Transmitting this over from AO3. Might add my other stories. Dunno yet.
Officially been proofread though I'm sure I missed plenty.
Wasn't originally sure what to rate this. No particular trigger warnings though there is teases of Rai having...feelings for Wuya. Dude's a teenager and is serving a woman like Wuya. Why the show portrayed her as an "old hag" I'll never know, but I guess I never really had to deal with her as much as they did.
Raimundo is on the verge of getting everything he ever wanted. The Serpent's Tail is in hand. He's ready to leave. His time to shine is finally ready to start.
Unfortunately, his ex-friends and ex-fellow monks decide to interfere.
"Not on my watch…" Clay says.
He readies his attack, slamming his fists into the ground and calling his element.
He's followed immediately by Kimiko twirling around, her attire raising at just the right angles and her hair rising briefly. She follows suit by yelling out her own element.
"Now that I see it from this side…yeah, I can kinda see where Jack's coming from," Raimundo can't help himself.
Huh…not something he'd normally say but given the situation and the fact that he's kind of currently almost nearly probably basically on the Heylin side now…meh?
Once the two land and ready for the fight to occur, Raimundo once again speaks.
"So that's the way it's going to be huh?" he asks.
"You tell us, Raimundo," Kimiko retorts.
"You could always drop the shen-gong-wu and leave," Clay adds on.
A smirk breaches his face, allowing Raimundo time to raise the sleeves of his hoodie.
"Nah," he says.
He then bends down, gripping the Serpent's Tail tighter in his grasp.
"I'm up for a Xiaolin slap down."
He leaps, riding through the wind in the air like a dolphin swims through water.
Kimiko and Clay are not far behind. They join him above the wu vault, jumping on the walls and using them as a springboard to get closer.
As they approach the ceiling, Clay is the first to try his hand. He leaps towards Rai, but given the big man's down-to-Earth style (I mean, it's in the name of his element), the wind expert treats this like it is…
…easy like the breeze.
He twists and twirls to avoid the Earth apprentice. His stupid ten gallon hat is snatched for fun before he kicks the apprentice away. Rai lets the hat fall to the ground below.
He turns his attention to Kimiko, who jumps up towards him from behind. She does her own twirling attack. This gives Raimundo perfect space to baseball slide underneath her, which really catches him a good eyeful when her legs maneuver across his body.
For reasons Rai can't understand but finds himself enjoying, his mouth once again opens to bring out a retort.
"I appreciate the view Kimiko. Maybe next time wear something to cover up, or at least get a Brazilian," he says.
She pauses, her face becoming the color of her attire faster than Rai can respond. When he does, it's with a kick to her face, sending her careening away.
"Let me know when you want one. I know a guy," he says, giving her a wink.
Her face was red with embarrassment moments ago.
Now, it's safe to say it's more out of anger.
She leaps in his direction, using the wall as a catapult to get closer. With another smirk on his face, Raimundo approaches the ceiling. He feels a grip on his leg, looking down to see Clay holding him in place. He glances past the big man to see Kimiko soaring towards the two. His eyes widen briefly before tossing the Serpent's Tail up at the skylight above them. It breaks through, shattering a portion of the glass and leaving enough space for the breeze outside to roar around him.
"Wind!" Raimundo shouts.
The breeze picks up, eventually getting strong enough to turn into a bluster. It blows all around Raimundo, seemingly avoiding him while still causing his clothes to ruffle with some sort of reaction. The quick bluster rains down on Clay and Kimiko. It sends them flying to the floor.
As Rai begins his descent, he sees his two foes collide into the ceremonial pot that he's never seen anyone actually use.
"Omi…stop him," Kimiko says.
Rai's feet hit the floor, a smirk pointed directly at Omi. He raises his right hand and catches the falling Serpent's Tail like a certified bad-ass before he approaches the ol' cue ball.
"Raimundo…I am starting to think you are not enacting some sort of secret elaborate plan," he says.
With a roll of the eyes, the Wind monk responds
"Nothin' escapes you Omi," he says.
On queue (oh that's a good one), Omi readies himself.
"Not even you…" he says.
…which, okay, Rai has to give the kid props for.
But, alas, Rai has the power of arrogance and shen-gong-wu on his side.
"Wrong!" he says, raising the wu in front of him. "Serpent's Tail!"
Omi can only shout in surprise before Rai turns transparent. Becoming completely untouchable, Rai soars right through Omi and out the door.
He doesn't even look back to see the complete sadness adorning his former friends' faces.
It doesn't matter. Rai's got big plans in store.
It's hours later. The Ghost Witch has finally designated a proper spot for where she wants her new lair to be.
It only took her, what, twelve different locations? And all in rock fields. Not sure what makes this specific field of rocks worthy of her great and royal palace, but hey, it's not really his place to question the all-powerful Heylin magician.
With the Reversing Mirror against a conveniently placed rock with a nice incline to have it rest against (maybe that's why she picked this rock field), Wuya spends the next ten minutes staring at her reflection.
It'd be hilarious if they weren't on a time crunch.
"So…you ready?" Rai asks.
"I've waited 1500 years for this moment," she says.
Feeling that odd edge coming along that he felt in the temple, Rai smirks.
"So that's a yes?" he asks.
"Yes! Yes! A thousand times yeeees!"
He waves his hands in front of him in mock surrender.
"Okay, okay, just jerkin your chain."
"That's funny," a Texas accent pops in.
Rai straightens up. He turns around and sees the familiar green dragon land. His three former friends hop down onto the ground.
"A jerk, jerkin' a chain," he says.
Oof. Not his best quip.
"A jerk jerking a chain!" Omi exclaims. "Huh, most amusing Clay."
Rai can't help but slap his hand against his face.
"You know what I don't miss?" he asks rhetorically, pointing his free hand towards the cheese head. "Omi constantly missing the—"
It's the only warning he gets before a boot crashes against his not-free hand. It sends the Serpent's Tail flying. It twists in the air before landing in the scaly grasps of Dojo.
"Hey!" Rai shouts out.
Omi lands, glancing over his shoulder at him with a smirk of his own.
"Missing what?" he asks.
Damn when did Omi get good at his taunts?
No matter, one draconic shen-gong-wu coming right up.
Rai turns to Dojo, clenching his fist.
"This? Sorry," the dragon says.
He tosses it nonchalantly to his right. It lands in the beefy gloved left hand of Clay who just chuckles at Rai's misfortune.
This only pisses Rai off.
He does a few flips before reaching the Texan. With his head clouded with anger, Rai jumps up and down to reach the wu.
"Try again," Clay says.
He throws it American football-style towards Kimiko. She catches it with one hand before bringing it to her side.
With a growl and a mind getting more clouded, Rai charges. She easily flips over him, landing on her feet and throwing it over to Omi with an "oops."
"Cut it out!" he says before once again charging.
A small part of him not currently focused on the Water apprentice makes note of the fact that that same expression could correlate to his previous taunts towards her.
