Chapter 3: Saiyan Evolution
"Where is he? I swear he always gets lazy in the winter."
Artemis groaned as she stood by her Moon Chariot, waiting impatiently for her twin brother to arrive and begin riding the sun. It was already past 7 AM. She needed to get back to her Hunters. They should be waking up soon.
There was a bright flash and there appeared in all of his glory, Apollo, God of the Sun, light, archery, truth, disease, plague, music, art, poetry, reason, knowledge and prophecies. He had blue eyes along with sunny and shining blonde hair.
"Sorry little sis, a couple things came up."
"For how many more millenia do I have to tell you? I came out of mother first-"
Artemis's eyes widened when she took a good look at Apollo. Being the god of the sun and light, he always had a brightening smile and his presence alone was able to lift the mood of any room. However, he didn't look anything like his usual self. There were large bags under his eyes, he was pale, like Hades pale, and he seemed so deprived of life and energy. As if he was about to drop any minute.
"A-Are you okay? What's gotten into you?" Artemis asked worryingly. Although they bicker back and forth and disagree on a lot of things, the twin archers do still care for one another as brothers and sisters should.
Apollo put on a fake smile, "Me? I'm fine. Everything is alright. Why do you ask?"
Artemis crossed her arms and frowned at her brother, "Apollo, we were literally in the same womb together. If there's anyone in the world you can't hide anything from, it's me."
The Sun God sighed in defeat, "You really do know me well, Arty."
Artemis gave him a cheeky grin, "Of course I do. I'm your big sister. Now spit it out. What's wrong?"
"I haven't slept in like a week." Apollo said casually.
"What?" Artemis looked at Apollo as if he had grown a second head, "What do you mean, you haven't slept in a week? Why not?"
"You know the meeting we had yesterday? Where I said that every single prophecy is changing?" Apollo told Artemis with the biggest monotone voice.
"Yes.. What of it?"
"Well, I've kind of been having these visions. They started about a week ago. In those visions, I saw a planet being destroyed. And then it showed a baby with weird spiky hair growing up to be a warrior. The visions showed me many great battles. But they all happened so fast that I wasn't really able to remember them in much detail. But by the end of the visions, I saw the same man, whose story I was watching, have silver hair and silver eyes, with a white flame surrounding him. His aura, his power… everything, was just so surreal."
Apollo then dropped to his knees in exhaustion, "And then… Last night, I felt it. The same power I felt in my visions, the same exact aura… he was here. Somewhere. I don't know where, but he was out there. It felt like the whole world was shaking at one point. Everyone must have felt that. Dad damn near had a heart attack. He immediately called me and Hermes and told us to look for the energy source. We went to where we felt it from, but as soon as it appeared, it vanished."
"So that's what it was. I was wondering where the tremor came from. I almost fell off of my chariot." The Moon Goddess then scrunched her eyes, "So that's what's got you worked up. The visions about the man with Silver hair and eyes?"
"Not just that." Apollo got back from his knees, "This man...I think it's the same one the Great Prophecy is talking about. The Warrior of the Moon."
"You mean, my Champion?" Artemis asked with a gasp.
Apollo nodded, "Exactly. The one who will slay Kronos."
Artemis grabbed his shoulders enthusiastically, "Where did you and Hermes feel it from again?"
"Well now, that you mention it… it was actually near where your Hunters are camped at right now."
Her eyes widened as color began to drain from her face, "What..?"
"Don't worry, they're fine. Nothing happened to them. But the energy was near there. We searched everywhere but we couldn't find the source. It's like it just vanished."
Artemis sighed in relief, "Thank Chaos."
Artemis then grew a worried face as she asked her brother another question, "Uhh, so the man in your visions. What exactly did he look like?"
Apollo hummed, "Well, for starters, he had a crazy hair style. It pointed in every direction, like it defied gravity somehow. He was ripped too. Like think of Adonis and Hercules, but like times 10! Oh and he always wore this orange uniform, with some weird symbol on the back and front. Kind of like a Kung Fu Master or something."
With every word Apollo spoke, Artemis's jaw began to drop and drop as she realized her suspicions were being proven true. There was only one man with that description.
'Son Goku!' Artemis thought.
"Hey, you alright?" Apollo asked as he looked at Artemis with a weird look.
"I-I-I gotta go! My Hunters need me! Make sure to get some rest!" Artemis was about to flash back to camp before Apollo grabbed her arm.
"What is it? I told you I need to go!" Artemis yelled in annoyance.
"Just one more thing, sis. This man I saw in my visions, he's different. Unlike any Hero I've ever seen before. He's unbelievably strong… but his heart is pure. He's the exact opposite of what you tell your Hunters to stay away from. I think in time, you will come to recognize that as well. He will change you and the Hunters for the better."
Artmeph humphed, "We'll see about that." Artemis then smiled at her brother, "Thanks though. You should go get some rest."
Apollo let go of her, "Meh, I'll be fine." He summoned his chariot and began to ride the Sun as the sky lightened up, commencing the day.
"You smell like a monkey."
One of the Wolves that watches over Artemis's Hunt said in Goku's mind. The silver tailed young Saiyan God looked over at the Wolf with white coated fur with a sheepish smile on his face. He assumed that this Wolf was the Alpha of the pack since he was front and center and Goku could sense the most strength from him.
"Well, you're technically not wrong." Goku replied as his silver tail started to slowly wag.
