Clouds… nothing but big, puffy, expansive clouds as far as the eye could see. If she hadn’t tried a million and one times, Zerori would have attempted flight up to the yellow ceiling in hopes of escape. Instead, with a sigh that came off more like a growl, Zerori was still stuck in the land of the dead like she’d always been. Not much had happened since her last run-in with Beelzebub, assuming you didn’t count disappointment as something. In a realm where time had no meaning, she could have been laying on the boulder in the middle of the Blood Pond for years and wouldn’t know the difference.
Stretching her arms out with a none-too subtle crack and pop of her bones, Zerori rolled over and propped her head up with a hand and looked out across the fields of needle mountains to see what was new. Blue hues sluggishly looked this way and that, laziness guiding her eye to an occasional few clouds snickering in what sounded like mischief. Over yonder, there were more clouds just…clouding about.
Good thing I’m not a cloud anymore. Dreadful experience and so dull, she thought with another languid yawn. Seems like my life have come full circle and my punishment for a life of crime is an afterlife or boredom. Rolling onto her back to stare up at the clouds with half-lidded eyes, Zerori let a few moments more pass with silence before finally letting out another side, muttering, “That’s harsh, God. Real harsh.”
((Plato Shakin' off the dust, pardon me. Zerori is still going through some, ah... existential issues lol))
Plato stepped out feeling the breeze of hell. Every day it seemed to just be the same really laughable. Maybe this was there punishment for crime bordem till the hell toury came of course but that was only once a year and only the strongest fighters got to fight. Plato put his hand behind his back before he felt a large power, stronger his own. Someone must of died big the first thought went to Xylo but it was no his ki. Plato Flew over thought swirling. He had felt this powerful ki before but he was unsure off the top of his head that it was. It was clearly had to be a new comer or else he would have sensed it earlier. Perhaps whoever it was wanted to hide their ki. Plato aura flushed around him as he crashed landed near Zerori his eyes wandering as he did hear someone speaking about how harsh god was. He paused his ears snapping up as he slowly walked over. As he walked over he finally realized who it was. "I didn't think you'd still be down there after you defeated in the hell toury or did you die again I’d be surprised if that was the case I’d assume you’re not as dumb as myself." Plato said floating over planting his feet on the ground in front of Zerori, "Why are you still here I’d like to think you can easily break out at any time." Plato said crossing his arms over his chest. It was actually glad to see someone he knew from the last time he had been in hell. Zerori did try and kill him but at the same time there was no hard feeling. After all her defeating he led to advancement in his strength and that was something to be thankful for.
The arrival of a familiar face was almost a godsend… if said familiar face wasn’t a face she’d charred before. Staring up at the cloaked countenance of King Plato, the Saiyan raised a singular brow in a curiosity. “…Yeah, about that.” She closed her eyes and crossed her arms, still laying on her back on the boulder, “I lost after our fight. Good guys and their tea, y’know how it goes with demons.” She didn’t think he really did, but it felt nice to just talk. Who knows, maybe he’ll have some mysterious way out of Hell.
At his question, Zerori scoffed, “No, I didn’t ’die again’. I’ve been dead the whole time. If I’d found a way out, I WOULD be gone.” She opened her eyes and snarled at the King, “…Get off my boulder.”
She leaned up, “Why are you here anyway? Can’t be to gloat because that’s what I’d be doing.”
Plato smiled lightly as she explained that after he lost to her she was defeated by another cause of tea? Furthermore it not like she was fighting someone all that strong at least compared to herself right. He let out a small chuckle. "So i was the only one to lose to you that is a riot then again, i assume this other foe cheated like Xylo did. Someone as powerful as you should not be losing that easily." Plato found it odd he was the only one incapable of defeating Zerori in the toury. Did he lack something back then and had he gained what he lacked. He found it funny he had been the only one in the toury he didn't have that edge it seemed. To win he didn't have that drive he had been more focused on going back to Konats. That went as well as expected everyone still hating him and his hollow rule. He was king but it was not what he wanted at all. "So you been here this whole time and have not left hell. That seems odd are you punishing yourself or something you could have left with Xylo and Alistair. Then again I’d not want to go with Alistair becoming one of his allies was one of the worst mistakes i made. Guess your behind on all the universe news being stuck down here." Plato said as he could not help but chuckle again as he floated back. She still had not found a way out? What had she truly being doing.
