NOTE: Most parts in italics are excerpts from William Shakespeare's works. And before all of you are yelling at me for writing a tragedy, just read it. After that you can comment as you like. You can contact me email@example.com
But remember, this story is mine and mine alone, the characters in it are shaped by another, yet they bare just his name, nothing more, the story, its skeleton and content is MINE. Do not use any of this content in any way or form without my written permission or nasty things will happen. Thank you very much.
All parts NOT written in italics (including the small rhymes and poems featured in the story written exclusively for it) are mine and mine only.
About the Japanese parts: I added those for fun, I know my story is set in England, who cares? It's meaning can be read in the context, if not it is not of elemental importance to the story's spine.
Ah and thankies to Toriyama-sensei for letting me borrow his characters… ~_^ apart from the ones I made up, they’re his.
Before I forget: this is an A/U, cos there is no Queen Elizabeth in this story, except for the styles etc, and there is no flying or ki-blasts (don't be fooled though). Well, that'll be all.
---Jorieke a.k.a. JoSav, the author… ^^
DEDICATION: Special thanks to Wynora. She has helped me not only to build enough confidence to write this but by simply being a good friend. Thanks girl! Also thanks to Adimra for posting this story and providing me with the subject. ^^ And last but not least I must thank YOU, the ones that comment on my stories and vote for me (hopefully). Enjoy!
The Slated Elements Of Warfare
Preface ---Much Ado About Nothing---
Out, out brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
I set down my pencil, sighing. I know what fate lies before me as I whisper these last words to a deuced piece of refined woodwork. A tale told by an idiot. A tale of an ending I had not anticipated nor desired.
The woman I loved is dead. Her death clots to my blood stained hands, her undaunted strife for the pure and courtly love she refused to forsaken even as she stood before the altar, a man by her side she did not love, she had not chosen, burns its way into my soul, disrupting my once so proud being.
I know not what made her love me. Her preference towards my person, so confusing, flooding me with a regret even greater than anything I felt at extant.
Her name draped in shrouds and darkness, flutters haughtily exuberant through my forsaken mind. I now realize I dissipated and squandered my youthful life with combat, rivalry and shameless toil for grandeur. Bulma: a name, never to pass my lips again whilst my meaningless life continues. A name, oppressing my tainted heart with grievance I cannot fetter nor grasp, thus cannot overcome.
A man's heart, full of sorrow and anger, shrivelled, faded, pallor to the death bound darkness falling upon the ashes of my soul. Blood stained hands, and from within I spread my wings of everlasting hate, perpetual fury, I cast a shadow equal to this aching of which I know not the outcome.
Damn thy depraved embodiment of evil! Damn thy perfidious predicament, thy endorsing perdition of a once so buoyant vitality! Indulge not thyself in the passion of love, jealousy and fear, whetting the sword, grinding the edge of a long foreseen downfall, set to wound breast of thine, destined to destroy thy loved.
And only now do the words pass my lips…
I love you, Bulma. Aish'teru yo…
Before thee lies my heart, tainted, for all eternity.
And I relate a story of butterfly kisses, vivacious glances, and tantalizing agony.
My name? Prince Vejiita of the Saiyajin, Lord of the Grand Kingdom of England. A name acknowledging a life of splendour and copious abundance, something I wish to abandon without further ado just to hold her in my arms once more, to tell her I love her at length, in an attempt to drown out the times I refused to return her profound and sincere declaration. But it will be inane, for she is gone. Forever. For ever and a day.
Fragment One ---Measure for Measure---
The man that hath no music in himself,
Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds,
Is fit for treasons, stratagems and spoils,
The motions of his spirit are dull as night,
And his affections dark as Erebus:
Let no such man be trusted: - Mark the music.
---A juvenile spring morning, six moons earlier.
Foam covered the horse's flanks, soundlessly expressing the animal's exhaustion. The chestnut gelding was manoeuvred passed the crowded market square with practiced ease by its ebon haired rider.
While passing a booth stalling luscious amounts of dates, passionfruit, off-season apples, and strawberries, the rider un-sheeted his long double edged sword and pinned a boldly ripe, almost sapphire coloured apple onto his blade.
"Hey! You'd better pay for that!" shouted the ignorant but courageous merchant's grandson.
The crowd that had gathered onto the square either to buy or sell, fell silent and looked upon the young boy incredulously. The boy's grandfather, the booths' merchant, whimpered in fear for the boy's life in opposing one of the Lord's messengers.
Defiantly, and with a disdain smirk on his face, the rider took a bite of the nutritious fruit. "Better not tempt me in killing you, kid," the dark haired soldier said in between bites, "All within sight belongs to he who is chosen by the Almighty God to rule, divide, and conquer." He tilted his head and grinned, tossing up the fruit. "Including this stupid apple."
The youth narrowed his eyes, fury apparent in his ice-cold stare, fear seemingly not present. "We pay taxes, you pay for the apple!" he yelled, grabbing hold of the gelding's bridles.
The black haired soldier snorted and kicked the boy, making him fall back against the stall, tipping it over and making the fruit spread like water from a river.
Startled, the horse reared, almost throwing its rider. The animal yelped as his black haired master spurred him in umbrage, leaving the square for what it was.
Erect walls rose up massively before the horseman, wide portals to the King's unequalled lair. Guards looked down from the crenels at the sides of the vast, with iron-enforced, gate. Steel spears pointed down, aimed at the mounted stranger.
"Anata wa dare desu ka?!" demanded one of the keepers.
The black haired messenger shouted at them impatiently, trying to appease his sturdy, yet sensitive horse. "Kinkyu chokurei da!"
He reached from inside his saddlebag and held out a, with golden lace ornamented and a seal enclosed, scroll, swaying it from left to right above his head. "Chokurei da!" he repeated impatiently, implying on the importance of the message, revealing slight annoyance, "Hayaku! Hurry up!"
The surprised guards unlocked the massive gate, as the rider let his restless horse turn several times before the gate had finally opened enough for him to force his horse inside the narrow passage, onto the courtyard.
In the centre of the courtyard, a small unit of soldiers practiced in the early morning sun. None of them took notice of the mounted stranger except for the sergeant who solely raised an eyebrow and left it at that.
He passed several other keepers, histrionically shouting and waving about the scroll in order to pass through without any further delay.
When a stone staircase at the foot of an enormous bastion was within range, he jumped off his horse and ran, making his way up.
Showing the royal seal of the Gloucester Dukedom, embedded on the scroll, he was lead with no further hesitation into the vast corridors of the castle. As an officer of the King's Royal Guard accompanied him, he marched through the arched corridors within a maze of galleries and chambers before reaching the council hall.
Lord Vejiita sat on a golden throne, in the centre of an awe-inspiring pedestal at the rear wall of the council hall. All walls were ornamented with tapestries narrative of past victories and conquests, depicting on the divine stature of Saiyajin over the plain and common people of Human origin.
He was bored to say the least. Warfare had no longer the shine and glory it had a decade ago and frankly, it pissed him off.
