FULL TITLE: 23. Kung Fu Panda 3 - "Enter The Jade" Liu Zhang. (Part I of II)
The Jade Palaces Barracks — The same night.
Liu Zhang was asleep, purring beside me (Tigress) in her bed, obviously from having two legendary Masters, Ox & Croc in our Barracks. My 13-Year-old Black Panther hadn’t stopped purring for ages and it sounded cute coming from a happy child. Her “Gift” that Zhi “Tuggsy” Tsugumi had given Liu “The Jade” Zhang was now on top of our chest of drawers amongst us figurines.
Po’s room was still empty, and there was no word from the Panda of coming back, or from Zeng our Messenger Goose. You could hear him though, talking in his sleep as usual to which no one would deny. Only this time, it’ll be of Ox and Croc’s missions, about them, us in Gongmen City… And him saying that he can’t believe that we have two legendary Masters, Ox and Croc staying at the Jade Palace which will be epic!
Explains Liu’s purrs.
I was semi-awake. I was listening to Po’s footsteps coming from down the hall on some creaky floorboards, him talking, and I was still slightly worried probably for no apparent reason from the top of my head about his safety. On top of that, I was still trying to figure out my “Noodle Dream”. Po has now gone to a “Super-Restaurant” we’re told and Po in my dream was in a Super-Restaurant pleased to see me!
That didn’t make sense! None of it did!
Closing my eyes, getting comfy, it was a mere second for me to fall back to sleep. What I’d dream since I could hear Liu’s purrs, a lost Panda, my Noodle Dream, two Masters sleeping with us, or Dad saying what we’d do with Liu “The Jade” Zhang presenting THE JADE to us, The Furious Five and the rest of us I have no idea. It’ll probably be nothing. Yep, in a few hours time we’d be up and ready for action… Minus The Dragon Warrior the lucky sod!
The Jade Palace Barracks in the morning.
The gong hadn’t been heard yet, and I, Master Tigress and proud mother to a child to which I now wish I have kids of my own and one like Liu, was watching the path of the rising sun slowly rise in the distance. I’m sitting down on the steps to our barracks as I watch.
It was a deep red. The sort the Japanese Wolves would rally to when seeing it. It has rays of light coming from it, making the clouds red-pink, and the sky being blue. The Full Moon can still be seen in the distance and it was gong to be a clear blue sky today, no doubt about it.
It won’t be long till the gong now, and I have to admit that I am really excited at seeing the REAL Liu “The Jade” Zhang, and what a 13-Year-old Black Panther girl who’s been going to our Childrens Day Events can really do! By the time I went back inside, Liu was waking up, and so were the others.
Yawns of “Good morning!” could be heard coming from each Master’s rooms as I passed and entered mine… But not till I had stopped looking into Po’s somehow immaculate room.
“Morning Liu Zhang! You’ve been purring in your sleep! Anything exciting?” I asked as Liu stretched in her bed and then sat up to get up, staring at her toes and legs, then at me.
“Uh-huh! Got my parcel from Tuggsy so I can so you the REAL “Jade” Liu Zhang, and having two Masters staying here. Ooh! By the way, when you all go and prepare breakfast, I’ll stay here and show you The Jade. You know, the present from Tuggsy!”
“That would be nice! Have you opened it yet?”
“What…? NO! Don’t want to ruin the surprise… But he did say he wants me to “Parade myself” through the Valley of Peace as The Jade.” Liu says and sweetly smiles towards me. She then gives me a kiss, ushers me out of my own room and asks that whoever’s doing the breakfast to not to serve it till she’s shown us what it is, and what she looks like. I say that I will do and manage to get a glimpse at Liu Zhang’s present from Zhi that one of them, wrapped separately, looks like a staff or some sort.
I then leave to go to the kitchen in the Jade Palace when I can hear Liu saying the words “WOW! THANK YOU TUGS! THANK YOU ONSLO! WHOA! THIS IS SO BLOOMING AWESOME!…”
Meanwhile, back in The Jade Palace Kitchen.
“So, with Liu Zhang here and training… Where should we start?” Asks a very eager Snake who’s looking at the others in excitement. A 13-year-old Black Panther girl who calls herself Liu “The Jade” Zhang will be training with the Furious Five, Master Shifu, and Grandmaster Oogway observing.
“Well, I was thinking the Gator Gauntlet. See how many arses she can kick in quick succession.” Monkey says as he looks towards Viper who’s smiling. Monkey then looks Mantis who then thinks and asks the question on why Tigress and Liu haven’t appeared for Breakfast. Soon afterwards, a very curious female Tiger enters, she sits down, and looks at Po’s seat, then that of her daughter’s, Liu Zhang.
“If Dad hasn’t already told you, Liu’s friend Zhi ‘Tuggsy’ Tsugumi gave Liu a present late last night, and is eager to show it to us lot! I think it’s the one from the Marketplace when you Monkey, Crane and I went.” I say, but it doesn’t explain on why she is late. Master Shifu looks on towards the door, then at his students.
“The Swinging Tiger Claws will be just Paws, and no Claws Tigress. The Teaching Ones that are painted Red for danger will be used instead, with the normal side untouched for Liu to hit… But NOT the Red side.” He says towards me. Then, a very happy and excited creature emerges from the corner… Liu “The Jade” Zhang in her outfit.
“So then guys, what ya think huh? Isn’t this epic!” Liu says to us. Liu is wearing a very Dark Green outfit near Black with a hood, elbow and knee guards, shoulder guards with Gold edging, and has the Twin Katanas and the Six Throwing Knives that were given to her by Onslo and his army. On the left-hand side is a place for scrolls.
“That… is so Hardcore!” I say towards her. I then get off my chair just to examine her on what she’s wearing. Liu lowers her hood and looks behind her and, then looks back at us.
