"And the Raven, never flitting, Still is sitting, still is sitting On the pallid bust of Pallas Just above my chamber door; And his eyes have all the seeming Of a demon's that is dreaming, And the lamplight o'er him streaming Throws his shadow on the floor, And my soul from out that shadow, That lies floating on the floor, Shall be lifted - nevermore." ~ Edgar Allan Poe
I offer my deepest apologies for the delay producing this chapter for you all! I hope you don't mind that this chapter is slightly shorter than you're all used to; writing has been more difficult for me lately and I haven't had as much free time as I used to. I hope you all enjoy this one, and let me know your thoughts on it! Also, thank you to AstralQueen who beta read this chapter!
13th May, Murray Manor
An array of colorful lovebirds made their happy chitters and squawks as Panchy carefully fed them seeds, the small birds lining up to gently take them from her fingers as she smiled blissfully. It was a quiet afternoon spent on the porch of their tall, Gothic home made less intimidating by its Robin's egg blue paint contrasting with the red brick siding. The sun's rays fell on the white porch on which she stood, Dr. Murray beside her.
He was currently setting a new record on the phonograph for their listening pleasure, with its bronze bellflower horn that enhanced the sound quality. He smiled into his corncob pipe as the music began to play; though it had been invented by that humbug bigot Edison, it was admittedly remarkable, seeing as he was quoted as not even being able to hear the beautiful sounds of bird song surrounding them presently.
"Panchetta, dear. Don't you think we should receive some word soon from Bulma or Mr. Grimes?" He pondered, leaning closer to look into the birdcage his cat Scratch was intently admiring from his shoulder. Panchy kissed a peach faced lovebird tenderly on the head and placed it back on its perch, then put her hand to her cheek in thought.
"Oh, it's only been a few days now, but our little Bulamina is always quite prompt." She responded softly, walking towards the edge of the porch to admire the pale pink English roses growing along the railing, studiously plucking away a brown petal here and there. Chaps made a gruff, musing sound from beneath his neatly combed and curled mustache, knowing her assumption was correct.
He was more concerned for the former cadaver-pig, his daughter less so. Bulma was rather cunning, whereas Mr. Grimes seemed more of an oafish meater than a private detective that one could count on. He wasn't quite so sure that Mister P.I.G. was as capable, and he was concerned that the Brooklynite wouldn't even make it past the Calais.
Panchy turned back to look up at the tall oak trees that enclosed the property and saw a single bird flying towards them.
"Look there! A carrier pigeon!" She exclaimed excitedly, running down the stairs in her white kitten heels with buttons and lace at the ankles which were revealed as she lifted the skirts of her yellow dress. Dr. Murray looked on with interest as the trained bird flew down to meet his wife, who was waving at it eagerly. The gray and black striped pigeon, with an oil slick hued throat landed on Panchy's outstretched hand, pausing to preen itself as she untied the small scroll from its ankle. Once she freed it from its cargo, it flew just a little ways off, finding her open bag of birdseed and taking the opportunity to have a much needed meal while they read the letter.
"Let's have a look, what's it say?" Chaps inquired, coming down the stairs to stand beside Panchy as she unrolled the letter, something falling out as she did. She bent down to pick up the dried flower, then began dictating the letter aloud.
"Dear Dr. Murray & The Missus,
I hope this letter finds you well. I have been well since we last parted ways at the Marina. I took the ferry out to Calais, which was a long, yet peaceful ride. Something peculiar happened on my way to the Alps; as I was boarding the next boat, your blue cat Purr ran onto the boat with me. Did you know he got loose while we were at the Marina? I'll try and keep an eye on him while on my journey, but I can't promise you that I'll be able to keep track of the thing if it takes off after some stray rodent.
Before entering the Great St. Bernard pass, the boatman led me to a cottage along the foothills just as the sun was setting, and a terrible chill was coming off the Alps. I decided to take his advice and turn in for the evening then start out early in the morning, well rested and with a full belly. I dined there and the inn-keep insisted the cat had some of their alpine cuisine as well. I, for one, have never eaten so much cheese and bread in one sitting before. The hospitality of these French Alps folk is almost as warm as yours.
