- 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
“Are you sure you are all right with this arrangement A-jie?” Jiang Cheng asked his sister as he waited for the formalities to begin.
“Yes A-Cheng, it was my idea to begin with. I know you and A-Xian would want me to marry for love, but I enjoy being able to do my duty to my family and this also rescues someone at the same time. I like being the rescuer. I am happy with the situation.” She straightened his clothes and hair as she spoke.
This whole issue started about 6 months after their mother’s death. A Wen delegation had come to offer condolences about the death of Madam Yu and speak on issues that affected the borders where their sects met.
The three of them had been taking an active role in the running of the sect since they had returned from Meishan, so were at the meeting with the delegation. Jiang Cheng hadn’t noticed anything within the discussions but A-jie obviously had. She had pulled them both away and told them that the Wen might be willing to enter into a betrothal agreement with Lotus Pier. She had said they should seriously consider it since it sounded like Wen Qing was being offered.
Jiang Cheng had at one time had a slight crush on Wen Qing which had cooled with the destruction of his sect. Over the years he and his siblings had spoken about what had happened and the fact that not all Wen’s destroyed their sect and that wholesale destruction was never the answer. This let him cautiously agree with A-jie that a betrothal could be possible.
A-jie had surprised him when she went into talks with Jiang Fengmian and the Wen representative and came out with not only a betrothal between him and Wen Qing but also between her and Wen Ning.
Wuxian at the time had thrown a temper tantrum, it was a long time in the making. He had needed to let out all the issues that he kept inside, and his mental wounds had needed to be lanced. He thought they finally had gotten through to him that he was not the cause of all the problems that happened and that he didn’t need to sacrifice himself to be happy.
He did have to admit to himself that Wuxian was not the cause of all the problems. He knew that he had been used as a catalyst but it was not because of him it was because others did evil things and if not him then it would have been someone or something else that would have caused the Wen to destroy Lotus Pier. It had taken him years to get to that point and he hoped that Wuxian would also get there.
After Wuxian had calmed down he was excited because A-jie had worked it out for Wen Qing and Wen Qionglin to come to Lotus Pier for the betrothal period. He knew his brother had grown remarkably close to both in their time in the burial grounds. He felt a little jealous but A-jie had pointed out that they could become their friends too not just Wuxian’s.
“We want you happy Shijie,” Wuxian said as he entered the room they were in. “We don’t want you to put yourself in a situation that will cause you distress.”
“I am happy now and I can be happy in this as well. Wen Qionglin was a sweet young man in the future and I am sure he has not changed much. I think this is a very advantageous match.” She smiled sweetly ant them both. “Now come along the ceremony is starting.”
Jiang Cheng barely paid attention to the ceremony. Jiang Fengmian, as their father handled most of it. His sister and he just stood there and looked pretty. Wuxian was also there but he was standing with the rest of the disciples for this and smirking, since he was not the one being betrothed.
Jiang Fengmian had already journeyed to Qishan to bring the dowry and betrothal gifts. Now the Wen were bringing their betrothal gifts and dowry as well as Wen Qing and Wen Qionglin who would stay here from now on. The marriages were already planned for when he and Wen Qionglin turned 16. The youngest you could marry.
After the ceremony and the feast, the five of them went together to the corner of Lotus Pier that they had taken over. When they returned from Meishan, they had brought back more than themselves. As his mother had Yinzhu and Jinzhu. He and his siblings also had been courted and chosen loyal retainers to bring back. They were part bodyguard and part personal assistant. They had sworn themselves to them personally. It was something done only in Meishan and now Lotus Pier.
A-jie gave them the tour of the personal quarters and then led them to the private library. Wuxian erected the privacy seals when they were inside and then looked like he was going to start crying.
“Your both alive,” he said, with tears choking his voice.
“Very much so Wei Gongzi,” Wen Qionglin said with a sweet smile.
“Yes, and Wen Ning has picked up some bad habits,” looking at Qionglin with an arched eyebrow. “He’s taken to killing people that he thinks will cause issues.”
