- Dark Themes
- Death-Major Character
- Discussion-Sexual Abuse
- Action Adventure
- Canon Divergent
- Fix It
They landed at Lotus Pier. Lan Xichen still held an unconscious Wei Ying in his arms. While his heartbeat was steady it wasn’t strong. Jiang Yanli gripped onto her brother as they landed. Feeling weak and shaky. It had been Jiang Cheng that was keeping her on her feet.
“A-Jie?” he asked softly, worried for her, remembering that she had been hurt after all.
“I’ll… I’ll be okay,” she smiled, reassuring him, the blood was easily seen on the back of her mourning robes.
“I think we should head straight to the healing rooms,” Lan Xichen suggested, glancing back at him and seeing how pale Jiang Yanli was.
Jiang Cheng nodded, taking his sister into his arms, she gave a little protest, but in the end just rested against him as he led the way to the healing rooms, calling for someone to fetch Wen Qing and to make sure that she is there. Along with another to make sure that Nie Mingjue was shown where to house and guard Su Minshan. Entering the room, he placed his sister down on one of the beds. Lan Xichen moving to another to place his own charge down. The door opened a second time as Wen Qing walked into the room, no longer in Wen Sect Red, but the Purple of the Jiang Sect. Lan Xichen was a little surprised to see her since they had all been gathered at Nightless City to dispose of her ashes.
“I’ll explain that later,” Jiang Cheng told him as he saw the look. He glanced at the other healer in the room and gestured for him to help Jiang Yanli.
“A-Cheng,” Jiang Yanli said as the healer approached, “I want A-Ling brought here, send those you trust, with a seal from you to make sure that Madam Jin will let him go,” she told him. She didn’t want her son anywhere near Koi Tower for a long time.
“I will,” he promised, leaving the room, he found the two senior disciples, they had been trained by his mother and were only two of the dozen that survived the destruction of the Jiang Sect. Sending them with a sealed letter to Madam Jin. He looked around, seeing Jin Guangshan and Jin Guangyao complaining to a few disciples that had stopped them from entering the healing halls.
“Sect Leader Jiang!” Jin Guangyao called out as soon as the man saw him.
“I have no time for you,” he told them as the turned and walked away. He headed towards the dungeon area of the Sect, one of the more protected areas of any Sect and walked inside the barriers that had been set up around them. He placed a hand over his chest, feeling the Amulet tucked away in his robes. He was grateful that his brother had sealed it into the cloth that it was wrapped up in. He could feel nothing from it.
“They are in this room Sect Leader,” one of his disciples greeted him, gesturing to the room that he was guarding.
“Thank you, make sure Jin Guangshan and Jin Guangyao don’t come down here,” he ordered as he headed to the door and walked inside.
“Sect Leader Jiang,” Nie Mingjue greeted him, standing at the edge of the room. Su Minshan was kneeling at the far end of it, the lights from the talismans the only thing that let them see in the room.
“Dispense with calling me that, Wanyin,” he suggested.
“Then please call me Mingjue,” he replied in kind.
“Thank you Nie Mingjue,” he nodded his head and then turned his attention to the man kneeling before them,” Su Minshan,” he mumbled, “Playing a flute at Nightless city.”
“Stirring up the resentful energy so that it wouldn’t be in Wei Wuxian control,” Nie Mingjue told him, “Though I want to know why he was doing so?” he said, kneeling in front of the man, “Now I know Xichen has lifted the silencing curse, so are you going to speak?” he asked him.
Su Minshan said nothing, remained looking at the ground. Jiang Cheng was about to say something when he heard yelling and shouting from outside of the room. With a growl he marched out of the room, slamming the door open and stepping outside.
“I must insist that I am allowed into the interview with the man, he has done nothing wrong!” Jin Guangshan was yelling as he tried to bully the two men into letting him into the area.
Jiang Cheng’s eyes narrowed as he stalked over, purple lightning dancing around him as hi anger at the men was almost overwhelming him. He could hear the small mumbles from them as he started to focus on what they were saying to each other.
“We need to get inside,” Jin Guangyao said, “We need to stop him from saying anything,” he added.
“I know, why don’t you do something useful while I create a distraction,” Jin Guangshan ordered, knowing it would be harder for him to get around compared to Jin Guangyao.
“Of course,” he said.
“Enough, and move away, you will not be let in at all,” Jiang Cheng informed them. “You are welcome to stay here, but you are limited in the places you can go, you will remain within either the guest quarters or the courtyard attached to them,” he added, nodding to a guard to take them that way.
Jiang Cheng watched as they were escorted away. he stepped behind the barrier, flashing hi Qi to raise the last part of it, making sure that no one will be able to overhear what he was going to say, “Zhou Xiaosi, I want you to find one of the trained bonded couples. I need someone to be able to keep an eye on them. Listen to what they are saying and recording it down. They’re up to something and I want to be prepared.”
“Yes Sect Leader, I’ll find them,” he nodded as he rushed off to do as he was asked. Two more disciples step up to guard the place and to make sure nothing else will happen.
Lan Xichen and Wen Qing worked together as they healed Wei Ying. “I can’t believe he has a core,” Wen Qing said softly. Taking the young mans core and giving it to Jiang Cheng was still one of the worst things she had ever done in her life. And she knew that it always would be. She could still hear Wei Ying’s screams of pain as she cut into him. She had wanted to stop, but he had never once pleaded with her to do so. Instead, he pleaded with her to carry on.
“I know, I was trying to heal him, but there was nothing I could do there,” Lan Xichen said quietly as they worked. One moment there was nothing there, not even hidden by the resentful energy that had surrounded and weaved through Wei Ying’s body. Now there might be a few tendrils of resentful energy, but not he could feel strong spiritual energy. It felt familiar to him as well.
“With it, it shouldn’t be too hard in healing him up,” Wen Qing stated as she finished what she was doing and moved on to the next thing that needed healing.
“How is he?” came a voice from behind the partition.
“He is doing well Young Madam Jin,” Lan Xichen answered her quickly. He knew that she was being healed as well.
“Good,” there was a breath of relief before a hiss as she was being healed.
“Wangji should arrive soon,” Lan Xichen said, quickly calculating the times and how long it would take his brother.