Miss Panchy may want to write this down for future reference. There, they served me a meal named Fondue; which was a large bowl of fragrant, melted cheese shared amongst the other travelers and myself. We dipped toasted brioche bread into the bowl and ate it while it was still steaming. Afterwards, I was still very hungry so they served me something called Tartiflette, which was a rustic yet delightful dish of potatoes, reblochon—a type of Savoyard cheese, bacon lardons, cream, white wine and onions.
Now, don't judge me for eating bacon. I'm a special type of pig as you know, not one of those regular old farm swine. Oh, and don't worry. Purr was spoiled by the innkeeper's daughter, who fed him a hefty portion of alpine char. I am going to enter the mountains in the morning so I should be going to bed now. I will let you know of all my future travels so that we may keep in touch as it happens. So far, I have not seen any purple irises, but I did manage to save you a bluebell." Panchy finished reading, then sniffed the small bluebell they had sent with him.
"Quite a chatty fellow, isn't he? Well, I am pleased that he made his way to the Alps. His journey has just begun there, I'm afraid. Mr. Grimes should be so lucky he's a fat little lardon, else he may not survive the frigid winds." The elderly scientist chuckled, Panchy smiling as she re-read the letter.
"I'm thankful he thought to include those lovely sounding recipes, we'll eat like King Louis the Eighteenth tonight!" She giggled, not seeming concerned about the mention of her precious cat Purr traveling with the inspector. Dr. Murray smiled, walking up the stairs to turn up the phonograph, which was currently playing a song they were both familiar with. Camille St. Saëns' cheerful symphonic poem: Carnival of the Animals began to play, which made Panchy giggle as she recognized the tune that Dr. Murray was mock-playing the piano notes of with his fingers.
"Oh Chaps, you always play such silly songs!" She said, dropping the letter and backing away from the mad doctor as he began to waltz slowly towards her, taking her hand. She took his hand and he placed his other one on the small of her back as they began to slowly dance in circles, amongst the overgrown gardens, full of the noise of their collection of exotic birds and animals, the wind blowing through the trees making her dress bell out around her as her small feet made a path around his black loafers on the cobblestone pathway.
13th May, Carfax Abbey
The pink walls surrounding her were intended to create a soothing atmosphere, along with the warm water bath that Bulma was submerged up to her neck in. She sighed and closed her eyes; trusting in the methods of the two doctors who had saved her from a deadly drop the night prior. Bulma sunk deeper into the water, then was stopped by a splash of ice cold water on her head. She popped her head up and scowled at the woman holding the pitcher. Dr. Shinhan had called in one of the sisters from the Magdalen Hospital, for the Reception of Penitent Prostitutes located in Whitechapel to supervise her bath lest she drowns herself while bathing.
"Relax. Do not hold a grudge with me, lassie." The nun said, smiling as she used the pitcher to scoop up warm water and pour it over Bulma's long hair. Bulma still seemed wary, but was soon lulled to relaxation by the sensation of her hair being lathered with soap. She closed her eyes and listened as Sister Maggie hummed an ancient hymn, her strong, God praising, praying hands working their way up to her scalp.
"Ye shall be glad to be bathing on this day, instead of burning in the fiery pits of eternal damnation." She whispered, stroking her hair a few more times before using the ice water from her bucket to rinse it clean, Bulma jolting from the shock each time she was splashed once again. She could have sworn the nun was angry at her for having such long, pretty azure hair, whereas she kept hers nearly tucked beneath her black and white habit, with no decoration but for the gold cross hanging around her collar.
"What color is your hair, Sister Maggie?" Bulma asked as she hung her hair over the side of the tub to be combed, hands clinging to the sides of the tub. She grimaced tightly as the metal comb was raked through her hair roughly as her punishment, the nun unforthcoming with her answer.
"I'm sure it's beautiful, really. Such a shame that you can't…"
"For shame!" Maggie snapped, and tugged hard on Bulma's hair.
"Do not ask me such questions again, you should only listen. Enough conversation." She whispered sharply, her high brow creasing.
"A lass in your condition should be mostly melancholic, but ye seem to only be indignant! Yesterday ye wished to throw yourself from the balcony, today ye ask me when ye can have the buggy ready to leave? You aren't going home to traipse about the town, Miss Murray. You can come and wash laundry with the other lassies if you keep up this attitude."
