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Wei Wuxian woke up screaming. He kicked his legs up and had the impulse to run. But seeing the familiar surroundings about him, he calmed down.

 

I’m home. I’m safe. 

 

He was no longer at the Burial Mounds. The corpse army that should have torn him to pieces wasn’t there. He was safe. He was safe. He was sa -

 

“Wei Wuxian, what are you hollering about again?!” Jiang Cheng’s irritated voice called out.

 

Wei Wuxian took a few deep breaths. “I-I’m fine. Just had another dream about dogs.”

 

“Tch. You’re always so scared. There are no dogs here. Go back to sleep. We have to train for the Archery Competition soon.”

 

“Yeah.” Wei Wuxian crawled back into bed, but he couldn’t sleep. 

 

He was home. Jiang Cheng didn’t hate him. Shijie, Madam Yu, and Uncle Jiang were alive. Everyone else important to him was alive. 

 

He cried silently. I’m back.

 

He had come back for a few days. He didn’t know how. He just remembered that one moment he was being ripped to pieces by the corpse army, the next he’s in his room with his family looking worriedly at him.

 

At first, he thought it was just a dream. That everything that happened when he was the Yiling Patriarch was just a rather long, rather suffocating dream. But, he remembered the resentful energy and the resentful energy remembered him and he realized it wasn’t a dream. He was sent back into the past.

 

And this time, he will protect everyone without fail.

Chapter Text

Opening his eyes once more, he groaned.

 

Another sleepless night. He grudgingly got up and got ready.

 

The nightmares were always different, but every time, they were nightmares blaming him for the deaths of his family, of others’ family, of all the sins he had committed. 

 

He had not had a single night of peaceful rest since he returned. But in return for fixing everything, his health was a small price to say.

 

Though…… Shijie had something to say about that.

 

“A’ Xian.” She called out, like she had done so many years ago. Her voice was younger, softer, but always filled with so much care and concern that he didn’t deserve. That he wasn’t worthy of recei- “A’ Xian!”

 

Wei Wuxian was snapped out of his reverie. “Yes, Shijie?”

 

She looked worriedly at him. “A’ Xian, are you okay?”

 

“Hm?” Wei Wuxian realized his slip-up and plastered a wide smile on his face. “I’m fine, Shijie!”

 

Jiang Yanli did not buy his white lie but didn’t press on. He seemed to be holding a lot of guilt up inside when he looked at her but she didn’t know why.

 

She knew he hid his pain behind his smile but wanted to try to get him to talk about it to prevent him from hurting himself.

 

“If you say so.” She replied. “Do you want some lotus and pork ribs soup?”

 

Wei Wuxian’s eyes sparkled at this. “Of course! Suuuuuper spicy please!”

 

“Okay.”

 

Wei Wuxian’s chaotic mind was successfully distracted with those words as he waited patiently for his Shijie to make her famous soup.

 

………………..

 

A young man wandered around his room, just as he remembered it. “I’m back…...it actually worked.”

 

“Young Master! Sect Leader is-”

 

“Nie Huaisang!! Why aren’t you at the training field? Where’s your saber?!” An enraged voice that could only belong to Nie Mingjue yelled.

 

“Brother…..” He whispered. “Brother!!” He leaped into his brother’s arms.

 

This hug shocked the originally enraged man, who seemed a little worried.

 

“Huaisang, what’s wrong?”

 

“Nothing. Nothing…...I’m just….glad to see you.” He wiped his tears. “Oh. I’m sorry, you probably think I’m weird. I-”

 

He was cut off when Nie Mingjue squeezed him back into his embrace. The taller man sighed with a hint of affection. “It’s okay.” He replied gruffly.

 

Nie Huaisang smiled into his brother’s chest. He had succeeded in the time travel array. It had been a few years after Nie Mingjue had died and Nie Huaisang was utterly depressed. Even though he managed to get Jin Guangyao to repent for his sins, he still missed his brother. He had found Wei Wuxian’s notes on a time travel array and hoped that by improving it, it would work. 

 

He knew that by doing this, five random people would be transferred back with him. He didn’t know which five, but he hoped that Jin Guangyao wasn’t one of them.

 

This time…..I will make sure to save you, Da-Ge.

 

………………….

 

Because of his recurring nightmares, Jiang Fengmian had paid close attention to him, even more than before, no matter how much Wei Wuxian refused it. He knew that by hogging all of the Sect Leader’s attention, he would gain Madam Yu’s ire, and the Jiang Family would tear at the seams even more. He didn’t want that to happen. 

 

He didn’t know why or how he came back, but he was determined to change the future. No matter what he had to do.

 

He had just finished training with the others when he heard sounds of arguing coming from a room nearby.

 

As he neared, he realized that it was Uncle Jiang and Madam Yu again.

 

“Why do you always take his side?! Why are you paying more attention to him rather than your own son!!!!”

 

“My Lady, he’s having nightmares. Horrible ones. Isn’t it reasonable that I look after him a bit more closely?”

 

“So what if he does?! That doesn’t distract from the fact that you’ve been ignoring A’ Cheng!!!”

 

“My Lady! I’m not-”

 

“I don’t want to hear your excuses!!”

 

The fighting got louder and louder. 

 

Wei Wuxian couldn’t bear it any longer as he made an entrance.

 

“YOU-!!” Madam Yu raged. “What are you doing here?!”

 

“.......” Without another word, Wei Wuxian kneeled on the ground. 

 

The two adults in front of him were so shocked they forgot what they were going to say.

 

“Madam Yu, Uncle Jiang……” Wei Wuxian bit his lips. “Please…..stop fighting. Shijie is tired of this. Jiang Cheng is tired of this. For their sake, please stop fighting. I’m willing to kneel and take whatever punishment you want. Just…..stop fighting. We’re all tired of this. Can’t you please just talk it out?”

 

Madam Yu recovered. “And what will talking give us?” She snapped, Zidian already out and crackling with lightning.

 

“A chance.” He replied.

 

Madam Yu was startled. She wasn’t expecting a reply. “A chance?”

 

“Yes. A chance to make everything right.” He took a deep breath. “My parents are dead. No one can bring them back.”

 

Madam Yu looked a bit smug at that. 

 

Wei Wuxian ignored the rising pain he felt at that reaction and continued. “That’s why….Uncle Jiang. I’m….not asking you to forget my parents, but….just let them go. Their greatest reminder - me - is here. You don’t have to do anything else. I am happy with what I’ve been given. You don’t have to pay attention to me just because they’re gone. I…..will be fine. Just….pay attention to Jiang Cheng. Give him love. Make sure he knows that. He’s never vocalized it, but he craves for both of your approvals. If you keep fighting like this and using me to compare to him, he will grow up feeling like he’s never done a good job. Like he was sub-par. He will grow up with rage and resentment trailing behind him. He will think back to you and think how he could never gain your praise. Please talk. Please sort it out. Please…..be the happy family you were before I came in.” He bowed his head low and waited. Waited for a response. For a reaction.

 

When he got nothing, he felt something bursting out and consuming him.

 

Plagued by the memories of his past, panic seized his body. His breathing got heavier and everything seemed to slow down. They’re not doing anything. They’re not making up. Can I not change anything? Will the past be repeated? I don’t want that. I don’t. I don’t….

 

His breathing got faster and faster, and it felt like something got caught in his chest. He swayed side to side before collapsing in a heap.

 

“A’ Xian?!”

 

“Wei Ying?!” 

 

Two panicked voices called out, but he could barely hear them. He couldn’t see them.

 

All he could see was flames. High, rising flames engulfing his senses, dragging him down into a pit of despair and consuming him. He smelled blood and rotting corpses. He saw death. Death all around and clawing at him. He saw his shidis, Uncle Jiang, Madam Yu…..all lifeless and bloodied. Jiang Cheng was looking at him with anger and despair. But that was fine. Jiang Cheng was always angry. He still had Shijie, right? 

 

His beloved, bright Shijie. She was yelling for him to ‘Stop. Stop running. A’ Xian, I- ’ and then there was the sickening sound of metal sinking into flesh. Shijie’s lifeless eyes, Jiang Cheng’s pure hatred, shouts, louder than ever, all chanting to kill him. Among all of it, there was a voice pleading him to come back, that he’s safe. 

 

But where was safe? But the pleading continued.

 

"Get Lost."

 

There was nowhere. The world was monotone and dull. There wasn’t any sound or color. There was just-

 

……………………

 

The two adults had been contemplating Wei Wuxian’s words when they heard a thud, followed by short, panicked breathing. They turned their sight to see Wei Wuxian writhing in pain, seemingly not able to breathe. He was sweaty and his gaze unfocused. He seemed to hear their voices calling him, but when they made eye contact with him, something else was reflected in his eyes.

 

They saw flames, blood, death, and pain. Endless pain. All-consuming pain.

 

This couldn’t go on. He was having a panic attack.

 

No matter how much Madam Yu hated the boy, she didn’t want to see him like this. As much as she hated - loathed - to admit, his presence was like the bright sun, like a blooming flower, like the flowing wind. Free, unrestrained, breathtaking, and dazzling. His presence made her children smile with joy, made the disciples laugh with glee.

 

To see such a beaming boy look so positively morose and frightened, threw her off. 

 

Then they heard him whisper words that worried them.

 

“Wens…..Lotus Pier.....flames…..death…...death…..death…..death…..no….Shijie….no……”

 

Jiang Fengmian started transferring spiritual energy to him in hopes that he would calm down.

 

All the while, Jiang Fengmian called his name, assuring him that he was safe. “A’ Xian, don’t worry. You’re safe. You're safe! Listen to me, take deep breaths.”

 

“Get lost…..” He whispered too quietly for anyone to hear.

 

They - yes, Madam Yu joined in - kept the energy transfer going and kept repeating his name. A stick of incense later, he seemed to calm down and then collapsed from exhaustion.

 

The two of them looked at each other and silently agreed that they would talk later. What mattered now was getting him to the clinic, calming him down, and then getting some answers out of him.

Chapter Text

Wei Wuxian opened his eyes groggily. Where…...am I?

 

He held his head as he ascertained his surroundings. He recognized the place. 

 

The clinic? What am I doing here? I thought I was….. He remembered trying to stop the fight between his adopted parents and then….and then…. And then what? I remember a voice telling me I’m safe? But-

 

“A’ Xian, you’re awake!” 

 

Wei Wuxian turned his head towards the voice. “Shi….jie?” His breath caught in his throat. He remembered this dream. Shijie always brought him lotus and pork soup when he woke up after being injured. This dream….feels so real…..

 

“A’ Xian?” Jiang Yanli brought a hand to his forehead, her eyes gleaming with worry. "Do you have a fever?"

 

Feeling the warm touch, Wei Wuxian was finally fully awake. “Shijie?”

 

“A’ Xian, are you okay? When A’ Die and A’ Nian brought you here, I was so worried. What happened? Don’t worry, just tell me. Your Shijie will take care of everything.”

 

Wei Wuxian’s throat bobbed. Shijie’s alive…..that’s right. He laughed at himself. I keep thinking that this is a dream. No, this is reality. I have to stop wallowing in the past and look forward to changing the future. He looked at Jiang Yanli. “I’m fine, Shijie. Just a little tired.”

 

Shijie raised her eyebrows in suspicion. “Was ‘a little tiredness’ supposed to make not only A’ Die, but also A’ Nian panic so much?”

 

Wei Wuxian looked down a bit. He couldn’t possibly tell her or them. They wouldn’t believe him. “I’ll be fine. It’s just….a nightmare.”

 

He knew this lie wouldn’t get past her.

 

Jiang Yanli sighed as she took his hands. “A’ Xian, you don’t have to tell me now. But know this. I’m always here for you. I, A’ Cheng, and you. We’ll always be together.”

 

Hearing those familiar words, his eyes misted over. Shijie…..Would you still say the same thing if you knew what I did?  

 

He swallowed those words down and tried to give her a convincing smile. “Okay.”

 

Jiang Yanli smiled as she poured him some soup. “Here. Have some soup. Your favorite. With extra chili.”

 

Wei Wuxian’s eyes lit up as she gave her a wide grin. “Thanks, Shijie!” And proceeded to wolf down the entire thing.

 

Jiang Yanli giggled. “Slow down, A’ Xian. No one’s going to take it from you!”

 

“I would.” Jiang Cheng smirked as he stepped through the door.

 

Wei Wuxian made an offended face. “You wouldn’t!”

 

“I would!” He declared as he pounced on Wei Wuxian and wrestled the soup bowl from him.

 

“Give it back!” He called, chasing after his brother with a renewed energy.

 

“Nope~!”

 

Jiang Yanli just laughed at this.

 

……………………..

 

In the Cloud Recesses………

 

Lan Wangji and Lan Xichen were engaged in a quiet conversation in the Library Pavilion. 

 

“Brother, we should start making plans.”

 

“For the invasion, right? We should start by copying everything here and placing them somewhere else. Preferably away from buildings or anything flammable.”

 

“Mn.”

 

The Twin Jades of Lan had returned to their younger forms. One moment they were standing around in the aftermath of finding out about Jin Guangyao’s treachery and subsequent death, the next, they were back in their younger bodies. Back before the Sunshot Campaign.

 

“Save Wei Ying.” was what Lan Wangji said as soon as they were out of sight and earshot.

 

Lan Xichen sighed as if he knew this would happen. “Okay. But, as of now, he’s not the Yiling Patriarch.” Reading the younger jade’s expression, his eyes lit up. “Oh, I see. He’s not a demonic cultivator now. To prevent that, we have to prevent the fall of Lotus Pier.”

 

“Mn.” He will not allow Wei Ying to leave him again. Those long years of longing made him understand and want Wei Ying more than ever. He will save Wei Ying, no matter what it takes .

 

However, before that, they had to ensure that the Cloud Recesses does not fall into the same tragedy as it did before.

 

“Hm. But,” He paused. “We should probably get…..Father’s help.”

 

Lan Wangji froze. Then, “Mn.”

 

After all, their father was a powerful enough force to make Wen Ruohan worry.

 

“Once we get Father’s help, we should be able to aid Lotus Pier when they are attacked.”

 

“.........Wen Zhuliu.”

 

“Ah, that’s right. We have to take care of him.”

 

The two began making a list of things to do. 

 

“Brother.”

 

“Yes?”

 

“What if we’re not the only ones?”

 

“Hmm. There’s nothing we can do about that now. All we can do is plan and make back-ups in case anything happens. Though, I do hope none of our enemies have come back.”

 

“Mn.”

 

A few days later, they planned everything out. From copying everything they needed to, to hiding it away, to hinting at the Wens’ rising ambition ever so subtly here and finally gaining popularity among those fed up with Wen Ruohan.   

 

The only thing they had to do was force Qingheng-jun out of seclusion. 

 

Lan Xichen took this into his own hands as he knelt at Qingheng-jun’s place of seclusion until he came out.

 

Seeing this, Lan Xichen held back his emotions. How long had it been since he last saw his Father? It felt like a lifetime ago, and in a way, it was. 

 

“What did you need?” Qingheng-jun sighed.

 

“Father, this matter is of utmost importance, but I’d like to discuss it inside.”

 

Qingheng-jun seemed surprised but nodded.

 

Lan Xichen followed him in, but albeit was a bit nervous. 

 

He had gone over several ways he could convince his father to be careful, but nothing came up.

 

“Tell the truth.” Wangji had suggested.

 

“You think he’ll accept it?”

 

“Mn.”

 

The father and son duo sat down. Lan Xichen took a deep breath before spilling everything. From the attack, to the Wens’ arrogance, to the Lotus Pier tragedy, to the Sunshot Campaign, to the end of it and finally that he and Wangji were from the future.

 

Qingheng-jun sat there in silence. 

 

At the end of it, Lan Xichen looked at his father, tense.

 

“Father? Do you…..believe me?”

 

Qingheng-jun smiled. “Yes, I do.”

 

Lan Xichen was surprised. “Why?”

 

“Because you wouldn’t lie. And,” He patted his shoulder. “You’re my son. Why shouldn’t I believe you?”

 

Lan Xichen’s breath hitched as he smiled back. 

 

The two went out and met Lan Wangji, who had gone to fetch Lan Qiren, who looked positively shell-shocked that his brother actually came out of seclusion.

 

………………………

 

A week had passed, and Wei Wuxian kept his mouth shut about what triggered his panic attack. 

 

He smiled and waved off everyone - Madam Yu, Jiang Fengmian, Jiang Cheng, Jiang Yanli - that asked him, saying it was nothing and they shouldn’t worry.

 

Madam Yu was both fed up and…...worried. Yes, as much as she vehemently denied it, she cared about Wei Ying. So, after seeing his panic attack and hearing the words he said right then and there, she needed to know what caused him to act like that.

 

After being refused for the umpteenth time that week, Yu Ziyuan wrapped him up in Zidian and brought the complaining boy to the family hall, where the Jiang Family - as if expecting this - was waiting. 

 

Jiang Fengmian, “A’ Xian.”

 

Jiang Yanli, “A’ Xian.”

 

Yu Ziyuan, “Wei Ying.”

 

Jiang Cheng, “Wei Wuxian.”

 

“Explain.”

 

“Explain? Explain what?” Even at this point, he was still playing the fool. 

 

“A’ Xian.” Jiang Fengmian sighed softly. “We’re worried about you.” Then, he paused, smiling widely. “My Lady and I talked after you fainted.”

 

Yu Ziyuan looked a bit shy for some reason. “Yes. We talked. We’re okay now.”

 

Wei Wuxian’s eyes lit up. “R-Really? That’s great! Then everything can be avoid-” He caught his slip-up and covered his mouth.

 

Jiang Fengmian smiled as if this was his intention. He and Yu Ziyuan really did talk and more after that, but he wanted to know why Wei Ying needed them to talk to each other. So, he decided to catch him off guard and ask that question.

 

Madam Yu raised an eyebrow. “What do you mean ‘everything can be avoided’?”

 

“I-! I….That was nothing!”

 

“Your little white lie convinces no one, Wei Ying.”

 

Wei Wuxian kept silent and then sighed, looking a bit lost. “........You wouldn’t believe me.”

 

“Oh?” Madam Yu took that as a challenge. “Try us then.”

 

Under the intense stares of his beloved adopted family, Wei Wuxian finally crumbled. “I….have memories of the future.”

 

Yu Ziyuan and Jiang Fengmian, who had heard him speak of some things that day, weren’t as shocked as Jiang Cheng and Jiang Yanli were.

 

“A’ Xian, what…..do you mean?” Jiang Yanli asked.

 

“I have memories of the future.” He repeated with a bit more confidence.

 

“How….?”

 

Wei Wuxian was deathly quiet at this. “I…..died.” He said in a voice very tiny.

 

But it was loud enough that everyone could hear.

 

Everyone felt as of they were struck by lightning. No wonder he could remember. Those memories from the future had no physical body and probably returned through some kind of ritual.

 

“Then,” Madam Yu began. “What did you mean by ‘Lotus Pier burning’?”

 

"It was the Wens." It was then as if a dam broke as Wei Wuxian spoke of what he had experienced.

 

He told them of the Archery Competition.

 

Of the Cloud Recesses burning.

 

Of the Wens arrogance and subsequent indoctrination of all the sects.

 

Of the Xuanwu Cave incident.

 

Of the tragedy of Lotus Pier.

 

Of….Of his fall into Burial Mounds and his first step into demonic cultivation.

 

 

And finally......of the Sunshot Campaign and its end.

 

He then, with much difficulty, told them of Nightless City. About how demonic cultivation eroded his mind, about how it killed Jin Zixuan and Jiang Yanli, and how the clans all got together and forced a siege on him. He did not say how he died. 

 

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry.” He repeated when he was done, tears streaming down his face. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry I’m-”

 

He was cut off by a warm embrace. 

 

Jiang Yanli had hugged him, patting his back and crying as well. “You’ve suffered so much.”

 

His breath caught in his throat. “You…..You don’t blame me? I caused all of that. I….I killed you! I-It’s all my fault! It’s-”

 

“But I don’t blame you. You didn’t kill me. I chose to do that. The me of the future would also say the same thing: it’s not your fault, A’ Xian. But, don’t run away from me again, okay?”

 

The young Yiling Patriarch remembered her last words. “A’ Xian, Why did you run away so fast? I couldn’t catch you and tell you-” Tell you it’s not your fault.

 

Jiang Cheng joined in a squeezed him hard. “You self-sacrificing idiot. You aren’t to blame.”

 

Wei Wuxian broke down in tears. “Why? Why do you not blame me? Hate me? Despise me? I….I….did all this. It's-”

 

“No matter what, you are my brother.” Jiang Cheng cut him off. Although he was mad because of the death of his family, he couldn’t blame Wei Wuxian. From the sounds of it, the Wens would have done that sooner or later. It was just a matter of time.

 

Wei Wuxian had nothing to say to those heartfelt words. He only sobbed as he hugged his siblings.

 

For once, Madam Yu had nothing to say at this display of familial affection.

 

The two adults in the room were quiet. If he had told them of this before his panic attack, they would have thought that he was possessed. However, that coupled with the words he spoke along with all the terrible nightmares he had been having for almost three weeks now was more than enough evidence of his return from the future. But seeing how broken he was, there was surely more to his story than just that. Like why he had no other choice than to take the heretic path. Why he lost control. How he died.

 

But for now…..

 

For now, let him to indulge in the warmth and safety of his family. Allowing him to forget, even if just for a bit, everything that once hurt.

Chapter Text

Whether Wei Wuxian was relieved or exhausted, he fainted in his siblings arms. Night after night of restless sleep had drained him energy.

 

Tonight he expected the same nightmares, the same people calling for his death, the same bodies of everyone he had killed surrounding and suffocating him. But tonight, tonight was different.

 

Even though it started out as a nightmare, with him futilely trying to run away from everything, he crashed into the light. And there…...

 

There he dreamt of Shijie’s lotus root and pork rib soup. Jiang Cheng protecting him from the dogs. Uncle Jiang’s smile and warmth. Madam Yu’s harsh, but helpful training. And…..everyone’s hugs. Shijie’s warm one. Jiang Cheng’s awkward one. Uncle Jiang’s comforting one. Madam Yu’s reluctant but safe one. As well as…..

 

“Wei Ying…..”

 

…….. his protective one.

 

When he woke up, he felt refreshed as he had never been before. Bringing a hand up to cover his eyes, he smiled. I’m home. I’m safe. No one hates me. 

 

Getting ready, he patted himself. Okay, now that I’ve gotten all that off my back, time to start thinking of ways to defeat the Wen clan. I could use demonic cultivation, now that I have my sunshine path back again. Hmm, but this time, I should probably act in the shadows and not reveal myself at all. There’s one other thing bothering me though. 

 

He faintly remembers that the moment he died, he heard a certain chant being recited. 

 

If that was a ritual to bring me back….no. No one would want to bring me back. So then, it’s probably a side-effect of some sorts. The young Yiling Patriarch then exclaimed to himself. That’s right! I remember now! I faintly recall writing something about time manipulation and time travel somewhere in my notes. However, that was only a theory. Did someone improve that and then went back in time? Hmmm, but if that’s the case, this may be troublesome. If that person - whoever they are - followed my theory down to the very last detail, they should know that five others will be brought with them when and if they complete the ritual. No use thinking about that now. I should focus on what I can do now.

 

While Wei Wuxian furiously wrote up several plans, he suddenly remembered a key member to the downfall of Lotus Pier: Wen Zhuliu. That man needs to die in order for everything to be avoided. Well, since I have demonic cultivation now, as long as I’m careful, he shouldn’t be too big of a hassle.

 

Yu Ziyuan and Jiang Fengmian were also making their own strategy. 

 

However, the Archery Competition is coming up and they need to be ready for it.

 

…………………..

 

It had been about three weeks since Jin Zixuan realized he woke up in his younger body. At first, he was dazed. Wasn’t he supposed to be dead?

 

It took him two days to get accustomed to the fact that he was not only alive, but also younger. He smiled at this. 

 

Maybe this time, I could get in A’ Li’s good graces earlier. 

 

But he was worried. The engagement had already been broken off at this point. After gaining the guts to bring this up to his mother - who lectured him on being so fickle -, he decided a date when he could meet Jiang Yanli. 

 

Though, there were a few things that worried him. One being Lotus Pier’s tragedy. To avoid that, naturally, Wen Zhuliu must die. He heard how the Core-Melting Hand was present during the attack and how he led to the downfall of Sect Leader Jiang and his wife. 

 

So, he tried to make the date soon. At a reasonable time before the Archery Competition as well as writing several apology letters saying how he regretted breaking off the engagement because of a childish argument. He proceeded to write more letters to her, detailing why he fought with her brother. He felt that an arranged marriage would end up like how shattered his parents’ marriage was and so, influenced by that, vehemently wanted his marriage to be different. That’s why he reacted like that. 

 

It took a bit for Jiang Yanli to reply. She was glad that he showed a renewed interest and understood his reasons for doing what he did at Cloud Recesses. 

 

Jin Zixuan practically melted with how forgiving and kind his future wife was. 

 

………….......

 

Jin Zixuan arrived at Lotus Pier around two weeks after he realized that he was back from the dead and the future.

 

His arrival was both a pleasant surprise and a widespread indignation. The Jiang Sect had heard of this Young Master Jin and how he disrespected everyone’s beloved Shijie. As such, and with great reason, they were hostile.

 

Jin Zixuan felt as if there were daggers stabbing into his back the moment he stepped onto Lotus Pier’s grounds, but he knew he deserved it.

 

Surprisingly, when he met Wei Wuxian, he didn’t looked annoyed or angry like he was expecting him to be, but just…...guilty. This look reminded him of the one he saw right before his death. He had looked into the Yiling Patriarch’s eyes and saw remorse and pain. Could it be…..?

 

Throughout his entire visit, Wei Wuxian generally kept away from him and even avoided him as if he was afraid that he would get hurt when he was around. This only strengthened his suspicions.

 

Though he died indirectly by the Yiling Patriarch’s hands, Jin Zixuan didn’t blame him. Having a couple of days worth of thinking to himself, he realized that Wei Wuxian wasn’t in the best state of mind, on top of the assassination attempt by his clan, it was no surprise that when met with his equally agitated state, Wei Wuxian would mistake his good will as ill intent and think him to be an enemy. 

 

So, he didn’t blame Wei Wuxian. In fact, though he did dislike him, he wanted to reassure him that it was not his fault. That he’s alright now.

 

Before he decided to confront him, he wanted to spend more time with Jiang Yanli. Now that he’s visited Lotus Pier and seen how respected she was, how open she was about her feelings, how well she was trusted, Jin Zixuan kept thinking about how he could be so rude to someone as amazing as her. Regardless of whether he was unsatisfied with the engagement or not, he should have not acted like that. 

 

Jiang Yanli smiled at his apologies and waved it off. 

 

“You’ve explained why you did what you did in your letters.” She beamed. “I’m glad that you gave this another chance, wanting to make it different. I admire that.”

 

Jin Zixuan felt heat rising to his cheeks. “I-It’s not like I did much to earn your respect!”

 

She raised her sleeve to cover her smile. “Well, you have. Young Master Jin, I am very happy you came today. I have enjoyed our time together. Will you visit again?”

 

Now, he was sporting a huge blush. “Call me A’ Xuan.” He blurted out.

 

“Pardon?”

 

He realized his slip-up and his face became a full-blown red. “I-It’s nothing! I’ll come back. But that’s only because I haven’t tried all the different kinds of food around here yet!” His tsundere nature came back in full.

 

Jiang Yanli couldn’t hold back her laugh anymore. “I look forward to meeting you….. A’ Xuan .”

 

With that sentence, Jin Zixuan escaped from her side after escorting her back, patting his reddened cheeks in hopes of calming it down. It’s been years for me! Why can’t I just honestly tell her what I want to say? .......On top of that, she can still make me blush like this even though she’s technically a lot younger than me!

 

While calming down his mind, he spotted a black and red blur moving away from his position. It’s Wei Wuxian, again. Now I’m sure he’s also returned.

 

With his mind made up, Jin Zixuan cornered Wei Wuxian and said two words that he knows only those from the future would recognize. “Ghost General.”

 

Seeing how Wei Wuxian instantly froze up, his eyes showing intense sorrow, Jin Zixuan sighed. 

 

“Wei Wuxian, I don’t blame you. It’s not your fault.”

 

“What?” The young troublemaker replied, as if he couldn’t believe his ears.

 

“I don’t blame you.” He repeated.

 

“W-Wait. You…..You too? You came back too?”

 

“Yes.” Jin Zixuan smiled. “And this time, I will not make the same mistakes as before.” He took a struggling breath as he stared the man - no, boy - down. “Wei Wuxian, I must apologize to you.”

 

“W-What? For what?”

 

“What happened on Qiongqi Path.”

 

“What?! No! NO! The one who has to apologize is me! I killed you! I-”

 

Jin Zixuan sighed. “Wei Wuxian, with a few days of thinking to myself. I understand why you did what you did. You were agitated and members of my own clan attacked you. You were cornered, and I was too aggressive towards you. Of course you would think me to be an enemy.”

 

“B-But! But that doesn’t excuse the fact that I killed you! I should have had it under control! I-”

 

“That’s why we’ll make it different this time.” Jin Zixuan interrupted. “We’ll save everyone and we’ll make sure that they’re safe. And you…..I believe that you won’t make the same mistake ever again.”

 

Wei Wuxian’s throat bobbed but he nodded. “......Got it. We will make sure to change everything this time.”

 

“Mn.” The Jin Sect Heir nodded. “By the way, is this your doing? This….time travel?”

 

“Me? Nope~. For once. I made the theory, but it’s never been put into practice. After I died, someone must have improved and used it.”

 

“So it was your idea…..Wait. You died?!”

 

Wei Wuxian looked at him like he was an idiot. “Duh~. What else did you think would happen when I killed you?”

 

“Oh. Good point.”

 

……………….

 

Lan Qiren was more than happy to see that his brother had returned and was resuming his Sect leader duties. He didn’t know why Qingheng-Jun had returned from his seclusion and how his two nephews managed to convince him to come out, but he was happy to see the family together again.

 

Lan Wangji and Lan Xichen were unsure of how to approach this estranged father of theirs, but Qingheng-Jun was more than open about spending time with them. From things like studies, to cultivation - both music and regular -, to small talk, they did everything they couldn’t do those past years and the Twin Jades enjoyed every part of it. 

 

They appreciated their uncle for how he took care of them, but he drilled too many rules into their bodies and minds and restricted them severely. Their Father, on the other hand, was more lenient with the rules and frequently took them out to eat.

 

Though small, Lan Wangji actually smiled at some point during their meal time in Caiyi Town, shocking both Lan Xichen and Qingheng-Jun, who both hadn’t seen Lan Wangji smile at all.

 

“A’ Zhan. Your smile is beautiful. Never lose that.” Qingheng-Jun commented offhandedly.

 

However, upon hearing those words, the smile disappeared and Lan Wangji looked remorseful.

 

Confused, Qingheng-Jun turned to his oldest, who just sadly shook his head. He only mouthed a few words that rooted the Sect leader to the spot.

 

‘Those were the last few words Mother told him.’

 

Qingheng-Jun clenched his fists and stared intensely at his bowl of rice before sighing.

 

“Would you two…..like to hear stories about….her? When we were younger?”

 

Both of them jolted their heads up to him, curiosity shining in their eyes.

 

Qingheng-Jun smiled. “How about…..when we first met? It was during a night hunt.” He laughed remembering it. “I remember running into her helping a few disciples of my Lan Sect. Your mother was wild, fierce, and…….” Qingheng-Jun seemed to blush a bit. “....shameless.”

 

“Her different personality attracted me to her. She wasn’t attached to any sect, and was an orphan. ……..I was….young and brash. I thought she wouldn’t refuse me when I asked to court her.” He laughed heartily. “Could you imagine my surprise when she not only publicly shut me down, but told me I was stuck-up and arrogant?”

 

Lan Wangji and Lan Xichen listened with rapt attention, trying to soak up all the information about their late mother.

 

“But I wasn’t one to give up. After a few days of sulking, with a renewed vigor, I started ‘coincidentally’ bumping into her and using every chance I could to apologize for my prior behavior and then subtly slipping her small little gifts such as flowers, sweets, food. She seemed to soften a bit, but still generally ignored me. One of her friends felt sorry for me, and told me she likes spicy dishes from the Hunan cuisine place and that rather than flowers, she would appreciate help with cultivation.”

 

“With that, I treated her to dinner, and though the dishes were so spicy my eyes watered, it was worth it just to see her bright laugh and smile. I also came to give her tips on cultivation whenever I was free. Eventually, she accepted my advances and affection.” Qingheng-jun smiled fondly at the memories.

 

He then felt a slight tug on his sleeve. He saw it was Lan Wangji.

 

“Father,” he started. “Tell me more?” He wanted to know the meaning behind Qingheng-Jun's slight blush and his mother's shamelessness.

 

Lan Xichen snapped out of his daze. “Me too.”

 

Qingheng-Jun smiled. “Of course, my sons.”

 

…………………

 

Nie Huaisang had been trying to gain a few trusted allies all this time. He wanted to gain as much information he could about the Wen Sect and any weaknesses he could grasp. Aside from that, he needed to know who the other five people that came back with him were. If they were allies, that’s fine. He will try to get them in on the plan to defeat the Wen Sect - when proven trustworthy enough. 

 

There have been odd movements, but none of them were bad.

 

The majority of the Wen Sect was acting as they were. Arrogant, flaunting their power, and general corruption. Nie Huaisang knew for a fact that not everyone was like that and was disgusted with how the remnants of the Wen Sect were treated after the Sunshot Campaign in his past life.

 

However, the Lanling Jin Sect, the Gusu Lan Sect, and - though it was difficult to see - the Yunmeng Jiang Sect all had odd movements.

 

First, he had heard rumors of how Jin Zixuan, after breaking the engagement with Jiang Yanli, wanted to renew it and even went to the extent of writing apology letters and being nothing but courteous to the Young Lady Jiang. That didn’t happen before. Further digging around found that he had started acting up around three weeks ago, the same time he returned to this time.

 

Second was the Gusu Lan Sect. Amazingly, Qingheng-Jun had returned from his seclusion and was seen walking around Caiyi Town with his two sons. It took a few days but he was able to find out that around three weeks ago Lan Xichen and Lan Wangji suddenly collapsed one day and started acting…...not different, but a bit older than they were. Seeing how their father came out of seclusion not long after that, Nie Huaisang could conclude that they had returned as well.

 

Finally, the Yunmeng Jiang Sect. Nie Huaisang didn’t find it too difficult to find out this information as it was just a matter of time. One of his spies had found out one night three weeks ago and several nights after that the leading disciple had terrible nightmares. The spy had gotten close enough to hear him screaming out some facts that only those from the future knew about.

 

Out of everyone he hoped had returned, Nie Huaisang was glad that Wei Wuxian was here. The poor guy was conspired against by Jin Guangyao, causing him to both lose reputation and lose control. He had lost everyone important to him and died thinking the world hated him. Nie Huaisang certainly didn’t feel hatred towards his old classmate, but rather admiration for him. However, his word could only get him so far and wouldn’t be helpful to the demonic cultivator.

 

Oh~ that reminds me. Wen Zhuliu will be a hassle to deal with. He either needs to die or lose his cultivation. His power is a force to be reckoned with. 

 

(Somewhere, within the Wen Sect, Wen Zhuliu felt several waves of chills up his back. Am I falling sick or is someone plotting my death?)



Nie Huaisang smiled. I have found four out five people and all are ones I can trust. However….. He hid his face behind his fan. …...who is the last person? 

Chapter Text

The past…….

 

Through his blurred consciousness, he saw Jin Guangyao and Xue Yang trying everything they could to get him under their control. But he refused. He didn't want to be loyal to them. He didn't want to obey them. He didn't want

 

He felt pain in his head.

 

And then everything went black.

.

 

.

 

.

Murmured voices breezed past him as he struggled to stay conscious.

 

However, although he couldn't see, he could hear.

 

That's why he took every chance he could to relax himself when everyone had left.

 

He heard the door open just as he started to let go and tensed, his instincts turned on to max.

 

“Poor you. Always having to submit to our experiments.” The voice called and he recognized that as Jin Guangyao.

 

“What are you being so compassionate to a corpse for?” That was Xue Yang. A sneer. “Anyway, I've figured it out. If we just stick this here.....”

 

He felt another pain drive itself into his head. Screaming in agony, he tried to shift his head away to no avail.

 

His already blurred rational started to completely fade away at that point. However, his body continued to work as it absorbed the sounds from around him. 

 

He heard of Jin Guangshan's greed.

 

Of Jin Guangyao's pity.

 

Of Xue Yang's cruelty.

 

Of Mo Xuanyu's kindness.

 

And then-

 

“Wen Qionglin, wake up.”

 

And suddenly, the darkness gave way to light.

 

The first thing that entered his sight was pure white robes. Looking up, he met Lan Wangji's golden eyes.

 

“Second.....Master.....Lan?” His voice came out in pauses from long periods of unuse. 

 

“Mn.”

 

Hearing a small squeak of surprise, he turned to see Mo Xuanyu clutching the Soul-Locking nails in his hands. 

 

“Mo…..Young Master Mo?” He tried.

 

The boy nodded shyly. “Han-HanGuang-Jun. Now that he’s awake, I will be taking my leave.”

 

“Mn. Come to Cloud Recesses later.”

 

Mo Xuanyu looked surprised as he clutched his robes. “Eh? But I….I’m…..”

 

“I know. Your…..aunt told me.” The tone in which Second Master Lan said the word ‘aunt’ was filled with disgust.

 

Mo Xuanyu flinched. “Then….”

 

“No one deserves to be treated like that.” Lan Wangji’s tone sounded exasperated as if he had had this conversation many times. “We will treat you well.” Then he paused. “But, if you don’t like it, it’s fine.”


Wen Ning silently watched the conversation from the side. 

 

“I….will visit then.” Mo Xuanyu saluted and then left the two alone.

 

“Second Master Lan, what.....are you doing here? And with Young Master Mo?”

 

“Jin Guangyao's crimes were found out. Young Master Mo stepped up to help.”

 

“How did you two meet?”

 

“Night hunt. Passing by.” A pause. “Family didn’t treat him well. Took him with me.”

 

“Ah.” Wen Ning shook his head. “He’s a nice kid. Out of everyone who came to see me during my imprisonment, he was the only one who showed kindness and compassion.”

 

“Mn. Good kid. Smart.”

 

“Yes. He is.” Wen Ning attempted to smile. “So Sect Leader Jin was finally convicted?”

 

“Mn.”

 

“So you came to check through his belongings to make sure nothing harmful was left behind?”

 

“Mn.”

 

“Then.....what will you do with me?”

 

Lan Wangji looked mildly confused.

 

“I'm.....a dangerous weapon.” Wen Ning stated.

 

“No.” Was all Lan Wangji replied with.

 

“W-What?”

 

The Second Jade pursed his lips. “Not a weapon.”

 

“Oh. But I.......”

 

“Not a weapon.” He repeated more firmly.

 

Wen Ning saluted him. “Thank you, HanGuang-Jun.” he paused. “For speaking up for my sister and I at Nightless City and now. And.....sorry. For how I lost control afterwards.”

 

The guqin player merely shook his head. “Not your fault. Anyone would.”

 

He meant that in his situation, seeing his family - his sister - die right in front of him, their ashes scattered to the wind, not only he, but anyone would go out of control.

 

“Mn.” Then Wen Ning hesitated. “Second Master Lan, after that, what happened to Young Master Wei?” He had heard of how Young Master Wei had died, but knew how rumors could twist the truth in so many ways. He had to hear what happened. The debt he owed Wei Wuxian for saving him and his family - at least for a little bit - was something he had to repay.

 

Lan Wangji abruptly turned gloomy and downtrodden. “........Dead.”

 

Wen Ning’s heart dropped. “......How?”

 

A longer pause. “...........Devoured by corpses.”

 

“I…….see…….” 

 

The tension, heavy in the air, was only broken by the sounds of footsteps. 

 

Lan Wangji’s expression turned sharp. “Wen Qionglin.”

 

“Yes?”

 

“Come this way.”

 

The fierce corpse was led out of Koi Tower through a secret entrance and into the forest, away from the hustle and bustle of the crowd.

 

“You’re free now.” Lan Wangji told him.

 

“Eh?”

 

“You can go.”

 

Wen Ning was confused. “Why?”

 

“No reason.” Lan Wangji then continued. “You had no reason to be treated like that.”

 

“But I….” He swallowed.

 

“Go. You’re free.” He sighed. “Wei Ying would have wanted that.”

 

Freezing up a bit, Wen Ning nodded. He turned back one last time to salute the younger Jade and left without looking back.

 

The next few years passed by in a blur. 

 

He generally took care of minor disturbances bothering people and tried to sneakily help disciples who were in trouble. 

 

He ran into Lan Wangji, who told him about how A’ Yuan survived. Wen Ning thanked him profusely and dedicated the rest of his time to helping A’ Yuan out.

 

He felt his time coming to a close. Though Wen Ning was a conscious fierce corpse, he could only be conscious if someone was there to ground him. Wei Wuxian was one such person and A’ Yuan was also there. However, he had become tired and had felt his consciousness slipping a few times. Before he made any more mistakes, he met with Lan Wangji one last time to ask him to put him to rest.

 

Lan Wangji understood and everything faded into a comfortable darkness.

 

……………….

 

But can you imagine his surprise when he - when he thought that he had finally let go - woke up in his younger, much clearly alive body?


At first, he thought this was a dream, but he gradually came to realize it wasn’t.


With tears in his eyes, he greeted his sister that day. She was alive and well and lecturing him about being too soft and too shy. That he should open up more.

 

“O-Okay. I’ll try.”

 

Wen Qing was obviously surprised. His answer was different from before. She sensed confidence and firmness from his tone, something she thought she would never hear from her socially inept younger brother.

 

And Wen Ning was convinced to be better this time. Stronger . He would avoid the future and live happily with his Jie and their family. This time, for sure.

 

However, though he was convinced on getting stronger……..talking to strangers and people outside his immediate family was a big…...no, still.

 

……………...

 

Wen Qing eventually noticed her brother’s different attitude - at least towards cultivation. Although he was still hard-working as before, there was something…... different . More frantic. 

 

She frowned. She hadn’t heard of anything troubling him lately and no one seemed to mind his presence, so it couldn’t be bullying - at least to her knowledge.

 

Having had a few days to mull over it, she confronted him.

 

“Jie, what’s wrong?”

 

“A’ Ning, you’ve…...been working hard recently.”

 

“Of course I-”

 

Too hard .”

 

“O-Oh.”

 

“Mind explaining to me what’s going on?”

 

“It’s nothing.” He said so quickly she was convinced that it was a lie.

 

“A’ Ning.” She made her tone more firm.

 

Wen Ning flinched. “J-Jie, you…...wouldn’t believe me.”

 

“Oh?" She took that as a challenge. "Try me then.”

 

“Jie……” He bit his lips. “Then, let’s go inside.”

 

Once the sibling pair got seated, Wen Ning took a deep breath as he, at first, spoke slowly of what happened and picked up speed, until the words were practically tumbling out of his mouth.

 

At the end of it, Wen Qing looked down as if in contemplation. “So, if I get this right, you’re actually from the future, the entire Wen clan except A’ Yuan died, and you magically came back to try to fix things?”

 

“W-Well, it’s a work in progress, and I’m still not strong enough……..”

 

Wen Qing sighed as she hugged her younger brother. “You’ve been through a lot, haven’t you?”

 

Wen Ning was frozen in shock. "You believe me?"

 

"Mn. You can't exactly lie."


And then his eyes filled with tears. The sorrow he had been holding up for years burst out at that moment.

 

His Jie was alive, warm, and uninjured. She wasn’t held by the stake, waiting as the flames burned her to ash. She was here, she was alive, and…..and….he could fix this. 

 

He calmed down after a while and the two got to work to try to save their family.

 

…………………….

 

Qingheng-Jun had finished his sect leader duties for the day early and stretched. He had forgotten this suffocating feeling. He remembered Qiren’s almost smug look when he brought in the piles of papers he had to mark that morning. Qingheng-Jun could imagine the look on his own face - crestfallen - when he saw those papers. 

 

He sighed and decided to go outside for some fresh air. And he was met with a teeth-rotting adorable sight. 

 

His youngest, A’ Zhan, was currently buried under piles of white and black fluff and struggling to surface underneath them. His oldest, A’ Huan, was cooing and drawing what was going on.

 

“Brother….!” Lan Zhan gasped.

 

Lan Huan just giggled. “Sorry, sorry. Just a moment! I’m almost done!”

 

Qingheng-Jun let out a laugh at this, a smile making its way onto his face. 

 

This seemed to get the attention of his two sons, one horrified, one amused. 

 

Lan Huan had just finished the painting as Qingheng-Jun helped his two sons out.

 

I swear, sometimes, they act older than they look - well, that’s to be expected when they’re from the future. But, moments like this make them seem almost…...childish. It’s quite refreshing to see. Especially since A’ Zhan doesn’t show many emotions.

 

“Father.” “Father.” The two greeted.

 

“Mn.”

 

“Have you finished work today?” Lan Xichen asked.

 

“Mn. I decided to get some fresh air as well as spend time with you two.”

 

His sons’ eyes brightened. 

 

“Then,” Lan Wangji started. “More stories?”

 

The Sect Leader smiled. “Yes, more stories. …….Which one do you want to hear?”

 

“Why was Mother……... shameless?”

 

Qingheng-Jun choked on his breath at the memory Lan Zhan had brought up. “That is……”

 

“Father.” Lan Huan joined in. “Please?”

 

“Uhh, well,” He cleared his throat. “Very well.”

 

“Your Mother, Xia Fenfang, A’ Fang, was…..a wild card as I’ve mentioned before. One day, when I was still in the process of pursuing her, she was in a particularly…..good mood. She entertained me and actually gave me attention. Now, after getting to know her for around a month then, this was suspicious.”

 

Lan Wangji had a feeling he knew what his Mother had done. 

 

“She, showed, me, a, book.”

 

Lan Xichen was confused, but Lan Wangji froze. He thought to himself, Please don’t tell me what I think it is.

 

“Father, what kind of book?” His ever so ignorant brother asked.

 

“A…..picture book.” Qingheng-jun turned away, ears a bright red. When he saw that his oldest didn’t get it, he elaborated. “With…..erotic art.” He finished in a small voice.

 

Lan Xichen was frozen stiff. His Mother showed his Father what…..?

 

Lan Wangji, on the other hand, coughed lightly and turned away, ears a similar shade of red as he remembered what Wei Ying had showed him as well.

 

Both Qingheng-Jun and Lan Xichen noticed this and looked over to him. 

 

Qingheng-Jun didn’t understand, but Lan Xichen did. Years of reading the younger allowed him to read his expressions. The First Jade swallowed. “Wangji, don’t tell me….?”

 

“..................Mn.”

 

“.........Oh dear.”

 

“A’ Zhan, What’s wrong?” 

 

“Well,” Lan Wangji paused. There was no easy way to say this.

 

“A’ Huan. Can you explain to me what’s going on?”

 

Lan Xichen hid a smile at his brother’s insistence of ‘No, don’t tell him! ’. “A guest disciple that visited here…...did the same thing Mother did to you.”

 

Lan Wangji’s expression read ‘Betrayal! ’.

 

“Oh? Who is this?” Qingheng-jun was very interested.

 

“Young Master Wei Ying, Courtesy name: Wuxian.”

 

Qingheng-Jun could tell that there was more than the two let on. “Tell me more.”

 

“Brother! Father!” Lan Wangji opened his mouth to protest.

 

Lan Xichen proceeded to tell their Father all about Wei Wuxian, a red-eared Lan Wangji accompanying them.

 

…………………….

 

“Wei Wuxian! You caused the deaths of Jiang Fengmian, his wife, and daughter! You’re nothing but a monster! You should have died instead of them!”

 

He remembered these words like the brand on his chest. After all, it was true, wasn’t it? He couldn’t do anything but harm those precious to him.

 

After Shijie died, he spent his last remaining days as a ghost, simply wandering without a purpose or cause. 

 

He stared at the Tiger Seal in his hands the day of the siege and wanted to destroy it. Somewhere in his hazy mind, he wanted to redeem himself one last time. 

 

After destroying the seal, he was wasted and he felt so, so tired. He just wanted to sleep…….and never wake up again.

 

“Xian-gege?” A small, shy voice woke him up.

 

However, somewhere deep inside of him, a selfish part of him wanted to live. 

 

“A……Yuan?” 

 

He remembered A’ Yuan. That child that he took as his own. No, they would kill him. He has to be safe. Away from here.

 

With shaky hands, he knocked the child out. “Forgive me, A’ Yuan…..”

 

He walked a distance away from the Burial Mounds and found a hollow tree stump that was angled so that where he placed A’ Yuan wouldn’t be seen. He wanted to go back and tell everyone else - the Wens who had become his family - to escape. To run. 

 

When he arrived, he only saw blood and death.

 

His second family, dead, just like that.

 

A heart-wrenching scream wrenched itself from his lips. Eyes a blood red, he commanded the corpses around him to kill the culprits. 

 

Once they were dead, he collapsed to his knees, tears streaming down his face. 

 

Footsteps made themselves heard as he sat their in a daze.

 

Turning back, he saw the army asking for his death and smiled. Then he waited, and waited. When someone took the first move, he cackled. Finally, finally, they attack!

 

Then he saw Jiang Cheng. The brother he owed too much to.

 

He saw the despair in his eyes and a shining sword stabbed deep into his stomach. Jiang Cheng’s eyes looked confused, as if to say, ‘Why didn’t you fight back?

 

But the Wei Wuxian as of now couldn’t bring himself to care. Pushing Jiang Cheng away, he made sure that the corpses wouldn’t attack him.

 

Bringing Chenqing to his lips, he played his last melody. One of sorrow, one of insanity. 

 

He had the front wave attack the cultivator army and the back wave……….attack him.

 

No matter what, he would not allow them to do what they wanted with his corpse. Ha, he wouldn’t let them even have a corpse to torment. 

 

As he was devoured by the corpses, he smiled one last time. This smile was like a single firework. Bright for a moment and then dim.

 

…………………

 

Wei Wuxian woke up, covered in cold sweat. He didn’t scream out like his other nightmares, so no one came to comfort him this time around. Looking around, it was still nighttime. He threw off the covers and snuck outside. Walking for a while, he finally found what he was looking for, a tree. This was the tree he had climbed up when he was forced outside by Jiang Cheng when they were kids. 

 

He stayed by it, trembling from the aftereffects of his nightmare, or rather, memories. A' Yuan.....was he okay? Safe? Did someone find him and take care of him? Or.....did he die? Did they kill him like they did the others? I.....

 

Hearing footsteps, he froze. 

 

“Wei Ying?”

 

“…….Madam Yu.” He greeted.

 

“What are you doing out here?” She demanded.

 

“Nothing.” He then saw suspiciously wine-shaped jars behind her back. “And you…..?”

 

Madam Yu, for the first time since he met her, looked embarrassed. “Nothing…..”

 

After all, the wine jars behind her back discredited that claim.

 

Wei Wuxian raised an eyebrow, his previous feelings about his memories starting to dissipate.

 

Madam Yu cleared her throat. “So, what are you really doing out here?”

 

He abruptly remembered them and looked away from her. “It’s…...nothing.”

 

He heard a soft sigh from above. 

 

Yu Ziyuan set the wine jars down and took a seat beside him.

 

Wei Wuxian was confused, unsure of what to do. 

 

Without a warning, he was pulled into an awkward hug. 

 

Every fiber of his being was completely tense. He didn’t know what was going or why Madam Yu was hugging him.

 

“Madam Yu…..?”

 

“I’m sorry.”

 

“........What?”

 

Madam Yu looked away from him. “I’m sorry…...for what I did that day. You didn’t deserve my ridiculous jealousy over your parents.”

 

Now Wei Wuxian was scared. Madam Yu was really acting unlike herself. There was no explanation…...until he picked up the scent of alcohol from her breath.

 

She’s…...drunk?! Don’t tell me she becomes an honest and kind person when drunk?! What to do? I have to tell Jiang Cheng! 

 

“It’s fine.”

 

“Now what happened?” She asked with the patience a mother should have.

 

“Nightmare…...or memories. Not good.”

 

“What happened in it?”

 

I hope she doesn’t remember this in the morning. “My death.”

 

“.............” He heard her inhale. “Don’t tell me if you don’t want to.”

 

"It's fine. I think....I want to get this off my chest too." He took a deep breath. ".........I was devoured by corpses.”

 

“Oh. Why?”

 

“‘Why?’” He let out a hollow laugh. “Simple. I didn’t want the world that hated me to get ahold of me. I wanted to be gone. I was tired.” All of his feelings that he had held back tumbled out at that point as he told the drunk woman how much he hated himself at that point in time.

 

He talked and talked and talked until he fell into a deep sleep.

 

Right before he passed out, he felt himself being lifted up, the scent of lavender and alcohol floating around him.

 

He woke up the next morning in his bed. Walking slowly out of his room, he ran right into Madam Yu, who didn’t look in the least bit mad as she patted his shoulder, told him to watch where he was going and then went on her way.

 

He looked around and caught the the looks of the Jiang Sect disciples and Jiang Cheng. They all looked  shocked, horrified, and quite possibly bamboozled. 

 

In the corner, Jiang Fengmian and Jiang Yanli gave each other knowing smiles. After all, they knew what the famed Violet Spider was like drunk. They knew she would become nice when drunk and how she would remember everything the next morning. As a result, Wei Wuxian and Madam Yu would bond. Why else would they give her so much alcohol last night?

 

…………………..

 

Jin Zixuan has been busy in the time before the Archery Competition. Aside from preparing for it and the aftermath, he’s been looking through all of the ‘good’ deeds his father has done all these years.


The more he found, the more disappointed he was. After all, through his research, he found that there wasn’t a single redeemable quality about his father other than the fact that he had a lot of money. 


The only person he could look to comfort for is his mother. Gathering the notes he made on his sect’s corruption, he presented them to the only one he could trust: his mother. 


Looking over it, she sighed resignedly. The two of them talked over what they should do and came to the consensus of stripping Jin Guangshan’s power from him, ever so slowly. Not now, but when the time is near, they will make sure to pull the rug out from under that man’s feet.


…………………..


Nie Mingjue sensed that something was off with his younger brother. That day, three weeks ago, was bizarre. Nie Huaisang had hugged him and cried, like he hadn’t seen him in years. After that, he started helping him with Sect Leader duties and sneaking around here and there. 

 

He even caught Nie Huaisang, one day, speaking to one of the Nie disciples as if they were exchanging information. He had seen similar shadows darting here and there whenever Nie Huaisang was in a deserted location.

 

What was surprising was that though his younger brother didn’t practice with his saber like usual, he tried to get into musical cultivation.

 

He had even seen notes on how to avoid Qi Deviation through music. Nie Mingjue knew that their cultivation path forced others towards Qi Deviation faster and made them more irritable. So, it was heartwarming to see Nie Huaisang looking for ways to prevent that from happening. Though, he was still mad that the kid wasn’t practicing cultivation. Though he understood.

 

Nie Mingjue sighed as he saw the light in his younger brother’s room late that night. 

 

He let himself in and found the boy passed out in the middle of a flurry of notes. Sighing softly, he picked the still-sleeping kid up and tucked him in, organizing his notes in the process.

 

He saw a specific page that had his name. Though he knew it to be inappropriate, he was curious and looked through it. He felt nothing but warmth seeing what was written.

 

Nie Huaisang had written about trying to help him lessen his burdens as Sect Leader and ways that music cultivation could help slow down and possibly calm him down.

 

Nie Mingjue coughed and decided that he should do something for him.

 

He mulled over it until he fell asleep.

 

Getting advice from one of his close aides, he went and bought…...something. Finding his brother in contemplation about something, he tapped him roughly.

 

Nie Mingjue smiled seeing the shock run through his brother’s body as if he didn’t expect anyone to be there.

 

“D-Da-ge?”

 

Nie Mingjue grunted and then was suddenly embarrassed.

 

“Da-ge? Is something wrong?”

 

“Here.” He shoved the present into his arms. 

 

“Da-Ge?”

 

The Sect Leader cleared his throat. “You’ve worked hard these days. A present.” With that, he walked off briskly to the training grounds.

 

Nie Huaisang opened the box and widened his eyes. This was the fan he had been looking for for years! And they were practically extinct!

 

Clutching the fan, he ran up to his brother and tackled the much larger man in a bear-hug.

 

“Thank you, Da-ge!”

 

Nie Mingjue scratched his chin awkwardly as he returned it.

 

…...............

 

Nie Huaisang returned to his room after a full day spent out with his brother. He was in high spirits. Not only because of the news from earlier that day, but also because his Da-Ge was so uncharacteristically kind today. 

 

He had found all the reincarnated people. All of them were allies and all of them had personalities he could trust. He had asked his brother earlier that day to invite those people over because he had something urgent to tell them. His brother agreed without another word.

 

Nie Huaisang clutched his prized fan to sleep. I look forward to meeting everyone again.

Chapter Text

When a letter from Qinghe arrived, detailing that Wei Wuxian has to come over for something urgent, the Jiang Family didn’t know what to think.

 

Wei Wuxian was confused as well, he read over the letter once more and noticed something odd. Certain strokes of the characters in the letter were thicker than others. When put together, it spelled out a title he was more familiar with: Yiling Patriarch.

 

Wei Wuxian needed to find out who this person was. The letter wasn’t addressed, but Nie Mingjue approved of it so whoever it was - it couldn’t be Sect Leader Nie, he wouldn’t do something like this - was someone of high rank. Could it be my old classmate?

 

………………………

 

At the Cloud Recesses, a similar letter arrived. Qingheng-Jun, Lan Xichen, and Lan Wangji were confused, until they noticed the bolded strokes. Put together, they spelled out Lan Wangji’s title that he would receive later in life: HanGuang-Jun.

 

With that, Lan Xichen and Lan Wangji packed their stuff and headed over to Qinghe.

 

………………………

 

Jin Zixuan was busy practicing some archery when a servant ran over, scroll in hand. Going over it quickly, he widened his eyes as he saw the characters for ‘Jin Ling’ scattered across the page.

 

Madam Jin gave her permission to go to Qinghe as Jin Guangshan was away on ‘official sect business’ and was too busy to pay them any attention.

 

………………………

 

There was a knock on the door. Wen Qing got up to answer it, only to find no one there and a letter was in their place.

 

Going over it quickly, she found that it was addressed to her brother, he handed it over and was confused as to why he was invited over to Qinghe. However, as he went through it a few times, he found some bolded characters. Curious, he put them together and froze at the words, ‘Ghost General’.

 

After explaining the situation to his sister, he was sent off to Qinghe.

 

………………………

 

Jin Zixuan was the first to arrive. He looked around patiently until a servant led him in. It was quite odd the route that they were taking and he was on edge. The letter he got wasn’t addressed, but knew of who Jin Ling was. He didn’t sense any danger, but that didn’t make him drop his guard.

 

He was led to a clearing where he saw a classmate of his, Nie Huaisang, waiting.

 

“Welcome to Qinghe, Zixuan-xiong.” Nie huaisang said with a smile. 

 

“Mn.” The two hung around each awkwardly. They had never interacted much both in this life and the past, so Jin Zixuan didn’t know what to do or say. 

 

Then, he remembered what he was here for. 

 

“Huaisang-xiong, what is the meaning of this?” He waved the letter in front of his face.

 

“Well, let’s just say that I am the one responsible for bringing you to the past.” The fan opened, covering his face.

 

“Oh. Huh……what? Why?” Jin Zixuan was mildly surprised. “And how did you find out about me?”

 

“Well, I don’t exactly get to choose who comes with me to the past….. And as for your last question, I have my…...ways. Let’s keep that a secret for now until everyone arrives.”

 

“Everyone?”

 

“Yes. The ritual to go back to the past summoned not only us two, but four others.”

 

“Are they people we can trust?” Aside from Wei Wuxian. He didn’t add.

 

Nie Huaisang looked offended. “Of course! Why would invite over those I don’t trust?”

 

“Good point.”

 

A silence descended upon them once again.

 

Jin Zixuan hoped for once that Wei Wuxian was here. He would know how to lighten up this atmosphere.

 

…………………….

 

Wen Ning was the next to arrive. He was a bit apprehensive about being away from home, but weeks of intense training had made him strong enough to defend himself. He may have not been as strong as he was when he was a fierce corpse, but not everyone would be able to take him down so easily.

 

As was led in, he came face to face with someone he thought he would never see again. Someone he was guilty about: Jin Zixuan.

 

The first thing he did when making eye contact with him was bow low and apologize.

 

“Young Master Jin, I’m sorry!”

 

Jin Zixuan was perplexed. “You are….?”

 

Jin Zixuan was right to be surprised. After all, Wen Ning’s current appearance was too different from what he was like as the Ghost General. “I-I’m Wen Ning. Courtesy name: Qionglin. Young Master Jin, I am - was - the Ghost General.”

 

Jin Zixuan was floored. The current blushing, stuttering young man in front of him was the Ghost General?! “I-I see…….”

 

“I’m sorry! I…...I killed you! I should have been in control, but I…..”

 

Jin Zixuan was a bit awkward as he patted Wen Ning’s shoulder in comfort. “Could you tell me why you killed me?”

 

“Uhh, well. It’s difficult to recall as I’m alive right now, but as far as I remember, you had aggressive body action towards Young Master Wei. I had to let go of my consciousness in order to heighten my instincts and get rid of the threats around me. There were too many people at the time and you were too close, so I deemed you as a threat. But, but, you weren’t! In hindsight, you were probably trying to help Young Master Wei, but you were too close and agitated, I-I couldn’t tell  the difference and needed to remove the threat near Young Master Wei. But my actions…..they can’t be forgiven! I-I’m sorry!” Wen Ning’s head bowed lower than before.

 

Jin Zixuan recalled that he was indeed angry at the time. He remembered that when he was just trying to talk to Wei Wuxian, the resentful energy and Wen Ning seemed to avoid him, but as soon as he became aggressive, they started to target him. This seemed to be his fault too. If only he was much calmer instead of allowing his emotions to influence his actions again…….

 

He sighed. “It’s fine. I’m alive now…...and you’re not dead. We will try to change the past. Which reminds me…...why was Wei Wuxian so intent on protecting you? What did he see that made him so fierce?”

 

Wen Ning shifted uncomfortably in place. “You…..don’t know?”

 

“Know what?”

 

“The labour camps. We…..weren’t exactly treated well.”

 

Jin Zixuan felt a chill in his heart. “What…..happened?”

 

Wen Ning took a deep breath as he told of everything that he saw in the camp. 

 

Jin Zixuan became paler and paler with each word coming out of his mouth. “I didn’t know we fell this far…….”

 

Wen Ning swallowed hard. Though he tried to keep his emotions in place, his anger came out in waves as he told the ignorant Jin Sect Heir of everything. 

 

When Wen Ning got to the part about A’ Yuan and the several other toddlers at the camp, Jin Zixuan became unresponsive.

 

“We…...did what to those children?” Jin Zixuan held his head in a hand. “My father….haha, what evils hasn’t he done? Going even as far as to use a branding iron…...and starving children…..haha…..”

 

Wen Ning and Nie Huaisang left Jin Zixuan alone with his thoughts. They knew he needed to calm down.

 

“What happened at the camps…...was truly a shame.”

 

Wen Ning felt indignant. “You knew?” He said with a bit more force than he intended.

 

Nie Huaisang could probably hear his unspoken words. “Even if I spoke out, who would believe me? At the time, I had neither the time nor the necessary manpower to convince people.”

 

Wen Ning calmed down a bit at that. The two proceeded to talk about the ritual. Now they only had to wait for the last three to come here.

 

……………………

 

The Twin Jades arrived soon after and were led in to where Nie Huaisang started to explain everything. As they talked, Wei Wuxian made his appearance.

 

Lan Wangji was immediately frozen stiff. Wei Ying…..looked healthy. He wasn’t gaunt, there wasn’t resentful energy surrounding him and he seemed to be happy.

 

“Huh? Lan Zhan, what are you doing here?” 

 

Hearing his voice once more, Lan Wangji shivered. Wei Ying…….he’s alive.

 

Under the tumultuous emotions suffocating him, his self-restraint broke as he rushed up to the troublemaker……..and hugged him, crushing him to his chest and breathing in his scent as if to make sure he was still there.

 

Lan Xichen squealed with delight.

 

Nie Huaisang covered his face with his fan.

 

Wen Ning blushed.

 

Jin Zixuan…….the Jin Zixuan who had just recovered from his shock of what Wen Ning had just told him was once more struck by lightning at the sight, his jaw dropping to the floor.

 

And Wei Wuxian……..Wei Wuxian had a comically confused look on his face.

 

“Lan Zhan? What’s wrong?” Wei Wuxian patted his back.

 

Lan Wangji just froze as he realized what he just did, his ears a blazing red. “Nothing………”

 

The atmosphere turned a bit awkward as they all stood around, not knowing what to do after seeing that.

 

It was here that Nie Huaisang stepped in to explain everything. From the ritual to why he called them here - or rather that he had no choice in the matter - : to change everything.

 

The six of them were all fervently discussing what to do.

 

“Young…..Young Master Wei…….” Wen Ning shyly started.

 

Wei Wuxian was still for one second, and then he proceeded to leap towards the stuttering kid and squeeze him.

 

“Wen Ning, I’m so glad you’re alive!”

 

“Young Master Wei!” Wen Ning squeaked.

 

The scent of vinegar permeated the room. Everyone watched as Lan Wangji stared at Wei Wuxian with a dark face. At this point, they all understood that the Second Jade was jealous. The only one who didn’t seem to realize this was Wei Wuxian.

 

“That reminds me!” Wei Wuxian exclaimed. He turned to Lan Zhan. “Didn’t you hate me? Why would you hug me?”

 

Lan Xichen and Lan Wangji both froze. 

 

“Not hate. Never hate.” Lan Wangji answered.

 

“Young Master Wei…...you……” Lan Xichen started with great difficulty.

 

“Hm?”

 

“What do you remember about the Nightless City?”

 

Wei Wuxian’s expression turned dark. “I remember Shijie dying…….and then…..I’m not sure. Everything’s blurry from there.”

 

Lan Xichen’s expression turned funny. “No wonder, no wonder……..”

 

“Brother,” Lan Wangji said firmly. “No.”

 

“But Wangji-”

 

“Brother, it’s fine. Nothing’s happened yet.”

 

Lan Xichen felt indignant. His little brother suffered so much for Young Master Wei, and yet-

 

“Brother.” Wangji’s tone sounded almost exasperated. “Later.”

 

Lan Xichen sighed. I suppose this is neither the time nor place. 

 

The others except for Nie Huaisang were confused at this exchange but were silent.

 

“U-Ummm…..” Wen Ning started. “I have a suggestion…...as for what to do.”

 

“You do?” Wei Wuxian exclaimed.

 

Wen Ning nodded. “At least, for my clan. A coup d'etat, perhaps?”

 

“A rebellion?”

 

“Yes. There are many dissatisfied with Sect Leader Wen’s reign. But, they’re all afraid to resist because he’s so powerful.”

 

“So, if we manage to find a way to deal with him……..”

 

“Yes. Everything will be fine after that.”

 

“But, who will succeed him? Wen Xu and Wen Chao definitely have to die.” Wei Wuxian’s eyes flashed red when he spat out Wen Chao’s name.

 

“U-Um, Young Master Wei?”

 

“Yes, Wen Ning?” Wei Wuxian returned to normal.

 

“Sect Leader Wen is my uncle.”

 

“.........

 

.........

 

.........I’m sorry, what?”

 

“Sect Leader Wen is my uncle.” Wen Ning repeated. 

 

Everyone else was floored. They……..were not prepared for this information. They all looked to Nie Huaisang, who, for the first time since they saw him, looked surprised. 

 

“I guess,” Nie Huaisang started. “This solves the problem of succession?”

 

“No! Wait. Umm, Jie might be better for the job. She’s much better at speaking with people and…...and she’s really popular among the elders!”

 

“That can be arranged.”

 

“But how will we deal with Wen Ruohan?” Jin Zixuan asked.

 

“I could…….send hordes of corpses after him?” Wei Wuxian suggested. “After all, no matter how powerful he is, he has to have a limit to his stamina.”

 

“Fair suggestion. But can you control it?”

 

Wei Wuxian huffed. “Of course I can control it! After all, I still have my golden-”

 

“Young Master Wei!” Wen Ning cried out.

 

Wei Wuxian then realized what he was about to say and clamped his mouth shut.

 

“Young Master Wei, what did you-” Lan Xichen started.

 

“I have to go!” Wei Wuxian declared as he ran away.

 

They watched as the Yiling Patriarch scrambled away.

 

“Young Master Wen.” Lan Xichen addressed Wen Ning.

 

“Y-Yes?”

 

“What did Young Master Wei by he ‘still has his golden core’?”

 

Wen Ning shut his mouth refusing to say anything.

 

No matter how much prodding and pressuring they did, Wen Ning would not say a word.

 

Lan Wangji went up to him. “Wen Qionglin.”

 

“Yes?” Wen Ning was grateful to Lan Wangji and so would answer him.

 

“Is this why he was so defensive when asked to give up that harmful path?”

 

“............” Wen Ning gave a slight nod in response.

 

“Why and how?”

 

“To this, I won’t answer. It doesn’t matter now.” He saluted them. “I will take my leave.”

 

The four of them were left alone with their thoughts.

 

“Huaisang.” Lan Xichen started. “Did you know?”

 

Nie Huaisang closed his fan. “I suspected something was up. Wen Qionglin’s older sister is Wen Qing, the famed doctor. You all know that, right?”

 

They nodded.

 

“I found out that she did research……..on Golden Core transferring." I was trying to find any information on helping my brother. That's why I went through her notes. Was what he didn't add. "In other words, she theorized that if someone were to lose their golden core, someone would be able to give theirs up to ensure that that person still has cultivation. However, the one that gives it up will never be able to use cultivation again.”

 

With every word, Wei Wuxian’s previous actions made sense. He didn’t fly around on his sword, he didn’t flaunt his cultivation anymore, and wouldn’t use anything but his demonic cultivation. 

 

Lan Wangji almost staggered. No wonder, no wonder he was so angry I told him to give up demonic cultivation. After all, what did he have left after that? I…….  He clenched his fists. I…...have to tell him. Tell him everything I couldn’t say. Maybe not all at once, but slowly, little by little……..

 

Without another word, he sped off to find Wei Wuxian.

 

Nie Huaisang invited the rest to have some tea and snacks while they decided what to do about the indoctrination of the sects that would follow the Archery Competition - that was occurring in a few days - as well as the burning of the Cloud Recesses and Lotus Pier’s tragedy.

 

………………...

 

After hours of futile searching, Lan Wangji finally found him talking with Wen Ning. Even though it was against the rules, he wanted to hear what they were talking about.

 

“Wen Ning, do you think…...they found out?”

 

Wen Qionglin huffed. “Of course they did! You made it so obvious!”

 

“But you stopped me……”

 

“Young Master Nie was smart enough and had a wide enough information network to find out we came back, what was finding out about what my sister researched in comparison?”

