Lan Jingyi, in the short span of his eighteen years, knew three things.
One: Lan Qiren will die from high blood pressure at the results of a bunch of rules being broken by yours truly and the ever present reminder that future generations will be influenced by said yours truly.
Two: No matter what the Little Mistress says, if the kid doesn't man up and do something about his gross crush on Jingyi's best friend, he's going to be number one on the Jin Sect's most wanted list for butchering their Sect Leader with his own sword.
Three: Everything is Wei Wuxian's fault.
Jingyi doesn't know how and he doesn't really want to know how—Wei Wuxian being Wei Wuxian, it was probably one of his bright ideas born in the middle of the night when he couldn't sleep and the decision to curse his life with utter misfortune when he marched into Jingyi's quarters at six in the morning (he didn't even know Wei Wuxian could wake up that early) and slap a talisman on his startled self.
That being said, fuck the Yiling Patriarch, because the last thing Jingyi ever needed in his Lan of a life (being the un-Lannest Lan to ever Lan) was to be reborn as a fucking Wen baby.
With the cooing of a concerned wet nurse's face inches from his own and the colors of her robe definitely marking her of the Qishan Wen Sect, Lan Jingyi vows with the oath of more than four thousand rules to strangle the bastard the moment he gets the chance, Hanguan-jun be damned.
"Oh, Young Master," cooing wet nurse says in a hushed voice and a bright smile. A blanket comfortably wraps around his baby Wen body (because those tiny little fists curling within his line of sight are definitely that of a baby's, fuck him), secured in the cages of the nurse's arms. "How adorable you are," she continues in that really soft tone Jingyi will deny to ever like. "Doctor, just look at him!"
Some inner part of Jingyi, the part of him that grew up as an orphan, aches. The other part of him wants to scream bloody murder.
Someone flutters into sight, their robes the same red and white colors branding them as a Wen. Jingyi's fucked out enough to make out their—her face as oddly familiar, frowning down at him. It's a great contrast to the wet nurse still looking at him with stars practically shooting out of her eyes. "He's an odd one, isn't he? He's not even crying."
Shit, did Jingyi screw himself over already? He hasn't even been a baby for a minute, Gods help him.
"Nonsense," the nurse says, laughing. "He's the great young master of our Wen-zongzhu. Of course he's special."
Furen, I don't think that's what she meant, Jingyi thinks miserably. Then backtracks.
Wen-zongzhu? Wen-zongshu? Wen-zongzhu?
It's then that Jingyi actually cries—mainly because his life is a shitshow enough as it is and this is complete bullshit.
Hanguan-jun. Jingyi lets himself be carted off into the arms of another cooing nurse, this one a little younger than Stars In Her Eyes yet equally as eager to praise him for his special-ness (and Jingyi gets the foreboding feeling he's going to be on the receiving end of that eagerness for a while now). Stars In Her Eyes Jr. smiles so widely at him, Jingyi is momentarily blinded—then gets literally blinded by his heavy eyelids. The sweet voice of Stars In Her Eyes Jr. continues to speak at him, this time quietly, and Jingyi easily succumbs to his body's drowsiness. But not before one final thought crosses his mind.
Your husband is so fucking dead.
That day marked the birthing of Wen Ruohan's sole (sole, yes, fuck off) heir to the great Wen Sect and Lan Jingyi's descent into figuring out how the hell he's suppose to survive the next couple of decades as the son of the man who basically obliterated the cultivation world into damnation.
The single, sole, reborn eighteen year old son of the man who basically obliterated the cultivation world into damnation. He thinks it’s very important to stress that.
Wen Ruohan was known by many as the cold, ruthless Sect Leader unafraid to get his hands dirty to meet ends needs. Countless names have been handed to him—murderer, torturer, bastard, evil, the cruel man of the greatest sins.
But today—today, he is a father.
And looking at the young, sleeping form of his newborn son, Ruohan is suddenly very much aware of the impending future heavy on his hands.
He tries to remember the shadow of his own father he stood behind, sight on the wide plane of Wen Riushu’s shoulders and the red flames bright in the billow of his robes. Recalls the power, the authority—the certainty Wen Riushu had commanded.
"Zongzhu," his cousin salutes to him. The nurses standing behind her dip into a respectful bow.
"At ease," Ruohan says, his gaze never straying from the child cushioned in the quilts of his crib. Ruohan frowns at how small—how delicate—he looks, wrapped in the plain robes for newborns. His little fingers grasp at the blanket covering him tightly and Ruohan frowns at the hand too tiny to even hold his thumb properly.
Knowing he has an audience, he exhales sharply. "Report."
Wen Qu straightens. "The Young Master is in fine health, Sect Leader," she says in her usual unshaken composure. "His birth was smooth and without complications."
Ruohan hums. The baby shifts slightly in its sleep, its tiny chest rising with every breath it takes. "His mother?"
Wen Qu pauses. Ruohan turns to regard her cooly. Carefully, his cousin says, "Unfortunately, Madam Zen did not survive her child's birth."
It doesn't come as a surprise to him. He knew the moment his wife was pregnant it would be a test of survival for her to make it. Something unsettling sweeps through his body and Ruohan traces the lines of the child once more—the wisps of black hair, the fine bow of his mouth, the crown of his lashes sweeping across soft cheekbones.
His son survived. He lived.
Wen Qu and the nurses stand at attention. "Sir?" Wen Qu quirks up hesitantly.
"Wen Jingyi," Ruohan states with finality. "That is the name of your next Sect Leader." He glances at them. "Do well to remember it."
"Of course, Sect Leader!" one of the nurses immediately agree. Ruohan would consider himself finished, if not for the look on Wen Qu's face.
"What?" he demands roughly. "Is your report not done?"
"Zongzhu," Wen Qu bows. "There is a delicate matter I wish to discuss with you." She slants a look at the nurses behind her. "Alone."
Ni Yinha, the leading Head Nurse, inhales like she wants to argue, but a sharp flap of Ruohan's hand—a clear dismissal—quiets her. Soon, it’s only the two of them left in the room, the newly named Sect Heir's breathing the only sound between them.
"Sect Leader," Wen Qu starts.
Back then, Ruohan had thought his cousin's next words to be either matters of his child’s health, or perhaps condolence on the death of his wife. After all, for how infamous Ruohan is known for when dealing with the matters of his sect members—family relations be damned—Wen Qu is the doctor in charge of the medical field within Qishan Wen. Such things would not be beneath her position.
But nothing prepared him for the sentence that actually followed.
"Young Master Wen has—he seems to be... " Wen Qu attempts to translate her thoughts. Eventually, with Ruohan's patience thinning, she says, "Young Master Wen seems to have been born with a fully formed Golden Core, Sect Leader."