CHAPTER 90: New Challengers

"I feel weak," Raditsu grumbled sourly, glancing over at the double-doors leading into a vast combat arena.

"Just relax," Kiwi advised the large Saiyajin, his cape rustling as he extended a hand to pat Raditsu on his black-swathed shoulder. "The Tenkaichi Budoukai is the greatest fighting tournament on Earth, so you're bound to encounter at least ONE fighter with some sort of talent. Besides, you'll probably be fighting US in the final few rounds."

"And in the meantime, I fight wusses I could walk all over using one millionth of a percent of my power." Raditsu's tone was surly. He plucked at his black ki and adjusted the red belt about his waist. "Bah well. If nothing else I can test that new attack I learned from the old hermit."

"Way to look on the-"

"Attention, thirteenth level combatants!" a voice called over the intercom. "Please enter the fighting ring now!"

"I'm off," Raditsu grunted, pushing his way through the double doors.

The arena was lit by spotlights, piercing the otherwise dark area and focusing on a vast fighting ring in the center. Already standing on the left side of the ring was a muscled man in a dopey-looking voodoo mask. Raditsu muttered a few choice curses before stepping into the ring, pushing his wild hair back with his right hand.

"In the red corner," announced a moustached man in the center of the ring, pointing at the voodoo guy, "hailing from the misty jungles of the Southwest, is the Voodoo Shaman Mocha Mocha!" In reply, the voodoo guy raised his feather-crowned staff and howled a warbling war cry, sending the fans in the stands into a rush of cheers.

"And in the blue corner..." The announcer gestured to Raditsu. "We have a previously unknown challenger; please welcome... Raditsu!"

Raditsu grunted once. The crowd cheered anyway.

"And now..." The announcer stepped out of the ring. "Llllllllet's get rrrready to rummmm-bllllle!" A half-second later, the loud note of a bell could be heard.

Mocha Mocha was the first to strike, lunging and howling with a swing of his feathered staff. Raditsu merely stood there and let the wooden weapon break into splinters as it struck his huge body, causing him no pain whatsoever. As Mocha Mocha began hitting him with futile punches and jabs, Raditsu extended one hand languorously and grabbed the shaman by the neck. Lifting him into the air without no effort at all, the big Saiyajin threw Mocha Mocha through the air. The shaman hit the ring with a loud thud.

He didn't get up.

"We have a winner!" The announcer roared. "Let's hear it for- Hey! How'd you get here?"

Raditsu glanced over quickly to see a trio of men confronting the announcer. The first two were garbed in suits of bulky red platemail, their visors raised to reveal the exotic angularity of their features. The third man wore a mailshirt over azure clothing, with no headgear covering his weathered face and slicked-back black hair. All three men wielded longswords. A quick probing thought revealed to Radits that the new arrivals carried a shocking amount of power, at least for humans.

"My name is Banira," the mailed man said in a cool, medium-pitched voice. "I hold the rank of High Etel of Lahnus. My men and I wish to challenge one of your fighters, Host."

"We have a new challenger!" the announcer declared to the crowd. "Let's hear it for High Etel Banira!"

"Quit stalling, Host," Banira said over the sudden noise of the crowd. "Bring forth the Saiyajin Raditsu or I will summon him myself."

The statement shocked Raditsu. [What the hell?] he thought to himself. [How did this human know who I was? And why the hell would he want to challenge me? I've never even met him before.]

"He's right over there," the announcer said, indicating Raditsu.

Grunting once, Banira turned to face the Saiyajin; his men turned with him, their longswords held at the ready.

"What the hell do you want from me?" Raditsu called across the fighting ring.

Banira's expression turned grim. "You have been found guilty of aiding in the death of Egrini Middle Etel of Lahnus," he announced. "I have been ordered by Kirue Supreme Tal to carry out your execution. Come peacefully, or you will be taken forcibly."

"I have no idea who you're talking about," Raditsu admitted. "But if you insist on this, I'm going to have to resist."

"So be it." Scowling, Banira jabbed the index finger of his free hand forward. "Kumador! Eural! Attack!"

Without any hesitation at all, the two armored men lunged forward, their longswords biting through the air as they swung at Raditsu. The big Saiyajin easily dodged the blows, spinning to deliver a roundhouse kick to the chest of the taller warrior. The armored man dodged the blow and aimed a vertical slash of his weapon at Raditsu's head, but the blade hit air as the wild-haired fighter executed a Zanzoken maneuver, appearing behind his assailant and nailing him with a hammerblow. The armored man was knocked to his knees, his longsword skittering across the fighting ring.

The second warrior had taken to the air, and was in the process of releasing a ki fireball just as Raditsu noticed him. The Saiyajin easily deflected the attack and soared into flight, striking the armored man with a knee to the stomach. The swordsman was sent flying through the air, then soared to the earth as Raditsu hammered him with a downward kick.

The taller warrior was up again, letting fly with a ki fireball of his own. Raditsu simply ploughed through the ki attack and slammed his full bulk into the armored man, sending human and Saiyajin toppling backwards. Raditsu rose quickly, punching the fallen warrior in the face before grabbing the man's sword and hurling it at the other soldier. His aim was true; the spiralling blade bit through the soldier's neck, severing his head and sending it tumbling to earth. Upon hearing a groan from the other soldier, Raditsu looked down and cracked the armored man's head with a mighty punch.

"Very impressive," came Banira's voice from behind Raditsu. "Now, it's my turn to take the field."

"Bring it on." Raditsu rose, turning to face his new opponent. "I'm ready for you."