Demon of Wind

Chapter 12 - Potential

Kimiko yawned as she rubbed the sleep out of her eyes. She was busy doing her morning round of the temple. She usually did this before training to try and get some oxygen into her muscles. It also gave them a heads up if anything out of the ordinary happened over the night. So far nothing interesting; the plants had finally grown back in the spot where a stray fireball had landed (she still denied any responsibility for that happening), the birds were happily singing, it looked like a nice clear day, Rai was doing something in the courtyard and all of the Shen Gong Wu were still in the vault. All in all the makings of a good day.

"Good morning Kimiko," Rai said.

"Morning," She replied sleepily.

She then did a double take.

Rai is in the temple?!

As she looked back she saw that Rai was on one of Master Fungs training devices. It comprised of two platforms with a rope connecting the two. On one platform was a large barrel and on the other one was a bucket. In each hand Rai held a cup. Kimiko watched for a moment. Rai would fill his cups in the barrel, walk along the rope holding the cups out with straight arms then pour the water into the bucket. He would then walk back along the rope holding his arms out straight and refill his cups in the barrel to repeat the process.

"Uh Rai, what are you doing?"

"Isn't obvious," Rai replied, "I've decided to give up demondry and instead dedicate my life to performance art."

"Performance art?!"

"Why yes, this whole thing is symbolic," Rai explained, "the two platforms represent good and evil, on one I take something, on the other I give something, movement of the water represents how we are all connected, as we exhale someone else inhales creating a balance, the water itself represents life, the rope represents the fine line I must walk between humanity and savagery, the way I hold my arms represent how I offer all I am to the world and the sash around my waist represent what I'm going to hang myself with if I have to do this for much longer."

"Keep going," a voice ordered.

Kimiko turned to see Master Fung standing there, she had been so busy paying attention to Rai that she hadn't noticed him standing there.

"I'm doing it but I still think this is a worthless exercise," Rai grumbled.

"Rai," Master Fung replied, "we agreed that…"

"I would follow your lessons, what ever form they may take," Rai finished, "I know I know. I still don't see what the point of this is."

"The point is for you to learn control and balance," Master Fung explained, "this exercise helps achieve this through improving your physical balance and is great step towards finding your centre."

"I'd probably have a better time finding my centre breaking a few boards," Rai replied.

"Why yes," Master Fung said in a voice that was probably the closest he got to sarcastic, "that is indeed a far more worthwhile exercise, especially since so often one must go into battle against a tree."

"Hey, you spend a night in the Howchey forest and you'll see how useful a skill that is."

"What the heck is going on?" Kimiko asked.

Before either could answer, Dojo came slivering past, humming a merry tune.

"Do bee do, happy day dee dee dee, sun shine la la la, words I can't rememeber, bop she bop, Oh Hi there," He said to Master Fung and Kimiko, seemingly not having noticed Rai.

Rai put the cups down and hung upside-down on the rope so that his face was level with Dojo.

"Well isn't someone a cheerful little dragon today," Rai said.

"You bet I am," Dojo replied, "the sun is shining, the Wu are safe and that no-good dragon munching demon Rai is nowhere…near…here."

As he finished his sentence, Dojo turned to come face to face with Rai. Rai took the moment to give him a big toothy smile.

"Hi there, long time no see."

"Aaaaaaaaah!"

Dojo ran screaming and hid behind Master Fung.

"Oh come on Dojo," Rai said, "why must there be bad blood between us. I have always liked Dragons, especially if served with rice."

"Rai that wasn't funny 1500 years ago and it isn't funny now."

Clay and Omi came running in.

"What little girl needs our help?" Omi asked.

"Thank goodness you're here," Dojo said before pointing at Rai, "DEMON! VANQUISH! SLAY! UNLEASH GRAND SCALE BUTT WHIP!"

Before anyone reacted, Master Fung stepped forward, in between the Dragons and Rai."

"There will be no unleashing of grand scale butt whip," Master Fung ordered to the Dragons before turning to Rai, "complete the exercise, the bucket is not yet full."

"Alright," Rai grumbled.

He spun round the rope a couple of times and then disconnected, having gained enough momentum to fly upwards and land back on the platform with the barrel. He picked up the two cups to continue the exercise.

"Master Fung, why is Rai following your orders?" Omi asked.

"Because Omi, Rai has agreed to become my student." Master Fung replied.

"Say what?" Clay asked.

"Rai has agreed to become my student," Master Fung repeated, "he is going to be living and training here in the temple."

This came as a complete surprise to the Dragons.

"But Master Fung, why do you need a new student?" Omi asked, doe-eyed, "You already have me."

"Oh keep your robe on;" Rai said irritably, "I'm not here to learn to be a Dragon."

"You're not?"