Unfortunately it's drowned out by unyielding rage when Omi throws it once again over to Clay, who has the gall to smirk at Rai.
"Too late," Omi says.
"They're making a buffoon out of you!" Wuya calls from somewhere.
Raimundo takes the Golden Tiger Claws from his hoodie's pocket, placing it on his left hand.
"Not anymore," he says. "Golden Tiger Claws!"
The wu shines, and with nary a scratch, Rai activates the portal. He hops in, allowing the blue, black, and gray hues of the transportation tunnel to guide him.
With a destination in mind and taking a few moments to recollect his thoughts and keep his anger in place, Rai activates the wu again.
He sends the boot out first, placing it right into the top of Clay's back. The cowboy hits the ground while the Serpent's Tail flies up.
"Air ball!" Dojo calls.
Rai exits the portal, using the wind around him to fly up at the wu. Omi notices the predicament and leaps towards it as well.
If Rai can beat him, he can avoid a showdown, but if Omi gets it then it's all been for nothing.
Rai growls, letting the wind flow around the area. He can feel it embracing his clothes, wrapping around him like a blanket. The breeze in his hair rips through but it feels like it's completely avoiding the skin itself.
With another grunt, Rai reaches the wu just as Omi has his hand out. He hugs the Serpent's Tail close to him before flipping and landing on one knee.
"Go, boy! Use it! Hurry!" Wuya exclaims.
Don't have to tell him twice.
"Serpent's Tail!" Rai calls out.
As his body once again becomes transparent, he lifts off the ground, approaching the ghost placed in front of the mirror.
His only obstacle is a green dragon dedicated to stopping the unstoppable.
From there, the battle is already over.
"Stop! I can't—"
Rai just flies right through him. Good effort, poor attempt.
"—do anything to stop you," Rai can hear Dojo fade away as he rips towards the ghost.
As he gets ever closer, he can feel the wind carrying him faster towards her. He can barely hear her exclamation with all the wind ripping through the air.
The two objects and two entities collide.
A bright light spreads where the two once stood. The air becomes uncontrollable, no longer aiding Rai and actually sending him back on his feet. With the light around making it much harder to see, he barely notices the ghost of Wuya transforming.
He does notice the twin bolts of lightning that fly up in the sky. They hit the moon, which takes little time to become eclipsed by a big ball of darkness.
Huh…guess that's what he signed up for.
Fortunately this has the side effect of making the wind die down. Rai plants his feet, looking down from the field of rocks they're all on to see the trees become white and barren, the ground to become dried up, and the entirety of the world to become shielded in a silhouette of just pure darkness.
It'd be a lot cooler if it wasn't simultaneously terrifying.
"This is bad," he can hear Kimiko. "Very, very bad."
No shit seems to be an understatement in this situation.
Lucky for Rai, he seems to have chosen very, very bad.
"If I had hair it would be standing on end," Omi says.
God forbid Omi ever grows hair.
"If I had boots, I would be quaking in them," Dojo says.
"Wanna borrow mine?" Clay asks.
"No thanks. No feet," Dojo says.
Their banter is interrupted by the cold and callous laughter of the familiar ghost.
There's something different about it this time though. It's as if the often foggy and echoey voice is becoming clearer, more defined.
Wait, no, that's exactly what's happening.
Rai turns towards the epicenter of this chaos. Where a ghost and mirror once stood now stand…a very attractive woman with hair as red as he could have ever possibly predicted.
Holy shit…if this is who he thinks it is than Rai absolutely bet on the right horse.
As her laughter fades, the woman takes off a mask. She lets it hit the ground where it burns away into nothing but ash, which is quickly blown away by the wind.
The only noise that can be heard is that same wind around them.
It's interrupted by Omi asking the question Rai was too afraid to ask.
With another chuckle, the confirmed former ghost retorts.
"In the flesh…"
She spreads her hands wide, letting a range of green fire form around her. It soars into the sky, becoming the only bright light in this sea of dark.
The bare-footed woman floats down, allowing the green flame to dissipate on its own. The wind is quick to join it as she reaches the Reversing Mirror…which also finds itself shattering into pieces.
This fact is not enough to distract Raimundo from her legs and…other assets.
Her flipping her hair back and yelling out a "hah" is though.
Yep. Definitely the right horse.
What follows can only be described as a certified ass-kicking the likes of which no Heylin has ever delivered to a Xiaolin before.
The fancy monks try out their apprentice level magic with their wu, but every attempt is met with absolute failure.
Omi tries his ice. Wuya just breaks through.
Kimiko tries her fire. Wuya's only response is a "that tickles."
The hair flick that follows gets the attention of Rai's odd part of his mind. To add to this, he appears in front of her and raises his eyebrows at them mockingly.
When Clay tries to crush her with his Third Arm Sash, Wuya has already dodged before the fist collides with the ground.
"Ha ha ha," she laughs, cradling Clay's head while speaking. "Shen-gong-wu? I am so beyond them now. Let me show you what Heylin magic can do."
Having spoken this in Clay's ear to distract him, it is more than enough to send the cowboy careening into his comrades.
Rai can only look on with his jaw dropped.
Her hands glow with that green fire as she raises them up. Another laugh emits from her lips as lightning strikes the ground around the monks. Suddenly, rock golems emerge from the ground.
Rock golems. Not what Rai was expecting but at this point he shouldn't look the gift that was the horse he bet on in the mouth.
Kudos to Clay for trying to escape though. He picks up his two comrades before finding all his exits blocked off by the aforementioned rock golems. Shame, truly.
Wuya floats down, putting two hands on two golems' shoulders.
"Crush them," she says.
He grips the Tiger Claws tighter as Dojo shifts into his bigger form, taking the monks into the air. There was a loud shriek of terror that accompanied it, but at this point, Rai is more focused on the woman that he now serves.
He starts to raise his wu-covered-hand, but Wuya's mirrored action stops him.
"Let's wait a few moments before we follow. We must make sure they know there is no hope before assuring their ultimate defeat," she says.
She follows this up by sashaying towards where the mirror lies in pieces. Rai has enough sense to notice the rock golems surrounding them, protecting their master and her second.
With a smirk that seems to never leave, she raises her once again green fiery hands. A bunch of rock pillars fly from the ground, which is apparently becoming a theme with her. Not that there's anything wrong with that it's just…odd? Odd seems like the right word.
Wuya must have a passion in architecture because the pillars suddenly start to connect and before Rai can notice the drool dripping down his face, there's a bonafide lair right in front of his face. A castle, just like she wanted.
No wait, she said citadel. Citadel seems more appropriate given the absolute level of evil he is presently facing.
And because this isn't enough for Wuya she has to put a cherry on top of the fricken moon by marking black marks cover it.
Rai is going to make sure to treasure this horse forever.
Wuya turns around, pointing towards the sky.
The wind expert is smart enough to recognize an order when he sees one. The rock golems all turn and face the fleeing Xiaolin monks and dragon. The golems open their mouths to allow flaming balls of rock to shoot out towards the group in the sky.
