He’s so small. Wei Wuxian looked over the bundle of cloth and baby the Herald was cradling, how it tucked into the crook of a white-clad arm with plenty of room to spare, and tried not to curse. Too small. Too young, babies are frail enough when they’re born on time. “Wen Ning-!”
Hat poking through the roots at the cave entrance, dark eyes raked through the gloom, likely picking out details only a healer would notice. “I’ll get Jiejie!” Black fluttered, as he scrambled back out.
Herald Arvil looked up, blinking away tears. “Who?”
“His sister, Wen Qing. Our best healer. Sometimes ghosts aren’t healthy for people. She’ll know what to do.” She did, after two years in the Burial Mounds. And she was going to need it. This place… it was much smaller than the Burial Mounds. Younger. Less steeped in millennia of death and hate. But the resentment was intense, purple-black and hungry, fueled by a tree yao’s thwarted hopes for centuries more of life.
And it wasn’t the Burial Mounds. It didn’t know him. It didn’t want to know him. He was an intruder, he was alive, and he was taking the only breathing thing it was willing to tolerate.
Chenqing in hand, Wei Wuxian gripped the Herald’s free arm, tugging shamelessly. “Come on. We’ve found what’s important. Now we have to get out of here.”
For a moment Arvil pulled back. Then seemed to look at him, and started walking.
Don’t know what he thinks he saw. Don’t really care. We just need to make it a few more steps. Wei Wuxian carefully glanced around torn earth as they picked their way out of the cave, trying not to let on to thickening dark smoke that he could see it perfectly well, resentful energy rising like a river in flood the closer they got to the entrance.