Robin responds to a robbery in progress committed by the martial artist and thief Katarou. Confident, the thief claims that if he cannot defeat Robin three moves, he will surrender. However, that is exactly what he does:
Appearing in "The Quest"
- The True Master (First appearance)
- Katarou (First appearance)
- The Mountains on the Other Side of the World
Synopsis for "The Quest"
Robin responds to a robbery in progress committed by the martial artist and thief Katarou. Confident, the thief claims that if he cannot defeat Robin three moves, he will surrender. However, that is exactly what he does: with a martial strike that even Robin has not seen before. When questioned about the last strike, Katarou lets slip of the name of the True Master before he flees.
Disappointed in himself, Robin packs up and prepares to leave in search of the True Master, to his other teammates' disappointment.
Robin arrives at an unknown village in rural China. He asks a seemingly random villager, an old lady tending to her crops, about the True Master. She directs him to the mountains, but warns that the True Master will not see him in his current trappings, so he is forced to wear a white martial arts gi while leaving his costume and modern gear behind (he retains his mask, however). Unknown to anyone, someone grabs Robin's things while he walks away...
Robin meets his first challenge: the Guardian of the River, a massive humanoid bear who talks. He is daunted by his more hulking frame at first, but eventually learns to turn the guardian's mass against him and throws him into the lake. Defeated, the bear allows him passage. Robin is unaware that someone is following him.
His next challenge is the Guardian of the Cave: a blind and sentient snake. In complete darkness, the guardian evades everything Robin tries to throw at him. He begins to rely less on his senses, however, and manages to grab the snake's throat without seeing or hearing him. The guardian opens the way forward.
The next stage is an expansive bamboo field, where the white monkey, the Guardian of the Trees blocks Robin's path. He mocks Robin for not having a tail for extra balance, but the latter uses the stage against him and smacks him away with one of the bamboo stalks.
Between the challenges, Robin is stymied and confused by the constant reappearance of the same old lady who somehow arrives on the path ahead of him. She merely evades his questions when asked and only presses him to go forward before nightfall.
Robin's last challenge is not a guardian, but the man who had been stalking him the entire journey: Katarou. He reveals that he gave away the True Master's existence just to bait Robin to take the challenges, and shadowed him the entire time for an easy passage through the mountain. Equipped with Robin's own gear that he left behind, Katarou begins to overwhelm the would-be apprentice.
Robin begins to lose confidence, faced with someone who had defeated him once before and is now equipped with Robin's weaponry. The old woman, however, reminds him of the lessons learned and trials he faced to get to this point--all gained while starting out with nothing. He counterattacks Katarou by mimcking the traits of the three guardians: the strength of the bear, the supernatural senses of the snake, and the crafty fighting technique of the monkey.
Katarou refuses to relent even after being soundly defeated, but the old woman suddenly blocks the cowardly attack and reveals herself to be the True Master. She admonishes the latter for attempting to arrive by trickery rather than winning the challenges, and her guardians force Katarou off of the mountain. When asked by Robin, she simply replies that he never directly asked for her identity, and the only reason why she wanted him at the top of the mountain by nightfall is because "it's easier to see the path while it is not dark."
Meanwhile, as Robin is away, his teammates sorely miss him, especially Starfire. Remembering their particular experiences together, she mopes under a literal self-made downpour, but is briefly broken out of that stupor when she catches a glimpse of someone in a cape in Robin's room. She enters and finds it is only Beast Boy, who had broken into Robin's closet and is wearing his attire. Starfire chides him at first for messing with Robin's things, but Beast Boy manages to convince her to play along.
Cyborg is next to berate the two for the same act, but it turns into a complaint that they started playing with Robin's things without him. Beast boy hands him another spare costume complete with utility belt. One belt is not enough given his more massive frame, so Cyborg borrows Beast Boy's.
Raven is the last Titan to witness the others in the cosplay spree, and looks thoroughly creeped out when she sees what the others are doing. But even she is not immune to persuasion...
Eventually, all the other Titans (even Silky) end up wearing a copy of Robin's costume. It is a size too big for Beast Boy, not adjusted to Starfire's height (so it shows her midriff), and is simply too small to comfortably fit Cyborg, but it fits Raven quite easily. Even the latter admits that the mask makes her feel "cool." Robin comes in while they are eating pizza, but instead of getting angry, to the shock of his companions, he is instead quite chill and agrees with Raven's last remark.
- No notes.
- Starfire talks to a puppet of herself while she is dressed as Robin. This puppet was given to her by the Puppet King in their first encounter.
- The memories that Starfire recalls while thinking of Robin refer to the previous episodes Date with Destiny and Betrothed.
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Links and References