Author's note: It's been a long run. But it is done. This part of the story may be finished, but a new part will begin. Get ready for part two of the RS saga; Horizon. Thank you to you all. Enjoy :)
The Final Chapter - Don't Say Goodbye
The two felines stood there for what seemed like hours, opposite energies surging through their bodies. Both gave each other looks of death, they stood firm waiting for the other to make a move. Zayn's wings had folded in, his stature was tall, his energy was full of flow and had smooth movement around his body. Vaas' knees were bent, his entire eyes were a solid black, and his energy was quick and spiked unpredictably. Zayn broke the silence as his breath cut the air like butter.
"It's time to end this." Vaas shot him a familiar look, and spoke through clenched jaws.
"Couldn't agree more."
With that, Vaas made a swift and powerful attack with his claws as he charged at the tiger. Zayn charged energy in fist, and soared at speeds to meet the lion's. Their paws collided, and a shock wave of incredible energy burst from the impact. It formed a bright flash, causing everyone in the vicinity to shield their eyes from it. Both felines had been blow back by the explosion, but neither fell backward as they dragged their feet and claws against the marble floor, tearing it to shreds. Vaas made a dash at Zayn and threw a punch to his abdomen, but was blocked and met with a knee strike, which was also defended. They both exchanged blows at lightning fast speeds, and neither one of them was making solid contact. There was the occasional graze, no serious attack was landed. They both attempted a forward kick, but they landed on each other's foot and propelled off.
"Enough of this!" Vaas growled as he unsheathed his claws and made another mad dash at Zayn. The tiger charged his left arm with energy, turning it into his own personal shield, making it hard as steel. Vaas' claws struck his arm, but it did no affect. He began slashing for his neck, but Zayn dodged effortlessly and punch him in the ribs with his steel fist. He winced in pain, but made another strike at his legs hoping to get him on the ground. Most of his attacks did nothing, until his claws dug into Zayn's shin. The tiger growled in pain, and kicked the feline away and into the wall. Vaas growled even louder.
"You think you stand a measly chance against me, Dahaka?! I have the power of a thousand demons! All the power in China can't help you!" he yelled as the power surges around him began to get more powerful and grow in size. It was then that Zayn noticed the small sphere of energy forming in front of the lion's palms. It grew larger and larger by the second until it was half his size of him. The lion raised the energy ball above his head and grew a maniacal grin across his face. Zayn now realized that it was an attack, aimed for him. Vaas then threw the ball directly at him, giving him no time to react. Zayn took his still steel hard arm and punched the ball, creating a powerful explosion. Zayn couldn't stand the blast, and it threw back out the window. He quickly stretched his wings and glided back safely onto the marble flooring. Zayn felt the blood drip from the side of his face. He quickly wiped it clean and stood to face the lion, who stood with a successful grin.
Tigress was about to jump in and help her friend, when she was held back by a pair of panda paws.
"Po, let go!" Po shook is head in refusal.
"No, Tigress! This is his fight!"
"He needs our help!"
"No he doesn't. Not yet." Tigress looked at the panda with pleading eyes, but he would not let her interfere. "When the time's right." The tigress exhaled heavily, and gave Po and friendly nod. She then directed her attention to the angel, holding his bleeding head. "ZAYN!" The tiger looked up to Tigress, begging with his eyes for her to make it quick. "Kick his ass."
"Yes, ma'am." Zayn charged a blast of energy and aimed it at Vaas. When the blast came, Vaas jumped out of the way and foot-planted off the wall and towards Zayn with a heavy fist of darkness. Zayn dodged it, but was not able to protect himself from the next power fist that came, and sent him back towards his friends who gave him a look of worry.
"Are you okay?!" Daxolus asked as he ran to his friend, still lying on the ground. Zayn winced his eyes and sat upright. He saw Vaas laughing evilly as his power level grew even higher than before.
"Yeah, but I'm gonna have to try something..." Zayn answered as he stood up and wiped the blood from his lip. "I'd recommend you all stand back." Everyone took a couple steps backward as Zayn began to growl loudly and summon all his power into his physical form. His fangs grew longer, as did his claws. His eyes were now a solid grey, and the energy around him became a mix of black and white. Vaas' smile faded as he saw what Zayn was doing.
