• Published 12th Apr 2016
  • 14,848 Views, 12,514 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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Devil in the Details

Shendu seethed angrily as his spirit floated in the demon nether realm. It had taken him some time to recover enough from that blast - even as a spirit - to the point he could even think again. Now, not only could he think, he could perceive the world around him to know where he was. The nether realm wasn't exactly easy to mistake, being nothing but a cloudy orange backdrop with floating chunks of rock scattered about. However, that wasn't really of significance. What was of significance - immediate significance at that - was the fact that all seven of his siblings were surrounding him, sitting on their own chunks of rock or floating in the ether as was their prerogative. "B-brothers and sisters," he greeted warmly but nervously. "What brings you to my dearly departed side?"

Dai Gui - the crimson, Minotauresque Demon Sorcerer of Earth - was the first to respond. "We were merely waiting for you to recover enough to regain your senses."

"Indeed," Xiao Fung - the grey-skinned, frog shaped Demon Sorcerer of Wind declared. "It's no fun tormenting someone for eternity if they can't be aware of it."

"T-torment?" Shendu gasped out in shock. "Eternity?" A lock of purple hair wrapped around his serpentine spiritual form, pulling him back.

"The punishment for betrayal, Shendu," Tso Lan, Demon Sorcerer of the Moon, explained simply. His grey-blue skin gleamed in the pale light of the nether realm, and his red and purple robes flowed in the windless air. "You spent your time reigning over China..."

"While we withered in this bone dry prison!" Bai Tsa - the mermaid-like Demon Sorcerer of Water - proclaimed as she swam through the empty ether around Shendu's spirit.

"You never even attempted to free us!" Po Kong - the giant green Demon Sorcerer of Mountain - proclaimed in her booming voice.

Shendu shifted back worriedly, uncertain how he was going to talk his way out of this one. "Your...rescue was in the planning stages...but then I was imprisoned in a statue-"

"Excuses!" Tchang Zu - the massive blue ogre Demon Sorcerer of Thunder - proclaimed with a flash of lightning. "You desired the Earthly Realm for yourself!" To punctuate his declaration, he threw a blast of magic into Shendu, making him scream in pain.

As the magic passed, Shendu turned to the one Demon who hadn't spoken yet. "Hsi Wu, brother...surely you believe me-"

"I could care less about the truth of your words or intentions," the wizened gargoyle like Demon Sorcerer of Sky snapped. "I am more concerned with the nature of the magic that destroyed you. For it to have left scars upon your spirit that took so long to heal, it must be potent." Tso Lan nodded agreement as he floated over to Hsi Wu's side. "What can you tell us of its nature?"

Shendu sighed in relief. Of all his siblings, Tso Lan and Hsi Wu were always the most level headed and scholarly, even if Hsi Wu had an almost human penchant for fiendish pranks. When the group acted in concert, it was generally one of them that came up with the plan while the other took the lead in carrying it out. They might just hold the others back from tormenting him long enough to get the knowledge they wanted...long enough for Shendu to talk them into sparing him his fate. "I am afraid I know nothing of the nature of the magic beyond the chant, the visual effect, and the fact it felt sacred without being holy..."

"Then we already know all you could tell us," Tso Lan declared dismissively, turning away as the others gathered to unleash their power.

"But I know what brought it to the Earthly Realm!" Shendu spoke up quickly. "Three young Qi Lin have been raised and trained by a Chi Wizard. It is their magic that brought this power, wherever it came from!"

"We are already aware of these three," Hsi Wu stated flatly. "I have been observing them from the moment they entered the Earthly Realm from their own dimension."

Shendu's eyes widened. "What? But you could have told me! Why didn't you give me warning?"

Hsi Wu grinned wickedly. "You didn't ask," Hsi Wu jibed, sparking laughter from the other siblings.

Inwardly, Shendu seethed at the jibe he walked right into, but he didn't let it show. His mind had come up with a way to get out from under his siblings' intent to torment him. "My brothers and sisters! I have come up with a way I may yet free you!"

"Do not toy with us!" Bai Tsa snapped angrily, her voice echoing as though she were underwater. "The doors can only be opened from the other side."

"The human side," Dai Gui clarified.

"And as a bodiless spirit, I can pass through the barrier unhindered, to possess a human vessel with which to seek out and open the portals," Shendu explained. "My death leaves a void for you all, my brothers and sisters, to fill as a stronger evil. Shall I...proceed?"

They all stood silently for a time. The seven flesh and blood Demons then cast a binding spell upon Shendu without warning. "You have proven crafty, brother," Hsi Wu pointed out. "While your plan has merit, we don't trust you that much anymore."

"Our spell will bind you to the first human vessel you take," Tso Lan explained. "We will remove it when the seven of us are freed, and not before. In the meantime, it will let us keep track of you..."

"Just in case we decide to begin your torment," Bai Tsa purred eagerly.

Shendu seethed inwardly at that, but showed no sign. If he was completely honest with himself, he expected something like this. Still, he could work with it. "Then I shall choose my vessel carefully. I already have the perfect one in mind."

"The one who so frequently thwarted you, Jackie Chan?" Tchang Zu asked curiously.

"Do you take me for a fool?" Shendu barked angrily. "While he is an effective combatant, his only resources derive from his connections, who will not aid me without reason...and three Qi Lin, a fully manifest Dryadic Familiar, and a Master Chi Wizard would be able to contain me until I could be exorcised and banished, if not destroyed. If I am to have a chance to free you, my host must have the resources at his own command to fly hither and yon across the globe to reach the portals, and do so with enough force under his command to keep Chan and the others at bay."

"You seek to claim Valmont as your host?" Xiao Fung asked with a chuckle. "Do you really believe he will assist you?"

"Once I am bound to him, he will not have a choice," Shendu replied. "And if he has reason to believe that he will profit from this, he will even do so willingly, if not eagerly. I kept my bargain with him - at least until my death destroyed my treasure - so he has no reason to believe a bargain I make on behalf of the rest of you won't be kept. Have I leave to make such a bargain?"

"If treasure is all he desires, treasure we can provide," Bai Tsa allowed. "It is not like he will keep it long once all seven of us are free and reshaping the world to our will."

"Do be sure to inform him that said reward will only be provided if he is able to prevent Chan and the others from banishing us back through the portals," Hsi Wu added. "That should be incentive enough to perform better for us than he did for you."

Nodding, Shendu turned and flowed out into the Human Realm.

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