- Death-Minor Character
- Discussion-Child Abuse
- Discussion-Domestic Abuse
- Action Adventure
- Alternate Universe
- Established Relationship
Wei Ying looked at Lan Zhan as they walked through Cloud Recesses, the sun was bright and warm as they walked. Lan Zhan leading the way towards his home. Wei Ying could barely contain the bubble of excitement at seeing Lan Zhan’s home. Slipping his hand into Lan Zhan’s the man paused for a moment and looked at him. He could see the soft smile on his face as Lan Zhan squeezed his hand and then continued to walk.
“My home,” Lan Zhan said after a while as they came upon the Jingshi, it was in a quiet area, away from most of the foot traffic of Cloud Recesses.
Wei Ying smiled as he walked closer, the place was quiet, welcoming, “its nice,” he told his husband to be.
Lan Zhan nodded, he took him to the door and opened them, letting Wei Ying enter first before closing them behind him. “Wei Ying,” he said, “Why didn’t you tell me what had happened?” he asked as soon as he was seated next to Wei Ying.
“I didn’t really know what was happening. I just thought that I was having a little trouble because of what happened and that it’ll be fine again. Then after the next time, we spent time with each other last week. I collapsed, I couldn’t keep my shields up at all. Ended up having to go into isolation with Uncle Jiang to try and build things back up. But… they failed again a few days later,” he explained the basics of what had happened.
“Do you wish to bond?” Lan Zhan asked, hoping that Wei Ying really did wish to bond.
Wei Ying smiled, “I can think of nothing better,” he told him.
“Then shall we?” he asked, reaching out for Wei Ying.
“yeah,” he nodded, taking the offered hand and holding it. They moved towards a more open space of the Jingshi and settled into the Lotus Position. Dropping into the meditative state they needed to enter the spirit realm.
Opening his eyes, Wei Ying smiled as he found himself in a clearing in a forest. In a tree opposite him was Lihua, “Hello!” he waved to the Sparrow Hawk.
“Young one,” she greeted with a bob of her head, “another comes,” she announced as Lan Zhan walked into the forest a beautiful White Tiger walking beside him.
“Hey Lan Zhan,” he greeted as the man sat beside him.
“You are here about the open bond?” Lihua asked.
“Yes, we need to seal it,” Wei Ying said first, getting a nod from Lan Zhan.
“Yes, we didn’t know we had started a bond between us,” Lan Zhan said softly.
“When your A-Ying was hurt,” Peizhi began, “Lihua took the injury to the spirit towards her. As you tried to heal A-Ying I tried to heal her. But, A-Ying entered the spirit realm as he was dying, touched us both and started the bond. As you were not here, the bond couldn’t be finished properly.”
“So we can now?” Wei Ying asked, hopefully, the strain of the last few days had taken its toll and he just wished to sleep and rest.
“We can finish the bond now,” Lihua told them, flying down to the branch nearest to the two men. Peizhi following and sitting before them.
“Sit and face each other,” Peizhi instructed them, as soon as they were in position, “Take hold of each others hands,” he added, as they did so, “Close your eyes, A-Ying feel for A-Zhan,” he finished.
Wei Ying did as he was instructed and soon enough he was able to feel the cool calm of his husband to be, there was an undercurrent of so many emotions, and usually, when he felt so much it would overwhelm him. This time, it soothed him, he could feel the love Lan Zhan had for him, admiration, pride, so much swirling through him. He smiled brightly.
“I can feel you, Lan Zhan,” he said softly.
“And I can feel you,” Lan Zhan replied, there was awe in his voice.
As their eyes were still closed, their spirit guides began to glow. Stepping and flying towards the two, as soon as they touched, there was a flash. Wei Ying felt Lan Zhan settle in his mind, in the background. Lan Zhan, could feel a slight tingle and knew that Wei Ying was there. They smiled brightly.
“You can open your eyes now,” Peizhi told the two of them, settled once more beside Lan Zhan.
Lihua was on a rock next to Wei Ying, “you should be able to feel each other now,” she told them.
Wei Ying nodded, “I can,” he smiled happily, staring at Lan Zhan.
“Mn,” Lan Zhan nodded smiling as well.
“Your bond is now complete, we wish you the best and shall be here when you need us,” Lihua promised them both.
