- Rough Draft
- Work in Progress
- Discussion - Child Abuse
- Discussion - Murder
- Discussion - Rape
- Discussion - Torture
- Disturbing Imagery
- Explicit Sex
- Hate Crimes
- No Beta
- Violence - Canon-Level
- Fix It
- Time Travel
So maybe being in the past wasn’t as easy as he had thought it would be. Jiang Cheng had forgotten how it had felt to have parents who only seemed to care about him in respect to how well he did in training. He was only 6 years old. Why would they not treat him as a child, not just a child but their son?
At least he was not alone. He curled up with a-jie and Wuxian on A-Jie’s bed. They had all arrived back in time when Wuxian had formed his core. Which in time was about 6 months after he had arrived on Lotus Pier. Luckily, they were friends and brothers at this point so when his core fully formed, and they were back in the past it was not unheard of for them to celebrate the success together.
It was interesting too that he noticed that father really did not treat Wuxian better than he treated him. He may have looked like it to a stupid kid, but he could tell that father didn’t even see him when he complimented him on his core completion with a hug. It was like he was looking through him not at him.
“I don’t want to hurt you again,” Wuxian whispered to them from where he cuddled into them. “I should leave so I cause you no more trouble.”
“Don’t be stupid,” He grumbled. “I am your sect leader and you will stay with me. This time you will not leave me. We will be strong together, all three of us.”
“In the past we did so much apart because we all thought it would protect the others, but it did not work. This time it will be changed. We will stay united. My brothers will not be parted from me. I will get stronger too.” Said Yanli with a conviction that burned in a voice he rarely heard from her.
“You are sect leader and I will support you always,” she said squeezing Jiang Cheng close. He felt tears in his eyes because all he ever had wanted was to be sect leader so he could protect all that was precious to him. Maybe this time he would be able to.
“We are Yunmeng Jiang and we will attempt the impossible,” said Wuxian through his tears. “I will not go alone again if you really do not want me to though I may bring us ruin again.”
“You brought us ruin when you did not trust us to take care. When you went alone. From now on you will show loyalty not through selfish unselfishness but through unselfish selfishness. You are my hands in this world. You will not leave this time.” Jiang Cheng let his fury out. His brother would not leave him behind this time.
“You are my lord; I will not leave.”
“I will not leave either, even if I marry, I will be by your side,” said his sister. “We are lotuses and we will thrive.”
“and make really tasty soup,” Wuxian put in.
“Wuxian!” he yelled and smacked him with a pillow. It started a pillow fight that left them laughing and happy till they fell asleep.
“We should have come up with some kind of plan before we came back,” Yanli mused as they lounged around having a picnic under a tree.
“I don’t know if I can handle being this young,” Jiang Cheng lamented as he looked up into the leaves. “I glared at the shidis for their form this morning and I know I heard a few of them cooing at how precious I was.”
“I am very short; it is very inconvenient.” Said Wuxian as he grabbed another pastry.
He heard a sob and looked over to find his sister crying. “I have given up my A-Ling, I held him under my heart for 9 months.”
“Shijie, no don’t cry. He will come back to you. Soul’s that will be together will come together. He will come to you when the time is right.” Wuxian scrambled over to curl against a-jie. He also moved closer to her though he did not know what to say. He had only met Jin Ling a couple of times and had not formed a firm attachment to him except that he was shijie’s. Still there was a twinge of pain in his heart for what might have been.
“But I do not see myself with Jin Zixuan. I won’t force myself into a marriage unless I love that person.”
“We will find you someone to love and then you can have Lingling again. “Wuxian paused as if ordering his thoughts.
“Resentful cultivation is closer to the soul in some ways then spiritual cultivation is. I have seen the threads that bind souls together. Children always come to the mother. Their souls are bound to them. Lingling will come to you when he needs to be born. I promise.”
She pulled them both close and she continued to cry but he hoped they were healing tears. They stayed out the rest of the day exorcising more demons from the future.
After dinner they all met up again is Shijie’s room cuddling on the bed.
“I promised Lan Zhan we would meet at cloud recesses during the classes.” Wuxian said wistfully. “I have barely seen him since the war and yet still I miss him.”
“You will meet him again and if you want, I will kidnap him for you to bring back and hide away at Lotus Pier.” He said to his brother earnestly. Maybe this time when they met his brother would not be oblivious to the feelings that were between them.
“Jiang Cheng,” he cried with a blush.
“I will help you didi,” Yanli said with a smirk.
“The lotuses of Yunmeng Jiang shall always prevail,” he said to his siblings with a smirk.
He would ensure his siblings happiness this time as well as the safety of his sect.
The weeks went by as they tried to acclimatize to being children again. It was easier than they expected and that saddened them all. They really had not had much parental support in their younger years and even did not have much in the way of supervision at all. Jiang Cheng thought of what a genius his brother was since he really had no support and yet he had been able to be one of the top cultivators of their age and then even invented a whole knew way to cultivate. Jiang Cheng had tutors since he would lead the sect but most of what Wuxian picked up was from his sister and the older disciples. He knew he didn’t even really get any formal training till he was 12. Till that point he picked things up and helped out around them.