“It will be nice to actually meet A-Yuan,” Jiang Yanli said happily. “A-Xian wrote to me about him all the time. He sent letters to A-Cheng for him to send them to me. We,” he sighed, “We knew that someone might try and turn us against each other. A-Xian was right about that. Jin Guangshan and Jin Guangyao kept tell us over and over how A-Xian was being disrespectful about us behind our backs. Saying horrible things about us and about our parents. We all knew it was false, we did, but it didn’t stop others believe them,” she sighed. There was a small yelp coming from her.
“I am don’t Lady Jiang… sorry, Young Madam Jin,” the healer that had been treating her said.
“Jiang is fine,” she said, not sure she wanted to continue to be associated with the name Jin. It was only because she loved Jin Zixuan that she had agreed to marry him. Not his name, as many others had suggested, some behind her back, while a few had said so to her face.
“very well, Lady Jiang,” he told her, “You should rest for a while,” he suggested as she clothed herself once more.
“I wish to see my brother,” she sighed, finishing righting her robes and walking around the screen as she stood to one side. Not wishing to interrupt the two that were still working on healing Wei Ying.
“And I think we’ve done all we can, he’s going to have to do the rest himself. If we send in a few cultivators to share a little energy with him every few hours, then he should wake by morning. He will need to rest for a good week, maybe more. But with his core, he may even heal up a little faster,” Wen Qing said, a smile on her face as she looked at the man she had thought would run and take Wen Yuan with him. She had wanted the two of them to live.
“That’s good,” Jiang Yanli said as she walked over, sitting on the edge of the bed, “We… we should clean him up,” she suggested, looking around to see what they could use to do so, “I’ll send someone to get some of his robes as well.”
Wen Qing nodded, agreeing with her as the three of them worked together to clean Wei Ying up of all the blood that had dried on him. They finished a little while later and sat down, just waiting for Wei Ying to wake up. Jiang Yanli didn’t want to leave her brothers side. She knew that by tomorrow morning her son would also be at Lotus Pier. it was almost two hours later when there was a knock on the door.
Wen Qing moved and opened the door, smiling as she saw who it was, “Come in,” she hurried the two inside, “How is he?” she asked as she looked to the child that was in Lan Zhan’s arms.
“Tired and hungry,” he answered her, keeping hold of the small boy as Wen Qing checking the toddler over.
“I’ll have food sent in,” Jiang Yanli said as she got up to go and ask a passing servant. She stopped by Lan Zhan and Wen Yuan and looked at the sleepy toddler “He is adorable,” she smiled, patting the toddlers head a little before leaving the room.
“he’s fine, just let him have something to eat,” Wen Qing said, “Are you all right?” she asked.
“Hm,” he nodded, going towards the bed and glancing down at Wei Ying. he turned as he felt a hand on his shoulder, “Brother” he greeted.
“he’s going to be just fine, I would love an explanation on what happened?” he asked.
Lan Zhan nodded, glancing to the door as Jiang Yanli walked back into the room. He sat down on a chair, settling Wen Yuan on his lap. He began to explain how Wei Ying came back and with a Golden Core. As soon as he spoke Wen Qing began to examine him, to make sure he was all right.
“Your core is weak,” she said, looking at Lan Xichen, “You’ll be able to tell the strength of it with it being so depleted and how it compares to normal.”
Lan Xichen nodded, stepping forwards and doing his own examination, “It’s around half, about the same strength it was when you were fifteen,” he said, looking at his brother.
“I can build it up again,” he said, shrugging, not caring, as it had given him the chance to have Wei Ying back. He would have given it all to have Wei Ying back.
Jiang Cheng walked around the room. So far Su Minshan hadn’t said a word to them. No matter the question they three he remained silent. Jiang Cheng and Nie Mingjue were both becoming annoyed with the man. It was only a matter of time before one of them broke and decided to do something more drastic to get the man to talk. Jiang Cheng was the one to break, moving towards Su Minshan and pulling the robe apart, he had been told of the curse marks by Nie Mingjue before they had gone in to interrogate him.
“So,” Jiang Cheng said, “The hundred hole curse, but not the actual curse, but the backlash of it,” he sneered, glaring down at the man.
“So what,” Su Minshan muttered, “it has nothing to do with you.”
“I believe it does since Jin Zixun was cursed and then went after my brother with a fucking army!” Jiang Cheng got in Su Minshan’s face as he yelled.
“Why did you curse him?” Nie Mingjue asked him, pulling Jiang Cheng away from him. “Why curse the man?” he repeated when Su Minshan remained silent.
“Because he kept insulting me, degrading me!” Su Minshan began a tirade, “He did nothing but belittle everyone around him, making himself out to be the best cultivators around. he was nothing more than an ignorant fool. I wanted him gone for when he pushed me down. He didn’t apologize just took his temper out on me as he had done to so many other. Why not curse the bastard, he deserved so much more than he got and I would have loved to have been the one to take care of him properly.”
Jiang Cheng was silent, Su Minshan was right about Jin Zixun, he was an arrogant coward. Faking injury during the Sunshot campaign to get out of it. For the entire 11 months that the campaign lasted he was injured and never went near the front lines, unlike Jin Zixuan.
“He was a menace, I’m surprised he lasted so long without someone else taking him out. Would have been better if people could really see what he was like. He valued no one but himself, pushing people in the way to take the fall for everything he did wrong,” he growled breathing heavily as he finally released some of the pent up anger he had towards the man.
“You caused him to go and confront my brother, and because of that Jin Zixuan went to stop it. He was there because of you,” Jiang Cheng said, standing up straight as he looked at the man in disgust.
“I didn’t know he was going to be there, I was only trying to control that fierce corpses. I needed to turn it against Wei Wuxian. With him dea-” he cut himself off as he realized what he was saying.
“You what?” Nie Mingjue said pushing himself off from the wall and striding over to him, leaning over him, his towering and strong appearance intimidating the man, “You mean you were there playing as you were at Nightless?” he hissed.
Su Minshan gulped, eyes wide as he started to shake. He nodded, “I was told to make sure that Wei Wuxian was taken out. I didn’t know he was going to be there!” he answered him, terrified.
