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Chapter 30

Age 749, Sunday, September 10 (Night), Pilaf Castle

I liked to think I was a level-headed guy.

Even when I’d gone through some pretty bad situations in the past, I’d managed to keep things together even when I wasn’t using [Gamer’s Mind].

So, when I say that I damn near shit myself when I saw that gigantic ape throw half a building at me, you can trust that I’m being absolutely serious.

As it turns out, my fear induced dodge had been the best move I could have made under the circumstances— and I most definitely did not scream, thank you very much!

I heard the large chunk of the building crash noisily against the dirt, but luckily no sound of mangled metal.

I didn’t have time to throw a glance at the plane I’d used to fly over here, but I hoped that Krad was still alive, in there.

I’d given the guy a second chance, so I wanted him to at least have the opportunity to use it.

Whether good, or bad— I shook the thoughts off and made even more distance between myself and the plane.

There were certainly bigger things to worry about, now.

It’s the largest creature I’ve ever seen!

And that’s when I saw the name floating above the creature’s head.

Son Goku – Lv 25

“What the hell.” I mouthed and, without hesitation, invoked [Insight] on the great beast, eyes widening at the stats I read out.

Monkey King
Son Goku – Lv 25

Race – Saiyan
Age – 12

HP: 750,000 [Blood Rage]
Ki: 600,000

Rep: ?

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 has transformed into the Great Ape, a monster he’d only heard of in his late grandfather’s warnings, but never actually seen before.

Battle Power: 1100

“…This is Son Goku?” I read the stat sheet out once again, a shiver of fear coursing through my body.

This thing— no. Son Goku; he was more powerful than anything I’d ever encountered.

“Is this what Saiyans are capable of?” I asked myself.

The creature postured and roared as it began to exit the castle grounds proper, tearing through the walls like they were made of paper mache.

Son Goku, monster, whatever this was—

I won’t let you kill anything.

-2,100 Ki!

Ha!” The power erupted from my hands and impacted against the creature’s face. I knew the damage would be negligible, but it served to direct its attention to me.

And it looked furious.

It opened its mouth and roared, the sound wave sending me tumbling across the dirt floor.

I hadn’t been ready— Just from the sound of its voice!? This is ridiculous!

The Great Ape leapt high into the air, its form getting larger and larger as it got closer to me; it was planning on crushing me underfoot.

I snarled and leapt away, the anger overpowering my fear of such a tremendously sized animal.

As I landed, I felt the ground shake with the giant monkey’s impact against the ground, its roar filling the air once again.

Even a face shot barely did anything to phase it. I narrowed my eyes at the behemoth. Maybe I could knock it out with one good hit to the back of the neck?

I would have to use all the power at my disposal, I realized.

I latched onto that idea as I dashed to the right, narrowly avoiding one of its gigantic legs. It continued to stomp after me, hoping one of its feet would finally get rid of the pest.

I’m not so easy to get rid of, you overgrown chimpanzee! I thought viciously as I blasted it in the face with another [Ki Ball].

-300 Ki!

Again, the power harmlessly exploded against its face, serving only to anger it even further— just what I was hoping for.

Come on, big fella. Follow the leader!

The first step of the plan was to lure it away from this castle and its occupants— it seemed like it was working, so far.

The agility point increase had really come in handy. I smiled despite the situation even as I felt the ground behind me shake with the furious monkey’s vicious stomps.

Any single one of these hits would crush me in a second. The smile fell off my face with that particular realization. This thing has enough power inside it to actually make the quest penalty happen!

I imagined, for a second, what would’ve happened if it had appeared in the middle of a city, an involuntary shiver going through me at the very thought.

I’d seen a few giant monster movies in my time, so I knew an inkling of what would happen— but those had been just that: movies.

This one is real, and it’s extremely powerful!

It stopped chasing, forcing me to stop and stare back at it, ready to dodge whatever it had in store for me at any moment.

I leapt to the side even as I felt its energy shift and concentrate itself inside it.

It happened in an instant— If I had one less point in agility, or if I tried to dodge upwards, I doubted I would have survived that.

One moment, the great beast opened its mouth, and then in the next, the world was filled with yellow.

Then, the explosion came, heady and powerful, filling the air around me with dust and debris.

It pelted me relentlessly, each hit as strong as one of the Red Ribbon Army soldiers’ bullets.

-300 HP!
-400 HP!
-600 HP!
-200 HP!
-150 HP!
-500 HP!
-1,000 HP!

[Mana Shield]. I activated the skill with a thought, but I’d already received some damage even as my body was covered with a light, blue glow.

-45 MP!
-500 MP!
-750 MP!
-600 MP!
-1,000 MP!
-400 MP!
-200 MP!
-100 MP!

I watched as the numbers continued to decrease— the momentum created by the explosion fading as the concussive energy slowly waned into nothingness.

