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The Long Road is a Dragon Ball fanfic by Drakthul.

A dark AU in which Goku fails to save Gohan from Raditz. The four-year-old is taken to a PTO base and is mentally and physically warped into a bloodthirsty brute who soon gains the moniker "The Butcher of the North." In the transition period between the end of the Cell saga and the beginning of the Buu saga, Gohan returns to his home planet and attempts to conquer it, but proves no match for his father. When Goku realizes whom the attacker is, his decision to spare his son's life sets off a chain of events that will change Gohan's life, and the lives of those around him, forever.

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Currently, it is at 72 chapters and is still ongoing.


This fanfic has examples of:

  • Adapted Out: Majin Buu's capsule is teleported to the World of the Kais by the Supreme Kai and Kibito, ensuring that Buu will not be resurrected. Whether or not he will make an appearance in the future is unknown.
  • Affably Evil: Turles. He seems to genuinely care about Gohan, even giving him a pep-talk alongside Goku when his foster son is struggling against Broly and greeting him in a friendly manner when Gohan shows up in Hell, despite the fact that Gohan was the one who killed him. Later, he rescues Gohan from a Hell vortex.
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Gohan begs for mercy from Goku early on in the story.
    • Raditz pleads for mercy from Gohan after running into him in Hell.
  • All There in the Manual: Most of what happened between Gohan's abduction and the beginning of the story is not explained, or if it is, not very thoroughly. Readers will have to ask Drakthul for details, due to the author's decision to not write a prequel.
  • Anti-Hero: Gohan, post-character development. Even though he has fully embraced his role as one of Earth's defenders, he's still far from nice, his Pet the Dog moments notwithstanding.
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  • Arc Villain: Turles, Broly, and Garlic Jr. so far.
  • Asshole Victim: Raditz, Lord Slug, Paragus, the Makyans, the Saiyan Army, Gohan himself.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Super Saiyan 3 is immensely powerful, but it drains energy at an alarming rate and severely damages the user's body once it wears off.
  • Ax-Crazy: Junia, Brass, and Taro.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Garlic Jr. successfully kills Gohan at the end of Chapter 45... and is subsequently teleported to Hell by Goku in the following chapter, where a fully healed and much more powerful Gohan is his only company. Uh oh...
  • Big Brother Bully: Initially, Gohan is terrified of Goten due to the latter being a Super Saiyan. After becoming more powerful, Gohan becomes this as well as an Aloof Big Brother, calling Goten "brat" and beating him up when annoyed by him. He gets better.
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  • Big Damn Heroes: In Chapter 64, Goku arrives in the nick of time to stop Brass from killing Goten. In the climax of that same chapter, Gohan arrives before Brass can slaughter his opponents and kills him.
  • Black Eyesof Evil: In Chapter 67. Gohan exhibits this as he is energized by nearly everyone in Hell.
  • Can't Catch Up: Vegeta starts to feel like this in Chapter 49, which isn't helped by having mental images of Frieza, Cell, Garlic Jr., and a mysterious woman mocking him for being weaker than Goku and possibly Gohan. In their words, he'll always be second best, "or is it third best now?"
  • Cassandra Truth: 18 refuses to believe her brother when he claims he found a Saiyan girl, namely Pan.
  • Character Development: Over the course of the story, Gohan slowly goes from a cowardly sadist to a sometimes selfless anti-hero.
  • Child by Rape: Pan. Also Taro and Brass.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Gohan's first fight with Goku, Gohan vs. Spopovich, Vegeta vs. The Spice Boys, Gohan's off-screen fights with Pui Pui and Yakon, among others...
    • In Chapter 57, Bojack and his cronies get their asses handed to them by an unimpressed Gohan.
  • Curb Stomp Cushion: Garlic Jr. is completely outclassed by a Super Saiyan 2... but his immortality allows him to weather pretty much anything that a being of such power can throw at him.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Vegeta kills Taro, with Goku and Gohan only managing to weaken him.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Gohan.
    Goku: "Hey Gohan, great news! Me and Goten are going training today, and we wanted to bring you with us! What do you say? Time to get out of the house and stretch."
    Gohan: "You realize my ribs are broken, my right shoulder-blade is snapped, and my face is half swollen because of the beating you gave me. You remember why I'm lying here covered in bandages don't you?"
    [Goku jovially pulls out a Sensu Bean in response.]
    Gohan: "... That green bean sure makes you look like an asshole."
  • Defeat Equals Friendship: After their big fight, Dabura approaches Gohan in hell and is completely affable with him, giving him some sagely advice on how to redeem himself and even thanking him for said fight. It's debatable whether it really counts as "friendship," but it's start... Sort of.
