• Published 12th Apr 2016
  • 14,953 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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Lucky Number Seven

Author's Note:

Episodes in the timeline I'm skipping over and why.

Danger in the Deep Freeze - as demonstrated with the Muntabs, ancient cultures in this world of magic can pretty much take care of themselves.
Into the Mouth of Evil - magical security at airports would make it impossible to sneak the river draining relic through
The King and Jade - magical guardians for young Kings/Princes would know bored/depressed young Royals in a fascinating new place is asking for trouble. This would thus be addressed before it became one, by ensuring young royals had time in their schedule so they did not become bored/depressed.

And so, on to the next in this timeline.

Valmont stared at the image displayed by the Pan'ku Box against the wall of his office. The portal was marked as being in Japan, as expected. "Follow that which runs but never walks," he began softly as he read the riddle, "to the mouth that never talks. Did you get that, Ratso?"

"Got it written down, boss," Ratso confirmed. "Also got the rough coordinates too."

"I do not understand the sudden need for urgency," Shendu hissed angrily from Valmont's mouth. "Up until now you've been content to take your time releasing my brethren, but suddenly you want to release Po Kong immediately. Why?"

"Several reasons," Valmont responded easily, "both professional and personal."

"That does not answer my question," Shendu hissed angrily.

"And if I cared for your opinion, I might answer your question," Valmont pointed out dryly. "But as I don't..."

"I admit to my own curiosity," Bai Tza spoke up as Shendu snarled imprecations under his breath. "Why the sudden rush?"

"Personally, because my parents are coming to visit soon, and if I intend to introduce them to the love of my life, I don't want a third wheel involved," Valmont responded readily, setting Bai to blushing brightly. "Professionally, I leave it to my associate to explain." He gestured to Dao Long Wong where he sat in the lotus position, staff across his lap.

"The locations of your portals are a matter of record for the Veil Authority," Dao Long Wong explained simply. "And the magical balance of the portals is distinctly different when they've been recently opened, or when the demon they are meant to contain is not inside. The spectacles of Tchang Zu and Dai Gui may have allayed the Chans suspicions, but your presence has made them aware that there is at least one demon running loose. It's only a matter of time before the bureaucracy gets its act in gear and sends someone to check the balance of the portals unaccounted for...which would lead to an insane level of guard at Po Kong's portal."

"And even if they don't arrange for blatant guards, I wouldn't put it past the Veil Authority to arrange to have the Chans in the area for seemingly unrelated reasons," Valmont added. "Or to officially send them, for that matter. We don't have time to wait anymore. We have to act now...just as soon as we know exactly where we're going-"

"Thanks Rocko!" Ratso said into his phone. "Love ya bunches. Try to behave for your folks, okay? Bye!" As he hung up, he turned to Valmont. "The rhyme sounded like a little kid's riddle, so I asked my nephew to try and solve it. It's talking about a river...specifically the Sumia River, based on the coordinates. We go to the mouth of that river, we find the portal!"

"How certain are you that his answer is reliable?" Valmont asked curiously.

"We can be sure of it," Ratso offered confidently. "Rocko's a bit slow in some things, bit of a goofball like me, but he's a genius when it comes ta riddles!"

Valmont nodded, taking Ratso's word for it. "Then we're heading for Tokyo, Japan," he stated firmly. "But if we're this worried about getting spotted or caught, we shouldn't take normal transportation. And it is at the mouth of a river..." He smiled warmly at Bai Tza.

Bai grinned back. "I wondered when you'd enjoy my services again outside the bedroom," she offered teasingly and happily. "It's been some time since I swam those waters. I wonder how much things have changed?"

"A tour of the world's shrines?" Jade demanded in stunned disbelief. "Why in the world would I want to go on a tour of the world's shrines? Especially..." She took a closer look at the parchment. "The lesser known ones?"

"For the development of your magic," Hsi Wu offered as he looked the paper over. "You have a great deal of magic potential, but it's largely unfocused. While you're being trained, a pilgrimage to places of power is a traditional part of magical training once you reach a certain level of mastery."

"Well why does it have to be the lesser known shrines?" Jade demanded angrily. "I mean, the one where Dai Gui's portal was was pretty well known, and looked really grand!"

"Thank you," Sofia offered happily from the table where everyone else was eating. "My sisters and I worked hard to keep it that way."

"Why can't I go somewhere awesome like that for my pilgrimage?" Jade continued ranting. "Like the pyramids, or Stonehenge?"

"Oh, those are on here," Hsi Wu pointed out logically. "But pretty low down the list."

"Why?" Jade whined despairingly.

"Stability," Hsi Wu explained. "The Pyramids and Stonehenge both have incredibly potent magic focused into them - even if no one's entirely sure what the magic in Stonehenge is for-"

"Wait, you don't know?" Jade gasped in surprise.

"Stonehenge was ancient when Tso Lan, the oldest of my siblings, was born from the Moon's dark side," Hsi Wu explained softly. "It's rumored even the Jade Council isn't entirely sure of its purpose...though no one's dared to ask them that."

"Think we should ask Santa about it?" Scootaloo whispered to Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle. "Christmas is coming up soon..."

"We've never asked fer anythang selfish from Santa," Apple Bloom pointed out.

"Well, nothing selfish for ourselves," Sweetie Belle corrected pointedly.

"Ah don't think we should start now," Apple Bloom continued. "He's always really happy ta see us, after all."

"Anyway," Hsi Wu continued, "exposing you to that much ancient magic before your magical aura is fully stabilized could cause you to be overwhelmed by the power, which could do you great harm." He tapped the sheet. "That's why the World Magi Council sent you this all expense paid world tour of shrines and other places of potent magic, and laid out the itinerary the way they did...and why it's just the five of us going: you, your familiar, and your teachers."

As Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle, and Scootaloo began to bounce with excitement, Jade sighed sadly. "So...some nowhere shrine at the mouth of a river in Tokyo is our first stop?" she asked morosely.

"Look on the bright side," Hsi Wu offered. "There's plenty of time in our itinerary for sightseeing, and there's a gaming convention in town."

Jade's eyes lit up as she grinned widely at that notion.

"Have fun on your honeymoon trip with your boyfriend, Jade," Viper called out, making Jackie choke on his food.

"He's not my boyfriend!" Jade called out angrily.

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