Dragon Ball/Z/GT Fan Fiction ❯ Tempt of Fate ❯ The Proof ( Chapter 12 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Tsuyoku: This chapter is seriously long overdue. I hope that everyone who’s following will get word that I’ve updated and R&R for next time. I’m not the greatest fan of how this chapter turned out (as far as wording and flow goes), but I’m pretty glad to have it finished and posted. Unlike all the other times, I won’t promise to have another one on the way soon, but it really helps to see where people have added this story to their favorites or alerts. That gets me really motivated to get another chapter written. Because of all the reviews and recent adds for this story, I have moved it up the list above both Naruto stories. So thank you to all! Please R&R guys!

Tempt of Fate: Chapter Twelve


“I will announce to the public that we have decided to make a permanent alliance with Vegeta-sei, and this alliance will be sealed with the marriage of King Vegeta and you.” Bulma would have risen her eyebrows, leaped from the chair and did a little dance, or just squealed in delight. But she knew that nothing came free, especially not from this man.

“What is the catch to this generous offer, Vellutini?”

“The catch? Simple, really. You will leave and live on Vegeta-sei with your new husband and live happily ever after…

“But Trunks must stay here on this planet and take over under my tutelage. I will act as his guardian until he comes of age to rule on his own. Until then, I will remain by the young King’s side as not only his representative but his advisee as well.”

“Absolutely not,” Bulma said. It didn’t take her a moment to think about it. She was not leaving her son in that man’s hands to become a carbon copy. Bulma would rather Atrono be the one to raise the boy instead of this man.

“You say that now. But when you think about it, it’s the only option. The longer you stay in this palace, the more I will make your life hell, Lady Bulma. And eventually the idea of marrying King Vegeta and moving to Vegeta-sei will be tempting; you won’t care about leaving Trunks here. Besides, if you take the heir to the throne to another planet,” he leaned in as close as he could, “the people will surely revolt.”

Bulma’s neck stiffened in an attempt to keep her head from backing up. As much as she despised Vellutini, she wasn’t going to show him the effect he had on her—one of disgust.  

When she didn’t respond, Vellutini pulled back and leered at her for a moment before turning for the door. “You can’t think on this too long, your majesty, but I would advise you to take my offer. Otherwise, I may have to actually lift my fingers and force you out of here.” And he was gone.

“Insufferable man,” she mumbled. Bulma got up from the chair and crossed to the desk. There had to be something that she could find, something that Atrono left behind. I have to find out whether there’s anyone else in line.

She sat in the large desk chair. You’d think someone would have a record of who was next in line for something as important as the throne of an entire planet… but then again, weirder things have happened. Atrono probably figured that with Trunks—his son—being the heir to the throne, there wouldn’t be any use for other relatives.

Bulma sighed for a moment. She looked at the desk for something, anything. The smaller top drawer was filled with the basic desk necessities, delicately placed in a refined order. She ran her hands over the wood of the drawer before pushing it back in and staring at the desk as a whole. Right after Atrono and she had married, he became King. And when he was going through the little nooks and crannies of the castle that he’d never been able to discover when his father was still alive, he found this desk. It was special to him. The entire desk was made from the wood of their national tree, which was going instinct no matter how hard they tried to keep it alive. Atrono had said it was his history and that made it special. But the desk had been in ill repair when he found it.

And instead of coming to bed some nights, the man would spend his free time fixing up the desk and coating it with new varnish to protect all the work he’d put into it. Bulma could comfortable say that the only times she ever felt attracted to Atrono were the times he was shirtless and fixing up this desk. That feeling passed pretty quickly when he finished it and replaced the existing desk in his father’s study with his newly renovated job, and he went back to his old, political routine.

Bulma pulled a few more drawers, but the final drawer she tried wouldn’t budge. It didn’t have the same handle as the others, and when she tugged on the small notch sticking out of the top, a small number pad came with it.

In all her years of living in this palace and working in this room alongside her husband, she had never seen this. It was obviously a recent addition to the desk that was antique against that technology. It was a generic number pad, and she could see where three of the glowing blue buttons were worn from use. She worked at it for a few minutes, trying to match names or dates that corresponded with the rubbed off letters and numbers; nothing was working.

It had probably been a half hour since Vellutini left, and Bulma was praying that she would figure something out before he came back. When she examined the drawer further, it was obvious that he’d been trying to get into it as well. There were scratch marks left over from where she assumed he had been trying to pry it open. He was no doubt curious what was in there, though Bulma supposed it wasn’t because he wanted to find out who was next in line rather than the fact that knowledge is power.

Atrono’s son or not, Trunks was not of age to take the thrown. It could easily be assumed by someone else in line. And she was determined to make that happen by finding someone, anyone to take his place. She didn’t want to stay on that planet if it meant leaving Vegeta’s side, but Bulma knew that she wasn’t going to leave Trunks there by himself. She was going to have her cake and eat it too.