“You wanted my brother dead and instead you got my brother in law killed,” Jiang Cheng said, purple lightning once again crackling around him, as Zidian came alive on his hand, swirling around as though trying to comfort him and lessen his anger.
“I didn’t know, I was only supposed to kill Wei Wuxian and get the Stygian Tiger Amulet, that was all I was to do and something fucked up, I played just as I should have, but only he was to be killed not anyone else,” he said, shaking his head.
“But you killed them all,” Jiang Cheng said, “You killed them all in the end because of what you did, so many died.”
“It wasn’t my idea, they said, they said that it needed to be done. That people needed to see what a true menace that Wei Wuxian was. That he would kill anyone and everyone if he could!” Su Minshan said, shaking a little.
“Who?” Nie Mingjue asked, “Who was giving you those orders?” he demanded to know.
“Sect Leader Jin,” he started, hesitating before he felt he menacing aura of Nie Mingjue come closer, “And Jin Guangyao!” he cried out.
“Tell us everything!” Jiang Cheng demanded as Zidian calmed and went inert on his hand once more.
Si Minshan nodded, quickly spilling everything he knew. He was going to be dead, no matter what he said. Jiang Cheng and Nie Mingjue listened as they heard everything. Jin Guangshan taking in Xue yang and experimenting with corpses. Jin Guangyao working with him to make sure he had victims. Which included the Wens that had been in their care after the war. They keep the horror they were feeling off their faces as he finished. The two said nothing to the man as they walked out of the room, after making sure the suppressant cuffs were working and that Su Minshan would be able to get free using his spiritual energy at all.
Dong Tingfeng looked at his husband and nodded, turning he felt his husband with him as he started to focus. Helping him stop himself from going to far. They hadn’t been bonded long but had been training their abilities together since they had met. “I can hear them,” he said, as he started to repeat what was said so that Dong Xianliang could record them down.
“How are we going to get inside, we need to make sure that idiot says nothing to them,” Jin Guangshan muttered darkly, glaring at the young man before him.
“I am sorry father, I will try and find a way to get close to him,” Jin Guangyao was bowing back. The young man was glancing around, as though trying to make sure that they were alone.
“Just kill him, he’s not needed anymore and we can always make it seem like he killed himself,” Jin Guangshan suggested off-hand, waving his hand around, glaring at his son once more.
“I will see to it,” Jin Guangyao promised him. His mind whirling on what he could do.
“Oh, and have someone sent back to Koi Tower, have them take A-Ling into the same place as that monster, keep them there. No doubt these bloody Jiang’s will try and get to him,” he muttered, “I won’t let my heir be taken from me. I will make sure he is properly brought up,” he added.
“I will make sure of it Father,” Jin Guangyao bowed once more as he began to head to a quiet corner of the courtyard that had accesses to.
The man formed a quick butterfly message and let it fly away to Koi Tower. He looked at his father for a moment, thinking deeply of the problem he had. He knew he needed to find a way to get them both out of there. His father wouldn’t wait for him to do something. If he didn’t, he shuddered as he thought of what the man did last time he refused to do something.
“Tell our disciples to start a commotion,” Jin Guangshan snarled at his son, a sneer of disgust on his face.
“Yes father,” he nodded, sending another butterfly to the disciples. The man didn’t wish to set the disciples against each other. He worried for Su Minshan a little, the man had started out in becoming a friend, and when he had found him hurt after an encounter with his father. The man had helped him with a task. In the end, Su Minshan had even gone to his father to help him, letting Jin Guangyao escape the cruelties of Jin Guangshan’s orders. But it left him in a quandary most of the time, not knowing what was going on as the man had been keeping a few secrets from him.
Jin Guangshan nodded. The two settled in to wait for the commotion to start. It didn’t take too long to hear the sounds of fighting echoing around the area. Jin Guangyao looked at his father and the two of them started to move closer to the exit of the courtyard. They could see two Jiang Disciples guarding them. Jin Guangyao moved quickly and took them out with poisoned darts. They were about to leave the courtyard when a number of disciples were in front of them, swords drawn.
“I demanded to see Sect Leader Jiang immediately!” Jin Guangshan commanded, expecting his wishes to be carried out.
“Unfortunately Sect Leader Jiang is busy, you were told to remain within the guest quarters and the courtyard attached,” one of the senior disciples informed him, keeping his voice level and calm.
“Also, we ask that Jin Guangyao surrender himself for attacking two of ours,” Another commanded softly, his hand was on the hilt of his sword, ready for anything the two men might throw at them.
Lan Zhan settled Wen Yuan on the bed next to Wei Ying. The little toddler had been crying until they had relented. Wei Ying had yet to wake, but Wen Qing had told them that it would be another few hours before he would wake, and even then it would be only drifting in and out of sleep as his body finished healing and his body also came to terms with the fact it had a golden core again. “Remember A-Yuan, need to be still,” he reminded the toddler.
“Mn,” the toddler mumbled, carefully settled against Wei Ying and closing his eyes. It was beginning to get late. They had eaten a little something as they waited for news from Nie Mingjue and Jiang Cheng about what they have learned. The four adults relaxed int he room as Lan Zhan settled in a chair by the bed so he could take hold of Wei Ying’s hand, sending him a little energy occasionally. It didn’t take long for a lot of noise to begin to echo into the rooms. Lan Zhan and his brother stood quickly and headed out of the door, their swords in hand.
“What’s going on?” Lan Xichen asked one of the disciples as they were running past.
“The Jin disciples that are here are attacking, we believe that Sect Leader Jin and Jin Guangyao are the cause behind it. Some of us are heading to take them into custody and the rest to subdue the disciples and suppress their attack,” he said, quickly bowing to them before rushing away once more.
“I shall help brother,” Lan Zhan said, turning to him, “Remain here to protect them,” he asked him.
Lan Xichen nodded, “I will.”
Lan Zhan rushed off, following the disciples to subdue the Jin disciples. He came to the main courtyard, he could see some of the Jiang Disciples had been hurt, but none of them wanted to do the same against the Jin’s. “Jin Disciples, stand down, now!” he demanded once, giving them one chance before he would join the fighting.
“Sect Leader Jin and Jin Guangyao are being held against their will, we are to get them out!” one o the disciples answered as he then called out, “Attack!”
