Warning: Mild Profanity. That’s about it.
* * * * * * *
The chamber halls were silent as Bohnen’s words burned themselves into the mind of all present. Bulma’s mouth ran dry as her heart began to beat faster: What did all of this mean? She glanced at Freeza, whose face was unreadable but she could see his lips slightly turn into a smile.
After letting his words sink in, Bohnen continued, "It is hard for me to stand here now and accuse our Prince of such a low crime, but Odin has spoken and his crime must not be ignored." The King rose steadily to his feet, his eyes narrowing, "What is this crime." he bellowed, "And what proof do you have?"
Bohnen bowed his head, turning away from the dais; his eyes glanced up once and Bulma could have sworn that he looked right at her. "Our Prince has lowered himself to having a physical relationship with an alien." Bulma felt her heart jump and she absently placed her hand to her chest as if it would jump out. Bohnen’s voice grew louder as he pointed to her, "Last night, that bitch took hold of our Prince, seduced his body and defiled his soul."
The room broke out into cries of outrage and Bohnen waited patiently for the King to speak. "Silence!" the King cried in rage, "Bohnen, do you have proof of your accusations? If you do not, then I will let my son personally beat you to death for such an insult!"
Bohnen nodded, "It would be just if I did not speak the truth. But, what I say is true. Not only is there a witness, but I have prayed to Odin and my fears have been confirmed in a vision."
For the first time, the Prince moved and spoke, "Who is your witness?" he asked, his voice eerily calm for the situation, "Can you prove he is credible?"
Bohnen turned, nodding in Bulma’s direction. She saw Zarbon rise and take the center, bowing before the throne. Bulma felt her throat tighten as she fastened a dark glare on Freeza, "You had me followed?" she hissed, he chuckled softly, his tail lightly taping in amusement.
Zarbon cleared his throat, "I, your majesty, witnessed a heated meeting between the Prince and one of the slaves from our ship. I was told, upon order of Freeza, to follow her for we have suspected her of treason. I did not know of your law until later, otherwise I would have intervened before she finished casting her spell. You see, we believe her to be a sorceress of sorts."
Bohnen nodded, muttering a soft thank you as Zarbon bowed and returned to his seat, sneering at Bulma. Bohnen nodded, "He is a credible witness-one of Freeza’s finest warriors. There is no reason to doubt his word, though we all very much want to."
Bulma bit her tongue, she could think of a thousand reasons not to trust his word. The King sunk back into his chair, contemplating all that he heard. Bulma tried to catch Vejiita’s eyes, but he avoided her glance. He seemed strangely calm, "I do not see him as a credible witness." he sneered contemptuously, "You have no proof that I have done anything wrong, and that is because I haven’t committed any crime."
Bohnen sighed, "So you deny this accusations?" Vejiita snorted, "Of course, you idiot. One eyewitness and your so-called vision from Odin is not evidence enough."
Bohnen sighed, "You are further gone than I thought."
Vejiita rose from his seat, his calm visage melting into rage, "How dare you…" he started.
"Shut up brat!" his father commanded, "Your word is not valid." He rose, "Bohnen’s word is honorable, we all know him to be an instrument for Odin. I hearby state that the Prince’s soul and mind are unclean and must be cleansed. Bring forth the wench."
Bulma took a step back, wishing for some sort of escape. Zarbon latched onto her arm, dragging her in front of the dais. She stood tall and proud, glaring at the King, "You should bow to royalty, bitch." Bohnen sneered. Bulma’s eyes narrowed, spitting. The King growled, "I would gladly have her put to death," Bulma paled, "but it is not my place. She is property of Freeza, I must have his consent."
Freeza slithered next to Zarbon, "I would not wish to be the cause of any injustice. I hand her over to you to be punished according to your law."
The King nodded, "It is settled, the witch will be put to death at sunset."
Bulma narrowed her eyes at Freeza You’re not going to get rid of me that easily, "How can you do this?" she cried angrily, "I’ve done nothing wrong. You’re all a bunch of fucking idiots!" she lunged for Bohnen, but Zarbon held her securely in place, "You’re just doing this so that you damn treaty will pass. You…" her cries were muffled as Zarbon clamped his hand over her lips.
The King glowered down hatefully at her, the Prince stared at a spot on the ground with his face absent of any emotion. "You will watch your tongue." Vejiita Ou snapped, "Take the witch out of my sight at once."