Wei Ying and Lan Zhan nodded as their eyes closed.
Wei Ying opened his eyes, smiling brightly as Lan Zhan did the same opposite him. They were back in the Jingshi. Wei Ying could feel Lan Zhan, not just his emotions, but know that he was well and that he was right there with him. “I can really feel you,” he laughed brightly.
“I can feel you, I know you’re happy,” Lan Zhan said as a smile broke out on his face.
The two looked and smiled at each other for a while before someone knocked on the door to the Jingshi. “Second Young Master, Young Master Wei, you’re needed by Sect Leader Lan and Sect Leader Jiang,” came a voice.
“We shall be there soon,” Lan Zhan called back, looking at his partner. The two nodded and got up, with Lan Zhan helped Wei Ying to his feet. “How do you feel?” he asked, still worried for Wei Ying.
“A lot better, I think a good nights sleep and I’ll be fine again, and back to normal,” he answered honestly as the two of them walked out of the Jingshi and headed back to the meeting that the two sect Leaders were in. Lan Zhan knocked on the door.
“Enter,” came the voice from inside, “Wangji, Young Master Wei,” Lan Xichen greeted the two of them as they walked back inside.
“Please, sit down,” Jiang Fengmian said to the two of them, “We’ve been talking and we’ve agreed on betrothing the two of you to each other. Now you know that nothing will happen before A-Li’s wedding,” he reminded the two of them.
“That’s fine,” Wei Ying was quick to answer, a bright and happy smile on his face as he went and sat down. Lan Zhan flipping his long sleeves as he sat beside him.
“Good,” Jiang Fengmian smiled, “Now, A-Ying, you’ll be marrying into the Lan Clan, but you won’t always be living here,” he said.
“We compromised, since you may remain as the head disciple of the Jiang Sect. Your brother and uncle don’t wish to lose you,” Lan Xichen smiled at the young man.
“That’s good, I’d miss Lotus Pier a lot if I couldn’t go back there sometimes,” Wei Ying sighed in relief.
“Sit straight!” Lan Qiren barked at the young man as Wei Ying started to slouch.
Wei Ying sat a little straighter, not wanting to antagonize the man. He knew that the old man didn’t really like him. mostly because of who his mother was, but part of it was that he had been a little disruptive during his time at Cloud Recesses when attending the lectures.
“You will memorize all the rules and you will follow them,” Lan Qiren warned him.
Wei Ying looked at him, “I will follow those that I deem are appropriate rules, the rest of too restrictive on a person,” Wei Ying told him, hoping he would be able to get away with that. He couldn’t follow all three thousand of them. That was just too many. he knew that some of them were just common sense, while others were there to suck the joy out of living.
“Uncle, you know the rules when it comes to those marrying, and to those marrying into the sect,” Lan Xichen reminded his uncle of the rules that their founded had put in place for married couples. That the rules were less restrictive to those that are married. That the path of being with their fated one has rules of its own.
Lan Qiren huffed, “Very well,” he growled out, sitting properly and looking away from his nephew and Wei Ying.
Lan Xichen looked back at Jiang Fengmian, “We will start with the consultations to see when the auspicious day will be,” he began, as the two leaned down together to start making plans for the wedding.
“Do you really need us here?” Wei Ying asked, wanting to leave the room, he could feel the dark gaze from Lan Qiren and he wanted to get away from it.
“You may leave for a little while,” Jiang Fengmian said, “We will only be staying the night here, we leave for home in the morning,” he told him.
“Oh,” Wei Ying slumped once more. he had been hoping to spend a little more time with Lan Zhan before they had to return to Lotus Pier.
“May I accompany you?” Lan Zhan spoke up, bringing his brother and future uncle from their discussion.
“I can show you all the best spots in Lotus Pier, and you can try Shijie’s cooking. She makes the best soup ever” Wei Ying explained excitedly as he grabbed hold of Lan Zhan’s arm.
“Mn, see where Wei Ying grew up,” Lan Zhan nodded at his betrothed.
“I can show you around as well, maybe we can even take on a night hunt. I’ll take you out on the lakes and we can pick some Lotus pods. The seeds will be so nice at this time of year,” Wei Ying continued to babble on before he heard a little cough.
“Wangji,” Lan Xichen said softly, “Do you wish to go?” he asked, making sure.
