Are We Mortal?
Chapter one- What you taught me.
A/N: To all the writers and authors of , it's Shadows of Scarlet, this is a story I just had come to mind, and I know my two others stories were very boring, simple and I didn't update them. That's because I've been helping other writers with their Kung Fu panda stories (I'm available to anyone who needs help), but now I wish to make a proper story. Stay or go... it's your choice.
Disclaimer: I do not own Kung fu panda or any of its characters, they belong to Dream Works
"They say the hardest part of the Wuxi Finger hold is "cleaning up afterwards". Many people of the Valley of Peace believe that to now be true; Houses were demolished into rubble and stone, windows torn and shattered, roads uneven and filled with craters; they did have a lot to repair and clean up. Three weeks...that's how long it had been since Tai Lung, master of the Thousand Scrolls, had been defeated at the hands of a panda- a Master of Kung Fu... who many say that he lived and was taught under the greatest teacher in all of China, Master Shifu; stronger, agile and indestructible by skills and personality, he had lost to the hands of a "big...fat... panda". Those were the last words they say he cursed before being vaporised into golden dust. Now the villagers looked up to this new protector of the Valley of Peace, Po...the Dragon Warrior." A goose announced to a group of young children huddled together on the other side of his counter, a smile spread across the gooses face. He wore a noodle bowl made out of wool on his head with chopsticks tied to it, a simple red robe on his back. He seemed to be a senior but gleamed with energy and skills as he chopped up his vegetables and dough for the hungry customers. He continued on...
"They also say of how he used to be a simple noodle maker, the son of a goose, whose dreams of becoming the most Legendary Warrior in all of China had come true, he now lives up in the Jade Palace, home to the heroic protectors know to the mystical land, The Furious Five, all under the teachings of Master Shifu. Nothing has really been heard of him since he moved up into Palace; some say he has improved a great deal with his skills, others say he is still the clumsy panda they all knew before." The goose chuckled at this one comment before continuing on, "A very few amount also say he has an eye for a Master Tigress. But...nothing is for sure..." He finished with his smile growing even larger across his beak, handing out the last bowl before going back to chopping the vegetables.
"How do you know?" A dark coloured bunny asked the goose, everyone stared at the senior with the same question in their eyes.
"Excuse me?" the goose asked, confused by the bunny's reply.
"How do you know?" the dark coloured bunny asked again.
"Well... that's because-"The goose was about to answer the given question but he was interrupted by another voice.
"Because he's my Dad..." The voice answered for him, everyone froze at the voice and turned to see where it was coming from. A panda standing in the shadows of the arch way, or what was left of it anyway. The panda smiled as he stepped into the light revealing his face, the goose smile grew even larger as he placed the knife in his hand down. He looked at the figure standing in front of him before jumping over the counter and running up, embracing the panda in a hug. Everyone smiled at the scene before they went back to their conversations, the huddled children just stared in awe at the sight of meeting the Dragon Warrior in person.
"Po!" The goose called out as he tightened the hug around the panda's waist, Po did the same "It's good to see you again, son." The goose complimented as he let go of the giant panda. Po looked down to his waist as he could feel something wrapped around him; it felt like string and cotton, it was his old apron he used to wear. He chuckled at how his father had done this once before, sneaking it onto his body without him ever knowing. The panda reached round and began to undo the knot at the back.
"Dad, that's twice you've secretly got this on me whilst we were hugging, for once just give me a proper hug." The panda chuckled as he finally undid the apron before folding it in his hands and giving it back to his father. The goose accepted it and held it in his wings, stoking the materials before answering.
"The day you decided to come back and help me" he said quietly, still looking down at the apron before looking back up to his son. "I've missed you Po, things have been very quiet without you here." He continued on whilst turning around and heading back to the kitchen, Po followed with a confused and guilty look on his face.
"Dad, I-I'm sorry I've not been here for the past three weeks, it's just that I have to train up at the palace, if I'm going to be the protector of Valley. I'm not doing it for them..." Po explained as he pointed out towards the customers, "...I'm doing it for you." Po finished as he followed his father into the kitchen. Ping didn't respond or even turn to face him, he only sighed. This made Po feel even guiltier, he looked around the kitchen, scanning the walls and shelves, everything he grew up with from when he was a cub. Then his eyes came to rest on the chopping board; the large knife still lay on its wooden layer, the sun glistening off its steel blade, the string of vegetables next to it. A smile grew on his face as he turned to face his dad "But there are still many things you taught me. "Ping raised his head and turned round to face his son
"Like this..." With the finishing of his sentence Po stretched out his arm, his paw resting over the handle, but he didn't lower it to touch the wooden grip. He slammed his paw down, smacking the handle, causing the knife to spin into the air; the sounds caused everyone in the restaurant to stop and turn to watch the scene unfold.
