A/N: No, this is no April Fool's, my friends. A new story, a new hero. Thanks to all of you that have reached out to me after the release of my notice- you've all been far more supportive and concerned for me than I expected, and it touches my heart to see that you do care for the author, not just the stories. I sincerely hope that you enjoy my work once again, as you have before.
The story begins in Conton City, which for those of you who don't know, is the city where you start out in the game Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2, and the home of the Time Patrol (people that basically make sure the Dragon Ball timeline goes the way it's supposed to). Pretty much all you need to know in advance, everything else will be explained as we go.
OP Song: Flow by Hero
P.S. There is a preview for the rest of the story after the omake, so if you don't care for those, just skip the commentary after the chapter.
Prologue: Chapter 1
Conton City, Time Patrol Headquarters Age 868
"Is that him…?"
"You seriously haven't heard about that guy?!"
A heavy sigh escaped my lips as I inwardly cursed, for perhaps the thousandth time in my life, my extra-sensitive Saiyan hearing. While nowhere near the level of acute hearing that a Namekian possessed, one did tend to pick up on conversations that were whispered in one's close vicinity. Things like accidental eavesdropping were only made more annoying by the fact that most of the time, people would be discussing you in what they thought were safe whisperings.
I hate this, I thought unhappily as I unobtrusively took note of a small group of people gathered underneath one of Conton City's palm trees, three of them humans, one of them a violet-colored Majin female. They were doing a lot less better of a job than I was at hiding the fact that they were staring as they discussed the subject of their curiosity.
"He's supposed to be the son of Goken and Lettis, the heroes of Toki Toki and Conton City!" That was the Majin, her high-pitched, girlish voice grating harder on my already-worn nerves. "That makes him the descendant of both Vegeta and Goku!"
"Wha-?! No way!" One of the humans, also a female, exclaimed. Did I detect a hint of daydreaming in her voice? Ugh.
"Wait, does that make him a full Saiyan?" The first speaker, a dark-skinned male Time Patroller asked, his fingers going up slowly to his scouter. "If that's true, gotta wonder what his power level is…"
"Moron, it doesn't work like that," the Majin huffed loudly. "He's barely got any actual Saiyan blood in him- hardly any of them do nowadays- which makes a certain fact about him way more interesting."
"He's got the tail," the Majin said excitedly, causing me to narrow my eyes in further annoyance.
What am I, a genetic exhibition to these people? I thought, grinding my teeth, but doing my best to keep my power level in check.
"Big deal, so what if he's got a tail?" the fourth speaker, a pale Time Patroller from Earth asked airily, trying to pretend that the subject didn't interest him.
"Didn't you pay attention in biology?" the Majin girl sighed, annoyed. "Tails are really rare these days. Even though the Saiyan biology is mostly dominant whenever they have kids with another species, the tail is actually a recessive trait. Those that do have it are generally stronger than the ones without it- Gohan was a prime example of that!"
"So he's the descendant of the two most powerful mortals to ever walk the cosmos, and he's got basically every physical advantage that he could want?" asked the human girl. "Man, he must be raring to get to work on the Time Patrol. Supreme Kai of Time is probably gonna let him get to do all kinds of crazy stuff!"
"But his power level is only ten," the first male patroller muttered as he frowned at his scouter. "How…?"
It was at this point that I felt quite fed up with their ignorance and general rudeness. Standing up quickly from the bench I had been sitting on, I strode past them with my hands in my pockets and muttered just loud enough for them to hear, "If you're still relying on your scouter, you're a far cry from Time Patroller material."
"Oh!" exclaimed the Majin girl. "You, uh… You heard…?"
"You seem to be an expert on Saiyan biology," I replied pithily, glaring at the four of them, all but the last speaker seeming to shrink back a bit at my impending temper. "You tell me."
"Now, now," said the fourth member of the group, the one who had been acting disinterested. "There's no cause to be unpleasant. We were simply having a conversation among ourselves- in fact, if anyone has cause to be upset, it is us. You seem to have been eavesdropping." He tried to meet my gaze evenly, but I could detect the faint flicker of fear in his eyes that I was used to seeing in just about everyone I came across.
Speaking slowly as to make sure they got the message, I growled, "I don't give a damn if you're upset or not. If you're going to talk about someone close by, at least have the decency to include them in the conversation- or say it to their face. Don't whisper loud enough to wake the dead and point for everyone in sight to notice."
"We didn't point at y-"
"You used your scouter to try and read my power level, it's basically the same thing," I snarled, my thin patience already worn out. If there was any obvious trait other than my tail that I had inherited from my simian ancestors, it was my temper and lust for a good fight.
Moving on, I tossed over my shoulder, "This place is supposed to be for people of different ages uniting under the cause of protecting history- not a fan club for you lot to gush over your favorite superheroes." The girls reddened rapidly while the two men locked their jaws, and crossed their arms with sullen expressions.
Hmph, not even enough guts to try and pick a fight, I thought in further disappointment. My instincts were itching, my limbs almost aching for some action. Still, I couldn't just go around getting into fights because some Time Patrollers were annoying me.
Damned Elder Kai, running his mouth for all of time to hear, I sighed for the thousandth-and-one time.