“Mn,” he nodded in answer.
“Then, of course, you may come with us. I know that A-Li would like to meet you,” Jiang Fengmian smiled at the young man, Jiang Yanli had asked him to try and invite the man to Lotus Pier so she could meet him. They had only known of each other in passing, never truly introduced to each other.
“Then I shall, thank you,” Lan Zhan bowed towards the Jiang Sect Leader.
“It’s going to be great,” Wei Ying said a happy smile on his face.
“I’ll be sorting out your dowry when we return to Lotus Pier,” Jiang Fengmian smiled at his adoptive son, “I have some things already set aside for it, but I shall make its right before the end of the week.”
“We shall sort things out on our end as well,” Lan Xichen smiled, glancing at his brother who was happily holding onto Wei Ying’s hand. He hadn’t seen his brother this happy since their mother was alive. He briefly gave a wonder if their father would make an appearance at the wedding. He had given over the sect and then remained in seclusion.
“Why don’t you and A-Cheng, leave all this boring talk to us, and we’ll see you when it’s dinner,” Jiang Fengmian said to his sons.
“Really?” Wei Ying said, happy to hand over the planning to his uncle and Lan Xichen.
Standing up, he pulled Lan Zhan to his feet as Jiang Cheng did the same. The three walked out of the meeting room and headed through Cloud Recesses, hoping to find a quiet spot. Jiang Cheng following them, there was no way he was going to leave them unchaperoned at all until they married. He knew he would be in an awkward situation, he knew what his brother was like after all. He watched the two, still not seeing what his brother saw in the Second Jade of Lan.
Lan Zhan walked through the Cloud Recesses, knowing exactly where he wanted to take Wei Ying. He wanted to show him that his gift of two bunnies was still living and thriving along with several more that he had rescued and brought to field. He stopped as he reached the penned in area. “Wei Ying,” he said, turning slightly and seeing Jiang Cheng not far behind him.
“Lan Zhan?” Wei Ying replied curiously as he glanced around, “Why are we here?”
“Show you,” he said, walking through the small gate and letting Wei Ying pass. Jiang Cheng following them into the field.
“Oh,” Wei Ying said eyes wide as he saw the bunnies that were hopping around happily in the field.
“I kept the ones you gave me, found more, brought them here,” he said softly, moving over to one of the hutches he had built for them. He picked one up, one of three little black bunnies that called the field their home. He walked over to Wei Ying, setting him into his hand, “This is the one you gave me,” he said, letting the other see the red ribbon that was tied around one of it’s ears.
“Wow,” Wei Ying said as a smile overtook his face as he held the fluffy creature close to him, “You really did, where is the other one?” he asked, glancing around.
Lan Zhan moved away and soon returned with another bunny, this one had a blue ribbon around its ear, “here,” he said holding him up.
Wei Ying stood there with the two bunnies in his hands for a few moments “We should give them some treats,” he said, looking up at Lan Zhan.
“Mn,” he nodded, “Get some from Kitchen,” he said quietly.
“Why don’t you go and do that Wuxian,” Jiang Cheng said from where he had sat on the grass a bunny in his lap. Petting it absently.
“Yeah, sure,” Wei Ying grinned as he handed over the two bunnies to Lan Zhan and quickly headed towards the kitchens for the treats.
“You know,” Jiang Cheng said as he got Lan Zhan’s attention, “You’ve got to protect him, even from himself,” he told him.
Lan Zhan looked at him, “I know.”
“He always pushes himself so hard, making sure that he takes on everything alone so no one else could get hurt. And then gets hurt himself. Sometimes when he is, he won’t say a word about it, you’ll have to watch him really carefully,” he warned him, “Not only that, he has a really bad fear of dogs, make sure they never get near him. Never, I hear that one gets close to him and you could have protected him, you won’t be going near him again,” he threatened. It had been his job since Wei Ying had arrived at Lotus Pier to protect his brother from Dogs, and now, he was giving that duty to Lan Zhan. part of him wanted to protest the change. But he could see that his brother was happy.
“I will protect him, always,” Lan Zhan promised, “He… he means the world to me.” His voice was quiet as he looked away when he spoke his admission.
Jiang Cheng smiled slightly, “I get it, he thinks the same of you, just take care of him. He doesn’t believe he’s worth much, she always told him he was just a son of a servant, but he isn’t.”
