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Chapter 26

Age 749, Sunday, September 9, Fry Pan Village

I placed the strange monkey boy on the couch, his trusty red stick in his hands, and stared at him for a long moment before invoking my [Insight].


Monkey Boy
Son Goku – Lv 20

Race – Saiyan
Age – 12

HP: 7,800/20,000 [Unconscious]
Ki: 14,300/25,000

Rep: 9,900/10,000 Neutral

Description: Hailing from Mt Paozu, Goku is accompanying Bulma on her quest to gather up the Dragonballs in the hopes of finding someone strong to fight against.

He is currently recovering.

Battle Power: 25


It’d only been a few minutes and he was already beginning to heal up, if a little slowly.

“Just who is this kid…” I muttered. “Saiyan…?”

I rolled the word around in my mouth, not even sure what it was supposed to mean. Was there another race on the planet no one knew about?

Or, was this a new mutation in the race?

That wouldn’t make sense, as it would still list him as a kind of Human such as the dog-type, bear-type, wolf-type and other existing types.

Yet, he is not a monkey-type Human, but a Saiyan.

Not to even mention the quest… Just how would knowing what a Saiyan was help prevent the destruction of the universe?

The pile of questions kept getting bigger. I shook my head. It didn’t matter.

The Dragon would answer them all if I worded my wish correctly.

Speaking of which… I took the boy’s small pouch, upending it and feeling the Dragonball slap lightly against my palm.

I shielded my eyes lightly, the reflection a bit too bright. Moving away from the light, I stared at the ball.

“Four stars on this one.” I mused, invoking [Insight].


The 4-Star Dragonball

Item: Wish-granting Ball

Class: Mythical

Description: Referred to as the 4-Star Dragonball due to the number of stars engraved within it, this Dragonball is the fourth part in a set of seven, used to summon Shenron the Eternal Dragon, so that it can grant the summoner one wish.

It is Son Goku’s memento of his deceased grandfather, one of the few things he has to remember him by.


I frowned at the description, feeling dirty for even taking this from the boy. I shook my head. I would get it back for him when the balls reactivated within a year’s time after use.

With a sigh, I placed the ball in my [Inventory], next to the [7-Star Dragonball] before exiting the house and addressing the irate blue-haired girl.

“What did you do with him?” She demanded immediately. “I swear, if you’ve taken the Dragonball— or hurt him…”

“He’s asleep on the couch.” I waved at the house behind me. “You’re free to go check on him.”

She made to move ahead of me, but I held my hand forward, palm facing up.

“We had a bet.”

“What?” Bulma almost snarled.

“The Dragonballs, please.” I smiled. “That was the deal, right? I won, so I get all the ones in your possession.”

She tried to get past me, but I gave her a light shove. “The Dragonballs, first.”

“What do you even want with them?” Bulma argued. “What’re their worth to you?”

“I think we both know what the Dragonballs are used for.” I blinked, realizing something. “You didn’t tell him, huh?”

“Tell who, what?” Bulma replied.

“The monkey boy.” I replied, pointing behind me at the house. “You didn’t tell him the balls disperse after a wish is made, did you?”

“You— I— How do you—” She stopped talking, shocked eyes quickly changing to calculating, and re-evaluated me. “You’ve figured the secret out on your own.”

“It didn’t take very long.” Weeks of concerted effort in that stupid library at Central City, actually. “I hadn’t planned on looking for the balls, just yet. This is a pleasant surprise, I’ll admit.”

Bulma didn’t answer. I could tell she was trying to figure a way out of this situation.

“I’ll go get the balls.” She looked down, before turning to leave.

That easy?

“Good.” I blinked, turning to Chichi, who was off to the side, looking irritated with a downed Oolong next to her. “What happened there?”

“He couldn’t keep his hands to himself!” She snarled, kicking the pig once more for good measure.

“I see.” I approached Oolong and looked down at him with an intense stare. “If you touch her again, I’ll break your hands and make you lift weights with them. Got it?”

The pig-man scurried away, bowing deeply and nodding as furiously as he could manage.

I stared back in the direction Bulma left, idly wondering if she was simply going to pull a runner.

“Maybe I should’ve followed her.” I mused with a hint of concern.

But it seems that my worry was misplaced, as Bulma came back a few minutes later, a bag in her hands.

She held the bag towards me, her entire demeanor shifting to one of neutrality. “As promised: the Dragonballs.”

