Kakarot and the Quest for the Dragonballs @lord22
Four Matches, No Effort

Chapter Sixty-Seven: Four Matches, No Effort

One capsule later and Bulma was driving a plane in the direction of Kakarot and the others. As they did, Launch was polishing her new gun. Bulma glanced at her, moving her tail, so she wasn't sitting on it. This thing was really inconvenient. "So why did you pick that up, anyway?"

"Hey, I need a new one, don't I?" asked Launch.

"Well yeah," said Bulma, "but you can probably punch harder than any gun. And you can do kamehameha waves. So isn't it sort of obsolete."

There was an audible click as Launch lowered her gun. "My baby is not obsolete! You hear me!"

"Yes, yes, I get it!" said Bulma, trying to keep from crashing.

Launch relaxed and looked back to the land passing beneath them. Blowing a strand of blonde hair out of her eyes, she glanced at Bulma. Or rather at the part of Bulma that was below her chin and bouncing. It was only a moment, and then her eyes were on Bulma's face.

Launch was sort of cute, wasn't she? In a sort of in-your-face psychotic-

Bulma blushed furiously and looked away. No, no, don't think about that.

"So what now?" asked Launch.

"Now we'll have to meet up with Kakarot and the others, I guess," said Bulma. "Whatever Barracks is doing, I am not picking a fight with him.

"Still..." Bulma thought about the guy they'd just escaped from.

"What?" said Launch.

"Well, I mean um, Barracks has a uh... breathtaking physique if you know what I mean," said Bulma, remembering those ripped abs and focusing on those instead of the girl next to her.

"Just focus on the road, Bulma. We're liable to-" began Launch.

And then the whole plane shook as the sound of an explosion rocked the cockpit. Bulma tried to keep control as they descended.

"What the hell?" said Launch.

"We're going down!" said Bulma, reading the scanners. "Our left wing is blown off! Hang on, I've got to get us in for a landing..."

Quickly turning to a nearby field, Bulma tried to keep them steady as they hit the ground. Dirt smashed against the glass as they delved a huge furrow in the ground. Keeping steady, Bulma realized the shock hadn't been as bad as expected.

Launch opened the cockpit and stepped out, followed by Bulma. "Alright, who's the wise guy who shot us!"

"That would be us." said a smug voice.

Bulma whirled around and took a stance alongside Launch. There they saw Pilaf and Mai standing before them in mecha suits. Did they really think that would stop them?

"Pilaf, you worthless little scamp!" said Launch. "If you think I'm going to just let you off with a few bruises for this-"

"Um, have you ever fought him?" asked Bulma, not really remembering as her new tail twitched.

"Shut up, dear." snapped Launch, voice taking on a british tone. "I'm just about to teach this one a-" And then a capsule landed between them and green smoke around.


Instantly, Bulma found her body going limp as she fell forward. Launch wasn't far behind. "What is this..."

"Anasetic gas," said Shu, landing behind them. "I'm sorry, I saw you three making your big elaborate speeches. So I figured I'd launch my attack while you were doing it."

"You... worthless... little..." began Launch, crawling forward.

"Ahahahahaha! Emperor Pilaf is invulnerable!" cried Pilaf. "Search the plane and take these two ladies captive! They may be of use to us!"

This was just not Bulma's day was it...

Baba had chosen the arena in the center of a huge lake. It was... scenic. Kakarot paused to contemplate the lillys in the water and also the fish within.

"So, an outdoor arena. Very nice," said Roshi. "So, where are the fighters?"

"You'll face them one at a time," said Baba. "Your entire team may enter and face them. Each one will be a chance or you to win.

"However, if all of you are beaten, that's it. Also, I hold no accountability if any of you are killed."

"I don't think that's legal," said Puar.

"I operate on a legal system where death is but an inconvenience, little kitty," grunted Baba. "Now, on the other hand, in the unlikely event that you defeat all of them, well,

then you will be able to have my dragon ball. Or have your fortune told, depending on which you'd prefer."

"Great, so who's going first?" asked Kakarot.

"Good question," said Roshi. "Any takers?"

"Um, let me, Master Roshi," said Krillin, moving forward. "I didn't get much of a chance to do any fighting, what with freeing pretty much everyone.

"Let me get some battle glory."

"Fair enough, Krillin can go first," said Roshi.

"Alright, I'll watch," said Chi Chi. "I kind of had enough of fighting for a bit." And she leaped onto her Nimbus to sit and observe."

"Alright, Baba Yaga, your fighters had better get ready to lose," said Krillin as he climbed into the ring beneath the beating sun.

"Please," scoffed Baba. "Baba Yaga wishes she had my style."

"Krillin, remember to go all out!" said Yamcha.

