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[New Mission – Parenting]

Chapter Text

Chapter 1: Do You Accept?

It was a hot summer afternoon when Binghe asked a question.

“Shizun?”

“Hm?” Shen Qingqiu calmly sipped his tea, one eye open to stare at the demon lord in curiosity.

“Do you want children?”

Shen Qingqiu almost spit out his tea at the question. Covering his mouth with his sleeve the cultivator struggled to swallow the rest of the hot liquid. Once he did he coughed for a couple minutes and looked sternly back at Luo Binghe.

“Where did this come from?” He inquired.

Luo Binghe shifted awkwardly in his seat, his eyes not meeting his Shizun’s.

“I had a dream,” he finally replied. “That we had a child. Shizun looked so happy and despite it being a dream, the thought of having a child made me happy. Of course, if Shizun doesn’t want one that’s fine! Shizun is all I need to be happy, but we’ve been alone for so many decades...”

It was true, they’d been alone for a long time. The days of Peak lords, Huan Hua Palace and the Qing Jing Peak were no more. Years and years have passed since they disappeared. New dangers had sprung up in the world, along with new ways of cultivation. Few disciples came to peaks for cultivating themselves in favor of the new cultivation sects down below. The Gusulan, Yumenjiang, Lanling Jin, Qinghe Nie, and the Qishan Wen sects were the new places to go. Though, he didn’t know how new they were anymore. It had been a long time since he and Luo Binghe and wandered around in the mortal world. They were both immortals now that only needed each other.

They still lived on the Cang Qiong Mountain within the old sect and his bamboo house, but it was just ruins of a place that used to be filled with life.

Of course, some of their acquaintances were still alive. They weren’t the only ones that turned immortal. Liu Qingge and his sister would visit now and then to tell them stories of what was going on in the world, but ultimately it would end in him and Luo Binghe arguing or getting into a physical fight.

Airplane bro, Mo Beijun, and Sha Hualing would visit more frequently than the war god and his sister telling them of the events going on in the demon realm, but there were no big issues in terms of fights or brewing wars. For the past centuries, their lives have been peaceful and not nearly chaotic as it used to be.

“Shizun?”

The sound of Binghe’s voice brought Shen Qingqiu out of his thoughts. He pulled out his fan placing it against his lips.

“First of all, it’s impossible for me to conceive.” Luo Binghe’s face flared up like a ripe peach and a faint blush appeared on his own face.

“I-I know!” The half-demon stuttered.

How cute, the cultivator thought as he observed his husband’s flustered face.

“But does that mean that Shizun does not oppose?”

The man in question paused and exhaled quietly. He did miss watching the disciples train every day and guiding them to become stronger and better, but raising a child was a completely different process. He didn’t oppose the idea, but at the same time, he didn’t agree.

“Raising a child is a decision that requires lots of thought and planning,” he said. “We have to think about it and discuss it more. We shouldn’t just grab a kid because we felt like it for one day!”

“Yes, Shizun!” Luo Binghe said happily and he bounced over to where Shen Qingqiu was seated and enveloped him in a big hug. Shen Qingqiu grunted in surprise but returned the hug. He’d only seen Luo Binghe this happy when he agreed to have ***.

“Oh, by the way, Shizun, we’re out of rice for tonight’s meal. I need to go down to the village to get some, would you like to come? You haven’t been down the mountain for quite some time!”

“As long as your not kidnapping children to raise, why not?”

XXX

Like the demon lord had said, it had been a long time since Shen Qingqiu decided to walk among non-immortals. Walking side by side with Luo Binghe the two looked around at the village near the base of the Cang Qiong Moutain.

Many things looked the same from when he descended down the last time, which was years ago. The clothes that the villagers wore were still the same and looked to be made of the same material. The houses were still made with the same wood, but the foundations looked stronger than before. There were still vendors selling their wares on the side of the streets and children playing with sticks.
Everything was almost the same. Almost…

The only thing new was the groups of cultivators that Shen Qingqiu spotted as they roamed the streets. He could tell by their sword and refined clothing that they weren’t rogue cultivators that he had heard about. There was one group, in particular, that looked better than the rest. They were dressed in dark purple and black, all wearing similar hairstyles and on their belts were small bells that had some sort of protection enchantments on them. They must be from one of the big sects.

He was going to comment more when Shen Qingqiu heard a voice he hadn’t in years. The annoying google translate voice of the System! The System hasn’t bothered him for centuries so why was it speaking to him now!?

He inwardly cursed but made sure that Binghe didn’t see his inner frustration. In front of him, the System’s screen shown brightly with black bolded letters.

[New Mission: The Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation…Do you accept?]

The grandmaster of what? He thought confused. What a dumb and long title!

System, what is this? He asked and the Google translate voice quickly answered back.

“A new main story mission,” it said.

“A new main story,” he repeated under his breath. It had been years, but Shen Qingqiu didn’t remember anything about another main story being inside a Proud Immortal Demon Way. He doesn’t remember Airplane bro ever making extras about it or a sequel to the story either, so what was this? But now that he thought about it. The name of the mission sounded familiar. Where had he heard the title before?

After pondering for a while he gave up. It’s been forever since he’s been in the modern day world and his memories were vague. He barely remembers what his phone’s background looked like.

“Do not worry esteemed customer,” the System said merrily. “For this new main story, some details will be supplied on how to complete each mission!”

He stiffened at the new information, curiosity getting the better of him. It had been a while since anything exciting had happened to him and Luo Binghe. While he did want some excitement he didn’t want to repeat the chaotic story that was the Proud Immortal Demon Way. But he was stronger than he was back then and he had Luo Binghe at his side. Whatever this Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation was, he imaged he and Binghe could handle it.

With his new found confidence and curiosity, Shen Qingqiu pressed ‘yes’.

“Mission accepted! [Mission detail…loading….loading….loading…Find Wei Ying].

Of course, the System was going to fuck with him! Find Wei Ying? Who was that and what did they even look like? He demanded that he get more mission details from the System, but the machine was quiet and gave him no response.

He cursed louder this time.
“Shizun are you okay?” Luo Binghe asked instantly and he looked at his Shizun with concern.

“Yes, everything is fine,” he said exhausted. No matter how many years passed the System was still screwing with him.

“If you say so… Ah, Shizun, there are some spices I want to get, but they’re on the other side of town. Do you want to stay here or come with me?” He asked. Luckily, over the years of being together, Luo Binghe wasn’t as sticky as before. He still stuck to him like a child to their mother, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as it used to be.

“I think I’ll stay around here,” he replied. He might as well look for this Wei Ying.

“Okay! I’ll be back soon Shizun!” He yelled loudly as he began shuffling through the crowd of people. Binghe’s loud voice brought attention to Shen Qingqiu, so he hid his face with his fan in embarrassment.

He moved among the crowd, not realizing the cultivators in purple were looking curiously at him.

“Where to find Wei Ying,” he whispered, walking through the crowd. This village was filled with lots of people. Any one of them could be Wei Ying, but which one could be the Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation? He assumed they’d be an evil looking person, but they could be a demon too, considering the title.

The immortal looked around for while, not seeing anything suspicious or anything that would remotely look like this master of demonic arts. He took a break, buying a piece of melon from a food vendor nearby. He was about to take a bite when the barking of a dog caught his attention. With his acute hearing, he thought he heard a child’s cry as well.

He listened intently and he could, in fact, hear a child whimpering.

“Sir,” he turned questioning the food vendor that he had just bought the melon from. “Are their dogs around here?”

“Dogs?” The vendor he repeated. “Yeah, there are. There are a lot of strays and wild dogs that run through the village. They’re usually in the alleyways eating scraps of food or digging through the trash. I would be careful young master, the dogs around here are quite vicious and are defensive over the food they find.”

With his hearing, he could hear the child’s cry getting louder despite the noise of the crowds. He said a quick thank you to the man and begun to search the alleyways. He looked, solely relying on his hearing as the angry noise of a dog barking and the screaming of a child got louder.

At last the noise got closer as Shen Qingqiu rounded the corner and found both the dog and the child.

A little boy was covered head to toe in dirt, clutching a dirty dumpling in one arm. The other was in the jaws of a wild looking canine, whose fangs were drawing blood from the young child.

Without hesitation, Shen Qingqiu flicked his wrist sending forth spiritual energy that flung the dog to the other side of the alleyway. The canine whimpered and ran off from the terrifying newcomer. He ran over to the child, examining the wound on his arm. There were deep teeth marks in the dirty child’s arm and they were bleeding profusely. The little boy was crying waterfalls of tears and crying loudly.

The immortal gently laid his hand over child’s wounded arm and began sending over spiritual energy. The child’s tears came to a halt as he watched his arm glow and the wound began to mend itself. In moments the deep teeth marks were gone and all that was left of the attack were splotches of blood.

“Are you alright?” He asked. The boy nodded his head, wiping away the tears on his cheeks. Realizing that Shen Qingqiu was still clutching the piece of melon he bought he offered it to the boy. “Why don’t we trade? You can have this if you give me the dumpling.” The boy stared at the food in his hand and back at the dumpling he was holding. Realizing he was getting the better end of the deal he offered up his dumpling. Shen Qingqiu smiled gently, taking away the dirty and probably disease infected food and handed the boy the melon.

The child snatched the fruit as if he was afraid it was going to be taken away and started chowing down on it. It didn’t take long for the fruit to vanish from the immortal’s sight. He chucked the dumpling far away from them, hoping that the boy wouldn’t go after it.

“Where are your parents?”

“Not here,” the child replied.

“Do you know where they are?”

“No,” tears started brimming in the child’s eyes once more. “Mother and father went on a night hunt and never came back.”

Shen Qingqiu sighed. They never came back from a night hunt? That probably meant they were dead.

Tears began falling down the child’s eyes once more and he launched himself into Shen Qingqiu’s arms. “Please keep the dogs away! I hate dogs!” He cried.

This kid is breaking my heart! He screamed internally as he remembered the time Luo Binghe had broken down during their first encounter with the dream demon after seeing his past.

“Do you want children?” Luo Binghe’s earlier question coming to mind. The immortal looked down at the crying child in his arms and patted the boy’s head. The child had no parents left.

“How long have your parents been gone.”

“A-a long time!” The boy cried into Shen Qingqiu’s robes.

“Do you have any other family members?”

“No!”

Shen Qingqiu sighed. He picked up the child and gently cradled the boy in his arms.

“Do you want to stay with me?” The boy stopped crying and looked at the gentle smile that the immortal was giving him. The child paused, thinking.

“I live up in the mountains with a man named Luo Binghe,” he said. “It’s just the two of us up there.”

“Just you two? No dogs?”

Shen Qinqiu chuckled, shaking his head. “No dogs.”

“Yes!” The boy cried, tightly wrapping his skinny arms around the immortal’s neck. Shen Qingqiu gasped in surprise, the boy’s grip could rival Binghe’s. The child quickly let go his neck and gave him a bright smile. Shen Qingqiu was sure he might collapse from the pureness of the boy’s smile.

“Shizun!” A familiar voice cried from the distance. The two perked their heads up at the loud voice as feet pounding against the dirt caught their attention. A figure rounded the corner, the newcomer being Luo Binghe.

Sweat was covering his face and he looked worried like it was the end of the world. Shen Qingqiu was going to have to apologize to the demon lord later.

“I’m right here, Binghe.”

“Hello!” The child in his arms greeted. For a while, Luo Binghe stared at the boy in Shen Qingqiu’s arms and back at his Shizun. A couple seconds of awkward silence passed by.

“I thought we weren’t kidnapping children.”

Shen Qingqiu brought out his fan and smacked the half-demon on the forehead with it. The child laughed and so did he. The child’s laughter made him miss the mechanical voice of the System.

[Wei Ying found! Congratulations on completing the mission. You’ve been awarded +100 parenting points]

XXXX

“Sir, I’m sorry we haven’t been able to find him.”

“Keep looking he has to be here.”

“Yes, sir!”

“...”

“I have to find him for their sakes.”

Chapter Text

Chapter 2: Knowing the Future is Not a Gift

The first thing Shen Qingqiu did when they got back to the bamboo house was wash all the dirt off of Wei Ying. He got out barrel that could fit a child of his size, drew hot water, and dumped the boy in. Wei Ying sighed, content at being in the warm bath and begun splashing around in the soapy bath. Luo Binghe was in the kitchen cooking the food for tonight and tonight’s menu was his wonderful congee. Shen Qingqiu suggested that the boy start off with something light. It was more than likely that his stomach couldn’t handle too much.

“Wei Ying, hold still. I need to wash your back,” Shen Qingqiu said gently as he rolled up his sleeves and grabbed a sponge. Wei Ying immediately stopped splashing around and smiled happily as the immortal began washing his back. The kid was trying to hide his excitement by being obedient and sitting still but Shen Qingqiu could feel the child shaking with anticipation.

It brought a smile to his face. As he washed the boy’s back he took notes on the state of the child’s body. He was obviously malnourished. His ribs were visible through his skin, his arms and legs too skinny for his age. The skin on his back and the rest of his body was dry, probably from dehydration.

As the dirt got rubbed off Shen Qinqiu found that the boy’s skin was oddly pale for the summer, but the dirt and grime that covered him probably prevented the sun from touching his skin. There were broken leaves jumbled up in his hair and of course, more dirt.

But despite all the terrible signs of a homeless child, he wasn’t in as bad of a shape as Shen Qingqiu thought he would be. There were no deep scars anywhere. Other than the dryness of Wei Ying’s skin, it didn’t seem like he was suffering from any disease or physical ailments. The child definitely wasn’t fatigued due to the amount of energy he’s currently using to sit still. Though it probably wouldn’t take long with the amount of effort he was putting into sitting still.

Why was that?

Shen Qingqiu clicked his tongue. That could only mean one thing. He finished washing Wei Ying’s back and before the boy could go back to splashing around in the waters, he grabbed his wrist and gently felt for a pulse. Wei Ying froze, tilting the side of his head in confusion.

“Are you looking for something?”

“Yes, your golden core?”

“Golden core?”

The immortal bit down on his bottom lip, trying to find what he was looking for. He hasn’t done this in a long time! After some trial and error of feeling Wei Ying’s wrist, he finally found what he was looking for.

There was an energetic spiritual pulse coming from the boy’s body. His golden core was strong. It was healthy and he could feel it’s warmth from the child’s wrist. That’s how Wei Ying had survived on his own. He had a strong golden core that could become substantial with the right cultivating.

He gave a small apology for the sudden grab, “Your golden core is the center for your spiritual powers and if you cultivate it right, you can gain immortality. Remember how I flung the dog away to the other side of the alleyway?”

“Yeah! You beat up the bad dog!”

“Well, I used spiritual energy to knock it back. If you study, train, and cultivate your core right, you’ll be able to do that too.”

“Really?”

“Really.”

“That’s so cool! Will you teach me please!?”

“Shen Qingqiu smiled at the child’s optimism and excitement. “Do you want to learn how to be a cultivator?”

“Yes! I promise I’ll be a good student!”

“Then, Luo Binghe and I will teach you.”

“Yay!” Wei Ying returned to splashing around excitedly in the waters. Shen Qingqiu sat down, watching the child happily play in the bath. He took out his fan, observing him, soon getting lost in this own thoughts.

So this is the Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation? He inquired as he watched Wei Ying dunk his face underwater. Or is this demonic cultivator suppose to be his enemy? By now Shen Qingqiu had figured out that this new main story didn’t centralize itself around Luo Binghe, even though the half-demon was still the main character. But with this new story was a new main character. Was Wei Ying the new main character? Or an important person in the story?

It worried the immortal greatly. Going through Proud Immortal Demon Way, he knew the foundations of what was going to happen, until he turned the protagonist into a cut-sleeve, then the events started to change a little. This boy and this new story were completely new to him. It was like he was reading a new book, but he was living through it instead of reading it.

Mostly, it was the title of this new story that was throwing him off. It was dark and hinted at an evil way of cultivation, but sometimes the book titles didn’t refer to the main character. Sometimes it was an object, the main antagonist, or the main lead that the protagonist had at their side.

“I got soap in my eye!” Wei Ying screamed as he came up from under the water. Instantly Shen Qingqiu abandoned his thoughts and grabbed a towel, washing the water and soap from Wei Ying’s face. The boy looked like he was going to start crying again.

“You’re fine, it’s just soap.” Shen Qingqiu sighed. The boy sobbed but no tears fell from his face.

Binghe was probably done with dinner at this point, looks like bath time is over. “It’s time for dinner, let's get you out.” He picked Wei Ying out of the tub and began to pat him down with the towel. Once his body was dry he slipped the boy into some white night robes. They had gotten back late in the evening from the village after buying food that they now needed and new clothes for Wei Ying. After dinner, it was likely he would fall asleep.

He started drying Wei Ying’s hair with a towel. The boy was sitting quietly looking down at the floor. He was being oddly silent. The whole way up the mountain he wouldn’t stop talking and asking the couple questions.

“Why are you so quiet? You talked a lot during our way up here. Is something bothering you?” Silence is what replied to his question. Wei Ying began to tap his foot lightly on the bamboo, not saying a word. Shen Qingqiu proceeded to brush the child’s hair, saying nothing. Knowing that it is best for Wei Ying to warm up to them slowly.

“What…. What do I call you and Luo Binghe?”

“Hm? What do you mean?” He asked interest piqued.

“Well, you’re both men. Do I call you both papa or mama and papa?” The immortal felt a warmth spread through his chest and that warmth ran up to his cheeks. He knew he was blushing. Children and their innocent questions!

“What do you want to call us?”

“I don’t know.”

“Well, until you feel sure, why don’t you call one of us papa and the other father?”

“Okay...” With that Wei Ying began to tap his foot on the floor again. Gay relationships weren’t normal in the old days and it seems it stayed the same. It was probably going to take Wei Ying a while to understand that the same gender can love each other.

He just hopes when Wei Ying does find his answer that he doesn’t start to call Shen Qingqiu mother! He already had the woman’s role in the bed! Give him some face!

“Your hair is dry, let us go eat.”

“Okay!” With his happiness and energy back, Wei Ying jumped up from his sitting position with another wide smile on his face. “Lets go see papa, father!” Shen Qingqiu stood up, his heart gushing from his new title. The minute he was fully up the little boy grabbed his hand. His tiny fingers barely wrapping around four of the adult’s.

Gods, he forgot how small children were. The immortal gently squeezed the hand holding his in return and two walked out of the bathing room. The smile on Wei Ying’s face never fading.

When they got to the dining area of the bamboo house Binghe already had everything ready. Three steaming bowls of congee lay perfectly arranged on the table.

“Did you like your bath?” Luo Binghe asked as the three of them sat down.

“Yes, it was so warm! And there were bubbles!” The child answered. With that, Wei Ying picked up his spoon and started eating. Shen Qingqiu was going to have to teach him manners later on.

“Make sure you swallow,” Binghe chuckled.

The child paused and gulped down his food the sound echoing throughout the still mountain. “This is so good!” There was a sparkle in Wei Ying’s eyes. “The best,” and he started eating again.

“He’s so cute,” Shen Qingqiu heard the demon lord whisper. And he couldn’t agree more.

Once they finished their meal and cleaned the table, Luo Binghe took the opportunity to take Wei Ying into this arms. The boy looked like he was on the verge of sleeping.

“Shizun, where should we put him for the night? There’s my old room, but we haven’t cleaned it in a while and the old disciple barracks are in a worse state”.

Shen Qingqiu tapped his fan against his lips in thought. Binghe was right. There was no suitable place for a child to sleep right now. As fewer people showed up to the Cang Qiong Mountain, the less work they put into keeping the place clean. All the two needed was the bamboo house, but now there was a new addition that needed a room.

“I wanna sleep with you two,” Wei Ying said sleepily, snuggling into Binghe’s chest. “So, when I wake up near the both of you. I know this isn’t a dream and that I’m not waking up in the alleyways.”

“...”

The two didn’t hesitate in bringing Wei Ying to share their bed with them. The two slipped in under the covers and Luo Binghe gently sat Wei Ying down in between the two adults. Wei Ying was already fast asleep and rubbing his face against the pillows as they covered him with the blankets.

The two looked down at the new member of their family and smiled.

With the two of us, parenting shouldn’t be so hard. Shen Qingqiu thought as he closed his eyes. Letting sleep take him.

XXX

He couldn’t have been more wrong.

He had been wrong about many things in the past, but out all the things he was incorrect about, this one topped it all.

The immortal thought that Luo Binghe’s combined stamina of being a demon and the protagonist was scary, but this child seemed to have an endless stamina bar.

It’s only been a week since the two basically adopted Wei Ying and it proved to be one of the most difficult weeks of Shen Qingqiu’s life. If he had to compare it to anything, he would compare it with dealing with new disciples back in the days. Many had discipline to an extent when they entered the Cang Qiong Mountain, but they were still rowdy and disobedient.

Wei Ying was just like those disciples but x10!

Multiple times the child had gone missing. Exploring the mountains and the ruins of the Qing Jing Peak. It caused lots of heart attacks for the two immortals and one particular day almost had Luo Binghe in tears. It took them 4 full hours to find Wei Ying that afternoon.

They couldn’t get the boy on a good sleeping schedule either. Many nights they had heard him trying to sneak out of his room to explore the mountain more. But they caught him every time. Their hearing is far superior to that of a child’s ability to sneak out.

His teenage years are going to be a hassle.

As of right now, Binghe is trying to coax Wei Ying from a tree.

The child had climbed too high and was afraid of falling. Though, in reality, it wasn’t that high. Not high for an adult but terrifying enough for a child. He had a death grip as he clung onto a tree branch, small rips in his blacks robes from the tree bark that got bigger as he clung in tighter. Luo Binghe was right under him with his arms stretched out for him to fall into.

“Fall down! Don’t worry, I’ll catch you!”

“But what if you miss!?”

A laugh, “I won’t miss, I promise.”

Wei Ying whimpered and looked down at Luo Binghe. The man didn’t have a hint of anger or frustration on his face. It was solely a look of concern. Wei Ying whimpered again before finally letting go of the tree branch.

Luo Binghe easily caught him, not at all bothered by the impact of his weight.

“Are you mad?” Wei Ying asked.

“No, not mad,” Luo Binghe sighed, looking at the small bundle in his arms. “Just worried. Stop worrying Shizun and me so much. We’re just concerned that you’re going to hurt yourself.”

“Sorry.”

“You’re fine,” Luo Binghe leaned down and rubbed his forehead against Wei Ying’s. The little one smiled, rubbing his forehead back and breaking out into a burst of laughter.

Shen Qingqiu smiled. The scene warmed his heart and also surprised him. Who knew Luo Binghe was so good with children.

“Did you two kidnap a human spawn?”

The family of three paused to see three familiar figures approaching them.

Mo Beijun, Sha Hualing, and Shang Qignhua had surprised faces (except Mo Beijun) as they looked at the small child in Luo Binghe’s arms.

“No we did not kidnap him,” Binghe replied.

“Hello!” Wei Ying greeted.

Sha Hualing looked like she would melt where she stood. “He’s adorable! Where did you find him, my lord?” She strolled over to where Luo Binghe held Wei Ying and bowed to her lord. Then promptly started to coo at the child. Mo Beijun walked over to his fellow demons, leaving Shang Qinghua by himself, but he walked over to Shen Qingqiu, standing right beside him.

“Where did you kidnap him from?”

“We didn’t kidnap him!” Shen Qingqiu loudly snapped his fan shut glaring at Airplane bro. The look on the other’s face was smug. It irritated him.

“But seriously, where did you find him?”

“We found him fighting off a stray dog in an alleyway. He said his parents died on a night hunt.”

“That’s a shame.” The two looked at the three demons and the small child. Wei Ying was trying to rub off the blue demon mark on Mo Beijun’s forehead with no luck. He had done this to Luo Binghe not long ago. The ice demon didn’t look amused but made no attempt to stop him.

“He’s definitely bold and not afraid of strangers!” Shang Qinghua laughed. “What’s his name anyway?”

“Wei Ying, courtesy name Wuxian.”

“Wei Wuxian? I think I’ve heard that name before,” the author said scratching his chin,

Shen Qingqiu eyebrows raised, “Is he from another book you wrote?” If Airplane bro knew anything about Wei Ying, the information would be helpful. Shen Qingqiu needed to figure out the dark name of the new main story.

“No, not from a book I wrote. There was a new book that came out after the release of Proud Immortal Demon Way. I didn’t read it, but the popularity of it was astounding. Many of my readers were begging me to read it. But, of course, I never got the opportunity.”

Shen Qingqiu vaguely remembered that book. He remembered that there was a novel getting lots of attention. Many comments online said it outshined the Proud Immortal Demon Way. He didn’t read it right away when he heard about it because he wanted to finish Proud Immortal Demon Way before he started the book. What was the title?

“I think it was called the Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation?”

Bingo.

“Do you know anything about it? The summary even?”

Shang Qinghua paused, “From what I remember it’s a cultivation novel about five different cultivation sects. I think those sects exist right now. The Yumengjiang, Gusulan, Lanling Jin, Qinghe Nie, and the Qishan Wen Sects? How strange that my novel and this novel merged together. What do you think that means?

“Please stay on topic.”

“Sorry, sorry, but my readers didn’t really tell me anything. They said it was best if I didn’t know too much before reading.”

“Do you know more than that? Like the summary at all?”

Shang Qinghua paused again. “Oh yeah! Someone had sent me the first couple of lines of the first chapter to get me into it. I think the beginning talked about...” His lips tightened together and Shen Qingqiu could see him breaking out into a cold sweat. That’s not a good sign!

“It’s probably best if you don’t know, Cucumber bro.”

“I need you to tell me,” Shen Qingqiu said sternly. “Wei Ying is my son now and if something bad is going to happen to him, I need to know.”

The two stared at each other for quite some time. Wei Ying’s laughter echoing in the background.

Shang Qinghua exhaled with the look of defeat on his face. “I vaguely remember what they said, but I remember some key points. They talked about...”

Don’t you dare stop Airplane bro!

“They talked about the character, Wei Wuxian, dying.”

The blood in Shen Qingqiu turned cold and froze.

Wei Ying dying?

This child was going to die!?

Seeing the alarm on Shen Qingqiu’s face Shang Qinghua took a step back. Not knowing how to calm down his friend.

“Did it say how he died, or anything about this Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation?”

“As I said I don’t remember too well, but I think someone named Jiang Cheng killed him. Wait no, it said something about him getting torn to pieces-” The author bit his tongue the minute the words spilled out of his lips. He knew he was making this worse.

Shen Qingqiu swallowed, feeling his chest tightening up. They had only been with Wei Ying for a week, but despite how much of a hassle it was to take care of the brat, he cared. Luo Binghe was equally the same amount of trouble when he was younger but in a different way and yet he raised and loved him.

“Maybe you can prevent him from dying,” the other said in an attempt to calm his friend. “I think the beginning also said something about him being raised in the Jiang clan. He’s here now with you and Luo Binghe caring for him. Maybe you can change the fact that he’s going to die like how you changed my novel.”

Shen Qingqiu inhaled in an attempt to calm himself down. He hoped so. He truly hoped so.

Not far from the two, Luo Binghe was clutching Wei Ying possessively as Sha Hualing attempted to pinch the boy’s cheeks. Both father and son had their cheeks puffed up in a pout.

The last thing Shen Qingqiu wanted was for this all to end in tragedy.

Chapter Text

Chapter 3: A Guy that Died Twice, A Demon Lord, and a Ghost Child

1. A Child’s Discovery

It was a regular day for Wei Ying in the Cang Qiong Mountain. The small child was once again exploring the ruins of the sects that used to exist on the mountain range. But this time he made sure to tell papa and father where he would be! He didn’t want them to worry. Father had told him not too stray far so he is currently exploring the old buildings that were the closest to home.

The times he had explored before he found dusty rooms with old books and beds. He found others with worn desks and leftover brushes and ink. He found a really cool room with awesome swords in it, but the minute he told father, he locked up the room so he couldn’t go in.

He puffed up his cheeks and pouted at the memory. He really wanted to play with the swords, but papa also took his side! So that meant no matter how much he asked he wouldn’t get into the room. He remembered being really upset that day but then papa promised that once he was older he would get a sword of his own. He quickly forgot about being angry and now he couldn’t wait to get older.

Right now, he was exploring one of the old rooms that had lots of scrolls and books. Father called this a library. There were lots of books that were too high for him to reach but some could be grasped by a small child. He picked one up, flipping through the pages but a frown quickly marred his face because he couldn’t understand the black scribbles. He threw the book in annoyance. Even though father was teaching him how to read he still couldn’t understand all the words.

He wished he knew what some of the of the black ink said. Papa and father still weren’t teaching him how to fight yet. They said his body was still too frail. He wanted to learn how to fight to keep the bad dogs away, even if he had to study!

The lesson with his father weren’t bad, but the child would be lying if he said they weren’t boring at times. Papa at least told him about monsters, how to fight them and their weak points. There are even living corpses that roam around because of something called resentful energy. Those lessons were a lot more fun!

Wei Ying turned his attention to the books once more and sifted through them. His effort, fruitless as he found he still couldn’t read most of the words. He was a little frustrated, but curiously. There was a small dusty book tucked behind some of the bigger and thicker ones.

When things are hidden! That means they’re important!

The young child reached for the tucked away book, flipping through the dusty pages, but of course, he found that he couldn’t read this book either. He sighed and looked at the front, trying to read out the title.

“The Res….mint….of the...Chuu...” Darn, he couldn’t figure out the title either. But that didn’t matter! He put it back in it’s hidden spot to save to read later once he learned more. Things that are hidden usually have something good about them! So he wanted to make sure it wouldn’t move so he could find it again.

Bored of the library, Wei Ying walked out, ready to explore another room. But which one would he pick? The ones to his left had old beds and that was it. He already thoroughly looked through ones on his right as well.

Maybe he’d look through the ones with the old beds again. Maybe he missed something. Wei Ying’s small feet tapped against the wood floors, making hallow thumping noises as he ran. He soon stood before his destination and gripped the edges of the door. With all his strength he pulled it open, barely enough room for him to fit through, but he still managed to get to the other side.

The room was still in the same state as he remembered when he was in here last. Scattered beds lay neatly made, but the blankets and pillows were old and falling apart. Not that it mattered to the small child.

He instantly began to pick through the old beds and inside the pillows. He made sure to be very careful as he looked through them. Father might scold him if he messed with the beds too much. But after searching through the first few beds Wei Ying found himself utterly bored. There was never any fun items hidden in these rooms. The library at least had that hidden book even though he couldn’t read it.

How he wished father and papa would let him into the room with all the swords. That place would be way more fun to search and play in.

Bored, he hopped off the bed he was sitting on, but when he crawled down his hand touched something hard on the side of the bed.

Beds are soft, not hard!

His eyes sparkled at the newly found discovery and pulled back the blankets. Tucked in the crevice of the bed was a long shaped item. The child frowned. It was just a slab of wood!

Wei Ying picked up the wood, ready to chuck it across the room out of anger, but when his fingers touched it he realized it wasn’t wood. He realized it wasn’t just a slab either. What he thought was wood felt like the walls and floors of the bamboo house. This must be bamboo then! As he examined the item more he found it was a fan!

He opened it carefully to examine it more. The fan was old and the painting on the inside was a picture of mountains. It was barely visible, the black ink old and fading away.

It was ancient and looked terrible, but a happy and pleasant warmth began to spread through the child’s chest.

His father always carried around a fan. There was never a time when he didn’t see his father without it. He clutched it all hours of the day, except for meal time. Most of the time it was closed and sometimes he had it flat against his mouth. Other times he had the fan open, covering the bottom half of his face. He tended to do that a lot when papa was whispering something to him that the child couldn’t hear.

He shut the fan, experimentally placing the folded version against his lips. Once his lips felt the smooth touch of the bamboo he started giggling. He tried to imagine one of his father’s stern expressions with the same pose. He tried to mimic the expression with his own facial muscles and started laughing again.

He had to show father!

He scrambled out of the room not bothering to shut the door or fix the mess he made as he sprinted towards home.

He busted through the doors of the bamboo house yelling, “Father!”

Shen Qingqiu was reading a book at the moment and jumped at the sound of his son yelling for him.

“Little sun, what’s wrong?”

“I found a fan!”

His father sighed, “Did you?”

“Yes!” Wei Ying opened the fan, hiding the bottom half of his face. He said nothing as he stared directly into his father’s eyes.

“A-Ying what are you doing?”

“Trying to look like father!”

The immortal chuckled at the remark and reached down, picking up the small child and placing him in his lap.

“Where did you find this fan?”

“I found it in the room with the old beds!” He said proudly. His father fondly smiled down at him, brushing his hands against the bamboo fan that Wei Ying held with pride.

“It’s quite old,” he commented. “Why don’t we get you a new one? With your constant running around, this one will surely break. I have to go down to the village and grab some things myself anyway.”

“What do you have to get?” Wei Ying asked curiously as his father stood up still holding him in his arms.

“Books,” he replied, “If I am to teach you more about cultivation, both of us are going to need to know the modern standards as well. I barely know the history of the current sects too. While we’re shopping we can get you a better fan.”

“Yay! Thank you, father!”

That day, when Wei Ying and Shen Qingqiu went down to the village, the little boy picked out a new fan. It was black with a long black tassel that had a red glass bead on the end. The inside was painted with red ink in the shapes of spider lilies.

XXX

2. Interruptions

Weeks passed by and Wei Ying’s studies were going very well. The boy was a quick learner and it didn’t take him long to learn before he was on to the next level. Progress in all subjects was going splendidly.

His studies for the day had ended and the boy was exploring the mountain once again leaving his father alone inside his study. The little boy had practically jumped out of the room when he was released from his lessons. Wei Ying’s stamina was endless.

Shen Qingqiu was carefully looking over the new books that he and Wei Ying had gotten a couple weeks ago. Some were about cultivation and the others were brief histories on the Yumengjiang, Gusulan, Lanling Jin, Qinghe Nie, and the Qishan Wen Sects and how they came to be, but nothing more. It seemed that regular civilians had limited information on them. He could probably learn more by going directly to the sects, but they probably wouldn’t let him study unless he joined or something like that.

While he was in the small village he did talk with the locals while Wei Ying played with his new fan. An old man had told him about the Gusulan sect that resided in a remote mountain range known as the Cloud Recess. He was also told that they had a wall of rules that each member strictly lived by. A rogue cultivator told him that Lanling Jin sect was in the Carp Tower and the Qingnie sect rested in the Unclean Realm.

That same cultivator also told him about the Yumengjiang sect and their place in the Lotus Pier and that they wore purple clothing. The day he and Luo Binghe found Wei Ying, there were a lot of purple-clothed cultivators.

Why were there so many? He wondered.

And the final information he was able to get was about the Qishan Wen sect that lived in the Nightless City. They’re currently the biggest sect and weren’t favored by the people. An old lady that he spoke to wasn’t pleased when she discussed the sect with him. She angrily talked about how they arrogantly showed off their power when they could and crushed any lesser sect that they found.

They sounded like less than favorable people, but it was hearsay from one person.

“Shizun,” a voice whispered in his ear.

The immortal jumped in surprise, his face heating up. He was going to turn around when a familiar pair of arms wrapped around his torso. They held him tightly but not tight enough to hurt.

“Binghe?”

The demon snuggled his face into the crook of Shen Qingqiu’s neck and nibbled on his neck. It earned him a surprised squeak from his husband. Shen Qingqiu knew that Luo Binghe was smiling triumphantly.

“Shizun… We haven’t done it in a long time,” the demon whispered. The immortal turned his head to try to look at his husband but before he could speak Luo Bignhe gripped his chin and pulled him in for a kiss. The demon swallowing whatever words he was going to say.

With much effort, Shen Qingqiu pulled away, a bright red blush on his face. “It’s the middle of the day and Wei Ying is around!”

“He explores for a long time,” Luo Binghe replied, licking his Shizun’s neck. “Besides, this may be the only chance we get in a while.”

Shen Qingqiu was about to protest but froze as the beaten puppy look on Luo Binghe’s face appeared. He was lost for words. Damn this disciple!

Seeing that Shen Qingqiu wasn’t saying anything, Luo Binghe smiled as he pulled the immortal in for another kiss.

Shen Qingqiu whimpered as a hot tongue explored his mouth and Binghe’s hands slipped under his robes.

Hand! Your hand! He thought as the hands on his body got braver in their touches. He pulled away from their passionate kiss to breathe, but Luo Binghe’s mouth took his breath away again as it latched onto his neck.

“Ngh!” He gasped in surprise. A soft chuckle coming from the demon as it vibrated against his neck. Luo Binghe’s hands were slipping further and further down. Shen Qingqiu whining under the touch.

“PAPA! FATHER! There are two strange people here!”

“Who’re you calling strange!? Why the hell is there a kid up here!”

Luo Binghe growled menacingly. Obviously irritated. The two knew who the ‘two strange people’ were. They’d recognize that voice anywhere.

In record time Shen Qingqiu had himself dressed decently once again and the couple walked out of the bamboo house. Amusingly, there stood Liu Qingge and his sister Liu Mingyan, but Liu Qingge was glaring down at the small child in front of him. Said child was returning the glare. It was quite comically to look at.

Wei Ying turned his head, seeing his parents and he dashed off towards them. He raised his arms to Shen Qingqiu, demanding to be picked up. With a sigh, his father did just that. Bending down and scooping up the tiny human into his arms.

“Father, there are strange people here!” The little boy repeated as he pointed at the siblings with his fan.
The two were staring at the family of three, their figures frozen. Liu Qingge looked the most shocked.

“When…Shen Qingqiu when did you give… Give...”

“Give what?”

“Give birth to a son!” Liu Mingyan exclaimed with a sparkle in her eyes.

Oh god, not this again! This is the same situation when Luo Binghe had his qi deviation and turned into a child. Everyone in the sect assumed that he gave birth to a child that grew up into a 7-year-old in months. He also remembered kicking the war god down the peak that night.

“I did not give birth to him. We found and adopted him!”

Liu Mingyan looked disappointed as her shoulders slouched.

Shen Qingqiu felt a throbbing headache and he knew it was going to get worse.

XXX

3. Toot Toot!

A shrill screech echoed throughout the Cang Qiong Peak, ruining its peace. The birds, squirrels, and rabbits started running away in fright from the abrupt noise. The screech went off over and over again much to the still mountain’s dismay.

“Okay stop!” Shen Qingqiu yelled with his hands covering his ears.

Wei Ying looked at his father innocently as he clutched his bamboo flute between his small fingers. The immortal lowered his hands away from his aching ears and sighed.

“Blow softly, little sun. You’re not going to get the right sound by blowing on it as hard as you can.” The boy nodded his head and resumed to ‘playing’ his flute. He was blowing on it softly, but too softly. Shen Qingqiu could only hear the sound of Wei Ying’s spit flying out of his mouth. The poor kid couldn’t find a good middle ground.

He sighed again, watching his son intently. This morning he woke up to the sound of the System’s voice giving him a new mission. That mission was teaching Wei Wuxian how to play the flute. The damn thing said if he didn’t complete the mission he would be deducted points! Why was it so important that he learn the flute of all instruments?

The guqin would have been better. It would have been more of a blessing on his ears at least. Luo Binghe was lucky. He had business to deal with in the demon realm, therefore missing the ear-bleeding sounds of a child trying to play the flute.

The immortal turned his attention away from his thoughts and back at Wei Ying, but the boy was now staring at the floor with the flute in his lap. Upon closer inspection, Shen Qingqiu saw droplets of water forming on the sides of Wei Ying’s eyes.

“Little sun, what’s wrong?” He asked, moving closer to Wei Wuxian.

“I’m never going to be good at this!” He screamed, the tears spilling from his eyes. The boy crawled over to his father, pressing his tear stricken face into his father’s lap, soaking his robes. But Shen Qingqiu didn’t mind.

The immortal softly rubbed his son’s head as the boy continued to cry. “It’s alright,” he said softly. “This is your first time trying, don’t expect to be perfect right away.”

“But I want to be perfect for you and papa!” He protested looking up at Shen Qingqiu. The immortal looked at his son with a gentle expression and took the edge of his right sleeve, wiping away the snot and tears from the Wei Ying’s face.

“Come now, where’s that smile?” Wei Ying sobbed, rubbing his face with the edge of his own sleeve and tried to grin, but Shen Qingqiu could see the storm within his mind.

“Luo Binghe and I don’t need you to be perfect. You’re fine as you are. All we need is to see that you never stop smiling for us.” Wei Ying gripped the end of his other sleeve, avoiding his father’s gaze. Rubbing his eyes once again he smiled.

A smile of his own spread across Shen Qingiu’s face and he patted the top of Wei Ying’s head. The grin on the little boy’s face getting brighter as he giggled softly.

“Promise, you’ll keep smiling?” He asked.

“Promise father!” The little boy wrapped his arm around Shen Qingqiu’s neck and the immortal returned the embrace, feeling Wei Ying nuzzle his face against his shoulder. A warm and tender moment between father and son.

[Parenting points +500]

Until the System ruined it.

XXX

4. Wei Ying is a wine stopper

Shen Qingqiu slipped into the soft blankets of his bed after finally getting Wei Ying to fall asleep. He was still struggling to get the child on a good sleeping schedule because of Wei Ying’s boundless energy. He had to tell stories to get him to fall asleep and after a long story about Lord of the Rings, he had finally got his son to drift off.

He laid his head against the pillows, sighing at the comfort of being in bed. He was going to fall asleep until he heard familiar footsteps, followed by the opening of the bedroom door. He sat up from his position in bed but was promptly shoved back down. Each arm was gently pinned on either side of his head, but he wasn’t afraid. He knew who this was.

“Good evening Shizun~” Luo Binghe whispered with a predatory look on his face, his body looming over his pinned prey. The opened door was letting the moon’s light it in softly like a veil. The lighting made Luo Bignhe’s red eyes glow, giving him a more seductive look.

Shen Qingqiu already knew he was blushing.

Luo Binghe leaned down, gently kissing his lips, tightening his hold on Shen Qingqiu’s pinned wrists. Shen Qingqiu moaned into the kiss squirming to get out of his retrained state. Luo Binghe’s mouth moved away from his own and wandered down his neck where the demon fastened his teeth into the side of Shen Qingqiu’s throat. Marking him, claiming him.

The immortal’s blush deepened into a darker shade of red as he tried to suppress another moan.

Wei Ying was sleeping in the other room!

“Luo Binghe… A-Ying is in the other room,” he tried to protest.

“Then, well have to be extra quiet. Are you up for the challenge Shizun?” The demon’s eyes glinted dangerously.

Shameless! Utterly shameless!

He was going to protest more when an object smacked the side of Binghe’s head. Both froze, stunned by what just happened. The object gently landed onto the bed sheets, touching the side of Shen Qingqiu’s thigh.

It was Wei Ying’s fan!

“No biting father! Papa bad!” At the edge of their bed stood their son wide awake and looking angry. The face Wei Ying was making would have been funny if not for the current situation.

How long has he been standing there!? Shen Qingqiu’s mind was running wild. Just how much of the child’s innocence had they taken away? But Wei Ying looked more angry than horrified of catching his parents. Good thing they were still wearing clothes.

“No biting! You’re like a dog, papa and dogs are bad!” Wei Ying tugged Shen Qingqiu’s right arm away from Luo Binghe’s grip and wrapped his arms around his father’s, holding it protectively with a pout on his face.

The demon looked at Wei Ying with slight irritation and wrapped his arms around Shen Qingqiu’s torso, staring right into his son’s eyes.

“But I like biting Shizun.”

Binghe!

“No biting, papa!” Wei Ying yelled as he tightened his hold on Shen Qingqiu’s arm. Luo Binghe was quick to do the same and tighten his own hold. The immortal felt the blood being squeezed out of his right arm and the air in his lungs being squished out.

The father and son duo continued to have a stare down with each, neither of them willing to let go of Shen Qingiu. He couldn’t handle it anymore!

“We are all going to bed! So let go of me before I lose an arm or my life!”

XXX

Extra: Cursed book

“Father.”

“Yes, Wei Ying?”

“I found this book in the library and even though I can read more, I still can’t understand it. Can you read it to me?”

“What’s the title?”

“The Resentment of the Chunshan. For some reason, your name and papa’s frequently pop up in it.”

Shen Qingqiu proceeded to chuck the book down the Cang Qiong Mountain.

Chapter Text

Chapter 4: Days in the Lotus Pier Part 1

The silent nights of the Cang Qiong Mountain took years for Shen Qingqiu to get used to. When he first transmitted to the world of Proud Immortal Demon Way, he wasn’t used to the silence. He used to live in the city. A place that constantly was bustling with noise no matter the time of the day. He used to hear police cars and the occasional car horn in the midst of the dark. He used to be familiar with all the sounds and fell asleep regardless of how loud it was. Now, after all the years he’d spent inside this world, he forgot what the city sounded like.

Here, he was surrounded by a still silence, no longer able to remember the route from college to his apartment in the city. Blurry imagines and blurry faces were all that was left in his memory, but that didn’t matter anymore. After all, he died in that world. There was no ‘home’ for him there anymore. Besides, he is happy with his life on the Cang Qiong Mountain.

Shen Qingqiu opened his eyes and peered through the darkness of the bamboo house from his position in his bed. Across from him lay his husband. Luo Binghe’s left arm was draped over him in a protective manner, the demon’s chest rising and falling as he slept.

Wei Ying was shoved in the middle of the both of them, hugging his black fan as he too slept peacefully. The child had persisted on sleeping with them tonight, voicing that he was afraid of Luo Binghe biting him again.

The demon responded saying that they should add an extra room to the bamboo house that was farther away theirs. The immortal promised that they would when Wei Wuxian got older.

The ends of Shen Qingiu’s lip curved upward as he raised his right hand to gently stroke Wei Ying’s head.

The child made a content sigh and subconsciously nuzzled his head against the hand stroking his hair. The immortal paused his hand, his finger entwined with the child’s ebony locks as he looked down at his son, a frown now marring his face.

He was still worried about the plot. The unknown story of the Grand Master of Demonic Cultivation still had him extremely worried. After mulling over it for so long, Shen Qingqiu thought it safe to assume that Wei Ying would become this demonic cultivator.

Does that mean he has demon blood? He wondered as his eyes went back and forth between Luo Binghe and Wei Ying. Considering that this was a different novel and not written by Airplane bro that idea was probably wrong, even though the two worlds had mixed together. Mobei Jun probably would have sensed the demon blood like he did when he first met Luo Binghe anyways.

The versions of demonic cultivation was probably different between the two novels so he could take demon blood out of the equation.

But what would demonic cultivation be if it didn’t refer to the demon race? Is there even a demon race in this new story’s original plot?

“System,” he said inside his head.