“It’s the new outfit that my dear friend Tuggsy gave me at the Red Marketplace building. He said that he was going to give it to me earlier, but then saw the Japanese Wolves and Oslo who then told him about my new equipment, the Twin Katanas and my Six Throwing Knives… So he went back to make adjustments. This is the end result! I got the name "The Jade” as I can do some moves and signature moves of the Furious Five, and Po The Dragon Warrior, as well as my Panther-Style Kung Fu. And since the legendary fighters live at the Jade Palace... I started to call myself Liu "The Jade" Zhang! The Jade part being me in my gear, or just Liu.” Liu says towards us. She then goes over to Master Shifu, my adoptive Father and Liu’s adoptive Granddad so that he can have a look. She even drew a Katana for inspection.
“Nice Swords, and Throwing Knives…? Onslo has certainly seen something we haven’t!” Shifu says towards Liu as he looks carefully to the young smiling and purring Panther. Liu spins round and gives Shifu a glance on what she’s now wearing.
“You better get changed in to the Training Clothes Jade. It’ll be a shame to spoil the look and damage what Tuggsy got you, and you certainly look the part.” Monkey says towards Liu. I just look at her in amazement as Liu bows towards us and promptly gets herself changed. The one thing on my mind is Liu Zhang’s sword fight with Onslo Kretch. The one where Liu manages to hit the Wolf’s Sword so hard it falls from his hand, but Liu, my own daughter to which I honestly wish was my own little tigress is able to as-if in slow motion, able to grab hold of that training Katana and manage to grab hold of its handle and point it towards the enemy. Now Liu has two real ones on her!
I then tell the others on what we were doing when Liu and I went with the Japanese Wolves to take on another Panther… But I only talked about on how Liu was. I then said to everyone that when Liu Zhang imagines her friends or family in grave danger from someone, Liu is pretty much relentless! She won’t back down till she knows the opponent or opponents she is facing knows she would most certainly butcher them. She has a point in trying to disarm confrontations by asking why they are doing what they are doing as so to avoid any unpleasantries, but get Liu pissed off and you are most certain to regret doing so. Just make sure she offers repentance and take it whilst you are still able to walk and walk unaided! Just after I say this about Liu to the others, Liu comes back in with a plain dark green outfit of trousers and a shirt with ripped-off sleeves. On her feet are black shoes. We examine her.
“Yep, I prefer the other outfit! That one is WAY too dated!” Mantis says, forcing Liu to a smiling chuckle. Soon afterwards, we all leave for our training hall. From what I’ve seen already, I can’t wait to see The Jade Liu Zhang in action. When we enter, both Ox and Croc are already waiting.
The Jade Palace Training Hall.
Liu entered the Training Hall with great anticipation, more so because our friends from Gongmen City and Members of The Kung Fu Council were also present. As we stood by the Twilled Beams, Liu looked round the Hall as usual. Expecting some changes. There were a few minor ones, but the majority of Liu “The Jade” Zhang’s training will be outside.
She then came up towards us, and bowed. I took over from Shifu.
“Liu, you must go on the Twilled Beams here and attack the Swinging Tiger Paws which will try and knock you off! Attack the Paw, and NOT the Red Side. Got it?” I say sternly towards Liu. Monkey holds up a Tiger Paw and shows Liu what I mean.
“That’s easy Mum! I’ve…” Liu tries to say, just knowing she is trying to show off to her biggest fans. Anyone would. I would.
“I know you want to show off to us sweetheart, but this is extremely dangerous. You MUST pay full attention and not for a SECOND, get distracted.” I say in a loving way, but cautious to Liu, to which I then ruffle her head and kiss her on the lips. Liu smiles back.
“…Fine! I’ll do it that way. But why avoid the Red?” She’s eager to ask, then her Granddad shows what a normal Tiger Claw looks like… A big block of wood to which you wrack as-if to counter attack, and the potentially lethal spikes on the other. The Red side.
“Ugh! Has anybody, you know, been hit by that thing before?” We all look at her, not saying a word.
“…WHAT?! Geez! I, wouldn’t want to know what it would look like… through me!” Liu says in a scared tone. Crane then puts the Claw beside Liu Zhang and makes it look like from the side view and giving Liu to see, how far Tiger Claws penetrate those who don’t pay attention.
“I’ll give you a demonstration on what you have to do. I did this with my Dad Shifu and you’ll get the hang of it, and become second nature! There’s nothing to worry about!” I try and say to Liu, who is now starting to shake. Mantis and Viper try and comfort her.
Shifu turns on the Twilled Beams and I jump on and maintain my balance. I then relay instructions to Liu.
“As the Paws come closure to you, make sure you hit only the Paw and not the Red Jade. It is obvious why it is Red.” Then Shifu activates the motion of The Three Tiger Claws. I dodge a few and wrack the Pawed Sides and avoid the Reds. I do this for a while, then come off. Ox and Croc applaud.
Then its Liu’s turn. She runs on and maintains a balance. She looks up and sees the Tiger Paws back in position resting on a pole high up on the support beams. “I’m ready!” She says. Without hesitation, the Paws are released and Liu dodges them all for a while, jumping from one beam to the other. When Liu is ready, she attacks with fists, but the first one she hit… Was on the Red Side.
“You’ve just lost your arm. That was the Red Side. Look closely and focus, you can do it!” I say to her, making her look at me, then narrowly dodge another Paw from being knocked off or would’ve been impaled.
“That’s easy for you to say Tigress, you’ve been doing this for years!” She shouts back, but then I say something back that does make her think twice.
“Just because we do it often doesn’t mean one of us doesn’t get themselves either badly hurt or nearly killed!”
Liu looks on as she’s attacked on all fronts. She sees the timing of opportunity and punches and kicks the Paws and avoiding death. We all applaud her for her efforts as the Paws are put back into place, Liu looks over towards a part of the Training Hall where no one is, and waves over that direction and shouts out “Nice to see you here!”. As we look at her as The Jade comes off and smiles at us, then looks back at that same corner. The Panther then starts to purr.
