This was inspired by the Joker of Wonderland and her incredible fanfic "Demon of the Lily". Please read it if you haven't already.
Note: I decided to heavily edit this story to fix problems with spelling, grammar and general flow of the story. I don't usually do this, but when I looked at the hit counts, I noticed that this is my most popular story. This was written several years ago, so most of this is quite bad compared to my current work. The plot won't change and I'm going to replace one chapter at a time, so I have no idea how long it'll take for me to finish the project. If the level of quality drops all of sudden, it probably means that you just started reading the original chapters.
And no, I don't own Jackie Chan Adventures and never will. This is purely for entertainment and no money is being made.
It was not a quiet Saturday morning in Uncle's small shop. Everybody had been up for the entire night, helping the old man to find a special chi spell. It was supposed to banish Shendu forever without a need for his demon portal.
Uncle turned the yellowish pages of his book and sipped some hot tea every now and then. He had been sitting there since the dawn of the day, and no one had dared to say a word after Jade had been shouted at for whispering too loudly.
The girl sat on the stairs and watched how Jackie and Tohru carried Uncle new books and tea. She let out a sigh. It had been just a few days since they had defeated Dai Gui, the earth demon, in Spain and she was already looking forward to the next adventure.
It had been quiet since that day; the Dark Hand had not tried to open a new portal, wherever it was, and there had been absolutely no excitement in the shop. Finding the right spell was a must for Uncle, he didn't rest or let anyone else do that either.
"Not that book! Told you to bring the brown one!" Uncle shouted suddenly and whacked Jackie angrily. The archaeologist almost dropped the book he was holding, but managed to catch it just in time.
"But Uncle, this is brown," he defended and then wished he had kept his mouth shut.
"Not the right one! You have to bring me the book I want!" the old man snapped and Jackie sighed. He didn't even want to remember when was the last time that Uncle had been that cranky. The old man's bad mood was starting to affect them, too.
"Very well, Uncle," he muttered and returned the book to the library where Tohru went through the shelves, trying to guess which one of the green books was the right one.
Jade hid a yawn behind her hand and licked her lips. She was sleepy; she couldn't believe she had been forced to wake up that early. It was Saturday! She leaned her head against her hands and closed her eyes. It would not hurt anyone if she just rested for a moment..
"The spell! I found it!"
"Ah! Jade exclaimed in surprise and almost fell down. A quick glance at the clock revealed that she had fallen asleep.
"Really? What kind of spell is it?" Jackie asked, leaving the three books he had been carrying on a chair.
Uncle frowned and read the old, brittle page and went through the lines with his finger.
"Hmm.. Very difficult one. Three different parts, each has to be done at the same time. But if it works, we can send Shendu back to the Netherworld without a demon portal," he said and Jackie's expression brightened.
"That's good news! Then everything will be just like it used to be," he said happily. "What do we need for the spell?"
"The spell has to be read near Shendu while someone burns skinless rice wrapped in silk and chants this tune," Uncle answered deep in thought and read the part of the book again to be sure. Jackie frowned.
"Difficult," he said and Uncle nodded.
"But worth it, we have to give it a try. Tohru, you get the rice, Jade studies this tune and Jackie buys some silk." Others nodded and Uncle returned to read his book. He waited for a while before turning to look at them again.
"What are you waiting for? Now!"
Shendu was in a very bad mood. That cursed Chan had ruined everything again! Why didn't any of the demons they freed remain free for at least one damned day? Alright, Dai Gui was an idiot and Shendu despised him, but every demon that was sent back made his siblings angrier at him.
He knew they should have been looking for the next portal already. It belonged either to Hsi Wu the sky demon or Bai Tsa the water demon. But no one had done anything about it. Valmont's pathetic men weren't anything but trouble and it was useless to even hope for them to do something without his command.
"Tomorrow," he decided and hissed impatiently. Tomorrow they would find the next portal and that time nothing would go wrong. He would sacrifice every one of Valmont's Enforces if that was needed. Maybe his siblings wouldn't kill him then.
The next day was bright, and two different groups woke up at same time with the sun. They both had their own goals and both were sure they would be the ones to succeed.
"Captain Black said Valmont and his Enforces have been spotted near the baseball stadium," Jackie said and glanced at Uncle who was muttering the spell to himself. The previous day had been real torture for them all. After the rice and silk had been bought, Uncle had forced them to chant an old Chinese tune until it went perfectly and then they had had to listen to the spells the old man had read to them.