* * * * * * *
Vejiita watched as she was dragged out of the chambers, her muffled cries ringing in his ears. She was fighting desperately, clawing and biting her captors. Soon, her echoed cries mingled with the steady hum of the scouters as they spit out numbers at a mind-boggling pace. The King glanced, bewildered, at his son. "Is it really worth it?" He whispered "A disgusting whore. Is she worth your pride and honor?"
Vejiita breathed deeply, he had no desire to control his rage. It was then that the sharp blow came from behind, bringing darkness.
* * * * * * *
Vejiita Ou stared at his son crumpled on the floor; a small pool of blood washed the marble. "I’m terribly sorry I had to do that." Freeza apologized, "I just didn’t wish to see the boy humiliated further."
The King nodded with his eyes narrowed suspiciously, "Take him to the cleansing chamber." he ordered. The shrill cries of the alien could still be heard, apparently the guards were having a difficult time with her. "Get the whore out of here!" he commanded. The guards fought desperately, embarrassed that someone so weak was getting the better of them.
"Wait, my Lord." a voice called, all stilled for a moment, "My I speak?" It was Rettich. The King nodded as he took the center of the chamber.
"This is not right." he spoke smoothly and calmly, "They have committed no crime, let them be."
Bohnen stepped out in front of him, "This man speaks treason!" he cried, "He is supporting a whore who has tried to defile our prince!"
Rettich nodded his head; "I do support her. Look at her, she fights with honor and pride though she cannot possibly win against those physically stronger. She stood up to the King in the face of death, something you would not do Bohnen." he spat, "She is a creature to be admired. Countless times you have placed the honor of the Saiyajin Empire in jeopardy for profit, Bohnen. This, however, has crossed the line. You have dishonored our Prince for a treaty with a lying bastard who will turn his back on us as soon as we have outlived our usefulness to him!"
"Silence!" the King commanded, "Rettich, I have warned you about your tongue before." he glanced at the guards, they had managed to subdue the woman, "Take her away!" he turned back to Rettich, "I hereby suspend you from the council!"
Rettich bowed mockingly, "Then so be it," he sneered, "there hasn’t been a council for ages."
* * * * * * *
Kakarott paid little heed to his direction he just wandered carelessly through the palace walls. He paused some moments to stare in awe at the large, colorful murals of great Saiyajin battles. There was little art on Vejiitasei that did not depict these battles, whether it was song, prose or paint. He smiled at the picture of the glorious Super Saiyajin standing supreme above all others.
His daydreams were interrupted by a shrill female voice. He glanced casually to his left and was surprised to see the woman from the previous night being dragged from the council chambers. He narrowed his eyes suspiciously as Rettich followed the group, pausing and turning when he spotted Kakarott. He shook his head gravely, "Bohnen has crossed the line," he muttered, "he has made petty claims to build a treaty that will ultimately destroy us."
Kakarott glanced questioningly towards the hall where the alien struggled for her freedom, "I should have warned him." he whispered to himself, "I was eye to the woman and the prince’s meeting, yet I kept silent for I saw no wrong in it. I should have informed the Prince." he turned to Rettich, "What has become of these accusations? How did the Prince fair under such scrutiny? What do you say to all of this?"
His voice became shrill and desperate and Rettich calmly placed his hand to calm his rising ki, "I will not go into detail." he spook smoothly, "But the Prince was dishonored greatly, and did not take this well. He could have crossed that threshold I have been so anxious to see, but Freeza gave him a blow that ceased him." He cautiously glanced both ways, "I believe there is no crime. It is not like he has made any claims of affection towards the woman, though some find his outburst rather disturbing. She has made it quite clear that she is intelligent and proud. While physically weak, she can earn the respect of most Saiyajins."
Kakarott frowned, reaching behind his back and scratching his head in deep thought, "What are we to do?" he murmured. "It is too late to plead with the King, for I am sure he would not listen."
Rettich nodded, "True, but I believe there is hope. You will speak with the Prince, tell him all you know of what you saw. Today, young man, I saw the Prince defy Odin-all that he has ever been taught-and come so close to grasping his destiny. You, Kakarott, must help him keep reaching."
Kakarott shook his head, "How?" he cried shrilly, "He is locked away from Saiyajin contact!"
Rettich chuckled, "You know very well there is a maze of hidden passages that lead to every room in the palace, I will lead you to where the Prince is than I shall speak to the woman, for she is key as well." Kakarott opened his mouth, ready to form another protest, "There are no excuses lad." he chuckled, "Unless you are a greater coward than I thought."