[Yes customer?]

“Are you able to tell me anything about the Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation?”

[*beep**beep* Not enough points to spend!]

His brow furrowed. “Points? Do you mean the parenting points I’ve been receiving?”

[Correct]

“So if I get enough points I can unlock information about the Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation?”

[Correct again, but parenting points can be spent in another way. Points can be spent to obtain information on future events, or to be given options that will change key events in the story]

“That’s useful,” he sighed. Being able to change key is a very strong power. Bad events can potentially be avoided if can see a situation going wrong. Combine that with the information he can receive for future event, it would be a deadly duo in his favor. Too bad he didn’t have this power when he had to shove Luo Binghe in the Endless Abyss.

[WARNING! For the options to change key events, three choices will appear! One choice will make the story continue on with no alterations, one will change the key event for the better, and one will make the key event bad or worse if the event was originally negative!]

Fuck! Shen Qingqiu shouted inside his head. The last thing he needed now was to wake up the two others sharing the bed. So the key event changer would be a gamble? And one of the choices is a possible bad end!? Or an even worse turnout? Why can’t anything go his way?

“How many points do I currently have?”

[Currently, you have 5,000]

“That’s not enough to get plot info?”

[As of right now, no.]

“What is the amount needed for information and the key event changer?”

[Information: 25,000 points and Event Changer: 50,000]

“Why so much?” He groaned.

[Parenting is expensive]

If the System had a human form he would punch it right now.

[New Mission available! The Lotus Pier! Fail to do and you will be deducted -5,000!]

He was ready to set the house on fire.

After the centuries of the System being silent, he forgot how irritating it could be.

The immortal sighed and once again looked at the sleeping figures that shared the bed with him. Wei Ying and Luo Binghe have moved closer to him, leaving little space in between all three of them. He smiled, draping an arm over the child and closing his eyes.

Looks like they were going out soon.

XXX

“Wei Ying, are you ready?” Father called, watching him from a distance.

“Almost!” He called back as he looked through a pile of leaves, picking out the ones in the best condition. Whatever leaves he thought were perfect, he stuffed in his pockets, probably ruining their condition but such is the carelessness of children. “I’m ready now!” He yelled as he ran over to Luo Binghe and Shen Qingqiu.

His father gently plucked him from the ground, shifting him so he rested on one arm. With his other, he elegantly unsheathed Xiu Ya.

Wei Ying’s eyes sparkled looking at father’s sword. A pure white blade that shined brightly. It was absolutely beautiful. A perfect sword for a cultivator.

Shen Qingqiu let go of the sword and it gently hovered a few inches above the ground. Both of his father’s arms were now hugged tightly around him as his father stepped onto the hovering blade.

“So cool,” he whispered, clutching onto his father’s robes. His eyes still glued to Xiu Ya.

Wei Ying felt his ears twitch as he heard Luo Binghe unsheathe his own weapon. His eyes drifted over to his papa repeating the same steps to mount his sword as father did, but Wei Ying frowned at the action as he stared at his papa’s sword.

Compared to Shen Qingqiu’s Xiu Ya, the sword was rather dull. The handle was well-crafted as was the rest of the sword, but shouldn’t papa have something awesome and cool looking like father? Why was his sword so… So boring!?

“Papa, why don’t you have an awesome sword like father?” He asked.

At the question, Luo Binghe tilted his head in slight confusion. “What do you mean?” he asked back. “What’s wrong with Zheng Yang?”

“It’s not cool enough!” He proclaimed, “Xiu Ya is shiny like the sun! You’re a strong cultivator too! How come your sword isn’t as awesome?”

“Well, I have a stronger one, but Shizun doesn’t prefer it out.”

“Binghe!” His father screamed with a bright pink flush spreading across his cheeks.

Luo Binghe jumped back in surprise and lifted his arms up with his palms facing forward, “I was talking about Xin Mo! Honest!”

Father looked like he wanted to say something, but nothing came out of his lips. Instead, he buried his face into Wei Ying’s ebony hair. The pink flush slowly draining in color.

The child was very confused.

Adults are weird he concluded.

“Why don’t you have Xin Mo with you if it’s stronger?”

Silence greeted his question as both of his parents locked eyes. A stern and serious expression on each of their faces. The atmosphere around him turned cold and made the little boy shiver at the sudden mood change. He wanted to ask more about his papa’s sword, but he knew better than to pry at the moment.

Even though he is really curious!

His parents didn’t say a word as they flew off into the sky, but the cold atmosphere that was around them a moment ago was now gone.

Wei Ying giggled excitedly as the wind blew in his face. His heart was pounding in his chest as they flew higher and higher into the sky. They were so far from the ground! Most children would probably be scared at the sudden gain in height, but Wei Wuxian wasn’t like any child. He was having so much fun.

He squirmed in father’s arm, unable to keep his excitement bottled up inside his body, much to his father’s dismay. He struggled to keep the child still.

“What’s the Lotus Pier like anyway?” He asked after they had flown for some time.

“You’ll see soon.”

Silence…

“Are we there yet?”

“No.”

“...”

“Are we there yet?”

“No.”

“Are we-”

“Be patient, little sun. You’ll see the Lotus Pier when we get close.”

“Humph,” he pouted, resting his head on his father’s chest. He didn’t like waiting. Being still was always a hard task for him. He wanted to move around and use his energy, but he’d probably fall out of father’s arms and plunder down to the ground. But his parents are strong! They’d catch him before he hit the ground!

As if his parents read his mind, his father’s arms tightened around him and papa flew closer to them to the point that his parents were almost touching shoulders.

He decided being still was the best option right now.

What felt like hours into the trip, were the first signs of a large city. Gigantic lakes surrounded city and lotus flowers could be seen in large groups scattered among the lake. The pink flowers peeking out of the waters were visible from their high place in the sky.

It was a beautiful sight. The city itself was impressive as well. Large stone walls surrounded and separated parts of the city and etched into them were louts symbols.

Wei Ying was too distracted by the city to realize that they had touched down to the ground, outside the entrance of the pier. He was set down on the ground as his parents got off their swords and sheathed their weapons.

Instantly he grabbed Luo Binghe’s hand. Father held him enough today, he wanted to hold onto papa’s hand now.

“Are you excited?” He asked, smiling fondly at him. Wei Ying nodded his head.

He’s really excited.

Shen Qingqiu chuckled in the background at his excitement.

As they walked into the city Wei Ying checked his pockets, making sure the leaves he had stuffed in them were still there. His fan was also in his right pocket and he made sure it was still in there. He nodded his head in confirmation once he felt the smooth touch of the bamboo and turned his attention to the city around him.

There were a lot of people. Lots of people. Men and women were walking around, either by themselves or in a group. Some were holding babies and there were also children his age too playing with sticks and chasing each other. Some people were dressed fancy, kind of like his parents, but the style was different. They have swords attached to their hips. They must be cultivators!

“Shizun, did you need to get something here?” His papa asked.

“No, why do you ask?”

“I was just curious in why you wanted to come here so suddenly.”

“I thought it would be a good change of pace. We’ve only gone down to the village at the base of Cang Qiong Mountain. The Lotus Pier is a major city and not that far from home, so I thought it would be a good experience.”

As his parents kept on talking, Wei Ying shut out their voices as he looked from one spot to another. The colors of the Lotus Pier were vibrant with lots of vendors selling fruits, fabrics, and all other kinds of items. It was honestly scaring him a little bit. Lots of people, too many in his opinion. He was too used quiet peace of home with the occasional visits from his uncles and aunts.

The bustling of the city reminded him of the one that he was left in.

-“Mother! Father! Where are you going?” Wei Ying asked as he watched his mother and father pack a small bag.

“We’re going on a night hunt,” his father replied with a small grin.

“Don’t worry we’ll be back later tonight,” his mother assured him as she picked him up into her lap.

“I want to go with you!” He exclaimed, clutching onto the hem of his mother’s sleeve. The woman smiled down at him sadly.

“Sorry, you can’t come with us.”

“Why not?”

“It’s too dangerous for you to go.”

“Is it dangerous for the both of you?”

“Don’t worry we’ll be fine A-Xian,” his father assured as he patted his head. “The night hunt is just a small one. Nothing too dangerous for us.”

“Don’t worry we’ll come back,” his mother promised.-

But they didn’t.

They never came back. He was left alone in that town to fend off dogs that tried to steal the food he collected. He remembered being excited for his mother and father to come home that night. So excited that he stayed up late and sat on the ground, waiting patiently for them to appear so he could run up and hug them when they came back.

But they didn’t.

He sat there for days, wondering when his mother and father would come back. He cried a lot and kept crying even when his stomach hurt because he was so hungry. Wei Ying was in a lot of pain, but the emotional pain of accepting the fact that his mother and father weren’t coming home hurt more than the aching hunger prickling in his stomach.

If he was asked to describe his original parents he couldn’t say that he could.

He forgot what they looked like.

At times he missed them, but his new parents were very nice and treated him with so much love. If the child was being honest with himself he loved Shen Qingqiu and Luo Binghe more than his original parents.

They haven’t left him. They didn’t make promises they couldn’t keep.

He tightened his grip on his papa’s hand. He wanted to stay with Shen Qingqiu and Luo Binghe no matter what.

Wei Ying looked up as he felt a warm hand on his head and smiled fondly up at his parents.

“Can we get something to eat?” He asked, suddenly realizing he was hungry.

“Something small,” Shen Qingqiu said, “We’re not ruining your appetite for dinner when we return home.”

“Okay! I want melon!”

With that the family of three moved through the crowd, searching through the crowds for a fruit vendor that sold melon. As they sifted through all the people Wei Ying began to realize that people were staring at them.

A group of pretty ladies had pink cheeks as they stared at father and papa.

“Look at that one! He’s quite a looker isn’t he?”

“I prefer the more elegant man next to him. There’s an air of mystery around him!”

“But why is there is a kid with them? They must be rogue cultivators with those ornate swords and the one holding the kid’s hand must have a wife.”

“How unfortunate.”

“For you guys, the elegant one is still free!”

Wei Ying didn’t have to look up to know that Papa was glaring at them. He watched the girls gasp in surprise and disappear from papa’s gaze.

Father’s not for you ladies!

But the group of girls wasn’t the only ones whispering, others were still staring at them.

“They must be rich with robes likes those!”

“Are they rogue cultivators? Why is there a kid with them?”

“I’ve never seen people like them before.”

“Are they monks or something? The tall one has a red mark on his forehead. What’s that suppose to be?”

“Are they perhaps cut sleeves? The adult in black keeps glaring at people that stare at the man beside him.”

Wei Ying just started to ignore the voices. He didn’t really understand what they were talking about anyways. Why ask questions behind people’s back? Why not just ask papa and father their questions directly?

Adults are weird he concluded again.

As they kept walking through the city the crowd of people started to get thicker. So many bodies bunched up next to each other is annoying.

The little boy grunted as a man knocked into him and he lost his grip on his papa’s hand. Since the street was bustling with adults, Wei Ying couldn’t see over any of them to identify his parents. The large number of people talking also made it hard for him to hear.

Lost in the crowd Wei Ying kept crashing into people, but none of them were his parents.

His eyes started to get wet.

Don’t leave me!

He opened his mouth, ready to yell for his parents, but a small growl made the poor child freeze in his tracks. He looked to his right and sitting next to fish stall was a dog! A dog that was growling and baring its teeth at him!

He suddenly forgot about the fact that he was lost and needed to find his parents. The one thought running through his head was ‘Get away!’

The dog started barking at him and that was his cue to run.

And he ran!

He needed to make as much distance as he could away from the dog! As he was running Wei Ying spotted an empty alleyway and dived in there. Away from the crowd of people and hopefully away from the dog!

Once his nerves calm down he realized again, that he was lost and far away from his parents. He was ready to cry! He was about to when he heard a voice.

“Wei Ying?”

The little boy turned around happily thinking that his parents found him, but it wasn’t Shen Qingqiu or Luo Binghe standing in front of him.

It was a complete stranger!

The stranger was clad in purple with a small bell hanging from the belt around his waist, which also had a sword tied to it. His face looked gentle and calming, despite the look of sheer surprise on it.

“Wei Ying?” He asked again.

“Yes?” The boy replied hesitantly.

“You! You’re Wei Ying!” The man smiled happily as he reached out for him.

Sparks were flying off in Wei Ying’s brain as he remembered what his father told him before they left for the city.

“Little sun this is very serious. If you somehow get separated from us do not trust strangers. If you meet someone that you don’t know and they try to grab or coax you to come with them you yell stranger danger. These people are usually trying to hurt you or do something bad to you.”

This was a stranger.

One that was reaching for him.

…..

“Stranger danger!” He yelled, which startled the man in front of him. Wei Ying grabbed one of the leaves in his pocket.

He’s going to use father’s awesome move!

Just like father had shown him, the child built spiritual energy into the leaf and threw it at the man. It ended up bursting into pieces instead of cutting the man’s face as he wanted, but the stranger flinched in surprise. It was enough of an opening for him!

He shot past the stranger and ran as fast as his little kid legs could carry him. He sprinted out the alley and screamed “Stranger danger” again. He looked behind him to make sure the man wasn’t following and ended up colliding into something.

Wei Ying fell on his butt and he grunted at the impact. He looked up to see what he had run into only to see his concerned faces of his parents.

“Wei Ying!” Shen Qingqiu said with relief as he picked his up into his arms. The little boy wrapped his arms around his father’s neck and nuzzled his face into his chest.

He found them.

Luo Binghe rested a hand on his back looking just as relieved as Shen Qingqiu, “We heard you screaming, are you okay?”

He nodded his head ‘yes’ much to his parent’s relief. He was about to say more when a purple figure cut through the crowd and was standing in front of them.

It was the stranger!

“Stranger danger!” He repeated once more, “He tried to grab me!”

Anyone within a ten-meter radius could feel the temperature drop instantly. Luo Binghe glared at the man in front of him with nothing but anger written across his face.

Luo Binghe looked ready to kill a man.

Extra:

“How could you lose him!”

“I’m sorry Shizun, this father is useless!”

“Do you hear a dog barking?”

“...”

“Fuck.”

Chapter Text

Chapter 5: Days in the Lotus Pier Part 2

“Stranger danger!” He repeated once more, “He tried to grab me!”

Anyone within a ten-meter radius could feel the temperature drop instantly. Luo Binghe glared at the man in front of him with nothing but anger written across his face.

Luo Binghe looked ready to kill a man.


The civilians in the area began to back away, feeling the demon’s bloodthirsty aura around them, but they stayed to see what the outcome of this event would be. The newcomer in front of them visibly gulped and placed a hand on his sword just in case he needed to defend himself.

Not like it would help.

As much as he wanted Binghe to punch this man, Shen Qingqiu was smart enough to know that there is more to the situation. The man could have been trying to assure Wei Ying that he was safe and reached out towards, but the child could have mistaken the gestures as an attack. Maybe he should have explained the ‘stranger danger’ in more detail.

But if that wasn’t the case this man was going to get what was coming for him.

The immortal placed his hand gently on his husband’s shoulder, shaking his head no. “Let’s hear him out first before you cause a bigger scene.”

Luo Binghe looked ready to protest, but he nodded his head in agreement and exhaled. The audience around them exhaled too as the half-demon’s dangerous aura calmed.

The man that Wei Ying was screaming at quickly composed himself and bowed his head to the couple. “My apologies, I never meant any harm to Wei Ying.”

How does he know his name? The sudden revelation shocking Shen Qingqiu, but he made sure not to physically show it. This is definitely going to get complicated.

“May we ask how you know Wei Ying?”

“He is the son of my two greatest friends. Unfortunately, they passed away about two years ago. I’m sorry that I scared him, but I didn’t know someone already found him...” His words trailed off but Shen Qingqiu could see the thoughts running inside this man’s head. It looked like he wanted to say more.

“My apologies for my lack of manners, I never introduced myself. I am Jiang Fengmian, leader of the Yumengjiang Sect. If you could, could you please come with me? I would like to discuss more with you two somewhere else.”

For a moment the immortal forgot about the countless prying eyes of the people around them. Many were whispering among themselves, eyes still glued to the scene. One thing about humanity that was always right, was their love for gossip.

He just hoped nothing ridiculous came out of it!

“Binghe?” He said loud enough only for his husband to hear. Even though the demon is still sticky and acted like a disciple, he was still his husband. He has to agree on decisions instead of Shen Qingqiu making them all the time for both of them.

Luo Binghe still had a look of wanting to murder Jiang Fengmian, albeit a bit faint. But knowing he’s a sect leader probably quenched the bloodthirst a little. He looked at Sheng Qingqiu and nodded his head in agreement. There is probably more that this man could reveal to them about Wei Ying and maybe this way the immortal could get from free hints on what will happen to their son in the future.

“We’ll go with you,” he answered.

“Thank you,” the leader said in response and motioned for them to follow him. Finally, they could escape from the countless number of eyes on them.

As they followed Jiang Fengmian, Shen Qingqiu kept a hand on Wei Ying’s back and patted his back to reassure him.

“Why are we following him?” he asked his parents, hiding his face in Shen Qingqiu’s robes. “He tried to grab me.”

“It was just a misunderstanding, little sun,” Binghe answered before his husband could. “You’re the son of some close friends of his. He was probably just trying to take you to safety not knowing we’re the ones already taking care of you.”

That seemed to assure the child that Jiang Fengmian wasn’t dangerous, but his little hands tightened their grip on the edges of his father’s robes, but Shen Qingqiu barely registered it. He was more concerned with the name ‘Jiang’ at the moment.

“Did it say how he died, or anything about this Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation?”

“As I said I don’t remember too well, but I think someone named Jiang Cheng killed him. Wait no, it said something about him getting torn to pieces-”


The sect leader had the same surname as the person that might kill his little sun in the coming future. There was still a 50/50 chance that it would happen, based on Airplane bro’s memory but the immortal didn’t want to take any risks.

“Shizun, are you okay?” Binghe asked with a slight tilt of his head.

Hearing his voice broke Shen Qingqiu out of his thoughts and he nodded his head. “This husband is fine, just thinking.” Uncharacteristically of him, Luo Binghe didn’t say anything. He could that the demon’s eyes focused on their son, but he didn’t say a word.

He probably has thoughts of his own running through his head.

“We’re here, welcome to my home.”

At the sight of Jiang Fengmian home, an old feeling welled up inside Shen Qingqiu’s chest. The place is large and spaciously. Neatly kept with guards at the entrance and cultivators, young and old wandering around. Flashbacks of the Qing Jing Peak blinked through his mind. The familiar faces of Ning Yingying, Ming Fan, and Yue Qingyuan coming back to him.

It’s been centuries since they faded and what was left of the glorious sect is in ruins. It made him want to fill the place back up again and fix the broken buildings. But they got fewer and fewer disciples once the new sects appeared, until they stopped coming altogether. The old kinds of cultivation no longer being favored.

The walking corpses became more of a problem then the dwindling monsters and even though Luo Binghe and Shen Qingqiu did their best to get demons and humans to get along, their efforts became fruitless and the two races decided to stay away from each other. Both sides always claiming that the other did them wrong. Humans and demons causing problems on their own sides just so they could accuse the other of causing trouble.

It caused an enormous amount of chaos. If one thing was similar between demons and humans it was the constant want for drama and conflict. It’s a flaw of many living beings.

There were stray humans and demons that got along, but the masses were too strong.

They always were.

Even if they both craved conflict, both sides were equally starved for peace. So, demons and humans agreed to leave each other alone and finally there was undisturbed tranquility between them. The only conflicts being inside the races and not the outside.

It was a terrible way for everything to end. Luo Binghe and he especially took a hard hit when they realized that they couldn’t do anything. If they forced the two races to like each other they would be seen as the bad guys and it wouldn’t be long before everyone turned on them.

He only agreed to stop trying after too many assassination attempts. Being the Demon Lord’s husband made him a prime target for both species. After one almost succeeded, Luo Binghe was in tears, fearing he almost lost Shen Qingqiu again.

A couple of minutes ago, the immortal remembered that a man was wondering why Luo Binghe had a mark on his forehead. It seemed that humans had forgotten about demons, yet the demon world still remembered them.

“Father, I want down!”

Jolting him out of his thoughts Shen Qingqiu carefully set Wei Ying down on the ground, the little boy grunting once his feet hit the wood floors of the sect headquarters. The father was so lost in thought he didn’t realize that they had entered Jiang Fengmian’s home.

The place was decorated in purple with the sect banners hanging from the walls, the very limited walls. The outer shell of the place had no walls and had a beautiful view of the lake. It seemed like this place was suspended above water since he could hear the hollowness under the wood flooring, indicating that there were only pillars to support the walkway and no solid foundation.

If he had to describe this place in one word it would stunning. The Lotus Pier is a stunning place. To think the world changed so much while he lazed around in the afternoons with his husband, not knowing the mass amount of changes.

Jiang Fengmian lead them to an open pavilion in the middle of the lake. The lotus flowers covering the water around the bride and the pavilion. In the middle of the wooden structure was a small place for them to sit and the sect leader walked and sat on the opposite side.

The couple too sat in their seats across from him while Wei Ying scrambled to sit in Binghe’s lap with his cheeks puffed out. More than likely, he still didn’t have a positive opinion on this man still.

“You said Wei Ying’s the son of your friends?” The demon asked, breaking the awkward silence.

“Yes, he is,” the sect leader said with a fond smile, looking as if he was recalling old memories. “His mother was a rogue cultivator named Cangse Sanren and his father was a servant of the Yumengjiang Sect named Wei Changze. I grew up with them, though Wei Changze and I met Cangse Sanren later in our teen years.”

Childhood friends? The immortal mused, but he could tell that there was more to the relationship between the three. He could see it in Jiang Fengmian’s eyes. “You said they passed away. This little one informed us that they went on a night hunt and never came back. Is this true?”

The sect leader’s smile disappeared and he took in a deep breath. He was struggling with his words and who could blame him? Under the table, Shen Qingqiu clutched Wei Ying’s hand. Luo Binghe’s was already there. The boy’s hand and whole body was still, very unlike him.

They probably should have put him somewhere else for this conversation. The boy would

definitely find out later in life the true reason why his parents never came back for him, it’s just cruel that he has to learn now.

“Yes, they passed away during a night hunt. I won’t go into detail but they lost their lives there.”

The moments the words left the Jiang Fengmian’s mouth, Shen Qingqiu expected Wei Ying to break down. To start crying at the reveal, but unexpectedly he didn’t. The boy played with his fan with his free hand, unaffected by the news.

His reaction shocked his father, but it shocked all three of the adults present at the table. When he first met Wei Ying the child was crying over his parents leaving him alone, but he seemed completely fine now.

He’s going to be the type that conceals his feelings, the small thought hurting Shen Qingqiu. He’ll have to keep a closer eye on him as he gets older. A child of all things shouldn’t feel the need to hide feelings.

“Father, who are these people?”

A new voice shook the adults from their surprised stupor and the family of three looked behind themselves, spotting two newcomers at the entrance of the pavilion.

A young boy, around the same age as Wei Ying, dressed in the same purple clothes as Jiang Fengmian was standing next to a little girl. She looked older with her dark hair in buns, reminding the immortal of Ning Yingying. Since the boy called out the sect leader as ‘father’ it was safe to assume that these children are his.

“These are my guests...” The sect leader paued and let out a small chuckle, “I’m sorry I never asked for your names.”

“I’m Luo Binghe and this is my husband, Shen Qingqiu,” the demon said with no hesitance. At the word ‘husband’, the two children stumbled back in surprise.

“You’re cut-sleeves!” The boy shouted, loud enough for anyone to hear.

“Jiang Cheng, don’t be rude. Apologize.” His father commanded with a stern look. The boy looked ready to protest but didn’t and whispered a reluctant apology.

But Shen Qingqiu didn’t hear it.

Jiang Cheng

So this child was the one that would… No stop, don’t think these words. This is just a child! Don’t accuse of him of things he hasn’t done yet. But the name still made his heart race.

“Jiang Cheng and this is Jiang Yanli, my daughter. Why don’t you two show Wei Ying around the Lotus Pier? There is more that I would like to discuss with Luo Binghe and Shen Qingqiu.”

It seemed that the immortal missed some of the conversation being wrapped up in his thoughts about Jiang Cheng.

He’s getting so old. Correction he is old.

"Wei Ying come play with me! I'll show you around my home!" Jiang Cheng offered with a smile on his face.

Wei Ying was about to agree and go with him when Shen Qingqiu put a hand on his shoulder. He looked up at his father in confusion and saw that he was glaring at Jiang Cheng.

“Father?” The boy questioned. Confused by the stern look his father was giving.

“I-I’m sorry,” He said, taking his hand off his shoulder. “Go play, we’ll find you when we’re done here.” While he was concerned about their little sun running off with the boy that might kill him one day, Shen Qingqiu was more worried about what Jiang Fengmian wanted to further discuss. It implied that Wei Ying shouldn’t be present for it.

“Thank you!” With that Wei Ying jumped form Luo Binghe’s lap and joined the two children. The three of them walking away from the pavilion and when they were out of sight Jiang Fengmian began to speak.

“I know this is bold of me, but please give Wei Ying over to me.”

“I’m sorry?” Binghe growled with a hint of anger in his voice.

“Please,” the man begged, bowing his head. “Ever since I received word that his parents died I have been searching every town for him. I feel that I am responsible for him now that his parents are gone.”

Shen Qingqiu wanted to say something but the man continued before he could make a sound.

“I know this is wrong for me to ask of you two, but I want to keep the final piece of my friends close to me. I feel that I am responsible since his father was once part of this sect. I-”

Smash!

An explosion of wood stopped Jiang Fengmian from continuing. The table that once separated the adults was in pieces flying in the air. They landed inside the pavilion, some plopping into the surrounding waters.

Luo Binghe had smashed the table so fast that there was smoke steaming from the giant hole he created where the table used to exist.

“It’s not responsibility,” Luo Binghe hissed, the red mark on his forehead glowing. His husband stood up, looking down at the sect leader, making the man seem smaller than he actually was. “You don’t feel responsible for taking care of Wei Ying.”

“What do you-”

“I know pining when I see it.” The sentence made Jiang Fengmian eyes widen. Shen Qingqiu knew to be silent. It was not his place to say anything at this moment.

“I know the longing in your eyes, because I felt it,” the demon continued, his anger increasing with every word. “I know what you feel because I’ve been through it. Losing the person you love hurts and you feel like dying. I made mistakes trying to get that love back and as someone who made those mistakes, I say you have no right to ask such a request. Trying to claim Wei Ying for yourself because you feel ‘responsible’ will only make the lives of those around you harder.”

Jiang Fengmian said nothing as he looked away from Luo Binghe. The man concealed his face with his left hand, but hiding his face did not hide the shaking of his body or all of the downward curve of his lips.

“You have insulted us sect leader. You don’t even know us yet you insult us so. Shizun, let us go find Wei Ying and go home.”

Shen Qingqiu nodded his head in agreement getting onto his feet. He glanced at the shaken form of the Jiang Fengmian, feeling sad with a mixture of his own guilt stiring inside his body. But Luo Binghe was correct, the man did insult them. He didn’t think about their emotions or how Wei Ying would take this. Even though he didn’t say it, it was almost as if he was implying that they were bad parents and Wei Ying would be better off with him.

The two got ready to leave, but the sect leader spoke up.

“I’m sorry,” he whispered, his voice shaking. “Please, stay the night as an apology and in the morning I will have a more proper apology for my insult and inconsideration.”

The two locked eyes, wondering what they should do. Luo Binghe seemed lost in his own thoughts, maybe staying the night in a place that wasn’t home would help them think.

“We’ll take up your offer.”

“Thank you,” he said as he stood up. He removed his hand from his face, his eyes blank and lifeless. “Allow me to escort you to your place for tonight. We might find my children and Wei Ying along the way.” The two silently followed the sect leader, not a word spoken between anyone.

Luo Binghe locked hands with Shen Qingqiu as they walked. As they ventured through the halls they came to halt as an angry woman appeared before them. She was seething with negative emotion as she glared at the Jiang Fengmian.

“Jiang Fengmian! That child with our children is the son of Cangse Sanren and Wei Changze isn’t he? Why is he here? Arriving with a pair of cut-sleeves no less!” She spat with hatred in her eyes, her gaze focused on the sect leader and the pair behind him. “I can’t believe you brought him here! What is your intent!? Do you plan on having him stay!?”

“My lady, I do not wish to discuss this right now,” he replied.

“This must be his wife,” Luo Binghe muttered, only loud enough for Shen Qingqiu to hear. The woman looked taken back at her husband’s words but it seemed to feed the fire inside her.

“Do you know what kind of rumors this will create?” Jiang Fengmian did not reply, completely ignoring her and motioning for the pair to continue following him.

The woman looked insulted, “Don’t you run away from this! You always did when the topic was brought up and now you’re running from it again! You already have a son so stop trying to get one that isn’t yours.”

The three kept moving though, the sect leader ignoring every stab that his wife threw at him. Shen Qingqiu rubbed his temple, this was a difficult situation and he could tell there’s a lot of problems with this family.

And Wei Ying is the source of it all.

The room that Jiang Fengmian gave them was lavish and clearly meant for important guests. He bowed his head and told him that he would find his children and tell them to bring Wei Ying to this room. Without another word he left, his eyes still lifeless.

Once they were inside the room with the door closed Shen Qingqiu was engulfed into a hug from behind. Luo Binghe burying his face into the curve of his husband’s neck. The immortal didn’t say anything as he clutched his husband’s arm since he couldn’t hug him back in this position. The two swaying back and forth as they stood.

“I’m not letting go of him,” Binghe said after some odd minutes of silence. “Is that selfish of me? Is this how parents are supposed to feel towards their children. Is this feeling right or wrong?”

At first, Shen Qingqiu said nothing, thinking back to his reaction towards Jiang Cheng, thinking back to his own distant past. “I don’t think it’s wrong,” he sighed, knowing Luo Binghe didn’t have the best relationships with his parents. A mother that loved him, but died when he was young and a father that didn’t love him at all.

Family is such a complicated thing.

“Father! Papa! Are we really staying tonight!?” Their little sun burst through the doors of their room, a bright and joyous smile on his face. “Jiang Yanli gave me some of her soup! It was really good! Also, Jiang Cheng has dogs but they put them somewhere else just for me! I hope we don’t see them for the rest of our time here.”

Wei Ying didn’t see when his parents enveloped him in a hug. Their arms already around him before he knew it. He cocked his head, a little confused in why they didn’t say anything, but he did not question it.

“We love you,” Luo Binghe muttered his words slightly muffled because of the hug.

“I know.”



It was later in the night that Shen Qingqiu was finally able to focus more on his thoughts. He sat in the guest bed of their room with Luo Binghe sleeping next to him. The immortal was currently sitting up, idly running his fingers through his husband’s hair.

Wei Ying was a having a sleepover with Jiang Cheng. He protested at first, but being friends with Jiang Cheng would probably reduce the chances of him dying in the future.

This novel, the Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation has more tragedy than the original Proud Immortal Demon Way.

He remembered that Shang Qinghua saying that Wei Ying had originally been raised by the Jiang Clan. The father and his pining, probably for Wei Ying’s mother and the insults that Yu Ziyuan threw (he learned her name from a guard) must have made a tough childhood. And the possibility of Wei Ying dying, this child was just meant to suffer.

But he and Luo Binghe are here now. They would change the outcome of how this novel worked. Hopefully, avoiding all the pain and suffering that would come.

Shen Qingqiu considered falling back to sleep, but the running thoughts in his head prevented him from feeling sleepy. This messed up marriage was one of the thoughts that he couldn’t get out of his mind.

He decided he would walk around to organize his thinking. He miracuosly slipped away from the bed and his husband’s grasp, grabbing his outer robes and boots. He put them on, closing the door to their room with the utmost care and began to walk around.

The moon shined upon the waters of the pier, reflecting its image within them. The waves gently flowing against the wood floor and bridges, reminding the immortal of the sounds of a beach. The lotus flowers adding to this lake’s beauty as the moonlight shined on their petals, making them glow.

A beauty that hid this place’s problems from the rest of the world.

He twirled his fan between his fingers as he continued to think. Jiang Fengmian loved Cangse Sanren from his reaction. Since Binghe easily pointed it out it was easy to see what the answer was. This love seemed like it started a long time ago and his wife was able to see it too. She was so angry when she confronted him earlier today.

Her hatred wasn’t misplaced though. Since the man loved Wei Ying’s mother he probably would have focused more attention to Wei Ying, maybe neglecting his own children in the process. His wife hinted that that’s exactly what would have happened.

How terrible.

He sighing, continuing his walk. Weirdly enough he hadn’t run into any guards the whole time he was walking. It was strange and very unusually, but it seems he found out why.

In the center of a small clearing with seating arrangements was Yu Ziyuan. She was seething with negative emotion and it most likely scared the guards away. He couldn’t blame them, he could already tell she’s a fierce woman.

He approached where she sat by herself, the woman too wrapped up in her own thoughts, not seeing that Shen Qingqiu was there.

“May I sit here?”

She whipped her head around quickly, the negative aura not leaving her even for a second. She glared at the immortal, her eyes darkening.

“You’re the cut-sleeve,” she hissed.

What a pleasant way to greet someone. Even though she didn’t answer Shen Qingqiu’s question he sat across from her anyways.

The two sat in awkward silence as Yu Ziyuan continued to glare while Shen Qingqiu tried to block it with his fan. He swore her eyes would melt his beloved fan like a magnifying glass on a leaf on a sunny day!

It was actually quite frightening.

“Why did you bring him? For reward money?” She said after a while, turning her heated glare away from him.

“I never meant to bring Wei Ying here for reward money. My husband and I were just visiting the Lotus Pier when we ran into Sect Leader Jiang Fengmian.”

“I don’t believe you.”

“I don’t need you to,” he shot back. “I don’t need you to believe me, but Luo Binghe and I have adopted Wei Ying. It was just a coincident that we ran into your husband.”

“How!? How is it just a coincident!?” She yelled as she stood up, her back facing him. “So many know the rumors of how he loved her! How he searched for her son the minute he heard that she perished! Everyone knows that the Jiang Clan resides here! How is it just coincidence that you came here not knowing the he’s here!?”

He knew because he wanted to know more about the great cultivation sects, but she didn’t have to know that. In his defense, he didn’t know until a couple of months ago when he was studying. Also, the System is to blame for coming here.

“Madam Yu,” he said as calmly as he could. “You may not believe it, but I am an immortal that has lived up in the Cang Qiong mountain for centuries with my husband. We barely know anything about this world anymore and found Wei Ying when we wanted to see more of the world that we can barely recognize. I have no knowledge of the cultivation sects and we had no idea that the Jiang clan resided here and we never knew any rumors concerning Sect Leader Jiang Fengmian and Cangse Sanren. I call it a coincidence (more like the System actually) or maybe even fate. But a child shouldn’t be blamed for the sins of their parents. That not something children should inherit.”

Shen Qingqiu watched her fist clench and unclench, an inner turmoil running rampant inside her.

“Your relationship with your husband won’t fix itself if you two just yell and bicker with each other. If you continue to throw insults instead of trying to mend the problem you’ll end up ripping open a wound that will one-day become scar. That wound doesn’t just affect one person, but the people around you as well. It will affect your children if you continue this.”

“How do you know your answer is right?” She asked sitting down, the anger still present in her voice.

“It’s what I wished my own parents did,” he answered. Even though it was long ago, even though he couldn’t remember his own parent’s faces he remembered their actions. He got over it before he transmitted into the novel, but there was still a scar from them.

They fought constantly about everything. About money, about jobs, and about him. Being sickly and constantly in the hospital, he questioned if his parents loved him with the amount of fighting they did. So to escape it he read books. He had siblings to comfort him, but they were just as wounded and scarred from the war between their parents as he was. Books made him feel better, they helped him escape his reality and made him forget about the invisible scars on him.

Wishing his parents would stop fighting and wishing he could go back to his happy childhood when they tried to pretend that they loved each other for him and his siblings. They neglected him to the point that he started to neglect himself.

“I wished my own parents tried to fix themselves instead of yelling and blaming each other. They never did and I’m scarred because of it.” He actually died from neglecting himself, but that wasn’t something she needed to know either. “You don’t have to worry about Wei Ying, he’s staying with Luo Binghe and me, but you should be more worried about your children.”

She didn’t respond. Her back still turned to him, but the immortal could clearly see her body shaking. He didn’t say anything about it, he knew it was better if he didn’t.

As he began to walk away, he could hear her whispering to herself, but he knew the words weren’t spoken to him. Yu Ziyuan was talking to herself.

“Just when I thought he could love me when he couldn’t find her son. I hoped for a moment and thought maybe he could. He found him, but cannot claim him. Is it still possible? Have I already ruined my children?”

Shen Qingqiu went back to his room, taking off his outer robes and boots and he climbed back into bed. The minute he did Luo Binghe wrapped his arms around his waist and pulled him close. The immortal rested his head against his husband’s chest listening to his steady heartbeat. He was soon lulled to sleep by it.

[Congratulations! Congratulations! Congratulations! Key characters and relationships have been changed! Free information has been given to the user! Please check inventory to see!

Parental advice +750 parenting points.

Luo Binghe’s speech +500 parenting points.

Wei Ying’s love for his parents has increased +3 heart points!]


“Bye Jiang Cheng! Hopefully, I can convince father and papa to bring me back here!” Wei Ying waved with his short arms.

“Y-you better!” The boy yelled as he shyly looked away. “I’ll make sure to keep Jasmine, Rose, and Princess away when you come back.”

Shen Qingqiu chuckled as he watched Wei Ying physically shuddered at the mention of the dogs. “I won't come back unless you do! And give them different names! Your naming skills are bad!”

“Are not!”

“Are too!”

“Okay, that’s enough yelling,” he said as he picked Wei Ying up into his arms. The child stuck his tongue out and Shen Qingqiu shook his head no. “That’s rude and don’t treat your new friend like that.”

“Sorry,” he apologized.

“Shizun, are you ready?” Luo Binghe asked hopping onto Zheng Yang.

“Yes, I am.” Xiu Ya was already out of its sheath and hovering above the ground. He was about to mount it when Jiang Fengmian approached them. His face looking livelier than yesterday.

“I wish to properly apologize for my behavior yesterday. I was bold and selfish in my words. I’m sorry,” he said with a bow.

“Thank you,” Shen Qingqiu bowed himself. “Your apology means a lot.”

The sect leader gave them a gentle smile, “I hope my actions have not turned away any future visits to the Lotus Pier. You are welcome here at any time.”

“That is very kind of you sect leader.”

“Please,” he said shaking his head, “there is no need for such formality.”

The family of three waved their good-byes and took off on their swords. Leaving their new found friends as they slowly went out of view.

Jiang Fengmian’s squinted as eyes his placed a hand on his chin.

“Is there something wrong father?” Jiang Cheng asked as he tugged on his father’s robes.

“No,” he answered, but the answer sounded unsure. “Shen Qingqiu and Luo Binghe…I never met them before yesterday but why do their names sound familiar?”

Chapter Text

Chapter 6: My Aunts, Uncles, and Friends!

1.Mo Beijun

Children are like box puzzles with an infinite number of steps. One moment you think you’re getting closer to completing it only to find that your move did nothing to help you solve the puzzle.

Demon children are one thing. They’re brash, loved to wrestle and to make mischief with each other. The moment a strong being was standing in front of them they would cower or bow before running off to play somewhere else.

Demon pups could also handle rough games and had large amounts of stamina. They were straight forward beings that voiced what they wanted, sometimes gaining their desires through speech or actions.

Human young-lings behaved like this as well, but their bodies are frailer than demons. Whining at the simplest of pain but there are the odd ones that just don’t care. They also cowered or even cried at the sight of a stronger being but while human children had a foundation on how they worked and acted, that foundation was small. Demon children behaved the same with some personality traits to tell them apart, but human children differed all the time.

Hence, his problem with his lord’s own human child he picked up from the streets.

Children are not in Mo Beijun’s field of mastery. He barely knows how to talk to one and now his lord had a pup whose stamina and mischief could rival that of a demon child.

Unfortunately for him, he has to get along with this one. He’s technically a prince since his father is Luo Binghe.

He was stuck for ideas on how to bond with him when his own mate suggested getting the boy a gift. Everyone liked gifts and children are no exception.

Except that went horribly.

After years of passing between the human and demon realms, Mo Beijun realized human spawn liked animals and many had pets.

He brought the boy a Hellhound puppy but he screamed the minute he saw the hell dog and scrambled up a tree. Unlike other children this one hated dogs. He swore Luo Binghe would execute him right where he stood when he found Wei Ying clutching onto a tree because of the dog.

He returned another day, expecting the boy the run away from him because of the last visit, but he didn’t. Instead, he begged the ice demon to tell him where he got the dog and if there are any more monsters like it.

“I hate dogs and that one was really ugly but I can tell that it wasn’t a normal dog! Are there more weird creatures like it!? Please tell me about them and where you got them from!” Wei Ying was obviously interested and wanted to learn more. His eyes shining as he tugged on Mo Beijun’s sleeve.

At first, the demon wanted to protest.

As he stated before he doesn’t know how to handle children, especially this one. He fears dog but wants to learn more about them.

How strange.

He ended up going along because he needs to bond with the child that may replace Luo Binghe one day.

“What was that dog and where do they come from!?”

“It was a Hellhound and it’s from the demon realm.”

“Scary! How is it different from a regular dog?”

“It spits fire.”

“That’s cool! Are there more weird things from where you got the Hellhound?”

“Yes.”

“Like what?”

“Like the Moon Python Rhinoceroses.”

“What are they like?”

“They’re rhinos with snake tongues.”

“Any other descriptions?”

He didn’t understand what else the child needed. “They’re bigger than regular rhinos.”

With a pained groan, the child flopped onto the floor with his face pressed against it. “You’re bad at describing things!”

“Are better descriptions necessary for your entertainment?”

“Yes!” Wei Ying shouted. The ice demon contemplated for a moment as Wei Ying composed himself and sat properly in front of him. A little bit of dirt on his forehead from laying face first on the ground.

“They’re mouths are vertical instead of horizontal like most living beings. Their faces split in half when their tongues come out but they still have eyes on both sides of their head so their eyesight becomes limited when they open their mouths.”

“That’s so cool! I want to see one! Tell me more!”

As the ice demon continued he took note of the raw excitement Wei Ying has as he explained. His expression is bright and happy with a large smile plastered on his face. Mo Beijun could swear the child’s eyes are actually shinning. The childish admiration deep inside his pupils. It surprisingly made a warm bubbly feeling inside his chest start to swell. The feeling was similar when Shang Qinghua smiled for him.

While he can’t confirm it, Mo Beijun feels like he knows the reason why his lord took up a child.

To have a small being look up to you in awe with no hint of fear for what or who you are.

He felt a grin itch at the edges of his lips but he suppressed it. This feeling made him want one too.


2. Liu Qingge

“Straighten your back! Widen your stance as well! If you keep your legs stuck together the wind will be able to push you over!”

“Yes, Bobo!” Wei Ying quickly moved as he was instructed, though his form was still slightly off.

About two days ago Liu Qingge was approached by Shen Qingqiu, requesting that he teaches Wei Ying martial arts since he’s too young to hold a sword. The war god said he was old enough to hold a weapon but his fellow immortal didn’t seem to appreciate his opinion.

If the boy cuts himself with a sword he’ll learn to be more careful with it in the future. Pain is a powerful teacher.

He asked why Luo Binghe wasn’t in charge of it and Shen Qingqiu simply said demon strength and that he might not be as strict as Liu Qingge. He felt a little insulted since he has immortal strength but he agreed anyways (wanted an excuse to visit more).

As to be expected, Wei Ying wasn’t good at this because it’s his first day. His basic stances weren’t lining up and Liu Qingge could see him shaking in anticipation.

Quite literally his body is shaking.

“Shift your weight to the center of your body and don’t keep it on one leg. You’ll fall over if you do.”

Stances are always the first part to martial arts and if they aren’t done right one’s weight will throw them off or put them in a vulnerable position if they put too much of their weight into it. He sighed as he tried to put these thoughts into words that weren’t too much and made sense to a child.

Yesterday, the immortal was trying to figure out how to teach again. It’s been centuries since he last taught a young pupil. Occasionally, as he traveled with his sister he gave out pointers to cultivators or the simple citizen that wanted to defend themselves better. Some of them were young but never had he taught a child that was under 12.

And right now he has an 8-year-old in front of him.


The boy adjusted his stance once again and while it still wasn’t perfect, it would do for now. Taking a position right next to Wei Ying, Liu Qingge copied the stance, his way more refined.

“I’ll be teaching you the 15 basics. The five punches, five kicks, and five blocks. When I’m gone you’ll need to practice these. The more you practice the better you’ll get, understand?”

“Yes!”

“Let’s begin then.”

The sun was setting by the time they had finished. The 15 basics didn’t take the whole afternoon to show, but Liu Qingge made Wei Ying go over them again and again till he could position his arms and legs right.

The child was obviously worn out as he lay on the grass not making a sound.

Did he fall asleep?

“Bobo, please go easier on me next time,” he whined with his voice muffled by the grass. “My limbs will fall off if we train like this again.”

Liu Qingge exhaled, “No they won’t.”

“Yes, they will.”

The immortal said nothing to the response. He knew better than to argue with a child, especially one whose parents are Shen Qingiu and Luo Binghe. The couple are two of the most stubborn creatures he’s ever met and besides the argument isn’t worth arguing over.

He was about to tell Wei Ying to sit up properly when he saw him running his hands through his sleeves. Little fingers looked through one before the other hand shifted through the other. As Wei Ying found nothing his body strangely halted to a stop.

“NO!” He screamed, all exhaustion gone as he stood up in record time. “I lost it!” The boy whipped his head back and forth scanning the area. His eyes frantic and the immortal could see tears brimming on the edges of them.

“What did you lose?”

“I lost my fan!”

He really is Shen Qingqiu’s son. He still questioned the adoption and this added onto his theory of the man really giving birth. He knew the thought was silly but with all the crazy cultivation crap he’s seen over his life, a male pregnancy wasn’t a shocking thought.

“Where did you lose it?”

“I don’t know!” Wei Ying ran up to him and gripped his robes with his small hands. Tears on the edges of his eyes as he looked up sadly at his uncle. “Bobo, please help me find it! Please! It was the first present father gave to me and I don’t want to lose it forever!”

His eyes looked pleadingly up at him and Liu Qingge found it harder and harder to refuse him. He would never voice this out loud but admittedly, Wei Ying is adorable.

With a reluctant sigh, he picked up Wei Ying into his arms as the child's eye’s started to brighten. He smiled and wrapped his arms around Liu Qingge’s neck, stunning the immortal.