"There such an easy way out, just head to the deeper parts of hell you should find cracks in the barrier between the living world and the Hell. Jump in one of those and you should reappear where you died give or take. It's not really that hard to get out this is my second time so i actually don't know if i can get out this time. I got out and then got myself killed again. Lucky me i always getting myself over my head." Plato said with a light chuckle. She told him to back off her boulder and he obliged leaping off and laying down on another rock a couple feet away. He didn't want to get on her bad side even with how much he had grown in power he doubted he could defeat her. Not without a huge helping of Luck. He really was not in that department to really on some outside factor it usually never came. Plato paused as she asked why he was here. He raised an eyebrow as he used his power creating something to drink some wine. "Everyone here either has been bowing to my power trying to get on my good side, been puff balls that i have little to no interest of talking to over and over again or there someone who i created into a monster which i now regret. Your none of those things you are not weaker than me, you have a body and you’re not someone that will make me regret my entire existence." Plato said as he took a sip before letting out a sigh.
"Well guess since i know you may or may not be still allied with Alistair perhaps i should clear what happened with his little posy. I'd much rather convince you to stay away from the bastard. Xylo is now the leader of his own little empire which is fighting the SSE and who i sort of helped which landed me back in hell." He said thinking about to his clash with Shemha and his fall. It was ironic he had died to the woman who had absorbed Walker. Guess metaphorically he had died to Walker Twice. "Xylo kicked Alistair out of Namak and left his side. Kizuki did the same thing a couple months later on my home planet of konats. Alistair got two new member one you never heard of most likely but another you might have heard of. Kaza the Majin and Vennel the Saiyan. From what i understand they were SSE member and i made the stupid choice to help Alistair train them. I realized my mistake too late. Anyhow they attacked Arosce and got killed by Xylo. They also left Alistair side and i was the last one. I called him to help me defend Yardrat and he left me seeing as i was in the way of his stupid little plan. There a lot more that going on i can update you on but i feel just telling you about the devil Knights is a good start." He said crossing one arm on his chest as he took another sip of wine.
“I’m not supposed to be losing?” Zerori questioned with an incredulous expression. She scoffed and pointed at him, “That’s rich coming from a ‘King’,” She enunciated with her hands, air-quoting his title. “-whom lost after using some sort of trick to turn himself into a hundred foot tall monster.” Great, she remembered why he annoyed her. At least he got off her rock. As she got to her hands and knees, listening idly to his banter and observations, Zerori would begin a steady set of push-ups to keep her body busy. She must have been laying on that rock a LONG time because she felt the knife-like twinge of a cramp coming on in her left thigh.
She gave a grunt at the mention of news, “Yeah, they don’t have a view screen down here for universal news. I’ll run that by the big guy upstairs,” She grinned, sarcasm in every word – if a bit forced. “If getting out of Hell was as easy as finding some magic door, I would have found it, Plato. If you did get out through a ‘hole’,” She glared up at him and snarled, “Then thanks, you likely got it sealed back up!” This was hell – dead people didn’t just come back from the dead.
A brief memory reminded that Jarvis had died once and had somehow… in some manner, come back to life. She still didn’t buy magic holes that were just open that apparently everyone BUT her knew about.
Lost in her musing thoughts, she wasn’t listening to some of what Plato had said and only caught the tail end of a mention of Alaistair. She paused her push up for a moment and tilted her head at his debriefing. So her employer and Xylo are no longer associates (They were hardly friend to begin with) and Xylo is living up the good life on Namek. Well, at least someone had good news. A majin named ‘Kaza’ didn’t interest her and a Saiyan named Vennel wasn’t familiar. Does he think all saiyans know each other or something?
