• Published 12th Apr 2016
  • 15,168 Views, 12,616 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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Bright Future

The ancient temple stood tall and proud at the mouth of the river, the walls surrounding it showing strength through the ages even as the building itself stood strong, testament to the care it had been given since its construction. It remained impassive as the river waters stirred, even as a sphere of water lifted up out of the river to roll to the walls before coming to a halt and unraveling.

Bai Tza breathed a sigh of relief as she reabsorbed her magic. While it was simple enough magic and was constantly refreshed while within her element, maintaining it for the entire trip across the Pacific Ocean had been taxing on her mentally. It would have been easier and faster to convert everyone within the sphere into water and absorb them into her body before releasing them here...but she would not do that with anyone but Valmont, even if the Pan'ku Box in Ratso's hands hadn't precluded the option.

Before she could stagger a millimeter, Valmont was at her side subtly steadying her, leaving no sign of any actual weakness on her part for Ratso or Daolong Wong to see. She shot him a brief, grateful smile as the group approached the temple. "For a minor shrine, this place looks well cared for," Valmont observed idly.

"Because it is known to house the Portal of Po Kong," Daolong Wong hissed out softly. "The people of Japan have long been considerate of their ancient magics. Even the minor kami are properly enshrined...like the one we encountered in the river." He glanced towards Bai Tza. "She did not seem to like seeing you. Are you certain she won't interfere?"

"She can't," Bai Tza explained simply. "We weren't using the river for an unintended purpose - no different than snorkeling - we weren't polluting or damaging the river, and I have ample reason to approach the temple since it's my sister's gate. As long as none of us attacked the kami - which we did not - she had no grounds to deny us passage or even file an accelerated report. Short of some government group having come up with some viable excuse to have the Chans or some subset of them here for unrelated reasons, we'll have my sister free with none the wiser."

"Does that mean we're going to miss the gaming convention?" Jade complained from the top of the outer wall where she sat beside Hsi Wu in his human form and her three equine cousins. "I was really looking forward to it. We even picked out cosplay!"

As Daolong Wong tensed for battle, Valmont spoke up smoothly. "Well that sounds quite fun, children," he offered warmly. "Now, I am contractually obligated to free Po Kong, not to mention I'm pretty sure she wants to attend the wedding so I expect her to be cooperative to a certain degree. If she promises to behave herself, surely you would be willing to let her stay free unless and until she misbehaves?"

"Ah see no problem wit' that," Apple Bloom observed idly.

"Long as we get invited to the wedding!" Sweetie Belle added eagerly.

"And not have the most adorable flower girls imaginable?" Bai Tza cooed playfully.

"Course, we do have the banishment spell prepped just in case she doesn't want to behave," Scootaloo pointed out. "And there's even a giant drum in there just waiting to be used as the symbol for the spell."

"Fair enough, fair enough," Valmont allowed. "Shall we go in and set her free then? To see what happens?"

Hsi Wu gently scooped up the four girls before leaping down into the temple grounds. Valmont led Bai Tza, Daolong Wong, and Ratso in as well. As they moved, Bai Tza spoke up. "Dear, I know my sister wants to attend the wedding...but I'm also certain she wants her kingdom-"

"Still working on that one," Valmont interrupted softly. "I managed to come up with alternatives for five of you, but Po Kong and Xiao Fung still have me stumped, I admit."

"A...alternatives?" Bai Tza asked curiously.

"To helping you conquer the world," Valmont explained. "After spending time with you, I got the feeling that wasn't actually of interest to you, and was more out of getting your own piece so your siblings didn't walk all over you. So I thought the best way to deal with that was to find ways to give each of you a kingdom to your satisfaction without having to conquer the world. If I could pull that off, then I'd be meeting all my obligations wouldn't I?"

Bai Tza chuckled softly. "And what did you have in mind for me?" she asked curiously.

"Raising and restoring Atlantis from its sunken depths," Valmont replied readily. "With proper enchantments to protect it from inclement weather, it would draw top of the line prices for rental and vacation properties, giving you more 'tribute' than could fit in the palace there, which we could convert into a summer home while we ran my enterprises together the rest of the year."