"You don't smell like a demigod, god, or monster. But you're practically reeking off power. And yet, you're gentle. Just what are you?" The Alpha Wolf asked as the rest of his pack all looked at Goku with curious gazes and sniffed him taking in his monkey scent. Goku awkwardly laughed as the wolves all took turns observing him.
"Well that's easy. I'm Son Goku! Or Kakarot, but you can just call me Goku." Goku chirped as he began his warm up stretches. The sun was just about to rise and he wanted to start his work out bright and early.
"Goku… you are a creature that I've never seen before. But if Lady Artemis trusts you, then me and my brothers will as well." The Alpha Wolf told the Saiyan God, and he only smirked before beginning his workout. The Wolves watched on as Goku performed many different combinations of strikes. He wanted to get used to his new body and make sure his reflexes and senses were still up to par.
When he had tested out his transformations last night, Goku knew that there was something different about him. He had excellent practice with all of his forms and had gotten the hang of most of them, minus Ultra Instinct. But when he tested out his forms for the first time since coming into this new world, his control and strength with each transformation was so much higher than it should have been. Maybe it was because of a Zenkai Boost from his injuries in the Tournament of Power, but no Zenkai had made him grow so much. Super Saiyan 3 and Blue should not have felt like his base forms. The only form he really felt any type of drawback from was Ultra Instinct. But that was to be expected since it literally was about to kill him during the Tournament of Power.
But even in the Tournament of Power, his Ultra Instinct only lasted at best, a minute or two. Now, that time limit has been increased to 15 minutes! And it was way stronger than in the Tournament.
'I gotta figure out what's going on with me. The Three Old Ladies told me that my body changed back to its prime, which is why I look younger. I also grew a new silver tail. It could be just that, but I know there's something more. Wait didn't those ladies also give me some sort of string? They said I control my own Fate now, whatever that means.'
Goku then decided to take a page out of Piccolo's book, and got into a lotus position. The Saiyan closed his eyes and began to clear his mind and meditate. Piccolo has told Goku that meditating is an excellent form of training as it allows one to look within themselves and call upon their inner power.
Due to his calm state, Goku was able to practically become one with nature. He felt the presence of the plants, trees, wildlife, and the wind. He sat completely still, simply looking within himself, trying to find the answer to his new power.
Birds that were flying felt attracted to Goku and landed beside him. A few of them rested on his shoulders and chirped happily. The wolves looked on in amazement as they never witnessed a mortal be so intuned with nature. They all circled around Goku and felt at ease with the Saiyan. They were drawn towards his purity and calmness that came from his meditation. Goku was connecting himself to nature itself and drawing upon the energy of it. Just like how he would do when he performs the Genkidama, only now he was simply absorbing the energy into himself and not outwardly to create a ball.
'The Ki from this planet is astounding. Much more powerful and dense than the Earth I came from. It doesn't even compare!' Goku mentally said to himself as he went deeper and deeper into his meditation. The deeper he went, the more dense and powerful the Ki became. There was an abundance of it. The Earth itself was responding to Goku and allowing his energy to flow in. He felt the energy of the Earth touching his own.
'This is weird…. Why does it feel like the Earth is… alive? Like it has its own consciousness and soul.'
Goku went deeper into his trance. He saw that the Earth was in pain. Like it had been traumatized and scarred. He also sensed the vibration of loneliness, pain and suffering. Negative spiritual energy was amassing itself within the Earth and was building up over time and was getting to a dangerous point.
'Oh no! This Earth has way too much negative Ki in it. If I leave it as is… there's no telling what could happen to it!'
Goku decided that the best way to fix this issue was to simply share his own energy and life force with the Earth. It was only building up negativity because it had become too great and became the only energy source that it knew. Giving it his Ki should help cleanse and purify it a bit.
Once Goku did so, the Earth graciously accepted his offering. All of the bad energy began to dissolve itself and he felt a feeling of gratefulness from the Earth. Their two energies mixed together and he allowed the Earth to flow into him.
All of a sudden, Goku felt a spike of pressure and energy in his mind. The Earth was going through his memories, experiencing his life as if it were a movie. The Earth sympathized and empathized with Goku and the Saiyan did the same as he felt memories and emotions from the entity as well.
'Huh?' Goku thought he was hearing things. 'Did the Earth just speak?'
Goku knew he wasn't crazy. He just heard the Earth speak. 'So it does have a consciousness after all. Does it have a physical form? Let me try to see it.'
Goku went even further in his mediation as he began to astral project. He appeared in a black void similar to that of space. He kept looking around until he sensed another presence there with him. He turned around and saw the consciousness that had spoken to him.
She was a young and beautiful woman. The most gorgeous female Goku had ever seen. She had vibrant green hair and eyes. They shined just like the grass and leaves of trees. Her hair was free flowingly long and went past her knees. Her body was thin and slender with an hourglass figure, but it was voluptuous with a large chest and plump rear. She wore a woman's ancient Greek toga but it was brown in color, like the color of wood. All of this coupled with a perfect face that exuded the beauty of the Earth.
A Goddess in every sense of the word.
Goku stared at her for a couple of moments. It was just like meeting Artemis for the first time. He was entrapped by her beauty. Goku got a weird feeling in his stomach as he set his eyes on her. The feeling was similar to having butterflies in your stomach but in a good way. He could already tell she was a Goddess just from the way she presented herself, but Goku did sense God Ki from her. And she had a lot! It felt like having all of the energy of the planet being manifested in one person. He could tell she was strong which made him curious about how powerful she was.