The rest of the information wasn’t really useful to her, aside from more crap on Alaistair’s end, but Zerori brought her hand up to stop him. “Look, I think it’s great that you’re being my window to the outside world and all but a lot of that didn’t really interest me at all. The Devil Knights, as you so call them, are pretty much just a pay day for me. Alaistair hasn’t been doin’ so great – what’s new?” Zerori looked toward the blood pond and stared at some of them clouds congregating there for a possible swim as she muttered, “That man has seen the shit end of the stick for as long as I can remember. He pulls through, though.” She looked back at Plato, “Unlike you.”
An idea occurred to her and smile twitched to her lips, “You’ve got Earth news? I want to hear about that.”
Plato clenched his fist as she scoffed at him trying to call him out for fighting behind his monster. "Oh I’m sorry. That was my ability to fight just cause i don't gain golden hair and fight at close range like a saiyan does not mean I’m some coward. It how i was born to fight created to kill." Plato crossed his arms giving a huff as he watched the demon who still had not found a way out of hell. How could someone so powerful be so foolish to be unable to escape the grasp of hell? She was one of the most powerful people he had ever met but she could not escape hell. "Look you use that shoki you been collecting and you head down to hell and you use that to reopen one of those portals that what i did at least." Plato said with an annoyed voice. However, he still had to say what he had to say and Zerori seemed to only paying half attention to what he was saying. She finally raised her hand to stop him he pausing to let her say what she had to say. She explained the Devil Knights were just a pay day Plato looking surprised, "So that all you wanted huh just money was Alistair that easy to convince you. What does money do for you anyway just let you relax, no...I’d like to think if you asked for something you'd be one to get a bigger haul." Plato said lifting his head up. Someone as strong as she could command almost anything but her wanted money? If she wanted money that bad just go take over a planet and take all their money. That to him made far more sense than working for Alistair.
He raised an eyebrow as she told him that Alistair always pulled through in a tough spot and he didn't. He scoffed, "That is a laugh when the last time Alistair has been pushed like i have. I had to face the queen of the saiyan race on earth, i had to face Walker, and I had to face Shemha commander of the saiyan race and her lackeys. Unlike Alistair i don't hide behind others to do my dirty work because i can get it done on my own." Plato straightened up leaning forward looking directly at Zerori. She then asked him about Earth news as he let out a sigh, "I've not been around earth in a while i do know something about the kid Etoru i know he is your friend or something. He got into a tussle with Xylo i heard, Xylo let him live but well...That all i know honestly. Alistair tried to kill Etoru but Xylo let him live. That all Alistair told me when we meet on my home planet of Konats. He helped me take it back then i left because i thought i wanted to be king but i realized that was not i wanted. Little late though." Plato said taking another sip of his glass, "Do you want something to drink or you’re good."
Zerori grinned at how easily he reacted to her teasing, “Chill, ‘Monster Man’. Take solace in that my hair also doesn’t turn golden. Just a nice little silver,” She paused, thinking back to when she last transformed. “Or was it gray?” She shrugged, “Fuck, if I know.” It didn’t escape her notice the passing mention of ‘Shoki’, something Arias had spoken to her about.
She let out a sharp exhale from her nose, That bitch was right, it seems… Figures. She filed his information away for another day. Once again, no surprise, Zerori was being made a fool at nearly every turn. It’s not her fault she didn’t have apparent telepathic powers or the nosiest curiosity in the universe. At one point, maybe. Nowadays, she just kept her nose to herself and it was no… afterlife? At all.
She rolled her eyes at him, “Money is MORE than just relaxing, you know. But,” She barked out a laugh, “What do I need to convince you of? You’re a King, right? Money isn’t much of an object to you at, is it?” She raised her hands in mock-up of surrender, “Pardon me, your Majesty.” He didn’t scare her in the least but amusement was hard to come by and he just so happened to be the most entertaining thing in – well, she didn’t know how long.
And then the most interesting information came to light. With a simple mention of Etoru in danger, Zerori was on her feet and glaring at Plato. He offered her a drink and she held out of her hand, hardly hiding the fanged snarl on her lips. “Yes.” She followed up her response with a question. “Xylo protected him, you say? That’s good to know. I’m going to remember that when I find Alaistair again.”
You may just get a chance at revenge, Plato.