“Who… Are you waving, to Liu?” Shifu asks as the rest of us try and figure out who it might be.
“Ah, it is my family watching me! So Mum, whats next huh?!” Liu asks. As she purrs, a few tears roll from her cheeks. But I didn’t know nor anyone else if these tears are of happiness that my daughter’s family is watching her, or missing them terribly.
“… How, are you for… sparring with me?” I try and ask Liu as I try and get my words out. I just feel sorry for poor Liu with her own family watching her, and their dead!
“I’ve done it before Mum, and by the way, my family over there are waving towards you all!” Liu says to me. We all wave back. We can’t see anything but weapons on a weapon stand and a few Training Dummies. Liu then says thank you to us for wanting us to wave back.
“I mean, have you done sparring on the Twilled Beams before Liu with one of us? That’s without anything swinging! Later when you and if you feel more comfortable, we can do the swings and spar with one of us Five. How about it!” I ask. Liu looks over to the corner, looks at the Beams, then at me, smiling.
“That will be great! To spar with the great Master Tigress on her own turf!” Liu says in pure excitement. Liu quickly runs onto the Beams which Monkey then activates, but before I can even try to get on… Liu bows down as-if facing an opponent, and is already engaged in a sparring match… And she was even on her own!
Soon, Liu is exchanging blows, kicks, and punches to the air. She jumps from one beam to the other whilst blocking attacks.
“Who is she… fighting with?” I ask myself as we all look in astonishment on what Liu “The Jade” Zhang is doing, which would’ve been with me if I was on the Twilled Beams sparring with my daughter, which I wasn’t. I was still by the side of the things. Then suddenly, the Level to activate the Swinging Tiger Paws was set in motion.
“WHO JUST TOUCHED THAT?!” I yelled out as the Paws started to become released from the resting positions. No one was near them! Not Dad, Ox or Croc! But before I could even say to Liu to look out, Liu had already perfectly avoided being impaled by the dreaded Red Side by kneeling down and continued raining blows onto her invisible opponent or opponents. Liu side kicked a Paw that was about to knock her off, then performed a swinging side kick that would’ve nearly knocked someone off! Liu quickly went back into a stance, keeping her eye on who ever she was fighting. Then, just as she was about to be taken down, performed a perfect backflip kick, and landed on her feet, knocking anyone she was facing to a Swinging Red Sided Paw.
“I think it’s Shun! Her dead brother who Liu’s fighting!” Crane says to us. Liu bows after the fight, then comes off panting. She then looks over to the corner of the room, and puts her hand up in appreciation. She briefly looks at us, then struggles to regain her breath. We all just look at her, completely and utterly speechless! I don’t recall seeing any child do those moves, especially on the letter Twilled Beams and Tiger Claws. But Liu was unscathed, and hot and sweating.
“You wanted to see The Jade… You just GOT The Jade!” Liu says towards us as Liu tries to breath, then asks an astonishing question…
“So then, whats next huh?…”
At the Red Dragon.
It was becoming closure towards the Grand Opening, and everyone was working really hard. Mr. Pings Secret Ingredient Soup, Po’s Famous Sticky Dumplings, Xiao Sou’s Fireballs, Mr. & Mrs. Cheung’s Dance Of The Dragon, and many more!
Everyone was really excited! Po had forgotten all about trying to figure why he was here. Instead, the Panda was just cooking, helping others, and genuinely excited to show off to The Furious Six and Master Shifu. The tables set, music playing, people singing from bands that people formed and they were all great singers… Even the Japanese Wolves seemed relaxed. Some had rounded up Chefs, Musicians, Caterers, and of course… The unexpecting ingredient that would accompany some of the dishes. And yet still, they too seemed to be having a great time!
Being the atmosphere, they had forgotten what they had seen, and some of what they were a part off. Those who contemplated on suicide were now either helping out the supposed prisoners for The Red Dragon’s Grand Opening, getting drunk and merry, or even messed about with children.
The children, the children who’d never see their parents again. To be fed what they loved so much. Some, even come to the table. What was the secret ingredient Jin Chow had ready, no one knew… They all refuse to know.
The food is prepared and is grandly presented. It looks so good, it smells so good, it tastes so good. It was that grand that you would just admire the work gone into each and every bit of food, the starters, main course, even the puddings and Deserts.
As the chefs prepare and cook the food, occasionally, bits of raw material would be cooking amongst the carrots, bean sprouts, baby sweetcorn, and others. Those who knew what that raw material was, resigned! Well, thats what people heard. Truth was that they would be “Forced” to cook and prepare for the Grand Opening. Refuse, and you would be having your family in with the ingredients you are now cooking.
The food HAD to be on the table, no doubt about it! If you knew what was going on, you’d die trying, and you would be grandly presented to the table, along with the tarter and Desert. Drinks are inclusive, and Wines were very popular indeed.
In fact! No one actually knew that Jin Chow has started his own Wine Company. He had done this for years, and it was not from what happened to him when he was younger nor what he did to his victims make him this way oh no. He just has a great talent for making great wines!
But when things got nasty, and the disposal of bodies, something had to be done about the blood he had spilt in his command. No one knew about this.
Red Wine anyone?
Back at The Jade Palace.
Liu had fought the Gator Gauntlet with Master Mantis and Shun, Lin, and Huan, balanced with Crane, went through hell itself on The Fire Pit Of Doom, and now we had taken things to the outside.
We have an assault course to which we’d teach the children on Children Day Events. It’s the one of balance on poles, walking on both ropes that are tight, and saggy, things to climb, several poles to spar on, and so on.
Liu knew this course well! So did so many other children. Once you do the course, you both must engage in a spar match against someone. This is what we all say to the children for them to become The Furious Five now The Furious Six and who ever came on top is The Dragon Warrior… Junior class of course.
