Master Fung lifted the teacup to his lips and drank again before placing it back on the small table. He placed his hands palm-to-palm on his lap again and concentrated.
A small shadow darted over the wall behind his head.
Master Fung didn't react, but continued to meditate.
A shadowy figure landed on the floor behind him without making a sound. It waited a few seconds, and then leapt forward, foot outstretched, at Master Fung.
A split second later, Master Fung grabbed the leg and pulled the person forward so he dangled helplessly upside-down in front of him.
"Nice try, Omi." He smiled, looking at the young monk's sour expression.
"This is most humiliating…" He murmured, folding his arms and frowning. "Master Fung, how did you know what I was going to do?" He asked, looking puzzled.
"Predictability is a weakness that others can employ," he explained, setting him down beside him. "You always pause before you attack." Omi hummed to himself, putting a hand to his chin.
"I did not know that I did that…" He said to himself. "Thank you for pointing out my flaw, Master Fung." He added, bowing to him. He quickly turned round and headed for the door.
"Omi…" Omi froze, and then turned back with an exaggerated grin on his face.
"Yes, Master Fung?"
"You have double chores to do, remember?" He smiled as Omi slapped a hand to his face. "That was the arrangement: If you can surprise me, you get a break."
"Yes Master Fung…" He sighed, heading out into the courtyard of the temple.
"Well?" Clay asked from his position leaning against the trunk of the tree, lifting up the brim of his hat to see Omi coming towards him. Omi shook his head.
"No, I could not pounce on his whereabouts."
"I think you mean 'Get the jump on him'," Raimundo said from the nook of the branches. "And naw, us neither."
"And I was soooooooo close as well…" Kimiko said, hanging like a bat from a thick tree branch. "I was like, that far off." She put her finger and thumb close together to prove her point.
"He said I make too much noise," Raimundo started up. "Do you believe that? Since when do I make too much noise?!?"
An awkward silence grew, but was broken by-
"New Wu! New Wu!"
-the scaly transportation snake. Dojo slithered up to the quartet, Wu scroll under his arm. For some reason, he didn't look his usual perky self, as his ears were down, his nose was dripping and now and again he coughed.
"What the matter, little hombre?" Clay asked, standing up as Kimiko and Raimundo dropped to the floor.
"Oh, it's the latesb Wu thab's doing dis." He said miserably, wiping his nose on the back of his paw. "It's the Anklet of Silence." He slid open the scroll to show a simple picture of a ring with a raised pattern on it, like a snake coiling round it. "It grants it user the ab-ab-ATSCHIOO!! Sorry, the ability to trable in comblete silence." A figure put the ring on their ankle and sneaked behind another figure, the second figure putting their hand to their forehead as if looking for someone.
"Aw great(!)" Kimiko said. "Why couldn't this Wu have revealed itself a bit sooner? Then we'd have all got off chores!"
After choosing their travelling Wu from the Vault, they leapt aboard the now 30 foot Dojo and sped off into the sky.
"(The bread's in the middle of the road…)" Jack mumbled in his sleep, his goggles draped lob-sided over his nose.
Bling! Bling! Bling!
"(The bicycle's shining on my knees…) Scnuh-! Wugh…?" he snorted, lifting his head from his hammock bed, shoving his goggles up to the top of his head with his palm.
Bling! Bling! Bling!
Jack looked blearily down at his worktable, where his Wu detector was emitting the Bling!-ing noise he'd been hearing.
In the meantime…
"Anything?" Raimundo yelled to Dojo over the wind.
"I'b not sure," He coughed, looking down at the North American mountainside below him. "Sombwhere down there. It's this sthinkin' bunged dose, it's throwing be off."
"Ew, too much info, Dojo…" Kimiko said in disgust, scrunching her nose up. They came to a stop on a flat piece of ground and the search started.
"(Ok guys, we godda be as quiet as a jack rabbit in a coyote pen round these here parts,)" Clay said, looking towards the top of the mountain. "(This is avalanche territory.)"
"(I canbt sense it…)" Dojo said, lifting up a pebble. "(Bubt I rebember putting it high ub…)"
"(You mean that high?)" Omi asked, pointing up at a skeletal tree. The Anklet of Silence encircled a tree branch, but since the tree had grown, the Anklet was half buried in the wood.
"(Aw great,)" Kim said. "(How're we gonna get that down?)"
"I don't know, but you better hand it over when you do!" an arrogant and loud voice said. The quartet turned and looked down the mountainside to see Jack himself shooting up the mountainside.
"(Jack Spicer,)" Omi said hurriedly, flapping his hands about. "(Please to be lowering your voice level!)"
"Hah!" He yelled, putting his fists on his hips as he drew level with them. "No one silences the great Jack Spicer, especially not some chrome-domed little-!"