Kakarott turned a deep shade of red, "I am no coward" he huffed, "You, on the other hand…" Rettich slapped him on the back, laughing. "Come," he said, "We mustn’t waste time."
* * * * * * *
Vejiita opened his eyes slowly, the dull thudding of his head echoed in his ears. The pain was a constant pulse and he believed his vision blurred as he fought to focus on his surroundings. Much to his relief, he was not going blind. The haziness was due to the steam rising from the salt baths. He breathed in the warm air, sinking deeper into the water. He considered removing his armor, but he could not find the strength to lift himself from the water. What a mess this was…
He tried to convince himself that what upset him so much was his damaged pride, not any sort of sorrow over the loss of the woman. Why would he be concerned about her, she was simply a distraction, an alien whore. There was nothing to be concerned about.
He could not convince himself.
How, after one lustful night, could he possibly care about such a lowly creature’s fate? Was it because of her face, or her obvious intelligence? Was it both? Or, maybe it was that spark in her eyes as she threatened him with her little weapon. That vicious flash of deadly pride that he has seen in many warriors’ eyes, perhaps it was even in his own.
He smiled to himself: in many ways, they were alike. Perhaps, he would even dare to call her a warrior of sorts. She lacked physical strength, but one should never underestimate the mind. She was his equal on many levels; he had yet to meet any quite like her, Saiyajin or alien.
He ran his hands through his damp hair, noting blood clumping. He frowned; Freeza would pay dearly for such an insult. He stiffened as the hidden door slid open and a Saiyajin soldier, unfamiliar to Vejiita entered nervously. "What do you want?" the Prince barked annoyed.
The Saiyajin smiled oddly, stretching his hand behind his head in embarrassment. "I would like to talk to you." he stated, "About Tyr."
Vejiita narrowed his eyes, "You are from the western clans I assume?" the strange Saiyajin nodded, "I have heard little on Tyr, but I do know that I prefer him over Odin." the Saiyajin laughed, "Tell me what you believe, warrior, but hurry for I have much to consider."
Kakarott nodded, sitting down at the base of the statue of Odin, "Where do I begin?"
* * * * * * *
Bulma shivered against the cold stone wall. She was in complete darkness, save for the tiny ray of light that shone through the door window. She was completely alone and in utter fear. What had she done to deserve such a fate? It was the Prince who seduced her! Why had she been so weak? True, he was handsome and obviously had more common sense than any other Saiyajin, but he did not care about her. He would never care-she was nothing to him.
She sighed, why did it matter to her? Was she so desperate for someone to love? She leaned her head against the granite, shivering. What attracted her to him anyway? Maybe it was the way he looked at her earlier in the lab-with respect. It had been so long since someone had looked at her that way. It was as if he admired her almost.
Her thoughts were broken when she heard the guards speaking to someone outside the door, "Lord Rettich," the guard spoke in hushed tones, but his voice still echoed, "you shouldn’t be here!"
There was a small chuckle, "I know, but please do this as a favor for me, you know your father and I go back."
There was a quiet "Hai." and the door cracked open and Bulma rose to her feet and raced towards the door. She was stopped by a gentle grip that lightly pushed her back into her cell. "Running will do you no good, it will only quicken your death." She struggled to pull away, and he released her as soon as the door was secure, "I am here to offer you help," Rettich continued, she glared suspiciously at him, "You can trust me."
"I trust only myself." she spat.
"You do have a warrior’s spirit." he noted, "This will do you good." She backed away from him, shivering from the cold. He tore off his cape and offered it to her, she hesitated, then snatched it from him, "Why are you helping me?" she demanded, wrapping the crimson cloth around her bruised body.
He thought for a moment, then replied; "Because this is a great injustice and because Bohnen is a lying hypocrite who will destroy our empire." she sneered at that remark. He studied her for a moment; she held herself tall, her eyes held fire and pride, even after serving Freeza her will did not break. "I also wish to help you because of something you have done to our Prince. You have shattered a shell that was created by his teachers and mentors. He has always been taught to control emotions, to keep them bottled up inside. Now, I believe he is searching for his true self, the Legendary. He had never fitted with what his father wanted, now he will truly reach his destiny."
He paused, glancing at her. She seemed to absorb his words, then she looked up and asked, "Why do you think I am the cause for this? What makes you think that he is closer to his destiny because of me?"
"Because," Rettich whispered, "For the first time ever he cares for something other than himself," he paused, staring her directly in the eyes, "you."
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