A Long Road Chapter 2 Fanfic bit – Dragon Lines

Wei Wuxian walked a bit east of their anchor, so far there had been a general pattern… yes. There was a road curving north over the next hill, an even track through the autumn-leafed trees. But no one was on it. Yet.

Moving soundlessly to his side, Wen Ning cocked his head, listening. The black veins tracing his throat pulsed as he looked south, where Yiling was so achingly far away. “Birds. Animals. Some… tree yao?”

“Mm.” Wei Wuxian reached out with his own senses, trying to feel out what energy was resentful and what was only as knotted as the dragon-lines in their homeland. “Not many deaths. At least, not many human deaths.” Lifting a hand, he curled his fingers to beckon, studying the flame-red light of the ambient qi.

Orange reflected in dark eyes as Wen Ning frowned. “I thought… northern lands. Don’t have dragon lines.”

“Every land has dragon lines. Just like every human has meridians.” Wei Wuxian spread his fingers a fraction, feeling how the land’s energy brushed by the resentful energy in his veins; where it flowed, where it caught like cat’s claws in silk. “Cultivators clear and strengthen our meridians so we can move qi. Legends say our lands used to be like that too, thousands of years ago; energy flowing free through the world, so righteous cultivators could level mountains, or heal those on the brink of death.”

“Sect Leader Wen… didn’t like us to study the ancients.” Wen Ning looked aside. “He meant to be immortal, and surpass them all.”

Then he shouldn’t have burned Lotus Pier-!

Wei Wuxian stopped that thought before more than a waft of smoke could rise from his hands; black curling against flame-red. Resentful energy resonated with rage; flared stronger, harder to control. Worse, sometimes it seemed that when he got angry, Wen Ning got angry. And that… that wasn’t fair. Wen Ning had suffered enough from others’ fury.


26 thoughts on “A Long Road Chapter 2 Fanfic bit – Dragon Lines

  1. “Undead Empathy” indeed. And that, that makes a lot of sense. He spent a lot of time trying to control his cultivation, if he got swamped with everything, being attacked, Wen Ning’s own reaction to being surrounded by Jin cultivators, and then Jin Zixuan managed to accidentally trigger a fight response… yes Qiongqi Way was a stupid, tragic accident.

    But is just like Wei Wuxian to exhibit self care because otherwise someone else suffers. This may turn out to be one of the best things that could have happened, provided we can avoid other people triggering combat responses.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. IMHO? Wei Wuxian didn’t lose control of Wen Ning at Qiongqi Path, because he wasn’t controlling Wen Ning then. He was defending himself, he’d left Wen Ning free to defend himself. Wen Ning deliberately reached for “rampage mode” to protect them both, because hello three hundred archers. And it’s canon that in that frame of mind he’s reacting more on instinct than conscious thought – it’s faster.

      And a guy in Jin gold is right there next to Wei Wuxian, yelling and threatening him.


      So yes. Horrible accident. Terribly predictable to anyone who knows about serious PTSD. Which… cultivators apparently ignore completely. Oi.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. See, they’ve made the mistake of thinking the Spirit and the Mind are the same. It’s spirit, _mind_, and body, not just spirit and body, and they’re leaving one of the three out when trying to perfect the other two, thinking that they are perfecting that third part because of the knock-on effects of perfecting the other two… until the edge-cases where the one they missed triggers something and everything catastrophically disintegrates.

        Liked by 3 people

  2. Now I’m imagining Wei Wuxian at a Necromancers Convention.

    “How do I prevent my minions from responding to my emotions?”

    “That’s a feature, not a bug.”

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Oooooh, innnnteresting. The ancients Wei Wuxian is referencing are the pre-cataclysm cultivators?

    Looking at the other comments re; PTSD, that’s a thing Valdemar has an EXCELLENT lock down on. With their cultural focus on mindmagic, mental health is something they have to have a very good handle on given how damn dangerous even a mildly talented person with, say, mindspeech, can be if they lose control for any reason. Mental powers + horrible PTSD is a combination they have a lot of experience dealing with.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Oh yeah, mind speech is something they hold a tight handle on. Kero had her own fun with that the first time she got drunk in public. Her Talent acted up, and she was drunk enough not to filter her speech. She managed to convince people the next day that they didn’t hear her correctly/were actually talking. After that she drank alone.