“Jiejie, I killed two people that is hardly a murder spree,” He said with exasperation. “Just Wang Lingjiao and Wen Zhuliu. They had already done some unbelievably bad things.”
“Aya, Wen Ning always had a bunch of resentment,” Wuxian said with a smirk. His tears gone for now.
Jiang Cheng was a bit surprised with this piece of news. He hadn’t expected much to have been done. They had been children and none of the boys had hit their growth spurts. “Well I am certainly not sorry for their deaths.” He said as he leaned back on his hands where he was sitting. “Too bad you weren’t able to take any of the rest out.”
“Well I did tell Wen Chao about this scroll I found with the directions to the Xuanwu of Slaughter and how I wished I was staying in Qishan so I could go hunt it and bring glory upon myself. I even showed it to him with the special array that would take out the Xuanwu.” Qionglin said with that sweet smile, just like A-jie. Maybe they were a better match then he thought.
“You didn’t, “Wuxian said in equal measures glee and horror. Jiang Cheng thought he sounded like he knew something.
“That array you designed, when we were talking about calling those creatures to you in a contained space, yes I did. Of course, I left that he should be inside the array not outside it so that could be an issue if he can’t kill it on his own.”
“That’s Amazing!” Wuxian said as he jumped up to give him a hug.
“That’s disgraceful, A-Ning. I thought I told you to run by anymore killing through me.” Wen Qing was squeezing the bridge of her nose with one hand with her eyes shut and shaking her head.
“He may not die, Jiejie. He could be the coward he is and not go.”
“I know you made it sound and look so easy and simple that he could do it with no fear. You know that is just the thing he would do. He’ll be dead by the end of the month.” She sighed and then straightened up. “As you can see, we have changed some things there are people who were alive and vital to the Wen campaign in the future that are no longer around.
“Also, and though it sounds prideful, I am sure that I am the only reason that Wen Ruohan did not suffer more from his dealings with resentful energy was my treatments. I do not think he will be able to do as well this time because, I have also sabotaged the items where I learned how to treat him and I doubt that anyone else could figure it out.”
“Well, we travelled to Meishan and rode around on horses,” Jiang Cheng said feeling a little baffled on how much they seemed to have accomplished.
“A-Cheng don’t look down on what we have done,” said A-jie. “We have worked on making sure we will be in a place to allow our sect to grow and change. We have earned the loyalty of several members of the Yu who have sworn themselves as our vassals. We are making sure we are ready for the future and now we are even joined by the greatest healer of the age, though she may not be known that way for now and the young man, who stood by his convictions even though it meant his death.
“Now I don’t see that there is really any planning that needs to be done. Wen Qionglin, you will join the boys in their training with the disciples.
“Wen Qing, I know that it has already been set up that you will work with the healers of the pier, but I do think you should join me for training. I have already spoken with the head healer about your schedule and time has been set aside to join me for sword work, along with hand to hand.”
“I am pleased to join you in those endeavors,” Wen Qing said bowing to A-jie.
“I look forward to joining the training of the Jiang disciples.” Qionglin also bowed.
“Let us adjourn for the evening and we can discuss more things later. I’m sure everyone is tired.” With that his sister stood and bowed to the Wen’s.
Jiang Cheng also stood but moved to intercept Wen Qing. Wuxian had swung an arm around Qionglin’s shoulder leading him out of the room while chattering away.
“Wen Qing, could we have a word?”
“of course, Jiang Gongzi.” She stayed, where she was instead moving toward the door.
He was a little disgruntled that he still had not grown enough that he did not need to look up to meet her gaze. “I wanted to say that though there is much that lies between us, I do think that an alliance between us can work. I am willing to work towards having a good marriage if you will as well.”
She gave him a tiny smirk, probably thinking about how those words were coming out of a 13-year old’s mouth. “I am more than willing to work towards that Jiang Gongzi, I will not do something without your knowledge as I did before. I did like you before and I feel that we can grow into this relationship.”
“Was that a short joke?” he groaned. “I feel like that was a short joke.”
“Maybe,” she said with a grin. “Why don’t you show me back to my rooms.”
“Follow me,” he said leading from the library.