A Long Road Chapter 3 Ficbit – Chasing Rumors

So. Make this work. What do we know about Valdemar?

At the moment, very little. Betony had been willing to share all she knew, but a young weaver who’d never traveled didn’t know much. Rethwellan and Valdemar had been allies for generations, in peace and in war, to the point Queen Selenay’s white-clad messenger Heralds were trusted even when they crossed the border. When the kingdom of Hardorn had declared war on Valdemar seven years ago, King Faram had sent Prince Daren himself along with armed divisions and the mercenary Skybolts to Queen Selenay’s aid. The battle had been won, the prince had stayed, and married the queen; they ruled Valdemar together now, and had two young heirs full of bright promise for a continued alliance between their kingdoms.

Yet rumors said Valdemar was still fighting skirmishes with Ancar of Hardorn, every year. And there were darker rumors. Though Betony hadn’t believed crazy travelers’ spooky stories about Ancar’s armies being made of the living dead. Not while she was alive.

Looking into Wei Wuxian’s mind, as he’d looked into hers….

Wen Ruohan found ways to steal minds and wills. Why should he be the only one?

Wen Ning touched down and stopped, finally setting him on his feet. “They’re not coming this way. L-let’s not scare everyone.”

Not yet, Wei Wuxian added silently, tucking their foundling against his shoulder to straighten his robes. Everyone already knew they had to leave quickly. Breaking camp would go faster if no one panicked. “Is your sister going to be angry?” he wondered as they started walking. “She’s the closest thing we have to a sect leader, picking up orphans should be her decision….”

Oh no. Not the eyes. “But you’re her heir,” Wei Wuxian hurried on, “until she finds someone incredibly brave and good to give her all the children she wants, so it’s your decision too-”

Wen Ning’s lips twitched. “You didn’t say handsome.”

“Eh?” Wei Wuxian switched arms, shaking feeling back into his left hand after their wild flight. He could see horses now, and the bobbing lanterns of people making sure the last loads were packed; he’d need to play to activate the array as soon as everyone was ready. “Well of course your sister’s husband should be handsome. But Wen Qing’s got more sense than four sect leaders put together. When she finds the man she wants, he’s going to be smart, kind, and tougher than a Nie fortress. What’s looks next to that?”

36 thoughts on “A Long Road Chapter 3 Ficbit – Chasing Rumors

      1. Yeah, basically this.

        Albert’s scenario would deeply violate the fundamental power fantasy of the genre if it occurred during the main part of the plot.

        Technically, it could occur during the introductory scenario, but it would tend to make for a very unusual Xianxia.

        Xianxia sometimes overlaps with Isekai. In that Character A in World B dies in some circumstance, and reincarnates or transmigrates into Character C in World D. Then the usual Xianxia plot starts with Character C being bullied, which probably caused the otherwise fatal incident that caused the reincarnation or transmigration. Sometimes the reincarnation is an aside (oh, the mc remembers being on Earth in his last life), sometime it is more important that previous life was an OP world striding behemoth, and that is where the OP magic system comes from.

        As an introductory scenario, Albert’s scenario would tend to have unusual effects on the later plot. Lovers would need to reunite somehow, or something.

        Closest match I can think of is Re: Monster, which has a subtext that it wasn’t being reincarnated as a goblin that made the MC a monster. That story has some fairly strong characterization that establishes the MC as having been a monster, back when he was a human in his first life, even before discovering his abilities. Anyway, the introductory scenario is almost like Albert’s suggestion. Hero was killed by a younger girl, with a crush on him. She basically did not like his womanizing ways, and lack of attention to her, and he didn’t see her as a lover. Anyway, one of his first girl friends as a Goblin might have been her reincarnated, if it was a murder-suicide.

        Liked by 2 people

  1. Is Wen Ning subtly trolling Wei Ying about Lan Zhan here? If he is I’m all for it, those two are going to need all the shipping pokes and prods .

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wei Wuxian is very happy that he is first disciple and not actually in charge. Even odds of the reality of all of this understanding of things. But he is right to be concerned. Right now, while fleeing the cultivation world pursuing the matter of Valdemar’s interest in Lan Wangji, they are better provisioned then they were the entire time at the Burial Mounds. But he was living at a subsistence level not that long ago. He’s deeply aware of how little it takes to strain supplies. (Also, there was probably very little in the way of luxury while rebuilding Lotus Pier. You can’t tell me he wasn’t performing domestic espionage while drinking. Vultures are always around after all. And his demonic cultivation would have made teaching, awkward. Because the other sects would assume he was teaching it regardless, which would make teaching chancy even if he hadn’t given his core away.)

