Continuing a scene from my first book, Ghosts of Innocence.
Shayla has stolen the identity of a newly-appointed senior public servant, and infiltrated the Palace in disguise. She has previously fallen foul of her new boss, Mabbwendig ap Terlion, Master of the Emperor’s Domestic Household, and is confronting her again in the cavernous staff dining hall.
Mabb has been tormenting a series of unfortunate individuals among the hundreds of people crowding the hall. Shayla rescued one of them from humiliation but in turn is expected to provide entertainment. She has chosen to perform a knife dance to music from a popular opera.
All grace and perfect balance, her raised leg extended behind while her arms closed in again, drawing the points of the weapons down her body.
Shayla had chosen one of the more dance-like routines in her martial repertoire. It would not do to advertise her full mastery of the Shohan Calinda, but she hoped this would not arouse comment. The Palm Tree...lean forward into the Hawk, then the Cobra, back to the Hawk... She recited the set poses, letting the sequence unfold from years of training as the lyrics sang of the poison coursing through the doomed Serpent's veins, and the agony of his awakening.
And hold ... ready for the acrobatics ...
Three forward flips and Shayla planted her feet in a wide fighting stance. The languid grace of the stylized poses gone, she was now the hunter, circling the room. Her blades were fangs seeking their prey.