A Long Road Chapter 7 Ficbit – Costs of Survival

“I have been told that even unwounded, a Herald or Companion may not live if their partner dies. Do all those healed from deadly wounds suffer as Talamir did? Or only those who have lost their Companion, or Herald?”

“I know not,” Alberich stated, after a moment. “Talamir’s case, unique was. Kantor knows of no other.” He frowned, gaze speculative. “A worry, this is?”

“Cultivators can recover from wounds most humans find mortal, so long as we hold power in our cores.” Lan Wangji lifted his gaze. “Would my healing harm Kellen?”

:No! Never!: Kellen’s denial was fierce, a drawn sword against the dark. :You stay alive, Chosen. Hear me? Never, ever apologize for being hard to kill!: A breath, slightly calmer. :We Companions are a bit tougher than mortal horses, anyway. Live. So long as you want to live, I’ll be just fine.:

“No, he said?” Alberich guessed wryly.

“Mm.” Was that the difference, then? Wanting to live? He had not stayed in the Burial Mounds long after Wen Qionglin had returned to consciousness, but – Wen Qing’s brother had wanted very much to live. Had been grateful to them both, himself and Wei Wuxian, even strange and impossible as his existence seemed to be. Had been welcomed by what was left of his clan, even with the black veins of corpse poisoning clear on his flesh.

A gentle tap at his mind. :I’m not listening if you don’t broadcast, Chosen, but – what you asked about Talamir. It felt personal?:

:I once helped tear a man from the very gates of death,: Lan Wangji obliged. :I will tell you later. It is only – the thought of binding a man to life against his will, to leave him in pain and longing for what lays beyond life – it is abhorrent. But if you say a soul who wants to live will not suffer so… he should be well.:

:We keep racking up more and more interesting conversations to have,: Kellen chuckled. :I hope some of them are soon, or I’ll die of curiosity!:

:Soon,: Lan Wangji assured him. :There are details I must still know of Valdemar. Questions I must ask, and hope to; perhaps even today. But if not this day, then soon.: “You asked the costs of cultivation, Weaponsmaster. Wanting to live can be such a cost.”

17 thoughts on “A Long Road Chapter 7 Ficbit – Costs of Survival

  1. And though the build up is killer, they are going to be forced to concede, that yeah, you had to work your way up to it. That would be something that needs a way to work up to it. Look at Grandmaster canon and o see what happens when it’s dropped with no prep whatsoever.

    More than one person is going to want a drink.

    … Oh dear. Please, let no noble be stupid enough to recreate the “drink with me” scene while Wei Wuxian is still being adapted to. The flashbacks will rock outwards, and poor Talia will get hit with the full “I am three seconds from lunging over this table” from Lan Wangji.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Aww, Kellen! LWJ REALLY needed someone in his corner to tell him “Live, dammit! You matter!” But so many possibly repercussions of the ideas discussed….this is gonna be interesting!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Kellen remains one of my favorite characters in this story. To the point where I was prompted to re-read The Last Herald-Mage trilogy. (Which aged a lot better than I was worried it would. Adult Vanyel is awesome)

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’m not sure I understand, are they talking about if LWJ can survive Kellen dying since that’s what made Talamir want to die?
    And what does he mean about the cost of cultivation being a desire to live?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I was just thinking about just how bad a wound a skilled cultivator can come back from… while part of me hopes they never have the chance to see it in action (for several reasons, a big one being WWX would SLAUGHTER whoever dared hurt Lan Wangji that badly) the other part would love to see the healers and other Heralds reactions, especially along the lines of just how difficult/long can people learn to do it… Also, people’s reactions to realizing just What Wen Ning is will be awesome. The fun part will be who will break their brains more, him or WWX. 😀

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      1. I now kind of want to see Wen Qing and the healers from Haven chatting and trading Worst Patient stories, and Wen Qing’s stories of Wei Wuxian not being believed until they actually have to treat him….
        “you win, take him back please”

        Liked by 3 people

    1. By the way, I am really curious…. are you planning on letting Lan Wangji find out about WWX giving up something rather important right before becoming the Yiling Patriarch in this fic? I know it probably isn’t necessary, but I kinda want him to know…. obviously you don’t have to tell me, but I was rewatching the later episodes of Untames and wanted to ask. I apparently like seeing Lan Wangji feel sad about what WWX has gone through. And I also feel like someone might ask why he started using demonic cultivation. (My money is on Kellen, just because he has more of an idea what Lan Wangji’s people are capable of. Especially because it seems to bug him that WWX gave up his sword…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, here’s a canon fact that may give you more than a hint.

        Given who Kellen was (past life as a Companion closely associated with Herald-Mage Vanyel), he is one of the few individuals in the whole Valdemar mess who knows what a mage with constantly exhausted energy reserves looks like.

        Given what he knows about cultivators and golden cores….

        So, theoretically, if Lan Wangji can unknot his nerves enough to let Kellen have a look at certain memories – some things might be very obvious.

        Liked by 3 people

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