“This Ox and Croc is where we teach the children how to fight in the environment, so that they don’t just fight on even ground but in much more dangerous and unstable conditions. Once they see The Furious Five and The Dragon Warrior do it… They’re all eager to practise.” Master Shifu says to Ox and Croc as Liu familiarises herself with the challenge ahead.
“I’ve done this before, but I obviously need to train a bit more before engaging in any for of combat!” Liu says to Shifu as she approaches some ropes and rope bridges slightly high above a pond. Viper goes over to Liu to relay instructions.
“You know the drill Jade, get to the other side any way you want. Afterwards, spar with Crane.”
“You Jade will spar with Crane. This is to mimic the battle Tigress and us had with Tai Lung, only that Master Crane be Tai Lung trying to knock you off as you try and get across! You have to avoid that from happening and get to the other side.” Viper says to Liu. Liu then looks at Crane who’s smiling, then looks at the Furious Five, Ox and Croc, and Granddad Shifu.
“…But Tai Lung’s a Snow Leopard, not some sort of bird!” Liu says to Viper, but our Snake takes no notice. She points out that not only will Crane try and knock Liu off, but someone else will also try as well! Liu looks round to see us all smiling, and Shifu talking to Ox and Croc on what Master Tigress is doing to the 13-year-old Panther girl she’s adopted. The chIld then looks down at will be a wet and perfect way to cool down.
“That much is true Liu, but in our job and now yours, you don’t know who to trust so yeah… Your gonna get soaked!” The Snake says to the Panther as the Tigress sweetly smiles.
“At first Jade, you’ll be just on a rope bridge above a mountain say 50 feet up. Some of the wooden planks will be rotten so you’ll need to balance on the ropes. You’ll start by trying them out, and make yourself across. Then and only if you feel comfortable taking on an opponent, you will take on Crane.” I say towards Liu as she puts half her strength on a piece of wood. It holds her. She then puts her whole weight on that wood, then puts one on some rope.
“What will happen as I go through this training and progress mum?” Liu asks, and I say what battling Tai Lung is like on a rope bridge with your for friends holding the combined weights of a female Tiger, and a male Snow Leopard.
“…Just, wondering… In other words, when I progress and fall… I, die…?” Liu asks me as I try and make sure that Liu knows what we do. The Training Hall is supposed to represent the sorts of environment we work in.
“Yep! That’s only if we don’t catch you in time or if you are alone. But since you’ve done this sort of thing before Liu, it shouldn’t be too difficult for you!” I say back to her as Liu starts to check the wooden planks of a wood bridge with one of her legs and holding on to the rope.
“I think I prefer being back at the orphanage mum!” Liu says to us as Liu goes across with caution and checking each plank under her weight. Soon, some start to fall. As the planks fall, Liu try to get across by walking across the robe support as well as hold on for dear life, just thinking about what The Furious Five went through on that bridge.
“Well done Liu, you’re nearly there!” I call out as we look on towards a Panther looking back at us, then nearly fall backwards into the pond below.
“I’ve just been thinking about you fighting your brother on THAT bridge! You must’ve been glad to be on the ground afterwards.” Liu calls out after reaching the end, then started making her way back towards us.
“Actually Liu, I’ve been thinking the same thing. Forget sparring with Master Crane here, just do balance today Liu. You can adapt a better strategy in the long-run after each thing to balance and fight someone like we do.” I say, but just as Liu thought she was all right putting all her weight on some wood, they broke, causing Liu to fall into the pond. We all just creased up from only finishing what I had just said. Liu managed to get up towards us back on dry land, and just stood there with the water dripping off her. Even she was laughing.
“…You were saying?”
After Liu shook herself dryish, she took to the poles which are a group of wooden poles and where you go from one to the other. Normally you’d spar with someone, but as I only have The Jade to contend with, I wanted to see that she can do the stuff very well as she would and will be doing later on with us. Next were vertical poles to go across, and some other balancing things, then lunch, then more balancing. The whole time Liu was forced to do the whole thing again and again if she fell off, and like anyone does, she did it again.
“Did you say that this is all from what you do all the time in combat situations Granddad, and that now its part of the Childrens Day Events?” Liu asks, balancing on some vertical poles and goes across to another.
“Pretty much. It was your Mum’s idea to get the kids on things we’ve all done before, and with them just knowing what we do… They all tend to copy and do it perfectly!” Shifu says to Liu as she then starts to do hand stands on some poles, then acrobats.
“Since when have you done acrobats, or any other child Liu?” Viper asks as the rest of us look on at a child who’s now trying to get herself to swing, and jump off. You could see that Liu was also trying to add a kick to the swing, and land perfectly as-if to fight someone. She then looks towards us as Ox and Croc applaud her efforts. Liu smiles, then bows. Ox and Croc bow back.
“It’s a recent thing Master Viper. As I’ve seen you all do it, I’ve been trying it myself! I’m quite good at acrobats in some instances, but obviously not as good as you lot”. Liu says back towards Viper, but as we could see how good my darling daughter which I STILL wish is mine, I grew ever-so concerned for our Panda Po Ping. He had been away for days now, and there was no news of him being back, not even from Zeng.
My dad and Liu’s Granddad Master Shifu then says to us that he’ll start preparing for dinner. Liu was busy being really excited talking to Ox and Croc about their adventures and what they do, what the Kung Fu Council does, what happened in Gongmen City with Lord Shen… And what we all did when the city’s people wanted to celebrate with us before returning home to The Valley of Peace.
I meanwhile concentrated on our friend Po. Just imagining him with Ox and Croc being here with him having a room next to him and they probably wouldn’t get much sleep! It’ll be like that same evening when Po was over-excited about being at the Jade Palace after being “Crowned” The Dragon Warrior, ascended from the universe Grandmaster Oogway’s exact words were. God did I want to kill him! It makes me laugh now thinking about it now though as he has saved our lives countless times, saved our butts, and STILL says that he is The Dragon Warrior, protecting the valley, and loveable friend.