With a suspicious look, I grabbed the bag, opened it and examined its contents.

There were only two of the Dragonballs in it. I suppressed the rising annoyance and tried to think on how to deal with this girl.

Accept her lie and steal her things in the night? Force her to give what is owed? Let her go and flounder while she gathered the rest of the Dragonballs?

“And the rest of them?” To be honest, I had neither the patience nor the restraint for anything but receiving what I was owed, here and now.

“R-rest? What rest?” She stammered for but a moment.

“Yes…” I did not feel like playing this cat and mouse game. “The other two you have hidden somewhere.”

“I don’t have anything hidden—”

I took an aggressive step forward. “Then you won’t mind if I go search through your things, will you?”

“Yes, I do mind, actually!” Bulma stood her ground, eyes furious. “If you do, I’ll make you regret it!”

I felt my anger rise to the surface. This lying—

“We had an agreement.” I snarled.

“And I fulfilled it!” Bulma stubbornly insisted, turning to leave. “Now, if you’ll excuse me…”

I grabbed her arm. “No. This conversation isn’t over.”

“Let go of me!” She screamed, trying to take her arm out of the lock to no avail.

“Not until I get what I’m owed.” I glared back at her defiant look.

“I already gave the Dragonballs to you!”

“Don’t lie to me.” I denied. “You had four and Goku had one. You’re hiding two somewhere, and you will tell me where they—”

Someone grabbed my wrist. “Let her go.”

I turned to see a tall, long-haired man glaring down at me. I let go of Bulma and tried to shake his hand off.

He held on stubbornly.

“Yamcha!” Bulma cried in shock and delight.

Hm, decent grip. I thought as I invoked [Insight].


Desert Bandit
Yamcha – Lv 18

Race – Human
Age – 16

HP: 12,000
Ki: 7,000

Rep: 0/10,000 Disliked

Description: Hailing from a village just north of the Diablo Desert, Yamcha dropped out of school and made his home in the desert instead, focusing his all on martial arts.

His goal is to live an easy life with no financial worry, which is why he ambushes travelers and divests them of their money and valuables.

He is currently rescuing Bulma from your aggression, hoping to get closer to the girl.

Battle Power: 83


“One thing after another…” I said as I pushed the anger down and released my self-imposed restraint, enabling all of my passives.

I glared at the fellow teenager and easily ripped my hand from his grasp, placing the bag in my [Inventory] in the same motion.

I opened my mouth to talk, but, honestly, I was done talking.

The only one in this bunch who hadn’t tried to doublecross me was the monkey boy, Goku. The rest of them were pretty terrible.

One had just tried to grope my girlfriend, the blue haired bitch was scamming me, and this guy robbed people… In the desert of all places.

The worst nightmare for some people, and in the top five for the rest: left stranded in a highly inhospitable environment with only the clothes on your back.

No food, no water, surrounded by predators and beaten down by the heat from the Sun…

It was enough to make me sick.

I wouldn’t kill them, as I didn’t want that on my conscience, but I was done playing nice.

I watched as Yamcha smirked and began to assume a stance, his legs spreading apart and his hands in a claw-like grip.

“I saw your fight with Goku, before.” Yamcha said confidently as he rushed me. “I won’t make the same mistakes!”

As eager and headstrong as the monkey boy. I thought as I jumped back to gain some distance and time. Attacking first without properly analyzing my strength. Not his fault, I suppose, that I hadn’t been using my true strength, or any of my tricks, really.

-800 MP!

With a wave, I cast [Dazzle] on him and watched the fool freak out at whatever hellscape his mind conjured up. He stopped his charge, instead punching and kicking at the air as if his life depended on it.

“What is he—” Bulma was confused for a moment before inferring that I likely had something to do with this. “What did you do to him!?”

“You’d like to know, huh?” I said without humor, sending a look towards my girlfriend. “You want to handle this one, or should I?”

“How strong is he?” Chichi asked as the man in question ran around, wildly attacking nearby trees.

“I’d say slightly weaker than the monkey boy.” I shrugged.

Chichi rolled her eyes before rushing the distracted boy.

To his credit, he managed to fend off her first few punches and kicks, but my illusions got the better of him, allowing Chichi to land a kick into the back of his head, knocking him out cold. “I’d rather just fight you, Ten.”

A quick check to his stat sheet showed that he’d suffered some damage, but nothing close to lethal.

