Chapter 4 - Trinkets
"This is intriguing," he muttered before taking a sip of the soup.
"Not to sound disrespectful but I'd say delicious is a better way to describe it," Clay said, full attention still on the soup, "Ya think we can ask Rai for the recipe before we turn him back into a statue?"
"And how do you think we'll do that without the spear?!" Dojo asked, clearly on the verge of a nervous breakdown, "The one way to beat him and now it's gone."
"Now now, there are many ways to win a battle. When one door closes another is sure to open," Master Fung told him peacefully.
Kimiko nibbled her lip before speaking.
"Don't you guys think maybe we were a little quick to turn down Rai's offer?"
Omi and Dojo stared at Kimiko as if she had developed a second head, Master Fung and Clay simply raised an eyebrow.
"I'm just thinking that it would be an easier way to keep an eye on him," Kimiko added quickly, "I mean isn't the saying keep your friends close but your enemies' closer?"
Dojo looked at Kimiko suspiciously.
"And how close would you want Rai to be, hm?" he asked.
"Dojo," Master Fung scolded, "now is not the time for accusations. Kimiko makes a very good point. However if Rai shows interest in staying at the temple then perhaps this is the last place he should be."
"Yes you are right Master Fung," Omi said, "we must not let Rai in the temple for as an apprentice of Wuya he is evil and devious. Who knows what evil and devious schemes he is thinking as we speak?"
I wonder if I'd look good in spandex.
Rai was looking through the fashion edition of a book series called "An ancient creature's guide to the modern world" that he had 'borrowed' the temple. So far he had learned that he was in dire need of a fashion upgrade.
Hmmm, the bright colours might clash.
He skimmed through a few more pages until he came to something that sparked his interest.
Devices similar spectacles, they are worn to protect eyes from harsh light or to achieve a desirable state known as "coolness". Further research has shown this state has nothing to do with temperature.
Rai looked at the pictures; styles seemed vary as well as how dark they were. Some were so dark that you couldn't see the person's eyes at all. Rai scratched bridge of his nose thoughtfully.
Hmmm, don't know bout being "cool" but it would be easier to blend in if people couldn't see my eyes. Now where can I get a pair?
He looked over the edge from the building he was on. He had taken the courage and found that the "city" he had seen last night wasn't so bad (he had learned about cities from the book series as well). Everything was just bigger and busier than old times. He saw a lot of people and many stores but no place selling sunglasses.
He moved to the other side looked down to see an alleyway. He was about to go look somewhere else when he noticed two thugs walk into the alley. One was wearing all white and was bald except for a cue on the back of he's head. The other was wearing all black and had hair down to his back. To make it all the better, both were wearing sunglasses.
I guess this won't be so hard after all.
He leapt down from the roof and landed beside the thugs.
"How much for your sunglasses?" Rai asked, trying to be humane about this.
The thugs were at first shocked, not sure where he had come from, but soon went back to playing tough guy.
"Beat it kid, we have more important business to attend to," the thug in black said.
"By standing in a rat filled alleyway?" Rai asked, "Look I'll leave you two in peace soon enough. I'm just looking a pair of sunglasses."
"Well look somewhere else," the thug in white threatened, "these are expensive."
Rai reached into his robes and pulled out what looked to him like just some rolled up pieces of paper.
Paper money? Just when I thought this new time couldn't get any weirder...
He flung the roll of money to the thugs; they shared shock expressions when they saw how much it was.
"If that's not enough, I've plenty more where that came from," Rai told them.
The thugs looked at each other and then looked around for cops, when they saw there were none around; they smirked and walked Rai into a corner.
"Well then, I suggest that you hand over all of your money," the thug in black threatened, "or else we will be forced to take it from you."
Rai raised an eyebrow.
"You're robbing me?"
"Think of it as health insurance," the thug in black explained.
"I was trying to do a fair and legitimate trade and instead you want to resort to violence?" Rai asked.
"We're good with that," the thug in white answered.
Rai sighed and cracked his knuckles.
