Dragon Sword

A blind swordswoman in China seeks revenge on the cunning and deadly Manchu general who killed her parents.

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41. legends

 

 

The little ten year old Zu was cutting up the light and shadows of the forest one morning as the old hermit looked on, bemused, maybe a little bored, his jaws working busily on a pine nut, when he shouted in a rough, uncharacteristically powerful voice: "That's it!" Startled, she stopped swinging the pine practice sword he'd made for her and stood still, her mouth wide. She knew. Her body quivered like a tuning fork; she began to sweat. Then the old hermit cried out joyfully: Do you see it? You weren't just swinging a stick of pine-wood meantime trying to please me and to pretend it was a real sword and you were cutting through imagined enemies. You forgot all that and broke through into the infinite, the boundless state without limitations, the unborn void. Did you feel it? I saw. I saw you without a single thought start using the sword just as a sword, hands just as your hands, feet just as your feet. Perfect.

 

 

 

 

 

 

She's blind Zu, the swordswoman, the assassin, the artistic killer, trained by the last surviving member of the Dragon Sword cult. General Khang slaughtered her father, raped her mother, cut her forehead with his sword, slashing it in an imperious backhanded gesture so deeply she went blind, and she walked alone, staggering on bare feet, into the pine-deep mountains, where the old swordsman found her, wrapped her in a bearskin, took her to his smoky cave. This is the legend. Who is to say legends can't be true.

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