Bulma stood up from the tub abruptly and Sister Maggie dropped her comb, shielding her eyes from Bulma's blatant nudity. "I am not suicidal! I want to go home!" She exclaimed, stepping out of the tub and wrapping herself in a large drying cloth, which hung past her knees in preserving her modesty.
"That's only an excuse to perform the sinful act in another place, child. I am no fool, I know how you mask your true pain. Let me help you, let us cleanse your sins." Sister Magdalene soothed now, wringing water from Bulma's hair. Bulma stared at the floor and shivered from the cold chill causing goosebumps to rise up on her flesh as the woman of God pulled her bony fingers through her curls.
"Raven." She said softly, making Bulma turn to look at her with wide eyes.
"You asked me what color my hair is, and it is raven black." She said with a smile, baring two glistening eye teeth, her pale face like a moon half eclipsed by darkness; revealing two glinting red eyes.
"What are you?" Bulma gasped, stepping back and noticing the comb still lying on the floor between them. Magdalene smiled and lowered her habit, revealing her luxurious red-black hair, and two long, pointed ears. It wasn't until she stared at her longer, that she saw her fairness; but it was made horrendous with the pallor of death, vampiric.
"Death…Doom…Sadness. That is all that awaits ye continuing on this path. Let me help ye…There isn't much time now before your beloved is no more. We must move quickly now. Towards The Master. " She whispered, and reached for Bulma with one claw tipped hand. She dodged out of the way, landing on her knees in the process.
"Pray! Pray with me!" Bulma cried, pulling her down by her black robes just as roughly, yanking the entity to the floor even though it hissed, and screamed obscenities at her. Bulma grabbed the comb and was quick to plunge it into the soft hollow beneath Magdalene's jaw, making the vampire freeze in place. Her mouth hung open, glossy fangs dripping saliva as Bulma stared into the open cavern with apprehension, her hair hanging over her rounded eyes.
She pulled free the comb after a moment, a virulent stream of black, tarrish fluid leaking out from the wound when she did. Bulma backed away from the frightening scene, seeing how the woman remained frozen in place as if she had been turned to stone. The door behind her creaked slowly open, Bulma gasping as this caused Maggie to turn and look there quickly. She felt herself pulled into firm warmth, then cried out when a booming sound deafened her ears, along with a flash of fire.
The vampire ran at her, a quick, black shadow, that now as she looked at it, she could see that it was only a thin, bone-limbed creature, with ashen skin stretched thinly over an angular face, like the skin it wore did not belong to it. The bullet ripped through its chest, then one though its head, and with a terrific splash of gore, it exploded. Bulma felt her stomach lurch and hunched forwards and released its bile. The rest was a blur after that point, she could only remind herself repeatedly that it had all been nothing but a dream.
"Nosferatu? How?" The doctor asked in an accusatory hiss, as a blurry candle light shivered on the fringes on her vision. It tripled, doubled, then became one at once, a trembling flame in the darkness.
"Their kind has spread, so far now in fact they've reached Whitechapel." A deep voice answered, Sir Piccolo drawing from his pipe as the two of them hunched over a small table top. Bulma stayed still though her mind was stirring; keeping her heavy eyelids open only a sliver so she may listen and watch without their knowledge.
"That town has always been cursed… Perhaps the pox only lies there, and we've detained the worst of them with Sister Magdalene's death."
"It won't be long until it reaches Purfleet, what then? Quick footed vampires could reach here in minutes, like travelers such as Miss Maggie. Surely they're already here, and we just don't know it." Piccolo snorted, blowing out a cloud of smoke.
The two of them were silent for a moment, before Dr. Shinhan sent a surreptitious glance at Bulma before turning his gaze back to Piccolo.
"I befriended a Professor whom I saved from a deadly gangrenous infection in his leg some years back, Doctor Van Helsing. He is educated on the sort of creature my patient Renfield exhibits knowledge of. I could send word to him right away." He whispered, leaning closer to his acquaintance as Bulma kept her eyes closed and listened. She was awake enough now that she had become aware that they were moving speedily along in a buggy, but she couldn't tell where to, or what time it was.
