The Monster and the Maiden was one of the original three ideas for Ikigai that I came up with. The idea for it never really changed over the months from the creation of the Ikigai page until I published it. This story was originally meant to be the #4 story in the series. After I posted One Chop Man man to the site, I changed it to be the first story in the sequence. Despite me knowing what this one was going to be about, I did not tackle it until 4/6 of the Ikigai one-shots had already been written and published. Indeed, it was only as I was finalizing the last few sections of this story that I even came up with Mountain Bird, so it is no wonder why I worked on The Monster and the Maiden when I did.
Conceptually, this was the most difficult of the first five stories to write. Had I come up with Mountain Bird as a concept earlier, I likely would have written it before TMATM. The actual story of the last Legendary Super Saiyan, featuring a female Super Saiyan, was a story I had wanted to write as early as Dragon Ball: Legacies. In fact, I had written the first half of a supposed story about a female LSS in that series before abandoning it and deleting that page.
This LSS is probably 2000 years before Dragon Ball, so she is not the "last Legendary Super Saiyan". However, one of the main themes of this story is the degradation of truth through time. Legends become frought with inaccuracies, small and large. There is no way to know what is true and what isn't. In TUN's infamous review of this story, he complained that there were differing accounts of what Len looks like in Super Saiyan. Golden hair? Red hair? Which one is true? He thought that was inconsistent. He missed the point entirely. The point is that nobody knows, because it was so long ago. Truth, fiction, and exaggeration have blended together to create a tale that when analyzed hard appears to have some inconsistencies. I think I expected too much of TUN there, to be honest. It's fairly obvious when Cyleria states that Len was described as looking several different ways that these were varying viewpoints, varying versions of the tale that Cyleria had heard as a little kid, but decided to retain all of them in order to preserve history, for who is she to say which one is true? She wasn't there.
Another reason for this story existing is because of Black Dawn. At the start of the third section of that story, Cyleria, Nazumi, and Araegon discuss the history of the last Legendary Super Saiyan a bit. Again, this is a degradation of history, for they believe that the last LSS was female, when she actually existed 1000 years before the last one (who is likely the SSG mentioned in Dragon Ball Super, Yamoshi). In any case, I mentioned in my anthology of that story that I thought it would be extremely sad if the legend of that Super Saiyan died with those three Saiyans. It didn't sit well with me. There was this rich history about a female Legendary Super Saiyan, and nobody alive knows it. Well, I decided that that was no good and that Cyleria would have logically told her young son the tale, even if it was a cursory version. Thus, this story was born.
I did quite a bit of planning for this one. My notes document for it, though, mainly just puts down the name puns for the various Saiyans:
King: Tahros Supreme Admiral: Yaro --- Yarrow Usurper: Akres --- Paracress Soldier commander: Radicchius New commander: Daikoros Brother: Cilano Sister: Len
From the names alone, it is clear to me that I had come up with the broad strokes of the plot for the female LSS, though I did not write anything down. A lot of this was based upon chapter 19 from volume III of The History of the Decline and Fall of the Planet Trade Organization, which had been completed about two months before I wrote this story. In that chapter, Puddin (a former guard of King Cold) visits Loru Qir, the former seat of the Tigahl Empire. While he's there, watching over a gambling slave for the Galactic Bank, he visits a museum in the city and learns about the Tigahl Empire's history with a Saiyan Empire long ago. I expanded upon that history within this story.
I also have a vague memory of Layeeck telling Ledas a story as well, but perhaps that is not true. I don't really remember the specifics of this story. It's been many a year since I've last read it. If that is the case, that was me going into the theme of the unreliability of legends. Layeeck telling Ledas about his own tribe's understanding of the LSS would be different from the history presented in Cyleria's tribe, as these things evolve over time in no small part due to the role the storytellers themselves play. So that was a fun theme that I took into account for this story that I haven't really gone into in any other story of mine before.
This story employed the same stream-of-consciousness style that Twelve Majestic Lies did. I took it to the next level in this story, for I didn't want to do exactly the same thing I did in the previous Ikigai one-shot. I tried to expand and evolve my use of that format here. It becomes more complicated than TML's version, because Ledas and Cyleria are talking through the stream-of-consciousness sections while she tells him the story. I don't think this story could have been told without utilizing that format. It aided me a lot not only in allowing for them to comment during the storytelling, but also to show the relationship between mother and son in a gentle, but meaningful way.
I began writing TMATM in the wee hours of May 21, 2020, a little more than two days after publishing Twelve Majestic Lies. The first thing I wrote was the second scene, though I knew that there would need to be an opening scene (I skipped it, but made note of it in my doc) to smoothly transition into the storytelling. Over the course of that day, I managed to write a little more than one page. I did not return to TMATM until May 24th. That day, I quickly completed the second section (needing to only add like 3 sentences to do so) and wrote the third section. I did very minimal editing the next day. On May 26th, I began writing the fourth scene, but didn't get more than 5 paragraphs in. I made significant progress on May 27th, writing two and a half more pages for the fourth scene (which is by far the longest scene in the story).
In the early hours of May 28th, I continued working on the fourth scene, writing another two and a half pages, and then moved onto the first scene, writing that out in its entirety. When I woke up later that day, I banged out the remainder of the fourth scene and wrote the entirety of the fifth and sixth scenes out, finishing my first draft 18 minutes before midnight.
I then took about a thirty minute break before beginning the editing process. I managed to get through the first, second, and third scenes before needing to go to bed. When I woke up, I posted the those scenes to the wiki, which gave me extra motivation to immediately finish the others, as I do not like leaving partially-finished one-shots on the wiki for very long.
I then edited scenes 4 to 6 from 4:50 pm until 7:03 pm, not taking a single break during that time. That was a mad dash. I don't remember it at all. Still, that's pretty crazy. Not sure I could do that nowadays.
Before we get into the endnotes, the last thing I would like to say is that this story explored stream-of-consciousness not just in a different way than Twelve Majestic Lies, but in a dynamic way within the various scenes. The way that I employed that writing style was not the same in every section. The way that Ledas talks to his mother changes over time. This was done to mimic how Ledas is getting tired. I wouldn't necessarily say that the prose is breaking down the more tired he gets, but rather that it becomes more comfortable, smooth, and blurred with the tale Cyleria is telling, making it less and less obvious where the points of change are. There are some points where the words fall out of pattern, such as when a single word would take up a paragraph but not necessarily be spaced consistently with normal prose paragraphs. This was done to show the stream-of-consciousness evolving with Ledas, loosening out of coherency. This is Ledas' point-of-view, and he's just a small child at the time. As he gets tired, things get less grammatically correct, less standard. I spent a lot of time trying to work that stuff out. The majority of my editing was spent on these words, phrases, and paragraphs. I hope it turned out alright. I haven't read this story in a while, so I'm not sure. On that note, it's time to dive into the endnotes.
He was standing on his parents’ stone sink, looking through the window upon the royal city spread below, a chaos-pool of lights and darkness.
“What happened to your face, Ledas?” his mother asked from behind as she came into the room. In her hand was a blue scouter that she was cleaning with a rag.
“Vegeta punched me. I couldn’t block it. He was faster than me…”
Her hands were on his shoulders, running through his hair, scratching his scalp playfully. “I’ve got a cream for that, Ledas. Let me get it.” The boy waited and was still as she pressed the tan gel around his eye. He hugged her after she finished. “I’ve heard you’ve been getting stronger,” she said sweetly, picking up her son and carrying him over to the lounging chair by the door just outside the kitchen where they could watch the rain drench the city at night. “Being able to train with the prince is no small feat, Ledas. I’m proud of you, don’t you know that? You’ve made both your father and me very proud.”
