Hi guys! So, according to the poll, apparently you guys REALLY want this story. I speak for you and myself when I say...about damn time I got it out. Seriously.
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto nor do I own Kung Fu Panda.
In the cold, the wind, and the snow, a lone figure, garbed in only a cloak and hat climbed the rocky cliffs and white peaks of the Tavan Bogd. Despite the harsh conditions, the figure continued to climb, slowly, and with a sense of grace and purpose in each step. Blue eyes gazed at the cliff just above, and with a mighty leap, he seemed to defy gravity itself. Landing with the same grace as before, he looked onward to the large, heavy door, guarded by two large...Rhinos. The traveler calmly stepped forward, removing his hat and showing the ears and muzzle of a Fox. The two guards snorted, but said nothing as they moved aside, allowing him passage through the opening door, which quickly closed behind him.
"Now there's a face I haven't seen for a long time." Looking up, the Fox noticed another Rhino moving toward him, with a golden horn-cap. Like all the other Rhino warriors, he wore simplistic armor, but unlike them, his horn-cap and green dragon tattoo on his shoulder. Also setting him apart was his lack of shirt. He slung something over his shoulder and the Fox was vaguely aware of the fact that it was a giant war-hammer. "So the great Master Fox, Naruto, has decided to pay me a visit." Naruto shook his head.
"Not you," was his simple reply and the Rhino snorted. "While it is nice to see you Vachir, I have heard many things about this prison...about it's sole prisoner." Vachir nodded and motioned for the Fox to follow him.
"Yup," he finally said. "One thousand guards, and one prisoner. The most dangerous prisoner of all time. My kind of job." Naruto stayed silent as the two walked along the stone walkways, high above the massive cave that was Chorh-Gom Prison. The large cavern was lit by only torches, both mounted on walls and carried by the Rhino guards. A force of one-thousand of the fiercest Rhino warriors in the land, the veritable army that guarded Chorh-Gom was known collectively as the Anvil of Heaven. Vachir was their leader, and was known for taking the most dangerous jobs.
Had Naruto not been preoccupied with the reason he was here, he would have been in awe at the massive prison. Awed by its complexity and purpose. Chorh-Gom didn't merely house one prisoner...It was built for the sole purpose of keeping this captive contained. It was terribly impressive. Horrifyingly proficient. From what he had heard, the prisoner had not so much as moved an inch since he had been imprisoned some seventeen years ago.
The Fox and Rhino stepped onto a wooden elevator, before beginning their decent to the lowest platform in the prison. The open platform that served as a cell to the Prisoner of Chorh-Gom. Naruto looked at the defeated creature, not moving an inch. Not acknowledging the two had even graced him with their presence. "I want five minutes alone," Naruto requested, getting a snort from Vachir in response.
"Whatever you say, half-pint," The Commander said replied. "But don't expect much of a welcoming committee. The 'ittle-bitty Kitty hasn't moved or said a word in years." Naruto said nothing in response, instead merely stepping off the elevator platform, which began to rise behind him. Naruto stepped forward and looked on with almost sad eyes. The animal before him was a snow-leopard, bound with shackles on each arm, linked to chains that attached to two massive boulders. The boulders were dropped off each side of the platform, forcing his arms to his sides. On his back was a false, but finely crafted tortoise shell. Through the shell were several shafts, in which needles made of jade had been inserted. The needles corresponded with several pressure points, blocking his chi, as well as leaving him nearly completely immobilized.
"Tai Lung," whispered the blue-eyed fox. "My friend...my brother." Golden eyes snapped open, but the restrained leopard said nothing, merely settling to look upon the fox with a combination of loathing and respect. "What happened to you?" Naruto continued, circling around the prisoner. "You were once mighty...now you have fallen. The second friend I've lost to hatred and the lust for power." Tai Lung growled but still said nothing, hearing the tones of not just sadness, but disappointment in the fox's voice. It was aggravating, if not humiliating.
For several moments, both went silent, before Naruto's eyes now narrowed in anger. "I come all this way to see you and you won't even talk to me? You have nothing to say to your old friend?" Without warning, Tai Lung's head snapped forward and he roared at the fox, who didn't bat an eye at the war cry, or at the dozen giant crossbows all suddenly training themselves on the two.
"Why did you come here?" Despite his enraged outburst moments before, his voice now was smooth, calm...almost subdued, possibly caused by the paralyzing needles. "Was it to demean and humiliate me? To gloat about how you roam free, while I am caged in this god-forsaken mountain?" Naruto sighed, and Tai Lung scoffed. "I don't need, nor do I want your pity."
"Don't take your anger out on me, Brother-"
"And don't call me your brother. We are related by neither blood or teacher. We have always been rivals you and I," the Snow-Leopard announced. "If you could even call us that. I was always the better fighter."
"But you fought for the wrong reasons," Naruto shot back. "I heard about what happened after I left the palace...How could you do that to the village...to your home? To your Master?"
