Zheng Zu was the Emperor of K'un-Lun, head of the Ten Rings school, and the father of Shang-Chi. One hundred years ago Zheng Zu won the throne after winning in the Thirteen Chambers, the annual martial arts tournament used to choose K'un-Lun's next emperor.[1]

Ever since Zheng Zu became emperor, Lord Tuan of the Iron Fist school opposed him in the Thirteen Chambers and every time he almost won. Though he never defeated Zheng Zu, Lord Tuan did the next best thing: he humiliated him and caused him to bleed. In retaliation Zheng Zu sent Red Sai of the Red Hand school to kill Tuan. Red Sai failed in her task and was threatened with death along with her students. Shang-Chi completed Red Sai's mission, saving her life and the lives of her students. To cover up his own involvement, Zheng Zu had his son exiled and placed a bounty on his head.[2][1]

Zheng Zu sent three of his students, Razorfist, Typus, and Nightwind, to clear a local park of vagrants and began harassing a drunk. After a brief fight the drunk revealed himself to be none other than Shang-Chi, who managed to escape with the help of some members of K'un-Lun's lowest caste. Hearing of this, Zheng Zu sent his herald to collect Red Sai and Laughing Skull for the purpose of hunting down his son.[1]

On the day of the Thirteen Chambers, Shang-Chi publicly confronted Zheng Zu and demanded the right to participate. Zheng Zu agreed but warned that should Shang-Chi fail, he would personally execute every member of the lowest caste. After fighting his way through the Thirteen Chambers Shang-Chi finally encountered his father. Zheng Zu at first had the upper hand and easily overpowered his son. Before delivering the final blow, Shang-Chi countered using a technique he learned from Kitten, a lower caste member. Shang-Chi then used a new technique he discovered, The Gorgon's Eye, and turned Zheng Zu to stone.[3]

Following Zheng Zu's death, Shang-Chi became the new Emperor of K'un-Lun.[3]

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