Author note: Kung Fu Panda is owned by DreamWorks but you probably knew that. Please read and review but try not to be harsh I'm new to this. Thanks!
Within the violent, snow-capped formations of the Tavan bogd mountains, at the base of one of it's largest crags was the maw of a prison. This prison was much more than an ordinary jail set to contain cut-throats and thieves, it was designed to contain a demon, one that was thought to wear the guise of a man. Yes... blanketed behind the harrowing blizzards, and the deathly cold was a fallen warrior, someone who was once perceived as a champion, and during his rise, he had been truly unrecognizable in his skill and power.
Aside from Oogway himself, none before him had been so venerated as a fighter. He had been raised to emulate the dreams of the one who trained him, and before his adulthood had already surpassed his own master. But with his tremendous rise came an even greater fall... It was one night, over twenty years ago, that the great hero, adored by those he protected, turned against his people and those who raised him. The attack was unprecedented. How could he, the one meant to be their Dragon Warrior, turn so foul when the very day before he had displayed such a grounded tranquillity? It made no sense. Only the two masters understood, but they discussed with it no one. After all, there were overwhelmed with grief.
Of course, rumours spread, lots of different stories, each outlandishly in their own way. The truth was never simple, but in the end, it was the very worst tellings that stuck. And so, he was labelled a monster, all of his past good deeds forgotten, for it was last act towards his former folk that mattered the most. His crimes were, in fact, punishable by death, but it was through the influence of the Grand Master that another option was taken, one less merciful. At first thought, one might wonder, how could this be so? They let him live.
Tai Lung did not have to wonder. At the beginning, it was dejection that plagued him. He had a done a horrible thing, and rightfully he had been punished... but... did he deserve this? He placed everything on the Dragon Scroll, all of his self-worth, all of his hard work, his whole reason to exist. He knew that the answer was yes deep down, that he did deserve this, but spending twenty years being allowed to do nothing more than think about that does things to the mind, leads one to dark places. Surely his master, his father, cared for him still, even after what he'd done? He eventually, a few years had gone by, and he decided that it couldn't true. He was... worth nothing to them. Not worthy of the Dragon Scroll, and apparently not even worth execution.
After the dejection and eventual acceptance of his fate, the years of unending thoughts gave birth to resentment, and the torment he received gave birth to loathing, of everything. He should have been killed, for this was a fate than death. He was trapped here because of what he was... what he was not. He knew that if could someone get his hands on the Dragon Scroll, everything his former master had made him, what life had made him, all his bad deeds, would be nullified. That scroll would have him filled with all the qualities he lacked, it would remove everything in him that drove him to do mad things.
He wondered, had he been told that he was to spend the rest of his life as not much more than a piece meat, capable only of thought, incapable of even protecting himself, would it have been easier to handle... or harder? The first time he spoke was also the last. He had looked his tormentor in the eyes and swore revenge. That day had been especially unpleasant, but after giving the warden a wry grin, he had turned silent again. That was... years ago. Certainly, over decade ago, and he knew twenty years had passed since his first day in the mountain.
The mountain... was such a cold place. The weather... never changed.
It was one of the reasons he did not sleep. In this place that even the Gods forsook, no one had a care that the crestfallen Snow Leopard―so well concealed from the world― was unable to find his rest. It was even more maddening because his depleted state was only thanks to the massive Turtle Shell that he was forcefully entrapped in. Without it, all his problems would go away... So simple. That very thought reminded him that his sterling... living conditions would never change because this wretched device on his back was more than fool proof.
In this state, he was unable to make up his mind on whether falling asleep or staying awake was worse. If he stayed awake, he would only see this place, cold, dark... and utterly boring. If he closed his eyes, he only saw faces, empty gazes watching him... with accusation.
Today... felt different. He somehow knew that the air of his cage had changed.
His suspicions were soon confirmed.
