Jack came the next day at the temple, very early in the morning, dressed in a black training and still feeling nervous. He was sure he isn't supposed to be allowed in the temple with what hair and face he had but he really didn't care much. He walked inside and and took in a deep breath. He had his usual morning skating workout, so warm up shouldn't be a problem. He saw how the monks were tiredly approaching, still rubbing their eyes from the morning dirt. He smirked. They let him chose which hour to meet, thinking that he might choose a late hour. Their faces when he said 5 in the morning were priceless. He always woke up very early anyway. His body was automatically telling him, this is the hour where you need to have your morning cigar and figure skating work out. He got used to it and couldn't really give up on it.
The monks approached him slowly and Omi said ''I am glad that it was not a prank Jack.'', Jack rolled his eyes, ''Did you eat anything?'', Kimiko asked, Jack thought back at his morning cigar that turned into 3 cigars, ''Yes.'', he answered simply. She nodded, and showed him to follow. They all went to an area with obstacles, lots and lots of obstacles. He made a face, ''Are those real crocodiles?'', ''No, but they bite.'', she answered simply and as the other 3 boys went and sat on the stairs to watch she explained that he had to cross the obstacles and take the puppy plushie. She then took a watch and lifted her arm.
He clenched his jaw and took the position. ''At my signal... GO!'', She said lowering quickly her arm. He ran, but the moment he put down his foot, a trap (a wood plate with an ark) threw him 100 feet in the air, a faint ''Whaaaaa'', coming from him. Kimiko slwoly turned towards the boys who started laughing like crazy, ''We have a lot of work to do.'', she said.
Well, 3 hours later Jack managed to get half way through the obstacles but bailed at the crocodiles, lifting his palms and walking back with a 'nope', and the others were complaining like 'Dude you were doing such a good job!'. Anyway they allowed him a break, he was already full of bruises, having a face that obviously showed just how much he was restraining to curse.
''C'mon Jack just punch me already.'', ''I'm not going to punch you Clay!'', ''C'mon Jack just do it, I wanna see how strong you are.'', ''No!'', ''Clay and Jack have been arguing for half an hour, can someone do something already?'', Kimiko asked exasperated. ''Well then tell him to punch me Kim.'', Clay said turning around and pointing at Jack, ''Jack, just punch him.'', ''You too Kimiko?'', ''I am not going to retaliate if that is what you're afraid of.'', assured the cowboy. Raimundo started imitating a chicken at Jack, who glared in return, ''It's not that. But why do I have to punch the nicest guy from here? Can't I punch him instead?'', Jack pointed at Raimundo, ''No.'', ''Yes'', the water, and fire dragon said in the same time and Raimundo looked betrayed at Kimiko.
''In fact this really reminds me of a scene from world's mightiest heroes where Tony takes it up his aaaaa-crack. His crack! Not something else! His crack! Can't we train outside the temple grounds?'', ''So you can swear? Nah, it's very funny to see you struggle like that. Now c'mon do it already!'', Kimiko said, Jack sighed and muttered ''Fine.'', and looked up at Clay, who smiled reassuringly.
Wouldn't it be like punching a stone since the cowboy's element is earth? ''You do know how to hold a punch correctly right?'', Clay asked, ''Of course I do!'', was Jack's annoyed response. He clenched his fist, and threw the punch. A nasty loud crack came out from both Clay's nose and Jack's fist.
''Aaaah-h-h-h-h i-i-i-i-i-i-i i-adidididi- imidmimimididi- adididididididi!'', Jack started grumbling quickly pacing back and forth holding his fist as Clay backed away, resisting the urge to curse, himself, as he grabbed his now broken, bleeding nose. Raimundo was trapped between wanting to laugh and being amazed that Jack actually had the strength to broke the cowboy's nose. Omi and Kimiko quickly went to aid them.
While training with Omi.
''OMI! I CAN'T LEVITATE ABOVE WATER!!!'', Jack shouted exasperated as he and Omi were at a lake in the forest, Omi was levitating water and was sitting cross legged on the watter pillar. ''OH, sorry Jack!'', Omi said jumping down. ''I take a guessing that I should teach you something more simple.'', ''It's I guess Omi.'', Jack groaned. If only he got 1 dollar for each time Omi said a slang wrong... ''Imitate me.'', Omi said getting in one leg with arms raised.