He nodded feverishly.
“Are you tired?”
“Well, it’s bedtime. Do you have a story picked out for tonight, sweetie?”
His mind raced with cool excitement. “The one about the Legendary Super Saiyan!” Ledas whispered expectantly. “I want to hear the story about him! Me and Vegeta talked about him today. We wanna be just like him one day.”
She was smiling and caressing him with her fingers through his hair, and then they were together in the chair, the rain falling in scattered monotony, his mother’s eyes glazing over slightly as she searched for something in her mind which drew a sliver of a smile to the corner of her mouth when she found it.
In the dominion of the Saiyan Empire, more than one thousand years ago, there lived a king named Tahros, son of Tatsos. King Tahros was a weak, indecisive man who lorded over a crumbling intergalactic kingdom. The Legendary Super Saiyan, proclaimed to be soon forthcoming from Tahros’ bloodline, never emerged, not when the empire needed them most. His only child – a sickly boy with white hair and a split tail – died before the age of seven, leaving the king heirless.
Tahros was a gambler; he loved his feasts and he loved his parties. It didn’t take him many years to burn through most of the vast wealth his ancestors had stockpiled for the security of the empire. He alienated many governors and military commanders in his seemingly endless spectacles of gluttony where he often made a fool of himself by challenging his guards to wrestling matches in the middle of feasting.
As the years wore on, the fortunes of the Saiyan Empire diminished greatly as slave species after slave species rose against their Saiyan captors. It didn’t take long for them to earn some hard-fought victories, especially in the outer colonies where Tahros had neglected to replenish his outposts’ war-ravaged armies. At first, Tahros remained unconcerned about the etho-national zeal present on many a distant colony world. It was only after the slave species began to unite, pooling resources, soldiers, ships, and commanders together that King Tahros was forced to respond.
Allowing his nephew Yaro, an untested battle commander, to lead his forces against the slaves’ patchwork armada was Tahros’ first dubious move. The campaign that resulted involved hundreds of planets, millions of Saiyan warriors, and billions of slaves. The enemy forces had more soldiers, but theirs were weaker on average. Even a mediocre Saiyan warrior is worth the blood of one hundred slaves, so the saying went.
The campaign was disastrous; Yaro’s fleet was on no less than three occasions surrounded, led blindly into chokepoints, and egregiously butchered. The losses he piled up in terms of body counts were astonishing: in the first year of the war alone, more than 700,000 Saiyan warriors were lost. Another 300,000 were taken prisoner by the slave species, most of whom were eventually executed in cold blood.
“Come on, mom, I wanna hear the part about the Legendary Super Saiyan!”
She was smiling down on him. “We’re getting there, Ledas. Be a little more patient.”
Anyways, Admiral Yaro, the hot-blooded fool, suffered tremendous casualties, and the morale of his soldiers and advisors was at an all-time low. Several plotted to overthrow him, but it was Commander Akres, the king’s own half-brother, who made the first move, taking nine of every ten ships from Yaro, rendering the royal fleet a tiny, vulnerable shell of its former self. Instead of engaging those who had remained loyal to Yaro, Akres ordered his fleet to set course for our homeworld, which would only later come to be called Planet Vegeta. There he slew Tahros on the steps of his palace as the king came out to see why such a large portion of his fleet had returned to him before the war had been won.
It was then that Akres assumed the throne and declared himself emperor, stating in no uncertain terms that the Legendary Super Saiyan would come from his loins…
“But he didn’t, did he mom? Did he?”
“No, Ledas. If you would just listen… I was about to get to that part.”
The confederation of rebelling slaves took out Yaro and his beleaguered fleet in the Battle above Poraxes Minor. Yaro’s men fought to the last, taking out millions of foes in the process, but there were simply not enough of them. As the royal fleet was swept aside, the underbelly of the empire was laid bare, and planets were lost faster than blood. From the east, the Tigahl Empire, long the foe of the Saiyan Empire, sensed its opportunity to strike.
It was in these chaotic circumstances that the Last Legendary Super Saiyan made a name for herself.
“Whoa… the Super Saiyan was a girl?!” Naked wonder coated the boy’s words.
“That’s right, Ledas. She was the greatest warrior of her time.”
Her name was Len, and she lived on Planet Margous, serving under Commander Radichus. Radichus was loyal to king – the assassinated king – so Akres sent his best warrior, Daikoros, to the planet to ensure a swift and total surrender by Radichus’ forces. What followed was the exact opposite of the new king’s wish.
Radichus refused to bow to a man he deemed a thief, a murderer, and a coward. When Daikoros and his fleet arrived at Margous, they lay waste to the military outposts, bringing the fight into the upper atmosphere between starship-grade vessels and Saiyans. The Saiyans, for all their nimbleness, were able to to effectively cripple Daikoros’ fleet-wide advance, destroying several of the lumbering metal giants and thousands of on-board soldiers in the process.
Unpleased with this, Daikoros emptied his ships of their reserve soldiers, and the sky was blackened by their ranks. Down they came, falling like meteors, decimating Radichus’ defenses. Outnumbered seven to one, the…
Opening creaking the breaking spiraling color and light up
Raindrops slithered down his father’s armor, some leaping and some falling. His eyes, almost black, slanted away, looking down. “Hey. You’re home late.”
“Frieza.” His voice was gruff and penetrating. “We were waiting for – Oh,” he interrupted himself, spotting Ledas. “I didn’t think you’d be home tonight.”
The boy was too tired to respond. His mother was running her fingers through his hair rhythmically. “Your father had them today. I thought you knew.”
“Yeah.” His armor was on the wall, sliding smoothly into place. The rushing of water against the windows spread. “I heard you talking when I came in. What were you going on about? You were animated.”
“I was just telling Ledas the story of the Last Legendary Super Saiyan.”
“Not that again,” he muttered. “Were you telling him it was that girl–”
“Shhh, you’ll spoil it.”
His father was shaking his head in mild disbelief. “When I was kid, the story I always heard was that it was a man who could only control the form in Great Ape. He defeated his foes, but in the process, destroyed himself and the planet he was fighting them on.”
“That’s not the story at all. Quiet, Layeeck. You’ll just confuse him.”
“But, it’s the–”
“I come from the only tribe that can trace its bloodline back to the Last Legendary Super Saiyan. Zhukin was her direct descendant.”
He scoffed, pulling off his shirt and walking back to the bedroom down the hall. “Yeah right. You’re gonna tell me that he could even know that? Hah! No way in Arlia that’s true. If it was, Paragus’ son’d be the next Legendary Super Saiyan, wouldn’t he?” He laughed scornfully. “Paragus’ loins are weaker than a woman’s. There is nothing legendary about him.”
Cyleria held her son softly.
“I mean, there’s no way someone like him could produce an offspring even worthy of being called low-class!”
“Wow, you really hate Paragus. I didn’t realize–”
“No, he’s alright.” Standing, in stunned silence.
Silence but for the sound of his father’s footsteps down the hall…
He felt weightless, swinging, his mother’s skin against his. He became dimly aware of the fact that she was carrying him to his room. “Mom, what happened next?”
She smiled down at him. “The Battle of Torben Fields, my dear. Have you never heard of it?”
The boy shook his head lethargically. That part of the tale was unfamiliar to him.
“Close your eyes,” she said gently, and there was no easier thing for him to do.