Yet I, Tigress, am now a keen friend of the Panda. He is virtually indestructible! I didn’t know what saved him from Shen’s cannon just 50 yards from where the three of them were, Po, Shen, and the unstoppable weapon. Was it the Wok Po picked up in desperation? Was it his stomach? Was it both? Po couldn’t tell me, he couldn’t tell himself actually what saved him.
But when he ended up what The Soothsayer told the Panda we call Po about his home village, it made him know who he is. It also helped me when he told me to go to the Bao Gu Orphanage from when I myself were just pretty much a newborn cub. I can vaguely recall that rainy night with both my parents leaving me on the doorstep to that place. Mum crying her heart out as Dad cradles her as they walk away in the rainy night.
That is the ONLY image I have of them, and yet I would just love to ask why! Do I even have brothers or sisters? If so, have I passed by them or been served by them in stalls or shops. What about my own parents. Would I recognize them?! I would hope so, for my sake.
Master Shifu has said that every Master must find their Inner Peace, and yet Po found his from his memories, and who he is.
For some reason when Monkey, Crane and I were getting supplies for the Childrens Day Event, we saw Mr. Ping trying to get some petrified Wolves out of his restaurant. He didn’t want his son to do it as he didn’t want any trouble. Yet somehow I said that they could stay at the Jade Palace for a while till they get settled in. One had cubs with him, along with six of his mates. His name was Onlso Kretch. A Japanese Wolf and Soldier who had fled his homeland in a search for peace, till he can exact his revenge on a peace-loving madman called Jin Chow. Onslo has told me what happened to poor Jin back when he was a Panther child, witnessing his own family slaughtered in front of him. He did manage to kill the lone wolf who did it though and tasted his blood as it smacked against his lips. He then joined the military and soon rose up the ranks. But in his search for his own justice drove him insane for his village and overs alike were often attacked. He HAD to do something!
A good person driven mad for the quest of revenge, and a burning desire for peace and to be with is own family one day. To conquer Japan first and now China by Onslo, the seven Japanese Wolves and his own children now with a massive army behind him, waiting for the moment for the final confrontation for justice and honour. One for Japan’s own state of security, and the other to retake control of Japan from his grasp of madness.
And yet I do feel sorry for Jin Chow in a way. I still wanted to kill him for hurting my friends back at the Bao Gu Orphanage I grew to call home till Master Shifu took me in, but I still felt sorry for him. So do and did those under his command. And they too want to restore order, which is why we have about a thousand Japanese Soldiers at our very own Jade Palace Tournament Grounds where Po’s journey first started, as has Onslo’s and his six mates!
As Liu had just finished performing the swing and performed a kick successfully did she notice me miles away, and that I was concerned. Everyone cheered after Liu did the stunt, then she ran towards me as I just looked round the place.
“Just to let you know mum, my family know you want cubs of your own… and that you wish that I was your very own little tigress. They know you’ll name me Liu! They also say thank you for looking after me and for letting me follow my dream, under such tragic circumstances. But apart from all that, what’s wrong?” Liu tells me, which makes me smile. I want to shake their hands, but they are not even present. I then tell Liu the truth on why I’m concerned.
“Something has troubling me about The Dragon Warrior Liu, and it doesn’t feel right.”
“Po and Mr. Ping being away for so long.”
“But it has only been a few days Mum! What about your dream? Is that a premonition?” She asks, then I get a cold feeling of dread come over me. Its probably nothing to worry about, but its there.
“Well, I hope not in some way. How about you come with me and I’ll buy you dinner as you show off your outfit to your friends and Tuggsy?” I say to her as the others look at me. Liu instantly starts to become very bouncy and over-excited.
“OH HELL YEAH, DEFINITELY!” She says towards me. She then gives me a kiss, a hug, then goes off running to get changed.
“Are you sure you are not being over-cautious Tigress? Its a restaurant! Why would they ask the best chefs in the land in the first place!” Crane asks me as I look at Ox and Croc, my dad Master Shifu, then the rest of the now officially formed Furious Six.
“I just don’t feel right Crane. Maybe I’m just scared from that Noodle Dream I had becoming a reality. Maybe he’s all right. I just have to be sure Crane.” Crane doesn’t say a word, only Ox and Croc asking whats happening, and why I’m concerned. But they do find it funny on my wording for a “Noodle Dream”. Shortly afterwards, Liu “The Jade” Zhang makes an appearance and is willing to show off to her friends at the Valley of Peace’s Valley Hall, and to Tuggsy to show him what she now looks like.
“Wow! I can’t believe I’m going like this… With Master Tigress!” Liu says out loud, then stops to look at the rest of The Furious Five who are just looking at her. Liu lowers her hood, revealing a cute little girl who I know for sure can most certainly kick and whoop ass, and most certainly lethal when it comes down to weapon training. If she’s this good at swordsmanship, how good is she with staffs I ask myself. It’ll be an interesting sparring match with Monkey, thats for sure!
“You’ll be doing this for real eventually Liu, but when it comes to saving our lives… Don’t try to do it unless you know you can!” I say to Liu. Liu gives me a cute little look to say that it depends on what you mean without actually saying it.
“She means Jade like all of us hanging on a cliff edge one holding the other, and just one person. Don’t worry though as its highly unlikely… In the long run, that this will happen… Jade…” Mantis says to Liu, then tries to think when that HAS happened and we’re all left hanging in suspense, or fallen a great height. I just shake my head, then ruffle Liu’s.