"Huh, why?" asked Krillin, glancing back.

"We need that dragonball, remember," said Kakarot. "Even if you're facing an enemy that looks weak, remember that you look really weak too."

"Hey, I do not look weak, Kakarot!" snapped Krillin. "I am a stout, mighty martial artist."

"Just don't screw this up," said Kakarot. "We've got a wish to make."

"Uh, that reminds me," said Yamcha. "We've uh... got a wish to make ourselves. This boy, Upa, had his father killed by Mercenary Tao. We were planning to wish him back."

"Fine, fine," said Kakarot.

"You don't have a problem with that?" asked Yamcha. "I thought you wanted to fight your grandfather again?"

"Yeah, I know," said Kakarot.

"Resurrecting a loved one is certainly a noble use for the dragonballs," said Roshi.

"Yeah," said Puar, "it's a shame we can't bring back everybody the Red Ribbon Army killed?"

Everyone stared.

"...Could the dragon do that?" asked Yamcha.

"It's an idea worth asking about," said Roshi. "It would certainly help a lot of people."

"Fangs, come forward!" said Baba. "Hurry up."

Out of the doors shot a blue-skinned man with spiky hair. Leaping onto the stage, he raised boxing gloves and posed. He had two very visible fangs. "So, who's blood am I going to suck today?"

"Hah, this should be no sweat," said Krillin.

"Then prove it," said Fangs as both took stanches.

"Right," said Krillin.

"Begin," said Baba. "Now, young Krillin, you will bear witness to the unstoppable power of Fangs the Vampire. He is the first of my fighters. Although he is far weaker than the others, he will be more than sufficient to-"

Fangs went flying out of the arena to faceplant against the stonework with a crack. Baba shut her mouth, glanced back, and sighed. "-be instantly KO'd.

"...Well, I suppose these things do happen. Very well, next fighter enter."

There were sounds of footsteps, but no one saw anything. Kakarot blinked as whatever it was entered.

"I don't see anyone," said Krillin.

"Oh, he's there alright," said Baba. "He's already in the ring."

"But what-" began Krillin, before blinking like he'd been smashed with a wet cloth. "-huh, did something just hit me?" His head moved slightly. "Yeah, something is hitting me?"

"Ow!" hissed the figure.

"Did someone just speak?" asked Chi Chi.

"Um, are you invisible?" asked Krillin.

"What? No!" said someone.

"Huh, so she's employing an invisible man," said Yamcha. "That's a pretty cheap tactic."

"Yep, but it's no good against a disciple of the Turtle School," said Roshi.

"Yamcha, this is pretty boring, isn't it?" asked Puar as the invisible man kept hitting Krillin. The yowls of pain were not coming from Krillin, though.

"You said it, Puar," said Yamcha. "Krillin, could you finish this up?"

"Well, I would, but I can't see him," said Krillin. "What do I do, Master Roshi?"

"Try using your other senses," said Roshi. "If in doubt, always follow your nose."

"But I don't-" Krillin got punched between the eyes. "-I don't have a nose!"

"Okay," said Yamcha thoughtfully, "what about your other senses?"

"Oh, right," said Krillin, before closing his eyes.

He must have heard something before he swung a kick and hit his enemy. There was a cry, and then a human-shaped crack appeared just above Fangs. Fangs himself promptly flopped down onto the walkway and groaned.

"...And he's down," said Baba.

"So, Baba, how about those invincible fighters you promised us?" asked Roshi, looking absurdly pleased.

"Hey, Krillin, swap with me, will you?" asked Yamcha.

"What, but I didn't lose," said Krillin.

"Right, but at this rate, you're going to KO everyone. Give someone else a chance," said Yamcha.

Krillin smirked and walked past, tagging out. "Fine, fine, go at it, Yamcha." He halted just below he left. "Hey, uh, this doesn't count as a forfeit, does it?"

"No," said Baba through gritted teeth. "No, it does not." Then she regained her composure. "Still, the enemies you will far will become far more terrible henceforth. They are leagues beyond what you just faced. If you choose to back out now, I won't think any less of you than I do already."

"Leagues beyond?" asked Yamcha. "Alright, I might actually break a sweat."

"Go, Yamcha!" said Puar.

"But we won't be fighting here," said Baba, radiating shadow.

And that was how they moved to a vast, several story battlefield. They looked out a window to a huge bridge in the shape of serpent tongues. Beneath it was a vast pool of bubbling acid.

"Behold, a narrow way upon which you will fight!" said Baba. "And below is a vast pool of acid that can burn a man to goo in mere moments! Beware, for if you make one wrong step, it shall be your end!"

"Just get on with it," said Yamcha. "I'm ready for anything."

