blue ice cubes, to good old Capsule Corp., where Ledas’ best friend in the whole wild world lived." - reference to Crushing Blue here, and I honestly I have no memory of writing that opening section about the Samson Jacks. No idea what I meant with that.
  30. "He was looking forward to sparring with Vegeta again. If he did that enough, maybe one day he could make a three minute montage video which he’d release just before his next big fight. That’s how all the pros did it." - I think this is clear in The Forgotten, but just to reiterate: Ledas is not prideful like Vegeta. Like anyone, he has a certain amount of respect for himself, but one of the cooler aspects of his personality, in my opinion, is that he doesn't seek out fame and fortune. He wants to be the best he can be, he wants to have fun, and he wants to be with his friends. That's pretty much all that matters to him. He doesn't really care about being known as the savior of the universe or shit like that. Kind of an indirect/comedic way to talk about that in the above prose, but that is purely a consequence of me being high.
  31. "The breath of pedestrians walking by frosted in front of their faces, and the air smelled of impending snow." - this sentence intensely foreshadows The Benefactor's re-emergence, which is hinted at in this story, and is shown more explicitly in Ice Age Coming (which, admittedly, didn't come out until like 4 months after The Great Sushi-Eating Contest, but which at one time was going to be in The Heels of the Unknown). This was intentionally-written to be foreshadowing of that, for I was always going to write the TB story, even if it wasn't in THOTU. And it's also tied to this story's season of winter, which is very cool. That's one of the reasons this story had to be a winter story. Such a line of foreshadowing two characters who have a past together (and will have future encounters, it must be said) is not possible in a spring or summer story, and even in fall, it would be a tenuous connection at best.
  32. "There was a big man, a huge man, a beautiful man who was posing for some onlookers on the corner of a street. One woman was sitting on a stool, painting him. The man must’ve been a sumo wrestler, due to his impressive folds of fat and massive baby diaper. He was perched atop a fountain, the sunset in the background. It was really kinda pretty. When Ledas passed the man, he couldn’t help but teleport over to him and knock him into the penny-flavored water. No human saw the boy do it; he was too fast for their puny eyes. But the shouts of the gargantuan wrestler and his desperate splashes in the six-inch-deep pool gave Ledas all the pleasure he could have hoped for." - so this is all about me showing that Ledas is a trickster and he also just does what he wants. He's impulsive and not a "good" person. I've gone over that enough in the TF anthologies to not need to reiterate it here. He's just who he is - a grey, flawed, childish character. And what he did was definitely worth it for the humor, in my opinion. The prose greatly aided the comedy too, I think.
  33. "Further ahead, the police had swarmed around a car stopped at a green light. “He didn't notice that the lights had changed!” one distraught pedestrians shouted, running down the sidewalk as if a giant space monster was chasing him." - so this section is interesting, but I'm not sure I put enough evidence in the text to say who this could be (and in truth, I haven't decided if I want the dead man to be this person). Suffice to say, this is not a throwaway line. Yes, it references a famous line from A Day in the Life by the Beatles. The suicide is the culmination of many things, but I shouldn't go further into this. Then again, I just read the next paragraph (I'd forgotten I wrote that!), and... yeah. The evidence is there. I am reminded of the derelict pickup truck in that abandoned parking lot again.
  34. "A tall, long-nosed man in an oily amethyst-striped vest was carrying a bag full of money, licking his lips and singing of AstroTurf." - this guy is a suicide missionary if I ever saw one.
  35. "A blind man sat at the curb, peeling a pineapple." - nice one kv ur social commentary is top notch.
  36. "A small blue-skinned imp stood on a stool surrounded by a crowd of onlookers. His bouncers – a black-haired woman and a brown-furred dog – held the passionate swarms back while the imp squealed and squeaked and whined about the fault in our stars. He deserved to rule this world, the imp complained, but alas, he could barely stand a stool." - love this section. Considering that imp's grandson will ultimately be a major antagonist to Ledas' own son, Nir, this was especially fun for me to write. However, the stuff about Pilaf not even being able to stand a stool, let alone rule the world, gets me every time. I find it funny, yes, but there's another emotion reading this passage simultaneously evokes that I cannot name. I wouldn't call it "clever", but I can't think of a better word for it.
  37. "“Down with the government!” the imp bellowed, shaking his fist at the sky. “King Furry can suck a fat one!”/That was really unreasonable in Ledas’ opinion. Sucking a skinny one would be much easier, especially for a novice like King Furry." - such a great exchange here, though pretty much only possible in a comedy story. By the way, Ledas is extremely flexible.