“Len! We have to go!” It was her brother, his voice coming from great distance. “They’ve broken through!”
Cilano had served as a scout for Commander Radichus. His sister had been a communications officers – two powerful, albeit common soldiers stationed on a military outpost guarding the empire’s northern frontier. The moment they fled Len’s relay station, it went up in light and heat, her comrades vaporized by skyfire.
In the skies, Saiyans fought against Saiyans, trading blows and energy, and it was raining corpses.
Their first goal of business was to find a ship, but the whole city was aflame, and with Daikoros’ fleet in the atmosphere, escaping would be impossible. Men fell from the sky, half-burnt, limbs missing, screaming and bleeding and every one of them making the same quenching smacks on the blood-riven pavement.
Those who were beaten back were already fleeing. Len and Cilano joined them, rather than burn in the sky. But their flight would not take them far – there was no other outpost on Margous, nowhere else for them to run. The survivors flew or ran or limped, but they all went together, fleeing out into the wilderness of a most-unexplored world.
In the sky, Daikoros’ men beat back the last of Radichus’ defenses and took over the outpost.
The Torben Fields were a region located just outside the outpost used to cultivate crops for use within the city. It was in those vast, trench-dug, stalk-forests of khinto wheat that the survivors were surrounded.
Ledas, are you still listening yes mommy I’m…
… Radichus fell to a knee, his mighty beard stained by blood. Clutching at the hole in his neck, he threw himself at Daikoros. The patient usurper smiled and blew out Radichus’ heart with an air-vaporizing energy attack. “Those of you who would stand against me, step forward now!” The admiral declared, raising his arms. Cilano hugged Len tightly as the crowd pressed against them, retreating against itself. When no one came forth, the proud-faced man raised his arms, blood dripping from his fingers in the falling sunlight. “No?! No one?! No one wants to avenge your glorious leader?! The man who brought you to this place?! The man who poisoned your minds against King Akres? Did you think this was just a game, really?”
The admiral’s voice echoed through the wind, over the plains, over the corpses. Daikoros whistled, and his soldiers moved in, firing energy in torrents.
“Mercy!” a man screamed, running to Daikoros from the crowd, but he was shot down long before he reached the man.
The survivors fell back, most not bothering to offer any resistance. Those who did were singled out and killed faster anyways. The crowd grew smaller, more tightly packed, as people screamed, begging for mercy. But there was none given.
The slaughter continued until there was only a third of the original Saiyan force left. Having worked their way deep into the crowd, both Cilano and his sister had made it this far, so far unspoiled and unscathed. That was when Daikoros began to laugh, his insane cackling carrying over the silent, smoking fields as his remaining prey eyed him fearfully and with baited breath.
“Take them,” Daikoros told his men. The army lurched forward with wordless lust, desperation creaking in their armor. “These ones understand the cost of insubordination.”
The warriors had died in the sky; all that remained were the young, the weak, the cowardly, the sick, the elderly, the wounded. Soldiers tore at them, some taking them in the mud, doing to them…
Nothing. They were, um, taken away by Daikoros’ soldiers, one by one, to be taken back to other colony worlds where they would work for a time as slaves for their new overlords before, perhaps, re-integrating into the imperial ranks. As the crowd thinned, Cilano held his sister’s arm, keeping her close, watching with fearful eyes as Daikoros’ men took their slaves, took their picks, took all that they desired.
He was a square-chinned Saiyan who came looking for Len. Slobbering slightly, his yellow eyes bled with desire as he grabbed for her. “No!” her brother shouted, pulling back. “Please!”
The man didn’t say a word, forming a ball of blue energy in his free hand and nodding with glazed-eyes to Cilano. The boy understood well enough. He let her go, grey-black eyes like yours looking back and full of tears. But what could he do?
The Saiyan warrior lumbered off with his choice. The still, night-beckoning air ran through their hair, from his to hers, and then he broke from the crowd. Cilano wasn’t yet a man, and his skinny frame did not denote the look of a warrior, so the onlooking soldiers hardly paid him any mind. They were more interested in their own spoils, after all.
It was only his sister and her infernal kicking against the bodysnatcher who had thrown her over his shoulder that made the man stop and turn to look. And that was when Cilano met the man with his fist. The older Saiyan roared in surprise, blood spouting from his big flat nose, as he fell back and muddied his armor in the field.
“You damn miserable vermin…!” the man was howling, quivering with rage as he got to his feet. “I’ll kill you and make your bitch watch!”
He readied an energy blast, aimed it, and prepared to fire when Admiral Daikoros appeared. “Enough, soldier.”
“A-admiral… with all due respect, lookit what that one did to my face!”
The admiral’s eyes flashed, studying both Len and Cilano. “Leave them,” he said, after a time.
“I want ‘er!” the blood-nosed man complained. “She’s my choice, Admiral!”
“Pick another,” he said stoically, his hands clasped behind his back. “There are many left.”
“I want ‘er!”
Can you guess what happened next?
The Admiral killed the man for insubo-soupo-subor…
Insubordination, that’s right. Very good, Ledas. He did.
As the man fell bleeding to the ground, Admiral Daikoros grabbed Len, who had been frozen in shock, sticking out like an unplucked flower alone in a barren field, his eyes barely passing over her before settling on her brother, and grabbing him too.
Why did he take both?
He wanted both of them, Ledas. They were his slaves.
They were his personal servants, doing whatever he asked of them – chores, delivering messages and orders, sparring with him, and even – no, forget that. Um, the two soon became Admiral Daikoros’ favorites, and he assigned them special favors,
but why why w h y
light carrying grey and gold over fields dug in trenches like at grandpas where we dug them into the bodies in piles and the girl and the boy and the man so huge and black scary robes the shadows of the sun hiding his face
Dull. Reverberating. Warm. Stroking his hair, long fingers, nails against his scalp.
Hey, and remember where they went next? The Siege of Old Lipanto – a contested world between two empires: the Saiyan Empire, and the Tigahl Empire. Long ago, Lipanto had been the seat of the Lipantan Republic, but the power and influence of that ancient imperial government had long faded by the time of our story. It was there that Admiral Daikoros’ forces broke against the might of Mingahl the Bold, that day the Saiyan Empire died, the Admiral burned in the upper atmosphere, his soldiers surrendering again…
grey skies raining on the floating city alien ships and plasma black cape in the sky a ball of flames jerking
… where they took them again, those Tigahl raptors. An intake of breath and lowered tone. It was back on their homeworld of Loru Qir where the Saiyan prisoners were added to the courtly slave population meant to be used in beast-taming shows.
To be chosen was an assurance of death, at least for most. These two weren’t like most. They had been powerful even as children – not as strong as you, my dear, surely not that strong, but still very powerful. Cilano was becoming a capable warrior who would have risen to the ranks of the upper echelon of the Saiyan Elite by adulthood. Was he stronger than Daddy? Laughing, No sweetie, not quite. His twin sister was no different. But since she had been raised as a communications officer on Radichus’ outpost, Len had not often indulged in strength training or sparring.
Saiyan battlelust runs hot in all of us, including women. Her sparring sessions were little more than half-serious attempts against her brother, but she seemed to beat him more often than not whenever they put a little effort in.
On the third night of God-Emperor Mingahl’s beast-taming spectacle, her brother was chosen to fight. The beast he was pitted against was an Uagoni Viper – a serpentine, winged species with a pointed arrow head and bug-like antennae and glimmering red-green scales. Its fangs, when extended, reached upwards of three inches. It could give even someone as strong as Cilano a good bite.
rushing smoky brown smoke and rain and
… but her tears fell on her brother’s cheeks, where the corruption had already begun to spread. “A biohazard, get away from it!” one of the guards was telling her again, but she wouldn’t let go of Cilano.
