Ducking quickly, Master Tigress came up quickly and slammed her open palm into the chest of the bandit. She rolled out of the way then jumped up and onto the head of the bandit. The bandit cried out in fear and brought his staff up to hit her but she jumped off, leaving the bandit to hit himself in the head. As the bandit hit the ground she spun around and growled at the remaining three. She jumped up and landed on the flat side of a blade and kicked the owner in the face. She jumped and double kicked the person to her left away before twisting and flipping to the side. She landed in a four legged crouch and jumped forward, tackling the final bandit. A quick hit succession knocked him out and she jumped up, spinning as she did so and paused. The other two were gone. She sniffed then shrugged before walking over to the cart they had been running with. She looked through the stuff and paused as she came across a basket.
Looking left then right she opened it then moved back in shock. She shook her head then moved over to the basket and looked in. Smiling up at her was a young cub. The cub had snow white fur with black stripes and amber eyes. A tiger cub. She reached inside and pulled out the baby looking left then right. "H-Hello? Is anyone there? I found a child!" Tigress called out hoping the parents of the cub were around. The cub yawned before blinking owlishly. Tigress gulped then pulled the cub to her chest as a gust of wind hit them. She looked back as one of the bandits stood and growled. The bandit looked at the cub then smirked. "Well that's a surprise."
"Who's child is this?" Tigress snarled. The bandit smirked, his jagged hyena teeth yellow and showing, before saying, "Dead. Seems like they thought we would head into town and the child would be found." Tigress growled but calmed as the child whimpered. She glared at the bandit, who was now slowly edging away. The bandit ran off with his comrade on his back and Tigress frowned. She looked at the cub and gulped once again. A child. She couldn't care for a child! She looked around then set the cub in the basket and covered it before turning to walk off. She paused then looked back as the cub cried out. She gritted her teeth then moved to run but the cries grated on her nerves. She turned in irritation and marched back. The cub quieted and relaxed as Tigress stood over it.
She looked about then sighed and pulled the cub out. "I can't take you with me." She said to the cub, feeling a bit ridiculous for saying anything to the cub. The cub cooed loudly then reached forward and grabbed her nose. She sighed then pulled the cub close and looked around. Bitting her lip she sighed heavily once again and said, "I could take you to the orphanage...no...no I can't do that..." She mumbled. She took in a deep breath then looked at the basket and opened it. She paused when she found a note. She shifted the cub to one arm and pulled out the blood stained note.
Dear Whomever Finds My Baby,
Please take care of her like your own. She is one special child. I regret not doing much to take her on as my own but I'm afraid if I try she will resent me. Take care of her, love her, train her. She is strong. She is powerful. She will make a wonderful person.
Love Yín shù.
Frowning at the unusual note she looked to the cub and looked around once again. No one was near them, nothing was really. Sighing she pulled the cub higher onto her chest then looked up. If she hurried now she could probably make it home in time for dinner. She looked at the cub then gritted her teeth. She was going to regret this.
The Jade Palace was quiet when she entered and she looked around before running from the door towards the barracks. Once inside, she looked around again then jumped into her room and shut the door. She let out a sigh of relief then sat down. She pulled out a blanket from her vest and looked at the cub. She gulped then looked into the basket at her side. "Okay Tigress think! You just took in a cub that you don't know if you can raise...great! Just great!" She gulped again then began to dig through the basket. She pulled out a bottle, a jar of food, and a silver blanket. Taking in a deep breath she looked to the cub and pulled it to her chest. She smiled as the cub sneezed. She rubbed the cub's nose then slowly got up and looked around. Taking in a deep breath she located the others with her hearing and grinned lightly. Everyone was in the kitchens. Time to take a trip.
Jumping from roof top to roof top she landed outside the small shop and looked about. "Pssst! Mr. Ping?"
"Who goes there? The shop is closed...but if you have a lot of money..." The small door opened and Tigress smiled tightly at the goose. The goose shook himself out of his stupor then smiled back. "Hello miss Tigress! What can I do for you?"
"Um, may I come in?"
"Sure, sure! Where are my manners?" He led her in then took a seat as she took one too. She looked around then focused on the goose.
"Mr. Ping? Can I ask you something?" Tigress began slowly. Mr. Ping nodded and she took in a deep breath before saying, "Do you know how to take care of a cub? A baby?" Mr. Ping stared at her blankly before frowning.
"Is it Po's and yours?" Tigress flushed then said, "No!" Mr. Ping frowned deeper then crossed his wings over his chest. "Oh so you cheated on him?" Tigress' face grew hotter as she snapped out, "I didn't cheat- I wasn't even his mate!" Mr. Ping stared at her then laughed before nodding.
"I know. I just wanted to mess with you." Tigress growled then pulled the cub from the inside of her vest and held it out towards him. Mr. Ping blinked hten smiled and said, "Are you sure it's not Po's? It's a tiger thats while and black." She gave him a deadpanned look but she laughed it off and took the cub.
He frowned and looked the cub over before holdng her upsides down then set her on the ground. The cub growled softly then looked at Tigress and cooed, holding up her arms. Tigress blinked then picked up the cub and pulled her close. Mr. Ping nodded and said, "Well I see some maternal instinct in you. Well I can't tell you how to raise her but I can help you with diapers, feeding, and clothes." She nodded and soon Mr. Ping began.
Jumping into the barracks she looked about then moved into her room. Sighing she laid down and rolled onto her side right as the door opened. "Tigress?" She faked slept until Crane disappeared and sighed in relief. She pulled the cub from her vest and laid her down gently. The cub purred softly then curled into her and Tigress grinned before falling into the land of dreams herself.
A wailing screech caused her to jerk awake and she looked around in fear before looking at the cub, who was screaming. She frantically searched through the basket before locating the bottle and lifting the baby she rocked her until her wails shifted into whimpers. She looked at the door nervously as lanterns were lit and Viper slithered out of her room. "Tigress?"
"Did you hear something? Like a child crying?" Tigress gulped then looked around before setting the whimpering baby down. She smiled at the baby nervously before covering the baby and getting up. she walked over to the door and looked into the hall and into Viper's tired face. She looked about then said, "Yes but I assumed it was Po." Viper snickered then hit her lightly with her tail.
"Hey, no ragging on Po." Tigress smirked then shrugged and said, "Let's get back to bed. We have early morning training tomorrow." Viper nodded then bid Tigress a good night before slithering back into her room. Tigress released a sigh of relief then rushed back to her bed and pulling out the cub. The baby sniffed and she smiled before grabbing the bottle and peering into the hall. She sighed then opened the door and leaving.
Soon she was seated in the kitchen next to a saucer of heating milk. She yawned lightly then looked to the cub, who was chewing on her tail. "I can't call you cub can I?" The cub paused and looked at her before grinning. Tigress grinned back then looked her over. "What can I call you?" She mumbled in thought. ooked around the kitchen she tried out different names until her eyes locked on a tiger lily from the spring Po had picked. The lily was dying but retained a beauty to it that captivated Tigress until the cub's whimper caused her to check on the milk. Finding the milk at a reasonable temperature she poured it into the bottle and tightened the top. She lifted up the cub and set her on her lap then began to feed her. "Tiger Lily, Hu baihe." She said before grinning. The perfect name.
After she burped the baby and changed her for good measure she walked to her room and collapsed onto her bed. She pulled Hu close and fell asleep.