"No Omi, he isn't," Master Fung, "he is here to learn the ways of balance and control. There will possibly be times that he while train alongside you three but he will have to learn things that you three already have. Besides, you are at a level that you do not need me watching over every activity that you do."

"Well that is true," Omi said proudly, "The level I have achieved is most impressive."

"He means all three Dragons," Rai informed him.

"Oh right," Omi said as he shrunk under the glares his team mates were giving him.

"THIS IS AN OUTRAGE!"

Everyone turned to the direction of the voice to see Master Gao come barging in. He walked up to Master Fung.

"You have gone too far this time," Master Gao declared, "I'll not only see to it that you not only lose your title but that you are removed from this temple."

Master Sun came scurrying in.

"Master Gao please calm down," he said, "let me explain."

"Calm down?" Master Gao "after all that has happened Master Fung now has the audacity to let this retched, hell spawn monstrosity into the temple and train him!"

"Ok now you're just being mean," Rai said.

"You don't understand," Master Sun said, "the council has approved this."

"WHAT?!"

"The council has decided that we have enough evidence to prove that Rai is sincere about making fresh start," Master Sun explained, "it is only right that we give him a chance to do that."

"And so we are going to let this demon train here?" Master Gao asked.

"I understand where you are coming from, normally the temple wouldn't allow something like this out of principle," Master Sun said in attempted diplomacy, "this situation is however different. Rai has made a rather sizable payment for the honour training here."

"How sizable?"

"10, 000 Yuan a day and a years payment in advance."

Four jaws hit the ground. The moment of silence gave Master Sun a chance to continue talking.

"If you still find this an unreasonable exchange, you may go bring your case to the council. They will not, however, take kindly to any further harassment of Master Fung or his pupils."

Master Gao did not reply but left in a huff, probably trying to not justify that statement with a response. Master Sun gave Master Fung an apologetic smile before walking off himself.

"Well that went down pretty well," Rai said as he leaned against the barrel, "I see we're going to be good friends."

He took a sip from one of the cups. Master Fung just rolled his eyes.

"Wait," Dojo said, "You mean to tell me that I'm being sacrificed for mere money?"

"Dojo, you are not being sacrificed," Master Fung replied, "As my student Rai will not be allowed to eat you."

"So you mean if I quit I'd be allowed to eat him?" Rai asked, almost seeming hopeful.

"Rai," Master Fung warned.

"Ok I get it," Rai said, "No Dragon Gumbo on the menu."

"Good, now I will leave you to get properly acquainted with my other students."

Master Fung then turned and walked away peacefully. Dojo on the other took one last look at Rai before running off screaming. Rai jumped down onto the ground, Kimiko walked right up to him.

"What are you playing at?" Kimiko asked.

"Excuse me?"

"Yesterday you wanted nothing more to do with the temple," Kimiko continued, "and now all of the sudden you're paying Master Fung to train you."

"I'd have to agree that this is more confusing than a rodeo clown doing Shakespeare," Clay said.

Rai shrugged.

"So I changed my mind," Rai said, "I'm a wind demon; being unpredictable is in my nature."

"And it seems that so too would being unable to give a straight answer," Clay said.

"Now you're catching on," Rai said, "now if you don't mind I'm going to go get some breakfast."

He was about to leave when Omi grabbed his hand. Rai raised a questioning eyebrow until Omi placed something into his hand. Rai saw that it was the medallion that had been around his neck.

"I realised after you left that I still had this," Omi explained, "It is yours so I would understand you wanting it returned."

Rai took a moment to examine it. Since Wuya's spell had been broken it no longer had any power. No harm could come from keeping it and yet…

"Hey would any of you be carrying Wu with a bit of bang?" Rai asked.

"Well buddy," Clay said, "I just happen to have the Eye of Dashi with me."

"Perfect, can I borrow it for a moment?"

Clay looked at him suspiciously but pulled out the Eye of Dashi and handed it Rai.

"Thanks, now you guys might want to take a couple of steps back."

The Dragons obliged, Rai twirled the medallion before releasing, sending it flying up into the sky.

"EYE OF DASHI!" He shouted.

Lightning shot upwards, colliding with the medallion. What resulted was a great explosion and a brilliant display of green light and smoke. Rai meanwhile gave an involuntary yet seemingly pleasurable shudder.

"You have no idea how good that felt," He said.

Clay leaned in so that only Kimiko could hear him.

"We'll have to keep an eye on him but I reckon he's starting to grow on me."


Master Gao walked out of the meditation chamber in a real huff. The council had made some foolish decisions before but never one so completely moronic, short sighted and stupid.

"Wait Master Gao."

Master Gao looked back to see Master Cai, one of the members of the council.

"I take that you were not entirely satisfied with our answer," he said.

"That is correct," Master Gao replied, "if only you were as able to see a situation for what it is back in there where it would have been useful."