 

“That’s true…..” Wei Wuxian then put on a shocked face. “But, hey, is it me, or have you changed a bit? You’ve learned to talk back!”

 

“I wanted to change. I couldn't stay like that forever..... But," Wen Ning looked sheepish. "Young-Young Master Wei…...do you not like it?” 

 

“No, No! It’s great improvement!” Wei Wuxian grinned.

 

“I see…..” Wen Ning then looked up and caught a flash of white and blue. “Young Master Wei, I have to go run an errand for Jie. She told me about some herbs I needed to get from here.”

 

“Then I’ll come with you!”

 

Wen Ning shook his head. “Young Master Wei, I will go by myself. I need to learn how to take care of myself.”

 

“Awww~ you’ve grown up, Wen Ning!” Then his expression turned sharp. “But…..you really have to stop calling me ‘Young Master Wei’. Call me Wuxian!”

 

“Eh? But…..” Distantly, Wen Ning felt a chill crawl up his back.

 

“No buts! I won’t listen~!”

 

“Fine. I should go now.” Wen Ning sighed. “Besides,” he murmured. “There’s someone looking for you…..”

 

“Hm?”

 

“N-Nothing." The chill became stronger. "I’ll be on my way.” He fled from the scene.

 

Odd. Wei Wuxian was caught up in his own thoughts until he bumped into a firm chest. “Huh? Lan Zhan?” He exclaimed, rubbing his nose. He didn't notice Lan Zhan's hands go to steady him from falling.

 

“Mn.” Lan Wangji replied as he silently removed his hands once he was sure Wei Wuxian was stable.

 

“What are you doing here?”

 

“Getting food. Passing by.”

 

“Oh, I see.”

 

There was a silence between them. 

 

But Wei Wuxian and quiet didn’t mix together. 

 

“Lan Zhan.”

 

“Mn?”

 

“Did you…..mean it?”

 

“What?”

 

“That you didn’t hate me?”

 

“Mn.”

 

Wei Wuxian’s heart warmed. “O-Oh. That’s good. I’m happy. I'm happy you don’t hate me.”

 

“Mn. Wei Ying……”

 

“Yes?”

 

“I…..have regrets.” He confessed.

 

Wei Wuxian looked at him quizzically. “Hm? What regrets?”

 

“I…..pointed my sword at you. I argued with you. When I just,” he paused. “Wanted to keep you safe.” He finished, voice quiet.

 

Wei Wuxian’s heart fluttered. “Lan Zhan, you…..even after all I said, even after I rejected you over and over again, you…..still cared for me?”

 

Wei Ying’s tone sounded hopeful and Lan Zhan did not want to disappoint. “Mn.”

 

Wei Ying huffed in relief. “Thank you, Lan Zhan.”

 

Lan Zhan halted at those words. “No need.”

 

“Huh?”

 

“No need for ‘thank you’ or ‘I’m sorry’. Between us, we have no need for those words.”

 

Wei Wuxian smiled at him. Bright and cheerful.

 

It was impossible not to smile back. 

 

What the Second Jade wasn’t prepared for was Wei Wuxian’s reaction to this. His eyes widened and he sputtered. 

 

“Lan Zhan. Lan-er-gege . You have to warn me before you do something like that.”

 

Lan Zhan tilted his head in confusion.

 

“Your smile is too beautiful. Warn me before you do that.” He elaborated.

 

Lan Wangji's heart soared when he heard that compliment from his beloved. But outwardly, he just nodded. “Mn. Will try.”

 

Wei Wuxian laughed at that, spending the rest of the day with him chattering about whatever there was. About Lotus Pier, about lotus seed pods, about various snacks he like to eat, about anything and everything.

 

Lan Wangji was more than happy to please him. He had waited a lifetime to see that smile. 

 

And he would wait no longer (......to make it his).

Chapter Text

The six returnees all returned to their respective sect after deciding on a plan of action. Though some of them suggested to lose the competition, the majority consensus was that they shouldn't lose. Their pride wouldn’t allow anything else.

 

When they all arrived at Qishan, they looked at each other and nodded in greeting.

 

Wei Wuxian peered around the venue until he saw Lan Wangji, and couldn’t resist going up to him to tease him.

 

“Wangji-xiong~"

 

No answer.

 

"Lan Wangji~"

 

Nothing.

 

"Lan Zhan! Look at me!.”

 

Lan Zhan finally looked at him. “Mn. Always.”

 

Wei Wuxian blanked at that. He smiled sheepishly, lightly hitting his shoulder. “Lan Zhaaaaaan~ that was so smooth! Where did you learn to flirt like that?”

 

Lan Wangji tilted his head to the side.

 

“Don’t give me that look! Do you not even realize you’re flirting?”

 

“Not flirting. Telling the truth.”

 

That earned him a bright smile and a light blush dusting Wei Wuxian's face.

 

Seeing everyone shuffle into position, Lan Wangji got Wei Wuxian’s attention. “Wei Ying, we have to get ready now.”

 

“Mn." He said in an attempt to imitate Lan Wangji. "But what if I want to play with you more~?”

 

Lan Wangji sighed. He angled his head so that only Wei Wuxian would see his face and gave a small smile. “Go get ready, okay?” He lightly brushed stray strands of Wei Wuxian’s hair away from his mouth as he awaited a reply.

 

Wei Wuxian couldn’t say anything for a good long while. “Okay……” He replied in a daze as he returned to Yunmeng’s spot.

 

Lan Wangji’s eyes softened at that. He finally figured out how to deal with Wei Wuxian. Showing him the slightest bit of affection surprises the troublemaker. Okay, he’ll keep that in mind.

 

Qingheng-Jun and Lan Xichen shared a smile. They both shipped Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji together. I mean, look at them. They were too cute.

 

“Oi, Wei Wuxian, what’s wrong with you?” Jiang Cheng asked, smacking his shoulder.

 

“What do you mean?” Wei Wuxian sighed dreamily.

 

“You look like a lovestruck maiden whose crush just flirted to them.”

 

“Eh?” That was......oddly specific. Wei Wuxian snapped out of his daze. “No, but I’m not in love! Lan Zhan just-”

 

Lan Wangji?! What did he do?”

 

“Nothing! He just…..flirted with me!”

 

Flirted? Him? Ha, Wei Wuxian, you have to come up with a better lie than that!”

 

“I’m not." Wei Wuxian refuted. "He-”

 

A bell cut him off as everyone lined up behind their banner.

 

Everything lined up beside their respective flags as they waited for their Sect Leaders to arrive.

 

Jiang Fengmian arrived with Yu Ziyuan. The two of them acknowledged Jiang Cheng and Wei Wuxian as they ascended the stairs.

 

Qingheng-Jun was the next to arrive, shocking the majority of the people there. They had heard rumors of the Sect Leader’s return but they were never really confirmed. Nodding to his his two sons, who greeted him back, he stepped up and took a seat.

 

Nie Mingjue arrived, radiating nothing but anger, seeing the seating arrangements and accompanying snacks.

 

Jin Guangshan followed close behind, seemingly not minding anything.

 

Lan Wangji was not okay. Ever since finding out how Jin Guangshan plotted against Wei Wuxian - from Jin Guangyao's confession back then - and planned the ambush at Qiongqi path as well as spreading malicious rumors about his beloved, he was beyond pissed. The only ones who could sense this were Lan Xichen, who was right beside him and understood his rage, and their father, who happened to lock eyes with his youngest.

 

Lan Wangji wanted nothing more than to hurt Jin Guangshan for his crimes, but knew he shouldn’t do that now. He took a deep breath and calmed down. To others, it just looked like the Second Master Lan took a larger breath than usual.

 

Wei Wuxian was fine too until Wen Chao arrived on stage. The shadows seemed to shift in his anger and his pupils started sparking red. But, he couldn’t risk the failure of the plan, and tried his best to calm down, staring anywhere but at the scum who ruined his family.

 

Finally, Wen Ruohan made his entrance. The six returnees, despite being stronger than they were before, shivered slightly at the Sect Leader’s dominating aura.

 

The competition was about to start when Wen Chao singled out Wen Ning like last time. However, unlike before, Wen Ning spoke out.

 

“What makes you think I’d be an embarrassment?” He retorted.

 

Wen Chao snorted. “Then, prove it right now. If you make the bullseye on that target, I’ll allow you to participate.” Wen Chao knew that this cousin of his was shy beyond belief and would definitely crumble underneath the pressure. 

 

However……

 

Wen Ning took a deep breath, concentrating on nothing but his bow, arrow, and stance. All sounds and stares in the background faded away as he eyed the target.

 

Bringing up the arrow to where he knew it would hit, Wen Ning let out a breath as the arrow was let loose.

 

The arrow flew far and true and sunk right into the middle of the target.

 

As if that wasn’t enough, he nocked another arrow to the bowstring and let it fly. The arrow split the one already on the target in half, landing snuggly on the bullseye.

 

Not only Wen Chao, but everyone else was surprised as they clapped. 

 

When Wen Ning came back to himself, he blushed, covering his face with his hands. 

 

After calming down, he turned to Wen Chao. “Th-This is enough, right? You promised. And….” Wen Ning gestured to the crowd. “You wouldn’t break a promise, right?” Wen Ning’s voice became very soft and his eyes looked so, so, hopeful.

 

His sister once told him that no one could resist him if he did the ‘puppy eyes’. Confused, he asked his sister to teach him what she meant. 

 

Over the next few days, he practiced this on unsuspecting victims who, to his complete and utter shock, all listened to him without another word.

 

Using this in front of a large crowd of righteous people, many spoke in his favor. 

 

Cornered Wen Chao could do nothing but allow Wen Ning to participate.

 

Wei Wuxian clapped Wen Ning’s back in surprise. “Wen Ning, I never thought you had it in you to seduce the crowd!”

 

“Young…..Young Master Wei, I-” A glare. “Wu-Wuxian…..I didn’t…..se-seduce the crowd.” The boy blushed at the word. “I just…..convinced the crowd that I should participate.”

 

Wei Wuxian rolled his eyes. “Yeah. Keep telling yourself that.”

 

“Young Mast-” Glare. His face became redder.  “Wu-Wuxian, I’m not…..” Suddenly, Wen Ning felt a chill and saw white robes in the distance. Paling, he slipped out of Wei Wuxian’s grasp, stuttering. “I-I’m going to go that way!”

 

The red-faced boy dashed off in a different direction, feeling the chill dissipate as he got farther.

 

“Hm? What's wrong with him? That was odd……”

 

“Oi, Wei Wuxian, when did you get so close to someone of the Wen Clan?”

 

“Hm? I got lost on the way here and Wen Ning helped me find this place. We talked and I found him to be interesting, so I weaseled my way into being his friend!” It wasn't technically a lie. It happened in the first timeline.

 

Jiang Cheng rolled his eyes and smacked his shoulder. He felt a slight chill that faded as soon as he retracted his hand. He looked around and saw no one. He was perplexed. “A-Anyway, follow me.”

 

“Hm? Where are we going?”

 

“Jus follow already!” The chill returned when he raised his voice. What the hell?

 

“Alright, alright! Let’s go!”

 

They soon arrived at the spot Jiang Cheng wanted to show them. The two went their separate ways from there, trying to hit as many targets as possible.

 

That was, until Wen Chao arrived. Despite the Wen Clan doing well because of Wen Ning, the spoiled brat wanted to participate and gain his father’s recognition.

 

Wen Chao seemed to have some sort of grudge against Wei Wuxian as he trailed and tried to get all the targets Wei Wuxian was aiming for. 

 

Wen Chao smiled evilly. He wouldn’t allow this Jiang brat to beat him while he was around.

 

Suddenly, a frosty gaze was set upon him as he nocked another arrow. Freezing for a few seconds, it was enough time to allow Wei Wuxian to hit the target.

 

From then on, any time he would annoy Wei Wuxian, a piercing stare would immobilize him. He even missed the target causing him to strike out and make him leave the competition.

 

One of the participants laughed at his struggles and Wen Chao, in a rage, aimed three arrows at the kid’s back. 

 

It was at this time that Lan Wangji leaped out from his hiding spot, nocked a single arrow and let it loose. The arrow knocked the three arrows away and still had enough force to propel itself towards a nearby target.

 

Wen Chao had already struck out at this point and was forced to leave as he ran off, tail between his legs. 

 

Wei Wuxian, like last time, noticed that Lan Wangji’s ribbon was loose and went to fix it, accidentally pulling it off. The reason he was so bold was because Lan Wangji told him that he didn’t hate him, so he surely wouldn’t mind a slight tug of his forehead ribbon this time around, right?

 

And yes, as he suspected, instead of being pissed, Lan Wangji’s golden eyes softened as he looked gently at Wei Wuxian, making the latter’s heart beat fast like a leaping rabbit. 

 

“Tie it back for me?” He asked soothingly.

 

“O-Oh, uhh, sure. Yeah. I’ll do it.” It was amazing what a few gentle words could do.

 

Lan Wangji was getting the hang of this. 

 

He tilted his head down slightly to allow Wei Wuxian to retie the ribbon.

 

But he had to know something first. “Wei Ying.”

 

“Y-Yes?”

 

“Do you know what the forehead ribbon means to us?”

 

“Eh? Umm, no.”

 

A sigh. He knew it. “It was written in the rules, but you must have forgotten. No matter. We have a competition to win.” He gently stroked the man’s cheek. “We’ll talk about this later, okay?”

 

Wei Wuxian felt a blush creep up to his cheeks. “Oh, umm. Yeah. Okay.”

 

Satisfied, Lan Wangji turned to go hunt other targets.

 

Wei Wuxian couldn’t calm down his beating heart.

 

On the other hand, the crowd that had gathered from before were stuffed full from the dog food. They had a feeling that they had intruded into something private and…..intimate.

 

Jiang Cheng stood there, his jaw dropping open, while Jin Zixuan stood a bit behind him. Glad for once that others saw the pain he had to deal with when he was in the presence of those two lovebirds. (Jin Zixuan and the others were in Qinghe for a few days. He happened on more than one incident of seeing Lan Wangji being affectionate to Wei Wuxian, the latter being completely oblivious. It was painful to see.)

 

The competition soon ended and the results were announced.

 

“Qishan Discussion Conference, the Archery Competition. First place, Gusu Lan Clan’s Lan Wangji. Second place, Yunmeng Jiang Clan’s Wei Wuxian. Third place, Gusu Lan Clan’s Lan Xichen. Fourth place, Qishan Wen Clan’s Wen Qionglin and Lanling Jin Clan’s Jin Zixuan.”

 

There was a tie for fourth place? That’s never happened before.

 

Jin Zixuan looked at Wen Ning, a spark of excitement in his eyes. He wanted to compete with the - now very much alive - Ghost General in a private match to see who who beat the other. But not now. Maybe when there wasn’t any fighting.

 

……………………

 

Even though Wen Ning had gotten a spot in the Archery Competition, Wen Ruohan was dissatisfied with the outcome and sent Wen Xu and some troops to storm the Cloud Recesses as they took two of the top spots of the competition.

 

However, they were ready for that.

 

All important documents and materials had been copied and safely relocated. All disciples had been evacuated ahead of time, so when they came over, torches in hand, Qingheng-Jun greeted them warmly - inwardly, he was about to erupt. He allowed them to set fire to the buildings……..which apparently didn’t work. 

 

The discerning eye couldn’t tell, but Qingheng-Jun could certainly see two thin barriers blanketing the Cloud Recesses. One was for protection against fire and the other was an illusionary array. The Wen Clan would see what they wanted to see and not what there actually was.

 

Once they left, the barriers went down, but just to make sure nothing unexpected occurred, they had some elders keep up the illusory array and release it little by little to show that they were recovering and not that they actually took no damage.

 

(The reason why they still copied all the important scrolls was in case the barriers broke and the buildings actually caught on fire.)

 

The indoctrination carried on as it did last time and the sects were forced to send their best disciples over. However, with their knowledge of the future, the returnees convinced their families and disciples to not actually take any of their swords.

 

The Wen disciples looked at them oddly when they saw the training swords, but simply went through their bags before allowing them through.

 

As they suspected, the Wen clan went through the same motions and forced everyone to live like livestock. However, what was different this time was that Wen Ning visited them secretly to give everyone food. Despite being a Wen, the kid showed them kindness and compassion when they needed it the most. 

 

This convinced them that maybe, just maybe, not all the Wens were bad.

 

This was part of the returnees’ - or rather Nie Huaisang’s - plan. In order to convince everyone that some members of the Wen clan were trustworthy, they wanted to get Wen Ning to show how kind he was in order to debunk the opinion that every Wen member was evil.

 

And it was working. Soon, everyone was completely taken by the shy and sweet boy.

 

Wen Ning, however, was stationed somewhere else, and couldn’t help them when they were moved to Mt. Muxi.

 

Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji remembered this and hoped the results would prove different this time. 

 

However, when MianMian was in danger because of greasy Wen Chao, Wei Wuxian again put himself to the front, trying to save her. Nie Huaisang intervened, saying that he found the cave entrance.

 

They all went in and the same events as before occurred. Except, when Wei Wuxian protected Mianmian from the brand, Lan Wangji flew over and knocked the brand out of Wang Lingjiao’s hand.

 

Wei Wuxian smiled. “Lan Zhan~”

 

Lan Wangji’s ears brightened at the unspoken gratitude in Wei Wuxian’s tone. “Mn.”

 

“Get a room you two.” Jiang Cheng growled. 

 

Lan Wangji’s eyes widened slightly at that, while Wei Wuxian laughed it off.

 

Lan Xichen simply watched this from the side, internally squealing. Jin Zixuan simply looked away, sighing, while Nie Huaisang hid his face behind a fan he pulled out of nowhere.

 

MianMian handed the medicine bag to him as a thanks for saving her.

 

Wen Chao retreated with his guards, blocking the cave entrance. 

 

The ones who had been here before remembered that there was an exit here, but no one but Jiang Cheng would be able to find it. They certainly didn’t remember where it was after all.

 

The Yunmeng bros then dove into the water, Wei Wuxian to the front, Jiang Cheng to the back.

 

As Wei Wuxian returned, he noticed the Xuanwu of Carnage heading straight for him. However, just as he thought he would reveal his demonic cultivation to protect himself, Lan Wangji had already picked up a bow and arrow and distracted the creature.

 

Jiang Cheng returned at this moment and told them of the exit. He started to lead everyone out when one of them stopped. 

 

I can help too…… Su She thought at that moment. But just as he was about to draw the bow and arrow, he was stopped by Lan Xichen who convinced him to come down with the others.

 

The First Jade actually saved the poor kid seconds away from being murdered by Lan Wangji, who was still staring menacingly at Su She, but stayed behind to help Wei Wuxian.

 

Lan Xichen, Jin Zixuan, and Nie Huaisang all quickly got to work as they led the disciples away from the exit before Wen Chao could arrive.

 

…………………

 

In the cave……..

 

Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji decided to go along with the plan they did last time. It would work better as they were both uninjured this time around. As much as Wei Wuxian wanted to test how resentful energy would work on the Xuanwu of Carnage, Lan Wangji shot him down, saying it was only a last resort.

 

Wei Wuxian noticed that Lan Wangji did not mind his use of demonic cultivation and rather wanted him to use it in moderation. He felt a bit happy that they weren’t fighting anymore like they used to when talking about this.

 

Caught up in his thoughts, he didn’t notice Lan Wangji closing in on him as he brushed Wei Wuxian’s cheek, looking at him with concern. “Wei Ying. Are you okay?”

 

Wei Wuxian’s heart skipped wildly at the gesture. “I-I’m fine! Just thinking……”

 

“Thinking?”

 

“Mn. About the Stygian Tiger Seal. It was made from the sword I found in the Xuanwu’s shell. I…..know it’s a helpful tool, but I don’t want to use it. Ever again.”

 

Lan Wangji nodded in understanding.

 

Here, Wei Wuxian hesitated. He’s never asked someone for help before, but felt as if, once in his life, he should rely on someone for once. If he had done that back then, then maybe, maybe he wouldn’t have ended up so isolated back then. He took a deep breath. “Will you help me after I destroy it? I tend to get....weak after using too much resentful energy.”

 

“Mn.” The answer came immediately. 

 

There was no mocking, no ridicule. Just assurance. 

 

The panic that had risen in Wei Wuxian’s chest settled just as it rose. Really….. “Lan Zhan, you really are…..a good person.”

 

Lan Wangji’s heart soared at Wei Wuxian's sincerity. Many people have called him ‘good’, but every single one of them said it for the sake of saying it. Wei Ying, on the other hand, said it because he truly meant it and believed that he was ’good’. 

 

Wei Wuxian laughed. "But first, let's take down this monster!"

 

"Mn."

 

They got down to work.

  

As before, Wei Wuxian would distract the Xuanwu and possibly try to aim for the soft ring underneath its scales on its neck.

 

Meanwhile, Lan Wangji would stay above, waiting for the opportune moment to tighten the String Formation and strangle the Xuanwu to death.

 

Wei Wuxian had drawn the cursed sword once again and allowed himself to be swallowed by the creature. Sinking down its throat, he managed to find the spot he was looking for and stabbed through. 

 

Lan Wangji took this moment to tighten the strings. As he had more strength this time around, the chord assassination technique cut right through the Xuanwu’s neck, decapitating the creature.

 

Wei Wuxian fell into the water, Lan Wangji closely behind as he scooped up the weakened teen, bringing him to safety.

 

He was still clutching the cursed sword as he was dragged out of the water. 

 

Though exhausted from fighting off the voices of resentful energy, he still had the energy to tease.

 

“You….*cough*.....and the amazing arm strength of the Lans…….. I bet you could completely pick me up with one arm, huh?”

 

“Mn. Can. Do you want me to?” It was an honest question.

 

But Wei Wuxian looked horrified. “No! I’m a man. I don’t need to be carried!”

 

Lan Wangji looked mildly amused.

 

Wei Wuxian caught that look and mocked a shocked gasp. “Lan Zhan. You wouldn’t, would you?”

 

Lan Zhan hummed. But he neither confirmed nor denied it.

 

Lan Wangji set him down. 

 

After recovering, he turned to Lan Zhan. “Lan Zhan. I’m going to destroy it now.”

 

“Mn.”

 

Resentful energy, thick and suffocating, burst out from everywhere. It turned inwards at the Yiling Patriarch’s command and started to attack the would-be seal. His eyes flashed a crimson red, his hair and clothes billowing around him.

 

At this sight, Lan Wangji clenched his hands so tightly that his nails dug into his skin. Blood dripped down his knuckles, staining the floor, but he couldn’t care less. He was worried. Worried that something might happen to him. Just like, what happened in that life. 

 

He took a breath. No. No, this time he wouldn't stay back and watch the man he loved destroy himself. This time.....he would protect him.

 

After what seemed like an eternity, he heard a crack, like metal shattering, and the resentful energy disappeared. Wei Wuxian swayed once, and Lan Wangji immediately moved to catch him.

 

He started transferring spiritual energy to him, in an effort to clear his mind. There was blood all over his hands, probably from stray metallic pieces. Without a second thought, Lan Wangji ripped a piece of his pristine white robes and used it as a makeshift bandage for him. 

 

“Lan…...Zhan…….” Wei Wuxian called out with a weakness that made his heart clench.

 

“Yes?” 

 

“Is it destroyed? Is it gone?”

 

Lan Wangji glanced at the shattered remains of the sword. “Yes. It’s gone. You did it. You’re okay. You’re okay….” His voice trembled at the end. He remembered how he heard of the Yiling Patriarch’s backlash on his powers and subsequent death. Seeing his current weak state, his heart dropped to his stomach.

 

“Lan Zhan…..” Wei Wuxian called out. “Are you worried…..*cough*......about me?”

 

Lan Zhan’s hands on his shoulders trembled. “Mn.”

 

“Lan Zhan,” He laughed fondly. “You know….you’re a good person, right?”

 

“Mn. Like you.”

 

Wei Wuxian trembled lightly. “No, no, I’m not a good person. After all, back then…..” he trailed off softly. “I killed so many people.”

 

“Not your fault.” Lan Wangji shook his head. “You…...had good reason to.”

 

“Lan Zhan, I will not deny the deaths I have caused.” He said in a serious tone. “Even if I haven’t done anything in this life, I cannot forget how many families I destroyed, how many innocents I killed.”

 

Lan Zhan sighed lightly. “.......Mn.” Then after a while. "I am here." 

 

I am here. You no longer have to face everything alone.

 

Wei Wuxian smiled. "You are. *cough* You are here. As you've.....always been."

 

Wei Wuxian let out a breath and the two descended into a comfortable silence. Until Lan Wangji noticed the sharp spike in temperature of the body in his arms.

 

“Wei Ying?!” He put a hand on the other’s forehead to find it burning hot. “You have a fever.”

 

“O-Oh, I see……” Wei Wuxian’s breaths became heavier. “Lan Zhan, will you sing me that song again? It.....helps.”

 

“Mn.” He set up the strings and started to play his song - their song - WangXian.

 

“Lan Zhan, *cough* *cough* did you know? That song you sung me here, back then, it…*gasp*...helped me. Whenever I felt that the resentful energy was too overwhelming, too much to handle, I sang that song. I don’t know why, but I felt calmer, more relaxed, like I was free of envy. Free of worldly troubles. Like I was…..content, safe, warm. Kind of like you.”

 

Lan Zhan’s fingers on the makeshift guqin shifted a bit. He didn’t know this, but was glad that at least a part of him that he left behind helped Wei Ying. Even if for a moment. Even if for an instance. 

 

The melody, that used to have longing and yearning undertones, turned into something soft and sweet. It surrounded Wei Ying like a blanket, lulling his tense, stressed body into a pliant and restful sleep.

 

Lan Wangji watched this sight with gentle golden eyes as he too nestled beside him, laying the sleeping boy’s head on his lap, falling into a tranquil sleep.

Chapter Text

Wei Wuxian felt a comforting warmth beneath his head, the faint humming of his favorite song as he faded to sleep. When he woke up, the bitter scent of medicine wafted around him. Looking around the unfamiliar surroundings, he found that the comforting warmth he felt was gone. He had had the most refreshing sleep ever since he had returned. No nightmares had haunted his mind that night. Just dreams of......his time studying at the Cloud Recesses with Lan Zhan. 

 

Where’s Lan Zhan? He tried to move, only to find pain shooting through his hands and a familiar soreness running through his body that came with the overuse of resentful energy.

 

He stretched as he got up and made himself presentable. 

 

As he stepped outside, he realized that he was in the Cloud Recesses. But, he hadn’t been to the clinic here before, so he didn’t know where to go from here to find Lan Zhan and make sure he was okay. 

 

As he made a few turns, he found himself more lost than ever. Sighing, he rested by a nearby tree when something white…..and fluffy caught his eye.

 

Looking closer, he was shocked. It’s a rabbit!

 

One rabbit became many as a whole herd of them surrounded him. Wei Wuxian wanted to run and catch them, and that’s what he did…..only, they were too fast. Leaping from here to there, slipping away from his grasp. Just as he was about to capture one, he crashed into the firm chest of a figure in white robes. The man didn’t stumble back, but Wei Wuxian did. Just as he braced himself for impact, an arm was secured around his waist, preventing him from falling.

 

Looking up, Wei Wuxian smiled brightly. “Lan Zhan!”

 

“Mn.” Lan Wangji steadied him, arm still around his waist. “Wei Ying, are you okay?”

 

“Yeah. I just woke up. I was going to look for you until I realized that I don’t know where your personal quarters are. Are you fine? Nothing out of the usual?” Wei Wuxian found he did not mind the closeness they had and didn’t say anything.

 

“No. I’m good.” Lan Wangji turned his eyes to him. “You were worried about me?”

 

“Mm. I didn’t know if you…..” His voice turned quieter. “....were affected by the resentful energy when I destroyed the sword. So, I…..”

 

Lan Zhan looked softly at Wei Wuxian. “I’m okay. Nothing’s wrong. I’m more worried about you.” He settled them on the ground, leaning against the tree in the middle of the herd of rabbits.

 

“Me? I’m fine. Overusing…..that will cause me to get fevers from time to time. It’s no big deal.” Wei Wuxian brushed it off. 

 

Lan Wangji’s heart clenched. Does that mean….when he did something like this, he would be in such a weak state? Every time? Why wasn’t I strong enough back then? Maybe if I was more honest, Wei Ying wouldn’t have…….

 

“Lan Zhan. Lan Zhan? What’s wrong?”

 

“.......Nothing.”

 

Wei Wuxian pouted. “Lan Zhan, Lan-er-gege. Don’t be like this. Tell me what’s wrong. Maybe I can help?”

 

Lan Wangji took a breath. He needed to be honest. Now, more than ever. To prevent the mistakes of the past from repeating themselves. “I…..regret not helping you…..back then.”

 

A shadow cast itself over Wei Wuxian’s face. “No, Lan Zhan. You tried. Reflecting on it now, I can see that you were just trying to help. But I…..at the time…..” There was a brief struggle on his face as if he was debating whether to tell him something or not. “You were right. The resentful energy really wasn’t good for me. It was…...changing me. But I didn’t want to admit it. I thought I could handle it, but……”

 

“No.”

 

Wei Wuxian paused. “Hm?” 

 

“You were doing good. Nothing was wrong. Back then, it was that person’s fault.”

 

Wei Wuxian was even more confused. “What? What do you mean?”

 

Lan Wangji knew this was against the rules, but he didn’t want to leave Wei Ying in the dark and so spilled everything he found out about Jin Guangshan’s sins. By the end of it, the shadows around Wei Ying fluctuated violently, his eyes flickering unceasingly between red and silver.

 

The only thing Lan Wangji could do was hold him close and gently stroke his fingers through the smaller man’s hair from the crown of his head to the ends of his hair.

 

Wei Wuxian seemed to calm down as he sighed in content, closing his eyes and allowing him to enjoy the sensations of Lan Wangji pampering him.

 

He must have been more tired than he thought - or he just felt too comfortable - as he drifted back to sleep, Lan Wangji adjusting his position so that his head comfortably lies on his shoulder. With that, he too, closed his eyes and focused on the intruding warmth of the other’s body.

 

Rabbits hopped up to them and lay by their side, creating a beautiful picture of serenity.

 

This was the scene both Qingheng-Jun and Lan Xichen came across while looking for the two of them.

 

Qingheng-Jun gave a wide smile at this, and tried not to make any noise.

 

While Lan Xichen……..Lan Xichen took out some paper and a brush from his Qiankun pouch without another word and started drawing the scene in front of him to record this down and (hopefully) tease his precious little brother after this.

 

Seeing as the two showed no signs of waking up, they carried the two to the Jingshi - Lan Wangji’s room - and laid them side by side, next to each other on the bed.

 

Lan Xichen couldn’t help but coo a bit when Wei Wuxian tossed and turned until he found Lan Wangji’s arm and clung to it, no longer moving. 

 

Qingheng-Jun and his oldest then left the room.

 

…………………

 

Wei Wuxian woke up when he felt Lan Wangji shivering violently next to him. His concern over Lan Wangji’s state overshadowed his surprise at what he was doing not only in a bed, but also right next to Lan Wangji.

 

“Lan Zhan….?”

 

“Wei Ying….!” Lan Zhan’s cut-off cry sounded. It sounded so hopeful, so desperate, so longing, so sad.

 

Wei Wuxian was completely awake at this point. “Lan Zhan? Lan Zhan!” But Lan Zhan wouldn’t wake up.

 

Wei Wuxian panicked. What could he do?

 

“Wei Ying!” Came another despaired call for his name. Beads of cold sweat rolled down his peerless countenance.

 

Wei Wuxian felt pain in his heart. “I’m here!” He answered.

 

Lan Wangji seemed to calm down for a bit, hearing that. So, Wei Wuxian continued.

 

“Lan Zhan, I’m here. What’s wrong? Everything will be okay. I’m here. I’m here .” 

 

Lan Zhan’s breathing evened out as he clung to Wei Wuxian’s outstretched hand.

 

Wei Wuxian then started stroking his hair as Lan Wangji had done earlier in the day.

 

As he closed his eyes, his mind was racing. What’s wrong? Is it…...a nightmare? About me? But why? Lan Zhan doesn’t hate me. He never has. But that doesn’t mean he has strong enough feelings to have nightmares about me……. I’ll have to ask Zewu-Jun later.

 

Wei Wuxian couldn’t sleep too much after that, but still wanted to be by Lan Zhan’s side in case the nightmares came back.

 

He woke up the next morning without the warmth of the other’s body. Stretching, he got out of bed. 

 

He got refreshed and stepped out of the Jingshi. It was then that Wei Wuxian realized that he and Lan Zhan had shared a bed the entire night. Normally, he wouldn’t think much of it, but he felt heat rush to his cheeks at the thought.

 

Wei Wuxian looked up to see Lan Xichen passing by.

 

“Zewu-Jun!” He called out.

 

“Yes?” 

 

“Uhhh, well,” There’s no easy way to bring this up. “Lan Zhan…..he had a nightmare last night and he was calling for…..me. Do you know what’s wrong with him? Or why he’s calling for me?”

 

Lan Xichen froze. “Wangji…..had nightmares again?” He blurted out.

 

“Again? Zewu-Jun, what do you-”

 

“Wei Ying. Brother.” Lan Wangji’s smooth, but monotone voice called.

 

“Wangji.” “Lan Zhan!” The two called back.

 

Wei Wuxian ran up to him. “Lan Zhan! Are you feeling better now?”

 

“Hm?”

 

“You had a nightmare last night.” Lan Zhan froze. “You…..were calling for me.”

 

“Ah.”

 

“Lan Zhan, what’s wrong? Are you okay?” Lan Xichen took this opportunity to slip away and leave the two alone. “Zewu-Jun mentioned that this isn’t the first time this has happened.”

 

Lan Wangji let out a breath through his nose. He directed the two of them to a table, going back out for a moment, then coming back in with a tray of food.

 

Wei Wuxian’s eyes lit up. “It’s food from that Hunan place!”

 

“Mn.”

 

“Lan Zhan~! You didn’t have to.”

 

“I wanted to.” He set the tray of spicy dishes down next to his own plate of bland food. “Eat. Then we’ll talk.”

 

“Okay~!”

 

Wei Wuxian wolfed down his food, while Lan Wangji ate at a moderate pace. Despite this difference, the two finished at the same time. Seeing the mess the troublemaker had made, Lan Wangji sighed. He pulled out two napkins. One to clean the mess around the table. And the other to clean Wei Wuxian’s face.

 

Wei Wuxian was again dazed at the gesture, but he shook it away in order to get to the topic at hand.

 

“So…..?”

 

Lan Wangji clenched his fists underneath his sleeves. “I dreamt…...of your death.”

 

“........Oh.” That would explain it. He didn’t die a very peaceful death. Ha, ripped to shreds by his own army and subsequently eaten. “....*sigh*.....Don’t worry about it. It’s over now. It won’t happen again.”

 

“I……”

 

“Lan Zhan.”

 

“Mn?”

 

“I still…..have to use it to protect those I love. I can’t give it up.”

 

“Mn.”

 

“If you,” he started. “If you really feel worried, then,” He looked at Lan Wangji’s golden eyes. “Make sure that I won’t lose control?”

 

Lan Wangji’s eyes widened a fraction. He remembered the times he tried to do that. Playing the Songs of Clarity and Cleansing for him. How he was rejected. But now……

 

Wei Wuxian’s eyes widened again and his breath hitched at the beautiful smile spread across Lan Wangji’s face.

 

“Mn.”

 

The two spent the rest of the afternoon comfortably by the other’s side. Lan Wangji read some Buddhist scriptures while Wei Wuxian furiously wrote down some theories he had come up with.

 

 

The door to the Jingshi was knocked and Lan Xichen had come to tell them that Jiang Fengmian had arrived to take Wei Wuxian back. 

 

Wei Wuxian grabbed his notes and bid farewell to a reluctant Lan Wangji.

 

(As a side note, Lan Xichen realized a bit too late that he forgot to tease Wangji about him being so cozy with Wei Wuxian right in front of the person himself. Oh well, he'll get to it later.)

 

As Wei Wuxian returned to Lotus Pier, he proceeded to go over some things with Jiang Fengmian, such as the fact that a troop of Wen clan people will be sent over to set up a Supervisory Office at Lotus Pier and that they need to be prepared to face Wen Zhuliu.

 

Jiang Fengmian had already set up traps and deterrents, so it should buy them some time to get prepared.

 

Wei Wuxian’s heart clenched. This time….. He gripped Suibian. This time for sure. I will make sure nothing happens to those important to me. And if worst comes to worst…… He held up a hand coated in resentful energy away from Jiang Fengmian’s sight. I will use whatever I have at my disposal to make sure of that.

 

As Wei Wuxian went to go find Jiang Cheng and Jiang Yanli, Jiang Fengmian left to find his wife.

 

Having not seen Jiang Cheng for a few days, Wei Wuxian realized he missed the grumpy tsundere.

 

“Jiang Cheng! Did you miss me?”

 

“Hmph! Who missed you?” But Wei Wuxian could clearly see how relaxed the other’s face was.

 

“Are you too embarrassed to admit it?” Wei Wuxian teased, slinging an arm over his brother’s shoulder.

 

“Who’s embarrassed?!” Jiang Cheng roared.

 

Jiang Yanli smiled at this. “Now, now, A’ Cheng. A’ Xian just got back. Weren’t you so worried about him that you couldn’t stop pacing back and forth in your room?”

 

Jiang Cheng shot his sister a horrified look. “A’ Jie!”

 

Wei Wuxian’s smile became brighter. “Hahahaha! So you do care!”

 

Jiang Cheng grumbled at that.

 

Wei Wuxian laughed. “Jiang Cheng.”

 

“What?”

 

“Can I talk to you?”

 

Jiang Cheng raised an eyebrow at that. “Sure. What is it?” Jiang Yanli left them alone as she felt that it was supposed to be something private.

 

“Jiang Cheng. I promise that when you become the Sect Leader, I’ll support you. Like my father did for your father.” Wei Wuxian had already promised himself that this time, in this lifetime, he will be able to uphold the promise he could never keep in his previous life. However, he knew that the two of them had separate paths and couldn’t count on himself to stay forever a subordinate of Yunmeng. So, at least, he’ll support Jiang Cheng, for as long as he could. “The Gusu Lan has their Twin Prides, and we, we are the Twin Prides of Yunmeng!”

 

Jiang Cheng’s eyes widened as he gave a thankful smile.

 

Wei Wuxian swore he would uphold this promise. This time, for sure.

 

………………….

 

Their sixth shidi was captured with false and unreasonable crimes. However, they were ready for this. Wei Wuxian had warned them ahead of time the events that would play out around seven days after the Xuanwu Cave incident.

 

Before, everyone had reservations about Wei Wuxian’s claim that he came from the future. But now, hearing the same words and accusations that Wei Wuxian had said that Wang Lingjiao would say…….any and all doubts they had were erased. (Although the troublemaker had told them of the Indoctrination, this was pretty predictable considering the Wen Clan’s arrogance.)

 

Although last time Wang Lingjiao ordered Yu Ziyuan to punish Wei Wuxian, instead of whipping Wei Wuxian as she did before, she simply slapped the arrogant maid twice - so hard the arrogant lady fell to the ground -, grabbing her hair and forcing her to look at Madam Yu in the process.

 

“Let me teach you what the hierarchy is.” Madam Yu declared, looking so incredibly awe-inspiring.

 

Wei Wuxian thought this before, but like this, Madam Yu was the coolest! She sure showed than damn maid who’s boss. He turned his attention to Uncle Jiang, whose jaw had dropped slightly and what he could see as admiration, respect, and love filling his eyes. 

 

Wei Wuxian had probably witnessed the exact moment Jiang Fengmian once more fell in love with the proud lady.

 

The Wens had brought an army, but, held back by the traps Jiang Fengmian had set up, were all but spent. However, they had the secret weapon known as Wen Zhuliu.

 

As Wen Zhuliu stormed the place, the married couple - Jiang Fengmian and Yu Ziyuan - teamed up against him, all the while the Jiang disciples and Jiang Cheng went out to make sure no one got hurt….or killed.

 

Wei Wuxian also joined the others, but stuck around near his adopted parents to make sure that, just in case something happens, he would be prepared to use demonic cultivation to make sure nothing happens.

 

As the fight between the three adults continued, Wei Wuxian clenched Chenqing - he went to find some black bamboo, carving out the famed flute, just as he had done in his past life -, prepared to use it at the drop of a hat.

 

The fight had progressed but no one seemed to be getting the upper hand. Jiang Fengmian and Yu Ziyuan were desperately trying to avoid Wen Zhuliu’s Core-Melting technique while simultaneously fending off stray Wen disciples that had managed to slip through the barrier of Jiang Sect disciples.

 

Yu Ziyuan was cut off guard when she was attacked by both Wen Zhuliu and several Wen cultivators.

 

“Wife!” Jiang Fengmian called out despairingly as he saw how close Wen Zhuliu’s hand was to where her core was.

 

The sorrowful sound of the flute echoed out at that moment.

 

Resentful energy, thick and volatile, burst from the ground, separating Wen Zhuliu from Yu Ziyuan.

 

Yu Ziyuan stumbled back and was caught by Jiang Fengmian. Both of them looked in shock - and mild awe - as Wei Wuxian’s eyes turned a blood red, his hair loose and clothes floating around him as he played an ominous tune. 

 

A cacophony of crows were heard in the distant, a sign of ill omen as they circled around Wei Wuxian’s general area.

 

Water ghosts burst from the waters, dragging unfortunate victims - all enemy Wens, of course - down to the depths. Every fallen - dead - Wen cultivator rose as walking corpses, and at the Yiling Patriarch’s command, attacked any and all he deemed an enemy.

 

The battle from there was, needless to say, pretty much over. 

 

Wen Chao, Wang Lingjiao, and Wen Zhuliu were forced to kneel by Jiang Fengmian and Yu Ziyuan’s feet, awaiting their judgment by their own fallen comrades’ corpses.

 

The flute stopped, the resentful energy mostly dissipated - the crows left - , and the corpses who were not holding down the prisoners all returned to rest.

 

When some Jiang disciples came to take the prisoners to the cell, he sent the rest of corpses back where they came from.

 

Wei Wuxian sheathed Chenqing in his waist belt and looked at the ground in shame, as if awaiting some sort of punishment, lecture, reprise. He got none.

 

“Da Shixiong, you were so cool!” His fourth shidi yelled.

 

“Eh?” The Yiling Patriarch was surprised.

 

“Yeah, yeah! You sure showed them, Da Shixiong!” Others joined in.

 

“Wei Ying, you saved me.” Yu Ziyuan commented, and if Wei Wuxian were not so shocked, he would have heard a faint ‘thank you’ said under her breath.

 

“A’ Xian, thank you for saving my wife.” Jiang Fengmian voiced out the words his wife couldn’t say.

 

“Wait, wait, wait. What’s with this reaction?” Wei Wuxian had snapped out of his stupor.

 

“What were you expecting?” Jiang Cheng, who had returned at this time, - and had most certainly witnessed his use of demonic cultivation - asked.

 

“Well…..Reproach, shock, disgust, rejection? I don’t know. A normal reaction to seeing someone you know using demonic cultivation .”

 

“Da Shixiong, did you forget?”

 

“What?”

 

“The Jiang Sect’s motto: Attempt the impossible . You did just that when you successfully controlled resentful energy!”

 

Jiang Fengmian smiled at that. “Exactly. A’ Xian, while my lady and I don’t exactly approve of this type of cultivation……” Wei Wuxian faced the ground again. “It helped us. So, we don’t blame you.”

 

“But…..I’ll bring troubles to-”

 

“Then we simply have to keep it a secret.” Jiang Fengmian interrupted.

 

The Yunmeng Sect as a whole nodded. They would take this secret to their graves. Their Da Shixiong had always made them laugh and smile. He would protect them. To do so in return…...was no difficult task.

 

……………………………..



Jin Zixuan was standing beside a boy that looked a bit like him and smiled, hearing news of Lotus Pier’s victory.

 

“Da-Ge, are you relieved now?” The boy asked.

 

“W-Who said I was worried?” Jin Zixuan stuttered. He believed Wei Wuxian would be able to handle it, but still, he couldn’t help but fret a bit.

 

He laughed. “Probably because you’ve been frantically pacing back and forth around the room for days now?”

 

“A’ Yao!”

 

Meng Yao hid another smile. “Da-Ge, why can’t you just be a bit more honest with yourself?”

 

“Hmph!” Jin Zixuan sighed. He wasn’t like this in the past! He lamented.

 

As for why Meng Yao is happily chatting with Jin Zixuan? Simple. The Jin Sect Heir knew that on one of his birthday celebrations, Meng Yao was thrown down the steps of the Carp Tower by his father’s subordinate. From what he gathered from everyone’s - namely the Twin Jades and Nie Huaisang - input, Jin Guangyao was responsible - even if indirectly - to his death as well as many others. But, he gathered that his younger brother’s personality became distorted because of his overwhelming desire to be recognized by Jin Guangshan.

 

Jin Zixuan thought that if he got to the kid first…...then he wouldn’t become the snake that he was back then. If, under his care, he could slowly nurture the kid and make sure his father stays far away from him…..then maybe, he wouldn’t become so twisted.

 

With that in mind, he looked out for signs of his mother’s discontent during his birthday parties, and when he found it, he secretly sent one of his men to get Meng Yao - if he was there. He was. Meng Yao was invited in and Jin Zixuan gave a huge spiel on his father’s inadequacy and how he shouldn’t expect anything from him. 

 

Meng Yao was smart. He knew that from interacting with him in his past life. After Jin Zixuan showed him how his father treated women like Meng Shi - Meng Yao’s mother -, Meng Yao finally got it and gave up on attaining his father’s acknowledgement.

 

……………………………..

 

However, things couldn’t be kept under wraps for long. Meng Yao mused.

 

Madam Jin soon found out - after all, he looks somewhat like Jin Guangshan - and though incredibly enraged, through her son’s coaxing and his own impeccable behavior, she calmed down. Jin Guangshan found out too, and as his Da-Ge expected, completely ignored him.

 

Whatever hopes Meng Yao were crushed at that. But internally, he was glad that he met Jin Zixuan as early as he did. Maybe, if he didn’t, he would have tried anything and everything to get his father’s approval. The father that never gave him a glance and even drunkenly mentioned: ‘ Son? Oh, forget it. ’. 

 

He wouldn’t look to doing anything but helping Jin Zixuan around and focusing on cultivation.

 

But, he couldn’t help the creeping, burning sensation that things were supposed to have gone differently. That this was wrong. He wasn’t supposed to be here. He was supposed to be at the the Nie-

 

Meng Yao’s head hurt at that thought. Actually, his head had been hurting ever since he met Jin Zixuan for the first time at his birthday celebration.

 

Meng Yao’s head hurt a lot.

Chapter Text

Wei Wuxian was in an extremely good mood. Why? Well, it all started a few hours ago……

 

Madam Yu had been interrogating Wang Lingjiao, Wen Chao, and Wen Zhuliu. It was going well. After all, their spiritual power was sealed. The couldn’t do anything, right? Wrong. 

 

Wen Zhuliu’s Core-Melting technique didn’t entirely require the use of spiritual energy. It actually required a bit of resentful energy. So, he tried to sneak attack Madam Yu, but was caught by a pissed Wei Wuxian. 

 

Yiling Patriarch mode activated as resentful curled itself around him, turning his eyes red and making his clothes and hair float around.

 

Wei Wuxian shot forward rushing past a shocked Wen Zhuliu who collapsed to his knees, spitting out a mouthful of blood, a bloody hole in his abdomen. In Wei Wuxian’s hands was what looked like a golden core. 

 

(She had never seen one before, and it was kind of pretty.)

 

Resentful energy gathered around the core, shattering it. 

 

Madam Yu was shocked. She didn’t know that controlling resentful energy could allow you to do something like this. He could use this kind of power against anyone, and they wouldn’t be able to do anything about it. 

 

However, she trusted him. 

 

She knew for a fact, with Wei Wuxian’s hero complex, that he would never use this kind of power against innocents or anyone important to him.

 

Wen Zhuliu’s groans made both of them realize that he was still here.

 

At that moment, Wei Wuxian’s eyes lit up with the same sort of sadistic glint Madam Yu’s did.

 

…………………………

 

Madam Yu and Wei Wuxian left the underground chambers with equally satisfied faces. They both seemed to have some sort of respect for each other. But something else sent a panic through the whole of Yunmeng. 

 

After all, Madam Yu smiled . At Wei Wuxian.

 

And Wei Wuxian wasn’t cheeky about it. A quiet conversation happened between the two and the Jiang Sect disciples who witnessed this almost fainted on the spot.

 

The two of them walked together to report their findings to Jiang Fengmian.

 

Although both Madam Yu and Wei Wuxian were disgruntled that they couldn’t kill Wen Chao, who had planned all of this, they were still happy to bond over…….the fun they had with him. Wen Zhuliu was half dead. And as for Wang Lingjiao.......well, it's better not mentioned what happened to her.

 

……………………………

 

Wen Ruohan sent over a letter asking for the prisoners back. Well, he asked for Wen Zhuliu more than his own son. Wang Lingjiao was forgotten about.

 

Jiang Fengmian, despite trying to seem courteous, told Wen Ruohan in the nicest way possible that that was an impossible request (It was. Wen Zhuliu was useless thanks to A' Xian.). Wen Ruohan was being cheeky when he brought up the Jiang Sect’s motto.

 

However, through the letters the two Sect Leaders exchanged, Jiang Fengmian found that Wen Ruohan did not plan the invasion, contrary to popular belief. Wen Ruohan was a lot of things, but he was most certainly not a liar.

 

Regardless, Wen Ruohan’s power acted as a deterrent, but Jiang Fengmian would not take the attack lying down. The two were at a stalemate. (Needless to say, Jiang Fengmian did not hand over the prisoners.)

 

The storm had passed…….but for how long?

 

…………………………

 

Meng Yao was troubled. Or rather, his Zixuan-ge was troubled.

 

He had overheard Jin Zixuan mumbling about what they should do about Wen Ruohan as he was very powerful. He had poked around a bit and found out that Wen Ruohan was a big reason why no one wanted to go against the Wen Sect.

 

Maybe…...if I worm myself in the Wen Sect and gain Wen Ruohan’s trust…...I could take a chance and kill him, but…...what are the chances of that working?

 

Meng Yao was so engrossed in his own thoughts he didn’t notice where he was going.

 

He crashed into a firm chest and fell backwards, only to be caught by a set of strong, gentle arms, that stabilized him.

 

Meng Yao mumbled apologies to the man, bowing respectfully, before looking up and freezing.

 

The man in front of him was the First Jade of Lan, Lan Xichen. He was quite well-known, but Meng Yao didn’t see that. What he saw was something else…….something…... familiar .

 

“Er-Ge, why have you come again?” Meng- no - Jin Guangyao asked.

 

The Sect Leader chuckled. “A’ Yao, what’s wrong with that? Can’t I just come to see a friend?”

 

Jin Guangyao paused before giving a genuine smile. He could always let his guard down and trust this man. He would never hurt-

 

“Young….master?” Lan Xichen asked softly. “Are you alright?”

 

Meng Yao’s mouth moved slightly, but no words came out. He nodded instead. 

 

“This lowly one is Meng Yao. Pleased to make your acquaintance, Zewu-Jun.” Meng Yao greeted him when he found his voice. As his head was lowered, he missed the flash of shock that ran through the older man’s face.

 

Lan Xichen helped him up. “I’m Lan Huan. Courtesy name: Xichen.” The First Jade returned the greetings. “But are you sure you’re alright? You seemed out of it.”

 

“Ah. I’m fine.” He plastered a fake smile on his face, but strangely enough, he found that he couldn’t bear to lie to the person in front of him. “Just thinking about how to help Zixuan-ge.”

 

“Young Master Jin? What’s wrong?”

 

“Yes. He seems to be troubled and I want to help him.”

 

“Ah. I understand the sentiment. The Wen Clan has been oppressive recently.”

 

Meng Yao’s name was called and he soon bid goodbye to the older Lan. 

 

The two parted, but Meng Yao’s head started hurting as more images - memories - flooded his mind. Him sitting with Lan Xichen - Er-Ge -, drinking tea, chatting happily with the other Sect Leader. They were waiting for their Da-Ge, Nie-

 

His head hurt more at the thought. He shook it away, thinking he needed more painkillers to clear these headaches.

 

………………………………..

 

Lan Xichen was a bit taken aback when he saw Jin Guangyao, or rather, Meng Yao. He was…...happy to see the younger man alive and well. And by the sounds of it, Jin Zixuan got to him before his father did. 

 

He had heard of how Meng Yao was pushed off the steps of Golden Carp Tower from first to last. And how that probably marked the beginning of the boy’s diehard attempts to gain his father’s acknowledgement. 

 

However, since Young Master Jin had gotten to him first…...it seems that A’ Yao is only concerned for his approval. I’m glad. Maybe…... things will turn out differently this time for him.

 

………………………………..

 

Wen Qing had been extremely busy as of late. What was she doing aside from her usual healer duties? Trying to gain supporters and allies. Ever since A’ Ning had come to her, asking her to be the new Sect Leader when their uncle, Wen Ruohan, may or may not be dethroned, she resigned herself to her fate. Aside from the two of them, there wasn’t anyone who was qualified enough - in terms of bloodline - to succeed the Clan Leader’s position.

 

At first, she was reluctant. After all, it was an uncertain fact if Wen Ruohan would be taken down from power. She was no coward, but did not want to bring harm to her fellow clansmen - at least, the ones loyal to her.

 

However, when her precious A’ Ning had brought the young masters of the other four great sects to convince her, she simply sighed and agreed. After all, it seemed that after the attack on Lotus Pier - which thankfully ended peacefully -, everyone wanted to take down the Wen Sect. 

 

(She had gotten to meet with Wei Wuxian and felt this overwhelming urge to protect him and scold him like she would her brother. So, she hoped that he was safe at Lotus Pier.)

 

Wen Qing would do anything to guarantee her clansmen and little brother’s safety, and if acquiescing to this plan would do it, she would gladly sacrifice herself.

 

………………………………..

 

It had been a few weeks since the attack on Lotus Pier.

 

The Clans had suffered one way or another at the hands of the Wens and they had had enough. They all gathered up at the Cloud Recesses - because it could be kept the quietest.

 

They were all discussing what to do about the Wens. The Yunmeng Jiang, Gusu Lan, and Qinghe Nie Sects were all adamant on taking the Wen Sect down.

 

The minor sects were reluctant as was Lanling Jin. Then they heard footsteps, several hundred of them.

 

To their surprise, Wen Qing arrived with all of her clansmen. 

 

But before they could grab their swords, they realized who was standing next to her.

 

Jin Zixuan of Lanling Jin. Nie Huaisang of Qinghe Nie. The Twin Jades of Gusu Lan. And Wei Wuxian of Yunmeng.

 

They all walked by her side and made it clear that they were on her side and that she was on theirs. 

 

Everyone relaxed, but didn’t let their guards down.

 

“A’ Xian. What are you doing?” Jiang Fengmian asked.

 

Wei Wuxian greeted him and the other Sect Leaders. “Sect Leader Jiang, we want to show our support for Wen Qing.”

 

Jiang Fengmian instantly understood the underlying meaning. He and other young masters were showing their support for Wen Qing and not the Wen Sect. This means that this Wen Qing disagreed with Wen Ruohan and could be tentatively seen as an ally.

 

“I see. Then…..Young Miss Wen, why have you come?”

 

Wen Qing did not seem to back down from the intimidating auras of everyone there as she gave her respects, then standing up straight, her haughty, but beautiful face showing determination.

 

“I came here today to make a few things clear. One, my clansmen and I are healers. Our art had always been in the pursuit of healing and not that of killing. I do not expect you not believe that we are without guilt just because of that. Two, we do not agree with Uncle’s - that is to say Wen Ruohan’s - ideals and means. We will gladly join the fight against him if you are willing to allow us.”

 

“Uncle?” Nie Mingjue asked.

 

“Yes.” Wen Qing’s face twisted with a disgust that was apparent to everyone. “No matter how much I wish it were untrue, I am the direct descendant of Wen Mao and Wen Ruohan’s niece.”

 

“Then how can we believe that you’re not spies sent by him?”

 

“What would you have me do to prove we are not, Sect Leader Nie?” Wen Qing challenged. “I am a healer primarily. I have neither the means nor the will to fight.”

 

“J-Jie…..I can f-fight.” The ever stuttering Wen Ning spoke up at this moment.

 

“You? You can’t even hurt a fly!” Wen Qing snorted. “What makes you think you can do the same to a person?”

 

“But Jie……” He wanted to remind her that he had spent years as a fierce corpse and how living as one had changed his mentality to some extent.

 

“Oh! I remember you!” Several young voices from the crowd called out.

 

“Son, what do you mean by that?” A sect leader asked.

 

“He saved my life! I was malnourished during the Indoctrination and he came and secretly gave me treatment!” The boy replied.

 

“And me!”

 

“Me too!”

 

“He can be trusted!”

 

The Sect leaders of the minor sects reluctantly crumbled under their children’s protests. Though a few were still stubborn.

 

Nie Huaisang smiled behind his fan. His plan to have Wen Ning be kind to everyone during that time seemed to work with them very nicely. Though it’s not enough to convince them completely…...it’s still enough to give them some kind of leverage.

 

“Young Miss Wen and Young Master Wen can be trusted.” The Twin Jades replied.

 

“Oh?” Qingheng-Jun inquired. If his sons believed them, then how could he not place his trust in them. He knew that the others could trust their word as their reputation had not said anything less of them.

 

“We can trust them.” Jin Guangshan acquiesced. “But what about the others? You say that they’re trustworthy, but how do we know that Wen Ruohan hasn’t planted his own spies within their ranks?” 

 

Chatter broke out at that. That’s right. What’s to say about spies? Could they trust them? How would they know who’s their enemy or ally?

 

“Would making an oath suffice?” Jin Zixuan spoke up.

 

Jin Guangshan seemed mildly annoyed his son had butted in, but hid behind a fake smile.

 

Nie Mingjue grunted. “That would be fine.”

 

Wen Qing nodded and called the others over. Making an oath was a serious thing. Unless one was willing to be plagued by heart demons later in their cultivation, it would not be wise to break it.

 

After completing it, most everyone seemed satiated. It would also help to have such a famed medic as Wen Qing on their side.

 

“Young Miss Wen. If we happen to beat Sect Leader Wen, what will you do?” Jin Guangshan asked.

 

“Depends. If all of you would allow me, I would become the next Sect Leader. If not-”

 

“But you’re a woman, are you not? Do you not have a brother? Surely he can…..”

 

Wen Qing’s eyes flashed dangerously. “Is there a problem with me being a woman?” She bristled.

 

“None.” Nie Mingjue shot a glare to Jin Guangshan, who hid behind his fan.

 

But he still had a few complaints that were all shot down by Nie Mingjue and Jin Zixuan.

 

Hidden nearby, Meng Yao’s eyes flashed. He no longer cared about his father but if his father insisted on bringing trouble to his Zixuan-ge…...he would have to forgive him for forgetting about blood ties.

 

Meng Yao’s gaze flickered to Nie Mingjue. He had met the man earlier that day and fainted when pain he had never experienced before consumed his mind as well as a deep-seated fear that seemed to come from his soul. 

 

While passed out, he was able to see a few more memories from before, but more complete. He realized that these memories came from another life. One much more…...strained. He caught glimpses of the horrible deeds he committed, how much he sacrificed to gain his father’s recognition and how it had all been for naught.

 

This had been the final piece in the puzzle for him. These memories were something he did, or would have done , had he not met Jin Zixuan that day.

 

He would have become someone so unrecognizable to even himself in his desire to be seen as someone more.

 

Though not everything had come back to him, he understood that he had to change it. He wanted to change himself. He wanted to be a better person. He wanted to change what he saw in those memories. He would change . That was his wish after all, wasn’t it?

 

As he lay there dying, Jin Guangyao only had one thought. If he was granted a second chance, let him change.

 

From the memories he saw, he gathered that he, Lan Xichen, and Nie Mingjue were sworn brothers, but he had hurt them in some way. He didn’t want that. At least for Lan Xichen. The only person who treated him with respect back then.

 

Well, now he had Zixuan-ge. But, that brought something to the question. Since things have changed so drastically, it was obvious that Jin Zixuan had memories from that life too - maybe a few others. And that he too wanted to change what had happened.

 

I may have to talk to Zixuan-ge about this, but that’s a conversation for later. 

 

Meng Yao got up and found that any signs of a headache cleared. Even when seeing Lan Xichen and Nie Mingjue again, there was no pain. Nothing. 

 

He sighed in relief. I guess that’s all the memories I’m going to receive…… He was curious about the rest, but felt as if it was better that he did not remember.

 

After going through some of his returned memories, he sighed in relief and shock to see how one of them was him defeating Wen Ruohan. He had become a spy, gained Wen Ruohan’s trust and subsequently killed the powerful Sect Leader by means of a sneak attack. (It was funny how he had the same thought despite not having his memories before.)

 

I could try the same tactic…….. Meng Yao mulled over it a bit. No, no. I should observe the situation first before taking action.

 

………………………………..

 

Well, the Sunshot Campaign - as Nie Mingjue coined it - began. Thanks to Wen Qing’s side of the Wen Sect defecting, there were a less amount of people that everyone needed to fight. And they were glad. 

 

Wen Qing’s people kept to their oath and never betrayed them. Wen Qing and the other medics helped them when they were hurt and many became taken with the haughty medic known as Wen Qing.

 

Thanks to her skills - as well as many others, but mostly hers -, many lives were saved and they were all grateful. 

 

………………………………..

 

Wei Wuxian knew how helpful demonic cultivation was here. Though Wen Qing had taken a lot of Wens out with her, there were still an overwhelming amount of them on Wen Ruohan’s side. 

 

Through Lan Wangji’s suggestion, Wei Wuxian used demonic cultivation under the guise of the night - using regular cultivation during the day -, Lan Wangji with him to make sure nothing averse occurs.

 

Every time Lan Wangji sensed something off about Wei Wuxian, he would drag the selfless idiot to his tent, sit him down and probe for what was wrong. 

 

Wei Wuxian pouted. He was fine! Albeit, he was cut a bit here and there, but that’s all! Lan Zhan was overreacting! 

 

……..And he was secretly enjoying every bit of his indulgence.

 

The infamous Yiling Patriarch sighed in content as the righteous HanGuang-Jun pampered him: giving him Emperor’s Smile, getting him spicy food, being gentle to him, cleaning and bandaging his wounds.

 

He loved this. He loved feeling Lan Wangji so close to him. He just felt so…..comfortable and relaxed as he never had before. Even when sleeping next to him, it seemed that both of their nightmares were soothed. 

 

Having a few nights separate, Wei Wuxian found that he couldn’t sleep well without the warmth known as Lan Wangji next to him. His nightmares tortured him and judging by how pale Lan Wangji seemed some mornings, he too.

 

But, as they lay next to each other, he found himself refreshed and calm. It was also comforting - he found out one morning when he woke up early, Lan Zhan staring softly at him as he stroked his cheek lulling him back to sleep - to find that Lan Zhan was there to keep him safe.

 

………………………………..

 

“Lan Zhan, Lan Zhan! Look at me, look at me~!” Wei Wuxian called happily as he bounded towards Lan Wangji.

 

“Mn. Always.” The always straight-faced Lan Wangji answered without a change in his expression.

 

“Lan Zhaaaaaaan~”

 

Lan Zhan’s eyes just softened at the sight of his smile and laugh.

 

How the two could show such affection right in the middle of the battlefield baffled both Jiang Cheng and Jin Zixuan to no end.

 

The shameless couple - well, not yet - were both covered in blood and little wounds, but still found the time to flirt with each other . Whether it be during the fighting, before or after the battle, they were always subjected to endless public displays of affection.

 

Jiang Cheng and Jin Zixuan, who were suffering from the third wheeling, decided to take their frustrations out on the Wens in front of them.

 

………………………………….

 

There were more people who suffered under the shameless - not yet - couple.

 

“Lan Zhan~” Wei Wuxian called out as he slashed another attacking Wen member with Suibian.

 

“Mn?” Lan Wangji answered as he stroked his guqin, protecting Wei Wuxian’s back from oncoming enemies.

 

“Am I pretty? Even like this?” Wei Wuxian teased.

 

Lan Wangji paused to take down a few enemies. “Mn.”

 

Color creeped up Wei Wuxian’s cheeks. “Lan Zhan, don’t flatter me~.”

 

“Not flattering. Telling the truth.”

 

“Lan Zhan~”

 

Lan Zhan’s ears flushed red.

 

There were three adults with the two this time. Jiang Fengmian, Yu Ziyuan, and Qingheng-Jun.

 

Qingheng-Jun was happy that his stoic son found love. Though, he does feel bad for him. It seems that this…..Wei Wuxian is dense to A’ Zhan’s love. He may need to work on forcing the two into certain situations with A’ Huan……..

 

Jiang Fengmian was baffled at the public display of affection in front of him, but also felt really, really bad for the Second Young Master Lan. 

 

He knew that A’ Xian was dense. 

 

So incredibly dense. So, while it seemed that Lan Wangji really loved his child, the latter could not sense that.

 

Madam Yu, on the other hand, was both a bit taken aback and pleased. She could not understand just how on earth the two could show such…...fondness for each other when they were currently cutting down hordes of enemies. But, as with the other two, felt bad since she knew how dense Wei Ying was when it came to the matters of love.

 

It seemed that the Wens who saw this too all paused upon seeing the pink, fluffy atmosphere surrounding the two. 

 

However, any enemy Wen that made snarky comments about their relationship or Wei Wuxian would immediately be met with a positively murderous Lan Wangji, whose glare was so cold and frosty that they all shook with fear.

 

The three adults just watched with a bit awe at this as Wei Wuxian - who was completely oblivious to what the Second Master Lan was feeling - went up to him and gave him a big wide smile and laugh as he chatted with the taller man about something.

 

They all watched as the atmosphere, which was dense and chilling with killing intent, softened to a warm and bright tenderness.

 

Without another word, the three adults took care of the rest of the enemies. Zidian, Qinghu - Qingheng-Jun’s sword -, and Zennai - Jiang Fengmian’s sword cleaved the enemy down.

 

The war had just started. But will it end differently this time?

Chapter Text

Everyone had heard about the demonic cultivator that would attack the Wens would several armies of corpses. Although the fact that someone mastered demonic cultivation existed, this person, whoever they were, had a strong adversary against the Wens. And in these times of war, any ally, no matter what means they used, was welcome.

 

Nie Mingjue was a bit disgruntled knowing about this demonic cultivator, being a righteous cultivator and all, but his little brother, to his surprise, said there was nothing to worry about when it comes to the demonic cultivator, after all. Nie Huaisang had told him that that that person was an ally and wouldn’t hurt them, seeing as the corpse army avoided their troops.

 

Nie Mingjue suspected that his brother knew who this person was, seeing as he accidentally let it slip that this person was a man - he did not know what gender this person was. The only information they got was that the person played a flute and had glowing red eyes.

 

Regardless, Nie Mingjue was a bit upset that Nie Huaisang didn’t join him on the battlefield, but knew how his brother was and would perhaps get in the way since his cultivation wasn’t exceptional. So, he didn’t object to having his brother stay behind.

 

But Nie Huaisang wasn’t a mastermind for nothing. Despite not having any of the manpower from before, he was smart and knew how to get people on his side. Before long, he had enough people to actually make a difference in the Sunshot Campaign.

 

His people, well, to no surprise, were spies. (He had some before, but they weren’t enough to help with this war. They were plentiful enough to catch hints of the returnees’ presence.) 

 

They spread out across the different battlefields, receiving information of the enemies’ positions, of ambushes, of their numbers, of their strengths. 

 

But the one thing Nie Huaisang was unable to do was to infiltrate the ranks of people close to Wen Ruohan. There were one too many times his allies either were caught and killed or escaped, barely hanging onto their lives.

 

Nie Huaisang gripped his prized fan. Meng Yao was able to do it, but why can’t I?

 

But he knew why. Meng Yao was a great actor. No matter the stage he was put on, he was able to keep up the gentle and harmless facade. Nie Huaisang wouldn’t be able to do this. His acting could be seen through, but Meng Yao’s couldn’t.

 

Tch. If that guy’s anything like what he was back then, he should be able to do the same thing. 

 

Nie Huaisang had been paying attention to Meng Yao’s movements and found that Jin Zixuan had gotten to him first and by the looks of it, wasn’t like the Meng Yao of their past life. However, looks can be deceiving. Nie Huaisang had been deceived too many times by that face, and so was guarded against every single one of his words.

 

Thinking about the *snicker* short man was already getting on his nerves.

 

……………………

 

So imagine his irritation when the person in question appears in front of him on the battlefield!

 

Nie Huaisang was caught between killing him and killing him brutally. 

 

He grit his teeth tightly.

 

He will never forget how his brother’s Qi Deviation rate was sped up. He will never forget how his brother died right in front of him. He will never forget how he saw his brother’s arm had been separated from his body as well as the other parts which were scattered around. He will never forget stitching together his brother’s head to the rest of his body. 

 

He will never forgive Meng Yao for his sins.

 

(Though Nie Huaisang knew that Xue Yang dismembered his brother’s corpse. Meng Yao didn’t do that, considering the other murders he committed.)

 

For now, he’ll just separate his brother from Meng Yao. If the two never interacted, then how will Meng Yao get close enough to Nie Mingjue to do anything? (He already knew that Lan Xichen was the primary reason why the two associated with each other. But whatever, he’ll think about that later.)

 

It seems simple enough. What could go wrong?

 

……………………………

 

The answer? Everything.

 

No matter how hard Nie Huaisang tried, Nie Mingjue and Meng Yao would always meets each other. It was unavoidable on the battlefield, but outside they would always run into each other.

 

It seemed like Meng Yao was also trying to avoid Nie Mingjue. He at first thought it was because he was scary, but another theory came to mind. Did Meng Yao perhaps have his memories back?

 

But that couldn’t be. That ritual only called for six. There couldn’t be a seventh…….unless he messed up somehow. He would have to discuss it with Wei-xiong later.

 

……………………………

 

Meng Yao was depressed. Ever since finding out how much he hurt his sworn brothers - he didn’t remember too much about anyone else - in that other life, he had tried to avoid them as best as he could. 

 

But he couldn’t!

 

He always seemed to crash into Nie Mingjue. 

 

This was frustrating. 

 

What kind of (ill) fate does he have to keep running into him?

 

Not only him but Lan Xichen too! He had tried to avoid the gentle Jade, but it seemed to be a lost cause.

 

He sighed. I want to avoid them, but…….it seems I can’t, can I? He smiled wryly.

 

I don’t want to hurt them again. After the war, I should probably stay away from them. Well, we haven’t talked much and are relationship could be at most described as strangers, so nothing should go wrong……..

 

………………………………….

 

Nie Mingjue has a problem. And that problem comes in the form of Meng Yao. The boy was strange and always seemed to want to avoid him. He was used to people doing that, but he could see…...guilt in Meng Yao’s eyes as he ran away from him. It was strange.

 

Meng Yao hadn’t done anything to him that could cause him to look like that.

