The gates gave way and the Tsang’s soldiers were overrun. The Forbidden City became a whirlwind of bloodlust. The Clan of the Terrifyingly Unnatural Brain Bite reveled in ripping off the soldiers’ limbs and heads and of course, they gorged themselves on brains. Nourishment coursed through their veins as knowledge entered their brains.
Dragonhand entered the city, thrilled at what he’d accomplished after decades of preparation. The kung fu clans were destroyed. Now the Imperial Army was in ruin. The Imperial Guard would soon be next.
A desperate soldier flailed at the fiend with a battle axe. Dragonhand backhanded the soldier and sent him flying. More tried to take the brain bite clan master down. Arrows pierced Dragonhand’s flesh. Knives and swords were plunged into his body. None of it mattered. Dragonhand kept marching toward the Imperial Palace with great ease. Nothing was going to get in his way now.
Lickspittle caught up with his master. “Your victory is magnificent, oh great conquering one!”
“Here, toady,” Dragonhand said as he tossed his sidekick a brain he’d ripped out of a soldier’s head. “Don’t say I never gave you anything.”
“Oh!” Lickspittle proudly declared as he munched on the brain. “Thank you, oh generous one! I shall eat this in celebration of your triumph.”
Chaos ensued as Dragonhand’s minions and the few remaining soldiers clashed. Around a hundred zombified warriors joined their master. When they reached the palace, they were met by Bingwen, second-in-command of the Imperial Guard. He raised his hand and his guards pointed their spears at the undead rabble.
“Move or be moved,” Dragonhand said. “Be useful or be eaten. Join me or feed me. Make a choice and choose wisely but most importantly, choose wisely, for I am impatient and peckish.”
“Dragonhand,” Bingwen said. “I have received word from my superior, the honorable Captain Yuen, that he will agree to meet with you and you alone to negotiate terms of surrender.”
“Bring me the Emperor so I can eat his brain and maybe I’ll think about letting all of you keep yours,” Dragonhand said.
Bingwen gulped. “I am sorry, sir, but those are the terms set out by my commanding officer.”
Dragonhand sighed. “Thoughts, Lickspittle?”
The lackey’s eyes grew wide. “You seek my counsel, oh wondrous one?”
“Don’t let it go to your head, insect,” Dragonhand said. “You’re the closest thing I have to a second. Say something intelligent and surprise me.”
Lickspittle looked the guards over. “The Captain may be a coward willing to sell out the Emperor.”
The toady studied Bingwen’s face. “Then again, this could be a ploy to get you alone and overpower you.”
Dragonhand sneered at his subordinate. Lickspittle instinctively covered his face, then upon realizing he was not about to be struck, removed his arms and added, “As if anyone could overpower you, master. These pitiful humans would be fools to try.”
Bingwen coughed into his fist, then whispered something unintelligible. “Erza fistun.”
“What?” Dragonhand asked.
“Ahem,” Bingwen said before lowering his voice to a whisper and leaning into Dragonhand’s rotten ear. “It’s the first one. The Captain is womanly in his cowardice. I just can’t say this out loud in front of the men. Please come with me.”
Dragonhand grunted in disapproval. “Ergh.”
The fiend pushed Bingwen aside, then motioned for his horde to follow.
“But sir!” Bingwen said. “The captain specifically requested to speak to you alone.”
“You are all my dogs now,” Dragonhand said as he stepped into the palace. “I give the orders. You obey and do as you are told.”
Zombies and guards marched into the throne room as though they were equals.
“This is utterly disappointing, Lickspittle,” Dragonhand said.
“Why is that, oh frowny faced one?” Lickspittle asked. “This is a victory without a fight.”
“Yes,” Dragonhand said. “But I have dreamed so long about tearing apart the palace guard on my way to clawing out the Emperor’s brain that for them to just lay down and…what is this?”
Dragonhand stared at the dead body sitting on the dragon throne.
“Captain!” Bingwen said.
“Is this a trick?” Dragonhand asked.
“No,” Bingwen said as he shook his head back and forth.
“Search the palace!” Dragonhand shouted. “Bring me the Emperor! I want him alive.”
Zombies and guards obeyed and hurried off in all different directions. Lickspittle remained.
Dragonhand grabbed Yuen’s carcass and tossed it to the floor like so much trash.
“My throne has been soiled, Lickspittle,” Dragonhand said as he took a seat.
“And yet you look so regal sitting there,” Lickspittle said.
“Don’t ruin the moment,” Dragonhand said.
“But master,” Lickspittle said. “Surely, you…”
Dragonhand raised a pointer finger. “Shh. Stifle your mouth and allow me to enjoy this moment in peace.”