Lan Zhan didn’t hesitate as Bichen sang as he brought it out and began to parry the attacks. He jumped back and brought Wangji would. strumming the strings he froze the Jin disciples where they stood, there movements going sluggish as the Jiang disciples worked quickly and subdued them. Lan Zhan put Wangji away and helped. He sent a disciple to fetch his brother and Wen Qing to help with those that had been hurt. But it hadn’t taken that long to get things under control. He stood as he saw his brother heading towards him.
“I am going to see how the others fair brother,” he told him after the elder check him over.
“Just be careful,” he reminded him as he then began to help Wen Qing in healing the injured as the Jiang Disciples still on their feet began to organised the Jin’s to be taken into custody until their fate was decided.
Jiang Cheng and Nie Mingjue walked out of the cell and head towards the entrance of the prisoner block. “Sect Leader,” one of the disciples rushed towards him as soon as he saw him.
“What is it?” he asked him, frowning as he saw the worried look on his face.
“The Jin disciples that followed their sect leader has started to attack, and we got word from Dong Xianliong that Jin Guangyao sent a message towards them and towards Koi Tower,” he said, rushing the words out as they began to walk towards the courtyard where the two Jin’s were.
“Have the-” he began as he spotted Lan Zhan walking quickly towards them, “Lan Wangji,” he greeted.
“The Jin disciples have been taken care of, Jin Guangyao and Sect Leader Jin may be trying to force their way out as well,” he said.
“Don’t worry n that, I’m heading over there now, I want the two arrested and put in suppression cuffs so they won’t be able to get out,” Jiang Cheng growled, “My disciples should be arriving at Koi Tower within the hour, so whatever the message they should already be on the way back here when it gets there. It does take those butterflies around three to four hours from here” he added, remembering all the times that his sister and Jin Zixuan would send messages to each other before they married and he got his head out of his ass.
“Good,” Lan Zhan nodded as the three of them headed towards the guest courtyard.
“I demanded to be released this instance,” they could hear Jin Guangshan yelling loudly from where he was forced to remain inside the courtyard. Beside him stood Jin Guangyao.
“You’re both under arrest, we will be sending word to Koi Tower as to what is going on and we will be sending people to look for more evidence against you both for your crimes,” Nie Mingjue was the one that spoke.
“How dare you try an-” Jin Guangshan began only to be cut off by Zidian unfurling and hitting the ground at his feet.
“be thankful I haven’t used this on you yet,” Jiang Cheng growled at him, eyes flashing as purple lightning danced around him more than ever before, “For what you had planned, I doubt the world would ever forgive you, either of you,” he stated, “Shut them up and cuff them,” he ordered. Two disciples headed towards them.
“Da-ge,” Jin Guangyao began, eyes pleaded with him. He wanted to say something, to ask him something.
“Shut up!” Jin Guangshan belted out, aiming to hit at him.
Jin Guangyao cowered away from him, looking terrified. No one believed him as the cuffs were put on them. “Father,” he whimpered, shaking as he was dragged away. Jin Guangshan loudly complained the entire time.
“We need to send word to Koi tower, so I’ll have A-Jie send a message to Madam Jin and tell her to bring herself and the elders of the Jin Clan here straight away,” Jiang Cheng said, he was tired, ight was beginning to descend and he had been interrogating Su Minshan from the moment he had arrived until recently.
“You should eat,” Lan Zhan told him as soon as the disciples had taken the Jin’s into custody.
“I will in a moment,” Jiang Cheng nodded turning to Nie Mingjue, “Sect leader Nie, please, make yourself at home and head to the kitchens, I’ve no doubt that someone there will be able to make sure you have some dinner.”
“Do the same,” Nie Mingjue told him, “It wouldn’t do to make decisions on an empty stomach” he added, patting him on the back.
Jiang Cheng went forward a little with the action, shaking his head, “No, it’ll be fine I have a few things to sort out and then I’ll check on Wuxian,” he said quickly, glancing at Lan Zhan, “How is he?”
“he is resting comfortably at the moment, still sleeping. Though Maiden Wen said that he may wake for a few moments in a few hours,” he answered him.
“Thank you, please keep watch over him,” he asked him, bowing quickly as he walked off. Two disciples joining him. The two men watched him go.
Nie Mingjue sighed, “he is a little younger than A-Sang but he is headstrong and capable of managing a sect and fighting on the front lines. With my brother was the same,” he said, shaking his head. Though he may say that, he didn’t know if he wanted his brother to change. He loved the man how he was, for the most part.
“Mn,” Lan Zhan nodded, turning and heading back to the healing halls and Wei Ying. He didn’t want to leave him too long.
Jiang Cheng walked towards his office as Dong Xianliang and Dong Tingfeng followed him. Entering, he closed the doors behind him and turned to listen o their report. he frowned as he listened. “Right,” he nodded, “Thank you for keeping up with them,” he added.
“Welcome Sect Leader, do you wish for us to continue?” Dong Xianliang asked him, “We can station ourselves by the cells and see if we can hear anything more?” he suggested.
“No, what you have enough for what we need,” he thanked them once more, “Go and have dinner and rest. I know it can be exhausting using your senses like that for so long.” His words directed towards Dong Tingfeng.
“Thank you for the consideration Sect Leader, but I don’t mind if it’s needed,” he bowed to him, his husband doing the same.
“Rest, it’s late,” he smiled tightly at the two of them before they bowed once more, leaving behind the paper that they had used. Jiang Cheng sat before his desk and began to read through them. Easily making a few notes abut things that they would need to investigate. There was a thrum of fear go through him before he remembered that his sister had sent two of their best to fetch Jin Ling. He looked up as someone knocked on his door. “Enter,” he called out.
“I thought you would remain here,” came a gravelled voice as Nie Mingjue walked into the room a tray in his hands. Beside him was Lan Xichen, bringing in another.
“What are you…” he frowned at the two of them.
“Mingjue said you headed to your office after you arrested Sect Leader Jin. Thought it best to make sure you at least eat and you can tell us what you and Wei Wuxian were planning,” Lan Xichen was the one to explain as the two men walked over and waited for Jiang Cheng to clean the desk a little before setting out their meal.
