Hidden in the sweltering tangle of Burma's Golden Triangle, the
notorious Kak holds Sun Lee captive. K'ing battles to save her from the
grip of opium slavery, prostitution—and the hideously sophisticated
tortures of the Red Circle. K'ing and The Moor fight Time and hordes of
fiendish enemies in their most perilous adventure yet!
Their voices were hard, demanding. K'ing began to see that his
Western clothes, his blond hair, his clean, healthy look, marked him as
someone who might have money; someone who might be easy prey for an
desperate addict or a brazen thug with a knife or a gun.
All the better. He had been wandering the slum since noon. By the
time the sun disappeared behind the peaks to the west of Kowloon,
across the harbor, he had skirted its edges and begun to fathom its
beat. He had located three heroin dens and numberless houses of
prostitution. He had marked several bands of gang-members who coursed
the streets like schools of predatory fish, searching for the kind of
random violence that kept them alive.
Now he was walking more slowly, memorizing faces and streets and
He rounded a corner at the slum's edge, where he had before noticed a
few small, relatively clean shops whose owners—so he thought—must
have been having a difficult time surviving in the cesspool of crime
and violence that day by day overflowed upon them.
Suddenly he was face to face with the kind of brutality that those
who lived in the slum had learned to fear every moment of their lives.
From the door of a tiny shop, a figure in a white apron came reeling
out into the street, followed by three young men who kicked and pounded
at him with their fists as he stumbled into the gutter. The man, young,
thin, bespectacled, tried to rise. Pleading for mercy, he warded off
blows weakly with his fists as he tried to hide his face. Passersby
turned their heads at what to them was a familiar scene—a group of
young gang members trying to collect money owed a local usurer.
K'ing walked quickly until he was within striking distance.
The storekeeper was trying to back out into the road. The thug who
seemed to be the leader let go with a kick to his chin. There was a
blue blur and a flashing foot, and a higher, harder kick smashed his
calf and sent him sprawling over backward, dazed. His pock-marked face
was a twisted picture of hate as he struggled to stand.
His two companions turned on K'ing, disbelief and shock rapidly
changing to fury. They were not used to being interfered with.
The leader picked himself up off the pavement and push past them.
“Get out of our way, you stupid bastard! Who the hell are you? This dog
owes us money! We're going to collect it if we have to sell his body
His voice rose as he closed in on K'ing. “You Westerners don't
understand the ways of us Chinese. If you were Chinese, you would
already be dead. Go!”
One companion stalked K'ing from the side. His hand moved inside his
shirt and grasped the handle of a knife.
“Get out!” the leader screamed, motioning with a flip of his wrist as
if he had become annoyed with an insect. “This does not concern you.
But if you stay, it will kill you!”
K'ing heard a thud from behind him as one of the thugs turned once
more to set upon the shopkeeper, driving another kick into his stomach.
The thugs could see he was not going to leave.
Out of the corner of his eye he could see a knife blade drifting
upward through the air to poise over him.
The leader in front of him moved his hand inside his shirt.
K'ing danced sideways and his foot lashed out. There was an agonized
screech as his heel cracked a hip bone. A figure whirled out of the
corner of his vision and toppled to the street.
The eyes of the leader grew wide then narrowed with hardness. This
was his territory, and he had to meet every challenge to survive as its
lord. So far he had. “You think you are a Kung Fu fighter. But I also
know Kung Fu. For ten years I have studied day and night with Hong
Kong's greatest Master! But this fighting without weapons is child's
play. I will not play with you. You may think that you are Sun Lutang,
or Chang Sen-feng, or even Lin Fong himself. But you will see how
easily I will carve your illusions out of you...”
He pulled his knife and started toward K'ing.
A crowd began to gather. K'ing sensed the people were for him but
expected him to be killed.