Category Archives: Zom Fu

Zom Fu – Chapter 61

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Crunch, crunch, crunch. Junjie’s teeth chewed through veins and gray matter, then swallowed. The taste was abhorrent, yet the anticipation of the knowledge to come took his mind off it. Something had drawn him to this brain and he had to know what.

Junjie closed his eyes. When he opened them, he felt big, bold, strong…and angry…oh, so very angry. He was in the sanctuary of the Clan of the Sacred Yet Inscrutable Tiger Claw, walking hurriedly toward the courtyard. Honghui stood up ahead, next to the Infallible Master, who was holding a baby.

“Junjie?” the master said as he looked down at the infant. “That means ‘handsome hero,’ you know. An awful lot of pressure to put on one so small.”

“Yes,” Honghui said. “But I have no doubt he will live up to the name, master. Ling felt the same way.”

“And where is Ling?” the master asked.

Honghui looked down, sullenly. “Gone.”

The master frowned. “How?”

“Longwei,” Honghui said. “When he learned that Ling and I were leaving the clan so that we could be married, he went mad. He somehow saw it as offense to him, that he was your greatest student and that we could not leave until he’d bested us in a fight.”

The master sighed. “That sounds like Longwei.”

“I declined,” Honghui said. “As did Ling. But Longwei’s words were so cruel that I lost control and called him a fool. That enraged him so much that he laid in wait and as soon as I left, he…he…”

Honghui’s eyes teared up. “…took the brain of the woman I loved.”

The master gasped. “Took her brain?”

Longwei finally reached the courtyard. “Yes! And it was delicious!”

The master pointed the Staff of Ages at Longwei. “Longwei! What has come over you?”

Longwei chuckled. “Destiny,” Longwei said. “That is what has come over me.”

“Away with you,” the master said. “You’ve gone insane.”

“No, master,” Longwei said. “I assure you, I’ve never had a better understanding of the world.”

“I will hear no more of your drivel,” the master said. “You’ve already taken one member of our clan today. You will not take another. Look at what you have become!”

“You have always resented the fact that I was better than you, old man,” Longwei said. “My feet were faster than cheetahs. My muscles were stronger than those of an ox and my hands?”

“Enough,” the master said.

“My hands are swift and dance through my opponents like a graceful dragon twirling through the air,” Longwei said.

The master pulled the baby close to his chest and held the staff high in the air. Clouds formed in the sky. “Enough.”

“You always favored Hongui and Ling over me,” Longwei said.

“A lie you told yourself over and over until you believed it to be true,” the master replied. “I love all my students equally, even you Longwei…even after the evil you have done.”

Longwei drew closer. He gazed upon the baby.

“Give me that child, so that I might snuff it out and spare it a life of knowing what a pathetic weakling its father was.”

Honghui lost control. He charged at Longwei…only to have his brain ripped out by Longwei’s tiger claw.

The master’s heart sunk, but he wasn’t just a master of kung fu. He was a master of his own emotions and buried them down, refusing to cry as Honghui’s lifeless corpse hit the ground.

Longwei bit into Honghui’s brain as if it were an apple. He swallowed, then tossed the rest over his shoulder. He returned his attention to the master.

“Give that child here.”

A lightning bolt shot out of the sky and into the staff. Thunder rolled as the staff glowed bright.

“Do not make me do this, my son,” the master said.

“No one is making you do anything, old man,” Longwei said. “You do what you wish. I know from hereon out, I will do as I wish. I will never be held back by you ever again.”

“I was never holding you back,” the master said. “I was trying to contain your boundless ego, to get it under control before you did…something like what you have just done.”

Longwei reached for the baby. “And I’m just getting started.”

Thok! The master kicked Longwei with such force that he was launched into the air. The old man then took aim with the staff and sent the lightning bolt into Longwei’s body, killing him instantly, even before he hit the ground.

Darkness. Longwei saw nothing but darkness. Seconds later, he opened his eyes. He looked up at the master, who was standing over him, still holding the baby.

“Longwei?” the master asked.

