The Notorious Mercenary (きた!世界一の殺し屋 “桃白白”, Kita! Sekaiichi no Koroshiya "Taopaipai"; lit. "He is Here! The World's Greatest Hitman, "Tao Pai-pai") is the second episode of the Commander Red Saga and the fifty-ninth episode in the Dragon Ball series. The episode first aired on April 22, 1987.
While Commander Red talks with the infamous Mercenary Tao, General Blue returns to Red Ribbon Army Headquarters stating he has returned for duty. Commander Red, furious over General Blue's recent failures, then demands to know how Blue managed to consider returning. Blue, misinterpreting the question to mean how he literally managed to return, attempted to explain that it was a hassle that involved stealing a plane and then a car, but then was cut off by his irate commanding officer, who elaborated that Blue should not have returned especially considering that he failed to get the Dragon Ball from Goku. Blue attempted to explain that Goku was tricky, but Red would hear none of it. Blue then explains that, despite not actually ending Goku or even getting the Dragon Balls, he still managed to steal his radar before unveiling it, and explaining its properties of easily honing in on the Dragon Balls and it being extremely accurate. Black expresses surprise at its small size, and Blue adds that he could use it to find the Dragon Balls in no time. Red, however, is unmoved, stating that while he'll acknowledge that Blue had a good find in the radar, he still failed the specific objective of retrieving the dragon balls themselves, and thus he is considering following the policy of those who fail facing "severe consequences". Blue, out of horror and despair, then proceeds to break down and drop the Dragon Radar. Red then states that, due to Blue's value to them in the past, he's might spare him under one condition: He has to beat Mercenary Tao in battle. Blue eagerly accepts the proposition. Meanwhile, on the Sacred Land of Korin, Goku learns about the Korin Tower from Bora and the strength enhancing water at the top.
General Blue then exchanges words with the infamous assassin Tao. Tao then sarcastically asks if Blue wants his autograph, with Blue commenting that Tao is "amusing" before declaring he'll put an end to his arrogance. Tao then tells Red that he expects a fee for this battle as well, as he doesn't work for free. Red then tells them to get on with it. Blue then tells Tao he should bring out a weapon just in case, though Tao claims he won't even need his limbs, let alone a weapon, to kill Blue, and will just use his tongue, with Blue expressing doubts about it before Black tells them to begin their fight. Blue, while laughing, then proceeds to go on the offensive against Tao. However, Tao not only manages to dodge every move, but then proceeds to move in behind Blue, startling the latter. Blue then acknowledges he has some skill before asking if he can handle the next attack before proceeding to use his special ability. He then asks how he likes being paralyzed while laughing. However, Tao cracks his own neck before casually asking what that was all about, much to Blue's horror and Black and Red's shock. Blue then recklessly attempts to hit Tao with everything he has, clearly panicking, before Tao proceeded to, just as he earlier claimed, kill Blue just with his tongue on his temple before stating that the problem's "licked". Black and Red then express shock at how effortlessly Tao killed Blue with only a single strike, with Black commenting that he definitely lived up to his reputation, before Tao states that now that he's had his fun, Red should show him the actual target that he was hired for so he could get to work. After learning about Goku and the Dragon Balls, Mercenary Tao sets out to Korin. Goku expresses eagerness to climb the tower just before Mercenary Tao arrives. As Tao introduces himself to Goku, Bora then tells Tao off for nearly hitting them, with Tao non-chalantly stating that hitting them was the idea, identifying himself as a hitman, and explains to Goku that he was sent by the Red Ribbon Army to "tie up loose ends"–namely, kill Goku. Bora fights him, but Mercenary Tao kills him mercilessly. Angered, Goku leaps into a fierce battle against the deadliest assassin in the world.