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KFP 3: Stripes of the Past Chapter 12Back in Dài Bào, in the fortress of Tóng Fùmiè, the crocodilian escort and the two sisters had finally reached the guest room. He stood by the entrance, thrusting his spear through it to gesture the two leopardesses to enter with a low, boorish grunt.
The two leopardesses did as bade, and entered the room. Wan couldn’t help but admire the lovely decor of the room—the carpet felt like velvet beneath her feet; in each corner of the room there was a small table that held a vase of lit lilly incense; and there were three luxurious-looking cots with brass dragon-like framing and sheets that seemed to be made of the same material as the carpet (one bed at the west wall, another at the opposite wall, and the other at the north wall, where a window was).
“They certainly know how to style a room for guests,” she said as she indulged in the sensation of the velvety carpeting under her soles.
Wing nodded her masked head.
KFP 3: Stripes of the Past Chapter 11Po, Tigress and Crane had seated themselves at a vacated table, indulging in a meal of noodle soup, having decided that there no point in interrogating captured bandits on empty stomachs. The bandits, still unconscious and tied up, were seated next to the table. One of the crow bandits seemed to be coming to, for Tigress could hear him humming. When she turned her head to see what the crow was doing, she could see the bird’s eyelids (still shut as they were) and brow twitching, as though his eyes were about to open; sure enough, they soon did.
As the crow’s eyes began to flicker open, his beak began to lift, and the sound of sniffing issued forth as his beak pointed towards the bowl of noodles on the table. His eyes were now wide open and gazing at the bowl intently.
Tigress tapped Po’s shoulder and pointed to the stirring bird bandits, who were starting to direct their attention towards the bowls of noodle soup of the three warriors. “Take a look, D
KFP 3: Stripes of the Past Chapter 10“Well,” said Tigress, “now we know what this Yang Stone is and where it came from. But if it’s supposed to belong to the leader of the Tiger Clan, why would it be left with me?”
“It actually kinda makes sense, Tigress,” said Po. “It is from the Tiger Clan, which I’m pretty sure is a clan of tigers, and you, of course, happen to be one. Maybe you came from that clan.”
Tigress nodded. “That would make sense. I remember Qiáng Tī telling me that it could my heirloom.”
“Well, then that just makes even more sense! Tigress, you could be the future leader of the Tiger Clan – think about it, a clan leader. That’s probably even better than being the Dragon Warrior. I mean, don’t get me wrong, being the greatest warrior in all of China’s pretty sweet, but to be leader of a whole clan? And we’re talking about a clan that helped sculpt the usage of
KFP 3: Stripes of the Past Chapter 9Back at Dài Bào, in Fort Tóng Fùmiè, Lady Tai-Huang Mei was treading her way down the levels of her palace through the winding stairway, with Naja coiled around her shoulders and Wing Wu trailing behind, eager to be reunited with one of her sisters once again after so many years. The crow who had informed Tai-Huang Mei of the freeing and the arrival of Wan Wu was also by the Lady’s side to reassure her on how soon Wan’s arrival would be.
“How soon can I expect to see Wan by the front of my palace?” asked Tai-Huang Mei.
“Yes, crow,” said Wing Wu, her golden eyes (the only part of her face that wasn’t concealed in her black mask) widening in anticipation. “When can I expect to see my sister?”
“Wan Wu should be here at any moment,” answered the crow. “She’s probably making her way through the village as we speak, Your Highness.”
KFP 3: Stripes of the Past Chapter 8Po and Tigress stood over the two fallen falcons, gawking dumbly at the symbol the bird bandits bore—the flame-encircled yin-yang.
“So, that’s the symbol thingy you saw on that croc bandit, huh?” Po asked.
Tigress merely nodded grimly for answer, her eyes still riveted on the two unconscious bird bandits, yet trying not to focus too strongly on the symbols on their sashes, lest she fall into another trance. “They must be involved with bandits we dealt with back at the orphanage,” she said after a tense moment of silence.
Mr. Ping was about to enquire Po on what was wrong with Tigress, when the athletic feline suddenly went rigid, as though there was something she was simply not going to put off for much longer. “We have to ask them what they’re involved in, what all this Yang Stone business is about,” she said.
“Uh, I’m not sure if we’ll be able to do that,” said Po.” “Y
KFP 3: Stripes of the Past Chapter 7The bandits that had escaped Bao Gu Orphanage lounged within the depths of the gingko copse in which they took refuge and came across the rest of their compatriots, as though they had been awaiting something—and, indeed, they were.
Jing Lì drummed a hoof on the trunk of a gingko tree impatiently as he nibbled on a leaf, cocking his head upward at the open patches in the gingko canopy, as though expecting something to appear from any of them. He gave an exasperated sigh. “How long could it be taking those scouts to scavenge for supplies? They should be here by now.”
As though to grant his wish, he saw some crows and falcons swooping in through the canopy openings before the great bovid, scantly filled satchels dangling from their beaks. There were only four crows and three falcons, and all seven of them were a pitiful sight, bruised and some missing patches of their plumage.
“Let me guess,” said Jing Lì. “You lost so
KFP 3: Stripes of the Past Chapter 6Tigress began surfacing to wakefulness as a gentle hissing sound filled her ears. Her eyes flickered open, and the first thing to greet them was the sight of the little joey sleeping cradled in her strong but gentle, striped arms. She looked around to see where the hissing had come from, pressing the young wallaby close to her body protectively, but before long she espied a familiar, pearly green serpent slowly slithering up to the small, damaged cot—it was Viper.
Viper halted and coiled up just a foot away from the cot, smiling sweetly up at the athletic tiger. “Bonding with the children, Master Tigress?” she asked, remembering the time she saw Tigress feeding a young piglet at Mr. Ping’s Noodle Shop last winter.
Tigress returned a faint smile. She knew she needn’t hide her sentimental side from friends like Viper. She could easily share things like these with Viper, as something between girls, even though Tigress never really was so feminin
KFP 3: Stripes of the Past Chapter 5Meanwhile, in a patch of wilderness some distance from Bao Gu Orphanage, the remaining bandits (led by the clouded leopard Commander, the only one out of the three horde Commanders who hadn’t been subdued and captured by the six famed warriors) hurried into the cover of a gingko copse. When she judged that they had gone deep enough, the leopard Commander called the subordinates to a halt, and they needed no second bidding. The leopards leaned against the trees with dignified grace, whereas the crocodiles slumped on their stomachs carelessly upon the grass as they struggled to catch their breath, and the wolves seated themselves upon the scaly backs of their reptilian comrades as they set about licking their wounds.
The leopard Commander shook her head disdainfully at lounging soldiers. She was just about to rebuke them on their failure, when she noted the dappled patches of light on the ground before her dimmed out as a large shadow loomed out from behind her. Whippi
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