- Rough Draft
- Work in Progress
- Discussion - Child Abuse
- Discussion - Genocide/Xenocide
- Discussion - Murder
- Discussion - Rape
- Discussion - Torture
- Disturbing Imagery
- Explicit Sex
- Hate Crimes
- No Beta
- Violence - Canon-Level
- Fix It
- Time Travel
Lan Zhan sat very properly as he watched more guests enter to greet the newest heir to LanlingJin. None who had entered so far was the one who he most wanted to see and from a glance at the head where Jiang Yanli sat by the cradle that held the heir she was also watching for someone and he knew it was not just her husband since she had sent him off just recently. Her brother was at her side and he too was intently watching the doors.
Suddenly there was a huge commotion and into the hall came Jin Zixun and several Jin disciples. “The Yiling Patriarch has murdered Jin Zixuan,” He yelled as he stormed towards the front.
Jiang Yanli let out a cry and Jiang Wanyin stood grabbing his sword. “Explain, “he yelled moving towards Jin Zixun.
Lan Zhan had also stood and moved toward the front. He needed to know what had happened. He could not for the life of him believe that Wei Ying had killed one he considered his brother in law.
“I had gone to confront him for cursing me.” He answered as he gave a cursory bow to everyone. “He had called the Ghost General when Jin Zixuan arrived and he ordered him to attack us.”
“Who was all there, who else can tell us what happened,” came Jin Gaungshan.
“I had some archers with me in case of foul play and these disciples,” he pointed to them men who had come in with him. They all agreed with what he said.
Jiang Yanli was shaking her head and crying. Her mother in law, also upset came and spoke to her in low tones. She took her brother’s hand and pulled him from the room. Lan Zhan could not seem to stop himself. He followed them out. He did not believe what Jin Zixun had said.
He followed them all the way out to a garden that held a lotus pond. Jiang Wanyin was holding his sister close as she cried.
“Do you believe him,” he asked straight out to them.
“He has been losing control since the SunShot campaign and he never approved of Jin Zixuan,” Jiang Wanyin snarled from over Jiang Yanli’s shoulder.
“But would he really kill him,” he persisted.
“A-Xian would not do it purposefully, something must have happened,” Jiang Yanli said through her tears. “We need to go now and find out what happened. He would not have sunk so low as to kill A-Xuan. He will tell me the truth of what has happened.”
“No A-jie. We can’t go there. He has done one thing too much.”
“A-Cheng, he has always tried to do what is just. We need to go and let him plead his case.”
“Fine, but we should go now before they send an army after him.”
“I’ll go with you,” he put in as they both started walking to an exit. “We should take to swords from here” and pulled out Bichen. Jiang Wanyin pulled Sandu and helped his sister onto it. They lifted off and head to the burial grounds.
They landed right outside the demon slaughtering cave to a bunch of scared civilians.
“Wei Wuxian,” shouted Jiang Wanyin.
Wei Ying stumbled out of the cave followed by Wen Qing and Wen Qionglin. He fell before Jiang Yanli. Kowtowing to her in abject misery.
“This one has wronged one he called sister. Please punish this one for his transgressions.”
“Tell me what happened,” Jiang Yanli cried. Her voice choked with tears.
“This one was on his way to celebrate the one month of sister’s son. There were 300 archers backing Jin Zixun. He thinks this one cursed him. This one tried to escape and lost control of the Ghost General…”
Before he could go any further, Wen Qionglin scrabbled beside Wei Ying prostrating himself before her. “Master Wei did not lose control. There was a second flute that took control of the ghost general. It took too long to break free and by the time I had he was dead. I took Master back here in the confusion. He is not at fault. I am the one who should be punished.”
This was the point it was decided to move the discussion inside the cave. Once there no one seemed to know what to do.
“Why, Wuxian,” Jiang Wanyin practically yelled as he paced. “Why have you gone down this path. You should have stayed at Lotus Pier. There would have been no issues then. You would not be in this situation.”
“Jiang Cheng it still would have happened. They want the power I hold and if I had stayed any longer at Lotus Pier they would have come after you. You know this. I really did want to save the Wen remnants but frankly it was just the perfect reason for us to cut ties to protect the Jiang sect. We had no allies. There was no one to stand with us. I needed to make sure that what I did to protect us in the SunShot campaign was not just going to see the Jiang sect destroyed totally where it could not even rise from the ashes.”
Wei Ying said this all as he knelt on the floor not looking up to meet anyone’s eyes. Lan Zhan tried to think of something that he could say or do but he was never good with words and now he had nothing. He had thought that with Wei Ying invited he would be able to help him, get him away from the resentful energy that was hurting him, but he was right. He could not give up his power without losing everything and yet still he lost it all anyway.
“Jiang Wanyin, when Wei Wuxian sent you to Baoshan Senren to get your golden core back it was actually so that I could transfer Wei Wuxian’s core to you.” Wen Qing suddenly announced. “He does not have a golden core anymore all he has is the resentful energy.”
“What, “Jiang Wanyin breathed coming to a full stop from his pacing.
Wen Qing walks right up to Jiang Wanyin. “Your golden core was crushed by Wen Zhuliu. Wuxian could not bare to see you suffer and considered that giving you his golden core would save you and your sect.”
