Autolycus and Muran: "The Valley of Guan-Di" (part 4 of 4)
February 10 2009 at 9:23 AM
As Guan-Di cuts his way into another time period and pulls back for a second at the sight of himself, staring back at him... and off to either side as well.
He is in a funhouse of mirrors, on the midway of a state fair.
He spins around, twirling his staff to smash the mirrors as he howls angrily.
At the far end of the funhouse, Autolycus and Muran peer around a corner.
"I've got an idea," Autolycus says.
"Does it involve stopping you from pulling that amulet off the wall in the first place?" Muran asks.
"Not quite, but it does involve the amulet." He shoves it into her hand. "You go back to the mineshaft, and see if you can get the amulet back in place."
They see flashes of lightning as Guan-Di shatters more mirrors.
"Man, he's got to be up to 224 years of bad luck by now," Muran says. "So what will you do?"
"Gruesome there seems to be only interested in chasing me, so I'll lead him on a wild goose chase, give you some time to figure out how to save my hide," Autolycus says. "Say half an hour?"
Muran shrugs. "Sure, I guess. But why don't you just show up half an hour later, rather than run away from him for another half-hour?"
Autolycus considers this. "Um, that's what I meant," he says, then gets to his feet. "Yo! One-Ton Wonton!"
Guan-Di twirls toward him, bellowing. The funhouse mirrors are nearly all shattered now.
"Come and get me!" Autolycus says and vanishes in a burst of green energy.
Muran watches as Guan-Di follows. Then she brushes herself off, looks down at her Chronos Ring, and concentrates. She vanishes as well.
Wing, the Chinese youth, sits glumly on the front stoop of his shack, watching as workers carry a load of lumber as they fix up the entrance to the mineshaft.
He sullenly chews on a cube of tofu from a bowl he holds.
Suddenly there is a green flash of light and Muran appears.
Wing is startled, then looks her up and down appreciatively. "Are you a goddess?"
"Yeah, sure, why not?" Muran replies. "Do you know anything about that big goon Guan-Di?"
"Of course," Wing replies. "My grandfather cast the spell to bind him here, but without the amulet he has been set free..."
Muran holds up the amulet. "How do we bind him back?"
Wing frowns. "I know the spells, but it's not that easy. First we would have to lure him back into the mine entrance, but those men are there... and they are very strong men."
Muran glances over at the mine shaft in the distance and sees the burly workers unloading more lumber. She reaches into her coat and pulls out her coin pouch, removing a fistful of gold coins. "I'm willing to bet they could be persuaded to take the rest of the day off... what else?"
"We would need something to draw him into the mine," Wing says.
"Like what?" Muran asks. "He only seems interested in chasing Autolycus."
"He would also chase any blood relations of this Autolycus, then," Wing suggests.
Muran contemplates this. "Well, I could always go back in time and look for the children of half the barmaids in Greece, but we need some other... Bean Curd!"
"He said he was the God of War, Protector of the Dead, and Defender of The Bean Curd," Muran says. She looks at the bowl in Wing's hand. "How much more of that tofu do you have?"
Wing points back at the shack. "Not much," he says. "I have to make my own. For some reason, Lyle's General Store in town doesn't carry any."
Muran cracks her knuckles. "Let's get to work..."
About 30 minutes later.
Autolycus appears in a burst of green light and looks around until he spots the mine shaft.
Muran and Wing stand there waiting. Muran, holding a burlap sack, motions to him.
"Who's this?" Autolycus asks, eyeing Wing.
"The guy who knows how to put Guan-Di back in the mine shaft, that's who," Muran replies.
"Good to meet you," Autolycus starts.
"We just have to get him in past the mine entrance so I can place the amulet back in place and bind him," Wing says.
Behind them, the air rips open and Guan-Di materializes, crescent moon weapon ready.
Muran reaches into the burlap sack and throws something at Autolycus, who instinctively catches it in his hand.
"Eww!" Autolycus cries as he looks down at a wet block of tofu about the size of a deck of cards.
Guan-Di pulls back, withdrawing his weapon.
"He won't hurt you if you're holding the bean curd," Muran explains.
Autolycus grins. "Good to know." He walks up to Guan-Di and stares up at his face. "Man, some people get hit with the ugly stick, but you got hit with the whole damned forest..."
"Um, I never said that he wouldn't hurt anyone holding the bean curd," Wing says. "Just that he wouldn't hurt the bean curd itself..."
Autolycus smiles apologetically. Guan-Di swings the back of his hand, slapping Autolycus so hard he spins in the air.
The tofu flies from his hand, and Guan-Di dives to catch it before it hits the ground.
Autolycus, however, gets to hit the ground all on his own and crumples.
Muran pulls out another piece of tofu and throws it a little closer to the mine entrance and away from the dazed Autolycus. Guan-Di dives that direction. Then she throws another piece, a little closer, and another. Each time, Guan-Di leaps to protect the bean curd, holding a growing stack of cubes in one outstretched palm. His eyes flare red with rage, but he is compelled to save each piece of bean curd.
Wing helps Autolycus to his feet.
"Your beautiful companion is as smart and brave as she is beautiful," Wing says.
"Yeah, she's something all right," Autolycus says.
Muran reaches into the burlap sack once more, but comes up empty-handed. "Oh, hades, I miscounted..." she says.
Autolycus grins. "No worries, kid, I got an idea." He vanishes in a burst of light.
Guan-Di carefully places the stack of bean curd chunks on a nearby rock and then cuts a hole in time-space, stepping through.
"I wonder where he went..." Wing says.
Muran grins. "I think I know..."
From inside the mine entrance, they hear "Kiiiiiiiid!!!"
Autolycus comes running out, pursued by Guan-Di.
Wing leaps forward, placing the amulet against the wall of the mine entrance. Autolycus tumbles out safely, but Guan-Di is knocked back as if hit by a force field.
Guan-Di staggers, slashing his blade with no effect. He cannot escape, which seems to make him even angrier.
"Now he will remain, so long as no one removes the amulet," Wing says.
"Let's board this thing back up," Autolycus says.
A little while later. Wing, Muran and Autolycus nail the last of the boards into place to re-seal the mine shaft.
"There, that should do it," Autolycus says, stepping back to survey his handiwork.
From behind the boards he hears Chinese cursing.
"Yeah, yeah, I hear ya," Autolycus calls out. "You're not so scary when you're trapped in a hole, are ya?"
"Please, sir, do not taunt the god of war," Wing says.
Autolycus nods. "Yeah, probably good advice there. Thanks for helping us out, squirt."
"I am glad to help you and your beautiful companion," Wing says eagerly.
Autolycus puts a hand on Muran's shoulder. "Come on, 'beautiful companion,' let's get going before lonely boy here proposes to you."
Muran scowls at Autolycus, then smiles at Wing. "Thank you," she says, giving him a kiss on the cheek.
Wing stares dumbfounded in a happy way as Autolycus and Muran vanish in a burst of green light.
Then he strolls over to retrieve the stack of tofu chunks from the the top of the rock before heading back to his shack as we...
END CREDITS ROLL.
No Bean Curds Were Harmed In the Making Of This Episode.