CHAPTER 34: Royal Pain

Gritting his teeth, Kiwi leaps at Prince Vegeta again, his fists flying, but the agile Prince dodged each blow and fought back by driving his own fists into Kiwi's torso. The wind rushed from the purple fighter's lungs as he was sent sprawling back, allowing Kakarotto the opportunity to drive his knees into Vegeta's stomach.

Vegeta merely smirked as the attack hit, grabbing Kakarotto by the hair and smashing his head into that of his attacker. Kakarotto's eyes glazed over, and blood spurted from his mouth, but his head snapped up again and his eyes regained their focus.

"Just give it up," Vegeta growled. "Maybe then I'll spare your life, infernal rebels."

"I'm not giving up," Kakarotto spat. "In the meantime, you should watch your back."

The warning came too late for Vegeta to react. Bardock's hammerblow struck him in the back of the skull, causing the prince to drop Kakarotto and fall forward, reeling from the force of the blow. Not willing to let his advantage go to waste, Bardock drew back and gathered a ball of coruscating blue energy around his right hand, sending a gust of icy wind billowing out from his body. Just as Vegeta was turning to face his attacker, Bardock drew back and shouted, "Kouridama!", then thrust his hand forward.

Rippling out from Bardock's fingers, a blue ball of ki shot through the air towards Vegeta, leaving a trail of frost in its wake. Vegeta didn't have time to dodge, and he let out a loud cry as the Kouridama struck his body, exploding on impact and creating a massive ball of flying blue flame. Kiwi raised one arm to blunt the force of the icy winds that came slashing outwards from the explosion.

"Got him!" Kakarotto crowed. "Beautiful, father!"

"Don't get too cocky, son," Bardock advised, glaring into the bluish smoke cloud. "Never underestimate your opponent."

"Sound advice," came Vegeta's voice as he drifted from the smoke cloud, his right hand picking chunks of ice from his hair - the aftereffects of the chilling Kouridama. "That's an interesting attack, but it's not enough to beat me, geezer."

Bardock was thrown back by Vegeta's boot smashing into his chin, but Nappa and Rikum were there, towering over Vegeta and dwarfing him with their massive bodies. The two titans hurtled into battle like giants of legend, their massive fists driving into Vegeta's torso and head with extreme force. Still Vegeta endured, grinning and grabbing onto Rikum's forearms. The little warrior used his new handholds to vault upwards and drive his booted feet into Rikum's head.

As Rikum dropped back, Nappa went on the offensive, opening his mouth wide and blasting away with a vast mouth beam - the Ultimate Skill attack. Vegeta seemed surprised by the attack, but managed to raise a hand frantically, catching the blazing yellow beam and holding it in place.

"Something's got to give," Kiwi muttered as he watched the stalemate.

Something did give. Blurring in behind Nappa, Ginyu smacked the huge Saiyajin across the back of the head, then blurred away. The Ultimate Skill attack spluttered out of Nappa's nose like a demented Roman candle as he fell downwards, hitting the ground headfirst and forcing the rocks aside into a fair-sized crater.

"Hey!" Kakarotto bellowed. "That was a cheap shot!"

Now standing about twenty feet from Nappa's crater, Ginyu looked up at him. "I'm aware of that," he said quietly. "Nobody said that war was fair."

"Bastard," came the rebuttal from Kakarotto.

"Now, now. Such language."

"Fuck this talk!" Vegeta screamed. "I'm going to kill you fucking rebels RIGHT NOW!"

"Calm DOWN!" Ginyu bellowed at him. "How the hell do you expect to fight when you can't see past your own delusions?"

Vegeta glared at him for a moment, the muscles in his face contorting. The muscles twitched, then softened as the prince turned to face Kiwi. "I don't like you," he announced. "So I'll kill you first."

Kiwi was ready for the attack. Vegeta seemed surprised that none of his quick punches managed to connect, and seemed even more surprised when Kiwi's fist struck his stomach, sending him hurtling back. Kiwi pressed his advantage, leaping in with both fists at the ready. He clenched his teeth together as he began to pummel Vegeta downwards. The prince's body slammed into solid rock and kept going, sending stone chunks flying outward like little meteors. Still Kiwi did not relent; in fact, he began punching even faster, breathing heavily.

Then suddenly, Vegeta's twitching stopped, and a grin spread across his face. "I must admit I'm impressed," he said smugly, ignoring the fact that Kiwi was punching him furiously. "But I'll have to kill you now."

Kiwi's mind suddenly reeled as a huge force struck him in the chest - a ki beam blasting from Vegeta's hands. He vaguely felt his armor shattering into a billion pieces as he tumbled across the ground, landing in a bloody heap.

"That was surprisingly simple," Vegeta commented as he rose to his feet.

Kiwi was still conscious enough to be aware of his surroundings, so he could still see what was happening. He could vaguely make out Kakarotto hurtling at Vegeta, smashing his body into that of the prince and sending them both hurtling across the ground. Growling, Nappa exploded out of his crater as Kakarotto jumped upwards. This allowed Nappa a window of opportunity; he jumped on the fallen Vegeta and began to stomp him rapidly into the ground. After a moment or so, he leapt back.

Rikum continued the attack, his hands blurring as balls of ki lanced out from his fingers, pummeling Vegeta's body ruthlessly. However, Vegeta seemed to be taking little damage; the prince suddenly bounded out of his hole in the ground, charging upwards and striking Rikum in the stomach with both fists. Like Nappa had done earlier, Rikum seemed to fold in on himself as the attack struck, and Vegeta threw him to the ground.

"Shit!" Kakarotto shouted. "The little midget is bloody invincible!"

Groggily, Kiwi wondered how they could possibly win now.


Sauzaa had long since left the medical bay in search of prey. Thusly, no one was around to see the rejuvenation tank slide open, nor to see the black-haired Saiyajin emerge and shake the water from his fierce raven mane.

Raditsu was back in action, and stronger than ever.