"Dahaka form..." he whispered in slight fear, but he growled angrily and raised his fist at him. "Come at me, coward!" Zayn gladly obliged.
Zayn dashed at him with incredible speed and power, and Vaas stood there defensively. As punches and kicks were exchanged, Vaas noticed that his opponent's power level was increasing rapidly. He knew he had to put a stop to it, so he placed a powerful fist of energy to Zayn's side, sending back to the ground painfully with a thud. Zayn came back to his original form, and groaned in pain.
"He's too...strong...and fast...even in both forms at once, I can't get a clean blow." Zayn thought as he knew Vaas was too powerful to be defeated on his own. But that's when he remembered the necklaces Ooguay had given him in the afterlife. He dug into his pocket quickly and pulled out two necklaces with yin-yang symbols on them.
"PO!" he yelled out, to which the panda responded by sprinting over to him and kneeling down to eye level with him.
"What is it?! Are you hurt?!"
"A little bit...I can't beat him without your help."
"Of course, buddy! We'll all he-"
"No. Just you. I don't want them to get hurt."
"Oh, but I guess me getting hurt is okay?"
"Po," Zayn said irritated. "I can only do this with someone that has the same power level as me...and you match that." Zayn put one of the necklaces in Po's paw and slipped the other one around his neck. "Put it on." Po was a bit hesitant, until he saw Vaas' form.
"HEY!" the lion yelled intimidatingly. "We gonna dance, or what?!"
Po gave the lion a glare of anger and slipped the necklace on. He became confused when nothing happened.
"So, is thing supposed to like shape shift or wha-" Po was cut off when his and Zayn's bodies began to glow brightly. The grew brighter until a sudden flash of light caused everyone to shield their eyes from it. Everyone's jaw hit the floor when they saw what he become of the panda and tiger.
Standing were the two once were was one, powerful creature. It had Po's build with Zayn's muscular figure added. He wore only cobalt blue pants, and a feathered earring on his left ear. His eyes were a muddy green, stripes of a tiger designed across his fur, his fangs were long as well as his claws, and green bolts of energy surged around him.
The figure moved around a bit and got control of his motor functions before it spoke.
"WHOA...this feels weird." His voice sounded like Po and Zayn were talking in unison. "And also AWESOME!" Vaas had an annoyed frown as he approached the figure slowly.
"Oh, lovely. Now what am I supposed to call you?" The figure looked up at the lion, and gave him the biggest grin he could have given.
"You can call me PAYN."
"Oh, oh I get it, Po plus Zayn equals Payn. Very clever," Vaas mumbled sarcastically. Payn's smile grew even larger.
"No, because that's exactly what you're about feel in a minute." Vaas now gained his smile back.
"I'D LIKE TO SEE YOU TRY!" he cried as he dashed towards Payn with his paws full of dark energy. He made a fist and prepared to strike his opponent. The fist came in fast and hard...but it was caught by a large paw. Vaas suddenly frowned and gazed up at the tiger-panda hybrid with horror. Payn began to crush Vaas paw in his hand, causing the lion to scream in pain. He kicked him back to the wall and slowly approached the feline with slow, heavy steps. Vaas growled once again and leaped at Payn with great anger, but he was caught by the neck and slammed against the marble with incredible force, knocking the wind out of him. Payn didn't stop there, and began to rapidly punch the feline in his ribs until blood flowed from his mouth like a waterfall. He picked him up by the collar and threw him to the wall and he came slow to get up.
"No...it can't...this can't happen...no mortal can defeat me..." the lion whispered, bleeding profusely out his mouth. Payn began to perform the technique for the Thundering Hammer Fist, but instead, it was made with one fist and the energy was a combination of black and white. This move would later be called, The Hammer of Dawn.
"On behalf of me, and everyone else you have hurt in your wretched life..." Payn moved closer with his charged fist high in the air. "I would like to say...'SKADOOSH'." The fist dropped and a thundering explosion occurred, destroying the lord of darkness.
One week later...
