• Published 12th Apr 2016
  • 14,954 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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The Diplomatic Attempt

El Toro Fuerte carefully finished his preparations for his upcoming match, going through his usual rituals before a big fight. First, he made certain his cape clasp was well maintained, so it would fall away easily without a struggle once he was in the ring. Then he made certain his championship belt was polished to a brilliant sheen, to show his pride in the ring he fought in and the honor his foes had paid him with their defeats. He then made certain his mask had no tears or stains, and that the stone Ox sewn in - his lucky charm - was situated firmly at his forehead where it belonged. It would be terribly embarrassing if part of his mask fell off during the ring.

With that done, he began limbering up his muscles in preparation for the match, which was still some time away. Having already changed into his wrestling outfit, he worked his well muscled figure through a series of warm up exercises. Before he'd made it through more than a few, however, he heard a knock on his dressing room door, low to the ground. This was odd, as everyone who worked there knew better than to disturb him as he prepared for a match. Besides, they didn't have anyone that short working here. "Who is it?" he demanded, his voice firm.

"Autograph, please?" a high-pitched, feminine voice pleaded.

El Toro couldn't stop the smile from crossing his face. One thing he enjoyed even more than a match in the ring was meeting his more adventurous fans. While he did have a set time where he officially signed autographs, many fans wanted a more personal touch, and often tried to sneak into his dressing room to meet him face to face...and possibly get away with a memorabilia of some sort. The staff at the ring preferred to discourage this, so only the quick and cunning of his fans made it to his door...or window. Someone as young as the voice dictated...this was a fan he definitely wanted to meet. "Un momento, por favor!" he called out, schooling his expression to give the appearance of the strong, unbeatable warrior that his fans most enjoyed on first glance. Once that was done, he opened the door, looking down to greet this fan.

He found himself staring at a pristine white unicorn with large green eyes and a curling pink and purple mane, wearing a curious pendant around her neck and clutching an autograph book and pen in her mouth as she stared up at him eagerly. "Hurfee!" she cheered around the notebook.

Realizing he was staring, he stepped back. "Please, come in," he instructed. Once the unicorn entered the dressing room, he shut the door and sat down. He hadn't thought the meat in his lunch sandwich had been off, but he did tend to eat fast...

The unicorn glanced up at him as her horn ignited, levitating the notebook and pen out of her mouth. "Sign, please?" she begged, floating it over to him.

"...forgive me if this seems an odd question, but is the notebook floating?" he asked curiously.

The unicorn tilted her head, seeming confused by his question. "Uh...yes?"

El Toro breathed a sigh of relief. "That is a relief. I was beginning to get concerned about the condiments of my lunch." He took the notebook and pen out of the air, seeing the glow fade as he took them. "Who am I signing to?"

"Sweetie Belle!" the unicorn piped up happily, offering a spelling on request, since he wasn't sure if that was ie or y, or if it was 'shake to ring' or 'French beauty'.

Having finished signing, he handed it back to her. "I have never signed an autograph for a unicorn before," he mumbled, still unsure if he actually was.

Sweetie Belle froze. "Huh?" She tilted her head to stare at him...and then her eyes and horn glowed green. "Hmm...no innate magical ability, but a strong synchronization with the artifact...I guess that makes you immune..."

"Immune? Artifact?" El Toro asked, now thoroughly confused.

Sweetie Belle tapped the pendant she was wearing. "This generates a magical field around me that makes me seem normal to non-magical vision. Unless you have a natural talent for magic or are magical yourself, you aren't supposed to notice anything odd about me." She giggled softly. "It's how I got in here so easily. Everyone who worked here just assumed I was supposed to be here."

"I see," El Toro admitted cautiously. He had always believed in magic himself, but it was one thing to say "I believe" and another to have it presented to you complete with instruction manual. Still, he could feel the old excitement of discovery stirring inside him. "What did you mean about synchronization with an artifact?"

"The Talisman in your mask," Sweetie Belle explained, floating up her pen to tap his lucky charm. "It's one of a set of 12 magical Talismans based in the signs of the Chinese Zodiac. You've had it for a while, haven't you?"

"But of course!" El Toro insisted. "I found it when I was very young, exploring the ziggurat on a dare. I took it as a sign, and strapped it to my forehead as I trained myself, until I became as strong as an ox. I have worn it ever since, making it a part of my mask when I began my wrestling career."

"That explains the strong synchronization," Sweetie deduced. "Your chi has realigned itself to naturally flow along the same lines as the Talisman's magic as you trained yourself. Still doesn't tell me what magic it has, though..." She shrugged her shoulders. "Either way, it puts you in danger."

"Danger?" El Toro asked, surprised. "El Toro Fuerte laughs in the face of danger!" Putting his clenched fists on his hips, he let out a loud belly laugh.

"Even if the danger is ninjas made of living shadow that come in an unending swarm?" the unicorn clarified.

The very idea of such a thing sent a chill down El Toro's spine, but he steeled himself. Finding the Talisman in the ziggurat had taught him the rewards of confronting and dominating one's fear. "They may come from sunrise to sunrise, and I will neither flag nor falter! El Toro Fuerte will conquer whatever foe tries to face him!"

Sweetie Belle sighed softly. "If you're that synchronized to the Talisman, you just might be able to," she admitted worriedly. "Still, you're a wrestler. While I don't doubt your prowess, the ones coming after you won't be following any rules." She scratched her chin. "I have...a rather skilled relative. While he isn't a wrestler by training, he is a powerful combatant. Will you accept his challenge? If he wins, you'll let us take the Talisman to be protected from the forces of darkness. If you win, it will be proof you can be trusted with its protection. Deal?"

"El Toro Fuerte never turns down a challenge!" El Toro proclaimed proudly. "Tell your relative I will see him in the ring after my match tonight, and to make sure to wear a mask!"

Sweetie Belle smiled and nodded. "Will do," she promised, turning and leaving. As the door closed, El Toro could hear her mumbling, "Jackie's not gonna like this..."

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