Chapter 32 – Death of a King


"What have you done with him?!" Bulma screamed as she threw open the door to Juunanagou’s bedchambers. After hours of joint searching by her and Kakarrot, then Radditz and finally several assembled groups of elites to try and locate their king, the hunt had resulted in a devastating lack of success. It had quickly been determined that Bulma had been the last person to have laid eyes upon the distraught Saiya-jin, but that had been nearly half a day ago. Not a trace of the king was discovered. His bed had not been slept in, the throne room had been guarded all night, his office was untouched and most alarmingly, Akuma was still in the stables which sharply ruled out his having gone for a ride.

The only clue the princess had found of her missing love was when she searched her room to find her desk and chair in disarray; or more specifically, her diary sprawled open. Fearing the worst, that Vegeta had read her final passage and thus learned the truth of her being manipulated by Juunanagou, it was an obvious deduction that he had followed after her. Which meant Juunanagou’s assassin could have interpreted the king’s arrival as proof of her failure to meet the silence element in their agreement, and thus…

The possibility was too much to bear, so she had rushed to Juunanagou’s bedside. She had to know the truth. Completely unconcerned with his injuries, she roughly grabbed the peacefully sleeping man, and jerked him awake with a reverberation of her furious demand. "What have you done with Vegeta!?"

Slowly opening his eyes, the king slyly smirked. He had expected the onna to be soon knocking down his door, demanding just what she was, but her timing surpassed his prospects. "Vegeta? He is missing, is he?" the king feigned ignorance; he simply adored the fury laced in the princess’s eyes, it made her look absolutely ravishing. "Perhaps he ran off with one of his paramours."

The comment earned him a swift slap across his already tender face. "Keep in mind there is a very pretty vase sitting next to your bed. I would hate to have to follow your sister’s example." She threatened with the utmost seriousness. She would not stand for her warden to be defamed in her presence. "Where is he!?"

With a pleased sigh, the injured monarch closed his eyes in false consternation. "I suppose you have forced my hand. Yes, I know where Vegeta is. Not, of course, that it would do you much good to know. I doubt there is much, if any life left in the man by this hour." He paused to savor the princess’s horrified moan before continuing. "Naturally, it was his fault entirely. I mean, he should not have come storming towards my chambers last night in a mad haste. Had he any sense he might have taken notice of my archer, poised to shoot."

"No!" Bulma screamed as she dug her nails into the man’s flesh, it couldn’t be, her warden could not be dead! "I will kill you with my own bare hands!" she began pounding against him with her tightened fists, her nails clawing at his unveiled skin. She would not have stopped until his body was covered in bruises and welts, if it were not for his desperate confession.

"Stop this madness, he is not dead!" though he added ‘yet’ softly afterwards, the earlier of his admission was all Bulma had needed to hear to garner her undivided attention. After a dangerous demand for further explanation, Juunanagou happily divulged the specifics. "Yes, my archer shot your precious warden, but it was not with an arrow. He hit him with a dart poisoned with the same drug I had used to sedate Juuhachigou and Kakarrot the night of their setup."

"And why should I believe you!?" the princess demanded wisely, she knew this man was not to be trusted. His confession was mostly likely only to save his own skin.

As if reading the young lady’s mind, Juunanagou laughed, "Please, Bulma, do you honestly think I would simply have Vegeta killed by the swift piercing of an arrow, one not even fired by my own hand? Hardly. For all the son of a bitch has done to me, his death needs to be one of agony; slow, painful and helpless... and yet bland enough to appear as an accident. Perfectly plotted, of course," Juunanagou reflected with a swell of pride. He truly was a genius, he constantly assured himself.

However, while the king was stroking his own ego, Bulma grabbed the vase off of the adjacent nightstand, and held the object dangerously close to his already cracked skull. "You have two options. One, tell me where he is, or two, I ram this glass container into your thick head. What will it be!?"

