“Do you think my blade is useless?” Huang Gai sneered and then shouted for his guards.
“General!” Huang Gai’s bodyguards were always stationed outside. Two of them entered and cupped their fists at Huang Gai.
“Arrest this man and bring me my sword!” Huang Gai was extremely angry. The two bodyguards wanted to accept the order but the man had already stepped forward.
“General Huang. Why are you doing this?” The man asked.
“Why am I doing this? Do you not understand deep down in your heart? I, Huang Gai, have few friends in my life. It is true that he is one of my very good friends. However, the late General Han Dang had already been killed in battle! I have also met his son Han Zong before. Do you think I have gone blind from old age?” The two bodyguards were unable to hold onto the man.
“General Huang! General Han Dang is not dead! I am his adopted son! That is why I called myself his child.” Han Ping defended himself as he avoided the bodyguards.
“Han Dang is not dead?” Huang Gai sneered. He had watched his friend sink into the bottom of the river. Not even bubbles could be seen as the ship sank. What else could Huang Gai call this except Han Dang being dead?
“What an eloquent thief! Truly Han Dang’s adopted son!” Huang Gai believed that this person only said he was adopted after Han Dang’s son, Han Zong, was mentioned. Huang Gai then personally acted after he saw that his two bodyguards could not manage. Although Han Ping’s martial arts was quite good, he was no match for Huang Gai. With a single kick to the chest, Han Ping fell to the ground. The two bodyguards then held Han Ping firmly.
“Thief. Your mistake was to pretend to be Han Dang’s kin. I will wrong my friend Han Dang if I do not kill you today!” Huang Gai was so angry that his bodyguards also felt frightened. He was very seldom this angry. The only time he had been this angry was when Sun Jian passed away, along with his hatred for Liu Biao and Huang Zu.
“General! I am really not lying!” Han Ping was currently experiencing a bitter suffering. He had been sent by Han Dang but Huang Gai would not believe him. It would be great if he had something to prove his identity. He then remembered the letter. He tried to reach for it but then he was kicked again by Huang Gai. “This thief is really full of evil intentions!” Huang Gai kicked and broke the man’s collarbone. The man’s teeth had also detached and flew away from that kick. Now, Han Ping would have difficulty speaking.
“Urgh.” Han Ping wanted to speak but was unable to. He could only groan. However, the two bodyguards were no longer holding him. This gave him the chance to take out the letter.
“Prepare to die!” Huang Gai took out the sword of one of his bodyguards. He swung it towards Han Ping. His anger could be reflected in the speed and strength of his movements. It was as quick as his movements during his youth.
“Ah!” Han Ping closed his eyes. He was definitely unable to avoid Huang Gai’s attack. A scream could be heard. Even the two bodyguards were reluctant to watch Han Ping be split into two.
“Hm?” The two bodyguards suddenly froze when they saw what happened. Huang Gai’s sword had stopped midway. Han Ping was still safe and curled up on the ground, with a letter in his hands.
Huang Gai’s sword stopped in front of the letter. The few words on it saved Han Ping’s life.
“Where did you get this letter?” Huang Gai asked Han Ping at sword’s point. If Han Ping were to disappoint him, he would cut the man down.
“General! I really am General Han Dang’s adopted son! My name is Han Ping! General Han Dang is still alive!” Han Ping did not stop repeating himself. He wanted to keep his head on his body.
“Han Dang is still alive?” Huang Gai found this more believable now because of the familiar handwriting on the letter. They were large and ugly as though a crab crawled all over it. It was hard to recognize unless one was attentive.
Han Dang was from a poor family when he was young. Naturally, he had no money to study and learn how to write. On the other hand, Huang Gai may not be from a noble family but his family was literate. Naturally, they had books. The two of them became friends when they followed Sun Jian. Han Dang learned how to read documents so that he could become successful. Cheng Pu also did not know how to read. So, Han Dang learned from the only person who could, Huang Gai.
The writings during the ancient time was not as easy as modern calligraphy. It generally takes a lot of time to learn how to write. However, Han Dang did not have that much free time. This was why his handwriting was terrible. “Didn’t he sink into the river that day?”
Han Ping saw Huang Gai slowly sheath the sword. He then said, “General Han Dang had sank because of the whirlpool caused by the sinking ship. However, we managed to drag him away from the current and towards the shore. The fishermen at the river bank also helped. This was how we managed to keep our lives.”
“Why did he not come back? Didn’t he know that a few of his old friends are still here?” Huang Gai felt a bit resentful. He was heartbroken during Han Dang’s supposed death and cried during the man’s funeral. Now, he found out that Han Dang had been alive the entire time.
“General Huang. Father wanted to come back but was too ashamed!” Han Ping continued to explain.
“Too ashamed?” Huang Gai just remembered. Han Dang’s actions had caused them to lose Sanjiangkou. However, he could not actually be blamed because the Jingzhou Army also had ballistae like the Lu Bu’s Army. “Sigh. This old guy!”
“General Huang. This is a letter from my father, to be delivered directly to you!” Han Ping offered the letter in his hand.
Huang Gai picked up the letter and read it. His expression suddenly changed. Han Ping’s expression had also changed. This made the bodyguards believe that the letter was fake. Just as they were about to approach Han Ping, Huang Gai stopped them.
“Is Han Dang still at Sanjiangkou?”
“Yes. Father has been scouting out Sanjiangkou for the past two days!”
“Han Ping. Tell me honestly, did nobody else read this letter other than me ?” Huang Gai looked straight at Han Ping.
“Yes, General Huang!” Han Ping nodded.
“Good. Go out and recover from your wounds. If anybody asks, say that you are my distant cousin. Do not reveal that Han Dang is alive! Understand?”
“Huh?” Han Ping did not understand Huang Gai’s reasoning but he still nodded.
“Alright. You may leave! You two, escort him out and let him rest.”
“Yes!” The two bodyguards nodded.
Huang Gai picked up the letter again after everybody had left. His brows furrowed deeper.