Dragon Ball/Z/GT Fan Fiction ❯ Touketsu ❯ Mount Fear ( Chapter 23 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

Mount Fear

The dark, headless apparition looming over the four began to chuckle, the sound coming out of its split chest. Black blood gurgled and welled up to spill out of its chest cavity, spilling down and joining the cascading smoke that comprised its vestments. The dark energy transfused throughout the snow, the blackness crawling out from beneath Zhernobog like a creeping frost.

Goku and Toukestu stepped back and assumed defensive postures. Behind them, Yamcha quickly scooped Bulma up and flew them off the mountain ledge out of harm's way.

Goku powered up to Super Saiyan 1 and snapped his head in Touketsu's direction. "I thought you destroyed him?!" He cried, looking back at the thing in front of them. Touketsu could only grit his teeth in indignation as he looked sidelong at Goku. He had cut the head off the snake, but apparently this snake could survive without one.

"Touketsu," it intoned. The demon prince stiffened in response. "You should know that a pet can never stray far, so long as it's on its leash." An icy shackle sprang from the transmuted ground and sped towards Touketsu's throat like an asp.

Touketsu reeled backwards. "STAY BACK!"

The transformation occurred in one second. Reacting on pure instinct, Touketsu's white skin phased to a dark grey, and the dark energy pulsed throughout his body before erupting into a corona of dripping indigo flames. The shadow over his skin instantly receded to race up his arm, the dripping energy traveling with it before coalescing into the blade of dark ki. Touketsu swung at the incoming shackle, shattering it to nothing.

Touketsu blinked. Emboldened now, he scowled up at the thing before him. "And YOU should know, bastard, that a 'pet' can bite!" he barked. "How the hell is it that you're still here? I ripped your pitiable excuse for a body apart - there was NOTHING left of you! Those few, scurrying cockroaches you call an army were all that remained." Touketsu sneered mockingly, "And, I might add, they are truly pathetic."

"You are indeed, an arrogant, ignorant beast, Touketsu. The Kagemazoku ARE me. There is only one, and I am all."

Zhernobog's ruined body then shuddered and split into 50 fully formed Kagemazoku soldiers that quickly encircled their quarry. Several grew blades of ice from their hands. From others, ice weapons resembling kusarigamas manifested. Touketsu and Super Saiyan Goku stood back to back, getting down into battle stances as Goku flared his ki. The advancing one-winged demons were driven back before several launched their kusarigamas at the pair.

Touketsu dodged and swung his blade through their chains, destroying the weapons in a burst of indigo flames while Goku blasted away the others. Goku quickly realized that while his Super Saiyan aura held the demons at bay, their projectile weapons could still breach his defenses. If he had been at optimal strength, Super Saiyan could have possibly been enough. At any rate, it was obviously not cutting it now. With a roar, Goku ascended to Super Saiyan 2, blue currents of voltage snapping up and down his body.

Touketsu squinted in Goku's direction as the powerful energy fanned outward, instantly melting any incoming weapons. They were protected. Goku whirled around to blast at the demons behind them when Touketsu grabbed him by the wrist.

"DON'T! You're going to take out the goddamn mountain." Touketsu was in no hurry to fall to his death. He thought fast. "You're the shield bearer, Goku. Hold your ground!" Before Goku could respond Touketsu leapt out of the protective periphery to engage the Kagemazoku.

With a swing of his dark blade, two Kagemazoku were sliced in half, their forms quickly burning away in the weapon's indigo fires. He leapt back into the boundaries of Goku's Super Saiyan 2 aura before the others could retaliate, and repeated the process from the other side. Again and again he slashed and fell back as he slowly but steadily bit into their numbers. Rent apart by the demon prince's otherworldly energy, the felled Kagemazoku soldiers did not return.

Pouting, Goku crossed his arms and kicked at the snow a little. "Well this is no fun," he grumbled sulkily as Touketsu fell back within the gold periphery after another assault.

"Can it! You need to conserve your energy for this shield. Any Kagemazoku you take out will just come right back!" he shouted as he continued his slash-and-fall-back tactic.

"Zhernobog came back, didn't he?"

