Demon of Wind

Chapter 3 - Soup

Kimiko got up with a yawn. She had had a reasonably undisturbed sleep. She heard Clay was still snoring but that was expected, she always got up a bit before him so that she wouldn't have to wait for the shower. After she had washed her self she got dressed and headed to the kitchen. As she headed down the corridor to the kitchen she heard a strange melody. It sounded both haunting and beautiful. Kimiko soon realised that it was someone whistling and was being accompanied by kitchen noises.

Who's up at this hour?

She pulled out the Star Hanabi. Since Jack had attacked the temple with a legion of monkeys, Kimiko made sure to always have Wu nearby by for quick use. She stepped cautiously into the kitchen and almost dropped it; it was Rai.

He was in front of the stove; obviously cooking something. His outer robe was lying over a chair, leaving him wearing a green sleeveless shirt. He was whistling to himself the same hauntingly beautiful tune. Kimiko was about to demand what he was doing when her nose was greeted by an extremely appetising smell. This coupled with the tune he was whistling dazed her slightly. Rai moved slightly to side to reveal a steaming pot. He finally turned face her.

"Good morning," He said cheerfully, "soup's almost ready, don't worry I made enough for everyone."

He turned back to the pot and used a spoon to taste the soup; he made an approving nod and stirred it a bit more. Kimiko, not sure how to react to having a demon in their kitchen making soup, held up the Star Hanabi, ready for anything.

"You know I haven't poisoned the soup and last time I checked a soup spoon isn't a weapon," Rai said calmly, "so if you don't mind, could you please stop pointing the Star Hanabi at my head?"

Kimiko looked at him suspiciously.

"Alright," she said as she pocketed the Star, "just don't try anything."

"Wouldn't dream of it, would you mind setting the table though?"

Kimiko raised an eyebrow but did as she was asked, best to play along with it for now until she finds out what he wants. She set the table for four, having made a mental note to include places for Clay and Omi. When that was done she saw Rai carrying the pot over to the table. She sat down at her usual place and Rai sat across from her. He took Kimiko's bowl and poured soup into it. He then poured soup into his bowl. She look at the soup uncertainly, was it safe or had he lied about poisoning it?

Seemingly answering her question, Rai lifted his bowl to his lips and drank it. Not wanting to seem rude, Kimiko followed suit and was immediately glad she did. It was incredible; rich, creamy and heated herself up as it went down. She kept drinking until the bowl was empty, she put the bowl down, and enjoyed the brief warm and fuzzy feeling she got from the soup.

"That was great," she told Rai.

Rai smiled sincerely.

"I'm glad you like it, please help yourself, there's plenty."

Not needing a second invitation, Kimiko quickly filled her bowl again. This time she was a bit slower in drinking it. When Rai finished his bowl, he turned to Kimiko again.

"I never thanked you for releasing me," Rai said softly.

Kimiko paused.

"How do you know that I was the one who released you," Kimiko asked.

"Well firstly, you were the one who had been holding the spear; secondly you left a fire ball floating above my head."

"Oh right," Kimiko said sheepishly.

"So I say thank you."

"…er you're welcome," Kimiko replied, not sure what to say to a demon who had just thanked her for releasing him.

"So what do you and the other Wudai Warriors do anyway?" Rai asked as he stood up to get him something from the fruit bowl.

"Oh you know, find Sheng Gong Wu, fight great evil, that sort of thing," Kimiko said off-handed.

She instantly covered her mouth, she wasn't supposed to being giving information to a demon.

"Sounds like fun," Rai said.

Before anything more could be said, the voices of Clay and Omi were heard.

"All I'm saying is that maybe yer head wouldn't hurt if ya hadn't fallen asleep with yer head on a table."

"Perhaps you are correct, Clay, I will contemplate it."

"Omi, the only plate I'm interested in this time o' morning is the one my breakfast is on."

Clay and Omi walked into the kitchen. They paused and sniffed.

"Hmm, something smells awfully good," Clay said.

They followed the smell to the table, neither of them realising Rai was there.

"Kimiko has prepared breakfast for us," Omi said proudly, "I see that she has realised her duties as a girl."

Clay quickly brought his hat down over Omi's head.

"Layoff lil buddy," Clay said sternly, "Though it was mighty decent of ya to make us soup."

"I'm not the one who made it," Kimiko answered.

"That would be me," Rai answered, having gotten an apple.

"Well thank you Rai," Omi said and then paused, "RAI?!"

Omi and Clay went into fighting positions. Rai just rolled his eyes.

"And breakfast had been going so well," Rai muttered.

"Rai the demon, surrender now and we will not be forced to use…er…force on you," Omi said threateningly.