Jiang Cheng nodded, “Okay,” he sighed, “Wuxian told me that he had found Wen Qing and she had told him what was going on in the camps. We knew that the Jin’s were after power. That they were gearing up to become the next Wen Rouhan, to make sure that they had the influence over the clans, and the power to back it up. She escaped trying to bring word of what they were doing to those we promised to leave alone as they either helped us or were non-combatants. It’s taken two years since then, but Wuxian and A-Jie we all planned everything. Jin Zixuan was told after he married A-Jie what was going on.”
“And what was that?” Nie Mingjue asked, he hated subterfuge, rather go in swinging than listen to the idiocies.
“That he was starting to build an army of corpses, Wuxian was able to feel them the last time he was in Lanling, they were on the outskirts. He was sneaking in to see A-Jie when he came across them. He told her to be careful and told me what he had found. They’re after the amulet because it can help control them better. They won’t be no Wen Ning, but close,” he sighed, putting down his chopsticks for a moment. “Look, Jin Guangshan wants power, that’s the bottom of it, and he wants to rule. He didn’t do anything against Wen Rouhan and Wen Rouhan didn’t do anything against them because they had a deal. They would leave each other alone and Jin Guangshan was passing things to him to ruin us. It’s only thanks to the fact that Jin Guangyao was actually doing it properly and because he respects you both that we stood a chance to press back enough until Wuxian came onto the scene.”
“What… what do you mean?” Lan Xichen asked.
“Jin Guangyao was sincere in what he was doing when he was in the Sun Palace. He was really on our side. Jin Guangshan didn’t know he was doing that, so was still feeding what information he got from his Jin Zixuan to them, which is why it was going back and forth so much. Jin Guangshan was betraying us and Jin Guangyao was actually helping. Now, I don’t know why he is in with his father on all this,” he said shaking his head.
“He… he always wanted his father to acknowledge him, that’s all he wants. And with what he did he was. But to keep it…”
“he would do a lot damn more to keep it,” Nie Mingjue sighed heavily.
Lan Xichen nodded, “We need to question him about it.”
“We will, but for now, I need a message sent to Koi tower to alert them as to what is going on. Also to make sure that the message that Jin Guangyao sent about Wen Ning and Jin Ling,” he told the two of them as he grabbed the paper and handed them over so the two of them could read. Picking up his chopsticks he was quiet as he did so.
“I’ll send the message, Jin Guangyao showed me how to make the butterflies,” Lan Xichen said as he prepared one and sent it off as Jiang Cheng told him what it needed to contain.
“Looking through this you can see that Jin Guangshan often threatens Jin Guangyao,” Nie Mingjue said reluctantly, pulling a face.
“Yeah, I saw. I know the man can act,” Jiang Cheng said, “I’ve seen that often enough,” he added.
“Hmm,” Lan Xichen hummed, going silent as he started to eat.
“For now, we should eat and rest while we have the chance,” Nie Mingjue said, putting the papers aside.
“Tomorrow we should get word from Lanling about what they wish to do. Though I suggest a trial of sorts at the end. But first, we need to find Wen Ning and bring him to safety.” Jiang Cheng said, taking another bite.
“What were the two of you planning with the Wen’s?” Nie Mingjue asked him, curious as to what he would be doing with them.
“We had planned to get them slowly out of the burial mounds, finding them homes around Lotus Pier, most of them are farmers and there is plenty of land available for them to use. Others are blacksmiths and artisans, so they would be able to find work around the place. We’re still rebuilding, of course, so we have room,” he answered, “We were getting closer in finding the evidence that we needed to expose the crimes that Jin Guangshan has committed and Jin Guangyao, has been helping him with some of them that’s what we know about him. There isn’t a lot linking him to most of the crimes that Jin Guangshan has committed. We know that Jin Guangshan has Xue Yang under his thumb as well, I’ve got people tracking him as we speak.”
“I’ll send help for that,” Nie Mingjue said since the man had escaped from their dungeons of Qinghe.
“Thank you,” Jiang Cheng nodded, “They should be nearing Lanling within the next day or so. That’s where they’ve tracked him to so far.”
“I’ll send word in the morning,” Nie Mingjue nodded, as the three went quiet to finish their meal. As soon as they did a servant came in to take the tray of dishes away. Jiang Cheng knew he wouldn’t get more any more work done he got up and headed to the healing halls so he could stop in and see his brother and talk his sister into retiring for the night while he remained with Wei Ying.
Wei Ying woke slowly the next morning. The excitement of the last day keeping him asleep a little longer than Wen Qing and the others had believed. Breakfast was being served, but Lan Zhan had refused to leave Wei Ying’s side. Not wishing for him to wake up alone. Wen Yuan had been taken by Jiang Yanli to the breakfast hall, the young woman was healed up, though had been told to take it easy during the next couple of days to make sure that her back healed properly. “Where?” Wei Ying murmured as he opened his eyes, blinking as the light began to blind him.
“Wei Ying,” Lan Zhan breathed in relief as he closed the windows a little, to block out a little of the light in the room.
“Lan Zhan?” he puzzled, frowning at the man as he walked back towards the bed.
“I’m here, you’re safe Wei Ying,” he told him, taking hold of his hand.
“The Wen’s,” Wei Ying’s breathing began to pick up, “they… they’re gone,” he said, as tears began to fall. The only thing he could remember at that moment in time was Wen Qing and Wen Ning leaving him alone in the cave. Making him sleep, “They’re gone, they’re gone,” he repeated brokenly as he sobbed.
“No, no they’re not,” Lan Zhan reassured him, wiping away the tears, “They are fine, truly,” he said.
“How can they be, they handed themselves over to Jin Guangshan and he wants them dead as he wants me. If we’re all gone then the crimes he took part in will be swept away. No one will know what he did, that he helped Wen Rouhan, nothing,” he said, “No one will believe just me as I wasn’t there,” he finished.
“They’re alive, Sect Leader Jiang made sure of it. They’re here at Lotus Pier,” Lan Zhan reassured him, wishing the man would listen. But Wei Ying was just shaking his head and crying.
The door to the room opened a few minutes later as Lan Xichen and Wen Qing walked into the room, “Oh, you’re awake,” Lan Xichen smiled at him, walking towards the bed.