For therein lay my problem. All my life, even since before the time before I could walk, I suspected, I had been compared to a name that was not my own. My father Goken, the first hero of the Time Patrol and personal friend to Trunks Briefs, was one of those names. Another was my mother Lettis, who had later on been identified as one of Trunks' future descendants come to the Time Nest to fight against Mira and Towa, and the Hero of Conton City who saved everyone, even my father, from being erased from time itself. Of course, their names paled when compared the luminosity of my more distant ancestors; Son Goku, the low-level Saiyan warrior who had transcended the gods themselves, and Vegeta, the once and forever Prince of all Saiyans who accompanied his eternal rival Kakkarot on their quest for ever-greater power.
There were other names on the list, of course. Gohan, the son of Goku, and his daughter, Pan, the first female Super Saiyan of Universe Seven. There was Trunks, Warrior of the Future, and de facto second-in-command of the Time Patrol itself. Even the name Bardock was well-known from my lineage. Other fighters in our family line had made their names known as well, and now it was time for me to take my place in their ranks.
Or so everyone assumed.
See, I never wanted to be compared to anyone in my bloodline- a silly fantasy, perhaps, seeing as blood runs thicker than water- but one that gripped me in my core nonetheless. I simply wanted to be me- a Saiyan warrior fighting in the service of the Time Patrol. Nothing more, and no one less than a fighter who made his name without constantly being compared to the legacies and accomplishments of those that had gone before him.
I had come to the Time Patrol under another name, even going so far as to have clothes made so that I could hide my tail underneath my pants as to not give away my heritage. My parents had known of this, and to my relief, they understood and supported my wishes to remain anonymous while I worked in the ranks of the Supreme Kai of Time. Unfortunately, someone seemed to have failed to inform the Elder Kai that I did not want to be recognized by the rest of the Patrol, and he wound up making a giant announcement to the entire organization that their heroes' child would be joining them on the front lines of time soon enough.
A small smirk escaped my determination to squelch it at the memory of what happened afterwards. Kai or no, the fact the he had survived my mothers' Gallick Gun- while in her Super Saiyan Two form, no less- was impressive. Still, the damage had been done, and before I knew it, every person in the place knew who I was and what to expect from me.
Must be nice, I thought bitterly. I don't even know what to expect from me. How can I when everyone expects me to be just like my parents, or Goku, or Vegeta?! I just wish…
I stopped right where I was, looking up slowly at the massive dragon floating in the sky above Conton City. A slow, wicked grin spread across my face as an idea struck me. I wish…
"Eternal Shenron! By your name, I summon thee!" The seven orange orbs blazed with a brilliant golden light, blinding several people in the immediate vicinity who were unprepared for the sudden arrival of the Eternal Dragon. The sky became black as ink, almost as though that sudden burst of light had drained it of its luminosity. And from the shining wish orbs, came forth the huge serpentine dragon known as Shenron.
The green, red-eyed dragon looked down loftily at its summoner and bellowed, "Come! Say your wish! I shall grant any two wishes you desire!"
"Mighty dragon, my wish is twofold!" the teenage Saiyan warrior announced. "I wish to be sent to a faraway land, where the names Goku and Vegeta have never been heard, not even in song or legend!" Down below, he could hear people gathering, beginning to wonder just who had summoned the dragon when the dragon balls were supposed to be kept locked up in the Time Vault, where only a select few could retrieve them from their resting place.
"You speak of two wishes, yet only one has been spoken!" Shenron growled. "Speak quickly, Gatherer."
"As you wish, Great One!" the summoner said with a deep bow. "Very well, the second part of my wish is as follows- erase my presence from the minds of all who knew me, so that they may never follow me to retrieve me against my will! I wish to never return here!"
To his great disappointment, Shenron said, "I cannot grant you this wish. It is beyond my power to interfere with the mind of a Kai such as the Supreme Kai of Time."
"But if she learns of where I've gone, she'll bring me back here!" the boy shouted angrily. "Please, Shenron! I must make my own journey, my own path!"
Shenron seemed to ponder for a moment, even as the boy's apprehension grew. He knew that if he didn't get away soon, he would be caught, and there would go his dream of carving a path unencumbered by his ancestry. Finally, the green dragon said, "If your wish is to forever remain undisturbed by the people of your past, then I can assure you that they will never be able to use me to summon you back to this place against your will. Nor will I tell them where I send you."
"Not exactly what I was going for, but it's better than nothing," the youth muttered, his dark eyebrows furrowing. Raising his voice, he said, "Very well, Eternal Dragon! I wish for you to never reveal my location, lest I be summoned back here!"
The green dragon nodded once before his crimson eyes glowed brightly. "Your wish has been granted," he said before the boy in front of him disappeared in a flash of golden light, a smile on his young face.
No sooner than he had than did Lettis, Goken, Trunks, and the Supreme Kai of Time come dashing up the stairs that led to the dragon ball pedestal. "Shenron, wait!" Lettis cried out, but it was too late. With a final growl, Shenron- and the dragon balls with him- vanished in a flash of light.
"Damn!" Goken swore. He was a tall, muscular part-saiyan man with black hair and green eyes. "What was that boy thinking?! All he leaves is a note!"