 

What was also odd was that he felt anger at this person. Anger…..and a bit of frustration.

 

Well, whatever. They had a war to win. He shouldn’t be bothered by this person. He hardly knows him anyway!

 

However, something told him that he knew this person very, very well.

 

He ignored it. Maybe if I avoid him, I won’t have to feel this way.

 

……………………………………..

 

These chaotic thoughts of his continued to distract him, causing him to leave his guard wide open. He was prepared for impact.

 

There was the sound of metal meeting flesh. Nie Mingjue looked to see that the enemy Wen though would have hurt him was killed by that Meng Yao person.

 

“Sect Leader Nie. Be careful, please. We need your strength in this war.” With that, Meng Yao took off in a different direction.

 

Nie Mingjue ignored the feeling that the way he addressed him was wrong and continued butchering the enemy.

 

…………………………………….

 

Even though I wanted to keep away! Meng Yao lamented. Oh well, the only impression I have on him now is that I saved his life…..?! Oh no, he might want to see me afterwards to repay me or something! *sigh* But I didn’t want him to get hurt…..oh well. What happens happens.

 

Towards the end of the battle, Nie Mingjue managed to behead Wen Ruohan’s eldest son, Wen Xu, displaying his head in front of his troops, greatly boosting their morale.

 

……………………....................

 

Nie Mingjue headed towards his tent to rest when he saw an appalling sight.

 

“Hey, you son of a prostitute! Why don’t you clean this up?” A bunch of clothes were thrown at Meng Yao. “Aren’t you good at this?” The golden-robed bully sneered.

 

Meng Yao smiled. Nie Mingjue cringed at the fakeness he saw.

 

“Young Master. I have other duties to attend to. Please excuse me.” Meng Yao excused himself as he walked away.

 

The Lanling Jin disciple blocked his path. “I’m not done with you!” The disciple made a grab for Meng Yao’s wrist and by the look of pain that flashed on the other’s face, it wasn’t gentle at all.

 

“Let go, please.” Even to this point, Meng Yao could still find the restraint to be courteous. If it was Nie Mingjue, he would have already slugged the other person across the face with a fist.

 

“Why should I?! Son of a whore!” He spat. “Since you didn’t listen to me…..” He raised a hand up.

 

……………………..

 

Meng Yao had had enough of the insults, but he didn’t want to cause trouble this time around and so he turned around to leave. However, he wasn’t left alone. Seeing the hand coming to hit him as well as more slander against his mother, Meng Yao was this close to ‘screwing it all’ and murdering the fool.

 

However, before the hand came down, it was stopped.

 

Meng Yao looked to see Nie Mingjue’s stormy face directed at the bully.

 

“No matter his birthplace, he’s still the savior of my life and from what I’ve heard from that Sect Heir Jin, he’s like a brother to him. Insulting him like this…..aren’t you afraid of the repercussions should I inform him?”

 

The Lanling Jin Sect disciple’s face drained of color. “You!” He pointed to Meng Yao. “I’ll remember this!!!” As he ran off, tail between his legs. 

 

Meng Yao couldn’t help the smile that bloomed on his face. “Sect Leader Nie. Thank you for saving me. I guess that makes us even now?”

Nie Mingjue grunted. “No problem. However, this far from counts as repayment for your help on the battlefield.”

 

The expression on Meng Yao’s face froze. There goes my plan of avoiding him…….

 

“Is there some problem?”

 

“None. But, did you mean what you said?” He asked hesitantly.

 

“What did I say?”

 

“That my birth place didn’t matter?” 

 

Nie Mingjue nodded. “From the reports I’ve received, you’ve proven that you’re a more useful asset than anyone else. No matter what, you’ve been a great help. Even if others say otherwise.”

 

Meng Yao gave a little laugh and then a warm smile. “Thank you, Sect Leader Nie.”

 

Nie Mingjue paused for a moment. “I’m glad.” He mentioned offhandedly.

 

“Hm? For what?”

 

Nie Mingjue looked a bit embarrassed that that slipped out. “You’re smiling for real.”

 

“Oh.” Meng Yao ducked his head down. As expected, he was able to see through me. “Considering where I grew up, I did not have many chances to smile genuinely. To be able to bring that out of me, you must have used some kind of trick.” Meng Yao appreciated the Sect Leader’s protection and decided to be a little honest for once. He’s always been afraid to do that in fear of those that opposed him using this weakness against him.

 

Nie Mingjue laughed at that. “I used no trick. But, if I could see you smile like that again, I’d be glad to do it again.”

 

Meng Yao couldn’t resist another smile. Our relationship was so bad in that life. Maybe, Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad to get close to him again. He was the only one who could see through my lies. Being honest…...it feels nice. Relaxing, even.

 

…….Aaaaaaand this was the scene Nie Huaisang stumbled across. His jaw hung open that Meng Yao of all people was able to make his elder brother laugh so heartily like that. Feeling extremely conflicted that his brother’s future - no longer - murderer held this kind of power, he decided to just turn on his heels and leave.

 

……………………………….

 

It had been several weeks since the Four Great Clans stormed Nightless City. However, no matter their effort, it did not fall.

 

Everyone was exhausted from the long years of fighting and even the mystery demonic cultivator couldn’t defeat Wen Ruohan. Everyone was getting anxious. What should they do, should they be defeated?

 

They couldn’t risk it.

 

It was at this time that Meng Yao came to the conclusion that he should infiltrate the enemy ranks once again. He had been extremely careful to not show his face on the battlefield and if he did, anyone enemy who saw was eliminated. 

 

No one really knew him. Nie Mingjue had paid attention to him because he saved his life and the Lanling Jin sect disciples never really knew him.

 

With all that in mind, he set his plan in motion.

 

Having already had several weeks to observe the high ranking enemies, he found someone with a similar stature and cultivation as him. Having belonged to a brothel for a good part of his life, he knew how to use makeup to change his face. 

 

Taking the chance when that Wen wasn’t looking he captured him, dragging him to a secluded place.

 

Having explored Carp Tower in his free time, he found the torture chambers as well as books detailing on what methods were most effective to draw out information.

 

Deciding to put that to future use, he memorized everything within those books.

 

And now…..he could utilize this knowledge.

 

…………………..

 

Once he got all the information he could, he stripped the robes from the man and wore it, copying his face onto his own. Luckily, the man’s voice was similar to his, just deeper, so he was able to imitate it to some extent.

 

Through the information he received, he found out that the man was a strategist. 

 

Well, that’s perfect. Just what I’m good at.

 

He took one more thorough look through the man’s now dead body, just in case there were any marks he had that could give him away.

 

There were none, luckily.

 

With that, Meng Yao was ready. Wen Ruohan was terrifying, but he was willing to sacrifice himself for a bit in order to defeat that powerful ruler.

 

………………………..

 

Meng Yao had disappeared for a week now. 

 

Nie Mingjue was worried. The man hadn’t left anything but a note saying that he’ll be back soon.

 

He didn’t know what the younger was doing, but felt as though it was something dangerous. Something he had done before and subsequently committed something unforgi-

 

That’s where Nie Mingjue’s thoughts cut off. What the hell was that? It felt like…..a memory. He ran a hand through his hair. Well, whatever.

 

He stepped out onto the battlefield, Lan Xichen by his side. They nodded at each other. We have to win. Was their combined thought.

 

Wen Ruohan stepped out, radiating every single bit of dominance and arrogance an overlord of power like his should have.

 

Without another word, the three started to fight.

 

In the background, Wei Wuxian, Jiang Cheng, Lan Wangji, and everyone else were keeping the enemy Wens away. Whenever they could, the adults joined in. Qingheng-jun sometimes kept Wen Ruohan busy long enough for the others to recover their strength before pulling back to let others fight. Like this, they hoped to whittle away Wen Ruohan’s stamina bit by bit.

 

…………………………….

 

Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji were doing well when Wei Wuxian’s attention lapsed a bit. Using resentful energy took a lot out of, especially since he has to make sure it doesn’t erode his core now. Lan Wangji had helped him keep it together lately, but he sometimes slipped away, faking that he was fine. 

 

He shouldn’t be doing this. He should be relying on others. But he found it hard to. He didn’t want to burden anyone with his troubles.

 

A Wen noticed this gap in attention and went to slash at him. Wei Wuxian noticed too late the attack.

 

His eyes flashed red as he prepared to use resentful energy to blast the enemy away, but a wall of white and blue flashed to him. Lan Wangji stroked his guqin once, blasting the Wen away.

 

“Nice save, Lan Zhan~!

 

“Mn.” His golden eyes shone with worry and concern. “Wei Ying, are you okay?”

 

“Hm? What do you mean?” He tried to dodge the issue.

 

“Wei Ying……” Lan Wangji sounded so sad. He looked down to the ground. “Do you not trust me?”

 

Wei Ying swore he saw animal ears droop down from Lan Zhan’s head…...and promptly gave in. “HanGuang-Jun~, Lan Wangji~, Lan Zhan~, I’m just a little tired. A little bit of rest in a Calming environment and I’m fine!”

 

Lan Wangji got the message. “Mn. Later. Focus now. I’ll protect you.”

 

“Lan Zhan~”

 

Pink, fluffy clouds surrounded them as the PDA subsequently blinded everyone.

 

Even Wen Ruohan paused slightly to ask, “Are they always like this?”

 

“Yes.” All the adults - Nie Mingjue had witnessed it when they were over at Qinghe, and believe him, it was bright. Too bright. -, Lan Xichen, Jiang Cheng, Jin Zixuan, and a few others replied with a sigh of exasperation.

 

“Huh.”

 

They continued the fight, but Wen Ruohan just wouldn’t fall. He gathered up his power and formed a barrier, preventing anyone from coming close. 

 

Damn. How much power does he have? He hasn’t even broken a sweat!

 

They had been fighting for quite some time, but they couldn’t defeat him. What could they do?

 

In a corner, a shining golden sword was inconspicuously drawn.

 

Waiting till Wen Ruohan was consumed by bloodlust and killing intent, the sword flew out, piercing his chest, right where his heart was.

 

Wen Ruohan turned around. “Y….ou…..!” He promptly collapsed to the ground, dead.

 

The sword withdrew, landing in its owner’s hands. After it was cleaned of blood, it returned to its sheath.

 

Lan Xichen had already recognized the sword with shock and he was sure Jin Zixuan did too. Hensheng…….

 

The Wen sect member(?) brought a sleeve to his face and wiped it furiously as he brought his other hand to remove the robes.

 

“Meng Yao?” Nie Mingjue exclaimed. “You…..became a spy? Is that why you left so suddenly?”

Meng Yao looked a bit embarrassed. “No. Just found out that someone close to Wen Ruohan looked like me, so I killed him after extracting necessary information from him and then waited until Wen Ruohan was consumed by his desire to kill you all before making the finishing move. So, I wasn’t a spy. I didn’t give out information.”

 

“But you could have at least told us something!”

 

“Sorry……”

 

“Don’t apologize. I’m glad you’re safe.” He mumbled the last part.

 

The remaining Wens looked despaired. Their indomitable leader was no more. They dropped their weapons and surrendered.

 

The troops cheered. Wen Ruohan had fallen. The war was over.

Chapter Text

The war was over and everyone picked up their broken, wounded, exhausted bodies up and tried to clean their wounds to the best they could.

 

Many opposed to supporting Wen Qing as the new Sect Leader. What if she was like her Uncle and became oppressive and overbearing? There were fears like that. However……

 

“I’m a healer, goddamnit! Are any of you senseless?! I’m barely a cultivator!” Wen Qing had been arguing for weeks on this matter and was frankly, quite pissed off. She went on an expletive about how she’s a healer, not a murderer, never one for killing.

 

Many supported this. On top of that, she and her clansmen had taken an oath. There were many factors in their favor.

 

But Jin Guangshan’s silver tongue caused many to doubt.

 

Some made snarky comments - egged on by the Jin Sect Leader - about her being a woman, and how she wouldn’t be able to properly control or manage the sect. However…...they were shut down by the heavy glare of Nie Mingjue and the icy glare of Yu Ziyuan. 

 

Jiang Fengmian and Qingheng-Jun both gave gentle smiles that somehow made those who had…...averse comments squirm in their seats. They were both men who had strong-willed wives and would not tolerate any comments about how women were subpar. 

 

Complaints would always be complaints and no one was really against her becoming Sect Leader; people were just being nit-picky.

 

And finally, three months after the Sunshot Campaign, Wen Qing became Sect Leader of the Qishan Wen Sect. 

 

As soon as she took that position, revisions were made to the rules within the Sect. She made sure that anyone who was caught doing anything untoward towards the other sect would be punished appropriately as deemed by the sect they offended. 

 

This first move of hers was very effective to shut down whatever protests there were.

 

After that, she made sure to visit each and every one of the sects and offer what compensation they could give to the sects that were most affected by the Wen sect of before.

 

As for the Wen war prisoners…...Wen Qing wanted them to be handed over to Qinghe Nie. From Wen Ning, she got that they were treated horribly in the hands of Jin Guangshan, who copied some of the methods of the evil Wens. So, handing them over to Nie Mingjue, who was known for his righteousness, was the best choice. (Yunmeng Jiang was also an option, but they were hit and needed time to recover. The Gusu Lan Sect also didn’t suffer much, and offered to split the prisoners to help with the discipline, if needed.)

 

Jin Guangshan complained, but Jin Zixuan interfered, saying that the prisoners could be sent either Qinghe, Gusu, or Yunmeng Jiang as they had suffered personal losses from the Wen Sect. Lanling Jin was pretty much unharmed and everyone agreed that the prisoners would be handled properly .

 

Wen Ning had also become really strong, and those that dared to bully her due to her low cultivation had to think twice, otherwise they’d incur the wrath of her protective little brother.

 

…………………………….

 

Meng Yao was really, really annoyed.

 

The father that he once wanted recognition from and now who he hates is pestering him to take on his surname. 

 

Meng Yao knew that this man wanted to hog the credit of his assassination to his family, and was extremely displeased of this fact. Like Jin Zixuan had told him, that merit belonged to him and him alone. It had nothing to do with the sect and certainly nothing to do with their father. 

 

He was also very happy to keep his mother’s name and tried his best to politely decline. But that damn rat bastard was so persistent, and on top of that, really, really…... underhanded with his pleads, such as peer pressure and abusing his authority to get the reaction out of Meng Yao that he wanted.

 

It was all for fame, all for glory, and Meng Yao wanted no part of it.

 

Luckily, he was busy helping Jin Zixuan with various tasks, so his dear father couldn’t interfere too much. He loved feeling helpful and useful and needed. 

 

But even though he was in such a great mood, he was a bit…..lost, so to speak. When Nie Mingjue and Lan Xichen came over for Discussion Conferences and the like, he was like a deer staring at headlights, he didn’t know what to do or how to act.

 

He knew these people, but his memories from the past were like voices telling him that he caused them pain, he hurt them, he pushed them away. However, another part of him desired to once again bask in their warmth. So, Meng Yao was lost, caught between getting close to them and staying away. 

 

But, despite it all, he couldn’t help but be attracted towards them and got closer to them over time. 

 

Meng Yao was happy, but he could sense a sort of…..sadness from Lan Xichen whenever the three of them were together. After observing the older Lan for a bit, he came to the scary conclusion that maybe, just maybe , Lan Xichen had his memories too. But if that was the case, why is he getting so close to the person who once hurt him? He was confused, but also scared of confrontation.

 

Week after week of mulling about it put him on edge and tired him out. 

 

“A’ Yao, is something wrong?” Jin Zixuan asked. 

 

“Zixuan-ge, I…..” Meng Yao bit his lip. He wanted to be honest, but he was also scared. Scared of rejection. 

 

“Tell me, it’s okay. I’m on your side, no matter what.”

 

At this, Meng Yao let out a hollow laugh. “Zixuan-ge, will you really still be on my side if you’ve heard everything I’ve done…..or rather, will do ?” This was a risky move, but Meng Yao had gotten the hint that Jin Zixuan had traveled back too, or at least, has memories of that time.

 

Will? A’ Yao, that….sounds like…..” Realization dawned Jin Zixuan’s face. “A’ Yao…..you…..you remember too?”

 

Meng Yao bowed his head low. “Not all of it, but little bits.”

 

Jin Zixuan was caught on what to do. He never knew Meng Yao that well, and didn’t interact with him much, especially since he’s been so busy, so he wasn’t sure of what to do. “Should I…..call Zewu-Jun over? He knew you better.”

 

Meng Yao’s eyes widened. “So…..he...too?”

 

“Ah.” Jin Zixuan noticed his slip-up. “Yeah. He might be able to help you.”

 

“But, Zixuan-ge, he’s - and Sect Leader Nie - the reason why I’m so troubled!”

 

“What about us?” A gentle voice called out.

 

“Zewu-Jun.” The two brothers greeted.

 

“Mn. Now what’s wrong?”

 

Meng Yao opened his mouth and closed it again, looking away. Jin Zixuan sighed. “A’ Yao’s the same as us. You were closer to him back then. Help him out, please. Good luck.” He turned away.

 

“Zixuan-ge!” Meng Yao started.

 

Jin Zixuan just smirked as he walked away.

 

The two were left alone.

 

Lan Xichen's eyes were wide. “Meng Yao…..no, A’ Yao. Is that…..true?”

 

Meng Yao felt tears cloud his vision at the familiar address, but he held them back. “I’m sorry, Er-Ge……” Then, it was as if a dam had broke and tears poured from his eyes. “H-Huh? This is odd. I don’t remember why I should f-feel this way. Damn it…..I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, Er-Ge. I-I don’t remember much of our past, or was it future?, but I’m sorry, I’m sor-”

 

He was brought into a warm embrace. “A’ Yao…..I don’t blame you. Years of seclusion allowed me to understand why you did what you did." He rubbed comforting circles into the shorter man's back. "Though I can’t forget what you’ve done, I forgive you. It’s…..not your fault.”

 

Meng Yao clutched the white robes tightly. “B-But, I……”

 

“It’s fine. Let it go. What happened then…...was simply the story of another life. Nothing has happened now. It’s…...all fixed now. And besides,” he pulled away, flashing a bright smile. “You’re doing your best to make sure nothing happens again, right?”

 

“En.”

 

“Then, don’t worry about it.”

 

“Ah.” Meng Yao laughed a bit to himself, giving Lan Xichen a dazzling smile. “Okay. It’s all in the future, er, past. …..Ha, I feel better now.” He wiped the excess tears off his face with a handkerchief and then became aware that he was crying on the taller man’s shoulder. “Er-Ge! I dirtied your robes! I’m sorry!”

 

Lan Xichen merely glanced at it with a laugh. “It’s fine. A small price to pay for helping you.”

 

“Er-Ge……”

 

“What are you two chatting about?” The gruff voice of Nie Mingjue answered.

 

“Mingjue, I was just thinking……” Lan Xichen shot him a smile. “Shall you, A’ Yao, and I become sworn brothers? We’re all so close already.”

 

“Hm? I don’t see why not.” Nie Mingjue agreed, ignoring the youngest’s cry.

 

“Zewu-Jun! Sect Leader Nie!” Meng Yao cried out.

 

However, Meng Yao couldn’t change their minds and soon, they became the Venerated Triad once again, as if it was predetermined by fate. Like it was meant to be. 

 

………………………..

 

That same day that Lan Xichen had regained his two sworn brothers, Lan Wangji had come to visit Jin Zixuan.

 

“Young Master Jin.”

 

“HanGuang-Jun, what brings you here?”

 

“Brother.”

 

“Eh? Oh, you mean you’re waiting for your brother to finish up and join you?”

 

Lan Wangji shook his head. “Yours.”

 

“Huh? You mean A” Yao?” But he was perplexed as the Second Jade denied it again. Ahhhhh! I don’t know how to read him! How do Zewu-Jun and Wei Wuxian read him so easily?!

 

Lan Wangji seemed to come to the same conclusion that wouldn’t be understood. “You have another brother. A…...friend of mine from that life.”

 

Jin Zixuan scowled. “That damn father of mine…….” He murmured. “Oh, but what about him?”

 

“Just asking if you could save him.”

 

“Save him?”

 

“Mn. His maternal family…..abuses him. I want you to take him in.” He took a breath. “If not, I’ll take him to Gusu Lan.”

 

“I see……” Jin Zixuan thought about it for a bit. “Bring him here. I’ll see to it that he’s accommodated. If he can’t handle it here, I’ll send him over to you, alright?”

 

“Mn. Not good body for cultivation, but he’s smart. Better at fixing and making arrays and talismans.”

 

“Arrays? That’s great! We specialize in arrays, although we focus more on cultivation since array creating gets in the way a bit. So, his name?”

 

“Mo Xuanyu.”

 

“Mo Xuanyu?”

 

“Mn. Good kid. Take care of him for now.”

 

“Don’t worry. I will.”

 

“Mn.”

 

The two bid their goodbyes. 

 

…………………………………..

 

Back at Gusu…….

 

Qingheng-Jun had a few free days to himself even though he knew that there was plenty of work to do. He knew why Lan Qiren allowed him this.

 

After all…...today was the anniversary of his wife’s death.

 

He wandered around a bit before returning to her grave, a bunch of gentian flowers in hand.

 

He knelt by her side and chuckled a bit. “A’ Feng, it’s me. How are you doing?”

 

A pause.

 

“Me? I’m fine. Don’t worry. Hey, look. I brought you your favorite flowers. They’re mine too, you know? They always reminded me of you. You were always passionate, charming, and so, so lovely.”

 

If anyone saw him, they’d be positively shocked at seeing the Sect Leader laugh and talk to someone that wasn’t there.

 

“It reminds me of the first day we met. You were so wild, so free, so unrestrained. Every single bit of you attracted me to you. I regret acting how I did when I first met you. But, didn't I make up for it by shamelessly pursuing you afterwards? You were so annoyed, but it was refreshing to see you exhibiting other emotions for me. 

 

I loved your laugh, I loved your smile. I still do. Even thinking about it now brings a smile to my face.” His lips curved, but…….tears streamed down his face.

 

“Hey, A’ Feng. Do you resent me for locking you up? For not seeing you again? For taking you away from your children? For…...For not being there when they needed me? D-Do you hate me? I’ve always wondered that. But no matter. I will always love you. Always…...always……”

 

The Lan Sect leader finally couldn’t hold back as he started sobbing. “A’ Feng, did I kill you? That life that you had…...did I sap it away?, trapping you in that house? Should I have instead let you go? Let you run free? Maybe then…..Maybe then, even if you weren’t by my side, you’d be alive…..you’d…..be here…….”

 

There was rustling and Qingheng-Jun straightened up. He couldn’t let anyone see him like this. He blinked away his tears and hid in a corner. 

 

He wanted to make sure that his gift wouldn’t be trampled by any Lan Sect Elder who had disapproved of his beloved wife. It happened before. He won’t let it happen again.

 

He sighed in relief, seeing two younger figures. But, as they made themselves clear, his breath hitched. It was his two sons.

 

In slight curiosity, he observed them from a distance. 

 

A’ Zhan had also brought Gentian flowers, but what was strange was that he didn’t put it on the grave, but rather in a flower vase right in front of the main entrance of the house he had trapped his wife in.

 

Ah, so it was A’ Zhan who put those flowers there every time. Qingheng-Jun smiled as he watched his youngest replace the dead flowers with fresh ones.

 

He then watched as the two knelt in front of their Mother’s grave and spoke to her like he did about what had happened recently.

 

“Mother, did you know? A’ Zhan has a crush on Young Master Wei! It’s that troublemaking boy I told you about before! Can you believe it?” A’ Huan teased.

 

“Brother!” A’ Zhan made an undignified cry.

 

“Hehe~, but Didi. It’s true, is it not?”

 

The tips of his youngest’s ears went red. 

 

Oh, just like me. 

 

“It’s true, but don’t tease.” 

 

“But it’s fun to do that!”

 

“........”

 

Qingheng-Jun watched them contentedly for a bit longer before deciding that they should go out to do some family activities. Not now, but maybe after…….after they’ve mourned her enough.

 

……………………………

 

At Yunmeng………

 

“A’ Cheng.” Jiang Fengmian called out to Jiang Cheng, who finished training.

 

“Yes, Father?”

 

The sect leader cleared his throat a bit. “Your stance is a bit off. Try it again, and I will show you how to fix it.”

 

Jiang Cheng’s eyes sparkled. His father was showing him attention! “Okay!”

 

Jiang Cheng practiced a few moves before being stopped.

 

“A' Cheng. Your movement was off when you were about to attack. Put a bit more strength into your front leg when pushing forward and more into your back leg when pulling back. Otherwise, your opponent can catch you off guard and force you off balance.”

 

“Eh? Really?”

 

“Yes. Here, like this……”

 

And so, the father and son duo continued to improve the latter’s stance until he ran out of energy. Jiang Cheng actually smiled hearing the praise he got from his father anytime he did the stance correctly.

 

Wei Wuxian watched from the sidelines, happy. 

 

The subtle hints he dropped to Uncle Jiang about helping and praising Jiang Cheng were working out great! 

 

Madam Yu joined in - she revealed that she had been watching - and started scolding Jiang Cheng on how his form could be better than that and Jiang Fengmian for how lenient he was training the boy. The kid should be able to barely stand up for it to constitute as proper training, according to her.

 

Jiang Yanli eventually arrived to try to diffuse the situation as usual. But, all in all, everyone looked happy.

 

Wei Wuxian smiled and turned around, heading to the market, not wanting to interrupt the family bonding moment. It was, after all, their family. He…..He was simply an outsider.

 

He shuddered, suddenly feeling a chill run through his body, but he shook it away. No matter. Their happiness is what matters. I….took it away from them once. Never again…..shall I make the same mistake.

 

But, it seems his movements were noticed.

 

“Wei Ying, what are you doing just standing there?” Madam Yu demanded.

 

“Eh? I was-”

 

“No matter! Get your ass over here!”

 

“But I-”

 

“Now!”

 

“Yes, ma’am!” He ran over.

 

“My Lady, language.”

 

“Who the hell cares about my language?”

 

“The kids are here. Don’t influence them.”

 

Madam Yu rolled her eyes. “They’ll learn it sooner or later…..” She grumbled.

 

Wei Wuxian stumbled on his feet, falling forward.

 

“Careful, A’ Xian!” Both Jiang Yanli and Jiang Fengmian reached for each of his arms to steady him.

 

“What are you doing, you klutz?!” Madam Yu scolded him.

 

“I……”

 

“Enough chatter. Get down to work! I won’t let you leave until you’re on the ground begging me to stop!”

 

Despite the threat, Wei Wuxian smiled. Ah.........

.

.

.


........It’s so warm.

Chapter Text

 

Nie Huaisang was more than convinced that Meng Yao recovered his memories. But this brought to the question of why it happened. With no other option, he invited Wei Wuxian, the creator of the time travel ritual over to Qinghe to find out what had happened.

 

“So, let me get this straight. You think Meng Yao has his memories?”

 

“Yes. I’m more than certain he remembers. The way he acts around Da-Ge and Xichen-ge was suspicious enough.”

 

“Hmmm…...well, I didn’t know him that well so I can’t really comment on anything.”

 

“He’s the one who planned the ambush against you at Qiongqi Path! He also led Young Master Jin there too!” Nie Huaisang blurted out.

 

Wei Wuxian tensed. “Say……..what? He…..He did that?”

 

“Yes. Xichen-ge, HanGuang-Jun and I all know it!”

 

“Then why didn’t you tell me?!” Wei Wuxian growled. His eyes burned a bright red as he stared Nie Huaisang down.

 

“B-Because we knew you would act like that!” The shorter one stuttered.

 

Wei Wuxian let out a dry laugh. He took a few deep breaths to calm down. “But then why does he see so close to the Peacock then?”

 

“I think he may be trying to change? I don’t know! I don’t know! I really, really don’t know!” I never understood him, well, I never wanted to understand him. I really am not sure why he wants to change.  

 

“You don’t know…...You say you don’t know?! All because of that….All because of that…..I……I…..!!!” The shadows bent and curled around him.

 

Nie Huaisang was positively terrified with a murderous Yiling Patriarch near. Ahhhh, HanGuang-Jun, please come soon! I don’t want to deal with him anymore!!!!

 

And as if his prayers had been answered, Lan Wangji turned the corner to see Wei Wuxian’s enraged state.

 

“Wei Ying?!” The Second Jade was instantly by his side speaking comforting words. “Wei Ying, what’s wrong? Are you okay? Don’t worry, I’m here.”

 

“Lan…...Zhan….?”

 

“Wei Ying. I’m here, I’m here. Calm down. Listen to my voice.” Lan Zhan took Wei Ying’s hand in his and let the warmth of his hand seep into the other’s cold one. 

 

Then, he started to hum their song, in an effort to pacify the other.

 

Wei Wuxian closed his eyes and entrusted his weight to the other. He unconsciously joined in with the Second Jade, the two creating a wondrous harmony. He sat them down on the couch nearby.

 

(Nie Huaisang had taken the chance to slip out.)

 

Who knew how much time had passed before Wei Wuxian’s breathing evened out, a subtle smile playing on his face.

 

“Lan Zhan, I’m good now.”

 

“Hm?” Lan Zhan tilted his head to the side as if to say ‘ Are you sure? ” as he continued humming.

 

Wei Wuxian giggled. “I’m fine Lan Zhan.” He sighed contentedly. “You’ve helped me once again.”

 

“Mn. Always.”

 

Wei Wuxian removed himself from the other’s comfortable embrace, but regretted it. Lan Zhan was so warm and comforting. He didn’t want to leave, but that would have passed their boundaries as friends.

 

“Wei Ying.”

 

Lan Zhan’s soothing voice broke his out of his reverie. “Hm? What is it?”

 

Lan Wangji just looked at him.

 

“Oh, you’re wondering what happened?”

 

“Mn.”

 

“Qiongqi Path. Jin Guangyao…….” Lan Wangji flinched. “Did he…...plan the attack? Lan Zhan, tell me honestly. Did he plan Jin Zixuan’s appearance there?”

Lan Wangji stared at him for a long while before sighing. “.....Yes.”

 

Wei Wuxian clenched his fists. “I…...see…….Lan Zhan.”

 

“Mn?”

 

“What do I do?”

 

The guqin player just waited silently for the other to continue.

 

“He…..may have his memories back too.”

 

Lan Zhan seemed to be in thought for a while. “What…...do you want to do?”

 

“I...? I…….” Wei Wuxian didn’t how he should feel about this. On one hand, he wanted to murder the guy for what he did, but it didn’t feel right seeing as he didn’t do anything now. If he had his memories, though, that’s…...a different story. But he…… “Lan Zhan, I don’t know what to do.” He scooted closer to the warmth that is Lan Zhan. “I’m tired of fighting. I’m tired of killing. I’m tired…...of dealing with things like this. Now that the war is over, I just want to…...live in peace.”

 

“Mn.” That was what Wei Ying wanted in that life as well. To live in peace with his family. To be left alone. He wasn’t granted that. Perhaps now, now, that no one judges him…..perhaps…...he would finally be free. 

 

“Wei Ying, I…..I won’t leave you alone.” I’ll become your family. Was what was left unsaid.

 

“Hm? Lan Zhan……” Wei Ying’s eyes curved up with a teasing light. “Are you thinking of leaving your sect just to be with little old me~?”

 

“Mn.”

 

Wei Wuxian was clearly not expecting that answer. He burst out laughing. “Ahahahahahaha! Lan Zhan, your uncle is going to vomit out blood if he hears that! Hahahaha, did I taint you just like he feared?”

 

“Not tainted. I am willing.”

 

Wei Wuxian’s smile widened. “But why? I know you don’t hate me, but…….” Wei Wuxian minimized the distance between them. “What warrants this kind of behavior from the ever prestigious Second Master Lan?”

 

“I……” Lan Wangji swallowed, his golden eyes darkening slightly.

 

Wei Wuxian was mesmerized by the sight. Lan Zhan’s eyes are really a pretty color. He thought as he leaned closer.

 

“I……” Lan Zhan was still trying to talk, his breaths a bit heavy from their close proximity. 

 

Strange…..isn’t it getting a bit hot in here?

 

As hand on the backboard of the couch slipped towards the Second Jade, he noticed that Lan Wangji’s ears were bright red.

 

How cute…..

 

“Wei Ying, I really li-”

 

“Wei-xiong, are you good now?” Nie Huaisang asked as he burst through the door.

 

Wei Wuxian felt as if he was hit with a bucket of cold water as he abruptly sprung away from Lan Wangji.

 

“Wei-xiong, is something wrong?” 

 

“N-No. Nothing…...Nothing’s wrong.”

 

“I see.” Nie Huaisang suddenly felt harsh chills running down his back as Lan Wangji glared at him. He didn’t know what he did wrong! He was outside a little ways away and just waited until he could no longer feel the cold curl of resentful energy, thinking that HanGuang-Jun had calmed the other down. Wait, don’t tell me……..was I about to interrupt something very, very important……?  

 

Seeing Second Master Lan’s death glare, he most probably, no, definitely, interrupted something. 

 

Nie Huaisang awkwardly cleared his throat. “W-Wei-xiong, about the ritual…….”

 

“Oh, yeah. That. I need to see just what exactly you wrote down before making any claims on what it did.”

 

“Here. I wrote it down already. Ah! Well almost, I didn’t want to accidentally activate it again, so there are a few strokes missing.”

 

“Where exactly are the missing strokes?”

 

Nie Huaisang used his fan to point them out. “Here….and here…..and here.”

 

“Ah. Well, the effect that this would gain would indeed cause those around us to regain their memories if the past deviates too much from what it originally was. But, the chance of that happening is pretty low. Are you sure Jin- Meng Yao has his memories back? Didn’t the peacock save him? So, it’s obvious he’s acting differently then, right?”

 

Nie Huaisang is inclined to disagree.

 

But Meng Yao is causing no one harm. They would leave him alone for now. 

 

Seeing Nie Huaisang being so protesting, Wei Wuxian sighed tiredly. “Huaisang, look. Should he make the same mistakes…...we’ll bring him to justice. Sound good to you?”

 

Nie Huaisang was satisfied. “Yes.” Even if that murderer had changed, he could not forget. He really, truly, could not forget…..the way his brother died right in front of him. The grief he held for years.

 

(Wei Wuxian had left with Lan Wangji, the former chatting up a storm.)

 

But, Meng Yao is heading on the right path, it seems. Nie Huaisang won’t do anything, not for now. Those years he spent scheming for Jin Guangyao’s death had drained him. He too, was tired of it. Maybe, maybe it would be for the best to let it all go. 

 

It was the matter of another life, after all.

 

……………………………….

 

At a small village, a few golden-robed cultivators arrived, asking for a boy. They arrived at the house he was in, only to see the boy they wanted to pick up being beaten up by what seemed to be his aunt. They were immediately enraged. They were handpicked disciples from Lanling on a mission by their young master Jin Zixuan to find a boy named Mo Xuanyu. 

 

Because of Jin Zixuan’s influence, they were all cultivators with a soft heart, despite their arrogant demeanor. So, seeing such a small kid being mistreated immediately sent their protective instincts into motion as they pushed the lady away and comforted the young boy, who seemed to be covered in more bruises than the freshly acquired ones.

 

The disciples didn’t even listen to what the lady - Madam Mo - had to say about taking her son too as they left as quickly as they arrived, cradling the hurt boy in their arms.

 

“Umm, Gege, where are we going?”

 

The one who was cradling him, Jin Liqin, smiled. “We’re taking you to your new home! Our young master had heard of your troubles and wanted to rescue you!”

 

“Really? Then….then I won’t get beaten up anymore?”

 

The fact that Mo Xuanyu even had to ask that was heartbreaking. 

 

They carried the boy to Lanling on their swords. Mo Xuanyu quickly forgot about his pain to admire the scenery from above.

 

Throughout the journey they found out that his mother had recently passed away due to strange circumstances and he was left all alone in a house full of people who hated him for some reason.

 

The other two, Jin Peizhi and Jin Kang, both sighed as they patted the boy’s back, but stopped when they saw how he flinched. How much abuse has he been put through…..?

 

They soon arrived and first headed to the medic, who wrapped him up, tears in her eyes at how such a young child could be treated that way.

 

The medic had to step out for a bit to get some supplies, leaving the boy alone. The three disciple who brought him there had to go report to Jin Zixuan that the boy had arrived.

 

However, their mistake was leaving such a young, curious child alone to his own devices. And so, Mo Xuanyu had slipped out of the room in favor of exploring his surroundings.

 

Jin Peizhi  returned to the clinic at the same time the medic did and nearly had a heart-attack. “Where did the boy go?!”

 

“What are you talking about? He’s right- Where is he?!”

 

The two of them looked at each other in horror. Young Master Jin is going to kill us!

 

“Search for him!”

 

They - Jin Kang and Jin Liqin had joined them soon after - all scattered to find the boy.


Meanwhile, Mo Xuanyu had found a pretty lotus pond in his wanderings outside and seeing the pretty color, wanted to reach out to get it. 

 

However…….

 

………………………...

 

Jin Zixuan had just returned from another meeting from being a Sect Heir. He was tired and really just wanted to sleep to ward off his headache.

 

But the disciple he had sent out to find his new brother had come by to inform him of Mo Xuanyu’s arrival and so, he sighed and went out to meet him. 

 

He took a small detour, however, to the lotus pond outside. He had planted them recently in order to please Jiang Yanli when she eventually came over to live with him.

 

Color creeped up to his cheeks at the thought, his headache and earlier exhaustion forgotten.

 

We’re getting married soon! He nearly cried out at the thought. 

 

His mother had given him the marriage date and he couldn’t be happier to finally be joined with the woman he had fallen in love with so soon.

 

His thoughts were interrupted by the screams of a child pleading for help.

 

He snapped his head over just in time to see the head of a boy sinking underneath the surface of the water.

 

Without a second thought, he discarded his outer robe and jumped in, hoisting the boy and himself up to the surface. 

 

Jin Zixuan swam to the docks, getting the boy out first, before alighting to the wooden structure himself.

 

The boy was coughing and choking on his breath and Jin Zixuan could to nothing but awkwardly pat and rub his back to help him recover.

 

When he did, the boy turned to him. “Thank you, Gege……”

 

Jin Zixuan felt struck a bit. Although the face was slightly different, this kid looked in some parts like Wei Wuxian, but in others, he could see his father’s features. Is this kid…..?

 

“Are you…..A’ Yu?”

 

“Mm?” The boy was confused.

 

“Ah. Are you Mo Xuanyu?”

 

“Yes! Umm, Gege, do you know me?”

 

“Yeah. Uhh, well, I’m your…..oldest brother.”

 

“Oldest Brother? Oh, so then you’re Da-Ge? Who’s Er-ge then?”

 

“He’s inside. Do you want to see him?” Jin Zixuan said as gently as he could.

 

“Yes! Umm, Da-Ge…...Where’s father?”

 

Jin Zixuan froze and then he sighed. “A’ Yu, listen closely.”

 

“Mm! I’m listening.”

 

“Father is a very, very bad man.” 

 

Mo Xuanyu looked confused. “But Mother said…...he’s good.”

 

“No, A’ Yu. He’s bad. Not good. Very bad. Understand? Your Er-Ge and I both agree.”

 

“Oh. Umm, so A’ Yu should stay away, right?”

 

“Yes.” Far away.

 

“Mn. A’ Yu will listen.”

 

Jin Zixuan took the boy by his hand after covering his with his outer robe and the two headed inside. Jin Liqing, Jin Kang, Jin Peizhi and the medic all sighed in relief seeing Mo Xuanyu safe and scolded him on going out by himself because they are some bad people here. 

 

Once changing into dryer golden robes, Jin Zixuan led the boy to meet Meng Yao.

 

Jin Zixuan , “A’ Yao, look. Meet your new brother.” 

 

Meng Yao looked at the boy beside Jin Zixuan and froze. “A’ Yu?” Within Meng Yao’s fractured memories was this boy, A’ Yu, crying and pleading for him to not throw him away.

 

I hurt him too, huh? Meng Yao smiled wryly. Who have I not laid my hands on?

 

“A’ Yao?” “Er-Ge?”

 

“Ah. It’s nothing.” he bent down to Mo Xuanyu’s eye level. “A’ Yu, right? It’s nice to meet you. I’m your Er-Ge, but you can call me Yao-Ge instead, okay? And this one,” he continued, pointing to Jin Zixuan. “Is your Da-Ge, but call him Zixuan-ge instead.”

 

“Eh? Why?” Both of them asked.

 

Meng Yao rolled his eyes and brought Jin Zixuan to the side. “Do you or do you not want......that man to find out he has another son? It’s lucky for us he looks more like his mother than his father right now.”

 

Jin Zixuan glanced at the kid behind them. “I don’t.”

 

“Then don’t allow him to get into the habit of calling us his second and oldest brother! Something tamer would not draw too many suspicions. Actually, I’ve noticed this before and even in that other lifetime, but he closely resembles Young Master Wei for some reason…...”

 

“Yeah…...hopefully, he doesn’t act like him too. We don’t need another Wei Wuxian.” 

 

“Agreed.”

 

Jin Zixuan sighed. “Well, since you know him better, can you take care of him? I’ve been a bit busy with Sect Heir duties as of late.”

 

“Sure.” 

 

And this was how Meng Yao got landed with babysitting duties.

 

………………………………

 

Wei Wuxian had accompanied Jiang Yanli and Jiang Cheng on a trip to Lanling. It was getting close to Jiang Yanli’s and Jin Zixuan’s wedding date and the two lovebirds had wanted to meet a bit more. Jiang Cheng had come over on official business and Wei Wuxian, being bored, tagged along.

 

Jiang Cheng went off to discuss some official sect matters with Madam Jin as Jin Guangshan was, again, nowhere to be seen and Jiang Yanli ran off with Jin Zixuan to have a date.

 

Wei Wuxian was left to his own devices and he used it to look around the place. What he didn’t realize was that he was about to get the shock of his life.

 

A small body crashed into his thigh. They were heading towards him with such a great speed that he stumbled backwards. Glancing downwards he saw a small boy who looked similar to him.

 

Instantly, he was intrigued by his lookalike. 

 

………………........

 

Jiang Yanli and Jin Zixuan returned to Carp Tower…...only to see Wei Wuxian currently burying the latter’s new little brother in the soil. 

 

“Wei Wuxian! What do you think you’re doing?!” Jin Zixuan raged.

 

“Zixuan-gege, it’s okay! Xian-gege told me that if he buries me, I’ll grow taller and….and grow new friends!”

 

“And you believed him? A’ Yu, Wei Wuxian was lying!”

 

“Hey, how do you know that?” Wei Wuxian argued. “My mother buried me in the soil and look how tall I’ve gotten! I’m taller than you!”

 

“By only one centimeter!”

 

“Still taller!”

 

The two grown men were acting like children and Jiang Yanli giggled at such a sight.

 

“A’ Xian, why don’t you take…..A’ Yu, was it?......out of the ground first. I’m sure he’s hungry.”

 

As if on cue, the boy’s stomach growled

 

Jiang Yanli hid a smile. “Come along, all of you. I’ll make some lotus and spare pork ribs soup.”

 

Wei Wuxian’s eyes lit up. “Of course!” He pulled Mo Xuanyu out of the ground and dusted the younger off. “Let’s go eat Shijie’s soup!”

 

“Soup?”

 

“Mn! Shijie makes the best soup in the whooooole world!”

 

Jin Zixuan, “Hey, are you two ignoring me?” 

 

“Xian-gege, Xian-gege. How good is it?”

 

“Reeeeaaaallly good!” He spread out his arms. “Thiiiiiis good!!”

 

“Oh!!”

 

Jin Zixuan trailed behind them, grumbling about how A’ Yu was ignoring him now.

 

Mo Xuanyu turned around and hugged his older brother’s leg promising that he didn’t forget him. That he loooooooves his big brother.

 

Jin Zixuan became smug when Mo Xuanyu ranked him over Wei Wuxian for people he likes. Wei Wuxian promised to get a higher rating in the week they would spend there.

 

Jiang Yanli ushered them inside while she cooked.

 

Setting down the bowls of soup, she watched as the three boys wolfed down the food - Jin Zixuan a bit more polite.

 

Meng Yao had just gotten out of his study when he was also invited for some soup. He felt happy seeing the family around him and how he was included in it. 

 

Wei Wuxian was tense seeing Meng Yao, but that was eclipsed by his precious Shijie’s cooking.

 

Nothing could beat that. Except.....maybe Lan Zhan's hugs.

Chapter Text

“WEI WUXIAN!!!!!!!!!!!” A loud roar echoed throughout the entirety of the Golden Carp Tower.

 

Jin Zixuan walked out of his room, drawings all over his proud, handsome face.

 

“Ahahahahaha!” The culprit had no remorse.

 

And he was joined by a younger voice. “Hahahahaha, Zixuan-gege, you look funny!”

 

Wei Wuxian gave Mo Xuanyu a lopsided smile. “A’ Yu, didn’t I tell you this would happen? See, the peacock’s reaction was priceless!”

 

“Yeah!”

 

Jin Zixuan looked positively dumbfounded at the interaction. “A’ Yu…...you…..you too…?” My precious little brother has been tainted by Wei Wuxian!

 

“Sorry, Zixuan-gege, but Xian-gege said that you would make a funny face, so I joined him. Was…...Was that bad?”

 

Jin ZIxuan couldn’t say anything to Mo Xuanyu’s sad face. “No. If it’s you, it’s fine, but A’ Yu, whatever Wei Wuxian does is bad, okay? Make sure to ask permission from A’ Li before anything.”

 

“But we did!” Wei Wuxian protested.

 

“You what? No, no A’ Li wouldn’t…….”

 

“Oh, but A’ Xuan, I would. A’ Xian and A’ Yu were too convincing. So, just obediently suffer for a while, okay?”

 

“A’ Li!!” 

 

“Oh, you’re so whipped for Shijie.”

 

“Whipped?! No! That better describes you and Han-”

 

“A’ Xuan!” Jiang Yanli called out sternly. “Not yet.”

 

“But A’ Li, it’s so obvious……”

 

“A’ Xian is dense!”

 

“What about me being ‘dense’?”

 

“Nothing, A’ Xian. Oh, look. A’ Yu wants to play more. Go take care of him.”

 

“Okay……” Wei Wuxian glanced at her and Jin Zixuan suspiciously as A’ Yu dragged him away.

 

Once the two children were out of sight, Jiang Yanli turned to Jin Zixuan.

 

“A’ Xuan, not yet. Don’t you remember what everyone agreed on?”

 

Jin Zixuan thought back to that conversation. “....*sigh*....Fine.” He grumbled.

 

Jiang Yanli laughed. 

 

………………………

 

That conversation she was talking about happened soon after the war.

 

Jiang Fengmian, Yu Ziyuan, Qingheng-Jun, Lan Xichen, Jiang Cheng, Jin Zixuan, Nie Huaisang, Wen Ning, Wen Qing, and her had all gathered at an undisclosed location to discuss something of great importance: Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji’s relationship.

 

But they first had to clarify that five of them - including Wei Wuxian, making that six - also had memories from the future.

 

“Memories from the future? Right, mind explaining how?”

 

“That…..would be because of me.” Nie Huaisang admitted.

 

“You? Why?” Jiang Cheng asked.

 

“My brother died…...due to unfortunate circumstances. I wanted to prevent it and found Wei-xiong’s notes on time travel, so I improved it and conducted the ritual.”

 

“I see. But how did everyone else get there?”

 

“This ritual called for the souls of three that were alive and three that were dead. I wasn’t able to choose who came with me and could only hope that they were allies. My gamble paid off.”

 

“Who were they?”

 

“Wei-xiong, Young Master Jin and Wen Qionglin were all dead. I, Xichen-ge, and HanGuang-Jun were all alive.”

 

“A’ Xuan…...you died?” Jiang Yanli said with a trembling voice.

 

“Yes.”

 

“.....How?”

 

“That…….would be because of me.” Wen Ning sighed. 

 

“Why?” She asked.

 

Jin Zixuan hung his head in shame. “Wen Qionglin died because of my negligence. If only I paid attention more….maybe you wouldn’t have……”

 

Wen Ning smiled. “Young Master Jin. It’s fine, you…..didn’t know. It’s all in the past now. Let bygones…..be bygones.” He cleared his throat. “A-Anyway, Maidan Jiang, since I was dead and Young- Wuxian was my friend, he brought me back as a conscious fierce corpse. But, later, on the day that you and Young Master Jin invited him - I came as a guard - for your son’s one-month celebration, we were ambushed by…..Jin Zixun and three hundred archers.”

 

The non-returnees looked horrified.

 

“I had to let go of my consciousness so that my instincts would take over and allow me to protect Wuxian. However, this also means that I recognize no one but Wuxian. Everyone else is an enemy.”

 

“Wen Qionglin, I’ll take it from here.” Wen Ning nodded. “A’ Li, I arrived when they had already started attacking Wei Wuxian. He was already agitated and not in the best state of mind because of the demonic cultivation. I was too aggressive when asking him to come back with me and…..I was too close to him. That was when……”

 

“I pierced his chest, killing him.” Wen Ning finished, looking down in remorse. 

 

“Yes, that happened. But, in hindsight, I shouldn’t have been so hostile. He and the Ghost General - Wen Qionglin’s name at the time - avoided harming me when I was calm, but as soon as I became antagonistic, they probably thought of me as an enemy.”

 

“Demonic cultivation is that dangerous? Then why was he practicing it?! He’s still doing it now!” Jiang Cheng raged.

 

“Because he didn’t have any other choice!” Wen Ning blurted out.

 

“What do you mean? Of course he did! He could just stop!”

 

“He didn’t have any other path!”

 

“What…..What do you mean?”

 

Wen Ning was silent.

 

“Was he hit by the Core-Melting Hand or something?” Wen Ning shook his head.

 

“A’ Ning…….this…..was because of me, right?” Wen Qing said quietly.

 

“Would you mind explaining?” Jiang Fengmian asked.

 

Wen Ning’s shoulders trembled. “Jie, no! Wuxian…..he doesn’t want anyone to know! I - We promised!”

 

“But, it hasn’t happened, right? So, why can’t I say it?”

 

“But…..But……”

 

“A’ Ning, this is something that has to be said.” She refuted, turning back to everyone. “I….developed a theory that you could transfer your golden core to someone. I probably cut out Wei Wuxian’s core and gave it to someone.”

 

The room went silent at that. All of them couldn’t stand the thought that they would have to live without their core. They were all cultivators and they could not stand the thought of living without their cultivation.

 

“Wen Qionglin.” Jin Zixuan said, his voice containing a tremble. Even though he and the other returnees had heard from Nie Huaisang about the Golden Core transfer theory, there was still insufficient information.

 

“Yes?”

 

“The chances. What were they?”

 

“Hm? ......Oh.”

 

“That was just a theory, meaning it hasn’t been tested out. What…..were the chances of it not succeeding?”

 

Wen Ning sighed. Well, since it can’t get any worse….. “Half.”

 

“Half?!” Half of the people in the room stood up in shock. 

 

Wen Qing let out a tired sigh. “........It was an untested theory after all, half sounds right.” 

 

“............”

 

“Who did he give it to?”

 

Wen Ning clamped his mouth shut.

 

“It was Jiang Wanyin, right?” Jin Zixuan declared. “After Lotus Pier fell, they escaped together. I had heard rumors that the Core-Melting Hand got to Sect- Jiang Wanyin, but he was using his spiritual power just fine.”

 

Jiang Cheng seemed a bit shell-shocked.

 

“That’s why he lost control?” Lan Xichen said quietly.

 

“Mn.”

 

“What…...happened after?” Jiang Fengmian asked.

 

“After I killed Young Master Jin…….the Sects decided that Wuxian was too dangerous…...and organized a siege on Wuxian. If he wanted to avoid that, my sister and I would have to be handed over at Nightless City. We agreed, but the sects did not let Wuxian go. After k-killing my sister and sc-scattering h-her a-ashes, th-they locked me up and experimented on me and continued to march towards Burial Mounds, which is where Wuxian and everyone lived for a time.” Tears streamed down his face as he remembered everything. Wen Qing patted his back in comfort. “The siege succeeded and…..and everyone died, and Wuxian…...he…..”

 

“Wait, why didn’t Yunmeng stand with Wei Wuxian?!” Jiang Cheng exclaimed.

 

To that, the returnees stayed silent.

 

“Hey, why aren’t any of you saying anything?!”

 

Wen Ning, “To protect you, Wuxian cut off ties with your sect. He was a demonic cultivator and people were using that against him to try to undermine you.” 

 

“But even then, I wouldn’t abandon him!”

 

“But you did.” Wen Ning snapped.

 

Jiang Cheng went still.

 

Nie Huaisang continued for them. “After that…..at Nightless City…..Maiden Jiang died protecting Wei-xiong. And after HanGuang-Jun helped him escape…….you…..you led the siege against him.”

 

“I! I…...did what?”

 

“It matters not now.”

 

“But how did A’ Xian die?” Jiang Yanli asked. She was unperturbed by the fact that she died. She would of course do anything to protect her siblings. She felt that the her at the time would also have no regrets about that decision.

 

“Let’s…..not talk about that. We didn’t gather today for that.”

 

The topic was soon dropped, tension heavy in the air until Lan Xichen changed the topic to the one they were here for today.

 

“It’s obvious that they’re in love with each other!” Jiang Cheng and Jin Zixuan complained.

 

“But A’ Xian is dense.” Jiang Yanli and Jiang Fengmian replied.

 

“Yes, Yes, Wei Ying is quite the blank sheet when it comes to romance.” Yu Ziyuan agreed.

 

“This doesn’t bode well for A’ Zhan then.” Qingheng-Jun frowned.

 

“Why can’t HanGuang-Jun just confess?” Nie Huaisang asked.

 

“Wangji is too shy. He probably won’t tell Young Master Wei.”

 

“Why can’t you just tell him that Wei-xiong returns his feelings?”

 

“I-I agree.” Wen Ning squeaked out. “I mean, i-if that doesn’t work, y-you can just put them in a situation where it’s impossible for them not to confess.”

 

“Why not that hunt that’s being organized at Phoenix Mountain?” Wen Qing suggested.

 

“What about it?” Jiang Cheng asked.

 

“We can just get the two to be isolated from the rest of them and lead the prey and any stray cultivators away from there so that they’re alone.”

 

Several voices assented to the plan.

 

“Hm? The hunt at Phoenix Mountain?” Lan Xichen mumbled to himself. “…...oh. It was the time that Wangji…..”

 

“What’s wrong, Zewu-Jun?” Jiang Cheng asked.

 

Lan Xichen coughed, his fair cheeks coloring a bit at the memory he recalled. “Nothing.”

 

“A’ Huan, what happened back then that caused you to act like this?”

 

“Father.” Lan Xichen pleaded.

 

“A’ Huan.” Qingheng-Jun’s tone did not budge.

 

Lan Xichen sighed. Forgive me, Wangji. “Wangji, he…...in that life, stole a kiss from Young Master Wei. Young Master Wei didn’t know, he had a blindfold on.”

 

“Wait a minute! ……..That time?!” Jin Zixuan exclaimed. “No wonder…..no wonder Wei Wuxian looked odd.”

 

“Odd?”

 

“Oh, yeah…..his lips were swollen and his eyes were a bit red. He also seemed a bit unsteady on his feet.”

 

“.........”

 

“.........”

 

“.........”

 

“.........”

 

“.........”

 

“.........”

 

“.........”

 

“.........”

 

“.........”

 

“........What?” Jin Zixuan asked.

 

“You…...did you not even suspect what had happened then? Those were telltale signs!” Wen Qing exclaimed.

 

“I was too busy being embarrassed when I confessed to A’ Li back then!”

 

“Ah…..” 

 

“A’ Xuan, what’s this about confessing to me?”

 

With red cheeks, Jin Zixuan told her what happened then.

 

As everyone laughed at his tsundere-like attitude, they consolidated everything they discussed and their plot to finally getting the shameless two together.

 

………………………..

 

The weeks had passed by and soon, the hunt at Phoenix Mountain was organized. 

 

As before, Wei Wuxian teased Lan Wangji about using his forehead ribbon as a blindfold, soon opting to use his own wrist guard instead and displayed his archery skills.

 

Jin Zixun was being unpleasant as was Jin Guangshan, so Wei Wuxian headed off in a different direction in disgust, not wanting to participate anymore. (His blindfold is still on.)

 

Lan Wangji headed in the same direction, a concrete plan in mind.

 

Without another word, everyone who participated in “Get the shameless couple together!” plan nodded at each other and subtly lead the cultivators to the prey, who were all located far from the other two.

 

……………………………….

 

Wei Wuxian leaned against a tree, relaxed.

 

Oh, that’s right. Didn’t that maiden who stole my first kiss come here too? I wonder if she will appear again? But……

 

Wei Wuxian thought back to a peerless face. I don’t want to kiss anyone but him. I wonder…...what would Lan Zhan’s reaction be if I steal his first kiss. Will he be happy? Angry? Pleased? ……..Wait. Why am I thinking about kissing Lan Zhan?   Wei Wuxian covered up his reddening face with his hands. 

 

I mean I like him. But everyone likes Lan Zhan! I don’t even like Lan Zhan as a romantic interest…...do I? Ahhhhh, this is so confusing!!

 

Suddenly, he heard the sounds of footsteps nearby. They’re here. I wonder if I’ll get to find out who it is this time?

 

“You’re here for the hunt too?”

 

The footsteps paused, but then continued forward.

 

“You won’t get anything around me.” It was true, the aura he was giving off would send all creatures of the yin nature away.

 

A breath. And soon, the stranger was a few feet away from him.

 

The wind picked up, and along with it, a comforting but familiar scent.

 

Sandalwood. Wei Wuxian realized absentmindedly.

 

But his lapse in attention was taken advantage of as he was once again pushed against the tree, a soft pair of lips against his.

 

Wei Wuxian froze. He didn’t want this. He didn’t want a stranger to kiss him. He wanted Lan Zhan, Lan Wangji. The man he- He what? Wei Wuxian wondered.

 

The stranger pinned his hands against the tree, but something was different this time. Instead of the hesitance he felt last time, there was only determination and possessiveness. 

 

A tongue slipped through his unclenched teeth, swirling with his own tongue with more skill than that time. 

 

Another hand slipped through his hair and he realized that there were calluses on it, much like a musician’s hands.

 

Soon, Wei Wuxian couldn’t think because the same scent of sandalwood floated around him and he remembered. Doesn’t his Lan Zhan have the same scent?

 

The kiss became softer and sweeter, the stranger pulled away, leaving a bite on his lower lip.

 

The other person pulled away, but didn’t run away. 

 

Wei Wuxian heard the intake of a breath and then the blindfold was peeled away.

 

The sunlight stung Wei Wuxian’s eyes and it took him a moment to get used to the brightness. But when he did, the terrifyingly attractive figure of Lan Wangji made itself known.

 

“Lan…...Lan Zhan?” Wei Wuxian called out.

 

“........Mn.”

 

His wrists were released and the two alighted to the ground. 

 

“Lan Zhan, you…….why?” Wei Wuxian’s heart beat faster.

 

“Because…….” A brief struggle flashed through Lan Zhan’s eyes. “Because I love you, Wei Ying.”

 

Wei Wuxian was shocked stiff. “Lan Zhan…….loves me?”

 

“.......Mn.”

 

“But…..But how? I thought…..didn’t you only think of me as a friend?”

 

Seeing as the idiot in front of him didn’t enough of a hint from the kiss from before, Lan Wangji grabbed the other’s wrists and gave him another kiss.

 

If Wei Wuxian thought that the kiss from before was a dream, then this was enough revelation for him to get that yes, Lan Wangji indeed loved him and that yes, he too….. He too loved him.

 

Just as Lan Wangji pulled back, Wei Wuxian chased after him, pushing forward, surprising the former.

 

Who knows how long had passed before they finally separated.

 

“Lan Zhan…….again. Kiss me more.” 

 

Wei Wuxian was soon pinned against the tree and thoroughly smooched, their lips colliding with much more fervor than before.

 

He then ground their lower halves together and the two of them broke the kiss with a groan.

 

“Ah~ Lan Zhan, want to do it out here?” Wei Wuxian asked with a wiggle of his eyebrows.

 

Lan Wangji was confused until he realized what Wei Wuxian was implying. “Here?!”

 

……………………..

 

Wei Wuxian nearly burst out in laughter seeing the Second Jade’s expression looking so scandalized.

 

“Yeah. Why not? I want you.” He leaned into the guqin player’s ear, breathing out hot air. “You can feel it, right? How much I want you? I can’t wait. Take me now, Er-gege.

 

The fingers on his hips trembled as Lan Wangji started to press wild, open-mouthed kiss and bites along the column of Wei Wuxian’s neck.

 

“That’s right~. That’s it. Lose control. Throw all those silly rules away. Just focus on me and me alone.” Wei Wuxian purred seductively.

 

Lan Wangji’s golden eyes darkened with lust as he peeled Wei Wuxian’s robes off and tossed them to the floor.

 

Wei Wuxian shivered with delight as cold air hit his bare skin. He tugged on the forehead ribbon until it fell into his palms. 

 

Lan Wangji watched as the other took his sect’s sacred ribbon, pressing kisses along the cloud patterns and looking at him every so often.

 

Something in Lan Wangji snapped as he snatched the forehead ribbon from Wei Wuxian’s hands and wrapped them around his wrists, securing it with a knot.

 

“Huh~? I didn’t know that Second Master Lan was into bondage?” Wei Wuxian examined his bound wrists, pulling against the material only to find that it wouldn’t come loose. “So, how is it? Do you enjoy restraining my movements?”

 

Lan Wangji slammed his wrists against the tree as he started to kiss down Wei Wuxian’s chest.

 

“Ah~, Lan Zhan. You really couldn’t hold back, couldn’t you?” Wei Wuxian teased. “But are you really going to do me? Here? Out in public where anyone can just casually walk by? I know I encouraged you, but what will people thi--- Ah! Wait, Lan Zhan, don’t bite so much!”

 

Lan Zhan really couldn’t take all the teasing and tried to distract Wei Wuxian by nibbling and biting along the curve of his neck and collarbone, soothing the temporary pain with kisses.

 

“Lan Zhan, you….. Hahahaha, if anyone saw the ever pure HanGuang-Jun out here pinning me to a tree, biting, sucking, licking- Ah~ Lan Zhan, wait, stop, too fast, too fast! Ahhh, Lan Zhan…...ahhh…..Lan Er-Gege…...”

 

Somewhere along the way, Lan Wangji had slid his hand down Wei Wuxian’s chest and slipped it into his pants, immediately grabbing his cock and stroking it with rapid motions.

 

“Hahaha, Lan Zhan, so rough~”

 

Lan Zhan then captured the other’s lips in a searing kiss, meant to take all the breath out of the other. He started stroking Wei Wuxian faster and faster as he attacked each of his nipples with his teeth and tongue, his other hand still pinning Wei Wuxian’s bound wrists over his head.

 

“Lan Zhan…..Lan Zhan, wait! I….I’m almost….!”

 

“Not waiting.” The Second Jade replied as he sunk his teeth into Wei Wuxian’s neck one last time, sending the other over the edge and spilling into his hand.

 

Wei Wuxian’s knees buckled and he would have collapsed, had it not been for Lan Wangji holding him up.

 

Once he caught his breath, Wei Wuxian started talking again. “Lan Zhan, you must have read more erotic books than I have. How else would you enough skill to- Lan Zhan! Lan Wangji, stop! I just came, I’m still…..ah!....sensitive…..ah~ wait, no, more……” 

 

Lan Wangji really could not bear to hear what Wei Wuxian had to say, his ears burning a bright red.

 

Wei Wuxian panted. “Lan Zhan, ah, Lan Zhan. Do you feel some joy in making me moan right in the middle of my sentences?” He giggled.“What a pervert you are, Han~ Guang~ Jun~~”

 

“I am not!” The red crept up to his neck now.

 

“Really?” Wei Wuxian puffed a breath near that fair earlobe, lightly taking it into his mouth and sucking it. Taking the chance while Lan Wangji was frozen stiff, he ground their lower halves together. “This part of you certainly seems to disagree, no~?”

 

“............” Lan Wangji let out a harsh breath.

 

The Yiling Patriarch’s eyes turned dark and tantalizing. “Hm? How about it HanGuang-Jun? Are you ready to be honest- Mmph!” 

 

The Second Jade muffled his voice with his three long, slender jade-like fingers, sliding them in and out, playing with his tongue.

 

Wei Wuxian’s bound hands were no longer pinned as he hooked them around Lan Wangji’s neck, bringing him closer.

 

Lan Wangji took that opportunity to litter more marks on his chest and stroke Wei Wuxian’s length again. 

 

“Mm! Mm….Mmph!” Wei Wuxian could only let out strangled moans.

 

Just as he was about to come again, Lan Wangji tightened his hand around the base, preventing him from his impending release. 

 

Once he felt that it was enough, Lan Wangji removed his saliva-coated fingers out of the other's mouth.

 

Wei Wuxian smiled, about to babble more nonsense again when he felt something cold and slick at his entrance.

 

The elegant fingers he always saw playing the guqin or gripping Bichen slid inside him. At first, one finger, then a second and a third, loosening him and stretching him out.

 

Wei Wuxian felt all the blood and pleasure rush to his member, wanting to burst out but held back. “Lan Zhan, ah! Lan Zhan, I can’t! I really can’t! I want…..ah!”

 

“What do you want?” Lan Wangji’s voice was deep and husky. He couldn’t hang on for much longer, but favored tasting and preparing his lover over his own pleasure. 

 

“I want…..to release! I want to come! Please! Lan Er-Gege, have mercy!”

 

Lan Wangji hid a smile. “Not. Yet.”

 

“Lan Zhan!” Wei Wuxian complained. “You- ah!”

 

The fingers at his entrance slipped out, something much bigger and hotter replacing them. 

 

“AH! Wait, Lan Zhan, stop for a moment! You’re too big! I can’t! I- Mmph!” Lan Wangji shut him up with a kiss and Wei Wuxian melted into it, which the former took as a chance to completely sheathe himself in. “Mmph!”

 

Wei Wuxian cried into the kiss as he came. 

 

“Haah, haah…..Lan Zhan I can’t, I really can’t anymore. You’ve tired me out. I really can’t- ah!”

 

Lan Wangji started thrusting up without pause. Wei Wuxian wrapped his legs around Lan Wangji’s waist as he became a mess of pants and moans, gradually getting aroused again. How is this possible? I’ve already come twice……

 

Wei Wuxian shifted, allowing Lan Wangji to suddenly press into a certain spot inside him.

 

“Hyaa?! What…ah!.....What was that?”

 

Lan Wangji seemed to have noticed it too as he concentrated his attacks on that spot.

 

“Oh god! Lan Zhan, what are you doing to me…. It feels too good! Ah! ahhh…..Lan Zhan~. Ngh! Lan Er-Gege, you’re the best……”

 

Lan Wangji huffed in amusement before increasing the pace a bit. But to Wei Wuxian, it was still far too slow. 

 

He pulled the Second Jade close. “Lan Zhan, Lan Zhan, no need to hold back. I like it rough. Fuck me faster...ah!....come on……”

 

Lan Wangji grit his teeth, he didn’t want to hurt Wei Ying, but the other kept whispering encouraging words by his ear, sometimes nipping along his neck and ear. “Lan Zhan, you were so good to me when you were going so fast and hard with your fingers. It felt so - ah! - good, you know? You can be rougher, I don’t mind. In fact, I love it! Come on, Lan Wangji, HanGuang-Jun, Lan Zhan, Lan Er-Gege. You can break me if you want. I’ll be fine. In fact- ah! Lan Zhan, faster, fuck me faster please! It’s so good! So good……”

 

Lan Wangji threw out all pretense of control and slammed into Wei Wuxian’s tight, wet cavern with reckless abandon.

 

Wei Wuxian could tell he was getting close, seeing how erratic and unstable the thrusts were getting. He, too, was almost there.

 

“Lan Zhan, Lan Zhan. Let’s come together, alright?”

 

Lan Wangji’s only response was a primal growl that sent shivers straight to Wei Wuxian’s cock.

 

“Lan Zhan, ah! Lan Zhan, I’m close! I’m-”

 

“Did you hear something?” A random cultivator asked.

 

Both Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji froze.

 

“No. It must have been your imagination.” His partner said.

 

The voices weren’t too far away.

 

But Wei Wuxian was too far drowned in lust to stop, the rush of being discovered heightening his pleasure. He did an experimental thrust downwards, causing Lan Wangji to let out a breathy moan. Wei Wuxian became excited at that and moved faster, hoping to elicit more sounds out of his quiet lover.

 

Lan Wangji’s fingers dug into his hips to try to stop him. There were sure to be marks there tomorrow.

 

“Lan Zhan, ah, Lan Zhan, if you’re worried about others hearing, then just shut me up with a kiss. Come on, we’re so close……”

 

Lan Wangji acquiesced and connected their lips together, soon regaining control of the pace.

 

One, two, three thrusts into his prostate were all it took to break him. He broke out of the kiss and came with a loud cry. His legs unfurled from Lan Wangji’s legs and just lay limply by his side. 

 

But Lan Wangji didn’t allow that to happen as he pressed him against the tree, his arms under each of Wei Wuxian’s knees and he started thrusting hard again. Wei Wuxian started moaning again and winced at the stinging pleasure from his overstimulated flesh.

 

He crashed their lips together as Lan Wangji drilled into him. Wei Wuxian’s back was rubbed red from the friction against the tree. The pain mixed with the pleasure as he felt his member harden again.

 

Lan Wangji aimed at his prostate several more times after that and the two came together, both groaning into the kiss. Wei Wuxian moaned at the hot gush of fluids that filled him before the two of them collapsed onto the ground on top of their discarded clothing, harshly breathing.

 

The cultivators from before were too far away to hear anything.

 

Wei Wuxian’s heart was beating fast as was Lan Wangji’s as they calmed down from their high.

 

“That…..was amazing.” He kissed Lan Wangji once, twice. “I love you so much. Why didn’t we get together sooner?”

 

“We’re together now.” 

 

Wei Wuxian gave a laugh. “Yes, we’re together now. Don’t leave me, okay?”

 

“Never.”

 

Wei Wuxian sighed contentedly until felt Lan Wangji leaving and tightened his legs around the other’s waist. “Wait. Don’t go. I want to feel you like this.”

 

“Wei Ying, I need to clean you.” Lan Wangji replied as he untied Wei Wuxian’s wrists, rubbing soothing circles into it.

 

“But, Lan Zhan, I love being filled by you like this.” Wei Wuxian clenched downwards to prove his point, making Lan Wangji choke. “So don’t leave. I feel so comforta--- eh?!” He felt Lan Wangji jerk out of him and then his vision turned abruptly as he was forced on his hands and knees. “Lan Zhan, what….?”

 

“You asked for it.” He said before filling Wei Wuxian again, the entrance more than slick enough as he felt himself slide in without much resistance.

 

“I- wait! Ah! Lan Zhan, I really can’t! I can’t anymore!” But it was useless as Lan Zhan started to thrust and then stimulate his softened member once again. His whimpers turned to moans as he started to feel turned on again.

