Chapter 97 - DEADMAN Standing
Written by Demod20


The world is in chaos.

The horizon exploded with large domes and cones of light. Cell's deployment of whatever these mimics of himself felt way stronger than the 'children'. Way more powerful than Cell ever was.

From the multiple signatures scattered across the planet, he went on a course he felt drawn to. Straight towards the center of the continent: The Central Capital.

Something tells me this isn't coincidental...

Tenshinhan's eyes narrowed, his frowning lip baring. As his pale aura screeched across the sky, his body accelerating from a streak to a blur of snow white. Reappearing within a clap of thunder, his third eye glared with a ray of light.

There, down in Central Capital, was a familiar white turban atop a green scalp. A glowing four fingered hand was held towards a bleeding King of Nations, who lied on his back within half of his office surrounded by his dead security guards. The half intact castle was torn asunder, burning and billowing smoke, giving the Daimaō Piccolo's Clone an orangish silhouette of Hellish overcast.

Upon hearing his arrival, the doppelganger turned its head, one eye staring at him and grimacing at the Sun outlined around the newfound challenger. Grinning maliciously, the Nameccian Clone fired its primed Kikoha at the king-

PING!

-and felt a sudden whoosh as his attack was deflected by an instantly arriving Crane Fighter. After turning its head forward, its eyes bulged as a fist slammed into his face and chest dozens of times. Finished with a crack, Piccolo's Clone was sent flying backwards across the ruined capital, smashing into a partially intact skyscraper, collapsing it as it piled on top of him.

"I-Is that you..." The King rasped out, leaning himself upright with his left closed and his right eye bulging wide at the cloaked, familiar man floating not more than a stone throw away. "-T-Tenshinhan?!"

"Stay still, your majesty," The three eyed man spoke quiet but firmly without turning his head. "This isn't the Demon King you once knew. This is Cell's doing."

"I saw on the news...but I didn't want to believe it," The King soberly spoke with eyes clenched shut. "I thought Goku finished him for good. Damn that monster!"

A violent explosion cleared the debris field burying the demonic entity. A roaring aura of golden-white filled with multiple signatures he knew all too well. Grimacing, he felt the power rise even higher than it already was. Even from here he could see an evil expression as a now turban-less Piccolo grinned madly as his cape flapped violently behind him from his own venting power.

"Going to take a lot of firepower to put him down without him getting back up," He said aloud, mostly to himself rather than the King. "I won't hold back - full power from the start!"

It was that moment that Tenshinhan's body undulated with a strange energy. Bluish flame licked up his body, immersing him in a mantle of fire that glowed with a star-like luminescence. As the energy became more translucent, it roared outward as the Crane Fighter let out a baleful howl; one so terrible that it cast a stinging gale down at Piccolo's doppelganger, causing its face to grimace at the distant sight.

When the ki settled, the Nameccian Clone stared in wide eyed disbelief.

There, hovering in the air in front of the castle, was a four-armed, three-faced man burning with crimson light. Fiery lines branded upon his body like tattooed veins, pulsing with an ominous current just as pupiless glowing red eye glared down at its quarry.

"Let's see how you handle this!"

Just as he spoke those words, a crimson light streaked down like lightning towards Piccolo's copy. The antennae crown of the emerald fighter whipped back and unleashed a pair of eye beams at the streak of light; only for it to fizzle out entirely on contact.

"Hngh!" The Nameccian Clone gurgled out, its face concaved inward while it's arms were twisted backward with it's knees. A final blow detonated within it's chest, exploding it's body in a shower of crimson gore, the last four appendages shot instantly before hitting the ground.

"That should be the end of you," Tenshinhan said, lowering his upper right hand to his side. "Now to help the others-"

It happened in an instant.

A spike of ki followed a piercing lance of light, drilling through his back and out of his chest. Blank eyes widened and mouth was agape, blood vomiting out as the three eyed martial artist stumbled forward.

"Dammit!" Tenshinhan swore, his teeth gnashing as he clutched his wound with one hand while looking over his shoulder as Piccolo's Clone rose out of the hole with a wicked smile; and an exact replica of his appearance prior to taking any damage.

Piccolo regenerated?! I destroyed his body before he could-!

Tenshinhan realized a moment before the Nameccian copy launched an elastic limb towards his neck. Twisting his upper right arm to deflect the clawing appendage, he grasped it in a vice grip and hauled him off his feet towards himself.

Slamming a pair of right fists into the Piccolo's head and chest, the skull and chest cavity exploded in fiery gore. Painting the street of the Central Capital with viscera and bile, it was soon eradicated in a white-hot flash of light.

"You hid a double underground, attacking when my guard was down," He said aloud, his crimson lined body throbbing as the wound from his back and chest was now glowing as well. "You aimed well, but as I am, I cannot be killed."

As he said this, a distinctive dimming was noticeable to the blood red lines across his body. The outer array of the crimson veins dispersed, leaving his muscular skin a deep red but devoid of the thrumming color; the wounds were gone and so was the energy used.

Something tells me that isn't the last one...

When the Crane Fighter maneuvered to the building's remains, he focused his ki sense through the hole of which the double emerged. As if he was tunneling deep beneath the Central Capital he picked up numerous pockets of life energy, swelling and changing in form.

"I see what you're doing."

Tenshinhan clapped his four hands, forming fiery light between his fingers. Kneeling down to the earth he slammed his palms into the ground-

-unleashing columns of luminous energy beneath the capital. The city buckled, structures collapsed while still in burning ruins and horrific screams of agony sounded across the battlefield.

Raising his head, all three glowing eyes glared as his two proximate faces snarled. There in the sky was Piccolo's Clone, flanked by three others; one which ripped a mutilated arm off and regenerated a new one with a grotesque squelch.