They kept on with the staring contest until the Goddess decided to break the silence.
"You have such majestic eyes."
Goku blinked, "My eyes? What do you mean?" Goku never heard much compliments about his eyes. They were just ordinary black. What's so special about them?
"They are such a beautiful silver color. Similar to the moon, but much more vibrant, potent, and alluring." She said as she kept gazing at Goku with a luscious smile. The Saiyan Warrior was about to correct her saying his eyes are black until he realized what form he was in.
'Wait a minute, when did I transform into Ultra Instinct? I didn't even notice until she pointed out my eyes. I guess I did it subconsciously in my deep meditation. But it doesn't feel like my stamina is passively draining. It still feels similar to my base.' Goku grabbed one of his bangs close to his eye, 'My hair is still black though. I see, I'm only in the Omen of Ultra Instinct. Not the completed form. That's why I didn't notice.'
Goku then looked towards the Goddess, "Uh, thanks. Your eyes are pretty, too. They remind me of grass and leaves."
The Goddess slightly blushed at Goku's compliment as she didn't expect the dense Saiyan to flirt back, which he was doing unknowingly. But she calmed down as she did not want to embarrass herself in front of the man who relieved her of her pain.
"Hey, you said something earlier. I forgot what it was. It was a strange word. "Katha-something…"
"Katharos." She repeated.
"Yeah, that! Uh what is that, and why did you say it?" Goku asked curiously. He had never heard of a word like that in his life. It sounded fancy.
"It's a Greek word that means, free from the admixture or adhesion of any thing that soils, adulterates or corrupts."
"Say, what now? Sorry I didn't quite understand that. Could you maybe simplify it for me, please? I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer." Goku sheepishly said as the meaning of the word completely flew over his head. What does adulterate mean?
The woman angelically laughed at Goku's dense nature. Her laugh was music to Goku's ears. No one's laugh has ever been as melancholic as this Goddess's. It reminded him of the serene noise of nature.
"Don't worry about it, Son Goku. To put it in simple terms, it means you are pure and clean. Unsoiled or unalloyed." She explained but that only confused Goku more.
"Wait, how do you know my name?" The Saiyan didn't remember telling the woman his name so could she have automatically known it?
"I saw parts of your memories. Remember when our energies merged? I was able to look inside your soul and see some of your most treasured times in your life. And I must say, it was a sight to see. Your life may have been the greatest story I have ever seen. That's saying something considering what I have seen and been through. And I have lived for a long time."
"Oh, I see. That makes sense. I guess I was trying to connect with you and I instinctually opened my memories to you. Wait a minute, what's your name?" Goku wished to know the name of the magnificentGoddess before him.
"My name is Gaia. It is a delight to formally meet you, Son Goku." The Primodial properly introduced herself.
"Gaia, huh? So you're a Goddess right? What's your job or domain? I bet it's something important, considering how much power and energy I'm reading from you. It's a huge amount!" Goku noted that Gaia's Ki was one of the highest he had ever sensed. Her presence alone gave off immense pressure and vibration even though they were currently just in an astral plane and not in the physical realm. Gaia's Ki seemed to be even higher than that of a God of Destruction!
Gaia smirked at Goku's naivete, "Oh sweetheart, I think you can figure that out pretty easily. You felt my energy yourself. What do you think I'm the Goddess of?"
Goku took a couple of seconds to think to himself but then face palmed as the answer was obvious.
"You're the Goddess of Earth! It makes so much sense. When I was connecting with the Earth, that was you! That was the consciousness I felt. But it's weird. Because it was as if the Earth itself was alive."
Gaia chuckled, "That's because it is. I am the Earth."
"Ehhh? That's… That's so strange, but cool at the same time. I never thought planets could be alive and have their own spirit." Goku then asked something else that was on his mind, "Hey, you said that word that means pure and clean, why did you say it?" It was the first thing Gaia had said to him and it still lingered in his mind.
"I said that because it's the perfect word to describe your soul. As I watched the key moments of your life, I was in awe at the fact that no matter what happened, you always remained true to yourself and never let anything or anybody stop you on your path. You were incorruptible, even after learning about your heritage, and stayed true to the teachings of your masters and to your friends and family. You fought, trained, and never gave up hope, no matter the circumstance. An uncarved wood."
"Thanks, but I was just a guy who wanted to fight and continue improving myself. I never have seen myself as righteous or pure, in the way that you're saying." The three old ladies had told Goku something similar. And while he can't argue that he has done some good things for others, his Limit Breaking Sacrifice being a testament to that, he within himself has never viewed himself as such. He fights and protects his loved ones, and that's it.
Gaia smiled, knowing Goku was going to say something like that, "And that's the most amazing part. You did it unconsciously. Nobody ever needed to tell you what the right thing to do was. You just did it. Of course, you aren't perfect, but no one is. Not even gods. Trust me, I know. Have some pride in yourself."
"I… Yeah I guess you have a point. You aren't the first person to tell me something like that."
"I won't be the last."
Gaia then began slowly walking towards Goku, her hips moving in a peculiar way, which confused him. As Gaia got closer and closer to the Saiyan, her face adorned a smile, but it wasn't like any of the smiles she had given Goku earlier. It was a smile that showed want and lust. It unnerved Goku a little and he raised his guard, preparing himself for whatever the Goddess was about to do.
