Dragon Sword

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

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48. midnight

 

It was midnight. The Wolf Girl sat with a lowered head listening to a blind priest playing the biwa. You saw her nostrils flare, that's all. Zu sat still with the lids shut over her lunar eyes. Was she even breathing? It would have been hard to tell. Smoke floated in the air. It was thick with heat in Kut Habba's palace. Outside, fireworks -- crowds of people shrieking with joy in the dark streets. In the Gobi dust, at the edge of the insane desert where anything can happen.       

 

 

Then, silence. Twanging silence at first with the echo of the biwa and finally empty silence but not dead silence for it is alive with torchlight and Zu opens her eyes to the lunar whites and stands holding her bamboo flute and walks slowly to the center of the room and faces the dais where sit Kut Habba and also General Gyo Ming Khang and his three deadly and alert bodyguards -- the keen Samurai, the frightening Warrior Witch, and the giant bowl-legged and slack jawed Mongolian.

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