In which the Monkey King is a jerk

Fearful of the armed monkeys, several other inhabitants of the Mountain joined their group. The Monkey King had a grand army and the trappings of a court, but still he was not satisfied. The sword he had taken after defeating the Demon King of Confusion was clumsy, and the weapons he had stolen were too weak for his taste. He asked the oldest monkeys for advice.

“The stream by the bridge leads to the palace of a powerful Dragon. If you ask it might have something that suits you.”

Sun Wukong departed hastily and swam to the palace, where he encountered a demon guard. “Who are you, and what power do you have that allows you to swim so fast?” The Monkey King told him, with more than a hint of indignation. The demon went to the dragon and described the encounter.

The dragon quickly prepared and invited Sun in. When asked of his business, he answered, “I have trained to become an Immortal and taught my family to fight, but I have not been able to find a weapon for myself. I heard of your great power and magnificent home, and thought you surely must have magical weapons to spare. I beg of you to help me.

The request was acceptable, so the dragon sent the general to bring back a giant sword. Wukong was dissatisfied, and refused the next offer-a spear weighing more than a ton-as well on account of insufficient weight. The host was disturbed by the nonchalant act, and had an even heavier halberd brought in.

It was still nothing to the monkey, which terrified the dragon. It desperately pled that there was nothing heavier in the palace. Before Sun Wukong responded, some of the dragon’s servants arrived. “Lord, the Anchor relic is glowing. Do you think it could be related to the visitor?”

The procession headed towards the treasury, wherein stood a thick pole several times the height of the Monkey King. It shone brilliantly as he approached and grabbed it, but still he complained the unwieldy size. As if it heard him, the rod shrunk to a comfortable size and dimmed so he could see it. Most of the cudgel was black iron except for two gold bands.

Sun Wukong was greatly pleased with the weapon and returned to the hall. Despite his professed gratitude, though, he wanted still more from the dragon. “I’ve got this cudgel, but I still don’t have the clothes to go with it. I’d be most obliged if you give me some armor.”

When confronted by the dragon’s insistence on lacking the desired armor, the monkey quickly resorted to threats. Filled with fear for its life, the host offered to invite other dragons to provide the suit.

When the dragons arrived and were explained the situation, one of them-Ao-raged to fight the Monkey King but was stopped by the first dragon’s description of his power. Another guest suggested that they provide the armor then report him to the Astral Council for punishment.

And that is how Sun Wukong bullied a dragon into giving him not only a powerful and versatile weapon but also a resplendent gold suit. He did not thank them for the gifts, of course; the cudgel was obviously meant to be his.

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Sun Wukong began teaching the other monkeys to fight so they could defend themselves. They made primitive spears and learned military strategies, but advanced civilizations still posed a threat to the inexperienced apes. Fearful of an attack from neighboring kingdoms, one of the elders made a suggestion: “Your majesty, over the lake is a city that trades with some of the most influential planets in our system. If you bought some of their technology we could defend ourselves easily.”

Wukong was thrilled by the idea, and enthusiastically agreed. He flew to the capital, but upon seeing it he decided not to buy the tech. After all, his magic was more than sufficient as a distraction.

With an incantation and a breath, the monkey summoned a massive storm. The city quickly deserted as the seas tossed and a powerful gale blew. Everyone stayed inside as the thunderstorm arrived with brilliant lightning and sheets of rain. Sun Wukong flew around until he spotted the palace, at which point he blew down the doors and searched for the armory. What he found was more than sufficient for the relatively small group of monkeys. After a little more application of magic, the Monkey King was surrounded by thousands of tiny clones that held as much and more weapons than they would ever need. Satisfied by the load, Sun and his workers carried it back to the Mountain.

I claim no ownership of the image.

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