Dances of Deception by JC Kang EPUB & PDF – eBook Details Online
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- Author: JC Kang
- Language: English
- Genre: Asian Myth & Legend eBooks
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Value of a
Zheng Tian knew many ways to kill the smuggler, but none to ease his
A column of sun streamed in from the dusty warehouse’s skylight,
reflecting off his target’s seventeen glittering rings. All it would take was a
signal to assassinate him and his two bejeweled henchmen.
Hold the dragonfly with care, eight-year-old Princess Kaiya’s voice
chimed in his head, quoting an old Cathayi proverb. For even their fleeting
lives have value.
What was the value of a man’s life?
Now twenty-one, Tian banished memories of the gentle girl to the
recesses of his mind.
Time to focus on the most distasteful of his duties. Just eleven feet
away, the olive-skinned Estomari merchant walked from crate to crate,
checking items off a cargo manifest and barking orders.
The twenty-four wooden crates contained legitimate trade goods, for
sure. However, Marcus Larruso also trafficked in the local girls, sending
them to the South, where their fair complexions and blonde hair would
fetch a handsome price. Perhaps he deserved death.
Tian’s goals weren’t particularly noble, either. As much as he wanted
to, he wasn’t here to rescue impoverished girls from a short and miserable
life of exploitation, far away from home.
Larruso reached the last of the two crates, while one of the heavilyarmed bodyguards stepped onto the spot where he would die.
The power of life and death, in Tian’s hands. Perhaps that burden was a
form of punishment, one which widened the gulf between his carefree
youth and the ruthless spy he had become.
He flashed the hand signal from his vantage point.
Six Black Fist brothers fell upon the three unsuspecting smugglers in
Old Tong, the most experienced of them, darted from between the last
two crates. He covered Larruso’s mouth and slashed his throat with a blacklacquered knife.
At the same time, Pockmarked Zu dropped from the rafters. He
stomped through the largest man’s knee and applied an unremitting
chokehold. His victim’s frantic clawing only hastened his demise.
The most recent arrival to their embassy in Iksuvius, Cheng, burst out
of the shadows and hacked at the third henchman’s neck with his curved
sword. Blood sprayed, and the man let out a choked screech before falling
“Clear.” Six voices echoed the word in quick succession. Lives, so
easily snuffed out.
Pockmarked Zu eased the body to the hard-packed dirt floor. “Brilliant
plan, worthy of the Architect.”
“And executed with the precision of the Surgeon and the Beauty.”
Young Cheng’s eyes crinkled as he opened one of the many crates.
Tian snorted. His plan had not been much more than picking a hiding
place, and choosing the right timing against overmatched thugs.
“Now, which one of you is the Beauty?” Old Tong looked from Young
Cheng to Pockmarked Zu before shaking his head. He was old enough to
have known the three legendary masters, all struck down in their youth a
generation ago. Under clan orders, he never spoke their names, though he
animatedly recounted their exploits when given a chance. “Neither, you’re
both too ugly.”
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