• 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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New Future, part 1

Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle, and Scootaloo groaned as they slowly awoke in the chamber of the Book of Ages. The room seemed completely unchanged before the blast of light at first glance, but two things quickly showed that this was not so. First off, the Book seemed to be crackling with potential magical energy, as though something hadn't already happened yet. The second was that everything beyond the chamber had an odd duality to it. In addition to seeing the world around them, there was also a blank white void resulting in the world seeming not quite real. Only the chamber itself lacked the void, and thus felt real.

As they managed to get their heads straight, the three fillies realized they were the only ones in the chamber. "What the hay happened?" Apple Bloom demanded in confusion, making her way over to the others. "One second we were tryin' ta stop Valmont from changin' the Book, the next..."

"The next we're all alone here," Scootaloo continued, "with that weird magic surrounding the Book."

"I can't tell what the purpose of the magic is," Sweetie Belle began, "but I can tell something we can do with it."

"Oh?" Scootaloo asked curiously.

"The Book's been changed," Sweetie Belle pointed out. "I...I think we can use the energy around it to find out how...like a scrying spell."

"How do we do that?" Apple Bloom asked worriedly. "I'm worried about Uncle Jackie-"

The light flared, and a window opened up. Through the window of magic, they could see China far below them...only for it to slowly grow closer. They could see towering structures, large lands of shadow...and a thriving populace of humans and others endlessly building and working away at something they couldn't quite understand.

"...anyone else reminded of Samurai Jack?" Sweetie Belle asked curiously. "I'm getting 'Aku Empire vibes...what with the flying cars and all those giant crystals."

"And...that's Shendu's palace," Scootaloo said as the view zoomed in on the structure, raised high to tower over civilization. "I'm almost afraid to see what's inside..."

Inside the palace, Shendu stared at endless sheaves of reports that detailed the progress in every inch of his empire. As he always did, he found himself brooding. He didn't like the present state of affairs, but he didn't exactly have a choice. The minority of three was always outvoted amongst the Brotherhood, and they all knew what would happen if the Will of the Group was defied too strenuously. It had been pointed out plenty of times, there were more than enough Demon Overlords for all available land.

As he brooded over this, he saw the golden light appear before him, and he straightened with a growl. "Not even a message to let me know you are coming...brother?" he spat irritably, his few attendants removing themselves.

The light focused inward until it took the shape of Valmont, his human form garbed in a suit of gold, the horned crown of thorns hovering over his head like a twisted halo. "Because I'd arrive long before any message arrived, you know that," he countered urbanely. "Now where are your manners?"

Shendu snarled aggressively as he stood up. "You dare talk that way to me in my own kingdom-"

Before Shendu could react, all the light vanished from the chamber except Valmont himself, who glowed from within. Something struck him in the back of the knees and sent him to his back. The point of an edgeless blade stopped at his throat. "Show proper respect for the Golden One," an angry voice growled.

Valmont frowned and snapped his fingers. The light slowly returned to the area as a figure at Shendu's feet drew the darkness back into herself, revealing the familiar figure of Viper...demonically enhanced to appear somewhat serpentine. Standing on Shendu's chest was Jackie...but his hair was long, spiky, and golden and he was garbed only in a golden karate gi with the hanzi for Light over his heart and that for Demon upon his back. Balance Breaker was held to Shendu's throat.

Shendu sputtered in surprise and fear. "You...you brought the Serpent and the Monkey?"

"What sort of fool, however powerful, would not go everywhere without his elite bodyguards?" Valmont asked playfully. "Oh, I forgot who I was talking to."

Shendu's teeth bared, but he said nothing.

"Are your people on schedule?" Valmont asked flatly.

"Everything progresses as it should," Shendu growled in frustration as Jackie clambered off his chest. He slowly sat up. "I've just finished going over the reports."

"Good," Valmont observed dryly. "We'll take a look on our way out."

"What's so important about the blasted thing, anyway?" Shendu snarled irritably. "The resources that go to these 'projects' of yours could be better placed in tribute!"

Valmont raised one eyebrow. "...do I need to go over your books, Shendu?" he asked benignly.

Shendu seemed to pale. "There is no need," he offered hastily.

"There had better not be..."

Valmont stared up at the massive structure, to mortal eyes looking like a cross between a Dyson sphere and a spider web. But his eyes could see far beyond mortal and he could read the nature of the structure quite plainly as it extended into the fourth, fifth, and sixth dimensions. Man had made weapons that could kill gods. A mundane had found a way to kill an Elder. The Jade Council thought humanity unrestrained was the only defense against the return of the Old Ones. Valmont had seen that humanity guided could do far better. He stared at one of many structures known only as Ancient Traps. Once completed, they would be the defense the Jade Council wanted against the Old Ones. The moment an incursion began, the Traps would be activated. Inside the traps, space-time would weaken, creating the ideal place for the Old Ones to fully manifest from without rituals or sacrifices. Once they manifested, however, they would be caged in a prison that used their own essence as a power source, turning the greatest threat to Earth into the greatest source of magical power it would ever know.

...he'd made sure to memorize the blueprints, just in case this timeline was reversed. It would make a good bargaining chip with someone, he was certain.

"My Lord?" Jackie - the Monkey - spoke up diffidently. "You have that look on your face again."

Valmont schooled his expression. "Chan, have I told you how this world came to be?"

Jackie nodded. "The world had taken a path to an untenable future," he recited. "You acted to avert that future, and in the process used great magic that recreated the world in the Light. This is the world we live in now."

Valmont nodded as he turned away. "What I haven't mentioned is that you played a part in creating that untenable future in the old world," he explained softly. "At the time, I blamed you for it, hated you for it. I've had time to think, and I want you to know I forgive you. You did only what you thought was right, same as me."

Jackie bowed respectfully. "I am certain the other me would apologize if he knew his mistake. I do so in his place." Stepping back, he glanced towards Viper, who smiled at him. "This is a bright future."

"Indeed," Valmont allowed with a smile. "Speaking of, how goes the family planning?"

Jackie blushed as Viper chuckled ruefully. "We are Your Lordships Guards," Jackie allowed. "That...does not leave much time."

Valmont sighed ruefully. "Even Mulan managed to get married," he grumbled ruefully, making the pair snicker. "Take some time off, both of you. I have somewhere I wish to be, and I wish to go alone." He turned towards the ocean.

"Sssseeing to your own family planning?" Viper asked teasingly.

Valmont blinked in surprise, then grinned widely. "Precisely," he replied happily before vanishing into light.

Jackie chuckled as he rubbed the back of his head. "Well, what shall we do with our time-" He tensed up as Viper suddenly bit him on the neck, sinking in fangs that left no wounds.

Viper grinned widely. "Catch me if you can, sssstud," she hissed before slithering away almost faster than the eye could track.

Jackie's eyes lit up as he grinned widely. He began beating his chest as he let out a very ape-like hooting howl before bounding off after her, easily matching her speed.

The window closed, leaving the trio of fillies blinking in shock.

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