He started doing his tsunami wave movements, and Jack wasn't doing a good job, especially when Omi rotated himself like a tornado.
Training with Kimiko wasn't any better. While Omi's movements were slow and corrugated, Kimiko's were sharp, and fast. He even fell in one of the flames she had created and ran as fast as he could and jumped into the lake.
Raimundo's movements were smooth, but even then Omi said ''Already Raimundo's turn and no spark yet?'', ''I don't think he can summon his element like that either.'', Kimiko commented. Jack sighed, as a blow of wind threw him 100 meters away. Again.
With Clay was just as worse. The earth dragon slammed his foot in the ground, a giant boulder errupting from it and he punched it away. The boulder fell very, very, veryyyyyyyyy far, when the boulder fell a giant, nuclear form like, explosion of dust and earth appeared in the distance. Jack wanted to give up at that, but tried anyway. He slammed his foot on the ground. He never cursed so loud in his entire life. The words he used were even worse, Raimundo having to cover Omi's ears.
It was already evening and Jack retired to his new room to throw his dirty clothes. He took a shower and clean clothes on and headed outside. Damn it, he wanted a cigar so much, but he felt too sore to even breath. As much as he wanted to collapse in bed, he wanted to take in deep breaths of the cold night air. Even the monks were surprised he was still walking. ''Jack?'', Jack was so startled that he bent down to kick the ground. He spun around to see master Fung.
The old master smiled amused and told Jack, ''Follow me.'', they both walked into a room and the old master told Jack ''What did you learn today?'', ''Just how many bruises is the human body capable of taking.'', was Jack's dull response. Fung raised an amused eyebrow, but then added ''Besides that?''. This is a very patient man, isn't he? Jack sighed and said ''I didn't manage to summon my element.'', ''Do not worry about that. It is normal. The monks could not do it from first try either.''.
Master Fung then proceeded to take a pose and make slow kung fu movements. ''You can try if you want.'', Jack looked at Fung but then shrugged in the 'Why not?' way and started imitating him. ''Learning how to use an element is a difficult task.'', Fung spoke, ''You don't have to control it, but instead learn to be one with it.'', Jack closely listened to what the master said as he uncosciously did every move correct. And not because the moves were slower.
''But what should I do to summon it? I observed that each one of them have their own way of doing it. And each way is different from one another.'', ''Of course it is. But that does not depend on the element but on them.'', Jack raised one eyebrow in confusion. ''Each one of them chose how to move, how to summon the element. Kimiko's for example, her movements are fast and sharp, just like fire. But it also depends on her personality, on how is she comfortable of summoning her own element. Because each element is unique and so is the personality of a person.'', Fung explained.
Jack made a face ''Does that mean that the way I will summon my element depends all on me?'', ''Yes.'', ''And that I should chose my own style to be comfortable with?'', ''Yes.'', ''And that I shouldn't imitate them?'', ''Yes.'', ''Then why didn't you say anything earlier?'', Jack asked looking at the master who smiled ''It doesn't hurt to know some more.'', was his simple answer.
Jack sighed loudly. ''You did great, especially on your first day.'', ''How am I supposed to find my own movements?'', ''That all depends on you.'', Fung said, stopping with one leg in the air and palms open, and so did Jack who started grumbling a ''Wow thanks.''. ''Just do something that you believe makes you happy and comfortable.'', ''I don't think building robots counts.'', ''You shall find something else.'', Fung smiled, ''I don't know, I can't even imitate kung fu movements correctly.'', ''Ever since you joined me, you did every single one correct. You even hold your balance well.'', Fung commented.
Jack raised one eyebrow and looked down, instead of the once wood floor that he was standing on, he saw that he was on a wood pillar, a very tall one, and down, from where the pillars were coming, was water. ''HOLY SH-'', Jack stopped mid cursing and lost his balance, falling into the water bellow him. From his own pillar, Fung winced and shook his head, then looked down to see Jack swimming to the surface and shaking his head, haird all over his face. ''But you definitely have to work more on your focus.'', Jack made an annoyed face at that.