“Thank you bobo!”

Liu Qingge relaxed, enjoying the feeling of the boy’s hug.

“Let's go find your fan.”

They found it in the end.


(Wei Ying is 10 now. We’re having a little time skip.)

3. Shang Qinghua

Shang Qinghua climbed up the stairs of the Qing Jing Peak with two jars in his hand. The clay pots hitting each other as they jostled in his grip.

“I wonder if Cucumber bro will like these,” he smirked. The immortal had recently been to Caiyi Town in Gusu. The place was famous for their wine known as Emperor’s Smile. He bought them as an excuse to talk to his fellow transmitter but secretly he wanted Shen Qingqiu to get drunk.

A long time ago the immortals and demons had a small party that involved alcohol. It was strange and hilarious to see the great Peak Lord Shen Qingqiu get drunk. He was more honest in his alcohol induced state and provided some much-needed entertainment in their immortal lives. He refused to drink after that and Shang Qinghua enjoyed telling him about his embarrassing actions.

He clung onto Luo Binghe that whole night and refused to let go like some overly affectionate cat.

The author soon arrived at the bamboo house, finding it unusually quiet. With Wei Ying part of the family now the peacefulness that was once present in the bamboo house is permanently gone.

Maybe they had left to go somewhere? Their first visit to the Lotus Pier had been fruitful and the family of three gained some friends in the city. The people there have a child around the same age as Wei Ying, so maybe they’re visiting again.

“Shushu? What are you doing here?” From a different door, Wei Ying was peering his head out, curiously eying his uncle.

“Oh, Wei Ying you’re here,” Shang Qinghua said as walked over to his nephew. And this is one is another reason that the author wanted to come and visit. Ever since they figured out that the Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation infused itself with his own novel, he’s taken quite an interest in Wei Ying.

Shen Qingqiu guessed that he’s the main character of this new story, but the fact that the book opened up by mention his death threw Shang Qinghua off. Why would the main character’s death be mentioned in the first chapter? Maybe he faked it and to fool everyone?

But enough with his theories, Wei Ying is right here in front of him and it’s best that he doesn’t ignore him. The child looked strangely upset, which was weird for him. Every time the immortal visited the boy was running around and smiling. From the open door, Shang Qinghua could see that Wei Ying was working on something before he interrupted.

The child had papers arranged on his desk across from Shen Qingqiu’s. Piles of books also sat next to the desk and he has a pretty good guess on what Wei Ying was doing. It doesn’t hurt to ask though.

"Why are you sulking? And where are your parents?"

"Father and Papa went to the village to grab some things. I wanted to come but I'm stuck here copying texts because I dug a pitfall and bobo fell into it."

Shang Qinghua snickered at the thought of Liu Qingge falling into a pitfall. He would have paid to see it.

“Do you want help? I can help you cheat.”

“Yes!”

Mindlessly, Shang Qinghua sat the wine jars down near the door entrance and began helping Wei Ying cheat with his text copying. He remembered having to do this when he transmitted it the novel and lived his life as a child. He understood the pain and he was going to help Wei Ying relieve his.

Of course, as the two worked, they talked. Wei Ying excitedly spilled how he was improving in his martial arts with Liu Qingge and how Luo Binghe has been training with him with bamboo swords. He babbled how he wanted his own sword soon and his desire to start flying in the skies just like his parents. Shang Qinghua didn’t say a word, because he didn’t need to. Wei Ying was doing all the talking.

The immortal was listening in as Wei Ying explained that he would be getting a room farther away from his parents in a couple of days. He could hear the child’s displeasure and confusion in why it was necessary but the author’s mind was drifting again.

It’s strange living in a world where you know everything that was going to happen. Knowing all the places, characters, and how the world itself worked only to have that knowledge get flipped upside down. Shang Qinghua was reading a brand new story, but he was living it instead of reading it.

And based on the first chapter, it’s going to be a sad tale or at least one filled with tragedy. He hopes for the child’s sake and for everyone caring for him that they could avoid whatever fate is coming for Wei Ying.

Do your best Cucumber bro!

“Shu-*hic*-shu. What is this drink you *hic* brought? It tastes good~”

OH FUCK

The immortal completely dozed off on his daydreaming and forgot that he brought wine with a child present. Wei Ying was no longer in front of him, he was by the door where he placed the two jars of Emperor’s Smile. Wei Ying must have realized that he stopped paying attention and drank one of the jars.

The red cover was on the ground right next to the boy, who had a wine jar sitting in his lap. Wei Ying was slumped over it with a red flush on his cheeks and a pleased smile on his face.

Should he run or should he pray? If Luo Binghe didn’t kill him after beating him to a pulp Shen Qingqiu definitely will.

Maybe he has enough time to destroy the evidence and just say Wei Ying got into some strong cold medicine. Any excuse will work!

“Little sun, we’re back!”

Nope, he’s dead. He’s just dead now.

He should have made some Sun and Moon Dew Flower Seed bodies for himself.


4. Sha Hualing

“Little lord, I got you a present.”

“What did you get me, gugu?”

Sha Hualing almost squealed once Wei Ying called her gugu! Her lord’s son was treating her like family and she couldn’t be any more honored. She smiled happily as bent down on her knees in front of him and handed Wei Ying a tiny box.

“Thank you,” he said as he took the box. He slowly opened and plucked out the gift inside. His face twisted in confusion as he sat the box on the ground, holding up his present.

It’s a long red string but the material didn’t feel like ribbon and felt more like a rope. The surface was oddly smooth and Wei Ying could feel something different about it.

“A ribbon? But I already have one for my hair.”

“I know little lord, but this string is different from a regular ribbon. It’s rope from an Immortal Binding Net! This rope can cut the flow of spiritual energy!”

She could tell that he didn’t know what to say. His confused expression was clear to even a blind man. He was probably wondering why his gugu would give him such an odd gift.

“Turn around,” she asked, taking the string from his hands. With a nod, Wei Ying turned and the demon undid the ribbon in his hair and began to tie the Immortal Binding cord in place of his old ribbon.

“This will be here just in case you need it. It’s not the full net, but even the string can become a good option in a desperate situation. If you ever get in trouble with someone just tie the string around both of their wrists to cut the flow of their spiritual energy off. Even if it’s just their hands it will put them at a disadvantage.” With one last tug, Sha Hualing finished tying the cord around his hair.

The red rope was a lot longer than his old ribbon and reach the ground, but as he grows the length will shorten with his height.

Wei Ying faced his gugu and tugged on the new hair tie, “Thank you!”

“You’re welcome!” Pulling a new rope from her sleeves, Sha Hualing smiled in an uncomfortable way that made a chill crawl up Wei Ying’s spine. “Now, just like Lord Luo, let me show you how to tie different knots.”


5. Liu Mingyan

Sitting cross-legged with Wei Ying in her lap, Liu Mingyan gently combed the boy’s hair. Wei Ying was bored and irritated and looked ready to burst free from her lap at any moment but he didn’t try.

The immortal hummed softly as she made sure every strand on his head lay flat.

“Ayi, why are you brushing my hair? I’m old enough to do it myself!”

“I know you are,” she said patting his head, smiling through her face veil. “But you did a poor job of it. The sect your father used to run prioritized appearance and the way you brushed your hair would have shamed them.” He groaned loudly and slumped within her lap.

She continued to hum, satisfied that she won the fight. If her brother couldn’t win an argument against her, this child would never succeed. Then again, her brother was very easy to persuade, especially if he has a spot towards someone.

“Aren’t you done yet?”

“Nope,” she said running the comb through his hair again. “Just a couple more knots and you’ll be free.” Really she didn’t need to do this. More than likely Wei Ying was going to run around the mountain more or train, therefore ruining his hair again. But Liu Mingyan enjoyed these little moments and she hummed.

“Once I’m done I’ll show you how to make talismans okay?”

“Okay!”

“Did you like the pitfall I made for bobo?” The little boy asked innocently. She snorted as the memory rushed back into her mind. It was such an unexpected event.

Right when the siblings had landed near the bamboo forest, Wei Ying and rushed up to them grabbing onto Liu Qingge’s robes. He begged the two to help him find his fan, saying that he lost it again.

Her brother, of course, agreed and asked where he lost it. Wei Ying led them to a secluded area of the bamboo forest and pointed at the area where he thought he lost his fan. Liu Qingge went to check only to land himself right into the boy’s trap.

Liu Mingyan tried to hold back the laughter but it burst forward from her lips like a broken dam.

“Yes, I loved it!” She laughed and Wei Ying joined in on the laughter.

This one is going to be quite devious she concluded as she returned to combing his hair. Not only will he be mischievous but a handsome young man as well. Only ten but Wei Ying showed signs that he is going to be a handsome cultivator. He was growing steadily with a handsome yet adorable face. She smiled at the thought, wondering what kinds of attention he’ll attract once he gets older.

“I’m all done! I’ll show you those talismans now.”


6. Three Seconds

“Come on Wei Ying, dogs aren’t that scary!”

“Yes, they are!” The boy shrunk back behind a wood pillar, glaring at Jasmine as the dog looked innocently at him. That beast may look innocent now but Wei Ying knew it had sinister intentions.

Jiang Cheng sighed, this was another try at getting Wei Ying comfortable with dogs. Over the years that his friend has visited the Lotus Pier with his parents, he still couldn’t be around dogs. Jiang Cheng had to put them away whenever he visited and honestly, he was getting sick of it.

“Didn’t your parents tell you that you need to face your fears!? That you won’t get over them if you don’t try to fight them!?”

Wei Ying stuck out his tongue. How dare his best friend use his own parent’s words against him! Corpses are one thing, but dogs are worse! He’d rather face a starved corpse or ghost over a dog!

“I’m not going swimming with you unless you try,” Jiang Cheng crossed his arms and motioned for Jasmine to get closer to him. The dog woofed and sat obediently next to her master. Wei Ying continued to glare at them.

If only papa or father were here to scare the dog away so Jiang Cheng and he could go swimming. But his parents were most likely talking with Jiang Fengmian and Madam Yu.

His first impression of Jiang Fengmian was grim. He didn’t like it when he tried to reach out for him so it took him a while to warm up to the man. But it turned out that he’s a nice person and the whole situation was a misunderstanding.

Wei Ying doesn’t really like Madam Yu too much. The woman was always frowning and she never smiled like Mo Beijun. She always looked angry but at times, the boy could see how she softened up for Jiang Cheng and Jiang Yanli. He could that she loves her children. So she couldn’t be that bad, but she still scared him.

How he wishes his parents were here. He just wants to go swimming with his friend!

Seeing that Wei Ying has no intention of moving Jiang Cheng sighed. “If you touch her for three seconds I’ll go swimming with you.”

Wei Ying physically shuddered at the thought, his fingers tingling.

Touch her? Touch a dog? No way!

“Come on, it’s only three seconds!”

Really, three seconds isn’t bad, but it still scared him. His father was always telling him that in order to become stronger he needed to overcome his fears. If he didn’t he’d be less likely to overcome them in the future.

But he could care less about overcoming his fear of dogs! If dogs are being mean to him papa would chase them away!

But… At the same time, he wanted father to praise him.

Maybe just once won’t hurt him.

“If she bites me I’m flinging leaves at her!”

“Jasmine is a good dog and she won’t bite you!”

“So you say!” Wei Ying came out of his hiding place behind the pillar and carefully approached Jasmine.

The dog sat there with her tongue out, looking directly at him. It felt like she was looking through his soul! With shaky arms, he pressed his pointer finger against her forehead and held his breath. The dog continued to stare, her panting the only sound that Wei Ying could hear over his raging heartbeat.

1…

2…

3…

“Okay, I’m done!” He yelled ripping his hand away from her. He sprinted back behind his pillar trying to wipe the away the dog smell from his pointer finger. He needed to wash it! He just touched a dog so it’s contaminated!

“You are such a baby.”

Wei Ying just stuck out his tongue at his friend.



7. An Old Student and Sick Day – Ideas by articapple and RumpleTheWanderer

“Hmm.”

“Is there something wrong Shizun?” Shen Qingqiu shook his head, closing the cupboard he was just looking through.

“We’re just low on paper and it looks like we need to get more.”

“I can get some tomorrow. I promised Wei Ying I’d be sword training with him today.”

The immortal hummed at the thought. He would like to get some now since he needs to finish Wei Ying’s lesson for tomorrow. As much as their child would like it, he’d rather not skip a whole morning with no lesson.

“I’ll go get some myself.”

“I’ll go with you Shizun.”

“No, you promised Wei Ying you’d train him today,” he said, poking Luo Binghe with his fan as he tried to follow. “I won’t be long I promise.” The demon looked ready to protest, but he did promise their son that he would be training him today.

There have been frequent problems in the demon realm lately. Small rebellions, unusual amounts of monster, and some demon groups started voicing their opinions on wanting to raid the human realm. They wanted to start another war with humans so Binghe was gone constantly, trying to stop the particular demon groups and calm the realm down in general.

Both races agreed to leave each other alone a long time ago. Luo Binghe and Shen Qingqiu would rather have them separated then for the races to go to war again.

“Just be careful Shizun.”

“I will be,” the immortal gently pressed a kiss against his husband’s cheek and waved good-bye as he left his husband stunned. To think after so many shared kisses, the two could still leave each other breathless.

Getting to the small village below the Cang Qing Mountain took no time at all. Finding a shop took no time at all either as he found a small place that sold paper. He was getting ready to return home but someone stopped the immortal from doing so.

“Master Shen, is that you?”

At the sound of an old title, Shen Qingqiu turned around and found an elderly man standing before him. The man had wrinkles all over his face and stood shorter than the immortal. The old man has long white hair with robes that matched the color. There are light blue clouds drawn on the bottom edge of his robes and the same cloud pattern is decorated on his forehead ribbon.

Even though he didn’t recognize the physical appearance of this man, he recognized him by the life inside his eyes.

“Lan Wong?” The immortal said experimentally. The old man’s eyes lite up and a smile graced his face.

“Master Shen it has been a long time!” Lan Wong rejoiced, bowing respectfully to him.

“Yes it has,” he said bowing back.

“Is this man would be so bold, may I request some of Immortal Shen’s time? It has been a while since we’ve spoken.”

Shen Qingqiu looked at the paper in his hands and thought back to his family back on the peak, but he wasn’t doing them any harm. Luo Binghe was probably sparring with Wei Ying at the moment, both distracted by their training. Taking some time to talk with a former student wasn’t going to do them any harm.

“Of course.”

The two ended up in a small inn where Lan Wong was staying for the day. He explained that he was guiding some disciples of his own through a night hunt and ended up staying longer than them. One of the staff members brought them tea and the two sat in peace.

“How as this former student been?” He asked, taking a sip of the tea and enjoying the jasmine taste.

“This elder has been doing well, but I don’t think 'former student' is an appropriate title for me. You and your husband sheltered me from a bad storm when I got separated from my group when we returned from a night hunt.”

“I still taught you some cultivation techniques when you were there. You’re one of two people I was able to teach in this century. It may have been a small amount of knowledge but nonetheless, I still taught you. You’re also one of the few that know I am an immortal.”

“Thank you, Master Shen, you honor me with your words. May I ask who this other disciple was? Did he come after me?”

“Yes, he did. About fifty years ago, five years after you stayed.” Shen Qingqiu rubbed his chin trying to remember the old disciple. He remembers him being young and quite arrogant in a childish way. He and Lou Binghe found him with wounds covering his body. The disciple recovered quickly within their home and stayed to learn cultivation techniques from the immortal.

It was odd that he couldn’t recall a name though. If his memories are correct the student had stuck to the immortal much like his husband in his younger years and Binghe expressed his great dislike towards him. After a year with them, the student disappeared and they never heard from him again.

The two continued talking as Lan Wong explained what was going on in the world and what he has been doing since he left. Shen Qingqiu thought that he should return soon, but he knew Binghe and Wei Ying would be fine without him for an hour or two.

~After Shen Qingqiu left~

“Wei Ying, it’s time to get up.” Binghe knocked on the door of Wei Ying’s new room. They built it a couple of days ago and the demon made sure it was far enough from his own room with Shizun. He didn’t want any more interruptions.

“Wei Ying?” He knocked again but no response came from his son. The boy liked to sleep in and pretended to be asleep to avoid getting up.

Of course, it never worked with the demon or with Shizun.

With a sigh, Luo Binghe opened the door and peered down at his son. The boy was curled up in his bed with the blankets tightly wrapped around him. To think he was so excited to train with his papa and he decided to stay in bed.

“Little sun,” the demon muttered, pulling away the blankets on the bed.

Once he did Luo Binghe proceeded to go into panic mode. His son lay in his bed with a glossy sheen of sweat covering his forehead. A faint rosy color covered his cheeks and the demon could hear him breathing through his mouth.

Wei Ying is sick.

And Luo Binghe has never taken care of a sick child before.

“Wei Ying!” He shouted kneeling next to the bed and laying a hand on his son’s forehead. It’s warm, he’s definitely sick.

“Papa,” the 10-year-old muttered. “I don’t feel good.”

Luo Binghe’s heart is racing. Dear god, what does he do in this kind of situation? Grabbing the edge of Wei Ying’s blanket he rubbed the sweat off his forehead. A towel and some cold water would work better. New blankets too.

The demon rushed all over the house getting the items he needed. New blankets, a huge bucket full of cold water and five different towels. He wrapped his son up in one of the new blankets and placed a cold soaked towel onto Wei Ying’s head.

“Shizun, where are you?” He whined resting his chin on the bed. “Didn’t you say you would be back soon? Shizun, I don’t know what to do with sick people.” Being a demon it was rare of Binghe to get sick and as an immortal, Shizun barely got sick. The worst he’d gotten over the years was a sore throat or a runny nose. Nothing like a fever.

The demon whined again, the sound akin to a whimpering puppy. He wanted to help his child but he was at a loss for what to do. They had medicine and he knew which one to give Wei Ying but how much was he supposed to give a child? Maybe just a spoonful? But what if it was too much and ended up doing more harm than good to his son?

He needs a book on how to take care of children. With Shizun around he didn’t think it necessary to gather information like that. He would learn from Shizun just like he had in the old days.

Luo Binghe opened his eyes at the feeling of fingertips against his forehead. Wei Ying was looking at him sleepily and rubbing the demon mark on his forehead.

“Papa… Are you a demon?”

Luo Binghe couldn’t hide his surprise. Demons was a touchy subject that he and Shizun didn’t know how to handle. How would they tell their son that Luo Binghe is a demon, but he was more astonished by the fact that Wei Ying had figured it out somehow? They never mentioned the subject around him.

“How did you find out?” He gripped his son’s hand, looking at him gently as he laid his head next to Wei Ying’s.

“Jiujiu (Mo Beijun) told me where that puppy he brought me came from. He said it came from the demon realm. He wasn’t scared by the ugly dog at all so it was probably nothing new to him. I thought that he might be from the demon realm. Even though his mark on his forehead is blue, it’s similar to yours. Are you really a demon?”

Luo Binghe released a pained sigh, “Yes. Yes, I am but this father is only half-demon. My mother was human while my father was a demon. Are you scared of me?”

Slowly Wei Ying shook his head. “No,” he said as he rolled onto his side to get a better look at his papa.

“You’re nice and took me in when other humans wouldn’t help me. No human other than father tried to take care of me. They didn’t want to help me but you did. I get to call you papa, so how could I be afraid of you?”

The demon felt tears fall from his eyes and run down his cheek. This was a topic he feared ever since they adopted Wei Ying as their own. He knew that humans have old folk tales of demons and how scary they are. How they would eat any bad children they found and how they’re disgusting creatures with large fangs and horns. He expected Wei Ying to have to the same vision of demons in his mind, but he didn’t.

He continued to cry as he pressed his lips against his son’s head, sobbing quietly. He gently hugged his him, careful not to suffocate the sick boy.

“I love you,” he whispered. “I promise to be there when you need me. I promise to protect and always love you.”

“I love you too papa.”

Later in the afternoon, Shen Qingqiu came home to find Luo Binghe and Wei Ying asleep in their son’s bed. Both breathing quietly and lulled in peaceful dreams. The immortal saw the redness in Wei Ying’s cheeks and grab some medicine. He placed it down on Wei Ying’s desk and sat down near the bed, resting his head against Wei Ying’s stomach.

He wiped away the tears in Binghe’s eyes and kissed them both. Shen Qingqiu knew he would never trade this moment for anything.


Extra: Taste Buds

“Father! Try the congee I made! Papa is showing me how to cook!”

Shen Qingqiu’s expression twisted into confusion as he looked at the food his son made him.

Why is it all red? A new spice?

The immortal took his spoon, dipping it into the dish and he lifted it up for a taste.

It felt like a volcano exploded in his mouth. The immortal started coughing violently and crushed the spoon in his hand, spitting out some of the congee.

“Shizun!?”

“What *cough* did you *cough* put in there?”

Wei Ying tilted his head, “I thought it tasted a little bland so I put some extra spice to give it more flavor. I think that label said red chili peppers? It was that grounded red stuff! I put all that we had into the congee.”

“Binghe *cough* please hide all the *cough* spices in the kitchen!”

Chapter Text

Chapter 7: In Life and In Death

Shen Qingqiu narrowed his eyes as he stared at the bright screen of the System. On the screen is a large exclamation point next to a small icon that looked like a book.

He’s currently upset and a little happy at the same time. Finally, after years the immortal was finally able to gather enough points for information. Twenty-seven thousand points blinked at him through the screen but he’s more concerned about the book icon with the exclamation point next to it.

Turns out, four ago when they first visited the Lotus Pier, he was given free information on a future event that the System informed him of when he fell asleep.

And he never knew until now.

He groaned, rubbing his right temple in exhaustion. At least he can get twice the amount of information that he was expecting tonight.

He tapped the book icon and a new page on the System’s screen popped out. A small little paper icon is the only thing on this is section and the bottom of it says, [NEW].

He pressed his finger delicately onto the paper icon and new screen popped up.

[Do you wish to consume?]

Consume? Does this mean he can’t read it again after he does the first time? What a pain! He has a good memory anyway, so it won’t be that much of problem remembering. The immortal sighed answering yes.

[Item has been consumed!]



….

Why is nothing happening? Shen Qingqiu groaned, is there a bug in the System? Why isn’t he getting anything? He was going to use his points for more information, but this told him not too. If there’s a bug he doesn’t want his hard earned points to go to waste.

He sighed, it’s getting late and he should be retiring to his bed soon.

“Father, we’re back!”

Bursting through the doors of the bamboo house, eleven-year-old Wei Ying came rushing in with a proud smile on his face.

“I killed the fierce corpses wandering around the mountain with papa! It was exciting and cool! Well, I killed one and papa killed the rest but I got one!” A chuckle came from the entrance of their home and Luo Binghe stood in the doorway with a small smile on his face.

“Father, I also used your Plucked Leave and Flying Flowers technique! I also did a super punch!”

“Super punch?” The immortal laughed, patting Wei Ying’s head.

“I made the corpse fly hundreds of feet into the air!”

“He’s talking about when he gathers spiritual energy into his fist and uses it to strike harder,” Binghe explained, joining in on rubbing Wei Ying’s head. The child smiled, obviously pleased by being the center of attention.

“Shizun, little sun has been progressing well. I think it’s about time that his own sword gets forged.”

“Really?”

“I think it’s time too,” Shen Qingqiu agreed. “I think you’re responsible for it, but you need to stop pulling pranks on your Bobo and Shushu. Liu-shidi has been complaining to me about your constant mischief.”

Wei Ying said nothing but kept on smiling innocently. The child knows he’s a little stinker.

“It’s late, it’s time for you to go to bed,” Shen Qingqiu said as he rose from his sitting position. Wei Ying puffed up his cheeks in a pout and looked down at the floor.

“I don’t want to go to bed,” he whispered, his voice laced with disappointment.

“Too bad, little sun. It’s late and you need to listen to your father,” Luo Binghe picked up Wei Ying and placed the boy on his shoulders.

The child grumbled, but was unable to hide his grin from being lifted up in the air, “I still don’t want to go to bed!”

The father and son disappeared down the hallway towards Wei Ying’s room while Shen Qingqiu got ready to bed. He slipped off his boots and outer robes. Folding the robes and placing them gently on a wardrobe. He then started to take out his hair accessory and placed it on top of his folded robes with his fan.

He snuck into bed, closing his eyes. He’s not waiting for Bignhe because he knew it would take him some time to put Wei Ying to bed. Elven already and still needed to put to bed like six-year-old. If he wasn’t so cute Shen Qingqiu and Luo Binghe would have stopped about now.

He kept his eyes closed as he felt the bed sink in from new weight. Someone got here fast.

Soft lips pressed against his eyelids and Shen Qingqiu sighed, enjoying the pleasant feeling. The same lips ghosted against his right cheek until they found his lips. They pressed gently against his own and sturdy fingers grasped his chin, guiding his head to move upward.

With his eyes still closed Shen Qingqiu kissed back, knowing fully well who exactly is kissing him. He wrapped his arms around the figure and pulled them down to lay in the bed with him. The two were still kissing when the immortal opened his eyes to stare lovingly at his husband.

Luo Binghe snaked his own arms around Shen Qingqiu’s waist and pressed them together till their chests pressed against each other. The demon’s movements slowly became desperate as they grabbed the edges of his robe and peeled them off his shoulders. His hands started to explore, touching here and there, making Shen Qingqiu madly blush.

The two finally broke away from their kiss, leaving a line of spit as separated. Instantly, Luo Binghe began to use his mouth as well to explore the immortal’s skin.

Shen Qingqiu gasped and entwined his hands into Binghe’s black locks.

“Shizun,” the demon whispered against his skin. Shen Qingqiu could feel his husband smirk as he pressed his lips against his body. “I might be a little rough with you tonight.”

That made the immortal snort, “When aren’t you?”

“Shizun, shizun, shizun,” Luo Binghe said repeatedly.

Shen Qingqiu exhaled and braced his mind for a long pleasurable night.



[Consumed item is now in use! May you continue to enjoy your services valued costumer!]

System?

“What?” Shen Qingqiu, disoriented by the System’s voice waking him up. He blinked, rubbing his eyes as he tried to comprehend what he just heard.

Consumed item is now in use?

He sucked in a deep breath, trying to figure out what that meant. Did it mean that the information he tried to read before bed is available now? But that theory didn’t match up with the words at all. Consumed item is now in use? What the hell!?

The immortal contemplated going back to bed until he suddenly felt hot all of a sudden.

Why is it so hot in here? It’s fall not summer, the temperature shouldn’t be this scorching.

Unless…

Shen Qingqiu snapped his eyes open, sitting up in panic.

Fire.

Fire everywhere. The flames engulfed the area around him, but this didn’t look like the bamboo house or for a matter of fact, it didn’t look like the Cang Qiong Mountain either. He sat up, taking note that he’s still in his inner robes and Luo Binghe and Wei Ying are nowhere in sight.

He’s not in the bamboo house at all.

This is the Lotus Pier.

After years of visiting the Jiang family, he instantly recognized that the place burning around him is the Lotus Pier.

Everything is on fire, the flames licking away at every place that wasn’t already engulfed by it. Shen Qingqiu stood, watching in horror as the beautiful place slowly fell apart.

Consumed item is now in use… Did this mean that he’s watching instead of reading the information about future events?

“Listen to me, Wei Ying!” A voice shouted from behind Shen Qingqiu.

The immortal turned himself around to be greeted at the sight of Yu Ziyuan, Jiang Cheng, and his son standing at the edge of the docks of the Lotus Pier.

Except something was different. Why is Wei Ying wearing the purple uniform of the Yumengjiang sect?

The woman aggressively shoved Wei Ying into an empty boat as her son stared at her with fear.

“Protect Jiang Cheng whatever it takes! Do you understand me, Wei Ying?”

Jiang Cheng looked ready to say something but whatever words he was going to say stopped as his mother embraced him in a gentle hug. All of sudden, time seemed to have slowed down at this moment between mother and son. Jiang Cheng looked shocked. As if love like this is foreign to him.

Madam Yu pulled away, pressing a kiss against his forehead. She took his right hand into hers, sliding a purple ring onto his finger.

“This was always meant to be yours.” She carefully took the sword that Jiang Cheng had been holding and pushed him into the boat alongside Wei Ying. Suddenly, purple lightning formed around them, holding them in place. Both unable to move as the boat slowly drifted away from the pier.

“Mother,” her son sobbed with pleading eyes. “Father isn’t back yet. Shouldn’t we face this problem together instead of apart!?”

Her face showed no emotion at the mention of her husband and she pursed her lips together, “It doesn’t matter if he comes back or not! It’s not that I can’t live without him!”

Shen Qingqiu stood stunned as Yu Ziyuan walked away from Jiang Cheng and Wei Ying. The two boys looking devastated and powerless. So weak and desperate.

The Violet Spider slowly passed him not taking any notice of him as if the immortal wasn’t there. He must be invisible to everyone while viewing this event or he’s just seeing the future.

The scene in front of him became blurry and imagines sped by him like a movie fast forwarded on the fastest speed until it abruptly halted at a scene in a forest.

Rain coming down, the whole forest already soaked and muddy.

In this new scene, Jiang Cheng and Wei Ying stood in the middle of the woods, their faces hollow and lifeless.

Shen Qingqiu could already tell why there were like this. Somewhere in those flashing scenes, he saw the dead bodies of Madam Yu and Jiang Fengmian. They must have witnessed it too somehow.

With a loud scream, Jiang Cheng punched Wei Ying to the ground, climbing on top of him and wrapping both his hands around his friend’s neck.

“Wei Wuxian!” He screamed, anger oozing from his voice.

Without a second thought, Shen Qingqiu rushed over to them attempting to pry Jiang Cheng off his son. But the immortal’s hands passed right through their bodies. He couldn’t touch them. This is a vision after all.

So the father was forced to watch in horror as Jiang Cheng choked the life out of his son.

Is this how he kills Wei Ying?

“It’s all your fault! If only, if only you didn’t help Lan Wangji and Jin Zixuan! It’s all your fault, Wei Wuxian!” Jiang Cheng continued to spew more words of hate and blame. The immortal realized that Wei Ying wasn’t even fighting back against his friend.

Letting him choke him, letting him kill him.

Suddenly, the death grip that Jiang Cheng had around his throat, loosened and the boy began to sob, tears pouring from him eyes. The tears are covered by the rain, but Shen Qingqiu could see them clearly. Wei Ying sucked in a breath of life, now that he was finally able to breathe again, coughing as oxygen filled his deprived lungs.

Jiang Cheng got off him, facing away from Wei Ying, the tears still falling from his face. As Wei Ying’s coughing died down, he covered his face with his forearm, hiding his own tears.

“I want my mother and father,” Jiang Cheng sobbed as if he was three again and not a teenager approaching adulthood. Wei Ying’s lips curved downwards, trying to suppress his tears but failing to do so.

This is only a vision but the urge to hug the both of the welled up inside Shen Qingqiu as he watched this sad scene unfold.

The Lotus Pier burning down into ashes, the deaths of Yu Ziyuan and Jiang Fengmian.

He vowed that he would do his best to prevent them from happening.



Wei Ying waited patiently for Luo Binghe to make some distance from his room before he threw back the blankets and headed towards the window in his room.

He wasn’t tired in any way and he wanted to train more than he wanted to sleep. Fighting the fierce corpses go him too excited and filled with adrenaline that sleep would be impossible for the rest of the night.

He slipped out his bedroom window, falling onto the grass with a soft thump and made sure not to yelp so his parents wouldn’t hear him. They usually catch him sneaking out, scolding and telling him sleep is important for his body. If they do try to catch him tonight, he’s at least going to make it difficult for them!

He hasn’t tried to sneak out in weeks, so this is the perfect time to strike! When they least expect it and like papa taught him, a carefully planned sneak attack can throw off the strongest of enemies!

It’s the season of fall, so Wei Ying does his best to sneak away from the bamboo house with the dry crunchy leaves under his feet. It’s difficult and he ended up smashing a couple of leaves, but no signs of his parents ever showed up.

He wonders what they’re doing. Were they so tired that they fell asleep right away? Probably not, his parents are strong so exhaustion shouldn’t be a problem for them. Whatever it is, the boy found himself thankful for it, knowing that he can train by himself with no interruption.

He sprinted to the bamboo forest, running to a small clearing that’s a good distance away from home. He paused in the center, bracing his arms against his sides, imagining that his father in front of him and telling him how to move.

Gathering spiritual energy into his body, Wei Ying gently twirled around on the tips of his toes. He created a gentle wind as he expelled his spiritual energy, the fall leaves floating up in the air. They danced around him as he continued to control the flow of his spiritual energy.

At first, when his father first taught him this technique, he hated it. It requires slow and elegant movements while expelling spiritual energy. The techniques built up the amount of spiritual energy a core could hold by continuously letting it out like a softly flowing river. He just wanted to move and beat bad creatures up, but after the first time attempting this technique, he collapsed, more exhausted than when Bobo would teach him martial arts.

After that first attempt, Wei Ying understood how important it was to build up his spiritual energy. The more he has the longer he can fight.

The leaves twirled around him as he smoothly moved his arms and legs into different positions, letting out spiritual energy every second. He could hear the leaves crinkle like a paper. He spun on the tips of his right toes, watching happily as the leaves followed his movements. At this rate, he’ll be able to do this for a while.

Papa and father still haven’t come out to find him! Sneaking out and not getting caught, mission success!

“Sister!”

The sudden scream made Wei Ying fall off the tips of his toes and land on the ground in sheer shock. The leaves that were once up in the air fell on top of him, almost burying the poor child in a pile of multicolored leaves.

Who is screaming at this time of the night?

From the sound of the voice, he knows it’s not his parents. It’s not any of his uncles or aunts either, none of them have a voice that high pitched and last time he checked the only one that has a sister is Liu Qingge. And that voice is way too girly to be his Bobo.

Wei Ying stood up, brushing the leaves off him when the voice screamed again for a sister. The scream seemed more scared than the last one, making alarm bells go off in Wei Ying’s head.

Did him and papa not dispatch of all the fierce corpses or did more come up the mountain?

With renewed vigor, he ran towards the direction of the scream. His feet crushing the leaves as he ran, running towards the area he heard the scream from. As he approached his destination the groans and growls of fierce corpses at got louder.

Wei Ying grabbed a fist full of leaves and jumped onto one of the tall stalks of bamboo. He climbed to the top till he could see clearly, trying to spot the corpses from his high position.

Not only did he find corpses but he always spotted a boy about his age sitting on the ground against a tree. The boy is dressed in white and red robes, symbols that reminded Wei Ying of fire.

Ah! The Wen Sect! But what’s a member of the Wen Sect doing up here?

The boy shakily held a bow and arrow as corpses started to approach him. The fear clearly present in his eyes as he attempted to line up his arrow to the four enemies coming closer to him. Clumsily, he readied his arrow and shot at one of the corpses. His string snapped back, making that perfect noise that Bobo’s bow makes whenever he hits his target dead on. Unfortunately, the boy’s arrow missed and slammed into a bamboo stalk instead, but the arrow pierced right through, splitting the top off of the plant.

Impressive, he thought, amazed by his archery skill that this other kid has, but right now isn’t the time to be thinking archery skills. Wei Ying considered for a split second to run and get his parents, but there’s no time. The distance between the living and the dead was getting smaller by the second.

Wei Ying put his spiritual energy into the leaves he had grabbed earlier and threw them at the corpses. One leaf lodged itself into an undead’s skull, killing it in an instant. The others cut open wounds on the pale flesh and rammed into their body parts, but none of those hits had been fatal.

He has three more to kill and one person to save. He jumped off from his hiding place, landing his feet on the back of an undead and leaping off them. The corpse fell to the ground because of the weight and Wei Ying landed next to the Wen Sect member.

“Are you okay?” He asked, but the boy looked too confused about what is going on to answer him. Maybe he’s amazed by how awesome Wei Ying is. That’s it, he’s going with amazement over confusion.

He grabbed the boy’s hand and helped him onto his feet before sprinting off into the woods, stilling clutching the young Wen’s hand as they ran.

“Wha-what are you doing?” The boy asked as he stumbled behind Wei Ying, trying to match his running speed.

“Running obviously! Trying to take on three corpses head on is going to get you and me killed!” He either has to get one of his parents to help him or he needs to kill the undead with hit and run tactics. There’s no way he’d win in a direct fight, especially with no sword. His parents need to hurry up and get him one!

The two ran through the woods a while longer, until they both couldn’t hear the groans of the fierce corpses. They stopped, knowing they’d be safe for a little bit. Now, they at least had time to gather themselves and figure out their next move.

“Wen Ning!”

A brand new figure appeared from the density of the bamboo forest. A woman this time, dressed in similarly designed robes as the boy next to Wei Ying. She looked older though, maybe four or five years older?

“Wen Ning,” she said again, relief in her voice.

“Sister,” the boy cried as he hugged her. So, this is the sister that he was screaming for earlier. The two held each other in a tight embrace until the lady’s face became angry.

“What did I tell you before we came here!? Don’t separate from me no matter what!”

“I’m sorry, sister!”

The girl sighed, “I guess you get a free pass this time. Who knew that fierce corpses would be up here in the first place.” Slowly, the woman inspected her brother. Looking for any cuts or bruises, but she couldn’t find any on his body. She sighed again, seeing that he’s unhurt. She looked like she was going to say something, but paused as she finally realized that there are more than two people in this area.

Wei Ying smiled and waved, “Hello.”

“Who are you?”

“My name is Wei Ying, what are you two doing up here?”

“We’re looking for herbs, my name is Wen Qing and this is my brother Wen Ning. Why is a child up here alone?”

“I live here!” Wei Ying exclaimed, a little angry at being called a child (even though he is one).

“You live here?”

“Uhh, sister?”

“I don’t believe that! There are legends that immortals reside in these mountains and they never come down to associate themselves with humans! How is a child living here? Last time I checked no child can become an immortal at such a young age!”

“Umm, sister?”

“What is it?”

“We uh, were running from fierce corpses a minute ago before you found me. And I can hear them again.”

Wei Ying and Wen Qing paused to listen to the sounds around them and Wen Ning is right, they can hear them. The three that didn’t die caught up to them.

Wen Qing unsheathed the sword tied to her belt that was hanging off her left hip, bracing herself for the incoming enemy. Wei Ying grabbed some leaves off the ground and began pumping spiritual energy into them while Wen Ning, with shaky arms, pulled an arrow from his quiver and cocked it into his bow.

Suddenly the three corpses leaped for the density of the bamboo woods, towards the three youth with killing intent. Wei Ying was prepared to throw his leaves when black energy sliced through the three undead, killing them instantly. Their bodies fell to the floor with a heavy thunk. Wen Ning jumped back in surprise and hid behind his sister.

Said sister pointed her sword at the area the black energy came from, readying herself for a different fight.

But Wei Ying was not bothered by this. He knows exactly who came to save them.

Appearing from the behind the stalks of bamboo is Luo Binghe. He stood dressed in his usual clothing but his hair wasn’t decent. He looks like he rushed out here quickly.

“Papa!” Wei Ying said excitedly, rushing over to his papa and grabbing his hand. “Thanks for saving us!”

Even though Wei Ying is comfortable around his papa, Wen Qing definitely wasn’t. She still held her sword up, pointing it at Luo Binghe while she used her other hand to shield her brother, who was still hiding behind.

This man’s aura unnerved her. The minute he first appeared she could feel his power. It doesn’t feel natural, it doesn’t feel like a human. She stared in disbelief as this person affectionately pattered Wei Ying’s head with so much gentleness. He feels so strong but looks like a typical loving father.

She knew that if she got into a fight with this man, she would die. So, the sister reluctantly sheathed her sword and pattered her brother’s back for him to stop hiding behind her.

With a hand still on his son’s head, Luo Binghe stared at them. “State your business here, you’re trespassing on our home.”

Wen Qing bowed her head, “I’m sorry for disturbing you at this time of night. We heard that there are special herbs here growing on this mountain and came looking for them.”

“Where did you get this information?”

“An old medical book, please we’re looking for them to heal our father.”

Wei Ying could hear the small plea in Wen Qing’s voice. A small hint of fear in her voice that told that she’s not lying. The look on Wen Ning’s face is enough to tell him that the two of them aren’t lying.

“Papa, please let them stay! They look like they need help!” Luo Binghe looked ready to protest, but the puppy dog eyes that Wei Ying is giving him made him pause awkwardly. Wei Ying learned this technique from him and it seems not even the master can resist its charms!

The demon sucked in a sharp breath, exhaling it and crossing his arms. “I’ll let you look, do you two have a place to stay for the night in the village down below?”

The siblings shook their heads no.

“I’ll give you the choice of staying here or coming back tomorrow in the morning. If you choose to stay here though, I will be awake the whole time to make sure you aren’t up to anything.”

His papa’s words made the two shiver and Wei Ying simply laughed at their fear. Papa’s not that scary after all. Like father says, he’s a real cry baby underneath.

“We’ll take up your offer and stay the night if you don’t mind,” Wen Qing bowed once again and Wen Ning copied her movements.

“This way then,” Luo Binghe motioned for them to follow and noted the fact that Wen Qing kept a hand on her sheathed weapon. Not like it would help her against him anyway.

“Wen Ning, Wen Ning! Who taught you archery! The sound your bow made when it shot that arrow earlier was perfect!”

Wei Ying bounced around the other boy, hoping to learn from him. Wen Ning simply stuttered, trying to speak but too shy to get a word out of his mouth.



Shen Qingqiu woke up to a pounding headache and an equally sore body. He understands that Luo Binghe and he haven’t done it in a while but last night he was way too rough! Not only that, but his head hurts too from the visions last night, his heart in the same pain as his head.

He just watched his son get choked by his best friend and willingly accepted it. He saw the dead bodies of Yu Ziyuan and Jiang Fengmian. He saw so much last night that processing it all makes his head hurt.
Though, there was something strange about the visions. Wei Ying was dressed in the Yumengjiang Sect uniform and Yu Ziyuan seemed to resent her husband. Last time he checked Wei Ying isn’t part of that cultivation sect and his last visit to the Lotus Pier, he saw the couple getting along well enough. Granted, the amount of pride the Violet Spider had could rival a peacock. The woman is a total tsundere anyways.

Maybe the vision he saw was what happened in the original Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation?

While he’s thankful for this free information, he wished he got to know who caused the destruction of the Lotus Pier. They were fighting someone or something that had set the whole pier on fire. Exactly who would have caused all that chaos?

The immortal rolled onto his stomach, winching at his sore back and headache as they both got worse the minute he moved. He contemplated staying in bed all day, but he has to give Wei Ying his lesson.

He slowly opened his eyes, letting them adjust to the fresh morning light. He rolled onto his back once again and sat up in the bed.

His inner robe fell off his shoulders, revealing his plundered body. Hickeys and bite mark littered every inch of his skin.

He knows he’s blushing. He’s definitely blushing.

Hastily, he put his robes on, making him look decent as he brushed and tied up his hair. He wants to do this quickly because the last thing he needs is for Wei Ying to come running in, seeing his father covered in bite marks. This immortal would never get over the embarrassment!

After he finally straightened himself up, Shen Qingqiu walked around his home, looking for both his husband and his son.

They don’t seem to be inside though.

He turned to look outside instead and was met with an interesting sight. Two target stands had been set up outside the house, arrows littering the ground around them with some directly in the targets. Wei Ying was standing in front of one of the targets while a different boy was in front of the other. Luo Binghe stood behind the two with his arms crossed and a smile on his face.

A smile that got bigger when he saw Shen Qingqiu.

“Good morning Shizun!”

“Morning father!”

“Binghe, what’s going on?” He asked, approaching his husband as the two boys practiced their archery. The other one looked shy and was fumbling with his arrows, but the immortal noticed he had more arrows on the target than Wei Ying did.

“This boy and his sister came up here last night looking for some rare herb that’s believed to be here,” Binghe explained as they watched the boys shoot arrows. “His name is Wen Ning and his sister is Wen Qing. Whatever plant they were looking for doesn’t exist though. I don’t recall any special healing plant being here. We tried looking but we didn’t find anything this morning.”

“Why do they need that plant?”

“Wen Qing said that their father is dying,” the demon whispered quietly, enough to make sure that Wen Ning couldn’t hear them. “I guess they got desperate and started relying on legends and fairy tales.”

“Where is she? I don’t see her.”

“I think she went into the library. Since she couldn’t find anything for her father I let her go into the library to find something. I know we have Mu Qingfang’s old medical journals somewhere in there.”

As if on cue a woman burst through the library doors with thick books in her arms. She ran over to the group, panting harshly as she stopped in front of them. Wen Ning and Wei Ying both stopped shooting their arrows to watch her.

“Greetings,” she said looking at Shen Qingqiu as she breathless spoke. “I’m Wen Qing and beg of you to please let me borrow these journals!”

“Why should we?” Shen Qingqiu asked, completely baffled by the favor. They just met her and she’s already asking from them. How bold!

“Please!” She begged, “I’m training become a healer! I’ve learned so much from the healers and books back at home, but these journals medical practices are beyond what I’ve learned! I’ve never even seen healing arts or theories such as these ones. I want to become a great healer, and these might also help me heal our father!”

She bowed her head, her back parallel to the ground, “We already lost our mother. Please, I don’t want to lose our father either. I promise I’ll bring these back, I promise!”

Shen Qingqiu covered his face with his fan as he watched the girl’s body shake. She’s clearly trying to hold back her tears. He brother put down his bow and patted his sister’s back in an attempt to comfort her. The immortal could tell that she’s a prideful person.

Their father must be really sick or hurt for her to cast away her pride so easily.

“You have to promise me that you won’t be sharing the information within these journals if you take them. All knowledge can be used for good or for evil, so I expect you to keep this knowledge to yourself.”

Wen Qing looked up with tears forming in her eyes, quick to wipe them away. “Thank you! I promise I’ll return them, great immortals!”

“Immortals? What makes you think that?” He wanted to correct her on both of them being immortals but she doesn’t need to know that Binghe is a demon! That would end badly!

“We have old legends and stories about two immortals living on this mountain. Immortals older than the existence of the five great clans that have been living here, never leaving. I just assumed you two are the ones in the stories. Am I wrong?”

“No, you’re not wrong!” Wei Ying said excitedly, hugging Shen Qingqiu’s side as he smiled happily.

“My parents are super old and awesome!”

“I don’t think Shizun appreciates you calling him old, little sun.”

“Do you think I’m some woman getting offended because of her age?”

“I mean you acted like one la-,” Shen Qingqiu chucked his fan at Luo Binghe’s head. Earning him a snicker from his son and two surprised gasps from the Wen siblings.


 

Extra: 

"Cangse Sanren what are you reading?"