As the knife continued its journey into the sky, Po had grabbed the vegetables and laid them out across the chopping board, like a pair of cards, before he quickly turned around and reached for the shelves; grabbing a leek and spices. He also laid them out across the counter in a reasonable manner, he ducked under the counter to reach and grab out two bowls and pot, placing it next to the ingredients, after he filled the pot with water before placing it on the fire. Soon the knife began its decent down to Po; the panda lifted his paw into the sky, catching the handle. As soon as his grip was firm on the wooden carving, he cut through the air and onto the table where the vegetables laid, slicing them into pieces before scraping them to one side. Reaching for the leek, he slid the blade under the vegetable before scooping it up into the air, catching it in his other paw, cutting it into pieces and dropping it into the pot. He caught the noodles out of the corner of his eye and began to slice them into thin, short strands before doing the same with the other ingredients; flipping vegetables and sprinkling spices. His father and the rest of the restaurant just watched in amazement as the panda continued on with his skills.
Soon everything that was needed to make the noodle soup; Po placed a ladle into the boiling pot before pulling it out, a small pool of soup laid in the cupped shape ladle, steam emitting from the substance. The panda inhaled the smell of its natural flavour; he released a breath as he placed his lips onto the metal cup. From coming fresh out of the pan, he forgot about how hot it was... the liquid burned him. "Ow, hot! Hot!" the panda panted as he reacted by pulling his lips away and placing a paw over his mouth before opening up to fan it, his tongue hanging loosely by the side. "Hot! So hot!" he pouted continuously fanning his mouth. His father grew a smile and chuckled at his son's mistake but soon he quieted down to watch his son continue.
As Po reached for another sip, he remembered to blow slightly; the steam flowed through the air like a stream down a river. He placed it to his lips and sipped the whole condense into his mouth; he could feel it warm contents flow freely down the back of his throat. The flavour seemed to be ecstatic. He smiled at his successful work, turning to his father. "It's ready, pass me the bowls please, Dad." His father nodded as he handed his son the two bowls, Po graciously accepted them into his free paw, but flipped them onto his large arm, balancing them perfectly. He dipped the ladle into the pot once again before raising it and dipping the liquid substance into each of them. He turned to face his dad and handed one bowl to him, sliding it down his arm. The goose reached up and took the bowl from his son's arm, grabbing the chopsticks out his hat and placed them in his wing. Po grabbed a pair from off one of the shelves. But he didn't take a sip of his meal -he watched his father in anticipation. "How is it?" He asked, looking down on his goose father. Watching him as he took some of the noodles by his chopsticks, he placed the noodles into his mouth and chewed, inspecting the taste. Po watched anxiously, leaning in, waiting for an answer. The customers tried to listen in on what the goose had to say about his son's work.
"It's ...unacceptable!" Mr. Ping finally stated, looking up at his son. He could see Po's face fall at his reply. The panda seemed speechless, as was the rest of the restaurant.
"But-b-I- I thought you would like it" Po seemed to stutter out of his throat, he seemed torn by his father's reply; he wasn't good enough to be a cook if he couldn't even impress his own father. "I worked on it, I-I did what you taught me..." Tears began to well within his jade coloured eyes. He looked down at his own bowl of noodles, he sighed. Soon a small chuckle could be heard, it then grew into laughter. Po looked up to see his father smiling and laughing, he still held the bowl of noodle soup in his wing, but his other wing was behind his back.
"W-w-what's so funny Dad?" Po asked as he wiped away the tears from his face.
"Son... this is excellent! But you should know how I like my dish served." Mr. Ping continued on laughing, his son confused beyond all reason. The goose soon pulled his wing from behind his back, in it he held a brown bottle, it was small and covered in a woven fabric. Po knew exactly what it was... Baiji. He forgot that his father liked to have a little alcohol in his meals once in a while, especially when it came to noodle soup. "You should know by now, that I always like to add a bit 'taste' to my meals." The goose finished with a slight chuckle before pouring some of the strong alcohol into bowl.
"Oh...my bad..." Po said as he chuckled and rubbed the back of his head before pausing. "...Dad?" he asked.
"Yes, Po?" the goose replied as he placed another mouthful of noodles into his beak, chewing on the dough and vegetables.
"Do you mind if I ask your opinion on something else?" Po leaned in closer to his father; it was something he wanted to say quietly. "Something I've been working on for the past week or so?"
"Why of course son...what is the problem? Something wrong with you? Someone hurting you?" Mr. Ping asked, leaning as well to keep it between him and his son.
"To answer both of your questions, Dad... nothing is wrong with me...and the only people hurting me are the Furious Five: mainly Tigress" Po sighed after he said her name, Ping soon caught on what his son wanted to ask, so he did it for him.
"Po...are you in love with her?" Ping asked, slyly smiling at his son.
Po looked at his father try to look confused, "W-w-what? What do you mean?" Who's her? I know no her."He stuttered.
"I think you know the answer to both of those questions, Po" Ping replied, cocking his eyebrow high, his smile growing bigger. Po blushed as he did know the answer to all of those questions, this girl they were talking about was all that he could think of- He was even thinking of her whilst he was preparing the soup for him and his dad.
