Chapter 1 - Meeting an old friend
A sunny morning was beginning in the Valley of Peace, where the sun illuminated the sky with the beautiful colors of the morning. The landscape was taken by the beautiful color of dawn, where the clouds had a reddish coloring with mixtures of orange and yellow, giving shape to them.
Gradually the valley was brightening. It was quiet and peaceful, without any movement, because everyone was still asleep in their beds. While the sun was lighting up the Valley, a gentle breeze of cool wind passed between houses.
Soon, the gong was about to be sounded, to the citizens of the Valley of Peace wake up, but before that happened, at the Jade Palace I (Liu Zhang) woke up happy and excited.
I quickly got up from my bed throwing the blanket on the floor and drove myself to the window, and with a quick and loud movement opened it, then with a big smile I looked at the sunrise. Then I took a deep breath to smell the nature and feel the wind blow on my fur.
I’d been living this new life alongside my mother Master Tigress, the Furious Five, Po the Dragon Warrior, my grandfather Shifu and my Grandmaster Oogway, whenever I woke up I was happy to know that all what was happening wasn’t a dream.
"WOW! What a beautiful day! I bet that today is gonna be a great day! We'll practice kung fu, kick some bad guys's butts and..." I said with excitement giving some punches in the air until I was interrupted by a long and loud snoring. It was mom (Tigress).
I looked to the side and saw her lying face down, with one arm out of the bed and with her knees beneath her belly, making her butt stay face up. I found that very strange, then she snored again.
"Who ate my noodle soup?" she said asleep, then turned sideways to the wall, turning her back to me, and snored again "Stop laughing! Who ate it?" it made me laugh. She was probably dreaming of the Secret Ingredient Soup again, but I’d never heard she talking while sleeping. I walked over to her bed and shook her with both hands, lightly.
"Mom, wake up! It's already..." before I finished she got sat on her bed startled and stared at me "Er...Good morning, mom!" I said after her reaction.
"Good morning, Liu! Did you sleep well?" she asked me yawning, and I answered yes, nodding. "But why in the world did you get up so early today?" she asked looking at the sun rising and realizing that the gong hadn't been sounded.
"Because we went to bed early last night, don't you remember?" I asked.
"No, I just remember coming in the room and lying down to sleep" she replied putting her hand on her forehead, as if she felt some kind of pain.
"Well, actually you didn't lay in bed, you hit the ground! Once we trained, you were very tired and very sleepy, and after supper, you’ve gone to the bedroom before us, but probably you were so sleepy, that when you were going to lie in your bed, you fell flat on your face!...I think that's why you don't remember!" I said, trying not to laugh at my own mother, putting my hand over my mouth to stifle the laugh.
"...But when I woke up I was in my bed" she said without understanding how she came to be lying in bed.
"Po gave me a little help to put you in the bed" I replied. She was quiet for a few seconds once she understood what happened, and then stood up.
"OK! Come on, we have to change clothes, to get ready to introduce ourselves to Master Shifu. Then we can have breakfast."
Moments later, I put my green jade top shirt, black trousers and my sandals, which was one of the first sets that mom gave me. After I finished changing clothes, I looked back to see what clothes my mother had chosen, and I was surprised. She HADN'T changed clothes! She was wearing just the same set: a red top shirt, black trousers and sandals.
"Mom, weren’t you going to change your clothes?" I asked, a little confused.
"What are you talking about, Liu? I’ve changed my clothes!" she replied, not seeming to understand why I had asked that.
"Isn't it the same clothes that you were wearing to sleep? And to train...yesterday...and the day before yesterday..." I continued, still not understanding, and even more confused.
"Of course not! THIS is the outfit I was wearing to sleep" she took with one hand some clothes she had folded, which were the clothes that she’d worn to sleep, and they were Exactly like the ones she was wearing now.
"Whew! Thank goodness...because, y’know right? I thought you wore the same clothes every day" I told her, with a little embarrassment, and placing my hand on the head. However, she was the one who was more embarrassed now.
"Liu...How could you think something like this about your own mother? I change my clothes every day! And besides, I'm not the only one who has many of the same clothes" she said.
"Yes! You’re right, like Po, who has many of the same pants, Monkey, Viper too...wait a minute... does she..." I had thought on something somewhat strange, but before I completed, the gong sounded. Mom and I looked at each other, knowing that we had to introduce ourselves to Grandpa Shifu.
"Good morning Master!" we both and the others said together to introduce ourselves, after we went out of our rooms. So we went to the kitchen, to have breakfast.
When we got there, we could smell a delicious scent of a hot meal, it was Po, he was finishing preparing his delicious Soup of the Secret Ingredient. We sat and waited while our Dragon Chef finished preparing it, and when he did, he put all the soup in porcelain bowls, one for each of us.
The smell and the look of that delicious meal was better than ever. I approached my face a little of the dish, took a deep breath to smell that wondrous scent, and then I licked my lips with mouth watering.
"I think I know why you often have dreams with the Soup of the Secret Ingredient that Po prepares, Mom! No matter how much I eat, I never get sick of eating it! It's just...well...DELICIOUS!" I said in a cheerful tone, while I picked up my spoon. That left her embarrassed, then she whispered my name in my ear to get my attention, because she thought I shouldn't have spoken about her dreams with her favorite dish.
"Gee, Tigress! You eat it almost every day, and even so, you dream of the soup...I didn’t know you liked it that much!" Monkey said, holding his spoon.
"Well, I understand her somehow. This soup that Po does, is really the best of all!" Viper continued.
"Why, thank you guys! It's good to know that my culinary skills can do something this good for you" Po said gently, then sat beside me to eat.
"Well, let me see if the soup is as good as ever" I said. I was about to take a spoonful of my soup to prove it, but Po quickly grabbed his spoon and took some of my soup.
"Yeah...it tastes good, Liu!" he said after swallowing the soup.
"Hey! This is my soup, Po!" I exclaimed. Po laughed, but then I smiled and did the same, slowly eating the spoonful that I took from his bowl.
"HEY!" he exclaimed, now staring at me.
"Well, you’ve started it!" I said.
Then we both looked at each other, smiled, and slowly took our hands to the edges of our bowls; Po and I, almost every morning, compete to see who eats faster, but he always won, after all, who could beat him at it? But it was still a fun game. The others were looking at us because they knew we were going to compete again. So I took my bowl to my mouth to eat the soup as fast as I could, and Po did the same, but he did it so fast that he threw all the soup on his face.
"...Oh, Darn!" he said after wiping his eyes full of soup. All of us, including Po, laughed a lot of what happened. Then the Dragon Warrior stood up to clean up the mess he had made.
After he cleaned up the mess, we went back to eating. Master Shifu was the first to finish, and then he gave a message while we were still eating.
"After you finish eating, meet me in my room, I need to talk to you about our next mission" he said. That made me curious.
"Should I go as well, Master Shifu?" I asked, excitedly.
"I'm sorry, Liu. Not this time, neither you nor Po will participate in this mission" he replied. That made me a bit upset because I remembered that they had promised me that soon I would have a mission, I couldn't remember exactly when it’d be, but this day seemed to never arrive.
I continued eating the rest of my soup, now with a sad expression on my face, until I had an idea.
"Hey, Po! Since we won’t participate in this mission, what do you think about after we're done eating, go training at the Training Hall together?" I asked.
"I'm sorry, Liu. I can't, I have to help my father in the restaurant today. I had promised that today I’d help him" he replied, with a tone of disappointment. That made me even sadder. It would be another entire day doing nothing interesting.
After we all finished eating, the others went to Shifu's room, and I went to the Training Hall to train, to keep myself busy. When I got there, I looked around to see every obstacle, and then let out a small sigh of disappointment, I had no one to train with me. Training with friends is completely different from train alone, but I continued anyway.
Inside the Training Hall was considerably warmer than the other rooms of the Jade Palace, the wind almost couldn’t pass inside there, but the smell of the wood and the weather left the pleasant environment.
To begin the training, I did a little stretching, then slowly closed my eyes and started doing some tai chi movements. As I finished them, I got in position to run, directing myself to the obstacles. Then I slowly opened my eyes and concentrated on each part of the path I’d go through, took a deep breath and started to count to three to start the training.
"1, 2, 3...Now-AAAAH!" I screamed, then fell and hit my face on the floor, because I’ve tripped over my own feet. After I compose myself, I stood up, took the dust from my clothes and stayed in position again to restart. "OK, Now I got it! 1, 2, 3...NOW!" I exclaimed, this time running into shot to the first hurdle, the Seven Swinging Clubs of Instant Oblivion (or as I prefer to call: treadmills).
I started running on the treadmills to keep from falling, shook my body to steady myself, and with leaps and pirouettes I dodged the Seven-Talon Rings, those chains that bind the rings with thorns that came in my direction.
Then I got out of there and went to the Jade Tortoise of Wisdom, that big 'bowl' of iron, I did kicks and punches in the air while balancing on its edges.
Then with a backflip, I left the edge of the 'bowl' and ran toward the Gauntlet of Wooden Warriors, or just the famous 'iron trees', where one-by-one I threw series of kicks and fast punches to advance the obstacle and dodged the wooden arms that spun in circles to hit me; my hands and feet ached with every blow that I did, and I needed to run and move faster at measure that I progressed, was losing my breath slowly, but that wouldn't prevent me from continuing. Soon, I was at the last of them, and ran to the last obstacle, the Field of Fiery Death or simply minefield (sometimes I wonder how long it took to give these names to things that could have others much more simple).
Where I stepped in it, a flame would rise from the ground, what forced me to move with great speed and agility. I dodged the flames, which passed very close to me, and the heat from them made me feel as if a great fire was around me, but after a lot of practicing, I simply ignored the flames and dodged without being hit.
And so I finally finished the circuit, I did a backflip and walked away, stopping resting on my knees and one hand on the wooden floor at the end of the Training Hall. I stood up and looked back to see all I went through, and especially, to celebrate that I’d completed all the obstacles in less then than two minutes. I jumped of excitement.
"YEAH! I’ve completed the circuit! I think I'd never done it so fast and..." I stopped to smell something that seemed to be burning.
I sniffled to scent where the smell was coming from, and ended up looking at the tip of my tail, where a small fire was burning it. I felt my eyes water in pain.
"AAAAAH! MY TAIL!" I screamed.
I ran around all the Training Hall screaming in agony, then stopped to extinguish the fire, held my tail with both hands and blew, but this only worsened the situation, as the fire intensified, causing me even more pain. Then I had another idea, I held my tail with one hand and stuck it in my mouth to extinguish the fire. It worked, and after that, I let out a big sigh of relief and sat down, still with tail in mouth.
"Liu, your mother asked me to warn you that..." Crane came to give me a message, but stopped after seeing me with my tail in my mouth "Why are you eating your own tail, Liu?" he asked me then, so I got up quickly and took out my tail of my mouth, spitting the burned fur that was in it.
"I wasn't eating my tail! I had burned it and I couldn't put out the fire, then..." I replied.
"OK, if you say...Well, your mother asked you to don’t forget that today we are going to the Secret Museum of Kung Fu to check if everything is in order, and you will take care of the Valley, so that nothing bad happens around. And if anything happens you just have to call Po, he'll be at the restaurant helping Mr. Ping" he reminded me. The meeting with Master Shifu was to talk about this mission, I didn't remember that it was today that they’d leave the Valley.
I took a deep breath and gave a big smile looking at him, because I realized that my first real mission would be Today!
"YEAH! I’d forgotten that today would be the first time that I will help The Furious Five on a mission! This is So Cool! Can't wait to go to the Valley and defeat some bad guys!" I said cheerfully after a leap of joy. Crane smiled.
"Yeah, I bet it will be a good experience for you, after all, you're one of us now! We are no longer 'The Furious Five', we are 'The Furious Six'! If you want to talk to your mother before we go, she is in her bedroom getting ready to go. Have fun, Liu!" he said, turning to leaving the Training Hall.
I couldn't contain my happiness inside me, but before I went crazy and ran to my mom’s room, I stood standing staring at the door of the Training Hall. When he said 'you're one of us now', I was thrilled and almost let a tear of happiness fall.
"After so long...dreaming about my coming to the Jade Palace, that my mother had adopted me, and after all the times I had to listen the other children telling me that my dreams would never come true...I'm finally here...been strong and never giving up finally paid off!” I thought, and felt a tightening in my heart.
After that, I gave a big smile, jumped of happiness and ran to the room, to wish mom a good trip and say that she shouldn’t worry about me taking care of everything. Once there, I saw her preparing a backpack.
"Hi mom! I came to wish you a good trip! And don't worry, I'll take care of the Valley" I said, then she turned to see that I was in the room.
"Hi, Liu!" she said, then sighed and continued "You taking care of the Valley of Peace while me and others are out caused me to remember of me and my brother Tai Lung. One day, Master Shifu and the Grandmaster Oogway had to go to Gongmen City to see the masters Thundering Rhino, Storming Ox and Croc, and they left me and Tai taking care of the Valley of Peace. That was an...unforgettable day, even more because it had been my second mission and along my brother" she said, recalling the moments with her brother.
"Wow! So Cool! But...if that was the second, which was your first mission, mom?"
"My first mission was probably my most terrifying and agonizing one" she said as I listened enthusiastically "It was: organizing all the thousand scrolls of kung fu in order on the shelves!...My brother and I were looking for a scroll, when he suddenly decided to play catch-up with me, and we both hit on the shelves and the thousand scrolls fell on the ground. So we had top ut them all in order again" she continued, still remembering the past with her brother.
At the time she said it discouraged me a bit, because if the second mission had already been amazing, I thought the first would be even more, but I kept listening intently.
"Come on! We have to go, and I think you are wanting to go to the Valley as soon as possible. Ah! And don't forget Liu: If anything goes wrong, call Po, he'll be..." I interrupted.
"In Mr. Ping's restaurant, Crane already told me, mom. And don't worry! I'll take care of everything" I smiled.
"Yeah...that's why I'm afraid" she joked, looking at me, and we both laughed.
She finished packing the things for the trip, then grabbed her backpack and we headed up to meet the others, in the exit of the palace. To play around a bit, my mom challenged me.
"Liu...I bet you can't arrive in the Valley before me!" she said quickly, running down the stairs.
"Hey! It's not fair! Come here" I exclaimed, now also running.
"It is gonna be ME who will get there first!" Po said now running. The others also liked the idea and began running.
I started significantly increasing my speed, the incline of the stairway helped me a lot, and soon I was side by side to my mother. We both ran side by side, then we could spot the end of the staircase. Although the others were also going pretty fast, and Crane had the advantage of being able to fly, it was me or my mother who would win.
Until we hear Po screaming.
"WHAT?" we exclaimed together. Po was rolling down the stairs, almost tripping over the others who were behind us, he was speeding, almost reaching us. I quickened my pace even more, but my mother has further accelerated and came roaring while she jumped to the 'finish line'. She stopped with her back to the stairs, and then celebrated that she had won.
"MOM! GET OUT OF PO'S WAY!" I exclaimed, she looked back and saw Po rolling towards her, but she was unable to dodge and they rolled together few feet away, until they stop. Po eventually stopped lying his back on my mother’s, with her stomach turned to the ground.
"No, I was going to win, I just lost because you Cheated, cheater! Not cool, Tigress! Not cool" Po said, still on her.
"PO! Could you take out your butt of my head...and quit off of me...before you turn me into a Pancake?...Then we can talk about it!" she said in answer, breathlessly. Po then realized that he was crushing her and hurried out of her, and mom then stood up breathless.
"Okay, as I was saying..." Po continued after she raised. I laughed softly, so they shouldn't hear.
Then, everyone was already in the Valley, and it was time to say goodbye. Po and I said our goodbyes and wished the others a good trip, then we saw them moving away from the Valley and go toward the mission, after it, Po also said goodbye to me and went to the restaurant to help his father. As he walked away I jumped of hapiness.
"YEAH! Now my mission finally starts. Awesome! What should I do first?" I said. I was so excited that I didn't even know what I should do.
I looked around to decide in which direction I should follow. I gave a full lap and saw several citizens going to the trade area, and I remembered that it had already been some days that I haven’t seen my friend Zhi Tsugumi, who I called ‘Tuggsy’, so I decided to visit him and his family.
During the way I saw several traders trying to sell their products. It was an eventful day, almost everyone in the Valley were there, probably because of the curiosity to know the diversities of products of new traders who had come from other cities.
When I got to the stall in which Tuggsy worked, I stood at the counter watching him work. He was counting coins to see how much he had earned with the sales, before closing for lunch.
"Hello! Can you serve me?" I said squeezing the bell on the conter, pretending to be a customer.
"Sorry, we'll have to close for lunch, but if you want to come back in an hour..." he stopped as he turned and saw that it was I who had asked. "Oh, hi Liu! Wow, long time no see! I’m glad you decided to leave a little of the Jade Palace to visit your friends" he said with happiness in reviewing his friend, coming toward the counter.
"Yes, I was there this long because I was training to improve my skills and get stronger. Now that I’m part of the Furious Five, or rather now the Furious Six, I have to be prepared for the adventures that await me" I told him, while doing some kung fu moves.
"Well, and what exactly stopped the training of great Jade?" he joked.
"If I tell you, you won’t believe...but I'll tell anyway. My mother and others had to leave the Valley because of a new mission, and since the Dragon Warrior Po is busy in the restaurant, do you know who will take care of the Valley of Peace?" I asked ironically.
"Mr. Ping?" he said jokingly, and we both laughed at the joke.
"No. ME, Liu 'The Jade' Zhang! The newest member of the Furious Six!" I told enthusiastically.
"Cool! But if the Dragon Warrior will be at the restaurant with Mr. Ping, then who will help you to protect the Valley?" he asked me as he headed to the bag of coins that he was counting.
"Nobody! I'll take care of the Valley Alone! Isn't it going to be amazing?!" I replied cheerfully. Then Tuggsy stood motionless with the bag of coins, making a face of astonishment, and then turned to me.
"WHAT? You will not have the help of the Dragon Warrior? So...you mean you'll have to protect the Valley of all the vilains and robbers by your own?" he asked to confirm what I had said.
"Yes...I think that's what I meant with 'I'll take care of the Valley alone', huh?" I said ironically.
"WOW, This is Great! I can't believe they let you do this! It's your first mission, and even then it's already something of this level..." he said exaltedly when realized what I was doing.
"I know! I also had this reaction when I found out. I bet this black panther will set off all the bad guys!" I said, making a few punches in the air.
"I bet too, 'Jade'! And I know a snow leopard who is starving" Tuggsy said referring to himself, placing his hand on the belly while it snored.
"So what do you think if we go to Mr. Ping's restaurant to eat some Noodle Soup?" I asked.
"Sure. Thank you! And let's go fast, I'm starving" he replied, making we both laugh.
Once Tuggsy closed the stall, we went to the restaurant. In the way, I realized that he was working alone, which is kinda weird, because he always worked with his parents.
"Hey, Tuggsy, why your parents weren’t working with you in the stall? Did something happen?" I asked, worried about the health of the family of my friend.
"No, they are renovating our home, and for not slowing down the accounts, I offered to come to work alone, while they keep working at home" he told me with pride and a smile on his face by the attitude he took.
"Nice! It's so cute of you to make it for them. So apparently it seems I'm not the only one in the first mission" I praised.
"I wouldn't say it is a mission, because it's more than my obligation to help them, and also it's nothing extraordinarily difficult. But if you are saying..." he replied.
Soon we got to the restaurant, where we saw Po and Mr. Ping cooking. While Mr. Ping was cutting the vegetables, Po was making some delicious noodle, which he ate some before his father see. I asked Tuggsy to stay keeping a place for us, while I went to the counter to ask for the noodle soups.
"Hi Po! Hi Mr. Ping! How are you?" I greeted when I arrived, and they both greeted together in response.
"So Liu, what do you think of your first mission?" Po asked as he continued preparing the noodles.
"It's simply Awesome! I just think that it's a pity that I'm not doing anything until now, no bad guys, villains..." I replied.
"How can you think this is bad, Liu? The important thing is that the Valley is in peace, isn't it?" Mr. Ping asked.
"It's not that, Mr. Ping, I meant that since it's my first mission, I expected more than just walking from one side to the other" I explained.
"I understand you, Liu. But I think you shouldn’t worry about it, with all these traders from outside, I bet that they will need a very expecial attention, cuz probably something will eventually happen, keep your eyes open!" Po told me.
"Thanks, Po. Well, it's lunchtime and I would love that delicious noodle soup that you make, could you make me two bowls, please?" I asked, already salivating.
"Wow, looks like someone is hungry!" Mr. Ping joked.
"It is not only for me, my friend will have lunch with me" I said with a bit of shame.
"OH! Looks like we are going to have a romantic lunch here, huh" he continued, making me even more ashamed.
"It's not what you are thinking Mr. Ping, he's just a friend of mine! And we just decided to have lunch together" I explained.
"OK! Anyway, I'll bring you the two soups soon" Po said looking at me in an ironic way.
I returned to the table with Tuggsy, and I was very ashamed because of the conversation I had. He didn't understand why I was like that, but he stayed quiet. After a few minutes, Po was coming to our table to bring our request, but stopped and stared Tuggsy from afar, who had his back to Po. He then gave a big smile of happiness and came running towards us beating his belly on the other customers, then quickly left the two soups at our table and gave him a hug, squeezing Tuggsy against his belly and chest with all his strength of Dragon Warrior, and then exclaimed quickly while spinning.
"PENG! Good to see you, buddy! I thought I'd never see you here in the Valley of Peace since that day you said you were leaving kung fu forever, and went away and..." Po stopped spinning as he opened his eyes and saw the clients looking at the mess that he had made, lots of food scattered on the floor, and a poor rabbit lady who ended her noodles on her head, then looked at who he was hugging and saw that that wasn't who he thought, and dropped Tuggsy, making him fall on his back.