    But any beau in Wen Qing’s future is going to receive a very strong interrogation from at least two sides. Dead or not dead, Wen Ning is still intimidating when in Blessed Protector mode. And Wei Wuxian is very capable of being scary before he pulls out Chengqing.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Huh. Welp, first smol child acquired! Gonna add ‘accidental baby acquisition’ to the tags on AO3? XDDDD

    Really, it was inevitable. Poor Bethany, but she did find a good person/group of people to take her baby sister!

    (catching up on these bits, haven’t had much time to check my e-mail this week)

    Liked by 3 people

      1. “Accidental child acquisition”? But if he keeps helping settle ghosts on his way across the landscape, he will eventually acquire babies. It’s all that dad energy he exudes. A-Yuan also has some big brother energy, at least he does as Lan Sizhui in canon. I think it has something to do with his lacking memories. He wants family, he wants to know where he came from.

        “Accidental Family Acquisition” might be a good tag to, because what kind of family are you acquiring? Is it a baby? Is it a child, a teenager? Are you getting a new aunt, a new uncle? A cousin, a brother, a sister? A wife? A husband and children? Who knows, but it’s all family!

        Liked by 3 people

      2. I believe ‘accidental child acquisition’ is ALSO a tag.

        Just a kid she knew was in danger then? Or *winces* daughter she had distressingly young? In bad circumstances (because her life was clearly awful all around).

        Liked by 3 people

      3. That is a tag? Okay, will have to add it. 🙂

        And the first. Kid the bandits kept when they killed everyone else in a bunch of travelers. Which as you can probably guess means there’s a reason they thought a little was profitable.

        (Also means the kid has plenty of trauma, poor girl, she’ll fit right in….)

        Liked by 3 people

  4. I’m starting to wonder if you ship Wen Qing and NHS. Akshully, that fits, because she is a doctor, and the UK’s NHS. No, wait, that means that it is a terrible match, very inauspicious.

    Grins, Ducks, and Runs Away.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. There’s plenty of Valdemarian characters she might like too, tbh. Or Tayledras, once they show up. A lady like Wen Qing, with all her skills and good personality and not inconsiderable beauty, is going to have lots of options away from the cultivation world and the black mark her name and *gestures to everything* ah, reputation have created.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. “Smart, kind, and tougher than a Nie fortress”? Well, Zonghui would fit that but honestly? I’m gonna root for a Valdemaran. Teren or Alberich specifically. Age gap might be an issue with Alberich but I think their personalities would jive. Teren’s got the smart and kind thing down or he wouldn’t have been put in charge of the Herald’s Collegium after Elcarth, and as a Herald he’s likely exceptionally skilled in combat (not near Kero or Alberich’s level, but still very good)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Except Alberich is happily settled into a relationship already. His wife(? I don’t remember if they made things official, but they were in a long term monogamous relationship) is actually the Herald Chronicler Myste, who was a clerk before being a middle age Chosen. She is absolutely unsuited to actually being in combat, and upon convincing Alberich of this fact, was quite dismayed that he then turned his focus on training her in how to be fast and slippery to get out of combat.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. She is absolutely unsuited to actually being in combat, and upon convincing Alberich of this fact, was quite dismayed that he then turned his focus on training her in how to be fast and slippery to get out of combat.

        Oh my, I can _see_ that, it’s adorable in my head.

        “I teach people to fight!”
        “There is no way, shape or form that I can possibly fight.”
        “Alright, then I will teach you how to AVOID fighting!”

        Subtext: “this is how I show affection. I teach people to fight. “

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I strongly recc’ Exile’s Honor and Exile’s Valor. Alberich is Awesome.

        (And the mess at the end of Honor with the Tedrels… let’s just say, Selenay’s going to be thinking about that when she hears what happened to the civilian Wens.)


      3. I’d gotten the impression I’ll really like him from Friends Across Borders— Elf has all the series that was published before he signed up, somewhere, so I’ll see if I can find them.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Y’all have my poor half-elf laughing himself sick.

        I was under the weather so did almost nothing today, then at nine at night I’m digging through the pile of boxes that’s been there for almost two years because I knew I’d seen one of them. The boxes of all his old books are now upstairs. (there’s a lot of duplication in what we bought, and his are in much better condition)

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Well… that would be ONE way to get WWX and LWJ together.

      “You are BOTH going to be my husbands! And LIKE it! (and each other).”
      Hasty chorus: “Yes’m!”
      Irritated mutter: “It’s the only way I can keep you both alive and halfway sane.”

      Liked by 2 people

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