Their plan had to work. In the hurry no one had prepared a chi-spell for the next demon so they wouldn't be able to do anything if Shendu managed to free him.
"Are you sure you remember how the tune goes?" Uncle asked Jade. She rolled her eyes.
"Duh, I studied it the whole day. I would be a total idiot if I didn't know it," she said and Uncle frowned.
"Don't talk to me like that! Do you have the rice?" he asked snapping.
"Right here," Jade answered and showed the man a small white bag which contained few handfuls of rice.
"Good," Uncle said in approval and returned to his book.
They arrived to the stadium before the match was supposed to begin and found a good spot for their car.
"Now we just have to find Shendu," Jackie said and looked around. There were people all around the place, but they all were fans of the playing teams. He didn't see a man in a weird Chinese dress anywhere.
Jade also looked around and held the bag of rice tightly in her fingers. Finally she had been given a real task! She could chant that ridiculously easy tune and burn some rice, and the smoke would create a portal which would suck Shendu into the Netherworld where he belonged.
"Hey!" she shouted suddenly and drew the attention of everyone. She had seen a flash of black and blue dress, surely had! "Shendu's right over there!" she exclaimed and pointed at the crowd.
"Quickly after him, we can not let him to open a new portal!" Uncle hurried and he, Jackie, Jade and Tohru rushed after the demon, not paying any attention to the angry protests they got from other people.
Ratso turned to look behind his back when he heard some noise he didn't think belonged there. He frowned and tapped Chow on the back.
"What?" the Chinese man asked and Ratso pointed at the crowd.
"I think I saw Chan there," the man said unsure and Chow snorted.
"Chan? What would he be do -- wait a minute! Of course he's here!"
"Should we tell Shendu?" Ratso asked and nodded at the demon who was walking ahead of them. Chow shook his head.
"No, he'd just force us to fight him and you know how that would end," he said. "Better to wait and see what happens."
Shendu grinned. The portal was close, he could feel it. "Come," he said and gestured at Chow and Ratso who glanced at each other before hurrying after the demon. Ratso held the Pan Ku box in his hands and really hoped they would be able to free the demon and return to their hide-out.
"Hey wait!" someone shouted suddenly and all three turned to look.
"Chan!" Shendu hissed angrily and turned to face Chow and Ratso. "Get him!" The two let out a mental sigh and prepared for a new and useless fight. Of course they wouldn't tell that to Shendu, for the sake of their own health they had to at least to try.
Jackie didn't dare to glance next to him where he knew Uncle and the others were preparing the spell so that he wouldn't draw his enemies' attention there. He dodged easily the punch Chow threw at him and kicked the man while doing it.
"We are close enough, light the rice!" Uncle whispered quietly and Jade nodded. With a flash of her lighter the rice caught fire and she watched happily as the flames licked the white silk.
"Mao tah fe di gui zhan! Dao fa he se ni fong!" Uncle started, trying to pronounce every word of the spell as well as he could. The spell was difficult, every verse was different and one small mistake would be enough to ruin everything.
Shendu hissed angrily and in shock when he felt an invisible force pulling his being. He knew the spell; it was an ancient spell meant for banishing demons. He thought Tchang Zu had destroyed all copies of it. He slit his red eyes and tried to spot Chan's cursed uncle.
"Quickly! Don't let him to finish the spell!" the demon hissed and turned around to escape. Chow and Ratso turned to look in surprise as Uncle, Jade and Tohru rushed after the fleeing demon and Jackie took the chance to kick them both once more before he left too. Ratso stood slowly up and rubbed his neck.
"Should we go too?" he asked and Chow nodded.
Chanting was difficult when you had to run at the same time, but Jade was in a good shape and she managed it, even though her lungs felt like they were going to explode. For Uncle it was harder; he was older but he had more stamina than many who were way younger than him.
The burning rice spread a disgusting scent everywhere and Shendu licked his lips. Why couldn't they just leave him alone? He didn't want to return in the Netherworld now or ever. His siblings would rip him apart.
He increased his speed and thought he was going to make it because in order for the spell to work, he had to be close to the burning rice and he was already too far. The chi wizard and the girl would never catch him in time. Shendu grinned to himself. He would make it!
And then he tripped on his own dress. Everything seemed to happen like in a dream; he fell on the ground and cursed himself. Why hadn't he listened to Valmont when the man had been right for once? If he had wore western clothes instead of dresses he would have been able to escape.