Wei Ying was looking past him as he watched Wen Qing walked around the room and head towards the bed, a cup in her hand, “Wen Qing?” his voice shock badly, the words just about decipherable.
“yes,” she nodded, “I’m here, Jiang Wanyin was able to get us all out, though…” she trailed off for a moment, shaking her head, “Drink this, it will help with the pain you’re still feeling,” she told him.
Wei Ying had no choice but to drink, pulling a face at the bitter taste. He then turned pleading eyes towards her and asked, “though what?”
“A-Ning is still missing, but they’ve already said that they will help us search for him,” she told him.
Wei Ying was quiet and nodded, “Jiang Cheng would help,” he agreed.
“What do you remember?” Lan Zhan asked him, wondering what was missing from Wei Ying’s memory.
“Waking up in the cave, seeing A-Yua-” he broke off trying to get up, “A-Yuan, he’s alone, I have to go and get him. I…I need to get him,” he panicked trying to push Lan Zhan and Wen Qing away from him so he could get off the bed.
“A-Yuan is fine,” Lan Zhan told him, finally able to push him back down on the bed, “He really is fine, he is with lady Jiang at the moment, she is watching over him.”
“Are you sure?” Wei Ying asked, not wishing to dare hope that his little radish was fine.
“Yes,” Lan Zhan told him, nodding, “I shall have someone ask her to bring A-Yuan here,” he promised, reluctantly letting go of his hand and headed to the door. He could hear his brother and Wen Qing checking the man over as he asked a passing servant to find Jiang Yanli and to bring Wen Yuan to the room for Wei Ying.
Lan Zhan went back to the bed, Wei Ying was now sitting up with a tray across his lap. His partner was glaring at the bowl of plain Congee that was there.
“You need to eat Wei Wuxian,” Wen Qing ordered him. With a pout, the man picked up the spoon and began to eat. They were all silent as they waited for him to finish, just as he did the door opened and Wen Yuan rushed into the room.
“A-Niang!” he yelled out running to the bed.
“A-Yuan,” moving the tray aside he bent sideways and grabbed the toddler pulling him into his arms, holding him tightly. “You’re really okay as well,” he sighed in relief.
“Mn,” Wen Yuan nodded, “Missed A-Niang,” he said, tucking himself into Wei Ying’s neck.
“You been good for your auntie?” Wei Ying asked him.
“Yes, A-Yuan be very good,” he grinned, glancing up for a moment before snuggling close again.
“Good boy,” Wei Ying smiled gently. He looked up and saw his sister, frowning for a moment as he had a flash of memory, “Shejie, You… were hurt?” he asked, worry and fear on his face.
“I’m fine now, I was healed up easily, it was you that was the problem. Because… because you didn’t have a core…” she trailed off, tears in her eyes as she recalled how he had died before their eyes.
“I…” he looked away.
“Wangji, I believe the two of you have something to talk about,” Lan Xichen smiled at his brother ad then looked at Wei Ying, “Welcome to our family.” They all left the room, leaving Wen Yuan with them as he refused to let go of his A-Niang.
“Lan Zhan?” Wei Ying asked, frowning as another memory flashed in his mind and the events in the spirit realm played out for him. “Oh… we… we bonded?” he asked, eyes wide as he looked at him.
“yes, Love Wei Ying, never wish to be without Wei Ying,” Lan Zhan repeated for him as he took hold of a hand and moved closer.
“Really?” Wei Ying asked, wanting to be sure, scared that it had all been a dream.
“Yes, Love Wei Ying, always,” he promised him, leaning down slowly, giving Wei Ying the chance to move away. Gently and chastely they kissed. Only to break apart when they hear a giggle from Wen Yuan.
Jiang Yanli walked alongside Wen Qing as they headed towards the entrance of Lotus Pier. Word had been sent not long after leaving her brother and Lan Zhan that the disciples that had been sent to fetch Jin Ling were spotted heading their way. She was excited to be reunited with her son. Jin Guangyao has been the one to help her to Nightless city. Though she could see the fear and worry in the young man’s eyes, telling her that as soon as they arrived she should run, head towards a village that was still occupied. In the end, she needed to see Wei Ying, to know what was going on.
The two Disciples descended from the skies, one of them carrying Jin Ling, who was fully wrapped up and protected from the harsh winds with Talismans. “Madam Jiang,” he said as he walked towards the woman and handed over her son.
“Thank you,” she smiled as she looked down at her sleeping son, tracing a finger along his delicate cheek. Her heart settled in her chest, though there was a little pain, knowing that Jin Zixuan wouldn’t see his son grow. She looked at Wen Qing, “here he is,” she smiled brightly, showing the other woman her son.
“he is adorable,” Wen Qing smiled at the baby, “Wei Wuxian was looking forward to meeting him. Did nothing but talk about since he got the invitation. He even made a very powerful charm to help protect him. But, A-Ning said that it had been destroyed,” she sighed sadly, “I don’t know if he would be able to make another one. he wanted to do so for A-Yuan as well,” she added quietly.
“Then… let’s take him to see his uncle,” Jiang Yanli nodded to herself as she walked with purpose towards the healing halls. She wondered how long it would be before her brother would be trying to leave and do something.
“A-Jie,” Jiang Cheng greeted his sister, a small smile on his face, his eyes had dark circles around them as he had been exchanging butterflies with Madam Jin most of the night as she made her way to Lotus Pier along with a number of Jin Elders and Disciples.
“Is everything all right?” she asked him, worried for her youngest brother, he looked like he hadn’t slept.
“Madam Jin is on her way here, she should arrive just before lunch, I’m just handling a few things to make sure everything is ready for their arrival,” he told her, “I heard Wuxian woke up, how is he?” he asked, he hadn’t had the time to see his brother at all that morning.
“He is well, recovering, he didn’t remember what happened at Nightless City,” Wen Qing answered him, “You should see him when you can, and try and rest a little, wouldn’t do for you to pass out from exhaustion,” she warned him, a little frown of concern on her face.
“I will,” he promised her, nodding before leaving the two of them after he cooed a little at Jin Ling.
“I worry about him pushing himself so much,” Jiang Yanli murmured.