Longwei looked into the master’s eyes, and caught the reflection of his face in them. In that reflection, Longwei was able to see that his own eyes had gone blank – pure white, devoid of anything else.

“There…there is no Longwei….there is only…Dragonhand.”

The master pointed the staff at Dragonhand’s face. “Leave here at once, creature. Do not darken this sanctuary’s doorstep again, or that will be the end of you.”

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Zom Fu is in the Home Stretch

Hey 3.5 readers.

Dragonhand is dead!  Again!  Huzzah!

So now its just a matter of wrapping it all up.  That will still take awhile, but there’s light at the end of the tunnel.  I may be on my way to finishing another novel draft.

Thank you to the 3.5 of you who have been reading.

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Zom Fu – Chapter 60

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Two jagged, golden swords adorned the walls of the Emperor’s throne room.  Dragonhand and Junjie had each managed to get there hands on one and sparks were flying as metal clanged on metal.

“Why does the name ‘Longwei’ offend you so?” the Infallible Master asked.

Dragonhand swiped his sword just over Junjie’s head.  “There is no Longwei!  There is only Dragonhand!”

“I see,” the master said.  “And it agonizes you to be called Longwei?”

Dragonhand stepped back, barely missing a strike from Junjie.  “How many times must I tell you, you dense, obtuse old idiot?  There is no Longwei!  There is only Dragonhand!”

Clang, clang, clang!  The swordplay continued.

“Then why is it that it offends you when I tell you that you were not my best student?”  the master asked.

Junjie sailed through the air at his opponent, his foot straight out in a kick position.  Dragonhand caught his adversary’s foot, twisted it, then flipped him to the ground.  Junjie stood right up, sword at the ready.

“Because I was your best student!”  Dragonhand shouted.  “I was the pride of the Clan of the Sacred Yet Inscrutable Tiger Claw!  I fought harder and better than everyone combined and yet you held me back at every turn.”

The master chuckled.  “You mean I held Longwei back at every turn.”

Dragonhand turned his attention to the master.  It was a fool movie, as Junjie was able to land an uppercut against the zombified warrior’s jaw.  Dragonhand retaliated with a brutal kick that knocked Junjie into a nearby wall.

“What?”  Dragonhand asked.

“I never trained a creature named Dragonhand,” the master said.  “I trained a young man named Longwei.  He was bright and bold.  Skilled and knowledgeable to be certain, but more concerned with glory and applause than working with his clan as one part of a larger whole.”

Dragonhand appeared confused.  He pointed at the master.  “Enough of your tricks!”

Junjie pulled himself out of the rut his body had formed when he slammed into the wall. He ran at Dragonhand and the swords connected again.

“You are wrong that there is no Longwei,” the master said.  “Longwei’s soul suffers torment in Diyu, the same torment we all will be forced to suffer when our time comes and we cross over.  One day, sooner or later, the Yama Kings will judge that Longwei’s sins have been sufficiently punished and atoned for, and he will be free to live in Heaven for eternity.”

Clang, clang, clang!  Junjie and Dragonhand locked eyes and stared at one another as they pressed hard against one another’s swords.  They hoped in vain to budge the other, but neither fighter would be moved.

“Silence!” Dragonhand cried.

“You, on the other hand, are merely a creature of flesh and bone,” the master said.  “There is no soul in you.  There is nothing of import in you.   Your mind operates based on a brain that doesn’t belong to you.  You share Longwei’s thoughts.  Clearly, you sometimes get confused and think you are him, but you aren’t.  You are just a pile of sentient meat and when you are gone, there will be nothing left of you.”

Dragonhand dropped his sword.  Junjie assumed this was the perfect moment to attack.  He raised his blade and was about to bring it down on his opponent’s head when Dragonhand bashed his skull into Junjie’s, dropping the hero with a vicious head butt.

“I don’t recall that move ever being recorded in the annals of kung fu,” the master said.

“I do what it takes to win,” Dragonhand said.

“A trait you share with the former inhabitant of that body I’m afraid,” the master said.  “But no, no.  No need to remind me.  You’re not Longwei.  You are the mighty Dragonhand.”