"They denied me my destiny," Tai Lung replied callously, as though it should be obvious. "I am the Dragon Warrior. I know it, Shifu knows it...but Oogway refused to acknowledge it. And Shifu, my master, betrayed me, siding with that senile old turtle." Tai Lung was silenced by several claws set against his throat, threatening to sink into his flesh. With a snarl, Naruto turned away, his former pity forgotten.
"You have only ever gotten what you have truly deserved then, it seems." As he took a step onto the returned elevator, he shot one last look at the dark warrior, his blue eyes meeting the gold eyes of his rival...his one-time friend. Reaching to top, Naruto shoved off his Rhino escort, pushing past Vachir on his way to the exit. As the door opened, he took one final glance at the Anvil of Heaven and addressed the leader.
"Hope and pray he never gets loose. Because if he does, all your warriors, and all your precautions, will never be enough." Before Vachir could retort in anger at such a comment, the Fox seemed to vanish in a swirl of wind, the only sign he was there the paw-prints in the snow.
Looking out over the Valley of Peace, the Jade Palace stood as a shining beacon of not only peace and tranquility, but also of Martial Arts mastery. It was home to the founder of the Valley, and of Kung Fu, Master Oogway, as well as his own students, and their students. Among them, Master Shifu, the Red Panda hailed as the greatest Kung Fu teacher in the all of China, and his own disciples. The quick, acrobatic and unpredictable Master Monkey, the flexible and fluid, yet explosive Master Viper, the fast, precise, and calculating Master Mantis, the natural, graceful, and balanced Master Crane, and the strong, powerful, and aggressive Master Tigress.
On their own, each was proven to be a fearsome and formidable fighter. Together, they had collectively been called the Furious Five. Currently, the Five were entrenched in their own training, with two-on two sparring, Crane pulling the short straw to act as the referee. The teams were Masters Tigress and Mantis versus Masters Viper and Monkey. Currently, the teams were very evenly matched. Using his diminutive stature to his advantage, Mantis was able to move quickly around Viper, who despite being quite fast in her own right was hard-pressed to keep up. Not to say the Snake Master was at a disadvantage. Mantis relied on precision strikes coupled with his surprisingly amazing strength to disable opponents, but Viper's thin, fluid body proved very difficult to hit with more than a glancing blow.
Monkey, while holding his own, wasn't faring quite as well against the aggressive Tigress. It was his trickster nature that made him such an amazing opponent, his easy going personality allowing him to react more easily in battle, but against the female's ferocity, it had met its match. No matter how he out-maneuvered, surprised, or even downright confused her, she kept coming, focusing all of her power into her attacks. He was lucky. Being honorable like she was, Tigress never used her claws in combat. Merely flared them when angry for intimidation.
As Monkey leapt into the air, Tigress crouched, jumping high and slamming into him with double palm-strike, knocking monkey through the air, and causing him to land on his own partner. The unofficial leader of the Furious Five stood, finding her teammate Mantis chuckling on her shoulder as Monkey got to his feet, rubbing his sore chest where the strike had hit, and apologized to Viper. As Crane called the match, Tigress' keen ears caught a sound and she turned in time to see a face disappear into the leaves of a tree. Rushing on all fours toward the tree to incapacitate whatever threat this was, she lunged and spun, sending a mighty kick at the trunk, knocking many leaves to the ground as well as blowing a bit of bark off the tree.
Though the others knew Tigress to be a bit of a hot-head, they knew she wouldn't outright attack a tree for no good reason. As they took their respective stances, a new voice spoke, seeming to come from all directions at once. "So," it said. "This is how you greet poor, helpless travelers?" Tigress growled, trying to pinpoint his location from his voice, but couldn't. Given that fact alone, she knew that whoever this was was not helpless by any means.
"Who are you?" She demanded, now standing back to back with her teammates, the Five forming a circle formation to scout out all possible angles. Strangely, and infuriating, the voice yawned, before speaking again. This time though, they could see where their opponent was, finding him leisurely laying on a tree-branch. They couldn't make out who or what he was though, his cloak hiding any defining body characteristics, and a large hat concealing his face.
"Merely a weary traveler, seeking a place to rest..." he announced, rolling off the branch and landing in a crouch on all fours before standing. "I take it that you must be the Furious Five. Students of the Great Master Shifu. Any of you care to take me on? Been a while since I had a decent sparring partner." Tigress needed no further invitation, as she took a step forward, entering her fighting stance, with the rest of the Five taking their own stances as well. Though they couldn't see it, a smile graced the Fox's muzzle as he threw off his cloak and hat, allowing the Furious Five to truly look at their opponent.
He wore a simple white pair of pants, not baggy, but not overly tight either, but otherwise went shirtless. Dark orange fur covered his body, aside from his white belly and the tip of his tail, and near his head it seemed to spike out somewhat. He was thin, but not frail looking, as the Five could all see the lean muscle he had. And while his tail was unusually long for a fox, it apparently caused him no trouble. All in all, where his body was concerned, he seemed like a male, vulpine version of Tigress herself.