“Mn,” Lan Zhan nodded.
“I’m back!” Wei Ying ran towards them, jumping over the little fence and arriving back, “Miss me Lan Zhan?” he asked, a flirty grin on his face as he went over to him.
“Always,” Lan Zhan told him, “Always miss Wei Ying when he is gone,” he added softly, a small smile on his face.
Wei Ying blushed, “Lan Zhan, warn me,” he muttered as he buried his face in Lan Zhan’s neck.
Jiang Cheng rolled his eyes, “Enough, don’t make me throw up!” he called out just before they could kiss. “You’re as bad as Jiejie and the peacock,” he muttered, flopping back onto the grass.
The three spent some more time with the bunnies before they left for dinner.
Wei Ying was walking alone, heading back to the quarters the Jiang’s had been given for the night. His uncle and brother had already gone ahead of him. He had said his good nights to Lan Zhan, who would be meeting them in the morning. There was a soft smile on his face as he thought of all the things he would be able to show his betrothed as soon as they reached Lotus Pier.
“You are the worst choice for Wangji,” Lan Qiren said as he walked towards Wei Ying, “He deserves someone more refined,” he added.
“But will they love him, will he love them?” Wei Ying asked, “We love each other Master Lan, have done for a while,” he said softly.
“Anyone would be blessed to stand by Wangji’s side, you, however, will do nothing but bring him down!” he berated him. “You can not obey the rules of the sect he is from.”
“I may not be able to obey all the rules, they are restrictive and push down the freedom that I am used to. Which I have no doubt is one of the reasons why I shall be spending time Lotus Pier,” he said, going to move around the man, but was stopped when he stepped in the way.
“Your mother was just as bad as you, doing nothing but flaunting the rules around her. and in the end, they caused her death,” Lan Qiren spat.
“And what would you know about my parent’s death?” Wei Ying replied hotly, his body shaking at the mention of his mother. He didn’t remember much about them, only what Uncle Jiang had told him over the years.
“She was always trying to find the bigger fight and take it down, and then she ruined herself, even more, when she married that servant of the Jiang Sect!” he yelled out, “You are nothing more than the son of a servant. Wangji is the second heir of the Lan Sect, someone far above your station!”
“My-” Wei Ying began, but his throat closed upon him, unable to get the words out.
“How dare you!” came a voice from behind Lan Qiren, “How dare you say such things about his mother and father, about my friends!” Jiang Fengmian raged as he stalked towards them, stepping between Wei Ying and Lan Qiren.
“I dare! Have I said anything that is wrong?” Lan Qiren spat.
“You have said plenty of things wrong. Wei Changze and Cangse Sanren were on a night hunt at my request. I sent them word that something a monster had made its home near Yiling and was beginning to cause a few problems. Asking them if they could go there when they had a chance. it took a year for news to reach me that they had been killed. A year, in which I thought the monster had been dealt with and they had moved on. So there I am looking all over the place for A-Ying and not finding him. Only to learn after another three years that they had died near Yiling and then finally finding him,” he said, explaining what had happened to his dearest friends.
“They were…” Wei Ying began, he had never heard about their death before.
“Yes A-Ying, it was my fault there were there that day, that the monster that they killed, killed them as well,” Jiang Fengmian turned to face his adopted son, “I’m sorry A-Ying.”
Wei Ying moved closer to him and hugged him, “If I remember one thing about my parents it was that they always did what was right. And they died doing the right thing in making sure that monster couldn’t hurt anyone,” he said, “There’s nothing for you to be sorry about,” he added, holding him tightly.
Jiang Fengmian held him, squeezing him for a moment before letting him go. “I still wish I had known earlier, I would have been able to save you so much harm,” he said softly.
Wei Ying smiled, “But you still saved me, Uncle Jiang,” he reminded him.
Jiang Fengmian nodded before turning towards Lan Qiren, who was staring at the pair. “Now Master Lan,” he said, “As for Wei Changze being a servant, that was never the case. Or did you forget that he attended the lectures here with me, not just as a cultivator but also as My second, and my Sworn Brother?” he asked of him, “Or is that something you like to forget when it came to the fact that Cangse Sanren turned you down!”
“I… I…” Lan Qiren sputtered.