"As you wish," said Baba. "But you'll wish you'd been less eager. Bandages, come forward."

As Yamcha stood on the bridge, the gate opened on the other side. Out of it walked a massive mummy. Moving forward, he clenched his fists and took a stance.

"A mummy, huh?" said Yamcha.

"Begin!" said Baba.

Yamcha surged forward in a blur, and the mummy narrowly raised his arm to cast the fist. There was a clash, and then the mummy was sent flying backward. Yamcha was casual. "Huh, that was faster than I was expecting."

Bandages surged forward and unleashed a massive flurry of blows at Yamcha. The former bandit dodged and weaved effortlessly. He hardly seemed to be expending any effort. Bandages attacked with greater and greater fury.

"Amazing!" said Puar. "Yamcha is dodging every hit like it's nothing. He's hardly even moving."

"Yes, now that I see it, he has advanced a great deal," said Roshi. "Though his technique is still a bit unrefined, he's come a long way."

"I haven't seen anything like this since..." began Baba. "Nevermind."

"Stand still, damn you!" said Bandages, before swinging a fist.

This time, Yamcha did not move. He caught the fist between two fingers and held it in place. "Oh come on, big guy, I'm right here."

"Why you-" began Bandages.

Then Yamcha kneed him in the gut. Bandages kneeled over as Yamcha stood tall. "Sorry, that just seemed like a really good opening is all. How about-"

Then Bandages wrappings were loosed and wrapped around his legs. Pulling him away, Yamcha was sent toppling down toward the acid.

"Yamcha!" said Puar.

Even as he fell, however, Yamcha wasted no time. Turning in mid-air, he made hand motions and channeled energy. "Kamehameha!"

Down went a beam of white light, propelling him away from the acid. Turning in midair, Yamcha landed on the bridge and took his stance without wasting any energy. "Alright, I got careless," he admitted.

"Don't scare us like that!" said Chi Chi.

Kakarot wasn't sure that he'd be able to pull off a stunt like that. Well, he could, but not so effortlessly. "What are you doing Yamcha! Stop playing around and finish this! We've got a timetable."

"Fine, fine," said Yamcha.

"Stop treating me like a joke-" began Bandages.

And then Yamcha leaped over him, and karate chopped him across the neck. Instantly he collapsed.

"Wow," said Krillin. "That was smooth."

How could Yamcha have possibly gotten this powerful so quickly? He'd mentioned Korin's Tower, of course. But could such a short period of training have made this kind of difference? Kakarot was going to have to step up his game.

"...Match over," said Baba.

"So, this is the part where you proclaim that the next one is leagues ahead of the others," said Kakarot flatly.

"Would it help?" asked Baba.

"Probably not," admitted Kakarot.

As soon as Bandages was carried off the field by a medical crew of ghosts, the next room began. Baba stood by, looking more than a little worried now.

"Spike, come forward," said Baba.

As Baba spoke, out of the room came a blue-skinned demon, with bat wings. He looked at Yamcha with a disdainful countenance. "So, this is the challenger?"

"One of many," said Baba. "None of them have been disqualified. "Your coworkers have not been earning their pay. Begin."

"Well, not to worry, I'll make short-" began Spike.

"WOLF FANG FIST!" cried Yamcha, surging forward.

Whatever Spike was planning on doing, he didn't have time to do it. Yamcha unleashed a flurry of strikes against him. The barrage sent him flying backward out the door he'd come in. Baba put her head in her hands.

"...And KO," she said. "This is something of an off day."

"Believe me, you aren't the only one disappointed," said Kakarot.

"Alright, Roshi, I'll admit, these students of yours have real potential," said Baba. "But, you'll never make it past my last contestant."

"You want me to hold you to that?" asked Roshi.

"By all means," said Baba. "Let's get back to the arena and see how well... Yamcha is it, does against him."

"Hang on, let me go. Let me have a turn," said Chi Chi.

"Sure thing, Chi Chi," said Yamcha. "It isn't like anyone here is going to be able to stop us."

"I'm going to enjoy watching you eat those words, boys," said Baba.

Why was she so confident? They still had a full crew and had utterly crushed everyone they'd faced. Bandages had been leagues ahead of the first two. So obviously whoever this was, was way stronger than Bandages. They might actually be a threat, then.

Something told Kakarot things were about to get interesting.

Author's Note:

So yeah, this tournament has been incredibly anticlimactic so far.

The truth is that the Fortuneteller Baba arc is a pretty good one. It advances several characters' arcs and gives minor characters a chance to shine. Unfortunately, here, the rivalry between Kakarot and his fellows is actually a contest.

Since all of them are equals, it means that most of Baba's people are rendered fodder.

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