Author's note: Hey guys. This chapter took a LONG TIME TO WRITE. But I honestly want to this story done so I can move on to my other stories. That doesn't mean I'm tired of the story. I still love this story! It's just the most time consuming one to come up with. Well, only about 7 more chapters after this one. Please review and CHECK OUT A NEW STORY I WILL BE POSTING TOMORROW CALLED "REGULAR DEAD".
I don't own Kunf Fu Panda, das ist anglish.
Chapter XVIII - Mortal Recoil
Po, Shifu and everyone else stood there in complete shock, not moving a muscle for several moments. Zayn was just as amazed as everyone else. He knew that something like this was coming, but this was something he could not comprehend. He had been told the story have how Shen "died" at Gongmen Harbor. He had also heard of how sadistic and ruthless he was, and seeing him stand in front of him very much alive brought a strong boil of anger to his systems, but he was able to keep it in check.
However, Tigress did not take the time to check her anger and instead burst out at full force toward the still silent peacock.
"Tigress, DON'T!" Zayn yelled out, but she was already about to pounce. But she couldn't. She felt a sharp object being held under her neck. She glanced down to see Daxolus holding his crossbow just below her jugular. Her anger grew even more as she looked down at the rodent point the bow at her with eyes full of intensity.
"What did I just say outside the door? No grudges!" Dax warned as the tiger slowly crawled back to her original position. Everyone stared at Dax now with distrusting flames in their eyes. He forced himself to sheathe his crossbow and explain himself. "Look if I told you who we were going to see, you all would have rejected it immediately. I had no choice."
"Daxolus, what are you doing trusting Shen?!" Shifu yelled out, now shifting his eyes back to the silent bird behind Dax.
"He's not like that anymore, master! He's changed!"
"That's a load!" Mantis retorted. "He tried to kill us six months ago!"
"But he-" Dax tried to get out, but was then interrupted by Tigress again.
"Shen is a villain! You didn't see what happened in Gongmen!"
"I know, but-"
"NO BUTS!" everyone minus Po and Zayn screamed. The argument was so heated that noone but Zayn noticed Po slowly pace his way to Shen, who sat there with his head hung. The peacock slowly lifted his head to see the Dragon Warrior inch his way to him. Once Po was three feet away from him, he stopped and eyeballed the former lord for what seemed like hours. The others finally noticed the panda in front of Shen, and silenced to hear what Po would say. But it was actually the peacock that managed to speak first. He looked Po sincerely in the eyes and dropped to his knees.
"I'm sorry..." Everyone gasped at hearing Shen's words leave his beak and linger in the air. Po's mouth slightly parted, and his brow showed a form of astonishment. "What...What I did...was unforgivable. I...I know you can't forgive me...I can't forgive MYSELF for what I've done. I've brought shame to myself and my parents. I-I thought they hated me, because they sent me away...I just-I just..." Shen looked into his eyes once more. "I'm sorry." Shen then collapsed down onto his wings and tried to fight back tears of regret.
Po sat there, unbelievably amazed by the peacock's survival. And his sorrow. Po studied Shen's scars; they covered his face and neck, and most likely spiraled down to his body aswell.
"Your scars..." Po whispered.
"I deserve them! They are a reminder of the pain I have caused. These scars are my past, panda!" Po then let his word sink in some more, and spoke.
"Scars fade, Shen." The bird just continued to sit there, fighting back more tears. Po saw that he was still in pain, he knew that Shen had changed. He didn't care what anyone else thought about him. He could see it inside. Po slowly extended his paw out to Shen who took a moment to process what the panda was doing.
"Wh-What...?" Shen whispered as he looked back up at Po, who now wore a smile upon his face.
"What's the old saying? Forgiveness before revenge?" Everyone stared at Po in awe. They had not expected this from him. Shen, after all, did murder his family.
"I forgave you back at the harbor, why not now?" Shen's pupils gleamed at the Dragon Warrior. He now knew why he deserved that title. Shen, for the first time in a long while, slowly cracked a small grin and took the bear's paw as he helped lift back up to his feet.
"I will never be able to repay you for this, panda."
"Actually, you can." Po spun around to see Dax walking up to the two new found allies. "Shen, I would like you to meet Zayn." As he said this, Zayn was about to walk over, but was held back by Tigress' paw.