Apparently she's just full of surprises today.
Not even Clay's yell of "incoming" is enough to prepare Dojo and it doesn't take long before the group crashes into the forest.
Wuya turns to Rai.
"Now you may follow them," she says.
"Golden Tiger Claws," he says.
He reenters the transportation tunnel. Figuring out roughly where the group landed, he activates the wu again.
When he comes out in front of his fallen friends, the smirks just comes naturally.
"Uh, back up boys," he says.
The rock golems lingering closely behind him follow the order, although a few of them seem offended by the idea of following his lead.
Hm…also odd, but as long as he's still breathing he'll take it.
His attention returns to his former allies. Kimiko is the first to approach.
"Raimundo, what are you doing?" she asks.
"Have you at last seen the error of your evil ways?" Omi asks.
Gotta give credit to the chrome dome. Even now he holds hope for his secret elaborate plan.
"Dude, my evil ways are gonna kick your butt, 'wule' the world, and drop me…straight into the lap of luxury," Rai says.
Ah yeah, perfect line. Gotta love the puns.
"You got a point here Raimundo?" Kimiko asks.
"Yeah…as a matter of fact, I do, Wax Off," he says.
The anger comes quick, and the growl and accompanying steam from her is enough to make his smirk grow bigger.
"I thought I'd let you 'mighty Xiaolin apprentices'…beg for mercy," Rai says.
Probably laying it on way too thick, but with this part of him becoming more fun by the minute, you could forgive him for indulging in it too deep.
You could forgive him, but you'd be forgiven for not forgiving him.
The shrieks and gasps of surprise and indignation are expected, if not disappointing all the same.
"Think again Rai," Clay says.
I don't think the cowboy's voice has ever sounded so dark.
"Yes! And then think a third time!" Omi shouts. "Because this begging will not happen."
The sinister chuckle escapes easily enough from the Brazilian's lips.
"Maybe you guys don't get it," he says.
He leans against one of the rock golems' knees.
"I'm the only one who can save you," he says.
The obvious power-up of some sort is the only other warning Rai gets before all of the rock golems surrounding him are laser blasted into smithereens. In his shock, he can only duck inside the stomach of a golem trapping him in place.
He looks down to avoid the rubble, but doesn't catch the actual escape.
When he looks up, the golems are smoking and broken into little pebbles while Raimundo is all alone.
"Whoa!" he says. "I…hey…where is everybody?"
His own voice echoing is the only response he gets.
Well…shit…Wuya probably won't like this.
When the poor bastard finally has the balls to tell her, the response was not predicted.
"Jack Spicer you say?" Wuya asks.
"Yeah, I think," he says.
"Jack Spicer is a gnat," she says.
Understatement of the century.
"We'll deal with him when the time is right," she finishes.
"And that will be…?" he asks, the fire around him turning his skin and white hoodie green.
"Right after we conquer the world," she utters ominously.
She uses her left hand to make a miniature version of Earth. It's surrounded by the green fire and puts Rai on edge.
For the thousandth time today, Rai's mouth is stuck open.
He's not sure if it's the magic or Wuya lounging on her throne.
He's starting to think he's got a problem at this point.
Raimundo finds himself busy by doing absolutely nothing. Seriously, he understands this whole gig was going to be boring at first, but boy was he not expecting paperwork, constant threats, and Wuya to be fretting here and about by Heylin magicing her way around the world.
Before what Rai assumes is probably the sun rising—maybe, the whole darkness and eternal moon thing kind of makes time all wonky—Wuya finally makes the call.
"I am the absolute ruler of the world…and all before lunch," she says.
Oh, guess the sun is up now. Nice to know.
"Ooh, what do I do with the rest of the day?"
"Whoa…um…not gonna lie to you Wuya. This isn't exactly what I was expecting," Rai says.
"Of course it isn't…" she says.
It's the look over her shoulder and fluttering eyebrows that keep his attention.
"This whole conquering the world thing…I don't know if I'm down with it," he says.
Shut up mouth, look at the eyes staring at you.
"I mean…" shut up mouth "…I guess I thought—"
"You thought you were going to get everything you ever wanted," the witch says.
She saunters over towards Rai, which quite frankly is the only thing his eyes seem to catch.
"And so you shall…"
I don't think she fully understands the complications in that statement.
She raises a hand, allowing the green fire to form and blast towards a wall. Once the fire dissipates, what replaces the stone wall is now a big metal door with 'Rai Zone' embedded on it. Two stone statues of Raimundo himself are at the door's side. Their hands are out, palms up to stop any intruder from approaching. Assumingly the red eyes are what would stop any wary soul from entering.
With the green fire now surrounding Wuya, Rai tentatively approaches the door. The metal door open left and right, splitting the 'Rai Zone' in two. What's inside is precisely the vision that Wuya had originally promised to him.
"You have every video game ever made in here," he says.
All the blinking lights of arcade cabinets. The unbelievable size of the TV that dwarfs all of the consoles below it. The half-pipe located off to the side with all of the hot and fresh pizza waiting for him.
He looks over his shoulder towards the literally hot witch with her arms folded in front.
"Oh no Raimundo…" the smirk crosses her face. "You got every video game ever made."
Something hits him then. Maybe it's the gift horse's hoof. Maybe it's the hot witch in front of him. Maybe it's the 'getting everything you ever wanted' bit, but whatever it is, it hits him hard.
His face glows and his smile grows wide. It's all teeth, and boy oh boy is it genuine.
This is what evil brings? This is what the Heylin side can give you?
Why didn't anybody tell him this before?
With a screech of excitement, Raimundo hops into his new room, ready to play his night and days away. Not like time has much consequence anymore…
Another few hours pass and Raimundo has already gotten the high score a good twenty or so times on fifty or so arcade cabinets.
With a sigh, he looks towards the shen-gong-wu in his hoodie, feeling the familiar point of the Claws around his hand.
He hears a noise outside the metal door. It's Wuya.
Oh…she's just making more plans to rule the world. Sounds like some idiot ruler on some idiot island is deciding to make idiot decisions by not surrendering like an idiot.
Fools. Don't they realize how easy it it'd be? Don't they realize all that cooperation can give you? Hell, all Rai had to do was make Wuya a human and boom, he has everything he ever wanted.
Yes, of course he does.
But what about his friends?
His ex-friends. The same friends who would rather go on with their lives without him. The same friends who would turn their back on him when he's only doing what's best for them. The same friends who would support an old and stupid master who doesn't realize a good plan when it's staring him right in the face.
While his inner thoughts battle it out, the door opens.
Yep, there's the same hot witch he remembers.
"Oh Raimundo, what's the matter?" she asks, once again sauntering towards him.
Is she taunting him or is that just how she lives her life? An eternal flirt to the unknown eye, it seems.
"Isn't everything to your liking?" she asks.
"Yeah…I guess so," he says.
No wait, scratch that.
