Sword Witch brings the carriage to a halt at the South Gate of Xichang.
“You can’t park that here!” It’s one of the town guards yelling at her from his station.
She dismounts the carriage and begins to walk away. “It’s not parked. It’s left behind.”
“You can’t park that here!” This guard is very determined.
Sword Witch turns to the guard. It’s a simple movement. Even trivial. Yet it possesses all the alacrity of a warrior on the offensive. The guard can’t help but put his hand on the hilt of his sword. Of course, if she truly meant him any harm he’d have died before he ever touched it.
“If you want it moved, move it,” she says. “Hell, it’s yours if you want it.”
“What?” This guard did not expect anything like Sword Witch when he woke up today. I’m not sure anyone ever does.
“It’s yours. I don’t need it anymore,” she says while walking toward Xichang’s gate. It already strikes me as the kind of town where nothing much happens and everyone who lives here is quite happy about it.
“What about your luggage?” the guard says.
“There’s nothing in there I could possibly want or need.”
She must have thought I already got out.
I exit the carriage with my extra papers and brushes and ink bundled up. It’s difficult to write and carry these things.
“What are you writing?” It’s the guard. I haven’t time for this!
“I’m her chronicler. Excuse me.”
“Is this your carriage?”
“No. It used to belong to a nice old couple. Um, they’re dead though. Excuse me.”
“Why are there arrows sticking out of one side?”
“There were bandits. Excuse me.”
“Why is this other side covered in blood?”
“Because they aren’t bandits anymore. Excuse me.”
“Bandits?! How many were there?”
“I couldn’t say. There were many fractions to keep track of. Please, excuse me.”