"Not for a long time he didn't!" Touketsu shot back defensively as he cut through another soldier. He fell back again to stand next to Goku. "My attacks are more effective against these things than yours!"

"You're only saying that so you can hog all the action."

"Shut up! I'm busy!" He jumped back out.

Touketsu's confidence grew as he continued his assault. It was working. It would have been ideal to summon a larger attack, but he didn't dare try to figure out how to do that while in the middle of battle. His focus on maintaining the dark blade was holding, and he wasn't about to allow himself any distractions. He slashed through two more Kagemazoku, failing to notice the demons flanking him from behind and cutting off his path to Goku's protective aura.


Touketsu was in the process of falling back when Goku cried out, and he turned to see the wall of Kagemazoku cutting off his path. He faltered and ducked, narrowly missing the swing of an icy blade. Retaliating, he swung his dark sword through the demon and incinerated it before rolling to his left to avoid an attack from another. He stood, slashing and dodging as he was quickly surrounded.

A blaze of energy sped behind Touketsu, flattening the four soldiers that had come up behind him before traveling harmlessly off into the distance. Goku was suddenly right there. The demons shrank from his aura as Goku quickly capitalized on their momentary defenselessness, punching and kicking the creatures with ki-laced strikes. Faster than Touketsu could comprehend, Goku sent them splashing into puddles of darkness before any even had a chance to re-spawn from their brothers. Within seconds the pair stood in the middle of a swirling eddy of formless shadow.

Touketsu whirled on Goku. "I don't need your help you-" His words died on his tongue when several Kagemazoku suddenly emerged from the heaving darkness behind Goku and threw their kusarigamas towards him.

They had breached through his aura.

"Behind you, clown!" Touketsu rushed back into Goku's flared aura and swung his sword at the weapons, shattering them before their pieces melted and disappeared in the blue and purple fires of his blade.

"Thanks, Vegeta," Goku panted. One by one the Kagemazoku began to recover from Goku's attack, their forms slowly extruding from the vortex.

"Don't get the wrong idea," Touketsu growled. "You need to hold this shield up." Several kusarigamas again sailed at the pair before being deflected away. "What the hell's going on?" Touketsu shouted as he slashed through the chain of another of the sickle-shaped blades. "Why are their weapons getting through now?"

"I lost my hold on Super Saiyan 2," Goku winced as he blasted away another kusarigama. Touketsu glanced at Goku and saw that indeed his golden aura had dimmed and the blue currents of voltage had disappeared.

"DAMN IT! Fool! I'm betting its because you engaged those soldiers. I didn't need your help!"

"Well it looked like you needed help to me! Besides, I was getting bored!"

"You were get…" Touketsu sputtered. "Ugh, You're an IMBECILE!" The two continued to parry the attacks as the Kagemazoku all recovered, their onslaught becoming relentless.

Goku flinched a little when one of Touketsu's swings came a little too close. "Hey! Watch out, Vegeta!"

"YOU watch out!" Touketsu snapped over his shoulder. Standing back to back with Goku, he flicked his head in the direction of the mountain range beyond. "Quick, turn that way. I don't need you destroying the mountain we're standing on!" The two of them kept back to back, pacing in a circle as they continued to deflect the weapons. Touketsu now faced the cliffside, parrying one projectile after the other. Both parties were at a stalemate.

Touketsu snarled impatiently. "Oh fuck this shit!" With a roar he leapt out past the boundaries of Goku's Super Saiyan aura and rushed the soldiers in front of him. With a swing of his dark blade he cut through two soldiers in a burst of indigo flames before jumping backwards to land next to Goku. The creatures were relentless as they repeatedly deployed their weapons, trying to hit their targets. Goku winced as he threw blast after blast at the incoming weapons while trying to maintain his Super Saiyan transformation. He was beginning to feel that tell-tale strain on his heart.

There were still roughly 30 of the creatures left surrounding them. Touketsu was systemically cutting them down, but their progress was slow - much too slow. Goku and Touketsu were being worn down. Just then, one of the airborne weapons made it through Goku's defenses and headed straight for Touketsu's throat.