"Definitely liking what you've given me. Don't get me wrong, I am loving everything you've got…"
It takes him a few moments to realize he's looking at her with narrowed eyes and a goofy smile.
"…in this place. In the room. A lot of good stuff…it's just…well it's not as much fun as I thought it would be," he says.
Nice recovery. I'm sure she and nobody that might've seen you would catch on.
"Didn't I deliver everything I promised?" she asks.
She's scratching her chin. Is she…is she actually thinking?
With a snap, she realizes something while he realizes that…yes, yes she was actually thinking.
"Oh…yes…but of course."
She raises her robe, forming a curtain behind her.
When the arms return to her side, a brand new red mustang convertible finds itself behind her. She sits down on it, leaning across the hood like a model on the Price is Right.
Holy hell what has he gotten himself into?
"No it's not that," Rai says, like a liar. "Well, the car is nice."
But there's something else nicer on it.
"Like the nicest car I've ever seen."
Are we still talking about the car?
With a smirk and a raised eyebrow I'm fairly certain that Wuya herself has caught on.
"But that's not that point…" he utters.
She narrows her eyes, more so in frustration than anything else.
"What I'm trying to say is…what's the use in having all this stuff…if I've got nobody to share it with?" he asks.
And that's certainly a question he didn't think he'd be asking. The part of him with the edge he had earlier questions the same thing. Not the question itself, but why he's questioning things in the first place.
He stops himself.
Friends. That's what he was going to say.
He needs friends? He needs…friends?
The last friends he had turned on him. The last friends he had turned their backs when he needed them the most. The last friends he had became selfish and only started thinking about themselves. No need to worry about Raimundo. He's only stuck as a regular old Xiaolin monk because he thought of doing something instead of hiding like a coward. No need to worry about Raimundo, he'll catch up. Or not, it doesn't matter, he only thinks about himself.
Well you know what? Yeah! Maybe he does!
"Actually, is there any chance that…maybe…I dunno…I don't have to play these games alone?" he asks.
She raises her arms, using some of her Heylin magic to force the young man across the floor. His boots drag, although the force isn't necessary, especially given he lands in the arms of the Heylin witch. They touch cheeks and it's honestly the happiest moment of Rai's life.
"…all you had to do was ask?"
"Really? So you'll play with me?" he asks.
God he's really like a kid on Christmas. It'd be adorable if it wasn't for such selfish reasons.
"What? Me? I'm far too busy ruling the world to deal with such…trivialities," Wuya says.
She looks almost disgusted. Disappointing but not too surprising. She's a busy woman, she has things to do still. Maybe once the whole ruling the world bit slows down they could…play some games…watch a movie…eat some popcorn…hop on that horse he rode in on…
"No! I meant them," she says.
She points towards an empty space which, sure as you can announce it, quickly is filled with three rock golems which sprout up from the ground courtesy of a simple clap.
"Play with Raimundo. See that he is adequately entertained," she says.
That is…certainly an order.
The rock golems nod in response. Despite having limited capacity as nothing but a minion made from stone, they do seem to understand orders just as well as he does.
"There. You see? All better."
She raises her arms up. I mean…considering his mood has significantly approved he can't say she's wrong.
With another clap, she is teleported into the mustang. Wearing a pink helmet and pink racing gear with accompanying pink goggles not unlike Jack's actually, she waves a blue handkerchief in the air as a goodbye.
She tosses it behind her before speeding away in the vehicle. As it roars away, Raimundo glances up at the three rock golems. He stretches the collar of his hoodie as some sweat starts to form.
"So uh…you guys like air hockey?" he asks.
The three nod in approval, mumbling in their own language what Rai assumes is sentiments of enjoyment towards the game.
Well…he can't say she didn't give him what he wanted.
They probably go through three different air hockey tables before Raimundo realizes that while rock golems are good at capturing things and carrying out orders from the witch they both follow, they're not very good at playing games.
Raimundo sinks another puck towards the rock golem across from him—he'll call it Antonio—and the rock golem responds by slamming its fist on the table in frustration.
"It's all good Tony. I'm sure there's a game in here for you," Rai says.
He glances over towards Francisco and Paulo who are presently gorging themselves on what there is for pizza. Fun fact: Heylin magic allows the pizza to remain hot and fresh all the time so that it never gets cold or dry.
Or maybe that's just the green fire that seems to be a constant theme.
He rolls his eyes at the mess they're making. Cheese and pizza sauce hangs from their limbs and seeps into their green core.
He turns back towards Tony…who begins to eat one of the pucks.
With a sigh, Rai grabs a nearby basketball.
"Yo Tony, let's try some basketball."
When Tony rushes by him and tackles the basketball net to the ground, Rai isn't sure why he's surprised.
He just tosses the ball over his shoulder with narrowed eyes. He hears some nearby footsteps and turns his head to see Wuya walking on some catwalks.
"Heyo Wuya, the good time gal," he calls to her.
He winces right after. Good time gal? Really? Not the best thing to call somebody you're serving. Though he could probably save it for later if he ends up seeing Kimiko again.
"You up for a little air hockey?" he asks.
Tony notices its master and approaches from behind Rai. Rai glances over just in time for it to belch. The remains of the puck fly to the ground. He turns back to Wuya.
"Uh…we'll need a new puck," he says with a goofy grin.
"Later Raimundo," she says.
Although if Rai knows anything it's that later probably means never. That's fine. Not ideal but so long as she's in his presence it's hard for him to be in a bad mood.
"First…" she says, narrowing her eyes which is always a good sight to see for him and a bad thing for almost everyone else. "…I have a special surprise."
Rai's eyes widen as he subconsciously puts his hands in front of him.
She starts to exit the room and Rai, like a puppy following its master, follows. He manages to somehow keep his eyes in front of him and not focusing on the Heylin witch's backside which sways back and forth.
He manages to almost succeed but if Wuya noticed she didn't say anything.
They reach her throne room. They pass by the bannister of the stairs that are just giant stone dragons with rock scales on the back. It's a nice design but a hideous reminder of a green former friend of his.
"May I present your fallen comrades: the Xiaolin warriors," she says.
She raises her hand to…well, present a group of rock golems who enter. These ones are modified to have cages in them which do, in fact, hold three of his former friends.
Though why Jack is there is kind of a mystery.
Whatever, at least that problem is solved.
Of the four of them, Kimiko is the only one still continuing to struggle. It'd be adorable if it wasn't so annoying. Girl, learn when to quit. Come on now.
"Delicious!" Wuya's voice interrupts his thoughts. "My domination of the world is now…complete."
It is then that Rai realizes that despite three of his favorite former friends being present (as well as an unwelcome nuisance), there is, in fact, the fourth and final Xiaolin warrior that is somehow absent.
Despite a part of him not wanting to anger the witch, Rai feels obligated to mention this somewhat major problem.
"Um, Wuya, you might wanna do a head count. You're short one Omi…emphasis on the short," he says.
