Drifting – 8

The guard is still calling after me, but I’m writing this down and pretending I can’t hear him. I’ve now crossed through Xichang’s gate into the town itself.

Worrisome. I saw Sword Witch come this way, but she’s nowhere to be seen!

How will I ever chronicle the adventures of this singular hero of the wulin if I can’t so much as follow her through the quiet streets of a sleepy little town? But wait. It’s a test! A simple one now that I think about it, but of course you don’t begin with the most difficult lesson. If I cannot find a hero of the age hiding among Xichang’s people, then I do not deserve to chronicle her!

If wuxia stories have taught me anything, and they’ve taught me a tremendous amount actually, it’s that everyone drinks and everyone talks when they drink. Therefore every wine vendor is well-stocked with wine and information.

There is a way to these things of course.

The vendor will be cagey, there will be banter and it will be laced with ironies and double-meanings. And then probably also double-meanings that are ironic after the fact when I realize what the second meaning actually means rather than what I assumed it meant the first time through. In the end I will have to bribe him. Probably he will send me to a back alley where I will be ambushed.

From there I’m unsure. The hero of the story easily defeats the ambush and learns from them where he must go next. I could perhaps defeat an ambush of historians assuming none of them are of senior rank.

Nevertheless, I will think my way out of those troubles when I come to them. I am very clever!

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