Dragonhand’s face was bloody.  His nose was broken.  He picked up his sword and ran towards the old man.  He rammed his sword into the apparition, slicing and dicing through the ghost but it was no use.  He was, in essence, chopping up thin air.

“Does this make you feel better?” the master asked.

Dragonhand was enraged.  “Raaaaaarrrgh!”

The fiend spotted Junjie.  The hero was kneeling on the floor, with his face down, blood trickling out of it.  Dragonhand went to the Dragon Throne and picked up the Staff of Ages.

“It’s time to finish this.”

Dragonhand walked toward Junjie.  He raised the staff over his head.  Lighting cracked through the ceiling and into the staff.  Thunder clapped.

“You will watch your student die now, old man!”

“It will be a pity to lose my best student,” the master said nonchalantly.

Another bolt of lightning struck the staff.  More thunder.

“I was your best student,” Dragonhand said.

“Again,” the master said.  “Longwei was my student.  I don’t know you, strange creature.”

Dragonhand pointed the staff at the ghost.  The ruby glowed bright purple.  “Not another word.”

The master nodded.  “As you wish, stranger.”

But the master wasn’t done talking.  As far as Dragonhand knew, the old man was silent.  However, his words flowed through Junjie’s mind.  “I doubt your parents spent long in Diyu.  They are in Heaven now, looking down upon you.  Will you make them proud?”

Junjie’s head remained down.  In the turmoil, he’d dropped his sword.  It rested on the ground, several feet away.  His right hand trembled.

A third bolt of lightning hit the staff.  Thunder clapped again.  Dragonhand turned the staff at Junjie.  With all his might, Junjie struggled to turn his right hand into a tiger claw.

“Now you will know the power of zom fu!”  Dragonhand shouted.  “Now all of China will cower before…”

Before Dragonhand could say his own name, Junjie crammed his tiger claw into the creature’s skull and pulled out a goopy, gloppy, still-pulsating brain.

Like a chicken with its head cut off, Dragonhand’s body stumbled.  His feet took him a few steps forward, then a few steps backward.  The entire top half of his head was gone.  Only the part from his mouth on down remained.

“All,” Dragonhand said with a strained voice.  “All of China will…will…they will all cower before…”

The fiend’s body hit the floor.  His mouth had one last word to say.  “…Dragonhand.”

Junjie looked at the brain in his hand.  It glistened and glowed in the moonlight that poured in through the thunderbolt made holes in the ceiling.

The Infallible Master stepped over to his protege.  “I never doubted you.”

“You didn’t?”  Junjie asked.

The master shook his head.  “Perhaps there was a modicum of doubt.  A slight, insignificant amount of doubt.  Overall, I was fairly certain that this ordeal would end with Dragonhand’s carcass on the floor and his brain in your hand.”

“You were only fairly certain?”  Junjie asked.

“Let’s not ruin the moment, my son,” the master replied.

Junjie stared at the gray matter in his hand.  “Every brain I have ever seen has repulsed me.  They normally make me sick to my stomach but this one…this one…”

“Intrigues you?”  the master asked.

“Yes,”  Junjie said.  “I crave it.  I’m hungry for it.  It’s all I can do to keep myself from biting it.”

The master nodded.  “Perhaps it different from other brains.”

“How so?”  Junjie asked.

“Perhaps it contains knowledge that you have yearned for your entire life,” the master said.

Junjie licked his lips, then looked away from the brain.  “No.  I could never.  I don’t want to end up like him.”

“You will never end up like Dragonhand,”  the master said.  “You are too pure of heart to become a brain addict.  Of that, I am certain.”

“You keep saying that brain eating will never turn me into one of the undead,” Junjie said.  “But honestly, how certain of that are you really?”

The master shook his head.  “Fairly certain.”

Junjie rolled his eyes.

“I’ve been alive for a thousand years, my son,” the master said.  “Trust me.  ‘Fairly certain’ is the best anyone ever gets.”

Junjie continued to stare at the brain.

“Make a choice,” the master said.  “Bite it or destroy it, but either way, let’s get on with it.”

