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CHAPTER TWENTY-SIX: DEPARTURE

"You're leaving?" Bulma asked, completely confused, "But why? Did we do something? Is it business? What?"

Zarbon had gotten the distinct impression within the past few days that that green-haired lady had apparently forgotten about his transformation and seemed quite besotted with him. Poor sap.

"I already told you why," he said, "I have some pressing business, and besides that, I'm making sure that nothing unseemly will happen to this little planet of yours. Besides, Bardock's staying behind anyway."

Bulma shrugged. "Okay. Whatever. You go off and kill someone. We'll watch Gokou's dad for you." She abruptly walked off. Maybe she wasn't trying to flirt with him, after all.

Zarbon turned to leave the Capsule House when he came face-to-face with a certain character he had not seen much of on earth, yet who interested him wuite a bit... Piccolo.

Piccolo simply stood there, outside the door, arms folded.

"Hello, Piccolo," Zarbon said, offering him a slight head bow, "I'll be going soon. Goodbye."

Piccolo, completely silent, simply stepped in front of Zarbon, blocking his path.

Zarbon turned to walk around him. The Namek followed, still not making a sound.

Zarbon shrugged, somewhat irritated. "I don't know if this is some sort of Namek game, but I'd like to be going now, if you don't mind." Piccolo simply stood there. "I said," Zarbon continued, "I plan to leave very soon, and there's something I need to do!" Silence.

"What the Hell's the matter with you, namek?" He nearly shouted, then caught himself. "Is there anything you'd like to discuss with me right now?" He said with a forced friendliness.

Piccolo did not even attempt at forcing friendliness. "I don't trust you, or your friends. What are you really here for?" He growled.

"Nothing different than what I told you before," Zarbon stated, curiously.

"I said I don't trust you. You and your games," Piccolo said that last word with utter contempt. "You act all nice and friendly, make everybody like you, and then what? Don't think that I've forgotten who you really are. If you don't remember, I was there when you first tried attacking us."

"So? A lot of people were, and you don't see them blocking my way, now, do you?"

"What I see," Piccolo said, "Is a vile murderer who for some reason has been playing nice all of a sudden. What else I see," he continued, "Is at least one of you who may be genuine- Gokou's father. But you and your lady friend sneak around and keep to yourselves just a little too much for my tastes!"

"Sneak around?" Zarbon asked, nearly laughing, "Is that what you see?"

"Maybe that's not the right word, but you two seem pretty tight, and it's not in that sense, either."

"Well, you're right about one thing. I'm not interested in Zangya in *that* way."

"But how interested are you in us?"

"What exactly do you mean by that?"

"You said earlier that Earth was a beautiful planet. How much would it make you if you were to sell it? Come on, let's be honest. I'm the Demon King, remember?"

"You're no more a demon than I am!"

"then I guess that makes me the Devil incarnate!"

Zarbon's face turned a somewhat darker shade of blue. This Namek was really starting to get on his nerves, now. "Look, I have no interest in your planet, or in your people. Frankly, I couldn't care less! But the fact is, one of my teammates DOES care about you, and for him I'd spare this world! There? Are you satisfied?"

"Not satisfied enough. I'll never be satisfied with you. I don't trust you, blue man, and I never will."

"that's fine, then. We can make it mutual. Want to swear on my secret decoder ring?"

Piccolo smirked, showing a fang or two. "Not if you don't want to lose a finger."

"And, besides," Zarbon said, putting his hands onto his hips, "What exactly makes you want to trust Bardock so much" Most Saiya-jin have little or no respect for their families!"

"I don't trust him- entirely." Piccolo said. "He's safe for now, but something's just not right with him. Gohan doesn't like him, and neither do I."

"You're right there, my friend," Zarbon said, "He hasn't been acting normally. I'm worried about him. Keep an eye on him while I'm gone, 'k?"

"You're asking me? I thought you didn't trust me?"

"Just forget it, then. Now, will you excuse me? Zangya and I still have yet to plot how we'll kill you all in five minutes flat."

Piccolo burst out laughing at the joke and let Zarbon go. He stopped laughing very shortly afterward. He didn't like that man. Not at all.

***

"Hey, Zangya," Zarbon said as he entered the ship, "Where's Bardock?"

"You missed him. He just grabbed his things and left. Didn't even say a word."

Zarbon smirked. "Well, at least there's some proof that he's Saiya-jin."

"Besides the tail," Zangya added.

"Besides the tail," Zarbon repeated.

The two left for Capital that evening.

***