“I have to go to see if Po and Mr. Ping are all right, see if theirs anything that says something’s wrong.” I say to Shifu. I then explain that I must’ve dreamt my Noodle Dream for a reason, especially now that Po and Mr. Ping are in one. I know something’s wrong. I know I don’t feel comfortable at the fact that something is not right. Jin Chow is bound to perform a counter-attack, and that he was holding all the cards. Jin’s bluff is a good one. He means well, but also wants to conquer China if only he feels Japan is in any way threatened. So far he has been trading and appeared like an ally, but also has established Red Dragon Restaurants that the Chinese love.
“…Okay, but if you find anything, let us know and of course Onslo.” Dad says back. I soon leave with Liu “The Jade” Zhang as Shifu continues to prepare and cook dinner for everyone else.
Down At The Valley of Peace.
As Liu and I walked down the Valley of Peace, loads of people said that it was nice to see me. For those who didn’t know who the little one with two katanas and throwing-knifes was, I would say that she’s my adopted daughter Liu Zhang and say about her family. They all say that they’re sorry for her loss, but are more than happy to know that she’s found somewhere to live, but are amazed it is at The Jade Palace.
When we got to Ping’s place, Liu stopped all of a sudden, and tried to find pockets from Tuggsy’s gift. I stopped dead by the entrance and looked at her, then she looked back at me, really annoyed with herself.
“Damn it Mum, I forgot my Coupons!”
“Yes, and I thought we were eating at Mr. Ping’s place. My family absolutely loved it here!” Liu says back to me, shaking my head as she does then we enter the place which is Po’s home. Mr. Ping’s place was still closed with its shutters down and with no signs of coming back. I had this dreadful cold feeling as three tables had a Red Dragon figuring on them. Then I have a flashback of my dream I have been having, the Noodle Dream where each table has a Red Dragon figuring, nicely presented tables, and it felt relaxed in a tense atmosphere surrounded by people. I then went over to one of the tables and picked up a figuring to examine it, then put it back down. Liu was checking the place over.
“Er, mum… Why are we here exactly?” Liu asks, looking at the tables then looks at me as I look round the place. “To see if I think anything is unusual Liu, and to settle my feeling of something being wrong.” My reply is as I go over to the door and retrieve the front door key from underneath the mat and unlock it, enter, and look around. What ever was left over from cooking was thrown out and washed, and the old stocks of food were no more. When I went to the back to check for fresh supplies, I was amazed to see that there wasn’t any!
But just as I was about to check up on Liu, who went upstairs to Po’s and Ping’s rooms, I could see the glimpse of a note that had obviously blown off from a post of something and was covered in dirt. When I managed to clean it the best I could, it read “Dear Suppliers, gone to present Mr. Ping’s Dragon Warrior Noodles and Tofu to the rest of China. Hopefully, I’ll be able to open a few shops elsewhere, maybe even Japan! LOL. Sincerely yours, Mr. Ping of Mr. Ping’s Noodle Shop.”.
“No changes there from Mr. Ping there then!” I say to myself. By this time, Liu returns from upstairs and comes round the back. “Found anything sweetheart?” I ask before turning to face her. She shakes her head.
“Nope, apart from a few clothes and things packed but apart from that, no! Why, whats wrong! Seriously mum, why are you on edge?” Liu questions me, then I get a cold shiver of dread run up my spine.
“Liu Zhang, do you remember when you and I went with Onslo on that little camping trip and he gave you those, you know…” I said to her, then stopped and shed a tear. Liu just looked at me. The look of horror was unbearable. The Jade instantly knew what I was referring to.
“… You, you mean, Po and Ping are in trouble?! Why now though? That was about a week ago!”
“And there’s no sign of violence or disturbance Jade. I know something’s wrong, but what exactly. It’s like when I saw that Dragon figuring on those tables in a restaurant in that dream I had, and now here?!” I say to her. I then say to Liu to go back to the front and I’ll lock up Ping’s place. It is only afterwards do I see a Panther looking at one of Ping’s menus.
“Don’t get me blooming tempted Jade!” I say to her. Liu giggles a bit, then my stomach rumbles.
“What would you have mum, if Po and Mr. Ping were here and this place was open huh? I’d have the Sweet & Sour Vegetables with Noodles AND Egg-Fried Rice.” She says. I glimpse over her shoulder and browse.
“Probably the same but with Noodles Liu. Cor those Noodles are sure are good!” My reply was, then the Panther’s belly rumbled, and it sounded like thunder. I laugh a bit, and so does Liu Zhang.
“And Pudding Mum, or Desert, or both!” She asks me, looking into my eyes. We were both starting to drool at the shear thoughts of having these things brought to us by Po and Ping.
“Oh Pudding, definitely the Pudding! By the way, did you and your family used to eat a lot here?” I ask her. A smile appears on her face before answering me.
“Oh yeah, definitely! We’d sometimes have seconds, and occasionally if we could manage it… Have both Pudding and Desert. My Dad and Shun were the worst ones, then I started doing it! You’ve got to at Mr. Ping’s Dragon Warrior and Tofu Emporium. It was like our secret agreement to indulge ourselves in heaven.” Liu says before going into a laughing fit just thinking about it.
“No wonder why you lick your bowl then Jade!” I say and see Liu wiping away the tears.
“Yeah! Getting Mum, Lin and Huan to do it didn’t take that long either Tigress. I better take this back before we end up trying to order!” Liu jokes before taking the menu and unlocking the front door and returns the menu to a rack of menus.
“Lets go and check on the other restaurants and place an order before we both get carried away.” I say to The Jade as my stomach rumbled. Liu sweetly smiled and we just walked round till we saw a restaurant worth visiting. Most of them were pack solid, and the finest were all closed from the same reason as Mr. Ping’s place was. As each customer and member of staff wanted to join them, more potential customers came and just made waiting for a table to take too long! And when we found a place to eat and a table, just as The Jade was about to take it, it was taken by other children.
“I wouldn’t argue with her, not with all those weapons on her!” The parents joked, which made Liu both laugh, and stomach rumbled.
