A Long Road Chapter 7 Up On AO3

Chapter 7 of A Long Road, “For the Dead Travel Fast”, is now up on Archive of Our Own.

…If I have to explain the title reference, I will be A Bit Miffed. *Bemused.*

(Hmm. Wen Ning and Wei Wuxian in that setting would be interesting….)

45 thoughts on “A Long Road Chapter 7 Up On AO3

  1. *squee!*

    Now do I read this with breakfast or save as a task reward. (Realistically, I’m probably going to read it with breakfast, but I will at least require myself to prepare the breakfast first.)

    Liked by 3 people

  2. For me yesterday was a day only Murphy would have enjoyed so I was ecstatic to lose my self in quality fic for a while. I probably laughed a little to hard at those guards reactions

    They got ate by a snake 0_0

    Liked by 4 people

      1. *is now day-dreaming about Wen Ning being all “oh, you thought EVIL was required to be powerful? Behold actually fighting to stay a decent person!” while fighting the standard ‘it’s OK for us to drain the sheep’ vampires*

        Liked by 6 people

      2. I am reminded, though that one was still a vampire, of McKinley’s Sunshine

        It didn’t grab me enough when I flipped through to actually buy it, and my recollection is hazy, but I remember rather liking the concept that while drinking human blood gave vampires power… enduring the temptation without it for centuries had given one of them advantages that actually scared the rest.

        Liked by 5 people

      3. I think it’s the only book of hers I’ve started that made me feel like an abridged version might be nice, but maybe I was just impatient that day.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah, we are getting a lot of smoke where I live despite the fact that there are no fires anywhere in my whole STATE right now! My lungs are very upset about the air, and I have actually been grateful for the high quality filter mask that I am required to wear to work right now, or I would be having a much harder time breathing. Which seems very contrary, but welcome to the crazy world we live in…

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Ouch! We’ve been getting some smoke even down here from the West when the winds blow right, and when we’re not getting that, we’re getting Saharan dust. Which the news almost never reports on, because “most people aren’t allergic to it.”

        …I’m not most people. *Rueful*

        Liked by 3 people

  3. I loved this chapter, I enjoyed Albrich and Lan Wangji’s talk just as much as I thought I would and the part at the end where (SPOILER!)

    Albrich is putting the situation into perspective for the other Herolds was perfect! I will leave a longer comment on AO3, but this was awesome. I’m giggling evily thinking about what might happen when WWX Arrives in Haven….

    Liked by 4 people

      1. I thought that was what you were doing – showing the dilemma–but something about the figure of speech used does not balance/oppose clearly, at least in my head. Might need different wording.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. /Eavesdropping spies.
    More spies, making sure we can’t casually contact any citizen they haven’t approved.
    Not one of them have tried to learn our language, outside Mina and the Blues and artificers she introduced to us. Those of the Palace haven’t asked at all. With Lan Wangji among them! /

    It would be funny to see Valdemar’s reaction if before their guests leave, they find out just how much of their actions the Nie pair saw as blatant spying and power plays.

    “B-but we were being welcoming and friendly!”
    “….If you thought that behavior was welcoming, you need remedial lessons in the matter.”

    Liked by 4 people

    1. The Heralds just think they’re taking reasonable precautions around foreign mages whose powers they don’t know.

      Nie, looking at all these other local nobles wandering around armed and with Attitude: We’re being polite. Very polite. Because we’re strangers. But you’re starting to wear.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Amusingly, I can imagine this being the difference between having magic/abilities to learn language easier, plus having actual trade and more relations with other nations on one side, versus Valdemar’s canon internal divisions having been taught the same language(universal education has been a thing in the books forever) and lack of said abilities, along with their canon isolation.

        Also, I can see Kero and the Nie actually getting past some of it because they both have the common touchstone of the Shin’a’in, to the point where she feels able to threaten him as a Clanswoman. (Also Sayvil attached a bit to her super great grand niece, but that’s not shown, it just amuses me.)

        Also, the Jade Emperor and the lightning bolt line made me laugh out loud. (Vkandis can do subtle…occasionally.)

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Also: Poor NHS! This diplomacy stuff is a bit more stressful than he had expected!

        But about the learning of language: Did you hit the Valdemarans with the idiot-stick? Or are they working on it where NHS doesn’t see?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I’m sure they’re trying… but do you know how many Heralds actually speak Karsite, despite 1) Alberich being a Herald for decades and 2) Karse having been a threat on their border for centuries?