“She turned you down because of how much you followed the rules of your clan. Yes, they are good, but you followed them everywhere. And when you refused to do something which would have saved lives, she knew that you valued those rules more than a person. So why would she wish to be with you? To be with someone that would love the rules more than her. When she and A-Ze met, they hit it off, easily becoming friends and soon enough they began to court each other. I was so happy for them, as I myself had my eye on someone else at the time,” he told him, shaking his head in disgust.
“You still love the rules more than people,” Wei Ying said softly, “Lan Zhan was always scared of disobeying them because he feared you would stop loving him, stop caring about him. You have a chance to change, I suggest you think hard on if you value those rules more than the two wonderful and amazing nephews you raised,” he added, walking around a pale Lan Qiren and heading towards their quarters.
Jiang Cheng quickly followed his brother, worried about him. Jiang Fengmian looked at the man, “He is right, you need to think long and hard Lan Qiren, do they mean the world to you? My sons and daughter mean the world to me and I would do anything for their happiness.”
With that, he left Lan Qiren alone to his thoughts.
The next morning they had gathered at the gates of Cloud Recesses. Lan Zhan stood beside Wei Ying as he said his goodbye to his brother, “Where is Uncle?” he asked, not seeing the man there at all.
“He has decided to go into Seclusion for the month, said he had some things he needed to think about,” Lan Xichen said, he was puzzled by his uncle’s actions.
Wei Ying looked at his uncle and sighed, “We had a bit of a confrontation last night. Gave him a few things to think about. I’m hoping he is doing so,” he told the two brothers, not wanting to keep secrets, “I won’t say what about, that’s for him to decide,” he added.
“Thank you for telling me,” Lan Xichen smiled, “I shall see you soon Wangji, you have a month before you have to come back, enjoy yourself,” he suggested to his brother.
“I will brother, take care,” he nodded, giving him a little bow.
“Thank you for seeing us on such short notice, and I will come back with Wangji and finalize the plans for the wedding. At the conference in two months time, we should announce the match between A-Ying and Wangji,” Jiang Fengmian suggested, looking at Lan Xichen.
“Of course,” nodding in agreement.
Jiang Fengmian ordered them all to their swords. Taking to the sky Lan Zhan and Wei Ying fell into their usual pattern when it came to flying. Being side by side so they could talk to each other. Jiang Cheng shook his head at them but was flying next to his father so they could discuss a few of the things that they needed to make a start on for when it came to Wei Ying’s wedding.
Wei Ying was smiling as he looked around the banquet hall. Lotus Pier had been decorated for the wedding between himself and Lan Zhan over the last week. Now, he was married, almost a year after leaving Cloud Recesses had gone by. Jiang Yanli was married and very happy with her husband at Koi Tower. Wei Ying looked at his husband and smiled as the man noticed he was looking at him.
“Happy?” Wei Ying asked him softly.
“Very,” Lan Zhan nodded, a soft smile appearing on his face as he then looked around the banquet hall.
“Wangji,” came a voice as someone walked over to them.
“Uncle,” Lan Zhan greeted the man.
“May I speak with you and your husband?” Lan Qiren asked him, sparing Wei Ying a glance as well.
“Of course,” Wei Ying answered before Lan Zhan could say anything. The man had spent a month in Seclusion and hadn’t talked to either Lan Zhan or Wei Ying since then. Not that he had much chance. The two spent more time at Lotus Pier and little time in Cloud Recesses as they went out on as many night hunts as they could while there.
“Thank you,” he said, “Wei Wuxian,” he began, “I want to apologies for my words, I let the past and my own feelings cloud my mind. Cloud it so much that I couldn’t see the young man that was in front of me. You are an exceptional cultivator, a strong young man as well. I am sorry for what I said about your parents. They were always where the chaos was, doing what was right, standing up for those that are weak and believing truly in justice. You follow their path and do so well. They would be proud of the man you have become,” Lan Qiren told him.
“Thank you,” Wei Ying said, his smile trembling a little at the words.
“Wangji, I’m sorry for ever letting you think that I wouldn’t love you if you broke the rules. You’re my nephew, someone I brought up myself. You may not be my son but I have always seen you and Xichen as such. How could I not love you, be proud of you and of the man you have become. I clung to the rules for so long to try and make sure what happened to your parents wouldn’t befall either of you, that I forgot that you were your own person. That your life is your own,” he sighed softly, “I’m sorry for any pain I caused you.”