Regardless of the sheer size of the hollow mountain, he could still hear the Warden's roaring echo from up high, and because of the ambient stillness, he even just about managed to make out a few of the Warden's words; at least he thought he had. Though he was not able to express it, he was slightly baffled with what he was hearing. Double the guard... Inadequate security... Hm...? He might have scoffed, had he been able. Why on earth would the warden do that? Then he began to wonder. Did... did something happen? He had no idea what was going on... He felt his frustration flair up like a firework, then gently forced it down out of necessity. New Gossip, it was gift... This place was nearly always too quiet.
"Escape from Chor-Gom Prison- is Impossible!"
Whichever way he... approached the situation... Tai Lung wasn't going anywhere, and he'd likely find out what the commotion was at some point... Perhaps later, when Vachir paid him a visit. Maybe the rhino would give him an idea of what provoked such a loud response. Vachir did like to talk.
He distinctly heard the Rhino's throaty laughter... He was closer. This made it much easier for him to listen. "One Thousand Guards, and One Prisoner!" A weaker voice replied. Tai Lung's name was mentioned on a whimper. A new scent reached him.
He heard the Lift platform's chain, and again Vachir's laughter.
With a little more focus he thought he heard distressed noises. The sharp ringing of chains immediately registered.
He was coming down...
Normally, Tai Lung would have dreaded this. He let out a breath. There were few reasons why the Warden ever came to see him, and none involved keeping him warm. But this time, Tai Lung was not focussed solely on that. Although the anxiousness was certainly there, he was also curious because Vachir was with someone, and Tai Lung wished to know who had come to his house. He took in a breath.
He heard the Cogs creak and turn, and felt the Drawbridge impact through the stone as it touched down on his level. He felt eyes on him.
"Behold, Tai Lung."
There was pause, then a shaky voice spoke. "I'll, umm- I'm just gonna wait right here."
Vachir chuckled. "There's nothing to worry about. It's perfectly safe," he placated mockingly, and then he smacked the fellow forward.
They proceeded towards him. "Crossbows, at the ready!" Vachir barked.
"Crossbows?" The small voice said apprehensively. He must have been the new scent Tai Lung had picked up on. Now that the Vachir and... whomever this person was were right in front of him, his perception of them was now at its strongest.
Vachir strode towards him without fear. "Hey, tough-guy! Did you hear? Oogway's finally gonna give someone the Dragon Scroll, and it's not gonna be you."
"What are you doing? Don't get him mad!" the goose practically squealed.
"What's he gonna do about it? I've got him completely immobilised," he drawled. Suddenly, Tai Lung felt his instincts prickle. They told him to react, they begged him to move, but he do could nothing. Vachir lifted his foot- and hammered it down. The goose whimpered, and Vachir barked again, in laughter.
The goose knew that it would be painful, no matter who you were, yet the hulking snow leopard did not so much as flinch. Vachir wasn't fazed by Tai Lung lacking response, it was no different to a thousand other times he's done this. The Warden crouched, and moved his head right next to Tai Lung's. "Oh, did I step the widdle kitty's tail? Aw," he cooed. It was the least Vachir could do... and Tai Lung could sense that silent message. The Warden would come to see him later. The Snow leopard seethed behind his unbroken facade. This was what he had been reduced to...! This was what he was left alive for! Only this.
The goose broke, and laughed tensely. "I'm good! I've seen enough! I'm gonna tell Shifu he's got nothing to worry about." The goose turned, and quickly set off.
"No, he doesn't." Vachir affirmed.
"Ok, I'll tell him that..." The goose reiterated. Vachir snorted. "Can we please go now?"
How he wished to tear the Warden apart. So much... If only he were free, just for a moment, it was all he needed. That bastard, whose depth of cruelty exceeded any levels that Tai lung had ever witnessed a single person endure, deserved much more than Tai Lung was willing to restrain himself to follow through with, but he could only ponder what would never be... He felt his rage build up... It was irrepressible... All control slipped away. 'I'll kill him! One day-'
-It had been small, virtually undetectable. Yet Tai Lung had felt it.