"Van Helsing. I know that name…Isn't he a touch crackers?" Piccolo questioned warily, and Tien chuckled.
"Many of your Cambridge co-educates probably would agree, but they haven't seen what we have today. A vampire hunter could be just the protection I, and Miss Murray will need if it is true what Renfield says."
Piccolo thought about this for a moment, glancing at Bulma to be sure she was asleep before looking back at Tien.
"Fine, send for this man and see what he can do. We'll return Miss Murray home for the time being. That meddling little church bell is more a burden than she is a blessing, I'm afraid." Sir Piccolo huffed, Tien nodding.
Bulma fisted her hand and thought about waking up, but she waited to hear any more information. They had been rather reticent with her, and clearly they knew more than they were willing to divulge with her.
"About this Morris fellow she mentioned…I don't care for this suspicious gal-sneaker accompanying Lady Launch like this. I can send word back to Napoli requesting that his men look into Raditz's background. Perhaps even track him." Dr. Shinhan said in a low baritone, and Bulma's eyes flew open.
Her heart raced with this possibility, was it truly safe to send the dangerous men that Oolong had warned them of straight to Launch? The detective was on his way to Naples as they spoke. Was Launch safe with Mr. Morris, alone? Would she be worse off with Napoli's men? She couldn't truly say.
"Why send for them? We're perfectly capable. There's more than one way to kill a vampire, I'm told. With this Van Helsing's assistance, we would hypothetically be more the benefactors of her gratitude, and not her father's lackeys." Sir Piccolo growled, and his fellow doctor nodded.
"With Raditz eliminated it would just be you and I in competition, old chap." Tien sneered, sitting back in the coach and crossing one leg over the other. Piccolo bared his fangs slightly at him in an agreeable sneer.
"So it will be. Imagine us, knights, defenders of her honor."
Bulma rolled her eyes and sat herself up now that the more impertinent parts of the conversation had already been revealed.
"I'm sure Launch will kiss your toes after you slaughter her beloved, surely." She said as she straightened, fixing some loose curls that hung in her face.
" 'Love? With that monster?' " They concurred in mutual disgust, and Bulma nodded gently, her gaze deepening as she reflected on the solemn truth.
"She will be heartbroken with his death. I hope you know this before you begin to chase her skirts. It's no laughing matter, murder that is." She responded coldly, crossing her arms over her chest as she felt a cold shudder run throughout her body.
"Take me home." She uttered tensely, and the two nodded quickly.
Crackers- demented, crazy
Church bell- talkative woman
Gal sneaker- Man devoted to seduction
Two horses led a rickety brown carriage down a dirt road, one a golden brown shade, the other, black with one white boot. Gokuseppe and his grandfather Gohan sat at the front, holding the reins. The carriage was packed with what little Gohan had decided to take with him back to the Netherlands, along with plenty of dried rations, water and brown bread to hold him over during the journey. Goku had insisted he gave him all the earnings he had from working for Napoli, and Gohan had simply refused. The youngest was unhappy with his grandfather for his stubbornness, but he let it go. It would be awhile until they saw one another again, and he didn't want their last visit to end with an argument.
It would be a thirty four day trip by road, not taking into account the weather, how long the horses would need to rest periodically, and for Gohan to sleep & eat. It would be a 1208 mile journey, which if he took his time he could stretch it into 5 or 6 weeks.
Goku glanced at his grandfather from his peripheral vision, watching how the old man took a flask from his pocket and took a drink. He furrowed his brow, Gohan was never one to drink any type of alcohol besides an occasional glass of red wine.
"Are you sure it's a wise idea to imbibe alcohol with the long journey you have ahead of you?" He asked, concerned by what his grandfather was doing. Gohan hissed from the sting of the alcohol and shook his head.
"Little nip to dull the ache in my old bones, Gokuseppe my boy." He reassured gently, and Goku let it go, although he was hesitant to do so.
They rode for a while after, Goku periodically sighing with each grunt of pain that came from his grandfather.
"Grandpa, I don't think this is wise. It's summer, the heat is only going to get worse. Do you have enough water?" He asked with wariness in his tone.