  • Dirty Coward: Gohan was initially this, cowering before anyone more powerful than him. Goku even distastefully noted that Gohan was only acting tough around him because he believed that Goku wouldn't kill him. He got better, though.
    • Raditz to a T.
    • Babidi as well, naturally.
  • Driven to Suicide: Videl attempts this. Gohan stops her.
  • Enemy Mine: Towa and Mira show up in the story's timeline in Chapter 50 and offer to help the Z-fighters defeat the alternate Saiyans.
    • As of Chapter 54, Abaddon has no choice but to assist the Z-fighters, much to his chagrin.
    • In Chapter 67, Turles convinces all of the villains to lend their power to Gohan in order to help him defeat Taro.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Chi-Chi is, initially, the only person towards whom Gohan shows any sympathy. While he starts developing a bond with other characters, she is the person he cares about the most.
    • It gets to the point of where he chooses to save the Earth, and by extension her, rather than rejoin Turles and help him conquer it, despite having wanted to return to his mentor's side and heaping nothing but praise upon him up to that point.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: King Cold seems to care about his sons. When Gohan reveals that Cooler is still alive and thriving, Cold actually backs down from fighting him alongside several other villains because he wishes to ask about Cooler after the fight just in case Gohan wins.
    • Brass deeply loves his world's version of Chi-Chi, and is deeply haunted by the death of that world's Gohan.
  • Evil Gloating: All of the villains partake in this. It never ends well for them.
    • Averted with Brass, who rarely brags, though he does like to toy with his adversaries unless they manage to piss him off.
  • A Fate Worse Than Death: Garlic Jr. has this trope forced upon him twice: first by being trapped in the Dead Zone for over a decade, then being teleported to Hell, where he faces unending torture at Gohan's hands.
  • A God Am I: Garlic Jr. fancies himself as a god, and refuses to shut up about it.
  • Godzilla Threshold: It takes a Spirit Bomb from Goku and Gohan getting a power boost from ALL OF THE DENIZENS OF HELL just to weaken Taro enough (namely, freeing all the souls of the alternate versions of Trunks he consumed) for Vegeta to finish him off.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Raditz. His successful abduction of Gohan is the story's premise.
  • Jerkass with a Heart of Gold: Gohan slowly develops into this as the story progresses.
  • Kick the Dog: When Gohan reunites with his family at the World Martial Arts Tournament, he happily embraces his mother and even greets his little brother. When Goku tries to join in the familial bonding, Gohan gives him a cruel grin and subtly declares that the only reason he hasn't returned home is because Goku is still living there, leaving the older Saiyan shocked and grief-stricken.
    • Gohan's bullying of Goten is definitely an example, too.
    • Turles blasting King Cold out of impatience. At first glance, this may seem like an example of Kick the Son of a Bitch since King Cold is Frieza's and Cooler's father, but it should be kept in mind that King Cold had kept his promise not to attack Gohan, was being completely diplomatic at the moment, and only wanted to know how his still-living son was doing.
  • Moral Myopia: While Spopovich's No-Holds-Barred Beatdown of Videl is exceptionally brutal, it should be kept in mind that, had it not been for Babidi's magic, Videl would have killed him.
    • On the flip-side, his retaliation was motivated more by sadism and spite against her father, and it's debatable whether or not she was trying to kill him.
  • Never My Fault: Garlic Jr. blames Abbadon for his current predicament, ignoring the fact that it was actually his own fault and that Abbadon's refusal to help him is motivated by his decision to betray the Kai for no real reason.
  • Oh, Crap!: Spopovich and Yamu practically shit themselves when they are confronted by an extremely pissed off Gohan.
    • Garlic Jr. has this expression when he realizes that Goku has ascended to Super Saiyan 2, and gets it again after being teleported to Hell and left to be tortured by Gohan. He has another one when Turles transforms into a Super Saiyan 3.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Junia, Brass, and Taro. ESPECIALLY Taro.
  • Papa Wolf: Gohan towards Pan. Videl even begrudgingly admits that, despite hating Gohan for raping her, she can at least depend on him to keep their daughter safe.
  • Pet the Dog: Gohan's genuine sympathy for his mother is his first example of this. He also does a number of other decent things as well, such as giving a little girl enough money to finance a class field trip to Capsule Corp., giving his parents money to pay their taxes, and generally being a decent father to Pan.
    • Pan gives half a senzu bean to a badly wounded wolf, despite the fact that it tried to kill her the previous night.
    • Paragus seems to genuinely care more about Broly. Broly, in turn, seems more amicable towards him when they reunited in hell due to their mutual hatred for Gohan.