"Relax… I'm not going to hurt you… never in my dreams~." Gaia said seductively.
"W-Why are you talking like that?" Goku was feeling a little uncomfortable at the tone of her voice.
Gaia ignored his question and kept walking towards him, "A mortal who surpassed the gods themselves. That is something unheard, even in this world. A man whose soul is pure of malice but a body that is strong enough to defeat any foe that comes his way. Truly a God amongst men. A warrior whose will cannot be destroyed as it was powerful enough to transcend time itself…"
At this point, Gaia had already reached Goku and was in front of him. She was dangerously close as she gave the Saiyan no personal space. The green haired Primordial slowly wrapped her slender and soft arms around the Silver Eyed Warrior's neck. Her touch was gentle, like that of a caring Mother. A touch that was foreign to Goku as he never had a mother figure in his life. Her touch was calming, just like the feeling of laying down on the grass after a long day of training.
"A perfect match…. To be my King~"
Goku's heart skipped a beat. Her words made the Pure Blooded Saiyan feel a sensation that only one other woman had ever made him feel. Gaia had awakened something in Goku that he didn't think he would ever experience. The downfall of every red blooded male. The weakness that every man has to face and overcome in their lives. The one that the majority of males lose to. The one that they can never escape.
Goku's silver tail wagged. The tail must have been reacting to the new sensation Goku was getting from Gaia. He looked into her eyes and saw pure beauty, love, and care. She represented what Goku loved. Earth. His entire life, Goku had fought and protected his home from any threat. Even sacrificing himself multiple times for it. He cared and cherished it, even though it wasn't the planet he was born on. But he never cared. He was always grateful for the Earth and its people. It was his home. He accepted his Saiyan heritage but Earth will always be his true home and he will always be an Earthling.
Now, Earth herself had her arms around him.
"Join me, Son Goku. Become one with me. Be my King." Gaia began to bring her pink lips close to Goku's mouth, offering herself to the Saiyan Beyond God.
All of Goku's instincts were yelling at him to take her. His Saiyan side tells him to claim his mate and reproduce with the Goddess. Goku remembered Vegeta saying something along the lines of Saiyan men naturally gravitating towards strong women. And here was a Primordial Goddess being the Earth itself, which Goku loves and cherishes, offering herself to Goku with open arms. Any red blooded male would have jumped at the chance to be with the Mother Goddess. And now for the first time in his life, Goku was struggling with his own instincts. The very nature of Ultra Instinct was to stop thinking and allow your body to make the choices for you. It was obvious what his body wanted. His Omen form was pushing itself against Goku's very own will.
'What's happening to me? I-I can't control myself! How is she doing this to me? Is this a spell? No… it's not. But why am I having so much trouble resisting her. I… think my body is taking over me.'
Goku was having an internal battle with his instinct. Mother Nature herself was closing in on Goku, as her lips were just millimeters away from his. The closer she got, the more difficult it became to resist. Any other man would have already caved. But Goku was not like any other man. He kept on struggling and struggling, not backing down to his carnal desires.
Right as Gaia was about to kiss him, Goku grabbed her shoulders and pushed away with authority.
"I'm sorry Earth- I mean Gaia… but I have a wife." He said with a low voice as he looked down at the ground.
Gaia's eyes widened in both astonishment and horror. She was astonished because every other male in the universe would have gladly taken her as their Queen. To be able to resist her charms is arguably disrespectful to her womanhood. She was shocked to see such unwavering loyalty from Goku to his wife, Chichi. That was rare especially in her Pantheon where Immortals were known for their countless affairs and promiscuity. From both the Gods and Goddesses. Rarely are they ever loyal to their spouses.
But she was horrified because the one man who could love and care for her… rejected her.
In Gaia's mind, an act like that could only be seen as blasphemous and darn right idiotic.
"You… You don't love me, Son Goku?" Gaia's voice faltered as she said those words. Just saying them brought so much pain to her heart.
"I… I do. I really do love you, Earth. But, I just can't. I love Chichi. This would be a betrayal to her. And I can't allow myself to do that." Goku said with pain in his voice. He was still looking at the ground. He was so ashamed that he couldn't bring himself to look Gaia in the eyes.
Goku had won against his very own instincts. His will was strong enough to surpass his lust and not allow himself to betray his love for Chichi, the mother of his children.
"Chichi… you're still attached to that mortal?! You do realize that you're never gonna see her again, right? You understand that, don't you?"
Goku didn't respond as he kept looking at his feet, avoiding eye contact with the Primordial.
"Answer me, sweetheart."
Goku clenched his fists. He looked at his own two feet in sadness and anger. He didn't want to answer her question, but he knew he had to.
This moment was the most defeated Goku had ever felt. No villain before this had accomplished this.
Gaia walked back towards Goku, just as she did before, but now instead of her steps being seductive, they were now building up rage and agony.
Gaia once again was in front of the Saiyan. But this time she gave him a couple inches of personal space. Her green eyes locked directly on him. Filled with fury and hurt.
"WHY WON'T YOU TAKE AND LOVE ME?!"
Gaia screamed at the top of her lungs. That shout caused the entire planet to shake for a split moment. Every living being could feel the vibration of the Earth's agony. They could feel her sadness and fury, even if they didn't know it.
"I… I already told you. I have a wife. I love Chichi." Goku responded in a monotone voice.