 

As Lan Wangji dug his hands into Wei Wuxian’s hips and he thrust forwards hard, Wei Wuxian felt a rush of humiliation and shame at this position. He had seen beasts mate in this position before and this was too embarrassing. 

 

“Lan Zhan, Lan Zhan, please……” Wei Wuxian pleaded. “Let me face you, this is too embarrassing……”

 

Lan Wangji slowed down his thrusts and leaned down to his ear, grinding into the spot that made him see stars. “Wei Ying…..I love you.”

 

“Ah?! Ah! Lan Zhan, you can’t just say that! It’s unfair…...It’s unfair!” Wei Wuxian had immediately hardened at Lan Wangji’s words.

 

Lan Zhan chuckled by his ear, further stimulating Wei Wuxian, who arched his back, becoming flush against Lan Wangji’s chest. “Ahhh…..Lan Zhan, you’re….you’re too mean. You can’t just - ah! - do that! It’s too, too much! I can’t! I really can’t anymore! I’m…..I’m at my limit…...”

 

“Then come.” Lan Wangji’s deep voice commanded.

 

Wei Wuxian shivered as he came violently, his release splashing over his chest, some catching on his chin.

 

Lan Wangji let out an unintentional moan at the tightening channel and released into Wei Wuxian once again after a few more thrusts.

 

Wei Wuxian was exhausted and he didn’t have the energy to even lift a finger. 

 

Lan Wangji slipped out of him and carried him and their clothes to a nearby stream to wash off. He cleaned them up the best he could before redressing them.

 

“We’d better get back.”

 

“Ah…..” Wei Wuxian agreed, his voice hoarse from screaming and moaning so much. Lan Wangji sent some of the water in his satchel to his lips.

 

Wei Wuxian gratefully drank it down.

 

He let out a breath. “Lan Zhan, just how long have you been holding back? You were so energetic just now.”

 

Lan Wangji’s ears were a bright red.

 

Wei Wuxian tried to move around a bit and let a ‘tsss’ sound in pain.

 

“Hurts?”

 

“Yeah. You were so fierce. I probably can’t walk properly for a few days.”

 

Lan Wangji looked down at his lap, as if reflecting. Wei Wuxian just laughed at that. 

 

“Lan Zhan, look at me.” He said, lifting up the other’s chin. “Don’t look like that. I enjoyed it.”

 

“You did?”

 

“Yeah~ I was so loud just now. Did you not hear it? Besides, I was the one who asked for you to be rough.”

 

“......En.”

 

“Now, we should get back. The others would start to suspect something if we don’t return.”

 

“Mn. Shall I carry you?”

 

“No! A man shouldn’t be carried.”

 

“I carried you here.”

 

“But!”

 

“But, Wei Ying, you’ve carried me before.”

 

“I did?”

 

A sigh. “You don’t remember things like this.”

 

Wei Wuxian pouted and Lan Wangji couldn’t help but lean in to kiss him. He was too cute.

 

The kiss this time was soft and sweet, unlike their needy, steamy ones earlier.

 

“Let’s go.”

 

“Mn.”

 

Wei Wuxian stood up and immediately regretted it, but continued forward anyway, limping slightly. Lan Wangji noticed it and sighed. He had to do this the hard way.

 

“Wei Ying.”

 

“Yes.”

 

“You forced me.”

 

“Hm?”

 

Without another word of explanation, Lan Wangji strutted in front of him, grabbed his legs and pulled them up, forcing the other to lean forward, effectively completing the piggyback.

 

“Lan Zhan!” Wei Wuxian shrieked.

 

“Mn?”

 

“Put me down.”

 

“No.”

 

“...........” Wei Wuxian couldn’t make the stubborn man budge and so, he just gave up and relaxed against his back.

 

“Hey, Lan Zhan.”

 

“Mn?”

 

“Were you the one who kissed me back then too?”

 

Lan Zhan went deathly silent, but Wei Wuxian could now clearly see the red tips of his ears and he laughed heartily. “It was you!”

 

“...........”

 

“Ah~ Lan Zhan, ah, Lan Zhan, you’ve stolen the first kiss of both of my lives! Ahahahahaha……”

 

“First kiss?”

 

“Yeah? Or what did you think?”

 

“But…….”

 

“Hm?”

 

“But you said……”

 

“I said what?” Wei Wuxian thought back to that day and laughed. “Ahahahahahaha! Lan Zhan, you really believed that? That I was experienced? Ahahahahaha, only someone like you would believe me!”

 

Wei Wuxian’s bright laughter echoed right by the Second Jade’s ears, which gradually got redder and redder.

 

Seeing as he wouldn’t stop laughing, Lan Wangji maneuvered his head and captured the other’s lips in a kiss.

 

“Mm~ Lan Er-gege, you’ve found a good way of shutting me up.”

 

“Mn.”

 

“Speaking of, when did you fall in love with me?”

 

“.........Not telling.”

 

“Oh? Then let me guess. Was it…...when I first saw you after we came back to the past?”

 

No reaction.

 

“Was it…..that time you met me in Yiling with A’ Yuan?”

There was a breath, but nothing else.

 

“Hm…..When I studied at Gusu?”

 

Lan Wangji’s ears went red and the hands holding him up twitched. 

 

And there was the reaction he was waiting for.

 

“Oh~ you liked me back then? Even when I broke the rules? Even when I teased and annoyed you?”

 

Lan Wangji just sighed. “.......Mn.”

 

“Ohhhhh, really?! That far back? Hahahaha, oh man. This is hilarious. But if that was the case, then…….Ahhhh! I was so dense! As dense as a rock, no boulder. Maybe even a mountain.”

 

“Your density knows no bounds, Wei Ying.”

 

Wei Ying just looked at him with shock. “Lan Zhan…..did you…..just crack a joke?”

 

“Nonsense.”

 

“No, no, you did! I heard it! I heard it clearly! Ah~ Lan Zhan, are you mocking me?”

 

“No. Telling the truth.”

 

Wei Wuxian just looked hurt as he pretended to sway side to side. “Lan Zhan, you, this person, can really say something like that with a straight face!”

 

“Mn.”

 

They soon made it back to where everyone was looking at them.

 

“What happened to you?” Jiang Cheng asked, his parents trailing behind.

 

“A’ Xian, are you alright?”

 

“He probably did something stupid again.” Yu Ziyuan rolled her eyes.

 

Wei Wuxian flushed as he jumped off Lan Wangji’s back, stumbling a bit until he was stabilized by the guqin player.

 

“N-Nothing.”

 

An eyebrow was raised. “Really?” 

 

“Uh-huh.”

 

“Wangji, Young Master Wei, you’re back.” Lan Xichen smiled as he walked beside Qingheng-Jun.

 

“Brother. Father” The Second Jade greeted.

 

“Mn.” Qingheng-Jun saw that Wei Wuxian had trouble standing still. “Young Master Wei, are you alright?”

 

“Hm? O-Oh yeah, I just…...tripped and sprained my ankle.” But the slight blush on the other’s face told a whole different story.

 

“Wangji. You were with Young Master Wei, right? What---” Lan Xichen read the expression on his brother’s face and went red. He zeroed in on Wei Wuxian’s neck to find a suspicious looking mark peeking out of his robes.

 

Wei Wuxian seemed to have noticed the look as he pulled his robes up in an effort to cover it up.

 

But the damage was done. 

 

Lan Xichen wished he didn’t see anything. Qingheng-Jun’s ears went a full-blown red as he avoided any and all eye contact.

 

Jiang Cheng was just plain confused.

 

Yu Ziyuan and Jiang Fengmian weren’t stupid and from what they picked up from the conversation and reactions just now, their plan to get Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji together…...went better than they expected.

 

Jiang Fengmian cleared his throat. “A’ Xian…...do you have something to tell us?”

 

“Uhh, well. Lan Zhan and I are a couple now?” He squeaked out.

 

“Finally!” Nie Huaisang, his brother, Jin Zixuan, Jiang Yanli, Wen Ning, and Wen Qing all jumped out of their hiding places.

 

“Eh? What do you mean?”

 

“Well…..” Nie Huaisang began to tell the shameless couple just how shameless they were being and about their plan to get them together.

 

By the time he finished, both Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji were red. They had no idea that their feelings towards each other were so obvious.

 

“Wuxian, why are you limping?” Wen Ning asked.

 

Wen Qing scanned Wei Wuxian, her face lighting up in understanding. “A’ Ning…...you’re better off not knowing.”

 

“Hm? Why? If Wuxian got hurt, then……”

 

“He’s not hurt.” Wen Qing shot the Yiling Patriarch a smirk. “Just sore.”

 

Wei Wuxian just hid behind Lan Wangji. “Lan Zhan~ they’re bullying me…….”

 

To everyone’s shock, Lan Wangji gave a small smile that disappeared in an instant.

 

“Mn. I’ll take care of it.”

Chapter Text

Wei Wuxian traveled to the Cloud Recesses with Lan Wangji because the latter wanted to show him something. As they neared a certain garden near the Jingshi, Wei Wuxian was startled by a fluffy white rabbit that hopped near him, which was then followed by another. And another. And another. And then there was a black rabbit…..and a few others of the same coloring.

 

Wei Wuxian’s jaw dropped and he made the wonderful mistake of seeing the Second Jade’s face. His golden eyes were soft, his movements gentle as he bent down to scoop a black and white rabbit in his arms. 

 

Seeing the adorable scene in front of him, the Yiling Patriarch did the only thing that came to mind: He pounced on his absolutely precious lover, cooing and pinching his soft cheeks.

 

“Lan Zhaaaaaan! You’re so cute! So adorable! I love you so much!” He squealed as he planted kisses all over the taller one’s face.

 

“Mn.” Lan Zhan replied, ears a bright red. “Be careful. The rabbits will get scared if you’re loud.”

 

“But - *kiss* - I can’t - *kiss* - help it!” Wei Wuxian nuzzled in the other’s neck, deeply inhaling the scent of sandalwood.

 

“Shameless!” A voice yelled out, scaring the rabbits out of Lan Wangji’s arms.

 

The couple turned to see a positively murderous Lan Qiren, stomping towards them.

 

Instead of being afraid, a mischievous glint lit up in Wei Wuxian’s eyes.

 

He hooked his arms around the Second Jade’s neck and pulled him in for a deep kiss, pressing him against a nearby tree. Lan Wangji was a bit surprised but swiftly took control of the kiss, tilting the troublemaker’s head to get deeper. As they separated, a long string of saliva connected the two. Wei Wuxian smiled as he reached up a hand to wipe his lover’s glistening lips. Lan Wangji just closed his eyes and rested his head in Wei Wuxian’s hand.

 

They heard coughing and then a ‘thump’.

 

As they expected, Lan Qiren spit a mouthful of blood and fainted upon seeing the shameless couple so openly affectionate.

 

Lan Wangji gave a small huff in amusement and called some disciples over to take care of his uncle.

 

“What happened to Teacher?” Some asked.

 

Wei Wuxian just gave them an impish grin. “Nothing much. He’ll get used to it soon.”

 

“Huh?”

 

“Nothing, nothing. Just go help him, but give him a message from me when he wakes up.”

 

“Okay……”

 

“Tell him…...that his cabbage has been completely and thoroughly eaten by me!”

 

The disciple was confused but acquiesced as he and a few others whisked Lan Qiren away.

 

Wei Wuxian gave a loud cackle as he turned to Lan Wangji and gave him a few more kisses. “Ohhh, Lan Zhan. I love you so much.”

 

“Mn. Wei Ying.” Lan Wangji gently said.

 

“Yes~?”

 

“Jingshi. Now.”

 

“Hm? Huh- wait! Lan Zhan! Why are we going- Oi!” Without another word, the guqin player whisked the other up in his arms and sped back to the Jingshi.

 

………………………

 

Wei Wuxian was abruptly thrown onto the bed and pinned down by a lustful Second Master Lan.

 

“Lan Zhan, there’s still light out. Are we really going to do it in the middle of the day? Don’t you have some sect duties to attend to- mmph!”

 

Lan Wangji shut him up with a kiss that soon trailed down to his neck, violently stripping off the robes and tossing them in a corner. 

 

“Your fault!” He said roughly.

 

“My fault? Okay, okay, okay. It’s my fault. It’s my fault for seducing you in broad daylight…..ah! Lan Er-gege, you really like to bite!”

 

“Mn.”

 

Lan Wangji bit him a few more times and then sucked the marks. Wei Wuxian started to moan louder as Lan Wangji went lower and lower, but he was in for a shock as the Second Jade opened his mouth and sucked the tip of his already erect member.

 

He gasped. “Lan Zhan, wait- ngh! It’s dirty……”

 

“Not. Wei Ying is beautiful.”

 

“Lan Zhan!” Wei Wuxian’s eyes glazed over with pleasure.

 

“All of Wei Ying is beautiful.”

 

“Lan Zhan…..L-Lan Zhan!” Wei Wuxian moaned out. He wanted to buck his hips up in the warm heat, but Lan Wangji easily held him down, taking his time to thoroughly taste Wei Wuxian. “Lan Zhan, please, faster!”

 

“No.”

 

If Wei Wuxian had even a semblance of rational thought, he would have noticed how much the Second Jade enjoyed watching his squirm with pleasure.

 

Wei Wuxian tried to tangle his hands in Lan Wangji’s hair to try and pull him down, but the latter swiftly captured his wrists in his large hand, firmly restraining him.

 

Lan Wangji gave one last hard suck at the tip before pulling away. He ripped off his forehead ribbon and tied them around the other’s wrists, looping it over the headboard and fastening it tight.

 

He then got up slightly to get something from a side table nearby. Looking back, he admired the way Wei Wuxian was spread out before him.

 

His member was up and completely erect, milky fluid dripping from the slit. There were bite and kiss marks all over his neck and chest, his nipples were red and swollen. And his eyes held a pleading light.

 

“Lan Zhan, are you going to stare at me all day or are you actually going to do something about it?” Wei Wuxian provoked. He was quite embarrassed being stared at so intently.

 

Lan Zhan let out a growl as he shoved three oil-slicked fingers into his entrance. Wei Wuxian gasped and moaned in pain and pleasure as they started to move quickly, each and every movement accurately hitting that sensitive spot inside him.

 

When he felt that it was enough, Lan Wangji removed his fingers and poured more oil over his manhood, entering with a swift plunge.

 

“Ah! So rough, so deep! Ahhh.....Lan Zhan!” Wei Wuxian cried out.

 

Lan Wangji only let out harsh pants as he sped up the pace. But, Wei Wuxian’s moans were getting to be too loud.

 

“Quiet. Wei Ying, you have to be quiet.”

 

“How can I - ah! - be quiet…..when you’re so deep in me?” Wei Wuxian used what little strength he had to lift his head to the Second Jade’s jade-like ear, puffing a breath of air near it. “You’re fucking me so well, Lan Er-gege….. Tell me, how can I not show how much I love it? Love you? You’re so big, stretching me wide and filling me so well~.” He let out a chuckle that sounded too much like seduction in guqin player's ears.

 

Lan Wangji’s ears and neck went a full red, the color even creeping up to his cheeks. 

 

“Shameless!” He yelled as he hooked one of the other’s legs over his shoulder and roughly thrusted into him. The angle allowed him to penetrate deeper into Wei Wuxian’s tight channel.

 

“Ah!......ahh…..Lan Zhan…..Lan Zhan…..so good - ah! - you’re so good…..how did you learn about this? Were you - ah! Wait, too fast! Too deep! *pant* - Were you looking at porn books without anyone knowing?” Wei Wuxian really didn’t know what was good for him as he continued to talk. “Ahahaha, Lan Zhan, you really - ah! HanGuang-Jun! Stop! It’s too much! You’re-” He soon regretted it as he was caught up in the storm that he brought upon himself.

 

Lan Wangji clearly had no intentions of letting him off that day. Even when he begged and pleaded for mercy, the other would either shut him with a kiss or increase the pace so fast and deep that the other was left in a mess of pants and moans.

 

When Lan Wangji finally decided to let him off, it was already the second half of the night. Both of them came with a final rough thrust to Wei Wuxian's prostate.

 

The Yiling Patriarch directly fainted from exhaustion.

 

Lan Wangji pulled out and stroked the other’s cheeks tenderly as he got up to draw a bath. He thoroughly cleaned his spent lover everywhere and massaged the tense parts of his body with some lavender-scented oil before dressing him in sleeping robes and tucking him in. 

 

Lan Wangji took a quick bath and dressed in his inner robes before cuddling up close to Wei Wuxian, inhaling the lotus and spice scent uniquely emitted from him and falling asleep. 

 

……………………...

 

Wei Wuxian woke up the next morning by a series of furious knocks.

 

“Wei Wuxian! Get out here now!! Wei Wuxian!!!!!!” 

 

“Huh? Old Man Lan?” Wei Wuxian tried to sit up, only to feel a pang of pain in his waist. Ahhhh, that Lan Zhan! He really didn’t hold back last night! Or was it yesterday afternoon?

 

“Uncle, calm down.” Lan Zhan’s voice came from outside. 

 

“Wangji, how can I calm down?! He- that damn troublemaker-”

 

“Uncle, no swearing. Copy.”

 

“Wangji!”

 

“No shouting either. Copy the rules.”

 

Wei Wuxian could hear Lan Qiren huffing in defeat. “Wei Wuxian, this is not over!” Rapid steps could be heard.

 

Lan Wangji opened the door and the delightful smell of spices filled the room.

 

“Wei Ying. Lunch.”

 

“Mn!” Lan Wangji helped him over to the table. Wei Wuxian’s eyes lit up at the dishes. “Lan Zhan, these are my favorites! How did you know?”

 

“Maiden Jiang.” 

 

“Oh! Shijie told you?”

 

“Mn.” He then looked a little nervous and hesitant. “Eat.”

 

Wei Wuxian had a suspicion that something was up as he took a piece of chicken and cringed. “Ugh! What is this?”

 

Lan Wangji’s eyes brightened. “What’s wrong with it?”

 

“The skin is a bit rough and there’s not enough seasoning.”

 

“Okay.”

 

Wei Wuxian tried all of the foods and gave commentary on all of them. Lan Wangji obediently looked like he was absorbing all the criticism and mentally writing it down. Hmm, could it be…..? “Lan Zhan, did you make these?”

 

The flush on his ears told him enough.

 

Wei Wuxian gave a lopsided smile as he cooed again. “Ohhh, Lan Zhan what do I do? I love you too much!”

 

“Mn. Love you too, Wei Ying.” Lan Wangji watched with relish as an attractive blush spread across the other’s face.

 

“Lan Zhaaaaan, you can’t do this to me!”

 

“Hm?”

 

“Ah~ Look at me, I was well-renowned as a huge flirt and yet I can’t handle a few words from you!”

 

The smell of vinegar permeated the air.

 

“Hm? Lan Zhan, what’s wrong? Wait, don’t tell me……” The Yiling Patriarch’s eyes took on a teasing light. “Could it be that you’re jealous? Oh~ jealous that I’ve flirted with an untold amount of women?”

 

The vinegar scent got stronger.

 

“But don’t worry, none of them were serious! You’re the only one I want to bed, after all!”

 

The scent faded a bit. “Mn.”

 

“Speaking of, you’re really good at this! I always feel so good during our sessions. How is that possible? Unless you’ve had practice?”

 

“Never!” Lan Wangji exclaimed. “Only you. Never…..anyone else.”

 

Wei Wuxian’s eyes softened. “Lan Zhan, that’s not what I meant. I meant…..did you practice it on yourself?”

 

Lan Wangji’s golden eyes widened in shock. “I….I will not say.”

 

“That’s the same as admitting it!” Lan Wangji looked just about ready to burst. “Okay, okay. Enough teasing. Let’s finish the meal.”

 

The two finished the food - Lan Wangji had brought his own set of bland-tasting meals - and cleaned up the dishes, leaving the Jingshi.

 

The two were stopped by an embarrassed Lan Xichen and a red-eared Qingheng-Jun.

 

“A’ Zhan.”

 

“Yes, Father?”

 

“Next time…...put silencing talismans up.” Qingheng-Jun closed his eyes in pain as he remembered getting woken up by the sound of Young Master Wei screaming and begging for more. He stared at the ground avoiding any and all eye contact with the shameless couple.

 

“Ah.” Lan Wangji’s ears flushed and Wei Wuxian was mortified. “Okay.”

 

“A’ Huan…...has already taken the liberty of preparing them for you.”

 

“Wangji,” Lan Xichen cleared his throat as he handed the silencing talismans to his brother. “It seems you and Young Master Wei are getting along just fine.”

 

Lan Wangji looked embarrassed. “Mn.” While Wei Wuxian just blushed. 

 

After chatting with the two for a bit longer, the couple left Cloud Recesses to head to Lanling for a Discussion Conference.

 

(While the two were alone......

 

"I told you to be quiet." Lan Zhan looked at him accusingly.

 

"But, Lan Zhan, didn't you enjoy hearing my voice?"

 

Lan Zhan couldn't say no, but was too ashamed to agree, so he just huffed at Wei Wuxian and walked away.

 

"Ah! Er-Gege, don't be like this~! I won't tease you anymore!" But the grin on Wei Wuxian's face spoke a whole different story.)

 

………………………….

 

Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji generally held no interest towards political intrigue and so escaped the place in favor of having a little date to themselves.

 

Wei Wuxian chatted up a storm talking about recreating the Spirit Lure Flag and the Compass of Evil as well as some inventions he came up with, bouncing ideas off the Second Jade every now and then.

 

“Hey, Lan Zhan, I was thinking, wouldn’t it be great if there was some kind of device that would create a kind of barrier against resentful energy?”

 

“A barrier? …..An array?”

 

“Yes, yes. Something like that. The Spirit Lure Flag lures in yin creatures, but what about the complete opposite? That’s what I was thinking. Is there something like that already?”

 

“Lanling Jin Sect specializes in arrays. As for a barrier against resentful energy…...none. There is one that wards off corpses. Ask in case.”

 

“Hmm, I see. I’ll ask the peacock later if there is something like that. I wouldn’t want to copy other people’s ideas!”

 

“Mn.”

 

“Oh, right, there was something else I came up with.”

 

“..........”

 

“Lan Zhan, aren’t you going to ask? Aren’t you curious?”

 

Lan Wangji seemed to sigh in amusement. “What is it?”

 

“Well, allow me to explain!” Wei Wuxian puffed out his chest. “Invisibility against resentful energy. I was thinking about creating a talisman that would allow you to go undetected by the undead, spirits, demons and the like.”

 

“How would that work?”

 

“Well, I haven’t worked out the details, but I expect it to use resentful energy. Ah! Not in that way! What I mean is that the talisman relies on resentful energy in the surroundings. It would use that as a cloak of sorts. So, the creature they’re facing against would see them as a fellow creature of darkness and not attack. At least, that’s what I hope will happen.”

 

“Brilliant.”

 

A blush spread across Wei Wuxian’s face. “Lan Zhan, you shouldn’t do that!” He buried his red face in his hands, groaning.

 

When he looked up again, Lan Zhan was giving him a small smile filled with adoration and affection and the Yiling Patriarch could only stare, lovestruck, at his lover’s beautiful countenance.

 

“Wei Ying?”

 

“Lan Zhan, you’re too beautiful, too handsome. I have to draw your smile so that I will never forget it. Ah…..too beautiful, too pretty. AhLanZhanyou’resolovelysoadorablesogoregeoussoravishingsostunningtoomuchhavetohideyouaway…….” 

 

“Wei Ying?” Lan Zhan looked worriedly at him, brushing his hair away as he caressed his cheek.

 

Said Wei Ying’s mind has currently crashed, so he acted on the only rational thought he had left as he looped his arms around Lan Zhan’s neck and pulled him in for a kiss.

 

There was a choke of disgust nearby and the two broke away, clearly unwilling to part.

 

When Wei Wuxian looked to the intruder, it was an unfamiliar face.

 

“Disgusting. Gross. You damn cut sleeves!” The Lanling Jin disciple spat.

 

“Oh?” Wei Wuxian’s eyes narrowed as a red tint lit up his silver eyes. “And who are you to say anything?”

 

“You don’t know who I am?” Jin Zixun had participated in the Sunshot Campaign but always stayed in the back. He had certainly heard of Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji. The two were at the front lines in almost every battle and always came out in victory with little to no wounds.

 

Wei Wuxian rolled his eyes, still containing that red haze. “No, I don’t. Should I know you?”

 

“I’m Jin Zixun, the cousin of Jin Zixuan, you freak!” Then Jin Zixun turned to Lan Wangji. “HanGuang-Jun, did this aberration force you into this? Don’t worry, I will help you out!” Jin Zixun thought he was doing the Second Jade a favor.

 

“No need.” Now, Lan Wangji was frosty. Waves of frigid energy rolled off his body.

 

“What? HanGuang-Jun, don’t tell me you actually like him? This won’t do, you’re the model of the generation, you can’t do something like this!”

 

Wei Wuxian was now completely provoked. He didn’t really care what people thought of him, but no one, no one , should ever think of slandering his precious jade.

 

Jin Zixun shivered in fear. There was something crawling up his arms, encircling him and he couldn’t move. He felt like he was drowning, suffocating, but his body wouldn’t budge.

 

“Wei Ying, calm down.”

 

Wei Wuxian took a breath and buried himself in the Second Jade’s robes, inhaling the calming scent of sandalwood and Jin Zixun found that he could move his body again.

 

Lan Wangji simply stroked Wei Wuxian’s hair calmly. He glared so intensely at Jin Zixun that the latter could almost see the killing intent rolling of the guqin player. He decided right then and there that he should escape and left the area immediately.

 

Lan Wangji continued to soothe his enraged lover with pats, hugs, and kisses.

 

When everyone else arrived on scene and heard what happened. Everyone was furious, promising to properly punish the bastard who made their favorite troublemaker like this.

 

……………………..

 

Jin Zixun was still grumbling about what happened earlier when he crashed into a small figure of white and blue. 

 

Looking down, he saw a smaller Lan disciple who seemed to imitate Lan Wangji. Still a bit pissed over the Second Jade’s attitude towards him earlier, and seeing a much weaker - albeit poor - imitation of him, he decided to vent his frustrations on the smaller man, talking trash about his appearance and how he’ll never be able to match up against the Second Master of Lan.

 

The boy looked so overcome with anger, but he couldn’t and didn’t fight back. Seeing this, Jin Zixun slung a few more insults towards him, pushing him to the ground and then leaving.

 

Once Jin Zixun left, Su She got up from the ground, intense hatred apparent in his eyes. How dare he humiliate me?! I’ll show him…….

 

………………………………….

 

Wei Wuxian calmed down with a few more comforting kisses from his taller lover. 

 

“Lan Zhan…...I was really going to murder him, you know?”

 

“No killing.”

 

“But Lan Zhan, he-”

 

“He’s not worth it.”

 

Wei Wuxian stared at him blankly before laughing. “That’s right, that’s right. He’s not worth it! Ah~ Lan Zhan, how do you always know the right words to say?”

 

“I’ve had practice.”

 

“Practice?”

 

“Mn. After,” he hesitated. “After I realized how much my words could be taken a different way, I practiced with Brother.”

 

Wei Wuxian felt tears well up in his eyes once he realized that Lan Zhan was talking about their past, but he blinked them away. “Ohhhh Lan Zhan. I love you so much. Too much! I love you, *kiss* love you, *kiss* love you!”

 

With every kiss Wei Wuxian planted on the Second Jade’s face, his ears got redder and redder. 

 

“Mn. Me too.”

 

Wei Wuxian gave a smile as he contentedly nestled in the Jade’s strong arms. “But anyway, Lan Zhan, I feel like your glare could become weaponized. Did you see that Jin Zi......Zi-something's face when he ran away? Pure terror! Ahahahaha, but seriously, we could make some sort of spell that uses spiritual energy through a glare. And its effect could be to paralyze the mind or send terror through them. You know, like a spiritual attack!”

 

“Mn. One invention at a time.”

 

“Okay. I’ll work on reproducing the Spirit Lure Flag and Compass of Evil, then.”

 

“Mn.”

 

………………………………

 

Wei Wuxian then shut himself in his room in Lotus Pier for a few weeks, busy with recreating the Spirit Lure Flag and Compass of Evil. 

 

He only came out when Lan Wangji dragged him out for a meal - and of course, he cooked every single dish - and when Jiang Cheng needed help with Sect Heir work. 

 

Jiang Fengmian was planning on handing over his responsibilities as Sect Leader to Jiang Cheng soon, so he was getting busier.

 

Wei Wuxian was always open to giving compliments about the food and Lan Zhan’s increasing skill.

 

One day, though, instead of Lan Wangji, it was Jiang Cheng who visited him. Once his brother entered, he scoffed at the mess of papers and little trinkets scattered all over the place.

 

“Wei Wuxian, you’re here again!”

 

“Of course I am! I have sooooo many ideas to put into plan.”

 

“Right. Try not to do anything too big. I really don’t want to have to clean up your mess again. Remember last time you blew up the forge?!”

 

“That was an accident! I may have accidentally added a teeeeeeny bit more fire than was needed, but all in all, the damage wasn’t that bad!”

 

“Hmph!”

 

“Well, anyway, I’m sure you didn’t come here to argue with me about that. What’s up?”

 

“A’ Jie has her wedding soon. I’ve come to give you the formal invitation.”

 

“What?!” Wei Wuxian practically flew over to Jiang Cheng’s outstretched hand which held the invitation, only to have it slip out of his grasp.

 

“Hey, Jiang Cheng, give it!”

 

“Nah-ah.” There was an almost teasing tone in his voice. “If you want it: say Jiang Cheng, my beloved, esteemed brother, please, I beg you to hand the invitation over.”

 

“JiangCheng,mybeloved,esteemedbrother,please,Ibegyoutohandtheinvitationover.” Wei Wuxian said in one breath. “I’m done. I get it now!” He snatched the letter from a slightly stunned Jiang Cheng.

 

He looked over the invite, tears almost springing to his eyes. He wasn’t able to go to the wedding last time, but now…..he could. He could see his beloved Shijie getting married in all her glory. She didn’t need to sneak around just to show him her wedding dress, but he could actually see the full celebration.

 

“What? Are you so happy that you’ve been brought to tears?”

 

“Yeah.” Wei Wuxian didn’t even realize he was crying. “Yeah! I’m so happy. This time…..I’ll be able to attend.” He mumbled towards the end.

 

“Hm?”

 

“Nothing! I’m going to prepare a present for her - and maybe the peacock - now!” With that, he ushered Jiang Cheng out and shut the door to the latter’s scowling face.

 

For the next few weeks before the wedding, Wei Wuxian worked tirelessly on the perfect present. He had a few ideas already. He could try to craft an artifact that would prevent low-level corpses from approaching her, but that’s something he wanted to give Jin Ling, when he was born! Well, aside from that…….damn. All of his ideas involved protection from resentful energy or yin creatures. That wouldn’t do for a present on a wedding day.

 

He was burnt out, just thinking about that for an entire day and decided to recharge his energy by cuddling with Lan Zhan.

 

“Lan Zhan……”

 

“Mn?” Lan Wangji kept massaging his aching head.

 

“I can’t think of anything to give Shijie…...oh! And the peacock. .….Mmmm…..that feels good Er-Gege…….”

 

“What about an amulet that protects from illnesses or functions as a barrier?”

 

“Eh?” Wei Wuxian shot up. “Er-Gege, you’re a genius!”

 

He hopped onto his feet and rushed to his room, secluding himself for the next two days on fitting a little protection charm/array into a small gem. After a few failed attempts, he finally completed it. 

 

Afterwards, he started working on the design on the gem. He carved a peony on the front and a lotus on the back of the purple gem - for his Shijie - and yellow gem - for the peacock -, filling in the peony - the Sparks Amidst Snow one - in with a peony-scented and white colored oil and the lotus with a lotus scented and pink colored oil. He froze the gems and waited for the oil to harden. When he took it out, the design was complete and he was delighted.

 

He got out a small metal chain and looped it through the little hole he drilled into them. 

 

The entire process took three days. 

 

He was then pampered by Lan Wangji for the last day before they had to leave for the wedding with spicy food, massages, and of course making love. 

 

Ever since he had let it slip that he wanted to have sex every day, HanGuang-Jun had kept that promise and had done him. Every. Single. Day. Unless either of them were busy with sect duties and other things such as teaching the juniors or participating in night hunts - though, at times, they would do it in the middle of the forest when they got too hot and bothered (Those were the greatest because of their intense need for each other and the thrill of getting caught all mixing together in their passion.).

 

………………………

 

Wei Wuxian woke up the next morning completely dressed. He felt like he had been just washed too, considering how silky his hair felt. Looking over, he saw his precious Second Jade combing through his hair with such care and consideration.

 

“Ah~ Lan Er-Gege, you take such good care of me.”

 

“Mn.”

 

Lan Wangji had discovered just how heavy a sleeper Wei Wuxian was. Even when he dragged the man for a bath, cleaned him down, and dressed him, he wouldn’t wake up. Aside from suffering countless pecks to his hands, Wei Wuxian was otherwise completely asleep. 

 

But they had to get ready early today to make it on time for the wedding.

 

Looking at his robes and the hairstyle that Lan Wangji had put on him, he let out a laugh.

 

“Oh? What’s this? Er-Gege, you want me to dress as the Yiling Patriarch?”

 

“Doesn’t exist in this time.”

 

“True~ but Er-Gege, don’t tell me you like seeing me like this?”

 

“You look the best in this.” Lan Wangji murmured and then he realized what he said and his ears went a full-blown red, soon escaping from the room, Wei Wuxian’s bright laughter following him.

 

Wei Wuxian looked back at his reflection and sighed.

 

Although he looked like the Yiling Patriarch, he was different. He wasn’t starved, wasn’t unhealthily wasting away on that cave, wasn’t burdened by the lives of fifty people - not that he ever minded the burden -, and he wasn’t hated by everyone. 

 

He was fuller, his skin glowing from the nutrient-rich foods he had been fed, and most importantly, he had his golden core. He was not stuck on the single-planked bridge anymore.

 

However, though the demonic path had been dangerous, there was just something that drew him to it, an attraction, like it was a part of him, and he couldn’t bear to let it go. 

 

He luckily had Lan Wangji here with him this time around. The man would make sure he was alright, that he wasn’t going overboard and recklessly experimenting.

 

He was warm, happy, safe, secure.

 

And he wouldn’t have it any other way.

Chapter Text

Wei Wuxian, Lan Wangji, and the Jiang Family arrived early because they wanted to see the bride in all of her glory. 

 

When Jiang Yanli came out to show them - after Yu Ziyuan assisted her -, Jiang Cheng and Wei Wuxian cried while Jiang Fengmian and Yu Ziyuan just hugged their daughter. The Yunmeng bros sung so many praises about her beauty, she blushed red.

 

“You don’t believe me, you don’t believe him, you don’t believe our parents. Will you only believe it if a certain someone says it?”

 

This time, Jiang Yanli was completely red. “A’ Cheng!”

 

The family was joyous and chatted incessantly to one another.

 

“A’ Xian, pick a courtesy name.”

 

“Courtesy name?” Wei Wuxian was nervous at these words. Don’t tell me……

 

“For your…...unborn nephew.”

 

“Rulan. Jin Rulan.” Wei Wuxian said without hesitation. “Ru is the name given to the next generation, right? And lan represents the orchid.”

 

“Can I complain?” Jiang Cheng asked.

 

“Constructive criticism is accepted.”

 

“It sounds too much like the lan from Gusu Lan. I object!”

 

“Who said I chose it from the Lan Sect?! It’s lan as in orchid! The orchid!”

 

“I still object!”

 

“You’re not choosing the courtesy name, are you?” Wei Wuxian teased.

 

“YOU-!”

 

“Now, now you two. A’ Cheng. A’ Die and A’ Nian allowed it. You secretly approved too, right? Besides, Rulan is a great name.”

 

Wei Wuxian gave a cheeky smile and Jiang Cheng started a banter with him.

 

Lan Wangji was pulled aside for a small conversation by Jiang Yanli.

 

“Maiden Jiang, thank you for the recipes.”

 

“Oh. No problem. Did A’ Xian enjoy them?”

 

The small smile on his face spoke more than he could.

 

She giggled. “I’m glad. You followed my instructions, right?”

 

“Mn. Helpful.” He hesitated. “Failed a few times. But it’s all good now.”

 

“That’s fine, it’s your first time cooking, after all. It’s okay to make a few mistakes.”

 

“Mn.”

 

“Second Master Lan.”

 

“Yes?”

 

“Take care of my brother.”

 

“Of course.”

 

“He…..." She hesitated. "He has self-sacrificing tendencies. He gets hurt a lot and doesn’t tell anyone. One of the reasons he wears black, aside from loving the color, is because it’s not as easy to see his injuries. Make sure to pay attention to his expressions or actions when he’s asked if he’s hurt.” Jiang Yanli took a breath. “He loves to play around. He’s a free spirit. That’s why….. don’t restrain him. Let him do whatever he wants, but make sure that he doesn’t go too far.”

 

“Mn. Of course.”

 

As Jiang Yanli gave a smile and the two chatted about some more trivial and domestic matters, Lan Wangji had the sneaking suspicion that she was preparing for him to be the perfect husband.

 

He was finally let go after a while. 

 

“Oh! Lan Zhan, there you are!” Wei Wuxian bounded over and tackled him in a hug. “What were you talking to Shijie about?”

 

“You.” Lan Zhan replied as he wrapped his arms around his lover’s waist.

 

Pink creeped up Wei Wuxian’s cheeks. Lan Wangji thought it looked lovely on him and he wanted to see it more.

 

“I told Maiden Jiang how much I love you.” Without meaning to, his voice came out teasing.

 

Now, Wei Wuxian’s face was a full blown red. He buried his head in the Jade’s shoulder and let out a string of garbled words. “Lan Zhan! You can't just say stuff like that! It’s bad- no, scratch that - too good for my heart!!!!”

 

“Mn. I’ll do it more then.”

 

“Lan Zhan!”

 

Jin Zixuan just arrived on scene at this and just choked. “Can you two for once not show such public displays of affection?”

 

“Says the one who yelled out his confession in the middle of a hunt.” Wei Wuxian scoffed. “......Again.”

 

Jin Zixuan went red at the memory. 

 

In the end, he couldn’t escape from his fate of publicly confessing his feelings for Jiang Yanli.   

 

Before he had officially gotten together with Jiang Yanli, he had overheard how some people say that they liked Jiang Yanli and since his engagement was cancelled, they had a chance. In his rage and worry of others stealing her away, he roared out his feelings in front of everyone, immediately leaving soon after, with a red face when he realized that he did it again. In public.

 

A’ Li had found him after, laughing all the way, and the two renewed their engagement.

 

And now he was getting married to this woman. The woman who he had loved, cared for, and had a child with. This time, though, it was different. This time, he wasn’t the same proud, arrogant peacock. This time, everything will be alright.

 

……………………....................

 

The wedding proceeded as normal. 

 

Jiang Yanli and Jin Zixuan walked together and completed their three bows.

 

Wei Wuxian and Jiang Cheng bawled their hearts out. 

 

Madam Yu and Jiang Fengmian held hands and looked at their daughter with proud tears.

 

Madam Jin was pleased and Jin Guangshan…...was actually being responsible enough to be there for the three bows. 

 

Meng Yao and Mo Xuanyu stood a bit off to the side in the crowd, looking happy for their brother.

 

And the two newlyweds in question?

 

They looked at each other with deep affection and smiled and laughed.

 

“Kiss the bride already!” Wei Wuxian blurted out through a mess of snot and tears.

 

“Wei Wuxian!!!!” ”Wei Ying!!!!!!!” Jiang Cheng and Yu Ziyuan screeched, while Jiang Fengmian just sighed resignedly.

 

“Eh?” Jin Zixuan couldn’t possibly be as shameless as the Yiling Patriarch was, his face already red.

 

“Well…..” Jiang Yanli turned his face towards him, stroking his cheek gently. “A’ Xian has a point for once.” And with that, she gave him a soft, gentle kiss.

 

Jin Zixuan just melted as he pushed back.

 

Distantly, he could hear Wei Wuxian whistle.

 

Before he could enjoy his wife’s softness any longer, he heard HanGuang-Jun, the HanGuang-Jun of all people, mutter a question that made his heart stop. “Does this mean that Young Master Jin is the wife?”

 

(Remember Wei Wuxian’s words “ Just kiss the bride already! ”.......)

 

Everyone paused and then got the implication, bursting out in a cacophony of laughter.

 

“Ahahahahaha! Lan Zhan, I really am a bad influence on you! You can even tell a joke now!” 

 

Said Lan Zhan’s ears just went red as he realized what he said out loud.

 

“Oh, that’s right!” Wei Wuxian was reminded. “Hey, Shijie, Peacock! I have a gift for you two!”

 

“Wei Wuxian, stop calling me a peacock!” Jin Zixuan, still red, raged.

 

“But it suits you so much~!”

 

“Wei Ying.” “A’ Xian.” Both Lan Wangji and Jiang Yanli said with similar tones. “Be nice.”

 

Wei Wuxian pouted. “Fine. Anyway, here.” He presented the two gems.

 

“Oh, A’ Xian, it’s beautiful!”

 

Wei Wuxian puffed out his chest in pride.

 

“Hmph! I suppose it is pleasing to the eyes.”

 

“Oh, Oh! Shijie, it does something more! Do you want to know what it is?” The Yiling Patriarch said in a childish voice.

 

“Yes, I do. What is it, XianXian?”

 

Hearing the nickname, Wei Wuxian’s smile became brighter. “Shijie, these gems have a small protection array inside them. Anyone with ill intentions will be blown around ten meters from you!”

 

“Oh! Our A’ Xian is such a genius!” Jiang Yanli exclaimed, patting Wei Wuxian’s head.

 

Wei Wuxian let out a content sigh at that.

 

The rest of the day was filled with laughter and jokes, a jovial atmosphere carrying on through the night.

 

…………………………

 

But that liveliness didn’t last forever. 

 

The reception was held at Lotus Pier. Everyone gathered around and were having a good time. …….Until a few gossipers said some things that made the Jiang Family, a very protective Second Master Lan, and everyone who loved Wei Wuxian red with rage.

 

“Can you believe it?” One whispered.

 

“Yeah. They actually let Wei Wuxian, a servant’s son, be represented as part of the Jiang Family!”

 

“Yeah, yeah! He’s not even blood-related to them!”

 

“Wait, but I heard rumors that Sect Leader Jiang may have cheated on his wife and created the troublemaker!”

 

Wei Wuxian turned a blind eye and deaf ear to all the gossip. It was nothing he wasn’t used to. The accusations. The rumors. The blame. He was all but numb to it by now.

 

But that didn’t mean that the ones who cared about him didn’t have anything to say about it.

 

Wei Wuxian felt the rage radiating off his friends, family and lover and laughed. 

 

“Hey, guys. Calm down. It’s not like we haven’t heard this before.” He waved it off.

 

They all turned to him, a thousand words held within their gazes.

 

“.........What?”

 

“Wei Ying.”

 

“Yes~ Lan Zhan~?”

 

“We’ll be back.”

 

“Hm? Huh-oh! Wait! Where are you all going?! Hey!”

 

Before anyone could open up their mouths or throw punches, Jiang Yanli beat them to it. 

 

“The few gentlemen over there.”

 

The gossiping few looked over and paled.

 

“While I wish to remain as civil as possible, I’d rather you not dirty my reception with such foul words about my little brother.” She finished with a shallow smile. “Anything else you have to say…...well,” she chuckled darkly. “You’ll find out just how similar I am to my mother, the Violet Spider.”

 

Madam Yu and Jiang Fengmian were calm as they walked up to the gossiping cultivators.

 

“While Wei Ying may be a troublemaker and generally a chaotic mess,” Yu Ziyuan started. “He is someone Fengmian…..and I recognize as our son. Any insults towards him directly involves the face of the Yunmeng Jiang Sect. Are you prepared for the consequences?”

 

“Well said, wife.” Jiang Fengmian smiled. “......My dear guests, before you make any other ruckus, I suggest you open your eyes wide and look around.” He brought his voice low. “You have simultaneously turned every member of Lotus Pier and the Jiang Sect against you. *dark chuckle* I wonder…...how will you ever survive?”

 

“Wei Wuxian is my brother and a part of my family all the same in everything but blood. Insult him again and I will break all of your limbs.” Jiang Cheng hissed.

 

Jin Zixuan, Nie Huaisang, and everyone else all showed a passive aggressive manner towards those who gossiped about their friend. 

 

However, the Second Jade was by far the most terrifying, in everyone’s opinion.

 

He already had a hand on Bichen’s hilt, ready to attack if another bad word about his precious lover was let out. And that’s all he did, really. But the threat spoke itself loud and clear.

 

Slander him again and I can’t guarantee your safety.

 

Needless to say, those cultivators politely excused themselves.

 

Wei Wuxian was, needless to say shock, pleased, and happy. Because for once, people stood up for him. For once, his worth wasn’t decided by rumors. For once, he was…..accepted. And that…..was enough for him. 

 

He joked, laughed, and teased everyone back into jubilant cheer.

 

……………………….........

 

Mo Xuanyu had recently run into a problem. He started to find himself being attracted to those of the same gender as him. He was confused, lost, and a bit afraid. 

 

All the lessons he received and books he read showed how it was the norm, that it was conventional that a man and woman get together. There was no other way. 

 

But he still couldn’t find himself looking at or teasing girls in the same manner he did to boys. He was bewildered, rightfully so, and that made it all the worse when he was bullied and teased for this attraction when he accidentally let that secret slip.

 

The elders, too, berated him when his cultivation speed was too slow or when he didn’t do as well as the other students. He hated this feeling of helplessness - that reminded him at his time with his Aunt-, but couldn’t tell anyone what was wrong. The bullies frequently told him that no one would want him if they found out and how his precious family would be disgusted with him.

 

However, he couldn’t hide it for much longer as his eldest brother walked in on the bullying.

 

“What do you think you’re doing?” A positively furious Zixuan-ge asked.

 

The bullies’ hands froze in mid-air from where it was about to hit his chest. The bully abruptly let go. “N-Nothing.”

 

“It was clearly not nothing!” Zixuan-ge was livid and called some guards over to drag them away.

 

Mo Xuanyu was picked up and cuddled. “A’ Yu, are you alright?”

 

Safely tucked in his brother’s arms, Mo Xuanyu broke down and spilled everything that occurred.

 

When he finished, he realized that he told everything and trembled, afraid that his Zixuan-ge would abandon him.

 

But this was not the case.

 

“A’ Yu…..we won’t abandon you. It’s not wrong to love.” His brother comforted him. 

 

Mo Xuanyu wasn’t convinced and Jin Zixuan sighed.

 

“You remember Wei…....your Xian-gege, right?”

 

“Mn.”

 

“He can relate to you about those feelings.”

 

“Mo Xuanyu’s eyes widened. “Really?!”

 

 “Yeah. …...Do you want to see him?”

 

“Mn!”

 

That was how Jin Zixuan decided that now was a good time to send A’ Yu to the Lan Sect…...under the pretext of training. He had caught wind of Wei Wuxian and HanGuang-Jun staying in the Cloud Recesses recently. He sent over a letter detailing his intent and A’ Yu was sent off to the Lan Sect.

 

…………………………...

 

The Cloud Recesses are beautiful……  Was Mo Xuanyu’s thought upon stepping into the place.

 

When he entered, he was shown to his room and told to watch out for the sect rules. There were three thousand of them. Three thousand of them! Mo Xuanyu groaned. How can anyone survive here?

 

But he didn’t grumble for long. His Xian-gege came to greet him soon.

 

“Xian-gege!” Mo Xuanyu squealed in delight as he was lifted into the air and swung around like he weighed nothing.

 

“A’ Yu!” Xian-gege called out fondly. “What are you doing here? Not that I’m not happy to see you, but it’s still a pleasant surprise!”

 

Mo Xuanyu’s mood immediately dampened.

 

Wei Wuxian noticed that and coaxed an answer out of him.

 

The boy broke down in tears, confessing what happened.

 

Both Lan Wangji and Wei Wuxian emitted cold, angered auras at his story.

 

“A’ Yu, calm down, calm down. Look at me, okay?” Wei Wuxian hushed the boy, wiping away his tears. “It’s fine to have these feelings. You aren’t a freak, a deviant, whatever those kids told you isn’t true. You are Mo Xuanyu, A’ Yu, my shijie’s beloved brother-in-law, the pea- Jin Zixuan’s youngest brother, Lan Zhan’s and my friend. You are everyone’s precious A’ Yu. You are a good person. Who cares what gender you prefer? I certainly didn’t!”

 

“Mn. *sniff* Zixuan-ge told me that you would understand.”

 

“I do! I love Lan Zhan a lot!”

 

“Even though he’s a boy?”

 

“Even though he’s a boy.” Wei Wuxian smiled. “A’ Yu, listen. No matter whether Lan Zhan was a man or a woman, I’d love him all the same. I fell in love with him because I felt that I belonged with him. I care not for the rumors and what people say about us. I am happy with him. And he with me. That’s why, you should not care for the rumors. Hold your head up high in pride. Become strong. Show everyone that no matter who you come to like, no one can crush your indomitable spirit!”

 

“Mn!”

 

By the end of the speech, the Second Jade’s ears had become an impossibly bright red and Mo Xuanyu was glowing brightly from Wei Wuxian’s words.

 

For the next year that Mo Xuanyu was sent to spend at the Cloud Recesses - while Jin Zixuan and Meng Yao dealt with the nasty rumors, bullies, and elders who harmed their precious little brother - , Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji took care of the boy and showered him with love.

 

They taught him how to properly cultivate, no matter how much he was frustrated when spiritual energy didn’t gather as quickly as most people. They taught him archery - which he adapted to quickly -, they cheered him up when he was down, gave him cuddles and encouraging words, and were always there to pick him up when he fell.

 

They were patient teachers and almost like parents to Mo Xuanyu.

 

Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji were happy to give him this attention. Especially since the Second Jade had told Wei Wuxian of the boy’s treatment from his maternal family.

 

Wei Wuxian became fiercely protective of Mo Xuanyu to the point where the boy accidentally called him ‘Mom’.

 

Reminded of A’ Yuan, Wei Wuxian protectively hugged Mo Xuanyu, cooing and squeezing his cheeks at that moniker.

 

Mo Xuanyu laughed for the first time in years. It was bright, light, and so, so sweet.  

 

………………………………

 

Wei Wuxian was completely panicked. 

 

He paced back and forth in front of an equally anxious Jiang and Jin family.

 

From behind the door before them, they heard Jiang Yanli’s cries of pain as her son was making his first appearance to the world.

 

After what seemed like an eternity, Jiang Yanli gave one last scream of pain before the long, loud wailing sound of a child echoed out.

 

Jin Zixuan rushed in the room the moment he heard that, cradling his child and whispering pleased, gratified words to his weakened wife, who smiled weakly as she took ahold of her child.

 

After a while, everyone was allowed to hold the newborn baby.

 

When it was Wei Wuxian’s turn, he was completely stiff as the small, fragile child was handed to him.

 

Wei Wuxian and fragile were two elements that didn’t mix.

 

After getting scolded by Madam Yu of the proper way to hold a child, she handed Jin Ling over.

 

Supporting the child’s weight, he looked down in wonder at the small life in his arms. 

 

“Hey, Jin Rulan. It’s your Shishu. Uhh, well, hi, how are you doing?” Wei Wuxian’s usual eloquence had flown out the window when the child started to giggle and grab at his hair.

 

Despite the slight pangs of pain, Wei Wuxian’s face glowed with joy. “Ow, ow. You’re so strong. You’re going to grow up to be a great cultivator one day, right? Hahaha, I know you will! I’ll be around to teach you!”

 

“Hey, Wei Wuxian. I’ll be the one to teach A’ Ling first! It’s my rights as his father!” Jin Zixuan whisper-shouted.

 

Wei Wuxian stuck his tongue out at him. “Too bad. A’ Ling likes me now!”

 

He handed A’ Ling back to his mother and taunted Jin Zixuan, who, to his regret, couldn’t yell explosively in front of a child.

 

…………………………

 

Around two weeks later, Lan Wangji and Wei Wuxian travelled to Yiling when they heard of the various disturbances plaguing the city.

 

After taking care of the spirits and corpses troubling the citizens, they settled down in an inn.

 

“Lan Zhan, this time, you’ll join me for a drink, right?”

 

Lan Wangji stared at the offered wine cup and nodded slowly.

 

Wei Wuxian’s smile brightened. “Okay, okay!” He filled up the cup. “To our success from tonight’s night hunt!” He brought his own cup up in cheers.

 

“To our success.” Lan Wangji murmured as he clinked his cup against Wei Wuxian’s and chugged it down.

 

“...........”

 

Wei Wuxian smiled. “Lan Zhan, I didn’t expect that you could hold down your liquor so well!”

 

“...........”

 

“Hm? Lan Zhan~ what’s wrong? Cat got your tongue? Or am I just too pre- Lan Zhan?!”

 

Lan Zhan’s head collided with a thud against the table.

 

“Wait….Lan Zhan…..One cup? One cup?! And you….you just fell asleep? No drunken acts?!” Wei Wuxian groaned in disappointment.

 

Nevertheless, he paid and dragged the drunk jade to their shared room.

 

As soon as he closed the door and set his lover down, the unconscious man woke up.

 

“Lan Zhan?”

 

“Mmmmn?”

 

“You’re awake?”

 

“Mmmm.”

 

There was something…...just absolutely adorable about the floaty look on Lan Zhan’s face that Wei Wuxian couldn’t help but coo and squeeze his cheeks.

 

“Stop.” Lan Wangji grabbed his palms. The heat from them travelled up Wei Wuxian’s arms.

 

“Hm? Why should I? Will you tie me up if I do?” He challenged.

 

“Mn.” Without another word, Lan Zhan quickly stripped his forehead ribbon off and wrapped it snuggly around Wei Wuxian’s wrists, tightening it with several knots.

 

Satisfied, Lan Zhan stood up and dragged Wei Wuxian out by the free ends of the ribbon on his wrists.

 

“Hey! Lan Zhan! Where are we going?”

 

“Out.”

 

“I can see that, but where?”

 

Lan Zhan stayed silent.

 

It was pretty dark out at this time, hardly anyone out.

 

Lan Wangji dragged him until they reached a certain place: a farmhouse.

 

“Lan Zhan, what are we doing he- Mmph!”

 

“Shh.” Lan Wangji put his finger to his lips and it was so fucking cute that Wei Wuxian’s mind blank as he nodded absentmindedly.

 

Ah…..Lan Zhan’s definitely drunk, isn’t he? He’s so cute, though. Acting like a child and everything…… Wei Wuxian’s eyes widened as he witnessed the ever pristine HanGuang-Jun jump into the house and steal two chickens.

 

He brought them to Wei Wuxian. “For you.”

 

“H-Huh?”

 

“Take them. For you. All for you.” He deposited the chickens in Wei Wuxian’s arms, the latter not knowing what to do while the former waited for some sort of praise.

 

“Good. You’re…...very good.” Wei Wuxian complimented after a while.

 

That seemed to please the drunk man.

 

When Lan Wangji wasn’t looking he stealthily put the chickens back and tugged on Lan Wangji’s hand. “Let’s head back, okay?”

 

“No.”

 

“No?”

 

“No.”

 

“Hey~!” He was abruptly dragged off to various places.

 

Stealing chickens, taking fruits off of trees, even vandalising an alley’s wall! All of these Wei Wuxian instinctively remembers telling Lan Zhan he did as a teen.

 

When Lan Wangji was a bit more dazed, Wei Wuxian commanded Suibian to shave the beautiful calligraphy off the wall and then hauled the now-compliant drunk Second Jade back to their room.

 

Exhausted, he sat the two of them down after getting a water basin and washing Lan Wangji’s face the best he could with still-bound hands.

 

After that, he sighed teasingly.

 

“Hey~ Lan Zhan~ did you tie me up just to drag me around…..or…..” He purposely trailed off, sending a tempting wink towards the Second Jade. “Or you going to take me right here and now?”

 

Lan Zhan let out a growl that sent pleasant shivers crawling down his spine.

 

He was lifted up by the waist and thrown onto the bed.

 

“Ah! So fierce, Lan Er-Gege~. What else will you do, I wonder?” He smirked, scratching the other’s chin.

 

Lan Zhan reached forward, trying to remove his robes, but he couldn’t do it fast enough. He glared at the robes as if were to blame. Wei WUxian would have laughed if it weren't for the fact that he was incredibly turned on by that look. He always felt a thrill making Lan Zhan angry and now was no different. 

 

“I could have helped you, but look. You tied my hands. I guess you’re just going to have to do with-Ah!”

 

Lan Wangji tore the front of his robes to shreds, running rough hands down his torso.

 

Wei Wuxian only became further aroused by this.

 

“Lan Zhan~ hurry up." He begged when the Second Jade was still marking his chest. "Fill me up, Er-gege. Please…. I don’t need any preparation. I’m still loose from last ni- Ah!”

 

Wei Wuxian’s pants were ripped off and fingers were thrust into his entrance.

 

“Lan Zhan….L-Lan Zhan!” Wei Wuxian moaned out as he bucked his hips into those long, slender fingers, but it wasn't enough. “No! I need something bigger! Please……”

 

Lan Zhan growled and removed his fingers, replacing them with something much bigger and hotter.

 

“Ah~ that’s more lik- Ah! No break? Real- AH! Wait….Wait!” Lan Zhan trailed fierce bite marks and kisses down his torso as he thrust forward with a shockingly rapid pace.

 

All the Yiling Patriarch could do was squirm and twist in pleasure as he took everything his lover gave him.

 

“More….More! L-Lan- Hyaa~!” His sweet spot was hit over and over again at this almost brutal pace.

 

Their activities carried through the night and even when Wei Wuxian begged for mercy, he was given none. At this point, he was only able to let out hoarse moans.

 

Light started to pour through the window when Lan Zhan finally decided to let him go.

 

“L-Lan Zhan….I-I love you so much!” Wei Wuxian breathed out. “Ah! ahhhn….Ahhh….”

 

Lan Wangji thrust at an erratic, but unsteady pace and came right as stroked Wei Wuxian to completion.

 

The two of them collapsed into a dead rest just as the sun broke through the sky.

 

I’m so tired……. Wei Wuxian thought. This Lan Zhan has really been holding back…...but I love it too much…….

 

With that, he curled by his lover and drifted off into a peaceful sleep.

 

……………………………….

 

Jin Zixun woke up in pain that day and ripped open his robes to see around one hundred black marks covering his chest.

 

He screamed in horror and then went to the physician who contacted Jin Guangshan who informed him that he was cursed with the Hundred Holes curse and that he will die a terrible death.

 

Jin Guangshan calmed down his crazed nephew and asked who could have done this. 

 

Jin Zixun sniffed as he said that the only ones he really offended were Lan Wangji and Wei Wuxian.

 

Jin Guangshan tapped his chin. He could use this.

 

He wanted to become the Chief Cultivator and Yunmeng Jiang was the one who most vehemently refused it. He knew that it was impossible for the HanGuang-Jun to cast a curse, so if he uses Jin Zixun’s animosity and this curse against Wei Wuxian…...he could make Yunmeng Jiang crumble under pressure, as well as remove such an asset such as Wei Wuxian and maybe HanGuang-Jun too as he too was an asset to Gusu Lan.

 

However, this would backfire if Wei Wuxian doesn’t get a backlash from the curse since some of his subordinates were well-informed about curses and were able to make sure that the caster of the spell receives similar marks on their chest.

 

Though this plan could backfire…..Jin Guangshan had it worked out. Wei Wuxian was a well-renowned genius and he could easily remove those marks. …….Was the idea he planted into his idiot nephew’s brain.

 

 With everything arranged, he gave his nephew permission to take as many people as he needed and told him that Wei Wuxian was planning on taking Qiongqi Path to come to Lanling.

 

………………….......................

 

Wei Wuxian woke up that morning to the feeling of being bathed and taken care of. He let out a sound similar to a purr as he felt strong, calloused hands weave through his hair.

 

“Er-Gege, that - tsss - feels so good……”

 

“Okay?”

 

Wei Wuxian’s lips curved up into a teasing smirk. “Lan Zhan, you were so rough last night……”

 

“Did I hurt you?” He asked, worried.

 

Seeing those golden eyes pool over in concern, Wei Wuxian felt his heart soften. “No. I told you before, right~? I~ like~ it~ rough~~~(*^3^)/~♡” 

 

Lan Zhan decided not to say anymore as he continued to care for his lover.

 

They stayed in Yiling for another two weeks, taking care of some more issues here and there before heading over to Jin Ling’s one month ceremony. He had gotten the invitation quite a while ago, and had prepared everything already.

 

He wanted to walk and take the scenic route, seeing as they were in no rush.

 

“Hey, Lan Zhan. I have a bad feeling.” Wei Wuxian spoke up as he approached Qiongqi Path. 

 

“Hm?”

 

“Nothing good has ever happened here. That’s why…...I can’t help but feel that something is going to occur......”

 

Lan Wangji was about to reply when his eyes widened and he drew Bichen to slash at the arrows heading straight to Wei Wuxian’s heart.

 

That was close. Wei Wuxian’s heart thumped wildly as he drew Suibian to ward of some more attacks. But…...this feels oddly familiar. Just like…… His heart dropped. Just like the time I killed Jin Zixuan……

 

And, as he expected, Jin Zixun appeared with three hundred archers, hostile and blaming him for the Hundred Holes Curse.

 

“It wasn’t me. I don’t even know who you are!” Wei Wuxian snapped. “Besides, wouldn’t the caster has backlash marks on them? I don’t have any on me!” Wei Wuxian abruptly pulled his robes apart and there were no marks…….except…..well…..the ones his lover placed on him.

 

Lan Wangji was visibly irate that his precious lover had to show his wonderfully pale skin off to the enemy. Without another word, he pulled the robes closed, glaring at anyone and everyone who saw.

 

“Hmph! You’re smart. I’m sure you figured out some way to avoid receiving those marks!” 

 

Wei Wuxian was speechless. Instead of using my demonic cultivation, they use my intelligence against me? I don’t know whether to be flattered or insulted! The public - and certainly Jin Zixun too - did not know that he was a demonic cultivator. And yet…...he was still blamed for something he didn’t do! 

 

Wei Wuxian groaned with frustration. Why does this always happen to me?

 

Lan Wangji stroked the other’s hair in comfort, but his face was stormy. He was infuriated that someone would still blame his Wei Ying for a crime he never committed. How people still pointed weapons at him without talking to him. How they just took action and tried to kill him. 

 

He was this close to murdering them, but first…...let’s shut them up. 

 

He used the Lan Clan’s signature silencing spell and every single one of them could only let out muffled cries of protest. 

 

He then - to everyone’s shock and Wei Wuxian’s embarrassment - abruptly stuck his hand into Wei Wuxian’s robes - near his chest - and grabbed a few recent smoke bomb inventions that Wei Wuxian had created, hurling it at them. Once they were distracted by the hell-like spice that exploded in their faces, Lan Wangji grabbed Wei Wuxian by the waist and took off with Bichen.

 

Ignoring the cries of pain from the chili bomb, the two headed over to Lanling, Wei Wuxian throwing his head back in laughter and glee.

 

Wei Wuxian had originally created the chili bomb as a prank to play on people, but it came in handy at that moment as no one, Lan Wangji repeats, no one, can handle his precious Patriarch’s love for spice.

 

They arrived at Jin Ling’s one month celebration in a terrible mood. It was so obvious even on Lan Wangji’s face that everyone needed to know what had happened. 

 

“We were ambushed.” Three simple words caused a storm of chatter to pass through everyone.

 

There was a long cry and everyone quieted down immediately.

 

Wei Wuxian rushed over to Jiang Yanli’s side and saw his nephew. The one he never saw (that day). The one who he owed too much to (that day).

 

Jiang Yanli had managed to calm down the child and banquet was once again in full swing.

 

Wei Wuxian smiled and held up the present.

 

“What does this do, A’ Xian?”

 

“Any creature that’s level is a bit too low won’t be able to approach my little nephew!”

 

“That’s great! Thank you, A’ Xian!”

 

“Of course!”

 

The child seemed to like it too as he reached up for the bell, letting out garbled sounds of content at the pretty sound it made.

 

(Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji retold their story to their concerned friends and family.)

 

Everything was all well and good, until Jin Zixun arrived with his entourage, faces red and teary from the chili bomb, swords pointed at Wei Wuxian.

 

Conflict could have broken out if not for Jin Guangshan coaxing his spoiled brat of a nephew to stop.

 

But if Sect Leader Jin thought that matter dropped there. Oh~. He was sooooo wrong.

 

As no one wanted to interrupt the banquet, they waited till it was over before all turning their murderous glares to a now submissive Jin Zixun.

 

Everyone agreed and decided that they would search for the culprit after the physicians experienced in curses cleared Wei Wuxian of any and all doubt, to a much disgruntled Jin Zixun and Jin Guangshan.

 

.............................

 

The caster was found soon enough. A former Gusu Lan disciple named Su She. He was brought before Jin Zixun and as he acquiesced to remove the spell, which required close contact with the victim, he brought out a dagger he had hidden in a careful blindspot and swiftly stabbed the guy through the heart.

 

Jin Zixun collapsed, dead. 

 

Before anyone could react to that, Su She used the same dagger and killed himself, unwilling, perhaps, to experience the punishment - or death sentence - he would have to take for casting the curse.

 

Everyone was dumbfounded to the fast change of events and could do nothing but sigh and clean up the aftermath of the incident.

 

……………………….......................

 

Jin Zixun’s and Su She’s funerals were as quick as they were forgotten. Neither of them had good reputations and neither had inspired people to respect them.

 

Everyone continued on with their lives as normal. This event was simply a ripple in the normally calm - or turbulent - waves of their everyday lives.

Chapter Text

Meng Yao has come to a shaky realization that he needs to talk. Honestly. With everyone he’s hurt.

 

Ever since he came clean about his memories, the people who knew have been acting skittish around him. He can especially feel an intense malice from Nie huaisang and anger from Wei Wuxian. 

 

He asked Lan Xichen later about what he had done since his memories are incomplete.

 

“A’ Yao…..” Lan Xichen started as his eyes closed in pain. “Are you sure you want to know?”

 

“I…..I do. I know I did many things in order to get my…..father’s…” He spat. “....opinion. But, I only remember bits and pieces. I know I’ve hurt Da-Ge, Zixuan-ge, Yanli-jie, Young Master Wei, the Wen Clan, A’ Yu, and countless others. But I’m frustrated because I don’t remember.” Meng Yao took a deep breath. “Er-Ge, I need closure. In order to do that…...I’m going to confront everyone I’ve hurt and talk.”

 

“Talk?”

 

“Yes. All my life - in that life - I’ve been dishonest, lying, scheming, harming others with carefully concealed knives.” Meng Yao stared at the floor. “For once in my life…..I want to be honest with myself and with others.”

 

Lan Xichen smiled. “Some memories are best forgotten. Are you sure you want to know even then?”

 

“.....Yes.”

 

“......Very well then.”

 

So, Lan Xichen spoke. Spoke of all of Meng- Jin Guangyao’s crimes. How he used a certain song from the Gusu Lan Library to force their Da-Ge to Qi Deviation. How he accidentally married his half-sister and was forced to continue to be with her and their child and…..how he killed them because he no longer had a use for them and they would harm his plans. How he planned the ambush at Qiongqi Path for Wei Wuxian and lured Jin Zixuan there, inadvertently causing the death of both Jin Zixuan and the rest of the Jins who were there. How he spread false rumors about Wei Wuxian and tried and succeeded to turn Jiang Cheng against him. How he killed his father when he realized that he could never gain his approval. What he did to Mo Xuanyu. And…….how he teamed up with Xue Yang and…..

 

By the end of it, Meng Yao was as pale as a sheet of paper. I killed and caused the deaths of so many people. I killed my father, my brother, my wife, my son, my teacher, my friend. Told countless lies and killed countless others. I’ve done all the evil in the world……

 

“Er…..Ge…..did I….”

 

“Hm?”

 

“Did I even bring harm to you too?” Meng Yao asked defeatedly.

 

He wanted to refute that he wouldn’t do all those things, but…..his subconscious - or was it fragments of his other self? - did nothing to deny the accusations. But to Lan Xichen, the one person who treated him well and has continued to treat him well…..did he bring harm to him too? 

 

Lan Xichen was quiet. “No. No matter what you did, you made sure that no harm would befall Gusu Lan and I.”

 

“I see…..I’m glad. Before you knew of my returned memories, you treated me well. I…..am really, truly glad I didn’t do anything.”

 

Lan Xichen sighed. “A’ Yao.”

 

“Yes?”

 

“I have something to confess to you too.”

 

“What is it?”

 

“I’m sorry.” Lan Xichen bowed his head.

 

Meng Yao panicked. “What? Wait, Er-Ge there’s no need for this! Please raise your head.” He tried and failed to have Lan Xichen comply. 

 

“No, I need to do this. A’ Yao. I, too, am at fault.”

 

“Why??? You did nothing wrong!”

 

“No, I did!” Lan Xichen exclaimed. “I….should have paid more attention to you. I should have seen your pain. I should have been there to help you….to relieve your burden! I should have tried harder to understand you! Maybe then, maybe then you would have trusted me enough to speak to me about your true feelings!”

 

“But, Er-Ge. There’s no denying that I killed all those people! I….I killed Da-Ge!”

 

“I had some sort of part to that too.” Lan Xichen let out a hollow laugh. “A’ Yao. I taught you that song. If anything, I should be your accomplice!”

 

Why is Er-Ge blaming himself? Judging by his expression, he’s been carrying this pain for years…..but why? It was never his fault!! “But you didn’t know! I took advantage of your kindness and hospitality!”

 

“But-”

 

“Er-Ge!” Meng Yao interrupted. “I can see that you’ve been carrying this pain for a while, but can you not see??! It was never your fault!!” Meng Yao yelled. 

 

“It was never your fault…..” he continued softly. “I will carry these burdens with me for the rest of my life. You may have taught me that song, but it was up to me to do what I wanted with that knowledge. I used it to my advantage and killed Da-Ge. 

 

You not understanding me, too, was not your fault. I hid myself too well. I didn’t want to be seen as weak. That’s why I didn’t say anything. 

 

All my life…...I’ve been seen as ‘the son of a prostitute’. People have seen me as weak and easy to take advantage of. To you, the person I trusted the most…..I didn’t want to show weakness. I wanted you to see me as a strong, independent man. That I could handle the burden of my identity.”

 

“A’ Yao……”

 

“Er-Ge,” Meng Yao smiled. “Why blame yourself? I do not particularly mind carrying this burden. Without the need to be Sect Leader or for my father’s approval, I am - how should I put this? - free, so to speak. I will confront my past and atone for my sins. Thank you for telling me what I did. I appreciate it, no, really, I do. Er-Ge. Tomorrow, I’ll start confronting the past I’ve forgotten and ran away from.”

 

“I will come with you.”

 

Meng Yao stifled a laugh. “But, aren’t you busy?”

 

“I can ask Wangji to temporarily take care of my duties. He’s been helping out from time to time. I’m sure he doesn’t mind it for a few days.”

 

“Er-Ge…..”

 

“We’ll face this together, alright?” Lan Xichen gave him a small hug. “I will not leave you to face this alone again.”

