A Long Road Chapter 2 Ficbit – Not Tired

“It’s too dangerous to use the Seal because it’ll answer to anyone, no matter how much they don’t know about the ghost path, and it has too much resentful energy for anyone to safely channel for long. Even me.” Wei Wuxian took a breath. “But those aren’t the real problem.”

“They’re not,” Wen Qing said flatly. “Wei Wuxian. What have I told you about proper diagnoses and laying out all the symptoms?”

“It’s n-not his fault, jiejie.” Wen Ning fisted his hands to keep himself from wringing them, then crouched to let A-Yuan scramble into his arms. “In the Burial Mounds, there’s so much flowing….”

“No, I had hints,” Wei Wuxian admitted. “I couldn’t be sure until the Seal was too far from the Burial Mounds to draw from that resentment first.” Oh, this was not going to be fun. “The Seal has too much energy. But worse… it keeps drinking in more.”

Wen Qing’s breath hissed. “Not my imagination. It was getting more nasty.”

“I tried to shift more of the flow toward the wards, to protect us.” He ducked his head. “But you were right.” And she’d never, ever let him forget it-

Let it go. Solve the real problem.

“The point is, we’re far enough from the Burial Mounds that the Seal can’t drink from them. It can only pull in resentful energy nearby.”

She sat up straight. “And you’ve been using everything near the anchors to feed the arrays.”

“And some energy from the Seal,” he nodded. “It’s slow. Like emptying a well with a ladle-”

Her shoulders stiffened. “Don’t tell me you’re making it safe.”

“No.” No, he’d never lie to her like that. “Just… less dangerous.”

“I hate the fact that that’s an improvement.” She contemplated the depths of her empty bowl. “Fine. But don’t push any harder than today. Good meals and rest aren’t enough to balance this much qi exhaustion long-term. Think of Granny. Think of A-Yuan.”

“Not tired!” The boy waved his hands from his perch on Wen Ning’s shoulder, almost jamming his fingers in tied-back black hair.

“Well of course not,” Wei Wuxian said valiantly. “But I am. And I still have to talk to your Qing-jie and Ning-gege about some really boring stuff! Maybe you could bring your bowl over to Granny so I can stay awake long enough?”

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22 thoughts on “A Long Road Chapter 2 Ficbit – Not Tired

  1. Oh, that is nasty. As soon as you spoke about the Seal, I immediately started running through my, admittedly limited, canon information about it. And it fits. It fits so well. And explains why the Burial Mounds were able to be breached during the First Siege when nobody had managed to survive them until Wei Wuxian.

    And, well. I can see why he didn’t say anything to Wen Qing. What could they do? It’s a sink, it’s a terrible, awful sink. And he can’t get rid of it, not safely. If he could think of a survivable way to do so, he’d destroy it in front of the entire cultivation world, grab his people in the aftermath, and disappear. (Possibly into hidden valleys in Qishan itself. There have to be places that residents can get to that outsiders wouldn’t know. Maybe not feasible to go to with a bunch of exhausted refugees on foot, but extant. On a related note, I’m trying to find a way that doesn’t require a brand new app to get my hands on the Untamed spinoff movie staring Wen Ning and Lan Sizhui in Qishan. More buddy cop shenanigans, less the UST of Wangxian. The commercials look good. And I want to see more of Wen Ning‘s fighting style, because it looks so cool.)

    Wei Wuxian is such a good dad. He may have a very Gobber (of How To Train Your Dragon fame) approach to teaching, but he also knows what lack of reasonable restraint and rules did for him.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve looked up a lot of what people headcanon about the Seal, and what little canon info there is. Rough consensus seems to be that it stores a lot of resentful energy, and it’s an Amplifier Artifact. And canon Wei Wuxian probably only used it once or twice – at the original Nightless City fight that took down Wen Ruohan, the backlash from controlling whole corpse armies put Wei Wuxian in a coma for days. He wants it gone as much as anyone!

