“Are you always going to be writing?” she asks.
“I’m making a full and complete record of your adventures as they unfold!” I say. She appears unimpressed, but then these warrior types always look like that. “It’s a literary first,” I say.
“That’s terrific,” she says.
“You never answered my question,” I say.
“How rude of me,” she says.
She is silent.
Ah! She’s forgotten the question and obviously she would lose face to ask me to repeat it. I will oblige her.
“I asked for your name,” I say.
She snorts. Or maybe it was a laugh.
“The wanted posters call me Sword Witch,” she says.
“I’m Gao Wenshi,” I say.
“Did not ask,” she says.
“Where are we headed?” I say.
“We are headed nowhere,” she says.
“I hadn’t considered the question in those terms, but the wulin must be a fatalistic bunch come to think of it,” I say.
She rubs at her temple again. What a strain it must be to contain all those energies!
“Not what I mean,” she says. “We’re already halfway to Xichang, so I’m taking the carriage the rest of the way and leaving it there. With you.”