The Saiyajin Prince, usually referred to as Lord or King, snorted. He was not amused. This morning had he attempted to set aside his bottled up anger and frustration regarding his army's inability in tracking down Son Goku of Locksely, and his own impotence tracing his closest foe; he had not been able to.
The keepers by the massive oak door at the other end of the chamber stepped aside, indicating someone was about to enter. Lord Vejiita sat up, quirked an eyebrow, as he did not expect a visitor nor any of his councillors or nearest in command.
In the doorway stood his loyal lieutenant of the Royal Guard, Kosho, who saluted his superior. Vejiita nodded at him approvingly though somewhat provoked in being disturbed at this time of the day.
"Lord! The Messenger of the Duke of Gloucester, Sir Radditz, has brought to thee a message of great importance!" The Royal Guard bowed in respect before his King.
Vejiita let his eyes drift in the direction of the tall black haired man standing beside the lieutenant, waiting for a response from the panting soldier.
The messenger saluted the Saiyajin-no-Ouji before gathering his breath to speak.
"Lord, I have come to thee from the far Dukedom of Gloucester. Not solely on the account of Sir Radditz," he paused for an instant, catching his breath, "moreover I was sent by thy Royal Shieldsman, Sir Nappa of Lancaster." He struck a fist against his chest, bent over in respect on one knee, head lowered, awaiting the Lord's approval.
Vejiita stretched out one arm, refusing to stand, his hand reaching without effort, its back facing the tenured floor of the pedestal.
The exhausted soldier rushed forward, handing the scroll over.
The Lord's eyes remained unreadable, denying any of those on hand of a single indication of the message's content.
"Very well," said the Saiyajin-no-Ouji, "Kosho…"
"See to it that this man is brought food, clothing and a serf. Have his horse watered and when you send him back let him take the message my Royal Advisor will bring to you. That'll be all. Thou art all dismissed."
As the visitors left, the royal Saiyajin rubbed his chin in contemplation. "Oh, one more thing, lieutenant…"
The officer turned, once more facing his superior. "Milord." He nodded once.
"Gather my Councillors for an emergency meeting."
Then, all left the Council Hall to leave the Saiyajin-no-Ouji to himself, undoubtedly reflecting on the errand he had just gotten.
In the Second Council Hall, a smaller secret chamber behind the First, no ornaments were in abundance apart from the heavy, ponderous oaken board-table.
Vejiita's Royal Council had gathered, awaiting their leader's deposition considered the emergency meeting. The proud Saiyajin, Lord Vejiita, entered the Second Council Hall without any fuss or tumult, wearing a simple plus fours and topcoat.
He sat down at the end of the table and nodded at his council.
"Gentlemen of the Royal Council, I have called for thy convocation on the account of an errand that was brought to me in the name of not only Sir Radditz of Gloucester yet more so out designation of my personal Shieldsman, Sir Nappa."
"What about the purport of this errand, Sire?" asked one of the councillors.
Vejiita furrowed his brow, clinging to his patience. "Silence!" he snapped, "I shall come to its tenor presently."
Lord Vejiita coughed, a hand enclosing the scroll. "Sir Radditz has announced his betrothal to the daughter of the Count of Thüringen, a shire in distant Germany…"
"But Sire," a golden skinned Councillor interrupted, "Thou cannot have convened us to ventilate the undertaking of that peasant's son, Radditz, to a farmer's daughter from a distant province in Germany?!"
Vejiita took a deep breath, his eyes gliding towards the Councillor, covered with a grace yet irritation that startled all. "I have not. Radditz may be brother to my gravest rival; I have stridden and marched by his side into combat, advancing upon the enemy successfully for years, even before thee had outgrown thine mother's breast. Despite Radditz being too eager for wealth and power, born out of a pauper, I consider him a friend, of which I am denied abundance. Moreover, the Count of Thüringen is far greater and beyond wealth of a mere farmer's, or even a duke's, for bear in mind, on the mainland classification is divided quite differently. The matter Sir Nappa has brought of interest, which will also be the reason I shall engage on a trip to Gloucester, is the following…"
For a moment Vejiita paused as he addressed all Councillors beyond the one he had applied to earlier.
"I have decided so, clandestinely on the account of a not avowed opportunity in disheartening the carpet of insurrection spread amidst my Kingdom at the arrival of Son Goku of Locksely, born as a not to speak of penury almoner, and brother to Sir Radditz of Gloucester. By degrees, I shall kill him." Lord Vejiita clenched a hand into a fist, slamming it down onto the table to emphasize to his statement.
The set of six sorrels pulled a coach of ornamented black pine. The landscape rushed by as the horses made their way through, accompanied by a massive escort of soldiers. Inside, two women were seated, one middle aged blond woman, the other a teenage girl with a rare aquamarine hair colour, eyes the bluest a man would ever lay eyes upon.
"Mother, please…" she pleaded.
"Ah and not only must we have the King's tailor design you a dress, we must also see to it proper invitations are sent out to the wealthy of thine father's aristocracy court and that of his confidants. And before I forget…"
The girl, leaning her cheek upon her hand, sighed. "Mother, please…"
"Bulma dear, sit up, you wouldn't want the Count of Gloucester to mistake you for a country lass, now would you, dearest?"
The aquamarine haired girl sighed, louder this time. "Mama, I am a country lass."
Shocked for her daughter's blunt declaration, the woman gasped. "Bulma! Don't say such slanderous profanity!"
"Mother, it's the truth. Papa was a farmer when thee met him. Not even so, he was lansquenet."
The girl fell silent, only for an instant. "Mama, why cannot I marry a man I love, like thee hast?"
"Oh Bulma…" her mother said, reaching out a hand to hold her child. "Oh, my sweetest Bulma…" again she paused, "Sometimes, thou art not in the position of receiving what the heart desires."
The girl wept in her mother's arms. Life was one of tough choices between the heart and mind.
Glimpse of a caress
Forgetting Cerberus' portal
Merely at the sight of you
With obstinacy and a childlike grace
I do not seem to care less
Even amidst a wed and betrothal
That shan’t be to my loved, shan’t be to you
I elevate and soar, unmistakably thinking of you
Fragment Two ---The Two Noble Kinsmen---
O mistress mine, where are you roaming?
O stay and hear, your true love's coming,
That can sing both high and low.
Trip no further, pretty sweeting:
Journeys end in lovers meeting,
Every wise man's son doth know.
What is love? 'Tis not hereafter,
Present mirth hath present laughter:
What's to come is still unsure.
In delay there lies no plenty,
Then come kiss me, sweet and twenty:
Youth's a stuff will not endure.
The King felt no necessity in arriving amidst excess and abundance, not only had he brought a mere amount of fifty costumes, he had also solely taken the silver carriage instead of his golden travel-coach he usually took in such occasions.
He sat in his carriage, waiting for one of the porters to open the silver-embedded door. Another coach approached, one of ornamented black pine, and the sorrels were pulled up beside his snow-whites, obscuring the King's way in stepping out of the carriage.
