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Blog of the Bartender

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Response #1: Guo Xiang

The wind did not whisper through the evening air. It howled.

My sword seems heavy in its sheath, as it always does when fresh blood stains its perfect metal skin. I have killed, but no hot satisfaction boils through my veins. Instead, I feel numb.

Pulling my thin cloak closer to my frozen body, I trudge forward. Aimless, yet determined. The wind becomes more violent, thrashing the leaves of surrounding trees against their branches.

My steady pace elevates to a sprint, knowing my chances of survival will be greatly decreased if I don’t find shelter before dawn.

I go on for hours, lungs burning, before my legs collapse. Panting, and gasping I struggle to my feet. I hear a quiet snap behind me. My trained ears perk as I spin around.

He stands, silently and alone, passionate hatred burning in deep brown eyes.

Neither of us speaks, but words are exchanged.

He draws his sabre, shakily, his penetrating gaze never leaving my face.

“Draw, coward!” he demands, spitting with anger.

I ignore him, and merely flash a sad sort of half smile.

He flies wildly forward, sabre pointed at my chest.

I don’t flinch, I don’t breathe.

He comes closer.

I feel the icy blade caress my skin. I see its shiny surface reflect the gentle moonlight as it plunges deeply into my ribs.

Pain sears through my entire body. It’s bad, but not overwhelming.

He watches stonily as I fall, some mad rage replaced with regret. Without a single word he leaves.

Coldness consumes me; this must be dying.

I smile.

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