The king could barely control his snickering. "Tsk, tsk, tsk, princess. Such violence is so unbecoming of a lady. You have lived too many years among these savages." He slowly lifted his hand in defense before continuing, "But I am not an unwise man. I know when I am beaten." His smirk widened, assuring her that his words were fallacious. "Your warden is being detained in a small cave in the deep western banks of the woodlands." He then listed a few notable locations along the path to assure her an easy arrival at the designated spot. His aid however was not received warmly.

"For all I know you are sending me on a wild goose hunt!" She knew that was not entirely true. The cave he had explained was one she and Vegeta were intimately familiar with; it was the same one they had sought shelter in after an intense storm had brewed on the evening of his thirty-second birthday. The location was very deep within the woodlands. It would take her some time to reach it.

"That is always a possibility, but are you willing to chance your suspicions against the life of your lover?" he questioned knowingly. It was all he had to say to ensure her departure. He relaxed immediately, very much pleased with himself. He only wished he could be there to see the look upon the young onna’s face as she arrived to find the dead body of her great protector. No doubt by this hour he had already left the land of the living. But he did not need to tell her that. Her shock would be all the more devastating. Damn his injuries. If only he could witness the drama that would inevitably ensue!!

While Juunanagou was congratulating himself for a scheme well laid, Bulma had returned the vase she was holding to the nightstand. Rising from the bed she sharply glared at her enemy before threatening evenly, "You are right, I have no choice but you believe you. But, regardless of what I find in that cave, I promise, you will pay for everything you have done."

Not withholding his chuckle that time, Juunanagou watched the furious princess storm off. "I will look forward to further witnessing your wrath, my lady!" he smirked after her. Such fire and determination made his blood boil with desire. Perhaps now that Vegeta was gone, he could have more luck with a pursuit of her. Without her guardian, the minx was completely defenseless, just how he liked his prey.

"The only wrath you will be witnessing is mine, because once I am done with you, there will be nothing left for the princess to wreak havoc upon." The dangerous female voice stiffened Juunanagou’s body completely. Turning his head to the back entrance of his chambers, he numbly gazed upon his clearly infuriated sister. Before he had a chance to whisper a word, she repeated his damning words. "…hit him with a dart poisoned with the same drug I had used to sedate Juuhachigou and Kakarrot the night of their setup..."

"Juuhachigou, you misheard me," he offered quickly as the practically growling woman descended upon him. His lies were much too late however to penetrate the livid onna.

"Radditz was right, you stole my life. You set Kakarrot and me up. You kept me from the man I loved. You took my title, my power, my entire existence!" She screamed, half in utter fury, half from the depth of depression. Her brother, the flesh and blood she had trusted more than any other had betrayed her more graphically than she could have ever imagined. "You used me... Manipulated me… Took my life away… But, no more," those two words seemed to be all she felt were necessary to say as she whipped out the pillow from under her brother’s head. "I think I should finish what I started."

"Juuhachigou, no!" the younger man used what little strength he had to halt the cushion from being crushed over his face. "I am your brother! You can not do this!" he insisted, but his plea fell on deaf ears.

"I have no brother, I never did." She forced the linen over his face, ignoring the vulgarities he spewed in his dieing breaths. Once his body stopped all movement, Juuhachigou pulled away, numbed to the actions she had just taken. Shakily replacing the pillow behind his head, she slowly stepped back from the bed as she gazed upon the still figure of her sibling.

Wiping the tears from her eyes, she did not hesitate before running to the door and calling for help. Nor did she stutter when she informed the physician, who arrived moments later, that she had discovered the still form of her brother and was terribly concerned as to what had happened. Her genuine reaction of distress could only be released when the healer informed her that her brother had died in his sleep; his deduction, an after effect of his head injury.

"I am sorry, my queen," the healer added somberly as he covered the man’s body with a sheet, oblivious to the most direct effect the female had had in the matter. He assumed her uncontrolled weeping was the result of her brother’s impromptu death. "Would you like me to call upon someone for you? I do not think it is wise you bear this burden alone."

