Dragon Sword

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


34. afterlife



You could just lie down and wait to die. She, Zu, had done that once, in the snow. Moaning and blind, her face sticky with blood, she had let the snow cover her and she had felt her heart beating thinly in that skinny chest and had waited quietly for the heart to stop and for her little girl's body to die. But she had felt arms lifting her and she was brought to a warm and smoky place and she felt hands brushing the snow from her hair and clothes and then some steaming liquid was poured gently into her mouth and she swallowed it, coughing. She never saw another face but when she rose out of her fever the first clear voice she heard was that of the old man who had saved her, the Dragon Sword hermit. His strange, rattling, strained voice, throaty with phlegm -- that was her afterlife.


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