Drifting – 2

She snaps the reins and the carriage lurches forward. It’s difficult to hang on to my books and the ink and the brush and the carriage. She must have thought I was already settled. Regardless, I manage to hang on at a cost of only a few provisions. We can find more food I’m sure. Brush and ink enough to record the grand adventures of this heroic soul? Perhaps not!

Her hair reaches her shoulders in a ragged line that says her sword is also her barber. There are glimpses of battered leather armor under white robes turned gray from a tremendous amount of travel. She moves with a martial grace that favors efficiency over elegance. I can’t say if she’s pretty. Tigers may be beautiful, but that’s not why people talk about tigers.

“What is your name?” I ask.

“I’m not going to sleep with you,” she says.

“I wouldn’t expect it. Your skill betrays the great deal of internal yin energy you’ve cultivated,” I say, showing the depth of my knowledge of these matters. Which is considerable by the way. “My own yang energy, while nothing to scoff at, let me tell you no complaints in that department, could not hope to compare. There are many daoist texts on the topic of copulation. Remarkably many. And yet they were so hard to find at the Academy’s library. Anyway, the texts continually warn to avoid couplings that involve too great a disparity between internal energies.”

She rubs her temple. It must be a vital point. No doubt the wulin is full of warriors who have to regularly massage and channel their excess internal energies or else cause their own selves harm!

This is a matter of some conjecture on my part as the manuals detailing these exotic arts are kept under constant security. One can infer generalities from the biographies of wulin members and wuxia novels, however it must be stated these texts are given to exaggerations of the sort I shall always endeavor to avoid.

“Please be quiet,” she says.

“What is it? Do you hear more bandits?” I say.

“Sure,” she says.

I listen as hard as I can.

All I can hear is the carriage and the horse and the brush of this writing. But then my ears aren’t trained for this kind of thing! Who am I to doubt the honed senses of a hero?


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