Vejiita bared his teeth in annoy. "Don't these people know who I am?"
Half hidden in the shadow of the curtains inside his carriage, he tried to catch a glimpse of the person inside the coach by his.
Eyes as blue as the sky in mid-summer met his and he was startled by the brightness of her glance. She was a beautiful creature, something he had never laid eyes upon. Being the King, he was presented with the finest women in all of England, even beyond. But never, never in his life had he seen eyes bewitching him like these did.
Then, she looked away, avoiding his glance and no matter how he tried, he did not find its blueness again. Then, the azure-eyed beauty alighted, as did the woman sitting by her side.
Vejiita stared for a moment longer, hoping to catch but yet another glimpse of her.
The pinewood coach moved and he was rewarded with a returned glance.
In the passage of Sir Radditz' household, she looked behind, finding his eyes. She smiled half heartily, and he realized instantly, she had to be Radditz' affianced. When she turned away again, pulled inside by her chaperone or perhaps her mother, he opened his mouth and subconsciously revealed his thoughts as the coachmen stepped off the box in front to help the porter in opening the carriage-door.
"How she leans her cheek upon her hand! O that I were a glove upon that hand, that I might touch that cheek!"
"My apologies, Sire? What in the Almighty's Name dost thou mean, if I may be that blunt?" a confused porter asked, holding up the door.
"Nothing, servant, I mean nothing. And I certainly have not the obligation in being called to account by a mere attendant. Now, announce to the Duke I have arrived before I will be forced in having you killed," he snorted irritably, readjusting his gloves.
"By all means, certainly, Your Majesty. My apologies."
"O shut up, you tedious fool. Your sin is not accidental but a trade."
"Yes, Your Majesty." And again, the servant bowed before his highness.
Again, Bulma looked behind her, desperately seeking the man's ebon stare that had awaken such old feelings inside of her. His stare somewhat reminded her of the stable boy's black eyes. She had fallen head over heels in love with the carefree youth, only two years ago. Yamucha…
An aureole had radiated from those eyes, ebon as night, a stare grasping for her soul, shivering her existence.
She found them for an instant, only to be pulled away by her mother.
When she attempted to focus her thoughts again, she turned to the blond woman by her side.
"Mama," she asked, "who was that man?"
"What man, dear?"
Bulma bit the inside of her lip thoughtfully. "That man in the carriage beside ours, with the white horses."
Bulma's mother showed no interest as she yelled at the pages and buttons to be more careful with the luggage.
"Mama…" Bulma whined.
"I don't know who he was, Bulma," her mother finally answered, obviously not interested, "Probably one of Sir Radditz' guests."
Bulma sighed inwardly. Looking about her, letting all unalloyed wealth sink in. Oh Yamucha, why did you leave me?
In one of the excessively fitted up chambers of Radditz' castle, sat two men, dusting off an old friendship.
"Ah, Vejiita, you old devil," Radditz quipped dryly, holding up a glass of Etruscan wine, "It's been a God damned while, hasn't it?"
"It certainly has, and on my account, it could have been longer," the Royal Saiyajin commented, also holding up a glass, "Saluté."
Lord Vejiita's Shieldsman, Sir Nappa, stood in the far right corner of the room. He watched his superior closely, awaiting a moment for him to lend his ears in solitude.
After a laugh or two, Radditz excused himself, admitting he had to meet up with his fiancée as she had arrived over an hour ago, accompanied by her mother, the Countess of Thüringen.
Vejiita snorted the moment Radditz had left the room. Setting down his glass of wine rather roughly, causing the red substance to dash and heave like an ocean within itself, he hollered at his Shieldsman.
Sir Nappa of Lancaster did not wait for his master to repeat himself and rushed forward, answering gradually as he made his way across the chamber.
"Yes, Vejiita," he spoke, being unaware of the knowledge he was one of the few calling him by his name without a suffix or title.
"Nappa, I have changed my mind."
"Um…" Nappa hesitated, not quite understanding, "What do you mean?"
"I have changed my mind in killing Kakarotto tonight, you mindless fool," Vejiita snarled, "I'll have plenty of opportunities in taking him down in the future…"
"But Vejiita," Nappa protested, finally understanding, "tonight will be perfect!"
"Shut up and listen, you idiot," Vejiita growled, pulling Nappa down by his collar to see eye to eye, "You find out for me who Radditz' affianced is, where and when she sleeps, what she eats, what she likes, and dislikes. Find out all there is to find out about her, and do it now."
Nappa knew not much, but he did know never to let Saiyajin Royalty repeat themselves. Thus, he rushed out of the room and did what the Saiyajin-no-Ouji had told him to.
Son Goku of Locksely, or Kakarotto by which name he was born, leaned against a weeping willow, in the enormous garden by his brother's castle, near one of many ponds, watching his beloved wife feed the ducks.
"ChiChi," he said to her, "although I wish matters were different, I am almost positive Vejiita will pull something tonight."
ChiChi did not turn to him when she answered and continued feeding the ducks and swans. "Goku-sa, Vejiita won't kill thee. He has not the courage, nor the strength."
Son Goku smiled, ChiChi was bold and wise and sometimes he wondered if those qualities rubbing off on him were the main reason so many called him a hero, his wife included.
The black haired woman turned to him. "What are you smiling about?" she asked.
"Nothing really," he replied, his smile wavering for only a moment.
"I love you Goku-sa," ChiChi whispered as she walked up to him, looking for a tender embrace.
As he held her in his arms, his smile grew wider, almost to goofy proportions.
"I believe you are right, ChiChi, I really believe you are."
ChiChi nor Goku heard the complaints from hungry birds at the pond; neither did they notice anything else but their strong, ongoing love for one another.
Bulma sighed as she brushed her long aquamarine hair, looking into a golden edged mirror.
"Hurry up, dear," said her mother, "Sir Radditz will receive us within a matter of minutes. We must look our best."
Bulma did not show the slightest interest considered her fiancé. Again, she sighed, muttering as she tried to untangle bits and parts of her hair.
Her mother rolled her eyes, walked up to her daughter, taking over the task in taming Bulma's travel-bewildered mane. Bulma closed her eyes hurtfully, each time her mother pulled at her hair.
"What you don't seem to understand, young lady," she fenced at her aquamarine haired youth, "is that you have no choice but to marry this man. I have tried my best in meeting your demanding nature by compromising on the slightest provocation… but truth is, not many wish to engage on a marriage with our family…"
"Right, as if all of this mess is my fault!" Bulma exclaimed angrily, "I'm not the one who married a lansquenet! I'm not the one engaging on a war against the southern Saxony. I'm not the one forcing up the taxes beyond reasoning! I'm not the one dressing like a man, living amidst commoners before marrying one of them."
"But you did fall in love with a stable boy, bringing your family to shame, losing your maidenhood to an unwed commoner, a dung scooper!"
Tears welled in the blond woman's eyes and she dropped the brush, falling to her knees behind the girl.
"Mama," Bulma pleaded, "I… I didn't mean to."
