THE ROAD WE TAKE- Chapter 1- A Master of Oneself

"To defeat oneself is better to defeat a thousand in combat" - Anonymous

I lost everything, my family, my honor only for a damned scroll, I believe on limitless power but it only brought me limitless shame. No friends to be with no one else to go. This is my punishment, to live alone in pity or return to the prison the holds me for so long. Neither scares me but both stab my heart with guilt. Perhaps this is too good for what I have done, for my actions can no longer be forgiven. Father forgive me...

My feet did not stop walking this endless road, nor did I consider looking back, that I know what's waiting for me at the Valley of Peace. The five masters of Kung Fu and the Dragon Warrior would surely annihilate me or at least once again imprison me for the sins I committed. Such irony the most powerful master was beaten only by the fat panda. I feel no hatred to them now, as I feel in my numb chest are the regrets of what I could have become if I did not hurt those innocent villagers, if only I did not let the darkness in my heart get the better of me, if only I valued my master, my father, Shifu than the Dragon scroll, if only, if only, IF ONLY! I asked.

I wanted to scream but I managed to retain myself the least. I knew lashing out would bring me no good for now I am an exile, an exile from the society and for all that is righteousness. My life remains but my purpose banished, I no longer seek greater power now I reserve this loneliness. My eyes focus at what's in front of me. A village seemingly absence of life, no lights, no sounds just a ghost town in my face. I took little notice of the place I only wish to pass through it.

It is a ghost town no doubt I did not see anyone there nor did I hear anything. Still I can feel something is off with the place, the houses are wrecked as someone pillaged them, the others are seemingly burned, a part of me wanted to investigate on the events that happened here but a greater part of me tells otherwise. For each second I saw the atmosphere turned dimmer. The moon's light was the only thing giving me vision in the dark night and now it's slowly diminish right before my eyes. I cursed the clouds for this but I know it will lead me to nothing. Maybe the skies themselves hated me, or that is what I see now.

Fog covered the air I walk upon now I can't see crap. I decided to halt my steps and rest in a nearby tree stump. My body rested at the wood, as my eyes close involuntary feeling the coldness of the night it was strangely comfortable, a little too comfortable. My muscles seeks rest, for all I know I been walking after my defeat now I do feel all the walking has taken its toll on me. A toll I was not aware of.

The darkness of the night was pure even my cat eyes can barely see through the blackness.

Slowly than I wanted the clouds to stop blocking the moon but the damned fog remains. I stood up then I limber up tensing my well -toned muscles. Sounds entered my ear for the first time this night but it was not from my own doing. Those creaks and sounds were created from the one running. The sound came closer and closer to me and with it I felt a surge of adrenaline. I saw it came closer and closer to me by the second does it want to fight me? Then so be it!

I have beaten countless warriors before so this would be a pinch. The fog hidden it's identity but the words coming out was different. I can hear the same word over and over again: "DIE! YOU MONSTER!" I didn't think anymore whoever he or she was killing, I wasn't on its mind.

My stance was at its default and so did my face unchanging I'm sure I would win. By its hand I saw a blade quite small I may say myself but as it came closer to me I can say I was taller. The sword came to me but my years of training had prepared me well, as it swung I dodge it by the second it flew. The warrior swung the sword once again this time I had no intention for a dodge. With my speed I took hold of the warriors armed and landed a strong blow at its shoulder. The sword dropped instantly. After I disarmed my assailant I grabbed it by the chest and pushed it through a nearby wall. My paws felt a soft bump in its body. WAIT! Soft! A warrior's body shouldn't be this soft. Even if a warrior was fat like that panda his lard should be located at his abdomen not in his chest. I squeezed the soft part and in my disbelief I believe I had added another sin in my life. I m*** the moment I put pressure at it. It was my first time to touch women's b***. God what have I done?

The fog withered away revealing who it was but to be more correct who SHE was. A mountain cat, her body was slim and I never saw such slender body who ever she is she might have done things to have such completion, even thought I once battled with a female tiger her's was far beyond when it comes to beauty.

"Let me go!" She snarled at me I quickly followed her orders. She jumped a few distance away from me, I don't really blame her.

Out of her vest she pulled out a short dagger how she manage to fit it there I have no idea.

"Are you a bandit?" She asked

I decided to tell her the truth after all even if I'm a criminal I will never in my life became those greedy scum, even if I did seek greatest power now I just wish of finding something I never found... peace.

"No I'm not."

She didn't believe me at first but she eyed on me again seeing my worn out pants and sash the only clothing I got since I can remember. A deep sigh came out of her feeling a short sense of safety. She put her dagger away after that seeing no danger from me from what I can see she believe me now.

"Sorry I thought your one of those bandits. Those greedy b*** have been pillaging this innocent village and now many of the locals have fled fearing they might return." Her peace change drastically first I can sense a strong-willed stern cat ready to slice me and now it's like she became a docile feline. She eyed me again seeing my dirty self I don't know since when I took a bath.

She walked closer to me I can feel she will no longer be a harm to me and I'm sure she can't do a s*** to my skills.

"Did your wife leave you?" Her question took me by surprised. "It's like she took all your money."

"No!" I answered her, I never had a girlfriend I it's because I spend all my time in perfecting my Kung Fu ever since I was brought there I practiced all my hours in fighting and learning how to.

"Really?" she seems unfazed by my answer. "Why I mean with all your muscles and good looks you should have married right now. Or are you a Kung Fu master?" Now she's really starting to get to my nerves but it's quite nice to know someone complementing you and I do have strong muscles.

Moments after moments she keeps on jabbering and asking about me I just ignored them all, I don't have time for those honestly I don't know why time is all I have left. I mean really why is this girl so happy.

To my relief her cheerful expression changed her ears focused on a nearby ruckus we both hear the noise and I can tell it's not far from us. She looked at me again this time with a serious face. "Stay here wanderer let the master do her thing." And then she turned her tail at me dashing at the noise whereabouts.

"Stay safe will ya" She waved at me by then she was now out of my sight. "And another thing; my names MEI LING!" She had put a lot of emphasis on that one.

I turn back away also even if she was quite the no sense I feel kind of nice someone to greet me like that other than being hit by fat or fist. A small smile escaped my lips it's the first time really that I feel this happiness, happiness that once I felt before I started training happiness that I thought I must abandon for the sake of Kung Fu and being the Dragon Warrior. I like her but not that much.

Step by steps my feet started to move but before I can take another I heard a scream. It was hers, no doubt about it I knew I had to help her. So, with great speed I ran towards her screams not trying to be a hero but maybe by helping her I could get a second chance at redemption and I was taking it.

Many thanks to ShadowTeengirl for being my proofreader.