The Chronicles of Master Li and Number Ten Ox
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2008 compilation of three of Barry Hughart's novels: Bridge of Birds, The Story of the Stone, and Eight Skilled Gentlemen.
the cleverest and ablest rulers China ever had, and she acquired the throne so smoothly, her rivals never knew what hit them. The August Personage of Jade will accept letters of office from Empress Wu the moment he accepts mine to be Patron of Teetotalers.” The Captain looked at him in silence for a moment, and then extended her hands in a charming gesture of offering a gift. “The guild has authorized me to take whatever steps are necessary, and I hereby pass that authorization to you,” she
the God of Mercy simply didn’t fly over the thing, and the alarm wasn’t sounded until I was almost at the top. Arrows flew harmlessly over our heads and started down the other side, but I almost fell nonetheless. I simply wasn’t prepared for my first view of the Great Wheel of Transmigrations. The immensity of it cannot be described. Some phenomenon made the lower spokes move slowly even while higher ones were lifting with blinding speed. The wheel lifted up and up and up, and it wasn’t even
mean to disgrace them,” Devil’s Hand sniffled. “Certainly,” Master Li said. “You’ve forgotten that royalty must be addressed in writing; only those of equal rank can speak directly to princes. Ox, remember your manners and ask permission to read this appeal, and I’m sure the swords will forgive our friend.” He scribbled a note and handed it to me and I trotted up the stairs to the tiny tower room where the great swords hung on their pegs. I unfolded the note. “Close the goddamn window.” The
supposedly guarded by monsters, flutes that tell fairy tales, an incomprehensible ghost who might have come from one, an ancient children’s game, and a ghostly message from Dragon’s Pillow. If you’re wondering about the wicked stepmother, just wait, because she’s bound to turn up.” He replaced the flute in his belt, and shook a finger in front of my nose. “Nothing on the face of this earth—and I do mean nothing—is half so dangerous as a children’s story that happens to be real, and you and I
the whiteness. I smiled happily, because Mouse had come to see me. She carried the Szech’uen fan, and her beautiful young eyes looked fondly at me. “How happy I am,” she said softly. “Ever since we held hands and recited the Orphan’s Song, I knew that you would fall in love with Lotus Cloud.” “Mouse, I love you too,” I said. “You must trust your heart,” she said gravely. “Ox, you have grown very strong. Now you must use all of your strength to touch the queen before the count reaches