“That takes care of that.” I dusted my hands off and calmly turned to see a trembling Bulma, her gun out and pointed at me again— and, this time, I was sure she was going to shoot.

“Ten, watch out!” Chichi cried out in misplaced worry.

I stared at Bulma; she was certainly angry, but there was also plenty of fear, judging by her features.

-45 MP!

[Mana Shield].” I activated the skill with a mutter and felt the energy course through me, greatly heightening my defensive power, the only sight of my having done anything being the blue glow emanating from my skin.

Bulma pulled the trigger, again and again, filling the air with the loud bangs of her gun.

-500 MP!

-495 MP!

-300 MP!

-600 MP!

-350 MP!

-200 MP!

-500 MP!

-400 MP!

When the sound died down, I finally spoke. “Are you done, then?”

Bulma tried to quickly reload, but Chichi was on her in a second, snatching the weapon from her hand and twisting her arm behind her back.

“Thank you, Chichi.” I said, deactivating my [Mana Shield] with only a thought.

Bulma gave a mighty struggle against the much stronger woman’s hold, giving a shrill scream. No one was coming to her aid, now.

No more tricks, and judging from the building despair on her face, she was finally realizing that.

Finally, with a defeated sigh, she stopped struggling. “Fine. Just take them.”

Chichi kept the hold on the girl, taking us all the way back to Bulma’s car, an M-class mobile home— from her dad’s money, probably.

We entered the vehicle with her, blocking the way out as well as the driver’s seat to ensure that she didn’t have any stupid ideas.

I shifted my position a bit forward in case she pulled another gun out, ready to initiate [Mana Shield] at any time.

Her previous salvo of shots had made me use about… 4,000 MP, I estimated. With over twenty thousand left in reserve, I was sure I could endure whatever was hidden in this car.

Bulma looked around fitfully, her confused mutters becoming more and more worried by the second.

“Where are they?”

I resisted the urge to palm my face at such an obvious ploy.

“If you seriously think I’m going to fall for the oldest trick in the book…” I trailed off, pinching the bridge of my nose.

“No, I’m serious!” She turned and glared at me, stress and confusion plain on her face. “They’re not here!”

I shook my head, wondering what it would take to make this annoyance cough up the Dragonballs.

“You have to believe me!” Tears were starting to appear in her eyes. “I don’t know!”

“Ten…” Chichi seemed uncomfortable. “Maybe she isn’t lying.”

I sighed. “Only one way to find out.”

I let my power out, linking it with hers and invoking [Insight].


Genius
Bulma Briefs – Lv 13

Race – Human
Age – 16

HP: 2,000

Rep: 0/10,000 Greatly Disliked

Description: Bulma is a high schooler on a quest: to gather up the Dragonballs and wish for the perfect boyfriend.
She is currently freaking out, having no idea where her stashed Dragonballs are and wondering if the menacing blond is going to kill her.

Battle Power: 2


“Okay.”

“You have to believe— what?” Bulma was shocked at the seemingly sudden turn.

“I believe you.” I continued, exiting the car and gesturing for the two ladies to come out with me.

“So, what now?” Chichi asked curiously.

“Someone must have stolen the balls.” Bulma said, digging into her pocket and pulling a gadget out, fiddling with it and gaining a triumphant look.

She spun the contraption towards me, pointing at the four at the center. “These are the ones in our— your possession.”

Bulma looked a little upset at her own self-forced admission but I paid it no mind, more concerned with the fact she could still detect the Dragonballs within my [Inventory]. “And the others?”

“There’s one that’s stayed in the same spot since I built this radar.” Bulma pointed at the dot in question. “And then there’s this..”

She put her finger over the two dots which were moving away at great speed.

“If I had to guess, whoever took the balls is using a high speed jet engine.” Bulma concluded with confidence. Hadn’t she been on the verge of tears not minutes before?

Were the tears another one of her ploys? She reminded me of the worst of my old school’s students.

This girl was so confusing. I pitied whichever fool man struck her fancy.

“We have to go after them.” Bulma declared. “I won’t let them have our Dragonballs, whoever they are!”

Beside me, Chichi mouthed “our?

I made to answer, but a new quest popped into existence.


Quest Created
Get The Dragonballs!

Someone has stolen the precious wish-granting balls you’ve won fair and square from Bulma.

Will you give chase and retrieve them?

Reward: 50,000 XP, ?
Failure Penalty: Beginning of the end for Earth

Accept/Deny


“So much for having a quiet time.” I muttered in great irritation as I pressed on Accept.