Just the aftershocks and debris from its attack was enough to reduce my HP by 3,000, and my MP by around 3,600!

If I’d taken that blast head on…

Wasting no time, I reached out with my power once more and connected it with the great ape, invoking [Insight] as I did so.

Monkey King
Son Goku – Lv 25

Race – Saiyan
Age – 12

HP: 741,560/750,000 [Blood Rage]
Ki: 400,000/600,000

Rep: ?

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 has transformed into the Great Ape, a monster he’d only heard of in his late grandfather’s warnings, but never actually seen before.

He is searching for you, but the dust is blinding his vision.

Battle Power: 1100

Two hundred thousand!

The amount of Ki that was used— it would have killed me five times over, judging by my HP level. Even if I’d fully used my own energies, it would still have been enough to destroy me.

This settled it.

I had to hide and strike its neck at the most opportune moment. Using the smoke as cover, I slipped into [Sneak] and began to look for a rock to hide behind.

I stealthily stole along the dark cover of dust, hearing the monkey scream, posture and roar in triumph at its overwhelming victory.

A prideful creature. Perhaps it retains some of the user’s personality in transformation. I thought slowly. Or maybe its base monkey instincts instill a form of pride within it…

There was no real way to tell, and it likely didn’t even matter what it was feeling.

As long as it was distracted, I could figure out my next move.

“Distraction.” My mouth moved as I frowned.

I had access to [Dazzle], but would that skill even work on something under [Blood Rage]? Worse, could it backfire and send it into an even worse rampage than before?

While I was certain the spell would serve to distract the behemoth well enough, I didn’t exactly have a fine control of it.

Furthermore, unlike the Lump Mage I’d fought some time ago, I didn’t have the level of control needed to conceal myself from its sight with the spell.

Still, I thought. Having intangible creatures leap at it from all directions could distract it well enough for myself to land a critical strike.

“Or it could turn this entire area into a smoldering wreck.” The words came to me before the thought even registered.

Damn it.

The more time I wasted floundering, the less of a chance I would have to take Son Goku down.

I shook my head; I didn’t have any other ideas, so I would go with the one I had.

-800 MP!

[Dazzle]!” I drew in my will and launched the spell at the humongous monkey, already beginning my rush.

I spared the creature a glance as I circled around it to find the opportune moment to strike. The spell took effect, and the Great Ape wildly thrashed in response, fighting creatures only it could see.

I scowled and adjusted my trajectory. It was turning too fast for me to be able to angle my leap well.

Hard way it is, then. I thought in dismay, running directly towards the behemoth. It raised both arms to the sky and brought them down, likely thinking it was finishing off an opponent it had at its mercy.

Its unforgiving fists met the earth, sending shockwaves of pressure all around, as well as causing another gigantic cloud of dust to erupt, fully obscuring its form.

I raised a hand above my face and ran into the outwardly blowing dust, quite easily finding its body— one of the tricks I learned with [Insight] was linking my power with someone else’s, allowing me to keep track of their location through the link.

I bent down, knees coiling with power.

-500 Ki!

I let loose, cracks sounding out in the dirt beneath my feet— not that I was looking, what with my face covered by my hand— as I launched myself upwards, doing my best to not let the dust get in my eyes.

I cleared the cloud easily. Wiping at my face quickly, I took stock of my position and tried to adjust my fall to put me behind its head.

So slow. I thought to myself. I could run much faster than I could fall. I hope I make it in time.

The wait was agonizing. Any moment, the creature could notice I was there, but it seemed [Sneak] was pulling its weight!

I preemptively began to charge my Ki.

I would only have one chance at this, after all— there!

-51,101 Ki!

HA! I roared and poured in almost every sliver of Ki I had in me.

The resulting ball was as brilliant and likely just as deadly as the Great Ape’s attack.

With this… I continued to fall even as the ball exploded marvelously against the back of the Great Ape’s neck, my world awash in blue light. That should be enough to knock it out.

I felt the concussive force of the explosion slam into me, sending me hurtling back towards the ruined castle.

This would have likely hurt me really badly, but I’d learned my lesson from Blue.

-300 Ki!

Ha!” The ball appeared in my hand, and I waited a few moments before throwing it ahead of me, waiting for just the right moment.

-200 Ki!

And, with that, I forced the ball to explode, its own blast wave massively reducing my momentum, easily allowing me to drop straight down to the ground.

I landed with a thud, breathing with the exertion.

[Ki Concussion], a skill I hadn’t used in months, as the damage from [Ki Ball] outshone everything it was capable of— except in situations like this.

Not to sound arrogant, but that was bad-ass! I felt a grin snake its way over my face at the impossible maneuver I’d just managed. If only the past-me could see me now…

Quickly, I turned my attention to the great, lumbering beast.

