A Long Road Crossover Ficbit – Problems with the Plan

Black robes in the midst of a glittering banquet, lethal red glinting in gray eyes.

“Where is Wen Qionglin? I will count down from three.

Mingjue’s nostrils flared; likely also remembering that disastrous night. But he breathed, one slow meditation, putting out a hand to still Baxia in her sheath. “I know he was your friend.”

Still is. I hope. “He was our weapon during the war, da-ge,” Huaisang said plainly. “Did he ever kill those who didn’t need to be killed?” He blinked, and flicked his fan open again. “I mean, except for Wen Chao. Not that I think anyone could blame him for that. That was a proper filial revenge.”

“Even the hungry ghosts?” But some of the tension had eased out of dark-clad shoulders.

Especially the hungry ghosts,” Huaisang said fiercely. Yes, his stomach still flipped at the stories of how Wen Chao had been eaten alive. Still…. “The Wens slaughtered the Jiangs and left them where they lay, or dumped them off the pier! No cleansing ceremonies, no cremation – they would have created another Waterborne Abyss! What’s a hungry ghost next to that?”

“Easier to banish,” Mingjue admitted. Huffed. “Jin Guangyao swore the camps were well-maintained.”

“San-ge doesn’t know everything his father does.” Huaisang set his shoulders, and waited.

“Or everyone.”

“Eww!” Not that his brother was wrong, no, but – ugh. There were reasons female cultivators visiting Koi Tower tended to stay in groups. And most of those reasons were named Jin Guangshan. Ugh.

Mingjue breathed out; not quite a sigh. “It won’t work.”

“Da-ge-”

“Jin Guangshan wants the Seal. But his leverage is the Wens.” Mingjue met his gaze. “If they’re here, and the Yiling Patriarch fails to fall prey to whatever Valdemar used to stop the living dead, we’ll have the same problem all over again. Worse, if he does? How will we prove we don’t have the Seal, with the Wens inside our walls?”

Huaisang tensed, because… damn. He was right.

But it wasn’t a no.

19 thoughts on “A Long Road Crossover Ficbit – Problems with the Plan

  1. Well, at least we the readers know the answer is “because the Seal is Not Quiet when it’s destroyed.” But, he is right. It’s hard to prove a negative. Now, I’d much rather this be more thoughtful but I literally have to be on the clock in three minutes. So, I’ll be back this afternoon.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. On Wei Ying’s revenge– this is one of the times I really appreciate having a story in multiple mediums. Reading it in the novel was bad but see it in the anime? Whenever the sun shot campaign is brought up those are the scenes I see. It’s no wonder Wei Wuxian went full ghost revenge on the Wens.

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    1. I have a mental image of Selenay finding out about Lotus Pier, and thinking what kind of headspace she’d be in if everyone she knew in the Palace and all but a handful of her Heralds were wiped out. And knowing the headspace she was in after her father sacrificed himself on the battlefield with the Tedrels, and what she wanted to do to Ancar and his whole army after they got Talia back from being tortured.

      …I think she gets it, yes.

      Edit: Selenay’s canon reaction to Ancar attacking her country.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Point of order: No Lackey song is entirely canon to the Lackey universes, unless a main character actually sings it during a novel or story. That’s the whole point of the jokes about bards getting it wrong — because a lot of her books started as song ideas and song cycles, and vice versa.

        In-universe, the average Lackey song has got the same canonicity as me writing a song about a contemporary historical event or character.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Meaning, that they started as song ideas, but very frequently the song is quite different from what eventually became the story. By creating a separation between bard version and actual event, Lackey has plausible deniability about a lot of canonicity problems… not all, but a good many.

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    1. *Wry G* It’s also translated as the Yin Tiger Tally. Wei Wuxian created it from iron with an awful lot of resentful energy. He’s regretted it, the darn thing’s too dangerous and willing to answer to anybody. But he’s been backed into a corner where he can’t give it up.

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  3. Hey so, I have a lot of trust (and respect!) for how you handle characters, especially ones with complex circumstances like WWX. I wonder though, if this link might help with his ‘voice’?
    –> https://squidspawn.tumblr.com/post/644066960747937792/hey-so-sorry-to-have-to-point-this-out-but-wei#notes

    Bc a Lot of Western fandom coming into Chinese fandom miss something fundamental about MDZS – it’s not about justice. It’s about how society doesn’t care who’s right or most righteous. Just who’s got the loudest voice or the deepest pockets. It’s about growing up and how your parents choices don’t have to be yours. it’s about how circumstances can drive a man into a corner, and everybody has to live with the consequences. (sorry if those lines hit a sore spot).
    The thing so many miss with MXTX’s works is that she specialises in deconstructions of the genres she’s writing in.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, will check that out. The animation hits a lot of those points fairly well. That’s one of the reasons I like the story and setting; it’s a painful truth that so long as you’re living in a larger society, yes, most people care more about who is loud and rich than who is actually just.

      *G* I live for deconstructions! BTW, if you want to check out a western fantasy that deconstructs a lot of its tropes? Check out “Evil by Necessity” by Eve Forward. A bunch of villains out to save the world from being absorbed into the Light of Good!

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      1. I’d quibble that most people are very bad about identifying that which is just– given the vast wiggle room for “justice,” most folks want it, they are just worse at finding it than the guy who wants true love so he goes to strip clubs!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I can’t believe I didn’t think of this before, but man, how different are the Valdemar dead vs cultivator dead? If Wei Wuxian has been having the Burial Mounds (a mass grave/popular dump site) scream in his ears for, he, call it two years, spent a year in Lotus Pier (where the dead had to be screeching over how they’re doing it wrong, that’s not how you put that), the Sunshot Campaign for a minimum of two years (… enough said), Burial Mounds for three months, having to go through the sack of Lotus Pier, and before that the Tortoise of Slaughter? The second he gets around a graveyard that isn’t screaming in general and at him in specific, he’s either going to paranoid that something is about to land on him, or relax straight into sleep. Going by the hints you’ve given that he has Undead Empathy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. *Waggles hand* Hard to say. There’s a good argument that he actually brought a lot of the Burial Mounds dead with him, the first time he got out of there.

      And I haven’t even gotten into the vrondi yet.

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