"N-nothing Wei Changze! Oh hey, Jiang Fengmian you're here too! Don't worry, I'm not doing anything questionable!" A mad red blush covered Cangse's whole face as she hid the book she has behind her back. The two boys stared at her, confused, but it's Cangse so it's best if they don't question it. 

"We'll see you later then."

"Yes, yes! Later! Bye!" Once the two were gone from her sight, Cangse crouched back down into her hiding place and opened her book back up, the blush still covering her face. 

"Yes, Luo Binghe! Claim your man!"  She squealed from a particular sentence in the book and she hugged it to her chest. She smiled happily, her face still beet red. 

Chapter Text

Chapter 8: Is This What It’s Like to Send Your Kid to College?

“Shizun we can’t have him leave!”

“Binghe, why not? This is a good opportunity for Wei Ying to study and grow as a cultivator. I doubt he’ll be given another chance like this.”

“But for a whole year! I don’t want our little sun to leave!” The demon cried as he engulfed Shen Qingqiu into his embrace. The immortal sighed as he patted his crying husband’s head.

“He’s not that little anymore. Wei Ying is fifteen now and this will be good for him. He’s hasn’t explored the world as much as we have, so letting him go to the Cloud Recess will be a great experience for him.”

“But it’s a whole year!” His husband repeated and he buried his face into Shen Qingqiu’s lap. “What if he meets someone and elopes with them! I will not allow that! If they can’t beat me in a battle they cannot have our Wei Ying as their bride!”

You instantly assume our son would be the bride? He thought as he rubbed circles on Luo Binghe’s back.

“Your husband’s attachment makes me want to throw up,” Yu Ziyuan said as she stared at the couple. A grown man on his knees, hugging his husband who happens to be in a sitting position. To add to the cringe, Luo Binghe’s eyes are brimming with tears as he talks about his son finding a spouse.

“He tends to do that to people,” Shen Qingqiu laughed in response, still rubbing soothing circles on the demon’s back. “What do you think Madam Yu? Do you think Wei Ying going to the Cloud Recess with your son is a good decision?”

“If he can work on his behavior, I think he could be a fine cultivator. Gusulan will surely take that out of him,” she responded, taking a sip of her tea. “That’s something of his that needs to be fixed.”

“No! Wei Ying needs to stay himself!” Luo Binghe sobbed with his face still pressed into Shen Qingqiu’s lap.

“Frankly, I think that’s impossible,” Shen Qingqiu muttered.

Wei Ying definitely grew over the years at an amazing rate. Not as impressive as Luo Binghe’s own growth, but nonetheless it’s impressive.

Reading, math, sword skills, hand-to-hand, strategy and more. He’s proved to be a master in all of them. In terms of behavior though…

Shen Qingqiu is pretty sure his son is secretly an evil mastermind. Pulling long thought out pranks on people and tricking others with his silver tongue. He doesn’t understand how he got so sneaky since Shen Qingqiu never influenced such behavior. He’s pretty sure he has Sha Hualing and Liu Mingyan to blame, along with Airplane bro. He caught him trying to help Wei Ying cheat through his punishment one time.

While he inherited sneakiness from his aunts and uncle, it seemed Wei Ying inherited Shen Qingqiu’s grace and Luo Binghe’s shamelessness. Multiple times during the family of three’s visits to the Lotus Pier, Madam Yu had complained about Wei Ying’s flirting with the other young cultivators.

Both men and woman.

He almost spit his tea out the first time he was informed. He’s pretty sure he and Luo Binghe unintentionally turned their son into a bisexual. Or maybe he was like this originally in the novel, but it’s rare to find a novel about a main character that’s gay. But who is he to judge, he happens to be one.

“Shizun, I don’t want him to go,” the demon whined again making Yu Ziyuan scoff at his stubborn attitude.

“He already told us that he wishes to go and besides, it would be a shame to reject Lan Wong’s invitation for him to come and join during the start of a new semester. It’s a year, we can handle a year away from him.”

This all started when Wei Ying told them that Jiang Cheng would be gone for a whole year. Gone to study to be a better cultivator under the Gusulan Sect. Wei Ying was bummed out that his best friend would be gone for a whole year. He would still go the Lotus Pier to visit Jiang Yanli, who he’s been fondly calling Shijie, but it wouldn’t be as much fun.

Two weeks later, a jittery messenger dressed in white came to the mountain handling the immortal a letter with Lan Wong’s signature on it. The letter in detail described how the Gusulan accepts students from other sects to come and learn in the Cloud Recess. The Lan elder explained that they usually don’t accept rogue cultivators, but since Shen Qingqiu is an old friend and master, Lan Wong said he could pull some strings for Wei Ying to join the new class in the spring.

He also promised that he wouldn’t reveal the truth to the Lan Clan that Shen Qingqiu and Luo Binghe are immortals. Lan Wong believes his husband to another immortal, Shen Qingqiu has to hide the fact that Luo Binghe is a demon. There’s no need to start a wide panic in the human realm about a real demon being here.

It would cause chaos for a lot of people and if Lan Wong knew of this, Wei Ying might not be treated very well. A human raised by a demon would be considered dangerous.

“Father! Is papa still crying?”

Speak of the devil.

Wei Ying is running over to them on the wooden bridge over the lotus-filled waters. He feet thumping hard against the wood with each step as Jiang Cheng ran behind him.

His son’s black robes swished in the wind, running with his fan in his clutches. After all these years he still kept the one he got when he was younger. His black robes are similarly designed like his papa’s, expect the lining of it is the same light green color that Shen Qingqiu has on his robes. A mix of his parent’s clothing.

The ridiculously long red string of the immortal binding net kept his neatly brushed hair up. He still doesn’t understand why Sha Hualing gave him that. He understands her reasoning, but it finds it absolutely unnecessary.

“Yes, he agrees,” the immortal smiled.

“No! I did not agree, Shizun! Wei Ying, stay with your parents!” Luo Binghe let go of his husband, running over to Wei Ying and engulfing him in his arms. He and Jiang Cheng exhaustively rolled their eyes.

“Papa really?” Wei Ying said tiredly.

Shen Qingqiu snickered at the open display of love and Wei Ying’s ‘I’m done with this’ expression. Now he knows what it looks like whenever Luo Binghe clung to him. With Binghe hugging Wei Ying so closely, he could see how tall he is compared to the half-demon. In a couple of years, Wei Ying might reach past the immortal’s own height. Maybe not Binghe though, he’s taller than a lot of people.

“Papa please let me go!”

“No, I’m not letting you!”

“I meant the hug.”

Binghe made a whine, similar to a small puppy, making everyone else present sigh. Jiang Cheng opened his mouth faking a gagging noise and his mother hid a grin behind her sleeve.

“If father was like this I don’t think I could survive,” the sect heir commented.

“If your father was like this in the slightest I would have beaten it out of him,” Madam Yu chimed in. “How do you even tolerate this kind of affection?”

“You get used it,” Shen Qingqiu sighed as he stood up to pry Binghe off Wei Ying before he suffocates their son. “I’ve had centuries to get used to it..”

“I still don’t believe that the both of you are immortals,” she scoffed. “All immortals ascend to the heavens after casting away their humanity. You’ve said that the both of you have been here for centuries. For immortals not to ascend is quite unbelievable. Why are you still here if you’re immortals?”

He held his breath, “Well, our reasoning is personal,” he ended up saying. It’s not like he can tell her the truth.

Demons can’t ascend...

“Your answer makes me think you’re lying.”

“But you can’t prove that we’re not,” he said with a smug grin. Madam Yu frowned, taking a sip of tea to avoid having to say something back.

“Anyways!” Wei Ying interrupted, crossing his arms with a serious look. “Papa! Please let me go. I really want to go to the Cloud Recess with Jiang Cheng! Please!”

Luo Binghe crossed his own arms with an unhappy expression on his face. Shen Qingqiu could see the inner struggle inside his head, clear as day in his eyes. He wanted to laugh but the seriousness of letting Wei Ying go prevented him from doing so.

After what seemed like hours, the demon finally spoke.

“Just promise me you won’t fall in love with your teacher!”

“Binghe!”

Yu Ziyuan started choking on her tea, trying not to spit it out while trying to swallow it at the same time. The two boys staggered back in shock with looks of disgust on their faces.

“I would never do that! Oh my god, that’s disgusting!”

“I’m erasing that sentence from my mind,” Jiang Cheng said quietly as covered his eyes with both of his hands. “Imagining you falling in love with Lan Qiren is going to haunt my dreams.”

“Stop imagining it then!”

“Why would you say such a thing!?” Madam Yu shouted as she stood up, wiping away some tea that spilled down her chin. “You’re disrespecting the Lan Clan and you haven’t even met them yet! Out! I don’t want the three of you back here until it’s time for Jiang Cheng and Wei Wuxian to leave for the Cloud Recess!”

“My apologies,” Shen Qingqiu sighed, dragging his husband and son by the collars of their robes. Binghe’s shamelessness is one of the reasons he didn’t want to leave the Cang Qiong Mountain frequently. He doesn’t need situations like this repeating!

“Shizun what did I say wrong!?” The demon asked.

“Why did you have to say that?” Wei Ying said with a sad and disappointed frown.

“Because it’s happened before.”

“Please don’t suggest such things,” their son pleaded. “I understand it happened to you but I don’t need to be reminded of how you two fell in love!”

At least he never read the fanfiction version! Shen Qingqiu thought gratefully. That also reminded him that he needed to find the rest of those cursed books to burn them in a giant pit where their ashes will be left never to be found again.

“By the way, father. We should send back our reply letter soon, considering we’ll be leaving in about two weeks.”


“You don’t have to worry, Wei Ying. I already did.”



As the days for Wei Yin’s leave to the Cloud Recess got closer, Shen Qignqiu started to feel a small tug in his chest. A depressing feeling that tickled his stomach whenever he thought of his son leaving. The feeling was similar to the three years that Binghe was gone.

Is this the feeling that parents get when they send their kids away to college?

He’s sad that he’s leaving, but it’s only a year. A year isn’t that long compared to the amount of time he’s existed for. It can go by fast he told himself. He would see Wei Ying again in a year and they would exchange letters in between that time.

But it still saddened him. After all, he’s been raising this boy since he was seven. Eight years to love, cherish, teach and to watch grow. Now, he’s going out into the world by himself. At least he has Jiang Cheng with him. If Wei Ying went by himself that child would probably get himself kicked out with the amount of mischief he creates.

Speaking of Jiang Cheng, Shen Qingqiu is happy that he got to know the boy over the years and that his relationship with Wei Ying is everything but bad. They fight over stuff every once and while but what friends don’t? They train together and spend a lot of time with each other and he’s very happy their relationship turned out this way.

At times he wonders if this is how their relationship was supposed to pan out in the original story. With the information he got from the System, their relationship could have turned sour when the Lotus Pier burned down to mysterious circumstances.

From the memory he could clearly see that Wei Ying caused something, therefore starting the burning of the pier. But he highly doubts it was purely his son’s fault. He used points to try to figure out more about the event, but it seems that the System just shows him random future events.

One time, it showed him a scene of Wei Ying trying to catch two rabbits.

Another time, it showed him an older Wei Ying burying a small child in the dirt. The child’s head was the only thing above the ground and Wei Ying was laughing as the poor child started to cry. Knowing his son, he probably tricked the child in to be buried.

Nothing he was shown was super important, which disappointed him. He wanted to know who burned down the Lotus Pier so he could make a move in making sure that would never happen. The Wei Ying in the vision looked older though, so he could assume it’s a year or two after his stay at the Cloud Recess.

Hopefully, the System doesn’t prevent him from doing so.

“Father, I’m all done packing!” His son yelled as he burst through the doors of the bamboo house. While he mused in his thoughts, Luo Binghe and he waited outside for Wei Ying to finish packing.

It’s time after all, for them to drop their child off at the Lotus Pier for him to go to the Cloud Recess.

Their fifteen-year-old stood poised with his small pack of belongings slung over his back. Suibian at his side, the black handle gleaming in the sunlight as he wore a cheeky smile.

He’s so grown up now.

Where did his young years go?

Being the one with attachment issues, Luo Binghe ran up to Wei Ying and submerged him into another hug for the sixth time this week.

Their son made an ‘oof’ noise as his papa hugged him. He sighed, accepting the hug and patting the half-demon’s back.

“It’s just a year and I’ll be writing back as much as I can.”

“I know,” Binghe whined. “I just don’t want anything bad to happen to you.” Wei Ying sighed, his shoulders relaxing a bit as he smiled.

“I know.”

Shen Qingqiu smiled at the sight, a pleasant warmth spreading throughout his chest. His son’s eyes moved over to him as his smile brighten. With some effort, Wei Ying extended an arm that he freed to motion for the immortal to join them in the hug.

His first response was to hide his face with his fan, but that earned him a fake sad face from Wei Ying. If he mastered anything from his papa, it was Luo Binghe’s puppy eyes. The immortal sighed, succumbing to the power of his son’s eyes. He walked over, gasping in surprise as his husband and son pulled into the hug.

He felt extremely squished in between the two, but he didn’t mind. He enjoyed this comfort.

They hugged for a long time, letting go only because they would be late if they stayed like that any longer.

Shen Qingqiu didn’t want to make this so sad but his feelings are messing him up at the moment. It’s only a year but this hurts him. Binghe’s probably crying his eyes out on the inside right now.

The three of them mounted their swords, flying in the air towards the Lotus Pier. Wei Ying riding on Suibian, no longer needing his parents’ assistance to fly anymore. Luo Binghe had cried so much when Wei Ying was able to fly by himself. Proud like a parent is when their baby takes their first steps. He was also sad that Wei Ying wouldn’t need their help anymore.

Shen Qingqiu wouldn’t admit it out loud, but he was disappointed too. I never thought he’d miss holding a child that refused to stay still.

When he no longer was small enough to be held Shang Qinghua decided to troll them by saying; “There’s a time parents put their child down and never pick them back up.” Binghe proceeded to pick Wei Ying up, not bothered by his weight.

The immortal continued to drift off into memories until they got the Lotus Pier. The Jiang family already waiting for them as a readied boat lay in the waters.

The sweet girl that is Jiang Yanli grinned happily as they got off their swords, waving hello to the family.

“Did you have a good flight?” She asked as they got closer.

“Yes, we did Shijie!”

“Come on Wei Wuxian! We have a whole day’s trip to the Cloud Recess. We’ll be late if we linger any longer,” Jiang Cheng said as he packed his things onto the boat.

“I’m coming!” Wei Ying yelled excitedly. Running to the boat, he ran backwards waving good-bye to Binghe and Shen Qingqiu.

“Bye, papa! Bye, father! I promise to write back when I have the time,” he hopped onto the boat, placing his things besides Jiang Cheng’s.

“Promise that you’ll write too A-Cheng!” Jiang Yanli called affectionately. Her request earned her a blush from her brother as he turned away to try to hide it.

“I-I will.”

“Don’t stutter,” his mother corrected.

Wei Ying laughed at his friend, still waving farewell from the boat as it drifted away from the pier.

Shen Qingqiu and Luo Binghe sadly waved back. They knew he’d be back in a year, but they were too used to his rambunctious behavior. It’s something that they’d miss when they return to the peaceful bamboo house.

Wei Ying got closer to the edge of the boat, smiling happily at his parents.

Unfortunately, he got too close to the edge, falling off into the waters. Jiang Yanli and Jiang Fengmian softly laughed while Madam Yu sighed.

It simply brought a smile to Shen Qingqiu and Luo Binghe’s faces.



The travel to the Cloud Recess was boring like Wei Ying expected it to be. Sure, he teased Jiang Cheng along the way, but that can get boring after a while. Too much teasing and Jiang Cheng just shuts down like a turtle retracting itself into its shell.

They sat the whole way, playing games and Jiang Cheng talked about the latest gossip in the Lotus Pier since his father got them kicked out for two weeks.

Wei Ying also talked about the Gusu ladies and imagined what they’d be like. When he brought up men Jiang Cheng’s face turned beet red in embarrassment and Wei Ying laughed at him for a long time. Whenever he brought up the topic it got Jiang Cheng flustered very quickly and he enjoyed watching his friend’s face get red.

The man rowing the boat got flustered too which made Wei Ying laugh even harder.

Once they had gotten to a small town, they were lead by a small group of Gusulan members that brought them to the Cloud Recess. A beautiful place up in a magnificent mountain range that could have put the Cang Qiong Mountains to shame. Keywords ‘could have’. Home is a lot more graceful and has a heavenly safe feel to it. A feel he never got used to in his eight years living there, he always felt like he was waking up someplace new. He did like that these mountains had more waterfalls though.

They were lead to a large building where other disciples from different sects were gathered, unpacking their things in their own rooms.

Jiang Cheng was lead to one room while Wei Ying got his own right next to his. He thought that they’d be sharing one, but his father has connections with one of the elders. So maybe that’s why he has his own. His room is at the end of the hallway, farthest away from the exit. That didn’t matter though, he’d just use the other exits, being his windows.

The room is quite plain compared to his own back at home, but that’s to be expected as well. He highly doubts they’d go all out decorating for young cultivators staying for only a year.

He threw his small belongings onto the bed, he’d pack them later when he felt like it.

He wanted to explore this place right away, but the people that guided them here said that dinner would be served soon. After, he’d explore and look at the Wall of Rules they were told about. He wanted to figure out how many of them he could bend and brake.

He sat patiently in his room, waiting for Jiang Cheng to finish his unpacking. He spent his time making some of the talismans that Liu Mingyan had shown him.

It was later in the evening when Jiang Cheng had finished, just in time for dinner. The other disciples and he were lead to the dining hall.

Wei Ying didn’t miss the whispers from the other cultivators as they stared and talked about him. Some looked a little upset as he passed by him. Maybe because he’s considered a rogue cultivator? Others looked confused because they didn’t recognize him from any sect.

They can judge and talk about him all they want, he doesn’t care. He’ll only care if it starts to affect Jiang Cheng.

Their meal for the night had been disastrous! Turns out one of the rules is ‘no talking while eating’, which drove him nuts while they ate. He respected the rule though, one of father’s words of wisdom is to make a good first impression even if it’s painful. He’d bend that rule somehow. Maybe he’ll get some paper and ink so he and Jiang Cheng can exchange notes.

The no talking wasn’t the only bad thing though! The food is horrendous! He never thought he’d hate congee, but what they served him is an insult to the dish. No taste at all! Just watered down rice with no spice to even give it color. His papa would smite the cook if he tasted this! He better not mention this in any letters then. Luo Binghe would come and kill the cook or stay to make sure Wei Ying got decent meals.

He does kind of wish his papa was here to cook him some decent food, but he’d rather deal with this than for everyone here to know how clingy Luo Binghe can be. He doesn’t need that.

By the time they had finished, the clan’s curfew was approaching and they were ushered to their rooms. They did arrive late in the afternoon.

He asked Jiang Cheng if he wanted to sneak out with him but his best friend had refused, wanting to stay on the good side of the clan’s instead of having some fun.

It’s like the Yunmengjiang heir assumed they would get caught.

He has years of experience from hiding from his half-demon papa and immortal family. If he can hide from Liu Qingge and Shang Qinghua, he can hide from some cultivators on night patrol. Once everyone fell asleep he jumped out a window and headed down the mountain.

As he expected, the night patrol was easy to avoid when he snuck out. A little too easy that he was laughing on his way out. He went to the nearest village and bought two jars of Emperor’s Smile. Ever since Shushu brought it and he got his little hands on it he’s been obsessed with the wine much to father’s dismay.

Shen Qingqiu had a weird no alcohol rule until he was twenty-one. That gotten broken very fast because his uncles, aunts, and papa didn’t understand the rule. They agreed he was too young the first time but when he reached thirteen none of them cared.

Wei Ying was approaching the entrance to the Cloud Recess when he realized that someone was close by. He dived into the bushes to hide, watching with calm gray eyes as a figure appeared at the entry.

He almost dropped his jars of wine.

Wei Ying looked at the figure patrolling the Cloud Recess in awe. From his hiding spot, he could see this person clearly but they couldn't see him.


Long black hair flowed in the moonlight as their white headband moved with the ebony locks. Their white robes glowing in the moonlight gave off a sense of serenity to this figure. Nobleness and grace were the words that popped up into Wei Ying's head as he looked. Though, the most striking characteristics of this person aren’t the things he just described.


The most captivating part of this cultivator is his stunning yellow eyes. So unique and otherworldly that Wei Ying felt his heart jump as he continued to stare. He's never seen anyone with yellow eyes before and it’s breathtaking.

The figure walked around the entrance, his analytical eyes scanning the area before he walked back inside.

Wei Ying held his breath as he waited to make sure the person was really gone. He doesn't want to get caught. He doesn’t want his parents finding out that he already broke the rules on his first day. He’d rather not copy the texts again.

He waited for about ten minutes before he moved, going through the same path he had used to get out. He climbed back through the window of his room, placing the jars of wine onto his desk as he laid down on his back in bed.

Wei Ying doesn’t feel like drinking anymore. All the enthusiasm to do so gone from his body.

He could only think of the cultivator with the yellow eyes. They were so elegant and handsome, Wei Ying couldn’t get the image of the Gusulan member out of his head!

He blushed, realizing that he’s fawning over this man as his papa does with his father. He rolled onto his side, covering his face with his hands as he curled his legs closer to his chest.

He’s going to die if he continuously meets this person for the whole year he’s here.

Wei Ying is going to make sure he doesn’t mention this guy in a letter. Luo Binghe will, without a doubt, come here to fight him if he mentions this cultivator. He’ll have to keep his little crush a secret for now.

He just hopes that guy doesn’t end up being his teacher.



Extra:

An eleven-year-old Wei Ying approached him one day, asking a dreaded question.

“Father?”

“Yes, little sun?”

“How did you and papa meet?”

If Shen Qingqiu had been drinking tea, he would have spit it out. “That’s a complicated and long story, Wei Ying.”

“I live here, I can wait and hear it.”

Luo Binghe laughed at the response, rubbing Wei Ying’s head and ruffling his hair.

After the demon enthusiastically explored their long history and story of love, Wei Ying stood there with an expression that Shen Qingqiu couldn’t name.

“You two have issues,” their son finally commented.

Chapter Text

Chapter 9: The Pride of Qing Jing Peak

Lan Qiren walked through the Cloud Recess, the moon’s light shining gently on the magnolia tree. But at the moment he can’t appreciate the usual beauty of his mountain home. Irritation buzzing in his body like the aftershock of a chant gone wrong.

The source of his annoyance being the new students that arrived today.

One student in particular.

Wei Wuxian.

A name he never expected to hear again. After Cangse Sanren and Wei Changze perished in a night hunt with no word on their son, he thought that the whole family had died.

Yet, today the son of that shameless woman is here in the Cloud Recess.

He’s thankful that the boy is alive, he’d never damn a child to death, but the fact that he’s here as a student has his blood boiling. The last thing he needs is another obnoxious cultivator causing trouble. He was only eighteen when he first met Cangse Sanren when she was a student.

He was sure that he was sprouting white hairs at the age because of her. It was like that woman made it her goal to irritate him and break every rule possible.

He felt his hand clench up into a fist at the thought of her, but her son isn’t the only source of his anger.

The boy was coming in as a rogue cultivator! Not a disciple of another sect, not even from a minor sect, but a rogue cultivator. To add to it, he was invited by one of the Lan elders!

Why would Lan Wong invite a rogue cultivator?

Lan Qiren continued to walk through the sea of magnolia trees, the petal falling onto the stone paths. Each step he took made a soft clink against the stone. He walked and walked until he finally arrived at where he wants to be.

Under one of the magnolia trees, sat Lan Wong in one the pavilions, sipping on a cup of tea.

“Elder,” he greeted him, trying to hide the irritation in his voice.

“Good evening, Lan Qiren,” Lan Wong greeted back. “Is there something I can help you with?”

“Yes, there is,” he answered as he approached the pavilion. The elder offered him to sit, but he denied it with a wave of his hand.

“Elder Lan Wong, can you answer a question for me?”

“Of course, but I don’t believe you need to ask. Your question is clear in your eyes. It’s about Wei Wuxian isn’t it?”

Lan Qiren nodded his head. Is it really so obvious?

The elder smiled, followed by a quiet chuckle. “I told you before, Wei Wuxian is the son of an old master of mine. Last time I spoke with him he mentioned his son. I thought it was good for the boy to come here and study. I also still owe that master. This is a good way to repay that debt.”

“You said before that this master sheltered you from a storm long ago. I don’t believe this is an equivalent exchange.”

“Maybe not in your eyes,” the elder laughed, taking a sip from his tea. “But that master also taught me some cultivation techniques while I stayed with him. You still might not find that as an equivalent exchange, but I know it is.”

“You make it sound like that master is a god and being in his presence made you indebted to him. Is that why you’ve been so gracious?” Lan Qiren asked.

“I would tell you, but I promised him I wouldn’t talk about his origins with others. I know I’m getting older, but one of our rules is to never break a promise. It would be quite terrible of me to break that rule just to tell you.” The elder smiled at him, which further irritated Lan Qiren.

“Thank you for answering my question, Elder Wong. Have a nice night.” With that, he walked angrily away from the pavilion. A vein is probably popping out of his head.

All the while Lan Wong continued to smile in the background as he watched Lan Qiren angrily head back to his room.



“Why do we have to get up so early?” Wei Ying complained as he stretched his arms over his head. The morning sun shimmering over him and Jiang Cheng as they walked through the Cloud Recess.

“I’m surprised you managed to get up this early. Didn’t you go out last night?” Jiang Cheng asked with a yawn.

“Yep! You should have come! I didn’t get caught.”

“Of course you didn’t.”

“Don’t worry,” Wei Ying said as he nudged Jiang Cheng’s shoulder with his elbow. “I saved you a jar.”

It was Jiang Cheng’s turn to hit him back as a smile finally formed on his stern face. “I thought I told you I wasn’t drinking while we’re here.”

“Yeah right, like you’re going to do that,” Wei Ying laughed.

The two went on teasing each other as they got closer to the Orchid Room. The place where their classes will be held with the other cultivators. He’s kinda looking forward to it but at the same time, he isn’t. The only teachers Wei Ying has had his whole life is his family. Not some random guy who lives in a place with three thousand dumb rules. He read that wall and it’s more ridiculous than his papa stickiness.

He wonders what the record is for most rules broken in one day because he wants to break it.

“Jiang Wanyin.”

The two friends turned around to the sight of three people standing before them.

One is dressed in plain robes, probably a servant Wei Wuxian guessed. The other is dressed in dark greens and yellow with a fan clutched in his hands. He smiled at the two nervously. The last person in front of them is dressed in yellow with a flower decorated on the chest. A red dot in the center of his forehead.

Wei Wuxian noted that yellow guy is looking down at them. Chin held high as his eyes looked down. Wei Ying already doesn’t like him and it doesn’t seem like Jiang Cheng does either with the look he’s giving him.

“Jiang Wanyin,” he said again, “who is this?”

“How rude!” Wei Wuxian said before Jiang Cheng could answer. “To demand someone to introduce themselves before you do.”

The yellow guy made an irritated noise and Wei Ying could see the surprised anger boil on his face. The red dot wrinkling on his forehead.

“I’m Jin Zixuan.”

Oh! He knows this yellow peacock! Jiang Cheng has complained about him in the past. He’s Jiang Yanli’s fiance!

“Hello, I’m Wei Wuxian,” he said with a nod of his head. He smiled, opening his fan up.

“What sect are you from?”

“I’m not from any.”

“How can you not be from any?” Jin Zixuan demanded, “why are you even here if you're a rogue cultivator!?”

“Because I got a special pass,” Wei Ying laughed with a sly grin.

“What do you mean by that?”

“I’m curious as well, but we’re going to be late if we continue to talk,” the boy dressed in green and yellow squeaked. “I don’t think we want to miss the first day of classes.”

The yellow peacock looked a little angry at being interrupted but said nothing as he walked pass Jiang Cheng and Wei Wuxian, not sparing them a single glance. The servant trailed after him as they headed towards the Orchid Room.

“I see why you don’t like him,” Wei Ying frowned, placing a hand on his hip. “Does Shijie actually like him?”

“I don’t know, sometimes I think she’s okay with the arrangement because she’s doing it out of pity. I don’t how any girl would like him,” Jiang Cheng said as he glared in the direction Jin Zixuan went.

“I mean he is hot,” Wei Ying said.

“Please, never say that again.”

“Umm, you said your name is Wei Wuxian?” The nameless one approached him carefully, reminding Wei Ying of a scared animal.

“I am and you are?”

“My name is Nie Huaisang, it’s a pleasure to meet you. Uh, where did you get your fan? It’s very ornate and I haven’t seen a design like that.”

“I got it from-”

“We’re actually going to be late if you two stand here and talk! Come on!”

The three headed to the Orchid Room, Nie Huaisang and him talking about fans on their way.

Multiple students had already arrived, sitting with good postures and their hands folded into their laps as they waited patiently for class to start. Everyone looked worried and nervous which made Wei Ying laugh.

Is everyone that scared of Lan Qiren?

He was going to make a comment about it when the words got caught in his throat.

Near one of the empty desks, sat the Gusulan member that he saw last night! His body visibly stiffened up at the sight of him. If this guy is sharing a class with them! He’s going to die.

“Ah, Wei Wuxian, that’s Lan Wangji,” Nie Huaisang explained. “He’s the Second Jade of Lan and is quite the stickler for rules. Don’t go breaking any, he’ll surely find you and punish you if you do!”

Yet he missed me last night, he thought, making sure not to voice that out loud.

Jiang Cheng noticed the stiffness and smiled a smile Wei Ying never thought possible on his friend’s face. He pointed for Nie Huaisang to take the desk in the back, while he took the second to last empty seat. Leaving the only one for Wei Ying to take, the empty one by Lan Wangji.

He mouthed ‘fuck you’ to Jiang Cheng as he sat down.

Through his peripheral vision, he tried to get a good look at Lan Wangji since his vision was obscured by bushes last night.

The teen is looking straight ahead, not sparing any looks at the other students or even trying to make small talk. He sat ready for the lesson, ignoring all distractions.

Wei Ying did his best not to blush, the yellow eyes just as captivating in the day as they were during the night. What human being has yellow eyes like that? His father has red eyes because he’s a demon, but Wei Ying hasn’t seen yellow until today.

Why did he have to develop a crush on a rule follower?

Is this how his papa fell in love with his father? He’s not going to even think about it, because a love life as chaotic as theirs is something he’d like to avoid.

Soft footsteps brought Wei Ying out of his crisis as the rest of the room grew within an instant. A man dressed in the usual Gusulan clothes walked into the room, but this man is older than the ones Wei Wuxian has seen around the Cloud Recess. A stiff face with grey eyes and a beard. This must be Lan Qiren.

He’d look better without the beard, is Wei Ying’s first impression.

“Good morning sir!” The class said in unison.

Lan Qiren unfolded a big scroll he had been holding, the scroll opening to reveal it’s contents as it rolled towards the door.

“These are the Gusulan rules,” Lan Qiren said as he began to read them all out.

Is he seriously going to read all three thousand rules? What a waste of time! But despite his great displeasure towards the reading, Wei Ying kept his back straight and focused on listening to the rules. He might as well make it a game by thinking of a way to bend or break each rule.

It felt like the whole day had ended by the time Lan Qiren finished up voicing each rule. He carefully rolled the scroll back up, placing it beside his own desk.

Wei Ying glanced over at Jiang Cheng and saw that his friend is just as bored as him. If this is what the whole year is going to be like Wei Wuxian might actually die.

“Wei Wuxian.” Lan Qiren said sternly.

“Yes, sir?” He said standing up with his arms at his side.

“Who was the first in the cultivation world to focus on the rise of his clan instead of his own sect?”

“The founder of the Qishan Wen Sect, Wen Mao.”

“What was the profession of the founder of the Qinghe Nie Sect?”

“A butcher.”

“How do you differentiate spirits, ghosts, monsters, and demons?”

“Spirits are formed from non-living beings, ghosts from dead humans, monsters from dead non-human beings, and demons come from the Demonic Realm but can also be formed from living humans on rare occasion.”

Lan Qiren walked away from his desk, roaming around the room as he continued his questions.

“There was once an executioner with parents, wife, and children. During his lifetime he executed over a hundred people. Suddenly, he died and his body was left on the streets for a week. Resentful energy built up over those days and he began to haunt and kill. What should be done?”

Wei Ying paused for a moment, not because he didn’t know the answers, but the fact that there are multiple solutions to this kind of problem. He might as well just please this teacher instead of sating his own curiosity.

“First, is to liberate him and appeal to his feelings towards his family that he left. Grant his dying wish and relieve any last obsessions that he might have. If this fails, he is to be suppressed. If his resentful energy is too great, elimination.”

“You answered them well,” Lan Qiren said returning to his place at the front of the room. “But this is common knowledge that all cultivators should have. Do not pride yourself on answering them correctly.”

Ass.

“Why don’t you ask me more questions then teacher? If you were really trying to test me you would have asked more difficult questions than just the common knowledge that every cultivator should know.” Wei Ying grinned.

An odd silence washed over the room as the expression on everyone twisted into shock. Every student visibly looked shocked while Jiang Cheng had a look of exhaustion. If looks could kill, Lan Qiren’s glare would have sent him to hell instantly.

He could see a vein popping out of his forehead!

“How arrogant!” Lan Qiren spat. “But I will make sure to put you in your place. “Name the sects that existed before the Lan, Jiang, Nie, Wen, and Jin clans.”

Easy.

“The Cang Qiong sect that was made up of twelve peaks, each having their own peak lord while Yue Qingyuan was the leader of the whole sect. The Huan Hua Palace that was the richest of all the sects. The third being the Zhao Hua Temple and the fourth being the Yian Yi Overlook.”

Lan Qiren gritted his teeth while Wei Ying smiled. He knew he answered more than what was necessary.

“Long ago, demons created a poison that had no antidote, what was its name?”

“Without A Cure.”

“There was once a legendary demonic sword that could cleave through realms, what was its name?”

“Xin Mo.”

Lan Qiren ended up quizzing him for the rest of class time.


“Wei-Xiong! How do you know so much?” Nie Huaisang asked as the trio walked down some stone stairs. “I was pretty sure Lan Qiren was going to suffer from qi deviation every time you got an answer right. Some of the things you mentioned I never even heard of! Like that demonic sword, uh...”

“Xin Mo.”

“Yeah Xin Mo!”

“Your knowledge is quite impressive! No one was able to talk back to him like that even when I was here last year.”

Wei Ying laughed at his new found friend, opening his fan. “My father drilled this kind of stuff into my head. He really wanted to make sure I knew.”

“He sounds like a hard teacher.”

“He is,” Jiang Cheng replied as he recalled some of the lessons Shen Qingqiu gave him. “But he’s far more kind than Lan Qiren. He guides you through stuff you don’t understand instead of making you or someone else teach you.”

“I wish he was our teacher,” Nie Huaisang whined. “Do you think you could help me with my studies Wei-Xiong? I don’t want to fail and repeat another year.”

“Of course! I’ll teach you how to cheat as well!”

“Cheating is forbidden,” a voice said behind them.

The trio turned to look up the stone stairs and there stood Lan Wangji. Wei Ying would describe his expression, but he wasn’t wearing one! What a stoic person!

“Is everything forbidden here?” Wei Wuxian laughed with a soft smile on his face.

“If you paid attention in class today you would have heard all the rules here,” the white clothed cultivator replied.

“I heard all the rules! I was paying attention, I just wonder...” Wei Ying said, drawing out the last word as much as he could. “Is my little crush on your handsome face forbidden too?”

Wei Wuxian burst out laughing as Lan Wangji’s eyes widened comically large. He turned his face away, breathing through his mouth as a red tint painted the tips of his ears.

What a reaction!

He continued to laugh as Lan Wangji looked at him confused and walked away from him, Jiang Cheng, and Nie Huaisang.

He tired to stifle his laughter because he’s sure he breaking the ‘noise is forbidden’ rule, but he’s laughing so hard his knees are getting weak. Lan Wangji is such an innocent white flower!

“Jiang-Xiong, what was that?” Nie Huaisang asked, covering his face with his fan to try to hide his own blush of embarrassment.

“Wei Wuxian is a cut-sleeve,” Jiang Cheng sighed as he rubbed his temple. He had his fun teasing Wei Wuxian in class but if this was going to be a habit of his friend’s, he knows for sure he’s going to have lots of headaches while they’re here.

That wine sounds nice right now.



Wei Ying stood at the entrance of the Library Pavilion, admiring it’s vast size. He thinks it’s about as big as the library back at home, but the building is still in ruins with old and tattered books on the shelves. The only books in good condition are the ones in his room and his father’s study.

To this day, Wei Ying doesn’t really like reading. Being still is not his forte and reading requires that, but he promised his parents he’d be a good student and is a little curious on what other things he can find out while he’s here.

Gusulan probably won’t have it, but he’s curious about resentful energy and wonders if there are any books about it other than just theories.

It’s a topic he’s kept to himself for a long time.

Resentful energy is also energy like spiritual, so why can’t people use it? His father once explained that resentful energy damages both the body and the mind, but by how much? If one could master resentful energy, then would subduing fierce corpses, ghosts, and some monsters be easier?

He walked into the library, getting ready to turn the whole place upside down. He was prepared for a boring evening but now the rest of the day is going to be far from boring!

Lan Wangji sat at one of the tables, writing on the white paper in front of him. The Second Jade perked his head up, but his still expression turned sour as his eyebrows narrowed.

He’s definitely not happy to see him.

“Hello, Master Lan!” He said cheerfully, walking over to one of the bookshelves. Lan Wangji didn’t respond to him, merely returning to his work.

“Are you worried I’m going to flirt more? Don’t worry I won’t today unless you like it?” Wei Wuxian winked.

The tips of Lan Wangji’s ear turned red again, making Wei Ying laugh. He wonders if he can get more of a reaction out of him like the day before.

“Hey, Lan Wangji can I call you something different?” He asked approaching the Second Jade.

He’s still being ignored.

“What to call you to get a reaction? Master Lan?”

Nothing.

“Lan Zhan?” He whispered sweetly, standing behind the Lan Wangji. “Oh, I know!” He sat down on the desk, purposely sitting on the edge of the Second Jade’s white sleeve.

“Lan Er-Gege!”

The Lan’s yellow eyes narrowed and suddenly Wei Wuian felt his lips fuse together. He got up trying to pry them open but he couldn’t! His mouth is shut tight!

He frantically ran around the room, trying to get his mouth open and he’s pretty sure he saw a smile on the stoic Lan’s face! He stopped his running, sliding onto his knees in front of Lan Wangji’s desk, grabbing a spare piece of paper and an ink brush.

He wrote; “please undo the spell!”

Lan Wangji did nothing and returned to his work.

Oh, come on! He doesn’t want to stay like this! How long does this thing last?

Suddenly, an idea popped inside his head. He would be smiling if his lips weren’t fused at the moment. He continued to write on the paper and once he was done he lifted it up for the jade to read.

‘Is this an indirect kiss?’

“Shameless!” Lan Wangji shouted as he undid the silencing spell.

With his lips now freed, he proceeded to laugh and clutch his stomach.

“Can’t handle a little bit of teasing?”

And again, Lan Wangji said nothing as he put away his things and headed for the door. Wei Ying was still laughing but made sure to give the jade a playful wink once he exited the Library Pavilion.

The redness appearing on the tips of his ears again.



“Are you seriously sneaking out again?” Jiang Cheng asked, watching Wei Wuxian as he was about to jump out his window.

“Of course!” He answered with a smirk.

“Are you going to the village again tonight?”

“Nope, there’s an area I spotted when I snuck out last night! I want to practice that one spiritual energy technique there!”

“Why don’t practice it during the day like everyone else?”

“Because I’m shy about showing off my body~,” He said, putting a finger to his lips. Jiang Cheng glared and threw one of his pillows at him

“Don’t say stuff like that, just leave!”

“Haha! Bye!” He jumped out of his window, landing gracefully on the grass beneath it. Using his usually escape route, Wei Wuxian snuck past the night patrol once again, going deep into the woods beyond the Cloud Recess.

Almost every night he sneaks out to explore the beautiful mountains and woods around the Cloud Recess. Going to bed at nine is just absurd! He’s not going to bed that early.

He made his way through the woods, startling some forest animals here and there. His feet skidded to a halt once he got to his destination.

A large waterfall with a small river lay in this area. The waters crashing down is wonderful sound to his ears as some of the water splashed onto his clothes. The scenery is even more beautiful with the full moon high above his head, shining it’s gentle light down on him.

With a flick of his wrist, spiritual energy surged from his hand, knocking a tree back and forth, making it’s leave fall onto the forest ground.

He walked over to his little pile, lifting his hand up and letting his spiritual energy flow from his body gently like the river.

The leaves began to dance around him, water droplets from the waterfall joining in. Wei Ying twirled on the tips of his toes, softly letting out more spiritual energy. The leaves and the water droplets rose higher in the air with Wei Ying in the middle of it all.

This technique always relaxed his body. It some ways, it’s comforting him right now. He would always do this out in the bamboo forest in the middle of the night. He misses home a little bit and this little technique is helping him cure his home sickness just a tiny bit.

Crack.

The sound of a twig snapping made Wei Ying immediately freeze. The water droplets and leaves falling onto the ground, some of them falling onto his head.

In the thickness of the woods, Lan Wangji stood with a face of surprise?

At the moment he doesn’t really care much. He’s outside the Cloud Recess and it’s past the curfew. To think he was doing so well at not getting in trouble. He is more than likely in trouble now.

“Hey, Lan Er-Gege! Well, uh, shoot. I don’t really know what to say.” He can’t read Lan Wangji’s expression right now and it’s kind of freaking him out. Is he could to rat him out or not? What is he thinking, of course, he is!

Fluster him! That will give him some time to run!

“Lan Zhan, were you captivated by my beauty? Is that why you’re staring?”

Wrong choice!

Lan Wangji pulled out his sword and dashed towards him.

Fuck!

Wei Ying ripped out his hair tie, letting his hair fall onto his onto his shoulders. As Lan Wangji’s blade got closer to him he wrapped the Immortal Binding Cable around it. The Lan tried to cut threw it, finding himself unable to.

Instead, he pushed his blade forward, making Wei Ying stumble back as he used his strength to prevent the sword from touching him.

His feet hit the cold wateras of the river behind him. He needs to be careful with his footing or he’s going to slip. Lan Wangji continued to put pressure on him. Wei Ying moved back even more into the river, due to Lan Zhan’s strength.

He’s stronger than him and it looks like he’s going to lose this battle if he doesn’t do something.

In an attempt to surprise his fellow cultivator, Wei Wuxian redirected the sword to his right side, making it aim for the empty space next to him. This caught Lan Wangji off guard as he stumbled forward, knocking into Wei Ying.

Wei Wuxian fell backward into the waters, his back hitting the shallow bottom of the river. Now he’s all wet! This is great.

He was about to get up and run when he realized that Lan Wangji is pining him to ground. Both of the jade’s hand by the sides of his head. A knee in between his legs as the other touched the left side of his waist.

Lan Wangji’s face is stunned and Wei Ying knows his is too. They stayed like this for seconds, minutes, maybe an hour. He can’t tell time right now.

The expression on Lan Wangji’s face changed as he abruptly got off of Wei Ying. He grabbed his sword, Bichen, and ran in the direction of the Cloud Recess, his wet robes dripping wet as the water droplets landed on the grass.

Wei Wuxian, still stunned continued to lay in the river. His whole body is wet but he’s a little embarrassed by what just happened.

He covered his face with his hands as cheeks heated up and the warmth spread throughout his body.

Gods he worse than Luo Binghe right now.

Chapter Text

Chapter 10: The Strength of a War God

“Shizun, what does Wei Ying’s letter say? Is he doing well? Is he eating enough? He hasn’t fallen in love has he!?” Binghe asked as he rested his chin on Shen Qingqiu’s right shoulder, trying to read the piece of paper while asking his questions.

From what Shen Qingqiu can tell, their son is doing fine. The letter describes his first day in class and the mean teacher over there. He described how he showed off his knowledge, which made the teacher’s face turn red. Wei Ying drew a little smiley face by the sentence, making Shen Qingqiu’s lips curve upward.

After his long description of the first day, nothing else was really added. Their son explained his living quarters, the new friends he’s making and that he had everything he needs. Also in letters are small sketches of the people he’s met.

The face of an angry looking man with a scribble next to him, says ‘mean teacher’. The second drawing is Jiang Cheng looking exhausted, a common expression that the child wears around Wei Ying. Another is a boy whose face is obscured by a fan, near the drawing it says ‘fan buddy’. The fourth and final one is of another boy he doesn’t recognize who has peacock feathers sticking out his head.

No problems so far, thank god.

“He hasn’t fallen in love has he?” Luo Binghe repeated as he scanned the letter once again.

“He hasn’t said anything about it, don’t be so worried,” Shen Qingqiu sighed, handing the letter over to his husband, who looked over it again and again.

“But what if he’s hiding it or lying that he’s having a bad time?”

The immortal exhaled, cupping the sides of Luo Binghe’s face with both his hands.

“Wei Ying has never lied to us about serious matters. The only time he lies is to pull pranks on people. Do you really think he’d start lying to us now?” Well, he hopes Wei Ying isn’t lying to them. He doesn’t need that to become a habit in the future if things start to go wrong.

But even so, he’s happy to read that their son is doing so well. His first time out in the real world without them and he’s already making friends and stumping the teacher.

He feels so proud.

“No he wouldn’t,” Binghe said, “I’m just worried about him. He’s been with us all the time since we adopted him. I’m just worried about how he’s adapting alone. Even if he is surrounded by a bunch of boys...” His husband’s face turned sour like he’s plotting someone’s gruesome murder.

When they first learned about Wei Ying flirting with both genders, Shen Qingqiu is sure that Binghe had more of a heart attack than him.

With a soft sigh, Shen Qingqiu began to use his thumbs to rub Luo Binghe’s cheeks in an attempt to calm him down. This husband of his is being way too protective. As long as Wei Ying doesn’t bring a boy/girlfriend or pregnant girl home, he’s fine. If he got a girl pregnant at this age he’ll make sure Wei Ying is grounded for the rest of his life. It’s a modern-day parent’s worst nightmare!

“If our sun does fall in love with someone, I give you permission to put them through trials,” the demon’s face lit up happily. He was about to speak, but Shen Qingqiu cut him off. “Those trials have to be within humans limits and can’t get them killed.”

His face soured again.

This husband of his!

Suddenly, Luo Binghe gently gripped the pale hands cupping his face with a large grin as he leaned forward to close the distance between them. His lips engulfed the immortal’s, his arms wrapping around his husband’s waist.