"And AGAIN, I ask you, why do you still feel attached to that mortal."
Goku frowned at the way Gaia used the word mortal, "Gaia, she's the mother of my children-"
"IS THAT WHAT IT IS? You want children? I'll GIVE YOU AS MANY AS CHILDREN AS YOU WANT! All of them being just as precious and beautiful as Gohan and Goten. They can be whatever race you want. You can train them as much as you want. They can be warriors just like you. I know you always wanted a child to train with. But you never were given the opportunity because Chichi wanted Gohan and Goten to ne scholars-"
"Actually, I did train Gohan for a bit, same thing with Goten." Goku corrected the Goddess.
"But was it as much as you liked? Think about it. You could train these children much more than you ever could than with Gohan and Goten. The perfect training partners for you. An endless amount of fighting. You will be tested by our children numerous times, and as a result, you will only keep improving and becoming stronger yourself. Isn't that your dream? Isn't that what you desire? I could give it to you." Gaia was playing at Goku's weakness. She knew something like that would be irresistible to him. The prospect to continue fighting strong opponents and taking on students of his own who each have the possibility of surpassing him? There was no way he was turning that down right?
Goku grit his teeth, "As much as I would love that… The answer is still no."
Gaia stared at the Saiyan. She was dreaming, right? This wasn't real life. This must be a joke. A cruel joke that the Fates were playing on her. But wait a minute, the Fates have no control over Goku. They gave him his String of Fate. He is the dictator of his own actions.
"WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT?!" Gaia shrieked at the man who would dare deny her. "You will be the King of the Universe! We will rule this realm indefinitely. If we join together, nobody… NOBODY will be able to stop us. Not even my Mother! You will have ME as your eternal wife. I will give you anything. I will do anything for you. I will only serve you. I'll give myself to you for all of eternity!" Gaia was getting desperate. She couldn't let Goku reject her. If she let him go, then she might never receive this opportunity again, and lose him forever.
"I don't want to be the king of anything." Goku blanky replied, still not giving Gaia eye contact.
"That's a lie! Every man wants to be king. Every man wants a Goddess as a lover. You're lying, Son Goku. I sensed lust from you earlier. You wanted so bad to take me right then and there. But you resisted. Don't lie to me, Saiyan!"
"Is it really a lie, Gaia? Do you really believe that I'm lying? Or is it just your desperation telling you that?"
Goku's words hit her like a bus. She realized that he was right. She was just saying anything to try to convince Goku at this point. She knew he wasn't that type of guy. He was unlike any other man.
"Okay… but just listen to me. I will treat and love you better than that harpy ever could-"
Goku immediately shot up and grabbed Gaia by the shoulders. He pulled her close to him, so that he could see him in his eyes. His silver eyes showed nothing but Righteous Fury and Power. Burning white flames began to surround Goku as his power kept on rising. His body was reacting to his anger and grief. Sweat trickled down Gaia's face as she felt the high temperatures of Goku aura. His power made her feel fear. An emotion that a being of her status doesn't feel quite often, if at all. She was arguably the strongest in her universe besides her Mother of course. There were very few beings that could stand up to her. And here was Goku, a mortal man, scaring the life out of her with his mere aura alone. If there was anybody that she didn't want to get on their bad side, it was the Saiyan Beyond God.
Ironically, this turned her on even more.
"Her name is Chichi. Don't ever disrespect her like that in my presence again." Goku's voice was silent, but powerful. It sent a chill down the Earth Goddess's spine. No man had ever made her feel this way. Not Ouranos nor Tarturus.
"I'm… I'm sorry. It won't happen again." Gaia felt like she was being scolded. It was embarrassing. But she had no choice. If she didn't, there was no telling what Goku would do to her in this state.
Goku calmed down. The white flames disappeared and his aura went back to the normal, peaceful state of Ultra Instinct. Gaia breathed a sigh of relief. She much preferred this side of Goku.
"I apologize for being disrespectful towards her in front of you. I should already know that you still have love and care for her. However… my point still stands. Your wife Chichi, your sons Gohan and Goten, and everyone else that you know and love are gone. You will never be able to see them again. I empathize with your loss and grief, but you have to accept that and move on. You died a Hero in your world according to them. The Fates have already explained that story is over. Now it is time for your new story to begin. Chichi and the others are going to have to move on without you as well. So why can't you do the same?" Gaia more calmly described the situation to Goku. Maybe her previous strategy of seduction wasn't the best way to go. She should have known that was never going to work on Goku. However this method should make it easier for Goku to understand the reality of what's going on.
Goku listened to what Gaia said, and he knew that every word that came out of her mouth was true. He knew he had to accept this new reality. This is his home now for the rest of his life, and there isn't really much that he can do about it. He doesn't think there are any dragon balls in this dimension, so it's not like he can wish to go back.
Goku gulped in shock as he just realized… There are no dragon balls.
A world without dragon balls… Goku never thought he would ever come across something like this. Without the dragon balls, Goku would have never started his journey with Bulma. All of the friends and foes he made along the way… none of it would have happened. It was thanks to the dragon balls, that he and the Z fighters were able to get bailed out of so many scenarios.
Now, there wasn't that possibility.
What happens now.. Is what happens. And he can't do anything to reverse it.