“Looks like we’ll have to try somewhere else Liu Zhang.” I said out loud from people talking. Soon afterwards, the people stopped talking and all of them looked at Liu “The Jade” Zhang. They all bowed and congratulated her for following her dream. Liu then said that when The Furious Five come in running, it now has a sixth member… Her.
“We certainly won’t see any trouble coming back from you then Liu The Jade Zhang!” One of its male Pig Staff members says to an over-excited Panther who’s now purring. She then bows, the others bow in return and then Liu leaves with me till we find somewhere else that was busy. Luckily, the two of us were able to get a table from another family of Black Panthers. I could see Liu looking at them as they looked at her. She then watched them leave and tears streamed from down her face. I hugged her tightly, then Liu cheered up.
“I could swear that it was them Mum, I just could!” She said. It was obvious it just hit her, hard.
“I am so sorry Liu. If it was, you did look just like her.” I try and say as I started to cry. Liu just looked at me and giggled from me being upset.
“Maybe it was them. I do and can see them like I can see you mum. Thats the hardest part. Its not the fact that their dead and gone, but the spirits of them are always with me just like they were earlier today in the training hall.” She replies, then goes and grabs a menu to look at.
“Well, at least you know they are looking after you! Is that who you’ve been training with at times sweetheart?” I ask her before getting myself a menu to look through.
“I have done, like we used…to. What are you having then mum? I’m having the Sweet & Sour Vegetables with Noodles and Egg-Fried Rice, AND I’m paying!” She says, then kisses me on the lips.
“Ah thank you! I’ll have the same. Pudding or Desert afterwards?” I joke towards her as Liu puts both our menus away and goes to order.
“Or both!” She says. After Liu goes to queue in her Jade outfit with Katanas and Throwing-Knives, and looks at me, smiling, the family of Panthers comes back to the table.
“I’m sorry Master Tigress, but someone’s forgotten these. Can you give return them for us?” The lady says to me. When I look at them, I see the five of them looking towards Liu Zhang in her outfit.
“Cor, doesn’t Liu look really cute and all Hong Yu?” She says to her husband. The oldest of the two boys looks at her and waves, but Liu is busy just being her.
“She sure does my darling wife, cor hasn’t she grown!” The husband replies. The youngest two are busy pretending to be Liu ‘The Jade” Zhang and start to play and mess about. I breifly looked down on the table to where I had put something down. When I look closely, I could see it was quite a few coupons… For Mr. Ping’s place.
“…Holy sh…!” I start to say. I then look back up then the husband says his name.
“Sorry, my name is Hong Yu, this is Ling Su, and our children are called Shun, Lin, and Huan… And Liu there is our daughter.” Ling Su says, then waves to Liu, but Liu is still busy messing about then orders our food.
“You… You are, her family?” I ask.
“Yes, we are her family, and we have been watching you and those at The Jade Palace for ages. Thank you for taking her in, it was her dream, and you made it possible!” Hong Yu replies. I get a cold feeling of death come over me as I look at them as-if they were still alive.
“But, how can I see you?” I ask. Liu turns around to see me talking to her family. They all wave back.
“Because she wants you to Tigress, because she wants you too!” Come on, we better go before it gets too dark!” Ling Su says to me as tears stroll down me. I then watch them leave as Liu returns to the table, but before she sits down, she gets a hug and a kiss from her entire family, and I watch it happen. When they do eventually leave, I try and go after them but they are no where to be seen.
When I return to the entrance of the restaurant, I can see The Jade looking down at the table.
“Thanks guys!” she says just as I sit back down.
“You DO look alot like your own mother!” I say, then I get a kiss from Liu.
‘Thanks Mum… For everything!”
A little while later…
After leaving the restaurant and another kiss and hug from Liu, we headed off towards the Valley Hall. There was no one outside which took me by surprise a little as there was always Ladies Of The Shade outside, but when we got inside… Everything was different… Nearly all of the children had left, and matrons too! Some of the Shades remained, along with Bao Gu. Liu and I just stood there, wondering what was happening, so we asked Bao for answers.
“Oh, hi there Tigress! Just, finishing picking up whats left to go back to the Orphanage. Onslo has sent his guards to take over, as well as built towers for lookouts! The girls here are helping to put the place back in order so that it this place can be returned into a Valley Hall again.” He says, picking up a blanket in one hand then giving a few smaller things to one of the Shades.
“You’ve been here quite a while now Bao! What is it, a month?” Liu asks. He nods.
“Yes Liu and by the way your… Brother called round, and your… family…” Bao says towards us, then started to get slightly emotional but managed to hold it together.
“I know. Mum saw them, and spoke to them. I left my coupons for Mr. Ping’s when looking for Po and Mr. Ping, so they helped and gave Tigress them to give to me. I see them all the time, and I saw do miss them!” Was Liu’s reply before see too got really upset.
“Shun looked, good to say the least! He wanted to say thank you for looking after them at the orphanage. He said that you’ve been sparring with him at the Childrens Day Events, even after… He was, buried.” He then too got upset.
“Thats nice of him to say that!” Liu said back through the tears. I left the two of them talking to each other and managed to grab hold of Song who was just about to leave with three children. She didn’t say a word when she saw me, just that look of sorrow.
“…What? Whats wrong?” I had to ask. Song then looked over towards Liu Zhang in her gear, then back at me.
“I saw Liu’s family Tigress! I know that her parents are cremated, and her siblings are buried, and yet I saw them. We all did. It was as-if they are still alive and you know they are not!” She says. I then tell her that I saw them too after eating at a restaurant, and the rest of the news.
“She does look like her mother, don’t you think. Sorry that I can’t talk Tigress, I’ve got to help send these kids back to the orphanage. I hear its better and its got Onslo’s guards patrolling it now. There’s talk they will stay in China and have their families come live here as well. Gotta go! bye!” Song says and waves. I wave back. After leaving the place, I was puzzled on why Liu’s family were doing this now! I know Liu sees them often, and talks to them. But after seeing Liu’s family after being told what happened to them creeped me out.