"Omi!" she exclaims.
Her hand covers her mouth. Maybe to hide her shock? Maybe because it's weird? Maybe Rai shouldn't question it?
With a poof of smoke and an audible gasp—there's that problem solved now as well—she appears in front of Dojo.
"Where's Omi?" she asks, kneeling down to be at the dragon's level.
Dojo ponders on it for a bit.
Oh wow they lost Omi.
When Dojo begins to answer, Clay interrupts.
"Frankly it's none of your business ma'am," he says.
"Dude, even now you're polite? Cut the niceties and just tell us," Rai says.
He approaches the group, his arms folded across his chest.
"Like we'd ever tell you where he is," Kimiko says.
Ever the fire starter I see.
"Well, like they say…" Wuya begins.
Speaking of starting fires. Wuya holds up her hand to allow an obvious green flame to appear.
"…I have ways of making you talk."
"He's trapped in the past!" Jack just can't help himself it seems.
And with that, the third and final problem is solved. Thank you Spicer.
Rai turns to the 'boy genius' with a raised eyebrow.
"Come again?" he asks.
Jack looks at Wuya with such admiration. Or possibly he's just begging, with Jack it's hard to tell. He better not be admiring Wuya. Jack lost his chance ages ago.
"Yeah, h-he traveled back in time to ask some guy named Dashi for help," Jack just keeps on pouring out useful information.
"Omi is in the past?" Wuya asks.
Rai can't really blame her for wanting clarification. Something like this seems pretty farfetched. Jack is smarter than anybody gives him credit for—even Rai will admit the dude has a few wins under his belt—but building a time machine? That seems outside his paygrade.
"Yes…and now he's trapped there," Kimiko says.
She turns to Jack, who once again can't keep his mouth shut.
"And it was me who sent him back Wuya. I was really on your side all the way," Jack says.
Rai sees Kimiko, Clay, and Dojo roll their eyes. For once, he agrees, joining them in watching the evil blunder trip himself in his poor attempt at 'evil redemption'.
"Stupid Omi walked right into our trap. Woohoo!"
Jack raises a finger, looking to one of the rock golems.
"You can let me go now," he says.
"You're an idiot," Rai retorts.
"Forget it Jack, I'm not buying," Wuya adds-in.
Jack immediately loses the gleam in his eyes. His eyes seemingly sink into his head, the error of his attempted double-double cross coming back to bite him immediately.
"Really? Even if I whimper?" Jack asks.
"Omi is really trapped in the past?" Rai asks, completely ignoring Jack doing exactly that.
"We'll never see him again," Kimiko says. "Thanks to you."
I mean…that seems like a stretch. Rai raises an eyebrow as if questioning her thought process.
All the same, even Rai has to admit that this is…too much.
"And I hope you feel guilty about it," Dojo says.
"Yeah, nice going you two-faced fink," now it's Clay's turn.
"Whoa, ease-up on the language there, ya' Texas vermin," Rai says, mockingly throwing in his own attempt at Clay's accent.
Rai lets out a sigh, pinching his nose as if to alleviate some of the anxiety starting to form.
"Look…I know I kind of jumped headfirst into this whole Heylin thing, and…I've got a lot of issues with how this whole apprentice thing went down, but…I…I never wanted anything to happen to you guys," he says.
No, at least not something this far.
"Ah, thanks Rai! I knew you always loved me!"
"Except you Jack. This is pretty much what I wanted to happen to you," Rai adds in.
When Jack goes back to whimpering, Rai continues his rant.
"I guess…I figured I was owed so much more for trying to do something instead of following an order that was…quite frankly it was a stupid order. Master Fung never should've ordered us to run and hide when we were ready to stand and fight. And what did it even do? You used a shen-gong-wu against his order, and how were you punished? You got the apprenticeship while I was stuck there lagging behind and watching your backs run off without me. I guess…I guess I just wanted my due."
"And now you've got it Raimundo," Wuya says.
When her hand touches his shoulder, a chill runs up his spine. A spec of red adorns his cheek as he glances up at her.
"To the dungeon with them," she orders.
Her hand is removed and her feet carry her towards the stairs.
What he wouldn't give to have that touch back…
What he wouldn't give to have…
Raimundo turns towards his former friends (and Spicer) as the rock golems start to turn.
"I'm sorry guys. I really wish things could've gone differently. For what it's worth, I don't blame you three for anything. If I had a choice…"
He does have a choice.
"Wait!" he calls out.
Wuya stops, looking over her shoulder with a raised eyebrow. He rushes up towards her, stopping just short and tripping on the steps, causing him to hit a knee.
Yes, he tripped, says the small part of his brain still trying to hold on to a semblance of good.
The rock golems stop, turning back towards their master and her second, giving the prisoners another shot at what is happening.
"What if these guys, you know…swear loyalty to you? I mean they can sorta…live in the palace…with me?" he asks.
He smiles his best smile. He makes sure his eyes are gleaming. He even adds in a couple of thumbs up for good measure.
Wuya looks down at him from over her shoulder, a smile that he can't read gracing her lips.
"If they swear their loyalty," she says.
His face immediately brightens further. He turns back towards the group, making sure to switch between his three former Xiaolin allies equally.
"Come on guys, you won't believe the stuff she's got. Unlimited games, unlimited pizza that's always hot, a few different rock golems that are hard to deal with sometimes—sorry Tony," Rai says.
From nearby, Tony looks down to the ground a bit saddened by the news of failure.
"…but all-in-all, there's plenty of things that we could enjoy together, and all without competition, all without dealing with stupid decisions from an old man way past his due date. No rules, no restrictions, just all of us side-by-side, ruling the world."
"Under Wuya," Dojo says.
"With you," Kimiko seethes.
"And without Omi," Clay finishes.
"Come on guys! I'm sure cheddar-head will be fine! He managed to meet his hero, how bad could he possibly have it?" Rai asks them, no begs them.
"Sold! You can let me go now," Jack says.
Rai looks at him for a bit. He shrugs, looking towards Wuya.
"The offer's not for you Jack," she says.
Rai looks back to the 'boy genius' with another shrug.
"Boy…you really hold a grudge," Jack grumbles.
Rai turns back to his three former comrades. At this point he has his hands folded in front of him, trying to plead with them without hitting his knees.
"Come on guys. Wuya rules the whole world…except Australia. For some reason they're holding back," he says. "Just join the winning team already. Whattaya say?'
He looks to Kimiko. Her eyes are wide, there's a smile on her face, and he knows that he has her.
"What do ya' say?" she asks.
Wait, no, he's pretty sure he read that wrong.
"How about…dream on!" she yells.
Definitely read that wrong.
"Pfft, fine, who needs the forest fire. Come on Clay!" Rai exclaims.
"I'd sooner kiss the ass of a mule," the cowboy says, his arms fallen and his face looking to the floor.
Rai turns to Dojo, waiting for the inevitable.
"Forget it!" Dojo shouts.
