Ending – Poor Me
Long Cheng’s Wind of Death and Kong Duan’s “Wind of Death” produced drastically different results. Kong Duan was a man of talent, perceptive and quick with his mind. Hence, he surmised, “His Majesty wouldn’t be here alone if he’s set on arresting me. He might have Feiyun Hall surrounded already. The only way out is to rendezvous with my helpers.”
Kong Duan, therefore, sneaked off when while Long Cheng kept the rest occupied. Kong Duan’s underlings planned to follow him; however, he demanded they stay to assist Long Cheng and promised he’d be back before speeding off in his unique running style. Needless to say, he fled, as he didn’t see Long Cheng defeating all of the Emperor’s adepts. His underlings were told to stay to stall the Emperor’s golden armour guards. He only trusted himself and the warriors trained at Feiyun Hall.
Kong Duan sneaked through other residential homes via the secret door in the hall he left, but he ran into Lu Shangfei before he could enter Feiyun Hall. Blinking out of confusion, he asked, “Why are you here?”
Lu Shangfei waved a hand: “Old Kong Duan. Armed buddies, don’t hold back. Rip the old scum apart and feed him to the pigs!”
Lu Shangfei’s twenty or so armed men surrounded Kong Duan before he could run. Kong Duan quickly pieced the situation together. Since Yang Lianhua was captured, Lu Xiazou’s death was most probably out in the open. Kong Duan wasn’t a martial artist; he wasn’t a match for the men. As he tried coming up with a plan, his eyes instinctively darted around. Sounding imposing and righteous, he said, “Wait! Shangfei, what are you doing here? Enemies are currently pursuing this old one. You should be helping me. Why would you turn on me?”
“Helping you? This mother fucker wants me to help him? Why didn’t you think about all the things I did for you all these years when you killed my brother?” fumed Lu Shangfei, pointing an iron broadsword at Kong Duan as he panted heavily. “Either you die or I die today! Get him!”
“Wait, wait, kill your brother? Do you mean Xiazou? He’s still at the capital. Why do you mean this old one killed him?”
“W-Wait!” commanded Lu Shangfei. “What? Xiazou… is still alive?”
“Of course he is,” replied Kong Duan, slapping his thigh, which was very out of character. Expression stern and tone righteous, he elaborated, “Who told he’s dead? Of course this old one would protect him when he works for this old one? He’s still well and safe at the capital. How could you frame this old one for killing him?”
Kong Duan carried on: “Evils Spirits are a sly group. How can this old one not be cautious when dealing with them when his goal is so grand? That day, Lu Xiazou and I agreed to put on act to trick Yang Lianhua. That’s why Xiazou pretended to die after taking a blow from Yang Lianhua, thereby accusing Yang Lianhua of killing a government official. We both knew about it; we just couldn’t tell you, since we had to keep the secret. In regards to Xiazou’s injury, I already had a doctor treat him. He’s doing fine at the capital. Why do you believe he’s dead? Who told you that?”
Kong Duan stupefied Lu Shangfei. Lu Shangfei had yet to see his brother’s corpse, and he only heard of his brother’s death two days ago. He was still on the fence about accepting the reality. Pleasant surprise and astonishment put him at an impasse. He was worried Kong Duan was lying, though. He stammered, “I-Is that true? Xiazou is still alive? Really?”
Kong Duan stroked his beard and acted imposing: “Absolutely. If you want to know where he is, tell your men to back down before it’s too late. This old one shall write down his location for you. Bring a brush, paper, ink and a stone.”
Lu Shangfei’s men pulled a desk over and cleared a path. They set the four treasures of the study on the table. The items were prepared to fabricate the impression people lived in the homes. Kong Duan picked up the brush and began to write. Claiming the brush to be problematic, he expressed a desire to switch it for another brush.
Lu Shangfei’s tears welled up in his eyes when he looked at the sheet of paper Kong Duan wrote. He was so glad he could finally see his brother after seeing him in his dreams the last two nights. All of their memories together came back to him. He thought they were separated for eternity, but he always fantasised Lu Xiazou was still somewhere…
“Uh, Boss Lu, why does he need to go so far just to write something? I don’t even see him anymore.”