Fierce eyes opened... and looked down.
More than a year later...
The evening was late in the port city of Hong Kong. The wharf was completely barren; absolute silence reigned. The whole area was void of life. The one source of light was the moon's lunar glow reflecting beautifully on the waters of the sea. A pair radiant amber eyes stare down at their conquest.
She would never admit it out loud, but Tigress was beginning to feel the tension of this task weighing down on her.
A whole year had passed since the death of Tai Lung, and all of his alleged allies had seemingly broken apart, fleeing in separate paths.
Everyone believed it to be true and allowed themselves allayment with the threat now finally gone... But recently whispers arose that Tai lung's contingent still existed and that this legion was planning an attack. Eventually, these whispers reached the Valley. Master Shifu saw no other option; the rumours had to be confirmed. If they were true, then being proactive was the best option.
Leading Po and the rest of the Furious Five, Tigress had been sent to Hong Kong, where Master Shifu had been exhorted numerous times that that was where the former allies of the late Tai Lung had gathered in preparation. It could have only likely been some kind of plot for revenge, Shifu had spent much time pondering the rationality of it, but she personally thought it didn't matter. It honestly made no sense as to why they would plan an attack now. If Tai Lung was no more, what advantage could they possibly have? Who would lead them? If they were planning an act of war without Tai Lung at the head, then she seriously doubted their real strength...
Though on the other hand, she knew well enough to never judge a book by its cover. They had to have acquired some can of 'hidden element', something which gave them an incentive to organise this. If they were going to attack then all that was important was protecting the valley and the innocent.
She volunteered herself.
A gathering of China's most fearsome warriors would surely bring nothing but ill for everyone. It was not just the valley, but this was the entire country under threat. For her, it brought about another opportunity to show Shifu that she was worthy of recognition and affection, and not a simple device to ease his own grievances. Just thinking about it left a bad taste in her mouth... It seemed that every opportunity she had at proving herself, the more it slipped from her fingers... Shifu's 'love'.
Tigress shook her head sharply. She discarded the miserable thoughts and forced all her focus on the task at hand. 'This time, will be different.' But she had to maintain concentration. There was too much to lose, and letting her mind wonder would certainly lead to making a mistake. It was time to address China's worst. If anyone could succeed in this, then she'd be the one to do it.
Crawling silently across the rooftop of a tall boatshed, she neared the East Indiamen ship where her supposed enemies were hidden. Huáng hòu ān nī fù chóu was carved down the bow of the ship, which had large figurehead above of a red dragon. She ignored it and moved on.
This was where Tai lung's former band had gathered. It hadn't been hard to figure out, simply spying on the loudest fool had tipped them off.
The ship creaked quietly as the waters rocked it with gentle waves. At the sight, one would have never known it was filled with dangerous criminals.
Looking to her right, she saw Viper and Monkey hidden in a nearby tree She gave the indication with her hand to both of them, giving them the command to proceed toward the ship's deck. They gave her a thumbs up- well, just Monkey- then they moved forward. It was their job to remain unseen and look into the ship for confirmation that this was, in fact, a part of what used to be Tai Lung's followers.
To her left was Po, Crane, and Mantis, who she signalled to stay put for now. They would provide the backbone of their assault, being the most overwhelming of the masters- besides her, of course. They would be there to even the odds if things got out of hand.
They gave her nods; except for Po, who pouted childishly at being told to stay back.
She looked back to the ship. Her eyes scanned the area for any crewmen on deck, and she saw that the coast was clear. She jumped from the roof. The wind rippled her fur, leaving a cool breeze as she descended in the ship's direction. She landed aboard soundlessly with grace only she could achieve. A pair of boars passing by were chatting incoherently to one another. She could pick up the stench of alcohol on their breath; in fact the strong smell was so overwhelming, it almost made her gag. But despite this, she easily snuck by them. She then followed to where Monkey and Viper stood on top of the roof of the ship cabin.
