Drifting – 16

CHAPTER THREE

It has been three days.

I am happy to report that your chronicler Gao Wenshi still lives.

Now, you may be saying: “Gao Wenshi, how can you call yourself a chronicler with such an egregious gap? Three days? The fate of the empire can shift in one day! And here you’ve left out three of them? You’re as irresponsible a biographer as you are a useless scholar and unfilial son!”

And, indeed reader, those are fair reactions. I object to that unfilial bit, but we will discuss that later as it would take us too far from our current topic: the matter of these missing days.

Let me tell you. I was kidnapped!

Today I am safe and possess and ample supply of ink and pages and even spare brushes. These are luxuries I’ve not known since leaving The Academy! But, yes, let us return to that marketplace in Xichang three days ago.

I had little opportunity to take notes during my capture, so we shall rely upon my memory for now. I assure you it is an excellent memory honed by years of grueling study and even more grueling examinations. I shall endeavor to keep needless embellishment to a minimum.

Let us begin.

It was a bright day. The suffocating throng of commerce moved about us in all directions. The din of a thousand sales pitches rang in our ears. And there, before us, were three bandits. Armed, armored, angry, and only a little sober.


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