"Wow…" Rai says.
He looks at the ground. He folds his arm across his chest, letting a deep breath in before letting it exhale. The wind around the throne room picks up, sending a few strands of hair blowing around him and a few pieces of clothes fluttering.
"I can't say I'm not disappointed," he says.
With another sigh, Rai turns his back to his former friends.
"Even now you mooks would rather follow the word of a failed system than an obviously succeeding dynasty. I expected better from all of you, really."
"So be it, Xiaolin warriors," Wuya says.
She steps down the stairs, standing next to Rai, who still has his back to the quartet. He places a hand on his shoulder, which causes a smile to come to his face.
"You can spend the rest of eternity in the dungeon."
She raises her other hand, causing the middle of the room to open up. What was Wuya's face opens its mouth to a chasm below.
All four of the prisoners float up out of their cages. They're effectively thrown up out of the rock golems' mouths and sent into the chasm, all various versions of screams of terror.
Rai focuses on the hand on his shoulder to block out the sounds.
Once the center of the room closes, he can feel the tears falling down his cheeks.
Wuya turns around, tightening her grip on his shoulder
"Take it from me, Raimundo. I've experienced over 2000 years on this miserable planet. Friends are for failures. I didn't become who I was meant to be until I joined the Heylin," she says.
He nods his head.
"So…how do you play this…air hockey?" she asks.
Well that was certainly an entertaining try.
Try being the operative word.
It was five minutes of teaching her how to play and then another two minutes of actual playing before they were interrupted.
Apparently the Australian government finally agreed to an unconditional surrender, so there's a bonus fourth problem that was solved.
Raimundo would be hard pressed to find a seven minutes that he wasn't the happiest he's ever been. Just being in Wuya's presence is more than enough to get him happy, but to actually play something with her was absolute, joyous heaven.
But alas, good things always come to an end. Quite unfortunate but such is what Rai expected. He was lucky to get those seven minutes at least. It's not quite an eternity with what Rai is now calling a goddess in human form, but it's certainly a mere drop of taste that it could be.
Once the fun ended and Rai tried once again to play air hockey with Tony (the table crashed after Tony lost 21 to 3, but at least it was a better attempt), it became quickly obvious that Rai was growing bored.
Seems like becoming an evil Heylin and getting literally everything you ever wanted does seem to have its downsides.
Deciding that a house of cards was an apropos way to spend one's time when you're bound to be alone for most of the time you have left, Rai took to it like a piece of paper takes to a ceiling fan.
Now on his third layer, it is so far the farthest Rai's gone.
He has another pair of cards ready to stack when the now familiar sound of a flamethrower douses them.
"Whoa!" he exclaims.
The now pile of ashes hits the table. Rai looks over towards the green dragon being ridden by Clay and Kimiko.
"What's the matter Rai? You look pretty bored for a guy who rules the world," the Fire apprentice says.
"What are you doing here?" Rai asks.
A part of him is shocked. Another part is happy.
The biggest part of him right now is just confused.
"Did you decide to join me?" he asks.
That same part gets excited at the prospect. A prospect that is immediately shut down.
"Nope. Still rather kiss the ass of a mule," Clay says.
"We escaped Raimundo," Kimiko says.
Oh well that's just not good. Rai narrows his eyes towards his three former allies.
"So be cool and let us go," she finishes.
"Or be a loser and come after us," Dojo says.
"Huh…" Rai says.
He grabs the Golden Tiger Claws from the pocket of his hoodie. He places it on his left hand before pulling the hood up.
"Ya better run. Cause I'm coming after you."
He turns around, hearing the sounds of a dragon flying into the distance.
"Tony, Franky, Paulie!"
Tony rushes up to his side. Franky and Paulie follow suit, albeit still covered in mozzarella cheese and marinara sauce.
"Get your selves cleaned up and let's go. We have some former friends to catch."
Raimundo tries to act nonchalant when all three of the rock golems he brings with him are crushed and melted.
Unfortunately, Rai can't help but feel a bit of sympathy when Tony is turned into pebbles, Franky is tossed into dust, and Paulie is melted into ash.
Though there is a silver lining to this dark cloud.
It makes way quick enough for Rai's anger.
"Break all ya want you guys," he says, the rage slipping through. "We'll make more."
With a narrowed pair of eyes, he raises his free hand and snaps his fingers.
Behind him, he can hear two more rock golems forming.
He decided not to name these two. Even if they survive past this fight, it's quite obvious their lifespan only relates to how good they are in a battle and how much they can take at any given time.
No use naming something that's not going to live long enough to grow attached.
When the collective trio of runaways find themselves trapped in a corner, continuingly destroying all of the rock golems in their way, Rai floats above them. He uses the wind to remain flying, staring down at them as they destroy golem after golem without any surcease.
"What's wrong with you guys? Why don't you just fly away?" he asks to himself.
As Kimiko runs away from a golem, Dojo slips free of another one's grasp, and Clay smashes another one to bits, Rai can only stare on in more confusion than anger.
"It's like you're not even trying to get away…" he mutters again.
An imaginary light bulb goes off above his head.
His head and arms become rubber when he sags, realizing that that is literally it.
"Because you're not," he says. "Quick! Back to the palace!"
He activates the Golden Tiger Claws, diving headfirst into the transportation tunnel.
It takes him less time than usual to figure out where he needs to go. As he activates the Claws once more, he rolls through, landing on his feet in the throne room.
"Wuya! The prisoners have escaped! I think they set a—"
Once he notices the situation, he stops talking. A few moments later the stomps of the Rock Golems he had just left stop behind him.
Wuya is standing there, which is more than enough to get him to stop anything, but it's her nonchalance and just in general apathy that catches his attention.
She can literally make anything look good.
"Not to worry Raimundo," she says.
He walks past her, staring his eyes at a green fire prison, always rotating and defying gravity enough to keep Jack in place.
"They are no threat to me," Wuya finishes.
Raimundo locks eyes with Omi, hanging upside down and gripping a…is that a puzzle box?...tight in his grasp.
"Raimundo! Help us please!" the short stack shouts.
"Well, well," Wuya says.
Raimundo looks over at what she's looking at. Three more rock golems enter the throne room. They are made in a similar vein as the ones before, keeping the three former Xiaolin allies Raimundo had just fought locked up in a small prison inside their stomachs.
"The gang's all here."
"I'm guessing the box didn't work?" Clay asks, looking up at Jack and Omi.
"Jack Spicer couldn't open it," the latter says in a very sarcastic tone of voice that Rai has never heard him speak in.
"Not like you did any better chrome dome," Jack says.
Wuya reaches into the fire prison, grabbing the puzzle box from Omi's clutches. She examines it closely, the smile she's wearing doing wonders for Rai's confidence.
"You got a magic puzzle box from Dashi? Impressive effort I must say," she says. "Yet how like Dashi to give you the tool, without the knowledge of how to use it."
