A/N: Chappy one guys!
A lone figure made his way across the plain. Cloaked in black, he blended into the shadows, and it would take a trained eye to make out his outline as it moved slowly around the rocks toward the forest. The forest. Only a legend where he came from, and a disputed one at that. It was here that he hoped to find the instrument that would placate the Goddess and free his people. He had made his way across the plains and oceans, searching the world to discover it. And his travels had finally taken him here, to the mountains of Berzee, the only mountain range on Terra. He sighed, longing for his home. It had been eight long years since he had escaped at fifteen, making his way as a harper, entertaining the people in taverns he stayed at in return for a meal and a bed. Such a way for a prince to make a living. He snorted. Living from mouth to mouth had changed him. The softer yet still stubborn and prideful young boy he had been changed to the dark, hard, lithe man he had become, as quick with his sword as his tongue had once been. Living in the wilds with no title to pave his way had showed him that actions spoke louder than words. In the distance he could see the watch fires of what he hoped was the town of Shar, the Warder's Place. It was called so because it was the central base for all the warders who patrolled the line between the mountains and the plains, and protected mankind from the Daemons that supposedly lived there. Vegeta snorted. He had no use for warders. Sure maybe a long time ago there had been the Ice Prince, or Princess he snickered, for Freezer, the Ice Prince and the last of the Cold Clan of Ice Giants, had been rumored to look and sound more like a woman than a man. Now whatever magic creatures who lived in the mountains had either died off or kept to themselves and posed no threat. Kakkarotto had killed Freezer off a long time ago, along with the rest of the Dark Lords, in the last of the Great Wars. He had been a Saiya-jin himself, a commoner who had been thrown out of the City and had made his way across the land, learning all the secrets of the races that lived on Terra and finally made his way to the mountains of Burzee. There he defeated the Dark Lords, bonded to a Dryad and was set up as the Eternal Woodsman, protector of the Forests of Burzee, and second only to the Spirit of Terra, the High Mother. Or so it was told. Vegeta didn't know whether to believe in that rubbish or not. But that had been thousands of years ago, before his people were cursed. Vegeta had followed Kakkarotto's supposed path across the continent, learning as much as he could about Terra and looking for the key to releasing his people. He did not know what it was or what it would look like, but he knew that if he heard it, then he would know. The Goddess would not be so cruel as to let him pass it by.
"Oi! You there boy! Who are ye and what do ye want?"
Vegeta noticed that he had made his way to the gates of the village. It would make no impression on the man to know that he was Vegeta, Crown Prince of Saiya and one of the most powerful beings on this planet. Here, the land of Saiya was as much a legend as the warders were to his people.
"I am Vega, a Harper who travels from town to town. I bring news from the north and entertain folks with my harp in return for dinner and a room." He held up the harp, made of ash saplings. His other harp, one of gold and silver, had to be left in the castle when he ran to escape the dreadful drowning and freezing.
"A Harpar do ye say?" The short bald man turned to his companion. "Go get de Master, Yamcha." The surly companion nodded to what was so obviously his superior, and turned to leave, the angle of the light from the watch fire highlighting the scars in an otherwise flawless face and casting a shadow on him not unlike horns on a servant of the Dark Lords. Vegeta wondered if it was a sign, but he was no diviner or witch.
"You there! Let the Harper in! It is disrespectful to Aedria to refuse one of her children!" A loud voice boomed across the courtyard. The gates opened slowly to reveal a tall man with three eyes. Vegeta studied him closely in shock. It must be true then. One of the old Warders did live on. No he corrected himself, for this was a young one, to young at least to be left from the Great Wars. But it was one of the old stock and the old ways, though the races that lived on the plains had once distrusted and hunted them. The spawn of daemon and human, they looked no different than that of a human, except they were much larger and had three eyes, making them the ideal watcher or warder of the boundary. "So it is true. A Saiya-jin did escape the destruction. I had heard of a Harper Saiya-jin, but never believed it. I am Tien Hawkeyes, Master Warder."
Vegeta looked at the older man in disbelief. This couldn't be the Master Warder. He had always imagined him as a grizzled old man, battle-scarred and fierce. At least if this was the warder, he might be able to trick him into telling him about the treasures the Warders kept in their vault. Supposedly, the Eight Treasures of Faerie were kept there, and Vegeta would bet anything that what he needed was there. He held out his hand to Tien. "I am Vega."
"Glad to meet you Vega!" Tien boomed, slapping Vegeta on the back companionably. "Krillen!" The short man that had first spoken to Vegeta stepped forward. "Take Vega to the Boar's Head, and get Timarash to let him play for the patrons. Tell him I sent you. I have work to do…" and he strode of to a tall building near to the gates.