"You don't actually think he's… you know?" Trunks winced, rubbing his jaw. "Not coming back?"
"Knowing my son…" Lettis groaned in frustration. "He would." She was a small part-saiyan woman, slender in appearance, with light brown hair and gray eyes.
"Huh, bummer," the female Kai said, frowning. "I was really looking forward to working with him- he showed a lot of talent."
"Well, we can't just give him up as lost like that!" Trunks said earnestly. "We've got to collect the dragon balls again so we can summon him back here- help him see that this isn't so bad! I mean, a lot of people would kill to be more famous than Hercule…" Having been Goken's friend for many years, he was aware of his son's reluctance to be compared to others in their ancestry. Though perhaps since he had been compared to his father, Vegeta, on a regular basis, he didn't see why the boy was going through such trouble to escape the attention.
"Our son doesn't care about fame- just the opposite," Goken reminded him sternly. "In fact, he despises the attention his genealogy has generated. If it got to him bad enough that he'd use the dragon balls to wish himself away from all of us, maybe he is better off making his own path…"
"Goken!" Lettis cried reproachfully.
"What?" the Hero of Toki Toki City shrugged. "He's just trying to make his own way, figure out who he is. With abilities like his, he'll be fine no matter where he goes- after all, both Goku and Vegeta trained him since he was little." Since time flowed differently in Conton City, the two pure-blooded saiyans had their hands full with teaching the remainders of their races in the art of combat for the sake of the Time Patrol.
"But he's our son, and we have no idea where he went!" Lettis protested. Hardened warrior though she was, this was proving to be a little too much for her to handle. Goken's gaze softened as he went to comfort his wife, holding her close and murmuring kind words.
"Chronoa, what do you make of all this?" Trunks asked the Supreme Kai of Time in a lowered voice. "Should we start gathering up the dragon balls to bring him back? After all, he does know a lot of things that could put the flow of time at risk if he acts without supervision." It spoke a great deal of how much the Supreme Kai of Time trusted Trunks, for him to know her by a first-name basis. There were perhaps three or four beings left in existence who knew the name.
"Hmm…" the petite kai mused. After a moment, she muttered, "You might be right, Trunks… I'm going to check some of the scrolls, see if anything has changed because of his actions here. I'll call you up as soon as I find anything."
Trunks nodded, watching her go for a moment. Then he switched his gaze to where they had last seen Shenron, and thought to himself, Damn… Where'd you wish yourself to, Gorun?
Magnolia, Fiore Year X789
Kinana smiled sweetly at the kind tiller as she left with the day's grocery supply for the guild hall in hand. She was an attractive fifteen-year-old girl with short purple hair and brilliant green eyes that matched her dress. A purple overcoat a few shades lighter than her deep violet hair helped to shield her from the cold as she began the trek out of the suburban area.
She paused as she reached the path that would lead her home to admire the view of the small city. The weather outside was pleasant today, with only a few clouds in sight, allowing the sun's rays to warm the snowy hills of Magnolia. The winter had been a cold one thus far, so this brief respite from the chilly weather was a welcome one for the inhabitants.
There was a sturdy-looking building that was just on the edge of town that caught her attention, but she quickly averted her eyes, not wanting to bring the tears back. Brushing at the stinging in her eyes, she was about to turn back to continue her journey home when a low whistle caught her attention, causing her to spin to her right, where she saw a stranger standing alone. His gaze was fixed on the city like hers had been, but she was certain that he hadn't been there a moment ago.
He was tall, nearly matching Gildarts' height by her estimation, but he was built a little different to the renowned Fairy Tail mage, with a wirier look to his frame. His skin was tanned slightly, topped by jet-black hair that sort of reminded her of Natsu's unkempt hairdo, but with less volume. His clothing consisted of a blue-and-green set of light armor with the letters 'TP' stylized with an arrow wrapped around them on his left pectoral muscle- an odd wardrobe choice, even if he might be a wizard, Kinana thought. Even as she stared at him curiously, he turned to look at her with a young face wearing a small grin and friendly gray eyes.
"Hi," he said as he waved to her. "This is a nice view- couldn't help but notice."
"Oh, uh, yes," she stammered. "I suppose it is." Briefly, she wondered if he might be a bandit waiting for her to lower her guard. Though if that was the case, he could have easily taken her by surprise instead of stopping to admire the view.
"Suppose?" he chuckled, his tone still light. For a second, she feared that he would not take kindly to her disagreeing with him, but all he did was smile a little brighter and say, "Well, if you can only suppose about this view, I'd love to see what you call a nice one."
"Erm…" she stammered, unsure of how to interact with this stranger.
He seemed to sense this, for he shook his head and smacked himself above the eyes, muttering, "Stupid, stupid. Manners!" Taking a few quick strides forward, he held out a hand to her with another smile as he said, "Sorry 'bout that. I should've introduced myself- name's Gorun."
"K-Kinana," she stammered, surprised at his sudden approach and looking from his hand to the groceries in her grip. "I- I- Umm…"
Again, the boy seemed to recognize his error, for he smacked himself in the face again and said, "Sorry, I wasn't thinking- I was just a bit distracted, I guess. Here, do you need any help carrying those?"