Since they had come back, he had set about learning all the knowledge that had been lost when Lotus Pier had burned. There had been things that he had not paid as close attention too and secrets he should have known but had not learned, too insecure in his place. But this time he would learn it all and keep Lotus Pier safe in himself.
He had also been helping Yanli. The first time their father had taken no interest in her training and their mother had not trained her either since she was to go to an alliance marriage and not to the Yu. Their mother had really not been cut out to raising children or even training anyone younger than 14.
His sister was learning with a determination that he had not seen in her before. She studied and practiced sword forms with a focus that did her well.
Thus they spent the next two years learning what they could on their own and when that was not enough they managed to get all three of them sent to learn with their mother’s sect. All they had needed to do was ask their Grandmother on one of her visits and she took all three of them with her. She was in some ways similar to their mother in that she did not relate well to children, but she knew to delegate to people who did know. She also showed she cared in her own way for all three of them even Wuxian.
They travelled with the wandering tribe of cultivators for 3 years in the wilds of Meishan. Jiang Cheng learned more about cultivation then he had in his previous life and wondered if his mother had been willing to train them this way if they would have surpassed even the twin jades.
When Jiang Cheng turned 12 the first major change in their personal lives happened. They were sent to come back to Lotus Pier because their Mother had died.
The plaque had been placed in the hall of ancestors and they had lit incense and bowed. Jiang Cheng felt sadness, but it was a faraway sadness. He had not even seen his mother in the last 3 years that they had traveled with different members of the Yu sect. He had not even really thought about the fact he would not see her. He had loved her as a child loves their mother, but he was not a child and he had dealt with her loss once before. When they had come back, he had not tried to connect with her at all. It made him an unfilial child but then he had always thought that his mother had not treated him as a child but as a disciple to be trained and no more special then the next one. Even when she had sent them away and died it did not seem to be to him because she loved him but because she needed to save the sect.
He knew that he had been too broken when he came back to try and fix something that he had no idea how to fix. He did not know his mother. Unfortunately, now he never would. That thought did give him a feeling of regret and a sorrow at the lost chances.
“I’m sorry,” Wei Ying whispered from where he sat with Yanli and him in a pavilion on the water.
“There is nothing for you to be sorry for,” Jiang Cheng said in confusion.
“I did not save her again,” he said just as softly.
“A-Xian, this is not your fault,” cut in Yanli. “Everything that happens is not yours to fix. We came to the past to stop some of the errors but as soon as we go here you know there is no way to predict everything that was going to go down. We do what we can, but everyone has free will. You cannot control everything that happens, and it will be different. We were away and mother went on night hunts. One of those night hunts ended with her death but that is not your fault. She could have gone on the night hunt no matter what and died. This time she did. It is not on any of us.”
“Then what was the point of us coming back if not to save everyone we lost,” Wuxian almost yelled at Yanli. Jiang Cheng was frankly a little shocked by that. His brother would never yell at their sister.
“We didn’t come back to save everyone A-Xian,” A-jie said softly. “We came back because the future was too much to be born. We had won but than we had also lost. There was too much hatred and we could not just live our lives. I came back because I was selfish and could not stand seeing you and A-Cheng tear yourselves apart anymore.”
“I came back so I could once again have my brother and sister with me. I care nothing for the rest of the world except where it affects us so this time, I am working to make sure I am never backed into a corner again. I mourn the mother we could have had but I have already mourned her in another life. I understand much more now, and I can wish for might have been or I can work towards a happier future. I want the happier future.”
“I just feel as if I have done nothing to help anyone since we have returned.” Wuxian whispered. “I don’t know why I thought I would come back and be able to right all the wrongs instantly and we would live without fear.”
“Because you are always thinking you have to save everyone personally.” His sister scolds. “I had thought we had been working through this, but it seems to be still ingrained. A-Xian does not need to save everyone. He just needs to help when he can and let others take care of themselves. If you do everything for someone, they will never learn to do for themselves.”
Wuxian let out a shaky breath and looked between him and A-jie. “I am trying, and I will work on this more. Just don’t think that I will stop helping either of you or the Jiang sect. You are my family and family should help family.”
“Agreed,” He put in, taking his brother’s hand and squeezing it. “If you remember too that everything is not your fault and that sometimes things happen.
“I know I was not wrong to help the Wen in the future, but I know that I went about it the wrong way. I think that we were all backed into a corner and when we tried to get out it just left us open for them to come at us.”
Jiang Cheng decided to admit something to his brother and sister. “I should have done something sooner about the Wens we knew at the end of the SunShot campaign that the Jin were committing atrocities and we turned a blind eye. I felt our position was still too week and frankly I was still bitter and seeking revenge from the destruction of our sect. I turned a blind eye because it was the easiest thing to do and it lost me more than I wanted to give up.”
“We have all made mistakes and we will live our lives forward to be just and protect those in our care. Including each other.” A-jie spoke up giving each of them a hug. Jiang Cheng leaned against her then soaking in the comfort of the loving touch.
“Now we have 4 years till we went to Cloud Recesses originally so it is time to start setting the stage so we can make Jiang Sect strong enough to stand against those who come at us.” He said as he leaned against his sister and reached out to hold the hand of his brother on the other side.