TITLE: 20. Kung Fu Panda 3 - Death Race.
The Jade Palace's Barracks - The next morning.
"Good morning Master Shifu!" Everyone said in perfect unison.
"Good morning students!" Shifu replied. It felt Po not being here, but not because of him being at his dad's, Mr. Ping's, but because I (Tigress) needed his advice.
Before I could get anybodies attention, they had left to go towards the kitchen for breakfast. I was left with a child who wanted vengeance for the death of her friends, and I wanted Jin Chow's head for the attack on my childhood home, the Bao Gu Orphanage.
After what Onslo had told me about these Red Dragon Restaurants that are popping all over China, my mind became unfocused on what I should do next, and knowing how I felt during the destruction of my childhood home I knew other villages had fallen too.
I had that feeling of insecurity over my adopted daughter Liu Zhang, more because of how much she wanted to be adopted by one of the Furious Five, and over the destruction of the orphanage I feared Liu wasn't ready! I started doing the protecting China bit in my teens when I was about 15, but more of fighting Bandits. I hadn't actually seen real battle till I was in my twenties. And when I first saw my first death, it shook me like it would anyone.
Seeing Po being blasted out of Lord Shen's Firework Factory tore all of us apart. Replacing the death of Po to Liu made me want to leave Liu behind when the time had come. Liu and that of the orphanage had seen only warriors, assassins, and trained killers were familiar with... death and destruction, and it was that that we'd try and protect children from. Had I been facing Shen towards the end, I would've massacred him for killing my Panda! How Po repented towards Shen for killing his parents I don't know, but maybe that was because he was just a very young cub when it happened, and not a helpless child.
It was after the deep thoughts that I decided to leave and eat with the others. I hadn't even noticed Liu who'd left me to go and have breakfast.
The Jade Palace's Kitchen.
The others were in the same kitchen that is bigger for when we have guests to eat with us, compared that to that of the Training Area's kitchen. As I went inside and looked at the others sitting with my dad cooking, I was half expecting a visit from Onslo and Hào Chong just waiting for the time to leave before its too late, but maybe it was too early.
I sat down next to Liu who didn't say a word to anyone. She didn't even smile or show signs of anger. I believed it to be a case of not knowing what to expect, and how serious certain cases can be. This ranged from protecting the valley, to that of stopping someone by any means necessary. Jin Chow's will be to exterminate him. No mercy, no second chances, no life!
I too sat there, looking towards the others as they happily chatted amongst themselves. I wanted to go with the wolves on my own to seek justice over Jin Chow's reign of terror, only to take a fighter not ready to a fight I know she wouldn't win!
It was trying to tell my dad and the Five over our plans made me feel like a terrible parent and teacher. I was ignoring what we teach on the Childrens Day Events, about having patience, courage, discipline, compassion, and building confidence.
Then, three wolves in full armour hold their swords came in, asking if we're ready. One of which was Onslo.
"Er, why are you in here in full armour Onslo?" Shifu asked as he stopped chopping and looked at the three of them. The Japanese wolf rallied, Hào looked more frightened and put on a brave face, and Onslo showed signs of concern over Liu Zhang's safety like I was.
"Jin Chow is alone in a Slaughterhouse Master Shifu. I intend to stop him."
"Fair enough! Any else?" Shifu asked as he went over towards the stove to put more wood in the fire. It was the next few words I just couldn't say.
"Both Master Tigress and her daughter, Liu Zhang want his head." Onslo said. The others looked at me, and I knew Oogway knew I didn't know where to go.
"She's not ready Tigress! Being prepared takes years of training, and, and..." Shifu said towards me. I wanted to go on my own, and not take Liu with me. It wasn't that that I would bolt a door with Liu behind it with Liu escaping to chase after me without knowing it, but I knew Liu would come along, no matter who did what, she'd find a way to see it happen.