 

Meng Yao smiled. “Alright.”

 

…………………..

 

The first person he had to confront was Jin Zixuan. Though he was the first person Meng Yao ever told that he had his memories…..they never really had a talk.

 

I indirectly caused his death……. Meng Yao’s heart clenched. He’s been nothing but kind. He expresses that in an odd way, but it’s goodwill nevertheless. 

 

“Zixuan-ge.” Meng Yao called out. 

 

“Oh…..A’ Yao. There you are. I was looking for you. You…..weren’t around.” I was worried….. Was left unsaid, but heard nonetheless.

 

“Zixuan-ge…..we need to talk.”

 

“Talk? Mmm…...sure. Just give me a few minutes. I have something to do.”

 

“Okay.”

 

…………………..

 

Jin Zixuan had to attend to some meetings with his mom, seeing as his dad was again……..nowhere to be seen. He and Madam Jin - as well as Meng Yao - had been working tirelessly to be able to slowly chip at the power Jin Guangshan held. As a result, several of his supporters started to reject him and start joining their side - or no side at all. 

 

However, Jin Guangshan was a paranoid man. He loved the power and wealth - (and women) - that he had and any sign that those were slipping from him made his defenses go up and Jin Zixuan, Madam Jin, and Meng Yao weren’t able to do anything. So, they waited till his guard dropped before taking any action.

 

This same pattern continued for a while. 

 

Though Jin Guangshan had yet to notice it…...he no longer was the powerful Sect Leader Jin. Most of his power was now at Jin Zixuan’s side, but Jin Zixuan never openly used that power, so it wasn’t obvious…...yet.

 

That’s why he and Madam Jin were able to attend and take control of the meeting they were currently in.

 

…………………….

 

Jin Zixuan met up at a private garden with Meng Yao along with Lan Xichen who had tagged along.

 

“So, A’ Yao. What did you want to talk about?”

 

Meng Yao took a deep breath and began to speak of Qiongqi Path…...and how he led Jin Zixuan to that place. How he had helped plan the ambush. How he…...killed his wife - who was his half-sister - and his son. To the rumors he helped spread. Everything he did to A’ Yu and with Xue Yang. 

 

Jin Zixuan was extremely quiet by the end of it all.

 

Meng Yao did not know how to deal with that. He expected fighting, screaming, some sort of berate. But quiet? He did not know what to expect from the many emotions swirling in his older brother’s eyes.

 

After a while, Jin Zixuan just sighed. “A’ Yao.”

 

“Yes?”

 

“Did you regret?”

 

“What?”

 

“Did you regret everything you did?”

 

“Yes.” Meng Yao replied without hesitation.

 

“Good.” Jin Zixuan did not seem mad, but just tired, somehow. “Are you trying to atone for your sins?

 

“Yes.”

 

“Why did you do that?”

 

“To gain my father’s approval.”

 

“Meng Yao…..you are smart. Could you not see that Father would never give approval to you?”

 

Meng Yao was a bit ashamed. “I…..was blinded. Or rather…..I chose not to see the truth of the matter. I was avoiding reality. I didn’t want to believe that even after all I’ve done, Father would not approve of me.”

 

“I see.” He sighed. “A’ Yao. What matters now is that you confront everyone that you remember you hurt. Uhhh…..well, maybe only those with their memories back.”

 

“You…..don’t seem mad.”

 

“Mad? Why would you think so?”

 

“I killed so many people! I caused your death, no matter how indirect it was! I-”

 

Jin Zixuan held up a hand to interrupt him. “A’ Yao…..it’s all in the past…...is what I’d like to say. You should go to everyone and confess. Let them decide what punishment you need. However…...I feel like the worst punishment is living with the memory of what you had done. That, I feel…..is worse than any punishment.”

 

Lan Xichen, who was silent from beginning to end, silently nodded, sharing the sentiment. He, too, had lived with the memories of his sworn brothers and how he could have done something better. How he could have helped them. Truly……

 

……….living with these memories disciplines better than any wound.

 

…………………...

 

Their second stop was Qinghe and Lan Xichen saw hoe badly Meng Yao shook. 

 

Nerves seemed to twist in the younger’s gut, and he was shaking visibly.

 

“A’ Yao, are you okay?”

 

Meng Yao opened his mouth to say ‘yes’, but decided against it and shook his head. “I’m nervous. I don’t know how they’ll react.”

 

“It’s fine.” Lan Xichen squeezed his shoulder. “I’m here.”

 

“Yes, yes, you are.” Meng Yao murmured repeatedly. He took a deep breath and the two of them stepped through the gates and were greeted by a servant who led the way to where Nie Huaisang and Nie Mingjue awaited.

 

“Xichen, Meng Yao. You’re here.” Nie Mingjue intoned happily.

 

“En. Da-Ge. You got our letter, right?” Meng Yao asked.

 

“Yes. Though I’m confused why you would do that. You two are welcome anytime at Qinghe. No need to send a letter!”

 

Ah….. Meng Yao winced. Will he still say the same thing after he knows what I’ve done?

 

He and Lan Xichen were let into the main hall where Nie Huaisang was waiting.

 

They all sat down and an awkward silence seemed to descend upon them. (They were the only ones in the room.)

 

“So, what did you all come for? The content of the letter seemed to hint at something serious.”

 

“Da-Ge. First off, you know that Huaisang and I have memories, as well as A’ Yao, of another timeline, right?” 

 

Nie Huaisang winced. He didn’t tell his brother of this matter.

 

“Another timeline?” Nie Mingjue murmured. “No wonder you two were acting odd.”

 

They were all surprised. 

 

“You noticed?” Nie Huaisang asked.

 

Nie Mingjue snorted. “Huaisang, I am your brother. The moment you started to listen to me with little to no fuss was the moment I realized something was off.” Nie Huasiang laughed sheepishly.

 

He turned to Lan Xichen. “Xichen, how long have we been friends? You may try to hide it, but I could see the guilt plaguing your eyes and demeanor.” Lan Xichen looked down, ashamed his friend saw through him so easily.

 

The Sect Leader then turned his attention to Meng Yao. “Meng Yao, you…..from the moment I saw you, you’ve been trying to avoid me. You always looked so - how to put it - afraid? ….of me. Now, though I look quite scary-”

 

They all gave a chuckle at that.

 

“-you looked scared because of how close we started to become. You looked like you were afraid to hurt me. It was perplexing, really.”

 

All three of them stared at the ground like it was the most interesting thing there.

 

“Now that we’ve established that, what did you come here for?”

 

“To talk about my…...incomplete memories of that timeline.” Meng Yao responded quietly.

 

“I’m here for support.”

 

So he does have his memories. Nie Huaisang fanned himself. This will be interesting…….

 

So Meng Yao spoke. He talked and talked and talked about everything he did to Nie Mingjue. (Lan Xichen and Nie Huaisang helped since there were gaps in his memories.)

 

This explanation didn’t take too long and everyone was silent by the end of it.

 

Nie Mingjue was quiet too. Unnaturally so.

 

He got up and told Meng Yao to stand in front of him.

 

Meng Yao shook with fear but acquiesced.  

 

“Meng Yao…..you finally told the truth.” Nie Mingjue laughed a bit.

 

When Nie Huaisang, Lan Xichen, and Meng Yao looked at the man, they all widened their eyes as the man was glowing a bit.

 

“Da-Ge….you….. Why are you glowing?!”

 

“Hm? Oh, this?” There was amusement in his voice. “Currently, I’m a fragment of the soul of that timeline.”

 

“WHAT?!” Nie Huaisang dropped his fan.

 

“WHAT?!” Meng Yao nearly fainted from shock.

 

“WHAT?!” Lan Xichen spat out his tea.

 

Future(?) Nie Mingjue laughed at their reactions. “What? Why are you all so surprised to see me?”

 

“Well, well.….” Nie Huaisang sputtered.

 

“Da-ge, will this affect your current self?” Lan Xichen asked worriedly.

 

“Hm?” He sighed. “No. My current self will remember this interaction after I’m gone. Anyway, back to the matter at hand. Meng Yao, I’m not angry. I expected you to do something like that anyway.”

 

Meng Yao was extremely distressed at that.

 

“Hey, hey, don’t worry about it.”


“But I killed you!”

 

“Well, yeah. But A’ Sang became a great Sect Leader thanks to that.”

 

“Da-Ge, you…..” Nie Huaisang started. “You wanted to die so that I could become Sect Leader?”

 

“Partly. My cultivation was high, as you all know, and my sabre was going to cause me to go into Qi Deviation sooner or later. Meng Yao might have sped up the process, but I was dying anyway.”

 

“But, but Da-Ge! I-! Do you know that behind all the complaints and all the times I troubled you…..I respected you, I admired you, I never wanted you to die! You were my only brother! I didn’t want you to die! I never wanted to become Sect Leader if it meant your death! Why did you do that?! If you wanted me to become Sect Leader, just tell me! Why did you…..with that method…..” Nie Huaisang ranted.

 

“Because humans grow under pressure.” Nie Mingjue smiled. “Humans grow when put into stressful situations. You were forced to grow up. You were forced to avenge me. You were forced to become a Sect Leader.” He patted his little brother’s shoulder. “.....And what a great Sect Leader you became.”

 

“Da-Ge…..” Nie Huaisang tackled his brother in a hug. “Da-Ge…….” He cried.

 

“Come on, grow up a bit. Don’t cry.” Nie Mingjue awkwardly returned the hug and patted the younger’s shoulder.

 

Once the two brothers sorted everything out, Nie Mingjue turned to Lan XIchen and Meng Yao.

 

“As for you two…...stop looking at me with such guilt-ridden expressions! Xichen, I’m pretty sure Meng Yao told you this, but it was never your fault. And Meng Yao, neither was it yours.”

 

“But I-” Meng Yao started.

 

“I knew you played the Sound of Lucidity wrong.” 

 

“What…..?”

Nie Mingjue laughed in amusement. “Don’t you all know that I love music? How would I not be able to pick out wrong notes? I’ve heard many songs, including the Sound of Lucidity. I’m not stupid. I know that that song was doing something to me. I was just wondering if you would change. You didn’t. Till my death, you continued to play. That’s why I was mad. You didn’t change. You weren’t honest. I was disappointed, angry, frustrated that you couldn’t be a different person.”

 

With every word, Meng Yao’s posture seemed to sink further into the ground. He really wanted to dig a hole and lie in it. He really did.

 

“Okay. It seems that I’m about to disappear, so I’ll be quick.”

 

“Xichen, stop carrying the blame. Meng Yao, I’m glad you’ve changed. And A’ Sang, if the time comes, be a good Sect Leader." He closed his eyes. "Goodbye everyone.”

 

“Da-Ge!!!” They all yelled.

 

The glow faded and the current Nie Mingjue returned.

 

He sighed. “Okay, you three. I remember everything that was said and everything I said. And I must say that that was an eye-opening experience. One moment I’m listening to you all talk about a different timeline, the next I’m forced to watch as my soul fragment of that timeline is possessing my body and stealing the words I wanted to say out of my mouth. Phew~ what a day…….”

 

The three all laughed a bit, still shaken from what happened before.

 

……………………..

 

The four of them headed out when Meng Yao was dragged somewhere else by Nie Huaisang. He expected that to some extent and obediently allowed him to be taken away.

 

They stopped at a clearing and Nie Huaisang took a few breaths.

 

“I won’t forgive you.” He said without turning around.

 

“I know.”

 

“I won’t forget what you’ve done.”

 

“I know.”

 

“I hate you.”

 

“I know.”

 

“I will bury you six feet underground after torturing you if you ever dare to try something like that again.”

 

Meng Yao’s eyes shone with mirth despite the threat. “I know.”

 

Nie Huaisang sighed. “However, I suppose, you’ve changed.”

 

“I’ve been trying.”

 

“I can see that.”

 

They were silent. 

 

“You’ve been given a second chance as have I. …..Don’t fuck it up this time.”

 

It wasn’t forgiveness, but it was close enough. “Okay.” 

 

They parted.

 

Meng Yao headed back to his room when a servant led him to a table where his other sworn brothers awaited him. Alcohol, tea, and snacks were laid out as the two of them beckoned the youngest of them over.

 

“Let’s have a toast!” 

 

“To what?”

 

“To…..honesty?” Lan Xichen chuckled a bit.

 

“I suppose?”

 

“To honesty!” Nie Mingjue raised his cup.

 

The three of them raised their cups up and clinked the, together, snickering a bit over the topic of the toast.

 

When Meng Yao drank the liquid, he almost spat it out. This was liquor! “Da-Ge, wasn’t that tea?” He pointed to the tea pot.

 

“Hm? No. I thought it would be funny if you guys drank it thinking it was tea.”

 

“Bu Er-Ge’s sect bans alcohol!”

 

Within the Cloud Recesses.”

 

“But-”

 

The two of them heard a thud as Lan Xichen’s head collided with the table.

 

“Er-Ge?” “Xichen?” They called out worriedly.

 

“Don’t tell me…..”

 

“.....he got drunk?” Nie Mingjue finished.

 

“Over one cup?”

 

“No wonder the Cloud Recesses ban alcohol……”

 

Meng Yao gently shook the First Jade. “Er-Ge? Are you-”

 

Lan Xichen got up so fast, he almost hit Meng Yao.

 

“Whoa!” Nie Mingjue steadied Meng Yao who had stumbled backwards to avoid hitting Lan Xichen.

 

“Er-Ge….? Are you okay?”

 

Lan Xichen still seemed out of it…...for two seconds.

 

“Hm? Da-Ge? A’ Yao? My friends!!! How are you?! Me? Oh, I’m fine!! Ahahahahahaha!!!!!!!” Lan Xichen was so hyper it honestly scared the two of them.

 

“Er-Ge, calm down. We’re alright. But you are-”

 

“OHHH!!! So you’re alright?! You’re alright, right?! RIGHT?!” Lan Xichen had made his way across the table and started shaking Meng Yao.

 

“Whoa, there. Xichen, calm down. You’re hurting Meng Yao.”

 

“Hm??? I hurt you?! A’ Yao, are you okay?!” Lan Xichen let go of Meng Yao and checked over for injuries.

 

“I’m fine. But Er-Ge, you’re-”

 

“THAT’S GREAT!!! Ah~ I’m so happy!! I need to play a song to express my joy!!” Lan Xichen started patting his robes in search of his xiao, Liebing. “Huh? Where’s Liebing?! WHERE DID MY XIAO GO?!”

 

Nie Mingjue and Meng Yao really wanted to laugh at this. “It’s in your hand.” They replied.

 

“Hm?? Oh~ it really is. Thank you for telling me!!” Without prequel, he jumped onto the roof and started playing a happy tune. 

 

“He’s drunk.” Nie Mingjue said, deadpanned.

 

“Yes, yes he is indeed drunk.” Meng Yao was still a bit dizzy from being manhandled by Lan Xichen.

 

(Despite being drunk, Lan Xichen played very well.)

 

“We should get him down, he might slip.”  Meng Yao ran to right below roof. “Er-Ge, get down! You’re going to hurt yourself!!”

 

“Hm? Okay!!!” Lan Xichen jumped down and hugged Meng Yao twirling him around a bit before trying and succeeding to do the same thing to Nie Mingjue.

 

Both Nie Mingjue and Meng Yao were shocked at the Lan’s immense arm strength that was able to easily lift the oldest up from the ground and swing him all over the place.

 

The two of them really could not handle the energy of the First Jade and tried to stop him from running around, causing mayhem, and generally being a public menace.

 

"Er-Ge, stop, don't break that!"

 

"Xichen, calm down! Let's talk this out like normal people!"

 

"Er-Ge, come back with the alcohol!"

 

"This is alcohol?" Lan Xichen asked.

 

"Yes, you just drank it. Now, give it here....."

 

"It's alcohol? It's actually alcohol?" Lan Xichen stared at the tea pot in wonder and then threw his head back in jubilation. "Ahahahahahahaa! It's alcohol! Uncle's going to be mad! Verrrrrrry mad!! Ahahahahaha!!!!"

 

"Yes, yes. Your uncle will be mad, so hand the alcohol over...."

 

"Nope~~!!!" And with that a game of chase started.

 

Nie Huaisang had come across this scene and sighed, telling a servant to bring some sobering tea over.

 

By the time Lan Xichen had ingested the tea, Nie Mingjue and Meng Yao were exhausted. They collapsed into their chairs beside a slumbering Lan Xichen.

 

“We are never giving him alcohol again.” Nie Mingjue concluded.

 

“Never.” Meng Yao agreed.

Chapter Text

Meng Yao and Lan Xichen ended up spending a few more days in Qinghe before heading off to Qishan. The crimes Meng Yao had against them…..were the omission of their treatment when they were in the labor camps.

 

This meeting was quite short. 

 

Meng Yao and Lan Xichen were led into a private room and left alone with Wen Ning and Wen Qing.

 

“So. You’re here for what?” Wen Qing let out a tired sigh.

 

“I’m sorry for not helping your family back then in that timeline.” He glanced at Lan Xichen, who gave him a reassuring smile, as he began to explain how he knew of the treatment of the Wen Remnants in the labor camps at Lanling. He also spoke of the rumors he helped spread that slandered and maligned the Wen survivors - and Wei Wuxian - to no end.

 

“Oh…..that.” A glint flashed in Wen Qing’s eyes as her gaze briefly flicked to her brother. Seeing him tightly dig his nails into his fists, she quietly contemplated. I guess I have to take this into my own hands…… “About that…...Yeah. I’m sorry, but I’m a bit too tired to deal with this.”

 

“Why do you sound so…..nonchalant about this? Because of me, you were burned to death and your family was…..”

 

Wen Qing sighed. “You say all this, but I don’t have those memories. Although I’m frustrated, angry and kind of want to murder you…...there’s no real feeling behind that because I didn’t live through that time. A’ Ning did. That’s why…..” The Sect Leader turned to her brother. “A’ Ning. You have the memories. You deal with it. I’m going to take a nap.” With that, the Sect Leader took her leave back to her chambers.

 

Wen Ning gazed at his sister’s leaving back before realization dawned on his face. He knew why his sister did this. He always had a habit of holding back his feelings until they burst. Wen Qing was giving him a chance to be honest. And so, he stared Meng Yao down quietly as he thought of what to say. 

 

Meng Yao didn’t know why he felt such a suppressed fear from the silent Wen Ning.

 

Wen Ning sighed. “Young Master Meng…...why did you feel the need to do that?”

 

“For my father’s approval.” It was easier to say every time he said it aloud.

 

“You’re smart. Why did you not see that he would never give that to you?” Wen Ning clenched his fists. “Even then…...people...my people were suffering, starving, dying, beaten to death, branded, r-raped…..buried in unmarked graves….. Why….Why couldn’t you see past everything and look to your morals? Why did you create rumors about us? Why did you corner us? We just wanted to live in peace…… Even going after Wuxian!! We just wanted to be left alone!!!”

 

Wen Ning went on and on. He kept talking until his voice was hoarse. Because why….why? Why couldn’t they just be left alone??? He was a simple and sweet boy who wanted nothing more than to protect everyone dear to him. Losing all of that in his first life forced him to grow up faster than he liked. 

 

Meng Yao knew he deserved this spite. “I was blinded by my own greed.”

 

“I see.” Wen Ning smiled in a manner no one had seen him do before. 

 

“Meng Yao.” He called out coldly. This address stunned the other two in the room. Wen Ning had been nothing but courteous and kind. It was rare - actually, practically unheard of - for him to act this way! “I will never forgive you for the deaths of everyone I cared for. No matter if you did not directly caused them or not. Because of you and your father…….I was beaten to death, my sister was burned to death, my family....was massacred, and my only friend was scorned, spat on, and subsequently killed.”

 

“I know.” Meng Yao was a pale white.

 

“I will never forgive you, nor will I forget what you’ve done.” He paused. “But you’ve changed. I can accept that. But know this…..I will never forgive you. The moment I see you do anything ill to those I hold dear, is the moment that I kill you.” With that, he left the room.

 

Lan Xichen put a strong hand on the younger’s shoulder and squeezed twice before drawing him into a hug. Meng Yao, who was overcome with guilt, quietly sobbed into Lan Xichen’s robes.

 

“It will be alright. I’m here. I’m here. We’ll face this together.” Lan Xichen soothed the younger in his arms. 

 

“You’ll be alright now.”

 

………………………..

 

They headed to Yunmeng soon after. They caught wind of Lan Wangji and Wei Wuxian visiting Lotus Pier along with Mo Xuanyu. 

 

Qingheng-Jun was also there due to some Sect matters.

 

Since the important characters were all there, they decided to get it over with. 

 

However, Lan Xichen was worried.

 

The First Jade  knew of how protective his little brother was of Wei Wuxian and hearing in full, everything that Jin Guangshan and Meng Yao had done…….he wasn’t sure how his brother would act.

 

And then there was the Jiang Family. They seemed to have fixed their differences and become really close and protective of Wei Wuxian. He wasn’t sure how they would act should they know what was done.

 

And then there was Wei Wuxian. 

 

Both Meng Yao and Lan Xichen had witnessed what happens when the man’s motions get out of control. All had been well and fine but they had heard of a few incidents where he almost lost it when his family, friends or Lan Wangji were insulted.

 

So Lan Xichen was worried for Meng Yao’s life. 

 

…………………………

 

Wei Wuxian Lan Wangji, and Mo Xuanyu had arrived at Yunmeng a few days ago. Wei Wuxian was missing home and wanted to show Mo Xuanyu and Lan Wangji around, so they left for Lotus Pier.

 

Coincidentally, Qingheng-Jun had some sect matters to discuss with Jiang Fengmian, so the four of them headed to Lotus Pier together.

 

Wei Wuxian guided Lan Wangji and Mo Xuanyu around the lotus lakes while Qingheng-Jun went off to meet with Jiang Fengmian.

 

Mo Xuanyu met some disciples his age and was (willingly) dragged off to play with them. Wei Wuxian laughed at this and even Lan Wangji gave a huff of amusement as they watched that comical scene. 

 

Wei Wuxian was extremely excited to have a date with his lover and promptly and hauled the Second Jade off everywhere.

 

“Lan Zhan, Lan Zhan! Look at this tree!”

 

“You’ve climbed up enough trees Wei Ying.” Lan Wangji replied monotonously.

 

“But, but! This one is different!” He scrambled up the tree and started explaining how this tree was the start of Jiang Cheng's and his budding relationship.

 

Wei Wuxian dissolved into chuckles when he remembered that day. A light wind picked up, bringing along the scent of sandalwood. 

 

He glanced at Lan Wangji, who was looking at him with some unknown emotion.

 

Swaying dangerously on the tree branch, he had a fleeting thought. I’ve fallen so many times in my life and though I may not be afraid of pain, each time hurt. ......How nice would it be…… He mused as he fell off the branch. How nice would it be if - for once - I was caught…..

 

Lan Wangji’s eyes widened as he lurched forward and gathered his careless lover in his arms, safe and sound.

 

When Wei Wuxian was safely cradled in Lan Wangji’s strong, but gentle embrace, he let out a sound that was between a laugh and a sob as he hugged the Second Jade.

 

“Lan Zhan, Lan Zhan……” He called out.

 

“Mn?”

 

“Lan Zhan……”

 

“.....I’m here.”

 

“You are, aren’t you?” He let a few tears out before breaking the hug. “And you’ll never leave?”

 

“Never, Wei Ying.” Lan Wangji let out a small smile that took Wei Wuxian’s breath away. “Not in a decade, not in a century. Not for an eternity.” And then he bent down to capture the other’s lips in a searing kiss.

 

………………………….

 

Wei Wuxian returned later that day with bruised lips and a joyful face.

 

The disciples knew from experience not to look directly in his eyes or his neck, otherwise they’d be in a whole world of pain.

 

Ever since that one incident when an unknowing disciple stared directly at his mark-filled neck and got a whole speech on what happened, they knew not to ask.

 

“Shameless!” Jiang Cheng cursed Wei Wuxian when he saw that. “Can’t you two keep your hands off each other until you get inside?!”

 

“Nope~!” Wei Wuxian hugged Lan Wangji’s arm and entwined his fingers with the other’s hand. “Jiang Cheng, if you’re so jealous, why don’t you get your own?” He turned to Lan Wangji. “Hey, Lan Zhan, you’re brother’s temperament suits Jiang Cheng quite well, why don’t we-”

 

“NO!” Jiang Cheng screeched.

 

“No.” Lan Wangji refused.

 

“Huh? Why?” 

 

“I haven’t even interacted much with him! Why would you- and I’m not into men!”

 

“That’s what I thought too until I met the handsome and illustrious Second~ Master~ Lan~.” Lan Wangji's ears turned red at that.

 

“Hmph!” Jiang Cheng stomped away.

 

“Aww, come on! It was a great idea!” Wei Wuxian pouted.

 

“No, Wei Ying.” Lan Wangji repeated.

 

“Why?”

 

“Must. Protect. Brother.” 

 

“From what?”

 

Lan Wangji hesitated. “Brother is…..too nice. He draws…..unwanted attention.”

 

“Oh, yeah. Zewu-Jun is ranked first on that list. But Lan Zhan, my brother wouldn't do that!"

 

"Just being safe."

 

"Lan Zhan, you Lans have amazing strength. If anything, the one getting pushed down is my brother." Wei Wuxian said, deadpanned.

 

"Mn. Still, no."

 

"Sigh~ fine. Speaking of, you’re pretty too! Why wouldn’t you be targeted?”

 

“I was.”

 

A sharp red glint lit Wei Ying’s eyes up. “Really?”

 

“Mn. But.” He paused.

 

“But?” Wei Wuxian prodded.

 

“I’m too cold. People got disinterested.” Lan Wangji looked a bit disheartened when he said that.

 

Wei Wuxian’s heart melted. “Lan Zhan, you’re not cold. You’re such a soft, sweet person. How else could I come to love you so much?” He reached up and squeezed the jade-like cheeks. “And you’re so~ unbelievably~ cute~!”

 

“Wei Ying!” Lan Zhan reprimanded, but the tone was light. 

 

Wei Ying squeezed his cheeks a few more times before a slightly irked Lan Wangji grabbed his wrists and held the offending hands away from his slightly reddened cheeks.

 

"See? How cute~......" Wei Wuxian commented as he snuggled up to Lan Wangji.

 

The two spent the rest of the day cuddling together until Wei Wuxian pounced on him when they got to his room.

 

“Lan Zhan~” Wei Wuxian purred seductively.

 

“Wei Ying,” Lan Wangji was trying hard not to break. “Wait until after dinner.”

 

“But, Lan Zhan…..” Wei Ying grabbed an end of his forehead ribbon and started nibbling on it, giving a lick every so often as he glanced at Lan Wangji’s tensed, but aroused expression. “Why would you want to wait? Come on, HanGuang-Jun…..” He leaned in a sensually puffed a breath of air in the other’s red ears. “I want you so much. I want to take all of you in. You’re so big and stretch me so well. Come on, don’t you want me as well? Er-Gege, I’ve been waiting for you to take me since this afternoon. .......Lan Zhan, I want you....…..”

 

Red nerves crawled up around Lan Wangji’s lust-clouded golden eyes.

 

Almost there….. Wei Wuxian smirked internally. I have a feeling I’m going to regret provoking him, but it’s always such a pleasurable experience…….

 

“You can do anything you want to me……Break me, even.” 

 

There was a pause in the air.

 

“I see.” Lan Wangji pulled slightly away. “Anything, you said?”

 

“Yes.” Wei Wuxian felt a pleasurable shiver run down his spine at the hazy gaze his taller lover gave him. “Any~thing~”

 

Lan Wangji’s eyes narrowed. “It’s you who said this.”

 

And with that, Lan Wangji abruptly stripped off Wei Wuxian’s clothes and discarded his own soon after as he captured the other’s lips in an intense kiss.

 

Even when Wei Wuxian turned his head to try to get some air, Lan Wangji grasped his chin and dove back in, as if wanting to devour the smaller man.

 

Wei Wuxian would have collapsed to the ground had it not been for Lan Wangji’s arm holding him up by the waist.

 

When he was satisfied, the Second Jade parted from his lover and threw him on the bed.

 

“Aiyo! Lan Zhan, so rough--mmph!” Lan Wangji bit his lower lip to try to deter him from making sound.

 

“Ow! Lan Zhan, are you a dog? Why do you keep biting-ah!” Lan Wangji kept biting several places on Wei Wuxian’s neck, soothing the pain with his tongue and kisses.

 

He grasped the red bud on the right side with his teeth as one hand pinned Wei Wuxian’s wrists above his head and the other pinched the left side.

 

“Lan Zhan, enough. Don’t keep---ah!--- biting there!” Wei Wuxian gasped.

 

“Hmph.” Lan Wangji sank down to his knees and kissed Wei Wuxian’s inner thighs, moving higher and higher until he was right below the other’s member.

 

Wei Wuxian trembled with anticipation. Lan Zhan's lips were so close……

 

As if he had read his mind, Lan Zhan wrapped his lips around the head of the member and started to suck.

 

“Lan Zhan! Oh fuck, yes! Lan Zhan…..that’s so good……..” He moaned.

 

Lan Wangji slowly lowered his head more until the length was entirely in his mouth and then he bobbed his head, using his tongue to lick around the girth in his mouth every so often. 

 

He watched Wei Wuxian’s expression to grasp what felt the best and repeated the actions that made his face twist in pleasure. 

 

Wei Wuxian snuck his hands into Lan Wangji’s soft locks after some time and unconsciously tried to move Lan Wangji’s head. But the Second Jade caught his movements and restrained  his wrists with one hand and used the other to hold down his hips up.

 

“Lan Zhan…..Oh god! You’re so good!” He panted. “As I suspected - ah! - Lan Z-Zhan, you must’ve…..must’ve looked at some porn books! How else…..ahhhhh…..H-How else would you have so much ski--- ahhh!” 

 

Lan Wangji just sucked harder at the other’s words.

 

Wei Wuxian felt his stomach tighten and warned the other. “L-Lan Zhan-- I’m about t-to---”

 

Lan Wangji heard him and pulled the member in his mouth out abruptly with a ‘pop’, holding the base of the member with the hand that was bracing his hip.

 

“Lan Zhan! I was so close!”

 

“Not yet. Behave.” Lan Zhan chided.

 

Wei Wuxian let out a whine of complaint at that.

 

Lan Wangji spied the red ribbon that fell from Wei Wuxian’s hair and an idea popped up in his mind.

 

He took the red silk and wrapped it around Wei Wuxian’s eyes. Seeing there was more than enough ribbon left, he used the remainder to tie Wei Wuxian’s hands to the headboard.

 

“Lan Zhan?!”

 

“Shh. I’m here.”

 

“O-Oh….is this some kind of play? Lan Zhan, I never thought you could be so kinky……”

 

“Hmph.” Lan Wangji took off his forehead ribbon and staring at it for a while, wrapped it around the base of Wei Wuxian’s length. 

 

“Lan Zhan!” Wei Wuxian called out, alarmed. “That’s your ribbon! You can’t just---!”

 

“It’s mine, true.” Lan Wangji leaned in and let out a sensual breath. “And I can do whatever I want with it.”

 

Wei Wuxian felt waves of shivers make their way down his back and he was reminded of his words from earlier when he said that he was Lan Zhan’s and Lan Zhan can do whatever he wanted to him.

 

Should I be regretting my decision?

 

“Wei Ying?” Lan Wangji was stroking his cheek in comfort and Wei Ying leaned into the touch. “Are you okay? Should I stop?”

 

Wei Wuxian smiled. Of course Lan Zhan would worry……. “Lan Zhan, what did I say before? You can do whatever you want to me. I don’t mind.” He smirked. “Come and take me, Er-Gege……”

 

Lan Wangji growled as he shoved three fingers up his entrance, accurately hitting his sweet spot.

 

“Ah! So sudden! Lan Zhan, you’re really impa-- mmph!” Lan Zhan shut him up with a kiss as he continued to thrust those elegant fingers in and out.

 

Wei Wuxian felt that familiar build of pleasure but he couldn’t release it as the ribbon on his cock prevented him from doing so.

 

“Lan…..Zhan! I want to come! Please! I can’t take it--- Please!”

 

“No.”

 

“Hey~~!”

 

When it felt loose enough, Lan Wangji withdrew his fingers and slammed in every single inch of him inside Wei Wuxian’s warm walls.

 

Without pause, he started thrusting fast, each thrust precisely hitting that one spot that made Wei Wuxian scream out loud. 

 

Since Wei Wuxian’s sight was blocked, each sensation was heightened and he felt himself reaching another peak, even though he couldn’t release.

 

“Lan--- ahh! Lan Zhan! Does it feel good…..inside me?” He drawled.

 

Lan Wangji growled. 

 

“I’ll - ah! - take that as a yes. Hey Lan--- ah! Wait! Too fast! Too deep! HanGuang-Jun! Lan Wangji! Can you hear me? I said - ah! - it’s too much!!”

 

“Can’t you take it?” Lan Wangji asked as he gave another deep plunge. “Isn’t this what you asked for?”

 

“Ahhh!”

 

Lan Wangji stared down at his enchanting lover. There were tears of pleasure running from Wei Wuxian’s eyes, hickeys littered his chest of neck, nipples and member erect. Wei Ying was stunning like this and Lan Wangji couldn’t have enough.

 

Mine. All mine. He thought possessively.

 

“Wei Ying, so beautiful.” Lan Wangji panted into the crook of Wei Wuxian’s neck. “So beautiful, so pretty. All mine.”

 

“Yes, yes….” Wei Wuxian replied, well out of it. “All yours.”

 

Lan Wangji gave a few deep thrusts before removing the ribbon preventing Wei Wuxian’s release. With that, he hooked both of the other’s legs onto his shoulders and drove forward with an impossibly fast pace.

 

Soon, too soon, Wei Wuxian reached his peak. “Lan Zhan, I’m close. I-I’m gonna---- ahhh!” He cried out as he came.

 

Lan Wangji’s hips stuttered as he approached his own release. Wei Wuxian sensed this and clamped down hard on him, whispering encouraging, dirty words all the way.

 

One, two, three thrusts and Lan Wangji spilled deep inside Wei Wuxian.

 

They caught their breaths as they returned from their high. However……

 

“Huh? Lan Zhan? Why are you switching positions? I'm going to break!”

 

“You said it yourself. I can do whatever I want. Break you, even.”

 

“Hey, wait. Lan Zhan---ahh! I-I’m still s-sensitive! Lan Zhan!”

 

But, no matter what he said, they continued throughout the night. 

 

……………….......

 

Qingheng-Jun and Jiang Fengmian were worried when their sons didn’t show up for dinner. They left their seats after the meal and with the help of a few disciples, they found out where they were: Wei Wuxian’s room.

 

Both of them had the feeling that they should just turn around and walk away and they were right when they heard harsh breaths, lusty moans, and extremely bold words.

 

“Lan Zha-- ah! Lan Zhan, you’re so big, so r-rough! Ahh! …...stretching me so full----ah!”

 

“Stop. Talking!” 

 

"But, Lan Er-Gege, I have a mouth. I need to - ah! - use it for talking - mmph!"

 

They heard Lan Wangji grunt out followed by louder creaks of the bed and another loud, but muffled cry from Wei Wuxian.

 

Qingheng-Jun and Jiang Fengmian went red. 

 

Without another word, though, Qingheng-Jun brought out some noise-cancelling talismans and stuck them to the door with practiced ease. 

 

“You seem…..used to this.” Jiang Fengmian replied after a while.

 

Qingheng-Jun simply closed his eyes in pain. “Yes…..yes, I am.”

 

“Ah.” Jiang Fengmian left a sympathetic pat on the other’s shoulder. “It is already late. I shall show you to the guest rooms.”

 

“Please.”

 

And they left.

 

……………………….

 

Wei Wuxian woke up that day sore as all living hell, but he had been cleaned up and dressed before he knew it, a delicious meal laid out before him.

 

“Lan Zhan?”

 

“Mn?”

 

“What time is it?”

 

“Noon. Lunch now.”

 

“Ah.” Wei Wuxian tried to move from the bed, but as soon as he put weight on his feet, he fell to the floor. His hips hurt. A lot. 

 

“Lan Zhan…..”

 

“Yes?” He replied as he helped the other to the table.

 

“I think you’ve really crippled me. I can’t stand up!”

 

“..........” Lan Zhan was not remorseful. “You asked for it.”

 

“I did, didn’t I?” Though it was indeed good…...damn. I need to watch my mouth.

 

Lan Wangji hummed in assent.

 

By the time they finished their lunch, Wei Wuxian had recovered enough to only limp slightly.

 

And they were in for a surprise when Lan Xichen and Meng Yao touched down at Lotus Pier.

Chapter Text

Ever since Wei Wuxian found out what happened with the Qiongqi Path incident and how Meng Yao was involved, he had been trying to avoid the smaller man for a while. Especially since Nie Huaisang had given him the message that Meng Yao actually had his memories, he wasn’t sure how to approach the one who caused him to kill his Shijie’s husband and helped spread rumors about him.

 

Lan Wangji even more so. Towards the person who had a hand in his beloved’s death, he wasn’t sure how he would act. But his older brother trusted that person, so he wanted to give Meng Yao a chance. 

 

The two of them took deep breaths to calm down as they greeted the two of them.

 

“So…..” Wei Wuxian started in an attempt to begin a conversation. “Did you.......come here for something?”

 

“Yes.”

 

They explained why they were there: to expose Jin Guangshan’s crimes from the past and Meng Yao’s role in them. 

 

“I…..see. Just Lan Zhan and I, right? We’re the only ones who have returned.”

 

Meng Yao, “No. I feel…..that to prevent the mistakes of the past…..everyone needs to know.”

 

“.........Okay.”

 

As Wei Wuxian led them to the hall, the air was completely silent and awkward.

 

“Young Master Wei, why are you limping?” Lan Xichen suddenly asked, bewildered.

 

“Eh? Ah…..u-uhhh….” Wei Wuxian went a full red. "I-It's.....It's nothing......"

 

“Ah.” Meng Yao understood and similarly flushed.

 

“Wangji, is Young Master Wei hurt?”

 

Lan Wangji’s ears turned red and he avoided eye contact with his brother, so Lan Xichen didn’t get what was wrong.

 

“Wangji?” The First Jade gently prodded.

 

“Er-Ge.” Meng Yao called, still slightly red.

 

“Yes?”

 

“Don’t…..Don’t ask.”

 

“Eh? Why?”

 

Meng Yao cleared his throat awkwardly. “Young Master Wei is fine. That’s all you need to know.”

 

It took a while before it clicked for him. He had witnessed, or rather heard, that…..fateful day of his brother’s and Wei Wuxian’s…..nightly activities and how the latter would always limp afterwards. He flushed a bright red.

 

By the time they all entered the hall, everyone had noticed their red faces - ears, in Lan Wangji’s case. When Qingheng-Jun and Jiang Fengmian looked at their sons, they, too, flushed red - ears, again, for Qingheng-Jun. 

 

(Qingheng-Jun had to leave soon after for some matters in the Cloud Recesses, so he bid farewell to everyone, chatted a little with his sons and left.)

 

Yu Ziyuan, Jiang Yanli and Jiang Cheng felt like they were missing out on something. But wisely decided against asking. They had a feeling that they would regret knowing.

 

“So, to what do we owe this visit?” Yu Ziyuan asked.

 

“Well….” Meng Yao started. 

 

“It’s a long story.” Lan Xichen finished.

 

“Oh?”

 

The two of them looked at each other and nodded as they explained what they were doing and why they were doing it.

 

Everyone gave a nod to have . 

 

Lan Xichen subtly squeezed Meng Yao’s hand in comfort.

 

Meng Yao took a deep breath before explaining.

 

“I…..back in that past, in order to gain my father’s approval, I did many horrible things. One of the most that I’m guilty for is,” He paused to turn to Wei Wuxian. “….for what I’ve done to Young Master Wei.”

 

Wei Wuxian clenched his fists, trembling slightly. “Go on.” He managed to say.

 

“Mn. Young Master Wei, your brother was, at the time, Sect Leader, if you remember.”

 

“I do.”

 

“Well, you see. My father desired your powers as well as the Stygian Tiger Seal and offered many treasures to bring you to our side as a result. But you refused. My father assumed it was because of your affiliation to Yunmeng Jiang. And so…..”

 

“And so…..?”

 

“And so, he asked me to spread……certain rumors about your relationship with your brother.”

 

“………” Wei Wuxian was silent. 

 

“What rumors?” The Jiang Family intoned. 

 

“I’m….not sure you want to hear them.” Was the only thing Meng Yao could say.

 

“Go on.” Jiang Fengmian gave permission.

 

Meng Yao struggled for a while, but eventually turned to at Wei Wuxian who silently gave his consent.

 

“The rumors were targeted……at Young Master Jiang and intended to feed on…..his jealousy towards Young Master Wei. They were designed to fuel resentment between you two and intended to have you split.”

 

Yu Ziyuan and Jiang Fengmian went rigidly silent as did Jiang Cheng and Jiang Yanli. The parents knew that they had a part in fueling this complex of Jiang Cheng’s while Jiang Cheng and Jiang Yanli both knew of the jealousy simmering beneath Jiang Cheng’s skin. 

 

Wei Wuxian gave a sigh. “Indeed they were. The rumors were getting to be too much and on top of my “renowned” status as a demonic cultivator……I knew it would weaken the newly revived Jiang Sect. So,” he paused. “So I broke off ties with Yunmeng - after I rescued the abused Wen prisoners - in order to protect its reputation from falling with me.”

 

“Wait- you saved Wens?” Jiang Cheng asked.

 

“Yes.”

 

Wei Wuxian explained the state of the prisoners as well as saving them, causing much ire to be brought upon him for his actions. Everyone was mad hearing what the state of the prisoners were.

 

“You and your damn self-sacrificing personality. Why couldn’t you just leave them alone?!” Jiang Cheng exclaimed. He knew that though the state of the prisoners was horrid, their clan did do much wrong to Yunmeng Jiang.

 

Wei Wuxian smiled weakly. “You said the same thing back then, Jiang Cheng. But, my answer is and will always be the same. I saved them because they saved us. As well as….. *sigh* never mind. I moved to the Burial Mounds with them because that was, in a sense, the safest place.”

 

“How could that place be anywhere safe?” Yu Ziyuan demanded.

 

“I…..managed to tame the resentful energy of Burial Mounds.” Wei Wuxian admitted. “So, for the time being at least, it was safe.”

 

Meng Yao waited till he finished before nodding. “This was what we hoped would happen. Since Young Master Wei was no longer bound by the Jiang Sect and was pretty much isolated, my father thought we could lure him in. With promises of riches, fame, status…….women……but Young Master Wei refused.”

 

Meng Yao stopped here. This is where it gets difficult. “So…..since my father wasn’t able to obtain Young Master Wei…….He decided the next - and best - course of action was to-“

 

“To get rid of me.” Wei Wuxian concluded with a wry smile on his face. “And you succeeded indeed.”

 

The hall descended into an uneasy silence.  

 

Meng Yao felt pressure from it, but Lan Xichen was there as his support, so he continued.

 

“Correct. You refused my father so many times, so he wanted to kill you. But there was no good excuse. So, we used incidents that could easily stem from demonic cultivation and the rescue of the Wen remnants to worsen your reputation, causing the…..”

 

“The Lord of Evil, the Yiling Patriarch, to be born.” Wei Wuxian cringed.

 

A few people let out chuckles at that.

 

“You were really called that?” Jiang Cheng said with as joking of a tone as he could manage.

 

“Hahaha, yup.” Wei Wuxian let out a dry laugh.

 

Lan Wangji squeezed Wei Wuxian’s hand as a silent reassurance.

 

Meng Yao sighed as he told everyone all the things - he remembered - that his father did and what he had done under his father’s commands.

 

Zidian was brightly sparkling in compliment to its master’s enraged look. But neither Zidian nor Madam Yu lashed out…..yet.

 

He got to Qiongqi Path and sighed.

 

“Young Master Wei, despite everything, I didn’t want Zixuan-ge to die there. I didn’t think you would go out of control because up till that point, you had been doing fine.”

 

Wei Wuxian clenched his fists. 

 

“So, I did some research of my own. And…..”

 

“And.….?”

 

“Fath- Jin Guangshan had recruited demonic cultivators. And…..they were mixed among the ranks of the archers that attacked you. They had analyzed the Spirit Lure Flag you created and used it to try to agitate you by forcing a lot of resentful energy onto you.”

 

Wei Wuxian, Lan Wangji, and Lan Xichen froze. 

 

“What? So…..I…..I never lost control?”

 

“No, you didn’t. Everything was…...premeditated.”

 

“So, then…...Nightless City?”

 

Meng Yao sighed. “Yes, that too.”

 

“Your- Jin Guangshan, he…...he would go that far….?”

 

Meng Yao closed his eyes. “That man……. What wouldn’t he do to get what he wants?”

 

They could not respond to that.

 

When Meng Yao got to the Siege of the Burial Mounds, he looked to be on the verge of a breakdown due to guilt. 

 

“Young Master Wei, I have no excuse for killing those at Burial Mounds. But…..But I’m glad that child was rescued.” One of the few things Meng Yao remembered after the Siege was this. He recalled that Lan Xichen told him about Lan Wangji rescuing a Wen child. (In order to not break the other's trust, he kept that a secret.)

 

“A’ Yuan? What do you mean? A’ Yuan was rescued?!”

 

“What child?” Jiang Fengmian asked, alarmed.

 

“Ah. Well, I was raising a child - A’ Yuan - in the Burial Mounds. A’ Yuan was so cute, you know? My precious little radish! Oh, but rescued? Who….?”

 

Meng Yao turned to Lan Xichen and then Lan Wangji.

 

“Lan Zhan? You…..You saved him?”

 

“Mn.” There was a pause before Lan Wangji’s ears flamed red. “…….Our son.”

 

“Awwww, Lan Zhan, you’re so cute~!” Wei Wuxian cooed.

 

Their sweet little interaction was almost able to offset the previous somber mood.

 

Even Meng Yao smiled at that.

 

That’s where his sins against Wei Wuxian - and Jiang Cheng - ended.

 

Now, he awaited punishment to those he wronged.

 

“Pray tell, though. For what reason did you do all this?” Jiang Fengmian spoke first.

 

 “I…..I wanted to grant my mother’s dying wish.” Meng Yao replied in a small voice after a while.

 

That…...That was unexpected.

 

“I wanted, begged, pleaded, did everything under the sun for my father’s approval..….simply because I wanted to make my mother proud. Who knew…..” He laughed brokenly. “Who knew…...that that was only a pipe dream.”

 

The room descended into a dead silence once again.

 

A sigh broke the tension. “Though I still do want to whip you with Zidian…..” Madam Yu started. 

 

“My Lady……”

 

“I understand your reasons. However……”

 

“However, this does not excuse everything I’ve done, correct?”

 

“Yes. But, you are actively trying to be better, right?”

 

“Yes.”

 

“Wei Ying, what about you?” Madam Yu turned to him.

 

“Me? What about me?”

 

“Do you forgive him? Do you feel like he needs to be punished?”

 

Wei Wuxian paused and stared at Meng Yao for a while. “This…..*sigh*……This…… Let’s just say that this…..was a matter of another life…..that never existed. We’ve changed the course of history, we’ve improved ourselves, we’ve avoided tragedies. Why…..” He closed his eyes. “Why should I blame you……for something that has not happened yet?”

 

Meng Yao openly gaped at the Yiling Patriarch. “What?” He wasn’t expecting forgiveness that easily.

 

“Wei Ying forgives you.” Lan Wangji stated. “Accept it.”

 

Lan Xichen also let out a breath in relief. It seems like his little brother wasn’t as angry as he thought. But, it seems that Wei Wuxian had a great effect on him as he wasn’t too angry. (Usually, when his brother was angry, that emotion would reach his eyes and he wouldn’t show any outward reaction - his aura would turn a frigid cold as well.)

 

“So…..that’s it?” Meng Yao squeaked out.

 

Wei Wuxian, “Eh? Ah. Yeah.”  

 

That’s it? Meng Yao thought. That’s it? I…..

 

“A’ Yao.” Lan Xichen suddenly spoke. 

 

“Yes?”

 

“I believe….. - as Young Master Jin mentioned before - that the greatest punishment is living with those memories. Though I would have preferred you remembered nothing…….there’s nothing to do about it now that you recall it.”

 

“Young Master Lan is right.” Jiang Fengmian agreed.

 

“Young Master Meng.” Jiang Yanli spoke. “I believe that the blame lies with Jin Guangshan, who made you do this.”

 

Everyone agreed. The started discussing plans to try to topple the bastard. 

 

“Ah. I believe there’s something else you need to know.”

 

“Oh? What is it?”

 

“Young Master Wei, Second Young Master Lan. In this lifetime, at Qiongqi Path, Zixuan-ge and I found out - through some digging - that Jin Guangshan planned it to try to get rid of you two and manipulated Jin Zixun and the three hundred archers accompanying him to do that.”

 

Resentful energy instantly curled around Wei Wuxian. It was one thing to try to harm him. But to touch his Lan Zhan? Oh…...Jin Guangshan is so dead.

 

Wei Wuxian’s mind was filled with nothing but cruelly eliminating Jin Guangshan. He didn’t notice the resentful energy getting thicker and thicker by the minute, nearly suffocating everyone.

 

“Wei Ying.” Lan Wangji called out urgently. “Wei Ying, listen. Listen to me.”

 

Wei Ying’s eyes flickered between red and silver constantly. But he still turned his head to Lan Wangji. 

 

The Second Jade sighed out in relief at this as he started to hum the one song that could reach him - WangXian.

 

Instantly, as if under a spell, the Yiling Patriarch closed his eyes and his breathing evened out, the resentful energy slowly but surely dissipating.

 

When it was gone, Lan Wangji stopped humming and Wei Wuxian opened his eyes, looking quite sheepish.

 

“Sorry, everyone……..”

 

“It’s fine.” Yu Ziyuan said. “We know you wouldn’t hurt anyone. You may be a reckless brat,” Wei Wuxian smiled cheekily at that. “But I know you care for us.” She looked away and said the last part in a small voice. (If there was a suspiciously light tint on her cheeks, no one commented on it.)

 

(Yu Ziyuan has tried to be a bit more honest - ever since Jiang Fengmian started being more of a husband and a father - seeing as her temper had caused a lot of problems. Those periodic times of honesty has tightly bound together what used to be a slightly dysfunctional family.)

 

“A-Ah…..” As such, Wei Wuxian did not know how to deal with this new Violet Spider.

 

Everyone chatted for a bit longer before they all dispersed for lunch. 

 

………………..

 

Meng Yao wandered off for a bit later that night to cool off his head.

 

These days of wandering around and confessing his sins had drained him. Now that he was done, he felt…..free. As if a burden had been lifted from his soul. 

 

“Yao-Ge?” A sleepy voice asked.

 

“Huh? Oh, A’ Yu? What are you doing up so late?”

 

“Yao-Ge, do you care for me?” A’ Yu asked.

 

“Hm? What are you saying? Of course I do! You’re my precious younger brother. No matter what anyone says, you’re family.” Meng Yao smiled.

 

A’ Yu’s eyes sparkled. “Really?”

 

“Yes.” He sighed quietly to himself. “I regret not helping you back then.” He murmured inaudibly.

 

“Do you mean that?” A’ Yu’s voice suddenly sounded older, the tone deeper.

 

Meng Yao was startled by the change. He looked over and saw A’ Yu’s body glowing. This is…..

 

“Yao-Ge, answer me. Do you really regret doing that to me? Throwing me back to those wolves?” A’ Yu - no, Mo Xuanyu - asked.

 

“Yes.” He replied without hesitation. “Of course. I regretted every day I left you with those people. But…..But I couldn’t bring you back. I was too…..caught up with myself. I…..the me back then was too cruel and unforgiving. You didn’t accept the things I did, so…...I pushed you away.” He paused. “There are no words I can say…..as I was the one who forced you to go back to your abusive family and suffer……”

 

Mo Xuanyu stared at him and sighed. “It’s…..It’s fine. In this world, I am happy, safe, protected.”

 

The light around the boy’s body started to fade.

 

“A’ Yu, I……”

 

Mo Xuanyu smiled. “My current self will not remember anything of this conversation, neither will he have the memories I do. They are too unrelenting, too cold, too callous.” He sighed. “Yao-Ge, thank you for taking care of me this time.”

 

“A’ Yu, wait. I…..I’m sorry.” Meng Yao cried. “I’m sorry I couldn’t protect you. You were truly kind to me back then and I….I was afraid. Afraid that letting you in would change me. So I rejected you, I threw you away. I’m sorry. I’m-”

 

He was cut off as the younger man hugged. “Thank you, Yao-Ge. And...... I love you so much, my brother. I truly mean that. Thank you, at least for a small period of time, for taking care of me back then. And now, truly, you’ve done more than enough.” The light started to crackle and fade. “Thank you and…..goodbye.”

 

The light dissipated and A’ Yu collapsed into a dead sleep in Meng Yao’s lap.

 

“A’ Yu…..” Meng Yao closed his eyes. “Don’t worry, I will be the best big brother this time around.”

 

The wind picked up, tickling Meng Yao’s face, as if to say that Mo Xuanyu understood.

Chapter Text

“Lan Zhan, do you think you check these over?” Wei Wuxian handed the trinket over.

 

“The Compass of Evil?”

 

“En! New and improved! I created the original one a week ago, but I felt that it was missing something, so I decided to improve it!”

 

“What does the improved one do?”

 

“Well…..you know how it would normally spin out of control when there’s lot of resentful energy?”

 

“Mn.”

 

“The improved one has a special function.” Wei Wuxian glanced at Lan Wangji.

 

“..........” Lan Wangji gave him a look before sighing. “......And that is?”

 

Wei Wuxian’s smile widened. “I added a special function. Each compass is attuned to one person’s spiritual energy. If there’s a yin creature that is more powerful than that person, the compass will point out the direction the creature is in and give a warning. There are different lights for different levels of the creature. Green is safe. Blue is medium difficulty - meaning, the person can fight them, it’ll only take a bit more effort. Violet is high difficulty - the person will not get out without a few injuries. Red is ‘get the fuck out of there’.”

 

Lan Wangji narrowed his eyes. “Language.” He chided.

 

 Wei Wuxian stuck out his tongue. “Bleh. Anyway, red would be things like a Landborne, Airborne, or Waterborne Abyss, something like the Tortoise of Carnage, or something on the same level as the Stygian Tiger Seal.”

 

“Have you tested it?”

 

“Mm? Well, kind of. It works for green and blue, but I haven’t found anything that’s violet or red. So I don’t know if those difficulties work.”

 

“Hm. Let the disciples test it.”

 

“The children? Why?”

 

Lan Wangji sighed. “Wei Ying, you’re too powerful. There are not many creatures that could be considered dangerous to you.”

 

Wei Wuxian blushed. “L-Lan Zhan…...I told you to warn me before doing something like that!”

 

The Second Jade gave a thin smile. He loved seeing the other blush like this. It was a good look on him. 

 

Wei Wuxian just huffed. “Okay, okay, I’ll give it to the children. But one of us has to go with them to make sure that they’re okay.”

 

“Mn.”

 

Wei Wuxian erased his spiritual energy from the compass and the two took the juniors out to hunt. The group included disciples from the Lan, Jin, and Jiang clans. 

 

Wei Wuxian handed the compasses - he made three - to each clan disciple - one Jin, one Jiang, one Lan. (They each did their own little competition to decide who got the compass.)

 

Following Wei Wuxian’s instructions, they synchronized their spiritual energy with the compasses and watched as it pointed in several different directions.

 

“Huh.” Wei Wuxian frowned. “I forgot to add that it should prioritize the direction of the more powerful creatures. Huh.” He thought out loud, watching the compass point in several directions and give different directions with different levels of danger.

 

“Senior Wei! There’s violet!” A Jiang disciple exclaimed.

 

Wei Wuxian’s attention was instantly drawn to that disciple's compass and he looked forward. “Oh. Oh shit.”

 

Lan Wangji also frowned in the direction that the danger was pointed at.

 

A black shadow shot towards them and Wei Wuxian drew Suibian, stepping in front of the disciples at the same time he yelled, “Lan Zhan!”

 

“En.” Lan Wangji had already drawn Bichen and blocked the incoming attack.

 

The opponent was a nine-tailed fox. 

 

Regardless, it would be easy to deal with it using demonic cultivation, but there were witnesses, he couldn’t do anything but use regular cultivation.

 

“Wei Ying.” Lan Wangji called. The two stared at each other with understanding and nodded.

 

“Children! This way!” Wei Wuxian led them all away to a nearby village. “Whatever you do, do not come our way!”

 

There was a wave of complaint until Wei Wuxian shot them a stern look. “Do not be brave and try to help. I haven’t worked with you all before so if you try to interfere, I may hurt you! So stay here.” He knew what they wanted to hear. If he said it this way, they wouldn’t complain. He winked at them. “Protect the villagers should we let the fox escape, okay?”

 

“Mn. But Senior Wei, why did the nine-tailed fox attack? They are usually peaceful creatures!” A Lan disciple asked.

 

“Well, that…...it’s possessed.”

 

“Possessed? How is that possible? Nine-tailed foxes are…..”

 

“Ahhhhh...! I’ll tell you later! I have to go help Lan Zhan now!” He stepped on Suibian and headed off.

 

Wei Wuxian soon arrived where Lan Wangji was and sighed in relief seeing that there were no wounds.

 

“Lan Zhan, is it still conscious?”

 

“Difficult to say.” Lan Wangji paused to block another attack. “Sometimes in, sometimes out of consciousness. She’s still there. But, not for long.”

 

She? Lan Zhan, Lan Wangji, HanGuang-Jun, where were you looking to identify the creature?” Wei Wuxian teased.

 

Lan Wangji’s ears went red. “Wei Ying.….!!!!”

 

“Hahahaha, I know, I know. No teasing in the middle of a battle, right?” Wei Wuxian deflected the next attack and flung the fox far away, before leaning in to the other’s red ear. “Only in bed, right?” His voice dropped a tone lower.

 

Lan Wangji’s breaths got heavier. 

 

The mischievous look never left his face as he bounded off in the fox’s direction. “Lan Er-Gege, once you’ve calmed down, fight with me again, alright?”

 

Bichen was clenched extremely hard, knuckles turning white, as Lan Wangji watched his lover go off in the fox’s direction.

 

“Shameless……” He breathed out as he joined the other to help the fox.

 

Wei Wuxian brought Chenqing out and started to play a tune. The resentful energy around the fox calmed down and swayed to his orders.

 

Lan Wangji took out his guqin and played Cleansing to try to calm the fox’s agitated mind while Wei Wuxian used Chenqing to try to draw out the spirit trying to possess the fox.

 

After a while, the spirit was drawn out and the fox slumped into a deep sleep from sheer exhaustion.

 

Wei Wuxian kept playing that tune luring the spirit from the fox’s body. Once they were at a safe distance, he let Lan Wangji try to resolve whatever regrets the spirit had in an effort to purify it.

 

The spirit had died a pitiful death and wanted to get revenge on the bandits that killed him on his way home. But, after more prodding, the spirit simply wanted to see his family once again and have his body buried at his birthplace.

 

The two of them went to reassure the disciples. 

 

“Wait, Senior Wei! You didn’t explain why the fox was possessed!”

 

“Yeah, yeah. Nine-tailed foxes are supposed to have strong minds! It’s nearly impossible for them to be possessed!” 

 

“Ah…..that’s…..” Wei Wuxian explained that the female fox had just recently lost her children and was particularly weak-willed, so any passing spirit would be able to possess her. 

 

“That’s why, though it is nearly impossible for nine-tailed foxes to be possessed, when caught at a particularly low mood, they’d be able to be possessed.”

 

“But, animals don’t have souls, right?”

 

The vast majority  don’t. Very few, those that have grown in places with rich spiritual energy or those that have a strong lineage in relation to divine, mythical, or high-leveled beasts all have some semblance of a soul.”

 

“Really?” 

 

“Of course!”


After chatting a bit more, they sent the disciples home and then went to satisfy the spirit’s needs.

 

When they reached the village with the spirit’s body and met the deceased's family, the spirit finally found peace and disappeared. In thanks, the family gave them some - certain - flowers in gratitude as they had no money to pay them.

 

Since it was late, they decided to spend the night at a nearby inn.

 

“Great, so it does work!” Wei Wuxian laughed with glee. “So, Lan Zhan, do you think you could give this to Zewu-Jun or your Uncle?”

 

“Why?”

 

“They’re pretty reputable. If they give their approval of this invention, then most people will be able to accept it.”

 

“Mn. Uncle and Brother will definitely improve.”

 

Wei Wuxian’s eyes brightened. “Really? You think so?”

 

“En.” Lan Wangji then seemed to think of something. “Wei Ying. What about the Spirit Lure Flag? You said you were going to improve them.”

 

“Yeah, I did. Though, I wasn’t too sure how to improve it for a while. The only change I managed to do is adjusting the range at which the flag would attract spirits. It works fine. You could hand them over too.”

 

“En. …...Wei Ying.”

 

“Yes?”

 

The Second Jade patted his head. “Good work.”

 

“L-Lan Zhan! You c-can’t just…..urgh!” Wei Wuxian buried his blushing face in his hands.

 

Lan Wangji gave a small smile at that. There was a knock at the door and Lan Wangji went to see what was wrong, seeing as his lover was more than comfortable on the bed.

 

Wei Wuxian was a bit bored and started playing around with the flowers for earlier.

 

It smells quite good…… He thought absentmindedly as he took a whiff of the scent. Wait. This is…...oh no.

 

…………….........

 

Lan Wangji returned to the room and heard a ‘thump’ as if someone fell.

 

He rushed into the room and found Wei Wuxian on the floor, robes in disarray, sweaty, and clutching the flower from before, breathing heavily.

 

“Wei Ying?!” Lan Wangji called out, alarmed.

 

“Lan…..Zhan.…..it’s hot…..” 

 

“What happened?” He helped the other off the ground at took notice of the way the latter shivered at the contact.

 

“Flower…..the flower……”

 

Lan Wangji looked at the flower and inspected it for a bit. “This is…...the Hongcan flower?”

 

The Hongcan Flower is not a harmful flower. It does not affect ordinary people and usually grows in places where there is a lot of natural elements. However…...when a cultivator catches a whiff of its scent…...it works as a powerful aphrodisiac. 

 

“Lan Zhan, Lan Zhan…..I…...need…..you…... please …..” So currently, Wei Wuxian was under the effects of a powerful stimulant that can only be flushed out…...by sex.

 

Lan Wangji sighed resignedly. This is going to be a long night. “Okay.”

 

He placed some sound-canceling talismans before turning to his pleading lover.

 

He then abruptly stripped off all of the other’s clothes, fingers trailing down slowly from the curve of Wei Wuxian’s neck, to his chest, stopping there to lightly rub his nipples.

 

“Lan Zhan, Lan Zhan, please. Touch down there…....please.....it’s hot…..” Wei Wuxian begged. 

 

Lan Wangji quirked his lips up into what seemed like a smirk. “You teased me today. Payback.”

 

“Lan Zhan!”

 

But Lan Zhan only dove down to capture their lips in an intense kiss while his hands roamed all over the other’s body, all while avoiding that one area Wei Wuxian wanted him to touch.

 

“Lan Zhan…….Lan Zhan, please…….” Wei Wuxian was almost crying from frustration now. 

 

Lan Wangji hummed, finally taking mercy on him, and grabbed his member, stroking it.

 

“Oh…...Lan Zhan, yes , ah! , so good…….. ” 

 

Lan Wangji rubbed his thumb over the head, causing Wei Wuxian to moan louder. When he dipped a finger into the slit and stroked the length roughly a few more times, it sent his lover over the edge and spilling into his hand.

 

“Lan…..*pant*.....Lan Zhan, it’s not enough. More……” 

 

Lan Wangji glanced down and Wei Wuxian was indeed hard again.

 

Red nerves crawled up around his golden eyes, but he had to be patient. Otherwise, he would hurt his beloved again by being too rough.

 

Just as he left to go grab the oil from his Qiankun pouch, Wei Wuxian caught his wrist.

 

“Lan Zhan…..” He panted as he shook his head. “I’m fine. Please, please come inside me. I can’t take it. It’s too hot…..”

 

“But, Wei Ying. You’ll get hurt.”

 

“I’m fine.” He confirmed again. “If it’s you, I’m fine.”

 

The next thing he knew, he had picked Wei Wuxian up and roughly threw him on the bed. He loomed over the other and traced his fingers down the sensual curves of the other’s body until he approached the wet and pliant entrance.

 

“This is…..”

 

“I…..I was…..preparing myself. I-I couldn’t wait…….”

 

Lan Wangji was stunned and then shoved three fingers up into the soft insides, roughly and quickly stretching the entrance to the maximum.

 

“Ah…...ah! Lan Zhan! There…...there!” He mewled louder with each slam of Lan Wangji’s long, slender fingers against his sweet spot.

 

Lan Wangji soon felt like it was enough and removed his fingers, positioning his already hard length against the dripping wet entrance.

 

He entered tortuously slow, watching as his beautiful, beautiful , lover’s face twisted with pleasure with every inch of him that slid in. When he was finally seated completely in, he started thrusting in at a brisk pace, not waiting for Wei Wuxian to catch up.

 

“Ah! A-Ahhn-- hyaaa! Lan Zhan! Lan Er-Gege, so good. So good!! So big! Y-You’re so big! Stretching me s-so wide-- AH! There! There!” Wei Wuxian screamed.

 

Lan Wangji grunted at the tightening of the passage. “Wei Ying! Stop…..squeezing!”

 

“B-But Lan Zhan…..” Wei Wuxian replied with a laugh. “You’re so thick. You’re filling me up so much. It feels too good. I don’t want you to leave. What’s wrong with wanting to keep you insi-- ah! So suddenly?! Ah! Er-Gege, wait! Too fast! Too fast!”

 

The Second Jade could really not listen to anymore words coming out of his mouth and just stroked the other’s length at the same pace his hips were moving, causing Wei Wuxian to shut up.

 

With a few more hard thrusts to his prostate, Wei Wuxian climaxed once again, eyes rolling to the back. But Lan Wangji kept fucking him through it, making him squirm from oversensitivity. But surprisingly, he got hard again.

 

“God! Oh god! I-I’m hard again! This is t-too good, too good. Fuck me faster, Er-Gege. Hurry, please.”

 

Lan Wangji increased the pace, going as fast and as hard as Wei Wuxian wanted.

 

The two came at the same time after a while.

 

But Wei Wuxian was still aroused. 

 

“Lan Zhan…..Lan Zhan……”

 

Lan Wangji grunted and flipped their positions so that Wei Wuxian was seated in his lap. This position caused the latter to take in every inch of Lan Wangji.

 

The pleasure was so great that Wei Wuxian nearly passed out from it.

 

“Wei Ying, look at me.” 

 

Through his blurry eyes, Wei Wuxian made out Lan Wangji’s silhouette and bent down to capture those soft lips in a kiss.

 

Lan Wangji bucked up once, hitting his prostate on accurately. “Wei Ying, ride.” He commanded.

 

A pleasant shiver traveled down his back as he obeyed. He lifted his hips up and slammed down, causing the both of them to groan with delight. 

 

Wei Wuxian continued that pace, but stopped soon, content with grinding down on the hard length. But Lan Wangji was dissatisfied with that and took over, thrusting up so quickly that Wei Wuxian could no longer follow his movements.

 

They came together again that night, hugging each other’s sweaty bodies.

 

The effects of the flower had worn off by then, but they still hadn't come down from their high and started another round in a different position. Wei Wuxian’s legs over Lan Wangji’s shoulders. The latter pounded into him so quickly, so roughly, so deeply that his body was bent in half.

 

Like this, they were entangled with each other the entire night.

 

……………….........



Wei Wuxian woke up and immediately regretted it. He was sore. Even more so than normal. 

 

Damn it, Lan Zhan really did a number on me…….

 

He tried to get up and his legs promptly gave out beneath him.

 

The culprit showed up at the exact moment, tray of food in hand. He set down the tray and helped Wei Wuxian up.

 

“Lan Zhan…..” His voice came out hoarse. 

 

“Drink.” A cup of tea was brought to his lips and he swallowed once. He could taste peppermint, chamomile, and honey and his sore throat felt better. 

 

“Lan Zhan…...last night…..was intense.”

 

Ears flamed a bright red. “.......En.”


“Ahhh, what do I do?” Wei Wuxian cried out in frustration.

 

“Hm?”

 

“Lan Zhan, last night was too good! I don’t know if I’d be satisfied with anything less now! You fucked me too well! It felt too pleasurable! Gods!” Just remembering last night, Wei Wuxian felt his face flush and a rush of heat traveled south.

 

Hearing that, though, Lan Wangji just nodded. “Don’t worry.”

 

“Huh?” Wei Wuxian looked up and saw…..an oddly determined look on his slightly taller lover.

 

“We’ll have better times in the future.”

 

HUH???!!!!! Wisely deciding to ignore that last sentence, Wei Wuxian turned to the scrumptious meal laid out in front of him and dug in. 

 

Since he was so absorbed in his meal, he didn’t notice the Second Jade secretly stowing the remaining Hongcan flowers away in his Qiankun pouch (for later use). 

 

…………………

 

A few days later (because Wei Wuxian really actually couldn’t walk after that), they headed to Yiling again to reminisce about old times as well as to test some other little trinkets while night hunting. 

 

When they returned to town, they heard the sound of a child crying.

 

Rushing to the source of the commotion, they found a child dressed in Wen sect robes on the ground in tears.

 

“Hey, little one. What’s wrong?” Wei Wuxian asked.

 

The child turned his head to look at him and Wei Wuxian froze. Th-The child…….he’s……..

 

“A’ Nian!!!!” A’ Yuan cried as he barreled towards his leg and hugged it, using his other arm to tug on Lan Wangji’s robes. “A’ Nian, A’ Die…….”

 

To say that Wei Wuxian was shocked was an understatement.

 

“Eh? These are his parents?”

 

“What’s going on here?”

 

“Strange……”

 

Wei Wuxian ignored the voices and picked A’ Yuan up. He then pulled out Chenqing and gave it to the boy. He immediately stopped crying and started playing with Chenqing’s tassel.

 

Wei Wuxian’s eyes softened. He turned to the crowd. “Go, go. There’s nothing to see here.” The crowd dispersed and Lan Wangji, him, and A’ Yuan headed to a nearby tavern.

 

“Ahahahaha, Lan Zhan, doesn’t this remind you of that last time we met in that life?”

 

As if reminded by something, a sour expression flashed across Lan Wangji’s face, but it disappeared as soon as it appeared, so Wei Wuxian didn’t notice it. “Mn.”

 

“He called you that too back then! Ah~ you’re face was so hilarious!!!! Ahahahahahaha, you looked so lost, you didn’t know what to do!!!! Ahahahahaha……..”

 

Lan Wangji sighed, shaking his head. 

 

“Ummm…..Gege…..who are you?” A’ Yuan asked.

 

“Oh?” Wei Wuxian’s attention turned to A’ Yuan and his tone turned teasing. “You called me ‘A’ Nian’, shouldn’t you know who I am?”

