Barefoot Poetry

SS Matthews

Gate of Demons (part 4)

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Kuie-men-kaun
Part 4

Stopping directly in front of where Rowan stood watching, the strangely enchanting woman launched directly into the purpose of her visit. Her announcement, made in a swift string of sing-song syllables, was in a tone reminiscent of a nightingale, one being threatened by a snake.

“I am Mei-Yue.” She began, without waiting for Rowan to identify himself. “Wei Po of the village told me of a barbarian hiding among the monks. He said you were a solider once, a killer. I have gold and I will pay you to send Huang Kun to Kuie-men-kaun. You will do this for me?”

Upon revealing the purpose of her intrusion, Rowan realized she was not concerned with the gravity of her trespass. Looking finally to her eyes, he watched as she failed in suppressing a wry smirk of satisfaction when it flashed across her face. Followed by a mottling flush of color rushing to her cheeks, in that instant her features appeared to change, taking on a rather feline and predatory appearance.

“Why do you want Huang Kun sent through The Gate of Demons?” Rowan’s response to her question was an obvious attempt to stall, but he felt the measure more than justified by the circumstances. After all, it wasn’t every day that a sorceress with emerald green eyes came strolling unannounced through the gates of Xi Tian in search of an assassin.

Regardless, she was lovely and standing anywhere else in the world, he might have chosen to conduct himself differently. Before coming to the sanctuary, he would have found it utterly flattering for such an elusive and attractive creature to come seeking his aid. But having heard the tales of her exploits, for her charms and abilities were legend among the simple folk of Yamane, he struggled to maintain a reserve. As an alien in this enigmatic land, he’d learned some harsh lessons and thanks to his mentor, he now knew better than to accept what the mirror might reflect. So it was with a degree of circumspection that he attended to her words.

SS Matthews

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Author: SSMatthews

Author of The Moon and Rowan Wolfe and Wolfe's Banes.

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