Two years since the end of Sunshot, and Nie Mingjue was still the sects’ best general. He’d sent them with at least two tables that could be broken down and stored in qiankun bags, specifically because an effective strike needed planning first.
Really, really good planning, Wei Wuxian reflected, as he and Wen Ning finished setting up the last braces to make a stable flat surface. They’d had practice at this, hashing and rehashing what they could of a plan ever since they’d left the Burial Grounds. Too good, for him to have thrown it all together less than a week after he got Nie Huaisang’s message. How long were they planning this? Why?
Once he got to Nie Huaisang, he’d ask. For now… Sect Leader Nie’s plan had let him get his people out of the Burial Mounds. He could work with that. The people he protected had their own plan.
But no plan survives contact with the battlefield.
Wei Wuxian breathed out, seeking calm. The plan was still good. They’d just have to tweak it to handle the realities of a strange land. “So if that peddler was right,” he tapped the best map of the area they had, “that town two days back down the road to our east is Zalmon. The town ahead of us is Nottaway, and we’re definitely in Valdemar now. And if Nie Huaisang’s note is true, that was the last anchor he could plant, because of local interference.”
Cousin Renshu frowned. “Those… air-spirits?”
“Might be!” Wei Wuxian agreed. “Anyway, from here on out it’s our own feet. So road conditions matter.”
Wen Ning peered over the map. “T-they’re not good. The other maps said these were roads. If this map is here… everything’s dirt, with a few rocks. Not paved. And the crows are flying low. We’re going to have storms.”
“Mud,” Cousin Renshu groaned. “We’re going to be slow.”
“Too slow, if we have to kidnap back three cultivators and outrun an army.” Wen Qing traded a long look with her cousin. Straightened her shoulders, and stared fiercely at Wei Wuxian. “But the two of you aren’t slow at all.”