“Uncle,” Lan Zhan said, struggling to find the words, “I do love you,” he stated, frowning, “You raised me, taught me right from wrong, I respect you and I know that you did your best to care for brother and I.”
Lan Qiren nodded, “I do love you, now I think I should talk with Xichen,” he said, bowing to the two of them before wishing them a happy and prosperous marriage.
Wei Ying smiled, “That…”
“Mn,” Lan Zhan nodded.
“A-Xian,” Jiang Yanli and her husband walked over to them before they could talk anymore.
“Shijie,” Wei Ying grinned, “How are you doing, is the peacock treating you well?” he asked, glaring at said peacock.
“Hey!” he complained.
“He is treating me very well,” she blushed, smiling at her husbands, “But we have something to ask of you,” she said, “We would like a courtesy name?” she asked.
“A name, you… you’re…” he glanced at her and then glared again at Jin Zixuan.
“Yes, we would like you to name them,” Jiang Yanli said, directing his attention back to her as Jin Zixuan sighed and rolled his eyes. He had been given the same treatment as soon as Jiang Cheng had found out.
“So this generation is Ru yes?” he asked, getting a nod, “Hmm,” he thought for a few moments before smiling, “Rulan,” he answered finally.
“Rulan,” Jiang Yanli smiled, “I like it.”
Jin Zixuan huffed but said nothing.
“It’s a good name,” Lan Zhan nodded at the choice.
Jiang Yanli giggled, “thank you,” she smiled, taking her husband by his hand she began to walk away.
Wei Ying and Lan Zhan spent the rest of the time before they could retire to their rooms talking to a few of the guests at their wedding.
Married life suited the two well, spending their time between Lotus Pier and Cloud Recesses. Often night hunting around the area as well. This one had fallen in their lap as they were heading towards Lotus Pier. They were nearing the small village by Defan Mountain when they heard screams. Wei Ying rushed forwards, Lan Zhan following him quickly as they came upon a couple being attacked by a large monster. Unsheathing their swords they went on to attack it. managing to kill it. As it hit the ground, Wei Ying was already by the couple. He could see the man was dead, that there was nothing he could do for him.
“Hey,” he called out to the woman, as he moved her gently, she was still breathing, “It’s going to be all right,” he reassured as he tried to assess the damage done to the woman. He could hear muffled cries
“To… late…” she gasped out, “Dying, I know,” she breathed as she moved her arm, to show a small baby in her arm, “Take A-Yuan, no one else…” she said as the light faded from her eyes and she passed away.
Wei Ying moved quickly to catch the baby who’s cries got louder with his mother’s death. “Lan Zhan,” he called out, as his husband finished burning the monster’s body. “Take care of them, make a temporary grave until we can find their family,” he said as he rocked the baby in his arms.
Lan Zhan looked over and nodded, walking closer and getting to work. Wei Ying did his best to soothe the upset child in his arms. If he had to guess how old the baby was, he would put them at around nine months, maybe a little older. He hoped they would be able to find the child family. Lan Zhan walked over after he finished, the baby now sleeping.
“We should head to the village,” Lan Zhan suggested, “We may find his family,” he added quietly.
Wei Ying nodded as they began to head towards the village. It took them a couple of hours to reach it, neither of them wanted to fly whit the baby, too scared they would drop him.
Wei Ying looked around the village, “Hello,” he said as he went over to one of the stalls, “Do you live in the village?” he asked, getting a nod, “Oh good,” he sighed in relief. “We were at Defan mountain and came across a couple and their baby. The couple, unfortunately, was killed by the monster that had attacked them,” he said, “But, their child survived, All I know is he is called Yuan, do you know of who we speak?” he asked the man.
“I do, young couple, the child was born ten months ago. Go to the healer’s house, down there. That is Lady Wen, she and her brother lead the village. They would know of them better than I,” he told them, gesturing towards a building a little further down.
“Thank you,” Wei Ying bowed as he and Lan Zhan headed towards the healers building that had been pointed out to them. They walked towards it and knocked on the closed door.
“Hello,” came a shy voice as the door opened and a young man stood there.