      Of course, then she and Eldan turned out to be talking across the distance in her sleep for years. So part of that is she’s a really incredibly powerful mind speaker, and part of that may be a lifebond. I’m pretty sure their lifebonded. They may not be. There is precedent for a Talent that powerful in the Griffin books. But there were several circumstances that don’t apply here, and I don’t approve of how it was ultimately handled both for the in-universe reason and the fact that it was probably done for Plot Hole Avoidance Reasons.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I think it gets mentioned later that Need had a hand in the long distance mental link Kero and Eldan shared. I think it’s in the Winds trilogy somewhere when need is talking about some of the more out-there things she’s accomplished.

        I have a feeling that if Valdemar ends up giving Wei Wuxian PTSD help, the healers are going to have to deal with a potential feedback loop between him and Wen Ning…

        Liked by 2 people

    2. This is … Pretty much the entirety of Brightly Burning. Lavan was so traumatized by how his Gift woke his lifebonded Companion had to act as a safety valve … Which worked right up until she was killed by an invading Karsite army and then… Well only one thing grows in Burning Pines – the firecone pine tree that sprouted where Lavan and Kylara died. … That would probably be a very strange place for Wei Wuxian to pass through. Fire IS a purifier so I would imagine there aren’t any ghosts/resentful energy in the area. And on the matter of lifebonds it would be hilarious is Nie Huaisang met his in Valdemar. I can just hear Mengjue’s roaring at receiving a letter to the effect of: Hey brother, I’m getting married, you can cancel any ongoing betrothal. negotiations, you’ll meet her when I get back! Love, Huaisang!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Apropos of camping and pre-modern lifestyles… there’s a YouTube channel from Azerbaijan that’s all about cooking over fire, or using a simple wood oven. (Yeah, for once the algorithm showed me something I did want to see. It’s “Country Life Vlog” or “Kend Hayati” with weird Turkish letters.) It’s a fusion of instructional video with a sleep video, I swear.

    Anyway… there’s a sod-roofed house in the middle of the freaking steppe. Except they have a hobbit-like window. And a dog.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. So when is one of the Cultivation crew going to try ad ‘rekindle’ Valdemar’s Dragon lines? I’m sure nothing could possible go wrong.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. /That would be an awfully big project…../
        Would depend on if it’s “we need to plant a forest’s worth of trees” or “We drop the pebble right here to start the avalanche” sort of project.

        Both give big results but the latter is more starting a chain reaction and then sitting back to watch the fireworks.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Aren’t they the same as what the Tayledras and Rethwellan mages call ‘ley lines’? (As noted in the Ao3 chapter comments, I detest ‘ley line’ for being a New Age-y inauthentic 20th century invention, but to be fair Lackey started this series before the internet made deeper research more easily available; same as Gygax and D&D’s ‘chain mail’.) I don’t want to reread the Elspeth Is Right About Everything trilogy, but I don’t recall her noticing anything wrong about the telluric currents in Valdemar proper.

        The Pelagirs remain messed up wherever the Hawkbrothers haven’t fixed them, and of course after the reverse Cataclysm happened all the established streams of magical power were wiped out and needed to be reset before they tangled up again. But shouldn’t the cultivators wonder what’s up, when they find a land with such orderly flows of power and no mages doing anything with them?

        Hmm . . . who among cultivators can see vrondi?


        Liked by 2 people

      3. Well, first off, currently Wei Wuxian et. al. are in the Pelagirs. Which border Valdemar, Rethwellan, and a lot of other kingdoms.

        Second – cultivators have lived so long in magically messed up territory, they don’t have the training to use ley lines anymore. Using power outside yourself gets you killed. Wei Wuxian’s ghost path does use outside power… and you note everyone agrees it’s horrendously dangerous.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not sure who that would go considering Vanyel tied all of Valdemar’s let lines into the Heartstone beneath the palace and then connected it to the “pool” of users he represented i.e. the Heralds. Said Heartstone is also what is powering the vrondi watchers.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. To be fair, from everything we get in canon through Storms, Valdemar actually has some of the healthiest ley line networks, because not only are mages *not* routinely messing with them, the Companions themselves seem to have some sort of effect. Also, having at least one(or more likely two) Permanent Heartstones Likely has some odd effects. (The one that powers the Grid to warn the Heralds and call the Air spirits in the palace, and then the one possibly still going in Lineas, which I hope has actually finally finished working on that crack in the mantle!)

    I do rather like that they have actual Mind Healers in the series, it makes it make more sense.

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s