"Mama," she repeated, "I promise I will be a good wife to Sir Radditz. I'll try to make thee a little more proud of me despite all I did to bring thee to shame. I am sorry, mama, I am so sorry…"
"Oh Bulma," the blond woman whispered in between sobs, "I am already proud of you."
Bulma was on the brink of crying as well but her mother stopped her. "Don't you dare, young lady," the middle aged woman warned, "don't you dare smothering your make up."
Bulma smiled, and her mother returned it by curling up her lips as well, hugging the girl. "My daughter," she sighed, "my precious daughter."
Nappa returned two hours after he had been sent out. It had been easier to collect information about the woman than he had thought, which pleased him, and hopefully, would please his King equally.
"Sire, I have done as you ordered," Nappa said as he saluted Lord Vejiita.
"Good. What have you got for me?" Vejiita replied, turning his eyes towards the tall and broad Saiyajin, "Sit down and tell me."
The moustached man sat down, coughed and launched out.
"Her name is Bulma Briefs, 17 years old, loves country life but is only used to luxury. Her mother on the other hand lived amidst commoners during the years of war against Saxony. She had become Countess at the age of fourteen and at the death of both her parents on Saxon territory she foolishly took up arms against them. Thanks to her current husband, usually called Dr. Briefs for his insight in warfare, the war ended in victory. She then married him, who actually was nothing more than a lansquenet, and had a daughter, Bulma. Truth was…"
"Get on with it, to the point, Nappa!" Vejiita complained.
"Well two years ago, Bulma fell in love with the household's stable boy, Yamucha, and, believing they'd spend the rest of their lives together, she lost her virginity to him. Bringing her family to shame, the mother had great difficulty in finding a suitable marriage partner, certainly after this Yamucha died of typhoid and no one was left willing to wed the girl. Eventually they found a willing candidate in…"
"Radditz," Vejiita filled in, angrily clenching a hand into a fist.
"Right," Nappa responded, "She doesn't seem so eager to marry him though, much to her mother's aggravation. She regularly believes in true love, refusing Radditz for months on end, and the only reason she approved of marrying the fool ultimately is to save her family name."
"Interesting," the Saiyajin-no-Ouji commented, "So she's a proud little devil, isn't she?"
"I believe so, Sire."
"When will her betrothal to Radditz be officially announced?" Vejiita asked.
"Tomorrow evening, Sire."
Vejiita fell silent for an instant, calculating the situation.
"So, I can kill Kakarotto tonight after all…" The King decided.
"Ah yes Sire, I have set up a perfect plan," Nappa piped up suddenly.
"To hell with thy plans, Nappa!" Vejiita opposed, "All you have to do is distract Radditz during dinner whilst I take upon the rest. And that's all you need to know, you spineless fool."
Nappa lowered his head.
"Is that clear, you idiot?"
"Yes, Vejiita," Nappa replied, his words almost sounding shrill and soft.
"I said is that clear, and better not call me by my name again, you moron!" the angered Saiyajin sneered.
"Yes, Milord, I understand," Nappa chided in a clear tone of voice.
"Perfect." And the King narrowed his eyes dangerously, his lips curled into a smirk. "Tonight, Kakarotto, I shall kill thee myself." Vejiita of the Saiyajin stood and left the chamber, retreating to his own quarters in preparation to tonight's festivities, moreover, for an often-deferred assassination that would finally take place: the murder of Son Goku of Locksely.
Lord Vejiita seemed to have forgotten entirely about his gnawing interest in the young woman named Bulma. But for how long he could divert his own attention, was more of question at this point.
A long table, lain for over a hundred guests, was the clear centre of the wide dining hall of Radditz' castle, despite the great amount of room open for performance by dancers and other widely varied entertainment planned throughout the lustre and splendour of an undoubtedly protracted evening.
When the guests made their way into the chamber, alluring tablets enriched with stuffed hogs, pheasants, wild geese and other poultry were brought in, celebrating the table amidst silver covers. Rare and expensive wines from distant Turkey and Spain were presented in richly ornamented ancient Greek amphorae.
Lord Vejiita recognized many of the guests: finest of England's aristocracy were present; his eyes traced them all, never resting on each individual for a moment too long, not even as his eyes passed his greatest rival, Son Goku of Locksely, or Kakarotto as he himself preferred to call him. But as his eyes found the patch the blue-eyed girl he had seen earlier was seated at, she met up with his gaze, and he could feel his cheeks flare up like a raging inferno.
In a foolish and futile attempt to cover up his blush, he turned away, placing his thumb and index finger at the bridge of his nose, brow furrowed, trying to catch a grip on this unfamiliar sensation. A king was never to blush, certainly not in public, and never, absolutely never before a woman.
He stood from his chair, signalled to Nappa, wordlessly, not to get up. He excused himself, on the account of he was not feeling that well. And he strode out of the room, leaving somewhat dumbfounded guests behind.
Vejiita cursed inwardly, shouting soundlessly, for making such utter fool of himself. Chances to retain his wavering grasp upon his kingdom, seemed to slip right from under him, certainly now. His plan of murdering Kakarotto had fallen to the ground. Angrily, he marched through the maze of corridors, seeking no destination in particular. Then, he stood, motionless, listening.
Pacing of feet reached his keen hearing,
Still, with narrowed eyes, and lips akin,
The royal man could not determine
To whom or which the feet belonged
Steps and strides that kept on nearing,
And then, flashed his eyes, his fury prolonged
Humility, shame, loss of face fearing,
He turned and exclaimed, pent-up spurn from within…
"Oh, you heedless jolthead and unmannered slave!! Nappa, away you three inch fool!"
The girl stopped in her tracks and stared.
Vejiita did the same, almost huffing an apology, yet the Saiyajin corrected himself before finishing even a single word. He snorted, an ice-cold stare seemingly protruding the girl. Ultimately, words did leave his once compressed lips. "What are you gawking at, misfit harpy?!" he barked dangerously.
She, too, narrowed her eyes, its blueness overshadowed by a growing madness. She parted her lips, gathering her breath to speak.
Vejiita simply waited, arms folded, finding her darkened beauty fascinating.
"Tempt not too much the hatred of my spirit, for I am sick when I do look on thee. He heareth not, he stirreth not, he moveth not, the ape is dead."
As she had spoken, the girl turned and made her way back to the party in a firm and confident stride.
Vejiita frowned. Never had a woman spoken to him in such manner, never had a Human dared calling him an ape to his face. When his brain reconnected with his body, he ran after her and grabbed her by the arm, turning her around.
And again eyes as blue as a mid-summer sky, brighter than that of the great ocean on a clear and cloudless day, looked upon him in wonder.
T’is the moment touching me
And the portals to her soul
Darken with an untarnished rage
Serenity of an ocean untamed and free
A blink of lashes swallows me whole
Like a small humming bird locked up in a cage
Grasping such perfection my sole, unimpaired goal
Unequalled beauty setting man and country at wage
When catching a glimpse of such spread out splendour
The Trojan Horse cannot fetter nor deny
And at a vivacious glance one dost surrender
A country, a man, crushed at the blink of an eye
Depraved heart will be her steppingstone of defeat
As a blissful wind touches her smile and carries her voice
Senses entangle when lover’s eyes meet
And the man can see, he hath not a choice.