If, or when, a drink was placed in her hand, Zerori would sit back on the rock and looked back out at the fields and bloody ponds around her. Her personality was insipid, she was sure of it. Grouchy, quick-tempered and utterly unstimulated from her time in Hell. Nothing to focus on when it seemed every quest, every goal and every desire was trumped in some way. Beelzebub abandoned her – whether it was out of boredom or unworthiness, she didn’t care to know, her father was nowhere to be found and she’d lost the tournament in a terrible shame over some purified tea.
“Maybe I did stay here as punishment,” She mumbled, thinking back to what Plato said. She turned back to him, daring him to lie to her, “You swear on your life Alaistair attempted to kill Etoru? Because if you’re lying and I find out… I’ll find a way to erase your existence.”
She turned around his question to her about why she wanted damn money. She even mocked him a little as he smiled. Though Zerori made fun of him he didn't mind all that much mainly because it was not attacking him and his monster. That was a sour spot even in death. The Question however made him sigh, "Yah money was never what i wanted, and I never wanted power either. I became King because it was the only way i thought to fit in with my people. I lived my life the past 4 years away from my people and the years before that i was one of the kashvarr captured children. The Monster i create that was created and given to me with the purpose to kill and destroy their foes for the time they rose and took Konats. My people and the Kashvarr had been at war for longer than anyone can remember. Known records stretch back i believe to 3,000 years ago but I’d have to check if i go back. I escaped after i lost control one night. I was not strong enough but when i got back i eventually was able to defeat the kashvarr. I summoned my strength and even their strongest fighter fell to me. I destroyed the castle and avenged my people supposed to me. What's funny now as i never even thought about the people who'd die? The kashvarr died sure but all the kids who were still inside all died...” He paused biting his lip with rage. He was so stupid back then if he not lost control. "I promised to protect all of them how hollow that was."
Plato looked seeing all the ghosts that floated in the distance his hand reaching out before he snapped back to attention. He used his magic creating Zerori some water to drink, "Not sure what you wanted so i went with something safe." Plato said as he turned back his gaze going from absent minded to serious again. She muttered something though he didn't fully hear it but that was not what mattered. She then said that if she was lying she'd find a way to erase him from existence itself. He found it bold but he was not worried. "I was not there i only have heard word of mouth. His name was not spoken but I only know of one child with the abilities for Alistair to claim that without Xylo minion Ouroboros they would have been destroyed. I know of Etoru power so if it there any small child that could have been a threat to them it’d have to be Etoru. The only way you’d be able to confirm is if you ask someone who was there. But I believe and willing to bet my life on it that it is Etoru.” Plato said looking Zerori dead in the eyes.
Zerori continued to glare at Plato for a little longer, eyes focused on catching any physical sign of a lie before she let up and softened her expression just a bit. She’d give him the benefit of a doubt, merely because she didn’t really known other young children that could go toe-to-toe with Etoru in terms of power. “I don’t really accept hearsay as proof, so I’ll be fact checking once I return to life. Assuming I figure that out,” She muttered near the end and sat back down on the boulder. She was starting to think this was all she could do.
Idly, she listened to his life story and grimaced at some of the imagery he presented. He was a child soldier, too, then but she had no idea what the Kashvarr were like. The mention of children dying in the war he described sent a chill down her spine and she looked at him in different light. Going through Hell, literally, to die a second time…
“Sorry to hear that,” She gave softly, at odds with how she should really feel about the guy. Albeit he was dead at the time she had still killed him once and that makes it easier to hate a person. In some cases, irrationally. “Look,” She raised her hand to run it through her hair, a typical tell of her anxiety, “That’s terrible. Can’t say I understand what you went through completely, but that shit changes a person. So…” She took a deep breath, willing her hot blood to cool and lighten the burden on her mind.
Finally, she held out the hand that didn’t hold a glass of water, “Let’s start over. Less fighting to the death this time.” She waited a moment before asking, “You said you’re not a King anymore? Well, if you’re dead that makes sense but who took over?” She took a sip, wishing it was vodka or whiskey or something stronger.