“What’s the plan?” Chichi asked.

I pinched the bridge of my nose as I tried to think of a plan of attack.

“We go after them, of course.” Bulma declared, gesturing at the mobile home car.

“How fast does this thing go?” I looked at it dubiously. “Maybe 90 kph? Even that’s being generous, considering there are no proper roads around here and it’s mostly forest land…”

That seemed to stop whatever she was about to say, but Bulma recovered quickly enough. “What do you suggest, then?”

I closed my eyes for a moment, trying to make sense of everything.

“They found you all the way out here.” I started. “This means that—”

“They have their own radar.” Both Bulma and Chichi concluded, glaring at each other immediately after.

“Enough.” I felt annoyed. “They have a radar. If we give chase, they’ll see us coming because of the Dragonballs…”

“Well, we can’t just leave them here for anyone to take.” Bulma argued.

“True.” I nodded, conceding the point. “We won’t. We have four, they have two, and that one spot has the last one.”

“So, we go for the last one.” Bulma concluded.

“No, then we’d be the final target.” Chichi denied. “Do we really want to wait for whoever it was to come after us again?”

“You!” A juvenile voice called out, interrupting the conversation. We all turned to see an angry looking Goku rushing at me. “Give my grandpa back!”

I easily dodged his hooks, uppercuts and kicks, though… He was moving nearly as fast as Chichi now! Where was this speed in our previous fight?

“Goku, stop!” Bulma shouted, getting the boy’s attention.

“But he took what’s mine!” Goku stood his ground, teeth grinding together in obvious anger.

I linked my power together with his and invoked [Insight].


Monkey Boy
Son Goku – Lv 23

Race – Saiyan
Age – 12

HP: 15,900/23,000
Ki: 15,300/27,000

Rep: 9,000/10,000 Neutral

Description: Hailing from Mt Paozu, Goku is accompanying Bulma on her quest to gather up the Dragonballs in the hopes of finding someone strong to fight against.

He is currently angry at you for stealing his grandfather’s memento, but also excited because you were able to easily fend off his attacks despite feeling much stronger.

Battle Power: 107


His battle power was now almost as high Chichi’s, and he’d done nothing but take a beating and a short nap!

Was this what Saiyans were capable of?

I shook my head; there was no time for any more questions. His power could come in handy. An idea formed in my mind.

I pulled the aforementioned Dragonball and threw it toward the boy, who caught it deftly.

“What?” Bulma seemed confused.

“Here’s the plan.” I pulled out the remaining three Dragonballs, putting them all in the bag I’d been given by Bulma earlier and handing it to Chichi.

“You guys and Chichi will go for the one Dragonball that hasn’t moved for a while. Take the bandit if you want.” I swiped Bulma’s radar and pointed at it. “I’ll give chase to whoever took the remaining two.”

Chichi glared at me for excluding her from my chase plans.

Bulma snorted. “And, what will you do? Run after the jet?”

“Well, yes.” Was my blunt answer. “I wouldn’t be surprised if I could run around 300kph, if not more…”

“You… What?” Bulma was at a loss for words, while Chichi seemed a little down at the admission, understanding the implied gap between myself and her.

“Do you have the location marked on a map?” I asked Bulma. She gave a nod. “I updated all the locations in case the radar became faulty.”

“Right.” I nodded to them all, before moving to Chichi and giving her a hug.

“Ten…” She started but I cut her off gently.

“Be safe.” I said. “Monkey boy’s almost as powerful as you are now. I don’t know how he did it, but he is.”

“You’re sure?” Chichi stiffened in my hold.

“Yes.” Was my answer. “I trust you with the Dragonballs. They might try to overpower you, but even with the boy’s increased power, you’ve got the edge with your body enhancement techniques. Still, you should be careful. You’re going in unknown territory.”

“I will.” Chichi kissed me. “You, too, you big lunkhead.”

I held her tighter and kissed her back. “That’s hurtful, you know.”

“You can take it.”

“What are they doing?” I heard Goku mutter. “Are they trying to eat each other?”

“Idiot!” Bulma hissed. “This is what a boyfriend and girlfriend do!”

“Eat each other?”

“You’re hopeless, Goku.”

Chichi snorted mid-kiss and pulled away. “I don’t think he’ll be a threat.”

“…You’re probably right.” I replied, giving her shoulders one final squeeze before pulling away, turning towards the direction the radar was pointing at.