Fragment Three ---The Twelfth Night---
But love, first learned in a lady's eyes,
Lives not alone immured in the brain
But with the motion of all elements
Courses as swift as thought in every power
And gives to every power a double power,
Above their functions and their offices.
It adds a precious seeing to the eye:
A lover's eyes will gaze an eagle blind.
A lover's ear will hear the lowest sound
When the suspicious head of theft is stopp'd.
Love's feeling is more soft and sensible
Than are the tender horns of cockled snails.
Love's tongue proves dainty Bacchus gross in taste,
For valour, is not Love a Hercules,
Still climbing trees in the Hesperides?
Subtle as Sphinx; as sweet and musical
As bright Apollo's lute, strung with his hair.
And when Love speaks, the voice of all the gods
Make heaven drowsy with the harmony.
Never durst poet touch a pen to write
Until his ink were tempered with Love's sighs.
O, then his lines would ravish savage ears
And plant in tyrants mild humility.
From women's eyes this doctrine I derive:
They sparkle still the right Promethean fire;
They are the books, the arts, the academes,
That show, contain and nourish all the world;
Else none at all in aught proves excellent.
Radditz looked about him. Tradition learned affianced would spend at least and only one dance together the evening before the betrothal was to be officially announced yet he had not seen his fiancée during dinner, nor afterwards. And evenso refusing to admit his worry, he was truthfully very eager to know where the girl was.
"Countess," he addressed Bulma's mother as the latter turned to face him, a foolish smile touching her cheeks.
"Ah, what honour, Sir Radditz!" the woman exclaimed enthusiastically, and she took Radditz by the arm to seduce him into a courtly dance.
The longhaired Saiyajin looked about him and moved in opposite nature, obviously attempting to escape the countess' grip. He looked at the woman now, asking her a question, yet demanding an answer.
"Wherefore art thee daughter, Countess?"
The blond woman showed him a broad smile, bright rows of teeth revealed. "She needs her beauty sleep, Sir Radditz," she improvised, "She has an important day ahead of her."
Radditz narrowed his eyes, deepening his frown. "What about the tradition?"
"Screw tradition!" Bulma's mother commented amusedly, "Art thee not up for a slight fracture in rules sometimes, Sir Radditz? Art thee genuinely such old fashioned gentleman? Sometimes one must loosen up a bit, shaking the hips, in seductive suggestion!"
The countess threw up a hand and lead Radditz into a swirl, almost knocking him off his feet, leading the dance in manners a woman was not expected to.
Foulmouthed woman, he thought.
The feathery and soothing caress of sunrise embraced the dewing landscape with bliss. Thin and rare, clouds drift by, stretching in never challenged freedom. Bird song enlightened the air, enriching the serenity of this ongoing salvation.
He snorted. For the surroundings fed the urge inside him to crush all within sight. He narrowed his eyes and bit his lip to keep it to himself.
His thoughts drifted further inside of him, reminiscent to a night before. For some reason his fury had been gone the moment he had looked into those pools of azure perfection belonging to an affianced teenage girl. Bulma was her name. And never had such strong emotions squeezed his heart with Herculean force it made him quiver. He sighed and deepened his scowl in hopes of washing the feelings away by doing so.
Hooves echoed into the valley from southwest direction. He did not turn to look who approached. Frankly, he did not care who the person might be. Thus, he sat down, leaning against a tree, arms folded, legs splayed out onto the moist emerald grass these valleys were famous for.
"Good morning!" A female voice cheered gaily and ridiculously loud.
Without moving, his eyes slid upwards. She seemed even more beautiful in the serene morning sun. For the horseman was not a man but the fairest girl he had seen in his life. He scowled at her but in frightful horror he realised he had not an urge strong enough to remain doing so. Instead, his lips curled into a half lit smile as he nodded at her. "Oh is it?" he asked.
She smiled at him when she elegantly jumped off her horse and splayed out her dress to sit beside him. She pressed her lips together as if searching for a reply.
Just when he thought she wasn’t going to respond, she opened her mouth and spoke, her eyes revealing an engraving sense of uncertainty, melancholy and grief. "No, thou art right, it is not."
"Then why in My N… The Saiyajin Lord’s Name are you acting so goddamned cheerful?!"
She looked up to him. "I do not know."
Vejiita scowled, his eyes dark, reflecting not the slimmest emotion. "Even Hades himself does. Admit it: you do know."
She blinked, startled by his bluntness. She furrowed her brow, somewhat annoyed by his remark. "Fine, I know it’s obvious I do not love Sir Radditz back. But what’s it to you?!"
"Not much," Vejiita replied amusedly, "But I tell thee this, woman," he continued, "wed him and thou shan’t commit thineself."
She deepened her scowl, knitting her brow infuriatingly. "What’s that supposed to mean?"
"Thee, country lass from Germany, knows not much, or dost thee?" the Saiyajin stated dryly.
"I know more than you will ever find out! You don’t know what I’ve been through! How dare you?! Who are you anyway?!" Bulma shouted, scrambling to her feet futilely.
Vejiita only smirked. Then, the aquamarine haired girl tipped over and fell flat to her face in front of him.
He could not suppress a grin but was chastised ruthlessly with a glare that startled him to an extent that would be unheard of for this impervious man.
Radditz walked down the mould path of his castle’s garden. He scowled and jammed his hands into the pockets of his plus fours. Kicking up dirt, he did not notice his brother stood at the end of the path until he nearly bumped into him.
"Whoa there, big bro," Goku said, handing him a sincere yet ridiculous smile, holding him at a distance with one big hand enclosed on the other Saiyajin’s shoulder.
"What do you want, Kakarotto?" he asked, looking away to avoid his boyish, almost blinding, smile.
"What’s bugging you, Radditz?" Son Goku asked, still being his cheerful self, "Can I help?"
Radditz walked over to the pond and sat down at the bank, looking over the water. "Kakarotto…"
Goku leaned against a tree, folding his arms and waited for Radditz to continue.
The latter picked up a stone from beside him and threw it into the water, making it bounce up twice before it sank to the bottom of the pond. "Do you love ChiChi?"
The Son lowered an eyebrow, half-frowning. "Of course I do! And she loves me too!" He smiled, then paused for an instant. "What do you mean?"
Radditz snorted. "Of course you would. Figures, really," he muttered under his breath before resuming. "You have seen my fiancée, haven’t you?"
Goku blinked… what was he getting at? "Sure I have! She’s pretty!" And he showed him a peace sign despite Radditz' back being turned to him.
The longhaired Saiyajin dug his fingers into the soil at the pond’s bank and bared his teeth, closing his eyes in frustration and retained anger. For perhaps he could not see his brother’s childish and ignorant demeanour, he could certainly feel it.