"Vegeta, look out!" Goku threw out his arm to block the weapon and it hooked straight into his forearm. Touketsu flinched back at the near hit as Goku howled in pain. Raising his sword, Touketsu quickly brought it down over the weapon's chain and shattered it. Goku ripped the blade out as it quickly dissolved in his hand. The long, hooked weapon hadn't come out the other side of his arm, but it left behind a smoking, blackened gash, its dark poison dripping out onto the snow. Goku gripped his forearm as his strength and focus waned. He felt as though he were underwater.

Touketsu meanwhile was parrying every attack as he continued his slash-and-fall-back tactic. He could only cut through two soldiers at a time before being forced to fall back lest their greater numbers overwhelm him. So long as Goku could hold that shield up they still had some kind of protection. Now however, Touketsu found himself defending Goku as well as himself.

"Ugh, you're useless!" Touketsu berated. "This shield of yours is barely effective anymore, and now I have to-"

Goku dropped out of his Super Saiyan transformation. They stared at each other in dismay for a split second before the remaining soldiers rushed in.

Goku whirled around and out of pure instinct leapt up into the air before throwing a large ki blast at the group. Largely unaffected by Goku's base power, the demons' forms rippled and flickered for only a moment, hardly deterred. The edge of the mountain ledge however gave way, collapsing in a shower of rock and snow.

Touketsu snapped his head at the roaring sound of the destruction, his eyes widening as he saw the ground beneath his feet give way. Quickly, he leapt backwards from the fracturing edge, narrowly avoiding a fall to his death.

"WHATCH WHAT THE HELL YOU'RE DOING YOU IDIOT!" He shouted as he continued to fight the demons off.

"Shit! Sorry, I - I forgot!" Goku stammered.

"Just get out of here, you're not helping!"

Goku hesitated. Vegeta's right. I can't do much without going Super Saiyan. But, he's being overwhelmed! Goku painfully gripped his forearm before glancing at the wound. The weapon had left behind a lingering, toxic effect that clouded his mind and diminished his strength. The slash was smaller than it had been, however. His body must have been recovering, but how long would he have to wait before he had the strength to go Super again? There were still roughly twenty soldiers left surrounding Touketsu. It was then Goku realized that the Kagemazoku were no longer paying him any attention.

"Your efforts are futile, Touketsu." Zhernobog's disembodied voice intoned through the shadow soldiers, speaking even as Touketsu cut them down. "We may be weakened, but through you we will always recover. Like your shadow, we will follow you. You will return to us, and you will fulfill your purpose."

Touketsu snarled, defiant rage ripping through his being. He would not ever serve this creature again! His body darkened, his energy pulsing before erupting in an aura of dripping flame. Facing out towards the mountain range at the advancing enemies, his energy flared. With a roar of fury and an outward swing of his left arm, the darkness and fires left his body as he unleashed the wave of energy.

Several soldiers dodged the attack by collapsing into shadow, sacrificing themselves to transmute the entire mountain ledge into slick black ice. Six others however were enveloped in the dark fires of the attack and burned away to nothing.

Touketsu grinned widely in accomplishment. "I believe my purpose is to kick your-"

A shackle clamped down over the wrist of his still-outstretched left arm.

It had sprung from the transmuted ground. Touketsu was immediately shocked with icy voltage and pulled off his feet when it retracted. He fell on his back and instantly realized that the restraint was subduing his energy; the fires dripping from his dark ki blade diminished and the dark core of the weapon itself flickered and wavered. Looking up, he saw the remaining thirteen soldiers advance. Urgently, he rolled over and struck the weakened blade across the shackle's chain, shattering it as the blade collapsed into smokey nothingness. Freed but with his weapon gone, he desperately pushed himself up on his hands.

He cried out in agony as a dark blade was driven through his back.

"Vegeta, NO!" Goku dug deep as only he could. Pushing through the mental fog and lethargy that the weapon had infected him with, he fought to reconnect with the universal life force and draw out the Super Saiyan.

The Kagemazoku withdrew the weapon, and Touketsu clambered to his feet. His movements uncoordinated, he whirled around to face his assailant. Another Kagemoku lunged and plunged its blade into his midsection. He cried out, staggering back as the soldier quickly withdrew the sword to regard him with impassive black eyes. Touketsu's hands went to the oozing wound over his stomach. He felt as though he had been drugged, his strength and focus dripping away from him through the blackened wounds. The remaining Kagemazoku stood around him, merely watching.