With a strong leap, Tigress shot up, not making a noise. Walking between the two of them, she crouched down and looked into the cabin's window.
Most of the room wasn't visible because of the awkward angle the window was built on. She was able to make out a burly fellow standing in front of another equally big man. She could only see their lower halves. Their conversation seemed rather hushed at the moment, and the one speaking looked as if he was in some sort of protest: making hand gestures and moving around a lot. The other was simply motionless and speaking too quietly to be heard. Moving closer, she attempted to hear more clearly what the two of them were saying.
"...This isn't a sort of joke, is it?" Hong still wasn't getting the message.
He shook his head while chuckling humorlessly. "A joke? Re-think that for a moment. Tell me when in all the time you've known me have I ever made a joke, Hong?" Hong chose not answer.
"Have ye' lost y'er head!?" a roared a deep voice. Tigress ducked instinctively, hiding from view.
The ox's obviously foreign accent echoed in loud roars of anger and confusion, giving Tigress the impression that their discussion had suddenly gotten out of hand for some reason. It was a contrast from the formerly hushed tone they were using, and though they were unaware of the stowaways listening to their every word, they could all definitely feel the disturbing stain in the atmosphere- despite it not showing.
What they had been told had disturbed them greatly.
"Opposed to popular sentiment; I am perfectly sane, old friend," the stranger explained with irritation.
Dun could feel burning eyes sharply force upon him the vexation he- the individual felt. Yet, in appearance, he displayed only indifference.
He had known before even telling them of his departure that Dun would react in this way. The old hand had always done as asked without any complaints, but this time, his actions were with logic... Clearly they thought he was mad. But he did not expect them to understand, only to do as they were told.
"When ya' called us 'ere, I coulda' guessed there'd be some sort o' delayin' to our attack... but now that we're all together, you're gon' ta leave!" the ox shouted, confusion and betrayal seeping into his thick voice. He did not believe it! To him, it looked like he was running away... But he wouldn't voice that; it would probably end with him getting more than a verbal retaliation.
The heavily armoured gorilla grunted in agreement. He shifted in his plate armor and gave the stranger a collected- although slight disbelieving- stare. "I was of the same mind, but you now tell us that you are taking leave of China... abandoning us? Has the air in this foul town affected your thinking?"
He huffed at the two of them and spoke again. "What I said was that I wanted the Dragon scroll, and we all know what happened with that, now don't we?"
Eying him in suspicion, they weren't convinced. The last time he'd spoken to them all together he had been dead set to take revenge, and this change was just aberrant.
He had tried his best to explain to them, answering every question, yet he knew none of them would truly be able to understand. He was was very tired, and didn't want to explain it to them again. "I will NOT repeat myself. This isn't a discussion, it's a conclusion," he told them tightly. He didn't really blame them though. Their reactions were justified, and in the end, this was just another one his failures...
He continued. "I think... that I've explained enough-"
"And what about us? What are we supposed to do now?" a sultry soft voice spoke, cutting him off.
Looking to the left of him, he saw the Wu Sisters staring at him with pouted faces in an attempt to look sad. He knew the only real reason the snow leopardesses were following him was because he provide them with a sufficient amusement, which was their description of inflicting suffering upon their enemies. Providing them with entertainment wasn't his job.
He stared at them in consideration for a moment, then brushed them off without a care. "Do whatever you want, I don't care. I have called you all here to finalise our dispersion. You are all now aware that I'm leaving China tonight, and what you do from here is your choice. I play no part in your affairs from this point." Then he decided to add, "You'll still be paid, so you needn't worry in that regard." He had known what he was going to do for a while now. He had nothing to gain from staying in China, so he had to make sure no one would be causing trouble in his name. It was the kind of attention he had no need for.
