Demon of Wind

Chapter 13 - Awkward

Kimiko, Clay and Omi had finished their chores and were about to put away the cleaning stuff so that they could go on their break.

"Hey," Clay said, "any idea where our resident demon went."

"Not a clue," Kimiko replied. "I haven't seen him since Master Fung was training him."

"Neither have I," said Omi, "and I would have thought that as a fellow pupil of Master Fung, that he would have helped us with the chores."

"Yeah, I asked Master Fung about that," Clay explained. "Turns out he did his share while we were sleeping."

"Oh, that's good then."

They came to the broom closet. When Kimiko opened the door, she jumped back in surprise. Inside the closet was Rai. He was sitting very still, not a muscle moving, his eyes closed.

"Uh, what do ya think he is doing?" Clay asked.

"I will investigate," Omi said.

He inched up towards Rai. He inspected him from top to bottom. He then poked him. Rai opened one eye and looked at Omi.

"What?" he asked, clearly irritated.

"Excuse me Rai," Omi said politely, "may I ask what you are doing?"

"What does it look like I'm doing?"

"Well, if I did not know any better, I would say that you were asleep," Omi replied. "However I know better."

"And it is so fortunate that you do," Rai replied. "The truth is that I have actually been rallying the cleaning products to rise up against you oppressive humans. Come the next blood moon, we will strike and spread our lemony freshness throughout the whole world."

"Really?"

"No, numbskull, I was actually trying to get some sleep."

Rai closed his eye again. Omi paused for a moment before poking him again.

"Yes?"

"Dojo informed us that you did not require sleep," Omi explained.

"Yeah and that cowardly two-legged gecko also thinks that I eat dragons," Rai replied.

Rai closed his eyes before being poked by Omi again.

"You mean you do not devour dragons?" Omi asked

"No, I don't need the protein that badly," Rai replied. "There was a misunderstanding ages ago and I never got around to correcting it. I also found it fun messing with that dragon's head."

"Then why are you giving up the 'I spy'?" Omi asked

"I believe the term is 'charade'," Rai replied, "and it's not really like I'm giving it up. You can go right ahead and tell Dojo. He'll probably just say that it's me trying to trick him into a false sense of security. That is just proof of where unnecessary paranoia gets you."

At that Rai tried to go back to sleep until the dreaded poking returned.

"Alright, poke me again and you'll lose that finger," Rai warned.

"Would you mind getting out of that closet so that we can put these things away?" Omi asked, holding up the cleaning stuff.

"Alright," Rai grumbled, "it's not like I was getting any sleep with you guys barging in like this."

Rai got up and walked off, muttering to himself things like "letting sleeping demons lie" and "no more privacy than a goldfish".

"Hey Rai!" Kimiko called.

Rai turned back.

"Yes?"

"Just remember that we have lunch in half an hour."

"So?"

"Well you will be eating with us, won't you?" Kimiko asked.

"I don't know, would I?" Rai asked back.

"We are all Master Fung's students," Omi said, "it would only make sense that we share our midday nourishment together."

"I'll think about it," Rai replied as he walked off.

As they packed the stuff away, Kimiko noticed the Clay had a strange look on his face.

"Does need sleep, doesn't eat dragons," he muttered, "we knew next to nothing about him to begin with and what we did 'know' is getting proved wrong."

Clay saw the look of concern on Kimiko's face.

"Look I'm not saying that we can't trust him but I my mind would still be a bit more at ease if only we knew a bit more about him than mere rumour."

Kimiko swallowed as she tried to hold down. What she knew would probably be more than enough to make Clay satisfied but she had promised that she would keep it a secret. Which reminded her that she still had some research that she wanted to do before lunch.


The three Wudai Warriors came to the table where lunch was being served. As they walked up they saw that Rai was sitting at the table. He already had a large pile of food.

"Glad you decided to to join us," Kimiko said.

Rai gave a small acknowledging nod. Clay on the other hand seemed messmerised the amount of food on Rai's plate.

"Now thats an awful amount of food for one person," He said, "How about I help you eat some of it."

As Clay reached for some of Rai's food, Rai stabbed Clay's sleeve with a chopstick, pinning it to the table. Rai then held the other chopstick to Clay's throat.