"My men and I will prevent Liu Zhang from engaging the enemy, and I seriously doubt after the orphanage and that Liu's a child that any harm will come to her, even from the Japanese wolves."
"Liu, I beg of you not to do this! I will train you, I promise... but please, stay." I begged Liu as she looked at the Five, then at me.
"I know I'm not ready, I only want to see his head..."
"People die sometimes sweetheart, and it isn't just about protecting the valley. There are some who don't deserve to live, and we take care of it. We've been doing it for years, and we are highly trained killers when it comes to it, but your too young to be filled with vengeance. We've been taught to show some mercy from Granddad Shifu and Grandmaster Oogway so that people go to jail and change, so for goodness sakes Liu stay, please! The Five will help to train you, and I'll come back and teach you..." I tried to say towards Liu but she wanted to come.
"I just want to see him vanish. Master Crane, if I change my mind, can you bring me back here?" Liu asked Crane, making him reluctantly agree.
"I give up. Just, stay out of trouble, okay!" I said to Liu. I then put my arm round her to support her, then explained that despite what has happened, she'll fulfill her destiny and fight amongst us and probably become The Furious Six and The Dragon Warrior.
"Then stay, for my sake."
"You know it won't work Tigress. If she wants to see what we do for real, then the only way is to take her with you!" Viper said. Liu now had her arms folded on the table, resting her head, and I could see her claws slowly retract outwards.
"Mum, I'll be careful, but for goodness sakes let me watch the same happen to him as he did my friends!" Liu screamed towards me as she slowly started growling in anger.
"Fine, but I want the Five to go along with you halfway if you change your mind. Is that a deal Liu?" Shifu asked. Liu then started to calm down, and me less concerned for her safety.
"Deal!" Liu said. The wolves then left, Shifu got on with breakfast. I just thought about protecting my daughter and watching Onslo or me kill Jin Chow, but before all that we'd kick him into a fire, and when he come out screaming, behead him with a sword.
The Jade Palace's Training Hall.
Whilst Liu went back to get changed into her old clothes from the new ones she proudly wore, I looked round the Training Hall. I mostly focused on the Spiked Wooden Combatants in the pit, then looked up to see pieces of Rope, various other objects to walk, run, and fight on high above the ground, then looked towards the twirled beams towards the entrance of the Hall. I desperately wanted to get Liu trained a bit more before Onslo told me that Jin will be alone for a considerable amount of time... and this being the right time to strike!
"She just isn't ready! Why the hell should I take her when she isn't even ready?!" I asked myself, angry at the prospect of Liu getting seriously hurt and me constantly looking over my shoulder to keep her safe.
Shifu then came in, along with the Five.
"Make her stay dad. Please make sure she's trained enough to do this before she's ready." I begged dad, hoping to persuade him to get my daughter to stay put and train amongst the Five.
"No matter what we do Tigress, she'll find a way to wiggle free and follow you. If she thinks she's ready to a degree then so be it. I haven't heard anything of Master Oogway so he probably thinks the same as me!" Dad said. I just looked at him in disapproval, then looked back at the Hall.
"Ready mum, lets kick some ass!" Liu said, really excitedly.
"You know you want to train with us Liu, do you want to do that instead, with us The Furious Five?" I asked Liu, then Liu started getting angry.
"For goodness sakes mum, if I thought I wasn't ready, then yes I would stay. You can train me better later, but now... I just want justice, all right!" Liu said, then went off in a huff down towards the Spiked Wooden Combatants and side-kicked one, forcing the elbow to come towards her which she counter-attacked. A spiked leg came towards Liu which Liu jumped over to avoid, as well as kick the exposed torso of the combatant.
"There, satisfied?" Liu screamed towards me. I knew she was hurting just as much as I am, but I knew she would be more.
"Since when have we trained the children on those things Master Shifu?" Viper asked as the Five looked at him. I remained focused on Liu who now had picked up a Double-Sided Battle Axe and started carving away at another wooden dummy used with weapons quite empressively.