"I think now you're really starting to understand the gravity of this situation you're in." Gaia said as she saw Goku come to the realization of no dragon balls. "You're going to outlive your wife and sons. They will have to go about the rest of their lives without you. And you without them. Are you really sure you want to go the rest of your existence in loneliness and pain? Mourning them forever?"
Goku shrugged his shoulders, "I'm only mortal. It's not like I'm going to live forever. I'll die eventually and the pain will end."
Gaia laughed at the Saiyan's ignorance, "How are you so sure about that? You do realize that in a way, you are a God too, right? Your body may still be mortal, but your Ki and life force is now of a God's. You even transcended that and your Ki has surpassed that of the Gods. How do you know how long you are going to live? Combine that with your Saiyan biology, there's no telling how long you can remain in your prime. It can be millenia before you die naturally, if at all! And knowing you, you're constantly going to be training, pushing your body to the limit, getting stronger endlessly, fighting numerous opponents. Are you going to wait until someone finally kills you in battle? Time itself couldn't even kill you. Think about that. You will be in an endless cycle of pain and grief. And you won't be able to help yourself."
Goku began to panic. The words of Mother Nature now seeping into him. The harsh reality of his fate. An endless cycle of mourning and pain? Would any amount of fighting and training help him cope with that?
"You're lying! Vegeta said that Saiyans start to age once they hit 80 years old! Saiyans and humans also have around the same lifespan. I'm 43 years old right now, so give or take another 40 years, I should be good-"
"You're 43 years old, mentally. But that doesn't mean you are currently 43 years old physically. Have you ever taken a look at yourself? You have noticed that you appear to be young, correct? Why is that? Vegeta was correct in terms of Saiyans under normal circumstances. Are you a typical Saiyan under normal circumstances? Who knows what could have happened to your body when you went through the Time Rift? I don't believe you fully understand yet, do you? As of right now, you are in a state that not even the gods can easily master, and you're doing it so effortlessly. A normal Saiyan wouldn't be able to do that, not even in his dreams."
"I'll just wait until I'm 80 and see for myself! And when I die, I'll see Chichi and the others in the Other World-"
"Now who's the one turning to desperation?" Gaia smirked at the reaction she got from Goku when she said that. The tables have now turned in her favor just like that. Her strategy was working. She sensed that Goku was beginning to lose hope in ever seeing his old friends and family again. The torture of mourning endlessly for eons doesn't seem to be all that appealing to the Saiyan Beyond God. He buried his face in his hands in disbelief.
"No… this can't be. I never wanted this. So why did this happen to me?! It isn't fair!" Goku was on the verge of tears. Gaia felt her heart break seeing the one who helped her in pain. She caressed Goku softly as she tried to calm him down.
"It's okay. Calm down. You're not alone. I can help. Take my offer and you won't have to deal with the mourning and grief. You'll have me and we can live out the rest of eternity together. We both get what we want. You get your cure from the pain, mourning, and suffering, along with children who you can train and cultivate into warriors. Who will also be your training partners and help you get even stronger. And I get the family that I always wanted. Sounds like a fair deal, right?"
Now the Mother Goddesses had the Saiyan right where she wanted him. It was only a matter of time before he caved and accepted her as his eternal lover.
Goku removed his hands from his face and looked Gaia in the eyes once again. He had calmed down, a good part of it being due to the Goddess's natural maternal and caring touch. His silver eyes had the look of determination and will. Gaia rejoiced internally as she believed she had won the Hero over.
"I will move on." Goku announced. Gaia beamed with happiness hearing his answer.
"I'm glad that you finally saw reason-"
"But I'm going to do so… on my own. My own way."
"What? What did you say, my beloved?"
Goku sighed, "You heard me, Gaia. I have to take this journey on my own. As much as I would like to take your offer, I just can't. It still feels like a betrayal to Chichi in a way. And I would be lying if I said that every part of me has already accepted that I'm stuck here and there's no way to go back. Meaning that I will never see them again. I'll miss them for sure, it may hurt, and I might have trouble sleeping at night. But I will get over it. I will move on. It will take time, but I believe in myself. I'll always cherish my memories from my past life, but now it is time to create new memories. With new friends, family, teachers, and foes. Memories that will last me a lifetime. As a Saiyan, it would be disrespectful to my people and my legacy if I did anything less."
Gaia stared at the Saiyan as if he had grown a second head. But Goku stared right back at her with his unrelenting resolve. His fire burned with a mighty passion and nothing in the universe could dare extinguish it.
And Gaia knew this.
"You're making a mistake."
Goku shrugged his shoulders nonchalantly, "Maybe I am. This might be the stupidest decision in my entire life. I mean, I'm rejecting a Goddess. I think most men would call me stupid. I know for sure one would." Goku smiled as he remembered Master Roshi. He was a pervert, but he was an amazing teacher and Goku knew for a fact that he wouldn't be the man today without his teachings. But Son Goku isn't his Muten Roshi. He's going to make the choice he believed was best for him.
"You're actually serious."
"I wouldn't joke about something like this."
Gaia went down to her knees, and began to sob, "Please… don't leave me. I need you. You took away my pain and suffering. You gave me new hope in this life. You have no idea how long I have been waiting for someone like you. I thought I was cursed for eternity. Cursed to be alone with a violent and dysfunctional family that will never truly come to love each other and find peace. All of the damage they have done to the Earth, fighting their reckless wars and destroying me emotionally and physically. If you go now, I might miss my chance and lose you."