      I want to see The Living Dead too. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Sooo…he manages to get the artifact that sucks in nearby resentment away from the biggest area of resentment only to end up in Valdemar who recently had a war and are now afflicted with many areas of resentment heavy areas because they have no one to cleanse them? And that artifact is usable by anyone? At least none of the big bads in Valdemar know of its existence or Wei Wuxian would get no peace at all.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Point to Huaisang, getting the malicious spiritual artifact far way from Jin Gaungshan is at least working . Now hopefully the seal can be destroyed without the need for Wei Wuxian’s death.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Pretty much. Wei Wuxian’s current hope is 1) Get the Wens far enough away from pursuit he won’t need the Seal, and 2) drain the Seal to the point he can survive destroying it.

      Because he honestly doesn’t want to die. People to take care of! Ghosts to put to rest! Figuring out how Wen Ning can get drunk again, because that’s really not fair of the universe…!

      Wen Ning: *Facepalms, because priorities….*

      Liked by 1 person

      1. At this point, whatever keeps him alive is good. Ideally he wants to live for himself, but until he gets to that point there is no shame living for whatever little reason he can come up with.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. I remember a fanfic in the MCU where they pointed out that the Infinity Stones were too dangerous to really benefit from, but too powerful to just let anyone have them, so they were “lost” and “secured” and “gifted” in various ways until they ended up on Earth because Earth is too isolated to dump them on anyone else.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Something cool that the *Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes* cartoon did was put Earth/Midgard at the center of the universe, where practically all of space travel has to go through because it’s *stable*. The reason the Skrulls and the Kree wanted Earth in that series? The “hyperspace lanes” (forgot what they’re actually called in-canon) in and around Earth are the easiest and quickest to use. Translation: all space traffic goes through, around, or near Earth because all the portals are safest and easiest to open/operate *here*. Everywhere else, you have to compensate for whatever interferes with space travel. And even if you *do* take those precautions, things can get dicey, to say the least.

        Yeah, I’d want the Avengers, X-Men, and a dozen other superhero teams guarding Earth after learning *that* little detail, too….

        Liked by 3 people

      2. I like the ‘waste dump full of hazards’ world building idea. It is something that I’ve tried to use many times before.

        I’m not sure I can explain why. It is an excuse for dangers, without having to contrive a reason for someone to be malicious against the protagonists, and hence being able to avoid coming up with an explanation for why hypothetical malice person isn’t competent enough to kill the protagonists outright.

        Liked by 3 people

  4. Well, hopefully he can pull off the let’s make the extremely dangerous artifact less dangerous and capable of being destroyed. Because that seal is starting to sound like the One Ring levels of bad to keep intact . . . maybe some new friends in Valdemar will help with that project?

    Through I imagine that certain parties aren’t going to be too happy about said dangerous artifact being destroyed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think maybe more obviously powerful, but doesn’t hit the same power tier due to metaphysical issues.

      Melkor/Morgoth and Sauron are a little bit more connected the overall setting than the sources of the Yin Tiger Seal are. Okay, Morgoth wasn’t involved with The One Ring, but I decided that leaving him out was too much of an abbreviation.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Another good analogy could be doing manual/hands-on criticality tests with plutonium cores, using a screwdriver to maintain separation. No problems, until the screwdriver slips…

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I was mostly making the comparison because it seems like too many people’s first reaction is “How do we use this thing?” rather than “How do we destroy it?” and how some won’t want to believe that destroying it it is the goal.

        Plus something filled with negative energy, that amplifies it . . . doesn’t sound like something that is good for your mental health to interact with it (not saying many of those ghosts don’t have good reason to be very angry but I still don’t think it’s good for Wei to have said anger and rage shoved down his throat – especially considering he likely has more than enough of his own to deal with – which he also doesn’t need to be amplified by any magical artifact). Maybe I’m just leery of magical artifacts that can turn things up to 11.

        Liked by 3 people

  5. To continue the thread of Wei Wuxian’s anger, remember why he ended up in the Burial Mounds in the first place. Wen Chao was going to kill him, until Wei Wuxian promised to come back as a fierce ghost. He did so with enough sincerity (this guy, who we first meet grousing about what a harmless dead guy he’d been) and drive that Wen Chao believed him. And he was driving himself into the emotional state to do it.

    This boy, and Wen Ning, have a lot of wrath and rage they don’t dwell on. That doesn’t mean they don’t have it in them.

    Liked by 5 people

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