• Published 12th Apr 2016
  • 14,952 Views, 12,558 Comments

Three More Things! - Tatsurou

Uncle Chan tries to balance running an antique shop, fighting demons, and being a Chi Wizard with being a loving Uncle to his nephew, his somewhat removed niece...and three little ponies who drive him straight up the wall.

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Armor Up

Jackie and Viper carefully made their way up the hill towards the ancient pagoda that was their destination. Uncle's research had suggested that a particular artifact there - the Armor of the Immortals - would be quite useful in dealing with the physically stronger demons they would have to face. Hsi Wu had confirmed that the artifact had powerful magic embedded into the metal, but would say no more about it than that since he wouldn't be able to visit the pagoda in question. Jade had been flat out forbidden from accompanying Jackie and Viper on this trip, and since Hsi Wu couldn't carry the armor - long term contact would result in the good magic embedded within striking out at him - he couldn't be sent to retrieve it himself. As such, he remained bound to the city.

As it was more an archaeological expedition than anything else, both Jackie and Viper were dressed for the journey. Jackie was dressed in a long sleeve shirt, a short-sleeve jacket with plenty of pockets, heavy duty cargo pants, and thick hiking boots. While Viper had copied him as far as the jacket and boots, she'd chosen a tight-fitting khaki blouse and shorts that left her arms and legs bare, for better flexibility she claimed. Jackie was not about to complain, though.

As they walked up, Viper glanced back over her shoulder. "Say Jackie, why did you insist I climb ahead of you?" she asked curiously.

"You have exceptional thief skills," Jackie began, "but that applies to cities mostly. Natural terrain out here requires a completely different skill set, which I excel at as an archaeologist." He smiled disarmingly. "If you slip and start to fall, better I'm behind you to catch you before you fall too far or get hurt."

Viper raised an eyebrow. "And the fact you get to stare at my...fanny pack the entire way there has nothing to do with it?" she asked teasingly.

Jackie felt himself starting to get flustered. On the one hand, he still wasn't used to how blatantly flirtatious Viper could get with him at the drop of a hat. On the other, he had started to accept that it was okay for him to be thinking such thoughts about her...especially when, as his 'Dark' self had posited, she had been flattered and pleased that 'naughty' thoughts about her had helped him maintain his humanity when he'd contracted the chupacabra curse. In point of fact, her response had been 'I'll have to give you more to think about in the future then, won't I? Just in case.'

With all this in mind, he decided it was time to turn things around on her, just to see how she reacted. "It's certainly not a hardship," he offered playfully.

Viper grinned widely. "About time you started flirting back," she offered wickedly. "I was beginning to think I'd have to climb into bed with you to get my point across."

"WAAAUGH!" Jackie gasped, leaping back to pat his heart as his brain all too eagerly conjured up such a mental image. "Viper! Think about what that sort of behavior is teaching Jade!"

"Hsi's got centuries of experience to teach her such things once she's old enough," Viper countered calmly. "If anything, it's evening the playing field."

Jackie groaned, burying his face in his hands. "Don't bring that-"

"Hang on a second," Viper interrupted as she pulled out her buzzing phone. Glancing at the caller ID, she happily answered. "Hey Jade, what's up? ...whatever you say, girl. Look, we're almost at the pagoda. Talk when we get home, bye." She hung up.

"...she called up just to say 'he's not my boyfriend'?" Jackie asked in surprise. "How did she even know?"

"We women have our ways," Viper replied mysteriously as she continued to climb, now deliberately lengthening her stride to show off the tone of her legs and...fanny pack.

Rolling his eyes, Jackie followed happily as he decided to simply enjoy the view.

Before long, they entered the crumbling Pagoda. Directly across from the ancient doors they slowly pushed open was a blue armor suit reminiscent in design of samurai armor, somewhat. It was a bright blue, with various symbols and designs etched into the metal in gold. Jackie's eyes went wide as he recognized the symbols. "That's the design the girls put on me to fight Shendu!" he gasped in shock. "But...there's more of them."

"Then it probably serves a similar purpose," Viper murmured as she slipped a small sphere out of her pocket and tossed it forward, letting it bounce until it reached the exact center of the room. It then popped open before spraying a faint green mist around the room until it coated the entire thing.

Jackie took a sniff, then covered his eyes as they began to water. "Onion powder?" he demanded in shock.

"A contact listed it as Shadow Kahn repellent," Viper explained, "so I mixed it in with my usual anti-Dark Magic mist ball, just in case Valmont had access to them and had been waiting for an opportune time to drop them on us...like in a confined space with structural integrity issues when we're improperly equipped for and not expecting such a conflict."

Jackie frowned as he walked over to collect the armor. "Good point. Let's get this out of here."

Jackie and Viper were able to get the Armor back to San Francisco without incident, setting it up in the shop until morning since everyone was asleep. Jade, the CMC, and Hsi Wu were the first to wake up, coming downstairs and staring at the armor. "So they actually managed to find it," Hsi murmured thoughtfully. "It should prove useful for dealing with any of my siblings who refuse to live peacefully in the new world..." He sighed sadly. "Which, unfortunately, is all but my little sister. As far as Bai is concerned, she has her kingdom with Valmont...but the others still want their kingdoms. This is not going to be an easy conflict."

"So what magic does it have?" Jade asked curiously, not wanting to focus on the maudlin thoughts. "I see the runes we put on Jackie for the Chi Armor spell..."

"It enhances the physical capabilities of the wearer to put them on an equal footing with the stronger Demons in terms of strength, speed, evasion, and durability," Hsi explained. "Once activated, that is."

"And how is it activated?" Scootaloo asked curiously.

"By wearing it in the presence of the Demon Sorcerers," Hsi continued. "Course, it has to judge you worthy first."

"And how does it do that?" Sweetie pressed.

"It was forged by Zhao Guo Lao, the Immortal that sealed my sister Po Kong," Hsi Wu replied. "He had a demon familiar who was a Demon of Battle, and when he saw the threat our Brotherhood presented to the world as it was, she volunteered to be bound into the armor to forever serve as shield and sword to those worthy of her Master's legacy." He smirked softly. "If she judges the wearer worthy, the armor contracts into a skin-tight suit that grants the abilities I mentioned. If she judges them unworthy, the armor eats them." He noticed the girls staring at him. "What? Is it that surprising that there are demons that eat human flesh? You've all studied mythology. There are gods that consumed human flesh."

"But...how could one be the familiar of one o' the Immortals?" Apple Bloom asked nervously.

"Before meeting him, she'd made her way as a Sin Eater," Hsi explained. "She'd excise diseased or cursed flesh from humans and devour it, giving some of the magic that provided her back to heal the damage. She would also eat criminals who'd been recently put to death, to purge the dark intent from the settlement. She became Zhao's familiar when they met and she challenged him to a battle. Winner decides the loser's fate. He won."

"So like what happened with us?" Jade asked, surprised.

"The arrangement we have is hardly new," Hsi confirmed. "Now what's for breakfast?"

"Not me!" Jade insisted quickly, causing several giggles.

"Not fer at least another seven years!" Apple Bloom joked, spawning more laughter.

"He's not my boyfriend!" Jade insisted angrily.

Author's Note:

Level Dasher commissioned an image of the CMC with their new Cutie Marks from Katakiuchi4U over on Deviantart.


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