"I will find water, I made the trip here once, I can do it again." He huffed, shaking the reins to urge the horses to pick up the pace.
"But that was ages ago. How do you know the path hasn't been altered since then?" Goku frowned, pulling on the reins to stop the horses. They skidded to a stop, confused by the sudden halt.
"If I am lost, I shall use my compass! Now, why don't we part ways? You have other business to attend to." Gohan snapped, now becoming defensive. He went to shake the reins again but Goku stopped him.
"In that case, why not allow me to fly you there?" Goku pleaded. Gohan looked annoyed with him, but upon looking at the concerned expression on the young man's face, he decided to let him win this battle.
He had raised Goku, and one of the hardest things to contend with was those puppy dog eyes when he wanted something.
"...What about the carriage, the horses?" Gohan said, gesturing towards the cargo surrounding them. Goku hummed and looked around himself, they hadn't even got that far from town, and there were the beginning signs of a farm up ahead.
"You could sell them. You'll need to be able to pay for room and board, correct?"
"So will you. Dutch treat?" Gohan said warmly, nudging Goku with his elbow.
"Yeah, thanks Grandpa!"
Amsterdam, North Holland
Goku held his grandfather one last time, Gohan patting his back and softly chuckling. He wiped his tears on Goku's shirt before pulling back, clasping his grandson's strong arms and squeezing him tight. He didn't want to let go of him just yet, but his boy had much to do, much to see and his own path was ending here.
Gohan released Goku and turned to look at his surroundings. The flight here had been something special, Goku hadn't flown him anywhere in a long time, and this time he made sure to take his time and make it as gentle a ride as possible for Gohan.
"It's just as I remember it." Gohan sighed, looking up at the impressive structure before them. Sunlight illuminated the Onze Lieve Vrouwekerk - Church of Our Lady where Gohan had been ordained, and sent to Naples from by the Redemptionist Fathers to assist the poor living there. With the rumors of Prince Vegeta himself having been sighted there, he was more than eager to become a missionary and take up residence there.
The church was imposing, inspired by classic Gothic architecture with a peaked roof at the center and a tall stained glass window catching the sun's rays. Gohan stared up at its pointed arches where ravens gathered to click and caw on the ornate reliefs guarded by Gargoyles. Goku looked up at the creepy building and chuckled nervously, "Are you sure they'll take you back after all this time?" He asked hesitantly, and his grandfather grumbled at that. "Of course, I've done a great many services for them in my time away. Besides, I've the allowance for room and board if not. Don't wish to grin at the daisies just yet, mein lieberman." He soothed, patting Goku's shoulder.
"I'll wait here to make sure you're taken in." Goku said, picking up Gohan's bags as he started his way towards the chapel with a hobble, his wooden leg making the trip there more difficult. They were welcomed inside, and after some discussion Gohan was allowed to return to his quarters in the chapel, where the nuns could tend to his needs and keep watch over him.
Goku left at last, pulling up his hood and gazing up at the sky. He too had a journey to make, but there were just a few matters in town to tend to before leaving Italy, for how long, he didn't know.
14th Naples, Italy
The mansion on Via Scarlatti street cast a dark shadow over the surrounding area, with it's squat, wide burgundy brick body held up by white corinthian pillars wound with ivy vines that threatened to take over the brick siding. Many tall windows looked out like sightless eyes; candelabras and heat lamps creating a glow within. Its structure was chaotic, like three houses consolidated together, with a tower jutting out the top that blackened the street completely.
The steady ticking of air through wheel spokes announced the cyclist arriving at the gate before the man riding a bicycle eyed the home address, then left his bike at the curb. Tentatively ringing the bell, he was given access through the wrought iron gate reading N.D.W. in Gothic font. He was dressed in an all blue uniform, carrying a messenger bag that he clutched tight to his body as he looked up at the imposing building, then over his shoulder quickly. Once at the door, he was eyed through a peephole before meeting through a crack with the doorman through the chain locked door.
"Buongiorno. I have a telegram from the Western Union for il padrone Westerna." The mail carrier said with a tip of his cap, and the sliding lock was quickly released, the door swinging back so the doorman could take the letter. The delivery man held out his cap, and the doorman placed a few coins in it for his service.