"Lose me? Lose me to what?" Goku was lost in Gaia's breakdown. He felt sorry for her, but he didn't quite understand what she was talking about. It seems as though there's a history that he still isn't aware of yet. Which makes sense, considering he just got to this world.
Gaia laughed at Goku when she heard his naive question, "You have no idea, don't you?"
"No idea of what?!"
"You fool! The other Deities have already been aware of your existence in this plane. That little training you did last night? You practically let everyone know that you're here. Your scent and energy are going to attract a lot of people. Namely, Maidens and Goddesses who will want to get their paws all over you. You've already met one of them."
"Artemis?" Goku raised his eyebrows. "What are you talking about? Doesn't she and her Hunters hate men?"
Gaia gave the Saiyan a smug grin, "For now. But she will come around. You feel it don't you? Whenever you're around her, you sense a connection don't you?"
Goku widened his eyes, "How do you know that-"
"I'm Mother Earth! My domain reaches across the entire planet. I can see, hear, and feel everything that goes on! And she won't be the only one. There is another particular Goddess who has her eyes on you. You better prepare yourself, as she is a handful and will stop at nothing to get what she wants!"
Goku wasn't even going to question that and decided to leave that for later, "Listen, Gaia. It doesn't matter what you do. I have made my decision. Maybe in the future, we can be together but not right now. I need time to grieve and get over this, and I need to do it on my own. And that is final."
Gaia wiped her tears and got up from her knees, "Alright then. You want to play hard to get? So be it, Super Saiyan. If you're going to make me suffer, then I'll make you suffer."
Before Goku could question what she meant, Gaia raised her hand and out of it, came green energy that almost resembles poison. She blasted it into Goku, and the Saiyan felt a jolt of electricity go through him.
"What the hell was that?! What did you do to me?!"
"I placed a curse on you. Since you want to move on on your own, I decided to help you with that. Your male instincts will kick in now more than ever. This will create an aura that will attract women of all kinds towards you, and they will fall in love with you and you will be forced to love them." Gaia explained with a diabolical grin on her beautiful face.
"WHAT?! Why are you doing this to me? Isn't this the opposite of what you want?! I just told you that I still have not finished grieving and yet you do this to me?! Not only will you be hurting me but you're going to be hurting other innocents who don't have anything to do with this!" Goku shouted at the Earth Goddess. Has she gone mad?
"Like I said, since you're forcing me to suffer leaving me alone with no love, I'm going to make you suffer by showering you with love. Of course, I would prefer keeping you all to myself but I don't mind sharing you as long as you show me the love I desire. You should've known that rejecting my offer would only make me lust after you even more. You can't escape from me, my love. I am the Earth itself. Everywhere you go, I will be watching. You can't hide from me. Everything that happens on the Earth is because I allow it. I am the Mother of all. Everything has come from me, except for you. But I will have you, I don't care how long it takes. And if I have to force this upon you, then so be it."
"You're evil." Goku commented as he listened to Gaia's monologue. She was really going to do this to him, even after telling her that he didn't want this? What did he do to deserve this? Why couldn't she take no for an answer?
Gaia shrugged her shoulders nonchalantly just like Goku did to her earlier, "Maybe I am. But that doesn't matter to me. You could argue the same for other deities."
"This can hurt a lot of people!"
"Oh well! Too bad for you, I guess you're just going to have to deal with it. Be careful to not break any hearts, okay?!" Gaia laughed maniacally as she said that.
"DAMN YOU!" Goku yelled as he powered up. His white flames returned as they burned even hotter than last time.
"Get mad all you want. It's not gonna change anything. If anything it just turns me on even more. I'm not gonna lift the curse. Unless of course, you changed your mind?"
Goku said nothing as he stared daggers at the Primordial. His gaze did not leave hers. He knew that he was beat. She wasn't going to lift the curse no matter what. And there wasn't anything he could do about it. He wasn't going to try to beat it out of her. It would just be pointless. Plus, Goku wasn't that type of person either.
Goku dropped his power and subsided his flames.
Gaia smirked in victory, "Didn't think so."
"Fine. Have it your way. I'll just have to deal with it. But I'm gonna do it my own way. Even with your curse. I'll just see it as a challenge that I have to overcome, and I always overcome any challenge that comes my way. This will be no different. I'll just adapt and break my limits again and again, until it's enough." Goku said with a grin as he showed that whatever Gaia did to him won't faze him.
Gaia sighed and shook her head, "An unwavering spirit. But I can't really complain. It's one of the reasons I fell in love with you."
"Good. You know not to underestimate me!"
"I never did. But know this. Sooner or later, I will have you. And it won't be me coming to you. It will be you, coming to me!" Gaia exclaimed.
Goku chuckled, "We'll see about that, Gaia."
Goku turned around and began walking away from the Goddess. "It has been since meeting you, Gaia. But I got work to do. And I'm going to be keeping myself busy. So you might wait a while."
The Goddess scoffed, "I have all of eternity, Son Goku. I waited for you, this long. I can wait even longer."
"Good. I guess I'll see you around then." That was the last thing Goku said before he vanished.
"Oh we will be seeing each other very, very soon. But let's see if you can truly slay my strongest son like the Prophecy foretold."
Goku opened his eyes to find himself back in his meditation spot. The animals were still there circling around him just like before he began talking with Gaia. He felt a presence that made him calm and happy. He looked across from him to find the Goddess of the Hunt, Artemis sitting down staring at him inquisitively.