One of the rock golems Raimundo was fighting with moments prior stomps over to the fire prison. His stomach transforms into a giant open hole to which Jack and Omi are promptly tossed into. Bars form in front of them, keeping the now dejected pair in place.
Wuya hands the box over to Rai, who grips it in his free hand.
"Seems about right. Omi is usually a tool without knowledge," he says.
This emits a chuckle from Wuya and a glare from Omi.
The former is enough to make him smile and blush.
Despite his dejected state, it is Jack who actually notices.
He narrows his eyes, scratching his chin.
"Now…to unfinished business," Wuya says. "Crush them!"
"Not so fast Wuya," Dojo says.
Oh no what is he doing now?
"Once again you've forgotten about my ability to change size."
Dojo attempts to change size.
He ends up getting stuck in the rock golem's stomach prison without even so much as cracking any part of it.
When he reverts back to his normal size, Wuya and Rai share something of a brief glance before the latter looks away quickly.
Unseen by most, Jack smirks at this. Jack taps Omi's shoulder, whispering something in his ear while the evil duo are sufficiently distracted.
The smile that Jack gets in return is enough of a verification that Jack needs.
"Like I said…crush them!" she says.
"Hold it ya old hag!" Jack calls.
"Watch your tongue!" Rai responds.
Wuya puts a hand on Rai's shoulder, calming him down enough for him to relax.
"Relax Raimundo. It's just Jack," she says.
"Yeah, it's 'just Jack' alright. The 'just Jack' who not only outsmarted you, discovered time travel without your fancy wu, and managed to come up with this brilliant plan that only failed because I'm an idiot…"
When the confirmation of this fact is spoken by everybody in the room, including a few rock golems, Jack continues.
"…I also managed to serve you for so long without any question or anything in return. Sure I got the wu, but I was always doing it for you."
"There a point here Jack?" Wuya asks.
Rai can tell she's growing frustrated. He can't blame her as he grips the puzzle box tighter.
"Yeah, actually! I served you no problem until you turned on me for Mala Mala Jong. Don't you think that earns me one final request?" Jack asks.
Rai's mouth opens more in shock than anything else. Did…did Jack really just ask that?
"Hmm…I can see your messed up logic Jack. Very well, I'll humor you one last request," Wuya says.
"Um…are you sure about this Wuya?" Rai asks.
"It's fine Raimundo," she says in that exact tone of voice Rai needed to know that it actually is going to be fine. "It's only Jack. If anything we can just crush him anyway."
Rai lets out a breath. He nods before she continues.
"Go ahead Jack," she says.
"Don't you think that if you want to have a minion as powerful as Rai that he should prove himself to you?" the 'boy genius' asks.
Wuya narrows her eyes, the sneer on her face revealing how frustrated she really is.
Despite this, it's Raimundo who steps forward.
"You would question my loyalty? I would willingly follow her until the end of days. At least I know she's willing to stand behind me and encourage me to be who I need to be," he says.
He glares at Omi. The Water apprentice looks down to the ground before responding.
"I'm sorry Raimundo. I know that I can be arrogant sometimes. I know that I treated you like a lesser just because you weren't an apprentice. I know that I am not a good friend. But you have to believe me: I am trying. I never knew anybody around the temple when I was growing up. I never had friends. I never 'hanged out' with people like me. It was always me, Dojo, and Master Fung, and even then, when your best friend is an over 1500 year old dragon, things can be kind of hard sometimes."
"Make your point," Rai cuts in.
"My point…" Omi says. "…is that over the past few days and spending over 1500 years frozen in ice made me realize just how badly I was treating you. I'm sorry, Raimundo. I really am. To be honest…one of the reasons I was so harsh on you is because…I was…jealous."
"Bullshit," Rai says. "You…jealous of me?"
"It's true!" Omi shouts. "You're always so laid back. You always take things in stride. Even when you were learning more about the Xiaolin you always took it easily enough. I'm sorry that I didn't take you seriously at first, but I realize now that it is that kind of attitude that makes me want to be a better Xiaolin dragon. To be a better warrior! You inspire me to be better! You inspire me to be greater! You inspire me to be a good friend!"
The air in the room starts becoming intense. It circles around Raimundo before blowing towards the prisoners. Their clothes and hair start to flutter wildly while Rai stands firm.
"A good friend? Is that what this is about? Do you really think I need friends anymore?" he asks nobody.
His eyes start to shine a bright green. His hands start forming wind with every motion he unleashes in his anger.
"What good were any of you when I needed you the most? If you're the kinds of friends I would have…than maybe it's time you started being enemies."
With a final thrust of his hands, the wind dies down almost as fast as it formed.
Raimundo breathes in and out hard, his pants becoming visible through the wind blowing in and out.
"Behold the power of Heylin magic," Wuya says.
"Wow…that was pretty powerful," Jack responds.
Rai turns his bright green eyes to Jack. The glare receives little response beyond a smirk.
"I would almost say it's more powerful than yours' Wuya," he continues.
Wuya narrows her eyes.
"Jack…" Omi whispers.
"What? Me, more powerful than Wuya? You really are an idiot Jack," Rai says.
"Am I though? You felt it, right Wuya? Come on, you're ten times the Heylin I am and even I felt the magic floating through the air," Jack says.
Wuya tightens her fists, looking at Jack with what rage she has left.
"Let's face it! You're old hat! Heylin magic like that might've been good 1500 years ago, but can you imagine what new school might bring? A Xiaolin elemental apprentice learning Heylin magic? It seems impossible! But can you imagine? What if that kind of magic grows stronger? What if it start to become more powerful? What if it becomes more powerful that not even a puzzle box could stop it? Where would that leave you Wuya?"
"Enough," Wuya says. "You've finally crossed the deep end, haven't you Jack?"
"Then what's stopping you! Prove that Raimundo is truly the good servant he says he is! If he's really as subservient as he claims, than make him prove it!"
"I said enough!" the witch orders.
Wuya throws her right hand out in front of her. A blast of green fire flows from it, colliding with the floor in front of Jack and Omi's prison golem. Their collective shriek would be a joyous sound in any other situation.
"Can you believe this guy Wuya? Like I could ever…beat…you…" Rai starts to stay before noticing the look of rage on his master's face.
She looks at Rai, then down at the puzzle box. She switches back and forth for a bit as if contemplating her odds.
Because she is contemplating her odds.
"Open it," she says.
"I said open it," she says.
And as Raimundo has learned…that is an order.
But unlike the other ones, this is not one he's willing to easily follow.
"Wuya! Why would I want to open this?" Raimundo asks.
"This is the final test Raimundo. Prove to me your undying loyalty. If you can open it I know that you are not as loyal as you say," Wuya says.
"This is bullshit! Wuya I will do whatever you want! I'll destroy my friends. I'll destroy Master Fung. I'll destroy Australia if that's what you want! But opening this box? Why?"
"Do it! Prove your loyalty and open the puzzle box!"
Raimundo releases a loud growl. He grips the top of the puzzle box tight, staring with his bright green eyes at Wuya.