Plato nodded, "Yeah I'd talk to Xylo though I'd not trust Alistair to tell you the truth if he knows it might cause him harm. Could also ask the boy yourself I'm assuming you have a strong relationship with him not going to ask too much about it." He raised his hands. It was not his place to know every single little thing about her. He knew they had some sort of strong bond if she would be so angry to hear that he was almost killed by Alistair? Plato was surprised however to hear that she was sorry to hear his story. He paused biting his lip. He didn't know what to say at first in response to that. Whenever he told that story he got either it was not as bad or they just didn't care. He let out a sad sigh looking at her, "That...i appreciate that." He left it at that, he was not sure what else he could really say to that. It made him feel a lot better to hear it from someone else. She was not there to understand his feeling but she didn't try and make him worse about it. She held out her hand him looking down. His hand would reach out to grasp and shake it as that was assumed why she was holding her hand out. After all why else would she be at least in his eyes? She asked him who was king if he was not king anymore he letting out a hump as he took a sip of the wine, "Well I had some loyal men a council so they are most likely ruling in my steed though when I get back well if, I want to find someone else to rule. I can fight people yes, but I can't protect them. Someone who will have the best in mind for Konats at all times should rule. Cause they don't need some King barking out orders or sitting on that throne doing nothing. After all that has gone on my home world they need a leader. They need a Konastian that can lead them to a brighter future. A future that I can be proud of even if it is at a distance."
A kingdom without a leader, lead by a council? Zerori leaned back, sitting on her boulder as she imagined the chaos that must have come with a people losing a ruling power. Maybe it was great, being able to do whatever you wanted while a bunch of old geezers argued about any and every decision. Or maybe they were all unified and the world was at peace. Looking down at her glass, she shrugged and downed the rest of the water. “Hm, maybe I’ll visit it sometime.” She handed the glass back and joked, “You’ve got booze, right? Give me some of that. Make it, like, your planets’ special and don’t hold any of the hard stuff.”
As she waited for her drink, Zerori mentioned a particularly tough subject, “While I have you here,” She began, voice dipping down to a serious tone, “I want to ask, since you’ve died more than once…” Zerori locked her gaze with his, “Do you ever worry about a permanent death? You seem pretty educated about this so I want to know, for future reference – Do I need to worry about killing anyone?” As casual as a question was posed, it came from a very dark place in her heart. Held, hardly, in check by a weak moral code that Zerori struggled with before death.
If death meant nothing, then what place did fear have in her heart? To fight to the death would merely be a game. To fight for what one believed in would be nothing more than arguing uselessly to win. And finally, to fight protecting loved ones… if they’re death wasn’t the end, would she only need to tell them how to escape Hell or Heaven to be reunited with them?
Plato looked at Zerori as she told him perhaps she'd visit sometime, "I doubt it a planet that is fun to hang at it just a giant desert buts it is my home." He closed his eyes thinking of the sand and the town that were scattered across the planet. He had planned to introduce electricity to the people. They had lived in a state of ill advancement for so long. That was the only thing that Breech brought that was any good. She then asked for an alcoholic beverage as he used his powers creating something to drink. "It probably not going to be the best got but I can't create all that good beverages with my magic materialization. So sorry if it does not taste all that good." Plato said as he put his hands on his lap as Zerori asked him a question that off the top of his head he didn't have a good answer too. Plato thought a little not giving any words for about half a minute before he looked back up at Zerori. "For all I know, I could be stuck here forever. I don't know for certain how many times we can die but what I do know is this. There is a point where we can't come back. Maybe there some magic out there but people in the past if they died we never heard second tales about them how they rose from the grave at least that often. We chalk those people come up to folk story but they could all be true. When one's does come back they appear to the world they died. It’s something we should fear though causes no how strong we are there is a point we can't come back. I came to that thought because Walker had died twice and I've not even sensed him down here nor would he is back and I've not heard about it. It might be a theory but perhaps Yemma eventually decides you've done enough evil that you cannot return and lock you in some cell or destroys you makes you disappear. So I do think people can die permanently, the question is how?"
Zerori waved off Plato’s doubt over her ability, “I’m sure it’s up to my standard. If it’s got alcohol in it, I don’t care,” She reached over and grasped the drink, taking a sip to test it. She didn’t care if it was poison (what was alcohol BUT poison?), just that it didn’t taste like cardboard. With a grimace of approval, Zerori began to down it in earnest. It wasn’t bad! If it was an in-house drink and a desert planet, it was impressive what they could come up with. Once she was back to life, she’d get her Circuit back from Bing and write the code in for the drink.