Controlling her gasps to force out the words, she barely spoke, "Radditz. Fetch me Radditz." She turned her back to the man as soon as her demand was made. Barely registering the elder man’s "As you wish," and his swift departure that followed, Juuhachigou collapsed against a nearby wall; her body sliding down it slowly, lacking the energy to do much more. Clenching her stomach, she could not dam the bile that rose from her throat. Lurching over the trash depository next to her, she heaved until she felt as though all liquid in her body had been purged.

Pushing the container away, she collapsed onto the floor, her body curled up in a fetal position as she cradled her stomach. Her system too shocked by the reality of the years she had lived in lies, the fate of all the false actions she had taken, and the now this… the murder of her brother… A two-part assault she had concluded with an unconscious perfection one of her brother’s well-plotted schemes could not have even delivered. She felt less comfort than she should have from knowing all the crimes he had committed against her, including the likely death of her unrecognized husband. Her brother was a murderer, and worse. But the sting was not eased in the least, her mind not strong enough to register the fast occurring tragedies.

Closing her eyes, Juuhachigou allowed unconsciousness to engulf her. The bliss of nothingness would be much easier to handle than the stark reality she was unintentionally facing.


"What the hell are you doing in here?" Radditz demanded as he returned to Vegeta’s private study for another sweep to find a largely built man rummaging through the king’s desk.

Juurokugou’s back stiffened as he turned around to face his equal in stature. "I was searching for your king." The soldier easily lied. He would challenge the Saiya-jin guard to battle long before he would admit that he had been sent by King Juunanagou to strategically plant a note, forged in Vegeta’s script, that would ensure the man’s murder was without a doubt ‘accidental.’ But now that the task was completed, he needed to vacate the premises quickly; to return to the cave where his monarch’s prisoner was being detained so he could ensure there was no chance of the Saiya-jin king’s miraculous resurrection. "But clearly he is not here, so I shall look elsewhere."

"Not so fast," Radditz lifted a firm hand in front of the warrior. With Vegeta missing, he would not simply overlook an intruder in the man’s private study as being of only mild concern. "I’ll have your name, race, and business in Vegeta-sei before your departure."

Repressing a growl, Juurokugou easily lied, "My name is Grekor. I am a Queffican. And my business on Vegeta-sei is not my own. I am here to serve my lord and king. Should you have any further questions, feel free to consult him." Again the husky man attempted to depart, but Radditz more forcefully blocked his path.

"I do not recall every seeing you with King Quef. Nor do I recall seeing any subordinates of his being registered. So, if you are who you say you are, you are here illegally." It was then Radditz knew he caught the man. His reaction had been brief, a less experienced guard would have missed it, but Radditz saw. The man was surprised to be caught lying. "I think you should come down with me to interrogation. If you offer no resistance, I will be sure you are given a clean cell." Carefully, Radditz raised his hand to restrain the man, but was not given the chance as an elbow came crashing down upon his face. "Damn it!" the Saiya-jin cursed as he fell back several steps, disoriented enough to lose track of his detainee.

Using the guard’s dazedness to his advantage, Juurokugou rushed to escape the room, not wanting to make any more of a disturbance that he had, but another Saiya-jin blocked his path. This one seemed strangely more threatening, regardless of that fact that he was smaller, "Where are you going in such a rush?" the smooth voice of the second guard questioned as he closed the door to the study behind him.

"Nice timing, brother." Radditz attempted to shake off the pain as he reoriented himself to the scene before him.

"More like lucky," Kakarrot responded through grinded teeth. "I happened to be looking for this bastard when I heard the commotion in here."

"You two know each other?" Radditz asked while curiously raising a brow. He had believed he and his brother were fully caught up on comparing security notes.

"Not in the least, but his description fits perfectly." After a swift demand from his brother to avoid being so cryptic, the young man angrily admitted. "The Shinrigakusha fetched me while I was searching for Vegeta; Chi-Chi has finally regained her senses. You would not believe the tale she tells."

"Try me," Radditz quirked a smirk, it seemed this stranger’s secrets were about to be revealed.