        Something like half a dozen. And four of those are spies Crathach helped give versions of Alberich’s memories to, for language and customs. One is Myste, the Herald-Chronicler. There’s maybe a few more, that’s it.

        The Shin’a’in have now been trading with Valdemar for over 7 years, since Kerowyn brought them in contact. Know how many Heralds speak Shin’a’in? Maybe three. Kerowyn, Elspeth, and Skif.

        OutKingdom Heralds get the language shoved into their heads by their Companions. Traders and diplomats coming to Valdemar learn the local language.

        And apparently nobody’s thought of pestering either the “ambassadors” or the Mercenaries’ Guild for more linguistics. *Shrug*

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I hadn’t anticipated that particular blind spot. But it is consistent with canon, unfortunately.

        Does that meant that they will *also* not figure out that they really should send a Herald with the Bride Train? For more than one reason.

        Liked by 2 people

      5. We’ll see. Nie Huaisang is trying to make sure the people he’s collecting get a start on the language.

        …Which means the locals may be assuming not all the kids he’s teaching will go, and they can have them for translators. *Shrug* The Court and Heralds have a lot of their attention tied up with the Ancar mess, for better or worse.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Re: language, the Valdemar universe countries don’t seem to have as many different languages as you’d expect, possibly because of previous cultures before the Collapse that had gates. Valdemar seemed to use the same common trade tongue as most countries in their neck of the world, and they don’t have close relations with most countries that don’t use that language. A lot of people may assume that the Jianghu speaks the trade language, since everyone from there seems to speak it well, and that the embassy just has funny accents — unless they see one of the guys writing down information in weird characters. (And even then, some people might think it is magic rune writing for a spell, and therefore be shunted away from thinking about it. Everyone knows mages have secret magic languages in stories, right?)

    That said, Valdemar has tons of resources and good defenses, so other countries are more interested in trade with them than vice versa.

    This is just my impression….

    To be fair, learning Chinese right off the bat is not easy, because tones just aren’t something that non-tonal languages prepare you to hear or use. English uses tones of a sort, for emotional coloration, so tones can make you think you’re being yanked around, besides being hard to distinguish or reproduce accurately.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Put it this way. Karse has been Valdemar’s hereditary enemy for centuries.

        Alberich: (Wandering around in Haven with a thick Karsite accent.) I’m from Jkatha. Maybe Ruvon.

        Everyone in Haven: Nods and doesn’t think twice.

        …I swear, this is canon from Exile’s Honor….

        Liked by 2 people

      2. IOW, Valdemar is what you get when you build a fantasy world good guy country, are an American, have never known any country other than America, or people other than Americans, and have the observation and analytical abilities to move to Oklahoma from Chicago, and conclude that the Oklahoma Democratic Party and the Illinois Democratic Party in Chicago are both matches to each other, and to how the Democratic Party wishes to present itself.

        It is a very safe, very secure sort of multi-cultural, multi-national country, with a historical awareness of past internal grudges matching the level of grudges mentioned in public when she was young, with very little attention paid to how it might be similar to RL alien cultures, and a theocratic equiarchy pasted on top.

        I actually find Valdemar positively inspiring, Lackey developed a lot of features and implied features that would be interesting to work with in a different setting. If I could figure out implementations that I believed.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. It is a really extreme version of stuff seen in a lot of places. Even some of the grimderp worlds pick a default degree of xenophiliac high trust society that doesn’t necessarily make a lot of in universe sense.

        America has a lot of effect on the perceptions of people around the world.

        I’m serious about finding Valdemar inspiring in a positive way.

        There’s a lot that one can do with a country that accepts refugees from anywhere, as long as they obey its own laws, has a firm grip on internal power, and is resolutely uninterested in foreign affairs. The outside world could still be seriously worried about the descendants of some of those refugees.

        There’s the equiarchy, there’s the ambiguity of ‘any non-hostile power’, there’s the canonical herald death rates, there’s the legosity of heralds on search, there’s hyphenating absurd occupations with Herald, there’s the weird flexibility of the political world building, there’s the compatibility with otome game insert plots…

        That’s before more fanfic inspired stuff like ‘what about an original knock off of Cracks where Yamagata reprises his historical role for Valdemaran militarism?’

        It is a really weird country, so it can inspire things that contrast with realistic countries, or with fictional knock offs of places built according to a different flavor of mad logic.

        It sounds really fun. It is just that my fiction thinking right now isn’t up to much. When my creative writing experiences lately haven’t been crippled by depression, I can think that ‘X and Y would be cool’, but I’m not up to working through the logic.

        Liked by 1 person

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