  38. "A little further ahead, a hover bus came to a stop, letting out its passengers. An over-eager elderly Asian gentlewoman came rolling out of the bus like a sack of kiwis. When she hit the ground, that bitch don’t move no more, okay?" - though I guess it's a bit bad to laugh (I'm laughing just thinking about it), this is based on a real event I saw when a middle-aged Asian lady came rolling out of a bus and landed on the ground with a hard thud. She probably broke her leg, but damn if I didn't laugh it off. There's human empathy for you. Sometimes it's warm, sometimes it's cold.
  39. "Ledas raced a couple hover cars over to Capsule Corp., where he was greeted by the lil white flying robot, Frododobo R’but. It was fat and round, like a plump orange. “Hello Master Ledas,” the thing droned pleasantly. “It is wonderful to see you again.”" - I am quite fond of robot servants. Also, it's a little thing, but Ledas racing the hover cars to Capsule Corp. really shows his child-like spirit has not gone away since the end of TF. I think he'll always be 12, in appearance and mind. "Frododobo R'but" is partially based on a sketch by Tim and Eric. This guy will definitely appear in Heart of the Dragon too (man that story's gonna have a fuckton of characters), as will some of his brothers or cousins or something. There will be more flying robot balls!
  40. Ledas' exchange with Frododobo is clearly about The Benefactor. The boy thinks TB might've escaped Niflheim so he's keeping tabs on the intergalactic chatter as much as he can. Clever boy. It is a bit surprising, I must say, how "tuned in" he is to what's going on in the universe at large, what with him working for Beelzebub and having Capsule Corp. robots monitor intergalactic chatter. His prudence here is admirable I think. Some would call Ledas paranoid for thinking TB is still out there and coming for him, but I don't think so. And obviously, Ledas is right to be cautious because TB did escape and is indeed coming for him (eventually), but even if he wasn't, since Ledas doesn't know for certain that TB is dead (he saw the footprints in the snow, remember, and he never found the mind prison, so he correctly guessed that TB at least got free of the prison and was on the planet when Ledas blew it up - that's the best-case scenario), it's good of him to be putting effort in to make sure he and everyone else on Earth is safe from that emo lizard fucker.
  41. Since Tarble doesn't come to Earth until the 776 Age, this could even conceivably be taking place in the 777 Age, but probably not. I'd assume this story takes place shortly after the events of Tarble's special - probably not too long after, because I'm not sure that Tarble stays on Earth for very long (Dragon Ball Super makes these things tricky).
  42. It's seems like I'm the only one who ever mentions that Tarble is a prince too. smdh son
  43. "Oh… I think I met him once, when he was a baby. I didn’t even know he was still alive! I wonder how old he is now!" - an off-screen meeting, alas. Kind of wish I had put it in TF. But this is a true fact. He did really meet Tarble once. That was important for me, because I didn't want Ledas to have never heard of Tarble before. It makes things easier, in terms of tone and Ledas' acceptance of Tarble, if he remembers Tarble. The last line about wondering how old Tarble is may seem odd, but remember Ledas stopped physically aging a while ago. He was shocked when he saw how old Vegeta was when they met. He's kind of lost a sense of time because of his lack of aging. So I don't think he was being superfluous here - he really couldn't guess what Tarble would look like, considering the last time he saw him was when the prince was a baby. Now, Tarble will be a grown man at least - completely different than what Ledas remembers. I bet he's excited to know there's another living full-blooded Saiyan left. There aren't many of their kind left in the universe, after all. Ledas'll feel a special bond with Tarble because of that.
  44. " In a side room, Dr. Brief sat playing with pink robots in a city of legos he had built himself, smashing everything to bits because destruction is more fun than creation. He yelled and bellowed and called his chief robot Nikon the Mighty, Nikon the Powerful, Nikon the new. One day, Dr. Brief planned on making big robots and unleashing them upon the world, sort of like how one participates in a piñata contest. He wanted to see what the Z Fighters could really do. He wanted to work them, like Mexican tryhards worked in factories during the day. One day, he was going to show the world just how clever he was./But today was not that day." - so this is pretty much just a comedic reference to Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Pt. 1 by The Flaming Lips. Great fucking song. I was definitely listening to it while writing this part. Anyways, this style of subdued, hidden madness is a hallmark of some of the better comedy in Dragon Ball Abridged, I think. As well, I definitely think this is in the realms of canon, albeit not to the fantastical extent Dr. Brief is thinking about here. He may want to test the Z Fighters on his fighters in the future, but definitely won't do so in a populated city. He can play pretend with his legos and fantasize, but he knows he can't do what he really wants to. Nikon the giant pink robot is a nod to Nikon23, one of the most distinguished users on this wiki. Also, I just thought Nikon was a great name for a giant robot, so I went with it. I'm sure Nikon has no idea what anyone else does on this wiki, so he'll never see the reference, alas.