His young face seemed in earnest, and Kinana thought shyly, Why not? He doesn't seem harmful, and the guild is close by, in case anything happens… Besides, he was kind of cute. She held out her right arm for him to take one of the bags, which he did quickly and effortlessly. "Thank you," she said with a slight smile, which he returned brightly.
"Beautiful day, isn't it?" he said cheerfully. "I think it'll be a good one."
"Really?" Kinana asked, cocking her head at him slightly. "What makes you say that?"
"Well, it's been a long time since I've been able to just admire my surroundings, so now that I get to do so, it's even better that I meet a nice lady like you for company," he said easily, unabashed. "Seems like a recipe for a good day to me."
"I- I guess," Kinana said, blushing a little bit. "Where were you before that the country was so terrible to look at? Was it Veronica?"
"No idea what that is," he said casually. "I come from… Well, let's just say I'm from quite a ways a way, and I won't be going back." The smile on his face faltered a little bit, but it returned when he turned to look directly at her. "So, do you live in the city there? Or somewhere on the outskirts?"
"Oh!" she said, caught slightly off-guard. "These groceries are for my workplace. I was on my way there." She made a slight beckoning motion, and Gorun turned to follow her as she began to walk further up the road.
"Do you work at a restaurant?" the boy asked, rubbing his stomach at the thought of food.
"No, I work at, er… Fairy Tail." The last two words were delivered in such a soft voice that Gorun would have had to strain to hear it, if he didn't have sensitive ears.
"You work for a fairy tale shop?" he asked, a little confused.
"No, the guild," she answered, looking at him with a slightly guarded expression. "You've never heard of it?"
"I'm not from around here, remember?" he chuckled lightly, and she realized that he was in earnest, not making fun of her. "A guild, eh? What kind of association is it?"
"A wizard's guild," she answered immediately, and he nearly tripped over his own feet. Kinana didn't seem to notice since she had returned her gaze to the road ahead of them. "The members take on job requests to earn money, with a small percentage going to the guild in exchange for food and employment."
"Huh," Gorun said, his tone a little more guarded than before. "So, wizards as in magic? Does umm… the name 'Majin' mean anything to you, Miss Kinana?"
"Like a demon?" she asked, looking back up at him.
"No, not exactly…" he replied, his grin a little strained. "As in Majin Buu. Sound familiar?" His readings on what happened to people exposed to the magic of a Majin wasn't exactly a light reading.
"No, I can't say I've heard that term before," she said, cocking her head slightly at him. "Is that what your people call magic where you come from?"
"Well, more the people that use it," he chuckled lightly, the tension leaving him. "I suppose things are different here."
"Yes, it's not exactly nice to call someone a majin," Kinana told him. "Our guild had a member whose entire village was killed by a demon called Deliora, so it's a little bit of a sensitive subject, depending on who you're talking to."
"You had a member?" Gorun asked as they rose over a small hill in the road.
"He and a lot of others from our guild went missing a little less than six years ago," Kinana answered. "It was really big news for our country. See, up until then, our guild was number one in Fiore."
Gorun assumed that Fiore was the country he had found himself in. "So, what happened to them?" he asked. "Er, sorry for your loss."
"I appreciate that," Kinana said with a sad little smile. "They were attacked by a dragon- which is pretty crazy, considering everyone thought they died out centuries ago, except for maybe a few of them."
"Died out?" Gorun asked, confused. "How many dragons are we talking about?" He was beginning to get the idea that dragons here might be a little different than Shenron and other Namekian dragons.
"There were enough to rule the world four hundred years ago, so maybe some hundreds of thousands," Kinana answered, looking askance at her companion. "I thought that was world-wide history."
"News to me," Gorun shrugged vaguely. "I was pretty well-removed where I was… I'll make things easier and just say that I have next to nothing on the world's history or current events." Before she could say anything, he added, "I suppose that must sound crazy."
"Not really," she shrugged. "Sounds like you might have been cursed in some way or another. Kind of like me."
"Cursed?" Gorun repeated, his curiosity skyrocketing. "How were you cursed?"
"A few months before our strongest wizards were reported to have been wiped out by Acnologia- that's the dragon I was talking about- our guild master at that time found me in his garden in the form of a purple snake. He somehow knew I was a human, though, and he got rid of the curse for me. Though I can't remember anything from when I was the snake, or even before that."
Gorun's eyes widened, then softened. "That sounds rough," he said kindly. "I'm sorry I brought it up."
"N-No, it's fine," the girl smiled shyly again. "I've grown up pretty happy with Fairy Tail, even if things are kind of hard for us right now…"
Gorun reflected quickly on their conversation and put the pieces together. "Lemme guess…" he said quietly, his gray eyes narrowing. "Without your strongest wizards, your guild lost its standing in the community, and the finances are tight right now, huh?"
Kinana nodded glumly. "That about sums it up," she admitted. "We were forced to relocate to a farm with a loan, and now we're in debt to the people who bailed us out of bankruptcy." She looked up at him with a sad sort of smile and said, "Honestly, we've lost so many members and our clientele has faded away so much that I was surprised you kept talking to me after I mentioned I work for the guild."
"You seemed like a nice person, and I don't know anything about this guild stuff, so I suppose that helped," he grinned ruefully. "Honestly though, your guild has that many haters?"