Shen Qingqiu blushed and wrapped his hands around Luo Binghe’s head. The two enjoying their moment, kissing passionately as the sun began to set.

“You know Shizun...” the demon said as he pulled away from the kiss, a hint of mischievousness in his eyes. “With nothing to attend to in the Demon Realm, I have lots for free time for this husband. And one good thing about Wei Ying being gone means we can be as loud as we want.”

As loud as YOU want! Shen Qingqiu thought as he pursed his lips together in frustration. Luo Binghe took his silence as yes, licking the side of his neck. Shen Qingqiu is centuries old yet every time they get ready for papapa, he blushes and fumbles like an innocent maiden!

Curse his husband’s face!

Abruptly, Luo Binghe picked him up, pressing a hand against his back and slipping his right arm under his legs. The demon stared affectionately down at him, but it made Shen Qingqiu feel like a meal to be eaten.

Since Wei Ying isn’t here that means Luo Binghe doesn’t have to hold back.

Fuck this is going to be a long night!

Luo Binghe brought them into their bedroom, stripping off all their clothing and making love to him until he cried from over stimulation.

By the time they were done, Shen Qingqiu’s body was covered in bite marks and hickeys. He can’t feel his hips or his legs. Really, he can’t feel his lower half at all. How many times did they do it? He lost count after five. Gods, he wishes his husband wasn’t both a demon and a protagonist. The stamina is unreal!

Binghe wrapped his arms around Shen Qingqiu, spooning his smaller frame as he nuzzled his shoulder affectionately. He could feel the soft rise of Binghe’s chest, implying that he’s asleep. The immortal is tired, very tired, he’ll be following his husband soon.

[100+ parenting points have been awarded to the user! Moonlight scene has been completed!]

Moonlight scene? What? Sounds like the title of a cheesy romance novel. He was going to question the title, but his mind is too exhausted to think.

“System, how many points do I have right now?”

[Currently, you have: 76,000]

Enough for the event changer and more info, he thought, staring tiredly at the blinking numbers in front of him. After witnessing the burning of the Lotus Pier, he thought it would be good to save points for the event changer. Even if it is a gamble there’s only 33% chance that he’ll screw up super badly. He would like to never use the event changer, but he might have to at some point.

Since he has so many points, he might as well use some. Using twenty-five thousand points for information, Shen Qingqiu fell asleep. He hopes to get information that he can use and not watch Wei Ying bury children into the ground again.

It took mere seconds for the new vision to appear around him. Shen Qingqiu opened his eyes, no longer in his comfortable bed in the bamboo house, but now he stands in a battle-worn area.

He scanned the new area with a careful gaze. This place is gray, black, and deary. It reeks of resentful energy and rotting flesh. He raised his arm to cover his mouth with his sleeve, almost gagging at the wretched scent. This place is terrible! On his little plateau, he could see old rusted weapon embedded in the ground below him. Large rocks jutted up towards the sky and thick black clouds covered the sun. Barely any of its light could peek through the darkness. Old flags of sects that used to be, fluttering in the wind.

This place is obviously an old battlefield and he does not recognize it. It must have been a fight he missed before he and Luo Binghe found Wei Ying in the alleyway. Such a big battle, he wonders how he could have missed it.

Crows fluttered around him, flying in circles and cawing loudly to the point that it starting to annoy him. Below him, he spotted fierce corpses wandering around. The resentful creatures barely clothed and missing most of their flesh and body parts. They must have been wandering for a long time to be in such a state.

A soft grunt behind him made Shen Qingqiu’s eyebrows raise as he turned around.

And like a man realizing that he’s going to die, the immortal’s whole body stopped.

Bound in ropes and kneeling on the ground before him, is Wei Ying.

His son looks weary and wounded, his eyes closed from exhaustion. Shen Qingqiu was about to cry out when a voice stopped him.

“Wei Ying, do you know what this place is?” A man in white and red asked as he circled around his son. Other people in the same colors stood close by. The sun pattern on their robes giving away who they are.

It’s the Qishanwen Sect! Shen Qingqiu has never encountered a group them like this. Wen Qing and Wen Ning are the only two he's ever met. 

What the hell are they doing to Wei Ying?

“It’s the Burial Mounds!” One of them laughed, evidently the leader with the way that the others are acting. “Just one shovel anywhere will yield a corpse down there!” With a swift kick with his foot, this one slammed Wei Ying into the ground, pressing his son’s face into the mud.

Shen Qingqiu struck with a blast of spiritual energy, but it went through them.

This is a vision, he’s powerless here. He’s thankful it’s not actually happening, but this is a vision of the future. So… This can happen if he doesn’t change it!

“The resentful energy here is so thick. Hundreds of clans over hundreds of years have tried to purify this place and all have failed!” The Wen continued with a sadistic smile. “If the living stay here for too long, both body and soul will perish. Never to return in any form.”

The man grabbed Wei Ying by his hair, dragging him over to the edge. “And you will never return from here either!” Abruptly, the Wen threw Wei Ying over the edge of the plateau. Shen Qingqiu’s son plunging into the darkness beneath them.

He’s pretty sure he screamed, but in all honesty, he doesn’t know if he did. He doesn’t care right now! Everything slowed down around him as he ran to grab Wei Ying. He reached for the edge of his sun’s black robes.

The cloth slipped through his fingers and Wei Ying was engulfed by the darkness.

“WEI YING!”

“Shizun!?”

“WEI YING!”

Sitting up quickly, Shen Qingqiu summoned Xiu Yang to his hands. He tried to stand up but the pain in his hips prevented him from doing so.

“I’m going to kill them,” he spat as he attempted to sit up again.

“Shizun!” Luo Binghe yelled, hugging his husband from behind.

His heart racing, adrenaline pumping, Shen Qingqiu tried to slash at the person holding him back, not realizing it’s his husband. Freeing himself from Luo Binghe’s grip, Shen Qingqiu summoned a mass of spiritual energy into his fist and aimed the strike at the man behind them.

The sound of his fist hitting its mark made the bamboo room shake.

The immortal sat there panting, hair messily covering his face. His heart still racing as he sat there with wide eyes.

Did he just watch Wei Ying die?

“Shizun?” A voice called.

Looking up, Shen Qingqiu stared in horror as Luo Binghe gently smiled at him. Blood falling out of the edges of his lips. He took withdrew his fist and dropped Xiu Ya. The sacred blade falling off the bed and clamoring onto the floor.

“Binghe?” He said weakly as he cupped his husbands face. His hands shaking as he tried to hold him.

“It’s okay Shizun, I heal quickly. I’ll be fine soon,” the demon said as he caressed one of the hands holding him. “Are you okay, you were screaming Wei Ying’s name?”

The immortal didn’t register anything Luo Binghe said. He continued to stare at his husband’s gentle expression, eying the trail of blood on the edges of his lips. The crimson liquid falling off Luo Binghe’s chin and dripping onto the bed sheets, soaking into them.

Shen Qingqiu continued to stare, the horror not free from his eyes. He once cradled a little boy inside a dream. Patting his back and rubbing the top of his head as the boy continued to cry, trying to wipe away the tears. Tears that ‘he’ caused.

He promised that he wouldn’t hit Luo Binghe ever again.

“I’m sorry,” he whispered, his voice shaking as he inched closer to the half-demon. “I’m so sorry.” Little droplets started to form on the corner of his eyes, his lips quivering, he was on the verge of bawling.

Binghe pulled him closer, wrapping Shen Qingqiu into his embrace. The demon began kissing away the tears, the salty liquid starting to pour uncontrollably from the immortal’s eyes.

He watched his son’s beaten state being thrown into the darkness and now he just hit husband. Back then, he promised he wouldn’t hit him again.

Too much, he thought, too much.

“I’m sorry,” he repeated through his sobs. “I’m sorry.”

“This husband forgives you,” Luo Binghe whispered as he held Shen Qingqiu in his arms. The demon is doing his best to comfort his husband. The attack had surprised him, but watching his prideful husband crumble and start to cry, hurts him more than the physical hit.

He doesn’t know what’s making his Shizun cry like this and it frustrates him. Not only that but Shen Qingqiu was screaming out for their son, making him more nervous and worried.

“Shizun? What’s wrong?”

At first, Shen Qingqiu didn’t respond. The flashing images of Wei Ying’s face are stuck inside his mind. That distressed look. That fear.

It scares him as a father.


Relaxing his breathing Shen Qingqiu tried to speak, failing at first as his mouth quivered. When he finally got the words out of his mouth, he wasn’t even thinking.

“Wei Ying is going to die.”


The summer afternoon is hot when Wei Ying decided to practice his music. Sitting on his bed playing his bamboo flute that he made when he was younger with his father. The soft melody danced around the room as some wind from the open window brushed against him.

Classes aren’t going on right now, which is great! Old man Lan Qiren is attending the Discussion Conference so that means free time for the students.

He wonders if playing his flute is violating the ‘do not create noise’ rule. It shouldn’t since most of this sect plays the gupin. There’s probably a special time, but he’s too lazy to look into it.

As he played his mind wandered off. He’s sort of bored since there’s nothing exciting to do here in the Cloud Recess. He’s basically read all the books in their library. He skipped the books that had knowledge he already knew. He could go out and do something, but he’s been sneaking out a lot lately so getting alcohol doesn’t sound like fun.

Flute practice was the last thing on his list and it’s what he’s currently doing, but Wei Ying is finding himself bored with it already.

His father made him practice these songs so many times that he gets annoyed hearing them after a while. Yes, their important to subduing evil but he’s bored of them. His aunt, Sha Hualing brought him some music from the Demon Realm but if practiced those here, someone would probably smite him.

Since it’s the middle of the day, maybe he can get Jiang Cheng down to the city to gather souvenirs. He should bring some back for his family and Jiang Yanli might like something too.

He could bring Jiang Cheng, Nie Huaisang, and Lan Wan-

Wei Wuxian instantly stopped playing his flute, the sound coming to a screeching halt. His face turned red as the images of that one night started to play in his mind. He put down his flute and covered his face with his hands, knowing it was turning redder by the second.

Even if he asked Lan Wangji to come with them he doubts that the second jade will join in. After that night Lan Wangji stayed away from him unless it was in class. It seemed that he made it his goal to stay away from Wei Ying, but he still persisted and teased Lan Wangji when he could.

He’s so cute when he’s flustered.

Slapping his cheeks, he slipped his flute and Suibian into his belt and went to work on finding his friends. Jiang Cheng was in his room so he was easy to find and Nie Huaisang was surprisingly studying in his quarters.

“Wei-Xiong, I should be studying.” Nie Huaisang whined, opening his fan and hiding his face.

“You can take a break! Besides, I’ll help you cheat with anything you don’t understand!” Wei Ying laughed as he slung his arms around the other two. “Come on! Let's go have some fun!”

He was going to say more when two figures in white came into Wei Wuxian’s line of sight. He removed his arms from around Nie Huaisang and Jiang Cheng as he realized one of the figures is Lan Wangji.

He smiled and waved at him but Lan Wangji turned his head away to avoid looking at him.

Ouch…

The other person next to the second jade smiled at them, the cloud pattern on his forehead ribbon indicating that he’s a part of the Lan Clan. To think that the Lans can actually smile. Wei Wuxian is sure he’s never seen Lan Wangji or Lan Qiren smile the whole time he’s been here.

He looked a bit older than Lan Zhan, really he looks like another Lan Zhan. If it wasn’t for the small difference in their hairstyle and the smiling face he would have mistaken this person for the second jade. His eyes aren’t the beautiful yellow as Lan Zhan’s either, their grey instead.

“You two are?” The figure asked, the pleasant smile still on his face.

Bowing, Jiang Cheng and him introduced themselves.

“Jiang Wanyin of Yunmeng.”

“Rogue cultivator, Wei Wuxian.”

“Ah, brother Xichen,” Nie Huaisang greeted.

So this is the famous first jade of Gusulan, Lan Xichen.
Wei Ying thought as first jade and Nie Huaisang exchanged some words.

“Zewu-jun, may I ask what you’re doing here?” Jiang Cheng spoke, “If I recall you and some others were dealing with a problem in Caiyi Town.”

“There are water ghouls invested in the waters of the town, we’re short of hands so I came back to retrieve Wangji.”

“We can help!” Wei Ying volunteered which made Lan Zhan’s face darken. “Jiang Cheng and I are used to fighting water ghouls in the Lotus Pier! We can definitely aid you!”

“We’ll be fine without you,” Lan Wangji said before his brother could. “The Gusulan knows how to deal with water ghouls ourselves.”

“But I have a secret technique!” Wei Ying insisted, “Once you see one in the waters, just pull it up by its hair like a radish! It’s easy to get them out of the waters!”

“If it was a secret, why did you just tell him?” Jiang Cheng muttered in the background.

“We don’t need-”

“Your help and Jiang Wanyin’s will be much appreciated,” Lan Xichen said with his gentle smile still on his face. Lan Wangji gave his brother shocked look while Wei Ying grinned and bowed his head.

“Thank you for letting us help!”

“I think I’ll go back to studying then,” Nie Huasiang said as the trio walked away from the Twin Jades. The brothers watched them walk away and once they were out of sight Lan Wangji spoke.

“Why did you agree? We’re fine with the extra members that you’ve already collected, besides, exorcism of water ghouls is not easy nor something to be laughed about.”

“I’ve heard a lot about the heir of the Jiang Clan and his skills will be helpful in case something goes wrong. I’ve also heard a lot about Wei Wuxian from the whispers of Yunmeng and Elder Lan Wong has told me about him. I’m interested to see how he’ll perform since others have told me he’s been stumping uncle in class.”

“My apologies brother, but I do not see those as valid reasons to have him join,” Lan Wangji said as he headed to the exit.

“I also see how much you want him to come with us.”

Lan Wangji paused at his brother’s words and felt his face start to heat up. The images of that night and Wei Wuxan’s constant teasing spun through his mind. He clenched his teeth and continued forward.

“I do not want him with us,” he whispered, but his brother probably heard him. Lan Xichen caught up to his younger brother, the two walking together.

“I want to know about him and his origins as well,” Lan Xichen said as he watched some birds fly through the sky. “Many know that he’s the son of Cangse Sanren and Wei Changze, but they perished in a Night Hunt. From what I’ve heard he has a father and a papa that he frequently mentions.”

“His parents are cut-sleeves?”

“From the sounds of it, yes.” The two of them exited the Cloud Recess, their little group of Gusulan members, waiting for them at the bottom of the mountain. It looks like Wei Wuxian and Jiang will not be departing with them. They might have already left. Lan Xichen took note of his brother’s face. Calm and still to others but he could see an inner turmoil on the inside, Wei Wuxian being the cause no doubt.

“Is there something wrong Wangji?” He asked.

“Mn,” his brother answered. “We’ve been taught that loving the same gender is wrong, so I wonder why Elder Wong invited Wei Wuxian here. He claims that he’s good friends with his father and if his father is a cut-sleeve…This whole thing just confuses me.”

Lan Xichen cast his brother a small smile, “His father must be a great man then. Being a cut-sleeve does not mean that they are bad or sinful people. There are worse things that people can do and I do not believe that loving someone is a sin.”

Lan Wangji sighed, not saying a word.


“This place is wonderful!” Wei Ying sighed happily as he watched the bustling crowds of Caiyi Town. The boats floating gently on the waters through the center of the city. It’s amazing that this place has a whole water system flowing through it. It’s not as impressive as the Lotus Pier, but nonetheless, it’s still amazing!

“Jiang Cheng! Lets shop for souvenirs!”

“Stay sharp, we’re suppose to be hunting for water ghouls too,” Jiang Cheng said as he adjusted Sandu on his belt.

“I know I know! You should get Shijie one of these glass ornaments, I think there’s a purple one over there!” His excitement is very hard to contain at the moment. Exploring new places is fun and enjoyable. Living up in a mountain gave Wei Ying plenty of space to explore, especially with the ruins of his father’s old sect. The addition to the Lotus Pier gave him even more fun, but his parents wanted him to concentrate on his cultivation more than his thirst to see the world.

Which is understandable, he didn’t want to be weak when he goes off into the world even if his parents do come with him. Right here, right now, he does wish for Shen Qingqiu and Luo Binghe to be here with him. He would enjoy it more if his parents were here, but Jiang Cheng will have to do for now.

He remembers after he figured out Luo Binghe is a demon, he demanded his parents to bring him to the Demon Realm. He wanted to see more creepy monsters and from what Jiujiu told him, not all demons looked like humans either. He told him that there are some demons with animals traits! He really wanted to see them when he was younger, but his parents had told him no, telling him it’s too dangerous for him to be exploring the Demon Realm. Since his papa is such a big shot they didn’t want to risk having the whole demonic world know that he adopted a human son.

Demons or humans, living beings all crave power and dominance. Many will do anything to grasp any sort of power. After a long talk, he understood why he wasn’t allowed to go. They said they might take him there once he’s older and stronger, but having a protective parent like Luo Binghe means he might not be able to go till he cultivates his core into immortality or till he’s fifty!

He loves his papa, but he needs to lay off with his protectiveness sometimes. Back when he and Jiang Cheng were younger his father was afraid he’d fall in love with his best friend. While Jiang Cheng is handsome, he’s definitely not marriage material. He needs to work on his anger issues.

As the duo looked around the shops, Wei Ying purchased some novels his father might like. Buying his papa an item is harder though since papa’s constant thoughts are him or Shen Qingqiu. So, he decided that he’d sketch a family portrait give to Luo Binghe, a small one to fit in one of his pockets.

He needs to get something for his aunts and uncles too, he’ll do that after they get rid of the water ghouls. He doesn’t want to be weighed down by gifts as they fight.

“Are you getting anything Jiang Cheng?”

“Maybe later, I don’t want to buy something only for it to break if the water ghouls show up.”

“I wonder if they will show up, we might have to hunt for them instead of having them come to us,” Wei Ying muttered as he looked at the still river running through the town. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary and the villages don’t even look afraid despite the danger of being attacked. Having Gusulan cultivators here probably ease their nerves since water ghouls aren’t the fiercest thing in the world.

He remembers the first time he faced a water ghoul. Him, Jiang Cheng, and Jiang Yanli had been playing by the waters when one shot up from the depths and grabbed Yanli’s ankle. They were all screaming and freaking out with no way to beat the wet corpse.

Luckily for them, father had heard them scream and using his link with Xiu Ya, he pierced and exorcized the evil being. They all had clutched onto their parents after the incident, though Jiang Cheng was crying in his sister’s arms more. Today, Jiang Cheng denies that he was crying. He was definitely crying his eyes out that day!

Just then, Wei Ying spotted some familiar figures not too far from him and his best friend. One a woman and one a man, walking through Caiyi Town with poise and dignity.

It’s Bobo and Aiyi!

“Liu Qingge! Liu Mingyan!” He yelled happily, waving his arms frantically side to side, trying to catch their attention.

The two stopped their movements, spotting Wei Ying. Liu Mingyan waved back happily, her veil concealing her smile but Wei Ying can tell that she’s smiling by her eyes. Liu Qingge just acknowledged his presence by nodding his head.

So cold Bobo!

Without waiting for Jiang Cheng, Wei Ying dashed towards them. Once he got closer he tackled Liu Qingge, almost making him fall into the river. He laughed as he watched his uncle make a horrified expression.

“Hi,” he said innocently with a grin.

“Brat,” Liu Qingge said, pushing Wei Ying off of him.

“Wei Ying it’s so good to see you!” Liu Mingyan yelled, wrapping her arms around him and squishing him in her embrace.

“Great to see you too, Aiyi!”

“I thought you were studying, why are you here?” His uncle asked as he crossed his arms.

“I was studying, but I volunteered to help the Gusulan Sect handle some water ghouls causing trouble here.”

“Good, you’re doing something useful than just studying,” Liu Qingge said, patting the top of Wei Ying’s head. “You should be focusing more on your cultivation, training is more important than studying. You’ll forget most of it when you get older anyway.”

“Of course you forgot brother,” Liu Mingyan giggled.

“What is that suppose to mean?”

“See what I mean, Wei Ying? If you be a muscle head like your uncle you won’t be smart.”

“Liu Mingyan!”

Wei Ying stood in the background as the two bickered with each other. He smiled, he missed these two and is happy to see them again. Jiang Cheng approached him, standing by him as he watched the two siblings tease and make fun of each other.

“Liu Mingyan and Liu Qingge?” He asked.

“Yep,” Wei Ying replied.

“I swear your whole family is weird,” Wei Ying laughed at the comment but stopped when he heard something coming from the river. It sounds like bubbles popping. The sound was soon followed by a splash and suddenly a shadow is looming over him. A water ghoul had sprung from the water and into the air.

Before he or Jiang Cheng could react, Liu Qingge had already unsheathed his weapon and cut the creature vertically in half. It’s corpse flopped onto the streets. Once that ghoul was dead, it caused a chain reaction and dozens of water ghouls sprang forth from the river.

People began to scream as they scurried away from the water’s edge, fleeing further into the town to avoid being eaten. The cultivators in the area started fighting instantly.

His uncle and aunt departed from each other, going opposite directions as they cut down and exorcized any ghoul in their path.

Wei Ying unsheathed Suibian, aiming at his own target.

“Wei Wuxian!” Jiang Cheng yelled to get his friend’s attention. He pointed at two people being dragged down by water ghouls, the citizens on opposite sides of the river. The two nodded and went their separate ways to one of the citizens.

The one he got is a girl that was selling loquats earlier. Wei Ying stabbed the arm holding her down, making the creature scream out in pain, but its arm is pinned to the floor thanks to Suibian. He quickly took out a talisman and placed it on the ghoul’s forehead, the monster burned up in a white light and turned to dust.

“Thank you!” The girl yelled, bowing and running off into the town.

The rest of the water ghouls dispersed and delved back into the waters, swimming to the end of the Caiyi’s waterway and towards Biling Lake.

Wei Ying flicked the blood off Subian before sheathing it. He watched as the silhouettes of the ghouls disappeared from his sight, curiosity suddenly stirring inside him.

“How strange for water ghouls to be here and so far away from a lake. Most likely these people are good swimmers since they live next to large bodies of water. Water ghouls like to stay in the areas that they drowned, for so many to be in the city is too strange,” he said out loud.

It’s very strange and now he wonders if something drove them over here. Once and a while fierce corpses and other dark creatures will flee if a stronger one appears, they fight and devour each other on rare occasions.

For so many to be driven away from a large lake like Biling, must mean that they’re fleeing from something big and bad.

How wonderful.

“You okay?” Liu Mingyan called as she approached him with Liu Qingge right behind her. “There were a lot of those fiends and they did some good damage to the town.” Like she said, the creatures wrecked the place well.

Boats are in shards now, their wood floating in the river. Food and other items scattered all over the streets in pieces with splotches of blood. Some cultivators got injured, but not too badly, they’ll be able to continue the fight.

“Brother do you think...”

“I think it might be,” Liu Qingge replied as he looked in the direction of the lake. “It’s a small chance but evidence points to it. We’ll have to see for ourselves first.”

“Everyone!” Lan Xichen yelled, rallying the cultivators together. “We’re heading towards Biling Lake, everyone that is able to continue fighting come with me.”

“Zewu-jun,” Wei Ying said approaching the Lan heir. “This is my uncle and aunt, Liu Qingge and Liu Mingyan. Is it alright if they come with us? I guarantee they will be of help.”

Lan Xichen studied them for a moment, his eyes narrowing as he looked. He smiled, “I don’t see why not. We’ll need the help to avoid anymore destruction to the town.”

“Brother!” Lan Wangji protested.

“It’s fine Wangji, if there are more water ghouls in Biling Lake, I would like to avoid being overwhelmed. I’ll take my chances and there’s nothing wrong with gaining help from others.” It was unspoken but everyone could hear the words ‘rogue cultivators’. The sects, even the lesser ones are oddly prideful about not letting rogue cultivators help them. Yes, they fight side by side with them on Night Hunts, but for clan issues they tend to be tossed to the sidelines. At least Zewu-Jun is stickily like some people.

“We’ll rent some boats and heads towards the lake, let’s go!” Lan Xichen ushered for everyone to follow, everyone obeying the command with no protest. Wei Ying was about to follow when a hand placed itself onto his shoulder. He looked up, staring at the concerned looks of his Bobo and Aiyi.

“Stay behind us during this Wei Ying,” Liu Qingge said.

“I can defend myself!”

“We know you can,” Liu Mingyan said softly. “But if the source of the problem is what we’re thinking of that means this is going to be far more dangerous than we thought. We just want you to be safe.”

“Also Luo Binghe will attempt to murder us if you get hurt. He might kill off the whole Gusulan Sect for putting you into danger,” Liu Qingge grimaced.

“He wouldn’t do that…Would he?”

The siblings sighed as they remembered when Luo Binghe burned Cang Qiong Mountain when they took back Shen Qingqiu’s body. And that was for his lover’s empty corpse.

Imagine what he would do for his son.


The boat ride to Biling Lake was quiet, a little too quiet. It was easy for Wei Ying to tell that everyone is unnerved, the stillness getting to them. Wei Ying stood in the middle of a boat with Liu Qingge in the front. Liu Mingyan was at the end of a boat that she shares with Jiang Cheng. Many others are in groups or by themselves.

As they floated on the waters, Wei Ying pushed the boat with a long bamboo pole. Bits of black hair sticking to the ends of it, which really creeps him out. It must be hair from the waters ghouls but this is way too much. Even if the lake is filled with them, every stroke of the pole if bringing him more hair. A couple of boats behind them had set up nets, the cultivators checked them every couple of minutes, only pulling up large chunks of long hair.

Either there are a stupid amount of water ghouls, or there’s something worse lurking in these waters. Based on Bobo and Aiyi’s expressions, it means it’s something worse.

His grip on the bamboo pole tightened, this is not going to be a fun day.

As they continued along the waters, Wei Ying noticed something strange.

The water line on Lan Wangji’s boat is deeper than his. He’s on a boat with his uncle, yet Lan Wangji’s boat has sunk deeper than theirs. He would call out, but water ghouls are smart and will swim away if he yells.

A new idea popped into his mind and he smiled.

“Lan Wangji! Lan Zhan!” He yelled, waving the bamboo pole back and forth and being as noisy as he can be.

Jiang Cheng just looked away from him, wanting to avoid being embarrassed by his friend.

“Oi, what are you doing!?” Liu Qingge yelled at him as his nephew rocked the boat back and forth.

Using the bamboo pole, Wei Ying pushed their boat closer to Lan Wangji’s. The Lan looked uncertain as they got closer to him. With the pole Wei Ying struck the bottom of Lan Wangji’s boat, splashing water all over the place. The second jade jumped off and landed on his brother’s boat, while Wei Ying hit it again to launch the vessel into the air.

The Lan was about to yell at him when the flipped boat revealed water ghouls to be hanging onto the bottom of it. The boat splashed back into the waters and cultivators swiftly pulled out talismans to purify the ghouls. They disappeared in a shimmering light, turning into white dust.

“Wei Wuxian, how did you know the ghouls were under to boat?” Lan Xichen asked.

“His boat was submerged too deep in the waters for only having one person on it,” he responded. Lan Wangji still looked upset with him though, which hurt his feelings. “Sorry, Lan Wangji! Water ghouls are smart and would have swum off if I alerted you.” The second jade said nothing, not even looking at him.

Wei Ying stared to pout. He’s taking this cold beauty thing too seriously! To think after all that’s happened with them he still acting like they just met! Aren’t they already close?

A soft hand patted Wei Ying’s head, “Good job brat,” Bobo said looking down at him.

“Thank you!”

The calm and happy atmosphere quickly changed like a warm wind tuned cold. It suddenly felt like the temperature had dropped. The waters started to get rough, rocking the boats back and forth.

“Something’s coming,” Liu Mingyan said, pulling out her sword she mounted it. Liu Qingge copied her movements, but Wei Ying stayed on the boat.

Lan Wangji summoned Bichen and dived the sword into the water. Wei Ying summoned up his blade, sending it down into the depths. The two of them searched for a bit before pulling their weapons back up.

Black hair stuck to them.

“That sword,” the second jade said as he examined it. “It has spirituality, what is its name?”

“Whatever.”

“Pardon?”

“Its name is Whatever!” Wei Ying laughed as he sheathed the blade. “See, it’s written here!” He tapped at the inscription on it, the symbols of whatever embedded into the sheath.

“Why would you name it that?”

“Back when I got it from my papa, I couldn’t think of a name. I said ‘whatever’ and he and one of my other uncles that it was funny, so its name is Suibian. Also, it’s fun to mess with serious people like you!” He laughed.

He heard Lan Wangji click his tongue in annoyance which made him laugh more.

The waves started to turn rougher, water splashing so much that it started to spill into the boats. All the cultivators jumped onto their swords to avoid the raging water. They knew something is coming.

Liu Mingyan pulled some talismans from her sleeves a serious look strewn across her usually gentle face. The waters turned for the worse, getting rougher and raging as if they were in the middle of a storm.

Suddenly the water’s burst, forming into a large swirling beast made out of Biling Lake. Black hair danced around the create like arms.

This is a Waterborne Abyss!

The creature screeched and the hairs dashed towards them. The cultivators scattered, everyone trying to save themselves as the creature targeted everyone. Liu Qingge stuck close to Wei Ying as they sped away from the creature’s reach but there seemed to be no end to the hair speeding towards them.

Over in the distance, Wei Ying could see Liu Mingyan throwing talismans at the abyss. The paper bursting and turning to lightning. It made the creature stagger and created giant holes within its body. The holes didn't stay for long though, water from the lake filling in whatever damage she was doing.

They definitely can’t kill it like this!

As he tried to look for some kind of weak point, he realized that a Lan cultivator is still in the lake! The poor guy is clutching for dear life onto a shards of a boat and it seems that his sword is missing.

Without hesitating he dove down to save his fellow cultivator. Liu Qingge yelled at him but he ignored his uncle’s voice. Quickly, he snatched the cultivator from the waters, the guy had passed out somehow. Unfortunately for the both of them, the abyss’s creepy black hairs are following them with no intention of going after someone else.

He flew back up, going higher and higher, dodging back and forth, but the abyss didn’t let up.

“Wei Wuxian!”

Jiang Cheng appeared in his field of vision, reaching his hand out towards him.

Thank gods, this guy is getting heavy! He flew towards his best friend, stretching out his hand to grab Jiang Cheng’s.

But the abyss caught up to them and Wei Ying watched as it wrapped around Suibian. Quickly he threw the cultivator at Jiang Cheng, his friend successfully catching the man, but Wei Ying is plunging towards the waters.

He braced himself to hit the cold lake, but a pair of arms wrapped around him before he could.

Liu Qingge had caught him and in one of his hands is Suibian!

“Be more careful!” He scolded, handing Wei Ying his sword as he the mounted it once again. Before the nephew could even say thank you to his uncle, Liu Qingge flew towards the Waterborne Abyss!

"Bobo!" Wei Wuxian screamed, watching as Liu Qingge got closer to the creature. He knows his uncle is strong, but he shouldn’t be taking it on so recklessly!


His uncle ignored him as he dove high into the air. Once he was high enough Liu Qingge got off his sword, gripping it with two hands as he fell towards the resentful creature.


The Waterborne Abyss made a strange screeching noise as it focused all of its attention on Liu Qingge. Unfazed by the noise, he sliced his sword downwards followed by a slash shaped blast of spiritual energy.


It cleaved the Waterborne Abyss in two.

Wei Ying’s jaw fell open and he’s pretty sure everyone else’s did too.

Did...Did he just one shot a Waterborne Abyss!?

“Come on!” Liu Mingyan yelled as she gestured for everyone to leave. “That thing is made of water, it will reform in an hour or two! We’ll have to kill it the long way, it’s the only option to permanently exorcizing a Waterborne Abyss. And we’ll need more experienced cultivators to do it!”

“She’s right,” Lan Xichen agreed. “Let's leave.”

They all starting flying back to Caiyi Town. Wei Ying watched the lake as they were flying back. The waves still raging, but calmer than they were a second ago. He’s still trying to get over the fact that Bobo just cleaved it in two! Rendering the creature harmless for a few hours.

Liu Qingge slowly caught up to them, mounted back on his sword. Wei Ying flew closer to him, smiling brightly.

“Hey, Bobo?”

“What?”

“You’re really cool, you know that?”

A small blush appeared on Liu Qingge’s face, which made Wei Ying laugh. An embarrassed Liu Qingge is quite rare. In response his uncle roughly rubbed his head, messing up his hair.

The two didn’t realize that Lan Xichen was glancing over at them, but Liu Mingyan did.



Extra:

WWX: “Hey uncle, why are you and Aiyi even here?”

LQG: “We heard about the water ghouls and came to see if we could help is all.”

WWX: “You’re not here to spy on me are you?”

LQG: “Why would you say that?”

WWX: “Because papa can be overprotective.”

LQG: “No, we’re not here to spy.”

LMY: “Hey, Wei Ying?”

WWX: “What is it, Auntie?

LMY: “Who was that boy with the yellow eyes? I believe you call him Lan Wangji?”

WWX: “Oh, he’s just a fellow student… What are you writing?”

LMY: “I’m just taking notes.”

WWX: “Notes for what?”

LMY:“...”

WWX: “Why am I suddenly afraid of you?”

Chapter Text

Chapter 11: Echoing Heartbeats

Relaxing his breathing Shen Qingqiu tried to speak, failing at first as his mouth quivered. When he finally got the words out of his mouth, he wasn’t even thinking.

“Wei Ying is going to die.”


As Shen Qingqiu stared into his husband’s red eyes, he was able to realize what he had just said. He’s already sweating from his nightmare, the sticky warmth against his skin turned cold like it had frozen over.

Of all things to say, he had to say that in his panic muddled mind.

“Wha…. What did you say Shizun?” The demon’s voice quivered as the words left his lips. Shen Qingqiu could feel the arms holding him start to shake as his words started to settle. He squirmed out of his husband’s grasp as the hold’s strength lessened.

He sat up properly, keeping his eyes on his Binghe the whole time he organized himself.

He isn’t able to read the demon’s expression. It looks like a mix of shock, confusion, and pain which is the response that bubbled in his mind the minute he realized what he had just said to Luo Binghe.

The couple sat there on their bed in silence. Shen Qingqiu doesn’t really know what to do or to say. He just declared that their son is going to die and just punched his husband. The immortal tried to ignore the mess of emotions storming in his own body, wanting to aid his Binghe at the moment more than himself.

Watching Wei Ying get thrown off a cliff, punching his husband, and breaking his promise is creating anger, fear and so much anxiety in him right now.

But his concern is Luo Binghe.

“Did you just learn about this?” His husband asked, locking eyes with him, the demon’s eyes, surprisingly gentle.

Finding himself unable to speak, Shen Qingqiu nodded his head. He clutched the blankets of their bed in between his hands, anxiety building up in him.

“Whatever just happened to you, is it the reason you knew so much about the Holy Mausoleum back then? How you knew which way to go, even though you’ve never stepped foot in there before?”

He remembers that Luo Binghe had questioned him before about the Holy Mausoleum back then. He made the excuse that he read some books on the place, but his husband was probably able to see through that lie, but his devotion to his Shizun made him not question him.

While seeing Wei Ying’s death and reading Proud Immortal’s Demon Way is a little different, it’s close enough to the same that Shen Qingqiu nodded his head. His ability to speak still robbed from him as he stared at the sheets of the bed.

They’ve been with each other for so long and he still hasn’t told Binghe about the System and that he’s not really Shen Qingqiu. But really, is this the best time to explain all of it to his husband? It’s a lot of information to take in and it will sound like a load of nonsense.

Luo Binghe might not be ready for it and he might not be ready to spill everything. They’ve come so far, the last thing he wants is to ruin their relationship, especially when they have a child.

With so many thoughts running through his head, Shen Qingqiu didn’t see Luo Binghe lean closer to him. Two hands softly cupping his face as a pair of lips pressed against his.

Luo Binghe kissed him with the utmost gentleness and Shen Qingqiu kissed his husband back. He could feel the tears start to well up again, droplets forming on the edges of his eyes. Luo Binghe used his thumbs and whipped away the liquid.

His husband pulled away from their kiss and pressed their foreheads together. The immortal can feel the warmth of Luo Binghe’s body as their skin rubbed against each other.

“When Shizun is ready he can tell me what’s bothering him,” Binghe whispered, caressing Shen Qingqiu’s face. “I’ll still love you no matter what you tell me.”

He wanted to cry more from Luo Binghe’s words, but stopped himself. He exhaled slowly and steadily, the air leaving his lungs shakily as he assembled his emotions. Shen Qingqiu closed his eyes and pressed his head against Luo Binghe’s chest, listening to the oddly steady heartbeat that the demon has.
He needs to calm down a little before he speaks, still finding himself unable to. Luo Binghe’s arms wrapped around his shoulders as his husband snuggled against him. The demon not saying a word as he tried to put himself back together.

Luo Binghe had taken his words surprisingly well. With how protective he is of their son, he expected him to be demanding who killed Wei Ying to storm off to slay them or for him to run off to the Cloud Recess to drag Wei Ying back home.

His husband has really matured over these years. With how sticky he still is, it seems that Shen Qingqiu wasn’t able to see it or perhaps his senses have been dulled by the long centuries of peace they’ve had.

But that doesn’t matter right. What matters the most is telling Binghe the truth. For their sakes and for Wei Ying’s.

He lifted his head up, making sure to look straight into his husband’s eyes. His head spun as he tried to prepare what he was going to say, but he stopped thinking, believing that letting the words flow out naturally might make the situation less painful.

“I have something in my head that lets me know things,” he started with a shaky breath. “It gives me the ability to know bits of the future through dreams and that’s why I said that about Wei Ying...” His voice trailed off as he went back to thinking because fuck, the System is not an easy thing to explain.
“I watched him get thrown off a cliff,” he felt his voice shake more as the sentence left him. Binghe stayed quiet, so he continued to talk. “This thing in my head is called the System and in some ways, it controls what I do. It used to give me regulations to follow and if I didn’t do them there were consequences. It doesn’t do that as much anymore and mainly functions to my benefit...”

A shuddering breath came from his mouth as his whole body shook. His heart beating unbearable fast and it’s causing his breath to shorten. He’s going to tell Binghe everything, he’s not going to hold back on his words. He just wants to be free of this secret. Maybe this way, they can both work on preventing Wei Ying’s death, if Binghe still accepts him after this.

He gulped, composing himself once more to tell the biggest secret.

“I’m not Shen Qingqiu,” he said so softly that it was almost a whisper.

“I know,” Binghe said. The two words snapped in the air like someone smacking two swords against each other. They made the immortal freeze and stare at his husband in shock. He tried to ask how, but Luo Binghe began to speak before him.

“I didn’t care to notice at first,” Binghe spoke as he looked at him with a gentle gaze. “It was strange how much you changed after that fever. The mean and cold Shizun I knew had changed so much that it shocked a lot of people. Many thought it was just a sudden change and some didn’t even care that you changed at all. I thought it was you just turning over a new leaf. After that, I began to notice some subtle changes, but I ignored them. Like how Shizun’s usual hairstyle became a little messier after the fever and the messiness of your quarters.”

“I was able to realize that you knew more than you should after the Holy Mausoleum… Did the System help you know about that?”

Shen Qingqiu breathed out a long sigh, this was going a lot better than he predicted.

“No,” he said, shaking his head. “After that qi deviation, I took over the old Shen Qingqiu’s body. This body is not my own and before I came here, I lived somewhere else. In a completely different world not like the Demon or Human Realms. There I read a book on this world and the events that would happen. After I died, I found myself in the body of Shen Qingqiu.” He breathed out, his whole body shuttering again. The words are finally out and his body feels so much lighter.

“I’m sorry for lying and tricking you this whole time.”

He made eye contact with Luo Binghe, staring into his red orbs as the moonlight shined upon them. There wasn’t a single hint of anger or sadness in his husband’s gze. The demon wearing a gentle smile as he reached out to cup Shen Qingqiu’s face.

“That doesn’t matter,” Binghe said. “Are you the Shizun that protected me from the Skinner demon?”

He nodded his head.

“Are you the one that gave me a room to sleep in when all I had was shed?”

He nodded his head again.

“Are you the Shizun that has loved me this whole time?”

“Yes,” he answered, running his fingers along the hand holding his face.

“Then, I still love you,” Luo Binghe said as he pressed his lips onto Shen Qingqiu’s forehead. “You’re my Shizun and I love you. I have had centuries to love you and for you to love me. Something like this won’t change that, but thank you for finally being able to tell me the truth.”

Shen Qingqiu breathed out a long sigh and hugged Luo Binghe. The two fell back, laying on their bed as silence passed by them. He pressed his head against the demon’s beating heart, the steady rhythm comforting him as he closed his eyes.

He did it. He finally was able to tell him.

Binghe pulled him up closer to him and began to pepper his face and neck in gentle kisses. The immortal returned every kiss that touched his lips as the two laid together in bed. Luo Binghe’s arms wrapped around him protectively, his head resting on top of Shen Qingqiu’s. The immortal wrapped his own arms around his husband, his breathing now steady and calm.

In the morning, they’ll talk more about Wei Ying. All he wants to do right now is sleep.


“Brother,” Liu Mingyan whispered as she neared Liu Qingge

“What?”

“I don’t think we should stay for long,” she said, eying the cultivators around them. Their group had retreated from the Waterborne Abyss a couple of minutes ago. They stopped to catch their breath in Caiyi Town and to make sure that the water ghouls hadn’t attacked again.

Wei Ying was not far from them, chatting with Jiang Cheng while other cultivators whispered to themselves. Restless eyes staring at them.

Liu Qingge grunted, obviously irritated by all whispering and glancing eyes.

“You were quite reckless showing off your powers like that,” she said quietly with a long sigh. “That one up there is already suspecting something.” She discreetly pointed at Lan Xichen who is talking to a villager, probably the mayor.

“He was staring at you and Wei Ying earlier.” Her brother peered at the Lan heir before sighing and nodding his head.

“The last thing we need is a thousand questions.”

“The last thing we need is people finding out we’re, you know what.” Liu Mingyan huffed as she played with her veil, taking the thin material between her fingers and tugging on it.

She’s honestly a little irritated with her brother. She understands it’s a Waterborne Abyss but did he really have to slice it in half!? If anything, he was being too overprotective of Wei Ying and wanted to make sure the creature stayed down. Even so, he didn’t have to put that much effort into taking the Abyss out!

“We’ll slip out when we find the opportunity,” Liu Qingge whispered. “If not we can make up some sort of excuse.” The two nodded their heads in agreement as they walked towards Wei Ying. The minute they find their exit they’re leaving, so they might as well say goodbye while they have the chance.

“Brat,” Liu Qingge called out.

Wei Ying stopped his chat with Jiang Cheng to look at them with a bright smile. He never was insulted by his Bobo’s nickname and always fondly responded to it.

“Aiyi, Bobo, do you need something?”

“We’re leaving,” the War God said quickly, crossing his arms.

“Already?”

The siblings nodded their head in unison.

“We have something to take care of in a different village. We promised some villagers that we’d help them with some wolves attacking and eating their livestock,” Liu Mingyan said. Wei Ying doesn’t need to know the truth of why they’re leaving, no need to put any heavy burdens on him. Besides, he knows not to tell everyone that his family is made up of immortals and demons.

“Well, okay. I guess I’ll see both of you again when I’m done at the Cloud Recess.” Wei Ying said with a sad sigh. Liu Mingyan laughed as she watched her brother’s posture stiffen up. The War God’s weakness number #2 – His little nephew!

Wei Ying gave them both hugs before saying goodbye and the two slipped into the alleyways and back streets of Caiyi. This time, she and her brother didn’t miss the eyes of Lan Xichen. He did well hiding his watching gaze, but they have hundreds of years of more experience.

“We probably caused trouble for him,” Liu Mingyan muttered, playing with her veil again.

“If something bad happens, we’ll break him out.” Liu Qingge put a hand on his sword, his face darkening. She poked his face with the tip of her pointer her finger and kept her nail embedded in his cheek.

“No violence!”


Wei Wuxian was wandering around the Cloud Recess as the sunset in the sky. The lovely orange color of the sun shading the magnolia trees in its light. It’s been a couple of days since the Waterborne Abyss and they’ve had no classes the whole time. The minute Lan Qiren returned from the Discussion Conference he was off with others to purify the Abyss. It takes days to get rid of the creature, more than likely they weren’t going to have classes for the rest of the week.

He isn’t complaining though, he’d rather avoid learning material his father has already taught or topics that he’s already read and studied in the Library Pavilion during their free days. As of right now, he has nothing to do and is pretty bored.

He has his flute with him tied to his belt, maybe he’ll find a spot to practice.

With a new mission in mind, he began looking for a secluded area. He has about three hours till curfew so he can play his heart out until that time hits. He traveled to one of the wooded areas in the mountainous sect, seeing that only a couple of guards passed through every once a while. A good spot to practice with no interruption.

He pulled out his flute and headed in, following the small dirt path that weaved through the forest. A soft melody touched his ears and it made him pause as he tried to figure out the sound.

It’s a familiar sound that he’s heard before, strings strung carefully with every snap.

It’s a guqin!

His father used to play one for him when he was younger on rare occasions. The peak he used to be in charge of had its disciples learn the guqin. There are a bunch of the instrument scattered in the remains of the Qing Jing Peak. All old and falling apart, no one to take care of them anymore.

He followed the sound deeper into the small forest. A tree larger than the rest appeared in a small clearing with someone at the base of it.

It’s Lan Zhan!

The white-clothed cultivator sits with his back against the tree, gently strumming his guqin and plucking each string carefully to make a song.

He feels his face heating up once again and his mind drifting somewhere else, but he shook his head to make the thoughts stop. He needs to stop acting like this! If he’s still like this when he goes home his papa will surely find out! He doesn’t need that to happen!

Wei Ying didn’t realize that Lan Zhan had stopped playing and is now staring directly at him. His face heating up in embarrassment now. He’s caught and he really hopes that he didn’t express himself out loud.

The second jade continued to stare at him with his yellow eyes, making Wei Ying a little nervous since the Lan isn’t easy to read. He can’t tell what the other is feeling with such an emotionless look.

“Hi, Lan Wangji,” he said quietly a little unsure of what to do. What do you say when you get caught watching someone? Would he get scolded? Lan Zhan must think he’s a stalker now! “What song are you playing?”

“I’m practicing Inquiry.” The jade answered, his gaze shifting to his guqin. “Do you need something?”

“Uh, well no.” Wei Ying said, entering the clearing and walking closer to Lan Zhan. “I was just looking for a place to practice my flute is all.” He dug his right foot into the dirt as his cheeks heated up again. For a while the two stared at each other in silence, neither of them trying to make conversation.

Dear god, this is awkward.

