A Long Road Ch 2 Ficbit – Not Gossip

There was a discussion they should have, the four of them, before they reached Haven. :Kellen. You should know that the mindlink spell is not a common use of qi. I am uncertain if Nie Huaisang knows it; and as Nie Mingjue’s heir, it is likely that even if he should know it, he has never used it.:

The sun-warmth in his mind as Kellen followed his thoughts was oddly comforting. :Because as a sect heir, he has secrets. And other people aren’t supposed to get close to them.: A whicker. :But you didn’t toss me out of your mind, Chosen. And you’re strong enough to do it.:

:I trust you. I trust that you would never harm those of the Lan Sect, unless they had abandoned all mercy and reason.: He straightened in the saddle. :Now we must convince them you, and those who can Mindspeak like you, mean no harm to those of Nie.:

:And how would we-? Oh. Hmm.: A ruffling through his half-formed thoughts. :Well, generally we don’t do what you’re proposing… but that’s more of a custom than a rule. Sayvil gets away with breaking it all the time.: A silent chuckle. :And I’m all for the judicious use of pranks. Everyone in Haven’s been so grim lately.:

Ancar had tried to assassinate the Queen’s heir. Grim was a perfectly reasonable reaction.

Still. It would do no harm to help Kellen… bend a rule. For the sake of assisting Nie Huaisang’s own mission of diplomacy. “Gossip is forbidden.” :Now.:

Nie Huaisang widened his eyes. “But Hanguang-jun! It’s not gossip, it’s-”

:Tactical information gathering!:

“Exactly!” Nie Huaisang blinked, as if he’d drunk a shot of exceptionally powerful peach wine. “Wait. That was you, Companion Kellen? That’s so strange.”

“Mm. Not like the mindlink spell,” Lan Wangji noted. “But not unpleasant.”

Nie Zonghui’s fingers withdrew from a saber. “No offense meant. But can all of you talk into a man’s head?”

18 thoughts on “A Long Road Ch 2 Ficbit – Not Gossip

  1. I was hoping Kellen would take a page out of Sayvil’s IDGAF book and chat with NHS some. Them talking will reassure the other two that Companions (and Heralds) can’t/won’t just dig around in their heads without permission.

    It helps that Valdemar has actual clear and enforced laws about mindmagic, and that kind of action (knowingly done) is tantamount to rape in their books. Companions don’t just go around reading everyone’s minds all the time. And I think Companions speaking to others outside of their chosen is more like, hmmm, less mind reading and more thought projection? It’s one way really.

    And cultivators do practice some type of mind protections, right? So unless NHS starts mentally shouting around the half trained kiddos in Haven, propriety and his own shields should keep others out of his head well enough.

    Oooohhhh, wait, it just occurred to me that LWJ is probably gonna have to sit in on at least SOME classes, right? With the kids? That should be fun to see! XD (especially the gift training classes and the ethics classes gifted, herald trainees and others, have to take should be very illuminating for him)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And etiquette. There is only one Herald Trainee that I can think of that got out of the etiquette classes, and that was literally because she’d been taught out of the same book. There are a wealth of differences. But I doubt they would put him with the kids. While kids and teens are the normal age range of Chosen, they do have adults. See, Alberich. And at least one fully trained Bard, Jadich? I forget how to spell his name. He’d just completed his Bardic training, had been exiting the college, when he was accosted by a Companion. He, uh, wasn’t the most gracious about a sudden career change apparently. (Which makes their ending so much sadder, actually. By the time we meet him in the Arrows trilogy, he’d lost his foot and his Companion in the Tadrael Wars. He was an excellent mentor to Talia, and I personally believe a large part of why she learned to trust adult men again. Alberich was also a huge help there.)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I remember Jadich! Yeah, he was one of, if not the, first man she really trusted. They had a really cute, kinda father-daughter relationship. He left her his harp after he passed. Great character.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That would be Herald Bard Jadus and he’s’s also a friend of Alberich. One clarification though while he did lose his foot his companion survived the Tedrel wars and passed away when he did.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. *Waggles hand* Laws… help and don’t. You’ll get some of cultivators’ thoughts on laws in chapter 3. Basically, “er, wait, is that supposed to be us?”

      Noting the rest of this, though, because hee. 🙂


      1. Well, I now have Skiff’s song going through my head. Wei Wuxian would appreciate it I do think.

        The Law of the streetwise is grab all you can,

        For there’s nothing that’s true, nothing lasts

        The Law of the dodger is learn all the dirt,

        The most pious of priests have their past

        The Law of the grifter is cheat the fool first,

        Or the one who’ll be cheated is you

        But the Law of the Herald is give all you can,

        For someday you may need a gift too

        The Law of the liar is there is no truth,

        It is all shades of meaning and greed

        The Law of the hopeless is never believe,

        For all faith is a hollowed out reed

        The Law of the empty there is nothing more,

        Life is nothing but shadow and dare

        But the Law of the Herald is seek out and find,

        And the Law of the Herald is care

        The Law of the hunted is guard your own back,

        For the enemy strikes from behind

        And the Law of the greedy is trust no one else,

        Hide and hoard anything you may find

        The Law of the hater is crush and destroy,

        And the Law of the bigot is kill

        But the Law of the Herald is faith, hope and trust,

        And the strength of the Herald is will

        All these Laws I have learned from the first to the last,

        From the ones who would teach me they’re true

        And for many the ones who taught anger and fear,

        But the ones who taught hope, they were few

        And I ask myself which is the Law I must take,

        Bidding truth as a hand fits a glove

        Then I chose and I never looked back from that day,

        For the Law of the Herald is love

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Oh, something I just remembered: When Kerowyn’s grandmother was wintering with the one Herald, back when they were getting ready to take vengeance on their murdered commander, The Star-Eyed showed up and called the Companion and Herald servants (or children, can’t recall which) of her ‘otherself’.

    Meaning Gwena was definitely working on incomplete information, if she didn’t know that factoid.


    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yep. That is a very interesting fact. And feeds into the meta for this story. “Wait, some of you are running around thinking Powers down here have nothing to do with you? Let’s have a friendly reminder that you have “no one true way” for a reason….” 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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