Shendu turned around when he heard steps and hissed in desperation when he saw that Uncle and Jade had caught up with him. He cursed in Chinese and tried to stand up even though he knew how useless it was. The spell was already almost finished..
The smoke seemed to grow and it surrounded Shendu everywhere. He tried to shoo it away and dive out of its range but it seemed like the veil of smoke was endless.
"No, no, no, no!" he muttered desperately to himself before everything went white and he felt no more.
Uncle let out a pleased sigh and Jade dropped the burned bag of silk smiling. Jackie, Chow and Ratso arrived running and Jackie turned to face Uncle.
"Is it over now?" he asked and the old man nodded.
The smoke started to fade and Uncle frowned in worry. Something was wrong now.
"Where's Valmont?" Chow asked nervously when all the smoke was gone but they didn't see the man anywhere.
"I - I don't know," Uncle said quietly and for the first time in his life Jackie knew the old man was uncertain of something.
His head ached and all he wanted was to fell into an ever lasting dream and have some rest. He didn't remember what had happened and didn't even want to try; remembering hurt too much. If he could just sleep..
Something hit him painfully in the chest and Valmont muttered a protest. He couldn't care less now, he was so tired.
"Wake up fool!" he heard someone hiss and was awake in a moment. That voice.. He didn't even have to try to remember. That voice had followed him everywhere in his nightmares for weeks.
"Shendu!" he exclaimed and sat up.
He was welcomed by an entirely strange sight. Everything was red and orange, the air smelled horrible and he could not see a fixed point anywhere. Valmont looked around and felt a cold flash cut through his body. He had never seen the place properly, only glances through the demon portals before they were closed.
The Netherworld. The place where the demons were. How the heck had he got here? And why? Then he remembered Shendu and lifted his eyes only to see the great fire demon in his own body. Valmont had wished for so long that the demon would be separated from him, but now he wasn't at all happy to see him.
"Shendu? How did this…? I thought you were a spirit. The girl destroyed your body," he said his voice shaking and the demon grinned down at him.
"It appears the wretched spell they cast on us had some advantages after all. It separated us and gave me a new body," Shendu said, his voice dripping with hate and anger which didn't leave anything unclear. Valmont swallowed and tried not to think about what the demon had planned for him.
He had to get out of there! Valmont rose on his shaking legs and noticed he was still wearing the Chinese dress. He took an unsure step away from Shendu, looking desperately for an exit, anything. But he didn't see anything other than the horrible red and he bit his lip. He had never been that afraid in his whole life!
"Going somewhere, Valmont?" Shendu asked happily and Valmont felt the dragon's sharp claws when he grabbed him from the neck. He yelped and could imagine the smile playing on Shendu's face. Blast it, this could not end like this!
"Don't be afraid Valmont; I won't let you die in a long time. In fact, never," Shendu said like knowing what the man was thinking and cold creeps went down Valmont's spine. Maybe death was not that bad of an option after all..
"Shendu!" a voice was suddenly heard and Shendu turned to face the angry Tchang Zu. The dragon bowed his head.
"My honoured master," he greeted and Tchang Zu snorted.
"Stop it! What went wrong? Why did you fail to carry out the simple task we gave to you? And the explanation had better be good!" the thunder demon snapped and Shendu flinched nervously.
"The chi wizard turned out to be stronger than I expected, master," he answered. "He used the ancient spell of Du Woh and managed to banish me here," he continued when Tchang Zu nodded. The thunder demon crossed his arms on his chest.
"So what? You still had the chance to survive and yet you were defeated! Now we all are forever doomed here! And eternity is a long time, Shendu. We have to have some entertainment," he said and Shendu knew too well what his brother meant by that. But he still had one card up his sleeve.
"Honoured master, everything is not lost," he said and sighed in relief when Tchang Zu seemed to be interested. Shendu lifted Valmont who had listened quietly to the demons talking. Tchang Zu lifted an eyebrow in interest.
"Explain," he told shortly.
"We eight cannot escape this place because of the portals, but someone who doesn't have one could easily do that," Shendu said and pointed at Valmont with his clawed hand. "He will open the portals for us," he continued and Tchang Zu snorted.
"A mere mortal," he said in despise. "Why should we trust him? How do we know he won't betray us when we let him out?" he asked in suspicion.
Shendu grinned. "That's the beauty of this. He could be one of us," he said. Valmont yelped and felt like something very cold was creeping inside if him. A demon? He?