“Hmm,” Wen Qing nodded.
“He wants to make sure that he is seen as a good Sect Leader, I don’t think he realizes that he is already seen as such. He helped to rebuild Lotus Pier, after all, he did so himself. No other Sect helped us at all, we did it alone,” Jiang Yanli shook her head and sighed heavily, “Come, let’s go introduce nephew and uncle to each other,” she said a small smile on her face as she walked.
Jiang Cheng walked through the halls towards his office once more, sitting down it didn’t take long for someone to knock on his door. “Come in,” he called out, going through the usual missives that had been waiting for his attention.
“Lady Jiang mentioned that you were busy,” Lan Xichen said as he walked into the room, once more Nie Mingjue following him.
“I have a few things to do,” Jiang Cheng told them, “Madam Jin is on her way here, I’ve already sorted out rooms for her and those with her. I’ve arranged for meals and everything else that I can think of,” he rambled a little, “Now I just have the usual business to take care of,” he added, sighing a little as Lan Xichen placed a tray down.
“Eat a little first and then carry on,” he advised.
Nie Mingjue nodded, “It’s hard, to suddenly be thrust into the spotlight,” he said softly, remembering one minute he was just the heir and then he was Sect Leader. His father’s death may have been expected, but it hadn’t been expected so soon after all. They all thought they would have another five years with him before he lost his life to Qi Deviation.
“Hmm,” Jiang Cheng nodded, “I thought I would have a long time, that Wuxian would be my second, he would help me lead. It’s what he trained to do,” he added quietly, looking at the food before him. Putting aside the missives he started to eat.
“You can’t do everything yourself, I know that you only have a few Elders of the Jiang Sect living at the moment, but ask them to help with some of the things. I’ve no doubt that Madam Jiang will be remaining here for the time being when she isn’t busy, maybe she could help,” Lan Xichen suggested. Neither of the two Sect Leaders knew what it was like to lose almost their whole Sect. From what had been learned, only around twenty or so Disciples had survived the Burning of Lotus Pier, and only three Elders had since they hadn’t even been in Lotus Pier at the time.
“You can always ask us for help, we don’t mind,” Nie Mingjue told him, “It’s hard, I had friends and elders to help me slip into the role as Sect Leader, Xichen the same. But to have it descend on you as it has on you. You’ve only just turned twenty, you’ve been Sect Leader since seventeen, it’s amazing what you have done. We watched as you rebuilt the Sect from the ground up.”
“You should finish eating and rest for a while before lunch,” Lan Xichen told him, concerned about the young man.
“I will,” he promised. he would need his wits about him when the Jin entourage arrived.
The two remained with him, helping sort out the rest of his missives before sending him to bed for a short while.
Madam Jin arrived with little fan fair, having been warned of the crimes that her husband and Jin Guangyao had been accused of. The Elders that had travelled with her, all against the arrest and the detainment of their Sect Leader and the disciples. She walked the rest of the way towards the entrance of Lotus Pier, the sprawling estate that made up the sect before her. She could see that there was still some damage to some of the buildings, but work was still carrying on to repair and rebuild. She knew that her friend would be proud of what her son had accomplished. She was still dressed in the mourning robes, her precious son ws gone, leaving behind a wife and child. She cursed Wei Wuxian’s name once more as she was greeted at the gates by Jiang Yanli and Jiang Cheng.
“A-Li,” she greeted the young woman before turning to the young man, “Sect Leader Jiang,” she greeted him.
“Madam Jin,” Jiang Cheng bowed, “Sorry for having called you away at such a time,” he told her, “Please, come with me, and we shall have some tea while I tell you what has happened.” he gestured for her to follow him, “One of your elders may join us,” he added, looking to the wizened men that had come with her.
“Jin Guiren,” she called out, “You will come with us, you’re the most level headed of the lot,” she snapped, not happy to be away from her mourning. She was less happy with the fact that her daughter in law had left Koi Tower running after that daemon Wei Wuxian.
“Madam Jin,” he nodded in agreement and walked with them.
“Sorry for leaving you,” Jiang Yanli said quietly as they walked, “I needed to see to something,” she added.
“You will tell me all later,” she made her promise.
“I will,” she nodded in agreement as they came to a quiet pavilion out on the water.
Jiang Cheng served them all some tea and light snacks. Knowing it was a hard journey that Madam Jin and Elder Jin had undertaken to arrive so fast at Lotus Pier.
“First thing I will say is that Wei Wuxian is innocent of the crimes he has been attributed with causing, which includes the death of Jin Zixuan,” Jiang Cheng said.
“He is your brother, you grew up with the wretch, of course, you’re going to say that,” madam Jin burst out, shaking her head in disappointment at the two f them.
Jiang Cheng ignored it, keeping his calm as he added, “Even Wen Qionglin or the Ghost General as he is known, is innocent. he was nothing more than a tool used by Su Minshan to try and kill Wei Wuxian,” he told her, explaining what he knew of the situation at the pass.
“How do you know all this?” she demanded to know.
“We have Su Minshan in custody, we interrogated him and found out he had been told what to do by Jin Guangshan and Jin Guangyao. He had been playing at Nightless city as well when the fierce corpses were attacking. I could see that my brother was barely in control and that something was affecting him. It wasn’t until after he had been s… stabbed that it came to light that there was someone else playing at the same time, distorting what my brother was trying to do,” Jiang Cheng answered her.
“So what is Sect Leader Jin being detained on?” Elder Jin Guiren asked him, eyes narrowed.
“Aiding a criminal in their experiments of making corpses. Causing the death of Jin Zixuan and others at the pass, as well as a number of war crimes against the Wen Remnants,” Jiang Cheng answered him quickly.
“And before you say anything, those that resided within the burial mounds were none combatants and healers. A child lived there as well,” Jiang Yanli added before they could even say anything.
“Look,” Jiang Cheng said bluntly, speaking much as his mother had done, “Jin Guangshan and Jin Guangyao spread the rumours about Wuxian from the beginning. we knew that it’s why we staged the break between us. I knew he was going to get the Wen’s from the Camp as well. I’ve even been to the mounds a number of times, sending what aid I could to help them. No one else was willing to actually investigate anything, instead, they all believed the lies that they had been told and persecuted my brother for something he was innocent of,” he told the two of them, “Not one person bar myself and Lan Wangji went to the burial mounds to see what was actually going on.”
