The Purple Demon is a new twelve part story for 2018 written by Thaddeus White.

Glitch

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#1
Ba Renzhong hobbled through the wide streets of Tiangjin. Guards marched ahead and behind him, and he was shirtless so that the people lining the streets could see the marks of flogging ripped into his back. A heavy wooden cangue had been locked around his neck and both wrists. Until recently, he had been Lord Ximen’s general, and presided over a number of exile sentences himself. Despite being demoted to colonel, Lord Ximen had decreed his journey to Ganyang would be made as wretched as possible.

Read Episode 1 – Ba Renzhong is exiled in disgrace, twelve bandits fight the Purple Demon
 

Glitch

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#3
Ba Renzhong screamed a war cry as he charged like a rhino into the midst of the bandits. A spear jabbed at him, but he ducked beneath it and tackled the brigand to the ground. His elbow knocked the criminal witless, and Ba grabbed the spear for himself. Seeing that he knew what he was doing, the other bandits surrounded him in a circle, swords and spears ready.“There’s a dozen of us, and one of you,” one crowed. “We’ll slice you into mince!”

Read The Purple Demon slays his foes and encounters Governor Rong and General Gao
 

Glitch

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#11
Ba left the Hall of Righteous Bloodshed and marched to the quartermaster. Everyone had seen him ride in with Governor Rong so, despite not yet having his seal of authority, the quartermaster readily provided him with a fresh uniform, armour and weapons. Ba thanked him and piled the equipment and clothing into a huge heap.

Read The Purple Demon – Ba meets Iron Belly, and gets his hands dirty
 

Glitch

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#12

Glitch

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#14
General Gao stared for a moment at Ba, eyes wide with shock. Then he threw his table across the hall, crockery and wine bottles smashing to smithereens.

“You dare approach your commanding officer when your armour is dripping with blood? This arrogant contravention of military regulations might have been tolerated in Tiangjin, under your lax leadership, but here in Ganyang we do things properly!” General Gao shouted. “Report tomorrow morning. You’ll be flogged in the square.”

Ba clenched his fist to stop himself drawing his sword. “General, please enlighten me. Which military regulation does my bloody armour contravene?”

Colonel Ho got to his feet. “Questioning the orders of a superior officer is clear insubordination. Unacceptable conduct!”

Read The Purple Demon is punished for success and General Gao shows his teeth
 

Glitch

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#15
Iron Belly stepped out of the darkness, sword dripping with blood.

“Are you alright, colonel?” the major asked.

Ba grimaced. “The day started with a flogging and ended with assassins. I’m looking forward to tomorrow.” He yanked off the mask from one of the dead men. “Recognise him?”

Iron Belly crouched beside the corpse. “Yes. He’s a paper soldier. General Gao does the old accounting trick, claiming he has more men than he does to receive additional funds and pocketing the pay of ‘paper soldiers’. He keeps a handful of real scoundrels on the books, like this man. They get a full salary, but only do dirty work for the general once or twice a year.”

Read The Purple Demon – Paper soldiers are buried in darkness, and a silver lining appears
 

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#16
Ba Renzhong closed the door and started to gather the things he would need for his journey. As he donned his armour, he explained the situation to the others.
“I’ve been sent to inspect several villages that may be harbouring bandits and stolen property,” the Purple Demon said. “Jiang, Lina, stay here. General Gao has it in for me, and I don’t want him to take it out on you. Cho Feng can see to your needs.”

Iron Belly growled. “I should come with you. There could be an ambush. Again.”

Ba Renzhong slapped him on the shoulder. “I can look after myself. My brother and sister-in-law I leave to you, friend.”

The villages were nestled in the mountains that rose around Ganyang, the rocky paths too steep and precarious for a horse. Ba left the city behind, the cold piercing his armour. Even before he reached the first village, snow started to fall, and tiny patches of ice made the path treacherous.

An odd thing happened at the first village. Before Ba even opened his mouth, every villager turned out in the square and the headman presented him with two silver ingots.

Read The Purple Demon – Happiness at dawn, despair at dusk
 

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