"Steal from me and I'll show you the Rai style of accupuncture," Rai warned.

Rai then realised the looks he was getting from the others and how bad this looked. He gave a small cough.

"What I meant to say is that I have some business to attend to," He said quickly, "I better take this meal to go."

Rai picked up his plate and ran for it before anyone had a chance to stop him.

"Well that went well," Kimiko muttered.

"Really?" Omi asked, "I thought it went quite badly."

Kimiko just slapped her self in the forehead.

"Uh, little help here?" Clay asked as he tried to pull the chopstick out of the table.


Rai walked out into the garden, finely out of hiding after the lunch incident. It was twilight so it was a wonderful time to enjoy scenery. The setting sun caused shadows to fall in strange ways, creating a familiar but almost mystical world. Rai like this time, the shadows added mystery but the light that was there still prevented the shadows from hiding anything too dangerous. Rai would like to think that but he knew of what dangers could lurk in those shadows, heck he's been one of those dangers.

Shaking his head to clear it of such thoughts, Rai took another look at his surroundings. So here he was, in the garden of the Xiaolin Temple after the first day of training. It hadn't been so bad. The exercises Master Fung gave him were interesting, not exactly things that would help in him in battle but still interesting. The lessons in breathing and meditation could also be useful down the track. Plus his interactions with the others was going well.

If I run now I can be in the mountain side by nightfall and well away by morning.

Before Rai had a chance to act his train of thought was interrupted when he heard purring and felt something rubbing against his leg. He looked down and saw a very familiar kitten.

"Well hello Hu my imaginary kitty friend," Rai said cheerfully as he bent down to stroke it, "have you come to torment your old pal Rai some more?"

Instead of giving a decent answer, Hu just purred even louder when Rai started to scratch it behind the ear.

"Well," Rai said, "You're cuter than my usual hallucinations, I'll give you that and at least you didn't make me climb another forsaken tree."

"I see you have made a friend."

Rai looked away from Hu to see Master Fung standing there.

"Friend?" Rai asked, not sure what he meant.

"The kitten," Master Fung answered.

Rai took a glance back at Hu.

"You mean you can see him too?"

"Well of course I can see him, since he is right there."

"You mean he is actually there?"

"I believe so."

There was a moment of awkward silence. Hu decided to scamper off. Rai coughed once as he stood up.

"Maybe we should just move on to the next topic."

"As you wish," Master Fung replied, "I have been informed by my other students that the rumour about you not requiring sleep was false."

"Yep and since we are busy debunking rumours, I would just like to say that that incident with the emperor's daughter was completely blown out of proportion."

"That is…good to hear," Master Fung replied, "I have set up a mat in the sleeping quarters for you. I believe it would be more a slightly more comfortable than sleeping in the broom closet."

"That's great of you to offer but you see I don't really stay in one place that long."

"Really?"

"Yeah," Rai replied, "when you grew up being hunted like me, you start sleeping for only relative short bursts and keep changing hiding places so that you won't be so easy to find when you're vulnerable."

Rai then realised that he had just admitted to this guy not only the fact he indeed needed sleep but also how he had managed to avoid being captured when he feel asleep. Why was it that he could be so honest with this guy?

"I understand, it would certainly explain how the rumour of you not needing sleep was started," Master Fung said, "however, I would be a poor teacher if I didn't at least offer you one place where you can sleep. The mat will remain there for you to use if you wish."

"Well…uh…thank you," Rai said.

Master Fung smiled warmly.

"You are very welcome. I would also just like to complement you on your first day of training; you have already made progress I can see that much more will come very soon. Good night, Rai."

Master Fung then walked away. Rai paused as he tried to process all that had just been said.

Well maybe he could stay for just one more night.


Rai looked out at temple from his tree, sitting on one of the low branches. It was clouded over so there weren't any stars. He was instead thinking great thoughts and assessing his situation. While he was doing this, his copy was sitting out further along the branch.

"So the way I see there is good news and bad new on this situation," Rai said to his copy, "The bad news is that I now have an old lady that somehow knows me to worry about and I have no idea what she could want. The good news is that I didn't imagine the lady and the kitty so I'm not completely crazy."

"Hate to break it to you," The copy said, "but you don't really have good news then. Sure they were real but I'm not so that well and truly proves that you are coo-coo in the head."

