Slipping into the dead girl's body was like meditating inside a stone, cold and still. Yōsei filled her with tendrils of gold and divided life energy between two bodies—one cold and dead, the other hot and familiar. The girl was too plump, too dense, and filled with tiny creatures that decomposed her flesh. These Yōsei banished, drowning them in golden light.
It is the nature of empire to calve new words, and Mattar has walked ruined roads and suffocating marketplaces to find them. She knows the word for how a Kilin-kasa woman turns a wax-melon in her hands three times before she asks a price—tsa-tsa-tsa. She knows the name the now-dead Enokoans had for her, diabi-sai, witch-mother. She knows, too, the syllables of the arrows of the Hasha as they fall, tulbuku, on Korondi shields and Korondi flesh.