"Unfortunately," she said, her tone still glum.
"Well…" He scratched his head as he mulled over what he was about to say. "Are there any combat-type jobs?" She looked at him, supremely confused. Seeing this, he added, "I mean, I could use some work- I don't have any money- and I'm a pretty decent fighter. If you have any openings, or maybe I could do a trial run-type of thing…?" He looked at her hopefully.
"You… want to join… Fairy Tail?" she asked, making sure she wasn't just hearing things.
"If you don't have any openings, I understand," he said quickly. "I suppose this is a little strange- meet a stranger on the side of the road, he has no idea what's happening around him, makes for a lame conversation, suddenly, hey! He wants a job with your guild." He grinned sheepishly as he scratched his neck nervously. "I suppose it was a long shot."
"N-No!" she said quickly. "It's just… Well, like I said, we're not very well liked right now, and… Wait, what kind of magic can you do?"
"Umm…" Here Gorun stumbled, realizing the kink in his proposition. I don't do magic, but will this girl and her comrades know the difference? He thought. Then, he hit a compromise that made him grin brightly again.
"Ki magic," he said confidently.
"You manipulate raw energy?" she asked.
"Something like that," he replied, surprised that she had grasped what he was saying so quickly. "I know some, er, people, who would simply call my power 'ki', and others who would insist that it is magic. Personally, I don't think it matters much- I concentrate enough, and things start exploding."
"You'll probably be asked to demonstrate to our guild master, Macao, but I don't see any reason why you can't join," Kinana said, eyes shining excitedly. "You'd be our first new recruit in four years! Master will be so thrilled!"
"Really?" Gorun was again surprised. "Your master would welcome me so quickly?"
"Like I said, we could use some new recruits," the girl giggled. "C'mon, let's go! I'm excited for you to meet- oh no…" She stopped walking as she stared at a mid-sized farm, which in some ways reminded Gorun of Goku and his family from the history scrolls. He noticed that the doors were open, and two men were standing in the entrance. Even at their distance, he could tell that they were arguing with somebody inside.
"What's happening?" he asked the girl quietly, who had gone very still.
"Those two are from Twilight Ogre, a guild that we made the mistake of borrowing money from," she said softly. "They've been driving up the interest rate to keep us in debt, and they take any opportunity they can to trash our hall…" She closed her eyes as her shoulders slumped in resignation.
"That so…?" Gorun mused. Turning to Kinana, he said, "Mind taking this back for me? I'll lend a hand to your friends."
"Huh?" she gaped at him as he handed her back her grocery bag and began to walk closer to the guild hall, cracking his knuckles as he went. "B-But they're really strong! You'll get hurt- please don't!" She started after him, but he held up a hand in a motion for her to remain where she was.
Before she could protest further, he turned back with a cold look on his face as he said, "Stay here, Miss. Please. I promise I'm plenty strong enough to handle some thugs." His tone and expression were so different from the friendly, charming young man that she'd met on the road that she decided it might be best if she did, in fact, stay where she was. "This won't take long!" he called over his shoulder.
"O-Okay…" the shy girl stammered. Still, she had to wonder- what was one boy going to do against two full-grown wizards strong enough to keep Fairy Tail's master in check?
Gorun walked up quietly as one of the men on the inside shouted, "Look, we'll have the payment tomorrow- on the day the contract your boss drew up says to!" He was an older man with purple-gray hair and a thick moustache. Beside him was another older man with light brown hair and a smoking pipe. Both of them looked like they were tired, frustrated, and ragged.
"Boss is goin' on a holiday tomorrow," said one of the two intruders, a short, squat man dressed in black and bald. He sounded almost bored, Gorun thought. "He don't wanna wait. So cough it up."
"You don't want a repeat of last month, do ya?" asked his companion, a tall, brown-skinned man with bushy black hair that carried a spiked club over his shoulder as if it weight no more than a child's bat, though it was easily the size of the man himself.
"Mind if I intrude?" Gorun's voice was pitched low, but it carried to the four men gathered in the entrance.
The two men inside the building looked surprised while the aggressors looked annoyed. "This one of yours?" asked the bald man.
"No, never seen him before," the purple-haired man said. "I saw him coming, thought he was one of yours."
"That makes more sense, now don't it?" laughed the man with club. "Hey new guy- the boss send you over to help us out with these clowns? They ain't payin' up again." The two older men bristled at this.
"We're gonna pay you, but not a day before it's due!" growled the smoker, his voice sounding hoarse from the habit.
"I'm not with these ogres," Gorun shrugged. "I was having a nice chat with Miss Kinana back there-" he gestured to the girl waiting up the road with a thumb over his shoulder- "and she mentioned that your guild could do with a few more members. Thought I would drop off my application."
The two Twilight Ogre men burst out laughing while the two from Fairy Tail looked sullen. "Not funny, kid," said the first speaker. "Things are hard enough without punks coming by and-"
"What he's saying," guffawed the club-wielder as he clapped a hand on Gorun's shoulder, "is that you'd be better off joinin' a real guild. Tell ya what- help us get the debt money from these chumps, and I'll put in a word with our boss. You'd do well with us instead of these losers- we'll help train that little bit o' magic I can sense you got. Plus, we're the best guild Magnolia's got!"