"Four left," He spoke, assuming a crouched stance with two outstretched palms and two clenched fists at his sides. "Time to erase you."

Two of the four Piccolo Clones charged at him, this time embroiled in vibrant red auras. Tenshinhan rushed upward, meeting the two in tandem in a flurry of blows. The four arms easily parried the enhanced two, even as they lobbed kikoha and shot antennae or eye beams to catch him off guard.

Deflecting them with swivels of his upper arms, his lower palms cracked against their torsos with loud pops. As they gasped for air, his upper arms slammed into their heads, breaking their teeth and bursting the top of their emerald crowns.

Kicking them away, he'd be met with a pair of mouth kikoha.

"Not enough!" Tenshinhan shouted, his four palms burning alight with crimson flames. Palming the two energy beams, he coalesced their plasma into a pair of swirling spheres between both sets of palms. Before the stunned Nameccian copies, he'd thrust his hands back and released plumes of godly ki. Unable to scream, the two were erased while the head of fire dissipate at the top of the earth below, sparing the surrounding ruined city.

Two down, two to...what?

His line of thinking halted, pupiless eyes shooting wide. Above him, he saw the outline of one of the Piccolo Clones' doubles bursting into a ghostly flame of lime-white. Thrusting onto the other, shriek of power and an intense change in the Clone's power released a powerful gale from its release.

As Tenshinhan felt the scale of his opponent increase, that haunting demonic laugh filled the sky in dark triumph.

"So that was your plan? To give you an edge by borrowing power with even more fake proxies?" Tenshinhan sneered, his own blood colored mantle of light roaring to life as he shouted in rebuke. "The Piccolo I knew has more pride than that!"

The Piccolo Clone didn't respond in a vocal diatribe of weakness or strength in what Tenshinhan said. It simply laughed in that unforgettable cruel cackle he remembered all too well the last time he fought the Daimaō.

The three eyed warrior clenched his teeth and balled all four fists. The desire to end this quickly was overwhelmed by his urge to make this effigy of a long dead evil pay.

This became personal.

Roaring out in a devilish streak of purple-green, Tenshinhan instantly manifested in front of his foe. The Nameccian copy slashed its claws at the Crane Fighter's chest, cutting through the divine layer of energy and splitting flesh open in a flay of blood. In return, four fists crashed against his skull and chest, releasing palpable force that detonated in fire and extreme air pressure.

Gritting its broken teeth, the rapid recovery of the copy's flesh happened in a grotesque squelch seconds after his foe's divine healing. Roaring out, it began to slash, jab, and punch with all of its newly acquired power at his adversary.

But for each injury it dealt, four more brutal ones were received.

The air filled with terrible sounds and flashes of light. Without budging from their spot in the sky, they savagely dealt damage to each other while quaking the heavens with their demonic and divine might.

Broken bones and crushed muscles were swiftly regenerated slower for Piccolo's Doppelganger than Tenshinhan's supernatural healing. While the latter had markings dim within the outer layer of vein-like markings working inward, the Nameccian Clone felt its strength begin to wane from the constant battery of punishment.

He's getting slower. Sloppy. It's time to end this!

The martial artist was certain his foe could be destroyed. With only a few lines remaining on his face and center of his chest, Tenshinhan determined this would be the last chance to keep this creature dead.

Grasping the Clone's arms, his two other arms swathed in a bristling mantle of fire, making the limbs themselves dark silhouettes within their epicenter. A look of terror dawned on the Clone's face, his body squirming, kicking and screaming in resistance.

This is the end for you, Daimaō's Shadow...

"Muketsu Tensei!"

Two enormous fists sprouting in the sky struck the Nameccian Doppelganger's body. Its pain filled howl was muted compared to the godly flame of the asura-image that bestowed its deadly wrath upon him. Flesh burned off muscle, giving way to blackening bone before all became ash and then...nothing at all.

"Finally...his ki is gone," Tenshinhan breathed aloud with effort and relief. Dispelling his additional arms and his form, he knew it'd take a little while to recover his strength. With a grimace he looked to the horizon, watching Cell's fight with Gohan as if he was right beside them.

"Kick his ass, kid," Tenshinhan said with a grim smile. "You're the only one who can."


A/N:
Demod20: And I once again have the privilege to add my talents to the Erased Chronicles! This was a lot of fun, if only because Tenshinhan is one of my favorite characters of og Dragon Ball and the better early half of DBZ. Him facing down a Clone of Piccolo ransacking the Central Capital is so cathartic to me, and him giving Cell's misbegotten spawn absolute destruction is the only way I could see this ending. I know its on the shorter aide but I hope you all enjoyed it for what it was ^^

LastationLover5000:

So, this is anther chapter that Demod was able to lend his talents to, and it is finally time to post it! Tenshinhan's mode is really cool; since Tenshinhan typically uses his life force for his techniques, this one uses all of his life force as a battery to keep him moving. By channeling his ki this way, he is essentially "dead", and his life force keeps his body functioning, mending wounds and invigorating him. As long as the markings that cover his body last, his life force brims and keeps his body intact, but for each fatal wound he sustains, the marks fade and lose their effectiveness; when they all run out, he dies legitimately. They can also burn out entirely on their own if he fights for too long, and he'll kill himself that way. Had Piccolo been sentient (or had Tenshinhan had to fight Cold), he very well may have died via a war of attrition. The finishing technique he used roughly translates to "Bloodless Transmigration of Souls", courtesy of Demod as well. I'll be back soon, everyone, as we finally get to the main event of the Erased Chronicles: Gohan vs. Cell! Be ready, it's going to be a doozy!