Dun looked at him in disappointment. He obviously was not very happy. "So, that's it then… Y'er just callin' it off? We've gone an' organized all o' this here f'er nothin'?" The stranger sighed but barely nodded to all of them. These people had believed in him, and- like himself- had something to gain from all this.
Shifu had hurt and humiliated many of those who followed him...
"Well, I guess it was fun while it lasted," one of the Wu Sisters said with sadness. The other two mimicked her over dramatically. He probably would have laughed at them. But this wasn't really the best time. Instead, he shifted on the spot, feeling an odd sense of scrutiny, unaware that their whole conversation was being listened too.
Tigress had her ear pressed against the window. Her eyes narrowed as she focused harder on listening. With Viper and Monkey doing the same, they had crouched down beside her. The three of them were leaning on the windowsill, completely silent and listening carefully to every word. They were becoming more and more anxious to know just who this person was to have the power to call off this group simply because he tells them. Passing a concerned look to both Viper and Monkey, the three of them proceeded to listen in further. They were oblivious to the company behind them. Then a new voice made itself known.
"Alright, what we got?" a high pitched voice spoke loudly behind the three of them. Yelping, they turned quickly and saw Po grinning goofily at them with a guilty looking Mantis and Crane flanking him.
Viper and Monkey both sighed in relief and annoyance, gritting her teeth irefully. Tigress looked at the three of them coldly. "Didn't I tell you to stay back? What are you doing here?" Tigress hissed.
Chuckling guiltily, Mantis looked up at Tigress and flinched at how angry she looked. "Were sorry, but we couldn't stop him. He insisted," Mantis said, throwing is pincers exasperatedly. Crane simply shrugged and smiled nervously, going with the same excuse.
Turning her attention to Po, she narrowed her eyes. "What are you doing here? You know the plan... Why aren't you doing as you were told?" A lesson he seemed to forget in moments like these.
Taking in none of what she'd said, he waved her off. "I wanna find out who the bad guy is! If he's so great, then he won't mind takin' on the Dragon Warrior," Po proclaimed smugly.
Tigress face-palmed, her irritation swiftly growing. "Panda, your childish need for finding trouble could end up putting all of us in danger," she scolded.
"You're taking this whole thing way too seriously, Tigress. Together, it doesn't matter who we fight, nobody can beat us," he said with a carefree attitude.
Tigress could have gaped at the panda. Not so long ago, he had been the definition of humble and respectful. But at times like these, he seemed to act without thought... She didn't know how to handle someone without anyone background of discipline. What she did know was the he had been oddly overweening lately. She had come except that he was the true Dragon Warrior and found that she respected him and what he'd done; she had even begun regarding him as a friend. But his behavior was out of character for someone who should carry the title of Dragon warrior. This was a display of nothing but vain stupidity. Yet even all this! Was all easy to brush off; she had simply put it to one side, but that didn't mean she wasn't irritated. No, it absolutely infuriated her! He just couldn't take a hint, and now he disobeys an order during a mission of such importance? 'He should know better!' This time, she wasn't going to let him off.
Her thoughts were brought to an end when Po moved to where she was. Listening in before leaning on the window frame, he attempted to look inside. It was useless; all he could see were their legs. Leaning closer, he put more of his weight on the window, and it started to crack. But this went unnoticed to Po, who was too occupied with premonitions of an epic battle to notice. Eventually, he moved away, annoyed that he couldn't see who they were.
Pushing Po aside crossly, she crouched down and went back to eavesdropping on their conversation, not noticing that the window was now damaged. Leaning her weight lightly on it, the whole experience was immediate; the glass shattered. She fell through and landed right in the center of the warriors.
Looking up, bright amber eyes met luminous gold.
Everyone was in complete silence now. Dun, Hong, and the Wu Sisters all gawked at the tiger that had seemingly fallen from the ceiling, but Tigress was not concerned with what had just happened to her but more with whom she was staring at. Standing up slowly, Tigress's eyes never left his. Now it all made sense.