"(Jack, you moron!)" Kim hissed. "(Look where we are!)" Jack froze, glanced from side to side, and then let out a little 'eep' of fright, clamping his hands over his mouth. They all glanced up towards the mountain peak, but nothing stirred.
"(No Jack-bots to help you now!)" Raimundo said smugly. "(The fighting'll cause an avalanche!)"
"(Yeah, you're right…)" Jack mused to himself, tapping his chin. After a few seconds, he shot up towards the Anklet at top speed. He grabbed at it, but it glowed as he touched it. He looked up to see Omi frowning at him, his hand on the anklet as well.
"(Jack Spicer,)" Omi said, relating the words he knew by heart. "(I challenge you to a Xiaolin Showdown! I wager the Silk Spitter!)" He drew it out of his robes for proof.
"(Fine, I wager the Monsoon Sandals!)" Jack snorted. "(The game is…)" He looked round for inspiration. "(Um… Snowdrift! The first one to disturb the snow looses!)"
"(Let's go!)" They said in unison. "XIAOLIN SHOWDOWN!"
There was a bright flash of light, and then the whole of the mountainside seemed to 'sneeze'. Tall, unevenly spaced and different sized pillars sprouted from the steep side of the mountain. Around the pillars and down the rest of the mountain, there was fluffy white, powdery snow. Raimundo, Kim, Clay and Dojo were positioned on the skeletal tree, except it had grown a platform of green leaves for them to stand on. Jack and Omi were perched on top of two pillars facing each other. The Anklet was hung underneath the tree on a thin branch, but that is not important.
"GONG YI TEMPAI!" The combatants shouted, and the game was on.
"No problem!" Jack cackled, switching on his heli-pack and hovering skywards with speed, the sandals already attached to his feet. Omi quickly hopped from one pillar to another, until he was just behind where Jack had started.
"Silk Spitter!" he yelled, pointing it at Jack. The spitter shot a line-full of goop at Jack, and it splattered all over his heli-pack, making it seize up. Jack shrieked as he plummeted, landing solidly on one of the wider pillars. "You will have to fight in a fairer way than that, Jack Spicer!" Omi said smugly, throwing the Spitter into the air and catching it behind his head.
"Yeah, yeah, enough talking," Jack growled, standing up and rubbing his stomach. "Monsoon Sandals!" He yelled, kicking out at Omi, his leg stretching out nearly triple its usual length.
"Hah!" Omi called as he jumped, the leg passing harmlessly under him. He landed on the leg and yelled "Silk Spitter!" The spitter shot a large glob at Jack, binding the upper half of his body with goo. He yelped as he overbalanced, lifting his outstretched leg up as he toppled backwards and off the pillar, catapulting Omi up and over his head.
"Silk Spi-!" Omi started, when the side of a pillar met him face on. The rest of the dragons groaned sympathetically. He fell backwards, dazed, down towards the snow.
Jack on the other hand, did something remarkable for him: He quick-thought. He stretched his elastic legs out as far as they would go, slamming each foot onto another pillar and tensing, slowing his descent. He stopped inches away from the snow, eyes closed, until he peeked, then sighed in relief. A few seconds later, Omi smacked into the ground, leaving a bigheaded angel in the snow.
"…" Said Raimundo, Clay, Kimiko and Dojo in unison.
"Ha-ha!" Jack chanted childishly, sticking his tongue out at Omi. "Looks like I win this one!" Omi sat up, the snow partly covering his face, so he resembled Master Fung.
"Yes…" he said downheartedly, shaking his head to dislodge the snow.
The showdown field flashed brightly, and then swiftly merged back into a solid mountainside.
"(There's no need to look so surprised!)" Jack snorted to the team, Wu in his arms. "(Aren't I allowed to win occasionally?)"
"(Yeah, even the dumbest dog catches a rabbit now and again.)" Clay sighed.
"(Yeah, you're ri-) Hey!" He yelled, glaring at him.
Hey!... Hey!... Hey!...
Both teams froze before slowly turning towards the mountaintop. The rumbling mountaintop.
"Nice going, Evil 'Genius'!" Rai yelled sarcastically as the Xiaolin team boarded Dojo in a hurry.
"Oh sure, blame the weakling!" He snorted, activating his heli-pack. "…wait- that- didn't- exactly sound right…" He mumbled to himself as he gained altitude.
"So, the weakling's got himself a decent Wu," the tiny figure sneered to himself, watching from the back of the bird as the boy disappeared into the distance. The bird turned its head to look back at Hannibal Bean, chirruping questioningly to him.
"No, he can have it. It's useless to me. And anyway," He added as Ying-Ying spread his wings. "I can sense that wimp a mile awa-" He stopped short, frowning to himself. "Unless…" He shook his head. "Naw. He may be a quote-unquote 'genius', but I severely doubt whether he'd be able to figure out how to use it properly..."
Is there more to the Anklet than Jack knows...? Can it be used a different way...?