"Me? I'm the one you hear going bump in the night."
This story is a part of the Dragon Ball: Legacies collection. This is the prologue chapter and therefore is shorter than most other episodes.
Were It So Easy is a story featuring The Benefactor on Earth. The timeline is not known. Here, he plays around with a village of people, testing their emotions. Warning: This Story May Be Disturbing To Some!
Humans weren’t exactly the most interesting species in the galaxy. They were weak, cowardly animals. Even if their intelligence did make up for some of that, dominant species wasn’t so much a respectable title here. Even their technology was archaic and cumbersome; at least the bits he had seen. In the end, though, this could still help him to have some fun.
The silent figure stood up. It was night, and the moon was new. Darkness was his friend and ally, a cover of his atrocious deeds. In his right hand was a knife; old it was and bloodied too. In his left hand was a skull, recently cleaned. The corpse of its unlucky owner lay but a few steps back. Blood pooled and flowed through the soaked grass beneath the erect creature’s feet. For this was a creature, not a man.
He was old, of a world that few remained and none remembered. But though he had spent many years a wanderer and many more in the conscript of the lord, Frieza this was the first he had ever come to earth. Like most others he was chosen by Frieza because of his usefulness as a grunt, an enforcer of Frieza’s vast empire. But he was not a simple soldier like the rest. Unlike them, he had power; in voice and in presence. All who worked with him became unable to function, petrified by his aura.
Frieza had then personally reassigned this creature to his own ship. There he worked along, fittingly to give his lord Frieza new planets to conquer. A job such as that required him to remain on the road for long periods of time. Something not possible for anybody, save a patient and selfless being; save a Benefactor. And that’s who this creature was. A Benefactor.
Here he was now, to inspect Earth. The scenery was lush and temperate; the native species would be no problem to eradicate. Very rare was it to find such a place. And he wasn’t one to ignore chance.
The Benefactor put the skull away, tucking it away into his many folds. For that was another piece of his puzzle… the Benefactor’s true self was rarely seen. Naught but his two hands, scaled and clawed were visible to speculate about his real form. With glance into the sky above, he rose into the air and onto the night.
The sun rose swiftly in the east. Nights on this planet were short, too short for the Benefactor’s taste. He really hated working in the day. All the sunlight was just so distracting.
As he continued flying in the rising light, the Benefactor saw a town ahead. It was small and quiet, with trails of smoke rising from the cluster of thatched houses below. The Benefactor stopped, briefly caught up in nostalgia. For in his own origins, a town like this was where he, himself, was born. At least this version of himself.
He descended into the town quietly to observe, to study. The creatures interacted with one another, yes they were sentient. The Benefactor stared at them. He wondered, however, what they were capable of. What their minds had the ability to understand. He was leaving anyway; this place was surely something Frieza could sell for a huge profit. Staying for a few more hours wouldn’t hurt anything.
The sun set again quickly and by this time the native species had slowed in activity. Most of the streets were abandoned and the fires lay untended. It was the perfect atmosphere for play.
The Benefactor jumped down from the rocks above and stepped into the village. The wind was light and the air was cold. It would be harder to stab in this weather, without a scream carrying across the night.
It did not take long for him to find one of the humans. It was surely mature, nearly as tall as him. But more importantly, this creature was alone. The dirt road masked their footsteps, and as the two drew closer, naught but the creatures of the forest could have had any idea of what was about to occur.
The Benefactor grabbed the creature, a female, by the neck. His other arm wrapped around her mouth, to cover up any sense of surprise. He brought her in, to him as if in a hug. For several moments they remained still, until the wind picked up. At this sign, The Benefactor jerked back, ripping out her throat. Blood sprayed e’erywhere as she fell onto the ground, clutching and gasping at her wound. The Benefactor looked down upon her, and placed his boot to her cheek. Slowly, her breaths became shorter and less frequent. Finally, she calmed. But the creature’s eyes remained ever open, staring up at the trees and sky above. As if she expected something.
The Benefactor was not a lustful being. His purpose was singular in totality. He wanted to bring death and bask in its presence. And so he brought out his knife, and dropped to his knees. At this, the woman’s breathing became erratic again. He grabbed her throat, and bent over to stare her back. With his other hand, he took the knife and slowly stuck it into her chest cavity.
With a few short convulsions and a last gasp, the light left her eyes and she went limp. The Benefactor rolled off her, and let it stay. He would still take a trophy, but wanted to leave the body to see what the other humans would do. This was an experiment after all.
In the morning, the Benefactor was awakened by the buzz of noise around. He perched onto a tree, in the woody end behind the houses. Above the sight of all but the birds, he could see them clustered. Clustered around the body of the one he ended last night. The head was gone, as was customary, but he had left the body for them. Like a cat leaves his master a dead mouse. In a way, he was proud. In another way, he was also curious.