"Oh no! Look what you made with our customers, son!" Mr. Ping said a bit angry, and then helped the customers, and apologized.
"Sorry, father. Sorry, folks! And sorry...I thought you were someone I knew" Po apologized to everyone and then with Tuggsy.
"...Ouch! It is also a pleasure to finally meet you in person...Dragon Warrior..." he said breathlessly, making the reverence with hands, still lying on his back. I got up from the chair and helped him to stand up, and then we sat down, and Po sat down with us to chat while we ate lunch.
"What's your name, kid?" Po asked.
"My name is Zhi Tsugumi, but my friends call me Tuggsy" he said.
"I’m so sorry, again...you really look a lot like a friend of mine, and I thought you were him" Po apologised again.
"No problem" Tuggsy smiled.
“By the way, who is this guy called Peng who you thought were Tuggsy?" I asked, whith my mouth still full.
"Peng is a friend I've known for a long time, he was a kung fu genius, getting to be as good as us, or even better. Then we found out that he was Tai Lung's nephew and he was looking for his uncle, but he eventually discovered what happened and got furious, then tried to destroy me, the Five and Shifu. He nearly succeeded, with the help of a powerful medallion that increased his skills and strength, but by being a boy of good heart, when I showed him how Tai Lung really was, and why I had to kill him, Peng decided not to follow the path of his uncle. However, this powerful medallion he'd used shows the bad side of those who wore it, and Peng said he saw his great ambition for power, then decided to quit kung fu forever, so then he couldn’t hurt anyone, and left the Valley" Po explained to us remembering everything that had happened.
"Wow! I can't believe that a kid has almost overcome you! After all you guys are so good, and he was just one!" said Tuggsy, impressed about what Po said.
"Neither do I. His skills were Amazing! It's a shame that someone with so much talent has given up kung fu and gone" I continued.
"Well, actually, after a while, I saw him again, and he had not only returned to practice kung fu, as had also Improved his skills!" Po said.
"But you said he had given up kung fu and gone out of the Valley...so what has changed, causing him to come back?" Tuggsy asked.
"Once he found out that he shouldn't be afraid to use kung fu for good, he devoted his time to teach the legendary art of kung fu in his own public schools, because he realized that it were only the great warriors who mastered this art, while the others depended on these same to defend them, so then he taught them how to defend themselves! So his idea spread throughout China, and now he travels everywhere to open these schools, so everyone will learn the art of kung fu" Po told us.
"WOW, Amazing! He isn’t only a kung fu genius, but also quite smart. It's just a shame that he had to go, doesn't it? He must be a great friend of yours" I said, impressed, and trying to comfort Po.
"Yeah...it's really a shame...sigh, but the important thing is that he is happy doing what he likes to do" Po said, a little sad because he longed for his friend.
After we finished lunch, we both said our goodbyes to the Dragon Warrior and Mr. Ping, and left the restaurant. Then Tuggsy and I said our goodbyes too, because he needed to take care of the stall, and I finally would start my adventure of taking care of the Valley of Peace by my own.
I climbed on the roof of a house to have a wider field of vision, I looked around, but I saw no danger around. Then as time went by I just walked through the Valley from one side to the other. An hour had passed since then, and there still weren’t thugs nor villains for me to defeat. I started to get bored, but nothing that prevented me from continuing with my mission.
Another hour passed, and since nothing bad was happening, I decided to go to Tuggsy's stall to talk to him again. On the way, I was so bored that I must have started to get distracted, so I didn't see a rock on my path and stumbled, falling flat on my face. Luckily there weren't many people around to see what had happened.
"Darn it, this boredom is making me so distracted that I even stumbled across a wretched rock! Ouch...!" I grumbled with myself and then put a hand on my nose because of the pain.
"Are you okay?" someone asked me. I looked around to see who had asked me, and I ended up driving my look to a stall with a seller who was wearing a straw hat to protect himself from the sun, so I couldn’t see his face, he was selling lots of things related to martial arts, such as gloves, wooden nunchucks, tracks, and even training shurikens made of wood. But what I found odd was the one who was selling those stuff, it was Tuggsy!
"Why are you here?" I asked him, confused.
"I'm...selling products for martial arts training, madam!" he replied, making me laugh out loud.
"Madam? By chance, am I old enough to be called 'Madam', 'sir'?" I joked and laugh again, then he replied with a friendly smile. "But tell me, why you are working in this stall and not in yours?" I asked.
"But this is my stall..." he replied.
"Cool! So to earn even more money, you decided to open up other stall?" I asked again.
“Other stall? What are you talking about?" he asked, seeming not to understand, but I thought it was another joke just like 'madam'.
"Veeery funny, Tuggsy. Now, could you answer me?" I continued.
"But...my name isn't Tuggsy" he said, I found this very strange.
"Yes, I know your name is Zhi Tsugumi, but your nickname is Tuggsy, isn't it? You're weird, did something happened?" I inquired.
But before he could speak, I heard a loud crashing noise of stalls more ahead on the trade area of the Valley.
"Oh no, wait here Tuggsy! We can talk about it later, now I gotta see what is happening" I said going toward the noise I heard. He tried to say something again, but I didn't understand what it was.
Arriving where all the noise were being made, I stopped running, sliding a bit in the direction that I ran, then I saw what was happening.
My heart raced and my eyes widened bout what I saw: Gorilla Bandits! Huge gorillas destroying the trade area. There were TEN of them together, okay I'm not exactly tall (I’m a little taller than Monkey, who is at the height of my shoulders), but seeing all those gorillas who had the triple of my height was really scary. They were all in armor with a lead color, which had a shoulder on the right shoulder, and chest.
They weren’t only destroying everything, but they were also stealing the products from all sellers. While half stole and destroyed stuff, the other half put the products in a large wooden cart they had with them. But what worried me even more, was that those who were stealing had huge axes, extremely sharp, which they were using to destroy the stalls.
The adrenaline rose up to my limit, I felt a great amount of energy inside me that seemed to explode, and then I took courage to act before they were successful. Firmly squeezed my eyes staring at them, closed my fists and went into position to fight, the same as my mother, Tigress.
"Hey, big guys! You aren’t going anywhere with these things!" I yelled to get their attention. Everyone looked at me, then gave a small laugh.
"And Who exactly is going to stop us? A weak little girl like you?!" the gorilla who was closer to me said sarcastically. That made me a little angry, making me squeeze my eyes even more.
"If you think I’m weak, then why don't you come here to taste the wrath of my fist?! Or are you afraid to lose?" I teased. This infuriated him and made him growl loudly, then he started to come towards me.
"Hey, Idiot! What you gonna do? We have work that needs to be done, don't delay us because of a little girl!" said the other gorillas, trying to prevent him from coming to me.
"Don't worry! I'll end this quickly!" he said still coming towards me with his huge ax, holding it with both hands. When he was close enough to hit me with his ax, he rose it to hit me with all his strength of gorilla, while I sat motionless in my fighting stance staring at him.
He, with a fast and aggressive movement, tried to hit me, but I dodged the ax to my left holding it in it's wooden handle with both hands, causing him to hit the ground; then took a big leap toward the face of the gorilla bandit, giving a powerful kick on his chin with a backflip, causing him to fall back on the floor, passed out. When I finished the backflip, I fell on both feet and one hand, beside my opponent now on the floor.
The other gorillas were impressed that I had knocked one of their colleagues with a single blow. I went back to look at them. One of them frowned and let out a great roar.
"Let's get this cheeky, ATTACK!" one of them ordered, running towards me with other three gorillas.
So I ran towards them too. The first tried to hit me with his ax using a side cutting from left to right, trying to hit my head. With a quick movement, I slipped on my knees and bend the body backwards, I dodged the ax while going towards my opponent. I got up and gave a kick with my left leg on his belly, causing him to bend, so I gave a big jump, hit him with a right punch on his chin and still in the air, gave a rotational kick with the right leg. This caused him to turn and fall flat on his face.
After I fell, I continued running towards the third gorilla. He came running towards me with his ax in one hand, and as he approached enough to attack, lifted the ax and tried to hit me with a diagonal cut from top to bottom. To defend myself, I made a quick move, leaving my two arms next to each other, and placed them in front of my body, so I blocked the blow, because the wooden handle of the ax hit my arms. Because of my defense, the ax ended up going in the other direction, leaving my opponent completely defenseless. I closed my fists, steadied my balance, threw my right fist back, and gave a powerful punch on his stomach. The blow was so strong that he rolled onto his back several feet away at high speed and crashed into two other gorillas, knocking both.
"STRIKE!" I thought.
Now that half of the bandits were already defeated, the other gorillas who were putting the bags on the big wooden cart looked at me astonished. I left the position that I used to do the punch, crossed my arms, smiled and looked at the gorillas bandits who were now frightened.
"What is it? Are you afraid of a little girl who is only 14 years old, boys?" I asked them, sarcastically, avenging myself of the joke they had done with me. They groaned in fear, then quickly finished filling the cart. One of them began to pull the cart, which now had several bags of product inside, and the others ran as fast as they could.
"LET'S GET OUT OF HERE! RUN!" the gorilla that was pulling the cart shouted, also rushing out of the Valley.
They ran down the dirt road leading into the forest of bamboo. It was very dense, when you looked at it, you could only see more and more bamboo, seemed endless when you looked inside, so we can easily get lost in it if you don’t pay attention. Knowing this, the gorilla bandits attempted their escape by the road that followed inside this forest.
Without they know it, I followed them. They were in a defensive position, where the gorila that was with the cart, sat in the middle, while two were in the front and two behind.
The two who were behind, looked back still running, to see if they weren’t being followed. By looking, they only saw the dirt road and the forest of bamboo.
"I think we lost her, guys!" one said. They all laughed, thinking they had escaped the situation.
"Excuse me, could you go a little slower? We are getting far from the Valley and, you know, I have to take this with me and..." I said, playing with the gorilla who was leading the cart, scaring him. I was sitting cross-legged on the top of the bags of products and with the hands on my knees, until, due to fright, the gorilla bandit suddenly stopped the cart, causing me to spin in the air going in his direction.
After I completed a full spin in the air, I stretched my left leg to kick and hit him squarely on his back, flinging him several meters away and I fell standing in front of the cart.
I looked back and saw the gorillas who were behind the cart coming toward me. They gave a great roar, the two closed their fists, raised them and both tried to hit me at the same time in my head.
I quickly took a back somersault to climb into the wooden cart. Then both went to each side of it, and I realized that I would be attacked from both sides.
Before they attack, I went into a fighting stance, pushing my legs a little to the side to steady my base, and shrugged my arms at waist height, so I didn't get my back to them, and could defend myself from both sides faster.
They attacked together. In the first strike, one of them tried to hit my head, and the other in my chest, so I dodged leaning my body forward, and I got between the arms of both. In the second blow, just the gorilla that was in my right attacked, trying to give me a right punch, but I swerved, and when the punch had passed me by completely, I threw my left arm back to give momentum and punched him in the nose, making him go back. At the third stroke, the gorilla who was on my left tried to hit me with the same scam on my belly, so when his arm came up to me, I kicked it, causing him to pull away, I took advantage of the momentum of my effort to give it a whirl without going anywhere and stretched my leg, kicking him in the chest. This left him breathless.
Both, while groaning in pain, stared at me and then roared with rage. Then came running toward the wooden cart to try to hit me. Again, the two tried to hit me with a right punch, each targeting on one side of my face. Using a quick move, I jumped before they could hit me, but they continue going forward, punching each other, and they fell back on the floor, passed out.
"Cowards! Two big guys like you attacking a 'poor little girl' like me. I didn't expect such an attitude, guys" I said jokingly as I looked at the two.
"Now we got you!" said another gorilla. The voice seemed to be very close, so I opened my eyes scared, and turned to see where were the last two gorillas. They were standing behind me!
They tried to grab me with both arms, but I quickly jumped between they with a somersault, and then made another to back off a little more. I got up and took a deep breath.
"ARE YOU CRAZY?! Are you trying to scare me and make me have a heart attack or something?!" I grumbled because of the fright they gave me.
"Why would we want to make you die of a heart attack..." the right said.
"If we can TAKE IT from you and eat for dinner without salt" the left continued. This made me a bit nauseous and I grimaced in disgust.
"Yuck! Dude...really...that's Disgusting!" I replied.
"I prefer salted, but that does not matter" the one on the right said.
"Well, if you want to take my heart to eat it for dinner without salt...Yuck!...You'll have to defeat me first!” I exclaimed and grimaced again.
They then advanced running towards me. When they got close, I jumped to the right to run away from them, heading towards the bamboo forest, but I was still in the dirt road. Both were in front of me, but while one of them stood at a distance, the other advanced to try to beat me.
I stood in front of a tall, thick bamboo, and crossed my arms. The gorilla bandit tried to give me several punches.
"Missed...missed...missed...missed...missed...oops, you missed again, ape" I was saying and then I laughed, while he was trying to hit me with his punches, but I dodged all, ducking myself and moving to the sides. He got very angry with this, then let out a big growl and tried to hit me with another punch, but I quickly jumped to the side, making him hit the bamboo that was behind me.
The bamboo broke where he had hit, and fell toward him. The gorilla who was fighting with me quickly got out of the way, but the other who was watching by distance didn't move, and the bamboo hit his head, making him faint. The last gorilla bandit looked at his friend who had just fainted and then stared at me.
I got into a position to fight again, leaving my right leg behind my body, right arm at waist height and my left arm straight in front of me.
"You may have defeated all my colleagues, but I won't let you defeat me so easily!" he said, then slammed both fists against his chest, and came into a position to fight; he put his left leg behind his body, put the right arm above his head and stretched his left arm.
We stared at each other and shook our eyes. At that moment, I could feel a gentle breeze passing across the dirt road, it knocked lightly on my fur, and its sound echoed through the forest of bamboo. While nothing actually happened, I thought why exactly that gorilla bandit was so confident, since I had defeated all his friends, how could he think that he would be able to defeat me alone ?
Then I noticed that on his right arm was a red band with a symbol of a dragon of fire. This meant that surely he had been a student of the Lee Da Kung Fu Academy, a kung fu academy where only great prodigies of kung fu could join (it was where Crane had learned kung fu before going to the Jade Palace, he had told me once about this place and how his friend, Mei Ling, helped him learning to have selfconfidence).
Soon, when the breeze stopped, we ran toward each other. I tried to strike the first blow, jumping up in the air going towards him, lifting my left leg to kick him in the face. But despite being a quick blow, when I was very close to him, he turned his head to the right, and when almost all my body had passed him, he grabbed the leg that I had used to kick him with his left hand. Then he spin while still holding me, causing me to spin along with him, made me get over him and then with all his strength he threw me on the floor making me hit my back, but still holding me.
When I hit the ground, my body let a small mark on it and a bit of smoke rose, not to mention the huge pain that I felt. I groaned in pain, and then he, with another spin, threw me into the forest, making me somersaulting backwards several feet away from him, until I stopped when I hit a bamboo, stopping sitting.
"Ouch! This guy wasn’t kidding when he said I wouldn't defeat him easily" I said to myself, putting my right hand on the back to relieve the pain.
"Now you will see what actually means pain, little girl!" he said to me, walking towards my direction.
He came to me and then grabbed me by the collar, lifting me off the ground with one hand and lifted me above the height of his head, with my body loose and swinging.
"Do you really think you can defeat a gang of gorillas without anyone's help, cheeky?" he laughed, thinking he had won the battle.
"I...don't think I can...I Know I can!" I yelled, reeling from the pain. So I stretched my arms leaving them above my head, gathered my hands, and with a strong blow, hit them in the gorilla's forearm, causing him to stop holding me. This made him cry out in pain and walk away from me, holding the arm that I had struck.
I took the chance that he wouldn’t use one arm, and left for the attack to defeat the last gorila bandit. I ran towards him, and when he turned I made a series of blows on him. I started with lots of quick punches of left and right, rising from the belly to the chest, making him bend forward, then kicked with my left leg while I leaned on the right, one on his chest and another in the face; then I jumped up and hit his chin with my knee, making him go back a bit, and finally, I've tripped him with a spin, supporting myself on the left leg while the right leg hit his heel with the spin, making him fall backwards.
He slowly got up to sit, and with much pain, he tried to catch his breath. I crossed my arms and stood in front of him, looking at him with a little smile.
When he looked at me, his eyes widened as if he was terrified. At that moment I stopped quickly to think of one thing that disturbed me: even though he was sat, he was taller than me standing. Whenever I'm around someone taller than me, I feel somewhat embarrassed. I hope that when I'm older, I don’t continue being small, and be at least the height of my mother or a little taller.
After that, I threatened him before he could regain his breath.
"Now prepare yourself, monkey! I'll give you the two last blows of mercy!" I said. That made him even more scared.
"No, Please No! Have mercy on me...couldn't it be...just one blow?" he pleaded while shaking with fear.
I then closed my eyes still smiling, and started doing some tai chi, without quitting my place, using only my arms. So I got into a position to fight, putting my right arm behind the body at the height of my head, left arm stretched in front of my body, dragged the right leg back and put the left in front. I then opened my eyes slowly, staring at the frightened gorilla.
"TAKE THAT!" I yelled before throwing my blow. I threw my right arm forward with all my strength and speed, to give a very powerful punch on his face. The movement was so fast that I could feel the wind be cut and go through my arm.
The gorilla closed his eyes and moaned with fear, but then opened them after only feel the wind pass on his face, and see that my right fist was only close to his nose.
I then laughed softly, with the fist still in front of his nose.
"Got Your Nose!" I said, picking his nose with the hand that was on his face, using my thumb and forefinger, and squeezed tightly twisting it to the side. This made him cry out in pain and put his hand on the nose soon after.
"Ouch, My nose! You'll pay for that, you insolent brat!" he complained about what I’d done to mock him, and in pain, tried to get up slowly.
"And now, the Second blow of mercy!" I said, running a great distance down the dirt road to get away from him. Then I stopped running, sliding forward slightly when I tried to stop, and ran again, this time toward the gorilla bandit who was still trying to get up.
Still a few feet from him, I jumped up high while doing several twirls and still going forward, then stopped spinning and stretched my leg to kick him. I was speeding during flight, as well as the first 'blow of mercy', but this time I could feel the air go through my entire body, through the legs, up through my body and through my face.
He was on his knees while I was doing my powerful kick and headed in his direction, but he was looking very confident and that worried me, but I continued with my movement.
"This time I'm really going to hit you, villain! TAKE THAT!" I told him while I was approaching.
He stood quickly, and clasped his hands in the form of 'spoon', he intended to throw me in the air, as if I was a volleyball. When I realized this, I also realized that I couldn't dodge, and he would hit me!
"TASTE THE FURY OF MY FEET, VILLAIN!" I heard someone yell soon after.
It was Po! He came running towards the gorilla bandit, with the same idea as me. After running a bit, he jumped up and used the same kick as me.
He stretched his leg in the air while 'flying' to do the kick, and in that instant, the gorilla bandit looked at him, still not moving. But unlike me, Po took just a little boost to run the flying kick and fell on the floor, stopping less than a meter from the gorilla. Po groaned in pain and then looked at the bandit, who also looked at him, making a face of who didn't understand what had happened.
"Well...it didn't happen exactly how I thought" he said, lying on the floor.
As the gorilla bandit looked at Po, I just continued with my kick, and prang him in the face, making him flying several feet away, hitting his back on a bamboo and fainting. Still in the air, I did a backflip and landed standing beside Po.
I looked at him with a smile, proud that I had won of all those bandits gorillas alone. I could barely contain my happiness for my accomplishment. But I saw that he was a little mad at me when I looked at him, he was staring straight at me, it made me gradually stop smiling, and feel even a little fear.
"What's wrong Po? Is...something...wrong?" I asked.
"If something's wrong?...OF COURSE THAT SOMETHING IS WRONG!" he exclaimed, furiously, changing his tone suddenly out, what scared me even more.
"B-but...I don’t understand. I just beat a whole gang of gorillas alone, and saved the products of the sellers...why are you so angry?" I asked.
"It's just that, Liu! You defeated them Alone! It was very dangerous, you could have gotten hurt in a very serious way! Weren’t you told that if anything happened, you should call me in the restaurant?" Po told me, still pretty angry.
"Y-yes, but I saw them destroying the trade area and stealing all those products, and if I didn't do something fast they would have escaped, and..." I tried to explain, but Po interrupted me.
"Liu, I’d even understand you, but if this had happened with a simple villain or two, or even with the Croc Bandits...but NOT with a Gang of Gorillas! And there were TEN of them! What if I were not here to help you?" he questioned me.
"I-I know...I'm sorry, I...wait a minute. What are you talking about? I beat them all! You just helped me to distract the last of them..." I said to him, changing my expression of shame for a doubtful expression.
After I said this, Po crossed his arms and turned to face me. It made me feel a shiver down my spine, I had never seen him like this, and to see him with a serious attitude like that and giving me a scolding was just creepy. While I was looking into his eyes, I felt as if his gaze was freezing me, and I was still for a few seconds.
Po then bent himself forward still with arms crossed, being at the same height as me, and leave his face very close to mine. I could see the icy stare and his angry face closely. I was so scared, that I could feel a bit of sweat trickling down my forehead. Then he said quietly.
"Exactly. You didn't need my help...and it is AWESOME!" he exclaimed loudly, quickly changing his aggressive expression to one of excitement.
After he said this, I could feel such a relief, that I almost fell backwards, then I put my hand on my forehead to wipe the sweat, and let out a small sigh of relief. Then he said quickly.