Finding his voice, Wei Ying opened his mouth to speak. “Is it alright if I practice with you?”

Hilariously, Lan Zhan’s eyes opened a fraction of an inch, not much for a regular person, but the emotion is so noticeable on him that Wei Ying wanted to laugh. “I promise I’ll stay quiet, I can’t really talk while playing a flute anyways.”

A few seconds passed and Lan Zhan hesitantly nodded his head, that bit emotion still plastered on his face. Wei Ying smiled, sitting across from the second jade as he pulled out his flute.

The two agreed on the song and they both began to play their parts. The sound of a flute and guqin blending together calmed Wei Ying’s restless nerves. He was freaking out about messing up his part but as they continued all those worries washed away. He never thought he’d be playing a duet with Lan Zhan ever in his life.

As they played, Wei Ying failed to notice Lan Wangji’s ears tinted in a light shade of pink.

Wei Ying had closed his eyes when he started playing, only opening one of them to look at Lan Zhan, hoping that the other wouldn’t notice.

Lan Wangji sat with his legs crossed and his guqin sitting his lap. His eyes closed as they played the song. Like the dumb innocent child that he is, Wei Ying felt his cheeks heat up and turn red as he stared at Lan Zhan.

A small little feeling stirred in his chest, it makes him feel tingly and sick at the same time. This feeling is akin to the one that he felt when his eyes first looked at Lan Zhan. That night he had snuck out to get alcohol and in his hiding spot, he was able to see the Lan cultivator.

To simply say, Lan Zhan, is beautiful. An elegant beauty that reminds him of his father in a way. The poise and cold exterior that makes the second jade stand out compared to the other cultivators his age. The yellow eyes that have glanced at him once and while always makes his heart flutter.

It’s not just his looks that Wei Ying likes, but his personality too. Lan Zhan isn’t bothered by most of the people around him. Studious and calm, what every cultivator should strive to be.

Oh fuck…

Did… Did he just describe everything he likes about Lan Zhan? He’s gushing over the second jade as they play their instruments. He’s basically a love-stricken maiden that has fallen in love at first sight! Is this what he is? Is he a love-stricken maiden!? Is this what Luo Binghe felt when he fell in love with Shen Qingqiu. Oh god, he doesn’t want to turn into crybaby lover!

He admits he’s slowly developed feelings for the Lan ever since they first met, but this is getting out of hand now! How long have they even known each other for!?

As his brain went into overdrive, Wei Ying closed his open eye and tried to concentrate on playing his flute. He’s going to screw up and embarrass himself again if he keeps thinking like this!

“It’s almost nine.”

Huh?

“It’s almost nine,” Lan Wangji said again, laying his hands on his guqin. “We need to head back to our quarters.”

Flabbergasted, Wei Ying sat his flute in his lap as his mind tried to wrap around his thoughts. He really hopes he’s not blushing right now.

“Wei Wuxian,” the jade said.

“What is it?” He asked, watching the jade as he stood up. Lan Wangji pointed at his side and Wei Ying looked to the right to find to rabbits curled up next to his leg. One was black while the other one was white, both curled up and butting their heads against his leg.

How cute!

His eyes sparkling, Wei Ying picked up both the rabbits by their ears and dangled them in the air as he stood up.

“Look at how cute they are!” He gushed, examining the two as they stared back at him. “I wonder if they were attracted to our music? How strange that they approached us and didn’t run off when you pointed at them. These little guys must be fearless!”

“What are you going to do with them?” Lan Zhan asked, picking up his guqin with both hands.

“Cook them!” He exclaimed.

“Didn’t you just say they’re cute?” The second jade asked with a confused look.

“Cute things can be eaten! I’ve heard some girls talk about how cute fish can be and yet we still eat those! I’ve been craving some decent food here anyways!”

“Killing is forbidden in the Cloud Recess.”

“Of course it is! I’ll go down and cook them outside of the Cloud Recess then!”

“It’s almost nine and you’ll be breaking curfew.”

Wei Ying sighed, dropping his head in defeat. Of course, the rules are going to be thrown in his face when he gets some decent food.

“I’ll keep them here until morning, go out of the Cloud Recess, and then cook them,” he said which earned him a sigh from Lan Wangji.

Unless….

“Here, you can have them!” He laughed, plopping the two bundles of fur onto Lan Zhan’s guqin. The second jade stepped back, not sure of what to do with the rabbits.

“Wha..?”

“If I keep them, I will surely get yelled at!” Wei Ying laughed, picking up his flute and tying it to his belt. “I doubt that one of the Twin Jades will get in trouble for having rabbits. Consider them a gift from me so you can remember this moment!”

Before Lan Zhan could protest, Wei Ying ran off, laughing as he did.

The second jade of Lan was left standing in the clearing, clutching his instrument that occupied two rabbits on top of it. The two little animals started to play with each other, tripping over the guqin strings, plucking them and creating an odd song.

This time the jade’s cheeks have a faint pink color over them instead of his ears. He closed his eyes and began following the path back to his room with the rabbits playing on his guqin, his heart beating rapidly.


“I can’t believe that Jin Zixuan said those things about Shijie! What nerves!” Wei Ying yelled, crossing his arms as his anger became more apparent by the minute. They had just finished a lesson for the today, only for it to end with the peacock saying bad things about Jiang Yanli!

If you don’t like her, then break off the engagement! She deserves someone better than you!

Jiang Cheng walked beside him, equally just as mad. His anger seething through him like fire burning dry wood. Both of them wanted to hit the yellow peacock so badly, but they both don’t want to be kicked out. Their parents don’t need any stress from them.

“Do you want to help me pull a prank on him later?” Wei Ying asked, his anger turning into mischievousness. He just got a wonderful idea to torment Jin Zixuan.

“As long as we don’t get caught, I will help you.”

“This plan will take a while, but don’t worry… It will be worth the effort.”

“Wei-Xiong!” Nie Huaisang called from behind them.

“What?”

“Lan Qiren wishes to talk to you,” the Nie laughed nervously.

Well, this day just got worse. “What does he want to talk to me about?”

“He didn’t say, he just wants to see you.”

With a good luck form Jiang Cheng and Nie Huaisang, Wei Ying reluctantly climbed up the stairs, back to the Orchid Room. His mind spun as he tried to think of a good reason why Lan Qiren wants to talk to him after class. Having to talk after class, more than likely means that it will just be him and Lan Qiren. No one to help him if he needs it. From what he can remember, he hasn’t done anything bad this past couple of days. And there’s no way that the old man could have heard his plans to prank Jin Zixuan with Jiang Cheng. If he did that must mean the stuffy Lan is a god!

He entered the Orchid Room, his thoughts still running wildly in his head as he tried to retain a calm composure. Lan Qiren stood at the front of the room, running his fingers through his beard.

“You wanted me, sir?” He said, standing close to the back in case he has to run.

“Yes,” the Lan said, approaching him, but stopped with the two of them some feet apart. Wei Ying isn’t sure if he’ll be able to run away now.

“I was informed of something interesting while I was away at the Discussion Conference. I was told that during the exorcism of water ghouls, two rogue cultivators appeared to help subdue them. We do not mind the occasional help of rogue cultivators, but these two, in particular, were different. Not only did they discover the Waterborne Abyss with the group we sent, but one of them managed to slice the Abyss in half.”

Oh crap, he knows where this is going.

“You said that they are your uncle and aunt?”

Wei Ying felt himself break out in a cold sweat. This is Bobo’s fault! This is definitely Liu Qingge’s fault!

“Can you tell me a little bit about them?”

“They’re just rogue cultivators,” Wei Ying started, lying through his teeth. He and his family don’t need people to figure out who they really are. While some might not remember the names of Luo Binghe, Shen Qingqiu or the Cang Qiong Sect, he wouldn’t be surprised if Lan Qiren knew his parent’s names.

“My uncle and aunt travel a lot and that’s really all there is to them. They got strong from their travels and in all honesty, I was surprised what my uncle did too.”

The Lan’s eyes narrowed, obviously not sated by his answer.

“I do not recall Cangse Sanren or Wei Changze having a brother or sister. Are they siblings of this ‘father’ and ‘papa’ you’ve talked about.”

“More like close friends. They’ve known my parents for a long time.”

“I’m going to assume that this ‘father’ and ‘papa’ adopted you. Can you tell me their names?”

Wei Ying started to feel him sweat more. He prays that Lan Qiren can’t see how nervous he is. He needs to think of names right now! What fake names can he use!?
“Lan Qiren, are you harassing a student?” A male voice asked, followed by a chuckle. The two present looked to the entry, an elderly man dressed in white robes stood with a wrinkly smile on his face.

“Elder Lan Wong!?” Lan Qiren yelled in surprise.

“Hello there,” the older man greeted, walking closer to them. “Lan Qiren, what are you doing asking so many questions of this young man? Are harassing him?”

“Of course not!” Lan Qiren protested, anger rising in his voice. The elder laughed, placing a hand on Wei Ying’s shoulder.

“Then why all the questions? Let this one be free, the day will soon be over if you keep this up.” Lan Wong gestured for Wei Ying to leave. Not really knowing what to do, he excused himself and left, walking as quickly as he could. Glancing back, he could see the two Lans starting to talk, Lan Qiren looking very irritated.

Lan Wong…. That’s the name of the man that got him in here and was once an old disciple of his father’s. He’s going to have to get that man a present for saving his ass!

For the rest of the afternoon, he hung out with Jiang Cheng and Nie Huaisang. The three of them sneaking out to hunt pheasants and devising his strategy for pranking Jin Zixuan. They returned to the Cloud Recess later in the day, just in time for dinner.

They all sat at one table with other students, eating in quiet, though he and Jiang Cheng passed notes under the table to keep a quiet conversation. Eating and not conversing if very awkward and just a stupid rule in general. He could see Lan Qiren spying on him in the corner of his eye, but he ignored it.
He’s going to have to come up with some good fake names for Shen Qingqiu and Luo Binghe.

While they ate, Wei Ying glanced at Lan Zhan when he could. The memories of the day they played music together still stuck in his head. He’s never going to be able to forget that. He munched on his bland food, thinking of the second jade.

He really does like him… and he wants to tell him that.

But a little feeling of uncertainty is floating in his chest. More than likely the Lan was going to refuse his feelings. He’s irritated Lan Zhan since the day they met and there’s no possible way that he likes Wei Ying.

But there’s really no harm in trying… is there? Maybe there’s a small chance that he’ll return Wei Ying’s feelings. He smiled as he bit into his food. There really is no harm, he’ll just back in the same situation he was before. If Lan Zhan does return his feelings it will make today the best day of his life and he’d love to see Lan Qiren’s face.

After they were done eating, Wei Ying immediately went into his room, trying to think of what to say to Lan Zhan. He wants to get this confession done as soon as possible. His nerves are going to explode is he waits!

Finding his resolve, he jumped out of his bed and left the building that housed the students. He wants to find the Lan before his body bursts from all the nervousness in him. He walked through the Cloud Recess, the full moon shining down on him as he searched.

Should he just go to Lan Zhan’s room? Would he be there at this time of day?

AH, frick he’ll just keep searching!

Just as he thought that, he spotted white robes duck behind a corner of the Library Pavilion. That might be Lan Zhan but it might not be. Though, the only person near this building at this time would probably be Lan Wangji.

He followed the person behind the corner, following a small path that leads to a garden of magnolia trees. In the center stood Lan Zhan was a lantern on a long stick. It seems he’s night patrol.

“Lan Wangji!” Wei Ying called out, surprising the Lan who stopped in his tracks and turned to look at Wei Ying. He caught up to the jade, standing inches away from him.

“It’s almost nine.”

“I know I know!” Wei Ying said quickly. Composing himself, Wei Ying breathed in and out, repeating the steps trying to calm down. All the while Lan Zhan stood there patiently, waiting for him to speak. The words that he had prepared are storming in his mind and he can’t get the right words to come out of his mouth! He’s having such a hard time trying to say something.

His heart is beating rapidly and he knows for sure that his whole face is red.

Breathing out once more, he finally summoned enough courage to speak.

“Lan Zhan, I like you!” He spat out. So much for all his preparation and all the romance he wanted to put into his words. He just threw that all out the window!

Lan Zhan visibly stiffened. His grip around the lantern tightened as his shoulders and back straightened like a statue. There’s no emotion on the jade’s face and it’s starting to freak Wei Ying out. Does that expression mean yes or no? Use your words! Please, Lan Zhan!

He watched as Lan Wangji’s breathing became unsteady. His chest rising and falling unevenly. He really hopes that Lan Zhan is not having some kind of stroke. Did he just put his crush into a stroke by confessing to him!?

“No,” the second jade said, the words cutting through Wei Ying like a sharp blade. He felt his whole body lose its energy. All the nervousness and jitters left his body in one fell swoop.

He knew deep down that it would turn out this way, but it still hurt. A silence fell between them, slowly becoming awkward and almost painful as they continued to stand in the quiet. It's strange how silence can hurt him so much.


To think that one word shattered his heart so easily to the point that it's starting to hurt. It aches and he hates it.

“Oh,” he breathed, the shock running its course through his veins. “Sorry to bother you.” He bowed and turned to leave Lan Zhan alone.

“Friends,” the jade said, making Wei Ying stop. He tilted his head in confusion, looking at Lan Zhan.

“Lets… Be friends...” The words spilling from Lan Wangji’s lips sounded so strained. He’s putting so much effort into trying to speak to him. Lan Zhan must be really disgusted by him, yet so noble to least ask to be friends.

“Yeah, let's be friends,” He said, smiling. “Have a nice night Lan Wangji,” and with that, he left.

Once Wei Wuxian was out of his line of sight, Lan Wangji gritted his teeth and snapped the lantern’s handle with his bare hands. The lantern hit the cobblestone path, rolling until it stopped, it’s flame dimming and dying out. The Lan clenched his hands into fists, his fingernails digging into his palms until it broke the skin, making them bleed.

Discarding his duties, he returned to his room in a hurry. Slamming the door and pressing his back against it as he slides down to the floor.

“Wangji?” His brother’s voice came from the other side of the door. A soft knock following the voice of concern. “I watched you run back here, are you alright? Is everything okay?”

Even though his brother couldn’t see, Lan Zhan shook his head no. He’s not alright, he’s not alright at all. He feels emotions but he can’t put them into words. What he’s feeling he can’t describe. What he feels for Wei Ying he can’t explain.

Why did he say, friends? Why did he say that?

In his heart, he knows he wants more, even if his feelings are a mess. He could still sense his brother behind his door, patiently waiting for Wangji to say something. With a shuddered breath he sighed.

“I messed up.”


(Here are some extras of little WWX to heal the pain)

Extra 1: Knife

SQQ: Wei Ying what do you have?

WWX: A KNIFE!

SQQ: NO!

Extra 2: Who’s mom?

“Wei Ying, what are you doing?” Luo Binghe asked, watching his son crouch on the ground with an expression that implies that he’s thinking hard.

“I’m thinking about something,” the child answered, rubbing his chin.

“What are you thinking about?” Shen Qingqiu asked, standing by his husband.

“Which one of you is mom.” The immortal felt dread rush through his body by the words of his son. If anything Wei Ying is going to say that he’s the mother. He just hopes that he doesn’t call him mom from now on.

“Papa is mother because his boobs are bigger!”

Extra 3: Revenge is sweet

The morning sun shined through the windows of Jin Zixuan’s room. Gently tickling his eyelids much to his dismay. It’s sunrise and that means he needs to get up. Putting a hand to his side, the Jin heir sat up, his eyes still closed.

He yawned and stretched, but paused when he felt something hit his head. He opened his eyes and his whole body stiffened.

Honey…

His room is covered in layers of honey! Even the ceiling!

He grabbed his blankets to pry them off when he realized that his bed is also covered in the sticky gold liquid. He can feel it in his hair too.

“WEI WUXIAN! JIANG WANYIN!”

Chapter Text

Chapter 12: Home is the Best Place

The leftover rain of last night’s storm gently trickled off the tops of the windows, falling down on the windowsills and creating a small puddle. As the puddle grew larger, the water seeped down the side of the wall, creating another puddle on the floor. The storm had been rough last night, shaking the building and causing a ruckus all night.

It’s quite the send-off for Wei Ying’s last day at the Cloud Recess. He and all the other students leave today soon. All he has to do is finish packing but he found himself staring at the leftover water from the rain, drop to the floor. His things in varies states of being packed. He clutched his fan with both of his hands, pulling it close to his chest.

It’s the same fan he had since he was young. He blushed a little, remembering why he wanted one so badly.

I want to look like father!

Reflecting upon those words, he’s extremely embarrassed, but a lot of people tend to be when they think of their deeds as a child. He did a lot of embarrassing things as a kid.

He once stole a can of red paint from the storage room and with his father’s mirror he tried to create Luo Binghe’s demon mark on his own forehead. He had gotten red paint all over the mirror, his hands, hair, and clothes.

Shen Qingqiu had walked into the room, dropping his fan and looking ready to faint. The immortal had mistaken the red paint as blood and was fussing over him fervently. He had stripped Wei Ying of his clothes looking for a wound, which he never found. Back then he was embarrassed, thinking of it now made his cheeks turn brighter than an apple.

He ran his fingers down the spine of his fan as he examined it. The years have not been kind to the poor thing. The spider lilies all but faded, parts of the paper shredded, and the gem at the end of the tassel had lots of cracks in it. Wei Ying is still surprised that Nie Huaisang had such an interest in this dirty old thing. It’s more than likely, time for a new one, but he’s found himself unable to toss it away.

It’s one of the many presents given to him by Shen Qingqiu and Luo Binghe. They gave him a warm home, food, clothes, an education, and more.

He’s excited to go home but at the same time, it makes his chest hurt.

After his failed confession to Lan Wangji, the two kept their distance. They interacted in their classes and outside of them when necessary. He stopped teasing the second jade and flirting with him since the Lan made his feelings clear.

Friends, he just wanted to be friends and that’s all Wei Ying needs. Even if accepting it hurts him and the pain pounds in his chest like a beating drum, he’s fine with being friends. He wants to stay close to Lan Wangji due to his feelings, but going home will probably help him get over this heartache.

Shortly after the event took place, Jiang Cheng had already guessed what happened between him and Lan Wangji. His best friend had taken him out to hunt in the Cloud Recess’s mountains to cheer him up and it helped for a while. He just hopes that when they arrive at the Lotus Pier that Jiang Cheng says nothing of it to his parents. His papa will storm into the Cloud Recess with the intent to kill and Wei Ying would like to avoid bloodshed and Lan Wangji potentially dying.

He smiled, thinking of his papa’s protectiveness. To think that he actually misses it.

Yeah, he believes it’s time to go home.

“Wei Wuxian, we’re leaving in ten minutes!” Jiang Cheng yelled through the walls, his voice sounding urgent.

Oh shit, ten minutes!?

Standing up, he began to throw all of his stuff into bags, not even trying to organize them in the slightest. He stuffed all of his items into three bags, but all his souvenirs are tucked together carefully in a fourth. Tying his fan and Subian to his belt, he slung the bags over his shoulders and headed out the door.

At the same moment, Jiang Cheng popped out of his room, all packed and ready to leave as well.

Since running is forbidden, the two walked at a fast pace to the gates of the Cloud Recess. As they walked on the stone paths, Wei Ying realized he’s been here for an actual year. It’s spring now, the flowers are blooming open and birds are flying through the skies. He arrived here during the same season and now he’s leaving during it.

Tingly sensations stirred in his chest as he realized once again that he’s leaving Lan Wangji. He still likes him, even after the disaster of a confession. He doesn’t know if he’ll ever see him again since he’s not apart of a sect and home is far off from the Gusu territory.

Maybe he’ll make some excuse to visit Lan Wangji, but he doubts Lan Qiren will let him back into the Cloud Recess.

Even though they can’t prove that he and Jiang Cheng pulled the honey prank, Lan Qiren’s burning hate for him seemed to increase.

The prank was definitely worth it.

“Wei Wuxian?” A voice called out, an old and tired one.

He paused in his moments. Just a few feet away from them stood Lan Wong, that elder that helped him out from Lan Qiren’s questioning. After he stopped the Lan Qiren, Wei Ying was only able to see him from a distance. The elder was always busy with other clan members, talking with them or exiting from meetings.

He never got a chance to talk to him this whole year. He wanted to, so he could thank him for his help and get to know one of his father’s old students. His father had smiled when he mentioned Lan Wong. Calling him stubborn but very studios and quick to learn some of the things that Shen Qingqiu taught him when he resided on Cang Qiong Mountain for a small amount of time.

The elder was approaching them steadily, slow and jagged due to his old age. He hopes that he never sees his parents like that one day.

“Go ahead, I’ll catch up with you,” Wei Ying said to Jiang Cheng.

“If you’re late I’m leaving your ass.”

“I’ll catch up on Subian if you leave then! I’m faster than a boat!”

“Of course you are,” Jiang Cheng said with a roll of his eyes, which was quickly followed by a grin. He waved bye as he continued to the exit.

Instead of waiting for Lan Wong to get closer to him, Wei Ying went to him. He set his things on the ground, folding his hands together and bowing to the elder. Through the wrinkles and old skin, he could see a smile forming on the Lan’s face. So the people here can smile!

“To think that your year here is done. It’s a shame I haven’t been able to speak with you during that time. I would have liked to have gotten to know the son of Shen Qingqiu,” the elder sighed as his shoulders grew slack, but he was quick to fix his posture.

“I should let you go, it would be bad if you were late for your ship home, but first...” The elder reached into his sleeves pulling out a freshly made book. The leather looked new and the parchment recently made. This book is thick too, not something thin to merely read to pass the time.

“This book,” Lan Wong said, holding it with both of his hands. “Is a copy of ancient historical recordings. I made a copy to give to you to give to your father. I imagine he’ll find lots of information that may be beneficial to him if he wants to keep his status hidden. Also lots of information, that may be humorous as well.”

“Thank you so much!” Wei Ying thanked, taking the book from the older man and placing it in the bag of souvenirs. “I’m sure my father will appreciate it!”

“I hope he does, now off you go, before your boat leaves without you.”

Wei Ying bowed again, picking up his items off the ground and running towards the exit gates of the Cloud Recess. The Lan elder wanted to yell at him that running his forbidden, but so is creating noise. Besides, if he yells he might lose his voice for the rest of the day.

As Wei Ying ran passed the gates of the Cloud Recess, he realized he never said good-bye to Lan Wangji. He paused, his feet hitting the top step of the mountain stairs, staring into the open gates. He wants to say a proper farewell, but he doesn’t have the time now.

He’d probably be bothering Lan if he did try to find him. Their just friends after all. No need for a sentimental goodbye.

Taking one final glance at the Cloud Recess, he headed down the path leading away from the Lan Clan’s domain.

He didn’t even notice the pair of yellow eyes that watched him leave.

Waiting at the base of the mountain stood Jiang Cheng. His arms crossed as he spotted Wei Ying with an irritated look. The rogue cultivator is obviously late, the reason his friend is upset, but he simply smiled and ran passed the Yunmeng heir.

“If you stand there, we’re going to be late!” He laughed. The irritation turning into anger as Jiang Cheng picked his things off the ground and ran after his best friend. The two were soon laughing as they raced to the docks.

Most of the other students had already left. Some of the smaller sects still had members leaving when the two friends got there. They both threw their things into the boat leading back to the Lotus Pier and hopped on board.

Wei Ying stayed silent as the boat left, the distance between him and the Cloud Recess getting bigger by the second. He sighed, the sadness and pain still apparent in his chest, mingling with his excitement to go home. Being on a rocking boat is adding to the sick feeling that’s crawling up his throat.

He shook the feeling away, concentrating more on what it will be like to be home again.

Training from Liu Qingge and Luo Binghe. More lessons from his father and maybe Mobei-Jun will take him out for some family only Night Hunts when he gets back. He’s excited to go home, he wants to see his family again. He’s missed them so much!

He honestly needs to get over Lan Wangji. Maybe he’ll find someone else or just stay with his family for the rest of his life. He wouldn’t mind that.

As the boat floated on the sapphire waters, an excellent idea formed in Wei Ying’s mind. They wouldn’t get home till tomorrow…. But this prank is brilliant! He might as well prepare! 

“Jiang Cheng, give me some of your clothing! I promise to give them back!”

“Something tells me I shouldn’t do that...”

“I’m just pulling prank! I’m going to stuff my robes to make it look like I’m pregnant.”


“Shen Yuan.”

“Yes?”

“Shen Yuan.”

“Why are you repeating my name? Once is enough,” Shen Yuan sighed as he tapped Luo Binghe on the top of his head with his fan.

“I like saying your true name,” Luo Binghe said smiling, earning a blush from his husband. The immortal opened his fan, hiding his face and embarrassment.

“Once is enough,” he repeated, walking over to the table and arranging the plates and bowls. He grabbed the napkins, flattening them out and laying three pairs of chopsticks on the table.

Luo Binghe watched his husband as he got tonight’s meal ready. The meat sizzling, it’s delicious scent flooding the bamboo house.

Wei Ying comes back today and they wanted to have a small welcome back party. His aunts and uncles would be over tomorrow since most are too far to make it today or too busy. He’s sure Mobei-Jun would have skipped his duties, but dealing with rebellion is something that cannot wait. It’s a small group but even so, such things like those need to be dealt with.

He’s happy that he has nothing to deal with in the Demon Realm. He doesn’t want to miss this day, he hasn’t seen his son in a year and he misses him dearly.

He realizes that this year went by fast, but a number of things did happen this year.

His husband finally revealed what he’d been hiding for all these years. He wasn’t too shocked hearing the news, but learning that Shen Qingqiu came from a whole different world did surprise him quite a bit, but that wouldn’t stop him from loving his Shizun. Learning about his ability to see the future did not surprise him either, with all the knowledge he had so long ago how could he be shocked?

That only thing that scared him was his husband’s most recent visions. He said that he watched their son die. Thrown off a cliff in a dark place known as the Burial Mounds. After Shen Yuan had told him, they researched the place as much as they could.

An old battleground that reeks of resentful energy in Yiling. So much dark energy that generations of cultivators could not purify it. They had traveled there during the fall. The place is so large and dangerous that he fears it more than a realm filled with demons. Hundreds of walking corpses and a dead body under every foot of dirt.

Resentful energy hurts humans but it can still affect demons. When they had stepped inside, he felt the urge to kill something. Centuries ago when the Cang Qiong Sect still existed, demons and humans did not have to deal with resentful energy. It’s strange that it popped up out of nowhere, but maybe the amounts demonic energy in the Human Realm overpowered it at the time.

But that doesn’t matter to him at all compared to his son. What’s more important is preventing Wei Ying’s death and he’ll do everything within his power to do so.

He won’t let their little sun die.

Memories of Shen Yuan self-destructing flooded his mind. The agony and anger he felt that day almost consumed his sanity. Luckily, his husband came back and they managed to live happily after lots of struggle, but that agony and fires of his rage is not something he wants to feel again.

So, he won’t let Wei Ying die.

“Shizun, the food is ready,” he said, blowing out the fires and setting the meals into bowls.

“Perfect. We should leave now since Wei Ying will be arriving at the Lotus Pier in an hour. Even if we’re early we can chat with the Jiangs until they arrive.” Shen Yuan said, snapping his fan shut against his open palm. 

The demon gently laid a hand on top of Zheng Yang and the two headed out of their home. As they both got ready to mount their blades and fly to Lotus Pier, two figures appeared in their line of sight. The familiar colors of red and white came into view.

One of them is a young boy with a bow strapped to his back while the other is a woman, slightly taller than the male.

It’s Wen Qing and Wen Ning!

“Hello,” Shen Yuan greeted, waving his hand.

“Master Shen and Master Luo,” the siblings greeted, bowing as they approached.

“I’m here to return these,” Wen Qing said as she handed Shen Yuan Mu Qingfang’s old journals. “Thank you again for letting me borrow these, because of the knowledge our father is regaining his health.”

“How is he?” Shen Yuan asked, taking the journals from her.

“He is well,” Wen Ning answered shyly with a smile. “He’s moving and working once again and he was assigned back to the jailhouse. Not the best place for him but there’s not much to do other than be a guard. We rarely have breakouts if we have prisoners.” The word ‘prisoners’ came bitterly out of Wen Ning’s mouth, his face grimacing as he said it.

“At least he is in good health,” Luo Binghe commented but his eyes narrowed as he studied the both of them.

The Qishan Wen Sect are the ones responsible for killing Wei Ying in the future. Can they really trust these two right now? It’s a terrible thought for him to be considering since they’ve known the pair for years now. They even visited their father once when they traveled to the Nightless City. He was a nice man and it was pleasant chatting with him when he was conscious. If anything, he’s just too worried, but he’s not going to let the fact that they’re potential enemies out of the equation just because they're friends.

Betrayal can happen at any time with anyone.

“Is young master Wei Wuxian coming back today?” Wen Ning asked.

“Yes he is, would you two like to stay for the night? It’s been a while since you’ve seen him.”

“Unfortunately, we can’t stay.” Wen Qing said with a shake of her head. They all stood in awkward silence for a moment, the wind brushing past them all and shaking the leaves on the trees. Luo Binghe watched closely as the atmosphere grew cold and older Wen’s eyes darkened.

“There is something I need to speak to you both about if you have the time.”

“What is it? You look quite serious.” The demon placed a hand on the handle of Zheng Yang, simply as a warning.


Wen Qing realized this quickly and shook her head as she became flustered.

“I don’t mean you any harm, my apologies if I implied such. It’s just...” She trailed off, her eyes directing to the ground for a moment before looking back up at them. “On our way here, we realized we were being followed by members of our own clan. This happened last time we came here and we shook them off and we noticed spies again when we left to come here.”

She breathed in, letting out a deep exhale. “I worry that there’s something here that our leader may be looking for. He may just be spying on us to make sure we’re not doing something behind the clan’s back, but I fear that we’re not the ones being spied on. I believe that the spies are meant for you two.”

“What makes you think so?” Shen Yuan asked, running his finger over the spine of his fan. His eyes narrowed as he continued to think. “Is it because we’re immortal?”

“We don’t know, but that’s most likely the case,” Wen Ning said, biting his bottom lip. “Whatever it is, our leader is planning for something. We’re afraid that he’s planning for war.”

Wen Qing crossed her arms, her expression souring as she tapped her foot against the ground. She looks very upset and Luo Binghe is able to tell that his husband is nervous by the news as well. If the Wens are truly responsible for Wei Ying’s death, this war might be where it happens.

“Thank you for telling us about this,” Shen Qingqiu said, giving them a small smile to reassure them. “We’ll be as careful as we can be and look out for any signs of your leader targeting us. We are very grateful for the information.”

“You’re welcome Master Shen,” Wen Qing said as both siblings bowed. “We best be off now. It’s not good for us to stay and more than likely we'll not be returning for a while."

“Stay safe and well,” Luo Binghe said. “Wei Ying will be very upset with the both of you if you get yourselves killed.”

“We won’t die so easily,” Wen Qing laughed as she and her brother began to leave. They bowed once again, waving goodbye as they disappeared from their line of sight.

Once they were gone, his husband let out a long sigh. He could see the nervousness sewn into Shen Yuan’s face. Getting closer to his husband, Luo Binghe pulled him into his embrace and planted a kiss on his forehead.

“Don’t worry, we’ll protect our little sun. We’ll make sure he isn’t harmed by this potential threat.” The immortal said nothing, resting his head on the demon’s collarbone as he left out a shuddered breath. He’s nervous and Luo Binghe is too. The child they raised is at risk of dying.

“We can worry about this another day. Right now, Wei Ying will be home soon. Let’s celebrate his return instead of crying about the future.”

Shen Yuan sighed, lifting up his head to look at Luo Binghe. He nodded his head and smiled at the demon. A bright smile that made Luo Binghe want to smother his husband in love.

“Let’s go get our son.”

It didn’t take them long at all to get to the Lotus Pier. They flew outside the city and landed near the city gates. The guards welcomed them, familiar with them from all their visits over the years. It’s comforting to have people recognize you and greet you normally. Not as demon lord or immortal, just as a person.

When they got closer to the Jiang family home, Jiang Yanli was at the front to greet them. She’s such a sweet and kind girl and is the only person that Luo Binghe approves of if his son does want to marry. Wei Ying hasn’t shone any interest in her, other than loving her like a sister so he doubts that will happen.

Wei Ying is not allowed to marry unless Luo Binghe gives his consent. His child will not be married off to anyone!

Jiang Yanli brought them to the docks where her mother and father already stood waiting. Jiang Fengmian greeted them with a smile while Madam Yu did the complete opposite. That didn’t stop Shen Yuan from smiling back at them. This woman is so stern and angry all the time that he’s surprised she hasn’t developed wrinkles already.

Now that he thinks about it, she reminds him of Liu Qingge in some aspects.

They all talked as they waited for Jiang Cheng and Wei Ying’s boat to arrive. They discussed recent events and anything new happening in their lives. Hilariously, the Jiang’s received a letter from the Cloud Recess that Wei Ying and Jiang Cheng had pulled a prank on Jiang Yanli’s fiance by filling his room with honey. They weren’t actually able to confirm that they did it, so they asked for proper disciple from the Jiangs when the boys return home.

He’s going to give Wei Ying a pat on the back when he gets back.

After a while, their boat came into view. Jiang Cheng was standing on the front while Wei Ying sat next to him, his right side facing them. They were all waving at them when Luo Binghe noticed something strange with his kid. It’s as if his son is trying to hide his front from them.

The boat pulled into the docks and Jiang Cheng hopped off. He greeted his parents and sister with a smile but his lips are quivering as if he’s trying to hold back laughter. Did something funny happen on their way here?

Wei Ying looked at them with his own bright and shining smile from his spot on the boat. He stood up with his back facing them and turned around with the shimmering smile still on.

Luo Binghe heard Shen Yuan’s fan drop to the floor, but he was too shocked to say anything.

Wei Ying’s stomach…. Is huge! And not in a fat way but in a pregnant way! Their little ball of sunshine wrapped his arms around his stomach, rubbing it smoothly and gently.

“Hi, Papa! Hello father!”

The demon could feel his blood start to rise and heat up. He’s upset! He’s fucking pissed!

WHO THE HELL GOT HIS SON PREGNANT!?

He walked over to Wei Ying, placing both of his hands on his shoulders and leaned down close to his son’s face.

“Who got you pregnant….? Give me a name and I’ll turn them into a human stick.”

Sweat broke out on Wei Ying’s face as he stuttered and stumbled over his words, trying to get a sentence out. While Luo Binghe can’t see it, Wei Ying can clearly see his demon mark glowing menacingly and feel his blood lust dancing around them.

A pissed off demon is horrifying.

“Umm… Well… Uh….”

In the background, the Jiang’s remained still and Madam Yu looks ready to spit blood and start yelling. Jiang Fengmian is wearing an unreadable expression while Yanli is covering her face with her sleeves. Shen Yuan was frozen where he stood, his fan still sitting on the floor as he made no attempt to reach down and rab it. Jiang Cheng is the only that looks amused and the boy began to burst out laughing.

“This is not funny child!” Luo Binghe yelled at him, which made the Yunmeng heir laugh even louder.

“I’m sorry, Wei Wuxian! I can’t keep quiet!”

Wei Ying was still sweating as he reached down into his robes and began pulling out clothing from his stomach. His stomach got smaller as he pulled more out and dropped onto the floor. After he pulled more out his stomach flattened down to where it should be. He looked up at Luo Binghe and gave him a nervous smile.

“It’s just a prank,” he said quietly.

A prank….

Dear gods, he loves his son but all Luo Binghe wants to do right is strangle him. Teen pregnancies are not a laughing matter and he should not be pulling pranks like this!

A loud thunk made everyone jump as they looked to the source of the sound.

Shen Yuan fainted right on the docks.

“Shizun!”

“Father!”


“Never do that again,” Shen Qingqiu groaned as he placed the dirty dishes into the sink, a headache boiling inside his brain.

“I already promised I wouldn’t!” Their son sobbed as he rubbed the side of his head. After Shen Qingqiu had woken up from fainting he promptly smacked his son on the back of the head with his fan. To come home and pull such a thing! He knows he’s taught Wei Ying better.

Then again, he is a fool for falling for it.

When the disaster had settled, he gave Wei Ying a good scolding and the family of three headed home. The minute they landed on the Cang Qiong Mountain they hugged and welcomed their son back, happy for him to be home, but Shen Qingqiu found himself unable to let go the ordeal.

If he ever does that again he’s grounding Wei Ying for the rest of his life. He’ll imprison him in his room if he pulls something like that again.

They had just finished eating and were cleaning up their mess. Their son had talked during the whole meal describing his experience at the Cloud Recess. He learned more about cultivation and history of the sects through the library, studied well and got A’s on his tests and quizzes.

He made a couple of friends, pulled some pranks, and defeated water ghouls and other nasty creatures when they had the time.

As Wei Ying talked, Shen Qingqiu couldn’t shake the feeling that Wei Ying is hiding something from them. He wanted to ask but didn’t want to be nosy since their son had just gotten him. He’ll pry for those later on another day.

“By the way! I got you guys souvenirs!” Their little sun exclaimed as he grabbed one of his bags from the trip. He pulled out three thick books and handed them to Shen Qingqiu. For Luo Binghe, he pulled out a small picture with all of them in it.

“I didn’t really know what to buy you, papa… So sorry but I drew this little picture of us for you to keep around so you always have us with you, even when you go to the Demon Realm.” His husband clutched the picture with utmost care and tears fell from his eyes. Binghe started to full on sob as he hugged Wei Ying tightly in a suffocating grip.

“I missed you too,” Wei Ying said breathlessly, patting Binghe’s back. After a while, the demon let him go, tears still falling from the corners of his eyes.

This husband of his...

“Father, one of those books is from Lan Wong. He said it’s a copy of an ancient history book that would be helpful for you in some way. He also said it’s funny.”

With his interest piqued, Shen Qingqiu opened the book and found a light blue bookmark in one of the sections. At the top, it’s titled ‘Cang Qiong Sect’. So, there are history books that still exist about the old sects, how interesting.

He started reading it, using his finger to carefully guide him through the text. It summarized the Cang Qiong Sect and the different peaks. What each peak’s role was and their peak lord.

Bai Zhan peak lord was Liu Qingge who was also known as the War God during this era. Qian Cao’s peak lord was Mu Qingfang who specialized in medicines and known for being a calm man.

Qing Jing’s peak lord was Shen Qingqiu, one of the two female lords and known for being a scholar.

Wait…. One of the two female lords? He read the sentence again. And again and once more just to be sure. His face paled as he felt the feeling if fainting rise back into his system.

He’s written in history as a woman!?


Extra:

LBH: “Wei Ying, come share our bed with us tonight now that you’re home!”

WWX: “No! I’m too old to be cuddling in bed with you two! Why do you want me to!?”

LBH: “We missed you! Please!” *puppy eyes activate*

WWX: “F-fine…”

Chapter Text

Chapter 13: And So...May the Games Begin

A year later.

“Father, don’t stop,” Wei Ying whined as Shen Qingqiu’s hand moved away from his head. Like a cat demanding more attention, Wei Ying grabbed his father’s hand and placed it back on his head, smothering his face into his father’s lap. He sighed in content as Shen Qingqiu’s slender fingers combed their way back into his undone hair and proceeded to rub his scalp. He smiled in his lap as he shifted his body in the grass into a more comfortable position.

This sensation is pleasant.

He hummed, closing his eyes as he rested peacefully, the sounds of his family talking around him gives him a sense of safety and warmth. The bright sun is also helping with that warmth. Other members of his family are here to join them on this sunny day.

Shang Qinghua is sitting on the grass with him and talking to his father while the papa, Mobei-Jun, and Sha Hualing are talking further away from them. He doesn’t know what the two groups are discussing, he was tired to eavesdrop on them.

The keyword being ‘was’.

“I haven’t seen signs of anything bad,” Shand Qinghua said as he crossed his arms. “The sun has been shinning particular bright and burning skin but nothing hugely out of ordinary. You set up that barrier to protect yourselves from the sunlight haven’t you?”

“Mn,” his father confirmed, his fingers still stroking his hair. “No problems so far, but it worries me a little more. According to the System, the sunlight should be getting stronger and causing some trouble.”

What the hell are they even talking about? He thought as he tried to keep his face neutral. He doesn’t need his father to discover he’s eavesdropping, but that seemed to have failed since Shang Qinghua and Shen Qingqiu immediately started talking about something else. Specifically, the Sun and Moon Dew Flower Seed which, his father had made and used one time. If he recalled, its other nickname is the ‘Flesh Seed’. Shang Qinghua had taught him an in-depth lesson about it one time, but that doesn’t matter right now.

What matters more is that they changed the subject on him! With Shen Qingqiu running his fingers through his hair he’s able to read any fluctuation in his spiritual energy. Sometimes he hates the fact that his parents are a demon lord and powerful immortal. It’s so hard to be sneaky!

Giving up on listening to the human immortals, Wei Ying turned his attention to the group of three demons.

“My lord, the demons under you have been getting restless lately. I’ve been sending them out to diminish the number of monsters in the caverns, but it hasn’t been enough to sate them.” Sha Hualing shifted her weight onto her other foot, tapping the edge of her chin with her long fingers. She sounds tired and slightly annoyed, “I fear bad things may happen if they can’t calm down. I know you have duties here, but they may need their leader to rein them in.”

A sigh escapes from his papa’s lips, his shoulders slumping as he did. “I’ll go to the Demon Realm soon then. Nothing here has caused any problems, it’s been a peaceful year but I can’t shake off this feeling of a coming disaster. Mobei, have the scouts found out anything?”

“They’ve been taking lots of prisoners as of late,” the ice demon replied. “Many from the lesser sects have been brought to the prisons and don’t come back out. Interestingly, a strong member with that melting core technique has been there every single time. He brings the prisoners to the jailhouse at night and is the only one to leave in the morning. The scouts have spotted their leader too, but his presence there aren’t as frequent.”

How strange, Wei Ying thought as he processes the information in his head. It’s probably just demon business but their conversation feels like something more ominous. Why are both his parents being so secretive right now?

In fact, they’ve been odd and secretive this past year.

He’s found his parents talking to themselves quite a lot and his aunts and uncles have been visiting more than usual. Maybe they’ve just found more time to visit, but when Sha Hualiang and Mobei-Jun visit it’s always for business and talk of some mysterious group they keep watching. Luo Binghe has been more protective than usual too. Wei Ying thought it couldn’t get any worse but it has.

Whenever he goes to the Lotus Pier, Luo Binghe or Shen Qingqiu have to go with him or an uncle or aunt. He can’t go anywhere unsupervised and training from Liu Qingge has gone up in difficulty.

He loves them all but they need to calm down. He’s seventeen! Almost an adult and hardly a child, even if he still acts like one.

“Our scouts weren’t able to get much out of the Discussion Conference either. The tournament was held in a sealed area and they weren’t able to get in. Guards were plentiful as well but there seemed to be a disturbance with one of the other clans that caused quite the uproar.”

“What kind of uproar?” Luo Binghe asked with a raised eyebrow.

“The heir got humiliated. He was showing off and ended up making a mistake that one of the other sects fixed during the tournament. To add to injury, that same sect took the first and second place.” Jiujiu crossed his arms, his icy blue eyes staring at the ground. “That’s all that the scouts have been able to gather. Other than the increase of prisoners and the Discussion Conference, the clan has not made any other movement.”

Even from his position on the ground, Wei Ying could hear his papa grind his molars together. He sounds frustrated by this nameless group that they keep mentioning. They’re being very discreet so it’s obviously something they don’t want Wei Ying to know about and that nameless clan might not be so nameless to him.

In the past, the demons would go on talking about situations with no fear of Wei Ying prying his nose into it, since most of the problems came from the Demon Realm. A place he has no knowledge of but the fact that they keep mentioning sects and clans must mean this problem is from the Human Realm.

Shen Qingqiu and Shang Qinghua must know of it as well since they’re talking so weirdly.

Why are they keeping this all a secret from him? Is it really necessary?

With an exasperated sigh, he sat up from his father’s lap, yawning and stretching his arms as he did. His arms and back cracked from maintaining the same position for a while. He grabbed the Immortal Binding Cable that Sha Hualing had given him and messily tied his hair back up. He doesn’t care about his appearance right now.

“I’m going to the Lotus Pier,” he mumbled sitting up.

“Take someone with you!” Luo Binghe yelled.

Instantly, his face grimaced and Wei Ying let out a long sigh. “I’m seventeen, do I really need an escort at this age!? I’ve been doing well in my training and my studying. Can I go by myself? You used to let me before I went to the Cloud Recess.”

His parents looked at each other, both wearing worried expressions as they talk with just their eyes. Luo Binghe face changed from worried to conflicted, the expression changing constantly between the two while his father’s lays calm. After a while, his papa let out a deep breath and nodded his head.

“Fine, you can go yourself, just be back before the sun sets.”

“Thank you, papa!” Wei Ying rushed to his room, grabbing Suibian from its place on the wall and tying his flute to his belt. He dashed back outside, waving bye to his family as he ran down the Cang Qiong Mountain.

“Be back before the sun sets!” Luo Binghe loudly repeated.

“Of course!” Wei Ying yelled back. It wasn’t long before he ran out of their line of sight. His long hair is the last thing the adults saw before he disappeared.

“Shizun, I’ll be going to the Demon Realm today. I’ll most likely be there for a couple of days. If my stay needs to be longer I’ll make sure you know.”

“Of course Binghe.”

The demon crossed his arms, his brow furrowing as he stared in the direction Wei Ying went. The worry obvious in his facial expression as he bit his bottom lip.

Sha Hualing smiled, her lord’s protective nature of his son is quite adorable to her but at the same time, she knows why he’s worrying so much. With Wei Ying’s potential death on the horizon, it had everyone on edge. When Shen Qingqiu had first revealed the boy’s death to them, Liu Qingge had almost broken a wall and was barely restrained by his sister. To think that Shen Qingqiu even has the ability to see the future is astounding. It’s a shame that it only gives brief information.

They were alarmed by the news and downright angry because they don’t know the full reason why the Wen Clan would want him dead. Over this past year, they made it their duty to make sure he’s safe even if it meant suffocating him a little. This is the first time in the whole year that Luo Binghe and Shen Qingqiu have decided to let him go somewhere by himself.

The year has been peaceful, but it worries the female demon to a great degree to have Wei Ying go anywhere by himself. Sure he’ll be seeing his friends at the Lotus Pier soon and he’s almost an adult by human standards, but she is unsure of how stable his mind is right now.

She bears a secret that Lord Luo doesn’t even know about. Wei Ying had made her promise and it’s been a heavy promise to keep due to the uneasiness eating away at her.

