††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† †††† CHAPTER SIXTY-FIVE: TECHNIQUE AND POWER
††††††††††† "Training schedule..." Zarbon mumbled to himself as he checked over the little lines and boxes provided on the complimentary progression chart for the one-week stint in the training room that he had ordered earlier. "Training schedule... schedule... up to date!" he said, closing the little legal pad that kept the slip of paper safe from any harm. He looked up at the wreck that was the room, thought for a second, then brought the legal pad back out.
††††††††††† "Room Damages..." he repeated to himself before hastily scribbling down notes about the holes in the walls and ceiling, as well as the crates, cracks, dents, chips, and everything else that seven hours of intensive ki-training would do to a simple enclosed room.
They had broken the gravity machine again.
It was after the third day that he had decided to schedule rest periods by when the broken equipment was being replaced or repaired. Usually, it was the former.
"Let's see now... Gravity machine.... Wall paneling... Tiling on floor... three sets of weights... another three months' salary... shit..."
Zarbon stopped, somewhat startled at something- he hadn't cursed like that in a while, and it no longer came naturally to him.
He checked back down on his list, and sure enough- he had written the expletive down, too, along with three months' salary.
††††††††††† Zarbon smirked, signed the list, and taped it to the training room wall. Let them figure THAT one out.
††††††††††† On the way back to the others, Zarbon burst out in an uncontrollable giggling fit that didn't stop until he couldn't breathe anymore and his sides ached. It was times like this that he could forget the nightmares of late- Jeice's death, Bojack, the whole Majin incident- everything.
††††††††††† Whoever said that life wasn't worth it obviously had never written down expletives on a list and posted it on a dented, smashed-in wall for all to see. The thought of that threw him into another laughing fit, and this one didn't stop for a long, long while. By the end of it, Zarbon wasn't even sure what it was that he had thought was so funny. It didn't matter, anyway. It put his spirits back up and in perfect order, and that was what was important.
††††††††††† "Power Level Check!" Bardock shouted in mid-training, clutching his scouter. eveyrbody stopped in unison. Bardock Lowered his hand from his scouter without even bothering to turn it on- he didn't need it, and it was only there because he was used to the feel of the thing, and putting his hand to it was a good signal to everyone of what he was doing.
"Let's see now... Gokou, you're at 78,000. Very good. Piccolo, you're at 70,000... catching up... Zangya, you're at sixty-five thousand... a marked improvement... Zarbon, you're at 77,000.Very, very good. Gohan, you're at two thousand... Oh, damn."
Zarbon glanced up at him. "Eh what?"
Bardock sighed. "The entire point of bringing Gohan to meet the two kings is so that they'd be impressed with his power level. You know that. Do you really think that they'd care much for a brat with a level of two thousand that only shows when he gets pissed off?"
††††††††††† Zarbon blinked at him. "You're right." He turned around a bit and looked at the boy. "What are we going to do about him... 2,000 is powerful for someone his age, but I don't think that it's enough to warrant making a planet Safe..."
"Bardock, what are we going to do?" he said, turning back around again.
"Don't worry, we can manage." Bardock took his scouter off and motioned to Zangya. "There's something that I'd like to test out for a minute. Here, use this on Zarbon, will you?"
††††††††††† Zangya took the scouter, and adjusted it so she wouldn't actually have to wear it to use it- yet another scouter irretrievably bent out of shape.
††††††††††† "It reads 77,000. What of it?"
††††††††††† Bardock nodded. My estimations are correct. Good. Zarbon, transform now."
††††††††††† "What?" Zarbon looked up at him, a bit confused.
††††††††††† "Just humour me."
††††††††††† "Okay." Zarbon shrugged, and then bulked up into his decidedly unattractive reptilian form.
††††††††††† Bardock looked at him for a moment, and then nodded. "I have my reading. Zangya, what does your scouter say?"
††††††††††† Zangya checked the scouter, and stopped completely. She checked a few switches, then tried again. She then resorted to lightly jarring it before trying it again.
††††††††††† "This thing's broken," she commented. "I know for a fact that Zarbon's power level rises when he transforms, but the scouter just read him at only 60,000."
††††††††††† Bardock just grinned. "The scouter's not broken, dearie. your reasoning is."
††††††††††† Zangya looked up at him with a very interesting expression on her face. She had just been called "Dearie," and somehow her reasoning was apparently flawed. "Do tell," she commented.
††††††††††† "My personal reading read the same amount- only 60,000. You reasoned that because Zarbon's transformed state has more raw power, its level would be higher. That only works when you're dealing with levels of under 50,000. You of all people should know that-"
††††††††††† "Technique is far more important than power," Zangya finished for him. "But what about the changelings, or the rest of your people?"
††††††††††† "Some powerups that produce strong, slow-moving forms do enhance the speed a bit, and they can be used to your advantage if you tone them correctly. As it is, Zarbon's speed never really went up with his transformation- only his raw power. He sacrificed technique for strength each time, and now he's finally started paying for it."
††††††††††† "Could someone repeat this to me slowly, and with no big words?" Zarbon said rather sarcastically. He understood them, but wanted them to get straight to their point and be done with it.
††††††††††† "It means," Bardock began, "That you don't have to transform again. You can stick with your old, beautiful self when you fight from now on."
††††††††††† Zarbon made a show of changing back and tossing his hair back. "How fortunate," he sniffed in the air. "After all, the transformation gene has nearly been bred out of my race- I wouldn't want to go spoiling my beauty with an unnecessary step that should have been gone a long time ago, now, should I?"
††††††††††† Bardock raised an eyebrow. Zangya stifled a giggle. Zarbon simply put on a suave smile, then threw his head back and laughed in a flawless rich-kid-pretty-boy laugh. He had been practicing it for just such an occasion.
††††††††††† "So, let's get back on the subject of the kid," Zarbon commented, glancing back over at Gohan. "We need to raise his level dramatically in two days. How do you suggest we do that, Bardock?"
††††††††††† Bardock took in a deep breath, and then shrugged.
††††††††††† It was Gokou who piped in with "hey, donít we Saiya-jin get really strong when people beat us up?"
††††††††††† Bardock, Zarbon, and Piccolo grinned evilly. Gohan did not have a clue as to what was about to happen to him.
††††††††††† And afterward, he never really did know what hit him.