“Well,” Junjie said as he brought the brain up to his lips.  “Here goes nothing.”

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Zom Fu – Chapter 59

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Bonk! Bonk! Bonk!

Multiple skulls cracked under the weight of the Whirlwind’s club, but the creatures kept coming.

“Baldy!” the Whirlwind shouted. “Anytime you want to get off your fat ass and help me murder some of these brain biting bastards, let me know.”

Niu remained silent and motionless. His breathing was shallow. His chest moved slowly up and down.

“Fine,” the Whirlwind said as he conked a zombie upside the head, dropping it to the ground. “Let me do all the work.”

“Blargh!” a zombie cried as it chomped its teeth in the Whirlwind’s direction. The Whirlwind knocked them out in one fell swoop.

“Hmm,” the Whirlwind said as he looked at the blood on his club. “Effective.”

The thief looked around. Over a dozen zombies were standing around him in a circle, kept at bay only by the Whirlwind’s fancy club work. However, he knew he wouldn’t be able to fend off the monsters on his own forever.

“Well,” the Whirlwind said as he closed his eyes. “Here goes nothing.”

Like a cyclone, or rather, like his namesake, the Whirlwind spun around and around and around, bonking one zombie skull after another with his club. Bonk, bonk, bonk, bonk, bonk…the zombies’ skulls grew weaker and weaker until…kaboom! All twelve undead heads exploded, showering the thief with a hefty rain of blood, guts, and brain pieces.

The Whirlwind looked around in sheer amazement. “Very effective.”

The thief flicked a piece of brain off of his robe. “Oh right,” he said as he pulled a chrysanthemum out of his pocket and devoured it. “Better take my medicine before I end up like one of these pricks.”

The Whirlwind holstered his club, then picked up Niu’s hands. The giant’s arms were as heavy as tree trunks.

“Would you believe it, baldy?” the Whirlwind asked as he strained to pull his fallen comrade. “Club fu is real!”

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Zom Fu – Chapter 58

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General Tsang’s knees were old and weak. The pain was getting to him as he ran through the streets of the Forbidden City, slip sliding through rain soaked cobble stone paths.

“We’ll reach the escape passage soon, Your Majesty,” the general said to his wee charge. The Emperor’s little arms were wrapped so tightly around the general’s neck that the old man struggled for air.

The general came to a crossroads. None of the options looked promising. Zombified warriors approached from the side streets to the left and the right, as well as from the road straight ahead.

“We’ll have to double back,” the general said as he turned around only to find Rage Dog standing in front of him, his hair slick and wet. A flash of lightning illuminated the night sky. A thunderclap followed.

“Come back for more, have you?” General Tsang asked.

Rage Dog laughed. He drew closer, as did the zombified warriors. Evil closed in from all sides as the general produced his dagger.

“Don’t worry,” General Tsang said. “You’ll get it.”

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Zom Fu – Chapter 57

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Dragonhand wasted no time. He delivered ten slaps to Junjie’s stomach and another nine slaps to Junjie’s chest. Junjie grabbed Dragonhand’s hand before the tenth slap was landed, saving himself from explosion via the mystifying monkey slap.

“Knowledge is power,” Dragonhand said as he seized Junjie and flipped him into the air. “But experience is essential. So many have died due to the knowledge I have stolen from the brains of China’s greatest kung fu masters. How many have died at your hand?”

Junjie launched himself into the air and brought his arm down in a furious fox paw arc. The fiend stepped out of the way, leaving Junjie to crack marble floor with his fist.

The Infallible Master watched from a vantage point next to the Dragon Throne. “You were always so boastful, Longwei.”

Dragonhand ignored the old man and charged at Junjie. Junjie attempted to jump over Dragonhand, but his foot was caught by his adversary. He was flung ten feet across the throne room, but managed to right himself and land on his feet.

“Impressive,” Dragonhand said as he looked into Junjie’s eyes. “I see such hatred in your eyes.”

“Pay him no mind, disciple,” the master said.

“Why do you despise me so?” Dragonhand asked as he pointed at the ghost. “Because I killed that doddering old fool?”