Rai replied, "As much fun as it would be to bounce that round head of yours off of the wall, I have gone through the effort of making you guys soup. Etiquette would dictate that you listen to what I have to say before opening hostilities."

Omi scoffed.

"Like any of us would be foolish enough to drink that demon brew you have made, isn't that right my friends?"

Omi turned to see Clay pouring him self a bowl of soup.

"Uh sorry, ya say something?" Clay asked.

"CLAY!"

"Chill Omi, the soup is fine," Kimiko said, "in fact it's really good."

"I will not fall for his tricks," Omi said defiantly, crossing his arm.

The aroma caught his nose again and his stomach rumbled, instantly weakening his resolve.

"Alright I will have some soup but I will not enjoy it."

Omi poured himself some soup and took a sip. He then downed the rest in one gulp.

"I did not enjoy that," He said in attempted rebellion, "may I have some more please?"

"Help yourself," Rai replied as he poured him self another bowl, having finished the apple.

Clay, who had downed three bowls worth of soup in a minute, looked at Rai.

"So what do ya want?" He asked.

Rai kept a straight face as he answered.

"I want to take your Shen Gong Wu, enslave the temple, claim Kimiko as my concubine, take over the world, cause ten thousand years of darkness and eat a box of cute little kittens."

Rai took a sip of soup, he then realised that the monks were slowly reaching for their Wu.

"For goodness sake, it was a joke," Rai said, clearly irritated, "honestly you would think that a temple founded by Dashi would at least have a sense of humour."

The monks looked on blankly.

"Alright then why are you really here?" Kimiko asked.

"I want to help," Rai answered.

"Help with what?" Kimiko asked.

"Oh you know, finding Shen Gong Wu, fighting great evil, all those fun things you guys do."

"Why would the apprentice of Wuya want to help us?" Clay asked.

"Well you guys did release me," Rai answered, "I may be a demon but I am aware of gratitude."

The monks looked at each other, this was unexpected.

"Besides," Rai continued, "the world I came from no longer exists; the only things remaining from my time are the Shen Gong Wu and that flatulent worm you call a temple dragon. If I am going to find a place in this new world I have to start somewhere and this temple seems as good a place as any."

"The fella does have a point," Clay reasoned.

"So you would denounce your apprenticeship to Wuya?" Omi asked.

"Well that I can't do," Rai said regretfully, "she is still my master and if she came back I would have to serve her. But lucky for us, Dashi locked Wuya away in a puzzle box."

Clay and Kimiko gave each other nervous glances, so Rai had somehow found out that Wuya had been locked away but not that she had gotten out.

"Wait, aren't you going to go look for her then?" Kimiko asked.

"I said she was my master, I never said I was loyal to her," Rai answered.

Kimiko frowned, wasn't that the opposite of what Dojo had said?

"The bottom line is that I offer my services to the temple in exchange room and board as well as education on the new world," Rai finished.

Omi looked on cockily.

"And why do you think we would need the help of a demon?" He asked.

"I have abilities that might be useful to the temple," Rai explained.

"What skills could you have that the temple does not?"

"Well for one, I can fight."

Rai knew he had struck a nerve when he saw the veins pop out in all three monks' foreheads.

"Whoops, didn't know it was a sore point," Rai said.

"We are capable warriors," Omi said angrily.

"Of course you are," Rai said, his voice dripping with sarcasm, "I was especially impressed by your leopard strike."

Clay bet his fist on the table.

"Listen buddy, I don't like yer tone."

Rai shrugged.

"Fair enough. As I was saying, I have abilities that could help the temple. I'm not going to divulge them right now but if we were working together, you would probably find them out soon enough."

"How do we know that this isn't a trick," Kimiko asked, this wouldn't be the first time they had been deceived.

"You have my word," Rai answered, "not much I know but it's all I'm willing to give."

"Well, ya see we have a saying in Texas," Clay said, "never trust a snake that already bit ya."

Rai looked on at the three monks. While Clay and Omi looked with complete distrust, Kimiko looked on with uncertainty. Rai sighed and realised that even if Kimiko wanted Rai to stay she would be voted out.

"So your answer is no?" he asked.

"It is a most definite no," Omi answered, "we would never accept help from a demon."

Rai finished his soup and stood up. He the robe off the chair and put it back on, tying it up with his sash.

"Very well, we'll be in touch in case you change your mind. Since I cooked, you three can clean. Bye."

Rai gave a quick wave and walked out of the door. The three looked at each other.

"Now that was odder than cousin Betty's socks," Clay muttered.

"Indeed," Omi replied.

Kimiko looked at the door way that Rai had walked through.

Had he meant what he said? Did he really want to help us or was it just a trick?

She was brought out of her thoughts when Master Fung ran in.

"Young monks," he gasped, "the Spear of Dashi has been stolen."

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