"That...that sounds lovely," Bai Tza murmured softly, seeing the image thus described in her mind's eye. "Though Tso Lan wants to use the moon to reshape Earth..."

"Which means his magic works outside the planet's energy fields," Valmont pointed out. "He wants a planet to rule and populace to rule over? He could go to NASA and make a deal for full control of Mars in exchange for getting the colonies there intact. He'd be amazed how many people would jump at that deal."

Bai Tza blinked in surprise. His own planet to rule with eagerly devoted citizenry...that would certainly be enough temptation to make the Moon Demon give up claim to any part of Earth. "And you mentioned making Dai Gui a religious figure in the minotaur homeland," she observed idly. "And what of Tchang Zu?"

"Why do you think I made his release into a movie?" Valmont asked idly. "I was planning to make him a movie star. He could act as contrary and eccentric as he wanted and people would still love him, and fanatical fans would make ideal worshipers. And Hollywood pays top dollar for movie personnel with actual magical capabilities. A genuine demon sorcerer willing to star in movies could pick and choose his roles...not to mention the savings in special effects budgets."

"Fame, fortune, and worshipers in exchange for hamming it up as an arrogant ass?" Bai asked teasingly. "Pity he didn't listen to you about running away. That's right up his alley."

"The only question left is Xiao Fung and Po Kong," Valmont allowed. "Xiao because I can't quite get a grip on what he actually wants-"

"His element is wind," Hsi Wu pointed out. "His desires and mood change just as quickly. He wants his own piece of the world, but if this plan of yours actually worked out, he'd probably be satisfied being a trusted lieutenant in your own enterprises. Why do you think his chosen human form makes him look the part?"

Valmont chuckled thoughtfully. "Good to know. For you I actually planned to just introduce you to the internet before Jade snatched you up. I figured you'd have the kingdom of competitive gaming as your dominion before the month was out with how much you enjoy being challenged." He grinned as that set Hsi to laughing. "And that just leaves Po Kong," he observed as Ratso used the Box to open the massive portal. "Between her not being able to assume a human form and what little I know of her, I'm not sure what kingdom I could offer her."

"No rush," Po Kong's voice echoed as she stepped out of her portal. The massive green Mountain Demon was easily the size of a mountain, towering over the temple itself as she settled into place in the courtyard. "As long as I get a good meal before the wedding and you don't hold it too far away, I can be patient." She took a deep breath and let it out. "Earth air...it's been so long since I breathed it."

"So..." Jade began carefully, "you're agreeing to just sit here and wait until Valmont comes up with something after the wedding-"

"And the honeymoon?" Hsi spoke up teasingly, earning him a punch on the arm.

"-in exchange for being well fed?" Jade finished, surprised.

"Child, do you know how long it's been since I had a decent meal?" Po Kong pointed out crossly. "The mountains have forgotten. That's how long it's been."

"I'll see to it you're properly fed," Valmont agreed readily. "I happen to have a good supply of the mutant grubs that are a demon delicacy, and can have two tons here before the end of the week, more in regular intervals once a steady supply is established."

Po Kong chuckled softly as she sat down. "Well, one certainly can't fault you as a host, Valmont..."

"So our business here is concluded, then?" Daolong Wong spoke up curiously.

"That would be the case," Valmont agreed. "And I think we can all take the time to visit that gaming convention." He turned to Jade and the others. "Even if your guardians don't like me, I'm sure they'd be more comfortable if you have human adult supervision at a convention in another country."

"May I be excused from that?" Wong asked in a raspy tone as the girls giggled. "Such crowds are not to my preference...and I have other business here."

"Of course, Daolong Wong," Valmont agreed. "But pray tell, what business?"

Smirking, Wong slipped the demon skull helm onto his head. "Harvesting rare magical ingredients," he growled out. With no more warning than that, he sent a blast of dark magic straight at the fillies.

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