  45. Once again, the second scene was originally a standalone story I wrote for the Dragon Ball: Short Story Project. That was originally going to be this whole story. But notice the opening scene had nothing to do with sushi. The opening scene is a complicated scene, doing a lot of different things, but in the end, it brings Ledas to Tarble to set up the scene the whole story is named after. So all the setup is there. Still, I did some skipping between scenes - I didn't really want to have them say extended greetings, because that felt tedious. The contest would be Tarble's introduction to Ledas anyway. And the sushi contest is a great way of showing just what kind of person Ledas is. He's quite hedonistic in this story, and in this scene especially. This contest is ridiculous and funny, but it's about the most predictable thing Ledas could have done in this situation. He's just that kind of Saiyan. Anyways, for reference, the original scene, linked at the top of this endnote, is 730 words. The final version, in this story, is 1378 words long. So the story definitely grew in the editing. It's interesting to see how this section changed, comparing the Short Story Project version with the final version. I think writing improvements can be seen, as well as what I had to add to make it a part of this story, which became about more than sushi. So there's stuff now in this section that is there primarily because of where I decided to take this story with the Heart of the Dragon setup and whatnot that could not have possibly existed in the original version. And there's dialogue cleanup, prose cleanup, added jokes, and lots of stuff like that. Again, I think it's highly beneficial to compare the two to see how I've grown as an author since 2014, when the first version was written.
  46. "“What’s sushi?” Tarble was short, for a prince – scrawny too. His voice reminded Ledas of a Jolean he’d once known." - referencing Princess Leia's famous "aren't you a little short for a stormtrooper?" line. I do wonder if Tarble and Lieme do sound similar, but probably not. Ledas probably mis-remembered what Lieme actually sounded like.
  47. "“Ow! My leg!” Tarble screamed, falling over." - Tarble was of course not hit in the leg, making this even more absurd. This is a reference to one of my favorite running gags in Spongebob Squarepants.
  48. "“I already told you, Vegeta. I got this for saving Planet Ctaedi from space pirates!”" - Planet Ctaedi is featured somewhat prominently in The History of the Decline and Fall of the Planet Trade Organization (it's actually in the next chapter I'm writing after doing this commentary). Space pirates attacking it recently (776 Age) implies that the PTO has fully collapsed by this point and/or Ctaedi is no longer in the remaining PTO's territory. It's hard to say at this point, given that I haven't finished my PTO story (I'm like halfway done with it so yeah...). It's also just bizarre that such magnificent pink and orange robes come from a land of semi-land-based alien squids.
  49. I have always believed that Ledas is a fancyboy. It's confirmed in like every fucking scene he's in.
  50. Ledas' and Tarble's exchange about their backstories is great fun. I have nothing more to add about that part, except well done kv and so forth and so on.
  51. So much cheeky prose in the second section. Ledas is also more aggressive compared to the Short Story Project version. Both stylistic changes have improved the story in my opinion. An example of such a line that I think is much better in the final version than the original is this one: "Tarble nibbled on the edge of one small piece of sushi, inspecting it with his taste buds (that is just speculation)." Just compare the two, and it should be obvious which is better.
  52. "He was never any fun (that is why Ledas often tried to get him zone blazed)." - a slight exaggeration, I think.
  53. "Xanadu is a nice place to go, and I want to meet the nameless things that crawl in the mud at the bottom of the sea. Yea, slimy things did crawl with legs upon the slimy sea. They could be tripping pretty hard, and that would be preferable, since regular life is drivel." - nigga u high af.
  54. "Every morsel was Jiro approved." - meaning Jiro Ono, of course.
  55. "Dr. Brief’s uncle Ham-mon had spared no expense in importing the delicacies from the mercury-saturated western coast." - Dr. Hammond from Jurassic Park always looked like a slice of old ham to me.
  56. I love the interplay between innocence and non-innocence with Ledas and the others in this story. Even the scenes are like this. Scene 1 fluctuates wildly in that regard, though scene 2 is quite innocent, and scene 3 is mostly innocent with some other stuff going on, and scene 4 isn't at all. The narrative progression in a lot of ways parallels Ledas' demeanor.
  57. Matt Stonie is awesome, and if you don't know who he is, shame on you.
  58. "There was a little man with a mustache and sparkling suit wading through the crowds throwing confetti all around." - Rip Taylor here. I've made references to that dude so many times, I can't keep count. And it's weird because I saw him like one time in one of the Jackass movies and that was it, and yet here he is in all of my stories. Dunno why. I guess I just find him that funny.
  59. Notice all the colors too. When Ledas and Tarble start eating, the pandemonium of color and celebration is breathtaking - a sign of me being high.
  60. "He would much rather train all day or take up a new hobby, such as mustache-growing." - since GT is non-canon, I'll never have the mustache bullshit happen. Goddamnit Toei.
