CHAPTER 81: Demon vs. Demon

Bardock's powerful legs tensed as he prepared to hurtle into battle... but a blur of green flashed past him - Piccolo. The green being leapt at the mutated Dai Shinnoma, leading off with a mighty punch, a blow which Dai blocked with both forearms. The caped warrior set himself and began to pummel away rapidly, his green lips peeled back to reveal ivory fangs and purple gums.

Much to Bardock's surprise, Piccolo appeared to be holding his own against Dai; a few punches connected, sending the greyish beast staggering momentarily. Dai recovered almost instantly, hurling Piccolo into the sky with a mighty kick to the chin. As Piccolo soared through the air, Dai blurred into a classic technique - Zanzoken followed by an axehandle punch delivered to the stunned target. However, Piccolo wasn't as stunned as Dai suspected; as the big demon's fists descended, Piccolo's hands rose to grab Dai's wrists. The green demon immediately ducked between Dai's legs, pulling the huge demon into a ludicrous pose, his bottom high in the air and his torso crammed between his legs.

"That'd be funny if I didn't know who was fighting," Kiwi remarked, scratching his right valve.

"Shut up and watch," Broli rumbled at him. "And stay alert. We need to be ready in case Piccolo is hurt."

Dai quickly freed himself from Piccolo's grip, whirling on the green man with a roar and a backhanded punch. Piccolo easily deflected the attack with one wrist and drove his knee into the pit of Dai's stomach, hurling the bigger being backwards.

Breathing heavily, Dai managed to recover. "How are you doing this?" he demanded angrily.

"When you transformed, the process cut down on your speed," Piccolo replied with a cold smugness. "You can't risk that against me."

A smirk touched Dai's face. "Perhaps."

The two demons lunged at each other again, hammering at each other with punches and kicks almost too fast for Bardock to track. This continued for a moment or two until Dai was hurled backwards, nearly hitting a rock face. The big demon stopped in midair; Bardock could feel a massive ki surge building within Dai's body. A warning hovered on his lips... but it was drowned out in a sudden roar of flame. Dai had beaten him to the punch. The giant beast's mouth had opened like a demented canyon, and from deep within his throat emerged a hellish blast of flame. The hellfire scorched through the air, striking Piccolo dead-on and hurling him to the earth, his tunic and cape charred.

Dai slowly descended to earth, just in time to watch Piccolo rise to his feet. "You're good," he noted coolly. "Enough to make me bring this form to its full-"

"I'm through warming up," Piccolo interrupted him bluntly.

Dai stared at him for a moment, watching the green demon remove his turban and cast it aside, followed by his bulky cape. Now that Piccolo was freed of his weights, Bardock could feel a huge force building within the fused deity's form.

"Oh, please," Dai Shinnoma snickered. "A few weights won't effect the outcome of this battle, Green Bean."

"For a demon with a deity-level degree, you sure are dumb."

The conversation ended abruptly as Piccolo lunged into battle, vanishing into a Zanzoken move so fast that even Bardock's enhanced eyesight couldn't detect it. Scowling, the old Saiyajin looked away, noticing Raditsu rising from where he had fallen; Kakarotto was doing likewise. [Excellent. I expected no less of them.]

The battle dragged on...


On a small planet in Heaven, a squat blue being with mirrored shades and a robe watched the battle with interest. Hovering over one shoulder was a small golden cricket; a monkey was romping about not far away. However, North Kaiou-sama's attention wasn't focused on either of his pets.

"This is very interesting," the deity murmured. "It seems that Piccolo has pulled out all the stops. I suppose we'd better expect some pile-ups." He snickered at his own incredibly crappy joke.

[Pity me,] Gregory thought dismally to himself. Aloud, he asked, "What's happening?"

"Piccolo is fighting Dai Shinnoma. And he's winning. This could be it, Gregory; Piccolo could be the one who saves Earth!" However, worry had crept into Kaiou's voice.

"Why so worried?"

Kaiou's antennae drooped. "At heart, Piccolo is still a demon. I'm worried that even if Dai Shinnoma is defeated, Piccolo will try his luck at taking Earth. With the others as weakened from fighting Dai, Piccolo will be able to take Earth easily."

"Good point."

"Ooh aah aah aah," Bubbles remarked quietly, having shambled up to Kaiou's right leg.

Nobody replied.