“What did he even write? It resembles nothing but scribbles.”
“Hmm?” Lu Shangfei picked up the sheet for a closer look. Kong Duan wrote five words before suavely leaving: this old one is leaving.
Finally realising he had been duped, Lu Shangfei commanded, “Fuck! Chase him down! Don’t waste your breath on him! Kill him on sight!”
Kong Duan raced to Feiyun Hall’s entrance. Suddenly, he heard, “Old bastard, where do you think you’re going?!”
The man who descended from above was dressed in resplendent clothing. His appearance, nonetheless, was that of a soldier from the battlefields. He was stocky and muscular. Kong Duan exclaimed, “Lie Jingchan!”
Su Xiao gave Secretary Lie and Lu the antidote for their poison after they were rescued. After Kong Duan escaped, Secretary Lu booted Lie Jingchan’s rear end and cursed: “Hey, Useless, go and chase him down already!”
Lie Jingchan, of course, gave chase given his fiery temper. Unfortunately, navigation wasn’t his forte, which was why he jumped from roof to roof to search for Kong Duan. When he heard Lu Shangfei’s group’s loud voices, he located Kong Duan.
Lie Jingchan rubbed his hands together: “Fucking old bastard, you’re a real piece of shit. I would rather die in war than after the war. You almost had me back there.”
Lie Jingchan was the last one Kong Duan wanted to offend among the six ministries’ leaders.
Kong Duan: “W-Wait, Secretary Lie, I can explain.”
“Ex-fucking-plain to your momma!” cursed Lie Jingchan, giving Kong Duan a flush slap to the face.
Kong Duan felt as if his cheek was slapped off his face.
Kong Duan and Lie Jingchan had been at odds since forever. Kong Duan could deceive anyone but Lie Jingchan, not because the latter was astute but because he couldn’t be reasoned with. Kong Duan’s most impelling speech wouldn’t get through to Lie Jingchan when he was in the right, so there wasn’t the remote chance he’d get through when he was in the wrong.
Lie Jingchan stepped forward and lifted Kong Duan off the floor. Then, Lie Jingchan slapped Kong Duan multiple times: “Poison me, huh?! Poison me, huh?! Good god, your face is repulsive! This is what you get for hitting Old Lu!”
Kong Duan’s face was totally disfigured after the double digit slap combo.
Footsteps followed the sound of a door opening. Only Kong Duan’s henchmen would’ve known how to find the area. He, accordingly, was delighted help arrived. Taking advantage of Lie Jingchan’s moment of distraction, Kong Duan escaped the former’s grasp and bolted. As he ran, he cried, “Hurry! Hurry!”
Kong Duan tripped over after a short run; he was a civil servant at the end of the day. From above, he heard, “Eh? What’s going on? Why are so many armed men here?”
It was Lu Shangfei and his men. Lu Shangfei didn’t jump Kong Duan before, for he figured it was better to line up while Lie Jingchan dished out a beating. Once Kong Duan ran, it was Lu Shangfei who rushed over. A member who just arrived and saw Kong Duan was startled, “Whoa, shit! Who let the pig out?! I just bought these shoes! Fuck off!”
Kong Duan was furious, but he couldn’t even open his swollen eye to see who insulted him. Either way, he was sure it was his men, so he didn’t make a scene. He cried, “Help! Kill them for me!”
“Help you? Who are you?”
Kong Duan: “What sort of blimming question is that?! It’s me! Kong Duan! Your Secretary Kong!”
Never in Kong Duan’s wildest dreams did he expect to hear, “Fuck Kong Duan!”
Lu Shangfei was surprised to see the man slap Kong Duan. He wondered, “Aren’t they on the same team? Why are they bickering?”
Kong Duan spat out a mouthful of blood: “H-How dare you hit me! Who is your master, insolent scoundrel?!”
“Why would I not dare to? Open your fucking pig eyes and look at me. I’m Yang Lianhua’s subordinate!”
Secretary Kong was in a pinch.