  61. Tarble pulled a massive upset by defeating Ledas. However, the biology of Saiyans strikes again. Somehow they can eat a metric ton of food. How does that work? Who the hell knows, it's Dragon Ball physics! But one thing I do know is that Tarble is bigger than Ledas, even if he's a puny vegetable. So he can physically hold more in his stomach. Easy win. Ledas lost this competition when his physical aging stopped back in Lauto's cave. Of course when I wrote TF, I always thought I'd get to this point so that Tarble could beat Ledas in a sushi-eating competition. So that's why Ledas stopped aging.
  62. I am quite proud of the carrot-top/Kakarot joke.
  63. "The sun was sinking into a curtain of blood-red clouds. The cold winds were rising. Vegeta chased after Ledas as Tarble watched. He was far too frail to run even a few feet after them. Instead, he turned around and started to eat the sushi still left on Ledas’ table. Dead leaves dragged across the pavement and crackled under moving feet." - ominous tonal shift here, like the passing of summer. Good work on the prose, kv! This shift away from innocent fun is good build up towards the end of the story, I think, but I'm not sure I even knew that I was going to write that fourth scene at this point.
  64. "“This ‘sushi’ is pretty good,” he said to no one in particular. “I bet Gure would touch me with her probe if I asked her. She’s a beautiful alien.”" - Tarble's channeling some David Liebe Hart here. Good for him, he deserves it. Also, this line is one of the most improved lines from the Short Story Project version, I think. Comparing the two, there's no question I came up with a better ending for the final version.
  65. Scene three is where shit gets real, I think. Yes, there's some cool stuff going on in scene 1 with Beelzebub and the bounty hunter stuff and the setup for Raimie and Haimaru, but this is the scene where I really had to commit to major plot points for Heart of the Dragon.
  66. "They dined on shrimp nigirizushi rolls whilst sipping on high-grade koicha green tea." - these fancyboys are going all out with the culture. They're drinking one type of green tea often used in Japanese tea ceremonies. Elijah drinks the other type in Down the Well-Worn Road (Usucha-grade). That's probably a coincidence. It's not like there could be symbolic meaning to these tea choices or anything.
  67. The opening to the third scene of this story reminds me of the pier scene in A Soundless Dark.
  68. 12 seconds faster than a 12 year old, eh?
  69. The foreboding weather is in contrast to Ledas and Tarble relaxing on the dock, their feet dangling over the water, dining on sushi and drinking green tea without a care in the world.
  70. "“I uh, I don’t know. I guess now that Abo and Kado have been dealt with I can go home. But I like it here, and it’s nice to see Vegeta again. I haven’t seen him in years!”/“Yeah, I know how that feels.”" - quite an interesting parallel here between Prince Tarble and Ledas, with them both having been separated from Vegeta for a long time. Tarble somehow knew where Vegeta was (which I explain in Prideful Demons Black, though), so his separation doesn't seem to be as dramatic as Ledas'. Still, it's a nice thing for them to bond over. It was actually pure luck that this circumstance even existed, but it allowed me to develop their characters, so I was pretty happy about finding that thing in common they had.
  71. "A couple of fat black women walking by gave the boy a nice “Mmmmhmmm”, which made him feel a lot better." - just an awesome, confident line.
  72. Ledas ordering Tarble to power up to see how strong he is is reminiscent of the time in the Prince Vegeta Saga where Vegeta did the same thing to Ledas. Here we see Vegeta directly influencing Ledas' growth, although it's probably an unconscious move on Ledas' part.
  73. "His shouts started to reach Super Saiyan 2 Gohan levels, which is to say, they were entirely theatrical." - this is one of the best sentences I've ever written in my humble opinion.
  74. "“You’re at… 3000? 4000, maybe?” Ledas shrugged. “It’s hard to stick to scouter numbers in my head when I sense you, but I’m pretty sure I’m close.”" - that number would be ridiculous back in the day. Tarble would be like the 10th strongest Saiyan if that was his power level. Ledas is probably overestimating him a bit, but I'd also like to think that Tarble grew into his power a bit - his birth level might've been puny, but he got a little stronger when he got older. The shame is that if he hadn't been exiled, he would have grown up to have had a pretty respectable power level, but in the current, post-Kid Buu age, that number is laughable still. Tarble just can't win.
  75. "“Vegeta has all his friends on Earth helping him fight his battles. They formed a noble gang of warriors. I got one too, only we’re in space.”" - this is a massive reveal and is the main reason why the third section took me a long time to write, despite being so short. I realized, to give this section a purpose, I had to tie it to some significant details in Heart of the Dragon. So I made Ledas' crew, who will be appearing in that story. Only one of them appears in this story, but I do have a general idea for who they will be. The other members are not as set-in-stone, design-wise, as Vizzerdraex is, but I have a rough idea for the whole team. It's six members strong, including Tarble and Ledas.