Gorun smirked- his ability to lower and raise his power level at will seemed to be unencumbered so far. "I have all the power I need right now, thank you," he said coldly. "And I said I wanted to join Fairy Tail. If you lot are part of Magnolia's finest, then I'd have to say the place has some pretty low standards."
"What was that?!" the bald man snapped.
"Your hearing is fine, unless the fat folds of your neck are blocking your ears," Gorun said flatly, looking at the other man with contempt. "Now leave, both of you. I've got an interview with these gentlemen, and I'd rather keep a swift schedule."
"Congrats, your swift schedule just earned you a one-way trip on the pain train!" the man with the club shouted angrily. He swung the heavy weapon at Gorun, who sighed heavily.
He ducked the clumsy blow, using the same movement to sweep his attacker's legs, sending him sprawling in the snow, disbelief and pain on his face. Gorun sensed the next attack coming from the fat man, so he leaped up high and back, bringing his hands close together at the side of his ribcage. The fat man's energy flared slightly as his stone-make spell missed the teenaged Saiyan hybrid.
Gorun landed, stance steady and energy swirling in his body. Time to finish this. "Kamehameha!" he shouted, thrusting his hands forward, aiming to blast the man all the way back to Magnolia.
"Huh?!" Gorun said as he stared at his outstretched hands with wide eyes, even as the others looked at him, apparently just as confused as he was. Dammit Shenron, what happened to my abilities?! He thought angrily. I can feel my ki just fine, so why didn't that do anything?!
Raising his hands, he shouted, "Masenko!" Again, nothing happened. "Kienzan! Double Sunday! ...Big Bang Attack?!" Still, the energy would not leave his body. "What the hell?!" Not even a simple ki blast would leave his hands.
"Looks like he's pissin' himself scared!" the club-wielder laughed as he got up. "He knows he messed up!"
"To bad it's too late for him to take it back!" the fat man agreed. Over his shoulder, he added to the Fairy Tail men, "If this is the kinda punks your sad excuse for a guild attracts, you can have 'em! Well… you can have the leftovers of this one."
"Run, kid!" the purple-haired man shouted. "These guys play for keeps!"
"So do I," Gorun snapped, thoroughly angry. "Besides, I don't need my powers for these fools." Apparently everyone had forgotten just how quickly he'd taken down one of the men while dodging the other in favor of paying attention to the fact that he couldn't seem to use magic. Gonna have to figure this out, and fast, he thought. Maybe there's more to these people's magic- and therefore the rules of this world- than I thought…
Pushing aside the thoughts for now, he settled into the combat stance that Vegeta had shown him when he was a small boy. "Come at me, both of you," he called out to the Ogres. "And try to make it interesting."
"You got a death wish, kid?!" the club-wielder laughed as his weapon glowed with energy, Gorun's keen eyes focused on it, taking note of a small green circle that flashed to life at the end of the weapon for just the smallest moment. He immediately noticed the corresponding spike in energy coming from the man, and his eyes narrowed, looking to the fat man for something similar. The moment a bronze circle appeared before his other opponent, Gorun breathed a small thanks to Piccolo, who had always impressed the habit of studying one's enemy as much as one could before moving to engage them.
Those circles have something to do with their energy release, he thought as he leaped twenty feet in the air- apparently his muscles still worked exactly how they should- just before coming down to plant his boots on the club carried by his enemy, causing him to drop it and let out a cry of surprise.
The next thing he knew, there was an ugly crack as Gorun's fist broke the man's jaw and sent him sliding through the snow again, this time to stay for a while. Spinning with lightning speed, he lashed out with a reverse kick that broke apart a stone fist that had been aimed to shatter his spine. "Good try, but no," he laughed contemptuously. Not giving his enemy a chance to say anything in return, he leaped forward at high speed again, this time to drive his right knee into the man's nose, breaking it and instantly knocking him out cold.
Gorun looked down at his knee with a slight grimace as he noticed that there was a small bloodstain on the spot where his leg had connected with the man's face. "Dammit, these were my favorites," he complained. Looking over to the two Fairy Tail men, he ignored the looks of utter shock on their faces as he asked, "Do either of you know anything that'll get the bloodstain out of this?" Then, as an afterthought, he added, "Also, those circles that kept appearing when they attacked- mind telling me how they work? My, er, magic seems to be a bit faulty."
The smoker looked at his friend, who just stared at Gorun blankly for some silent moments. Finally, he cleared his throat and said, "Uh… What was that about wanting to join Fairy Tail?"
"I need a new job," Gorun grinned, his tone friendly again. "My last one didn't pan out too well."
"I see… so you've always been taught to use your magic without a magic circle," Macao said as he and Gorun sat down at one of the tables with steaming mugs of cider in hand, courtesy of Kinana, who had been just as in awe of Gorun's martial skills as the guild master. The teenage Saiyan had told Macao that where he grew up, it wasn't normal practice to draw up magic circles to project one's energy, and that they mostly did it on instinct. It wasn't completely true, but Gorun wasn't planning on telling them that he was from another dimension just yet, so this seemed like a safe medium for now.