"Well yeah," Rai said, "but the difference is that I know that you're not real. If it turned out those two hadn't been real I would really have to believe that I was losing what little of my mind I had left."

The copy nodded.

"You know," Rai said, "I've been wondering, do you think people hear me talking to myself?"

"Yeah it is possible," the copy replied, "but since you never seem to get called up on this I'm starting to believe that these dialogs are all completely internal and your mind is making you think you're speaking out loud to create the illusion that you are actually having a conversation."

"That's messed up," Rai said.

"About as messed up as someone who is asking a hallucination advice on his state of mind," the copy replied, "by the way, you do realise we are being watched."

"Yeah," Rai answered, "I just wanted to finish the conversation before going up and seeing who they are and what they want."

"Fair enough, well catch you later."

As the copy vanished Rai pounced up into a higher branch. There was a screech as Rai pinned a strange bird against the tree.

"Not sure what sort of messed up bird you are," Rai said, "but I don't like being spied on, no matter what the species."

"I must say that this is highly unnecessary," A voice said, "We are merely here to talk."

Rai looked around trying to find the source of the voice until he saw it sitting on a slightly higher branch.

"Bean," Rai said, "long time no see."

"That's Hannibal Bean," the bean corrected.

"Yeah, sure," Rai said, "so why are you here and how much of a head start should I give you before I kick you out?"

"Now there is no need to be hostile," Hannibal said, "I'm simply here to give you a job offer."

"Oh, so Squawky just not doing it for you anymore?" Rai asked. "Look, thanks for the offer but I just quit the minion gig with one wanna-be world conqueror and I'm not in the mood to be shackled up with another one."

"Wanna-be world conqueror? Why I oughta…" Hannibal caught himself before he lost his temper. "I mean, there is a bit of a misunderstanding. I'm not looking for a minion; I was thinking we could be partners."

"Riiiiiiight."

"Us demonic variety need to look out for each other."

"Yeah, I've lasted this long without having a creepy little bean watching over me from on top of a dimension-jumping parrot. I think I can handle it."

"Now, my boy," Hannibal said, "this is a new age and if you hope to survive you will need the help of someone who knows the territory."

"So nice of you to offer, but that's why I'm here at the temple," Rai replied. "The food is good and my back is less likely to get stabbed."

"Rai, my boy, do you honestly believe that this temple is going to keep their word?"

Rai put his hand up.

"Ok, before you start playing mind games, remember, I've got more reason to trust the word of someone on the Xiaolin Side than I do the word of a Heylin vegetable."

The Ying-ying bird's eyes started to glow as it projected an image of two temple monks.

"If we are to remove the demon from this temple, we must change our tactics," the first image said.

"So we murder him while no-one is looking and make it look like an accident," said the second.

The images vanished; Rai stared blankly at the space for a moment before looking at Hannibal.

"Is that it?" Rai asked.

Hannibal gaped.

"Oh, come on," Rai continued. "You probably just showed me part of their conversation. Those lug-heads don't have the guts to actually try to kill me and, even if they tried, there's nothing they can do that I can't handle."

"Open your eyes Rai," Hannibal urged. "The whole temple is probably in on it."

"Just what I expect to hear from a manipulating old bean," Rai said, "I'm not going to jump ship just because some old coots are blowing hot air; come to me with some real proof before saying that I am unsafe here."

"I see that you need a bit more convincing," Hannibal said. "We'll be in touch and soon you'll see that I'm right."

Hannibal hopped onto the Ying-ying bird and flew off. Rai watched him until he was out of sight. He shook his head as he jumped to the ground. The night had brought some new things that he would have to give some serious thought to.


Kimiko walked down the hallway and saw that it was full of pieces of paper with weird chinese symbols on them. She picked one up to inspect it. As she was, Clay came in.
"Hey, what's with all the paper lying all over the place?" Clay asked."No idea," Kimiko replied, "maybe someone is playing a prank.
Omi then walked in, he yawned as he looked around.
"Seems like someone has decided to do some temple cleansing," Omi said sleepily.
"Cleansing?"
"Yes," Omi answered, "these are warding and cleansing spells."
"So what are they meant to ward and cleanse?" Kimiko asked.
"Oh the usual, spirits, demons, bad luck, things like that."
"Demons?!"
"Why yes, in fact some of these spells are specifically targeting…demons?!"

