Daughter of Skill

Qiao lay awake on their tenth day of travel, gazing up at the stars. Shifu had changed his mind about Crane; instead of keeping a constant watch over the bandits, the avian would only fly ahead to them at night, and report in the morning on their and Tigress's whereabouts. Po seemed a little upset at the fact that he still had to carry Crane all day while he slept, but it made Qiao chuckle. She still worried for her mother however; some instinct just told her that their situation had gone from bad to worse. They still had weeks of travel yet to go, and they appeared to not be gaining any on the bandits. According to Crane, the two parties were moving at the same speed. No matter how she tossed and turned, the queasy feeling in her stomach wouldn't go away.

Something was awfully wrong, again. But this time, there was no fast way for her to fix whatever it was. Something was stirring far away, waiting for her. Maybe it was across China, maybe it was across time. Whatever it was, Qiao couldn't sleep because it was incessantly pestering her. She groaned and flopped onto her stomach, her face pressed into her pillow. "Ugh, mom, I need you."

Tigress was outraged. The sack was too thick to pierce with her claws, the two bandits who had captured her were showing no sign of giving her any food or water even after three weeks of traveling, and- "I know a song that get's on everybody's nerves, everybody's nerves, everybody's nerves! I know a song that get's on everybody's nerves, and this is how it goes!" Tigress let out another growl. The bandit who wasn't carrying her had been singing the same stinking song for the past two hours. It had been grating on her nerve's for half that time.

"Chang, two things." the bandit carrying her (rudely slung over his shoulder, she might add) interrupted his musical partner. For once Tigress had reason to like him. "One; that song has been on my nerves since you started singing it. Two; I'm starting to think that Huang's daughter is going to tear open this sack and kick me in the head just because I'm closer to her than you." Tigress chuckled for a moment, before her eyes widened. These two numbskulls...though that she was Qiao?

"This isn't good." she thought. They were bringing her to Huang for sure! No doubt he'd use their mistake to his advantage and hold her for ransom. She had to escape. Tigress began thrashing once more, desperate to get back to her daughter. "Let me go!" she demanded. The only reply she received was a slight jostle as the one carrying her (Bang, was it?) readjusted his hold on her.

"Uh, I don't think so. I'm not enduring this song alone." Bang replied, as Chang had started singing the extremely annoying tune again. Tigress grumbled, suddenly finding the idea of kicking Bang upside the head very soothing.

"I'll find you Qiao." she mentally promised her absent daughter. "And once I do, I'm gonna' turn these two into our personal training dummies."

A large, south china tiger sat alone in a small room, lit only by a single oil lamp. He wore a dark green tunic, with gold trim around the bottom edge, criss-crossing neckline, and sleeve cuffs. A tiger's face, made of golden thread, adorned the back of the tunic, while the front was occupied by a yin-yang symbol of gold and navy blue thread. A black sash tied around his waist acted a belt. The male's forehead stripes were diagonally crossed, with one thick stripe running downwards through them all and ending at the very tip of his nose. The orange fraction of his fur was of a dark, sinister shade, his eyes a demonic red shade. Eyes he hoped had been passed on.

Huang lazily traced his claws over a map of China, the sharp, natural weapons circling the dot that signified the location of the Jade Palace. He smirked softly, red eyes closing half-way as somewhat fond thoughts ran through his mind. His plan for overthrowing the emperor was going well, the Furious Five were no doubt on their way to his hideout to retrieve their stolen comrade, and Huang himself was waiting for the delivery of a precious package. His precious, precious daughter; on her way to him now in the care of two of his most loyal bandits. He had been at first afraid he would lose her after her mother had fled the base, the cub not yet having been born. But his avian spies had kept watch of her, and once the child, a girl, had come into the world, he had sent Bang and Chang, with a supply of nutrients for the newborn tiger, to retrieve her at all costs. Sadly, she had been obtained by Master Tigress while they were in the middle of their journey.

But he had found use in the supposed 'setback'; now, fully grown at twenty years old, his daughter was a master in the art of Kung Fu; she was even more useful than he could have imagined. Huang closed his eyes completely as he imagined the undoubtable beauty she would be, her skill, her resemblance to him; she would be the perfect heir to his organization. He sighed deeply, opening his eyes to stare at the map once more. His precious little girl, finally coming home. He arose from his chair and exited the room, walking down a rock, torch lit corridor. Opening another door, he found himself in the room he had prepared for his daughter's arrival. He gazed critically at the small space, wishing to give his offspring something a bit larger and...grander.

But it was all he could do for now. The walls were painted a lovely shade of crimson, with a one-person bed in the middle, its head against the wall farthest from him. It was adorned with royal blue bedclothes, a velvet, dark red pillow standing out from the rest of the bed, with gold trimmings. A bit out of the ordinary, but Huang thought his daughter could use an imaginative environment. The closet was small, containing three pairs of leggings, three vest tops, and a three full length dresses. Selecting the royal blue one with silver trimmings like his own, (for his spies had told him his daughter favored blue) he laid it out gently on the bed, before turning to a mahogany vanity set beside the bed. It contained a facial mirror, a jewelry box, and three large drawers.

Opening the box, Huang pulled forth from it a long strand of gold ribbon. The words, 'Wèizào dì měiróng hé wéixiǎn' were stitched across it with crimson thread. He smiled, "Forged of Beauty and Danger' she will be." he muttered to himself with a toothy grin. He lay the head wrap over top the dress, before pulling a necklace out of the jewelry box as well. It consisted of a thick brown cord adorned with a ruby, and was also laid out on the dress. Huang smiled and nodded to himself, before turning and exiting the room, returning to his study. The base was designed in a way so that, if one were to enter his daughter's room, they would have to go through his private study first.

Just a safety precaution he had thought of when designing the new addition to the base. He was excited to meet his only child, and hoped that she would be happy to see him as well.

Yay! I got chapter 8 done and it's longer than 7! I think...So what did you guys think of Huang? Was he what you expected? Thank you to MBSAVfan1, M4dG4rl, and Sleet12 for reviewing the previous chapter!