  76. "“Prince Tarble,” Ledas said solemnly, “you don’t have to be so scared all the time. Just be yourself, and remember that no one’s gonna save you out there if an alien comes for you or something.”" - I've said it before, but it's stuff like this that is a pretty good example of my style of humor. Playing with form, cheeky, harsh... it has it all, except the lewdness which is not present so much in this story. But winter is a cold time, and passions generally freeze up, only to thaw out in the spring (where the sexual explosions in I'm a Candy Man reach their expected climax).
  77. Ledas is a trickster. He's rambunctious and he's a kid. That's why he kicked over the sumo wrestler; that's why he kicked Tarble into the water. In truth, he's also teaching Tarble a life lesson, but that's so obvious it's barely worth mentioning.
  78. "Ledas laughed boldly and ran off towards the city, never looking back." - the euphoria Ledas is feeling in that moment is evident. I also felt quite euphoric when I ended this section, for I had just written the farthest in my timeline (aside from TLS). This was the beginning of a real continuation of The Forgotten and Cold Vengeance, and I could feel it. The energy picks up near the end of the third section; I could not contain my excitement.
  79. The passing ships in the dock, their horns blaring, the clouds drifting by on winter winds... the whole scene of the third section gives me a sense of mono no aware, but I don't remember if I intentionally wrote it to be saturated in aware like that.
  80. "The subway was a miserable, dirty place. Everything smelled of bleach – that is exactly how you know a place is dirty. But Ledas liked how abandoned it was. Old newspapers covered the floor, and filth mixed with graffiti along the walls. It gave the place a spooky, dead feeling. Ledas bought himself a ticket and hopped on the next bullet train out of West City. There was no one in the car with him as he rode over. It was better that way, since often times people would make fun of his tail." - there's a lot I want to mention about this paragraph, so bear with me. First and foremost, the opening is the second reference to Suicide Missionary in this story. In Suicide Missionary, the desolation of the subway was a physical manifestation of the desolation and loneliness that Tien was feeling. Here, notice, I write that Ledas liked how abandoned it was, and the feeling that gave him. Again, mono no aware is here in force. That is my favorite Japanese aesthetic. Now, why did Ledas take the train? Couldn't he have flown somewhere? Well, he didn't want to make a scene. Also, sometimes when you always fly, you get bored of that. Here's something that I am going to spoil about Heart of the Dragon (that is admittedly minor): everyday during the school year, Ledas, Ryori, and their friends rode the train to and from school. I knew this when I wrote this story - I already had that detail planned. So I wanted to evoke a sense of nostalgia again in Ledas and have him ride the train as a way to perhaps remember the old, good times, while be surrounded by an abandoned, dead train station. Abandoned train stations have always interested me aesthetically speaking, so that aided the scene in my view. This nostalgia of course is something a reader could not pick up on unless they read at least the first saga of Heart of the Dragon before reading this story. I get that. It's more a personal, quiet moment for Ledas. It's something that was meant to be like that. If a reader picks up on that after reading HOTD, once it's written, great. It'll color the scene and make it more complex and interesting, but it's not necessary even for most close readings to know that, because I think there's a lot going on with Ledas in this scene aside from nostalgia for the past year/semester of school. He has other bouts of nostalgia that do appear in the scene, as well as other things related to The Benefactor and Vizzerdraex that are maybe more important.
  81. "Eventually, Ledas came to an outer station, overlooking the sea. To the east, a hill had a forest growing on it. Power lines stretched in all directions, brainless blackbirds watching him from them and the other metal structures around. They squawked and let loose white tears from their buttholes and annoyed the heck out of that boy." - again, this is a nod to Suicide Missionary. The blackbirds are bit more agitated around Ledas than Tien. This is not the same train station that Tien went to, however, for his train was bound to East City. There is something odd about two stations going towards East City and West City being so similar. I see a light Buddhist influence here, with renewal and repeating cycles of existence and karma.
  82. "When the train was off again, the blackbirds took flight. The desolation of the train station grew as the wind blew a skirling current through it. Ledas watched the last light leave the world, as the stars were released from the veil. Then, the sound of footsteps replaced the midnight breath, and the boy felt goosebumps cover his body. Turning to face what awaited him, Ledas saw the hulking figure, seven feet tall hunched forward, waiting for him. The beast’s skin was rust-pink and midnight blue, and he seemed to have the face of some kind of ferocious predator, he had so many teeth. And then there was the fact that he was hairless and his arms and legs were covered in three-foot-long claws. The creature had a stumpy tail and long fleshy ears." - the transition from the desolation to Vizzerdraex is beautiful here. I could write a haiku about it. The language is already very haiku-like. It's also written to imply that this creature has come to kill Ledas and perhaps Ledas expected that. The description was written to present a monster, not a good guy. This is me playing with black and white archetypes again, as I so often do. Vizzerdraex looks almost exactly like the Vizzerdrix creature from the Magic the Gathering TCG. But he's not a bad guy. In fact, he's quite a sweetheart (I think). He'll be in Heart of the Dragon for sure.