"Fine! If this is what you order, than I will do it!"
When he grips the top of the puzzle box, he expects it to remain closed.
When it opens, it's when they realize they've been duped.
A bright yellow light shines from the box.
"Wait! No!" Rai shouts.
He tries to close it, but it's to no avail.
"No! This can't be!" Wuya calls.
"Wuya! Mistress! Please believe me! This isn't what I wanted!" Rai shouts.
Wuya stares at Rai, but doesn't stare for too long before a ghost in the form of bald-monk exits right in front of him.
With a gasp, Wuya speaks his name, "Dashi!"
Rai notices the spectral voice returning. He attempts once more to close the box, but fails in every attempt.
"No! No no no no no!" he shouts.
Wuya looks at Dashi and then at the pleading green eyes of Raimundo behind him.
"Raimundo! Find me! Release me again!" she orders.
"Ma'am! Please don't go!" at this point the tears are streaming down his face.
Dashi flies forward, slipping through Wuya and turning her skin purple. With a ghostly screech, she is turned into her spectral form, the mask returning to her face.
With one final "no" shouted into the echoey halls of her throne room, the ghost that was Wuya is flown into the puzzle box. Raimundo hits his knees, holding the box close to his chest as it shuts closed once again.
Dashi floats in front of him, speaking clearly to Rai and Rai alone.
"Your journey ahead is a long one, Dragon of the Wind. I can't guarantee it won't be filled with heartbreak. I can't guarantee it won't be filled with more sadness. But wipe the tears for now Raimundo. Things will get better. I only wish your journey of a thousand miles was easier than the other three dragons. Whenever you take that first step, know that I will be there. Just make sure it's the right direction."
With that, Dashi disappears into the air, leaving a crying Raimundo on his knees, clutching the puzzle box even closer.
The rock golems behind him collapse into dust and rubble.
As the entire citadel itself begins to shake, the group behind him start to notice. Rai appears to be unaffected, or at the very least uncaring.
When the familiar sound of Dojo changing sizes is heard, Raimundo feels his hoodie being grabbed. He is thrown onto the dragon, being clutched on both sides. The shoulder he's crying on his bulky while the arms around his shoulders are much smaller.
Neither of them speak as Dojo flies away from the crumbling citadel of evil that once held its mistress
Once the world has returned to its lush wonder, the color has returned to the monochrome world, the moon has lost its mark and the darkness has faded from the world, it's a lonely tree on top of a mountain that the six participants in the war that was make their spot.
Raimundo is kneeling on the edge of the canyon, clutching the puzzle box close, cradling it in his Golden Tiger Claws. Behind him, the other five sit near the tree, huddled together and just watching the blue sky in front of them.
"It's like Wuya never even ruled the world," Clay says.
"Which is just the way I like it, for the record," Kimiko adds in.
"Yeah yeah, swell," Jack says.
He steps off the tree he was leaning against, stepping away and starting to walk down the mountain.
"I'm outta here," he says.
"Jack Spicer, wait!" Omi calls.
As Omi is dragged away from the group, Kimiko and Clay look over towards Raimundo. Dojo, on Clay's shoulders, follow their gaze. He grimaces.
With a sigh, they start to approach. Rai speaks up before they get far.
"Don't," is all he says.
They stop their approaching, making sure to keep enough distance. Rai slowly reaches his feet, his legs wobbly and his feet crooked.
"You should stay with us at the Xiaolin temple," the quartet can hear Omi say to Jack. "Hone your skills…and join the fight for good."
The four only look at the duo. Jack looks at them in response, a smile crossing his face.
"Me? Fighting for good? Fighting in a bath robe?" Jack asks, ejecting his heliots' blades. "Forget it! Next time we meet, we're enemies again."
"Pathetic," Rai says.
Jack stops, glaring down at Raimundo still clutching the puzzle box.
"I'm the pathetic one? I'm not the one holding on to that stupid puzzle box that you can't even open," he says.
Raimundo narrows his eyes, unconsciously gripping the puzzle box tighter.
"I'll tell you what though. This whole Heylin, Xiaolin thing's getting way out of hand. Look, Chrome Dome, I can't guarantee any friendly ties, but if Windbreaker over there or the ghostly hag ends up coming back, well…" Jack says. "…let's just say I wouldn't be against a team-up. And hey, if we ever have any downtime, we can all go for ice cream, my treat."
"You're a terrible Heylin and an even worse evildoer," Raimundo says, the anger slowly seeping out.
"Fine then. Call me neutral if you want. If it involves you or her, than I have no problem stopping you," Jack says. "See ya Xiaolin losers!"
With that, Jack flies off, leaving the quintet alone once again.
The four of them not currently clutching a box and wu turn towards the one who is.
Rai looks at them, glaring at Omi especially. With a sigh, he turns back towards the cliff's edge.
"You know where I stand. If a time ever comes where our interests align, I'd be okay with a temporary alliance. But when it comes down to us being 'friends' again, well…let's just say it'll take more than an ice cream to make up for it," he says. "Golden Tiger Claws!"
He activates the wu, slicing the air and revealing the much more familiar gray, blue, and black that he's used to.
"Raimundo…please…think about this," Omi says.
"Ha! Yeah, no. You're way past that. The next time we meet, if you get in my way, you better prepare for a Heylin Dragon of Wind to fight."
With that, Rai leaps into the portal. He doesn't look back before the portal shuts behind him.
A day later, in a familiar valley of rocks, still black as it was before, sits a Brazilian boy with a golden pair of claws on his left hand.
In his right is a familiar puzzle box.
His white hood is up, shrouding his face from view.
When footsteps approach, the Brazilian lowers his hood, glaring over at the cat-suited female approaching. She cleans her claws as she enters his view.
"So it's true…one of the Xiaolin dorks has come over to the Heylin side," the female says.
"You could say that. So tell me…what brings you here?" the Brazilian boy asks.
"Oh, me? Well, I just decided to see what lied in the wreckage of the old witch's remains. Possibly loot some things, see what I could find," the female says. "What you got there Rrrrrai?"
Rai clutches the box closer, holding the Claws up in a form of defense.
"Whoa, relax. Just curious is all," the female says.
"Haven't you heard? Curiosity killed the Katnappe," Rai says.
He holds the box up, showing Katnappe the puzzle box.
"Just some stupid puzzle box?" she asks.
"No. A puzzle box containing the greatest Heylin known to this wretched planet."
"Huh…" is all she says.
"Why are you here? Don't lie to me," he says.
With a groan, she gives him an answer.
"I don't know. A part of me just…felt like I need to come here. It was the same part of me that decided to be evil in the first place. I took it as a sign and…well…"
Rai looks up at Katnappe, his green eyes meeting her yellow slitted ones. The two share a brief nod before she holds out her clawed hand. He sets the box in it, but keeps his hands poised for a fight.
With a release of breath, Katnappe puts her 'paws' onto the box.
She opens it.