When all three clicked onto what this meant, there was a mad dash to get all the pieces of paper from the walls.

"Quick," Kimiko said once they were all down, "we must get rid of these before…whoa."

As they entered the main hall, they saw it was also completely full of these spell papers. In the centre was Master Gao who was looking very pleased with himself.

"Ah the young Wudai Warriors," he said in a disgustingly pleasant voice, "would you be so kind to put those back where you found them."

"Master Gao, I do not understand," Omi said, "What need is there for all these spells."

"Master Cai has brought to our attention how in the dangers that are now very real and the spirits that have been unleashed, the temple should seek to cleanse beings that may bring us misfortune."

"Rai wouldn't happen to be one of those beings, would he?" Clay asked, clearly suspicious.

"That sounds like an accusation, future Dragon of Earth," Master Gao said, "Rai has been accepted here in the temple and I can not prevent that. That said, the temple must be allowed to function with out difficultly. As monks of this temple, it is our duty to keep it clean in all senses of the word. If that makes this temple unsuitable for him to train in, it will regrettably mean that he will have to seek training elsewhere."

Kimiko grit her teeth, this was nothing more than an attempt to force Rai to leave the temple and everyone here knew it. She was about to give Master Gao a piece of her mind when a voice interrupted them.

"You know this is one of the reasons why I have always pitied the good guys, all this worthless paper work."

Rai had sometime during their conversation walked into the hall and had a look around.

"Rai!" Master Gao said, "uh…how are you feeling?"

"Fit as a fiddle and rearing to go," Rai replied, "Why do you ask?"

Rai then looked again at the spells.

"Oh I get it," Rai said, as if he only just cottoned on to the situation, "you're worried that these spells would affect me."

"It had been a concern," Master Gao answered, clearly lying through his teeth.

"Well no need to be concerned," Rai replied, "I'm completely immune to this kind of magic."

"That is good," Master Gao said.

"I'd say, I'd be toast otherwise, there are some grade A demon killing spells here," Rai said, "you must really hate what ever you are trying get rid of."

Rai pulled one down from the wall.

"Take this one for instance, it was quite popular in southern villages; it could cause a demons blood to boil and slowly cook them from the inside," Rai explained, "though powerful, it is a lot more effective if you actually place it on the demon, like so…"

At that, Rai stuck the piece of paper to his forehead and instantly started screaming.

"THE PAIN! I CAN'T TAKE IT! MAKE IT STOP! MAKE IT STOP!"

Clay, Omi and Kimiko tried to come to his aid but the screams of pain soon turned to peels of laughter.

"You should have seen your faces," Rai said, trying to control his laughter, "you guys honestly fell for it."

He quickly straightened up when he saw the looks the Wudai Warriors were giving him. Slow, excruciating murder would have been a good description.

"Well any way, the point is that you can cleanse away without having to worry about little old me."

"I am glad," Master Gao said through clenched teeth.

"I thought you might be," Rai said brightly as he handed him the spell, "oh and while we're on the topic, you might want to replace the spells you placed in the bathroom. There wasn't any toilet paper so I had to improvise."

Rai walked off, quite satisfied with the eye twitch that last statement had earned him.

As Rai walked the down the corridor, the Wudai Warriors caught up with him. Kimiko elbowed him in the arm.

"That was a cruel joke," Kimiko scolded.

"Oh come on, lighten up," Rai said, "Do guys honestly think that I'd set foot in this temple if I couldn't handle some scroll magic."

"So these anti-demon spells have no effect on you?" Omi asked.

"Not a bit," Rai replied, "which reminds, why exactly are you guys carrying some?"

The Wudai Warriors looked down and in unison realised that they were still holding the spell scrolls they had ripped from the walls. They dropped the scrolls as if they had been burnt and Kimiko quickly tried to explain.

"Well you see we saw these on the walls of the hallway and thought that they would hurt you but then we forgot we still had them when we saw that main hall. You then came in and well here we are."

"Uh-huh."

After one more glance, Rai just walked off.

"Wait, you believe us, don't you?"

"Come on," Rai said, "breakfast isn't going to eat it self."

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