  83. Ledas calling Vizzerdraex a bunny is so like him. But it also served the purpose of allowing me to organically introduce Vizzerdraex's name. I didn't think Ledas would call him "Vizzerdraex" at first... at least not here. Maybe after they get to know each other a bit better, he'll start calling him "Vizzy" or something. Bunny is also quite cute and affectionate, so that's always usable.
  84. "Ledas sighed, rubbed his hands together, and blew into them. Sitting down on the edge of the platform, his legs dangling over the tracks, he lost himself in his thoughts (which are too private: see the deleted scenes for more details)…" - while I made a joke here, I think he's probably thinking about what to tell the others - namely Jia and Ryori - that he's going to leave again for a few days. This is complicated, because this story is written further in the timeline than parts of HOTD, but basically, he is living with Ryori and a caretaker named Jia (a woman in her mid-twenties) as well as his baby girl Chari (whom Chaiva drops off at Ledas' house at the start of HOTD). So he's feeling guilty about leaving his family and friends behind for this mission. He'll go home that night to see them before setting off, but he was just gone for a while, so it kind of sucks that he's going off again. I assume this is taking place during the winter break of the 776 Age. If this is the case, then he has spent 1 semester with Ryori in school. I'm actually figuring out quite a bit of the timeline for HOTD and this story as I'm doing this anthology, so this is quite excellent. It all fits together... at least I think it does.
  85. The Benefactor's warning/threat was something I came up with very late in this story. I could have ended with Vizzerdraex setting off and Ledas flying home. That was the original plan. But then I got this great idea while I was high to re-introduce The Benefactor, to remind people that he's still around, since I couldn't get a one-shot about him to work for The Heels of the Unknown. With all this said, I should temper expectations a bit. The Benefactor will be back in Heart of the Dragon, and he will try to track down and kill Ledas as revenge for all the pain and suffering he's put the poor Iyxan through. But The Benefactor will not be a main villain in Heart of the Dragon, at least not with what I have currently planned. He will be part of a villainous group that is actually quite serious and powerful, but he won't be the pre-eminent member of that group, and as such, he's not going to be as major a villain as he was in The Forgotten. That said, I plan on finally ending his rivalry with Ledas, one way or another, in HOTD. TB was originally going to go so far as the TLS prologue and perhaps further for unknown reasons (no, he was never Weepel, despite several people thinking that was the case), but I never figured out what to do with him. In truth, I still don't have much of an idea about what I want to do with him, but I do know he will end his conflict with Ledas in HOTD now. If he survives or not is something I haven't actually decided (Ledas clearly survives HOTD since he's around for Nowhere to Go), and it may take me another year before I settle on an answer to that question. Either way, I wanted to make it clear in this story that Ledas vs. The Benefactor is still on, but it will be different than it was last time - Ledas is stronger, obviously, as is TB, but TB is also blind and full of hate and no longer has any use for Ledas (he knows he cannot get his stolen energy back now). So their next fight, if they ever do fight again, will be different, I'm sure, but in many ways similar to how they fought in The Forgotten. But TB will be against Ledas almost exclusively, and he won't really be going after other characters or factions as much. I hinted where his story arc is going in Ice Age Coming - a story originally meant to be a part of this collection. I had a vague notion of what I wanted to do with him when I wrote this story, and even had his alliance with Audacci planned at that point (notice that Audacci was mentioned as far back as Starfall, so this was something I had definitely planned out for a long time). So the final part of the fourth scene is written with these things in mind.
  86. So who is the man who talks to Ledas? I think he's just a random human who The Benefactor has telepathically influenced, either with the help of Audacci or Majin Sesami, or someone else like that. The Benefactor knows where Ledas is, but he cannot yet confront the boy, for he is not strong enough. He wants to hunt Ledas, to keep Ledas paranoid, in order to make the Saiyan slip up somehow. This representative is a man, probably not a good guy (but who knows), who was taken over earlier that day and was following Ledas, and he confronted the boy as soon as Ledas was not around anyone else. Yes, the man dies at the end of the fourth scene. I'd say he has no control over what he says, but telepathic TB is pulling from the man's memories, which is why he is sort of casual and aggressive at the start of the convo before switching to full-on threat mode.
  87. "Ledas saw an albatross around the dude’s neck." - probably not an actual albatross, but the point stands. This is of course a reference to this story's theme song. The thematic meaning is strong here. I'd like to think that the man's wearing an albatross scarf, or has one on his hoodie or something like that.
  88. The Benefactor's messenger was based on my older brother.
  89. "“Hello, and so forth!” Ledas shouted at the man. Those were some fierce manners he laid on that human, them’s straight from the bitch ass mouth of Mrs. Fanshi." - goddamn that's funny. I suck at social interactions (I'm a solid 1/10), so this hits home, but it's still hilarious to me.