"I honestly, don't know! It looks like Liu Zhang is a fast learner, and high above her friends. I think she's shown you Tigress that she is ready." Shifu said as you could hear a child growling as she then threw the Axe towards one of the Spiked opponents, embedding it in its wood.
"That's... impressive!" Crane said gobsmacked, and so were the rest of us.
"She's stronger than I thought Shifu. When her time comes, let it be done." Oogway's invisible presence said. Shortly afterwards, loads of wolves entered the hall with loads more outside in full armour and weaponry.
"Ready Liu Zhang?" Zhuàng Yuan said towards the raging panther.
"I want to see him bleed... what ever your name is." Liu said. She then stormed out of the building and let out a massive roar. I looked on in disbelieve.
"Is everything sorted Master Tigress, Master Shifu, Five?" Onslo said, also slightly annoyed but more towards Jin Chow.
"I... guess so, yes! Five, if Liu needs to come back halfway, then bring her back and help her." Shifu said to his students as I had gone of to check on Liu.
"Yes Master Shifu." The others said as they bowed. They then walked out towards the exit, only to witness a group of wolves had surrounded Liu Zhang with me watching closely, and presenting her to a child's version of full Japanese armour.
"Here you go Liu Zhang, some protection and a nice sword to do whatever you like with." Péng Chao said as he was knelt down facing the angry child, who then gave Péng a hug, as well as start getting tearful in his arms.
"I just want justice done for what he's done! Its all I want." She said. She then examined the Japanese stuff given to her, then the wolves helped her to put it on.
"Is this, your idea Tigress?" Monkey asked with me with my arms crossed.
"Think it'll help?" Mantis asked as Liu complained about her new gifts being heavier then expected.
"If it helps her then yeah, I do. I'm just more concerned about her safety though." I said. Master Shifu went down the steps he'd been watching from to come and looked at Liu, who bowed as he came closure.
"Looking cute, I would say!" Shifu said, just knowing how soldiers are trained and children copy their parents, as well as mess about by trying on their helmets.
"Is this, standard Onslo?" Oogway said as he made himself visibly present and asked the now commander of an army.
"It is Grandmaster Oogway. We have started to train our children how to fight, since Jin Chow's... Just a precaution against him, not civilians, you know." Onslo said, then became remorseful.
"You, don't mean..." Oogway asked, shocked as well as surprised.
"I'd, rather not talk about it Oogway. When Jin murdered my wife after I feared my village would be next, we would've preferred staying in our home country of Japan when we fled, but we all felt so guilty being part of something neither of us wanted. Why do you think we left! I just wanted, with my mates to start a new life for ourselves... then, he came here! Now, I can thrust this sword into his neck and watch him die." Onslo said as he demonstrated with his sword.
As Grandmaster Oogway was slowly starting to come to terms with how serious Jin Chow posed a massive threat, the biggest threat imposed to China, I went up to my adopted daughter Liu Zhang wearing the children's version of full combat armour. But the scariest part of it was that it IS full combat armour strictly for teaching the next generation of soldiers.
"...Looking cute Liu! Are you absolutely sure about this, because this isn't going to be easy. You do know this, I hope!" I said as I knelt down, looking at Liu's face inside the helmet.
"If its part of my destiny neither of us, nor Oogway saw then yes, I am ready Master Tigress." Liu said, then bowed towards me. I bowed back.
I then went up to Onslo as his wolves rallied, chanting cries in both Japanese, then again in Chinese by Onslo's five mates and other wolf soldiers learning to speak Chinese. At the moment, I wasn't wearing any armour, nor was I carrying any weaponry.
"Does Japan do this to its children, teach them how to fight?" I had to ask after seeing Liu really excited in wearing armour but hadn't foreseen the images that see would see.