The next day:
Jack once again woke up at 5 in the morning even though the monks told him they will start at 7. Force of old habit. He did his morning skating workout and after he finished he left outside the temple, he wanted to smoke, and had the good grace not to do it in the temple. He sat under a tree, lighted his cigar and took in a deep inhale that hald of the cigar burned out. He exhaled the smoke and shivered in the morning cold air. Then, his cigar got snatched from his hand, he jumped startled and looked up. Fung put his finger on top of the cigar to light it off and told Jack ''It'll be easier to train if you quit those.'', that was a stern voice. Jack groaned, as Fung put the cigar in a tisue and into his sleeve to throw t later, ''Come to a morning walk.'', Jack didn't feel like complaining, but he still had an annoyed face. They walked for 1 hour and came back at the temple grounds. The walk was actually very refreshing.
''Ok, and if someone grabs your like this you can push their hand away and go for the jaw.'', Clay explaining as Jack did slowly as he was told. ''Good. Now, if someone grabs you in a choke...'', Clay said grabbing slowly Jack's throat, ''You put your chin down. And you put your leg behind their knee...'', Jack did that bending down, ''And then put your arm straight forward and push up.'', Jack did that and grabbed Clay by the throat ''From here you can punch or elbow them in the chest, stomach, or face.''. Jack released Clay, ''Good, now let's try again.'', ''GUYS! NEW SHEN GONG WU!'', Dojo shouted.
As the reptile came to them, so did the other monks. Dojo opened the scroll and said ''The Jaguar Claws!'', the image of the scroll showed a figure holding some claws in his hand, ''Whoever shalshes down with them, creates waves of sharp energy from the claws.'', the figure cut down and the opponent and 4 waves cut him down. ''Wow, this wu sure is dangerous.'', Muttered Jack. ''Well, what are you waiting for, pick a wu!'', The monks nodded and ran towards the safe.
''You too Jack!'', Omi shouted. Jack made a face, eyes wide ''Wait, I'm coming with?!'', ''YES!'', answered all four of them. Jack sweat dropped as he followed them. Each one of them took their signature wu. As Jack came down the stairs he was greeted with memories if the times he stole the wus from there. He cringed as his heart clenched at that. Why did he feel bad? He picked the one wu he believed he would handle well. The monkey staff. How strange it felt holding it. ''Dude, I lost a bet just now. 10 that you'd choose the Eye of Dashi. You know? Since your element is lightning and all...'', Raimundo said handing the money to Kimiko who obviously chosed the Monkey Staff.
Jack rolled his eyes and as they got outside Dojo made himself big and waited for them to climb on. The monks did so, but Jack suddenly remembered the time he puked in Clay's hat. ''Can you bent down?'', Dojo lowered his head and Jack climbed on it. ''What are you doing?'', Asked Raimundo, ''The head doesn't ondulate.'', they realised what he meant and looked all at Clay, smirking. The cowboy held his hat protectively. ''Well then, hold on tight.'', Dojo said and took off.
It felt so strange to not fly with his helipack, or in a plane or helicopter. He was glad that he was right, standing on Dojo's head helped a lot. He sighed. He hadn't been in a wu hunting for years. Hopefully, he wouldn't get into a showdown.
The fifth elementChapter 3: The answer
3 weeks later.
Warning: Bad language words
Jack was smoking his cigar on the window, watching the sky full of stars, deep into thought. He inhaled and blew out the smoke from his mouth as the same question crossed his head.
Do you want to give up on being evil because you're not good at it or because you know you never were?
Damn it, old masters and their philosophies. Of course he was evil! Evil guys do not regret what they have done. And he did quiet a lot. From stealing shen gong wus, to building fake parents, to laugh and insult... to the point of selling bombs to the goverment. How do you think he was filthy reach? And he did not regret this one bit.
At least... this is what he was telling himself. Lies. He stopped selling weapons a long time ago. 1 year and 3... maybe 4 months after he gave up. And he gave up because he did not want to get himself killed. NOTHING. MORE. He just wanted a normal life, and he finally has it! Until they ca