"Grazie." The delivery man said, then took his tip and left the property as if the hounds of hell were nipping at his heels.
The residence of Napoli D. Westerna was one that many avoided, because it was said once a person went in, the only way out was in a casket. The orchadist's reputation extended far beyond his affinity for fruit trees. Though his third residence was planted at Via Scarlatti; his name was known all throughout Europe. The letter made its way to the big man himself, where he was sitting before the fireplace in his beloved leather chair, smoking a cigar that smelled strongly of cedar, cinnamon and chocolate. Napoli turned the telegram over and examined it; noting the American address. His slicked down verde mustache prickled with his grin as he saw the name of his daughter as the sender, then sliced open the envelope with a small letter knife, impressed that The Texan man had paid by the word to let his daughter send a telegraph to Italy through the Western Union. Holding it up to the firelight, he began to read.
I'm writing to you by diction from my bedrest to let you know that I've fallen ill with an illness named "Lyssa." I began showing symptoms only a few days ago now, but please rest assured, I have at my service two darling natives of whom Raditz employs as butlers. They know the ancient arts of healing, and have been at my bedside from dawn to dusk, tending to my every need. I wish that I hadn't been bitten by that roma's monkey back at the carnival, or else I would be gallivanting across the Louisiana's with my fiancé. I hope all is well for you. Once my strength is up we shall return prematurely. I wish to be examined by Dr. Shinhan, as I trust his medical expertise. Please do not cancel your plans to throw my party!
With all my love, Launch.
Napoli lowered the letter, the ash of his cigar smoldering as he glanced at it once more, furrowing his brows. "Lyssa…Violence?" He muttered, then snapped his dry fingers hard enough to beckon a servant from an adjacent room. He bowed and awaited his next order as Napoli took a draw on his cigar before tapping it into an ashtray.
"Tell me, what do you know about an illness named 'Lyssa'? "
The servant's eyes widened, and he blinked rapidly. "L-Lyssa… Or, rabbia… it's a disease of animals, it makes them mad, rabbioso."
"Rabbia!" Napoli roared, flying out of his chair and knocking the papers to the floor. He lifted his servant by the lapels, shaking him. "My Launch, how can she have this? Madonna santa!" He cried out in anger which quickly turned to agony, the servant attempting to calm him down even as his feet were two feet from the ground.
"Dom Napoli!" A man shouted, then a group of his underlings filtered into the room. Napoli dropped his servant and the man scrambled away in a panic, thankful for the interruption.
Napoli was surrounded by his men, who urged him to sit back down in his chair. Nappa refused, instead moving to take a silver butcher knife out of the wall and throw it with such a strong arm that it spun, and landed dead in the center of a damaged painting of the Saiyan Royal family, where a small child who resembled Raditz sat in a chair beside King Vegeta the II and his other family members.
"I'll kill him!"
His consigliere; Parogiuse, picked up the letter and began to read it. The stern looking man with an eye patch over one scarred eye frowned as he finished reading the letter, holding one hand out flat to Napoli as if to stop him from saying anything, something only he could dare to do. The underboss, Nappa's cousin Sjugeshe and their lower capo stayed silent, watching the silent exchange with rapt gazes.
"Listen, what's this about a Roma at a carnival?"
"Hmm? Who cares?" Nappa growled, taking the knife out and tossing it again.
"...The day before Launch visited, there was a street carnival. Remember–?"
"There is always street carnivals in Naples, and Roma with their scimmia scoiattolo sporco, what of it?" He sneered, leaving his throwing knife to take a slug of brandy from a glass on the table. The capo all flinched as he spit it out and sprayed them with it, then threw the glass to the floor and shattered it.
"My brandy is warm! Warm! Ptui!" He spat, causing one of them to take off to fetch him a cold drink.
"Napoli." Parogiuse insisted, holding up his pointer finger to interject. Nappa put a finger to his lips and hissed at Parogiuse to be quiet; attempting to regain his dignity by wiping his mouth, then tossing Sjugeshe a handkerchief to wipe his round face with. He waited until he sat back down in his armchair, and the other two took their respective seats after cleaning their faces, then the third capo; Borghos returned with a fresh decanter of brandy and chilled glasses, then served it to him. Nappa took his glass and sipped, then made an upward pinching gesture with his hand, silently asking Parogiuse to elaborate.