"You've strayed quite long enough, Touketsu. You're coming home."

A large shackle sprang from the dark ice in front of him to fasten around his throat. Eyes wide, Touketsu reactively grasped the collar around his neck and screamed when freezing currents of energy drilled throughout his body and into the base of his skull. Wincing in pain, one hand flew back to grip the back of his head as he felt his energy being shackled within him beyond his reach. He squeezed his eyes shut. His body now barely complying, Touketsu clumsily tried to pry the collar off his throat. His brow furrowing in growing pain and despair, his weakening grip slid down to ineffectually grasp the chain as he sank to his knees. The Kagemazoku closed in.


Super Saiyan Goku dropped in front of Touketsu as the demons reeled away from him. Before they could recover he quickly blasted the demons on either side of him, the discharges of ki continuing off into the distance. Startled out of his growing lethargy by Goku's sudden appearance, Touketsu renewed his attempts to break the chain.

The restraint had been weakened the moment Goku attacked the Kagemazoku. Touketsu could feel the links giving way as he pulled. One link snapped halfway through, allowing the smallest bit of his energy to seep out and aid him. It was enough. With a roar he snapped the chain in half, the collar shattering from his throat a half second later just as Goku whirled around to assist him.

As soon as the collar was destroyed Touketsu's energy rebounded, but it felt toxic and nervous; combined with the poisonous wounds left behind by the Kagemazokus' blades, his own energy was cannibalizing his physical strength. Touketsu quickly scrambled up, bracing his back up against the rock face behind him. Behind Goku, The Kagemazoku were rebounding from the Super Saiyan's onslaught. Touketsu struggled to get his panicked breathing under control. "Behind you," he rasped.

Goku turned and immediately found himself again engaged with the demons. "Vegeta!" He called over his shoulder. "They're after you. I'll hold them off - run!"

Touketsu grit his teeth, digging his claws into the rock behind him in rising panic. The wounds he suffered continued to affect him. Their poison stoked the icy tendrils of doubt and growing desperation creeping through his body, weakening his mind and spirit. His limbs felt like lead, and he couldn't gather his fractured, chaotic thoughts and harness the power he so desperately needed. He couldn't fight anymore. He felt his pride being overrun by self-preservation.

He bolted.

Touketsu leapt between the remaining demons as Goku quickly flattened the creatures with well-placed ki blasts. The demon prince vaulted over the mountain ledge out of Goku's view. Rapidly sliding and leaping down the mountainside, he escaped.

Goku stood alone. He whirled around in bewilderment; the pools of blackness that were the injured Kagemazoku had completely disappeared, seemingly melting into the shadows themselves. His head snapped in the direction that Touketsu had gone, tension in his features. "Oh shit," he whispered.

Touketsu continued his rapid pace down the mountainside, sliding and leaping from one cliff side to the next in a controlled descent. He would not be enslaved by Zhernobog again. He had to flee. The clouds had parted, and he had nearly reached the steep, snow-covered foothills at the base of the mountain. Bounding thought the snow and weaving between the tall conifers, Touketsu never slowed down as he feverishly pressed on. An eerie quiet descended over the snowscape.

His shadow, now positioned in front of him, suddenly shot up to take the form of the ravaged Zhernobog.

Touketsu cried out in surprise; he had no time to skid to a stop on the steep, snowy surface of the mountain before effectively running straight into the towering demon. Now a bit more worse for wear after their skirmish, Zhernobog grabbed Touketsu by the throat with his good hand before lifting him up into the air.

Cold panic seized Touketsu, smothering the fire to fight back. He gasped in growing fear and clawed at the icy, gauntlet clad hand that tightly gripped his throat. He could feel the glacial power of his former master coursing through that grip, seeping into every fiber of his being. It was chilling him to the core and siphoning all the strength from him, the skin of his throat growing black.

Zhernobog chuckled, and Touketsu looked on in growing horror as the wounded torso of the headless thing holding him aloft began to stitch itself back together. The wound in the chest closed as tendrils of black, smoke-like energy interlaced together. The energy feathered out into spreading black hoarfrost, rebuilding into the blackened plate armor of ice. The energy continued upwards, reconstructing the black ice shards that were the creature's wings. Touketsu once again found himself face to face with Zhernobog Daimao.