    • In Chapter 61, Gohan meets Dabura in hell, and rather than fight him, the Demon king thanks Gohan for indirectly breaking Babidi's control over him, and even encourages him to pull a true Heel–Face Turn once he gets out of hell. Gohan is so surprised that he is briefly rendered speechless.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Cooler. Unlike his brother and father, he actually trains to keep his powers and skills at peak condition and encourages his minions to do the same, though if they get too cocky and could pose a threat he simply sends them on suicide missions. He also doesn't needlessly execute his minions, and seems to possess enough charisma to make them follow him out of genuine loyalty.
  • Rape, Pillage, and Burn: Gohan would often engage in this during his rampage across the North Quadrant.
  • Reality Ensues: Goku is forced to go job-hunting midway through the story since his tournament winnings are starting to run dry.
    • When Goku and Trunks begin training to prepare for the arrival of Junia and her comrades, Vegeta points out that the trio have fought countless other versions of the Z-fighters, and thus would be able to anticipate practically anything they might do. Thus, the Z-fighters are forced to heavily modify their fighting styles. This culminates in Goku getting some combat training from his canon self.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: In Chapter 60, after Turles asks why Gohan won't "give [him] a second chance," Gohan points out that Turles already had a second chance when he was presumed dead after his fight with Lord Slug, but instead of doing anything productive, he went right back to pillaging.
  • Redemption Rejection: Even when he has Brass at his mercy, Gohan offers to spare his life and give him a chance to redeem himself. Brass refuses, and is promptly killed.
  • Revenge by Proxy: Gohan hates all Nameks since Turles was killed by Lord Slug. Turns out he survived. He does form a friendship with Piccolo, though.
  • Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: When Garlic Jr. finds himself in a sticky situation thanks to his own arrogance and carelessness, Abaddon, despite being capable of bailing him out, decides to leave him to his well-deserved fate for both betraying him and for not listening to his advice.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Gohan delivers this response in his battles against Broly, Garlic Jr., and Taro.
    Taro: "I make the most fantastical obstacles to overcome. A being of raw power and rage. A being I essentially created by simply leaving waves in my path. The beginning and the end-"
    Gohan: "Would you stop gloating and just fight? You have no idea how hard it is to listen to you. You and Garlic, I swear your secret weapon is making me want to kill myself instead of listening to you."
  • Smug Snake: Babidi is even more arrogant, cowardly, and conceited than he's portrayed in canon, which is saying something.
    • Garlic Jr. is an admittedly high-functioning one, learning from several of his past mistakes. However, his extreme arrogance and sadism, coupled with the fact that he's something of a one-trick pony (though to be fair, said trick is actually a pretty good one), keep him from becoming a Magnificent Bastard.
    • Gohan was basically Raditz in all but name when he returned to Earth at the beginning of the story, behaving like an arrogant, cowardly bully. He shakes it off eventually, though.
    • Bojack severely underestimates Gohan, is completely unaware that the latter has achieved Super Saiyan 2—a form that, as the movie showed, Bojack and his cronies are utterly helpless against—in addition to possessing a ruthless sadism that Goku lacks, and is reduced to impotent cursing when he is effortlessly overpowered by the unimpressed Saiyan.
  • So Proud of You: After Gohan defeats and fatally wounds Turles, the latter uses the last of his strength to congratulate his protege on becoming so powerful, all while Gohan, in a rare moment of open grief, desperately tries to find a way to save him. He's completely sincere about it, too.
  • Take a Third Option: In chapter 50, an injured Pan has to seemingly choose between eating the senzu bean Gohan gave her or give it to a dying wolf. After thinking it over, she decides to split it in half, which doesn't diminish the healing ability of the bean at all, saving them both.
  • This Cannot Be!: Garlic Jr. says this, almost word for word, when he realizes that Goku has trapped him in Hell, with only a vengeful Gohan to keep him company.
  • Title Drop: Dabura pulls this at the end of Chapter 61, specifically when he's encouraging Gohan to find a way to avoid coming back to hell.
    Dabura: "The road is long, but there is eventually an end to it. You will need to be on the journey long enough to find its end."
  • Took a Level in Badass: By the time he has come to Earth, Turles has become a Super Saiyan and a Super Saiyan 2. By chapter 57 he's ascended to Super Saiyan 3!
  • Unskilled, but Strong: Gohan to a degree. While he has gotten more skilled as the story progresses, Drakthul said in an Author's Note that, in a straight-up fight, he would still lose to the slightly weaker Goku because the latter is ultimately a better warrior.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Gohan erupts like a volcano when Spopovich and Yamu attack Goku and drain him of his energy. He proceeds to march out of the waiting room, blast the Supreme Kai when the latter tries to stop him, backhand Piccolo away, chase after the duo, and utterly butcher them.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Abaddon urges Garlic Jr. to avert this trope. He doesn't, and suffers the consequences.
  • You Killed My Father: Broly succeeds in killing Goku, and becomes noticeably enraged when Gohan reveals that he killed Paragus.
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