  90. My brother also sounds older than he looks, something I've thought about him for several seconds.
  91. "“It was a nice day today, right? And the weather?!” Ledas recited politely." - I can't describe in words how funny I find this exchange.
  92. "“Yeah, man fuck the weather. Weather ain’t shit where I’m from.”/“Okay, great.” Ledas said, as if to wrap up the conversation. He wasn’t good with humans (if you couldn’t tell), but this just sealed the deal, man. This one was straight out of his nightmares." - this is basically me reliving my life in Ledas. This is absolutely hilarious.
  93. Ledas' cat, the noble Balerion, would never make a play for his dong. That is an absurd claim by TB's emissary, and he should be appalled by his implications therein. Ledas handles the man's ineptitude with the grace of an emperor. He is a graceful boy, fancboy extreme #1, and I do believe that this whole section, with a ridiculous stranger trying to make conversation with a helpless introvert, is based on my own life.
  94. It must be said that Ledas is admirable for not taking that cigarette. Smokers are the weakest, most pathetic, vilest hominids on this good earth, bless you laddie.
  95. The man claims TB wants to get his energy back. Is that a ridiculous boast? Probably. Will TB ever get his energy back? Of course not! Haha, that bitch ain't got nothing comin' back to him.
  96. The man's exit is basically me describing what it feels like to be high. That said, I find intense beauty in the prose when I re-read it, and I do get a sense of mono no aware, though I don't know if that's right.
  97. Man, all the repeated use of the word "forgotten" seems deliberate or something.
  98. "The boy ruffled his hair and rubbed his eyes and stared up at the stars humming like sparkling eyes and wondered why he had chosen Tarble, of everyone available, to help him on this latest mission." - defiance. That is a hallmark trait of my Saiyan character. Even here, he doesn't waver. Immediately, he defies TB, and he will to the end. There is no other option for such a character as he. He knows the stakes. He knows, at the end of this story, that TB is alive and hunting him. Ledas welcomes the challenge. He wants this to end in blood. He wants to find that lizard fool and kill him once and for all, because he knows he can kill him now. He's a Super Saiyan 2, after all. Ledas cannot be stopped by TB in his mind. But, perhaps, he did not see The Benefactor allying himself with the daughter of Bojack, and a Majin more powerful than Buu. But more on that in HOTD...
  99. "“He’s gotta be good for something,” Ledas said aloud, almost in defiance. “Tarble exists because he has a purpose. Maybe this is it.” Quieter, and to himself, he whispered, “Man, I hope he’s good at something, because otherwise, this is going to really suck, and I just ate half-a-ton of sushi for nothing.”" - aside from playing on the triviality of this story, this quote illustrates Ledas' belief in Tarble's worth, in his ability to do something meaningful, even if he's weak as fuck. Ledas sees the good in people (usually), and for Tarble, he has faith that the Saiyan will be able to do something worthy of his position. Suffice to say, that may come to pass in Heart of the Dragon, but no spoilers!

I quite like this story. I think it is the funniest canon story I've written on this site. It's very witty, very clever, very cheeky. The prose is excellent too, with some serious beauty mixed in with the humor. Tarble and Ledas' interactions were highly successful, as were Ledas' interactions with the other characters, particularly The Benefactor's emissary and Beelzebub. Lots of really cool stuff happened in scene 1. The plot is also really fun, and a lot was developed and built up for later sections of HOTD. What I think is going to happen is that this story will serve as a prologue of sorts to the second saga of Heart of the Dragon. It was fun not only to come up with the plot for this story, such as the bounty hunter stuff, the stuff with TB, and the setup for a showdown between Ledas' team and Haimaru and Raimie, but to re-read it again and experience the pleasure and satisfaction of remembering and reliving a successful story that I've written. I guess a lot of my own entertainment comes from the fact that Ledas is #1 in my heart, so reading/writing about him is just the best. Anyways, this is my favorite story in The Heels of the Unknown, and my favorite one-shot I've ever written, as of this commentary. Overall, I'd give The Great Sushi-Eating Contest an S.