"Get thee along then…" Krillen said and led the way across the streets trying unsuccessfully to make small talk. Vegeta sized up Krillen immediately. This one was a talker, and the Warder's right hand man obviously. It would do well to humor him and get some information about Shar as well. "Sorry it took so long for us to let ye in. We don't get many Harpars 'round here nowadays. 'Tis because of those cursed Faeries. They say that the Dryads be a-coming out into de world now. Looking for dere new leader. 'Tis said that Kakkarotto might be a-dying." Vegeta growled and Krillen noticed all at once the tail curled around his waist. "Beggin yur pardin, Harpar, I dinna know that ye be of the Saiya-jin type. Thou lookest like a normal feller, if ye know what I mean. I allus try me best, but 'tis hard, ye knows, with all these magical kreetures about, never know what be real and what be witchery." Vegeta nodded. "The Boar's Head be the finest tavern in town, don't'cha know. The Master must think real fine of ye if he be sending you dere. Finest ale and the sauciest barmaids, if ye know what I be saying," he winked at Vegeta, "And real fine entertainment too, now that we got Miss Bulma." Vegeta cocked an eyebrow, which encouraged the motor-mouth Krillen to start once more. "Oh she be a fine lass, strong o' limb and fair o' face, with the voice of an angel. She comes from t'owther side o' the mountains. Plays a fair pipe too." Vegeta grinned. Maybe she might have what he was looking for, then again it wouldn't hurt to try asking Krillen about the Treasures of Faerie.
"Is it true," he asked conversationally, trying to draw Krillen out further, "That the Warders keep here the Eight Treasures of Faerie?"
"Ahh so ye have been hearin those owld legends now," Krillen rubbed his beard thoughtfully. It seemed odd to Vegeta that a man could have so long a beard, yet not a hair on the whole crown of his head. "Well, seein as ye be a Harpar, I think I can trust ye to keep this to yeself. We do be holdin the Treasures o' Faerie. But they be terrible things. Instruments of destruction they be. No mortal man can look at em and not go mad. Those of the warders who locked 'em in the Chest of Daemons, went mad and blind from just lockin 'em up. No one opens the Chest o' Daemons now. 'Tis kept in the Watchtower though," and Krillen slapped his hand over his mouth. "You won't be tellin that to anyone will ye? I gotten in enough trouble wit dis 'ere mouth o' mine." Vegeta promised not to tell, and Krillen breathed a sigh of relief. "They say that the Knifes of the Dryad Queen are kept in dere, but I believe nowt of it. That Dryad Queen, Xantha, or ChiChi as she is known in de tongues of men, be alive and still up dere livin wit 'er 'usband, Kakkarotto, on de tallest mountain of dem all. But all dem things be a-changin now. If Kakkarotto dies, and dere be no one to replace 'em and watch over de world, then those Dark Lords could break free and come back to bother us agin."
"What are you talking about, the Dark Lord were destroyed!" Vegeta protested to the older man.
"Don't believe nowt o' dat boy. Thou canst not kill a Faerie! They be immortals. 'Tis only Kakkarotto who keeps 'em at bay, where dey be locked up. ChiChi the Raven-haired and Kakkarotto the Strong. Dey be special. No full Dryad ever had tresses as black as midnight. None ever will agin. And now them cursed Dryads be a-coming looking for a new Master Woodsman, stirring everything up agin, raising the old spirits, the old servants of the Dark Lords. Those Dryads bewitch their mates, and lure all men. Dey be no good. We don't allow no Dryads in dis village, though they can disguise themselves and git through anyway. Dey look like beautiful women and all, but 'taint natural, living thousands of years, bound to a tree. But dey be fine to look at that be de fact." He stopped suddenly. "Here we are. Oi! Timarash! Come 'ere!" A tall, kindly looking old man walked up to them.
"He do look like a good bit for the ladies, Krillen, but you know I don't handle such business. Try Lady Mendunga's down the street." Vegeta growled. He thought he was some sort of…of male whore!! (Ohhh and I know we all would love that! ^^ I get him first tho!)
" 'Tain't one of those Tim, dis be a genuine Harpar!" Krillen smiled and gestured to the harp slung over Vegeta's back. "Dis is Vega the Harpar!"
"Oh do pardon me boy, ye did look like some of those men that be hired by women at Lady Mendunga's. Makes good money though," he said thoughtfully, leading Vegeta to believe that Timarash wished he could be one. Vegeta felt a little sick. Saiya-jins mated for life, and had none of this…this human frivolity with bedding a mate! "Ahh, but ye be a Saiya-jin. No ye wouldn't be one. Hope no offense taken." Vegeta nodded stiffly. "Let me hear you play, and if you are good, I will give you a room and some o' the dinner for your pay." Vegeta nodded and unslung the harp from his back. Sitting in a chair in the corner of the bar, he sat the harp on his lap and began to play a somber tune, singing in his deep baritone to accompany it. He sang one of the songs of his homeland, of the creation of Terra and the birth of the Gods. "Quite good! Very good m'lad! Haven't heard that song so beautifully rendered in quite some time. I'll show you to your room so you can prepare. 'Tisn't much, but its warm and comfortable." The kindly old man led him up a flight of stairs. "Here is your room." Vegeta sat down on the bed in the dark room. Because of his Saiya-jin heritage he could see as easily in the dark as in the light. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw a flash of white and blue. Getting up, he followed the light of the candle in the distance down the hallway. He was almost caught up to the figure, moving as soundlessly as he could, when the candle went out. He looked around, looking for the small figure before he was thrust against the wall with surprising strength. A razor sharp knife was pressed to his throat and he cursed himself for leaving his sword in his room. He glared into the eyes of his attacker, noticing the odd deep blue of them. A musical woman's voice asked,
"Who are you and what do you want?!"
Yay! The first chappy! *dances* hope you guys liked it!!!