"Alright, but could who ever is keeping record please note that I tried to be civil about this."
Dojo was busy hiding under Master Fung's bed when started twitching.
"WHOA! SADDLE UP KIDS! WE HAVE A LIVE ONE!" he shouted.
Rai examined both sunglasses, trying to decide which pair to take.
"Now which pair do you think?" Rai asked the two thugs.
When he didn't get an answer he lifted his butt and dropped it again, eliciting a groan from the semi conscious thug in white he was sitting on.
"You're right; I'll just take both pairs, just in case I loss one."
He put on a pair just in time for him to go rigid and his eyes to glow momentarily.
"The Imo Gazer has revealed it self," He said to no-one in particular.
When the moment passed he paused to think about what just happened.
Must be a new feature. Oh well might as well go have a look since my new senses are telling me that it's nearby.
Rai stood up and started to walk off.
"Well it's been fun, let's do it again some time."
He noticed the roll of money he had offered for the sunglasses. He shrugged before placing it in the open, twitching hand of the thug in black.
"Here, go buy your self some brains."
Rai then walked off.
"Let me get this straight," the antiques dealer said, "this telescope is an antique piece of art that is 1500 years old and still in wonderful condition. It is also going in to private auction, is predicted to go for $100, 000 US and you want me just to give is to you three?"
"That is correct," Omi said with a big smile.
The dealer simply said "Get out."
An embarrassed Clay and Kimiko dragged Omi out of the antique store.
"So where is the Imo Gazer?" Dojo asked.
"In one of the most famous antique stores in Hong Kong with a $100, 000 price tag," Kimiko answered.
"I knew the Wu were old," Clay said, "but I never figured they would class as antiques."
"We even asked nicely," Omi said depressively.
"Well go in there and ask again," Dojo ordered, "the Imo-Gazer…"
"Yea we know," Kimiko interrupted, "the Imo-Gazer put who ever are in its sight to sleep and if it fell in the wrong hands it could cause real trouble."
"Then go in there and get it," Dojo ordered.
"How do we that?" Clay asked, "That telescope is worth a boat-load of green backs."
"Well watch and learn," a familiar voice said.
They turned to see a teenage boy in a three piece suit with slicked and dark glasses walk in the antique store. The warriors followed him as he walked up to the counter. The dealer was inspecting a shelf that was behind the counter. The boy in the suit cleared his throat, causing the storekeeper to turn to him.
"What do you want?" the dealer asked.
"Well for starters, some decent service," the boy replied.
"Listen, I only deal with adults," The dealer told him, "come back when you're older."
The boy grabbed the front of the dealer's shirt and pulled him forward.
"No you listen, you have no idea who I am and for that I already find you pitiful," the boy said evenly, "however I will forgive that, what I won't forgive is you not offering the best service possible, do I make my self clear?"
The dealer nodded nervously, the boy smirked before letting go of the dealer's shirt. The dealer took a more courteous poster and tone of voice.
"How may I help you today sir?" the dealer asked.
"I am interested in pieces from the North and South dynasties," the boy informed him.
"Well we have many exquisite ones from that," the dealer began before he noticed the Warriors were back in the store, "hey, I told you to get out!"
The boy snapped his fingers in front of the dealers face.
"Eyes on me when I'm being served, got it?"
"Of course Sir, my apologies," the dealers replied, "as I was saying we have many exquisite pieces from that period."
"How about that?" the boy asked, indicating the Imo Gazer.
"Ah, you have an excellent eye," the dealer said as he brought it to the counter, "this piece has been dated to have the come from the Song dynasty. It is in remarkable condition for its age."
"How much?" the boy asked.
"I'm afraid, it's not for sale," the dealer explained, "it is going up for private auction."
"How much do you think you will get for it on private auction?" the boy asked.
"It is predicted to sell for $100, 000 US," the dealer replied smugly.
"Well what would you say if I offered you twice that much, up front, in cash?"
"Well I would say that you are a man after my own heart," the dealer replied, "but the question I have to ask you is are you that sort of man?"