It had fallen flat on its face and was no longer moving.

Did it work?

I moved to make sure.

“Ten!” I heard a familiar cry from my left and stopped.

Surprise overcoming my caution, I was almost bowled over by Chichi, who had rushed towards me, a familiar group right on her heels.

“You’re okay!” Chichi sounded a mix of worried and relieved as she spoke. “I feared the worst.”

I snorted and gave her back a few pats. “It was tough, but I managed to get the Dragonballs.”

Tough doesn’t even begin to cover it. I’d almost died several times— once by my own hand, even. I thought to myself.

I wisely didn’t mention that, though. Chichi didn’t need to know how truly close that fight had been.

A few hundred points’ worth of damage and it would’ve been game over.

“That’s great!” The blue haired girl said, though she quickly clamped her mouth shut when my eyes made contact with hers.

The pig man stayed at the sidelines, not even looking in my direction.

It was probably for the best.

“That attack you just used.” The bandit, Yamcha, said in awe. “Was that the Muten Roshi’s Kamehameha?”

A fan of Roshi’s, huh.

I stared at him for a moment.

On the grander scale of things, these people seemed much less threatening than they did a day ago. All with their faults, of course— with the worst of them being Yamcha.

I opened my mouth to reply with something acerbic, but I stopped myself at the surge of energy which assaulted my perceptions.

“No way…” I said in surprise and alarm.

“What is it?” Chichi asked.

“It’s getting up.” I said grimly, the monster stirring and very slowly getting up, obviously dazed.

“You mean Goku took that attack head-on and survived?!” Yamcha said in shock and dismay.

As if something like that would’ve been enough to end him.

“I was hoping to knock him out.” I admitted. “A blast to the neck, it took everything I had.”

Now, what?

My eyes moved in a quick saccade as I tried to think of a way for us to survive this.

“Maybe we should run.” Bulma offered up.

I shook my head. “He’ll rampage for a radius of around two hundred miles, killing everything and everyone he finds.”

“Well, it’s a lucky thing we’re in a desert, then!” Bulma fired back, irritation showing through her previously hesitant and fearful demeanor. “No one here but the people in the castle.”

“So, what— just let them die?” I shot back, ready to blow up at the annoying girl.

“They were going to kill us.” Chichi cut in, her calm voice bringing the conversation back to normal levels.

I swiveled to her, a look of shock on my face.

“This isn’t exactly the time!” Yamcha cut in before I could question them on the matter, his floating blue cat right next to him. “I know how we can stop him.”

“How?” I tore my eyes away from the guilty looking Chichi and focused them on the bandit. “He’s incredibly powerful.”

“His tail.” Yamcha said quickly, eyes flitting to the monster ahead of us. “If we grab his tail, we can stop him. It’s his weakness.”

I absorbed the information, latching onto it for dear life. “All right. I’ll continue to distract it. Chichi, you and the bandit here go for the tail.”

“My name is Yamcha.” The man protested at the same time Chichi said: “All right.”

“The rest of you, find some place to hide.” I continued as if I had heard no protests. “This may get ugly.”

Ugly would be an understatement, I thought to myself. My Ki pool depleted, my HP and MP lowered as well… I brought my [Status Sheet] up and invoked [Insight] on the great beast.

Name: Ten
Occupation: The Gamer
Level: 33 (26,700/34,000 XP)

Race: Human
Age: 14

HP: 12,911 ; [37,285/40,435]
MP: 13,597 ; [39,914/44,309]
Ki: 17,402 ; [1/54,500]

STR: 129 ; [255.42]
VIT: 126 ; [249.48]
AGI: 187 ; [370.26]
INT: 115 ; [166.75]
WIS: 115 ; [166.75]

Points: 0

Battle Power: 147, [291]

Monkey King
Son Goku – Lv 25

Race – Saiyan
Age – 12

HP: 497,874/750,000 [Blood Rage][Dazed][Weakened]
Ki: 230,000/600,000

Rep: ?

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 has transformed into the Great Ape, a monster he’d only heard of in his late grandfather’s warnings, but never actually seen before.

He is currently dazed, and in great pain.

Battle Power: 850

The monster that was Son Goku roared, an ocean of rage and pain carrying out into the open air.

It looks like I’ve done more damage than I’d thought. I thought. “Go, now! We won’t get a better chance.”

I pulled the Wizard Staff from my [Inventory] and hefted it, closing my eyes and focusing my will for a long moment.

I may no longer have much Ki to draw on, but this should suffice as a tool for distraction.

As the others took the long way around, I moved to a higher spot near me and channeled my magical energy through the staff, making it flare a bright red, catching the giant’s attention.

It glared down at me, its fury several levels higher than before.

Does it recognize me? I thought, a chill going through my spine as it tried to rush me.