Assuming he didn’t kill her again, of course.
As she drank her liquor, nerves calm during Plato’s explanation, Zerori occasionally remembered moments where she had taken the lives of former living beings. Targets. Assassins. Unfortunate bystanders that just ‘got in the way’. Zerori once believed that when a person dies, they disappear. No afterlife. No great ‘beyond’ after death. It grounded her – made her question her decisions and bring light the consequences of taking lives. She didn’t believe for a second that this former King was an expert on death and how it worked, but it gave her something to work with.
Tapping the glass, Zerori contemplated Plato before speaking, “If I come to life, Vegeta is where I’ll return. Good,” She muttered with a smirk, “I highly doubt Bing will be there.” She passed the glass back to Plato, leaning away from the boulder and finally giving a stretch. “I think I’ve learned quite a deal from you, today,” She drawled, opening one eye to gaze at him with a knowing smirk. “Keep in contact, Plato. I’ve got some business to take care of and who knows… You may have yourself an ally, if Alaistair begins to become a problem.”
Plato paused as Zerori Drank the drink he had created. She looked at him for a bit before she finally spoke. "Yeah, hopefully, the Saiyans don't hate you," Plato said with a smile before thinking back to his visit to Vegeta. It was not fun at all. She said something curious saying she would highly doubt that Bing would be there? He paused, "I'm Curious is Bing Gan the one who killed you? That odd he seemed like such a good person when I meet him I can only assume what I thought before the Saiyans were controlling him." Plato said clenching his fist. It made him so frustrated for all he knew Breech now could have been SSE aligned just like he said. Carva was a cyborg he created why not Bing Gan? She passed him the glass and Plato used his power making it disappear. She told him to keep in contact and he nodded, "I'll try but I got a question to ask. I know Xylo was being trained by that devil brat knowing your strength I'd assume perhaps you'd have the same employment. If you do and you have the ability to there something I wanted to ask someone like him. If he is an all mighty being he might have an answer to a question I want to know. I do not ask you to go out of your way to find the answer. My people were forced to flee from our home galaxy but I don't know what caused that or why it happened. So I'd want to know if you can get him to tell you. What forced the Konstian to flee South Galaxy?" He gave her a look of confidence. If she didn't it be fine but he'd appreciate it a lot if she did. Not even Alistair had the answer so if someone did it had to be that devil.
Zerori was just about to turn, possibly signaling the end of their interaction, be she paused to turn back to Plato. He posed a popular question that she was staring to grow tired of answering. She rolled her eyes, “Yes. He did. It was a complicated situation,” She left it at that. Opening up that can of worms would make it harder for her to accept that her fate was just. Finding a new reason to live was her focus – not reminiscing on how she died. “Being controlled or not by the saiyans, however that rumor came to be, it had nothing to do with what happened between him and me. Lotta tension. Accusations. Guilt. The good stuff,” She gave him a pointed look, a silent command to drop the subject.
Plato asked about the teacher that she shared with Xylo, prompting her to tilt her head in curiosity. Beelzebub was hardly anything more than a brat to her, a far cry from anything she’d ever associate with an ‘all-powerful’ being. And he had a question for him?
Zerori scoffed, an amused grin on her face, “Yeah, sure. Assuming the boy even cares to give an answer, I’ll pass it along.” She listened to his inquiry, her grin gradually falling due to the nature of the question. It sounded serious – and old. Would the boy know anything about it? “South Galaxy, huh…?” She brought a hand up to her chin with a contemplative frown, “I’ll pass it along, but no promises. Me and that ‘Beelzebub’ haven’t had the greatest of meetings.” She dropped her hands from her chin and narrowed her eyes on Plato, “Do you have any idea what might have happened? Rumors, myths, that kinda thing.”
She’d heard of events that could cause an entire species to uproot and move – planet-killer meteors, man-made disasters, and in very rare instances… being of exponential power. Zerori knew quite a few of those, like a morbidly-popular club of super-powered lunatics.