Not hesitating to enlighten his brother, Kakarrot methodically explained, "While Chi-Chi was returning from a village where she had spent the night to calm herself from the shock of seeing Juuhachigou alive, she heard a scuffle not far from the path she was taking. When she came closer, she observed Nappa getting the life pounded out of him by a man she described as being similar in physique to Nappa, but with ice cold blue eyes and a thick line of flamed red hair down the middle of his otherwise bald head. She said she only heard bits and pieces of their argument, but Juuhachigou and Juunanagou’s names was cited several times, along with a need for Nappa to be ‘hushed up.’ It was when this man snapped Nappa’s neck that Chi-Chi fainted, tumbling down the embankment she had hid behind. I suppose I should be grateful you did not see her." The protective mate directed the end of his comment to the foreigner across from him. It was taking all his restraint to stop himself from beating the man to death for both the murder of his fellow Saiya-jin and the distress placed upon his mate.

"You were the one who attacked Bulma," the realization sprang from Radditz’s lips in a sudden epiphany. "You have been working for Juunanagou to bring all hell upon us!" The same raging fury that Kakarrot was fighting against suddenly engulfed Radditz.

"And if I were a betting man, I would say he is the associate Vegeta and I have been searching years for. The same one who helped Juunanagou setup me and his sister," Kakarrot added with vigor. He would not let this man of evil slip past him to do any more damage.

In a moment the two brothers were taking slow steps towards the guilty man, both exchanging glances, silently demanding the first strike, but an important recollection struck Radditz before either could advance. "Wait Kakarrot," the elder of the two halted mid step. "If he is working with Juunanagou, he probably knows where Vegeta is, and I’d go even further to bet he was in here to cover up what he and his king have done with him."

Juurokugou remained placid as the two men approached him; he had been an enforcer too many years to be intimidated so easily. "I may be persuaded to tell you, in exchange for quiet passage away from you monkeys." He crossed his arms powerfully, he was loyal to his king, but he was not willing to stay and be executed for murdering an elite while Juunanagou slips away, unaffected by his botched plan.

"No deal!" Kakarrot quickly insisted, but Radditz was much more skilled than his brother when it came to bargaining.

"We will consider granting you clemency for your crimes if you tell us where Vegeta is, and you are willing to testify before the grand council against your king." It of course was a lie. The warrior would still have to pay for his crimes, walking off without punishment for murder was simply not allowed by the Saiya-jins. Of course, this man did not need to know that until after he testified. "Do we have a deal?"

Taking only a few moments to contemplate his decisions, Juurokugou’s answer came to him easily, "Very well." He did not trust these beasts to stand by their word, but this agreement would at the very least give him enough time to plot his escape. Even Juunanagou’s well paying employment was not worth the hassle it had been this past week. "Vegeta is being apprehended in a cave a few miles from here."

"Be more specific!" Radditz demanded; there were several caves within the vast woodlands surrounding the castle.

"I am afraid I am not certain. Juugogou, Juunanagou’s archer took him there. I was only informed minutes ago after speaking with Juunanagou." It was not true of course, but the odds of escape from the brute were much better with the whole of Vegeta’s royal guard searching a good distance away from the castle.

"And what condition is he in?" Kakarrot insisted with clenched fists, he had three guesses, none of which were good.

Slightly shrugging his shoulders, Juurokugou limited the truth once more, "don’t know. But if I had to guess, I’d advise you find him soon, or else you monkeys may be without a king."

"Why you—" Kakarrot raised his fist to teach the soldier some respect, but he failed to complete his punch as a pounding on the door interrupted his movement. Turning around, Kakarrot swung open the door to find the healer looking terribly exhausted.

"Thank goodness I found you, Radditz," the elderly man walked right past the younger brother towards the man he was looking for. "Queen Juuhachigou desires your presence. She is under a great deal of stress."

"I do not have time for petty onna problems," Radditz snapped coldly, Vegeta’s life was very likely hanging in the balance.

