By Stefan Vincent
Ancient China: Lo-yang, Imperial City
Fo Shen arrived early at the Hall of Brilliance, as was his habit when reporting to Gao Zhang. To his surprise and consternation, Gao Zhang was already in the Hall, pacing and speaking angrily to himself. Fo Shen checked his stride and stopped just inside the doorway—an angry Gao Zhang was not someone to be near if you valued your continued existence.
“The Guiding Hand are moving already. How did they know of Harvest of Jade’s condition so soon? And how did they see through our ruse so quickly?” said Gao to himself. Turning, he noticed Fo Shen. “Tell me, Fo Shen, is there anyone else we should be concerned about? Do the Architects also move against us?” Gao’s voice sent ice down Fo Shen’s spine. The report he had been about to make would not have gone over well in the best of circumstances, and these could hardly be worse.