"We do Yes and no Master Tigress. We do tend to train our children how to fight affectively, but never to kill! It just helps when civilians are called up so that we don't have to spend a long time training them when called up." Onslo said, then one of his friends gave me a suit to wear. I didn't say a word as I looked at it, then towards my dad who looked shaken to know what I was about to do, and so were the rest of the Five.
"Thank you Míng Fu. If you think I'll need it, I'll put it on." I bowed towards Míng Fu, then put on the Japanese armour, with some help from dad and the Five.
"Finally, we can take back Japan and rid ourselves of an Emperor and Military Commander we didn't want!" Onslo said, then the wolves rallied with swords in the air, piercing the sky with their hatred. Liu and I went back to see the Furious Five, my dad Master Shifu, and Grandmaster Oogway with grave concern on their faces, as well as pats on our backs for good luck.
"Well Liu, this is your first biggest challenge yet, and you're not ready! Are you saw you want to do this?" Shifu said as Oogway looked at the now frightened child.
"It is a task I feel that I have to do, not that I want to." Liu said. Shifu then gave her a hug of comfort, followed by Oogway. I looked at my friends as they came to realize how serious I was at avenging my childhood home, and knew instantly that if any harm came to them, I would dish out the justice so rightly deserved.
Onslo and his friends came up to us and Onslo put his left paw on Liu's shoulder, making the child soldier to look up to see who it was.
"Don't worry Liu Zhang, we'll make sure your safe!" He said, then bowed to the others.
"Oh, by the way Master Shifu, I have left my kids with the gardeners who are playing with them. Tell them that daddy's gone to make something go away, and he'll be back... I promise!" Onslo said, then wiped away a tear from his eye
"Of, course Onslo Kretch. Do whatever you need to do, and make sure you come back. You too Tigress!" Shifu said. Liu sweetly smiled.
"Thanks Granddad!" She said. We then turned to leave the ground with my right arm on her shoulder, supporting Liu. Then, Onslo and his 150 men started rallying.
"𝄞Jin you're a boy making a big noise
Taking over the street thinking, you'll be a big man some day
You got mud on your face
You big disgrace
We'll be kicking your ass all over the place
WE WILL WILL ROCK YOU!
WE WILL WILL ROCK YOU
Jin you're an asshole of a man's hard man
Killing in the street thinking of taking over the world some day
You got blood on your face
You big disgrace
Wavin' your banner all over the place
WE WILL WILL ROCK YOU!
WE WILL WILL ROCK YOU!
Meanwhile, somewhere in China...
Jin walked round the Slaughterhouse like a proud leader, thinking solely on Japan's interest and brining fear to those who'd bring fear to the fearful... but it was China's helpless civilians paying the price.
Anxious wolves brought in shaken prisoners, most of them women and children with powerless men watching as Jin inspected each one. He pointed one way for death, and another for being spared for the later.
"Think somebody will sort him out eventually?" One wolf said to another as they took prisoners over for inspection.
"I sure hope so, and I think it'll be soon!" The other replied, but Jin overheard them.
"Speak up soldiers! Let our enemies hear you." Jin boasted as the two wolves coward.
"Just saying that this will sort them out... sir!" One said. The other shook nervously.
"...Yes?" Jin asked as the wolf tried to speak.
"Our, enemies will die... like the rest... sir!" He said, then nervously saluted. The other did the same.
"Good, good! Now, round them up. It's time to add our 'secret ingredient' and the others won't know what their eating!" Jin said, then performed a sickening evil laugh.
"NNNOOO!" A male goat said, holding out his arm to his wife and child. He was being held back by over anxious wolves wielding swords as Jin slit the child's throat, then his wife's... then his. The wolves turned their heads in disgust, only to be yelled at to watch the carnage unfolding in front of them.
Much later in the Woods of Oun Sio - Onslo's Camp, Evening time.
It was getting late, so Onslo said to his men to make camp in the woods of Oun Sio, a beautiful spot filled with wild flowers, and a river nearby with a small waterfall.