She poked in every combination she could think of once more, trying to find the answer. It didn’t make sense. Atrono wasn’t the type to use passwords, let alone complicated ones. No, something like that would be harder to remember in his busy schedule. Bulma knew it had to be a name or date, as long as it meant something to him. Their anniversary didn’t work, nor did Trunks’ birthday. And she was running out of names to try. She even went out on a limb and tried her own name, only to have the keys blink red. She was getting tired of the pad’s constant reminder that she was wrong, and Bulma was just waiting for some locking mechanism in the desk to enact and completely lock anyone out of the desk for good.

She tried Lynna’s name, spelling it out on the pad. Red again. She typed in Marco’s name, punctuating each press with a hard stroke of her finger, more out of frustration than anything else. M-A-R-C-O.

The keys blinked green.

Bulma sat there for a moment, hand resting on the edge of the drawer that had popped out in response to the right password.

Marco, she thought. Why would he be the password to Atrono’s desk of all people? Bulma knew Atrono and Marco had been very close, spending most of their waking hours together, but it was nonetheless a surprise. She hadn’t thought it would work. Marco was, however, the man Atrono had hand-picked to be his assistant, his right-hand man, the only person now left (and Vellutini didn’t count) that knew the workings of the palace, of the kingdom, inside and out.

Bulma could clearly recall the first time she’d met Marco shortly after she arrived in the palace. She’d been sixteen when she was chosen for Atrono. Young and alone, she’d been roaming the palace halls aimlessly until her legs wouldn’t take it anymore. Sitting on a small, built-in bench beneath one of the windows in the hall, Bulma had looked up to find a boy about her age leaning against the sharp corner that made the small alcove she was in.

“What?” she asked when all he seemed to be going was observing her.

“This is a restrictive area, Miss. I’m afraid wandering in the King’s wing is off-limits to all but a select few.”

She tilted her head up until her chin was level with the shining floor. Surely he could recognize her even with the sunlight from the window backlighting her.

And it wasn’t until a few long moments later that the look of realization creased his face, and he bowed low at the waist. “M-my lady,” he stammered. “Forgive me. I didn’t recognize who you were.”

Bulma didn’t offer much more than a small smile. But even the smile was clouded over with tear-glazed eyes that ruptured over onto her cheeks when he inquired as to how she was feeling.

“What’s wrong, my lady? If I offended you at all, I’m terribly sorry. I’m just unused to beautiful women freely walking the hall around here.”

“It’s—it’s not you.” Bulma sniffed, pushing her hands onto her face to his the grief she was openly displaying. “I just don’t understand! Life was good, perfect even, with my parents, and my dad had to go and ruin it by giving me away.”

Bulma had been picked to be a candidate for Atrono’s bride against her will. She was a woman by society’s standards but still a girl by her own, and she felt furious at her parents for cutting that innocent, teenage life short. She and her father had been close, but he’d accepted all too easily the notion that they would never meet again should she be chosen for this “better life” as he put it.

She didn’t even know the man’s name, but she patted the remainder of the bench beside her. “C’mon, sit with me. I need some company that’s not so high and mighty right now.”

“I shouldn’t. I need to get back—”

“Don’t make me order you,” Bulma said with a smile.

Marco couldn’t decide if it was genuine or foreboding.  Nevertheless, he sat down next to her, awkwardly trying to avoid the folds of her full skirt that spilled around her in all directions.

“I’m not well-acquainted with how things work in the politics of this kingdom, but it doesn’t seem right that the King would be able to pick up just any girl he might like for a bride and take her away from her family.”

“Well,” he replied, “it’s not quite that simple. The guardians of those women nominate, for lack of a better word, their daughters. They can relinquish them to the kingdom if so inclined.”

“But what about me? What part of that is right, to govern another person’s life because they’re too young?”

He shrugged. “It may not be right, but it is edict.”

“But my father is far from poor. It’s not like I was elevated much when I was chosen by… whoever.”

“You don’t understand, my lady. It’s only the families with money and good standing in the community that would be able to pay a dowry to the kingdom. Your father put out a lot of money to get you where you are. Now, I’m not going to try and rationalize why a parent would willingly give up their daughter, but everyone must have their own reasons.”

Bulma just stared at him, perplexed. “How old are you?” This boy seemed so young, but she could almost call him wise.

“I’m eighteen, Lady Bulma.”

“And just who are you? How do you know these things? You know my name, but I’m not sure you mentioned yours.”

“The name is Marco, and I’m afraid I know all too well about this kingdom and how it works. I work alongside the King as his right-hand guy, more or less.”

“I guess we’re going to be seeing a lot of each other then, Marco.”

He looked at her, the sunlight hitting her face and making her smile glow radiantly. Marco had the decency to blush at the sight.

Well, what do you know? Bulma thought to herself. I guess he still is a boy after all.

