The Jade Princess lifted an exquisite porcelain cup in one slender hand. She inhaled the aroma of green tea overlain with a bitter foreign smell that would have had a less controlled woman wrinkling her nose. She sipped the brew before signalling her women to leave her.
Replacing the cup on its stand she composed herself to wait.
Outside her pavilion, the sound of trampling boots grew louder as did the screams of frightened women.
The warlord was in the palace.
When he kicked his way through the rice paper walls he found the princess perfectly poised. And completely dead.