He’d been getting better the past two days, she’d told them. They wouldn’t listen. They pried her away and raised their Tigahl claws full of Tigahl energy, and wiped him out of existence, even as he lay there screaming, his flesh tearing and spasming, the Uagoni parasitoid larvae bursting their way up and out of a red-widening gash below his navel.
Heat pumping deep blood-sorting life hey I remember this part, this is where she goes
… holding her back. Len’s strength surprised the guards; she hit one bloody across the nose, dropping him. The second ran.
No that wasn’t it she turned
The last Super Saiyan died because she couldn’t control her power. Nervous laughter echoing. Records are meant to be broken. This one will…
He was sailing with her through the air, up from the Tigahl Temples, so yellow and sandy in his but she rode a wind like gold skin shining with the sun bright as a god everywhere she looked boiling with golden energy, the temples bursting like children’s blocks the people running and screaming and burning and the God-Emperor on his throne standing covering his mouth in shock like King Vegeta when Frieza came eyes whole body bloomed with light eyes gone pools of white and burning
And he was soaring with her through the stars, the rain on her hair, pulling her tail off before going to Idiro VI, that home of savage Ever-Apes who refused to leave their giant forms. Living on the eternally-illuminated moon of Khera, they had reverted to a state of primal savagery and he was flying through their camp at breakneck speed, soaking in their rugged lives, their cracked and torn armor, their teeth yellowed and chipped, their hot breath rising, the smell of sweat, his cheeks flushing, the animalistic quality they had reverted to… in it was evoked a steady, underwater longing.
Imagining the goldness of her aura rising like bubbles and stepping into the dark, bandit apes, low-born but aware, stronger than most, hardened like teeth against bone. Their mouths glistened with energy but she walked forward, still as a lone flower on a hill, into their rank dark words he remembered but could not understand words and phrases and and and i dont know those are just things people say vegetas fist against him drawing blood tasting shame raw but we will both be super saiyans he said he promised riding the golden wind with Len burning monsters and their attacks did nothing burning out the night and there was nothing he wanted more nothing but to be like her to be her to be the next super saiyan to make vegeta proud and
“We’re geo-turfers from the Cornos League,” the first one, a sick-looking man with clear radiation poisoning, muttered.
“We’ll pay you for it…” His hawkish comrade dared.
“A little closer,” said a third, coaxing at Len sweetly.
And what do you think she did then, Ledas? Feebly: blasted them away. That’s right. She did just that, unchaining a great sleeping beast in that moment who later threatened to destroy the already-crumbling Saiyan Empire. Sucking in a tired breath but didnt she know it was there? She couldn’t have. No one could have.
What Len roused, those Cornan geo-turfers had not even understood fully. They had been there to study the creature, to track it, but even they had not expected that the last Legendary Super Saiyan could rouse it. They had only meant for her to dig it out for them. Excitement. He’d never heard this story before.
Who won, who won??
They fought briefly after the creature was roused, the blue-skinned, black-striped monster that was called the False Nyarin for his resemblance to that species. Huh, what are Nyarins? Another species in service of Lord Frieza with bluish fur and black stripes and big ears. They live on Nyare. Did the monster have big ears too, mommy? No, but he had a tentacle on his head they say he could use to turn anyone it pointed at into stardust.
Shivering. Head in the pillow.
Len was battered bloody by the monster, quicker than her with demon speed and demon teeth and a lust for destruction. Though she fought valiantly against it, her form was no match for the monster – whats his name mommy, his name?! – named Jadu. His skin was said to be made of a flexible gooey substance that could regenerate itself from even the most horrific of wounds. Ewww how could anyone kill something like that?
With great difficulty. Len, though beaten and left for dead by the monster, was not in fact dead, and her ever-tenacious will to survive was never more on display than in that time of her life. In a matter of months, the blue demon Jadu was able to blast his way through the heart of the Saiyan Empire, felling fleet after fleet, army after army, until Akres had almost no one left to defend his intergalactic kingdom, and surely not enough soldiers left to maintain such a large territory. Jadu was partially responsible for the fall of the Saiyan Empire. Those other empires, eyeing us jealously from far-distant worlds, launched their own attacks when he began to pillage and slaughter throughout Akres’ kingdom. Many worlds fell. Some were lost when native slave-species rebelled against Akres, but many were taken by up-and-coming intergalactic armies, soon to emerge as empires in their own rights, not to mention the rampaging Jadu.
All this time, Len had retreated to a place of solitude, unable to confront Jadu again, for to do so would mean her life. Instead, she sought training. Some say she trained alone, while others think she enlisted the help of other Saiyans, or perhaps even space pirates, or self-important, self-proclaimed martial arts masters. But how did she really get stronger, mommy? I don’t know, I wasn’t there.
She became a much more adept warrior, either way. After those months she spent training, she could wait no longer – Jadu was heading towards Planet Vegeta. It wasn’t called Vegeta back then mommy because – Shh, quiet. Listen, my baby. Len went first to Akres, seeking his support against the woken monster, Jadu, the Genocider. He sent an army to her, on a planet just outside our solar system, where Len intended to make her last stand against the beast. The army approached, claiming they were here to lend Len aid, but as she came into range, they betrayed her.
My mother used to tell us about how it was precisely at this moment that the full moon arrived on the planet, and that is why all the soldiers turned into Great Apes, but I think that sounds too convenient, don’t you, Ledas? Nodding nodding. I agree. It’s more likely that someone made a Power Ball, or a similar prototype technique.
But they did turn into Great Apes somehow, and that is how they fought. Could she turn into a Super Saiyan as a Great Ape? She could and she did. Len was fighting to protect her species, but in order to do so, she had to destroy an army of her own people just so she could fight Jadu. Akres’ treacheries were many, and often ran deep, but this was his cruelest move, his most suicidal one. There is no defending what he did.
Her fur golden, Len threw herself passionately against Akres’ men. They were fearful of her power, of what she could do if truly she wanted. There was now no doubt in the empire who the Legendary Super Saiyan was; that stubborn fact drew forth Akres’ jealousy like a blade draws blood.
Her power overwhelmed her, growing and becoming so large that her aura had the power to vaporize her foes on contact. The other Great Apes attacked her blindly, for even in those days, self-awareness in the form was rare outside of aristocratic bloodlines. And at first, Len was not conscious in the form either. There was real danger that she would destroy the planet and kill everyone, including herself. But something changed as she was tearing her way through the royal army. Do you know what that was, Ledas? Shaking.
Jadu had arrived. Deep intaking breath, shuddering, skin-prickling. She felt his presence immediately, and that alone made her aware. What remained of the army died of their wounds or fled. It was now Len against Jadu for the fate of the Saiyan race.
She won, didn’t she? He couldn’t help but smile. Why do you think that, Ledas? Because he didn’t get to blow up our planet! That’s a good point. Keep listening, and you’ll see.
Trying to attack him in her Golden Ape transformation, Len proved to be too slow to land a hit. Jadu, the blue blur, rolled and weaved around her in midair, and she couldn’t so much as land one hit, even in a form as powerful as hers. B-but what did she do? She cut off her tail – again? – or destroyed the Power Ball. Either way, she reverted to her base form, and that was where it became abundantly clear that she had only offered a glimpse at her true power before. It was in that moment that she became a true Legendary Super Saiyan, a mythical warrior of unparalleled power.