The Valley of Peace was as it always was; peaceful. The sun had risen high and bright. The atmosphere was as usual, calm and cooperative among the villagers, and of course, it was happy. It was like nothing had ever touched a perfect society, and was left alone to live out its peaceful existence. The same was happening at the Jade Palace and its guests, who were now preparing to leave and return home for a nice, long rest. A deserved rest.
"We are always grateful for help, Shen" Shifu thanked the peacock with a bow, to which he did the same. "Please, thank all of your men for us. None of this would have been possible without them."
"It was of no trouble, Master Shifu."
"You can refer to me as just Shifu," the red panda replied calmly.
"Thank you, Shifu. Now if you excuse me, there is someone...I need to apologize to." The peacock looked over his shoulder to Zhong, who stood behind talking to Jung-Dow. Shen exhaled deeply and strutted over to the one-eyed wolf. Zhong saw Shen's approach and prepared himself for a conversation. Shen straightened himself, and cleared his throat.
"Wanted to say sorry for betraying you all those years ago, and was wondering if you wanted your old position as general?" Zhong finished for him with a cocky smirk. Shen found himself befuddled.
"Are-are you psychic or something?"
"No, I over heard you talking to Shifu."
"Oh..." Shen stood there awkwardly for a moment before he spoke again. "So, what do you say?" Zhong stared at the ground for a moment before he could reply.
"I got two conditions. One, I get a say in all major decisions."
"And two, you make JD here a general as well," Zhong said while pulling Jung-Dow into his arm and wrapped it around his neck. Shen gave a friendly smile and nod, as if to say of course.
"Come, brothers. Let's go home." The peacock and two wolves left the palace, with Shifu standing behind them with a proud smile. The old master then turned to the leopards, who were holding each other in their arms.
"So, what will you be doing now, Jenko?" he asked. Jenko grew a small smile upon his lips as he looked at his girlfriend.
"Whatever she wants to do." Nala gave a seductive smirk back to him.
"How's about a vacation?"
"I'll talk to the counselor about it." Shifu's smile grew wider, as he said farwell to the two felines.
"Have a safe trip home. Come find us if you need any help," Shifu said.
"I'll hold you to it," Nala replied as the two exited the palace hand in hand. Shifu exhaled heavily, as he had one more farewell to give. He turned around to see the Five and Po walking with a white tiger and a lemur standing on his shoulder.
"Are you sure you have to go?" Viper pleaded, still slithering with the others.
"Yeah, you could stay here any time, y'know?" Crane asked.
"Listen guys, I have to go. It's my rightful place." Shifu approached the group, smile still present on his face. Zayn stopped when he was in front the red panda by a few feet. He gave the master a friendly grin before he spoke. "I'm leaving, Master."
"I hope you do what you know is right, Zayn" Shifu responded as he returned the grin.
"I know what I have to do. Those soldiers of the Mogui were just confused. They need someone to show 'em the right way."
"And you think you can do that?"
"I know I can do it."
"Yeah, and I'LL be there to give him a hand, Master!" Dax stated with a glorified grin on his face. With that, Zayn said his final goodbyes to everyone, except when it came to Tigress; that was more of a side conversation.
"Looks like this is it, Tigress."
"Yeah, this is where we go separate ways."
"Maybe...But I'll be back."
"Yup. I don't know when, or under what circumstances...but I'll be back."
"Well, I want you to know that I will miss you." Tigress then pulled Zayn into a warm embrace. Zayn felt something jolt inside him. It was a feeling. A familiar feeling. Something he hadn't felt since...he was fifteen. He remembered what Soon had told him in the afterlife. She is closer than you think. Was Tigress that she? Was it possible that he felt something more towards her? Maybe, he thought. He would have told her about that feeling right there, but then he remembered that he said he would be back. He just smiled, and returned her hug. They finally split and gave each other a final glance of happiness.
"You ready, Dax?"
"As I'll ever be."
Zayn began to transform into his Tianshian form. His wings sprouted, and he took off as soon as they did. He flew out and into the distance. The wind blew through his fur as he looked back at the masters heading back into the palace. He never took his eyes off Tigress. Not until she was completely out of sight.