 

“I did not!” A’ Yuan denied.

 

“You did too!”

 

The boy pouted.

 

“Ohhhhh, you’re too cute~!” Wei Wuxian pinched the boy’s cheeks. “I’m Wei Wuxian, Wei Ying, but you call be Xian-Gege, little radish!”

 

“X-Xian-Gege, I’m not a little radish! And….mrrrr! Stop pinching my cheeks!”

 

“But you’re so cute~! So cute that I want to eat you!”

 

A’ Yuan gasped in horror. 

 

“Wei Ying, stop teasing.” Lan Wangji removed the boy from Wei Wuxian’s grasp and set him down on the table, ordering some sweet soup for the boy and snacks and drinks for them.

 

The food arrived and A’ Yuan started eating happily. 

 

Wei Wuxian started chatting and teasing A’ Yuan, with A’ Yuan pouting and loudly complaining.

 

Lan Wangji sighed. “No talking while eating.”

 

“Mn.” A’ Yuan immediately stopped talking and silently ate his food.

 

Wei Wuxian openly gaped at him. “Lan Zhan, how did you make him listen to you so fast? Back then, it would take me so many tries before he would listen!”

 

Lan Wangji raised an eyebrow and continued eating silently. Only once he finished the bowl in front of him did he answer. “I just told him and he complied.”

 

“Huh? …...That didn’t answer my question at all!”

 

“Wei Ying, finish eating. We have to find…..A’ Yuan’s family.”

 

Wei Ying sighed. “Okay, okay.”

 

They cleaned up and Wei Wuxian paid (for once!). The Yiling Patriarch picked A’ Yuan up and asked who he was with and if he remembered what they looked like. 

 

They started walking until Wei Wuxian noticed Wen Yuan staring at a toy stall.

 

“Which one do you want?”

 

“Mmmm……” Wen Yuan started pointing at the ones he wanted.

 

“That’s too many! Try only choosing two!”

 

“Two? That’s not enough……” Wen Yuan complained.

 

“You don’t get to complain! I’m the one who--”

 

“Which ones?” Lan Wangji asked with his smooth, deep voice.

 

Wen Yuan’s eyes glowed brightly. “Those!” He pointed out excitedly. 

 

Wei Wuxian gave an insufferable sigh as he watched Lan Wangji pay for the toys. “Lan Zhan, if you keep doing this, he’s going to get spoiled!”

 

“He won’t.” “I won’t.” The two replied with same exact tone.

 

Wei Wuxian nearly burst out into laughter at that. Glancing at the interaction between Lan Wangji and Wen Yuan, Wei Wuxian gave a nostalgic smile. We’re only missing a donkey now…….. He thought, reminiscing about his parents.

 

“Wei Ying?”

 

Wei Wuxian glanced at Lan Wangji and marveled at how the sunlight reflected off him, highlighting his exquisite face. Coupled with the adorable A’ Yuan at his side, Wei Wuxian felt a softness fill his heart as he grinned.

 

“I’m here!” He called out cheerfully as he ran into Lan Wangji’s arms. He felt safe and protected in those string arms. And when A’ Yuan clung to his leg, he…..

 

.

 

.

 

.

 

…….He felt so warm.

Chapter Text

They didn’t end up finding Wen Yuan’s family that day.

 

After a bit more prodding, though, they found out that Wen Yuan was separated with his family when he was chased by a walking corpse.

 

He said he didn’t know how far he ran, only that he needed to get away.

 

He was saved by a cultivator in black and gray and one and black in white that were accompanied by a mean boy and a girl with white eyes and dropped off at town in case his family came back for him. They stayed for a while but had to go. They - specifically the cultivator in white - didn’t want to leave the child, so they found a caretaker to look after him and gave the caretaker accommodations to take care of A’ Yuan. 

 

They were about to ask what happened to the caretaker when they got their answer.

 

“But the mean lady just left.”

 

Lan Wangji and Wei Wuxian were pissed at that caretaker for abandoning him and Wei Wuxian went to…... tell that person - once they found her - about leaving A’ Yuan by himself.

 

As Wei Wuxian lulled Wen Yuan to sleep, Lan Wangji had gotten the bath ready.

 

Wei Wuxian lay the child on the bed and slowly disrobed, stepping into the bath. 

 

Lan Wangji was nearby, organizing some notes. The glow of the lamp glinted beautifully across his face, illuminating those breathtaking golden eyes in a soft, amber light. 

 

And Wei Wuxian was awfully tempted.

 

“Lan Er-Gege, aren’t you going to join me?” Wei Wuxian asked teasingly.

 

“........No. I have to write a report on yesterday’s night hunt.”

 

Wei Wuxian noticed his hesitation with glee. “Are you sure? Lan Zhan~, I’m so terribly, terribly cold in here. Can’t you warm me up?” He dropped his tone a note lower.

 

Lan Zhan inhaled sharply. 

 

Just a little more~......!

 

Wei Wuxian leaned out the tub, and allowed his lover to watch the water droplets glisten and slide tantalizingly down across his bare skin.

 

Lan Wangji’s eyes darkened and his Adam’s apple bobbed.

 

Wei Wuxian smiled like a cat that got its cream. One~ more~ push~!

 

He reached out a hand and let it curl under Lan Wangji’s chin, tilting it upwards slightly as he bent down to steal a kiss.

 

Lan Wangji broke at that moment. He broke so hard, Wei Wuxian couldn’t keep up with the storm he had brought upon himself.

 

Lan Wangji wrapped an arm around Wei Wuxian’s lean waist and dragged him closer, devouring the inside of his mouth. The warm droplets soaked through Lan Wangji’s pristine robes, but neither could really care at that moment. 

 

When Wei Wuxian tried to turn his head for air, Lan Wangji used his free hand to clench his chin and drag him back into another intense makeout session.

 

Once he was satisfied, the Second Jade moved down to his neck, sucking and biting new, fresh marks over the tender skin.

 

“Ah…..ah~.....Lan-Lan Zhan…...more…..” Wei Wuxian moaned.

 

“Wei Ying.” Lan Wangji’s eyes darkened even more - if that was possible - and his hand slid down lower and lower and lo---

 

“Xian-gege?” A sleepy voice interrupted them.

 

The two lovers sprung apart immediately, a cold bucket of water splashing over them.

 

They had forgotten A’ Yuan was in the room with them!

 

“Y-Yes, A’ Yuan?” Wei Wuxian replied with a shaky voice as he tried to get his bearings back.

 

“U-Ummm, I had a nightmare. I-I’m scared……” A’ Yuan clenched his robes, his half-lidded eyes watery.

 

Wei Wuxian sighed and mouthed a ‘later’ to Lan Wangji.

 

He dried himself, got dressed and slipped into bed with A’ Yuan, completely ignoring the heated look on the Second Jade’s face.

 

Lan Wangji resigned himself to his fate as he took a freezing cold bath to ward off his reaction and slipped into bed with the other two.

 

He was a bit dissatisfied that A’ Yuan was in the space next to Wei Wuxian where he usually was but dealt with it. 

 

(Lan Wangji mentally slapped himself for feeling ridiculously jealous of a child for taking up Wei Ying’s attention, especially since that child was one he once raised up to adulthood.)

 

Feeling the shift in weight on the bed, Wei Wuxian cracked a silver eye open.

 

“G’ night, Lan Zhan.”

 

“Mn. Good night, Wei Ying.”

 

…………………………………………

 

They never ended up getting a ‘later’ as they soon found out A’ Yuan was a needy and clingy kid. 

 

(Lan Wangji had sent a letter to Qishan about A’ Yuan since they had no luck finding anyone yesterday.)

 

At some point during their search for A’ Yuan’s family, A’ Yuan started referring to them as Mom and Dad.

 

“A-A’ Yuan.” Wei Wuxian spoke with embarrassment. “Don’t you have a mom and dad? It wouldn’t be right to call us that.”

 

“Mm? A’ Yuan only has Qing-jie, Ning-gege, Granny, Uncle Four, Uncle Six and everyone else! I don’t have a Mom or Dad.”

 

Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji felt their own hearts clench. They knew the feeling of being without parents, but they never thought that A’ Yuan would face the same thing. And he was younger than them when that happened!

 

In that other timeline, Wei Wuxian always thought that A’ Yuan’s parents died during the Sunshot Campaign (and by his hands). But now…..it seems like there’s something else.

 

“You…..You don’t want to be my Mom and Dad?” A’ Yuan’s bottom lip wobbled unsteadily.

 

“What? No! Of course not! I would be glad to be your…... parent! Right, Lan Zhan?”

 

“En.”

 

The look of pure joy on A’ Yuan’s face melted both of their hearts.

 

“Oh!!!! A’ Yuan, my little radish! You’re so cute!!!” Wei Wuxian gathered the boy up into his arms and affectionately rubbed his cheek.

 

A’ Yuan squeaked. “A’ Nian! A’ Nian, stop!” A’ Yuan desperately reached out for Lan Wangji. “A’ Die, help!”

 

Lan Wangji sighed. “Wei Ying. Stop bullying him.”

 

“It’s not bullying if it’s done with love!” Wei Wuxian proceeded to give the same treatment to the other cheek.

 

“A’ Nian!”

 

The Second Jade plucked the boy - no, their child - from Wei Wuxian’s offending embrace and set the boy down.

 

“Wei Ying. If you want to adopt A’ Yuan, you have to ask Wen Qionglin or Sect Leader Wen.”

 

“Eh? Oh, right. But I’m sure Wen Ning will agree. If not, we can always just visit him often!”

 

“Mn.”

 

They wandered around the town for a bit more until A’ Yuan became sleepy.

 

As they returned to the inn, they bought some more paper since Wei Wuxian had a couple more ideas that he wanted to write down before he forgot.

 

Once they tucked A’ Yuan in, they ordered dinner and Wei Wuxian started to write.

 

“Arrays…..arrays……” He mumbled. “A sword array…...but it’ll take up too much spiritual energy…...Lan Zhan!”

 

“Mn?”

 

“How do Lanling Jin Sect’s arrays work? How are they sustainable?”

 

“I don’t know many details. But, from what I’ve heard, some of them are like Yunmeng Jiang’s.”

 

“I see, I see…..And the others?”

 

“Takes energy from surroundings and uses it to activate the array.” He paused. “But only if they want it to be constantly active.”

 

“That makes sense……” With that, Wei Wuxian started mumbling random thoughts again. Papers were filled up quickly with random ideas he had.

 

Sword arrays, illusion arrays, killing arrays…….

 

“Wei Ying.”

 

“Yes?”

 

“The last one……”

 

“Oh. The killing arrays?”

 

“Mn.” Lan Wangji wanted to say something, but he held back.

 

Wei Wuxian seemed to know what he wanted to ask. “I know. I won’t share this publicly. Only with you.”

 

“Mn.”

 

Wei Wuxian continued to work as Lan Wangji also marked up some papers. Lan Xichen had sent over some work he needed help with and Lan Wangji was more than happy to help. 

 

It was one of those rare moments of welcomed silence between the two.

 

However, every so often Wei Wuxian would ask for the other’s input.

 

“Lan Zhan, Lan Zhan. I was thinking of creating a defensive array that is cost-efficient and putting them in places where cultivation clans are rare or unseen. Do you know how many places need that? Depending on your answer, I need to try to adjust the range of the array.”

 

“En.” Lan Wangji set down his brush and took out a map, pointing at many places far removed from cultivation clans as well as places well hidden and unnoticed by the world - but close to major sects.

 

“Hm, hm……” Wei Wuxian tapped the brush against his chin. “If that’s the case…….” He scribbled down more notes.

 

Deciding to take a break from writing, he asked Lan Wangji about how he raised A’ Yuan back then.

 

Lan Wangji gave a small smile as he recalled those fond memories.

 

He told Wei Wuxian about burying Wen Yuan - Lan Yuan, as he was later called - in a pile of rabbits. Teaching him how to play the guqin and having him learn Inquiry. Of his struggles in the beginning to be accepted. Of the eventual acceptance of his existence. Of how he excelled in his academics. Of his growth into adulthood.

 

Wei Wuxian laughed along, commenting here and there about the similarities they had in raising him as well as teasing him here and there about things he did and how - if he had joined him - would raise A’ Yuan together.

 

“What about his courtesy name?”

 

“........Sizhui. I named him Sizhui.”

 

“Sizhui. Sizhui, huh?” Lan Wangji wrote the name down and Wei Wuxian absentmindedly traced the characters. “Meaning to recollect or…...long…...for…..? .......Wait….Lan Zhan…...you……”

 

Lan Wangji’s ears became a fierce red, confirming his suspicions.

 

“Lan Zhan.” He swallowed. “You--”

 

A knock on the door interrupted their thoughts.

 

“Excuse me, young masters? Your dinner.” A servant girl replied.

 

Wei Wuxian opened the door and invited her in to place the meal down.

 

“Thank you, sister!” Wei Wuxian winked.

 

The girl blushed as she thanked him for the gratitude.

 

(Since his back was turned, Wei Wuxian did not see Lan Wangji’s positively dark look.)

 

“Sister, wait a moment.”

 

“Yes?”

 

“Have you seen anyone wearing robes from the Wen Sect?” Wei Wuxian went on to describe exactly what the robes looked like. 

 

“Umm well, no. No one like that checked into the inn.” Seeing the disappointed look on his face, the servant quickly apologized. “B-But, I have heard of someone like that arriving in the area in around a couple days or so.”

 

“Ah, beautiful sister, we’ve looked all day for someone like that to no avail.”

 

Seeing Wei Wuxian’s handsome face so close up, the girl’s face flamed further. “B-B-Beautiful? Me? But I’m just a--”

 

Wei Wuxian grinned. “Sister is indeed a beauty.” Wei Wuxian bowed slightly. “Thank you for the information.”

 

“A-Ah…..no worries. Young Master, please enjoy your meal!” The servant bowed before closing the door.

 

“Wei Ying.”

 

“Yes?” Wei Wuxian turned and was immediately pinned to the door. “L-Lan Zhan?”

 

“You flirted.” He accused.

 

“Hm?”

 

“You flirted.”

 

“O-Oh, but I was just complimenting her since she gave us--mmph!” Lan Wangji did not want to hear any of Wei Wuxian’s excuses as he shut him up with a kiss.

 

“W-Wait - ah! - Lan Zhan! A’ Yuan is still-- Mm! A-And dinner - ow! D-don’t bite so much…..ah!”

 

Lan Zhan bit into the side of Wei Wuxian’s neck, lightly licking the bite.

 

“Then you will have to be quiet, Wei Ying.” He replied with a husky voice.

 

Shivers ran down Wei Wuxian’s back as he was dragged behind a screen that was in the room. It gave them just enough privacy from the other sleeping occupant in the room.

 

“Lan Zhan…..Lan Zhan…..!” Wei Wuxian felt sparks of pleasure run down as Lan Wangji’s strong hands pulled open his robes and ran down his skin.

 

Everywhere Lan Wangji touched made Wei Wuxian burn with heat and want.

 

“Lan Zhan, Lan Zhan, please……”

 

“Too loud.” Lan Zhan simply replied, gagging him with Wei Wuxian’s own hair ribbon.

 

He then rucked up his lover’s robes and pulled down his pants, shoving two fingers into his entrance and curling them up at that one spot.

 

Wei Wuxian felt the pain at the initial penetration but that was soon overtaken by an unbelievable current of pleasure making his knees shake underneath his weight.

 

“Mm! …..mmm…..nh!.....L-Lan….” Wei Wuxian moaned around the ribbon as he braced himself against the screen. His eyes glistened with want and need as he sent a pleading look to the other behind him.

 

Lan Wangji ignored this admirably and continued to scissor and stretch the other’s entrance. His other hand working around Wei Wuxian’s body, occasionally circling back to hold his waist up when he sensed that Wei Wuxian was about to collapse. 

 

“Ah!....mmm! Lan….Zhan….enough! Hurry, please! ” Wei Wuxian managed to say through the cloth.

 

“Mn.” Lan Wangji slowly drew out his fingers, reveling in the needy moan he ripped out of his lover and slammed every inch of him inside Wei Wuxian.

 

This time, Wei Wuxian couldn’t support himself as his legs gave out. 

 

However, Lan Wangji steadied him against the screen, both hands on either side of his waist, as he started a rough, punishing pace.

 

“Ah! ….ahhhh!......good!….L-Lan…..” 

 

Lan Wangji noticed Wei Wuxian sneaking a hand down to stroke his own length and irritated, slapped the hand away. But seeing as the other really couldn’t help himself, Lan Wangji stopped moving, taking off his forehead ribbon and binding Wei Wuxian’s hands together.

 

He resumed the pace, denying Wei Wuxian any form of release.

 

“Er-Gege, please! Please…..I….I want to-- mm!”

 

“No, punishment.”

 

Lan Wangji circled an arm around the other’s waist and moved the other to block Wei Wuxian’s mouth, further sealing up those alluring sounds of his.

 

The Second Jade growled when he felt Wei Wuxian tightening around him.

 

“Do you like it when I treat you like this?” He wondered aloud with harsh pants.

 

Wei Wuxian mewled abnormally loud at that, further tightening around the man behind him, member leaking more.

 

“Wei Ying…..Wei Ying.” He panted, halting his thrusts in favor of grinding against the other. “Do you like this? If you don’t answer, I won’t move.”

 

Lan Wangji could see the enchanting blush that creeped up the other’s face as Wei Wuxian nodded rapidly.

 

Lan Wangji gave a thin smile at that, removing his hand and moving it to stroke at Wei Wuxian’s length right as he moved with an even more brutally rapid pace.

 

Wei Wuxian gave a soundless cry as he came, Lan Wangji following soon after.

 

The former’s legs gave out, but Lan Wangji caught him, slowly lowering them to the floor. They breathed heavily against each other, both trying to calm down from their high.

 

Lan Wangji untied the hair ribbon to allow his spent lover to properly breathe and removed the forehead ribbon from his wrists.

 

“Lan….Lan Zhan…...you really…..” Wei Wuxian trembled from the aftershocks of their love making.

 

“Hm.” Lan Wangji pulled out slowly, relishing in the way his lover whined at the loss.

 

He then drew a bath and cleaned the both of them off. 

 

They dressed in their sleeping robes and asked for the food to be reheated.

 

A’ Yuan woke up sleepily when the reheated food came back and the family of three sat around the table and ate. 

 

With full stomachs, they clambered onto the bed and fell asleep.

 

……………………

 

The next morning, they were greeted with a panicked but relieved Wen Ning, who fussed over his nephew until the boy asked to be released.

 

“Ning-gege, don’t worry, don’t worry! A’ Nian and A’ Die took care of me!”

 

Wen Ning froze as what Wei Wuxian thought was a mixture of amusement and embarrassment.

 

“A’ Yuan. Who’s the Mom and who’s the Dad?” Wen Ning asked as his shoulders shook with a knowing laughter.

 

A’ Yuan tugged on Wei Wuxian’s robes. “A’ Nian!” And then on Lan Wangji’s robes. “A’ Die!”

 

“Why like that?”

 

“Ummm…..” A’ Yuan seemed to think really hard on that. “Uncle Four told me that the father is the one with money and A’ Die paid for everything I wanted! And Xian-- A’ Nian did all the things that Uncle Four said a mother would do.”

 

Wei Wuxian looked positively floored at that explanation while Lan Wangji’s lips quirked up.

 

“Speaking of, how did you lose him?” Wei Wuxian asked.

 

“We were attacked by a sudden wave of fierce corpses and got separated. I thought someone was with him and was unquestionably freaked out when I found out no one was. Everyone searched the surroundings and we were sure that he hadn’t been hurt…...or worse. But we couldn’t find him and I was worried.”

 

“We heard that a group of people had saved him and dropped him off in town.”

 

“Oh. I see. Do you think you could give me their descriptions? I want to thank them.”

 

“Mn.” They described the group to the best of their ability. 

 

Wen Ning, “They sound familiar somehow….. No matter. I have to be getting back. Jie needs some help.”

 

“Oh? Is something wrong?”

 

Wen Ning quickly shook his head. “Oh, no no. Nothing serious. Just a lot of complaints here and there. Jie is getting sick of them and her temper is setting off more often.”

 

“Ah…..”

 

The group talked for a bit more before Wen Ning really had to be getting back, but……

 

“No!” A’ Yuan whined. “I won’t leave! Want to stay with A’ Nian and A’ Die!!”

 

“A’ Yuan…..” Wen Ning was really helpless against A’ Yuan’s tears and looked to the two in front of him for help.

 

“A’ Yuan….” Wei Wuxian started. “A’ Yuan, don’t worry! We’ll visit! And we can send letters too! You won’t be lonely for long!”

 

A’ Yuan shifted his teary face to Wei Wuxian’s. “Promise?”

 

“Promise. Now go along. Your…..father and I here need to go do some dangerous things.”

 

“Dangerous?”

 

“Mn. But it’s fun! We’ll tell you alllll about it, okay?”

 

“Mn. Okay.”

 

“A’ Yuan.” Lan Wangji spoke up. 

 

“Yes?”

 

The Second Jade brought down a hand to ruffle the boy’s hair. “Take care.”

 

A’ Yuan’s eyes lit up at that. “Mn!”

 

“Pfff!” Wei Wuxian couldn’t take it. “Lan Zhan, he’s copying you now!! Ahahahaha!!!!”

 

“Mn.” “Mn!”

 

Wei Wuxian laughed louder at that. Just like a real family……. He sighed in contentment.

 

He gave one last squeeze-hug to A’ Yuan and pinched his cheeks a few times more before they left their separate ways.

 

……………………..

 

Lan Qiren and a few Gusu elders had looked over the improved versions of the Spirit Lure Flag and Compass of Evil and gave their okay on them.

 

But before production would start, Lan Wangji suggested something.

 

“Put a symbol on it.”

 

“Symbol?”

 

“Mn. Something that signifies that it’s yours.”

 

“Why would I--- Oh.” Wei Wuxian understood what Lan Wangji was implying. 

 

Others may try to copy his ideas and may botch that attempt, causing the faulty product to cause harm to those using it.

 

To prevent him from being blamed, he should make his own symbol on the ones he made, so if anyone would accuse him, they would have to gain evidence of it first.

 

Of course, the only ones who would know about the symbol would be the blacksmiths/manufacturers responsible for creating them, Wei Wuxian, and Lan Wangji. (Wei Wuxian decided that the symbol would be a crow.

 

"Hey, don't look at me like that." Wei Wuxian replied when he saw the look on Lan Wangji's face.

 

Lan Wangji hesitated. "Why......a crow?"

 

"Mmm......because I've heard they can represent intelligence? ......And I'm a prodigy~!!" Wei Wuxian looked quite proud of that.

 

".........." Lan Wangji just shook his head.)

 

With that issue solved, the two inventions were soon being mass-produced and distributed to everyone.

 

Wei Wuxian spent a lot of time with the blacksmiths during the production to make sure each compass and each flag worked as intended.

 

He then bounced ideas off them, suggesting some kinds of armor they could make and combine with different enchantments or effects. (For example, a sword that had an enchantment that would make any foe hit by it to freeze in place - basically a paralysis effect.) There was also smoke bombs that could distract resentful creatures and several other things.

 

After seeing the consistent stream of good quality products and how they could be produced without his input, he left with Lan Wangji, going wherever chaos was and helping the common people.

 

…………………………

 

They made their way back to Gusu after a week-long night hunt and flopped onto their bed in the Jingshi, soon falling asleep. 

 

The next day, Lan Wangji had to teach some classes. Which meant that Wei Wuxian would have no one to entertain himself with. 

 

So, he wandered around the Jingshi for a bit. 

 

He found a box that seemed to be well-taken care of and, curious, opened it without another thought.

 

His heart filled with live and a sense of accomplishment when he saw a myriad of things kept in there. There was a drawing he had given the other when he was a guest disciple, a peony bookmark, and several other trinkets he had gifted the other man.

 

Sighing fondly, he placed the box back and went outside, a bounce in step and a silly grin on his face.

 

After visiting the large herd of bunnies, he asked Lan Xichen if there was anything to do. He was led to a storage room that seemed to be quite cluttered.

 

“Do you think you could sort the things in here with Wangji later?” Lan Xichen asked.

 

“Hm? Sure! Where is Lan Zhan? His classes should have ended.” Wei Wuxian’s question was answered when he felt a strong pair of arms encircle his waist. “Lan Zhan!”

 

“Mn.”

 

Lan Xichen gave a laugh. “Well then, I leave you two to that then.”

 

The two looked at the clutter and Wei Wuxian could already the twitch on Lan Wangji’s face when he saw how messy everything was.

 

…………………..

 

Hours later, everything was tidied up. It really didn’t take to long since Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji communicated through their eyes, each knowing what the little glances meant. They worked in tandem throwing away what was unusable, gathering papers and cataloguing them where they needed to go, placing artifacts in any empty space they could find.

 

They were pretty much done, but Wei Wuxian found an incense burner with an interesting shape. It had the body of a bear, the nose of an elephant, the eyes of a rhinoceros, the tail of a bull, and the limbs of tiger.

 

“This is quite interesting.” He commented.

 

“Wei Ying? That is…..?”

 

“An incense burner. But it seems a bit different somehow. Want to test it out?”

 

Lan Wangji hesitated.

 

“Oh, don’t worry. I’ve already inspected it. It has no killing intent or resentful energy.”

 

Lan Wangji no longer had reservations as they brought it back to the Jingshi, lighting it up.

 

Cuddling together after the relatively normal day, they fell asleep.

 

The two were immediately perplexed to find themselves in a strange, but familiar place. They found themselves in a forest.

 

“What is this?”

 

“Not reality.”

 

“Not reality? Then what?” Wei Wuxian could certainly feel everything around him.

 

“Incense burner.”

 

“Oh? You think that this is because of that?”

 

“Mn.”

 

A shadow darted near them. They jumped into defensive stances, but didn’t sense ill intent.

 

Soon recognizing the figure as a slightly older version of Wei Wuxian, they followed him to a small house overlooking a small patch of farmland, bunnies hopping around nearby.

 

“A’ Yuan, Er-Gege! I’m back!”

 

“A’ Nian!” “Wei Ying.” The two greeted.

 

Wei Wuxian watched in awe at this scene. “This! This is…..”

 

“What’s wrong?”

 

“This is my dream.”

 

The family of three sat down around the table of food Lan Wangji had prepared.

 

As Wei Wuxian bit into the scrumptious spicy chicken, he moaned with delight.

 

“Delicious as always, Er-Gege!”

 

Lan Wangji gave a small smile. “Mn.”

 

“A’ Yuan, do you want some too?”

 

A’ Yuan’s face twisted into something akin to horror. “No!”

 

“Why?”

 

“A’ Nian’s food is too spicy!!! Bad, bad!!”

 

“Oh, come on, A’ Yuan~! Just one little bite!”

 

Lan Wangji sighed. He grabbed Wei Wuxian’s hand that held the chopsticks and bit down onto the chicken. He coughed lightly. 

 

“Is that good enough?”

 

Wei Wuxian sputtered and blushed. “Y-Yes, yes. That’s good enough!” He buried his head in his hands. “Ahhhh!! Lan Zhan! I told you to warn me before you do something like that!!”

 

“Mn. Next time.”

 

“N-next time?!”

 

A’ Yuan laughed. “A’ Nian blushed again!”

 

It was then that Wei Wuxian realized that his son was watching the entire exchange with a teasing smile on his face.

 

“A’ Nian is cute! Right, A’ Die?”

 

“En.”

 

“You two!”

 

Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji watched the family carry out the rest of their day. 

 

Wei Wuxian tilled the fields, played with the rabbits and A’ Yuan and teased Lan Wangji. Lan Wangji fixed the torn clothes, took care of the finances, and cooked food.

 

“A good dream.” Lan Wangji commented.

 

“Mn. I’ve had this dream for a while. A lovely family of three. Just like…..” Just like my parents and I.

 

“Hm?”

 

“Ah. It’s nothing. Anyway, after A’ Yuan was tucked in, you and I would both disrobe and get into the bath together. However, the dream would always end just as we touched our clothes to take them off!! Ah~! Such a waste!”

 

“Mm.”

 

As expected, as soon as the dream Wei Wuxian and dream Lan Wangji touched their clothes, the dream ended.

 

The location of the dreamscape shifted and changed. 

 

Looking around, the both of them recognized it as the surroundings near the cold spring.

 

The two heard a familiar laugh followed by lots of splashing.

 

Wei Wuxian’s eyes immediately lit up as he pulled Lan Wangji along towards the sound. But, Wei Wuxian noticed how stiff and reluctant Lan Wangji was to follow.

 

“Lan Zhan? What’s wrong?”

 

“........”

 

More talking and splashing followed. 

 

Not wanting to stall any longer in fear he might miss something, Wei Wuxian sped on ahead.

 

Lan Wangji didn’t want to stay there alone for too much longer and went after him.

 

Wei Ying jumped around a bit more to warm himself up.

 

Annoyed, Lan Zhan placed a hand on his shoulder to still him. “Stop moving!”

 

Wei Ying felt a gush of warmth. Feeling warmer, he couldn’t help but want to shift closer to the other.

 

Lan Zhan, “What?”

 

Wei Ying replied in the most innocent tone he could manage. “Nothing. Just that your side seems warmer.”

 

Lan Zhan stuck out a hand, warding Wei Ying from getting closer. “It is not.”

 

With that, he turned around, firmly ignoring the other.

 

Wei Ying saw the bruises on the other’s palms and shoulders, confirming that the other’s intentions weren’t meant to heal here. “Lan Zhan, I admire you so much. You really did punish yourself as well. I don’t have anything to say.”

 

Lan Zhan’s ear heated up a bit, hands twitching minutely.

 

“Oh~ so you really did like me praising you!”

 

“Mn. Always took Wei Ying’s words seriously.”

 

“Ai~ you, Lan Zhan~!” Wei Wuxian thought for a while seeing their younger selves interact. “Ah…..Lan Zhan, you really were cute when you were younger.”

 

“Stop.” Lan Wangji’s ears became red.

 

Wei Wuxian grinned impishly and wanted to tease more, but stopped in favor of watching. 

 

Young Wei Ying continued to compliment the young Lan Zhan, who tried his best to ignore the other.

 

Wei Ying became warm after a while and started to swim for a bit before circling back towards Lan Zhan. 

 

Though his younger self didn’t notice it, Wei Wuxian noted with glee how the young Lan Wangji’s eyes followed his other self unconsciously.

 

“Lan Zhan, didn’t you notice what I was doing when I talked to you.”

 

“I do not know.”

 

“Liar!” Wei Wuxian exclaimed. “You were watching me the entire time!”

 

“Mn.” Lan Wangji agreed. “Wei Ying is beautiful.”

 

Instantly, Wei Wuxian’s face became red. “Lan Zhan, you…...I told you to warn me.”

 

“En.”

 

Wei Wuxian sighed. Every time he wanted to tease his lover now, it always backfired! It was easier when the man was younger, now he’s always forced to eat his words! Lan Zhan had improved too much!

 

“I was complimenting you! I want to be more casual with you! I want to be friends!! Come on~, we;re already so familiar. ”

 

Lan Zhan paused. “How?”

 

Wei Ying’s face lit up. He didn’t expect the Second Jade to actually agree.

 

“I’m always loyal to my friends! Anything of mine, I’ll share with you!”

 

“For example?”

 

“Yunmeng’s food is really good! I don’t know if it’s your Cloud Recesses’s problem or something, but the food is so bland! Come to Lotus Pier, you can eat lots of delicious food! I can also take you to pick lotus seed pods and water chestnuts!”

 

Lan Zhan’s hand twitched again as he refused.

 

Wei Ying, “Don’t keep answering with negative words! If you’re like that, girls won’t like you! Let me tell you, the girls in Yunmeng look very pretty, different from the sort of pretty of Gusu.” He winked at Lan Zhan. “You sure you don’t want to come?”

 

Lan Zhan at this point was very annoyed.

 

“Oh! Oh! Lan Zhan, were you jealous that I was talking about girls?”

 

“En.”

 

Wei Ying kept talking and trying to convince Lan Wangji to come. 

 

Lan Zhan’s self-restraint snapped. He didn’t know how to shut the troublemaker up and opted by using his lips.

 

Wei Wuxian was completely dumbfounded as he saw this. This definitely didn’t happen and wasn’t his dream, so it must be Lan Zhan’s!

 

“Lan Zhan~ this dream of yours seems off, huh?”

 

“Stop looking!” Lan Wangji moved to leave.

 

Wei Wuxian caught his arm. “Now, now. We haven’t gotten to the best part yet, have we?”

 

Wei Ying was completely shocked. He tried to back out, but was held in place by Lan Zhan’s hand that hand slid into his hair to hold him in place as he deepened the kiss.

 

Lan Zhan originally didn’t plan on letting things get this far, but Wei Ying was just so, so sweet and tempting. He couldn’t help but slide his tongue his to thoroughly taste the delicacy in front of him.

 

Wei Ying, on the other hand, was too surprised to move. He was too concentrated on the delicate lashes against his and the soft, slightly sweet lips covering his. When he came to, he was breathing heavily from lack of air. 

 

He then came to the realization that he had just lost his first kiss!

 

He rubbed his lips furiously. “Lan Zhan! What was that for? You-- mmph!”

 

Lan Zhan shut him up with another kiss. Now that he had taken a taste of the other’s lips, he was completely hooked on the taste and wanted more. One of his hands held Wei Ying in place, while the other explored the bare skin before him.

 

Wei Ying moaned into the kiss as Lan Wangji’s hand brushed against his nipple. 

 

Liking the reaction, Lan Zhan pressed harder, pinching and rubbing it. 

 

“Mm! Ah! L-Lan---” Wei Ying, in his daze, ground his hips forward, wanting more contact.

 

Lan Zhan made a small sound. Liking that, Wei Ying did it again.

 

Lan Zhan growled this time, diving even deeper into the kiss - if that was possible - taking the breath and resistance away from Wei Ying.

 

When he was satisfied, he separated from the other, placing a light bite on his lower lip before moving to kiss and nibble along his fair neck.

 

“Lan-- stop! Lan Zhan! You c-can’t! Ah!”

 

“You brought this upon yourself.” Lan Zhan lightly licked the bite marks he made on the other’s neck.

 

“H-How did I---ow! Ah! S-Sto---”

 

Wei Wuxian glanced at Lan Wangji’s expression. Though it was blank, he could see the hints of embarrassment through his ears and clenched fists.

 

Grinning, he crept closer blowing lightly into that reddened ear. “Er-Gege, who would have suspected that you wanted to do this to my past self? I can’t believe you’re like this……. HanGuang-Jun~.”

 

Lan Wangji’s fists became white from how hard he clenched them.

 

Lan Zhan’s hand slipped down over a certain part and he grasped it, squeezing lightly. Wei Ying gasped a few times. “L-Lan Zhan? W-What?! Are you mad?!” 

 

Seeing as Lan Zhan truly had no intentions to budge, Wei Ying became slightly afraid. “No no no no. Lan Zhan, let’s talk this over, okay? L-L-Let me go first, okay?”

 

Wei Ying swung his arms around trying to push the slightly more built away. Irritated by this, Lan Zhan stripped his forehead ribbon off, grabbed the other’s hands and bound them behind Wei Ying’s back.

 

With that, Lan Zhan continued to manhandle Wei Wuxian. Due to the struggle, they had moved near a flattened out rock. Lan Zhan pushed Wei Ying on top of it and made little work of the pants, discarding them near the pile of robes.

 

Feeling his bottom half go cold, he exclaimed again, trying to wiggle himself away. “Lan Zhan, what are you doing?”

 

Wei Wuxian was so engrossed, he couldn’t help but shout, “What do you think?! He’s gonna do you!”

 

Next to him, Lan Wangji became an alarming shade of red.

 

Using the water from the spring, he circled a finger towards Wei Ying’s entrance, the pink slit opening shyly to swallow that fare finger. Due to the immense arm strength that the Lans possessed, Wei Ying couldn’t move at all.

 

Wei Wuxian smirked. “No wonder you were so hesitant to come here. To do such a thing to the poor, innocent, young me-- I bet you want to go hide in a hole now, huh?”

 

Lan Wangji’s eyelashes trembled a bit.

 

Turning his attention back forward, Wei Wuxian watched as his younger self was pinned down by a young Lan Zhan. “You know…..if you wanted to do that to me, you should have just done it. Back then, I-- whoa!”

 

Wei Wuxian was pinned down by Lan Wangji, who’s boiling cheeks and rapidly beating heart could easily be sensed by Wei Wuxian. 

 

“What? You embarrassed again?”

 

Hearing Lan Wangji’s abnormally rough breaths, Wei Wuxian smiled. “Or…..are you hard instead?”

 

At the same time, Wei Ying let out a long, pained moan by the rock.

 

Lan Zhan slowly thrusted himself into the still tight entrance. Wei Ying felt so uncomfortable, he tried to struggle away to no avail. Sensing the other’s pain, he kissed the other. Wei Ying melted into the kiss, which Lan Zhan took as a chance to send his member in entirely.

 

Wei Ying let out soft whimpers as Lan Zhan started to lightly thrust in and out.

 

“I’m still a virgin at this point and you were quite ‘big’ back then, so I say….this is going to be a rough round.” He turned his attention to his lover who had stripped away their robes and kissed along the side of his neck and chest.

 

Lan Wangji used their robes as a sort of blanket against the rough ground.

 

Wei Wuxian brought up a knee to rub against the hardness pressed against him. “What say you and me get it on too?”

 

Wei Wuxian was very much aroused seeing their younger selves go at it and wanted to feel his lover. He could tell that Lan Wangji felt the same as the man lined himself up at Wei Wuxian’s entrance and sheathed himself in. Due to the curve of the member, it accurately hit the one spot that made him see stars.

 

Pleasure ran throughout both of their bodies as Lan Wangji slammed in hard, all aimed at that one sweet spot.

 

From this angle, Wei Wuxian could just make out how his sixteen year old self also suffered through such pleasure.

 

Wei Ying didn’t know how long had passed while Lan Zhan had drilled into his body. Lan Zhan lifted both of his legs over his shoulders and starting slamming in faster.

 

“Ah! Ahhh! Lan--- ah! Too much! It’s too much! Stop!”

 

Wei Wuxian watched this and felt it wasn’t enough. Younger Lan Zhan should be rougher and bully the young Wei Ying until he couldn’t have the energy to form coherent sentences.

 

Wei Ying eventually seemed to come to his senses when Lan Zhan had dragged both of their heated bodies back into the freezing water. The burning sensation from the intrusion of the foreign object in him had lessened thanks to the chill, as well as bringing him back from his state of stupor. He looked down to see what was going on. Lan Zhan’s members, long and thick, could be seen constantly disappearing in and out of his body, white and a bit of red dribbling out.

 

Wei Ying wanted to fight back, but his hands were bound behind his back, causing him to be helpless.

 

“Lan Zhan, stop, please, too much…..it’s too much! Do you hear me--ah!” Wei Ying soon began to feel another sensation other than the intrusion. “Nooooo!”

 

The water from the spring also entered, making him feel weirdly aroused. The added slickness of the water allowed Lan Zhan to slid in and out at a much smoother pace. 

 

“Spare me…..Lan Zhan, Second Master Lan…..please, spare me……”

 

Apart from bringing about much deeper and rougher thrusts, his plea did nothing.

 

Wei Wuxian laughed, “Don’t! Ha~ Don’t spare him! Just fuck him all the way! Haha! Ah!”

 

Lan Wangji shifted their positions so that Wei Wuxian sat on top of him, causing the latter to swallow him entirely. Wei Wuxian couldn’t spout any other shameless comments as he became solely concentrated on his lover.

 

“Lan Zhan, Lan Zhan, please…..enough…..too deep…...please…..”

 

Lan Zhan did not listen and continued to thrust faster into the other. After some time, Lan Zhan turned him over and entered him again, even deeper this time. 

 

Wei Wuxian was also in the midst of indulging in the pleasure he received from Lan Wangji as the pace continued to get faster and faster. Due to how hard Lan Wangji was gripping Wei Wuxian’s hips, black and purple marks imprinted themselves on Wei Wuxian’s fair skin.

 

“Lan Zhan, Lan Zhan. I was wrong. I shouldn’t have pestered you so much. I won’t do it - ah! - anymore. Did you hear me? Lan Zhan, Lan Er-Gege……”

 

Hearing the tone of the last word, Lan Zhan slowed to slightly to pepper appeasing kisses onto Wei Ying’s back on neck. He then used a hand to turn Wei Ying’s to the side as he kissed him gently. 

 

Wei Ying found that he loved the feel of Lan Zhan’s lips against his as he sucked the other’s bottom lip. “More….”

 

But Lan Zhan misunderstood this and thrusted faster. Wei Ying frantically shook his head until Lan Zhan got what he wanted and kissed him, moving even faster.

 

Lan Zhan eventually hit a spot in Wei Ying that made cry even louder with pleasure. When Lan Zhan didn’t press against that spot, Wei Ying would send his hips back at an angle in an effort to make the man behind him hit that spot until Lan Zhan was able to locate that spot and constantly press against it.

 

The last few thrusts were deeper and especially aggressive as Lan Zhan came deep inside just as Wei Ying did the same.

 

Wei Wuxian too wanted this to end as he was getting tired. So, he started whispering encouraging words in his lover’s ear.

 

Lan Wangji acquiesced to other’s demands as his thrusts were becoming ones that aimed to attain release.

 

Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji kissed as they came. Lan Wangji slowed down a bit as the two tried to catch their breath.

 

“Phew~ that was exhausting. Lan Er-Gege, shouldn’t we try to find a way out now-- eh?! Lan Zhan, what are you doing?”

 

Leaning down to whisper a few words in his ear, Lan Wangji smiled.

 

“Lan...Zhan? When I meant ‘all the way’ I meant the you and me in the dream! Not- ah! Mercy, Er-Gege!!!!”

 

………………………………….

 

In a random brothel near Lanling, Jin Guangshan got up groggily. 

 

“That damn bitch….he muttered. Hitting me on the head when I went faster.” He glanced at the passed out woman on the bed and arranged his clothes to a proper semblance of decency. 

 

His head hurt a lot. “What should I do no-- ow!”

 

Jin Guangshan stumbled a bit as a sharp pain made its way through his head. “What the…? What are these….images?”

Chapter Text

Jiang Yanli had invited Wei Wuxian - and, by extension, Lan Wangji - over to play with little Jin Ling. 

 

Wei Wuxian was playing with little Jin Ling, teasing him here and there. Jin Ling, who acted like a mini Jin Zixuan, just pouted and turned away from him though he liked the attention.

 

“A-Ling~ come look at your Shishu. I’ll teach you everything fun to play!!”

 

“Shi….Shishu?”

 

“En! But you can call me Xian-Gege if you want.”

 

“Hmph. I’ll call you Xian-Gege only because you want to.” Jin Ling turned away as he said this. The boy giggled a bit when Wei Wuxian poked as his sides.

 

“Hey, Peacock, he really acts like you.”

 

Jin Zixuan was instantly irritated. “Would you stop calling me peacock?”

 

“Never.”

 

Jin ZIxuan sighed in resignation as Jiang Yanli giggled, pouring more tea for her distraught husband.

 

Suddenly, there was the pitter patter of steps from a child.

 

“A’ Yuan, come back here!!” Wei Wuxian saw Wen Ning chasing Wen Yuan, trying to catch up with him.

 

“A’ Yuan?!!!!” Wei Wuxian exclaimed with delight.

 

A’ Yuan turned to Wei Wuxian, his grey eyes lighting up with delight. “A’ Nian!!!”

 

Jin Zixuan inelegantly spat out the tea in his mouth.

 

Jiang Yanli covered up her surprise with her sleeve. “A’ Xian…..when…...when did you adopt a child?”

 

“A few days ago! …. Ah…..well…. we haven’t…..quite adopted him yet.”

 

“And…..why is he calling you….‘Mom’?” Jin Zixuan’s shoulders were shaking with laughter. Wen Ning joined him in that.

 

“Because I apparently act like one.” Wei Wuxian replied, irked at Jin Zixuan’s and Wen Ning’s amusement.

 

“A’ Yuan.” Lan Wangji called out.

 

“A’ Die.” A’ Yuan seemed quite well-behaved in front of Lan Wangji. It was like the boy has split personalities.

 

“Mn. How have you been?”

 

“Great! It was a bit boring without you and A’ Nian and Granny was sick, but Ning-gege, Uncle Four and Uncle Six all kept me busy with different activities! They said they’ll teach me how to become strong like you!”

 

“Speaking of, Wen Ning. Why are you and A’ Yuan here?”

 

“Ah….that is…..”

 

Wen Ning then started to tell then that they had come over because Wen Qing had to do something here related to the Sect. Everyone back in Qishan was too busy to take care of A’ Yuan, so the siblings took him along. He was then called off somewhere, bidding everyone goodbye.

 

Wei Wuxian was busy playing with the kiddos.

 

“Xi-Xian-Gege?” Jin Ling asked. “Who’s that?” He pointed at A’ Yuan.

 

“Ummm. Friend!”

 

“Friend? Whose?”

 

“Yours.”

 

“How?”

 

“Well, you met today. But don’t worry, soon you’ll become the best of friends!”

 

“I don’t know about that…..”

 

Seeing how Jin Ling was clinging and talking to Wei Wuxian, A’ Yuan pouted. “A’ Nian, A’ Nian!! Guess what I did today!”

 

Wei Wuxian shifted his attention to A’ Yuan. “What?”

 

A’ Yuan then began to explain the lessons he started taking in calligraphy and history.

 

Jin Ling was not too happy about Wei Wuxian not paying him attention and tried to gain the attention back. 

 

Like this, Jin Ling and Wen Yuan fought over who got Wei Wuxian to look at them while Wei Wuxian tried to get the two to get along and talk to each other instead of him. It was quite a comical scene.

 

Lan Wangji, who was standing off to the side, was sad that his lover was too busy to pay him any attention.

 

“Second Master Lan.” Jiang Yanli spoke. “Would you like to join us here?”

 

“.....En.” Lan Wangji sat down and accepted the poured tea with grace. He watched how Wei Wuxian cradled the two children by his side and poked fun and teased them. They were all so happy and…..and Lan Wangji felt a strange warmth and longing welling up inside him at that scene.

 

Jiang Yanli grinned at his dazed expression, seemingly knowing what he was thinking. “Second Master Lan, how has A’ Xian been faring? Since he spends a lot of time with you and within the Cloud Recesses in extension…...I was wondering how he handles himself with all those rules.”

 

Lan Wangji’s lips twitched. “Wei Ying….he.….has managed to find loopholes in the rules. As such, he’s been able to get away with a lot.”

 

Jiang Yanli laughed. “Yes. That sounds like him. …..And the food? I’ve heard on more than one occasion about A’ Xian not liking the bitter medicinal foods of the Gusu Sect.”

 

“Ah. Maiden Jiang. I have taken your advice and been able to successfully recreate Wei Ying’s favorite dishes. So, he doesn’t have to eat the meals at the Cloud Recesses.”

 

“Second Master Lan, please call Shijie or Yanli-jie. You are my precious XianXian’s lover.”

 

“Mn. Then, Shijie, call me Wangji like Brother does.”

 

“Very well then, Wangji.”

 

The two continued to make pleasant conversation and even managed to include Jin Zixuan in the chat.

 

Jin Zixuan watched this interaction with awe. He was once again impressed at his wife’s power to be able to bring out that many words from the usually silent HanGuang-Jun.

 

The rest of the day continued like that until the kids started to get sleepy. They were sent off to bed after everyone had dinner.

 

Lan Wangji and Wei Wuxian retreated to their guest room as did everyone else.

 

But Wen Ning had a problem. Wen Yuan wanted to sleep with the couple. Seeing as he was throwing such a big tantrum, Wen Ning sighed as he led A’ Yuan to where Lan Wangji and Wei Wuxian were staying.

 

But as they got close by - close enough for a cultivator like Wen Ning to make out voices, but not A’ Yuan -, Wen Ning immediately froze in tracks.

 

And why would he do that?

 

Because…..

 

“AH! Lan…..Lan Zhan…..have…..have mercy! HanGuang-Jun is too strong and the Yiling Patriarch has lost miserably! Please...ah!”

 

Because the shameless couple had no shame.

 

Wen Ning went bright red. 

 

However, he was lucky that A’ Yuan couldn’t hear them from this distance. 

 

He cleared his throat. “A’ Yuan, unfortunately, I remembered that they were busy.”

 

“Yes. Busy.”

 

“Busy doing what?”

 

“......Exercising.” Wen Ning bit out. “They’re exercising. And won’t be done till tomorrow. I’ll ask them tomorrow if you could sleep with them. Just…..not today, okay?”

 

“Mm? Okay…..A’ Yuan…..is tired…..”

 

“Okay, okay.” With that, Wen Ning picked the boy up and hightailed it out of there.

 

…………………….

 

Lan Wangji had to return the next day, unfortunately, due to sect matters. A’ Yuan and Wei Wuxian were sad to see him go, but the latter understood his obligations and bid him goodbye.

 

“Lan Zhan, Lan Zhan! Where’s my goodbye kiss~?”

 

“Shameless…..” Lan Wangji muttered, but nevertheless bent down to give Wei Wuxian the kiss he desired.

 

Wen Ning resolutely turned away, his mind plagued by what he had heard yesterday. Suddenly remembering that, he felt he had to voice it, in case Lan Wangji returned while Wei Wuxian was still here. This is for the sake of others. He told himself as he confronted the two about last night.

 

“Please…..put up privacy seals or silencing talismans next time. …. For everyone’s sake. ” Wen Ning stuttered out.

 

Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji choke, both turning red instantly. And they agreed. They just.….forgot about it last night.

 

Lan Wangji left soon after that.

 

“Ah~ Wen Ning, you’ve improved. Able to make both of us speechless like that.” Wei Wuxian teased as he gazed at Lan Wangji’s leaving figure.

 

“You dug the grave yourself, Wuxian.” Wen Ning shrugged. 

 

Wei Wuxian seemed taken aback. “Oh ho~ what’s this? Wen Ning, you learned to talk back now?”

 

“I-I, uhh….”

 

“Ahahahahaha! No worries!! I’m glad! You can speak for yourself now!”

 

Wen Ning was embarrassed. “Wu-Wuxian……”

 

Regardless of that, they spent the next few days at Carp Tower chatting, babysitting the kids and having fun like the friends they were. 

 

They were having a little archery competition and Jin Zixuan joined in, wanting a little break from his sect duties.

 

Wei Wuxian went off to the side as Wen Ning and Jin Zixuan competed. He had seen the silent challenge in their eyes and stepped back to allow them to compete freely.

 

It was quite thrilling seeing the two almost neck and neck with each other. Eventually, though, Wen Ning came out on top.

 

The two accepted the towels Wei Wuxian handed them to wipe off their sweat as they stared at each other with a sense of comradery. 

 

Wei Wuxian smiled joyfully seeing Wen Ning making more friends. (Even if that friend happened to be the peacock.)

 

When night fell, Wei Wuxian thought he wouldn’t be able to sleep peacefully since his dreams were still plagued by the memories of his other life. Lan Wangji was usually there to distract him, but he wasn’t there so Wei Wuxian was worried that he would wake everyone up with his screams.

 

However, A’ Yuan was there to accompany him instead. Wei Wuxian was still worried about his nightmares, but, surprisingly, they didn’t come. Instead, he dreamed of happier times with his parents Cangse Sanren and Wei Changze and him. He dreamed of them before he died. Memories he thought he had long since lost.

 

Wei Wuxian woke up that day refreshed. A’ Yuan was still fast asleep and Wei Wuxian couldn’t help the adoration he felt for the boy. He brushed A’ Yuan’s bangs from his eyes and quietly got up and got ready.

 

“A’ Nian…..?” A’ Yuan replied sleepily just as Wei Wuxian finished preparing for the day.

 

“A’ Yuan? Oh, you’re up. Come on, let’s get ready for breakfast.”

 

“Mn…..”

 

As Wei Wuxian got A’ Yuan ready for the day, he couldn’t help but reminisce about his time in the Burial Mounds with the Wens. About how he would help A’ Yuan out like this on some days. He smiled as he finished tying Wen Yuan’s ponytail.

 

“Come, A’ Yuan. Let’s go!”

 

“En!”

 

They ran hand in hand to the dining hall. Just in time to see his Shijie exiting the kitchen with some of her handmade food. 

 

“Oh? A’ Xian, you’re up?”

 

“Of course!”

 

“How peculiar. You’re never usually up at this time. You always wake up around lunch!”

 

Wei Wuxian pouted. “Shijie…...I can wake up at this time! I just choose not to!”

 

Jiang Yanli sighed fondly. “Well then, come. You’re just in time for breakfast.”

 

Everyone was seated at the table, eating and chatting with each other. A’ Yuan went to sit near Jin Ling and the two started talking bit by bit. Wei Wuxian was happy that his two favorite children - aside from A’ Yu, who was at the Cloud Recesses - were getting along. (Actually, all of them were his favorites. He couldn’t choose one over the other.)

 

Wei Wuxian thought content, peaceful days like this would continue forever. However, fate had other plans for them.

 

Wei Wuxian had noticed Jin Guangshan’s odd and frankly startling attention on him as if he were a specimen to be analyzed. It truthfully made him feel quite ill at ease.

 

But that wasn’t the kicker of that day.

 

…………………..

 

Lan Wangji sighed in relief as the matters he had returned to take care of were dealt with.

 

His father came over, Lan Xichen in tow, and invited him to go on a little trip. Lan Wangji relented and the family of three left. (Qingheng-Jun handed over responsibility to Lan Qiren to spend time with his sons, to which Lan Qiren responded with full support.)

 

Qingheng-Jun led them quite a bit away from the Cloud Recesses, talking about the little adventures and night hunts he did with their mother. 

 

They finally arrived at a clearing that was surrounded in gentian flowers. There was a cliff overlooking a lake and overall…...it was a beautiful place.

 

“Father, this is…..?” Lan Xichen prompted.

 

Qingheng-Jun graced them with a soft smile. “This is where your mother confessed to me that she returned my feelings.”

 

“Oh.”

 

Silence graced them. Not one of awkwardness, but one of a melancholic happiness.

 

Qingheng-Jun spread a large blanket in a patch a grass, inviting his two sons to sit down beside them.

 

He brought out snacks, water and tea along with plates, cups and spoons.

 

The family of three sat down and ate in a serene quiet surrounded by the beautiful nature around them. 

 

Faintly, though, they thought they heard a familiar tinkle of laughter they had all thought was dead flowing with the wind.

 

………………………..

 

It happened all so fast. 

 

One moment Jin Guangshan was near Jiang Yanli, the next, he was flung around ten meters from her position.

 

Jiang Yanli glanced at her chest where she kept the pendant Wei Wuxian had gifted her on her wedding. The pendant was glowing purple.

 

“Shijie!” Wei Wuxian cried out. He rushed up to her and checked all over for wounds of any kind.

 

The fact that Jin Guangshan had been thrown back meant that he had held some sort of intention against Jiang Yanli that was ill enough for the pendant to react like that.

 

Embarrassed, Jin Guangshan had already stood up before a crowd of people gathered.

 

Wei Wuxian glared at the direction the Sect Leader left in.

 

“Shijie, are you okay? What did that bastard do to you?”

 

"Nothing." Jiang Yanli put a comforting hand on Wei Wuxian’s own one. “And A’ Xian, calm down. Your eyes are turning red.”

 

“Oh. Oh…..okay.” Wei Wuxian hadn’t even realized that he had been using resentful energy enough that his eyes would turn red when his emotions got out of control. 

 

Jiang Yanli spoke when she saw that he was calm. “A’ Xian, Jin…..that man was making me uncomfortable somehow. I’m pretty sure the pendant you gave me sensed that and decided to…... politely remove him from my personal space.”

 

Wei Wuxian snorted at ‘ politely ’. “Anyway, he can't do much now, even if he blames me for that.”

 

“Oh, yes. A’ Xuan and Madam Jin have been trying to undermine his position for a while.” She spoke quietly.

 

“En. …...But Shijie. Are you sure you’re fine?”

 

She laughed. “A’ Xian. I am well. No need to worry.”

 

“Okay. If you say so…….”

 

But that wasn’t the least of their worries.

 

………………….

 

Nie Huaisang had been quite jumpy around Nie Mingjue and frankly, it was pissing the latter off. He finally had had enough of the other’s attitude one day.

 

“Huaisang.”

 

“Yes, Da-Ge?”

 

“Pack whatever you need for a week-long trip.” He commanded gruffly before turning to leave.

 

“Eh? Ah? Da-Ge, wait. What?” But Nie Mingjue could no longer hear him.

 

Bewildered, he packed what he needed and headed off with his elder brother.

 

When he was about to ask what was going on, he got another shock of his life when his brother handed off his duties to his trusted advisor.

 

“We’re leaving.”

 

“Have a safe trip, Sect Leader and Young Master!”

 

Nie Huasang was still confused. “Da-Ge just what…….”

 

“You’ve been acting strange and I have no idea what’s wrong so we’re going on a trip.” Nie Mingjue cut straight to the chase.

 

“Oh……” Nie Huaisang scratched his head with his fan. “Was it that obvious?”

 

“Yes.”

 

“So, a trip?”

 

“Yes.”

 

“Where?”

 

Nie Mingjue resolutely turned away. “Just…..somewhere.”

 

“Huh.”

 

They continued the rest of their trip in silence. But Nie Mingjue was not one for silence.

 

“*sigh* Huaisang. Explain to me. Just what’s wrong?”

 

“Nothing. Nothing is wrong.”

 

Nie Mingjue huffed. “Like I’d believe that.”

 

Nie Huaisang was silent for a while. “......Da-Ge. I…...why did you think I would make a great Sect Leader? I’m not particularly smart - my studies at the Cloud Recesses should have shown that. I’m not strong - I barely have a golden core. There are so many things wrong with me. I only like art, painting fans, making…...books, and birds. Why would you even consider someone like me eligible…..? I just don’t understand.”

 

Nie Mingjue rolled his eyes. “You don’t need to be particularly smart to know how to work your way around things. Also, your studies only reflect on your ability to retain information. It only reflects on one aspect. You’re plenty smart. You know your way around people. You know how to move them much pieces on a Go board. Comparing everything to a board game like that, you are the game master, you know how the pieces move and know how to act based on that.”

 

He seemed to think for a while longer. “As for your golden core, we both know why you don’t practice as often. Though…..recently, I’ve seen you put effort into integrating musical cultivation into our cultivation and seeing if it reduces the effects of the force of our violent saber spirits on our bodies.”

 

He took a breath and looked at his stunned little brother. “Huai-- A’ Sang. You are plenty knowledgeable and suited to the role of Sect Leader.”

 

“Da-Ge.” Nie Huaisang gripped his fan tight. “I didn’t know…..you thought of me that way.” He opened the fan to hide the blush he was sporting from his brother's praise.

 

“Well I do. And I ain’t repeating it. That was fucking embarrassing.”

 

“En.”

 

The continued their way to a small city near QInghe’s borders. 

 

When they arrived, the Nie brothers spent the rest of the day shopping, eating and spending time together like family.

 

Nie Huaisang didn’t realize how much he missed times like this. He liked it and wished days like this happened more often.

 

……………………..

 

Jin Guangshan had realized for the first time how much power he had lost while he was fooling around. 

 

When he brought up the matter of Wei Wuxian’s pendant to everyone, they commended the man on his brilliant invention.

 

Everyone had heard of his…...tomfoolery and attributed his being flung back from his daughter-in-law to be a part of that.

 

He indeed felt that Jiang Yanli was beautiful, but didn’t know that unconsciously showing those feelings when he got close to her would activate that damn of pendant of her shidi’s.

 

Humiliated, he left with a flurry of golden sleeves.

 

He was both scared and paranoid. The power he used to gloriously wear proudly was slipping away from him - if it hadn’t already. 

 

After his people did some digging around, he found that his own son and wife had been the cause of this.

 

He couldn't move against his wife because he knew of the power she secretly held. He couldn’t touch Jin Zixuan and Jiang Yanli because of the pendants. However, he could harm their child. 

 

Jin Guangshan found that he didn’t particularly mind doing that because…...couldn’t they just make more children? What did it matter if one was gone now?

 

……………….........

 

He took the chance when Wei Wuxian had stepped away to bring a present for Jin Ling. However, there was a nanny left nearby in case something happens.

 

Jin Guangshan commanded them to capture the child. 

 

His people, dressed in black, hopped down and stalked towards the frightened Jin Ling. The nanny stepped forward, but was knocked out and carried away.

 

Jin Ling was alone now.

Chapter Text

Wei Wuxian had felt that something was off and he headed to his room. Knowing that his gut instinct had saved him more often than not, he headed back to where he left Jin Ling…...only to see the boy struggling to escape from black-clothed assassins.

 

Resentful energy curled around Wei Wuxian and at his command, flung the enemies away. He gathered his frightened nephew in his arms and glared at the sprawled out assassins with red eyes. Although he was beyond pissed, he tried to control himself since Jin Ling was still in his embrace.

 

Wei Wuxian drew out Suibian instead of Chenqing - which was tucked in his waist cloth - and slew the enemies, keeping Jin Ling’s head turned firmly away from the carnage.

 

He left the area quickly and called out to Jin Zixuan and Jiang Yanli who had rushed over hearing the commotion.

 

“A’ Xian, what…..what happened?”

 

Wei Wuxian was gripping a bloodied Suibian as he lowered Jin Ling into Jin Zixuan’s embrace.

 

“Shijie…...Shijie…..I……” Wei Wuxian was shaking visibly with anger, his eyes constantly flickering between red and silver. “If I didn’t come back in time…...Jin Ling would have…….”

 

“A’ Xian, calm down. Focus on me, look into my eyes.”

 

Wei Wuxian exhaled shakily as he tried to focus on his Shijie. 

 

“That’s it. That’s good. Now breathe in and out. Time it with my breaths, okay?”

 

“......En.”

 

A few of those deep breaths later, Wei Wuxian had stopped shaking. He cleaned the blood off of Suibian and resheathed the sword. He then hugged Jiang Yanli, burying his head in her shoulder, until he felt better.

 

Jiang Yanli simply held her little brother, whispering calming words and stroking his unruly locks.

 

Jin Zixuan was busy calming down his distressed son until the boy’s sobs were soothed.

 

Wei Wuxian had calmed down around half an incense stick later as he began explaining what happened. He had left the room to go get Jin Ling a present he forgot in his room, but not before ensuring he was not left unsupervised.

 

He had a bad feeling though and returned to see the clothed assassins dangerously close to kidnapping Jin Ling. 

 

“I made sure A’ Ling saw nothing when I disposed of them. But, in hindsight, I probably should have captured one to interrogate, but we can at least examine their bodies for clues.”

 

“Right. This is quite troubling.” Jin Zixuan seemed to mull over the issue for a bit. However, he was clenching Suihua so hard that blood started dripping from his hands.

 

"A' Xuan, calm down." Jiang Yanli cupped her husband's hand and kissed it. The man immediately deflated and blushed hard.

 

When both he and his wife heard of a spike in resentful energy - even though it couldn’t get past the arrays surrounding the place -, they knew that something must have happened to Wei Wuxian or Jin Ling who was with the demonic cultivator. When the couple came to that conclusion, they rushed over to the sight and as they expected, their son was targeted.

 

“Why did you leave anyway?”

 

“I was going to give him a present. It was a necklace that had the same functions as your pendants.”

 

“Oh.”

 

Silence descended again as they pondered their current dilemma.

 

“Shijie, Jin Zixuan, I’m sorry. If only I hadn’t left him alone…..” Wei Wuxian clenched his fists. “This wouldn’t have happened. I’m sorry. I’m sorry……”

 

“A’ Xian…...”

 

“Wei Wuxian, don’t blame yourself. You saved our son. He’s alive.” Jin Zixuan interrupted. “And it wasn’t your fault. You only left for a few minutes and you also made sure that he was left with an adult. None of us could have known that something like that would happen. So, don’t blame yourself. Use that energy to try and find the culprit instead.”

 

Wei Wuxian’s open mouth closed itself, not expecting Jin Zixuan of all people to comfort him. “......En. I actually have an idea. We could ask Lan Zhan to use Inquiry on the souls of those dead assassins. They won’t be able to lie as long as Lan Zhan is there.”

 

“Hmm. Good plan. When is he coming here?”

 

“He just sent me a letter. He should be here within a few days.”

 

“Okay then. We’ll just wait till then.”

 

The three of them did not notice, though, that someone was listening in the corner and reported this back to Jin Guangshan.

 

Jin Guangshan knew of HanGuang-Jun’s prowess in the art of Inquiry and knew that he would eventually be pointed out to be the culprit. Usually, he wouldn’t be so careless, but the paranoia of his rapidly diminishing power made him hasty and negligent. 

 

He then started planning to delay the Second Master Lan, destroy his guqin, he gave the order that they could kill HanGuang-Jun if needed - he had been an impediment to him anyways. Many were hesitant to do that but Jin Guangshan convinced them saying that the Second Master had been tainted and needed to be erased.

 

Jin Guangshan tapped his armchair in thought. 

 

“If that fails, capture Wei Wuxian. It’s a well-known fact that he and HanGuang-Jun are lovers. If you manage to capture him, then we could bribe Second Master Lan to give incorrect answers to Inquiry when he arrives at Lanling.” He's also a demonic cultivator. Having his powers at my command......well, who would be able to defy me? His eyes glinted with barely disguised greed.

 

……………………..

 

Lan Wangji made his way to Lanling after two days of quality family time with his brother and father.

 

He was very content with his life as of now. 

 

His father was spending time with him, his brother was no longer that hollow mask after Jin Guangyao’s death, Wei Ying was alive and in love with him. It made him feel as if the pain - both physical and mental - that he suffered in that other life was worth it for this happiness, for this contentment.

 

Though his mind was plagued by these thoughts, he never let his guard down. Doing that when in the wild and alone was basically a death sentence and he had no wish to be so heedless.

 

As expected, he heard rustling nearby. Lots of it. 

 

He was confused when discovering the presence of many people heading rapidly in his direction.

 

His gut instinct screamed 'danger', so he activated the invisibility talisman that Wei Ying had given him and silently observed the approaching group of people.

 

“Where is he?”

 

“Our scouts reported that HanGuang-Jun was in this general direction.”

 

“But why do we have to aim for him again? Sect Leader gave some vague reason I can’t remember.”

 

“Bah! We only have to follow orders. Does everyone remember that we have to destroy his guqin? And if he resist we use force?”

 

My guqin? Why? Lan Wangji was in thought about that but decided against direct confrontation. However, he wanted to be a little devious, so he started making rustling sounds in a direction leading the enemy one way. When he was sure they were all gone, he headed in the opposite direction and sped up on Bichen, putting as much distance between them as possible.

 

………………........

 

Jin Guangshan got word from his subordinates that HanGuang-Jun had slipped from their grasp.

 

He slammed his hand down. Damnit. Nothing is going my way!

 

Without another choice, he ordered his men to execute the backup plan: capture Wei Wuxian.

 

Capturing Wei Wuxian wouldn’t only stall Lan Wangji but also Jiang Yanli and by extension his own son from investigating.

 

There was another reason he wanted to capture Wei Wuxian though. Aside from being beautiful - and he appreciated beauty -, Wei Wuxian, from those weird memories he kept having, was the demonic cultivator that aided in their fight against the evil Wens. 

 

He had already done thorough research and found that the demonic cultivator was always near where Wei Wuxian was and how people saw flashes of a flute on him at times as well as his periodic disappearances - which few witnessed coincidentally. 

 

Jin Guangshan desired power and forcing Wei Wuxian to comply to his demands was in every way favorable. As not only his own son and his wife, but Gusu Lan and Yunmeng Jiang - as well as Qishan Wen, since he heard how close they were to Wei Wuxian - would have to submit with him.

 

…………………….....

 

Wei Wuxian had gone out to night hunt hearing some rumors of villages being disturbed. The investigation of the culprit was getting nowhere and he was getting frustrated. Needing to blow of steam, he headed out.

 

Jiang Yanli wanted him to be accompanied by others, but Wei Wuxian didn’t have very good interactions with a lot the Lanling Jin disciples, and those that he did favour were all busy. So, he went out alone.

 

……..Which proved to be a horrible decision in hindsight since he finds himself surrounded by a ton more people than he can handle. There weren’t any corpses to manipulate nearby for some strange reason and he did not carry any emergency signals with him and the invisibility talismans he made had run out a while ago.

 

Goddamn it all!! He cursed as he slashed through a few more enemies. He started to use resentful energy in tandem with spiritual energy to ward off the enemies and it worked for a while.

 

He was able to take around two thirds of them but then one of them threw some white powder at his face.

 

He tried not breathe it in but some accidentally slipped in. 

 

………And then he felt his surroundings black out. 

 

.

 

.

 

.

 

When he next awoke, he was chained up to a bed in some sort of hidden prison. He tested the restraints to see if he could break through, and was mildly horrified when he not only could not break through, but his spiritual energy was also sealed.

 

He huffed. Well, that’s fine. I could also use resentful energy.

 

With that in mind, he brought a tendril of resentful energy out. However…...the surroundings suddenly glowed brightly and the resentful energy was purified.

 

There was only one thought in his mind at that. …….Fuck.

 

He was completely trapped. However, he didn’t feel that he was going to die. His captors must want something from him since they kept him alive.

 

But for what was something he was slightly apprehensive about.

 

He heard something akin to a door creaking open and slamming shut.

 

They were here.

 

……………………..

 

Lan Wangji arrived at Lanling only to find that there was a bit of an alarm.

 

For some reason, he felt that something had happened to his lover. Nothing he saw indicated that, but he just felt…...that Wei Wuxian was in danger.

 

“Wangji.” Jiang Yanli looked at him, seeming quite panicked. “A’ Xian, he…….he’s gone.”

 

Lan Wangji’s heart dropped. “What do you mean?”

 

“Someone took my brother.” She looked helpless. “A’ Xian went out to night hunt alone and we wanted someone to follow him. He refused, but we sent someone after him anyway. That scout then witnessed A’ Xian surrounded by too many people and then knocked out and carried away. He followed the captors until they reached a certain structure into where they disappeared. He couldn’t follow any further in fear of being caught, so he reported back to us. We found the place but there’s no clue as to where they went from there.”

 

Lan Wangji clenched his fists.

 

“But that’s not all.” Jiang Yanli pulled out a letter and handed it to him.

 

Lan Wangji frowned.

 

The letter was a warning to them against playing Inquiry on the dead souls of the assassins. If they did it regardless, they couldn’t guarantee what would happen to Wei Wuxian.

 

Is that why they wanted to destroy my guqin? Lan Wangji thought back to those men. But that was eclipsed by his worry for Wei Ying. Wei Ying……..please be safe.

 

…………………….

 

“It’s you!!!” Wei Wuxian raged as he gazed upon Jin Guangshan’s smug face.

 

“It’s me, indeed, Wei Wuxian.” Jin Guangshan smirked.

 

“What do you want with me? I have nothing to offer you, you know.”

 

“On the contrary, you have much to offer, demonic cultivator.”

 

Wei Wuxian froze. How did he…..? He didn’t let the surprise show on his face. “What are you talking about?” He replied coldly instead.