"Never! Let me go!" he pleaded and tried to break free from Shendu's grip.
"Quiet!" the dragon hissed and hit him with one of his claws.
Tchang Zu thought about it for a long time. "One of us?" he confirmed and Shendu nodded eagerly.
"Yes! It has been done before," he reminded him and the thunder demon nodded.
"Very well Shendu, we will do it. And who knows, this just might be your best idea ever," he agreed.
"Tso Lan!" he shouted and clapped his hands together. It didn't take long for the moon demon to float there, his long black hair flowing behind him. He didn't like the pushy attitude of his older brother, but he was not a fool. He didn't want to start an argument with any of his siblings; that way the situation was the best for him.
"Yes?" Tso Lan asked with a pleasant voice leaving the 'master' out on purpose. He had his limits, too. The moon demon took a curious glance at Valmont and immediately recognised him to be the one who had shared his body with Shendu. And talking about the dragon, it seemed his brother had finally failed. He had not been expecting anything else.
"Today our family will have its ninth member," Tchang Zu announced and pointed at Valmont with his blue hand. Tso Lan raised a brow. A new demon?
"Is it really that good of an idea?" he asked in suspicion. He had not liked that game last time, and he didn't like it now. He thought it wasn't natural.
"Yes. I want you to keep Hsi Wu away during the ritual. We can not afford for him to see too much," Tchang Zu said with a voice that made clear he did not want to hear any protests.
Tso Lan knew when it was the right time to be silent. Even though he usually said what he thought, he was not stupid enough to argue with the thunder demon when he had decided something. This was a serious matter, but Tso Lan didn't want to endanger his own position in the family. He nodded and turned around to go and find His Wu. Tchang Zu was right in at least one thing; the sky demon could not be allowed to see too much.
Tchang Zu turned to face Shendu and Valmont again and grinned.
"Welcome into the family," he said sarcastically and Valmont kicked the air, trying to struggle free.
"No! You cannot do this to me! I beg you, I'll do anything! I promise to open every one of the portals if you just let me go!" he tried desperately but the two demons just laughed at him.
"It has been a while since I last saw a human beg for mercy like this," Tchang Zu said happily.
All of the demons, minus Tso Lan and Hsi Wu, were there. Bai Tsa sat on a huge stone, watching Valmont in silence. Everyone else but she and Hsi Wu had seen the man before and were not that interested.
"A new demon?" Dai Gui growled and glanced at Valmont.
"He will never become anything. He is too weak," Xiao Fung said unhappily and snorted. Tchang Zu shook his head.
"It doesn't matter what he will become. He doesn't have a demon portal of his own so he can walk freely between these two worlds."
"Without him we will never be able to escape this place," Shendu added.
Bai Tsa gave him a sly glance. "And without him you wouldn't be feeling that comfortable," she commented playfully and Shendu hissed angrily at his sister.
"I don't understand why we even talk about his! We all win if we do it and lose if we don't!" Tchang Zu snapped angry because of the childish arguing of his younger siblings.
Po Kong watched Valmont with small interest. "What kind of demon will he become?" she asked.
"We will see that when the ritual is finished," the thunder demon said and Valmont could only shiver when he thought about it.
He could not believe it; it all had to be some kind of horrible dream. None of the demons talked to him anymore, not even when he screamed and begged them to let him go. His voice was already raspy and his throat hurt from all the screaming and now he just lay there, all hope gone.
No one would come and help him, no one. He had already begged help from everyone who had even a theoretical chance to come. Even Chan had been on the list. Nothing had happened, of course, the demons had just looked amused and he had stopped. He would be damned if he let those monsters enjoy it any more!
Bai Tsa started to chant a complicated tune and soon Po Kong and Xiao Fung joiner her. The tune seemed to be a living creature, it was both low and high on a regular pattern and the three demons closed their red eyes like in a trance.
Valmont felt something cold going through his body and how the uncomfortable stone under him seemed to disappear when his body went numb. He felt like he had sunk somewhere into his own mind and how something black and sticky had swallowed him.
It didn't last very long, a burning pain cut suddenly through his heart and the agony quickly spread everywhere in his body. Valmont tried to scream, but at the moment when he opened his mouth, something entered it and all he managed was useless mumbling. He felt like he was about to choke and fought hard to get some air. Tears made everything blurry and all he saw was a dark figure bending next to him, maybe Tchang Zu?
To be continued..