All of his men got out their kits to make tents, as well as fires to make tea and to keep warm from the night's cold. I had wondered off not far from camp, overlooking the river. Then, Liu came up to me and looked towards the waterfall, breathing heavily to let the fresh air in her lungs.
"Mum, have you ever done something like this before, I mean with the armour and all?" Liu asked as I continued looking out.
"Only once that I recall when we sneaked in disguised as soldiers Liu."
"You, haven't..." She asked, nervous about what I might say next.
"I have Liu. I have taken a life, and so have the others. I have twice, but he deserved it, and later a woman. Mantis did too when he went as an Acupuncturist. He performed a fatal attack unknowingly on the leader whilst the guards kept watch. Its called 'Kiss Of The Dragon' which is excruciating and deadly... all from one Needle." I said as I looked ahead at the river, then towards Liu.
"You really are a trained killer huh mum." Liu said, shocked at we are more than capable of.
"Only when we know its necessary Liu. We mostly arrest people, and hardly ever kill! Even Po's killed people, and has tried to get people to repent for their crimes." I said. Liu looked up at me, and I did her.
"Wha... seriously? What will you do if you get to Jin Chow first?" Liu asked. I then had an evil smirk on my face as I looked back towards the river.
"Probably cut bits of him whilst he's still alive, kick him into a raging fire and when he comes out screaming, decapitate him and scalp his head. You?" I said. My last bit made her laugh.
"Actually, I was thinking the same thing, but the height restriction thing might be a problem though mum." She said, to which I laughed a bit.
"You two all right?" Zhuàng Yuan asked as Onslo Kretch was making sure everything and everyone was ready for the first and hopefully final battle.
"Yep! I'm just trying to take my mind of having my daughter with me thats all." I said to him. Liu looked at me and stuck out her tongue and made silly faces.
"Why, whats wrong?" He asked. Liu now wondered of to check on the other wolves.
"She isn't even ready! She hasn't been trained properly yet in the Jade Palace's Training Hall, and hasn't even seen combat. I'm scared for her safety Zhuàng!" I said. Zhuàng then came up to me and both looked at the child as she spoke to one of the Japanese wolves who one translated for her to understand.
"Then why is she here Master Tigress! Shouldn't she be back home?"
"She said that she wants vengeance from the Bao Gu Orphanage attack, and I want it because it's my childhood home too Zhuàng. I'm an orphan too just like my daughter Liu Zhang." Zhuàng didn't say a word. Onslo came up and looked towards the river whilst we continued looking back at the camp the wolves had set up.
"I can understand Liu being here Tigress, and don't worry, we'll make sure she's safe!" Onslo said. I thanked him then went back to camp.
It was now starting to get darker, and the wolves were all chatting away at what they'll do when this is all over. Onslo had assembled groups of 25 around several campfires the army had made. Liu and I stayed with Onslo Kretch and Hào Chong, as well as 23 other Japanese soldiers.
"It seems odd, being here! Well, to me it does being the only child and all." Liu said as she looked into the campfire.
"It feels odd me being a mum! I still can't get my head round it Liu." I replied, looking at her as she straightened her legs.
"Well, your doing a great job mum! Have you ever considered having your own children?"
"I haven't actually no! I had boyfriends but occasionally, I used to be the one looking out for them when things happened. It's usually the boys showing of to the girls to get their attention, and not the other way around." This made Liu giggle.
Onslo continued prodding the fire with his sword, then gazed at it, going miles as he wondered how far he got. Hào looked at him.
"I bet your amazed how far you've come Onslo. Having 150 soldiers at your under your command is a massive achievement!" I said, the Onslo came back from being miles away.
"I was just thinking the same thing! I can say to get me a bite to eat and they would, messing about." Onslo joked on how serious he had become.
"Have you sorted out with having the guards at the orphanage?" I politely asked, hoping that even with his wife's murder on his mind, he'd still keep his promise.