<---- Part 64

Part 65 ---->


The KidVegeta Anthology
1: Were It So Easy2: Ground Up3: So Lonely At The Top4: Dragon Ball Z: In Requiem5: Sixth6: Slaved7: Womanhood8: A Mother's Love9: Derelict10: Dragonball KC11: The Redacted Scenes12: Dragon Ball Z: Cold Vengeance (Original draftFinal draft)13: Spindlerun: The Tale of Yajirobe14: The Anonymous Series15: Speedball16: Second-best17: Strength18: Separator19: Skulk20: Soup21: Scelerat22: Serial23: Slick24: Sovereign25: Dragonball lies in the old hat26: Ode to Dodoria27: Bitterly Bothered Brother28: KidVegeta's Theogony: From Silence to the Greater Kais‎‎29: Dragon Ball Z: The Forgotten (29.1 Prince Vegeta Saga29.2 Outbreak: Paved In Blood29.3 Lauto Saga29.4 Stomping Grounds Saga29.5 Planet Earth Saga29.6 Reunion Saga29.7 Forever Alone29.8 Fulfillment Saga29.9 Characters29.10 Who Are The Forgotten?29.11 Miscellaneous Information)30: Sink to the Bottom31: Bluestreaker32: Lionheart33: From Magic to Monsters34: Tyrant35: Be a Man36: Brave37: Yellow38: Sleep39: Prideful Demons Black40: The Watcher41: The Perfect Lifeform42: Ain't No Hero43: Dragon Ball: The Great War44: Glory45: Monster46: Burning Man47: Bonetown Blues48: Ergo Sum49: Suicide Missionary50: We'll Never Feel Bad Anymore51: Before Creation Comes Destruction52: Midnight City53: A Soundless Dark54: Scourge55: The Ballad of Dango56: Zarbon and Dodoria: A Love Story57: Thank the Eastern Supreme Kai for Girls58: A Shadow on the Wind59: I'm a Candy Man60: Down the Well-Worn Road61: Cool Cat62: Starfall63: Crushing Blue64: Black Dawn65: The Great Sushi-Eating Contest66: The Adventures of Beerus and Whis...IN SPACE!‎‎67: The Guacamole Boys Hit the Town‎‎68: Fin69: Nowhere to Go70: Not So Far71: Ice Age Coming72: Small73: Shame74: Untouchable75: A Demon Tale: Running Gags and Memes: The Movie76: Superior77: He's a Baaad Man78: Sandboys79: This is a contest story 80: A Space Christmas Story81: The One Where Bulma Goes Looking For Goku's Dragon Balls82: The Ginyu Force Chronicles83: Country Matters84: Chasing Oblivion85: Bardock's Some Hot Space Garbage and You're a Cuck86: The Story Without Any Cursing Except For This One Fuck And It's In The Title or (Sex Drugs and Rock and Roll Except Without Any Of The Sex)87: A Flap of the Wings88: Broccoli Tail89: Black as Blood90: Bi Arm or the One Where Baby is Actually A Rich Man or the Last One Of All the BYARMS91: One Chop Man92: Girl93: Twelve Majestic Lies94: Spaceball95: The Monster and the Maiden96: Mountain Bird97: A Quest for Booty98: Yaki the Yardrat's lecherous crime cartel, can Jaco and Strabbary stop it?99: Across the Universe100: His Majesty's Pet101: Destroyer of Universes102: The One with Several No Good Rotten Space Vermin103: The Scouring of Paradise104: To Kill a God-Emperor105: Extragalactic Containment Protocol106: Appetent Justice107: The Naptime Championships108: Really Big Scary Monsters109: Old Nishi110: He Needs Some Space Milk111: Filthy Monkeys112: The Mortal Flaw113: Leap114: Dyspo Sucks115: The Royal Exception116: Mushin117: Doctor Piggyboy118: The Space Taco Bandit119: The Big Book of Very Important Things (119.1: Why the supreme kai thinks there are only 28 planets in the universe by kidvegeta, esquire119.2: The raisin why supreme kai thinks theres only 28 planets119.3: Supreme kai why do you think there are only 28 planets pls respond119.4: Vegeta: The Tale of Chiaotzu119:5. Sweet Nothings About Cuber by KidVegeta and Destructivedisk119.6: ☉‿⊙119.7: The Part Where He Actually Blows Himself119.8: The truefacts tht hhyperzerling ssahhy119.9: Dragon Ball Supper119.10: A list of people yamcha's been intimate with)120: Memories of a Bloodless Thrall121: Lights of Zalama122: The Deathless Scraps123: Time-Eater124: Dragon Ball: The Mrovian Series: Hidden Memories of Chaiva125: Nineteen Assassins126: Welcome to Rapture127: Bean Daddy128: Zeta Male129: One Word From The Crane130: The Big Ugly131: The Legend of Upa132: Trickster is Meaningless133: Three Foolish Monkeys134: Killing General Copper135: One of Them136: The Swindler137: Softpetal138: How To Act Like a Professional Mercenary139: Insatiable140: The History of the Decline and Fall of the Planet Trade Organization141: Dragon Ball: Heart of the Dragon142: The Last Saiyan (141.1 Skyscrapers/Cloudchasers142.2 Roshi142.3 Edge Of The World142.4 Hail to the Thief142.5 Long Road Home)143: Community Roleplays (143.1 Dragon Ball: Future Imperfect (2nd Saga)143.2 No Way Out143.3 Vacation143.4 Cool Runnings143.5 What Role Will You Play?)144: Deleted Stories (144.1 Dragon Ball: Short Story Project)145: Final Thoughts
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