“Hello, I found a young child, called Yuan, his parents had been killed, near Defan Mountain,” Wei Ying was the one to speak as little A-Yuan began to squirm around in his arms.
“A-Yuan?” the young man said, “Oh, erm, come in, Jiejie!” he said as he let the two men inside with the child.
“What A-Ning?” came a voice from one of the back rooms.
“We have guests,” he called out to her as he directed the two to a small room for them to sit, “I’ll bring something for A-Yuan,” he added as he moved out of the room.
Wei Ying rocked little A-Yuan in his arms, “Shush little one, it’s okay. I know, you must miss you A-Niang and A-die,” he murmured.
Lan Zhan leaned a little closer, looking down at the child, “You are safe,” he said gently as he placed a hand on the baby’s head.
“He’s hungry,” Wen Ning said as he walked in and handed over a baby jug to fed the baby with, “He does eat solids, as Jiejie checked him over two weeks ago before they left the village to visit family.”
Wei Ying took the device and with a laugh, Wen Ning quickly showed him what to do before disappearing again. When he came back he was with a young woman, a little short than Wen Ning.
“Why do you have A-Yuan?” she asked.
“Qing-Jie,” Wen Ning said, sighing.
“We found him with his parents, his mother was only just alive when we finished off the monster that attacked them,” Lan Zhan answered her, Wei Ying busy feeding A-Yuan.
“Dead?” Wen Qing stood straighter, “Then…” she looked at the ten-month-old child.
“Yes,” Lan Zhan nodded, “We’re here to find the child’s family.”
“He only has us,” Wen Qing said quietly, sitting down, “His mother is a distant cousin, we’re the only ones left,” she said, her voice shaking a little.
“I’m sorry for your loss,” Wei Ying looked up, “We buried them where it happened. But you can easily retrieve them to bury them properly,” he added.
“I will send people out,” she said, looking at Wen Ning. The young man nodded and left them.
“What’s going to happen to him?” Wei Ying asked as A-Yuan finished his milk.
“I don’t know, I can’t take him, I travel to different villages around here to heal people, A-Ning comes with me.” she sighed, pinching the bridge of her nose.
Wei Ying looked down at the child, holding him tighter. He glanced at Lan Zhan, who nodded, “We… we could take him?” he suggested, looking back at Wen Qing, “We’ll take very good care of him,” he promised.
“I… he…” Wen Qing sighed, “I don’t know you.”
“No, you don’t, but you know of us,” Wei Ying said as she nodded.
“You do have a reputation for helping people,” she paused for a moment, “You will bring him here occasionally, and let me come and visit to make sure he is growing well?” she asked of them. She had heard a lot about the two men in front of her.
“We will,” Lan Zhan promised her.
“Then you may adopt him,” she said.
“Mn,” Lan Zhan nodded, “Wei Yuan?” he suggested.
Wei Ying shook his head, “No, Lan Yuan,” he smiled as he looked down at the child in his arms.
Wen Qing sighed, “Make sure to take good care of him,” she told them before starting to explain how to actually take care of a ten-month-old baby.
Returning to Lotus Pier had been slow going, neither of them wanted to fly back, but were too scared to do so while carrying Lan Yuan. Entering they were greeted with a shocked Jiang Cheng. Who was silent as they went to find Jiang Fengmian to greet him.
“A child?” Jiang Fengmian blinked as he looked to the baby that was happily sat in Lan Zhan lap, playing with his Jade Token.
“Yes, we’ve adopted him, his name is Lan Yuan,” Wei Ying smiled happily.
“Don’t believe it,” Jiang Cheng huffed.
“He only has a few family members left, but they are distant, the closest one is his great grandmother, she’s back at the village near Defan. His somewhat aunt or cousins maybe,” Wei Ying huffed, “they said they would be coming by occasionally to come and see him.”
“That’s fine,” Jiang Fengmian nodded.
Wei Ying and Lan Zhan shared a smile as they looked at their new son. He would be added to their families books. Jiang Cheng sighed and then asked to hold his nephew. Handing him over Jiang Cheng smiled down at A-Yuan. talking to him gently as he welcomed him to the family. Before looking to his brother and telling him, he still has to tell Jiang Yanli of the new addition. Wei Ying grinned, his life was complete, he had a husband and now a son.