"I can’t believe that in your First mission, you defeated a whole gang of gorillas! And they were TEN! This is Amazing, and you didn’t let them take the products. Liu...I'm...really impressed..." he stopped talking gradually, after seeing that it was I who was now with a serious look.
"What? Is...something wrong?" he asked then.
"OF COURSE, PO! You appear out of nowhere, give me an scolding, stares at me in a creepy way...are you trying to scare me to death? I was starting to think you'd hit me!" I explained to him why I was angry.
"Why in the world would I hit you, Liu? You are my friend. I never hit on a friend of mine. I'm sorry if I scared you, but it wasn’t my intention, it is because you gave me a fright when I heard you were fighting with a gang of gorillas, and...you know...I didn’t expect you were really going to beat them all alone and..." he explained.
"It's okay Po. I understand your concern. Thank you" I said. Then we smiled at each other.
"OH! Come here my favorite kung fu master! You don't know how much I'm proud of you! Can't wait to tell everything to Master Shifu, the Five and to your mother!" Po said, after giving me a hug and twirling along with me, then laughed together.
Po then tied the gorillas bandits who were in the bamboo forest with a rope, and left them in the middle of the dirt road, so he could come back and pick them up later. Then he picked up the wooden cart that was with the bags of goods inside, and we went together back to the Valley.
The way was now very calm, the wind that passed was quite refreshing, the forest was quiet, and the only sounds that could be heard were the ones that me and Po were doing.
Along the way, Po and I were talking, he had asked me what I was thinking about my first day in a mission and how I had defeated all those gorillas bandits. I told him everything and then I asked about his 'mission' in the kitchen with his father, he laughed and then told me he had done nothing different except for having downed a whole bowl of noodles at the head of his father, Mr. Ping, this also made me laugh.
After a few minutes of walking, we arrived at the Valley of Peace. We were heading towards the trade area, to return the products to their rightful owners, but when we got there, something strange surprises us. No one was in the area of trade. No seller or customer.
"N-no way! Where are the gorilla bandits?" Po questioned.
"What are you talking about, Po?" I asked, not understanding why he said that.
"Before I go looking for you, I had tied the five gorilla bandits who were here in the area of trade, ... but they are gone!" Po explained, glancing from side to side to see if he could find where were the gorilla bandits.
"But...if they were tied...then who released them?" I asked, having no idea who could have done that.
We continue looking at the trade area, until we felt a little shaking on the ground, as if an army was marching close to us, and these steps made a loud and in sync sound. We also heard the sound of metal hitting along with the steps, as if it were blades rattling. Then suddenly the noise stopped, and we knew that was coming from behind us.
Po and I had to look up so we could look in the eyes of that giant. His presence was downright scary, not only because he was very tall and strong, but also 'cause he was growling loudly while moving.
Then he stopped in front of his henchmen and roared loudly, repeatedly hitting on his chest, which made his henchmen vibrate.
"So you are the two who are messing in my business. I can't understand how, since you are just a teddy bear and a frightened kitten!" he said, laughing with his henchmen.
What he said made me and Po angry. Then Po said.
"Really? But just to let you know, this teddy bear and this...frightened...kitten..." Po stopped talking, after looking at me and see my face of indignation at him, because he insulted both of us without even realizing it. And then I continued.
"If you really think that we aren’t able to defeat you, then prove that you’re right!" I said to the gorila boss, and now me and Po entered in position to fight.
"Bring it on!" he answered us, walking a few feet in our direction and crossing his arms.
Po scampered toward the gorilla boss, while I initially watched from a distance. The giant enemy kept advancing slowly until he stopped and stood standing. Frighteningly, he didn’t even went into position to fight, he just let the Dragon Warrior get closer.
Po then blew a strong punch on his belly, but the enemy didn't move, the powerful gorilla's armor didn't let he felt the blow.
The villain laughed of Po's pain, then, using the top part of the forearm and with a movement from the bottom up, he took a blow in Po's face, making him fly several meters away and stop beside me, lying face down.
I looked at Po quickly, and then kept looking at the gorilla boss.
"What is it? The frightened kitten will not attack me? Too bad...so I think I'm who is going to have to go to you to destroy you" he said ironically to me, and then laughed along with his henchmen.
After that I was even angrier, then squeezed my eyes and shut my fists, and ran into a run toward him. When I got close, he tried to punch me right in my belly. When his fist came near me, I saw how big it was, it had almost the size of my entire torso, a punch of those, and for sure I'd have a big problem.
But I went faster and jumped over his arm, stopping over his forearm and balancing myself on both feet. Then he threw his arm up, eventually making me be thrown ten meters above.
After that, I gave several pirouettes and stayed upside down, stretching both arms in the same direction as the body. I’d try to do a double-punch on him, while I was falling.
But the gorilla boss must have understood my intention, and looking up, took a few steps back, leaving the radius where I could hit him, so I let out a quick cry of despair and fell flat on my face, then I was lying face down.
I didn't know if I should moan in pain, or laugh at the situation. It happened so fast that I didn’t understand it quite well. I then lifted up my head and looked at the gorilla boss, I could only see his feet (very big feet). He walked over, grabbed me by the back of my neck and lifted me up to the height of his head, lifting me completely off the ground.
I felt like my spine was being broken due to his colossal strength. I tried to free myself using my hands and swinging my legs, but had no sucess. He then threw me against the wall of a house that was next to us, with a very rapid and strong movement, I flew in high speed toward it and didn’t even had time to scream.
When I hit the wall, a bit of dust rose and some bricks fell because I was stuck where I hit. Then I left the hole in the wall where I was, and put my hand on my back, in pain.
My legs were wobbly, I could barely open my left eye, and suddenly felt a little trouble breathing. I couldn't understand it, I trained every day since I started to live in the Jade Palace, took several blows while training with the others but I always managed to keep fighting, and now with just one mistake of mine and a single blow of my enemy, I was feeling as if I were almost defeated. His strength was unbelievably colossal.
The gorilla boss came walking towards me to keep fighting.
"Let's finish this once for all!" he said still walking, then threw back his arm to give more power to the punch he wanted to hit me.
When the punch was at less than one meter to hit me, I closed my eyes, but without need, because without we both realizing it, Po stood between me and the fist to defend me, using both hands to prevent the hit.
"I...won’t...let you...touch her!" Po said, trying hard to not let the punch reach us.
"Don't make me laugh, teddy bear! Do you really think that you can defeat me with this armor of mine?" the gorilla boss asked, scornfully.
"Now you’re going to see that it isn't the 'teddy bear' who will have to be sewn after this battle, monkey boy" Po said, now with a positive expression on his face.
He then threw the gorilla's arms up and made a series of powerful punches and continued throughout his torso. I was fascinated with the speed and pace with which Po was making those blows. The first time he had tried to hit the gorilla boss, he felt a lot of pain in the hand, but now he was doing a series of punches, and didn't seem to feel pain.
The gorilla boss was moving away from me and toward the other gorillas as Po was smaching his belly and chest with punches. Then Po stopped hitting the gorilla on the torso and punched below his chin, making him take several steps backwards, going to the other gorillas.
"Why don't we take advantage that today is a sunny day, and feel the breeze to refresh ourselves?" Po said as the giant looked at him after being heavily battered.
We all then drove our eyes to Po, he began to twirl on the spot, but he was spinning faster and faster, so fast, that he looked like a hurricane, making his figure stay distorted. His speed was incredibly further increasing every second, getting to make a small stream of air around him.
Me and others were looking at him in amazement, and stayed still, while the 'hurricane' was gaining speed.
"TAKE THAT!" Po shouted, suddenly stopping spinning. But the amazing thing was that there was a kind of green light in his hand, when he stopped spinning, getting into a fighting stance and stretching the arm that had the light, and this light was thrown at an incredible speed towards the gorilla boss and his henchmen.
The gorilla boss screamed in fear quickly and then was hit by the green light. Then there was quick blast and a large plume of smoke rose, covering a large part of the trade area ahead us. I kept looking at all that smoke, and couldn’t see any sign of the gorilla gang. They had been blown up by the amazing technique of the Dragon Warrior!
"I don't know what it was, but...it was Awesome! What have you done, Po?" I asked excitedly.
"Liked it? This was the Thundering Wind Hammer! One of the legendary kung fu impossible movements, but this one I had improved by myself to make it stronger!...Well, that's it. We detonate these idiots, High Five, Liu!" Po joked and then reached out looking for a high five, and we celebrate joyfully.
But we had celebrated too fast. Once the dust settled, our happiness ended.
Our expressions of joy quickly changed to a terrified expression. When the dust settled, we could see what actually happened: the gorilla boss had defended himself from Po’s technique!
He was with both arms stretched in front of him, ie, he had stopped the Thundering Wind Hammer with his hands! Po and I couldn't believe it. He hadn't only defended and protected his henchmen, but also didn't have a scratch or any other bodily injury.
The only thing that happened was that the parts of the armor that were protecting his arms were cracking slowly, and when he lowered his arms, the arm's protection had broken completly and fell from his arms. The piece of armor that was protecting his arms before, now had fallen on the ground and turned to dust.
He looked at what had happened to his armor, closed his eyes and let out a loud scream of rage.
"LOOK WHAT YOU HAVE DONE, IDIOT! How dare you hurting me, Hiroito Li, the biggest and stronger gorilla in the whole China? Look what you have done to my armor! Do you think it's easy to steal one of these?" the gorilla boss exclaimed with an anger tone.
Po and I saw that the fight would take a little longer than expected. Then we got into a position to fight again.
"You'll pay for that! Get them!" the gorilla boss ordered, and his henchmen soon started coming towards us.
Po scampered in front of me, he would separate the gorillas because they were too close to each other, and if we tried to hit them all together, it would be very tiring and much more difficult. Po then rolled like a ball toward them, the gorillas tried to leave the path. He hit three of them at the same time and managed to do what we wanted, he separated them. They ended up splitting into two groups of five, exactly what we needed, then Po stood facing one of the groups and I was facing the other.
"Hey, Po! I bet I can defeat my half before you can defeat your half" I challenged him.
"We will see, Jade" he replied, then we attacked them, at the same time.
I started with some kicks at the belly of the bandit who was closer to me, then went to the next two with several punches at their faces, and finally jumped up and stood in the air for a moment, then opened a side splits and kicked in the nose of the other two. The five turned away due to the beating I gave them, then formed a circle around me and stared at me with anger, so I crossed my arms and looked at them with a little smile.
"Why are you so happy, you little brat?" one of them asked.
"It is just that I stopped to notice now, that at the first time I beated you, it was so quickly, but now I'm hitting you, and you are just getting nervous...Nifty! Now we can fight a little more" I teased them, and they snarled in response, getting even more hatred.
"Shut up, you miserable!" one exclaimed, coming towards me to give me a punch, I dodged it with a jump, and I used it to my advantage to strike him, lifting my right knee and hitting his chin. That made him fall on his back, now fainted.
"Not this time! Okay...who's next?" I laughed.
Meanwhile, Po was defeating the other group of gorillas. Po hit them with great agility, even being a panda, the gorilla bandits weren’t even having a chance against the Dragon Warrior. He hit them one-by-one, with an average of three strokes on each one before moving to the next, but just like the gorillas I was facing, they were just backing away, but not coming to fall.
I got into a position to fight again, so this time I was going to defeat the remaining gorillas who were fighting me. One of them tried to hit me by my back with a left punch, then to defend myself, I threw my left arm backwards in the direction of his hand. By doing this, I then shrank the same arm in half, so I made the gorilla hit the punch on my elbow, breaking his fingers. This did him let a loud cry of pain and back off a bit backwards.
I took that he had lowered his guard, and did many punches of right and left in his belly and a strong kick in his chin, while I supported myself on the other leg.
"LIU, LOOK OUT!" Po shouted to warn me.
Scared, I heard a scream and then quickly looked back, it was Hiroito Lee, he had came running towards me at full speed. I could simply divert him jumping to the side, but the other gorillas were very close to me, so the only option was to jump over him, but he was a few feet away, and I wouldn’t be able to jump high enough to go over that giant.
This time he would hit me with his powerful right punch that he had tried before, and there was nothing I could do.
Po tried to come towards me to help me, but the gorillas that he was fighting with, prevented him.
"THIS TIME YOU WON'T ESCAPE, BRAT!" he shouted, so I put my arms in front of me to try to defend myself.
"NO!" a boy shouted, so I quickly saw the body of a snow leopard come running like lightning towards the head gorilla, dodging the other gorillas that were on my left, and with a leap in the direction of Hirohito Lee, punched him in the cheek.
I could practically see it in slow motion, then, due to the punch, the giant kept coming toward me, but now stumbling and giving several somersaults, I bent down, and then I could just feel a little wind go through my back when Hirohíto Lee passed over me.
He still doing somersaults after that and hit two other gorillas. Then I got up quickly and looked at the snow leopard, he was the same who I had met in the stall of items for martial arts, but this time he was not wearing a straw hat, then I looked at his face and saw that he was not Tuggsy.
"You...but if you are not the Tuggsy.. who are you?" I asked the snow leopard who looked like my friend.
"Hello 'madam', my name is Peng! Nice to meet you!" he replied. This answer surprised me, I stared him, now changing my expression of doubt for one of surprised.
I widened my eyes with the answer. In my mind, I thought that Peng was a tall, strong boy and much older than me, but actually, he is a boy of the same height as me, at most one year older and didn't appear to be the as strong as he actually was.
"PENG! It's good to see you again, buddy!" said Po from far, while beating the gorilla bandits.
"Good to see you too, Po! It seems that you are in need of a little help, can I join in the fun too?" he joked with us, as I had done before and Po.
"Do your best, 'sir'!" I replied. Then the snow leopard ran toward Hirohito Lee. Soon Peng jumped going toward him, before the gorilla boss could stood up completely, and kicked him in the face, making him flying several feet away.
Meanwhile, I ran toward the gorillas that I was already fighting before, without they notice me. Then I struck the one who was closest to me, making a series of punches on his belly, and then punched his chin, making him fall on his back, unconscious.
About Po, he was starting to hit his opponents a little more slowly. Despite all the strength that he was using in his series of blows, the gorillas bandits had an incredible resistence, and Po was no longer holding on to fight at a good pace. Instead of just beating them, now every five times he beat they, the gorillas beat him once, causing the panda begin to be exhausted.
Peng was doing well in his fight against the gorilla boss. Hirohito Lee was attacking with speed and strength, but Peng dodged ducking or using his arms. The gorilla tried to hit him with a right kick, but he held his leg, and with his left leg pulled the gorilla's leg, a sweep had been done very easily and successfully. Then Peng jumped high to hit him a blow in the fall, but as the big guy was also a good fighter and saw what Peng would do, then rose with a very agile movement and stood, and when Peng was close enough, he hit a straight and powerful punch in his stomach, sending him flying away in...My Direction.
I had no time to dodge, and Peng hit me while my back was turned, and both were thrown towards Po, hitting him too. The three of us fell down and then were surrounded by the gorillas gang, who made a circle around us.
Po stood up and made me and Peng fell on the belly on the floor, then got up.
"Ouch! This guy is pretty strong, isn't he?" Peng said with pain, while with hand on belly trying to ease the pain.
"...If we...continue at this pace...things could end very badly..." Po said breathlessly, he was sweating and extremely exhausted.
They were right, though was not exactly something good for us. Po was exhausted to continue, Peng took a punch that left him clearly hurt, the gorillas were greater in number, didn't seem to be suffering much damage with our blows, and I was out of ideas to get out of that situation.
The gorillas bandits and Hirohito Lee were approaching slowly, laughing in a sarcastic way of us. It made me gnash my teeth in anger. Then suddenly, Po grabbed me and Peng, one on each arm and took us on his lap.
"Hold on!" he said in a weak tone. A strange thing happened, a kind of golden light shone around Po's body; he jumped, which made us go over all of the gang of gorillas, and at an incredible speed, he ran the main road from the Valley, ranging from trade area (in the valley) and rising to almost half of the staircase Jade Palace; all in a matter of less than five seconds. Then let us on the staircase and sat down, breathing deep.
"W-what was that?" I asked impressed.
"I...my chi is a little different from yours, Liu! Mine is...the Hero's Chi...it's more powerful than other chis kind! As I saw...that we were in trouble, I thought it would be good...to help us escaping...And I have a Plan!" Po said as he tried to catch his breath.
"Get them!" yelled the gorilla boss, ordering his henchmen. The whole gang of gorillas were in the early steps of the palace, and soon would rise to pick us up. I then stopped thinking about how that thing that Po had done was amazing, and I refocused.
"Okay, Po! What's the plan?" Peng asked.
"Just relax and feel the breeze" he said. Me and Peng find it strange, and how Po seemed relaxed about the situation, closing his eyes and doing some tai chi movements, facing the underside of the staircase.
Peng seemed to have understood what Po had in mind, then stood beside him and started doing tai chi movements too. I still had no idea of Po's intention, but I obeyed and did the same.
"Feel the air currents passing around your entire body" Po said. I felt a gentle breeze passing around my arms and then down my belly.
"And then, Po?" Peng asked in a calm tone.
"While doing tai chi, track the movement of the wind" Po continued. I had a strange tingling sensation in the palms of my hands after that.
"What is the intention of all this, Po?" I asked, still with eyes closed and making the movements of tai chi.
"Now, you focus all this tingling, in the palm of your hands and RUN!" Po continued and then ran down the stairs, and I followed him and Peng also running as fast as we could.
Hirohito Lee and his troops were slowly climbing the staircase, where all his henchmen were already gasping for air and he was sweating like a faucet open, until everyone stopped.
I, Peng and Po were running toward them, with incredible speed, as well as the Dragon Warrior had already done before. The tingling in my hands was getting bigger, I was so rapid that almost didn't see the stairs passing by my feet, and the three of us felt the wind blow strongly throughout our body.
"At my signal, do leg strength to stop running and rotate without going anywhere!" Po told us, still running.
We were almost 50 meters from them, until I feel the tingling stop and a wind pass around my hands, then Po yelled forcefully.
"NOW!!!" the three of us stopped suddenly doing a lot of leg strength that we put in front of us to stop, then in a matter of a quarter of a second, we spin at high speed ten times without going anywhere. I felt the wind focus in the palm of my hands in the shape of a sphere, which gained a dark blue color, and so happened to Po (who has a green sphere) and Peng (who formed a red one).
The gorilla boss looked at us with amazement, being ahead of his henchmen.
"TAKE THAT! THUNDERING WIND HAMMER!" he shouted, while we still spinning, then we stopped suddenly and stretch our hands on the gorilla gang's direction.
The three balls were thrown at an incredible speed, and then turned around Po's ball and joined into one.
"NO! It can't be!" the gorilla boss moaned in fear, then put his arms in front of his face to try to protect himself, but to no avail.
The powerful technique made by the three of us hit Hirohito Lee and caused a quick burst of energy, that had a diameter of 30 meters and raised a big gray dust. It was so powerful that the wind caused by the explosion threw me, Po and Peng a few feet up the stairs.
We got up slowly and looking at the big cloud of smoke.
"Whew! I think we finally did it!" Peng said in a cheerful tone. Then I jumped with excitement.
"AWESOME! I can't believe I just learned one of the legendary impossible moves, fought alongside two great masters and together we ended up with a whole gang of gorillas! And it all just in my First Mission! Thank you both, for making this day unforgettable for me!" I said quickly, hugging them both at the same time.
"Uh...you're welcome!" they both said together, hugging me and also happy with our done.
But after that, we heard something that almost made our hearts stop, LAUGHS! Laughs of the gorillas, who were still inside the cloud of smoke. Our expressions of happiness changed to one of fear.
"W-what?...Impossible! They...they can't be just fine after such a blow..." Peng said in a low tone, as if startled.
Then we heard another laugh, further up the staircase, then we slowly turned around to see who it was. Was Hirohito Lee, he was now without the breastplate of his armor, with only the lower part covering the hips and legs. And the scary thing was that in the palm of one hand he had a big ball of fire with the size of his trunk.
"Did you really think that you are the only ones who knew how to do special techniques? Then let me show you my true power!" he laughed at us.
What didn't get out of my head, was how he had managed to survive our attack and still have protected his henchmen, how he had gotten up there without us realizing it, and what was that thing in his hand.
"Feel my wrath! MONGOLIAN FIREBALL!" he shouted, then threw that thing in our direction.
I now knew what he had done, it was also one of the legendary impossible moves, and it had a great destructive power. We tried to go sideways to deflect that, but it was too late.
It hit us and made us fly away, until the begining of the staircase of the palace, in the Valley. We fell with our back on the floor, Po and Peng closed their eyes and fainted.
"No...they...can not...win...the villagers depend on us! I will not...can't...let...them win..." I said trying to get up, but I was in pain throughout the body and difficulty breathing, not holding stand and fell Belly the floor.
"Get them! Tie, put on the cart and let's take them to the cave...it's time to teach these idiots, that No ONE gets in our way!" the gorilla boss ordered his henchmen and then laughed.
"...N...no..." I fainted.
After I fainted, was still somewhat conscious, but not to the point of being able to speak or move. Thus, I could only feel and hear what was happening around me.
I felt a cold metal chain squeezing my chest and my arms. They had put me on the wooden cart, where I heard the bags of products swaying with the cart's movement. One thing that bothered me was the fact that all the way, I could hear the awful moans of my friends while the gorillas bandits laughed among themselves, but I didn't feel their presence at any time. Po and Peng should be almost waking, then they should be being transported in a different way of my, probably were being carried by the villains.
Then something surprised everyone, a thunder sounded in the sky and a rain began. I was lying on my side, with the left side of the body facing down, and those icy raindrops began to leave me conscious to the point of beginning to open my eyes and listen to the conversations of the gorillas a little better.
