No need to ask how any Wen had known to come to the Burial Mounds. By now rumors of the massacre at Qiongqi Path were spread across the cultivation world. He’d taken them all in; how could he not? There was nowhere else to go.
Then Wen Qing had come back from a town trip to trade medicine for food. And she hadn’t come alone.
“After Lotus Pier… there are water ghouls everywhere the corpses drifted. Meifeng was going to be married, but she went to the river to fish, and – she lived. But her betrothed, her family….”
Didn’t want a marred beauty unlucky enough to attract ghosts and monsters. Didn’t want a fierce, stubborn woman; too shameless to hide her scars, too determined to stand and walk even when gossip whispered that maybe the ghouls had done more than just tear her, after all she’d lived when any modest woman should have died-!
Meifeng had been the first desperate woman Wen Qing had brought up to the Burial Mounds. She hadn’t been nearly the last.
And now he’d dragged them all across a half-dozen kingdoms and most of the known world, because if he left any of them behind-
They’ll die. It doesn’t matter if they’re Wens or not. They were with me. No cultivator’s going to ask their clans before they cut them down.
We have to keep moving. I could do one more array–
“Oh no you don’t.”
Ow ow ow, Wen Qing had him by the ear, it wasn’t fair-!
“You need to rest.” Dark blue eyes narrowed at him; behind her, Wen Ning was doing a very bad job of hiding a worried smile. “Everyone needs to rest; we may not be walking far between the arrays, but spatial translocation takes it out of anyone. And it’s worse without a golden core.” Needles gleamed bright between the lady doctor’s fingers, even in the fading afternoon. “So you’re going to rest. Whether or not you can move is up to you.”
“I’ll rest, I’ll rest!” He threw up both hands in surrender-
Tried to. Wen Qing snatched the hand that wasn’t holding Chenqing, taking his pulse. And frowned.
“I’ll rest,” Wei Wuxian said softly, as Wen Ning passed the word to Fourth Uncle and limping Cousin Renshu to start organizing groups to look for the best nearby campsite and water. That wasn’t the annoyed doctor frown, that was the worried frown. He hated that one. “There’s a reason I’ve pushed so fast.”