“No, “Jiang Wanyin practically whispers shaking his head.
“I promised her I’d protect you and then I failed. I had to make it right.” Wei Ying sobs. Lan Zhan was in shock. This was the missing piece, the reason that he kept using the demonic path even though it would hurt him.
“I left the sect so I could not bring you anymore ruin. You are my family and I failed you. “His hands covered his face as he cried out his pain to them all.
“No,” Yanli said firmly as she stood from where she had been sitting. “We were in an untenable situation from the start. We fought against injustice and because of that injustice was visited upon us.”
“I lost my core trying to save you,” Jiang Wanyin said brokenly. “The Wen’s caught me when I led them away from where they almost found you when you went to get us food. I was never strong enough to protect us. I am not strong enough to protect anything. I know you only married him to save us A-jie and I selfishly let you go through with it because I thought if the sect fell at least you would be safe and even now I know that is a lie.”
“I do not regret going into the marriage to Jin Zixuan. I may not have been in love with him, but he treated me well. I would do anything to protect my family and this marriage was something I could bare easily.” She had grabbed Jiang Wanyin in her arms, and he had lowered his head to her shoulder. He looked small though he was much larger than her. “And it did protect us for a time even if it won’t any longer.”
“I can’t bare it. I can’t take this. Please Lan Zhan kill me. If you take my body back, they may hold off for a while. Especially if you burn all my notes. Wen Qing if you all hide you may be able to slowly leave the burial mounds to make it on your own. Get as far from this place as possible. Go to Meishan. It is wild and unruled. Jiang Cheng, Shijie go with Lan Zhan and say that it is done say the seal is destroyed and find a way to do it. I cannot let anymore ruin be brought upon you.”
“Take me there as a prisoner. Let them destroy me since it is my fault he died. Please Master Wei I do not want your death,” put in Wen Qionglin.
“I will go as well,” Wen Qing added, “I was in Wen Rohan’s inner circle they can take my life and maybe it will appease them enough to give you time.”
“No find another way,” he put in speaking for the first time since they got there. It was time for them to stop the grief and start actually thinking.
“What are we to do oh Hanguang Jun, shall we call upon the great Lan sect for help, who have called for the head of my brother but do not care about the corruption of the Jin which is becoming more like the Wen by the moment?” Jiang Wanyin snarled in hatred.
Though he would wish different he knew what was said was true. His sect called themselves righteous and did not follow the righteous path. They said nothing about the prisoners, and he knew they had killed their share of civilians. He was not upset by what he said since it was truth.
“No, Think,” he said staring straight at Wei Ying who still was on the floor rocking back in forth with his face in his hands. “Wei Ying, Think.”
He looked up out of his hands and stared at Lan Zhan. His stare was full of all his grief, his anger and then finally what Lan Zhan had hoped to see the flash of genius. “I have an idea.”
Lan Zhan thought that Wei Ying embodied his sect motto to the fullest. “attempt the impossible” was what he did with every breath he took. Now he told them his idea. He had been working through the equations and had come up with an array that allowed your soul to be sent back in time. Since the soul is what is moving it would turn back time to a certain point and nothing that had happened since that point would have happened. Different decisions could be made, and everything could change.
Now they were all arguing about who would be going back. Wei Ying wanted to go alone. Everyone had vetoed that pretty quickly. Lan Zhan thought that he should go back with Wen Qing since they were the most logic minded of the group. Wen Ning insisted he should go with his master Wei. Finally, the voice of true reason rang out.
“We will all go,” Yanli said as she looked up from Wei Ying’s notes.
“The power of the burial mounds, the stygian tiger seal, and our life force will be enough to channel all our souls back to the moment that the last of us had formed our golden core.” She says staring at each of them in turn. “From then on everything will be different and we will all make the choices that we feel will make our world somewhere we want to live.” She rose from the table she was working on and passed out certain pages. “We must get the array up. You know they will be coming soon,”
Lan Zhan took his and got to work. He would go back and work for justice and to protect the weak. He would stand beside Wei Ying and not block his way.
As they worked, groups broke off for a few moments for private conversations. There was only one person that Lan Zhan wanted to speak with. “Wei Ying, “he said softly as he cornered him after they finished a corner of the array.
“Lan Zhan, I’m sorry that you were dragged into this. You should have stayed away.”
“Never,” He answered intensely. “Will always work towards Wei Ying.”
“Oh Lan Zhan,” he said giving a look that he could not decipher. “I wish we could have been going on night hunts always.”
“We will,” he said trying to get him to hear him fully. “Come to Gusu.”
“I will, I will,” He answered hopefully. “We’ll be there for classes and I will meet you on the rooftop.”
“Mark your words,” he said boldly grabbing one of Wei Ying’s hands and squeezing it.
When the array was finally finished, they all stood in their designated spots. Lan Zhan, Jiang Wanyin, Jiang Yanli, and Wen Qing at the compass points with Wei Ying and Wen Qionglin in the center.
Shouting could be heard from outside as Wei Ying raised his flute to his lips and began to play. His eyes were the last thing that Lan Zhan saw.