"Quick! We can not wet these products! Hurry, slackers!" I heard Hirohito Lee ordered his henchmen, and then the cart began to shake a lot with the new pace of the gorillas.
With that, my body turned to the side, and now I was belly up. I could feel even more that cold rain beat all over my body. I felt many raindrops fall on my face gently, and gradually easing the pain I had in scratches all over my body.
I slowly opened my eyes and looked up at the dark sky above. I tried to move, but I had no strength to stand. My arms were immobile because of the chains and I almost couldn't feel my legs.
Until that the cart passed one of its wheels over a rock, causing the cart to lean a little, and it made me be thrown from the middle of the wooden floor up to the bags of products that were on the front part of it, and let out a low moan of pain.
"STOP!" I heard one of them scream. The cart was stopped shortly thereafter, then I heard footsteps of someone approaching. Then some gorillas were now staring at me.
I acted on impulse and tried to get into a defensive position, sitting up and leaning my back on the bags of products, so that none of them would stay behind me. When I touched the bags of products, I felt a great pain in my spine, and those chains were squeezing me, leaving me breathless.
They laughed at my reaction. I felt a great hate consume me, like if I needed to hit them, by laughing at my pain, but I had no strengths.
"Not so fast, little brat!" one of them said. A huge hand covered my nose and mouth with a cloth. I started getting dizzy.
The gorilla kept holding the cloth on my face, which was wet and had a very strong smell. Because of the characteristic smell, I realized it was chloroform, and that was a problem. If I didn't remove the cloth from my face, he would faint me, so I tried to move my head from side to side, but without sucess.
I began to lose consciousness again, and this time completely, then I just closed my eyes and fainted again. After a long time, I started to regain consciousness, but still couldn't open my eyes.
I began to have a very bad feelings. What they would do to us? To where they were taking us? Why they were attacking and destroying the villages? Who exactly was Hirohito Lee and what were his plans?
These unanswered questions ran through my head as I was recovering.
Slowly, I managed to open my eyes. I was tied by the wrists and ankles by metal cuffs, and the handcuffs were fastened to the ground by iron chains. I was kneeling on a quadricular steel plate above the rocky floor. I looked around, I paresis being trapped in a cave inside a mountain, looking up, I saw only rock walls.
I couldn't see the ceiling of the cave, it was too high, and all the place was a bit dark. Then I looked ahead, and got shocked by what I saw. It was Peng, but the way he was, it was somewhat scary and familiar.
I saw that we were both on platforms, and below us was a gigantic hole that you couldn't see the bottom. Our platforms were connected by a stone bridge, and there was also another bridge connected to our, that leading to an elevator that stood on the slope of the wall.
Peng was chained at his platform, exactly the same way as Tai Lung. He was on his knees, with iron manacles attached to the wrists, which were tied to metal chains, with large rocks at the other end, getting hung by the arms of Peng, and with a sort of tortoiseshell of metal on his back, with several needles piercing him, hitting pressure points and leaving him motionless.
It was terrible to see Peng subjected to that. He was apparently unconscious, but agonizing in pain. I had no idea how that gang of gorillas had managed that thing, even less why HE was stuck to that thing, but I couldn't just keep looking at Peng stay that way longer.
I tried to get up, supporting me initially with the right leg. The chains were heavy, the handcuffs were tight, and my whole body ached. I strained to get on my feet and looked at him again.
"Do...don't worry...Peng! I'll just...get rid of these chains...and I'll help you..." I said in a weak and breathless tone. So I took a deep breath to regain my strength and held the chains with my palms. I took a little more breath and started to pull the chains with all my strength. My arms were shaking, like they were going to rip in half, but I was not able to break the chains.
Suddenly I began to feel a strange tingling in my belly, but I ignored and kept trying hard to break the chains. I narrowed my eyes, signed over my base, leaned back and grabbed the chains with even more force. Peng woke up and stared at me with a scared face.
"NO, LIU! Stop doing so much strength to break the chains! Fast, or you... " he was about to finish the warning, but it was too late.
The tingling in my belly stopped and the unexpected happened. A shock! A shock that passed up the inside of my bones, and passing through my skin. I felt like my skin was being burned in flames. My limbs began to tingle unconditionally, and I started to stop feeling them. My brain seemed to squirm inside my head and my heart raced.
After countless seconds, the rays of electricity, which before were passing through my whole body, disappeared, and the shock stopped.
I fell to my knees, I was breathless, and after the shock my joints were hurting a lot. I had no idea how I had taken that shock, and how Peng knew that.
"W-what...was that?..." I asked, straining to try to talk.
"I tried to warn you, sorry...look at your belly! They arrested this thing to you, and every time you use your chi, this device releases an electrical charge...and the worst is that slowly...it will also draining it" Peng explained to me with a sad tone in his voice, as if he was wanting to cry.
I looked at my belly. A kind of black four points leather belt tied a gray metal disc, over my top shirt. It had a format that looked like a gear, some copper wires were exposed on the outside and in the middle of it was written in black ink, in chinese, 'despair'.
I would never imagine that a gang that robbed villages would have at their disposal equipment like these, who were using to torture the prisoners. How they could have gotten them was also a mystery.
I felt like my energy was leaving my body, and I began to sweat. Even though it was gradually weakening me, it was still an agonizing feeling, but it soon stopped. The device that was shining with a blue color before, stopped and I felt, somehow, a relief.
After a few seconds breathing deeply to recover my breath, I looked again to Peng, who was looking down.
"What's wrong, Peng?...I know we're not exactly in very good condition, but why are you so...wait a moment...Po! WHERE IS HE? He...he was with us during the trip, where he is now?" I asked worried after noticing that only two of us were there.
Peng was quiet and with his head low for a while, tried to say something, but no words come out of his mouth. That worried me. Then he took a deep breath.
"It was Po that was in your place before, Liu!...Those damn gorillas also put this thing on him...Po tried with all his strength to break free, but in vain!...He used all his strength, agonized until couldn't take it anymore...and...then...they threw him in this abyss which is below us!" Peng told what happened, with tears in his eyes. I was shocked, as if my heart had stopped for a moment. Does our dear friend and hero had died...and in such a cruel way?
"No...! Po...it can't be..." I said, now also crying.
"...And that is not all! This cave is underwater...and the gorillas said that in less than an hour...the whole place will be flooded...with me, you and the others!" Peng continued, and this alarmed me.
"WHAT!? So my mother and the others are here too? But...they were on a mission! They went to the Secret Museum of Kung Fu to check if everything was in order...how did they..." Peng interrupted me.
"They somehow knew all this, Liu! And they had plans to steal the mystical items from the museum...so they pitched a trap and then completed the goal, and those bastards also kidnapped my girlfriend, Lian, I don't know why...and left prey with others...but...no..." Peng would continue but lowered his head again, as if he was about to tell me something worse.
"What do you mean 'but'? What's the matter? WHAT ELSE, PENG?" I asked, afraid of the answer. He took a breath and then looked up again.
"...I heard...the gorillas saying that probably if they keep Shifu, the other five and Lian prisoners much longer, they would probably escape...and they conclued...in Killing them, even before the whole place is flooded!" after he said that, I felt like my heart had stopped and as if I would faint.
"NO! DAMN! How long ago was this, Peng?" I asked angrily.
"Moments before you wake up...why?" he asked still downcast.
"IF IT DIDN'T HAPPENED LONG AGO, MAYBE WE CAN STILL HELP THEM! I WON'T LET THOSE BASTARDS HURT MY FRIENDS!" I said enraged, standing up quickly and pulling the chains with all my strength, from the bottom up.
As expected, I started to take a very strong shock, and its rays and sparks went through my whole body. I screamed as I tried to resist, hoping to break the chains.
"LIU! STOP! It is useless, there is no way to break these chains!" Peng tried to stop me, but I kept straining to try to break the chains.
The shock seemed to intensify more and my energy was fading fast. I couldn't break the chains, and fell on my belly on the floor. The shock stopped.
"D-darn...If I keep like this... I won't get rid of these chains!...But I Need help...my mom and my friends" I told myself.
"Liu! Are you okay?" Peng asked worriedly.
"No, Peng! I AM NOT OKAY!" I said, straining to lift myself again to try to break the chains.
After trying hard to set me free, I took a shock again. It burned my skin, made me feel my body squirm by inside, my joints trembled and I couldn't keep my eyes open because of the pain.
But I kept doing more strength to keep standing and to break the chains. In this second attempt, I managed to get double the time of the first, did a lot of strength, I couldn't stay there any longer, I HAD to get free; but just as before, I couldn't resist enough, and fell on my belly on the floor, without having broken the chains.
"N-no..." I complained breathlessly. My wrists were very sore, I felt that my limbs were almost ripping, while I was gasping for air, I had to strain to catch the breath.
"Liu...even the Dragon Warrior didn't managed to get rid of these currents...As hard as it is to accept...I think this time we lost!...*cry...All that we fought so hard to achieve, our dreams...that we couldn't perform...our friends...All this...will stay only in memory!...Nobody should die like..." Peng blurted, as if this was his deathbed, but it irritated me a lot and made my blood boil. I couldn't stand hearing him finish it, and I interrupted.
"Shut...up!..." I said weakly. Peng looked at me in amazement, with tears in his eyes.
"W-what?" he asked innocently.
"I said to you ...SHUT UP!" I yelled nervously with him.
"But...why are you so mad?" he continued. I felt like it would explode.
"And you even ask? How can you say something like that? What is your problem?...Are you going to give up? I don't understand! You mainly!...With an overcoming and perseverance life story...you should also be trying to break this thing on your back to try to help those we love! And instead, you're crying like a little baby!" I exclaimed angrily.
"Don't tell me such a thing! I know very well all what I went through!...But this time...there's nothing I can do!" he defended himself.
"Of course there is! You just need to lift your head, stop thinking that this will be our end and start trying to escape" I replied.
"But...I can't escape this thing! I'm immobilized! And you're also stuck and can't help me...it's impossible!" Peng said, looking at the metal shell on his back and handcuffs on his wrists.
"Impossible?...Peng, NOTHING is impossible if we have determination and willpower!...AND I WILL PROVE!" I exclaimed, standing up quickly. Again, I pulled the handcuffs the max as I could, leaving them at the waist, then pulled them up to try to break.
I used all the strength I had left to keep going, but still, the chains keep holding me and I couldn't pull the cuffs above the waist. Then came the shock.
It came back even stronger than before. I yelled in pain even louder, my voice echoed through the cave, but I steadied my feathers to remain standing and continued straining to try to free myself.
"LIU! STOP IT! IF YOU CONTINUE YOU WILL END UP DYING!" Peng shouted.
"NEVER!...I...I won't let them hurt...my mother...and my friends!...EVEN IF IT'S THE LAST THING I DO!" I replied, as the shock passed all over my body and made me writhe in pain.
"Liu ..." Peng stared at me in amazement.
"...Peng...we must never give up doing what's right!...And even if we were to die... what would you rather...die here, hopeless and afraid...or die trying to be free and for those who you love?..." I asked. My heart was beating really fast, my arms felt like they were bursting because of the force that I did, and I couldn't keep my eyes open to look at Peng as I spoke with him.
Peng didn't answered, he just kept looking at me with astonishment, as if he had no idea how I was still stand and trying to get free.
"Liu...you..." Peng was going to say something, but I interrupted him.
"shout of pain*...Peng..I believe that one day...you heard Po or one of the Six Furious..talk about perseverance...willpower...and never give up on your dreams...Don't You?" I asked, while the shock still pass through my body, and still trying to break the chains.
"...Yes!..." he replied, beginning to remember the past.
"...I always follow...the lessons they...taught me! And I NEVER regretted...I became a happier...and more confident person...and I learned to NEVER break a promise!" I continued.
"What promise?" he asked blankly.
"...One of the things...that I remember very well of my family...my biological parents...was that...they made me promise that I would Never...stop following my dreams!...And never give up...until...I perform them!" I explained.
"...amazing..." he whispered, thinking about my history and still noticing that I had not given up releasing me.
"Now that I...finally got to realize many of my dreams...I won't let them...have been conquered and then taken away from me!...I still have dreams to accomplish...so I'm Not Giving Up!" I continued.
"..." Peng didn't know what to say next.
"...I will fulfill my promise!...I won't give up!...What have been taught to me...was...Not...in vain!...AND...I WILL...SHOW YOU...THAT...I'M NOT...WRONG!" I yelled, doing the maximum of strength that I could to break the chains and handcuffs.
Soon, I could hear the sound of the metal chains cracking. Gradually, they were breaking in half. The shock was excruciating, and that device that drained my energy and chi made me slowly lose consciousness.
But now I was almost reaching my goal, and could help my mother and my friends. I just couldn't give up now.
I shouted and did even more strenght than before, and followed by a relief, the chains and shackles were broken in half. They flew away from me and fell into the abyss below me. The shock stopped almost instantly, then I lowered my arms and leaned on my knees to keep from falling.
I saw that the evil device hadn't left me, but I was very tired and in pain throughout all my body, so I didn't give it much importance. I breathed deeply to catch my breath and slowly managed to open my eyes.
Peng kept looking at me, he seemed to have gone back to being who he was before. He wasn't crying anymore and seemed to have seen a miracle happen before him.
"WOW! Liu, You Did It! I can't believe...you Really did it!" he said cheerfully.
"...Whew! Finally!...Now we just need to free you of this thing and we can go help AAAAH!" I fell flat on my face. I had forgotten the cuffs that bound my ankles, and when I tried to walk I ended up being insured by them.
"Hey!...You forgot these cuffs on your ankles, Liu!" Peng said, wanting to laugh.
"I see...nothing funny on it, Peng" I said wryly.
After that, a white feather fell from the dark ceiling of the cave, going in the direction of Peng. It twirled in the air a few times slowly and stopped in front of Peng. A ray of hope appeared for his freedom.
He looked at that feather thoughtfully. Then he smiled slightly, now it was possible to see a clear confidence in his eyes.
"Liu, Thanks! Without you, I think I would never be able to get back to do what's right, and even less escape this place! Now if you'll excuse me, while you try to get rid of those other cuffs, I'll get rid of this thing!" he thanked me, smiling and with a firm tone in his voice, catching the white feather that was in front of him with his tail and drawing up a lock that was on top of the metal shell on his back.
He tucked the stiff part of it into the lock, and then began to use the tip of his tail to move it from one side to the other, like a key. Soon, we heard the noise of the gears of the lock, and shortly after, it had been unlocked.
The needles of the metal shell, which were before immobilizing Peng, rose. Peng felt a great relief and then moved his hands to see if he really was able to move.
Then Peng stood and the metal shell fell from his back, hit the ground and broke into several pieces. I found it quite strange.
"Huh? It can't be! I heard that Tai Lung had to break the metal shell after opening it with a feather...why this one just fell off of your back?" I asked, not understanding.
"Well, this is probably not the same kind that my uncle used when he was in jail! This must be another prototype...Hey! How so? Do you by chance wanted it to be harder for me to escape?" Peng asked me seriously, after realizing what I had asked.
"Oops!...Sorry! It's not quite what I mean...I mean...I thought your escape would be equal his, and I always wondered how was the reaction of the soldiers who saw him escape...I always thought...I dunno! Maybe this could be awesome and..." I tried to explain myself, but Peng stared at me with a serious look and when I answered, he interrupted me.
"Ah...okay! We have to...help others!..." he said, doing a lot of strength to try to pull the stones at the ends of the chains, up.
He leaned forward and then pulled the chain up with all his strength, stretching arms above the head. After that, the huge stones, which had the same size as him, were thrown up, and following the movement of currents, both clashed and parted down the middle.
The rocks fell into the abyss, and then Peng just broke the handcuffs on his wrists. Then he stopped and looked at me.
I was amazed, and couldn't help but look at his escape. He threw in the air, not one but two extremely heavy stones, making it look easy. I stood staring at him.
"Come on, Liu! We have to go help our friends! Take off these cuffs, we gotta go!" he hastened me, not understanding why I had gone into shock.
"...Ok!...Let's go!" I answered, recovering myself, and breaking the cuffs around my ankles.
Then we ran to the elevator and went up to the top floor. When we got up as much as we could, we stopped at a large wooden bridge, which both ends led to different paths, with several cells along their corridors.
"Let's split up to try to find them! I'll go to left and you'll go to right!" he said. After I confirmed that yes nodding.
We run at full speed in our directions. There were several cells made of iron bars on both sides of the way, I was passing by them quickly as I looked into them to see if my mother or my friends were there.
I walked a long distance through that dark and cold path hoping to see them, but they were not in any of those cells.
"Damn! Where are you?...I hope it's not too late!" I said to myself, then quickly looked forward and saw a gray brick wall. The straight corridor, now turned to the left, I tried to stop abruptly and skidded in the direction I ran, then turned and continued following the path.
I kept running for a few more seconds, until that on my right I saw a large wooden door, with the same size of the brick walls. I stopped running and looked at her.
After that I scoured all the way searching, I found that the door would be the last place to look. After all, probably the paths that me and Peng parted should end there. But if so, he should be where I was.
When I thought about it, Peng was running towards me looking back and didn't see me, then bumped into me, throwing me a few feet away. He fell flat on his belly on the floor, in front of the door.
"Ops! Sorry, Liu! I hadn't seen you...Wow! Both paths brought up here! And apparently this is the only place they can be!" he said, looking at the door.
I really wanted to answer that, but I didn't want to be rude, and that was not a good time for that.
We opened the door and walked into a huge room with gray concrete walls. It looked like a torture and execution chamber. Were scattered by it many strange and sharp instruments, and that drew most attention was an electric chair, a noose, a hydraulic press with a cage around, a glass aquarium full of water, and scarier, a wooden crucifix where in the ends had cuffs to arrest the arms, legs and neck.
Then we look more closely at these things, and me and Peng had very bad hunches. The closest thing to us was the electric chair, and on the seat we saw some yellowish fur, it was the Monkey's fur.
"No...no...not them too!" Peng pulled away from the electric chair and sat on the floor, before he lost his balance and fell, and began to breathe deeply.
My throat was dry, my head felt like it was spinning and my legs were wobbly. Involuntarily, I kept looking at the objects of torture.
Below the noose, I found a white feathers, which I recognized that belonged to Crane. In the hydraulic press had a crumpled shape in the metal, similar to Mantis's back and legs. In the glass aquarium full of water, was at the bottom of the container the two Viper's roses ribbons.
I didn't feel strong enough to get closer to the wooden crucifix. From a distance, I saw a piece of torn clothing, a piece of the black trousers of my mother, Tigress, in front of the crucifix.
I kept staring at that for a few seconds. My heart seemed to be split in half, my hands were shaking, I was having trouble to breath and I fell on my knees. My vision blurred with tears. I couldn't just accept that this was happening.
"NO!...m-mom!...First Po...and now my friends and my mother!..." I cryed.
Peng also started crying and lamenting the loss of his girlfriend, Lian, and his friends. Until we hear something that made us instantly stop crying.
"LIU" a voice shouted from afar in the hallways. It was my mother.
"LIU! Where are you?" shouted the other Furious Six.
Peng and I got up and gave a big smile. We both felt as if a miracle had happened. Then they broke down the huge wooden door and entered the room. My eyes widened with excitement when my mother and I looked at each other.
"MOM!" I exclaimed and ran toward her.
"LIU!" she exclaimed in hapiness, and ran towards me. Then she bent over and I jumped into her arms. We gave a big hug one another.
I felt a great relief to know that I was wrong. My mother and my friends were safe and sound, I went back to crying, but this time of excitement. Until a voice surprised me.
"Whew! It's so good that we finally found you! This place is huge, and it's quite hard to try finding someone in here..." it was Po. He was alive! I stopped crying and gave a big smile.
"PO! You Are Alive! I'm so glad that you all are well!" I stopped hugging my mom and ran to hug him. Despite being a happy moment, Peng seemed to be annoyed with something, and then ran and jumped towards Po, and began to hang him.
"YOUR IDIOT! I SAW YOU BEING TORTURED ALMOST TO DEATH! AND AFTER YOU FELL ON THE FLOOR IN PAIN AND RAISED NO MORE, I THOUGHT YOU REALLY HAD DIED! WHY DIDN'T YOU SHOWED ME SOMEHOW THAT YOU WERE STILL ALIVE?...WELL...SINCE YOU HAVEN'T DIED WITH THE CLIFF FALL, I'LL KILL YOU HERE AND RIGHT NOW, FOR YOU HAVE MADE ME GO THROUGH ALL THIS!" Peng said enraged.
Po walked across the room and bumped in the instruments of torture while Peng was hanging him. Despite all that he had said, none of us moved to help Po, after all Peng was just nervous and wouldn't really kill him.
"Peng...take it easy...after all...I'm alive...aren't I?...I'm also glad to see you...but do not... overdo it!" Po said breathlessly as he held Peng's arms with both hands trying to free himself.
Peng released him. Po took a deep breath, putting a hand on his neck to relieve pain, and then fell back to the ground after Peng make him stumble.
"You deserved it!" Peng grunted and crossed his arms.
"Ouch!...OKAY! Sorry...at the next time I'll try to say somehow that what I'm doing is just a plan to escape!" Po apologized after sitting.
I stopped looking at the two and returned my gaze to my mother and the other Furious Six, with a smile. Then I stopped to think about how everyone had escaped.
"But tell me, how did you guys escape? I realized that each of you was stuck to one of the machines of torture, and on them had traces of yours...so...how do you escaped...after all, those gorillas wouldn't stop until..." I was confused, and before I finished the question, Grandpa Shifu interrupted me.
"Well, Liu, in fact those gorillas would torture us to death, but me and the other Furious Six are aware that things like this can happen to us! Long before you being adopted by your mother, I've trained them to handle this kind of situation! We stand the torture, and after a long period, they thought that we had really died!" Shifu explained.