I abandoned my attempts to charge up a spell and moved away from it.

This time, I was able to avoid its strike with greater ease. Perhaps it was for the better.

This way, it would only focus its vengeful and clumsy intent on me alone.

The extra movements it made while trying to maintain its tracking of me made it stagger with dizziness.


Immediately, I held the staff aloft and began to charge my magic up, the staff glowing red once again.

Taking a deep breath, I cast the spell with a cry of [Frizz]!

-12,500 MP!

The large, crimson ball blasted out of the end of the Wizard Staff and flew towards the Great Ape’s chest.

Surprisingly, the mondo monkey actually tried to dodge— but it seemed as if it were truly as weakened and dazed as its stat sheet implied.

I spied the duo slowly approaching from behind even as the ball of flame impacted against Goku.

The great beast cried out in pain and stumbled a few feet back, its hair singed and the skin beneath burnt by the potent magic.

My eyes narrowed at the astounding damage.

I had discounted [Frizz] as a spell to be used in combat due to the time required for me to launch it as well as needing to wield the staff to even pull it off, but its damage potential truly was incredible.

I rather doubted Blue would have given me the opportunity to land an attack of this magnitude on him in the middle of us fighting, though.

You could have attacked them preemptively. Part of me thought.

Focus. I said to myself and began to charge up another spell— but as the beast began to roar once again, it stopped in its tracks, its body and facial features going slack with weakness.

“Now!” I heard Chichi cry from behind it. “I don’t know how long I can hold it!”


“Yes, sir!” There was a large puff of smoke, and the sound of snipping. I saw its tail crash into the ground.

Almost immediately, the great beast began to shrink at a ridiculous rate, finally becoming the boy I was more familiar with.

He fell over without fanfare, Chichi, Yamcha and the blue cat— Puar— quickly hovering over the poor boy.

I put the Wizard Staff back into my [Inventory] and made my way to them.

Once there, I linked my power with Goku, kneeling beside himand invoking [Insight] while I checked him over for injuries.

Monkey Boy
Son Goku – Lv 25

Race – Saiyan
Age – 12

HP: 3,500/27,000 [Physical Exhaustion][Burned][Concussed]
Ki: 2,000/33,000

Rep: 2,000/10,000 Liked

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 unconscious.

Battle Power: 12

His burn looked fairly severe— I suppressed a wince of sympathy even as I received a few pings signifying the completion of the quest, as well as a few skill level-ups I’d gained.

A quick check to his tail showed that he wasn’t bleeding. At least there was that.

“How is he?” Chichi asked worriedly.

“We have to get him some first aid.” I said after a moment. “What happened? How did he turn into that?”

“He looked at the moon.” Yamcha said, and began to explain what had happened to land them in their situation.

As he explained, my anger rose.

“This… Pilaf.” I snarled and forced myself to stop; instead, I pulled a pair of boxers and pants out of my [Inventory] and put them on the unconscious boy beneath me. “He put you in a room with steel walls and a clear ceiling, and planned on cooking you alive with the sun.”

Chichi nodded grimly. “We tried to break through, but my enhancement techniques could only go so far.”

“I couldn’t even put a scratch on the metal.” Yamcha bit off a curse. “At least you managed to dent it. Goku, too.”

“They’re still in the castle?” I asked, pulling out plenty of water and food from the [Inventory] and handing it to them.

“They flew away while you were busy fighting Goku.” Bulma’s voice came from the right. “Tried to take the Dragonballs, too! We managed to stop them from doing that, at least.”

“What do you mean, we?” The irritated voice of the pig-man came from her side. “Don’t take credit for my work.”

My eyes focused on the girl. “Forget the Dragonballs for now. You have an international phone, right?”

“Um.” She was taken off guard by the question. Likely, she had expected me to try and bargain with her for the orange balls, but that was the least of my concerns, as it was. “Yes, but it’s probably somewhere in the castle. Might have been crushed.”

I took a look at the ruined castle in question and tried not to swear.

“You guys stay with Goku.” I ordered, already making my way for the castle proper. “I’m going to look for a phone.”

“What about the Dragon—”

“Forget about the Dragonballs for now!” I fixed her with an angry look, and Bulma quickly paled and shut her mouth.

I shook the thoughts off and ran towards the castle, with Chichi following.

“Ten! Wait!”

I stopped, and turned to look at her. She pointed towards the central structure with the big antenna. “Go look over there. I have a feeling that’s where all of our confiscated stuff was. I’ll catch up.”

I gave her a nod of gratitude, and silently dashed towards the main edifice in search of the phone in question, making my way through broken and ruined halls, searching room by room, a feeling of unease slowly settling upon me.

I did find a phone— completely by accident, really— and called our home’s number.

“Ten.” The voice from the other end of the line— my mother’s— sounded pained.

I was too late.

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