“Stay safe, Ten.” Was the last thing I heard before I rushed off, activating [Sprint] and [Accelerate].

-1,500 MP!

-500 Ki!

And so, the chase was on.

Hours upon hours of running it took. I ended up only using [Sprint] from time to time instead of spamming the use of both skills— purely to conserve Ki and MP.

Forest lands quickly gave way to desert— the Diablo Desert, I realized. The heat was horrid, almost unbearable. If I didn’t have [Gamer’s Body], I likely wouldn’t have been able to chase these thieves.

It was a very smart move on their part, going through the desert. Nothing living except for myself was able to match the speed of a jet engine for hours on end, without being affected by desert heat and the like.

I stopped for a moment to catch my bearings, pulling out the radar as I did so.

The four dots signifying my Dragonballs were slowly making their way to the sole one, while the two remaining dots had completely stopped from the looks of it.

“Finally.” I muttered and took a seat on the sand, ignoring the heat from both it and the sun above me. “Whoever did this must have been highly prepared.”

It made sense, what with the quest’s failure penalty being the “beginning of the end for Earth.”

“There’s only one organization which could do this.” I said to myself, having given the matter some thought on the way over. “Steal and run tactics, choice of desert biome to lead a chase through, these are all guerilla tactics.”

Red Ribbon.

No other army would go over international borders, like this. The other armies would be on them like flies on fresh corpses.

It had to be Red Ribbon. Everyone else was afraid of them and their martial prowess.


For calmly thinking through the situation, you’ve gained +1 to WIS!


Quest Updated
Red Ribbon of Blood and Death

Figure out what the Red Ribbon Army is after, and if necessary, stop them.

You’ve uncovered the Red Ribbon’s secret plot: to take the Dragonballs and make a wish!

Reward: ?, ?, ?
Failure Penalty: Death, End of the Earth


“So it is them.” I gave a long-suffering sigh. “It was a good idea to give Chichi the Dragonballs, then.”

I was walking into a den of monsters. Who knew what Red Ribbon was keeping in reserve to defend their precious wish-granting balls?

My mind went to Blue, a strong man with Telekinetic abilities gained from experimentation.

He’d been at the Central Games to test his burgeoning powers. Likely, he was enhanced even further after his loss to me.

The chances he’d be there were 100%. He was one of their generals and quite powerful, at that. That didn’t even mention their terrifying machines of war.

I’d seen a few leaked videos online in the past few years— against low caliber bullets, I had an easy time of things. But, against machine guns, high yield explosives meant to take down large buildings, or flamethrowing monstrosities reaching 100 feet?

I pulled up my [Status Sheet] again.


Name: Ten
Occupation: The Gamer

Level: 27 (1,200/28,000 XP)
Race: Human
Age: 14

HP: 10,562 ; 32,136
MP: 9,816 ; 34,800
Ki: 14,403 ; 43,822

STR: 119 ; [233.24]
VIT: 116 ; [227.36]
AGI: 120 ; [235.20]
INT: 99 ; [143.55]
WIS: 98 ; [142.10]

Points: 25

Battle Power: 118.3, [231]


STR and VIT, I wasn’t too sure how they’d fare against a storm of bullets, but I knew for a fact that speed would win this encounter for me.

With a deep breath, I sank points into my stats.


Ping!


Due to your INT reaching 100, your [Magic Affinity] skill has evolved!

Magic Affinity II: 15% Increase to MP. 15% Increase to Magic Damage.


Due to your WIS reaching 100, your [Wise One] skill has evolved!

Wise One I: 10% Decrease to Magic Damage received. MP Regen is now at 1.25%/min!


For raising every stat to 100, your [All-Rounder] skill has evolved!

All-Rounder II: 15% Increase to HP/MP/Ki. 7.5% Increase to overall movement speed. 7.5% Increase to overall damage.


Name: Ten
Occupation: The Gamer

Level: 27 (1,200/28,000 XP)
Race: Human
Age: 14

HP: 11,042 ; [33,597]
MP: 10,780 ; [37,047]
Ki: 14,883 ; [45,283]

STR: 119 ; [233.24]
VIT: 116 ; [227.36]
AGI: 142 ; [278.32]
INT: 100 ; [145.00]
WIS: 100 ; [145.00]

Points: 0

Battle Power: 125.7, [246]


I stared hard at my stats before resuming course.

Hopefully I didn’t die from whatever Red Ribbon had in store.

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