“Liu, why do you think your family is making themselves present, and that not only can and did see them, but others too?”I happened to ask a particular child, who was actually thinking the same question as me.
“I, don’t know! Maybe they feel like meeting people again like they used to… Mum…” Liu replied before getting emotional.
“Liu, I am so, so sorry!” I quickly say to her before kneeling down and giving her a hug. Liu cries into my shoulder as she hugs me tightly, then perks herself up.
“Oh god I miss them Mum! It’s not that I don’t appreciate it that the fact that they are still with me, it’s the fact that I want to bring them back from the dead. You know, reanimate them and move back to Hope Springs! I can do what Po does! I could live at The Jade Palace as my official home, have you as my Mother, and have my biological family waiting for me back home!” Liu says to me, then thinks things through. I couldn’t blame her for wanting to do this and I suppose I’d be wanting the same thing if I were in her shoes. I could then hear what Liu’s parents would be saying to me about keeping her safe, her room being untidy, and to try and share her figurines!
“Maybe Mum and Dad would want me just to train huh Mum! I wouldn’t be The Jade I am now, and I most certainly wouldn’t have these Katanas thats for sure! Nope! no, they say that I would be doing what I’m doing now, and seeing my family when I feel like I have to and for a couple of days and live back home! Sorted!”
“Then when that happens, you’ll be following your dream! To train with the legendary Furious Five, now the Furious Six, with Liu “The Jade” Zhang, Master Tigress’s adopted daughter by her side!” I say to Liu as she smiles. She gives me a High-Five and I ruffle her head.
“Yep! AND I’ll be seeing my family too! Its hard to believe I’m adopted by you Tigress, and if I do manage to bring my family back, even weirder actually living at the Jade Palace when other kids are coming over to train.” Liu says as she looks on at the prospect of having both her own family being back from the dead, and having me as her adoptive mother.
“You could actually live with your family, and see me when you want, or vice-versa. Lets go back home! I’m sure your Granddad will have something for you to do.” I say to Liu, she smiles back at me then we both make our way back to the Jade Palace.
“No offence mum but it’ll be much easier living with my family. Less steps to climb!” Liu jokes and we both laugh.
The Jade Palace’s Hall Of Warriors.
When Liu and I eventually got back to the Jade Palace, Master Shifu was for some reason waiting for us, and he looked like he’d seen a ghost. We both knew he had. They ALL had.
“Liu, we’ve actually met your entire family! They seem really nice and were very interested in looking into your new life as one of The Furious Six. We are sorry for your loss.” Shifu said excitedly and apologetically.
“Ah thats all right Granddad, my family brought back my coupons for Mr. Ping’s Noodle Shop. Thought that we’d be eating there. What were they doing here?” Liu asked Shifu. I too was interested on why they were here as well.
“Well, Liu, they looked at your new room that you share with Master Tigress, fascinated by The Furious Five’s past, and saw that both Po and my own daughter have figurings in their rooms and are both adopted. They stayed for quite a long time, probably a few hours even. They did say that they’ve seen it all before as spirits, but made themselves visible as-if alive so that we could talk to them” Shifu replied, but just hearing the words “As-if alive” made Liu swell up. We both comforted her the best we could.
“Thanks! Its just hearing the words as-if alive, like their still here when you know their damn well not!” Liu says through the tears as I hug her. Shifu has his arm on her shoulder to help comfort her.
“The Five really like Shun, and even Lin wanted to play with the figurines! Your Mum and Dad said that it is hard telling her no. That you spend a lot of money of those figurines and that some are for show, and the other for The Fest, like Po and I.” This cheered Liu up quite a bit! She even laughed that even in death, Lin Zhang couldn’t keep her hands off her figurines or anyone else’s for that matter.
“Huh! Its hard to believe that Lin STILL wants to play with my action figures after all these years. They say that you’ll be resting in peace when you go, but obviously to my sister Lin, rest and play! I’ve been saying to Mum Granddad that if I do manage to bring my family back from the dead, that I could do what Po does which is to see and visit them from time to time.”
“Well, if you do, tell us because I too have figurines that I would consider no one else touching. Po does as well, and maybe your Mum?” Granddad Shifu joked to Liu, but he was dead serious about keeping figurines safe. I laughed a bit when he said about my figurines as if I play with them like those two.
“I know Dad does play with his figurines, and Po most certainly does. I also know that Dad goes to The Fest and does battle with his Yao!” I try to say through fits of laughter. Even my Dad even started to laugh, as well as Liu Zhang.
“I’m just embracing my Inner Po.” He replies back to me. “Oh, if you haven’t eaten for a while or still hungry, there’s some food out in the kitchen of the Barracks for the two of you… Sweet & Sour Vegetables with Noodles AND Egg-Fried Rice. Your daughter’s personal favourite! What did the pair of you have earlier?” He happened to ask. Even though we did eat earlier and were quite full, I’m sure Liu and I both have more than enough room for more.
“The same! Sweet & Sour Vegetables with Noodles and Egg-Fried Rice, AND I paid! It was more of a thank you to Tigress for adopting me, and for everything!” Liu said to Shifu before turning towards me and give me a kiss on the lips.
“Ah, that’s nice!” Shifu said to Liu. After talking to Dad, Liu and I made our way to the Barracks for more food, and to hear what the rest of The Six had to say about the Liu’s dead being back.
The Jade Palace’s Barracks.
Continues on 23. Kung Fu Panda 3 - “Enter The Jade” Liu Zhang (Part II of II).
A VERY MASSIVE HUG OF APPRECIATION for SnakeTeeth12 for the naming of Liu Zhang's biological family's names, and for also doing awesome work on Liu "The Jade" Zhang's Adventures!
Thank you again SnakeTeeth12!