"Yes...but don't think that was easy...we've stand strongly but the effects still seem to continue" Monkey moaned. He was with several black spots all over the body, that were due to the shock that he had taken in the electric chair, getting all scorched.
"Yeah! Once back home, I think...I'll stay a month resting!...Darn it! My back is killing me!" Mantis, who was on Monkey's shoulder, added. His antennae were crushed and he couldn't open his left eye.
"Oh, yes...I almost forgot!" Viper walked by us and headed for the water tank, to get her pink ribbons, leaving a trail of water wherever he went.
"Well...I guess I was the only one who wasn't screwed this time!" Crane said smiling. I didn't understand why he said that, but then I noticed that he was the only unscathed.
"How so? I see that you really don't have any injury, but...you were being hanged on the gallows! How can you just say you are fine?" I asked, confused.
"Well, Liu, when they put me on the gallows, they apparently were so dumb that they must haven't noticed that I'm a bird and that I can FLY! So when I was arrested, I pretended to be debating myself to get free, when I actually was flying high enough not to be stifled!" Crane said, still smiling. I was serious for a moment, I couldn't believe that those gorillas were capable of being so stupid.
"Well...not everyone had this luck, Crane!" my mother, Tigress, said with a tone of pain.
I looked at her. When I saw her before, I was so excited that I didn't notice if she was hurt, just as I hadn't noticed the Furious Six. Her condition seemed serious.
She had several bruises on her arms, cuts on the face, head and limbs, and some parts of the clothes were torn, as the left side of the shirt (the tummy, showing it a little) and the pants (on the knees).
"Oh My Goodness...sorry, Mom! I was so excited by seeing you that...I haven't noticed that you were seriously injured..." I said, embarrassed and worried. She smiled.
"...No problem, Liu! I understand...and don't worry, it takes much more than several punches, kicks, scratches, cuts with sharp blades, bruises, internal injuries, a strong headache, dizziness, a cracked rib, a nearly broken column, clothes torn and a simple breathing difficulty, that will make me give up! Soon I'll be fine...nothing that a good night's sleep doesn't solve!" she quoted her injuries while she tried to, supposedly, make me calm down. She closed her eyes and smiled again.
I got in shock after that. I had never seen my mother in such a serious situation. And what most amazed me was that she didn't seemed to feel pain, and after what she said, it was hard to think that all that had happened to her had really happend. I felt, somehow, pride for her courage and strength, then gave a little smile and hugged her again, fondly.
When I hugged her, I noticed something else, she was wearing a black wool blouse tied at the waist, covering her butt and part of the tail.
"Hum! Why are you with this blouse tied at the waist, mom?" I asked.
Soon after, I heard Po, Monkey and Mantis trying to stifle the laughter with their hands, but we could clearly hear that they were laughing. My mother growled.
"THAT'S NOT FUNNY! OKAY? You're just laughing because it didn't happened to you!" she was very mad, but I still had not understood the reason for the laughter.
Monkey and Mantis started laughing even more. Po gradually calmed down and then tried to explain me.
"Hehehe...Well...I don't know how or when, but Tigress tore her trousers in a somewhat embarrassing part!" he said and then laughed again.
I looked back at my mother, she pulled the blouse a bit down, to better hide her butt. Monkey and Mantis were almost falling on the floor with the laugh. She walked angrily toward Po.
"YES! I Really tore my trousers in an awkward part! But the worst of all is that after we all defeat the gorillas and started looking for you, a Certain Someone knew this and DIDN'T WARNED ME! So I was walking from one side to the other in this maze, with torn pants!" my mother snapped, leaving Po frightened and embarrassed, but he was still in the mood to laugh.
"Well .. luckily Crane could find this blouse to your mother!" Viper said, as she stared coldly at Monkey and Mantis, who couldn't stop giggling.
"So...I believe this belongs to you, mother!" I extended the piece of my mother's pants for her.
My mother took the piece of her pants with a bit of shame, then thanked me shaking her head and stared at Po again.
"I'm still going to take my revenge, panda! Don't expect me to forgive you so soon, and for have been looking at my butt! And for your own sake, I hope you find me a sewing needle and thread, or it's going to be you who will need a seam!" she whispered to him in a threatening tone.
Po didn't even answered and was searching around the room for the items that my mother asked. In a few seconds, Po was holding a sewing needle and thread. He reached out tentatively to give both to my mother, who took them with a bit of anger and then turned away from us, to hide while sewing her pants.
Seeing that we would still stay in the room a little more, I sat on the floor to start a conversation while we waited.
"Well... I've just realized something! Shifu, if you were also arrested and being tortured, where were you? Peng and I didn't find any trace yours" I randomly asked.
"Up there!" He pointed with one hand, right above my head. I looked up and saw nothing beyond the dirty stone ceiling.
"They...stuck you in the ceiling?" I asked.
"No, Liu! He meant there!" Viper pointed with her tail a little more to the side than Shifu told.
So I could see a wooden chair that had ropes to tie the wrists and legs, but it was upside down, with its legs stuck together in a big gear, bigger than the chair itself. I didn't understand exactly how just be upside down could be a torture.
"So...while all the others were tortured, you were hung upside down, being forced to watch your students almost die..." I said in a horrified tone, trying to understand.
"Actually...I hardly saw...them! Actually, I think...I didn't even see exactly something..." Shifu said. But I looked closely at him, he seemed a bit strange. He was slowly turning his head in circles, and his eyes moved from one side to the other. I was even more confused.
"Well, Liu, Master Shifu was tied to that chair, and he was spinning at high speed, as the gorillas swirled that crank! This for a minute or two may seem a joke, but during hours...well...the effects are not exactly pleasant!" Viper explained. Shortly thereafter Master Shifu vomited, almost hitting Monkey's feet.
"YUCK!" exclaimed Monkey and Mantis.
"...Well...I can see that the effects are...really bad! I remember when I was doing sit-ups upside down, in the Jade Palace! After a few minutes, I seemed to feel my head throbbing a little" I remembered, and I could conclude that it really was torture, even for Shifu, a person who is old and has frequent headaches.
"Oh...sorry...But it's Your fault! Why do you need...to keep spinning around me!? Stop it...please!" Shifu said, what made me want to laugh.
"HEY! Wait a moment!...Where...WHERE IS THE LIAN? S-she wasn't with you? Or she just came out of this room...WHERE IS..." Peng said, while he passed between us, looking for his girlfriend, until interrupted by Po.
"Peng...I need you to stay calm, okay? She's fine...just..." he tried to calm him down, and then tried to explain something.
"What? What happened to her? Where is she now? COME ON PO, TELL ME!" Peng said with much concern.
"She...she's stuck in a kind of glass coffin..." Po explained, but Peng was very impatient and worried to hear him finish.
"And WHY didn't you just free her of this glass coffin and brought her along with you?" he asked quickly.
"...Because the coffin was thrown into the abyss of this cave...but since this place is flooding, she fell into the water...and sank... now she's stuck in this glass coffin, and we don't know...how long it will still have air to breathe inside it!" Po finished explaining, with a sad tone in his voice.
Peng's eyes widened in fear and worry. He couldn't accept that the girl he loves the most was in such danger.
"B-but...How? How did this happen?" he asked.
"When we were being brought to be thrown in the abyss, we've seen her already in the glass coffin, on the verge of the abyss, they would throw her...but they realized that we were still alive, so we didn't have time to stop them... " Viper said, putting her tail on Peng's shoulder to console him.
There were a few seconds of silence after that, until I felt something that made me feel alert. My butt, I felt it getting wet. I widened my eyes frightened and looked down. Everything was starting to flood; the water had reached the place where we were, and was quickly rising, almost two inches per second. I got up quickly and looked at all the hall full of water.
"Let's get out of here, Now! We have to go to a higher place and help Lian! Otherwise the water level will rise too much and we won't be able to save her! LETS GO!" my mother came to us and commanded us.
We all ran as fast as we could out of that room, and ran down the hall, which was flooding rapidly, soon reaching the height of my thighs. But after a while, my mother led us to a staircase, so we climbed up to get to the other runners.
Again we were passing through several corridors, halls and cells. After we run a bit, we stopped in front of a large and long concrete bridge that crossed a large lake. But then I realized that it wasn't a lake, it was the abyss.
"Phew...This place is pretty big, isn't it? We have passed...by abysses, bridges, several cells and the corridors seem endless..." Po said breathlessly.
"Yeah! Finally a place big enough to accommodate up to a Po" Mantis joked.
"Yeah...finally one...Hey!" Po said after understanding the joke. Monkey and Mantis laughed.
"Is this where you saw Lian?" Peng immediately asked, looking at the bottom of the flooded abyss.
"Yes! The only way to help Lian now is whether we plunge to the bottom, and when we find her we will have to find a way to pull her up to here!" Viper said.
On that part of the cave that we were, was considerably colder than the others, and the water below us seemed even colder.
I like to swim and play in the water, whenever I have free time I go to a river or lake to cool off, and now all those times that I played to see who could hold the breath for longer, would be put to the test.
"Okay! Liu, Peng, Viper, we will dive and try to find Lian! Meanwhile, you guys try to find a rope that we can use to pull the glass coffin!" my mother told us quickly.
"Okay!" all agree together.
"And hurry up! Lian has spent much time down there and the water level will rise more, soon!" Shifu said.
Me, my mother, Peng and Viper shook our heads to say that we had understood and then we jumped from the bridge and fell into the water. My body sank completely and then I went back to breathe quickly, as well as the others.
"D-dammit! T-this water is fre-freezing!" Viper said trembling. None of us could deny it, the water was really very cold, causing our members began to contract and making we feel that chills pass through the entire body.
"F-forget the cold! The i-important thing now is to f-focus in f-finding Lian and hold our breath as much as we can!" my mother said, also shaking.
Then we close our eyes to concentrate better. I started breathing slowly, pulling as much air as I could through the nose, then let out through my mouth slowly. The four of us did it five times, then in the sixth turn, pulled the air forcefully through the nose and mouth then.
When we finally felt that there wasn't how hold more air in the lungs, we open our eyes and dived quickly. I noticed that I wasn't longer feeling so cold as before, but as I was diving down, I felt the pressure of the water increases. My ears felt like they were locked and I had to be careful not to let water enter through the nose as I descended.
I went swimming flapping feathers and pulling the water towards me with my arms, trying not to float and continue down. It was a bit dark, the only things that illuminated that deep hole were the torches of the bridge where we were before and a luminaire that was lying on a bridge of a lower floor, leaving visible the walls and the bridge where it was.
Looking more closely, a few meters of that luminary had something on that stone bridge, something rectangular and transparent manner. It was the glass coffin where Lian was. When she realized we were close, she tapped on the glass with her hand to make noise and get our attention.
We layered up to her and stayed around her. Peng came closely to lay his hands on top of the glass coffin, to better see his girlfriend who was inside. She put her hand in the same place that was the hand of Peng.
"Oh! It's so good to see you! It's so nice to know that you are all safe...and you, is it alright, sweetheart?" she said with a tone of relief, then went to Peng. Her voice was low, because the glass coffin seemed to distort her voice, and with the water got worse communication, but it was possible to understand what she said.
He nodded positively with the intention of saying he was fine. Then he pulled back from her and looked at my mother and I then made a gesture with his hands to ask how we would free Lian.
My mother swam to the glass coffin and then hit it twice, slowly, paying attention to the sound to know if the glass was thick enough so that we could break it. Then she made a positive signal with her hand, and asking for us to get near, she grabbed the bottom of the glass coffin and tried to lift it, ie she wanted our help to raise the glass coffin and leave Lian 'standing'.
We understood and soon approached to help. The coffin was heavy, even if things seem lighter in the water, it seemed to weigh over a hundred pounds. I held the coffin with even more strength and propped my feet on the bridge, then tried to push with my legs to lift all that weight.
Doing such strength made me feel my lungs clench. I needed to hold as much air as I could, if I didn't, I could easily drown. Soon we lifted that thing.
So my mother and Peng stood in front of Lian. She tried to explain the female snow leopard that she would break the glass that was in front of her, and put her arm in front of eyes asking her to do the same when that the glass was broken.
"Try to hold your breath as much as you can! It's a big..." Peng tried to explain that she would have to hold as much breath as possible before the glass was broken, but the water has left his voice distorted, and Lian interrupted.
"What?" she asked.
"I said you need to hold your breath as much as..." Peng tried to speak louder, but he started getting out of breath to speak.
"WHAT?" she asked again. Peng gave up trying to explain with words what she should do and tried to explain with gestures, but with this came a problem.
Peng had to explain that she should take a deep breath to hold her breath as much as she could, and for that he would pretend he was filling his lungs with air. Then he put his hands in front of stomach and would rise them as he filled his lungs.
But I had a bad feeling that it wouldn't end well. Peng had just work hard to raise that glass coffin and then tried to Say what Lian should do. I was already feeling the water pressure squeezing my lungs and also was already swallowing dry, although we were not for a long time underwater, we were nearly 20 meters deep, and it complicated to try to hold your breath.
Peng was already clearly out of breath, he couldn't open his left eye and his neck was tense, as if it was getting hard to hold his breath. It was clear what would happen if he tried to show to Lian that she should take a deep breath.
"PENG, NO!" Viper yelled to try to stop him, but in vain. Peng breathed through his nose and began to drown.
He coughed several and long times to try to get water from the lungs, but it wouldn't help, and soon he began to faint. Me, Viper, Lian and my mother knew that Peng should lead to the surface as quickly as possible, but we were too shocked to act quickly.
Peng drowned in a way that made him look like a complete idiot, he had good intentions, but what he did was something stupid that could have cost him his life. I wondered briefly if that happened and no one was around to help him, a genius of kung fu would have died, but that was no way to die. The four of us put our hand on the forehead by shame of the stupidity of our friend.
After that, my mother did a signal to Viper, pointing to Peng and then up, asking her to take him to the surface. She got the message, so she curled up on Peng's forearm and pulled him up.
My mother stood in front of Lian and explained her what Peng was meaning, with exactly the same gesture, but she wasn't foolish to the point of drowning herself to do so. Lian nodded that she understood, then took a deep breath and put her arms in front of face.
With a mighty blow, my mother knocked on the glass with the palm of his right hand, and slowly the glass was cracking. The glass broke and the water came in glass coffin, which was soon reduced to shards of glass. We were ready to return to the surface, but something unexpected has made the three of us stay with the feeling that we are being observed, and a shiver went through our spine.
We heard the noise of something swimming near us, the bubbles left a trail that went around us. But it was very quick, we could only see a huge black shape pass quite close to the rock walls, and it looked like it was coming ever closer. That thing went right near us and then disappeared, plunging to the abyss. I was looking down to see if I could see where that thing had gone.
"LIU! BEHIND YOU!" Lian shouted to warn me, but I took too long to turn around.
I felt like I had taken a very strong blow on my back, making me bow down my back and loose some air through the mouth, then something big grabbed me by the neck and pulled me to the bottom at high speed.
"LIU!" my mother shouted, swimming to the bottom along with Lian trying to help me, but I was being taken to the bottom faster than they could follow.
Trying to escape and save my life, I held what was holding my neck and I realized it was a huge hand. I did much strength to try to open the fingers of that hairy hand that was squeezing my windpipe, but didn't succeed.
Then after a few seconds pulling me to the bottom, that thing pulled me even harder and threw me to the ground, which was probably the end of the abyss. I opened my eyes and then widened them in amazement.
It was Hirohito Li. While still squeezing my neck and holding me against the floor, he stared at me and then gave a sinister laugh.
"It's time for you to die, frightened kitten!" he threatened me, raising the other hand above his head and closing his fists.
I was already at the limit of my breath, the despair of being pulled to the bottom of that dark and flooded abyss for something I didn't know what was, made me struggled to save my life, dropping a lot of air that I was holding , not to mention the enormous pressure that the water was doing in my lungs.
Being without air was a horrible feeling, I seemed to have the need to fill my lungs, but if I did, it would be my end. In the absence of air I couldn't do more strength to free myself, and then the huge gorilla made what I feared.
With a colossal strength, Hirohito Li gave me a powerful punch in the stomach, making me loose part of the air I had left. Then he continued punching, but I couldn't believe the speed with which he was doing this, he was hitting me about five punches per second, and it was abnormal.
Someone his size shouldn't be able to have such speed, even more underwater. And he was doing very strong blows, as if he was in ground.
Each punch looked like it would rip my organs. I moaned in pain, it was agonizing, and I could no longer hold my breath, I opened my mouth by loosing air, but I hadn't exactly air to loosen, so it looked like I was trying to swallow dry in my throat. I guess I had never experienced such a bad and agonizing feeling as being breathless under the water.
After countless seconds of pain, he stopped punching me and freed my neck. I almost involuntarily tried to swim up and flee to breathe, but that bastard did it on purpose to annoy me, and soon after he grabbed my leg and pulled me down. I was almost unconscious, but after he pulled me down I opened my left eye.
I didn't hear what he had said after that, but I saw his lips move and say 'Die!'. He punched me in the face, making my nose and mouth bled and my vision got blurred, then he swam away and disappeared into the water, leaving me to drown.
I've had no strength, no air, my joints ached and my stomach felt like it was tearing inside. I've already been in situations where I was close to dying, but never like this time. I looked up and saw the light of the bridge where I was before, it seemed so far away, I wasn't sure if I could reach it.
After all I went through, everything I fought for and in all I have believed, this just could not end this way. Suddenly, I felt a rush of adrenaline and my strength back. I would not die like that in this place!
I recomposed myself and tried my best to swim to the surface, slowly but without stopping. Every meter that I went up, it seemed that my heart was accelerating more, it seemed that it was almost going out of my mouth.
I looked at the light at the top of the cave that seemed to shine more and more as I went up, but I felt my body weaken, and soon I would be unable to continue. I started feeling that the water was cold again, and I went up to the surface more and more slowly.
I started to close my eyes again, and what I feared most happened. A flashback of my life began to flash before my eyes, I was starting to die.
The images began with moments when I was younger, where I was playing happily in a waterfall with my family. Then I saw my family gathering at home for the meal, then we ate the delicious mom's noodles. Then one of the saddest pictures of my life, going to the burial of my parents, after they get sick and die tragically from a plague. Then I saw my coming along with my brothers to the Bao Gu Orphanage, where we lived for years. I saw our first friends and moments again; it took long for we continue following our normal lives without our parents, but after a while we could even laugh together.
But the moments of happiness ended with the following vision, which saw the death of my little sister, Lin, after contracting measles, what left me and my brothers in shock for weeks. Months later came the death of my brother younger than me, Huan, who after the death of Lin, started getting sick, until one day he could take no more and died, leaving me, mostly, very sad, almost getting into depression. And then came the vision of the moment that i guess was the one that more affected my feelings, my older brother, Shun, was walking with me in the woods with other orphans, until we heard an orphaned bunny cry for help, she was inside an abandoned blacksmith shop and was afraid of sharp and rusty things that were there; my brother and I went inside to help, but when we were leaving, the wind closed the only exit door and it got stuck.
Shun tried to open the door with all his strength, but without success, then I asked to try, so I knocked on the door with my shoulder to try to open it; after repeating this a few times, part of the roof that was above me fell, but before the big chunks of concrete and metal beams reach me, Shun jumped on me, knocked me to the ground and lay on top of me to protect me. He accomplished his goal of protecting me, but a small and pointy steel beam went through his shoulder; I helped him to take off that rusty thing of half a meter from his shoulder and took him to the orphanage as fast as I could. He was strong, and incredibly after two weeks he had even recovered from the fractured shoulder, but in the following week he started getting sick, getting a fever, horrible muscle spasms and excessive sweating.
I remembered these and other symptoms get worse every day, and the nights crying after a doctor said he wouldn't survive. After long and difficult weeks, I was awakened in the middle of one night, Shun wanted to see me urgently; he said he would die soon, and while crying he asked me to be strong throughout my life, and made me promise that I would never give up to fight for what is right. After I promised him that, he smiled slightly and closed her eyes; the only family I had left now was dead and remained only in my memory.
Then I saw other moments I had in the Bao Gu Orphanage. I felt alone even in the crowd and among friends, especially when I went the second time to the Children's Day event at Jade Palace, because when I was practicing kung fu, I had the impression that Lin, Huan and Shun were there with me. When this happened, I had to hide myself from the others so they couldn't see me cry.
But after so much sadness that happened during that period of my life, I finally had a good vision of my life. I had a vision shortly after I hide to cry, where in an empty hall of the Jade Palace I sat; but I soon stopped crying, I had heard the voices of my family, they were talking to me: "Liu, never give up!" - "Liu, be strong! We will always be by your side" - "Liu, enjoy your life and see how beautiful it is! Be happy!" - "Liu, I always believed in you and always knew that you could do anything you want! Show me that I was right!" - "Liu, you promised me! Follow your life, create dreams and perform them! And Never let anyone tell you what you can or can not do!" they told me. I stopped crying at that moment, thanked them and went to the bathroom to compose myself.
After that, I could see that I still had a lot to live and that I could be happy. So that on the same day, during the Children's Day event, I saw the Furious Five teaching other the children with determination, and soon had my first dream: to be adopted by one of the Furious Five and become one of them, afterall I always liked martial arts, and next to them I believed I'd find my place in this world. It also reminded me of when I had my first crush when I was fighting my last opponent in the Children's Day event, the final fight, and saw a very beautiful boy, a snow leopard, strong and with a deep look, called Kong.