"You've been learning how to use this new form, I see," Zhernobog commented affably to Touketsu, still struggling weakly in his grasp. "You've also grown in strength. That is very fortuitous, because your energy provides an excellent source of nourishment. That is, so long as it is transmuted properly."

As if to make his point, another stream of icy energy coursed through Zhernobog's hand and into Touketsu's throat. Touketsu's eyes greyed out for a moment as the chilling energy stoked his growing fear which in turn fed the demon king. The blackness beneath the creature's clawed grip began spidering out, spreading from Touketsu's pallid throat up to his jaw and down his chest. Touketsu felt the air being sucked out of his lungs. Almost as soon as he felt his energy being drained, Zhernobog's stump of a right hand at last began to reform and heal itself.

This vampire is feeding off of me, Touketsu thought with horror, and he squeezed his eyes shut. He cried out, his voice ragged with growing desperation as he again attempted to pry Zhernobog's fingers from his throat. When he opened his eyes again he could see through his peripheral vision what he had been dreading:


"No," Touketsu uttered weakly.

"There may be hope for you yet, Touketsu," Zhernobog informed him. "So long as you still deep down understand who your master is, you can serve us. You may have to serve as a mere battery for a while, yes. After you have helped restore our army however, I believe you can return to our fold."

Zhernobog whirled around and slammed Touketsu's back against one of the many towering conifers surrounding them. Touketsu greyed out again, his weakening grip around Zhernobog's wrist finally released.

"Tosho will be a bit more efficient in cultivating your negative energy for our means. I think you are now strong enough to endure it." The Kagemazoku king lifted Tosho and positioned the point of the obsidian blade into Touketsu's chest. "This may still take a while, but we Kagemazoku are very patient creatures. While you are young yet, Touketsu, eventually you'll come to understand that."

Touketsu cried out ineffectually in dread as Zhernobog prepared to plunge Tosho into his heart.

Suddenly a blast of blinding golden energy hit Zhernobog's front, tearing off his newly regenerated right arm. Zhernobog was spun around by the force of the blast, dropping Touketsu in the process.

Touketsu's hand immediately went up to his blackened throat as he coughed and gasped. Taking in great lungfuls of air as he sat up in the snow, Touketsu watched, dazed, as Zhernobog was hit by blast after blast of ki energy.

Bracing his other hand up against the tree behind him, Touketsu pulled himself up to a standing position before squinting up over his shoulder in the direction the blasts were came from. A Super Saiyan 3 Goku proceeded to pick apart the constantly regenerating creature, ignoring the taxing effort it put on his body.

At last, Zhernobog was nothing more than a writhing mass of shadowy tendrils lashing out wildly in the snow. The refulgent power of Goku's Super Saiyan 3 energy attacks made it longer for Zhernbog to recover, but he was already well on his way; in his true form, Zhernobog was not as vulnerable as his individual incarnations of Kagemazoku.

Goku hovered in the air, panting hard before dropping back down to Super Saiyan 2. "Vegeta! You ok?"

Touketsu straightened, his hand still on his throat. The blackened skin had begun to heal once Zhernobog had lost his grip, and the debilitating fear that Touketsu had been experiencing began to ebb. He glared at Goku before returning his attention to Zhernobog; the creature had regenerated itself up to its waist, its torso a writhing mass of whipping, shadowy tentacles. Suddenly the mass shuddered and disseminated into 30 Kagemazoku soldiers.

Touketsu crouched down defensively as he grit his teeth in anger. Damnit! I will NOT be afraid of my own fucking shadow! AND I WON'T BE INDEBTED TO THAT SAIYAN CLOWN! Touketsu could feel that familiar rage coursing through him, igniting his blood. His skin darkened as his resolve focused, and with a pulse of dark energy his body erupted in dripping fire. Without another thought of plaguing doubt he flung out his right arm, the shadow leaving his body to form the blade of dark ki. The dripping black wounds on his body had diminished to mere slashes. With a wrathful cry, he leapt at the demon soldiers.