Now I’m going to tell you a story about women and love, said Tunick. Or rather, it’s a story about the dark side of love: fickleness, jealousy, and fury. You shall witness many evil deeds committed in the name of love. It’s a story that unleashes your most perverted fantasies, in which you torture your ex-lovers out of guilt and feigned anger, ruin them with rumours, kill them with a borrowed knife, wipe out every single relative of your love-rivals, fornicate with your neighbour’s wife and daughter, kill your best pal and screw his voluptuous wife (which arouses in you the incestuous pleasure of the levirate), slay your love-rivals and their sons, sleep with your son’s wife, and send your little sister to your best friend after teaching her to seduce him with her spread legs, so that she’ll conceive his little bastard and seize his entire fortune. . . . Whatever you dream of. There’re so many eye-dazzling crimes, said Tunick, that only a ‘Museum of Decadence’ would be large enough to display them. All these crimes – believe it or not – were committed in real life by one man, and he is the source of all my stories about the Tangut Kingdom. That man was stout but handsome, with an aquiline nose. He loved to wear white garments and black coronets. He swaggered on the back of his galloping steed with bows and arrows across his shoulders. That cruel, malicious demigod’s blood was saturated with pantherine aggression, suspicion and strength. He was the stallion of stallions. Upon seeing such a macho whose veins and pores discharged pure testosterone, wankers like us (whose sole proof of manhood is a pair of pea-sized balls hanging below our loins) can’t help but moan like whores in heat. If he lived in our time, he would be more visionary than Che Guevara the dreamer, more vengeful than Iosif Stalin the tyrant, and more rhetorically seductive than Osama bin Laden the demagogue. . . . He was Tuoba Yüanhao, the founding father of the Tangut Kingdom.