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.She pulled his headdown to hers."I shall tell you," she whispered, "everything."But her lips opened under his, her tonguelicking at his teeth.Her torso pressed against himand then she moved in some subtle way he wasunable to fathom and her legs were apart,scissoring about his hips.He felt the franticpressure of her as his arms surrounded her,pressing at the base of her spine.A rustling; and then a soft moaning, echoing onand on and on.There was time now before she met Moichi atthe top of Calle C6rdel and, striding alongCorruna's night-dark streets, she began to lookfor an open taverna, hoping that it was not toolate.She needed some time alone, to think.She had taken the first corner on her side ofthe street as soon as she had left the mercado,even though her mind had been filled by whatMartyne had unknowingly told her.It was a matter of routine.Bujun training.Itwas, in fact, part instinct, which was perhaps oneof the reasons why it was so monstrously effective.Turning the corner was the first basic, usedwhenever one was in a foreign city, and she hadautomatically begun to listen to the sound of herown footsteps, then sorting, one by one, throughthe other sounds of the night around her: treesrustling in the wind, the cicadas' whine, andexplosion of distant laughter, echoing, a doorslamming and, further away, a dog barkingangrily.Then she picked up the footfalls.And she had known she was being followedalmost as soon as she had made the turn.She did not vary her pace but continued to walkdown the street as if nothing was amiss.Sherequired two things now from her surroundings.Another corner and a deep doorway, although adark alley would do, too, in a pinch.Corner came up and she went around it to theleft, her eyesBENEATH AN OPAL MOON 145alert for the deep shadows.Time became criticalnow because there was little of it.She had to havedisappeared beforeFound it.Slipped in on the left.Waited, listening intently.She remained quite still as she heard the soundof the footfalls approaching.She tensed hermuscles, ready to She frowned.Something wrongin the sound."Chiisai?"Gods! she thought.It's Martyne."Chiisai! "She began to sweat because she knew what waswrong now.The sounds of the footfalls hadchanged.There were two to look out for and shewas remembering what had been done to Kossori.Could see a figure now.Martyne.A silhouetteturning chiaroscuro as she passed a lantern.Thena return to darkness.And it had to be now, beforeshe passed once more into light.It was a chanceand Chiisai briefly debated whether to let her passby.But this, too, was dangerous, especially ifMartyne was on the other side.Darted out, one hand reaching for Martyne'sarm, the other cupped over her opening mouth.Back into the doorway."What are you doing here?" she whispered fiercely."Chit " The hand came over her mouth again."Whisper!""I came to warn you," Martyne said softly,breathlessly."Someone is following you.""I know.""Oh." And then, "Oh, I'm sorry.Now I've ruinedit."Chiisai gazed out along the street."Perhaps not."She strained to hear the footfalls.The heavierones.And now she heard them, knew it was toolate to get the other woman safely away from here.Well, she would just have to push her back intothe shadows and hope no one saw her."Don't worry," Martyne whispered."I'm armed."She reached silently down to her waist, withdrewsomething.Chiisai stared at it.It was fully half a meter inlength, longer than any knife she had ever seenbefore.Its blade was of an unusual construction,triangular.Chiisai had seen one like it in a villagein the countryside of Ama-no-mori.It was ahunter's knife, it was explained to her, the bladegiving it exceptional force when it pierced theanimal's flesh: One must reach a vital organ quicklyand without destroying the flesh, for one hunts146 Eric V.Lustbal1eronlyforfood.This knife of Martyne's, she knew,was a potent weapon, perfect for close combat."It's a miss'ra," Martyne whispered."ATudescan military weapon."Chiisai saw by the way she held the miss'ra thatshe knew how to use it.And abruptly she washappy to have this strange woman at herside for she could pick out at least five distinctsets of footsteps.Closing now.She drew her dai-katana, the Bujun longsword.It was named, as was the custom with allweapons, at the moment it had first tasted blood.Chiisai's was known as Kishsu-shi, the Deathrider [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]