It was simply love at first sight, I almost fainted of staring at him, but as soon as the fight started I came out of the trance. The fight lasted a few seconds, until I accidentally break his nose. It was the end of the event and of the day, so then we went back to the orphanage, where I went to apologize to him, which to my surprise he accepted without problems. Days passed, we became friends, the friendship grew, until one day he took me around the riverbank and gave me a slow and sweet kiss, and asked me in dating. For a long time I didn't feel alone anymore, thanks to our love; we were very happy.
But as nothing that is good lasts forever, three years later, during another Children's Day event, we were the finalists of the tournament, again. I always beat him, but this time something different and strange happened. Kong looked different, he was a serious and furious somehow, and when the fight began he attacked me as if I were his enemy. I dodged nimbly, was afraid to hit him, in the fight it was forbidden to face-contact, and he was trying to hit mostly in my face. I asked him to stop and take more care, but he would not listen, so I found myself forced to defend myself, and I ended up winning after a long combat.
Then, when we were returning to the Bao Gu Orphanage, I asked what happened. He rudely told me that he couldn't stand living next to someone better at kung fu than him, and that I had destroyed the purpose of his life, which was to be a kung fu master one day. I apologized to him several times, but he refused to accept, and even tried to hit me. I defended myself, broke his nose again and told him to never even look at me again.
It was hard finishing our dating, but it didn't matter much for me anymore, I wouldn't bring this sadness in my life, after all I also had my best friend, Tuggsy, to keep me company and make me happy. But after this vision came the memory of one of the best moments of my life, the coming of Master Tigress to the Bao Gu Orphanage. It was just a dream coming true, knowing that my room was her old room, sleeping in the same room, and our farewell after she had to return to the Jade Palace. Sometimes remembering this still make me cry.
But what shocked me most in my own flashback, was remembering when I was in the start of the staircase of the Jade Palace, after me being adopted, I looked up and saw that my dream had finally come true, and front of me was my foster mother, Tigress, reaching out to me for taking me up there.
Whenever I remembered this, I get thrilled. And to my surprise, after I have seen her reaching out to me, I opened my eyes, and she was there. The flashback was interrupted by I'm still alive, so I raised my hand slowly toward my mother, she held my hand and then pulled gently twice a rope that she was holding with the other hand, and we were pulled up.
We quickly arrived to the surface. But one thing scared me, I tried to breathe, but I couldn't. I put my hands in my throat and felt that my lungs and trachea were filled with water, and I couldn't expel that water so I could breathe, I went into despair.
The water level had risen and it had reached the height of the bridge where we were, so my mom raised her arm and Po helped to put us on the bridge. I was squirming by breathlessness, until Master Shifu turned me belly up.
"Don't move, Liu!" he asked me. I did my best to continue with my belly up and looking up, and then I saw that he left his fingers and hands, flat.
He struck quick blows to my stomach, my ribs, just above my chest, and once in my throat, I felt my body go limp and instantly relieved, then my eyes widened. Shifu turned me aside, and soon after I coughed, long and repeatedly to expel all the water that was suffocating me.
I could finally breathe. I sat down and took several deep breaths to try to catch my breath. I was dizzy and a little nauseous, then I looked around and heard others sigh of relief when they saw that I was fine. My mother approached me and gave me a hug.
"Thank goodness, Liu, you are okay! Forgive me for this...I...for my sake you almost died" she said and hugged me again.
"Wow! What a fright you gave us, Liu!" it was Peng, who apparently was fine.
"Yup! Luckily everything is fine" Shifu said then.
I was still trying to catch my breath. I felt weak, as if even to stay sit was hard, and I gradually got back to breathe normally. I heard something get out of the water and climb on the bridge, I feared it was Hirohito Li, but I realized that it was a female snow leopard hand holding the edge of the bridge, Lian's hand.
"P-phew! F-finally...I think t-this was the worst bath I've ever took...wait...LIU! Is she..." Lian was shivering. She would ask if I was okay, but before she could finish the sentence, Peng ran to her.
"LIAN!" Peng jumped in Lian to hug her and ended up knocking both into the water again.
We kept looking at that, motionless. I put my hand on my forehead again in outrage, because of his stupidity. When I saw Peng for the first time he seemed different, it seemed that it was only seen Lian, and he would changed completely, becoming even more playful than I and Po, but it was already getting out of hand.
"How cute..." my mother said wryly, then looked at me, as if she was disappointed with herself.
"Something's wrong, Mom?" I asked worried, then coughed to take out the remaining water that was in my lungs.
"Liu...I promised that I would never lose you again...and...I almost lost you...forever! Because of my mistake...you could..." she wept with sorrow, until I stop her.
"Don't apologize, mom...This was not your fault! And I also made a promise...I promised that I would be brave and fight at your side and the others, to protect peace" I said, then stood up. She looked at me and gave a small smile of pride, then hugged me.
"But anyway, what had pulled you to the bottom of the abyss, Liu?" Lian said as she climbed on the bridge with the help of Peng.
"It was that bastard, Hirohito Li! He pulled me to the bottom, hit me until I couldn't hold longer, and then when I was breathless he went away and left me to die!" I explained, with a lot of anger in my voice.
"The leader of those gorillas? But, how? A guy with that size wouldn't be able to be quick at the point that we can not even see him! Even more in the water!" Lian said, surprised.
"I also don't know how he'd done it! Since our first battle in the Valley of Peace I realized something strange about him! One moment he is just strong, then he has broken the chest of his armor and he got extremely fast...I don't understand" I remembered, and after thinking the answer, I got confused again.
"I thought you guys had defeated the gang before you find us" Peng said.
"The goons yes, but this leader that you are talking about we haven't even seen" said Master Shifu.
"Big gorilla...armor...is he..." Viper said to herself.
"Something wrong, Viper?" Po asked.
"Ah...no...there's nothing wrong! I'm just thinking out loud" she replied.
I looked at my mother again. I felt very comfortable heat inside me, it was her presence. After I saw my life pass before my eyes, I had the feeling that my life made sense and now I was even more grateful to be alive.
I gave her a loving hug and dropped a tear of happiness. She didn't understand exactly why, but hugged me too.
"What's the matter, Liu? Something wrong?" she asked in a caring tone.
"No, Mom! It's alright...everything just perfect..." I replied. She was confused, but seemed to share my happiness, then smiled.
Then I realized that the water level was rising fast, it was already on the bridge. Once we all realize it, we went out of that place as fast as we could.
We passed several runners again, but this time we had a very bad feeling. The water was not only starting to get at the knees, but also began to leave the walls. They were cracking, and by the cracks were leaving water jets that beat on our shoulders and increased the water level even faster.
I barely could walk now, afterall I recently had drowned, and had no time to catch my breath. The pain from the beating that I had taken prevented me even more from moving normally. My stomach was hurting so bad, that I had to run shuffling and with the body bent forward, ending up delaying the others.
I did my best to keep up with them, but ended up staying back, cause I could no longer move.
"H-hey! I can not ... run! Somebody help me" I said out of breath and in pain. Po stopped running and came back for me.
"Hold on! It's gonna shake a little" he put me on his right shoulder to carry me, then started running again.
We keep running until we get to a huge circular room that had a enormous spiral staircase that seemed to follow the way of the walls, leading to the exit of that place. Everyone quickly climbed except Po, who was away from the others and already in the first steps was breathless.
Po tried to keep his pace up the stairs, but as the place was breaking, a huge piece of the wall fell right in front of us, knocking down part of the stairs in front of us and unbalancing Po, which would fall into the hole below, carrying me along eventually.
The fall had more than 30 meters, and even with the water below, if we fell, the chances of dying were high. I had to think fast. While Po fall, I stood up from his shoulder, stretched my left arm to hold the edge of the other side and with great agility grabbed his hand with my right hand.
With this, I could save our lives, but then a problem occurred. I had to hold Po for he not fall, and when he hung, I felt all his weight of panda. It was like something was tearing me apart.
But the worst was that after a few seconds of trying to hold him, I felt the arm that was holding him weaken, and my shoulder dislocated. I let out a loud scream of pain.
"LIU! What happened? Are you okay?" he asked worriedly.
"AAAH! NO, PO! My shoulder...is...dislocated!" I said with a lot of pain and doing as much strength as I could to not let us fall.
"Wait, Liu! Hold on just a little longer, I'll climb you and try to pull us up" he said.
The idea might work, but Po could not climb. My arm was hurting a lot and the palm of the hand I was using to hold me on the staircase was tingling. I felt a slight dizziness, until another unexpected thing happened, the part of the staircase where my hand was began to break, and if we couldn't get out of there we would fall.
I saw that we didn't have much time, so I concentrated my best to gather my strength and forget the pain. Now it didn't matter if I was exhausted, with a dislocated shoulder and with my hand slipping from the edge, I needed to do something, and fast.
"PO! HOLD ON!" I asked. So I started using a force that neither I knew I had, and with only one arm, began to rise up slowly.
It seemed that my muscles and arteries were going to burst, a huge effort to do what was necessary, but I would not give up. So I passed my neck of the height of the staircase, then I did much more strength to move only my forearm that I was using to hold Po, lifting him until he was able to hold on staircase.
He managed to hang on, so I could release him. I felt an enormous relief, so great that it almost made me faint, but I shaked my head to remain aware. I tried to climb alone, but wasn't able to with just one arm and exhausted. After Po get up, the part of the staircase where I was holding myself broke and I fell.
"LIU!" Po shouted when he saw that I had fell.
"Leave it to me!" it was Crane, he passed by Po giving a flyby, flying towards me to save me.
I was falling upside down, then looked down and saw that I was a few feet hit the water, but Crane grabbed me by my tail before that happens.
He saved me, but I was with the whole body aching and he was holding my tail too tightly. Crane had good intentions but he was hurting me.
"Ou-ou-Ouch! CRANE, thank you for saving me and all...but please stop carring me like this! You're almost Ripping Out My Tail! AAAH" I asked, trying to hold his lean leg with my hand, to grab it and hold myself, instead of being carried that way.
"Oops! Sorry!" he apologized, then turned me around in the air to hold me by my arm that was not hurt.
Crane began to lead me up the stairs. I looked down to see if Po was okay, and I saw that my mother had come to help him. She was pulling him by the arm so he climbed faster.
"GUYS, WATCH OUT!" Monkey shouted above.
The roof was falling, and huge concrete blocks passed very close to us. Crane deflected them with agility, but our friends who were climbing the stairs were not so lucky. The blocks that fell destroyed the staircase leading up, and they were trapped. The space they had to avoid the blocks dwindled more and more, until Crane dodged a block, then we looked down and saw that it would fall upon our friends.
"NO!" I screamed, fearing that this was their end. But my concern stopped after I saw Master Shifu climb the wall, go toward the block, jump to it, and using the Touch of Silk technique (with the tip of the outstretched fingers, he lightly touched the stone), destroyed the huge block.
"Wow! Amazing!" I commented when I that.
"Ahh...Liu, I didn't want to spoil your joy, but That will not be amazing!" Crane said looking up. I looked up to see also what did he mean by that, and saw that we were really in trouble.
After part of the ceiling had fallen, we can see that within the concrete had several sticks of dynamite. The wick was getting shorter and soon all of them would explode in sync. But more blocks falling in our heads was now the least of our problems. As Peng had already told us before, d'whole place was underwater, and it was proved on that time.
Just above the stone blocks, we could see a huge amount of water fall in us. If it hit us right in the fall, would be our end, but Crane could divert, throwing us against the wall, but our problems were far from over. Within seconds, we were submerged in water.
The climb for our freedom had less than 10 meters and I had managed to hold enough air to get up to the surface, but Crane couldn't swim and was drowning, and while struggling, he pulled away from me, going to bottom of the cave again. Then an agonizing feeling came over me. I would normally be able to just swim down to him and save him, but I wouldn't be able to do this with a dislocated arm. Incidentally, after I tried to move myself to help him and see that my movements were limited, I was dubious even if I could save my own life, but I needed to save Crane.
See him thrashing from side to side, drowning and going to the bottom again, and not been able to do something was like torture. I couldn't let my friend die, so I made a great effort with just my left arm to dive, then I clung lightly around his neck and tried to hit my legs to pull us up, but it was too much weight for me to try pull.
Before that everything was lost, I felt someone pulling me by the back of my top shirt, it was Monkey and Mantis. They pulled us up to the surface, and helped us get to swim ashore. After catching my breath I looked around me to see if I could figure out where we were. I saw that the cave was d'down a huge lake, in front of me there was a grove and at distance I could see huge mountains and snow, with the sun setting on the horizon.
"Well...I think that in this direction is the Chorh-Gon prision, right?" I asked, pointing toward the mountains.
"Yup! It is more-or-less 20 kilometers from here!" Monkey replied, while making sure Crane was okay. Shortly after answering, I heard my friends coming to the surface, but I was worried.
First Master Shifu came out, then Viper and then lastly Peng and Lian, but they had already come ashore and my mom and Po hadn't left the water. Time passed and they didn't appear.
"M-Mom...Po...c'mon! Where are..." I stopped talking after listening a tree fall behind us. We all turned quickly and got in position to fight. And from the shadows of the forest came out something almost the same size as the trees, he walked slowly toward us, it was Hiroito Li.
"Well, well! It seems that you managed to escape the cave...what a unpleasant surprise! You were the first to accomplish this feat! And since you didn't die down there, I'll have to kill you with my own hands!" he said in an arrogant and confident tone, and it was disturbing. Until he stopped coming in our direction and firmly looked at just one of us, Viper. She crawled slowly and stayed ahead us.
"So, after all these years, the prison bars of Chorh-Gon could no longer hold you! You should have stayed in your cell, little guy!" Viper said to the huge gorilla, who growled in response.
"What? You know each other?" I asked, amazed and confused at the same time.
"Yes, Liu! I believe you know the stories of each of us, but since you didn't recognize him at first, let me introduce you...my first enemy...he was the villain who attacked my father when I was your age! This...is Hiroito Li!" Viper told me. That let me and others impressed. I would never have imagined that a villain from so long ago had returned to active, and much less that they knew each other.
"Spare this whole presentation! But, in fact...I remember that day like it was yesterday! The day that a miserable snake saved her dad and humiliated me in front of all of China!" he said, angrily.
"Well, I also remember, but you are totally different this time...your armor is different...and apparently the belly increased along with all the extra time, huh?" she teased. Hiroito Li was not fat, but it seemed that Viper was teasing on purpose.
"AHHHH! What did you just said?!...And YOU still an insolent brat! Well, you also changed a lot...but let's see if you still know how to dance like before, even without your pretty ribbons!" the giant gorilla threatened, then got into position to fight.
"Yes...show me your super speed! Although it won't help you" she teased again, leaving Hiroito Li furious.
We all fixed our feet on the ground, knowing that he was going to attack, but Viper didn't. That was very strange, she usually doesn't irritate her opponents before fighting, or had so much confidence. Viper seemed to know what she was doing, but things seemed to be going out of range, our enemy was very strong, so that even the Dragon Warrior and Peng couldn't defeat him. How she intended to defeat that huge gorilla, was still a mystery.
Hiroito Li leaned to the side and then we could only see his figure disappear from the front. He hadn't gone our way, he went into the forest and began to run from one side to the other. To know where he was, it was necessary to pay attention to the sounds of breaking branches and leaves flying in the wind. He even passed in front of Viper, but you could only see the smoke trail, and the scariest part was that she remained motionless.
"Wow! This speed is not normal! Even more for a guy his size!" Shifu said surprised.
"It's true! How can he be so fast? It's almost impossible to track his movements" Crane said.
"Well...I remember that when the guards came for him in my village, they could barely lift him off the ground, so we had to take him to prison in a cart! In prison, his armor proof-poison couldn't be removed, and he was arrested along with it...but I think that this is other armor, and he had stole it! Yes! This one is a prototype that was being done for the Emperor"
"And what of special this armor has?" asked Mantis, while accompanying Hiroito Li, who was running through the woods.
"The Emperor asked to be made a new armor for him, the most resistant to any kind of attack that was within reach of chinese hands! So after a long time and joining several different metals, blacksmiths were finally able to make a tough enough armor to resist even to a shot from close distance of the most powerful cannon of our armies, and still stay intact! I'm still impressed that Liu, Peng and Po managed to destroy much of it" she explained.
"Wow...but...what does this have to do with his incredible speed?" asked Monkey.
"Well, if we think that it is made of various metals, which is large enough to be used by our little friend, and how stiff it is...surely it must have at least a ton! Incredibly he managed to use it and practice kung fu with it, and when he took all that weight of the body, after years without having taken it off, he acquired this speed" Shifu explained.
"And this combined with his colossal strength, makes him an extraordinary warrior!" said Mantis.
"How can we defeat a guy like him?" said Lian.
"That's easy!" Viper crept forward a bit more after answering, then put the tail on the path that Hiroito Li would pass. He ran, and after stumbling on her tail, he rolled at high speed and stopped after hitting a tree with his back. We laughed.
"Hahaha...Oh! Damn, my arm is still hurting..." I stopped laughing because of the pain. I put my hand on my dislocated shoulder to relieve pain, then stopped to think that I should do something about my dislocated shoulder, after all I would be fighting soon, and the lack of an arm would be a big problem.
"Well, before we start the real fight, I want you know a simple thing to beat him: he is fast and strong, but he is easily angered, and it disturbs him a lot during the fight! Make him stumble was just for fun...however...you can not beat him in a fight hand-to-hand combat, to defeat him, we need to use his own movements!" she explained.
"But how are we going to hit or knock him, if we can't even see him?" I asked, having no idea how she hoped we'd be able to do what she said.
"When he is running we can't see him very well, but he has to slow down when he is close to us, if he doesn't he wouldn't manage to hit the scams and wouldn't be able to fight!" she answered, intimating that it would be easy to do.
"And about you, Liu, stay behind the others to don't hurt yourself! You will not fight!" said Master Shifu. I got outraged by that.
"WHAT?! Why? It's more than my duty to defeat this guy! And I'm not hurt up to the point of not fig...Ouch!" I tried to convince him that I was able to fight, but the truth was that I was in pain and knew I had no conditions to fight. I couldn't accept that the pain would stop me from helping my friends.
"That was not a question, Liu! You're in no condition to fight! If you try to fight an enemy like this gorilla with only one arm, you can end up hurting yourself even more! And your mother would kill us all if that happen..." Master Shifu replied, taking a small shiver to think of my mother when she's angry.
"...Ah! Okay! I will...VIPER, WATCH OUT!" I yelled to warn her, after seeing Hiroito Li coming our way, ready to strike with a punch squarely on her. Then I had the impression of seeing everything in slow motion. Viper turned to the big gorilla, curled around his arm that he would use to punch her, broke loose to hit with the tip of the tail in his face, with great agility grabbed his wrist and pulled him in the opposite direction of the movement, doing a belly flop and come towards us, rolling.
We jumped out of the way of that big ball of fur, and after bouncing three times on the water he sank in the lake, 10 meters from where we were.
"Wow! Incredible" I praised. Viper smiled in response.
"Incredible, Viper! Then we only need to use locking techniques and then attack! This fight won't take long to end!" Peng said with confidence.
After looking at the lake again, I remembered that Po and my mother hadn't risen to the surface yet. I was very worried. They were just a little behind the others in the cave, but even so they should have already managed to climb to the surface. Without realizing it, I had walked to the lake shore and was looking at it's bottom. Then I saw something swimming in my direction, by the size it seemed to be Po, but I was terribly wrong.
It was Hiroito Li, who was swimming towards me, but before I could escape, he quickly swam up to me and gave me a powerful punch on the chin, throwing me into the air and away from my friends. I fell back on the floor, and then, with difficulty, looked at the lake and saw the trail of water from the gorilla who had done a great jump out of the water.
Then I looked up and saw that he was above me, and after falling he would give me another punch. I wouldn't have time to dodge, but Crane flew towards Hiroito Li, after doing his typical cackling, and did a powerful side blow with his wing, making the gorilla be thrown away from me.
"You okay, Liu?" he asked. I agreed nodding my head. My jaw was hurting a lot, luckily I had not bitten my tongue. I tried to get up, but I forgot that my shoulder was dislocated and when I went to support my arm on the ground, I fell back on the floor again.
"Ouch! Ah...Darn it!" I said, with pain. That shoulder was bothering me most for preventing me from moving than by the pain. Mantis and Crane stayed in front of me to protect me.
"Let's put an end on this! Crane, Mantis, protect Liu while we take care of it! Peng, Lian, get ready to do the final blow when we give the signal! The others come with me, let's avail that the Chorh-Gom Prison is near and let's take a little something to the guards!" said Master Shifu, coordinating what each should do.
"Right!" everyone said together, but me. As it seemed, my first mission would end like this, me with a dislocated shoulder, without having fought in the most important moment and coming home carried by someone, because my legs were shaking by having to support my whole body aching.
Viper, Monkey and Master Shifu went on the attack. Hiroito Li tried to hit the first blow, using a double punch to hit Viper and Master Shifu, but each one dodged, grabbed the forearm of the gorilla, parted to opposite sides and caused him to be with open arms, opening his guard by complete. Thus, Monkey took the chance and went on the attack, first doing a backflip and hitting a kick to the face of the gorilla, then he did a series of quick punches on the belly, and finally he dodged a side kick of the gorilla, rolling beneath his legs, to finally make a traditional stroke, pulling the underwear of the enemy almost to shoulder length.
Monkey moved away laughing, but it obviously left Hiroito Li very angry. He had to kneel because of the pain in the butt and after putting his underwear in the right place he let out a roar of anger.
"AAAAH! YOU MISERABLE! I WILL NOT FORGIVE YOU FOR THIS! AFTER I BEAT YOU, I WILL TAKE YOU AND HANG YOU BY YOUR UNDERWEAR ON A MAST TO MAKE YOU PAY FOR YOUR STUPIDITY!" he shouted angrily. We laughed, and Monkey laughed even more.