"Wait, let me help you up," he huffed as she tried to scramble to her feet again, only to fail.
When he reached out a hand to back her up she shoved it away. "I don’t want your help!" she exclaimed angrily.
She tripped again, standing on the ends of her long dress and as Vejiita stood to catch her if necessary, she fell and landed straight in his arms, her face against his broad well-muscled chest.
He looked down to her emotionlessly. "And what do you think had happened if I hadn’t been here?"
She frowned as he gestured to the back with his head. Then, as she looked passed him, she noticed the tree this man had been sitting by stood at the edge of a hilltop and so did they, a wild river rushing by far below. She gasped when the height made her head spin and she seemed to lose balance a fourth time. She still would have fallen after all if he had not held her.
"Why not just let me fall and let it look an accident?" she humourlessly said as she freed herself from his grip.
Vejiita smirked. "You haven’t the pluck fit for it, woman."
Bulma scowled at him, her hands at her hips. "Oh yeah?" she challenged him, "Well I certainly have the reasons!" She lifted her dress up slightly, enabling her to move more freely as she rushed forward and leapt off the cliff.
Saiyajin eyes widened and an arm reached out to grab her. Her fingers slid over his arm and as they reached his own, he grasped and enclosed them, unwilling to let go.
"Woman!" he gasped in between clenched teeth, "Are you insane?!"
Bulma only screamed.
"What the hell were you thinking, jumping off a cliff like that?!"
Bulma simply kept on screaming.
Vejiita pulled, and tried to look for a way to let his feet find enough support not to fall in after her. His ears started ringing with her continued shrieks. "O for God’s sake woman, shut up!!"
"No, you shut up!" she retorted, still dangling over a river by one hand, "You’re not the one hanging above a wild river a hundred yards from under you!"
"Well I’m not the one stupid enough to jump!" the Saiyajin replied irritably, a vein on his forehead swelling up, seemingly ready to burst within seconds.
Rocks and dirt fell down at her flanks and as Vejiita tried to push off his foot to pull her up, more dirt fell down and hit Bulma straight in the face causing her to cough and sneeze. "For Christ’s sake," she growled in between spits and coughs, "Pull me up!!"
Baring his teeth, another hand enclosed around her arm and the Lord of the Saiyajin started to pull her out of a rather enticing predicament, if it had not been for the current circumstances.
I reach out
To touch the sun
And shadows take over no matter what I do
I can say now without a doubt
The end of the beginning has now begun
I cannot force an end, I know
Even if I wanted to
Simply because I can’t let go
He stared at her, completely dumbfound.
She giggled at his stupidity, even though it wasn’t funny.
Then, he glowered furiously; annoy shining through his barely lit eyes. The sun touched him from behind, spreading an almost divine looking corona that made her eyes itch.
"So what’s your name anyway?" she asked, rubbing her cheeks to get rid of the stains, spreading them as she did.
He kept silent, refusing to answer that one question.
Bulma quirked an eyebrow curiously at his compulsive silence before she let matters drift. "So since you’re not telling me your name, what should I call you?"
Vejiita snorted. "Who cares?"
She tried to hold back mischievous laughter. "Okay, if you put it that way mister, I’ll give you a name that suits you."
He rolled his eyes, shaking his head. Foolish woman, he thought.
"What if I’d call you Tick?"
He stared at her blankly. "Nani?!"
She smiled, raising up a finger to explain as she shut her eyes in delight in a way she had undoubtedly inherited from her mother. "Well for starters, you blow yourself up to ridiculous proportions -something ticks also do- especially when you get mad and I tell you it looks ugly! So are ticks! Besides, you’re easily ticked off so I thought it suited you. And since you keep on bugging me no matter where I go, I thought a bug would suit you just fine, now wouldn’t it?" She giggled even louder this time.
Vejiita had nothing to say for quite a while; he just stared as Bulma continued her laughter. She really IS out of her mind…
From a distance a young page watched the two. Normally, Vejiita would have noticed, now however all his senses were occupied by the woman sitting by his side, making his body shiver with her closeness.
His lips found hers before he realized. Startled at first, she soon embraced his gesture, their tongues touching, entwining and contending in prelude to their lovemaking.
He laid her down onto the moist grass of early morn, his mind dense with a strong sensation of possession, free from all surrounding, body tensing with desire for her.
As his hands found her breasts, he eagerly cupped them, his lips never leaving hers.
"Wait," she breathed in between gasps, trying to push him off her.
He furrowed his brow, lips parting, dark eyes staring at her in confusion. "What’s wrong?" he asked, "All talk and no play, is that how it’s gonna be?"
"No," she replied, "It’s just…"
He silenced her with a kiss. "This is between you and I. What does it matter what people may think? This day," he spoke, "you’re mine and I’m yours."
Needless to say, none spoke much for sundry solar altitudes till the sun shone low and bright, casting long shadows.
Bulma still heaved for air uncontrollably. "That was…" she gasped, "incredible."
The Saiyajin smirked smugly. "I know."
She laughed, her hands behind her head, looking at a slightly clouded skyline. When she turned towards him to meet up with his eyes, she rested her head lazily at his chest. "Tick?"
He hummed softly in response; he was actually beginning to like his little nickname.
The aquamarine haired girl bit her lip, trying to form a decent sentence, in an attempt to share her feelings in word. She sighed before speaking, brushing gently against his broad chest. "Now what?"
Vejiita frowned, looking down at her. He caressed her cheek with a hand tenderly. "Does it matter?"
She raised herself up with her elbows. "It does to me! I…" She looked away, sitting up, her bare back turned to him, folding her arms over her chest. She looked at the sun, shining low at the other side of Earth. She squinted her eyes, until no more than bright streaks flashed into the blackness behind her eyelids. A tear escaped from the corner of her eye and when she opened them, she raised up her knees to find sufficient support. "I love you," she whispered.
She closed her eyes a second time when she found he neglected any kind of response. Just when she thought he rejected her shamelessly, she found arms locking her into a tender embrace. "I know," he muffled against her hair. "I know."
She reached up a hand to touch his, her breath thick with sadness. "What are we gonna do?"
He kissed her hair, resting his chin onto her head, staring boldly into the bright summer sun, in hopes of turning blind perhaps. If only he had never looked upon her or would have been forced to lose her while seeing reality eye to eye. He bared his teeth, not wanting to let go.
Vejiita stood, and started to look for his clothes. "We’d better head back," he said while putting on his plus fours rather clumsily. "Separately."
Bulma stared at him, then lowered her head, nodding faintly.
The dining hall looked even more lustrous than the day before. Tonight, the betrothal between Sir Radditz of Gloucester and Bulma Briefs of Thüringen would be announced officially.
She was silent. She had just freshened up for she had looked a mess. Her dress had been torn to shreds, her hair had been tousled and stains had covered her body with mud. She had done her best to remain undetected from her small trip into the country. If she had still looked normal she could have pulled it off but now, despite her carefulness in entering her room, her mother had caught her.