Growling, Tigress rushed the Fox, going for a double palm-strike, similar to what she had performed against Monkey moments before. The other four watched with interest as the new opponent seemed to simply take Tigress' attack, but unlike Tigress, they were unaware of what actually happened. Rather than resisting the blow, the moment before she made contact, he leaned back and hopped off the ground, almost as if doing a back-flip. Caught off balance, Tigress watched almost in slow motion as her opponent twirled in mid-air, tail wrapping around his waste like a belt, before sending a kick toward her ribs. She managed to throw herself out of the way, but made the mistake of not watching the other foot, which came around crashing onto the top of her head, though not with enough force to put her out of the fight.
As Tigress went face first into the dirt, the others decided now would be a good time to jump into the fray. As Naruto landed on all fours, he immediately came under the onslaught of the rest of the furious five. Crane attacked first, coming in with a sweeping attack with his wings, which Naruto casually ducked under, untwisting his tail and pulling Crane's leg, knocking the aerial fighter off course into Viper. Turning, he spun, avoiding Monkey's flying-kick by mere centimeters. Mantis, who had hitched a ride on Monkey, used the opportunity to leap at Naruto, preparing to strike a few pressure points, but he seemed to move right through the Fox, who seemed to fade from view, reappearing in the tree above, fending off Monkey's attacks.
Slithering up behind Naruto, Viper thought she had him, but like Mantis, she phased right through him, before he once more disappeared. As he reappeared again, he deftly dodged a powerful blow from Tigress, who looked to her teammates. "He's moving at high speed, making it appear as though he is disappearing and reappearing." As she said this, she leapt into the air, throwing an ax-kick at her opponent, which he swatted away. Using the momentum he gave her, she whipped around and managed to hit him with a powerful spear-hand strike.
"Impressive," he praised. "Able to read my movements. Shifu taught you well. But it doesn't matter if your eyes can keep up with me, if your body cannot." Tigress growled as Mantis, Monkey, and Viper took positions to the other four sides of their assailant, with Crane covering the air in case he tried to leap away. A deadly entrapment to most...but not to Naruto. As they moved to box him in, their five pairs of eyes widened as a ball of blue light manifested in his hand, which he slammed into the ground at his feet. Not only did this rip up a crater and cause massive damage to the ground they stood on, but it also knocked the ground-based fighters off balance and threw up a dust cloud, obscuring their vision.
Acting quickly, Crane channeled his chi into his wings, producing a gust of wind which blew away the dust. He was horrified when it cleared, however, to see all his teammates incapacitated on the ground, each being held down by what looked to be four more foxes, each looking exactly alike. Before he could truly process this, an ax-kick to the head from yet another copy of their mysterious opponent, who had somehow leapt above him in the confusion, sent Master Crane into free-fall. Before he could hit, the original managed to catch him, before pinning both wings to the ground under his feet.
"WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THIS!" Turning to the new, familiar voice, Naruto smiled and flashed the peace sign at the shocked and agitated Red Panda, Master Shifu. The Furious Five were aghast at the total lack of respect their master was being given by this warrior. In a show of speed and strength, Shifu shot to each of the fox duplicates, taking each down with a single and precise strike. This caused them each to erupt in a plume of smoke, freeing the Masters, who rallied behind their teacher.
"Hey Shifu," Naruto said casually. "Nice to see age hasn't slowed you down."
"Master, you know him?" Viper questioned, only for Shifu to sigh in irritation.
"...Unfortunately," Shifu replied, and the Fox held his heart in mock hurt. Taking a step forward the Five tensed, dropping again into their fighting stances, but rather than attack, the mysterious assailant bowed to Shifu.
"I sensed that my Master wished to see me, and being homesick as I was, I decided it was time for me to come back," Naruto announced, prompting wide eyes from Shifu. But they soon enough turned hard again.
"I am sure that Master Oogway will be pleased that his...prized student has finally returned." Upon this declaration, the Five dropped their fighting stances, almost comically so. This warrior was not simply some strange wanderer, but instead a student of the Great Master Oogway, just as their own master was. They tried to sputter out coherent questions, while Naruto shook off the empty praise.
"You know as well as I that nobody is a 'prized' student in the eyes of the Old Turtle," Naruto retorted, Shifu flinching when he referred to their master in such a manner. "What did he always say? Value should come from within, not from without?" Shifu nodded absently. It wasn't that he disliked the Fox...he was just annoyed by him. Naruto was known for a severe lack of discipline and respect, yet for some reason, Master Oogway decided to take the fox, who at the time was merely a young kit who literally fell into the lives of the Masters, under his personal tutelage. In fact, Master Oogway used to encourage such behavior, saying that it was simply Naruto being in-tune with himself.
"If you'll excuse me, I'd like to go see Oogway," the fox announced, smiling and placing his hands behind his head as he walked past the confused warriors. "I'm more than willing to partake in a rematch any time. I'm a bit tired from traveling, so I'll be calling the Jade Palace my home again for the foreseeable future. Keep up their training, Shifu. They are great fighters...I believe they can be greater." In a swirl of wind, he was gone, leaving Shifu with a headache and his students with many questions.
Many questions indeed. Bet you have a few of your own. Review and PM me any questions, and I'll do what I can to answer them. Otherwise, keep reading, and all will be revealed.
Peace to all my Fans
Fan of Fanfics.