"Can't say I'd advise starting out that way, young man. It takes a bit longer to summon up a corporeal circle for your magic, but you're pretty much guaranteed a successful casting every time. Otherwise, you might not even be able to release your magic- like what happened today with Twilight Ogre." Macao drank deeply before adding, "I've honestly never heard of a place that casts magic without drawing up a circle- where'd you say you come from?"
"Off the map," Gorun shrugged. "Small place called Conton that's not associated with any of the larger nations." Again, it wasn't a total lie, which he felt might help him keep track of things if people repeated their questions.
"What brought you out here?" Macao asked.
"I sought to escape a legacy I never wanted," Gorun said after a moment in a low voice. "I came to Fiore to make a new life for myself, one where I don't have my path laid out for me at every turn."
Macao looked at the serious young man appreciatively. "My predecessor, Makarov," he said once another moment of silence had passed, "was always saying that it's important to forge your own path in life. He also believed in helping out kids like you by giving them a place to call home."
Gorun's eyes snapped up, shining with excitement. "Are you offering me a place to work?" he asked excitedly. "Can I join your guild?"
Macao laughed heartily, drawing the attention of the few other members that had remained at Fairy Tail over the years. "Kid, you remind me of some of the people we lost at Tenrou Island six years back. And I'm not just talking about your skills- you've got heart, and these days, Fairy Tail could use some heart. We'd love to have you."
Gorun was stunned. "Just like that?" he asked.
"Almost," Macao grinned, though this one was slightly rueful. "We're a wizard's guild. You gotta be able to show us some kind of magic power before we can officially accept you- country law."
Gorun frowned slightly as he lowered his voice while saying, "But sir, Kinana… I didn't sense any magic power in her. I can sense it in everyone else in here, but not her. How is it that she is a member, then?"
"She works for the guild as a barmaid, not a wizard," Macao said patiently. "It's not that unusual, you know. She helps out around the place, but doesn't go out on field work."
"Ah," Gorun mused. "Guess I'd better figure out these magic circles, then." Shenron, if you can hear me, I hope Beerus smashes your wish orbs the next time you're summoned! He fumed silently. I know I wanted to get away, but I didn't want to have to retrain myself to do it!
As it turned out, the task of being able to learn how to use his energy attacks was easier than he thought it would be. After witnessing multiple forms of magic, Gorun noticed that not only was the color different for each type of magic, the designs of each circle was radically different as well. When he asked Macao about this, the man said, "Of course they're different! My son practices fire magic like me, but even if we cast the same spell, his would look different than mine, because we're different people."
"But I thought you needed to know which formula to conjure in order to project your energy," Gorun frowned. He'd spent several days reading through books that Kinana and some of the other guild members had lent him about the formation of magic circles, and all of them had agreed that one needed a magic circle formula to cast a spell.
"Yes and no," Macao told him. "The general pattern of the circle is needed to project a certain kind of energy, but the individual wizard adds his or her own spin to the spell simply because of their own identity."
"Hmm…" Gorun mused as Macao went to attend to one of the board requests. If that's the case, if I learn the basic formula for a light magic circle, I might be able to use most of my attacks, since they seem to be based off of light… or maybe raw energy.
He quickly found that what he called 'ki', the residents of Fiore more commonly referred to as 'ethernano'. While there were plenty of notes on its properties and theories of its origins, he found nothing in the way of magic circles that would harness it directly. The closest he found were some references to holy elemental light magic, but based on what he read, it wasn't quite what he was looking for.
When he brought it up to Wakaba, Macao's right-hand man (the pipe-smoker), the older man had wheezed with laughter and said, "You want a magic circle that lets ya harness ethernano?! Good luck, kid. Only the Magic Council has access to that information, and they'd sooner destroy it than let anyone in the public have it."
"So there's absolutely no way to get the formula for that circle other than to get it from the Magic Council?" Gorun asked, disappointed.
"Not a chance," Wakaba affirmed. "The Etherion is kind of their end-game magic."
Gorun took to working in the bar with Kinana to repay the guild for letting him sleep in the attic of the barn and feeding him while he researched how to harness his powers again. The girl let him do the cleaning and bussing for the most part while she tended to the food- Gorun admitted that he was a terrible cook. The girl said that she appreciated the assistance, and was very helpful to Gorun in his quests to find out all he could about how magic functioned, often by taking him to the local library so that he could do his research.
He often trained alone to maintain his physique, as he doubted anyone in the guild would be able to keep pace with his combat abilities, but he didn't mind it too much. He found that his speed and strength were undamaged, his ability to sense energy was perfectly fine, but his flight and any other ki-type manipulations were beyond his reach for now, even though he could still feel the energy within his body. This included his attempts to transform into a Super Saiyan (which he had accomplished since the age of seven), but he did not know if this would extend to the Ozoru transformation, since it was technically a bodily reaction to moonlight, and he wasn't about to test it yet. Several times while he was training in the yard, he noticed some men from what he assumed was Twilight Ogre, but they always ran away as soon as they noticed him.
It had been about a month since Gorun's arrival when he finally noticed something about the magic circles he had been studying. He was comparing fire magic circles with water magic circles, trying to see if the key to unlocking etherion was in elemental magic, when he noticed several similar characteristics between the two of them, despite the fact that they were almost polar opposites.