But they hadn’t seen as much of each other as she had thought. Atrono kept him busy as ever, and she wondered if Marco had ever had a normal childhood or if it was likewise stolen from him.

Back in the present, Bulma tightened her grasp on the popped-out drawer and pulled excruciatingly slowly. She was paranoid that with one small squeak Vellutini would be on her to discover what she’d obviously beaten him to.

There were letters stacked neatly in the center of the drawer. She picked up the letter on the top feeling the stiff crinkle of old, well-pressed paper. The hand-written date at the top read over twenty-six years ago, yet the papers were in such good condition.

“These letters never got the chance to yellow with age or collect dust.” She ran her finger over the next letter on the stack. “No dust at all. He must have looked at these quite often judging by their state and the rubbed off keys protecting them.”

She quickly scanned the first letter. If it were remotely important, she would take them back to her suite and study them closely. Sitting in that drawer, they were just sitting ducks for when Vellutini inevitably succeeded in prying it open.

“…child was conceived…”

“…male child…”

“…regret to inform… mother did not survive labor…”

Bulma gasped, her hand flying up to cover her mouth. Atrono fathered another child?! She continued to look through the next few letters, all from the same cryptic sender when comparing the scribbled signature at the bottom. She lifted everything out of the drawer and quickly opened the one capsule she had with her and threw everything into one compartment before anyone could come in and stop her.

She shrunk the capsule and stuck it in her bra—the safest place that Vellutini would never dare look into. The drawer closed with a dull click, and she made sure the number pad was pushed back in, out of plain sight once more.

“Lynna!” Bulma yelled as she walked into her suite. “Are you here?”

The Queen looked around the large room. The bedroom area was clear, the bathroom empty, and no sign of the only woman on the planet she felt comfortable sharing this information with. Bulma quickly looked out the window and spotted Lynna, Marco, and Trunks on the open ground a couple floors, at least, below the one she was on. She wondered if yelling would reach the trio since they were some distance away—near the other wing. Her hand grasped the lock in the window and flicked the handle.

Momentarily, she felt a slight vertigo at how long a drop it was, but it cleared when she focused.

“Lynna!” she yelled. “Marco!”


Bulma eyed her son. With those Saiyan ears, he was bound to hear her if she shouted loud enough. She certainly didn’t want to waste time going to get Lynna; time felt of the essence, and she wanted to look at the letters more thoroughly as soon as possible.

She took in a large breath, filling her lungs to the max with strong, fresh air from the outside world before letting loose her son’s name out the window.

But the “s” had barely left her mouth, his name still ringing in the valley of the palace wings before a hand clamped over her mouth and brought her to the floor. She absentmindedly expected to blackout quickly like all the other times someone had assaulted her, but for a minute, Bulma laid face down breathing in through the plush carpet fibers, a stinging scent filling her nose before her vision slowly blackened.

Purple hair whipped around as Trunk’s head located the origin of the voice that screamed his name.

“What’s wrong?” Lynna asked.

“I hear my name called,” Trunks replied. And he didn’t need anyone to tell him who it was that screamed it either. “Something’s wrong with Mom.”

“What? Where?” Marco asked. He felt helpless knowing that Bulma was screaming for one of them—because she was in need, or because she needed help, he didn’t know—and he was there oblivious to everything.

Trunks said nothing. He just pointed to their wing of the palace where he could faintly see a window being closed. The boy squinted, but he couldn’t quite make out who it was. He just knew that it was his mother’s form.

“Someone just closed the window. I’m guessing that’s where she was calling me from!” But neither Lynna nor Marco heard the tail end of his sentence after he dashed toward the building. Trunks wondered where Vegeta was, if he knew that something seemed wrong with his mother, but it was no use. If he knew, he knew. But the first priority was finding out the situation.

The boy couldn’t explain what the scream was for, but he knew that the very end of her yell was full of some kind of desperation. And he intended to find out why.

“Mother!” Trunks burst into the suite.

There was an eerie calm about the entire room, empty an untouched. The scent left behind, however, was completely potent with fear and… adrenaline? Trunks crossed to the window that was still cracked and knew that if someone had actually taken his mother, he’d just missed them.

“Trunks, what’s going on?” asked a very out-of-breath Macro as he slid through the door to the royal suite. He’d left Lynna in the dust to catch up to the young prince, and he felt guilty for not waiting up. But he was worried that if they arrived even a minute too late, something might have happened to Bulma. Whatever Trunk suspected would happen, would actually happen whether it be that Bulma was hurt or she was missing. And there he was just standing in the open door to her room watching the thoughts dance across Trunks’ eyes as his mouth remained set in a curious line.

“Lady Bulma!” Lynna yelled as she finally caught up to the two guys.

“Someone took her. I can smell it.” Trunks said.

“Can you tell who it was?”

“No, but she didn’t walk out of this room. She had to be unconscious; otherwise the place would be a mess.”