I don’t get it, what happened?
Len had unlocked a new transformation in her fight against the soldiers, perhaps by achieving self-awareness in her Great Ape form. When she unlocked the latent power that had been held back by her subconscious, when she became her whole self again, she was not golden haired any longer. Well, the accounts differ on that fact. Some say she was always golden, only that her hair grew longer or even more golden. An old woman whom my mother knew in her youth claimed that Len’s hair had in fact, in that moment, changed to a blood red color, signifying a higher level of Super Saiyan. But the tale my mother knew, the one Zhukin knew, the one I believe, is that she became herself again, and her hair was black again, but her body was covered in crimson fur, almost as if she had maintained certain the apeish qualities of her previous form. In true mastery of her Legendary Super Saiyan abilities, Len’s power had grown considerably in that moment, unlocking the latent potential in her that all Legendary Super Saiyans possess.
That’s how she beat him, isn’t it?
Jadu the demon recognized her increased power. He too used his maximum strength, claiming that in their last match, he had only been using thirty percent power. That’s so… so much stronger… Yawning, and again. Even in her new form, Len knew her opponent was no chump. So they fought…
Mommy’s eyes distant again thinking and making
“I remember you,” said Jadu in a raspy, demonic voice. “You tried to stop me before, and I beat you then. I’ll kill you for coming back!”
“I’ve gotten stronger since our last fight. Couldn’t you tell?” Mommy’s voice rising. “I’ll destroy you before you can do any more harm to the Saiyan Empire, beast!”
“Your words mean nothing!” sneered Jadu. He was ready to end things. “I’ll kill you and destroy the whole universe!”
“Haven’t you noticed?” she said, smiling. “My power has changed. I’m stronger than you now.”
Jadu noticed the fur covering her body now, even though her – oh, nevermind that – and he said, quickly, “I didn’t even show you a scrap of my true power in our last fight. But it’s long since time you were put down for good, witch!”
He was the aggressor, so she let him attack first…
A barren world, more asteroid than planet, with black skies, starless, dust blowing in the wind. The demon broad-chested, with gummy muscles, blue skin, stripes, a cape and hood. The clearest of images. The gold around him, through his eyes, his aura. The feeling of power, liberating, relaxing, suffocating – real power, too foreign to directly imagine.
Dodging, kicking, blasting with blue energy like Vegeta had taught him, and the demon slithering away, his mother’s words coming at him in an unbearably slow trail. He was jumping, angling his new body at Jadu, meeting punch with punch, his fist against the demon’s skin drawing blood. The monster tried to bite him; he spun away just in time, blasting Jadu in the face with an energy disc, slicing open his face, pouring blood over his eyes and…
She spun, kicking him across the face, the blood coating her boot. The demon steamed with rage at someone making him bleed. How dare she humiliate him like that? No one had ever made him bleed. This was an insult to his very being. His aura grew as he brought himself to his utmost power, his muscles bulging, his body growing slightly until they were on level height. The air rumbled; the ground cracked, rumbling with flashes of electricity.
Heavy eyelids. Feeling panic. She was he was
Jadu was on one knee, breathing hard, trying to stem the blood flowing from his shoulder. He walked up to the demon proudly, crimson fur on his arm as he raised his final attack, his tail uncoiling in instinctual joy. The power was pure happiness, the feeling of being held, and he was…
Falling and breaking, down the fissure, lava bubbling below, his face burning off in a fraction of a…
Fists against fists bone-rattling merciless demon speed fleeing caught pummeled and thrown
He broke her nose with one punch. His crystalline energy cooling into form… Flying blows and rushing light and tasting blood but Vegeta had promised he wouldn’t go so hard and what if he was I should be able to keep up falling, spiraling down, blood in the sky the only light, demon’s strength propelling him down and no chance but for that feint Vegeta had taught him that morning…
They say the gash in her cheek was nothing compared to Jadu’s wounds…
Falling droplets of
Fists against each other, shattering armor, screaming, pushing back, there’s no way a stupid demon should be able to kill a Super Saiyan! Super Saiyans are invincible! His hand was his father’s attack, so full of light he could see nothing but blue. ‘Kyorra Flash!’ he tried to scream. Jadu was looking up, his pointy demon teeth gaping wide.
Light over all… his tentacle right off. His ki sword dissolved, and Jadu fell in agony as the Legendary Super Saiyan raised her hands over her head for one final attack…
Movement seen and not understood. Too fast. Fists in a blur, a punch from the shadows, his eye tingling, and
Heated drawing near
Playful Galick, Demon’s Eraser
… but the planet was damaged beyond repair. There was nothing she… Falling the fragrance of his mother’s hair…
The morning rains had not yet come, so Ledas was sitting out on the landing pad of his parents’ house, located high in one of the aristocratic skyscrapers flanking the royal palace. A spare wooden bowl of steaming sanu meat and chopped fruit was in his pale hands.
The whole world was grey.
“Son?” His father was only wearing his underclothes at the moment, but he had one of his metal boots in his hand. He would soon be off to the palace for guard duty. “What are you doing out here?”
“I like it,” the boy replied in a high-pitched tone. “Look, it’s gonna rain any minute now!”
“Come inside, Ledas.”
“Aw, but dad–”
As soon as the boy was seated at the kitchen counter, it was as if every drop of water on Planet Vegeta had begun falling from that grey swirl overhead. The wild whooshing noise of it all was simultaneously terrifying and enthralling.
“What’s that? Sanu?”
“You can have some if you want, Dad.”
He took a piece of meat and two pieces of fruit. “Are you headed out on a mission for Frieza today?” his father asked him.
“No, me ‘n Vegeta are just gonna train.”
Stillness, save for the beating rain.
“Be careful out there,” his father said, not noticing his eye. He never would. The gel had worked. Ledas’ father had a pitcher of what looked like blood in one hand, pouring some of the sloppy, slippery contents into a slender wooden cup. The world was utterly grey, even the stones, save for that sludge.
His father took a long gulp, wiping his mouth, leaning his head back, and sighing loudly. Pulling on his boots, he looked up at his son perched on a high-rising stool, finishing his fruit. “The last Super Saiyan was a man who could only control the form in Great Ape,” Layeeck said suddenly, as he reached for his armor, which hung on the wall. “Don’t listen to your mother.”
“Why not?” Ledas cocked his head to the side innocently.
“She always goes on and on about Zhukin, about her tribe, about the bloodline…” He placed the jug of red sludge back in the wall cooler. “When I was a boy, my father told me about how the Legendary Super Saiyan was a warrior so powerful he couldn’t control himself. So he died, destroying the planet he lived on, wasting all of his energy and potential. He was a beast, a fool, a man whose life should not be emulated.”
“That’s what Vegeta said…”
“He led a group of the fiercest space pirates in the universe on a conquest across known space.”
“But what happened to him?” The food was done; he placed the empty bowl in the sink with a few timid clanking noises.
“He met the ancestor of Frieza,” his father said, throwing his armor on. “Help me latch on my cape, Ledas.
The boy had to fly to reach across his father’s wide shoulders. “But Dad… what happened to the last Super Saiyan?”
“I already told you, Ledas.”
“I know, but…” Ledas paused in midair for a moment before landing. “How did he lose control of his power?”
Father’s gloves were fitted on with the utmost care and precision. He was at the door, the rains screaming by outside. “He was killed by Frieza’s ancestor,” the man said in a grey, withering tone. “When he tried to stand against the Arcosian, his power overwhelmed him, and the planet exploded.”