Punch and deflect. Punch and deflect. The opponents became locked in a frustrating struggle, catching one another’s fists over and over. Dragonhand swept his foot underneath Junjie’s leg, knocking the young man on his back. Junjie sprang to his feet instantly.

“Gratitude is in order,” Dragonhand said. “He would have eventually found a way to hold you back, just as he did me.”

“I never held you back, Longwei,” the master said.

Dragonhand looked at the ghost. “Shut up.”

“The truth disturbs you, Longwei?” the master asked.

Taking advance of a distracted foe, Junjie bicycle kicked his way across the room, connecting his feet to Dragonhand’s face seven times. Once he regained his footing, Dragonhand hurled himself at the hero and brought both hands down against the side’s of Junjie’s throat.

The Devastating Crane Smash. Junjie felt its effects instantly. He fell to the ground. His face turned blue as he gasped for air. Dragonhand smiled as he walked in a circle around his opponent.
“And now you’ll know who your best student was, old man,” Dragonhand said as he raised his fist up high, preparing to bring it down on Junjie’s head.

“His name is Junjie, Longwei,” the master said.

Dragonhand turned to the master again. “Never say that name to me again!”

“What name?” the master asked. “Longwei?”

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Zom Fu – Chapter 57

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“Perhaps the Emperor is in the treasury!” the Whirlwind said as he ran down the hallway next to Niu. “If I were hiding the greatest human alive, I would surely lock him up in the treasury…around all those nice gold coins.”

“You are the worst brother in arms, ever,” Niu said.

“Ah,” the Whirlwind replied. “You called me a brother. I’m growing on you, just as Club Fu will.”

“It’s just an expression,” Niu said.

The duo turned a corner and found themselves face to face with Rage Dog, who was seething with anger.

“Bohai,” Niu said.

“There is no Bohai,” Rage Dog said. “There is only Rage Dog.”

Niu perused his former compatriot. He saw the missing hand, the hole in the gut, the sword. “Where is the Emperor?”

“His brain is the property of Dragonhand,” Rage Dog said. “Master of the Clan of the Terrifyingly Unnatural Brain Bite, the Next Ruler of China and the only one wise enough to have ever recognized my talent.”

Niu looked into Rage Dog’s eyes. “I always recognized your talent, brother.”

Rage Dog tilted his head. “You did?”

“Of course, Bohai.”

The undead warrior covered his ears. “No!”

“Your cockiness did you in, brother,” Niu said. “But it may not be too late. Come, Bohai, we must…”

Rage Dog gritted his teeth and snarled. He whacked the hilt of General Tsang’s sword against his chest three times, then shouted at a deafening level, “Bohai is not here anymore! There is only Rage Dog!”

Niu cocked his head to the right and left, cracking the muscles in his neck. He raised his faces. “A shame. I did so love him.”

The undead warrior pointed the sword at Niu. The Whirlwind threw up his hands. “Alright then, I can see you two have some things to work out so I will just scurry along.”

“Leave,” Niu said. “A novice would be instantly bested here.”
The Whirlwind gasped. “Well, if you’re going to insult my pride then maybe I’ll just…”

Pow! Rage Dog slammed the Whirlwind in the face with a mighty kick. The blow was so strong that it knocked the thief through a wall and into a nearby room, where he landed on the floor and became buried underneath a pile of rubble in an unconscious state.

“Some people never listen to good advice,” Niu said.

“No, they do not,” Rage Dog replied.

Rage Dog struck first – a swift kick to Niu’s stomach. Like a rock, Niu barely moved. The big man countered with a punch that knocked Rage Dog back several feet. The opponents fought for several minutes – kicking and punching, kicking and punching. Rage Dog sent several sword swipes in Niu’s direction, but all were easily sidestepped.

“I’m starting to believe you, beast,” Niu said. “Bohai isn’t in you anymore.”

“What makes you say that?” Rage Dog asked.

Niu swept his foot underneath Rage Dog’s ankle and hooked it, tripping his adversary and sending him to the ground. The creature lost his grip on the sword and it skittered across the floor.

