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“Your blade is an extension of your self,” her sensei had taught her. “What you can imagine, your weapon can perform. So long as you treat it with the respect it is due, it will keep you safe.”
“Be mindful of what you say, my child,” her father had warned her. “Those who follow through on their word are given the greatest deal of respect.”
“Our actions speak loudly to the kami,” the scholar had instructed her. “If you know what reverences they desire, you will find them to be steadfastly loyal to your cause.”
“Do not ask,” the monk had told her. “Sit and meditate. Only you can answer the question in your heart.”
But it was from her foe that she found wisdom, amidst the burning wreckage of the battle. People were fickle, volatile, relentless, and stubborn. She could not change his nature with either word or blade. Yet if she embraced that truth, exploited it, she would not have to defeat him. His foolishness would be his own undoing.
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