"First things first Tigress, and I'll have 30 at Bao Gu's disposal. Liu, how good are you in using a Sword?" Onslo asked, which startled Liu.
"I'd say I'm all right I suppose. Why, why you asking?" She said shortly before getting to her feet. I stayed sitting to watch.
"Can you take down, say Hào here, in cold-blood... IF you had to that is." Onslo asked, leaving me gobsmacked.
"Oh no I couldn't... hell no!" Liu said, then I had to ask where this was going.
"Er, Onslo, where is this going?"
"I need to see your daughter Liu Zhang in combat if she so wishes to take down Jin Chow."
"Him, yeah sure, but I could not in cold-blood. I'm a child, remember?"
"Then, what if that person was awake and was trying to kill you or mortally wound you. Could you then?" He asked. Liu then thought before answering.
"Then I would seriously hurt them!"
"Here, take a look at these swords. Each one has defended lives, as well as taken lives." Onslo said after taking Liu over to a chest of weaponry, which contained only swords. I tried to lean over as I remained sitting, trying to see what he was showing my daughter. Then, Liu picked up a Katana and inspected it carefully.
"Whoa, these are... sharp!" Liu said, then Onslo gave Liu a Bokken, a Japanese training sword the size and shape of a katana, and Onslo took one for himself.
"Right Liu, I want you to try and kill me with a Japanese Training weapon. This is just in case you come across anybody who tries to kill you!" Onslo said. By now, I stood up and stormed over to stop the training.
"Liu, stop it! I will train will affectively to fight..." I said, but Liu stopped me from continuing.
"Mum, I've got this."
"Right then... Jade... I'm gonna whoop your ass!" Onslo said, messing about towards a now bewildered panther.
"Huh? You told them, didn't you?" Liu asked, and I sweetly smiled.
"Oh yeah! You just sounded cute when you say it. Hi! I'm Jade, and gonna whoop your asses!" Onslo shook his head as I took the mickey out my daughter.
"I'm warning you mum, don't make me..."
"Whoop my ass!" I said and stuck my tongue out towards Liu.
"Jade, seriously, I need to you focus. Now, what would make you attack first?" Onslo asked as he separated his legs.
"I dunno, probably my... friends being hurt." Liu said. Unknowingly, she started to grasp the Bokken.
"Better! Now, use your hatred against the person threatening your friends." Onslo said as he looked carefully towards the panther now starting to growl lowly and her claws retract outwards.
"...Liu, this is training remember." I said as I kept watch, and so did Onslo's soldiers.
"Now, strike!" Onslo said. Just after he said that, Liu left of some impressive strikes which Onslo blocked to make it look like a standard fight.
"GO ON FINISH HIM LIU! HE'S A CRAP LEADER! TAKE HIM ON! YOU CAN DO IT!" Onslo's Japanese wolves said, spurring Liu on. The mates spoke in Chinese for us two to understand.
"And, stop!" Onslo said, holding the Bokken with his left paw and holding out his right for Liu to stop, but Liu didn't. Liu whacked the weapon so hard, it came out of Onslo's grasp. Liu then saw it moving, and as-if moving slowly was able to chuck her weapon into her right paw, and take hold of the handle of the other. This all happened in a few seconds, leaving us all flabbergasted. Liu held out both weapons, growling lowly and teeth baring.
"When... the hell... did you learn to fight like that?!" I asked. Liu then slowly turned her head, not leaving eye contact for a few seconds before properly facing me. Onslo then grabbed hold of the weapon by its fake handle, forcing Liu to push hers towards Onslo's face.
"I, think that'll be enough training for today. You know what you have to do now, Jade." Onslo said, dropping his weapon by his side. After a few seconds, Liu did the same and gave it back to Onslo to put back.
"Now I know I'm ready!" She said, still growling. The rest of us were just amazed at what we'd just seen as Liu sat back down looking into the fire.
Back at the Jade Palace.