• 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 Lies

Tohru hung his head in shame as he faced his Master, Valmont, and their client. Once again, he'd failed to bring back the Talisman, leaving yet another of the 12 in the possession of Jackie Chan and Section 13, wherever it was. And on top of that, his fall had broken the Talisman tracking statuette. He was pretty sure he was reaching the end of whatever good will he'd built up from the Lovecraftian episode, and knew this would likely be when he truly faced consequences. He waited patiently for whatever would come.

He hated to admit it, but part of him hoped for dismissal. While losing this job would be great disappointment to his mother, he would no longer risk being sent against Apple Bloom. Facing against her just felt wrong now, for some reason. If he was dismissed...well, maybe Uncle was hiring.

"You failed to retrieve the Talisman," Valmont said softly, staring up at Tohru. "And you sat on this." He held up the broken pieces of the tracker.

"The seeking device was forged by magic," Shendu hissed angrily. "Such things are hard to come by."

"Apologies, Master," Tohru offered sincerely, awaiting what he was certain would be a harsh judgement.

Valmont looked up at Tohru for a time. "The fault is mine, I suppose," he admitted, surprising Tohru. "It's been obvious for some time that Chan is skilled enough to make your raw power inefficient at dealing with him without the backup of appropriate skill. Today merely hammers the point home." He glanced at the broken pieces of the seeking device. "Expensively, I'll admit, but that's to be expected that I ignored it for so long."

Tohru blinked in shock. He...wasn't being dismissed in disgrace? "I won't fail you so again, Master," he promised, bowing his head gratefully.

"No, you won't," Valmont agreed. "I have acquired the services of a freelancer, who will be paid by the successful job. He will lead the next expedition to pursue the Chans in acquiring a Talisman. You may go with or remain here as you choose."

Tohru bowed his head, pleased that the only penalty he faced was a reduction in his duties. "Understood, Master. Who is this freelancer?"

Valmont gestured to the entrance to the chamber. "Allow me to make known to you Hak Foo."

"The Black Tiger?" Tohru asked, surprised. He knew this man by reputation. He had been a professional fighter once, in mixed martial arts tournaments. Unparalleled in both fighting ability and viciousness, rumor had it that his abrupt departure from the professional circuit was due to 'unfortunate accidents' that had happened in the ring, and several of his opponents who hadn't made it out of the ring alive. Already, he feared what would happen if this man encountered the Chans, especially should his reputation be deserved.

The man who stepped in looked every inch a fighter. He stood just taller than Valmont, and every inch of his lean body bulged with muscle. His crimson hair stuck up from his head before flowing down his back, like he was growing a strawberry out of his head. He wore a blue vest that left the muscles of his torso bare, red pantaloons that fit his legs loosely to give maximum movement, green socks, blue slip on shoes, and two black armbands on each forearm. A thin mustache extended from under his nose, with a pointy chin beard, and tiny narrowed eyes, the color of which could not be determined, only lethal intent visible in them.

Tohru frowned. Nothing about this man raised his confidence in him having any sort of self control. He would have to test that. "He does not look so ferocious," he offered tauntingly.

Hak Foo's eyes narrowed further. His teeth clenched as veins bulged from his head. He quickly shifted to a wide-legged stance. "Angry Crow takes flight!" he roared out, leaping high into the air. Tohru tracked his flight as he came towards him. With a roar and a double midair flip, he growled out, "Emu stands on mountaintop!" before landing on Tohru's shoulders. "Monkey plucks two peaches!" With that, Hak Foo's hand snapped down, two fingers curled to aim right at Tohru's eyes.

Tohru shivered, but not from fear of himself. His minor taunt told him flat out that Hak Foo had no control. If he had to deal with Apple Bloom or the others, his solution would be to kill. "...looks can be deceiving," he offered to hide his intentions from Hak Foo...and from Valmont.

Jackie paced back and forth in Uncle's shop over Jade's latest discovery. Since Uncle had expressed no interest in the gift basket from Bavaria, Jade and the fillies had been working their way through the cheese and chocolate...and one of the chocolates Jade had opened looked exactly like a Talisman. Same shape, same artistic style of the engraved image of a pig, everything. "The pig is one of the signs of the Zodiac we haven't located," he admitted, "and the resemblance is uncanny. So once again...I'm off to Bavaria..."

"I could use a change of scenery!" Uncle offered happily as he walked out of the back room, carrying his suitcase. "Travel will make good memories for the girls and I. We will go with you."

Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle, and Scootaloo looked like they could burst with excitement...at first. However, all three paused as they looked at Uncle. There was something...off. Jade lacked their perception, however. "Awesome!" she crowed happily. "No babysitter means I get to go, too!"

Jackie got very flustered at the idea of having to keep track of all four girls in a foreign country. "But you never leave the shop!" he pointed out. "And what about the Dog Talisman?"

"Bah! Research can wait!" Uncle countered, leaning on a ladder...only for it to slide away from him, leading to an old vase tumbling off a high shelf, which Uncle quickly leapt and caught before it could hit the floor.

Scootaloo quickly spoke up. "Okay, I don't know how Uncle's got so much energy now, but I don't wanna waste it! Vacation in Bavaria, here we come!"

Jackie sighed, knowing he had lost this debate. However, at least this meant Uncle could help keep track of the girls.

Only Apple Bloom noticed Uncle tucking something into his shirt before leaping back to his feet. "So," Uncle asked quickly, "what are we waiting for?"

Tohru listened quietly as Valmont went over the latest report. "The mainframe indicates that one Mr. Chan has purchased seven airline tickets to Bavaria."

Seven? Tohru thought in confusion. Chan, Uncle, the four girls...Audrey?

Valmont turned to face Hak Foo. "The Dark Hand jet awaits. When you meet our friend, Jackie Chan..." He held up a picture of the man they spoke about.

Hak Foo used his foot to send a cantaloupe into the air. "Smashing Melon Fist!" he roared, punching the melon hard enough to shatter the rind and splatter the insides.

Tohru shivered. He knew he couldn't let that sort of violent maniac near Apple Bloom and the others. "Master," he spoke up, "perhaps I should accompany the Black Tiger in case he needs assistance in dealing with things of a...less than mundane nature. After all, the Chans have access to...unexpected resources."

Hak Foo's eyes narrowed angrily, but Valmont nodded. "An excellent suggestion, Tohru. However, remember that Hak Foo is in charge of this expedition. What he says goes."

"Understood, Master," Tohru confirmed, turning to follow Hak Foo to the jet. Inside, he felt sick. He was lying to his Master about both his intentions and his willingness to obey Hak Foo. He was disobeying orders, and had full intention of assisting his Master's enemies should it come to that. What had become of him?

Still, one thing he knew. He would not let Hak Foo hurt Apple Bloom...even if that meant preventing him from hurting Jackie Chan.

Only one Talisman left after this mission...maybe when all were gathered, Valmont would choose something else to pursue, and he would never come against the Chans again...

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