“And no one wanted to believe what was being said about the burial mounds and those living there,” Jiang Yanli sighed heavily, her eyes sad at the thought of her brother had no choice but to remain there in order to protect innocent lives.
“My husband, no matter what he is, wouldn’t have sent our son to the Pass, so who… who sent my child to his death!” madam Jin demanded to know.
“Someone said that Jin Guangyao was the one to talk to Jin Zixuan about what Jin Zixun was doing,” Jiang Cheng answered her.
“That no-good bastard,” Madam Jin cursed.
“I don’t believe it was, Jin Guangyao was with me,” Jiang Yanli frowned, he was with me from before A-Xuan left me, he never left my side for the whole morning, not until we… we got word that A-Xuan had… had been killed,” she said, stumbling a little over the words.
“Are you sure?” Jiang Cheng asked her.
“Yes,” she nodded, A-Xuan left my side, to go and check on a few things. He told Jin Guangyao to remain with me and A-Ling until he returned,” she added, pausing for a moment, “It was an hour later when we were told that A-Xuan had left, Jin Guangyao was confused as to why he would. So I don’t think it was him,” she puzzled looking at her brother.
“I’ll see what I can find out,” he promised her, “We’ll find out the truth.”
“I know you will,” she smiled gently, and then turned her attention to her mother in law, “Jin Guangshan was after the amulet, he wants power and to take the place of Wen Rouhan, we told A-Xuan what was going on and he was beginning to help us in finding out what his father was doing. We had found corespondents that had happened between Jin Guangshan and Wen Rouhan during the Sunshot campaign, telling the Wen’s what we were doing,” she then turned to the Elder, “he was feeding information that ended up with a number of people from the three sects to be killed. If he hadn’t of done so we would have finished the war at least three months before we did,” she told him.
“He was what?” Elder Jin blinked, sitting up straight, shocked at what he had been told.
Jiang Cheng rolled his eyes, “he was feeding the enemy information, while Jin Guangyao was giving us what we needed to win,” he huffed, “Sect Leaders Nie and Lan wish to join me in searching his private areas to make sure that nothing else has been left there. Not only that by Wen Ning courtesy Qionglin is missing as well. And before you say he is dead that Jin Guangshan killed him. I made sure to place talismans on them all before they left for Koi Tower, they would be activated as soon as certain things start,” he said cryptically, not wishing to explain the talismans to them in case they were ever needed again, “everyone else came, bar him. So I believe he has been locked away somewhere in Koi Tower. I know that at one point he had Xue Yang, a wanted murderer working for him.”
“You can go and look if you wish, I will have a talk with the other elders as to what has been revealed,” Elder Jin Guiren nodded, still a little shocked at the revelations.
“Good, we won’t release him no matter what would be asked of us, we’re not giving him a chance to try and destroy anything. He was so sure that he wouldn’t be caught,” Jiang Cheng told them, “Now, we need to keep moving on this, we don’t want to let things go cold,” he said standing.
“You are going?” Madam Jin asked him.
“yes,” he nodded, “I need to see Wuxian,” he added, having not done so yet.
“He will be glad to see you,” Jiang Yanli smiled, “A-Ji and A-Yuan are with him,” she added.
“A-Ji? A-Yuan?” Madam Jin asked confused.
“A-Yuan is A-Xian’s son,” Jiang Yanli said, knowing that her brother had claimed him as such, “And A-Ji is Second Young Master Lan Wangji, he is A-Xian’s partner,” she finished explaining.
“I see,” madam Jin nodded slowly.
“Hopefully they are making him rest,” Jiang Cheng rumbled as he bowed to the two, “Sorry for leaving you so soon after you arrive.”
“I understand,” Elder Jin Guiren nodded to him, “I shall send a missive with you to give to the guards granting you the access that you need to where ever you need to look,” he said.
“I’ll have some paper and ink sent to you,” he nodded walking away from them and heading towards the healing halls. He knocked on the door for Wei Ying’s room and walked in. His brother was sitting on the bed, Lan Zhan nearby. Sleeping against his brother’s leg was the young toddler that had been following his sister around that morning.
“Jiang Cheng,” Wei Ying greeted enthusiastically, “Thank you,” he told him sincerely, “Thank you for saving them,” he repeated, grateful that his brother had done so.
“of course I would,” he told him, shaking his head, “I’m heading to Koi tower soon, wanted to warn you that I’ll be gone. You and A-Jie are going to be in charge, you know what needs to be done, I can trust you do so. Most of the things that you need to do can be brought here for you to read through and reply.”
“I will,” he nodded, “Be careful, I’m worried he has something there that could harm you.”
Jiang Cheng nodded, “I know, I’m prepared for just about anything, including Xue Yang showing up. I just need to receive the letter from Elder Jin Guiren and informed Sect Leaders Nie and Lan about whats going on, then I’ll be leaving.”
“Right, be careful, and Shijie and I will keep the place running,” Wei Ying grinned at him.
Jiang Cheng nodded and left the room in search of the two sect leaders. he came across them near one of the piers, “Sect Leader Lan, Sect Leader Nie, he greeted the two of them.
“Sect Leader Jiang,” Lan Xichen greeted, “Though I believe you can call me Xichen, as we are to be family after all.”
“Please, call me Wanyin, both of you,” Jiang Cheng told the two of them, he quickly explained what was going on and where he would be heading.
“We’ll go with you, we’ll bring a few of our forces with us and leave the rest here to watch over the Sect and to make sure none of them escape this time,” Nie Mingjue added, standing from where he had been sat on the ground. He was still angry over the fact that Xue Yang had escaped from the Unclean Realm.
“Thank you, we need to prepare for anything,” he warned them as the three of them went to get ready. It didn’t take long for orders to be given out and a guard rotating to keep the prisoners locked away. Lan Xichen and Nie Mingjue still wanted to talk with Jin Guangyao, but that would now have to wait. Though a small note had been sent from him to Nie Mingjue, the Nie Sect Leader hadn’t even read it. Not wanting to be betrayed yet again by the man.