A/N: I do not own KUNG FU PANDA or any of it's characters, locations, etc, in any way. That credit goes to the folks at Dream Works. Any characters that are not specifically identified in the movies, books, shorts, etc, belong to me. NO STEALING MY OC'S! Unless you have my written permission, LOL!

Yey! I've been working on this story for the past few months now, I literally came up with the entire plot while I was sitting bored at work, and I am REALLY happy about it and how it's turned out :)

I will do my best to update regularly, however with school going on and work in the evenings, it might be a bit challenging.

Shuǐ de yáolán translates as "The Water's Cradle" in Chinese. And now on with the story!


A Patient Killer

Night had arrived early for the city of Shuǐ de yáolán. Storm clouds had gathered and now blotted out the setting sun along with the last rays of daylight. Distant flashes of lightning danced across the horizon, accompanied by the boisterous clapping of thunder that shook the earth. A single figure stood alone atop an outcropping of rock that jutted out from the mountain's face. He took no notice of the thousands of lanterns that lit the city beneath him; instead his blue eyes were fixated on the approaching storm.

He stood straight with the composure of a warrior who had seen many years of battle. He wore the darkest of clothing, with a cloak that tied tightly around his neck. His hands were placed authoritatively behind his back as he surveyed the distant horizon. He took slow steady breaths of the cool, pine-scented air that ruffled the fur on his face. And his ears swiveled towards the sounds of the thunder that clashed like the heavy beatings of drums.

The warrior closed his blue eyes, relishing the moment. He was all too familiar with the superstitious babble that surrounded weather such as this. Some would call it a bad omen; that troubling times were approaching. He chuckled as he could only imagine what Master Oogway would have said about it. The old tortoise would have weaved his prophetic speech with riddles and metaphors that were sometimes confusing to the untrained ear.

The warrior was no fool to take anything that Oogway had said lightly, he had normally been right; but that didn't mean that he did not hold a certain loathing towards the late Grand Master of the Jade Palace. In fact, the warrior couldn't have felt more satisfied once the word of Oogway's passing had reached his ears. One less loose end to tie up, he had thought.

He once again opened his eyes to the ominous clouds before him and his lips pressed into a satisfied smirk. Yes, this storm was an omen. There was no doubt. But in his mind's eye, the billowing clouds were the markings of the beginning of the end. For it was on this night that his plan would finally be put into action. A plot that had been built by the fiery rage that grew inside of him, along with his unyielding lust for vengeance.

He then lowered his head, reached a hand beneath his belt, and pulled out a small black dagger. Unlike the rest of the weapons he trained with on a daily basis, he kept this tiny knife on his person at all times. The blade itself had not been forged of steel, but carved out of obsidian rock from the cooled magma of a distant volcano hundreds of miles away. A silky red ribbon had been tied to the hilt while the serpentine body of a red Chinese dragon was carved into both sides of the dark blade.

He turned the dagger over in his hands, while the sounds of silent footfalls approached him from behind. The warrior did not move or turn to greet the newcomer, as a tall mountain cat came to a halt behind him. "If you had been an enemy, you would already be dead." The warrior said in a cold cruel voice that sent chills down the feline's spine.

"My apologies Master, I will push myself harder to achieve complete silence. Such is the way of the Shadow Dragons." The mountain cat stated and he bowed submissively with a bended knee towards the figure before him.

"Is it finished?"

"Yes Master, the plan was executed, flawlessly, as you had ordered." The feline answered in a toneless voice, doing his best to hide his fear.

"And did our target suspect anything?" The warrior said, tilting his head ever so slightly towards his follower.

"No Master, he left with no knowledge of us or our involvement."

The warrior's lips pressed into a satisfied smug grin, "Good." He said, running his fingers along the sharp edges of the dagger.

The mountain cat held his position as the wind began to pick up. He looked towards his superior, "Master, if I may ask, how can you be sure that he will come?"

"Are you questioning my judgement?" The warrior asked with a threatening tone in his ragged voice.

"No I—"

"Because you know what happens to those who question me." He turned the dagger in his hands and the mountain cat eyed the deadly weapon nervously.

"Yes…of course Master."

"You would do well to remember it. I want you to watch the road; report to me when they arrive." He gave a small wave of his hand, dismissing the mountain cat. The feline stood and bowed to his master once more before darting back into the thick bushes behind him.

The warrior stood still and silent. All that needs to be done now is to wait. His gaze then traveled beyond the storm to the distant mountains in the west. He knew which direction to look, despite the fact that he had not been to the Valley of Peace in the equal amount of years he had been plotting against its protectors. He knew his enemy far too well and there was no doubt in his mind that the Grand Master and his students would act upon what was coming their way. Yes, he will most assuredly come. And when he does…he twirled the sharp obsidian blade skillfully in his hand before returning it to its holding place beneath his belt…I shall be waiting to greet him.

"He will pay for what he took from me…" The dark warrior whispered to the wind as it ruffled his fur. He would never know peace until the lifeless body of Grand Master Shifu, lay at his feet…


A/N: OOOOOOHHHHH...I sure hope this catches the attention of you readers! I'm so evil! *Rubbing hands together* Muahahahahah! Don't forget that I love thorough reviews and PM me if you'd like, I need more friends on this site.

*And don't forget that today is the tenth anniversary of 9/11. Let us all take a moment to remember those who were lost so that we may honor their memory.

~Fyre~