That day, though it was misty and overcast, remained very busy. A group of them even entered the forest, reaching mere feet away from the alien. But they wouldn’t find anything in here. The horror they had witnessed was something that could be found. It had to be called.
That night again, he went out. This time, the roads were not abandoned, nor the fires left unchecked. This was… new to him. Curiosity overtook all other emotions, as the Benefactor crept closer. He had to see, he had to know.
He peered in, at them all. Swords and spears glinted off of the flames ahead. Many were waiting for the night killer to return again. No, he would wait, if only to catch one alone. Suddenly, a rustling came into focus from behind. The Benefactor did not turn to face his quarry, he did not have to.
Unlike other soldiers of Frieza, he did not wear the customary armor, nor the scouter, the device used to artificially sense other beings. This was because he did not need the cumbersome protective gear, and he could also sense beings, inherently. It was something he was proud of, to not rely on faulty machines.
Immediately, he knew one of them as behind him. He could leave now, but it would do no good. Obviously, the creature had seen him too.
Before any other thoughts could enter into the Benefactor’s mind, the being spoke.
“Hey, mister! What are you doing out here? It’s so cold!”
The Benefactor let out an audible breath. It was a child, a little one. Of the Benefactor’s few rules, this was one of them. Never touch a child. He couldn’t do anything about this one.
The Benefactor turned, to face the child. It held in its hand a small torch, and in the other a stick for walking. The light hit the Benefactor’s face as he turned. The child dropped his stick at this sight. For as the light hit his face, no light shone back. There was no sign of any eyes, of any life.
“M-m-mister?! W-what are ya doing?”
The Benefactor spoke quietly and deliberately, “Looking in. My artwork is no good if I can’t see what others think of it.”
The child took a few steps back. Obviously he was frightened. And if what the Benefactor was sensing here was real, the power level was not enough to be a threat to him. Not even close enough to cause him any harm. But it was still a child. An untouchable.
“W-who are you?” This time fear was clearly evident in the child’s voice. He was no longer shivering from the cold.
The Benefactor dropped to one knee, and fondled for his knife. Upon gripping it, he looked back up, “Me? I’m the one you hear going bump in the night.”
At this, the child dropped his torch and ran off, yelling. The Benefactor took no notice to this, simply standing up straight again. He got off easier than he would have thought. He didn’t even have to show it his knife.
The torch on the ground, in a pile of leaves, suddenly burst in an explosion of light. The child’s screams up ahead grew louder, even as he drew away. It was time to leave. The Benefactor took to the skies, low and sleek, back to his pod. It was laying close to the town, perhaps too close.
He descended and quickly called for the door of his pod to open. Even machinery listened to him. He stood for several seconds, admiring the landscape, even if it was too dark to see much. This really was a good world. Shame Frieza would never know, now…
With that the Benefactor turned back to his pod to leave. At that moment, a creature jumped at him out from the darkness. It was another human. Between its fury of punches, the Benefactor caught a view of its face. Not a child this time.
With that, and that alone, the Benefactor swung the creature off of him. It was like an animal, crazed and irrational. Death would be its only rest now.
The Benefactor rushed back at the creature and stuck his claws out at the last second. Seeing its end, the human tried to stop, but it was too late. His eyes plunged right into the Benefactor’s cold, cold fingers. What came next surprised even the Benefactor. A scream, bloodcurdling and savage, yet also pitiable. If the Benefactor had feelings, he might’ve spared this creature.
If only. With a single motion he snapped the creature’s neck, instantly silencing it. The motion also ripped apart its neck bones, causing the skull and upper neck to fall, roughly, onto the ground.
Voices and light drew nearer to the Benefactor. Quickly, he picked up the head and created a small ball of energy with his other hand. A quick and precise pulse eroded away all the flesh and hair. What remained was a single polished and clean skull. The perfect trophy. With that, he jumped into his pod and took off. Back to Frieza, back to home.
The humans here would remember him at least for a few generations. Decades later, the very last of the witnesses told his tale one final time. His face, wrinkled and worn was lit up by the fire when he began his story. The story which, to this day, remains a tribal favorite in that region. That story of the boy and headless monster. The monster that came at night, to search for a head of his own. The monster who wanted this new head, to just be like everyone else. As the old man finished his story, a young boy popped up, to ask him a question.
“What was the name of the monster?”
And every time, with a crooked smile, the old man answered, “He was the nameless monster. For to this day, no name would suit him.”
- This is the first story to be posted from Dragon Ball: Legacies, though it is not the first to take place, chronologically.
- This story continues the reference to the show Monster that the Benefactor's other story, Outbreak: Paved In Blood, about the Benefactor being the "nameless monster".