• 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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Double Your Pleasure

Jade smiled to herself as she took a seat in the upper rooms of the antique shop turned family home. She had the monkey puppet stabilized on her knee, her hand inside the compartment in its back as her fingers slipped into the controls. "Alright," she murmured to herself. "Ventriloquism, take one." She shifted her fingers, and the puppet promptly punched itself in the face, causing one of the movable eyebrows to pop off. Jade stared as Hsi retrieved the fallen eyebrow to reattach it. "This is off to a great start..." she grumbled sarcastically.

"Did you really expect to pick it up first try?" Hsi asked pointedly as he affixed the brow in its place.

"I have just about everything else I've put my hand to," Jade pointed out petulantly.

"Because your past lives had already mastered similar skills, and the whole point of trying ventriloquism was for a skill that was yours and not inherited," Hsi reminded her gently. "Now you get to experience what the rest of the 'mere mortals' do when they try to learn something new...practice and effort." Grinning, he ducked as a pillow went flying for his head, catching it and using it to block the puppet blow to his gut. "Also, your tantrums are getting predicta-" His words cut off as Jade closed the distance until she was nose to nose with him, his breath caught...only to let out a yelp as he got a puppet eyebrow to his eye.

"So are the holes in your defenses," Jade teased back as she put the brow back where it belonged as she pulled back. "Seriously, is it that off putting when I get aggressive?"

"Only until you turn 18, so enjoy it while it lasts," Hsi grumbled as he rubbed his face. "And once you do, be ready for payback."

Jade promptly blew him a raspberry, making him roll his eyes as the watching fillies giggled. Turning, she raised an eyebrow. "Where'd you get the popcorn? ...and what's that goblin doing here?"

"Me job," the goblin replied as he counted money as he passed bags around. "There's a show, some folks want popcorn, and dinae wanna get it themselves. That's me route." With that, the goblin folded up his wallet, his stand, and himself before vanishing.

"...and I thought magic bathrooms would take getting used to," Jade mumbled as she stared at where the goblin had vanished. Shaking her head, she turned her focus back to the puppet she was trying to manipulate. "So now I'm going to try to master two skills I'm unfamiliar with and have no natural talent with in less than a day. This is off to a great start..."

"Two?" Apple Bloom asked curiously.

"Throwing my voice and puppetry," Jade pointed out, turning the monkey puppet around to show the complicated controls inside. "It's bad enough I need to make it sound like the puppet's talking instead of me, but just figuring out the controls is a hassle." Setting the puppet down on the table, she rubbed her face. "Don't suppose any of you know anything about it?" she asked hopefully.

"No fingers," Sweetie Belle pointed out as she lifted her hoof, Apple Bloom and Scootaloo mirroring her actions.

"Never went in for puppetry," Hsi offered apologetically. "Always felt creepy to me, especially when magic got involved."

"I guess it's no use then," Jade groaned ruefully, laying her face against the table.

"You give up too quickly!" the puppet suddenly said, its limbs and face articulating flawlessly and making everyone in the room - save Hsi - jump and yelp. "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step..." Jackie stepped into the room, his mouth closed and his hand seeming to vanish into an odd metal circle. "...even if that first step is a stumble," the puppet concluded in Jackie's voice, his mouth barely moving before he pulled his hand from the metal circle, it appearing as the puppet fell limp. Reaching under the flap at the puppet's back, he pulled out a matching metal circle. "Portal circles," he explained as the girls stared in awe. "One of Viper's more versatile toys."

"How'd that let you make the puppet move?" Jade asked insistently.

"Oh, that was me," Jackie explained as he slipped his hand into the puppet's back.

"Your Uncle Jackie won a few talent shows in his day," the puppet explained in a distortion of Jackie's voice as it moved flawlessly.

"Wow..." Jade marveled as she stared. "You have got to teach me..."

"First step is getting used to the controls," Jackie explained easily. "As far as throwing your voice..."

"Maybe I could teach her a thing or two?" Viper's voice suddenly suggested from the toy chest as Viper stepped into the room, her lips not moving at all. "Might be good to put a few more of my tricks to good use."

"So cool..." Jade marveled excitedly.

Jackie frowned at Viper, his expression somewhat disapproving. "Viper, I've got this covered," he began carefully.

"Come on, Jackie," Viper pointed out as she sat next to him, her hand on the puppet. "How often do I have something I can bond with Jade over that you'd actually approve of?"

"About as often as I have something I can still teach Jade so I can bond with her?" Jackie pointed out, his tone somewhat defensive.

"Talk about awkward," Emeraude murmured from Jade's shoulder. "'Mom' and 'Dad' are fighting over us."

"Yeah," Queen agreed from Jade's other shoulder. "At least they could put on their fur and make it entertaining-" Emeraude promptly sent Queen flying with an oversized mallet.

"I see you discovered anime in one of your lives," Hsi murmured under his breath so Emeraude and Jade could hear, but the others couldn't. Emeraude shot him a playful wink.

"Can we not fight about this like this?" Viper and Jackie said together as they turned towards each other, the movement causing each of them to pull back on their grip on the puppet...each pulling on one of the legs. The puppet suddenly began to cackle.

Hsi's hair visibly stood on end as he pulled Jade back. "Get back!" he called out as a swirling pink vortex surrounded Jackie, Viper, and the puppet.

The vortex spun, swirled, turned, and sparked as magic inside seemed to pull in every direction at once. "Any idea what's goin' on?" Apple Bloom called out.

"The puppet obviously had a spirit sealed inside, and something about what just happened is releasing it," Sweetie Belle stated firmly as she projected a Chi Barrier. "Must have been sealed deep inside if none of us could sense anything until the seal was broken-"

A sudden, shockingly loud roar echoed through the room as the vortex exploded.

"Was that a tiger?" Apple Bloom managed to ask as she ducked behind the barrier.

Two wooden puppets - one looking like Jackie, the other like Viper - flew to opposite sides of the room as six human-sized figures were blown back. The first to sit up looked exactly like the monkey puppet had, and he quickly glanced between the figures lazing about the room. "Huh, now that's a new one for me being released!" He hopped to his feet, looking over the two Jackies and two Vipers struggling to their feet. "And me without any gum!"

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