Frowning, he made some notes, an idea forming. He then moved on to plant magic, comparing the circles to the ones that he already noted, quickly realizing that they too, had similarities despite their supposedly different origins. Interesting…
Briefly, he wondered why no one in the guild had noticed this before, but the answer hit him almost as quickly. Everyone is busy pursuing their own branch of magic, they won't bother to study another pattern in-depth. Only people like this Magic Council they talked about would probably bother to research any similarities…
He pushed through several more branches of magic, making sure to take careful note of the similarities between the patterns. When he had gone through about twenty circles or so, all of them unrelated to one another, he felt positive that he had enough to begin drawing up the formula he needed, as several of the notes he was making were becoming redundant in nature. A large smile spread across his face as he thought, Here I come, Fairy Tail.
"Master Macao, I would like to apply to be a wizard for Fairy Tail," the boy said as he strode into the guild hall that afternoon. "I am confident that I can perform magic to the satisfaction of the country law that you mentioned."
"Just like that?" Wakaba asked with polite disbelief. "You couldn't have possibly found what you were looking for in less than a month."
"Try me," Gorun smirked. "I'll fight anyone in the guild using only magic."
"That's a pretty bold claim," Macao said, but he looked interested. Glancing around the room, he said, "Max- feel up to a fight?"
"Sure thing, boss," said a sandy-haired young man with some stubble on his chin that looked like it was trying desperately to become a beard. "I need to be on a train in two hours, but I can get this done."
"Don't worry," Gorun smirked as he led the way outside. "This won't take two minutes."
"Confidence will only get you so far," Max grinned back. "But I'll humor you. Let's see what you've got." There was still snow on the ground, some of it fresh from that morning, and the skies were overcast, but it wasn't exactly dark yet. Macao reasoned that at least whoever lost would have a soft landing, and the cold would help numb the hurt one of them would undoubtedly sustain.
"Ready when you are," Max called out as they stood twenty feet away from one another.
Start with something basic and familiar… Gorun thought as he settled into a ready stance, his hands automatically coming to rest near his ribcage. Picture the magic circle I drew up… Picture the energy flowing from me into it, and from it, the ki waves emerging…
This time when he willed the energy to gather, the familiar blue light that had become legendary throughout much of the multiverse pooled between his cupped hands and he grinned fiercely- he had done it. "I suggest you block or dodge this!" he laughed, the sheer elation of having his abilities back automatically raising his power level.
"I think I'd rather take you out before you can use it!" Max grinned back, extending his hands and shouting, "Sand Blast!" The ground around him erupted and formed into a pillar of sand that shot through the air, aimed to strike Gorun in the chest.
"I warned you!" Gorun shouted back, the blue ball in his hand growing larger, swelling to the size of a melon. "Kamehameha!" He thrust his hands forward, a pale blue magic circle appearing before his palms before a laser beam shot forth, shredding Max's sand magic before shooting past his opponent's face and colliding with a cluster of trees that was immediately blown to splinters.
For a long moment, there was a still silence that was somehow made louder by the now freshly-falling snow. It was finally broken when Macao stepped forward and said, "I guess we'd better have a party to celebrate the newest member of our guild."
Closing Song: Snow Fairy by Nathan Sharp
Mataras: It's good to be doing what I love again.
Gorun: I'm sure some of your readers are glad to have you back, too. The ones that stuck around, anyway.
Mataras: To be fair, I did leave them hanging for quite a while with little to no word on where I was.
Gorun: More like how you were. You mentioned in that apology letter of yours that you'd been having some serious health problems. It's weird, you never really said too much about it before.
Mataras: I didn't think it was necessary to talk about, but with how long I was gone for, I figured my readers were owed an explanation as to why. I didn't even tell them everything that happened to me health-wise in my apology letter.
Gorun: Oh yeah? What else happened to you?
Mataras: Yep. In my back, right next to my spine. I've only just fully recovered from the surgery that they performed to cut it out.
Gorun: Jeez, and you're already back and writing?
Mataras: I owe a lot of people for leaving them hanging. I hope to make amends (at least partially) by giving this story my best. Thank you all for joining me again- and welcome to you if you are a new reader.
Gorun: Wait, wait! Before we go, don't you have an important date coming up?
Mataras: Mmh? Ah, yes! The one-year celebration of my YouTube channel's weekly podcasts is coming up soon, which we will be celebrating on Friday, April 27, 2018. It will be a two-hour-long podcast as opposed to the usual one, and will be consisting of a sort of writing seminar with myself and the rest of my crew. If you have any questions you'd like to have answered in regards to writing, please send me a message in advance so that I can have a ready answer for them on the show. We will be taking live questions, of course, but this helps us be a little more prepared.
Gorun: And with that, I think we're done. When can we expect the next update?
Mataras: Coming up next, on April 26- What we missed
Gorun: Please enjoy the preview of what's to come!
"Did he steal a time ring?" Trunks asked, paling.
"No, nothing to do with the flow of time, fortunately," the female Kai assured her friend. "However, the items in question are incredibly dangerous for him to have, especially given his heritage."
"Wait, what'd he steal that was so dangerous, if not a time ring?" Trunks asked.
Special thanks go to my supporters from the audience of NotYourAverageProductions.