It was truely him..! She took in the sight before her. He appeared to look no different than the last time she had seen him. One thing that certainly was the same was his cold expression, although his eyes were filled with confusion as he looked back at her. She could see the cold cruelty beneath the surface.
"...You," Tigress whispered in astonishment.
"You?" Tai lung's eyes furrowed at her, his tone strangely curious.
Now that she was in the room with all of them, Tigress now had the perfect picture to put to their voices. She observed that the ox was old and very rough, like his accent. He appeared to be very angry, and he looked like the mercenary type. He didn't appear to be a soldier; probably a retiree who sought more out of his work. He carried a huge red stained mace on his back.
Then there was the gorilla. He was a giant. He held himself seriously and, despite her intrusion, didn't look too phased at all. He bore huge plate armor on his body, his fists were tensed. She couldn't tell his role in this, but he was obviously not someone to minimize as a threat.
Finally, there was the Wu Sisters. They looked exactly like the tales had described them: beautiful, but deadly- or more aptly described as beautifully deadly. They stared at her in a sort of innocent fascination, but that was probably a façade they wore to hide their true nature. Or they were crazy. All three of them carried oversized chakrams, likely for more close combat.
So these were the leaders of this entourage.
Dun was the first to stop gaping. Snapping is head to Tai Lung, he furrowed his eyes. "Ya' know this girl?" he asked warily. The rest also looking at him in curiosity.
Getting over his astonishment, Tai Lung exchanged it for his signature scowl. "Yes. "We've met before," Everyone, this is Master Tigress," he declared, not taking his eyes off of her. There was an edge to his tone as he wondered how long she had been up there and what she had heard. He knew that there was someone spying- he'd felt it- but he had assumed it was merely a nosy crewmen, who he would have dealt with later. Seeing her here now would confirm that there were others with her as well.
"Of the Jade Palace?" Hong questioned.
Tai Lung was about to answer, but more people jumped into the cabin through the broken window their comrade had fallen through. Po, Crane, Monkey, Mantis, and Viper all landed around her protectively. They gawked at Tai Lung. He was not surprised they were here. 'Like a herd of sheep; one falls, the rest follow'.
Po's eyes went wide and he yelped, pointing at him, thunderstruck. "TAI LUNG! H-how..." But then he seemed to find himself again and assumed what could vaguely be called a Kung Fu stance.
"You stand no chance against the Dragon Warrior!" He said triumphantly.
Tai Lung gave Po a quandary and seemingly disgusted look.
Dun turned to look at the panda with narrowed eyes. "Dragon Warrior...? You... You're Shifu's little lapdog, ain't ya?"
The Wu Sisters began giggled at the insult. Po looked like he'd been slapped across the face. Dun had obviously meant to make it clear that he was mocking him. A bloodthirsty smile then appeared on the Ox's face. He drew his mace then leapt at Po with ridiculous speed for one of his size. With a kick, he sent the panda through the cabin door right on deck.
"Po!" exclaimed Monkey, his eyes widening in horror. Quickly, he and Mantis charged after them, intent on stopping the Ox's rampage.
Hong made after where Dun had just run off. "I will help him, I do not think that even Dun has enough skill to take on two of the Furious Five, including the Dragon Warrior by himself." Tai Lung watched him follow off in their direction.
She bent down preparing to pounce. As everyone was here now, she wouldn't have any interference when taking down her predecessor.
The Wu Sisters used the rest of the Five's astonishment as an advantage. The three of them leapt up, went through the broken window, and fled. Viper and Crane had followed the Wu Sisters out from the window while Po, Monkey, and Mantis were currently fighting with the large and heavily armored ox and gorilla, who had run out on deck. Giving Tai Lung her full attention, Tigress crouched down and prepared to attack while his attention was on the others.
