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CHAPTER TWENTY-FIVE: A SAFE WORLD

Bardock entered the ship, brushing the dust from a hard day's worth of training of himself. He had brought that boy's power level up a bit from where he was yesterday- he had brought his own up, too. Well, of course! Why shouldn't he have? After all, he was-

"Hello, Bardock," Zarbon said, leaning in a corner.

"Hello, Zarbon," Bardock responded, "Do you have anything worthwile to say, or are you just shooting the breeze with me?"

"If I were 'Shooting the breeze,' I would've already donw it," Zarbon replied, coming out of his dark corner. "What I have to say, instead, is a lot more important." Bardock raised an eyebrow at this. "I want to know what's gotten into you in the past four days. You aren't even nearly the man I hired. I want to know what's different, and why."

Bardock laughed very quietly to himself, and for a second Zarbon stepped back.

"What do you think happened to me? I found my son again- of course I'll be a bit different!"

"A Saiya-jin's doesn't give a damn about his son, and you know that. Why do you?"

"I care because he's all that I have left!"

"All that you have left? I'd hardl;y agree with-"

"You're not the leading authority on Saiya-jin, you idiot! So stop thinking that you know everything! My son is all that I have left! I lost my entire family, indluding the son that I'm proud of, a good long time ago! Don't you think that it would matter to me to find one of them again?"

"It wouldn't mater to you, no. You're the first Saiya-jin I know who cares about these things. Besides, you yourself told me that kakarotto barely had enough power to be worth the trouble.

"Well, so did I!"

There was a dead silence following that last comment. Bardock continued on.

"I was born a Third-class Saiya-jin, abrely worth the trouble. I worked hard to become an Elite, and even now a lot of others don't recognize it! Kakarotto was born with the potential to be about 350, power-wise. Now he's well over 15,000. I was born with the very same potential, and I'm 35,000 now."

"So, you're living out your dreams through your son."

Bardock's face turned red at that. "What? Do you dare to say-"

"I dare."

"Then shut the Hell up! You're not a Saiya-jin, you don't know how IMPORTANT power is to your daily life! I may be softhearted for one of my kind, but that's just who I am! Now shut up about it!"

"FIne, then," Zarbon replied, "I guess this means that you're volunteering to stay back and keep earth safe while Zangya and I declare it safe?"

"What?"

"If earth isn't a Safe World, you can just as well kiss that son of yours goodbye. If you stay, no one will come down here looking for blood, and you can continue to train with Kakarotto until we get back. How does that sound to you?"

Bardock let out a half-smirk. "You're more resourceful than I thought. All right, then, I'll stay. You Are going to pick me uip, tight?"

"Of course I will."

***