Although she didn’t want to, she could not lie to her mother and had told her the truth. Luckily, her mother would not tell Radditz. But she still recalled her words to every single detail…
"I shan’t care what you may have done to look such a mess. But you are to be a loyal and dedicated wife to Sir Radditz. So be it you shall be unhappy. You shall bare him healthy and strong sons and you shall take good care of your husband, as a woman is supposed to. Even if you are to live a life you rather would not, you’re left no choice. You’ll wed him, you’ll have his sons and you’ll be at peace with it, don’t you forget."
She looked about her. Near all guests had arrived already. Yet there was no sign just yet of the man she had loved the moment she had laid eyes upon him. He bore no name apart from the one she had given him. A ridiculous and stupid name, but she couldn’t care less. She loved him and she had declared it this afternoon. And even though he did not say the words in equal share, she knew his heart felt just as strongly in return.
He entered the room and her heart was engraved. She swallowed for she knew she had no choice. She looked at her mother, but she paid her no attention. Closing her eyes, she tried to keep from crying.
"Ah, Great Lord Vejiita of the Saiyajin," Radditz spoke.
Bulma didn’t open her eyes. She didn’t care if the king was here. All she cared for was the man she couldn’t have, the man to whom she had lost her heart; a man who carried not a name.
Radditz continued, but she solely caught flares of what he spoke of. "…thus I have great news to share with all thee…"
She could feel his eyes burn through her. It made it even harder. She knew he felt the same, she could feel his love through his stare, even when she didn’t look.
"The planned marriage between myself and Lady Bulma of Thüringen shall take place tonight."
Her eyes flew open. In shock she met up with Radditz’ eyes, then seeking those belonging to her lover. He didn’t care to look at her, instead, he had closed his eyes and frowned.
"But Sir Radditz," she gasped in protest, turning towards the longhaired Saiyajin again.
Radditz only smirked. "If Milady, approves of course," he spoke.
She stared at him, then her eyes found her mother’s. The look upon the latter’s face spoke volumes. And so, Bulma nodded faintly, realizing she had no other option.
"Splendid," Radditz commented enthusiastically. Then she followed his gaze, resting it onto the man she had loved from the start. And now, she finally heard his true name other than the one she had given. "Lord Vejiita," her fiancé said, "it would be a great honour if thee would initiate the ceremony."
Her eyes had been bewildered before, now, they widened to almost ridiculous proportions.
She whimpered aloud, stood from her chair, almost losing her balance and startling herself. And finally realizing the truth of her predicament, she ran.
He wanted to go after her. He desperately needed to comfort her, to redeem her pain as well as his. But he could not. His pride would not let him nor would his heritage.
And in all the tales of love and jealousy not many clit to one’s mind, squeezing and impressing reminisces with grief and hurting like this one does.
He slowly sat down again, eyes closed.
Radditz hollered at the girl’s mother angrily for raising such disgrace of a daughter. Vejiita tried his best to ignore all the commotion.
Words echoed in his brain, ringing in his ears, making his body shiver with rage and fear.
"I shall beat that slanderous attitude out of her once and for all!"
None other than Radditz had spoken the words and by the looks of it, he meant what he said when he made his way out of the dining hall to pursue the woman he loved and was slowly learning to loathe. He bowed before his guests, excusing himself before he rushed through the door, his fury protruding and apparent through his angered stride.
A voice reverberated all the way into the massive chamber. It was Bulma’s voice, no doubt.
"Radditz, leave me alone! I do not love you!! And I will never marry you!"
Lord Vejiita bared his teeth. And when the muffled scream of a young woman was heard, the woman he loved, he could take no more and followed Radditz' path, breaking into a fast trot to stop his subjacent.
If only he had not been such a fool for her love… if only he had never laid eyes upon her. If only… he had been able to declare his love for her.
ChiChi squeezed his hand gently. Goku reassured her by taking her hand in his. "It’ll be alright, ChiChi."
His wife shook her head. "No," she said, "it shan’t be alright."
She rested her head at his chest and he caressed her pinned up hair, then her cheek. "I hope," he said in response, "you won’t be right this time, ChiChi. Although I fear you will."
Sad and mournful truth was, she would turn out more than right…
He stood over her, clenched fists set on his hip, his deep brown tail lashing behind him, passed his dark mane of Saiyajin hair.
Vejiita knit his brow, grinding his teeth to retain his growing madness. Before him stood a tall Saiyajin man, a low class soldier who had worked his way up by dumb luck. And this man had just hurt the woman he loved. Bulma held her face, causing Vejiita to scowl with even more intensity than earlier. "Radditz," the Saiyajin no Ouji spoke, his voice thick with repressed anger, "The woman has done nothing to defy your authority. She is a woman; women overreact by nature…"
Bulma shot him a baleful glare, still holding her reddened cheek. Vejiita ignored her.
"Furthermore, Sir Radditz," he continued, "thou shan’t ever be a man of honour if thee refuse to act like one. For I daresay beating up a woman does not account for a man’s grandeur. Would it ever, chap? Besides, your guests are waiting…"
"To hell with my guests!" Radditz shouted for all to hear, his back still turned to his superior. He raised his arm to hit the young woman at his feet a second time. His hand flew down but was held in place, every movement hampered by a fist enclosing around his arm.
"Don’t you dare, Radditz. Don’t touch that woman again or you must deal with me first." Vejiita’s voice never furnished any sound of threat over the dangerous octave of authority it brought forth. Radditz realised this as well though held his ground partially.
Grateful eyes glistening with unshed tears reflecting a beam of blueness looked up to him though he paid her no attention as he turned the taller Saiyajin around.
"I will only say this once, Sir Radditz," he said, "As of now, this woman is mine."
Radditz narrowed his eyes, not in the least taken aback let alone surprised by his King’s declaration. "Over my dead body," he challenged him.
Vejiita squinted his eyes equally. "That can be arranged."
This, the longhaired Saiyajin had not anticipated and he replied, his words resounding his astonishment. "But Lord Vejiita," he stammered, "Art thou truly willing to risk death for a mere farmer’s daughter?"
No matter how greatly Vejiita desired to confirm his opponent’s assumption, his pride wouldn’t let him. Moreover, it forced him in saying words he would be more than willing to take back only moments later.
"I want this woman as I have had more concubines in the past. Dost thee deny a king his pleasure in having a woman?"
Radditz stared for a moment, but Bulma did not. She rose to her feet, forgetting earlier inflicted injuries. She narrowed her eyes, rage taking over all entities.
Her hands charged at his face though he effortlessly caught them. "What do you think you’re doing, woman?" he grumbled.
"You lied to me! You lied to me, you filthy pig!" she screamed in hysteria. Tears welled in her eyes and she made no effort in fighting them. "You used me!"
Radditz stared, not bringing forth a single sound; he observed the situation, anticipating what to do next. Vejiita continued struggling with the enraged woman, trying to calm her down without yielding any of his royal aspect.
"So what if I did. You’re a woman," Vejiita replied without blinking. He let go of her hands, her fists no longer indicating any kind of resistance.