"Zayn, don't" she said with such sternness.
"Tigress, I'm skeptical too. But if Po and Dax trust him, why shouldn't I?" Tigress had no argument towards this. The white tiger slowly stepped forward. He shook Shen's wing and studied his eyes intensely, and he actually was in fact, regretful of his decisions in the past. Zayn decided to trust him...for now.
"Hello. As you've guessed, my name is Shen."
"It's good to meet you. I'm hoping that since my friend is able to trust you, I can too" the tiger responded as he motioned to Dax.
"Yes, Dax has been a great friend to me."
"How exactly did you and Daxolus meet?" Crane said with an inquired brow. Shen shuffled at the question nervously.
"Well, down here isn't the best place to discuss that. Perhaps over a drink? The bar will be doing last call any minute now, so there shouldn't be many up there anymore." Everyone gave him an uneasy glance. They still were not a hundred percent sure of his intentions. It may be a trick to get them tipsy and leave them vulnerable. But his eyes begged otherwise. "Please."
"Um, we aren't really drinkers" Viper managed to get out.
"It's quite okay, there's no need to have any alcohol if no one wants to."
"Actually, I could go for a glass of gin or two" Shifu said stepping forward. His students all shot him a glance of shock and confusion. "Don't look at me like that, we're all adults here, and should act like it." They all stopped and realized he was right and shifted back over to Po, Zayn, Dax and Shen.
"I'll have what he's having" Dax said with a sly smile.
Like Shen had told them, the bar was empty, if you subtract the wolves cleaning up the place. They all sat around a large, round table and settled in while Shen stood behind the bar, shaking bottles and glasses.
"What do you fancy?" the peacock asked as he started pouring Shifu and Dax's gin into two small 6 oz glasses. Mantis and Monkey both ordered a beer, Crane and Tigress asked for water, Viper took wine, Jenko asked for vodka, Po decided try the chef's dumplings and Zayn couldn't really make up his mind on what he wanted.
"Hmmm, just gimme the strongest shit you got" the white tiger said, which didn't really shock anyone due to his dangerous tastes. Shen began to pour and mix the liquor. It only took him a few seconds to fix the drinks, plus an imported Saki for himself. Tigress didn't take her eyes off him while he was behind the counter. She constantly checked him to make sure nothing was put into their cups. Shen slid them all onto a tray and carried them over to his guests. He set them down next to their respective owners. After, he dropped the tray onto a nearby table and took his seat with the others. He settled in, took a sip of the Saki he made, and set his wings on the table.
"So, to answer your question from a few moments ago, me and Daxolus met through...very strange circumstances." Shen began to stare at the table as he told the story. "It's a somewhat long story, I apologize, but I will do what I can to try and summarize.- Let me start from the beginning; how I survived..."
Shen's body lay there lifelessly on the shore. His feathers were bent and tattered, and the silk robe he wore was now shredded into a holey fabric. His face was burnt badly and he had a large shard of metal sticking out of his chest, causing him to bleed profusely. A small paw puts itself under the neck of the unconscious lord and checks for a pulse. It was small, but vital. The owner of the paw began to pull Shen off the shore and into a small cabin.
Shen's eyes slowly begin crack open to reveal that he was lying in a small bed. He looked around to find himself inside a small wooden cabin. The walls were blank and the only two things in there, besides the bed and it's occupant, were a few candles and a small squirrely looking creature with a syringe full of some clear liquid. The creature walked towards the ill peacock and noticed he had awoken. He tried injecting the liquid into Shen's neck, but he jerked away.
"Relax, it's only a pain killer." The voice of his savior sounded friendly and welcoming, so he slowly let him inject the serum into his vains. Almost immediately, the pain Shen felt was cut in half. The creature took the syringe and dropped it into a small cup and set it on the nightstand near the bed. "My name is Daxolus. I found you on the beach nearly dead. I took you in and bandaged your wounds, which amazingly didn't kill you instantly." The peacock glanced down his chest to see a blood-soaked bandage replacing the metal that was once there. He slowly remembered the battle with the panda and the canon that fell on him. But more importantly, he remembered the pain he caused. Not just the panda, but the the Furious Five, Shifu, and most of all, his parents.