“B-but… didn’t Frieza’s ancestor die in the explosion too?”
His dad paused a moment, his mouth agape. “No.” The door opened; a wet wind blew through, leaving residue on the boy’s cheek. “Arcosians can survive in space, Ledas. Those bastards are harder to kill than sanu alpha males in breeding season… heh. Well, anyways, good luck with your training, son. I’m leaving. I don’t want to be late.”
Ledas waved after his father even as the man vanished into the cloudscape beyond the landing platform and never looked back.
It was much later. The streets of Loru Qir bustled with intergalactic life. The merchants’ rows stretched in all directions, the smoke of cooking meat and vegetables rising in a thick wall above almost every stall. The air had a taste of the foreign to it, the rich and smoky aromas of a thousand cultures’ dishes intermingling in one pungent, olfactory sensation, enough to induce a sneeze.
Ledas gazed up at the bright, cloud-clothed sky, his jaw twisted askew in a wry smile. The sun was in his eyes.
“What is it, Ledas?” Linessi asked, coming up from behind on the left.
“Nothing,” he said, grinning still.
Before them, a statue of a woman, her face indistinct, her features worn by time, glittered golden in the daylight.
“The Golden Wind,” Okinaro the Unshriven observed, stepping up on Ledas’ right. “I take it you knew her?”
The boy exhaled gleefully. “Y-yeah… well, my mom did.”
“Who was she?” asked Vizzer, who stood taller than the rest, his arched spine visible beneath his tight-stretched, pinkish skin. Lumbering forward, his snout spread wide, his claws extended, pointing, he said, “One of your kind, Saiyan?”
The boy nodded. “The Last Legendary Super Saiyan,” he whispered, almost as if he couldn’t believe it himself. “My mom used to tell me stories about her when I was a kid.” His cheeks flushed with pride. “But anyways, we should be–”
“Moving on,” said Naemi. Her flowing blonde hair could have been mistaken for a Super Saiyan’s even on the greyest of days. She gave Ledas a look, and he relented; now she would be leading their little pack onwards.
Wandering through the streets after his comrades, Ledas found himself laughing again, for in that moment he had looked up at the statue, read its name, and taken in its meaning – in that moment, he had remembered his mother’s voice, the smell of her hair, the feeling of her fingers caressing him gently.
Aliens squabbled and laughed, dining and sampling the dishes of a thousand different worlds. Loru Qir’s merchant streets were windy and badly-paved, descending down and up hills, and Ledas was lagging too much. That warm, reverberating feeling in his head was distracting him. He ran on, each leaping footstep kicking another old memory into his mind, before his waking eyes, like energy blasts being lit.
It was, for a moment, his mother and father, and his memories of Len and Jadu and all the rest, fighting and bleeding and dying against one another in one golden wash. His memories faded, falling out of urgency like waves against the rocks, and it was his comrades who were there again before his eyes, and he felt well.
- The name of this story references Len, the Legendary Super Saiyan, and Majin Jaduu, her most important foe.
- The first scene of this story offers us the first view of Ledas' house in a story I've published on this site. I wrote a scene in his house in a deleted scene in the Prince Vegeta Saga of Dragon Ball Z: The Forgotten, but that scene was never posted. It was not a sex scene like all of the other deleted scenes and featured a decent amount of exploration and mapping out of what his house looks like. I am not sure if I would have come up with the same idea for his house had I not already written that deleted scene.
- The first scene is mainly there to give a reason for Cyleria to tell Ledas the story, but it also allowed for me to have Cyleria interact with her son and show her motherly qualities. This is the only time that she interacts with Ledas while he is able to talk in any published story of mine (the only non-published one being the deleted scene from PVS).
- Ledas and Vegeta talked about the Legendary Super Saiyan in chapter 8 of the Prince Vegeta Saga. That firmly places this story in the timeline of my universe. A cool little tie-in too, if I do say so myself. When I wrote that chapter of PVS, I never expected this to happen.
- It's likely that Tahros' advisors told him that his bloodline would produce the Legendary Super Saiyan just to appease him. There is no way they could have known for certain.
- Tahros is slightly based on King Robert from A Song of Ice and Fire.
- The slave species rising up was likely influenced by a similar story happening to the Rakatan Empire in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.
- It goes without saying, but Ledas probably barely understands what Cyleria is saying a lot of the time. He gets the bigger concepts - that there is a Saiyan army vs slaves and the Saiyans are hopelessly outmatched, but the finer details are lost on him. It is part of his mother's teachings, part of why she tells him bedtime stories, that she says what she says anyways. This is also based on me, I have to say. My mother did this with me, and it helped me gain a larger, more diverse vocabulary at a younger age than most other people (at least in my elementary school, that is).
- Cyleria mentioning specific numbers of casualties is bound to be inaccurate. There's no way to know if she's correct or not, but it's unlikely that such specific information survived for thousands of years, especially considering it's a relatively minor part of the story.
- Saiyans have such hubris. You can't just declare that the Legendary Super Saiyan will come from your loins. That's not how it works. It's kind of funny how stupid and narcissistic the monkey can be sometimes.
- Ledas assumed the Legendary Super Saiyans were male, like pretty much everyone else.
- One of the themes of the LSS story is how inept the leadership in the Saiyan Empire is. Great Saiyans built it and weak Saiyans tore it down. That Akres would prioritize going after Radichus over trying to quell the slave rebellions is illustrative of this. He could have sent a small contingent to take out the planet. His best warrior was wasted by being sent there.
- The final line of the second scene was one of my most edited lines. I probably wrote 5-6 versions of that line before finally settling on the one I did. I wanted to focus on how the creaking open of the door broke Ledas out of the story he was hearing and how his imagination (he was closing his eyes, trying to picture all of this) was affected by the distraction.
- Layeeck was concerned about Ledas going on a mission for Frieza. He is surprised to see him back home, but also relieved, as this is the first time he's seen Ledas since the boy left on a mission for the Arcosian in chapter 7 of the Prince Vegeta Saga. I don't think he really understood how strong his son is until this moment, although he is trying to hide his emotion.
- Cyleria is correct about the 2000 years ago LSS being a female. Her mistake is thinking that it was the last Legendary Super Saiyan. That was a fun wrinkle to add into the story to give it some illegitimacy.
- The story Layeeck says about the Last Legendary Super Saiyan is the same one that Vegeta tells everyone in the Frieza Arc of Dragon Ball Z. This is because Vegeta and Layeeck are from the same tribe, so they would have been told the same stories as boys. Having the contrasting accounts of the various Super Saiyans was also fun. Additionally, both of these stories may or may not be true, as there is no guarantee that the Super Saiyans Layeeck and Cyleria mention are from the same era.
- Layeeck raises a good point about Zhukin. I don't think Zhukin could have known for certain that he was descended from the last Legendary Super Saiyan (even though he was). It is quite the mystery as to how that is actually true. I do like doing this though. This is one of the themes of the story. Things that are actually true are met with suspicion and are logically deconstructed.
- The Paragus comment was added in some days after I wrote the third scene. It tickles me good and goes with the theme I mentioned in the previous endnote. I was having a lot of fun with little things like that in this story. This story has a lot of rich lore content, so playing with all that was a treat.
- Layeeck says something very rude about women. He knows better than anyone how strong Cyleria is. I realize I haven't exactly portrayed Layeeck in the best light in the stories he's appeared in.