"Her problems are not petty, sir," the healer continued, not about to be brushed off by a man half his age. "She is in grief. Her brother just passed." The announcement caused six eyes to be glued to the bearer of shocking news. "It is true," he insisted after seeing the men’s skeptical expressions. "I examined him myself. He died in his sleep, from his head injury no doubt. The queen is very upset."

Snorting at the news, Kakarrot crossed his arms skeptically, "Died in his sleep? You will have to excuse me if I wish to drive a stake through the man’s heart before I accept that he is truly dead."

"Thank you for telling me," Radditz ignored his brother’s crude comment. Though he was thinking similarly, he had enough tact not to voice it. "Kakarrot, escort him," he gestured to Juurokugou, "to the dungeons. Make sure several guards are assigned to watch him. Once he is well secured, take as many legions as you need to locate Vegeta. I’ll try and hold down the fort in the mean time." He took a deep breath as he began concocting explanations for the senate leaders who would surely want to know where Vegeta and Juunanagou were. Where could he possibly begin explaining?

"Consider it done," Kakarrot obliged before locking a tight grip on his prisoner.

Once his brother was gone, Radditz ordered the healer to lead him to Juuhachigou. He would have to sedate the ‘queen’ before handling the temperamental members of the aristocracy, daring to explain to them that a fellow member was dead. ‘Hopefully only one,’ Radditz cringed at the thought, Juurokugou’s words still haunting him. He could not even begin to fathom the repercussions of Vegeta’s death; politically, of course, but even more so personally. The image of Bulma popped into his mind. He did not know if she could survive his death. He could only pray she would not have to try.


"Onna," was the first word the king coughed as he regained consciousness to observe his odd surroundings. He was, as best he could tell for his vision was still blurry, in a damp cave. Attempting to push his fallen body up, Vegeta found himself unable to make it very far as the sound of metal upon metal stopped him. He was bound.

"Damn it," the Saiya-jin cursed as he briefly fought against the shackles that contained him. His attempts however were futile, his entire chest with both arms at his sides were wrapped in chains. His naked skin tore with every movement he dared. ‘My clothes,’ he wondered as he looked down to see he had been stripped of everything save his pants. It seemed whoever had abducted him wanted him left completely vulnerable to the damp wind of this particularly frigid spring day.

‘Great, so I am going to freeze to death,’ the king decided as he allowed his body to fall back against the chilly ground. Rolling to his side, Vegeta pulled his knees into his chest, attempting to centralize the warmth left in his body. Slowly opening and closing his eyes, the proud man ignored the shivering of his limbs as he reflected upon the bitter irony of his predicament.

Whom his indirect killer was seemed irrelevant, the fallout from his death was negligible, all Vegeta could feel was the acrimony of knowing that he would die without ever experiencing the onna he loved, the onna who loved him in return. Yes, perhaps the greatest quirk of fate was that the moment he learned his feelings had for so long not been one-sided; he loses all chance of ever experiencing that which he desired most.


A violent cough arose from his throat as he tried to block out what she was doing for his protection. Gods, she was willing to give herself to a man she despised just to save him. ‘How could I have been so blind?’ the question that weighed heaviest upon his mind arose once more. For years she desired him, but he had not seen it. Then again, she had been oblivious to his feelings, perhaps it was simply that both were too brilliant in deception, or so focused on wallowing in their own miseries they ignored each other’s.

How it had happened, however, was no longer relevant. All that mattered was that they had wasted years they could have been together, and now they were too late. Too late for him to protect the onna he cared for most, too late to stop the vindictive bitch he had been forced to marry from taking over his territory, and with every staggering breath he took, he was beginning to realize it was too late for his miserable existence to end on a note above mediocrity.

Pulling forth to memory those few blissful moments of serenity he had experienced with the fair princess he adored, the Saiya-jin no ouji allowed unconsciousness to slowly overtake him throughout the sun setting hours of the evening. Imagining what could have been, Vegeta gradually lost touch with reality; so much so that he failed to recognize the desperate sound of a female calling his name. And then, just when he blinkingly saw the angelic image of the onna he loved kneeling over him, he sank into oblivion.

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Table of Contents
Chapter 31
Chapter 33