“Bohai wouldn’t have allowed that to happen,” Niu said as he stood over Rage Dog’s body and looked down.

Rage Dog flipped up to his feet. The opponents looked at the sword on the ground, then at each other. Instantly, they dove for it, punching and kicking one another as they reached for the weapon.

“Enough!” Niu said as he pointed General Tsang’s sword at Rage Dog. “This ends now!”

“No,” Rage Dog said as he backed up…and up…and up. “This ends…

With his one and only hand, Rage Dog formed a tiger claw, then began running at Niu. “…when I say it does!”

“Don’t make me do this!” Niu shouted.

Thunk! Rage Dog impaled himself on General Tsang’s sword, but it didn’t matter. His tiger claw pinched up and down, getting closer and closer to Niu’s face. Niu clutch the hilt of the sword with both hands and strained to keep the monster back until…the lights went out.

Niu had never cried out in pain before. He’d always accepted injury as an inevitable part of life, something to be experienced with dignity. But this was unlike any pain he’d ever felt in his life. His brain had been saved, but not before Rage Dog’s tiger claw pinched its way through his eyes, tearing them out completely. The giant tumbled backward and fell, releasing his grip on the sword as he did.
Rage Dog yanked the sword out of his stomach and ran, anxious to seek out the Emperor.

“Ungh.” In the nearby room, the Whirlwind stirred. “I’ve been trampled by horses with more decorum, I tell you.”

The thief pushed a few bricks off of his body then arose and stepped out of the hole his airborne carcass had made moments earlier. He shook his head, looked around, then spotted Niu on the ground.

“Oh, sure, you lecture me about discipline but here you are taking a nap,” the Whirlwind said. “I have half a mind to…”

The thief stopped mid-sentence when he saw that Niu was now unconscious, and his eye sockets were bloody and bare.”

“That’s not good,” the Whirlwind said. The thief squatted down, slapped Niu on the cheek a few times, then snapped his fingers in front of Niu’s face. “Baldy! Is anyone in there?”

The Whirlwind stood up, then looked down at Niu and held up two fingers. “How many fingers are in the air?”

No response. The Whirlwind stood over Niu’s body for awhile, utterly stupefied as to what his next move should be until…crash!

A window in the hall way broke. Then another, and another. Six in total. Dozens of zombified warriors poured into the palace. They marched down the hallway toward the Whirlwind and Niu, hungry for the living meat that was before them.

The Whirlwind grabbed Niu’s hands and attempted to drag the giant. All manner of grunting and groaning sounds were made as the thief strained his muscles to the limit. “Come on, baldy! Work with me here.”

The zombies growled.

“Bah!” the Whirlwind said as he dropped Niu’s arms. “Just my luck to be stuck with the only kung fu warrior in the country that needs to go on a diet!”

The zombies approached closer.

“Back!” the Whirlwind shouted as he brandished his club. “Stand back, you lousy wretches or I’ll bonk the lot of you!”

The zombies surrounded the Whirlwind and his hefty charge.

“You want this man, you’ll have to go through me!”

More growls.

“Well,” the Whirlwind said. “I didn’t say the subject wasn’t up for negotiation. Any chance you all might just have a quick nibble off this fellow while I saunter my way out of here, no questions asked?”

“Blurgh!” shouted an angry zombie.

“Come on, chums,” the Whirlwind said. “Look at him. He’s massive. You’d have to be a bunch of bloody pigs if you want to eat him AND me in one sitting.”

“Bragah ragh!” screamed an impatient zombie.

The Whirlwind nodded and brandished his club once more. “Right then. So as I was just saying ever so heroically, if you want this man, then you’ll have to come through me!”

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Zom Fu – Chapter 55

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The lightning flowed into the Staff of Ages and surged with in it. Dragonhand laughed maniacally. “Muah ha ha! When everyone is dead, China shall be mine!”

The clicking of a tongue broke the fiend’s concentration. “Tsk, tsk, tsk. My worst student. Do you not realize that if everyone is dead, there will be nothing left in China that is worth ruling? How very sad the irony is lost on you.”