- Layeeck has every right to be wary of Paragus. That guy is a bit of a tosser in my opinion too. I think the way he handled the conversation with Cyleria was also showing a rare side of Layeeck, something that only comes out every now and then. His humorous side is in the same style as Ledas, so that was a cool little tidbit to add in. Of course, he's serious for the most part, so we don't get to see that often. Still pretty cool to see it at all. Honestly, I never expected to be delving into Layeeck's character so much in 2017, 4 years after finalizing his death (and 6 years after originally writing it).
- The fourth section of TMATM is longer than 71 of my stories (as of writing this commentary on 9/20/2020).
- Ledas is extremely tired as of the start of the fourth scene. That is why the stream-of-conscious parts get pretty crazy. Notice how there is minimal to no stream-of-consciousness sections in the first, third, fifth, and sixth scenes. That is because those scenes do not feature Ledas beginning to fall asleep while his mother tells him the story of the LSS. The stream-of-consciousness style is specifically tied to Ledas falling asleep.
- In the fourth scene, there is dialogue for the characters in the story, unlike in the second scene. This is because Cyleria starts really getting into it. My mom used to do that when telling me stories when I was a child.
- Cyleria describes the carnage in bloody, detailed terms in the fourth scene. This is great entertainment for Saiyans, though. This is one way in which Saiyan culture is different from human culture, and it was great fun to explore.
- I no longer used dialogue markers for the fourth scene, as Ledas is getting sleepier.
- When Cyleria asks Ledas if he's still listening, he was drifting off. Some of the story after he replies to her (and indeed, the last few words of his reply) are not posted because Ledas once more nearly fell asleep and so forgot that part.
- Cyleria almost brought up that Daikoros' men raped Radichus' surviving Saiyans, but that was a little too inappropriate for her to tell her four-year-old son. I left the awkwardness of that moment in to try to give the retelling more realism.
- Because Cyleria didn't explain the rapings, nor what that even is to Ledas, her description of the man coming over and taking Len was not very coherent. Regardless, that Saiyan did indeed wish to rape Len, for that was the only realistic outcome here. I know she's the LSS, but she doesn't know that yet, and there was no way to prevent herself from being raped, lest they kill her.
- It is implied that Daikoros possibly used both Len and Cilano as bed-slaves.
- "light carrying grey and gold over fields dug in trenches like at grandpas where we dug them into the bodies in piles and the girl and the boy and the man so huge and black scary robes the shadows of the sun hiding his face" - during this paragraph, Ledas begins to imagine the story his mother is telling him, mixing it with his own memories as he becomes too tired to put effort into remaining conscious.
- It is very likely that both Cilano and Len had been far stronger than Ledas and Layeeck. Cyleria is biased, so she doesn't think it's a possibility. But I doubt a Legendary Super Saiyan could have a base power level below 100,000, personally.
- The tragedy of Cilano was based upon my original LSS story in Dragon Ball: Legacies. The trigger for the female LSS to unlock her form was always going to be her brother's death.
- The Uagoni parasitoid larvae were slightly based on the aliens in Cloverfield as well as the aliens presented in a short-story called Bloodchild by Ursala Le Guin
- As Ledas grows more and more tired, there are larger and larger gaps in the narrative. He misses entire paragraphs worth of content, if not more, starting from after Cilano dies. This was personally useful, leaving a lot of the story shrouded in mystery. What happened can still be gleaned, but certain details are lost to time. The fourth scene was never meant to be the cleanest retelling, and it was supposed to get messier as the scene went on, anyways.
- In the fourth scene it becomes abundantly clear that Ledas has heard parts of this story before, but perhaps not all of it (he could have also fallen asleep in the past, too), for there are many details that he seems to have learned for the first time in this retelling, such as the fact that Len was a girl. He does seem to know when Len goes Super Saiyan, though. His memory is a little impatient. This part, "No that wasn’t it she turned", is when Ledas remembers Len turning Super Saiyan, but that is not the exact moment she does so, for in previous storytimes, he had fallen in and out of sleep as his mother had recounted the tale and missed some crucial details (as he is doing now, too).
- "The last Super Saiyan died because she couldn’t control her power. Nervous laughter echoing. Records are meant to be broken. This one will…" - these are lines that Vegeta said to Ledas earlier that day (in the eighth Prince Vegeta Saga chapter). The nervous laughter is Ledas' own.
- "He was sailing with her through the air" - starting with this paragraph and onwards, Ledas starts imagining himself fighting with Len, for he is impatient for his mother to get to the part of the story where she has her cool moment of power. A bit of self-depreciation there with how Ledas views Cyleria as building up too slowly in her storytelling. He is a little kid, though.
- The Ever-Apes idea was something I had thought about for a while. There were just no opportunities to use the idea before this story. Perhaps Saiyans were originally Great Apes who devolved into human-like beings. Who knows? I just thought it'd be cool if there was such a place in the distant past.
- "vegetas fist against him drawing blood tasting shame raw but we will both be super saiyans he said he promised riding the golden wind with Len burning monsters and their attacks did nothing burning out the night and there was nothing he wanted more nothing but to be like her to be her to be the next super saiyan to make vegeta proud and" - this part of the story turns personal for Ledas. Even as he is trying to have fun, imagining himself killing Ever-Apes with Len, the Legendary Super Saiyan, he can't help but feel anxiety and shame over his inferiority to the prince. He shouldn't feel bad about it. He's a year younger than Vegeta. Still, he strives for perfection, even at this age. His craving for autonomy, agency, and power is shown here, to the best of my ability, wrapped in a sense of longing and child-like naivete.
- The Cornos League is actually the Corvos League. The name degraded over years of telling this tale.
- The false Nyarin is Majin Jaduu. When I wrote From Magic to Monsters in 2014, I left myself two Majins to work with in later stories (and to potentially appear in Dragon Ball: Heart of the Dragon). There was no plan to have them appear in anything later at the time. It was just a case of having some characters that could be used if I so desired. Jaduu was one of those two. He was a false Majin, however. I decided to use Majin Sesami for HOTD, so I needed some endgame for Jaduu, as he was too powerful to leave out there lurking forever in the depths of Universe 7. Him being the "monster" in The Monster and the Maiden was one of the earliest plot points I came up with for this story.
- Another corruption in the tale is when Cyleria states that Jaduu could turn anyone to stardust with his tentacle. It's actually candy, but that detail was probably too absurd to last long in the record, and so was changed to something more befitting of Saiyan tastes.
- It is never explained why the Corvos League wanted to wake Jaduu, but most likely they were looking to capture him and add him to their ranks. However, he was too powerful and unwieldy to do such a thing and thus was loosed upon the universe, much like Buu, without any way to stop him.
- It wouldn't be fun if Len won against Jaduu the first time. It also wouldn't be Dragon Ball if the bad guy didn't underestimate his opponent.
- The Saiyan Empire had to utterly collapse before the events even of Yamoshi, in my opinion. I did not want many off-world Saiyans during the Saiyan-Tuffle War, either. There probably aren't any, truth be told. That means that billions, if not trillions are killed in the collapse of the empire.
- Akres, like every good Saiyan king, feared Len, hence why he sent an army to kill her. Akres has shown himself throughout this story to be an inept ruler, squandering resources almost as effortlessly as Tahros. When he sent Daikoros to Radichus' outpost earlier in the tale, that was extreme overkill. Sending an army to kill Len, who wanted to ally with him against Jaduu, was an awful, self-destructive strategy. Considering his empire was being attacked by multiple uprisings, outside forces, as well as Jaduu, that was a very poor decision. He doesn't have very many warriors left. Wasting so many of them against a potential ally was nothing short of foolishness.