 

“Don’t play the fool with me. From what I understand, you were the one who helped us during the war.” He paused. “Both then and now.”

 

Wei Wuxian’s heart sunk. Out of all the people who’s memories would return because of the skewed timeline, why did it have to be him?!

 

“What do you want?” He asked.

 

“Your power, of course.”

 

Wei Wuxian’s eyes flashed red briefly. “What makes you think you can force me?”

 

Jin Guangshan heard the unspoken threat. “......Don’t you care for your family? You wouldn’t want any….. mishaps to occur while they are away from home would you?”

 

“You-!!!!”

 

“So I suggest you behave.” Jin Guangshan reached out and forced Wei Wuxian to meet his eyes. “If you happen to be sneaky while working under me……” his fingers caressed Wei Wuxian’s chin. “Well, I’m not sure if I can hold myself back.”

 

Wei Wuxian’s body was racked with shivers of disgust, slapping that hand away. “Didn’t you like women?”

 

“I prefer women.” The man corrected. “I am, after all, an avid admirer of beauty.”

 

“And you have that kind of appeal. Besides,” He leaned in. “I want to see just how you taste…....to make the ever pure Second Jade of Gusu so addicted.”

 

With that, he left in a flurry of golden robes.

 

Wei Wuxian was still reeling from the touch. He grabbed the pillow nearby and used the cloth on it to vigorously try to rub off the feel of that touch.

 

How dare he……. How dare he!!!! Wei Wuxian rubbed his arms and curled up into a ball. Lan Zhan…...Lan Zhan, help me…….

 

………………………

 

Lan Wangji sensed something off.

 

He didn’t know why but he felt as if his lover was suffering somehow. 

 

Wei Ying…..where are you? He felt some sort of tug with his spiritual energy. This is…..could it be?

 

Lan Wangji briefly remembered their last dual cultivation session the day he left Lanling. He had heard of some theories of dual cultivation (while he was researching how to be a good cultivation partner). Where you could sense your spiritual energy in your partner no matter the distance.

 

He knew it wouldn’t be wise to go recklessly with this kind of thing, but he worried what would happen to Wei Ying the longer he was in captivity.

 

So, he focused on the weak connection he felt and followed wherever the tug was the strongest.

 

.

 

.

 

.

 

It had been a few days.

 

Lan Wangji was blindly pulled in several different directions and was about to give up with this theory when he was led to a suspicious clearing with a few guards carefully hidden nearby. Putting on an invisibility talisman, he observed the place. 

 

He couldn’t possibly go in without a plan.

 

So he waited till for someone to come out or enter. He would take that chance to slip in.

 

Night fell but Lan Wangji was still alert. He had always been known as a patient man and this was especially so since Wei Ying was in danger.

 

Soon he saw a golden robed man walked towards the entrance. A few short cantations later and the ground opened up.

 

Jin Guangshan! Lan Wangji immediately suppressed his breath and followed the sect leader into the passage.

 

Jin Guangshan went through so many twists and turns in the passage, chanting lots of incantations here and there so often that, for a moment, Lan Wangji thought he had been discovered.

 

But he was relieved when they finally arrived at a door.

 

Opening it, he saw his Wei Ying chained to a bed within a cage-like structure. He was sleeping and curled up into a ball like he was protecting himself.

 

What enraged Lan Wangji further was that he saw Jin Guangshan’s look of greed and lust as he stared at Wei Ying.

 

Lan Wangji was very tempted to assassinate the sect leader right then and there, but he calmed down and tried to suppress his murderous aura and breath.

 

However, he almost couldn’t when he saw his lover’s silver eyes widen with rage and a bit of fear as Jin Guangshan neared him. Lan Wangji then realized that the restraints were sealing his spiritual power and the array-like symbol on the ground purified resentful energy.

 

Did Jin Guangshan find out that Wei Ying is a demonic cultivator? Or…..does he have memories too?

 

“Now then.” Jin Guangshan spoke. “I have the very first task for you.” He laid out a sheet of paper. “I want you to tell me how you use resentful energy. Write every detail down. And don’t leave anything out. If you also happen to try to sabotage anything…...I have men tracking down your lover, friends, and family. You wouldn’t want anything to happen to them, right?

 

Wei Wuxian’s eyes briefly flashed red. “You….!!!!”

 

“Me what?” Jin Guangshan roughly jerked Wei Wuxian’s chin up to face him. “I told you to behave, or……” His other hand creeped downwards.

 

“Don’t touch me!!” He snapped, slapping the offending hands away, quivering violently. “Don’t come closer!!!”

 

Jin Guangshan seemed to enjoy this reaction as he grinned cruelly. 

 

“You’d better get that done then.”

 

“Fuck you!!”

 

“I’d rather it be the other way around, but that can wait.” Jin Guangshan laughed. “Well, I’ll leave you to that then.”

 

The door slid shut behind him.

 

Lan Wangji was shocked stiff. This…..was what Wei Ying had to deal with?

 

He heard a gasp and turned to see Wei Ying’s shoulders trembling.

 

“Hmph. I’ll figure a way out of here.” Wei Ying spat. “Just a few more days and I’ll be able to figure out how to destroy this array.”

 

Lan Wangji felt proud of his lover for being so smart and decided to make himself known.

 

“Wei Ying.” He took off the invisibility talisman

 

Wei Ying’s head snapped towards the sound of his voice. “Lan Zhan…..? ........No, it couldn’t be. I must be hallucinating again.”

 

“So, Wei Ying thought of me even now?” He decided to tease.

 

“Ahahahaha, this hallucination is really interactive this time around.”

 

Lan Wangji sighed. “Wei Ying, what can I do to make you believe that I am not an illusion?”

 

His lover seemed shocked at this but then decided to seriously answer. “Kiss me.”

 

Lan Wangji drew Bichen and slashed the prison open as quietly as he could. He stepped in and bent over to pin Wei Ying down and kiss the breath out of him.

 

There was no resistance but also no response at first. Then Lan Wangji slipped his tongue in twirling it with Wei Wuxian’s.

 

Wei Wuxian groaned and responded to the kiss eagerly. But he was running out of breath. “Lan--- ah!....Mmm…..breath! Can’t…..mmm!”

 

Lan Wangji released him only to trail kisses all over his face and neck, intent on erasing all of the other’s memories of Jin Guangshan’s slimy hands touching him.

 

“Lan….Lan Zhan! I got it! You’re real! You’re real….ah! Don’t bite!” 

 

Lan Zhan released him, looking quite unhappy. 

 

Wei Wuxian laughed gleefully. “Lan Zhan, you’re here!”

 

“Mn.” He looked sorry. “Wei Ying, I left you alone for so long. I--”

 

Wei Wuxian cut him off with another peck. “It’s fine. You couldn’t have known so soon.”

 

“..........”

 

Seeing him still look so guilty, he laughed. “Lan Zhan, don’t make that face! Come, come. Lighten up! A frown doesn’t look so nice on that beautiful face of yours. Smile instead! I haven’t seen you for so long.”

 

Lan Wangji’s ears turned red at the compliment. “.......En.” He offered a small smile that made Wei Wuxian gasp and turn red.

 

“Ahhh~ after so long, I’m still not used to that! Lan Zhan, you’re too cute, too handsome! How can you be both at the same time?!”

 

Lan Wangji buried his face in Wei Wuxian’s shoulder inhaling his unique scent.

 

“Mn. Can. Missed you too.”

 

“Lan Zhaaaaaan~”

 

“Mn. I’m here.” Lan Wangji used Bichen to remove the restraints and rubbed Wei Wuxian’s sore wrists.

 

“Lan Zhan, you kissed me so hard. Did seeing me all chained up excite you?” Wei Wuxian teased.

 

Usually Lan Wangji would either blush or not comment, but hearing that now just reminded him of his predicament, his face becoming stormy.

 

“Eh? Ah? Lan Zhan, what’s wrong?”

 

“Jin Guangshan touched you. Mad.”

 

“Oh.” Wei Wuxian seemed revolted at the memory. “Sor--”

 

“No. Not you. Mad at him. Mad at myself. Not you. Never you.” He clenched Bichen hard, his golden eyes swirling with remorse. “He touched you. He dared.

 

Wei Wuxian smiled at this. “Lan Zhan, look at me.” When he refused, Wei Wuxian used his hands to turn Lan Wangji’s face to him.

 

“I’m fine. Aside from wandering touches here and there, he never got to really touch me.”

 

The mere implication that Jin Guangshan had sexually harassed his Wei Ying multiple times incensed him further.

 

Wei Wuxian noticed this and kissed him again. “Lan Zhan, let’s get out of here, pkay?”

 

“En.”

 

Suibian and Chenqing were resting on the table nearby so they grabbed that and used the remaining invisibility talismans to sneak their way out.

 

Thanks to Lan Wangji’s impeccable memory, navigating through the passage was simple. Once out, they boarded their respective swords and sped off to Lanling.

 

…………………..

 

“A’ Xian!!!” Jiang Yanli cried as she rushed to her brother, trapping him in a tight bear hug.

 

“Shijie!” Wei Wuxian returned it. 

 

“A’ Xian, are you okay? Did they do anything to you? Did they hurt you?” At the last question, both Wei Wuxian’s and Lan Wangji’s expressions got dark.

 

Lan Wangji reported what had happened.

 

“My father?!” Jin Zixuan was infuriated. “ How dare he!!!!

 

That man did what.” Jiang Yanli’s normally gentle expression got dark as spiritual energy sparked to life around her.

 

Those who were used to Jiang Yanli’s mild temperament were shell-shocked to see her like this.

 

Not many people knew this, but Jiang Yanli was actually a strong cultivator. She was just never interested in furthering her power since she was soon to be wed. However, with the war and all, she decided to train harder to have enough power to protect those important to her.

 

On top of her *cough* dual cultivation sessions with Jin Zixuan, she was much stronger than she was in that other life.

 

“A’ Xian, tell me that was a joke.” she demanded, her tone flat. 

 

Wei Wuxian was briefly reminded of Madam Yu. “He…..well…...it wasn’t much. He just got a little…...touchy.”

 

Seeing as she wasn’t getting the answer she wanted, she turned to Lan Wangji. “Wangji. Explain.”

 

The Second Jade felt his back become a little cold at the intense way he was stared at, but nevertheless complied. He, too, was antagonized by Jin Guangshan’s actions. 

 

When he was done, Jiang Yanli’s spiritual energy spiked in a way that made those even slightly stronger step back a bit.

 

Where. Is. He?

 

Jin Zixuan immediately sent out scouts to tell him where his father was. That man will pay for what he did to Wei Wuxian.

 

………………..

 

Jiang Cheng had been enjoying a nice week with his parents. 

 

They weren’t fighting anymore, miraculously, and even getting along like a regular married couple. They even taught him and encouraged him when necessary.

 

During that week, both of them had apologized for making him seem less because he wasn’t as talented as Wei Wuxian (even though they didn’t say that). They just wanted him to be a strong Sect Leader and did not show him much love as a consequence - they also didn’t know how to show love to him, which may have been a part of the reason.

 

So, overall, he was happy.

 

Everything had been going well. Nothing out of the ordinary.

 

Until an anonymous letter came detailing Wei Wuxian’s capture.

 

Everyone was furious but were helpless as they were worried for him. They were relieved a few days later to hear that he was found, but there weren’t any details.

 

Jiang Fengmian, Madam Yu and Jiang Cheng, however, got a personal letter with all the specifics. 

 

They were furious.

 

To find that not only had Wei Wuxian been threatened with their safety to keep him compliant, but also that he had been chained up and manhandled by Jin Guangshan.

 

However, in the eyes of the world, they couldn’t outright arrest him as hardly anyone knew about this and they would be seen as wrongly accusing the man. (They also didn’t want that information to become public as Wei Wuxian might suffer under the rumors that could possibly spread from that information.)

 

However, Jin Zixuan, Meng Yao, and Madam Jin had all worked tirelessly to find evidence of the man’s other crimes, such as bribing others, spreading rumors to crush and humiliate those who opposed him, the planned ambush at Qiongqi Path, sleeping with women against their will, as well as, shockingly, the plan to poison them during the Sunshot Campaign should they show any signs of losing.

 

With all these accusations piled on his head, Jin Guangshan couldn’t possibly escape punishment. They decided to withhold the information they discovered until they caught the man.

 

……………………..

 

He was found soon enough. He had tried to escape far away from the sects after finding that Wei Wuxian had escaped.

 

He was “escorted” to Lanling and subsequently arrested due to a pile of accusations forced on him. 

 

He was to undergo a trial after everyone had heard of what he had done and what he was going to do.

 

When he brought up for his trial and forced to kneel in front of everyone, he tried to divert the topic away from him by accusing Wei Wuxian of being a demonic cultivator. He was only trying to gain power so that he could bring down the boy. It was working since Jin Guangshan had brought out evidence of Wei Wuxian sneaking out during the war at the same time the demonic cultivator had been active.

 

Wei Wuxian sneered as he walked up and allowed everyone to examine him for any signs of resentful energy residing within his body.

 

There was none.

 

“How…..How is that possible?” Jin Guangshan stuttered. He very clearly knew the amount of resentful energy he had found in Wei Wuxian’s body.

 

Wei Wuxian, on the other hand, was extremely clear on why no resentful energy had been found in his body. The long, rough dual cultivation session he had with Lan Wangji the night they returned to Lanling after his capture was enough to flush out all the resentful energy his body contained.

 

A brief blush appeared on his face as he remembered that night of passion, but he shook it away quickly. This was neither the time nor place for thinking about such things.

 

Jin Guangshan was quickly taken away to jail where he would await his execution. His title as Sect Leader was stripped and handed over to Jin Zixuan without any protest. 

 

Everyone thought that that matter would be done and over with. 

 

But then Jin Guangshan escaped.

 

………………......

 

When Wei Wuxian heard of this, he grinned in a manner that everyone - Lan Wangji and the returnees - remembered the Yiling Patriarch doing. 

 

It was cruel, sadistic, and hauntingly beautiful.

 

Wei Wuxian seemed to forget what he did to make everyone seem so worried. Lan Wangji hovered over him anxiously, but a few days passed without him doing anything and just generally acting like himself.

 

Then he disappeared.

 

………………….......

 

Jin Guangshan thought he had successful in escaping. He heard a growl behind him and a faint pain in his head before he collapsed.

 

When he awoke, unforgettably beautiful red eyes stared down at him. 

 

“Jin Guangshan. It’s been a while, huh?” Wei Wuxian twirled Chenqing in his hands.

 

Jin Guangshan gulped as his surroundings became clearer. He wished it hadn’t.

 

Creatures of all manners were gathered there, staring at him hungrily. 

 

Ghosts, ghouls, corpses, demons, the works. 

 

All turned towards him.

 

“You and you.” Wei Wuxian pointed to a demon and a corpse as he hummed happily. “Attack. You were the ones who brought here. Enjoy your treat. But make sure to keep him alive.”

 

“Yes, Young Master Wei.” the demon smiled happily. The corpse garbled contentedly.

 

Jin Guangshan tried to back up but he was blocked from doing so, helpless as he saw the demon and corpse approach him. “No…..No! I’m sorry! I’m sorry.”

 

“But you’re not, are you?” Wei Wuxian whistled.

 

With that, the two creatures attacked each of his arms.

 

Jin Guangshan screamed loudly. 

 

“Such great music.” The demonic cultivator purred.

 

It had only been the time of an incense stick worth of time (20 minutes) before they left him, but the former Sect Leader felt it to be an eternity.

 

Wei Wuxian got up and used the tip of his boot to tilt Jin Guangshan’s face to him. “Since you were so good, I’ll give you a surprise tomorrow.” He cocked his head to the side. “Aren’t you happy?”

 

Jin Guangshan barely registered anything as he nodded. “Yes….yes….”

 

“Good.” He waved his hand, the crowd creatures parting. “You may go then.”

 

Jin Guangshan scrambled to his feet, escaping.

 

“Oh~ but I’m not done with you…..” He whispered. 

 

The creatures buzzed with excitement. 

 

Their master was so pleasantly evil.

 

…………………

 

It had been a week since then. The wounds Jin Guangshan had sustained had healed. 

 

However, he was far from fine. His mind was plagued with nightmares. 

 

Brutal, merciless dreams.

 

Of his death.

 

Each night terror was so…...creative. 

 

He never knew there were so many ways to die.

 

Death by poison, death by choking, deathing by drowning, death by poison, death by chilling cold, death by burning, death by fear……...

 

By far the worst was as follows:

 

He had dreamt of indulging himself in pleasure as usual. But then he got really sick. Like really, really sick. 

 

He started excreting strange discharge. He had felt in pain. Terribly so. Scabs and blisters grew on the area around his private part. 

 

He went to the doctor who said he had contracted a sexual disease. 

 

It just got worse from there. 

 

Word got out and his reputation sunk to the mud. People spat on him both in public and private.

 

It was humiliating. And he wanted to die. 

 

And he did. 

 

But it was an embarrassing death. 

 

He had gotten drunk and stumbled around outside. But he wasn’t paying attention and tripped on his feet. His pants got ripped in his struggle to stay upright and then he stumbled over his ripped clothes and impaled himself on a stick nearby.

 

Before he died he heard the murmurs of people nearby.

 

“How embarrassing…..”

 

“How fitting……”

 

“A pervert like him deserves this.”

 

“How wonderful that this degenerate finally did the world a favour and killed himself off.”

 

He woke up from his dream covered in sweat. It had felt so real. The feeling of death, the voices whispering about him.

 

It felt so real and he was scared.

 

He tried not to fall asleep from that day on.

 

And then he was knocked out and brought to Wei Wuxian again.

 

…………………...

 

Wei Wuxian grinned maliciously as he listened - with revel - to Jin Guangshan’s tortured sounds.

 

“Hey~ don’t you like my surprise?”

 

“NO! I- urrrr - Gah! Stop, stop please. I’ll listen to you…..I’ll listen to you…..please…..please have mercy……..Stop- AHHHH!” Jin Guangshan gave a strangled scream as his arm was twisted in an odd fashion and snapped off.

 

Wei Wuxian gave a little laugh, dry and cold. “Did you think I was done with you?” His eyes glowed bright red with malice. “How dare you.” He kicked the broken man harder with each sentence. “How dare you think of assassinating Lan Zhan. How dare you even try to hurt my family. How dare you even think of laying your filthy hands on Shijie. How dare you think of harming my nephew.

 

Jin Guangshan only begged for mercy.

 

The Yiling Patriarch chuckled dryly, remembering Wen Chao’s similar state. “ Oh~ I’m going to have soooo much fun with you~.

 

“No…….no…...please….no. I’m sorry. Please …….”

 

“Heh. Do you really think I’m going to let you off? Hm, hm~ but I may do it because I’m in a good mood.” Wei Wuxian brought Chenqing to his lips and blew a few notes. 

 

The corpses released him and Jin Guangshan kowtowed in thanks. 

 

“Thank you…...thank you……”

 

“No need for thanks.”

 

Jin Guangshan stumbled away, his back turned, but thanks to that…...he never saw the sadistic glint in Wei Wuxian’s eyes.

 

……………………….

 

Lan Wangji paced back and forth anxiously.

 

His lover had disappeared recently, only leaving behind a note.

 

Leave Jin Guangshan’s punishment to me.

 

Lan Wangji was worried. He had seen how positively enraged Wei Wuxian was. He was infuriated to silence.

 

And rageful silence was not a good look on Wei Wuxian. 

 

What worried him the most was the insinuation behind the note. 

 

Leave Jin Guangshan’s punishment life to me.

 

…………………………

 

Jin Guangshan had lost track of the amount of time he had been running. He couldn’t go to any main roads, he couldn’t contact anyone. Because before he did, ghouls, corpses, and many other creatures of the yin nature would chase him in the opposite direction.

 

When he was close to getting help, he was knocked out.

 

When he came to, Wei Wuxian’s blood red eyes stared down at him like he was an ant.

 

“I…..I thought you would let me go…..” Jin Guangshan cried.

 

“Oh? Did I?” Wei Wuxian waited until one of Jin Guangshan’s arms was twisted in an odd fashion. “Well, I never specified how long I would let you go, now did I?”

 

Now he felt despair. This madman never once thought of letting me escape!

 

“Now that I’ve caught you, what shall we play with today?” Wei Wuxian had taken a seat nearby, crossing his legs, a female corpse bent at either side, looking every bit of like the ruler of the dead that he was.

 

“......hungry…...hungry……” The ghouls around him cried.

 

Wei Wuxian chuckled, the very sound sending shivers down Jin Guangshan’s back. “Patience, everyone. But…..” He dragged out the last syllable. “I did tell you that you would get a reward. …...Those of you who brought him here. You get a sip of blood from him.”

 

The creatures who brought him there made pleased cries and they sunk their jaws into his shoulders. Jin Guangshan cried in pain, spit and blood dribbling from his mouth as he pleaded the Yiling Patriarch to release him.

 

“Why would I?” Wei Wuxian grinned, baring teeth. “.......But you know. You talk a lot.” He turned to the group of demons. “Hey. Which one of you likes tongues?”

 

Jin Guangshan felt pure terror from those words.

 

A demon raised her hand. “Me.”

 

“Ah. Go get his.”

 

The female demon’s eyes lit up with greed. “Thank you for the meal, Young Master Wei.”

 

The corpses held him down as the demon reach into his mouth and ripped out his tongue.

 

Jin Guangshan could hardly feel anything now. His entire body was in so much pain, he was numb.

 

“Release him.”

 

Jin Guangshan collapsed into a twitching heap on the dirt.

 

The yin creatures all enjoyed the show immensely. Despite their distaste - at least to the conscious ones - at being controlled by a human, his sense of joy from seeing someone suffer like this appealed to them immensely. 

 

Jin Guangshan slipped into a slumber. 

 

His dream again plagued by death.

 

This time started off as his normal day and then he had been knocked out, tied up and brought to a strange place. The people around him said nothing. The silence was unnerving. He tried to talk his way out of this, but it did nothing.

 

The people almost seemed like…...puppets. They said nothing, their glassy eyes staring straight through him.

 

Each of his limbs were tied to a different ox cart.

 

Dread pooled in his stomach as the carts pulled his limbs in different directions. 

 

He screamed. 

 

He screamed.

 

But not one was there to help him.

 

Not one.

 

He was alone.

 

And then his limbs popped from his body like he was a doll. 

 

He then watched in horror as the flesh was eaten off by the peop--- creatures around him and the rest was burned to ash.

 

He woke up, gasping in pain.

 

And he wished he hadn’t.

 

Wei Wuxian was still there.

 

“I think it’s time we put you out of your mercy, okay?”

 

“..........” Jin Guangshan could only let out warped sounds of…..of nothing. He couldn’t think anymore. His mind was static, blank.

 

When death came…...he felt nothing.

 

No pain, no rage, no peace, no sorrow.

 

Just a mind-numbing static.

 

If this was the end, that would be fine.

 

And then he felt pain.

 

That shouldn’t be possible.

 

He was dead.

 

But this pain felt different.

 

It was…...It was soul-deep.

 

His soul was being tortured.

 

The darkness coiled around him, slowly breaking him to pieces.

 

Until he was nothing.

 

No one.

 

Nowhere.

 

……………………..

 

Wei Wuxian dismissed the yin creatures once he was done with Jin Guangshan after they dealt with his corpse by throwing it somewhere cultivators would find him.

 

Then, he trotted back home. Back to him. Back to Cloud Recesses as fast as he could.

 

He laughed, seeing the resentful curl around him.

 

“I really…...went too far this time……”

 

………………………..

 

Lan Wangji was alerted to a bunch of commotion outside.

 

He turned outside only to informed of Wei Wuxian’s return, only he was injured.

 

It seemed that some sort of resentful creature had injured Wei Wuxian because there was a lot of resentful energy surrounding him.

 

Hearing this, Lan Wangji ran towards where Wei Wuxian was.

 

That was no resentful creature that harmed him.

 

“Wei Ying!!” He cried out when he saw the man who had disappeared for a month now.

 

He gathered the man in his arms.

 

“Lan Zhan…..” He gasped. “Lan Zhan…..help…..it…..”

 

“Wei Ying, it’s alright. Tell me…..Tell me what you need.”

 

“It hurts…..Lan Zhan, it hurts. …...Help me.........” 

 

Wei Ying had never asked for his help quite like this. He’d rather keep it all in rather than tell him. He must be in so much pain. “.......En.”

 

He rushed the two of them towards the Jingshi and locked the door behind him.

 

“Wei Ying……”

 

“Lan Zhan…..I can’t…..it’s too much……” The resentful seemed to be suffocating his lover.

 

“Wei Ying. It’s okay. I’m here.” He kissed the man below him, transferring spiritual energy to him in hopes of alleviating the mind-clouding effects of the dark energy. “I’m here.” He whispered into the cold skin.

 

He stripped the two of them and kissed his lover’s skin everywhere. Transferring spiritual energy constantly. Lan Wangji knew the most efficient way of getting rid of the energy was through dual cultivation.

 

He also needed to distract Wei Ying from the voices plaguing him. The resentful energy was so thick that even he could hear the haunting voices.

 

In his urgency, he didn’t waste time teasing the one below him.

 

Three slick fingers slipped in Wei Wuxian’s entrance, thoroughly preparing him. Lan Wangji sheathed himself in soon after. Never once did he stop the flow of spiritual energy.

 

“Ah!” Wei Wuxian cried out. “AH! Lan Zhan…..more! Please more!!”

 

Lan Wangji obliged, thrusting at a fast pace, pleased to see the resentful energy start to lessen and submit to him.

 

“Ah…..Lan…...it’s good…!!! Lan Zhan…..Lan Er-Gege!!!” Wei Wuxian mewled, lust clouding his frantic red eyes that were slowing cooling down to warm silver.

 

“Wei Ying! Focus on me. I love you. I love you!” Lan Wangji panted harder with each thrust of his hips.

 

“Lan Zhan…..Love you…..love you! Only - ah! - you!” Wei Wuxian cried out when another push if his hips made Lan Wangji’s long length press against his prostate.

 

“Wei Ying!” They both came together, Lan Wangji’s spiritual energy mixing with Wei Wuxian’s.

 

However, what neither noticed as they snuggled together was the resentful energy that curled together with their spiritual energy into Wei Wuxian’s stomach.

 

“Wei Ying. Are you okay?” Lan Wangji cupped the other’s cheeks, kissing away his tears.

 

“.....En.”

 

After a moment, Lan Wangji spoke. “Wei Ying. You…..” He hesitated. “Where were you? I was worried. …...Everyone was.”

 

“I…….” Wei Wuxian looked ashamed. “I……” He tried. 

 

Lan Wangji sighed. “If you don’t want to say, we won’t talk about it now.”

 

“But Lan Zhan……”

 

“It’s fine. You’re tired.” Lan Wangji stroked the other’s hair calmingly. “......Wei Ying. I know you went to…...take care of Jin Guangshan. If you want to tell me what you did, I will listen. I am not good with words, but I will listen. I will listen and I will not judge. Besides, I am angry over what he did to you.”

 

“Lan Zhan, I don’t care what happens to me. But, he…..he tried to harm you. He tried to touch Shijie. He tried to kill Jin Ling. All of these…..” He paused. “All of these incidents made me lose control…..” He admitted, avoiding the Second Jade’s gaze.

 

Lan Wangji’s hand in his hair paused but continued to stroke him. “Wei Ying. Wei Ying, look at me.” Wei Ying gazed at him. 

 

“Wei Ying, you are good.” He kissed an eyelid. “You are worthy.” The other. “You matter.” His nose. “You are in control.” One cheek. “You are beautiful.” The other cheek. “You are here.” Finally, their lips connected.

 

Wei Wuxian’s heart fluttered with each word. “Lan Zhan…...you can’t just…..you can’t just say that!!”

 

“Can. Wei Ying deserves it.” Lan Wangji hugged. “Won’t leave Wei Ying. No matter what.”

 

Wei Wuxian squeezed him back. “Lan Zhan…….”

 

A sense of relief washed over him then, his body becoming slack as he yawned.

 

Lan Wangji’s eyes softened at the sight. “Sleep. I will be here when you awake.”

 

“.......Mn. Lan Zhan, you’re so good.”

 

“......As are you, my love.”

Chapter Text

Wei Wuxian woke up that morning feeling quite disoriented. He tried to get up and yelped, stopped by a sharp pain in his waist, reminding him of last night’s activities.

 

Lan Wangji, who was sitting on the ground, was immediately at his side, worry clouding his golden eyes.

 

“Lan Zhan……?” He croaked out.

 

A warm cup of water was sent to his lips. Wei Wuxian drank it down greedily, the liquid soothing his sore throat.

 

“How are you feeling?”

 

“I- tsss. I’m fine. But, really, you did a number on me last night! Were you that repressed?”

 

The tips of Lan Wangji’s ears went red. “Stop messing around.”

 

Wei Wuxian grinned. “Oh~~ Lan Zhan, you’re too cute!”

 

“Wei Ying!”

 

“I’m here!”

 

Lan Wangji let out a resigned sigh. He grabbed Wei Wuxian’s wrist and started to check his pulse as he gave some spiritual energy.

 

“Lan Zhan. Stop. You already gave plenty last night. Don’t-- ah……”

 

Lan Wangji frowned as he examined his lover’s body.

 

On top of exhaustion, he saw that Wei Wuxian was malnourished and weak.

 

“Wei Ying……”

 

Wei Ying looked away. “I’m fine, Lan Zhan. I just need rest.”

 

“Okay.” Lan Wangji exhaled through his nose. “…...What do you want to eat?”

 

“Ermmm……...Spicy noodles!!” 

 

“Okay.”

 

“Oh, Lan Zhan. Wait! Before you go, can you tell me what excuse you gave when I collapsed surrounded by resentful energy?”

 

“I didn’t give the excuse.”

 

“Ah?”

 

“A’ Yu said you were attacked by a dark entity that tried to possess your body. You tried to fight it and managed to make it here, where I helped you clear it.”

 

“Eh? A’ Yu did that?”

 

“En.”

 

Wei Wuxian smiled happily. “That boy…...where is he?”

 

“In class. I’ll bring him over later.” Lan Wangji reached over to pat his head. “Rest. I’ll be back soon.”

 

“......Mn.”

 

Even though he wanted to stay awake, Wei Wuxian eventually nodded off and was awaken a while later to the smell of delicious spicy noodles.

 

“That smells good……” He drooled.

 

Lan Wangji gave a small smile at that as he helped the other man over to the table.

 

Wei Wuxian tried to lift up the chopsticks but he clattered from his hand onto the table. He looked at his shaking hands and scowled at them. “I underestimated the effect that using that much resentful energy had…….” He mumbled too quietly for anyone to hear.

 

“Wei Ying? What’s wrong?”

 

Wei Wuxian covered up his expression with a smile, not wanting him to worry.. “Nothing, Lan Zhan! It’s just, I’m so weak right now~! So…...feed me?”

 

Lan Wangji glanced at him for a long while before picking up the chopsticks. 

 

For once, the meal was quiet. 

 

Once they were done......

 

“Wei Ying. Do you not trust me?”

 

“What?” He was shocked. “No! I trust you! I trust you with my life!”

 

“Then why won’t you say anything? Why won’t you talk to me?” Lan Wangji bowed his head, looking quite forlorn.

 

Seeing Lan Wangji’s almost pitiful look, Wei Wuxian felt as if he had been stabbed multiple times with a knife. 

 

“Ah…...Lan Zhan. Don’t look like that. I’ll speak. I’ll speak.”

 

“Really?”

 

“En.”

 

“Okay.” Lan Wangji’s expression returned back to normal so fast that Wei Wuxian felt that he had been played.

 

He had indeed. Lan Wangji felt bad for tricking his lover, but desperate times call for desperate measures.

 

Wei Wuxian started speaking about how using resentful energy, in moderation , will not do anything to the mind and body, but in excess , it will start to show some obvious signs of wear on the user.

 

The demonic cultivator hesitated before describing the torture he had inflicted on Jin Guangshan. The entire time, Lan Wangji listened without a change in his expression. By the end, Wei Wuxian was visibly shaken. Now that he had clarity of his actions, he felt sick thinking about what he had done.

 

“Wei Ying.” He was brought into a warm, strong, and safe embrace. “Wei Ying, it’s okay.”

 

“B-But Lan Zhan, I…...what I did was no less the actions of a monster!!”

 

“No. Wei Ying is not a monster. Jin Guangshan deserved it. He was worth the effort. You’re not wrong.” Lan Wangji planted kisses all over his face with each sentence. “Wei Ying is good. So good.”

 

“But Lan Zhan……”

 

Lan Wangji leaned his forehead against Wei Wuxian’s. “No matter if others call you a monster, no matter if the world goes against you, I will be here. I will face everything with you.”

 

Wei Wuxian went red and he buried his face into Lan Wangji’s chest. “Ahhhhhh! Lan Zhan, you can’t say that! I will really die of a heart attack! Do you want me to die?!”

 

“No dying.”

 

“Okay, okay, no dying. But seriously! You are really after my life with all these sweet words!”

 

Lan Wangji smiled against his nape.

 

Wei Wuxian got ready for the day and they were greeted with the faces of worried disciples.

 

“Senior Wei, are you okay?”

 

“Senior Wei, what kind of creature attacked you?”

 

“Did you defeat it?”

 

“Senior Wei……”

 

Wei Wuxian was instantly surrounded by the junior disciples who all looked at him anxiously.

 

“Heheh, I’m okay! I defeated the creature but it left me with a curse that attracted a lot of resentful energy to me!” He lied smoothly. “But my precious Er-Gege helped me, you know? His fierce aid made the curse disappear.” Wei Wuxian gave a wink to a red-eared Lan Wangji.

 

Though the man didn’t say anything, Wei Wuxian could just hear a silent ‘ shameless ’ from him.

  

“Xian-gege!” Mo Xuanyu called out timidly. “Xian-gege, are you okay now? Did HanGuang-Jun help you?”

 

Wei Wuxian grinned. “Yes. I’m fine.” He ruffled the boy’s hair. “You did well with that excuse.” He whispered.

 

“.....En. I knew that it wasn’t a creature that attacked you.” Mo Xuanyu replied nervously.

 

“How?”

 

“I…...Xian-Gege, don’t be mad but…..” Mo Xuanyu traced words onto his palm.

 

Wei Wuxian’s eyes widened. “A’ Yu, it’s dangerous, you know?”

 

“Mn. But…..I feel I’m suited to learning it.”

 

“...........” The demonic cultivator contemplated it for a moment. “We will discuss this later. Don’t practice it without my supervision, okay?”

 

“Mn!”

 

“Good kid.” He turned to the crowd. “Now, all of you, don’t you have afternoon classes?”

 

The disciples and Mo Xuanyu  made strangled noises before scrambling - not quite running - to class.

 

Lan Wangji inclined his head to ask what his conversation was about.

 

Wei Wuxian rested himself against Lan Wangji. “Lan Zhan…...A’ Yu…...I think he’s getting into demonic cultivation……”

 

“......Do you want to teach him?”

 

He contemplated it for a moment. “I never intended to spread it. But…..he has an aptitude for it.”

 

“.......En.”

 

“You aren’t mad?”

 

“I trust you.”

 

That was enough to make the demonic cultivator flush and hide his face with his hands. “Lan Zhan! You’re too smooth!!”

 

“Mn.”

 

“Don’t you ‘Mn’ me! Where did you learn to flirt like that?”

 

“Not flirting.”

 

“Then what are you doing?”

 

“Telling the truth. I trust Wei Ying. Wei Ying knows what he’s doing. Wei Ying won’t make the same mistakes as the past.”

 

The red on Wei Ying’s face did not go down for the rest of the day. Lan Wangji noted gleefully.

 

…………………….

 

Wei Wuxian then went on to reassure his worried family and friends. He got letters from all of them, wanting to know if he was okay. Lan Wangji had to stay behind for some Sect matters as well as reporting the incident of resentful energy with Wei Wuxian.

 

“Wuxian, are you okay?” Lan Xichen asked.

 

“Just a bit tired. I just need a little more rest.” Wei Wuxian responded.

 

“Are you sure? Wangji was worried.”

 

“......I didn’t want him to though…… He worries too much.”

 

Lan Xichen smiled. “He cares for you. Of course he would care about your well-being.”

 

Wei Wuxian blushed again. “I-I guess he does. That’s what I l-love about him so much.” He replied, digging his grave further. 

 

Lan Xichen laughed. “I’m glad you’re getting along. But…..when will you be getting married, I wonder?”

 

Wei Wuxian’s blush deepened further. “W-Well, we’ve never discussed it, come to think of it.”

 

“Oh dear. That’s no good. I will go tell Wangji to do just that.”

 

“Xi-Xichen-ge!” Wei Wuxian had the strangest feeling that he was being teased by Lan Xichen.

 

The older Jade chuckled as he watched his future brother-in-law flee from him. “I suppose we can leave discussions for another time.”

 

………………...

 

“Where the fuck did you disappear to for an entire month, you bastard!!” Was Jiang Cheng’s response when Wei Wuxian arrived in Yunmeng.

 

“Language, A’ Cheng!” Madam Yu hissed.

 

“A’ Cheng, please tone down with the profanities.” Jiang Fengmian calmly replied with a smile.

 

“But he’s right.” The married couple intoned.

 

“Errr…...if I told you……that I spent that entire time……... torturing Jin Guangshan……... would you believe me?” Wei Wuxian said sheepishly.

 

“Yes.” The three replied.

 

“Ah. Well that’s what I did. I won’t…..get into details since it’s…...graphic.”

 

“Oh really?” Jiang Cheng took that as a challenge, which Wei Wuxian really hoped otherwise.

 

“Ah. Well, I wasn’t really conscious of my actions at that time.” He scratched his head. “…...Let’s just say it involved corpses, demons, hallucinations, and a lot of resentful energy.”

 

Jiang Fengmian, “Ah. Is that why Jin Guangshan’s corpse was found in such……." He paused, as if searching for the right word. "......disarray?” 

 

“Yeah…….”

 

“.......I must say well done, Wei Ying.” Madam Yu mumbled.

 

“What?”

 

“If you didn’t hear it, I won’t repeat it.” With that, she left for the training grounds.

 

“......I will go make sure my Lady doesn’t kill the disciples.” Jiang Fengmian patted Wei Wuxian’s shoulder and left after his wife.

 

“Eh? That’s it?”

 

“What else were you expecting, idiot?” Jiang Cheng rolled his eyes. “Anyway, go see A’ Jie. She was worried about you!”

 

Wei Wuxian snuck a look at his brother. “......Weren’t you?”

 

“Of course I wa--- No I wasn’t!” Jiang Cheng refuted.

 

“Awww~~~! ChengCheng, you do care!!” Wei Wuxian threw an arm over his brother’s shoulder.

 

“Who the fuck is your ‘ChengCheng’?!” Jiang Cheng screeched as he stormed off, face red.

 

 Wei Wuxian had an absolute blast poking fun at his tsundere little brother for the rest of the day.

 

………………........

 

“Shijie……”

 

“A’ Xian. What do you say?” Jiang Yanli sat down in the chair legs crossed as Wei Wuxian kneeled in front of her, looking wronged.

 

“Sorry for disappearing for a month without any clue as to my whereabouts.”

 

Jiang Yanli took pity on him and patted his head. “A’ Xian, I’m not mad. I was just afraid you weren’t taking care of yourself. And you weren’t from what Wangji has told me.”

 

“You keep in contact?”

 

“Yes. Wangji knows you listen to me more than anyone, so he left it up to me.”

 

Wei Wuxian bowed his head. “.......He knows me too well.”

 

“Is that a problem?”

 

“No! I love that he cares so much! I’m just…..”

 

“Unused to it?”

 

“Mn. Lan Zhan is really too good.”

 

“I can tell.”

 

The door opened, revealing Jin Ling and Jin Zixuan. Wei Wuxian felt a bit awkward.

 

“Xian-gege!” Jin Ling reached out.

 

Wei Wuxian cradled the child, cooing. “A’ Ling! How have you been?”

 

“Great! But…...missed you…….”

 

Wei Wuxian practically melted. “Awwww! I missed you too!”

 

“Really?”

 

“Really.”

 

“Yay! Then…..can we play?”

 

“Of course!”

 

“Wei Wuxian.” Jin Zixuan spoke at this moment. “Can I speak to you?”

 

“A’ Ling, let’s play a little later, okay?” Wei Wuxian let Jin Ling down. “Sure.”

 

They went outside.

 

Silence stretched out between them.

 

“I…..No matter what. He was your father. I’m sor--”

 

“Don’t.” Jin Zixuan interrupted. “That man. He was never my father. He……if he really cared about me, why would he still sleep around? Why would he try to touch A’ Li? Harm my son? The moment he did those things, including…..” He swallowed. “What he did to you…….I don’t blame you for taking matters into your own hands.”

 

“Really?”

 

“Wei Wuxian. You…...are my brother-in-law. Of course I would worry. …...But only because A’ Li cares about you so much!” Jin Zixuan added, face red, before turning to leave.

 

Wei Wuxian spent the rest of his time there playing with Jin Ling and accompanying his Shijie and her reluctant husband.

 

……………….........

 

His last stop was Qishan.

 

What met him was an anxiously pacing Wen Qing and a stuttering Wen Ning.

 

“What’s wrong, you guys?” He said, alerting them to his presence.

 

“Wei! Wu! Xian!” Wen Qing grit her teeth as she began to smack the careless demonic cultivator. “How dare you go disappear for month without telling anyone!!

 

“Hey! Qing-jie! Don’t hit me! I’m sorry! I’m sorry! But I told Lan Zhan!”

 

“Yeah. You told him.” Wen Qing clenched her fists. “But nothing as to where you were. Stupid! Idiot!”

 

“Qing-jie! Ow! Okay, Okay, already! I’ll try my best to inform you all next time!”

 

Next time?! There’s going to be a next time?! ” Wen Qing raged.

 

Wei Wuxian turned to Wen Ning. “Wen Ning! Save me!!”

 

“.........” Wen Ning turned away. “You brought this upon yourself, Wuxian. I’m also angry you left without telling us where you were.”

 

“Traitors!” Wei Wuxian yelled as he ran away from a pissed Wen Qing.

 

The Wen disciples were all confused when they saw their Sect Leader madly chasing after the senior Yunmeng Jiang Sect disciple with needles in her hand.

 

“A’ Nian?” Wen Yuan called out as Wei Wuxian turned a corner.

 

“A’ Yuan!!!!! Save me!!!” Wei Wuxian ducked behind the small boy.

 

“Wei Wuxian, you coward! Get out from behind A’ Yuan this instant!!”

 

“A’ Yuan, save me please!” Wei Wuxian whimpered.

 

“En!” A’ Yuan spread his hands out. “Qing-jiejie, don’t hurt A’ Nian!”

 

“But A’ Yuan…….”

 

“No!”

 

“A’ Yua---”

 

“No!!!”

 

Wen Qing gave up after that. “......Have it your way.”

 

A’ Yuan smiled victoriously as he turned to pat Wei Wuxian on the head. “A’ Nian, everything is alright now!”

 

(All of the disciples positively enjoyed the show.)

 

“Really?” Wei Wuxian sniffed. Wen Qing can be scary sometimes…….

 

“Really!”

 

Wei Wuxian brightened as he hugged A’ Yuan tightly. “A’ Yuan, you’re my hero!! Thank you, my little radish!!”

 

“A’ Nian, stop!” A’ Yuan squealed.

 

“Nope~!”

 

Wen Qing sighed. “Wei Wuxian, let’s stop playing now. Sit down and let me examine you.”

 

“Eh? But aren’t you busy?”

 

“I am.” She replied, annoyed. “That’s why I need you to behave and settle down so that I can make sure everything is really alright.”

 

“......Fine.”

 

Wei Wuxian sat down in the clinic and waited for Wen Qing to check him over. “Hey, it’s a bit late to ask this, but aren’t there are others to do this?”

 

“Yes, there are. But I’d rather do it myself.” She glanced at him. “Or…...what? You don’t trust me?”

 

“Of course I trust you!” Wei Wuxian responded immediately. 

 

“Then there shouldn’t be a problem.”

 

“But you are a Sect Leader!”

 

“I am a healer first and foremost.”

 

“But--”

 

“Wrist.”

 

Wen Qing pressed her fingers against his pulse and frowned minutely.

 

......What is this…..core-like life in him? …….Hmmm…...it doesn’t seem to be harming him and it hasn’t grown at all and the life force I feel is also…...dormant. 

 

“You are showing signs of malnourishment, but that’s to be expected since you spent an entire month dedicated to revenge.” Wei Wuxian looked sheepish. “The resentful energy has wrecked your body a bit.” She mumbled as she went through her supplies. “You are lucky that Wen Ruohan experimented with resentful energy enough in front of me so that I know how to counteract its effects to some extent!”

 

He scratched his head. “Ehehehe…...thank you Qing-jie…..”

 

“Thank me by taking better care of yourself next time!”

 

Next time? …….Qing-jie, you talk like you assume there will be a next time.”

 

“Knowing you, there will.”

 

“Aw~! I’m wounded you think so little of me!”

 

Wen Qing just gave him an amused huff.

 

She finally dug out a pill bottle and threw it at him. “Take two every day. Within a week or two, you should feel better.”

 

“En, en! I’ll listen to you.”

 

The Sect Leader shot him a glare. “You’d better.”

 

They headed to a garden where they conversed about trivial things, how their day went, anything they wanted to complain about……

 

Wen Ning happily chatted away about his newfound friendship with Jin Zixuan and how they always had friendly competitions and discussions about the art of archery.

 

“Oh, you should have seen Shijie when she heard how Jin Guangshan captured me.”

 

“Eh? Maiden Jiang? What happened?”

 

“Ah. You guys weren’t there, but spiritual energy was flying everywhere and her expression was stormy, quite reminiscent of Madam Yu.” Wei Wuxian had a dreamy look on his face. “Ahhh~ Shijie was so cool then…….”

 

“A’ Nian, look, look!” A’ Yuan pulled on Wei Wuxian’s robes.

 

The latter bent down. “What is it?”

 

A’ Yuan held up the grass butterflies Wei Wuxian had folded for him. On top of them was an actual butterfly. A pretty mariposa.

 

“A’ Yuan, remember not to touch it, they could get hurt.”

 

“Mn!”

 

Wei Wuxian and A’ Yuan continued to play together unaware of the contemplative gaze Wen Qing and Wen Ning sent them.

 

“Wei Wuxian.”

 

The man in question lifted his head up to meet Wen Qing’s serious gaze. “.......What?”

 

“Would you consider adopting A’ Yuan? …….Officially.”

 

“Of course! But…...what brought this on?”

 

Wen Qing sighed. “A’ Ning and I are always busy with Sect duties, all of his other guardians are getting too old for this and his grandmother……” She trailed off. “She…...She left us.”

 

Wei Wuxian’s heart clenched. “I…..see. …..Okay. I’ll do it.” He turned to the boy. “Hey, A’ Yuan. Do you want to become my real son?”

 

“Eh? Oh! Yeah!” A’ Yuan grinned widely.

 

Wei Wuxian smiled at that. “......The adoption papers?”

 

Wen Ning, “I-I’ll get them!” He rushed off, returning soon after with them.

 

“You…...You guys had this prepared ahead of time.” It was a statement, not a question.

 

“Yeah.” Wen Ning nodded. “We knew that you and Second Master Lan are really attached to A’ Yuan and wouldn’t hesitate to take him under your wing.”

 

“Ah.”

 

The papers were quickly signed and A’ Yuan was officially Wei Wuxian’s - and by extension, Lan Wangji’s son.

 

………………….

 

Wei Wuxian returned to the Cloud Recesses, A’ Yuan in tow.

 

“A’ Die!!!” A’ Yuan yelled, crashing into Lan Wangji.

 

“Running and shouting are forbidden in the Cloud Recesses.” Lan Wangji recited, out of habit.

 

“Eh? Really?”

 

“En.” Then he turned his attention to Wei Wuxian. “Wei Ying?” He inquired with a tilt of his head.

 

“.....I adopted A’ Yuan.”

 

“Oh.” His expression didn't change as he patted A’ Yuan’s head. “Welcome to the family.”

 

"Mn."

 

For the rest of the day, the couple spent their time showing A’ Yuan around the Cloud Recesses.

 

Wei Wuxian watched in delight as he saw Lan Wangji bury their son in a pile of rabbits.

 

“Lan Zhan~ we really have that in common.”

 

“Hm?”

 

“I used to bury A’ Yuan in the soil all the time back then.” Wei Wuxian smiled wistfully at the memory. “Ahhh, he really was the radish I planted back then.”

 

“Mn.”

 

“Hey Lan Zhan.” Wei Wuxian nestled by his side in between the frolicking rabbits. “Can you…..tell me about how you raised him back then?”

 

“Mn.”

 

Just as he was about to speak, they heard a little squeal.

 

“Xian-gege!!” Wei Wuxian was immediately tackled in the stomach by a tiny white blur.

 

“Oof! Huh? A’ Yi?”

 

“Mn!”

 

A’ Yi, or, Lan Jingyi, was Lan Wangji’s cousin and someone who Wei Wuxian grew to love very much. The boy was very much unlike the other Lan kids. Always so bright and full of energy and Wei Wuxian immediately took to him.

 

“Xian-gege, you’re back!”

 

“Of course I am!” Wei Wuxian grinned as he pinched Lan Jingyi’s cheeks. “A’ Yi, how have you been?”

 

“Great! But, Xian-gege…..stop pinching my cheeks!”

 

“Why? They’re so soft!”

 

“A’ Nian, no!” A’ Yuan tackled Wei Wuxian. 

 

“A’ Yuan, what’s wrong?”

 

“Can’t do that to other people! Mine!”

 

Wei Wuxian chuckled. “Lan Zhan~ it seems our son has inherited your possessive streak.”

 

“Mn.” Lan Wangji knew it was petty, but he too was jealous that his beloved’s time is taken up by the children. Why do the children always take away the mother?

 

“Oh~ Er-Gege, don’t look like that!” He leaned in. “I’ll give you plenty of time with me tonight.” He whispered seductively.

 

Lan Wangji’s eyes darkened.

 

Before Wei Wuxian could tease more, he felt two tugs on his robes as the children captured his attention. 

 

Eventually, though, he got the two to get along and play with the rabbits.

 

Lan Qiren had come across them and eyed A’ Yuan.

 

“And who is this?”

 

“My son!” Wei Wuxian replied cheekily.

 

Lan Qiren felt blood rise from his throat but he barely managed to hold it down. “And….*cough*..... Who is the mother?”

 

“Me, of course! I birthed him!”

 

This time Lan Qiren spat out blood and fainted.

 

“Wei Ying.” The Second Jade chided. “Stop torturing Uncle.”

 

“But it’s fun~!”

 

His lover merely let out a resigned sigh as disciples came to carry away his Uncle (again!).

 

(The disciples were now pretty used to seeing this sight and performed their duties without hesitating.)

 

Wen Yuan and Lan Jingyi ended up bonding spectacularly and the former ended up requesting to stay with Jingyi that night. They agreed and accomodations were made. Lan Wangji told Wei Wuxian about his adventures with A' Yuan back then.

 

…………………

 

“Lan Er-Gege, shall we keep to that promise I made this afternoon?” The troublemaker winked flirtatiously. 

 

“En.”

 

Without hesitation, Lan Wangji stripped Wei Wuxian down to his inner robes. 

 

He trailed kisses up his lover’s fair thighs, leaving love bites everywhere.

 

“Ah…...ah! L-Lan Zhan…..mmm…..ngh…..good…..” Wei Wuxian moaned.

 

Lan Wangji planted kisses dangerously close to a key area, causing Wei Wuxian to buck his hips up in need.

 

“Patience.” Lan Wangji chided as he effortlessly held down the other’s hips. 

 

“But, Lan Zhan~ I need you! I want you~!” He whined.

 

Lan Zhan swooped down to drown out those protests with an intense kiss.

 

“Haa…. Lan Zhan…..you’re really good at kissing. It always makes me so weak in the knees.”

 

The Second Jade tried his best to not be affected by that comment as he took off his forehead ribbon and tied Wei Wuxian’s slender legs together. He looked dazedly at the single white inner robe barely covering his lover’s body and the ribbon binding his legs together. That sight did something dangerous to Lan Wangji’s self-control.

 

“Ah~ Lan Zhan, you really like tying me up~.”

 

“Mn.”

 

“Speaking of, what does the ribbon represent? You never told me.”

 

“..........” Lan Wangji’s ears went red. “......No one is allowed to touch our forehead ribbon.” He started, as he kissed down Wei Wuxian’s neck.

 

“A-Ah…..a-and…..? .....ow! Haa...ah!”

 

“No one but our parents,” He kissed the shorter man’s chest, rubbing the red buds to hardness with his teeth, tongue and mouth. “....child,” The kisses were peppered around his stomach and reached lower. Lan Wangji let his breath ghost over Wei Wuxian’s length as he made contact with those beautiful, needy silver eyes. “....and spouse.” He finished before swallowing all of Wei Wuxian down.

 

“Ah! Lan Zhan! Good!!…..you’re so good to me…..ahhhhn!”

 

Lan Zhan bobbed his head up and down, occasionally releasing the leaking member to lick around it before diving back in.

 

“H-How are you…..ah!.....g-getting better at this every t-time we do i---ahhh!!” Wei Wuxian mewled as Lan Wangji continued his ministrations. “B-But, spouse, huh? Lan Zhan…..” Wei Wuxian twirled the ends of the ribbon in his hand. “I can’t believe you’ve been declaring your intention so early to m--ahh!”

 

“Of course. I love Wei Ying a lot.”

 

Wei Ying went red. “L-Lan Zhan….I told you - ah! - to w-warn me…….nnnngh!”

 

“I love Wei Ying the most.” He mumurmed reverently into his skin as he thrust three fingers in and out of the other, accurately hitting that one spot over and over until Wei Wuxian came with a shattered scream.

 

Without waiting for the other to recover, Lan Wangji lifted his bound legs over a shoulder and slammed in.

 

“Lan Zhan!!!” Wei Wuxian’s oversensitized body shivered with pleasure as Lan Wangji continued to thrust in and out at a brutal pace. “Ah….ah!.....Good…..h-harder…..faster…..Er-Gege, please more…….Haha...ha....with the way you've been fucking me, I wouldn't be surprised if I could g-give you - ahhh!!!! - g-give you a few l-little Lans......ah! Haa.....more......"”

 

Despite the crimson tint on his ears and neck, Lan Wangji responded calmly. “Mn. Whatever Wei Ying wants.”

 

Lan Wangji gave anything he wanted. He went as deep, as rough, and as fast-paced as Wei Wuxian wanted. They both came together from a particularly hard thrust to Wei Wuxian’s prostate that sent the both of them over the edge.

 

Wei Wuxian panted as he tried to recover. However, Lan Wangji shifted to another position without rest.

 

“You beast! You insatiable beast!” Wei Wuxian playfully hit Lan Wangji.

 

“Mn.”

 

They ended up doing two more rounds before Lan Wangji drew a bath and cleaned the both of them off. They fell asleep surrounded by each other’s scent and presence.

 

……………………..

 

Wei Wuxian had been examining the incense burner for a while and had tested it multiple times. (Partly because he wanted to see the *cough* *cough* exciting dreams his lover had, the other to find out what its purpose was.)

 

He wasn’t able to figure out what it was for and could only guess it was something similar to a form of entertainment. However, he did discover that it could show memories. After all, not all dreams were just dreams.

 

Wei Wuxian knew that he was missing some memories from his previous life and wanted to see if he could access them.

 

At first, it was trivial things like pranks he played on his shidis when they were younger as well as the location of various objects he had lost. Eventually, though he began to regain memories of his childhood with Cangse Sanren and Wei Changze. Those memories were warm and comforting and Wei Wuxian regretted ever forgetting.

 

Other times, he reviewed memories that he preferred he forgot. Qiongqi Path, Wen Ning, Jin Zixuan, the archers, his growing insanity…..........

 

And, tonight, he used it again. 

 

“Wei Wuxian! You evil incarnate! You killed Jin Zixuan and so many Lanling Jin Sect members!”

 

“Your sins are innumerable!”

 

“You deserve to die!”

 

“Kill that monster!”

 

“Hand over the Wen-dogs!”

 

Wei Wuxian stood over the crowd of people chanting for his death and laughed.

 

The real Wei Wuxian watched this scene play over, numbed. No, no, no, no. Shijie, no. No, no, please no. Don’t--

 

Too late, he saw the sword pierce his Shijie’s throat, ending her life.

 

He saw himself descend into complete insanity, activating the power of the Stygian Tiger Seal and killing thousands within minutes. 

 

And he could do nothing but watch.

 

But, now that he’s watching this from a third person perspective, he noticed a white figure darting forward towards him.

 

Lan Zhan?!

 

He saw his pliant body snatched away from the mess and whisked from the battlefield.

 

“Quick! Go after Wangji!” Lan Qiren yelled.

 

The scene changed and he found himself in a cave.

 

He walked in and stared at both his and Lan Zhan’s bloodied forms. He froze, unable to do much as the scene played out.

 

The latter was transferring spiritual energy to his unresponsive body.

 

“Wei Ying, can you hear me?”

 

“.........”

 

Wei Wuxian could hear his other self's thoughts though. Go away.....Why are you here?

 

“Wei Ying. I’m sorry that I couldn’t reach out to you sooner. I should have brought you back with me sooner.”

 

This again? Why?

 

“.......get lost……” He whispered.

 

“Wei Ying. I know now. There’s something wrong with your Golden Core. I should have realized it.”

 

He found out.....he found out......if you know then go. Leave me! Let me die!!

 

“......Get lost……”

 

“Wei Ying. If you come back, I’ll give you as much Emperor’s Smile as you want. I’ve already started a stash in my Jingshi.”

 

Why now? There's no turning back for me. I'm a monster.....a monster......

 

“..........Get Lost……..” He heard himself whisper louder.

 

“Wei Ying. Do you remember the rabbits you gifted me? They’ve become a herd now. If you come back with me, I’ll let you pet them all you want, though you can’t roast them.”

 

It doesn't matter......it doesn't matter.......you hate me......why would I leave? Wei Wuxian gave a dry chuckle at that.

 

“Get Lost………”

 

“Wei Ying. I’m sorry I rejected you all those years ago. I’m sorry for fighting with you. Will you return with me?”

 

Why now? What's the point? Get lost.

 

“Get Lost!”

 

Despite the firm rejection coming from the other’s mouth, Lan Wangji pressed on.

 

“Wei Ying. I…..I’ve never hated you, despite what you might think.”

 

........What?

 

Rapid footsteps could be heard now.

 

They're here. They're here!! Lan Zhan, get lost! Go, go now! Leave me! They'll kill you. They'll kill you!!! Wei Wuxian trembled. The emotions of his other self seeping into him.

 

“Get Lost!!!”

 

“Wei Ying." Lan Wangji reached a hesitant hand out to cup his face. "I love you.”

 

No......no......how can you? You can't. I'm a monster, Lan Zhan. A monster. You have to go.......GO! Lan Zhan, don't be stubborn. They won't forgive you for doing this. Go.....go.....leave!!!!

 

Tears poured down his face. “GET LOST!”

 

“I love you, Wei Ying. …...Every word I said…...I meant it with my heart.”

 

The footsteps were right outside. They were here.

 

No.....no.....no.......I can't let them. Go.......go!!!!

 

“GET LOST!!!” Wei Wuxian yelled, tears streaming down his face.

 

“Wangji.” Lan Xichen walked to the front of the thirty three elders he brought with him. “What are you doing?”

 

“Wangji. Get back here. Leave that demon alone!” Lan Qiren roared.

 

Wei Wuxian felt a pang of hurt from that.

 

Lan Wangji let go of Wei Wuxian’s hand and unsheathed Bichen. “It’s what it looks like. Brother. Uncle.”

 

“Wangji. Don’t…..please…..” Lan Xichen begged.

 

Lan Wangji stayed silent as if to say he was done speaking.

 

Lan Zhan.......why?

 

Wei Wuxian, “Get lost…….”

 

The emotions his past self felt bled into him too much and Wei Wuxian couldn't stop it from overflowing, tears spilling down his face. “Lan Zhan, it’s okay. You can stop now. Please go. They’ll hurt you. You’ll be punished. Go. Leave me! Lan Zhan, go!! Please. Please. Not you too. Lan Zhan!!” But the Lan Zhan in his memories could not hear him or his past self’s thoughts.

 

Wei Wuxian watched mournfully as Lan Wangji engaged in battle with all thirty three elders. Lan Xichen, too, was helpless but to watch.

 

Despite Lan Wangji’s depleted energy, everyone was defeated.

 

“Wangji. Is this what you want?” Lan Xichen whispered, tired.


Lan Wangji paused. “......From the very beginning, it has been this way.”

 

With that, he scooped up the despondent Yiling Patriarch and rushed to Burial Mounds where he left the man.

 

“Wei Ying. You’ll be okay now.” Lan Wangji cupped the other’s face, leaving a fleeting kiss on his brow, as he left him in the hands of the Wen Remnants.

 

Wei Wuxian watched as his Lan Zhan sped off into the night.

 

The world became dark after that and Wei Wuxian sunk to his knees. “Lan Zhan…..” He murmured. “Why? Why?!” He sobbed as he pounded the ground. "Why?.......I'm not worth it......."

 

“........Do you know where he went afterwards?”

 

Wei Wuxian jolted up in surprise. “Who--?!”

 

“You, of course.” His mirror self, albeit bloodied and broken, replied.

 

Well, this is certainly odd. “Where…...did he go?”

 

“........Follow me.”

 

The scenery changed and they were at Cloud Recesses.

 

Wei Wuxian mindlessly followed the Yiling Patriarch until they reached the Ancestral Hall. When they arrived, he disappeared.

 

But Wei Wuxian’s attention wasn’t on him. 

 

And what he saw, chilled him to the bone.

 

There was an elder with a discipline whip and Lan Wangji kneeled down, his robes stripped to his waist.

 

“As punishment for harming thirty three of his elders. Lan Wangji of Gusu Lan will receive thirty three lashes. One for each elder he harmed.”

 

“........” Lan Wangji silently accepted his punishment.

 

“No…..No…...No. Please no. Not him.” Wei Wuxian pleaded.

 

The whip went up…….and slashed down.

 

“NO!!” Wei Wuxian tried to step in front and block the attacks, only to see it go through him.

 

Slash after slash after slash. Even when his skin tore open, blood staining his white robes, the elder did not stop.

 

Lan Wangji, to his benefit, did not let out a sound. He would not allow the elders to find joy in his pain. He would suffer through this and show them his conviction to not bend or break. He was like a sword. And he would never break in the force of their authority.

 

“No…...please…….no, no, no, no. Take me instead! Don’t harm him! He doesn’t deserve this!! Stop it…….Stop it!!!! Lan Zhan!!!!

 

They were only twenty strokes through when Lan Wangji let out a sound. 

 

Wei Wuxian glanced at Lan Xichen and Lan Qiren. They couldn’t bear to do this. Why…...Why?!

 

However, he saw them and saw their regret. 

 

Lan Qiren was clenching his hands so hard, blood dripped down his hand onto the ground.

 

Lan Xichen lurched forward several times, wanting to stop them, but held back. 

 

“Wangji…...Wangji…..hold on, little brother. Hold on…...you can do this…….”

 

Thirty lashes marred his back when he collapsed.

 

“Lan Zhan!!! Stop it…...Stop…...Stop…...Lan Zhan, Lan Zhan…...hang on…...please……”

 

Wei Wuxian saw Lan Wangji’s eyes blurring, teetering on the edge of unconsciousness.

 

“Three more…..three more……”

 

The last three hit down and they could see his bones.

 

As soon as the elder stepped away, Lan Xichen rushed forward.

 

“Sect Leader. He has to bear through this as part of---”

 

Do you want him to die?! Do you want to kill my little brother?! ” Lan Xichen’s voice was dangerously low.

 

They were silent. It wasn’t worth losing such a powerful cultivator as HanGuang-Jun and they would find it difficult to explain to the world how such a cultivator died when he very clearly survived Nightless City.

 

“........Very well.”

 

And then everything went black.

 

Wei Wuxian felt numb, numb, numb, numbnumbnumbnumbnumb…….. . Lan Zhan, Lan Zhan, Lan Zhan, Lan Zhan……..

 

He glanced across the darkness to see the other him shedding the same amount of tears, the same despair. 

 

“Are we even worth that kind of sacrifice?”

 

“Are we?”

 

“Do we even deserve him after that?” He sobbed.

 

“.........I don’t know. But he loves us. He loves us even when we fell so far.”

 

“..........Lan Zhan…….I’m sorry………”

 

“........Don’t. He doesn’t like us saying that.”

 

The other him sniffed. “........Hey.”

 

“Yeah?”

 

“Can I…….talk to him? I…...I think I need closure.”

 

Wei Wuxian sighed. “Sure. You are me. You deserve that much.”

 

“But do I?” He breathed out.

 

They both didn’t have an answer to that.

 

The dream him got up and disappeared into him in a ball of white.

 

………………….

 

Lan Wangji shifted when he heard movement. He cracked open his eyes in time to see his Wei Ying get out of bed and walk to the entrance of the Jingshi. He briefly paused at the door and turned around, an awfully sad look on his face. The moonlight shone across his face, highlighting dried tears.

 

He said nothing though. 

 

Only a silent gesture to follow.

 

Lan Wangji’s heart beat fast. There was something…..different about Wei Ying tonight. Something both familiar and…..lost.

 

Shaking his head at that thought, he followed. 

 

But remembering that the other had gone out in his inner robes, he picked up a thick blanket and went outside. 

 

“Wei Ying, blanket. It’s cold outside.” He wrapped the blanket around him.

 

“...........” When Wei Wuxian turned around, his eyes reflected a eerily blood-red color.

 

Lan Wangji paused as he hesitantly called out, “Wei…...Ying?”

 

“....... Lan Zhan, why did you do it? Why did you save me?” 

 

All of the muscles in Lan Wangji’s body turned stiff at that moment. “Wei Ying?” He said with much difficulty. “You……”

 

The Wei Ying in front of him sighed.

 

“Lan Zhan……” He called out.

 

Lan Zhan silently watched as a cold hand cupped his face.

 

He sadly shook his head. “Lan Zhan, why didn’t you get lost?”

 

Hearing those words, Lan Wangji’s entire body trembled. The Wei Ying in front of him was.…..the Wei Ying he had whisked away from Nightless City all those years ago in that other life.

 

“Lan Zhan, I knew you would get hurt. I knew you would be punished for rescuing me. I knew…..that that day, I should have died. Why didn’t you just listen to me and just leave me?” He hissed. “I was beyond saving.”

 

“No…..No!” Lan Wangji denied. “Wei Ying, you were not beyond saving! Don’t say that…...don’t say that…….”

 

“But, didn’t you regret getting all those wounds? Those scars that would never leave you for a lifetime?”

 

How this Wei Ying knew about his whip scars went unnoticed. “No! No, Wei Ying, I…..I never regretted saving you, I never regretted getting punished! But…. I regret not trying harder to express myself, I regret…..not staying with you that day and making sure you were safe. I regret…...I regret……so much.......” Tears fell down his peerless face as he shakily grasped the frigid hand upon his face. “I regret not being by your side.”

 

“Oh Lan Zhan.” He smiled. “You’re here now. You’re by my side now. You’ve helped me, cherished me, loved me, saved me. Over and over.”

 

“It’s not enough. It’s nowhere near enough!” He burst out. “I wasn’t-” He choked. “I wasn’t able to save you-”

 

He was stopped when a cold pair of lips connected with his.

 

“Lan Zhan……” Freezing hands cradled his cheeks, wiping his tears away and combing through his hair. “Lan Zhan. It’s alright. It’s going to be okay. I’m here now. You’re here with me. Lan Zhan, Lan Zhan…..I love you. Know this, I loved you…..even back then. I love you. And I will continue to love you. That’s why……” He paused. “That’s why I wanted you to get lost. I couldn’t bear to see you hurt. Punished for the sake of someone like me.” 

 

He let out a despondent chuckle. “But you never left. And for that I……” He couldn’t put into words what he felt when he thought about that.

 

Instead, he let his forehead lean against the other’s and sighed contentedly. “I will return to my soul and we - no I - will be complete. I’m not leaving. I’m going to be here.”

 

“Wei Ying…..”

 

“Lan Zhan.” He smiled, leaving one last lingering kiss. “.........I love you.”

 

A white light flashed blindingly before condensing into Wei Wuxian’s body. Once it disappeared, he swayed back, nearly hitting the ground.

 

Lan Wangji was alarmed and caught his lover, checking over for any injury and sighed in relief when he found none.

 

“Wei Ying,” He kissed the other man’s forehead. “I love you too……..more than anything.”

 

…………….....

 

He carried the other back to bed and cradled him close. 

 

Wei Ying was alive. They were here together and would never leave each other.

 

Lan Wangji pressed a kiss right where he could feel the thrum and pulse of Wei Ying’s life. He’s alive.

Chapter Text

Wei Wuxian woke up, feeling quite drained and groggy. Light had not yet peeked into the room, telling Wei Wuxian that he had woken up a bit too early in the morning.

 

Then last night’s memories came back thick and suffocating. 

 

Lan Zhan. Oh god, Lan Zhan…...Lan Zhan, Lan Zhan……......

 

Lan Wangji must have sensed his lover’s distress as he woke up.

 

“Wei Ying?”

 

Wei Wuxian burst into tears as he lunged at Lan Wangji. “Lan Zhan!” He shivered. “Lan Zhan, Lan Zhan. I’m sorry,” He choked out. “I-I…….I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m—”

 

“Wei Ying. Wei Ying, calm down. It’s fine. It’s all over.” He whispered calmingly. "And I've told you, towards me, there's no need for apologies."

 

“It’s not fine! I have to apologize!" He was in hysterics. "B-Because of me, you……” He sobbed. “ Thirty three lashes with the discipline whip. Lan Zhan, why…..why? I’m not worth that kind of effort. I……”

 

“Wei Ying.” Lan Wangji cut him off with a soft kiss. “Wei Ying, you deserve everything.”

 

“I…….” I don’t. Not after what I did. Not after what I said. 

 

“I was willing.” He continued. “No matter this life, the next, or the one after that…...Wei Ying, I am willing to give everything to you.”

 

Wei Wuxian was struck speechless. What could he say in the face of such words? What could he say in the face of such devotion? 

 

Nothing. 

 

He couldn’t. 

 

He couldn’t refute him. 

 

His Lan Zhan. His beautiful, beautiful Lan Zhan. 

 

When Wei Wuxian next became aware of himself, he had already pulled the Second Jade into a tearful kiss. 

 

He tried to pour all of his emotions, all of his love, everything he felt for this beautiful, beautiful man into this one kiss.

 

When they finally separated, he laughed wetly. “Lan Zhan. Oh, my Lan Zhan. What can I say to that? I thought I told you to warn me before saying something so sweet.”

 

“Mn.”

 

…………………….....

 

The two eventually got out of bed and ready for the day.

 

“I want to talk to Zewu-Jun.”

 

“Why?”

 

 “I owe him an apology.”

 

“You don’t—”

 

“I do.”