"Che?" He said between another sip, and Parogiuse cleared his throat to speak more clearly, also taking a glass of brandy from the now cold decanter.
"Where they hold the carnival is not far from here… Remember, during the last one when we were having a meeting, and that street rat started calling up to the window?" He began, waiting for the others to take it in. Borghos nodded then, grinning. "We shot im'."
"Sí, he's dead then, 'int he?" Sjugeshe added, looking at Tomma, who stood beside him and shrugged. "I 'unno."
Nappa stroked his mustache in thought, then shook off his foggy memories of the event involving Goku.
"What does that have to do with anything?"
"I'm just saying, everyone knows that bum, Gokuseppe. I always wondered about that one. It makes no sense. A human that can fly?"
"How can this help Launch's condition?" Nappa growled, taking another gulp, then setting the glass down hard.
"Well, we go to the street carnival and first we find the Roma. Then, I say we ask Gokuseppe what he wanted from us that day. That is, if he survived."
Napoli let out a short exhale and drummed his fingers on the armchair, thinking back to that day in the orchard when he so foolishly had been convinced by Raditz to let him jettison her across the world. He recalled capturing a brief glimpse of Goku and a worker boy getting in the way while they were conversing, and remembered paying Goku extra for his strength, efficiency and his agreeable nature that could be mistaken for naivety.
"He's alive." He concluded, folding his large hands underneath his chin and pulling his lips back in a toothy sneer.
May 15th, Yamcha Harker's Journal.
Once again I have seen the Count go out in that odd, lizard-like fashion. He climbed down a good hundred feet, and a good deal to the left. Once his flame tipped hair disappeared beyond the wall, I leaned out to see more, but the angle was too sharp, and the distance too long. Now that I knew he had left the castle, I had the devilish idea to go out and explore the castle further than I ever have before. I went back to my room, grabbed a lamp, then went around trying all the doors. They were all locked, as expected, and the locks were comparatively new. I went down the hall where I had entered originally, I found out I could pull back the bolts easily enough and unhook the great chains, but the door was locked, and the key was gone! The key must be in the Count's room, I must watch should his door be unlocked so that I may get it and escape. After a thorough examination of the other passageways, I found that none of the doorways would budge, but one. At the top of the stairway I found one room open, though the door seemed to be locked. It gave way with just a bit of pressure… Maybe it wasn't actually locked. If I were being less rational, perhaps one could be led to believe that something else was on the other side pushing the door shut, with the way the tension suddenly gave, and I nearly fell through the doorway.
I was now in a wing of the castle far different from the one I was accustomed to, up one story and toward the right. Looking out the windows, I could see the southern and western suites below me. On either side there was a great precipice. The castle was built on a steep rock formation, so that on three sides it was quite impregnable. The windows were placed where catapults, arrows, or cannons could not reach. Consequently, neither could the sunlight and the warmth which came with it, but for the sake of safety these things must be sacrificed. To me it seems that Count Vegeta must have had some persistent enemies to live at such a solitary altitude, that, or solitude was his desire.
After surveying the surroundings outside, I continued my examination on the inside. It was clear that this was a chamber occupied by ladies in bygone days. The windows were stripped of curtains, allowing the yellow moonlight to pierce through a wealth of dust that coated the diamond shaped panels. The moonlight illuminated the contents of the room so well that my lamp was of little use, but I was still glad to have it with me. The desolate, lonesome fog which hung upon my surroundings sent chills through my heart and down my quivering limbs. Still, it was better than being alone in the rooms I'd come to hate thanks to the presence of the Count.
After schooling my nerves, a quietude came over me. Here I am, sitting at a little old table where once, some fair lady sat to pen her thoughts into an ill-spelt letter, accented with her giggles and blushes. I am now writing in my own diary of all that has happened to me since I closed it last. It is the nineteenth century, up to date with a vengeance. Yet, unless my senses deceive me, the old centuries had, and hold powers of their own which 'modernity' cannot kill.