Bingwen, the Palace Guards, Lickspittle, and a contingent of brain bite clan members stood in the Emperor’s bedroom, staring at Rage Dog, who was still pinned to the wall.
“Free me, dullards,” Rage Dog said.
Lickspittle walked up to the captive. “The master will surely punish you when he sees how you have failed him. Dragonhand is not one to…”
Dragonhand’s voice bellowed through the room. “What is the meaning of this?”
“Rage Dog has failed you, master!” the toady said. “He is incompetent and unworthy and…”
“Bahhh!” Dragonhand punched his fist into the wall, leaving a deep hole. He then drew General Tsang’s sword out of Rage Dog’s gut and lopped off Lickspittle’s head with it.
“No, master!” Lickspittle’s head cried as it bounced across the floor. “Don’t forsake me! Rage Dog was the one who…”
Crunch! Lickspittle’s cranium collapsed under the wait of Dragonhand’s foot.
“I can’t stand whiners,” Dragonhand said.
Rage Dog looked up, only to find himself staring at General Tsang’s sword.
“Will you fail me again?” Dragonhand asked.
Rage Dog trembled. “No…no, master.”
Dragonhand handed General Tsang’s sword to Rage Dog. “See that you don’t. If you do, kill yourself and save me the trouble.”
The fiend looked to Bingwen. “Go with him.”
“Yes, sir,” Bingwen said.
Rage Dog and his new minions dispersed. Dragonhand made his way back to the throne room. There, he found the Staff of Ages, which he had left propped up against the Dragon Throne.
The fiend took the seat he’d so longed for, then raised the staff high in the air. The ruby glowed bright purple.
“If no one will bring the Emperor to me, then I will kill every last man, woman and child in China and sort through the bodies myself until his brain is mine.”