It was late a night, shortly after Wei Ying returned from his studies at the Cloud Recess. The demon had realized that Wei Ying had scampered off somewhere and wasn’t spending time with his family. She went out to search for him and found him sitting on a cliff, looking out at the stars above them. He was sitting there quietly, which is quite unlike him. She didn’t expect to find the human bundle of energy sitting calmly, admiring the night as his father does.

She approached him and he didn’t startle, already knowing that she was standing behind him. She sat next to him, staring at the same set of stars as he was. Minutes of stale silence passed by them when she decided to look at him.

His face was sad, a depressed expression that she wasn’t used to seeing on him. Immediately she assumed it was because of her lord’s increase of protectiveness, but strangely enough, as she continued to stare at him she knew that it was something completely different.

“What’s wrong little lord?” She asked in a teasing voice, trying to get some sort of reaction out of Wei Ying. He let out a long sigh, playing with the end of the red Immortal Binding Cable that kept his messy hair up in place. No matter how much Liu Mingyan and Shen Qingqiu drill keeping a proper appearance into him, he attempts to do nothing with his hair.

As he breathed out, the hot air of his breath became visible in the cold chill. A chill she barely felt due to her race.

“Can you promise not to tell papa or father anything?” He asked, his eyes still bleak. At first, she didn’t say a single word. To keep secrets from her lord is not permitted, but this is her nephew and her lord’s son. Would it really be bad for her to keep a secret with Wei Ying? The inner turmoil went on for a while before she gave up and agreed. If it’s anything too serious she’ll have to break her promise and tell her lord, but if it’s something simple then there’s no reason for him to know. She’ll coax Wei Ying to tell his father if it’s minor anyway.

She Hualing agreed nodding her head and giving Wei Ying a reassuring smile. “What has you so sad?”

“I got rejected,” he answered quickly with a sharp exhale. There is a boy at the Cloud Recess that he has taken a liking to when he stayed there. He described the other cultivator as being regal and beautiful and he was careful to not give her name. With that description, it could be anyone. Lots of cultivators tended to be good looking but she could tell, that this description was something from Wei Ying’s heart, someone he treasured dearly. It was enough to tell her so much but so little at the same time.

He had ended up confessing to this cultivator but got rejected and the cultivator asked to only remain friends. At first, she wanted to feel angry at the other cultivator but that anger quickly subsided as Sha Hualing began to feel for her nephew.

In some ways, their situation is the same. Once upon a time, she had a crush on a regal, strong and handsome young man but in the end, her affection was not returned for his love was for someone else. She hopes this isn’t the case for her little lord. To have this person like someone else will hurt him more and incur the wrath of Lord Luo if he finds out.

And it’s more painful to find out they like someone else.

Gently, she took his head and pulled him down so he rested on her lap, stroking his head in an attempt to comfort him.

“I know it hurts,” she whispered looking up at the stars. “But the pain dulls and subsides. It doesn’t last forever and before you know it, the pain will just be a distant memory. Even though it hurts right now, good things will come in the future.”

A long sigh was her reply as she continued to stroke his head. It was an answer she was fine with. Getting over heartache takes time and she knows this from experience. They stayed like that for an hour or so before they headed back to the bamboo house. Wei Ying made the excuse that he simply wanted to rest away from everyone for a bit and that he and Sha Hualiang had just been talking.

Wei Ying has never lied to his parents before the Cloud Recess. He lied when he was younger to get people to fall for pranks but those were the only occasions. He would confess to anything wrong he would do even if the confession took a little time. Since he’s known to never lie to Shen Qingqiu or Lord Luo the two didn’t suspect anything.

Over the past year, the female demon was able to spot times when Wei Ying was thinking about the cultivator he met. Little moments that never lasted long but she could see it in his eyes whenever his mind drifted. He was extra careful around his parents so they never detected his sadness, but since she already knew it was easy for her to point out.

Because of this, she’s worried about her little lord being on his own, but really she shouldn’t be worrying so much. He’s seventeen, a strong cultivator and she should be laying off her own protectiveness. Even with his death looming over their heads, a visit to the Lotus Pier will not kill him since the Wens have no real reason to attack him.

But if or when they do she’ll be ready to kill them.


Wei Ying landed outside the Lotus Pier and jumped off of Suibian, sheathing his sword immediately as giddiness and excitement started to well up in him. It’s been a while since he’s traveled by himself and being able to visit Jiang Cheng without his papa looming over him is a weight off his shoulders.

He passed by the familiar gatekeepers, waving as he ran into the city, but something is off about them. Their usual friendly greeting was stiffer than usual and Wei Ying could see the worry in their eyes. Sweat on their foreheads that’s not from the heat and an impatient tap of their feet hitting the dirt under them. Something is obviously wrong.

Listen to the whispers, Sha Hualing once told him.

Look at the people’s face, Shang Qinghua had told him. There’s so much information in the smallest things like body movements, eyes, or a simple tap of a finger that can give away what’s going on in one’s head.

The gatekeepers aren’t even cultivators so their nervousness is not from something in the Yumengjiang Sect, but something universal that can make them worry.

His parents are worried about the ‘sun’, maybe it has something to do with them.

The city itself feels fine to him as he walks towards Jiang Cheng’s home. Nothing strange or unusual in the eyes of most common folk but the cultivators walking around look restless. Every once and while Wei Wuxian spots nervous whispers of merchants or a noble looking worried. It’s mainly the cultivators that he passes that have the most emotion bearing from them.

Whatever is going on must be spreading slowly to the people, the cultivators knowing first and the news floating to everyone else.

What could it be, what could it be?

The Discussion Conference is a gathering for all cultivation sects. Mobei-Jun said something went wrong at the conference, maybe the clan that got humiliated retaliated in some way.

“Wei Wuxian!” A voice called.

In the distance he sees a familiar purple figure approaching him through the crowds of people.

Jiang Yanli is dressed in a pretty purple dress with her hair up in braided buns. It looks cute on her. He smiles happy to see her but that smile drops into a frown as he realizes that Yanli is not smiling back at him. She always approaches people with gentle and loving smiles no matter who they are. It’s one of the aspects of her that made his papa drop his overprotective guard.

Instead, she looks worried as he walks to him with hurried steps that can almost be classified as a run. The corners of her lips turned downwards with her forehead wrinkling in worry.

This just confirms that there is something wrong.

“Shijie? Are you alright?” He asks once she’s close enough to him.

“What are you doing here?” She says, completely ignoring his questions. He tilts his head, absolutely confused. She takes note of that and continues speaking. “Has word not reached you yet? I’m surprised that your parents have not heard anything yet.”

“Haven’t heard what?”

Yanli softly grips his hand and beckons her head towards her home.

“Let's speak away from prying eyes and listening ears. It’s best if the drama stays suppressed as long as possible.”

Wei Wuxian lets Jiang Yanli tug him to her home, not speaking at all during the walk as she determinedly leads him through the Lotus Pier. He too decided it would best if he stayed silent. Besides, he has no idea what to talk about since she wants to keep the situation quiet.

Something must have really gone wrong for Yanli to be this worried. He waved at the Yumengjiang cultivators as they passed by the training field. A couple of them laughing as they watched Jiang Yanli but those happy faces turned sad. Their face twisting into something that Wei Ying could only describe as realization or despair.

Inside her home, Yanli tugged him into a familiar room filled with desks and shelves chocked full of books. It’s a study similar to the Orchid Room in the Cloud Recess. Shen Qingqiu taught a couple of times in this very room at the request of Jiang Fengmian when he was younger. He studied and learned in this room with Jiang Cheng and other disciples. Though, it looks like the room is used less frequently these days.

Yanli let go of his hand, smoothing her dress out before looking with renewed determination.

“You haven’t heard of anything happening in the cultivation world?”

“Uh no,” he said with a shake of his head. “Did something serious happen? Everyone here looks like they’re constipated with such stern looks.” Wei Wuxian thought a joke would help lighten the mood but it didn’t. A smile nor laugh crossed Shijie’s face, making him more worried than before.

“The Qishanwen Sect has called for the indoctrination of the sects,” she said without hesitance. “Saying that the rest of the sects are teaching inadequately. Everyone has to go, the Lan, Nie, and our clan are sending disciples. Jiang Cheng and others will be leaving for Qishan soon for whatever the Wen Clan has planned for them.”

“Bullshit!” He yelled, stomping his foot so hard on the floor that he split the wood. He mutters a quick ‘sorry’ before continuing to talk. “I’ve heard rumors about their leader being an ass and didn’t they throw the Waterborne Abyss onto the people of Caiyi Town!? What the hell!

Why does everyone have to bend their knees to them!?”

In truth, he does not know much about the Wen Clan other than their history and small things that Wen Qing and Wen Ning have shared with him. They were never bad people to him and nor was their father when they visited the Nightless City once. It was after the Waterborne Abyss that Wei Ying heard more about them.

Other students whispered about them, but they weren’t very good at whispering. He always heard them loud and clear. They talked of the Wens being power hungry and arrogant. They’re the clan with the largest members and there were even whispers of them forcing lesser sects to join them or be killed. He disbelieved most of the rumors because Wen Qing and Wen Ning didn’t even fit the descriptions.

But they are only a fraction of the sect and not the whole thing, so maybe these rumors are true. And if they are; what are they going to do to the disciples leaving for their territory.

A sudden dread fell over Wei Wuxian as he recalls Luo Binghe and Mobei-Jun’s conversation from earlier. The Discussion Conference and the mysterious group taking prisoners… can the two topics be about the Wens and if they are how many people are going to be in danger? He wants to rush to the Nightless City and ask Wen Qing and Wen Ning questions about what’s going on.

This must be why his parent’s protectiveness over him shot through the roof. They must know more and are trying to keep him safe. That doesn’t make him any happier with them, he’s not a child anymore and if they possess knowledge about the Wens, shouldn’t they be sharing it with everyone!?

“Wei Ying, as of right now no one can oppose the Qishanwen Sect. No one possesses enough power to go against them and all the sects are too afraid to start a war. As of right now, doing what they say is everyone’s safest bet.” Jiang Yanli says as she stares at the ground, clutching her dress in a tight grip.

My parents can, is what he wants to say but he bites his tongue before the words can pour from his mouth. His father is a commander of a demon army and most of his family are immortals and centuries-old with experience far beyond anyone. But having everyone know Luo Binghe is a demon would cause a bigger stir than the Wen Clan. Demons and cultivators used to be mortal enemies and if his papa is spying on the Wen Clan that will give them fuel to turn everyone’s attention to his family while they do what they want in the shadows.

Shen Qingqiu has wanted to keep his status as an immortal a secret as well, along with his uncles and aunt. Something he doesn’t quite understand and something he never pried for. He knows there’s a reason but he respects his father enough to not ask.

But he remembers his father openly admitting it to Madam Yu, so what the hell? She didn’t believe him anyway and just considers his family weird since Luo Binghe has proved that they’re not normal.

“Wei Wuxian? What are you doing here!?”

At the sound of his name, he turns to find Jiang Cheng at the door. He looks confused and little angry but mostly surprised by Wei Ying’s presence.

“I came to visit,” he answers. “And before you ask, I did not know and Shijie just filled me in on what’s going on.”

His friend sighs, leaning his body against the frame of the door and crossing his arms.

“It’s a mess and knowing the Wen Clan, they won’t be too kind to us as they teach us the ‘proper’ way to cultivate. This is going to be hell.”

“Let me come with you!” He yells, surprising both of the Jiang siblings. “I know I’m not apart of any sect but just give me a uniform to fit in. If we see Lan Wangji or Nie Huaisang or anyone that can recognize me we’ll just say I joined your sect. Give me a uniform and I can join your group once we’re away from the Lotus Pier so not even Madam Yu or Jiang Fengmian know I went with you.”

“Why?” Jiang Cheng demands. “Why are you concerned about this. I know I’m your friend but none of this concerns you. We’re probably just be going through a hellish training camp and be sent home. There is no reason for you to come.”

“Please,” he says. “Just let me. I want to make sure you stay safe. If something bad happens I don’t want my best friend getting killed.”

“Not to be arrogant but they wouldn’t be bold enough to kill the Yumengjiang heir or any of the greater sects main family members.”

“Accidents can happen,” Wei Ying says as the room chills. He wants to make sure that his friend stays safe. If the group Mo Beijun was talking about are taking prisoners that turn out to be the Wen Clan, anything can happen. People lie easily.

“Wei-”

“If it’s just a hellish training camp like you say then there’s no need for alarm but if something happens I want to be there to get you out of it.”

Jiang Cheng contemplates for a moment, clenching his hand into a fist and opening it again as he considers Wei Wuxian’s words. Yanli is now by her sibling’s side wearing a concerned look.

“I had a feeling you’d want to come when you heard.”

Something is thrown at Wei Wuxian, which he catches easily.

It’s the Yunmengjiang Sect uniform. Soft purple material with a small bell hanging from the waist. It chimes as he examines the clothes.

“What are you going to say to your parents?” His friend asks. “They won’t let you go with the way they’ve been acting this past year.”

“I know,” he breathes. A sudden weight smacking his chest and making his knees weak. He looks at the Jiang siblings with determination, the Yumengjiang uniform becoming heavy in his hands. “I’ll just have to lie to them...Whether they like it or not I’m coming with you.”

“Wei Ying… Are you sure this okay?” Jiang Yanli asks gently.

“Don’t worry! It will be fine!” He says smiling, which in turn, finally gets her to smile.

It will be fine, he tells himself. He’s probably just worrying too much and his papa and uncle’s discussion is probably about the Demon Realm.

It will be fine…

But for some reason, he can’t shake the feeling that he’s wrong.


“Airplane-bro what are you doing?” Shen Qingqiu asks, watching his fellow transmitter write in a worn book. Luo Binghe already left for the Demon Realm with the other demons, while Shang Qinghua decided to stay behind for a while.

“Trying to get some stuff straight… I have a lot of work back in the Demon Realm but I want to get this settled before I go back since this is less important.”

“So you’re avoiding work?”

“Of course not! I’m… Finishing work I never finished.” He laughs as he continues to write.

“What are you doing?”

“This is a list of half-demons that exist or have existed. Demons mingled a bit with humans before they and humans decided to keep their distance. I thought it would be smart to just keep a log of the mixed blood encase something happens. I don’t know what would happen but it’s just to be cautious.”

“That was a long time ago,” Shen Qingqiu sighs. “And you never finished writing down all the names?”

“I wrote down all the names! Just doting down their offspring and their locations just to be safe! You’d be surprised how many cultivators or sects have some demon heritage to them! Even one of the gre-”

“Father!” Wei Ying’s booming voice cuts through their conversation like a knife. His sun appears through the bamboo forest with a bright smile and he hugs Shen Qingqiu with so much force that it almost makes his chair fall over.

Have mercy on my old bones! Shen Qingqiu screams on the inside.

“Father! Jiang Cheng is going on a Night Hunt soon and I was wondering if I could go with him!”

“How long will you be gone?”

“Uhh… a week?”

“No.” Shen Qingqiu says without hesitating. A day or two wouldn’t be so bad but a week is too long. Wei Ying looks the same age from the vision he had where he was thrown from that cliff. They’re approaching that part of the story and he wants to keep his sun safe!

“But father!”

“I said no,” he repeats more sternly.

“It’s just a week!” Wei Wuxian protests with a small pout. “I’m going to be with Jiang Cheng, his father and a whole bunch of other Yunmeng cultivators! Please!”

Wei Ying continues to look at him with pleading eyes, the hug around his waist is still tight. He wants to tell him no again. That he can’t go and that he needs to endure this protectiveness of theirs for a while longer but another part of him wants to say yes.

He’ll be around lots of experienced cultivators and knows that their suffocating Wei Ying. He needs to live more and his youth is almost over. He’ll be an adult soon enough and no longer a teenager. Shen Qingqiu’s vision isn’t lining with the world’s events right now. If he’s just going on a Night Hunt with the Yumengjiang Sect he’ll be perfectly fine.

He doesn't doubt his son’s words because Wei Ying doesn’t lie to them about this kind of stuff.

“Fine, you can go but I’m packing your things.”

Chapter Text

Chapter 14: The Teachings of My Family

One day he would realize, that this was the start of so many problems.

His desperation to play the hero and his arrogance… Maybe listening to his parents would have prevented a lot.

Wei Wuxian, Jiang Cheng and the rest of the Yumengjiang disciples arrived in the Wen territory close to noon. Everyone was nervous during the whole trip and Wei Wuxian would be lying if he said he wasn’t. He hasn’t had many interactions with hostile cultivators. Madam Yu and sometimes uncle Liu Qingge had to be the closest people to hostile cultivators. From what he’s heard, the Wens have a lot of assholes in their ranks. He’s lucky Wen Qing and Wen Ning are so nice.

He wonders if he’ll see them here. He hasn’t seen them in so long.

They arrive at a large clearing with a bunch of the disciples from other sects already present. Proudly, Wei Ying stood with the Yunmengjiang uniform on. The purple robes mixed with black fit perfectly on him, but his immortal binding cable stood out due to its red color. Jiang Yanli had offered him a purple hair ribbon but this cable has gotten him out of situations before so he declined. A blush had threatened to crawl onto his face when he remembered that one time he used it at the Cloud Recess.

Before arriving, Jiang Cheng told him this particular area is where they held the recent Discussion Conference. There’s a big throne on top of stone stairs towards the back of it. One chair seated at the top while five others lay beneath. On the top of the stone stairs stood a group of Wens and a woman that Wei Wuxian could only describe as a prostitute.

Adorned in gaudy jewelry with too much makeup and rich clothing on. She has to be someone’s mistress dressed like that. When he was younger Shang Qinghua brought him to an unfamiliar town to fetch items that he needed. He had stood outside the store while his uncle got what he needed and he had seen some brightly dressed ladies with lots of makeup not far from where he stood.

Wei Ying being Wei Ying had walked up to them and asked why they wore such clothing, which earned him chuckles and laughter from the ladies. They had patted his head and given him some candy and told them that they're dressed to ‘pleasure people’. Shang Qinghua had exited the store at that time and dragged him away from the bright clothed women that were laughing as he was taken away.

He confidently asked his parents what those ladies do to pleasure people and Shen Qingqiu almost wrung Shang Qinghua’s neck that night. He thought it was hilarious but he was oblivious as to why his father was so angry with his uncle.

The Wen near her must be in charge of the training that they’re going to be going through. He looks like an unfavorable person, with the sneer he’s wearing as he stares down at the cultivators below him. Another Wen stands next to him but his composure is completely different, his shoulders straight and his calculating.

There’s something more about that one that worries Wei Wuxian.

“The one next to the woman is Wen Chao, Wen Ruohan’s son.” Jiang Cheng said, knocking his shoulder into Wei Ying’s. “Be careful around him.”

He sticks his tongue out playfully, “I’ll do my best.”

Jiang Cheng lets out a long sigh before he smiles back him.

“I’m going to talk with Yunmeng disciples. I’ll be back later.”

“Don’t get lost!”

He watches Jiang Cheng approach the disciples and then his eyes wander off, trying to see if he recognizes anyone present. It’s been a year since he’s been with other cultivators than the ones at the Lotus Pier and he wonders if anyone he knows has changed.

Not much happened over the year that caused Wei Wuxian to change much. From what he can tell, he’s still the same. No crazy event happened to cause him to become different so he can’t see much of a difference in himself other than increased cultivation.

Jiang Cheng and everyone at the Lotus Pier have barely changed as well. Madam Yu still gets after them while his father and Jiang Fengmian laugh in the distance. Yanli still cooks them her amazing soup and the younger disciples flock to him and Jiang Cheng for practice and for fun. If anything, his parents are the ones that changed over the year, scratch that, make it his whole family. Well, expect Shang Qinghua.

His thought his papa’s protectiveness was bad but having the whole family being protective in their own way is aggravating. Constant escorts, more training, and doubled studying is crazy. His freedom was taken away for a whole year. Maybe his parents heard about all his pranking in the Cloud Recess and he was being punished for it.

He doubts it though, his father’s punishments are rewriting texts all day or holding two buckets full of water while standing for an hour.

His family is weird.

At least he learned how to brake arms and necks, courtesy of Liu Qingge.

He shocked when was able to butter up Shen Qingqiu to come here without some sort of escort. Though, his father likely considers the Jiang’s his escorts. Hopefully, he doesn’t find out that he lied to him or Shen Qingqiu and Luo Binghe are going to ground him for life. He can see his papa cuddling him in a blanket and hugging him with an angry scowl, threatening to never let go. He wouldn’t put it past him to do it.

He sighed, letting his shoulders slack. He’s not here for freedom (it’s part of the reason), he’s here to make sure Jiang Cheng isn’t harmed. His parents are so cautious of the Wens and must know something that no else does for papa to be involving Mobei and Sha Hualing.

The whole cultivation world is even fearful of the dreaded sun. He hopes he can at least keep his best friend safe during this whole ‘training camp’, should problems start to arise.

Still musing in his thoughts, Wei Ying started walking around and examining the other cultivators. Lots of nervous looks and quiet chatter gave off the feeling of fear. At this point, Wei Ying could smell it. There are even girls here! Why would women be sent too? The Wen Clan is just being unreasonable!

He continues his scanning of the area and can see members from every one of the great clans here. Boys and girls mixed together. The Yumengjiang, of course, is here. The Qinghenie are present and the yellow of the Langling Jin stands out compared to the rest. He sees the peacock scowling among them.

In the far corner is the white clothing of the Gusulan. He notices that the white-clothed cultivators look weary and overall in bad shape. Their clothing has some tears on the edges, barely noticeable if one only glanced at them. He wonders why they’re in bad shape but Wei Ying is more concerned about the tightening feeling in his chest.

Is Lan Wangji here?

Is the first sentence that crosses his mind when he scans the sea of white cultivators. What does he say if he sees the second jade? They barely spoke before he left the Cloud Recess, it’s been a year, but more than likely it will still be awkward between them! He confessed after all!

AHH!

What did papa do when he saw father after he was thrown into the Abyss? What did he say to him when he saw him again? Why can’t he remember that part of the story? Luo Binghe has told him that story thousands of times so why can’t he remember one of the most crucial parts? Wait… didn’t papa try to kill father? Trying to kill Lan Wangji isn’t a good thing to do when he sees him again! Why must his parents have a complicated and problematic love story?

Is Lan Wangji even here? Maybe he’s not. Maybe he got sick or injured and couldn’t come. He hopes he is but it’s bad to wish misfortune upon others like that!

“Wei Ying?”

The voice makes him freeze in his place, the gentle scent of sandalwood crossing his nose as he attempts to get himself together. His voice is still the same from when he last heard him, has Lan Wangji’s looks changed or is it the same as well?

Skittishly, Wei Ying turns around and is met with the expressionless second jade of Gusulan. From what Wei Ying can tell, Lan Wangji has changed just a little, small little details that he’s able to see. He looks older and he’s matured in his features. His shoulders are noticeable broad through his clothing now and he’s a centimeter or two taller than Wei Ying.

“Uhhh, hello Lan Wangji,” he greets with a nervous smile. The Lan member says nothing as he stares at Wei Ying. He’s used to people staring at him but he finds it uncomfortable that Lan Wangji is the one doing the staring. He watches as Lan Zhan’s golden eyes look at him from head to toe.

“Yunmengjiang?”

“What?”

Lan Wangji points at his uniform.

“Oh, this!” He says standing proudly in the purple outfit. “Does it look good on me, Lan Wangji? I’m a part of the Yunmengjiang Sect now!” He’s not actually part of the sect but he has to make this act convincing. They’d probably kick him out if they learned he’s a rogue cultivator. As he gloated he failed to notice how the second jade’s expression darkened, but it’s not like he’d be able to tell.

Wei Ying’s noise level died down as the two stood there in awkward silence. The nervous jitters started coming back like ants crawling all over his back. Lan Wangji just stands there with a blank expression as the two don’t exchange a single word.

This is weird! He thinks, fiddling with his immortal binding cable. He forgot how hard it can be to talk to someone like the ice-cold Lan Wangji. Even uncle Mobei is easier to talk to, but the ice demon is family and has always entertained him by talking about demonic monsters. They had something in common in that regard and after a year of getting to know Lan Wangji, Wei Ying still can’t pick his personality apart.

He did confess his feelings, which crashed and burned and Wei Ying was adamant at avoiding Lan Wangji after that. So really, he didn’t have a full year to get to know the second jade.

“How’s your brother and uncle?” He decides to ask in hopes of breaking their silence.

He notices how Lan Wangji’s shoulders stiffen and his yellow eyes widened a centimeter at the question.

Did he hit a nerve? Fuck, did he piss him off again!?

Wei Ying starts his internal panicking but is cut off by the sound of a gong. It echoes throughout the area, effectively catching the attention of every cultivator present. Everyone looks up to the throne area, where Wen Chao is standing with a disgusting grin.

One of the Wen guards moves forward. “Every one of you, hand over your swords!”

Outrage breaks out the minute he finishes speaking.

“Why would we do that!?”

“Do you think we’d give up our swords like this?”

“This is outrageous!”

“A cultivator always stands with their weapon!” A Nie member says as he confidently stands. “Why would we give them to you!?”

Wen Chao clicks his tongue, clearly annoyed with all the yelling. He wraps his arm around his lady friend and says something to a cultivator on his right. The man nods his head and Wei Ying watches intently as the cultivator’s gloved hand glows red.

He darts forward and in little, to no time he’s in front of the Nie cultivator. The gloved hand flares and smashes against the Nie’s chest. The poor kid cries out in pain as he’s launched into the air and falls onto his back. He struggles to get up before giving up completely and passing out.

Startled, Wei Wuxian rushes over the to cultivator’s side, kneeling next to him in the dirt. There’s no injury, not that he can see with his naked eye. He lifted the cultivator’s wrist and felt for a pulse of spiritual energy, but he was unable to find one.

This guy’s core is gone! It’s been destroyed!

“That’s Wen Zhuliu, the Core-Melting Hand!”

At the declaration Wen Chaos burst into laughter, his lady doing the same.

“Do you understand now!?” He shouts, standing up and smiling. “If any of you weak cultivators disobey, you will have your core melted! Now hand over your swords or lose your cultivation!”

The air gets heavy as everyone realizes the weight of the situation. If they hand over their swords they’ll have no weapon to protect themselves with, but if they don’t hand them over then they’ll lose their core.

Dammit! Wei Wuxian curses internally as the Wens began collecting everyone’s swords. He knew bad things were going to happen here but this is not a situation he planned for! He watches as Lan Wangji and Jin Zixuan reluctantly gave up their swords. Jiang Cheng looked like he’d rather chop off the collector’s head but hesitantly gave them Sandu.

Finally, one of the Wens approaches him.

Wei Wuxian took Suibian off his belt and he tightened his grip on his sword, his forehead wrinkling as his feelings mix inside him. He doesn’t want to give Suibian up but he has to. Is there even a chance that the Wens will give them back when they’re all done? At this point, he has no hope that they will.

As he handed the Wen Suibian, his mind drifted off to when he first got his sword.

Luo Binghe was returning from the Demon Realm that night. He was laying in the grass outside of their bamboo house with his head in Shen Qingqiu’s lap as his father ran his hands through his unbound hair.

His father had come home with Mobei, Sha Hualing, and Shang Qinghua which is normal until Liu Qingge and Liu Mingyan also appeared behind him. In his papa’s hand was a sword wrapped in red silk. It wasn’t hard to tell it was a sword from the way it as bound and instantly, Wei Ying had gotten up off the ground and ran over to Luo Binghe.

He heard a chuckle from Shen Qingqiu as he approached him from behind. Luo Binghe handed him the sword with a smile on his face and gestured for him to open it. Wei Ying flung the red silk off to reveal his weapon, Suibian.

He was so happy and hugged his whole family and after, he ended up sword fighting everyone with Suibian. He couldn’t beat them but that was to be expected. He thought he could at least beat Shang Qinghua but he was proven wrong.

After they had calmed down from the fighting and were resting, Shang Qinghua took the time to explain Suibian to him. The sword was made in the Demon Realm with a mix of metals that could be found in the Demon and Human Realms. Best of both worlds, Shang Qinghua had said, but the blade had been infused with fires from the Demon Realm, giving it an extra boost.

Everything his family has given him is important to him. The immortal binding cable, Subian, his education, the strength of his core, his family. He doesn’t want to give any of them up, but he doesn’t have a choice here.

He gave the nameless Wen Suibian and watched sadly as it was collected with the others.

He needs to figure out how to get it back before this damn ‘training’ camp is over.


 

“Airplane-bro why are you coming with me?” Shen Qingqiu asks as the two cultivators stepped into the Lotus Pier.

“I have to pick up somethings! Besides, I barely come to these places anymore. I’m always in the Demon Realm and being in a place full of humans is nice every once and a while. I’ve gotten kidnapped too many times because of demon politics. Let me have a break!”

Shen Qingqiu fans himself from the heat and continues to listen to Shan Qinghua ramble on about demon politics. Luckily, he’s been able to avoid them for the past couple of years because he needed to take care of Wei Ying.

“Why are you here, Cucumber-bro?” Shang Qinghua asks after he finishes his talk of demon politics. “If I recall the Jiangs are gone on a Night Hunt. That’s why you let Wei Ying leave, to let him join them for a week.”

“Yes, that’s correct,” he says. “Madam Yu doesn’t always join them on the Night Hunts so I wish to see if she’s present. Despite her fiery attitude, she makes for great conversation.”

“How cute! The wives are getting along!”

Shen Qingqiu smacks the top of Shang Qinghua’s head with his fan. “If I’m the wife then so are you.”

“I can’t argue with that,” the author weakly laughs. There’s no way he could be the husband in the relationship with someone like Mobei-Jun. “Do you mind if a stick around? I want to see what the Yunmengjiang Sect headquarters look like.”

“Depends on Madam Yu’s mood, but sure.”

The two approached the Jiang household passing by sect disciples who are running about and the occasional patrol. The sect members bowed their heads or gave a friendly greeting to Shen Qinqiu as they walked over the wood paths.

“Shen Qingqiu, it’s good to see you.” Jiang Fengmian says, approaching Shen Qingqiu and Shang Qinghua. Shen Qingqiu almost drops his fan at the sight of the sect leader and feels his heart start to beat rapidly.

Why is Jiang Fengmian here? Did Wei Ying lie to him?

The immortal mentally smacks himself. The Night Hunt must have ended early and they just returned home, but that doesn’t sound quite right in his head. He didn’t see Wei Ying or Jiang Cheng outside at all and when those two are around they’re usually in the training yard or goofing off in town. Now, that he thinks about it, the number of cultivators in the city didn’t look thin at all. If they went on a Night Hunt their numbers should have been smaller.

“Master Shen, is there something wrong?” Jiang Fengmian asks them with a concerned expression.

It doesn’t hurt to ask.

“Weren’t you going a Night Hunt?”

He watches as the sect leader’s eyebrow raises in confusion and inwardly curses. So the Night Hunt with the Jiangs was a lie.

“Is there something wrong?” He questions.

“Wei Wuxian said he was going on a Night Hunt with you,” Shang Qinghua explains before Shen Qingqiu can speak. “That’s what he told us anyway. It's obvious that he lied now, do you know where he is?”

“My apologies, I don’t know,” Jiang Fengmian says. “May I ask who you are?”

“He’s a close friend that I’ve known for a very long time,” Shen Qingqiu said. “Do you have any sort of idea where Wei Ying could have gone? He’s already been gone for three days on this supposed Night Hunt.”

The sect leader stands there and ponders, looking to the side of the room as he thinks.

“Well, there’s only one place I can think of, but I can’t find a reason as to why Wei Wuxian would go there.”

“Please tell me,” Shen Qingqiu pleaded. He doesn’t want anything to happen to Wei Ying, especially with all the Wen activity lately. If his vision comes true… If something happens to Wei Ying!

“My son and others were called to go Qishanwen territory for training by the Wen Clan about three days ago. It lines up with the days that Wei Wuxian has been gone but why would he want to go?”

“Training by the Wen Clan?” Shen Qingqiu repeats, dread falling onto him onto like a boulder from the sky. Shang Qinghua looks just as horrified as their eyes lock. They know what’s in store for the future but they don’t know when exactly it will happen.

“Please tell me exactly where they are!” Shen Qingqiu begs Jiang Fengmian. “I need to find Wei Ying!”

“Master Shen, they’ll be back in four days. I know the situation with the Wens is not positive in the cultivation world, but they’ll be back soon. We must not start a fight with the Wen Clan.”

Shen Qingqiu shakes his head, his grip on his fan tightening as small cracks began to form in it. “I know the last thing the cultivation world wants is a war with the Qishanwen Sect, but I need to know Sect Leader Jiang Fengmian. I won’t involve your sect, I promise. Just tell me where he is, you don’t need to lead me.”

They stand there in silence, staring into each other's eyes. He needs to know where Wei Ying is and if Jiang Fengmian does not give him an answer he’ll just go to the System and hope he’ll get the information he needs out of that.

He needs to find him.

He threw his husband into the Abyss and he does not wish to watch his son get thrown into one. He can’t go through another loved one being thrown into the darkness.

Jiang Fengmian sighs his eyes softening, “I’ll tell you where they are.”


 

“Keep looking you slackers!” A Wen shouts as all the disciple run about, looking for a supposed cave with a demonic tortoise.

Wei Wuxian grits his teeth as the Wens continue to yell at everyone. Once and while Wen Chao will bark out his own orders, making the situation more irritable than it needs to be.

Wen Chao’s woman, Wang Lingjiao walks around with an arrogant grin and Wen branding iron in her hands. Some of the girls squawk and run when they make eye contact with her, in fear she may brand them.

“This is ridiculous,” he whispers as he works on finding this cave. He’s been observing everyone else as they run about like headless chickens. They even handed them a dumb Wen Essence Collection book filled with proverbs from their past leaders and influential clan members and told them that it should be the only criteria for them to cultivate from. They were also told to memorize it!

His father’s teachings are better than this bullshit!

And now they’re on a mountain looking for a demonic tortoise for Wen Chao to slay. It’s been days of hunting monster without their swords and being pushed around by these assholes.

He’s so pissed and ready to burst, but he knows that will only cause trouble. He’s under the banner of the Yunmengjiang Clan, whatever he does will come to bite them.

Damn it all he hates this!

“You look upset,” Nie Huaisang said as he sheepishly approached Wei Wuxian. He clicks his tongue, he’s not surprised that his anger is this easy to see, he’s sure it’s seething from him like smoke at this point. “Be careful though, no one wants to make a fight with Wen Clan.”

“I know, I know,” Wei Ying huffed, crossing his arms. “What’s the worse they could do anyway?”

“Well, they did burn down the Cloud Recess a couple of months ago.”

“What!?” He yells, his voice startling some of the female cultivators.

“You didn’t know?” The Nie said astonished. “It happened just last month and their clan leader was severely wounded. There hasn’t been much else about his condition, the Lan Clan has been tight-lipped about his health.”

He must be dying, was Wei Ying’s first thought. A terrible one, but if their being secretive about him and have not released any other sort of statement, that means he’s either dying or so injured that it will affect his position in the clan. He’s hoping Lan Wangji is okay.

He glances at Lan Wangji, the Lan slightly bent over with a hand on his right leg. He’s noticed a small limp that Lan Wangji has the whole time that they’ve been at this damn camp. Wei Wuxian can tell he’s doing his best to hide it, but most, if not everyone can see that he’s injured. The attack on the Cloud Recess must have resulted in his leg getting hurt.

What kind of uproar?” Luo Binghe asked with a raised eyebrow.

“The heir got humiliated. He was showing off and ended up making a mistake that one of the other sects fixed during the tournament. To add to injury, that same sect took the first and second place.” Jiujiu crossed his arms, his icy blue eyes staring at the ground. “That’s all that the scouts have been able to gather. Other than the increase of prisoners and the Discussion Conference, the clan has not made any other movement.”

Did they really attack the Cloud Recess for those reasons? Another reason to hate these people. Instantly, Wei Ying finds himself regretting those words, the faces of Wen Ning and Wen Qing flash in his mind.

He hopes they’re alright.

“You two! Stop slacking and get to work!” A guard screams at them.

Nie Huasiang’s shoulder jump as he gets back to searching.

Wei Wuxian uncrosses his arms and makes his way towards Lan Wangji. The second jade is a strong cultivator, but with a bad leg and being pushed so hard every day will create problems for the future.

“Lan Wangji!” He shouts, catching the Lan’s attention. “Let me mend your leg,” he says when he gets close enough.

Lan Wangji’s eyes widen and he looks ready to say no but Wei Ying interrupts him.

“I’m not the best healer, but let me do something at least. Unless you want me to carry you for the rest of the week,” he laughs. He watches the process of Lan Wangji’s ears going red and Wei Ying starts to laugh even more. “Sit down for a moment and let me help you.”

“Both of you, get back to work!” The guard from earlier yells as he gets close to Wei Wuxian.

“I’m helping mend his leg, give me a second.”

“We don’t have time for that! Get back to work!”

“No,” he says, which surprises the guard, anger twisting on his face as he reaches out to grab Wei Wuxian.

Instead of letting himself get grabbed, Wei Ying snatches the cultivator’s wrist with his right hand. Quickly, he tightens that grip and pulls the wrist towards him and with his left hand, he smashes his fist into the Wen’s elbow in the opposite direction that Wei Ying is pulling him towards.

A swift snap echoes throughout the mountain, which is promptly followed by screams of agony.

Clutching his broken arm, the Wen falls to the ground screaming his lungs out. The other disciples present have their jaws on the floor and so do the other Wens.

Wei Ying, on the other hand, ignores the screaming man and forces Lan Wangji to sit on a rock and with the Lan’s permission, Wei Wuxian kneels down and starts healing his leg the best he can. Honestly, Wei Ying isn’t good at healing so he focuses more on transferring his spiritual energy.

The Wen is being dragged away by his fellow comrades, yelling that Wei Wuxian is going to get whipped when they’re done with their hunt on the mountain.

The rogue cultivator ignores the yelling directed at him and sighs. He feels a headache coming in and honestly he wants to keep breaking their arms.

“Why did you do that? They will punish you,” Lan Wangji says, his face illuminated by the bright glow of Wei Ying’s healing.

He simply smiles and shrugs his shoulders. He opens his mouth to speak when a scream cuts through the air.

He stops the healing as they both rush towards one of the wooded areas where the screaming is coming from. He kneels down in the bushes with Lan Wangji, looking for the source. He spots Jiang Cheng not too far from them, his face twisted in disgust and Wei Ying can see the veins poking out of his head.

“Jiang Cheng,” he whispers as he crawls over to his friend. The anger in Jiang Cheng’s face subsides, albeit only a little when he spots Wei Ying. His friend points to what he’s looking at and Wei Wuxian feels his own anger coming back and burning the inside of his chest.

Wen Chao has one of the girls cornered against a rock. The fear in her eyes is apparent and it’s not hard to tell what Wen Chao is doing to her.

It’s also easy to tell that the three of them don’t know what to do about this situation. If they harm Wen Chao in any way they’ll have their cores melted or they’ll be killed. Whatever they do, they’ll be punished but they can’t let this girl get molested by this disgusting excuse of a human!

Grabbing a fistful of leaves off of the nearby trees, Wei Wuxian desperately puts his spiritual energy into them and flings the reinforced leaves at Wen Chao’s back. The leaves embed themselves into his robes and through his skin as small blotches of red start staining the white areas of his robes.

Wen Chao yelps in surprise as he reaches for his back, trying to find what pierced him. From their spot in the bushes, Jiang Cheng motions for the girl to run away. She hesitates for a moment before bowing her head and running off as far as she can from Wen Chao.

The three of them sigh in relief as they sink further into the depths of woods, but that relief is short-lived as a guard approaches Wen Chao.

“Sir we found the cave! A-are you alright!?”

“Those little whores!” Wen Chao screams as he rips out the leaves from his back. “Whoever did this is going to whipped and branded!” He stomps off angrily as the guard follows behind him, directing him to the cave and calling for a healer

“We should get going,” Lan Wangji whispers, standing up from their hiding spot. Jiang Cheng and Wei Ying nod their heads in agreement, they shouldn’t stay in case Wen Chao comes back.

They make their way back to find the Wens rounding all the disciples up and directing them towards a cave sunk into the ground. The girl that they helped found her way back to her group, her friends and allies comforting her as they glare daggers into Wen Chao’s back.

Everyone looks tired, even the yellow peacock. Jin Zixuan looks as irritated like everyone else and Wei Wuxian doesn’t know how they’ll manage to slay a demonic tortoise, especially Xuanwu of Slaughter.

Mobei-jun had briefly told him about the beast when he was eight or nine. Unfortunately, he can’t remember too much about it other than it being a crazed monster that ate humans.

They all entered the cave and spread out. The inside is the same for any cave except the giant lake in the center with a small island in it. More than likely, the monster is sleeping in the center of the lake. He still wonders how they’ll slay such a thing when half of the people here are unarmed and exhausted from searching all afternoon. Some cultivators from the other sects manage to pick up a bow with arrows, but it’s mainly the Wen guards that have weapons.

What other roles can they play other than bait?

“Take that girl there and hang her! Bleed her out to draw the beast from hiding!” Wen Chao snaps as he pointed at the maiden he tried to molest mere minutes ago.

“No!” The girl yells, running from the Wens that try to grab at her. The disciples from the other sects stood still, making no move to help her. Another Wen reached out for her when Jin Zixuan got in his way. He grabbed the man’s wrist and threw him to the side, standing in between the girl and the other Wen guards.

“Move,” Wen Chao hissed, fury in his eyes at the sight of rebellion.

Jin Zixuan did nothing, glaring back at Wen Chao as other members of his sect took a stand next to him. Even Lan Wangji stood near him, the Gusulan Sect rising up to join him.

The fury in Wen Chao’s eyes burned even more as he took a step closer. “Do you really want to rebel? Tie her up now, this is a warning!” Of course, no one listened to him. The veins started popping out of Wen Chao’s head, his lady friend, Wang Lingjaio was starting to get angry as well.

“I guess you’re not so bad,” Wei Wuxian whispered as he evaluated the situation. He has to admit, Jin Zixuan is quite brave to be the first one standing up against the Wen Clan. “Still not good enough for Jiang Yanli though.”

Suddenly the atmosphere changed like the quick snap of a whip, “Kill them!” Wen Chao screams.

Chaos broke out quickly as yellow, white, and red mixed together with clashes of swords, fists, and spiritual energy. The cave becoming a battlefield as the fight raged on. Jiang Cheng made no move to join the Jin Zixuan or Lan Wangji, and as much as Wei Wuxian wants to fight he needs to stick to Jiang Cheng’s orders, but he grabbed some stray leaves on the ground, filling them with spiritual energy just in case.

The fighting continued, but the Jin and Lan clans have the upper hand with both their forces combined. Quickly, they were overwhelming the Wens, disarming them and fighting against them with their temporary weapons.

Wen Chao unsheathed his sword and made eye contact with Wen Zhuliu.

He’s about to send him out to fight! Before the asshole could even give the Core-Melting Hand an order, Wei Wuxian spoke up.

“Those that abuse the power of their clan to do evil should be killed, isn’t that what you’re doing right now?” He accused, stepping forward with Jiang Cheng right next to him. “Not only should they be killed, but they should be beheaded as a warning to future generations. Isn’t that the words of your clan’s own legendary founder, Wen Mao?”

He took out the collection book that the Wens had handed them, waving the book side to side. “We were told to memorize this, did I do a good job reciting it? Would you really defy the words of your clan’s founder or are you nothing more than a rabid dog, upset that someone took his bone?”

“Who are you even, you impudent brat!? A Yunmengjiang nobody who dares to talk back to me!”

“I’m not apart of this sect,” he says finding no point in trying to hide anymore. “But back on the topic at hand, shouldn’t you be beheaded? I think many would agree here that you’re using the power of your clan for evil or would you go back on your founder’s words? Making you into a human stick might be a more fitting punishment though, but either way, you should go die.”

It took no time for Wen Chao to run after him, his blade pointed right at Wei Wuxian. He notices Wen Zhuliu running right behind his master so Wei Wuxian is swift to disarm Wen Chao. He throws his sword at Jiang Cheng for him to use and grabs one of his sharped leaves and presses it against Wen Chao’s throat.

He uses the edge of the leaf to create a small line of blood on Wen Chao neck, showing the Core-Melting that he can slit his master’s throat at any moment.

“Any closer and he’ll be the one bleeding out for the Xuanwu of Slaughter,” he warns, backing up to create distance between him and Wen Zhuliu. All the fighting stops as the Wens realize that their leader is in danger, ready to help him but unable to with Wei Ying so close to slitting his throat.

“You little bastard,” Wen Choa hisses as he grits his teeth. “You’re the one that attacked me earlier! If you hurt me, all of you will die! My father will kill you!”

Wei Ying was about to say something back when he heard the sound of water moving behind him. A shadow loomed over him and Wen Chao, he can feel eyes staring directly at him. He turns his head back and is met with the red demonic eyes of the tortoise they were looking for. The creature opens its jaws and rushes forward to attack.

Wei Wuxian dodges out of the way, letting go of Wen Chao as he hits the cave floor. Jiang Cheng pulls him to his feet and they both run away from the water’s edge, taking cover behind a rock pillar as Xuanwu of Slaughter starts roaring and snapping at any cultivator close to it. The monster manages to grab a Wen between its jaws.

Everyone watches in horror as creature crushes the man’s skull like a peach. Those armed with bows and arrows starting shooting at it, but the scaly hide proves too tough to pierce. The arrows that fail to piece its hide only make the tortoise angrier. The creature starts lashing out more, rocks from the ceiling collapsing onto the ground and making everyone scatter far away from each other.

Wang Lingjiao is screaming and making a mad run towards the entrance of the cave, thankfully it seems she dropped the branding iron somewhere.

The Wens continue attacking the demonic beast, but none of their attacks are working. No blade nor arrow is getting through its scales and rocks are falling from the ceiling. If this goes on any longer they’ll be buried under rocks or be eaten alive!

“I’m going to do something stupid!” He yells at Jiang Cheng as he runs from his hiding spot. He hears his friend yelling at him, but the sound of his beating heart drowns out the noise. As he gets closer to the giant tortoise, he takes out his bamboo flute with shaky fingers. If this fails he’s going to get eaten!

Calmly, Wei Ying lifts his flute to his lips, his heart beating rapidly in his ribcage. The speed increasing as the roars from Xuanwu make him panic and the beat of his heart start pounding wildly in his ears.

Somewhere in the distance, he can hear Wen Chao screaming orders at the Wens as everyone starts running frantically for cover from the beast and falling rocks. He does his best to ignore the screaming and panic as he takes in a deep breath and breathes out.