Dragonhand looked the ghost before him. “Yaozu, you pathetic has-been. You look so much better this way.”

“I admit the look has grown on me,” the Infallible Master replied.

Junjie stepped up next to his master. The fiend laughed and laughed and laughed.

“What?” Dragonhand asked. “You’ve brought your weakling for me to finish him off?”

Junjie laughed. The Infallible Master laughed. Dragonhand laughed. The lightning continued to pour in from the ceiling and down into the Staff of Ages as the trio shared a guffaw.

Fwoosh! Junjie’s fist caught on fire. He formed a fire ball in his hands. He caressed it, packed it as if it were a snowball. It grew larger and larger until finally, he hurled it at his adversary. Dragonhand knocked the ball out of air with a fire ball of his own.

“What the?” was the best response Dragonhand was able to muster.

A powerful stream of fire poured of of Junjie’s right hand. Dragonhand deflected the attack with another fire stream. The opponents pushed their flames toward one another, desperately trying to gain ground until….KABOOM! The flames exploded in the center of the throne room.

“My, my, my,” Dragonhand said. “Whose brain have you been nibbling on, boy?”

“The Staff of Ages did not select you, for obvious reasons,” the Infallible Master said. “I’ll have you return it to its rightful owner, if you please.”

“Oh, who cares what you want, old man,” Dragonhand said. “Why are you still here, anyway? Too much of a coward to face Diyu?”

“Perhaps,” the Infallible Master replied. “Then again, perhaps I’m too honorable to leave this world without rectifying the mistake I left behind.”

Junjie raised his flaming fists.

“Ahh,” Dragonhand said. “You violated your sacred duty as the jailer of Shaoshang, didn’t you, Yaozu? And now, in seeking to destroy me, you have unleashed an even more dangerous monster.”

“There isn’t a monster on this earth more dangerous than you,” the Infallible Master replied.

“With all of the horrors that lurk within Shaoshang’s brain, it would be impossible for any man to consume it without becoming a sadistic creature,” Dragonhand said.

“Junjie is the greatest student I have ever had…”

Dragonhand snarled as he shot a fireball that passed right through the old man’s ghost form. “I was the best student you ever had!”

“Clearly you weren’t or you would not be dishonoring me as you do now,” the Infallible Master said.

“Clearly I was and you were just too much of a senile old fool to recognize it!” Dragonhand said.

“Junjie is the best student I ever had,” the Infallible Master repeated. “And he is the best man I have ever known. Shaoshang’s madness does not importune his senses one iota.”

Dragonhand returned his gaze to the Staff of Ages. The purple ruby grew brighter and brighter. “Fools. I’ll waste no more time on a dead man…or a boy soon to be dead.”

Lightning struck the Staff of Ages over and over again.

“Yes,” the Infallible Master said. “Take the easy way out, as you always do, as you always have done.”

Dragonhand’s interested was piqued. “The easy way?”

“My worst student could never possibly defeat my best student in a fair fight,” the Infallible Master said.

The fiend looked at Junjie, then at the Staff. “Damn you, Yaozu!”

The lightning stopped pouring in from the roof. The fiend pointed the staff at his old master. “I will show you once and for all who your best student was!”

“I’m counting on it,” the Infallible Master said.