"You look different from before." Goku broke the silence with that observation. Instead of being in adult form, Artemis took upon the look of a 12 year old, which was the main form that she used regularly.
"Uh… yes. This is the form that I most often take upon. It is my 12 year old form. Yesterday I was in my adult form, which I mostly use for meetings." Artemis explained.
"Wow, you can do that?!" Goku asked.
"Yes, we gods can manipulate our physical appearance in various ways. We can even shapeshift into different animals, depending on our domains and symbols of power."
"I see, that must be really handy." Goku remembered Oolong and Puar, who both had similar shapeshifting powers. That technique came out to be really useful quite a few times during the early days of Goku's journey when he and the gang went looking for the dragon balls.
"Were you meditating?" Artemis asked curiously.
"When I came back from riding the Moon Chariot, I found you here, just sitting, without moving an inch. I called your name multiple times, but you didn't react. The wolves said to not disturb you until you were done. The rest of the animals said the same. It felt like all of your energies were aligned and you were becoming one with the surroundings. So I sat here and just waited. Just how deep were you into the mediation?" It was a shock to the Goddess that Goku was effortlessly meditating so well. It seemed like he had much practice with the activity. She never met a human so in tune with nature. Satyrs and nymphs would love him.
"Well, I grew up in the wilderness, so I pretty much always had a connection to nature. It's all I really knew. Not really surprising that I could meditate so well." Goku sat up, making the birds on his shoulders and other animals around him scatter.
Artemis squinted at the Saiyan. She didn't sense any lies or deceit from him, but she had a feeling that he wasn't telling her the whole truth either. But she decided to let it go for now and move on to a more important topic.
"I know what you did last night." Artemis got straight to the point. She had to talk to Goku about this.
"You do?" Goku dumbly replied.
"Yes. That earthquake last night. That was you, wasn't it."
'Oh crap, I should have done a better job at suppressing my energy. I didn't take into account the area of effect that my transformations would have. So that's what Gaia was talking about. I better be more careful next time.' Goku said in his head. He didn't want to attract too much attention to himself and apparently he did the exact opposite.
"Yeah, that was me. Sorry, I was just testing something. I wasn't doing anything dangerous, I promise!" Goku exclaimed as he put his hands above his head like he was getting accused of a crime.
"Relax, I'm not accusing you of anything. I just want you to be more discreet next time. You alerted a lot of people of your presence last night whatever you were testing. I'm trying to keep you here on the low, and that show you put on yesterday didn't help. So please be more careful next time." Artemis said as nicely as she could. She didn't know why she was acting so nice towards a man, but the vibration Goku gave off was different. Whenever they were in close proximity, she felt more at ease and she also felt a little stronger as well.
"No problem!" Goku replied with a thumbs up. Artemis smiled at the act and shook her head.
"Let's go wake the girls. It's time for breakfast."
"Hopefully this time, they don't try to shoot me with their arrows!"
"Yeah.. sorry about that."
It was once again night time and all of the hunters were asleep. Artemis was riding the Moon, so this gave Goku the perfect opportunity to continue his training.
He was in the same forest he was last night. He looked around to make sure no one was watching him.
"Okay, the coast is clear. Let me make sure I suppress my power this time so I don't cause any unnecessary area of effect."
Goku closed his eyes and looked deep within himself. He still wanted to see what was going on inside him with his new power. In his subconscious, he found various flames. One was black, the next was golden, the one after that was red, right next to it was blue, and then there was a white flame. The white flame was the hottest of them all, while the black one was the dimmest.
It was obvious to Goku what these fires were supposed to be. They were his forms. The black flame being his base form, and the White one being Ultra Instinct.
However, he had missed another flame. There was one after the white flame that he couldn't quite catch the first time. This flame was dark purple in color. And it was similar to the white flame, but it felt much more sinister and dangerous. It reminded him of Goku Black's Super Saiyan Rose, but it wasn't quite the same. Goku tried to touch it, but it burned his hand.
"YIKES! That's hot! I might not be ready for this one yet. What could this new power be? I think I'll have to wait awhile before I figure that out. But let me try something.."
Goku transformed into Ultra Instinct Omen. White flames surrounded him but they weren't as hot or intense as Mastered Ultra Instinct. He looked into himself again and saw that the white flame was currently ignited and running, but the others were dim and calm.
'The way I achieved Ultra Instinct was through clearing my thoughts and finding peace within myself. Letting my body move on its own. I achieved Super Saiyan when my calm heart was awakened through intense hatred and rage. When me and Gohan trained in the Room of Spirit and Time, we drew out the power of Super Saiyan to its limits, and the aura that surrounded it was different. I think something similar happened in the Tournament of Power when Jiren threatened to kill the members sitting on the stands. But it was the reverse. When I allowed rage to take over, it drew out the limits of Ultra Instinct and replaced it with a new white hot flame aura. Now if my theory is correct…'
Goku grabbed the golden flame and put it on top of the white flame. The two flames swished around each other for a few moments before Goku started to feel a change. The Saiyan began to feel angry as he did when Freeza killed Krillin, attempting to recreate that feeling of going Super Saiyan for the first time again, but this time while doing it in Ultra Instinct Omen and maintaining it.
Goku's hair spiked up and turned golden, signifying that he turned Super Saiyan. But when he opened his eyes, they weren't the usual teal color of the form.
They were silver.
"I'm a genius."
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