She let herself sink to the cold marble floor of the castle hall and sobbed.
Guilt and regret boiled up his spine into his soul. He had not meant the words he’d spoken but he could not tell the truth, even if he wanted to.
The aquamarine haired woman looked up to him, eyes no longer baleful yet hurt and shamed. "Tick," she pleaded, "Tell me honestly to my face…" She swallowed before resuming. "Dost thee truly not love me?"
Radditz first looked at Bulma, then moved his eyes towards his king. "Yes Vejiita, tell us…" A smirk appeared on the tall Saiyajin’s face, curling his lips sadistically.
Vejiita’s face remained cold as ice although a small shiver might be detected; flashing passed his cheeks. "No…" he whispered.
Radditz nearly showed the pallor of his gums as he bared his teeth in delight. "Ah do speak up, Great King," he teased, defying his king.
He clenched his teeth, grinding them against one another. His hand lunged forward, searching Radditz' throat. Strong fingers enclosed around the man’s neck, impeding his breathing. "I do not love her! In fact, I think she is hideous, even for human standards. There, satisfied, subject?!"
Radditz gasped for air when Vejiita let go and dropped to his knees, grabbing for his throat. "By God," he heaved, "we love the same woman."
"I said," Vejiita sneered, "I do not love her!!"
"Right," the other Saiyajin commented, not convinced, "Then why don’t you prove it?" He stood, raising himself up by leaning onto his knees.
His eyes had a bewildered sub-tone to them when he looked down to Radditz. But his voice revealed no such emotion. "You’re in no position of calling me to account, Radditz. But very well, I shall prove it."
Bulma shook her head, still not believing what he was saying.
Sir Radditz of Gloucester, a man whose arrogance and stupidity were well known throughout the empire, took out a hand-knife from his pocket. "Then show me."
In an attempt of clinging to his royal appearance, Vejiita folded his arms. "What are you jabbering about, you insolent fool?"
"Disgrace her, like she’s disgraced me by having intercourse with you in an open field for anyone to see," the Saiyajin replied. His eyes glistened in delight when he glanced at his fiancée for a second. "Scar her like she has scarred my pride by sleeping with you." He handed him the knife he was holding. "Do it."
Vejiita stared at him before he let his eyes drift towards the young aquamarine haired woman who now caught his attention by addressing only a few words to him, words that were sharp and could cut through him like the knife he held.
"Yes Great King," she spoke while scrambling to her feet, "do it." She lifted her chin, challenging him fearlessly.
Tears burnt at the inside of his eyes but they would not be released. "No!" he yelled, "I will not partake in this nonsense!" Angrily, he glared at Radditz, still trying to retain his inner turbulence.
"But Lord," the latter humourlessly protested, "What would the Saiyajin nation think when they find out you lost your heart to a farmer’s daughter from abroad? A Human?!"
Vejiita turned away, the knife still in one hand. "They will never find out!"
Vejiita closed his eyes, pushing away all emotions that had begun taking over his usual lucid and clear thinking.
Radditz took Bulma by the arm, pulling her up beside him, his hand never letting her go. She never broke a sound. "Then what art thee planning to do about it, Lord Vejiita?" the tall Saiyajin said.
His eyes remained closed, and his fingers traced the knife’s handle. "Whatever it takes, Sir Radditz." He ground his teeth and turned around in a flash, digging the knife deeply into his opponent’s flesh. "Whatever it takes!"
Slowly, he opened his eyes when the laughter of his opponent continued ringing in his ear. Blood stuck to his hands, trickling down into his dry-cleaned sleeves. He dropped the knife as if it had burnt his hand and he sunk to the floor to catch her. For the proud Lord of the Saiyajin had spilled the blood of the innocent woman he loved more than his own ego but had refused to admit before a plain subordinate.
"No," he breathed, fighting a sob, "God no…"
Radditz continued his laughter, nearly splitting ends. "This is almost too much fun to stop watching, oh Great King," he quipped shamelessly, "But like you said…" He walked off, further back up the hallway. "…my guests are waiting!" And again his laughter filled the corridor with obstinate sadism.
And here he was, the once so proud king. A broken man, the woman he loved dying in his arms.
"Tick…" she gasped, coughing up blood before she could continue.
Vejiita was unable to speak, for he was too occupied in fighting his tears.
"Tick, please take care of my mother…"
"No!" Vejiita protested, "Don’t you die woman! Don’t you dare."
"She has no one left outside me…" Again she coughed up blood, a crimson trail cascading slowly by her chin, leaving a trail down to her chest. "She has no one left, ever since father died. Promise me…"
"Don’t you die on me, don’t…" The King could no longer hold back his tears, realizing he could not save her. Moreover, none other but he himself was to blame for her death. He heaved, swallowing away a sob.
She stared at him, although her eyes seemed to be unable to focus anymore. She waited for him to answer to her plea.
He returned her stare, freeing her cheeks from the blood embedded strands of hair that clit to her face. Now realization struck him; it would be too late for her. Bulma would die. "I promise."
"And no more hurting…" She groaned in pain, only able to whisper; words almost inaudible. "No more…" She knit her brow, struggling with pain. "Vejiita…"
She heaved a sigh and her head fell back, into his hand palm. He instantly knew: she was gone. Vejiita buried his face at her chest, and wept.
Aftermath ---A Midsummer Night’s Dream---
To be, or not to be, that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles
And by opposing end them. To die - to sleep,
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to: 'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep;
To sleep, perchance to dream - ay, there's the rub:
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
The stature of a king is not measured in his pride, or in his wealth. A man’s grandeur is not confirmed by his achievement in life, not in his strength or common sense.
Still, no matter the circumstances or the hour of the day, day of the year, save what century: the prestige of a true man is gathered from his ability to love.
And so this sad story ends.
Sir Radditz of Gloucester was granted mercy from the king. Though his cold and stiff corpse was found in a ditch just outside the compounds of his castle only four months after the incident resulting in young Bulma’s death. He had been stabbed thirty-eight times. The culprit was never found.
Son Goku of Locksely became the king’s Head of Council. The king left all state affairs in loyal hands of his once sworn enemy. The Son even raised a small family of two boys within the palace walls. He and ChiChi grew old and grey together.
Bulma’s mother returned to Germany. She wanted nothing more than to return to her roots. Nothing was heard from her since.
Nappa settled down at the King’s bidding. He married a human female and raised a family of six. Five girls and one boy, who was a spitting image of the next-door courier, no less.
And Vejiita? Vejiita died an old and bitter man. He was a good king, although no one understood his sudden change of heart regarding the humans in his kingdom. Of course, none asked questions regarding his authority; Goku took care of it undoubtedly. Word had it the Saiyajin no Ouji committed suicide forty years after Bulma’s death: on the very day of her dying, save four decades later. But nobody knows for sure. Perhaps he is still alive. Still grieving over the death of the one woman he had ever loved, the sole person that had been able to touch his soul. But of course, I can’t tell with certainty. No one can.
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