 

Lan Wangji sighed.

 

They didn’t go too far as the First Jade had spotted them and walked over.

 

“Good morning Wangji, Wuxian.” Lan Xichen frowned. The two of them looked tired and somewhat…...despondent. 

 

It seems they wanted to speak. He didn’t ask, though. When they were ready, they would tell him.

 

“Xichen-ge. Last night…..” Wei Wuxian swallowed his words.

 

“Yes?”

 

“Last night…...some of my memories returned.”

 

“Congratulations.” But what does that have to do with me? He took one look at his brother’s face to find answers and saw a hidden sadness. What on earth happened last night?

 

“I…...I’m sorry.” He suddenly knelt. “I’m sorry!!”

 

Lan Xichen panicked. “Wuxian! There’s no need! Just what……”

 

“My memories of Nightless City returned.”

 

The hands that went to help Wei Wuxian up froze halfway. “ What?

 

“I remembered…..what I did…..to Lan Zhan. And I...I-I saw…...what happened to him.”

 

“........ How? ” He wanted to know.

 

“Remember the incense burner Lan Zhan and I mentioned? The one that shows dreams?”

 

“Yes.”

 

“You know dreams can be memories too, right?”

 

“.......Yes.” He saw where this was going.

 

“I saw them. I saw me. And Lan Zhan. A-And the cave. The elders. The fight. The punishment. Everything. Everything. ” Wei Wuxian was shaking, tears running down and soaking his robes.

 

Lan Wangji was alarmed. His lover hadn’t informed him of that.

 

“I-I was there and I couldn’t do anything. I could only watch a-as…..as…..” Wei Wuxian was trembling so much, a haunted look covering his face.

 

Lan Xichen said nothing. He always wanted to go over this matter, but gradually forgot about it seeing his brother’s current happiness. He always wondered what he would do if he ever confronted the demonic cultivator. Whether he would lose control and say hurtful words he would probably come to regret.

 

However……

 

Seeing the traumatized look on Wei Wuxian’s face……

 

I suppose that is punishment enough.

 

Lan Xichen sighed. “Wuxian, get up.” When the other finally stood on his two legs, he lifted up his hand—

 

The two lovers tensed but didn’t move.

 

—and patted the top of Wei Wuxian’s head.

 

“.......Huh?”

 

Lan Xichen let out a little laugh. “What? Did you think I would really hit you? I’m mad at the pain you caused Wangji that day, but - and I’ve mentioned this before, to A’ Yao - there is nothing more painful than living with those memories.”

 

“........En.”

 

“Brother.” Lan Wangji spoke up. “Brother, it’s a misunderstanding.”

 

“What is?”

 

Lan Wangji explained what happened last night.

 

“He said that?” Lan Xichen looked surprised. Is that why Wuxian told him to ‘Get Lost’? Because he knew what would happen?

 

“Mn.”

 

Lan Xichen had spent years reading his brother, and from what he could tell…... Those words were undoubtedly, irrevocably, the truth.

 

The older Jade just sighed.

 

It seems these two have always gone through misunderstandings. They’ve spent a whole lifetime misunderstood and misunderstanding each other. Seeing the two of them now…...I am glad that they have found their happiness, above everything that has happened.

 

Lan Xichen smiled. “I’m glad then.” His expression turned serious. “Wuxian. Will you promise to cherish Wangji? To never betray him no matter what? To be by his side, through everything, good and bad?”

 

Wei Wuxian returned his gaze. “Always. I promise to cherish Lan Zhan. To never betray him. No matter what. To be his side, through everything, good and bad. This, I promise you.”

 

Lan Xichen held the gaze until he sensed the truth in Wei Wuxian’s words.

 

“That’s good then. …...I leave Wangji in your hands.”

 

“You won’t regret it.” 

 

Not this time. Not ever. I will hold Lan Zhan dear. Never again will I allow him to feel that pain. 

 

No matter what.

 

……………………………..

 

Spring rolled around and all was well. No enemies to smite, no unusual occurrences. 

 

However………

 

“Blergh………” Wei Wuxian vomited for the seventh time that week. 

 

Lan Wangji was immediately at his side. “Wei Ying? You alright?” He rubbed the demonic cultivator’s back comfortingly. 

 

Wei Wuxian wiped his mouth with the offered handkerchief. “Urgh……. I must have had too many bowls of spicy noodles………”

 

The Second Jade huffed amusedly. 

 

“Wei Ying.” He helped the other to the table and held up the bitter medicinal concoction. “Drink.”

 

Wei Ying turned his head away. “No.”

 

“Wei Ying.” Lan Wangji’s eyes narrowed. 

 

“..........Nooooooo~~~~~” The grown man whined. 

 

“Wei Ying, what can I do to make you drink it?”

 

“Feed me~........”

 

“Oka—”

 

“With your mouth.”

 

Lan Wangji just stared at him. 

 

“Hehehehe………” Wei Wuxian wiggled his eyebrows, looking quite smug. “What do you think, Lan Zhan? Even this is too shameless for you~.”

 

“Okay.”  

 

“W-What?”

 

“Will feed.” 

 

Wei Wuxian was speechless. “...........Lan Zhan. You’ve gotten too good.”

 

“Mn.” Now it was Lan Wangji’s turn to look smug. 

 

He lifted the bowl to his lips and allowed the bitter taste to permeate his taste buds. He then leaned closer to Wei Wuxian’s increasingly reddening complexion. 

 

He allowed for a brief peck before sliding his tongue in and and allowing the liquid to flow into his lover’s mouth. 

 

“Mmm………” Wei Wuxian panted when they parted. “Lan Zhan, why does it taste so sweet even though it’s supposed to be bitter?”

 

Lan Wangji curled his lips up minutely. 

 

“More.” Wei Wuxian demanded. 

 

“Mn.”

 

Lan Wangji connected their lips again, feeding another portion of the medicine down. He pulled Wei Wuxian towards him, trying to get deeper and devour the other’s mouth. 

 

He entangled their tongues together, occasionally sucking the tip of Wei Wuxian’s tongue and rubbing his own along the roof of the latter’s mouth and teeth. 

 

“Mmm…...ah……...L-Lan…..ah! Ngh…..mmm……C-Can't bre--”

 

Although reluctant, Lan Wangji separated the two of them, only connected by a small string of saliva. 

 

Wei Wuxian’s eyes were glazed over with desire and lust. 

 

Impatient for more, Wei Wuxian grabbed the bowl and chugged the rest down, wincing slightly at the taste. 

 

He slammed the bowl down, pulling his lover on top of him. 

 

“More.” He repeated. 

 

Lan Wangji acquiesced. “Anything for you.”

 

Though completely red at those words, Wei Wuxian pulled him flush against him. “Mark you words, HanGuang-Jun~.” He whispered seductively. 

 

Needless to say, they did not leave the Jingshi early that day. 

 

(Lan Xichen made a note to not look at his brother’s expression. He did not want to know what those two were up to.)

 

………………..........

 

But no matter how much bitter medicine he dra— was fed, Wei Wuxian didn’t seem to get better. He was not only throwing up pretty much everything he ate - if he ate -, he was tired all the time and had strange cravings.

 

When he drenched the sweets in soy sauce, he enjoyed them so much that he didn’t notice the positively horrified looks of his companions.

 

However, there was one matter of the cravings that undoubtedly shocked everyone.

 

Wei Wuxian. Liked. The Gusu Lan. Food.

 

The bitter medicinal meals he always complained about, he now craves.

 

(However, he did still hate drinking pure medicine.) 

 

.

 

.

 

.

 

“What’s wrong with me?” Wei Wuxian wondered aloud. He mumbled to himself a bit. “Maybe Wen Qing might know…...but she’s too busy as Sect Leader.”

 

Lan Wangji’s eyes flashed as he heard this. His brother had been informed that Wen Qing would be visiting to see how A’ Yuan was doing as well as go over some disturbances that some Qishan Wen disciples had caused.

 

Wen Qing had arrived soon enough. 

 

The matter with the troublemaking Wens was taken care of quickly, the punishment being handed over to the Lans. 

 

(Tensions were still high from the war. All these little troubles popping up did not make Wen Qing’s work any easier.)

 

Wen Qing had visited A’ Yuan and was glad to see his progress and how he was behaving.

 

“Sect Leader Wen.” Lan Wangji greeted.

 

“HanGuang-Jun.” Wen Qing returned.

 

“I need your help.”

 

Wen Qing raised an eyebrow. “What did Wei Wuxian do?”

 

Lan Wangji gave a glance at her as if to say ‘How did you know? ’.

 

“Any troubles you would have are far and few in between. If you can’t solve it, you’ll ask for Wei Wuxian’s help, but if he can’t do anything, then it’s either out of your expertise or something happened to your partner.”

 

“........En.”

 

“So, what’s wrong?”

 

“Wei Ying is sick.”

 

“Sick?”

 

“Mn.”

 

The two walked together to the clinic where Lan Wangji had deposited his lover.

 

“Did he eat anything odd?”

 

“Nothing he hasn’t had before.”

 

“The food wasn’t rotten?”

 

“No.”

 

“Curses?”

 

“No resentful energy. …...And I checked.”

 

Wen Qing kept thinking. “Did he touch anything that seemed off? Like if he went on a night hunt and carelessly made contact with anything.”

 

“Nothing I haven’t seen or heard.”

 

“What are his symptoms?”

 

“He vomits, is always tired, hardly eats, and has strange…..food choices.”

 

Wen Qing’s face turned increasingly funny the longer he spoke. “When…...does he throw up?”

 

“Usually in the mornings, or when he’s eaten…..too much.”

 

“Is he moody? Cramping a lot? Seeming a little bloated?”

 

Lan Wangji took a moment to think. “En.”

 

“.........” She looked to the sky. “....... Please don’t tell me it’s what I think it is.

 

Lan Wangji turned to her, surprised. “You know what’s wrong?”

 

“I’m only making assumptions, but all the symptoms match up. I have to see him before anything.”

 

“Mn.”

 

They reached the clinic and in was a dozing-off Wei Wuxian.

 

“Wei Ying?” 

 

“.....Mmmn?” Wei Wuxian gave a sleepy acknowledgement. “Lan Zhan……?”

 

“Mn.”

 

“I’m tired……”

 

“Mn. Hang on for a bit longer. Sect Leader Wen is here.”

 

“Wen Qing? Where?” Wei Wuxian piped up.

 

“........I’ve been here the whole time.” Wen Qing replied. “You two are really in a world of your own.”

 

They blushed.

 

“Anyway, Wei Wuxian. Wrist. I need to check you.”

 

“I’m okay, though…….”

 

Wen Qing sighed as he gently pressed two fingers against his pulse. She searched his body once again and found that…...that core that was dormant was now revolving and emitting life. Rechecking his pulse, she found what she was looking for.

 

“......As I suspected.” She murmured quietly.

 

But the other two heard her.

 

“What was as you suspected?” Wei Wuxian asked. “Do you know what affliction I have?”

 

“.....Yes.” She bit her lips, trying to find a way to explain this. She decided that telling the truth was the best option. “.......You’re pregnant.”

 

“What?”

 

“I said you’re pregnant.”

 

“Ahahahaha, Wen Qing! You really know how to joke! I’m a man! How can I……” He trailed off when he saw no joking light in her eyes. 

 

She was dead-serious.

 

“Wei Wuxian…...and HanGuang-Jun. If you both send your spiritual energy towards the stomach area, you’ll find what I’m speaking of.”

 

The two followed her directions and sent their spiritual energy forth. They found a core-like life in the center of Wei Wuxian’s stomach. The core…..or rather child sent out gleeful waves, sensing their parents’ energy.

 

Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji were both shaken.

 

“.......How?” Wei Wuxian whispered in disbelief. 

 

“Don’t ask me. I don’t know.” Wen Qing hesitated. “I actually noticed….. their presence when you adopted A’ Yuan.”

 

“Then why didn’t you say anything?!” Wei Wuxian snapped.

 

Wen Qing was calm in the face of his anger. “Because you weren’t showing any outward symptoms. The child was also dormant. I assume it was that way because the core didn’t have enough energy to properly form life.”

 

Lan Wangji was as still as a statue. “A child…...with Wei Ying……”

 

Wei Wuxian didn’t know what to make of his expression. “Lan Zhan…...are you okay?” His bottom lip wobbled. “Do you…..not want this child?”

 

Lan Wangji snapped out of his reverie as he embraced Wei Wuxian tightly. 

 

“Lan Zhan?”

 

Lan Zhan was shaking like a leaf and Wei Wuxian could feel a faint wetness on his shoulder. Before he could think anything negative from that, Lan Wangji let out a single, breathless laugh .

 

Wei Ying stuttered at that.

 

“Want them. Of course I want them!” Lan Wangji exclaimed. “A child with Wei Ying…..of course! Yes…..yes…..”

 

“Well…..” Wei Wuxian scratched his head. “I’ve always teased you in bed about giving you children with how much you do me…… Who knew that it would actually happen?”

 

Lan Wangji’s ears went red.

 

“While I’m glad you two are happy…..” Wen Qing interrupted, clasping her hands together. “I do not, under any circumstance, want to hear about what you do in bed. Understand?”

 

“Yes.” “Mn.”

 

“Good.”

 

“Now, you might want to know a few things. The first and most important: no alcohol.”

 

Wei Wuxian pouted but knew it was a necessary sacrifice.

 

“No spicy food. No raw, undercooked, or processed fish. Same with meat and eggs. If you properly prepare them, then you may eat them, after all, protein is good for the child........” Wen Qing went on and on.

 

Lan Wangji had already taken out paper and written everything down.

 

“One last thing….” She coughed. “You can have sex. In fact, it’s even good for the child. However, you aren’t a woman and the child did come from a core. ” She tapped the table. “Continue to dual cultivate in any case. Got it?”

 

The two were positively steaming from embarrassment when she spoke those words so crudely.

 

When the medic was done reciting everything, she washed her dry throat with some warm water. 

 

They love each other. They have a child, two, in fact. Their families approve of their relationship. She clicked her tongue. “Now all you’re missing is marriage.” She mentioned offhandedly.

 

Lan Wangji’s eyes widened as he turned to Wei Wuxian, a resolute light in his eyes. “Wei Ying…..I……”

 

Wen Qing took that as her cue to leave (read: flee).

 

“Wei Ying.” Lan Wangji took the other’s hands, liquid gold meet soft silver. “Will you marry me?”

 

“......Yes.” Wei Wuxian breathed, tears clouding his eyes. “Yes.” He repeated, tears of joy streaming down. “Yes, of course, Lan Zhan. I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

 

And then they met for a kiss.

 

……………….......

 

The two wanted to break the news (of wanting to get married) to their families. So, they headed to Yunmeng first since Lan Wangji’s family was not present at the moment.

 

Before that though, they decided to get themselves….. reacquainted with each other.

 

The door slammed shut, activating the silencing talismans.

 

“Lan Zhan…..love you.” Wei Wuxian spoke out between kisses.

 

“Mn. Love you too.”

 

“Forever?”

 

“Mn.”

 

“Then prove it.”

 

“Mn.”

 

Lan Wangji parted his robes, not fully taking them off. 

 

He buried his face in Wei Wuxian’s nape, trailing kisses down to his chest, biting, sucking, and nibbling occasionally, making the marks on the latter’s body grow in number.

 

“Ah…..Lan Zhan…..more….” Wei Wuxian tugged Lan Wangji’s hair impatiently.

 

Lan Wangji immediately removed his forehead ribbon and used it to tie Wei Wuxian’s hands to his back.

 

“Ah! HanGuang-Jun! So rough~!”

 

Lan Wangji bit his hipple hard in response.

 

“Ow...ah! Why do you like to bite!” He chided without any real heat behind it.

 

Lan Wangji continued to aggressively kiss whatever skin he could reach, stroking the length of his lover’s arms and legs all the while, making the demonic cultivator tremble in anticipation.

 

But when the Second Jade reached his stomach, his eyes turned uncharacteristically soft as he pressed gentle kisses around the skin there.

 

“Lan Zhan…...haaa…..just think, in a few months, you’ll be able to feel the small kicks of our child! I just….ah!....hope you’ll still love me even when I’m round with our child!”

 

“Always.” Lan Wangji replied, caressing his lover’s belly. “Will always love you and our child.”

 

“Laaaaan Zhaaaaan~. How sweet~!” He rested his hands on top Lan Wangji’s. 

 

“Our child.” He said giddily. “Aren’t you excited, Er-Gege?”

 

Lan Wangji lifted his gaze to meet Wei Wuxian’s, his golden pupils alive and shining with barely contained joy. “Mn.”

 

“Then show me.”

 

“Mn.”

 

Lan Wangji went lower, turning his head to kiss the soft skin of Wei Wuxian’s inner thighs trailing upwards slowly.

 

“Ah…..ahhh…..Lan Zhan, stop teasing…..more……”

 

Lan Wangji only wrapped a hand around him and stroked him to full hardness before reaching in his robes to find the vial of oil they always carried around with them. 

 

He slicked his fingers with them before capturing Wei Wuxian in a kiss, distracting him thoroughly as he thrust two fingers up, scissoring and stretching him open.

 

“Ah! Ahh…..More…..More please.” Wei Wuxian cried out when Lan Wangji suddenly aimed his fingers towards his sweet spot and continued to make the effort to hit that spot with every pull and push.

 

Wei Wuxian’s cries climbed an octave as he neared his climax.

 

As if sensing this, his lover stopped. He whined against the loss as Lan Wangji abruptly pulled his fingers out. 

 

He watched the Jade reach for the vial again and pop open the cap.

 

The latter stopped though.

 

“Lan Zhan?” Wei Wuxian followed his gaze to the red ribbon that held his hair up.

 

Without another word, Lan Wangji blinded him with the hair ribbon, quickly, but gently turning him over, so that his face was pressed flush against the floor.

 

“Er-Gege?”

 

“Shh. Do you trust me?”

 

Wei Wuxian nodded his head quickly. “Of course!” It’s not like we haven’t done this before.

 

He could hear the shift as Lan Wangji moved directly behind him, and felt the hot press of the other’s member against him.

 

“Lan Zhan, please, hurry…...are you still tea— ahhh!! ” A long moan ripped its way out of his throat as he was filled to the brim by his lover’s hot, thick length.

 

The pace was brutal, each one of Lan Zhan’s thrusts wrenching louder and louder screams and moans of pleasure from Wei Wuxian’s mouth.

 

“Ah! Lan.….mmm! Ah! Good! Faster, please, harder please!”

 

Lan Zhan gripped his hips firmly, nails digging into his waist and Wei Wuxian let out a long moan at the thought of seeing dark handprints on his skin the next day.

 

“Lan Zhan - ah gods! - yes! Yes, please, more, I’m close! So close.….” He sobbed. “ Please …..”

 

Lan Wangji panted harder, his rhythm stuttering as he started to aim for release.

 

 He slid a hand under him, stroking Wei Wuxian’s length as the pace faltered.

 

Pleasure clouded their senses, and nothing else mattered then.

 

They both came a few short thrusts later, panting against each other as they tried to calm down from their high.

 

Lan Wangji had just recovered some semblance of control when, to his horror, he heard the door creaking open.

 

…………………….

 

Madam Yu and Jiang Cheng chose the wrong moment to open the door to Wei Wuxian’s room.

 

(They had come to tell the boy and his lover that lunch was served.)

 

The sight that met them……was traumatizing, to say the least.

 

Wei Wuxian’s wrists were tied behind his back by the Lan Clan’s forehead ribbon. Eyes blindfolded by his own hair ribbon. His robes were open and indecent, sliding off his shoulders. Thanks to that, the mother-son duo could clearly see all the marks that marred his otherwise fair skin.

 

The Second Jade had draped himself over the other, clothes ruffled but otherwise covering his body. He looked at them with some shock.

 

The pair of lovers were breathing heavily, as if they had just finished…..whatever they had just been doing.

 

Jiang Cheng let out an unearthly scream and Madam Yu just blanched, immediately dragging her son from the room and slamming the door shut.

 

Needless to say, they did not recover from that for the rest of the day. Jiang Fengmian had only took one look at their expressions, and patted their shoulders in comfort.

 

“You two have suffered. Come, let’s have something to eat.”

 

The two nodded.

 

………………………

 

“Err……was that Jiang Cheng?” Wei Wuxian asked, removing the blindfold. 

 

“Mn.”

 

“Oh. With the way he hit that note, I’m worried he might have torn something.”

 

“Mn. Madam Yu was there too.”

 

“.......Say what?”

 

Lan Wangji dutifully repeated what he said.

 

“......I am going to die.”

 

“Mn. Will protect.”

 

“Awwww~ Lan Zhaaaaan~”

Chapter Text

“A’ Xian, HanGuang-Jun,” Jiang Fengmian greeted with the most genuine smile he could manage at the moment when the couple showed up. “It looks like you finally decided to have a meal with us.”

 

“Ehehehehehe…….” Wei Wuxian laughed sheepishly.

 

Lan Wangji glanced at Wei Wuxian, ears red. “.........his fault.”

 

“Eh? Is it my fault? Is it reeeeaaaaalllllly my fault? Who was it that couldn’t wait to ravage me when----”

 

“Wei. Wu. Xian!!!!!!” Jiang Cheng slammed his hands on the table. “Haven’t you had enough?!”

 

“Ah. Jiang Cheng. I’m glad you still have your voice!” Wei Wuxian let out a breath of relief. “With the way you screeched earlier, I was afraid you tore something!”

 

“YOU STILL HAVE THE FACE TO SAY THAT?!” He roared.

 

Wei Wuxian winced at the tone. “What? It’s not like you didn’t know I was fucking Lan Zhan. Wait, no. It’s the other w-----”

 

“I DON’T NEED TO HEAR IT!!!!!”

 

“A’ Cheng, calm down.” Jiang Fengmian placed a hand on his son’s shoulder. “A’ Xian, stop torturing him.”

 

Wei Wuxian huffed. “It’s funny though…….”

 

The demonic cultivator then noticed an uncharacteristically silent Madam Yu in the corner and became nervous. 

 

“Oh, hi, Mada----”

 

He was cut off when Jiang Fengmian shook his head. “She’s been traumatized enough today.”

 

Wei Wuxian swallowed. “Okay…….”

 

(Meanwhile, Lan Wangji desperately wished the ground would swallow him up.)

 

When everyone had gathered their bearings, they decided to speak of the reason that the two were here.

 

“I know this wasn’t any old visit back home. What happened?”

 

“Well……” Wei Wuxian started.

 

“We wish to be married.” Lan Wangji finished for him. “We’ve come to inform you of this.”

 

Jiang Cheng, “........................”

 

Jiang Fengmian, “........................”

 

Yu Ziyuan, “........................”

 

Jiang Fengmian was the first to recover as he gave a smile. “Have you informed your family, HanGuang-Jun?”

 

“No. They were busy. Should be free a few days from now.”

 

“Ah. If that’s the case, then we’ll start making preparations for the dowry and bride price.”

 

Bride?! Me?! ” Wei Wuxian exclaimed indignantly.

 

“Wei Ying.” Lan Wangji had a pitiful look on his face. “You don’t want to be my bride?”

 

“No! I do! Definitely! ….Oh, don’t give me that look, Er-Gege! Now I can’t refuse you!”

 

“Mn.” Lan Wangji did not look in the least sorry.

 

“Robes…Wedding robes……...” Madam Yu muttered. “We need to get the designs on your wedding robes……”

 

“Eh? It’s fine. I’ll put up the cos-----”

 

“No family member of mine is going to pay for their own wedding.” Madam Yu’s tone held no inch of refusal.

 

…...

 

It took a moment for those words to hit.

 

Wei Wuxian then promptly burst into tears.

 

“What are you crying for?!” A suspicious cloud of red crept up the Violet Spider’s cheeks.

 

“I-I’m just…..*sobs*....s-so happy…..” He cried. “L-Lan Zhan…..I…..I was accepted! I-I---” He fainted.

 

“Wei Ying?!” Lan Zhan caught his lover.

 

“Wei Ying?!”

 

“A’ Xian?!”

 

“Wei Wuxian?!”

 

Lan Wangji immediately checked his pulse and sighed in relief. His pulse just skyrocketed a bit.

 

Wen Qing had told him to be careful because pregnant wo-- people tend to faint much more easily than regular people, especially when they haven’t been properly fed or when they get too emotional. He would have to take care and make sure that Wei Wuxian wouldn’t face any pain. 

 

“Doctor!” The Jiang Family panicked.

 

“Wei Ying is fine.”

 

“How is he fine if he just fainted out of the blue?!” Madam Yu yelled.

 

Lan Wangji stayed silent as he kept feeding spiritual energy to his lover who eventually woke up.

 

“Lan Zhan…..?”

 

“Mn?”

 

“What happened?”

 

“You passed out.”

 

“Passed out?! Is--”

 

“They’re fine.” Lan Wangji whispered.

 

“Oh. Good…...good…....”

 

“Wei Wuxian, are you okay?” Jiang Cheng asked worriedly.

 

“I’m fine, I’m fine! Maybe I’m just hungry!”

 

This made them suspicious but Wei Wuxian wasn’t sure if he was ready to say that he was pregnant.

 

Wei Wuxian was eventually fed till he was full.

 

“Wei Wuxian, are you sure you’re okay? You’re eating a lot more than usual.”

 

“I’m fine! I’m just hungrier than normal!” He replied as he nonchalantly poured soy sauce all over the sweets he received.

 

Jiang Cheng looked so fucking scandalized at that that Wei Wuxian burst out into laughter.

 

Yu Ziyuan’s eyebrows twitched at this. Could he be…..?

 

Her suspicions were further confirmed when she noticed the Second Jade slipping out at night and bringing all manner of snacks.

 

…………………………….

 

The worst thing about Wei Ying’s pregnancy, Lan Wangji thought. Was not the cravings. 

 

…….It was the mood swings.

 

One moment he was laughing happily, the next he was bawling his eyes out.

 

The first couple of days of dealing with both the emotional stress and the late night cravings was difficult. However, for Wei Ying, he would be willing to get used to it.

 

Madam Yu then asked him out for tea. This was already suspicious as she usually didn’t approach him alone.

 

“Is Wei Ying pregnant?” Madam Yu had asked him as soon as he got himself situated.

 

Lan Wangji choked on his tea.

 

Yu Ziyuan waited for him to regain his composure before continuing. “He has most of symptoms.”

 

Lan Wangji said nothing, but Yu Ziyuan could see the question on his face (which was as good as a confirmation as she was going to get).

 

She clicked her tongue. “That boy attempts the impossible day in and day out. Why would I be surprised if he somehow found a way to get himself pregnant.”

 

“.........Will you tell anyone?”

 

“Hm. No. I’ll wait for him to reveal it himself.”

 

“......Thanks.”

 

“No need. Take care of your future husband.”

 

Lan Wangji’s ears went red. “.........En.”

 

………………….

 

As the Jiang family watched the soon-to-be-married couple leave for Gusu, Yu Ziyuan sighed.

 

“Honestly, why didn’t we get them married off sooner?” She asked.

 

“They were always acting like a married couple. I guess it slipped our minds that they haven’t actually gotten married.” Jiang Cheng replied with a sigh.

 

Jiang Fengmian chuckled. “Well, we’d better start planning then.”

 

………………….

 

Qingheng-Jun, Lan Xichen, and Lan Qiren didn’t know what to expect when their precious Wangji sat down with the demonic cultivator. 

 

“I want to marry Lan Zhan.”

 

Was not what they were expecting.

 

Qingheng-Jun simply chortled a bit. “Very well. It’s just too bad we didn’t do the engagement ceremony before this.”

 

“Wangji has tied his ribbon on Wuxian.” Lan Xichen replied. He had been expecting the two to want to marry for a while and was not in the least surprised at this revelation.

 

“Wangji, what----” Lan Qiren choked. He had just recovered from his shock of what Wei Wuxian said before hearing that.

 

“Oh. Then you have been engaged for a while. An informal ceremony, but engagement nonetheless.” He sighed contentedly. “Sect Leader Jiang has gotten a head start on me. He’s probably already started preparations for the dowry. …….Now then, we should compare their birth charts and find an auspicious day. There’s also the robes and decorations and where the ceremony and reception will be held. *sighs* So much to do.”

 

“Mn.” Lan Wangji agreed.

 

Why does everyone assume I’m the bride? Was Wei Wuxian’s only thought on this.

 

……………………….

 

They were to be married in the summer, when the lotuses were in full bloom. 

 

Wei Wuxian was so overjoyed at the news, he could barely sit still.

 

Lan Wangji, too, smiled more often the closer that day got. 

 

It’s just…...the couple didn’t know how to break the news of Wei Wuxian’s pregnancy. 

 

It was starting to get more obvious, with how the demonic cultivator wore loose robes, had strange food cravings, gained more meat on his body, ate more than he usually did, and was extremely moody.

 

“You should just tell them.” Wen Qing suggested when they visited Qishan. “There’s nothing holding you back, right?”

 

“Oh.” “Mn.”

 

Wen Qing checked his pulse to see how he was faring and frowned minutely. “..........Huh.”

 

The couple was immediately nervous. 

 

“Is there something wrong?” Wei Wuxian asked.

 

Wen Qing stared at his stomach before shifting her gaze to Lan Wangji. “.......................You……. You’re really amazing, you know that?”

 

Lan Wangji was confused as was Wei Wuxian. “Wen Qing, while I know Lan Zhan is amazing, the best, even, what do you----”

 

“You’re having twins.”

 

Lan Wangji blinked several times, “................................Oh.”

 

Wei Wuxian paused to let the information sink in before bursting out in laughter. “Ahahahahahaha! Lan Zhan, your swimmer is amazing! First time and twins, like damn! Hahahahahaha!!!!”

 

Wen Qing sighed. “Ai…... You two really……..”

 

“Will there be a problem?” Lan Wangji quickly asked.

 

“No. I have witnessed birth with twins before and even when something happened and the children needed to be…...brought into this world in other ways, I and the others have been able to handle the situation. So, nothing will go wrong.”

 

“Oh, thank god.” Wei Wuxian breathed out in relief. “So…..when am I due?”

 

“Sometime in the late fall. Perhaps close to the beginning of winter. But this is only if you don’t push yourself and do everything I’ve told Second Master Lan he needs to watch out for. Otherwise, the babies will be prematurely born. And Wei Wuxian,” Her tone dropped low. “Don’t. Cause. Trouble. I’m serious. Your life is not your own anymore. No more being reckless.”

 

“...........I know.”

 

“Good.”

 

………………………….

 

The Lan and Jiang families were gathered up in the Gusu Lan dining Hall by their sons.

 

When Lan Wangji and Wei Wuxian walked through the door, their families could tell how nervous the two were.

 

Jiang Fengmian and Jiang Yanli, “A’ Xian, what’s wrong?”

 

Lan Xichen, “Wangji, do you have something to tell us?”

 

The couple looked at each other before Wei Wuxian took a deep breath. “I’m pregnant.”

 

Jiang Fengmian, “............*chokes*.............”

 

Jiang Yanli, “............*blanks out*.........”

 

Jiang Cheng, “............*coughs*...........”

 

Qingheng-Jun, “............*sways*.............”

 

Lan Xichen, “............*smiles dazedly*..........”

 

Lan Qiren “............*coughs up blood and faints*.............”

 

Yu Ziyuan, “............You finally told everyone, huh?”

 

Jiang Fengmian whipped his head towards his wife. “........You knew about this?” He put his head in his hands. “Then A’ Xian isn’t playing with us…….”

 

“Hey! You really think I would joke about this?!”

 

“Yes.” Jiang Cheng deadpanned. “Yes, you would.”

 

“........You know me too well, Jiang Cheng.”

 

“Uh-huh……” He too was in shock. His brother, a man, was pregnant. He didn’t know how but he did it. Wei Wuxian is pregnant. Holy fuck. There’s going to be two Wei Wuxians wreaking havoc. Holy fuck.

 

Qingheng-Jun coughed as he set the fainted Lan Qiren down softly on the ground. “Well, this certainly took a strange turn of events, huh?”

 

Jiang Yanli and Lan Xichen recovered from their shock before both turning their faces to Lan Wangji. “Wangji, we’ll be having a talk later.” They both intoned.

 

“........En.”

 

“Ah. There’s something else you should know!” Wei Wuxian piped in.

 

“.......And what is that, A’ Xian?” Jiang Yanli asked sweetly.

 

“I’m having twins!”

 

Everyone, “..........”

 

The older siblings got the answers they needed as well as anything they needed to know about how to handle Wei Wuxian before distributing the information to everyone else.


.


.

 

Meanwhile, in the clinic……..

 

“Twins…..the rascal is having twins ……” Lan Qiren muttered. “My pure little Wangji…….impregnated someone before marriage…….. with twins ……….Oh my heavens……..”

 

…………………….

 

The months passed by quickly and preparations were quickly made. 

 

The entire cultivation world now knew that Wei Wuxian, the genius inventor, got married to the pristine and pure HanGuang-Jun.

 

It wasn’t a surprise, really. Rather, it was only a matter of time. Most, if not everyone, had been privy to the PDA they regularly showered on one another and no one really had complaints about their relationship.

 

There was the little tidbit that they were men, but no one dared to speak about that or slander them - openly, at least.

 

After all, the couple had the collective support of the five great sects and even won over a lot of the minor sects.

 

The celebration was a huge event for that matter and it had been the only topic on everyone’s minds.

 

As it got closer to the date of the wedding, the bump on Wei Wuxian’s stomach got more noticeable.

 

“LAAAAAAN ZHAAAAAAAN!!!!! Wei Wuxian yelled at the top of his lungs.

 

Said man was immediately by his side, worry written all over his face. “Wei Ying, is something wrong? Are you okay? Are you hungry?”

 

Wei Wuxian shook his head. “No, Lan Zhan, the babies…...they kicked! They kicked!! Come, come! Feel, here!” He took his lover’s hand and put it right over his stomach.

 

There was no movement for a while and Wei Wuxian frowned. “I swear they were kicking…….what was----oh!”

 

He started humming a tune Lan Wangji recognized as their song, WangXian.

 

As soon as the first notes hit, Lan Wangji felt a presence and then a small foot or two pressing against his hand. He trembled.

 

“Oh! There it is! Lan Zhan, could you feel----” He cut himself off when he saw Lan Wangji’s state.

 

He smiled warmly. 

 

“Wei Ying…..I…….” He stuttered.

 

Wei Wuxian brought him into his embrace. “It’s okay to cry tears of joy when you’re happy, Lan Zhan.”

 

“En…...en……” He tightened his arms around the other’s waist, but not to the point of putting pressure on his stomach. “Wei Ying…..I love you.”

 

The demonic cultivator’s smile widened. “Me too, Lan Zhan…...Me too…..”

 

…………………..

 

Wei Wuxian was awaken one morning to a two sets of arms furiously shaking him.

 

“Mmm…….five more minutes……”

 

“Xian-Gege, get up!”

 

“A’ Nian, it’s your wedding day! Get up!”

 

“.....A’ Yi….? …...A’ Yuan….?.......Let me sleeeeeep……..”

 

“A’ Nian! Wedding! Up! Now!” A’ Yuan, with an unexpected burst of strength, ripped off the covers.

 

Wei Wuxian shivered but the cold was enough for him to sit up. “Wedding…….. Wedding….? Oh my god, my wedding is today!!” 

 

“That’s what we’ve been telling you, Xian-Gege!” A’ Yi pouted.

 

Knock, knock

 

“A’ Xian. Are you awake?” Jiang Yanli asked.

 

“Up, up! I’m up!” He exclaimed, throwing a thick piece of outer robe on his figure.

 

Jiang Yanli opened the door as the children rushed out. “We should get you ready then.”

 

“Okay, but Shijie, I’m a man…...I don’t think you should----”

 

“You are my brother. And besides, you were the one who requested for wedding robes for a bride.”

 

“Well,” Wei Wuxian blushed. “All of you teased me for being a bride. You even set up the dowry and everything! How can I not go with the flow and wear those robes?”

 

“Well, A’ Cheng and the others don’t know how to put on these clothes. And besides, you’re pregnant. How can I not make sure you’re comfortable as one who knows what you’re feeling?”

 

Wei Wuxian lost the argument. “........Fine. But I’ll be putting on the inner robes before you help me! I have my pride too……” He certainly did not want his sister to see all the marks the Second Jade had put on him the previous night.

 

Jiang Yanli seemed to understand. “I realize this, but A’ Xian, unlike what most people believe, I have had sex before.”

 

“Shijie!” Wei Wuxian’s face, neck, and ears went a full red.

 

“I think I’ve had my fill of fun for now. Here.” Jiang Yanli laughed lightly as she set the robes down. “I will be nearby. Call me when you’re ready.”

 

“En.”

 

The inner robes were easy enough. Wei Wuxian thought. But as he got to the other layers, he was completely confused. Why are there so many layers? And they’re so heavy! 

 

He scanned and traced the patterns with his fingers. Lotuses entertwined with clouds. 

 

He put a silly smile on his face. Ah~ I wonder what Lan Zhan will look like in red. 

 

“A’ Xian?”

 

“Yes?”

 

“Do you need help?”

 

“............Yes.”

 

Jiang Yanli walked in the room and helped him put on the rest of the robes. She and her mother had gotten these robes custom made to not be so tight. But it was designed in such a way that people wouldn’t notice that he’s pregnant.

 

The robes successfully wrapped around Wei Wuxian’s slender, but lean body and Jiang Yanli couldn’t help but step back and admire them for a bit.

 

But, She mused. I need to get through this rat’s nest of hair.

 

She picked up a comb and started to meticulously untangle his hair and get it into some semblance of neatness.

 

“Huh? Shijie…..what’s this?” Wei Wuxian tapped a box nearby.

 

“Oh…...this?” She smiled. “Why don’t you open it?”

 

He did and his breath was taken away. “This is……”

 

Inside was a gold headpiece inlaid with gems and intricate designs.

 

“Wangji got this designed for you.” 

 

“Lan Zhan…..did?” It was beautiful. Wei Wuxian breathed and tears pricked at the corners of his eyes. 

 

“Hey, don’t cry, XianXian. Do that after, when everything is done.”

 

“.......En.” He sniffed.

 

Jiang Yanli then started to adjust his hair through the headpiece, before putting on makeup for him.

 

When everything was done, she took a step back. A’ Xian was beautiful. 

 

He was also known for his handsomeness and attractiveness, but now , dressed in red and gold robes and makeup on him…..he was beautiful, alluring .

 

Wangji is going to have to be careful of prying eyes. My little brother is too pretty.

 

“Shijie…..” A’ Xian uttered nervously. “H-How do I look?”

 

“You look stunning.”

 

“R-Really?”

 

“En. And A’ Xian?” 

 

“Yes?”

 

“Call me ‘Jiejie’. We’re family, right?”

 

He looked like he was going to cry right then and there.

 

“A’ Xian, no crying. I have long since considered you my little brother. Come, A’ Cheng has your veil.”

 

“Why does Jiang Cheng have it?”

 

“Well, he knew he would be unhelpful trying to aid you with the robes and makeup, but he at least wanted to have some part in arranging your accessories. He’s your brother, after all.”

 

“Mn.”

 

They went out to see a nervously pacing Jiang Cheng holding another box. 

 

“You’re finally up!” He said.

 

“Of course! Why wouldn’t I on my wedding day?”

 

Jiang Cheng opened his mouth to retort, but he closed it, looking away. “I…..here.” He shoved the box forward, but gently.

 

“A’ Cheng.” Jiang Yanli admonished.

 

“........” Jiang Cheng opened the box, revealing the veil. “W-Wei……...A-A’ Xian, let me put this on. …...Don’t cry! A’ Jie helped you put on the makeup! Don’t make her do it again!”

 

Wei Wuxian tearfully nodded as he bent his head to allow his brother to put the veil on. 

 

“Y-You look good.” He mumbled quietly.

 

“What was that?” Wei Wuxian teased.

 

“It’s nothing!”

 

Wei Wuxian laughed. “Jiang…...Didi. Now that I’m married, you’re the only one left! I don’t want my poor little brother to be a single dog forever!”

 

“Y-You!! Who said I’m the little brother?!” Jiang Cheng raged. “I should be the older one!”

 

“But I’m older than you!”

 

“I’d like to think that the role of the older brother is a state of mind rather than of age.” Jiang Cheng huffed.

 

“But, usually, the younger siblings can’t get married till all the older siblings do! In allowing me to get married before you, isn’t that technically saying I’m the older brother?”

 

“No, it doesn’t. You……”

 

The two brother bickered back and forth.

 

“Now, now you two. We’re going to be late.” 

 

“Is he ready already?”

 

“.......What time do you think he gets up? He’s been ready for hours now!”

 

“Oh, shit.”

 

“A’ Xian, no cursing.”

 

“Yes, Sh---” Glare. “J-Jiejie.”

 

………………………..

 

……….He had to double-take when he saw the red robes on his soon-to-be husband. He was gorgeous, much more than usual. He was wearing red everywhere, he even had a matching forehead ribbon! The designs on his robes, too, matched his and his eyes…..his beautiful, beautiful golden eyes seemed to stand out more than he was used to. 

 

When Wei Wuxian saw Lan Wangji again - or rather, what he could see of him through the veil -, he anticipated his reaction.

 

All he heard and saw was a sharp intake of break and bright red ears.

 

“Wei Ying, you’re beautiful.” Lan Wangji breathed out in wonder.

 

Wei Wuxian blushed. “As as you, Lan Zhan.”

 

He was alighted into the sedan before they took off for the Cloud Recesses. 

 

“See you soon, my love.” Lan Wangji took Wei Wuxian’s hand and pressed a kiss there.

 

Wei Wuxian went red. “L-Lan Zhan, my heart…...this is too much…..I told you two warn me…” He whined.

 

“Mn.”

 

“See you soon, Lan Zhan.”

 

The palanquin took off and Wei Wuxian tried his best to stay awake.

 

He failed.

 

He only woke up when he felt his ride jolt to a stop.

 

He peeked out to see his Lan Zhan reaching out and lifting him in a bridal carry.

 

“L-Lan Zhan, what are you doing!”

 

“Carrying you. Tradition.”

 

“I know it’s tradition, just…..”

 

“We go.”

 

“Lan Zhan!”

 

No matter his protests, he was carried inside the Cloud Recesses.

 

Red filled his vision before he heard the soft snap of firecrackers. (Firecrackers aren’t quiet. They were imbued partly with silencing talismans because they were worried for the child.)

 

Wei Wuxian had never seen the Cloud Recesses in red. And he had to say, it was beautiful.

 

An applause filled the silence that followed which made Wei Wuxian surprised at the multitude of guests.

 

“......Shall we go?” Lan Wangji asked, reaching out his hand.

 

Wei Wuxian grasped it without hesitation. “Mn.”

 

“Wei Wuxian, you’re finally----why are you wearing a veil and bridal clothes?” Jin Zixuan asked.

 

“I mean, I am the bride.”

 

“Right…..right…… everyone was serious then. I mean, a dowry and everything. Damn. Should I teach A’ Ling to call you yima* then?”

 

(*yima mean mother’s sister)

 

Wei Wuxian let out an affronted cry.

 

Everyone laughed.

 

The two walked forward and completed the Tea Ceremony with Jiang Fengmian, Yu Ziyuan, and Qingheng-Jun and his wife - whose tablet was brought in.

 

Yu Ziyuan, “Take care of him, boy.”

 

Jiang Fengmian, “If you hurt him, the entire wrath of the Yunmeng Jiang Sect will be on you.”

 

Jiang Cheng, “Break his heart, I break your legs.”

 

Jiang Yanli, “Wangji, I know you’ll give A’ Xian everything he needs. Now that we’re handing him over, I hope you continue to care for him.” The otherwise was left unsaid, but hung in the air.

 

Qingheng-Jun, “........A’ Xian, if I’m allowed to call you that.” He waited for a nod. “Welcome to the family.”

 

Lan Xichen, “Wuxian, I don’t have to say that you have to treat Wangji well, or else, right?” Another nod.

 

Lan Qiren, “Ra--- My nephew-in-law. Now that you’ve entered our family, make sure to follow a--- most of our rules.”

 

Wei Wuxian was so overcome with joy at all this that he couldn’t utter a word, only nod frantically.

 

Then came the three bows. 

 

The first to Heaven an Earth.

 

The second to their parents.

 

And the final to each other.

 

When they completed it, Wei Wuxian jumped into his husband’s embrace. Lan Wangji lightly swung the other around, careful of his stomach before pulling him into a kiss without removing the veil.

 

“Lan Zhan, Lan Zhan. You’re really great, I like you! Or in other words, I love you! I want you! It can’t be anyone but you! It always had to be you!”

 

“.......Wei…..”

 

“I want to night-hunt with you for the rest of my life!”

 

Lan Wangji’s eyes widened.

 

The demonic cultivator put three fingers up, one to the heavens, one to earth, and on to his heart. “And I want to sleep with you every day!”

 

The crowd choke, some fainted - namely Lan Qiren.

 

“I just really, really love you! You can do whatever you want to me, however you like it. I don’t care! As long as you’re willing…...for an eternity, even!”

 

A tear slipped down Lan Wangji’s face.

 

“Love you, want you….”

 

“Yes!”

 

“Can’t be anyone but you…...always had to be you….” Lan Wangji’s voice trembled.

 

“Yes!”

 

“.....for an eternity evermore!” He repeated the words Wei Wuxian had confessed to him with utter reverence, with utter devotion.

 

Wei Wuxian swallowed whatever words he had to say after that in a wild kiss.

 

Although the entire crowd had flushed faces, bright red in color, they still were able to give a warm round of applause at that. 

 

(“This was much worse than what I did.” Jin Zixuan said quietly.

 

Jiang Yanli smiled. “At least you two have that much in common!”)

 

"Did you really have to do that in front of everyone?" Jiang Cheng coughed.

 

"Yes. Yes I did." Wei Wuxian was not sorry.

 

".............."

 

And the rest of the wedding continued like that.

 

.

 

.

 

.

 

When Lan Wangji was finally released from everyone’s clutches and prepared to head to the bridal chamber for his wedding night, he was stopped.

 

“Before we let you take my brother more than you already had,” Jiang Cheng started. 

 

“We have some tasks for you.” Jiang Yanli finished.

 

Ah. This must be the Gatecrashing activities the grooms were faced with.

 

“What do I have to do?”

 

Jiang Cheng and Wen Qing were up first. They both gave each other a wide smirk before handing him a bowl of…….what Lan Wangji thought to be hell.

 

The…...how to describe it……. mush seemed to almost be moving and if Lan Wangji wasn’t mistaken, he thought he saw a face in the middle of it grinning eerily at him.

 

Even though he was outwardly calm, he was inwardly shedding tears.

 

For Wei Ying, for Wei Ying…..this is for Wei Ying…… He chanted as he chugged it down in one go.

 

Surprisingly it didn’t taste bad. It was sour, sweet, bitter, and spicy. 

 

Maybe his taste buds had been dulled when he had been forced to eat his love’s spicy food?

 

(…………..His stomach an hour later disagreed.

 

He rushed to the bathroom and emptied out the contents of what he just ate before coming out again.)

 

“Now that you’ve passed the first test. Let us continue to the next one.” Jiang Yanli looked quite sympathetic for him.

 

Jiang Yanli and Wen Ning had prepared a game for him.

 

He had to accurately shoot a kite down in the painted bullseye……...while it swayed wildly in the wind while Wen Ning ran around with it.

 

He readied the bow and arrow and focused on his target before letting it fly.

 

To Jiang Yanli’s and Wen Ning’s dismay, he got it on the third try.

 

The next and final test was from the parents.

 

He had to do ninety-nine laps around a certain obstacle course, ninety-nine push-ups, ninety-nine sit-ups, and hold a handstand on either arm for ninety-nine seconds.

 

He completed all of these with ease, barely breaking a sweat despite the heavy and restrictive wedding robes.

 

After he finished the final second of the handstand, he was finally, finally, able to see his husband wife.

 

………………………..

 

Wei Wuxian giggled when his husband, his husband!, finally made it through the doors of the Jingshi. “Everyone really had fun with you, huh?”

 

“........En.” Lan Wangji’s eyes burned with a quiet fire as he grasped the edges of the veil and lifted it over his head.

 

His breath was instantly taken away.

 

Wei Ying looked so, so breathtaking. He could stare at this face for hours on end and never tire of it. The realization that this beauty now belonged to him made a quiet possessive feeling grow in his heart. Mine.  

 

“Now, Er-Gege.” Wei Wuxian winked coquettishly, snapping him out of it. “I know how much you want to take me now, but we have to do a few things before that.”

 

“........En.”

 

The dragon and phoenix candles were the only thing that lit up the room, making Wei Wuxian’s skin even more sensual than usual.

 

He poured the wine into the cups, careful to make sure that Lan Wangji only received half a cup. Their arms intertwined with each and they made eye contact. Gold met silver and instead of clashing, they melded together in the soft, warm light as they drank from the offered wine cup.

 

“Lan Zhan, we just have to tie our hair together now.” 

 

Lan Wangji was a bit tipsy, but acknowledged as both he and Wei Wuxian severed a part of their hair with spiritual energy and tied them together.

 

“Now, you’re mine. And I’m yours.” Wei Wuxian breathed as he leaned his forehead against the Second Jade.

 

“Mn. Mine. Forever.”

 

“Hahaha, yes, yes. Forever in this life. And the next, and the one after, and---mm!”

 

Lan Wangji could no longer take it as he ravished Wei Wuxian’s lips.

 

He started to strip every layer off his wife one by one, until all of his pure, supple skin was revealed.

 

Lan Wangji saw the marks from last night and sucked more into the crook of Wei Wuxian’s neck.

 

“L-Lan…..ah! Lan Zhan……”

 

“I’m here.” He bit into the skin below drawing out a moan as he soothingly licked the bite.

 

He proceeded to litter more bite and kisses on the supple skin, thoroughly marking his territory and staking his claim on his husband.

 

“Ah! ow…...Lan Er-Gege, you’re fiercer than normal! Is it because you’re excited?” Wei Wuxian chirped giddily as he lifted his leg to grind on the space between Lan Wangji’s legs, earning him a low growl. “Lan Zhan~ you’re my husband now~. You’re all mine. You can’t escape from the Yiling Patriarch’s clutches now that I have you.”

 

“Mn.” Lan Wangji sucked hard on one of Wei Wuxian’s nipples, drawing a loud moan from him. “Wouldn’t look elsewhere. Wei Ying matters most. Wei Ying is my everything.”

 

“Lan Zhan! Urgh…..” He hid his face. “How many times are you going to use those words on me?! Ahhh!!!”

 

“Hm.” Lan Wangji let out a low chuckle as he continued kissing a path downwards, making sure to be very gentle around his lover’s stomach.

 

Wei Wuxian muffled his cries with a hand. “Mmmph…...ah…...L-Lan…...ngh!”

 

“Let me hear you.”

 

“No…..it’s embarrassing! And…..everyone is staying over right now! I don’t want them to hear…..!”

 

“So you still have the presence of mind to think of others?” Lan Wangji spoke out.

 

“Huh…? What do you---- AH!” Wei Wuxian suddenly cried out as his length was completely swallowed by Lan Wangji, two fingers slicked up with oil and rubbing against his entrance, slipping in soon after.

 

Lan Wangji bobbed his head up and down as he thoroughly and completely prepared and stretched out his wife. 

 

“Ah….ah...Lan Er-Gege, you’re so….so…….ah….ngh….mmmn!”

 

Lan Wangji hummed, the vibrations sending waves of pleasure through Wei Wuxian’s body.

 

“Lan Zhan!” His voice grew high-pitched. “Ah! I-I’m close...I…..Quick! Er-Gege…..come inside! Please, I need you, w-want you…...ah!”

 

Lan Wangji let the fully erected member slip out of his mouth as he flipped their positions and position himself right below Wei Wuxian, he waited for the other to relax before sinking the other all the way down to his hilt.

 

“AH!” Wei Wuxian threw his head back as he was fully seated on top of Lan Wangji.

 

He waited for any sign of discomfort to fade away from his beloved’s face before moving quickly.

 

“Ah! Harder…..faster…...Lan…..y-you’re so d-deep…..it’s…...ah!....ah!” 

 

“Still talking!” Lan Wangji managed through gritted teeth.

 

“Haha….ha…..of course. I have a mouth Er-Gege~.” He winked, sure that would remind him of certain memories. “Of course I have to use it. Besides, ah! W-Wait…..too much, t-too much!! Ahhh!”

 

“Hmph.” Lan Wangji suddenly changed his angle to press right against his sweet spot, making Wei Wuxian’s mind and vision white out.

 

“H-Husband!” Wei Wuxian cried out.

 

That soft, subconscious call snapped something within Lan Wangji as he plunged upwards, faster than ever.

 

The sounds pouring out of Wei Wuxian’s mouth were probably the filthiest ever. He begged, pleaded, moaned, for his husband to go faster, harder, deeper, rougher until he couldn’t walk the next day and Lan Wangji replied in kind, increasing the pace so much that Wei Wuxian broke apart in pants and moans.

 

He came with a scream, tightening around Lan Wangji so much that the latter couldn’t help but spill into him.

 

They were not done though.

 

The second round Wei Wuxian was tied up in so many different ways with Lan Wangji’s red wedding ribbon before they went at it like rabbits in heat.

 

The third round, Lan Wangji fucked Wei Wuxian awake (but always careful to not put any strain on the child).

 

The fourth and fifth rounds went together as they simply sucked each other off.

 

“I can’t……..I really can’t…..” Wei Wuxian faltered. “Doing this so much…...can’t…..tired…..”

 

“Mn. Rest.” Lan Wangji kissed his forehead.

 

“Mmmk, love you Lan Zhan.”

 

“I love you too, Wei Ying.”

 

………………………..

 

“Hey, Lan Zhan.” Wei Wuxian drawled as he was meticulously scrubbed clean in the bath.

 

“Mn?”

 

“Do you…..want to sing WangXian at the reception?”

 

Lan Wangji’s movements paused. “Why?”

 

Wei Wuxian hummed. “Well, I, for one, want to show everyone how much we’re in love.”

 

Ears flared a bright red. 

 

“It’s also sort of a present for everyone for their kindness and support. I wanted to try other songs, but…...I felt that, for the occasion, this song for the best.

 

“Mn.”

 

“There’s also…....” He paused to think. “I know this song is very dear to you…..and to me. But I want to share it with everyone. I want to show them…..I don’t know how to explain it. I want to show it off. I want everyone to see how much you love me as much as I love you. I…..I made some lyrics and.….I…….”

 

“Wei Ying. Wei Ying, calm down.” Lan Wangji planted a kiss on top of his forehead. “I’m fine with that.” Kiss. “For you, anything, my love.”

 

Wei Ying buried his bright red face in his hands. “Lan Zhan…….you…..you’re never going to warn me when you say these words, huh?”

 

“Hm.”

 

What ‘hm’?! My heart is bursting out of my chest! ……..Ahhh!!! Lan Zhan, how can you say something like that! HanGuang-Jun, please spare my poor heart!!”

 

Lan Wangji cuddled his husband and gave a slim smile. “No.”

 

“.......Meanie!”

 

“You like it.”

 

“.......Fair.”

 

……………………..

 

The reception went as normal.

 

The food, drink, and cheer made Wei Wuxian feel so fulfilled, so happy.

 

“Do I even deserve this?” He had broken down one night.

 

“Wei Ying, you deserve everything. You, who was my light in this life and the one before, more than anything, deserve this happiness. Yanli-jie, Brother, Jiang Wanyin, Father, Sect Leader Jiang, Madam Yu, Sect Leader Wen, Wen Qionglin, Young Master Nie, A’ Yi, A’ Yuan, our future children, everyone. They all accepted and accept you. They all know you and your heart. Wei Ying, you have suffered a lot. Please,” Lan Wangji nuzzled him closely. “Don’t think less of yourself.”

 

It was already difficult for Lan Wangji to speak so much and all of it was for his sake.

 

Wei Wuxian couldn’t help but be convinced. 

 

Wei Wuxian brought out his flute and Lan Wangji with his guqin.

 

“CAN I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION PLEASE!!!!!” He shouted at the top of his lungs.

 

Everyone paused and turned their gazes to a smiling Wei Wuxian.

 

“We’d just like to thank everyone for coming here and celebrating our wedding!” He bowed as much as stomach allowed. “So, we’ve decided to duet on a song very dear to us.”

 

The Lan and Jiang families  as well as the other invited friends and family smiled and gave their undivided attention.

 

  Wei Wuxian was nervous but a small squeeze on his hand by his husband and the ‘ I’m here.’ from him was enough to dispel any distress he had.

 

He took a breath before they started to play. 

 

“Flowers adrift in the azure sky recall a dauntless youth.” Wei Wuxian sang. “Gusu once again bathes in youthful glow.”

 

Yu Ziyuan was mildly surprised. Usually anything that came out of her eldest son's mouth was either a stroke of genius or a complete disaster. (She had heard the boy sing during parties but never really paid any attention.) However, this.......this was just pure art. ......Not that she would ever admit it to the troublemaker himself.

 

Jiang Yanli and Jiang Cheng had always known this fact but knew their brother was too shy to truly sing in front of everyone. Jiang Fengmian never knew about this, but had always assumed that Wei Wuxian was a great singer since he excelled in the Six Arts.

 

Lan Wangji took over the melody, “Hidden behind the clouds are the distant mountain peaks,”

 

No one had heard the Second Jade sing before and they had to admit, he was great. His deep, soothing voice rang out amongst the respectful silence. “Relentlessly pining for the truth......of a lover long gone, a frozen heart keeps hoping.”

 

Wei Wuxian reminisced as he sang, “The rain has passed, the loquats flourished.”  He remembered teasing Lan Wangji about the loquats and his beauty.

 

"With the bamboo pole, I playfully disturbed the water" Wei Wuxian sent over wink to his husband, who faltered over a note. "Who should I tease?"

 

“Now I look back on these bittersweet memories with a smile.” He remembered his first death and how he had so desperately wanted to return to those times of carefreeness.



Their voice joined in perfect harmony. “So this…..”

 

Wei Wuxian broke off to sing the next line. “........First love was all for you.”

 

Some people melted. They were each other’s first heartbeats, first loves, first kiss, first everything. 

 

(Together) “How can……”

 

“........I deny this burning desire?”

 

Lan Xichen chuckled as he remembered how often his little brother denied any connection to the mischievous boy of that year.

 

(Together) “For you…..”

 

“.....I play a song of joy and regret.”

 

The returnees collectively sighed. These two have had so many misunderstandings. So many regrets. So many hopes, so many losses.

 

(Together) “A thousand crises pass, yet you remain innocent.”

 

The harmony of the flute and guqin filled the spaces when they stopped singing.

 

“You speak your mind, without fear or rage.”

 

Nie Huaisang sighed. But the world dislikes that. People thought him to be arrogant and prideful. And that’s what the rumors fed on. That, in and of itself, destroyed him. But….. He sighed contentedly. It’s freeing to do that…...You don’t have to think. 

 

“Resentment always follows behind you.”

 

Those who knew of his demonic cultivation turned a bit sad. 

 

“Floating down a distant misty river on a small boat,”

 

“Lights in Yunping burned in place of the Sun.”

 

“Eyes widen, but it was not that night.”

 

The Jiang Family’s eyes widened. 

 

“Three thousand rules in this mundane world……” 

 

The Lan Family smiled at this.

 

“......Cannot compare to half jar of Emperor’s Smile; Who is the one who’s drunk?”

 

Lan Qiren twitched. Wangji drank alcohol……....?????

 

“The strings of Wangji are still, yet this stirring emotion is hard to understand.”



“So this……”  The married couple smiled at each other as they joined in the chorus. “ .......reunion only needed one instant.”

 

“No need…..”

 

“........To mind my fame as I did in the past.”

 

They will no longer mind the rumors that had once crushed them.

 

“With you…..”

 

“I’d spend my entire life speaking with you over warm wine.”

 

Wei Wuxian’s sight turned fuzzy. They were going to be together in this life and the next. And the one after that…..and…...

 

“Ten years of wishing, no longer feels as lonely…...”

 

They had met at fifteen, fallen in love, and somewhere along the way, separated, had misunderstandings, with only memories of the past to connect them together. 

 

They returned to the carefree times of the past, fell in love again and married. 

 

Tied to one another again, this time, forever.




“So this........first love was all for you.” Lan Xichen, Jiang Yanli, Jiang Cheng, Jin Zixuan joined in, much to the couple’s surprise.

 

“How can........I deny this burning desire?” Jiang Fengmian and Madam Yu sang. 

 

“For you........I hum a song of joy and regret.” Qingheng-Jun and a reluctant Lan Qiren joined the chorus.

 

Everyone joined together in the last line. “A thousand crises pass, yet you remain innocent.” 




The guqin and flute played on, the couple performing the final verses as if to say:

 

.

 

.

 

.

 

This is not the end of our story.

Chapter Text

Wei Wuxian sighs as he remembered his wedding and the memorable reception all those millennia ago.

 

“Wei Ying, come inside. It’s cold.” His husband glances at him with worried eyes, holding a thick blanket out.

 

Wei Wuxian smiles happily as he jumped into the outstretched blanket and into Lan Wangji’s embrace.

 

“Is everything okay?”

 

“Hmm?” Wei Wuxian snuggles up to the other’s chest as he watched the snow fall from the front porch if their private estate. “It’s nothing. I was just reminiscing about our wedding. …..Hehe~ you were so incredibly beautiful, Er-gege~” 

 

“Stop playing around.” Lan Wangji chided, ears red. “And…..And you were more beautiful.”

 

“Lan Zhaaaaaan~”

 

“Mn. Wei Ying is the prettiest.”

 

Wei Wuxian’s face flushes red. “Urgh…..even though it’s been so many years, I still can’t get used to your sweet talk!”

 

“Hm.”

 

Wei Wuxian’s smile widens as he heard the front door creaking open.

 

“A’ Niang! A’ Die! We’re back!” Two voices exclaim.

 

Wei Wuxian immediately leaves his husband’s warmth - much to the man’s displeasure - to go hug his beloved children.

 

“Ohhhh my little ones!” He cooes, trapping them tightly in his arms as they squeal indignantly. “You finally decided to visit! Your mother here was getting worried you forgot about us!”

 

“A’ Niang, we would never forget.” The younger twin responds blandly.

 

“A’ Niang, let us go! We’re being squished! And! We’re not children anymore!” The older twin squirms.

 

“Oh? Well, you two will have to try and escape before I decide to let you go.”

 

The twins look at each other and come to an agreement, immediately using their spiritual energy to try and break from their mother’s grasp.

 

After a few tries, they manage to do it, but they were left excited and wanted to spar more.

 

“A’ Rong, A’ Kai, Wei Ying.” Lan Wangji got the attention of the three who were about to start fighting in the living room…..again. “If you want to spar, go to the training hall.” He sighs. “I do not want to have to replace everything in the living room…...again.”

 

Lan Rong, the older twin, and Wei Kai, the younger twin, were both sheepish. “Forgive us, Fuqin.”

 

“I am not angry.” Lan Wangji turns his attention to the one who started it. “And Wei Ying?”

 

“Yes, dear?”

 

“Stop encouraging the children.”

 

“Of course!”

 

The three of them head to the backyard as they grab their swords to spar.

 

Lan Wangji sighs fondly at this as he started to prepare the refreshments and towels for them.

 

Three hours later, Lan Wangji is handing over towels to three sweaty people.

 

“Efficient as always, aren’t you Er-Gege?” Wei Wuxian plops down on the porch.

 

“En.”

 

“Fuqin.” Wei Kai greets. “Forgive us for almost destroying the house.” He winces. “Again.”

 

“It is fine.” Lan Wangji pats his youngest son’s head.

 

“Hm.” Wei Kai revels in the attention.

 

“Hey!” Lan Rong rushes to Lan Wangji’s side. “A’ Die, A’ Die, I’m sorry too! Please forgive us!”

 

He offers his head expectantly and Lan Wangji gives a thin smile as he moves to pat his second oldest son’s head.

 

Wei Wuxian sighs. “Ahhhhh~ if only A’ Yuan was here, then the family would be complete!”

 

Lan Rong chuckles. “He can’t help it, A’ Niang! He’s a college professor now!”

 

“I know, buuuuuuut…….I miss him!!”

 

“A’ Niang!” The family of four sees a flying sword descend downwards towards them along with their eldest son, Lan Yuan.

 

“A’ Yuan!!!” Wei Wuxian exclaims gleefully. “You’re here!”

 

“Of course I am!” Lan Yuan alights to the ground gracefully and greets Lan Wangji. “Fuqin, I apologize for the delay.”

 

“No need. I understand.”

 

“Mn.”

 

“Ah~! I’m so happy now! My family is finally complete! When’s the last time we all got together again? Two years? Five years? …….I don’t remember!! Anyway, too long! I missed all of you!”

 

Lan Rong chuckles. “A’ Niang, it isn’t surprising with your memory.”

 

Wei Wuxian gasps. “Did you hear that, Lan Zhan? My second son thinks so poorly of me!”

 

Lan Wangji indulgently strokes his lover’s hair. “It’s true.”

 

“Lan Zhan!”

 

Lan Rong and Lan Yuan laugh, while Wei Kai and Lan Wangji give a slim smile.

 

The family of five continues to spend time with each other till the sun rises.

 

Wei Wuxian leans against his husband as he watches his children fly away.

 

……….He faintly remembers when they first reached immortality.

 

……………………..

 

When they first discovered the signs that they were immortal, it was just something small.

 

“Young Master Wei?” A rather aged woman approached him one day.

 

“That’s me!” He replied, confused.

 

“Oh, I’m glad. I thought I was going crazy!” She laughed.

 

Wei Wuxian paused for a moment because she seemed familiar.

 

The woman seemed to understand and held out a familiar perfume pouch. 

 

“Maiden Luo?” Yes, this was the same maiden he had saved all those years ago in the Xuanwu cave. 

 

“Yes. Though, I suppose I’m no longer a maiden.” Luo Qingyang chuckled. 

 

“Ah. Yes. But you look great for your age! It must be those herbs you’ve collected! I hardly see any wrinkles!”

 

“Oh, you! Sweet talker as always. But…..it has been a while…...and you haven’t changed.”

 

“Hm? Of course I haven’t! I will always be a bright and cheery---”

 

“No, that’s not what I meant.”

 

“Hm?”

 

“You…..Your looks haven’t changed. You still look the same as when I saw you thirty years ago.”

 

“......Huh.”

 

“Have you finally reached immortality or something?…..the both of you.”

 

Wei Wuxian glanced at his husband. “Lan Zhan…….could we be……?”

 

Lan Wangji looked as struck as he did.

 

“Could it be…...you two didn’t notice?”

 

“No, actually. I don’t feel any different.” He seemed to think on it. “But…..how do you really check this kind of thing?”

 

“The library……” Lan Wangji started. He seemed to be at a loss for words too…..more than normal. “The library in Gusu may have the answers.”

 

“Ah.”

 

“Well then.” Luo Qingyang chuckled, amused. “If you two are immortal, then I’m glad I was the first person to find out!”

 

Wei Wuxian laughed along.

 

They bid their farewells to Luo Qingyang and left for Gusu.

 

That day they poured over the texts and found what they were looking for.

 

“Lan Zhan……” Wei Wuxian’s throat bobbed as he held his head in a hand in disbelief. “According to these texts…...we’re at the initiation phase of immortality.”

 

“............Ah.”

 

They broke the news to their families later that day and showed them proof.

 

The married couple honestly hadn’t noticed the difference and no one really pointed it out for them.

 

The Jiang and Lan families were in a joyous mood that day.

 

Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji were both excited…..and scared though.

 

They did not want to leave their family behind and tried everything they could to get them to immortality too.

 

It was too late for a few of them as they were too old to try for it.

 

Wei Wuxian cried that day, hung on the knowledge that he would leave them behind. Lan Wangji, too, was frightened at this prospect.

 

But the two found comfort in the fact that they had each other.

 

.

 

.

 

.

 

When they calmed down, they started to teach their children, Lan Yuan, Lan Rong, and Wei Kai to reach immortality…..but only if they wanted to.

 

They realized that it would be selfish of them to push their own desires onto their loved ones.

 

But the three children wanted to anyway. They were at the age where they could make decisions for themselves and chose to live alongside their parents.

 

Lan Yuan grew up quickly enough and found out how much he loved to teach others.

 

Lan Rong preferred the life of a rogue cultivator and went off on adventures, intent on helping the weak and helpless, much like his parents did.

 

Wei Kai was a rather quiet fellow, much like Lan Wangji, much more focused on his studies and his cultivation than anything. He occasionally helped Lan Yuan with teaching and other times, went night hunting with his older twin.

 

(Lan Xichen had gotten married and had his child inherit the sect, absolving the WangXian couple’s children from inheriting his duties.)

 

Life continued on and Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji were forced to part early with their loved ones.

 

They cried each other to sleep on those days, intent on basking in the warmth that the other will be there and safe.

 

More family parted with them, but they knew how to handle their grief better and set them off with a smile.

 

The grief was cut short when their children reached immortality alongside them.

 

Everything went well until a night hunt gone wrong left them reeling in the aftermath.

 

They recovered years later, but there was still some lingering fears.

 

Because it was then that they realized then, when injured fatally enough, they could die, despite being immortal.

 

.

 

.

 

Life continued, the centuries passed.

 

Wei Wuxian, Lan Wangji and their children retreated from the public eye since their immortality brought fear instead of admiration.

 

They only went out for a few years before hiding again after they encountered mass distress when others learned of their immortality.

 

As the years trickled by, they got smarter and were able to hide their identity better when Wei Wuxian came up with an illusory array they could wear on their bodies and make them seem like they aged over time. It would only break should they want it to.

 

Through that, they were granted years of peace.

 

They then started meeting the reincarnations of their loved ones. They watched them grow up, protected them from troubles, made sure that they would be safe.

 

Sometimes, they would be too late to save them.

 

Sometimes, their loved ones would remember them.

 

But no matter what, no matter how their family met and parted with them time and time again, they always remembered that they have each other now.

 

…………………….

 

It is now the year 2019 and the family of five still live out their immortal lives. They have adapted to the changing times and have gotten used to the new technology that has been created.

 

.

 

.

 

.

 

Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji cuddle in the quiet of their room, content with the peace and warmth that comes from being in each other’s presence.

 

“Lan Zhan……” Wei Wuxian sighs.

 

“Yes?”

 

“Are you happy?”

 

Lan Wangji’s eyebrows quirk up in confusion before relaxing. “En.”

 

“Really?”

 

Lan Wangji brings one of Wei Wuxian’s hands to his lips, brushing them over his knuckles.

 

Wei Wuxian’s heart stutters at the emotions swirling in his husband’s eyes, reflecting in his breathtaking smile.

 

“With you and the children…..how can I not?”

 

“Forever?”

 

“For an eternity, Wei Ying.”

 

Wei Ying giggles. “An eternity, huh? …….That sounds nice.”

 

“Mn.”

 

And so they fall asleep, slotted beside each other, hands intertwined.

 

They would never leave each other.

 

Never again.

 

And just like how they promised all those years ago……….

 

They would continue to be together………….

 

.

.

 

.

 

……...For an eternity evermore.