"What an amazing idea! It would be the best prank ever! One day I'll try this idea, thank you! Wow...and I was thinking that only I thought these kinds of shenanigans" he said, further irritating the gorilla.
Hiroito Li hit several times in his chest and roared, and when he'd run with his super speed to hit Monkey, he fell flat on his face. Viper had held his foot.
"It's more funny in the Second time! Hahaha" she said.
I would have laughed together, but my preoccupation with my mother and the Dragon Warrior was too big, I couldn't stop thinking about it, and how others simply didn't realize or even seemed to be worried.
"Something's wrong, Liu? You look worried! Why do you keep looking at the lake?" said Crane.
"Of course I'm worried, Crane! My mother and Po haven't got out of this lake yet! How you didn't notice it?! Po and Tigress are your friends and live with you for years, then How do you simply just don't care?" I asked, now even more indignant with the nonchalance of them.
"Of course we're friends a long time, Liu! And we're not worried because we Know they are fine" said Mantis with tranquility.
"But how can you know that they're okay if they're not here and ..." I'd ask, but I stopped after listening Peng shouting while flying in my direction. He had been struck by the gorilla, and ended up hitting me, knocking us both.
"Ouch...This guy...he's strong! Damn! We'll have to try it again just because I missed the final blow" Peng blamed himself.
"Peng...I regret that you missed the blow, but that's no reason for you to stay on top of me and leaning ON MY SHOULDER WHICH IS DISPLACED!" I screamed in pain.
"Ops! Sorry!" he apologized, then helped me stand up, but he grabbed me by the wrong arm.
"PEEENG! Your pushover! That's my arm that's hurt! Go on, help the others before you hurt me again!" I said nervously. Peng seemed to be making nonsenses of purpose, and that's what pissed me off. He gave a shy laugh in apology, then ran to the fight again.
The others were galling Hiroito Li a lot and striking him with speed, using the Viper' tips. When the gorilla became dizzy, they gave the signal to Peng to do the final blow that would end the fight. Peng ran towards him, but when he was close to give the final blow, Hiroito Li fell back and smashed Peng. We were all looking at that with great indignation.
"Oh really?! Nor would I be crushed like that!" said Mantis with irony.
"AH! What a heck, Peng! You were not fighting like this in the Valley of Peace! Stop making jokes near Lian and start fighting for real!" I said indignated. Then the gorilla got up slowly and looked at us.
"ENOUGH! I've never been so humiliated since the day I lost a fight for this talking noodle! Now you will feel the wrath of my true power!" he said, referring to the Viper. And as I watched from a distance, Mantis rose on my shoulder.
"Liu, you had said that your shoulder was dislocated?" he asked me.
"...Yes...some time ago...why?" I asked then. Soon after I reply, Mantis stroke a pressure point on my shoulder three times, then jumped to the ground.
"...Sorry, but I guess it didn't work" I said, but without having noticed, I raised my arms to stretch myself.
"Well, what a pity! Apparently you're too tired to fight" he said ironically, but I didn't understand.
"Tired to fight? What do you mean..." I'd ask, but I realized that I was scratching my head with my right hand. He had put my shoulder back in place. I jumped in joy, thanked him quickly and went running towards that gorilla that I so wanted to fight, but Crane stepped lightly on my tail, preventing me from going.
"Nope! You stay here, as Master Shifu said!" he told me.
"Oooh...Please! I need this fight! Don't you understand? He must pay for what he did with us, and is a matter of honor that it's me who defeat him! I failed in my mission to protect the Valley of Peace...the least I should do now is defeat him" I blurted. Crane and Mantis, looked at each other as if they knew how I felt. They would say something, but the thunderous sound of the roar of Hiroito Li turned our eyes to him.
He had roar loudly, until his voice get almost hoarse. Then he used his super speed to get away from others. Then, an unforeseen happened, a counterattack, Hiroito Li reacted to the attacks he was taking. He first attacked Lian, throwing her into the forest, then gave a powerful punch on Peng's belly, making him faint instantly; then grabbed Monkey by the tail and threw him against a boulder, causing the stone crack in half and Monkey stayed on the ground moaning in pain; then he attacked Master Shifu with a punch in the face, throwing him several feet up.
"Master Shifu!" Exclaimed Crane worried, then quickly flew towards him for not letting he fall on the ground, but soon after picking him up a few feet off the ground, Hiroito Li jumped up and slapped both hands together at the back of Crane , throwing him and Master Shifu on the ground and opening a small hole in it.
"Master Shifu! Crane!" me and Mantis shouted. Then we noticed that all who had been struck were passed out.
"You bastard!" Viper came toward Hiroito Li, with hatred. She managed to dodge a lot of the gorilla's scams, but couldn't hit him even a single blow. After a few seconds, the gorilla grabbed Viper by the tip of her tail and threw her against the floor, very violently, tearing a hole in the ground where she had been thrown.
"NOOOOO!" Mantis shouted as he ran to help Viper. He jumped into the giant villain shoulders and hit several crippling blows across the arm holding Viper. The giant free her. After helping his friend, Mantis hit a powerful kick in the face of the gorilla.
But the gorilla would fulfill about what he had said. After being struck, Hiroito Li quickly grabbed Mantis, squeezed him with all his strength and then threw him against the ground, crushing him. When he took his hand off him, I saw that Mantis had also been defeated and now was passed out. Only I was standing on that battlefield now.
"NO! ENOUGH! Up to now the others had prevented me from fighting, but I've already seen my friends suffer too much! I won't allow you to win this battle...NEVER!" I yelled, running toward him. Actually, I didn't know exactly what I would do to defeat him, but I couldn't stand staring at my friends getting hurt, and do nothing.
But I was careless, leaving hatred take care of me, and that is dangerous during a fight of life-or-death. I wanted so much just break each of the bones of that gorilla, that I didn't even realize that he could also attack me anytime. I jumped after running to strike with a punch on him, but he was too fast, and then he addition to diverting, landed a powerful punch in my stomach, leaving me hanging around his fist and making me breathless.
That punch seemed to have ripped my guts, by how strong it was. Then he grabbed my head with the other hand and threw me away from him.
"HAHAHA! You really think you can beat me? How foolish you are! Even the greatest warriors of All China couldn't, then why are you still trying, fearful kitten?" he asked sarcastically after laughing.
"Because...because...it's my duty to protect...China...and my friends!...I won't give up...until you are beaten...even if it cost the my life" I explained, with pain and breathlessness. That made him laugh harder.
"Let's see if you will laugh after That, big guy!" Viper stood up, grabbed herself in the neck of Hiroito Li and started to squeeze his throat with all her strength. The big gorilla tried to pull her away while struggling, but he couldn't, and as he tried to free himself, Viper squeezed even more.
Hiroito Li's face began to get blue and saliva was falling from his mouth, until he was becoming increasingly breathless and stood knee. Viper still doing more and more strength to tighten his throat, until the gorilla didn't have more strength to try to loosen her, and then he fell on his face, unconscious. Breathless, Viper loosened him and tried to catch her breath.
"YEAH, VIPER! You did it!" I celebrated, doing Viper try to smile while breathing deeply to catch her breath. But the moment of happiness ended when I saw that Hiroito Li opened one eye and stood up quickly.
"TAKE THAT!" he shouted as he raised one arm to give impetus to the punch he would use to hit Viper. She turned, but wasn't fast enough to dodge, and the gorilla hit right over her head, burying her in the ground.
"VIPER!" I exclaimed, after seeing her head buried in the ground. She had contorted her body after being hit, but one thing worried me even more. Viper's body went limp, but not as if she had fainted, she appeared to be dead. She didn't move anymore and didn't even do a noise.
"No! I will not laugh at that, talking noodle! You almost killed me, but for sure a reason to laugh is how naive you were thinking that you had defeated me! Hahahahaha!" he laughed then.
That was the last straw. I couldn't believe that that bastard now hadn't only hurt one of my friends, but he had taken the life of someone important to me. My anger was so great that I couldn't control myself.
"V-Viper...no! No...NO! Damn It! I won't forgive you for this! DISAPPEAR!" I yelled with sadness and then anger, and then used the technique that Po taught me, the Thundering Wind Hammer, spinning at high speed without going anywhere until it forms a dark blue ball of energy in my hand and then throwing it in my enemy.
The technique would be accurate, but Hiroito Li used his super speed and dodged from my sphere of energy. The dark blue sphere went towards the forest, and the blow, made a strong wind that destroyed the trees that were a distance of 5 meters. After dodging, the big gorilla walked away from me and stood at a distance of 30 meters.
"Nice shot! Now it's My turn!" he said. That certainly wouldn't be good, I knew what he had in mind.
He began doing moves of tai chi at an amazing speed, and then raised his right hand above his head, thus making the Mongolian Fireball. That fireball was growing more and more, until it get with the same size as the body of Hirohito Li. The last time he did that technique, he defeated me, Peng and the Dragon Warrior, only seeing it again, I already felt a chill.
He threw it against me. With the lake behind me and the speed he threw the big ball of fire, I wouldn't be able to escape; I stretched my arms forward in hopes of stopping the technique. Then I came across a scene that seemed to happen in slow motion, my mother and Po did a great jump out of the lake until they get two meters above me, and the two together swirled in the air in a great speed to do the Thundering Wind Hammer.
"TRY THIS HERE!" they shouted together, then threw the ball of energy at the fireball. The spheres of Po and Tigress (green and red, respectively) joined in one sphere, which get a yellow color, then went through the fireball and disintegrated it, heading toward Hiroito Li.
"NOOO" he moaned just before being hit. The ball of my mother and Po hurled the gorilla by several meters inland the forest, then caused a huge burst of energy with more than 20 feet high; it was simply an extraordinary attack, leaving a large crater in the ground to prove.
After the explosion, I felt that the two held on my shoulder.
"Liu, are you okay?" they said in sync. I stared at them for a few seconds and then hugged them; my concern had now ended.
"Yup! I'm fine, and much better now! Wow...you left me worried! Why were you hiding in the lake and didn't help us before?" I asked.
"On a mission, it's very important that you always have someone to give strengthen if things get bad, Liu" Po explained with a smile.
"Since everyone had left the lake before us, we find it would be to wait in the lake if there was any ambush, then we hide! After we saw that only the big guy was up here, we only left the lake when we saw you were in trouble!" my mother continued.
"Well...you...could have come a little sooner, y'know!" said Viper, with much pain, no been able to lift her head. After her, the others also agreed, but none of them could stand up. I smiled with joy when I saw that everyone was fine, especially when I saw that Viper wasn’t dead.
"Oh...wait a minute! How you two managed to stay underwater so long?...I know there's a specific technique to hold your breath longer, but still you wouldn't be able to stay down there throughout our battle!" I questioned, confused.
"Hehehe...well, that's true! We would never be able to stay underwater for so long! Not to mention that I can't hold my breath as well as your mother, and that's why..." Po was explaining, but after looking at my mother, who was watching him with a death glare, he stopped telling me. Po looked just so cheerful, somehow strange even for him.
"Shut up! If you tell someone what happened, I swear I'll make you swallow you tongue!" she threatened in a cool, low tone, that only the three of us listened. Po tried to contain a laugh, but he couldn't. I was even more confused.
"Hehehe...Viper! Let me help you" Po walked to Viper to help her, still laughing. Then, my mother approached me.
"I'm pretty sure he'll tell you, Liu! Just...know that it's not true...I didn't like it...Ops! I mean ...uh...Tell me if he tells you something!" she tried to explain herself, very ashamed. Then she went towards Master Shifu and the others.
"Hah?!...Well...okay?!" I confirmed, still a little confused. I looked at her going in the other direction, and I ended up seeing another thing that left me stunned.
Hiroito Li hobbled out of the forest, slowly. He had many scratches and burns throughout the body. But the point was that he was alive, even after an amazing combination of power used in one destructive technique. Nobody would be able to survive something like that and still come back to fight.
"...HAHA! You will need much more than only an attack to defeat The Great Hiroito Li! The most powerful warrior of all China!" he said after a sarcastic laugh.
We all looked at it in amazement. It was hard to believe that the battle wasn't over yet. The others tried to get up to continue fighting, but couldn't.
"It can't be...this guy...is he immortal?!" said Po. He and my mother stood side-by-side and entered their positions to fight, staying in front of me to defend me. I wasn't going to let they keep protecting me this time, so I get beside my mother and also got into fighting position.
"Liu, stay behind us! This is too dangerous for you!" she ordered me.
"Sorry, mom...but I Can't just stand behind someone longer and see my friends get hurt! I'm going to fight!" I said firmly.
The problem was that after I say it, a large figure went too fast around us, and after it disappeared, Po had been struck in the stomach and thrown in the lake again; with such force that he bounced in the water five times before sinking. Hiroito Li was using his super speed to continue fighting even after being seriously injured. My mother and I were worried about that, then we stayed back to one another to protect ourselves.
When the huge gorilla's figure passed, only a small trail of dust lay on the ground. I looked around and couldn't see which direction he would attack us, until I felt my mom grab me by my wrist and throw me away from her. I didn't understand why, but then I raised my head and saw that she put both arms in front of her face to defend herself. The gorilla would attack us both by our side and we were not going to get astray.
She chose to save me and take the hit alone. Then something worrying, Hiroito Li hit her in the belly with all his colossal strength. His fist sank both on her belly, that it was possible to see the shape of his huge hand on my mother's back. She gave a great groan of pain and then fell to the ground.
"TIGRESS!!!" the others shouted, concerned. I also was going to scream, but the words stuck in my mouth. Seen that, was a great shock to me, I couldn't take my eyes of my mother, now on the floor.
"...Damn...I'm running out of strength...looks like I'll have to eat my last energy mochi...just to finish off this brat...and those other trash... Ah! Whatever" I heard him saying while breathing deeply to catch his breath, then he took a white mochi inside a small leather pouch and began to eat it.
"Ah...Damn It!...I'm Pathetic!...Completely Pathetic" I said to myself, closing my fists tightly, in anger. My friends were shocked with what I said.
"Don't blame yourself, Liu...none of this is your fault" Master Shifu tried to console me as he tried to get up, but I didn't give much attention to him, a horrible feeling of guilt and hatred overtook me. I couldn't think of other things at that moment but my weakness and mistakes.
"How can I be so Useless!...WHAT THE HECK! I WANTED TO BE STRONGER!" I exclaimed, then punched the ground with all my strength.
"I find that very difficult to happen! Hehe!" said my enemy while eating his mochi.
"My friends are bruised...unable to continue fighting...and it's My Fault!...I wasn't able to protect them! All I did was...hurt myself...let my friends give their blood to protect me...and...I did NOTHING FOR THEM" I screamed with hatred, then punched the ground again. And then something scared everyone, right after I punch the ground a thunder sounded in the distance.
Something strange was happening, the sky began to darken, on the horizon it was visible thunderous lightnings, and a warm breeze passed over the place.
"Uh?...Damn it! I did not bring my umbrella" Hiroito Li said without worrying what was happening. But my friends, they were all still and looking around at all what was happening, after all, that wasn't normal.
"I...I don't believe that I could just...let something like this happen!...Now...for My Family...for my adoptive mother, Tigress...for My Friends...I'll show that I'm Not Worthless! I'll show what I Really Can Do!...I WILL FINISH WITH YOU OFF, HIROITO LI" I screamed with hatred as I tried to get up slowly, then stared blankly at my enemy. A ray fell wildly in the forest behind us, starting a small fire and being followed by several others. The thunders sounded like big explosions and it seemed there was a big static in the sky, with various electrical crackling.
I felt something strange inside me. When I stood, I couldn't just move, my body felt so heavy, but not because I was injured but because I feel a great energy flowing through my body. It was as if my body was going through some transformation, something was changing inside me. I growled as I saw my enemy quietly eating his energetic mochi, but no matter how much I wanted to rip him in half or break his neck, I just let that strange energy flow through my body. My anger was so great that I squeezed my hands more and more, until I felt the palm of my left hand bleed, and when I look at it, I got very surprised with what I've seen.
My hand was on fire. A kind of blue fire was doing a contour around my entire hand, but it was not burning me. After I saw it, I looked at the rest of my body and saw that the same fire that had the same color of my chi (dark blue), encircled my whole body, and the cut on the palm of my hand started to heal, and in a few seconds longer, it didn't even look like I had hurt myself. Everyone stared at me with astonishment.
"W-WHAT? WHAT THE HECK IS THIS?! Y-you're on fire! Why are you on fire?!" Hiroito Li asked stammering with fear. When I looked at him again, I felt that my pupil become long and thin, like of a poisonous snake, and squinted to face him.
"I have no idea how this is happening or what it is, the only thing I know now is that I'll end this fight here and right now! And You Gonna Fall" I said coldly, then dragged my right foot back to get into a simple fight position, just with my firm legs and with eyes fixed on my enemy. Another lightning struck very close to us.
"Do not be so confident! It does no matter that you've changed your appearance, you're still the same brat and I will still destroy you!...Since you fond of fire, then Try THIS!" he said and then exclaimed, throwing the Mongolian Fireball in my direction.
Something strange happened. I felt no fear when I saw that big ball of fire coming towards me, or even bother of moving myself to dodge the attack, it was like I didn't feel threatened by it. I was confident that I would be able to defend myself of that attack, so I just stretched my left hand forward to hold the ball of fire. Incredibly, after it touches the palm of my hand the Mongolian Fireball seemed to have vanished, leaving only a circular trail of smoke. Everyone stared at me with even more amazement after that. I looked at the palm of my hand, I felt no pain and didn't hurt myself.
"Wow! What...what was that?" I asked myself, impressed with my accomplishment.
"WHAT?! This is...Impossible! W-who are you?" Hiroito Li asked, the most amazed of all. I closed my fists in anger to answer.
"I'm...your worst nightmare..." I replied. Actually, I didn't know what to answer, but I always wanted to say this phrase during a fight. I felt like laughing, but if I laugh, the phrase wouldn't be so cool.
The gorilla didn't like my answer, then growled in answer and went on the attack with his super speed. Before, I couldn't follow his movements, but after that fire appeared on my body and my eyes have changed, I could clearly see his movements.
He tried to attack me with a right punch, staring at my face. Viper had told us to attack him using his own movements, but this because it wasn't possible to see him before. When he was almost hitting the punch at me, I just averted my head down and gave him a punch in the belly.
I haven't even left my place. It was a simple counterattack punch, but for the big gorilla it was much more than that. Even if I hadn't use much strength, the blow was accurate in the kidney region, a punch in this region is very painful. So much pain, Hiroito Li came to drool as he moaned in pain. The saliva fell on my ear, but when it touched the flame that was around me, it evaporated instantly. After the blow, he gradually moved away from me, dropped to his knees and put his hands in the battered region.
He wasn't exaggerating, the blow had really been very strong. It seemed that the technique I was using gave me an incredible strength. Now I would use this ability to defeat my enemy with ease. My friends had managed to get up, even my mother was leaning on the shoulder of Crane, and now were seeing me fight at a distance, but I didn't see Po.
"OOOouch...ouch! You freaking kid!...Damn...I think that energetic mochi didn't have much effect! Now I can't even fight this little girl" he lamented, as he gasped in pain.
"Don't blame the poor mochi! It isn't it's fault if you are no longer able to fight! Accept, you lost this fight, and will finally pay for all the pain you caused" I said in answer, but he didn't seem to have heard me.
"No...I am not going back to that disgusting prison! Listen, frightened kitten, you got really strong and won this fight...but I will back! I'll come back with a new armor and more soldiers! And when I return, I will destroy you and all the Valley of Peace! So I am warning you and these other fools, be prepared for when that happens" he said, turning his back to me, as if he was going to leave.
"HEY! Don't turn your back on me! This fight isn't over yet! And you won't get away this way" I said, preparing to run after him if he tried to escape.
"HA! You speak as if you could stop me" he replied, still with his back to me, then I saw he was going to use his super speed to escape.
I felt a revulsion when he told me that. Whether he was faster than me, I wouldn't let him escape, and follow him wherever I needed, only to make justice and to do my duty. So another lightning passed near us, I ran to try to prevent him from escaping, and again a strange thing happened, my body seemed very light and I hadn't noticed before. When I ran, I almost tripped and, almost without even realizing, had already passed by him. My distance until he was 8 meters, but before I knew or could stop, I hit my face in a tree in the forest. It all took a little over a second.
"Ouch! Damn...who placed this tree here?" I wondered wryly, then shook my head and looked at Hiroito Li again.
"Well...that changes things..." he said to himself, then used his super speed, passing me and going into the forest. I followed, now also using a similar speed. I climbed one of the trees and jumped from one tree to another with enough agility and speed, and in a few seconds I reached him.
"It's time to stop running, comrade! The prison is in the other way, but you have a fight to finish Here and Right Now!" I said as I followed him, then jumped over the trees and when I fell I kicked the gorilla's back.
He rolled a few meters to stop. When he stood up, I saw a scorched mark on the part where my foot had hit. The moment he turned, I ran up to him, jumped over him with a backflip, and when he turned again I hit him in the chest with the palm of my hand.
The blow instantly left him gasping for air, then he was thrown far away. I ran after him again to continue the fight. While he was rolling and doing somersaults backwards, I ran, passed by him, and while still rolling I hit a kick on his back, throwing him ten meters up. I crouched to pick up more momentum to jump, and amazingly I reached the point where the gorilla was, then I gave him a knee to the stomach still in the air, and throwed him a little higher.
When I would fall to the ground, I used the momentum to jump again, and this time when Hiroito Li was falling I gave the strongest punch I could on his face, throwing him towards my friends, who had to jump to avoid being crushed by a huge gorilla. Wasting no time, when I just fell on the ground I ran towards him to continue the fight.
"What...what is that?" said Monkey.
