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Swallowing, Liu Qingge blinks up at Shen Qingqiu. His companion’s face is shocked, his mouth slightly parted and fan at his waist. This quickly changes; that fan is pulled up in a snap of the wrist to hide Shen Qingqiu’s expression.

“Shidi,” he says. Cautiously.

Liu Qingge scowls. He struggles where he’s struck.

“Don’t! That’ll make it worse.”

Shen Qingqiu grimaces as he steps closer. The plant wrapped around Liu Qingge’s waist tightens as the ground underfoot crunches. Liu Qingge hits it with his fist again; all that does is the same thing as the last time since he has no spiritual energy flowing through him.


“Cut it,” he orders. Cheng Luan is attached at his hip. Which is on the other side of the wall of plant from his hands.

Shen Qingqiu sighs as he examines some of the vines coming from the plant wall. His fingers don’t touch; his face stays well away despite his leaning forward to observe. Liu Qingge gnashes his teeth.

“Shidi, that won’t work.” An apologetic look is passed his way as he straightens. “Do you see the flowers? This is the Lonesome Tiered Garland. It….makes itself a garland. You’re the unfortunate object it’s decided to wrap around; it must have picked you once we landed on it.”

“And how do you get rid of it?”

Shen Qingqiu’s face turns pink behind his fan. He steels his shoulders. “The vines release….a toxin. As the Lonesome Tiered Garland gets tighter, it releases the toxin so the victim….tastes better to it. To release you, we’ll have to wait until it decides to eat you. I’ll cut it then as it opens to feed.”

“And what does this toxin do to make me smell better?”

The sudden quiet of Shen Qingqiu is irritating.

Liu Qingge hits at the plant again. It squeezes, and there’s a faint fragrance that emerges. Good. He struggles some more, feeling the toxin start to wet his robes, before Shen Qingqiu puts his hands on him with a reprimand.

“The toxin has strong aphrodisiac qualities! Stop! It’ll release all at once the rate you’re going! Do you want to be incapacitated? It’s only me here, Shidi.”

The hands on his shoulder burn. Liu Qingge swallows as he runs the words back; It’s only me here, Shidi. Which–if it had to be anyone, of course it’s Shen Qingqiu. Liu Qingge wouldn’t–there’s only him, for Liu Qingge.

But not like this.

Face warm, Liu Qingge takes a calming breath. He forces his eyes up to Shen Qingqiu’s face. Up past his many robe layers. Up past his neck. Up past his lips. To met his eyes. Liu Qingge swallows as Shen Qingqiu’s remembers decorum and withdraws his hands before hesitantly putting them back, the smallest amount of his spiritual energy pulsing through.


“Fine,” he croaks out. Shen Qingqiu’s energy should hopefully make sure the toxin doesn’t make him stupid with it. “We’ll wait for it to slowly season me.”

A surprised laugh escapes from Shen Qingqiu. He quickly purses mouth together to stop, but Liu Qingge saw the way his lips formed around the sound. He fists his hands; his lower body responds to the plant’s toxin.

“I’ll make sure there’s no eating of Shidi for lunch. I’m sure you don’t taste so good, anyway. With all that lean muscle.”

“Better than you.” Shen Qingqiu turns up his nose like Liu Qingge knew he would. “Could use some more muscles.”

“Why? I have you, remember?”

Letting out a huff, he shifts his hips. He replants his feet. Much good he is, getting trapped like this. Liu Qingge’s stomach flexes. The plant holds his weight well enough; it’s a weird sensation being bent forward without even the hint of holding himself up.

He doesn’t think he likes it. Likes it even less as he breathes in more of the fragrant scent.

“Will the toxin effect you? Breathing it in?”

“No. It’s only active through touch.”

Liu Qingge settles in to wait, robes getting wetter and warmer.


It’s not much longer before Liu Qingge truly feels the effects. His heart speeds up as his breathing is slightly restricted by the growth of vines along his torso, and his pants wet from his own bodily fluid as more of the toxin is absorbed through his robes then his skin.

Shen Qingqiu, for his part, looks as embarrassed as Liu Qingge feels while his control slips.

Liu Qingge swallows down a moan as the Lonesome Tiered Garland grows yet another vine – he’s becoming more sensitive to touch, and even through his robes the feeling of movement on his body sparks a reaction. If he wore more layers – like Shen Qingqiu, his mind betrays him by thinking – he might not be so terribly off. Groaning, he hangs his head.

“Not much longer, Shidi.” An aborted attempt to pat his shoulder, before he thinks better of it and doesn’t break their connection. Liu Qingge almost wishes he had so he could feel his touch, fresh again. “A bit more, and it should think you’re ready.”

Grunting, Liu Qingge spreads his legs. The feeling–he bites his lip. Shen Qingqiu’s hand spasms. Liu Qingge wishes he’d bring his hand closer. That Shen Qingqiu would allow him to– would put his hand on Liu Qingge’s face.

Mouth feeling bereft, empty, Liu Qingge closes his eyes. He whines as the vines on him slither and shift as the plant examines him. He digs his feet into the ground. His hands grip along the wall supporting him. It’s not enough. It’s not enough sensation. He wants–

He wants Shen Qingqiu.

He wants Shen Qingqiu to do– to do– to do anything.

“Shen Qingqi–”

The vines slide down his chest, away from their previous trajectory. Liu Qingge hurriedly looks at Shen Qingqiu, who has broken their connection to pull Xiu Ya into a ready position. Preparing to catch himself, Liu Qingge releases his hands. As the support leaves his torso, he tightens his abs. Xiu Ya strikes as the sound of a large flap opening begins behind him.

A large amount of fluid gushes out from behind him as he hears the Lonesome Tiered Garland’s head fall to the ground.

As Liu Qingge straightens, Shen Qingqiu looks at him with big eyes. Surprise and a look of oh shit are written plainly across his face. The saccharine fragrance of the Lonesome Tiered Garland’s toxin waft through both of their noses. Liu Qingge’s lips part.

“Shidi– I didn’t mean to dowse you. I–I take off your robes, quickly. Maybe it won’t–”

Liu Qingge steps forward. Shen Qingqiu, Shen Qingqiu, beautiful and soft and nice and oblivious Shen Qingqiu, always talks too much.

He grabs at the hand holding Xiu Ya. He tears the sword from Shen Qingqiu’s lax grip before yanking the hand up to his face. The touch of it against his skin sends sparks shooting through his body. Sighing in relief, Liu Qingge closes his eyes.

“Shen Qingqiu.” He turns to press a kiss into the soft skin of Shen Qingqiu’s hand. “I want to be incapacitated by you.”