I am not dead.

Not dead.

I crawled for three days through the Shadowlands, with Grandfather whispering to me. I found his soul, his body, and his blade. He cradled me and called my name. Now he calls me “daughter,” and I stand once more.

Ten times the Shadow called, and ten times I gave it one of our own. You didn’t know that, did you, Father? Daiyu, you were a fool, and now you are dead.

I am glad of it.

But it is not you who placed me on my feet when my body cried for death.

It was not the Unicorn, nor the cult I once followed, that gave me strength beyond words.

It was the power of the pit of life, the dark belly of the Shadowlands from where his voice still calls, and where Grandfather now rests forever, held in peace by the master of us all.

I stand with you always, kindred. Now I am truly the darkest daughter of Fu Leng.

And soon, the Empire will learn what it means to suffer . . . forevermore.

Iuchi Shahai