"Well... that's one way of putting it; for the past three weeks, whilst I've also been focusing on my training, I've seemed to be feeling awkward around her. It's something I can't describe or explain, but every time I get this feeling, like I'm one with the world and the universe- but not just because I'm became the Dragon Warrior." The giant panda sighed, as he continued on, "I want to go right up to her and tell her how I feel. But every time I do, I just make a complete fool of myself. So every night I go to my room in the Jade Palace and draw her out, in the ways I picture her. I almost have a complete book full of drawings I've created but there's one that I think out goes all the others." Po explained as he reached behind his back into the pocket of his shorts, pulling out a piece of rolled parchment. Po brought it out in front of him but didn't unreal it. Po looked outside to the customers who were still looking at him and Mr Ping. He chuckled nervously before turning back to his father. "Can...we...go up to my room, where it's private?" Po asked, blushing a little. Mr Ping just nodded; soon they both left the kitchen and climbed the stairs leading to Po's old room.
They soon reached the old bedroom that Po once slept in, it seemed exactly the same as he when he left it the day he went up to the stadium. As the panda and goose stepped into the room, Po couldn't help but glance around; looking among the old pictures, wooden warriors by the window and the fake weapons he used to collect he used to collect. He stepped on something that made a metallic clang, he looked down...removing his foot to see one of his shuriken. He knelt down and picked up the bladed star, its edges were still sharp, he could feel it running through his fur, that was a mistake, as he accidently let the blade cut through his finger "Ow!" he said as he looked at his cut finger, blood seeped out of the wound, staining his black fur. His father stared at his son in confusion.
"What is it Po? He asked. Try to understand why he was looking at his finger.
"Nothing...it doesn't matter" Po answered as he hid his finger, by grabbing the parchment; he soon turned around facing his father. "Here it is Dad... it- she is beautiful." Po finished his sentence, blushing as he unravelled the parchment, holding it in front of Mr. Ping. The goose stood amazed, his eyes scanning the picture before him. Before looking up at Po, his son simply nodded.
The picture showed a female tiger in the moonlight, sitting by the Sacred Peach Tree of Heavenly Wisdom; she was resting on her knees in a grass green silk dress, with a black out line, which stopped at her bottom feet. A dragon embroidery could easily be seen going up the right side, curling around her back to rest it's head upon her left shoulder; her chest was only revealed by a diamond shape cutting that was connected at the top by the collar, loosely gripped around her neck. The only viewable features of her face were her bright orange eyes glowing, shrouded by massacre make up. A small smile could be seen on the edge of a fan held in her right paw, where two golden bracelets hung freely. On the right side of the parchment sat her name.
Soon Ping looked from the picture up towards his son, taking the picture from his hands. "Po, you drew this picture of Tigress?" He asked.
"Yeah...like I said, it's the best one I think I'll ever paint." Po said as he took the picture back, not realising that his cut finger had just let a tear drop of blood flow down the parchment between her name and the figure, "This is how I see her every night, ever since I first fell in front of her." He explained as he finished rolling up the parchment, unaware of the stain.
"Well, I must say Po. You have both a talent in being a cook, like me... and an artistic talent, you should show this to her, through doing so you'd be able to tell her how you feel." Ping explained, placing his wings on Po's paws.
"Are you sure Dad? I don't want her to think of me as some kind of freak or weakling" Po said looking to the wooden figure of her, before turning back to face his Dad. He only earned himself a smack to the cheek, but it was light. Po covered his cheek with his bleeding paw, staining his cheek with red blood.
"What was that for?!" He asked his Dad, still caressing his cheek.
"No son of mine will ever think like that, I don't want you to put yourself down, okay? If she doesn't take you seriously or rejects you, at least you'll know that you tried, right?" Ping asked his son as he removed Po's paw from his cheek before replacing it with his wing, stroking where he attacked, Po nodded. He soon retracted his wing looking down at it, he saw his feathers... stained with red blood. He looked back up to his son's cheek. "Po... your cheek's stained with blood." Ping said, licking his clean wing before rubbing the blood off of Po's cheek. "There we are, all cleaned up. I think you need to head back up at the Palace." Ping soon finished after smiling at his son.
"Yeah...look Dad; I'll see you around, I will be coming down from now on, okay?" Po asked as he grabbed his father into a hug. The goose graciously accepted it and felt the warmth of his son before letting go, letting his son out of his grip.
"Of course, be sure to watch yourself." Ping said as he watched Po head to the door of the room. But before the panda disappeared down the stairs he was stopped by his father one last time "Oh and Po? Good luck." Ping called out.
"I will...take care Dad." Po replied without looking back. Soon he continued down the steps and out of the restaurant. Leaving Ping standing in Po's old room, he looked around the room before his eye fell upon the wooden figure of Po sitting on the window ledge. Ping moved towards the figure and stroked it with his clean wing, smiling. He sighed before heading towards the door, as he grabbed the handle and took one step down, he took one last glance into the room before slowly closing the door, heading back down into the Kitchen.
"I will son...I will" He whispered to himself.
A/N: Well this is the first chapter, but there are many more to come. Please review and for anyone out there I am willing to help Authors with their stories. If you wish to speak to me, please send a personal message and tell me your profile name.
From Shadows of Scarlet