Crossover Ficbit: A Long Road

Yesterday completely and amazingly blew up in my face. No serious harm was done, but I am completely impressed by Murphy and human incompetence combining forces to reach all-new lows.

So. You get a short bit of the crossover fic I’ve been working on while my brain has jammed on other stuff due to Why Murphy Why.

A Long Road

Ch 1: Wishes and Horses

“Riding horses is so slow.”

Gold eyes flicked at him, distinctly unimpressed. Guiding his chestnut mare with his knees, Nie Huaisang swept his fan in front of his face as if to ward that Lan gaze off.

Riding beside and a little behind him, like the proper bodyguard he wasn’t, Nie Zonghui snorted. Apparently the long weeks had left him fluent enough in stoic Lan to know Lan Wangji was only exasperated, not an active threat. Not that Zonghui couldn’t have drawn both sabers in a heartbeat and gone for the throat if things had changed.

Huaisang huffed, squashing a thoroughly childish urge to pick at the silver threads lacing his forest-green Nie robes. There was no reason his elder brother should have robbed himself of his right-hand man just to guard silly, frivolous Nie Huaisang on a mere diplomatic trip. Yes, he was the clan heir, but….

Well. No buts. He was the clan heir. This was a long trip, outside the familiar lands of the sects, or even the exotic nomad-covered plains. He needed a guard with him. Or his brother would worry.

And the length of several kingdoms and the Dhorisha Plains was a bit far to fly, even for the strongest cultivators. Which Huaisang wasn’t. Too strong with the saber meant too early a death, as it had been for every Nie cultivator for centuries. Mingjue was strong; strong enough to lead their sect when he wasn’t even thirty yet. Which meant the qi deviations weren’t going to stop. A few years, maybe a decade if the sect doctors could sit on him; Nie Mingjue was running out of time-

Breathe. Focus. You have a plan.

And it really was too far to fly. Especially when they were also supposed to be bringing a load of diplomatic gifts. Even if those gifts were in qiankun bags for safekeeping. Because this wasn’t just a diplomatic mission to get the facts on someone else’s army of the living dead, it was a potential trade mission. And if people in Valdemar didn’t have cultivators-

Mages, Huaisang reminded himself, free hand twitching toward his bow as he glanced toward an unfamiliar birdcall. He wasn’t the only one; between himself, Zonghui, and Lan Wangji they covered all points of the compass, looking for man-swallowing vines, fire-winged birds, or the flickering glows of ghosts not strong enough to manifest in daylight. The autumn woods surrounding their road were full of creatures they’d never seen before. Oddly, most of them weren’t even trying to eat anyone. The word they use north of Dhorisha is mages.


 

A/N: “路遙知馬力, 日久見人心” (“lù yáo zhī mǎ lì, rì jiǔ jiàn rén xīn”); “as a long road tests the strength of a horse, so time reveals a person’s heart.”

20 thoughts on “Crossover Ficbit: A Long Road

  1. Awww of course Nie Hauisang would travel across multiple countries if it would save his brother.
    Yeah Valdemar’s regular wildlife is pretty tame unless it’s near the Pelagirs.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. “So you have a Saber Technique.”

      “Yes.”

      “And the better people are at the Saber Technique, the faster they die.”

      “Yes.”

      “…”

      “…”

      “Have you ever considered… *not* using the technique? Maybe using one with a lower mortality rate? I hear good things about shields.”

      “From what I understand, ‘It is unthinkable that the Great Qinghe Nie Clan would abandon our pride and insult our ancestors in such a way.'”

      “…it represents their masculinity, doesn’t it?”

      “Yes, that is my conclusion.”

      Liked by 2 people

    2. *G* They’re in the Pelagirs.

      And yes. Nie Huaisang would go across the world to save his brother.

      He has a Plan.

      (Selenay may facepalm. Kero, however, will get it. Her brother may be a bit of an idiot but he’s her brother, and – there’s a whole song about her going off to save her brother’s betrothed, she has no room to talk.)

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      1. *G* They’re in the Pelagirs– In that case at least they can handle it ( yes Huaisang too he knows when to get out of the way)
        You have no idea how much I looking forward to Kerowyn meeting Wei Wuxian and the rest. I think she’s one of the few people who would get the entire Grandmaster mess.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. And not just her brother’s betrothed. She went because if they could prove someone at least tried, then the bride’s family couldn’t take offense. She was also canny enough to realize that, hm, how politically convenient this whole thing was. Yeah, if she can manage to have a sit down with some people, familiar tales.

        Just, Kero was one of my literary heroes growing up. I love her story, and her attitude of “it needs to be done, and no one else can.”

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Eeeee! This is faster than I thought this would come up! And so many little hints everywhere! The difference in terminology, and the really weird not trying to eat people wildlife. There so many shenanigans that I can see coming up. This is going to fantastic!

    Though I am sorry that this is coming at the expense of a Visitation from Murphy. I hope things get better for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have the first chapter roughed and have just started the second. I’ve been trying to get back to other things in progress, but… well, about Murphy yesterday?

      I’ll separate out for you one thing.

      I make an appointment with Relative’s lawyer to get certain things finally signed off on and done. I say over the phone who I am and what paperwork I’m bringing. I send it by email.

      I show up, and, “Oh, I thought you were (some other client with same last name), you’ll have to come back tomorrow!”

      I will spare you the rest of that conversation, it’s probably enough for you to know that round trip due to extremely heavy traffic due to bridge still out took about 3 hours out of my day. During which, of course, I could not write. Aaaaargh.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Well, several siblings litmus test for their relationship with significant others pre marriage was not, shockingly in this day and age, moving in together. No, no, it was getting into a car together for a road trip of a minimum of four hours in length, one way. Without any other people as buffers. They figured if a relationship could survive that, it was probably pretty solid.

      My cousin refurbished a bathroom built in the seventies with her significant other. Small space, prying up tile, and horrible wallpaper. It seems to have worked, they are all still happily married.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Yeah, there’s a lot more to a relationship than “Sex Good?”

        Sadly we live in the age where holding hands is actually more intimate than any sort of sex act you could think to name.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Completely different. It’d be taking place timewise before that could happen anyway. This fic’s set in the early bit of the Mage Winds Trilogy, about when Elspeth’s found the Hawkbrothers. So her traveling group and Nie Huaisang’s missed each other.

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  3. Well, I just woke up from a dream where the reason no one can find Baoshen Sanren’s mountain was because it’s the freaking Burial Mounds. Granted, it’s more likely in this crossover then in canon, but we were, indeed, in canon adjacent dreaming. It’s, a fun and interesting thought to share.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. And here I am looking at the Burial Mounds and thinking about some of the other heroic Necromancers I’ve encountered in Korean media and thinking most of them would love hanging out there (Jin-Woo from the web comic/novel Solo Leveling and Dark from the webcomic Hardcore Leveling Warrior in particular). It doesn’t hurt either that both of them have some experience with dealing with the leaders of a bunch of different organizations…

    Liked by 1 person

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