The boy pulled out a strange looking bag. He then tipped it over the counter, letting a large pile of American money. The shop echoed the sound of four jaws hitting the floor.
"I very much doubt that you have a heart," the boy said, "but I never make an offer I can't follow through. Do we have a deal?"
"Of course we have a deal," the dealer said excitedly, "and if I could interest you in some vases…"
"I have no interest in vases," the boy replied curtly, taking the Imo Gazer.
"Of course not, thank you for your custom," the dealer said.
The boy then walked out without another word. The Wudai warriors followed him, once they reached the street he turned face them.
"Can I help you?" the boy asked.
Kimiko stepped forward, decided to try and turn on the charm.
"Um…yeah… I know this may sound crazy but that telescope is actually…"
"A Shen Gong Wu called the Imo Gazer," the boy finished, "and you are from the Xiaolin Temple, charged with responsibility of collecting and protecting the Wu from the forces of evil."
"Uh…yea…so can I please have the Imo Gazer?" Kimiko asked, not sure how to react.
"Since you asked so nicely," the boy replied, handing the Imo-gazer to Kimiko.
Kimiko almost dropped it.
"Wait you just paid two hundred grand for it and you're giving it to me just like that?"
"Well Kimiko, I could ask for a kiss but you would probably hit me."
Oh, what cheek! Wait! How did he know my name?
It suddenly clicked.
Rai smirked, took off his sunglasses and shook his head briefly, causing his hair to stand on end once more.
"Well done you got it in one, though you're a little slow on the draw today, aren't you firefly?" Rai said teasingly.
Omi, suddenly realising who it was, squeezed in between Kimiko and Rai. Kimiko, not liking the invasion of personal space, stepped back, giving Clay a chance to place him self between Rai and Kimiko as well.
"Not another step closer to Kimiko, you demon," Omi ordered.
"You mean that we have to go through this again?" Rai asked, "I told you that I want to help."
"And we told you that we do not accept help from demons," Omi answered.
Rai let out a sigh and sat on a near by fire hydrant.
"What is so hard to believe about a demon that was locked away by Dashi and that worked for Wuya wanting to help out the good guys?"
Rai paused for a moment.
"I just answered my own question, didn't I?"
"Alright answer this," Clay demanded, "where did ya get the money?"
Rai shrugged and pulled out the bag he had used in the shop.
"This is my Hern Tsai bag; it can make as much money in what ever currency I want," Rai explained.
"And the suit?" Kimiko asked.
Rai took hold of one of his sleeves and snapped his fingers. With a 'poof' it transformed back into his old robes.
"My robes are made from Hu li jing fur," Rai explained, "It can change form at will. I told you I had abilities that would be useful."
Omi stepped forward and pointed his finger threateningly at Rai.
"Demon, I demand that you return the spear of Dashi that you stole from the temple."
"And on what grounds do you accuse me," Rai asked.
"You are a demon," Omi stated.
Rai stood up and looked offended.
"You accuse me on the sole grounds that I am a demon? That is hurtful and prejudice and just for that I'm gonna this."
Rai kicked the latch of the hydrant. A jet of water shot out from the hydrant and sent the warriors flying. He looked at the hydrant in disbelief, he had read about them but he hadn't thought that would actually work. Kimiko on the other hand had managed to end up on the bottom of a Wudai Warrior pile up. Rai looked down and saw the Imo Gazer lying on the ground. He picked it up and placed it in front of Kimiko's face.
"You know, it wouldn't kill your friends to learn some manners," Rai said to her, "but fighting like this just might."
Rai walked off, leaving Kimiko to dig her way out.
Authors note: here are just a few explanations for those who are interested (I apologies now if any of my information incorrect):
The North and South Dynasties is the period the events of Dashi took place, the Song dynasty was the dynasty that was in place in the South during that time based on the date Dojo gave for burying the star hanibi in "big as texas" (549 AD).
Hu li jing is the name of Chinese shape shifting fox spirits, similar to that of Japanese Kitsune.
Hern tsai is Chinese for money obtained readily, with little effort and, often, illegally.