Master Cai shook his head slightly.

"Really it is not good to insult the one council member on your side."

"On my side?" Master Gao asked, "where were back there when I could have used one on my side."

Master Cai look around.

"Follow me."

He lead Master Gao to a corner behind a building where he was sure no one was around to hear what was about to be said. After one last check to make sure no-one was listening, Master Cai took in a deep breath before he started talking.

"Even if I had voiced my agreement with you back in the chamber, it would have done nothing to help your fool's errand."

"Fool's errand? But you said you…"

"I am on your side, I agree with what you were trying to achieve but not with how you tried to achieve it. Trying to go head to head with the council and make them change their mind pointless at the best of times but you trying it is a lost cause, especially when one of Master Fungs decisions is concerned."

"What is that supposed to mean?"

"Master Gao, you are raciest, sexiest and if you were any more unmoving in your ways we could probably use you as a support beam. Any semblance of openness to new ideas that you may posses goes out the window when Master Fung is involved. You have opposed nearly every choice that he has made and most of us have given thought to the possibility that you oppose his ideas simply out of principle. Now Master Fungs decisions have not always made sense but they have gotten results. So now nearly every request he brings to the council goes through without a hitch and your objections do nothing more than make members want approve the request just to spite you."

During Master Cai's short monolog, Master Gao had developed a minor twitch in his left eye.

"So you are saying that I should just let this Demon walk freely here in the temple?"

"No but you just reminded me that I forget to mention how you suffer from a one track mind. What I'm saying is that complaining to the council will get you nowhere. If we are to remove the demon from the temple, we must change our tactics."

"So we murder him while no-one is looking and make it look like and accident."

Master Cai raised an eyebrow.

"I'm not even going to go in explaining how many things are wrong with that idea," he replied, "I was thinking of something more subtle and less bloody."

Master Gao looked puzzled but still intrigued.

"Go on."

"Master Fung wants to train him, that's fine but that doesn't mean that we have to make this temple demon friendly. With the Shen Gong Wu reactivated and the evils that have been released, I feel that perhaps we are over due in making sure our temple is free of unwanted spirits."

Master Cai went on to explain his plan to Master Gao, both unaware of the bird that was watching them from over head.

Or of the bean that was ridding it.


Kimiko walked into the kitchen and saw Rai's butt sticking out of the fridge. He must have heard someone come in because he quickly pulled his head out and looked.

"Oh it's you," Rai said, "want me to get you something?"

"No I'm good," Kimiko replied.

Kimiko stood there for a moment before she got the courage to ask what was on her mind.

"What are you doing here?"

"Do you mean what I'm doing here in this 'refrigerator' or what am I doing here as in existentially? Because the first one is kinda obvious and I really have no idea what my purpose for being on this earth is so the second is a pointless question."

"I mean what you are doing here in this temple training under Master Fung and this time I want a straight answer."

Rai came out of the fridge.

"Look there isn't really much to it, Master Fung came to me, made his sales pitch and I accepted it," Rai explain, "though it reminds me. Just how much of our late night stroll did you tell the others about?"

"Only that you gave me the Spear to save Master Fung's job."

"Nothing else?"

Kimiko shook her head.

"Good, let's keep it that way."

Kimiko looked clearly confused.

"Why? You're a part of this temple now."

"That doesn't mean that they need to know this stuff. Besides, what use is that piece of information to them?"

"Well I don't know," Kimiko replied, "maybe they might know a way to cure you."

"Cure me?" Rai asked, "Honestly you make me sound like I'm carrying a disease."

"You know what I mean."

"Yeah I do," Rai replied, "and I also know that it's pointless trying. I've been hit by some of the strongest cases of demon cleansing mojo around and squat has happened, this can't be fixed and it's a waste of time trying. Most people would instead of curing me just opt to end my 'pained' existence and right now I don't want these monks to have anymore reason to kill me."

Rai looked Kimiko in the eyes.

"Look, I understand that you are trying to help but I suggest that you just get used to this demon mug because its here to stay."

Kimiko couldn't believe this; Rai wasn't even open to the idea of getting help to find a cure. Despite this Kimiko gave a shrug.

"Alright, we'll keep it our secret."

"Good."

Rai walked out of the kitchen, chewing on a slice of cold pizza he had found in the fridge.

Ok Rai, Kimiko thought, you don't the temple to know that's fine but that doesn't mean I can't look for a solution myself.


The old lady looked on at the temple from her vantage point, stroking her kitten.

"So the child has returned to the temple, I'm glad. It'll be good for him to make some friends after all this time and he'll learn some valuable lessons there."

The kitten meowed in agreement, the lady chuckled as she scratched his ear.

"Legba was right, the child has potential, but we'll see if he has what it takes when the time comes."

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