At least they have good roofs up here. Wen Ning peeked over the crest of a slate roof near the middle of Haven, noting the guard positions atop the walls surrounding the palace complex. Whoever’d built them knew what he was doing. Even if it’d been broad daylight instead of twilight, only about half the guards were in physical view. The rest he had to feel, little glows of life and watchfulness, well-hidden and defended from any ordinary attack. From an attack borne by swordflight, not as well – but each post did have archers. Enough to make an airborne attack risky, no matter how good a cultivator’s wards might be.
He flattened himself a moment, as Shaya cawed and a few young messengers ran, jumped, and clattered over rooftops nearby, avoiding the crowded streets below. No need to attract young curiosity. Or youngsters in general. Haven’s ghosts would likely bring Wei Wuxian enough seedlings in trouble. They didn’t need to go looking for more.
..Not that he minded helping children in trouble. But the clink of iron chain behind him was a sober reminder of how much trouble the two of them were in already.
Sliding back down behind the roofline, Wen Ning turned, picking up one of the end links. Iron’s chill was faint to his touch. Far stronger was the blackwater-rush of resentful energy from Georg’s spirit and Rikard’s pain, threaded through with a touch of Master Wei’s sheer power. It was a comforting rush, the drowning undertow of dead resentment tempered almost to a predictable river current. Yes, Master Wei had trapped a ghost, held it in flesh when it should have fled – but in doing so they’d carried out its last wish, easing the anger and guilt that would have bound a spirit to earth. The flow was almost… well, resentful energy was never tame. But it recognized an ally.
Iron shivered in his grip, as Wei Wuxian used steel tools and flickers of power to carve tiny arrays into each link of chain in turn. Wen Ning swallowed. “D-do you really think this will hold Hanguang-jun?”
“The chain alone wouldn’t bind him for a minute,” his friend said absently, moving to the next link. “And if he had a chance at his guqin, even resentment wouldn’t hold the chain together. But if we can keep him from moving so he can’t get Wangji out – that should be enough time for me to hit him with talismans. Or for you to use a needle.”
A/N: So you were wondering about that chain… 😉
(Yes, his guqin is named Wangji too. Is possible it was named that first.)