"How can she fight like this? It's hard even to see what is happening! How is it possible, Master Shifu?" Viper asked. The others stared at their master, wanting to know the answer, but he turned serious for a moment. Everyone got worried.
When I was approaching Hiroito Li, he tried to attack me with a left punch while going to get up. To dodge, I jumped on his forearm, hold myself with my hand on his arm and then used the momentum speed to kick him in the face. The blow lifted him off the ground, then I quickly stood up a front him, and using all my speed with this new technique of mine, I made a series of punches across all his body.
I managed to hit him with incredible speed, so that the others were almost cross-eyed trying to follow my movements, but it seemed to me, in a way, slowly. I struck him across his body, 15 punches in one second. Every time my fist struck the big gorilla, a burn mark was marked where I had hit.
He leaned forward breathlessly, then I did it a whirl in the air, and with my left foot I kicked in his right ear, darting him away from me. He rose slowly moaning in pain, but with a lot of anger in his eyes. With one swift movement, he ran toward me with his super speed, I haven't had time to react, so I just closed my eyes to prepare myself for the blow.
After a few seconds without having felt anything, I opened my eyes and I had a surprise. The gorilla tried to hit me a punch in the belly, he had indeed hit, but I hadn't felt it. He tried to do the next blow with even more strength to see if I would at least push a little backwards, but still without success.
"Wow! You mean that I'm not only stronger and faster, I also have a kind of extra protection while using this technique?! This is Awesome! What do you think about it, fool?" I said in surprise, then grimaced at the gorilla.
"AH, SHUT UP!" he shouted, then kicked in my left ear. Again, I didno't move and neither felt the blow. A laugh a lot with that.
But after Hiroito Li let out a big growl, I went into defensive position. He tried to hit me several punches, alternating between right and left, which I just dodged going to the opposite side of the blow. He was gradually increasing the speed of the blows, and also began using kicks. He was as fast as me to fight, so to not risk that my protection of fire fail and I get injured, I started using my hands, wrists and forearms to block the sequence of strokes.
I could easily defend myself, but as I was in a defensive position, nor realized that I was walking backwards, and was almost falling into the lake. When there were a few inches for me to fall, I jumped over Hiroito Li and used a backflip as the impetus to give a kick to his chin as he turned. The gorilla was thrown three meters up and went into the lake, but before that happens he somersaulted in the air to stand and did something amazing, he used his super speed and started running on water.
"Wow! You mean that with this super speed it's possible to walk on water ?! This is Awesome! Now it's my turn" I said excited, couldn't wait to also walk on water. I prepared to run, but at the time I was about to run, I tripped on my foot and fell into the lake.
"HaHa! Gone bad, brat!" Hiroito Li provoked me as he ran by the big lake. I climbed out of the water and on land again.
"Really? Then binds this, little guy!" I ran towards him, and this time I could run on water successfully. Hiroito Li was coming in my direction, and to attack him, I slipped on water, supporting me with my right hand on the water and stretching my left leg forward, making the big gorilla stumble and pass above me.
He whirled in the air after hitting him, but again he made a pirouette to stand and then kept running. I don't understand why he did it the second time, after all we both were able to walk on water. After I slid, I realized that my hand and foot began to sink slowly.
"LIU! Do not stop running! Is your super speed that is making you stay on water! If you stop running soon you are going to sink!" Master Shifu shouted from afar.
With a quick motion I obeyed my master, and ran again to catch Hiroito Li. He changed the direction he was running and came towards me to attack me. By far, gave a great leap, and after giving some pirouettes in the air, prepared to give an elbow on his head. He put his hand above his head to defend himself, and when he did it, I pulled his forearm up, opening his guard, and I kicked him in the spine.
He was paralyzed with pain for a while, I ran to the land and when I just skidded on the grass I saw him sinking in the lake. My friends and my mother celebrated from afar and said how that all was amazing, but I had a strange feeling that the battle wasn't over. My eyes were fixed on the lake, where Hiroito Li had sunk. The water seemed agitated at the bottom of the lake, then I remembered something that instantly made me very worried, Po.
He was hiding underwater since that moment that he was struck by the gorilla, trying to ambush or appear when someone was in trouble. But Po's plans ended very wrong. Po's body was thrown from the lake toward me at an enormous speed, I jumped to divert and saw that he was unconscious. The body of our friend went reeling until stop next to the others.
"PO!" they shouted and ran to verify if the Dragon Warrior was fine. Po was immobile, unreactive, and Master Shifu was see if he could hear his heart. I was looking at them from afar, I felt something like if that flame around me was growing, and a great desire to kill my enemy came over me. I gritted my teeth, furious.
The movements around me seemed very slow, I was able to clearly see the blinking of the eyes of concern of my friends, and without turning around,I heard Hiroito Li get out of the lake with a big jump. The water droplets that fell evaporated in me, and when I just heard that, I turned to face the huge gorilla that would punch me in the face.
Without great difficulty I held the right hand of Hiroito Li with my left hand, stopping the punch and making the bones of his fingers snap. I wanted to end that fight once and for all.
"This time you went too far! Now you're going to pay for all your crimes and all what you did with my friends!" I said with a menacing tone. Hiroito Li stared into my eyes and almost paralyzed in fear.
I pulled him by the wrist with my right hand, causing his arm to pass in front of my belly, then gave a powerful punch on his elbow with my left hand while still holding his wrist. The blow broke his elbow, making the arm turn to the opposite side. The gorilla groaned and let out a loud cry of pain.
After that he tried to give me, incredibly, a rotational kick with the left leg. I let him hit me in the chest, after all I wouldn't feel anything, and when he just hit me I grabbed his leg against my belly and gave a strong elbow on his knee. Another member was made useless, so now the right elbow and left knee were broken. Hiroito Li fell sitting on the floor, groaning and agonizing in pain.
Although he was no longer able to fight, to me that fight was far from over. All the pain, fear and destruction that he caused wouldn't be forgiven so easily. I walked slowly up to him, grabbed him firmly by the neck and dragged slowly forward so that he was on his knees and I could face him face to face.
"Ouch...ouch... (sigh of relief from pain*)...hehehe! And now, brat?" he said sarcastically, putting his hand on the ground for support. I kicked his wrist, breaking it, then grabbed his throat with my left hand to suffocate him again shortly after him screaming in pain.
"You have no right to mock me, you monster! You destroyed villages! Hurt innocent people for fun! Tried to destroy what I loved the most! Tried to kill my mother and my friends! I Can't Forgive You for Everything You did! And I WON'T!" I said firmly, staring into his eyes, then lifting his head above mine and stretching my right arm back. To end it once, I was going to hit a powerful direct blow on his heart, but before I do that he interrupted me.
"Go ahead! Kill me! Show me who you really are and what you can do...oh No! I forgot...you're a frightened kitten...you're weak! You would never be able to kill your enemy...even if it was to save the lives of those you love" he teased me. The flame that surrounded my fist was bigger than before and my hatred too.
"SHUT UP!!!" I yelled, ready to strike.
"LIU, NO!" My mother shouted from afar, but it was late, I had already done what I wanted.
I stopped the blow a few inches from his chest. Hiroito Li was shaking in fear, then slowly looked down to see that he was still alive.
"HA! Gotcha...and your nose too!" I joked, after squeezing his nose. My friends and my mother were relieved that I hadn't killed the enemy, and Hiroito Li fell sideways on the floor scared and almost fainting with the pain of broken bones.
"...Wretched brat..." he said breathing deeply as if gasping for air.
"You're right, Hiroito Li! I won't kill you, because I'm not like you! I'm not a murderer, and you don't need to die, you are going to pay for what you did in the Prison" I explained. Soon afterwards he could take no more pain and ended up fainting.
But then I remembered that our problems weren't over yet. Po was still lying on the floor, unconscious. My friends had very worrying eyes, Master Shifu was trying to make a heart massage on Po to revive him, but he didn't react. Po stood motionless and without any sign of life.
"Po..." I told myself as I walked toward them, starting to get worried.
"No!...Damn it! Come on, Master! Po can't die like this!" Viper said almost crying.
"I've pressed all the pressure points of his body, but his muscles still seem tense!" said Mantis, also very worried.
"Cardiac massage...pressure points pressed...the only thing missing is...try the mouth-to-mouth, isn't it?" Monkey said.
"I do it!" my mother said quickly, already stepping in front of Monkey and ducking to do mouth-to-mouth breathing.
She stopped after seeing our expressions, it happened so spontaneously that it was almost impossible to hold back laughter.
"If you insist, Tigress..." Viper said, looking at her with 'that' look, then tried to stifle her laughter.
"I-I...Well...I mean...Ok, let me handle this" she said with much shame, trying to recompose herself.
She slowly covered his nose with her fingertips and opened his mouth, then swallowed due to nervousness and closed her eyes to do the mouth-to-mouth breathing. All we stared intently at her, afterall the situation was serious, so we forget what happened previously.
My heart sank for a moment. My sweat of nervousness was slowly evaporating due to the fire around my body. My hands were shaking because I didn't know if Po was alive or not. But then a scene that made us almost burst to laugh flashed before our eyes. For some reason, none of us simply warned my mother, but we keep trying to contain his laughter.
But it was simply impossible not to laugh at what we saw, and stifle the laughter with our hands didn't help. My mother hadn't done the mouth-to-mouth breathing and stayed seated, staring at us in astonishment and not understanding why we were laughing.
"...Hahahaha! I don't believe it...hahahaha!" Monkey couldn't take it any longer stifling his laugh and said softly.
"Hey! This is serious! I'm trying to concentrate here! It is not easy, stop laughing!" she asked with shame, not understand why we were laughing.
But she finally understood when turned to Po again, and saw him doing a kiss with his mouth. It was all a plan only to kiss her.
My mother's face changed almost instantaneously from one of surprise to one of anger. None of us could take anymore hold the laugh and started laughing loudly. It was a ridiculous and pathetic plan with a simple goal and that almost worked.
"AAAH! YOU FLABBY PANDA!" my mother shouted with him, but was interrupted.
"Oh, darn it! I almost got it! It was so close!" he sat down and wept by his plan, without even caring much about the anger of my mother.
"What?! So you admit it was all a plan?! Just to be able to ki...AH! You Pervert! Sucker! I don't believe..." she started to complain and shout with him.
"Ah, come on, Tigress! You started it!" Po said.
"WHAT?!" she exclaimed.
"Well...it was you who said it was a good idea to stay under water making sure nothing went wrong! And also you kissed me to help me breathe when I was almost drowning...so I decided to return the favor with another plan and..." he began to explain. My mother almost paralyzed with embarrassment.
"I DIDN'T KISSED YOU! AND THAT WAS NOT A PLAN, YOU GOOFBALL! You know the protocol, those who deviate from the group during a mission must hide to take care that nothing goes wrong! Stay in the water was Your idea! I just agreed it was a good idea...and you just ran out of breath by the time the gorilla appeared...and to not Jeopardize the mission I had to...di-divide a little of my breath with you but... the only way to do this..." she said, slowly turning her back to everyone, with shame.
"The only way to do this was kissing me" he said with a gallant voice.
"I DIDN'T KISSED YOU! AND SHARING MY BREATH WITH YOU IN MISSION IS NO EXCUSE FOR YOU TO TRY TO KISS ME!...AND ALSO DOES NOT MEAN THAT I LIKE YOU!" she said nervously, then punched him in the head.
"Ouch...hehehe! Hey! I did not know that! I haven't even mentioned that you like me" he laughed then still playing and making my mother turn red with embarrassment. Me and others just watched and laughed.
Everything seemed fine now. The villain was defeated and all was well. I no longer felt the need of fighting, then let out a small sigh in relief. I felt my heart beat faster for a moment, in a strange way I felt short of breath and started fast breathing through the mouth.
My strength seemed to be going away. My throat seemed to suddenly dry. My legs were wobbly, the lack of air made me lose my balance, and trying to keep the balance I walked back and almost fell into the lake. I fell to my knees and leaned into my hands by the lake while looking at my own reflection in the water.
"Liu!" my mother exclaimed when noticed that I wasn't fine, but when she tried to come toward me Master Shifu stopped her, holding her by the arm.
"No, Tigress. I'm sorry, but that's part of the technique that Liu is using...you can not do anything..." he said, leaving all concerned.
"W-what? Normal...which technique is this? What is happening to my daughter?" she asked worriedly.
"Well, I suppose you remember a legend that I used to tell when you were little, saying that the greatest warriors in the world were those who fought with honor, courage and heart, and that on the day of greatest need these warriors would be able to do anything to protect those who he/she love" he recalled.
"Yes...but all great warriors do it! So what does this have to do with Liu? Why...How she learned to do this is if we never taught her?" she still didn't understand.
"After fighting so much, getting really hurt...and after almost dying and see those who she loves stand on the brink of death...she ended up letting all her power and energy explode at once! And you know how Liu is when it comes to love stuff" he explained.
"So...this is the technique that legendary warriors ended up using to defeat armies with their own hands, to defend those who were important to them?! Awesome!" said Po.
"Yes, Po! This is the..."
"The Flaming Heart of the Hero!...And she learned to do and master this rare and powerful technique...to protect us...Liu" she said quietly, impressed.
"That's right! And after someone uses this technique..." he continued, but stopped when remembered the consequences of using such a powerful technique.
I didn't need to hear him to know what was going to happen to me, somehow I knew what it was. My heart beat strongly, looking like some of my arteries would burst. I put my hand on my chest to try to alleviate the pain, but it was no use. As I moaned in pain, I looked at my reflection in the lake, before the fire that passed through all my body now began to fade.
Once the flames have gone out, I realized that only my pupils were still different, long and thin, equal to a venomous snake. Then something amazing happened, I had the impression that everything around me was black, like a room without light, and I heard voices echoing throughout, scary voices mocking me.
"Hahahaha! You're so weak..." - "Frightened kitten" - "Without your special technique you could never win this battle" - "Run! Go away! Save yourself and let them die!" - "How could you? I thought you loved them" - "... Oh! Poor little girl...lost and confused! No family and no love!" said some of the voices that seemed to be people I knew in the Valley of Peace.
"What! Who are you? What do you want from me?" I asked, starting to get worried.
"We just want to return the favor, of course" - "All your blood, sweat and tears!" - "Pain is inevitable! It is time to pay for your doom!" the voices said.
"Favor? Blood, sweat and tears? Doom? What are you talking about?" I asked, confused and afraid.
"Love..." - "...Hate..." - "...EVERYTHING you felt..." - "You ignored like dirt!" - "Now suffer with your choice!!!" - "The pain you felt throughout your entire life...you will feel it again!" - "At once! Hahahahaha!" the voices answered me. It didn't seem to be good.
Scared and confused, my senses seemed to have gotten a little sharper. I heard a small drop of water fall into the lake in front of me, and I looked at it as if I knew something would appear before me. To my amazement, the water suddenly gained a reddish appearance and sounds of shrieks and groans of pain seemed to pour out of it.
Great images of events of my life began to be designed in the lake, from my first days of life until today, randomly. I had a very strange feeling, like something was grabbing me and preventing me from moving. I suddenly saw that the images stopped passing randomly and saw a scene were I was training kung fu, and took several blows. In a strange way, I felt those blows exactly on the same places, with the same force inclusive. My ribs felt like they were going to break and my stomach hurt a lot.
Then I came across a scene where I fell from a tree and hit my head on the floor. Again I felt the same pain I felt that time. For countless minutes I was going through the same torture, not been able to react. Until I came across a problem. The images that started appearing were of when the Bao Gu Orphanage had been burned, and I was trapped in the fire. Obviously the pain that I feel would be of burns, wounds and among other things that occurred to me, but the problem is that I was very close to dying that day.
I was panting, bleeding, with several scratches all over the body, barely bear to stand and was completely out of strength to get rid of the invisible thing that was holding me and didn't let me move. If I didn't find somehow to get free and find a way of getting away from that place, I would surely die.
I mustered all the strength I could and started trying to open my arms and my legs away, intending to get free of the thing that was holding me back. But regardless of the strength that I use, that thing was much stronger than me. Gradually, I felt my wounds begin to burn, all my by was hot, I could even smell the smoke from the fire, which left me breathless and dizzy. My vision blurred and I fell to my knees.
"N-No...AAAAAAHH! D-Damn It...I don't believe that...I'll Die...And It's Only My... AAAH! FIRST...Mission...no...And I didn't even...said goodbye..." I lamented to myself, but I stopped when listened to a different voice from those who were threatening me.
"Head up, Sis! Your time has not come yet, you still have much to do in your life!"
"W-what ?! Shun...Is it really you?!" I asked. At that moment, the evil voices seemed to have been surprised and hidden deeper into that darkness.
"Not only him, Liu!" said my adoptive mother, Tigress.
"All us!" said Master Shifu and the other Furious Six in union.
"Don't give up, Liu! We know you can! Remember..." Shun continued.
"...You have never been alone, and your bad memories are not the ones that make your history..." my father and my mother said together.
"...But your achievements and dreams!" continued my siblings, Shun, Lin and Huan. I couldn't contain my tears after these words.
"Thank You, everyone" I thanked them. After that, I felt like my wounds, scrapes and burns didn't exist, although it wasn't true. I felt so...calm, happy and full of energy, that I realized that I was now able to do anything.
I breathed deeply and left my members hard, then started using all the strength I could, until I finally got free of the invisible thing holding me. I fell to my knees again and looked at my reflection in the lake, my eyes were back to normal. After that, the darkness of that place suddenly changed to a very strong white light,I closed my eyes and when opened them again I saw that I was in front of the lake. I got up and looked back, to get a hug from my adoptive mother, Tigress.
"You're live, Liu! Gosh, I was so worried!" she said, weeping with happiness. Then everybody hugged me together.
"What a fright you gave us, Liu!...Again..." said Mantis, joking.
"We knew you'd get it, Liu"
"You were amazing during the fight, Liu"
"Uhuu! That's what I'm talking about, little one!"
They said. We were all very happy that it was finally over. I could still feel the pain of the torture, I hadn't even a scratch on my body, but it seemed like the pain was internal.
"Congratulations, Liu! This was only your first mission and you learned a very rare and incredibly powerful technique" Master Shifu praised me.
"Thank you, Master...but I also got very impressed with myself, and wouldn't have done it without you guys, thank you! But Master, what was that vision that I had, and why I still feel the pain?" I thanked him and then asked.
"The Flaming Heart of the Hero is a very powerful technique, but it also requires a lot of energy, both physical, mental and spiritual, Liu. The most legendary warriors who managed to use it eventually died by not bearing the pain through which you passed, you should be grateful...Well, those who survived said that it was only possible to use the technique after going through a situation of extreme difficulty and where those he or she loved were in great danger, leading them to a very high point of stress and adrenaline, in which most emotions are virtually annulled" he explained.
"That explains the voices" I told myself.
"This level of stress mixed with the chi of a warrior ends up resulting in what happened to you: the gain of a colossal strength, super speed, unrivaled stamina and a kind of natural shield done with your chi" he continued.
"Yes, hehe! One of the best combat experiences I've ever had, if not the best!" I said excitedly.
"The only thing I found strange was that your protective barrier was in the form of fire...and you can do the Thundering Wind Hammer..."
"What does this have to do?" said Po.
"The elementary form of the protective barrier should be of the same affinity that your chi. You, Liu, Peng and Tigress can do it because your chi has affinity with the wind element...but the protective barrier of Liu was made of flames" he said thoughtfully.
"Hah?!...Well, what about those voices? What were they?" I asked, not understanding very well about my protective barrier of chi stuff.
"Voices?! What voices?" he asked, seeming to have no idea what I was talking about.
"Well...I dunno how to explain...right after the fire stopped passing through my body, I kinda started to lose my strength, everything went dark...some voices that seemed familiar began to threaten me...then said I would have to suffer and feel the pain I felt throughout my entire life...then I saw my life pass in pictures on the lake, and as they went by I was feeling the same pain that was going on...then I heard the voices of you guys and my family, who helped me to free myself from that invisible thing, and now I'm here..." I told them. Everyone looked at me in amazement.
"What?! So that's what really happens after you use the Flaming Heart of the Hero?! Awesome...I mean...never was known what really happened to the warriors, nor why they died" he said.
"You mean you went through All the pain of your life again? Wow...it's amazing that you've managed to survive this" Po said.
"Oh, Liu! It must have been so difficult and agonizing something this..." my mother told me then hugged me to comfort me. I hugged her too, almost crying to remember everything.
"Yes...but well, it all worked out in the end, and that's what matters, huh?" I said, recovering myself.
"Yep! And it's time to finish the mission and take this big guy for Chorh-Gom Prison" Po said. Then I looked at the big gorilla fainted on the floor, just wondering how we would take him through all the way.
"Yes, we just need to just use the wagon they had used to rob the Valley of Peace! Is there behind those trees!" said Crane. So we put the gorilla in the wagon and took him to the prison. Along the way, my mother and Po were pulling the wagon and were still arguing about their attitudes, which mainly left a certain tigress very shy.
"C'mon, Tigress? Are you still mad at all...that?!" Po asked.
"And you still ask?! The answer is more than obvious...and...I don't wanna talk about it...now" she said, changing her tone of anger to one of shame.
"Oh, give me a break! Are you saying you didn't liked it?!" he joked, with a coquettish tone.
"NO! Of course I DIDN'T liked, you Fool! Not to talk about the shame you made me pass through, in front of the others!"
"Seriously? Ah...well, listen..." Po was interrupted.
"No! Enough talk, you've embarrassed me too much today. At the Jade Palace we'll have a very serious talk about it, Understood?!" she said, then threatened.
"AH! Hah...okay..." he answered with fear, stopping to look at her and concentrating on the dirt road. Me and others couldn't do much besides trying to contain the laughter.