His parents are going to scold him for this stunt, but what other choice does he have? Softly, he blows into his flute, the gentle yet eerie melody silencing all panic and chaos in the cave. The cultivators stop moving as the song sends chills up their spines and slowly all their eyes turn to the demonic monster.

The giant tortoise’s demonic eyes turn to Wei Ying as he plays the song with confident steps and with eyes staring back at the tortoise, Wei Wuxian walks towards it still playing his flute.

This is a song that Sha Hualing taught him years back. It’s only meant for taming demonic beasts in the Demon Realm by forcefully calming them. He knows he not strong enough to tame the Xuanwu of Slaughter, but it will stop the beast from trying to eat them and causing so much ruckus. For as long as he plays, the monster shouldn’t attack.

Keyword being ‘shouldn’t’.

He gets close enough to ensure the song is ringing loudly in the tortoise’s ears and get ready to give Jiang Cheng to run.

But just as he’s about to, a searing pain spreads through his back like fire igniting his body. He stops playing out of shock as he sees an arrow poking out between his shoulder blades.

Chapter Text

Chapter 15: Immortal

There is an arrow in his back.

There is a fucking arrow in his back.

He would scream or curse, but his voice isn’t working, nothing is coming out. He’s still taking in the fact he got shot!

Wei Ying stumbled forward on the rocky floor, dropping his flute in the process. The bamboo instrument rolled into the underground lake with a soft ‘plop’. The rest of the noise in the cave canceled the sound. He stopped himself from falling onto his face by positioning his feet. Yet, the pain in his back and the giant man-eating tortoise are more pressing issues.

Wei Ying narrowly avoided the gnashing jaws of the tortoise, as Jiang Cheng grabbed the back of his clothes. He didn’t avoid it unharmed as the monster’s teeth ripped off a part of his left sleeve. Grazing his skin and leaving a small scratch. Jiang Cheng tugged him behind some tall pillars, away from the water's edge where the Xuanwu was unable to get them.

“That was the dumbest thing I have ever seen you do!” His friend snapped, “I would hit you, but you have an arrow in your back.”

“Glad you noticed,” Wei Ying said as he collapsed onto his knees. His head is getting a little dizzy, luckily, he’s not bleeding enough to faint. “Who shot me anyway?”

His friend rolled his eyes, kneeling next to him. “The idiot over there did.” Jiang Cheng pointed towards a disciple in white.

“Why the hell did you shoot me!?” He yelled, startling the Gusu Lan cultivator.

The song might have frightened him due to its demonic origins, but that’s not a good enough reason to shoot him. The disciple’s lips quivered as he tried to voice his reasoning, yet no words came out. The glare from everyone and the especially hard glare from Lan Wangji must be frightening him.

The center of attention and not for a good reason.

The Xuanwu of Slaughter continued to thrash about the cave. Its body hitting the sides of rock pillars and shaking the whole place.

“We have to make way for the exit, or we’ll be stuck in here,” Jiang Cheng stated. Their only problem is the Wen cultivators at the exit. They’re blocking it and making sure that Wen Chao and his bitch get out first. Getting through with Wen Zhuliu won’t be easy with the danger of them closing their cores.

How to get out of here before the cave collapses on them?

He could try calming the tortoise down again. Although, the effect might be less effective since he already used it once. He also lost his flute and he doubts someone else is carrying one.

Brute force won’t work since more than half don’t even have weapons

They need some sort of option and fast!

“Someone please pull this arrow out of my back,” he said, his head is feeling lighter by the second.

“No,” Lan Wangji said, interrupting Jiang Cheng from pulling it out. “If you pull it out now, he’ll bleed more. Leave it in and make sure it doesn’t touch the walls or pillars. Watch your footing so you don’t fall and embed it further into your back.”

“Fine leave it in,” Wei Wuxian said reluctantly. “But we need to get out of here. We got to move the Wens out of the way.”

“And how do you plan on doing such a thing?” Jin Zixuan asked, his eye twitching in irritation as more of the Wens exited the cave. “Or do you have other secrets you wish to share Wei Wuxian?”

He wanted to comment on the peacock’s tone and apprehension but getting out is more ideal.

“There are a ton of leaves in here,” he said between pants as he scanned his surroundings. If you all gather some quickly, I can use my spiritual energy to fill them and force the Wens to move out of the way.”

“How will you leave then? The force has a high chance of making the entrance collapse.” Jiang Cheng crossed his arms; his expression is disapproving.

“I’ll come up with something when I get there.”

“You might get stuck in here!”

“There is no time to argue!” He shouted, abruptly standing up. “Either all or one of us is stuck in here with the tortoise. I’d rather just have one stuck in here,” he smiled. Before anyone could protest Wei Ying gathered some stray leaves in the cave. Others quickly followed behind him and placed their small piles by him. After a while, Jin Zixuan and Jiang Cheng began to gather as well.

With time ticking fast, Wei Wuxian stopped gathering in favor of putting his spiritual energy into the leaves to use his father’s technique. The only problem is his current level of spiritual energy, he doesn’t know if he has enough to force the Wens out of the way.

A warm hand cupped his shoulder, the hand belonging to Lan Wangji. Lan Wangji began to transfer Wei Ying his own spiritual energy.

“Lan Wangji! What are you doing!? You need to get ready to run!”

Lan Wangji shook his head, “I am staying to help you. Do not argue, we do not have the time.”

Biting his bottom leaf, Wei Wuxian poured his and Lan Wangji’s spiritual energy into the leaves. He was quickly able to fill them up and with no warning, he shot them all at the Wens blocking the exit. Wen Chao and Wang Lingjiao pushed through the exit. Only their clothes getting scratched. Wen Zhuliu kept blasted the storm of leaves with his spiritual energy. But, there are too many for him to keep pushing away.

The Core-Melting’s clothes and skin started to get cut up and the wounds would get more severe if he stayed put. With one final blast of his spiritual energy, Wen Zhuliu ducked out the cave. Other Wens followed and few were unable due to their wounds.

Like Jiang Cheng predicted, the force of his attack shook the rocks that form the entrance of the cave. His friend motioned for everyone to run out before the entrance collapsed. Everyone rushed towards the exit. Wei Wuxian took a step forward before collapsing on his knees. Lan Wangji caught him, cushioning the blow.

“I’ll get help and come back!” Jiang Cheng yelled at the entrance as rocks threatened to fall above his head. Jin Zixuan grabbed his collar, pulling Jiang Cheng out before rocks blocked the exit completely.

Wei Wuxian let his shoulders relax, focusing on his breathing as his heartbeat steadied. During the escape the Xuanwu of Slaughter had calmed down, retreating into its lake. The cave wasn’t shaking anymore, but his body still was.

He had forgotten that Lan Wangji stayed back in the cave with him. He barely registered when the Lan took his hand from his shoulder. His breathing calmed down, his eyes threatening to close due to his own exhaustion.

Lan Wangji gently took hold of his shoulders and set him on the ground. He was softly laid on his right side, the arrow still sticking out, the bleeding stopped.

“Rest,” Lan Wangji said, his voice echoing in the cave. “You used most of your spiritual energy, you need rest.”

He wants to argue. He wants to get out of this damn cave and go find his parents. Getting scolded by them sounds better than being stuck with a demonic monster. Lan Wangji is here at least, it makes the situation less bad.

With no energy to talk back, Wei Wuxian closed his eyes and fell asleep.

Instead of dreams, Wei Wuxian thought as he slept. His swirling thoughts accumulating and forming possibilities his mind is worrying about.

How long is he going to be stuck in the cave?

Is the arrow in his back going to have any permanent damage?

Exactly how hard are his parents going to ground his ass?

He’s not worried about being stuck in the cave forever. The minute Luo Binghe hears about him being here he’ll use his bare hands to rip the cave a new entrance. Shen Qingqiu would do the same but in a more graceful manner than his demon papa.

They’re going to pissed at him with the fury of a god… or demon and immortal in this case. At this point he’s sure he’s going to get a scolding from his whole family.

Wei Wuxian felt the sudden sensation of the rocky floor under him. His mind is groggy, he doesn’t know what position he’s lying in. He rolled to the left and the tip of the arrow tapped the ground before he rolled into his previous position, his mind on full alert now.

“Don’t move. You’ll hurt yourself,” said the voice of Lan Wangji.

With his eyes still closed, Wei Ying smiled, “I’ll hurt myself? You’re treating me like a toddler Lan Wangji!”

The silence was his response, which caused him to giggle uncontrollably. Opening his eyes, Wei Wuxian sat up, crossing his legs and ignoring the pain in his back. He realized Lan Wangji had made a small fire when he was out, currently stroking the embers with a stick. There was no sign of the Wens or the demonic monster in the lake. If they don’t disturb the Xuanwu of Slaughter, they should be fine till help arrives.

“I missed our alone time,” he smiled. For a moment, he forgot about the rejection, the memory coming back in full swing. He could feel the dull ache in his chest again, not as bad when the rejection happened, but it still throbs.

“How long have I been out?”

“Six hours. I secured and supported the arrow with some cloth. Don’t bump it into anything and you should be fine until help arrives.” Lan Wangji said as he left his fire along to sit across from Wei Wuxian.

Wei Ying pressed his hand on his back, trying to figure out what Lan Wangji did to support the arrow. He can feel cloth wrapped around it, tight but not too tight to the point that it would hurt. Part of had broken off as well. Until someone can heal him, the arrow is going to have to stay like this.

His only question is where the cloth came from. He examined himself to see if Lan Wangji had ripped his clothes to secure the arrow but not a piece had ripped. He looked over at his fellow cultivator to see part of his pant leg ripped. Lan Wangji is sitting with his legs crossed as if he was hiding what he did.

He snickered a little deciding not to press for information.

“How long do you think we’ll be stuck here?” He asked, trying to break some of the silence in the cave.

“At most, maybe a week.”

“If news gets to my parents, I bet we’ll be in less time,” Wei Wuxian laughed with a big smile on his face. “They’re really strong and I bet they could get us out quickly.”

“What are they like?” Lan Wangji asked, his golden eyes staring at him. “At the Cloud Recess, you mentioned them many times, but never spoke of details.”

“My parents are great!” He said enthusiastically. “They’re not my biological parents as many people have already guessed since they’re both men! They picked me off the streets and have been raising me ever since. They’re both rogue cultivators and they taught all that I know now! That leaf technique I was using is a technique that my father came up with! My papa is just as awesome, though, can be overprotective at times but he means well. He’s strong too and my father is wise and elegant. He’s taught me how to read, write, and all that other stuff. Some of my other family members helped me too but he was my main teacher.”

“Mn,” was the response from Lan Wangji. He feels a little offended. He poured his heart out into saying how awesome his parents are and he gets an ‘Mn’!?

“Sounds like they truly love you,” Lan Wangji said.

Wei Wuxian felt happiness bubble up in his chest from the comment, his smile getting brighter. “They do and I love them just as much!”

“What are your parents like?” Wei Ying asked, “I never met or saw them when I was at the Cloud Recess. Are they usually busy?”

Like frost on a fall morning, Wei Wuxian felt the air around them change. Even without facial or vocal hints, Wei Ying can tell that he hit a nerve that he shouldn’t have. He could see the swirling darkness and pain inside Lan Wangji’s golden eyes. Something must have happened to his parents to make them look that painful.

The pain Wei Wuxian sees in his eyes reminds him of how he felt when his biological parents passed away.

“Lan Wan-”

“The Wens attacked and burned down Cloud Recesses.” Lan Wangji said as he looked down at the cave floor. “My father is dying,” tears began to fall down Lan Wangji’s face.

For a moment, Wei Wuxian stared at him in a state of shock, knowing now the cold jade of Gusu Lan can cry. Everyone can cry, of course but seeing a prideful and strong man such as Lan Wangji cry, is something most people never imagine. He lowered his head and turned around, his back facing Lan Wangji to avoid looking at him crying to save Lan Wangji some face.

He breathed in and out slowly, not uttering a word and letting Lan Wangji cry as much as he wished. It’s embarrassing for many people to have someone witness them crying, so he made sure not to look back to him.

After a while, he heard Lan Wangji breathe in deeply and he took that as his cue to look back at the second jade. When he turned around, Lan Wangji was in the middle of wiping his eyes, his calm composure coming back.

“We don’t know how long it will take for others to come and rescue us,” Lan Wangji said, starting at the lake, which holds the Xuanwu of Slaughter. “We won’t get out unless we kill it. If no one comes for us, we’ll have to.”

“Do you have an idea?”

“Mn,” Lan Wangji hummed, showing Wei Wuxian cords he has up his sleeves. He remembers the Lan Clan has a secret cord assassination technique.

“We’ll rest for three days and if no one comes...”

“We’ll kill it,” Wei Wuxian finished, looking over at the lake.

Wei Ying knows that people will come for them, specifically his parents. Shen Qingqiu will come for sure and Luo Binghe depends on how fast he can get out of the Demon Realm. Whether they kill it or not will depend on his parents because they don’t slay it his parents will.


There are many situations where Shen Qingqiu had to fly at ridiculous speeds. For example, when he had to rush to the Cang Qiong Sect because Luo Binghe was beating everyone up and setting the place on fire.

He knows for sure the speed he’s flying at now rivals that moment, in fact, he might be flying faster.

Shang Qinghua is right beside him matching his pace, though, his expression is a lot calmer than Shen Qingqiu’s.

Before they left, they sent a message to the Demon Realm to inform Luo Binghe what’s happening. Wei Ying lying to them and his current situation of being ‘trained’ by them. He doesn’t doubt that Luo Binghe will be in the Human Realm soon, if not already.

He and Shang Qinghua aren’t even attempting to making conversation right now, both of their minds filled with worry over Wei Ying. This scenario here is a perfect set up for his future sight. If they aren’t fast enough, Wei Ying could be dead when they arrive.

“Wait! Cucumber-bro!” Shang Qinghua yelled, halting to a sudden stop.

Quickly, Shen Qingqiu paused his heart still racing and his mind growing agitated. They must move to save Wei Ying! Shang Qinghua pointed to the land below and among the forest trees is a purple figure running through the woods.

It’s Jiang Cheng!

“Jiang Cheng!” Shen Qingqiu yelled, flying down to the ground to meet him.

“Shen Qingqiu!” The youth said astonished. Before Shen Qingqiu or Shang Qinghua could say anything, Jiang Cheng stumbled forward and grabbed onto his sleeve.

“Wei Ying and Lan Wangji are stuck in a cave with the Xuanwu of Slaughter! They got everyone out before the cave entrance collapsed and as of right now the other sects are making their way back to their territories! We need to go to the Lotus Pier and bring more men to help kill the monster and dig them out!”

“No need,” Shen Qingqiu said quickly, helping Jiang Cheng onto his sword. “Tell me where they are, and we can get them out and kill or push back the monster ourselves.”

“Wh-what?” Jiang Cheng stuttered as the two immortals flew fast. “I know you’re strong, but this is the Xuanwu of Slaughter! We need more than three teenagers and two rogue cultivators to kill this thing.”

Shen Qingqiu ignored Jiang Cheng’s pleads to go get more help. Shang Qinghua gave him a look of concern and he knows what that look meant.

He doesn’t care if he reveals that he’s more than a rogue cultivator, an immortal one. His concern is Wei Ying and Wei Ying only! He’ll worry about the other details when he knows his son is safe.


Three days passed, and Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji mustered up the will to kill the Xuanwu of Slaughter. Lan Wangji began to throw his cords and attach them to pillars and hanging rocks above the lake. He set them up in a certain to wrap around the tortoise’s neck.

During the three days, he decided it would be best if they took the arrow out of his back. Most of the blood around the wound had crusted. They carefully pulled the arrow out and treated it the best they could. He’s still a little exhausted from pulling it out. He had lost some blood, passed out, and woke up to Lan Wangji transferring some of his spiritual energy.

His wound is ‘okay’ now, but it could be better. He didn’t want half an arrow sticking out of his back if they were stuck killing the monster.

Lan Wangji stood next to him as he finished stringing up the last of his cords. Wei Wuxian breathed in deeply, getting himself ready for the fight of his life.

“Hey, Lan Wangji?”

“Mn?”

“Sorry about making you uncomfortable in the Cloud Recess,” he said, his voice echoing throughout the cave. “Confessing like that so suddenly was strange and shocking wasn’t it? So, I’m sorry about that, it was a mistake.” He bit tongue once he finished speaking. A small weight was lifted off his chest, but the rejection still hurts. He just hopes this apology will make up for making Lan Wangji so uncomfortable that day.

“Not your mistake,” Lan Wangji says looking at Wei Ying.

“Huh?” He said as his eyes widened in curiosity and surprise. Not his mistake?

“Mine.”

Before he could ask questions, Lan Wangji ran off to his position, leaving Wei Ying to stand there trying to process what had happened. He’ll question Lan Wangji once they’re done killing this thing!

Wei Wuxian dove into the water, his role for this kill is to lure the monster above the water so the cords can wrap around the Xuanwu’s neck.

Under the water, there are countless bones and corpses of people who became this creature’s meal. In the center, sleeping is the monster upon a throne of bodies and bones. Its eyes opened once Wei Wuxian got closer, the slit red eye stared at him. He stopped swimming to stare back at the Xuanwu, him and monster not making a move towards each other.

As they continued their stare off, Wei Wuxian noticed a strange aura floating in the waters. It oozes of resentful energy, making him shudder as it surrounds him. He looked around, trying to find the source of the resentful energy floating in the waters.

Seconds ticked by and he was able to spot what was filling the waters with resentful energy.

A sword embedded into the side of Xuanwu was pouring out resentful energy. The energy was thicker than the Waterborne Abyss was last year. The sword rusted with a dark glow around it.

Without thinking, he swam towards the sword. Xuanwu struck out at him quickly and luckily, Wei Wuxian was able to dodge the first attack. As the monster was gearing up for another one, he managed to close the distance between him and the sword. He firmly grasped the handle as he tore it out of the monster’s flesh.

The thing didn’t even flinch as its gobbled Wei Wuxian up. The creature pulled its body out of the water, it’s head and neck getting tangled up in the cords Lan Wangji set up. Xuanwu tried to swallow him but with his newly acquired sword, he thrust it into the inner flesh of its neck.

Xuanwu hollered in pain as Wei Wuxian repeatedly began to stab its flesh from the inside. He heard Lan Wangji call his name, but his only concern is killing this thing right now. The monster stopped thrashing wildly as the cords wrapped around its neck. The string tightened, slowly penetrating the scales.

This is going to take forever, Wei Ying concluded as he kept stabbing away. On the inside, he’s barely making a dent through the flesh. It’s thick and muscular, the scales on the outside don’t make it easy for him to stab the sword all the way through. If the insides are tough, then Lan Wangji has it worse to cut through the scales.

The two of them kept at this for hours.

Wei Wuxian continually stabbed the Xuanwu of Slaughter’s inner flesh. Lan Wangji tried to use the cords to cut through the scales. They’re making progress, but its slow progress. They might need days instead of hours to decapitate the monster.

Suddenly, a loud boom echoed throughout the cave, shaking the whole underground space. Wei Wuxian stopped along with Lan Wangji, even the monster stopped trashing back a fourth.

Even though he couldn’t see it, the cave entrance burst open and through the dust and scattered rocks. A sword spiraled towards the demonic creature. Effortlessly, the sword pierced through the monster’s scale and into its neck.

Stepping through the newly made entrance is Shen Qingqiu, Shang Qinghua, and Jiang Cheng. Shen Qingqiu pointed two fingers up as Xiu Ya penetrated deeper into the monster’s neck. Lan Wangji’s hold on his cords loosened at the sight of this person cutting through the monster so easily.

Shang Qinghua unsheathed his sword, sending it flying into the air as it pierced Xuanwu along with Xiu Ya. The two immortal cultivators effortless cut the monster’s neck. Blood spraying everywhere as its head fell off its shoulder and sunk into the lake.

Wei Wuxian fell into the water too, dropping the resentful energy sword as he found no energy to keep a grip on it. Shen Qingqiu dove into the water to retrieve Wei Wuxian. Gently, he grabbed his son and plucked him out of the water.

Using his wet sleeve, Shen Qingqiu washed off the drops of blood from the monster off Wei Ying’s face. He softly smiled down at his son.

“I’m here,” he said, holding his son tightly against his chest.

Chapter Text

New Mission – Parenting

Chapter 16: Long Term Effects

Shen Qingqiu hugs Wei Wuxian tight, pressing his lips against his son’s forehead as his rapid beating heart starts to calm down to a steady rhythm. In his desperation, he had blasted open the cave and killed the monster with Shang Qinghua in blind rage and worry. When he didn’t see Wei Ying when he created a new entrance he thought his heart stopped.

But his child is here in his arms, safe from the Wens and whatever death could have befallen onto him here.

“F-father…. Tight. You’re hugging me too tightly!” Wei Ying gasped between breaths. “I kind of have an injury on my back so please let go!”

Immediately Shen Qingqiu loosened his grip and Wei Ying let out a loud exhale. He wrestled himself out of Shen Qingqiu’s grasp, sitting next to him on the cold and now wet cave floor.

“You came at the right time!” Wei Ying smiled, his wet hair sticking to his face.

Shen Qingqiu reached out to cradle his son’s cheek, relieved to feel the warmth of his skin.

But all the worry quickly washed away as he remembered exactly why he’s here in the cave in the first place. 

To save his son’s ass. He went from cradling Wei Ying’s cheek to pinching it.

“Ow, ow, ow!”

“The amount of trouble you are in is unfathomable and that’s without Luo Binghe’s input! You are officially grounded for the rest of your life!”

“What the hell does ‘grounded’ mean!? Are you burying me in the dirt!?”

“It means you’re under house arrest!”

Wei Wuxian looked as if he wanted to protest more, but instead, kept his mouth shut. pinching his cheek and the deathly glare from Shen Qingqiu is enough to tell him, he should keep his mouth shut.

After getting enough of his frustration out, Shen Qingqiu let go of his son’s abused cheek, stood up, and hauled Wei Wuxian onto his feet.

“You have an injury correct?” He asked and Wei Ying nodded his head, rubbing his newly reddened face. “We’re going home and I don’t want to hear anything from you until we get there and your father is present. Is that clear?”

Another nod.

“Good.”

He was ready to storm out when he realized there is more than four people in the cave. Jiang Cheng had followed the immortals inside once they killed the demonic beast and Shang Qinghua is currently tending to a white-clothed youth who Shen Qingqiu doesn’t recognize.

He notes the youth isn’t injured in any place other than his hands, his finger shredded and torn from holding those metal strings and pulling at them. His uniform has droplets of blood-forming from his hands, a ripped forehead ribbon, and strange yellow eyes. The boy’s expression is quite blank but his eyes stare at Shen Qingqiu and Wei Ying.

Their family quarrel must have startled him and he and Shang Qingqiu did just one shot the giant tortoise.

To be honest he’s not too concerned with others finding out his true nature, at the moment he wants to get his son home and give him the scolding of a lifetime while coddling him at the same time. Why must parental feelings be so conflicting?

“We’re going home, you two can come with us,” he said looking at the unnamed disciple and Jiang Cheng. “We’ll heal your injuries and help you get home.”

The boy bowed his head, “My name is Lan Zhan, courtesy name Lan Wangji.”

“A pleasure to meet you, I am Shen Qingqiu. I’m Wei Wuxian's father.”

“Introductions are nice, but let us do that as we travel,” Shang Qinghua said, interrupting any further conversation. “We don’t know if the Wens are going to come back and I’d rather not find out. It’s best if we tend to everyone’s injuries as fast as possible.”

Silently, everyone agreed and headed out of the cave.

Since the three teens got their swords taken away, Shang Qinghua ended up carrying both Jiang Cheng and Lan Wangji on his sword while Shen Qingqiu flew closely by on his with Wei Wuxian. His son stayed quiet the whole ride, which Shen Qingqiu was thankful for. As they flew he sorted out some of his troubled and upset mind, having the silence helps him not blow off his lid.

He’s still extremely upset with Wei Ying and doubts it will go away anytime soon. He wonders how Luo Binghe will react when they arrive home, probably with some form of anger like himself. He wants to get down to scolding Wei Ying straight away but he shouldn’t in front of Jiang Cheng and Lan Wangji.

The fly back to their home felt longer than it really was. For most of the traveling, everyone was silent and like told, Wei Wuxian didn’t utter a word during the flight.

A part of him feels bad for being strict. After all, Wei Ying doesn’t know why they’re acting like they are. He doesn’t know about his potential death and more than likely, he lied to them out of teenage rebellion and want of freedom.

This is such a mess, Shen Qingqiu thinks. He’ll mull over this more once he gets the youths' medical attention.

In the late afternoon, they landed on their mountain home, the sun dipping down to set.

He ushered everyone into the bamboo house and Shang Qinghua and he rushed to grab some healing ointment and bandages. Once they had everything they needed, the two immortals tended to the young teens.

Jiang Cheng didn’t have any injuries other than minor scrapes and bruises, which he covered with ointment himself.

Shang Qinghua tended to Lan Wangji’s hands, washing off the dried blood and dirt before slathering ointment on his fingers and wrapping them with the bandages. While he was at it, he transferred some spiritual energy since Lan Wangji’s is low.

While the two were being helped, Shen Qingqiu got to mend Wei Wuxian’s back. He undid the make-shift wrappings on his back and bit back a gasp once he unraveled them. The wound itself wasn’t terrible, but seeing his son injured like this upsets him, especially since Jiang Cheng told them, someone else inflicted it.

It wasn’t a mistake on Wei Ying’s part, but the wrong-doing of someone else when he was trying to help. Honestly, he wonders if it was an accident or out of cowardice. One is excusable to an extent while the other is not.

For the one who shot Wei Ying, he better hope it was an accident. Luo Binghe might hunt him down and kill him.

Shen Qingqiu cleaned up the arrow wound, picking out some splinters and washing it. There is no exit wound to be found on his son, so the shot must have been clumsy, not pulled back all the way, or the bowstring was flimsy. Luckily, the arrow did not pierce a bone either.

He spread the healing ointment over the wound and bound it with fresh bandages.

“Rest here for the night,” Shen Qingqiu said after they finished, “We’ll bring the two of you home in the morning once you’ve all had some rest. It’s been a rough couple of days for all of you.”

“Thank you,” Jiang Cheng said while Lan Wangji bowed his head.

An awkward silence spread across the room as no said anything. Jiang Cheng looked like he wanted to break the silence but did not know what to say. Wei Ying had his head down, his eyes glued to the floor. Shen Qingqiu rubbed his temples. He wants to have a conversation with his son but not with everyone here.

As if Shang Qinghua read his mind, he cleared his throat and promptly stood up.

“Jiang Wanyin, Lan Wangji, why don’t you two come with me to find bedding and pillows for your stay here? We’ll make your beds in Wei Ying’s room!” Shang Qinghua motioned for them to follow him, which the two did wordlessly. Jiang Cheng sent Wei Ying a worried look as he exited and the Lan boy looked back at him once he left.

“Oh! By the way, I’m Wei Wuxian’s uncle! I didn’t properly introduce myself yet…..” Shang Qinghua’s voice trailed off as the three of them walked farther away from the room. Shen Qingqiu stood up and shut the door, leaving Shen Qingqiu alone with Wei Ying.

He slowly exhaled in an attempt to relieve some tension from his chest, the stress bubbling like boiling water. He turned and sat opposite to his son, gazing intently at him.

He wonders how he should approach this. What words to open with and what ones to continue the conversation with. Or perhaps he should wait for this talk in the morning once they all rested, but he doubts he can sleep leaving the tension between them like this. As much as he’d like to wait for Luo Binghe he wants to be able to hear what Wei Ying has to say.

“I’m not apologizing,” Wei Ying said, his voice quiet but strong. Wei Ying looked at him straight in the eyes, his gaze is determined and free of his previous worry. “I won’t apologize for doing what I think is still right. I wanted to make sure Jiang Cheng would be safe when he was away with the Wens. I lied because I wanted to be there to protect him if something bad happens and something bad did happen.”

Wei Ying visibly grits his teeth, exhaling through them to release stress as he continued to speak.

“I left because to go with him because of everyone’s suspicious behavior. Mo Beijun, Sha Hualing, and even papa are all acting strange and talking about the Wens! I wanted to help!”

“That doesn’t mean you need to play hero,” Shen Qingqiu said swiftly, stopping Wei Wuxian from talking anymore. “I understand you wanted to help Jiang Cheng, but that doesn’t mean you’re the hero that can protect everyone. You were barely able to protect yourself when you went with him.”

“And what was I supposed to do! Tell Jiang Cheng to have fun at the Wen’s training camp and do nothing. You’ve all been acting and talking as if the Wens is going to destroy the whole world! Should I do nothing when my best friend has to be with them!? Look what happened when we went! We were thrown around and ordered as if we were slaves, got into fights, and Lan Wangji and I got stuck in a cave with a monster!”

“And how did you benefit from what's happening in the world?” Shen Qingqiu said, raising his voice. “It got the disciples from the other clans to rebel the Wens! The relationship between cultivations sects is already hanging by

a string and what did you add to help it? For all I know, you being there did nothing but cause more problems for you! This got the Wens to see your face, it got you injured, and I’m not even going to ask what techniques you may have used that we taught you!”

“What’s the point in knowing them if I’m not going to use them!?”

“Do you even know what sort of chaos this is going to cause!? What sort of danger you may be in!?”

“NO!” Wei Ying yelled standing up and clenching his fist, his face so red he looks ready to burst. “I don’t know because you and papa won’t tell me anything! Why all the secrets dammit!? What’s so important that you have to keep me in the dark about everything!? How can I know anything or consider my actions when I know nothing of what the hell is going on!?”

“I don’t want to keep secrets from you,” Shen Qingqiu said looking up at Wei Ying. “But with your sudden hero complex, I don’t know if you should continue to keep them or not! You’re going to get yourself killed!”

“From what!?” Wei Ying demanded, “Why won’t you tell me what’s going on! I want to help!”

“You’re not ready to help,” Shen Qingqiu said as he stood up. “You’re not strong enough and everything here proves you’re not mature enough either! You’re causing problems for the cultivation sects and yourself with your actions. Have you ever thought of the long term effects?”

“I’m not weak! I helped everyone get out of the cave!”

“There must have been other ways out of the cave Wei Ying and don’t assume everyone around you isn’t as smart. They’re other bright youths with you in the cave, someone else could have come up with a different solution to get out.”

“I fought the Xuanwu of Slaughter.”

“And who killed it?” He said sternly, crossing his arms. “Wei Ying…. Where did this sudden spark of arrogance come from? I know we’ve been harsh and overprotective over the year but you showed no signs of this before.”

“Maybe you just don’t know me as well as you thought,” was Wei Ying’s answer.

Shen Qingqiu unfolded his arms, shock reverberating through his body as his mind processed what Wei Ying just said.

“I’m sorry?” He said, so quiet it could pass as a whisper.

“You heard me,” Wei Ying said looking straight into his eyes.

“Wei Ying, answer me,” he said sternly despite he feels shaky from what his son just said. “We can’t help each other or move forward in the conversation if you don’t tell me.”

“Then tell me why I can’t help! Stop with the secrets and tell me! I’m so pissed at you and this whole family! What’s so important that I can’t know! You can’t use my behavior as an excuse not to tell me!”

“You’re being reckless and thoughtless of the situations around you. The information I could give you would not be well in your hands. I am trying to keep you safe, please understand that!”

“You’ve been doing that for my whole life! I’m strong enough to protect myself! I don’t need you protecting me anymore!”

“This is where I stand,” Shen Qingqiu said, crossing his arms as he clutched onto his sleeves to keep his hands from shaking. “Once this is all over, I’ll tell you everything. Until then, please understand I am trying to keep you safe.”

“I hate you!” Wei Ying spat out. “I can’t understand and I won’t understand why you’re trying to keep me safe unless you explain. I hate being in the dark and being caged up like some exotic pet! I’m not weak! I can help but you won’t let me!”

The shock of his own words shook him and Shen Qingqiu. He stood there, looking at his son with wide eyes and a rapidly beating heart. The shock faded from Wei Ying’s eyes as he pursed his lips together and turned his attention to the floor.

“Wei Ying...” He said softly, reaching his hand out to touch him.

Wei Ying backed away from him, dodging his shaking hand. He continued to look away from him and walked to the door, leaving the room towards the direction of his quarters.

Shen Qingqiu stood there stunned, staring at the hand his son refused to be touched by. He can’t even process thoughts at the moment, too shocked to even think about just happened.

A soft droplet of water landed on his hand, breaking him out of his thoughtless shock. He looked at it curiously, wondering if the roof is leaking, but he can’t hear any rain. Not even a soft dribble. The droplets kept falling onto his hand, some missing and hitting the floor instead. Tentatively, Shen Qingqiu touched his face and feeling wet tears on his fingertips.

Oh…

When did he start crying?



Wei Ying roughly opened the door of his room before slamming it shut with the same amount of force. He didn’t even acknowledge Jiang Cheng’s question about the yelling as he plopped onto his bed, his face facing the bamboo wall.

Lan Wangji and Jiang Cheng stared at each other, both clueless at what to do with their upset companion. Wei Wuxian didn’t even realize they set up their makeshift beds of blankets and pillows in his room.

The two others continued to stare quietly doing gestures with each other (more Jiang Cheng) and eye squints (more Lan Wangji) to communicate with each other without breaking the silence. After minutes of their silent conversation, Jiang Cheng shrugged and they both turned their attention back to Wei Wei Wuxian, whose mood had not changed.

“Are you okay?” Jiang Cheng asks.

A small grumble from Wei Ying is his reply as his friend’s shoulders tightened up, his legs curled up against his chest.

“I’m okay,” Wei Ying says weakly, a couple of ragged and deep breaths exit his lungs after he speaks. Lan Wangji and Jiang Cheng looked at each other, lost at what to do once again. They communicated silently when Lan Wangji decided to speak.

“Do...you want to talk?” Lan Wangji asked

Wei Ying abruptly chucked his pillow at the door, not glancing at where he threw it as the pillow slide down the door before stopping at the base. The threw startled Jiang Cheng and Lan Wangji but not enough for them to physically hint at it.

“I’m not weak,” Wei Ying grumbled tiredly. “All they do is keep secrets, keep telling me they’re protecting me from something and keep me cooped up here. I hate it. I don’t understand what they’re so afraid of! Both of my parents and frankly my whole family is crazy strong, so what are they so afraid of!?”

He breathed out, his anger apparent in his tone despite his voice staying quiet. They’re all tried right now from the chaos earlier in the day, but this is something they can’t sleep on before at least touching on it.

“I hate… I hate everything right now.” He sighed with a loud exhale. “I do something important without them and they scold me.”

“Parents scold their children because they love them,” Lan Wangji said, cutting through his angry thought process. Wei Ying, sat up in his bed, his eyes wide as he stared at Lan Wangji. “We may not always understand it, and their scolding isn’t always out of love, but I think your father loves you, Wei Ying. It was evident when he held you after slaying the Xuanwu of Slaughter.”

For a moment, he considered Lan Wangji’s words, sitting silently before his face contorted upset.

“Even so,” Wei Ying said, his voice trailing off. “With what my father is saying, it sounds like they have no trust in me even though they love me. It sounds like I’m the one at fault and causing issues. It’s not like I meant to cause them, I was just trying to help.”

“Maybe you should say that to him,” Jiang Cheng said laying down on his makeshift bed. “It sounds like you two were just screaming at each other and don’t worry, we weren’t prying. We didn’t really hear anything you two were yelling.”

“Mn,” Lan Wangji confirmed.

“I’ll figure it out in the morning,” Wei Ying said, laying onto his bed, his back facing the other two.

Lan Wangji stayed sitting up, staring at Wei Ying’s back with an expressionless gaze. He opened his mouth to speak before shutting it, his eyes drifting off somewhere else. He sighed, laying down on his bed and falling asleep, exhaustion finally taking him.



It was late at night when Luo Binghe had finally arrived back home. He almost created a crater on the side of the mountain for the speed he had been flying to get back. He sheathed Zheng Yang and dusted off the dirt he created from his landing off his clothes. With hurried steps, he headed towards the bamboo house.

His home came into view, a single light from a lantern illuminates the front of the house. Shang Qinghua is sitting outside, a cup of warm tea steaming from between his palms as he gave a sheepish grin.

“Wei Ying was fine, Lord Luo and so was Shen Qingqiu,” he says standing up, careful not to spill his tea. “But unfortunately, I’m speaking in the past tense. They got into a fight a little bit after we got back. Wei Ying is asleep now but I’m sure Shen Qingqiu is still awake.”

Luo Binghe walked by him, not even glancing at him as he walked into his house. He wonders what they fought over, for his husband and son to fight is unheard of! He would think Shang Qinghua was lying but the main would gain nothing from doing so.

“Lord Luo, we also rescued Jiang Cheng and a member of the Gusulan Sect. They’re sleeping in Wei Ying’s room just so you know.”

He paused for a moment, a shot of anger and disbelief pulsing through him. Jiang Cheng and an unknown cultivator are sleeping in his son’s room? The urge to rip them out of there and throw them somewhere sounds like a good idea at the moment.

But he held back on it, he wants to tend to Shen Qingqiu, Wei Ying is probably fine with the cultivators and he’s made it clear to Jiang Cheng multiple times, to not try anything with his son. He’ll check on them later once he makes sure is husband is alright.

With quiet footsteps Luo Binghe headed towards his bedroom, the bamboo floors creaked under his weight every now and then. He stood before his bedroom door, his hand hovering over it as he felt a sense of sadness coming from it.

Their argument must have been worse than he thought. Exhaling, he opened the door to the soft flicker of single candlelight on the stand next to the bed. The soft light illuminates the form of his Shen Yuan. His husband’s head is down as he sits on his side of the bed, his hands fiddling with the sides of his sleeves.

Luo Binghe doesn’t speak as he closes the door gently. He sits down next to Shen Yuan, looking closely at him. There are tear stains on his face and small droplets almost dried on his sleeves. The marks pepper his mint-colored robes like he’d been caught out in the rain.

He must have been crying a lot, more than likely due to his argument with Wei Ying.

Gently, he wrapped his left hand around Shen Yuan’s head, guiding it to his chest. He wrapped both arms around his head, cradling in his husband to his chest. He didn’t speak or dare as what happened, it will be best for his husband to open up to him when he feels ready.

“He said he hates me,” Shen Yuan spoke softly as he pushed his head off of Luo Binghe’s chest.

“What happened?”

“After Shang Qinghua and I rescued Wei Ying and his friends from the cave, we brought them back here to get healed. After Wei Ying and I got into an argument about his actions, about him lying to us, going off to play hero, and the consequences of him rushing off. It got very heated and in a way, my wording was blaming him for the problems and the problems that will potentially happen. I was blaming him through the whole argument... I was trying to come up with reasons to protect him, that the Wens might come after him now and I tried to tell that we’re doing everything and keeping everything to protect him. Instead, my words came out differently and he told me he hates me.”

His husband presses his lips together as they purse upward. Luo Binghe can see the glint of Shen Yuan’s teeth against his lips before tears started to pour from his husband's eyes. He breaks down altogether as he stifles a wail and the tears produce faster.

Luo Binghe cupped Shen Yuan’s face and pressed his mouth against his cheek. He began to kiss his wet stained cheeks, planting some kisses below Shen Yuan’s eyes in an attempt to comfort and calm him. His Shizun wrapped his arms around his neck and buried his face into Luo Binghe’s shoulder. The two fell onto their sides, cradling each other on the bed.

“It’s going to be alright, Shizun. I doubt Wei Ying hates you and I know he never will. It sounds like both of you got lost in your emotions during the fight. Let’s sleep, for now, in the morning we’ll straighten everything out.”

Shen Yuan tightly gripped the backs of his robes but said nothing as continued to press his face into Luo Binghe’s shoulder. From his position, Luo Binghe can’t see what expression his husband has or if his eyes are closed.

After an hour of holding each other, Shen Yuan finally fell asleep, his grip on Luo Binghe’s robes lessening once his exhaustion took hold of him. On the other hand, Luo Binghe repositioned himself to hold his husband in a more comfortable way.

“We’ll fix everything tomorrow,” he whispered, kissing the top of Shen Yuan’s forehead.



“Wei Wuxian.”

“Five more minutes.”

“Wei Wuxian, it's almost noon. Wake up.”

“Five more min- oof!” He gasped a pillow landed on his face.

“Get up!” The voice of Jiang Cheng said sternly. “Lan Wangji and I have already put away our bedding. You’ve been sleeping for too long and your father is offering us a meal before your uncle escorts both of us home!”

“Fine, fine I’m up!” He groaned as he quickly sat up to give Jiang Cheng a grumpy look. Suddenly his head got dizzy and he immediately fell back onto his pillow, cradling his head from the sudden dizziness.

He feels hot, especially his head, chest, and neck. He’s still tired too, he feels like he could go back to sleep for another couple of hours.

“Wei Wuxian, are you alright?” Lan Wangji said.

“I’m fine,” he answered, groggily sitting himself back up as he rubbed his eyes. “You guys go ahead, I’ll be ready in couples minutes.”

“You don’t look fine,” Lan Wangji said, his yellow eyes looking at him carefully.

“You look sick,” Jiang Cheng said as he examined him as well. “I’m going to go get your father or your uncle.” The Yunmeng heir didn’t even give him a chance to respond as he dashed out of the room, his footsteps fading away from the farther he got from the room.

“How did you sleep?” Wei Ying asked his head still a blur.

“Well,” is Lan Wangji’s response. “Curiously though, I woke up to find myself pressed against the wall. I thought I made my bed closer to yours.”

Wei Ying suddenly burst out laughing, his voice echoing loudly throughout the room.

“Papa must have come home last night!” He laughed, “that’s why you woke up farther away from me!”

“He moved me in the middle of the night?”

“Yep! He’s very overprotective when it comes...well when it comes to anything involving me. He’s more so when potential love interests come near.”

He thought he was laughing hard already but the obviously embarrassed face of Lan Wangji made in laugh harder despite the dizziness he’s feeling.

“Why don’t we get some food? I’m kind of hungry right now,” he said as he threw back his blankets

“You do not look well,” Lan Wangji said plainly.

“I’ll be fine,” he said rolling his eyes as he got off his bed. “Besides, when you’re sick, it's good to eat unless you’re puking the minute the food gets in your mouth. We’ll test that theory in just a minute.”

Before he could grab the door, Lan Wangji wrapped his hand around his left arm, tugging him back. Wei Ying stared at him in surprise but he can tell what Lan Wangji is thinking. His eyes ask for him to go back to his bed, to rest. Wei Ying smiles and shakes his head.

“I’m fine, Lan Zhan. If I’m really as bad as you two are freaking me out to be, there’s still no need to worry. We've not stuck in a damp cave anymore, this will go away quickly. Probably just a minor cold.”

Lan Zhan’s grip tightened for a second before loosening up and letting his arm go completely.

The two quietly walked to the dining room. Wei Ying, surprisingly in no mood to talk as his head starts to pounds like a drum. The dizziness is still there which is making the headache even worse! He hasn’t gotten sick in years and of all days it has to be this one. The last time he got sick was when he confronted papa about being a demon.

He remembers being excited the night before to finally spar with Luo Binghe. He was frequently in the Demon Realm at the time and was barely home, yet he found some time to finally spar with Wei Ying. He laid in his bed wide awake late into the night before falling asleep and waking up with a blurry mind and feverish body. He doesn’t remember much of the day other than papa being fussy over him and their chat about papa being a demon.

He wishes he was small again, back when times weren’t complicated and he didn’t fight with his father.
Another twitch of pain rocketed through his brain and he took that as a sign to stop thinking now. He must be really sick to have a headache like this.

He and Lan Wangji entered the dining room, the food already set on the table along with bowls and chopsticks.

“Wei Ying, are you alright?”

He didn’t register when Luo Binghe appeared in front of him, a hand already placed on his forehead. Did his papa approach him that fast? Or is his headache affecting his sight too?

“Your forehead is warm,” Luo Binghe commented, cupping his face with both of his hands. “Your cheeks are too.”

“Papa!” He exclaimed, smacking his hands away in embarrassment. His face is red and not just from being sick. “You don’t need to do that.”

“I don’t need to, but I want to,” Luo Binghe said with a small grin as he chuckled at him and patted his head. “You’re sick, you need a rest. Say bye to your Jiang Cheng and your acquaintance, we’ll bring food to your room.”

He was going to protest when Shang Qinghua and Shen Qingqiu entered the room. Once they did, he and his father locked eyesight before he looked away from him. He bit his bottom lip, balling his fist and swallowing whatever protest he had come up.

He opened his mouth to speak-

“Luo Binghe! Shen Qingqiu!”

Liu Qingge and Liu Mingyan came bursting through the entrance door, the bamboo material breaking force of Liu Qingge’s might. While his aunt and uncle look physically fine, Liu Minyan has a sweat coming off her brow and Liu Qingge looks ready to burst.

“What’s-”

“We spotted Qishan Wen warships sailing towards the Lotus Pier. We spied on them in the skies above their own forces of cultivators. I don’t know why they’re heading towards the Lotus Pier, but it’s for nothing friendly.”

“We know you’re friends with Jiang Fengmian’s family,” Liu Mingyan said, “So we wanted to warn you. They were sailing at a fast pace, so if you want to help him and his sect we suggest you do it fast!”

“Did you not warn my mother and father!?” Jiang Cheng yelled, his face contorted with anger as he stood up.

“Your sect’s business and has nothing to do with us,” Liu Qingge stated flatly, “But we knew these two are friends with your mother and father. If they wish to act, then they can.”

“I’m leaving!” Jiang Cheng said, rushing to the door.

“Hold! We’ll bring you there!” Shen Qingqiu said, grabbing onto Jiang Cheng’s arm before he could leave the bamboo house. “If your family and sect are in trouble it will do you no good going by yourself. Damn, everything is happening...”

“I’ll take the Lan boy home,” Shang Qinghua said, “Let's get going, your is probably worried about you.”

“Liu Qingge, Liu Mingyan, can you please come with us?”

“Yes,” Liu Mingyan said, “We’ll come with you won’t we brother?” An irritated expression flashed cross Liu Qingge’s face before his sister leaned up to whisper something in his ear. Every trace of the face he just made faded and he nodded his head.

“We’ll go.”

“Binghe, can you stay with-”

“Shizun, why don’t you stay with Wei Ying?” Luo Binghe said, shocking Wei Ying and his father. “Wei Ying is sick which means he can’t go no matter what he says. And Shizun,” gently Luo Binghe whispered something into Shen Qingqiu’s ear. His father’s face lit up in realization, his lip trembling slightly before he mouth ‘okay’.

“When everything is fine at the Lotus Pier, I’ll come to retrieve both of you I promise.”