"I...don't deserve to be alive." Dax heard the weak words of his patient, and walked back to his tools on a table across the room.
"I know who you are. Lord Shen. Honestly, when I saw you on the beach, I wanted to leave you there to rot. No one who's done what you've done should deserve to live."
"Then...why did you save me? Why...not leave...me to rot..?"
"Well, I have a good set of morals." The peacock began to shed tears down his face.
"All the pain I have caused..." the peacock noticed a scalpel on the nightstand. He picked it up weakly and prepared to stab himself. "I'm sorry." Before he could go through with it, Dax slapped the tool out of his wing. Shen stared at him with pain and fear as Dax got up to eye level with him.
"Shen...that is never an option, man. No matter what, no matter how hard it gets, you can not give up. You don't get out of it that easy, you need to try and make things right." Shen stared back in doubt.
"I can't do anything. I'm just a villain. I can't come back from this."
"Failing is not falling, but choosing not to get back up." Shen was astonished by his words. But he still felt no point.
" Every man that ever followed me won't be mourning my death."
"Not exactly" Dax responded as he walked to the door and ushered in two wolves that we wearing Shen's battle armor.
"Lord Shen!" they both exclaimed as they rushed to his bedside.
"We thought you weren't gonna make it" one of them said, the worry in his voice depleting.
"Bu-but I betrayed you. For my own selfish gains."
"We don't care. We knew how important taking over China meant to you."
"Yes, well I have no need to rule over this land anymore. I've hurt too many to deserve to a leader. All I want to do is do the right thing from now on." The wolves looked at each other with grins before one of them spoke.
"You still have about a hundred men from your army, Lord Shen. What ever your decision is, we all will support you to the end." Shen began to tear up again. He couldn't believe he still had anyone that followed him. He then looked over to his host.
"Where am I?"
"Black Water Basin."
"After that, I found this establishment for lease, made a purchase with the last of my money, and used it to help fund my men and my inventions. We now help protect the citizens of Black Water." Shen finished off the last of his Saki and dropped the glass onto the table. Everyone else, except for Zayn, had downed their drinks as well.
"Well Dax, he's telling the truth, right?" Shifu asked as he glanced over to the rodent.
"Yep, every word" Dax answered after taking the last gulp of his gin. He wiped his muzzle clean and set the glass down. "He's completely reformed. A new fellow. A fresh string on the fabric of life. A-"
"We get it, Dax" Zayn interrupted as he took his first sip of the special drink that had been made for him. If Zayn was asleep, he wasn't anymore. It tasted like coconut vodka mixed together with a pineapple rum. He could also taste a hint of something that seemed like just plain alcohol. But he liked it.
"Holy mother of...Shen, this is some good-ass stuff. Man this'll put some fur on your chest" Zayn joked as he took another gulp of the liquor. Everyone laughed at his comment, at which point a wolf wearing a chef's apron walked in with a bowl of dumplings that were steaming hot.
"You food is ready, sir" the chef said as he set the bowl down gently in front of Po.
"Thank you!" the panda politely thanked before he took one of the dumplings and tossed one into his mouth. The look on Po's face after a couple chews was that of shock and awe. "These...are...amazing..." he said in a high whisper causing everyone, even Tigress and Zayn laugh. Po continued to shove his face full of food while Zayn looked at a miniature model of one of Shen's canons. He remembered the letter.
"So, Shen. What is the new invention you've told Dax about?" Everyone looked at the tiger with confusion, for no one but Dax and Shen knew what he spoke of.
"I beg your pardon?" the peacock answered, trying to act like he didn't understand.
"In this letter, you told Dax that your new creation was finished." Zayn pulled the folded note out of his vest and tossed it on the table. Dax instantly recognized it. "I found it in the fire the night we met. So, what is it?"
"Well, since you are so curious, why don't I show you?" Shen asked as he nudged his head toward a door across the room. "But in exchange, I would like to know what you require of my services."
"Sounds fair." They sat there in silence for a minute.
"Well? What or who is the problem?" the peacock asked again, slightly impatient.
"A lion. A lion named Vaas."
Okay, so what do you think of Shen?