Tai Lung began to survey the situation. Quite honestly, he felt he could have managed the lot of them with relative ease, but if the others wanted to fight, then he didn't have a problem with that. It would give him less work. He spotted the Panda and stared resentfully at him. Presently, he was on deck combating Dun. He flexed his claws and scowled. Even though he was leaving, he itched for the opportunity... He had done well to rid his mind of the fat Panda when so far away, but now that he was right in front him, he felt old grievances ignite. After months of thinking about it, he had come to the terms with his decision to leave. But suddenly, he felt almost every part him ready to stay just so he could get his claws tearing into the cretin's neck! The urge was intolerable. But... he hesitated, noticing the tiger was not in the battle. Then out of nowhere, someone with a death wish decided to floor him.
Tai Lung looked to who had dared attack him- while falling back. He saw Tigress looming over him. She was already about to claw his face. As he reacted, time seemed to slow, stretch out. Growling, he caught her wrist- just quickly enough to stop her from cutting him- then he tightened his grip. He threw her over his shoulder and into the wall hard, doing all this while going down. Then, skillfully, he changed the course of his fall and moved back to a standing position as if he had never lost his footing in the first place. Tigress landed her feet on the wall and flipped off it back into an aggressive fighting pose.
Narrowing his eyes at her, Tai Lung snarled. She almost had him right there. He also had the problem of holding back so that he wouldn't cause damage to the ship, a problem she obviously would not share. He would not underestimate her.
"So, what brings you all the way to Hong Kong?" Tai Lung asked coyly as the two big cats circled each other.
Regarding him fearlessly, she met his icy glare with one of her own. "I could ask you the same question." He didn't give her an immediate answer; instead, he only watched her. His eyes drank her body. She found herself feeling even more threatened by his silence. She had begun holding her breath... Obviously, he was looking for flaws in her stance, right?
He finally started talking. "I think that the right to ask questions is mine, especially since you are the intruder on my ship," he stated like it was obvious. "I have no desire to fight you all so I suggest you run along back to the valley," he said dismissively. She narrowed her eyes at him. He shrugged in confession. "Alright, maybe... I wouldn't mind an aggressive engagement with a certain panda you have with you, but mercifully, I would prefer if you were to leave."
She shook her head at him. "I came here, to put an end to the anarchy you left behind, and now that I've seen you alive, I will do everything in my power to stop you."
Laughing tauntingly, he tilted his head, mocking confusion. "Stop me? Tell me; from what exactly will you stop me from doing?"
Narrowing her eyes, she started to retort. "I..." She looked down thoughtfully; she didn't have an answer, and he knew it. She growled. "It doesn't matter, I know that anything with you involved could be nothing but savage!"
Smiling fiendishly, he told her, "So what you're saying is, you don't have a clue. Well, plans can be altered, and since you're here- I will tell you. You stop me from killing all of your friends, which you have just delivered to me on a silver platter."
Tigress snarled at the threat. She'd erase that satisfaction soon enough.
She delayed no longer and leapt at him.
"You won't touch them!" she roared, springing her foot.
A perfect flying roundhouse kick aimed at him. It was blocked effortlessly by the larger and more experienced leopard. The moment before her paws touched the ground—She tried again, throwing her fist straight at his face. But quicker than the eye could see, he dodged, and let it fly right passed him. She jumped away putting a couple feet between them. Her mouth set into a thin line, he hadn't retaliated at all... yet.
She took a wide stance and resorted to something she normal wouldn't deem necessary. She unsheathed her claws.
Bursting towards him, she attacked, semi-wild, a barrage of fist and claw, at all angles. He retreated from most the assault, easily evading her, but abruptly her speed picked up, and he was forced to move even faster... It reached the point where he could no longer manage to dodge her claws; she slashed at his shoulder—he blocked forearm to forearm, swiftly she caught his arm and locked around it. She was shocked that she managed to catch him. She brought her claw down hoping to harm him. It landed! Yet, taking her by surprise, he seemed to anticipate exactly what she had intended. Catching her hand on the curve of his bicep and shoulder, he trapped her paw and stopped her before she could drag it down.
