The Dungeon of Fusang Castle
"You have a choice," Koen said as he advanced slowly. "You can give me the keys, or you can give me your heart..."
Suddenly, Koen felt a sharp pain in the back of his neck. All his muscles froze. He tried to use his magics, but found that he was unable to do so. He dropped to the floor. Standing behind Koen was another Chinese gentleman. He was tall and lean. Purdie noted that he appeared to be of high intelligence, and yet, as he looked into the eyes of the newcomer, a chill went up his spine.
"Interesting," the newcomer said, "I had thought that the Bloodtail were extinct."
He looked at the guard who was standing behind Purdie, "Quit hiding, coward. How Lieng has managed to accomplish what he's done with the imbeciles at his disposal is beyond my comprehension."
"The Neko was powerful." the guard protested
"And yet, one neural nerve pinch, and he is both unable to move and use his magicks."
The Chinese man walked up to Purdie and looked him over, "The methods you use to torture him are barbaric. Very Western in nature. There are other methods of extracting such information......"
He stopped and stared at Purdie's left chest, then his right. He looked up at Purdie, an evil smile on his face.
"Two hearts. Do not worry about the Bloodtail," he told Purdie, motioning at Koen's limp body "He will live. But you will tell me, how you come to speak the language better than a native."
Purdie let out a sigh, then looked at his captor, "A psychic link.....translates all languages....we hear....and helps us.....speak the language."
The captor smiled, "Very impressive. Why are you here?"
"To save a friend...." Purdie said "Captured.....and brought here....."
There was a puff of smoke, and another Chinese, this one appearing to be a wizened old man, appeared. He looked at the other, then dropped to his knees.
"Master, I did not know you were here." He said
The tall China man scowled at the newcomer, "Lien Bao, what is going on? I have heard rumors of a captive who escaped? Where did this prisoner come from?"
Lien Bao got up, keeping his head bowed at the tall one, "He is an old enemy of The Dragon Who Waits."
The tall one looked at Purdie, "No doubt the one you seek to rescue."
Lien Bao stepped closer to the tall one, "My Master, it is but a temporary setback. The Dragon Who Waits....."
"Lieng is a fool. Make sure this escaped prisoner is found. Now, go."
Lien Bao bowed to the tall one, then vanished in a puff of smoke.
"So...." Purdie said "H'sieh Lieng is not...... the true...... mastermind. It's you."
The tall one's response was a cold hard stare, which was interrupted by a voice from behind.
The tall one turned as three werewolves entered the dungeon.
"What is it?" the tall one asked
"Word from Kowloon," one of the werewolves responded "the outcast, Soft Paw, has joined the army of Feng. Also, three of the west have joined in, as well."
"I am not concerned of the outcast. What of the three?"
The second werewolf stepped forward, "One carries a bag of the medical profession. One is a captain of an airship. The third is dressed as a cowboy, but......."
"It is said that the cowboy is Fenris' Bane."
Once more, the tall one scowled, "Very well. Have troops ready to stop them, no matter the cost. Do what you want to the cowboy."
The werewolves bowed and left the dungeon, the tall one turned to the remaining guard and pointed at Purdie and Koen.
"Have them placed in a cell, have three mages perform a spell to prevent the Bloodtail from escaping." The tall one looked at Purdie, "We may not meet again, Two Hearts, but I'm sure you would have made an impressive adversary."
Purdie looked around then tried to shrug, "thanks?"
Feng's Camp, Kowloon
Fuzz, Nayland Smith, and Feng stood around a table, looking at the map of the area. Nearby, Dogg Food sat, listening intently. Smith pointed out key spots, and what dangers lie ahead.
"There is a British patrol boat here," Smith said, pointing at a section of the map "unable to head up river, or it's a violation of a treaty...."
"And us marching and flying to Fusang is not a violation?" Fuzz asked
Smith ignored Fuzz and continued pointing at the map, "Feng's forces will march here to Bridge Village."
"We are greatly outnumbered," Feng added "Lieng has land and sea forces that have become undefeated. And there is the Land Dragon."
Fuzz looked at Feng, then at Smith, "Land Dragon?"
Smith nodded, "It's an armored vehicle. Powerful, firing destructive weapons."
"If my army is to be victorious," Feng said "the Land Dragon must be dealt with."
"And it will be," Smith said "the sooner the Fusang forces are defeated, the sooner peace can come to these lands. Now, we must prepare to leave. It's a two days march to Bridge Village."
Smith and Feng left the tent, leaving Fuzz alone with Dogg. Fuzz looked at Dogg.
"Hear that?" he asked "Explosions. We should've brought Tensai"
Dogg jumped up on the table and looked the map over.
"There's no way that Smith guy can think that Feng can win this." she said "As Feng said, the opposition is great in numbers, and there this tank...the Land Dragon."
Fuzz nodded, "Land and sea."
Fuzz looked at the map, strumming his fingers against the table, then nodded.
Outside The Tent
The army prepared to march out for Bridge Village. Smith and Feng were briefing Biggles, Angus, and Darien on the situation. He looked up to see Fuzz walking towards the group.
"Change of plans, Smith." Fuzz said "We'll be traveling by river."
"The Fusang army patrols the river," Feng protested "the water craft that we have are not equipped for battle."
"Don't worry," Fuzz said, smiling as he looked at Biggles, Angus and Darien "we'll have the protection that we need."
To Be Continued