- "My mother used to tell us about how it was precisely at this moment that the full moon arrived on the planet, and that is why all the soldiers turned into Great Apes, but I think that sounds too convenient, don’t you, Ledas? Nodding nodding. I agree. It’s more likely that someone made a Power Ball, or a similar prototype technique." - this paragraph illustrates the main theme I was going for in this story. A lot of the information presented in Cyleria's tale is unconfirmed. Much of it is likely to be true, but that's not to say all of it is. I know what the true version is, but since it doesn't affect anything in a major way, I don't think I'll ever release that.
- "The other Great Apes attacked her blindly, for even in those days, self-awareness in the form was rare outside of aristocratic bloodlines." - only the best learn to control their Great Ape forms. One of the things I like about not having GT canon to my universe is how Goku and his low-class offspring are not able to control their Great Ape forms ever.
- Len was only using Super Saiyan in her fight until she cut off her tail. Then, she used Legendary Super Saiyan (which she had unlocked during her training). She is arguably weaker without her tail, but the boost of the new transformation is enough to make up for that.
- "Well, the accounts differ on that fact. Some say she was always golden, only that her hair grew longer or even more golden. An old woman whom my mother knew in her youth claimed that Len’s hair had in fact, in that moment, changed to a blood red color, signifying a higher level of Super Saiyan. But the tale my mother knew, the one Zhukin knew, the one I believe, is that she became herself again, and her hair was black again, but her body was covered in crimson fur, almost as if she had maintained certain the apish qualities of her previous form." - I think this is pretty clear, personally. Her true form was lost to time, with varying tales springing up about it. TUN seemed to have not read this story closely in his criticism of it. I am fine with criticism, but I am not fine with bitching about something that is factually incorrect. He put, as a con for this story, that Len used SS4 when GT is not canon to my universe. What a foolish man TUN was. That was not her true form, that was just what Cyleria believed. He missed the point here, and again, it's pretty explicitly stated that nobody knows what her true form looked like. I was having a bit of fun by describing SS3, SSG, and SS4. That was apparently too complicated for TeamUnitedNerds to understand. I definitely overestimated him.
- "Mommy’s eyes distant again thinking and making" - Cyleria was thinking back to when her own mother had told her this story. Then, she goes into character fluidly. This part makes me all warm and fuzzy inside. Being able to show Cyleria be a cool mom, a loving mom, was very rewarding for me personally. Hell, just having her and Ledas interact finally (outside of the PVS deleted scene) was extremely rewarding.
- Jaduu's dialogue is definitely not accurate. He would have talked in more broken English in reality, sort of like how Fat Buu talks.
- "even though her – oh, nevermind that –" - Cyleria almost made a comment about how, in the SS4 form (which is not the true form that Len took, but the one that Cyleria believes she did, for she was told that story as a girl - I must keep harping on this for there are people of TUN's calibre or lower), Len's breasts would be exposed. It's not a big deal, as this is also the case for the female Saiyans who fight in Dragon Ball: The Great War, but it was an interesting enough comment to make. There are aspects of this story that are slightly too mature for Ledas. Cyleria doesn't censor the fighting and the blood and all that stuff, because of Saiyan culture, but the sexual stuff is something she tip-toes around.
- When Ledas imagines himself as Len fighting Jaduu, he describes Jaduu as wearing a hood and a cape. This is because Jaduu absorbed I'Khar, a very powerful hooded warrior, in From Magic To Monsters. That description of Jaduu is surprisingly accurate, all these thousands of years later.
- Near the end of the fourth scene, Ledas is falling asleep, and he can no longer stop himself (he's been trying to stay awake for the better part of that section). Thus, the stream-of-consciousness grows in usage and power. There is more cutting between what Cyleria is saying and what Ledas is imagining. Near the end of this section, as he slips into unconsciousness, the words become more fragmented than ever before, such as with how I wrote out "bloodless". Ledas wants to stay awake. This story interests him. He's trying his hardest. But the battle against sleep is one nobody can ever win, not even a Super Saiyan.
- It was a cruel twist for Ledas that he began to fall asleep just at the good part of the story (for a Saiyan like him). At least he has an active imagination.
- Layeeck did a good thing to bring Ledas inside, but he was harsh about it.
- The sanu are also talked about by Ledas in Not So Far. They're vicious predators native to Planet Vegeta.
- Layeeck completely ignored Cyleria when she asked him in an earlier section to not spread rumors about the Legendary Super Saiyan. He figured that his tribe's lore about the LSS was just as valuable as hers. He's right, in my opinion. He just can't tell a tale like she can. She had so much rich information, whether or not it was correct, that it makes her version of the story more believable and impressive. With that said, the ultimate takeaway here is that the two of them are describing different Legendary Super Saiyans. Also, Len's death is never elaborated upon, so we don't know what happened to her. I like to think that she bred with some heathen Saiyan, eventually producing enough offspring that their bloodline lasted until Zhukin. But you never know. There's no way to know for certain if Zhukin is actually descended from Len. That's part of the fun in this story for me.
- The last scene takes place during Heart of the Dragon. I will likely put this scene in that story as well, with the same dialogue, as they go to that planet to fulfill a very secret mission of theirs. It was relevant to put into this story because it confirms, in some way, Cyleria's story about the female Legendary Super Saiyan.
- The last scene makes me beam when I read it. It's like an actual scene out of Heart of the Dragon. This is the first time (and as of writing this commentary, still the only time) that I have written Ledas, Okinaro, Naemi, Vizzer, and Linessi in a scene together. Every one of them has dialogue because I wanted to get a little bit of practice in on how their relationships work before I got to HOTD. Anyways, really fun moment. Ledas' mood in this section is pretty much the same as mine. This is a very light, airy, hopeful section.
- Nostalgia is a hell of a drug. Ledas remembering his mother and the past fondly here is based on myself, I must say.
- Naemi was replaced with Rianne The Twili from July 2, 2017 until September 9, 2018. Rianne was added to the Starchasers (replacing Naemi) after I began collaborating with Yigini in mid-2017. However, I broke off the collaboration and fired her from Heart of the Dragon in September of 2018, and thus the edit was reverted.
- This is probably the most optimistic Ikigai story, all things considered.
I very much like this story. Interweaving the storytelling aspect with Ledas and Cyleria talking was super fun to do. The stream-of-consciousness parts had some real purpose to them, and I think they also evolved from how I used them in Twelve Majestic Lies. That story was good practice for me to shape that form into what it became in this story. The prose, dialogue, and scene descriptions are all how I want them. Reading this back more than three years after I originally wrote it, I am proud of this story. I don't have any major issues with it. Probably the first Ikigai story I can say that about. This is likely to be my favorite Ikigai one-shot, but we shall see when I get through the endnotes of Mountain Bird. Anyways, I had a lot of fun with this one. Playing around with history was really cool too. Writing things that may not have been entirely true, having been corrupted through time and storytellers, was fun. Jadu for a light example, is one of those instances, as his real name is spelled Jaduu. The Cornos League instead of the Corvos League is another small one. There are bigger issues that could be dubious, such as what Len actually looked like in her Legendary Super Saiyan form. But I can't ever reveal the "true" history, lest this story lose one of its main purposes. I also really had fun with the parts where Ledas starts imagining himself in the story and starts fighting Jaduu as Len, using some of his own attacks and tactics. That was so fun. This story is very optimistic, brimming with cheerful energy. It brings a smile to my face. I gotta say, that's not something I get too often with my own works.
<---- Part 94
Part 96 ---->