He left them both stuck.
For a brief second, they caught each others eye—Then she pushed! She seemed to have to the advantage, but his haughty smirk worried her. He went still as a rock, sending a message on how seriously he was taking her. She frowned and put All her strength into pushing him back. They both began to strain, and his smirk vanished. At first, she thought she'd managed to match him- but no, it wouldn't happen. He threw her back with too much force for her to handle.
She staggered back and hit the wall. Leaning on it, she used it to balance herself temporarily. She heard a snicker. She growled at went at him again.
He ducked under another vicious kick, this time taking a grip on her ankle and using her own momentum to spin round, and throw her against the wall of the ship. She gasped as her back collided with solid wood, only to grunt as Tai Lung pinned her against the wall with her arm cranked behind her back. Tigress frowned in discomfort. She knew... he was enjoying this... humiliating her, but it would not work.
He pressed himself flush against her and whispered in her ear. "No? Then show me how you intend to stop me?"
Tigress blushed furiously, butterflies dancing in her stomach. She immediately tried to free herself. "… G-Get off of me," she demanded, struggling in his grip.
"Make me," responded Tai Lung.
Thinking quickly, Tigress spotted a weapon rack within reaching distance. Holding her breath, she braced herself. She dislocated her own arm with a pained grunt, escaping Tai Lung's hold all while maintaining breath-taking quickness and grace. Quickly, she snapping her shoulder back into place. She drew two butterfly swords and turned, holding them out threateningly. Tai Lung was impressed by her determination but didn't allow it to show. Abruptly, she blasted forward, having the swords ready to skewer him.
He narrowed his eyes and prepared to move out of the blades direction. She must have seen this because the blades were pointed in an altering direction as if ready to move to with him... Tai Lung let her get closer. The space between them was almost gone. His fist shone blue, and it burst right through them, both shattering the swords into fragments that flew all around the room. Tigress gasped. The world seemed to slow down as he grabbed her by the throat out of the air and rammed her to the ground, pinning her there.
Her eyes went wide... 'Did that truely just happen?' If she wanted to do that... it would have taken her all to break steel the way he did... Yet Tai Lung broke both swords and didn't appear to have put any effort into it at all. What kind of training could give one the strength to do something like that? She recalled Shifu explaining that the feat of shattering hard metal with a mere push of one's hand was attained only by the very few most powerful warriors in Kung Fu history.
She felt panic and desperation bleed into her thoughts. Why couldn't she win? How could Tai Lung still be alive, even after Po had used the Wuxi Finger Hold? Nothing could survive it! What could she do against someone who could?
The more she thought about it, the more it unnerved her... Now she was beginning to regret this whole endeavour.
She prepared to try and get away, but then she looked up. She saw Tai Lung looming over her with a resolved glare. Fear started to build up within her. She was in trouble.
She swallowed and brought her paws up to his arm. She tried to pry him off, but hold on her was too strong. Looking around desperately, she sought help, but none of the others were anywhere to be seen. She could hear them battling outside, and all she could do was hope they were winning. Turning her attention back to him, her eyes were fearfully taken hold of by Tai Lung's. He seemed to enjoy how vulnerable she looked, then on his face a dark scowl appeared. It was almost enough to make her turn away. The terrible look he wore told the whole story, that she was finished.
Raising his paw, he prepared to house his legendary nerve attack that had beaten her and the rest of the five previously. His fist began to emit blue energy. She froze, unable to act.
His voice cut her straight to the core, it struck fear into her heart. "You will never see them again." Tai Lung said before he struck.
Estranged pain passed through her, and the last thing she saw was Tai Lung as he stalked off. Then her vision went black.
An east Indiamen is it is a type of ship. I hope you read the next chapter.
Appreciate you reading, thanks a lot!. Let me know what you think...?
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