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Zom Fu – Chapter 54

tabletdemo

Chapter 54

The Whirlwind stood in the changing quarters of the late Empress, affixing a dangly earring to his already pierced earlobe and admiring himself in a full length mirror. His neck was overflowing with necklaces adorned with massive, sparkly jewels, all pilfered from a variety of jewelry boxes that were left open and torn apart on the boudoir.
“Such a fancy one, you are,” the Whirlwind said to his reflection. “The ladies must absolutely adore you.”
Niu’s voice bellowed in from the hallway. “Your Majesty! Your Majesty, where are you?”
A lovely lady’s robe hanged in a nearby closet. It was violet and covered with a floral pattern. The Whirlwind grabbed it and admired it.
“Such craftsmanship,” the thief said. “Such fine silk. It would indeed fetch a pretty price.”
The scumbag tried it on, then struck a pose in front of the mirror. “Yes,” the Whirlwind said to his reflection. “Oh look at you! You’re positively breathtaking!”
The Whirlwind caught sight of a silver pot sitting on the boudoir. It was filled with red face paint, a bit dry and tacky but there was enough of it still wet to get the job done.
“I must complete the look!” the Whirlwind said. He picked up the pot, checked himself out in the mirror, and began applying the paint.
“Your Majesty!” Niu’s voice grew louder and closer. “Where are you?”
“Oh yes,” the Whirlwind said as he rubbed the paint into his cheeks and lips. “You are a beauty, aren’t you?”
The door to the Empress’ room creaked open. Niu stepped inside. “I’ve searched every room and I can’t find…”
The Whirlwind turned around. Niu stood back and took in the sight of his brother in arms, standing there with in a full length lady’s robe with his face painted like a common prostitute.
“You sicken me to no end,” Niu said as he walked out of the room. “Come on!”
The Whirlwind scooped up a handful of shiny rings off of the boudoir, tucked them into his pocket, then followed. “Where are we going?”
“The roof,” Niu said. “The last place we haven’t checked.
“Will there be time for more treasure?” the Whirlwind asked.
“You’ve had enough treasure,” Niu answered.

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Zom Fu – Chapter 53

tabletdemo

General Tsang stepped slowly along the roof of the palace, taking care to not lose his footing, for the Emperor’s little hands were clinging around his neck. From this height, the general was able to see for miles in any direction. He was so far up that the humans and zombies below appeared like tiny ants fighting one another.
Thunderclaps roared and lightning bolts streaked through the clouds, lighting up the sky with each occurrence. Rain began to pour.
“Don’t worry, Your Majesty,” the general said as he stepped to the ledge. There, a long line of bright, glowing lanterns began. They were strung all the way down in a diagonal line to the army barracks, less than half a mile away.
The general took off his belt. “Now, you’ll want to close your eyes, because the key is to not look down…”

“Stop!”

General Tsang turned around. Rage Dog and Bingwen had made it to the roof, along with their respective zombie warriors and palace guards.

The sword Rage Dog carried in his last remaining hand caught the general’s eye.

“That isn’t yours,” General Tsang said. “It’s my family’s ancestral relic, passed down through the ages and wielded by a number of men far better than you. It’s killed better men too.”

The Emperor poked his little face up above the general’s shoulder, caught a brief glimpse of Rage Dog, then ducked behind his champion.

“Hand over the boy,” Rage Dog said.

“He is not yours, either,” General Tsang replied. “You are his.” The general turned his attention to Rage Dog’s assorted flunkies. “All of you are his, for he carries the Mandate of Heaven and with it, the sacred birth right to rule over China.”

“Do it or die,” Rage Dog said.

“Bingwen!” the general said. “You bring shame on your ancestors.”

“My ancestors are dead,” Bingwen said. “Life is for the living, for those who are willing to do what needs to be done in order to live for as long as possible.”

Thunderclap! The sky lit up with lightning. The rain poured harder. Rage Dog and the general strained their eyes to see one another through the drops. Their hair and clothing became sopping wet.

“Well, there’s only one of me and at least twenty of you,” the general said. “I will have to…”
The general put up his fists. “…kill you all!”

Rage Dog pointed at the old man. “Seize him!”

Bingwen, the zombies, and the palace guards approached with weapons drawn. The thunder rolled and the lightning grew brighter and brighter until….BLAM! A massive beam of light shot down from the heavens, vaporized all of the attackers save for Rage Dog, and tore a giant hole through the palace roof. The beam was so bright that neither Rage Dog nor the general dared look at it.

The general seized the opportunity. “Hold on, Your Majesty!” General Tsang lept into the air, caught the line with his belt and then…pop, pop, pop! Each lantern exploded as the belt delivered the general and his charge on down the line.

Rage Dog kept his back turned on the light. He stood and sneered, then remembered Dragonhand’s warning: “If you fail me, kill yourself and save me the trouble.”

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